Atrocity du jour

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This morning a suicide/homicide bomber blew himself up at a bus-stop in Jerusalem. At least 20 civilians were injured. Police are clearing the scene, suspecting a second bomb is coming once a crowd has gathered. Yesterday, 19 were killed as a bus passenger blew-up. Today's bomber, the aptly named Mohammed al-Ghoul, a 22 year old Palestinian graduate student, left this note---

How beuatiful it is to make my bomb shrapnel kill the enemy. How beautiful to kill and be killed for the lives of the coming generation. ' Ghoul's father said "He's a martyr". Ghoul's sister said "My brother is a hero. I'm not sad"

Charles Addams said "Morticia, let's send crocuses".

LINK

-- (lars@indy.net), June 19, 2002

Answers

To those of you who are appropriately concerned about loss of civil rights as we try to deal with terrorism: It seems to me that we are in a pickle. The US is the freest large nation in the world (anyone disagree--please provide examples). Our freedoms make us vulnerable to those who would harm us.

Our choice is to tighten some freedoms until the terrorists are defeated or to live with the terror so as not to compromise our Constitutional rights. It's not an easy choice.

We must be alert to the man on a white horse who promises to protect us if we only just give him absolute powers. My understanding is that the Taliban was originally welcomed in Afghanistan because it brought law n order to a warlord and gangster dominated country. But soon enough, the Taliban was the oppressor.

Yet we must defend ourselves against those who use our freedoms against us.

Cynical, partisan carping against Bush's efforts is transparently dishonest. If you have a better way to protect US citizens then let's hear it.

-- (lars@indy.net), June 19, 2002.


A prediction:

The suicide/homicide bombers will strike the US.

You could say that they will violate the civil rights of bus riders.

-- (lars@indy.net), June 19, 2002.


Death toll now 7 including a 2 year old baby. Go Islam!

-- (Dumbya and Jews@NWO.picnic), June 19, 2002.

Cynical, partisan carping against Bush's efforts is transparently dishonest. If you have a better way to protect US citizens then let's hear it.

Hmmm...I don't know if my concerns about some of Bush's policies qualify as cynical partisan carping.

First thing that needs to be done is something that's been discussed in another thread, we must, at all costs, secure our borders. If that means making an excemption to the Posse Comitatus Act and stationing our military along the boarders, so be it. If we need to increase their numbers by a draft, so be it. If the bad guys can't get into the country they can't commit terrorist acts here.

INS is a mess, and heads need to roll. Perhaps those folks need to be paid like subcontractors, in other words, paid by the number of illegals they round up rather than salary. INS bounty hunters, now there's an idea! Of course constraints will need to be in place to guard against abuse, but the profit motive has historically proven itself to be a powerful one.

Also the other "war" needs to be put on the back burner, far on the back burner. The nutso drug war consumes the vast majority of police assets, with no end, and no hope of victory, in sight. Put those officers to work stopping the people who want to hurt others, not the people who's intent hurts only themselves.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), June 19, 2002.


Second that emotion

-- (lars@indy.net), June 19, 2002.


You have it mixed up Lars. Ghoul was the one who blew up the bus yesterday that killed 19, not the one who did today's attack.

Jerusalem Bus Bombing Kills 20

Tue Jun 18, 5:32 PM ET

By SUSAN SEVAREID, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) - Stymied twice before, a Palestinian attacker was devastatingly successful Tuesday: He detonated a nail-studded bomb in a bus crowded with high school students, killing 19 passengers and himself.

Hours after the blast, an angry Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ( news - web sites) strode past a row of victims in body bags and peered into the bombed-out bus, vowing to retaliate. Two students were among the dead and four were among dozens wounded in the attack, the deadliest in Jerusalem in six years.

After nightfall, several Israeli tanks moved into the West Bank town of Jenin and three of them entered the Jenin refugee camp, Palestinian security officials said. The Israeli military had no comment. It was not clear if the incursion was part of an Israeli response to the Jerusalem bombing. Such incursions are an almost daily affair.

Deliberations on how to react were expected to take into account President Bush ( news - web sites)'s plan to make a major Mideast policy address this week. Bush is expected to propose establishing a "provisional" Palestinian state in part of the West Bank and Gaza without deciding on its final borders and while neither side has embraced the idea, there is some hope that a renewed and forceful U.S. diplomatic drive might help end 21 months of carnage and despair.

Sharon, surveying the devastation from Tuesday's attack, questioned Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ( news - web sites)'s ability to run such a state, saying, "It is interesting to know what kind of Palestinian state they mean."

