First of all, it is well known that as long as one lives in a certain country as a citizen or a legal resident, he or she certainly must abide by the laws of that country. This fact needs no proof, as by having citizenship, a residence permit or a visa, one agrees to abide by the laws of the country.
While abiding by the laws of the country of residence, a Muslim must try his best to comply with the rulings of Shari`ah whenever possible and be eager not to be liable to those laws that contradict the clear-cut Islamic rulings agreed upon by all Islamic juristic schools. However, when a non-Muslim law agrees with the ruling of at least one school, then there is no harm if a Muslim abides by such a law.
As the make-or-break fall campaign season commences for the Democratic presidential contenders, Sen. John F. Kerry -- once considered by many the front-runner for the nomination -- is struggling to catch fire in early voting states and adapt to the sudden and race-altering surge of rival Howard Dean.
The fall campaign begins with Dean as the dominant force in the race -- the clear front-runner in New Hampshire, battling Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.) in Iowa and building the biggest and best-funded operations in other states holding early contests.
Dean, a former Vermont governor, is pulling way ahead in raising money, projecting he will rake in at least $10 million this quarter. Many Democrats think it will be closer to $15 million. Kerry and Gephardt, who along with Dean make up the top tier of the early campaign, will have a hard time raising half that much, their aides say.
Dean is also setting the tone and pace for what is shaping up as the most competitive Democratic primary in decades.
Dean's summer surge not only has put Kerry in serious trouble in New Hampshire, a state Kerry must win next year, but also has resulted in a fundraising bonanza that guarantees Dean will have as much or more money than any rival to help weather the inevitable attacks and setbacks he will encounter.
"Obviously, the path to the finish line is a lot easier with a New Hampshire win," Jordan said. The most recent poll shows Dean blowing by Kerry in New Hampshire with a 21-point lead.
"They underestimated the message of this campaign from the beginning," said Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager.
Let me throw a bone to the mealy-mouthed moderate mutts nipping at my well-turned ankles. They've accused me of violating Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment -- "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican". I have nothing but good words for one Republican who is the true unsung hero of the fight over the Ten Commandments monument in Alabama. That man is Tony Scalia. The Justice for Opus Dei, who didn't let the precedents of his own decisions stand in the way of his picking the President of the United States, has struck another mighty blow against liberals. Think of him like Charlton Heston: he has brought down for us a new Zeroth Commandment.
Nearly two years after 9/11, the federal government's response to those attacks is still a prominent ongoing story, but the absence of any major new terrorist incidents within the United States has helped foster an illusion that the danger has passed.
Three seemingly unrelated events this month should dispel that illusion.
First, Canadian officials on Aug. 14 arrested 19 South Asian immigrants on suspicion of terrorism activity following a lengthy investigation. Canadian officials voiced concern over allegations that one of the arrested men had been enrolled in a flight school where training involved flying over the Pickering nuclear power plant in Ontario. Moreover, two other men in the group last year were once found loitering outside the nuclear power plant.
The second event occurred this week in Fredericksburg, Va., where three northern Virginia residents pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges following their arrest by the FBI. All three admitted that they had trained by the Muslim terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which operates in India-controlled Kashmir. Federal authorities had accused the trio of obtaining AK-47 assault rifles and other weapons and training in military tactics outside the central Virginia city.
The third event that prompted me to reflect on the forgotten war against terrorism - or, better phrased, the forgotten ongoing terrorist war here at home - occurred in Las Vegas, Nev., over the past two weeks. The U.S. Northern Command, preparing for its formal launch as the Pentagon's newest multi-service military command headquarters on Oct. 1, 2003, sent 500 members of the Joint Task Force - Civil Support to Nevada to train alongside another 4,500 federal, state and local emergency-response officials.
The scenario? The massive release by terrorists of bubonic plague spores on the Los Vegas strip.
So as you enjoy the quiet of the beach or mountains or some National Park, take time to hoist a brew in appreciation for those who are carrying on the grim, unyielding duty of deterring or responding to the continuing terrorist threat.
That's not peace you are enjoying this weekend - it's merely a lull.
Growing signs of strength in the U.S. economy have convinced analysts the long-awaited decisive recovery is at hand. And they really mean it this time.
Often burned but never shy, economic forecasters have ramped up predictions for growth for the rest of 2003 and into 2004, certain -- once again -- that America has turned the corner on the 2001 recession.
Israel's defense minister on Sunday raised the specter of an Israeli invasion in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian militants already face a deadly air campaign.
Israeli military commentators say a ground offensive in the densely populated Gaza Strip, home to more than one million people under Palestinian control, would cause heavy Israeli and Palestinian casualties.
