Saturday, October 30, 2004

Osama Bin Laden released a video whose transcript is given below.

You American people, my speech to you is the best way to avoid another conflict about the war and its reasons and results. I am telling you security is an important pillar of human life. And free people don't let go of their security contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom. He should tell us why we didn't hit Sweden for instance. Its known that those who hate freedom don't have dignified the 19 who were blessed. But we fought you because we are free people, we don't sleep on our oppression. We want to regain the freedom of our Muslim nation as you spill our security, we spill your security.

I am so surprised by you. Although we are in the fourth year after the events of Sept 11, Bush is still practicing distortion and misleading on you, and obscuring the main reasons and therefore the reasons are still existing to repeat what happened before. I will tell you the reasons behind theses incidents.

I will be honest with you on the moment when the decision was taken to understand. We never thought of hitting the towers. But after we were so fed up, and we saw the oppression of the American Israeli coalition on our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind and the incidents that really touched me directly goes back to 1982 and the following incidents. When the US permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon with the assistance of the 6th fleet. In these hard moments, it occurred to me so many meanings I cant explain but it resulted in a general feeling of rejecting oppression and gave me a hard determination to punish the oppressors. While I was looking at the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it came to my mind to punish the oppressor the same way and destroy towers in the US to get a taste of what they tasted, and quit killing our children and women.

We didn't find difficulty dealing with Bush and his administration due to the similarity of his regime and the regimes in our countries. Whish half of them are ruled by military and the other half by sons of kings and presidents and our experience with them is long. Both parties are arrogant and stubborn and the greediness and taking money without right and that similarity appeared during the visits of Bush to the region while people from our side were impressed by the US and hoped that these visits would influence our countries. Here he is being influenced by these regimes, Royal and military. And was feeling jealous they were staying for decades in power stealing the nations finances without anybody overseeing them. So he transferred the oppression of freedom and tyranny to his son and they call it the Patriot Law to fight terrorism. He was bright in putting his sons as governors in states and he didn't forget to transfer his experience from the rulers of our region to Florida to falsify elections to benefit from it in critical times.

We agreed with Mohamed Atta, god bless him, to execute the whole operation in 20 minutes. Before Bush and his administration would pay attention and we never thought that the high commander of the US armies would leave 50 thousand of his citizens in both towers to face the horrors by themselves when they most needed him because it seemed to distract his attention from listening to the girl telling him about her goat butting was more important than paying attention to airplanes butting the towers which gave us three times the time to execute the operation thank god.

Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or Al Qaeda. Your security is in your hands. Each state that doesn't mess with our security has automatically secured their security.

Here is wretchard's summation (emphasis mine):

It is important to notice what he has stopped saying in this speech. He has stopped talking about the restoration of the Global Caliphate. There is no more mention of the return of Andalusia. There is no more anticipation that Islam will sweep the world. He is no longer boasting that Americans run at the slightest wounds; that they are more cowardly than the Russians. He is not talking about future operations to swathe the world in fire but dwelling on past glories. He is basically saying if you leave us alone we will leave you alone. Though it is couched in his customary orbicular phraseology he is basically asking for time out.

The American answer to Osama's proposal will be given on Election Day. One response is to agree that the United States of America will henceforth act like Sweden, which is on track to become majority Islamic sometime after the middle of this century. The electorate best knows which candidate will serve this end; which candidate most promises to be European-like in attitude and they can choose that path with both eyes open. The electorate can strike that bargain and Osama may keep his word. The other course is to reject Osama's terms utterly; to recognize the pleading in his outwardly belligerent manner and reply that his fugitive existence; the loss of his sanctuaries; the annihilation of his men are but the merest foretaste of what is yet to come: to say that to enemies such as he, the initials 'US' will always mean Unconditional Surrender.

Osama has stated his terms. He awaits America's answer.

What do I think? Al Queda is hurting. Badly. bin Laden realizes he's bitten off more than he can chew, and he wants a "time out" to recruit and reorganize. As far as I'm concerned, he started this, but we'll finish it. I'm tired of backing down to bullies. We backed down in Vietnam (Good work there, John! You should be so proud!), we backed down in Kosovo and Croatia, and bin Laden wants us to back down now. If it were up to me, we'll continue hunting down these terrorist bullies until they back down and surrender unconditionally. The America I know may wait until we take the first hit, but we'll finish the job. Then we'll clean it up and leave it better than it was before. The only way to come close to ensuring our future freedom from terrorist bullies is to show that we won't stand for it now. You try to bully us and this is what you can expect: we'll hunt you down in whatever cave or rat or spider hole you live in.

