That is indeed the most troubling fact associated with Islam. There seems to
be no loud dissenting voices to the radicals. Some of that may be due to
fear, but I'd still like to see some stronger indication that they disagree
as to the nature of Islam.
It's turtles, all the way down
Henry St.Pierre (in
| I wasn't a little boy when I was in Saudi Arabia. I was working at
| ARAMCO (not for) and living in Al Khobar. Many nights I stayed in
| the ARAMCO compound in Dharan ('nother story for another time).
| I was there before and during and after Ramadan, 1977. I had the
| experience of meeting the Matawa (sp) during this time. I had the
| habit (no pun) of wearing thobe and gutra (sp. was a long time ago)
| along with sneakers (very comfortable outfit). Being a bit swarthy
| (Mohawk, French, and some other tribal ancestry), possessing a nose
| of aristocratic merit, and a truly magnificant moustache, the
| Matawa caught me eating a half chicken on the beach. It didn't take
| them long to see I wasn't an Arab, but it was a little touchy for a
| bit (they had whips or glorified switches). I didn't take kindly to
| being thrashed about the shoulders, but I was in their country and
| shut up (did say MF a few times though). I saw many people, mostly
| women, whipped by the Matawa (sp) for sins against religious law. I
| was working and living with some Lebannonese arabs (shared the same
| bungalow in the compound). We became fairly good friends (even
| shared much sadeki). These friends were Christains, but not strong
| believers (like me). The week after Ramadan, they said we should go
| to Dammam and watch the punishments. Dammam was very much like the
| county seat, but you know that. So I went with them dressed in all
| my Al Khobar finery (sort of looked liked the average Saudi Aramco
| 'worker' (I never saw a Saudi actually do any work). The
| punishments were two beheadings that day (I was told the executions
| were for highway robbery). Everybody should witness an execution by
| beheading. The executioner doesn't use an axe; a kind of sword is
| used. The sword reminded me of an odd shaped meat cleaver. The
| subject is made to kneel and bare the neck (there was no block) and
| the executioner (swordsman) lined his cut and swung. There was a
| lot of blood, but it seemed to drip or run away from the raised
| platform. The executioner used one swing to behead the first man,
| but took two for the second. In each case the head was gathered in
| a white cloth and placed with the body that was also wrapped, by
| this time, in a white cloth. After the executions there were hands
| that were chopped off. we were able to get out of there after eight
| or nine (didn't see them all and not in great detail). A woman was
| supposedly killed later by stoning, but we didn't see it. We went
| to Bahrain later and got kind of drunk, but not drunk. The Arabs
| follow their holy book to the letter. Like you say, you were very
| safe there and they didn't try to convert you. I didn't feel that
| safe there, but I was putting myself in that position by going
| places that were unofficially off limits to non-believers. I would
| never have been so stupid as to try and visit Mecca. I've got balls
| still and am very happy about that. These people follow their holy
| book by the letter. I read and I'm sure you've read the koran
| (Quoran or whatever). What might have worked for them in the eighth
| century may not in the twenty- first century.
| Sorry for rambling,
I heard about but never witnessed any of the punishments. (Same in the
USA.) They seemed harsh; but I was told that they were reserved for
people who were considered what we'd call "hard cases". I asked the
Amir (crown-appointed mayor/judge) of Abqaiq about this part their
justice system and he said that he hated hurting people and worked
hard to find less drastic solutions.
[ Side note: I was a new Boy Scout and the Amir was interested in
that. He seemed to like that we learned to camp in the desert and was
keen on the motto (Be Prepared) and on the Scout Law (A Scout is
trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient,
cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent) and said he thought
those were particularly good things to learn and practice. I got the
distinct impression that he'd have enjoyed camping with us. ]
When I returned to the States, it seemed strange to be told that there
were parts of almost every city where I might not be safe; and that I
should be careful not to leave my car keys in the ignition when I
parked. I still find it unnatural to carry a bunch of keys for all the
(too many!) locks in my life.
