Friday, February 18, 2011

Egypt from the Left

by Arnold Ahlert

If one were to confine their reading to progressive outposts, one could be forgiven for believing that a glorious new age of freedom and democracy is emerging in the Middle East. Yet while it is arguable that democracy, as represented by the overthrow of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and ongoing unrest in Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Bahrain and Iran, may indeed be developing, the idea that freedom is an integral part of such developments is questionable at best. The “people’s triumph” as it was referred to by Anand Gopal in a column for The Nation, may yield a far less triumphant future, when short-term jubilation gives way to long-term reality.

As expected, while events are still be viewed through progressive, rose-colored glasses, the removal of despotic regimes in the Middle East accrues to Barack Obama’s credit. The “Bush Doctrine,” a central plank of which included the idea of establishing democracies in the region to combat terror, is dismissed by Nation columnist Ari Berman as a “messianic, barrel-of-a-gun foreign policy,” which pales by comparison to the “grassroots, bottom-up spirit of the Obama [presidential] campaign.” Mr. Berman extrapolates: “Would the Egyptian youth have taken to the streets during the invasion of Iraq? Only to denounce the imperialism and recklessness of the United States. It was only after the election of Barack Obama—and his repositioning of the United States as a friend to the Arab world, most notably during his visionary speech in Cairo in June 2009—that pro-democracy activists in Tehran and Cairo saw a friendly ally in the United States.”

Perhaps Mr. Berman’s memory is somewhat faulty. When Iranian protesters took to the streets to protest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s stolen election–within days of Mr. Obama’s “visionary speech”–the president decided that “meddling” in Iranian affairs was a bridge too far. ”It is not productive, given the history of US and Iranian relations to be seen as meddling in Iranian elections,” he said. The president went further at a later time, explaining that ”[t]he difference between Ahmadinejad and [Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein] Mousavi, in terms of their actual policies, may not be as great as has been advertised.” Perhaps the president might explain how the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most politically viable “opposition group,” whose slogan, ”Allah is our objective, the Prophet is our leader, the Koran is our law, jihad is our way, and dying in the way of Allah is our highest objective” represents a contrast “in actual policies” to the Mubarak regime.

And then there is the characterization of the Egyptian protesters themselves. Uri Aveny, writing for Counterpunch, described them as “non-violent, their demands were reasonable, their actions were spontaneous, they obviously expressed the feelings of the vast majority of the people. Without any organization to speak of, without leadership, they said and did all the right things.” Yet several news people covering the uprising were roughed up, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who claims he was beaten by “pro-Mubarak supporters.” Perhaps he was. Or perhaps not. As Cooper himself put it, ”There was no rhyme or reason to it—it was just people looking for a fight, looking to make a point, and punching us.” ABC’s Christiane Amanpour had her car surrounded by part of the mob. She reported that they said, ”We hate Americans.” And in a story which CBS News sat on for almost a week, it has been revealed that reporter Lara Logan, “covering the jubilation,” as CBS put it, was sexually assaulted by a mob of Egyptian men who beat her up badly enough to put her in a U.S. hospital, where her condition is described as “serious.” It was reported that the men were shouting, “Jew, Jew!” as the assault took place.

Why would CBS sit on a legitimate news story? CBS says Ms. Logan wanted to maintain her privacy. Yet CBS could have announced that one of their reporters in Egypt had been sexually assaulted without naming names. One suspects a mob of sexual predators with anti-Semitic tendencies conflicts with the prevailing characterization of “non-violent” and “reasonable” Egyptians. This reality doesn’t exactly validate the description given by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, who wrote of a “Twitter-enabled Tahrir youth” that embodied “one the great triumphs of the human spirit.” Nor does it square with Huffington Post columnist Clarence B. Jones’ contention that the Egyptian uprising was “a massive eloquent validation of the moral force and power of non-violent civil disobedience” comparable to the “legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Yet reality itself is in play. Apparently drawing on the energy of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Iranian protesters are once again taking to the streets in another attempt to bring down the Islamic theocracy running their country. And despite the fact that the Obama administration took a pass in 2009 on arguably the greatest opportunity to engender real change in the Middle East, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintained that ”[o]ur message has been consistent and it remains the same. We wish the opposition and the brave people in the streets across cities in Iran, you know, the same opportunity that they saw their Egyptian counterpart seize in the last week.” Mrs. Clinton further claimed that the administration supports “the universal human rights of the Iranian people.”

Universal human rights? To use Mrs. Clinton’s own phrase, the idea that either she or the president have consistently supported universal human rights requires the “willing suspension of disbelief” that the Secretary herself expressed when the universal human rights of the Iraqi people were being supported by General David Petraeus and the Bush administration. Then, and even now, many of those on the left who criticized the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, which is more correctly characterized as the abandonment of freedom for stability, are unfazed by a double-standard of “consistency” which apparently necessitates Mrs. Clinton’s attempt to re-write history with regard to Iran. Perhaps progressives believe democratic and/or freedom movements should only be initiated by locals. This might partially explain why the “good war” in Afghanistan, the one they championed as a contrast to the “bad war” in Iraq, is no longer good.

Where is the Middle East headed? Islamist apologist Mark Levine offers a sobering, if somewhat inaccurate assessment in the Huffington Post: ”No one knew what the next days would bring, but everyone knew that they had been part of something incredible, which no one would be able to take away from them. After centuries of Ottoman, British, monarchical, and military rule, Egypt was free–at least for a night.”

Egypt is still being ruled by the military, Mr Levine. And as further nights give way to further days, the world will see whether the “incredible” uprisings taking place across the region give way to genuine democratic reforms, or if those reforms become nothing more than a stepping stone for Islamic jihadists to impose Sharia law across the entire region.

As this writer and others have noted, there is a vast difference between one man, one vote–and one man, one vote one time.

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Arnold Ahlert is a contributing columnist to the conservative website

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Islam and the Brutal Sex Assault of Lara Logan

by Jamie Glazov

[FrontPage Editor's note: The interview with Bill Warner below is reprinted from our Nov. 23, 2007 issue. The subject is Islamic theology's position on slavery and rape when it comes to kafirs (non-Muslims). Frontpage's editors thought it would be relevant in light of the vicious sex attack recently suffered by "60 Minutes" reporter Lara Logan at the hands of a mob in Egypt. It may not be insignificant that the perpetrators, as well as the supportive on-lookers, shouted "Jew! Jew!" during the assault.]

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Bill Warner, the director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam (CSPI) and spokesman for CSPI’s goal is to teach the doctrine of political Islam through its books and it has produced an eleven book series on political Islam. Mr. Warner did not write the CSPI series, but he acts as the agent for a group of scholars who are the authors. The Center’s latest book is The Submission of Women and Slaves, Islamic Duality.

FP: Bill Warner, welcome back to Frontpage Magazine. This is the second part in our two-part series with you on the Center’s most recent book. In the first part we discussed Islam and its doctrine on the submission of women. In this second and final part we will discuss the matter of slavery. Welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Warner: It is a pleasure to work with Frontpage.

FP: So tell us in general where Islam stands on slavery.

Warner: Islam’s stand on slavery is based on its political principles of submission and duality. The principle of submission could not be clearer. By definition a slave is the most submissive of all people. You become a slave only when you have no more choices. A slave has completely submitted to a master.

The principle of duality is shown by the fact that Islam does not enslave Muslims, only kafirs (non-Muslims). Since only kafirs are enslaved, it assures that more of the world submits to Islam.

Islamic slavery is based on the Trilogy of the Koran, the Sira (Mohammed’s life) and the Hadith (the Traditions of Mohammed). All three texts say that slavery is permitted, ethical, desirable and a virtue. There is not one single negative word about slavery.

Slavery is seen as a process that brings kafirs to Islam. It is a virtue to free slaves, but Mohammed only freed slaves who submitted to Islam. If the kafir slave does not submit, then their children will. So given enough time, slaves convert to Islam. That is one of the reasons that Islam sees slavery as a positive.

Of course, there is another reason that Islam sees slavery as being so “good” and that is the money. Mohammed and the other jihadists made a fortune out of enslaving kafirs. Mohammed used the money for more jihad. So slavery financed the spread of Islam and jihad from the beginning.

