Friday, July 06, 2007

Today's Signs

"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it isgenerally employed only by small children and large nations." - David Friedman

"A person who has truly realized the principle of nonviolence has the God-given strength for his weapon, and the world has not yet known anything that can match it." - Gandhi

"Only fools seek power, and the greatest fools seek it through force." - Lao Tsu

"If it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine." - Henry David Thoreau

"If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliché that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that's his problem. Love and peace are eternal. - John Lennon

"Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder." -Percy Blythe Shelley

USA - 1072
FB - 999


Rachel said...

Dear Freewayblogger,

Great work. I've been getting your email updates, and it's a such fresh air of change compared to my Reagan Country surroundings, where W enjoys at least 70% approval rating even today.

Please keep up the good work, and may impeachment become reality.

I've just participated in a meme, and would like to ask you if you are interested. No need to divulge personal info (or even participate at all), but it'll be fun if you do. Here are the rules and an example:

Again, keep up the good work, and keep me (and other activists) well informed. Thanks!


Paul said...

My friends and I enjoy taking your signs down. I did leave up the American flag on a couple though!

Paul said...

Oh, I haven't actually seen any of the "Chimpeach" signs out in my neighborhood, but I look forward to taking those down too. I respect your opinions on the President (although I do disagree), but when you take it to such a juvenile level, your credibility begins to diminish. Stick with the more serious messages and maybe people will take you more seriously.

Freewayblogger said...

Funny you should mention that, because when I came up with the word (the result of two "Impeach" signs falling together, I thought the same thing.

Then I remembered the glee your side took in announcing to the world that the President of the United States had fucked a girl with a cigar and realized I didn't owe you squat.

Bake any cakes for the ayatollah lately?

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered, was it actually a cigar or a cigar tube? An actual cigar might not hold up so well. And if it did did someone smoke it? As I recall he had a meeting with Arafat that day. Did Yassar smoke that bad boy? Now that's history!

I know from experience what it feels like to be in the minority. How's that going for you paul?

Paul said...

It's funny that you assume that I am anti-Clinton and that I supported impeachment then. Guess what? I did not support impeachment then (I am most certainly not anti-Clinton by any means) and I do not support impeachment now. I'm sorry I don't fit into your Republican vs. Democrat mold. Oh, and I assume you all believe that that I think the war is going well? Ha! You're wrong - I believe it's NOT going well! (for countless reasons, which I could go on and on about).

But, your idea of impeachment for Bush lies on the word "fixed" and is driven by the "Us vs. Them" (ie, Clinton impeachment) mentality. It's sad that, going forward, our country will use impeachment as a way to attempt to get rid of the person who isn't "your" candidate, regardless of what the realities are. I'll say this now - if Republicans ever try to impeach another President for POLITICAL reasons, I will put up a stink, just as I'm doing now.

So, go ahead and insult me, call me names, etc - I stand for what I believe it, not for what my "party" stands for.


Paul said...

btw: Even though I destroy your signs, whenever there's an American flag, I make sure to keep it intact and let it fly for all to see. I hope that you and I can unite on that!

Freewayblogger said...

I Salute both your Fervent Nationalism and your valiant efforts to keep freedom of political opinion firmly in the hands of corporate media, but until you find a way of stopping my signs from going up in the first place, you're always going to be playing catch up.

Hope you've got your car gassed-up and ready to go, 'cuz we're going on a road trip today!

Wiglaf said...

We want to impeach Cheney and Bush because they have done more in the way of destroying the Constitution than any other presidency in history -- not because of some "political" reason.

Paul said...

I'm sure you're doing your road trip in a Prius, right? :)

Freewayblogger said...

Naaah. Toyota 4 x 4. Needed the 4wd for my previous occupation. Great truck.

Paul said...

I'm sure you get some fantastic gas mileage with that thing! What's your carbon footprint? :)

Paul said...

btw: I thought you said you were roadtripping today! How are you on the internet?

Freewayblogger said...

I get about 24/26 or so. Used it to clothe some six or seven thousand desperately poor people in the Sierra Madres. If everybody's carbon footprint looked like mine there'd be no poverty on the planet.

Paul said...

Wow - go ahead and pat yourself on the back. Nice work.

Seriously though, since you're driving around so much now, why don't you get a more environmentally friendly car?

Paul said...

Mauritania coup violence calms
Last Updated: Monday, June 9, 2003 | 5:19 PM ET
CBC News
Gunfire subsided in Mauritania's capital Sunday, but it's not clear if the pro-Western government or rebels trying to overthrow it control the city.

Islamic rebels launched a coup attempt against the government early Sunday following a crackdown on Islamic activists. Members of the army and navy were reportedly among the rebels.

