This from a dear friend, fellow tennis player, memo reader and pamphleteer writer extraordinaire. He is not too original but is one of my closest friends and my, no everyone's, severest critic. (See 1 below.)
Better late than never.
Are Liberals finally waking up and getting the message regarding the genesis of Islam or are they just responding to recent events and will soon return to their somnambulism? (See 2 below.)
But then there is Obama making distinctions in the mistaken belief Islam is a religion of peace only recently to have been hi-jacked by radicals.
I have been told viruses can lay dormant for years but they are still viruses.(See
2a and 2b below.)
Would Teddy R turn over in his grave regarding the concept of: "Speak Softly and Carry a Big Checkbook?" (See 3 below.)
Are the bad guys are winning? (See 4 below.)
There is something about Fareed Zakaria that I cannot put my finger on but perhaps Reuel Marc Gerecht has.
Zakaria is handsome, articulate, impeccably dressed in western garb, loved among our social and academic elite but I cannot shake the fact that his mind, soul, logic and sympathies remain in the Middle East. You decide. (See 5 below.)
This from my December 5th, speaker whose software helped to quickly identify the 9/11perpetrators: "With no recognition of the Jewish holidays and a noticeable absence of our leader at today's 9/11 memorial ceremony, is there still any question about our leader's allegiance? How pathetic!"
Truth eventually seeps out, sometimes too late for a frightened and/or indifferent world to respond - Holocaust- Ruwanda and the endless list immediately comes to mind.
But then, sometimes events cause a stirring that is aligned in point of time and evokes a necessary push back response.
The announcement of a location of a Mosque near Ground Zero and the furious debate and often bizarre responses is healthy. Not everyone is sane, not everyone reacts in a rational manner but the cumulative impact of the collective acts permits a broad airing and that is healthy.
It is far better to have a clearer view of one's adversary, to analyze and respond to the threat in a meaningful and fruitful way than to bury one's head in denial.
In the matter of Iran's nuclear program we have dithered and the consequences could be horrific. In the matter of whether Islam is a peaceful or a belligerent religion perhaps the current debate will prove both more timely and useful. Time will tell.
And thus, a tongue in cheek parable with appropriate picture. (See 6 below.)
1)Just to tie you over until November 2, 2010!!
HOW TO START EACH DAY WITH A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
1. Open a new file on your computer.
2. Name it 'Barack Obama'
3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.
4. Empty the Recycle Bin.
5. Your PC will ask you: 'Do you really want to get rid of 'Barack Obama?'
6. Firmly Click 'Yes.'
7. Feel better? GOOD! -
Tomorrow we'll do Nancy Pelosi
2)The Shifting Paradigm of Islam
By G. Murphy Donovan
Richard Cohen of the Washington Post has discovered an Egyptian anti-Semite. Unfortunately, the object of Cohen's ire has been dead for over four decades. Yes, Cohen, who once labeled Israel a "historical mistake," has taken to the pages of the Washington Post to chastise a martyred cadaver. Indeed, Cohen castigates The Economist for its review of Sayyid Qutb's biography, which celebrates Sayyid's contributions to contemporary Islamic political "reform" while ignoring the bigotry for which he is equally famous. Cohen's column makes you wonder where he and the American press corps have been for the last fifty years. Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood (al Ikwan) have already been taken to the woodshed by Cohen's betters: the likes of Paul Johnson, Bernard Lewis, and Paul Berman. Cohen also suggests that the line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is starting to get thin. Do you think, Dick?
There are precious few columns in the Post or other dailies about contemporary home-grown anti-Semitism and hate speech like that of Louis Farrakhan (aka Louis Walcott) of the Nation of Islam and Malik Zulu Shabazz (aka Paris Lewis) of the New Black Panthers. Indeed, Cohen could audit Farrakhan's hate speech on one of his many visits to Howard University right there in Washington, D.C. In case anyone missed it, the old Panthers, who were once garden-variety black nationalists, have been hijacked by another malignant strain of Islam. Most of the "new" cats are radical Muslims.
But the most egregious negligence of the press on all things Islamic is their failure to track the bloom of foreign Muslim study programs, cultural centers, mosques, and related organizations in the West -- especially those on American university campuses. Indeed, one of the more notable Saudi-funded institutes thrives, again, in Cohen's backyard at Georgetown University.
The Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding is funded by "Prince" Alwaleed, whose autocratic family, the house of al Saud, mandates Wahhabism as the state religion of Saudi Arabia. Alwaleed owns three palaces, the world's largest yacht, and the world's largest private airplane. He was educated in U.S. schools, yet he still practices polygamy. Alwaleed's lifestyle and similar Saud family excesses help make countrymen like Osama bin Laden possible.
A Freedom House study of Wahhabi publications used in American mosques concluded that the Saudi brand of Islam:opposed all nonbelievers, advocated hatred of all other religions, and blamed "democracy" for the pathologies of the 20th century. Wahhabis also control the Islamic shrines at Mecca and Medina, sacred to Muslims of all stripes yet off-limits to nonbelievers, infidels, and dar al harb (literally "the house of war").
There are no Jewish or Christian centers of "understanding" in Saudi Arabia. Cohen and most of his journalistic colleagues have been remarkably incurious about the ideology, funding, and objectives of a host of Islamic propagandists, most of whom originate in the Arab world. Many scholars suggest that Saudi Arabia alone may have spent as much as "87 billion dollars" to date to spread "theofacism."