"We always have the option of a ground operation in Gaza," Shaul Mofaz said. "We will exercise it when we decide it is right to do so, at the appropriate time."
Israel has killed 13 Palestinians, including 10 militants, in helicopter missiles strikes since a Hamas suicide bomber killed 21 people on an Israeli bus in Jerusalem on August 19.
Beating their chests and calling for revenge, more than 300,000 Muslims began a two-day, 110-mile march Sunday to the holy city of Najaf to mourn a cherished Shiite leader assassinated in a car bombing.
[M]any Shiites blame the cleric's death on Saddam loyalists and the U.S.-led coalition, which they say has failed to provide adequate security in the country since the dictator's fall.
Scientists studying an unspoiled jungle river wilderness in Venezuela on Thursday announced the discovery of 10 new fish species, including...a variety of tentacled armored catfish, whose tangle of spiky protuberances on its mouth and forehead -- looking like a punk rocker's hairstyle -- has earned it the name of "punk" fish.
Israeli troops, meanwhile, killed an 8-year-old girl and wounded seven other Palestinians with submachine gun fire in the Gaza Strip's Khan Yunis refugee camp, witnesses and hospital officials said. They said the girl, Aya Fayad, was shot in the chest by soldiers firing at the camp from a nearby military base.
The Federal Reserve expects economic activity to strengthen later this year and in 2004, in part because of the accommodative stance of monetary policy and the broad-based improvement in financial conditions. In addition, fiscal policy is likely to be stimulative as the provisions of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 go into effect and as defense spending continues to ramp up. Severe budgetary pressures are causing state and local governments to cut spending and to increase taxes and fees, but these actions should offset only a portion of the impetus from the federal sector. Moreover, the continued favorable performance of productivity growth should lift household and business incomes and thereby encourage capital spending. Given the ongoing gains in productivity and the existing margin of resource slack, aggregate demand could grow at a solid pace for some time before generating upward pressure on inflation.
As the U.S. occupation of Iraq is maintained, U.S. forces will become increasingly involved in political, religious, and ethnic conflicts not directly related to the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime or the fertilization of his ravaged country with the potential for an economically globalized and democratic society. Such conflicts -- which ostensibly present themselves to the United States as "security" issues -- are a natural result of a diverse and oppressed people suddenly emerging from the shadow of autocratic rule and into a new environment created by a foreign occupation of questionable intent and effect.
[N]ot only does the United States have to succeed in the traditional categories of a foreign occupation, but also in areas that have remained unsolved for centuries. This may prove to be the Achilles' heel of the U.S. occupation efforts: even if all of the military goals are met, the old and ideological issues surrounding much of Iraq's fragmentation must still be overcome if Iraq is going to become an independent state capable of carrying out the wishes of Washington without constant scrutiny.
Sporadic reports of a severe respiratory illness attacking our soldiers in Iraq and surrounding countries have been trickling through peripheral media channels during the past several weeks.
According to published reports, more than 100 cases of pneumonia have been reported among our troops serving in the Iraqi theater of operations since March. That number by itself is not remarkable considering the number of troops deployed in the area.
What is remarkable is that seventeen soldiers were sick enough to require mechanical ventilation (a “breathing machine”) and two died. A representative of the Army Surgeon General’s office said that ten of the twelve serious cases occurred in Iraq, and others came from Kuwait, Qatar and even Uzbekistan. Two of the seriously ill soldiers were put on ventilators just within the past couple of weeks.
The Army dispatched two teams of investigators to look into the matter more than two weeks ago. Either these teams have so far failed to discover any significant information, or the details of whatever they have discovered are not being shared with the public (or even the rest of the military health care community). Nobody seems to have a clue yet about what is actually going on. Even the infectious disease experts at the Army’s flagship hospital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, say that they aren’t getting any real information.
Afghan soldiers swarmed over remote mountain peaks in an ongoing battle with hardcore Taliban holdouts Saturday, killing and capturing several enemy fighters, a provincial intelligence chief said.
For the first time, the U.S. military confirmed Afghan government claims that dozens of insurgents had died in the week of fighting in or near southern Zabul province. A military spokesman also said two U.S. soldiers had been wounded in the area in the past three days. A U.S. special operations soldier's death was announced Friday.
American officials believe militants from Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran are infiltrating Iraq to attack Western interests.
Howard Dean, who sells himself as the presidential campaign's straightest shooter, is starting to throw voters some curves.
As he transitions from insurgent to the man to beat in the Democratic primary, Dean is modifying or switching his positions on several political issues.
