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Aug-26-2010 05:30printcomments

Do We Really Ever Learn Much?

There is no end to excitement in the news this summer, most of it we could have done better without, and after watching similar stuff repeatedly over the years with little real change, one wonders if collectively we ever really learn much.

Anti-mosque protest

(GOLD RIVER, B.C.) - Those of us in BC who follow the news certainly have a lot to chew on these days. Down in the US the silly season is in full swing, this time centering on a proposed community centre to be built by Muslims a couple of blocks from so called "ground zero" in New York City.

There are some concerns that the developers may have ulterior motives, such as advancing the cause of radical Islam, yet many do not see it that way. Such concerns are certainly worth exploring, any radical religious philosophy or cultural practice that features violence, be it Muslim, Christian, Jewish or whatever, should be opposed.

The biggest concerns, however, seem to be based either in political opportunism that plays on raw emotions and fear, or on bigotry, or both.

People are acting out all over the country on this issue, and some reports say about 70% of Americans oppose the building. No doubt a feature of growing mass hysteria and not rational thinking.

Not only is this centre being opposed because "it is too close to ground zero," protests are happening against new mosques in several other states far from "ground zero." Perhaps all of the people with their hair on fire over this issue should go back and check out what the United States is supposed to be.

One thing is tolerant.

The photos of the yahoos demonstrating against the development do not show much tolerance, but they do contain humour if one is considering how silly people can be.

My favourite protest sign says "You can build a Mosque at Ground Zero when we can build a Synagogue in Mecca."

How juvenile, some people are still obviously stuck in a kindergarten mentality. Why should how Americans conduct their society be dependent upon how other countries conduct theirs? The United States is supposed to be tolerant and respectful of freedom.

One would also hope enlightened, though it appears that that characteristic is disappearing more every day.

Aside from a thin patina of modernity, Saudi Arabia is a socially backward, medieval country whose social rules do not pass the test of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It is demeaning to even suggest tit for tat with such an unenlightened culture.

Of course the culture that some of the protesters would force on society if they had the power might not be much different in many ways. Closer to home here in BC we have the never ending Gordon Campbell Follies, brought to us by the big corporations who own and operate the premier and his caucus.

Mr. Campbell's government is far more deceitful and rapacious than Glen Clark's ever was, and if his owners did not control the media and much of the opinion in the province, he would not have survived past his first term. His disposal of BC Rail is still winding its way through the criminal courts, and his manipulations of BC Hydro aimed to provide more benefits to his backers may destroy one of the finest public utility systems on the continent. WAC Bennett must be rolling in his grave at what this bunch has done.

Land use and environmental policies are in a mess and in a recent report the BC Auditor General said of the Ministry of Environment that "its plans were incomplete or dated; conservation policies are not being consistently upheld; and little action has been taken to ensure conservation. As well, the ministry is not reporting publicly on its progress." Never mind that environmental integrity is probably the most important thing required to support us in the long run, these guys are toasting it.

Then there is the HST fiasco, that tax that they were not going to pass, then did after they were re-elected. It is so unpopular that hundreds of thousands have signed a petition against it, yet the government does not want to consider the will of the public, and their backers in the corporations went to court to try and stop the petition. They lost, so the fate of the HST and the government are still up in the air, but meanwhile inflation is rising, and Statistics Canada links it to the HST.

There is no end to excitement in the news this summer, most of it we could have done better without, and after watching similar stuff repeatedly over the years with little real change, one wonders if collectively we ever really learn much.


Jerry West grew up on a farm in Fresno County, California, and served with the US Marine Corps from 1965 to 1970 including 19 months in Vietnam with the Third Marine Division, and three years at MCAS Iwakuni where he became an anti-war organizer in 1970. He earned an Honors Degree in History at the University of California, Berkeley, and did two years of graduate study there. While in university he worked seasonally in fire and law enforcement with the US Forest Service.

After university he worked for a number of years in the international tour industry in operations and management before moving to a remote village on the west coast of Vancouver Island where he is currently the editor and publisher of The Record newspaper serving the Nootka Sound region. He is a Past President of the Northern California Land Trust, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

You can email Jerry West, Writer, at:

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Natalie September 19, 2010 2:45 pm (Pacific time)

Right. I "prejudged" men, and that caused half the world going crazy. You called me ignorant, prejudgemental, sexist, racist, hypocrite and that's nothing. That's OK. One thing that I learned about debates is that when a person resorts to name-calling, it's a clear indication of his/her weakness in providing contrarguments. That's it. Try to have a nice day. (Yawn)It's getting kinda boring. I wonder what Daniel Johnson is "cooking"; haven't "harrassed" him for a while.

Daniel September 19, 2010 1:02 pm (Pacific time)

Natalie never said all men and all women have all the same qualities I just said you can not group all men or all women and make blank statements about them ! When you say forget men because they are war mongers and cant see beyond their ego you prejudge half the world . Thats not uniting its dividing , not the greatest diplomatic position to bring about peace . Sorry you still do not get it .

September 18, 2010 12:47 pm (Pacific time)

I wrote only about one quality-aggressiveness. And I didn't say that aggressiveness is always negative. Thanks to it, men are more likely to push their limits in reaching goals. There're certainly qualities that I admire in men, like ability to have a figh

Natalie September 18, 2010 1:20 pm (Pacific time)

I mentioned only one quality that YOU consider negative. I didn't say it's always negative. Aggressiveness makes men push their limits more often then women. There're certainly qualities in men that I admire, like ability to move on fast after a recent fight, forget the whole thing, and be friends like nothing happened. Women are more likely to use it as a weapon and feel offended for a while. But since you believe that men and women have the same qualities, what identifies you as a man except physical differences? Nothing at all? Really? Sounds sort of like amoebas. Single cell. Nothing different. So do we get together just for reproductive purposes, then? Amoebas reproduce by dividing their cells in part, sort of like worms. It would be easier for us too. No fights, argumets, nerve breaks, and divorces. Anyway, we got off the track too far into the woods. It was about the mosque. Write an article about equal qualities, and we can chat more. So far, it's irrelevant to the topic.

Daniel September 18, 2010 10:48 am (Pacific time)

Natalie you project all the qualities you write off men for , aggressiveness and ego . This only makes you a hypocrite , thank you for making my point . You cannot assign negative qualities exclusively to one group , I see all people as individuals not necessarily in lock step with their gender , race , religion or nationality . You still see people as stereotypes ! You still do not get it .

