Betraying American Allies

Representative J. Randy Forbes speaks of Chinese Uyghurs, Muslims captured in Afghanistan:

If we are fortunate enough to capture a terrorist who wants to kill innocent people, whether those people are innocent Americans, innocent British, innocent French, or innocent Chinese or some other nationality, if we’re fortunate to capture them before they kill those innocent people, we have two choices. The first choice we have is we can release them. The second choice we have is we can detain them.

Representative Jeff Miller agrees:

I ain’t never heard of a Uyghur before, until all this started coming up. And all I can tell is that they’re well fed, they’re healthy.

Their teeth are magnificent.

It would be hard to find a more militant group of Islamic warriors. They are aggressive in their hatred of communism, and they are fiercely pro‑American.


The Uyghurs are also a testament to conservative hostility against anything and anyone having anything to do with Islam.

Uyghurs have been under the domination of Communist China since Mao Zedong marched into Beijing in 1949. The Chinese government regarded the Tarim Basin, at the western edge of China, to be part of the People’s Republic. Uyghurs thought of themselves as a free and separate country, Eastern Turkestan. The Chinese government declared Uyghur separatists to be terrorists. Uyghurs regard themselves as anti‑communist, pro‑American, freedom fighters.

You can find Uyghurs all over Asia. They call Tarim Basin their homeland.

There was a time when Afghan insurgents were American allies. The United States channeled military weapons into their fight against Soviet occupation. That was when those Uyghurs who happened to be in the area joined up. They were happy to oppose the Soviet Union in league with the United States and their fellow Muslims. Members of the Taliban provided some of the training. Uyghurs did have one additional incentive. They hoped to take their new military knowledge back home for the fight for freedom against Chinese occupation and government oppression.

There was celebration after the Soviet Union withdrew and let the Afghan people have their country. Then the Taliban took over and provided shelter to Osama bin Laden’s extreme gang of thugs operating under a renegade offshoot of mainstream Islam.

After bin Laden’s September 11 attack on the United States in 2001, and the American invasion of Afghanistan, a reward was offered for turning in terrorists.

The problem with financial incentives is that shortcuts are sometimes taken. A fair number of terrorists captured were not terrorists at all. They had been falsely accused, turned in out of local grudges or pure greed. Not quite two dozen Uyghurs were among those accused and turned in for the reward.

They ended up in Guantanamo Bay.

The Bush administration quickly realized that a horrible mistake had been made. The Uyghurs were thoroughly investigated by military and intelligence experts and their innocence was confirmed. They were about as far from anti‑American terrorists as you could get.

The problem was finding a place to release them. The Chinese government wanted them back to be tried and dealt with as criminals. They made clear that any country wanting any relationship with China that was anything this side of overtly hostile had better treat the captives as terrorists. And that’s how they officially designated them: as terrorists.

After the American election in 2008, the new Obama administration began having a bit more success than the Bush administration had had. It still wasn’t easy. A few of the innocent detainees remained with no place to go. The administration wanted to experiment with placing a few in an existing Uyghur community in Northern Virginia.

Conservatives went ballistic. Obama was about to release confirmed terrorists to roam around right on the outskirts of Washington, DC.

Republicans knew they were terrorists for two reasons. The Communist government of China said they were terrorists. And President Obama said they were not.

…a terrorist who wants to kill innocent people, whether those people are innocent Americans, innocent British, innocent French, or innocent Chinese…

Newt Gingrich led the charge. He repeated the accusation by the Chinese government, calling the Uyghur prisoners terrorists. They should be sent back to China. If they were tortured by the Chinese government it should not be our problem. He demanded to know why Obama was so determined to coddle and release such dangerous people.

Rushan Abbas, a lawyer to the pro‑American Uyghurs, relayed a question from the Uyghur prisoners about Mr. Gingrich. It was a simple message:

Why does he hate us so much and say those kinds of things? He doesn’t know us.

