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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cookie cutters

It appears that the FBI sting that ensnared the Portland Christmas tree bomber was executed according to a set of procedures that the feds are also using elsewhere.

Comments (15)

The US Army recruits kids to go overseas and fight the terrorists over there.

The FBI recruits kids over here to pretend bomb kids getting ready to go over there.

Plenty of other examples out there.

The subway bomber edition, for example ....

And there's the crowd that flies off to Pakistan ...

Anybody heard how the Berkeley City Council views this?

Another Mohammed namesake. Is this ever going to stop? When are the Muslim leaders in this country going to take a stand on this stuff, instead of continuing to try to pretend there is no connection between the Koran and terrorism?

Someone needs to say- the second half of the Koran, and the hadeeth, are forgeries, mistakes, non-Mohammedan in spirit and intent. The first half of the Koran, produced presumably before some sort of organic/ infectious brain disorder set in, (syphilis was common back then), doesn't have any of the come-on-baby-we're-gonna-light-you-on-fire lingo in it. Modern Islamic leaders could proclaim the first half of the Koran the "real authorized version", and compost the rest.

In fact, an enlightened Islamic leader in Sudan already had that idea, and advocated implementing it this century.
Like the original Mohammed, this Sudanese man, Mohammed Taha, was a revolutionary, radical progressive of his time. (Hey, we think sharia is bad, but Arab women had NO rights AT ALL prior to Mohammed's time. Women, who were out in the fields, were brought into the barn, so to speak, under Mohammed's civilizing influence.) Now Islamic leaders need to deal with the fact that Islam, once a civilizing force in a barbaric world, is now a de-civilizing force in a world that has become much more civilized since the time of the birth of Islam.

Guess what happened to Mohammed Taha.
Executed by the mullahs of Sudan for apostasy in the prime of his life.

Think of all the lives and money we could have saved if we had avoided invading the Middle East and instead promoted Mohammed Taha's ideas in an aggressive propaganda war to shine a light on all the disgraceful Koranic and hadeeth passages
that need to be expunged. About when the full-scale hunt to kill Jews happens at the end of time, the rocks will grow voices and call out "come here, there's one hiding here." I mean, how beyond creepy and horrific is that? AND HOW CAN OUR LEADERS AND PRESS CONTINUE TO IGNORE THIS?

Instead, we hear from our leaders about how peaceful Islam is. Rock-a-bye-baby, on the tree-top, when the wind blows, the cradle will drop, indeed.

Here's an interesting episode of This American Life covering this very issue with some other FBI terrorism sting operations:

Gaye, there is certainly a strain of militant Islam that is giving rise to terrorists, but making sweeping generalizations doesn't help us.

The number of real al Queda style terrorists in the world is probably in the low five digits. That's hard enough for us to deal with, so let's avoid picking a fight with a billion+ Muslims, by doing stupid crud like insulting the Koran.


Tell that to Mohammed Taha's surviving relatives. They'll tell you terrorism, including Taha's government-ordered execution, springs directly from the second half of the Koran, which contains all the language directing that apostates, homosexuals, adulterers, and infidels should be killed. The second half of the book also accorded power to mullahs to run the organs of the government and the judiciary.

(Also, correction, Taha developed his ideas in the middle of LAST century, he was executed in 1985 at age 77 for publishing his book "the second message of Islam", in which he laid out his ideas for reforming Islam.)

Just because the truth about the second half of the Koran is ugly, does not mean it should be left unstated, just in order avoid offense. I have also stated that the first half of the Koran is a peacable tome, and that Mohammed was a great reformer of his time. My goal in the present day of non-stop jihad assaults on innocent people is to inform, and to stimulate reform. How can we bequeath a horrible world to future societies without at least TRYING to seek a better way?

"Just because the truth about the second half of the Koran is ugly"

Um, have you read through the Bible? There is some crazy crap in the Bible. Can be used to justify just about anything. What type of Muslim was Timothy McVeigh, by the way?

I think you're taking the wrong approach to what I agree is a real problem.