Natalie September 15, 2010 8:04 pm (Pacific time)

Oh, Daniel, why can't you just say that you're losing to a woman? See, that's men's agression right there, hurt pride, and desire to prove that you're stronger. Don't even try to say that I'm equally agressive. I have bad genes, you know... So, what's the % of those "iron ladies" in comparison to men-leaders in the world? Hmmm, don't want to speculate, but definitely much less %, which only proves my point. Thank you, nice try. You can pull that argument about mothers-children-abusers, murderers, those horrific cases when women drowned their children . They are extremely rare which also proves my point. Exception only proves the rule. On the other hand, let's look at the latest statistics about children living with mothers only. The number is from 10.2% to 41.9% depending on whether you're Asian, Black, Latino, or White while % of children living with a father only 2.8% to 6.1% So, where are those fathers? What are they doing? Right... they don't care about their abandoned children. They are looking for adventures, entertain themselves in gangs(oh BTW not many women are active gang member shooting people because it's fun) What about armed robberies? How many of them are commited by women compared to men? What about spousal abuse? Who's the winner in that category?...ummm hint-men. Women don't say "don't worry darling, I'll protect and take care of you and kids", that's a men's line. D'you want to guess why? Re "my twisted prospective", I asked a question for which I would like to hear an answer from a Muslem woman. Unless you are a Muslem woman, you can't answer that. I love it when men decide for us what we like and how we should feel. But hey, tell you what- in retribution for all your "pain and suffering" you can do that...what is it called...wudu rituals. Yeah. Just don't buy a doll that is too ugly. I'll feel so insulted. Don't forget about accessories-hint-those are preferably not cheap jewerly and in my case not a dollar-store perfumes. Women, pissed out about their appearance misrepresentation, are far more dangerous than an army of your insulted men over their "feeeelings".

Daniel September 15, 2010 10:09 am (Pacific time)

Natalie are you talking about Thatcher , Rice , Clinton , Livi , or a number of other aggressive political leaders who are women when you say less aggressive and more sensitive ? We live in a diverse world where women have power and use it aggressively . You try to state the prospective of a Moslem women without having the prospective of a moslem women , that twisting the facts , sorry you do not get it . ! Jerry I agree greed is the root that helps inflame blind emotion . This center is the perfect example , turning something good into what is perceived as evil . The 70% disapproval shows how easy it is to manipulate the public , it also helps when there is a strong prejudice against those who are of a different religion and race . Natalie in my high school days it was common knowledge that women would not make good leaders because they are controlled by emotion and vanity . This common knowledge has been proven false as most blanket statements about gender and race have been . I am sorry you still cling to these false concepts .

Jerry West September 14, 2010 11:36 am (Pacific time)

Daniel wrote

"What gets in the way of peace is misunderstanding and judging the intentions of another culture ."  ----  Actually, the root of what gets in the way is greed.  It serves the interest of greedy people to foster misunderstanding so that they can manipulate it.

Natalie September 14, 2010 1:25 am (Pacific time)

Daniel, ever heard a phrase "men are from Mars, women are from Venus". Does that insult you too? You are the one who's twisting my words. I say "women are less agressive and more sensitive", you say "you're sexist". I say "women can sacrifice their ambitions for their kids". You say "you insulting Muslim men". Men and women should be equal in their opportunities, but we're different re not only physical but psychological aspects including sensitivity. That's a pretty common knowledge in high school. If you don't know that, google human psychology or articles about differences between sexes. Re "multi culture center to improve the neighborhood and bridge cultures", it obviously didn't play out very well. Looks like it was a bridge to the wrong side. There should be another strategy to build a "bridge". Don't you think? And OMG! what am I supposed to do now that I insulted every man on the planet Earth including Muslim men? Ummmm... I can mail you a box of tissues via Tim King, of course. Meanwhile, I'm done with my coffee, so I'll go try to catch my last night pink dreams without feeling guilty even for a second. In general, I find it depressing when men use that "I'm so insulted" by who knows what. Just lovely. Adorable. EEWWWWW yuk.

Daniel September 14, 2010 12:13 am (Pacific time)

Melanie if I stated Forget Blacks , They cant exist without wars and proving something to their ego , that would be racist . If I said the same about any culture , race or gender it still is prejudging a whole group . I am sorry this concept does not register with you .

Daniel September 13, 2010 11:48 pm (Pacific time)

So Natalie you perceive all man acting the same world wide , that concept is as out of date as all women must be house wives . What gets in the way of peace is misunderstanding and judging the intentions of another culture . Such as turning a multi culture center to improve the neighborhood and bridge cultures into a desecration of holy ground . Thats called twisting the facts so you can project your gut reaction to what you have little understanding of . BTW all men includes Moslem men , so yes you have also insulted them also !

Melanie September 13, 2010 6:32 pm (Pacific time)

Natalie you made some excellent points. The one detractor you have is, well, obviously uninformed about gender issues, at the very least.

Natalie September 13, 2010 5:05 pm (Pacific time)

Yeah, I meant to address my last post to Daniel. No hidden intention to lower a man's pride there.

Natalie September 13, 2010 4:56 pm (Pacific time)

What are you talking about? Where did I say "Moslem men"? What exactly am I twisting? Men are the same in every culture: they always compete. That's why so many men are in business world. Competition. It's natural. What's wrong with that? BTW, you're so fast to brand people with these silly rubber stamps-feminists, sexists, whatever. There's one more, you forgot to mention-a racist. That's really the one requiring a lot of intellect to remember. And yeah, I'm a sexist-last time I checked my DL, it indicated my gender as a female. And I'm injoying it, what can I say? But back to our sheep: I think that women ,more or less, want the same in all cultures-peace for their kids, and if the building of the mosque gets in the way of that peace, they would find the solution more easily than men.(I think it's a feature of a feminist to demean men :))

Daniel September 13, 2010 10:22 am (Pacific time)

Natalie what a sexist blanket statement about Moslem men . Its like saying all women are too stupid to vote , or all Russians are Communist spy . It would be interesting hearing from a real Moslem women not your twisted reflection of one . The center in NY was a Mosque but wanted to expand into a multi cultural center for outreach into the community . Rep Peter King , not related to Tim , stirred up a big stink out of nothing but hate and the media jumped in . There were a number of moslems who were killed in the towers along with a number of foreign nationals . America has expanded the hate into major wars killing many thousands with millions negatively effected who had nothing what soever to do with 911 . 70% oppose the center because of hate and fear-mongering by politicians and the media . Ignorance is contagious !

