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   PoliticsPolitics for Pros- moderated

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To: Geoff Altman who wrote (219905)9/16/2007 3:15:34 PM
From: LindyBill
   of 785850
I've yet to hear of a radar that can't be jammed if you can deduce what type of radar it is

The history of warfare is neverending struggle of defense beating offense beating defense. I remember laughing about the "secrecy" of the shape of our first stealth planes. Everybody who was aware of the problem knew exactly what they were going to look like. When the models came out and the security boys got excited it was a joke.

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To: Snowshoe who wrote (219874)9/16/2007 3:22:45 PM
From: KLP
   of 785850
Perhaps. But which items should he have vetoed? Restoring NYC from 9-11? Sending BILLIONS to Katrina victims? Rebuilding NO? (I actually think we should have looked to see if that were even possible at the below water level....) Supporting the troops? Did you want to cut their weapons like Clinton did? Or cut the Intel in the CIA and other services like Clinton did?

What items should GEB have vetoed?

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To: mistermj who wrote (219876)9/16/2007 3:24:28 PM
From: KLP
   of 785850
This time maybe he will get to sit in the slammer and have ample time to reflect on how he "should have done it".....

His arrogance is simply astounding!

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To: D. Long who wrote (219915)9/16/2007 3:25:30 PM
From: LindyBill
   of 785850
. I started celebrating

I suspect that the knowledge of Hillary's failure to pass the NY bar added to your enjoyment. :>)

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From: LindyBill9/16/2007 3:32:40 PM
   of 785850
I don't post the political ones on the other thread. Glad to see this movie is watchable.

Review of "The Kingdom" From Dave At Garfield-Ridge
Dave sent this review. I hope it's okay to post it. After the review of the film he reviews the left's patriotism, which isn't really related but it seems like a good point.

Even though director Peter Berg had some comment like "I couldn't believe people were taking my movie jingoistically!," to be honest, I kind of like him, so I like to imagine that was said for career reasons. Sort of "Whoops, did I do that?"

Apparently he did wind up making a rather anti-terrorist, pro-American movie (even if that is muddied with the inevitable "bad on both sides" bullshit), and I'm assuming that didn't happen altogether by accident. Seems like a good movie.

Just wanted you both to let you know to check out The Kingdom once it opens. I saw it on a sneak Saturday night, and was really surprised at how effective it is. Yes, it's political-- more on that in a moment-- but as a "mere" action movie, it's pretty good, even excellent at parts. Yeah, it's basically CSI: Riyadh, but it's very precise, with only a handful of missteps along the way.

As for the politics, the movie opens with stylish-yet-clunky credits that explain the history of Saudi Arabia for all the morons who've never bothered to open up a history book. It had me worried there for a moment-- a lot of references to oil and politics made me wary that we were about to go into Kos Kid land-- but after that, the movie downshifts into police procedural mode.

That said, it's clear from the very beginning that these are radical Muslim terrorists at work (they're even identified specifically as Wahabbis!). They actually pray to Allah as they blow themselves up-- my mouth dropped at seeing that in a Hollywood film (which shows how wrong-headed Hollywood films are today, but you know that). There's a (very minor) moment later on in the film where our team discovers that the detonators used were American-made, but the point is dropped-- rather than leave it hang as a subtle reference to "blowback" (fair point, in my book), a lesser movie almost certainly would have taken that point and made all the terrorists pawns in an American plot to bomb the Saudi kingdom or some conspiratorial shit like that. Instead, the bad guys remain the bad guys, and I can't tell you how refreshing it was to see that.

Without giving anything away, the ending is almost too precious-- I expect a lot of the audience will walk away with the opinion, "Awwww, look-- big bad America created another terrorist, the cycle of violence is perpetuated, we really are the bad guys." But given everything that's come before in the movie, I think that the movie doesn't really show how we are all alike, but instead highlights our differences-- for us, innocent dead are tragedies to be avoided and mistakes have lessons to learn. For the bad guys, innocent dead remain a good day at the office.

My only problem with the movie-- Jeremy Piven plays an obstructionist (read: accuratel State Department guy in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, he plays it in full on "Ari" mode, all jokey and back-slapping and stuff. Excuse me, I just can't see any senior diplomat, let alone one assigned to a place like Saudi Arabia, behaving at all like that. I like Piven, but it was just wrong, wrong, wrong-- bad casting choice, worse acting choice, and he sucked me out of the movie every time (mercifully few) that he shows up on screen.

Also, I guess it can be criticized for being a little too much like Friday Night Lights-- I absolutely love that movie, but directer Peter Berg uses a lot of the same directing style he used in that movie, and it felt a little out of place (or it made me feel like I was watching a football movie ;-). Also, he asked Danny Elfman to score The Kingdom exactly like the guys who composed the music for Friday Night Lights-- in fact, I was shocked to discover this morning that Elfman hadn't written the music for FNL, the scores are nearly identical in places. Guess Berg likes that music (so do I, but again, out of place in the movie-- then again, it's a welcome departure from yet another "Middle Eastern music"-influenced score in these kind of movies).