Although Sharon has made clear he wants Arafat out of power, he apparently isn't ready to drive him into exile. And the anticipated U.S. initiative makes timing politically difficult for any military offensive.

Israeli political commentator Keren Neubach told Israel TV Sharon considered expelling Arafat, but decided against putting the question to a Cabinet vote because some of his security chiefs oppose such a move.

The prime minister's office did not immediately return a call for comment.

If Sharon decides against exile, "it will be solely because of the perceived need to work with President Bush and to allow the Bush initiative to succeed," Israeli strategic policy expert Gerald Steinberg said.

However, Palestinian Cabinet and community members were anticipating a response directed at Arafat, and some international organizations ordered their employees to leave Ramallah. Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank town have been under siege off and on since December.

The Palestinian Authority ( news - web sites) condemned the attack, but the words weren't expected to affect Israel's response. The Palestinian leadership has not appeared ready to act decisively against radical groups, as Israel has demanded.

In Ramallah, Palestinians anticipating an army invasion and extended curfew began hoarding food.

"The Israeli response usually is against the Palestinian people, the Palestinian president and the Palestinian Authority," said Labor Minister Ghassan Khatib. "It will not be any surprise if they decide to invade Ramallah again or impose a new siege on the president."

In Washington, the White House said Bush condemned the bombing "in the strongest possible terms," but aides wouldn't say if it would delay his policy statement, expected Wednesday.

Bush has been formulating his approach to Mideast peace for weeks, during which he has met with Sharon, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ( news - web sites), Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and senior Palestinian officials.

After the suicide bombing, Israel appeared to be letting Arab leaders know Arafat was running out of chances and that an Arab failure to speak strongly against such attacks could provoke Israeli action.

Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer spoke with Osama el-Baz, a top adviser to Mubarak, and Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abul-Ragheb to "inform them of the grave situation in Israel following the recent terror attacks," according to a Defense Ministry statement.

Ben-Eliezer emphasized the Israeli government's obligation to protect its citizens and sought "a determined consolidation by the Arab world against the policy of terror and violence."

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres cut short a visit to eastern Europe to return home after Tuesday's bombing.

The nail-studded bomb tore through the bus as it waited at a crowded intersection just before 8 a.m., sending bodies flying through windows and peeling off the roof and sides.

The Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas identified the assailant as Mohammed al-Ghoul, 22, a graduate student in Islamic studies from the Al Faraa refugee camp in the West Bank. Al-Ghoul left behind a farewell note in which he said he'd tried twice before to stage attacks.

"This time, I hope I will be able to do it," he wrote. "How beautiful it is to make my bomb shrapnel kill the enemy."

Inside a religious school a few hundred yards from the blast, 15-year-old Shmuel Calfon was praying with other students when they heard the explosion.

"Everyone looked at each other and thought, 'That was an attack.' But I didn't want to be the one to say it," Calfon said. Soon, sirens wailed and students began shouting and calling home to assure worried parents.

Police had been on high alert since Monday after receiving warnings that suicide bombers were trying to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.

After 70 suicide bombings in 21 months, handling the blasts has become a tragic routine: ambulance sirens wail as they rush to the scene, survivors call home and victims are taken to hospitals or their remains collected.

"I've seen so many attacks, I didn't get excited," said Eliran Ben-David, a 17-year-old student at the Ort Spanian school 150 yards from the bomb site. Ben-David was near a bombing in Jerusalem last December.

But school administrators said outward bravado was only masking turmoil fed by fear of attacks. "A kid who says, 'I'm calm' is really saying 'I'm in control'. He's not calm," said district schools supervisor Ruth Meir.

-- (get.it@straight.jack), June 19, 2002.


Yes, I missed that. Too many bombings, I lose track.

I looked up the word ghoul. It actually derives from an Arabic word ghul, that means "an evil spirit that robs graves and feeds on the flesh of the dead". How appropriate

Babaghanouj anyone?

-- (lars@indy.net), June 19, 2002.


Unk, while I agree about the waste of "the war on drugs", I've read that there is a connection between terrorists and the drug trade, that terrorists make alot of their money by being involved in the drug industry. The anti-drug ads here make that claim, as well. Nonetheless, I firmly believe that legalizing all drugs and controlling them much like liquor is controlled (or not controlled, according to the state's desire) is the real answer to the drug problem. Making them illegal only funnels money to absolutely the wrong people, IMHO.

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), June 19, 2002.

See that? Those Canucks are VERY smart people! No wonder they want to be Americans, heehee. 100% correct Tricia. Take away the huge profits and you take away a huge amount of their ability to conduct terrorism against us. Bravo!

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), June 20, 2002.

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