Natalie September 10, 2010 5:21 pm (Pacific time)

It would be interesting to hear Muslim women' opinions on this issue. Forget men. They can't exist without wars and proving something to their ego. I mean, let's look at it from the opposite side. Let's assume I'm a Muslim woman. Let's assume also that I believe in all those theories about "iside job" at Twin Towers and that the real people behind 9/11 were Israelis, and not some extremists of the same religion as me. So, one day, we decide to build a bigger, nicer mosque. The location is great, but it makes our neighbours going crazy, not only them, but the whole city. For some reason those people don't share the "conspiracy theory" idea; and I just want a peaceful place to pray. Will it feel peaceful for me and my kids after all? (pardon, I'm not familiar with rules for kids and women in mosques, but let's assume they have the same rights as men). I must say, I would grab my kids and leave immediately in search for something more peaceful. Unless I want to rub it in their faces. But then, what's the point of going to the mosque (church, temple etc.) if it's not about finding peace and spiritual comfort?

Jerry West September 10, 2010 3:09 pm (Pacific time)

Mike, Muslims do not have sole claim to being insensitive, the Koran burners and mosque protesters are also insensitive. There is no common sense involved in any of this, getting upset about whose fairytale is the true faith and carrying out all of these idiot acts in the name of some fantasy or another. All of the protestors, Muslim, Christian, and whatever, are being used to stir up discontent to serve purposes that have nothing to do with any faith or culture. The rational approach is to stick to the law for remedies, not cave in to the rule of emotion. Thought this was cute:

Mike September 10, 2010 1:53 pm (Pacific time)

Jerry West the whole issue here is about "sensitivity." The below article is about how insensitive people act, why not compare and contrast? You think the below could happen here? I say keep your eye on happenings in Europe, because everything is approaching "simmer." "FLASHBACK: Father Musalam additionally told The Jerusalem Post that the Muslim gunmen used rocket-propeled grenades (RPGs) to blow through the doors of the church and school, before burning Bibles and destroying every cross they could get their hands on. Christians in Gaza Fear for Their Lives as Muslims Burn Bibles and Destroy Crosses. After defeating their rivals in Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, Muslim extremists are focusing their attacks on Christians in Gaza City. Christians in Gaza City have issued an appeal to the international community and a plea for protection against the increased attacks by Muslim extremists...Father Manuel Musallem, head of Gaza's Latin church, told the AP that Muslims have ransacked, burned and looted a school and convent that are part of the Gaza Strip's small Romany Catholic community. He told the AP that crosses were broken, damage was done to a statue of Jesus, and at the Rosary Sister School and nearby convent, prayer books were burned. Gunmen used the roof of the school during the fighting, and the convent was "desecrated," Mussalem told the AP.

Jerry West September 10, 2010 11:19 am (Pacific time)

Well, Anon, points are not facts and the problem with some of Mr. Saari's points are that they are based on his fantasies, not fact. As for 70% of Americans considering it insensitive, good for them, that is their right, but no basis for denying whoever to build whatever local zoning ordnances will allow. The Constitution does not prohibit insensitivity for one, and two the reaction to the building is stupid and only makes the situation worse, which is probably the intent of those behind it.

Anon. September 9, 2010 6:13 pm (Pacific time)

Seems Mr. Saari made some points that several of you dislike. Kind of like the divisiveness that is going on about the New York mosque. Considering that over 70% of America consider it an insensitive act, the groundwork is being laid down for even more future acrimony that may bubble over. Any more threats from muslims overseas threatening hostile action against us for who we are will soon be called into task, and I ain't talking "all in" Texas Hold'em. There are over 2,000 mosques in America, so the beef has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment, nor anyone who has an opinion different from others should be castigated, but no class is no class IMHO.

Daniel September 8, 2010 10:31 pm (Pacific time)

What a shock to find out Steve sorry was a teacher . One can only imagine the hate and power tripping he projected to his students, judging from his posts . I hold steve in the same regard as the burned out looking preacher to small minds terry jones. Did jones get that big red nose and fried look from reading the bible too close or heavy drinking ? I was shocked to read he is only 58 , from the photos he looks an unhealthy 70 . I see why people put there children in home schools with teachers and preachers like steve and terry . .

Jerry West September 8, 2010 6:07 pm (Pacific time)

Steve wrote: "nor have any of your contributing writers," Only in your imagination, Steve. :)

Steve Saari September 8, 2010 2:55 pm (Pacific time)

Editor I am sorry you had to experience writing casualty reports, you mean cut and paste, right? It is nearly as heart-wrenching as writing to loved ones of those killed under one's command. Have you experienced that? Have you experienced putting your fellow dead soldiers/marines in body bags? Maybe you also experienced running out of body bags and needed to wrap them in poncho's tied with commo wire? Have you done that while bleeding from your own wounds? Probably not, nor have any of your contributing writers, but I have. I also know Islam very well, and they are far worse than the zionists. Just the same, the average age of those killed in our current conflict is 27, so maybe you're just projecting the mental/emotional state you had at 18/19. These young soldiers are men, way beyond your skill level, that I am sure of. Oh, and the causualties are disproportionately white, as they have been in all our wars. Maybe you should try to get an infantry officer combat vet to respond to these types of issues, for you are woefully inexperinced. If fact you may have something else going on. As a former teacher and school principal, I know people like you so very well. The mold was set probably before you even entered 1st grade. As it is no officer combat vet like I described above would want to have anything to do with those who support are enemies. The time for treason prosecution will be here soon, and there will be consequences.

Editor: Actually Steve, if that is your real name, I was the first person to ever publish a casualty report (in world history) that had current photos and personal accounts.  Most people haven't commanded troops, that is a stupid comparison.  Just accept that you are on the wrong side and then I can respect you, war is a terrible thing and if you had ever been in one, you would know that.  I think we're done.

Warrior September 7, 2010 6:17 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, Bonnie King, and readers: It is so unfortunate that so many of you have not a clue of the danger the democrat party has put America in since Woodrow Wilson. By next year as hearings begin, pay attention!

When I was first named to serve at the side of President Bill Clinton and carry the nuclear “football” containing the nation’s nuclear capability as a young Air Force officer, I was proud and grateful. Over the next two years, however, my experiences in the Clinton White House turned my gratitude and awe into shock, revulsion, and sorrow as I experienced the cavalier and self-serving way Clinton went about the business of running our country. I wrote my first book, Dereliction of Duty, documenting our former President's contempt for the military, his indifference to important issues except insofar as they served his own political or personal purposes, and his failure to accept his responsibilities as our commander-in-chief. Indeed, it is my sincere belief that the dereliction of duty and negligence of Bill Clinton paved the way for the tragic events and deaths of September 11, 2001.