No surprise, then, when John Esposito, the noisy Catholic director of the Alwaleed Center, was quick to come to the defense of the Ground Zero mosque -- beating even President Obama to the punch. Twenty million Saudi petro-dollars did not come to Georgetown University without political obligations or ideological strings.
It's difficult to know what Catholic hierarchies believe they have in common with Islamist elites.
Take Turkey as an illustration. The Turks have long been held up as an example of Islamic "moderation," yet starting with the Armenian genocide (1915), official state policy has sought to eliminate all vestiges of ecumenicism in what was arguably the oldest Christian diocese in the world. The only seminary in Turkey has been closed now by Ankara fiat, and without clergy, the Christian congregation has been reduced to marginal numbers. The Eastern Rite Orthodox patriarch in Istanbul has sought a dialogue with the Islamist regime in Ankara for years -- to no avail. Anatolian Christianity is being exterminated in slow motion. Even in the so-called "moderate" Muslim world, tolerance is a one-way street.
No less an Islamic eminence than the Turkish prime minister has put a stake through the heart of moderation. Indeed, on several occasions, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that to put the adjective "moderate" before the noun "Muslim" is an insult to Islam: "The term 'moderate Islam' is ugly and offensive; Islam is Islam." If Muslims themselves don't believe in Islamic moderation, why is this myth so pervasive among Europeans and Americans?
Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, discredited Swiss professor of taqiyya (the Islamic art of deception), and celebrated "moderate," was recently granted a visa, courtesy of Hillary Clinton, to tour the American academy, including a stop at Georgetown University. Previously, Ramadan had been offered a university sinecure at Notre Dame University. Ramadan, labeled a "dangerous" man by the French foreign minister, is notorious for breathing fire at young European Muslims while singing dulcet notes of moderation when speaking French or English to infidels. Ramadan defends the infamous Islamic practice of stoning women. How moderate is that?
Clearly, academic America is motivated by petro-dollars, seen as an alternative revenue stream. These same scholars seem all too anxious to return the favor by defending Islamism and associated practices on cue under the burkas of ecumenicism, culture, and moderation. Tolerating intolerance in the name of tolerance is not a virtue; it is an oxymoron, the first impenetrable paradox of the early 21th century.
Richard Cohen's opinion columns and similar reporting, like those of Michelle Boorstein, are typical of most journalism or academic writing on all things Islamic -- more notable for what it excludes or ignores. Qutb is not simply a lone agitator for Muslim irredentism; that creed is now spread by the global reach of the Muslim Brotherhood, cutouts, and subsidiaries. Hamas and al-Qaeda are just two of the more notorious military spin-offs of the Brotherhood.
The spread of an equally virulent Wahhabism with Saudi monies is complemented by a plethora of irredentist Deobandi seminaries in Pakistan. Sixty percent of Pakistani clerics attend such religious schools. Deobandi, Taliban, and al-Qaeda fanaticism are now the dominant Islamic idioms in South Asia. In flood-ravaged Pakistan, the void created by Islamabad incompetence is being filled by radicals.
With the help of Arab financing, the spread of radical Islamic proselytizing centers in the form of mosques, cultural centers, and madrasses now threatens the myth of Islamic "moderation" -- especially in Europe and America. The moderation paradigm has been carefully cultivated, with little or no evidence, by a combination of Islamic missionaries, venal academics, naïve journalists, and fearful politicians in the West.
Nonetheless, major Arab states like Saudi Arabia (the richest), the Emirates, Egypt (the most populous), Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and the two Palestines are slowly shedding the veils of victimhood. World Health Organization studies of Egypt alone suggest that as many as 90% of Egyptian women have been castrated. Consanguinity in the Emirates is thought to be 50% among Arabs.
Even if terrorism, Sharia financing, and jihad proselytizing were set aside, the prevalence of these and other irredentist practices, which also include fatwas (summary judgments), honor killings, beheadings, amputations, stoning, flogging, polygamy, and child marriage, would put the lie to any conventional notions of "moderation" in the Muslim world. Arguments about whether these traditions are religious or cultural are becoming less and less relevant. These practices are being exposed as part of the weft and warp of dar al Islam.
Not every Muslim is a terrorist, yet nearly every terrorist these days is a Muslim. In the past year, 90 terror groups struck in 83 countries, where there were nearly 60,000 casualties. Sunni attacks alone accounted for more than half the victims.
Recent Pew surveys of Arab attitudes towards Jews put another nail in the moderation coffin. In the countries surveyed, negative attitudes towards Jews were well north of 90%. Europeans and Americans didn't fare much better.
While perceptions about the Sunni side of the Islamic equation are shifting in Europe and America, there has never been any doubt about radical Shiite irredentism in Iran and elsewhere. Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, a novel which mocks the Koran and Mohamed, still has a Shiite price on his head. Indeed, just as theocratic Arabs hijacked a noble Egyptian culture over time, and a more recent surge of Shia Islamists has commandeered a noble Persian tradition. Israel, Europe, and America are now in the crosshairs. Nonetheless, signs of blowback are appearing in both worlds.
In 1962, Thomas Kuhn published The Structures of Scientific Revolutions, a groundbreaking study of shifting paradigms. Kuhn argued that reasonable observers might look at the same evidence and come to radically different conclusions because both proceed with different biases or assumptions. He also argued that the reconciliation of conflicting views, paradigm shifts, is glacial -- often requiring a new generation of analysts.
The conventional wisdom about Islam, or more precisely its status as a morally equivalent religious culture, is starting to shift. The tectonic plates of opinion are moving almost imperceptibly towards the recognition of radical Islam as a necrotic menace, an undemocratic, if not toxic, political paradigm. Appropriately enough, the early evidence of the shift is iconic.
