January 04, 2005

Terrorist Caught in the Act

Take a look at this picture.

r3811391753.jpg

Here’s the Reuters caption:

A suspected insurgent asks residents for mercy after they caught him planting explosives under civilian vehicles, at a busy area in Baghdad, January 3, 2005. Insurgents killed 17 Iraqi police and National Guards on Monday in another bloody spree of ambushes, bombings and suicide attacks aimed at wrecking Iraq's January 30 national election.
If this guy was caught planting explosives under civilian vehicles, he is not an insurgent. He is a terrorist. Good God, will Reuters never figure this out?

It says something, doesn’t it, that he’s begging for mercy in front of a crowd of random Iraqis. He is not one of Mao’s revolutionary “fish” who swims in “the sea” of the people. He’s the scum of the earth. And he knows the Iraqi people think he’s the scum of the earth. He was caught trying to kill them. That’s why he’s begging for mercy.

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the translation of this Iraqi poll posted at Powerline. But I have no reason to believe it’s not accurate. 87.7 percent of Iraqis reportedly support military action against terrorists inside their country. Why shouldn’t they? They’re constantly being attacked. The man in that photo is toast .

(Hat tip: Dougf in the comments.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 4, 2005 02:58 PM
Comments

But if the crowd were to exercise vigilante justice, that would mean:

A. The crowd is as bad as the terrorists.
B. Things were better under Saddam Hussein.

Because, clearly, the poor insurgent should have been gently detained, rather than reduced to cowering on the ground.

/sarcasm

Posted by: Lurking Observer at January 4, 2005 03:06 PM

I don't think that insurgent and terrorist are necessarily mutually exclusive terms. Obviously, this guy is a terrorist. By any definition, targeting civilians makes you a terrorist. But I think that he is also an insurgent because he is part of the revolt against the existing authority.

Is is also, most definitely, "scum of the earth."

Posted by: Todd Pearson at January 4, 2005 03:06 PM

I'm surprised he's still relatively in one piece when the picture is taken. Imagine if someone in the crowd had already lost love ones to terrorist attack. In the mind of al-Reuters, there is no terrorism except for American and Zionist terrorists.

Posted by: BigFire at January 4, 2005 03:08 PM

Totten puts a pic of a half naked men on his blog to call them "scum of the earth" and "toast". Thousands of miles away an American blogger has steam coming out of his ears.

Of course, the simple fact is that man is criminal, and needs to be dealt with under the rule of law. Arrest, trail, punishment, that sort of thing. Its boring, Michael, but that's how civilised countries work.

In uncivilised countries like Iraq, this may not happen. I can't see the Americans civilising it before the money runs out.

Posted by: Benjamin at January 4, 2005 03:19 PM

Hat tip: Dougf in the comments.--MJT

Yeah . A'hat-tip'for me.Thanks much.

And Benjamin--------- succintly as I can ,you are an IDIOT.

Posted by: dougf at January 4, 2005 03:25 PM

Benjamin: Totten puts a pic of a half naked men on his blog to call them "scum of the earth" and "toast". Thousands of miles away an American blogger has steam coming out of his ears.

Are you offended because I called a terrorist names? Please tell me I misunderstood you.

Of course, the simple fact is that man is criminal, and needs to be dealt with under the rule of law. Arrest, trail, punishment, that sort of thing. Its boring, Michael, but that's how civilised countries work.

Did I advocate a summary mob execution? No. I did not. Of course he should be put on trial. Just who do you think you're arguing with here?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 4, 2005 03:30 PM

Yes, Benjamin, it is quite "simple." Only in uncivilized places would vigilante justice rule.

One wonders: What would have happened on the West Bank or Gaza to someone who was accused of "collaborating" with the Israelis?

http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2003-07/07/article02.shtml

http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,5363264%255E1702,00.html

Would you consider this also "uncivilized"?

Do you think this is likely to end before the money runs out?

Posted by: Lurking Observer at January 4, 2005 03:30 PM

If he is a Saddam loyalist - then I accept the term "insurgent" to describe him. If he is an Islamist, then I favor the term "jihadist".

"And he knows the Iraqi people think he’s the scum of the earth. He was caught trying to kill them. That’s why he’s begging for mercy."

That fact sheds no light on the word we should use to describe him. It could describe the predicament of a policeman felled by a street gang.

Posted by: Caroline at January 4, 2005 03:36 PM

Caroline: That fact sheds no light on the word we should use to describe him.

No, but the fact that he was caught putting explosives beneath civilian vehicles certainly does.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 4, 2005 03:38 PM

This is all assuming, of course, that the man is actually guilty of what a mob accuses him of. We got rid of that whole mob justice thing and went for rule of law/judge and jury routine because mob justice got things wrong quite a lot. For all we know, the guy could have been fixing a flat tire.

And before anyone gets all pissy about me defending a terrorist, remember that the average Iraqi mob attendee seems to entertain quite a few bizarre conspiracy theories, and the don't seem to need much evidence or logic before dealing out their version of justice.

Let's hope that he actually is a terrorist, otherwise that photo is depressing.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 4, 2005 03:56 PM

"No, but the fact that he was caught putting explosives beneath civilian vehicles certainly does."

AGREED. It does raise the interesting question as to whether such tactics are ever warranted in the case of "collaboration" because presumably Reuters and other apologists are cutting the "insurgents" some slack on that score, otherwise they WOULD use the term "terrorist". So I am tempted to think that this issue of "collaboration" must be lending some legitimacy to these tactics in the eyes of the apologists.

Posted by: Caroline at January 4, 2005 03:57 PM

OT, but interesting, I think.

I had a little extra time yesterday andtoday, so I thought I'd spend it researching the story about the looting of antiquities at the Iraq National Museum during the fall of Baghdad. Remember that story? Remember the outrage?

Check out my follow-up piece:

Iraqi Bloggers Central.

*

Posted by: Jeffrey -- New York at January 4, 2005 04:01 PM

And before anyone gets all pissy about me defending a terrorist---DPU

Too Late.

