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Spotting a red flag

Mark Mardell | 03:51 UK time, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The FBI is defending itself against accusations that it should have spotted that the man accused of the Fort Hood shootings had contacts with an advocate of terrorism. One TV network and several newspapers have reported that Nidal Malik Hasan had a series of e-mail contacts with an imam who preaches violent jihad and has links to al-Qaeda. Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen who now lives in Yemen. After the shootings he wrote on his website, now not accessible, that Hasan was "a hero" and asked of the shootings "How can anyone doubt the virtue of what has been done?"

Now the FBI won't confirm the two men had been in touch but they do say that Major Hasan came to the attention of a joint terrorism task force because of e-mail contacts with an unnamed individual. They say that there were between 10 and 20 e-mails, and they were consistent with the major's research (he is a psychiatrist) or of a social nature or were seeking religious guidence. A senior official said they raised no "red flag" and their "general tenor was benign".

They say there is no indication that the major was part of any broader terrorist plot. The senate committee on homeland security will hold an investigation into whether this was a terrorist attack. This is bound to depend on philosophical, political and legal definitions of "terrorism" and well as medical ones of sanity. Some will feel that is hardly the point.

If a soldier, a Muslim unhappy about waging war on other Muslims, gets in touch with a man well-known for advocating terrorism, shouldn't that "raise a red flag"? What do you think?


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  • 1. At 04:28am on 10 Nov 2009, Brad wrote:

    Yeah, one would imagine that it would raise a red flag. We'll have to see how seriously the FBI was investigating this fellow though. If it was a relatively casual investigation, the FBI may not have wanted to potentially ruin a man's career.

    And, is it pronounced "iman" in the UK?

    Regards,

    Brad

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  • 2. At 05:08am on 10 Nov 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    If a solider, a Muslim unhappy about waging war on other Muslims, gets in touch with a man well-known for advocating terrorism, shouldn't that "raise a red flag"? What do you think?

    Rather a dumb question, don't you think? Who is going to disagree with you? Apparently it did raise a red flag, but not so bright as to be considered a problem.

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  • 3. At 05:22am on 10 Nov 2009, keister7 wrote:

    David... I think the "not so bright" should be said about the gullible people responsible to protect us from our common enemies.

    Brad... Don't you think that even in the liberal hell hole we are forced to live in, maybe the careers of the killed and the innocent men and women should be the highest priority? Certainly should be more important than the cowardly types that slaughter the innocent unarmed men, women, and school children world wide.

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  • 4. At 05:36am on 10 Nov 2009, Alexander wrote:

    Everything about this debacle specks of something unaccounted for. Every article I've read since this story's inception into the media has been contradicted by a later article, if not blatantly doctored to include facts diametrically opposite to statements made moments before.

    Initial testimonies did nothing but cite his docility and the apparent lack of explanation for his motives. Others said he was privately seething over racial harassment. One day the New York times runs a testimony from the local imam who praises Hasan for being an ardent supporter of a non-violent interpretation of faith, the next day some less reputable news sources tell tales of his public outbursts. Why the ridiculous circulation of provocatively blurred, black and white photographs of Hasan when identical color copies high-resolution are produced by a simple Google search?

    At best this is a question of the US military trying desperately to save face, and at worst... a cover-up?

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  • 5. At 05:59am on 10 Nov 2009, DavidH wrote:

    Well, this shows the difficulty with investigating terrorism. In any other area of FBI investigation, they would identify their best targets and pursue those with the best chances of conviction. They could never aim to catch every criminal out there and they are not expected to. With terrorists, they are expected to do just that which means following every lead available, including those emails. But then leads multiply exponentially and in a short time they'll have everybody in the country under investigation, all the FBI's resources tied up and some difficult questions about the rights of individuals to be protected from being investigated on spurious evidence...

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  • 6. At 06:00am on 10 Nov 2009, tpapp157 wrote:

    Perhaps when some of your muslim journalist colleagues contacts a radical muslim cleric (regardless of the reason) that should raise some red flags? Or would that infringe on your profession and be an intolerable affront to journalistic prestige and the freedom of the press?

    Things like this happen. To seriously question the FBI's capabilities and judgment in saying that the messages were in line with the man's work is to invite a staggering degree of government censorship over professional academics. It's best to avoid trying to force the blame and leave it with the killer where it belongs.

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  • 7. At 06:21am on 10 Nov 2009, LynnD wrote:

    Mark, I think you need to take a step back, because you've gone native. This kind of pointless leading question is worthy of Fox News. Can we have some real journalism please, not just whatever crosses your mind while you're channel-surf-ing and eating your Fruit Loops?

    You can do better. And proof-reading would help too.

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  • 8. At 06:24am on 10 Nov 2009, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:

    My guess is a whole lot of peripheral contacts will be made to sound far more important than they really are and the real cause will be covered up. How much persistent bigotry did the man face on a daily basis before he cracked.

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  • 9. At 06:33am on 10 Nov 2009, Tyewa wrote:

    "If a solider, a Muslim unhappy about waging war on other Muslims, gets in touch with a man well-known for advocating terrorism, shouldn't that "raise a red flag"?"

    No.

    If either party says anything that could be construed as inciteful, then yes.

    When this story was first raised I because angry very quickly at the 'Muslim = terrorist' knee-jerk reaction. Now the FBI has quickly established no such connection. This does not mean to say that the man did the right thing (of course not) but that - shock horror! - he isn't a one dimentional Fundamentalist! [/tongue in cheek]

    In the future, could the BBC please avoid such fear-mongering, sensationalistic reporting and start giving us some proper, unbiased news please? If I wanted that I could read the Daily Mail.

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  • 10. At 06:43am on 10 Nov 2009, paul scarf wrote:

    I think Major Hasan's act, an assassination from within, will trigger off massive homeland security issues for America, and knowing how this government slavishly follows American policies, expect further curtailments of civil liberties here.
    As far as the war in Afghanistan goes it is the natural progression of opposition tactics. They only have to pull these stunts once for the wider implications to ripple down, ruinously expensive, for years. As we can see, so far, the last two wars this country has been involved with has nearly bankrupted us.

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  • 11. At 07:00am on 10 Nov 2009, Aadhaar wrote:

    As much Malik's actions are condemnable, I hope that the authorities (and the people) in the US (and elsewhere) are able to realize that by able to save Malik's life, they have in their hands a person who can provide them the answer "why" did he commit an act. I, for one, do not think it is likely that a US army personnel with over 20 years of service was hand in glove with the fundamental Islamic groups all along. Something (and I hope that this "something" is not some brainwashing as showing in those B grade movies) would have happened, and now with this act over and done with, it is all the more crucial to find out what happened.

    If the authorities are able to find out why Malik did such a thing, and if his reasons are made public, I hope we are able to learn and adopt practices which can prevent similar Muslims (not just in the US, but other countries as well, where they are in a minority) from taking such actions.

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  • 12. At 07:32am on 10 Nov 2009, keister7 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 13. At 08:04am on 10 Nov 2009, David wrote:

    IMO, after reading this article and others, it occurs to me that it is relatively easy to see that this person was harassed for being a Muslim "extremely" often.

    No one says it, (well mostly no one) because they are afraid of being too nice to a "traitor?" He was not a terrorist, he was IMO (again) a person who snapped. He didnt want to be extremely fringe oriented, he, unlike others, (or is this the way everywhere) WAS practically forced into this kind of "orientation."

    No one talks about these soldiers' hateful berating of Mr. Hassan because IMO, they were afraid to be considered anti-American, pro-Muslim.
    Isn't it so similar to 9/11, when people were drummed out of industries if they so much as ...squeaked dissent against Bush?

    We (now I do realize more and more) should be ashamed of our knee-jerk attitudes and actions. Sorry, for probably sounding oh so righteous, in advance. But, you know its "like having a revelation," then wanting to go tell everyone.

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  • 14. At 08:08am on 10 Nov 2009, Alam wrote:

    Yes, it should raise a flag. But a terrible incident still happened. At a macro level, the red flag has always been there, i.e. American public's overwhelming disapproval of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US government has bluntly lied to the American people on WMD in Iraq and success in Afghanistan. Why should people trust the US Government now, what if Malik has been made a scapegoat for someone else's action?

    Massacring people for various reasons seems to have become part of the American society and culture: the Columbine massacre, Virginia Tech massacre, Davidian massacre in Waco-Texas, Anthony Sowell case in Cleveland, Northern Illinois University's massacre, Kirkwood's council meeting massacre, Westroads Mall massacre in Omaha, Amish School massacare, Red Lake High School massacre, towns of Samson and Geneva massacre in Alabama, etc, etc... the list can go on an on.

    The more fundamental question is: is there something inherently wrong with the American society and culture?

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  • 15. At 08:42am on 10 Nov 2009, prasanna wrote:

    Iam from India . Before accusing any investigating agency of improper investigation into terror related crimes we must realise that Terrorism is often carried out by large network of people often located across continent.In short it is an act of war. When ever confronting such crimes very often these investigators must be allowed to byepass provisions in law. Most of the time the law becomes hinderance , since it is not meant to tackle war crime. This dilema is often faced by investigators of such crimes in India also.

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  • 16. At 08:52am on 10 Nov 2009, Honestly_speaking wrote:

    As a European citizen from the Middle East originally, and also, an Ex-Muslim, but an Atheist for long time, here is my input about Major Nidal Hasan;

    First, it is obvious that Major Hasan is a smart person, but with a shortage of experience of Real Lives of Real Civilian people, especially people from the Middle East. Yes, my analysis for his case that he used ISLAM as a TOOL to get out of the Military, and emphasise his point about the wars in the Middle East according to his Religious Believes!!

    The PROBLEM with Religion in general and ISLAM in particular, is that it poses a dilemma to its FOLLOWERS. It is clear for any sane ISLAM FOLLOWER that to defend what he believes in. The PROBLEM arises from personal/individual or minority interpretation of the ISLAMIC TEACHINGS.

    The problem also is that the door is widely open for different interpretation of the Islamic teachings!! In fact, this is the main problem of ALL RELIGIONS, since they DO NOT relay on LOGIC and REASON, but rather how you feel after your prayers and based on your religious indoctrination.

    In short, ISLAM was used by the Major to express or defend HIS views of the world, and what is justice or not.

    Solving this matter REQUIRES fighting EXTREMISM of all stripes of all religions. How to do that, I leave it to smart American People.

    Please DO NOT DEMONIZE THE WHOLE CULTURE based on one incident!!

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  • 17. At 09:02am on 10 Nov 2009, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Very obviously - they screwed up again. Remember however, this is the same outfit that took 17 years to catch the Unibomber and only then after his brother snitched him out.

    Also the guy was a psychologist and no one goes into that field unless he has mental problems himself. The ones I've met will even admit it. They go into psychology with the notion that perhaps they can fix themselves.

    So we have a guy who profession indicates he is quarter of a bubble off, he wants out of the Army and is in contact with Anwar al-Awlak who advocate killing Americans and instead of cutting him loose they tell him they are sending him to the middle east to further the obscenity that Bush got the US needlessly into.

    This is dumb, very dumb.Or maybe they were too busy drinking good whiskey to carry through with their investigation. The reason I say that is I had a friend who worked for the CIA and after he retired I ask him one day... "What does a spook really do"? He said "I spent 20 years in Manila drinking the best whiskey money could buy and that was about it".

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  • 18. At 09:11am on 10 Nov 2009, David wrote:

    I also think people are obsessed with this one incident,

    it should die out, because its an aberration--unlike Columbine, and other shooting acts--the fact that the person was a Muslim--

    Only in America :)

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  • 19. At 09:19am on 10 Nov 2009, Chris Q wrote:

    September 11th was a defining moment.

    We had a world appalled, absolutely shaken to the foundations, in horror at the slaughter of innocent men and women with no regard or shame.

    Rather than uniting in fury and contempt our political establishment actually turned it into a recruitment drive with the cynical invasion of Iraq. Who, in their honest opinion, now believes Iraq was either involved or a threat to us?

    Afghanistan was harbouring the directly responsible people involved in the incident.

    At that defining moment we allowed our political establishment to perpetrate the most damaging and divisive policy possible and it was done in the name of patriotism. I know, particularly in the States, that people find my suspicion of patriotism to be unattractive to them. However, look what it has brought us. A world even more thoroughly divided by race and religion, a world it is very unsafe to travel around and so many people dead that I doubt we can count the fatalities.

    There is a direct line fromo that moment to this, the latest atrocity in the "war on terror".

    And the evil, twisted, murderous people who dreamt up the attack on New York that day must really believe that the Politicians handed them a far greater victory than they could ever have imagined.

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  • 20. At 09:20am on 10 Nov 2009, Parvez Faruki wrote:

    FBI etc. are as in-competent as they were before 9/11. They could not distinguish between Red and Green. They are perhaps color-blind.They must remember the assasination of Mrs Indra Gandhi by her Sikh Gaurds who were retained by her against better advice. She was murdered on religious grounds.At least the authorities should go through the security of the Presidency, may be there is also a mole in coresspondence with some socalled Benign Al-Quaida Operator. Take care.

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  • 21. At 09:28am on 10 Nov 2009, jimbill41 wrote:

    I would suggest that the immediate response from the FBI would have to be that there was no terrorist plot. The American public and soldiers within the Armed Forces could easily start 'witch hunting' which would be disruptive to the military which heavily relies on arabic, pushtu and farsi speaking (amongst others) Muslims. Any links with Islamic extremists, if they are real, can always be made public later when things have cooled down.
    An underlying problem here of course is the easy availablity of concealable, high magazine capacity, rapid firing weapons.

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  • 22. At 09:38am on 10 Nov 2009, Tim wrote:

    This is the kind of 20-20 hindsight wisdom that the media are so good at, but which I definitely don't expect to find on the impartial BBC.

    It's absurd to expect authorities to pre-empt and prevent all crimes, and this kind of atrocity is no exception.

    I remember the furore after 7/7 when it was revealed that several plotters had come to the attention of MI5. Somehow the media expected MI5 to recognise that, out of the 2,000-odd "persons of interest", these were the particular persons that were going to launch a deadly attack.

    Of course, the case should be investigated to see what lessons there are to learn, but hanging out to dry the very people on whom we depend for our security is demoralising and damaging. It must stop.

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  • 23. At 09:47am on 10 Nov 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    I guess this highlights the utter absurdity of going to war against a concept like terror. How on earth can you win?

    All it takes is for one guy somewhere to decide "Right! I'm unhappy with this government. I'm going to shoot some folks/blow some folks up as a protest!"

    And there you are, "terror" is back.

    Or if that is too abstract, all you need is a bunch of guys to decide "We are going to strike at government X by killing some civilians.", and you have a terror organization.

    So the "war on terror" really is a never ending war, by definition. One whacko, and it is game on again.

    I guess that must be the logic followed by the Afpak guy, Mat Ho, when he pointed out the keeping troops in Afghanistan is absurd, if the aim is to defeat Islamic terrorists. Islamic terror is global, and all the serious terrorists have bugged out already and are in Somalia, or Chad, or Egypt, or Lebanon, or Rome, or Hamburg. Or New Jersey.

    So the aim in Afpak has to be something else, because it cannot possible defeat terror or global terrorists.

    And apart from corporate profits and saving face politically, why are Americans dying and killing in Afpak?

    I feel so sorry for those guys. I refuse to believe any american soldier signed up to be used as political punching bag, just so that the speech writers don't have to think too hard about what is next weeks copy. What a sucky job.

    The worst actors are the high level officers who are clearly in it for the promotions and so they have extensive memoirs to publish when they get home. They are keeping the farce going, with their phoney concern and their calculated patriotism.

    The US should brings it men back home, and let the terrorists weigh the pro's and con's of having another cheap shot like 9/11. I don't think any place on earth is under any illusions about what they have coming if they have a go. So the afpak regions goes to hell? So what? Pay the price of entertaining those who wish to make war on the USA.

    It isn't nice on the ten o'clock news, but since when did US troops have to pay the price because the world isn't nice?

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  • 24. At 09:53am on 10 Nov 2009, kieran_nelson wrote:

    Mark Mardell,

    How often would you like the M15 to read your inbox?

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  • 25. At 10:06am on 10 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    This is an example of why groups like the ALCU should be disregarded. We are so concerned about political correctness and profiling that the U.S is pu at risk.

    By ending the wire tapping of foriegn calls and other (feel good and make liberal moonbats happy )measures we are at more risk.

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  • 26. At 10:21am on 10 Nov 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    22 PorterRockwell

    "It's absurd to expect authorities to pre-empt and prevent all crimes, and this kind of atrocity is no exception."

    We live in a time of unrealistically heightened expectations. For nearly a decade or more we've been fed Hollywood fantasies like "CSI" that portray law enforcement as nearly omniscient and unerring. There has already been a noticeable impact on the court system as well.

    As you say, there is no way that any law enforcement agency can identify violent individuals ahead of time. To do so, we'd have to transmute into some sort of Orwellian dictatorship, with every action and word and thought of every citizen and visitor monitored 24 hours a day.

    And it isn't or wasn't solely the FBI's responsibility, either. Maj. Hasan was screened on entry to the military, and routinely since, and also has had to pass several background investigations. None of these, of course, are designed to catch the gradual evolution of someone's ideas.

    Although tarnished of late, the FBI are probably also victims of their own self-generated 75 years of mystique.

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  • 27. At 10:26am on 10 Nov 2009, Jon12345 wrote:

    Lets face it how many times has something like this happened? If unhappy people who more than likely have mental health problems of some sort have the right to own semi automatic hand guns with high capacity magazines what do you think will happen?... School kids, office workers, troops...Outcome will be the same.

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  • 28. At 10:47am on 10 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    When we see that middle eastern countries give sactuary to terrorists like Al Awlaki, you have to wonder how many of them want peace and are interested in denouncing terrorism.

    Unless you are Egypt or Jordan you have not proved it.

    Another apologists El Baredi was on Charlie Rose insiting that Iran can be negoiated and under no circumstances should be attacked. He discounted Israeli concerns saying that it was rhetoric. I wonder why?

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  • 29. At 10:50am on 10 Nov 2009, mjbsen wrote:

    Mark - this is the first time I have posted after regularly reading your blog since you started in Brussels. I know that modern 24 hour news consists mainly of speculation when something like this happens but I, like several other posters, was shocked by your"question". I thought you were working for a serious news organisation and this smacks of something you would find in the Daily Mail or the Sun.
    It is funny how Americans cry foul about "Big Brotherism" when it comes to socialised (= socialist = pinko = communist) medicine but want the FBI etc to spy on anyone emailing someone of doubtful (moslem = foreign = terrorist) background.
    I am therefore assuming that you were asking the "question" playing devil's advocate......

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  • 30. At 11:48am on 10 Nov 2009, Jon wrote:

    Mr Mardell you and the rest of your BBC colleagues were one of the quickest to try and quickly squash the notion that the attck by this individual was inspried by his political and religious beliefs.

    You and your colleagues were quickly speculating and reporting heresay from unknown sources that he was in fact being bullied etc and that this might be an alternative explination for his actions.

    However you were also very quick to label any other specualtion about it being because of his religious and political beliefs as unsubstantiated.

    Therfore I find it very funny that you are now questioning why the American authorities did not pick up on this individual earlier when frankly you and your BBC colleagues own bias showed up in your reluctance to even want to report this event.

    I am still waiting to discover a media outlet in this country that simply reports the news without any political or special interest spin or influence on how that news is reported and ultimately distorted.


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  • 31. At 12:11pm on 10 Nov 2009, BackToReality wrote:

    @ Keister7 : I really feel for you, forced to live in such a repressive country, waiting in vain for an exit visa which never arrives; having to listen to such horrible, life-denying rhetoric spouted by the likes of Keith Olbermann, Barack Obama and the like ...
    Thank the Lord that enlightened countries and rulers still exist (China, Iran, Saudi-Arabia), and shine their light unto the nations. I'm sure they'll welcome you with open arms.

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  • 32. At 12:15pm on 10 Nov 2009, Charlie White wrote:

    The difference between Jew (Christian) and Islam (Arab) goes back thousands of years to the two sons of Abraham
    Charlie White

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  • 33. At 12:17pm on 10 Nov 2009, G_K___ wrote:

    The cleric doesn't even come into it.

    You have a muslim in your army, and you send him to kill his fellow muslims, in a country which you have invaded. If he says he's NOT unhappy about that, that's when the bleedin red flag should be raised.

    And then, when this man - whom you have personally trained to maim and kill - makes it clear that he is very uneasy about the idea, what then? Do you admit to yourselves, "Well that's perfectly understandable, we are after all the aggressor in this conflict"? Or do you just carry on blithely - "Well, yur in thu Army soljer, heh heh heh..."

    The red flag should have been raised before we invaded these countries in the first place - incidents like this are simply the unsurprising consequences of our own actions.

    Contrary to the views of religious extremists, the wages of sin are not well-accounted in this world. The wages of aggression and stupidity, however, are tragically evident.

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  • 34. At 12:49pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    Actually, all this raises more than one red flag and on more than one flagpole. The NYT quotes an anonymous FBI source in making a link between the two; the FBI itself does not confirm any names. This is association by implication, it's not evidence as yet.

    It is rather odd that what appears to be a rather large website of more than 200 pages should suddenly become inaccessible except for this now notorious page of praise of Hasan's action, so that is for the moment all we can assess al-Awlaki on, is it not? Google it, you'll find that single page easily. You will also read a comment that claims it was not written by Awlaki and that he has said so. But, with now nothing to make comparisons with it's hard to judge the truth of that. One feels one is being manipulated just a little here. That's one red flag.

    Another is that effectively the FBI has now told everyone who is an American Muslim, and especially those in government service, that their private emails are not only being collected but read. In terms of counter-terrorism, this seems somewhat counter-productive. One assumes that anyone concocting a plot by email would be circumspect and elliptical in any case, but now even more so, and presumably in future even more difficult to detect. Red flag two.

    Red flag 3: did Hasan know, or was he told, and if so in what way, that his communications with others were being read? You only have to recall the events of the McCarthy era to know what being under suspicion can do to people. It's led some to commit suicide. And one way of committing suicide is to go out shooting people in the expectation that you will be shot yourself.