Now, tragically, I see history repeating itself with the presidency of Barack Obama. Only this time the conduct and dereliction of Obama and his administration are on pace to result in devastation of a much larger scale than that even of 9/11. In only a year and a half in office, Obama has not only reversed many of the successful accomplishments of his predecessor which have kept us safe; he’s done it at lightning speed. In doing so, Obama is clearly placing the United States in an increasingly vulnerable and threatened condition. As I hoped to accomplish in writing Dereliction of Duty, I again caution my nation in my new book, Conduct Unbecoming: How Barack Obama is Destroying Our Military and Endangering Our Security.

In Barack Obama we have elected a foreigner. He is a stranger in our midst. No, not in the fact that he was born in Hawaii and spent some years growing up in Indonesia, nor is it about his race, but in his approach to the land that he governs—the United States of America. We have elected a leader who is more comfortable bowing to the Japanese Emperor Akihito, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and Chinese President Hu Jintao, then he is in embracing the character, the integrity and the exceptionalism of America—and defending the land that he calls home.

Among the more egregious policies and associations of Barack Obama and his administration that I explore in Conduct Unbecoming are:

• Barack Obama’s key California fundraiser and money bundler, Jodie Evans, and her organization Code Pink delivering cash and material support to the terrorists killing Americans in Iraq.

• Although he based his presidency on “change,” Obama’s administration consists of many of the same personalities I served with at the Clinton White House, e.g., Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, Harold Ickes, Rahm Emanuel, Eric Holder, Susan Rice, Leon Panetta, and Erskine Bowles.

• Obama’s “World American Shame Tour” as he delivered addresses and offered apologies for American foreign policy in locales such as Cairo, Prague, Moscow, Berlin, Ankara, Oslo and the United Nations. • The cessation of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on key terror leaders which have prevented attacks and American deaths.

• The emasculation of the Central Intelligence Agency and future intelligence gathering through threats of prosecution and the release of previously classified documents.

• The ambivalent and uninspired approach toward the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, neither seeking to win them or quit them.

• The announced closure of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the transfer of committed terrorists for incarceration on American soil.

• The dithering and feckless diplomatic efforts as Iran and North Korea build nuclear weapons and the vehicles to deliver them.

How can these two Presidents, Clinton and Obama, from the same political party but seemingly disparate backgrounds be so similar in their callous disregard for national security and defense?

As I outline and expose in Conduct Unbecoming, they were birthed from the same ideological cloth and have surrounded themselves with much the same political machine. Among their homogenous roots are their connections to George Soros, the Ford Foundation, and the Center for American Progress, among others.

As I personally experienced as both an Air Force pilot and at the side of the President, Clinton’s military response to terrorist threats was negligible and did nothing to seriously address the problem. It was a mindset and an aversion to risk with which President Clinton never began, much less finished, a war on terrorism, because he never thought in terms of prosecuting a military campaign against terrorism, and he underestimated the rapidly evolving threat until it was too late.

Obama’s approach is eerily similar in this increasingly dangerous world in which we live. Clinton chose to defer the war on terrorism to law enforcement agencies thereby not having to make decisions as commander-in-chief; so too is Obama. This time, however, the stakes are much higher and Obama has shown neither the proclivity nor desire to shake the failed policies of former Democratic Presidents with regards to national defense.

While Obama has declared that he will triumph over the enemy we face in our “overseas contingencies,” jihadists continue to prosecute their war from Pakistan to Yemen to Fort Hood, Tex., to Detroit. While Obama spends his time attacking his predecessor and his policies, our enemy continues to plan, plot and execute attacks on America and Americans.

I thought I’d seen it all while working for Bill Clinton. Turns out I was wrong. Barack Obama is worse! Much worse! Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson, United States Air Force (Ret.), is the author of "Conduct Unbecoming: How Barack Obama is Destroying the Military and Endangering Our Security."

Tim King: I think we have a clue Buzz, we're living it every day and I have taken the time to visit the places that Bush decided to plunder.  I recognize that you are peddling a book and that is fine, but I do disagree with your POV and I am not wrong, so let's leave it at that.  Others can add their thoughts if they are so inclined, thanks for your comment. 

Steve Saari September 7, 2010 2:43 pm (Pacific time)

A quick comment on an editor's comment. The average age of soldiers in Irag/Afghanistan is not 18, in fact it's 27, which is 4 years older than the average age during the Vietnam War. Some also tried to say it was just a bunch of 18/19 year olds fighting back then also. They were always non-combatants who made that claim. Idiots. I wonder why they like distorting facts, then and now? As far as the military personnel who go over to these countries where the practice of Islam is culturally omnipresent, most learn how unyielding and brutal that religion can become the longer they are there. It is a political ideology, and should not come under 1st Amendment protection as far as taxes are concerned. Also governments (county/parish, city and state), routinely regulate the sizes of all buildings, including those of a religious nature, like a mosque or church. Maybe the editor would be better served doing some reserch on finding veterans who know both the history of Islam, it's tactics/strategy and end game before talking about your "evolved writers", none of which appear to be experts in Islam nor [also] qualified war veterans with experience in these current war zones. Zionism is a problem, but Islam has become a major problem in Europe and our body count is increaing here in the states at the hands of Islamic fanatics who for some stupid insane reason our being supported by liberal nuts who don't have any idea about the world they live in. It's these empty vessels that are the problem, not the 18 year old warriors. I believe on 9/11 a church in Florida is going to burn a pile of Qurans, and so what. That is a 1st Amendment right. You on the left have no problems when they burn the bible, our flag or anything else that most Americans hold dear. So I hope this burning happens, just to see what the left does. The hypocrisy will be amazing if it happens.

Editor: So your answer is blind nationalism and to Hell with what is right and wrong?  Just say 'yes' if America says so?  I think not, unless you are one of the millions of sheep who has no ability to see it through your own eyes. For your information I have written a lot of casualty reports and yes, people over 18 die frequently, but the average 'troop' in an infantry unit is still that 18 or 19 year old kid, who hasn't had time to figure out that they are being made to do some regrettable acts that they will deal with for the rest of their lives, if they survive.  Your USA war is a sham and an evil non necessary political act.  It is disgusting.  

