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Not-So-Innocents Abroad

Down in Houston, an accused terrorist has been sentenced to ten years in prison. Daniel Aljughaifi, alias Abu Mohammed, pleaded guilty to receiving training at an Al Qaeda camp and fighting with the Islamic Courts Union to overthrow the government of Somalia -- until they were defeated and driven out of the country by Somali and Ethiopian troops.

What makes this story fascinating to me is that Abu Mohammed was born Daniel Joseph Maldonado, raised in little Pelham, New Hampshire, and was a regular attendee at the Selimiye Mosque in Methuen, Massachusetts.

This is an American citizen, folks. And, I suspect, the only reason he chose to fight for militant Islam in Somalia and not here was impatience -- he wanted to go where the action was, and there isn't an open conflict within the United States. With his US citizenship, he quite easily could have used his training within this country, against his fellow citizens.

I see this case as an example of why the "flypaper" argument for our involvement in Iraq is appropriate. One of the biggest reasons the 9/11 attacks were so successful was that Al Qaeda overcame one of the Islamists' biggest weaknesses -- impatience -- and took their time to carefully plan and rehearse their strikes. So many other terrorists lack the discipline and restraint to work out such long-term plans. Instead, they strike at the first opportunity, the closest target, instead of in ways that can truly hurt us. This means that they find themselves drawn to attacks in Iraq and Somalia and other places, while other incidents like the London bombings and the Glasgow airport attack are relatively rare.

But make no mistake about it. The terrorists are fighting us in Iraq not because they want to, but because it's easiest for them. If we didn't give them a ready target -- in the form of those Americans best to defend themselves, and most eager to and adept at fighting back -- they'd go after targets far more to their liking.

Enjoy your time in prison, Danny-boy. You earned it.


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Comments (16)

You mean the Right is right... (Below threshold)
BrianYork:

You mean the Right is right again? Say it ain't so.

Jay...I agree with your pre... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Jay...I agree with your premise that is it easier for Al-Q to kill Americans in Iraq...
That is why I support bringing the troops back home...we should never have a policy that makes it easier for a terrorist group to kill Americans...
I hear this continuous whine from Bush/Cheney apologists ..."Better to fight them over there than over here." Did 9/11 turn some of us into such a nation of cowards? Have some of us become so afraid of being targets over here...that we send surrogates to over there to be targets for us?

This crap I hear about if "we withdraw they will follow us over here" ...what if they do?
So what? If anyone is so fearful that worst terrorist attack would collapse our nation...
Then you have never lived outside the U.S.

Those that cower in fear of a terrorist attack...I assume don't drive...after all if you want to play the odds game of what might end your life or the lives of family...traffic or Al-Q?

My great-grand father died when I was 5..
my vivid memories of him was he looked like a mummy but had a scary thunderous voice that bellowed "Buck up!

Well I say to many here... "Buck up!" Don't make any American an easy target in Iraq..
Force Al-q....to come after you...over HERE!

That is why I support bring... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

That is why I support bringing the troops back home...we should never have a policy that makes it easier for a terrorist group to kill Americans..
...
Force Al-q....to come after you...over HERE!
-------------------------------------
In other words, you don't want the warriors in the US military to come after AlQ. They got beaten by our troops so bad that they had to blow up more Iraqui women/children so that Western liberals can do their propaganda bidding.

In other words, you want to force AlQ to go after American women/children in America instead of fighting our warriors in Iraq. Wonderful liberal strategy for fighting AlQ! This is beyond parody.

Okay, Nogo - answer me this... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Okay, Nogo - answer me this.

How many 9/11 style attacks are you willing to accept per year?

How many mall bombings? How many suicide attacks?

How about the economic repercussions? A truck bomb on Wall Street, right next to the Stock Exchange - what would that do? How about losing the Sears Tower? Or the TransAmerica building in San Francisco?

Yeah, let's let Al Q come after unprepared people, unprepared communities, far better THEY be hit - our soldiers are too valuable to waste!

Sheesh. Just when I thought you'd grown half a brain...

Nogo:That... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Nogo:

That is why I support bringing the troops back home...we should never have a policy that makes it easier for a terrorist group to kill Americans...
Did 9/11 turn some of us into such a nation of cowards? Have some of us become so afraid of being targets over here...that we send surrogates to over there to be targets for us?

What you call surrogates we call professional soldiers.
Your logic is backwards. You propose we just wait for them to attack us here? Since when is taking the fight to the enemy considered cowardice? Not sure what universe it makes any sense to have the general population absorb terrorist attacks while you sideline your armed forces.

Remember the mainstream media's grim milestone not long ago where troop deaths surpassed 9-11 deaths? Do the math.
Im not saying we're taking the absolute right course in Iraq, or that things could not be done better, or that I don't want our men and women back home, because I do...but what you're saying is ass backwards.

Force Al-q....to come after you...over HERE!

That'd be pretty, especially if the left is successful in banning firearms.

I disagree. What does impa... (Below threshold)
Brad:

I disagree. What does impatience have to do with it? We have, in our nation, over the last 30 years, declared a war on our own culture. Hippies, multi-culturists, and assorted malcontents have sought to destroy the Western influence on our culture by diminishing public adherence to the tenants of that culture. When there is a vacuum something will seek to fill that vacuum. As someone said: "the absence of belief in religion is not the absence of belief but the belief in a different religion."