    Red flag 4: this is, I think, the third or fourth incident where a soldier has suddenly and unexpectedly run amok and killed those around him in the last couple of years. As others have pointed out, this incident however is the only one so far where the perpetrator is a Muslim, and of Arab descent.

    Red flag 5: now why, when we are told so often that those born on the USA are "American" more than "Ukrainian" or "Puerto Rican" or whatever nationality their parents or grandparents were, does this man's origin assume importance when it has not for those who have done similar acts?

    24. At 09:53am on 10 Nov 2009, kieran_nelson wrote: Mark Mardell, How often would you like the M15 to read your inbox? Very likely they do every so often, as they probably read one or two of mine now and then. But given the billions of emails, not to say text messages, flying about, if you think about it to read, or listen to, everyone's communications as a matter of course would employ half the world's population full time.

    All this surveillance is not preventive as a general rule. How could it be? If I'm going to burgle a house with someone at 2 am tomorrow morning and email them, I'm going to write "see you at the usual place, be ready", not "Bring the jemmy along to such-and-such a place and then we'll break into so-and-so's on the dot of 2 and Shylock wants you to take the silverware to him on Thursday afternoon in the purple Transit with the yellow stripes" am I? Not unless I'm a complete idiot.)

    This is not the first time an American soldier has turned his gun on his fellows or senior officers (or thrown a grenade at them, something I have been told apparently common enough to have been given a name, "fragging", though I would have thought 'mutiny' would serve); the essential question is why does it happen?And why, seemingly, more often in the US armed forces than other Western ones?

    It's a very uncomfortable question that's in danger of being obfuscated. Why do these soldiers want to mutiny?



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  • 35. At 1:03pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    32. At 12:15pm on 10 Nov 2009, Charlie White wrote:

    The difference between Jew (Christian) and Islam (Arab) goes back thousands of years to the two sons of Abraham


    I think this deserves a prize for the most theological, genetic, historical and chronological confusions ever achieved in less than 20 words. Awesome, as they say.

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  • 36. At 1:11pm on 10 Nov 2009, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:

    I doubt that outside observers like us can possibly know whether the contacts between the major and the imam were a cause for concern. Maybe they should have raised a red flag, maybe the contacts were perfectly legitimate in the context of the major's work. That, ultimately, is for folks like the FBI to determine.

    What I think raises huge questions, however, is how on earth the major had access to loaded firearms in what should have been one of the most secure areas on the planet. Sure, in an army base, there will be a need for some people to have access to firearms and sometimes even live ammunition. However, is it too much to expect that access should be controlled in some way? Why on earth does a psychiatrist need to be armed while inside an army base?

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  • 37. At 1:21pm on 10 Nov 2009, AndreaNY wrote:

    What I see in this horrible event is that the line between an angry, deranged, prone-to-violence murderer and "terrorist" may not really exist. Maybe they are simply one and the same.

    What I also see is greater concern for the man who committed this horrible act than for those poor soldiers who were defenseless in their presumed safe environment. He violated something more than their physicial safety.

    He also demonstrated how concern for one's religion should not come at the expense of our soldiers' safety. Flags were raised, and now, hopefully, they'll be noticed.

    Expecting a man who became a pyschiatrist because he could not stand the sight of blood to enter into the field of battle was probably the first flag that should have been raised.

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  • 38. At 1:23pm on 10 Nov 2009, AndreaNY wrote:

    34. squirrellist: "It's a very uncomfortable question that's in danger of being obfuscated. Why do these soldiers want to mutiny?"

    *****************
    Ask away. Study it for decades, in fact. In the meantime, protect our soldiers from these guys.


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  • 39. At 1:26pm on 10 Nov 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    1 brad
    "And, is it pronounced "iman" in the UK?"


    Iman is a somalian supermodel, married to David Bowie .... I hope she has nothing to do with this.

    Although Bowie did have a song with the chorus line "I'm afraid of Americans".....

    This should raise a few red flags.

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  • 40. At 1:30pm on 10 Nov 2009, jimnatl wrote:

    It depends on the content of the contact. If he was asking for clarification on a Koran passage, for instance, then one could see why the FBI didn't act.

    More important to me is what medications this psychiatrist was taking for his depression. Why have the BBC not asked that of authorities? You are the one news entity that I thought might not be in the pocket of the drug manufacturers.



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  • 41. At 1:31pm on 10 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "I doubt that outside observers like us can possibly know whether the contacts between the major and the imam were a cause for concern."

    They are because his views are pro-terrorist. Its pretty cut and dry. This guy is a 'radical' cleric, he had 10-20 emails between them. He also may have tried to conact Al-Qaeda. He was religiously motivated, as he had no problem killing people - just other Muslims.

    If you think it is impossible to be a devout Muslim and still do things like this please read the Qur'an and Hadith for yourselves and get some primary-source knowledge.

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  • 42. At 1:33pm on 10 Nov 2009, Stephen Todd wrote:

    Well Mark I bet you didn't expect all that ire! The major was a Palestinian American who shot 13 people dead. I thought your question about red flags was more rhetorical than it appears to have been taken. I'd make the point though, that if it were me that was emailing a dodgy website; I'd make sure that it was within my terms of reference and blind copy the correspondence to my boss.

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  • 43. At 1:39pm on 10 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "It depends on the content of the contact. If he was asking for clarification on a Koran passage, for instance, then one could see why the FBI didn't act."

    Seriously? It should be perfectly fine that a US Major gets his religious interpretations from a radical cleric associated with the men who carried out the 9/11 attacks. That is just stupid.

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  • 44. At 1:47pm on 10 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    I think this tragedy shows that they need better security for every department of the bases and better screening for people who join,however I don't think besides that,that the FBI or military or others failed at their jobs.I think this guy who shot everyone is an idiot,wouldn't it have been better to go AWOL and go to jail than hurt others and go to jail.This guy was mentally off and I don't think it would have mattered what his religious or ethnic background was.He sounds like he was a lonely unstable loser,who wanted to blame someone for why his life sucked except himself.

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  • 45. At 2:06pm on 10 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    25. At 10:06am on 10 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    "This is an example of why groups like the ALCU should be disregarded."
    __________

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Keep in mind that you, and all other Americans, have been the beneficiaries of the work of the ACLU. They are defending your rights, too.

    Standing up for civil rights is often a lonely, unpopular, and thankless business, yet, like a free press, it is vital to the survival of a democracy that there be at least some people prepared to do it.

    In the last five days we have had dozens of postings here about how state provision of health care is such an intolerable threat to freedom and liberty.

    Well, in that context, how would you like your phone conversations to be monitored by the state? Is that less of a threat to your liberty? Do you not think that such activities should be subject to safeguards against abuse? Do you not think that the decision to permit wiretaps should be subject to judicial oversight and review?

    We do not judge the provision of civil rights by how we treat the guilty. We measure civil rights by what would be acceptable treatment of a person who turns out to be innocent, but who has been wrongly suspected or accused.

    There may come a day when you will be very thankful for the existence of the ACLU.

    __________

    A few years ago the Academy Award for best foreign film went to:


    "Das Leben von Andern"


    I believe that the English language title is "The Lives of Others".

    It is highly topical given the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. You might want to watch it if you get the chance.

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  • 46. At 2:17pm on 10 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    When this guy goes to court to is going to be a circus.Especially if he is tried with treason by military courts.I guess that's what they're trying to find out now if it was act of crazy or treason against the military and US government.I guess we will just have to wait for the charges to be filed.

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  • 47. At 2:22pm on 10 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    I don't understand why you would have a problem with ACLU,they just want everyone to have a fair trial with the facts.They just make sure justice is blind and trials are fair based on the act not the persons background,with a fair jury.Either way I think this guy is a traitor attacking the military personnel crazy or not,whatever his reasons and whether or not he is a civilian or military personnel,but again everyone has to wait for charges and reasons.

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  • 48. At 2:29pm on 10 Nov 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 49. At 2:30pm on 10 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    Detroit Metro has a large Middle East Population,the fact that people are treated like everyone else is why they feel like everyone else.You don't want to make people of any ethnic or religious background feel like an outsider or a criminal.For the most part we have a good community and don't want it ruined.As far as I can tell the Mid eastern and Americans have no different values or problems than the rest of us.Same goes for people who are Muslim because some Muslims are not from Mid eastern ancestry,and many mid Eastern Americans are Christians.So how are you going to screen people.

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  • 50. At 2:35pm on 10 Nov 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 34 squirrellist-

    Good posting. Thank you for pointing out that implication is not evidence. We have seen so often in these threads that one person's speculation or conjecture becomes accepted as fact, then is used to support another person's speculation or conjecture which becomes accepted as fact...

    Good to see you back, squirrellist.

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  • 51. At 2:46pm on 10 Nov 2009, Y wrote:

    I'll give you an example where you might reconsider your rhetorical question. I know that Al-awlaki, the imam linked to Al-Qaeda in this instance, released several audio books on "Stories of the Prophets" which are quite popular amongst practicing Muslims for their detail and narration on the lives of Biblical figures from an Islamic perspective. These CDs themselves don't preach violence and several friends who listen to them completely disagree with Al-Awlaki's separate political views (or, more often, are completely oblivious). Would listening to these tapes alone taint someone as a terrorist sympathizer? Would contacting Al-awlaki for a copy of or a question on the product (which for all we know Hasan did) establish a "link to Al-Qaeda"?

    The only reason I may still answer "yes" to your question, though, is the special nature of the military. There are already many rules that military members are subjected to above and beyond a layperson, especially on political views, that would warrant at least a second glance. But I believe our 1st Amendment protects an ordinary citizen from any "red flag."

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  • 52. At 2:52pm on 10 Nov 2009, redpoppy2 wrote:

    Is this the same red flag raised when ex-Präs Bush embedded journalists in tanks in Iraq? Were you one of them? And do we have their reports today? Another red flag: where is this democratic america of free speech and free thought and tolerance of criticism from within or from outside? Of course, this massacre might not have happened, if those who share different views are also accepted as free persons - like the Palestinians. During the reign of Hitler many could and did not speak thoughts contrary to mainstream opinion. Some of them fled to America. Why does America think her mainstream view is not to be challenged?

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  • 53. At 3:08pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    38. At 1:23pm on 10 Nov 2009, AndreaNY wrote:

    34. squirrellist: "It's a very uncomfortable question that's in danger of being obfuscated. Why do these soldiers want to mutiny?"

    *****************
    Ask away. Study it for decades, in fact. In the meantime, protect our soldiers from these guys.


    How do you propose to do that if you don't know why it happens? You assign every soldier an armed guard to shoot him if he (or she) starts shooting himself? You assign every soldier someone to watch him or her 24 hours a day for signs of stress? Isolate every soldier in a padded cell who does? Watch everybody who might be a "loser"?

    I trained as a psychiatric nurse in a secure hospital where one of my colleagues, and a friend, was killed by a patient. We knew that patient's history, he was watched with especial care because of it, and his medication strictly controlled, but even so, no-one saw it coming. It might have been me; the same man had threatened me only a few months before. But he didn't threaten my colleague, or show any sign of what he was about to do; he just acted.

    So you see, even when you know the risk, and it is evident, protecting people against it is not so easy.

    As I have said, this is not an isolated incident. There is evidence that at Fort Hood many soldiers also resort to domestic violence and crime on returning from a tour of duty. What causes all this? Is it something about their training? Is it the extended tours of active service or short periods of leave? Is it something to do with the command structure and individual responsibilities within it, which I am told is different and more hierarchical than in the British army. As are assessments by officers of their juniors, where I understand even a minor reservation is often avoided because anything other than outright positives and enthusiasm affect the chances of promotion.

    Isn't that what a senate committee ought to be looking at? If no-one in the US army is.

    (Btw, AFIK, army medical staff are not trained, or expected, to go into combat; I can only speak from what I know of the British armed forces where officers who are not expected to go into action have, I think, twice a year or so to demonstrate proficiency with a weapon on a range, but that is a very different thing. I know one who hardly ever carried even a sidearm in dangerous areas but relied on a soldier as a bodyguard. On the grounds, he said, both he and others around him were likely to be much safer with a soldier who knew what he was doing and had a good deal more experience. Whatever Major Hasan's reasons for his action may have been, an aversion to killing other Muslims himself I do not think can be a plausible one.)

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  • 54. At 3:19pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    51. At 2:46pm on 10 Nov 2009, Y wrote:

    'But I believe our 1st Amendment protects an ordinary citizen from any "red flag." '

    It does not, I think, say anything about privacy. And your Patriot Act certainly does not protect any US (or if it comes to that, any non-US citizen who has any communication with the US) from any 'red flag'.

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  • 55. At 3:26pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I think this tragedy shows that they need better security for every department of the bases and better screening for people who join,however I don't think besides that,that the FBI or military or others failed at their jobs.I think this guy who shot everyone is an idiot,wouldn't it have been better to go AWOL and go to jail than hurt others and go to jail.This guy was mentally off and I don't think it would have mattered what his religious or ethnic background was.He sounds like he was a lonely unstable loser,who wanted to blame someone for why his life sucked except himself.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FBI, military failed once again..There competence should be questioned..The only time they suceed in get the guy or guys is when they plant an idea into people's mind themselves, the case of those so called terrorists who tried to bomb a synagouge in newyork..they apprehended those guys not because they were competent, but because they had manipulated the whole incidence themselves..The guy was in the military not your average civilian, the military should have had him under survellance, the military knows what its soldiers and officers do in their free time, which chruch or mosque or pub or cafe or park they go to..such a careless attitude, I hope american's nuclear arsenal is safe..

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  • 56. At 3:29pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    51. At 2:46pm on 10 Nov 2009, Y wrote:

    Would listening to these tapes alone taint someone as a terrorist sympathizer? Would contacting Al-awlaki for a copy of or a question on the product (which for all we know Hasan did) establish a "link to Al-Qaeda"?

    See my 34; apparently the answer to your question is now expected to be "Yes".

    Thanks for telling me--and others--what else that site comprises which we can no longer, it seems, access for ourselves.

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  • 57. At 3:31pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Major Hasan's reasons for his action may have been, an aversion to killing other Muslims himself I do not think can be a plausible one.)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Then how about his aversion to torture other muslims? He was a palestinian, who if spoke arabic, could have been ordered to supervise the many missing arabs in american jails in afghanistan.

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  • 58. At 3:41pm on 10 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #45

    Keep in mind that you, and all other Americans, have been the beneficiaries of the work of the ACLU. They are defending your rights, too.

    Standing up for civil rights is often a lonely, unpopular, and thankless business, yet, like a free press, it is vital to the survival of a democracy that there be at least some people prepared to do it.

    ________________________-

    The ACLU is very selective in whose rights they will support. When is the last time they supported a moderate or right wing's person. they were very silent when the Minutemen were shouted down at Columbia where is their brief on the ROTC being barred at Harvard.

    I see no problem when wire taps are being monitored in countries like Yemen or Lebanon which have terorist represetative there.

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  • 59. At 3:57pm on 10 Nov 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    Why should a few emails raise a red flag? Major Hasan was conducting an authorized research project for the military into PTSD and, according to the FBI and the military, there was nothing in the letters that might indicate anything other than that the man was doing his job.

    There was no failure on the part of the authorities. If anything, the fact that an American citizen, who happens to be a Muslim, was allowed to communicate with a known terrorist sympathizer and judged to be loyal, honest and no threat whatsoever, is a measure of just how open and non-judgmental most Americans are when it comes to their fellow Muslim citizens. It also proves that the American military as an organization does not hate Muslims. The fact that we are at war with people who just happen to be Muslims is really of no account. They could just as easily be any other religion.

    In Bosnia we fought Christians to protect Muslims from genocide, but does anyone who claims the US is engaged in some sort of holy war against Muslims mention that? No. It's far easier to paint with broad brush strokes and make ridiculous claims that allAmericans hate Muslims when that's simply not the case.

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  • 60. At 4:04pm on 10 Nov 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 53 squirrellist-

    "...army medical staff are not trained, or expected, to go into combat; I can only speak from what I know of the British armed forces where officers who are not expected to go into action have, I think, twice a year or so to demonstrate proficiency with a weapon on a range, but that is a very different thing."

    U.S. military medical staff are also not trained, nor expected, to be combatants. There is some self-defense training, and very basic training of combat; since anyone in a combat theater may be inadvertently drawn into a combat situation and should know how to react and protect themself.

    The mission of military medical staff in a combat theater is to provide health and humanitarian care, not be a combatant.

    As in the British armed forces, U.S. medical officers are expected to maintain a minimum proficiency in the use of a side-arm for their protection. An annual test of side-arm proficiency is mandatory to rate the officer's ability to meet the minimum requirement.

    Even military chaplains are required to have minimum proficiency in the use of a side-arm.

    I remember a chaplain who was having serious moral issues with taking side-arm training and completing the firearms range test. We spent considerable time rationalizing with him until a Major in the medical unit to which the chaplain was assigned told him, "K, there may come a time when you are ordered to carry a side-arm because we are heading to a theater of combat. I don't want you accidentally shooting me in the [posterior] because you weren't properly trained to handle a weapon. Now get out on that firing range and take your training!"

    The Major and the chaplain were very good friends. The chaplain chose to take his training and passed his proficiency test. He was a surprisingly good shot, as it turned out to be.

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  • 61. At 4:05pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:


    It depends on the content of the contact. If he was asking for clarification on a Koran passage, for instance, then one could see why the FBI didn't act."

    Seriously? It should be perfectly fine that a US Major gets his religious interpretations from a radical cleric associated with the men who carried out the 9/11 attacks. That is just stupid.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And what about samuel hungtinton's clash of civilization." The people of the west must hang together (against muslims)is the lesson he preaches No one ever thinks of calling samuel hungtinon a terrorist, except the late Edward Said, infact the so called experts and the educated love(ed) to refer to his book...

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  • 62. At 4:15pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    57. At 3:31pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist

    Fruitless speculation. I'm not going to add to them. One might equally speculate that another soldier who has also attacked others may have done so because, a vegetarian, he was ordered to eat chicken. Let's try to stick to what few facts and such evidence as we have so far.

    I was trying only to show the potential flimsiness of one which seems to have gained currency and the fallacy of assuming all officers (or soldiers) in armed forces are trained in combat or even experienced and familiar with weapons.

    (Though, as one or two have pointed out, American citizens, in or out of the armed forces, may well have more familiarity with weapons than we Europeans would expect. I'm probably a relative rarity over here having actually used a pistol--firing blank cartridges in a stage play I hasten to add--but I doubt if I'd remember now how to load one even.)

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  • 63. At 4:21pm on 10 Nov 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Sure, it;s a "red flag." But rampage killers generally give warning signs which are not taken seriously. Here is a report of a stusy from The New York Times on the subject.

    The difference here is that the FBI and the Army were in the loop, and the supposition is that they should presumably be more competent at predicting this sort of behavior. They should be, but they are only human, too.

    Fault the Army for not reassigning him, if you like. Their motivation is that they have a need for persons with psychiatric training, so they are not inclined to let someone off the hook easily. They send people where the need is. They can't let soldiers pick their assignment; it's not the way military service works.

    The "red flag" should have been buying a weapon which is commonly known as a "cop killer." Evidently, the FBI did not have this information:

    Newsweek - Isikoff

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  • 64. At 4:24pm on 10 Nov 2009, Abdal-Latif wrote:

    Well, you know, here in the U.S. we have the Constitution. Or we did, before the Patriot Act. So my question is: how in the hell did the FBI come to read all of Hasan's e-mails, and why does Mr. Mardell seem to assume that this is normal? Do Muslims have no rights? Or perhaps none of us do, in the age of Terrorism Paranoia. Let's get a little perspective: far more people are killed by drunk drivers in any given year, than all the people who were EVER killed by "terrorists." So let's go after those 16-year-old "terrorists" driving around with a 24-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon in the passenger seat.

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  • 65. At 4:34pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    In Bosnia we fought Christians to protect Muslims from genocide, but does anyone who claims the US is engaged in some sort of holy war against Muslims mention that? No. It's far easier to paint with broad brush strokes and make ridiculous claims that allAmericans hate Muslims when that's simply not the case.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nope you bombed serbia because of your own reasons...Imagine after fall of ussr and newly liberated east european countries, you wouldnt have wanted serbia to be an influencial country and ally of russia? And the intentions were to end the war, not to extend it to the other parts of europe..Contrary to your belief, Bosnians were fighting back, ofcourse with the help of muslims from other countries...Just like in afghanistan..Ben laden would have easily found his way into Bosnia..

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  • 66. At 4:40pm on 10 Nov 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrellist (#34), "fragging" is distinct from "mutiny," which is why there is a separate term. It originated in Vietnam, and was applied to the practice of getting rid of specific officers, and blaming it on the enemy.

    This incident is neither.

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  • 67. At 4:45pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The fact that we are at war with people who just happen to be Muslims is really of no account.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The fact is that you chose to go on an unjust war against muslims..The fact is that you didnt end with afghanistan, but conjured up lies to attack iraq, another muslim country, and now, in pakistan, because you decided to derail your mission in afghanistan to attack iraq, and now you have included another country pakistan in this war..Path to iran seemed quite easy from usa after your invasion to afghanistan and iraq, but in reality it wasnt, so you have to bulldoze pakistan..Nothing just happens, things are carefully planned...but wars arent..and thats why neither you nor you leaders know which way to go, comes such small incidences, which then give you short term goals..and your leaders a chance to again scare you into thinking that the the mess they are creating is actually to make your lives safe and you readily accept the reason..

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  • 68. At 4:45pm on 10 Nov 2009, Scott0962 wrote:

    Hind sight is always 20/20.

    Yes, apparently the FBI and the Army dropped the ball on this one but they can't drag people in for questioning over everything that could be construed as suspicious. For one thing they don't have the manpower and for another the level of suspicion and intrusion into people's lives would not be tolerated by the American people. Our security services walk a fine line between protecting us and creating a police state. No doubt they will take the lessons from this incident to heart and make changes to better protect us in future but we also need to remember that in a free country we cannot be 100% safe.