Anyway. . . just wanted to give the movie a shout-out. In a season sure to be dominated by Meryl Streep movies about the war (I knew she's in Lambs for Lions, but I also saw her in the hideously preposterous trailer for Rendition-- THAT movie looks like a comic book version of the real world), it was nice to see a movie that actually bothered to have us as the good guys, albeit good guys operating in a complex world.

As a tangent, that last point is one that grates on me when talking with Leftists, and even liberals-- whenever I argue that we're the good guys, they argue back that the world isn't black-and-white, good guys and bad guys, that everything is "much more complex than that." I then concede that OF COURSE the world is more complex than that, and the real world forces difficult decisions on us every day, and sometimes we have to play in gray areas-- but recognizing that doesn't change the fact that we are the good guys. They inevitably respond with the rejoinder, "Well, we're all bad guys then." But they never seem to understand that even if we are all bad guys, it's preferable to be a bad guy for our side-- for our homes, families, and nation-- than for the OTHER side.

But of course, to even acknowledge that there is an "other side" means you have to be patriotic to your side. And we mustn't question their patriotism. Just once, I'd like it if their patriotism didn't include the word "BUT" in a sentence, but I guess that's too simplistic for a complex world.

I just always find that whenever the issue of complexity is introduced by the Left, they use it as a way to end the argument, like "It's too hard, you silly jingos wouldn't understand, and if you did, you'd agree with me."

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From: LindyBill9/16/2007 3:39:16 PM
   of 785850
After a lot of Friedman blather, his last paragraph tells it like it is:

Democratic candidates have been talking about health care and other important issues, but the overriding foreign policy message that still comes across from them to many Americans, argues Mr. Rothkopf, is that Democrats are simply "anti-Bush, antiwar and antitrade." Be careful: despite the mess Mr. Bush has made in the world, or maybe because of it, Americans will not hand the keys to a Democrat who does not convey a "gut" credibility on national security.

Somebody Else's Mess
Published: September 16, 2007

George W. Bush delivered his farewell address on Thursday evening — handing the baton, and probably the next election, to the Democrats.

Why do I say that? Because in his speech to the nation the president basically said that on the most important, indeed only, legacy issue left in his presidency, Iraq, there would be no change in policy — that a substantial number of U.S. troops would remain in Iraq "beyond my presidency." Therefore, it will be up to his successor to end the war he started.

"In one fell swoop George Bush abdicated to Petraeus, Maliki and the Democrats," said David Rothkopf, visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment, referring to Gen. David Petraeus and the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki. "Bush left it to Petraeus to handle the war, Maliki to handle our timetable and therefore our checkbook, and the Democrats to ultimately figure out how to end this."

The sad thing for the American people is that we have no commander in chief anymore, framing our real situation and options. The president's description on Thursday of the stakes in Iraq was delusional. An Iraqi ally fighting for "freedom" against "extremists"? There are extremists in the Iraqi government, army and police. There is a civil war on top of tribal, neighborhood and jihadist wars, fueled not by a single Iraqi quest for freedom, but by differing quests for "justice," revenge and, yes, democracy. The only possible self-sustaining outcome in the near term is some form of radical federalism.

We also do not have a commander in chief weighing the costs of staying in Iraq indefinitely against America's other interests at home and abroad. When General Petraeus honestly averred that he could not say whether pursuing the surge in Iraq would make America safer, he underscored how much the war there has become disconnected from every conceivable worthy goal — democratization of Iraq or spreading progressive governance in the Arab-Muslim world — and is now just about itself and abstractions of "winning" or "not failing."

That is why I thought the most relevant comments from the Petraeus hearings last week were those offered by the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Ike Skelton, when he said at the outset:

"We must begin by considering the overall security of this nation. It's our responsibility here in Congress under the Constitution to ensure that the United States military can deter and if needed prevail anywhere our interests are threatened. Iraq is an important piece of the overall equation, but it is only a piece. There are very real trade-offs when you send 160,000 of our men and women in uniform to Iraq. Those troops in Iraq are not available for other missions."

While Mr. Bush's tacit resignation last week greatly increases the odds of a Democratic victory in 2008, there are several wild cards that could change things: a miraculous turnaround in Iraq (unlikely, but you can always hope), a terrorist attack in America, a coup in Pakistan that puts loose nukes in the hands of Islamist radicals, or a recession induced by the meltdown in the U.S. mortgage market, which forces a stark choice between bailing out Baghdad or Chicago.

The first three, for sure, could propel the right Republican candidate right back into the thick of things — especially if the Democrats have not positioned themselves with a credible approach to Iraq and the wider national security issues facing the country.