FP: What were the ingredients of Mohammed’s own life in terms of slavery?

Warner: Mohammed is the perfect pattern for all humanity and his life was saturated in slavery. When his mother died, it was a freed slave who nursed him. His first wife owned slaves. One of his first converts was a slave. His closest friend, Abu Bakr, traded one of his black kafir slaves for a Muslim who was enslaved by a kafir.

But all of this was small change compared to his envolvement with slavery once he turned to jihad. In his first major battle at Badr, he stood by and prayed as his henchmen beat and tortured captured slaves to get information about the enemy kafirs.

Slaves made Mohammed’s pulpit. Slaves mended his cloths, cooked his food, and did every thing that a slave does for the master. He gave away slaves as gifts and received them as gifts. He went to war to kill the males so that the remaining people would surrender to be sold as slaves. Mohammed sold slaves on both the retail and wholesale markets.

He offered captured slaves their freedom if they would first agree that he was the prophet of Allah. A kafir slave then became a slave of Allah, because all Muslims are slaves of Allah. For a slave, the religion of Mohammed started and ended with slavery.

FP: Can you talk a bit about Islam and sexual slavery?

Warner: All morality in Islam is patterned after the example of Mohammed. Everything that he did and said defines what is permitted or “good”. Mohammed repeatedly sanctioned forced sex (rape) with kafir females after they were captured. The Hadith clearly reports that he got first choice of the women. In one case, he repeatedly demanded one particular woman for himself and swapped two other kafir slave women for his choice. So if Mohammed was involved in the rape of kafirs, then rape is a virtue, not a sin or error.

When Mohammed destroyed the B. Qurayza tribe, all of the adult male Jews were beheaded, so that no husbands were left. Mohammed then took the children and gave them to Muslims to raise as Muslims and he sold off the Jewish women as slaves.

We know from another story that the women were divided into sex slaves and domestic slaves. In one scene, a jihadist is trying to obtain a high ransom for a woman and he is told that her breasts are flat and her mouth is cold, so her value was less. In short, she was only good for work around the house, not in the bedroom.

The Hadith tells of another story where the Muslims used coitus interruptus to avoid impregnating the kafir sex slaves. The reason was purely for business. If the kafir sex slave was pregnant, then she was worth less money.

Islamic doctrine says that kafir women should not be used for prostitutes, only for the pleasure of the master.

When Mohammed attacked the Jews at Khaybar, many moral precedents were set. Sexual slavery received an entire set of rules. Muslims were not to rape pregnant or menstruating women until they had delivered the child or finished their periods. At Khaybar, Mohammed’s god Allah, announced that even married women were fair game for rape.

Mohammed only killed some of the Jews at Khaybar. The male and female survivors were needed to work the land as dhimmis. (The original dhimmis were semi-slaves with no civil rights. Today, dhimmis are ignorant kafirs who apologize for Islam.) Since Islam needed the men to work, husbands were left alive. That was the reason that the Koran said that in this case, even with the husbands looking on, it was good to rape the women.

Sexual slavery was not only fun and profitable for the Muslim men, but rape was a powerful tactic of war, then and today. The women are forced into submission to Muslim men and the husbands are humiliated. Humiliated men are weakened men, so more kafirs were less able to resist Islam.

For some time Mohammed’s favorite sex partner was a Christian slave from Egypt named Mary. One of Mohammed’s wives caught him in some state of intimacy with Mary in the wife’s bedroom and raised hell. Mohammed promised to not do it again and moved Mary to her own apartment in Medina.

Mohammed had received Mary and her sister as gifts. He gave her sister away to a Muslim poet. He was used to giving away sex slaves. He gave several of his top lieutenants kafir sex slaves. Umar, who later became caliph, gave his sex slave to his son. [As an aside, when he was caliph, his son got drunk and Umar beat him to death.]

FP: This institution of Islamic sexual slavery isn’t just a reality of the past is it?

Warner: Everything that has been said up to now is not only history; it is Sunna (the example of the perfect pattern of action and morality found in Mohammed). So today we don’t have a beautiful blonde Christian girl on the block in Mecca, but we have continuous and ongoing rapes by Muslims in kafir cities. This goes on everywhere that Islam goes because it is Sunna.

This is a continuous 1400-year history of jihad. In every detailed history that comes from the original documents from history, rape is a constant. You have to look in the original documents, since our historians refuse to report it in so-called history books.

Rape is Sunna. Rape is not a sin. Rape is permitted and encouraged by Mohammed and the Koran. Islam is the only political system in the world that includes rules for rape and war. Rape is jihad. How good can it get? A Muslim gets to rape a kafir girl and get heaven credits. All jihad is a ticket to Paradise.

The most disgusting aspect of the Islamic rape of kafirs is not the rapes, but the kafir response. Kafirs become dhimmis by ignoring the rapes. I challenge you to find one, even one, mention of Islamic rape in the history books.

Islamic rape is more taboo than the N-word in the media. At least the N-word is acknowledged to exist. Even unicorns exist in media fantasy. But Islamic rape is forbidden to even exist as a fantasy.

And to reach a fevered rant: our so-called “feminist” scholars are absolutely intellectually and morally bankrupt hypocrites. They are traitors to our culture and a shame and a disgrace. They remain silent in the face of heinous crimes against women. They are arch-dhimmis when they refuse to speak of the Sunna, history and current rapes of our daughters, mothers, and sisters.

And our tax dollars support their evil in our public universities.

FP: Mohammed was a white man and had black slaves, correct? Isn’t there a racism here? Where is all the leftist indignation against Islam on this issue?

Warner: The relationship between blacks and slavery is ironic. A standard approach of Islam to blacks is that Christianity is the religion of the white man and Islam is the natural religion of the black man. They add that Mohammed’s second convert was a black slave, Bilal, who was Mohammed’s companion and the first muezzin (the man who calls to prayer).

The Hadith, however, goes out of its way, many times, to tell the world that Mohammed was a white man. The Hadith also tells us the race of the kafirs that Mohammed enslaved. And Mohammed had many black slaves in his household. One of his slaves was a black man called, Anjasha.

Mohammed owned black slaves. It is that simple. His favorite wife, the child Aisha, had a black slave. But to be fair to Mohammed, he was not a racist about slavery. He enslaved Arabs, Africans, and Greeks. Islam enslaves all kafirs, independent of race.

Mohammed was politically incorrect about blacks and called them “raisin heads” in the Hadith. Thus it would be a compliment to call a black Muslim a “raisin head.” It would be Sunna and not offensive. Mohammed also said that Muslims are to obey the Islamic leader, “even if they were black.” A left-handed compliment, at best.

Mohammed used his robe to shield Aisha, so she could watch black slaves perform a martial arts routine in the mosque. The Hadith tells of a prophecy about a black man bringing evil to Islam. Black men were prophesized to destroy the Kabah.

But when Muslims preach to blacks they only say that Islam’s first muezzin was a black man. They don’t tell the rest of the story.

FP: Can you give us a brief synopsis of the history of Islamic slavery?

Warner: It all started with Mohammed and then went worldwide.

When Islam burst out of Arabia into the kafir world, they took the wealth and slaves. Slavery was an unapologetic part of jihad.

The Arabic language is a good place to see how important slavery was. In The Submission of Women and Slaves, we collected over 30 Arabic words that deal with slavery. We think that Arabic has more words for slaves than any other language.

Both a black African and a black slave have the same name, abd. The historical reason for this is that African slavery was so important to Islamic economics. Language reflects history. Islamic legal history is filled with the complaints by African Muslim jurists about how Arabic Muslim slave traders captured African Muslims and sold them on the auction block.

History records around 11,000,000 Africans being sent to the Americas and about 13,000,000 being sent to Islamic countries for a total of 24,000,000 African slaves. To get one slave, many others have to be killed for the tribe to surrender to enslavement. The old, sick and children are left behind to starve. These collateral deaths are conservatively estimated to about 5 to 1. So that implies that over 1400 years, 120,000,000 million Africans have been killed to furnish Islam with its profits.

