Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Legacy of 9/11 Hero Danny Lewin

by Steven Plaut


At the center of the 9/11 attacks against the United States by Islamofascist terror, an unlikely hero played a largely unknown role. He sacrificed his life in an attempt to stop the hijacking of one of the planes that later crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He was an Israeli-American and his role has remained largely ignored and unacknowledged.

Danny Lewin was an American-Israeli, a world-class Internet entrepreneur, and the very first person to be murdered by the Al-Qaeda barbarians on September 11, 2001.  He was aboard the American Airlines Flight 11 plane out of Boston headed for Los Angeles when it was hijacked by the terrorists.  A veteran of the special forces in the Israeli army, Lewin quickly understood what was going down.  He spoke fluent Arabic and knew what the terrorists were saying.  He single-handedly attempted to attack and subdue the terrorists.  He was stabbed to death on the plane by terrorist Satam al-Suqami, a Saudi law student.  Lewin was 31-years-old when he was murdered.

A new biography of the hero of 9/11 is now in book stores entitled, “No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet.”  It is written by Molly Knight Raskin.  She describes Lewin thus:
In some ways, Lewin’s appearance belied his intelligence. Lacking the physical traits of the stereotypical mathematician, he could have easily been mistaken for a high school athlete. Although he stood just five feet ten inches tall, Lewin was built like a bull—burly and broad-shouldered, sheer muscle from head to toe.  He was boyishly handsome, with a soft, round face, blue eyes and brown hair that was prematurely receding, giving way to a long, smooth forehead.  His smile was unyielding and almost impish, creating in those around him the urge to smile, too.”
Lewin grew up in Denver and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1984, three years after I did the same.   His parents were devoted Zionists and passionate about their Jewishness.  While exempt from military service in Israel on grounds that he had recently immigrated, Danny insisted on serving anyhow, and in the country’s most challenging military unit at that.  He served in the ultra-elite special forces combat unit called “Sayeret Matkal,” perhaps best known for its operation in Entebbe to release the kidnapped Jews held by Palestinian and Ugandan terrorists.  The brother of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu died in that operation, which safely rescued nearly all of the hostages.  (One hostage woman had been moved out of the airport to a hospital and she was then murdered by Idi Amin’s stormtroopers.)  In Raskin’s words, “Until the 1990s, Sayeret Matkal was so important to Israel’s security that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) would not officially acknowledge its existence. Those who knew anything about its inner workings were sworn to a code of silence, and its soldiers are still forbidden to wear its insignia in public.”

Lewin attended the Technion in Haifa, where in 1995 he was named the year’s Outstanding Student in Computer Engineering.  He then worked for IBM in developing high-tech products, later doing graduate work at MIT.  There he became the protégé of the legendary MIT professor F. Thomson Leighton.  According to Raskin, “The more Lewin got to know Leighton, the more professionally enamored he became, routinely telling friends he’d met the ‘smartest man in the world.’”   The two developed mathematical algorithms for optimizing internet traffic.   These became the basis for Akamai Technologies, which the two founded in 1998.  Lewin served as the company’s chief technology officer and a board member.  The company went public in 1999 and its stock market valuation rose rapidly to 345 billion dollars.  Lewin was posthumously named one of the most influential high-tech figures in the world.   Much of the book by Raskin details his career in advanced high technology.   He was not only the first victim of the terror on September 11, 2001, he was also its wealthiest and most successful victim.

Here is Raskin:
An executive summary mistakenly leaked by the Federal Aviation Administration to the press stated that terrorist Satam al-Suqami shot and killed Lewin with a single bullet around 9:20 a.m. (obviously a typo, as the plane crashed at 8:46 a.m.). But almost as soon as the memo was leaked, FAA officials claimed it was written in error, and that Lewin was more than likely stabbed, not shot. The 9/11 Commission concurred, offering a more detailed summary: based on dozens of interviews with those who spoke with flight attendants Sweeney and Ong, the commission determined that al-Suqami most likely killed Lewin by slashing him in the throat from behind as he attempted to stop the hijacking.  The time of his death was reported to be somewhere between 8:15 and 8:20 a.m., which—if fact—would make Lewin the first victim of the 9/11 attacks.”
After his death, the intersection of Main and Vassar Streets in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was renamed Danny Lewin Square in his honor. He left behind a widow and two sons.

Lewin’s life captures everything positive about the American-Israeli collaboration in education, high-technology, and military strategy.  He also epitomizes the world struggle against barbarism.

Steven Plaut


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

The Report of Team B II - What is the Muslim Brotherhood and What is their Mission?

by Sally Zahav

Americans are understandably concerned about terrorism. After all, there have been horrific attacks on American soil, and several more planned attacks were aborted before they could be carried out. But if Americans think that all they need to worry about is preventing terror attacks, they are missing the main threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its associated groups. Because as traumatic and painful that these attacks have been, they do not pose a real danger to the American way of life. But there is something that does --

Consider the mission statement of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, issued in 1991: “It is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within…sabotaging its miserable house from within…by [our] hands and the hands of the believers so that God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” 

The Muslim Brotherhood? Didn't James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, say that they are a "largely secular group"? And non-violent?

Oh, Really? Here is what Steven Emerson, well-known expert on terrorism, says:

Which one do you believe, in light of world events today?

Why is the Director of National Intelligence is so relaxed about the Muslim Brotherhood? 

The following are excerpted passages from the book Sharia - the Threat to America - An Exercise in Competitive Analysis - Report of Team B II, CSPPress.