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  • 69. At 4:47pm on 10 Nov 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    "Especially if he is tried with treason by military courts." (from #46)

    It's certainly not "treason," it's murder. Hardly anybody is tried for treason. There have only been a handful of such cases in the entire history of the US.

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  • 70. At 4:48pm on 10 Nov 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    65. At 4:34pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Nope you bombed serbia because of your own reasons...Imagine after fall of ussr and newly liberated east european countries, you wouldnt have wanted serbia to be an influencial country and ally of russia? And the intentions were to end the war, not to extend it to the other parts of europe..Contrary to your belief, Bosnians were fighting back, ofcourse with the help of muslims from other countries...Just like in afghanistan..Ben laden would have easily found his way into Bosnia..

    Thanks for making my point! Nice revisionist history by the way.

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  • 71. At 4:54pm on 10 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    58 Magic.

    They rarely go after the causes that I particularly support, either, but that still doesn't mean I want them to be ignored or to go out of business.

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  • 72. At 5:00pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Thanks for making my point! Nice revisionist history by the way.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your point, let me remid you was the ridiculous assumption that america bombed serbia to stop genocide of bosnians...which is totally false..

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  • 73. At 5:01pm on 10 Nov 2009, Brad wrote:

    Ref#3
    Keister,

    Until the Major committed his crime he is presumed innocent. Heck, even now until after his trial he is presumed innocent. It is a concept that has been with our country for quite a while. And, you are not forced to live in the States.

    Ref#33
    Hand,

    Army doctors are not trained to maim and kill.

    Regarding the gun issue. The ability to own a firearm does not drive someone to kill.
    My main question about "red flags" would be how MAJ Hasan's colleagues did not notice anything wrong...

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  • 74. At 5:09pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    In Bosnia we fought Christians to protect Muslims from genocide,
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you call death of 47 bosnians as genocide, I think israelies would touch the roof in protest..

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  • 75. At 5:14pm on 10 Nov 2009, David Diaz wrote:

    Regarding all of the comments so far, there is much with which I agree, on both sides of the issue. I disagree with racial/religious profiling, and I disagree with unjustified (illegal) wiretapping. This is all hindsight now, and the Major must be interrogated. He must pay for his crimes.
    But...
    As a retired AF member, I submit that, in the end, the most important objective is to WIN. It's "their" jihad, but we must win, at all costs. So, see each perspective as a cost, and realize that we will sacrifice our beloved "rights", one at a time, until the objective (Victory) is achieved. Even in a staunch democracy, such as ours, we must make the necessary sacrifices to win this war.
    And so must our enemies.

    David

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  • 76. At 5:14pm on 10 Nov 2009, Politicsjunkie1 wrote:

    If the US considers this a terrorist attack and responds they way we did last time, we'll have to invade Canada.

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  • 77. At 5:22pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Until the Major committed his crime he is presumed innocent. Heck, even now until after his trial he is presumed innocent. It is a concept that has been with our country for quite a while. And, you are not forced to live in the States.

    Ref#33
    Hand,

    Army doctors are not trained to maim and kill.

    Regarding the gun issue. The ability to own a firearm does not drive someone to kill.
    My main question about "red flags" would be how MAJ Hasan's colleagues did not notice anything wrong...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Whether army doctors, or engineers are trained nor not trained is an irrelevant detail.The fact is both the military and the FBI failed in their tasks to apprehend it, although we now know that FBI was keeping tracks on this guy...They fail to do the task, and as a result, innocent muslims email and personal corrospondece will be intercepted...Waste of resources..

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  • 78. At 5:24pm on 10 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    70. GLP

    LOL.

    A few years ago I got into a discussion with a taxi driver from Pakistan.

    Did he like living here? Oh, yes, but it wasn't like living at home. It was much better there. (Didn't say "Ok, so why do you choose to keep living here?). Instead I asked him about cricket, and so on. Somehow cricket led to suicide bombings.

    He was Taliban supporter. He went on at length about the Taliban being really nice guys. I should meet his friends ...

    He was unshakeable in his belief that America was always against muslims.

    So, like you, after about half an hour of this, I asked him to explain why America had intervened in Bosnia. I asked him what strategic interest America had in Bosnia, of any kind. I asked him why America felt a need to intervene, when the leading European powers stood by for years and did very little.

    Even though he had lived in North America for more than ten years, and had been here well before the start of the Bosnian war, he could not, at any level, understand or accept that US intervention in Bosnia was driven by public opinion. He couldn't understand that public disgust at the unending tale of innocent people murdered, and disgust at the inability of our feckless European allies to bestir themselves to put a halt to genocide less than 40 minutes' flight time from Vienna, would have caused America to act in a country where it had no strategic interests whatsoever.

    No, it had to be some conspiracy ...

    At one level it was funny, but at another level it was profoundly sad.

    And now this echo today.

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  • 79. At 5:35pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    As a retired AF member, I submit that, in the end, the most important objective is to WIN. It's "their" jihad, but we must win, at all costs. So, see each perspective as a cost, and realize that we will sacrifice our beloved "rights", one at a time, until the objective (Victory) is achieved. Even in a staunch democracy, such as ours, we must make the necessary sacrifices to win this war.
    And so must our enemies.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    it is your crussade. And, since you are now retired, you can avoid the word, "must", will save you from feeling dissapointed when you fail to win ,and making all sorts of reasons for your failure. You can instead, say, "it would be nice, if we won", in that case, no disspointments and you can live happily ever after.

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  • 80. At 5:37pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    64. At 4:24pm on 10 Nov 2009, Abdal-Latif wrote:

    "So my question is: how in the hell did the FBI come to read all of Hasan's e-mails, and why does Mr. Mardell seem to assume that this is normal?"

    I thought it was one of those 'open secrets' that our GCHQ and your NSA do it all the time. The intercept programme even has a name which for the moment I've forgotten.

    I think before I emailed any Imam or Sheikh, I'd Google the name first to see if some foundation, Congressional Committee or even a newspaper or blogger had ever suggested he might have anything to do with "terrorism" or "militant Islam" however flimsy or circumstantial the evidence. (And btw, the bio MM links to is very circumstantial, fwiw. But he's labelled as having suspect connections even if it's all inference more than anything else, so there you are. The FBI is bound to be watching the email traffic in the hope, however vain, Bin Laden sends him an electronic postcard saying "Wish you were here" with a big X on it one day.)

    Myself, I rather tend to avoid using a friend's title of "Sheikh" (an ancestral, inherited one, his family is Christian, nothing to do with Imams or Islam) these days, just in case of silly misunderstandings.

    It's a puzzle to me why anyone can imagine anything they do or send over the internet is actually any more private than an old-fashioned postcard everybody could read the back of. Less so, even, because you leave a map right back to your home almost every time you use it.

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  • 81. At 5:48pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    75. At 5:14pm on 10 Nov 2009, David Diaz wrote:


    "But...
    As a retired AF member, I submit that, in the end, the most important objective is to WIN. It's "their" jihad, but we must win, at all costs. So, see each perspective as a cost, and realize that we will sacrifice our beloved "rights", one at a time, until the objective (Victory) is achieved."

    Or until there are no "rights" left to sacrifice for the victory that has still to be achieved? The word for that kind of victory is "Pyrrhic".

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  • 82. At 5:52pm on 10 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 83. At 6:05pm on 10 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Ninny back on form

    "38. At 1:23pm on 10 Nov 2009, AndreaNY wrote:
    34. squirrellist: "It's a very uncomfortable question that's in danger of being obfuscated. Why do these soldiers want to mutiny?"

    *****************
    Ask away. Study it for decades, in fact. In the meantime, protect our soldiers from these guys."


    THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HE (squirrelist) SUGGESTS.

    Protecting the soldiers.
    You seem more concerned with revenge.


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  • 84. At 6:06pm on 10 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Same goes for people who are Muslim because some Muslims are not from Mid eastern ancestry,and many mid Eastern Americans are Christians.So how are you going to screen people."

    Very, very true. I *do* think we should profile Muslims but outside of watching mosques and Islamic organizations I am not sure how. We certainly should not be profiling Arabs, as people like Richard Reid and John Walker Lindh would slip through the cracks.

    "Would listening to these tapes alone taint someone as a terrorist sympathizer? Would contacting Al-awlaki for a copy of or a question on the product (which for all we know Hasan did) establish a "link to Al-Qaeda"?"

    Yes! Maybe not a link to Al-Qaeda, but this is part of the problem. These mythical moderate Muslims should be ostracizing him, not looking at it as: "Well he makes great tapes, its really unfortunate that he promotes mass murder of innocents - oh well, lets listen some more!"

    "The people of the west must hang together (against muslims)is the lesson he preaches No one ever thinks of calling samuel hungtinon a terrorist, except the late Edward Said, infact the so called experts and the educated love(ed) to refer to his book..."

    Does his book call for violent action? If he doesn't promote violent opposition then he really isn't the same is he?

    "Fruitless speculation. I'm not going to add to them. One might equally speculate that another soldier who has also attacked others may have done so because, a vegetarian, he was ordered to eat chicken. Let's try to stick to what few facts and such evidence as we have so far."

    No, you wouldn't speculate that. Why?

    -Vegetarians have not shown themselves to be involved in the majority of recent terror attacks.

    -Vegetarians do not have a holy book in which it is stated that being loyal to other Vegetarians and Jihad for Vegetarianism (the 'belief set') are more important than anything else.

    Pretty simple. If they did, however, why WOULDN'T you suspect it?



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  • 85. At 6:14pm on 10 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    colonel

    time to take you to task
    "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srebrenica_massacre"

    screw your 47.
    Bosnia conflict was a sad joke. there was little protection given to the muslims. there were christians attacking them.. , Make that point if you wish to illustrate a recent christian massacre but don't deny the massacre.
    I am not holocaust denier nor a Bosnian massacre denier.
    Both happened and the Armeinian one too.

    I would also agree that americans do very little to protect Muslims on the whole.
    I would also add that Mrs clinton didn't get shot at when arriving.

    Dude you lost the only one that ever defended you here.


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  • 86. At 6:19pm on 10 Nov 2009, dceilar wrote:

    Colonelartist

    Re: Bosnia

    I'm of the opinion that the US (and other members of NATO) attacked Serbia to justify the existence of NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union. NATO acted alone in it's 'humanitarian intervention' of bombing Serbian civilians without Security Council authorisation. NATO's attack violated the UN charter and NATO's! This talk of NATO and USA protecting Muslims is just something they tell the punters; it was really NATO flexing its muscles. NATO didn't give a damn about the plight of the minority Muslims in the former Yugoslavia, if they did, they would have had encouraged negotiation instead of flaming the fires of hate in the region.

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  • 87. At 6:22pm on 10 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    PS colonel
    I'm not saying they went in to serbia to save muslims either. they just happened to be the ones getting saved.
    (though it can be said they didn't exclude them from being saved so they did try)

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  • 88. At 6:25pm on 10 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "Fruitless speculation. I'm not going to add to them. One might equally speculate that another soldier who has also attacked others may have done so because, a vegetarian, he was ordered to eat chicken. Let's try to stick to what few facts and such evidence as we have so far."

    No, you wouldn't speculate that. Why?

    -Vegetarians have not shown themselves to be involved in the majority of recent terror attacks.

    -Vegetarians do not have a holy book in which it is stated that being loyal to other Vegetarians and Jihad for Vegetarianism (the 'belief set') are more important than anything else.


    -----------

    have you not heard there are some pretty violent vegetarians out there.
    Now if you are engaging in testing on animals there are a even more violent group.

    The Gov calls them terrorists.


    I don't agree.
    I call them violent fools

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  • 89. At 6:29pm on 10 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    84 again a racisty comment. this comment may be refferred to the moderators but this Tino is just a racist.

    " mythical moderate Muslims "

    well then I better run hard becasue there are muslims everywhere that have not attacked me yet they must just be planning something , right.

    You tar a whole religion .
    As was pointed out Bosnia was full of Christian killing Muslims and the americans and west waited for some time to get involved.

    (no kidding)

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  • 90. At 6:40pm on 10 Nov 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Here's a link to the vegetarian klillers.

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  • 91. At 6:50pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    84.Tino:

    Since you apparently only believe in the existence of one sect and one interpretation of the Koran, all others being "mythical", I take it you will have no objection, given all the evidence of these "Christian Fundamentalists" mostly in the USA who take their texts from the Old Testament and Revelations and promote the idea of destruction and a 'rapture' at the expense of most of the rest of the New Testament, if in future I refer only to "mythical moderate Christians"?

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  • 92. At 7:22pm on 10 Nov 2009, Rebecca wrote:

    There is much anxiety among U.S. government agencies regarding racial and ethnic profiling that I feel it often clouds active diligence and practical standards with cases such as this. A fine balance of sensitivities and security is very hard to achieve. Unfortunately, I'm in favor of erring on the security side which may result in some harassment of ethnic minorities. However, now, because of the failure to be diligent on the part of the F.B.I., there will probably be more backlash against Arabs in the military than if the authorities had followed through initially.

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  • 93. At 7:29pm on 10 Nov 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #73. Brad: "you are not forced to live in the States."

    American citizens cannot move from one country to another on a whim, so unless another nation accepts them as immigrants, then they are forced to live in the United States. Immigrants to the United States are another proposition but even they cannot enter legally just because they want to. Most people are obliged to stay where they were born.

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  • 94. At 7:46pm on 10 Nov 2009, McJakome wrote:

    2. At 05:08am on 10 Nov 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    "If a solider, a Muslim unhappy about waging war on other Muslims, gets in touch with a man well-known for advocating terrorism, shouldn't that "raise a red flag"? What do you think?

    Rather a dumb question, don't you think? Who is going to disagree with you? Apparently it did raise a red flag, but not so bright as to be considered a problem."

    I don't agree that it is a dumb question for Mr. Mardell to raise, I think it is a good question to ask of Politically Correct (PC) procedures in organizations tasked with defending the citizenry. Ask it also of social groups and society at large. At what point does self-defense require a cold hard look at procedures and at potential dangers [most definitely including potentially dangerous people]?

    Also, how far is it permissible to go in democratic societies? We do not have many public scrutiny cameras in the US [even in Massachusetts] and I think we could use more, Britains complain that the UK has too many. The FBI could very well have been treading lightly because the present administration would not have been as lenient as the previous one with intrusions on the people's rights.

    It appears that US laws may be more likely to err on the side of civil rights whereas UK laws may favor security. How do you read it?

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  • 95. At 8:06pm on 10 Nov 2009, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Chatting with an advocate of terrorism might not toss a red flag -- but there were a number of factors that, combined, might have offered warning. Might. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    I wish I could fact-check it, but I recently read that in some months this past year the number of soldier suicides outnumbered deaths in combat. This whole mess is complicated and ugly.

    This guy's job was to help broken soldiers make sense of the senseless - to become at peace with their war. Conducting research about extremist Islamic ideas would have been perfectly justifiable. Unfortunately, this guy let it get to him and he let it drive his actions.


    Does anyone remember the Protestant Reformation?
    There was a lot of blood lost as the various sects tried to eliminate one another. Even John Calvin and Martin Luther gave orders to kill infidels. Fortunately, we don't have nearly as many Christian Fundamentalist Hate Crimes these days. A few, but not as many.

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  • 96. At 8:27pm on 10 Nov 2009, McJakome wrote:

    8. At 06:24am on 10 Nov 2009, Doctuer_Eiffel wrote:
    My guess is a whole lot of peripheral contacts will be made to sound far more important than they really are and the real cause will be covered up. How much persistent bigotry did the man face on a daily basis before he cracked.

    None of my family went murderously berserk when faced with signs reading. “Irish need not apply.” Nor when JFK’ campaign turned up some “Don’t vote for Rome rule” sentiment. He was treated no harsher than others before him, indeed, rather less harshly in an America more committed to equality for all [not to mention PC].

    13. At 08:04am on 10 Nov 2009, stellarBeloved wrote:
    “IMO, after reading this article and others, it occurs to me that it is relatively easy to see that this person was harassed for being a Muslim "extremely" often.”

    And just how do you know the frequency and content of all harassing statements to him? Have you shared this detailed and intimate knowledge with the investigators? How was his harassment greater than that of other groups [gays, women, democrats, Red Sox fans, etc.] and so much more a trigger of violent actions. Methinks thou dost protest too much.

    15. At 08:42am on 10 Nov 2009, prasanna wrote: “…When ever confronting such crimes very often these investigators must be allowed to byepass provisions in law.”

    Absolutely not! As a biblical reference, what matters if you gain the world but lose your soul? We must adhere to what distinguishes us from our enemies, which includes respect for the law, and especially the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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  • 97. At 8:37pm on 10 Nov 2009, keister7 wrote:

    Before 9/11 the FBI had position of a computer that contained the terrorists plans. The policy of making laws to coddle the criminals by the liberal lawmakers in America, prevented the authorities from "invasion of privacy of the killers and would not allow the contents to be reviewed.

    Us Americans live in a sick society, and unfortunately, a to much of the industrialized world is using us as their model.

    We will end up destroying our selves as we have already destroyed our culture.

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  • 98. At 8:39pm on 10 Nov 2009, keister7 wrote:

    Byt he way, Philly-Mom... Anyone that remembers the Protestant Reformation is really, really OLD!

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  • 99. At 8:48pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Bosnia conflict was a sad joke. there was little protection given to the muslims. there were christians attacking them.. , Make that point if you wish to illustrate a recent christian massacre but don't deny the massacre.
    I am not holocaust denier nor a Bosnian massacre denier.
    Both happened and the Armeinian one too.

    I would also agree that americans do very little to protect Muslims on the whole.
    I would also add that Mrs clinton didn't get shot at when arriving.

    Dude you lost the only one that ever defended you here.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------- so called american help to bosnian is like scartching tip of your little fingure to stand among the matyrs. That massacre happened under UN protection. It happened under the watchful eyes of the UN. they let it happened...Just like they let the jews be killed, and just like this bosinian episode, take credit for bombing the nazis...You ,unlike me, have to not deny these two things, they happened in your civilization in the broad day light...I can on the other hand deny ir or not, its my luxury...And just to save you from waking up late to find out about another ethnic cleansing, I strongly suggest you all should pay a lot of attention to the pathans being killed in the name of some war..or else, you would in five years time, would be forcing me to not deny the genocide of pathans..

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  • 100. At 8:59pm on 10 Nov 2009, McJakome wrote:

    34. At 12:49pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrellist wrote:
    “Red flag 4: this is, I think, the third or fourth incident where a soldier has suddenly and unexpectedly run amok and killed those around him in the last couple of years. As others have pointed out, this incident however is the only one so far where the perpetrator is a Muslim, and of Arab descent.

    Red flag 5: now why, when we are told so often that those born on the USA are "American" more than "Ukrainian" or "Puerto Rican" or whatever nationality their parents or grandparents were, does this man's origin assume importance when it has not for those who have done similar acts?”

    This seems to be poor research or juiced up argument. As to #4, the attack by one US soldier on others in camp in Kuwait was committed by an American Muslim. As to #5,
    This is too generalized to be taken seriously, much less answered. Suffice it to say that some Irish Americans supported the IRA and others did not. Some had to be watched to find money and arms going to the IRA. Some Puerto Ricans tried to kill Pres. Truman, others have fought courageously in the US Army, as did German Americans and Japanese Americans in WWII. So just what is the point of this Question?

    36. At 1:11pm on 10 Nov 2009, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:
    “I doubt that outside observers like us can possibly know whether the contacts between the major and the imam were a cause for concern. Maybe they should have raised a red flag, maybe the contacts were perfectly legitimate in the context of the major's work. That, ultimately, is for folks like the FBI to determine.

    What I think raises huge questions, however, is how on earth the major had access to loaded firearms in what should have been one of the most secure areas on the planet. Sure, in an army base, there will be a need for some people to have access to firearms and sometimes even live ammunition. However, is it too much to expect that access should be controlled in some way? Why on earth does a psychiatrist need to be armed while inside an army base?”

    Absolutely brilliant!!! This is the main reason why abolishing firearms in the US is so fraught. If it can’t be done by the military in a restricted area, what makes anyone confident that it could be done safely in the country at large? Bravo! The NRA will be so glad for a new and rational defense.

    64. At 4:24pm on 10 Nov 2009, Abdal-Latif wrote:
    “Well, you know, here in the U.S. we have the Constitution. Or we did, before the Patriot Act. So my question is: how in the hell did the FBI come to read all of Hasan's e-mails, and why does Mr. Mardell seem to assume that this is normal?”

    Calm down and remember that e-mails can be read at both ends and in transmission. They were most likely read by people keeping track of the Al Qaida Imam. And rightly so.

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  • 101. At 9:06pm on 10 Nov 2009, Cherokee wrote:

    People want red flags; they want proven points to blame,hate and condemn. That, I think is only natural. I think we went into this war without understanding the people or their cultural. We keep sending the same troops overseas time and again. They have little to look forward to when they come home; a few months, a year. I am surprised someone hasn't gone crackers before now. Even in Vietnam, you didn't do several tours unless you wanted it. Those soldiers have no release from the stress they suffer day to day. While I was service, we had to deal with serious bomb threats, murder in broad daylight on a US military post and while I was overseas, I wore my civilian clothes more than my uniform; because the local population hated our "occupation" of their country, we were told it was not safe to be seen in a uniform. I saw some people go completely natters, especially the dependents, who where always on edge.
    Finding red flags now wont't help the dead and wounded now. Our soldiers need more of a break between combat tours.

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  • 102. At 9:11pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I am not holocaust denier nor a Bosnian massacre denier.
    Both happened and the Armeinian one too.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWPDZhgISdw

    here is another massacre for you first to accept and hopefully some day you would be lecturing people like me or that taxi driver in north america mentioned in the blog, that you are not its denier either..

    The name is, Dasht-i-Leili massacre.

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  • 103. At 9:19pm on 10 Nov 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    Several posters one here have stated that "hindsight is always 20/20". Oh, of course I know that phrase, but though it's said everytime we have such a tragedy I don't actually know that it's true. I mean, look at it this way. I'm only twenty years old, but already since I was born not only has the Berlin Wall fallen, but also there have been many tragic shootings in my country. Columbine, Nickel Mines, Virginia Tech, etc.

    If our hindsight is really so good, why does the problem continue?

