Monday, December 15, 2003

A Word About the Importance of Credibility and Trust

This is from a February, 2003 article by Fareed Zakaria titled ""A Dangerous Trust Deficit"

"We can't do an Adlai Stevenson," admitted an administration official about Colin Powell's upcoming speech to the U.N. Security Council. What he meant was that the administration did not have the smoking gun that Stevenson had when he presented the Council with images of Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962. But the real difference between 1962 and now is not what we say, but what people hear. Remember that in 1962 the "smoking gun" Stevenson presented to the world was a set of grainy aerial photographs with white smudges. The smudges, he explained, were Soviet missiles. And everyone believed him. Today, if Powell had digital video footage of Iraqi scientists caught in the act of manufacturing anthrax, there are many around the world--and increasingly in Europe--who would claim that Washington had manufactured the images.

The French, who are today the most disbelieving, played a special role in the 1962 crisis. After deciding to blockade Cuba, President Kennedy sent a special envoy, Dean Acheson, to France's President Charles de Gaulle. Acheson offered to show him the photographs. De Gaulle refused. "This is mere evidence," he said, "and great nations such as yours would not take a serious step if there were any doubt about evidence."

What we have today is not the lack of evidence, it's the lack of trust.

The United States has done its part to contribute to this atmosphere with careless and confrontational talk and actions. Other than Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, no one in the administration has bothered to build and nurture relationships with their counterparts abroad--odd when you consider that this was one of the chief skills of the elder President Bush. Dick Cheney has taken exactly one foreign trip in his current job, probably setting a record as the least-traveled vice president since John Nance Garner...."


Can you imagine anyone from the Bush administration going to most any foreign country today pushing bogus intelligence and exaggerated threat and having any of those countries' leaders say: "..This is mere evidence, and great nations such as yours would not take a serious step if there were any doubt about evidence.."???

Norquist Arranged Islamic extremists' visit to WH on 911

The Strangest of BedFellows
Grover Norquist is Exposed at FrontPage Magazine-

Norquist Arranged Islamic extremists' visit to WH on 911

Why has this man consorted with killers of Americans to keep Republicans in power?


Allegedly, per FrontPageMag's writers, this is "the most disturbing that we at have ever published.."

Grover Norquist, 'standard bearer of the right', is taking quite a beating here from Frank Gaffney.
Read to find out why.
Excerpt: "On the basis of the evidence assembled here, it seems beyond dispute that Grover Norquist has formed alliances with prominent Islamic radicals who have ties to the Saudis and to Libya and to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and who are now under indictment by U.S. authorities. Equally troubling is that the arrests of these individuals and their exposure as agents of terrorism have not resulted in noticeable second thoughts on Grover’s part or any meaningful effort to dissociate himself from his unsavory friends."

A group you may or may not be familiar with called the ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) is mentioned in the article.

So just who is the ISNA?

".....Muzammil Siddiqi. In September 2001, when Siddiqi met twice with Mr. Bush, he was president of the Board of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). This Saudi-funded organization is, as will be discussed below, used by the Muslim World League (MWL) to finance and exercise control over most of the mosques in the United States. Siddiqi’s ties to Saudi Arabia are even deeper.
Before heading up ISNA, Siddiqi was previously a top figure in the MWL itself, whose American headquarters was raided in March 2002 on suspicion of ties to terrorism during the U.S. government’s Operation Green Quest

Another FrontpageMag article by Evan McCormick regarding Rumsfeld and ISNA: ".....what good is it for the Secretary to rightly bemoan the existence of Madrassas abroad if the Pentagon is funding virtual Madrassas within its own ranks?...with campaign season rapidly approaching, Pentagon officials may be unwittingly setting the President up for a scandal ripe for exploitation by his opponents. All at the hands of Islamist extremists who are seeking to exploit the Military chaplain program in order to subvert US strategy in the war against terrorists."

Interestingly, the ISNA is a recent focus of the most unexpected and controversial concern:
The little-noticed alliance between gay marriage opponents and alleged terrorist sympathizers
" has discovered that prominent religious conservatives — Jews, Catholics and Evangelical Christians — are allied with a radical Islamic group to stop gay marriage. Pushing a constitutional amendment that would restrict marriage to heterosexuals, they work with the Islamic Society of North America. What is ISNA?......."

With a follow-up article here --both of these extremely interesting articles, by the way, are by writer Evan Gahr at Jewish World Review.
Evan has spurred past fiery and interesting controversies--(you may recall this one).

A third follow-up by Rod Dreher is here: "What the Alliance for Marriage heads and board members either don't know or don't want you to know".

From the follow-up article titled:
One less fellow traveler. 'God Squad' rabbi bolts Queer Alliance. Is 'Lieberman's rabbi' next?
".....The AFM contends that ISNA is a legitimate, mainstream Islamic group. The "proof" is that ISNA is not on the State Department's list of terrorist front groups. But that rationale doesn't impress terrorist expert Steve Emerson..."

Related/Grover Norquist articles:

Targets of terror financing probe had political clout
"....."People think that George Bush and Texas are hicksville and they don't have Muslims there," [Grover] Norquist said. "They are wrong."