In 2002, a Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, was found decapitated and literally decimated (cut into ten pieces) by Islamists in Pakistan. Then there was the award-winning 2007 UNICEF "engagement" photo of a nine-year-old girl and a bearded, aging patriarch. Then comes the photo of a mutilated young Afghan girl on the cover of Time Magazine, nose and ears cut off by Islamic fanatics for some minor transgression. The girl was rescued on a roadside by some American GIs before she bled to death.
Most recently, in New York City, the Ground Zero mosque and its controversial imam have been swept up in a vortex of public dismay over the cleric's politics and foreign finances and Islam's dismissal of American sensitivities. "In your face" is sometimes out of place even in Manhattan.
Defenders of the mosque refuse to recognize the politics, foreign financing, or the religious double standards of Muslims, and especially Arabs, when it comes to infidel (aka "unclean") churches and/or synagogues in Muslim countries. Adding insult to injury, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has been hired by the U.S. State Department as an American outreach (sic) spokesman to the Emirates. Americans are beginning to recognize the lengths to which apologists will go to defend the indefensible. Public opinion polls reflect that dismay.
The Islamic paradigm is shifting in Europe and America. And the questions these changes raise have global consequences. As the appeasement paradigm oxidizes, the West will ask itself why non-Muslims should sacrifice their children and treasure to save Islam from itself. And if fanaticism is more of a threat to dar al Islam than the West, infidels need to know why "moderate" Arab and Muslim armies are not at the front. Europe and America will also need to know why "moderate" Arab treasure is not financing the fight against extremism -- instead of buying yachts, palaces, and propaganda pulpits in Europe and America.
As we speak, Saudi Sunnis are praying that the Israelis will make short work of Shiite apostates in Tehran. Yet the question remains: why should Israel, Europe, or America fight any battles for or within Islam?
All of this raises a ultimate strategic question: what are the consequences of a transient Islamist triumph in South Asia or the Middle East? Do we continue to support Muslim royals, oligarchs, and tyrants, or do we let them fall to their fate in the hands of fellow believers? If the Israeli experience provides any precedent, no amount of reason or appeasement (see land for peace) will placate Muslim elites or radical insurgents.
The short answer may be that any merger of Islamist non-states and Islamic state actors simplifies the targeting problem. The West may die from a thousand cuts before it prevails in any series of debilitating guerrilla wars. Conversely, NATO still retains the conventional and nuclear superiority to make short work of state actors. If conflict is inevitable, why let a weaker, decentralized adversary dictate the terms of the fight?
Tactical simplicity often provides strategic clarity. Islam is not a monolith, nor is it a monoculture; nonetheless, for too many, it aspires to be both. These aspirations pit the irreconcilable paradigms of theofacism and democracy against each other. The coming clash will not be military, political, religious, or cultural; it will be all of these.
The author is a Vietnam veteran, former senior RAND Corp. research fellow, and former Intelligence officer. He also writes at Agnotology in Journalism and G. Murphy Donovan.
2a)Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond's book:
Slavery, Terrorism and Islam:
The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat
Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life.
Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military
components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other
Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to
agitate for their religious privileges.
When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies
agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the
other components tend to creep in as well.
Here's how it works:
As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given
country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving
minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:
United States -- Muslim 0.6%
Australia -- Muslim 1.5%
Canada -- Muslim 1.9%
China -- Muslim 1.8%
Italy -- Muslim 1.5%
Norway -- Muslim 1.8%
At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and
disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among
street gangs. This is happening in:
Denmark -- Muslim 2%
Germany -- Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom -- Muslim 2.7%
Spain -- Muslim 4%
Thailand -- Muslim 4.6%
From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their
percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the
introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby
securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure
on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves -- along with
threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:
France -- Muslim 8%
Philippines -- Muslim 5%
Sweden -- Muslim 5%
Switzerland -- Muslim 4.3%
Netherlands -- Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad & Tobago -- Muslim 5.8%
At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them
to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law.
The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the
When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase
lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we
are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam and
results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam , with opposition
to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen
daily, particularly in Muslim sections in:
Guyana -- Muslim 10%
India -- Muslim 13.4%
Israel -- Muslim 16%
Kenya -- Muslim 10%
Russia -- Muslim 15%
After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad
militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian
churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:
Ethiopia -- Muslim 32.8%
At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks,
and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:
Bosnia -- Muslim 40%
Chad -- Muslim 53.1%
Lebanon -- Muslim 59.7%
From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of
all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic
cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax
placed on infidels, such as in:
Albania -- Muslim 70%
Malaysia -- Muslim 60.4%
Qatar -- Muslim 77.5%
Sudan -- Muslim 70%
After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run
ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the
infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and
in some ways is on-going in:
Bangladesh -- Muslim 83%
Egypt -- Muslim 90%
Gaza -- Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia -- Muslim 86.1%
Iran -- Muslim 98%
Iraq -- Muslim 97%
Jordan -- Muslim 92%
Morocco -- Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan -- Muslim 97%
Palestine -- Muslim 99%
Syria -- Muslim 90%
Tajikistan -- Muslim 90%
Turkey -- Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates -- Muslim 96%
100% will usher in the peace of 'Dar-es-Salaam' -- the Islamic House of
Peace. Here there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim,
the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such
Afghanistan -- Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia -- Muslim 100%
Somalia -- Muslim 100%
Yemen -- Muslim 100%
Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most
radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust
by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons.
