Showing posts with label Osama bin Laden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Osama bin Laden. Show all posts

Friday, September 17, 2021

Bin Laden's Fantasy, Trump's Reality

It was Osama Bin Laden's fantasy to hit the Capitol. One airplane was supposed to strike the Capitol building. He did not think that would bring down the US government. He knew enough not to think that. Any more than hitting the World Trade Center brought down Wall Street. But he meant to make a symbolic strike. He failed. 

Donald Trump succeeded. He did manage to strike the Capitol in a way that was beyond Bin Laden's fantasy. Trump managed to strike fear into the hearts of every lawmaker in that building. 

Bin Laden paid for it with his life. Trump is planning to run for president again. 

What Trump did he did very openly. Everything is recorded in video, second by second, minute by minute. He planned the strike. He implored the crowd to go do what they did. He was not hiding in a cave when he did that. He was addressing a crowd a stone's throw away from the White House. 

That makes Donald Trump a domestic terrorist. A terrorist is going to run for President Of The United States in 2024. And he can do that because he is white? 

Democracy is one person one vote. That is the promise. But you have one of only two parties existing in the country making a full effort to take voting rights away from people who are not likely to vote for them. The democratic way would have been to try to reach out to them and convince them to vote Republican. But that is not in the plan. Instead, disenfranchise. 

If America is a democracy, it is an unraveling one. 

Sunday, January 03, 2016

MLK, Malcolm X, And Assassinations

We know both were super closely watched by the intelligence agencies. Their every move was followed. Their associates were watched. Their phones were tapped. Not only the agencies micro watched, but they also intervened here and there at will. Like, fire that staffer of yours. As in, it was important for them to let MLK know he was being watched. That was psychological warfare designed to unnerve him, to perhaps break his will.

There is a reason why the right to privacy is a basic human right. The right to privacy is essential to a human being’s sense of self. Unless you have a probable cause that you are shadowing a criminal, in which case you get approval from a judge with an intent to persecute, you have no business shadowing a human being. The agencies violating MLK’s right to privacy was gross and racist. America’s heart stopped in the 60s because JFK, MLK, RFK all got killed. It was not assassination. It was heart attack. Why do conservative elements on the political spectrum have ready and entrenched allies in the state apparatus? The state is supposed to stay neutral.

If you violate a human being’s privacy enough, in the organized and thorough ways that an intelligence agency’s resources make possible, at some point they no longer feel like human beings. You could snuff their life and not even feel a thing. It is objectification of the highest order. It is kind of like, those who commit hate crimes first have to dehumanize their objects of interest. I am not sure if the MLK assassination was a hate crime or a genocide. A people’s dream got wiped out just like that. The world had to wait for a BHO. Those were long decades.

It is not hard to kill and not leave a trace. There is no proof. How hard is that to do? Most murders in America (and the world) go unsolved. And these are loner criminals doing the deed, or maybe some organized gangs. Intelligence agencies have way more resources than the mightiest cartels down south. See in the movies how it gets done. There is no trace. There is no way to find out.

I am not pointing fingers. I have no proof. But I am tempted to connect the dots. The intelligence agencies totally, thoroughly violating MLK’s right to privacy was gross beyond words can describe. He was never suspected of any crime, so why was he followed around like he ran a cell for the Al Qaeda? It is not like they were throwing a security blanket around him. The country should have given him bodyguards. The Dalai Lama gets bodyguards in India. And he has no sworn enemy. MLK received death threats like you and I receive phone calls. MLK was let out to pasture. It was deliberate.

MLK’s right to privacy being violated is not like a public figure’s right to privacy being violated. The public figure chooses to go into the public domain. The public figure is not micro shadowed like he/she were a terrorist. There is no agency collecting relentless data and analyzing and making counter moves as if the public figure is a criminal. What MLK deserved was a security blanket provided for by the state, what they call Z grade security in India. Instead he got monkeys tapping on his phone.

The surveillance state can get out of hand. It is like the top Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan got held at an airport in New Jersey for hours because his name showed up on some list. I am sure his last name is on every list! But you just wronged a billion strong nation.