As this report will demonstrate, there is plenty of blame to go around. The fact is that, under both political parties, the U.S. government has comprehensively failed to grasp the true nature of this enemy - an adversary that fights to reinstate the totalitarian Islamic caliphate and impose  shariah globally. 
Our leadership generally has also failed to appreciate the complementary subversion campaigns posed by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood - groups that fully share the objectives of the violent jihadists but believe that, for the moment at least, more stealthy, "pre-violent" means of jihad are likely to prove more effective in achieving those goals. 
By neglecting their professional duty to understand the doctrinal and legal basis of jihad, policymakers commit national resources in blood and treasure to foreign battlefields without ever realizing that what we must fight for is not just security from Islamist suicide bombers. Rather, we must also preserve here at home the system of government, laws, and freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. Our national leaders and military intelligence officers took oaths to "support and defend" the Constitution that is now being targeted by those foreign and domestic enemies who seek our submission to shariah.

I live in Israel. Here, there are dangers posed by Islamists too, but stealthy infiltration into our government institutions is not one of them. Our leaders and our population are more aware of the Islamists' intentions than in other Western countries, and are not susceptible to that sort of subversion.

The United States is geographically far away from the seat of Islamic activism, so it's easy - much too easy - to imagine that there is no threat to America other than the occasional terror attack. The United States must, of course, continue to be vigilant about the activities of terrorists, but a greater awareness of the true nature of Islamic activity must also be developed. Yes, some of it is innocent, just as there are many Muslims who eschew violence. But the darker side of Islam must not be ignored.

Inform yourselves. And maybe, after learning what goes on under the surface, you will become proud "islamphobes". Because there actually is something to fear from groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, who aspire to insinuate themselves into American institutions and use the Americans' very freedoms to take those freedoms away.

Check out

Sally Zahav

Source: "Sharia - the Threat to America", CSPPress

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

Asharq al-Awsat: Fighting rages in Syria around Barzeh in Damascus

by Asharq Al-Awsat

On Thursday, Human Rights Watch released a report saying both the regime and opposition forces are detaining political prisoners without trial, possibly torturing them.
A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he moves taking cover by sandbags near the Justice Palace, which is controlled by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Aleppo October 4, 2013. (REUTERS/Hamid Khatib)
A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as takes cover by sandbags near the Justice Palace, which is controlled by forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, in Aleppo on October 4, 2013. (REUTERS/Hamid Khatib)

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad continued shelling the Barzeh district in Damascus on Friday, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned. Several Free Syrian Army battalions are stationed in that part of the Syrian capital.

Anti-Assad activists told Asharq Al-Awsat that the “regime renewed its shelling of the neighborhood in the eastern part of the capital using heavy artillery, tank shells and heavy machine guns,” with intermittent clashes erupting on the outskirts of the Damascus neighborhood as a result of regular forces trying to enter from several sides.

According to the sources, regime forces have been trying to wrest control of Barzeh since September 10 with “air strikes targeting the neighborhood on an almost regular basis three times a day.”
The five-month siege laid by Assad forces on the rebel-held neighborhood has led to a decline in the humanitarian situation, with shortages in food and medication now affecting most residents.
Given its strategic significance, “controlling the neighborhood is a key and central point for the regime,” as it will “affect the course of battles in Damascus and Rif Dimashq [the rural area around Damascus],” the opposition source said.

“FSA battalions inside the neighborhood are well fortified, and the regime will not be able to enter the neighborhood,” the source added.

The neighborhood, which once was home to 75,000 people, is of importance for the two conflicting sides. Government forces are trying to tighten security around some key military sites adjoining the area, such as the military police command and the military research center.

For the opposition, the neighborhood constitutes a gateway to the Syrian capital, particularly since it has taken over several towns in Rif Dimashq.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in the suburbs of Hama as the regime shelled the area.

In other news from Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Thursday that the Syrian government is holding tens of thousands of political detainees without charge, including medics, citizen journalists and even software developers.

The report said that many of these detainees are being tortured, with some reported raped in custody.
The New York-based organization also said that some of the armed opposition groups fighting to overthrow Assad have “arbitrarily detained people, including journalists, humanitarian workers, and activists.”

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities.


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

America and the Good Psychopaths

by Caroline Glick

Basij boys.jpg
In his speech on Tuesday before the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to get the Americans to stop their collective swooning at the sight of an Iranian president who smiled in their general direction.

"Ladies and gentlemen," the premier warned, "I wish I could believe [President Hassan] Rouhani, but I don't because facts are stubborn things. And the facts are that Iran's savage record flatly contradicts Rouhani's soothing rhetoric."

He might have saved his breath. The Americans weren't interested.

Two days after Netanyahu's speech, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a rejoinder to Netanyahu. "I have never believed that foreign policy is a zero-sum game," Hagel said.

Well, maybe he hasn't. But the Iranians have.

And they still do view diplomacy - like all their dealings with their sworn enemies - as a zero-sum game.

As a curtain raiser for Rouhani's visit, veteran New York Times war correspondent Dexter Filkins wrote a long profile of Iran's real strongman for The New Yorker. Qassem Suleimani is the head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. It is the most powerful organ of the Iranian regime, and Suleimani is Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's closest confidante and adviser.

Rouhani doesn't hold a candle to Suleimani.

Filkin's profile is detailed, but deeply deceptive. The clear sense he wishes to impart on his readers is that Suleimani is a storied war veteran and a pragmatist. He is an Iranian patriot who cares about his soldiers. He's been willing to cut deals with the Americans in the past when he believed it served Iran's interests. And given Suleimani's record, it is reasonable to assume that Rouhani - who is far more moderate than he - is in a position to make a deal and will make one.

The problem with Filkin's portrayal of Suleimani as a pragmatist, and a commander who cares about the lives of his soldiers - and so, presumably cares about the lives of Iranians - is that it is belied by the stories Filkins reported in the article.

Filkins describes at length how Suleimani came of age as a Revolutionary Guard division commander during the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, and how that war made him the complicated, but ultimately reasonable, (indeed parts of the profile are downright endearing), pragmatist he is today.

As the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Suleimani commands the Syrian military and the foreign forces from Iran, Hezbollah and Iraq that have been deployed to Syria to keep Bashar Assad in power.

