Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fatah Gets to the Root of the Matter

by Hillel Fendel

It turns out that the Fatah movement realizes that the international treaty signed at San Remo in 1920 grants internationally-accepted Jewish national rights in the Holy Land.

The WAFA news agency of the Palestinian Authority recently reported that Fatah issued a 25th anniversary statement proclaiming that the San Remo Conference is the root of all “Palestinian catastrophes and sufferings.”

The widely-disseminated article did not make clear what the 25th anniversary commemorated, however. Fatah is 47 years old, and the San Remo Conference was held 91 years ago. The statement was issued for the Fatah Revolutionary Council's Mobilization and Organization Committee, whose mandate appears in the original Fatah charter of 1964.

The San Remo Conference was an international meeting of four of the leading Allied powers of World War I, known as the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council. It was held in San Remo, Italy, and was attended by the prime ministers of Britain, France, and Italy, and Japanese Ambassador K. Matsui. Its resolution that a Jewish state must be established in Palestine, based on the Balfour Declaration of 1917, was confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922.

“It’s not strange that Zionist gangs considered San Remo Conference as the ‘Magna Carta’ of the Jews,” the Fatah statement asserted.

Following World War I and the fall of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, it became necessary to determine how the formerly Ottoman-ruled lands would be ruled. The ruling powers decided the Holy Land was to be entrusted to a Mandatory, as the San Remo resolution stated: “The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust… the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers.”

The resolution continued: “The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917 by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Political Rights for Jews, not Arabs
The international community – the Alllies in 1920, and the League of Nations in 1922 – thus officially recognized the national legal rights of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel. Significantly, similar rights for the Arabs were specifically not recognized.

The resolution mentioned that the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” must be upheld – but specifically left out any mention of “political” or “national” Arab rights.

A parallel League of Nations resolution did grant the Arabs “political” rights in four other mandates – Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and later Trans-Jordan.

Last year at this time, the European Coalition for Israel marked the 90th anniversary of San Remo, noting that it essentially gave birth to the League of Nations’ "British Mandate for Palestine,” which laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Later, the 51 member countries of the League of Nations unanimously approved the Jews’ historical connection with the Holy Land.

Clearly, then, San Remo truly was a catastrophe for Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.


Hillel Fendel

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

Al-Qaeda’s Rising Leaders

by Ryan Mauro

Al-Qaeda has confirmed the death of Osama Bin Laden but has not yet officially named a successor, indicating that the senior leadership is having difficulty communicating and possibly a reluctance to embrace Ayman al-Zawahiri as their new chief. New figures will fill the leadership gap left by Bin Laden’s absence and the inevitable arrests and deaths that will follow, but it is unclear if they can unite behind a common figurehead and strategy.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, as the second-in-command of Al-Qaeda, is likely to become Bin Laden’s official replacement. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has already pledged allegiance to him, but he has had conflicts with other members of Al-Qaeda and lacks the allure and charisma of Osama Bin Laden. As one senior U.S. intelligence official explained, “It is of course an anathema for Al-Qaeda to hold free and fair elections, but if such elections were held, al-Zawahiri would most likely have a fight on his hands.”

Should al-Zawahiri effectively take the reins the group, he will continue its current general strategy. He is, however, conscious of the blowback Al-Qaeda has gotten because of its attacks on Muslims. In a 2005 letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then-head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, he criticized his tactics, specifically beheadings, attacks on Iraqi Shiites and the bombing of mosques. He said these methods were jeopardizing public support, without which the “movement would be crushed in the shadows.” He asked Zarqawi to stop using such tactics, rather than justifying them, because “this matter won’t be acceptable to the Muslim populace however much you have tried to explain it.” This rift indicates that al-Zawahiri would try to reduce tension with the Shiites and other Muslims and focus on Western targets instead of Muslim civilians.

Abu Yahya al-Al-Libi, a likely second-in-command for al-Zawahiri, has become Al-Qaeda’s most visible spokesperson. He is very charismatic, relatively young and is known both as a religious scholar and terrorist commander. It would be wise of al-Zawahiri to make al-Libi the head of the group but it is doubtful that he could swallow his pride enough to do so.

In July 2005, al-Libi escaped Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, catching the attention of his fellow extremists. He is the younger brother of the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which is very significant given its criticism of Al-Qaeda’s strategy. In 2009, the group released a “corrective studies” that said Al-Qaeda must focus on fighting colonizers instead of other Muslims and should stop using violence to bring about Sharia law.

“Islam is a pragmatic religion, which acknowledges that war is a part of human life, but it doesn’t call for the use of violence for the sake of change and reforms,” the group said. It is unclear how much this thinking has influenced al-Libi, though he joined other Al-Qaeda members in criticizing Zarqawi’s viciousness.

Anwar al-Awlaki, the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula based in Yemen, rivals Al-Libi in influence and may overshadow him if his group keeps up the current pace of plots and inspiration of homegrown extremism. It is also possible that al-Awlaki will overshadow Al-Zawahiri if he is unable to effectively manage operations, communicate with senior leadership or use al-Libi to make up for his own weaknesses.

Anwar al-Awlaki, the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula based in Yemen, will overshadow him unless al-Zawahiri is able to pull off a major operation. Al-Awlaki has charisma, a huge Internet presence and served as the imam of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, giving him religious credibility.

Al-Awlaki’s affiliate has been described as the greatest threat to the U.S. and he has been directly tied to numerous plots, including the Fort Hood shooting, the Christmas Day underwear bomb plot, the plot to explode cargo planes using modified ink cartridges and possibly 9/11. He has inspired many other plots and has proven to be skilled at recruiting Westerners. Terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann says his preaching “surface[s] in every single homegrown terrorism investigation.”

Al-Awlaki has also not committed Zarqawi’s mistake by turning the locals against him in Yemen, though he has an advantage by being a member of a powerful tribe. His forces have asserted themselves as a result of the anti-government uprising but have brought stability by “curbing tribal banditry.” As one rival tribal chief, put it, “They made it safe. They act nice and distribute books.”

Two individuals are going to come to the forefront as operational leaders: Saif al-Adel and Ilyas Kashmiri. Saif al-Adel was a colonel in the Egyptian special forces and has been tied to various plots, including the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa and the bombings in Riyadh in May 2003, which he ordered from Iran. Al-Adel was then placed on house arrest and he complained about the tight restrictions the Iranian regime placed upon him. He was released from Iran last year and became Al-Qaeda’s chief of international operations. He is believed to have played a leading role in the cargo plane bomb plot.

He has been reported to have opposed the 9/11 attacks and criticized his colleagues for “random” attacks and failing to focus on “the greater objective…the establishment of a[n] [Islamic] state.” He favors a strategy designed to wear out the group’s enemies. The Telegraph wrote that “The new attrition strategy marks the triumph of a minority faction within al-Qaeda who had opposed the 9/11 attacks, arguing that the inevitable U.S. retaliation against Afghanistan would cost the jihadist movement its only secure base.”

Ilyas Kashmiri has been called the “most effective, dangerous and successful guerilla leader in the world.” Not much information is publicly known about Ilyas Kashmiri’s opinion of Al-Qaeda’s strategy and tactics, but he was a commando in the Pakistani military and fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, losing a finger and an eye. He is now a top commander and was involved in plans to carry out Mumbai-style attacks in Europe last year. He was also in communication with a Muslim cab driver in Chicago currently being prosecuted for trying to assist Al-Qaeda, who described Kashmiri as the “main key, after Osama Bin Laden.”

One strong indication of where Al-Qaeda is headed will be the role of Suleiman Abu Ghaith, who used to be the group’s chief spokesperson but was put on house arrest in Iran. He has published a book called “Twenty Guidelines on the Path of Jihad,” where he ridicules his Al-Qaeda colleagues without mentioning them by name. He condemned the “culture of killing and destruction” and like Saif al-Adel, said jihadists need to focus on “securing a better life for all who live with Islam and in the Islamic state.”