News agencies reported armed clashes and tank fire near the presidential palace in the capital city of Nouakchott.

Rebel forces claimed they captured the palace, along with other key buildings, but the government denied the report.

The location of President Maaouya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya is not known. Officials say he is running the government from a secure location.

Mauritania is a Sahara desert nation of 2.8 million in northwest Africa. It describes itself as an Islamic republic. It has elections, but many observers consider it to essentially be a one-party state.

During the Iraq war, the government tried to crack down on Islamic militants, including arresting leaders who were attempting to use mosques to recruit fighters to help the Iraqi side.

Paul said...,23599,21567726-2,00.html#

Raped 'for reading Holy Bible'
AN Iraqi Muslim man allegedly raped a Muslim woman as "punishment" for her reading the Bible.
Campbelltown District Court in Sydney's west yesterday heard Abdul Reda Al Shawany twice sexually assaulted the woman, a practising Muslim, and then said to her: "Let your Jesus help you."
Al Shawany, 52, has plead not guilty to two counts of having sexual intercourse without consent between September 1 and 27, 2002, at a unit in Warwick Farm.
At the first day of the week-long trial yesterday, Crown prosecutor Michael O'Brien outlined the case and told how the woman allegedly kept the clothes and underwear she was wearing on the day of the alleged rape in a plastic bag for about three years.
The woman initially reported the matter to police but did not want to take it further because she felt "ashamed", Mr O'Brien said. She later changed her mind and Al Shawany, of Hillsdale, was arrested in July 2005 and the woman provided police with the clothing.
The Crown alleges swab samples from the accused had the same DNA as the semen sample taken from the woman's clothing.
"The complainant was born a Muslim and raised a Muslim and was a Muslim all her life," Mr O'Brien said.
He said when the woman came to Australia from the Middle East she began listening to Christian teachers and reading the Bible.
He said the woman - who wears the Muslim hijab - had received threats from members of her faith for reading the Bible but had not converted to Christianity.
It is alleged she met Al Shawany, who she had first met overseas, at Warwick Farm railway station in September 2002 after he told her he had some mail for her from overseas.
Al Shawany allegedly then took her to a Warwick Farm unit and pushed her in the head as she entered.
"She was wearing a hijab. The accused grabbed the hijab, the veil, and pulled it tight across her mouth," Mr O'Brien told the court.
"She fell to the floor and she couldn't scream because she had a hijab tight across her mouth."
Al Shawany allegedly raped the woman and later allegedly said: "Let your Jesus help you."
In a police interview, Al Shawany denied having sexual intercourse with the woman or threatening her.
Al Shawany's barrister Chris Pike told the court his client was a hardworking businessman with close ties to the community who strenuously denied the charges.
"My client is not a zealot," Mr Pike said.
The woman gave evidence in closed court yesterday and is expected to return to the witness stand when the trial before Judge David Knox continues today.

Paul said...
Radical Islam's 'End-Game'
By Frank Salvato Commentary
June 15, 2007

A friend of mine said recently, "We shouldn't even be there. Let them kill each other. I mean, that would solve the problem. Right?"

I thought about that statement as I read the news coming out of the Gaza Strip. As Hamas and al-Fatah literally battle to the death for supremacy in their region, it is crucial that we take the time - right now - to understand what it is they're fighting about. The truth is our lives depend on it.

To look at the situations in Iraq and Gaza as separate conflicts is to view them in a naive and overly simplistic way. True, the battles taking place in Gaza are more akin to a civil war, if in fact a civil war can take place without a recognized country to govern. And the battles taking place in Iraq are almost completely instigated at the hands of al Qaeda terrorists hell-bent on creating chaos with violence while destroying any chance of democracy in that nation. But what the less visionary among us are deficient in understanding and neglectful or deceitful in not addressing is the reason they are fighting, their goal, their end-game.

Many anti-war activists and members of the American Fifth Column insist that the reason radical Islamist terrorists -- insurgents or militants as they like to call them -- have taken to jihad against the United States and the West is because of the encroachment of our culture into the 7th Century Middle Eastern culture in which they exist. They point to Osama bin Laden's 1996 fatwa against the US and the West citing the presence of Western military personnel and installations as the catalyst for al Qaeda's Islamofascist aggression.

While these points may very well be the justification used by the cadre of terrorist organizations originating throughout the Middle East for attacks against the West, it doesn't explain their propensity for Arab on Arab, Muslim on Muslim violence. It doesn't explain the original catalyst for the conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims and it certainly doesn't address the Islamofascists' goals.

The specifics surrounding the original cause for conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims are disputed by both camps. But both factions concede that it stems from a disagreement over the direct succession to Mohammed, to the Caliph. This subject requires more space than can be afforded here. What can be addressed here is the "end-game."

