Saturday, May 7, 2011

Power Struggle in Iran Between President and Supreme Leader

by Rick Moran

Analysts have been predicting this kind of open break for years. President Ahmadinejad is mostly Supreme Leader Khamenei's creation. He plucked the mayor of Tehran out of obscurity because he thought that his fanaticism would cleanse the government of corruption following the enormously crooked term of former president Rafsanjani.

What Khamenei never counted on was Ahmadinejad's independent streak:

The split started about two weeks ago after the president tried to dismiss the head of the intelligence ministry, the powerful government branch that exerts widespread control over domestic life. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, ordered that the minister, Heydar Moslehi, keep the post.

Mr. Ahmadinejad then stayed home for 11 days, according to reports from Iran, engaging in a visible fit of pique that threatened to undermine the staunch alliance the two had forged since Mr. Ahmadinejad was first elected president in 2005.

The spat dragged into the open several factional fights, analysts said, particularly the efforts by Mr. Ahmadinejad's conservative opponents to prevent his faction from dominating the parliamentary elections next March and even the presidential vote in 2013.

Even before the chants at Friday Prayer, a signature event since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, important conservative factions had pronounced their support for the supreme leader, including the government's primary enforcers, the Revolutionary Guards. Ayatollah Khamenei's infallibility was the subject of Friday Prayer in at least half a dozen large cities besides Tehran, according to media reports.

Ahmadinejad can't win and he knows it. Khamenei, a former president himself, has the whip hand and may try to marginalize the president even further if he continues to be as unpopular as he is currently. The economy is a basket case, corruption reigns despite numerous changes initiated by Ahmadinejad, and the president's wacky pronouncement have upset what passes for pragmatists in the Iranian leadership.

Like his predecessor President Khatami who was reduced to figurehead status at the end of his term, Ahmadinejad may be pushed to the sidelines and largely ignored until the elections in 2013.


Rick Moran

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

US Went for 'Double Play' but Missed Awlaki

by Rick Moran

A drone strike in Yemen on Thursday narrowly missed Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula spokesman Anwar al-Awlaki, an American born cleric who has been targeted for assassination by the US government.

New York Times:

The attack does not appear to have killed Mr. Awlaki, the officials said, but may have killed operatives of Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen.

It was the first American strike in Yemen using a remotely piloted drone since 2002, when the C.I.A. struck a car carrying a group of suspected militants, including an American citizen, who were believed to have Qaeda ties. And the attack came just three days after American commandos invaded a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda.

The attack on Thursday was part of a clandestine Pentagon program to hunt members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group believed responsible for a number of failed attempts to strike the United States, including the thwarted plot to blow up a trans-Atlantic jet on Dec. 25, 2009, as it was preparing to land in Detroit.

Although Mr. Awlaki is not thought to be one of the group's senior leaders, he has been made a target by American military and intelligence operatives because he has recruited English-speaking Islamist militants to Yemen to carry out attacks overseas.

The problem that has plagued drone strikes targeting specific individuals is the red tape required to get approval to fire. By the time all the layers of military decision making have signed off, the target often escapes or moves out of harm's way.

It's a clumsy system that needs changing while still giving elected leaders the final say. In the meantime, Awlaki should stay indoors if I were him.


Rick Moran

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

What the Canadian Election Means

by Bruce Walker

The blizzard of news surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden has focused attention away from the general election in Canada. The Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a resounding victory. After two minority governments, Harper now has a majority in the House of Commons. He can implement his policies without the support of other parties in Parliament. The Liberal Party, the opposition party, the party of Trudeau, the party that governed Canada for most of the last twenty years, melted into a weak third party. Bloc Quebec, the Francophone separatist party which for decades was the dominant force in Quebec, shrank from 49 seats in the last Parliament to only 4 seats now. Layton's New Democratic Party became the formal opposition party and it made most of its gains in Quebec where it replaced Bloc Quebec.

What does this mean? Future Canadian elections may, themselves, be different. Harper has promised to end government subsidies to political parties; the Liberal Party, which has trouble raising campaign funds, may find it hard to survive reliance on voluntary contributions. Conservatives may also change the apportionment seats in the House of Commons. At present the system denies the western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia an equal share of seats in the House of Commons. Harper might also reform the Canadian Senate, which is obstructionist and undemocratic. Conservatives now have a narrow majority in the Senate (and a majority in the House of Commons), which is just enough clout to reform the upper chamber. (It helps that Layton of the New Democratic Party actually wants to abolish the Senate, and he is now Leader of the Opposition.)

The practical demise of Bloc Quebec will may mean an end to separatist movements in Western Canada. Bloc Quebec was constructed around Francophone unhappiness. In response, the western provinces, most notably Alberta, resented Quebec and the "transfer payments" which took money from those productive provinces and gave money to Quebec (and other parts of Canada.) Harper has pledged to protect the interests of the western provinces. Ideally, Harper will promote the confederate nature of the Canadian nation. Canadians have just voted to remain a single nation, and best way to preserve that spirit is robust protection of provincial rights.

The domestic policies of the new, strong Conservative government will increase production of Canadian oil. Harper, the son of an Albertan oil company executive, understands the combination of exploration risk and fluctuating market prices which make the petroleum industry a "boom or bust" activity. Harper's government will increase tax incentives for oil production, prevent nutty environmentalism, and allow the unrestricted export of oil (all of which will push prices and production to honest market levels.) Less noticed but also important, Harper's Conservatives will abolish the Canadian Wheat Board, a state monopoly which artificially keeps the price of wheat and barley high. Harper will allow market forces to set the price and production of the vast wheat fields of the Prairie Provinces. Harper has promised to reduce the corporate tax rate and sale tax rates and enact budgets which support a strong Canadian Dollar. All of these actions will keep Canada a stable and prosperous nation, which is our national interest.

Canada under Harper has been a supporter of American foreign policy. Harper, particularly, supports the State of Israel and has been an outspoken foe of anti-Semitism. The big election victory of Harper, along with the death of Osama bin Laden, is a double whammy for radical Islam. How serious is Harper about these issues? Recall that a few months after Harper took office, radical Islamists concocted a plot to decapitate Harper. He was, quite properly, viewed as a major enemy of their evil aims.

There is a downside to Harper. Although he is a social conservative, Harper will not fight battles for social conservatism in Canada. He will not even try to end abortion on demand in Canada. He declared the issue "closed" in December 2006, after a brief attempt to restrict gay marriage. While abortion and gay marriage are important to social conservatives, they face a very threat to their right to speak in Canada, and other nations, because of that semantic Frankenstein, "Hate Crimes." A nasty and, itself, hateful application of those nebulous laws allow the Left in many nations to simply define expression it dislikes as hateful and make that expression criminal. Canada, the Left there proudly boasts, does not have a First Amendment and that honestly held, even factually correct, expression can be punished because it offends certain people.

That means a mullah in a mosque can say "Death to Jews and Christians!" with impunity but that a Jew or Christian who reports "Mullahs are calling for the death of Jews and Christians" can be guilty of a "Hate Crime." The threat to liberty from the totalitarian Left in Canada and Europe is serious stuff; just ask Ann Coulter or Mark Steyn or Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who is on trial for criticizing Islam and whose innocence cannot be established by proving that what he said was true. If Harper wants to preserve Canada, he must fight Leftist censorship there. If he wages that battle and wins, then his big victory election means much to Canada and to the world, but if Harper ignores the drift of Canada towards totalitarianism, then all else he does will mean nothing. No one should doubt the ferocity of those dragons which Harper must slay to save the soul of Canada, but no one should doubt that the salvation of Canada from that evil is worth brave battle and much sacrifice.


Bruce Walker

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

The PLO’s Desperate Defenders

by Caroline Glick

By most accounts, the Fatah-Hamas unity deal signing ceremony Wednesday was a grand affair. Hamas terror-chief Khaled Mashaal jetted in from Damascus. PLO/Fatah/Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas flew in from Ramallah.

The ceremony was held under the auspices of the newly Muslim Brotherhood-friendly Egyptian intelligence services. UN representatives and Israeli Arab members of Knesset were on hand to witness the “historic” accord which officially put the PLO in bed with Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and a terrorist organization dedicated to the annihilation of Israel and the establishment of a global caliphate.

No less significant than the pact itself are the lengths the Left is going to obfuscate and belittle the importance of what happened. At home and abroad, leftists have used three means to hide the meaning of the pact from the public.