    Probably in some months, or a few years there will be another mass shooting by a madman.

    Many of my friends and relatives will be out in the woods in a few weeks hunting, and I certainly wouldn't want to deny them that right. But the guns they use are fundamentally different from the guns that mass killers use. Mass killers don't typically just dust off Grandpa's old hunting rifle and get out some cartidges. Why? Well, they have to be reloaded. The exact process depends on the type of gun, but for those of you who know nothing about guns here's a link so you can have some idea of what that means: http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm.rifle-cartridge-reloading.html

    Compare that with the type of handgun the killer at Ft. Hood used, which only needed to be reloaded once every 40 bullets. That's a pretty big difference.

    As for the argument that we need guns in self defense, that idea seems a bit absurd. I don't trust my government much at all, but I really don't think that a semi-automatic handgun will provide much protection against them. For one thing, I can't even imagine pulling a trigger and killing somebody. Also, the US gov't has plenty enough nuclear weapons to kill everybody in the US, if they so chose (though why they'd want to I don't know). Not a pleasant thought.

    Do note, though, that I think the Europeans who want the US to ban guns are absurd. That kind of law just doesn't go over well here in the US. It is impractical with the number of firearms already out there. It would also create an ecological disaster in PA and probably some other states because of the deer population.

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  • 104. At 9:25pm on 10 Nov 2009, Don Swift wrote:

    DavidHolmshaw has a good point. Since there's no way to track every lead, and that applies to all policing not just chasing terrorists, shouldn't the question be:-
    Why, given that there are undetectable nutters around, are soldiers not on guard duty, on base in the US allowed to carry loaded weapons?

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  • 105. At 9:34pm on 10 Nov 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Don Swift (#104), you should take into account that Ft. Hood is the largest US military base in the world, with about 50,000 soldiers and perhaps 30,000 civilians. It's a small city. It's policed like a small city. Cities don't have police standing around on every corner waiting for something to happen. You hope they are not far away when needed, and that turned out to be the case here.

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  • 106. At 9:35pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Since there's no way to track every lead, and that applies to all policing not just chasing terrorists, shouldn't the question be:-
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This was not your everyday, ordinary lead, it was an officer in the us military..A high priority lead.

    http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a092199zammarcall.
    Same incompitencies then and now.

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  • 107. At 9:42pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I'm not saying they went in to serbia to save muslims either. they just happened to be the ones getting saved.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Its called collateral save.

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  • 108. At 9:45pm on 10 Nov 2009, McJakome wrote:

    93. At 7:29pm on 10 Nov 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    #73. Brad: "you are not forced to live in the States."

    “American citizens cannot move from one country to another on a whim, so unless another nation accepts them as immigrants, then they are forced to live in the United States. Immigrants to the United States are another proposition but even they cannot enter legally just because they want to. Most people are obliged to stay where they were born.”

    Depending upon what you really meant to say, I might find this post somewhat offensive. Isn’t everyone legally required to live in their country of birth or citizenship unless another country agrees to accept them? Into which countries can one immigrate legally just because one wants to or “on a whim?” Apparently people can and do enter the US without permission, and may even get citizenship. Americans are not "obliged to stay where they were born." Did you intend a universal truth in anti-American garb?

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  • 109. At 9:45pm on 10 Nov 2009, mak massoud wrote:

    As a Moslem I feel terribly sorry for this horrific mass murder. No faith includig Islam justifies killing innocent people. Even if this man later said that he was motivated by religious thoughts, he would be telling lies. I have no doubt in my mind that he is sick, cruel and had no understanding of this great religion or indeed any religion. Please keep Islam away from these absurd senseless killings. I just hope that the people across the Atlantic would separate the two issues. They must understand that his actions have no relationship whatsoever with Islam

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  • 110. At 9:45pm on 10 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    colonelartist wrote:
    I am not holocaust denier nor a Bosnian massacre denier.
    Both happened and the Armeinian one too.

    __________________________

    But you do seem to deny that people who misuse Islam are the number one terrorist threat in ther world. and that the moslem world does do enough in opposing them.

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  • 111. At 9:53pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    But you do seem to deny that people who misuse Islam are the number one terrorist threat in ther world. and that the moslem world does do enough in opposing them.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I cannot deny or accept that which I dont even believe in...Thats your narrative..And if i deny something, its this western narrative which you have mentioned.

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  • 112. At 10:00pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    As a Moslem I feel terribly sorry for this horrific mass murder. No faith includig Islam justifies killing innocent people. Even if this man later said that he was motivated by religious thoughts, he would be telling lies. I have no doubt in my mind that he is sick, cruel and had no understanding of this great religion or indeed any religion. Please keep Islam away from these absurd senseless killings. I just hope that the people across the Atlantic would separate the two issues. They must understand that his actions have no relationship whatsoever with Islam
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tell me, how many times since the past 9 yrs have different muslims said the same thing everytime such an episode happens? And how many times have any christian or atheist ever mentioned or ever felt the need to explain and defend their beliefs when their forces, their protectors kill inncocent muslims? You have internalize their narrative, and ergo the urge to be defensive,apologatic, and excommunicating muslims..For your information, excommunicating is not islamic, its a christian tradition..

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  • 113. At 10:02pm on 10 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    colonelartist wrote:
    But you do seem to deny that people who misuse Islam are the number one terrorist threat in ther world. and that the moslem world does do enough in opposing them.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I cannot deny or accept that which I dont even believe in...Thats your narrative..And if i deny something, its this western narrative which you have mentioned.

    ____________________-

    That you refuse to believe it shows a lack of reality:

    9/11 Islamic terrorists
    7/7 Islamic terrorists
    Mumbai Ilsamic terrorists
    Terrorist missle attacks from Lebanon - Islamic terrorists

    You are part of that moslem world that refuses to denounce the terrorists in your midst. You will deny if Iran starts shooting nuclear missles?

    Or is it acceptible when islamic terrorist kill every other religions followers?

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  • 114. At 10:11pm on 10 Nov 2009, tomvonpeake wrote:

    Don't you think that it's hard to really praise or criticize the FBI's judgment when we do not in fact have the communications themselves in front of us? I don't imagine that there will be very much meaningful commentary about these communications until they are made available to the public. Until then, I for one am going to assume that the gentlemen at the FBI must have received some degree of training in their jobs and that the communications did not contain anything so damning that they felt they had a case, as sad as the consequences of that may be.

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  • 115. At 10:25pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    But you do seem to deny that people who misuse Islam are the number one terrorist threat in ther world. and that the moslem world does do enough in opposing them.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However I dont deny that governments, (to be noted i used the word governments) which misuse democracy are the number one terrorist threat in the world. Based on facts, and not being driven by emotions, the reality is the people whom you claim misuse religon to commit terrorism, have taken less lives and not destablized usa,or uk.. than the governments who misuse democracy. the score is as per today.3100 plus minus 30 as oppossed to tens of thousands killed in afghanistan, pakistan and iraq, one country destablized, one is being destablized and the first one to be the victim afghanistan is what it was prior to invasion, except that you have a fraud president who got elected due to false voting and the governments of democracy, usa and uk, dont seem to mind at all..Which is lesser of the two threats to the world ? ..(dont go into some unforseen future, just stick to the facts of present and past 8 yrs). Its one thing that a group of people act in that way, but its totally a different thing when governments act in the same exact way and then want to be seen as the savour of the world.

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  • 116. At 10:27pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    MagicKirin wrote:
    colonelartist wrote:
    I am not holocaust denier nor a Bosnian massacre denier.
    Both happened and the Armeinian one too.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By the way, to be noted I didnt write that,so dont falsely accuse me for writing something which I didnt write.

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  • 117. At 10:39pm on 10 Nov 2009, Shiloh wrote:

    The level of security clearance one has obtained might determine how high the red flag would rise. The higher the security clearance the higher the threat; the higher the red flag would rise. The level would be consistent with security consideration towards military espionage. The military is primarily focused on espionage, mental health is most always addressed after the fact.

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  • 118. At 10:42pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    You are part of that moslem world that refuses to denounce the terrorists in your midst. You will deny if Iran starts shooting nuclear missles?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    treating Future scenarios as reality is not what I am good at, so I dont indulge in that.its what experts and politicians of your world do, thats why you can excel in this as well. What I dont deny is america using the bombs twice..and I marvel at their logic that their atom bombs saved lives.. Seems, like their citizens, the nuclear bombs of the western civilization save lives.

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  • 119. At 10:44pm on 10 Nov 2009, Mahmood QAZI wrote:

    WHY BLAME ISLAM?

    Individuals, not religions, carry out inhuman acts!

    Islam is a religion of peace, accepted and practiced by more than 1.25 billion people worldwide. It is the fastest-growing religion in the world, and if it was what some critics claim, why should the people from all walks of life from around the world keep embracing Islam? Where is the sword now?

    In Islam, a person has the right to defend himself, his family, his country or his neighbor(s), which justifies the resistance being offered by the people of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir and Palestine, to attacks on their soils by the so-called liberators, who are actually the occupiers.

    The Holy Qur’an clearly states that if a person saves one life, it’s as if he saved humanity, and if a person kills one human being, it’s as if he killed humanity.

    What is happening in the enslaved Muslim countries is a natural reaction to occupation, bombings, killing and terrorizing of innocent civilians (children, old men and women), rapes, in addition to looting of resources, national antiques and artifacts, above all the destruction of their property by the occupiers.

    Terror breeds terror.

    We assure those who bash Islam that if there was no occupation in this world by foreign invaders, there would be no resistance – the so-called terror.

    We would like those who criticize Islam to explain the following acts committed by the Christians on Jews, other Christians and Muslims alike, throughout history:

    - Hundreds of thousands of Muslim men, women and children killed by the crusaders, who were Christians.

    - Inquisition of Jews and Muslims from Spain by Queen Isabella, a Christian.

    - Millions of people killed by the European and American Christians during the two world wars and the civil wars.

    - Atrocities committed on millions of Jews and Christians by Adolph Hitler, a professed Christian.

    - Hundreds of thousands of Christians killed every year by the Irish Christians, including the British and the IRA, both Catholics and Protestants, during the past few centuries. Why they are not blamed to be “Christian Terrorists, or Catholic Terrorists, or Protestant Terrorists?”

    Both of them believe in Jesus Christ, who told them to turn the other cheek, and both of them believe in the same Lord, Who commanded that “Thou shall not kill.” Period.

    - Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, in the United States of America, was a Catholic. Are all Catholics terrorists?

    For more than sixty (60) years, the Zionists are actively involved in the genocide of a whole nation, killing a number of Muslims in the occupied territories of Palestine on a daily basis with machine guns, missiles from helicopters, tanks, and bombs from F16s, under the watch of the western countries, the so-called champions of the human rights. How do you explain that?

    Just by labeling the freedom fighters as terrorists and launching another holocaust on the poor Palestinians as revenge will not wipe out the crimes or the guilt of Hitler! Where are the justice, equality, freedom, and above all the human tights of Palestinians, dead or alive, propagated by these champions of human rights?

    Last but not least, the bombings, killings, lynching, murders and raping of innocent Native American Indians and black slaves (Afro-Americans) committed by the so-called Christians in the United States during the past 200 years of history. What about them?

    Will those filled with hate for Islam blame Christianity for the above inhuman acts by Christians in various parts of the world since its inception?

    If not, then why are they blaming the religion of Islam for what is a natural reaction to occupation of Muslim countries by foreign invaders?

    Most importantly, these folks should know that the three (3) great Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – have one common basis, and that is one God Almighty.

    “All men (and women) are created equal, and we all are one nation under Almighty God,” is a clear cut statement according to the Holy Qur’an and is very well elucidated in the Constitution of these United States, one of the champions of the human rights.

    Lastly, yet importantly, as brothers in humanity, we recommend those Islamophobists filled with prejudice to get life and an education in the history of Islam and Muslims, before they dare to write nasty letters, articles, and news releases, using out of context verses from the Holy Qur’an and distorted statements from the true traditions of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), full of personal, ingrain hate and vendetta against Islam and Muslims.

    We would be pleased to provide anyone with free copies of the Holy Qur’an and Islamic literature in English or any other language, which would help them to understand the truth about Islam and Muslims and get rid of all hate from their systems, God willing.

    May God Almighty show the light to all those, who believe in one mankind, as children of Adam and Eve, hence brothers and sisters, no matter what they believe in, Amen.

    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”
    - Samuel P. Huntington (Author The Clash Of Civilisations).

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  • 120. At 10:49pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Until then, I for one am going to assume that the gentlemen at the FBI must have received some degree of training in their jobs and that the communications did not contain anything so damning that they felt they had a case, as sad as the consequences of that may be
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Forget the gentlemen of the fbi, they will probably blame the military for not cooperating with it...What about the military itself..to have a person who openly is against it, the military must either be in desperate need of people or just sleeping.

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  • 121. At 10:54pm on 10 Nov 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    tomvonpeake (#114) "Don't you think that it's hard to really praise or criticize the FBI's judgment when we do not in fact have the communications themselves in front of us?"

    You are absolutely correct, of course. But you are not getting into the spirit of blog commentary, which for many is to expound at length off the top of one's head on subjects about which one knows next to nothing.

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  • 122. At 10:55pm on 10 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #115


    Of the 3 countries you mentioned the Iraq, afghanastan and Pakistan the majority of people being killed are by the same Islamcic terrorists.

    Just as the majority of intolerant countries are those governed by islamists.

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  • 123. At 10:59pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”
    - Samuel P. Huntington (Author The Clash Of Civilisations).
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thank you very much. Like I said earlier, this book was recommended , and read by the westerners in their reserch insitutions, and universities, except for late Edward Said, I dont think anyone called Samuel Huntington a terrorist.

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  • 124. At 11:01pm on 10 Nov 2009, stockton2295 wrote:

    This incident seems to me to have far more in common with the Washington sniper, or Columbine, or the Virginia Tech massacre. These happen every few months in the US. Furthermore, whatever prohibition there is against Muslims killing Muslims doesn't seem to carry much weight: the current situation in Pakistan, for example. Nearly all the Muslims killed in Afghanistan and Iraq have been killed by other Muslims. Think of the Iran-Iraq war, and again and again further back in history. Like Christianity, Islam has a strong pacific component, but it is hardly definitive. Compare the Amish or Jehovah Witnesses. Current evidence is that the Major was not a terrorist, and any increased "red flag" searches brings us closer to an Orwellean Big Brother society.

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  • 125. At 11:06pm on 10 Nov 2009, Jeff Cowell wrote:

    Speculation is a manifestation of conceit. Wait on the facts. There are a range of possibilities from a simple judgment in error to a sinister plot, but we know little at this point.

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  • 126. At 11:06pm on 10 Nov 2009, mickthebish wrote:

    What ever this persons race, crede, religion, or motivation was will not justify murdering and injuring so many people. It will not change any precieved injustice to others who have suffered the same actions by others, it will just reinforce the cycle of violence that appears to be endemic around the world. If you are violent towards me, I will be more violent towards you, and so it goes on. We do not know the reason why this person chose to do what he did, so let us wait and hope to find out. All I know is that increasing acts of violence solves nothing.

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  • 127. At 11:16pm on 10 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Of the 3 countries you mentioned the Iraq, afghanastan and Pakistan the majority of people being killed are by the same Islamcic terrorists.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    That comes, under destablization..I gave you the statistics of two misusers of their beliefs...the misusers of democracy have killed more than the misusers of religon..And their killings are more systematic being the governments, they have infrastructure to systematically kill unlike group of people..You have let your governments to stoop lower than the groups..Now, a small insignificant example, ben laden, and individual said he wished to take the war to the americans dwelling, and 9/11..Bush the president of a country, replied after a few days, in english, that he would take the war to the terrorists, and attacks first afghanistan and then iraq..And no one among you blinked at this translated reply of bush a president to ben laden, an individual..I would have died in shame if bush was my president..You never allow your governments to act like some indiviual terrorists..otherwise the thin line between the ideologies of groups of terrorists and that of governments vanishes. this is the reality..you are living in the world of perceptions..and we all know perception is just a civilized word for deception. ask don quixote, who perceived the windmills to be his enemies and went after them..

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  • 128. At 11:18pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    103. At 9:19pm on 10 Nov 2009, trueconservative wrote:

    "If our hindsight is really so good, why does the problem continue?"

    That's what I'd like an answer to. But is anybody using their eyes to really look for it?

    Btw, I'd like to correct a small misapprehension. Not all European countries, though the laws on what types of gun you may own, and who may buy one, differ between them, are as exclusive about it as Britain, which is something of an exception. Handguns, rifles and shotguns can be bought in Belgium, for example, they can be seen in gunshops, though these are hardly commonplace. In the part of France where I spend a fair amount of time, many people own shotguns for hunting wild boar, though where they buy them or the ammunition I don't know and have never had any inclination to find out.

    In the UK farmers often own and use shotguns, as do people who go shooting deer, pheasant and rabbits, but you must have a licence from the police and their storage is strictly regulated. You may not "discharge a weapon" or transport one uncovered, let alone loaded, in an urban area, or so the only friend who I know who actually had one told me when I wistfully asked once if he could do something about the damn pigeons . . .Other weapons--including crossbows you might be interested to hear--like handguns, you have to have a very good reason to get a licence for, like target shooting at a serious level, and things like assault rifles and submachine guns are absolutely out.

    Of course, these weapons turn up on the streets illegally.

    We Europeans, you see, do not actually either live in or propose entirely gun-free countries; what we have, by and large, is a consensus that keeps weapons designed for killing large numbers of people at once in a very short time in the hands of the armed forces or the police. (It's a myth, btw now, that we do not have armed police in Britain; we do, and it's a sight that still slightly takes me by surprise although I'm used to it in on the continent, though the majority are unarmed still.) You wouldn't have to worry about the deer population under European rules, though the deer would.

    What puzzles us is in a way is simple mathematics. The only purpose of weapons that fire umpteen bullets in a matter of seconds is to kill people. Assuming that massacring entire populations of deer in one afternoon is not what is commonly meant by 'hunting'. So why are these things allowed? And when they are, why is anyone surprised that they are used precisely for the purpose for which they are designed?

    Why some people. particularly in the USA, use them for that instead of taking it out on a herd of buffalo or something of course is the question.


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  • 129. At 11:19pm on 10 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #119

    For more than sixty (60) years, the Zionists are actively involved in the genocide of a whole nation, killing a number of Muslims in the occupied territories of Palestine on a daily basis with machine guns, missiles from helicopters, tanks, and bombs from F16s, under the watch of the western countries, the so-called champions of the human rights. How do you explain that?

    ________________________-

    Its not occupation the land is Israel's. The Palestinans have conducted terorism on for land they have no right to.


    Just as the Lebanese allow Hezbollah to fire from their territories.

    Be honest the Palestians and most Arab nations can not live in peace.

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  • 130. At 11:19pm on 10 Nov 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #121 GH1618.

    Aha,some one with a sense of the ridiculous,& a very good evening to you..

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  • 131. At 11:20pm on 10 Nov 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    Colonel Artist: You're trying to do a filibuster, eh?

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  • 132. At 11:48pm on 10 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    119. Mahmood QAZI

    Well, I've just been reading about the Ismailis . . .Islam has had, and does now, its violent schisms. But Christians do seem to forget rather readily that two of the Crusades were actually against other Christians.

    Samuel Huntington's summary is absurdly simplistic. One is hard put to find any civilisation in recorded human history that has not 'won' by its "superiority in organised violence". Whatever point of the compass or whichever hemisphere it belonged in. Even if, sometimes only for a relatively brief period of time. Long before either Christianity or Islam, too, and in the names of other gods and other philosophies.

    And, proportionately, perhaps people need to be reminded in the 21st century, often killing far more of the population.

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  • 133. At 11:50pm on 10 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    #119 Mahmood

    "We would like those who criticize Islam to explain the following acts committed by the Christians on Jews, other Christians and Muslims alike, throughout history:"

    You got it.

    "Hundreds of thousands of Muslim men, women and children killed by the crusaders, who were Christians."



    "Inquisition of Jews and Muslims from Spain by Queen Isabella, a Christian."

    I don't want to endorse the inquisition, at all. So I will let you answer your own question:

    "In Islam, a person has the right to defend himself, his family, his country or his neighbor(s), which justifies the resistance being offered by the people of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir and Palestine, to attacks on their soils by the so-called liberators, who are actually the occupiers."

    Because: The Spanish Inquisition can be seen as an answer to the multi-religious nature of Spanish society following the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors (Muslims). For over 500 years, much of the Iberian Peninsula was dominated by the Moors following their invasion of the peninsula in 711 until the early thirteenth century.

    "Millions of people killed by the European and American Christians during the two world wars and the civil wars."

    These were wars? I am not sure how to respond to that, it is not the same as a terrorist attack.

    "Atrocities committed on millions of Jews and Christians by Adolph Hitler, a professed Christian."

    1.) His religious views are far from certain.
    2.) They did not provide motivation for his terrible actions, and therefore the comparison is totally off.

    "Hundreds of thousands of Christians killed every year by the Irish Christians, including the British and the IRA, both Catholics and Protestants, during the past few centuries. Why they are not blamed to be “Christian Terrorists, or Catholic Terrorists, or Protestant Terrorists?”"

    Again, they are Irish terrorists - because their motivation is NOT their religion. I know this is not hard to understand, so I can only assume you might be feigning ignorance?

    "Both of them believe in Jesus Christ, who told them to turn the other cheek, and both of them believe in the same Lord, Who commanded that “Thou shall not kill.” Period."

    Yep, probably why they might find it difficult to yell "God is great!" while they kill each other.

    "Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, in the United States of America, was a Catholic. Are all Catholics terrorists?"

    Once again...he was NOT motivated by his religion. He did it because he disagreed with the government. I don't know how you want to categorize it, but he is some kind of terrorist. Just not one motivated by his religion.

    This is quite unlike ISLAMIC terrorists, who get their motivation from their religion. I don't even care if you think it is some twisted form of it (I would disagree), it is still their motivation.

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  • 134. At 11:51pm on 10 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #127

    Like your arguments your statistics are bogus.