The accepted history of race in the U.S. is that white men captured Africans, brought them to the U.S. and sold them as slaves. This is wrong. When the white slavers showed up on the west coast of Africa, they didn’t capture Africans. They looked them over in the pens, gave the Muslim slave traders their money, took their bills of sale, and loaded their purchases into their boats.

The Muslims had been plying the trade of war, capture, enslavement, and sale for a thousand years. Mohammed was a slave trader. Long after the white slave traders quit, the Muslims continued their African slave trade. It still exists today.

And to put a fine point on it, many African slaves were castrated by removing both testicles and penis. Castrated slaves brought more on the slave block. Castrated blacks were the traditional keepers of Mohammed’s mosque in Medina.

African slaves were called abd; white slaves were called mamluk. Most black slaves were used in mining and heavy fieldwork. White slaves were used more for skilled trades. White slaves were even promoted to leadership positions, if they converted. Only one black slave was promoted to leadership. He ruled Egypt and was a eunuch.

Over a million white slaves were taken from Europe. Our word, slave, comes from Slav. A white woman was the highest price slave for 1400 years on the Meccan auction block. The Muslim who could not afford a white sex slave choose an Ethiopian woman at a third of the price.

The most revolting enslavement of whites was how Turkish Muslims took as a tax, one out of five Christian children in Islamic ruled Eastern Europe. These male children were taken back to Turkey where they became the janissaries, elite soldiers for the sultan. The Turkish sultans did not trust tribal Muslims to be the elite palace guards, since they all harbored ancient tribal rivalries. We see the same distrust of Muslim tribal politics in Afghanistan, where kafirs are used as presidential guards.

The Hindus were enslaved, but we don’t have the number. We do know that jihad took half of ancient Hindustan and killed 80,000,000 Hindus. We have accountings of Hindus being enslaved by the hundreds of thousands at a time.

Muslims enslave everyone, but no one enslaves Muslims. This knowledge is part of Islam’s arrogance and superiority. They know the history; it is the dhimmis (kafir apologists) who are ignorant of the doctrine and history of Islamic slavery.

FP: The violent capture and enslavement of black Africans by Muslim Arabs continues to this today. The root of this modern-day slavery is, of course, Islamic doctrine.

Warner: The enslavement of Africans is happening today. The only reason that Islam stopped enslaving whites and Hindus is that Islam is too weak to resist the social pressure. The Sunna of slavery has not changed, just the ability to use their law.

In the African countryside Muslims are still using jihad to enrich themselves. I have spoken with a Sudanese slave who escaped. The Muslims killed his parents and took him and his sister. Each night the jihadists gang raped his sister. Remember, rape is Sunna.

When he met his new masters, they put him in the middle of a circle of the family and each beat him with a stick. He was told that his new name was Abd, black slave. He slept in the barn with the animals.

Our media and intellectuals are quick to punish the slightest insult by a white against a black man, but they have not the slightest recognition of murder, rape and enslavement of blacks by Islam. Our media and intellectuals are dhimmis.

FP: Final thoughts and comments?

Warner: Slavery is the fruit of Islamic duality. Mohammed, the master of dualism and submission, used slavery as a tool of jihad because it worked. Mohammed’s life was infused with slavery. Slaves were the lifeblood of Islam. Mohammed, the white man, owned both male and female black slaves. His attitude was pure dualism.

The most disgusting thing about Islamic slavery is not that Muslims enslave others, but that we ignore it. The Muslims have been fed the Koran and the Sunna in their mother’s milk. They are doing what is ethical according to Islam. In a strange way, Muslims are to be pitied. A Muslim is the first victim of Islam.

The criticism of whites because of their being involved in slavery is standard fair in the media and the universities. Try to find a university that even teaches about the killing of 120,000,000 Africans for Muslims to profit from the 24,000,000 slaves.

Blacks define themselves on the basis of slavery. They will not go beyond the white, Christian version of slavery. There is only one theory of history in the black community—the West African Limited Edition version of history. Blacks will not admit the broad scope of slave history. Hindu slavery? It never happened. White and European slavery? It never happened. Slavery on the East coast of Africa? It never happened. A massive slave trade through the Sahara into North Africa? It never happened. Black, eunuchs at the Medina mosque? It never happened. This incomplete history of slavery is what the taxpayers fund in the state universities.

How can black leaders ignore Islam’s sacred violence in Africa? Why aren’t the black columnists, writers, professors, or ministers speaking out? They are ignorant and in total denial. They are the molested children of Islam.

Blacks are dhimmis and serve Islam with their silence. There is a deep fear of Islam that makes them overlook and placate Islam. Arabs are the masters of blacks.

One thing whites and blacks have in common is that their ancestors were enslaved by Islam, and both are too ignorant to know it. Blacks and whites have a secret shame buried under the denial of being slaves inside Islam.

But the rest of the media and intellectuals line up as dhimmis, too. One of the marks of a dhimmi under the fourth caliph, Umar, was that a dhimmi was forbidden to study the Koran. The chief mark of dhimmitude today is ignorance of the Koran, the Sira and the Hadith. The ignorance of kafir intellectuals about Islam is profound.

They don’t know about how jihad killed the 120,000,000 Africans, the 60,000,000 Christians, the 80,000,000 Hindus or the 10,000,000 Buddhists. Our intellectuals do not know about the Tears of Jihad (detailed in all of our books). That is a lot of death and ignorance—270,000,000 dead. Our intellectuals don’t know, don’t care and don’t bother. They deny.

University Islamic studies never mention the Islamic political doctrine. The media discusses Islam in terms of political correctness, and multiculturalism. History courses don’t teach about the civilizational annihilation due to jihad. Religious leaders placate imams in public gatherings and have no knowledge what the imam actually thinks of them. Political thinkers do not even know Islam as a political force

The problem with this ignorance is that our intellectuals are unable to help us. They do not understand that Islam is a civilization based upon the ideal of dualism. Islamic ethics and politics have one set of rules for Muslims and another for kafirs. Our civilization is based upon the ideal of unitary ethics, the Golden Rule. We do not have two sets of laws and ethics, like Islam. Our intellectuals cannot explain what dualism has meant in the past or what it will mean for our future—civilizational annihilation.

Our intellectuals and the media have only one view of Islam—a glorious civilization. They have created the “terrorist”, a bogus term based upon ignorance. And the “terrorist” is not even a “real” Muslim, but an extremist fundamentalist. All of these terms are based upon a profound ignorance of Islamic political doctrine.

Intellectuals cannot connect the dots of persecution of other intellectuals and artists today, such as Salman Rushdie, Theo van Gogh, the Mohammed cartoon riots, and Daniel Pearl. Their persecution is part of a 1400 year Islamic tradition of keeping all intellectuals and artists in line with the doctrine of political Islam. But for our intellectuals, there is no history, no connection, no pattern, no doctrine of Islam. Their only doctrine is the doctrine of denial. These intellectuals write our textbooks. Then our tax dollars buy the books to feed the ignorance.

What explains the intellectuals’ silence and ignorance? The enormous violence of jihad has produced the psychology of the “molested child” syndrome. Intellectuals fear, apologize for, and placate the Islamic abusers, ignoring the violence of the past. Then they turn around and advise our politicians. The result is an ignorant populace who look to our intellectuals for guidance and find treachery and lies.

FP: Bill Warner, thank you for joining us.

Warner: Thank you for standing against political Islam.

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Jamie Glazov

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Iran Ups its Anti-Israeli Ante

by Stephen Brown

With protests gathering steam in Bahrain, demonstrations reported in Libya, and clashes between pro- and anti-government movements in Yemen, Iran has exacerbated Middle Eastern tensions even further with its reported plan to send two warships through the Suez Canal. Israeli government officials and the Israeli Navy are closely monitoring two Iranian warships, which are anticipated to make a rare crossing of the Suez Canal. This would be the first time since 1979 the Iranian Navy has used the canal, and it is believed the ships’ destination is Syria. The Iranians, it was reported, are planning to send a “fleet” to the Mediterranean for a year.

With Mubarak having stepped down only days ago, the vessels’ appearance in the canal and in the Mediterranean is obviously meant to provoke and challenge Israel, which first alerted the world to the Iranian design. In this, the Iranians have succeeded. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the ships’ movements would be closely followed and “friendly states updated,” while Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the Iranian move “a provocation that proves Iranians’ overconfidence.” Lieberman also castigated the international community for allowing “the recurring Iranian provocations,” indicating Israel’s patience may be coming to an end.