First, some have upheld the deal as a cause for celebration. On Wednesday, Channel 10’s senior political commentator Raviv Drucker opined that the deal may increase the chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Ignoring the fact that the pact paves the way for Hamas’s integration into the PA’s US-trained security forces, and its membership in the PLO, Raviv vapidly claimed that the villain in all of the recent developments is none other than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is destroying all chance of peace by pointing out that the Palestinians have opted for war.

On the world stage, Drucker’s case is being made by former US president Jimmy Carter. In an op-ed in The Washington Post on Wednesday, Carter similarly praised the deal as a step forward. Never mentioning the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization, Carter claimed that the deal will enhance Palestinian democracy. It will also increase chances for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel and peace between Israel and the Palestinians, he promised.

The second way the leftist establishment is trying to hide the game-changing nature of the Fatah-Hamas deal is by belittling it. Most of the Israeli media, for instance, highlighted remarks by outgoing Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin asserting that the agreement is likely to be short-lived.

The New York Times, too, emphasized the deal’s high chance of failure. But whether it succeeds or fails is irrelevant. The point is not that Fatah and Hamas don’t like one each other. They point is that they are terrorists.

Finally, voices in the Left have sought to hide the importance of the agreement behind bureaucratic illusions. For example, the Obama administration is using the artificial distinctions between Fatah – led by Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO – led by Mahmoud Abbas, and the Palestinian Authority – led by Mahmoud Abbas, to claim that there is no reason to get excited. Since the PLO signs the deals with Israel, and the PA pays the bills, the State Department has argued that the fact that Fatah signed a unity agreement with Hamas won’t have any immediate impact on US aid to the PA.

Abbas himself has gone out of his way to encourage this notion. During his meeting with a delegation of far left, retired Israeli security brass last week, Abbas said there is no reason for concern about the agreement because the PLO, which he leads, rather than Fatah, which he leads, carries out negotiations with Israel.

The reason that otherwise intelligent people are willing to make such obviously absurd statements is because they are in a state of panic. They realize that the Fatah-Hamas unity deal discredits the land-for-peace paradigm. If the public is permitted to recognize the importance of what has happened, then that policy will be abandoned. All Israeli and US support, recognition and legitimization for the Hamas-partnering PA/PLO/Fatah will have to be ended.

The Left’s panic was revealed on Wednesday in a Haaretz report of a classified Foreign Ministry report regarding the unity deal. Written by unnamed officials at the ministry’s leftist-dominated policy planning division, its authors rebuked the Netanyahu government for condemning the agreement. They claimed that the deal represents an opportunity for Israel. They further called on the government to “be a team player and coordinate its response to a Palestinian unity government with the [Obama] administration.” Doing so, the authors claimed, “will empower the United States and serve Israeli interests.”

Obviously displeased with the government’s failure to heed their ridiculous advice, the diplomats released their cable to Haaretz in a bid to intimidate Israel’s elected leadership into submission before it is too late.

This is not the first time we have been at the point of recognizing the truth – that the PLO/PA/Fatah never turned its back on terror and that all the commitments it has made to Israel have been subordinate to its commitment to maintaining its support for terror. We were here in 1990 and again in 2000.

In 1990, PLO chief Yasser Arafat refused to condemn a seaborne terror attack on Ashkelon and Tel Aviv carried out by the PLF faction of the PLO. As is the case today, Arafat tried to characterize the subordinate group as an independent organization in order to deny his own culpability for their crime.

At the time, the US was engaged in a dialogue with the PLO facilitated by the group’s November 1988 professed recognition of Israel. Faced with this clear breach of good faith, the US Congress and the Shamir government demanded that then-president George H.W. Bush cancel US recognition of the PLO and end its dialogue with the terror group. Although Bush had been a great champion of US-PLO relations, he had no choice but to agree to this obviously justified demand.

A year later, in 1991, Bush rejected the notion of reinstating his recognition of the PLO. Speaking to reporters he said, “To me, they’ve lost credibility. They’ve lost credibility with this office right here.”

In 2000, Arafat again lost credibility when he rejected then prime minister Ehud Barak’s offer of peace and Palestinian statehood at Camp David, joined forces with Hamas and launched a terror war against Israel. Upon returning from Camp David, Barak bragged that he had taken the mask of peacemaker off of Arafat’s terrorist face.

But Barak’s peace-crazed leftist voters weren’t interested in the truth. Just as they are condemning Netanyahu now for acknowledging that Abbas’s deal with Hamas proves that the PA is uninterested in peace with Israel, in 2000 the political Left responded with vitriol to Barak’s announcement. From their great leader, he became their worst enemy.

Barak’s supporters’ decision to prefer their ideological commitment to the peace paradigm over their commitment to their country or to the facts on the ground made it impossible for Barak to act on his revelation. If he wished to have a political future, the only thing he could do was obey his voters, and put the mask back on Arafat’s face. After all, the Right, which opposed his massive concessions, would never vote for him.

So Barak dutifully elevated uber-leftist and then-justice minister Yossi Beilin to the head of his negotiations team. He empowered Beilin to make even more far-reaching concessions to Arafat at Taba, even as Arafat’s security forces were lynching IDF soldiers and planning, financing and ordering the suicide bombings.

Today the situation is closer to 1990 than to 2000. As in 1990, the US Congress fully supports ending US funding, recognition and support for the PLO/PA/Fatah. Even before the deal was announced, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, had already called for ending US financing of the PA in light of its refusal to negotiate peace with Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Immediately after the unity deal was announced, Ros-Lehtinen reinstated her demand that the US end all support for the PA. She noted that since Hamas is a terrorist organization, the US government is legally barred from providing it with assistance or recognition of any kind. Sen. Mark Kirk has led efforts in the Senate to end US aid to the PLO/PA/Fatah in light of the unity deal.

If Netanyahu follows the advice of his leftist critics and cooperates with the Obama administration in its apparent bid to ignore the legal and policy significance of the Hamas-Fatah deal, he will undermine Congress’s ability to support Israel. No American lawmaker – or presidential candidate – will want to be more pro-Israel than Israel’s prime minister. And if Netanyahu bends to the will of his leftist critics he will stop these welcome initiatives in their tracks.

So far, Netanyahu has been holding strong. His government’s decision to freeze tax transfers to the PA in response to the agreement with Hamas has sent a strong signal that Israel is withdrawing its acceptance of the PA as a credible peace partner and now views it as a terrorist entity. This move will facilitate swift congressional action to defund the PA and limit the administration’s ability to pressure Israel to make further concessions to Abbas.

From the perspective of US-Israel relations, the Fatah-Hamas unity pact couldn’t have come at a more crucial time. Netanyahu’s speech before the joint houses of Congress on May 24 provides the premier with a rare opportunity to radically alter the terms of reference for the discourse on the Palestinian conflict with Israel at home and in the US.

If he continues to highlight the PLO-Hamas alliance, Netanyahu can drive the political discourse away from the false narrative of Palestinian peacefulness and towards the truth about their devotion to terror and war. With just one address, Netanyahu can potentially do more to strengthen and safeguard Israel than he has in his entire career. And in so doing, he will guarantee his place among the ranks of the great statesmen.

Politically, Netanyahu has much to gain by remaining on offense and much to lose by surrendering. Unlike Barak’s voters, Netanyahu’s voters know that the discredited land-for-peace paradigm has failed, and they will reward Netanyahu for speaking the truth.

On the other hand, if he bows to leftist pressure, and empowers Obama to demand still more Israeli concessions to the Fatah-Hamas government, Netanyahu will place his political future in jeopardy. His voters are liable to transfer their support to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman or to one of Netanyahu’s Likud ministers. They will not understand why they should vote for Netanyahu only to get Barak’s policy.

International affairs rarely provide the opportunity to correct past mistakes. If Netanyahu does the right thing, he will be attacked viciously by the mindless supporters of endless concessions. But their condemnations will be drowned out by hoots and cheers of enthusiastic support from the overwhelming majority of the public at home, and from Israel’s friends in Congress and throughout the world. They will thank him for freeing us all, finally, from the myth of peace with terrorists.