Time out? Hell, No! Three thousand times, Hell, No!
Vote on Tuesday

Why should you vote at all, much less for George Bush? Read the letter below.

An Open Letter to America

Three years ago, on the day that began as a beautiful September morning, 19 men and their sponsors carried out a brutal and devastating attack on our country, leaving 3,000 innocent men, women and children dead, including our loved ones. In those first agonizing hours, and for weeks and months afterward as we searched for word of their fate, we were aware that the shock and horror of that day was not ours alone. With a gratitude we could not yet express, we felt the strong and steady embrace of our fellow Americans. The words, “Never forget,” defiantly written in dust or humbly penned on makeshift memorials, were also permanently etched in our hearts. We will never forget your strength, your courage and your endless generosity.

We speak to you now in the same spirit that you spoke to us then, as Americans, united on behalf of our country. Like many of you, we feel that our nation is poised at a critical moment in history. Like our parents and grandparents before us, we know that the choices we make today will affect our children tomorrow. But we face a new challenge, a new kind of war and an enemy who is different from the enemies faced by earlier generations. This is not an adversary who can be reasoned with or appeased, this is an adversary who has repeatedly demonstrated that its means and ends are one and the same: the wanton slaughter of innocents.

After the attack, President Bush articulated the primary lesson of September 11, that simply reacting to danger after lives are lost is a weak and unacceptable national defense. He believes that taking the fight to the enemy is the best way to ensure that the enemy will not bring death to our doorstep here at home.

We agree.

Under the President‘s strong leadership in the war on terror and through the heroic efforts of our military forces, we are a safer country today. Two-thirds of al Qaeda leadership is dead, incarcerated, or on the run, its financing disrupted. The Taliban has been removed from power and training camps in Afghanistan and Iraq have been eliminated. On the domestic front, our dedicated law enforcement agencies are finally able to fight terror the same way they go after drug cartels; terrorists and terrorist cells have been thwarted in upstate New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois and Florida.

The 9/11 Commission has provided this nation with a solid blueprint for going forward in the war on terror. It described the threat that killed our loved ones as a “gathering storm” which went unrecognized and unchecked for too many years and characterized the inability to predict the attack itself as a “failure of imagination.” Looking forward, the Commission offered this pointed warning, “Once the danger has fully materialized, evident to all, mobilizing action is easier--but it then may be too late.”

Through the prism of 9/11 and presaging the Commission’s conclusion, President Bush looked at Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s history, his willingness to use chemical weapons in the mass murder of his own citizens, his notorious attempts to acquire nuclear weapons, his record of giving financial aid and sanctuary to global terrorists--including members of al Qaeda--and his repeated refusal to cooperate with U.N. inspectors. He determined that this repressive regime was an intolerable danger to our country. Rather than waiting until it was too late to prevent a fully materialized threat, the President acted. We believe history will support the President’s decision.

We speak to you from the heart, as citizens from all across the country and every political stripe. We are Republicans and Democrats, “liberals” and “conservatives,” young and old. We are mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters and friends. We speak out from a profound sense of obligation to those we have lost and to the country that we love. Guided by core principles, President Bush has steadfastly told us who he is, what he believes and what he will fight for. He is a caring and decisive leader who is not afraid to make hard choices to keep this nation safe, by keeping it strong. He has sent a clear message to America’s friends and foes that he will not waver in his resolve as the winds of political fortune change. He will not revert to the failed policies of the past which only served to whet the appetite of those who would destroy us. He will stand firm against our adversaries.

As Americans who have keenly felt the scourge of terrorism, we are inspired and energized to follow the President’s lead, to rise to the occasion and get the job done. We are deeply grateful to President Bush, who rallied this nation on that dark September day, who has earned our respect and confidence, and whose leadership we trust to steer this country on the right path.

Three years ago, George W. Bush stood with us and vowed that he would “Never forget.”

We stand with him now.

(From) The 911 Families For America

More of Why You Should Vote on Tuesday

THE FIRST BATTLE IN WHAT IS A WAR AGAINST TERROR was largely led by those we usually don't think of as "our troops" yet first responders are always our last line of defense. On 9/11, they fought with the greatest weapons in their inventory--human compassion and shear will--and while many were lost that day, far more were saved because of their service and sacrifice. "Our troops," be they far away and easily recognized or nearby and not recognized until we need them ourselves, share common virtues and a single cause. The comments below are from first responders and their families. Some of them have family in our military and some even wear two hats.