Jerry West September 6, 2010 5:23 pm (Pacific time)

Harris, the US established itself with, among other things, the principle of freedom of religion. That means everyone is entitled to their own fantasies and fairy tales, whether they be Islam, Christianity, Judaism, the teachings of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, or whatever other foolishness that they wish to subscribe to. Churches and synagogues from time to time are also centers that preach hatred and intolerance and exhort their followers to commit acts of terrorism. The Becks and Limbaughs of the world get public air waves to preach their idiotic hatred. The American principle is to permit all of this, drawing the line only when beliefs and words are turned into criminal deeds and going after the doers, not the preachers. One might consider it hypocritical to want to protect America by trampling upon its principles. True love for the United States includes love for the Bill of Rights, no matter how distasteful or dangerous we may consider the exercise of those rights to be. One could argue that inciting hatred is not protected, and that may be the case, but when religion gets into the mix the issue becomes very muddy. There are a number of so called Christian pastors and followers that are no better than the Islamic radicals. If we start shutting down mosques on the grounds that they are centers of terrorism, logically we have set the precedent to do the same to a number of Christian and other centers. Anyhow, this whole affair is little more than a tempest in a teapot being stirred up for political purposes to manipulate the gullible.

Harris Moser September 6, 2010 7:32 am (Pacific time)

These comments don't seem to deal withe thearticle? It is important to remember that there are numerous huge mosques being built all over America with money from the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), another Muslim Brotherhood-linked group that gets Saudi funding. As mosque leaders have now admitted, and like most mosques in this country, the mega-mosque at Ground Zero will have to get foreign funding. The Muslim community in Lower Manhattan doesn’t need a giant mosque, and can’t pay for one. All over the country, NAIT is overseeing the construction of huge mosques that are much larger than the local Muslim group really needs.

These mega-mosques are making a supremacist statement. Most people assume they’re just like synagogues or churches. They don’t realize that Islam has political goals that are expressed through the mosques, and that the mosques often symbolize that Muslims are claiming a particular territory as their own. In Europe, the “no-go” areas for non-Muslims in France, Sweden and elsewhere show what these claims lead to.

For the Muslim Brotherhood, mosques aren’t just houses of worship. They’re centers of political power, from which plans are made to increase that power in various ways. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan know this well.

Jihadist imam Anwar al-Awlaki aided the 9/11 jihadis at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Va. Even after his role in inciting the Fort Hood jihadist and the Christmas balls bomber, his tapes were still on sale at the mosque bookstore just a month ago.

Is it really “racism” and “bigotry” to oppose the mega-mosque because of all this? Of course it isn’t. It’s just common sense. Common sense and love for America.

Editor: Do you really believe any of that?  You need to study Zionism, those are the religious fanatics causing the world grief.  Since when do you decide how big a church or mosque should be?  And please don't peddle politics through the views of 18 year old soldiers on the ground scared for their lives for a year at a time, they are not politically and historically aware of the background and reasons.  Some evolve to know a great deal, and they write for us.  

Jerry West September 4, 2010 7:01 pm (Pacific time)

Kevin, people have been dying since the beginning of history because of the inequality of wealth distribution. It will continue as long as a significant inequality exists. Politics, after all, boils down to how to divvy up the pie. As for opinions, there are those, and then there are facts. Fact is that the US, among other countries, have subverted the will of the people in a number of countries over the years. Opinion would be whether or not that was a good thing. That it was hypocritical, though, is probably a fact. I, too, prefer to have the voters sort it out, but it is hardly a fair vote if money controls what the voters hear the most, and don't hear. And voters are not able to make a reasonably informed choice if they have not had equal exposure to all points of view. A failing not only of our political culture, but of our primary and secondary education systems, too. Fat chance we are going to apply the precedence set in Nuremberg to our own leaders for their conduct since WWII. If we did Kissinger, Cheney and a bunch of them would be in prison. DJ, you can't credibly argue that people other than blacks in the US have not been mistreated. The US has a long history or prejudice and discrimination against all sorts of people for a number of reasons. What you can say is that in the case of blacks it has been worse and more enduring, though Native Americans might take issue, having been on the receiving end of genocide.

Kevin September 4, 2010 1:16 pm (Pacific time)

DJ you have missed my point, and that may be one of reasons that contributes to your misunderstanding of America, our history, and our highly dynamic culture, which includes the overwhelming evidence of our constant approach to solving social justice issues since our founding. Is American History a required school subject matter in Canadian schools? Probably an elective huh? Or are you self-educated? Maybe it's the type of information you received (and decided to focus on) coupled with not possessing a formal background in learning how to understand the flow of the American historical process that has impacted your comprehension of our exceptional culture? When you use an example of poor blacks (by the way your below example connotes a misleading "general" stereotype) in regards to their value system, you should also consider poor white children who are in similar socio-economic conditions. The comparisons are quite interesting, as it is with hispanic children. Then compare middle class values of whites and blacks (and hispanics). Of course a background in cultural anthropology would be of benefit, but even then you have such a wide variety of cause and effect variables promulgating even more diverse opinions by academics, probably far better informed/trained than either of us, I imagine. Have you done a formal literature review in this area? There are also a number of black writers who take an opposite view of the NY Times writer you so often quote, Herbert? Jerry West, no doubt people have very strong and different opinions on income re-distribution, including differences of your opinion on how America has impacted democracy on a global level. In fact tens of millions have perished just since 1917 (and before) because of opposing opinions on this income redistribution matter. Letting the voter's sort it out is far preferable than allowing a bunch of over-zealous amateurish radicals embark on their novice direction that so many of them want to do. Seems like the 1960's are back with us, but even more whacky now. This coming November's election should help put the economic reality of those radicals in perspective in terms of their "real value" to the majority. Jerry your quote: "Real justice would see many of our leaders and their backers on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity," is what I believe is on the horizon for many of these criminals who have harmed America. May we all celebrate when that time arrives.

All right, Kevin, trot out your supporting numbers, if they really exist and you actually have them. You keep sidestepping my main point and that is that African-expatriates (they weren't considered to be Americans until about a century or more later) have been criminally mistreated from the outset. Not the case with poor whites or poor Hispanics. The average white family is five times more prosperous than the average black family. Less than half a century ago blacks were legally segregated through much of the country. Maybe  you're unaware of that basic historical fact.

I read the results of an interesting Gallup poll today (Charles Blow, in NYT) correlating religiosity and poverty. The U.S. is a real outlier with high religiosity and high poverty, the only country in the world with that correlation. The numbers are there: The U.S. is the most economically inequitable country in the world. The distribution imbalance is equivalent to what it was in the 1920s. For the majority of working people, the country has gone backward over the last century.

And I haven't missed your point. I think you're a Republican hoping for/expecting Republicans to take both the House and the Senate this November. I suggest that you find a way to re-elect George Bush so he can finish the country off for you.