Caroline Glick

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

MAS Official: Bin Laden a "Visionary"

by IPT News

A leader of a major American Muslim organization, the Muslim American Society (MAS), is arguing that there "was nothing wrong with" Osama bin Laden's dream of creating a renewed Caliphate. Khalilah Sabra's comments are the most recent and worrisome from the group, which has a long history of defending alleged terrorists.

Sabra, the director of the North Carolina branch of MAS' Freedom Foundation, made the statement in a sometimes disjointed article entitled "Agreeing to Disagree About the Death of Osama Bin Laden" that was released Wednesday under the MAS logo. The statement aligns more with a period of Sabra's life in the late 1980s, when she traveled to Afghanistan with bin Laden's predecessor, Abdullah Azzam, to provide aid to the mujahideen fighting the Soviet Union.

Her statement doesn't defend bin Laden's terror attack on 9/11. But it does laud his vision of an Islamic state and his desire to "liberate" the Afghani people.

"He was a visionary who believed in the possibility of an Islamic state in Afghanistan and the possibility that this thing might someday be," Sabra wrote. "There was nothing wrong with that dream, even if it differs from that one that all Americans have here for themselves."

In 1997, bin Laden described his vision of a Muslim leader "who can unite them and establish the 'pious caliphate.' The pious caliphate will start from Afghanistan" and spread from there.

Bin Laden "was not the same man who came to fight against the occupation" by the Russian army, she wrote, but still cast his example in positive terms: "With his wealth and ability, he could have done almost anything he wanted to do. At that time he supported the anti-occupation forces by providing housing for the thousands of volunteers who converged on the small border town on the edge of Pakistan. At that time, Osama Bin Laden cared unrelentingly about the Afghan Muslim children in the same way he cared about his own children, and believed in the right to liberate the Afghan people from their Russian aggressors, who raped innocent women and who tried to destroy the country in order to control a country they did not have rights over."

Other MAS officials have expressed more supportive statements about bin Laden's death.

"Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims," said MAS President Ahmad El Bendary. "Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. We concur with the president that his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity."

MAS was founded as an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States and has a record of supporting alleged terrorists and terror financiers. Three of its founders were listed in a telephone book of American Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Several Brotherhood leaders have denounced the U.S. raid killing bin Laden, referring to bin Laden with the honorary term "sheik," and defending "resistance" against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other MAS leaders have defended violence. The Investigative Project on Terrorism captured former President Esam Omeish on videotape at a 2000 rally praising Palestinians for knowing "the jihad way is the way to liberate your land."

Similarly, the head of MAS's political wing, the MAS Freedom Foundation can be seen raising a fist in agreement at a separate 2000 rally in response to a call to show support for Hamas and Hizballah. In addition, Mahdi Bray traveled to Egypt in 2008 to attend a vigil in support of Brotherhood officials on trial.

Bray and his organization have backed a series of alleged terrorists and terror financiers over the years. Among them, Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who pleaded guilty to illegal financial transactions with Libya and aiding a plot to assassinate a Saudi crown prince; and Sami Al-Arian, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's governing board.

Both cases were dismissed by MAS as trumped-up cases of anti-Muslim bias by the government.

Sabra exhibited that reflexive response following the 2009 indictment of North Carolina Muslim convert Daniel Patrick Boyd and six other men. Boyd was accused of being leader the group – which included two of his sons – in a desire to wage jihad against American soldiers abroad and talked of striking targets in America when their original plan failed to materialize. Though officials had an insider and recordings, Sabra cast the case as "an illusion. Either the defendants have created an illusion, or the agents have created an illusion, but the reality has yet to be seen."

In February, Boyd pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim, and injure persons in a foreign country.

Sabra has said she met Boyd in Afghanistan 20 years earlier, during the fight against the Russians. That's when bin Laden attracted the "thousands of volunteers" Sabra mentions in her article.

They became the core of al-Qaida and the leadership of terrorist organizations around the world. Sabra's connection to these volunteering mujahideen, or holy warriors, dates back to her own experiences working for bin Laden's predecessor, jihadist ideologue Abdullah Yusuf Azzam.

Azzam spoke at Sabra's mosque near UCLA in 1988, a 2008 article in Gulf Times reported. "Sabra was

impressed and eventually agreed to go with him to Afghanistan," the article said. "For about a year, Sabra lived in Peshawar, Pakistan, and made regular trips to nearby Afghan refugee camps."

Azzam is considered a founding father both of Hamas and of al-Qaida. The Gulf Times article describes him as "the godfather of jihad."

In her article, Sabra lamented the price Muslims have paid for bin Laden's terror, including a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment, the Patriot Act and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

"Osama Bin Laden singlehandedly undid some of the most significant Islamic work done in America," she wrote, "and disseminated the rights of Muslims here and forced the world to ignore the rights of our other brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. He knew there was a price to pay for his actions and ideas. He paid. I do not believe that any human being relished the terror and the loss of blood that came with his death, but most believe he would not have wanted to be arrested, brought to America and tried in our courts of law. In the end, he died on his own terms."


IPT News

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

A Voice of Reason from an Arab Dissident

by Yoel Meltzer

Introduction: The following is an interview with Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian Jordanian and former political insider who fled Jordan and currently resides in England. In an open and honest manner, Mudar briefly discusses the current unrest in Jordan, the various players in Jordan and their links to Islamic groups, his vision of a Palestinian state in Jordan as opposed to the two-state solution, his attempts at effecting change and the subsequent threats against him.

Protests in Jordan

Yoel Meltzer: Like most Arab countries, protests are also taking place in Jordan. According to what I’ve read the king is claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is responsible for the protests. Is this true?

Mudar Zahran: Not at all. A story was reported in the Jerusalem Post and it dismissed such a claim. The organizers of the events are mostly tribal Jordanians calling for less power for the king.

YM: So the MB is not involved at all?

MZ: The MB represents just a small fraction of the protesters. Most of those involved are tribal elders or people representing tribal factions and very, very few Palestinians. What the king is doing is exactly what Colonel Gaddafi is doing. Just as Gaddafi is claiming that he is fighting Al-Qaeda when he is actually fighting rebels who hate his oppressive rule, so too Abdullah and his media, and lately his prime minister, are all insisting the protesters are MB members.

YM: But I thought the Bedouin tribes were allies of the king?

MZ: They are. Yet he has fed them and empowered them to the point where they do not want him any more. They want a constitutional monarchy as was referred to in a 1920 convention. In that year King Abdullah’s grandfather met with tribal leaders of what was then Eastern Palestine and agreed with them to mutually rule the country. They want that restored so that they become partners in his rule, or nearly rulers themselves. If not, they shall revolt. They have been saying that openly.

YM: Isn’t Jordan already a constitutional monarchy?

MZ: Jordan claims to be a constitutional monarchy while it is by all means a dictatorship. A constitutional monarchy is where the king reigns but does not run the country, as is the case in the UK, Sweden, Norway and others. In Jordan the king has all the authority with zero accountability.

In reality Jordan is a dictatorship headed by a slick-dressing dictator who speaks perfect English, as opposed to Saddam’s military uniform or Assad’s bad English.

YM: Regarding the current protests in Jordan, are they being attended by large crowds or do most people choose to stay away?

MZ: Most Palestinians, who are the majority, are too afraid to get involved. Even the Washington Institute and the Jerusalem Post have confirmed that most Palestinians are not participating. While in other Arab countries the protesters are facing their own cousins behind the police guns and clubs, in Jordan the Palestinians would be facing the ruthless Bedouins who have been terrorizing them since 1970.

This is mainly an affair between the king and the tribes.

YM: In your opinion, will the changes that the tribes are requesting have a positive effect on the Palestinians?

MZ: Just read their statements. The latest one was signed by 36 of their leaders calling for the expelling of the Palestinians or taking away their passports. Some even called for repossessing the property of Palestinians and several called for “re-establishing Israel as an enemy state.”

YM: Are they more anti-Israel than the king?

MZ: You bet. The king is just a puppet in their hand and that is why he has been taking an anti-Palestinian and an anti-Israeli stance since he came to power.

YM: So which would you prefer, the king continuing as is or the changes that the tribes want?