Brandon Bothwell-Firefighter 10/27/2004 10:46:02 PM Keep fighting the good fight because the cause is worthy and the outcome, our children, are more than worth it. May President Bush lead us for another 4 years, even if the IAFF does not agree. A large portion of our membership support Bush, despite ourUnion's stance. Bellevue, WA- local 1604

Gene Fowler, Firefighter Oct 26, 2004 1:15 pm I thank all of you who put forth the effort and time necessary to build your website. Although I do not know anyone personally who paid the ultimate price in this tragedy, I certainly was, and continually are, affected by it. God Bless You, and God Bless The President of the United States.

Tim and Jody Mackling Oct 26, 2004 12:03 pm Firefigher, Texas

Dan, Ashley and Grace Harris Oct 25, 2004 8:22 pm As a member of TNTF-1 who responded to the Pentagon on 9/11, myself and my family are behind you 110%.

Mark J. Hernandez Oct 22, 2004 3:52 pm Lt. on the Newton Fire Dept. Newton, Mass. currently serving active duty Army with the 249th Med Co. (Air Ambulance) as a MEDEVAC pilot. Never forget.

David Harms 10/22/2004 9:08:09 PM WheatRidge Colorado Firefighter

Ken Deane 10/23/2004 9:51:02 AM Firefighter

Jeffrey S. Gable 10/21/2004 7:28:29 PM Firefighter/EMT Engine 92, Fayetteville, GA

John Massie Oct 23, 2004 11:27 pm Brother firefighter from Lincoln Ne.

Anthony Vera Oct 24, 2004 11:07 am I'm a firefighter that stands 1000% for our President, DESPITE what the IAFF union wants you to believe! There are MANY (actually a majority) of Firefighters that stand behind our President!!!! God bless us all, and may George W. Bush win reelection for the good of our entire country! I'm with you guys all the way!

Ted Glaessgen Oct 24, 2004 1:29 pm Retired Lt. FDNY, Viet Vet and disgusted member UFOA. There is more to it than what a president did or did not do for a union. It's about defending our ation. Kerry has shown his colors and they're yellow. Let the democrats put up a strong defender of freedom and we can talk union issues. Until then, we need the president's leadership. I worked alongside a half dozen of the brothers that were lost that day and will never forget or forgive the terrorists or anyone who weakens our determination to bring them to justice. God Bless President Bush and the United States of America. Yes to saying the pledge of allegiance, singing God Bless America and any other show of patriotism. It is what made this country great. If the liberals don't like it, let them get their own country, get out of ours.

Maralee Clarke Oct 22, 2004 6:57 am I am the daughter of a retired New York City Fire Captain, Ed Kellerman, and I am proud to sign this guest book. Not only as a daughter of one of America's brave firefighters but also as the daughter of a WWII veteran. If we all could exhibit the courage it takes to stand up and really state our beliefs and not back down. This is what our leadership has done. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Nick and Lucinda Bautizta 10/20/2004 6:21:17 AM This goes out to all of the family members of 9/11 and those who gave there lives for our country. I am a firefighter also and it hit close to home because I lost brothers that I never met before but we will never forget. My wife and I will have all involved in our prayers. God Bless

Stephany & Peter Byrne 10/21/2004 9:23:04 AM My husband retired from FDNY in the 80's after 20+ years of service. Sept 11 was without a doubt one of the hardest days of his life - watching his brothers risk their lives and/or die. We must not let the liberals of of our nation be our spokesmen. Bless our President and our Soldiers!

Leah Zwald & family 10/15/2004 11:19:27 AM My husband is a firefighter in GA. He went to NYC on Sept 21 and worked with the men & women of FDNY. My son has joined the USMC to help with the fight on terriorism. Our hearts still ache for the families who have lost loved ones from this terrible event.

Michael Richardson 10/12/2004 3:05:53 PM As a firefighter for over 25 years and the father of a young man fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan, I recognize the need for the strong and courageous leadership we have been blessed with since that fateful day in 2001. I want our country and my son to continue to benefit from the type of leader who makes a decision and then relentlessly pursues his objectives regardless of the pressures put on him by politicians in our country and abroad. I want a leader who recognizes evil and makes no bones about it. I want another four years of George W. Bush. To all those who suffered a personal loss on September 11, 2001...may God grant you peace and comfort, and may you take further solice in knowing that all true Americans stand beside you in your time of need.

Lieutenant John E. Peters, IAFF member, Oct 15, 2004 8:13 pm Fellow Americans & My FF Brother& Sisters. Sad to say that again my union has sold its soul to the Devil. I will follow you or lead you into HELL to fight the flames. But I will not join my UNION and support John Kerry in Hell.