Zawahiri’s ascension may lead to a struggle within Al-Qaeda, and if he cannot rally the other officials around him, he may become the leader in name only as he competes for influence and control and others argue for a different strategy. All of these leaders remain committed to the goals of Osama Bin Laden, but these differences in opinion and a possible clashing of egos could result in a fracturing of Al-Qaeda.


Ryan Mauro

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

Why The Left Cried When Osama Died

by Jamie Glazov

The death of Osama bin Laden has driven a stake into the heart of the Left, causing progressives to bleed and moan as their unholy alliance with radical Islam absorbs the devastating May 2 blow.

The radical Islamic half of the romance is in agony as it sheds bitter tears for the mass murderer. Indeed, Hamas, Hezbollah, the armed wing of Fatah, and tens of thousands of radical Muslims around the world have prominently displayed their sorrow and anger for the world to see.

The alliance’s leftist half is, meanwhile, also deeply grieving. The guru of the leftist political faith, Noam Chomsky, is responsibly leading the way. Having distinguished himself, among other intriguing ways, as a Jew who has traveled to Lebanon to embrace personally the leaders of Hezbollah, whose stated top priority is to rid the world of Jews, the M.I.T. professor emeritus has not disappointed the faithful, progressive flock. Furiously responding to the assassination of the Left’s idol, Chomsky fumed in his recent article: “We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.”

The al-Qaeda leader’s killing is an outrage, in Chomsky’s mind, because Bush’s “crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s.” Chomsky is outraged not only that the operation was clearly “a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law,” but also that its victim had never been legally proven to be the perpetrator of 9/11. Undoubtedly, Chomsky’s Gulag Denial mindset continues unabated, for having shamelessly attempted to deny the Khmer Rouge’s Holocaust in Cambodia was clearly not enough to satiate Chomsky’s totalitarian odyssey.

Following in the leftist guru’s tracks, Glenn Greenwald fumed over at that Americans were cheering and feeling patriotic that “someone just got two bullets put in their skull.” This is terrible in leftist eyes because that “someone” is not George W. Bush but rather America’s most wanted enemy-terrorist. Greenwald is also very upset that a question lingers over whether bin Laden really had to be killed and not taken prisoner instead.

Heaven forbid! A targeted assassination of the leader of al-Qaeda, a jihadist terrorist organization that has killed thousands of innocent American citizens. Oh, the unjustness of it all! One wonders whether Greenwald will be able to soldier on.

Meanwhile, Curtis Doebbler, a leftist “human rights” lawyer who teaches at a Palestinian university, grieves that the “West is now celebrating the death of someone who, however misled and wrong-minded, was a person who was willing to fight for the poorest and the most vulnerable people in the world to the very end of his life.” He continues: “That the US had to kill him in violation of international law makes all the more believable Osama Bin Laden’s claims of Western hypocrisy and the need for a better alternative.”

The “alternative” that Doebbler is dreaming of and that Osama had in mind? Well, it’s not that complicated: it’s what Islamists are offering leftists – and that which leftists are salivating over – in their unholy alliance: Sharia law.

Let’s also not be too confused over why “progressive” feminist Naomi Klein called out for bringing “Najaf to New York” in her infamous 2004 column in The Nation, in which she reached her hand out in solidarity to Muqtada al-Sadr and his Islamo-fascist Mahdi Army in the Iraqi Shi’ite stronghold of Najaf. Klein understands very well what bringing Najaf to New York means: the Shi’ite stronghold, where Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army at one time ran their torture chambers and sowed their terror, replicated on America’s shores.

The list of leftists weeping over the death of Osama is endless: Dan Rodricks at the Baltimore Sun complaining that killing Osama is “not justice”; Laura Flanders at The Nation condemning the raid as “Americans seeking sense and getting vengeance”; former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt denouncing Osama’s death as “clearly a violation of international law”; and the terrorist-loving Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin unable to disguise her agony over at the Huffington Post, counseling us not to sink “into a false sense of triumphalism in the wake of Bin Laden’s passing.”

It is no surprise that members of the political faith are mourning over the death of Osama. The context for their grief is perfectly explained, as I have documented in United in Hate, by how much they celebrated 9/11. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to regain the picture. It is important to understand the Left’s sadness right now by briefly recreating the chilling scene of a decade ago.

September 11, 2011, clearly represented a personal vindication for leftists everywhere. The images of the innocent people jumping to their deaths from the Twin Towers evoked glee from them – as they clearly saw only poetic justice in American commercial airplanes plunging into American buildings packed with American citizens. For leftist believers, the jihadist terror war now promised to succeed where Communism had failed: to obliterate the capitalist system itself.

In the blink of an eye after the Twin Towers went down, leftists were beating their breasts with repentance for their own government’s supposed crimes and characterizing the tragedy that their nation had just suffered to be some form of karmic justice.

Immediately following the 9/11 attack, leftist academics led with a drum roll. The very next day after the terrorist strike, Chomsky exonerated the terrorists, stating that the Clinton administration’s bombing of the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan constituted a far more serious terrorist act and warning that 9/11 would be exploited by the United States as an excuse to destroy Afghanistan.

Leftist academics across the country echoed Chomsky’s themes, cheering the 9/11 terrorist acts, which they deemed a just retribution for America’s transgressions. History professor Robin Kelley of New York University stated: “We need a civil war, class war, whatever to put an end to U.S. policies that endanger all of us.” History professor Gerald Horne of the University of North Carolina asserted that “the bill has come due, the time of easy credit is up. It is time to pay.” Professor Eric Foner of Columbia University, the renowned Marxist historian, expressed his personal confusion about “which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House.” Barbara Foley, a professor of English at Rutgers University, felt 9/11 was a justified response to the “fascism” of U.S. foreign policy. Mark Lewis Taylor, a professor of theology and culture at Princeton Seminary, thought the WTC buildings were justifiable targets because they were a “symbol of today’s wealth and trade.” Robert Paul Churchill, a professor of philosophy at George Washington University, rationalized that the terrorist attack was justified. “What the terrorists despised and sought to defeat was our arrogance, our gluttonous way of life, our miserliness toward the poor and its starving; the expression of a soulless pop culture . . . and a domineering attitude that insists on having our own way no matter what the cost to others.”

Of course, the infamous Ward Churchill, as we know, outdid all the others, blaming not only Bush and America but the “little Eichmanns” themselves for the attacks.

Churchill, Chomsky, and their kin on the academic Left were joined by prominent figures in the progressive culture at large. Norman Mailer stepped forward to opine that the suicide hijackers were “brilliant.” In his view, the attack was completely understandable, since “Everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel which consequently had to be destroyed.”

Oliver Stone affirmed that he saw 9/11 as a “revolt” and compared the ensuing Palestinian celebrations with those that had attended the French and Russian Revolutions, while Susan Sontag held that the terrorist attack was the result of “specific American alliances and actions.” From the religious camp, Tony Campolo, a leading Christian evangelist who served as one of former President Clinton’s “spiritual advisers,” believed that 9/11 was a legitimate response to the Crusades.

The American flag, a hated symbol to the Left, also became a target. Novelist Barbara Kingsolver was incredulous that her daughter’s kindergarten teacher instructed the students to come to school the next day dressed in red, white, and blue. Nation columnist Katha Pollitt had the same reaction regarding her teenage daughter’s impulse to fly an American flag outside the family home. Pollitt told her that she could “buy a flag with her own money and fly it out her bedroom window, because that’s hers, but the living room is off-limits.” This was, Pollitt explained, because the American flag stands for “jingoism and vengeance and war.”

Similar sentiments were heard throughout Europe as well. The German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen described 9/11 as “the greatest work of art for the whole cosmos.” Dario Fo, the Italian Marxist who won the 1997 Nobel Prize for literature, observed: “The great [Wall Street] speculators wallow in an economy that every year kills tens of millions of people with poverty, so what is 20,000 dead in New York?” [1]

Thus, leftists joined in solidarity with the Muslims who danced in the streets after 9/11 — a Kodak moment for the Left everywhere.