“The international community must understand that Israel cannot forever ignore these provocations,” said Lieberman.

The ships themselves appear to oppose [sic] no real danger to Israel’s military. They are described as a British-built frigate dating from the 1960s and a supply ship. The arms embargo the United States imposed on the Iranian regime after the 1979 revolution has left the Iranian military, three decades later, outfitted with mostly aged equipment from the shah’s time. Attempts have been made to smuggle in spare parts, modern weaponry and technology, but this has met with limited success. Many of the smugglers have also simply wound up in Western prisons.

China enjoys friendly relations with Iran and has sold it some modern arms, principally because the Persian Gulf country is a major source of oil for its expanding economy. Russia was also going to sell its modern S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the Iranians to upgrade their 1970s-era air defense system but backed off due to the anger the proposed sale aroused in Israel and among Western states. The new, home-built weapons systems the Iranians announce from time to time also never seem to make it into production after the initial photo-op and are probably meant solely for propaganda purposes. This may include the new warship the Iranians unveiled a year ago, the Jamaran.

But while the two Iranian ships currently making their way to the Mediterranean may be museum pieces, their possible cargo could be another, and more deadly, story. War materials for Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, have been discovered on other Syria-bound ships in the past. In 2009, US soldiers found containers of ammunition for Kalashnikov rifles on a German-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Suez that was heading for Syria. The ship had been leased to Iran. The same year, Israeli forces boarded another freighter, allegedly outbound from Iran, and came upon an arsenal of weapons, bombs, artillery shells and rockets destined for Hezbollah. Much of the weaponry Hezbollah now possesses, including UAVs used over Israeli territory, originated in Iran.

Although in a coalition government with other parties, Hezbollah now essentially rules Lebanon. After its 34-day war with Israel in 2006, the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for the Shiite militia to disarm. Instead, Hezbollah has made Lebanon a client state of Iran, which is rearming its proxy with even deadlier weapons, preparing it for the next round of war with the Jewish State.

Iran’s latest ploy to challenge Israel, however, may contain a more sinister element than that of supplying arms to Hezbollah. Since Hosni Mubarak stepped down last Friday, protesters have reappeared on the streets of Tehran in numbers not seen since the Green Movement in 2009. The unrest continued on Wednesday, as pro- and anti-government demonstrators clashed at the funeral for one of the protesters killed two days ago.

But there were two things about this latest round of disturbances that have unsettled the Iranian leadership. According to columnist Pepe Escobar, the first is that the demonstrators were demanding the resignation of Supreme Leader Ali Khomeini and not President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The most popular chant, Escobar writes, was: “Mubarak, Ben Ali [of Tunisia]! Now it is Seyed Ali [Khameniei’s] turn!”

The second element references the fact that some demonstrators were from Tehran’s working class neighbourhoods, the traditional areas of support for Iran’s theocratic regime. With drastic rises in food prices and living costs, some workers appear to have had enough of the Iranian Revolution, since it now can’t meet even their basic needs. These price hikes, in which the opposition to the mullahs among the workers has it roots, is largely due to the government having abolished food and fuel subsidies, amounting to $100 billion a year. Escobar states Iran’s economic situation is so bad, “Iranian banks such as Meli, Saderat and Melat Sepah are very short on cash.”

As much as Ahmadinejad tries to portray the current unrest as the work of hostile foreign elements, the mullahs know they are ruling a deeply divided country and that their time may soon run out. The demographic situation in Iran is also in a perilous state, especially for a government that has pretensions to some day rule the Islamic world. The birthrate of Iranian women has fallen below replacement levels and Iran will not have the young men to go to war with in 20 years. This demographic implosion, one columnist believes, is what will eventually cause Iran to launch a war in the near future rather than just go quietly into the night.

The unknown quantity in all this is how badly the Stuxnet computer virus attack against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, believed to have been carried out by Israel and the United States, set the program back. The Iranian regime wanted nuclear arms as leverage against, and possibly to destroy, Israel, and to establish Iran as the regional power. Now, the Stuxnet attack, combined with the country’s current political and economic troubles, may not allow time for this plan to come to fruition, causing the mullah regime to seek another avenue to prosecute its jihad.

And that avenue appears to lie in provoking an attack by Israel. The one thing that would now unite Iranians and get them behind their leaders again would be an attack by Israel or the United States. The two warships are probably just the start of a campaign to provoke the Jewish State into making such a move, since Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the previous reason for possible US-Israeli military action against Iran, may now be nothing but a shambles. With an Israeli attack, not only would the Iranian people, who have for decades drunk deep draughts of anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, forget their difficulties and support the jihad, but so would other Muslim peoples of a rapidly changing and unstable Middle East.

Launching foreign military adventures to distract people’s attention from problems at home is nothing new. Both Hitler and the military junta in Argentina that attacked the Falkland Islands were facing similar disastrous economic situations as the mullahs before they launched their military adventures. Shortly after Munich, Hitler said Germany had only one year remaining before it faced bankruptcy, so he had to start war soon. After occupying the Falklands, the Argentinean generals were greeted by cheering crowds who only days earlier had been demonstrating against economic hardships. For the same reasons and out of the same criminal spirit, Iran is now sending its warships through the Suez Canal in the hope of incrementally reaching its goal of war with Israel, but without appearing to be the aggressor.

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Stephen Brown

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Eric Holder Partners with Fidel Castro—Again

by Humberto Fontova

Last week the U.S. Dept. of Justice, at U.S. taxpayer expense, transported a Lieut.Col. of Fidel Castro’s KGB-trained secret police named Roberto Hernandez-Caballero to a U.S. courtroom.

The U.S. State Dept. classifies Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” and Fidel Castro classifies the U.S. as “the Great Enemy of Mankind.” A former regime-colleague of Hernandez-Caballero sits in a U.S. federal prison after her conviction in “the most damaging spy scandal against the U.S. since the end of the Cold War.” Her name is Ana Montes, and she was convicted of the same crimes as Ethel and Julius Rosenberg–but on behalf of Fidel Castro.

Other regime-colleagues of Senor Hernandez-Caballero — Elsa Montero, Jose Abad and Roberto Santiesteban — were nabbed in the nick of time by J Edgar Hoover’s FBI and booted from the U.S. for plotting to detonate 500 kilos of TNT in Macy’s, Gimbels, Bloomingdales and Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal on Black Friday 1962. Macy’s typically gets 50,000 shoppers that day.

Another regime-colleagues of Hernandez-Caballero, one named Fernando Vecino-Alegret, helped torture American POWs to death in Hanoi. In 1967, Fidel Castro sent several of his regime’s most promising sadists to North Vietnamese prison camps to instruct the Vietnamese Reds in the finer points of their profession. Testimony during Congressional hearings titled “The Cuban Torture Program; Torture of American Prisoners by Cuban Agents,” held in November, 1999, provides some of the harrowing details.

The Communists titled their torture program “The Cuba Project,” and it took place during ‘67-’68 primarily at the Cu Loc POW camp (also known as “The Zoo”) on the southwestern edge of Hanoi. In brief, this “Cuba Project” was a Joseph Mengelese experiment run by Castroite Cubans to determine how much physical and psychological agony a human can endure before cracking.

The North Vietnamese—please note–never, ever asked the Castroites for advice on combat. They knew better. Unlike director Steven Soderbergh, they saw the image of Castro’s famed “guerilla” leader, Che Guevara, for what it really was and is: a Castroite hoax to camouflage the bumblings of an incurable military idiot–and more importantly, Castro’s own hand in the idiot’s demise.

No, the North Vietnamese sought Castroite tutelage only on the torture of the defenseless, well aware of the Castroites’ expertise in this matter.

For their experiment, the Castroites chose twenty American POWs. One died: Lieutenant Colonel Earl Cobeil, an Air Force F-105 pilot. His death came slowly, in agonizing stages, through torture. Upon learning his Castroite Cuban affiliation, the American POWs nicknamed Cobeil’s Cuban torturer “Fidel.”

