A Tacit Endorsement

Posted in 2008 Election on November 2nd, 2008

It seems that Sen. Obama has received an endorsement – though a very tacit and roundabout one – from a much unwanted quarter. An October 30th, 2008 video received by Reuters in Dubai shows Al-Qaeda giving their tacit endorsement to Senator Obama.

From DUBAI (Reuters):

An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be “humiliated,” without endorsing a party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to an Internet video posting.

“O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him,” Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.

Libi, a top al Qaeda commander believed to be living in Afghanistan or Pakistan, called for God’s wrath to be brought against Bush equating him with past tyrants in history.

The remarks were the first from a leading al Qaeda figure referring, albeit indirectly, to the U.S. elections. Muslim clerics often end sermons by calling on God to guide and support Muslims and help defeat their enemies.

Terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group said in a report on Wednesday that militants on al Qaeda-linked websites have for months been debating the significance of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama or Republican John McCain.

Some posters have also argued over the merits of trying to attack the United States before the election or waiting until later, the report said.

But SITE said it did not expect al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden or deputy Ayman al-Zawahri to openly favor a candidate.

“To support a particular candidate would debase al-Qaeda’s long-standing argument that the United States government is a corrupt institution no matter who is at the helm,” SITE director Rita Katz said in the group’s November newsletter.

In 2004 bin Laden issued his first video in more than a year just days before the U.S. elections. It derided Bush and warned of possible new September 11-style attacks.

Bin Laden made little mention of Bush’s Democratic challenger, John Kerry, telling Americans: “Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands and each state which does not harm our security will remain safe.”

Kerry has attributed his loss in part to the video’s high-profile reminder of the terrorism issue.

In 2006, after Democrats captured Congress, Zawahri issued an audio message saying all Americans remained al Qaeda’s enemies regardless of party, SITE said.

SITE said militant postings on al Qaeda-linked websites typically discuss Obama in terms of his race, or his religion and foreign policy. Some forecast a racial crisis dividing the United States if he wins. Others say his planned phased withdrawal from Iraq would be a boon to al Qaeda’s affiliate and give it a base for Middle East expansion.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has been portrayed as likely to allow “the continuation of Republican control and aggressive policies toward the Islamic world.”

H/T to Bold Color Conservative

It must be noted that this is at best – or worse – a tacit endorsement. However it does seem that Al-Qaeda views Sen. Obama as “the lesser of evils.” One wonders if the media will bury this story. One also wonders what effect Al-Qaeda’s tacit endorsement will have on Obama’s chances of being elected.

Some Intel Analysis

There’s not a great deal of insight into the mind or workings of Al-Qaeda that can be taken away from this article; it’s too short and too filtered to provide good intelligence for analysis. A few points can be inferred though:

Bush & The War on Terrorism
Al-Qaeda doesn’t like and probably fears President George W. Bush and anyone that they feel will continue to prosecute the war against them in a similar fashion to how it’s been prosecuted so far.

We have hurt them and continue to hurt them. That is something worth knowing, no matter who is elected on November 4th.

Iraq
Al-Qaeda still has active operations in Iraq, but those operations are currently in disarray. Al-Qaeda needs the US to pull out of Iraq before it can further its agenda within within that region. The Surge has achieved – or come close to achieving – it aims.

Afghanistan & Pakistan
This is is much harder to analyze because I’m forced to analyze the meaning of an absence of rhetoric rather analyzing the content of existent rhetoric. I see a couple of possibilities:

Possibility #1
Al-Qaeda isn’t worried about Sen. McCain’s or Sen. Obama’s approach to prosecuting the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan because they have few if any assets in those areas.

There has always been some debate on how Arab-centric Al-Qaeda was. Osama bin Laden may have – or have had – close ties to the Taliban and to the Afghans and Pashtun Pakistanis, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Al-Qaeda as whole has similar ties.

Possibility #2
Al-Qaeda prefers Obama’s more hawkish and unilateral approach to prosecuting the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan over McCain’s more cooperative approach to that theater.

Al-Qaeda may hope that Obama will will follow through on his promises and that this will embroil the Us in an open war with Pakistan. This would further galvanize the Muslim world against the US and keep the Waziristani region of Pakistan as a relatively safe haven for Muslim extremists such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Please understand that this analysis has a fairly low Confidence Factor. Most of it is nothing but inference substantiated by general analysis of the long running situation as it has been reported over the years.