There is an opportunity now for Democrats, and Americans will be listening — but they need to articulate a concrete endgame policy, and it would have to include at least three components:

First, a detailed blueprint with a fixed withdrawal date tied to a negotiation with Iraqi factions on a federal solution tied to a military redeployment plan to contain the inevitable spillover from Iraq.

Second, a commitment by the next president to impose a stiff tariff on all imported crude oil, to make sure we become less dependent on what is sure to be a more unstable Middle East as we leave Iraq. And third, a plan to deal with the broader terrorist challenge. Set a date. Set a price. That will get people's attention.

Democratic candidates have been talking about health care and other important issues, but the overriding foreign policy message that still comes across from them to many Americans, argues Mr. Rothkopf, is that Democrats are simply "anti-Bush, antiwar and antitrade." Be careful: despite the mess Mr. Bush has made in the world, or maybe because of it, Americans will not hand the keys to a Democrat who does not convey a "gut" credibility on national security.

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From: Joe Btfsplk9/16/2007 3:54:57 PM
   of 785850
The tragic consequences of income disparity:

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From: D. Long9/16/2007 4:01:15 PM
   of 785850
What a difference an election makes for the French. Looks like the Germans are playing the sanctions - avoid UN sanctions while encouraging "unilateral" sanctions against Iran.


Last Updated: Sunday, 16 September 2007, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK

France warning of war with Iran

Mr Kouchner has sounded the alarm over Iran's nuclear programme
French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner says the world should prepare for war over Iran's nuclear programme.

"We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war," Mr Kouchner said in an interview on French TV and radio.

Mr Kouchner said negotiations with Iran should continue "right to the end", but an Iranian nuclear weapon would pose "a real danger for the whole world".

Iran has consistently denied it is trying to acquire nuclear weapons but intends to carry on enriching uranium.

Mr Kouchner also said a number of large French companies had been asked not to tender for business in Iran.

EU sanctions

Bushehr nuclear reactor
Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful

"We are not banning French companies from submitting. We have advised them not to. These are private companies."

"But I think that it has been heard and we are not the only ones to have done this."

He said France wanted the European Union to prepare sanctions against Iran.

"We have decided that while negotiations are continuing to prepare eventual sanctions outside the ambit of UN sanctions. Our good friends, the Germans, suggested that," he said.

Until now the Security Council of the United Nations has imposed economic sanctions on Iran, but did not allow for military action.

The United States has not ruled out a military attack against Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

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To: KLP who wrote (219926)9/16/2007 4:05:21 PM
From: Geoff Altman
   of 785850
Steve Harris gave me a link to the unabridged version. I can't imagine what America would be like without all of these organizations,,,,,but I'm willing to give it a try...<g>:

September 24
Call to United Mass Action
Partial Endorsers List

As of Monday, June 27, over 4,500 endorsers have signed on to the September 24 Call for United Mass Action. Below is a partial list of endorsers. Please check back for frequent updates.

Endorse today! (Endorsements from individuals and organizations are welcome. Listing on the website is optional.)

A.N.S.W.E.R. Steering Committee
- IFCO/Pastors for Peace
- Free Palestine Alliance - U.S.
- Haiti Support Network
- Partnership for Civil Justice - LDEF
- Nicaragua Network
- Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines
- Korea Truth Commission
- Muslim Student Association - National
- Kensington Welfare Rights Union
- Mexico Solidarity Network
- Party for Socialism and Liberation
- Middle East Children's Alliance
- A.N.S.W.E.R. Youth & Student National Coalition

- Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
- Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
- Eric Mar, President, San Francisco School Board
- Ron Kovic, Author of Born on the Fourth of July, Vietnam Veteran
- ProLibertad/Freedom Campaign
- National Lawyers Guild
- Philippine Peasant Support Network
- Office of the Americas
- Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
- Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg
- DC Healthcare Coalition
- Kabataang Maka Bayan (KmB) Pro-People Youth
- Students Against Empire
- Mexicanos Sin Fronteras
- National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
- American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, San Francisco Chapter
- Ecumenical Program on Central America and the Caribbean (EPICA)
- Frente Socialista de Puerto Rico (New York committee)
- Dorothy Day Catholic Worker - Washington DC
- Tri-Valley CAREs
- People’s Law Resource Center
- Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
- Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban Five
- Al-Awda Palestine Right of Return Coalition, S.F.
- Gay Liberation Network - Chicago, IL
- Palestine Aid Society
- 8th Day Center for Justice - Chicago, IL
- Harlem Tenants Council
- Asians for Jericho/Mumia
- Florida Palestine Solidarity Network
- New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
- Queers for Racial & Economic Justice
- Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco Supervisor, District 5
- Chris Daly, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
- Filipino Workers Association (FWA)
- Puerto Rican Alliance of Los Angeles
- Robin Tyler, Gay Liberation Network
- Women Against Military Madness
- Student Coalition for a Just Peace
- Islamic Political Party of America
- International People's Democratic Uhuru
- Vanderbilt Progressive Student Union
- Riverside Area Peace and Justice Action
- San Francisco Bay View Newspaper
- Niagara Coalition for Peace (NC4P)
- Texans for Peace
- Peace Now - Las Vegas, NV
- Peace North - Hayward, WI
- Boston College Global Justice Project
- DC Poets Against the War
- Louisiana Activist Network
- Students for Peace & Change
- Anti-War Organizing League
- International Socialist Organization
- Caribbean & Latin America Support Project
- Bay Area United Against War
- College Voice, College of Staten Island, NY
- Johnson Anti-War Coalition, Johnson State College
- Muslim Student Association, California State University Long Beach
- New York Committee in Solidarity with the people of El Salvador
- South Bay Mobilization
- Africa Affinity
- Fairbanks Coalition for Peace and Justice
- Foundations Afrikan Millennium
- Queer Radio: Out FM
- North Alabama Peace Network
- Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter
- Action Center for Justice, Charlotte, NC
- Alabama PeaceFirst
- Blasé Bonpane, Director, Office of the Americas
- Theresa Bonpane, Executive Director, Office of the Americas
- Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
- Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Oakland-Bay Area
- Arise for Social Justice
- El Dorado Peace and Justice
- Birmingham Peace Project
- Episcopalians for Exchange With Cuba
- Northeast Georgia Peace Corner Group
- Gray Panthers - Berkeley-East Bay
- North Texas for Justice and Peace
- Teens for Peace, Sioux Falls, SD
- Phil Berrigan Institute for Nonviolence
- Coalition for Peace and Justice
- Sexual Minorities Archives
- St. Pete for Peace
- Bolivarian Circle International The Cyber Circle
- Grandmothers for Peace International
- Northland Chapter Grandmothers for Peace, Superior, WI
- Mad. Area Raging Grannies, Madison, WI
- Code Pink - Missoula, MT
- Code Pink - Piedmont Triad
- Veterans for Peace - Taos, NW Chapter
- Berkeley-East Bay Gray Panthers
- Vanessa Dixon, DC Healthcare Coalition
- Carlos Villarreal, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild San Francisco
- Zachary Wolfe, Chair, National Lawyers Guild Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans Committee*; Founder, People’s Law Resource Center
- Jack Igel, Peace Action*, Veterans for Peace*
- Jari Sheese, Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)*
- Al Leskys, Peace Now*, Las Vegas, NV
- Anne Feeney, Board Member, Thomas Merton Center*, Pittsburgh, PA
- Jack Robinson, Brown University Student Labor Alliance*
- Walter Lippmann, Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews, CubaNews List*
- Paul McCarthy, Amnesty International USA*
- Mary Lou, Member, Peace and Freedom Party*
- C. T. Weber, Peace and Freedom Party - California State*
- S.E. Anderson, National Reparations Congress*, Brooklyn, NY
- Tara Hui, Center for Asian American Advocacy* (CAA)
- Ann Rennacker, Secretary, Mendocino Coast Peace & Justice Center*, Fort Bragg, CA
- Deborah Coley, President, Crockett Area Peace & Justice Coalition*, Nacogdoches, TX
- Evalyn F. Segal, Unitarians for Justice in Middle East*
- Jane Oie, Fox Valley Peace Coalition*, Appleton, Wisconsin