Diane Floyd 10/9/2004 4:52:49 PM I was born and raised in NY and a police officer in Va Beach, VA. A part of me died that day also, for the first responders are a brotherhood no matter where we are. I watched with my then 9 year old son as those towers collapsed and my heart broke because the brave men and women in uniform were doing what they loved to do, help people. People that have never worn the uniform have no idea what they did that day, chances are they knew they weren't coming out, but did it stop them from going in NO!! In fact they raced to get there as fast as they could even if it was to save only one life in return for their own. God bless all of them and their families that are left without them. They died true heroes, first responders are a breed unlike any other. There is a special place in heaven for them. My family is a police family and my 15 year old wants to join the police department, do I want him to do it no, because I am a mom and I worry, am I proud of him, You better believe it.

Jeff Cool TSGT NYANG / FDNY 8/30/2004 I'm a proud to serve under President Bush and I hope to continue to do so for four more years.

John E. Rais Oct 18, 2004 6:33 pm I am a Cincinnati firefighter (29 years), along with you I was horrified, sickened, angered and simply stunned to witness the attacks of 9-11. I sat praying as I watched and felt the horror of the fate befalling real true heroes. President Bush acted immediately, accordingly and without question to do the right thing for all of America and especially for the first responders that sacrificed so much that day. This is a man that showed he knows how to lead this Country. This is a man that made us all proud that day he stood on the rubble and said the World will hear us! As they have heard us for these 3 plus years, they shall hear us loudest on November 2nd when we re-elect G.W.Bush to the Oval Office! I stand with you in prayer for our loved ones lost each and every day. And, I stand with you in knowing that Bush is and will again be our elected leader to fight these appalling, evil terrorists no matter where they try to hide. God Bless each and everyone of you and make each and every one of us strong enough to muster the courage we need to continue this fight!

Edward K. Herrick Toledo Firefighter IAFF Local 92 Oct 13, 2004 8:51 pm Though our national union supports Kerry, the debate rages in our nation's engine houses. The IAFF has been swampped with calls from irate members. President Bush has the conviction and principles to lead us in the direction necessary. No doubt he is a leader. As the terrorists heard from the US, President Bush will hear from the nation's firefighters on election day. God bless all of you.

Maureen Davis Oct 23, 2004 10:14 am My family had the most wonderful reunion in the Outer Banks in August just before the September 11th attacks on N.Y. My brother John was in the fire department headquarters the morning of September 11th to talk about retiring. When the five alarm fire came John was put in charge of the headquarters and then subsequently 1500 or so National Guard troops. He has had asthma during his lifetime. His lungs were bad and he could not go to alarms. John was in the fire department for about 25 years. My Dad, Robert Bruckner, retired from the Fire Department. John's firemen buddies flew my Mom and Dad to N.Y. from Florida where they had retired to be there for his promotion to Fire Chief. My Dad, Robert Bruckner, died in 1998. John was Fire Captain in Harlem for 6 years. He was then made Chief in the Bronx. He had about 50 friends who died that day 9/11/2001. He went on to take charge of all the fire department funerals. John is now retired. We have had many conversations about 9/11. John got up very early every morning and went home late at night. He lost his best friend Fire Chief Dennis Devlin. John is now retired and counsels families and young firemen put in charge long before their time. John's son Mattew Bruckner is a new proby in the FDNY.
And Still More Reasons to Vote on Tuesday

Lest We Forget
From a soldier - Serving Proudly

what Col. Bud Day, the most decorated vetern of the Vietnam War and 5-year survivor of the Hanoi Hilton has to say about John Kerry.

And finally, the latest bin Laden transcript.

Voting is not a right, it's a responsibility. Voting is not a right guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States, despite what the majority of American people think. The people of Afghanistan exercised their responsibility not too long ago. And turned out in huge numbers. They understand the importance of voting. The people of Iraq will be able to vote in January. I believe they understand the importance of voting and will also turn out in huge numbers.

The American people have become apathetic when it comes to voting. Then we complain when they raise taxes or create laws that hurt us, the American people in one way or another. We look the other way when politicians chip away at our Constitutionally guaranteed rights as citizens or our national security or our sovereign rights as a nation because "it's good for global peace."

We allow people, whether American citizens or foreign nationals to blame us for what's happening in the world. We're to blame because one man, Osama bin Laden, and his henchmen decided to kill Americans. America has become the world protector because no one else could or would do it. No other country had the guts to do what America has done for over a century.

