By: FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 03, 2006
DIRECTOR OF "PARADISE NOW" WOULD BE A SUICIDE BOMBER
Hany Abu-Assad, the director of Paradise Now (the sick Palestinian film glorifying suicide bombers that is up for an Academy Award), says that Israelis are “hated for a reason”—and that he would gladly be a suicide bomber himself: Oscar nominee: People hate Israelis for a reason. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)
If this evil-intentioned film wins an Oscar, it will be a dark day for civilization.
In an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli-born director of the Golden Globe award winner for Best Foreign Film emerges as no less controversial than his recent production. At the beginning of our talk he demands that when quoting him I would refrain from using the term “terrorist” to describe people sent to explode themselves in buses and markets.
This is an act of terror, but this terror derives from another terror, Abu-Assad explains. Suicide bombings are a reaction to your terror, he says, and suggests the most accurate term to describe a suicide bombing would be “a counter-terrorist act.”
Someone dares speak up against your movie and already it’s hard for you to avoid being critical toward Jews?
They are not just opposed to my film; they also claim to represent all Jews, he states. This is why such an article is “racist and fascist,” he says.
Abu-Assad says Linor (the author of a Ynet article critical of the film) truly believes people who belong to another nation are different than her. She thinks people who don’t accept the fact the occupation is the source for suicidal acts in effect says the Palestinian culture is the root of terror, evil, he explains.
It’s hard to see the way Jews, who were once the victims of prejudice and paid a heavy price for anti-Semitism, today act the same, he states. “It makes you want to stop believing in humanity.”
Even during the Holocaust, people did not strap on a bomb and set out to kill innocent people.
This was a different situation that only lasted six years, Abu-Assad replies, adding that in the first 30 years of occupation there were no suicide bombings. Who knows what would have happened in Germany had the oppression continued for 30 years, he asks rhetorically.
Abu-Assad stresses he is a pacifist who believes any killing is wrong, and that he advocates a non-violent struggle as the right method for obtaining one’s goals. However, he states, while he currently has the privilege to make such a stand, in a different situation his moral position may have been different.
In other words, had you been living in the territories, you would have become a shahid (martyr)?
Abu-Assad hesitates for a second before replying, “yes.” He recounts an episode in which he was humiliated by a soldier at the Kalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem, and says this was what made him realize what runs through the heads of people who later become suicide bombers.
You feel like such a coward it kills you, he describes, saying this cowardice makes people start hating life and feel impotent.
I realized, Abu-Assad explains, that when a man systematically goes through such humiliation, he chooses to kill his own impotency by carrying out an act of “let me die with the philistines.”
And there are no suicide bombers who do what they do because of anti-Semitism?
That’s a racist notion. Thursday, March 2, 2006
CARTOONIST'S DAUGHTER HUNTED BY 12 MUSLIMS
Cartoon Rage Update: "Cartoonist’s Daughter Hunted by 12 Jihadists," from the Agora blog (thanks to Mrs. Obelix), which has translations of the relevant Danish newspapers. Says Danish Liberal party spokesman Jens Rohde:
I think we ought to consider that we have 12 cartoonists in this country who have to live in hiding under protection, have had their lives turned around. The daughter of one of the cartoonists was sought out by 12 Moslem males at her school - they wanted to get at her. Luckily, she wasn’t there, and these people now live with fatwas over their head. And this is where I think that all of us ought to back these people up and say that we don’t want to allow this kind of thing to happen to our cartoonists - we need to back up their right to exercise their profession.
So now we have a Danish schoolgirl living in fear for her life. And still the world does not wake up.
An Al Qaeda terrorist captured in Iraq has confessed to carrying out 116 beheadings: Suspected Kidnapper Arrested in Baghdad. (Hat tip: Rusty Shackleford.)
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi security forces have arrested a suspect in the 2004 kidnapping and beheading of a Japanese backpacker, officials said Thursday.
The Interior Ministry identified the suspect as Hussein Fahmi, a 28-year-old al-Qaida in Iraq operative arrested over two months ago in western Baghdad. Fahmi confessed to carrying out 116 beheadings, including that of 24-year-old Japanese backpacker Shosei Koda, ministry official Maj. Raid al-Mafraji said.
Fahmi, who is of Egyptian and Palestinian descent, was captured by the Interior Ministry’s counterinsurgency Wolf Brigade after a tip from local residents, al-Mafraji said. “We managed to arrest three other terrorists with him and seized a huge amount of weapons,” he said.
Japan’s chief Cabinet secretary, Shinzo Abe, said Tokyo had not yet received confirmation from Iraqi authorities of the arrest.
Koda was killed by militants in October 2004 after Japan refused to bow to their demands and pull its troops out of Iraq. His decapitated body was found wrapped in an American flag in a Baghdad street.
Al-Qaida in Iraq, led by the country’s most wanted terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and beheading in a Web posting that included a gruesome video of the killing.
An amusing aspect of the UAE ports deal controversy has been watching the Democrats try to get to the right of Republicans on national security. They have a big problem with this latest cynical ploy, because at the same time as they’re castigating the Bush administration for not securing ports, the Dems and “progressives” are doing everything in their power to subvert and delegitimize one of the most effective national security measures put in place after 9/11—the NSA’s surveillance of terrorist suspects in the US. How do they reconcile these two diametrically opposed positions? Well, they just... don’t.