Daniel September 4, 2010 11:23 am (Pacific time)

Kevin I followed the buck and came up with Al-Waleed bin Talal , 7% owner of news corp , the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations as a few of the funders of the Mosque ! The centers stated aim was to create better understanding between people . The ignorance and intolerance toward this center is similar to a lynching . Reminds me of when ignorant fools burned Beatles record because of what the media misinformed about John Lennon . Even republican Mayor Bloomberg has the intelligence to support the project . It amazes me how many are ready to do violence out of ignorance . America should be the light house of freedom but comes across as foolish and totally uninformed on this issue . This only makes the world less safe for everyone .

Jerry West September 3, 2010 7:01 pm (Pacific time)

Oscar wrote: "Yeah that's what we Americans want."  Really?  I bet lots of
Americans would like a more equal distribution of wealth.  No one can speak for
"we Americans"  since we have a lot of differing views.  Better stated you could
have said "some Americans."  What brought the USSR down was military spending
that they could not afford.  The US may take heed of that, now being involved in
a war (Iraq, Afghanistan, GWOT, all one war really) that they are paying for on
credit.  (Taxes should have been increased to fully cover the costs of this
adventure, especially by a conservative government which theoretically does not
favor deficit spending)
Point of information here, at what consider its most prosperous time, the 1950s
and early 60s, the gap between the rich and the rest of us was narrower, and top
income tax rates were in the 90% range.  Maybe more equal wealth spread and
higher taxes bring prosperity?  As for Cuba and other countries that have had
socialist revolutions, they may not meet US standards, but to fairly judge them
you have to compare the existing regimes with those that they replaced.

DJ: The US does have a history of social justice.  In fact it has a history of
struggles for social justice and reaction to those struggles.  (radical labor
movements, the anti-war movement, the civil rights movement are some examples)
Mostly the reactionaries are on top, and even when they are not the wealthy
class only tolerates so much change, usually when change protects their
interests.  And, the struggles for social justice do not result in applications
universal to all, the problem of slavery in the original documents a case in
point.  One could say that social justice in the US has not been applied equally
to all on all occasions.  The society certainly has lots of room for
improvement, that I will admit.

Kevin, democracy was going around the world before the founding of the US, and
Canada in its own way is as or more democratic than the US.  I have lived and
participated for a considerable period of time in both cultures, and both have
their good points and bad.  I would not hold up either one as a shining example
of what is the best in the world.  Also, looking at the issue of democracy from
a global perspective, one has to consider the role of the US, and other wealthy
countries, in actually subverting democracy around the world in other cultures
in order to protect and enhance the economic advantage of the wealthy countries.
  Social justice in any one place is tainted if that place (like the US, as one
example) is engaged in denying justice to others.   Real justice would see many
of our leaders and their backers on trial for war crimes and crimes against

Jerry West

"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to
have for dinner."
James Bovard

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of
the world."  John Muir

Jerry: Your Bovard quote is incredibly appropos. I love it. DJ 

Kevin September 3, 2010 5:57 pm (Pacific time)

"CLIMATE OF THE TIMES." DJ, DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS? Spend some time in some inner cities and see the resources that are poured in and then make an educated assessment based on actual experience. What happened two hundred years ago , or ten thousand years ago is irrelevant to where we are today, but the journey and the processes that took place, now that is what is important to good historians and political scientists. As I wrote in a below post, it is time to have all our citizens to understand the importance of "obligations and responsibility." In regards to your contemporary evaluation of our founders and their founding documents, that is the most common error of an entry level student in History 101.

You contradict yourself. If, as you say, "what happened two hundred years ago, or ten thousand years ago is irrelevant to where we are today" is true, then why do you revere the Constitution, etc., as if they were somehow important and relevant today? 

 The past is important and was the seed and process making up today. I agree that citizens need to be aware of their obligations and responsibilities. But there's a disconnect that you're not acknowledging. The idea of rights and obligations in the mind of a black kid who grew up with a half dozen siblings with a single mother on welfare in the slums of some inner city is going to be vastly different from your white, middle class, orientation. Or do you think that maybe he should just eat cake?

Kevin September 3, 2010 7:25 am (Pacific time)

DJ, your opinion, I imagine is most valuable, but to a very small minority is my guess, just the same, our Constitution allows for all opinions, and that is a very unique form of social justice. Historically, go back to the creation of the American Constitution and our Bill of Rights, what other country allowed their citizens such freedom? None. As time has gone by the spread of democracy has gone around the world (even Canada), so if it had been a "rotten thing," as you opine, then it would have withered on the vine. Just the opposite has happened. It would be impossible, in my opinion, to say that it was not our form of government that allowed us to achieve what we have as a nation. Once again that saying: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink."

Also: You can lead a man to ideas, but you can't make him think.

You say no other nations "allowed their citizens such freedom". But you seem to be wilfully ignoring the criminal mistreatment of African-Americans from the get-go and pretending that such a poison pill in the nation's founding is of no relevance.

Kevin September 2, 2010 7:08 pm (Pacific time)

Since the 1960's there has been a major push to improve the lives of all Americans, with special laws aimed specifically for blacks. It appears that after hundreds of billions of dollars (I have heard it may be in the trillions) things have worsened. It literally breaks my heart. When you have a high out-of-wedlock birthrate it usually means future poverty. When you have high school dropout rates it also generally means poverty, especially as our job market is requiring better educated/trained employees. What's the answer?Well loads of money has just not worked, and empirically, it has made things worse. Just the same DJ, we continue to look for ways to improve life for everybody. Maybe it's time for blacks to look for different leaders within their communities? While people like Jackson and Sharpton came into power, things have gotten much worse. Teaching people in their youth about "RESPONSIBILITY AND OBLIGATIONS," instead of "RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES," may be a better method of fostering positive results. When I was young, it was being taught that responsibilities and obligations was a way to approach life. It has served me well, and also my children who I passed it down to, and now their children. Hard work may not always pay off, but sitting around waiting on something to be handed to you is ultimately self-defeating for many it appears, an there is decades of empirical proof on that reality. Once again, I encourage you to read our Bill of Rights and our congressional history that reflects our pursuit of social justice legislation (on state and local levels as well), maybe you'll grasp the facts better with first hand primary source info rather than reading agenda driven writers like some you have quoted.

What's the answer? I don't know but I am arguing that the source of the problem lies in the flawed and corrupt Constitution itself.  I don't see how anyone can argue that the U.S. was founded on the principle of justice and liberty for all when the countervailing reality is so self-evident (two words from the Declaration of Independence itself on equality which did not exist from the outset).