Filkins quotes an Iraqi politician who claimed that in a conversation with Suleimani last year, the Iranian called the Syrian military "worthless."

He then went on to say, "Give me one brigade of the Basij, and I could conquer the whole country."

Filkins notes that it was the Basij that crushed the anti-Islamist Green Revolution in Iran in 2009. But for a man whose formative experience was serving as a Revolutionary Guards commander in the Iran-Iraq War, Suleimani's view of the Basij as a war-fighting unit owes to what it did in its glory days, in that war, not on the streets of Tehran in 2009.

As Matthias Kuntzel reported in 2006, the Revolutionary Guards formed the Basij during the Iran-Iraq War to serve as cannon fodder. Basij units were made up of boys as young as 12.

They were given light doses of military training and heavy doses of indoctrination in which they were brainwashed to reject life and martyr themselves for the revolution.

As these children were being recruited from Iran's poorest villages, Ayatollah Khomeini purchased a half million small plastic keys from Taiwan.

They were given to the boys before they were sent to battle and told that they were the keys to paradise. The children were then sent into minefields to die and deployed as human waves in frontal assaults against superior Iraqi forces.

By the end of the war some 100,000 of these young boys became the child sacrifices of the regime.

When we assess Suleimani's longing for a Basij brigade in Syria in its proper historical and strategic context - that is, in the context of how he and his fellow Revolutionary Guards commanders deployed such brigades in the 1980s, we realize that far from being a pragmatist, Suleimani is a psychopath.

Filkins did not invent his romanticized version of what makes Suleimani tick. It is a view that has been cultivated for years by senior US officials.

Former US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker spoke at length with Filkins about his indirect dealings with Suleimani through Iranian negotiators who answered to him, and through Iraqi politicians whom he controlled.

Crocker attests that secretary of state Colin Powell dispatched him to Geneva in the weeks before the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to negotiate with the Iranians. Those discussions, which he claims involved the US and Iran trading information about the whereabouts of al- Qaida operatives in Afghanistan and Iran, could have led to an historic rapprochement, Crocker claims. But, he bemoans, hope for such an alliance were dashed in January 2002, when George W. Bush labeled Iran as a member of the "Axis of Evil," in his State of the Union address. 

Supposedly in a rage, Suleimani pulled the plug on cooperation with the Americans. As Crocker put it, "We were just that close. One word in one speech changed history."

Crocker told of his attempt to make it up to the wounded Suleimani in the aftermath of the US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003. Crocker was in Baghdad at the time setting up the Iraqi Governing Council. He used Iraqi intermediaries to clear all the Shi'ite candidates with Suleimani. In other words, the US government gave the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards control over the Iraqi government immediately after the US military toppled Saddam's regime.

Far from convincing Suleimani to pursue a rapproachment with the US, Crocker's actions convinced him that the US was weak. And so, shortly after he oversaw the formation of the governing council, Suleimani instigated the insurgency whose aim was to eject the US from Iraq and to transform it into an Iranian satrapy.

And yet, despite Suleimani's obvious bad faith, and use of diplomacy to entrap the US into positions that harmed its interests and endangered its personnel, Crocker and other senior US officials continued to believe that he was the man to cut a deal with.

The main take-away lesson from the Filkins profile of Suleimani is that US officials - and journalists - like to romanticize the world's most psychopathic, evil men. Doing so helps them to justify and defend their desire to appease, rather than confront, let alone defeat, them.

Suleimani and his colleagues are more than willing to play along with the Americans, to the extent that doing so advances their aims of defeating the US.

There were two main reasons that Bush did not want to confront Iran despite its central role in organizing, directing and financing the insurgency in Iraq. First, Bush decided shortly after the US invasion of Iraq that the US would not expand the war to Iran or Syria. Even as both countries' central role in fomenting the insurgency became inarguable, Bush maintained his commitment to fighting what quickly devolved into a proxy war with Iran, on the battlefield of Iran's choosing.

The second reason that Bush failed to confront Iran, and that his advisers maintained faith with the delusion that it was worth cutting a deal with the likes of Suleimani, was that they preferred the sense of accomplishment a deal brought them to the nasty business of actually admitting the threat Iran posed to American interests - and to American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Expanding on Bush's aversion to fighting Iran, and preference for romanticizing its leaders rather than acknowledging their barbarism, upon entering office Barack Obama embraced a strategy whose sole goal is engagement. For the past five years, the US policy toward Iran is to negotiate. Neither the terms of negotiation nor the content of potential agreements is important.

Obama wants to negotiate for the sake of negotiating. And he has taken the UN and the EU with him on this course.

It's possible that Obama believes that these negotiations will transform Iran into a quasi-US ally like the Islamist regime in Turkey. That regime remains a member of NATO despite the fact that it threatens its neighbors with war, it represses its own citizens, and it refuses to support major US initiatives while undermining NATO operations.

Obama will never call Turkey out for its behavior or make Prime Minister Recep Erdogan pay a price for his bad faith. The myth of the US-Turkish alliance is more important to Obama than the substance of Turkey's relationship with the United States.

A deal with Iran would be horrible for America and its allies. Whatever else it says it will do, the effect of any US-Iranian agreement would be to commit the US to do nothing to defend its interests or its allies in the Middle East.

While this would be dangerous for the US, it is apparently precisely the end Obama seeks. His address to the UN General Assembly can reasonably be read as a declaration that the US is abandoning its position as world leader. 

The US is tired of being nitpicked by its allies and its enemies for everything it does, he said. And therefore, he announced, Washington is now limiting its actions in the Middle East to pressuring its one remaining ally, Israel, to give up its ability to protect itself from foreign invasion and Palestinian terrorism by surrendering Judea and Samaria, without which it is defenseless.