In late December, 2013, the last of the innocent Uyghur captives found a new home in Central Europe. The Slovak Republic agreed to take them in. The Slovak government issued a statement. The Uyghurs, the official statement said, had:

“never been suspected of nor charged with a criminal act of terrorism”.

I thought about the long, needless, saga of the falsely accused Uyghurs as I heard the latest news.

During America’s occupation of Afghanistan, thousands of ordinary Afghans risked their lives helping American troops, diplomats, and agencies. For helping Americans, they have been targeted for death by the Taliban.

In 2009, a special visa program for Iraqis who had risked their lives helping Americans was extended to Afghanistan. Lives would be spared.

But this is an election year. Republicans in Congress don’t much care for refugees of any kind. They care even less for Muslims. And they make no distinction between pro‑American and anti‑American refugees. They do not care who risked their lives on behalf of the United States.

Republicans did agree that those who are risking death in Afghanistan and Iraq who were engaged in “sensitive” work for the United States, for them the promise of visas to safety will be a promise kept.

For those not in contact with sensitive work, well, life is unfair.

Like so much that comes from this Congress, the new standard of “sensitive” work seems like a perfect storm, a confluence of unfortunate conservative standards.

It is reflective of a new outburst of anti‑Muslim, anti‑refugee sentiment among the Republican base.

It is short‑sighted to the point of dull‑witted foolishness. What could be less in America’s interest than deliberately delivering into the bloody hands of our enemies those who had risked their lives to help us?

Most of all, most importantly, it is just plain wrong. The immorality is stark.

As wrong as it would have been to send innocent pro‑American Uyghurs into the torture chambers of mainland China.

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Trump Problem 4: Who is this guy?

found online by Raymond

From Vixen Strangely at Strangely Blogged:

The revelation that Donald Trump posed under the pseudonyms “John Miller” and “John Barron” to plant stories about himself this past week are weird, right? Like, who brags about their love life to news outlets under an assumed name to build up their reputation as a “player”? Take this sort of thing:

“Actresses,” Miller said in the call to Carswell, “just call to see if they can go out with him and things.” Madonna “wanted to go out with him.” And Trump’s alter ego boasted that in addition to living with Maples, Trump had “three other girlfriends.”

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A Damaging Can of Worms – Trump and Sanders

found online by Raymond

From Brij Khindaria at The Moderate Voice:

Donald Trump’s triumphs and Bernie Sanders’s successes have opened a can of worms already gnawing at the core of democracy as it is understood and practiced around the world.

So far, the US election looks like a circus trying to entertain rather than a democratic contest of alternatives to structure social, economic and political life in the world’s most influential nation around policies that supporters of each contestant can fight for.

Trump provokes incredulity and some guffaws while Sanders seeds twinges of the heart by evoking dreams of fairness that no nation has ever reached and few social philosophers think attainable.

Each might incite passions and fierce fervor among slices of America’s electorate and some onlookers around the world. But the damage being inflicted to the example and practice of democracy is enormous.

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Will Trump Prove Worthy of Ryan?

found online by Raymond

From Wisconsin conservative James Wigderson:

There must be days when House Speaker Paul Ryan says to himself, “Self, what did you get yourself into now?”

While others were rushing to get on the Donald Trump bandwagon, Ryan said he wasn’t ready to endorse Trump yet. It’s understandable. Ryan publicly criticized Trump for his behavior during the campaign. Given the bizarre accusation by Trump that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s father had something to do with the assassination of President John F Kennedy, it seems Ryan needed to do a little bit more yelling at the presumed Republican nominee.

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Why I love Christians but Hate Christianity

found online by Raymond

From Anonymous, Guest Posting at The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

As a good evangelical, I never believed in purgatory; that is until this year when I decided that I was already living there. I don’t mean in a religious sense, but rather in the sense that I am in neither one place nor the other.

For reasons I will come to, I have all but lost my faith. But, since I have a lovely wife and good friends who are Christians, I will never really be able to walk away.

I have read a few blogs written by former Christians. Nearly all of them are written by American ex-Christians. I am from the UK, and I believe that there are a number of cultural differences between churches in the UK and America. There are many flavours of Christianity, so I can’t really generalise, but what I do know is that my experience differs from that of many of people who have lost their faith.