'Before I was nine, I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me
against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family
against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; the tribe
against the world, and all of us against the infidel. -- Leon Uris, 'The
It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under
100% Muslim populations, such as France, the minority Muslim populations
live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which
they live by Sharia Law. The national police do not even enter these
ghettos. There are no national courts, nor schools, nor non-Muslim
religious facilities. In such situations, Muslims do not integrate into
the community at large. The children attend madrasses. They learn only
the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with
death. Therefore, in some areas of certain nations, Muslim Imams and
extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate.
Today's 1.5 billion Muslims make up 22% of the world's population. But
their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus,
Buddhists, Jews, and all other believers. Muslims will exceed 50% of the
world's population by the end of this century.
Well, boys and girls, today we are letting the fox guard the henhouse.
The wolves will be herding the sheep!
Obama appoints two devout Muslims to Homeland Security posts. Doesn't
this make you feel safer already?
Obama and Janet Napolitano appoint Arif Alikhan, a devout Muslim, as
Assistant Secretary for Policy Development.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano swore in Kareem Shora, a devout Muslim
who was born in Damascus , Syria , as ADC National Executive Director as a
member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).
NOTE: Has anyone ever heard a new government official being identified
as a devout Catholic, a devout Jew or a devout Protestant...? Just
Devout Muslims being appointed to critical Homeland Security positions?
Doesn't this make you feel safer already??
That should make the US ' homeland much safer, huh!!
Was it not "Devout Muslim men" that flew planes into U.S. buildings 8
Was it not a Devout Muslim who killed 13 at Fort Hood ?
Also: This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish. Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities. Can a good Muslim be a good American? This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his reply:
Theologically - no . . . Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon God of Arabia
Religiously – no… Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)(Koran)
Scripturally - no… Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.
Geographically – no… Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
Socially - no… Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews..
Politically - no…Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction ofAmerica , the great Satan.
Domestically - no… Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34)
Intellectually - no… Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
Philosophically - no… Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression.. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
Spiritually - no… Because when we declare 'one nation under God,' the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran's 99 excellent names.
Therefore, after much study and deliberation....
Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS
in this country. - - - They obviously cannot be both 'good' Muslims and good Americans.
Call it what you wish, it's still the truth. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future. The religious war is bigger than we know or understand.
Can a muslim be a good soldier???
Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire at Ft. Hood and killed 13. He is a good Muslim!!!
Footnote: The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within.
SO FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.
2b)Obama on 9/11 anniversary: We're not at war with Islam, but with terrorists that distorted it.
U.S. President affirms the right to build mosques in Manhattan, as Muslims protest plans to burn the Koran.
U.S. President Barack Obama vowed that the US was "not going to be divided by religion," at a press conference on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City on September 11, 2001.
"It is absolutely important now for the overwhelming majority of the American people to hang onto that thing that is best in us: A belief in religious tolerance (and) clarity about who our enemies are."
"We are not at war with Islam," Obama said. "We are at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or used the banner of Islam to engage in their destructive acts."
Controversies have overshadowed the commemoration on Saturday of the terrorist attacks. Fanatic Muslims hijacked four passenger planes on September 11, 2001 and killed nearly 3,000 people in New York City, where the World Trade Center towers collapsed, and in Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
Obama also again weighed in on the plans for a New York City Islamic center near the 2001 terrorist attack site. Plans to build an Islamic community centre near the New York site have provoked opposition among politicians and family members of victims.
"Muslims should be able to build wherever other religious groups can build," Obama said, adding that the United States stood for equality of all men and women, and of their right to "practice their religion freely."
"What that means is that if you could build a church on a site you could build a synagogue on a site, if you could build a Hindu temple on a site, then you should be able to build a mosque on a site," Obama said at a press conference.
Obama did not directly mention the New York mosque, but his comments clarified earlier statements he has made about the controversy, which has become a national hot potato ahead of upcoming congressional elections.
Obama recognized "the extraordinary sensitivities around 9/11," but added that as commander in chief, he had "Muslims who are fighting in Afghanistan" for the U.S. To honor their service, Obama said Americans must be "crystal clear" that those soldiers "understand that we don't differentiate between them and us."
"It's just 'us'," he said.
The U.S. government is worried about a violent backlash, with tens of thousands of its soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, as obscure Florida Pastor Terry Jones has threatened to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday, in protest of the Muslim religion.
Obama said on Friday that he hopes the "individual in Florida prays on it and refrains from doing it."
Waves of demonstrations have rippled across the Muslim world against the plans to burn the Koran and have led to the death of at least one protester in Afghanistan Friday, when Afghan police opened fire on demonstrators in Faizabad.
The uproar also coincides with the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
3)U.S.Affairs:Speak softly and carry a big check
By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER
Scarred by decades of failed attempts at Mideast peacemaking, the current US administration is charting a smarter, more learned approach.
WASHINGTON – When US Middle East envoy George Mitchell took to the podium to brief the press during the first day of direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations on Thursday, he began by saying that he would not be very forthcoming with the details.
He made good on his warning a few minutes later when a CBS News reporter began a question by asking whether the two sides had discussed the issue of settlements.
“As I said at the outset, what I will be able to disclose to you... will be limited,” Mitchell responded. “And so you’ve given me the first opportunity to invoke that principle with respect to the first part of your question, for which I thank you.”
Though his response was more elaborate – and humorous – than most on the subject, it was only the latest in a recent string of responses from American officials avoiding discussing settlements or even using the term.