Like his predecessors in the Bush administration, Obama doesn't care that Iran is evil and that its leaders are fanatical psychopaths. He has romanticized them based on nothing.

Although presented by the media as a new policy of outreach toward Tehran, Obama's current commitment to negotiating with Rouhani is consistent with his policy toward Iran since entering office. Nothing has changed.

From Obama's perspective, US policy is not threatened by Iranian bad faith. It is threatened only by those who refuse to embrace his fantasy world where all deals are good and all negotiations are therefore good.

What this means is that the prospect of Iran becoming a nuclear power does not faze Obama. The only threat he has identified is the one coming from Jerusalem. Israel the party pooper is Obama's greatest foe, because it insists on basing its strategic assessments and goals on the nature of things even though this means facing down evil.


Caroline Glick


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

Is the British Establishment Legitimizing Apartheid?

by Mudar Zahran

Permitting the niqab in the British legal and educational systems not only further legitimizes Islamist fundamentalism, but also opens the door for enforced apartheid: veiled women would keep looking at unveiled women as different or even immoral, while Muslim men would look at veiled women as dehumanized creatures to be isolated from the world by the veil. The government would not only limit the ability of British Muslims wishing to integrate into civil society, but worse, it would officially reinforce the view that women wearing a veil are indeed inferior.

Is the British establishment giving in to a harmful aspect of Islamic fundamentalism? On 16 September, a British judge said a Muslim defendant could wear the veil for all parts of her trial, expect when giving evidence to the jury. According to the British newspaper, The Daily Mail, the judge's decision made "legal history" .

The judge also said the defendant did not have to testify in open court with her face uncovered. Instead, she may choose to give evidence via live video link or behind a screen shielding her from the wider courtroom, with only the judge, jurors and her counsel able to see her face. He also ordered that there be no artist's sketch of the defendant while her face is uncovered.

In addition, Judge Murphy's decision was at odds with a previous ruling; in March last year a judge at the same court told a woman wearing a niqab that she could not sit as a juror for an attempted murder trial.

The judge's decisions came after the defendant -- a Muslim convert -- claimed it was against her beliefs to allow any man other than her husband to see her face -- even though she only started wearing the veil last May.

Jack Straw, British Parliament member and former Home Secretary wrote an article in which he confirmed: "I also spoke to a national group of distinguished Islamic scholars and learnt that the injunction to wear the veil did not come directly from the Prophet Mohammed but was based upon a much later interpretation of the message of the Koran."

What Mr. Straw said is right. Not only that, but Islamic Sharia law bans women from wearing the niqab in Mecca during worshiping rituals. A hadith (teachings of Muhammad) says: "a woman in Mecca is not allowed to wear a niqab nor gloves." This text was confirmed by Islamic scholars as Saheeh [exact] by renowned Islamic Scholar Al-Albani [Al-Sahih Al-Jami'i, number 7445].

Women who want to wear niqab in British courtrooms and schools, then, comfortably ignore the fact that they are not allowed to do so in Mecca?

On 11 September; Birmingham Metropolitan College was forced to drop its campus ban on the niqab, a rule since 2005. This reversal came after an anonymous prospective student complained to her local paper; she said she was being discriminated against by the college because of the ban on the niqab. Nonetheless, the college had to drop the ban after Islamists in the UK launched an online petition attracting 9,000 signatures for protests against the college.

The ban had originally been in place for security reasons, to make sure "students were always 'easily identifiable.'" The ban also included hoodies and hats, and therefore did not target either Muslims or the veil in particular.

Since security concerns over the niqab can be justified, as several attacks have been carried out by criminals wearing a niqab, the college therefore compromised the security of its staff and students in to appease Islamist fundamentalists.

In February of 2013, a 20 year old Victoria's Secret's worker was scarred for life and nearly blinded when a niqab-wearing attacker threw acid in her face as she walked home from work. Her attacker has not been identified yet because he or she was wearing a niqab.

Further, on 5 May 2010, two men wearing niqabs threatened guards outside a British bank and ran off with a box full of cash.

In addition to security concerns, tolerating the niqab in the British legal and educational systems would raise more legal dilemmas, for example: Will niqab-wearing women want their faces not shown in their passports' photos and driving licenses?

The Conservative Party's backbencher in the British parliament, Dr. Sarah Wollaston, said the veils were "deeply offensive," were "making women invisible" and called for the niqab to be banned in schools and colleges. She said: "It would be a perverse distortion of freedom if we knowingly allowed the restriction of communication in the very schools and colleges which should be equipping girls with skills for the modern world. We must not abandon our cultural belief that women should fully and equally participate in society."

As a practicing Muslim, I fully agree with Dr. Wollaston.

The niqab does not seem to have any foundations in Islamic texts; it rather seems to have come from fundamentalist Islamism, which looks down on women both in its religious texts and its unequal justice regarding women its application of Sharia law.

Permitting the niqab in the British legal and educational systems, therefore, not only further legitimizes Islamist fundamentalism, but also opens the door for enforced apartheid, in which veiled women would keep looking at unveiled British women as different or even immoral, while British Muslim men would look at women as dehumanized creatures to be isolated from the world by the veil.

Such a fundamentalist view -- if legitimized by the British establishment -- would not only seriously limit the ability of British Muslims to integrate into British civil society, but worse, worse, it would reinforce even more emphatically an official view to British women wearing the veil that they are indeed inferior. In officially hardening this view that a woman's worth is lower than that of a man -- in men's eyes, in society's eyes, and in the eyes of these girls and women themselves -- the British government would be committing a horrendous injustice.

As a Muslim living in the UK, I believe British Muslims have not been successful in integrating into the British society; if the niqab were to be allowed officially at schools and courts, British Muslims would fail to integrate even further.