In Abqaiq the snack bar (aka the "Date Pit", where kids liked to meet
for Pepsi (Bebsi, no 'P' in Arabic), burgers and fries, and gab) and
dining hall closed during daylight hours in Ramadan. The kids
understood that it might be disrespectful and possibly offensive to
eat within sight of people who were fasting - so we (publicly, at
least) fasted along with them - and were also glad when Ramadan ended.
Interesting that you should still have a thobe and guitra - I also
still have mine (and my gufiya and agul) packed away somewhere. For
anyone who's curious, the thobe is the long-sleeved ankle-length loose
shirt, a guffiya is a skull cap (usually anout 25% larger than a
yamulka), and the guitra is the headscarf worn over the guffiya and
held in place with the (usually rope-like) agul. It's a much healthier
outfit when the temperature is above 120F - but not very safe when
working on or close to machinery. The guitra doubles as a face shield
and air filter during a shamal (sandstorm with strong winds out of the
west). An Abqaiq shamal could take all the paint off one side of an
automobile in an hour. Interesting, but not fun - and hated by
fastidious housekeepers like my mom.
I understand that there's a lot of soul-searching underway in the
Islamic world concerning modernization; but I haven't tracked it any
more closely than I followed the RC discussions on meatless Fridays,
divorce, birth control, and female priests. In both cases, I trust
that the people to whom the changes mattter most will get it all
sorted out for themselves.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Hyperbole. The US won't be annihilated by allowing habeus corpus, nor
would presenting the actual evidence, classified or otherwise, lead to
the annihilation of the united states.
So, you may trust GWB and Rumsfeld to not abuse their power, but when the
next president declares _you_ an enemy combatent, and you have no
recourse to the court system, habeus corpus or even to see the evidence
against you, don't complain to the rest of us.
I don't trust any politician. But you are playing a not-too clever
game of misdirection. The right of habeus corpus is extended only
to participants in our socio-legal contract. It is *not* extended
to foreign invaders. No matter how much you try to dance around this
issue both history and legal precedent are on my side of this debate:
Combating enemy invaders - in or out of uniform - is NOT a domestic
law enforcement problem and thus our domestic criminal/civil law
does NOT apply.
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
A particulary pathetic misdirection. No one has suggested habeas
for foreign invaders. But I will later in this article.
You are not, by any chance, characterizing persons arrested in
Pakistan or Afghanistan, or captured in combat in Afghanistan
and taken to Guantanamo Bay, and who have never seven attemtped
to enter the United Statesas foreign invaders, are you?
That the Constitution allows the Congress (nor the courts nor
the President) to suspend habeas corpus in the event of invasion,
makes it clear that habeas corpus applies absent an explicit, and
EX PARTE QUIRIN
317 U.S. 1 (1942)
The motion for habeas corpus relief was heard and denied by
the USSC. If the foreign invaders in question could not be, under
any circumstances, entitled to the writ the Court would not
have heard their petition, rather than hearing and then denying
Please provide cittations.
Just who are these invaders to whom you keep refering?
What country did they invade?
I stand corrected. What I should have said was:
The right of habeus corpus .... It is *not* extended to
foreign invaders OR people with whom we are at war.
Your citations are utterly irrelevant because they are about people
who are _part of our socio-legal contract_. They simply do not
apply to the enemy when engaged in war. This is US criminal, and
even indirectly, civil law you and yours keep trying to drag onto
the battlefield. The burden lies with you to show why the protections
of the Constitution, given and interpreted, should accrue to people
with whom we are at war. It is mind boggling you cannot grasp the
Again, it should have said "foreign invaders OR those with whom
we are at war".
Example of "foreign invaders": The 9-11 attackers.
