Monday, January 10, 2005

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't

In Dover, PA the school district is being sued for allegedly trying to smuggle religion into the school curriculum under the guise of Intelligent Design. Meanwhile, in Toledo, OH a school is being sued for trying to keep religion out.

Superintendent Luci Gernot prohibited a Christian Rock Band, comprised of both students and graduates from the school, from performing in what would have been an optional anti-drug assembly. Now the band's parents and others are planning to sue the school for abridging students' freedom of speech.

Why are school administrators so afraid of an optional assembly that might present a Christian-oriented anti-drug message? Students would only attend if they wanted to. They would not be a "captive audience". What, exactly, is wrong with that? The only plausible answer we can think of is that administrators like Ms Gernot believe that Christianity is somehow deleterious to student welfare. They must believe that the harm of exposing students to Christian themes outweighs the good of exposing them to the anti-drug lesson.

It is rather astonishing that such bigotry exists and is tolerated in our educational system. We hope the parents follow through with their suit.

Pacifying Mosul

Here's interesting news just released by Central Command about progress in the terror war in Iraq:


BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Multi-National Forces detained a key leader of the al Qaida-linked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi terrorist network in Mosul on Dec. 22.

Following a thorough investigation, the individual detained was positively identified as Abdul Aziz Sa'dun Ahmed Hamduni, aka Abu Ahmed.

Abu Ahmed served as a deputy to the emir of Mosul, Abu Talha, and assumed command of terrorist operations in Mosul in Abu Talha's absence. Abu Ahmed admitted to receiving money and weapons from Abu Talha as well as coordinating and conducting terrorist attacks in Mosul.

"The capture of Abu Ahmed, and the subsequent capture of Abu Marwan on 23 December, show significant progress in the inevitable destruction of the Abu Talha-led Al-Queda-Zarqawi terrorist network in Mosul," said Brig. Gen. Erwin F. Lessel III, spokesman for Multi-National Forces-Iraq.

Security forces in Iraq have previously announced the capture of Abu Marwan, also a senior-level terrorist in the Talha organization. Security forces also recently captured another senior Talha member whose name cannot be released due to operational security reasons.

"Currently, security forces in Iraq have three of Abu Talha's four most senior leaders in custody," Lessel said.

The capture of these key members has led to additional captures throughout the Mosul-based AQ-AMZ network. More than 20 percent of Talha's key members have been captured in the past few weeks.

Abu Ahmed's capture removed one of Abu Talha's most valuable officers from the Mosul-based AQ-AMZ terrorist network. Abu Ahmed remains in detention and is providing information regarding the Talha network.

The use of car bombs and other explosive devices by Abu Ahmed and his affiliates shows disregard for the well-being and security of innocent Iraqi civilians. The Central Criminal Court of Iraq is committed to providing a fair trial to those allegedly engaging in terrorist activities. Those found guilty will be punished accordingly, and thus lose the ability to provide for the future of their families.

Hmmm. Wonder what they mean by that last sentence. And who is the unnamed terrorist leader who was captured? We wonder if he isn't the gentleman whose capture was bruited about the Arab press last week as being that of abu Zarqawi himself.

Thanks to Adventures of Chester for the tip.

New Development in the WOT

Strategy Page gives us a look at a new development in the war in Iraq. A couple of brief extracts:

The puzzle of the growing, at least in the number of people killed, anti-government attacks shows a lot of the key people, especially the money guys, operating across the border in Syria.

So the government has told the coalition to do whatever it takes to suppress the Baath Party and its supporters. This could get very ugly, because it means sending in raids with orders to take certain people "dead or alive." Family members will be arrested and held hostage (a traditional Iraqi, and Middle Eastern, technique for getting fugitives to surrender). Specially trained Kurdish and Shia Arab police SWAT teams will be used for a lot of this, supervised by American Special Forces. Raids like this, carried out by American troops, have been going on for over a year, but the Iraqi government has now authorized the use of a much larger list of suspects.

In the past, only people who were obviously guilty were sought. But now, the known allies and kinfolk will be rounded up. This will be seen, and reported by the media, as "war on Sunni Arabs." Well, not quite. It will be war on a minority of the Sunni Arab community. The war will extend into Syria, where the attacks will be made by Iraqis or Syrians hired for the occasion. There are a lot of hired guns in that part of the world. There might even be a smart bomb or two going off in the middle of the night, in the middle of Syria. And the Syrians, knowing the alternatives, may feel compelled to ignore all of this. Who wants to go to war to defend Saddam's war criminal buddies.

The reports from both January 7th and January 9th at the Strategy Page will interest anyone following the war against the Iraqi Baathists.