Suggestions for non-“offensive” names for future Navy SEAL operations

The code words “Geronimo – EKIA” were music to the ears of President Obama and members of his national security team who sat in the Situation Room with him on May 1 as Navy SEAL Team Six confirmed the termination of Public Enemy Number One Osama bin Laden. While most Americans are still celebrating what happened Sunday, some haven’t felt like they could fully bask in the news of OBL’s demise because the use of the name “Geronimo” to describe the operation offended them. ABC’s The Note reports on just how much this “issue” has escalated over the last couple of days as a result of the outcries from some in the Native American community:

The Senate Indian Affairs committee will hold a hearing Thursday on racist Native American stereotypes, a hearing that will now also address the Osama bin Laden mission and the code-name Geronimo.

While the hearing was scheduled before the mission, a committee aide today said the linking of the name Geronimo with the world’s most wanted man is “inappropriate” and can have a “devastating” impact on kids.

“The hearing was scheduled well before the Osama bin Laden operation became news, but the concerns over the linking of the name of Geronimo, one of the greatest Native American heroes, with the most hated enemies of the United States is an example of the kinds of issues we intended to address at Thursday’s hearing,” Loretta Tuell, the committee’s chief counsel, said in a statement.

“These inappropriate uses of Native American icons and cultures are prevalent throughout our society, and the impacts to Native and non-Native children are devastating,” Tuell said. “We intend to open the forum to talk about them.”

The Senate committee is chaired by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. Thursday’s 2:15p hearing will examine how Wild West shows, Hollywood films, and Indigenous-themed sports mascots have shaped the perception of Native Americans, according to a press release. […]

Good grief. Ok, so maybe in retrospect to avoid a potential “controversy” surrounding the use of the name Geronimo, the Powers That Be could have picked a more “neutral” name (cough) but, really, does the issue need to rise to this level? No. Most Americans across the country could care less about the name, probably don’t even remember it. All most people know is that OBL is gone forever, which is a comforting thought. Escalating it to the Congressional level draws unnecessary attention to an issue that probably could have been resolved with a single phone call, as Cato Institute Senior Fellow Dan Mitchell calmly explains:

In other words, some common-sense sensitivity is a good thing.

But is there any reason why the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Akaka of Hawaii, can’t make a quiet phone call and say, “I know you guys didn’t mean anything, but in the future please stay away from using code-names that link bad guys to American Indians.”

Perhaps because political posturing always takes precedence over common-sense approaches to resolving both real and imagined problems?

To throw a little humor in the mix, to the WaPo’s Alexandra Petri:

[…] But say what you will about the history of wildly misappropriated terms for Native Americans — Washington Redskins, anyone? — the objection boils down to the fact that a code name for Osama that referenced anything with any redeeming qualities whatever would be drawing fire from some quarter.

So in case this happens again, here are 10 totallly inoffensive code names to use instead:

10. Flo From Those Progressive Commercials.

9. Voldemort

8. IKEA, if only so that you can say, “IKEA EKIA!”

7. Windows Vista

6. That Time “Crash” Beat “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture

5. This Guy

4. Headbands That Make It Look Like You’re Wearing a Tiny Hat

3. TSA Patdowns

2. Metro Escalator Outage

1. Moroccan Scott Cannon

Your suggestions?

Friends and enemies: Muslim Brotherhood edition

**Posted by Phineas

In this episode, we learn to learn to tell friends from enemies by seeing what they say to each other in their own language.

Remember when our Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said this about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?

At a House Intelligence Committee hearing earlier in the day, Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) questioned Clapper about the threat posed by the group. Clapper replied by suggesting that the Egyptian part of the Brotherhood is not particularly extreme and that the broader international movement is hard to generalize about.

“The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’…is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam,” Clapper said. “They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera…..In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally.”

I wonder how DNI Clapper feels now, after the Muslim Brotherhood said this about Osama bin Laden’s death:

Statement from the Muslim Brotherhood on the assassination of Sheikh(1) Osama bin Laden

The whole world has lived and the especially the Muslims have suffered from a fierce media campaign to label Islam as terrorism and to describe the Muslims as violent, by attaching the September 11th attacks to al-Qaeda(2).

Today, the U.S. president has announced that a special task force of U.S. marines has succeeded in assassinating Sheikh Osama bin Laden, a woman, and one of his children, along with a number of his companions(3). [With this development], We find that we are facing a new situation.

The Muslim Brotherhood declares that they are against the use of violence generally, and against the methods of assassination, and they are with the fair trial of anyone accused of any crime, whatsoever(4).