Dean said what differentiates him is his willingness to speak his mind, change his positions and admit when he's wrong. "They won't beat me by claiming I switched positions," Dean said in an interview Wednesday. "They better come out with better ideas." Dean said he has no qualms about "changing his mind" when facts warrant it.
An 18-year-old high school student suspected of creating a version of the "Blaster" Internet attack was described by a neighbor Friday as "a computer genius," but not a criminal.
Federal agents arrested Jeffrey Lee Parson of Hopkins, a suburb of Minneapolis, on Friday morning. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Susan Nelson in St. Paul, who was expected to approve his transfer to Seattle.
The fisherman had just decided to take up arms, and he shook with fear as the American convoy approached his hiding place. As he later told it, he fired a rocket-propelled grenade into a Humvee and ran away as fast as he could.
Nobody gave chase, he said, and in the time that has passed since that April attack, his band of seven guerrillas has slipped into an easy rhythm of attacking American convoys every few days.
"I catch fish in the morning and Americans at night," he said. "Catching Americans is easier than catching fish."
"We are not doing this for the sake of Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein is finished," he said.
He said he joined the resistance in late April, after U.S. troops searched his neighborhood one night. He said they handcuffed innocent men, touched women inappropriately and hit a widow with a rifle butt. He also claimed they stole money.
"The Americans always say they are against terrorism, but they are conducting terrorism right here in Iraq," he said. "If they would not come into our houses, we wouldn’t have anything to do with them. Can’t they occupy us without humiliating us?"
Arab satellite broadcasters reported a car bombing during Friday prayers in Najaf at the Imam Ali mosque, the holiest shrine for Shiites in Iraq. The reports said as many as 17 people were killed and dozens injured.
There has been considerable unrest among the Islamic factions in the holy city, 110 miles southwest of Baghdad.
The latest report of a bombing in Najaf came one week after a bomb exploded outside the house of one of Iraqi's most important Shiite clerics, killing three guards and injuring 10 others, including family members.
Ashcroft has always been one of the Bush administration's most controversial figures, particularly among liberals and Democrats who fiercely opposed his nomination. But now the attorney general finds himself at odds with some fellow Republicans from Idaho to Capitol Hill who are troubled by the extent of his anti-terrorism tactics and angered by his unwillingness to compromise.
The rise of opposition within his own party could threaten Ashcroft's bid to secure even greater powers for the Justice Department's war on terrorism.
U.S. diplomats said Thursday that they are making little or no progress in their push for a United Nations resolution that would persuade reluctant allies to commit new peacekeeping troops to Iraq.
But the countries that can provide the tens of thousands of troops the Bush administration is seeking continue to demand a shift in U.S. policy that would give the United Nations wide authority over political, military and humanitarian issues in Iraq. There is no sign the Bush administration would agree to that, and negotiations appear to be stalemated.
The ever-sensitive prick NTodd is very, very upset over the Israeli army's alleged lack of precision in its missile strikes against terrorists. Oddly, NTodd is silent about the terrorists' precise placement of precise bombs on precise buses that precisely murder 20 precise Jews.
By the way, NTodd is currently on vacation. His precise GPS co-ordinates are 48° 10 Min. 18 Sec., -90° 53 Min. 45 Sec. We wouldn't want any errors in precision.
Former Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Dean has surged into a wide lead in polling of 501 likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, according to a new poll released today by Zogby International as part of its "Road to Boston" series.
Nearly two in five (38%) supported Dean, giving him a substantial lead over Massachusetts Senator John Kerry at 17%. In February polling in New Hampshire, Kerry led Dean, 26% - 13%. In June, the gap had narrowed to Kerry 25%, Dean 22%.
All other Democratic presidential hopefuls remained in single digits...
The Oklahoma attorney general Wednesday filed the first criminal charges against former WorldCom Inc. chief Bernard Ebbers, part of a wider complaint that also named the telecommunications company now known as MCI and other one-time top executives.
The complaint accuses Ebbers, the executives and the company of violating state securities laws by giving false information to investors.
The charges come as MCI is trying to move on from the accounting scandal. A report Tuesday from court-appointed monitor Richard Breeden, a former SEC chairman, set down a new framework for MCI's future governance and said the company is expected to emerge from bankruptcy shortly.
Although MCI reached a $750 million settlement with the SEC, the company has been under investigation from several states. It also faces a federal criminal investigation and was recently barred from signing new contracts with the U.S. government.
Israeli helicopters fired three missiles in a failed assassination attempt in Gaza City on Tuesday evening, according to Palestinian sources quoted by news agencies.