Example of "those with whom we are at war": "Insurgents in Iraq"
Shall we now devolve into a Clintoneque debate about what words and
letters mean? It is absurd that any thinking person, regardless of
politics, insist that our legal protections be extend to a hostile
enemy during time of war. But absurdity is the special province of
the Modern "Intellectual" Left and the buzzing flies that surround
them. The Right is ridiculous, the Left is dangerous.
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
Are persons with whom we are not at war _potentially_ entitled
to habeas relief?
Please explain how those foreign invaders, German-born Nazi sabotuers,
became part of _part of our socio-legal contract_.
Please explain how to identify those person who are and are not
_part of our socio-legal contract_.
And then please cite some support for the notion that being a
_part of our socio-legal contract_ is a prerequsite to habeas
Finally, please explain the legal meaning of _our socio-legal
Please cite something, other than yourself, to support your
It is disgusting that you refuse to acknowledge that persons in our
custody and under our protection may or may not also be persons
with whom we are at war.
Since habeas relief is mooted by death, that example is asinine
even for a straw man.
No one has suggested habeas relief should be available for
Iraqis in custody in Iraq. Another asine straw man.
More sophisitcated that typical name calling,
but no more substantive.
Only if they are otherwise participants in our legal-social
contract. For example, an Italian visiting the US legally
is entitled to such legal relief. An Italian doing crime
at the US Embassy in Rome is not except as provided by any
governing Italian law. It's worth mentioning that I certainly
agree that any international treaties to which we are party in
such a situation should be honored.
By means of good intelligence, interrogation, corroborating
evidence, and the testimony of reliable witnesses. When
you catch someone calling 1-800-Al-Queda with C4 in their
apartment, it's a pretty big clue. FWIW, (I said I wasn't
going to do this), one of the strong arguments *against*,
say, torture, is that it corrupts your intelligence gathering
process. If we make it too easy to get "quick results" it's
just too tempting to tempting to use that shortcut and not
focus on sound intelligence gathering. Here again, the
Left opposition is incoherent. You cannot demand, on the one
hand, "no torture, no physical intimidation" and on the other
"no monitoring of suspicious telephone calls". Given that
times of great threat tend to assault our own liberties, I'd
much prefer to give the spooks some latitude - with oversight
and with sunset provisions for that latitude - than to be
tormenting prisoners. But the Left wants *neither*, and that's
If you back away from the political tempest and take the long
view here, what you see is a consistent attack in the US
intelligence gathering capabilities starting with the Church
Commission in the 1970s. That commission was inarguably
necessary because the CIA had been very naughty domestically.
But the Church Commission threw out the baby with the bathwater.
We crippled and demoralized the one group of people who have
a hope of acting prophylactically and preemptively. This
got slightly better under Reagan and, arguably, Bush 41, but
got much worse under Clinton. Whatever anyone thinks about
Bubba, he just completely missed the boat in engaging with
our intel people to stamp out UBL and his fellow fleabags.
As legal citizens, immigrants, or guests, we implicitly bind
ourselves to a social/legal "contract". We agree to give up
some limited freedom in exchange for the benefits of a
democratic republic. None of us are truly and absolutely
"free" therefore. I am not free to cause murder and mayhem,
because by continuing to live here (legally) I am consenting
to the rules that govern my presence. So, a common criminal
is subject to that same contract ... and its consequences.
OTOH, a person on our shores *illegally* - whether by sneaking
in or because they are invading is, by definition, explicitly
defying our legal/social contract. They are effectively saying
that the rules do not apply to them and they wish to act in
the manner they do. In so doing, they lose the very protections
that legal/social contract provides. As a matter of good manners
and decent behavior, we often extend some portion of those protections
even to such illegal individuals, but _we are not obligated to do so_.
When and where we do so is a matter of judgment on our part. We
generally treat people sneaking over the Rio Grande with some
modicum of legal protection because they mostly do not present
any significant or imminent threat and it is in our interest
to maintain good relations with Mexico. But when someone says they're
coming to blow you up an then does it, all bets are off. We
simply have no obligation or need to treat the invader as anything
other than the soldier of an invading force. If they choose
to act by not wearing a uniform we can go further and treat them
as spies who have essentially *no* rights.