So now we gain a telling context to help us grasp why leftists cried when Osama died. They cheered on 9/11 – and they did so because to be a member of the political faith, you must revile your own host society and lust for its destruction. Thus, leftists venerate the enemy tyrants of their own society. And beneath this veneration lies one of the leftist’s most powerful yearnings: to submit his whole being to a totalist entity. This psychological dynamic involves negative identification, whereby a person who has failed to identify positively with his own environment subjugates his individuality to a powerful, authoritarian entity, through which he vicariously experiences a feeling of power and purpose. The historian David Potter has succinctly crystallized this phenomenon:

. . . most of us, if not all of us, fulfill ourselves and realize our own identities as persons through our relations with others; we are, in a sense, what our community, or as some sociologists would say, more precisely, what our reference group, recognizes us as being. If it does not recognize us, or if we do not feel that it does, or if we are confused as to what the recognition is, then we become not only lonely, but even lost, and profoundly unsure of our identity. We are driven by this uncertainty into a somewhat obsessive effort to discover our identity and to make certain of it. If this quest proves too long or too difficult, the need for identity becomes psychically very burdensome and the individual may be driven to escape this need by renouncing his own identity and surrendering himself to some seemingly greater cause outside himself. [2]

This surrender to the totality involves the believer’s craving to relinquish his individuality to a greater whole. He lusts for his own self-extinction and thereby launches himself on a totalitarian odyssey to shed himself of his own unwanted self. To add to this, the leftist is desperately searching for the feeling of power to help him counteract the powerlessness he feels in his own life. This explains, as Potter notes, the progressives’ cult around tyrants like Mao Tse-tung and “the compulsive expressions of adoration for a Hitler or a Stalin.” He writes,

Negative identification is itself a highly motivated, compensation-seeking form of societal estrangement. Sometimes when identification with a person fails, a great psychological void remains, and to fill this void people incapable of genuine interpersonal relationships will identify with an abstraction. An important historical instance of identification with abstract power has been the zealous support of totalitarian regimes by faceless multitudes of people. The totalitarian display of power for its own sake satisfies the impulse to identify with strength. [3]

Osama, therefore, represents the totalitarian display of power within which leftists can vicariously express their sadistic urges and lose themselves. His death, therefore, represents the annihilation of all that is so sacredly dear to the leftist partner in this toxic and codependent marriage.

Thus, even if it’s proven beyond reasonable doubt that Osama and his terror organization represent something evil, leftists cannot accept it. To recognize the evil of Osama and the wonderful aspects of his death is, for the leftist, to concede that there are societies, cultures, and systems that are much more unjust than ours.

This is an untenable step for leftists to take, because it means acknowledging that there is something superior about our civilization that’s worth saving and defending. Such a move is also anathema for the leftist because he has intoxicated himself with the delusion that his own society is evil and unjust. Diabolical capitalists trample on the poor, the oppressed, and the downtrodden – and the leftist has appointed himself to rescue these victims.

The progressive, therefore, is a self-appointed social redeemer, leading a movement to destroy his own society and liberate the masses. This political mission provides him with immense moral indignation and, therefore, moral superiority, dispositions from which, in turn, he derives tremendous emotional gratification. His whole belief system provides him with a sense of belonging, since he has joined other social redeemers, as well as victims, real or imagined, who wait for him to break their chains.

Thus, the leftist’s political disposition is a faith that reinforces his personal identity and sense of belonging. Admitting that Osama bin Laden is evil and deserved his death would completely undermine the leftist’s faith and result in his excommunication from his social community and the death of his self-image. Seeing Osama as a secular deity, meanwhile, reinforces the leftist’s faith, identity and social life. This is why we see leftists weeping for Osama and why they will continue to weep for the mass murderer.

In a previous generation we beheld the same phenomenon: leftists crying at the death of communist monsters – or from their physical separation with them. Shirley MacLaine powerfully exhibited this pathetic pathology, when she had to leave communist China after her political pilgrimage there in 1972.

Visiting one of the most evil tyrannies in history, which exterminated at least 70 million of its own people, and knowing full well that she was inside a death camp, MacLaine was in ecstasy in the presence of communist mass murder Mao Tse-tung. But then, alas, she had to return to the free society that she despised. And so she stoically held back her tears until she had left China, only beginning to sob the moment she arrived in Hong Kong. As she proudly recited her own agony upon leaving the Chinese death camp, it was during her first capitalist meal at the Hilton, when she had cut into a piece of meat, that tears began to splash on her butter and she excused herself to go to the ladies’ room:

As soon as I closed the door of the cubicle, I knew it would take a while. And then I started to cry. I didn’t really know why, but it had something to do with all those people in a place called America, all those faces I had seen in crowds and in the living rooms, all the betrayed and insulted people I had seen. . . . It had something to do with them, and the women on my delegation and their confusing hang-ups, and it had something to do with George McGovern coming across those two hard years, to see it all go wrong at the end. It was about him, and about the cookie jar in my mother’s kitchen, and the white pigeons in the yard, and the people who were going to jail because they were forced to be criminals, and the families who couldn’t make the payments that month on their cars and their mortgages. . . .[4]

MacLaine’s tears had nothing to do with a cookie jar or white pigeons, of course, but everything to do with her agony over separating herself from the killing machine in which she wanted to lose her own unwanted inner self. And the leftist tears pouring out on the pages of leftist presses today are part of that dark narrative, as progressives must now deal with the horrifying reality of saying goodbye to their own contemporary Mao Tse-tung in jihadist clothing.

And so we come to understand why leftists were so ecstatic at the images of Americans leaping to their deaths while holding hands jumping from the Towers on 9/11 to avoid the burning flames.

We come to understand why they celebrated when, on that tragic day, more than 3,000 Americans died.

And we understand why, almost ten years later, they cried at the death of the mass murderer who engendered that massacre on American shores.


[1] All these statements are now on the public record. Paul Hollander has an excellent sampling of them in his Understanding Anti-Americanism: Its Origins and Impact at Home and Abroad, pp. 24–27. For a wide selection of academics who verbalized praise of the 9/11 attacks, see David Horowitz, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America . Horowitz’s Unholy Alliance also contains a large sampling of leftists’ reactions to 9/11 and remains the best work on this subject.

[2]David Potter, History and American Society, p.307.

[3] Ibid., p.381.

[4] Shirley MacLaine, You Can Get There, p.228.


Jamie Glazov

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

Bin Laden's Defender: Noam Chomsky

by Alan M. Dershowitz

Noam Chomsky has shown his true colors in his recently published "reaction" to the targeted killing of Osama Bin Laden. He apparently thinks Osama Bin Laden is the innocent victim of a cold-blooded murder that is worse than if George W. Bush were to be assassinated in his "compound." He doesn't believe Bin Laden's own admission of complicity in the murder of 3,000 people on 9/11, writing that it is about as credible as Chomsky's "confession that I won the Boston Marathon." Nor does he believe the evidence gathered by the 9/11 Commission, the grand jury that indicted Bin Laden, the numerous confessions and claims of responsibility by Al Qaeda operatives, and the video showing those who flew the planes in the presence of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. He believes there is absolutely no "evidence"—"nothing serious"—that Bin Laden played any role in 9/11. He also accuses President Obama of "simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that 'we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda.'" To avoid any appearance of partisanship and to show that he is an equal opportunity despiser of all American presidents, he writes that "uncontraversally" President Bush's "crimes vastly exceed bin Laden's." (Guernica. My Reaction to Osama bin Laden's Death. Noam Chomsky. May 6, 2011.)

If Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were not responsible for 9/11, who was? The United States? The Zionists? Maybe it never happened at all, as some hard left "intellectuals" have claimed. After all, Chomsky is agnostic with regard to the Nazi Holocaust and believes that Holocaust denial is not anti-Semitic. Writing in defense of the Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson's claim that the so-called Holocaust was a fraud perpetrated by the Jewish people, Chomsky assured his readers that "nobody believes there is an anti-Semitic connotation to the denial of the Holocaust . . . whether one believes it took place or not." Chomsky is himself guilty of genocide-denial, having assured his readers (at the height of the Cambodian genocide) that the Khmer Rouge—which he admired—was being falsely accused of mass murder.