Today the Washington Post has an article about the latest kerfuffle, as a Saudi terror financing group complains they were spied upon: Saudi Group Alleges Wiretapping by US.
This shows how far we’ve come from 9/11, that a group of terror-linked Islamists would actually play for sympathy because their dirty business was exposed. And it shows once again that the enemy understands very well how to exploit American freedoms to hide among us. Thursday, March 2, 2006
DAY BY DAY
By Chris Muir
EDITOR OF U.S. ARABIC NEWSPAPER: RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM IS SPREADING AMONG MUSLIM YOUTH IN THE U.S.
He said it. If I had said it, the cries of "Islamophobia" would have rung from every corner. From MEMRI:
In an article published in the London Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Dr. Muhriz Al-Husseini, director of the Center for Dialogue and Research and editor of the U.S.-published newspaper Al-Minassa Al-'Arabiya, warns that religious extremism and ignorance are spreading among the young generation of Muslims in the U.S.
"At a time when Arab and Islamic leaders and organizations are investing great efforts and large amounts of money and time in order to improve the image of Islam and of the Muslims, some imams are working in an organized manner to brainwash adolescents in the Muslim community and to plant bogus ideas in their minds concerning Islam, jihad, takfir [accusing other Muslims of apostasy], heresy and the way [Muslim] society has strayed from the right path. They give them interpretations of Koranic verses that have been [deliberately] chosen so as to lead them to rebel against their parents, their families, and even against the society in which they live.
"[The youths] neglect their studies and spend their time watching videotapes and listening to audio tapes - most of which are given to them for free - on ways to train Muslim youth in military and ideological jihad, along with reports on the suffering of Muslims in some Muslim countries, as well as Koranic verses and sermons that encourage jihad, martyrdom, self-sacrifice, and the striking of terror into the hearts of the enemy."...
"The painful truth is that such a young man - only 16 years old - who doesn't have any life experience, any true knowledge in matters of religion, or any solid criteria for understanding the fundamentals of religious law and shari'a - is a victim of circumstances that he did not create. He is a young man who has tried to find an identity for himself in religion, and was given incorrect interpretations of the monotheistic revelations. He received his knowledge from people whom he considers authorities in religion and religious law... and at the same time, he does not find anyone who can correct his views and his understanding. Therefore, he is convinced that the way to eternal life and Paradise is through jihad [alone]...
"Who is responsible for this tragedy? Who gives material support to these religious propagandists and agents? Why do they spend all this money? Does this approach serve the interests of Islam and the Muslims, or does it serve the interests of others?..."
Read it all.
JIHADIST SEEKS TO RESCIND PLEA OVER NSA SPYING
Iyman Faris pleaded guilty. If he was illegally wiretapped, does that mean that he actually did not participate in this plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge? Should the question of whether or not he participated in this Brooklyn Bridge plot really be made to depend on the wiretapping issue? The legality of wiretapping is a serious issue. But surely no one would support the freeing of guilty mujahedin because that question is being debated...would they? "Terror operative seeks to rescind plea over NSA spying," from CNN, with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An Ohio truck driver and al Qaeda operative who pleaded guilty in 2003 to participating in a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge wants to rescind that plea if the National Security Agency ever eavesdropped on him without a warrant.
Iyman Faris was sentenced to 20 years in prison in October 2003....
Attorney David Smith wants Faris' May 1, 2003, guilty plea thrown out and is requesting "all documents relating to or concerning" electronic surveillance or any monitoring of Faris' conversations "whether or not pursuant to warrant," according to court filings.
Smith also wants documents from third-party conversations the government may have monitored in which Faris' name is mentioned or in which he is "otherwise identified."...
Based on media reports, it is likely that the government eavesdropped on Faris -- with and without the backing of warrants -- while the truck driver was a cooperating witness and being held under FBI supervision at a military base near Washington, D.C., Smith said. Thursday, March 2, 2006
DAILY KOS' LOSS OF DEMOCRATIC FAITH
The politics of Daily Kos aren't difficult to decipher nor are they particularly complex: anything that the Bush administration supports, this leftist blog is against. And when their fellow Democrats actually choose to support a measure put in place to protect this country from terror, the moonbats at Kos are at an utter loss and their supposed faith in the democratic process evaporates:
Okay, I guess I jumped the gun on this yesterday, but my esteemed Senator [Boxer] and so-called member of the liberal/left coalition, just voted for the HR 3199 (the conference report version of the Patriot Act). You can read the vote tallies here.
I feel so betrayed by her and by the Democratic party in general on this issue that I don't quite know what to do. Why should I even live in this country anymore when those that say they are here to fight for the good -- just sell out because they are afraid of appearing to be "soft on terror"? What is the point of voting or being here at all?
I mean, Representative John Conyers wrote a nice diary today, saying that what we do really does matter, and that we are appreciated. But all he could cite were the number of letters, emails and calls for action that he has forwarded on to the appropriate people. Has this forwarding of sentiment had any effect? Or do we just fade into the background like the classical music in Rove's Jaguar? [...]
