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June 09, 2005

To Lodi Via Pakistan [New Vintage]

It looks like small town America is not immune to a terrorist attack.

Five men from the town of Lodi, California were arrested on charges of lying to federal agents when being questioned about having ties to Al Qaeda. . Apparently these guys are American citizens and spent quite a bit of time in Pakistan learning how to kill Americans.

As heard from my clock radio this morning, Lodi is one of those quaint little towns, known for their growing wineries, agriculture output and cherry trees. According to the City of Lodi website, it has a population of 58,950 (as of January 1, 2001) and is contained in an area of 12 square miles. Sort of a picture perfect place. Go ahead. Take a look at the pics.

There is a growing Pakistani immigrant population which started way back in the 1920's, most of whom are from the Attock district, also a picturesque area known to have mild temperatures and fertile soils. There are now over two thousand Pakistanis residing, most of which do not speak English. They have created a warm community where they gather together to feel as if they are back home.

One immigrant compares his two homes:

“[Attock] is like Lodi in many ways,” said Shujah Khan, who came here in 1985 when he was 20 years old. “It is rural, with many farms.”

And yet another immigrant shows how thankful he is.

Still, he is grateful for the economic rewards he has accrued, including ownership of a house on Tokay Street and a Dodge van. And, he is confident he will find another job to support his wife and infant daughter, Aisha. While some Pakistanis come to Lodi with the plan to someday return to their native soil, very few do, he said. “Life is better here,” Shujah Khan said. “Like me, we come here and get a decent home and a decent car and a decent life for our family, and we just live on.

It truly makes me angry that a bunch of evil thugs can take what could be a dream and turn it into a complete and total nightmare.

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posted by Ace at 04:14 PM

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