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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #1770 on: June 28, 2006, 05:36:49 PM »

"Enlightenment" came from the "Humanist" movement which started many, many years ago. It was seen quite widely in Europe in the 1800's even though it started long before that. It is all about self.

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« Reply #1771 on: June 28, 2006, 05:49:12 PM »

"Enlightenment" came from the "Humanist" movement which started many, many years ago. It was seen quite widely in Europe in the 1800's even though it started long before that. It is all about self.


Self need to be about God. I guess one day, quite a few people are in for a suprise.
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« Reply #1772 on: June 28, 2006, 05:50:28 PM »

 UK faces blackouts without new nuclear plants, warns minister
London, June 28, IRNA

UK-Nuclear-Energy
The British public would have to support new power projects, including rebuilding nuclear plants, or face a 'serious risk' of blackouts, Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling warned Wednesday.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Darling also signaled that the government's energy review, due to be published next month, will be used to push a fast-track planning process for nuclear plants and wind farms, as well as transport schemes.

"We run a serious risk that some day someone will go into the living room, flick the switch and nothing will happen because we do not have the capability to generate any energy from any source at all," he warned.

The minister said some objections to nuclear power were outdated, and that Britain had 'little option' but to take action as the present nuclear power stations came to the end of their lives.

"One of the factors in nuclear is that the costs have got to be met. We know it is expensive but to have an energy review that says we are not going to do it, especially given the carbon problem we face, does not make any sense at all," he said.

Last month, Prime Minister Tony Blair also indicated his support for building a new generation of nuclear plants to meet Britain's future energy needs with supplies of oil and gas from the North Sea in rapid decline.

"Given where we are at the moment, with our increasing dependency on imports of gas, then we need to look seriously at all options, and nuclear does produce substantially less carbon than its gas counterpart," Darling argued.

The environmentalist group Greenpeace has described the government's energy review as a 'long-running farce' and a 'smokescreen' for a decision that the prime minister has already taken to build nuclear plants.

The plans are particularly controversial for the government, which is expected to face a rebellion by Labor MPs, staunchly against returning to the nuclear option.

UK faces blackouts without new nuclear plants, warns minister
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« Reply #1773 on: June 28, 2006, 05:52:39 PM »

 Italy vows to back Germany on EU constitution
Berlin, June 28, IRNA

Germany-Italy-D'Alema
Italy pledged to cooperate with Germany in finding a solution to the ongoing European Union constitution crisis, DPA reported Wednesday.

"We are for a courageous reviving of the (EU) constitution process," Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said during a news conference with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on Wednesday.

He stressed that with Germany's help, it was possible to find a good compromise on this issue.

Talks on a European constitution have bogged down after the Netherlands and France voted against such a constitution in nationwide referendums.

Berlin hopes to jumpstart the constitution project when it takes over the EU presidency in January 2007.

Italy vows to back Germany on EU constitution
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« Reply #1774 on: June 28, 2006, 06:19:53 PM »

Democrats must court evangelicals

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent 1 hour, 42 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.
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"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.

"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,'" he said. "Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats."

Obama, the only black in the Senate, drew national notice even before arriving in Congress last year, and has occasionally used his visibility to scold members of his own party. Widely sought as a fundraiser for other Democrats, Obama responded with a noncommittal laugh this spring when asked whether he wants a spot on the national ticket in 2008.

His speech included unusually personal references to religion, the type of remarks that usually come more readily from Republicans than Democrats.

"Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth."

Obama said millions of Christians, Muslims and Jews have traveled similar religious paths, and that is why "we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse. ... In other words, if we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway."

Obama coupled his advice with a warning. "Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith: the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps — off rhythm — to the gospel choir."

At the same time, he said, "Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."

Obama mentioned leaders of the religious right briefly, saying they must "accept some ground rules for collaboration" and recognize the importance of the separation of church and state.

Democrats must court evangelicals
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« Reply #1775 on: June 28, 2006, 06:24:20 PM »

China watching N. Korea missile situation

Wed Jun 28, 1:27 AM ET

SHENZHEN, China - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged
North Korea on Wednesday to refrain from launching a missile, saying such an act would aggravate regional tensions.

Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Wen said that China was concerned about recent events in North Korea.

"We are paying close attention to the information showing that there might be a possible missile-testing launch by North Korea, and we are following the developments of the situation very closely," Wen said.

"We hope that the various parties will proceed from the greater interest of maintaining stability on the Korean Peninsula and refrain from taking measures that will worsen the situation," he said.

Wen was the highest-level Chinese official to speak out in the two weeks since intelligence reports showed that North Korea had placed a long-range Taepodong-2 missile on a launch pad.

China is a critical ally of North Korea, providing food, fuel and other economic and financial assistance. Washington, Tokyo and, on Wednesday, Australia's Howard have all urged Beijing to take an active role in pressuring Pyongyang to back down from testing a missile.

China watching N. Korea missile situation
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« Reply #1776 on: June 28, 2006, 06:26:47 PM »

Ultra-Orthodox Jews attack Christian tourists in Jerusalem
By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent

A group of 50 pro-Israel Christian tourists came under attack Wednesday from some 100 residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem.

Three of the tourists and a police officer were wounded in the attack. They received treatment at the scene.

The tourists arrived at Mea She'arim wearing orange T-shirts with the words "Love your neighbor as yourself" printed across them.

As they neared one of the squares, the local residents apparently identified them as Christians and began to hit them.

Police forces in the area stepped in to stop the violence, but did not make any arrests.

Police say they are waiting for the tourists to file official complaints.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews attack Christian tourists in Jerusalem
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« Reply #1777 on: June 28, 2006, 06:30:12 PM »

Iran to Order More Nuclear Power Plants from Moscow

Created: 28.06.2006 09:35 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 11:17 MSK, 15 hours 3 minutes ago

MosNews

A senior Iranian official has voiced frustration at delays in construction of the Bushehr nuclear power station by Russia and said Iran hoped to order another two nuclear power stations from Moscow, in an interview quoted by AFP.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari said on Tuesday, Russia had yet to deliver nuclear fuel for the plant in southwest Iran, that equipment had not been delivered and that work had also been slowed by personnel changes on the Russian side.

“All this creates certain difficulties in keeping to the delivery timetable. We hope for the rapid solution of these problems and plan to order two more atomic power stations from Russia,” each with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, Safari told the Russian daily Gazeta.

“The joint work has dragged out, but I am confident that construction will be finished at the end of 2006,” Safari was quoted as saying.

The United States has urged Russia to halt work at Bushehr, suspecting that Iran’s nuclear energy program is a cover for developing nuclear weapons.

Tehran has repeatedly complained of delays by its ally Moscow in completing work on Iran’s first nuclear power station.

Work on building a nuclear facility at Bushehr was first begun by German contractors in the 1970s but was halted by the Iranian revolution and the Iran- Iraq war.

Safari reiterated Iran’s insistence on having a peaceful nuclear energy program.

“The use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is our legal right and Iranian politicians insist on it. For this reason we will fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency,” he said.

“America presents our work in a distorted form. We are open to negotiations. It is the West that closes them off unilaterally,” he said.

Russia has supported Western calls for Iran to halt nuclear enrichment and has proposed setting up a joint venture to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian territory.

Iran to Order More Nuclear Power Plants from Moscow
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« Reply #1778 on: June 28, 2006, 07:22:13 PM »

Marine who appeared in 'Fahrenheit 9/11' killed in Iraq
Save a link to this article and return to it at www.savethis.comSave a link to this article and return to it at www.savethis.com  Email a link to this articleEmail a link to this article  Printer-friendly version of this articlePrinter-friendly version of this article  View a list of the most popular articles on our siteView a list of the most popular articles on our site 

By Michael J. Feeney
ASSOCIATED PRESS

7:02 a.m. June 28, 2006


Associated Press
This photo released by the United States Marine Corps shows Staff Sgt. Raymond Plouhar, 30, of Lake Orion, Mich., handing candy to students at the Al Nabatiya Elementary School on May 9, 2006 in Iraq.

DETROIT – A U.S. Marine and one-time recruiter who appeared in Michael Moore's acclaimed documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” has died in a roadside bombing in Iraq.

Although Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar willingly appeared in a segment of the 2004 film, his father, Raymond, said Tuesday that his son didn't realize that it was for a movie critical of the war.

Raymond Plouhar said that all his 30-year-old son ever wanted to do was serve his country.

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“I remember when he fell in the bathtub and cut his chin when he was 6 years old, and the only way I could get him to go to the hospital was to tell it was a MASH unit,” Raymond Plouhar said. “I'm proud that my son wanted to protect the freedom of this country whether we all agree with the war or not.”

The younger Plouhar died Monday of wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, the Defense Department announced Tuesday.

Plouhar, of Lake Orion, about 30 miles north of Detroit, was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, First Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

He signed up for the Marines immediately after graduating from Lake Orion High School, where he wrestled and played football, his father said in a telephone interview.

The 57-year-old Plouhar said his son took four years off from active duty to serve as a recruiter in Flint after donating one of his kidneys to his uncle.

During that time, the Marine was filmed as part of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” about the Bush administration's actions after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The 10-year Marine's sister and grandfather served in the Army. He had only 38 days left in Iraq and had been there a little more than four months during his most recent tour, his family said.

“I'm devastated, sad and proud,” Plouhar said of his only son. “This just makes me devoted even more to his belief that people need help in Iraq, and he felt that he was helping.”

He said his son was teased a lot as a young kid and protected people as he grew up.

“He liked to protect the underdog,” the father said. “All of his buddies from school called saying, 'He was my friend when nobody else would be.'”

Plouhar, whose full name is Raymond James Bryon Anthony Charles Plouhar, graduated from Lake Orion High School and is survived by a wife and two children, ages 5 and 9, who live in Arizona.

The family plans to hold a funeral at Modetz Funeral Home in Lake Orion but has not set a date, the elder Plouhar said. The Marine's body was expected to be returned to Michigan early next week.

Despite his son's death, Plouhar said his views on the war are unchanged.

“We need to resolve the war,” he said. “If we walk out now, my son died for nothing and that will make me mad.”
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« Reply #1779 on: June 28, 2006, 07:27:10 PM »

News Agency Apologizes to Ariz. Candidate
Jun 28 12:37 AM US/Eastern

By PAUL DAVENPORT
Associated Press Writer

PHOENIX

A Spanish news agency apologized for a report that described a Republican gubernatorial candidate's proposed work program for illegal immigrants as "concentration camps."

The story last week caused an international stir when EFE, a national news agency of Spain, quoted candidate Don Goldwater as saying he wanted to hold undocumented immigrants in camps to use them "as labor in the construction of a wall and to clean the areas of the Arizona desert that they're polluting."

EFE Executive Vice President Emillio Sanchez said a freelance writer for the news agency inaccurately described Goldwater's plan.

"Upon further reflection, our investigation has determined that your plan to house illegal prisoners in a tent city is consistent with accepted practices for nonviolent American prisoners in your area," Sanchez said in the letter released Tuesday by Goldwater's campaign.

The letter also acknowledged that the freelance reporter never interviewed Goldwater or any of his staff for the story.

Sanchez confirmed the letter's contents when contacted by The Associated Press by phone on Tuesday.

Goldwater, nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, said he accepted EFE's apology and hopes that several Republican members of Arizona's congressional delegation also will apologize for criticizing him following the report.

Goldwater is one of four Republicans seeking his party's nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano.

News Agency Apologizes to Ariz. Candidate
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« Reply #1780 on: June 28, 2006, 07:41:14 PM »

Gang expert backs Tancredo charges

Retired cop says Mexican drug cartels rig elections to take over U.S. cities
Posted: June 27, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Joseph Farah
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com


Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.

WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Tancredo's charge that Mexican drug cartels are buying up legitimate businesses in U.S. cities to launder money and using some of the proceeds to win local mayoral and city council seats for politicians who can shape the policies and personnel decisions of their police forces, has been backed up by a veteran gang investigator.

Richard Valdemar, a retired sergeant with the L.A. County sheriff's department and a longtime member of a federal task force investigating gang activity, went beyond the charges made by Tancredo, the chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus who has led the fight to secure America's southern border.

In fact, he cited first-hand experience in investigating attempts to take over seven cities in Los Angeles County – Southgate, Lynwood, Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens and Huntington Park.

He also told WND in an exclusive interview that he has since become aware of similar efforts by Mexican drug cartels throughout the Southwest – in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.


The stunning disclosures substantiate claims made by Tancredo in his new book, "In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security," in which he exposes what he has learned from meetings with law enforcement authorities regarding a concerted effort by the Mexican mafia and drug cartels to extend its corruptive influence in urban areas dominated by illegal alien populations.

Tancredo says some of these small cities have become hostile and dangerous places for legitimate law enforcement officials. Valdemar agrees, saying the sophisticated technique being employed in the U.S. was "invented in Mexico."

Valdemar, the grandson of legal Mexican immigrants and now a consultant to law enforcement agencies across the country on gang activity, explains how the operations work.

"In the typical scenario, a wealthy Mexican immigrant opens a business in a small town," he says. "It could be a very nice Mexican restaurant. He's well-dressed, speaks English, seemingly a real gentleman. He gets involved in the community. His business welcomes police officers with discounts. He makes friends with city officials and other businessmen. No one has any idea where his money comes from – the Mexican drug cartels."

Valdemar says the agent of the cartels often sets up other businesses – including the sale of cheap used tires and used autos. These businesses are used almost exclusively as fronts for laundering money.

Then he begins targeting political power in the town. When election time rolls around, Valdemar says, he sponsors – directly or indirectly – a number of candidates for the city council with the express purpose of winning a majority of seats for his handpicked operatives. Some of the candidates are simply in place to level baseless accusations against incumbents, while others keep above the fray, positioning themselves for victory.

As soon as they take power, the new majority fires the city attorney and names a replacement. Often the second city official to go is the city manager. Both of these moves are designed to cover up the illicit activities that will follow.

City contracts for trash collection and other services are given to friendly businesses – also in league with the cartel. Regulations on auto-repair businesses and alcohol sales are lifted – again, making it easier for cartel-tied businesses to operate more freely. Gambling ordinances are changed to permit casinos and bingo parlors. Loan sharking, prostitution and increased drug business follow – all of which increase revenues for the cartels and power for their agents in the city.

Valdemar says very few prosecutions are successful because of the wealth and political ties of those involved. The situation in the Southwest is grave, he says, and the problem is spreading nationwide.

"We lost California," the Arizona resident says. "That's why I don't live there any more."

Tancredo, who blew the whistle on the growing power of the Mexican drug cartels and Mexican mafia in his book, "In Mortal Danger," explains who is behind the plot.

"The Tijuana-based Felix drug cartel and the Juarez-based Fuentes cartel began buying legitimate business in small towns in Los Angeles County in the early 1990s," he writes. "They purchased restaurants, used-car lots, auto-body shops and other small businesses. One of their purposes was to use these businesses for money-laundering operations. Once established in their community, these cartel-financed business owners ran for city council and other local offices. Over time, they were able to buy votes and influence in an effort to take over the management of the town. They wanted to create a comfort zone from which they could operate without interference from local law enforcement."

Tancredo, now a powerful force within Congress for opposing amnesty plans for illegal aliens and for promoting tougher border security measures, points in his book to the L.A. County city of Bell Gardens – where corrupt elected officials under the influence of drug lords actually tried to shut down the police department.

"City officials who would not cooperate with the Mexican-born city manager were forced out of office," he writes. "Eventually, the L.A. County attorney's office moved in, and the city manager was prosecuted on charges of corruption. Unfortunately, Bell Gardens was only the tip of the iceberg. Other Los Angeles suburbs – including Huntington Park, Lynwood and Southgate – became targets for the cartels."

Tancredo, too, cites similar efforts under way to undermine law and order by Mexican criminal gangs in Texas, Arizona and elsewhere.

"The corruption spreading from south of the border is not confined to Southern California," he writes. "In Cameron County, Texas, the former sheriff and several other officials were recently convicted of receiving drug-smuggling bribes. In Douglas, Arizona – where the international border runs down the middle of the town and divides it from its sister city of Agua Prieta, Mexico – the mayor's brother was discovered to have a tunnel from one of his rental properties going into Mexico."

Tancredo reports he has had confidential briefings with top officials in big-city law enforcement who say there are entire cities under the virtual control of Mexican criminal street gangs and their associated businesses, in some cases, making it dangerous for county, state and national law enforcement officers to venture in and rendering any interdepartmental cooperation impossible.

This under-reported aspect of the immigration and border problem is just one of the reasons Tancredo believes the U.S., as a nation, is "in mortal danger" as the debate over solutions rages on in Washington.

Throughout "In Mortal Danger," Tancredo, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the border security issue in the nation's capital, tells the whole story of the threats facing the nation, the solutions within its grasp and his own personal quest to awaken the political establishment to the seething discontentment gripping America as a result of illegal immigration.

Tancredo warns that the country is on a course to the dustbin of history. Like the great and mighty empires of the past, he writes, superpowers that once stretched from horizon to horizon, America is heading down the road to ruin.

English historian Edward Gibbon, in penning his classic "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (ironically published in the year America's Founding Fathers declared independence from Great Britain), theorized that Rome fell because it rotted from within. It succumbed to barbarian invasions because of a loss of civic virtue, its citizens became lazy and soft, hiring barbarian mercenaries to defend the empire because they were unwilling to defend it themselves.

Tancredo says America is following in the tragic footsteps of Rome.

Living up to his reputation for candor, Tancredo explains how the economic success and historical military prowess of the United States has transformed a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles of right and wrong into an overindulgent, self-deprecating, immoral cesspool of depravity.

His recipe for turning things around?

Without strong, moral leadership, without a renewed sense of purpose, without a rededication to family and community, without shunning the race hustlers and pop-culture sham artists, without protecting borders, language and culture, the nation that once was "the land of the free and home of the brave" and the "one last best hope of mankind" will repeat the catastrophic mistakes of the past, he writes.

Tancredo, born and raised in Colorado, represents Colorado's 6th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to his election to Congress in 1998, Tancredo worked as a schoolteacher, was elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives in 1976, was appointed by President Reagan as the secretary of education's regional representative in 1981, and served as president of the Independence Institute. He serves on the International Relations Committee, the Resources Committee and the Budget Committee, and is the chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus. Tancredo and his wife, Jackie, reside in Littleton, Colo.
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« Reply #1781 on: June 29, 2006, 06:49:06 PM »

Hateful chatter behind the veil
Key suspects' wives held radical views, Web postings reveal

OMAR EL AKKAD AND GREG MCARTHUR

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

MISSISSAUGA — When it came time to write up the premarital agreement between Zakaria Amara and Nada Farooq, Ms. Farooq briefly considered adding a clause that would allow her to ask for a divorce.

She said that Mr. Amara (now accused of being a leader of the alleged terror plot that led to the arrests of 17 Muslim men early this month) had to aspire to take part in jihad.

"[And] if he ever refuses a clear opportunity to leave for jihad, then i want the choice of divorce," she wrote in one of more than 6,000 Internet postings uncovered by The Globe and Mail.

Wives of four of the central figures arrested last month were among the most active on the website, sharing, among other things, their passion for holy war, disgust at virtually every aspect of non-Muslim society and a hatred of Canada. The posts were made on personal blogs belonging to both Mr. Amara and Ms. Farooq, as well as a semi-private forum founded by Ms. Farooq where dozens of teens in the Meadowvale Secondary School area chatted. The vast majority of the posts were made over a period of about 20 months, mostly in 2004, and the majority of those were made by the group's female members.

The tightly knit group of women who chatted with each other includes Mariya (the wife of alleged leader Fahim Ahmad), Nada (the wife of Mr. Amara, the alleged right-hand man) Nada's sister Rana (wife of suspect Ahmad Ghany), as well as Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal (the Muslim convert from Cape Breton, N.S. who married the oldest suspect, 43-year-old Qayyum Abdul Jamal). The women's husbands are part of a core group of seven charged with the most severe crimes -- plotting to detonate truck bombs against the Toronto Stock Exchange, a Canadian Forces target, and the Toronto offices of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

The women were bound by the same social, political and ideological aims. They organized "sisters-only" swimming days and held fundraisers for the notorious al-Qaeda-linked Khadr family. With the exception of the occasional Urdu or Arabic word or phrase, their posts are exclusively in English.

After their husbands were arrested, most of the women refused to tell their stories to the media; reached at her home in Mississauga, Ms. Farooq would not comment on her posts.

But in the years leading up to the arrests, they shared their stories with one another.

She knows it freaks her husband out just thinking about it, but 18-year-old Nada Farooq doesn't care: She wants a baby. It is mid-April, 2004, and the two have been married for less than a year. In the end, the jihad clause was not included in a prenuptial agreement.

Like many students at Meadowvale Secondary School, Zakaria Amara is busy worrying about final exams and what, if any, university to go to. But Ms. Farooq -- the Karachi-born daughter of a pharmacist who now hands out prescription medicine to soldiers at the Canadian Forces Base in Wainwright, Alta. -- has already done a fair bit of daydreaming about what it would be like to have a child. She even has a name picked. If she has a boy, she wants to name him Khattab, after the commander of the mujahedeen in Chechnya who battled Moscow until he was assassinated in 2002.

"And i pray to Allah my sons follow his footsteps Ameeen [Amen]," she writes at the on-line forum she founded for Muslim teens in Mississauga's Meadowvale area. Her avatar -- an on-line symbol used to indicate personality -- is a picture of the Koran and a rifle.

(All postings in this story have been rendered as they appeared on-line.)

There is nothing casual about Ms. Farooq's interpretation of Islam. She reiterates the belief that jihad is the "sixth pillar" of the religion, and her on-line postings are decidedly interested in the violent kind. In the forum titled "Terrorism and killing civilians," she writes a detailed point-by-point explanation of why the Taliban is destined to emerge victorious in Afghanistan.

Virtually every other government on the planet, however, she only has disdain for.

"All muslim politicians are corrupt," she writes. "There's no one out there willing to rule the country by the laws of Allah, rather they fight to rule the country by the laws of democracy." She criticizes Muslims in places such as Dubai for spending money on elaborate buildings while Iraqis are being killed.

Ms. Farooq's criticism is often directed first at other Muslims. When another poster writes about how he finds homosexuality disgusting, Nada replies by pointing out that there are even gay Muslims. She then posts a photo of a rally held by Al-Fatiha, a Canadian support group for gay Muslims. "Look at these pathetic people," she writes. "They should all be sent to Saudi, where these sickos are executed or crushed by a wall, in public."

The majority of Muslims Ms. Farooq does admire are ones currently at war, and she reserves her most vitriolic comments for the people they are at war with.

In a thread started by Mr. Fahim's wife, Mariya, marking the death of Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi after an Israeli missile strike, Ms. Farooq unleashes her fury: "May Allah crush these jews, bring them down to their kneees, humuliate them. Ya Allah make their women widows and their children orphans." The statement is so jarring that another poster complains it's not right for Muslims to wish such things on other people. Ms. Farooq's sister Rana is also in favour of violent resistance, posting often graphic photos of female militants and suicide bombers.

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« Reply #1782 on: June 29, 2006, 06:50:04 PM »

But while her heart may be in the battlefields and holy cities, Nada Farooq finds herself physically in Canada, a country the Karachi-born teen moved to after spending her childhood in Saudi Arabia. Her name is properly pronounced "Needa," and when she came to Canada as a child, some of the kids at her school teased her by calling her "Needa Shower." She'd often come home in tears.

The Farooqs, a Pakistani family, came to Canada in 1997 because they didn't like the idea of raising their children in the conservative society of Saudi Arabia, where foreign-born children don't have access to the same education as nationals, said Nada's father, Mohammad Umer Farooq.

When a Globe reporter contacted Nada's father at his home in Wainwright, and described some of his daughter's Internet postings, Mr. Farooq said he was "curious" and "concerned."

His daughter never expressed such opinions to him, he said, though he noted that he's worked in Alberta for the past five years and only makes it home to Mississauga a few weeks every year. He headed west because the pharmacist training hours required in Alberta were much lower.

His daughter has always been more religious than he and his wife, he said, and it was a faith that she developed in Canada, not Saudi Arabia. He described himself as 30 per cent religious and his daughter as 100 per cent.

"Occasionally. I pray. She prays five times."

While his daughter has used her Internet forum to lament the end of the Taliban, Mr. Farooq is a firm supporter of Canada's mission in Afghanistan. Many of the soldiers he serves at CFB Wainwright will eventually be joining the mission.

"They are there for the betterment of the people. They are there for the development of Afghanistan."

While she forms a close circle of Muslim friends, Ms. Farooq is never comfortable with life in Canada. She posts that her mother is often lonely because her father spends large portions of his time at work. She talks about going to the University of Toronto in Mississauga as fulfilling her parents' dreams rather than her own.

Ms. Farooq's hatred for the country is palpable. She hardly ever calls Canada by its name, rather repeatedly referring to it as "this filthy country." It's a sentiment shared by many of her friends, one of whom states that the laws of the country are irrelevant because they are not the laws of God.

In late April of 2004, a poster asks the forum members to share their impressions of what makes Canada unique. Nada's answer is straightforward.

"Who cares? We hate Canada."

In Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal's mind, every Muslim is another potential victim.

As a 44-year-old member of an on-line forum inhabited almost exclusively by teenagers, Ms. Jamal fits snugly into the role of maternal figure, and the advice she dispenses reflects her firm belief that the forces of evil are out to get every member of her adopted religion. She encourages Muslim youths to learn about herbal medicine and first aid lest they ever find themselves in a Muslim country under embargo, unable to receive proper medicine. Even in Canada, she says, one can never become complacent.

"You don't know that the Muslims in Canada will never be rounded up and put into internment camps like the Japanese were in WWII!" she writes in one 2004 post. This is a time when Muslims "are being systematically cleansed from the earth," she adds.

If she's looking for an example of such oppression, Ms. Jamal finds it in the Khadrs, the Canadian family whose patriarch, Ahmed Said Khadr, was killed by Pakistani forces and declared a martyr by al-Qaeda. In June, 2004, Ms. Jamal spearheaded a committee to help Mr. Khadr's widow, Maha. In Ms. Jamal's view, Maha Khadr and her family have committed no crime, only stated their opinion, and it is the duty of the entire Muslim nation to ensure the family's well-being.

Ms. Jamal's zealousness for homegrown Muslim causes is matched only by her rejection of just about everything Canadian. As the June, 2004 federal election draws near, she repeatedly advises Muslim youth to completely avoid the process. Voting, she tells them, inherently violates the sovereignty of God, making it the most egregious sin against Islam.

"Are you accepting a system that separates religion and state?" she asks. "Are you gonna give your pledge of allegiance to a party that puts secular laws above the laws of Allah? Are you gonna worship that which they worship? Are you going to throw away the most important thing that makes you a muslim?"

Ms. Jamal's list of forbidden institutions goes beyond politics. Banking, membership in the United Nations, women's rights and secular law are all aspects of Canadian society she finds unacceptable.

But her deepest outrage, like that of so many Muslims, is time and again sparked by the treatment of her brothers and sisters around the world. In a May, 2004 post titled "Behold Your Enemy!" she posts multiple articles describing the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of American soldiers.

"Know what you will face one day," she warns fellow forum members. "Let them call you a terrorist, let them make you look like a savage, but know that THIS is the filth of the earth, the uncivilised destroyer of humanity.

"Know from this day that this is not an Iraqi problem, it is not an Afghani problem, it is not a Palestinian problem, it is not a Somali problem. IT IS YOUR PROBLEM!!!"

Often, the conversation was quite tame. The women post advice on make-up, organizing sisters-only events and finding restaurants that offer truly halal Chinese food. Fahim Ahmad's wife, Mariya, posts a warning to other women not to go watch the brothers play soccer, because it makes them uncomfortable."Yea, and besides, their OUR husbands!" Ms. Jamal concurs. "Go get your own to stare at!"

But inevitably, it would come back to Islam, the very purpose for which Ms. Farooq created the forum in the first place. When it comes to religion, the wives of Mr. Amara, Mr. Jamal, Mr. Ghany and Mr. Ahmad exhibit a commitment to hard-line fundamentalism that rivals and often exceeds that of their husbands.

In May, 2004, the Meadowvale students come across an extremely graphic video showing the beheading of a U.S. hostage in Iraq. Mr. Fahim, posting under the name "Soldier of ALLAH," praises the killers as mujahedeen who will be rewarded in the afterlife. Another poster maintains the beheading was actually carried out by U.S. forces as a ploy to direct anger at the Muslim community. It's this post that inspires Nada to prohibit any further discussion of similar conspiracy theories.

Three posts later, her husband reprints an article claiming the Americans were responsible for the beheading.

But such occasional bickering between newlyweds does not stop Ms. Jamal from seeing the bigger picture. In her 40s, she is more than twice as old as most of the other Muslims on the forum. But like her husband, she believes young Muslims are the only ones capable of standing up against non-Muslim oppression.

For the most part, the wives of the other suspects do not let her down. This is especially true of Ms. Farooq, who deeply believes that education, financial success and other such goals are relatively frivolous because they only help Muslims during their time on Earth, and not in the afterlife. When another forum member disagrees with her view, she describes him as being "too much in this dunya [world]," and not sufficiently concerned with what comes after.

"Those who are sincere in pleasing Allah will go to whatever length to help the true believers," Ms. Farooq writes. "Those who fear Allah more than they fear the CSIS. Those are the ones who will succeed in the hereafter."

Hateful chatter behind the veil
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« Reply #1783 on: June 29, 2006, 06:52:36 PM »

Major Pacific exercise underway with N. Korea in background

Special to World Tribune.com
EAST-ASIA-INTEL.COM
Thursday, June 29, 2006

SEOUL — Eight Pacific naval powers opened a month of exercises around the Hawaiian Islands this week in one of the biggest displays of allied naval strength since World War II.

The number of vessels participating in the show of force — and some of the specific war games they played — were fine-tuned to train for countering long-range missiles even though the exercises were scheduled long before the current threat from North Korea.

Led by the U.S. Navy, the countries participating included Japan, South Korea, Chile, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain — the last still viewed as a Pacific naval power in view of its colonial legacy and strong ties to other participants.

The exercise, called RIMPAC, the acronym for Rim of the Pacific, held every two years for the past 20 years, this year tests the ability of the eight powers to counter not only attack at sea but also from missiles of the sort that North Korea is developing. U.S. Marines and the Coast Guard are also participating as ships maneuver to fend off “invasion” forces.

Among the ships participating are Aegis-class destroyers equipped with SAM 3 missiles — the type that is theoretically capable of knocking out an enemy missile. The U.S. and Japan are developing upgraded versions of the missile for both American and Japanese vessels, already deployed in waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan.

The exercises were also expected to include tests of interceptor missiles to be launched near the Hawaiian coast.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency claimed success in seven tests with interceptors capable of hitting missiles tipped with warheads. But skeptics here believe these claims apply only under highly controlled, artificial circumstances and doubt if the U.S. is capable of hitting a long-range Taepodong II missile, the type now poised on the launch pad on the east coast of North Korea.

A critical question was whether missile tests could support the claims of the Missile Defense Agency chief, Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. "Trey" Obering III, who said: “We are continuing to see great success with the very challenging technology of hit-to-kill — a technology that is used for all of our missile defense ground- and sea-based interceptor missiles."

The U.S. force in the Pacific is believed to be the largest since the 1994 nuclear crisis from which emerged the 1994 Geneva framework agreement, under which the North promised to give up its nuclear program in exchange for facilities for producing nuclear power to help fulfill its energy needs.

Two major Pentagon figures from that era, William Perry, then secretary of defense, and Ashton Carter, who served as assistant secretary under Perry, in a controversial commentary in the Washington Post called for a preemptive strike to “destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched.”

Analysts noted the irony of Perry and Carter calling for a military attack after Perry had spent years arguing for a policy of reconciliation with the North, as presented in the infamous “Perry Review” of 1998 put out at the behest of then-President Clinton.

The White House promptly discounted any notion of a surgical strike against the North, but U.S. aircraft carriers could deploy in a few days if the United States were to consider a strike in retaliation for launching the Taepodong-2.

Korean senior policy-makers, including Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon and National Security adviser Song Min-Soon, both warned that a North Korean missile launch would necessitate strong “counter-measures,” but South Korea’s President Roh Moo-Hyun has preferred to stress the need for building “trust” between the two Koreas while pursuing his policy of reconciliation.

Ban and Song's comments reflect strong U.S. pressure to maintain the appearance of the Korean-American alliance. Their worst fear is that a missile launch would deepen the rift between Seoul and Washington as well as divisions within South Korean society.

Major Pacific exercise underway with N. Korea in background
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« Reply #1784 on: June 30, 2006, 02:37:42 AM »

Japan recalls destroyer amidst North Korea missile fears
Jun 29, 2006, 15:16 GMT

Tokyo - Japan has recalled an Aegis-equipped destroyer from US-led military exercises off Hawaii in an apparent defensive move against a possible missile launch by North Korea, the Maritime Self-Defence Force said Thursday.

The Kirishima, one of four Japanese ships equipped with a US system designed to intercept missiles, is headed back to Japan amidst fears that North Korea is preparing to launch a Taepodong-2 missile, sources close to the agency were quoted by Kyodo News Agency.

The 7,250-ton Kirishima joined the US Navy in a ballistic missile-tracking drill on June 22 and to participate in the month-long Rim of Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), considered the world's largest international sea drills.

   The RIMPAC drills with participants Australia, Britain, Canada, Chile, Peru, Japan, South Korea and the United States, are to run through July 28.

Japan has deployed other destroyers to waters near North Korea and the US Navy has also sent out two Aegis-equipped destroyers from its naval port of Yokosuka, south of Tokyo.

   On Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and US President George W Bush are expected to sign an agreement urging North Korea to suspend the launch during a meeting at the White House.

   According to South Korean, Japanese and US reports, North Korea has been fuelling a Taepodong-2 missile, with an estimated range of more than 6,000 kilometres and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to parts of the United States.

On Monday, North Korea's Central News Agency said the RIMPAC drills are 'more provocative and dangerous' than previous exercises and North Korea 'will decisively' react against such provocation with 'strong measures for self-defence.'

Japan recalls destroyer amidst North Korea missile fears
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