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Americans Aid, Abet Enemy At Al Jazeera

While we're on the topic of Al Jazeera, surely you have noticed the regular appearance on its pages of screeds from "Americans" who support their (that is, the terrorists') positions.

These "opinion pieces" are often the most rabidly anti-American writings to appear on Al Jazeera's site.

Here is just the latest example:

America adrift

By Sandy Shanks

Monday 28 August 2006, 16:21 Makka Time, 13:21 GMT

To the casual American observer of the news who relies on the half-hour a day evening broadcasts from CBS, NBC, ABC, or Fox, the war in Iraq has to appear very confusing at times. To the more ardent investigator, the same is true.

Even the news itself is under attack. In this case it involves the First Amendment and its cherished freedom of the press versus seeming excesses by an over-exuberant war president. Aljazeera itself experienced the enthusiasm of this chief executive when it was disclosed last November that president Bush wanted to bomb its headquarters in Qatar, an ally of the US.

Thinking in a uniquely disconcerting manner, Bush had deemed Aljazeera as providing aid and comfort to the enemy. Fortunately, Tony Blair, the British prime minister, is said to have talked Bush out of this disastrous course. This disclosure only added to the fog of war and general confusion among observers…

More comments… Bush has adamantly refused to provide the Sunni resistance and the foreign fighters under the flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq a date that will provide them with an end game as how long they need to hold out. Consequently, the senate voted down both resolutions after heated debate.

This was no shock to experts on Iraq. What came as a shock was that, in the same week, General George W Casey, the supreme commander in Iraq, privately presented a plan for significant troop reductions to the president…

Many a senator who is beginning to feel that congress has become irrelevant in this war was livid. Senator Boxer stated, "Now it turns out we [Democrats] are in sync with General Casey."

Events have occurred to indicate that our various branches of government are in conflict. Senator Carl Levin said: "One of the worst-kept secrets in town is that the administration intends to pull out troops before the mid-term elections in November."

The White House argued that Casey simply presented a contingency plan. Well, we all know about contingency plans, so here is my question. Did Casey also provide a contingency plan for bolstering our beleaguered troops in Iraq?

Recently, the supreme court weighed in. In a case involving a Guantanamo detainee, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, one of Osama bin Laden's drivers, the judges voted against the Bush administration, indicating that the court was not willing to accept Bush's concept that his war powers are limitless and beyond challenge. Justice Stephen Breyer said: "Congress has not issued the executive a blank cheque."

Another alarming issue regarding this president is his chronic use of what are known as signing statements. Ordinarily, meaning for the past 200 years or so, a bill becomes the law of the land when congress passes it and the president signs it. Not with Bush.

He has usurped the authority to issue a separate statement saying he reserves the right to revise, interpret, or disregard laws he has signed on national security and constitutional grounds. Arguably, the signing statements are themselves unconstitutional, and Bush has issued them in conjunction with more than 750 laws.

Americans have to ask themselves if this is the type of democracy we wish to export. Can the leader of a democratic nation decide which laws he will obey? The answer, of course, is no.

Through the power of the people and its representatives, the US is a nation of laws. That holds true even for the president. Interestingly, the president's Republican party may lose its grip on congress in the legislative elections in November. This brings up the possibility of his impeachment. The concept of the unitary executive is not the image Americans wish to project.

There are even conflicts within the Bush administration. The Pentagon, under the leadership of the secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, wishes to rewrite a portion of the Army Manual, omitting the Geneva Convention Detainee Rule that bans "humiliating and degrading treatment". The state department fiercely opposes the military's decision and has been pushing for the Pentagon and White House to reconsider.

Then there is a problem with the contrast between what our leaders are saying and what they are doing. Rumsfeld recently stated: "We do not intend to occupy [Iraq] for any period of time. Our troops would like to go home and they will go home."

Can the leader of a democratic nation decide which laws he will obey? The answer, of course, is no. Excellent idea, but we are currently building an enormous embassy in Baghdad, which encompasses 21 buildings that will house more than 8,000 government officials.

It will have all the amenities, a huge pool, gym, theatre, beauty salon, school, and six apartment buildings. In addition, we are building a gargantuan military base, appropriately named Camp Anaconda, which occupies 15 square miles of Iraqi soil near Balad.

20,000 soldiers along with thousands of contractors call it home, and the airport is the second-busiest in the world behind only Chicago’s O’Hare. Anywhere between six and 14 more US military bases are in the pipeline to be built or are being built.

Marjorie Cohn writes: "It does not appear we will be leaving any time soon – or any time, really."

Then there is the persistent disparity between what Bush says and reality. Giving troops a pep talk on July 4th, America’s independence day, Bush said that since the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in June, US/Iraqi forces have conducted more than 190 raids on targets throughout the country.

He said that more than 700 enemy combatants had been captured and 60 more killed. This is in stark contrast with the most recent report issued by Baghdad’s central morgue. It stated that the morgue had received 1,595 bodies in June, a 16 per cent increase over May.

This is largely due to the systematic sectarian killings between Sunni and Shia militias, and, not surprisingly, civilians bear the brunt of the killing. Seventy per cent of the deaths are non-combatants. Bush's statistics are undoubtedly accurate, but they are not relevant to progress. The morgue’s statistics are. Unfortunately, they indicate a lack of progress as Iraq descends into the abyss of civil war.