Kevin September 2, 2010 8:58 am (Pacific time)

DJ I read your referenced article, it does not change my opinion (nor "factual" history) about America and our ability to address our ongoing problems and the incredible process that was formulated by our "Founders" to address and resolve the dynamic nature of our problems across time. In fact that article demonstrates just how misinformed our detractors are about our "exceptionalism." Because the very act of complaining/demonstrating about grievences, these people/groups clearly acknowledge the available process to pursue problem-solving change. Try that in Cuba or literally dozens of other countries and see what happens. Even in the most populous country, China, that billion plus people have little recourse to voice their grievences. A reading of the 1st Amendment may be helpful for you, along with all the other Amendments that have been developed to address "social justice" issues.

This is from my article: Bob Herbert wrote in his Aug 20 column: 

”A tragic crisis of enormous magnitude is facing black boys and men in America” and gives a few horrific details. 

  • the on-time high school graduation rate for black males was 47% in 2008. In some urban centres, like New York, it’s worse—28%
  • unemployment for blacks is unconsciously high; “There are many areas where virtually no one has a legitimate job.”
  • more than 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers
  • black men have nearly a one-third chance of being incarcerated at some point in their lives
  • by the time they hit their mid-30s, a solid majority of black men without a high school diploma have spent time in prison
  • homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men
  • white families are typically five times as wealthy as black families
  • more than a third of all black children are growing up in poverty; in Ohio it’s more than half 

There appears to be little or no social justice for African Aemricans unless you want to blame the blacks themselves for their plight.

Kevin September 1, 2010 7:03 pm (Pacific time)

DJ you wrote:"Social justice does not appear to be an American value." You gotta be kidding. Just take this news site,, and look at the articles that address social justice, including yours. This is what America is about, social justice, that desire for justice is what helped create this "exceptional" country of ours. Daniel often people get caught up with an agenda and lose focus on being able to discern the big picture, you know the saying, "one can see the trees but not the forest." That is also interchangeable, whereas "One can see the forest but not the trees." Watch out for hanging branches.

Read my story:  and come back and tell us about social justice in America. 

Kevin August 31, 2010 7:36 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel Johnson you are correct there never will be equality of distribution, and most importantly, why should there be? Societies that prosper are those that allow for equal opprotunity and do not injure the natural incentive process to succeed. As a society we can always work towards seeing that at the very minimum people have their basic needs met, but beyond that it is up to the individual to take responsibility for their own life, unless there are some physical or mental issues where they need more assistance. For those healthy people who chose to behave irresponsibly, then they have to deal with that situation of their own making. Dropping out of school is a choice too many kids are making, along with out of wedlock births. Society needs to address these types of issues with some tough love. I'm a firm believer that the system of government we Americans have will in time successfully address our problems, which over time have been solved, and as new ones pop up, we solve those. It is an ongoing process and the process we have may at times be a bit too sluggish, but we get it done. The major philosophies of Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism and Existentialism, along with other minor ones all have appeal to a wide spectrum of individual wants and needs that promulgates their opinions, some good, some misplaced. The U.S. Constitution provides a very practical troubleshooting guideline for us to address individual needs, regardless of what are detractors have been saying about that Constitution for nearly 230 years.

Social justice does not appear to be an American value. DJ 

Oscar August 31, 2010 3:09 pm (Pacific time)

Spread the wealth more equally? Yeah that's what we Americans want. So what brought down the USSR? Look at Cuba! Yeah destroy all incentives and kill off the high achievers, then what have you got left? Go to South Africa and see what's happening there...

Daniel Johnson August 31, 2010 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

Kevin: You don't need to be a Marxist to believe in fundamental fairness. There will never be equality of distribution. Some people are smarter, work harder, are more motivated and, perhaps most important, luckier than others. I don't think anyone wants to try to nullify those aspects of humanity. But the legal/governing system is set up by people and the people (not just in the US) in so-called democratic nations tend to inequality with the US being the most inequitable society of all the developed nations. (Switzerland is an outlier).

As Rousseau wrote in The Social Contract:“There is undoubtedly a universal justice which springs from reason alone, but if that justice is to be admitted among men it must be reciprocal. Humanly speaking, the laws of natural justice, lacking any natural sanction, are unavailing among men. In fact, such laws merely benefit the wicked and injure the just, since the just respect this while others do not do so in return.”

Think of the ethical gulf that exists between a Bernie Madoff and a Martin Luther King. 

Here's a quote that goes back a century: “The Welfare of Each of Us Is Dependent Fundamentally Upon the Welfare of All of Us” – President Theodore Roosevelt 

Kevin August 31, 2010 8:55 am (Pacific time)

Jerry considering that you want a redistribution of wealth done equally, I assume you are a marxist? What other type of political configuration advocates for that type of redistribution? Has it worked anywhere? History shows what has happened in the past when like-minded people attempted that redistribution, and the carnage is unparalleled. Maybe you have a better plan? Of course you will never get the majority of Americans to get on board, so seems that you are just opining a re-invention of the wheel that has been proven not to roll. The alternative views you say are needed, well they are taking place. This is a slow process, but it is happening. I expect some very positive changes in the not too distant future, but there will be considerable angst coming also.

Jerry West August 30, 2010 6:56 pm (Pacific time)

Kevin, changing political leaders won't solve much since there isn't much difference between the parties with the money, Democrat or Republican. The system needs to be changed and the concentrations of wealth and power broken up and redistributed more equally throughout society. As for the opinions of the average American as reflected in the polls, and the political class, which is really the wealthy class and those they control like both Barrack Obama and Glenn Beck, what is really indicated is a whole lot more education and a much wider dissemination of alternative views. Daniel, I guess you are joking, eh? Who would want to turn the US into a Christian version of Iran or Saudi Arabia? The founding fathers were wise in establishing freedom of religion, which includes freedom from religion and the separation of religion from government. If anything that separation needs to be strengthened.

Kevin August 30, 2010 6:52 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel Johnson you seem to have missed the point that over 70% of Americans are opining. Maybe the read you believe you have on us is not as accurate as you think. Just the same what Jerry West referenced in "following the money" is a good piece of advice for many issues, though maybe not so much with this particular situation, but maybe it is. Please note that you have people of all religions, including muslims, concerned with the insensitivity about this mosque being built where it is proposed (not the "right" to build it). Also there are over 100 mosques in Manhatten, and no problem with that. So the sensitivity issue appears to be quite genuine when you take in the big picture for those who live in the vicinity. And for those who live all across America, very little problems being reported about muslims being roughed up or people getting violent with muslims, but the opposite is another matter. I'm sure our amendment process could be used for other issues, and certainly not one to remove our 1st Amendment as you have proposed.