- Ron Swallow, Dayton Peace Action*
- Hal Ethridge, U.S. Army Retired, Tucson, Arizona
- Ruben Trejo, Veteran Representative, Palmdale, California
- C.D. Blodgett, World War II Combat Veteran, Veterans for Peace*
- Marty Preston, Associate Member, Veterans for Peace*, Wisconsin Dells, WI
- Jason Guthridge, Persian Gulf Veteran, San Pedro, CA
- Lt. Russell E. Fleming, Ret. SPSI
- Allan Fisher, Political Director, American Federation of Teachers Local 21*, San Francisco, CA
- Bruce Allen, Vice-President, Canadian Autoworkers Local 199*
- Canterbury Hatten, Retired Lawyer, Cannery Workers, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)*
- Robert Whitehead, Classroom Teacher and Union Representative, California Teachers Association (CTA)*, National Educators Association (NEA)*
- Suzanne Kincaid, California Nurses Association (CNA)*
- George Hepker, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 441*
- Jean McMaken, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)*, Huxley, IA
- Elisabeth Fiekowsky, West Coast Organizer, National Organization Legal Service Workers*
- Eugene Craig, Steward, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)*
- Karen Martinez, Retiree, Communication Workers of America (CWA)*, Liverpool, NY
- Robin Aurandt, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 906*, Williamsburg, PA
- Buddy Gill, Sheet Metal Workers Local 104*
- Thomas Waites, Actor, Screen Actors Guild*, New York, NY
- Gess Healey, American Federation of Teachers*, Taos, NE
- Tim Duda, American Federation of Teachers*, San Antonio, TX
- Christopher Lamb, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers*, Bangor, ME
- Neil R. Friedman, Chapter Leader, United Federation of Teachers (UFT)*, Brooklyn, NY
- Doug Chancey, Screen Actors Guild*
- New Jersey Chapter of the National Writers Union
- Carole Cernuto, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 99*, Canoga Park, CA
- Daniela Blaese, member, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)*
- Henry Millstein, National Writer's Union*, Novato, CA
- Richard Neva, Communist Party USA*
- Geoffrey Middleton, MSU Student Association for Feminist Thought*
- Dena Al Atassi, Florida Council Muslim Students Association*
- Dave Silver, Coalition to Free the Angola 3*
- Lynda Llamas, IFCO/Pastors for Peace*
- Michael Gordy, Membership co-chair, NEA Peace & Justice Caucus*
- Jamil Rahman, Islamic Political Party of America (IPPA)*
- Andre Belcher, National Black United Front (NBUF)*, NDABA - N'COBRA*
- Chris Drew, Executive Director, Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center*, Chicago, IL
- Susan Keith, Georgia for Democracy*, Georgia Peace and Justice*
- Jean Mont-Eton, St. Gabriel Peace and Justice*
- Dante Pena, Hidalgo County Green Party*, McAllen, TX
- Ozlem Altiok, Peace Action Denton*, TX
- NJ Independent Alliance
- Radio Free Amerika
- Native Forest Council - Seattle Chapter
- Liberty Underground of Virginia (LUV)
- Socialist Party of Michigan
- Rastafarian African Improvement Association
- Sociologists Without Borders
- Catalysts for Change
- Citizens for a United Earth
- Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance
- All Nations Inc.
- Card Carrying Progressive
- Rednecks Against Racism
- Left I on the News
- Red Earth Productions & Cultural Work
- Waking Planet
- Bend-Condega Friendship Project, Bend, OR
- Personhood Press
- Native Alerts
- Circle of Truth, Orland Park, IL
- Freeway Activist Coalition for Equality, Winchester, CA
- Comic Press News
- Info Nature
- Pigeon Creek Poets
- The Stephen Kramer Company, Des Plaines, IL
- Robert B.C. Weaver Landscapes
- Tacenda Literary Publications
- BJS organization, Palmyra, NJ
- Starlight Records, Santa Cruz, CA
- The Squids Ink
- Shine Somber, Indianapolis, IN
- Jarnocan, Westfield, NJ
- National Committee for Radiation Victims
- The Peace House
- Japan Environment Institute for Solution
- Coastal Convergence Society, Huntington Beach, CA
- United States Raelian Movement
- Khalil Gibran Book Club
- Campaign for Sovereign California
- Berkeley Springs Worship Group
- SBA Farms Anti-war Collective
- Mark Twain Democratic Club, Whittier, CA
- Alternative Medicine Council
- Public Intellectuals for Social and Spar, New York. NY
- God Bless The World, Inc., South Burlington
- Charles Boone
- Marilyn Markley, Treasurer, Malama O Puna*, Pahoa, Hawaii
- Kenneth Nahigian, Humanist Association of Greater Sacramento Area*
- Vince Cinches, Talisay Unity of Urban Poor*
- Joyce Niksic, Secular Humanist Society of Chicago*
- Barbara Council, South Oregon Animal Rights Society*
- Dave Lindblom, Utah Public Employees Association*
- Paul Allen, Hope House Shelter Home* Dubuque, Iowa
- Thomas Unger, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)*, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)*, NRA*
- William Christensen, Industrial Workers of the World*, Friend of Thomas Paine*
- Alan Carlson, KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio*, St. Paul, Minnesota
