Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Monday, June 17, 2002
Journey to the East
Blogs of War mentions a UPI story on Americans training at radical madrassas in Pakistan.
Westerners were attracted to Afghanistan soon after the Soviet invasion in 1979 and many joined the Afghan Mujahedin fighting the Russian army. Their numbers dwindled after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, "but both Americans and other Western volunteers continued to come after the Soviet withdrawal as well," says Mufti Muhammad Iltimas, a radical Islamic cleric who runs a Muslim seminary -- Madrasah Arabia Hassani -- near the Afghan border.
"These new converts are more eager to participate in the jihad than their Pakistani and Arab comrades and are not reluctant to join dangerous operations," said the cleric in a recent interview to a group of Pakistani journalists.
John Walker Lindh, the American charged with fighting alongside the Taliban, studied at Iltimas's seminary. He joined the school on Nov. 27, 2000 as a student of Koran and Islamic studies and stayed there till May 15, 2001 "but the harsh Pakistani summer forced him to leave the school for Afghanistan's cooler climate," Iltimas said.
The cleric said converts were "the best students" who had "an unquenchable desire for knowledge" and often studied "late into the night."
So there you have it, straight from Mufti Muhannad Iltimas, lunatic and professional brainwasher: the Westerners at his 'school' are his star pupils.
We have seen the Westerners who go to Pakistan to study what passes for Islam there: Lindh, Reid, Padilla. Small time incompetent thugs mixed with pathetic drifters. The sweepings off our streets.
And Iltimas admits they're smarter, braver, more dedicated than his regular students.
I've got just one thing to say to Mr Iltimas: if you think our worst are major league ass kickers, just wait until you see our best.