On top of this betrayal, there is John Kerry who also voted in support of the Patriot Act. A man that had the incredibly bad taste to ask for donations on this site a day or so go -- to then go forward and vote for the Patriot Act -- Skull and Bones indeed.
THE MESSAGE BEHIND THE INDIA DEAL
George Bush won an important diplomatic victory, one he has long sought, in bringing India into close ties with the United States. He and Indian PM Manmohan Singh signed a deal to support nuclear energy initiatives in the world's largest democracy despite earlier sanctions arising from India's nuclear testing eight years ago, prompting Singh to declare the US-Indian relationship healthier than ever before:
The agreement between the world’s oldest and largest democracies allows India to buy nuclear technology and fuel from the US to power its fast-growing economy.
It marks a major shift in American policy towards India, which Washington punished with sanctions after it conducted nuclear weapons tests in 1998.
“Things change,” Mr Bush said as he announced the deal with Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India.“It’s in our interests that India have a civilian nuclear industry to help take the pressure off of the global demand for energy.”
Mr Singh declared: “History was made today.
“Our discussions today make me confident that there are no limits to Indo-US partnerships.”
In an even more surprising development, IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei endorsed the deal despite India's refusal to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Some have speculated that Bush might have trouble getting this new treaty ratified because of the NPT issue, but ElBaradei told the press that the new program aimed at strengthening India's civilian nuclear-energy program will assist in containing proliferation. Any potential opposition in the Senate will find themselves undercut by that statement -- and the natural alliance that should exist between the two democracies will find too much sympathy for opposition on any other grounds.
This deal sends a strong message of solidarity to the Indians, who for too long got forgotten by the US after successive governments decided to play footsie with the Soviet Union and the Non-Aligned Movement rather than ally India with the democracies of the West. However, that's not the only message this deal sends, and at least one of the other recipients listened closely.
Bush has long desired to build stronger ties with India as a counterweight to China. This move isn't a shot in the dark, either. The US policy under George Bush in central and southern Asia pushes democracy as a bulwark against increasing Russian autocracy and Chinese expansionism. The effort lines up nicely with the US push in the 'stans to expand American influence through the support of free and open political structures. Having India as an ally helps build credibility and underscores Bush's commitment to freedom.
Bush also sent a message to China about both North Korea and Iran by dismissing India's status as a nuclear power. The Chinese have not proven very helpful in resolving either conflict, allowing Kim Jong-Il to dither on disarmament and quietly obstructing a clear and timely resolution to the Iranian showdown. China has made clear that it will not support even economic sanctions against the mullahcracy, making the UNSC referral somewhat of a moot point.
In shrugging at India's nuclear weapons and concluding this far-reaching agreement despite India's status on the NPT, Bush has dropped the other shoe on both China and Russia. Russia has been playing at Great Game efforts of late, especially on Iran. Now Bush has answered both China and Russia with an influential and public counterweight to Russia's designs on influence in Asia and China's attempt at political and economic hegemony.
India also gains by landing the US as an ally against both nations and regaining Western focus. No doubt Delhi has paid attention to the rise of radical Islam in the region, being surrounded by the phenomenon and having their own internal issues with restive Muslims. They need friends in the West more than ever now, and the predominantly Hindu nation understands the consequences of falling victim to dhimmitude.
This may well wind up being the most significant diplomatic victory of the Bush administration, for economics, globalization, and geopolitics. Hopefully the Senate will not attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when the time comes to ratify the deal.
ABLE DANGER, THE LAWSUIT
The principals in the Able Danger story have filed suit to restrain the Department of Defense from retaliating against Tony Shaffer and to allow these witnesses to retain counsel during the closed hearings that Congress has scheduled into the data-mining program. Mark Zaid, representing Shaffer as well as contractor J. D. Smith, filed the suit on Monday against the DoD, DIA, the Army, and their attorneys in the DC district court.
I've copied the text into the extended entry of this post. Most of those who have followed Able Danger will not be surprised by the allegations in the lawsuit. However, the extent of obstructionism should raise some eyebrows in Congress, who may wonder why the DIA will not allow these witnesses to share the fruits of the Able Danger effort with their committees, even in closed session:
25. In September 2005, both Shaffer and Smith were scheduled to testify before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss their involvement with ABLE DANGER. Shaffer submitted proposed testimony to the DoD for classification review, but the DoD has never responded. In any event, the defendants claimed all information concerning ABLE DANGER was classified and refused to consent to allow the 8 testimony. Their undersigned counsel, Mark S. Zaid, testified in their place on September 21, 2005.
26. Just days before Shaffer was to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the DIA revoked his security clearance amidst allegations of criminal conduct and unfavorable credibility determinations. The DIA specifically asserted that Shaffer had lied during appeal proceedings. Upon information and belief, the revocation of Shaffer’s security clearance, particularly the speed at which it occurred, was, in part or in whole, in retaliation for Shaffer’s public and/or private comments concerning ABLE DANGER. Additionally, as part of Shaffer’s security clearance adjudication process, the undersigned counsel was provided access to classified information.
27. By letter dated February 2, 2006, the plaintiffs renewed their request to share relevant classified information with their counsel, particularly in order to appear in a closed, classified House of Representative’s hearing.