David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy described the reticence as partly an effort to keep the highly scripted launch of negotiations on track without any controversial comments that “could rain on the parade.” According to Makovsky, “Nobody wanted anything that would be stated publicly to mar the occasion and remind [people] why they were so skeptical.”
That approach, however, stands in marked contrast to the emphasis – often publicly and at the highest levels – that the Obama administration once put on settlements in its bid to restart the negotiating process.
As Mitchell himself announced a few months after taking office in 2009, “Our focus right now is to create the context for the resumption and early conclusion of meaningful negotiations. To help achieve this, we’re asking all parties to take meaningful steps. For the Israelis, that means a stop to settlements.”
That point was reiterated – and clarified by top White House and State Department officials to include east Jerusalem and natural growth – repeatedly through March, when settlement policy led to one of the most serious breaches between the US and Israel in years. When construction in Ramat Shlomo was approved as Vice President Joe Biden arrived for what was supposed to be a goodwill tour, he ended up condemning Israel’s settlement policy during his marquee speech to the Israeli public.
That officials are now going to lengths to stay mum on the topic seems a tacit acknowledgement that the previous public proclamations didn’t achieve their aim. As Makovsky succinctly put it, “They think it didn’t get anywhere.”
Indeed, though the idea was to get quickly to peace talks – originally slated to take off a year ago – the public emphasis on s e t t l e m e n t s was seen by many as making it more difficult for both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to come to the table.
The Israeli public lost faith in US support with its public criticism of policies that had traditionally been dealt with more discreetly, particularly when it involved neighborhoods in Jerusalem and settlement blocs long understood to remain within Israel in any peace deal. Abbas, for his part, made a settlement freeze a precondition for talks though it had never before been one; he told one interviewer that he couldn’t accept less than the Americans were requiring.
Biden, in fact, had been dispatched to Jerusalem to sooth just those tensions when his trip ended up sparking an even bigger crisis between the two countries. Congress and the American Jewish community began to loudly voice their displeasure. One of the points many made in the aftermath was that this issue was best dealt with behind closed doors.
“The administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel,” an American Israel Public Affairs Committee statement stressed. “We strongly urge the administration to work closely and privately with our partner Israel.”
In the end, Netanyahu only agreed to a 10-month moratorium on construction that didn’t include east Jerusalem. It is set to end on September 26.
The issue now looms as one that could rupture talks that have only just begun. Abbas, facing public criticism over his participation in negotiations, has threatened to walk out if the moratorium isn’t extended.
Netanyahu, in a coalition dominated by right-wing politicians, has already stated that his government hasn’t changed its position.
So the administration has been urgently consulting with both sides on ways to bridge the divide, whether through additional gestures to the Palestinians, extending the freeze in some areas but not others or discouraging any change on the ground regardless of the stated policy.
ONE CONSTANT has been the silent nature of these conversations.
“There’s no doubt that the tone of the administration through March of this year stands in sharp contrast to where they are today. Now their goal is to have a successful negotiation,” Makovsky said. When it comes to dealing with settlements in that context, “the way to do that is work it quietly and behind the scenes.”
American officials understand that domestic politics are at play for both audiences and that forcing Netanyahu to make public declarations on settlements could only further inflame the opposition of those on the Right. Raising the profile could force him to take a more strident public line, which would in turn make Abbas less able to back down.
By working the situation quietly, they can give both leaders more space to maneuver.
Aaron David Miller, a former US Middle East peace negotiator and author of The Much Too Promised Land, referred to the current approach as “a variant of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’” Miller, though, pointed out that there’s another “paradoxical” reason why the rhetoric on settlements has changed: Now that peace talks have started, the Americans care less about them.
He described US officials as extremely focused on settlements before talks began because they saw them as destructive to the atmosphere of trust between the two sides the US wants to foster.
But once talks began, settlements become just another issue to be negotiated.
The focus becomes staying at the table rather than making moves outside the process, because ultimately it’s only at the table that settlements will be resolved.
“They will essentially accommodate them because the object is basically to end the conflict and deal with the settlement issue comprehensively,” he said.
Miller said that means the message the US is conveying to the Palestinians for now is: “Suck it up and stay at the table.”
4)Radical Islam winning clash of civilizations
By Clifford D. May
Nine years ago, I began a series of discussions about terrorism with Jack Kemp, Jeane Kirkpatrick and a small group of concerned philanthropists. Since today is the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities, that won’t surprise you. What might: Our first conversation took place before, not after, terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Those with whom I met grasped this: While America was cashing in the post-Cold War “peace dividend,” terrorists were bombing the World Trade Center (for what turned out to be the first time), slaughtering American troops at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, attacking American embassies in Africa and driving an explosive-laden boat into the USS Cole. Most political leaders, intelligence analysts, academics and journalists did not see much significance in this pattern.
In the weeks that followed, we organized the Foundation for Defense of Democracies to undertake research to better understand terrorism and the forces driving it; develop useful policy options and help educate the public.
Among the most significant lesson I’ve learned since then: Terrorism is not the core problem. It is merely the weapon of choice for some of the regimes, movements and ideologies that are waging a war against democratic societies.
The terrorists regard themselves as “jihadis” - heroic Islamic warriors and conquerors. They see their enemies as “infidels” - enemies of Allah. Yes, the jihadis and those who support them have grievances against America, Europe and Israel. But resolving policy differences is not their goal. Their goal is to defeat the West, and to restore to Muslims the power and glory they enjoyed in the past and which they are confident they are destined to enjoy again.