Mass confusion reigns in Iraq…

"No one knows who is who right now," says Adil Abdul Mahdi, one of Iraq’s vice-presidents. "We do not think the problem in Iraq is militias. People have to defend themselves."

Sitting on my patio on a quiet residential street in Southern California, US of A, it took a while for his last sentence to sink in. My God! What have we done!

Obviously, the situation in Iraq is dire. With our various branches of government, executive, legislative, and judicial at odds, and our president suffering from some of the worst popularity numbers in US history, it is time for President Bush to take charge and unify our federal government and unify Americans.

It is time for our president to take certain steps, whether they are popular or not, to end the killing and destruction in Iraq and begin the rebuilding of this republic with its dynamic people and an extremely valuable resource. And it must be done irrespective of politics, but respective of need.

Considering this bloody sequence began with our invasion of this nation nearly three-and-a-half years ago and the violence is unabated since that dubious day, for the United States of America to begin withdrawing troops for political convenience would be the worst perfidy we have ever perpetrated on any nation in our history.

[Sandy Shanks is the author of two novels, The Bode Testament and Impeachment. An avid historian, he is also an experienced columnist, specialising in political/military issues.]

I have no idea what point Mr. Shanks is trying to make here. I doubt that he does either.

But does it sound to you like the writing of a a Marine, a conservative, a fervent patriot — and someone fighting the war on terrorism who will not give up?

Me neither.

And yet this is the same "Sandy Shanks" who purportedly wrote the following responses to inquiries from The Dread Pundit Bluto:

Why He Wrote for al Jazeera – My Conversation With Sandy Shanks

Subject: Re: al Jazeera
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 14:54:03 -0800

Hi Bluto,

… As far as al Jazeera is concerned, in my lonely fight against terrorism, I have been afforded the opportunity to "speak" directly to our Muslim brethren on this planet. Before you become too critical, you should review the summation of the article. It tells the Muslim world — although the al Jazeera site is viewed by many outside the Muslim world, yourself, for instance — that we will not quit. Not this time.

I am a Marine, a conservative, a fervent patriot, and a very, very concerned American.

You, on the other hand, have a website with an ominous title.

Sandy Shanks

And another response:

Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2005 6:41 PM
Subject: Re: al Jazeera

Hi Bluto,

… This reply is in no way a defense. It is more of a clarification. I have done nothing that requires defensive statements, assuming that being a loyal American does not require justification…

We are staring at possible defeat, and our leaders are perfectly satisfied to maintain the status quo. Defeat is not an option. The same could be said for our current tactics which promise an endless war. I am critical of our military leadership for the sole reason that I wish them to be more effective and win this thing. Perhaps, that is someone's definition of succor to the enemy…

… Early on in the article I spoke about the uninformed American and compared him to the informed Arab. That will grab Muslim attention, will it not? Hopefully, I will hold it right up to the point where I say we won't quit.

Al Jazeera has a bad rap. Why? Because al Jazeera has been chosen by various terrorist organizations, as well as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahri, to broadcast their tapes. That simply is good reporting. Do you honestly think CNN would pass up such an opportunity? Besides, in my day we called that good intell, if verified. Put a different way, al Jazeera is providing intelligence to the Western world. What, pray, is wrong with that?

Scott Ritter — many are aware of the man — appeared on al Jazeera and proclaimed that American defeat is inevitable. There is not enough gold in all the world to compel me to say that.

In this war, speaking about the War on Terrorism, not exclusively Iraq, would anyone pass up the opportunity to speak to the Muslim world? If so, why condemn me? If not, why not. Communication is good, is it not? Those who demur may feel we are at war with Islam? There is a name for such a war. It is in the Bible, Revelations. The name is Apocalypse.

Once again, noting that I concluded with the thought that America will persevere, what you have is an American patriot speaking on al Jazeera. If some have a problem with that, I'm really sorry about that.

I am fighting this war the only way I can. Perhaps, that deserves some measure of respect, not censure.

Best regards,
Sandy Shanks

Mr. Shanks sure has a peculiar way of expressing his resolve. In the above email Shanks claimed:

Scott Ritter — many are aware of the man — appeared on al Jazeera and proclaimed that American defeat is inevitable. There is not enough gold in all the world to compel me to say that.

Apparently Mr. Shanks' price went down, for just one year later Al Jazeera posted this from him:

America Is Going To Lose This War

By Sandy Shanks

08 January, 2006

The writing is on the wall. The American people are already being prepped for withdrawal, which equates to defeat for Americans and Iraqis alike any way you look at it.American resolve is not being weakened by those who wish a precipitate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. American resolve and our military leadership are endangered by the President of the United States…

Maybe I am like the President, "thinking in a uniquely disconcerting manner," but it sure seems to me that Sandy is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. And that that has been his intentions all along.

Of course Mr. Shanks is just one of the cadre of useful idiots "Americans" Al Jazeera publishes to help them in their cause.

Heck, they even publish Cindy Sheehan. And we know she's just a soccer mom who wouldn't dream of helping our country's enemies.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 19th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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