- Robert McMahon, Assn. of Scient. & Prof. Engineer. Pers.*
- Cristogianni Borsella, Mediterranean League*
- Elliscia Ellerd, Office Manager, Ellerd Construction*
- Rodney Ferris, President, Possibilities Unlimited, Inc*
- Peter Gunther, Certified Archivist, Progressive Archivists*
- Stephen Kowal, Center for Democracy and the Constitution*, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Michael Murray, Seacoast Peace Response*
- Charles Reinert, Naturopathic Physician, Helping To Heal, Inc.*
- J. Glenn Evans, Poets West*
- Barbara Evans, PoetsWest*
- Melanie Chischilly, owner, Chischilly Pottery*
- Leslie Robertson, Director of Design, Leslie E. Obertson Associates*
- Constance La Sala, Blessed Is She*, New Hyde Park
- Anne Kolesar, Citizens for Social Responsibility*
- Michael Chiltern, Creative Production Coordinator, Brooklyn Community Access Television*, Brooklyn, NY
- Nancy Wang, Co-Director, Eth-Noh-Tec*, San Francisco, CA
- G.S. Khalsa, Unixity*, Burbank, CA
- Coyotes Corner, East Providence, RI
- Ed Crouch, Social Worker, Concern for the People of Iraq*, Seattle, WA
- John Smith, Founder of Board, Take Back America*, Rock Island, IL
- Lana Kitchel, Media/Outreach Coordinator, Department of Peace Campaign, 2nd CD of CA*, Los Molinos, CA
- Michael Mastela, President, The Livonia Democratic Club*, Livonia, MI
- WEARTH, Sebastopol, CA
- Ramesh N, Friends Circle*, Naik Kamaraj Salai, Tamilnadu
- Phillip Manning, Schottenstein's*, Maysville, KY
- Michele Laub, President, Human Potential Unlimited*, East Atlantic Beach, NY
- Mike Stabile, Treasurer, Hubert Humphrey Democratic Club*, Cerritos, CA
- Ramsey Malone, Executive Director, The Engaged Zen Foundation*, Ramsey, NJ
- Rev. William H. Russell, American Atheists*, Libertarian Party*, Norwich, CT
- Paul Burks, Editor Emeritus, EarthLight Magazine*, Santa Rosa, CA
- Toni Hoover, Advancement of Humanity*
- Breelyn MacDonald, Animal Rights Foundation of Florida*
- Robert Lovell, Democracy for America*
- Julieanna, Thompson, Global Solutions*, Department of Peace*, Marina del Rey, CA
- Roberto J Mercado, Social Justice Documentary Photographer, Social Justice Impact
- Ken Kilnam, Editor, Minjok-Tongshin Daily Website
- Garda Ghista, Founding Director, World Prout Assembly, Highland Heights, KY
- Cynthia King, CEO, Wisdom Way Press, Goleta, CA
- Thomas Metzler, President, Metzler Violin Shop, Inc., Glendale, CA
- William Roberts, Owner, Stewart-Roberts Productions, Huntington Beach, CA
- Thomas Schooley, President, The Tienson MFG CO, Berkeley, CA
- Barbara Stanley, SkipperGraphics, Shallotte, NC
- Jude Arnold, PhD., Advance Productions*, Parthenon, AR
- Alfredo Jose Gonzalez, A. G. Graphics Arts Studios*, Los Angeles, CA
- Bonnie Elness, Share International, USA*
- Curt Clay, Americans for a United States Dept. of Peace*
- Ricardo Corrales Sàenz, Magister en Agronegocios, Consultor Independiente*, La Aurora, Heredia, La Aurora
- Mary Zoeter, President, Action for Animals Network*
- Ingrid Grace, Student, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
- Cynthia Raglenta, Graduate Student, Santa Rosa, California
- Heidi Erhardt, Student, Kipahulu Community School
- Assaf Kfoury, Boston University
- Denise Hesse, Student , South High School, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
- Elias Ibrahim, Student, University of California Los Angeles
- Alex D. Llongridge, University of Texas
- Valerie C. Virta, Graduate Student, University of Washington
- Nat Parry, Graduate Student, George Mason University
- Lance Cablk, Instructor, Clackamas Community College
- Therese Cauchon, Teacher, La Mesa - Spring Valley School District
- Steven Burge, Academic Skills Specialist, Si Tanka University
- Jon Anderholm Cazadero, Retired Teacher, United Educators of San Francisco*
- Meredith Dalebout, Retired Teacher, Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Gerard Huber, Professor, A&M University-Commerce
- Iris Greenfield, Program Coordinator and Early Intervention, Pediatrics University of Florida
- Kelleen Farrell, Educator, Placerville, California
- Bryan Fellbusch, Student, New York University
- Kathy Quick, Graduate Student, University of California Irvine
- Albert A. Gaydos, Student, Queens College (CUNY)
- Jeremy Huffman, Student, University of South Florida
- Jeremy Motts, Student, Los Medanos College, Antioch, CA
- Elena Lopez, Graduate Student, University of Colorado-Boulder
- Marnie Hotz, Student, University of Massachusetts-Boston
- Stephanie Barnett, Student, Marywood University School of Social Work, Sellersville, PA
- Neil Zimmerman, Cooper Union*, Muttontown, NY
- Scott Nass, Student, University of Cincinnati
- Mazen Almoukdad, Student, Anaheim, CA
- Kristen Magis, Doctoral Student, Silverton, OR
- Petersen, Student, Santa Monica, CA
- Roxanne Cook, Student, Idaho Falls, ID
- Gareth Shellman, Assistant Director, Institute of World A*, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Dr. Bill Rosenthal, Hunter College
