Monday, October 23, 2006

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak to everyone. I will likely have more time to blog soon due to a major change in my life... a difficult but hopefully good one. I'll post soon.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On terrorists and freedom fighters

Before I even begin to try to address any of the comments, I should let you know that the publication of the last post was kind of an accident. I meant to edit it more carefully, and to be honest some of the comments were in response to what should have remained internal thoughts. Some would have been altered or taken out of the whole post. And then there are things pointed out that I concede are straight up mistakes.

This post is a comment response one. After responding to comments from my last post, I figured that three pages may as well be a separate post. For background or reference, this is a response to the October 9, 2006 post. Here’s the web link-- .

Anyways, after responding and again letting myself get carried away, I found that I had such a big comment that it might as well be a post. And since I’ve been lagging on the posts, I figured that it made more sense to make this a post.

Jeames- You're right about the term freedom fighter and how it's ultimately used or misused. I made the mistake of not really looking at the word itself and its meaning outside of my own head in this particular context.

The conventional use of the term invokes the idea of armed resistance, which now in American terms translates into terrorism in most cases. Okay, but...

I personally would include recently murdered Anna Politkovskaya as a freedom fighter. How was she armed? With a voice and a pen that she made public. And that was enough to make her a threat to someone, a terrorist in one sense of the term.

PC: Please understand that the term 'Islamist' to me means little in the context of this discussion. Please allow me that for the sake of communication.

Islamist, to me, means little more than a title that gives some understanding of where an organization goes to for justification. The interpretation may be different than what was originally intended, just as the interpretation of the US Constitution seems to be different for armed militias in the US. I don't take the militias' interpretation to then question the entire document, but I do take it as a reference of their supposed basis.

Given that-

Victory for whom or for what?

An organization can be founded and connected with anybody and be considered anything. Are organizations that defend/appeal for convicts on death row in the US saying they support murder or violent crime? No. But they are saying that there may be a problem in a system that disproportionately convicts people of lower economic classes that can’t afford super star lawyers and that these problems may be beyond the legal system. Is it treason or terrorism to defend convicts that are affiliated with gangs or that sometimes women who are supposed to be maternal flip out and kill their own children? Where does the concept of rights actually stem from if it’s not universal? Am I supporting either by raising the question or do I wonder what might lie below the surface?

Back on the international note- the Taliban was a 'freedom fighting' group during the Cold War. They were championed, funded, and supported by the US much like Hamas was supported by Israel as an opposing organization to the PLO. You tell me what changed.

They were Islamist back then too, but Islamists weren't the problem. Now they are.
Also tell me what happened with Iraq, Iran, and Libya. What worth is left to calls of democracy when they're abandoned by the very callers? And this is exactly what I think you or Jeames do not make space for nor come close to understanding though you act like and think you do.

The Cold War was really cold to you, but it was actually HOT in other parts of the world and its legacy is what we're still experiencing in my opinion. While in the US, people practiced hiding under desks, people in other countries were actually bombed and responded because they felt they had to.

If there's anything you can relate to as a patriot of anything especially after 9/11 in the US, it's that feeling of need to react to attack. And the general American amnesia doesn’t take away from what happened between WWII and 9/11 and how it’s influenced people since.

My position on the detainees in Guantanamo is quite simple: either try them of something—let justice or some semblence of it take its course—or let them go back to the lives they had before. I'm against the indefinite detention of any human being without due process.

What I don’t understand is why this is difficult for anyone to understand.

After years of legal gambling and hodge-podge justifications, we discover that people who should never have been in Gitmo in the first place are being let out. Great… except that, now, detainees that were held for nothing in the first place have to re-prove innocence to countries and bureaucracies that already approved their need of refuge or that supported their opposition in the first place. Only now, after being in jail for years, they come out and find that the likes of the Q-man are now allies. People are being sent to their graves because someone was suspicious or was unable to say they were wrong about this person’s involvement with anything. And, now, people who were not may actually be threats—if they’re not completely mentally incapacitated.

What is not frustrating about this situation?

In terms of law, is this military, criminal, or immigration law? Or does it not matter because everything’s been collapsed since 9/11 and is it okay that it’s been collapsed since then? What are the ramifications of immigration law bleeding into criminal law? Does anyone care?

I can’t respond to anything about LIFG because I don’t know enough about them. However, it seems to me that your comments referred to this paragraph:
The man, who has not been identified by the authorities, is accused of being a member of the terrorist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which sympathises with Al-Qaeda and has links to extremist groups in Egypt and Algeria. The radical group, formed in 1990, is believed to have planned the Casablanca suicide bombings in May 2003.
Yes, there is an association in that paragraph with Al-Qaeda, which is pretty much a phantom organization with little if any actual organization. Who the hell is Al-Qaeda. And if it really is the problem and Bin Ladin is the head, why have we heard nothing about him for a really long time? Why was the intelligence group devoted to finding him disbanded?

No, the British don’t have to agree with my definitions of terrorists or immigrants or refugees or even what a cat is (unless it’s actually in the UN Charter, which I’ll look up later). Nor do you or Jeames or the US. Detain, deport, or screw whoever you want. Just don’t freak out when people aren’t unsupportive or are belligerent or militant.

And the Islamists don’t have to like what I say either. I’m sure they don’t in other regards anyway.

So what? Does that mean any of the above is just?

The world is made up of people and if we’re so caught up on being ‘right’ than being sincerely just then of course the stupid world is going to be hypocritical. It’s like we’re shooting ourselves in the foot repeatedly. How many toes do we have left anyway?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Welsh terror raid leads to arrest of Libyan

Oh lord... I don't even know where to begin with this one and I'm simply too tired to write an essay though I kind of feel one coming on soon...if I can ever really find the words to express my frustrations.