I think you could make a good case that it is religion in general that is the problem. And you can ad to that any ideology that does not consider rationality as important as faith. Look through history and you will see that religion has been a disaster for humankind. With the exception of some good art work and a little comfort one day a week, maybe, it has been nip and tuck with every form of human misery out there...war, oppression, genocide and intolerance (though they will claim it is the people who are intolerant of intolerance that are the real intolerant ones). Maybe someday humans will start using reason and common sense to run their affairs and let superstitious nonsense go the way of all false theories, like the flat earth and quaint vestiges from an unscientific past. Lets all grow up and leave the fairy tales behind. Sorry no 70 virgins waitin for ya.

Unfortunately it seems that countries where religion has been declared dead have had nasty surprises waiting in their secular closets, eg the Soviets and the Chinese under Mao. It is interesting to note that the late-stage plotter to assassinate Hitler was a serious Christian, Von Stauffenberg, who held the conviction that the Final Solution was, um, not quite what Christ had in mind.
In China, the authorities have gone wild trying to suppress the Fulan Gong neo-spiritualists...can't imagine why they find them so threatening....

Anyway, my point is that I believe that ON BALANCE, religion tends to have a civilizing influence on human affairs. It just also has a tendency to recurring cycles of corruption and violence that give it a bad reputation.

Anyway, I am hoping for some sort of Islamic Enlightenment, coming round the corner, riding six white horses, very, very soon. And am very glad to add to the clamor of voices calling for it.

"Anyway, I am hoping for some sort of Islamic Enlightenment, coming round the corner, riding six white horses, very, very soon. And am very glad to add to the clamor of voices calling for it."

Might one ask for a single example in history of non-adherents clamoring for a change in a religion to which they do not adhere helping _anything_?

What was that about motes and beams again?


you raise a truly fascinating question.
All change is multifactorial, and much of it, good and bad, over history has resided in the dissemination of the written word. The answer to your question is a matter of research and debate. I bet my bottom dollar that intercommunal criticism has played a significant role in all reforms, historically.

One of Luther's arguments is that his reforms would lead Jews to convert to Protestantism (of course, when it didn't turn out that way, he became a vicious anti-semite, but that's a different story.} It's a bit roundabout, but Jews in Europe did quite a bit of writing, and undoubtedly some of it was critical of the treatment of Jews under Catholicism.
These words might well have been read by Martin Luther, and set off his flawed logic.

Witness Luther, clamoring for the Jews to just convert to Protestantism, already:
“if I were a Jew, I would suffer the rack ten times before I would go over to the pope..what good can we do the Jews when we constrain them, malign them, and hate them as dogs? When we deny them work and force them to usury, how can that help?”

Of course, reform Judaism in 18th century Germany undoubtedly started because Jews liked the Emancipation and were willing to convert to Christianity just to keep their new-found freedoms.

So yeah, go at it. I'd never heard of the mote and beam, it was nice to read about it. Hypocrisy is to be avoided.

Oh, and best bit of writing encountered today: (Judah ibn Tibbon, 12C Spain)

“My son, make books your companions and make your bookcases and shelves your groves and pleasure gardens. Graze in their beds and cull their flowers...and if your soul grows weary and exhausted, move from garden to garden and from flower bed to flower bed..for then your will shall be restored and your spirit will become beautiful.”

Meanwhile, returning to the "cookie cutter" model apparently being employed by the FBI, James Pitkin offers this account of similarities in a trio of cases:

The bottom line is that, despite legitimate doubts about FBI methodology, to be accused is to be convicted in an era of extreme anti-terrorism publicity.

OTOH, erstwhile FBI informant James "Whitey" Bulger, formerly of South Boston, remains unaccounted for nearly two decades since leaving his domain hastily after being alerted by his FBI colleagues that his arrest was imminent. Most Wanted posters and hour-long History Channel documentaries have not proved adequate to effect discovery and detention of an FBI informant to whom roughly two dozen murders have been attributed. Some of Bulger's FBI handlers have been incarcerated but prominent FBI heads have never rolled.

"I believe that ON BALANCE, religion tends to have a civilizing influence on human affairs."

Well, which part -- "BALANCE" or 'civil influence' -- slipped from your clutch when your fingers typed your Ode to Murder, above?


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