Friday, September 25, 2009

An al Qaeda Franchise Coming Soon!, Using the US as a Training Camp

Paul Krugman
David Brooks
Dana Milbank

"Always there is the illusion of the easy path" - David Brooks

"But it will require more than breathing exercises to calm the anger on Capitol Hill. Chalk it up to ACORN season." - Dana Milbank

al Qaeda branching out...
Europe is being targeted by the latest messages coming from al Qaeda, which, if anyone remembers, was originally formed with backing from the CIA. The caves and tunnels where they were based in Afghanistan, were excavated by the bin Laden Construction company from Saudi Arabia.  There are many Muslims living in Europe, including the latest diaspora from Afghanistan and Pakistan, seeking a safer haven. France recently broke up a large refugee camp, dragging the crying and fearful residents of the illegal encampment into waiting buses, to be processed for deportation.

One set of three messages put on jihadist websites, was directed at Germany, warning of reprisal if its citizens voted for a government in the upcoming elections that backed the war in Afghanistan: "Germany remains on high alert ahead of Sunday's federal elections [AFP] "We've raised security to a level appropriate for the scenario and it will stay at this level for the time being," Stefan Paris, an interior ministry spokesman said.

In the third video, released on Thursday, a masked man believed to be Harrach calls on Muslims in Germany to take part in jihad, or holy war."

And our elusive friend, the dead Osama bin Laden, has also issued another audio track, solely for the Euro market: "calling on European countries to end their alliance with the US and withdraw forces from Afghanistan.

"An intelligent man doesn't waste his money and sons for a gang of criminals in Washington," the US-based SITE Intelligence Group monitoring service quoted bin Laden as saying on Friday." US officials say that this is proof that the counter-insurgency strategy is working, that al Qaeda is on the run and searching for other, easier targets to establish its version of an Islamic Caliphate.

the weakest link...
Yemen has been fighting its insurgents for the past five years, and was close to toppling at one recent point. All of northern Africa have their groups, most recently in Sudan and Somalia. A Somalian web site is claiming that a Somali-American was a recent suicide bomber, working for the group Shabab: "The Shabab are waging an intense guerrilla war against Somalia’s moderate Islamist transitional government and are trying to turn Somalia into a factory for global jihad. According to American and Somali officials, several high-ranking Qaeda agents are training Somali militants and recruiting terrorists from around the world to fight in Somalia.

According to F.B.I. officials, around 20 young Somali-American men have disappeared from the Somali community in Minneapolis over the past two years to join the Shabab.

One of them was Shirwa Ahmed, who blew himself up in northern Somalia last October, becoming the first known case of an American suicide bomber. The F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, has said that Mr. Ahmed was “radicalized in his hometown in Minnesota.” Another Somali-American from Minnesota, Mohamed Hassan, 21, was killed during fighting in Mogadishu several weeks ago."

Coupled with the recent arrest of the Afghani from Colorado, who thankfully, is dumb as a stump and can't follow the directions stored on his computer on how to make a home-made bomb, it seems that the new al Qaeda training ground is the good old USA.

you talk about a revolution...
People trying to change the world, evoking violent responses. al Qaeda wants to go back to what it considers a safer time, live a simpler life in response to a changing world where many cultures combine and influence each other.

We see that clash of cultures here, in a society that prides itself on its freedom yet has one of the highest prison populations, and violent homicide rates in the world. Almost every cultural debate leads us the that brink of violence: "... In interviews with POLITICO, five former Secret Service, FBI and CIA officers say that they, too, are concerned that today’s climate of supercharged political vitriol could lead to violence... some of the experts see the political moment as a part of a larger trend that’s been developing since the mid-’90s — dating back to GOP attacks on President Bill Clinton and continuing through the left’s sharp criticism of President George W. Bush.

There’s a big difference, of course, between a person who shouts at a congressman at a town hall and a person who would do something much more violent. But security experts say that the shouting incidents and other angry moments in recent weeks serve as indicators of an increase in political rage in the culture."

In a world where we focus our anger at silly things like health care reform and making fake birth certificates for our President, the more serious players are posing dangers around the globe. Iran thinks having a nuclear bomb is a source of national pride and it will elevate itself as a world power to be reckoned with, while the powers that have had nuclear weapons for awhile know that it is a terrible burden. Russia's and the US's nuclear armament is getting old, and its time to either spend billion and billions of dollars to upgrade. Good thing they have taken a wiser choice and are seeking to de-escalate.

late night political jokes:

"You know who was here last night? President Barack Obama was here last night. Politics notwithstanding, what a graceful guy. I mean, after the show, he was nice enough to autograph my swine-flu mask." --David Letterman

"It's opening week at the U.N., ladies and gentlemen. Security is very tight here in New York City. A lot of dictators all over the city. You know what I've noticed? Dictators tend to be tiny. Have you noticed this? Kim Jong Il, a tiny little guy. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Another guy like this: Mayor Bloomberg." --David Letterman

"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad kicked things off with a hate-filled rant, followed by hors d'oeuvres." --David Letterman

"If you wanted to, you could get on the eBay and you could bid on having dinner with Sarah Palin. Did you know that? Yep, you could bid on it. And the winning bid was $63,000. You get to sit down and have dinner. Of course, you know, for that price - people say that's a lot of money - she'll shoot the main course." --David Letterman

"It's the most expensive date with a governor since Eliot Spitzer." --David Letterman

"That's a lot of money. But you can sit down with Sarah Palin, spend a couple hours; really get to know her. You know, it's the thing John McCain should have done a year ago." --David Letterman

"Last week, Dick Cheney had buck surgery. You know Dick Cheney? Dick 'Shotgun' Cheney? You know, it's the complications from carrying Bush for eight years. That's what it was." --David Letterman

"Actually, I'm getting kind of worried about President Obama. He hasn't been on a TV show for almost 11 hours. Is everything all right? Is he O.K.?" --Jay Leno

"Well, you know what's interesting? Because of all these scandals, the executive director of Acorn, a woman named Bertha Lewis, said Acorn will fire any employees 'too stupid to understand they are not reaching professional standards.' Why can't we get this rule for Congress?" --Jay Leno

"Actually, did you see Obama the last couple of days - he was on six different TV shows pitching his health-care plan. You know the difference between Obama and the ShamWow guy? You can see the ShamWow guy on Fox." --Jay Leno

"And how awful is this? This book claims that John Edwards tried to calm his mistress down by promising to marry her, after his wife died, in a rooftop wedding ceremony in New York with the Dave Matthews Band as their wedding band. Really, Dave Matthews at the wedding for these two? Wouldn't Cheap Trick be more appropriate?" --Jay Leno

"Well, according to the Los Angeles Times, the immigrant population in California actually declined last year. When asked if they had noticed, 80 percent of the people in California said, 'Si.'" --Jay Leno

"Over 150 world leaders in town for the conference. As a result, there's also 150 mistresses in town. So it's just a traffic nightmare." --Jimmy Fallon

"Also in New York is Bill Clinton, who's hosting his own Clinton Global Initiative over at the Sheraton Hotel. It's room 319. Knock three times, ladies." --Jimmy Fallon

"The U.S. government is giving American Indian tribes $224 million of stimulus money to help fight crime on reservations. The tribes say that they're grateful for the money and plan to bet it all on black." --Jimmy Fallon

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