The real question is why any reasonable person pays any attention to the ignorant rants of this America-hater, Israel-basher and conspiracy theorist. I can understand why Osama Bin Laden himself was, according to the Wall Street Journal, "a fan of Noam Chomsky." Bin Laden said that "Chomsky was correct when he compared U.S. policies to the Mafia." (See, Bin Laden wasn't an anti-Semite after all, since he liked at least one Jew, though he named one of his daughters Safiyah after Mohammad's aunt, because, he proclaimed, "Safiyah killed Jews.") I can even understand why radical anti-American zealots like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro admire him. But he has been described on his own book jacket as "arguably the most important intellectual alive." He has also been called the most influential academic in the world. What does this say about today's consumers of intellectual and academic wares?

I have debated Chomsky on several occasions and have found that he simply makes up facts and then characterizes them as "uncontroversial." This tactic works with sycophantic college audiences on the hard left, but for anyone who bothers to check "Chomsky facts," as his critics aptly dub them, will find that the source is often conspiratorial websites and hate propaganda. "Chomsky facts" bear little relationship to real facts, except on "Planet Chomsky," where a different reality governs.

The time has come to dump Noam Chomsky into the wastebasket of history. He has been proved wrong—factually, morally, politically and in every other way—by the verdict of history. He was wrong about the Nazi Holocaust, the Communist genocides, the "peaceful" intentions of Hezbollah, and the alleged "war criminality" of every American president in recent memory. Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal correctly characterized Chomsky as "a two-nickel crank" with "paranoid notions of American policy." Christopher Hitchens has called him a charter member of the "paranoid anti-war 'left'" who believes that "America is an incarnation of the third Reich that doesn't even conceal its genocidal methods and aspirations."

Chomsky has no credibility among serious people who care about truth. He would be a joke if he were not so influential among the unthinking hard left and the anti-intellectual academics who propagandize their naïve students to move to Planet Chomsky, where they can live their paranoid lives devoid of any contact with the reality of planet earth. Nor would he have any credibility on political issues were he not a famous linguist—famous despite his absurd semantic claim that there is no "anti-Semitic connotation" to denying the Holocaust and calling it a fraud perpetrated on the world by the Jews! Even if his linguistic accomplishments were not controversial, they would not qualify him as a guru on the political, legal and military matters on which he regularly opines.

Chomsky will continue to hurt America and decent values so long as his political rants continue to be taken seriously by some of the intellectual elite who help to manufacture consent and create the illusion of credibility on the part of a hateful crackpot.


Alan M. Dershowitz

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

Europeans Threaten to Recognize Palestinian State Unless Israel Negotiates With Terrorist Group

by Soeren Kern

Several European countries are threatening to recognize an independent Palestinian state -- on the basis of the pre-1967 boundaries to include the West Bank, Gaza, and with East Jerusalem as its capital -- if Israel refuses to return to the negotiating table with the Palestinian Authority by September. Given the new "reconciliation deal" between the rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, Europeans are effectively demanding that Israel negotiate with Hamas, an Islamist terrorist group unambiguously committed to Israel's destruction.

The Palestinians say they are on track to unilaterally declare statehood at the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly when it opens in New York in September. More than 110 countries -- more than half of all UN members -- have already recognized Palestine diplomatically. These includes European Union members Hungary, Poland and Romania. In recent weeks, however, the momentum to recognize a Palestinian state has been building in larger, more influential European countries.

In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy, in an interview with the L'Express newsmagazine on May 5, said: "If the peace process is still dead in September, France will face up to its responsibilities on the central question of the recognition of a Palestinian state. The idea that there is still plenty of time is dangerous. Things have to be brought to a conclusion" before September. Sarkozy also said that during the next few months, European countries would try "to relaunch the peace process along with the Americans, because Europe cannot be the main one paying for Palestine and yet remain a minor figure politically in the matter."

On April 21, Sarkozy hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Élysée Palace in Paris to discuss Palestinian statehood. Ahead of that meeting, the French Foreign Ministry said the Palestinians are "more than ever ready to establish a state and run it in a credible and peaceful way." On April 22, French Ambassador to the United Nations Gérard Araud said: "The recognition of a Palestinian state is an option that we are currently thinking about, with our European partners." On March 22, French Prime Minister François Francois Fillon said that "2011 must be the year of the creation of a Palestinian state." On March 15, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said the recognition of a Palestinian state by the European Union is a "possibility that should be kept in mind."

In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 3 that Britain is prepared to formally recognize an independent Palestinian state in September unless Israel opens peace talks with the Palestinians. That warning came after Netanyahu told Cameron that the so-called unity pact between rival Palestinian factions Fatah, which rules the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement that rules Gaza, is a "tremendous blow to peace and a great victory for terrorism." Palestinian leaders say the deal is a major step towards an independent state, but Israel fears the reconciliation will open the door to Hamas militants being deployed in the West Bank.

British diplomats described Cameron's threat to recognize a Palestinian state as one of Britain's few "levers" to press Israel to join talks with Palestinian officials. "The best way for the Israelis to avoid a unilateral declaration is to engage in peace talks," a British official told the Guardian newspaper.

Despite promises to the contrary, the British government still has not amended a universal jurisdiction law that permits pro-Palestinian activist groups to bring lawsuits against Israeli politicians and military personnel for purported war crimes. On May 3, Israeli Major General Yohanan Locker was locked out of Britain. An integral member of Netanyahu's circle of advisers and deputy head of the Israeli Air Force during Operation Cast Lead, Locker was forced to remain in Israel rather than risk arrest in London on charges of "war crimes."

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has moved closer to other European countries in adopting an increasingly tough stance toward Israel. In February, Merkel chided Netanyahu for failing to make "a single step to advance peace." On February 18, Germany (along with Britain and France) voted in favour of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement-building in disputed territory as illegal.

Nevertheless, Germany remains one of the only major European countries explicitly to say that it will not recognize a Palestinian state without Israel's acceptance. Ahead of a visit to Berlin by Mahmoud Abbas on May 5, a German government spokesman said: "The policy of the German government remains what Chancellor [Angela] Merkel said after talks with Israel's Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu in April: that in her view a unilateral recognition would not contribute to the goal" of a two-state solution. Merkel had said after her talks with Netanyahu on April 7 that any German recognition of a Palestinian state would be within the context of mutual Israeli-Palestinian recognition.

In Norway, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, in an interview with Haaretz newspaper on March 3, said that his country would consider recognizing a Palestinian state if no progress is made in the peace process by September 2011. He said Israel runs the risk of being seen internationally as a "permanent occupier" if the stalemate in the peace process continues. "Europe," he said, "is watching for results and initiatives toward a settlement of this conflict. The major challenge for Israel in this century is that it stands out as an occupier in breach of international law. This to me is a big challenge to the quality of Israel -- which is to be a democracy and a player in the first division in the world. I think that in key European capitals the hope to see that change is thinner than it used to be."

In Spain, Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez said on February 9 that 2011 would be a "crucial year" for Palestinian statehood: "Spain is firmly committed to the creation of a Palestinian state. We are going to put all of our efforts and capacities to achieve it." Spain and neighbouring France have been laying the political groundwork for the European Union to recognize a Palestinian state for more than a year.

Former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos and former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in February 2010 penned an influential article entitled, "A Palestinian State: When?" which laid out their vision for Europe's role in creating a Palestinian state.

The article reminded readers that the European Union is the biggest single provider of financial aid to the Palestinians. Often described as a "payer but not a player" in the Middle East, the authors argued that the European Union must work more aggressively in bringing about Palestinian statehood. They also argued that time is of the essence and that the European Union "must not confine itself to the … outlines of the final settlement" and "should collectively recognize the Palestinian State.… There is no more time to lose. Europe must pave the way." The authors say the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the Madrid peace conference, which was convened in October 1991, would be a good moment to recognize Palestinian independence.