One bystander, identified as Hassan Hamlawi, 65, was killed and more than 20 people were wounded in the attack.
Hubble does not make color pictures directly. Rather, it collects at least three grayscale images that are later combined and colorized in the popular Photoshop software program. For each the two historic Mars pictures, Hubble will make 10 separate observations, using different filters, over a 45-minute period.
Angry members of Iraq's Shiite majority staged major street demonstrations in Baghdad and in the holy city of Najaf on Monday, a day after a bomb went off in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate a major religious leader in Najaf.
But the demonstration of several thousand well-organized Shiites in Baghdad -- one of the largest such marches in the capital since the war -- focused on other issues and had a distinctly anti-U.S. tone.
"Down with America!" the demonstrators, almost all young men from a poor Shiite neighborhood, chanted as they marched past the palace now used by the U. S.-led coalition that runs Iraq. "Down with the ruling council!" they added, referring to the U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council, which Washington views as a transitional body to a democratic government.
Occupation officials were quick to play down the notion that the recent spate of violence resembles the scenario of sectarian upheaval that some predicted once the iron-fisted rule of Saddam Hussein was overthrown. Hussein was ruthless in repressing Kurds, Shiites, ethnic Turks and other groups with aspirations for greater representation in this ethnically and religiously diverse nation.
Thousands of civilians were displaced by renewed clashes between Liberian government troops and rebel fighters at the weeekend. The fighting took place less than a week after the signing of a peace agreement that was supposed to end 14 years of civil war.
Do you think that your operations against innocents, humanitarian organizations and Iraqi bystanders can be called "resistance" or "jihad"? Who told you that, when you murder Christians, that you are killing "unbelievers"? Muslims and Christians lived in peace and brotherhood under the tent of the Prophet Mohammed long ago.
Why can't you follow the Prophet's example? Will there come a day when even Christian Iraqis are to be liquidated? Haven't you considered that those Americans you have been killing have families waiting for their return home, just like yours wait for you?
The Quran tells us that murder in cold blood is as if all humanity was murdered. Yet you call yourselves "mujahideen"...
Shortly before the UN bombing, attackers ruptured a water main and left hundreds of thousands of desperate Baghdadis without water for two days. Do you think you hurt the Coalition forces? The Coalition has their own supply of sterilized bottles; the water you spilled from the pipeline is your own. Or were you trying to turn Iraqis against the Coalition? You failed, because your responsibility for the dry taps and parched throats was clear with every gallon that spilled onto the street, and with every drop of blood is spilled on the soil of this great nation.
Islam's most revered authority of Al-Azhar issued a fatwa banning Arab countries from dealing with the Iraqi Governing Council, saying the U.S.-backed body is "illegitimate".
"The council lacks religious and secular legitimacy, as it had been imposed on the Iraqis under the power of occupation and does not conform to Islam's established principle of Shura (counseling)."
The fatwa, dated August 1, called on Arab or Islamic countries not to give support to the interim body - whose 25 members were selected by the U.S. occupation forces in July 2003.
On August 11, Jordan's Islamic Labor Front (ILF), the political wing of Muslim Brotherhood, issued a similar edict calling on Muslims not to join the council.
The calls provoked the ire of the council's Islamic member Slaheddin Mohamed Bahaeddin, who said that situation on the ground should be taken into consideration and "such political issues as Iraq should not be tackled through fatwas and exporting them".
Progress in science and technology has a direct impact on battlefields, where missile technology, supreme aircraft, nuclear bombs, chemical weapons and the like have changed the dynamics of fighting over the years.
However, despite such advancements in technology, the human element, notably inspiration, remains a decisive force in any struggle. The Taliban, perhaps, realized this a long time ago, and in their period in power in Afghanistan from 1996-2001 they placed much emphasis on generating the human resources that would be committed to their cause.
Vice President Dick Cheney's lack of cooperation hindered the General Accounting Office from conducting a thorough investigation of how the Bush administration crafted its proposed energy policy, according to an agency report released yesterday.
"The office of the vice president's persistent denial of access to certain [National Energy Policy Development Group] records, which led us to take the unprecedented step of filing suit to enforce our access rights against a federal official, precluded GAO from fully achieving our objectives and substantially limited our analysis," said David M. Walker, U.S. comptroller general and head of the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress.
The Bush administration refused to release information on the group, saying that to do so would hamper its future decision-making processes.
The longstanding rumor that California gubernatorial hopeful Arnold Schwarzenegger has purchased property in Lake County along the North Shore remains just that. But he has kept in touch with his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Superior."We've got a Schwartz and a Schwartzbauer, but we don't have any Schwarzeneggers," said Dick Sigel, Lake County land commissioner. However, Sigel noted there may be something to the old rumor.