One of the reasons America is the world power is because other countries depended on us to save them. Remember World War I? World War II? Korea? The first Gulf War? What did we get out of any of these wars except loss of life and continued freedom and liberty for us and the countries in those conflicts. We didn't become an empire by taking over countries. We didn't become rich by taking over the rubber plantations in Indonesia after WWII or taking over the oil concession in the Middle East after the first Gulf War. All we've ever asked for from any nation is some land to bury our dead.

We rebuilt Europe after WWII. We're rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq. Yes, American companies are making money in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's called capitalism and it's a good thing. It's one of the reasons second and third rate nations despise us. We have the companies to step in and start work. They don't. The bottom line is, America has it and they hate us for it. They hate us because we have what they don't have. They don't have it because they haven't put in the effort to become what we are. Maybe because they are a very young nation and haven't had the time. Maybe they've had dictators who put money in their own pockets instead of in the pocket of the nation. Maybe they're an old nation who has just sat on their laurels instead of working toward more for their country. Maybe they hate us just because we're what they are not.

Our citizens have spent two hundred years building America to the point where other countries want to be us. It takes hard work. Americans aren't afraid of hard work. We aren't afraid to do what we need to do. Whether it's working a field or starting a business. Or stepping in to free a country so they have the ability to live free and prosper.

God Bless America!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Wicktory Wednesday

This will be my final Wicktory Wednesday post asking you to do something. I hope the final Wicktory Wednesday post will be to congratulate President Bush on winning four more years in the White House. But that depends on you, the voter. If you can, do something to get out the vote between now and Tuesday. You know as well as I do just how important this election is. The most important thing you can do is to vote. Florida has early voting and I plan to do so either this evening or Saturday. I've driven by the elections office the last couple of evenings and it was busy with a line out the door. I don't know how long the wait is, but I will be waiting in line for however long it takes whether it's tonight, Saturday afternoon, or Tuesday. I will be voting and hope you will too. In fact, carpool. Offer to take someone to the polls.

Now more than ever, it's just that important for every American to cast their vote. It's not just the next four years. Whoever wins the election will have important decisions that must be made that will influence our lives for many years.

Voting is a privilege and a responsibility that every American should take very seriously.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sunday Musings and Rambling Thoughts

There is a bit of buzz in the blogosphere. Apparently, several bloggers have received an email tip that the Washington Timesis about to break a story that will not be Kerry friendly. I'm glad that the email did not contain more information about the story because I am just paranoid enough to think that it could be a set up. You know, start something on the Internet, get it blown all out of proportion and then Kerry comes along and refutes it with all kinds of proof and the blogosphere comes away with egg on its face. And somehow Bush gets blamed. Here, here, here, and here.

UPDATE: I don't know whether this is "it" or not, but members of the UN Security Council are denying that they met with Senator Kerry in October 2002. Kerry said he met for hours with members of the Council just a week before voting to authorize the use of force in Iraq. Here's the link to the Times story.

UPDATE: Joel Mowbray, the Washington Times reporter who broke the above story, will be blogging at "to cover developments in the story and respond to any critiques and comments raised." Looks like Red State will be place to get the real skinny on this one.

Then there is The Guardian newspaper in the UK. First it starts a campaign where it's readers send email and letters to the "ignorant" people of Ohio who might be stupid enough to vote for Bush. That campaign backfired with the "ignorant" people of Ohio told the Brits just how to fold the Guardian before depositing it. And in case the Brits didn't know where to deposit the paper, Ohio told them where. Now, one of it's writers, Charlie Brooker, is openly calling for the assassination of President Bush. Now I know that the Guardian doesn't represent the whole of the UK, but to be honest, when I finally make my world tour, the UK will be the stop right after France and Germany.

UPDATE: The Guardian and Charlie Brooker have issued an apology.

A Federal Appeals court ruled that provisional ballots in Ohio may only be counted if the voter cast their vote in the correct county. Florida ruled the same way. If a voter goes to a poll to vote, but their name isn't on the voter registration list, they will be given a provisional ballot. If the voter is later determined to have voted at the correct polling location and is eligible to vote the ballot will be counted. If they were not eligible or did not vote at the right place, the vote will not count. One of the reasons given for provisional ballots being counted whereever they are cast is because of recent hurricanes. In my opinion, people who are living other than where they are registered should have had sufficient time to find out where to vote. A call or trip to the supervisor of elections office would clear up the matter. They may also vote early or by absentee ballot. This is not rocket science. Now, before anyone starts whining that hurricane displaced residents have had more important things on their minds than where they should vote here is my answer. It's been a month since the last hurricane. That's sufficient time to contact the Supervisior of Elections. If you can't take the time, then maybe you should forget about voting. You do have too much on your minds to make an informed, rational decision.