28. By letter dated February 14, 2006, defendant Peirce responded on behalf of all defendants denying the undersigned counsel’s request for access to classified information. Upon information and belief, defendant Berry participated in drafting and formulating the defendants’ response. Peirce, as DIA General Counsel, does not possess the authorization or qualifications to render clearance determinations under the circumstances.
Why has the DoD assigned questions of classification to its counsel rather than the top brass? Peirce apparently addressed the security issue directly rather than simply passing along a finding by those in Defense tasked with reviewing the use of classified material. Under the circumstances, this looks a bit suspicious, especially since so much of AD has already been discussed in public, thanks to the 9/11 Commission's bout of obtuseness that kept it from their review of the terror attacks and the US defense posture at the time.
Congress should ask these same questions of the DIA and DoD. Their commission report has lost credibility thanks to the effort of some at the Pentagon to keep the defunct program under wraps. One would hope that they would find some interest in getting to the real truth about pre-9/11 knowledge of AQ and the obstacles that the AD team faced.
EUROPE PUTS ON ITS BLINDERS
In a spectacularly misguided effort, the European Union has released a report scolding members for allowing the CIA and other American agencies to operate unfettered on the Continent in its search for Islamofascist terrorists, failing to mention at all the fact that so many can be found there:
Europe has become "a happy hunting ground" for foreign intelligence agents looking to kidnap terrorist suspects, the leader of the continent's top human rights group said Wednesday, urging European governments to crack down on operatives working for the CIA and other spy services.
Terry Davis, chairman of the Council of Europe, also criticized several European countries for not being more forthcoming about whether they have helped the CIA carry out extralegal counterterrorism operations on their soil. These include the secret detention and abduction of suspected members of al-Qaeda.
"I strongly support cooperation between Europe and the United States of America on all issues and especially the fight against terrorism," Davis said at a news conference at the council's headquarters in Strasbourg, France.
"But I also insist that European governments should have sufficient confidence to participate in such cooperation as equal partners."
According to Davis, the pressing problem for the EU is not the fact that their countries have been infiltrated by terrorism to such an extent that they present a "happy hunting ground", it's that they haven't forced the CIA to get a hunting permit. They complain that the CIA does not operate under European sensibilities for legality and human rights. However, Davis doesn't understand that the CIA isn't a law-enforcement agency but an intelligence and espionage organization; by definition, that means that their agents operate outside the law and in a covert manner. Not only that, but somehow Davis manages to avoid drawing the line between the amount of terrorists found in their countries and those same legal and human-rights standards that keep Europe from doing much about it.
Europe plays the same game that the American Left does at home -- draw no distinction between the terrorists and the people trying to catch them and keep civilians safe. This effort treats terrorists as if they were the equivalent of the American intelligence forces that wish to capture them, almost as if the EU looks at them as the successor to the KGB. Terrorists are not spies or moles, at least not primarily; they are mass murderers, intending on killing large amounts of civilians if not stopped. The CIA and the intelligence agencies with whom they work have to disrupt those plans and grab the perpetrators before they can attack in order to achieve success. That's why this is a war and not a law-enforcement action.
In fact, the report itself states that it has no real factual basis on which to make these claims:
The report contends that the CIA has unfettered ability to mount covert counterterrorism operations in Europe with little regard to European legal and human rights standards. But the council said it was unable to collect any fresh evidence or obtain independent confirmation of several alleged CIA plots to apprehend or detain suspects on the continent.
So in the end, all the Davis report does is regurgitate the rumors and anonymously-sourced news reports to condemn the CIA and the nations that understand the threat of terrorism. If we wanted that, we could have just bought the New York Times for a buck. Thursday, March 2, 2006
TALK ABOUT TRIANGULATION
The Democrats have seized the center stage for opposing the Dubai ports deal, claiming that the questionable decision to approve the transfer of port operations to state-owned Dubai Ports World shows that the Bush administration puts profits ahead of national security. Hillary Clinton in particular has assailed the decision and promised to push legislation to block the deal. Perhaps sje should consult with the man who helped the UAE firm defend the deal ... former President and current husband, Bill Clinton:
Bill Clinton, former US president, advised top officials from Dubai two weeks ago on how to address growing US concerns over the acquisition of five US container terminals by DP World. ...
It came even as his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, was leading efforts to derail the deal.
Mr Clinton, who this week called the United Arab Emirates a “good ally to America”, advised Dubai’s leaders to propose a 45-day delay to allow for an intensive investigation of the acquisition, according to his spokesman. ...
Mr Clinton’s contact with Dubai on the issue underscores the relationship he has developed with the United Arab Emirates since leaving office. In 2002, he was paid $300,000 (€252,000) to address a summit in Dubai.
While Bill provided tactical advice to Dubai's leadership to help complete the deal, Hillary has actively campaigned to do the exact opposite. Here is the statement on Hillary's Senate web site outlining her stance on the DP World deal:
We thank you for joining the call of lawmakers who are gravely concerned about the Dubai Ports World deal. As you know, unless Congress acts, operations at six major U.S. ports, and other U.S. port facilities, will be turned over to Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates, on March 2. This sale will create an unacceptable risk to the security of our ports. We therefore request that emergency legislation we are introducing to ban foreign governments from controlling operations at our ports be slated for immediate consideration when the Senate convenes on February 27. ...
This issue transcends philosophical posturing and partisan bickering – it is about our nation’s security.