Daniel Johnson August 30, 2010 2:17 pm (Pacific time)

I wonder, Kevin, about the so-called separation of church and state. If that was a Catholic or Episcopalian or Presbyterian, etc. centre proposed for the site, not a peep would be heard. This whole issue, it seems to me, is revolving around fear and not law. You talk about time for new leaders. Perhaps it's time, instead, for a new Amendment making America officially a Christian nation where, officially, all other religions can be banned.

Kevin August 30, 2010 10:05 am (Pacific time)

Jerry, you hit the nail on the head regarding "follow the money." Regarding the New York mosque, it appears the primary broker/developer just a few years ago was waiting tables. Then in a short time he came up with tens of millions. There are some ongoing investigations that are tracking the money trail. So far the big money has been coming from Egypt via a Long Island millionaire. Hopefully there will be a comprehensive search so that any law violations can be exposed if they exist. Regarding violations, the broker is in property tax arrears of nearly $250,000 on the property in question, and the Imam is reported to be a significant rental property owner in New Jersey where there have been some complaints. In time Jerry, everything gets exposed, a good thing, but it will not change the strong feelings that are going on across the country on this matter. Fully over 70% of Americans do not want this built in it's present location. Have you ever seen the poll data on how the typical American views various issues and how the "political class" views those same issues? Just the opposite Jerry. Time for a change of political leaders.

Jerry West August 29, 2010 11:35 am (Pacific time)

Kevin, we probably hold the same dislike for the terrorists operating under the cover of religion, but we may disagree on their role in the bigger picture, and who else is also a terrorist. Civilizations, including ours, have been built using terrorism, often citing religion as the justification. But terrorism is only a tool used to protect and increase the power and wealth of certain groups. In the so called war on terrorism, as in most politics, to understand it the old saying holds, follow the money.

Kevin August 28, 2010 6:40 pm (Pacific time)

I respect your opinion Jerry, though I have a different one. I have to admit I envy you living where you do. Just a great area during this time of the year. Too bad the radical terrorists out in the world have become so intense on destroying the "non-believers" that they probably don't take the time to appreciate the beauty in the world, and it's diversity. Unfortunately we will have to insure that they discontinue their insanity by any means neccesary, as that is what it will evolve into eventually. It will be a very long slog. Jerry you may be correct about our government and corporate entities contributing to our current situation, but these radicals began attacking America's interests and military shortly after we became an independent soverignty. There have been some pauses over time, but as Rambo said, they "drew fist blood" in the waters off northern Africa.

Jerry West August 28, 2010 12:29 pm (Pacific time)

Kevin, I would say that both our government and our corporate community has contributed to creating the situation that we now have, and in fact it may be considered blow back for our past actions, or perhaps a play being performed on a global stage with beneficiaries in the community that controls both big business and government. -- In fact the Islamist terrorists may be a handy tool for other interests, and I do not think that war on terror is the proper term for what we have, rather we have a war between terrorists.

Kevin August 27, 2010 7:04 pm (Pacific time)

Jerry I have considerable respect for retired intelligence operative Dr. Michael Scheuer and the experience and knowledge he brings to the table. Though I am a combat veteran of many years ago, and worked in both intelligence and counter-intelligence, Mr. Scheuer's field experience is absolutely peerless. He is one of those unsung heroes that have become demonized in recent times, and that is a tragedy. What his basic premise comprises is that we will someday have a very intense internal (domestic) war with Islamic terrorists and people should prepare themselves for our government, on every level, has failed to do their duty. You living in Canada does not provide you any safety, but good luck anyway. P.S. Of course 9/11 is not a defeat in the overall war on terror, but these terrorists have proven that they cannot be negotiated with. I dealt with a similar enemy at an earlier time.

Jerry West August 27, 2010 4:45 pm (Pacific time)

Dear Concerned Canuck, easy to say anything without backing it up. Got any supporting facts to contradict what I said, or just smoke? Kevin, Scheuer calling 9/11 a defeat is a bit overstated, it is like calling a liquor store heist or a bank robbery a defeat. The act is not a defeat, failure to catch the criminals responsible would be.

Kevin August 27, 2010 1:29 pm (Pacific time)

In connection to Jerry's article, the below is an interesting (and scary) interview from an individual that knows what's going on in the war on terror: "Asked what will happen if Israel launches an attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities, Scheuer warns: “Without question if the Israelis attack Iran the Americans will be held responsible for it, whether we are or not.” The Israeli attack would unite Sunni and Shiite Muslims against the U.S. “and we will have 1.4 billion enemies,” he says. “In addition, because the federal government over the past 20 years has been absolutely derelict in controlling our borders and controlling immigration, the Iranians have a very sophisticated terrorist infrastructure in the United States, in Mexico and in Canada. “Although they would never use it as an offensive first-strike weapon, if the Israelis attack Iran they will surely respond with terrorism in our own country.” THRUST OF STORY BELOW: "Ex-CIA Official: Ground Zero Mosque 'Symbol of Victory' for Extremists //Thursday, 26 Aug 2010 07:39 PM// Counterterrorism expert Michael Scheuer(Phd.) tells Newsmax that construction of a mosque near ground zero would be viewed as a “symbol of victory” by Muslim extremists — and calls New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg a “windbag” for voicing support for the mosque. Scheuer, who headed the CIA’s secret unit charged with tracking Osama bin Laden, also says al-Qaida will definitely use a nuclear weapon if they obtain one, and warns that if Israel attacks Iran the Iranians will use their “terrorist infrastructure” to launch attacks in the United States. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Scheuer criticized plans to construct the mosque two blocks from ground zero in Manhattan. It’s hard to deny somebody the right to build a religious structure, but it doesn’t have to be built there,” says Scheuer, author of the book “Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror.” “I’m not in the minds of the folks that are building it, but I would say it would be very much the case that if the mosque is built on the site of our defeat on 9/11, it will certainly be viewed among those people that are sympathetic to Osama bin Laden and those Muslims who are anti-U.S. as a symbol of their victory." So do we remain passive, or do we root out those that mean us harm?

Concerned Canuck August 26, 2010 6:11 pm (Pacific time)

Unfortunately, Mr. West appears to have brought his American perspective to Canada. His views are extremely partisan, but maybe that is a reflection of his heritage? Do all Americans sound as presumptuous about other cultures as he? I would advise readers of Salem News to look elsewhere for an objective perspective on our British Columbia current events, politics and economics.

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