The UK must not give in to fundamentalists who tamper with the British way of life and thereby make it even harder for moderate Muslims who do want to belong and integrate.
While freedom of religious practice is held dearly by British laws, and should be, the British legal and educational systems must not be compromised by Islamist ideology, which is deemed extreme and oppressive by so many Muslims.

Mudar Zahran


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

How Soviet Intelligence Promoted Christian Marxism

by Ryan Mauro


When you can’t beat them, join them. That’s what the Soviet Union did to curtail Christianity’s anti-communist influence. In a new book titled Disinformation, a covert campaign to discredit Pope Piux XII is revealed. In addition, the Soviets tried to influence the church with a Marxist-friendly version of Christianity.

The communists’ strategy against the church had three pillars: A propaganda offensive; the implanting of agents of influence and the promotion of Liberation Theology, an anti-Western spin on scripture.

Disinformation is written by Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking Soviet bloc defector and Ronald Rychlak, Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi. A related documentary has also been released, titled Disinformation: The Secret Strategy to Destroy the West. They disclose how a primary target of Soviet “active measures” was Pope Pius XII.

“The Soviets understood that Pius XII was a mortal threat to their ideology, despising communism as much as he did Nazism. They thus embarked on a crusade to destroy the pope and his reputation, to scandalize his flock, and to foment division among faiths,” Rychlak told me in an interview.

The claim that Pope Pius XII was “Hitler’s Pope” originates in a 1945 broadcast from Radio Moscow or, in other words, the Soviet propaganda apparatus. Later, the Soviets reacted to his death in 1958 with a new disinformation campaign. It’s a lot easier to lie about someone when they can’t respond.

Pacepa, who was serving in Romanian intelligence at the time, says Soviet Premier Khrushchev approved the KGB-drawn plan in February 1960. It was code-named “Seat-12” and Pacepa says he was the Romanian representative for it. He is now publicly detailing his involvement.

Revealing this operation against Pope Pius XII isn’t only important for historical analysis. It teaches us a sober lesson about the effectiveness of enemy influence operations that are undoubtedly ongoing.

“It tells us that disinformation experts can convince us of anything. They took a person widely regarded as a champion of the Jews and other victims—someone who was despised by Adolf Hitler—and convinced the world that he was a virtual collaborator,” Rychlak said.

The second leg of the KGB’s anti-church strategy was to influence those it could not destroy using East Bloc churches, particularly the Russian Orthodox Church.

KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin provided a secret 1961 directive to infiltrate the Russian Orthodox Church. The objective was to implant agents of influence that could then push out “reactionary” and “sectarian” church figures that were seen as threats to communism.

Mitrokhin disclosed a secret meeting of senior East Bloc intelligence officers in Budapest in July 1967. Two KGB officers gave instructions regarding “work against the Vatican; measures to discredit the Vatican and its backers; and measures to exacerbate differences within the Vatican and between the Vatican and capitalist countries.”

Pacepa illustrates the success of this operation with multiple examples. For example, in January 2007, the newly-appointed archbishop of Warsaw had to resign amidst revelations that he had been a secret collaborator with the Polish secret service during the Cold War.

Rychlak said that Soviet efforts to influence Protestants were also targeted. In 1944, the Soviets established the All-Union Council of Evangelical Christian Baptists, now named the Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Russia.

The president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Mark Tooley, has written about the communist use of the World Council of Churches.  He notes that hundreds of Protest and Orthodox churches belonged to it as it towed the Soviet line and even went so far as to finance Marxist guerillas.

The third leg was promoting an anti-capitalist, anti-Western brand of Christianity. If the KGB could not eliminate Christianity, it reasoned it might as well manipulate it. Liberation Theology was born.

Pacepa recalls hearing Khrushchev say in 1959, “Religion is the opiate of the people, so let’s give them opium.” He flatly says that Liberation Theology is “KGB-invented.” He has first-hand knowledge of secret Romanian agents being dispatched to Latin America to spread it among the religious masses.

Pope John Paul II had a Vatican committee study Liberation Theology in 1984, Pacepa documents in a 2009 article for FrontPage. It concluded that it was a mixture of “class struggle” and “violent Marxism.”

Robert. D. Chapman writes in the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence:

“Without doubt, the Theology of Liberation doctrine is one of the most enduring and powerful to emerge from the KGB’s headquarters. The doctrine asks the poor and downtrodden to revolt and form a Communist government, not in the name of Marx or Lenin, but in continuing the work of Jesus Christ, a revolutionary who opposed economic and social discrimination.”

In my interview with Rychlak, Pacepa’s co-author of Disinformation, he remarked that the book was written today for a reason. These strategies are still in play.

“When Nazism was removed from Germany, we had de-Nazification panels…That never happened when the Soviet Union fell. The same people were left in charge,” Rychlak said.

He continued, “In fact, today Russia is run by a former KGB officer who has surrounded himself with his old associates. We are looking at the first superpower that is being run by intelligence officers.”

Pacepa is trying to wake the West up about how its enemies, including him in his past life, exploited its weaknesses. It isn’t easy to admit that one has been manipulated or beaten in some way but the West must, or it will happen again.

This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

Ryan Mauro


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

Islamic Tolerance: Myth and Reality

by Michael Curtis

The world today is confronted by the continuing violence by and threats from Islamists seeking to overturn existing political systems and rule on the basis of Sharia law. Some Islamists have made no secret of their ultimate objectives. Osama bin Laden called for the reestablishing the rule of Islam, beginning with the reconquest of Andalusia (Spain and Portugal). Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood issued a similar proclamation. For him "Andalusia, Sicily, the Balkans, the Italian coast, are all of them Muslim Mediterranean colonies and they must return to the Islamic fold."