What are we to conclude from Bill Clinton's intervention with the emirates? If we are to believe that Hillary is sincere, then we should conclude that Bill Clinton has no clue how to secure the nation; after all, he's provided material support to the emirs in attempting to gain control of the ports. While Hillary and her party excoriated George Bush for accepting the unanimous CFIUS approval of the deal -- the result of a process that Congress approved years ago and has never challenged before -- the previous Democratic president helped engineer the UAE response intended to gain final approval of the transfer.
Democrats wonder why the American electorate doesn't trust them with national security. Talking out of both sides of their mouths and stoking fears just to score a few political points are chief among the reasons for the well-earned distrust. (Hat tip: CQ reader Keemo) Wednesday, March 1, 2006
The power of private individuals to move around information is pretty amazing. Reader G. sends facsimiles of the death warrants Saddam Hussein is accused of signing in Iraq. In his enclosing letter, Reader G. adds "the executions of 148 people had been carried out and that some of the named people were mistakenly released instead of being executed, and that other prisoners not on the list were executed by mistake!" The facsimiles are shown below.
The reader says the documents ordering the execution of some 148 people were presented during today's trial of Saddam Hussein and introduced as evidence against him. As it happens, Iraq the Model (who is unrelated to the reader) writes in his latest post about the same subject:
The session began as usual and as expected with lots of exchanged yelling and whining from defendants, the judge and the defense team until the prosecutor turned the tide when he began presenting loads of documents that prove the guilt of Saddam and his gang, especially his half-brother Barzan and the chief of the infamous revolution court Awad al-Bandar. Barzan had been denying any connection for the intelligence service (Mukhabarat) he headed with the Dujail massacre claiming that the intelligence was solely responsible for watching non-Iraqis and had nothing to do with internal cases like Dujail where the suspects were Iraqis.
However, the documents uncovered today showed that Barzan was personally deeply involved in following up the case and "interrogating" the suspects and their families. The documents were presented in chronological order in a way that literally stunned Saddam and Barzan who barely uttered a few words during the more than an hour-long presentation. Dozens of documents that look authentic and carried the signatures of Saddam, Barzan and other criminals were displayed; the earliest ones go back to as early as 2 days after the assassination attempt with the latest dated 7 years after that showing all stages of the massacre from interrogation to sentencing the 148 resident of Dujail to signing and approving and executing the death sentence to finally following up a couple of prisoners who mistakenly were let out to be later recaptured and executed.
The documents revealed some unbelievably terrifying facts about the Dujail massacre; can you imagine that when orders were given to execute the 148 "convicts" the prison authorities executed only 96 of them. Why? Because the remaining 48 "convicts" had already passed away during "interrogation"!! What kind of interrogation was that killed one third of the suspects?!
From two synoptic sources, we get complementary information of the same subject. Now here's a link to a Reuters story describing the presentation of the very documents described above.
Chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi presented documents he said were death certificates of Shi'ites who were rounded up and executed following an assassination attempt on Saddam's life in 1982.
He also presented a document which he said contained Saddam's handwriting. The document, according to Moussawi, said four men had been executed by mistake and that two men had been released, also by mistake.
Looking more subdued than in previous rowdy proceedings, Saddam challenged the authenticity of the documents.
On Tuesday, after a two-week break during which the 68-year-old former president staged a hunger strike, prosecutors presented what they said was a death warrant signed by Saddam in 1984 for 148 men from the Shi'ite town of Dujail.
Prosecutors hope such documents can establish a direct link between Saddam and atrocities by proving a chain of command in connection with the execution of the 148 men.
The Reuters story actually has far less detail than Iraq the Model, but it confirms the readers account about some prisoners being executed or released "by mistake". Nowhere to be found in the Reuters report, however, is Iraq the Model's report that about 48 convicts had died under torture before they could be executed, and that's an historical mystery waiting to be solved.
It struck me that without Iraq the Model the fate of those 48 tortured men might never have been known to the non-Iraqi audience. Not that it would bring them back, but "information warfare" in the sense of speaking the truth in the face of the lie or remembering what would otherwise have been forgotten is by definition a private act. It's an outcome of free speech. In a fundamental way "the truth" is something no one can expect government to provide on our behalf. Once the public expected it of the newspapers. Here are the famous last lines between CIA badguy Higgins (Cliff Robertson) and CIA goodguy Turner (Robert Redford) as Turner takes his expose to the New York Times in the movie Three Days of the Condor.
Higgins: Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk, but how far if they won't print it?
Turner: They'll print it!
Higgins: How do you know?
But in those far-off days we knew, we knew they would print it. Or did we? Wednesday, March 1, 2006
LIFE AND LIMB
From Expatica: EU calls for end to 'bitterness' with Muslim world.
The European Union on Monday said it was time for an end to "bitterness" between Europe and Islamic countries over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
"We must concentrate on the next steps and future activities to reduce tensions and become more aware of what unites us rather than what divides us," Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik told reporters.
Both sides must make a "real effort to put some of the bitterness behind us," Plassnik underlined. Austria is current president of the 25-nation EU.
Diplomats said a statement on the issue released by EU foreign ministers was the result of a compromise between governments like Britain which wanted more conciliatory language towards Muslim countries and others, including the Netherlands, which insisted the bloc must not be seen to be apologising on the issue.