Norquist-"Standard Bearer" of Conservatives??

"..Grover Norquist has neither a public office nor a famous name. Yet few people in the nation's capital wield more influence in Republican circles..."

".....Norquist's other outline for the future, which he has carefully written down and even charted on a timeline, includes a plan to reduce the size of government by half in relation to the national economy in the next 25 years. His aim is to do that by cutting taxes, privatizing Social Security and other government pension programs, selling off public lands, privatizing the postal service and giving universal vouchers for schools.

The goal is an anathema to his critics, who charge that he merely wants to put more power and money in the hands of the corporations..."


"...."Bipartisanship is another name for date rape," the fanatic G.O.P. tax cutter Grover Norquist later said, in what could stand as an epitaph for the gullible Congressional Democrats..."


Justin Raimondo: NeoCons Turning on Bush?

".....Vicious certainly describes the attack launched by Frank Gaffney, ostensibly directed at conservative leader Grover Norquist, but which includes this astonishing accusation leveled at the White House:

"...Ironically, pro-Islamist groups had been scheduled to meet with President Bush on the morning of September 11 to hear what he planned to do to deliver on his secret evidence campaign pledge. But that day, the executive mansion complex was shut down, for fear that a fourth hijacked aircraft was headed its way. I watched bemused as Grover Norquist and the White House official responsible for Muslim outreach, Suhail Khan, escorted the displaced Islamists into the conference room we share. (Al-Arian had arranged to participate in the presidential meeting via phone. According to his website, his teaching schedule at the University of South Florida would not allow him to be there in person.)"

From US Conservatives split on policy toward radical Islamists
Norquist further attacked Gaffney for past comments against former White House staffer Suhail Khan, who was removed from his position after it became known that his father, a prominent Wahhabi Islamic cleric on the West Coast, had hosted an al-Qaida operative on two separate visits to the US.

Abdurahman Alamoudi admitted that he participated in a plot to murder Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah for Muammar Gaddafi. Records show Alamoudi gave at least $35,000 to Norquist's Islamic institute, although Alamoudi said in a written statement he did "not recollect having been quite that generous." In 2002, federal authorities raided this groups and others in Operation Greenquest, a major assault on suspected terrorist financial networks. Why was Alamoudi an important economic contributor to Grover Norquist's interests?
Norquist has apparently maintained ties to radical Islamists and supporters of terrorism since 1998. In 1998, Norquist founded the Islamic Institute with money from a number of sources, mainly in the Middle East [6]. One of the early major contributors was Abdurahman Alamoudi, the founder of the American Muslim Council. Abdurahman Alamoudi appears to have contributed $35,000 to the Islamic Institute [7]. Abdurahman Alamoudi, was videotaped outside of the White House saying "We are all supporters of Hamas ... I am also a supporter of Hezbollah." Abdurahman Alamoudi has since distanced himself from these comments.

Norquist was willing to overlook Islamic extremism for their money and alliance against the gay community's civil rights, securing more Republican power with the kind of narrow-values agenda that brings unsuspecting conservative Christians flocking to the polls. Norquist even made sure extremists were invited to our White House to have face time with the President - on 9/11, no less!

How can we trust a party when we know that the most powerful and influential people within their ranks are putting money and power far above ethics, principle and the rule of law?
Fulfilling the Promise of America:
Meeting The Security Challenges of the New Century

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
The Pacific Council
Los Angeles, California
December 15, 2003

Short Excerpts:

"....To meet these and other important security challenges, including Iraq, I will bring to bear all the instruments of power that will keep our citizens secure and our nation strong.

Empowered by the American people, I will work to restore:

The legitimacy that comes from the rule of law;

The credibility that comes from telling the truth;

The knowledge that comes from first-rate intelligence, undiluted by ideology;

The strength that comes from robust alliances and vigorous diplomacy;

And, of course, I will call on the most powerful armed forces the world has ever known to ensure the security of this nation.."

**Note Dean's Strong comment about America's alliance with Israel, countering the ridiculous
media spin that Dean's priority focus is pro-Pal:

"...We also must bring skill and determination to a task at which the current administration has utterly failed: We can and we must work for a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Our alliance with Israel is and must remain unshakeable, and so will be my commitment every day of our administration to work with the parties for a solution that ends decades of blood and tears.

I believe that, with new leadership, and strengthened partnerships, America can turn around the situation in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf. I believe we can defeat terrorism and advance peace and progress. I believe these things because I believe in America's promise. I believe in our capacity to come together as a people, and to act in the world with confidence, guided by our highest aspirations..."

Statement by Governor Dean on the Capture of Saddam Hussein

Dec. 14, 2003, WEST PALM BEACH-- Governor Dean issued the following statement this morning:

"This is a great day for the Iraqi people, the US, and the international community.

"Our troops are to be congratulated on carrying out this mission with the skill and dedication we have come to know of them.

"This development provides an enormous opportunity to set a new course and take the American label off the war. We must do everything possible to bring the UN, NATO, and other members of the international community back into this effort.

"Now that the dictator is captured, we must also accelerate the transition from occupation to full Iraqi sovereignty."