Posted by: dougf at January 4, 2005 04:01 PM

Too Late.

Never expected much more than mob mentality from you anyway, doug.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 4, 2005 04:04 PM

Benjamin, are you insane? THIS IS WAR YOU IDIOT. War is a very uncivilized thing. But so is our enemy. We have to get down in the gutter with him in order to prevail.

Just imagine if people like you were around during WWII. Did you know that, near the end of the war, when it was clear the Nazis would lose, german troops (I'm not sure whether they were in uniform or not) would wait for a tank column to pass, pop up from behind their rat holes, fire off a panzerfaust, and then surrender to the allies? After that happened a couple of times, you know what we did? We summarily executed them. Would you complain about their civil riiiights being violated?

Have the lessons of 90s taught you nothing? Don't you understand that treating the enemy as criminals doesn't work? That their RPGs, their semtext, their planes full of fuel and terrified passengers beat OUR LEGAL PAPERS?

These men are not criminals - they are not even men. They are animals that would knowingly, intentionally, purposefully, blow up women and children for their fascist cause. They aren't any different than the Nazis, and anyone that makes excuses for them is no better than a Nazi sympathizer. Period-end of story.

Michael, I am afraid we will not prevail in this conflict until more 'left-wingers' like yourself 'get it,' and join with the rest of us in denouncing the extreme left. No, not everything is reeeeeeelative. There is Good. And Evil. And sooner or later, all of us will have to decide which side we're on.

Posted by: Joćo at January 4, 2005 04:08 PM

If this guy was caught planting explosives under civilian vehicles, he is not an insurgent. He is a terrorist. Good God, will Reuters never figure this out?

Michael,

It's a word game Libs play-- they use a different word, or change the meaning of existing words to suit their agenda. But no worries. Eventually (and soon) the term "insurgent" will itself carry the same negative baggage as the term 'terrorist' because, after all, they are apparently one and the same. And then Libs will have to look for some other word to use. Maybe they'll go for broke and just call them "freedom fighters".

Posted by: David at January 4, 2005 04:19 PM

Benjamin, are you insane? THIS IS WAR YOU IDIOT. War is a very uncivilized thing. But so is our enemy. We have to get down in the gutter with him in order to prevail.

Hey, if the guy WAS planting explosives to kill civilians, then while mob action like this isn't pretty, nice, or desirable, it is certainly understandable.

However, since when has the insurgency been booby-trapping civilian cars? Car bombs are massive, they tend to be cars that are rigged in secret, and then driven to the scene where they're detonated by a suicide driver. How likely is it that an insurgent is planting explosives on a friggin' street anyway? And the bombs would have to be tiny, of no use other than killing the driver.

At any rate, if he WAS doing what he's accused of doing, then Michael is right, he should have been tagged as an alleged terrorist, not as an insurgent.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 4, 2005 04:19 PM

"Maybe they'll go for broke and just call them "freedom fighters"." (David)

If it comes to that then the term "freedom" itself will have lost all meaning.

The term "resistance" is also unacceptable because what the hell are they resisting? Democratic elections? What the hell kind of "resistance" is that?

Actually, once the elections themselves are over even the term "insurgent" will be unacceptable.

That will leave either "terrorist" or "jihadist".

Posted by: Caroline at January 4, 2005 04:44 PM

The truth is that all this Orwellian language stems from years of practice of the leftist MSM covering the Israeli "occupation" of the Palestinian territories. The fact that it has spread to coverage of Iraq is further evidence that 1) Americans are the new "Jews" and 2) the US is losing the overall propaganda war in the face of the "Eurabian" project.

OK - I put that out there to be provocative but that strikes me as the overall subtext behind this insanity.

Posted by: Caroline at January 4, 2005 05:02 PM

Never expected much more than mob mentality from you anyway, doug---- DPU

Well now the only remaining problem is the mob. Happen to know where one might be forming?Would it surprise you to know that I actually have a degree in political science? And worse still,from a university(UW) that was once a hotbed of leftist radicalism(when it actually meant something)?
You ONLY value an ideal of reality, and condemm the actual reality because it always fails to meet the standards you set for it.Ad hominem attacks are usually a disgraceful debating technique,but because you are a 'ideal'Canadian,what can I say?

Posted by: dougf at January 4, 2005 05:03 PM
Actually, once the elections themselves are over even the term "insurgent" will be unacceptable.

That will leave either "terrorist" or "jihadist".

Fortunately, there are rock-solid definitions of both "insurgent" and "terrorist":

Terrorism:
The term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

The term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving the territory or the citizens of more than one country.

The term “terrorist group” means any group that practices, or has significant subgroups that practice, international terrorism.

Insurgent:
1. [n] a member of an irregular armed force that fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment
2. [n] a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions)
3. [adj] in opposition to a civil authority or government
Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 4, 2005 05:05 PM

Dougf - if you don't want pissy ad hominem replies, then try discussing the meat of what I said rather than throwing off on-line insults, as that tends to cheapen the dialog. And if you're trying to jab an opponent in the eye, don't get all weepy if you get an eye jab in return.

I'm surprised that wasn't covered in PoliSci 100.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 4, 2005 05:10 PM

DPU: Let's hope that he actually is a terrorist, otherwise that photo is depressing.

Yeah, because a photo of a terrorist/insurgent/jihadist/militant/activist/minute man/freedom fighter who thinks blowing up Iraqi civilian commuters is a good thing surely isn't "depressing."

The only thing not depressing about the picture is they caught the bastard before he could kill. Everything else is incredibly depressing.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at January 4, 2005 05:13 PM

The term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets..

Reuters caption:

"A suspected insurgent asks residents for mercy after they caught him planting explosives under civilian vehicles,"

To Libs, "rock solid" definitions have no meaning obviously.

Thanks for confirming.