Most contemporary commentators are not prepared to dispute this view as an authentic objective of Islam, nor are they willing to criticize the religion of Islam itself. Ibn Warraq, like Robert Spencer, who shares similar views, is not one of them. He is already well known for his intellectual and political courage and his strong principles and opinions, which include a critical assessment of the history and the nature of Islam. He was obliged for security reasons to adopt the pseudonym of "Ibn Warraq" when his book, Why I Am Not a Muslim, was published. He took a public stand when violent protests occurred after the publication in Denmark of cartoons satirizing Muhammad, by signing a manifesto supporting the right of free press and publication.

In earlier works, Warraq, with meticulous and challenging scholarship has been critical of Islam and of the Koranic view of government, especially because of its attitude towards women and non-Muslims. In many of his writings Warraq successfully demolished the intellectual structure created by Edward Said, which holds that all Western concepts of Islam and "the East" are predicated on colonialism, that has had a pernicious influence on the academic world. He has elucidated the misrepresentations, misunderstandings, and imaginary fiction on which Said's works are based. In all his writing, Warraq has been and is an unqualified defender of the democratic ideals and concepts of Western civilization.

In his new book, Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies, largely composed of articles already published in Internet journals, Warraq analyses some classic British novels, particularly the writings of Sir Walter Scott and George Eliot, to establish some particular and general points. He criticizes Said for his sneering comment on Scott and his cursory and jaundiced reading of (and total misunderstanding of) Scott's works. He points out Said's absurd complaint concerning the total absence of any thought by Eliot about the actual inhabitants of the East, Palestine in particular. Said himself refused to acknowledge that Jews were Easterners or Orientals at all.

More generally, Warraq uses the British literary works to shatter the myth of the superiority of Islamic civilization and the myth of Islamic tolerance, and negates the romantic view of the Muslim warrior, Saladin. He also comments on the sympathetic portraits of Jews in English literature, particularly in the work of Scott and Eliot, and on the latter's explicit affirmation of the right of Israel to be the Jewish homeland.

Warraq discusses two of Scott's books, Ivanhoe and The Talisman, in relation to his attitude towards Jews and Islamic conduct. In his careful reading of Ivanhoe, Warraq argues that Scott's portrayal of the character Rebecca was in essence based on sympathy for Jews. Scott was aware of the history of the persecution of Jews and their plight during the 12th century, the era in which the book is set. He was also implicitly critical of religious fanaticism.

Warraq himself argues, against the politically-correct view, that Muslim hatred of Jews goes back to the origins of Islam. The persecution of Jews, and also Christians, stems from the precepts and principles in Islamic texts: the Koran, the Sira (the biographies of Muhammad), the Hadith, the Tradition (records of the deeds and sayings of Muhammad), and classical Koranic commentaries.

Equally significant is Warraq's answer to the fashionable argument that the West in the past and Israel in the present are responsible for the troubles of the Muslim world. He refers to the events of the Crusades in 1095, dealt with in The Talisman and in three other of Scott's novels, to provide a corrective interpretation. Undoubtedly, the Crusaders of the 11th century were cruel, rapacious, and fanatical, and exhibited irrational religious bigotry. Not all of them were chivalrous, contrary to romantic literature. But Warraq's argument is that Islamic intolerance was and is much greater than Christian intolerance, now a thing of the past and no longer a threat to civilization.

The Crusades were violent but they were a reaction to over 300 years of jihad by Muslims against non-Muslims. The Crusaders were reacting to the desecration of Christian shrines in the Holy Land, the destruction of hundreds, perhaps thousands,of churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and general persecution of Christians in the area. Moreover, the Crusaders were not colonialists nor were they people seeking economic benefits; in fact the Crusades were a financial burden.

In this reasoning Warraq argues against the present-day politically-correct view that there was a Golden Age in Muslim Spain. Rather this was a Golden Age of Intolerance, with seven centuries of Islamic rule in Spain characterized by the persecution and periodic massacres of non-Muslims, now understood as dhimmis (tolerated second class citizens persons who are members of inferior religions). Jews were massacred in Cordoba and in other parts of Spain, 1010-1013 and in Fez (Morocco) in 1033. The first great wave of hatred of which Jews were victims in the 11th century took place in 1066 in Grenada, in Muslim Spain. This outbreak of anti-Semitism occurred 30 years before Jews were massacred by the Crusaders in the Rhineland.

George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda has long been regarded as exhibiting empathy for Jews, an aspect of her ideal of compassion for others. Warraq points out that she was the first distinguished novelist to have discussed Zionism and the Zionist concept of Palestine as a homeland for Jews. Her positive attitude towards the reestablishment of a Jewish state was representative of the views of British public figures at the time, such as Lord Shaftesbury, who supported this idea. They appreciated that Jews had lived in Palestine for millennia before being expelled or fleeing to escape intolerable conditions. Eliot makes clear the passion of Jews for the land of Israel.

Warraq ends his book with a stinging criticism of those in the world today who are intolerant of criticism of Islamic behavior. He castigates those writers who do not uphold free expression in words and in art, and who condemn such manifestations as the famous Danish cartoons in 2005, He accuses various writers, institutions, and publishers, singling out Yale University Press as one of the more prominent, of cowardly self-censorship. One of the worst examples of Western appeasement of Muslim intolerance was evident in the indifference of many European and American public figures to the fatwa issued by Ayotallah Khomenini in 1989 against Salman Rushdie. Among those who refused to criticize Khomenini were Jimmy Carter, Roald Dahl, and John le Carré.

Warraq is also critical of those officials of the U.S. government, particularly members of the Obama Administration, whom he suggests try to eliminate from American policy statements concerning Islam certain words and phrases such as "radical Islam," "Islamic extremists," and "Islamic terrorists." In fighting words Warraq argues that unless we show greater solidarity and show that we care for our freedoms we risk losing all to Islamist "thuggery."

Warraq has been accused in the past of being polemical, and no doubt Islamists will continue their accusations. Not everyone will agree with his characterization of political Islam as a totalitarian ideology or his assertion that Islam today persecutes and demonizes non-Muslims. But all should consider his arguments seriously, though he may express himself passionately. In and of itself, his courage in undertaking the critique of the myths and falsehoods of Islamists when others demur warrants attention.