The surveillance state can get out of hand and ordinary people can suffer in scores. Racial profiling can be taken to a whole new level through the surveillance state. No community deserves to be harassed.

There has to be a way for you to get your name off a list if you suspect maybe your name is on some list and erroneously so. Like you have a right to know what your credit history is. You have a right to know if your name has been put on any list. Muslims are the blacks today.

The right to privacy is like the right to free speech, like the right to follow the faith of your choice. If a community is being harassed for being Muslim, that right to follow the faith of one’s choice is being violated, and that’s a no no. The American state impinging on the fundamental rights is the American state doing the bidding of the people it is at war with. Their attack is on values, not on some physical structure. Values are hard to hold, and that is why they have to be held to in a tight embrace.

Friday, June 26, 2015

ISIS Holds Territory

Khobar Towers bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia...
Khobar Towers bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on 25 June 1996. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Al Qaeda never did. It was like a parasite. The host was Taliban.

The ISIS is not a state, the way you and I think about states. For example, it has no desire to join the United Nations. It is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. The virus has mutated.

ISIS Territory Is The New Rwanda

ISIS commanding territory, and generating huge daily revenues from oil and drug trafficking and what have you has got to be on the radar.

It was only a matter of time. These attacks were going to come.

When the fight between capitalism and communism started, it did not end with communism losing. Capitalism itself morphed. It digested some elements of communism. There were things like the welfare state.

Islam seeks respect. We want to move towards a world where Muslims are not living in the slums of democracies. They are in the mainstream. But that has to be brought about by the forces of democracy.

ISIS is a physical attacks problem. I am no military expert.

ISIS can not be allowed to hold territory. ISIS can not be allowed revenues. Right now it is collecting millions per day.

ISIS is going to force the US to think maybe Arab monarchies are anachronisms.

The US is not exactly winning the War On Terror right now. This is a new virus. And it is deadlier than the Al Qaeda. Bin Laden's death was but a blip. Now it looks like.

The bottom line is this is an ideological struggle. An ideological struggle with clear physical components. But primarily an ideological struggle. This is a war of words first and foremost.

These guys will not stop at anything. If they can build a dirty bomb, they w-i-l-l detonate it. That is how clear they are in their intentions. If they can't bring that dirty bomb to America, they will detonate it in Africa, or in some Arab country. That event will make 9/11 look like a picnic.

The Cold War lasted almost half a century. The War On Terror was never going to be over in 10 years.

I still think beaming the internet from the skies and flooding the Muslim world with cheap Android phones is the number one and best tool. Elon Musk has a pan. Fund it. It is the cheapest and the least bloody.

Also, there is no avoiding the fact that the only way to tackle Climate Change is by creating a genuine 21st century world government. Climate Change and terrorism are twin challenges. They are similar. They only have global solutions.

ISIS claims deadly mosque attack in Kuwait Terrorist Attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait Kill Dozens
“The Kuwait operation is especially dangerous, as this is ISIS’ first operation in a gulf state,” Mr. Riedel said in an email. “The others will be deeply alarmed.” ..... “Muslims, embark and hasten toward jihad,” said the Islamic State’s spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, in an audio message released this week. “O mujahedeen everywhere, rush and go to make Ramadan a month of disasters for the infidels.” ...... United States intelligence and counterterrorism officials were scrambling on Friday to assess the connections, if any, between the attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia. Officials said that if the assessment found that the attacks were linked, officials would seek to determine whether the Islamic State had actively directed, coordinated or inspired them...... the assault resembled others launched by ISIS recently on Shiite mosques in neighboring Saudi Arabia ..... “This is something that was planned,” she said. “It was not just one guy who decided to put on a suicide belt and go in there.”
Attacks hit three continents amid fears of escalating Islamist violence
Emergency security meetings were called across Europe, and French police were dispatched to protect “sensitive sites” ..... Tunisian authorities reeled with another blow to its vital tourism industry, three months after 22 people were gunned down at the world-famous Bardo museum in the capital, Tunis. In Kuwait, the prime minister, Sheik Jaber al-Sabah, denounced the blast at a Shiite mosque as a direct attack at “national unity.” ..... France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, also said a suspect arrested — identified by French media as Yassin Sahli — was on a watch list between 2006 and 2008 of potential followers of a radical branch of Islam, but had been taken off surveillance. ...... In a communique circulated by Islamic State-linked social media accounts online, the group said one of its members, Abu Suleiman al-Mowahid, detonated a belt of explosives at a “gathering of apostates.” ...... The Kuwait attacks followed similar mosque blasts in neighboring Saudi Arabia targeting Shiite worshipers. The Saudi attacks also were claimed by the Islamic State, whose extremist Sunni followers view Shiites as heretics.
Islamic State said to kill scores in Syrian border city
Islamic State jihadists engaged in a bloody rampage in the Kurdish-majority Syrian city of Kobani and its environs on Friday, officials said, executing at least 142 civilians before withdrawing as vicious fighting continued in the town for a second day........ described the attack as "a crime against humanity ... it's a barbaric massacre" ....... "The executions were perpetrated against entire families, [they were] completely exterminated," he said, adding that the death total would make this the second largest massacre perpetrated by the group. At least 28 Islamic State militants were killed in the clashes.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bin Laden, Libya, Iran: Obama's Master Strokes

