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The Washington Times has this article. Thanks to Tocqueville.

Here are the opening pargraphs:

Muslim religious leaders removed from a Minneapolis flight last week exhibited behavior associated with a security probe by terrorists and were not merely engaged in prayers, according to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials.
Witnesses said three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted "Allah" when passengers were called for boarding US Airways Flight 300 to Phoenix.
"I was suspicious by the way they were praying very loud," the gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department.
Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin.

At the very least, the actions of the imams was provocative. Let's assume for the moment that the above report is exaggerated. And the behavior was innocent. In that case, problems probably could have been avoided by speaking to fellow passengers beforehand in a friendly way--"Hi, my name is Ahmad and I'm flying to Phoenix. How are you? By the way, it is almost time for my friends and I to pray, please don't be alarmed. We hate the radicals who pervert Islam into terrorism."

But, that probably will never happen because Islam teaches its own superiority, and the inferiority of infidels, in such as way that it would be a rare imam indeed who would show a good deal of consideration for a nonbeliever in a public place.

And, I suspect that this incident was intended to generate a move in the Democrat controlled Congress after Christmas to prohibit all profiling.
Guest Blog

We are rising to a discussion regarding fundamental principles regarding American policy regarding international relations. This comment from "Tocqueville" appeared in the comments section of a previous post. It deserves featured consideration:


The Republican Party now presents itself as the party of Hard Wilsonianism, which is no more plausible than the original Soft Wilsonianism, which balkanized Central Europe with dire consequences. No one has ever thought Wilsonianism to be conservative, ignoring as it does the intractability of culture and people's high valuation of a modus vivendi. Wilsonianism derives from Locke and Rousseau in their belief in the fundamental goodness of mankind and hence in a convergence of interests.

George W. Bush has firmly situated himself in this tradition, as in his 2003 pronouncement, "The human heart desires the same good things everywhere on earth." Welcome to Iraq. Whereas realism counsels great prudence in complex cultural situations, Wilsonianism rushes optimistically ahead. Not every country is Denmark. The fighting in Iraq has gone on for nearly four years, and the ultimate result of "democratization" in that fractured nation remains very much in doubt, as does the long-range influence of the Iraq invasion on conditions in the Middle East as a whole. In general, Wilsonianism is a snare and a delusion as a guide to policy, and far from conservative.

Practically everywhere we look around the world, U.S. foreign policy is in a shambles. Long-sought objectives – stability in Iraq, peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the demise of terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, the spread of democracy in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union, the end of the North Korean nuclear weapons program, the end of the Iranian nuclear program – seem less attainable today than they have in many years.

Surveying the wreckage, the American public is frustrated, and fearful. This is not isolationism; the belief that the United States can wall itself off from the rest of the world is roundly, and rightly, scorned by people across the ideological spectrum. Rather, these “mind our own business” sentiments reveal a keen appreciation that even the most powerful nation in the world needs to be more discerning about where, when and how it chooses to deal with challenges to U.S. security and threats to U.S. interests. And yet, even as dissatisfaction with the current course of U.S. foreign policy mounts, Americans are confused as to the available alternatives that would allow the United States to remain engaged in the world. They seem prepared to spend money, and put American troops in harm’s way, when vital U.S. interests are at stake, but they balk at paying those costs, and incurring those risks, when they are not.

The godfathers of realism, men like Hans Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr and George Kennan, would have been hard pressed to explain the logic behind the Bush Doctrine. Those realists still alive have likewise tried, and failed. It should be possible to assemble an alternative to the Bush Doctrine, one that draws adherents from both the political left and the political right, and all points in between, and that cannot therefore be dismissed by one side or the other as a political ploy.

This piece by Andrew Basevich is a useful start to help frame the discussion.

From the Cato Institute, this essay with more on the "Isolationism Canard."

The President on Rumsfeld (abridged):

"Few will forget the image of Don Rumsfeld as he helped rescue workers carry the victims from the rubble of the Pentagon on September the 11th, 2001. Under his leadership, U.S. and coalition forces launched one of the most innovative military campaigns in the history of modern warfare, driving the Taliban and its al Qaeda allies from power in a matter of weeks.

"In 2003...he led the planning and execution of Operation Iraqi Freedom, [which] drove Saddam Hussein from power and helped the Iraqi people establish a constitutional democracy in the heart of the Middle East. [On] Rumsfeld's watch, the men and women of our military overthrew two terrorist regimes, liberated some 50 million people, brought justice to the terrorist Zarqawi and scores of senior al Qaeda operatives, and helped stop new terrorist attacks on our people.

"America is safer and the world is more secure because of the service and the leadership of Donald Rumsfeld. He undertook the most sweeping transformation of America's global force posture since the end of World War II. Don's work in these areas did not often make the headlines. But the reforms that he has set in motion are historic, and they will enhance the security of the American people for decades to come.

"As the Secretary of Defense, he has been dedicated to his mission, loyal to his President, and devoted to the courageous men and women of our Armed Forces."

The press conference in its entirety here.

All of the above is true. The parts left unsaid are more damning.

A few months ago (August), I offered these thoughts, although I could have just as well written them in the summer of 2004:

I like Rummy and tend to support him. But I fault him for the myriad poor choices and miscalculations in our current war in Iraq. He is the person in penultimate authority. From a corporate perspective, If we viewed DOD as a division in the larger Executive, based on overall performance and net results, Rumsfeld would have lost his job years ago. Having said that, Rumsfeld is a courageous and serious person, who embodies the best of the public service tradition.

It was more than time for a change, but that does not diminish the fact that Donald Rumsfeld is a good American. He is a bright and charming guy. Thank you for your service, Secretary Rumsfeld.

More some other time on the significance of the change and what to expect from Bob Gates.