With every hope that better things are coming . . .

December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, everyone!

Later,

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Let us never forget . . . .

December 29, 2009

The Rs, of course, are falling all over themselves, talking about how Obama (he’s a Muslim, don’t you know?) is to blame for the botched terrorist attack on Flight 253 on Christmas Day. I haven’t heard calls yet for impeachment, but perhaps I haven’t been listening closely enough. Surely one of those yo-yos is drafting articles as we speak . . . .

But, just as a little reminder, let us never, ever, forget that George Bush was warned on August 6, 2001, of an impending terrorist attack:

Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and “bring the fighting to America.”

After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [–] service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [–] service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative’s access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin’s first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Ladin has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Ladin associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al-Qa’ida members–including some who are US citizens–have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qua’ da members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [–] service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of “Blind Shaykh” ‘Umar ‘Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

He shrugged it off with, “All right, you’ve covered your ass now,” and went fishing. A month later, more than 3,000 people died.

UPDATE – HIs administration later released two men who were involved in this plot and sent them into an art therapy program – Heckuva job there, Dubya

Meanwhile, the Silence Of The Dems is, as they say, deafening – Cowards

Later,


Iran – the fight for democracy continues

December 26, 2009

Not giving up

LA Times\' report

And the Post

UPDATE – The Wall Street Journal thinks we’ve reached a “tipping point” – Really?

I would encourage readers to check Juan Cole’s “Informed Comment” blog regularly (link on the right).

Later,


Season’s Greetings from Willem Lange

December 24, 2009

I know Willem slightly; he and his wife are active in a local church here. This is a wonderful story he created that has become a Vermont yuletide tradition.

WIllem Lange tells the story of Favor Johnson

Later . . . and, Merry Christmas!


A Christmas miracle

December 24, 2009

95 years ago, British, French, and German soldiers spontaneously declared a truce on Christmas Day. They stopped shooting at one another, instead, they sang carols, exchanged gifts, and even played soccer. The truce lasted until the commanders order the war to go on.

Here’s a story from NPR – The Christmas Truce

And a mini-documentary –

Later,


Season’s Greetings from St. Paul’s, London

December 24, 2009

I love Christmas carols; this is my favorite –

Later,


Season’s Greetings from Mel Torme and Judy Garland

December 24, 2009

Torme wrote this one

Later,