The final statement voiced "deep concern at the events that followed the publication of cartoons" and said EU governments "acknowledged and regretted" that the caricatures were considered offensive and distressing by Muslims across the world. ...
The EU statement underlined the EU's desire to "actively promote dialogue, mutual understanding and respect" with Muslim countries.
From Khaleej Times: 'Controversy helped Europe understand Islam'.
The massive protests in the Muslim world against the Danish cartoons have helped Denmark, as also Europe, have a better understanding of, and respect for, Islam, said the Danish Consul in Dubai, Thomas Bay, yesterday. ...
Khaleej Times pointed out that freedom of expression does not mean hurting others' sentiments.
'I fully agree with you. That is exactly the key. The editor of the Danish daily had not anticipated the outcome of his action, [like the burning of flag, embassy, and killing of hundreds in protests in the Muslim world]. Yet, he has the freedom of speech. However, now, I am sure they [the newspaper] are not very proud of what they have done', the Danish head of mission said.
'You can also turn around and say, this had a positive impact on Islam. The realization has come that you have to respect Islam, and the prophet. Now Europe is more aware of this aspect. There is positive thinking in this respect...and people will now be more careful [about hurting others' feelings]. People have now been more careful', he observed.
From Times Online: We should fear Holland’s silence.
[T]he story of Holland -- which I have been charting for some years -- should be noted by her allies. Where Holland has gone, Britain and the rest of Europe are following. The silencing happens bit by bit. A student paper in Britain that ran the Danish cartoons got pulped. A London magazine withdrew the cartoons from its website after the British police informed the editor they could not protect him, his staff, or his offices from attack. This happened only days before the police provided 500 officers to protect a "peaceful" Muslim protest in Trafalgar Square.
It seems the British police -- who regularly provide protection for mosques (as they did after the 7/7 bombs) -- were unable to send even one policeman to protect an organ of free speech. At the notorious London protests, Islamists were allowed to incite murder and bloodshed on the streets, but a passer-by objecting to these displays was threatened with detention for making trouble.
Holland -- with its disproportionately high Muslim population -- is the canary in the mine. Its once open society is closing, and Europe is closing slowly behind it. It looks, from Holland, like the twilight of liberalism -- not the "liberalism" that is actually libertarianism, but the liberalism that is freedom. Not least freedom of expression. Thursday, March 2, 2006
One of Britain’s leading architects, Lord Rogers of Riverside, has been forced to distance himself from the anti-Israel group he helped set up, after New York politicians threatened to cancel funding for one of his projects: Lord Rogers leaves anti-Israel group after anger in US. (Hat tip: Joel.)
The architect of the new Welsh Assembly building is expected to issue a statement today breaking with the group, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, which he helped set up just last month.
A draft obtained by The Times said: “My convictions on peace and justice have always been clear. But in view of the published aims of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, and particularly in view of the suggested boycott by some members, I am dissociating myself from the organisation.”
His about-face followed an angry reaction in New York, where he is designing the $1.7 billion (£975 million) taxpayer-funded expansion of the Jacob K. Javits convention centre on Manhattan’s Far West Side.
Jewish groups and local politicians were enraged when they learned of the involvement of Lord Rogers in the group, which accuses Israel of an “apartheid system of environmental control”.
“His associating with this bigoted view would disqualify him from receiving our tax dollars,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, vice-chairman of the Conference of Major American Jewish Organisations. Lord Rogers hosted the inaugural meeting of some 60 British architects and planners, chaired by his friend Abe Hayeem, in his London office on February 2.
Possible action discussed by the group includes sanctions and “the exposure of those construction industry professionals who accept commissions from schemes that appropriate Palestinian land and resources”.
“We hold all design and construction professionals involved in projects that appropriate land and natural resources from Palestinian territory to be complicit in social, political and economic oppression, and to be in violation of their professional ethics,” the group said.
JEWISH LEADERS RESIGN FROM ILLINOIS COMMISSION
In the spirit of enervated multiculturalism, an Illinois “anti-discrimination” panel included a representative of the Nation of Islam—and tonight Jewish leaders have quit. (Hat tip: Allah.)
CHICAGO - Two prominent Jewish leaders resigned from a state anti-discrimination commission Thursday, as controversy escalated over another commissioner who is an official with the Nation of Islam.
Lonnie Nasatir, Midwest regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, and Richard Hirschhaut, executive director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, said they could not keep their posts when commission member Claudette Marie Muhammad remained silent about controversial words recently spoken by nation leader Louis Farrakhan.
“I cannot, in good conscience continue to serve alongside a fellow commissioner who remains silent in the face of such hate,” said Hirschhaut, who was appointed to the commission in 1999 when he still served as Midwest regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.
The administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich was quick to replace Nasatir Thursday afternoon with state Rep. Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie. Hirschhaut resigned late in the day, and aides to the governor did not return calls for comment Thursday evening.
The resignations followed days of outcry from Jewish leaders and others who lobbied Blagojevich to take some kind of action regarding Muhammad, who serves as Farrakhan’s chief of protocol.
Although Muhammad was appointed to the commission in August, it wasn’t until recently when she invited commission members to attend a speech given by Farrakhan that word of her affiliation with the Nation of Islam began to spread.