In a separate interview with the Paris-based Journal du Dimanche, Kouchner said: "The issue currently before us is the building of a reality. France is training Palestinian police and businesses are being created in the West Bank.... It follows that one can envision the proclamation soon of a Palestinian state, and its immediate recognition by the international community, even before negotiating its borders." He added: "If by mid-2011, the political process has not ended the [Israeli] occupation, I would bet that the developed state of Palestinian infrastructure and institutions will be such that the pressure will force Israel to give up its occupation."

In Brussels, the European Union adopted a resolution in December 2009 that for the first time explicitly calls for Jerusalem to become the future capital of a Palestinian state. The EU declared: "If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states." Israel has always maintained that Jerusalem will remain its undivided capital, regardless of any future peace settlement with the Palestinians. This has been the declared policy of all Israeli governments, both left and right.

Meanwhile, several European countries have already upgraded their diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority. On March 9, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said that Denmark would upgrade the status of the Palestinian delegation in Copenhagen to a mission. On March 8, British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced London's decision to upgrade its presence in Jerusalem from a delegation to a mission. On January 25, Ireland decided to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Dublin to the status of an official embassy. Cyprus, France, Portugal and Spain have also in recent months upgraded their diplomatic relations with the Palestinians.

In an interview with France 24 television, Abbas said "a certain number of European countries have recently sent additional delegations and official representatives to the Palestinian territories. From our side, we are already treating them like ambassadors."


Soeren Kern

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

Why the Left doesn't Understand (or Want) American Exceptionalism

by Mark J. Fitzgibbons

Washington Post opinion giver and scribe Richard Cohen writes about The Myth of American Exceptionalism. There may be no better example of why the liberal view of America is wrong.

Cohen calls it “smugness” that, as we sing in America the Beautiful, we believe ‘God shed His grace on thee.’ We Americans, after all, have no genetic or inborn moral superiority compared to Cohen’s citizens of the world. Certainly, God doesn’t pick winners and losers. Cohen sees conservatives as naïve, like so many sports fans who pray that God will grant victory for their team.

He cites as one of the failures of American exceptionalism “a dysfunctional education system.” Then he goes on to say:

some of those most inclined to exalt American exceptionalism are simply using the imaginary past to defend their cultural tics — conventional marriage or school prayer or, for some odd reason, a furious antipathy to the notion that mankind has contributed (just a bit) to global warming.

Marriage, you see, is just a cultural tic to the Left.

What Cohen will never understand is that it is our system of freedom that makes us exceptional. It is freedom that allows us to maximize our potential, be peaceful yet respond quickly with strength to threats, to learn from failure, and succeed through personal responsibility, not because of the State. It is through freedom that individuals may reach their greatest potential, and that best benefits others. It is because of freedom that we are a prosperous and charitable people.

This also explains the difference between how conservatives and liberals view the Constitution. To conservatives, the Constitution is the law that protects freedom by governing government. Liberals see our system of government more as a way to control the People.

Conservatives believe freedom comes from God. We are therefore blessed by that freedom, not because, as Cohen would have you believe, we have deceived ourselves. We are blessed because we have a Constitution designed to protect that freedom. Exceptionalism is not handed out or taken from others; it is a result of individuals maximizing their potential.

The statist-liberal mindset is threatened by American exceptionalism. Statist liberals like Cohen, therefore, are willing to reduce freedom. That levels the playing field with others.

Rather than accepting American exceptionalism, Mr. Cohen and his friends would rather we share a global participation award like our “dysfunctional education system” -- run mostly by liberals, by the bye -- gives to children.


Mark J. Fitzgibbons

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

Turkey's PM Erdogan: Hamas is not a Terror Group

by Thomas Lifson

NATO-member Turkey, which came close to gaining membership in the EU, is accelerating its slide into Islamism. Its Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last night told PBS's Charlie Rose Show:

"Let me give you a very clear message, I don't see Hamas as a terror organization. Hamas is a political party -- it emerged as a political party that appeared as a political party," Erdogan told Charlie Rose, adding: "it is a resistance movement trying to protect its country under occupation."

Going further, the Turkish PM said the world should not "mix terrorist organizations with such an organization, and they entered into the elections," adding that Hamas "won the elections, they had ministers, and they had parliament speakers who were imprisoned by Israel, about 35 ministers and members of parliament in Israel prisons."

"Where is terrorism? They entered into the elections and after the elections this is how they were reacted, I mean, calling them terrorists, this would be disrespect to the will of the Palestinian people," Erdogan added.

Referring to the impact the unity agreement Hamas signed with Fatah, Erdogan said: "I am very pleased with what had happened. I am very pleased. Let me express it very clearly, because this is what we wanted to see for many years."
Yonatan Silverman aptly notes:

Yes, Yes Mr. Erdogan. The Nazis were a political party in their day too. Perhaps he can explain his position on Hamas to the 1000 Israeli civilians who Hamas murdered in suicide bombings in the Second Intifada? Their blood is on his head now.

Hamas has not changed its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel.


Thomas Lifson

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

Obama’s Half-Brother Agrees to Intervene for Pollard

by Hillel Fendel

While US President Barack Obama was busy orchestrating the assassination of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, his half brother Mark Ndesandjo reconnected with his Jewish roots on his first trip to Israel.

Ndesandjo, 45, was born to Barack Obama Senior's third wife, a Jewish-American kindergarten teacher and the daughter of Lithuanian immigrants.

Ndesandjo's trip to the Holy Land was kept a secret for fear that he would fall victim to hostile attempts to avenge the US-perpetrated assassination of bin Laden.

One of the main purposes of Ndesandjo's visit was to meet with the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, to receive a blessing and a letter for his mother, Ruth Nidesand.

During Ndesandjo's stay he visited the Wailing Wall and other Jewish heritage sites in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. According to the Chief Rabbinate personnel, Ndesandjo said that he was very impressed with the people, the restaurants and the entertainment, but refused to specify which sites he visited for security reasons.

Noble favor: Releasing Pollard Metzger's office employees were surprised to receive the unexpected guest,who stepped out of the elevator wearing a bandana topped with a skull cap.

"He looked so similar to his brother that even if he didn't say anything I would have recognized him," Metzger said.

"He said that his mother often reminds him to be proud of his Judaism," the rabbi added. "He seemed like a very sensitive Jew whose heart is invested in helping his fellow man."

According to Metzger, Ndesandjo has met with Obama a few times since the latter took office, and they are in regular telephone contact.

Before concluding their meeting, Metzger said that he asked Ndesandjo to do"a noble favor for the Jewish people" – to try to convince Obama to release Jonathan Pollard, who has been serving a life sentence in the US since he was convicted of spying for Israel in 1986.

Ndesandjo agreed, and asked Metzger to write a letter of encouragement to his mother, who lives in Kenya and works as a kindergarten teacher.

Ndesandjo studied Physics at Brown and Stanford, and has an MBA from Emory University. In 2002 he relocated from the US to China, where he married Liu Xuehua. In 2009 he published an autobiography titled "Nairobi to Shenzhen: A Novel of Love," where he describes, among other things, growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father. Ndesandjo currently runs an internet company,World Nexus, which advises Chinese companies on international markets.


Hillel Fendel

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What to Do About Pakistan?

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Since the killing of Osama bin Laden, much speculation has arisen on whether elements of the Pakistani military or intelligence (ISI) played a role in providing shelter for OBL as early as 2005. There is of course nothing wrong in asking such a question. We have every right to be suspicious in light of the fact that the compound in Abbottabad, a town primarily known in Pakistan for the presence of the country's army, was situated just a few hundred yards from the nation's leading military academy. Could Pakistan's security forces really have been unaware of his presence for several years?

Naturally, the question of what the future holds for US-Pakistan relations has been raised. In particular, we need to ask how, if at all, US policy towards Pakistan should be changed, as the country is at present the recipient of billions of dollars in aid every year, while Obama and other American politicians have had no problem with routinely calling Pakistan an "ally" in the War on Terror.