That Islamofascist aggression advanced through the use of terrorism is taking place around the world against members of every faith other than Islam is a testimony to the fact that radical fundamentalist Islamists are engaged in an intentional conflict of global conquest. Terrorist attacks in the name of Islam have taken place in Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Spain, Britain, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Somalia, Algeria, Sudan, South America and the United States - to cite a short list - against, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and even conformist and non-fundamentalist Islamists.

When one examines the facts and logistics of Islamofascist aggression - both in history and modern times - it is hard to argue that the basis for this aggression is Western influence on the Islamic culture. If this were the sole reason for Islamofascist aggression there would be no excuse for attacks in the name of Islam on the Hindus or Buddhists or in any nation that doesn't embrace Western values such as Thailand, Somalia or most of Indonesia. Yet, the slaughter of innocents in the name of Islam does take place against these people and in these non-Westernized regions.

By acknowledging these facts - and they are indisputable - we can dismiss the argument that the US and the West have brought the wrath of Islamofascism upon ourselves, which is the basis for the argument used by the anti-war movement, the American Fifth Column and disingenuous and opportunistic politicians.

What, then, is the catalyst for Islamofascist aggression and what could be so powerful as to produce legions of suicide bombers and those willing to die, without reservation, for their cause?

While the many elements of this subject are complex, together they indicate an overall agenda that is not.

In almost every declaration and action of the Islamofascist, from Osama bin Laden to Hassan Nasrallah, Ayman al Zawahri to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the goal is the same: the successful establishment of a global Islamic state - or caliphate - ruled under sharia law. This notion is not a supposition on my part. Rather, it is an accurate observation, based on understanding and acknowledging the actions taken and the words used by each of these fascist leaders (note the correct usage of the word fascist).

In his 1996 fatwa, Osama bin Laden proclaimed, "...O you horses (soldiers) of Allah ride and march on. This is the time of hardship so be tough. And know that your gathering and co-operation in order to liberate the sanctities of Islam is the right step toward unifying the word of the Ummah under the banner of 'No God but Allah'...Our Lord, shatter their gathering, divide them among themselves, shaken the earth under their feet and give us control over them..."

It should be noted that to bin Laden, the Ummah is considered a figurative nation comprised of all Muslims and all Islamic nations.

In 2000 bin Laden declared, "...Afghanistan is the only country in the world that has the Shari'ah. Therefore, it is compulsory upon Muslims all over the world to help Afghanistan. And to make hijra to this land, because it is from this land that we will dispatch our armies to smash all kuffar all over the world."

In October of 2005, during his address to the United Nations, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "From the beginning of time, humanity has longed for the day when justice, peace, equality and compassion envelop the world."

And in a speech to Friday prayer leaders he said, "Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi."

It should be noted here that Ahmadinejad believes - as do most Shi'ites - that the 12th Imam (or Muhammad al-Mahdi), according to their interpretation of the Quran, will bring "peace and justice on earth" by establishing Islam throughout the world. This equivalent of the "second coming" would take place when the world has fallen into chaos and civil war emerges between the human race for no reason.

If we are to take the leaders of the Islamofascist movement at their word - and the leaders of the United States and the West have been delinquent in accepting the declarations of fascists in the past, so much so that world war has ensued - we can only surmise that the battles taking place between Sunni and Shi'ite factions in Iraq, Gaza and elsewhere in the world are for dominance in what they perceive as an inevitable global Islamic Caliphate.

It is crucial that the United States government - and all the governments of the West - dispense with the political infighting that currently holds hostage national unity and the collective will, so we can defend ourselves from the inevitable full-scale confrontation with an emboldened and strengthening Islamofascist movement. The first step to achieving this unity is an honest, comprehensive understanding of the enemy. The education to achieve that end must begin immediately.

Make no mistake. We are essentially re-visiting the ominous days of 1938. It took everything that the freedom loving people of the world could muster to vanquish evil then. This time we may not be so lucky. This time the forces of evil will have nuclear capability.

Paul said...