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The Brunch Davidians

found online by Raymond

From driftglass:

2007 was a bad year to be Beltway pundits or a Professional Reasonable Conservatives, The serial and spectacular failures of the Bush Administration were flaying all of their pretty words to confetti, and the Democrats — who were supposed to have been drive from power for 1,000 years — were suddenly back in control of Congress and setting their sights on the White House.

Leading this mad dash away from his own long record of unstinting support and praise of the Bush Administration was David Brooks, who suddenly rediscovered Edmund Burke on his way down the fire escape, across the alley and into the Emergency Both Siderist All-Occasion bunker, there to wait out the conflagration in comfort.

In that column, the early onset of Mr. Brooks’ own Republican Detachment Disorder are clearly evident here, along with his trademark sweeping ideological generalizations of people — “suburban, Midwestern and many business voters” — who Mr. Brooks has never actually met:

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Brown Shirts for Bernie

found online by Raymond

From Capt. Fogg at Human Voices:

By now I’m used to the trolls. I’ve been blogging for a long time but of late the most viciously personal ad hominem has come, not from the Republican Right but from the Bernie Boys. I blocked someone on another venue yesterday after I mentioned to a Bernie Bully that by hoping that a candidate Clinton would fail and thus cause the nation to fail, he was taking words out of Rush Limbaugh’s prayer book.

I don’t think I’ve seen such ugly invective since I graduated from Middle school and believe me, I’ve read some nasty stuff in my years on-line. I am lucky, says he, that he doesn’t have my address or he would kill me.

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Idicocracy 400 Years Early!

found online by Raymond

From Max’s Dad:

The President, Barack Obama in case you’d forgotten or referred to him as one of the cute nicknames he gets over the years, gave the commencement speech at Rutgers yesterday and chided the nation’s descent into dumbness, or as smart guys like him refer to it as, anti-intellectualism. The address was masterful, enlightening and totally incomprehensible to about 40-60% of the nation’s citizens, who think a pompous prank calling racist sexist xenophobic loudmouth con artist asshole is “tellin it like it is”. Thanks Obama, for keepin it 100.

How did the above happen? The sight of a crazy hypocritical grifter dope joining forces with a phony scammer lying flip flopping morally empty reality show host would have been laughed off the political screen 40 years ago. Hey Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter may not have been entertaining but they also sure as hell weren’t stupid and/or bunco artists. When did this plunge into being stupid is a plus start?

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Meghan: Clinton “Truly Evil.” Dad: “Proud to Call Her Friend”

found online by Raymond

From Jon Perr at Perrspectives:

Fox News regular and famous-for-being-famous person Meghan McCain offered conservatives a new argument for supporting Donald Trump. Likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, she told Neil Cavuto, is “truly evil.”

“But you still prefer him over Hillary Clinton?” Cavuto wondered.

“I told you, a tuna sandwich over Hillary Clinton,” McCain quipped. “Because I think Hillary Clinton is truly evil, and she’s truly a liar and she’s been responsible in my opinion for getting people killed.”

“Come on,” Cavuto replied.

“She’s Darth Vader,” McCain insisted. “I can’t trust her in any way.”

Ms. McCain would have done well to check in first with her father before trashing Secretary Clinton.

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Video Proof Sanders Supporters Threw No Chairs for 30 Seconds

found online by Raymond

From Tommy Christopher at Mediaite:

The Democratic presidential race has been roiled by the chaos that ensued at last weekend’s Nevada Democratic Convention, where supporters of independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders disrupted the proceedings with profane heckling and, reportedly, chair-throwing. That event was followed by a barrage of threatening and harassing phone calls and text messages directed at Nevada Democratic Chairwoman Roberta Lange.

Well, according to some Bernie Sanders supporters, there is now video evidence that no chairs were thrown at the 12-hour-plus event, because they found a 30-second video of one Sanders supporter being prevented from throwing a chair that he’d lifted over his head:

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