10,000 unemployed worms want to go to work for you!
[Dean has] had several private conversations with retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander who some Democrats see as an attractive running mate for Dean if Clark does not join the race himself.
[T]errorists are testing our will, hoping we will weaken and withdraw. Yet across the world, they are finding that our will cannot be shaken. Whatever the hardships, we will persevere. We will continue this war on terror until all the killers are brought to justice. And we will prevail.
The Defense Science Board's 1997 Summer Study Task Force on DoD Responses to Transnational Threats notes a relationship between an activist American foreign policy and terrorism against the United States:
As part of its global power position, the United States is called upon frequently to respond to international causes and deploy forces around the world. America's position in the world invites attack simply because of its presence. Historical data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the United States.
[P]roponents of America's current interventionist foreign policy...ignore the new strategic realities and criticize...military restraint as "preemptively capitulating to the terrorists."
Adopting a restrained foreign policy has nothing to do with appeasing terrorists. Terrorist acts are morally outrageous and should be punished whenever possible. Reducing the motive for terrorists to attack the United States with weapons of mass destruction is not the only reason to adopt a policy of military restraint overseas, although it is a sensible one. In the more benign environment of a post-Cold War world, promiscuous military intervention by the United States--which can result in lost lives, high financial costs, and open-ended commitments--is no longer needed. It is common sense, rather than appeasement, for the United States to adapt its activist Cold War foreign policy to the new strategic environment that requires more restraint overseas.
Paul and Sheila Wellstone can never be replaced. But others can be taught to walk in their footsteps. That's the first order of business for Wellstone Action.
Our aim is nothing less than to jump-start a new generation of professional organizers and grassroots leaders who will run for office themselves.
One of the biggest lessons Dave and I learned from our parents' lives is that hard work and faith in the possibility of change can conquer despair. Certainly, there is little in the current national political climate to suggest that change will come easily, or soon. There is no indisputable progressive leader or any easy way to reverse America's relentlessly misguided course in the world. As Paul and Sheila's sons, the only practical response is obvious to us: organize, organize, organize.
Don't put a questionmark where God put a period.
Never place a period where God has placed a comma.
I share your opinion that nothing good can come of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Bush at the helm. For a brief moment, I thought he might just have a real plan for Middle East peace, after all it was his Dad that managed to drag Israel to the Madrid Conference; plus he has his Saudi connections which mean he can't be totally deaf to Arab needs, and he does uses the forbidden word - "Palestine" - in his speeches, which shows some independence from the Israeli line.
When he launched the Road Map just before invading Iraq, I was (despite my intense opposition to the invasion) tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt. My reasoning was that maybe having flattened Iraq for allegedly violating UN resolutions on WMDs, he was then going to turn to Israel and say "Look, we got rid of the regime that was the greatest threat to you, so how about you obey a few UN Resolutions too?". Suddenly, his foreign policy, which to the untrained eye looked like a bewildering pile of crap, would turn out to be a well-thought-out work of genius! Which just goes to show how utterly gullible some of us can be...
Anyway, my question to you is this: do you have any expectations that Howard Dean will perform any better on the Middle East? I'm glad he opposed the invasion of Iraq, but I find it ominous that he says he sees eye-to-eye with AIPAC on the Palestinian-Israeli question. I am an American who believes that the key to fighting terror is not in invading Iraq, or Syria or wherever, but in brokering a non-violent, negotiated solution to the Palestinian question, based on the implementation of international law. (And in maybe showing a little repect for international law in our own foreign policy, though that's another issue). What is Dean going to do for the Middle East that is any different from Bush, if he turns out to be just one more US President who doesn't want to offend AIPAC?
I do not have great expectations that Dean will solve the intractable problems over there. Quite frankly, I don't think any US President really can do much because in the end, it's the Israelis and the Palestinians who must take responsibility for their actions and their future. That said, while Dean's leaning more toward AIPAC and further from APN does concern me, from a political POV I'm not sure he can move too far toward my views (which are in line with APN).
But here's the deal: Dean is smart, reasonable, and has shown that he will reconsider his positions and adapt them if there's good reason to. While I disagree, for example, with his change in attitude wrt capital punishment, I think his explanations show he has approached the issue thoughtfully (and admittedly, politically--duh). So this at least leads me to believe that it is possible to lead him closer to the "right" path. I certainly think amongst the current field of candidates, including Bush, he would be the most likely to learn from our previous failures and rethink his stand vis-a-vis AIPAC.