Posted by: David at January 4, 2005 05:13 PM

Liberals are fine with Palestinians ripping Israelis into a fine red mist. No problem with Palestinians murdering young women and calling them "collaborators." But if Iraqis catch a terrorist in the act of trying to kill civilians, and commit violence against the would-be murderer-- then obviously the Iraqis would be just as bad as the terrorist.

It only makes sense, right? To an idiot.

Posted by: Mobetta at January 4, 2005 05:21 PM

Mobeta,

slam dunk. Game over.

Posted by: David at January 4, 2005 05:22 PM

And if you're trying to jab an opponent in the eye, don't get all weepy if you get an eye jab in return---DPU

Have you not learnt in the past that I never get weepy?
I just get even.You know,like a MOB.I really,really,really,mean it when I say that I am trying to be succinct.
Do you remember when I explained my reasons for succinctness?
Oh well----

Posted by: dougf at January 4, 2005 05:24 PM

Mobetta: if Iraqis catch a terrorist in the act of trying to kill civilians, and commit violence against the would-be murderer-- then obviously the Iraqis would be just as bad as the terrorist.

I don't know of anyone who makes this asinine argument.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 4, 2005 05:34 PM

Michael,

re-read Benjamin's comment at 3:19 PM. Essentially, he's calling them uncivilized for mobbing that terrorist.

(Of course, he'd never say that about the palestinians, who are every bit as "uncivilized". That's Mobettas point.)

Posted by: David at January 4, 2005 05:38 PM

since when has the insurgency been booby-trapping civilian cars? Car bombs are massive, they tend to be cars that are rigged in secret, and then driven to the scene where they're detonated by a suicide driver. How likely is it that an insurgent is planting explosives on a friggin' street anyway? And the bombs would have to be tiny, of no use other than killing the driver.

According to Reuters, he was, in fact caught rigging a car. (they didn't even put the phrase they caught him planting explosives under civilian vehicles in scare quotes. They must be reporting it as fact.

Are you implying that Reuters is framing this man? That doesn't make any sense either. Terrorists do stupid things all the time. How many Palestinians have blown just themselves up? If you want an example of terrorists carrying out dumb plots, see Richard Reid.

Just wondering (in general) could this man be an 'unlawful combatant?'

He deliberately attempts to blend into the civilian population - violating the requirement of having a "fixed distinctive sign" and "carrying arms openly." He targets civilians, which violates the "laws and customs of war."

If he is, are the Iraqis legally required to offer him any rights?

Posted by: mary at January 4, 2005 05:49 PM

David,

I think Benjamin was suggesting that I am uncivilized because he hallucinated and thought I advocated a lynching. Hence my testy response to him.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 4, 2005 05:58 PM

Now would be a good time to remind ourselves that the BRITISH AND FRENCH HAVE ANTI-TERROR LAWS ON THE BOOKS THAT MAKE THE PATRIOT ACT LOOK LIKE NOTHING (and ignore those laws without a second thought, like with the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior). Terrorism is war and while we have to respect certain conventions and such we shouldn't be held to such an extreme standard.

Out of the dozens, perhaps hundreds of issues a liberal is agitated about on a daily basis, why support these bastards in Iraq?

Posted by: Raymond at January 4, 2005 06:02 PM

No one is advocating a lynching here. All I'm saying is that we should stop all this ridiculous hand wringing over this piece of shit's rights.

If he is, are the Iraqis legally required to offer him any rights?

Dunno, that depends on their laws and customs. As far as the US is concerned, he's entitled to a swift military tribunal and no appeals. That's what we did to Nazi saboteurs - who failed to meet the legal requirement for combatants - that came to our shores during WWII.

Posted by: Joćo at January 4, 2005 06:13 PM

"Out of the dozens, perhaps hundreds of issues a liberal is agitated about on a daily basis, why support these bastards in Iraq?" (Raymond)

That is certainly the million dollar question.

I have actually seen some leftists claim to be glad we're bogged down there because they hope to put an end to our international adventurism. If we succeed too easily there they are afraid we will move right on to the next country, presumably Syria or Iran.

Posted by: Caroline at January 4, 2005 06:19 PM

I would not ADVOCATE a lynching. But if the people of Iraq tore this bastard to pieces I would shed NO tears. It seems violence is justified when its in the service of causes the left favors. Like when minorities riot in American cities to protest rascist police. Or when poor oppressed Palestinians get their hands on an Israeli. But if the shoe is on the other foot forget it. Sometimes the cards are on the table and all bets are off. After WWII, the French people summarily executed known collaborators. I dare you to call that wrong. I wish more and more regular Iraqis would KILL the terrorists. Kill them in horrible ways that would make them understand the price they pay for terrorizing a nation. Do I care if they get a fair trial? Not even slightly. Were it not for the intelligence value I would wish instant death on every one of them. This would avoid the messy problem of guarding them in prison. If only you bleeding hearts had such sympathy for Sadaams victims as you do for the poor poor terrorists.

Posted by: Doug at January 4, 2005 06:24 PM

I find it interesting that this man is definitely not of the age or physical shape that we've come to associate with members of Al Qaeda, and the young jihadists who've come to Iraq to fight Americans.

He's most likely a former Baathist. His age, haircut, and portly figure speaks of someone who once lived a very good life. His anger is most likely based on bitterness at the loss of his former station in life and society.

If this generation is what Iraqi terrorists are tapping into, then it won't be long before they'll be eliminated. It is the young Iraqis that matter, and who must be convinced that change is for the better.

Posted by: Finnpundit at January 4, 2005 06:33 PM

"Kill them in horrible ways that would make them understand the price they pay for terrorizing a nation."

Personally I would favor just pouring pigs blood all over the remains of suicide bombers as my understanding is they believe that would ruin their chances of going to Paradise. There was a story circulating some time back that General Pershing did something quite similar and solved an insurgency problem rather quickly (I welcome any correction to that account). Truthfully I can't understand why we haven't done that yet. If even that is too PC then the WOT is going to go on for a very long time indeed.

Posted by: Caroline at January 4, 2005 06:35 PM

whoops - I meant un-PC.