Unfortunately, however, the reality turns out to be more sobering. Yet it is important that a precise picture be built up of what characterizes Pakistan's policies towards the various Islamist militant groups operating in its territory. To begin with, for more than half of Pakistan's history, military officers have ruled the country, and it is the military, along with the religious groups, who have always dictated the agenda for Pakistan's foreign policy, not the civilian leadership (regardless of whether it has backed their outlook). This is not at all surprising, for secularists and liberals in the country have consistently lost the debate over the nature of Pakistan's identity. Indeed, there is little doubt that the problem is rooted in the creation of Pakistan as a state for Muslims. How can such a purpose be reconciled with divorcing from politics the Islamic faith, which in its traditional forms as per the orthodox schools of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) does not separate religion from the public sphere?

As the military and clergy increasingly set Pakistan on the path of a full-fledged, artificial Islamic identity that ignores the vast differences among the nation's ethnic groups, the country inevitably turned into an expansionist state, which is today the foundation of Pakistan's behavior towards Islamist militants. At this point, some distinctions need to be made, as the manner in which the Pakistani military and ISI have dealt with armed Islamist groups has varied by region.

Currently, the Pakistani security forces are engaged in an active campaign against the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TeT) in Waziristan. The TeT is commonly known as the "Pakistani Taliban," though even here a gray area exists as the TeT's deceased former leader -- Baitullah Mehsud (killed in a drone strike on August 5, 2009) -- pledged his allegiance to Mullah Omar, head of the Taliban Shura in Quetta that directs the Taliban's operations in Afghanistan, even as Mullah Omar has urged the TeT not to attack the Pakistani army or ISI.

The TeT's immediate aim is to overthrow the Pakistani government and establish its ideal Islamic state. It then seeks to expel foreign troops from Muslim lands and, in Mehsud's words, "attack them [non-Muslims] in the US and Britain until they either accept Islam or agree to pay jizya." The word "jizya" will be familiar to anyone who has read Qur'an 9:29 and the commentary of traditional jurists like Ibn Kathir on how that verse relates to the doctrine of offensive jihad. Namely, it is a poll tax non-Muslims must pay as part of an agreement to accept second-class citizenship status in a state governed according to the Shari'a (Islamic law).

The relationship between the Taliban Shura and the TeT is rooted in the fact that during the Afghan Civil War (officially 1992-1996, though in reality Afghanistan has been plagued by a continuous state of civil war for more than 35 years), many militants who now form the rank-and-file of the TeT fought to secure Taliban rule in Afghanistan, backed then by the civilian government of Benazir Bhutto as well as the Pakistani military and ISI.

Nonetheless, the TeT's members are now generally incensed at what they see as treacherous cooperation between the Pakistani security forces and the US. Such a belief, however, is erroneous, and derives from the double game the Pakistani military and ISI play with Taliban militants operating in Afghanistan and Swat Valley, the Haqqani Network, and Hezb-e-Islam, all of whom have hideouts in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP, formerly North-West Frontier Province). This double game has consisted of allowing the CIA's Special Activities Division to conduct drone strikes against militant hideouts on the one hand, while frequently providing early warnings and escape routes for the militants on the other. Part of the motivation for playing this double game is to continue receiving financial aid from the US.

Meanwhile, the Taliban Shura, which is chiefly behind directing Taliban activities in Afghanistan and is based in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's largest province by area (Balochistan), is safeguarded by the army and ISI. Here, a further reason behind the military and intelligence's behavior is to be noted. Pakistan has a strong interest in backing the Taliban Shura and its followers to suppress the Baloch secular-nationalist insurgency being waged against the state. The Pakistani government cannot afford to lose control of Balochistan, given the close ties Pakistan has forged with China in allowing the Chinese to construct a port in Gwadar with nearer access to the Persian Gulf and to develop the province's huge copper reserves at the expense of distributing revenues amongst the indigenous population.

Finally, we come to the militant groups based in Punjab, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is widely suspected of being responsible for the Mumbai attacks in 2008. The policy of both the local civilian government and the security forces has been to protect these groups. In fact, with the support of the ISI, Lashkar-e-Taiba has formed the Indian Mujahideen to recruit Indian Muslim youth to conduct terrorist attacks in India. The main goal here has been to use these militants as a bulwark against India in the territory of Kashmir, to be contrasted with support for the Taliban and other Islamist militants in Afghanistan as a way to prevent India from asserting its interests in the country and supposedly using Afghanistan as a base against Pakistan. India, of course, has been one of the chief financial backers of the Karzai regime in Kabul.

The inevitable consequence of these policies towards the militant groups has been the increasing destabilization of Pakistan. For instance, many Taliban militants based in FATA and KP who were granted the opportunity to escape during security operations by the Pakistani army have found refuge in southern Punjab, hosted by the Sunni jihadist groups there. These Islamists have thus been able to set up seminaries and create the "Punjabi Taliban," which has thus far attained a reputation for bombing Sufi shrines in the region. Also of note is Al-Qa'ida's well-established presence in Pakistan. For instance, in an article in the Pashtu-language daily Wrazpanra Wahdat of November 17, 2009, former Pakistan Army chief General Aslam Baig estimated that Al-Qaeda's Brigade 500 alone has about 3,000 fighters.

So just what can the US do about Pakistan? No doubt many feel an urge to declare Pakistan an "enemy" or "terrorist" state and suspend all financial aid to the country. As one angry reader put it to pundit Jeffrey Goldberg:

How thick are you? Do you really believe that the Pakistani government didn't know where bin Laden was? He was in the middle of Pakistan, for God's sakes. Why can't you face it that Pakistan is an enemy nation and should be dealt with like one? Are you tired of war? Is that it? Do you wish everyone would just get along already?

Nevertheless, an option of hostile belligerence is simply not viable, and no serious policymaker can consider the possibility of war with Pakistan. After all, the country is a nuclear weapons state with a population of over 187 million. One might object that we could launch a strike on Pakistan's nuclear weapons stocks, but to enact such a plan is definitely not as easy as might be thought.

At the same time, it is folly to heed Goldberg's suggestion that we should just continue to "provide aid and support for government and economic reform, health care, and universal education." The US has been doing this for years on end. Have such measures induced the Pakistani military and ISI to abandon their expansionist policy of strategic depth, or reduced support for Islamists in the country? As the reactions to the assassination of Salman Taseer showed, the consensus amongst the Pakistani people (with the exception of the Baloch people, who constitute just over 6 million of the country's population), is overwhelmingly Islamist. The fact that over 500 clerics and scholars from the "moderate" Barelvi sect, which has traditionally defended Sufi practices like veneration of saints from the puritanical nature of Wahhabism, issued a declaration forbidding Muslims to mourn Taseer's death illustrates how, as Western aid has increased, so has the tendency towards Islamism in Pakistan.

Similarly, offering financial incentives for the Pakistani military and intelligence to change their policies towards the various militant groups has proved a failure. Over the past couple of years, some officials in the Obama administration have tried to propose a deal that the ISI end its support for the Taliban Shura in return for more aid, but the offer was snubbed.

The only realistic alternative is to make it clear to Pakistan that financial aid is not unconditional and will depend upon restarting peace talks with India. The aim must be to end the cold war between the two countries, specifically with a détente agreement that should require both nations to respect the military neutrality of Afghanistan and Kashmir. Of course, the burden of initiative is overwhelmingly on Pakistan's shoulders, but it would helpful if the US could act as a mediator in peace talks.

Key issues that must be raised include the increasing destabilization of Pakistan at the hands of militant groups, and the fact that India does not really need to back the Karzai regime, which, being extremely corrupt, not only struggles to exert authority outside of Kabul but also makes a mockery of human rights. Who can forget the fiasco in 2006 over the Afghan Christian convert Abdul Rahman, who faced death under Afghan law as per the Hanafi school of fiqh that, like the other orthodox sects in Sunni and Shi'a Islam, mandates death for apostates from the faith? Is it really in India's interest to provide massive aid to such a government? If India can agree not to back Karzai, Islamabad will no longer have reason to fear that India will use Afghanistan as a base against Pakistan. As part of a lasting détente treaty with India, Pakistan's military must agree to act decisively and firmly against all Islamist militants based in the country, besides reining in the ISI.