One more thing. I often "take the side" of the Palestinians as the oppressed people in this conflict. However, I also believe that there is a greater responsibility on their part to take the moral high ground and stop armed resistance. They can take a position of strength and engage in non-violent direct action to achieve greater results. That would certainly give any President the opportunity to lean more on Israel.
SIXTY-NINE PERCENT of Americans polled say they are very concerned (40 percent) or somewhat concerned (29 percent) that the United States will be bogged down for many years in Iraq without making much progress in achieving its goals. Just 18 percent say they’re confident that a stable, democratic form of government can take shape in Iraq over the long term; 37 percent are somewhat confident. Just 13 percent say U.S. efforts to establish security and rebuild Iraq have gone very well since May 1, when combat officially ended; 39 percent say somewhat well.
1. Al-Faruq Brigades
2. Ansar al-Islam
3. Armed Vanguards of the Second Mohammed Army (claimed resp. for UN bombing)
4. Army of Right
5. Black Banner Organization
6. General Command of the Armed Forces, Resistance and Liberation in Iraq*
7. Iraqi National Islamic Resistance
8. Iraqi Resistance Brigades
9. Iraq's Revolutionaries
10. Islamic Armed Group of al-Qaida, Fallujah branch
11. Jihad Cells
12. Liberating Iraq's Army
13. Mujahideen Battalions of the Salafi Group of Iraq
14. Muslim Fighters of the Victorious Sect (aka, Mujaheddin of the Victorious Sect)
15. Muslim Youth
17. National Iraqi Commandos Front
18. New Return*
19. Patriotic Front *
20. Political Media Organ of the Ba‘ath Party * ( Jihaz al-Iilam al-Siasi lil hizb al-Baath )
21. Popular Resistance for the Liberation of Iraq *
23. Saddam's Fedayeen* +
24. Salafist Jihad Group
25. Snake Party
26. Sons of Islam
27. Wakefulness and Holy War
28. White Flags
* Ba'athist or probably Ba'athist
+ Apparently the same as the Iraqi Liberation Army, previously listed separately; also known as Muhammad's Army.
NOTE: Does not included references to additional, anonymous groups who have contacted Arab press outlets.
Forty years after King's speech -- an anniversary commemorated this weekend in Washington, D.C., -- most blacks say civil rights for blacks have improved over the course of their lifetimes. Also, blacks tend to be upbeat about black-white relations, saying that relations between the two groups are generally good, and perceiving that racial animosity is confined to only a few Americans. These are the more encouraging findings from Gallup's annual Minority Rights and Relations survey, conducted June 12-18.
On the downside, blacks are generally dissatisfied with society's treatment of their racial group. Many blacks report being discriminated against on a routine basis, and a majority of blacks say it happens to them at least a few times a year. Four in five blacks believe that racial minorities do not have the same job opportunities as whites do.
U.S. troops trying to quell the violence between Kurds and ethnic Turkmens killed three of the people in Tuz Khurmatu and three in Kirkuk, the U.S. military said. By dusk, Tuz, as the Iraqis call the town, was calm, although Apache attack helicopters made a series of air patrols at sunset. In Kirkuk this evening, however, a couple of explosions of unknown origin rocked the city.
Mounting attacks on U.S. troops have overshadowed simmering ethnic tensions among Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs in the north. But the eruption of communal violence and the speed with which the problems spread beyond Tuz Khurmatu was a stark reminder that the issue has not disappeared. Formerly displaced Kurds and resident Arabs continue to tussle over property in and around Kirkuk. Turkmens, a small minority in Iraq, accuse Kurds of trying to terrorize them out of their homes in Kirkuk and surrounding areas. Kurds claim that the Turkmens form a fifth column for Turkey, which opposes Kurdish aspirations for autonomy in the north.
Three "juvenile enemy combatants" being held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may be released soon, if the general in command of the prison gets his way, an army spokeswoman has told CNN.
The youths are 13 to 15 years of age and were "taken from the battlefield" in Afghanistan and transferred to the Guantanamo facility in February...
Unlike others held in the facility, the three receive counseling, they study daily and exercise with soldiers, Hart said. One senior enlisted soldier assigned to the young detainees "is an eighth-grade teacher back home," Hart said.
The decision to recommend they be repatriated is based on a determination that they are "no longer deemed a threat to the U.S. and our allies"...
Looking to get a jump on the traditional post-Labor Day presidential campaign season, Democrat Howard Dean is promoting himself like a rock star with an eight-city road trip that began Saturday.