“The difference between the Vietnamese and ‘Fidel’ was that once the Vietnamese got what they wanted, they let up, at least for a while,” testified fellow POW Captain Ray Vohden. “Not so with the Cubans. Earl Cobeil had resisted ‘Fidel’ to the maximum. I heard the thud of the belt falling on Cobeil’s body again and again, as Fidel screamed, ‘You son of a beech! I will show you! Kneel down!–KNEEL DOWN!’ The Cubans unmercifully beat a mentally defenseless, sick American naval pilot to death.’”

"Earl Cobeil was a complete physical disaster when we saw him,” testified another fellow POW, Col. Jack Bomar. “He had been tortured for days and days and days. His hands were almost severed from the manacles. He had bamboo in his shins. All kinds of welts up and down all over; his face was bloody. Then ‘Fidel’ began to beat him with a fan belt.”

According to the book Honor Bound, the tortures of U.S. POWs by Castro’s agents (Hernandez-Caballero’s colleagues) were “the worst sieges of torture any American withstood in Hanoi.”

Until quite recently the chief Castroite torturer in North Vietnam, Fernando Vecino- Alegret, served as Cuba’s “Minister of Education.” So he’ll probably smilingly host many of those visiting delegations of U.S. scholars and educators, courtesy of Obama’s recent promotion of “people-to-people” exchanges with Cuba.

Vecino-Alegret’s colleague Hernandez-Caballero, however, was not transported to a U.S. courtroom this week to defend himself against charges of being an official of a regime that murdered more political prisoners in its first three years in power than Hitler murdered in his first six, that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin, that has sponsored terrorism for half a century, that has come the closest to nuking the United States, and has gratuitously tortured American POWs.

Instead, Mr Hernandez-Caballero is here to testify against Luis Posada Carriles, and thus try to help the U.S. Justice Dept. convict a one-time military colleague of those tortured to death in North Vietnam. Fidel Castro considers Luis Posada Carriles his number one enemy in the world. Posada volunteered for the Bay of Pigs invasion, and later joined the U.S. army emerging as a 2nd Lieutenant. After retiring from the U.S. Army, he worked for the CIA putting out Soviet-started fires throughout Latin America. Among other projects, Posada helped the Reagan team squash Communism in Nicaragua by helping train the Nicaraguan Contras. A few years later in Guatemala, a Castro appointed death-squad ambushed Posada, riddled him with bullets and left him crippled.

The dictator missed him then, but, with Eric Holder’s help, Castro is still after Posada. Eric Holder’s Justice Department considers Posada a criminal for entering the U.S. illegally from Latin America. Since we seem to have so little of that nowadays, Obama’s justice department can afford to concentrate major muscle in going after Posada–with Castro’s help.

Eric Holder, let’s remember, also signed the order for the INS to mace, kick, stomp, and gun-butt their way into Lazaro Gonzalez’s house on the morning of April 22, 2000, wrench a bawling 6-year-old child from his family at machine-gun point, and bundle him off to Castro’s Stalinist fiefdom, leaving 102 people injured, some seriously.

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Humberto Fontova

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Turkey Arrests Opposition Journalists Amid Furor

by AK Group

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Riccardone held a reception last night to meet prominent people in Ankara. Asked about Sledgehammer case, he said: "We are watching very carefully and closely. We expect the trial period to be transparent and in accordance with the law." He said he did not understand how Turkish journalists could be detained while at the same time public speeches about freedom of expression are made.

Regarding the recent raid on news web portal Oda TV, which is a staunch critic of the current government, Ricciardone said he did not know about the charges against the site or any details about the matter.

"Turkey wants a free press. Turkish people want a critical press, even if it is a dissident one. The opposition parties and the government say they support freedom of the press. We are following the process closely. Journalists are being detained on the one hand, while addresses about freedom of the speech are given on the other. We do not understand this. The Turkish people's opinion is important. But freedom of the press and freedom of speech are vital for Turkey, the United States and the people of this region," Ricciardone said.

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AK Group

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Britain Inadvertently Encouraging Home-Grown Radical Islam

by Soeren Kern

A growing number of Muslim parents in Britain are sending their "problem children" to madrassas [Islamic religious schools] in Kashmir; and these students are "at high risk of radicalization," according to American diplomatic cables that were obtained and recently released by the secret-spilling website, Wikileaks. The disclosure, one of several, reveals that the challenge posed to Britain by home-grown radical Islam is far greater than previously admitted by the British government..

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron says his country's long-standing policy of multiculturalism has failed, and is actually responsible for fostering Islamist extremism. Instead of discouraging the British Muslim community from behaving in ways that "run completely counter to our values," Cameron says that a two-pronged approach is needed to neutralize the threat of radical Islam in Europe: "I believe it is time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past. So first, instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we -- as governments and as societies -- have got to confront it, in all its forms. And second, instead of encouraging people to live apart, we need a clear sense of shared national identity that is open to everyone."

Reaction to Cameron's speech has been mixed. Analysts across Europe have welcomed his public repudiation of multiculturalism as a long-overdue reality check. But Muslim groups that have been at the forefront of efforts to resist the integration of Muslim immigrants into mainstream British society are angry about the new approach.

According to a leaked diplomatic cable titled "Pakistan: UK Sees Kashmir Solution as Key to Long-Term Security Cooperation" (dated July 18, 2008 and classified as "Secret"), Laura Hickey, the British Foreign Office's Team Leader for Pakistan, told American diplomats at the US Embassy in London about "the growing trend" of British Muslims sending their children to Islamic schools in Kashmir on the India-Pakistan border, where they are at risk of being recruited by al-Qaeda.

In what the British government internally calls the "Kashmir Escalation Effect," the document explains that "while it appears the government of Pakistan has ceased to run militant training camps in Kashmir, the camps continue to operate… Terrorist organizations, like al-Qaeda, have begun using these camps as recruitment centers. After additional training … recruitees are then poised to commit terrorist activities."

The document reveals that Britain is concerned that "UK passport-holders will be recruited to commit terrorist operations in the UK… With the continued presence of militant training camps in Kashmir and over half a million UK passport-holders with ties to the region, HMG [Her Majesty's Government] is concerned that UK nationals will be recruited to conduct terrorist activities in the UK."

Another cable titled "Codel Smith Discusses Iraq and Counterterrorism" (dated May 1, 2008 and classified as "Secret"), reveals that senior counterterrorism officials at the MI6 (Britain's Secret Intelligence Service) are worried about a new wave of suicide bombings perpetrated by British-born radicals. The warning was sounded in a private briefing from a senior MI6 official to a visiting delegation of American Congressmen amid growing fears over the radicalization of young British Muslims.

The document says Britain faces a "uniquely challenging" threat from a generation of "internal" home-grown jihadists who are not on the intelligence services' "radar" and will threaten Britain for many years to come. The document goes on to state: "Moreover, the internal threat is growing more dangerous because some extremists are conducting non-lethal training without ever leaving the country. Should these extremists then decide to become suicide operatives, HMG intelligence resources, eavesdropping and surveillance would be hard pressed to find them on any 'radar screen.'"

A cable titled "Doing More with Less: UK Africa Regional Counterterrorism Conference" (dated December 12, 2009 and classified as "Confidential"), reveals that British Muslims are travelling to Somalia for "jihadi tourism" to train for terrorist attacks in Britain. The document states: "The UK government sees a growing likelihood of domestic threats emerging within the UK and U.S., to include home grown jihadists and radicalized British Somalis and Somali-Americans, particularly those who have travelled to Somalia or Pakistan for indoctrination and training."

The document continues: "Large numbers of UK passport holders live in Somaliland. For example, in the largest school in Hargeisa about 300 of the 1000 students hold UK passports. Also, a significant number of UK Somali youths are sent to Somaliland for 'straightening out' by their families. There is also believed to be a certain amount of so-called 'Jihadi tourism' to southern Somalia by UK citizens of Somali ethnicity. The threat from Somalia is compounded by the fact that within East Africa there is a lack of local government recognition of the terrorist threat."