Posted by: Caroline at January 4, 2005 06:38 PM

Kudos to Finnpundit for his contribution. I hope you are correct - this kind of insightful thinking is so much more meaningful to me than the grousing between folks who hate W. and those who do not suffer from this particular form of cranio-rectal inversion.

The "man" pictured here is beneath contempt, but consider the goings on in New York during our own American Civil War. A similar situation would lead to his being torn limb from limb in a democracy governed by what I believe to be the most effective set of principles in the history of man, in what was unquestionably a Christian nation (though one with Constitutional separation of church and state - heh - that should get a response...).

Can we expect better from the dazed yet resilient citizens of Baghdad, considering the brutality of their daily existence for so many dreadful years? All exercises in equivalence are self-serving blather at present. Here's hoping the evil bastards like our friend the "car tuner" are burning up their seed corn down to the last spavined starving rat.

Posted by: mezzrow at January 4, 2005 07:11 PM
David: Reuters caption:

"A suspected insurgent asks residents for mercy after they caught him planting explosives under civilian vehicles,"

To Libs, "rock solid" definitions have no meaning obviously.

Y'know David, you have a history here of shooting your mouth off about "libs" and "leftists" while either not reading people's posts, or not understanding them. And this is yet another example. Here's what I said above:

At any rate, if he WAS doing what he's accused of doing, then Michael is right, he should have been tagged as an alleged terrorist, not as an insurgent.

Now, what part of that simple sentence didn't you understand? I'm willing to type slower if that helps.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 4, 2005 07:24 PM

double,

I wasn't talking about you.

I was supporting my (and Caroline's) basic thesis about Lefties and their Orwellian word games, to which your "rock solid" definitions were apparently of no avail (see Reuters caption).

So if the shoe doesn't fit you, feel free not wear it.

Posted by: David at January 4, 2005 07:45 PM

In any case, beyond all the squabbling here, whatever happened to this guy is over and done. If he was planting explosives and caught, as the caption unequivocally states, then let peoples' justice take care of him and his friends, over and over, until civilization prevails and ordinary Iraqis are safe to live their lives.

Someone who kills strangers in the street is a mad dog.

Posted by: miklos rosza at January 4, 2005 08:52 PM

I thought my comment was rather mild. DPU makes a good point - we don't know for sure whether he is guilty.

Anyway the picture just shows what an uncivilised place Iraq is right now. I doubt the Americans will ever sort it out.

Personally I am not particularly bothered whether these blokes are called terrorists are insurgents.

Posted by: Benjamin at January 5, 2005 12:20 AM

Or insurgents...

Posted by: Benjamin at January 5, 2005 12:22 AM

David

You are wrong by the way.

I would say the same about some Palestinians. Very uncivilised behaviour at times. The world is a very much uncivilised place at times.

I guess you must be bored or something. Debating with people by putting words in their mouths.

Posted by: Benjamin at January 5, 2005 12:25 AM

Benjamin: I guess you must be bored or something. Debating with people by putting words in their mouths.

You did it to me in this very thread. Shall I assume it's because you were bored?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 5, 2005 12:29 AM

Shall I assume it's because you were bored?

Yes, well, I am. Sitting in a boring office. Might as well check out the War on Terror action on the net.

Posted by: Benjamin at January 5, 2005 12:32 AM

Benjamin: Yes, well, I am. Sitting in a boring office

Oh yeah, you're in Hong Kong. It's after midnight here and I'm going to bed now...

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 5, 2005 12:51 AM

Good God! Benji has surfaced here as well as loads of other blogs...I wonder if he actually works for a living? Hope his boss doesn't catch him as we would miss his 'stunning' wit....

He is renowned in the UK for popping up on blogs such as Harry's Place, making a stupid comment that has no basis in fact, theory or usefulness and then disappearing again. He's like the wee brat at school who starts a fight then is nowhere to be found once it kicks off in the playground....I wonder where he'll turn up next?

Posted by: dave t at January 5, 2005 03:56 AM

All this talk of PC-like definitions is making me wonder of the future of an online game I play called "Counter Strike", a team-based derivative of the popular "Half Life" game and undoubtedly the most played online game in the world.

In Counter Strike, the teams are called "Terrorists" and "Counter-Terrorists", and games are played involving the "Terrorists" trying to plant a bomb or "Terrorists" holding hostages in need of a rescue.

In-game terminology often refers to "Terrorists" as "Ts" and "Counter-Terrorists" as "CTs", somehow using "Is" and "CIs" doesn't have the same meaning.

Posted by: Ian at January 5, 2005 04:51 AM

I doubt the Americans will ever sort it out

I thought they were leaving that up to the Iraqis, strangely enough, being a imperialist superpower and all that ...

Posted by: Ian at January 5, 2005 04:53 AM

About the poll itself, I would be interested to see a followup to that particular question asking if Iraqis would like to see more involvement by the Iraqi security forces and military. I'm assuming the answer would be yes, but it'd be nice to get some confirmation.

Posted by: sam at January 5, 2005 08:57 AM

Just a note about this guy's fate. According to a UK paper yesterday, he was caught planting explosives by the police, then mobbed, and then taken away to the police station. I don't know what happened to him after that.

Photos like the above are disturbing, whether of terrorist caught by a mob, security contracters caught by a mob in Fallujah, British soldiers caught by a mob in Northern Ireland, or South African white supremisists caught by a mob when they went down the wrong street. I've seen photos of all these, and my heart goes out to anyone, regardless of political affiliation, who begs for their lifes before an enraged crowd. It's sick, it's ugly, and it's revolting to see others cheer them on.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 09:25 AM

Fascinating how leftist's hearts bleed for terrorists who murder the innocent. Fascinating. What is this link between leftists and terrorists?

When I look at the picture of a man caught in the act of trying to mass-murder, I am disturbed by the evil of the man and his movement. But I am also disturbed by those who want to pretend that this man has not forfeited most of his human rights. He has. He has denied his own humanity by his actions. He deserves no one's mercy, and receives only the sympathy of idiots and fools.