MZ: The king cannot continue and the tribes will oust him sooner or later. His father remained their king only because he fed them so much and gave them unbelievable privileges even according to American standards. The present king does not have the money to do this and their numbers have exceeded the country’s resources. Economically speaking Jordan, which heavily depends on excessive taxation of its Palestinians, will not have the resources to pay any more of the privileges and benefits the tribesmen get in Jordan. So sooner or later they will oust him, probably sooner more than later. The result will be hostile uncontrollable tribes in Jordan who are playing with the country in an unruly manner just like their ancestors did for thousands of years. In the Bedouin culture stealing someone else’s wealth and land is not a shame, in fact it is a matter of honor…they call it Ghazou and Khawa.

YM: Almost sounds like Afghanistan

MZ: Very much so, only the Bedouins in Jordan are well armed and well trained with fine American weapons. For some unknown reason Jordan spends 40 percent of its budget on military and building an army.

Links between Bedouin Tribes and Islamic Groups

YM: Are the tribes close to the MB or to other groups outside of Jordan such as Al-Qaeda or Hezbollah?

MZ: The MB’s leadership is mostly tribal. Its senior leaders are Zaki Bani Rushaid, Salim Flahat and Abdul Majid Thubnibat. Each one of them is a Bedouin and not a Palestinian and each one was present at the last protest which ended up violently. Zaki Bani Rushaid, who is the strongest leader within the MB, was a former office manager of Khaled Meshaal (the political leader of Hamas).

The southern part of Jordan is closely and heavily connected to Al-Qaeda. Many tribesmen believe in Salafi methodology and lately they have been parading around the southern city of Maan, a tribal stronghold, waving their own flags and walking around with their fine M-16s. Yet for some reason none of this has made it to the western media.

YM: What is “Salafi methodology”?

MZ: Salafi methodology is the orthodox denomination in Islam. It is the ideology that Osama bin Laden belongs too as did Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist who was the chief Al-Qaeda operator in Iraq until shortly before he was killed. Also connected to Salafi was Hammam al-Balawi, the suicide bomber who killed 7 CIA officers in Afghanistan in the 2009 Khost bombing.

Trying to Establish Peace in the Wrong Geographical Location

YM: As you know, later this year the Palestinians intend on declaring a state. Although personally you believe that Jordan should be this Palestinian state, Abbas is pushing for a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. What do you think about this?

MZ: I believe Jordan is the eastern side of Palestine and that the Jordan River should be a good fence between Israel and Jordan. What Abbas is going to do is comedy evolving into Saturday Night Live sponsored by the UN. What state Mr. Abbas? What state when most Palestinians, including 70 percent of Palestinians in Jerusalem, would rather be under Israeli rule? Mr. Abbas is repaying those Arab states who finance his authority and who do not want to see the Palestinians and the Israelis enjoying peace.

The question is, are the Israelis that weak? In any normal country the Itamar massacre would send shock waves of reality. Have I seen any Israeli politician, even so-called right-wingers like FM Lieberman, speak openly of putting the Palestinians back in their homeland?

YM: Your words are very powerful. The problems in Israel are deep and complex. Putting them aside for a moment, the current problem is that Abbas going to the UN has serious repercussions. Whether it’s approval from the Security Council or from the General Assembly, either way it’s something that carries a lot of weight. From there it might be relatively easy to call for sanctions against Israel if it fails to comply and remove its citizens and army from the new Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria.

MZ: It seems that Mr. Abbas’s adventures will lead the region into a massive war. Although I doubt the US and Israel’s other friends would approve a UN resolution calling for sanctions against Israel, nonetheless there will be more headaches and more trouble for Israel. More importantly, I believe all of this is the result of trying to establish peace in the wrong geographical location. Imagine if the pressure had always been to share historical Palestine where we get two thirds and you get one third – us across the river and you on the other side.

Abbas’ statehood stunt is reckless and will eventually lead the region into a massive war that might even produce WWIII.

Such a move is also harmful to the Palestinians since it can give Israel every legitimate reason to sever ties for good with the Palestinians. Israel is the only country that allows them to accept and take jobs and it is their transportation and trade outlet. Only Abbas will benefit from such a move. He is following in the footsteps of Hamas who only wanted to rule and didn’t care if the Palestinians starved. The same is going to happen with Mr. Abbas.

By the way, his seeking a state is also against the Oslo agreement. Hence it’s about time that Israel gets real and revises its agreement. Israel needs to decide that the Palestinians can establish their own state across the river since any Palestinian statehood between the sea and the river will only lead to more wars and more troubles.

However, keep in mind that all of this is happening because one family, the Hashemites, want to keep controlling Eastern Palestine. This is absurd.

YM: I’m not sure if it’s only because of the Hashemites but that certainly is part of it. Whatever may have been in the past, today most of the world “buys” the Palestinian story and Israel is increasingly being slandered as a “horrible occupier.” Just recently was the 7th annual “Israel Apartheid Week” in colleges throughout the West. Can the trend of the world be changed in order to stop, as you said, “trying to establish peace in the wrong geographical location”?

(Editor’s note: See the Freedom Center’s campaign to counter the lies of “Israel Apartheid Week”.)

Efforts to Change the Entrenched Point of View

MZ: True, it is not only because of the Hashemites yet it certainly is partly due to their presence. Were the Hashemites not ruling the eastern part of Palestine then the Palestinians already would have had a country for sixty years and nobody would have pressured Israel to give away its land. Yet this is not the case and the Hashemites are ruling the place and constantly telling the Palestinians they are merely refugees.

However, the world will only change its views on the location of the future Palestinian state if it wakes up to the problem of Jordanian apartheid. This is something my colleagues and I are constantly trying to do. As much as we can we’re telling the world that the Palestinian majority in Jordan is oppressed and discriminated against. Yet I am stunned by how little interest the world, the International Criminal Court, the US and other Western governments show in our rights. I believe they are more interested in bashing the “evil Jews” in Israel rather than securing our rights. Anti-Semitism has surely made a well-groomed comeback.

Jordan is a vicious apartheid state; how come there is no Jordanian Apartheid week in the UK or the US?

YM: Going against the trend and “the powers that be” is not an easy task. Despite the difficulty, do you feel your making any progress?

MZ: Much so. People have been discovering the true colors of Jordan and how hostile to Israel it is. Two groups of people we are reaching out to are:

1. The Pro-Israel and the Zionists – we are telling them that the Hashemites are in fact an enemy and not a friend and that Jordan is not a peace-loving safe haven they can depend on.

2. The westerners who support Jordan (sometimes even against Israel) – we are telling them that Jordan is an apartheid state that breaks international law and we are warning them not to support it.

Nevertheless, despite the progress we need to reach out more. The Jordanian regime has portrayed itself as Israel’s best friend and a necessity for Israel’s survival – both are myths. I am reaching out to people and have seen people changing their minds about this subject. This is awesome.

In addition we are already reaching out to the US Congress, the UK Parliament, the Secretary of State and others to expose Jordan and the king’s tricks. And we know for a fact our actions have caused serious discomfort for the king. We just need more outreach.

YM: Have any of them (parliament, congress, secretary of state, etc) responded?

MZ: We have received some response from the parliament of Canada and I know for a fact that some congressmen have given serious thought and consideration to our message. I also know for certain that the US Secretary of State and the American Embassy in Amman spoke to the regime in Jordan about certain issues we have raised in our letters to them. The effect of this is that some of the regime’s media outlets wrote stories against “those in the West trying to tarnish Jordan’s image” and the king himself has made actions that show we have put him on the spot.

I also get many emails each day and sometimes phone calls from Palestinians thanking me and calling me strange names like “our hero” and “our man”. One guy even wrote a poem to my praise….it really makes me laugh.

YM: It’s good. It means you’re touching people. By the way, the last interview we did was splashed all over the internet. Did you receive any feedback from the interview?

MZ: Yes, especially from Jews.

YM: Are you specifically in touch with the Jews in England? For instance, are you in contact with the well-known writer Melanie Phillips? She’s attacked as being an “extremist” although many Jews think she’s just speaking straight and honestly.

MZ: She is one of my favorites. I never was able to get in touch with her yet I sure would love to. I am in touch with Jews here; very great people and many seem to passionately believe in my cause. After the interview was published one of them called me and said he would consider helping me in my latest quest of issuing arrest warrants for Jordanian officials coming to London. If Israeli politicians have to think twice before they arrive here then for sure the Jordanian apartheid criminals are more worthy of such arrest warrants and surely deserve to be arrested. Those who want Israeli politicians arrested deserve to be embarrassed. If they really cared for the Palestinians, how come they never bother to arrest Jordanian apartheid criminals?

