What if al-Awlaki was a Confederate soldier?

I disagree but I’m glad born-again constructionists are troubled by the president’s authorization of the murder of a U.S. citizen. The killing of al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was, in fact, a violation of the Fifth Amendment and such things shouldn’t be taken lightly.

That doesn’t mean it was wrong.

*”[I]f the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it’s sad,” said Libertarian gadfly Ron Paul.

Keep in mind al-Awlaki had declared war against his birth country, just like the 750,000 soldiers who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. Not one of the 258,000 Rebel soldiers killed by Union troops received their due process. Wars aren’t decided on principle, and had the framers foreseen the likes of al-Awlaki they might well have included an exception to the Fifth.

Regardless, I think the Republic will survive. Al-Qadea may not.

*As for Paul’s claim that al-Awlaki was “assassinated,” I defer to Chris Rock.

Beck: Obama ‘sympathetic’ to terrorists

How do you think Fox Nation would’ve reacted had an MSNBC host leveled the same charge against Bush 43? Just saying.

I believe that’s because he just sees us as the oppressor nation. He just sees us as a nation who is and has oppressed the Native Americans and, and the Muslim communities around the world. And so he’s – he’s – he’s not with the terrorists, I’m not saying that, but he is sympathetic to their cause, which slows people down.

Two points: 1.) We did oppress Native Americans and 2.) If Obama is so simpatico with terrorists, why does he continue to prosecute a war against them in Afghanistan?

Whatever Beck’s explanation, I bet Van Jones is somehow involved. And Woodrow Wilson.

Sympathy for a devil

Sorry in advance for going all Fox News on you, but I’m fed up with those trying to find excuses for the Times Square terrorist.

On CNN tonight some writer speculated that Faisal Shahzad was let down by America. The U.S., she said, too often fails to live up to its reputation as that shining city on the hill. She’s right in one sense — America often falls short of the ideal. Plus,  the poor guy lost his home to foreclosure. And like so many others who’ve faced financial struggles, he tried to blow up scores of innocents. Perfectly understandable.

Based on his alleged associations, Shahzad is a psychopath whose disappointment with America has more to do with its tolerance for those who aren’t Islamic fundamentalist men. Poor guy couldn’t treat his woman like a slave, or stone his deviant gay neighbor to death. How could we be so insensitive to his culture?

Fortunately, an increasing number of Pakistanis seem to have a more sober view of their former countryman’s action:

Although some Pakistani officials and media figures remain skeptical of Faisal Shahzad’s link to these radical organizations, the op-eds and letters available on English-language Pakistani news sites are largely sympathetic to the American situation. In fact, in the condemnations of the terror attempt lie more than a few reproaches: some Pakistanis evidently don’t feel the country or Muslims in general are doing enough to combat extremism. That doesn’t mean they aren’t critical of the U.S. as well.

  • ‘Why Do Educated Individuals Resort to Such Extremist Tendencies?’ asks Sadia Hussain from Islamabad, writing in a letter to the Express Tribune (tied to the International Herald Tribune). Another letter-writer, Sheraz Khan, echoes that question. “This act has caused pain and suffering to not only his loved ones but to each and every Pakistani living abroad. What is worse is that some Muslims do not even believe all this and say that this is all part of a conspiracy to defame Muslims.” Hussain declares “it is imperative that the state clamp down on all potential recruitment centres of terrorism.”
  • Pakistani Soul-Searching “It is about time,” writes A. Khan from Karachi, also to the Express Tribune, “that we faced the bitter reality and accepted that we are a breeding ground for terrorists who then go to other countries and carry out attacks. Our madressahs graduate thousands of ‘students’ every year and most of them have been indoctrinated to become suicide bombers or jihadis.” Adds Mansoor Khalid: “America should try Faisal Shahzad under its law and give him exemplary punishment if he is found guilty of what the American authorities are accusing him of. At the same time, we need to ask ourselves that why are so many Pakistanis prone to the extremist bug and in the process bent on sullying our good name?”

Amateurish, but worth noting

Re: The attempted car bombing of Times Square:

The location is also adjacent to the Viacom building, fueling speculation that it might be linked to the company’s controversial South Park cartoon which recently depicted Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.