Furthermore, we ought to highlight to Pakistan's civilian government that it must expand and change the state education system by reforming it according to the model introduced by Habib Bourguiba in Tunisia. Tunisian religious textbooks have traditionally taught liberal-democratic, secular values and have encouraged students to question blind obedience to Muslim clergy and look towards Europe as a source of enlightened culture.

Now, it should not be thought that the US is omnipotent here. What I have outlined is not a foolproof plan, because much will depend on the willpower of Pakistan's civilian and military leadership. However, the solution proposed above is the only realistic way of safeguarding our security interests in the region. The other oft-debated alternatives are either impractical or will do nothing to change the already dire situation.


Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

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

The Muslim World's Inferiority Complex

by Khaled Montaser

Translated, abridged and introduced by Raymond Ibrahim

What if an entire civilization developed an inferiority complex? What ramifications would that have on the rest of the world? How would such paranoia play itself out in the interaction of civilizations?

An Arabic op-ed entitled "The Broder Dilemma and Inferiority Complex," written by the Muslim intellectual Khaled Montaser late last year, and translated below, portrays the Muslim world as suffering from just such an inferiority complex.

We Muslims have an inferiority complex and are terribly sensitive to the world, feeling that our Islamic religion needs constant, practically daily, confirmation by way of Europeans and Americans converting to Islam. What rapturous joy takes us when a European or American announces [their conversion to] Islam—proof that we are in a constant state of fear, alarm, and chronic anticipation for Western validation or American confirmation that our religion is "okay." We are hostages of this anticipation, as if our victory hinges on it—forgetting that true victory is for us to create or to accomplish something, such as those [civilizations] that these converts to our faith abandon.

And we pound our drums and blow our horns [in triumph] and drag the convert to our backwardness, so that he may stand with us at the back of the world's line of laziness, [in the Muslim world] wherein no new scientific inventions have appeared in the last 500 years. Sometimes those who convert relocate to our countries—only to get on a small boat and escape on the high seas back to their own countries.

The dilemma which we Muslims imbibed from one end of the earth to the other—by way of our sons, our intellectuals, our youth, our elders, our men and our women—regards the German writer Henryk Broder. We celebrated him through our media and Internet sites, saying that he had converted to Islam, because he said "I have been saved from misguidance and have come to know the truth, returning to my natural state [fitriti, i.e., Islam]." Our writers and intellectuals portrayed Broder's statement as a slap to Germany's face, since he was one of the most critical opponents of Islam, but now he had announced his repentance.

Then the truth was immediately revealed and the embarrassing predicament which we imbibed of our own free will: for Broder is not to blame; he merely wrote a sarcastic article—but we are a people incapable of comprehending sarcasm, since it requires a bit of thinking and intellectualizing. And we read with great speed and a hopeful eye, not an eye for truth or reality. Some of us are struck with blindness when we read things that go against our hopes.

We actually imagined that the man was speaking truthfully and sincerely! Thus we drank from the bitter cup of failure and shame, products of our chronic ignorance and contemptuous feelings of inferiority and detestability.

[Translator's note: many popular Arabic/Muslim websites—including Al-Islam Al-Youm (Islam Today) Al-Sharuk News, Al-Moheet—continue to gloat under headlines like "Famous German embraces Islam after his long struggle against it."]

How come the Buddhists don't hold the festivities we do for those who convert to their religion? And some of these converts are much more famous than Broder. Did you know that Richard Gere, Steven Seagal, Harrison Ford—among Hollywood's most famous actors—converted to Buddhism? What did the Buddhist countries of Asia do regarding these celebrities? What did the Buddhists in China and Japan do?

Did they dance and sing praise and march out in the streets, or did they accept these people's entrance into Buddhism as a mere matter of free conviction? When Tiger Woods, the most famous golf player and richest athlete in the world, discussed his acceptance of Buddhism, did China grant him citizenship, or did Japan pour its wealth on him? No, being self-confident, they treated him with equality, not servility.

It is sufficient for the Buddhists that these celebrities purchase their nations' electronic goods—without any beggary or enticements.


Khaled Montaser

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

Slouching Toward “Palestine”

by Louis René Beresame

Intra-Palestinian politics remain on a steady course. Following a carefully-choreographed rapprochement with Hamas, the more “moderate” Fatah forces, still trained and funded by millions of U.S. tax dollars, will resume their ritualized terror attacks against Israel. More or less simultaneously, Hamas will do the same. In Lebanon, Shiite Hezbollah, steadily mentored by Iran, and, oddly allied with Sunni Hamas, has already begun active operational preparations, with Syrian collaboration, for the next war.

Ironically, however, Israel’s required efforts to defend its citizens will predictably be met with a sanctimonious barrage of assorted criticisms. Although international law allows any such imperiled state to use necessary force preemptively, Israel’s indispensable efforts to stave off existential harms will be harshly condemned throughout the “international community.”

Humanitarian international law, or the law of war, requires that every use of force by an army or by an insurgent group meet the test of “proportionality.” Drawn from the core legal principle that “the means that can be used to injure an enemy are not unlimited,” proportionality stipulates, among other things, that every resort to armed force be limited to what is necessary for meeting military objectives. This principle of both codified and customary international law applies to all judgments of military advantage, and also to all planned reprisals.

Proper determinations of proportionality need not be made in a geopolitical vacuum. Instead, these legal decisions may always take into consideration the extent to which an adversary has committed prior or ongoing violations of the law of war. In the frequently interrelated examples of Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Fatah terrorists in Gaza, and the Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, there is ample evidence that all of these belligerents have been guilty of repeated “perfidy.”

In law, deception can be acceptable in armed conflict, but the Hague Regulations expressly disallow the placement of military assets or military personnel in any heavily populated civilian areas. Further prohibition of perfidy can be found at Protocol I of 1977, additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. These rules are also binding on the basis of an equally authoritative customary international law.

Perfidy represents a very serious violation of the law of war, one that is even identified as a “grave breach” at Article 147 of Geneva Convention No. IV. The legal effect of perfidy committed by Palestinian or Hezbollah terrorists, especially their recurrent resort to “human shields,” is to immunize Israel from legal responsibility for any inadvertent counter-terrorist harms done to Arab civilians. But even if Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Fatah and Hezbollah have not always engaged in altogether deliberate violations, any terrorist-created links between civilians and insurgent warfare still bestowed upon Israel a fully legal justification for military self-defense.

This is not to suggest that Israel should now have a jurisprudential carte blanche in its necessary applications of armed force, but only that the reasonableness of these applications always be appraised in the context of identifiable enemy perfidy.

Viewed against the historical background of extensive and unapologetic terrorist perfidy in both Gaza and Lebanon, Israel has been innocent of any prior “disproportionality.” All combatants, including all insurgents in Gaza and Lebanon, are bound to comply with the law of war of international law. This important requirement derives not only from what is known as the “Martens Clause,” a binding paragraph which makes its first appearance in the Preamble to the 1899 Hague Convention No. II on land warfare, but additionally from Article 3, common to the four Geneva Conventions of August 12,1949. It is also found at the two Protocols to these Conventions.

It is easy to condemn Israel with rhythmic chants of “disproportionality.” Yet, competent legal scholars will always acknowledge the vital evaluative significance of context.

It should be clear, until now, that any seemingly disproportionate use of force by the Israel Defense Forces had actually been the permissible outcome of antecedent and perfidious crimes committed by its enemies. What about charges, from one war to the next, that Israel had committed “aggression” in Lebanon? At Lebanon’s insistence, certainly not Israel’s, a formal state of war has existed between the two tiny countries since the Jewish State came into existence in May 1948. Only an armistice agreement obtains between Israel and Lebanon. Signed on March 23,1949, this was not a war-terminating agreement, but merely a pledge to “cease fire.”

Legally, it is not possible for Israel to commit aggression against Lebanon. This is because the latter already considers itself in a formal condition of belligerency with the Jewish State. Israel cannot commit aggression against another state with which it is already at war.