Not all those who seek this restoration engage in acts of terrorism or even support them. There are those - call them “Islamists” - who are not militants. They believe non-violent strategies can more effectively hasten the transition from the rule of law as constructed by men to the rule of law as ordained by Allah, along with the transfer of global dominance from Judeo-Christian societies to “the Muslim world.”
It should go without saying: Most of the world’s Muslims are not participating in this struggle, are not eager for bloodshed and do not want to live under clerical dictatorships. But if, as has been conservatively estimated, only 7 percent of the world’s Muslims support Jihadism and/or Islamism, that’s more than 80 million people - a formidable force backed by enormous oil wealth. By contrast, Islamic reformers and peacemakers are isolated, targeted and without substantial resources.
After 9/11, the Bush administration conceived this conflict as a “Global War on Terrorism.” The link with Islam as preached by fiery clerics was acknowledged but not examined. The Obama administration has backed away from even that incomplete analysis.
Government spokesmen now talk only of “violent extremism” and “overseas contingency operations.” The first term ignores the ideologies motivating those waging war against us. The second term denies that it’s a serious conflict. President Barack Obama has conceded that al-Qaeda is at war with the U.S. - as though that’s all there was to it; as though that explained something.
The Sunday Times of London reported last weekend that Iranians are paying members of the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. Think about that: Iran’s rulers are collaborating with the Taliban, an affiliate of al-Qaeda.
Political leaders and the intelligence community ought to be pondering what this means, what it will mean if Tehran succeeds in acquiring nuclear weapons and how to prevent such an eventuality. Based on past performance, it’s more likely that they are avoiding the question.
How encouraging that must be to the jihadis and Islamists in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Yemen, Gaza and other fronts. It will reassure them that, nine years after the 9/11 attacks, they are thinking strategically - while their infidel enemies are not.
Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute on terrorism.
5)America May Have Overreacted to September 11 … but Americans Didn’t
Reuel Marc Gerecht
Did America overreact to September 11? In a recent column in Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria answered that with an emphatic and mournful “yes.” In Mr. Zakaria’s telling, we’ve squandered billions of dollars heedlessly feeding our national security bureaucracies, which hardly provide us, as the French nicely put it, a very good rapport qualité-prix. Worse, we’ve created an intrusive, abrasive, civil-rights-mauling security and intelligence apparatus that “now touches every aspect of American-life, even when seemingly unrelated to terrorism.” Mr. Zakaria uses the book Zeitoun, about a Syrian-American who finds herself bounced around by National Guardsmen and other counterterrorist dimwits in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as an exemplar of American decency forfeited since September 11, via our never-ending war against Al Qaeda, an outfit that, as it turns out, really isn’t much of a threat at all.
I’m deeply sympathetic to the first half of Mr. Zakaria’s charge; the more serious bureaucratic and moral indictment, however, runs exactly counter to his. Concerning the wasted billions, the Department of Homeland Security, the rest of the agencies, departments, and bureaus that make up America’s national-security and intelligence complex, Mr. Zakaria is far too kind. The official American love affair with “bigger is better” was writ large by Congress and the White House after the nation watched jet-fueled bombs incinerate New York City’s most iconic skyscrapers and one side of the Pentagon.
Predictably, but unwisely, Democrats and Republicans demanded ludicrous amounts of funding for security and intelligence institutions whose functions they barely understood, and to counter a threat that had no resemblance to any the United States had confronted before. Armoring aircraft doors, tightening up airport security, and turning off the visa mill to Muslim men of an impressionable age was sufficient to discombobulate Al Qaeda’s penchant for aerial terrorism. The absolutely critical war in Afghanistan aside, many other things were required to play better defense and offense against Al Qaeda, other jihadist organizations, and Islamic radicalism in general. But none of these things required that much money or personnel.
Whatever the subject, “smaller-is-better” arguments seldom win the day in Washington. Americans may have once prided themselves on the ingenuity and freedom of their capitalist system, but bureaucratically Americans take second seat to no European. When confronting threats real or imagined (and Al Qaeda/bin Ladenism counts as one of the most lethal enemies we’ve ever encountered), Americans tend to go big, very big. (Here, there’s little real distance between Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich.) And when senior agency heads—“professionals” all—swear that they must have more case officers, analysts, field agents, police, technicians, translators, and any and all existing and even not-yet-existing counterterrorist technology and machinery … at least if we mean to postpone Armageddon … well, politicians just melt.
In my experience, senators and congressmen on select intelligence committees or staffers on the National Security Council rarely delve into the nitty-gritty of exactly how additional staff members accomplish anything of additional value. It is always good to recall that Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s most articulate (if not always sober and fair) Cold War critics, who knew the organization was stuffed with ill-informed analysts and prevaricating senior operatives, never once, to my knowledge, reduced Langley’s appropriations.
Now for the good news: I just peeked outside and we are emphatically not becoming a police state. We were not doing so under President George W. Bush and we are not doing so under President Barack Obama, who has left untouched most of his predecessor’s intelligence and counterterrorist programs and tactics (with the notable exception that Mr. Obama has been killing a lot more holy warriors with drones and attempting to capture and interrogate far fewer of them).
No doubt: Innocent Muslims find themselves caught in the net, but the truly grievous miscarriages of justice appear to have been relatively rare, especially given the scope of the threat that Al Qaeda and other jihadist organizations present. My former colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, Gary Schmitt, and I spent two years—2006 to 2008—visiting European internal-security and domestic-intelligence services. AEI has recently published a collection of essays—Safety, Liberty, and Islamist Terrorism—by Gary and European contributors that compares and contrasts American and European approaches to counterterrorism.