    Like el Baredi Kofi Annan and other Moslems of prominence you will always minimize the role of Ilsamic terrorism

    All the people who died in Lebanon during the Hezbollah missle attacks were killed because of moslems. The Lebanese goverment and Hezbollah.

    We need to stop being pc and responsible moslems leader have to step us ignore the excuse that you and other moslems give them. And work with Jews, Christinas Hindus and atheists.

    Sharia Law must be eliminated as racism and sexism!

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  • 135. At 00:02am on 11 Nov 2009, HabitualHero wrote:

    #119 "WHY BLAME ISLAM?"

    Because it's a convenient scapegoat, one that's easy to sell to the idiot public.

    Regarding this Hasan guy and a suitable punishment (should he be found guilty). William Calley, who was convicted for 22 counts of murder for his part in the My Lai massacre (500 men, women and children murdered, fact fans) was, ah, condemned to three years house arrest for his crimes (he did say he was sorry though). Working on the same sort of scale Hasan should get about 18mths house arrest (but only if he says sorry - and means it). Anyone got a problem with that?

    OK, the people that Calley murdered weren't Americans (they weren't even caucasian) but surely that doesn't make a difference - does it?


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  • 136. At 00:07am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "So why are these things allowed? And when they are, why is anyone surprised that they are used precisely for the purpose for which they are designed?"

    To protect us from criminals, who - interestingly enough - do not choose to follow any gun control laws. If you notice, the only massacres occur where people are unarmed. Most people on base cannot carry weapons, all schools, save some in Texas now, are gun-free areas.

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  • 137. At 00:12am on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Like your arguments your statistics are bogus.

    Like el Baredi Kofi Annan and other Moslems of prominence you will always minimize the role of Ilsamic terrorism
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I gave you the comparison between the two opponents, groups vs governments..Your governments are involved in these three countries as a direct result of groups which killed, 3000 people in one locality confined to down town newyork.I added for your sake, the ones killed in london, although uk first started killing in afghanistan, and iraq, but to make you happy i added them..to make the statistic a bit higher..compare it to governments of usa,uk..the equation doesnt balance..You can use any formula, but the misusers of democracy have killed more, and destablized countries...Present this statistic to the tribes in the jungles of amazon, without telling them which side is which, and ask them which said has made world less safe based on the statistics, they will say the misusers of democracy. Unlike language, numbers dont lie, they are fixed..

    Filibuster or no filibuster..

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  • 138. At 00:25am on 11 Nov 2009, seanspa wrote:

    I don't believe that the so called colonel is a muslim. He is too fond of spam.

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  • 139. At 00:34am on 11 Nov 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #129. MagicKirin: "Its not occupation the land is Israel's. The Palestinans have conducted terorism on for land they have no right to."

    How do you come to that conclusion? There was a Palestine long before there was a modern Israel and, by the same token, Palestinians before there were Israelis.

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  • 140. At 00:43am on 11 Nov 2009, Ex-Beebiod wrote:


    Nuri at post 517 wrote: these people are not Muslims.

    Yes we hear this every time a Muslim commits a terror attack, a bombing, a shooting, a beheading, or when a plane gets hi-jacked.

    However it is Major Hasan that will disagree with you! Did you know he once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats?

    Did you know he told colleagues at America’s top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire? Did you know he distributed the Korans and his card, calling infidels to convert to Islam before his jihad?

    Here’s some links for you:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6526030/Fort-Hood-gunman-had-told-US-military-colleagues-that-infidels-should-have-their-throats-cut.html

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/11/major-muslims-calling-card-soa-soldier-of-allah.html

    Then after every atrocity we are always told how peaceful Islam is and how evil the ‘ZIONISTS and NEO-CONS’ are.

    Ps

    Nurl you’ve just won £10, I had a bet with a friend that we would be told all this by a Muslim, on this very thread.

    Cheers mate;-)

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  • 141. At 00:54am on 11 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    It is now (for us in Britain) about eleven hours to the time when we remember what ended finally at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

    Perhaps some people could reflect at that time that at least one lesson that should have taught us is that when one entrenched position faces another the result is slaughter, not a victory, and never a meeting of minds.

    People like me, who has never been involved in a war, use it to reflect on all those other deaths since. Of people like you and me, for instance, who vastly outnumber those in uniform.

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  • 142. At 01:15am on 11 Nov 2009, William wrote:

    Regarding post 119 (by Mahmood)

    It's usually not a successful tactic to defend Islam against its detractors by attacking Christianity. Atheists and agnostics will happily be persuaded that all religion is bad, doing your cause no good. Christians, meanwhile, have a slightly different reaction -- if you are reaching back several centuries to the crusades, to days when most Christians did not have access to bibles in their own language, or to other centuries-old wars for explicit examples of "war declared 'in Gods name'", then Christians tend to think "that's evidence that Christianity promotes peace then -- after all, I only have to reach back to yesterday to find examples of secular wars that were much more lethal". And trying to pretend that the two world wars were somehow "Christian wars" just because some of the countries who participated were western nations also does not convince many people in the (largely secular) west. Please note that in this post I am not accusing Islam of being violent or of any other offence, merely pointing out that the tactic of defending Islam by attacking other religions is not usually convincing to non-Muslims.

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  • 143. At 01:16am on 11 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    136. At 00:07am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "So why are these things allowed? And when they are, why is anyone surprised that they are used precisely for the purpose for which they are designed?"

    To protect us from criminals, who - interestingly enough - do not choose to follow any gun control laws. If you notice, the only massacres occur where people are unarmed.

    I tire of the illogicality of this argument. If it were true, and being armed protected people against others with guns, then no-one would ever be shot. I'm sure it would be a great consolation to you in the afterlife if either, having been shot and killed, you held a gun you had not had time to use, or that you had died because someone else with a gun thought you were going to use it on them first.

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  • 144. At 01:30am on 11 Nov 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #141. squirrellist: "It is now (for us in Britain) about eleven hours to the time when we remember what ended finally at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918."

    And in America it is Veterans Day which recognises the fallen of both World Wars and other conflicts: governmental departments and financial institutions are closed, there is no postal delivery and the actual Day is remembered - not the nearest Sunday. Regrettably, it does not resonate with Americans in the same way that Remembrance Sunday does in the United Kingdom, but then a two minute silence across thousands of miles and six primary time zones is very difficult to achieve. However, I have been able to find a poppy, but not without some difficulty; it is not an American tradition.

    Knowing the Squirrel's appreciation of the apostrophe, note that the official spelling is without one.

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  • 145. At 01:30am on 11 Nov 2009, JustMe wrote:

    #129 Its not occupation the land is Israel's. The Palestinans have conducted terorism on for land they have no right to.

    What are the occupied territories?

    Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have lived under Israeli occupation since 1967.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_3470000/newsid_3473600/3473699.stm

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  • 146. At 02:05am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    #143 squirrelist

    "I tire of the illogicality of this argument. If it were true, and being armed protected people against others with guns, then no-one would ever be shot. I'm sure it would be a great consolation to you in the afterlife if either, having been shot and killed, you held a gun you had not had time to use, or that you had died because someone else with a gun thought you were going to use it on them first."

    People would still be shot. You cannot stop the drive to murder in every individual, no matter what - even if *all* weapons were outlawed. I just want to say I never will claim that giving everyone the ability to own guns will stop that.

    What it does do is allow a law-abiding citizen to defend against a criminal. Look at US crime stats: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/guns.htm

    "According to the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from -
    # a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
    # a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
    # family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%"

    If getting rid of gun sales to legal citizens would only reduce crime by a little over 20%, then what good is it - considering the fact that you've now rendered a large portion of the population defenseless?

    I truly believe the number of people shot in these shootings would be reduced if people could carry on say college campus. I also honestly think it is logical.

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  • 147. At 02:08am on 11 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #137

    The Islamic terroirsts which include the Tailban (the Tailban do not represent even the Patus)) have caused most of the death in Afghanastan and Pakistan.

    Likewise in Lebanon and Palestine the deaths are caused by cowardly terrorists hiding behind mosque and choldren.

    You just spew proopganda

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  • 148. At 02:09am on 11 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #145

    they lost in a war where they attacked Israel. Get is through your skull it's Israel's.

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  • 149. At 02:23am on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    131. At 11:20pm on 10 Nov 2009, trueconservative wrote:
    "You're trying to do a filibuster, eh?"

    Yup. It's been going on for a while. An abuse of the blog, for sure, but it continues.
    __________

    It's particularly funny that Magic, who Fluffy often refers to as "Gherkin", for reasons that I do not recall, has often enough been in the roll of the filibustering troll on previous occasions.

    And now it is Magic who is trying to teach a pig to sing.
    Oh, the irony. It's too funny.
    ___________

    And then we have this infestation of crazy talk, not just your filibusterer - Tino on one side, flailing away like a punch-drink sailor.
    Mahmood flailing away on the other side with an out of context mish-mash, revisionist grab-bag of half-history, worthy of Hollywood, or maybe even Bollywood. All we need is Groucho Marx. Or maybe everybody could suddenly break into song, accompanied by Harpo. Too much.

    # 119 is a classic. Even Marcus' old rants, at the height of his form did not even begin to approach this level of incoherence.

    (But for all that, Mahmood, from your post it seems like you might be a well-intentioned human being underneath. Why don't you check your guns and your religion at the door, throw away the over-the-top rhetoric, and come in, pull up a chair, and converse with people normally? Most of the people who post here are kind-hearted inside, if you get to know them, and you might find a welcome.)
    ________

    And all the while, Gary, David, Squirrel, UKW, and others are trying to inject sanity into the proceedings.

    Good luck.
    _________


    There have been strings on this blog that have gone off the rails, but this one is something else. This one has gone so far off the rails, you can't even smell the creosote anymore. And it did it in comparatively few postings, too.

    Time for a new string, Mark.

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  • 150. At 02:30am on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    144. At 01:30am on 11 Nov 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    "... but then a two minute silence across thousands of miles and six primary time zones is very difficult to achieve. ..."

    It resonates here across six times zones, and it resonates in Australia and New Zealand, too. Everything will stop.

    They shall not grow old ...

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  • 151. At 02:39am on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    146. At 02:05am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "What it does do is allow a law-abiding citizen to defend against a criminal."

    # family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%"

    "I truly believe the number of people shot in these shootings would be reduced if people could carry on say college campus. I also honestly think it is logical."

    __________

    Tino, with respect, what you "truly believe" is both irrelevant and wrong.

    The vast majority of killings involve people who know each other. Frequently, if not typically, they are family members. They are not these anonymous bogeymen "criminals" that the gun lobby is so found of conjuring up. Killings by strangers are comparatively rare.

    In a country awash in firearms, killing with hand guns is a crime of opportunity, committed by hotheaded people with neither brains nor judgment. Most typically, indeed, overwhelmingly, these people are male and in the 15 - 35 age bracket.

    Increasing the number of people carrying guns - on campus no less - is merely likely to increase the number of people killed, not decrease it.

    Get your head out of the sand.

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  • 152. At 02:51am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Frequently, if not typically, they are family members."

    And how would banning handguns stop family from killing family:

    -A knife works fine
    -So does no weapon

    Your argument is the illogical one.

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  • 153. At 03:02am on 11 Nov 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #148. MagicKirin: "ref #145: they lost in a war where they attacked Israel. Get is through your skull it's Israel's."

    And if the result had been different, would you concede that it was no longer "theirs"? In any case, lands annexed in a conflict do not necessarily remain with the winner - look at Germany for an example or Japan. The British lost their empire so Israel may just as well anticipate losing what it has temporarily gained. If it were not for the United States, my guess is that the State of Israel could be disestablished just as other nations have vanished off the map - Bohemia, Transylvania, Bechuanaland, German East Africa, Transvaal, Togoland - not to mention those of ancient times. I'm not advocating it, but showing that the possibility exists.

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  • 154. At 03:07am on 11 Nov 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #150. Interestedforeigner: "It (Remembrance) resonates here across six times zones, and it resonates in Australia and New Zealand, too. Everything will stop."

    I don't know what "here" you refer to, but nothing will stop across America. For the majority, it's just another holiday.

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  • 155. At 03:10am on 11 Nov 2009, Josh Abbey wrote:

    Yes, it should raise a red flag. Probably, this horrible tragedy will lead to tighter scrutiny of leads thought to be benign. If you've got nothing to hide, you've got no reason to jump up and down howling about your trampled on rights. What are the rights of someone in contact with known terror sponsors compared with lifelong grief of the families of slaughtered loved ones? The FBI can't prevent murder by loner psychos, but they can, and they have prevented untold horrors, including the recent arrests here in NYC and Colorado of a group planning bombings of NYC transit hubs, which I pass through along with millions of others everyday. Problem is, no one can ever prove what would have happened... so cynics will always denigrate the effects of doggedly hard work these agencies do for all of us. If the NYPD and/or FBI were to mistakenly think I'm part of some plot...or that I've shown signs of potentially violent behavior... I say come on over and search my life inside out. I'll accept their apology later, and thank them for doing their best to protect us.

    Those of you crying about backlash and cover ups and "only in America" etc... get a grip. This horror happens all over the world. The Columbines and the Virginia Techs would happen anywhere that guns are available. There is no shortage of lunatics anywhere. The problem here in the US is that anyone can get hold of firearms too easily. The Fort Hood murderer bought his guns locally and legally in Texas. They were not military issue. Be glad firearms are not for sale in your country.

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  • 156. At 03:27am on 11 Nov 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    One thing you can say in President Obama's favor that you can't say about Prime Minister Gordon Brown is that when he writes a letter of condolence to someone who has lost a loved one in the service of their country, he always "spells it like it is."

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  • 157. At 04:19am on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    152. At 02:51am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "And how would banning handguns stop family from killing family:

    -A knife works fine
    -So does no weapon"
    ___________

    "A knife works fine. So does no weapon"
    How do you know? Are you speaking from personal experience?

    It is not that easy to kill a large mammal with a knife. Nowhere near as easy as with a gun. Particularly not if the mammal can run or fight, or survive until help arrives. Guns vastly facilitate killing. It is their designed-in purpose. To pretend otherwise is ridiculous.

    Of course a ban on handguns, or even proper rules on purchase and storage, wouldn't stop family killings. But it would make them far, far fewer, simply by making them far more difficult. It would certainly go a long way toward preventing accidental killings by children.

    We've been through all of the NRA gun-nut arguments before, ad nauseum, and not one of them holds any water. Don't waste your time.
    __________

    As we were discussing the other day, in the last 50 years, something on the order of 10,000 Americans have died either directly or indirectly due to terrorism, including the military deaths in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran, put together.

    In the same period of time something well over 1,000,000 Americans have died, on American soil, in gun killings.

    Look closely:

    10,000 from terrorism
    1,000,000 from guns, in America.

    So, what is the greater danger to Americans?

    A reduction in gun deaths of one percent (1%) over that period would have saved more lives than prevention of all terrorist killing put together.

    But, in your view, rational gun control wouldn't achieve anything.

    Do you really think that's a rationally defensible view?

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  • 158. At 04:54am on 11 Nov 2009, LucyJ wrote:

    This incident has only made the stakes in war higher and it should be a wake-up call for our country. Anyone who make threats against our country/soldiers or converses with terrorists should be locked up.

    I may not agree with the way our country has handled this last war, especially the Bush Admin. However, I support our country and soldiers 100% always, through thick and thin, popularity or not. I have forever loyalty to my country, because I believe in it.

    I would like to add that I am very grateful and appreciative to our President Barack Obama for his strong words at the Fort Hood Memorial Service. It made me feel good to hear the President acknowledge the soldiers who have died and been wounded for our country, as they should be treated with the utmost respect. President Obama set the right tone and I was proud of his statements. Good job, Prez.

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  • 159. At 05:45am on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    116 Colonel . what did you mean by the comment 4 something is not genocide. you know the comment?

    102 colonel.
    On that taxi driver that IF mentions.
    I have no real comment. I have heard as ignorant and misguided comments from americans on many occasions.
    Including them telling me that the IRA never hurt no one and that the Bosnians killed were mainly christians and it was a muslim massacre (yes there were atrocities but noon the same scale).

    I have heard as equally misguided comments here often. So I take nothing in that example.


    103 TC you made me think. "if you need 40 bullets for self defence your shooting into the dark."


    You mention some killings.

    Add Thurston to the list.
    Forgotten by the one that had a film named after it, just on the way to the forge.

    Two died 25 wounded.
    In all these cases the number is really a matter of luck and training.
    Most cases could be far worse.
    I mentioned the school boy who died from a gunshot to the head while sleeping . Today in Portland Oregon a non muslim guy went into a drug testing facility and shot someone dead.

    just to update the Gun toll and religious affiliation of shooter for the day.

    Oh if they banned them hunting rifles I'd get no elk this winter. I like elk.

    125 Jeff yes but we do know there are many people that think Murder is OK if the state sanctions it by popular vote (mob lynching really)
    That many posters are allowed to repeatedly make highly offensive anti Islamic remarks that border on slander if it were not for the impossibility of slander on a whole religion.
    We have some saying the hatred of Muslims is not racism but the hatred of Jews is.
    We have found out a lot.
    but none about the shooter.
    Hypocrisy seems to me to be what breeds terror.

    Tino 133 If it is a war and christians are killing it is OK. only terrorists that don't manage to organise "final solutions" are to be counted when talking of religious intolerant excuse of extremists.

    Interesting.

    So when we declared a "WAR OF TERRORISM" did we not thenmake their struggle and status legitimate.
    they became irregular forces of an Army in a war.

    as you say war is not counted.



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  • 160. At 05:56am on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    129 Gherkin

    IF see why can't you take Gherkin on a little more.
    He is on "our side" LOL
    "Be honest the Palestians and most Arab nations can not live in peace."

    Israel isn't showing a sterling example to be followed .




    142 william

    Pot and kettle

    still applies to your post. "I am not accusing Islam of being violent or of any other offence, merely pointing out that the tactic of defending Islam by attacking other religions is not usually convincing to non-Muslims."

    Why should they have to defend Islam.
    If the moderation or the posters didn't keep attacking in a racist manner all of Islam. He wouldn't be on the defensive.
    Considering the ferocity of the attacks from some against Islam it is surprising not to read calls for attack on the west.


    This tactic of yours is often used to defend the crazy crap we have heard from those opp[osed to islam.
    If yo are not one. so be it but read the posts and see that those from an Islamic background have been driven to the defensive.

    Nice try at that old trick, I'm slapping it right back at you.


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  • 161. At 06:00am on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Tino if they let you into collage it will be a bloody miracle anyway. If you sat an entrance exam and came up with rubbish like this
    ""According to the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from -
    # a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
    # a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
    # family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%"

    If getting rid of gun sales to legal citizens would only reduce crime by a little over 20%, then what good is it - considering the fact that you've now rendered a large portion of the population defenseless? "

    How do you get to "reduce crime by little over by 20% "from them stats.

    Please explain. You seem to think you are capable of holding a sensible argument.

    Don't go digging a deeper hole for yourself I will enjoy filling it in on you.



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  • 162. At 06:02am on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    And remember today that some of the bravest heros of those wars did go on missions they knew with certainty they would not return.

    Though we would never call them suicide bombers.Hypocricy to do the same to others.

    Make peace not war.

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  • 163. At 06:03am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "It is not that easy to kill a large mammal with a knife. Nowhere near as easy as with a gun. Particularly not if the mammal can run or fight, or survive until help arrives. Guns vastly facilitate killing. It is their designed-in purpose. To pretend otherwise is ridiculous."

    It is not that easy to kill one with a handgun either. People even survive gunshots to the heart and head.

    If one is determined to kill another human being I find it hard to believe that they will just drop the idea just because they do not have a gun.

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  • 164. At 06:05am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "If yo are not one. so be it but read the posts and see that those from an Islamic background have been driven to the defensive."

    They should be on the defensive. The vast majority of terrorist attacks are carried out by Muslims in the name of their religion. Seems like a good reason to be questioning and examining them closely, especially in light of what appears in their holy texts.

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  • 165. At 06:12am on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Tino do answer a question

    how does crime get lowered by that magical 20 %.

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  • 166. At 06:15am on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    IF

    other names for Gherkin were banned.
    But he was immune as were others to the attacks of the U boats despite the often rabid posts of vengeance and war. often advocating death.

    It seemed that he was a pickle that was very well preserved.

    Oh and he seemed to have gone off.

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  • 167. At 06:15am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    More on gun issue (UK stats):

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk/1440764.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6960431.stm

    So when you guys banned handguns...your gun crime increased. Still seem like we should copy your idea? No thanks.

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  • 168. At 06:17am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "how does crime get lowered by that magical 20 %."

    I was basing it off of the fact that only 20% of the guns used in crimes were acquired via a store, flea market, pawn shop, etc.

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  • 169. At 06:18am on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    tino also if it is not racist to hate Muslims than is it racist to hate Jewish people?

    I thought I'd ask these separately in short posts so you might have less excuse to ignore them;)

    (mods again I am pushing because this persons whole argument that they are not racist is based on the principle that it is not racist to hate a religion, (because he has a limited understanding of the human existence)

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  • 170. At 06:25am on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    168 "
    "how does crime get lowered by that magical 20 %."

    I was basing it off of the fact that only 20% of the guns used in crimes were acquired via a store, flea market, pawn shop, etc."


    FAIL TINO


    Oh and boy are you Gullible.OK here's a lesson in math. and I'm a remedial math guy so well done;)
    "# a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
    # a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
    # family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%""


    2 + 12 =(hint Not 20)

    Now onto your logic.

    How do the guns get to the "family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source"
    Are they all gun smiths?

    Is it possible they came from " a flea market or gun show ""a retail store or pawnshop ".


    Knife smiths I could believe( you won't believe how many "smiths" are knife makers)

    Sorry you failed all round except for the bit about digging because i is a mighty deep hole you just dug.

    Night

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  • 171. At 08:41am on 11 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    164. At 06:05am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "read the posts and see that those from an Islamic background have been driven to the defensive."

    They should be on the defensive. The vast majority of terrorist attacks are carried out by Muslims in the name of their religion. Seems like a good reason to be questioning and examining them closely, especially in light of what appears in their holy texts.