Posted by: Lundgren at January 5, 2005 10:10 AM

My human instict, should I follow it, would have been to shoot him in the head on the spot. This is probably what I would do if I caught him doing this on Broad St. in Philly.

However b/c this is a world away and I am not directly involved I somehow find it easier to appeal to my judeo-christian values, sense of honor, and belief in the system of justice. Therefore I objectively think he should have his due process.

Unfortunately terrorists don't understand values, honor, justice, or due process. They understand violence, human aggression and they thrive off of inflicting pain on others. For this reason the only solution to dealing with terrorists is to eradicate them as soon as possible, with whatever means possible.

I have a feeling if the Iraqi people start doing more of these terrorists like the Italians did Moussolini, the message would come across loud and clear.

Posted by: Mike at January 5, 2005 10:29 AM

Resistance? The best way to test for that is by running a current thru him. We have chairs for that.

Posted by: triticale at January 5, 2005 10:37 AM

ot I would like to know if what the left calls torture, that is not acceptable, could possibly be like the kind Janet Reno used on the people in Waco and then burned them.

Posted by: mercadorudy at January 5, 2005 10:46 AM

Was that South African white supremacists? Or was that Israeli reservists?

And when collaborators in France and Holland faced local justice, back during the past unpleasantness, should one's heart go out to them? Or to guards at konzentrationslager, caught by their inmates in the waning days of the Reich? Japanese guards of American or Chinese inmates?

Posted by: Lurking Observer at January 5, 2005 11:00 AM

should one's heart go out to guards at konzentrationslager, caught by their inmates in the waning days of the Reich? Japanese guards of American or Chinese inmates---Lurking

Since DPU has not yet shown up to answer,as a fellow Canuck,I feel honour bound to assist.
Absolutely.They are our fellow human beings,and despite the fact that they behaved like mad dogs,and moreover probably received some 'nasty'internal boost from their petty positions of power over others,and the always popular game of physical abuse and mind numbing MURDER,we owe it to our higher selves to fret over their 'rights' when the shoe is on the other foot.
Oh geez,I think I did myself an injury saying that.And I was just trying to be helpful.

Posted by: dougf at January 5, 2005 11:17 AM

I've seen photos of all these, and my heart goes out to anyone, regardless of political affiliation, who begs for their lifes before an enraged crowd. It's sick, it's ugly, and it's revolting to see others cheer them on.

I saw a youth running for his life in downtown Nairobi. But it was impossible for him to escape because every bystander becomes a pursuer. Then when the mob caught him they commenced to stone him with bricks and large stones, and they were kicking him, etc. It was nauseating, but I felt powerless to help him lest they turn on me. Thankfully, a cop slowly meandered over to the scene, and let the guy go, but he was very badly damaged. He looked really rough.

But to be very honest with you, I'm not so sure I'd feel so bad to see a terrorist who was caught in flagrante delicto getting a good beating. My heart would not go out to him, it would go out to all the people he's massacred.

Posted by: David at January 5, 2005 11:46 AM

But to be very honest with you, I'm not so sure I'd feel so bad to see a terrorist who was caught in flagrante delicto getting a good beating. My heart would not go out to him, it would go out to all the people he's massacred.

Hey, I'd agree with you somewhat if I were sure he was guilty. I'm no fan of kid-killers. But mobs have been wrong many, many times, and I think many people here who feel frustrated by the ongoing violence in Iraq are only too eager for a little payback, and are a bit too anxious to ignore the possibility of innocence in order to get a bit of the verbal boot in.

However, a few unpleasant remarks on a blog isn't going to make much of a difference one way or another. On to the next subject.

Anyone see the Iraqi government estimates that the "insurgency" is 200,000 in size?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 12:16 PM

double,

I think we can safely assume until we learn otherwise that someone caught in the act of planting a bomb is probably guilty of planting a bomb. Even the OJ jury would hang ths guy.

200,000 insurgents? Sure, there might be that many disaffected Sunni Baathists who would like to forcefully return to their brutal reign of rape rooms and mass graves. Meanwhile, about 20 million Iraqis want to vote. And even in a Sunni area 88% of Iraqis want the terrorists shot dead.

Posted by: TallDave at January 5, 2005 12:24 PM

This "well-fed Liberal" guy certainly has NOT BEEN HELPING anyone who is hungry or hurting in any way.

Posted by: leaddog2 at January 5, 2005 12:29 PM

I found the reference to General Pershing using pig's blood to stop terrorism here:

http://www.faithfreedom.org/Announcement/Pershing.htm

Sorry! Still don't know how to link...

Posted by: Caroline at January 5, 2005 12:42 PM

I think we can safely assume until we learn otherwise that someone caught in the act of planting a bomb is probably guilty of planting a bomb.

If we can do away with the whole judge and jury thing because a caption on a Yahoo photo is sufficient evidence of guilt, then we can save a lot of money.

Although the caption does not say whether the explosives were indended to kill civilians, or was to be used against the military as one of the infamous "road-side bombs" (which is relevant to the whole "insurgent" vs "terrorist" debate), or even if the guy simply had a grudge against a neighbour and is a petty criminal.

As I said, it probably doesn't even matter. The guy is in custody, presumably to be processed under Iraq's new criminal justice system, which is an improvement over both the Baathist system and mob justice. And as I said, I think the whole presumed guilty thing probably has a cathartic effect on those needing to vent a little.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 12:47 PM

and by the way double, you owe me an apology.

Posted by: David at January 5, 2005 12:53 PM

I found the reference to General Pershing using pig's blood to stop terrorism here...

Snopes deals with this, and provides a good deal of information that indicates that it's apocryphal:
The desire for simplistic solutions to complex problems has spawned several widely-circulated messages of late which seek to transform a fight against terrorism to the easily-manageable level of a horror film or a comic strip. Today's popular notion is the concept that a pig is to a Muslim as a crucifix is to a vampire — simply arm yourself with a porker, and you can use it to render even the most fanatical terrorist helpless, sending him cowering in fear lest he come into contact with anything porcine.
Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 12:55 PM

and by the way double, you owe me an apology.