During Farrakhan’s speech on Sunday, he said “the Hollywood Jews” are responsible for promoting homosexuality and other “filth of Hollywood.”
Muhammad issued a statement this week in which she said she believes in “fairness to all people regardless of race, creed, color, national origin or religious beliefs.” She also said she supports human rights for gays and lesbians. Thursday, March 2, 2006
OPERATIONS IN JAZERRA REGION
Coalition forces take down al-Qaeda camps in the rural areas of Anbar
By Bill Roggio
As the Iraqi government rebounds from the rise in sectarian violence in the wake of the bombing of the Alaskari Mosque, Iraqi and Coalition forces continue the hunt for al-Qaeda. A series of raids in Anbar province has put a bomb making facility, ammunition caches and over sixty al-Qaeda operatives out of business. The Multinational Forces Iraq press release provides the details:
CF [Coalition Forces] captured 61 suspected AQIZ facilitators in multiple raids 30 miles northeast of Fallujah. The suspects are believed to be members of the Zarqawi network, and to have personally facilitated suicide bombers, foreign fighters and the funding of terrorist activities. Five AQIZ safe houses were destroyed during the operation. Coalition Forces also uncovered a large number of weapons and ammunition caches which they destroyed in place. Of the 61 suspects, four are considered key AQIZ facilitators.
The location of this operation is the Jazerra region which lies directly north of Ramadi and Habbaniyah (or about 30 miles northeast of Fallujah), and has been the subject of Iraqi Army operations in the recent past. The Iraqi Army and Coalition forces launched Spider Web on January 4, 2006, and the Iraqi Army independently conducted Final Strike on January 30, 2006.
The region is a “known insurgent staging area for attacks against Iraqi citizens, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces.” Captain Jeffrey Pool informed me during Final Strike that “this area is where a lot of ex Baathists and military retired,” and that the Iraqi Army was just beginning to make inroads into the area after a year of neglect. Friday, March 3, 2006
U.S. DIPLOMAT MURDERED BY PAKISTANI AL-QAEDA SUICIDE BOMBER
Attack occurred in Karachi just prior to President Bush’s visit; Pakistan releases details on new al-Qaeda leader plotting attacks on U.S.
By Bill Roggio
al-Qaeda has mastered the art of dramatic and devastating propaganda operations. Today, al-Qaeda has struck in Pakistan, just in time for President Bush’s visit to the country. A U.S Diplomat and three others were killed, and fifty-two others were wounded after a vehicle-borne suicide bomber drove into the diplomatic convoy near the U.S. Consulate in Karachi. The Associated Press describes the carnage: “The blast near the U.S. Consulate and the Marriott Hotel propelled cars into the air and flung charred wreckage as far as 200 yards. It shattered windows at the consulate and on all 10 floors of the hotel, and damaged a nearby naval hospital.”
While maps detailing the locations of the U.S. Consulate are hard to come by, I attempted to assemble the likely locations of the U.S. Consulate, Marriott Hotel and naval hospital based on satellite imagery and the brief description of the attack (if anyone has specific knowledge of Karachi, please contact me to correct the map if needed.) It appears the consulate, hotel and hospital form a triangle at an. As the Marriott and U.S. Consulate took the brunt of the damage, it is likely the strike occurred between both buildings and the naval hospital took damage from the debris and secondary blast damage.
The strike comes directly on the heels of news that a Pakistani al-Qaeda operative named Matiur Rehman is planning “an attack against the United States.” Alexis Debat, a counterterrorism analyst and consult, describes Rehman as “Pakistan's most wanted right now... He is extremely dangerous because of his role as the crucial interface between the brains of al Qaeda and its muscle, which is mainly composed these days of Pakistani militants." While Pakistan did not indicate if the attacks were to be conducted against U.S. soil or interests overseas, there is a high likelihood Rehman is connected to today’s suicide bombing.
The deadly attack occurs as Pakistan is conducting an offensive in Waziristan against “foreign miscreants”. The Pakistani Army reports up to forty-five foreign fighters have been killed during the assault, and Dan Darling believes the Chechen al-Qaeda leader cryptically referred to “Imam” is actually “Daniar, a Chechen rebel leader allied with al-Qaeda who commanded the group’s forces in their largely successful battle against the Pakistani military in 2004.”
INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIST FRONT'S BANGLADESHI COMMANDER CAPTURED
Abdur Rahman, one of the original signatories of Osama bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa declaring war against the West, is arrested; CNN obscures his ties to al-Qaeda
By Bill Roggio
In late January, reports indicated Indian police arrested Sheikh Abdur Rahman, the spiritual and ideological leader of terrorist groups Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), in the province of Bengal. The reports were incorrect. While the January reports turned out to be incorrect, Bangladeshi police announce that Abdur Rahman has been arrested after a 30 hour standoff between police at his hideout in the city of Sylhet.
The Bangladeshi newspaper Independent reports on the standoff and capture of Rahman, which included “repeated warnings over loud speakers and spraying of water and tear gas shells by armed commandos.” Rahman’s family surrendered, “But the supremo of militant group Jamatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) who is said to have exchanged hot words with the approaching RAB commandos, refused to surrender and threatened to blow himself up with explosives strapped around his body, did not come out the house till late in the day.” It seems Rahman believes suicide in the cause for jihad is only appropriate for the foot soldiers.