Faced with multiple and sometimes cooperating enemies on several fronts who often make no secret of their genocidal intentions, Israel has nonetheless adhered to the law of war. Indeed, in starkly marked contrast to the conscious indiscriminacy of its terrorist foes in Gaza, Judea/Samaria (West Bank) and Lebanon, Jerusalem has struggled mightily to respect this law.

The authentic legal issue in recurrent Middle East conflict is not Israeli “disproportionality” or “aggression,” but rather a persistent enemy resort to terrorism and perfidy. Notwithstanding foreseeable U.S. and Israeli objections to any Fatah/Hamas merger, neither Palestinian party has any effective reason to refrain from further terrorism against Israel. Already engaged in a far-reaching diplomatic end-run around Jerusalem, neither Fatah nor Hamas will require Prime Minister Netanyahu’s negotiated approval to proceed toward complete Palestinian sovereignty.

In September, probably with very little prodding, the U.N. will take up the issue of membership for “Palestine.” Almost certainly, although any such consideration would likely not meet the more stringent requirements of statehood that were formally established at the 1934 Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (Montevideo Convention), a generally-recognized and totally militarized Palestinian state would then become a fait accompli. Should this U.N. conferral of sovereignty be implemented, Israel’s starkly limited future will be discoverable in Article 12 of the PA (Fatah) Charter, which calls for “the liberation of Palestine completely….,” and in Article 19: “The struggle will not end until the elimination of the Zionist entity and the liberation of Palestine.”

As for the less-moderate Hamas Covenant (Charter of the Islamic Resistance Movement), it begins with Israel’s annihilation: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it….” Significantly, especially in view of what is still happening in Egypt, the Covenant refers to Hamas as “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.”

In the Middle East, wishful thinking is always perilous. Israel’s enemies plainly have no regard for compliance with the law of war. Once granted a new state carved out of Israel’s still-living body, “Palestine” would enthusiastically seize new opportunities not “only” for war and terrorism, but also (in the literal jurisprudential sense of pertinent international treaties) for genocide.

In the final analysis, Fatah/Hamas seek not to enlarge a secular power over life, but rather a supremely religious power over death.

Is there any power in world politics or diplomacy that can conceivably compete with such a sacred promise of immortality?


Louis René Beresame is Professor of International Law at Purdue. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he is the author of many books and articles dealing with terrorism, international law and the law of war.

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

Jihad’s Child Suicide Bombers

by Frank Crimi

Despite the Taliban’s denial that it uses children as human explosives, its spring offensive began with a suicide bombing by a 12-year-old boy. The attack is just one more sign that the militant group and its terrorist allies are increasing their efforts to recruit, train and utilize child suicide bombers.

The young terrorist’s suicide blast, which killed four Afghan civilians and wounded twelve in the Afghan province of Paktika, was roundly condemned by Afghan President Hamid Karzai as “inhumane and against all Islamic principles.”

Yet, it was one of two such suicide attacks carried out by child bombers in eastern Afghanistan over the past several weeks, attacks that killed over 15 people. Soon after those assaults, Afghan authorities showed off five captured would-be suicide bombers –all under the age of 13 — trained by Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan.

As one Afghan intelligence official said, “They have been told that infidels are in Afghanistan … and they have been encouraged to go for Jihad.” In a disturbing twist, one of the captured bombers thought he would survive the attack when he was told by his instructors that “the (infidels) will be killed and you will live.”

For its part, the Taliban denied using children as human explosives, saying they do not use “beardless” or underage boys in their militant operations. According to a statement released by the terror group, “Those who haven’t grown a beard due to being underage are prohibited to spend time with the mujahedeen in residential and military centers.”

Unfortunately for the Taliban, that statement contradicts its past claims to have trained anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand juveniles as suicide bombers. In fact, the Afghan government places the figure of trained child suicide terrorists closer to 5,000.

While the number of suicide bombers can range from as little as age seven to over forty, most suicide bombers are under the age of 18. Sadly, the recruitment and training of these children is not only extensive and well organized, but growing.

To that end, suicide training factories have sprouted up all over the Afghan-Pakistan border, with most located in the Pakistani province of Waziristan. There, it’s been estimated that the Fedayeen-e-Islam have trained over 1,000 suicide bombers at three facilities. More disturbingly, many suicide training centers have been designated into junior and senior camps.

The Pakistani army found one such junior camp, equipped with computers, video equipment and literature, where children as young as age 10, according to one army officer, “knew about the planting of explosives, making and wearing and detonating suicide jackets.”

The increased demand for child bombers comes as the Taliban have focused its efforts on attacking an expanding list of civilian targets, sites which include schools, mosques, markets, government offices and other public places.

Tragically, the results have been all too effective. In the month of February alone, Afghanistan saw suicide bombings in the capital of Kabul that killed 10 civilians; an attack in Khost that killed nine; an attack in Kandahar that killed 18; an attack in Jalalabad that killed 40; and an attack in Kunduz that killed 28.

To some, the emphasis on suicide bombings is seen as a sign of the terror group’s desperation. According to one Afghan army commander, the Taliban and its terrorist allies have “no ability to conduct large scale operations anywhere, so he has switched tactics.” As district leader Hamdullah Nazak, a reported survivor of 11 attempts on his life said, “Of course. It’s the only way for the Taliban now.”

Whether the increase in suicide attacks is a sign of desperation or not, the reality is that the vast majority of the bombings continue to be made by the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, as children make particularly good suicide terror candidates, they remain the Islamists’ favorite choice of human explosive.

According to a report by the Joint Intelligence Group at Guantanamo, child suicide bombers “are more willing to martyr themselves due to their lack of reasoning on taking innocent lives.” That willingness to die is of course exploited by the militants through a variety of ways, including desensitization and brainwashing. As one Afghan official has noted, “They are made to watch video films, showing physical torture and killing of Muslims women and children …by what they call infidels.”

Like their adult compatriots, juvenile bombers are told that the rewards for performing such deadly deeds are great. One captured suicide bomber said he was told by his instructors that as a good Muslim he had a duty to defend Islam and that “as soon as I blow myself up, I will be in heaven and will get eternal peace.” Even the fact that a bomber may kill another child is justified by the Islamic trainers, who argue that those killed are “non-believers or children of non-believers.”

Still, despite the indoctrination, most suicide recruits are not trusted to complete their deadly tasks on their own. That is why the terrorist trainers ensure that most recruits are accompanied to their targets by a handler who leaves them to detonate their explosives. For those who display a change of heart in the process, the terrorists rely on the threat and use of violence to ensure compliance.

As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton has said, the terrorists “purposely inflict violence on children to strike fear in those who oppose them.” That need to resort to violence to guarantee obedience comes from the fact that many recruits don’t come to the jihad willingly, but are the victims of kidnapping by the terrorists.

Willing or not, a suicide recruit remains a highly valued product. In fact, the sale of recruits has become a very lucrative business. The Taliban alone have reportedly been buying children as young as seven. As one Afghan official stated, “The ongoing price for child bombers has been fixed at $ 7,000 to $ 14,000; the price depends on how quickly the bomber is needed and how close the child is expected to get to the target.”

While 90 percent of the trained bombers are estimated to have been used in Afghanistan, it has been reported that 5,000 Pakistani children have received training on suicide bombing for use in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s interior minister claimed that of the 2,488 incidents of terrorism in Pakistan in the last two years — which claimed the lives of 3,169 people — most were the result of suicide bombings conducted by underage terrorists. The most recent attack came in April when two young suicide bombers struck a Pakistani shrine that killed 50 worshippers and wounded more than 100.

Of course, the fact Islamist militants would continue to use children in such a grotesque manner comes as little surprise. After all, these same terror groups have used children with Down syndrome and mentally impaired women as suicide bombers in the past.

So, in a world where underage suicide bombers are referred to by their terrorist handlers as “weapons of mass destruction or atom bombs,” and where children play a game called suicide bomber with the frequency American children play tag, it’s understandable that they will continue to be preyed upon by their malevolent elders.


Frank Crimi

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