As the counter-culture succeeds in diminishing, not just the VALUE of our American culture, but the recognition that we even have a distinct culture, people will seek an identifying set of values somewhere else. In this vacuum the value identification of gangs and strict religious orders will be an attractive beacon to many.

The answer to jihadists within our own ranks is not to speed up anything but to teach patriotism to our own youths. Remember that last Superman movie; the one that skipped the Superman creed because it was too campy? This is what I mean. "Truth, Justice, and the American way" should not be campy. We shouldn't feel odd saying the "Pledge of Allegiance." Indeed, we should feel odd in the presence of someone that is uncomfortable with patriotism.

Whittaker Chambers once wrote: "Patriotism is feeling the forming of your nation to such a degree that you can't envision life without them." When you can't identify those forming influences then you can't sustain a sense of patriotism. If you have no patriotism for this country (or the country you live in) you will find something to be patriotic to.

"That'd be pretty, especial... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

"That'd be pretty, especially if the left is successful in banning firearms."
Perhaps...in your wildest dreams...you have found yourself loading clip after clip as you...and only you have clips left to load...cutting down Al-Q as they pour down your block...
So ya all...keep repeating the jingos of your favorite radio or Fox TV host...who have been wrong about darn near everything...
.....and most important....Really...truly believe that a Republican President will win in 08...and all Republicans will ride the wave and
us lefty's will drowned

Dude, what the hell are you... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Dude, what the hell are you on?

Nogo has in earlier threads... (Below threshold)

Nogo has in earlier threads stated that it would be better that al queda kill civilians in America, that we are cowards not to allow so, so more looney comments are not unexpected.

We must remember that we ne... (Below threshold)
Jessica:

We must remember that we need to fight terrorism by addressing why it occurs and not just by convicting suspected terrorists. We are one world, one people. We all depend on each other and need to act that way. We face common problems and must work together as a world community to fight them. The United Nation's Millennium Development Goals, which call for cutting world hunger in half by 2015 and eliminating it altogether by 2025, are a good place to start thinking and acting with a global mindset. It is estimated that the expenditure of a mere $19 billion would eliminate starvation and malnutrition worldwide. In a time when the United States' current defense budget is $522 billion, the goal of eradicating world hunger is clearly well within reach if we act together as one world.

Jessica -Nice thou... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Jessica -

Nice thoughts - but have you noticed that usually the terrorists are from well-to-do familes? Hunger doesn't seem to be an overriding concern, instead there's an ideology that is dedicated to slaughter.

Also - there's no problems getting food to the poorer countries, the problem arises when we hand it to a 'leader' who sees the food as a reward for his followers and something to be deprived from his enemies. And we just let it go, because we're supposed to either be 'culturally sensitive' or 'not interfere with local governments'.

The UN... I believed it in when I was in my teens. Over the last 30+ years, I've seen it turned into a debating society that's more concerned with it's perqs and priveleges than actually solving any problems - and it sure seems like the worst offenders get elected to committees that are supposed to 'solve' the problem the offenders are committing, and UN 'peacekeepers' seem to be very fond of graft, sex trafficing and child abuse.

So, at this point I'm pretty damn dubious of the UN. Reform is possible, but it's going to take a real hard shakeup and too many countries (as well as people withing our own government) are dedicated to business as usual.

John Bolton started to shake things up, but that's not 'nice', so he never got confirmed. Better to have someone who will be 'diplomatic' than who'll actually get results. After all, you don't want to offend anyone.

Roberts -Yeah, I k... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Roberts -

Yeah, I know. It makes you wonder sometimes...

Jessica:The Un... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jessica:

The United Nation's Millennium Development Goals, which call for cutting world hunger in half by 2015 and eliminating it altogether by 2025, are a good place to start thinking and acting with a global mindset.

You mean like Bush spending FOUR times what was spent on AIDS prevention and other programs in Africa than any other U.S. admin?

(which BTW was not on the mind of the barking moonbat in last nights Dem debate who said Bush hadn't done anything)

That aside if you think for one hot second ANYONE or any single group of countries or organizations can eliminate hunger your nuts.

It will never happen, not that an honest effort shouldn't be tried. But "the world" has been working on it for decades with zero success and not from lack of funds or effort.

The funds have been pissed down African rat holes be despotic dictators for the same amount of time. Until THEY get their collective sh*t together they can, and will all remain in the hell their living.

Nogo:Perh... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Nogo:

Perhaps...in your wildest dreams...you have found yourself loading clip after clip as you...and only you have clips left to load...cutting down Al-Q as they pour down your block...

I don't even own a gun. And al Qaeda doesn't pour down blocks. Likely I'd die in a bomb blast under ground in the subway.


And still these policians k... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

And still these policians keep these borders of our open what a bunch of screwballs

Nah, nogo, in my dream, I w... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Nah, nogo, in my dream, I wouldn't even need a clip. There'd be so many armed men and women in this nation that I'd never need more than a pocket revolver. And enough people willing to speak up and stay vigilant that said revolver wasn't even in the top 10 options for dealing with AlQueda or the like.




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