Today's Note From a Madman

Monday, July 18, 2005



Hey, look! Still no health care for 45 million Americans. What happened to "Compassionate Conservatism"?

-Noah Greenberg




So Karl Rove and the White House lied again. Didn't they say, just a few days ago, that the guy who said "Oh, you heard that too," as the second source was Karl Rove? As it turns out, Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby was the "you heard that too" guy.

These guys just can't keep their lies straight.

"I've already said too much"
-Karl Rove to Matt Cooper of Time magazine

What the heck does that mean? Sounds like an admission of something, doesn't it?

"The information exonerates and vindicates, it does not implicate Rove. Folks involved in this, frankly, owe Karl Rove an apology"
-Ken Mehlman, the "G"reedy "O"ld "P"arty Chairman, on NBC's "Meet the Press"

Oddly enough, no one has apologized, that is, until now.

Let me be the first to offer my apologies:

I'm sure that "I'm sorry" for more, but I reached my quota for the day.

-Noah Greenberg

More Plame-Gate


It's now clear that Rove maliciously leaked the identity of Valerie Wilson (Valerie Plame) to Novak and indirectly to Matt Cooper. We know that Rove perjured himself in 2003 when he claimed to know nothing about the leak. Now, for the first time an aide to Cheney has been linked to the scandal. Matt Cooper had a discussion with Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, that indicates he was aware of Valerie Wilson's identity.

Ken Mehlman was on Sunday with Tim Russert spinning like a top. Come on Mehlman give us a break:

1) It's circular reasoning to say that Rove learned about Valerie Wilson from Novak and Novak learned about Valerie Wilson from Rove.

2) Attacking the Democrats by using the tired line that they "lack ideas" is misdirection. Besides, what new ideas do the Republicans have? Returning the country to the policies of the early 20th century Gilded Age is not a new idea - it's reactionary thinking.

Rove should surrender his security clearance and resign from the White House. In light of the linkage to Cheney, we need a Congressional investigation and a special prosecutor to investigate this treason fully.

-Robert Scardapane


Throwing Them a Bone

Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) authored a House resolution (HR 197) that calls for no permanent military bases in Iraq. A commitment to an Iraq success strategy requires that the United States does not occupy Iraq. Otherwise, that country will be continue to be unstable with American troops as the principle targets. I have urged my congressional representative to support this resolution.

-Robert Scardapane

One Big Response

In response to Perry Greenberg's views on the missing "fatwa" (and Thomas Freidman's of The New York Times as well) Phil Ebersole pointed out that there have been Muslim Clerics who have come out against Osama bin-Laden. Madman was forwarded a link to the website of Professor Juan Cole, University of Michigan's History Department. Below are some of his facts and opinions. You'll find Madman's opinion's there as well in BLACK ITALICS.)

Friedman Wrong About Muslims Again
And the Amman Statement on Ecumenism

Tom Friedman is a Middle East expert who knows a lot about Islam. Why, then, does he keep saying misleading things? He wrote in his latest column, "To this day - to this day - no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden."

A "fatwa" is simply a considered opinion of a Muslim jurisconsult. Such opinions are numerous. First of all, almost all the major Shiite Grand Ayatollahs have condemned Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. You could say that is easy, since Shiites don't generally like Wahhabis. But they are the leaders of 120 million Muslims (some ten percent of the 1.2 billion). So that is one. Tracking these things down is time-consuming, but this should do:
Ayatollah Muhammad Husain Fadlallah of Lebanon condemns Osama Bin Laden.

(I disagree with University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole's definition of "fatwa". Of late, "fatwas" have been issued to punish by death those who have angered a Muslim Cleric.

I have read Ayatollah Muhammad Husain Fadlallah's comments and they seem luke warm toward Osama bin-Laden.

Osama bin-Laden's actions are "not compatible with Shariah law," the Koranic legal code, nor with the Islamic concept of jihad, and that the perpetrators were not martyrs as Mr. bin Laden has claimed, but "merely suicides," because they killed innocent civilians, and in a distant land, America. In an interview with a Beirut newspaper, Al Safir, Sheik Fadlallah again accused Mr. bin Laden of having ignored Koranic texts.

"There is no concept of jihad as aggressive combat," he said, quoting verses of the Koran that Islamic theologians have argued over for centuries. In misreading these texts, he said, Mr. bin Laden had relied on "personal psychological needs," including a "tribal urge for revenge."

So then what about the Sunni world? The leading moral authority for Sunnis is the rector or Grand Imam of the al-Azhar Seminary/ University in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Azhar is perhaps the world's oldest continuous university and has been since the time of Saladin a major center of Sunni religious authority. The current incumbent is Shaikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi. So what about Tantawi and Bin Laden?