YM: What about the large Arab/Muslim population in England. Are you in touch with any of their leaders r do they keep a distance from you?

MZ: I am in touch with most Palestinians here, at least the Palestinians who matter. You will be shocked how much support they exhibit. I also have people in Canada, US, Australia and Europe all working with me, sending messages and outreaching, requesting meetings, calling people and doing all they can do. Today I received a request from a Palestinian activist in Amman asking me to open my group for Palestinians in Jordan despite the huge risks for them.

YM: What group are you referring to?

MZ: My group is the New Jordan Party which aims to establish Palestinian rule in Jordan via all legal, peaceful, and democratic means instead of the Hashemite occupation.

Threats Against Mudar

YM: Who in fact is helping you the most?

MZ: The Palestinians. I’m still working on making the case with the non-Arabs (westerners). I also have been receiving serious emotional support and advice from some American Jews. Many see my thoughts as sobering. They just think, “Why didn’t we think of that before?”

In general, a lot of Palestinian friends stop by to meet and talk. I also get people calling on the Internet telling me they support what I’m doing. I never realized how much the Palestinians hated the Hashemite regime. Keep in mind, all seem convinced that a state across the river in the eastern part of the British mandate of Palestine is just fine.

Yet I have also been under serious threats and harassment from the Jordanian government. As we speak I am going through a crushing experience because of the Jordanians. Threats were made involving my life and the lives of my children and immediate family members yet sadly the authorities seem to be able to do very little.

YM: They’re physically threatening you and your family in England?

MZ: Long story. Khaled Majali, a retired Jordanian intelligence officer, wrote an article in July 2010 calling for my head to be chopped off by the intelligence service right on British soil. Then recently a Jordanian gentleman who lives in Greece began publishing threats all over Facebook, directly calling for my harm. He’s saying that I’m a Jewish spy, editing my photo showing me dressed as a rabbi and also somehow exhibiting photos of members of my extended family and of friends of the family. I thought his presence in Greece would put him under European jurisdiction yet I thought wrong and the whole issue ended up with the police asking me to hand over my two laptops to them in order to continue the case.

What was really alarming is that he seemed to have known something about my movement in the UK, which makes me wonder, am I being followed?

Nonetheless, I have not stopped working against them. My wife and I have also accepted our fate. Whatever happens, it will be for the good. I am not going to stop.

YM: In a world full of lies, it’s not always so easy to work for the truth. It upsets a lot of people, especially those with lots of power, since they benefit from the constant lies and confusion.

MZ: If it were not for one man, Moses, to lead the way, all Jews would still be Egyptian slaves today. God manifests his will through a few good men, or women. I am looking for an exodus for my people from the current situation.

Iran and Hamas

YM: Does Iran have any influence in Jordan?

MZ: Big time. Iran has achieved serious penetration into the tribal Jordanians. The chief tribal Jordanian opposition leader calling for constitutional monarchy is Leith Shubilat who is a very close friend of Iran. Furthermore, the king visited Iran a few months ago and Iran provides some financial aid to Jordan. Jordan and its pragmatic approach make it an open gun for hire or politician for hire for anyone who pays best. Good example is Jordan’s stance of supporting Saddam.

YM: What you’re saying is interesting since it shows that Shiite Iran is trying to influence the Sunni Bedouin tribes in Jordan. This of course is similar to Iran backing the Sunni Hamas. Thus, despite their usual animosity towards each other, Sunnis and Shiites can always find a way to work together especially if It’s against a united enemy. Do you agree?

MZ: Iran pays generously for Hamas and the Jordanian tribes to the point where the king is alarmed. Before Iran, Saddam used to pay the tribes very, very well. He even built them Jordan’s second largest university and used to grant their sheikhs bran new Mercedes….seen those with my own eyes. If your question is “do both Sunnis and Shiites hate Jews?” the answer is yes. Yet I can assure you, both hate one another much more than they could care for the Jews.

YM: But the problem is that the shared hatred against the Jews understandably scares most Israelis. Take for instance the elections a few years back in Judea and Samaria when the average Palestinian voted in Hamas. That sent a powerful message to many Israelis that the average Palestinian is happy having Hamas as its leader and that they support their measures since deep down they all hate the Jews. It’s hard to overcome that feeling.

MZ: Common sense must be applied. Palestinians, even Christian Palestinians I know, voted for Hamas just to harm the corrupt PA and PLO which had terrorized people and killed their potential. However, if elections were held today I doubt that Hamas would get the same landslide victory. In addition, I doubt Palestinians would care for Hamas as much as many of them do today if they had their own country across the river or if they should have one in about three years time.

Predictions for the Coming Year

YM: What do you see happening within a year in Jordan, Judea and Samaria (regarding Palestinian statehood) and in Israel?

MZ: I see the king losing control over the tribes. I see him unable to control them and Jordan falling into unrest and I see the tribes attacking the Palestinian armless and helpless majority.

I also see Mr. Abbas staying where is, as is, since I doubt he would ever push the Palestinian state stunt. He will flirt with it and perhaps even initiate it at the UN yet he would never push it all the way. And even if he does or just wanted to, be sure that the US would stop it at some point. He certainly doesn’t want that fiasco and could never afford it.

I see the Israeli right-wing nationalists picking up more momentum. I see a more conservative Israel than in previous years yet not something radically different. I also see a surge in terrorist attacks on Israel. Syria will push Hamas into carrying out more terror attacks inside Israel to shift the media and political pressure off its regime.

YM: Regarding the events in Syria, do you think Assad will fall and will events there have an influence on Jordan?

MZ: Yes, I think Assad will fall once the situation in Libya is concluded. Assad and his Alawites make up only 5,000 people which means they can easily fall. Thus the king in Jordan is obviously terrified since in Jordan there are 50 Hashemite members ruling 6 million. The unrest in the region is a tsunami that might make the Bedouin tribesmen who control the army revolt against him.


Yoel Meltzer is a freelance writer living in Jerusalem. Visit his personal blog at

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

Time to Thank “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”

by Alan W. Dowd

The successes of the CIA and other intelligence agencies, the old saying goes, are never known and the failures are never forgotten. The takedown of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALs, who were guided onto their target by the work of hundreds of intelligence officers around the world, is a welcome exception to this rule. In a similar way, the successful strike on bin Laden forces us to take a fresh look at the notion that enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) are not useful or effective. If recent comments from high-level officials are any indication, EITs played an important part in the hunt for and elimination of the terror mastermind.

Ever since 9/11, the CIA has been pounded for not “connecting the dots.” The “dots” in the world of intelligence-gathering can be anything—individuals, places, times, targets, dates, fragments of messages, inscrutable codes—but they mean nothing to policymakers unless or until an intelligence analyst can draw a line from one dot to another and thereby paint at least part of a picture.

That connecting line is crucial. And in the case of taking down bin Laden, that connecting line was apparently provided by sources that were subjected to EITs, according to an NBC interview of CIA director Leon Panetta.

The most likely source to provide what NBC calls “the thread of information” about bin Laden’s trusted courier was Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), who masterminded the 9/11 attacks.

According to the Associated Press, KSM, while being held in a CIA prison somewhere in Eastern Europe, divulged nicknames of key bin Laden aides and couriers. Although he had been subjected to water-boarding, or simulated drowning, several times prior to divulging the names, KSM turned over these fragments of info long after agents had stopped using the technique. Obama administration officials concede, however, that “U.S. intelligence did not learn the identity of the courier until after the CIA interrogation program was terminated,” Reuters reports. In other words, it is possible fear of another round of water-boarding had an impact on KSM.

“We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day,” Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer, told AP.

In fact, Panetta says, “intelligence garnered from water-boarded detainees was used to track down al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and kill him,” according to NBC’s reporting. “We had a multiple source—a multiple series of sources—that provided information with regards to the situation,” according to Panetta. “Clearly some of it came from detainees and the interrogation of detainees, but we also had information from other sources as well.”

Rep. Peter King (R-NY), was less opaque. “The road to bin Laden began with water-boarding,” he told NBC News. As chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and a member of the Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, King would know.

In the cold calculus of this war, King has concluded that the ends justify the means, that innocent life is more important than a terrorist’s comfort: “I use the example of September 10th, 2001, if we had captured Mohammed Atta and we knew he was going to kill thousands of Americans but we didn’t know when or where, are we saying now you wouldn’t hold his head under water to save 3,000 lives?”

