Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bogey Dope, Part 1

A combination of new districts for 2012 in Arizona, and Congresswoman Giffords resignation from District 8 - now becoming District 2 - has resulted in an interesting situation on the Arizona political scene. First, there is a special election to fill Giffords' seat. The primary is on April 12, then the general election is on June 12. However, a question then comes up as to who will win in November. Part of the reason this is interesting is because the existing CD 8, where the special election will be held, offers a Republican advantage, but the new CD 2, where the election will be this fall, shows a rough parity.

However, the election is interesting for other reasons, as well.

We begin by considering excerpts from McSally, 1st female AF pilot to fly in combat, joins GOP race in Dist. 8, dated February 9, 2012 (see also here):

The first woman to fly fighters in combat for the Air Force, and first to command a fighter squadron in combat, is entering the special election to fill U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' vacated congressional seat.

Martha McSally confirmed her intentions Wednesday to join the Republican primary. She made her decision after analyzing three factors: was it feasible, was she electable, and did she feel called to run.

Skipping down in the article, McSally explained part of why she should be considered a serious candidate.

"I've got a record of standing up for constitutional rights, of doing the right thing regardless of the personal cost," McSally said.

In 2001, McSally sued the Pentagon over its requirement that military women serving in Saudi Arabia wear abayas, or traditional black Muslim cloaks, off base. She said the practice was offensive to her as a Christian.

After the Supreme Court agreed, McSally said the military retaliated against her by giving her poor performance reviews and deeming her unfit for leadership positions. She vowed to continue a legal battle against the Air Force until her career prospects were restored.

Then in 2004, she was named commander of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base's 354th Fighter Squadron, a position she held until 2006. She dropped her suit at the time.

More background on McSally can be found in Fighter pilot McSally aims at GOP CD8 race. Of course, her campaign website may be of interest, as well.

McSally brought this particular Congressional race to national attention when she was interviewed in Fox News. Though McSally did a great job, the interview really turned into a homerun when McSally was asked about Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum's concerns about easing the restrictions on women in combat. Her response went viral, and may have earned her a new nickname.

From McSally about Santorum: 'I wanted to kick him in the jimmy', February 17, 2012:

In an interview Santorum said that move could compromise the interests of mission because of "other types of emotions that are involved."

"I agree with many of the things that Rick Santorum says," McSally said. "But when I heard this I really just wanted to go kick him in the jimmy."

When the announcer repeated her phrase, "Kick him in the jimmy?" McSally continued:

"Yeah, he's totally out of touch. I mean, completely out of touch," McSally said. "These are the kind of arguments we heard 20-25 years ago as to why women couldn't be fighter pilots. It's an insult to the men and women who are serving overseas, putting their lives on the line and focusing on the mission right now."

Colonel McSally, at this point I find no reason not to take you at face value, so I will offer my input: perhaps the reason you agree with many of the things Rick Santorum says, but have this urge to "kick him in the jimmy", is because Santorum is really just a 'rider'.

Specifically, my question for you - and this may take some research on your part - what did Santorum do to be named to Sibel Edmonds' Dirty Dozen list?

You might be surprised to find out that you worked in the office of another US Senator who made that list.

Assuming I can take you at face value, perhaps you are aiming too low: maybe you are the one who should be running for the center seat, not Santorum.

But, then again, who knows? The Sibel Edmonds case opens the door and sheds some light into a very convoluted underworld, doesn't it?

This will be the first in a new series of posts following this Arizona Congressional race... a race which, I believe, raises many questions, and may have some related topics.