CNN irresponsibly obscures Rahman’s ties to al-Qaeda, “According to the security official, Bangladeshi security forces have been searching for Rahman since August and believe that he has ties with al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.” The fact is Rahman is intricately tied to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, as reported here last January; “Abdur Rahman is not your run-of-the-mill local Islamist terrorist leader. Rahman is one of the select signatories to the 1998 fatwa that created the International Islamic Front, the umbrella group of Islamist terrorist groups that declared war on the West. The signatories include: Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri [amir of the Jihad Group in Egypt and second in command of al-Qaeda], Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha [amir of the Egyptian Islamic Group] and Mir Hamzah [secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan].” Thomas Joscelyn dissects the 1998 fatwa and explains its importance in light of events in today's fight against al-Qaeda.
While Rahman’s capture is a high profile arrest and a defeat for al-Qaeda, Grim warns his arrest could lead to the destabilization of Bangladesh, as the opposing political parties of the Awami League and Jamaat-e-Islami descend into destructive political fighting, strikes, the crippling of Bangladesh’s nascent democracy, and the creation of a failed state in which al-Qaeda can flourish. The Awami League believes Jamaat-e-Islami and the government are behind the terrorism in Bangladesh, while “J-e-I and [Industries Minister] Nizami have maintained that really, it is Indian and Israeli intelligence behind the terrorist campaign.”
SAUDI ARABIA AND JORDAN STRIKE AT AL-QAEDA
The Saudis kill six involved in Abqaiq attack, including three on the most wanted list; Jordan thwarts an al-Qaeda plot, the Long War grinds on
By Bill Roggio
Saudi security forces have killed five members of al-Qaeda and captured one after the unsuccessful attack suicide attack on the massive oil facility in Abqaiq. During the strike, two suicide car bombs detonated after the drivers were unable to breach ARAMCO's security ring. A third vehicle, which was carrying three senior members of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, including its former commander, fled to Riyadh. Saudi security forces tracked the vehicle to a safe house in Riyadh. Asharq Alawsat provides the details:
Early on Monday, security forces besieged the house and exchanged fire with the five militants who were armed with machine guns and hand grenades. The militants barricaded themselves behind two cars, one of which was later identified as having been used in the attack on the oil production facility.
Born in al Zulfi, the 36-year-old Juwair was number two on the list. He took over the leadership of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia in July following the death of Younis al Hayari, a Moroccan, in a shootout in Riyadh . No 11 on the list of most wanted, Ibrahim al Mutair was a computer expert while Abdullah al Shammari, No 15, who assisted al Qaeda with transportation, had previously been detained by the authorities but released after he and his family promised to distance themselves from extremism.
For his part, Jaffal al Shammari, aged 28, was previously arrested for his links to al Qaeda and was known to be obtaining information about bomb making.
The Ministry statement added that 21-year-old Suleiman al Talq had been active on extremist internet forums.
Saudi security forces have dealt al-Qaeda in the Kingdom a blow, as this is the sixth al-Qaeda commander killed since the hot war began in Saudi Arabia in 2003. Senior commanders are at a premium in the Kingdom, as Saudi Security forces have ravaged the ranks of the organization. Regardless, al-Qaeda will continue to attempt to disable Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure. The target is far too tempting, and Osama bin Laden has made this a high priority target.
The Kingdom of Jordan is another target-rich environment for al-Qaeda. After two al-Qaeda inmates are rumored to have been sentenced to death, prisonors started a riot in a Jordanian jail, and captured Jordan's cheif of prisons along with six security guards. In the wake of last November's multiple suicide strikes on hotels in the capital of Amman, which killed 57 and wounded over 100, Jordanian intelligence has uncovered another suicide plot against an undisclosed “a critical civilian installation." A Libyan would-be suicide bomber and two Iraqis providing logistical support were arrested. Three other Iraqis and a Saudi national are currently sought by the Jordanian police and are believed to be in hiding in Syria. While there is no word if this was a Zarqawi-inspired plot, he was behind the Amman bombing in 2005 and the spolied chemical weapons attack against Jordanian intelligence and government installations in April of 2004.
While al-Qaeda has been largely unsuccessful in its efforts in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and attacks in both countries have resulted in a backlash against the brutal tactics of suicide bombings targeted against Muslims, al-Qaeda continues to press the fight in the hopes the government's ties with the West can be damaged or broken, and the downfall of the 'infidel' regimes follow. This is the strategy as laid out by Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's second in command, Saif al-Adel, al-Qaeda's military commander and strategist.
Incidentally, Saif al-Adel modified his twenty year plan for conquest of the Middle East, and extended the timeframe to fifty years. This tells us two things: 1) al-Qaeda does not believe things are going well in the short term. Iraq has not turned into a terrorist haven, and the governments of Jordan, Syria, Lebenon, and Saudi Arabia are no where near collapse; 2) while down, al-Qaeda is not out. The organization defines the jihad in terms of decades and centuries. Many western terrorism and military experts refer to the struggle against militant Islam as the "Long War" because al-Qaeda is committed to a multi-generational fight. Thursday, March 2, 2006
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