    Why bother? Just send armed squads to every mosque on a Friday, round up everyone who turns up and intern them? Collect all copies of the Koran and burn them along with prayer mats. Make facing the direction of Mecca and the possession of a compass by a Moslem an offence subject to the death penalty. Make cleaning Synagogues and Churches with toothbrushes compulsory on Saturdays and Sundays to keep Magick happy. And get Congress to pass a law making every Moslem wear a big yellow crescent visible to all?

    And while you're at it, make every Muslim (whether of Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, Indonesian or any other descent, Sunni, Shi'a, Wahabi, Druse, doesn't matter they're all the same) carry an ID card stamped "Arab" or "Potential Terrorist". Include your President in all this, just to be on the safe side, since he spent some time in Indonesia--you never know, do you?--forget about Hawaii.

    Let's not pussyfoot around being "PC" when our way of life is endangered, shall we?





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  • 172. At 09:34am on 11 Nov 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    fluffytale wrote:
    129 Gherkin

    IF see why can't you take Gherkin on a little more.
    He is on "our side" LOL
    "Be honest the Palestians and most Arab nations can not live in peace."

    Israel isn't showing a sterling example to be followed .

    _____________________--

    Actually Fluff Brain Isreal's response has been mild compared to what it could be. Unlike the Palestinians and Lebanese Israel honored it's peace agreements.

    Any fighting between Egypt and Jordan. You and other seem to ingnore the fact.

    Also Israel does not harbor terrorist groups in their country. Israel has never been the problem.

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  • 173. At 10:52am on 11 Nov 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #172 Majik

    Unlike the Palestinians and Lebanese Israel honored it's peace agreements.

    What agreements are these? With every peace accord in recent memory Israel agreed to halt the settlements. Israel just kept on building and building . . .

    Israel has never kept its word.

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  • 174. At 12:06pm on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    #171 squirrelist

    No need to be ridiculous. For one thing, why would I want Muslims to have identification as being 'Arab' - that makes so sense whatsoever.

    I just think we should be watching them, not rounding them up or harming them. This makes perfect sense. If the vast majority of current terrorists are Muslim (they are), then it makes sense to keep an eye on the Muslim population even though not all of them are terrorists. Especially in light of the fact that I have yet to read of any Muslims saving the day by informing on their brethren. We do not have the cooperation of the general population, so they need to be watched since they are not cooperative.

    "Let's not pussyfoot around being "PC" when our way of life is endangered, shall we?"

    Agreed.

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  • 175. At 12:18pm on 11 Nov 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #167 Tino

    . . . and where did those guns originate from? Thanks to America's constitutional right, people (mostly young and poor kids) in Europe and South America are getting killed. You must be proud!

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  • 176. At 12:18pm on 11 Nov 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    MK;

    "Actually Fluff Brain Isreal's response has been mild compared to what it could be. Unlike the Palestinians and Lebanese Israel honored it's peace agreements."

    Actually no other country would have permitted attacks on itself to go so meekly responded to for so long. Can anyone imaging that Russia would have stood still for a country or group of countries on its borders invading it four times and firing rockets at its citizens incessantly without invading and descimating the aggressor? Israel's mistake in Lebanon was when the Lebanese allowed Hezbollah to get a foothold and arm themselves for another war to destroy Israel in contravention of the agreement where Isreal left, it should have attacked immediately with a warning that if it continued and was not reversed and kept reversed, there wouldn't be a Lebanon. Lack of peace in the middle east comes from lack of Israel resolve, it's responses being far too weak, not from being too strong.

    The good news is that there is never going to be a Palestinian state as far as I could see. If there were, it would just be a terrorist state whose goal would be to destroy Israel, it would be a way for the world to confer legitimacy on Palestinian terrorism. How can Palestinians live in peace with Israel when they can't even live in peace with each other?

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  • 177. At 12:24pm on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "2 + 12 =(hint Not 20)"

    You do realize that 80+12+2 is not 100 right? I assume the last percentages were uncertain or unknown. I rolled the last 6% in for the sake of argument (as in, I was sure someone like you would claim it was higher than 14% because of this - nice try though).

    "How do the guns get to the "family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source"
    Are they all gun smiths?

    Is it possible they came from " a flea market or gun show ""a retail store or pawnshop "."

    Possible, but irrelevant. These people did not buy their own gun - thats the point. More gun control laws, therefore, would not solve most of the problem. The illegal source especially would not have come from a store.

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  • 178. At 12:27pm on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    ". . . and where did those guns originate from? Thanks to America's constitutional right, people (mostly young and poor kids) in Europe and South America are getting killed. You must be proud!"

    I don't know or care where they came from. The point is that gun crime soared - DRASTICALLY - since 1997. It didn't start to fall until 2006-2007. So for almost 10 years post-ban, gun crime had been on the rise.

    This lends a ton of support for the fact that banning guns by law only leaves them with the criminals. Which makes logical sense - if the law says you cannot have a handgun then the only people with one would be? Criminals.

    Even if we banned guns in the USA, there would still be other countries with them. Nice try blaming us for the UKs self-created problem.

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  • 179. At 1:11pm on 11 Nov 2009, Josh Abbey wrote:

    Wow - what a spirited group.

    Undeniable: Hasan and previous rampagers could not have killed nearly the number of people they did with knives, baseball bats or other absurd suggestions. Those who argue otherwise need their heads examined. If they did not use firearms, we wouldn't be talking about them like the monsters they are. Headline would have read "Army Major Goes Berserk at Ft. Hood - Kills Two With Knife, Wounds One Other"

    BTW- we arm our soldiers, marines and police with firearms instead of machetes for a very good reason.

    Undeniable: In NYC, nearly 100% of guns used in crimes are possessed illegally. Whether or not they were obtained legally by their original owners is irrelevant. That the guns are transferred to teenagers and felons is enough to make it a travesty. According to NYPD, most of the guns that make it to NYC come from Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. And of course, we in NY thank those states for these wonderful gifts. They've brought us great things... like the woman in Harlem killed by a stray bullet in the lung 2 weeks ago. She was sitting in her living room. Like the uncountable innocent bystanders (many children) in every boro of NYC who die every year from wild gunfire erupting between gangs, drug dealers and other great contributors. People who no way, no how, are legally in possession of their firearms.

    Ask a simple question: If every one of the tens of thousands of NYC street guns was originally purchased legally... what does that say of the original owner?

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  • 180. At 1:25pm on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Undeniable: Hasan and previous rampagers could not have killed nearly the number of people they did with knives, baseball bats or other absurd suggestions. Those who argue otherwise need their heads examined. If they did not use firearms, we wouldn't be talking about them like the monsters they are. Headline would have read "Army Major Goes Berserk at Ft. Hood - Kills Two With Knife, Wounds One Other""

    True on the numbers part. But, he also wouldn't have killed the number he did if all of the soldiers were armed.

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  • 181. At 1:44pm on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    163. At 06:03am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "It is not that easy to kill one with a handgun either. People even survive gunshots to the heart and head."

    "If one is determined to kill another human being I find it hard to believe that they will just drop the idea just because they do not have a gun."

    __________

    Have you ever even been in a fight?

    On three occasions in my life I have been in fights where it is quite likely that people would have been killed if firearms had been available.

    Even 30 seconds delay is often enough time for cooler heads to prevail.

    I don't think you know what you are talking about.

    At all.

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  • 182. At 1:47pm on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    167. At 06:15am on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "So when you guys banned handguns...your gun crime increased. Still seem like we should copy your idea? No thanks."

    __________

    And even then, gun crime in the UK is but a tiny fraction of what it is in America.

    So what point are you trying to make?


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  • 183. At 2:08pm on 11 Nov 2009, William wrote:

    Replying to post 160 -

    I'm saddened you think my post was some kind of a subterfuge. It wasn't -- it was perfectly genuine advice from one religious apologist to another. Trying to cross the cultural divide in your arguments can be tricky. But in answer to a philosophical question you made:

    "Why should they have to defend Islam?"

    In short, it's a simple question of freedom of speech. So long as people opposed to a religion (any religion) are free to express their disapproval (whether they are correct or not) -- and most people seem to think people should be free to express disapproval -- the faithful will of course feel they should respond. If they were to keep silent, taking the moral high ground that "they should not have to defend their faith", all that would do would be to help propagate the popular myth that faith is unreasoning and unreasonable.

    I can only personally speak from experience of Christianity, but generally I find that religious people are actually very comfortable with the idea that other people will oppose us, often vociferously. In defending our faith we have the opportunity to share it. As Jesus warned his disciples (if you believe the events occurred) -- "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first."

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  • 184. At 2:10pm on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    On gun control generally, I make the same point as made above:

    Over the past 50 years:

    10,000 deaths from terrorism
    1,000,000+ from guns, in America.

    So, what is the greater danger to Americans?

    A reduction in gun deaths of one percent (1%) over that period would have saved more lives than prevention of all terrorist killing put together.

    I notice that there has been no response to this point.
    _________

    More than a Trillion dollars, (US $ 1,000,000,000,000.), yes, a Trillion dollars has been spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the so-called "War on Terror".

    And, as far as I can tell, the risk of terrorist attack is just as high as it was on September 10, 2001. In fact, as far as I can tell, the danger of terrorist attack has increased, and keeps increasing with each additional airstrike.

    Think of the vast amounts of money that have been squandered on the "War on Drugs": In the hundreds of billions of dollars over the past 30 years. And, as far as I can tell, we are not any closer to solving the drug problem, and the violent crime that it drives. The Economist made this point more than ten years ago, and since then nothing has changed, except that we are spending even more money on policies that are manifest failures.

    Right now both the "War on Terror" and the "War on Drugs" consume disproportionate resources to achieve either pitifully small results, or results that are actually counter-productive.

    You've got to think that it is a fair bet that if even a tiny fraction of that money had been spent on gun control, and awful lot more than 10,000 lives would have been saved.

    Take a leaf out of Cass Sunstein's book. Make a realistic economic analysis of where spending dollars are actually likely to make the most positive difference, and then allocate resources accordingly.

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  • 185. At 2:32pm on 11 Nov 2009, Josh Abbey wrote:

    Why do people write bumper stickers into this discussion? Why turn it into 100 words if all you need is:
    "If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns" Yeah, we get it. It's catchy.
    It's simplistic drivel. Here's an equally meaningful bumper sticker: "Have a Nice Day!"

    All soldiers are riflemen. All receive excellent firearms training. Are you suggesting they should carry loaded M16's everywhere they go? To the latrine? The showers? To the PX? To the clerical office on the base in case another major goes berserk?

    Good idea. Maybe soldiers should carry their claymores and grenades too. After all, you don't want to give your position away at night with your muzzle flash. Throw a grenade and duck back behind the building.
    Additionally, let's all wear kevlar everywhere we go. Anyone not wearing kevlar gets what he deserves.

    Forward your suggestions to the joint chiefs, maybe they will revise base policies, and this will eventually filter out of the military so all civilians can follow suit. The back of a stroller makes a handy spot for hanging a holster. Moms all over will feel safer. I myself am leaning toward a shoulder holster inside my jacket, plus an ankle piece for backup, although what will I do if I'm attacked on the basketball court at the park? I guess I could leave the ankle piece on over my high tops. My rebounding may suffer, but it's worth it! We'll all be ready for anything. Let's hope the best shots are nice people.

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  • 186. At 2:39pm on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    160. Fluffy

    I don't argue with Magic very often because there isn't any point.

    We already know his views, and I don't care to wind him up just for the sake of winding him up. There are people here who do that from time to time, sort of as a spectator sport which provides them amusement. I don't find it amusing, and particularly not when the most common result is to send the blog off on a tangent down the Levantine rat-hole yet again.

    In Spain there are people who find amusement in watching a bull being stabbed repeatedly. It's the same kind of thing as poking at Magic for the sake of seeing if he'll explode on the launchpad like those old German test rocket firings at Peenemunde. To my way of thinking it says a lot more about the character of the people doing the tormenting, and about the character of the spectators.

    And, also, when Magic posts on middle-eastern matters, his high volume, pedal-to-the-metal, er, um, lets call it "enthusiasm", tends often only to end up discrediting Israel or making Israel appear in an unnecessarily bad light. Lots of heat. Not much light.

    All in all, there is nothing constructive or positive, or enlightening in it, and nothing good is going to come from it. So I don't see any point in doing it.

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  • 187. At 3:01pm on 11 Nov 2009, Concorde1997 wrote:

    The tragedy at Fort Hood was both predictable and preventable. Well before this event, Hasan's colleagues at Walter Reed Army Hospital reported his radical views to superiors. He even gave a PowerPoint presentation to staff and superiors about the legitimacy of jihad and suicide bombings. In 2001, he attended the same mosque (presided over by a radical imam) as some of 9/11 hijackers. He was in e-mail communication with a radical cleric in the Middle East.

    Why was nothing done? It looks suspiciously like political correctness and a fear of the appearance of bigotry prevented any action. Even after the attack, Obama and most of the news media were loathe to use the word terrorism. The denial of the obvious was the root cause of Fort Hood and may well be the author of even much greater disasters for the US and the West.

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  • 188. At 3:06pm on 11 Nov 2009, Philly-Mom wrote:

    You know, I heard a blurb this morning that there was some finger-pointing going on about why our supposedly omniscient super-hero teams couldn't predict and prevent the Fort Hood Shootings. Good Gawd... Srsly???

    Come on folks. Grow up.

    After 9/11 there was a flurry of finger pointing. It was sad. I was embarrassed that our CIA, FBI and our Military Intelligence had each, independently, dropped a ball. And, because they hadn't collaborated, hadn't seen a pattern.

    But, no one expected an attack like that. They couldn't have predicted the Twin Towers. They'd have needed prescient oracle to have told them.

    Same thing with Fort Hood. Sh1t happens. Honor the lost and get back to work.

    Now, so long as our national security folks are doing their jobs, working with each other instead of against each other, and are conscientiously using our tax-payer's money* to serve and protect
    -- no name calling or finger pointing necessary.

    Please. It's silly.
    Own the facts, keep working, and stop spending so much time playing with your guns. Oh, and I don't care which branch has the biggest guns or fanciest toys, thank-you-very-much.

    Love,
    Yo Mutha

    ________
    * first time, i wrote "contentiously" there. maybe my sub-conscious suspects something...? nah. surely not.

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  • 189. At 3:11pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    186 IF LOL

    "there is no point.

    I am sorry. That is the best answer. I now see your point of view and well there's no disagreement. Sorry to go on about it.

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  • 190. At 3:22pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    If on the pickle problem.
    Yep I do.
    You might remember when freedom of speech was discussed I made a similar comment about taunting him and his MA. Well NOT me of course it was just another U number for the efforts.

    All agreed they should stay.

    William eloquently says why I continue.
    I have a hard time sitting back and seeing the continual lies repeated. Both him and MA. they are spam. At least I will rant on the points raised and leave I out when it has no appropriate place. I too have thought that both He and others actually want to make Israel look bad. Suggested a U number or two. I know" what a censor" but it always seemed to me that in order to prevent these continual lies.
    (Israel MA gone back on agreements, has been intolerant and the MA argument that no one else would put up with it without firing back in a similar manner has been shown time and time again to be totally false considering the lack of bomb craters in Dublin from the RAF.

    Yet all the time these lies continue.

    So I will carry on countering them so the lies do not stand unchallenged.
    Same with the rampant Islamophobia that still persists.
    They can call me an apologist but I have apologised for no one that has killed.

    I wont, I will try to understand the reasons why,for all the good it will do that I earn. I'm not he one who advocates killing.

    All this from an angry atheist.

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  • 191. At 3:29pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Tino you tried again , but that doesn't add up to 20 % unless you make assumptions. That is not how math works.
    Note the careful use of "not 20"

    You then continue down Fuzzy not fluffy logic that is for sure.


    How can you not accept that Guns do not manufacture themselves and jump into peoples hands.
    The 80% are the guns stolen found borrowed etc. but they were sold at some stage.

    How is that simple fact so hard for you too grasp.

    The guns used were not bought directly for crime. they could have been purchased two days before the crime then borrowed and hey presto "they were not sold".

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  • 192. At 3:33pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    174 Tino you say you wouldn't target arabs. Great.

    so how are you gointg to know someone is Muslim?

    Without a star on them. They have no requirement to state religious affiliation and the collection of such information if it were to be put on a form would have to be anonymous . Other wise it would be a breach of our constitutional right to not be discriminated against for our religious leanings(or lack).


    You on the right are always asking dems for more details.
    explain the constitutional manner in which you would collect peoples religious affiliations in order to track them?



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  • 193. At 3:36pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    So at that stage you are left with racial profiling .
    You LOOK muslim so we look at you.

    Yes I would agree that checking 40 year old pregnant two kids in tow mall whale for bombs is probably waste of time.

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  • 194. At 3:45pm on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The Islamic terroirsts which include the Tailban (the Tailban do not represent even the Patus)) have caused most of the death in Afghanastan and Pakistan.

    Likewise in Lebanon and Palestine the deaths are caused by cowardly terrorists hiding behind mosque and choldren.

    You just spew proopganda

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I gave you the facts, and you gave me a George shultz. instead...We are talking about terrorism, and which of the two terrorsizing sides have created more killings and destablizing, the two main goals of terrorism. the governments which misuse the democracy is a clear winner..

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  • 195. At 3:46pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    IF I wonder what Mahamood says that is so flailing. seems there is way more validity than we hear from gherkin. If gherkin could respond in a like manner there could be a debate between the two.

    Yes he obviously is a believer but he advocates peace. (unless invaded) how is that different from you or I.
    How close is it to Gherkin who really doesn't advocate peace ever.


    I see that comment as a little derisory.


    I would say that "trying to teach a pig to sing " is a little off . respect of another religion is not found by calling them unclean animal.
    You Know better.
    I hope it was an innocent mistake.

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  • 196. At 3:52pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    William did I say sorry yet.. I meant to.I see that we both have the same intent.
    to get others to accept that the otherside has their point of view and it is religion. No need to kill over it.


    Lol I said atheist earlier, I'm really agnostic, (can't be bothered with it).
    I like religious people as well. Most seem to want to do good for others.
    Extremists exist on both side,, but in general these threads are filled with anti Islamic rhetoric.
    Suggestions to attack Muslim countries at the drop of an insult.
    ( of course Colonel will counter it all fine , but he is dismissed for being an agent of a state.as if no others exist here)

    Sure some of them attack the christian ones as well. But the balance of the scales is off and weighted to the one side.


    That freedom of speech goes to Muslims as well.

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  • 197. At 4:02pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    184 just imagine what america could be like if just a fraction of that was spent on health care.

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  • 198. At 4:08pm on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    195. Fluffy

    It is an old and favorite expression of the absurd.
    Not sure why it is offensive. Isn't "teaching a pig to sing" also absurd if you are Islamic?

    I also like "When pigs fly", which, of course, means something entirely different.

    But, in deference, I may look for something different.

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  • 199. At 4:09pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Philly mom A comment I made earlier was rubbed out because I made another point that offended the mods, but the common thread in all the shooting sprees that I have seen is simple.
    They were male.

    Solution simple.
    Only allow women guns.;)

    Hell Go with tino logic and force all women to carry guns (sorry to burden women with this but men really can't handle it)

    (Though I do see that Hunting amongst women is on the rise due in part to some marketing changes in the NRA)

    Bringing home the meat as well. I can see why that proposal hasn't got far witht he men of America. but then if they got angry about it it wouldn't matter so much the women could defend themselves and the community.

    viva Danu

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  • 200. At 4:25pm on 11 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    Colonelartist plenty of Americans did protest Afghanistan and Iraq.That whats Move On was about.I have said it before my Senator Levin voted against Iraq war.Do Americans kill more people with less soldiers and as well as other Western Nations.Yes it called education and technology your region once was the one with superior technology and it also lead to war and an empire at least America will eventually leave any country it conquers once it's more stable and not build an empire.People with better weapons or more weapons tend to win at higher human loss how ever technology leads to more people as well living longer.It's a fact since any humans have started fighting wars.Every people Every where are guilty of Killing other humans.Pointing out others stupidity doesn't make your own peoples stupidity any less.Stupid lives everywhere.If people know America abilities with their military,than why would you attack them.For the record Japan attacked the US during WW2 that's why we entered the war,not the other way around same as people from Afghanistan.Us didn't have an foreign intelligence agency then,we didn't know about genocide in fact British are ones who taught us how to build an agency.You are losing a lot of historical facts when you try to make your ignorant view points.

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  • 201. At 4:32pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    167 Tino.. you Know nothing about what you are talking about.
    the gun crime went up at the same time as the opening of european borders.

    The ban was not responsible but the millions travelling through borders without customs was.


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  • 202. At 4:42pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    IF'

    How could it be seen as offensive.
    OK I'll take it you missed this bit.

    Gherkin was doing the teaching and that mahamood was doing the learning
    Teaching a PIG.

    The mods wont let me change a name here or two to show you that many get offended by being called a pig.

    It is not the singing that could be considered offensive or the thought that teach a pig too sin was directed at a muslim who I believe you would know consider (theoretically though bacon is bacon) pigs to be unclean.

    Just remember tha way that Theo Van gough called his pig Mohammed to annoy the Muslims.
    sure there was an over reaction but then I lived in the Netherlands just before that and the anti Muslim feeling seemed pretty strong there.( hell they even joined in our wars).


    Glad to see that you will try to look for a better example.

    (not pigs fly either;)

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  • 203. At 4:46pm on 11 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    colonel I'm with faeyth a little.
    How about you convince your side they are wrong to kill .I'll keep telling this side(of the water).

    We can both deride all who suggest killing.
    We will be a great team. I can't help you because I am language deficient.

    But i'll certainly not let them go unchallenged.