Regarding?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 12:56 PM

For this:

Y'know David, you have a history here of shooting your mouth off about "libs" and "leftists" while either not reading people's posts, or not understanding them.

and then it turns out it was YOU who didn't understand. You accused me and you were wrong. Do the honorable thing.

Posted by: David at January 5, 2005 12:59 PM

and then it turns out it was YOU who didn't understand. You accused me and you were wrong. Do the honorable thing.

Let's see. You posted that as a reply to my comment, throw in a liberal strawman, then thank me for confirming your views. You also DO have a history of misreading posts when they conflict with your inner strawmen.

Aaaaand you want an apology.

Now that's cojones. You have my apologies.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 01:07 PM

You have my apologies.

I'll accept it in the spirit in which is was offered.

Posted by: David at January 5, 2005 01:15 PM

Now don't go all mooshy on me here.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 01:16 PM

Now don't go all mooshy on me here.

It could be mush, or it could be irony.

;-)

Posted by: David at January 5, 2005 01:19 PM

I'm listening to a debate between David Horowitz and some Leftist from The Nation magazine who has just admitted that he supports the insurgents (terroritsts).

His honesty is refreshing. If only the rest of you Lefties had his balls we could have an honest discussion.

Posted by: David at January 5, 2005 01:30 PM

There is no doubt in my mind that one of the biggest problems facing the coalition forces in Iraq is the adverse publicity that is propagated around the world that causes support for the completion of the job started in 2003 to dwindle. The man on the street is constantly bombarded with negative headlines and sound-bites telling him that the cause is doomed and we should abandon the fight as we did in Vietnam and Korea. Without a doubt there is a lot of bad news to report and this sells papers and keeps viewers. Conversely there is a lot of positive news where things are getting better that is seldom passed on via the major media channels. This, in my opinion is a crime against the brave people of Iraq who are trying to free themselves of tyranny and against the coalition forces who are facing the unseen enemy everyday at great risk. It reminds me of a Doonsberry cartoon of many years ago....”I have found the enemy....and the enemy are us.”....not exactly a word for word quote but close.

During WW2, as a kid I remember going to the movies and watching the newsreels of what was happening across the seas. They were uplifting and the people viewing cheered. There were defeats, but what I remember most were the victories. And don’t forget “Tokyo Rose,” the Japanese American who broadcast on the radio from Japan, was convicted of treason for her part in trying to bring down the moral of the fighting men in the Pacific and served six years in prison. Well, times have changed, and principles with them.

There is something that we can do however, thanks to this wonderful new media. There are many of us who read the stories posted here, are outraged and then go on about our daily lives. What would happen if we started our own e-mail campaigns to bring the positive news to light. I know here in Ecuador they would publish the good news if they had access to it.

Posted by: Roberto at January 5, 2005 01:38 PM

His honesty is refreshing. If only the rest of you Lefties had his balls we could have an honest discussion.

If he's supporting terrorists, he's a loon. And if only you right-wingers would admit that you're closet Nazis, we could really have a truly honest discussion.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 01:39 PM

It reminds me of a Doonsberry cartoon of many years ago....”I have found the enemy....and the enemy are us.”....not exactly a word for word quote but close.

Blaming the media for a military failure is a grand old tradition. Never mind that the Iraqi insurgents and terrorist aren't reading the Washington Post or the NYT.

However, I have to take exception with the line above. Doonesbury, while an excellent comic, never said this, unless referring to the original, which was spoken by Pogo, Walt Kelly's fantastic newspaper strip in the late 40's, 50's, and 60's. And the line is actually "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 01:47 PM

The man "asks residents for mercy after they caught him planting explosives under civilian vehicles." Does his act suggest he in any way knows the meaning of mercy?

Posted by: Curtis at January 5, 2005 01:49 PM

Roberto and David are close to the truth. At this time it is politically convenient for leftists to cheer on the murdering jihadis and Baathists. If only a different political party were in charge of the US executive branch, things would be different. Then the leftists might change their allegiance to the 85%+ of Iraqis who want freedom from Baathism and Wahabism.

Posted by: mobetta at January 5, 2005 01:59 PM

If he's supporting terrorists, he's a loon.

Or maybe you aren't really a true Leftie. Ever considered that? Lots of Libs and Leftists only THINK they are until you question them on issues without the labels. Then it dawns on them that they're conservative after all. Join us.

And no, he's not a loon. He's a journalist for the flagship publication of the Left-- The Nation. He's typical of the leadership of the so-called peace movement.

He said Hitler had more reason to invade Poland than we had reason to invade Iraq. He said that he supported the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and then tried to justify it by saying the U.S. was supporting the mujahedin. In his mind that was all the justification he needed.

Leftists disgust me.

Posted by: David at January 5, 2005 02:03 PM

Sheez, and people tease Americans about being fat...Look at this guy...LOL

Posted by: Squigoth at January 5, 2005 02:07 PM

Blaming the media for a military failure is a grand old tradition. Never mind that the Iraqi insurgents and terrorist aren't reading the Washington Post or the NYT--DPU

Placing blame where it belongs is never a poor idea,and it is truly amazing that anyone could believe that the 'scum'are not tailoring their tactics to fit the defeatist,oh woe-is-me,outlook of the MSM.
The terror campaign is precisely targeted at the Times & the Post and other of their media partners,and of course the brave 'insurgents' read the drivel these organizations produce.The whole 'resistance'effort is propaganda directed at the 'weaklings'in our midst.Similarly,Bin Laden's pre-election tirade might as well have been written by Michael Moore.Is it your contention that this was a mere coincidence?

Posted by: dougf at January 5, 2005 02:09 PM

Yes I believe you are right...Pogo. Thanks for the correction. I was sure somone out in never never land would correct me.