The Muslim Brotherhood demands for the world (in general) and the Western world, as peoples and governments (particularly) to stop linking Islam with terrorism(5), and to deliberately correct the erroneous image which it has already promoted for a number of years.

The Muslim Brotherhood confirms that the legitimate resistance against foreign occupation for any country is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine law and international convention. Confusion [shuffling papers] between legitimate resistance and violence against innocent people was intended by the Zionist enemy in particular.(6)

And so long as the occupation remains, the legitimate resistance will remain. It is on America, the NATO pact, and the European Union to speedily end the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and to recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.(7)

The Muslim Brotherhood demands that the United States cease its intelligence operations(8) against the violators and to desist from interfering in the internal affairs of any Arab or Muslim country.

The Muslim Brotherhood

Cairo, on the 29 of Jumada 1 1432 A.H., corresponding to May 2, 2011

Translation by Sami al-Abasi at Pajamas Media, who notes that the English-language release was scrubbed for Western consumption. Be sure to read the whole thing. Meanwhile, I’ve highlighted some points above:

(1) The Brotherhood bestows an Arab title of honor and respect on bin Laden. Not quite what you’d expect of someone who’s been accused of perverting Islam, but then, really, the only difference between the Brotherhood and al-Qaeda is the point at which the resort to violence is acceptable. The Brotherhood thinks al-Qaeda went violent too soon, risking a Western backlash. Thus, their disagreement is over strategy and tactics, not goals. And, contrary to the multi-culti fluff we’re fed on TV, bin Laden understood Islam very well. As does the Brotherhood.

(2) Yeah, awfully unfair of us to do that, since it was only bin Laden himself who took credit for the attacks, and his Operations Chief, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who admitted planning it. We really shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

(3) “Companions” is a deliberate allusion to the Companions of Muhammad, the original generation who took up Islam and fought alongside him. Thus the Brotherhood again honors and elevates the man who slaughtered nearly 3,000 Americans and countless Muslims.

(4) A “fair trial” under Sharia law, of course, since no trial held under laws created by Man can ever be fair or just. Remember, to the Brotherhood and other Salafis, democracy is a sham; something to be exploited with the eventual goal of implementing Allah’s divine law.

(5) Again, Islam is treated so unfairly. Just because Muhammad himself repeatedly invoked terror is no reason to associate the religion he created with terrorism. Or something. For example:

Allah said, ‘No Prophet before Muhammad took booty from his enemy nor prisoners for ransom.’ Muhammad said, ‘I was made victorious with terror. The earth was made a place for me to clean. I was given the most powerful words. Booty was made lawful for me. I was given the power to intercede. These five privileges were awarded to no prophet before me.’ –Ishak 326

(6) Bear in mind that the Brotherhood, as does its offshoot Hamas, considers Israel to be an “illegal occupation,” which means all Israelis are fair game for legitimate resistance terrorism. Key point: when the author distinguishes between legitimate targets and innocent victims, no Jews or Christians in Israel are innocent. And, hey, if you happen to get a few innocent Muslims, too, well… fortunes of war, and all that.

(7) And by this the Muslim Brotherhood supports terror attacks against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, notwithstanding that those forces freed millions of Muslims from horrific tyrannies.

(8) By which the authors means the very kind of intelligence operations that allowed us to track down and kill bin Laden. Yeah, we’re going to jump right on that.

So here we have an organization that, when speaking in its own language, sanctifies our deadliest enemy; demands that we fool ourselves about the nature of jihad and the role of terror in it, and that bin Laden himself was acting in that those traditions; and authorizes terror attacks against Americans and their allies. Oh, and tries to hide it with a sanitized English version.

I’d call that an enemy, wouldn’t you?

PS: Clapper is still an idiot.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Seven reasons why tax increases are not needed

**Posted by Phineas

The Center For Freedom and Prosperity has put out another of it’s “Econ 101″ videos, which cover various topics explaining why limited government, low tax, and controlled spending regimes work better than… Well, what we have now.

This video, narrated by Piyali Bhattacharya of Young Americans for Liberty, gives seven reasons why increasing taxes is a bad idea:

  1. Tax increases are not needed;
  2. Tax increases encourage more spending;
  3. Tax increases harm economic performance;
  4. Tax increases foment social discord;
  5. Tax increases almost never raise as much revenue as projected;
  6. Tax increases encourage more loopholes; and,
  7. Tax increases undermine competitiveness.

And here’s Piyali:

We should keep these in mind as the budget debates in Congress go forward.

via Dan Mitchell at Big Government, where he gives links to related videos you may be interested in.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)