When put that way, most Americans would agree with King’s sentiment, and understandably so. When characterized as torture, Americans become a bit more squeamish about EITs, and understandably so.

The reason the “thread” that led the CIA and the SEALs to bin Laden is such a big deal is President Barack Obama’s very vocal views on EITs. Water-boarding “violates our ideals and our values,” Obama said in 2009. “I do believe that it is torture…And that is why I put an end to these practices.”

The Bush administration, on the other hand, rejected the characterization of EITs as torture and limited the use of EITs to a small handful of individuals. “We used this technique on three people,” President George W. Bush said in an interview after leaving office. “We gained…information to protect the country. And it was the right thing to do as far as I’m concerned.”

It’s a policy difference, a difference of worldviews and philosophy, and that’s what elections are about. Obama’s 2009 executive order that reversed Bush administration policy on EITs authorizes only those interrogation techniques approved by the U.S. Army Field Manual. The problem is, those techniques may not have—probably would not have—persuaded KSM to say much of anything.

The intelligence community in general and the Bush administration in particular have been forced to defend their post-9/11 tactics ad nauseam and criticized for not connecting all the pre-9/11 dots. Now that those tactics are helping to connect the dots—and in fact clearing a path all the way to bin Laden—perhaps it’s time to stop criticizing them.


Alan W. Dowd

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

Islamists Slaughter Christians in Nigeria, Obama Looks the Other Way

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci

Although Sharia law has existed in Northern Nigeria for a long time, it used to apply only to family matters such as divorce, inheritance and adoption. It was only in 1999 that the governor of the Nigerian Northern State of Zamfara, Alhaji Ahmed Sani, decided to apply Shari law. The governor instead wanted to go farther and to include flogging, stoning, amputation, beheading, and other precepts of Islamic law.. Ever since, the Northern Nigerian States have followed Zamfara's steps. Under the Sharia law, Nigerian women have been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, have been forbidden to rent houses and to travel in the same vehicles as men.

African Christians are now fearing for their lives after the recent massacres in Nigeria. Large scale violence from extremist Muslims erupted in Nigeria against the Christian population soon after the results of the country's presidential elections that took place on April 16th 2011. The outburst of violence started in the north of Nigeria, which has a predominantly Muslim majority, after the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian politician. President Jonathan defeated the other presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim and former Nigerian President, who was accused of having rigged the electoral process. Jonathan's victory represented a shift of power in the country to the largely Christian south.

Defeated candidate Buhari's Muslim supporters took to the streets chanting "changi, sai Buhari" ["Change must take place and only with Buhari"], and went on a rampage against the Christian supporters of President Jonathan. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) lamented that in just a few days, over 300 churches were burnt across the country's northern states; thousands of Christian-owned homes and business were destroyed, and at least 600 Christians were killed. Relief officials estimate that at least 65,000 people have been displaced as a result of the violence, which appears to be one of the worst outbursts of sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians in the country.

The Christian Aid Mission (CAM) gives also the frightening news that, last year, more than 2,000 Christians were killed in targeted Nigerian violence -- more than in any other country in the world.

These latest Nigeria riots received virtually no attention in the international media, who were too busy following the events in Libya. The murder of 600 hundred Christians in Nigeria passed almost unnoticed. It also passed unnoticed in the eyes of the American administration that -- particularly during the Obama era -- has been rather refractory in acknowledging religious persecution in the world. The International Assyrian News agency reports that since President Obama took office, his administration has not designated a single "country of particular concern" (CPC) for violations of religious freedom. The term CPC is grounded in the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, intended to tie America's foreign policy to the promotion of religious freedom, and which identifies any country that is a "systematic, ongoing, and egregious" violator of religious freedom.

To this end, President Clinton and President Bush had designated a number of countries as violators, but so far there has been no sign of life from President Obama or his administration. President Bill Clinton in 1999 designated Burma, China, Iran, Iraq, and Sudan as CPCs. President George W. Bush, on January 16, 2009, gave eight nations that designation — Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan federal body that monitors violations of religious freedom abroad that makes recommendations to the President, recommended that the Secretary of State name Nigeria as a "country of particular concern (CPC)."

Although it is highly doubtful that the Religious Freedom Act can do a great deal to help persecuted Christians, President Obama fails in not even acknowledging the human rights violantions towards Christians in Nigeria, and in not taking action against the CPCs that have already been designated by previous Presidents. President Obama's failure to take a stand against them protect such people may violate this law -- which is a federal law -- that requires him to take specific actions, including sanctions and diplomatic protests, against any CPC found in non-compliance..

Sharia Law in Nigeria

The Nigerian newpaper, the Daily Independent, commented on the events in an article entitled, "Not Yet a Nation," which arguing that "The 97 year old project [Nigeria], started by Lord Lugard [General Governor of Nigeria from 1914 to 1919] in 1914, is far from being a finished product. The structure is still beleaguered, frequently assailed and troubled by centrifugal forces threatening to tear it apart."

However, rather than an unfinished product, Nigeria seems like a product being dismantled under the pressure of Islamic fundamentalism.

It goes without saying that Nigerian non-Muslim citizens who live in the Sharia states in the north of the country have become second-class citizens and are discriminated against by a legislative system that does not recognize the right to practice freely a chosen religion. Jamila M. Nasir, a Professor of Law, and Dean of the Faculty of Law in the University of Jos in Nigeria, writes that Sharia's law discriminates against non-Muslims and in particular against non-Muslim women. "There are varying numbers of non-Muslims in the Sharia States: cumulatively about fourteen million. About half of these are girls and women. Most are Christians of one denomination or another […] Sharia implementation will no doubt have had some impact on some of these women, particularly the ones living in the cities and large towns: for instance, early attempts in some Sharia States to enforce rules against women riding on commercial motorcycles, while they lasted, clearly affected non-Muslim women," Nasir wrote. The Nigerian professor also reported the case of Christian women who were beaten because they were riding on a motorcycle, and the case of a Christian pregnant woman who was beaten while being conveyed to the hospital.

The recent clashes that once again resulted in the killing of hundreds of Christians must therefore be viewed in the framework of the radicalization of Islamic expansion in the country. Nigeria will never be a "finished product" as long as one part of its population will be discriminated against on the basis of its religious creed.

The Nigerian issue might constitute a good opportunity to manifest America's concern for civil and religious liberties throughout the world. But denouncing Muslim violence against Christians would imply the use of a language that his administration would consider politically incorrect. Or should we call it "Islamically Incorrect"?


Anna Mahjar-Barducci

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

Muslim Terror Leaders Send Anyone But Their Own Family Members To Murder "Infidels"

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Those who say they were surprised that Osama bin Laden had been leading a relatively comfortable life in his mansion in an affluent suburb in Pakistan obviously don't know anything about the leaders of Islamic terror groups.

The fact that bin Laden was surrounded by women and children also should not come as a surprise to anyone -- nor should the reports that his men and he used some of the women as "human shields" during the US military raid on his compound..

In this regard, bin Laden was doing what many other Muslim terror operatives used to do in Afghanistan, Iraq and the West Bank and Gaza Strip:

These operatives are good at sending anyone but their own family members to murder "infidels," "apostates" and any Arab or Muslim who dares to stand up to them.

Bin Laden chose to live a good life surrounded by women, children and couriers who provided him with everything he needed. Like the rest of the terror leaders, bin Laden never sent any of his sons on jihad missions. He always made sure that his wives and sons and daughters stayed safe and happy.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders used to send young Palestinians to carry out suicide bombings against Israel. Of course their sons and daughters were never part of these terror missions. Their spoiled sons and daughters were instead sent to fine universities around the world to complete their studies and lead comfortable and safe lives.

During the second Palestinian intifada, however, Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders dispatched dozens of young men and women to launch suicide attacks against Israel. Not one of the suicide bombers was the son or daughter of a top leaders

In one documented case, the wife of a slain Hamas leader, in a recorded phone conversation, is heard voicing her fierce opposition to her son's involvement in terror attacks.

The wife, Um Mohammed Rantisi, was contacted by a Hamas activist who called to inquire about her son after he failed to show up in a local mosque.

Um Mohammed responded – according to the script of the conversation – that her son was fine, but was too busy to go to the mosque because he was studying for exams.