Michael Curtis


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Hamas Official Calls To Launch Rockets On Jerusalem In Response To Jews Praying In Al-Aqsa Courtyard


Following recent visits by Jews to the Temple Mount, especially during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the head of the Hamas Refugee Affairs Department, Dr. 'Issam 'Adwan, published an article on a Hamas-affiliated website in which he urged his movement to launch rockets at Jewish targets in Jerusalem. He wrote that Jews praying in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa was an even worse act than their conquering or demolishing it, and therefore the response must be harsh. He urged Palestinians to prepare themselves and the Islamic nation for a victory battle over Al-Aqsa.
It should be mentioned that, in an article he published several months ago, 'Adwan claimed that Hamas had the right to target Israeli embassies, interests and officials worldwide, as well as the interests of its allies, chiefly the U.S.[1]

The following are excerpts from the article:[2]

'Issam 'Adwan (image:

"I told my interlocutor that Jewish prayers in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa are worse than [the act of] demolishing the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and are more dangerous than [the act of]  conquering them, because the mosque's sanctity lies in the soil [itself], and only later in the structure built upon it. Therefore, the response of the Palestinian resistance must be proportional to the danger of this aggression. If the resistance launched a few rockets from Gaza against Jewish targets in Jerusalem, this would [be enough to] convey a stern message to the enemy – that is, that if [the enemy] harms the Al-Aqsa mosque, all bets are off.

"My interlocutor asked me in amazement: Do you believe 'Israel' would stand idly by in the face of resistance rockets [fired on Jerusalem]? I said: 'Israel' would naturally respond harshly to these rockets and strike Gaza forcefully. However, Gaza has no choice but to defend the Al-Aqsa mosque, since harming [the mosque] is worse than aggression against Gaza. Would the resistance in Gaza stand idly by if 'Israel' attacked [Gaza]?!

"My interlocutor said: The world would show sympathy and solidarity if a weak Gaza responded to Zionist aggression against it, but it would not sympathize if the Gaza resistance rushed to bombard Jerusalem. It would see this as aggression by the resistance against 'Israel,' whereas [Israel] would be portrayed as innocent and forgiven for its powerful response [against Gaza]. I answered: in the last two decades the resistance carried out several martyrdom operations in Jerusalem and gained widespread popularity in the Arab and Islamic world [for doing so]. Today it can gain even more popularity in the Arab and Islamic world, since it will be representing the [entire] Islamic world in defending the Al-Aqsa mosque. As for the other world you speak of [the West], it has always condemned the resistance, and still does, and it will always believe that the truth lies with 'Israel.' Therefore, it is worthless... We have already seen how it behaves regarding the Syrian people's disaster.

"My interlocutor said: 'Israel' would use the world's lack of sympathy with the [firing of] resistance rockets at Jerusalem to portray this as an [act of] war against [Israel], and then it would employ all its military might against Gaza. This, in the shadow of an Arab reality of schism and an international plot against Gaza. He  wondered: Would it be smart to attack 'Israel,' even in order to defend Al-Aqsa? I said: Allah the Almighty commanded us [to wage] jihad for His sake, not to achieve victory. On the contrary, He unequivocally promised us that 'there is no victory except from Allah [Koran 3:126].' The Almighty [also] said: 'If Allah should aid you, no one can overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who is there that can aid you after Him? And upon Allah let the believers rely [Koran 3:160].' In all the battles undertaken by the Prophet, peace be upon Him, and by all his legions, and [in all their] Islamic conquests, the Muslims were a minority that stood fast and defeated [an enemy] more numerous and powerful. We must prepare ourselves and our nation for the battle of victory, the battle of Al-Aqsa. Allah will never detract from the reward [we gain] by our actions. Allah deserves the good opinion His worshippers have of him. Allah is enough, and how good it is to rely upon Him."



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Shutdown Theater: Some Military Chaplains could be Arrested for saying Mass on Bases

by Rick Moran

I want to see it happen, don't you? Hauling a priest off the altar in the middle of a mass because some bureaucrat was told to make 'em howl.

Daily Caller:

In a stunning development, some military priests are facing arrest if they celebrate mass or practice their faith on military bases during the federal government shutdown.
"With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work - not even to volunteer," wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. "During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so."
According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services "provides the Catholic Church's full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces."
In his piece, Schlageter worries about this restriction as Sunday nears. "If the government shutdown continues through the weekend, there will be no Catholic priest to celebrate Mass this Sunday in the chapels at some U.S. military installations where non-active-duty priests serve as government contractors," he wrote.
Because of the lack of active-duty Catholic chaplains, the military relies on hiring civilian priests to serve as government service and contract ministers. Those civilian priests are not allowed on the bases during a shutdown, Schlageter wrote.
One Republican lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee told The Daily Caller on Friday that this "crosses a constitutional line."
"The constitutional rights of those who put their lives on the line for this nation do not end with a government slowdown," Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, a graduate of West Point and an Army veteran, said in a Friday statement. "It is completely irresponsible for the president to turn his back on every American's First Amendment rights by furloughing military contract clergy."
Added Pompeo: "The President's strategy during the slowdown, just as during the sequestration, is to create as much pain as possible. However, this action crosses a constitutional line of obstructing every U.S. service member's ability to practice his or her religion."
Just the idea of making it illegal for a priest to minister to his flock is about as chilling as it gets. I doubt whether there are any of these contracted priests who wouldn't say mass for free, thus obviating the necessity of shutting down their services. The only reason then, for this gross violation of religious freedom is that someone wants to inflict unnecessary pain on our servicemen simply to make the point that shutting down the government is a bad, bad thing.

OK - we get it. Now open the damn chapels and let the priests do their job.