"One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist." I have no idea who uttered or wrote those words first, but the phrase has always stood out to me. And, as time progresses and my political awareness continues, I'm beginning to see the dynamics and actual mechanisms that make it true.

Not so long ago, the Q-man was 'evil' to most Americans. Why? Well, there was the Pan-Am incident, the Berlin disco incident, and he was a cruel military dictator who screwed with the price of oil, was an ally of the USSR, etc, etc. End of story. Nobody really knew why he was evil kind of like no one knows why Castro was either. The thought process ended at Qadaffi=Hitler, thanks to Reagan's gift of oral persuasion and people's acceptance of authority and overall dissinterest in understanding the intricates of politics, especially as they pertain to countries full of brown people that speak funny languages.

Now, the thought process ends with Qadaffi=Victory in the War on Terror. Period. Qadaffi is now a trophy bride--pretty and fresh and unlikely to rock the boat. He's the pay off for the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, the sole proof that something worked.

This is of course ignoring the fact that Qadaffi was trying hard to snuggle up to the US during Clinton's administration or quite possibly before, ignoring that Libya is still under dictatorship, ignoring that people are still imprisoned if they voice the dissent that the Western world continues to encourage, exploit, and only to then ignore when interests change.

The voices of dissent--the agents of change--are now being thrown into jails with the enthusiastic help of the US and Europe. The cards have apparently been redealt and, guess what? Guess who wins again?

Not anyone that stood for principles and swallowed the bitter consequences of estrangement from their homes and families or had their homes leveled to set an example. Not anyone who stood for anything other than self interest and opportunism.

Instead, the final laugh seems to be that of the corrupt and powerful. And it seems to get louder by the day.

Omar Deghayes, a Libyan arrested in Pakistan in 2002, is still in Guantanamo. No formal charges were made against him. In the latest Guardian article written by his sister Amani Deghayes, those same non-charges are the reasons the UK is refusing his re-entry upon release from Guantanamo. Alternatively, he's to head back to Libya.

Mr. Ali, in the following article, is in a similar predicament. He's an enemy of the world now that his enemy is a friend to him. And this is not even based on proven evidence--I have no idea of where the man stands on anything.

What I do understand is that the dissent has lost in this case, with the help of the US government (no, I'm not blaming the government but I am pointing out that this is a low level Iraqi uprising situation).

What was it that we wanted again?

Welsh terror raid Osama link
Oct 8 2006
Marc Baker

THE first terror suspect to be arrested in Wales following the London 7/7 bombings is accused of having links with Osama bin Laden.

Twelve months have passed since anti-terror police swooped on a quiet Cardiff street and held a married Libyan man as part of a series of dawn raids across the UK after 52 people died in the July atrocities.

Ever since, the bearded father-of-two, who had been granted asylum in Britain, has been detained under tough immigration laws at the high security Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire. He has not been charged with any criminal offence.

But last night his lawyers told Wales on Sunday the Home Office has accused the Libyan of being connected to terror chief bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network as the Government seeks to deport him.

The man, who has not been identified by the authorities, is accused of being a member of the terrorist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which sympathises with Al-Qaeda and has links to extremist groups in Egypt and Algeria. The radical group, formed in 1990, is believed to have planned the Casablanca suicide bombings in May 2003.

President George Bush placed LIFG on his list of terrorist organisations in 2004. The group was banned from operating in the UK by the Home Office last year. Anyone found to be a member can face a 10-year prison term.

But last night, as they prepare to fight plans to kick their client out of Britain, lawyers acting for the Libyan denied their client is involved with LIFG or Al-Qaeda.

Instead, they claim he is a casualty of the 'climate of fear' stirred up in the wake of the London bombings.

Lawyer Sean McLoughlin, of Birmingham-based TRP Solicitors, said: "This man is being detained under immigration laws. He has not been accused of being involved in any terror plot of any kind but the Home Office wants to deport him to Libya as they say his presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.

"The Home Office says he is a member of an anti-Colonel Gadaffi organisation (the LIFG) - which he isn't - which the Home Office say is 'involved' with or at least shares the ideology of Al-Qaeda - which is also rubbish."

Known locally as Mr Ali, the Libyan was arrested after cops raided the home he shared with his wife and two young children in Canton at 6am on October 3. He was seized after South Wales Police assisted Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch, who executed a search warrant, under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Mr McLoughlin explained: "He is still in detention and has been since last October, pending deportation to Libya. His appeal against deportation will be heard by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) this month. No criminal charges have been laid."

Although Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights prevents people from being deported to a regime where they may face torture, Mr McLouglin fears his client will be targeted if he is sent back to Libya.

"The Home Office accepts that Gadaffi's regime tortures political opponents but says that the UK Government and Libya have negotiated a memorandum of understanding between them to have Libya promise not to torture or ill-treat our client.

"A supposedly independent monitoring body has been appointed to check up on our client if he is returned to Libya, to ensure he is not tortured.

"But the body appointed by the Libyans and UK Government to monitor returned individuals is the Gadaffi Foundation which is headed up by Gadaffi's son - Saif Al-Islam Gadaffi.

"Our client is arguing that he will be tortured if returned to Libya and that he should not be deported."

The Welsh Refugee Council insists there is no evidence to suggest the Libyan has any terror links or has preached in support of terror networks.

Last night, the Home Office insisted it was "seeking to deport a number of people whose presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good for reasons of national security".

icWales - Welsh terror raid Osama link