- Jennifer Wagner, Professor, West Valley College
- Dayne Navarro, Educator, San Pedro, CA
- John Renfrew, Professor, Northern Michigan University
- Patricia Berry, Educator, The University of New Mexico
- Michael Keefer, Professor, University of Guelph, Toronto, ON
- Kathleen Kolman, Music Director, John Stark Regional High School, Plymouth, NH
- Robert Schlagal, Professor, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
- Sarah Michaels, Professor of Education, Clark University
- Cara Crandall, Professor, Emerson College
- Joyce Paolini, Teacher, Sacramento, CA
- Jean Geissler, Retired Educator, Eau Claire, WI
- Linda Shahian, ESL Instructor, South Gate Adult School, San Pedro, CA
- Sarah Novey, Science Teacher, Prairie du Chien, WI
- Warren Gold, Professor of Medicine, University of California-San Francisco, Mill Valley, CA
- Manouchehr Azad, Teacher, Harper College, Skokie, Illinois
- Paula Telesco, Professor, Chelmsford, MA
- Dr. Tip H. Shanklin, Professor of English and Humanities, Lindsey Wilson College
- Michael Dalterio, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Bentle College, Sudbury, MA
- Ted Stearns, Teacher, Albuquerque, NM
- Miles Robinson, Middle School Science Teacher, Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield, MI
- Stacy Mecklenberg, UC Berkeley, Stanford University
- Dr. Evan Fales, University of Iowa
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- Karen Markley, Fullerton College
- McCutchen, San Francisco State University
- Sean Smukler, University of California Davis
- Lisa Middlecamp-Lowder, Social Worker, Muskegon Public Schools, North Muskegon, MI
- Dr. Susan Draper, New York University
- William Prescott, University of Oklahoma, Atlanta, GA
- Malgorzata Zarycka, Student, Chicago, IL
- Michael Morris, Development Coordinator, Florida State University
- Tracy Lord, Instructor, Bosphorus University, Ashland, OR
- Dr. Regino Diaz-Robainas, Blacklisted Former College Professor, Stuart, FL
- Nick Moe, Student, Anchorage, AK
- Deborah Dimmett, Doctoral Student, University of Arizona
- Candice Discepolo, Student, McDonogh School, Ellicott City, MD
- Frank, Sicoli, Philosophy Graduate Student, New School University
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- Sarah Swanson, Student, San Diego City College, University of California
- Kanene Holder, Howard University
- Steve Baker, Student, University of Redlands
- Richard Abcarian, Professor of English, Emeritus California State University
- Mary Kay Duffie, Former UCLA Research Professor, University of California Los Angeles
- Linda Einfal, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati
- Raymond Moody, Associate Professor (retired), University of Hawaii
- Jane Bergman, Teacher, Saint Mary Catholic School
- Janet Seltzer, Preschool Teacher, Albany, CA
- Robert Hilliard, Author/Educator, Cambridge, MA
- Arthur Solomon, Professor, La Conner, WA
- Nicole Kohansky, Fairleigh Dickinson University-Cumberland Company*, Bridgeton, NJ
- Megan Wood, Fordham Law
- Aroldo Garcia, Student, CUNY City University of New York
- Shennandoah Hardesty, Student, New Port Richey, FL
- Joanna Marr Baker, Student, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
- Taigen Leighton, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA
- Gretchen Harris, teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools*, Virginia
- Marilyn Berger, teacher, Los Angeles Unified school district*
- Barbara Haggerty, teacher, Milwaukee, OR
- Carol and Joe O'Neill, teachers, Warriors Mark, PA
- Joe Cressy, Carleton University
- Patrick Brantlinger, Professor, Indiana University
- Morgan Chivers, San Jose State University
- Daniel Liberatoscioli, President, Walnut Hill College, Glen Mills, PA
- Julio Pino, Professor, Kent State University, Ohio
- Richard Rubenstein, Professor, George Mason University
- Roma Guy, San Francisco State University
- Natalie Sokoloff, Professor of Sociology, John Jay College
- Theresina Greenwell, Christ the King*, Tompkinsville, KY
- Rev. Timothy Nakayama., Episcopal Church USA*
- Theodore Webb, Retired Clergy
- Rev. J. Calvin Bugho OFM, Franciscan Justice & Peace Office*
- Jay Colbe, Jewish Voice For Peace*, Sacramento, CA
- Joseph W. DuRocher, Trustee, First Unitarian Church of Orlando*
- Rev. Wayne Robinson, United Church of Christ*, Antelope, CA
- Leo Klohr, Lutheran Peace Fellowship (LPF)*, Raleigh, NC
- The Reverend Lauren Welch, Baltimore, Maryland
- Henry Jefferson, Claremont United Methodist Church*, Ontario, Canada
- H. Eberhard, Von Waldow, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary*, Glenshaw, PA
- Rev. Lisa McMillan
- Rev. Keith Boyles
- Rev. Dr. Donna Martin, Pastor, United Church of Christ*, Columbia, MD
- Ellen Little, Campus Minister, Wesley Fellowship at Rutgers*
- Dennis R. M., Teall-Fleming, Director of Faith Formation, Queen of the Apostles Catholic Church*, Gastonia, NC
- Vincent Smiles, Professor of Theology - St. Joseph, MN