I think that the important point to take away from this analysis is that Al-Qaeda is hurting and hoping that America will back off on direct military action in the Middle-East and approach that theater in a softer and more diplomatic manner. If they favor Obama – as the video by Abu Yahya al-Libi suggests – it is for that reason.

Show Some Respect

Posted in 2008 Election, Ethics & Morality on October 20th, 2008

To all my Conservative readers,

Barack Obama will suspend campaigning for a day and a half so that he can fly to Hawaii to be at the side of his gravely ill grandmother, a campaign aide said late Monday.

Madelyn Dunham, 86, was released from the hospital at the end of last week and returned to her home in Honolulu with a health condition the aide described only as “very serious.”

Please show some respect for his family as we would hope others would show to ours. Back off a bit unless his surrogates take the fight to us in his absence.

We are better than those who would use something like this against a candidate.

If you worship a God or Goddess or both, please add your prayers for Obama’s grandmother’s recovery or easy passing.

Thank you,

jonolan

P.S.: Thank you to Chamay0 for posting the notice, though she has less than favorable expectations from McCain and we Conservatives.

China: Olympic Gymnasts

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Humor on August 15th, 2008

A rare photo of one of China’s 2012 Olympic gymnastics hopefuls. She’s training hard for 2012 Summer Games – between naps and diaper changes.

Chinese Olympic gymnastics hopeful training for 2012 Summer Games
With a grateful H/T to Dame Wiggy!

Fresh Corn Salad

Posted in Recipes on May 9th, 2008

This is a great spring and summer salad that can also be used as relish with summer meat and fish dishes.

Fresh Corn Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 -6
 
This salad goes very well with seafood dishes especially shrimp, octopus and scallops – and with cold meat salads such as chicken salad, ham salad or tuna salad. As a relish it adds a nice component to fish tacos, quesadillas and – believe it or not – hot dogs.
Ingredients
  • 6 - 8 ears of sweet corn
  • 4 - 6 mild to medium chilies (Anaheim, red, orange or yellow bells, banana peppers, etc...)
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 small basket of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh herbs to taste (sage, oregano, cilantro, dill, thyme, etc...)
Instructions
  1. Shuck the corn and cut the kernels from the cob
  2. In a large bowl (glass, ceramic or stainless steel preferred) combine all the ingredients except the tomatoes.
  3. Allow salad to sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste
  5. Serve sprinkled with the tomatoes
Notes
Add crumbled feta cheese and sliced roasted beets Add grated sharp cheddar and diced Granny Smith green apples Add ½ cup diced jicama and substitute diced tomatillo (husk tomato) for half the grape or cherry tomatoes Substitute rice wine vinegar for cider vinegar. Add ½ cup grated daikon (Japanese giant white radish) and 2 tablespoons ponzu (Japanese citrus sauce) Dice and drain the tomatoes and fold them into the salad. Use as relish or condiment for summer dishes if you're of a mind to do so.

In a sealed container this salad will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Wright Still Wrong

Posted in 2008 Election on April 24th, 2008

Rev, Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obamas former pastor, gave an interview to Bill Moyers on Wednesday, April 23, 2008. Far from improving his image, he tarnished it further and managed to denigrate Obama’s integrity and honesty in the process.

I dont talk to him about politics. And so he had a political event, he goes out as a politician and says what he has to say as a politician. I continue to be a pastor who speaks to the people of God about the things of God.

Hes a politician, Im a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor. But theyre two different worlds.

I do what I do. He does what politicians do. So that what happened in Philadelphia where he had to respond to the sound bytes, he responded as a politician.

— Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Former Pastor, Trinity UCC

Wright refused apologize or back away from his racist and hate mongering remarks in the interview, instead saying that people wanted to show him as some sort of fanatic. I can actually laud his standing firm in his opinions. Better the open and honest racist than some overtly dissembling apologist who would just stab you in the back later. I’ll take a “stand up” hater any day of the week.

What’s sad is the way he dragged Obama into the mud with himself. In Wright’s apparent estimation Obama said what he said solely out of political necessity instead of out of belief. Is it possible that Wright’s hatred of America and of success has caused him to attack Obama now that Obama has achieved a level of success that shows the lie of Wright’s hatred and racism?