A cable titled "Tensions Rise between Muslims and HMG" (dated August 14, 2006 and classified as "Confidential") says that Britain's program to counter Islamic extremism has failed to stop home-grown terrorists. The counter-terrorism strategy (known as CONTEST) was developed by the British government in 2003 and is aimed at reducing the terrorist threat in Britain by seeking to bring extremists into the mainstream.

The document relates that although the British government has invested "considerable time and resources" into reaching out to the Muslim community after the terrorist attacks in London on July 7, 2005, those efforts have not been productive.

The cable continues that many Muslim leaders in Britain deny there is even a problem, and when there is, they vindicate home-grown extremism by blaming it on British foreign policy. By way of example, the document describes the reaction of the British Muslim community after 24 of its members were arrested in August 2006 in connection with a plot to blow up as many as 10 airliners leaving Britain for the United States. The document states: "The Muslim community's reaction to the arrests of 24 of its own sons -- a knee-jerk reaction blaming [the government] -- shows that its leaders too have far to go."

The cables suggest that Britain's failure can be partly attributed to its decision to appease, rather than undermine, Muslim groups guilty of anti-Western agitation. For example, a cable titled "Senior Advisor Pandith and S/P Advisor Cohen's Visit to the UK" (dated October 25, 2007 and classified as "Confidential") relates Britain's efforts to combat extremism in the British Muslim community. The cable discusses a project to prepare a paper on "what language works best in public outreach … for example, the advantage of using the word 'mainstream' to define common values, as opposed to 'the West,' which can have negative connotations."

In the face of British inefficacy, the United States in 2007 launched its own anti-extremist campaign to reverse the radicalization of young Islamists in Britain. A cable titled "Proposals for Ambassador's CT Fund" (dated April 18, 2008 and classified "Confidential") says that Dell Dailey, the head of the US State Department's counterterrorism office, offered the US Embassy in London $50,000 to spend on anti-extremism efforts in Britain.

The fresh proposals for how to prevent British youths from becoming Jihadists included hiring an American academic, at a cost of $43,000, to study reformed British extremists who have "stepped back" from radical Islam. Another idea was to spend $39,000 to fly the "Allah Made Me Funny" comedy troupe to Britain to participate in the Ramadan Festival UK.

The cable states: "The message their performance would send -- of American Muslims, proud to be both 'American' and 'Muslim' -- is a powerful message that would open British Muslim eyes to American cultural and religious diversity as well as encourage reflection on the part of British Muslim community in a positive, self-defining direction… Our expected outcome would be to reach thousand[s] of British Muslims, including the disproportionately high youth population, with these positive messages."

The British government is now having second thoughts about its approach to combating home-grown Islamic extremism. After spending millions of pounds funding projects to stop Muslims from becoming radicalized, the British Home Office has initiated a top-to-bottom review of the country's counter-terrorism strategy. The British government plans to publish a revised strategy later this year.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Britain will ultimately succeed in reducing the threat posed by home-grown Islamic radicals.

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Soeren Kern

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Qaradawi's Ominous Return to Egypt

by IPT News

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Muslim Brotherhood theologian, promises to be in Egypt's Tahrir Square to deliver a sermon at Friday's prayer service.

Qaradawi, who has lived in Qatar since 1961, was a vocal critic of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. A profile this week in Germany's Der Spiegel called him the Muslim Brotherhood's "father figure."

But his return is being touted as a reward for "Qaradawi's role in mobilizing support for the Egyptian revolution," a claim which is questionable at best.

It won't be the first time Qaradawi has been back to Egypt, but his visits have been fleeting. A sermon from him on the first Friday after Mubarak's ouster could be hugely symbolic as the Brotherhood tries to exert influence over the direction Egyptian society takes. And it will trigger memories of the 1979 Iranian revolution, which took a dramatic turn when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile in France.

Egypt's revolution has been described as largely spontaneous, fueled by a building rage brought on by years of oppression, inspired by a Facebook page created by Google executive Wael Ghonim devoted to a man killed by security forces and ignited by the peaceful Tunisian revolt, which showed change was possible.

If anything, the Muslim Brotherhood deliberately took a low profile during the uprising, not wanting to play into Mubarak's narrative that his ouster would lead to chaos in Egypt. But a statement Monday from Qaradawi's International Union of Muslim Scholars said he "initiated the beginning of the Friday of wrath 28/01/2011 by shouting out loud, 'Go, Mubarak, safeguard the blood and protect the people of Egypt.'"

The Brotherhood confirmed Qaradawi's role in Friday's events, saying he "will address the celebrators on the importance of the role of all Egyptians in building a free and democratic Egypt."

The Der Spiegel profile notes Qaradawi's enigmatic nature. Hailed as a moderate for opposing al-Qaida and embracing modern technology, he has called on Allah to kill "the Jewish Zionists" and spoken "about the right of Palestinian women to blow themselves up." He has been barred from entering the U.S. since 1999, the profile said.

In the past two years, he also has:

    • Called on Muslims to acquire nuclear weapons "to terrorize their enemies."

    • Called jihad an Islamic moral duty and said Muslims are permitted to kill Israeli women because they serve in the army.

    • Affirmed his support for suicide bombings. "I supported martyrdom operations," he said, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). "This is a necessary thing, as I told them in London. Give the Palestinians tanks, airplanes, and missiles, and they won't carry out martyrdom operations. They are forced to turn themselves into human bombs, in order to defend their land, their honor, and their homeland."

    • Called the Holocaust a divine punishment of Jews "for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them - even though they exaggerated this issue - he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers."

    • Prayed for the opportunity to kill a Jew before his death. "The only thing that I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah's enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah."

This week, a Brotherhood official was among eight people named to a panel charged with recommending changes to Egypt's suspended constitution. As the IPT has noted, the Brotherhood's bylaws continue to call for it "to establish Allah's law in the land by achieving the spiritual goals of Islam and the true religion." That includes "the need to work on establishing the Islamic State, which seeks to effectively implement the provisions of Islam and its teachings."

Der Spiegel reports that Qaradawi envisions a "United Muslim Nations" as a contemporary form of the caliphate. In its statement on the Revolution, the International Union of Muslim Scholars advocated something much broader. It called for "all components of the Egyptian people, Muslims and Copts, alike to stand as one to reach a consultative democratic government which represents the Egyptian people and its values and principles."

Images of a triumphant Qaradawi in leading prayer at the spot that triggered Egypt's revolution might trigger memories of Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Iran months after the Shah fled. Though analysts at the time did not anticipate him seizing power, the Islamic Republic was born just two months later.

Analysts today say differences in Egypt's uprising and in the Brotherhood's following make a repeat unlikely.

In an interview on National Public Radio, Stanford University director of Iranian studies Abbas Milani said the Brotherhood has no charismatic leader of Khomeini's stature. But he remained skeptical of the organization's claims that it is not interested in making Egypt's revolution into an Islamic one.

"Do you believe them?" asked Steve Inskeep. "No, I don't, to be honest with you," Milani said. "I think Muslim Brotherhood has an established record of wanting to create a government based on Sharia."

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IPT News

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bibi Tells Nasrallah: Stay in Your Bunker

by Maayana Miskin

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took a jab at Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday evening after the latter threatened to take over northern Israel in case of war. “Anyone who's hiding in a bunker should stay in a bunker,” he said.

“Nasrallah said he would capture the Galilee. I have news for you – you won't.”

“Nobody should doubt Israel's or our ability to defend ourselves,” he continued. “We have a powerful army. We want peace with all our neighbors, yet the IDF is prepared to powerfully defend Israel against all our enemies.”

The prime minister made his remarks while addressing the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, which is meeting in Jerusalem.

Nasrallah had issued threats against Israel earlier in the day, at a ceremony honoring fallen Hizbullah terrorists. “I can tell the fighters of the resistance that one day they might be asked to liberate the Galilee,” he said.

He mocked Israelis as “afraid” and new IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz as “completely weak.”

Nasrallah also warned that despite the time that has passed since the death of senior Hizbullah member Imad Mughniyeh, Hizbullah will avenge his death. "I say to the Zionist commanders and generals: wherever you go in the world, everywhere, anytime, you should always keep watch. The blood of Imad Mughniyeh was not spilled in vain."