"My son is not involved in these things and is busy with his studies," she added.

The activist responded: "I cannot understand how a woman like you would turn down our request and not respond to a call to continue the jihad against Zionism."

In another case, a top Islamic Jihad operative, wanted by Israel for a series of suicide bombings, tried to hide behind his Ukrainian wife when Israeli soldiers stormed his hideout.

Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi, the slain leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, reported to have had at least three wives while he was committing atrocities against Iraqis, Americans and other Westerners; and is said to have married his second wife, Israa, when she was only 13. In June 2006 the "child bride" Israa was killed along with her husband in a US airstrike.

Bin Laden's compound also included a number of women, and his youngest wife was apparently shot in the leg; she was apparently given to him as a "gift" by a Yemeni tribe when she was only 15 years old.

It would be interesting to see if any of the wives of all these jihadists terror leaders knew that bin Laden, in a political will published about a decade ago, urged Muslim women to avoid make-up lest they look like "Western whores."

This is the nature of the coward Muslim terror leaders; they do not hesitate to hide behind women and children and often choose to live in mansions instead of joining their men in the caves and mountains.

And they will always make sure that their family members and loved ones remain safe and far from any danger. That is why no one should be surprised that bin Laden was hiding in a mansion while his followers were sleeping in caves and valleys in Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq.


Khaled Abu Toameh

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

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Executed in Pakistan and Alive in Londonistan

by Mordechai Kedar

The author of Proverbs taught us: “When your enemy falls, do not exult; when he trips, let your heart not rejoice”. This expectation seems difficult to understand and, indeed, seems inhuman, as one's survival sometimes depends on an enemy’s failure and on the downfall of an intended Killer. This assumes particular significance especially after the execution of Western civilization’s Enemy Number One, a man who devoted all of his (considerable) wealth and (no less considerable) energy towards the global Jihad intended to bring western culture to its knees and, with the might of the sword, impose Islam on all humanity.

There is no doubt that this was a great achievement for the Americans, both for its various intelligence agencies and for the Navy Seals who carried out the mission with a minimum of hitches: it is possible that the goal of the mission was to capture bin Laden alive, if only to obtain information about his organization, and one helicopter was lost in the operation. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that there were no American casualties in such a complex, fast-moving attack against such a fortified and protected target.

It is also important to point out the field security characterizing the operation. American Intelligence began preparing for this mission last August, i.e. nine months ago, and have utilized since then a significant number of intelligence-gathering methods: aerial photographs via satellite
and drones; ground photographs by people positioned near the target for long periods; monitoring of those entering and exiting the target; eavesdropping on the target employing non-standard equipment because those living there did not use wireless phones, landlines, cellular phones or any computer-based forms of communication. All these intelligence methods were employed during an extended period of time without arousing any suspicion from Bin Laden and those surrounding him or from the Pakistani military and security forces, who are suspected of collaborating with al-Qaeda; this, in and of itself, is praiseworthy.

The Americans claim that bin Laden was killed and his body buried at sea, but as of this writing, the American government has not released confirmatory photographs and many in the Islamic world are skeptical. The reason for this “burial” is to prevent his grave from becoming a shrine for pilgrims, and this is logical thinking. However, for a long time now, bin
Laden has not signified a person, a man or a body; the importance of his execution, therefore, rests not on whether or not he is alive. After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, bin Laden became a symbol, an idea, a beacon. His organization Al-Qaeda, which had been an enormous, hierarchal network until late 2001, ceased being an organized body after the fall of
Afghanistan, the eradication of the Taliban regime and the destruction of the terror infrastructure established under the aegis of Mullah Omar, Afghanistan's then ruler, by bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The concept of world Jihad spread throughout the Islamic population and took root in the hearts of many, too many, Muslims worldwide. They use modern means of communication to circulate the idea of Jihad, whose declared goal is to return all humanity to the seventh century, to the days of “al-Salaf al-Salih” – “the righteous ancestors” – the period of the first Islamic
conquests, when the Bedouin tribes left the Arabian desert in order to subdue the civilizations of that time: the Persian and Byzantine Empires. They forever promulgate the idea of Jihad against Western culture which is based on hedonism, permissiveness, individualism and instant gratification.

The question that naturally arises is how these Jihadists will react to the liquidation of their leader, symbol and prophet. To answer this, we must listen to how their spokesmen responded in public broadcasts immediately after bin Laden was executed. One of these is a man called Dr. Hani al-Siba’i, an attorney and head of The Almaqreezi Center for Historical Studies, who
resides in London as a “political refugee”. This “political refugee” is one of the leaders of the Egyptian Jihad organization who was sentenced, in absentia, to a long prison term and who praised the London terror attacks of 7 July 2005, in which Islam succeeded in “rubbing the nose of western culture in the dirt”. On Monday morning, one hour after the execution of
bin Laden was publicized, BBC Arabic Radio interviewed al-Sibai, who said the following, in a live broadcast and without hesitation (my interpretations are in brackets):

“I congratulate the [Islamic] nation on one of Islam’s lions becoming a shahid (martyr). This fulfills Sheikh al-Mujahids’ (the Leader of the Jihad combatants’) hopes, which emerged from the womb of the Afghani Jihad and are today borne aloft, adorned by the wedding of one of Islam’s lions [with the beauties in Paradise]. Yes, Sheikh Abu Abdallah (an appellation of bin
Laden's) longed for this moment and was faithful to his task. He rose to action while others sat idle; he preached Islam while its sons abandoned it. He became a symbol for all humanity, in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Somalia and North Africa [regions where Jihad organizations are active]. He lived a praiseworthy life and died a shahid. . .”

“The joy of those celebrating is bogus and matters will soon become clear. There was treachery here, as Islam’s enemies always come from within. . .
The whole world says “This is not a war against Islam”, but we no longer know who is a Muslim since [Islam’s enemies think that] a Muslim must be a Muslim according to the American standard; he must deny the Koran, abandon the tradition of the Messenger and adopt American religion to satisfy the Americans. Muslims think that bin Laden is a shahid [sitting in Paradise
with all its accompanying rewards] and they cheer him with joy . . . [Later on in the interview, al-Siba’i quotes from a poem by Muslim poet Albukhturi:] It is no wonder that the lions fall prey to the teeth of the dogs near and far, for the sword of the savage put an end [even] to Hamza
and ’Ali [among the prominent figures of Ancient Islam].”

Thus speaks on live radio a man to whom Great Britain – the cornerstone of western culture – granted political asylum. And when a Muslim hears these songs of praise for bin Laden in Dr. al-Siba’i's classic, glorious, flowery and refined style, he knows that bin Laden's elimination is just a milestone on a long and arduous journey, but one with a clear direction. The goal is
evident and victory will arrive in due course.

This is puzzling: How did London, the bastion of democracy and liberalism, become a place of refuge for theoreticians of World Jihad, which aspires with all its might to destroy the United States, to bring western civilization to its knees and, with blood and fire, sword and Kalashnikov,
impose upon it the desert culture of the seventh century? The British – if there are any true Britons left – must have the answers.

Since we have to take Dr. al-Sibai’s words very seriously, we must actively prepare for a new wave of terror, which will be motivated by the desire to perpetuate the memory and actions of The Shahid, Osama bin Laden. His name will adorn the coming terror attacks, and I will not be surprised if they are numbered serially. The United States is not the only target; every
country, organization or institution identified with the West and its culture is an objective. Beginning now, the most dangerous place is Pakistan. Many Jihadists are sure that its government collaborated with the United States in this operation, just as it does in the American war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan; they do not believe the denials
coming from both sides.

The question is not “will there be a major retaliatory attack”, but when will it come, where will it be carried out, what methods will be used and how many people will be sacrificed in it and in others that follow. We must not be complacent: whether a week, a month, or even a year passes with no large-scale, September 11th-like Jihadi reaction, the West must assume that
somewhere – in Kandahar or London, Islamabad or New York – there are people planning the next calamity in excruciating detail, preparing what is necessary so that the murders will parallel in significance the execution of Sheikh al-Mujahidin, Osama bin Laden.

The world must be particularly alert to anything related to home-made non-conventional weaponry, especially explosives and toxic materials produced very simply using freely available products such as pesticides, fertilizers and medicines. There must be tight supervision of sensitive sites such as toxic material warehouses because an attack on them could
disseminate such hazardous materials to adjacent population centers.