English: President Barack Obama listens during...
English: President Barack Obama listens during one in a series of meetings discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden, in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Even since 9/11 I have thought of this whole "war" as something of the magnitude of the Cold War. And three of the major moves have happened on Barack Obama's watch. Getting Bin Laden was a master stroke. Going into Libya was another big one. Quiet diplomacy does not hit the sexy meter like getting Bin Laden does. But what has just been achieved on Iran is of the same magnitude as the Bin Laden achievement. Kudos the president. He promised on Bin Laden in 2007, he delivered. He also promised on Iran, and he has now delivered.

Tough talk accompanied by inaction or stupid actions is not superior to quiet diplomacy that brings forth meaningful, measurable desired change. I take weapons of mass destruction seriously. And if engaging is the safer thing to do, engage one must, as Obama did. Tough was the sanctions he put into place. Tough is to engage in the quiet diplomacy when the tough talk crowd wants you to anything but.

The chessboard in that part of the world has been rearranged in one swift stroke. We now have a base from which more progress can be possible.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Osama Also Asked For "Proof"

English: Muammar al-Gaddafi at the 12th AU sum...
English: Muammar al-Gaddafi at the 12th AU summit, February 2, 2009, in Addis Abeba. Français : Mouammar Kadhafi au 12e sommet de l'UA, le 2 février 2009 à Addis-Abeba Русский: Муамар Каддафи на 12-м саммите Африканского Союза в Аддис-Абебе. 2 февраля 2009 года. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden also asked for "proof." Assad is asking for "proof." When the facts glare in our faces for the entire world to see, Assad wants "proof."

Syria is not a case of sectarian violence. This is a case of a brutal regime slaughtering its own innocent citizens. Some Islamist radicals with Al Qaeda ties might have picked up the gun, but the Syrian rebel forces by and large are native lovers of regime change and ultimate democracy.

This is a liberation struggle being violently suppressed, with over 100,000 innocents killed and counting, the last thousand or so with chemical weapons. It does not getting any more black and white than this.

America should do now what it should have done a year ago. The red line is when a dictator starts slaughtering innocents. I can understand why sending in American troops can get messy and costly and open ended. But no ground troops are necessary. They were not necessary in Libya. A few billion dollars worth of air strikes is all it took to get rid of Gaddafi. Assad has to go. This would be the first serious step America takes against the brutal regime in Iran. That is another regime that mercilessly slaughtered its own people at massive scales in 2009.
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Friday, November 02, 2012

President Barack Obama: My vision for America

President Barack Obama: My vision for America

For the past few days, all of us have been properly focused on one of the worst storms of our lifetimes. We mourn those who were lost. And we pledge to stand with those whose lives have been turned upside down for as long as it takes them to recover and rebuild.