The conclusion: Contrary to received wisdom, Americans have been, if anything, more tentative and cautious in their approach to the jihadist threat than many of our European allies, who routinely use surveillance, administrative detention, and prosecutorial methods much more intrusive than those employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, our primary counterterrorist organization on the home front.
I’m quite certain that Mr. Zakaria might not approve of some of the things that France and Great Britain do (I don’t), but I doubt he’d depict either country as tilting over the edge of some dark abyss. In fact, even as France and Great Britain were gearing up their counterterrorist machinery after September 11 (the French didn’t have to do too much, as their own internal security organization, the DST, became well aware of what jihadists could do when terrorists tried to derail a high-speed train in 1995), their societies were becoming more open and liberal. Today, civil liberties are no more endangered among our two closest European allies, which also boast the two most effective Western counterterrorist systems, than they were before September 11.
So, too, in the United States. When I first flew into Washington after September 11 (I was then living abroad), a veiled Muslim woman searched my luggage. (A good call, given my mien and all the scribbled Middle Eastern and Central Asian visas in my passport.) Indeed, Mr. Zakaria’s rise to prominence after September 11 itself offers testimony to American openness, fairness, and good sense.
What becomes so striking about the United States after September 11—and the same may be said, perhaps a little less enthusiastically, of the Western Europeans—is how well-behaved Americans have been towards Muslim Americans. Cock-ups aside (and anyone who has worked in the internal-security or intelligence business knows that disheartening errors come with the turf in this very bureaucratic line of work), Americans have shown themselves to be models of tolerance, all the more given the insidiousness of the threat.
I suspect that even if Al Qaeda were to enthrall better-educated, more scientifically-skilled talent and wreak an even greater magnitude of havoc, our creedal emphasis on liberty, equality, and tolerance would keep Americans from enshrining collective guilt in official policy, or even in the popular imagination. Now, if only we could rid ourselves of the conviction that bigger is better and create a leaner counterterrorist bureaucracy. Then again, that would not be the American way.
Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard.
Group hug? Which side would you bet on?
A PARABLE FOR THE
The writer of this piece remains unknown. It was posted to a blog on the internet ... 18 June 2009.
The Jews settled the moon in 2053, just about five years after the end of the Islamic Wars of the 40's, where the Middle East, and Israel, of course, had been obliterated by nuclear weapons. The two million Jews remaining throughout the rest of the world - less than 100,000 total in all the Islamic countries - banded together and purchased the dark side of the moon, which no other companies or people wished to colonize.
Great transports were arranged via the 62,000 mile space elevator and the Space Shuttle and every Jew on Earth - including anyone who claimed any Jewish heritage whatsoever - left to go to a place where no one could blame them for anything.
The Earth rejoiced - happily rid of all Jews . There were huge parties throughout all of Sweden and the rest of Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and North America. (Now known as the Northern Alliance of Islamic States after the United States was taken over peacefully in the elections of 2040 by a predominantly Muslim Congress and President, who immediately passed amendments making Islam the main religion of the United States and the world.)
After the last Jew entered the elevator (a David Goldstein, 72, formerly of New York), the Earth was officially declared Judenrein by Hans Ibn Hitler, a great, great-grandson of Hitler who had been raised in Brazil and hidden by Nazis until this precious moment.
It was not an easy move for the Jews but, in some ways, it was no different from all their moves of previous eras. Some former Israelis (still alive because they were out of Israel when the bombs dropped) claimed that the moon was easier to deal with because there were no Extremist Muslims. Of course, this precipitated a huge argument with some Jews, who felt not having the Radical Muslims nearby was not enough challenge.
Other Jews argued that taming a wilderness with no atmosphere, plant or animal life and freezing temperatures was enough challenge. And yet other Jews argued that arguing was counterproductive. It came as no surprise to anyone that for the two million Jews, there were eventually two hundred fifty thousand synagogues with one million members (with the other million Jews not joining).
It was also no surprise that within just three years, the Jews had created a controlled environment that allowed for fantastic plant and animal growth and production. The transports, which had been called the Arks, had also carried two of each animal and plant (remember, Noah), and through the ingenuity of the Jews and cloning, there were now many new species which sped up production of food (cows with six udders, chickens with four legs and so forth). The population had rapidly increased and, due to the amazing collection of scientific and medical minds, most diseases and even aging had been reduced to nil.
There was even a ministry of communication with Earth, consisting of the remains of Hollywood producers and moviemakers, who sent back to Earth portraits of life on the moon. Of course, it had been decided when the Jews first got to the moon - based on six-thousand-year history of people being jealous of Jewish accomplishment - that all news coverage of the moon's population would be 'movie-ized' to show only horrible things. The film industry, led by Jordan Spielberg, went to great lengths to fabricate news clips to show Jews barely surviving in the harsh lunar habitat. Artists and engineers laboured to cover over vast environmental successes with illusionary domes showing massive areas of wasteland - just in case anyone from Earth ever sent a spaceship with cameras to see what was going on.
But no-one ever did, and the years passed rapidly; one decade, then another. bar mitzvahs, weddings, brises, all celebrated under the artificial world that the Jews had created - not only had it not been that bad, but by the end of the century, some Jewish authors were calling the moon colony - Eden 2'.