Speaking of radical Islam, Bill Maher makes my point:

A terrorist AND a nut

Both sides of the political spectrum are trying to tie Joe Stack to the other, which should come as no surprise in these hyper-partisan times.

Truth is, Stack’s ideology — a cornucopia of conspiracy theories and fringe populism — doesn’t jibe with the collectivist mindsets of our respective political wings.

As for the “terrorist” label, would there be any debate if a man of Middle Eastern descent had attacked a government building?

Two Recent Decisions I Will Never Understand

1. The Supreme Court’s decision lifting the ban on corporate spending in elections. Those who equate corporations with individuals when it comes to free speech remind me of Second Amendment absolutists who see no harm in allowing some redneck to stock up on Uzis. The disconnect with reality boggles the mind.

Fact: Corporations spend millions on 30-second ads without blinking. If I saved every paycheck I might be able to afford 10 seconds on public access TV. How is that fair? There’s only one reason corporations spend money on elections — to make more money. That’s what they do. I don’t believe corporations are inherently evil, though I’m not naive enough to think they always act in the public interest.

2. Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to prosecute 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in federal court. KSM is undeserving of the rights guaranteed American citizens, and hard-earned intelligence shouldn’t be risked in favor of misplaced idealism. There are other (humane) ways to prosecute this monster.

Pardoning Marc Rich is no longer Holder’s most foolish decision. Just when we thought Fredo was out, Obama pulled him back in.

a preview of the ksm trial

An irrational narcissist and proselytizing victim goes on a killing spree then represents himself in court — Colin Ferguson, meet KSM. The major difference, besides body count: The government was constitutionally bound to grant Ferguson, an American citizen, a trial by jury. It was ugly, but necessary.

I’ve yet to hear a sound argument for the ugly and unnecessary trial still to come.

a message for scotland

Scotland’s release of the Lockerbie bomber is beyond disgraceful. Some people deserve no mercy, and Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi is one of them.

Mark Renton’s speech in “Trainspotting” seems an appropriate rejoinder:

“I hate being Scottish, we’re the lowest of the fucking low, the scum of the earth, the most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilisation. Some people hate the English, but I don’t. The English are wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonised by wankers. We can’t even choose a decent race to be colonised by. We are ruled by effete arseholes.”

bill ayers, victim

The pasty, self-serving educator/terrorist is looking for sympathy. Better he just fade away:

Ayers may think that there’s still a debate about the Weather Underground’s effectiveness. And he might also think that he “acted appropriately in the context of those times.” To me, though, he’s just a shallow rich kid who took himself and his revolutionary rhetoric much too seriously, helped inspire people to do things that got them killed, and helped to discredit the anti-war movement and the left as a whole.

depravity unleashed

A dispatch from Mumbai:

“I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was traumatised,” a mortician said. “It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood.”

let us all tolerate the screaming children in the theater

Based on the recommendation of an Iranian-born colleague, I planned on watching the controversial Dutch documentary “Fitna” today. Linking footage of terroristic acts to verses in the Koran, the film has been roundly condemned, with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offering the most offensive critique.

“We must also recognize that the real fault line is not between Muslim and Western societies, as some would have us believe, but between small minorities of extremists, on different sides, with a vested interest in stirring hostility and conflict,” Ban said.

So non-violent provocateurs are equivalent to baby-killing suicide bombers?

I’m sure Ban hasn’t watched “Fitna,” and, despite my best attempts, neither have I. The doc was posted earlier on LiveLeak but removed “following threats to our staff of a very serious nature.” Once again, the Islamic impulse towards violence serves only to validate the material — be it novel, cartoon or film — it aims to suppress.

The Politics of Fear and Loathing

While the Republican presidential candidates invoke Ronald Reagan’s name almost as much as they date drop 9/11, they seem to have learned nothing from the Great Communicator. Optimism is out — fear mongering is in. Witness Tom Tancredo’s bellicose campaign ad (ridiculously restricted to viewers 18-and-older by YouTube).

His campaign slogan is just as ominous: "Tancredo … before it’s too late." A bit subtle, don’t you think? "Vote for Me or Die!" works much better.