Because when hardship hits, America is at its best. The petty differences that consume us in normal times quickly melt away. There are no Democrats or Republicans during a storm -- only fellow Americans. That's how we get through the most trying times: together.

Four years ago, we were mired in two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Together, we've battled our way back. The war in Iraq is over, Osama bin Laden is dead, and our heroes are coming home. Our businesses have created more than 5 million new jobs in the last two and half years. Home values and 401(k)s are rising. We are less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last 20 years. And the American auto industry is back.

We're not there yet. But we've made real progress. And on Tuesday, America will get to choose between two fundamentally different visions of what makes America strong.

I believe America's prosperity was built on the strength of our middle class. We don't succeed when a few at the top do well while everyone else struggles to get by -- we're better off when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

When Bill Clinton was president, he believed that if America invested in the skills and ideas of its people, good jobs and businesses would follow. His economic plan asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more so we could reduce our deficit and still invest in job training and education, research and technology, better health care and a dignified retirement. And what happened? By the end of his second term, our economy created 23 million new jobs. Incomes rose. Poverty fell. Deficits became the biggest surplus in history.

The path Governor Romney offers is the one we tried for eight years after President Clinton left office -- a philosophy that says those at the very top get to play by a very different set of rules than everyone else. Bigger tax cuts for the wealthy that we can't afford. Encouraging companies to ship jobs and profits overseas. Fewer rules for big banks and insurance companies. They're the policies that caused this mess in the first place.

In the closing weeks of this campaign, Governor Romney has started calling himself an agent of change. And I'll give him one thing -- offering another $5 trillion tax cut weighted towards the wealthy, $2 trillion in defense spending our military didn't ask for, and more power for big banks and insurance companies is change, all right. But it's not the change we need.

We know what real change looks like. And we can't give up on it now.

Change is an America where people of every age have the skills and education that good jobs require. We took on banks that had been overcharging for student loans for decades, and made college more affordable for millions. Now we'll recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so that high-tech, high-wage jobs don't end up in China, and train 2 million workers at community colleges for the skills local businesses need right now.

Change is an America that's home to the next generation of manufacturing and innovation. I'm not the candidate who said we should "let Detroit go bankrupt," I'm the president who bet on American workers and American ingenuity. Now I want a tax code that stops rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas, and starts rewarding companies that create jobs here; one that stops subsidizing oil company profits, and keeps supporting clean energy jobs and technology that will cut our oil imports in half.

Change is an America that turns the page on a decade of war to do some nation-building here at home. So long as I'm commander-in-chief, we'll pursue our enemies with the strongest military in the world. But it's time to use the savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay down our debt and rebuild America -- our roads and bridges and schools.

Change is an America where we reduce our deficit by cutting spending where we can, and asking the wealthiest Americans to go back to the income tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was president. I've worked with Republicans to cut a trillion dollars of spending, and I'll do more. I'll work with anyone of any party to move this country forward. But I won't agree to eliminate health insurance for millions of poor, elderly, or disabled on Medicaid, or turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire's tax cut.

The folks at the very top don't need another champion in Washington. The people who need a champion in Washington are the Americans whose letters I read at night; the men and women I meet on the trail every day. The cooks and cleaning staff working overtime at a Las Vegas hotel. The furniture worker retraining for a career in biotechnology at age 55. The teacher who's forced to spend less time with each student in her crowded classroom. Her kids, who dream of becoming something great. Every small business owner trying to expand and do right by his or her employees -- all of these Americans need a champion in Washington.

When these Americans do well, America does well. That's the change we need right now. It's time to finish what we've started -- to educate our kids, train our workers, create new jobs, new energy, and new opportunity -- to make sure that no matter who you are, where you come from, or how you started out, this is the country where you can make it if you try.

The America we believe in is within our reach. The future we hope for is within our sights. That's why I'm asking for your vote this Tuesday.

Mitt Romney: My vision for America

On June 2, 2011, I began my quest for the presidency on the farm of Doug and Stella Scamman in Stratham, New Hampshire. I said then that our country is a land of freedom and opportunity. I spoke of the hard work of the millions of Americans who built our remarkable experiment in self-government. They carved out of the wilderness a land of immense prosperity and unlimited potential. I said then that "I believe in America." For more than a year now, I've carried that message across America. As we draw close to Election Day, it is a good moment to reflect on what it means to believe in America.