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  • 204. At 5:18pm on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    How about you convince your side they are wrong to kill .I'll keep telling this side(of the water).
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What do you want them to do? hug your soldiers? the side fighting NATO, but basically usa and uk knew that americans went there becuase they could..The people in afghanistan, really didnt believe in the "bringing freedom and democracy" slogans of the usa,but they went along anyway, the recent election fiasco, where an obvious fraud karzai, is supported by usa and uk, has made them now openly say that usa actually invaded afghanistan because it was the only place it could invade after 9/11..the only change for worse the people in afghanistan had to undergo is once again lack of security,something which made taliban so popular in the begining, that they overlooked everything else..Like americans, taliban werent actually interested in governing the country, so they were as aimless as the americans when it comes to governace. The only thing that is different between the objectiveless taliban ruler and american indirect rule of afghanistan is that taliban atleast won the war and brought security without the help of local militia or outside contractors.My side knows that its wrong to kill, but they also know that they are expected to be killed, and unfortuantely believe it or not, when people come up with latest excutses to defend themselves, for instances, that if they dont retaliate, they will end up like jews in europe, or native people in america, or canada or australia or untaouchbles like in india, you can not really convince them to stop killing..the taliban or the pathans are being killed, and their fear of being genocided is real. When you hear the news of 12 or 20 taliban killed every day by your soldiers and at the same time you hear no casuality on your side, do you ever think, who your soldiers are killing? is it possible to be engaged in daily battles, where only enemy is killed..This should really make you think if the taliban are as powerfully evils as perceived by you or it make be that your soldiers are killing untrained pathans whoose only fault is that he or might be defending his home, his family or even his animals..

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  • 205. At 5:26pm on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    America will eventually leave any country it conquers once it's more stable and not build an empire.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes, palestinians have been hearing this from israel for atleast 2 decades now. Americans have started the same mantra..and I say to you, america will not build an empire but it will not allow the country to become stable,but if it did, it wouldnt destablize it in the first place. And so it will never leave..

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  • 206. At 5:43pm on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    195. Fluffy.

    Need to think about that again.

    There are two or three issues here.

    On one hand, I don't believe in giving gratuitous offense, or in deliberately inflamming discussion, as explained at # 186. I just don't see any point in it.

    On the other hand there is a freedom of speech and censorship issue.

    The expression "teaching a pig to sing" is an ordinary, fairly comical and somewhat ironic English language expression, whose underlying absurdist meaning would be grasped by any English-speaking reasonable man. And a reasonable man would simply not see offense in it, or take offense at it.

    Think of all the nursery rhymes and children's stories in our culture that involve pigs. No more "Three Little Pigs"? No more "higglety-pigglety", no more "This little piggy went to market..."? No more "silk purses from sows' ears"?

    No more "Animal Farm"?

    Hmmm. Yes... Maybe we need to re-think that a bit.

    The blog has rules about using profanity, and about deliberately offensive personal attacks, and this expression clearly does not come anywhere near to breaching that standard.

    I say this, too, in the context of some postings here in recent days that have been extremely offensive, and clearly deliberately so. While I don't want to harp only on holocaust denial, it is an issue of abuse of free speech with which most English speakers worldwide would be familiar. It is an issue that has led to civil and criminal proceedings in many countries. And yet there have been postings here that are clearly holocaust denial, that have been permitted to stand.

    There have been unambiguously offensive and deliberate religious, ethnic and racial slurs here by the dozen, that, again, have been left to stand. We are both aware of streams of invective that have been hurled at anyone who might fall within the umbrella of being "European". Indeed, the predictability of such stream of abuse has become something of a running joke on this blog.

    There have been dozens of postings here whose underlying theme is justification of, and encouragement for, violence, and, worse, advocation of violence in the context of racial, ethnic or religious prejudice and hatred. And they have been allowed to stand.

    On the censorship side, we are heading off down the road of the Danish cartoons. They may well have been offensive, but clearly they were protected as core free speech in the political arena. It was not reasonable, and is not reasonable, to expect them not to have been published.

    Similarly, in the last few days I have seen on this blog commentary that Mohammed was a paedophile, based on the allegation that he took a nine year old girl as a wife. I had never heard of this before, but you learn a new thing every day, I suppose. Apparently this is regarded as being extremely offensive to Islamic believers. But would we regard that as a legitimate basis upon which to have the posting removed? Clearly not.

    The French, for example, regard it as profane to yell "Holy Grail" or "Communion Wafer" at each other. (Yes, I swear I'm not making this up.) Should we avoid using such expression on an English language blog?

    As far as I am aware, we do not any longer curtail freedom of speech merely because of religious sensibilities. [Of course, now somebody is going to post 17 examples to the contrary ...]. We no longer commence criminal proceedings for either blasphemy or heresy. It is not merely an issue of freedom of speech, but also an issue of freedom of belief, and I would say, freedom of conscience.

    Gosh, if we banned things on that basis, there would be an awful lot of unemployed stand-up comedians tomorrow morning.

    We all know of religious sects that take themselves just way too seriously, and that need to come into at least the 19th or 20th centuries, if not the present day. They are free to do that, or not, if they wish. But they are not free to enforce or impose their views on others, particularly not on others who do not share their beliefs.

    Think: we were being asked to modify my writing because of the sensibilities of Evangelical Christians, (or of Orthodox Jews, for that matter) my reply would almost certainly be some version of "Up Yours!" I would regard the mere suggestion that I engage in self-censorship as an outrageous attack on freedom of speech by a religious group, and I would take offense at that instantly. Why should it be any different here? Sometimes religions need to grow up, too.

    And that would be my response without any doubt or hesitation. Yet here I have hummed and hawed about it - and I would hum and haw about it in respect of Bhuddists, Hindus, ... . Why ? Because I am far more familiar with the cultural origins of a post-Christian society, than an Islamic one, an Hindu one, or a Bhuddist one? I don't know why, really. Need to mull that over for a bit.

    Clearly language evolves over time, and many racist expressions formerly commonplace in our language are clearly no longer acceptable. So when should we modify our language to account for the sensibilities of others?

    In the meantime, this is a UK blog about America. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Belief, and Freedom of Conscience are what have to be expected in this environment. I'm prepared to say that people participating in this blog should be prepared to accept English expressions under the reasonable man standard. So, the question is, would the "reasonable man" under either English or American law find the expression "teaching a pig to sing" either offensive or socially unacceptable. I think the answer to that question is: "No, no reasonable English speaker would take offense at that expression."

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  • 207. At 5:49pm on 11 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    For the record look up opposition to Iraq War on Wikipedia,Most Americans polled wanted a diplomatic resolution to Iraq before War with UN approval.We were betrayed by our Congress(we all knew what Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/etc.. wanted)Many of those Senators/Congressmen are gone and maybe more with election in 2010,Senators they have 6 year terms with 1/3 rotation.Ridiculous Israel is not US.Again ignorance.Ask Germany or Japan if US controls it's Nation it does not and in fact both are looking for ways to have the last few military bases moved out of Japan and Germany which were part of the terms for both countries after WW2 made by all the Allies.Former territories include Line islands,Panama Canal,Corn Islands,Phillippine Islands,Phoenix Islands,Cuba,Haiti,Dominican Republic,Ryukyu Islands,Bonin Islands,Marcus Islands,Japan,Rhineland,South Korea,and a few more.Yes we do still have territories it up to them when and if they leave.

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  • 208. At 5:52pm on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    For the record Japan attacked the US during WW2 that's why we entered the war,not the other way around same as people from Afghanistan.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    usa entered war against japanise because it attacked usa first, but you are the ones who ended up with atom bombs on japan.And now you are against it as if usa was bombed by it. When when you speak against it, you still dont mention, ever the two examples, what you do is to praise its usage by saying it saved lives..No one from afghanistan or taliban ever attacked america, so your attack on it was unilateral and against all principles created by UN and security council, whose one of the permanent member is usa.and its not taliban's fault that you didnt accept its offers about ben laden.its your own fault, your government fault that it rejected its offers and its people's fault that they volunterily decided to be kept in a dark about taliban's offer to usa on ben laden.The reason you went to war in afghanistan was that it was already planned, your incompetent cia and some military spies were already in afghanistan before 9/11 negotiating with masood shah, whose death was heavily mourned in the west. the taliban found out, and they killed him. There were slight changes quickly done because of the opportunities provided by 9/11 and bush's refusal to accept taliban offer, instead of using central asian countries as the bases, americans used northern alliance and pakistan..the country it could sacrifice easily.

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  • 209. At 5:59pm on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "so how are you gointg to know someone is Muslim?

    Without a star on them. They have no requirement to state religious affiliation and the collection of such information if it were to be put on a form would have to be anonymous . Other wise it would be a breach of our constitutional right to not be discriminated against for our religious leanings(or lack)."

    1.) Watch Mosques carefully.
    2.) Pay special attention to people praying in the Islamic fashion in public places, for those dressed in hijabs or burqas (anything more restrictive than a hijab should be banned anyway though).

    "Tino you tried again , but that doesn't add up to 20 % unless you make assumptions. That is not how math works.
    Note the careful use of "not 20""

    Cool, then we can both agree that the percentage of firearms crimes committed in the US is 14%, even less than I said.

    "The 80% are the guns stolen found borrowed etc. but they were sold at some stage."

    Yes, and many were sold ILLEGALLY ON THE BLACK MARKET. Banning guns increases the price on the street, but also increases their value even more (as the citizens, and in the case of the UK, the police, are disarmed).

    "the gun crime went up at the same time as the opening of european borders.

    The ban was not responsible but the millions travelling through borders without customs was."

    Nice try. First off, the Australian handgun ban also led to an increase in gun crime, but they had no great change to immigration policy. Secondly, I would like you to provide at least something that looks like evidence. I can find nothing to indicate that some major change to immigration policy was responsible for a fairly sharp gun crime increase after 1997. Wasn't the immigration policy within the EU set into effect in 2004?

    Also, let's assume you actually have some evidence (doubtful). Are you claiming the influx of immigrants is responsible? Did they come in, bringing in guns illegally, and begin going on a crime spree because the local population could not defend itself properly?

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  • 210. At 6:04pm on 11 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Just remember tha way that Theo Van gough called his pig Mohammed to annoy the Muslims.
    sure there was an over reaction"

    Typical fluffy nonsense. "He called his pig Mohammed and they 'over-reacted'". LOL, wow you are so right!

    "Bouyeri shot van Gogh eight times with an HS 2000 handgun, and Van Gogh died on the spot. Bouyeri then cut Van Gogh's throat, nearly decapitating him, and stabbed him in the chest. Two knives were left implanted in his torso, one attaching a five-page note to his body. The note (Text) threatened Western governments, Jews and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who went into hiding). The note also contained references to the ideologies of the Egyptian organization Takfir wal-Hijra. The murder of Theo Van Gogh bears similarities to the fates of 7th century poets Abu 'Afak, Asma bint Marwan and Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf who were all murdered after having written critically about Muhammad. [3][4][5]"

    Yep. He criticized their religion -VERBALLY-. He was then shot 8 times, nearly had his head cut off, and left with a note and two knives in his body. The killer was motivated by Islam. But he just had a little-itty-bitty over reaction. And we can totally blame it on some supposed anti-Muslim sentiment.

    1.) That does not justify a brutal killing
    2.) Muslims represent ~6% of the population, they have mosques and freedom to worship, whats the problem exactly?

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  • 211. At 6:12pm on 11 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    More Japanese (who did there fair share of atrocious acts) were killed in bombing of cities than with nuclear bomb,no one out side of top officials knew of nuclear bomb so to say Americans wanted to use it is silly.Plus US could have used it many more times against many more nations including Soviet Russia before the technology was learned by others,we saw the horrible bombs and decided against it and yes would like to get rid of them all.Your knowledge of US history is very elementary at best,but to be fair my knowledge of Asian and African history is just as bad however I am not embarrassing myself like you by trying to start a dialog not few historical facts.

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  • 212. At 6:26pm on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    fluffytale, I consider the source...,and i wasnt born yesterday. I travel longitudingly and latitudenly all over the world..and I know when a right to call someone a pig can be turned into a lecture about pig children stories and caricature to Mohammad and finally linked to freedom of speech of the west...there is one poster who thinks its okay to say anything against islam because its not racism and there is one poster who thinks using the word, pig come under freedom of speech..I get heahaches when people start lecturing that using the word, pig, or talking against publication of caricature is freedom of speech, and that which gives me headache, i run away from it..My only suggestion to people who think printing of carricature is freedom of speach, is to atleast check the record of jyland, the paper that published, it didnt have a nice record when jews were being percecuted, wrote anti jews even after the that crystal night which the west now dutifully remembers..

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  • 213. At 6:32pm on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    More Japanese (who did there fair share of atrocious acts) were killed in bombing of cities than with nuclear bomb,no one out side of top officials knew of nuclear bomb so to say Americans wanted to use it is silly.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    What exactly are you proud about democracy when you either are kept in the dark or cannot influence your governments...Your government says it is waging war to save you, you say you dont know what your government does..in the mean time, people in the far off land are being killed, sometimes due to atom bombs and others, in its name..

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  • 214. At 6:37pm on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I am not embarrassing myself like you by trying to start a dialog not few historical facts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Use of atom bomb is not your average few historical facts..the country which used it, which never apologized for it, which actually says the bombs saved lives, has taken on the role to save the world from it..when you supposedly saved afhans from taliban, you gave concrete examples, like taliban dont let people fly kites, or they dont allow men to shave beards or make women wear burka, but when it comes to informing the destruction of atom bombs, you somehow by pass the two examples and give free floating lectures on its danger..

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  • 215. At 7:01pm on 11 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    Has US used nuclear weapons any time since WW2?What does Japan and US war over 50 years ago have anything to do with Afghanistan.Your comparisons are worse than Fox News Statistics and Reporting.You use unrelated examples some that aren't even about the US like the ones with Israel.BY the way Japan and Germany also were trying to develop nuclear weapons during WW2,what do think they were going to use them for?

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  • 216. At 7:13pm on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Has US used nuclear weapons any time since WW2?What does Japan and US war over 50 years ago have anything to do with Afghanistan.Your comparisons are worse than Fox News Statistics and Reporting.You use unrelated examples some that aren't even about the US like the ones with Israel.BY the way Japan and Germany also were trying to develop nuclear weapons during WW2,what do think they were going to use them for?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Who was trying to get what is not my concern, that which didnt happen, didnt happen. I stick to the facts, usa dropped, two, not one....and never do american mention its destruction when it goes in other countries looking for such weapons...Your expearnce with it, that it saved lives and it won the war for you..and chances are you are against it because you dont want any other country to acheive that kind of victory..If you had been concerned about its destruction, you would have given the world headache about how you regret its usage...Americans have never shown any remorse for using it, not officially or unofficially..

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  • 217. At 7:17pm on 11 Nov 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    InterestedForeigner (#206), there is nothing at all wrong with what you wrote; no need to be defensive. What I find offensive is the penchant some have (particularly Jack) for taking any opportunity to call someone a bigot, no matter how flimsy.

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  • 218. At 7:45pm on 11 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    Every American child and adult has learned of the US nuclear attacks of Japan which most do regret as well as many other terrible things in our history,again you speak about things you have no knowledge of.Most Americans wish nuclear weapons were never even thought of or built by us or others,it was and is a terrible weapon and no one I know of wishes to use it.In fact most countries are trying to rid themselves of them.Never mentioned nuclear attacks that's ridiculous they are mentioned in history books and documentaries USA doesn't hid it's past from others or our own people.You clearly don't have any understanding of Americans,History,or News. Why would you want any people to follow the same past mistakes of any people anywhere,because America isn't alone in them but at least we learn from our mistakes and don't repeat them(each generation learns from past generation) which like I said we could have use Nuclear Bombs again on other enemies but didn't.It will take years maybe decades for US and Russia to safely dispose of nuclear weapons.I know of no Americans who deny dropping nuclear bombs.but again your only argument against US and Western Nations is Technology.But I don't see you talking about how that same technology feeds over populated poor countries,or gets people better medicine,or better living conditions because you just can't admit that the US and Western Nations helps way more people than it has hurt.Saved more lives than ever taken.You are poorly educated about US and Western Nations as a whole.I can almost bet whatever country you come from get it share of AID and assistance from Western Nations.

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  • 219. At 8:13pm on 11 Nov 2009, faeyth wrote:

    In fact you are Colonelartist are using that technology to write blogs,your welcome for better and faster way to communicate and use science and technology.Computers you know something invented by Western nations,Antibiotics and vaccines,your welcome for that too,and the large amounts of food and medicine and money that Americans and Western Nations give away at the expense of their own.How about the many diseases practically snuffed out,or starving children feed.Last I checked Malaria doesn't effect many Americans but still trying to help with possible cure.

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  • 220. At 8:21pm on 11 Nov 2009, misspearl wrote:

    206, Interestedforeigner

    A profoundly sensible post. As for those who would disagree, well, you can't teach a pig to sing. Or even to recognize more than one tune.

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  • 221. At 8:43pm on 11 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I know of no Americans who deny dropping nuclear bombs.but again your only argument against US and Western Nations is Technology.But I don't see you talking about how that same technology feeds over populated poor countries,or gets people better medicine,or better living conditions because you just can't admit that the US and Western Nations helps way more people than it has hurt.Saved more lives than ever taken.You are poorly educated about US and Western Nations as a whole.I can almost bet whatever country you come from get it share of AID and assistance from Western Nations.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So, first you feed them, and then you kill them..or you feed them so that you can kill them...

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  • 222. At 9:17pm on 11 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    217 Gary, 220 misspearl.

    I am sorely tempted to refer to one poster here evermore as "the dancing pig", or maybe "the dancing walrus", or maybe even "Arthur Murray", because that particular pig doesn't sing, and apparently can't be taught.

    Or better still, "Colonel Squealer", after the propaganda-spreading Josef Goebbels pig in Animal Farm. When you come to think of it, that really would fit the bill here remarkably well, wouldn't it? Tempting.
    Very tempting.

    Nonetheless, I think I'm going to let it go.
    Of course, with sufficient provocation, I might change my mind.

    The point is, even if others seek to be deliberately offensive, there is no point being needlessly tendentious yourself. As we say in sports, trash talking is a measure of the other player's character, not your own. It's bush league. No class. Stand-up guys don't do that.

    Filing deliberately offensive postings is self-indulgent. It shows a lack of character. It does nothing to advance rational discussion; it doesn't promote mutual understanding, or enlightenment, or peace; it doesn't advance well-being; and, largely, it does very little to reveal the truth, other than with respect to the poster's own credibility and character.

    It's better just to let it go, and try to ignore the trolls.

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  • 223. At 03:25am on 12 Nov 2009, ranter22 wrote:

    For the record not ~6, but almost one third of earth's population, but better tagged at 1.82 billion people as of 2009. according to the link below ;/
    I am not Muslim, in case you want to ask.

    http://www.islamicpopulation.com/

    tino:
    Muslims represent ~6% of the population, they have mosques and freedom to worship, whats the problem exactly?

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  • 224. At 03:50am on 12 Nov 2009, ranter22 wrote:

    Here is a red flag, Months before the sept 11 2001 airline kijacking took place, Xfiles the series aired an episode very much like the one that took place. Now that was a big flag, considering the many other attempts made to blow up the towers.
    There was not even a jet fighter in the sky, still after air control notified authority. Were we sleeping? Patrolling the sky, If that had been UFO's nobody would have noticed them. If we ever do find out that anyone domestically had anything to do with this, I say we revoke citizenship on their entire generation, as a precaution of course. But no US citizen would ever do that right? Timothy M. and friend did just that. What we don't have any assurance of, is will it happen again by an American, an Anglo American.

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  • 225. At 04:52am on 12 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    ranter22,

    "For the record not ~6, but almost one third of earth's population, but better tagged at 1.82 billion people as of 2009. according to the link below ;/
    I am not Muslim, in case you want to ask."

    I know, I was speaking of the Muslim population in the Netherlands.

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  • 226. At 3:51pm on 12 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    IF

    reiterate " you are bias ."

    You consistantly refuse to see the truth without your blinker.
    again and agian you counter only one sides lies.
    Fact is not your weapon. You use innuendo like the worst.
    That pathetic story of the taxi driver being the perfect example.
    I have met many many americans with as Ignorant views as you describe to the Colonel.

    I have met many including you that seem to think that Palestinians did not suffer. We have had HUGE fights over this here where one side consistently gets silenced and the other does not suffer one removal.
    Yet you claim to fight for balance.


    You can maintain the illusion of there reasonable just enough to let your bigotry out.

    Yes Again I accuse you of bigotry, you may come back with another Piggy insult (I don't believe you any more than sara palin "innocent " pleas.

    Culturally sensitive as a gherkin really.



    I mention Over reaction. tino jokes understatement.
    But then there is defence that Israel can over react to bombs that you falsely pretend really killed many Israeli.
    Or you neglect in you writings to mention how few they kill. and yet a=wars are started and thousands killed because of it.
    You sit by and apologiser every day on this front.
    You call it the Rat hole but you Mr rat sit right on the edge encouraging it by denying the other side the right to protest and defence.



    206

    " On one hand, I don't believe in giving gratuitous offense, or in deliberately inflamming discussion, as explained at # 186. I just don't see any point in it.

    On the other hand there is a freedom of speech and censorship issue"

    really UNLESS of course it is a guy from Iran and he is being mis translated.
    or if someone was foolish enough to believe the Holocaust didn't happen.


    You again have different standards for different people.

    Yes you should look again.

    You say gherkin is unteachable so you ignore his posts and allow the filth he promotes every time.
    But the colonel. Jump Jump.

    Why not wind him up for the sake of it (gherkin) you do to the other side of the argument.

    carry on saying that we are free to offend any one we like to because we are offensive N americans continents population. we have no civil code that prevents people being offensive jerks.
    But don't think it make you any better.
    I at least KNOW I am an offensive jerk You seem to think you are not.
    ,Know yourself before you criticise others.,

    the colonels points on the specificity of some of your posts and the vaguness of others.
    This has been something that has driven me to attack you several times.
    There is an obvious bias in there.

    "Mary was a Whore"

    " The holy virgin .. wasn't"

    Both these comments in the wrong place could really cause some trouble.

    I suggest that Muslims use them more.

    refer to the whore of Babylon. Mary. Jesus had affairs, sex even.



    You use the pedophile comment without recognising that at the same time Chritians were up to the same stuff. that marriages were made early. and that the Jewish rulers of old sometimes married young girls They all did.
    if it were convenient.
    if there were an alliance in it.



    History was history but to pretend that THEY were different from US. is Bull.

    You use these Ommisions to you advantage and in a way that I still consider dishonest.