Our "law", both given and found, applies to those people subject to it.
This is true by theorem. If it were not, then we could impose our laws
upon, say, a citizen living in Greenland. A person in this country
illegally and/or attacking it is no more entitled to habeas relief
(beyond that specified in international treaty to which we are party)
than they are entitled to vote, get access to social services, or demand
Social Security payments. The reason? They are not party to the contract
and thus cannot claim its protections. By analogy, demanding habeas
relief for everyone we encounter is like saying that you're entitled
to the benefits, but none of the responsibilities, outlined in a business
contract between me and my business partner. It fails the "common
You know what I mean. Assume we'd caught them prior to the act.
They'd have no standing to demand habeas relief. Sheesh.
Perhaps not, but habeas relief is one of a spectrum of US legal
protections debated. I've certainly heard repeated arguments
that said insurgents should be dealt with (some of) the same legal
constraints in place when a domestic felon is prosecuted.
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
Is it worth mentioning Thomas Jefferson's opinion?
"The Habeas Corpus secures every man here, alien or citizen, against
everything which is not law, whatever shape it may assume."
That does not address either question. That it does not address
the first, is obvious.
As you know, the question is not how to gather evidence, the
question is how is it decided that the evidence is sufficient.
Here in the United States, that issue is adjudicated by a court,
part of a branch of the government that is separate and
independent of the branch that claims to have such evidence.
When both violate the law, why not?
Why should we reject the rule of law?
We have never even come close to being annihilated.
Fewer Americnas have killed and injured by all or our enemies
combined in the last 30 years than are inadvertently killed
by our medical establishment in a single year.
To even raise the issue of 'annihilation' is asinine.
Doug why do you even justify responding? if you read the history of his
posts he is and has always been a crack pot, and more than likely
smoking a crack pipe.
"A great man inspires others to greatness,
a little man complains about it."
there seems to be several types of people on the wreck there are those
that help and give real advice, those that are here to learn that they
might help some day, and leaches, they take with out any real useful
contribution and are border line trolls
looking at past posts Doug Miller has done more then his fair share help
good, I've yet to see anything real useful from robatoy
now quit your bitching and get back to work, that sawdust isn't going to
make it's self
Because I believe that the best antidote to ridiculous ideas and
statements is to shine the light of day on them, and hold them up to the
ridicule that they richly deserve.
Actually, when he's talking about woodworking, he's worth listening to.
Well, thanks for the compliment... but in fairness to Robatoy, I have to
point out that, as long as he sticks to talking about woodworking, he's
quite informative and well worth having a conversation with.
Unfortunately, the farther his subject matter departs from woodworking,
the farther it departs from reality as well.
Be more careful with your attributions, please. I didn't write that; Robatoy
did. I wrote this:
IMO, Bush is smart enough to realize that, whether or not he's aware of having
made any mistakes in Iraq, it would be political suicide to admit them -- but
that's a _completely_ separate issue from whether he is, or has ever claimed
to be, "a Christian man without fault."
Certainly he acknowledges being a Christian man, but AFAIK has never claimed
to be "without fault" in that sense. None of us is. The only One who ever was,
got nailed to a tree some twenty centuries ago.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
> I am sorry. This may not have been the platform to point out that
> fuckwit Bush is the dirtiest/nastiest piece of shit to wander the face
> of the planet....but I digress.
Well, not sure of the above, but terms such as arrogant and
unqualified come to mind when describing the present US gov't
After reading this... well... I don't think you are sorry at all. I am
detecting a whiff of insincererity, I do believe. *snort*
The subject matter aside, I must say that I am not accustomed to that
level of inarticulate profanity from you. You usually express yourself
But for those that want to take a look at someone that isn't afraid to
talk about some real balls:
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