Meanwhile, other Republican contenders for the seat include: school district employee Adam Hansen, who suspended his campaign and endorsed McSally; State Senator Frank Antenori, who is a combat veteran of the US Army Special Forces, having received a Bronze Star for action at Debecka, Iraq; businessman and community activist Dave Sitton, who has no military service but has received honors for advocating on behalf of the military; Army veteran John Lervold, who served as an airborne infantryman and later as an interrogator, then left the Army and began training Army interrogators at Fort Huachuca; and Marine veteran and businessman Jesse Kelly, who currently works as a project manager for a construction company.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Peace and Progress, Part 1

We introduced the situation in Nigeria in a previous series, entitled "Unity and Faith". In Part 1 we began to examine the situation in Nigeria, suggesting a possible parallel to the violence that had been developing in Côte d'Ivoire. In Part 2 we saw how much of the unrest could be linked to difficulties between Muslims in the northern part of the country and Christians in the southern part, introducing the j-word. In Part 3 we examined the jihad more closely, also considering comments calling for a violent counterjihad and alleged abuses by authorities in the context of an anti-Muslim backlash.

In Part 4 we looked at which Muslims were responsible for the jihad, noticing that they were fairly well-educated Muslims from Nigeria's middle class that sought to embrace a stricter form of Islam and wanted to bring it about in Nigeria violently. These radical Muslims are not part of the downtrodden segment of society, but rather are connected to a corrupt northern Nigerian Muslim elite, and claim Islamic ideology as the motivation for their violence. Also, we considered possible connections to the illegal trafficking of heroin and arms, possibly even leading through the Sahara/Sahel to Burkina Faso and into Côte d'Ivoire. Also in Part 4, we saw how Boko Haram personnel were training in Somalia alongside Al Shabaab terrorists, and anticipated how this could lead to a more violent conflict in Nigeria.

Finally, in Part 5, we considered evidence that some of Nigeria's politicians were connected to Boko Haram, and links between Nigerian organized crime and international criminal operations.

At this point, the picture was complete. Ideology - not poverty - drives the front-line leadership of Boko Haram to jihad, but at the top, the connections to organized crime are clear, and organized criminal activities supply the money and the weapons for the jihad; this pattern is typical among Islamic terrorists today.

In this series, we examine the increasing violence in Nigeria.

We begin with excerpts from Soldiers Blow Up Suicide Bomber In Kaduna, February 8, 2012:

Residents of Kaduna metropolis scampered for safety yesterday as bombs exploded at military formations and on a bridge. Boko Haram claimed responsibility, saying that Sokoto is the next target. A lone suicide bomber who forced his way into the 1 Mechanized headquarters of Nigerian Army, Kaduna, at 11.45 am was shot dead following which the explosives went off shattering windows and injuring soldiers on duty.


Confirming the incident, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Division, Lt. Col. Abubakar Edun, said in a statement that a suicide bomb attempt was made on the headquarters complex of 1 Mechanized Division. According to the statement titled, 'Failed suicide attack on headquarters complex of 1 Division Nigerian Army', he said, "at about 12.18pm on Tuesday, 7th February, 2012, a failed suicide bomb attempt was made on the headquarters complex of 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kawo, Kaduna.["]


Musa Ilallah, an official with the National Emergency Management Agency in Kaduna who confirmed the explosion near the bridge, said rescue workers had been deployed in the affected areas but were being refused access by soldiers. "From all indications, they gate-crashed into the military barracks," said Ilallah. One resident said he saw soldiers being taken out of the barracks with cuts thought to be from the shattered glasses. "Virtually all the glasses had been shattered," the resident said. "I saw soldiers with glass cuts on their bodies being taken out, but it's difficult to say if there were any (more serious) casualties."

Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of bomb attacks in northern Nigeria, including Kaduna. It claimed responsibility for January 20 co-ordinated bombings and shootings in Kano that left at least 185 people dead. It was Boko Haram's deadliest attack yet.

Presumably, the increased tempo of violence including suicide attacks on military installations might be tied to the recent training Boko Haram militants received while in Somalia.

Elsewhere in Nigeria, other bombings have the clear goal to inflict casualties among innocent passers-by. From Two bomb blasts rock flashpoint Maiduguri, February 10, 2012

Two explosions went off Friday outside a customs building in Nigeria's flashpoint city of Maiduguri, the base of Boko Haram Islamists blamed for a series of attacks, residents said.