Of course other Jews disagreed. In fact, much time was spent on disagreeing. There were even contests for arguing but, in general, there was peace. Anyone who threatened the peace was forced to officiate at a contest with people arguing about why that person was wrong. The contests would go on for days (sometimes weeks), until the troublemaker begged for forgiveness. (Many penalties on the moon were similar to this, and were extremely effective.)
Back on Earth, life disintegrated without the Jews. There was a return to Middle Ages thought - only the current religion du jour was valid - all others were kept legislated into poverty until a war erupted and the positions changed for a few years.
Another amazing anomaly appeared when there were no longer any Jews on Earth - anti-Semitism actually increased to monumental proportions! Famous orators explained this simply by saying: 'I don't have to have a gun to be afraid of having my brains blown out.' Additionally, without the presence of the Jew, the world developed incredible evil that had no release. (Previous evil had always focused on the Jews. One Rabbi on the moon actually said G-d spoke to him, and said that He, G-d, was about to destroy the Earth because everyone on the Earth was evil. The Rabbi begged Him to reconsider, and bargained that if there were 1,000 good people left on Earth, G-d should spare the planet. G-d then told the Rabbi, 'Hey, I went through this before with Abraham and Noah, and I already know the answer because I'm G-d.'
People laughed at the Rabbi, but then, one day, while all the lunar citizens were going about their business, an enormous series of explosions was seen on the Earth. Everyone on the moon stared at the distant fireballs that seemed to engulf the blue planet that was once their home.
Although there had been great anger at being forced to leave the Earth, the true spirit of Judaism was always present on the moon, and no one had wished ill on to their former home. As in the tradition of the Seder (when the wine is spilled because the Egyptians perished, and we do not rejoice fully when even an enemy has died) when the Jews saw what was happening, they began to weep and pray, and watch what was to be the final news broadcast from Earth. The horror of the apocalypse was videotaped by cameras until all electricity was ionised by the new electron bombs. Entire countries were wiped away in the blink of an ion exploding. And then came the final transmission from the nation that had started the entire mess - it was a desperate headline screamed by a hundred dying newscasters. Their rant continued until it was just blackness. What were they saying? As the Jews watched, some gasped, others cried, and a few even laughed. For the last words of the disappearing civilization was a condemnation. 'The Jews have caused all our problems - they left us here to face the mess they made. If the Jews hadn't taken all the best scientists and engineers, we could have defeated our enemies. Our enemies are the Jews! Kill all the Jews.'
It took a little while, but the electronics experts pieced together what had happened on Earth during its last days. Anti-Semitism, which had grown stronger and stronger since the Jews had left, had reached its pinnacle, and all the countries of the world had decided to launch a massive attack on the moon. The attack had been coordinated by the United Nations and, although all the missiles had been launched properly, there was some sort of glitch in the targeting system, resulting in all the weapons colliding in the upper atmosphere and showering the Earth with a deadly rain of nuclear fire, electronic destruction, and a generally bad day. The mistake triggered the military response of all the nations (who all had nuclear weapons by then - plus a few other horrid toys), and the result was truly an Armageddon.
The Jews on the moon went into a period of deep mourning. The Orthodox rent their clothing and there were mass counseling sessions. And then, about one week after the BIG DAY, as it was now called, a presence was detected heading towards the moon. Had one of the missiles escaped? Were the Jews doomed after all? The leaders checked with the defense experts - no this was not a missile, it was an old-style spacecraft, like the ones used in the early seventies. As it approached, the laser defense was trained on the craft. Debates raged as to whether the craft should be destroyed or allowed to get close enough to communicate with.
A message from the ship came just in time. It said, 'We are the last representatives from Earth - two from each country and we come in peace.' Some Jews rejoiced that there were survivors, others demanded isolation or death of the approaching group.
The Rabbi who had had the vision of earth's destruction told the leaders that G-d wanted them to have a chance, so they were allowed to circle the moon. When told they could have a section of land to themselves to farm and repopulate, the Earthlings were upset. They told the Jews that they should be allowed to live with the Jews and have all the same privileges - because, after all, in Judaism, the stranger is given the same rights and privileges as the citizen.
Upon hearing this, the leaders went to the Rabbi with the visions, and he offered to guide the visitors to their new home. The leaders allowed him to give the instructions for landing. Of course, not trusting the Rabbi, the commander of the ship didn't listen to his advice, and instead crashed into a lunar crater.
And so we have the final days of the history of the planet Earth, which have been generously shared with us by the Jewish colony of the 453rd Solar System of the M Galaxy. Although the Earth is currently uninhabitable, the head engineer of the Jewish colony on Mars tells us that Venus will be fully colonized by the year 2120, and with continuous replanting, Earth will once again be ready for Jews returning from other planets in the year 2136.
An interesting side note - inside the wreckage of the rocket with the survivors from Earth was a specially-marked package that had survived which included the following words: 'Once there was a great planet named Earth. And there were many peoples on this planet, and they all existed peacefully with each other, except for the Jews. Wherever there were Jews, there was trouble. Jews brought dirt and death and hatred and strife. They were finally banished from our planet, only to take with them many great inventors and scientists and doctors, leaving Earth with nothing. We have decided to destroy the remnants of the Jews, and since the first attempt failed, we are the last chance for Earth. Whoever shall find this will know the truth - It was all the Jews' fault.'
This panel has been saved and is on display at the Earth Memorial Museum at Rivka Crater, NW, for all travelers who wish to see the remains of a civilization that did not understand the words - 'He who blesses the Jews, is himself blessed. He who curses the Jews, is himself cursed.'