Petraeus says security crackdown working
By César G. Soriano, USA TODAY
BAGHDAD — When Gen. David Petraeus drives through the streets of Iraq's capital, he sees "astonishing signs of normalcy" in half, perhaps two-thirds of Baghdad.
"I'm talking about professional soccer leagues with real grass field stadiums, several amusement parks — big ones, markets that are very vibrant," says Petraeus, commander of the roughly 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. The scenes provide a sign that the new strategy in Iraq is working, although many problems remain, he told USA TODAY in an interview Wednesday.
Five months after President Bush ordered an increase of 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, data suggest that sectarian violence in Baghdad has declined. Other tentative signs of progress have included a rise in Iraqi army enlistments and some quality-of-life improvements such as fewer electricity blackouts in the capital.
Q&A: Petraeus on Iran's, al-Sadr's influence in Iraq
RELATED: General says shrine attack may light fuse
However, U.S. military casualties have jumped to record-high levels as more troops are put in harm's way. Violence has surged in some areas outside the capital. Iraq's government has yet to pass any of the major legislative changes that Bush said were necessary for an enduring peace between the Sunni and Shiite sects.
"If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people — it will lose the support of the Iraqi people," Bush said in a televised address on Jan. 10, when the new strategy was announced. "Now is the time to act."
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has asked for patience, saying that new security plan — officially named Operation Fardh al-Qanoon, Arabic for "Enforcing the Law" — still needs time to take hold after its official launch on Feb. 14.
Meanwhile, U.S. commanders have urged the American public not to pass judgment on the plan's effectiveness until after all U.S. troops are fully deployed. That is due to happen Friday. In September, Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are to present a report on the plan's effectiveness to leaders in Washington.
Petraeus did not specifically say what subjects he might address in his evaluation. Here is a look at some of the changes in Iraq since February.
Possible signs of progress
•Iraq's army. The Iraqi army currently has 152,500 trained and equipped soldiers, nearly 20,000 more troops than were on the rosters in January, according to the U.S. State Department. Another 20,000 soldiers will be added to the ranks this year, the U.S. military says.
The Army now has its own Iraqi-run basic training and leadership schools. "The Iraqi army has, in general, done quite well in the face of some really serious challenges," Petraeus says. "In certain areas it really is very heartening to see what it has done."
•Anbar province. This area in the heart of the Sunni Triangle has been held up by the U.S. military as a model for Iraq. "The progress in Anbar has actually been breathtaking," Petraeus says.
Commanders credit much of the success to the U.S. military's decision to arm, train and organize Sunni provincial militias that have turned against al-Qaeda militants operating in the area.
"If you've got folks who say, 'Hey, this is my hometown, and I'm tired of the violence and if you simply train and equip me, I'll protect my hometown.' We ought to jump on that like a duck on a June bug," says Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division.
Commanders elsewhere in Iraq are studying lessons that can be learned from Anbar, although Petraeus said that each area of Iraq has "unique circumstances." Anbar is mostly Sunni and does not have the volatile sectarian mix that stokes violence in other parts of the country.
•Sectarian violence. The number of unidentified bodies found in Baghdad — an indicator of sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims — dropped from a high of 1,782 in October to 411 in April, according to an Interior Ministry official who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
The body count spiked to 726 in May. So far this month, the numbers are again on a "downward trend," Petraeus says. Although the bombing Wednesday of a major Shiite shrine in Samarra raises the risk of a new outbreak of sectarian violence, he says.
Areas of concern
• U.S. casualties. As U.S. forces spread deeper into insurgent-held territories, they are paying the price in blood. At least 230 soldiers were killed in April and May, the highest two-month death toll since the war began. This month, at least 32 soldiers have been killed in Iraq.
Roadside bombs — improvised explosive devices — remain the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops. Sixty-five percent of May casualties were caused by IEDs, up from 32% in February, according to a study by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
• Iraqi police. Iraq's 135,000-strong police force continues to be plagued with problems, U.S. commanders say. Up to 70% of Iraqi police leaders have been replaced because they had ties to sectarian violence, Petraeus says.
About 5,000 police deserted the force in the 18 months before January, Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey said at a Pentagon news conference Wednesday. Another 7,000 or 8,000 police officers are unaccounted for.
"I have great concerns about the police," Lynch says. "There are large areas in (central Iraq) where there are no police. And in areas where we do have police, we have corrupt police."
• Political unity. Al-Maliki's government has been unable to push any major initiatives through Iraq's parliament, including a law on how to share the country's oil revenues.
"I think everyone, including the government of Iraq, is impatient with the rate of progress in a variety of different areas," Petraeus says. "They are trying to do it in a reasonably democratic way … in a government that is comprised of representatives from ethno-sectarian interests."

Anonymous said...

Good work. It's funny that liberals are regarded as nut-cases, but after reading these comments it is obvious that the Bush fan-base might be a little in the need of some meds themselves. They have so much anger bottled up for some reason, perhaps because the ship is nearly underwater. Why does reading "impeach" anger them so much? Are they afraid that it may sway public opinion? If so, is it perhaps because it is on the top of everyones mind?

I think I am going to start this in my city and I suspect that others will follow. It is easy and it seems to get a lot of attention. I can't think of a better form of protest. Protesting through accepted means is worthless and ineffective, mostly because it is accepted by the government you are protesting. If you piss someone off, especially through non-violence, you are probably doing something right.

Standing up against oppression is the most important form of patriotism. It is what this country was founded upon.