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From: LindyBill9/16/2007 4:18:16 PM
   of 785850
Why I joined the British jihad - and why I rejected it
Our correspondent’s journey into zealotry ended in prison – and that is where he finally realised he was wrong
Maajid Nawaz
From The Sunday Times
September 16, 2007

As a third generation British Muslim I was raised in an integrated and well established family; four of my mother’s siblings are doctors. I had absolutely no problem making friends and was in the highest sets in school, later going on to study law at university. How did I – at the tender age of 17 – subscribe to and then devastatingly propagate radical Islamist ideas? Why was I prepared to abandon my degree for such a cause?

Not only did I join Hizb ut-Tahrir, the controversial group that believes Islam is a political ideology that must dominate the world, I also rose to the level of a leadership committee member and national speaker. I recently resigned – but my story illustrates why “ordinary” British boys get caught up in such an extraordinary movement.

As a British-Asian teenager growing up in Essex I always had a sense of being different. In fairness, this was not due to the majority of people around me, but the actions of a minority of organised racists who made life exceptionally difficult for all around me. By the age of 15 I found myself having to flee random and unprovoked knife attacks and witness friends being stabbed before my eyes. There were arrests but no charges; apparently, they had “friends” in the police.

Institutional racism was something I knew existed before the phrase itself was coined. The first time I was arrested in an armed raid was not in Egypt but on the streets of Essex. Aged 15, I had been playing pool with friends until late. As I was being driven home we were shocked at being pursued by police helicopters shining spotlights on our car. The road had been blockaded and we found ourselves staring down the barrel of machineguns. I was arrested at gunpoint for “suspicion of armed robbery”.

Unknown to me, earlier in the day my friends had been innocently playing with a plastic pellet gun. A poor old lady had decided that brown children playing with plastic pellet guns could mean only one thing: they intended to rob a bank. I still remember the look on my mother’s face when she came into the police station. We were kept overnight and the following afternoon we were released without charge and with a sheepish apology.

I initially dealt with such incidents by associating with a counter-culture inspired by American rap music. In the 1990s this was an underground scene that we felt provided a voice and identity to those who were not being seen or heard. This was the beginning of my politicisation and by now I was already inclined to being antiestablishment.

As time passed I became more aware of identity issues and world conflicts. The Bosnian genocide struck a chord like no other. Here were white European Muslims being identified solely as Muslims and being slaughtered for it. This genocide coincided with an emerging trend in rap music, whereby American rappers began to identify explicitly as Muslims and mixed samples of Malcolm X’s speeches into their music.

It was during this period of my life that a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir from my home town, who had been recruited while studying at university in London, started explaining the Hizb’s ideas to me. My premature politicised mind was ripe to receive an ideology that advocated a black and white solution to the problems I had grown up with.

As I got more involved with Hizb ut-Tahrir activities, from attending secret cell meetings to distributing leaflets that called for jihad, I conflicted with Muslims at mosques and, most worryingly, my own parents. I recall with horror being chased out of a northern town by members of the mosque congregation and their imam for distributing Hizb leaflets outside the mosque. My parents detested seeing those same leaflets in their home. But I was undeterred. For me, Muslims, including my parents, had misunderstood their ideology.

This was an ideology like no other. Religion had been merged with politics in such a way that we worshipped God through our political activities. Where our minds could not grasp a certain idea, we were coaxed through scripture. Where scripture did not bolster a certain notion, we were convinced through rational argumentation. The result was a potent mix of political and philosophical stances seemingly justified by religious scripture with the aim of liberating the Muslim nation, or ummah, whose minds had been colonised.

The result was producing young men and women who were prepared to give up everything for the sake of a political ideology and go to a religious paradise. I had finally discovered who I was. I was a sharp, ideological Muslim whose mission was to create a new world order.

I took on board this ideology as my own, propagating it through campuses and across borders until it consumed my life. Eventually my activities caught up with me in Egypt, where I was sent by my university for a year of my Arabic and law degree. For the second time in my life I was arrested at gunpoint, but this time it was not by mistake and there was no apology. I was sentenced to five years for membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir and was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.

It was during this time in prison that I began to utilise my time by studying as much as I could about the ideology that I professed to be working for. My aim was to study Islam to such a depth that once released I would be even more potent at propagandising than before.

As I studied various branches of traditional Islamic sciences, however, I grew more and more surprised. The sheer breadth of scholastic disagreement that I found, on issues I had believed were so definitive in Islam, surprised me. Where we had been willing to challenge, even overthrow, regimes on certain issues, traditional jurists of Islam had treated these as academic disagreements to be debated through books.

It slowly dawned on me that what I had been propagating was far from true Islam. I began to realise that what I had subscribed to was actually Islamism sold to me in the name of Islam. And it is with this realisation that I can now say that the more I learnt about Islam, the more tolerant I became.

Now I am involved in trying to counter the black and white mindset that I once so vehemently encouraged. Although I was young when I was recruited to Hizb ut-Tahrir, I take full responsibility for my actions. I made the decisions that I did and I am responsible for undoing them. With this in mind I hope to publish a series of papers reevaluating certain core Islamist ideas that are essential to their message.

© Copyright 2007 Times Newspapers Ltd.

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