The trip is called the "Sleepless Summer Tour," but not because Dean won't get any sleep during its four days. He will. The name is a swipe at President Bush's policies and his monthlong vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
T-shirts promoting the tour are being sold to add to the concert-like experience, and some stops will feature loud music and cameras broadcasting the events live on Dean's Web site.
His campaign hopes the tour will help keep him in the headlines and maintain his strong position this fall. He's also hoping to raise money -- during the tour the campaign will try to raise $1 million with donations at the events, over the Internet and during at least three fund-raisers along the way.
The fund raising began Friday; before Dean began his trip he was a third of the way to his goal. More than 6,000 people contributed $330,272 as of 2 p.m. Saturday, according to Dean's Web site.
Internet service provider Easynews.com of Phoenix, Arizona, said it had been contacted by investigators by telephone Thursday and the company was issued a subpoena Friday.
"It looks like the original variant was posted through us to Usenet on the 18th (of August)," Michael Minor, the Internet service provider's chief technology officer, told Reuters.
An FBI spokesman said that the organization was working with the Department of Homeland Security to investigate who was responsible for the e-mail attacks. He declined to comment further.
A senior Hamas official said Saturday the militant group was ready to discuss a new truce despite Israel's killing of a senior political leader which he said had led to the collapse of the three month cease-fire declared by militants on June 29.
Like all loyal soldiers, they say they will answer their nation's call, but Self-Defense Forces troops are also honest enough to admit a possible deployment to Iraq has them on edge.
Precipitating concern among the rank-and-file and a major rethink by senior Defense Agency officials was the bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad on Tuesday.
With pictures of the carnage splashed over newspapers and television screens, one senior agency official expressed what everyone now knows: ``The situation is far more serious than expected.''
The attack on the former hotel that housed the U.N. office killed more than 20 and forced the government to postpone the SDF mission. If it ever gets off the ground, the dispatch will be next year at the earliest.
Right now it isn't even clear when a fact-finding team can be sent to Iraq.
"That's up to the government to decide. We simply follow orders,'' said a senior GSDF official.
But some Defense Agency officials were even more pessimistic, with one saying, "The prerequisite (recent legislation allows SDF activities only in noncombat areas) for the mission has been lost.''
The suicide bombing shocked agency officials who expected the security situation in Baghdad to gradually improve.
The agency planned to have troops do humanitarian work, including providing water and electricity to hospitals, until the security situation stabilized.
Officials hoped the low-profile, helping-hand approach would avoid inciting an Iraqi backlash.
The destruction of the U.N. facility was a wake-up call for many, including U.N. officials themselves and nongovernmental organizations, who believed their "good works'' inoculated them against Baathist holdouts and Islamic terrorists.
An officer assigned to the agency said, "We will have to redraw our plan on the premise that even humanitarian and reconstruction projects could be targets of terrorism.''
[T]he Head's friends saw that the Head was no use as a Head, so they got her made an Inspector to interfere with other Heads. And when they found she wasn't much good even at that, they got her into Parliament where she lived happily ever after.
Verizon Communications Inc. and two unions pushed through round-the-clock negotiations to finalize details of a labor contract for 80,000 technicians and telephone operators from Maine to Virginia, union representatives said on Saturday.
...filed a lawsuit in New Jersey U.S. District Court against Verizon. Our complaint charges two Verizon executives with violations of the Omnibus Crime and Safe Streets Act by unlawfully and secretly accessing a private CWA conference call that was by invitation only.
Verizon then used the information they illegally obtained to file a contempt of court action against CWA Executive Vice President Larry Cohen because in this private connection, they allege he said: I hope Verizon can hear us now.
The Internet was quiet as the clock ticked past the scheduled start time for a massive, coordinated action by Microsoft Windows machines infected with the Sobig.F virus.
Regardless of the outcome of the Sobig attack Friday, future worms may well learn from the successes of the worm and incorporate that knowledge into future viruses, he said.
So many things have changed in our lives since the war. Some are for better, but some are for worse. Employees' salaries have improved notably, if the employees ever get them. There is freedom of speech, if you are secure enough to actually speak. And there is a dream of a better day, if we can get past the crime and violence that has overtaken Iraqi streets.
Freedom wasn't mean to taste so bittersweet. Either we are abusing our newfound freedom, or we are misunderstanding America's concept of freedom. If freedom is intended to mean falling foul of the law, being imprisoned at home in a curfew, pillaging and sabotage, and numbing our nerves with false promises, no one can applaud.