America is a place where freedom rings. It is a place where we can discuss our differences without fear of any consequence worse than criticism, where we can believe in whatever creed or religion we choose, where we can pursue our dreams no matter how small or grand. It is a place that not only cherishes freedom, but is willing to fight to defend it. These are the qualities that define us.

America is a land of opportunity. But lately, for too many Americans, opportunity has not exactly come knocking. We've been mired in an economic slowdown that has left millions of our fellow citizens unemployed. The consequences in dreams shattered, lives disrupted, plans deferred, and hopes dimmed can be found all around us.

It hasn't always been this way. It certainly doesn't have to be this way in the future. We're all in this together. And together we can emerge from these troubles.

Together with Paul Ryan, I've put forward an economic recovery plan consisting of five central elements that will in four years create 12 million jobs.

We will produce more of the energy we need to heat our homes, fill our cars, and make our economy grow. We will stop President Obama's war on coal, his disdain for oil, and his effort to crimp natural gas by federal regulation of the very technology that produces it. We will support nuclear and renewables, but phase out subsidies once an industry is on its feet. We will invest in energy science and research to make discoveries that can actually change our energy world. By 2020, we will achieve North American energy independence.

We will retrain our work force for the jobs of tomorrow and ensure that every child receives a quality education no matter where they live, including especially our inner cities. Parents and students, not administrators and unions, need to have greater choice. Our current worker retraining system is a labyrinth of federal programs that sprawls across 47 programs and nine agencies. We will eliminate this redundancy and empower the 50 states and the private sector to develop effective programs of their own.

We will make trade work for America. We'll open more markets to American agriculture, products, and services. And we will finally hold accountable any nation that doesn't play by the rules. I will stand up for the rights and interests of American workers and employers.

Your turn: What's your vision for America? We will restore fiscal sanity to Washington by bringing an end to the federal spending and borrowing binge that in just four years has added more debt held by the public than almost all previous administrations combined. We will put America on track to a balanced budget by eliminating unnecessary programs, by sending programs back to states where they can be managed with less abuse and less cost, and by shrinking the bureaucracy of Washington.

· Finally, we will champion small business, the great engine of job creation in our country, by reforming the tax code and updating and reshaping regulations that have suffocated economic growth.

Nothing is ever easy in Washington, but these goals are rooted in bipartisan agreement, and I will work with members of both parties to accomplish them. As governor of a state that was overwhelmingly Democratic, I was always ready to reach across the aisle and I can proudly point to the results. I've learned that when we come together to solve problems in a practical spirit, we can accomplish miracles. In this respect, I am offering a contrast to what we are seeing in Washington today. We've watched as one party has pushed through its agenda without compromising with the other party. We've watched gridlock and petty conflict dominate while the most important issues confronting the nation, like chronic high unemployment, go unaddressed. The bickering has to end. I will end it. I will reach across the aisle to solve America's problems.

Our economic crisis not only threatens the well-being of our citizenry, it has larger consequences in other realms. The economic weakness of the past several years has, alarmingly, fostered weakness in our foreign policy posture. Runaway domestic spending has led the president to propose reducing defense spending by hundreds of billions, cuts that his own secretary of defense has said would "devastate" our national security.

The most important task for any president is set out in the preamble to our Constitution—providing for the common defense. As commander-in-chief, I will roll back the president's deep and arbitrary cuts to our military. Our soldiers should never lack the tools they need to complete their mission and come home safely. I have always believed that the first purpose of a strong military is to prevent war. And preventing war is a supreme national interest. I will ensure that our military is strong enough that no adversary dares to challenge us.

Let us remember our history. We have accomplished so much, both in the world and at home. We've defeated tyrannies. We've lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. We've transformed our own society into a more perfect union. We've created a land of freedom and prosperity. The problems we need to overcome now are not bigger than we are. We can defeat them. I am offering real change and a real choice.

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