Security organizations in western countries should increase their supervision of what is said and done in mosques, because history teaches us that more than a few Jihadi alliances began with the meeting of people who came there to pray and continued on the path to Jihad. Those who travel
regularly between Europe and Pakistan or who spend significant time in their Pakistani homeland are liable to return to Great Britain or another western country with very dangerous ideas and the knowledge and readiness to carry them out.

But most important is to put an end to the strange phenomenon in which Jihadists find safe refuge in the very countries they wish to destroy and in the very societies whose character they are trying to change. The struggle in Great Britain over the laws of the Islamic Sharia is intensifying as those British who fear for the image of British society, blurred as it has
become by the adoption of multi-culturalism, wake up to discover that a group of immigrants has become the masters of the public arena. Post-modern-colonialism has reversed directions: Great Britain no longer rules Pakistan; rather, Pakistan is taking over Great Britain.

The Hijra – migration – was the means used by Muhammad, the Messenger of Islam, to transmit the idea of Islam to the city of al-Madina, and his Muslim contemporaries applied this method by migrating to other countries: not only territorial conquest by the sword, but infiltration for the sake of controlling the culture, economy, law, system of government and the public
domain. One other person should be noted: Sheikh Anjem Choudary, who preaches in London to turn Great Britain into an Islamic Caliphate, and who views democracy, rights and freedoms as idols to be destroyed.

Bin Laden with his methods, Hani al-Siba’i with his words and Sheikh Anjem Choudary with his sermons are all different sides of the same Jihadist coin. Bin Laden's elimination did not destroy the ideas being spread by al-Siba’i, Choudary and the like in too many places in Europe and in the United States; on the contrary, it lent them greater validity and provided Jihadists with
stronger motivation. As long as people like Hani al-Siba’i and Sheikh Anjem Choudary are active in the West, the spirit of bin Laden’s global Jihad is alive and kicking in western society. Bin Laden is dead but he lives in London and in many other places. He succeeded in exporting Jihad, and the spirit of Jihad is flourishing wherever western culture is falling asleep on the watch. The ideas of Choudary and al-Siba’i are no less dangerous than airplanes crashing into office towers.

When your enemy falls, do not exult, but make sure that he does not survive in the words and preachings of his adherents.

Source: Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation)

Mordechai Kedar is Lecturer in the Department of Arabic, Bar-Ilan University,

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

President Obama and the Masked Face of Justice

by Lee Cary

President Obama, who aims to avoid offending the Arab Street by withholding the photo of a dead Osama bin Laden, seems to care little about offending the American Street.

Here's how Obama explains concealing the photo in question:

It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool...We don't trot out this stuff as trophies...The fact of the matter is, this is somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received...We don't need to spike the football... given the graphic nature of these photos it would create a national security risk.

In the meantime, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says we don't need to see the photos. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary concur. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has no opinion, one way or the other. There's leadership for you.

The meta-message here is that we who walk the American Street are children, to be lectured by our all-knowing parents, told that, "You kids don't need to see this. It's only for us adults. It's too gruesome, and it'll make the people who liked the dead man mad at us for what we've done to him." This is told to Americans who are deluged daily by Hollywood, TV News, and videogame images of graphic gruesomeness.

Follow that logic, and TV news outlets, at the insistence of the Bush administration, should have censored the photos and films of the Twin Towers falling down. Blackened out those small, horrific images of people jumping off the top of burning buildings. And secured a court injunction to prohibit the New York Times, always sensitive of the American Street, from distributing photos of mortally wounded US soldiers. No problems with those pictures -- no danger of offending the Arab Street there.

Our President tells us that showing a photograph of OBL at room temperature with a serious head wound would represent a "national security risk" because it might make people who already hate us, hate us even more. How's that for an absurd non sequitur?

Looking back, it was a big risk to execute the Doolittle Raid on Japan a few months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They were obviously already mad at us, and bombing Tokyo was certain to make them even madder. Risky business, that was.

Looking back at the end of World War II, we were wrong to march German civilians -- who, of course, knew nothing about the extermination camps just outside their city limits -- through the carnage and make them police up the shrunken cadavers. That was insensitive of us.

And what's with all that theatre when relatives of dead crime victims get to speak to the convicted murderer before the judge passes sentence, sometimes leading to an electrocution where family members can, if they choose, watch the face of justice happen?

But didn't the people of Romania, oppressed for 24 years by the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, deserve to see what Nicolae's face looked like after the justice brought to him by a firing squad on Christmas Day 1989? The Romanians were entitled to see that face of justice. Not that it would make up for all the pain he brought upon them. What they needed to see was that that particular pain was finally over.

And that's what some among the ruling class, representing both major political parties inside the Beltway, just...don't...get. Mostly, because they don't live on the American Street. They seem to think that the Osama Phenomenon that is part of the War on Islamic terrorists -- is it okay to call them that today? -- was only experienced by two of the three branches of government. The third branch remaining inscrutably detached.

Releasing the photo isn't about the sophomorically ridiculous metaphor that the President used about spiking a football. (You suppose there were any fist bumps in the White House situation room? High fives? "Yes we did" chants?)

Apparently the Beltway people think, that we think, that war is a blood sport like politics. Most of the civilians among them have never seen war. Some on the American Street, who've seen soldiers and civilians with fatal head wounds, understand that anyone who likens an appropriate response to killing, even a very bad actor like OBL, to spiking a football just doesn't fathom what it means to see the face of justice on a dead Osama bin Laden.

There's no promise for personal satisfaction in the withheld photo. No exaltation in the gruesome carnage. No voyeuristic delight in death. None of that represents any desire of the collective American Street.

Why the photo should be released has absolutely nothing to do, at its purist application, with trotting out trophies -- whatever that means. For Obama and other Beltway luminaries to suggest that it does, says much about how little they know the people they profess to serve.

For over a decade, the American Street has been after bin Laden in search of justice, not for us individually, but for the nation, led by those who died on September 11, 2001, but also including all the other people murdered by his followers, including many from the Arab Street.

The search for bin Laden was a decade's long quest for justice led by men and women of the US military who volunteered to oppose the tyranny in the Middle East that he represented, leaving family and civilian careers behind to look for the face of justice. It's an even longer ordeal for the families of those who've died in the fight, or from the consequences of having invested their wounded souls in it. It's not over yet.

The president says it's a national security risk to release the photo. He's as dead wrong as bin Laden is dead. For the greater risk to national security is in not displaying, for all to see, the Look of Justice on the face of what was Osama bin Laden. Americans have earned the right to look at the Face of Justice.


Lee Cary

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

Saudi Women's Revolution Begins

by Chana Ya'ar

Women in Saudi Arabia have begun the struggle for equality on a basic right that is not even questioned in most Western nations – the right to vote. Registration for the privilege in upcoming municipal elections, scheduled to be held in September for only the second time in the past half century, began April 23.

But women have not been allowed to participate.

Regardless, dozens of women across the country have decided it is time to challenge an ancient Islamic patriarchal system that has kept them from driving, traveling, working or even signing medical forms without the permission of a male guardian – any male relative, even their own minor child will do.

A group of 11 women in Riyadh who organized themselves through the Twitter social networking website appeared at one registration center in an attempt to force the issue.

The newly-formed movement, “Saudi Women Revolution,” has a Facebook page and can also be found through a Twitter hash tag search. Although they failed to convince the elections officers, the women – all of whom were clad in regulation black burkas – nevertheless expressed satisfaction to international reporters with their first attempt to assert their rights.

Saudi Women Protest in Riyadh
Hundreds of Saudi women in Riyadh also took part in demonstrations at the Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University on Thursday. According to a report posted on the Arabia Today blog, the protests came after the women, all of whom were students, allegedly failed an English exam at the university.

“The students felt hard done by the results, which were marked subjectively without a clear academic criteria,” blogger Hashimilion reported.

The university president reportedly tried to stop the demonstration but was unable to do so, faced with hundreds of women who chanted, “We will continue to demonstrate until the president resigns!”

In response, the president informed the students that all those who failed the exam would have to repeat the entire year and retake all their subjects. “They will start from scratch because they've caused a lot of chaos and humiliated the university staff,” he said. “This will be a lesson to all students, not just in this university but in all universities around the country.”


Chana Ya'ar

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