Rick Moran


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

Netanyahu – “If Needed Israel Will Stand Alone”

by Isi Leibler

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did us proud when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly this week (click to see video). True to form he again employed his extraordinary communication skills to superbly present the case for Israel.

He was focused, factual, logical and persuasive as he implored the US administration and world leaders not to be deluded by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s charm campaign.

He interspersed his address with sensitive Jewish historical and biblical references – citing the Maccabees, the Prophets, Jewish powerlessness and pogroms and the determination of Jews to live in their own land. As a Jew and as an Israeli, I was proud to be represented by a leader presenting our case with such dignity and eloquence.

Netanyahu neutralized the critics who accused him of opposing or “spoiling” diplomatic efforts. But he warned of the dangers of letting the duplicitous Iranians off the hook unless they genuinely abandoned their nuclear ambitions.

He declared that the fate of the Jewish state would not replicate that of Czechoslovakia in 1938. In his words, Israel would “never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone”. His speech may well prove as prophetic as Churchill’s warnings about the Nazis.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly - other than to Israelis, Diaspora Jews and our close friends - Netanyahu’s words appear to have fallen on deaf ears. The applause at the conclusion of his address was noticeably muted, a predictable response from an international body which only hours after Netanyahu’s speech elected Iran as rapporteur for its Disarmament and International Security Committee.

The attention of the US Congress is centered on the federal government lockdown. Besides, most Americans are weary of wars and have lost confidence in Obama’s leadership qualities, especially after his appalling handling of the Syrian issue.

In general, world leaders are in denial and seek to avoid facing the Iranian nuclear threat and resist the possible need to resort to military action. In this as in many other issues, Israel remains ‘a nation that dwells alone’.

In contrast, President Rouhani was practically embraced at the General Assembly and by the global media. He smiled and talked about diplomacy, with global leaders grasping his empty gestures and hailing his purported moderation, despite his public record of cheating and his blatant lies from the UNGA podium denying that Iran had ever sought to obtain the nuclear bomb. Aside from sweet words Rouhani made no concessions. The response to his glib assurances of Iran’s peaceful intentions was chillingly reminiscent to the behavior of world leaders following Chamberlain’s 1938 “peace in our time”.

If only those world leaders were right. Israel, the nation on the frontlines, which Iran repeatedly describes as a cancer to be eliminated, would have the greatest cause to celebrate if diplomacy could persuade the Ayatollah Khomeini to abort his country’s nuclear ambitions.

But as Netanyahu has so well-articulated at both the UN and elsewhere over the last several years, diplomacy alone will not suffice to stop the Iranians. Netanyahu can claim the credit for having persisted in a global campaign to warn the world of the dangers of Iran becoming a nuclear power. He has not been ‘warmongering’, as his critics accused, but facing reality as he urged world leaders to impose sanctions and threaten military action unless the centrifuges stop spinning.

Netanyahu has left the door open to diplomacy. He simply reminded the US and the world of Rouhani’s duplicitous record, referring to him as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. He recalled that when Rouhani was Iran’s Chief National Security Adviser and Head Nuclear Negotiator between 2003 and 2005, he lied and stalled, and subsequently even boasted about his success in “creating a calm environment”. He occupied the role when Iran orchestrated the terrorist bombings of the Jewish Community Centre in Buenos Aires.

Netanyahu has appropriately warned that unless there is a dramatic turnabout (which Rouhani has never intimated he would make), the Iranian strategy is to procrastinate with negotiations and con the US and euphoric global leaders into providing them the time required to achieve their objectives. As it now stands, the US has yet to receive an Iranian response to Obama’s efforts to “engage” and the delays could take us into 2014.

Netanyahu reminded world leaders that this was precisely the route successfully travelled by the North Koreans who delayed and duped the US until they achieved their goal. He warned that a nuclear Iran would be like “another 50 North Koreas”.

Netanyahu also cautioned against “partial” solutions’ which Israel would not accept. He urged that until such time as an agreement is set in stone and implemented there should not be the slightest easing of sanctions which, if prematurely lifted, would be almost impossible to re-apply in the current climate. He also called for the imposition of strict deadlines and demands for total transparency in terms of implementation.

President Obama has, in a sense, given a nod to Netanyahu’s demands. In a joint press conference prior to Netanyahu’s UN address, both parties took care to avoid recriminations or display tensions. In fact, Obama told Netanyahu what he sought to hear. He gave assurances that he was “very clear eyed” and that Rouhani’s charm offensive and nice words would not bring about an end to sanctions. He promised to implement “the highest standards of verification in order to provide the sort of sanctions relief they are looking for”. However, he declined to provide any assurance not to ease sanctions until the Iranians demonstrated that they had fully dismantled their nuclear weapons program. Yet, he made it clear that “as president of the United States… we take no options off the table including military options” - expressions he had not used in the course of his UN General Assembly address.

Nevertheless, in light of Obama’s behavior over the past month and the virtual groveling to Rouhani, many will view his statement about the military option remaining on the table, as yet another hollow threat. However, should Obama achieve a genuine resolution of the problem by diplomacy, Netanyahu and the people of Israel will be cheering him all the way. But we should not hold our breath. The odds of this happening are exceedingly remote.

Netanyahu is also painfully aware that the Israeli military option is off the agenda as long as the US is engaged in diplomacy with the Iranians.

Israel therefore faces a daunting diplomatic and political challenge over the next few months. Our Prime Minister will once again be walking a tightrope and also facing increasing pressures to make further unilateral concessions toward the Palestinians – posing security risks for our future.

Netanyahu’s challenge is to convey his message directly to Congress and the American people. He must continue on his mission and penetrate the American psyche until they accept that the threat Iran poses is real and immediate, and if left unchecked will allow history to repeat itself in a most terrible way.     

The writer’s website can be viewed at
He may be contacted at
This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom

Isi Leibler


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