Till his day, Iraqis are asking the same question-Saddam, under UN sanctions, was able to put Iraqi expertise to work and supply the country with electricity. He even exported electricity to Jordan. So why can't the world's greatest superpower come close? Don't be mistaken. I am happy to be rid of the nightmare of Saddam and appreciate what America did to get rid of him. But a more significant question still looms over the Coalition, the CPA and the Governing Council: can they find real solutions for trivial problems, so that we can trust to find real solutions for the really major ones?
"In addition to thanking my own lawyers," Franken said, "I'd like to thank Fox's lawyers for filing one of the stupidest briefs I've ever seen in my life."
Three British servicemen were killed and one seriously injured in an attack today in Iraq's southern city of Basra.
Eyewitness accounts said a bomb was thrown at a British military vehicle as it was driven down one of the city's main streets.
This morning's attack came as, nearly 300 miles away, British diplomats left their Baghdad embassy following a "credible threat" of attack.
Howard Dean, who had planned to run as an insurgent on a shoestring, is adjusting his campaign to befit his new lot in life: the well-funded, emerging front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Recent polls show the former Vermont governor leading [in New Hampshire] and in Iowa, the first two stops on the road to the 2004 nomination, running strong in vote-rich California and surging nationally.
The race remains far too close and volatile to consider any of the nine candidates a true front-runner in a contest much of the public is ignoring, but several rival campaigns now privately talk of the Vermont Democrat as the man to beat. Several challengers are adjusting their campaigns to prepare for a one-on-one showdown with Dean.
Growing popularity is forcing Dean to shift gears. He's expanding his fundraising and political operations to profit from the surge...At the same time, Dean is trying to expand the appeal of his message.
Yesterday George Bush took time off from his vacation to go fundraising again, this time in Portland, Oregon. At just one event he brought in $1 million from 500 of his biggest contributors. Outside the fundraiser more than 2,000 Americans gathered to speak out against Bush's failed policies, which have ruined our economy and damaged our standing in the world community. Yet pocketing $1 million dollars was enough for George W. Bush to thank the people of Portland for their "warm welcome."
We can't let George W. Bush continue to rack up millions while the American people are left out in the street. Today, we're bringing out the bat on the Dean for America website - and putting it up against George W. Bush. Our goal is to raise $1 million against George Bush by the end of the Sleepless Summer Tour - midnight this Tuesday, August 26th.
We, the people of the State of Alabama, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama.
That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.
The Pentagon line of "remnants of Saddam's regime", now composed with "international terrorists", is supposed to explain the actions of all those anti-American "evil doers" on the loose in Iraq. It's much more complex than that. During the Saddam era all sort of crypto-Wahhabi groups were more or less tolerated - as long as they did not meddle in politics. Obviously, these groups were all of them anti-Saddam. Post-Saddam Iraq finally offered them the perfect cause: resistance against foreign occupation. This has absolutely nothing to do with al-Qaeda or Ansar al-Islam. Al-Qaeda - which was never tolerated inside Iraq - or the enclaved Ansar al-Islam could never have organized such a disciplined resistance in two or three months.
As the Iraqi resistance is so multi-faceted, there's every possibility that the UN bombing was perpetrated by elements of this Wahhabi network, already in existence in the Saddam era. And as unfortunate as it may seem, the UN for them is a pretty legitimate target. Human rights groups have extensively documented how UN Resolutions 661 and 687 may have been responsible for the deaths of at least 500,000 Iraqi children in the 1990s, due to entirely preventable diseases. For many strands of the Iraqi resistance, the UN is just a tool of the occupying power.
Even though it is impossible to control the actions of revengeful Palestinians with nothing to lose, it is time to rise above the Sharon provocations and to become united under one leadership regardless of the continued Israeli violations. When Palestinians react in a way that empowers Sharon, they are only dehumanizing and hurting the just Palestinian cause.
One can only hope that sanity will prevail during these chaotic times and that Hamas and Islamic Jihad will reconsider their actions and fumble Israel’s attempts to unleash a new cycle of violence that threatens to be more lethal than anything endured thus far.
The wave of violent death this week in Iraq, Israel, Gaza and Afghanistan brought to the fore a reality that President Bush has been reluctant to discuss: Peace is not at hand.
A confident Bush stood in the Rose Garden less than a month ago, saying, "Conditions in most of Iraq are growing more peaceful," boasting of "dismantling the al Qaeda operation" and pronouncing "pretty good progress" toward Middle East peace and a Palestinian state within two years.
Those sunny characterizations may yet prove true, but Bush allies and foes alike are coming to the conclusion that the progress may not be noticeable by the time Bush faces the voters again in 15 months. For a president who has staked his reputation on making "a tough decision to make the world more peaceful," this could be a big problem.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.