    You ONLY slag off the one side and that side is the side that we got on with until 9 years ago.
    At which time the west started to vilify and started in with these repeated lies and misrepresentations. We derided whole communities and said" we will war with you"
    Then complain when they fight back.
    stuff your supposed impartiality.
    You have none.



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  • 227. At 3:55pm on 12 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Now I have called you a bigot on this Garys comment will come into play. But gary before that last comment.
    I said I hoped he was nt meaning the offence he made.
    Should we not learn how to NOT offend others?

    Or should we just ignore it and pretend that it is on no consequence.

    And you guys think I'm the one who's offensive.

    Hypocrites.

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  • 228. At 4:01pm on 12 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Tino.. VAn gogh did more than name a pig to offend. He had been part of an Anti islmic front in the netherlands.
    I was living there in 200.
    I could see the rampant anti islamic anti Moroccan anti arab sentiments and I heard them from many a dutch person who thought I was "on their side"

    The killing of Teo was Murder, and any murder was and is wrong.

    But teo could at least have expected it as he promoted the culture of hate in the Netherlands that has led to MR wilder being elected.

    I left because I was fed up of hearing curses at the Moroccans and arabs in general.

    And now I can't find a decent Mergez sausage .

    I don't miss not hearing the racism .

    I had previously though Britain bad. Not after a year in Holland.

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  • 229. At 6:50pm on 12 Nov 2009, SeanD1981 wrote:

    Is it possible he may have just snapped. He's a medical professional, not a professional soldier so he may not have had the mentality it takes to go into a combat zone, maybe he did feel that killing other Muslims would have an impact on his faith and soul, and who knows, perhapse he mentioned to his superior officers that he wasn't mentally ready for a tour of duty and was told to shuffle on and be ready to deploy and made to feel like less of a person for letting down his army comrades. When people have no where left to turn and feel absolutely helpless they tend not to think logically. Im in no way condoning the action, but we we should also consider that the major is also a victim in this as well.

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  • 230. At 7:34pm on 12 Nov 2009, Jumper wrote:

    According to U.S. news sources, the practice continues of running all e-mails through a filter point, "illegal wire-tapping," and is especially targeted toward overseas e-mails in areas antagonistic to the U.S. I would have thought him being an Army officer this would trigger a red flag.

    However, as an earlier poster mentioned, he was making those contacts under the guise of seeking religious guidance for his task of professional counseling. Imagine trying to sort that out.

    I suspect who ever looked at it, if anyone, analyzed it to see if he was speaking in an antagonistic fashion toward the U.S. If not, then it could be presumed to be a legitimate professional communication.

    Compare him to the profile of the U.S. school shooters. The perpetrators typically were isolated, usually by their own choice. They had some complex personal grievance that was often inflamed by insults but they were encouraged by some social example. They then decided to act in some way that would permanently gain them notoriety and which would inflict violent, permanent harm. In this respect, he fits the pattern. He simply copied the violence of those who have hijacked Islam to justify murder.

    Apparently at least some of his supervisors recognized he had a problem and reported it. Obviously they was ignored. No doubt they'll be more vigilant.

    It is regrettable the media refers to him as a Major. I do not consider him an officer of the military. He was apparently an over-grown, whining sophomoric school boy. As an Army captain, I led troops in combat. It's inconceivable a combat officer who would gun down his troopers.

    It's likely he will be found guilty. Hopefully the Courts Martial, President, Congress or whomever has the authority, will strip him of his commission before they execute him. Jumper

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  • 231. At 7:42pm on 12 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Is it possible he may have just snapped. He's a medical professional, not a professional soldier so he may not have had the mentality it takes to go into a combat zone, maybe he did feel that killing other Muslims would have an impact on his faith and soul, and who knows, perhapse he mentioned to his superior officers that he wasn't mentally ready for a tour of duty and was told to shuffle on and be ready to deploy and made to feel like less of a person for letting down his army comrades. When people have no where left to turn and feel absolutely helpless they tend not to think logically. Im in no way condoning the action, but we we should also consider that the major is also a victim in this as well.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What if the major had known about the swedish commune established in 1960s to accomodate the deserters of vietnam war? Maybe he didnt snap, he made a choice between deserting and not deserting the army..

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  • 232. At 7:51pm on 12 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    It's inconceivable a combat officer who would gun down his troopers.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    surely not.If its inconceivable than you did not read the history of militaries during wars, when you served in the army. Even in your ww2, those incidence took place,along with the military shooting the deserters..

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  • 233. At 8:04pm on 12 Nov 2009, Earl wrote:

    The elephant in the room is that this was a terrorist act. It wasn't some really nice guy who got his feelings hurt one too many times. The contacts this individual was making make that very plain.

    What I find extremely ironic is the Jihadist hatred spewing out of a very few selected American mosques almost always contains the idea that American followers of Islam are absolutely forbidden to fight on the U.S.' behalf against other followers of Islam.

    The simple fact of history is this, in the last century hundreds of thousands of Moslems were slaughtered by fellow Moslems in civil, and "nearest neighbor" wars. This has especially been true of wars initiated by one sect of Islam against another sect; primarily Sunni against Shia/Shia against Sunni. The body count from Moslem on Moslem violence far, far exceeds anything the West has done.

    If logic and reason were to be taken counsel of, it seems plain that only Moslems are allowed to kill Moslems; in which case the U.S. should strictly recruit American Moslems to fight in the Middle East. But then, logic.... reason.... Jihadist preaching...; seems like a contradiction in terms to me.

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  • 234. At 8:05pm on 12 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    It is regrettable the media refers to him as a Major.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What would you prefer the media refers to him as? Nadal Malik Hasan? The fox news anchor guy, who said, and I quote," the name says it all" when talking to the senator woman of texas, who replied and I quote, "yes, it does"...not long after the shooting happened..

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  • 235. At 9:05pm on 12 Nov 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Earl (#233) "The elephant in the room is that this was a terrorist act."

    In this report from CNN, a criminologist who profiles killers disagrees.

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  • 236. At 9:12pm on 12 Nov 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    misspearl (#220) " ... you can't teach a pig to sing. Or even to recognize more than one tune."

    That reminds me of Gen. (and President) U. S. Grant, who was quoted as saying that he knew only two tunes. "One is Yankee Doodle and the other isn't."

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  • 237. At 9:14pm on 12 Nov 2009, MariaTee wrote:

    I am so tired of hearing that Islam does not promote violence when all the evidence points to the contrary.
    The US did not bother with political correctness until recently. During WW2, they rounded up all habitants of Japanese descent and interned them. While it was most certainly unfair for most of them, it also prevented many from being harassed by Japanese intelligence to force them to spy for them. At the end of the war they were free; otherwise they would have been executed by the people they refused to spy for, or after the armistice they would have faced accusations of being traitors. It’s difficult to decide what to advocate.

    Many posts mention that the murderer may not have wanted to go to war against his Muslim brothers. This recognizes as normal that all Muslims are obsessed by their religion. We would not have considered normal that some soldiers did not want to go to war against their (Serb) Christian brothers.
    In a country where there is no military service anymore, anyone with such objections has no business being in the military. In many countries, conscience objectors are given an alternative service, not very attractive but an answer which is satisfactory to a true conscience objector.
    This man could have resigned his commission. Instead he chose to stay and do as much harm as he could.
    There is much talk about profiling. How else are the authorities supposed to do it? Watch equally all ladies playing lotto in a catholic church, and all men calling for jihad in a mosque? I hope the FBI is just paying lip service to this political correctness and doing the best possible job anyway. This man fell through the cracks, maybe because he had been in the military so long that they did not think he would change so drastically. Someone goofed here all right.

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  • 238. At 9:18pm on 12 Nov 2009, MariaTee wrote:

    Post 206, Interestedforeigner

    “The French, for example, regard it as profane to yell "Holy Grail" or "Communion Wafer" at each other.”
    Could you give me French version of this? I am French, and I can think of no such expressions. I would love to drop them at my next party.

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  • 239. At 10:15pm on 12 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    238. At 9:18pm on 12 Nov 2009, MariaTee wrote:

    Post 206, Interestedforeigner

    “The French, for example, regard it as profane to yell "Holy Grail" or "Communion Wafer" at each other.”
    Could you give me French version of this? I am French, and I can think of no such expressions. I would love to drop them at my next party.
    ________

    The mods will likely censor my post, but the answers to your questions are:

    1) Calice (typically pronounced Ka-leese), from "Calice Sainte", or "Holy Grail" in English

    2) Hostie (typically pronounced estee), i.e., from the heavenly "host" taken at communion, thus "communion wafer" in English.

    Both were common Quebec oaths used by teenagers in my day. The first one is a fairly strong word, even now. You might want to avoid using it.

    Another classic oath is "Coline d'abime". There is a circonflex over the "i" in "abime". It sort-of rhymes.

    It translates as "valley of the great abyss" [i.e., as you fall into the depths of eternal damnation], or, perhaps more poetically, "vale of infinite sorrows".

    They just don't have the same ring in English, and clearly they carry completely different cultural baggage in French. You might want to be a bit cautious about springing these terms on people in polite company.

    There are lots of old French oaths, frequently rooted in religious practices and biblical references.

    Yours,


    I.F.

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  • 240. At 10:17pm on 12 Nov 2009, McJakome wrote:

    238. At 9:18pm on 12 Nov 2009, MariaTee wrote:
    Post 206, Interestedforeigner

    “The French, for example, regard it as profane to yell "Holy Grail" or "Communion Wafer" at each other.”
    Could you give me French version of this? I am French, and I can think of no such expressions. I would love to drop them at my next party."

    I think IF meant Tabernacle [Tabernac], and possibly Sacre Bleu.

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  • 241. At 00:01am on 13 Nov 2009, Eastvillage wrote:

    Despite obvious and mounting evidence that Maj. Hassan clearly holds anti-US, pro Islamic Fascists views, it seems we in the US are not allowed to speculate about any matter in the case as we might offer a "prejudiced" or "biased" view, and only our betters are allowed that. Hey, he only murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers.
    Too bad he didn't wait till he was in Afghanistan, at least then he would have been shot dead in a blink by his armed fellow team mates.
    Well, my fellow US citizens, we are in a war and a new front has been opened. Let others of like him take notice, we are ready.

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  • 242. At 00:08am on 13 Nov 2009, ranter22 wrote:

    Ok, my Gun went off by accident
    Won't happen again.



    225. At 04:52am on 12 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    ranter22,

    "For the record not ~6, but almost one third of earth's population, but better tagged at 1.82 billion people as of 2009. according to the link below ;/
    I am not Muslim, in case you want to ask."

    I know, I was speaking of the Muslim population in the Netherlands.

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  • 243. At 00:55am on 13 Nov 2009, ranter22 wrote:

    The feds are seizing the Mosques in US.

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  • 244. At 01:35am on 13 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    243 Ranter
    No, they are seizing a mosque. Singular.

    ________

    Which reminds me, it is a long time since we have had a really good discussion here of the tax exempt status of "Charitable" and "Religious" institutions.

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  • 245. At 01:41am on 13 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    That reminds me of Gen. (and President) U. S. Grant, who was quoted as saying that he knew only two tunes. "One is Yankee Doodle and the other isn't."

    Yep that typical americal, there are a few exceptions but it would seem that most only hear what the american wants to hear.



    Nice quote , I'll remember that.

    Mis-pearl. still at it eh. so subtle but so weak.




    Maria tee
    " While it was most certainly unfair for most of them, it also prevented many from being harassed by Japanese intelligence to force them to spy for them. At the end of the war they were free; otherwise they would have been executed by the people they refused to spy for, or after the armistice they would have faced accusations of being traitors. It’s difficult to decide what to advocate."

    Not really. the example you give of the japanese being terrorised into spying or being killed so damn lucky to be in jail and loose their belongings.
    Is hardly worth pointing out as a pile of manure.
    but I will.

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  • 246. At 03:05am on 13 Nov 2009, Neil wrote:

    Of course it should raise a red flag - and it's not the Muslim connection - it's because it's an American member of the military corresponding with someone who advocates killing Americans, who also has connections with al qaeda.

    Can you imagine in WWII an American or British Soldier who's parents were born in Germany corresponding w/the Nazis and nobody thought it was a big enough issue to raise a red flag. Back then they would have been tried for spying, treason, or minimally fraternizing with the enemy. But of course in those days they didn't care about hurting people's feelings, or being accused of racial profiling, or whatever reason they are going to use as to why he wasn't investigated.

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  • 247. At 07:14am on 13 Nov 2009, RedinIzmir wrote:

    The first thing we knew was a MUSLIM has killed .... If it had just been a looney from Denver, would the press have declared a CHRISTIAN has killed.... NO it would have been an army major from Denver has......The press gets to fill a lot of pages with terrorism, so why not try to incite more.... well that is how it seems. Now you are saying Muslim against Iraq war contacts man with known terrorist links should raise a red flag. Shouldn't anyone in any of the forces contacting such a person raise a red flag. Does it have to be a Muslim? You people love fueling the hatred and do more to perpetuate this situation than to resolve it. (I am not a Muslim by the way, not that that is any of anyone's business)

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  • 248. At 1:56pm on 13 Nov 2009, Tino wrote:

    "Now you are saying Muslim against Iraq war contacts man with known terrorist links should raise a red flag. Shouldn't anyone in any of the forces contacting such a person raise a red flag. Does it have to be a Muslim?"

    I think everyone has been saying that as well. It wasn't just the fact that a Muslim contacted him - the fact that there was email correspondence period was the issue, to me anyway. There is no good reason for *anyone* to be talking to al-Awlaki.

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  • 249. At 3:40pm on 13 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    245. At 01:41am on 13 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "That reminds me of Gen. (and President) U. S. Grant, who was quoted as saying that he knew only two tunes. "One is Yankee Doodle and the other isn't.""
    ________

    Some readers may not be aware that General Grant was tone deaf.

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  • 250. At 5:56pm on 13 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Ian You remind me that though the IRA was a Catholic organisation they were funded by the Libyans as well as the North american supporters.
    Yet I'm pretty sure gaddafi isn't catholic.

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  • 251. At 5:58pm on 13 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Every christian that used "god damn" or "jesus" or whatever when shooting is obviously a religious terrorist.


    249 IF "tone deaf"

    another common trait in the USA.

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  • 252. At 7:56pm on 13 Nov 2009, ranter22 wrote:

    244. At 01:35am on 13 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner

    How many?

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  • 253. At 9:12pm on 13 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    I thought the news report said one.

    Or, if you are talking about the tax issue, my answer is "All of them, however many there be".

    I think that if you believe in the worthiness of charitable causes, you shouldn't need to have your fellow citizens subsidize them through the taxation system.

    I am aware that lots of people would regard my views on this issue as heresy, but I don't see why my taxes, or yours, should subsidize other people's churches - whose systems of belief you or I may consider anaethma.

    There are many charities that a fronts for scam artists.
    I don't see why taxpayers should subsidize them.

    There are a number of charities that are fronts for terrorist groups,
    such as the Tamil Tigers. I don't see why taxpayers should subsidize that, either.

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  • 254. At 11:00pm on 13 Nov 2009, ranter22 wrote:

    It would be absurd to have them continue for the moment to operate in the US knowing that, they( the feds) have been investigating and now have solid evidence of not only ownership(which they probably had forgot) but also subversive ties. I think that was ok. It is not like, the way things have been going, we are experiencing isolated incidents. The fine line is not to trample on solid citizens. This is one fine mess. In Laurel and Hardy, One would say to the other, and take his cap off and slap the other with it and say"another fine mess you got us into" I would pray for world peace, except that God already knows how to handle it down the road.

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  • 255. At 2:29pm on 14 Nov 2009, McJakome wrote:

    Should we consider the Catholic Church's organized opposition to health care because of the possibility that it might violate Catholic dogma a "red flag" warning of Roman aggression against the secular republic they declared anathema a century ago?

    When I was growing up, Massachusetts [the most Catholic of states], because of Vatican influence, did not allow divorce, family planning, the mention in public of the word condom, or meat on Friday in PUBLIC schools.

    We must stop these dress and prayer cap wearing jihadis from overturning our liberal western democracy and imposing alien laws upon us. [Oops, I seem to have gotten two groups confused, but they are rather alike, in some ways, aren't they?]

    But do remember, that as with Muslims not all Catholics are alike, and even in Massachusetts there is no shortage of divorced Catholics or Catholic couples with only one or two children who may even eat meat on Friday.

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  • 256. At 11:04pm on 14 Nov 2009, ranter22 wrote:

    If the statute of limitations would cover ancestry, I would say to prosecute all high level Catholic priests and popes etc., that were tied in with the great witch hunt. If they advocate a holy 'physical' war then the same should happen.
    Tradition, at times is mixed right in with text and correct behavior. That is not freedom of expression. The deliberate metering out of people for not following a religion is not a part of my belief. There is in my mind only one way, and that is the voluntary submission of self to God. All else is choices that will not cover those who seek otherwise and who need not be persecuted by human beings. God is master of the spiritual realm and his justice is beyond reproach. One can understand the bible as they wish. To try and make unilateral judgments is excluding God. Don't believe? It is ok, believe? fine, Kill infidels? that is going overboard and counting on a God who does not support physical reprisals, in effect you will get what the rest of unbelievers and believers alike throw your way.
    God really has little to do with the cry for vengeance by us humans against others, If that were the case, our government (US) would have banned religion altogether. That people should practice Islam? I believe they should be able to do so. That they should use God;s name as a call to war against the US,NO! That the US should get out of Afghanistan, in that I agree totally.
    Our flag has red in it, but it also has white and blue.

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  • 257. At 11:53pm on 19 Nov 2009, Robin wrote:

    I dont think of it as anything- not a terrorist just a coincidence that he was mad/crazy and he was a muslim.

    First, no terrorist wants to show his cards in the open, so if Malik had some outbursts in medical school he was just being an american- amercian are free to express themselves, he had no idea he would one day he would use his craziness and mix it up with religion.

    Surely he was clever enough and cannot have used internet/website without fearing to be caught- it appears he did not hide his browising of the imam's website, so again not a clever plot from a sane terrorist.

    Also the move he pulled, shootin at a clinic,how many people did he think he would kill before being killed and a doctor with acess to drugs he could have swallowed/a cynide to kill himself before he is rescued and taken to hospital-

    He was crazy but on that day he snapped completely- he was suicidal but felt that others drove him to suicide so he decided to take others with him.

    Finally, i think the FBI wanted to watch him and see if he could start recruiting other muslims or other frustrated army personnel so that they could catch a big group, but in the end it took forever and they forgot about him.

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  • 258. At 00:32am on 20 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    238. MariaTee:

    We won't tell MAII. . .

    239 Interestedforeigner

    Good lord. I'd never heard any of those either.

    There's a small village I know in Languedoc which is quite literally divided across the main street into Protestant and Catholic halves. Has been for centuries.

    If you read of a serious riot in a small village in Languedoc in the coming months, you and Maria Tee will know Squirrel has been trying out his new French swearwords on the dividing line . . .

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  • 259. At 00:43am on 20 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    258

    Or you might see the headline "Squirrel Lynched in Languedoc' of course. I've just had second thoughts. I think I'll make discreet enquiries first.

    I once used, in conversation, what I thought was a perfectly acceptable word for having 'drink taken' shall we say, which I'd learnt at school. . . only to hear one of those horrible momentary deathly silences. Turned out that among the kind of people I was having cocktails with, you never, ever used that word.

    And I've still not found out why.

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  • 260. At 03:56am on 20 Nov 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Mon cher ecureille:
    (That'd be "Dear Squirrel")

    I'm not sure you want to use those words in France. They are very much Quebec terms, and I'm not sure if they travel well. They are the kind of words well known by someone who is "un vrai pepsi". [[I have no idea how "real Quebecers" came to be known as "Pepsis"]]

    For France, I'm sure the terms "zizi", "merde", and such like are more than adequately well known, but might sound a bit odd coming from "un maudit angalis".

    Maybe more on good old Quebec expressions another time.

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  • 261. At 08:23am on 20 Nov 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    squirrel
    "Turned out that among the kind of people I was having cocktails with, you never, ever used that word.

    And I've still not found out why."


    Perhaps they drank alot of cocktails and it was a bit too close to home, n'est-ce pas?


    Also I'd be interested to know how offensive the Quebecois swearwords are in modern France.

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  • 262. At 11:38am on 20 Nov 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    261. At 08:23am on 20 Nov 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    "Perhaps they drank a lot of cocktails. . .?'

    I have wondered about that, particularly as it turned out later a 'personage' was there incognito. But since I never read those trashy French mags about continental royals and suchlike--well, a good Party member wouldn't, would they?-- I didn't realise who that was at the time. The penny (Napoleon? Louis d'Or?) only dropped later. Can't help but suspect I might have missed a good sellable scandal story there. . .

    (How come French doesn't seem to be 'a foreign language' any more btw? I had no end of trouble with Italian musical terms once even . . . .really ridiculous that. You don't half feel stupid when you find yourself having to write about "the fast but not too fast bit" after your post's been axed the third time. . .)

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  • 263. At 5:45pm on 20 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Finally, i think the FBI wanted to watch him and see if he could start recruiting other muslims or other frustrated army personnel so that they could catch a big group, but in the end it took forever and they forgot about him.

    Robin.. that is an interesting angle. pretty original. good one.

    Hey it's an idea.and possible.

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  • 264. At 7:08pm on 21 Nov 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Finally, i think the FBI wanted to watch him and see if he could start recruiting other muslims or other frustrated army personnel so that they could catch a big group, but in the end it took forever and they forgot about him.

    Robin.. that is an interesting angle. pretty original. good one.

    Hey it's an idea.and possible.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unlikely. They send drones to pakistan to kill people who have not even killed or would have never killed and american, and they would wait for this guy to so that he would eventually get in contact with some extremist so that he would tell him to do something? this is the worst excuse.

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  • 265. At 8:00pm on 21 Nov 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    264 LOL sure it's UNLIKELY but then it is still POSSIBLE .

    PS it is no excuse.
    it is an observation of another possibility.

    Something we normally agree that the americans don't do enough of.

    but today you are on hypercrap mode so forget it.

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