("Shaykh Tantawi has stated that the Koran 'specifically forbids the kinds of things the Taliban and al-Qaeda are guilty. ' Shaykh Tantawi has said that the 'jihad' Usama bin Laden has called for against America 'is invalid and not binding on Muslims.' 'Islam rejects all of these acts.' The Shaykh added that terrorism is un-Islamic. 'Killing innocent civilians is a horrific, hideous act that no religion can approve,'"
-Grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar, as told by US Representative Joseph Pitts [R-PA]

Although these statements seem more forceful and definitive than Ayatollah Fadlallah's comments, they still seem pale in comparison to what they could be.)

What about Pakistan? Admittedly, it has some clerics who are fans of Bin Laden, or at least who would avoid condemning him. But the allegation Friedman is making is that no major cleric has condemned him. Try this: Prominent Pakistani Cleric Tahir ul Qadri condemns Bin Laden.

("Bin Laden is not a prophet that we should put thousands of lives at risk for,

"Bombing embassies or destroying non-military installations like the World Trade Center is no jihad," Qadri said, and "those who launched the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks not only killed thousands of innocent people in the United States but also put the lives of millions of Muslims across the world at risk.

"Now the Americans are killing Afghans ... they may go for other targets too. Who knows how many innocent Muslims will be killed because of those terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center?"
- Tahir ul Qadri

Tahir ul Qadri's comments appear more to protect Muslims rather than a condemnation for the attacks. he seems more concerned that America will fight back, which we did, than for the acts of terrorism themselves. Additionally, Tahir ul Qadri doesn't condemn terrorism completely, just terrorist acts against civilians. I wonder what his feelings were when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland about 13 years before 9/11.)

I don't personally care for Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He is an old-time Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood preacher who fled to Qatar and now has a perch at al-Jazeera. But he does have some virtues. He is enormously popular among Muslim fundamentalists. And, he absolutely despises Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Al-Qaradawi has repeatedly condemned the latter. He even gave a fatwa that it was a duty of Muslims to fight alongside the US in Afghanistan against al-Qaeda! See also:
Yusuf al-Qaradawi condemns al-Qaeda.

("Qaradawi Rejects Al-Qaeda’s Killing of Innocents
Prominent Muslim scholar Dr. Youssef Al-Qaradawi has condemned Al-Qaeda for their fuel tanker suicide bombing of a centuries-old Jewish synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba in April 2002
.-Islam Today

"Civilians, such as the German tourists, should not be killed, or kept as hostages. Jews, not in conflict with Muslims, must not be killed either. Anyone who commits these crimes is punishable by Islamic Sharia and have committed the sin of killing a soul which God has prohibited to kill and of spreading corruption on earth,

“The only one who could be killed is the murderer or the one who commits a crime punishable by the law. In war, when people are fighting for a certain cause, Muslims are not allowed to kill the elderly, women or children. The only legitimate target is the one who is involved in combat against Muslims,”
-Yusuf al-Qaradawi, taken from Islam Today

Although Yusuf al-Qaradawi condemns terrorist attacks on all civilians, among others, he didn't order, or even suggest that bin-Laden be brought to justice. I do, however, consider his statements to be the most tolerant of other religions than I have ever heard a Muslim Cleric say.)

There are also substantial Muslim communities in Europe with leaderships that have explicitly condemned Bin Laden. E.g.:

Spanish Muslim Clerical authorities Issue Fatwa against Osama Bin Laden. There are on the order of 250,000 Muslims in Spain.

High Mufti of Russian Muslims calls for Extradition of Bin Laden. The Russian Muslim community is about 20 million strong, or 15 percent of Russia's 143 million population, and is growing rapidly, so that in a century Russia may be 50 percent Muslim. So this is not a pro forma thing here.

(What about the Clerics in Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran themselves. Not a peep. It's good to hear that some Muslim Clerics condemn the acts, and even Osama bin-Laden himself, but they are missing something. They should join the people of the United States, Spain, England and many other countries in their quests to destroy al-Qaeda and bring bin-Laden and his followers to justice.)

(There was much more, but it was basically reiterating previous statements. The bottom line is this: even thought there are a few Muslim Clerics who have come out against Osama bin-Laden, his followers and those who support him, the reality of it all is that this is just a passive opposition. It is time for these Clerics to put up or shut up. It is their job to make sure that the good Muslims are fighting alongside the rest of the world against the likes of Osama bin-Laden and his ilk.)

-forwarded by Phil Ebersole (comments by Noah Greenberg)


Thank you, Phil for keeping me and the rest of US on our toes -NG

Bush Quotes
Bush moving the goal posts back:

"If anyone in this administration was involved in it [the improper disclosure of an undercover CIA operative's identity], they would no longer be in this administration."
-White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, September 29, 2003

"If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."
-President GW Bush, September 30, 2003

"If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."
-Bush, July 18, 2005

Watch Bush dance ... what rubbish!

-Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg