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« Operations Note | Main | Little Greenhouse Of Horrors »

August 09, 2006

Comments

karal

God's time, not Iran's time or some significant date in a Muslim calendar - August 22 is the Queenship of Mary - be not afraid!

Mary Kay

karal beat me to it.

Shane

Wow that's really cool.

I mean, really cool.

Weren't there points in history where great battles or attacks happened on Marian feast days only to have the Catholics win a very unexpected victory?

Barbara

I never heard that date for the Queenship of Mary. Where and when did it originate?

Naomi

Of course it's also possible the missing students are being detained by our gevernment; they wouldn't necessarily tell us that. Especially if they were still investigating the matter.

LameDame

"This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world."

I don't know about y'all, but I'm going to Confession!! I wonder if one can get the Last Rites, too?

Bill

The thing that makes this really scary is that it doesn't matter if the date itself has any real significance for us, as long as it has significance for them that's enough for me to worry.

Shane

I am actually a lot less worried knowing it is a Marian feast day. It's uncanny. I was extremely worried when I read the post, and though I am still concerned, I pretty much feel as though it will be fine.

watcher

The Aug. 21/22 date for Ahmadinejad doing something is plausible. Every indication from his own words is that he is planning something. Given the Muslim tendency to think and speak with historical metaphors, the date does fit. Especially when you understand Ahmadinejad's interest in the Hidden Imam, the date becomes one of the few where he actually needs to do something.

The following link has a better breakdown from current Muslim leaders, whom themselves think Ahmadinejad is going to do something. The poster commentary on the site, however, often leaves something to be desired.

www.jihadwatch.org/archives/012399.php


The Queenship of Mary is an interesting aspect of everything. If Ahmadinejad does attack, could there also be some sort of a sign which will bring about the conversion of the Jews as prophisized?

Regina

This is straight from the Daily Roman Missal:

The Queenship of the Blesed Virgin Mary (Memorial)
Instituted by Pope Piux XII in 1954, this day commemorates Mary's participation in the glorious and universal kingdom of Christ through her special role in his Redemption. Though not the source of grace, she is the channel through which all graces are received, our mediatrix. Let us have recourse to Mary in all our needs.

Thomas A. Gill

From the New Catholic Dictionary:

Feast of Our Lady of Victory

The primitive title of the present feast of the Most Holy Rosary. In gratitude to God and Our Lady for the victory over the Turks at the battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571, Pope Saint Pius V ordered an annual commemoration to be made of "Our Lady of Victory."

DJ

If we really want to know what he's up to, simply don't believe him. I'm sure it'll work. It'll go something like this:

Ahmadinejad: The wrath of Allah will come down upon you!

The US: No it wont, when?

Ahmadinejad: On the 22nd, you will know his anger!

The US: Oh yeah? I don't believe it, where?

Ahmadinejad: Just to prove to you! On the 22nd, look to New York to see the justice of Allah's punishment!

The US: New York? Don't believe you. Where in New York? I don't see anything in New York. Nothing but a whole bunch of buildings.

Ahmadinejad: Your eternal punishment will come from the subway system on such and such street from locker number 23-A! Now prepare to meet your destiny Infidel!

Then, 45 minutes later, we find and diffuse the bomb.

Inocencio

If you haven't read G.K. Chesterton's poem Lepanto it is excellent and so is the book.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Joe Attardi

OK, I had to come back and comment on this one.
"I'm sorry, but I agree with the congressman from Long Island:
Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.), who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said the situation "has to be taken very seriously."
"Having a number of students from an Arab country arriving on student visas and disappearing is cause for concern," he said."

Nice racism. If it was people on student visas from other countries that went missing, the concern would be for their well-being. But we all know that Arab = Terrorist, right? So of course any Arab that comes here must be a threat.

Give me a break.

Brother Cadfael

Joe,

Are we being a little touchy, or just a little too politically correct?

Since when "taking a matter seriously" or something being a "cause for concern" equate with racism?

Frankly speaking, I would hope that they would take any multiple disappearance "seriously" and be "concerned" about it, not only because it is a potential threat (a characterization you made, not King in the referenced statement), but because a number of students are missing. One does not necessarily exclude the other.

Tim J.

So, Joe, you don't think we should have any special national security concerns when a large group of young Arab men go missing in our country, as opposed to, say, a large group of Swedes or Australians?

All the same risk?

Give thou unto me a break!

LarryD

Wonder if the Egyptian consulate has come out with a statement yet....it seems to me they should have some interest as to the whereabouts of their citizens.

bill912

If the 9/11 attacks had been perpetrated by the Irish Republican Army, and, if 11 young Irishmen here on student visas had immediately disappeared after landing in New York, I'd be concerned. (And, as anyone who has ever seen me can easily tell, the genes for my mug came from the area of County Clare).

LarryD

Wonder if the Egyptian consulate has come out with a statement yet....it seems to me they should have some interest as to the whereabouts of their citizens.

Joe Attardi

An Arab can perpetrate a terrorist act just as easily as any other race. It's a sad state when we treat someone as a potential terrorist simply because of their country of origin.

LarryD

Sorry for the double comment - typepad strikes again!

Joe Attardi

Brother Cadfael -

Jimmy said this is the "least credible" line in the story:
[FBI Special Agent] Kolko said there is no reason to believe the missing students, all men around 20 years old, represent a threat.

So I made the inference that his belief is that they are, in fact, a threat.

Brother Cadfael

Do you honestly believe there is no chance they are a threat?

Joe Attardi

Let me try to rephrase my comment so it doesn't come across as being so hostile. Sorry, I tend to jump the gun on these things.

The sad truth is that a lot of people nowadays equate Arabs with terrorists. And it's not fair. We are supposed to be a free, just and equitable society - however, because of the course of history, this same freedom and openness is not always extended to our Arab/Middle Eastern brothers and sisters.

If they have more information that they aren't telling us, that's one thing. But to consider it a threat simply because the students in question are of Arab origin is prejudice - maybe not racism, OK, but definitely prejudice.

Joe Attardi

Brother Cadfael:

Of course I think there's a chance they are a threat. But no more of a threat than if it were Spanish, Russian, or Korean.

Brother Cadfael

Joe,

You seem to be of the opinion that their race is the only information we have. That's not the case.

Augustine

So here's a dumb question... if it's a bad idea for a government to possess nuclear weapons because its leadership espouses an apocalyptic worldview, why does the U.S. have nuclear weapons? By this reasoning, we should take the initiative and either completely divest ourselves of our nuclear arsenal, or else bar Evangelicals from seeking political office.

Joe Attardi

Brother Cadfael:

They're Egyptian students who had their student visas revoked for not showing up. Am I missing anything else?

"At this point, all they have done is not show up for a scheduled academic program, and their visas have been revoked," Kolko said.

"We do not know of any association with any terrorist or criminal groups. There is no threat associated with these men. We have simply asked law enforcement's assistance in locating them so that the FBI and ICE may interview them."

Tim J.

"It's a sad state when we treat someone as a potential terrorist simply because of their country of origin."

You're right. It is sad.

Sad, but necessary. It's called profiling, and it may not be nice, but it is more effective than frisking grandmothers and girl scouts at the airport.

Joe Attardi

Tim J:

I disagree that it's necessary. It's unreasonable and invasive.

Ken Crawford

Jimmy, I agree with you that there is great reason for concern about the Arabs who are missing. However, I can also see how that is compatible with "Kolko said there is no reason to believe the missing students, all men around 20 years old, represent a threat." based on a frequent usage of 'no reason to believe'.

I think your understanding of the phrase in that context is that an intelligent person with reasonable forsight wouldn't see any possible danger. I'd use the phrase the same way. However, many seem to use the phrase to be equivalent to 'there is no proof' where the burden of proof is similar to that of a court of law. I think it is stupid that people use it that way... but nevertheless I've seen a number of instances of it in "talking head debates" where the person then making the statement then uses the criteria of proving their guilt in a court of law to defend the statement.

For a more immediate example, I think Joe Attardi in the comments has a similar usage of it. Particularly evident in the 9:16:20 comment as he implies the opposite of 'no reason to believe' is "in fact". ("I made the inference that his belief is that they are, in fact, a threat")

Joe Attardi

Ken Crawford:

OK, bad choice of words. The opposite of 'no reason to believe' is that there 'is reason to believe'. So if people think there is reason to believe they are a threat, what is that reason? I hope it's something more concrete than "They're from Egypt!"

Tim J.

Joe,

"I disagree that it's necessary. It's unreasonable and invasive."

No, 911 was unreasonable and invasive.

I've been searched at the airport. I've had my shoes electronically sniffed for explosives.

A little inconvenient, but that is the price we pay for traveling at this point in history.

I'm sorry that this is the case, but race, country of origin and other cultural factors do come into play here, and it is silly to pretend that they don't.

Joe Attardi

Ken:

I've been searched at the airport too. I have no problem with people being searched at the airport. What I have a problem with is people being prejudiced towards people from an Arab country for no other reason than they are from that country.

If they're acting suspicious, that's one thing. And I suppose this is a gray area, as disappearing like this could be considered suspicious. So, I may be wrong in this case, or at least, my point of view doesn't apply as much in this case.

Removed from the case we're discussing, I mostly just take issue with people being suspicious of, or being hateful towards, a person just because they happen to share a home county/country of origin with terrorists.

It's that same way of thinking that (in EXTREME cases) have perpetrated acts of violence or harassment against Arab-Americans who are living over here trying to make a living.

Joe Attardi

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Benedict

You know how we can tell for sure that they have alterior objectives?

"17 Mansoura University students signed up for a 32-day cultural-exchange program to ... learn about Montana history ..."

No one would volunteer to spend 32 days in Montana, let alone travel halfway around the world to study Montana history.

El S.

Joe, look; I understand what you are trying to say, Spain has no particular beef with us, diplomatic relations with Russia are the best they've been in ages, and Korea hasn't presented itself as a terror threat, just a nuclear one. EGYPT, however, was a country whose citizens danced in the streets on 9/11. Arab =/= terrorist, necessarily; Id be far less worried if they were Turks. However, when 9/11 was perpetrated by a bunch of Middle Easterners on visas from an anti-American country, and then a bunch of Middle Easterners from an Anti-American country disappear, we'd be stupid not to be worried for the sake of "political correctness". When a grandmother or a girl scout blows up a plane, then we'll be worried when those groups disappear, too.
-El S.

Joe Attardi

El S:

It's not political correctness, it's fair treatment. But I do see the point you make, too. Agree to disagree I guess.

StubbleSpark

I agree with Augustine on the apocalyptic outlook of some of Evangelical brothers and sisters who have been swayed by the heresy of Dispensationalism.

I don't agree that they should be barred from office (and I am sure he was joking about that) but I do wonder to what extent the certainty of their belief in how the prophecy will play out is influencing policy. At times I get really suspicious and then at other times, I feel like I am being paranoid. The upshot of living in a society so hostile to religion is that even if there are religious motivations for what we do, no one will voice them.

And on that note, I also cannot help but notice how the absolute certainty that one is going to Heaven really makes life on Earth a living Hell.

Regardless of whether or not they are right, an eternity is too big a gambit for your truly.

Flambeaux

Montana has a history?

Mike

"Egyptian student in custody; 10 remain missing"

Dr. Eric

Every day has some historical significance.

Every day is some Feast Day for some Saint or Our Lord.

Don't speculate too much about this stuff.

Is Ahmadinejad crazy? You Bet!

Should we be alarmed that he may do something? Aboslutely!

Brian Day

"Egyptian student in custody; 10 remain missing"

The 1 student was arrested in Minnesota.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,207619,00.html

If he was trying to get to Bozman, Montana, why not re-book his missed flight? Why does he disappear and show up over a week later - no where near his "destination"?

Rotten. Denmark.
I'm just sayin'.

Justin Burgard

Being probably the only reader of this blog actually from Bozeman, Montana, I figured I am obliged to comment.

Yes, Montana does have a history (lots of Dinosaur bones if nothing else).

MSU in Bozeman probably has about three to a five hundred foreign students on campus at any given time (most of them in the grad program). A majority of these students happen to be of Arab origin, for whatever reason.

It is perfectly conceivable that these students were intending to go to MSU and just found New York more interesting. That does not, however, rule out any alterior motives on their part.

And arguably Minnesota is closer to Bozeman then New York is, so aforementioned student found this is sort of near his destination.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

It would be helpful if we knew the religious affiliation of these missing students. If they're Coptic Orthodox or Catholic, for instance, then there's nothing to worry about. Though the Copts are minority in Egypt, so chances are the students do belong to the majority religion, Islam.

Of course, that in and of itself would not automatically mean they are terrorists, but they would then fit the profile of at least some of the 9/11 hijackers (such as Mohammed Atta, who was Egyptian).

In Jesu et Maria

Ken Crawford

Joe, let me give you a completely different example...

Yesterday I was browsing Craigslist and I came across a sailing item that is fairly rare (just as much from lack of interest as scarcity of supply) for sale significantly undervalued. The sailing club I belong to happens to own a dozen of these and has had some minor theft problems lately. So I sent a message to the club asking if anything of these items were missing.

Why? Because I had a "reason to believe" these may be stolen from our club. Did I have any facts? No. I just put together some reasonable possibilities and decided to follow up on them.

So, what's the "reason to believe" for this case?
1. They come from a country with a significant amount of anti-American sentiment including the desire to do terrorist acts against the US.
2. They fit the age profile of your average terrorist (young adults)
3. It's a known terrorist technique to use inapporpriately acquired visas to get into the country as opposed to trying to "sneak across the border".
4. After getting into the country they didn't make their way to where their visas said they were going.

Are you actually going to sit there and say there is "no reason to believe" (using my definition, not the fact definition) that they may be terrorists?

Are they terrorists? We don't know. But there is definitely a reason to be suspicious or view them as a potential threat.

To come full circle, it turns out the sailing item was not stolen. But everyone at the sailing club agrees that I did the right thing by taking decisive action to address the potential problem. We should treat these 12 people similarly: Take decisive action to find them and figure out if they're really a threat. We can do this based on a a very reasonable "reason to believe" they may be a threat.

That's not racism or prejudice. It's just being reasonably cautious.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

Latest update - Three have now been caught, eight more to go:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,207619,00.html
- and -
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/08/09/egyptian.students/index.html

In Jesu et Maria,

Sailorette

Ken- you beat me to it. If they violated their visas, they've already shown indication of lack of lawful intent (not proof, but indication-- although that many IS....curious), they are from a known terrorist area, and they fit the profile of people who are easily talking into stupid things. (Come on, who here, when they were twenty, *didn't* do some stupid things?)

John

Three of the students are now in custody...one in Minnesota was taken into custody based on an out-of-status visa issue...the other two surrendered themselves in New Jersey...the Fox News article says the Homeland Security Agency has stated none of the students pose a terrorism risk...sure!!!!...I guess that explains the release of the information re the missing students to the press, and the nationwide manhunt...also interesting that these "students" arrive in the country, and end up in different states when their stated purpose for entering the us was to attend a language camp. If nothing else, it's odd that so many students would deviate from their intended/stated purposes for entry, and immediately dissappear to parts unknown...hope the article is wrong about the August 22 thing...I'm from Minnesota, and most of my family works in the target rich, Twin Cities area (nuke power plants, corporate headquarters for several companies, several major airlines based there, etc.)...hopefully its just a group of rich-kid students doing a bit of pre-study sight-seeing on dad's bankroll...and a lot of over-reaction on our parts...

Peace,

John

A.M.

Joe Attardi says:

"The sad truth is that a lot of people nowadays equate Arabs with terrorists. And it's not fair. We are supposed to be a free, just and equitable society - however, because of the course of history, this same freedom and openness is not always extended to our Arab/Middle Eastern brothers and sisters."

The sad truth is that 100% of the savages that murdered 3,000 of us on 9/11 were young, male, Arab Muslim extremists. The concern about profiling Arabs is on the order of worrying about singling out Germans, Italians and Japanese during World War II, which would be considered laughable.

And while we're on the subject, 65 years ago, enemy aliens (and also non-aliens) were actually rounded up and incarcerated. Today, we're again fighting for our lives, but now we're worried about anybody so much as thinking something bad about our enemies -- and this worry is paralyzing us.

A.M.

By the way, I'm not advocating a policy of rounding up Arabs. I am trying to make the point that a lot of us still don't see that we're in a fight for our very existence.

Maureen

Investigating a credible threat is not an over-reaction.

Naming something as a threat doesn't mean it's necessarily actually dangerous; it means it's potentially dangerous. Threat = potential danger, which may or may not turn out to be actual danger.

Gene Branaman

OK, let's look at the facts: The Egyptian students arrived in NYC on July 29th & could easily have been in Minneapolis by the 30th but somehow never managed to make it there. Now, 11 days after arriving in the USA, of the 3 students who have been caught for violating their student visas, one ends up in Minneapolis 1000 miles from his destination & the other 2 in New Jersey 1200 miles from their destination & in a totally different direction! C'mon, there's something fishy here.

I'd assume these students are of moderate intelligence & are able to communicate well in English, otherwise I doubt they would have been accepted for the exchange program. So even if none of the 11 who violated their visas had ever been in an airport before, they'd still be able to communicate with folks who could assist them in getting to their destination. Unless that's not really where they wanted to go in the first place.

Things just don't add up if one looks at the facts that we know. So Rep King is absolutely correct when he says "Having a number of students from an Arab country arriving on student visas and disappearing is cause for concern" because we have to assume that they are here for a reason. Knowing what happened on 9/11/2001 because of Arab students skipped out on their student visas, how is it "racism" to be safe than sorry?

it IS sweeping racism.

"If the 9/11 attacks had been perpetrated by the Irish Republican Army, and, if 11 young Irishmen here on student visas had immediately disappeared after landing in New York, I'd be concerned."

NO... it was not Irishmen.

It was Saudis!!!!!!!! NOT Egyptians, not Jordanians, not Lebanese, not Qatarians and NOT Iraqis...no matter what George Bush says.

It was Saudis that perpetrated 09/11, not Egyptians.

"better safe than sorry"

that is like saying that England invaded Poland in 1939 or that Belgium invaded Germany. Just because they were all "white".

and this is no different than the blanket racism against all Asians during World War 2... but for those in the know, Japanese are not Chinese are not Korean are not Malay are not Philipino are not Indonesian are not Cambodian are not Laotian are not Vietnamese.

actually, at least 1 lebanese, and 1 egyptian (ATTA). 2/3rds Saudi though, yes.

Regardless, their nationality really doesn't matter, and likely didn't matter to them. They belonged to radical islam, regardless of nationality or color.

Mike

I believe the University was obligated to report the incident (regardless of race).

"Montana State repeatedly tried to contact the missing students. When that failed, the school notified Homeland Security officials and registered the Egyptians as 'no-shows' in the system developed after the Sept. 11 attacks to track foreign students."

Gene Branaman

"this is no different than the blanket racism against all Asians during World War 2... "

Sorry, Anon, yes it is. These men are primarily wanted for skipping out on their student visas per the FBI. We still do not know the reasons these students did not end up in Minneapolis.

What we also do not know is how often this happens each & every week to other foreign students from various nations who skip out on their student visas. Unless someone has the time to Google it that I do not have. (Assuming the stats are posted on the net which I'd bet it's not.) So, really, we have no frame of reference at all in this case.

Racism? Sorry, we just can't say that without more information. If it came to light that Homeland Security & the FBI were actively only focusing on students of Arabian nations who skipped out on their student visas as opposed to students from, say, Austrailia or Japan, then we might have a clearer case of racism. But, lacking that evidence, we can't say that.

And what if the students were from Germany or England? What's the fastest growing demographic in those nations currently, as well as in the rest of Europe? Muslims. The rest of Europe's citizens are contracepting & aborting themselves into a negative mortality rate. I'll bet that Homeland Security & the FBI know that Muslim populations are on the rise all over Europe & are carefully monitoring folks on student visas from many differeng nations on all populated continents. It just makes sense.

Siroos

Lewis is yet another Orientalist. If he had any insight he would first check what was said in Persian and then come up with such a laughable fantasy. In fact it was said that Iran would respond by the end of Mordad, not Rajab 14th or Aug 22nd, and even not "on Mordad 31st". As simple as that! You would expect Lewis to at least be familiar with the Persian calendar.

Chris

23/23 hijackers were extreme Islamists of Arab descent. It doesn't matter what country they are from, their RELIGION told them they'd get 72 mansions each with 72 beds and a virgin on each one. Joe's logic says that if 3 black guys and 2 white guys rob a bank and flee in a red Ford Explorer with a dent in the rear end, that the cops should stop all Ford Explorers, not just red ones...or perhaps even all Ford vehicles, so as not to offend those who drive red Explorers.

Look, when 23/23 hijackers are Arabs, that's not a hunch, not conjecture, it's a description of the suspects.

And quit using the word racism when you don't know the definition. I don't think anyone on this board thinks that they are better than ethnic Arabs. Look up the definition of racism.

John

For those posters making the comments defending the Egyptian nationals, and asserting claims of bigotry, racism, and discrimination in our government's attempts to pre-empt another 911...I ask - Are you really so obtuse as to suggest that looking at young arab-appearing men as we screen people entering various points of entry and exit in our country, has anything to do with showing disfavor toward these folks based on their ethnicity, sex, country of origin, or religion? If so it seems we've devoted an extraordinary amount of cash and resources to sort of "passive-aggressively" hurt their feelings and send them a silent but clear message that we don't like them. As Americans, we are nothing if not aggressive in our attempts to insult people when we have a mind to do so, and I have a hard time imagining if we really wanted to offend arab men, we couldn't find a less expensive, more direct method for doing so. The analysis our screening folks use to weed-out potential terrorists has to be a multi-layered analysis. One can only imagine that we look at several different factors in narrowing down the scope of our screening evaluations, and leave nothing to chance where ever possible. Of course we must look at past terrorist acts, intelligence, and the past bad actors themselves to develop a reasonable profile for screening. Do you bleeding-heart "defender" types actually expect us to look at old ladies with strollers, and babies in buggies the same way we look at young, dark-skinned, arab males, with muslim names? Come on!!! We surely look at entrant's names, country of origin, sex, age, religion if discernable, physical appearance - including hair color, skin color. We look also at language spoken, personal traits (nervous tics, sweating, studdering, shiftiness, willingness to communicate), purpose for entry and destination, consistency in story and background, family affiliation, luggage, ticket type, education, visa status, prior entry - stay duration, criminal background, cooperativeness, traveling companions, and what some call all-source data (read this as intelligence information on persons matching the entrant's crucial data). This information and other criteria are looked at because nearly every major, non-domestic, bad-guy in the last fifteen years fits the same fairly specific description...almost without exception. The fact that country of origin is one of the above criteria, is neither the fault of the innocent Egyptian, nor the innocent American. However, the innocent Egyptian suffers very little harm or indignity when looked at with a bit of heightened scrutiny by a security screening professional. Unfortunately the converse is not true, because the innocent American suffers potentially unlimited harm if he/she fails to look seriously at the Egyptian person, whether innocent or not...so do the math, and let our security folks do their jobs...

John

Siroos,

You say:

"Lewis is yet another Orientalist. If he had any insight he would first check what was said in Persian and then come up with such a laughable fantasy. In fact it was said that Iran would respond by the end of Mordad, not Rajab 14th or Aug 22nd, and even not "on Mordad 31st". As simple as that! You would expect Lewis to at least be familiar with the Persian calendar."

Come on!!! You seek to confuse the readers and posters with your own "mixing" of Islamic and Persian calender nomenclature...

27 Rajab 1427 is the Islamic date that corresponds to August 22, 2006.

27 Rajab 1427 is also the date the faithful in Islam believe commemorates the date the Muslim Prophet flew to Jerusalem, then up to heaven on a half man - half beast. This is a belief, ostensibly, of all Muslims, Sunni, Shia', and other.

The Persian calender date for August 22, 2006 is 31 Mordad 1385.

Again...if we look at your comments, in appropriate context, you state:

"In fact it was said that Iran would respond by the end of Mordad."

The last day of the month of Mordad is August 22, 2006. The 23rd of August, 2006, is 1 Shahrivar 1385. So you refute nothing of Lewis' article, you simply try to confuse the facts and apparently many of the folks ignorant to the differences in the Islamic and Persian Calenders.

You also gloss over reports, in Persian, subsequent to the "uncited" report you obviously rely on. Do a quick google search of Iran's President's comments, and many fluent Arabic and Farsi speakers quote him (translated into English) making indeterminate, late August threats, and later laying out August 22, 2006, as the date Iran would respond to the outside world. It's practically irrefutable.

Lastly, your argument would need to rely on Ahmedinejad not being aware of August 22, 2006, or 1 Shahrivar 1385, or 27 Rajab 1427 (all the same day), as the date this year, that Muslims commemorate their Prophet's flight to heaven. Sunni-Shia differences aside, Iran's influence in Lebanon would be incomplete without Iran's understanding of the far mosque in Jerusalem and its local influence on Muslim affairs there...in fact a substantial attack on that date may be planned to support just such a corresponding agenda in that region...

Mr. Lewis knows his stuff, despite his age, and you, Sir, appear somewhat disingenuous. Too bad...

John

Siroos

But you see, Rajab 27 isn't celebrated in Iran for the same reason that Sunnis celebrate it or Leiws describes. Do a quick search on public holidays in say UAE and Iran. Rajab 27th is the day of mab'as, the first calling in Iran. It is a public holiday. While mi'raj is also narrated in Shia tradition, unlike the Sunnis there's no commonly observed date ascribed to it. Now, to claim Ahmadinejad is aware of Aug 22 falling on Mordad 31st is far fetched. Unlike the Arab countries, Iran doesn't at all use the Georgian calendar, and there is no reason for them to be aware of this. As for the lunar equivalent, if Iranians want to refer to something that has an Islamic significance, they use the lunar date. Not the Persian equivalent. They would say we are to, say get married, on mid-Shaban or Rajab 14th, etc. This is because the lunar calendar moves around and has no fixed Persian equivalent.

This is how Orientalists function btw, they create laughable ideas out of what distorted knowledge they have. Aug 22 will come and nothing happens, and we will see who is disingenuous.

Tim

Interesting irony here between this post and the following one in Jimmy's blog about Guy Fawkes day and George Washington. So Guy Fawkes is a a fella who wants to blow up parliament for being unkind to a religion (religious terrorism anyone?). So Washington (good guy, right?) says, "Hey, let's not upset our Popish religious friends who might have benefited or even been somewhat uplifted by Guy Fawkes' little stunt." But in this post, when the crazy doodad President of Iran makes idle threats against a decadent and imperialist Western set of Governments that appalls most of us good Catholics, he is the ambassador of satan, and we must all bow down before government to save us.

One of our biggest problems today is that we are being ruled by our fears. What exactly could Iran do with a nuke that wouldn't instantly threaten Iran with annihilation? You folks all slathering at the mouth to have your government save you, may get a lot more saving than you wish for when the true Catholic haters get elected and have access to the expansive powers that you want our latest President George to have. Of course, when that happens maybe you'll just go ahead and welcome as liberators the troops from some foreign land whose government feels bad about the oppression of the people here. Yeah, that's it, when the troops land here to free us from oppression, we'll shower them with rose petals.

John

Siroos,

The litmus test isn't whether anything happens on August 22 or not...I would agree with you that speculation as to what Iran's president is up to, on the 22nd or any day, is just that...speculation. My comment with respect to you perhaps being disingenuous lies in what appears to be your presentation of confusing facts about the 22nd of August, its Islamic and Persian calender analogs, and how Lewis presents his information in his article. So as not again to write a short novel as I did twice last night, let me just offer the following example.

Your original thesis and response seems to be that Persians have their own calender, as do non-Persian Islamic folks (o.k.). You then suggest that Persians don't celebrate Mi'Raj on a particular date (depends on the Muslim, Persian or no). The disingenuous piece comes in where you suggest that Iranians, particularly the President and his intelligence services, would be unaware of Mi'Raj falling for most central and western Muslims (and some Persians) on August 22, 2006, or 31 Mordad 1385, or 27 Rajab 1427 this year.

Iran operates in Iraq, the Emirates, the Saudi Kingdom, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and most of north and central Africa. Iran seeks to establish a fundamental Islamist caliphate extending from Morocco to Jakarta. The idea that Iran is Persian, and therefore would be ignorant to the significance of 27 Rajab 1427 this year among the many muslim nations it seeks to impress and influence, is what is laughable. Your argument is like saying Iran doesn't know about the 4th of July and the significance of attacking the U.S. on that date, because Iran is solely Persian and doesn't use the Christian calender.

Bottom line is 27 Rajab 1427 is a significant day on the Islamic calender, Ahmedinejad certainly knows this, and if able could strike targets on this date, with the effect of stiking on this date not being lost on many muslims. Lewis knew what he was talking about, and your evaluation of Iran's understanding of August 22, 2006, is simply not credible...Sorry...

John

bill912

"What exactly could Iran do with a nuke that wouldn't instantly threaten Iran with annihilation?"

The nut case running Iran has stated that he would welcome just that. Therefore, he will not be deterred by the threat of annihilation.

Siroos

You're begging the question. It is not at all self-evident that Iran is seeking to form a "caliphate", and that it would appease Sunnis in contradiction of its own traditions.

27 Rajab is significant in Iran for entirely different reasons than what Lewis describes and that is central to my argument. You can't just assume away every point presented to suit your own prejudice. You are not privy to that.

Lewis obviously doesn't know what he is talking about, namely because of his lack of insight on the original Persian text and his lack of understanding of this very contentious issue. The date of mi'raj is not accepted by Shias for very controversial reasons that have to do with the authority of various hadith books. I resent being presented with such nonsense and shallow analysis by orientalists and their lackeys.

Jeannette

The nonsensical, shallow, orientalist (and racist) lackeys at Homeland Security have raised the threat level to Red. It seems they have a concern that there will be a major attack soon, by September 11 or sooner. It would be very silly to suggest that the explosives found have anything to do with 8 missing young Egyptians or August 22. Nope.

Tim J.

Tim,

"...So Washington (good guy, right?) says, "Hey, let's not upset our Popish religious friends who might have benefited or even been somewhat uplifted by Guy Fawkes' little stunt."

Except that Washington never said that. He only mentioned burning the Pope in effigy, and commented on the inappropriateness of celebrating what is an essentially anti-Catholic holiday. He never mentioned Fawkes, at all.

The rest of your rambling post, out of charity, I will not comment on.

Siroos,

So you don't argue that most of west and central Islam follow the islamic calender?

It appears you also agree, based on your lack of argument, that 27 Rajab is significant to the vast majority of these folks?

So now you want to argue that Iran is not expansioninst and caliphate oriented?

You also appear to wish to argue that Iran has pure objectives and motives in mind when it infiltrates a poor, fledgling country like Lebanon, pours millions into the country to develop infrastructure and a salvinic-type persona there, then essentially enslaves and pimps out the poor, uneducated people there to attack its enemy (Israel) for it?

Come on!!! Where have you been the past 27-28 years. Iran has been using it's vast oil wealth and resources to export it's brand of Islamic Fundamentalism to any country it can gain a foothold in, and I think you know it! The concept that Iran, and its martyrdom crazy president don't seek to expand the Persian empire is wholly unfounded, and well refuted by its country-hopping activities around the middle east.

Furthermore, the idea that Ahmedinejad would refrain from attacking targets on dates significant to Sunni and not Shia', when he seeks to promote the Persian agenda across the middle east, and he already has the attention of his own folks, also demonstrates you're not very broad in your thinking. Look at the first Gulf War...half the Iraqi (Sunni) airforce fled to Iran to escape the coalition and its impending pounding...in this case, Ahmedinejad preaching to convert a Sunni audience...not such a stretch...sorry to hear you think I'm the lackey of those crazy orientalists though (whom ever they are)...I guess it's an extra dose of sominex for me tonight...

Regards,

John

Some Day

Instead of argueing the obvious,
how about getting ready for it.
Because regardless of how small or how far the war is, Israel is probably going to loose, and the Muslim-prototype is going to rise and in Europe its going to explode and the US will follow suit. Latin America is turning Red and Muslims want us dead. Get to the Blessed Sacrament, find your rosaries, and most importantly, recieve Holy Communion at least once a day (you can recieve twice as long as the 2nd is a complete mass)
Money and Guns can't help you when the punishments of Fatima come. And they seem very close. Maybe not with the Leb-Israel war, but very soon. The world has sunk to deep.
Vigilance and Prayer

Mike

Vigilance is wise. The end could be as soon as a car accident, or unexpected illness.

"And they seem very close."

Every generation of Christians has felt the end was near. I don't think the fear mongering is helpful.

Some Day

No, not the end of the world.
That is not what I am talking about.
I am talking about the regular due punishment we incur everyonce in a while, and promised by Our Lady in Fatima.

Tim J.

BTW, kudos and hearty thanks to Scotland Yard and everyone involved in busting up this latest terror plot. 21 arrested in Britain. British citizens of Pakistani origin, aiming to blow up planes.

Nice work.

If I could, I would buy EACH of you a nice, room-temperature beer.

Some Day

Would you buy me one?

Tim J.

Sure. Meet me at Fuzzy's. Friday, 7:00 pm.

Tim

Tim J,

OK, I never meant it as a direct quote. Forgive me for having limited time and an expectation that people of a certain persuasion are a little more than strict literalists.

One of my points is that Iran can do next to nothing in the big scheme of things with a nuclear weapon. I would really, really hate for the US to use them again, but I have no doubt that Dubya (and his neocon advisors) would start a short tactical nuke war to clean house in Iran. So whether Ahmadinejad wishes for that kind of war or not, Dubya will finish it. And once the nuclear option is unleashed, it seems pretty likely to spread as the technocrats in our government see how easily the problems go away with the right force.

My OVERALL point is that an irrational fear of admittedly crazy but essentially harmless individuals is what is driving the public in this country. And one nice clever way for evil to create havoc occurs when one spends more and more time fretting about threats. Paranoia causes one to make less and less prudent decisions until evil overwhelms one from the direction least expected.

No one in Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan (or anywhere else)is out to get you. But even if they were, relying on the US government to protect is probably the worst thing you could do. You wouldn't want the US government to make medical decisions for you. Why would you let them make decisions about how to protect yourself? You and God are in control of your life not GWB or Ahmadinejad. The advice above is excellent - say your prayers, confess your sins, Commune if you can and (of lesser importance - ask who goes there and keep your powder dry)!

J.R. Stoodley

Tim,

Perhaps you have missed the point that President Ahmadinejad and his supporters want the destruction of Iran. They think the great apocalyptic war is coming (or already started) and want to be martyrs in it. If they were smart, they might wait till they have lots of nukes so they can really destroy Israel and even Europe and the United States if they can reach us. They may not have that patience though or are afraid the West will not build up a sizable arsonal, so they will just bomb Tel Aviv and relish the nuclear response of Israel and perhaps the United States.

Mind you, I suspect nothing will happen on August 22 except maybe a definitive statement that Iran will continue its nuclear energy program no matter what. Then again if someone had told me on September 1, 2001 that on 9/11 there would be a massive terrorist attack on the United States, I would not have been that worried either.

J.R. Stoodley

I meant, "the West will not let them build up a sizable arsonal."

Tim J.

"No one in Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan (or anywhere else) is out to get you."

Ri-i-i-ght...

Pay no attention to that Imam behind the curtain. 19 Arab men were out to get a bunch of us on 9/11 and succeeded because few heeded the warning signs that radical Islamists deeply and truly desired our destruction.

They still do.

"But even if they were, relying on the US government to protect is probably the worst thing you could do"

See, Tim, that was one of the main reasons that the US government was established, according to the Declaration of Independence ("to provide for the common defense". I think it goes...) and is one of the bona fide legitimate DUTIES of the government.

The goverbment of Great Britain just did a bang-up job of protecting a bunch of her (and our) citizens from being blown up in mid-air.

I would much rather see the government take the tax money they now spend on warning us about the evils of cholesterol or second-hand smoke and spend it instead on better equipment for the troops.

Do I rely on the gub'ment rather than on God? Of course not, but they have they're role to play. As the saying goes, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition".

Tim J.

Sorry...

"...they have THEIR role to play.".

Augustine

So now when do we go and round up all of the other people who entered the country on false visas, or worse yet, without any documentation at all (or even forged)?!

We've got by some estimates MILLIONS of undocumented people in this country that we know absolutely nothing about that have also shown "indication of lack of lawful intent" by forgoing the legal entry process. For all we know they could be Zapatistas funneling money and weapons down to Mexico! Or worse, they could be MEChA radicals intending on reconquering "lost Mexican lands" in the southwest United States! We must act now!

Tim

To JR Stoodley - And you missed my point. Regardless of what Iran wants, if Dubya nukes Iran (God forbid!), they can no longer be a threat.

Tim J - Let me be more direct. YOU, Tim J, are not on anyone's hit list in Iran. They do not have a database that spits out the names of innocents to be killed today. "So what?" you say, "dead is dead." The fact that you personally are not a target makes a difference in your moral calculus. It is at least debatable whether you can advocate or even contemplate action against anyone in Iran if you personally are not a target.

As for your faith in government. I would love to get into it, but a Jimmy Akin combbox regarding an article about a given date and a crazy Iranian President probably isn't the place.

As to it's duty to protect . . . laughable! There would be nothing to protect me from if my government had kept it's nose clean and in it's own business in the first place. Please don't tell you think "they hate us for our freedom."

George W. Bush

DON'T WORRY FOLKS...I"VE GOT EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL. CONNIE TOLD ME SO.

Tim J.

"It is at least debatable whether you can advocate or even contemplate action against anyone in Iran if you personally are not a target."

Don't worry, Tim! I am not personally contemplating any action against Iran.

Also, my faith is in God, not in the government. However, it is their job to take action to protect ALL U.S. citizens.

So is it your idea that we should have stayed out of the Middle East altogether, let Israel be destroyed, allow someone like Bin Laden to pull together a pan-Arab caliphate, allow them to organize and arm themselves however they see fit, and THEN deal with the problem?

Good thinkin'. Are you a graduate of the Neville Chamberlain School of International Politics?

J.R. Stoodley

Tim,

Still, Iran would have to make the first move. That is why it is such a threat. I think even one nuclear bomb in Israel, Europe, America, Iran, or anywhere else is a disaster. Such disaster did not happen in the Cold War because neither side wanted to be bombed. That same principle still protects us from North Korea and protects (so far) India and Pakistan from themselves. Now that one side of a conflict does want to be bombed, we have a real reason to fear. Maybe not so much for ourselves as for innocent Israelis and Iranians

About Tim J. (or therefore any of us) being on a specific Iranian hit list, the fact remains that Islamic extremeists would indeed be happy to kill any of us individualy just because we are American non-Muslims. It is one of the primary purposes of govenment, in the abstract, to protect its citizens from such outside aggressors. Regardless of whether there have been forign policy blunders that got us into this mess or not, and regardless of the morality of any individual military action, it is a duty of our government to protect us.

John

Some Day,

Referring to about ten posts up, what did Our Lady promise at Fatima?

John

J.R. Stoodley

I'll let Some Day answer, but my impression was that the specific prophases of Fatima were to all occur withing the lifetimes of the children. They certainly seem, from what little I know, to pertain to the end of WWI, then WWII and the Cold War. I like to think that the coice of a place with such a Muslim name as Fatima (which many inaccurately thought heralded a coming conversion of the Muslims) was actually a nod to the next main global crisis to follow the Cold War; radical Islam/Islamofascism, which did start before the death of Sister Lucia.

John

Returning to my earlier discourse with Siroos and the August 22, 2006, piece in Jimmy's article...

Fox News carried an interview this morning with a man, describing himself as a former Palestinian fighter, turned Christian. This man characterized the 22nd of August (27 Rajab 1427 in the Islamic calender, or 31 Mordad 1385 in the Persian calender) as significant to muslims, not only because of the historical commemoration by muslims (at least Sunni muslims) of the Mi'raj as discussed in posts above, but because this year is the first time in 400 years that the crescent (the moon?) and a particular star line-up somehow on 27 Rajab 1427. This fellow said that this has great significance for muslims, and he specifically mentioned that many Muslim groups have been planning activities surrounding this occurrence. So...because 31 Mordad 1385 (August 22nd) is the last day in the month of Mordad, and Iran's president promised a response by that date, and because of the heightened significance of the 22nd (27 Rajab 1427) to many in Iran and most of the rest of the muslim world, and because Ahmedinezad is martyrdom crazy and wants to torch the world so he can die a martyr and let his God sort out the Muslims from the chaff, I'm concerned about the 22nd of August and the rest of the days leading up to 9/11. I hope I'm wrong, but with Iran's nuclear posture, Lebanon, and the airplane bobming stuff, I just don't know...

John

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J.R. Stoodley

Intruder alert!

Jimmy, you should have taken the advice I gave you in that email. ;-)

David B.

red alert! Borg Cube to starboard!

Some Day

Well the most interesting of the punishments was that whole nations would be anhialated.
That says alot. But then the most important part was this...
"IN THE END, MY IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH!"
That is a truimph and reign spoken by many saints, such as St.Luis Maria G. de Monfort, Blessed Palau, etc. . And they say its on Earth.
So it has to be before the end of the world. And they say it will last many centuries, in which the world will be guided by the Church and God, where we will rise to the order God wanted to develop since Paradise, and was being restored with the Middle Ages, but shot down in decadence beginging with the Rennasaince and Protestantism.
So maybe there is like 10 bad years, but at the end God and the Church triumphs, with the intercetion of Our Queen and Mother, The Most Holy Virgin Mary.

John

So...I read some time ago the revelations at Fatima that had finally been released by the vatican, and I don't recall anything about the world being anhialated...I've heard that many believe the vatican has withheld pertinent parts of the Fatima secrets, but what evidence is there that such a conspiracy has any merit? I also heard, or rather read, that Mel Gibson had an audience with Sister Lucia shortly before her death at her convent. Apparently one of his next projects will relate to the Fatima events.

So that said...what am I missing about Fatima? Ia there something here a new Catholic should be tuned into?

Also, two more days 'til the 22nd!

John

J.R. Stoodley

It's August 22! No apocalyptic bombings yet as far as I've heard. However, I heard on NPR yesterday (I was away for the weekend and did not hear the news) that Iran declared it would continue its Uranium enrichment program. This seems to be that definitive answer they promised by the end of August.

John,

I would concern yourself with Magisterial teachings, Catholic spirituality, and the teachings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church more than private revelation, at least for now as you are just entering the Church. Personally it seems to me that those whose whole faith and spirituality seems to center on one or more private revelations, and read as many current events into those predictions as possible, are spiritually and perhaps mentally unhealthy.

I personally believe in the private revelations given to saints and blesseds because otherwise those saints or blesseds would have been liars or insane. That means I believe in Fatima. However, one interpretation that makes sense to me is that all of the predictions, while possibly reflecting later events, were to be fulfilled in the imediate sense during the lifetime of Sister Lucia, which is now finally over.

Also, the predictions tended from what I hear to be qualified with a "if the world does not repent" or something like that, indicating that it was possible that not all would come true.

Then again you may know more about this than me.

Siroos

Well, who gets the last laugh my friends? Orientalists are absurd even when they're at their prime, when they're 90 they're apocalyptic!

Some Day

Not the world being anhialated, but nations.
The whole world would be absurd.

John

Siroos,

Again with the orientalist (whatever that is) banter...you want to talk about absurd and apocalyptic in the same sentence, look no further than your boy, Ahmedinezad. He makes Hussein look like Mr. Rogers...and how about all the suicide bombers he funds or sends to places like Israel, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, North Africa, Bosnia, Chechnya, Russia, and now Lebanon...there, again, is your absurdity!!!! Looks like somebody set his nifty Persian alarm clock to around 7:00 p.m., 31 Mordad 1385 (August 22, 2006), so he could get in another shot at the Catholics...get a life dude! Besides, the night is still young, and your compadre has enough crazy juice to go around the world and back again...it's just a matter of time before he overplays his hand and gets his country pounded back the stone age. What a needless shame...So many fine, helpless people without a means to oppose the fanatics.

Peace,

John

Siroos

The night is young? Talk about self-centered! It was already 530am, 1 Shahrivar in Tehran when I posted. You see, that's the problem here. The likes of you have this view of Iran that everything out of that country in some way revolves around them. That's just not the case. There are plenty of crazy things happening in the US, but you always seem to be able to distinguish between different factions, events, eras, contexts, etc. Why then, when it comes to Iran, you view it as a single entity? Because of the orientalist mindset. Because you just don't get it, and here we are, yet another stupid claim, that Ahmadinejad (j as in the French j not z, Persian names are historically transliterated into French), somehow arms people in far and off countries! The president in Iran has no such power and authority, he has no control over the armed forces. At best he can give his tacit agreement. He doesn't actively control any of it. Even the nuclear stand off is handled by Larijani, as designated by the Khamenei camp. And guess what? Larijani ran against AN in the presidential election! To imagine what you sound like, pull up MEMRI and watch one those "Western"-bashing commentators, you sound exactly the same.

John

Siroos,

1. "the night is still young"...means Ahmadinejad has ample time remaining to conduct his proxy war of terror through his impoverished surrogates, and does not mean that his attacks must occur exactly on the 22nd of August. As I have stated, Ahmedinejad can pick any dates he wants to unleash his next waives of terror.

2. Your limited world view of a thug country like Iran and its theocratist fanatic dictator fomenting unrest in an impoverished muslim region (like Lebanon), then pumping in millions to create a local dependency and fund an insurgency using the local impoverished population as its unwitting labor force, is frankly appalling! Most Shia Muslim lands in the world are funded and controlled by Iran and its vast oil resources. Furthermore, your comment that Ahmedinejad doesn't exercise complete, final control over every aspect of his country shows your naiveity and/or ignorance to how dictators of his ilk operate. I suppose you'd also reason that Hitler had nothing to do with establishing and enforcing German Luftwaffe policy because Hermann Goering was the German Air Marshall in charge of the Luftwaffe. Hermann Goering was the subordinate of Hitler, and Larijani is directly accountable to Ahmedinejad...don't fool yourself. Ahmedinejad like Hitler, exercises absolute control over his minions, with no room for dissent. If Larijani set his own nuclear policy in defiance of the wishes of Ahmedinejad, you and I both know he'd wake up out of a job, with 20 knives in his back the next morning. Do a little research on the concept of proxy warfare and the islami-fascist military/political chain of command, and I think you'll see my meaning. Iran is conducting a highly effective proxy campaign in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq as we speak, and the concept that Ahmedinejad is just some simple hands-off guy with no direct control over Iranian nuclear foreign policy and its general expansionist objectives is laughable.

3. The point you make that the U.S. and Iran are multi-faceted entities, with competing powers and priorities, is not lost on me. What makes them different though, is the level of control the leadership of each country has over its own sphere of control. The U.S. directs its foreign policy objectives through the administration currently in power, but is accountable to accept reproach and criticism, and all-to-often discipline from many other entities as a part of our official and unofficial checks-and-balances system of government, including the other major political party, the law, the international community, indirectly the press, and the country-wide constituency itself...Iran's leader is accountable to no one! (unless the international community forces accountability)...think of it this way...if the American president is discovered having an illicit extramarital sexual affair, he's murdered in the press, brought up on charges, impeached in the congress, and disgraced forever...Iran's President could have an open affair on Iranian t.v., murder the woman he was having the affair with (on Iranian t.v.), schedule a parade in his honor for his brave, moral acts, and get away with the whole thing like he'd done the woman and his country a favor for killing her. Sadly, this example is no exaggeration. Look at the fountain of martyr's blood monument Iran has set up in Tehran to honor the tens of thousands of literal children it used to clear mine fields in its war with Iraq. It's insideous and chilling what is considered acceptable behavior in Shia' Persia! The bottom line is...the U.S. may have a few barnacles on its hull, but by comparison, Iran's hull is the great barrier reef...it's simply a matter of scale...and defending Iran's nut of a leader is just wrong!

John

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