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Maayana Miskin

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Bringing Down Iran

by Matt Gurney

February 11th was the 32nd anniversary of the Iranian revolution, marking the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamist theocratic regime that survives to this day. While the world was understandably focused on the unraveling of the Egyptian regime of former president Hosni Mubarak, in Iran and around the world, demonstrations were held to both support and oppose Tehran’s mullahs. On Monday, after a relatively quiet weekend in Iran, protesters and security forces clashed violently, with security forces reportedly using tear gas and paintball guns to disperse anti-government crowds. There have been some reports that protesters were killed; the veracity of those claims, and the body count (if any), is not yet known. So far, this seems a far more muted response by the regime than the lethal tactics and brutal torture it employed against protesters in 2009. But one has to keep in mind that there is so much we do not know about the extent to which the vicious Mullahs barbarize their own people.

Iran’s crackdown this time around drew swift condemnation from Western powers. The European Union condemned the reports of violence by security forces. The Canadian foreign minister attacked Tehran’s “hypocrisy.” Surprisingly, President Barack Obama joined his allies in speaking out in favor of the Iranian protesters. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the president also called out the Iranian regime for its hypocrisy in celebrating the fall of the (anti-Iranian) Mubarak regime in Egypt while simultaneously using force against its own restless population. “I find it ironic that you’ve got the Iranian regime pretending to celebrate what happened in Egypt, when in fact they have acted in direct contrast to what happened in Egypt by gunning down and beating people who were trying to express themselves peacefully in Iran,” said Obama.

Obama also expressed his hopes that the Iranian people will be allowed to continue to peacefully protest for more rights and a representative form of government, and condemned the reports of violence in the streets of Tehran. His words have been chosen carefully, to avoid giving the mullahs any excuse to portray the protesters and reformers as puppets of Washington, but it is clear that the United States supports the people of Iran in their struggle against their oppressive government. The Iranian regime was not long in responding, attacking the West for offering support to the anti-theocracy.

Anything that raises the ire of the mullahs in Tehran is to be applauded, and it is especially noteworthy given recent history. Two years ago, the president drew criticism from all sides for his refusal to utter a word of support for the reformers battling the regime’s thugs in the streets of Tehran. The silence was baffling. Though the president did eventually comment on the violent suppression of the protests, he did so far behind other major countries, and in his own words, America “joined” the chorus of international criticism, rather than leading it. Given the long-standing animosity towards America expressed by the Iranian regime, and America’s traditional commitment to democracy and human rights, for a U.S. president to stay silent while brave civilians took on the might of a brutal autocracy was inexcusable.

Hopefully, the Obama administration has learned a lesson in this case, and has correctly applied it here. Indeed, not only has the president shown that he has learned from his mistake from two years ago, but his administration is also acting as a coordinated diplomatic team, offering a coherent message on Iran no matter which member of the administration is speaking. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spent the last several days reading from the same play book as the president, stating her support of the Iranian protesters and their goals, and also condemned Tehran for its lack of political freedom, demanding that it enact reforms. As before, Iran swiftly responded, dismissing Clinton’s comments as confused.

“Confused” would indeed have been a fair way to describe America’s diplomatic response to the recent collapse of the Egyptian regime, which saw the administration seemingly advocating every position simultaneously, with the latest view depending on who was speaking into a microphone. Secretary Clinton declared the regime in Cairo stable mere days before the military was forced to seize control of the country, and Vice President Joe Biden suffered another of his legendary gaffes when he declared that Hosni Mubarak was not a dictator two weeks before calling on Egypt to give its people democracy. On Iran, at least, the administration has found its footing and taken not only a consistent stand, but the right one.

The administration is also putting its money where its rhetoric is. On Tuesday, Secretary Clinton gave a speech lauding Internet freedom and warning autocratic regimes around the world that attempts to limit free access to the Internet will not only fail, but will backfire by provoking and emboldening restless populations. While the remarks had been scheduled for several weeks, the timing is fortuitous, as the secretary’s words are given great weight by the role of online communications and social media in bringing down the Tunisian and Egyptian governments and helping Iranian dissidents communicate. Egypt attempted at times to disrupt the protests by shutting down the Internet, and Iran has long sought to block online tools that could threaten the regime.

Accordingly, Secretary Clinton pledged $25-million for developing technologies to let activists and dissidents evade government-imposed restrictions on online communication, enabling both the co-ordination of protests and communication with the Western world. While a small dollar figure, the Internet is an asymmetrical weapon aimed at the heart of autocratic regimes — billions can be spent on restricting Internet freedom, and it will all be wasted if one blogger can bypass the roadblocks and communicate to the outside world what is happening behind these electronic iron curtains. Governments that seek to oppress their people by limiting their access to the Internet are fighting a losing battle, and a small investment by America, spent wisely, could very well yield big results.

As a tense new day dawns in Iran and protests spread across the Arab world, the United States has recovered from its early missteps and taken a measured, and appropriate, stand on the side of the people of Iran. With new digital tools to back up its diplomatic stance, the United States is finally giving the Iranian regime and their nuclear-obsessed madmen something real to worry about. Let’s hope the administration doesn’t waver and continues along this course.

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Matt Gurney is an editor at the National Post, a Canadian national newspaper, and writes and speaks on military and geopolitical issues. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @mattgurney.

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The Next 9/11

by Matthew Vadum

The next 9/11-style terrorist attack may originate from the unlikeliest of places: socialist Venezuela. This is because that country’s Marxist president, Hugo Chavez, who has been busy creating his own version of the Warsaw Pact, is dropping hints that his nation’s territory might be used as the launch pad for an Islamist assault on the continental United States.

Some have difficulty taking the famously flamboyant Chavez seriously. He is, after all, the erratic fellow who blamed the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti on the U.S. He poses for photos with a parrot on his shoulder. He rants — and sometimes sings – on Sundays on his TV show about whatever pops into his head, whether it’s about his bouts with diarrhea or his unhappiness with his cabinet ministers.

But despite his eccentricities, it’s important to remember that Chavez openly works with the terrorist groups Hamas, Hezbollah, and FARC — a Marxist-Leninist narco-terrorist group in neighboring Colombia. Hamas and Hezbollah have offices in Caracas, and Chavez funds FARC. A congressional report indicates Iran’s fanatical Revolutionary Guard is active in Venezuela. A State Department report notes Venezuela’s close working relationship with terrorism-sponsoring Cuba.

Let’s follow the bread crumbs:

Chavez has made no secret of his abiding hatred of America and its freedoms. He calls capitalism “savagery” and President Barack Obama “a poor ignoramus.” Obama got off easy. Chavez referred to President George W. Bush as “the Devil.”

It’s no coincidence that Islamofascist fanatic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, leader of Iran (the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism), and Chavez are good friends. Last year, Chavez and Ahmadinejad announced that their two countries had formed a “strategic alliance” to end U.S. “imperialism.” The two nations will seek to “establish a new world order based on humanity and justice,” the Iranian president said. Until recently, Venezuela had been helping Iran get through temporary problems with its oil refining capacity by shipping 20,000 barrels of gasoline a day to the Islamic Republic. The program, in operation since 2009, ended in February 2011 when Iran reportedly achieved self-sufficiency in gasoline production.

Chavez defends Iran’s allegedly peaceful nuclear energy program, and has plans to develop a nuclear program of his own. He denies that he intends to develop a nuclear weapons program. “Who in Venezuela could take on a project of that type? Who? We aren’t going to take it on.”

Not many were surprised when Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), the government-owned oil company that also operates CITGO in the U.S., unveiled a plan in October to invest $780 million in Iran’s South Pars field, the largest natural gas field in the world. PDVSA’s involvement with Iran is important because the company is regarded as a “black box” that funds Chavez’s overseas political ambitions. Oil export revenues fuel Chavez’s petro-diplomacy.

Meanwhile, Chavez’s friends in Iran have been reaching out to other left-of-center nations in the Americas. Iran recently donated a $2.5 million hospital in El Alto, Bolivia near La Paz. Iran has pledged $1.1 billion in development aid to Bolivia, which responded by seeking closer military ties to the emerging Middle Eastern power.