The explosions went off near a station where locals board rickshaw taxis, located outside the customs building, witnesses said.

"The first bomb was planted at the foot of the wall of the customs office when commuters were waiting for rickshaws," said Halilu Adam.

"The second one went off some meters away... The whole area has now been cordoned off by soldiers and it is very difficult to have an idea of casualties."

Boko Haram now seeks to implement a targeted assassination program, as well. From Wole Soyinka On Boko Haram's Hit List, dated February 6:

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has disclosed that he is one of the prominent Nigerians on the list of Boko Haram sect marked for assassination.


He said: "The reason for this programme (elimination) which I know is very much their third phase, is that those pushing this agenda know very well that this could be the last straw that will break the camel's back. And they would rather this country broke up and possibly in an inferno than continue to accept the loss, even though temporal loss of power in this country. For these people, government is the only business around."

Professor Soyinka

Also targeted for assassination now is the US Ambassador there. From Boko Haram threatens U.S. - Security tightened at American Embassy in Abuja, February 10:

FOLLOWING the recent Bi-National Commission meeting between Nigeria and the United States, the Boko Haram sect is reported to have issued terrorist threats against American targets within Nigeria, including the assassination of the US ambassador in Nigeria, Terence P. McCulley.

The Bi-National Commission had recently concluded a wide range of anti-terrorism plans and agreements in Abuja with a further move to embody the conclusions in a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by the governments of Nigeria and the United States.

Findings by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the sect is threatening multiple suicide attacks on American targets if the United States get involved in the sect`s battle with the Federal Government through the signing of the MoU.

It was learnt that the sect believed that the intervention of the United States will internationalise the conflicts and destroy all hopes of a dialogue with the Federal Government.

The report even went as far as threatening to kill the American ambassador while unleashing what the group called international jihadist on the country.

Of course, Professor Soyinka's comments regarding Boko Haram's sincerity in negotiations are very telling. Returning to Wole Soyinka On Boko Haram's Hit List, from February 6:

He added that dialogue does not require a group to constitute itself into a terror, stating that PRONACO which he joined during former President Obasanjo's administration successful organised its conference, amended the constitution of Nigeria and presented the document to the government without violence.

Soyinka said he cannot be cowed into submission by the Boko Haram or any other violent group, stressing, "I believe that one should not beg for existence. If the price of not coming to table is that you want to eliminate me, and you can do so, please do so. I am 77.

"Please, come to the debating table, but you will not persuade me simply because you have the capacity to blow me and my family up. You can simply go ahead, blow us up if you think that is the way you can do your conversation. But you will not bomb me to sit with you at table," he insisted.

Soyinka said President Jonathan is underestimating the desperation of the forces behind the Boko Haram sect not considering the Islamic struggle in countries like Iraq where fundamentalist Islamic groups attack one another even in their sanctuary of worship and they retaliate with higher casualty figure.

Boko Haram's desire to target a Nobel Laureate who decries the violence and wants to negotiate peace telescopes the terrorist organization's goal of eliminating peaceful negotiation as a means to end the violence there: by eliminating anyone who advocates and is willing to work for peace, military options are all that remain to deal with the Islamic terrorist jihad.

Politically-correct defenders of the Religion of Peace should take note of that.

Elsewhere, the governor of Adamawa State has presented checks to the widows of those killed by alleged Boko Haram militants.

From Boko Haram: Peter Obi gives 14 widows N1 million each, February 6:

No fewer than 14 widows whose husbands were murdered by suspected Boko Haram members in Mubi, Adamawa State yesterday, received N1 million each as compensation from Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi.

Of course, on the other side, it is common for Islamic terrorist groups to provide financial rewards for the families of suicide bombers. Still, even after the monetary compensation, the families of suicide bombers live nowhere near as lavishly as the leaders of the terrorist organizations, who make real money via the organized crime that funds the terrorist operations and which provides a pool of money to subsidize suicide bombings.