Tuesday, February 21, 2006


It would be nice to know if the administration's much criticized "spying program" was the reason why we were able to arrest these Americans. Of course, you won't hear that possibility discussed in the mainstream media.

The Justice Department today announced indictments against three Ohio residents for allegedly plotting to attack U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq, although court documents do not make clear how far the trio got with their alleged plans.

The indictments unsealed today allege that the three defendants conspired to "kill or maim persons outside of the United States, including U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq," and to provide material support to terrorists. One of the men is also charged with distributing information about explosives and making verbal threats against President Bush, records show.

All three men were arrested during the weekend and made their first appearances today in federal court in Cleveland. Mohammad Zaki Amawi, 26, is a citizen of the United States and Jordan and previously lived in Toledo; Marwan Othman El-Hindi, 42, of Toledo is a U.S. citizen; and Wassim I. Mazloum, 24, of Toledo is a permanent legal resident.

Three Charged With Planning Attacks in Iraq



Here are the results of a survey of presidential historians organized by the University of Louisville's McConnell Center.

From engaging in sexual relations with an intern to letting the Vietnam War escalate, U.S. presidents have been blamed for some egregious errors.

So who had the worst blunder?

- 1: James Buchanan, for failing to avert the Civil War
- 2: Andrew Johnson's decision after the Civil War to side with Southern whites and oppose improvements in justice for blacks beyond abolishing slavery.
- 3: LBJ and the Vietnam War
- 4: Woodrow Wilson's refusal to compromise on the Treaty of Versailles after the First World War.
- 5: Richard Nixon's involvement in the Watergate cover-up.
- 6: James Madison's failure to keep the United States out of the War of 1812 with Britain.
- 7: Thomas Jefferson's Embargo Act of 1807, a self-imposed prohibition on trade with Europe during the Napoleonic Wars.
- 8: John Kennedy allowing the ill-fated Bay of Pigs Invasion to overthrow Cuba's communist government that led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- 9: Ronald Reagan and the Iran-Contra Affair, the effort to sell arms to Iran and use the money to finance an armed anti-communist group in Nicaragua.
- 10: Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

Here are my nominations: Liberals sacred cow, FDR, and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Bill Clinton and how he allowed Al Qaeda to grow into America's biggest enemy, during his presidency, as he said we had no enemies.

Other opinions: Debbie Schlussel weighs in.

London Free Press - International News - Ten worst U.S. presidential mistakes



Flemming Rose is the culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

His piece in the Washington Post was a clear, cogent detailing of why he did what he did and what the Danish cartoon controversy is all about. This is excellent.

So, over two weeks we witnessed a half-dozen cases of self-censorship, pitting freedom of speech against the fear of confronting issues about Islam. This was a legitimate news story to cover, and Jyllands-Posten decided to do it by adopting the well-known journalistic principle: Show, don't tell. I wrote to members of the association of Danish cartoonists asking them "to draw Muhammad as you see him." We certainly did not ask them to make fun of the prophet. Twelve out of 25 active members responded.

We have a tradition of satire when dealing with the royal family and other public figures, and that was reflected in the cartoons. The cartoonists treated Islam the same way they treat Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions. And by treating Muslims in Denmark as equals they made a point: We are integrating you into the Danish tradition of satire because you are part of our society, not strangers. The cartoons are including, rather than excluding, Muslims.

The cartoons do not in any way demonize or stereotype Muslims. In fact, they differ from one another both in the way they depict the prophet and in whom they target. One cartoon makes fun of Jyllands-Posten, portraying its cultural editors as a bunch of reactionary provocateurs. Another suggests that the children's writer who could not find an illustrator for his book went public just to get cheap publicity. A third puts the head of the anti-immigration Danish People's Party in a lineup, as if she is a suspected criminal.

Why I Published Those Cartoons


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