Chavez and Bolivia’s Marxist president, Evo Morales, see eye to eye. In fact, Chavez has called the partnership between Venezuela, Bolivia, and Iran, the “Axis of Annoyance” for its ability to vex the United States.

And Morales does not take a back seat to Chavez in denouncing their common foe. “Capitalism is the worst enemy of humanity,” Morales said, as he called for its destruction. “I would like to say that the origin of this crisis is the unbridled consumption and accumulation of capital in a few hands, the looting of natural resources, the commercialization of Mother Earth, and above all, I believe its origin lies in an economic model—capitalism,” he told the United Nations.

Other Chavez-friendly Latin American countries may join the socialist-Islamist entente. Iran has been courting Ecuador, whose government is headed by leftist president Rafael Correa. Last year, Ecuadorian Vice President Lenin Moreno signed an agreement with Iran to build three hydroelectric projects in Ecuador. Iran also has significant, though less extensive, ties to the left-leaning regimes in Brazil and Chile, but their association is likely to grow stronger.

Even without Iran’s help, Chavez has been attempting to export chaos to America for years. While the U.S. government was taking a beating in the media for its post-Katrina relief efforts, Chavez attempted to embarrass the Bush administration by providing aid to the Katrina-hit Gulf Coast.

Chavez had already been running a “public diplomacy” campaign in the U.S. to help bolster American support for his regime. The propaganda effort involved funneling discounted home heating oil to the nonprofit group Citizens Energy Corp., which is run by former Congressman Joe Kennedy II (D-MA). The nonprofit then distributed the oil to poor people, and useful idiot Kennedy was able to pose as a humanitarian. Kennedy went on TV a few years ago to berate the Bush administration, which he said “cut fuel assistance.” Kennedy praised his benefactor Chavez, claiming that Venezuelan socialism had helped to ease suffering in America. In a commercial, he said that “CITGO, owned by the Venezuelan people,” had helped poor Americans while their own government stood idly by.

While he was still a leftist, recovering community organizer Brandon Darby took a trip to Venezuela that quashed his remaining radical impulses. Darby traveled to Caracas in 2006 as part of a delegation from his own nonprofit, Common Ground, which was created to help rebuild New Orleans after it took a devastating hit from Hurricane Katrina. Darby wanted to have the Chavez government provide funding to keep the organization afloat. “I had this idea of having ‘Chavez trailers’ for displaced residents to live in. This would embarrass FEMA into supplying trailers,” he said. Darby said he didn’t realize when he came up with the concept that using money from abroad to influence the U.S. government might be illegal, but Chavez government officials he met with insisted it would violate U.S. law. “They told me I would get in trouble, and they wanted to work out a way to make the project happen,” he said.

During the month Darby was in Venezuela, government officials introduced him to executives working for PDVSA. They pressured Darby to journey to neighboring Colombia to meet with a group aligned with the narco-terrorists of FARC and to visit another revolutionary group in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

According to Darby, Chavez wanted to create a terrorist network in rural Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Senior officials in the Chavez government and in PDVSA told him they wanted him to create a revolutionary army of guerrillas in the swamps of Louisiana. Aghast, Darby refused, returned to America, and soon abandoned radicalism.

Instead of using the Red Cross in his post-Katrina relief efforts, Chavez called on radical left-wing charities, including the Vanguard Public Foundation and the Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund. Apparently an informal charity, Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund maintains a MySpace page filled with rabidly anti-American propaganda. “Katrina put a spotlight on the horrors of racism, sexism, national oppression, poverty and environmental destruction in the U.S.,” the page lectures. It also demands that “the American Government [be put] on trial for its Katrina related crimes against humanity.”

As part of his outreach campaign in the U.S., Chavez has given $1.5 million to Casa de Maryland, a Washington, D.C.-area charity that advocates for illegal aliens. The grant is being paid by CITGO.

As we have seen, Chavez has already engaged in soft tactics aimed at undermining the United States. With a little help from his Islamist terrorist friends in Iran, he may one day soon decide to take his mischief to the next level.

is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank that studies the politics of philanthropy. His book on ACORN and its infiltration of the Obama administration will be published in mid-2011.

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Matthew Vadum is a senior editor at Capital Research Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank that studies the politics of philanthropy. His book on ACORN and its infiltration of the Obama administration will be published in mid-2011.

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How to Create a Real Democracy in Egypt

by Raymond Ibrahim

Say the word "democracy" in the West, and images of a free, pluralistic, and secular society come to mind. Commenting on the turmoil in Egypt, President Obama, "The United States will continue to stand up for democracy and the universal rights that all human beings deserve"—as if the two were inseparable.

The fact is, "democracy" does not always lead to "universal rights" and or other advantages associated with this form of governance. There is nothing inherently liberal, humanitarian, or secular about democracies, as we have seen from the democratic election of Hitler in Germany; the Palestinians' election of a terrorist government, Hamas, in Gaza in 2006; the election of the ayatollahs in Iran after the Shah was toppled in 1979; the near-election of the Islamists in Algeria in 1991, or even the democratic acceptance of slavery and the disenfranchisement of women in both ancient Athens and the first years of America. "People-power"—literally, demos-kratia— was what America's founder saw as also capable of becoming mob rule, and the reason they insisted on an electoral college.

Now that the people have gotten what they want in Egypt —the overthrow of Mubarak— will "people-power" automatically lead to a more liberal, secular, and pluralistic society?

Although many Egyptians – both Christians and Muslims -- would welcome a freer society, the majority of Egyptians were protesting not to see Islamic Sharia Law implemented -- despite Al-Jazeera's and the Iranian media's propaganda -- but for food and jobs.

That said, the Muslim Brotherhood's outspoken goal is to implement strict Sharia Law wherever it can; and if it is helped to power, Egypt will become considerably more fascistic and possibly even less free than it was under a dictatorship. This does not necessarily mean that Egyptians are Islamists; just that their choices were limited deliberately. As Mubarak suppressed and jailed anyone who promoted a real democracy, to show the West that the choice was between him and Islamists, he allowed the Islamists to function – even though they were officially outlawed -- to be able to show them to visitors from the West to justify his position. He thereby brought into being the choice he talked about: whoever did not like his regime had nowhere to go except the Islamists.

As in Western democracies, people can vote based on their immediate needs, emotions, misinformation, or even just propaganda—and, happily or unhappily, get more than they bargained for. In Gaza, for example, free social services – such as dental clinics and day-care centers -- that Arafat's government should have been providing but did not -- were what Hamas used to lure people to its side and incline them towards its theological agenda. This strategy of endearing the Palestinians to it by providing for their needs, Hamas learned directly from its parent organization: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

Western democracies have built-in safeguards such as a constitution, rule of law, and a judiciary. But what sort of society does one create if all of these – the constitution, the law and the judiciary -- are built on Islamist principles of Islamic Sharia ["The Way"] Law, agreed to by the majority? One creates a society in which women are legally subjugated and with unequal rights; adulterers are legally stoned to death; and homosexuals and apostates legally hanged. The Brotherhood's slogan states that "the Koran is our Constitution;" as we have seen, Iran has a "constitutional government"—but entirely based on Sharia Law

It would benefit Egypt as well as the region if America stopped praising democracy—a means—and started supporting freedom and universal rights—the desired end.

"Elections" are not the same thing as a "democracy;" the words are not synonymous. To avoid having a repressive government freely elected, it is first necessary, as outlined in The Case for Democracy by Natan Sharansky, to first introduce and firmly establish institutions of democracy – such as a free press; free speech; freedom for religion and freedom from religion; equal justice under law, including of property rights; laws based on individuals' rights; an independent judiciary; separation of mosque and state, and so forth. Elections can then be held at the end -- after these building blocks for a free civil society – and real choices for the people -- are able to function without religious or political interference. Rather than support any one mode of governance now, the U.S. could work with whoever will put in place and continue to build these institutions of a free society associated with democracy.

Such an approach would even have the added bonus of fending off the charge — emanating everywhere from academia to the Arab street — that America is hypocritical for befriending and supporting dictators even as it constantly praises democracy.

As with all forms of governance, democracy is only a means to an end; whether that end is good (freedom) or bad (tyranny) should be the ultimate measure of its worth.

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Raymond Ibrahim

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