Posted by: Roberto at January 5, 2005 02:12 PM

I can't believe some of the comments from the pansy assed left leaning whiny weenies.

What in the Hell is the matter with you people, kill the bastard or maybe you would like him to take out a few more marines.

I'm sick to death of reading your pacifist bullshit, grow up.

Posted by: jerogny at January 5, 2005 02:19 PM

The whole 'resistance'effort is propaganda directed at the 'weaklings'in our midst.

Possibly. Or possibly intended to make them look as if they are able to strike out at whim at the greatest superpower in the world, thereby gaining the lifeblood of movements like this, new recruits. Or maybe they want to simply screw up the elections for their own political reasons.

I doubt, however, that they care very much about what you or I think of them, and I think it's a bit self-aggrandizing to imagine that their "efforts" all revolve around us and our perceptions.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 02:41 PM

I doubt, however, that they care very much about what you or I think of them,

Clearly you don't understand our enemy. When they blow up buildings in NYCity or Madrid or Bali, or when they hijack our planes or behead our nationals, they have stated in loud and clear terms that they care very much what we think about them. That's why Bin Laden threatens over Al-Jazeera. That's why it's called "terrorism." They do that for our benefit, make no mistake about that.

The weaklings amongst us (Liberals) cower in fear. The rest of are driven to outrage and seek to redouble our efforts.

Posted by: David at January 5, 2005 02:51 PM

Or maybe you aren't really a true Leftie.

I am the very model of the modern leftie, David. I donate to Oxfam, Amnesty International, and environmental causes. I vote social democrat during elections, I live in a co-opertive housing project, and I keep my money in a credit union. I shop at workers co-ops, I support unions and the welfare state, and I firmly believe in socialized universally accessible healthcare. I am a practicing atheist. I have read Marx, Engles, and Lenin. , and while not a communist or a Marxist-Leninist, I have both friends and family that are bona fide card-carrying Communist Party members.

I do, however, eat a lot of red meat, and do not jump naked over bonfires on midsummers, although I have friends that do. And unlike a lot of leftists, I do not believe in corporate taxation.

So I'd have to say that while I don't meet your mental image of a leftist, take my word for it, I am one.

And in my books, anyone who supports murdering innocents to further their political agenda is an enmy of mankind.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 02:55 PM

That's why Bin Laden threatens over Al-Jazeera. That's why it's called "terrorism." They do that for our benefit, make no mistake about that.

Al-Jazeera plays to a different audience, David. I'm not saying that they're playing to the media, nor that they are not using terror. I'm saying that I don't think they're playing to us.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 02:58 PM

The weaklings amongst us (Liberals) cower in fear. The rest of are driven to outrage and seek to redouble our efforts.

Joining up soon, are you?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 02:58 PM

DPU:

Which "us" are you referring to?

Are you suggesting that they do not understand that American public opinion is the center of gravity? That undermining American public support would shorten the war, and leave them in what they think would be the dominant position?

Are you suggesting that these people are too stupid or too ignorant to have learned lessons from Vietnam, Lebanon (1983), and Somalia?

Or that somehow public opinion is sacrosanct and off-limits?

No, that does not mean that we are the only target for their activities; but neither does the fact that they have other targets (e.g., local public opinion, recruitment) mean that we are not one, either.

Posted by: Lurking Observer at January 5, 2005 03:09 PM

Are you suggesting that they do not understand that American public opinion is the center of gravity? That undermining American public support would shorten the war, and leave them in what they think would be the dominant position?

Which "they" are you talking about, lurk? If you are talking about the Iraqi insurgency that wants to maintain Sunni majority control of Iraq, then yes, it's possibly in their best interest to turn US public opinion against the war. One would have to wonder if they would want a complete withdrawal of US forces, though, as that would mean being in the middle of a civil war with them in the minority position, and their main opponents being funded by Iran.

If you're talking about jihadists in the region, I believe that they would be happy to have the US in Iraq for the next decade. They've never had it so good, it's fitting right into the paranoid view of the US as imperial aggressor that plays so well over there, and giving them a wonderful training ground for their new shocktroops, whom Saudi Arabia has been complaining about recently.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at January 5, 2005 03:18 PM

their new shocktroops, whom Saudi Arabia has been complaining about recently

Saudi Arabia is currently having a local conflict with their al Qaeda 'brothers,' who are still, according to recent Senate Hearings, receiving approximately $1 to $2 million dollars from Saudi state-run charities. Are those the 'shocktroops' you're referring to?

If the Saudis have a problem with those shocktroops, they only have themselves to blame.

Posted by: mary at January 5, 2005 05:43 PM

Squigoth:

Sheez, and people tease Americans about being fat...Look at this guy...LOL

You should have seen him when the Ba'athists were still in power...

Posted by: Mark Poling at January 5, 2005 08:11 PM

Benjamin you are the "American Terrorist". Does it suprise you the reaction you get?

Posted by: poet at January 5, 2005 08:44 PM

Double-plus-ungood says:
"Let's hope that he actually is a terrorist, otherwise that photo is depressing."

I can just imagine his alibi.

"Er..I was..um...removing these bombs from these civilian vehicles."

Ha ha ha. This is the kind of thinking that causes people talk as though Saddam was mistreated by the US.

Posted by: CMAR II at January 6, 2005 07:33 AM

It's Al Reuters, what did you expect? ;-)

Posted by: David R. Block at January 6, 2005 11:30 AM

My God, Homer Simpson is a terrorist.

Posted by: Oberon at January 7, 2005 06:18 AM

Two comments:

The specualtion about mob justice showing the lack of civilization in Iraq is silly. If someone was caught doing the same thing in my neighborhood odds are he would have a rough time of it until the police arrived. Putting bombs under cars is not appreciated anywhere.

As to his guilt. I would hope the police interviewed the Al-Reuters cameraman who just HAPPENED to be on the scene. Sound familiar?

Posted by: Jason at January 7, 2005 08:48 AM

The actual picture here

Posted by: DANEgerus at January 7, 2005 09:22 AM

Well, did they show him
mercy? I'm dying to know.
As to all the "due process
of law" types, who do the
people call? The
"insurgents" will only
kill the security officer
as they do all security
officers. This is Dodge
City. I hope they offed
him.

Posted by: Gerald Connor at January 8, 2005 10:03 PM

I really liked Finnpundit's analysis. When I saw the guy, I couldn't believe he could have done it. He must have been changing his oil or something. I have a tendency to doubt everything coming out of the wire services anyway. The Bathist dead-ender category fits like a glove though.

I remember a very gratifying recent story about mob violence in Philadelphia. A gaggle of school girls chased down a flasher and beat the tar out of him. I laughed all day.

Posted by: jj USA at January 8, 2005 10:29 PM

Mary:
"If you want an example of terrorists carrying out dumb plots, see Richard Reid"

ROTFL! This is officially the funniest sentence I have read all year.

Finnpundit:
Good point, the would-be terrorist is most probably an old Ba'athist. But as for your point about appealing to the young generation in Iraq, take a look at the shoes and tracksuit pants being worn by the locals around him. Those are teenagers and twenty-somethings. I think most of the young people in Iraq want a future very different to the stagnant Ba'ath past, and all evidence suggests the majority wants stable democracy, not Islamist chaos.

Dougf:
"Bin Laden's election tirade might have been written by Michael Moore"

You are completely correct.

During that very tirade, he praises Robert Fisk, whom he claims truly understands the Arab predicament. Now I've read dozens of al-Qaeda propaganda documents as well as internal documents - I researched a thesis on the group's methodological ideology. They are clearly distinct from Fisk, although they see its value in attacking the West. The Fisk-like messages are blatant propaganda. Al-Qaeda and like-minded groups play the western media and public like an orchestra. The Madrid bombing was a classic example.

Because of the Fisk/Moore thesis that we bring terrorism upon ourselves, the Spaniards thought they could stop another Madrid by simply withdrawing from Iraq; hence they elected Zapatero. They thought they were pulling the terrorists' strings.

In reality, the terrorists want to foment revolution in their respective countries in order to establish an expansionist caliphate. They want to eliminate Western support for those regimes and isolate them. Terror attacks are aimed at scaring us out. That was the reason Moroccan terrorists acted against Spanish citizens in support of an 'Iraqi insurgency' led by a Jordanian (Zarqawi). This is not the _re_action of victim Iraqis, it is the premediated action of transnational political networks. The Spaniards were the _re_actors. They did exactly what the terrorists wanted. The Spanish withdrawal in early April caused the Americans to break off in Fallujah, giving al-Zarqawi a proto Islamic State for several months. Success.

Straight after Madrid, bin Laden issued a tape in which he was at pains to tell the Europeans that Madrid was purely a reaction to Europe's supposed campaign of terror against 'Islam', and that his group was fundamentally pacifistic. He knew he had the West where he wanted us, and he didn't want anyone to suspect for a moment that perhaps the Fisk thesis had it all the wrong way around.

Australia's Opposition leader responded to Madrid by promising to withdraw all troops from Iraq - and what do you know? - Indonesian Islamists attacked the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in the lead up to our election (I'm Australian btw). At the same time, Kerry prevaricated and bin Laden issued tapes commenting on the American elections (apparently al-Qaeda was unable to launch an election-eve attack against the US).

Those who think the insurgents don't read the Western media are dead wrong. Between us and them, they are the more informed party. They see both our side and their side, whereas most of us didn't know the first thing about Islam, much less about radical sects, until 2001. Most Islamic radicals have travelled, many of them have seen the west, and some of the most important radicals have studied here. A central element of the al-Qaeda model is 'hijra' or migration, which is why most terror suspects have been to Afghanistan or some similar place.

Everyone in Iraq has access to al-Arabiya, al-Jazira, CNN, Fox... and they speak both Arabic and English. Who in the West watches Arabic cable?

Terrorism is propaganda. As al-Qaeda puts it, "jihad is da'wa (preaching) with a force".

Posted by: Trevor Stanley at January 10, 2005 04:48 AM

I posted the following as a question on Reuters' Web site:

I followed a link from an Iraqi blog (http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/) to a Web site displaying a photo of a man who tried to plant explosives under a civilian vihicle. (http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/000688.html)

According to the Web site, Reuters reported this incident and refered to the man as an "insurgent", although the correct term for a man who tries to murder civilians is "murderer" or "terrorist" (if done for political reasons).

Can you tell me why Reuters refer to the man as an "insurgent" when he appears to try to murder the same people a real insurgent is supposed to fight for?

If I ran around Dublin killing random Irishmen because I am opposed to the Irish democracy, would I be an "insurgent" or a "terrorist" in the news?

Reuters will most likely ignore this of course. They are apparently good at that.

Posted by: Andrew Brehm at January 11, 2005 08:54 AM

So, what actually happened to the guy???? Did they rough him up or cut him into a million pieces like he deserves??? I've read comments others have posted here implying that vigilante justice is a bad thing. Maybe. But what do you do to a scum like this that will discourage other would-be terrorists from doing the same. Call me insensitive, but I think you kick the **** out of him, for starters, and then make him a total example by hanging his naked, mutilated body from a bridge somewhere with a sign around his neck detailing his offense. I have a hard time finding pity for such a person. I'd pray for his soul, but I wouldn't view his demise as unjustified. Until true law and democracy are established in Iraq (and the people RESPECT the law), the common people need to rise up and "hang 'em high" whenever and wherever they catch them. If the Iraqi citizen will not fight for freedom, he will have none. These naredowells have to be stopped by the grassroots efforts of the communities, neighborhoods, etc. The very fact that they're still out there shows they have SIGNIFICANT support from the citizenry. That has to change or the bombings will continue and democracy will die.

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Author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food

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Author of Director's Cut

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Author of The Geography of Nowhere


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Essays

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn