By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 31, 2005
Judging from how Hamas is treated by the U.S. Administration, you would not know that it sits at the heart of the Islamo-Fascist movement, which President George W. Bush concretely defined and condemned three weeks ago. In his press conference last Thursday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, the President refrained from clearly objecting to Hamas participation in the Palestinian Authority election next January.
The Palestinian Authority promises, yet again, to disarm Fatah and the other terrorist groups under its umbrella. Meanwhile, it plans to retrain all terrorists and incorporate them into the PA Security Forces. Adding Hamas to this fray would guarantee that terrorism will remain part of the Palestinian agenda.
Compare Hamas statements and its charter to those of Al Qaeda, Hizballah and other Islamist organizations: all strive to establish a Caliphate encircling the globe. Al Qaeda says: “We will turn the White House and the British parliament into mosques,” as documented by Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, Director of Orient Research Group in Toronto. Similarly, Qatar-based sheik Yusuf al Qaradawi says “Islam will take over Europe by Dawa.” The spiritual leader of HAMAS, the late Ahmad Yassin said: “The 21st century is the century of Islam,” and his successor Mahmoud Zahar says, “Israel will disappear and after it the US.”
President Bush declared: “the way forward is confronting the threat armed gangs present to the creation of democratic Palestine.” But he stopped short of demanding that Hamas disarm. Still, that was enough to infuriate Hamas spokesman Sámi Abu Zuhri, who protested, “We consider this as a serious American interference in our internal affairs aimed to create an internal conflict.”
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat insists that allowing Hamas to participate in the election would be the terror group’s first step toward giving up its weapons. However, even Erekat knows, this is wishful thinking. Unlike the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which at last laid downs it arms after being part of the political process for decades, Hamas does not wish to lay down its arms. It wants to use the democratic process to gain power, which would ultimately eradicate democracy.
The major difference between the IRA and Hamas is that the IRA only wanted to kill the British and the Protestants in Ireland. Hamas, in its charter, calls for “the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses on all local, Arab and Islamic levels. We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the [Islamic] Umma, clash with the enemies and join the ranks of the Jihad fighters.”
In interviews given by Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, he lays out the character of the Islamist Palestinian state according to the Hamas vision: “This will be a state which will be based on the principals of the Sharia and will be part of the Arab Islamist Umma,” he says. “In the Sharia-led Palestine, mixed dancing will be prohibited: “If a man holding the hand of a woman and dances with her in front of people, is this a way to serve the National interest?” In Hamas' Palestine, homosexuals and lesbians which Zahar defines as “a minority of moral and mental deviants” will have no rights.
Despite these draconian positions, Zahar rejects the claim that Hamas would try to repeat in Palestine what the Taliban did to Afghanistan. Hamas is not a duplicate of the Taliban, he said, but is much more sophisticated.
According to Hamas, materialism and fraternization between the sexes, the large number of homeless, and corrupted values of the West are the reasons for political corruption. “Westerners are interested in turning the family into a corrupt swamp, and they are distributing obscenity and terminal diseases in the name of total freedom.” In the Islamist Palestinian state, says Zahar, each Palestinian citizen will be required to behave according to the Sharia.
The Islamist Palestinian state will also refrain from negotiations and cooperation with Israel, according to Zahar: “It is in our national interest to stop the cooperation with Israel in any field.”
Hamas, Zahar says, will also use all the weapons in the Palestinian territory to create an Islamist Palestinian state in all of Palestine’s territory - including Israel.
Hamas views the future Islamist Palestinian state as an extension of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, where all aspects of life would be controlled by radical Islamist laws. This state will also maintain close connections with other Arab Islamist states and movements, and will use terrorism to obliterate the Israeli state. In response to a question concerning the nature of Palestine under Hamas rule, from a Newsweek reporter on August 30, 2005, Zahar responded, “It should be Hamastan.”
Yet, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan argues that Israel should allow Hamas to participate in the election and that the Palestinian Authority should relax its pressure on the terrorist group to disarm. This follows Annan’s well established pattern of legitimizing Hamas, which although listed on U.S. and E.U terror lists, is still missing from that of the U.N.
For example, when Israel killed Sheikh Yassin, Annan said: "I do condemn the targeted assassination of Sheikh Yassin and the others who died with him." This is not surprising given the fact that Hamas won more than 90 percent of the vote in the 2003 UNRWA workers union election, according to Hamas London magazine, Filastin Al-Muslima in July, 2003 (p. 5).
Supporters of Hamas would have us repeat the errors of the Oslo era. In 1993, Israel gave the opportunity to one of the most notorious terrorists in the world to lead the newly created Palestinian Authority. In 1996, two years after receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace, Arafat was democratically elected president. But legitimizing Arafat did little to change his terrorist agenda. His Intifadas cost the lives of thousands of innocent Israelis and Palestinians, while destroying the PA economy.
Hamas’ agenda like that of Arafat, is well advertised. Allowing it to participate in the coming PA election is a fool’s errand.
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed—and How to Stop It, is director of American Center for Democracy and member of the Committee on the Present Danger. Alyssa Lappen is a freelance journalist who frequently contributes to FrontPageMagazine and other online journals.
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Death of Syrian Minister Leaves A Sect Adrift in Time of Strife
By Anthony Shadid
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, October 31, 2005; A01
BIHAMRA, Syria -- In this scenic village, along terraced hills of pine and palm trees, the body of Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan rests in a coffin draped in a Syrian flag, a leather-bound Koran at each corner. His death on Oct. 12 was certain. Less so are the shadowy circumstances that removed from the scene one of Syria's most powerful men, an interlocutor between the religious sect known as the Alawites, who have long ruled the country, and a government they controlled but increasingly see as distant and corrupt.
A suicide, officials said, closing the case the day after Kanaan died. A relative, Mazen Kanaan, smiled at the thought.
"He was a man of confrontation," he said. "Suicide is an escape. He wasn't a man to run away from something."
How did he die then? the relative was asked. "That is for you to figure out," he answered.
The timing of Kanaan's death has also raised suspicions. Only recently he had been questioned in a U.N. investigation that implicates senior officials in the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister.
In the sometimes brutal politics of Syria's elite, in which violence is intertwined with cunning, the 63-year-old Kanaan was a man of many faces: self-made Alawite strongman, ruthless politician and potential contender for power. In his village of Bihamra and the region that spills beyond it, he was something else: a feudal-like lord who tended to members of his Alawite minority, cultivating their support and defending their interests. To them, his death -- murder or suicide -- has become more than the passing of a figure who bordered on the iconic. It is an instance, writ small, of the growing frustration and fear in the religious sect that has served as the backbone of 35 years of Baath Party rule and is still viewed as the linchpin of President Bashar Assad's five years in power.
"No one can replace him. Maybe in a thousand years someone else like him will come," said Mazen Kanaan, sipping a small cup of bitter coffee in the courtyard of Ghazi Kanaan's now-shuttered mansion. "People need help but they have no one to go to."
These are difficult days for Syria's Alawites, and in their sentiments may be hints of the vulnerability of Assad's government as it faces a crisis over the U.N. investigation. In villages like Bihamra, across forbidding mountains that spring from the Mediterranean coast, there is deep anxiety that in a time of strife, Alawites will bear the brunt of vendettas dating to the decades when they provided the leadership of the government, military and feared security services.
That apprehension comes as frustration surges that the very state they are tied to has abandoned them. The military that ended their historic marginalization is neglected and disrespected, some of their villages remain without running water and, many say, the government, despite its Alawite cast, no longer defends them.
"It's like people don't know we live in the country," said Kharfan Khazin Ahmed, a 61-year-old retired government employee from the Alawite village of Qarir. "Every person sitting in the chair of power cares about money, not about the people."
Rise to the Top
Alawites are a small but pivotal community in Syria's tapestry of sect and ethnicity. Syria is predominantly Arab, with a Kurdish minority in the northeast. But among the Arabs are many Muslim sects: Sunni Muslims are the majority, along with minorities of Alawis, Druze and Ismailis, all of whom trace their origins back to Shiite Islam. The Alawites are the largest of those religious minorities, representing probably about 12 percent of Syria's 18 million people. They are centered in the region around Bihamra.
For centuries, Alawites faced withering discrimination, in part over the suspicions generated by their secretive, loosely Shiite religious traditions. Their secluded mountain villages are a relic of that ostracism, and they were some of the poorest, least educated and most rural of Syria's inhabitants. As with other religious minorities in the Middle East, many Alawites turned to the Baath Party, drawn to its pan-Arab, leftist and secular ideology, hoping it might dilute Syria's Sunni dominance and provide a more inclusive notion of identity. To escape grinding poverty, they joined the military, soon filling the ranks of its senior officer corps. In modern Syria, those two institutions -- party and military -- have ruled for 35 years.
Assad is an Alawite, and during the presidency of his father and predecessor, Hafez Assad, the sect emerged from behind the scenes to command the government's most sensitive positions in the military and security services. While the elder Assad was careful to give a Sunni face to portfolios such as the defense and foreign ministries and to forge alliances with other groups, his inner circle was drawn from his own community, often his own Qalbiyya tribe and family. In that sense, he was not only Syria's strongman, but also the leader of his sect, responsible for its fortunes.
"You will remain eternal in our hearts forever," reads a billboard with the elder Assad's portrait at the entrance to Qurdaha, his home town, about a mile along a winding road of ancient, rounded hills from Kanaan's village of Bihamra.
Under the younger Assad, to a remarkable degree, the circle of Alawite dominance has narrowed to his family. Gone are some of the sect's most powerful men -- former intelligence chiefs such as Ali Duba and Mohammed Khouli, for instance. Kanaan, Syria's point man in Lebanon for two decades and later the interior minister, was one of the last and most prominent. A product of the feared Mukhabarat, or Syrian intelligence, his reputation in much of the country was of a fearsome, hard man; in Bihamra, it was of a charitable one.
"He helped everyone in the village," said a doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He was like a father for this entire place. Any help you needed as a citizen, you could go to him. His door was open to both the poor and princes."
The doctor, Kanaan's relative and others sat in the courtyard of his stucco, red-roofed villa on a cool morning. They snacked on bananas and apples, drank coffee and smoked cigarettes, ignoring the dawn-to-dusk fast of the holy month of Ramadan. The Alawite region is one of Syria's most secular, reflecting the imprint of a Baath Party that saw tribe and religion as barriers to modernization. The veil is hardly seen; missing are the most conservative Arab traditions that discourage interaction between men and women.
Bihamra itself shows the legacy of Kanaan's power and influence: He provided money to build the Jaafar Tayar mosque, opened a library with seven computers and built a community center named for his father, Mohammed Ali. While in Lebanon, he visited every month or two. On his return to Damascus in 2002, he visited at least once every two weeks, more often for funerals. As a young man, the story goes, in one of the myths that can overshadow life's excesses, he gave part of his first lieutenant's salary to villagers.
"The difference is that he would help someone and expect nothing in return," his relative said.
"They're going to feel the emptiness," he added.
An Ally Is Lost
Two weeks after his body was found, Kanaan's death remains the talk of Damascus. Most often heard is speculation that he faced disgrace on corruption charges and chose suicide instead. But many speculate that he represented one of the few potential rivals to Bashar Assad, giving rise to a slew of conspiracy theories: that he was forced to kill himself or that he was murdered, possibly poisoned. One well-informed Syrian said that the day after Kanaan died, all the coffee cups from his Interior Ministry office were seized to conceal evidence of foul play.
"They committed his suicide," said a Syrian dissident, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The talk in Bihamra, though, is more visceral and perhaps more telling. In the repercussions of Kanaan's death lies a truth about Syria and its government today: The younger Assad is viewed as less ta'ifi , or sectarian. His outlook is ostensibly more modern, possibly reformist; bucking tradition, he took for his wife a Sunni, not an Alawite. But as he struggles to put a more contemporary veneer on his rule, he faces a society still suffering deep cleavages that reflect unresolved questions of identity. The Baath Party offered one answer: The country is Arab. But other identities still compete -- Alawi, Sunni, Christian and so on -- in a zero-sum game of communal survival.
And in that question of survival, villagers say, Alawites lost one of their last, most prominent defenders in Kanaan. In his place, some Alawites say, is a government that cares about the military only to ensure it doesn't rebel; a ruling family most worried about its survival; and a state that promotes not the sect's interest, but networks bound by patronage and power that are growing richer. Even some Alawite intelligence officials are said to be disenchanted over the higher profile of Assad's family at their expense.
"Sadma," Kanaan's relative called his death, a shock or a blow. "Not just for the village, but for the entire region."
"He served the people. He transferred their words," said Shaalan Asad, a 51-year-old former teacher who runs a grocery store in Jobat Berghal, about a half-hour away. "He was a connection between the people and the government and their officials."
Asad, sitting on the porch of his shop, reflected on his village's story. In the 1970s, after the elder Assad took power, electricity finally arrived. The main road was paved, bringing cars where donkeys long trod over dirt paths along rocky ridges that spilled into verdant valleys of apples, cottonwoods and olives. Schools were opened in the 1980s, and the town had a sports club and a community center. Today, they are closed, unstaffed and in disrepair. He said villagers are still waiting for running water.
"We really need more," he said. "It's slow. They can't do two or three projects at the same time."
In Damascus and other Syrian cities, there is the perception that the Alawite roots of the Assad family have meant hamlets like Jobat Berghal have received favorable treatment. That view often inspires anger among the Alawite villagers here.
"The opposite! The opposite!" shouted Ahmed, the retired government employee, his face leathery from the sun.
"We're all Alawites here and when you come here, you can't find anything," he said.
As Ahmed spoke, years of grievances poured out. He ignored the coded language often employed in Syria's repressive climate. The courts? They are suffused with bribes and corruption, he said. The law? It protects the powerful and wealthy. He still pumps water into his home from a steel vat. He and other villagers have filed thousands of loan applications and still await an answer.
"President Hafez Assad said it was the right of any citizen to raise his voice if he sees injustice. You should speak out against it," Ahmed said. "Now they say it's not your right to talk. They say it's not your business, even if there's something wrong."
A Question of Identity
It is sometimes a joke among Alawites that, in the event of turmoil, they would flee to their villages near here, the same mountain redoubts that offered protection over centuries of ill will.
They laugh, but a hint of anxiety shadows the remarks. So does a sense of injustice: While some Alawites have profited under the Assads' rule, at times profligately, many have seen little benefit.
"They worry about the regime and about the accusations against the regime," said Tareq Abad, a 30-year-old sailor in the village of Shadaita, who belongs to another religious sect known as the Murshidis. (Numbering possibly 200,000, they are followers of a Syrian holy man and populist from the region who was executed in 1946.) "What would they do if the regime collapsed?"
He sat with two friends, who looked at the ground as he spoke, perhaps fearing his forthrightness. He sensed their unease.
"Let's face it," he said, shaking his head, "the government is Alawite."
Many Syrians take pride in the coexistence of the country's sects. Asking someone their identity is often seen as rude. But sectarian fault lines lurk beneath the surface. Some Syrians argue that the divisions were deepened by the battle between the government and the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Muslim movement, in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Over more than a decade, the Sunni community itself has grown increasingly religious, with greater manifestations of piety such as the veil. This summer, a clash in the village of Qadmous, in the coastal province of Tartus, took a sectarian bent, pitting two minorities, Alawites and Ismailis, against each other.
In the village of Mzaraa, a 33-year-old grocer, Firas Deeb, dismissed the talk of sect. He was Syrian, he insisted. Still, he said he expected his relatives to return if there was conflict in the country. There was no other choice.
"That's certain," he said, nodding.
"The people in Damascus will return to the village, and they'll find protection with their people. You can hide here," Deeb said. "They're going to hide behind the rocks and the stones. In the city, there are no rocks and stones."
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Efraim Karsh and Rory Miller
The UN Charter was introduced in 1945, and since that time Arab and Muslim leaders have expressed the desire to obliterate the Jewish state with impressive regularity. No sooner was the State of Israel proclaimed on May 14, 1948, than it was invaded by neighboring Arab states, with Arab League Secretary-General Abdel Rahman Azzam proclaiming that "this will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades."
Such rhetoric has been used by a long line of Arab leaders. During the 1950s and '60s it was Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, the self-styled champion of pan-Arabism, who led the call for Israel's destruction. He proclaimed in late May 1967, "Recently we felt that we are strong enough, that if we were to enter a battle with Israel, with God's help, we could triumph...our main objective will be the destruction of Israel."
The baton passed to a new generation of aspiring pan-Arab champions, notably Syrian president Hafez Assad and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. For his part, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini emphasized the need to destroy the Jewish state well before coming to power in 1979; and during his reign the destruction of Israel evolved into one of the most fundamental tenets of his revolutionary creed.
And let's not forget the PLO. Since its establishment in 1964, the organization's publicly stated objective has been the destruction of Israel. Despite their official commitment to peace with Israel within the framework of the Oslo process, Arafat and his PLO successors have never truly abandoned their commitment to Israel's destruction. Instead they have embarked on an intricate game of Jekyll-and-Hyde politics, constantly reassuring Israeli and Western audiences of their peaceful intentions while at the same time denigrating the peace accords to their Palestinian constituents as a temporary measure to be abandoned at the first available opportunity.
Against this backdrop of six decades of international acquiescence in the face of constant calls for Israel's destruction, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have legitimate reasons to feel that he has been singled out a bit unfairly these last few days.
We all hope that the West will now take a stand against all those who call for the destruction of Israel. Otherwise, there will be only one lesson from this tawdry affair: that countries should feel free to advocate genocide against the Jewish people - as long as they aren't developing weapons that can be turned on London, Paris, or Moscow once they've finished the job in Tel Aviv.
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Surprise! Iran wants the destruction of Israel (and America, England, France, Italy...)
Michael Ledeen - National Review on Line
Mirabile dictu, as they used to say before Dante — all of a sudden everyone has noticed that Iran really wants the destruction of Israel. "What took them so long?" you may well ask (as I certainly do). Just a month ago, on September 28, there was a monster parade in Tehran featuring the country's armed forces. One of the high points of the parade was a collection of the Shahab 3 missiles, the ones designed to carry nuclear warheads, and they were adorned with catchy slogans like "The Zionist regime must be destroyed," and "Death to America."
Four military attaches walked out in protest: the French, the Italian, the Greek and the Polish. But that was about it. The Western world had made its point by bravely abandoning the parade grounds. I didn't see any nasty condemnation of the warmongers in Tehran, I don't remember even the toothless jaws of the United Nations condemning the Islamic republic, and I certainly saw nothing vaguely resembling an effective policy to bring down the mullahs before they go for our exposed veins and arteries, even though Her Majesty's Government had long been aware that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were arming, training, funding, and guiding terrorists from Khuzestan across the Shatt-al-Arab into southern Iraq, and that Iranian-intelligence officers were openly advocating the creation of an Islamic republic in the Shiite south, along Khomeinist lines.
Indeed, on September 12 Al Sharq Al Awsat reported that "officials from the Revolutionary Guard have recently met with leaders of Ansar al Islam and the Jihad organizations...near the Iranian-Iraq borders. They discussed the acceleration of military operations against the British forces in the south of Iraq." It didn't take long to confirm this information. Richard Beeston of the London Times wrote on the 20th that the Brits had reason to believe that new attacks against British forces in southern Iraq "is being orchestrated with weapons and encouragement from Iran."
By October 9, Con Coughlin was writing in the London Telegraph that a British diplomat traveling from Baghdad to London "unwittingly strayed from his brief and started laying into the Iranians with a gusto not seen in the British diplomatic service for decades. The Iranians, said the diplomat, were colluding with Sunni Muslim insurgent groups in southern Iraq..."
Notice that he said "Sunni." We already knew about Shiite, as in Moqtadah al Sadr, and SCIRI's Badr Brigades, most of whom were trained in Iran over the past two decades. If any of you has any friends over at CIA (my last buddy left a few weeks ago), point it out to them, please.
While you're at it, you might also point out that one of Iran's favorite terrorist organizations, Islamic Jihad, is having its moment in court in south Florida, and an interesting bit of information unexpectedly crept into the record. Mr. Kerry Myers, an FBI agent, was asked by the defense attorney whether Islamic Jihad had done any mean things outside Israel, Gaza, or the West Bank (as if terrorism against Israelis doesn't count, you know). Myers pointed out that IJ had threatened the United States. The attorney asked if there had ever been an actual action by IJ. And Myers burst out with "I can tell you there was a plot to commit terrorist acts in the United States. It was interdicted, I believe."
I have long since lost track of how many Iranian U.N. "diplomats" have been tossed out of this country after being caught photographing New York tunnels, bridges, subway stations, and monuments.
But nobody does anything to take the terror war to the Iranians. The Iranian people suffer, demonstrate, protest, and die, but not a single Western country has come up with a serious Iran policy. Not even the flash of recognition at Ahmadi Nezhad's speech has, so far at least, driven any Western leader to call for the liberation of Iran.
Meanwhile, Cicero magazine in Germany has published two long articles that confirm what I have long said, namely that al Qaeda receives enormous support from Iran. According to the BKA, Germany's FBI, Iran "provided Zarqawi with logistical support on the part of the state." Like other al Qaeda leaders, Zarqawi went from Afghanistan to Iran, and set up his training camps and safe houses in Zahedan, Isfahan, and Tehran. He was the driving force behind the Madrid bombings and those in Bali, and Iranian support was given throughout. After all, according to the Cicero article, the coordination of jihadi groups from all over the world is coordinated from Iran. "They live in secure housing of the Revolutionary Guards in and around Tehran. 'This is not detention or house arrest,' concludes a high-ranking secret-service employee. 'They come and go as they please.' "
According to the Germans (echoed by the celebrated Spanish judge, Balthazar Garzon), the jihadis are organizing attacks against the West, including the United States. The newspapers are full of snapshots of the jihad-to-be.
In France, there are reports that an al Qaeda cell has smuggled two surface-to-air missiles into the country. And Al Watan, an often reliable Saudi newspaper, said that French counter terrorist forces had found a deadly poison in the home of one of the cell members.
In Holland, seven presumed Islamic terrorist were arrested in the Hague after an armed struggle.
Back in July, a terror network in the Hague was dismantled, leading to the discovery of documents showing deals for night-vision goggles, helicopters, and over one million gas masks, apparently destined for Chechen terrorists.
A few days ago, four young men, described as "of Mid-Eastern descent and deeply devout Muslims," were arrested in Copenhagen and charged with planning a suicide terrorist attack in the near future against the United States or British embassy in Sarajevo. Two more men were arrested the next day, prompting the BBC, ever concerned to debunk the very idea that we might be at war with jihadis, noted that "the case comes at a time when Denmark is experiencing severe problems in relations with its Muslim community," devoted four paragraphs to a discussion of caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in a Danish paper, and concludes brightly with "it is in this atmosphere that the arrest of six, 16-20-year old Muslims on what appears so far at least to be very flimsy evidence may serve to further alienate the Muslim community of Denmark."
On October 16, the London Times reported that the British government had found that Zarqawi has created a new group in Britain that is recruiting fighters for the jihad in Iraq, and that returning jihadis may be planning attacks.
In Italy, there are continuing reports of close working relations between Italian mafias, especially the Neapolitan camorra, and al Qaeda.
This is what we're up against. It is a frenetic network of fanatical terrorists, supported by a group of mad mullahs hell-bent on our destruction. Forget about the microanalysis of the Iraqi 'insurgency.' This is not primarily a war conducted by angry Baathist remnants of Saddam's bloody regime; it's much bigger than that, and the epicenter of the whole thing is in Tehran, and its ideology is brutally enunciated by Ahmadi Nezhad.
Britain, France, and Italy are at least expelling some of the jihadis, along with some of the most fanatical religious leaders. We are not, so far as one can see, doing even that. And we are certainly not taking any of the obvious, rational, and thoroughly justifiable steps to provide political and economic support to the most potent enemies of the world's most dangerous terrorist regime: the Iranian people.
Sooner or later, one of these many schemes will succeed, and we will have a new version of September 11th. Perhaps only then will our dithering leaders resume fighting the war against terror, a war currently limited, to their shame, to a defensive struggle within the boundaries of Iraq, while they move against us on a global scale.
— Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. He is resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.
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The Washington Times
By Farid N. Ghadry
The report by United Nations investigator Detlev Mehlis on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri brought shivers down the spine of Bashar Assad, who for the first time in his young regime is facing justice in a land that has never known it. Never in our Syrian history have standing officials been held internationally accountable for crimes against another peaceful nation. The shock is immeasurable and stands to open the eyes and embolden the will of oppressed Arabs everywhere in the Middle East.
What comes after Mehlis is the focus of attention today. On one side of the U.S political community, you have the apologists with their now-tired mantra, "Bashar is the only alternative"; on the other, the "regime change now" proponents calling for immediate options to further weaken the regime. In the middle, the United States and European officials are evaluating the options.
Syria has gone through multiple transformations in the past, but the Mehlis transformation is one of the most important of our modern history. In the past four decades, Syria has embraced -- and to a certain extent still does -- elements of Communism, socialism, nationalism, Nasserism, and Ba'athism. All have miserably and utterly failed the Syrian people for one reason or another. The Islamist alternative that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks would just as well fall in line with that sad litany of failed experiments.ATaliban Afghanistan, Syria culturally and historically is not and never will be.
The most popular opposition politician inside Syria is Riad al-Turk, a 76-year-old Stalinist who is playing a role behind the scenes in charting Syria's future. Other septuagenarians embrace defunct ideologies in one form or another. Why? Because we have been a closed society for over 42 years and our politicians have not changed since. We are the North Korea of the Middle East; the sunlight of renaissance and national transformation has never been allowed to penetrate the lead walls of ignorance erected by the Ba'ath.
The transformation that the Mehlis report will engender, we believe, goes beyond the sturdy application of the rule of law; it shall usher in from the outside a new dawn of progressive liberal, market-economy ideals that the dissident establishment inside the country cannot bring about. And with 60 percent of Syria's population under the age of 25, it is simply a question of time.
One of the reasons that U.S-supported Radio Sawa is so popular in Syria is because it is able to attract the young and disfranchised. The current Ba'athist government has had nothing new to offer to this new young generation of Syrians, and unlike their parents, they will not stand idly by and watch their future be cynically sold out by a regime so lacking in national care yet so apparently expert in advancing the criminal enterprises of the Dictator King's family members.
Not one political organization inside Syria has a program to help build a market economy based on time-tested values well established in the modern societies -- values just as applicable in modern Syria as they are in Taiwan, Singapore, and yes, the United States. In fact, the majority of dissidents inside Syria loathe the West and its value system. To a certain extent, many find it difficult to fully comprehend such values, but that is no valid excuse for people who claim Syrian "street" representation.
The free-market-liberal ideology is rapidly taking hold -- as evinced by the multi-ethnic liberal movements that are participating in increasing numbers in the Syrian Democratic Coalition meetings in Europe. For only the bold, armed with a substantive vision for national renewal, can ever hope to succeed where tired retreads' ideologies have failed.
The Mehlis report provides a unique opportunity for the West to stand by and lend a hand in good faith to those Syrians that desire not only justice in the narrow sense, but a lasting, just society founded upon a laissez-faire market economy. Syria can be changed forever; it is now a matter of U.S. will to make it happen.
The dissident landscape inside Syria is not totally representative of the aspirations of Syrians. In a tyrannical society, people are not able to express themselves freely and openly. How does one know how popular the socialists, Islamists, Nasserites or Communists inside Syria are? How does anyone know how popular the Reform Party of Syria with its market-economy ideology is inside Syria?
In a sense, such questions are superfluous, for nothing builds national consensus like success. It is time that a successful ideology is supported internationally as it tries to build a following inside the country.
Farid N. Ghadry is president of the Reform Party of Syria.
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'Wiped Off the Map'
October 31, 2005; Page A16 Wall Street Journal
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to a Tehran stage last week to deliver remarks at a conference titled (in English, so there be no mistaking his gist) "A World Without Zionism." The Jewish state, he said, "must be wiped off the map," adding for good measure that countries that recognize Israel would "burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."
So what else is new? Iranian leaders have been calling for Israel's destruction for decades. At the Frankfurt Book Fair last week, Iranian booksellers were peddling the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," one of Adolf Hitler's inspirations and probably the most notorious anti-Semitic tract in history. Mr. Ahmadinejad's comments were celebrated by the speaker of the Iranian Parliament, who said Israel's "existence is illegal." Former President Ali Rafsanjani, seen in some diplomatic circles as a pragmatist, also lent his support. "Even in Europe," he said, "the majority of the population is strongly critical of Israel, but they are afraid to express their views." Which, sad to say, is probably true.
More notable has been the intensity of Western reaction. German parliamentarian Friedbert Pflueger called the Iranian comments "barbaric"; Kofi Annan expressed "dismay," possibly the harshest word he knows. In France, a Foreign Ministry spokesman described Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech as "a new and important element," which his country would have to take into account in future negotiations with Tehran. We fail to see what's new, but we're glad the French are taking notice.
The most incisive comment came from British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "Can you imagine a state like that with an attitude like that having a nuclear weapon?" he asked. In Washington, as in Jerusalem, policy makers have been pondering that question for years. It's past time others ponder it, too.
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Soldiers and the American media
Having been on the other side of the world for the past year I must admit that I am not as up to date on current events as I’d like to be. However we do receive the news and are aware of the larger events happening around the world. For instance we were aware of the tidal wave that killed hundreds of thousands in southern Asia. We were aware of the numerous natural disasters that affected the United States.
We’ve also been aware of the vicious political fever and anti-war tone that is constantly streamed to us via television, newspapers, magazines, radio, and internet. Being in the minority of soldiers with formal education it is discouraging to see how the masses of naïve and even ignorant soldiers can be so easily persuaded into believing that we are fighting for a corrupt government and that America is a war-mongering nation
Being force fed AFN (Armed Forces Network) we get the best stories that the liberal media can conjure up. Unfortunately for us, this usually means smearing whatever we have accomplished or were planning to accomplish. Bringing the war to our nation’s living rooms and bringing the news to our nation’s war front were mistakes from the beginning. Citizens with no military experience cannot begin to empathize with the hardships that we endure, nor can they understand the split second life and death decisions we are forced to make. Instead we’ve created a nation of hind-sight soldier critics with force fed tunnel vision.
On the flip side we have an overly capable and very adequately equipped fighting force that begins to doubt its relevancy and its necessity to be here. With constant images of; Cindy Sheehan touting anti-war propaganda, constant accusations of the Bush administration being racist in the wake of natural disasters, soldiers’ actions being caught on film and then used against them in various investigations, and now more political indictments on issues that the majority of Americans have no idea about, our soldiers are beginning to believe all the rhetoric and embrace it themselves.
The military works on a simple principle: we fight wars. Without going too far into it, simply stated we kill our enemies before they kill us. Our nation has been diluted through the past few decades by believing that freedom is free. As long as you’re born an American you too can live the Paris Hilton lifestyle and be as carefree, and careless, as possible. Unfortunately the reality is that soldiers like myself and others have to suck it up and leave home to kill our enemies before they kill us. This principle as well has become skewed and distorted over time, leaving us with the daunting duty of fighting a war in which it is nearly illegal for us to kill our enemy.
Now I ask that you take what you’ve read so far and add to that a large population of ordinary soldiers. The majority of these soldiers are unaware of much outside of the military. Many of them lack extensive formal education and some even lack any semblance of an education at all. Many of these soldiers are also disgruntled at being asked to do their jobs. Now picture these soldiers receiving their news via television, newspapers, emails, phone calls, etc. and all they perceive is negative content about the war, about their government, about their country. Take this tremendous fighting force and preach to them that they have been misled; tell them that they have been lied to, show them that they are not supported, suggest their government is corrupt, label them murderers, and explain to them that in the end we were wrong and now expect them to continue to fight this war in which they have no option to fight.
In most debates both sides of an issue are represented. This however is not a debate, this is real life and unfortunately there is no strong representative to help stop the bleeding that is continuing to grow out of control. How do you reach an audience that is more concerned with aligning their beliefs with their favorite Hollywood star than hearing other sides of an issue and beginning to think beyond themselves and their immediate hedonistic drives. Unfortunately our nation’s defenders are swayable by the media they encounter.
As a soldier my concern is that while Americans enjoy their freedom of speech and freedom of the press they are inadvertently weakening our defenses, damaging our nation, and negatively influencing the frontline soldiers that continue to ensure their freedoms.
“Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.” – Voltaire
“A soldier” can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -
Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to halt nearly a week of fighting after militant groups pledged to halt rocket fire on southern Israeli towns, Palestinian officials said Sunday.
The deal, which Israeli officials refused to confirm, would bring an end to the second serious round of violence since Israel completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last month. While many had expected the withdrawal to restart peace efforts, the two sides have so far failed to capitalize on the opportunity.
The announcement of a halt in fighting came as a top Israeli counterterrorism official warned that al-Qaida operatives have infiltrated Gaza. Danny Arditi, Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon's counterterrorism adviser, said the infiltrations apparently occurred last month during several days of chaos following the Gaza withdrawal.
The confusion along the southern border allowed thousands of people to cross between Egypt and Gaza unhindered, Arditi told Army Radio. "The breaching of the border ... apparently allowed al-Qaida and all kinds of international Jihad elements to enter the Gaza Strip," Arditi said.
During his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Sharon promised "severe" retaliation if attacks on Israel continue. But he said he disagreed with an assessment made by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz in a newspaper interview Friday that peace would be impossible with the current Palestinian leadership.
"This is not the right approach," Sharon told his Cabinet. "We have to try to make efforts to reach an agreement alongside our fight against terror."
The latest round of violence erupted early last week after Israel killed a top Islamic Jihad gunman in an arrest raid. The group responded with a suicide bombing in the central Israeli town of Hadera, killing five people and unleashing a fresh Israeli offensive in Gaza and the northern
Israel has pounded Gaza with airstrikes, artillery fire and deafening sonic booms, while Islamic Jihad militants have fired rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel. The violence has stepped up pressure on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to act on long-standing Israeli and U.S. demands to crack down on militants.
Palestinian Interior Ministry officials said Sunday the militants had agreed to halt the rocket fire. They spoke on condition of anonymity pending an official announcement later in the day. Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad and other militant groups, were scheduled to meet Sunday evening.
Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a top adviser to Abbas, said Israel and the Palestinians agreed to stop the latest hostilities after U.S. intervention.
"Both sides have agreed to stop attacks," he said. "What is required now is to preserve the truce and calm, and every (Palestinian) party should adhere to the political and national positions ... and create an atmosphere that allows working in a way that serves the Palestinian people."
An Israeli government official said "there appears to be an understanding" for both sides to halt the fighting, though no official agreement is in place. He declined to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.
Capt. Yael Hartmann, a spokeswoman for the Israeli military, said the army's policy hasn't changed and new orders would have to come from the government.
Earlier Sunday, Mofaz threatened to wage war on Islamic Jihad until its capabilities are wiped out.
"We are carrying out a broad operation against terrorism, a broad operation against the Islamic Jihad infrastructure in light of Islamic Jihad's intention to continue with suicide bombings," Mofaz said ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
The latest violence has severely tested a cease-fire declared by Abbas and Sharon last February.
Islamic Jihad has only loosely adhered to the truce, carrying out numerous attacks, including four suicide bombings since it went into effect. It says its attacks are reprisals only for Israeli violations of the truce.
Khaled al-Batch, an Islamic Jihad spokesman in Gaza, said in a statement that the group is "committed to the mutual calm as long as the Zionists are committed to this calm." He made no reference to the rocket fire.
In Gaza, Israel reopened two crossings Sunday to allow cargo and other goods in and out of the coastal area, but a travel ban for the area's Palestinians remained in effect, the army said. Israel closed Gaza's cargo crossings after the Hadera bombing.
Since withdrawing from Gaza last month, Israel has sporadically opened and closed the Karni cargo crossing, but kept closed Gaza's border with Egypt — the only way for Palestinians in the coastal area to travel abroad. The Erez crossing, the main border for passengers, has also been closed since the bombing.
The travel restrictions have hurt the Gaza economy, and the Palestinians want the crossings quickly reopened. Israel first wants security measures in place.
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Arab-European League defends Iranian president's remarks on Israel
Brussels, Oct 29, IRNA
Belgium-AEL-Iran The president of the Arab-European League (AEL), Dyab Abou Jahjah, says the statement made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Israel is "intellectually defendable."
"The commentaries of the Iranian president that the Zionist entity (Israel) will be wiped out of the map may not be the smartest move in a strategic moment when Iran is trying to resist efforts by the US to isolate it. Nevertheless, the foundation of Mr. Ahmadinejad's reasoning is intellectually defendable, and despite the fact that his regime is no perfect example of political morality, I argue that his position on this matter is the only possible moral one," wrote Abou Jahjah in an article published on the AEL's website.
The AEL, based in the Belgian city of Antwerp, is a political and social movement that stands for the rights of the Arab and Muslim communities in Europe and Arab causes in general. It also has a branch in the Netherlands. Abou Jajjah noted that on November 10, 1975 the United Nations General Assembly adopted, by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions), Resolution 3379, which states in its conclusion: Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.
This resolution was abolished in the early nineties under pressure of Israel's strongest ally -- the United States of America.
"But It is exactly the same reasoning that led the community of nations represented by the UN and free of American pressure to admit that Zionism is racism on 1975, that still validates the declaration of Mr. Ahmadinejad today."
Zionism is an ideology that combines racism with colonialism and
expansionism, and that was put into practice by the racist claim that Palestine was a land without a people (meaning that the Palestinians are not a people but rather Untermenschen), he said.
"It is not the Jewish people that should be wiped out, and it is not the buildings and the houses and the schools that the settlers built, but it is the institutional frame that is represented by that Zionist entity "Israel" and its founding Ideology: Zionism." "Wiping out Zionism from Palestine and establishing one Palestinian democratic state on all the territories of historical Palestine is the only solution that will guarantee peace for all, in equality.
"It is the only way to build a future together and to turn the bloody page that was opened when Zionism was introduced by western colonialism into the heart of the Arab nation. And, above all, it is the only position any democrat can have if he is to be consistent with himself. Just like abolishing the racist and segregationist South Africa was the only acceptable position.
"Saying that Zionism and the state built by it and with it as leitmotiv should be wiped out from the map is, regardless of the nuances, the only morally defendable position," concluded Abou Jahjah, whose origins are from Lebanon.
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by Bill Warner
HT took over the Islamic Center of Queens and $400,000 went missing in mid 1990's;
CBS News & BBC News indicate July 7 Bomber tied To Al Qaeda & Mohammed Junaid Babar of Queens NY. Mohammed Siddique Khan met with Mohammed Junaid Babar on numerous occasions in 2003 and 2004.
Mohammed Junaid Babar was a recruiter for Al-Muhajiroun and Al-Qaeda in Queens NY. The Islamic Society of Queens was taken over by HT in the mid 1990's, more than $400,000 went missing, Iyad Hilal was an Iman in Queens NY in the mid 1990's and the North American Head of HT (see BBC News film at 7:18 into story).
The founder of the Islamic Center of Queens, Brother Aqeel, the man in the white shirt in the attached photo of 10/09/05, admits that HT took over the Mosque in the mid 1990's.
The Islamic Center of Queens AKA Masjid Al-Fatimah is located at 57-16 37th Ave Woodside Queens NY 11377.
Iyad Hilal in 1995 (at the time head of HT in North America) listed an address, PO BOX 770406, WOODSIDE Queens NY 11377; 06/1995 2X, same area as the Islamic Society of Queens.
Mohammed Junaid Babar had ties to the Islamic Society of Queens and a recent visit on Sunday Oct. 9th 2005, indicates a radical element is still there, see BBC News video of Oct. 25th 2005.
See CBS Evening News story of August 18th 2005 indicating direct link of Mohammed Siddique Khan to Al-Qaeda and Mohammed Junaid Babar of Al-Muhajiroun in Queens NY.
7 July bomber 'filmed last year'
See BBC News release of October 25th 2005 indicating direct link of Mohammed Siddique Khan to Al-Qaeda since at least early 2000 and also a direct link to Mohammed Junaid Babar or "Shafique" as referred to in the BBC News video.
Below: origination chart of Al-Muhajiroun and Al-Qaeda operatives for the 7/7 London subway attack, based on information from the CBS News report, the BBC News video and information from the London Times.
Click on the chart to enlarge
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The New York Post
By URI DAN
IT'S open season for Israel on Palestinian terrorists — and the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are in hiding.
After Wednesday's homicide bombing at a falafel stand in Hadera, Israel retaliated with military operations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, killing and capturing terror leaders.
Israeli sources said their next target was Hamas bigwig Mahmoud a-Zahar, who told Israel's Haaretz newspaper this week that his group would soon begin kidnapping Israelis.
The new Israeli offensive brings to mind the situation in April 2002, when Israel retaliated for a Passover bombing by retaking control of Palestinian towns in the West Bank and killing or arresting dozens of militants in house-to-house sweeps. The fighting lasted two weeks.
Although Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has not indicated whether the latest operation would be as widespread, his consistent refrain to aides has been "I am ready to compromise, but there is one thing I won't compromise on: the safety of the Israeli people."
As a result, Sharon said he wouldn't meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, another sign he's ready to take his troops back out to the battlefield.
Sharon had hoped that his pullout from 20 Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip in August would be appreciated by the Palestinian Authority.
The pullout caused a mini-revolt in Sharon's own party, and he just narrowly beat rival Bibi Netanyahu in a leadership vote three weeks ago.
The extreme right wing also made political hay because Sharon's concessions did not lead to a tangible decrease in violence by terror groups despite a cease-fire in February.
So, to maintain security — and unite the country's political factions — Sharon is again hunting Palestinian terrorists.
"Mahmoud Abbas has done nothing despite all the help and equipment he got for his forces from other countries. He has not budged an inch," an aide to Sharon told The Post.
The aide said Sharon sees no alternative to hitting targets in the Gaza Strip in order to deter future attacks.
For now, the fragile Israeli government coalition is backing Sharon, who can genuinely lay claim to the mantle of compromise.
He not only kept his promise to pull out of Gaza but also sent his defense minister to Cairo this week in hopes of getting Egypt to loosen its border with Gaza so that Palestinians could travel freely and jump-start their economy.
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Victor Davis Hanson
Crossing the Rubicon
The die is cast — or why it ought to be.
For good or evil, George W. Bush will have to cross the Rubicon on judicial nominations, politicized indictments, Iraq, the greater Middle East, and the constant frenzy of the Howard Dean wing of the Democratic party — and now march on his various adversaries as never before. He can choose either to be nicked and slowly bled to death in his second term, or to bare his fangs and like some cornered carnivore start slashing back.
Before Harriet Miers, conservatives pined for a Chief Justice Antonin Scalia, with a Justice Roberts and someone like a Janice Rogers Brown rounding out a battle-hardened and formidable new conservative triad. They relished the idea of a Scalia frying Joe Biden in a televised cross-examination or another articulate black female nominee once again embarrassing a shrill Barbara Boxer — all as relish to brilliantly crafted opinions scaling back the reach of activist judges. That was not quite to be.
But now, with the Mierss withdrawal, the president might as well go for broke to reclaim his base and redefine his second term as one of principle rather than triangulating politics. So he should call in top Republican senators and the point people of his base — never more needed than now — and get them to agree on the most brilliant, accomplished, and conservative jurist possible. He should then ram the nominee through, in a display to the American people of the principles at stake.
It is also time to step up lecturing both the American people and the Iraqis on exactly what we are doing in the Sunni Triangle. We have been sleepwalking through the greatest revolutionary movement in the history of the Middle East, as the U.S. military is quietly empowering the once-despised Kurds and Shiites — and along with them women and the other formerly dispossessed of Iraq. In short, the U.S. Marine Corps has done more for global freedom and social justice in two years than has every U.N. peacekeeping mission since the inception of that now-corrupt organization.
This is high-stakes — and idealistic — stuff. And the more we talk in such terms, the more the president can put the onus of cynical realism on the peace movement and the corrupt forces in the Middle East, who alike wish us to fail. Forget acrimony over weapons of mass destruction, platitudes about abstract democracy, and arguments over U.S. security strategies. Instead bluntly explain to the world how at this time and at this moment the U. S. is trying to bring equality and freedom to the unfree, in a manner rare in the history of civilization.
Yes, the Kurds and the Shiites need to compromise. The Sunnis must disavow terrorism. But above all, the American people need to be reminded there was no oil, no hegemony, no money, no Israel, and no profit involved in this effort, but something far greater and more lasting. And so it no accident that the Iraqis are the only people in the Arab world voting in free elections and dying as they fight in the war against terror.
Was Iraq naïve? Perhaps. Idealistic? Of course. But cynical or conniving? — not at all. That is the domain of the Arab kleptocracies, the corrupt Europeans, and increasingly the radical American Left — who all have much to lose if the United States can stop the petrol-theft of the Hussein legacy, expose its corrupt ganglia, establish a democracy, and prove that the United States found real security from terrorism only by bringing constitutional government to the Middle East.
The key to Iraq is enfeebling those around it who are weakening the country — namely Syria and Iran. The U.S. should be calling for democratic reform in both countries — constantly, without interruption, and in the same idealistic fashion as we appeal to the Iraqis. The president must focus world attention on just how awful those two regimes are. After all, an Iranian president threatens to wipe Israel off the face of the map at precisely the time his government lies and connives to obtain nuclear weapons — which alone could bring that avowed sick Khomeineseque dream to fruition, given Iran’s conventional military impotence. Again, the government of Iran is not just talking about warring with the Sharon government or attacking the Israeli nation, but rather liquidating the Jewish people — as Hitlerian a promise of genocide as we have seen since the Holocaust. And he boasts like a leader who fully expects to have nuclear weapons in the near future.
Syria’s government is little more than Murder, Inc. Its assassination of Mr. Hariri slowed the entire Lebanese reform movement. It’s been a fine and noble thing that George Bush began to confront Syria, but he should go even further to call on the nations of the world to consider the young Assad the new Milosevic who, like the Iranian president, is an international outlaw deserving of sanctions, embargos, and global ostracism.
We should remind the world that our 2,000th fatality did not end our commitment to freedom and justice, but reminded us just how much we owe our dead so that their ultimate sacrifice was not in vain. We must make sure this sacrifice will lead to the defeat of the terrorists and the establishment of freedom in the greater Middle East. Once we went into Iraq, in the long run there was no living with either Assad or a nuclear Iranian theocracy — and both autocracies grasped that fact far better than we did, as evidenced by the constant stream of terrorists flooding in to kill Americans and undermine Iraqi democracy. The more we jawbone them, pressure them, and isolate them now, the less likely it is that we will have to use force later. Again, no “smoke ‘em out” or “bring ‘em on” braggadocio, but just something to the effect that we are taking great risks at great costs to join with the Iraqis to give freedom and equality at last a chance in the Middle East.
George Bush also should begin addressing his most venomous critics at home, by condemning their current extremism. He must explain to the nation how a radical, vicious Left has more or less gotten a free pass in its rhetoric of hate, and has now passed the limits of accepted debate.
In the last six months we have heard from various demagogues — though they are recognized as such due to their prominence in the media — that we were waging nuclear war in Iraq (Cindy Sheehan), that there was cannibalism in New Orleans (Randall Robinson), that George Bush and Dick Cheney should be shot (the novelist Jane Smiley) or executed (Al Franken). Alfred Knopf has published a book about the theoretical assassination of the president, and the Nazi slur is now commonplace in Democratic circles, where a Senator Dick Durbin or Ted Kennedy slanders American soldiers as akin to either Saddam’s torturers or even Nazis and Stalinists. The case needs to be made that we are seeing a new paranoid style — but from the Left, whose opponents are not to be out-argued, but rather deemed worthy of death or demonization as Nazis. The recent eclipse of George Galloway — due in no large part to Christopher Hitchens’ lonely and underappreciated pursuit of his perfidy — reminds us how hard these reprobates finally will fall.
All of these issues are interrelated. If the president can win the hearts and minds of the American people on one theme, the others will fall into play. The more the president talks of principle and values, the more he can do so with zeal, and yes, real passion and occasional anger.
The odd thing is that so far the conventional advice to the president — keep the discussion on Iraq only to U.S. national security, not the upheaval of the existing corrupt order; reach out to the Democratic Senate; curb your idealistic rhetoric with Syria or Iran; ignore shrill enemies; nominate someone that the opposition will not seriously object to — has only emboldened critics here and abroad. It is time to go back on the offensive, both for the idealistic legacy of the Bush presidency and the immediate future of his ideas in the upcoming 2006 elections. The American people, both pro and con, are more than ready for a great debate to settle these issues one way or another.
Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is A War Like No Other. How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.
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Local CHP chairmen warn AKP threatening republic’s future
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) remaining in power for one more term will pose a threat to the republic's future, a communiqué issued yesterday by the provincial heads of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said.
The communiqué was released following a CHP provincial heads' meeting under the leadership of party leader Deniz Baykal.
CHP provincial heads said in the communiqué that the AKP seriously threatens the democratic regime with its anti-secular policies.
“Corruption during AKP rule has come to a level that has never before been seen. The CHP will usher in an honest administration. The upcoming elections will be a key test for Turkey. Our party's main goal for the elections is to drop AKP rule and let the republic and democracy reign in the country,” the statement said.
Leveling criticism at AKP policies, the local CHP chairmen said the country's economy and social balances have been disturbed under AKP rule, adding that the agriculture sector had deteriorated and farmers are suffering.
The CHP heads also complained about media support for AKP policies and practices and claimed that AKP policies made Turkey dependent on the outside world.
They maintained that Turkey's European Union bid was jeopardized by the AKP, noting that the government had accepted a secondary status in terms of relations with the EU.
“The CHP wants Turkey to become a full member of the EU with equal rights, not a satellite of the union,” the CHP leaders stated.
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BBC News Video: July 7 Bomber met Mohammed Baber of Queens NY
Bill WarnerBBC News Video
-- Mohammed Junaid Babar of Queens NY met Mohammed Sidique Khan in Leeds UK and in Pakistan during 2003 and 2004!
Mohammed Sidique Khan met with Al-Qaeda operatives as far back as 2000, so did Mohammed Junaid Babar it appears.
Mohammed Junaid Babar is refered to as "Shafique" in the BBC News video, but it is Babar we went to his parents home in Queens. Mohammed Junaid Babar was a recruiter for Al-Muhajiroun in Queens NY.
Al-Muhajiroun had a meeting in Queens NY at the Islamic Center of Queens (shown in the video) on June 3rd to 4th 2000, Mohammed Junaid Babar attended along with high ranking members of Al-Muhajiroun UK.
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Authorities let Tube bomber ‘slip away’
LONDON: The row over British intelligence failures deepened yesterday after it was claimed that London Tube bomber Mohamed Sidique Khan was recruited by the Al Qaeda up to five years ago. (prior to 9/11/01)
The ringleader behind the July 7 attacks met and trained with senior terrorists across the world, but was deemed not to pose a threat.
As reported in the Evening Standard 10 days after the attacks, Khan was the subject of a ‘routine assessment’ by MI5 last year after his name cropped up in an investigation into a foiled bomb plot in Britain.
On Tuesday night it was revealed that spies had filmed and taped him talking to a terror suspect in the plot who has since been detained. But Khan was dismissed by officials as being merely a ‘criminal associate’.
In the three months since the July 7 attacks, it has been revealed that Khan frequently travelled abroad on terror missions to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel.
It is now known he travelled to Malaysia and Indonesia as well.
In 2001, the same year that the 30-year-old began working as a primary school teaching assistant in Leeds, he was sent by Al Qaeda to meet a terrorist leader in Malaysia.
Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali, is regarded as one of Osama bin Laden’s ‘most lethal’ terrorists and is believed to have organised the 2002 Bali bombing, killing more than 200 people.
Security sources believe Khan also met the bombmaker behind the attacks - known as the ‘Demolition Man’.
Azahari bin Husin, 46, studied at Reading University in the late Eighties and received a doctorate in engineering in 1990. He is linked to last month’s Bali bombings, which killed up to 30 people, and police will want to know if Husin helped the July 7 cell make their bombs.
Previously, Khan was known to have travelled frequently to Pakistan. British intelligence officials are still trying to trace Khan’s movements in Pakistan as they attempt to uncover the terror network that planned and supported the July attacks.
Israeli police have confirmed that Khan flew to Tel Aviv on February 19 2003 - two months before a suicide attack by two other British-born bombers.
He is also believed to have travelled to Afghanistan and to have trained at camps in the Philippines run by the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network. The group has waged a bloody campaign to establish an Islamic republic across much of South-East Asia, killing hundreds in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Last month, a chilling video suicide message emerged in which Khan claimed the British public were to blame for the London terror attacks. It is unclear how the tape was edited but it is understood that at one stage Khan refers directly to attacking the transport network.
British officials are trying to obtain the complete video, which is said to include a message from Aldgate bomber Shehzad Tanweer and a commentary by Osama bin Laden’s number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in which he refers to the Queen and further attacks.
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The socio-political makeup of “Hamastan” (a Palestinian radical Islamist state, ruled by Hamas), as described in interviews granted by Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas figure in the Gaza Strip. An alternative to the Palestinian Authority, the agenda presented by Mahmoud al-Zahar is based on strict enforcement of radical Islamic codes in politics, society, and culture. “Hamastan”, according to Al-Zahar, will become an inseparable part of the global radical Islamic effort spearheaded by the Muslim Brotherhood.
As part of the Hamas-run propaganda campaign for the coming Legislative Council elections (January 2006), Hamas spokesmen are asked on the issue of the makeup of the Palestinian Authority and the political, social, and cultural agenda that Hamas offers its voters, beyond its military activity. In several interviews recently granted by Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas figure in the Gaza Strip, he exposed Hamas' socio-political worldview, which the movement intends to impose on the Palestinian population should it win the elections and attain a position of influence.
In interviews granted by Mahmoud al-Zahar to the Ilaf 1 website (October 1, 2), he addressed, among other things, the makeup of the Islamist Palestinian state according to Hamas' worldview, brushing aside accusations made against Hamas by its opponents. What follows are the main themes addressed by Mahmoud al-Zahar.
· The establishment of a moral Islamist Palestinian state, as opposed to the corrupt West. According to Al-Zahar, should Hamas win the elections, it will establish a state based on the principles of Islamic religious law that will become part of the Arab and Muslim nation (“why should a nation with one culture, one language, one religion, and one history not come together under a single banner?”) The Palestinian state, based on religious law, will forbid men and women from dancing with each other (“a man holding the hand of a woman and dancing with her in front of the people—is that the way to serve the national interest?”) Homosexuals' rights will be denied (“a minority of mental and moral perverts”). In Al-Zahar's view (similar to the views spread by other radical Islamic elements worldwide), permissiveness and intermingling of sexes, combined with the decadence and the growing number of homeless, are to blame for the corruption that prevails in the government structures. “The men [of the West] are interested in turning the family into a swamp of corruption and decadence and they spread profanity and terminal diseases in the name of absolute liberty [i.e., permissiveness].” In the Islamist Palestinian state, every citizen will be required to act in accordance with the codes of Islamic religious law, already instated, as he says, in the Palestinian Authority administered territories, in which matters of constitution, marriage, inheritance, acquisition, and selling are based on Islamic laws.
· Criticism over the corruption and permissiveness that prevail in Western countries. Throughout the entire interview, Mahmoud al-Zahar stressed that the Hamas movement had Islamic ideology and culture and that the Islamist Palestinian state would have no interest in holding contacts with Christianity or Western countries, where corruption runs rampant. Within this context, he criticized the permissiveness that prevails in Western countries (bringing up the permissiveness in Sweden as a negative example). 2 Western democracies are presented by Mahmoud al-Zahar as countries ruled by “the law of the jungle, anarchy, AIDS, and the homeless.” In the political aspect, however, he considers the European community a positive example of a region that succeeded in uniting politically, economically, and constitutionally, despite the many wars it endured throughout its history3.
· Hamas' view of the Taliban. Mahmoud al-Zahar rejected the claim that the Hamas movement was willing to reenact the Taliban's experience in Afghanistan , saying it was a false claim raised by Israel and the US . Speaking in a condescending tone, Al-Zahar said that the Hamas movement was not a replica of the Taliban but rather its superior. According to Al-Zahar, the level of education of Hamas women is higher, the movement has social and political institutions, and women in the Hamas movement hold positions as well. 4 At the same time, he speaks in the Taliban's defense, claiming they should not be blamed for things that should be blamed on the West. Furthermore, Al-Zahar's words reveal his sympathy for the Taliban and his clear reservations of the US occupation of Afghanistan and making Karzai the country's president (“the spy brought in by the Americans”).
· The corrupt nature of the Palestinian Authority as opposed to the virtuous nature of Hamas' worldview. The way Mahmoud al-Zahar described Hamas' political platform presents an obvious antithesis to the Palestinian Authority. It is, according to Al-Zahar, a corrupt Authority, cooperating with the (Israeli) “enemy”. He considers the corruption to be widespread among the Palestinian society as well, where in recent years favoritism, bribe, and prostitution are becoming more common. Mahmoud al-Zahar presents Hamas as a pure movement striving to root out corruption both in the political and in the social sphere, knowing that a platform of war against corruption will strike a cord with the Palestinian public.
· Total avoidance of cooperation with Israel and termination of expressions of normalization with it. The Islamist Palestinian state will totally avoid cooperating with Israel in the fields of security, politics, or economy (“is it conceivable that our weak economy be connected with Israel 's economy, to which the US provides at least 3 billion dollars a year?”). According to Al-Zahar, “terminating the cooperation with Israel in each and every field is a national interest.” However, he is aware of the difficulties inherent to the implementation of such a policy, and therefore does not present a clear course of action with regard to severing the existing ties (“all at once or as a gradual process”).
· Presenting Hamas as an organization that cares for the wellbeing of the population and praising the civilian infrastructure ( da'wah ) it formed. Mahmoud al-Zahar rejects claims that Hamas' rise to political power will prove detrimental to the wellbeing of the population. As an example of Hamas' care for the citizens' wellbeing, he brings up the social and educational institutions ( i.e., da'wah ) established by Hamas, which serve the families of martyrs and detainees. Mahmoud al-Zahar therefore admits of (and even takes pride in) establishing the “charity associations” and other civilian infrastructure institutions by Hamas, which provide assistance, among other things, to those killed (i.e. shahids) and detained in the course of the confrontation and comprise a significant component of the terrorist-supportive infrastructure.
· The economic policy of the Islamist Palestinian state. According to Al-Zahar, the Islamist Palestinian state will open its gates to investments from Arab countries, so that it does not need investments and donations from Western countries. The reason he cited was that in exchange for the investments, Western countries will intervene in the Palestinian state's decision making and dictate its policy (“we do not extend our hand for projects from the West”). It is therefore another expression of a radical Islamic worldview that can also be seen in other extremist Islamic movements.
· Vagueness with regard to integrating Hamas' military infrastructure into the security apparatuses of the future Palestinian Authority. In the future, said Al-Zahar, a formula will be found that will allow both sides to cooperate for the sake of the “national interest”. However, he refused to specify how, in his opinion, Hamas' military infrastructure will be integrated into the Palestinian Authority's security apparatuses. Leaving the issue unclear, he stressed that “there is no reason to talk about it” before the election results were known.
· Blaming the Palestinian Authority for the anarchy while making it clear that Hamas will refuse to disarm, even if it enters the Legislative Council. In response to an accusation that Hamas is responsible for the atmosphere of violence that prevails in Palestinian society, Mahmoud al-Zahar lays the blame at the Palestinian Authority's door, accusing it of losing control of its security apparatuses. According to his (false) claim, Hamas' arms were never aimed at Palestinian civilians, and the claims spread about Hamas regarding this issue originate in “the Devil's advocate”. However, when asked whether Hamas' entry into the Legislative Council would oblige the movement to surrender its arms and turn to political activity, he replied, “this is a shallow, simplistic claim, since the sole purpose of the guided weapon ( al-silah al-murshad ) is to actively oppose the enemy. Therefore, entering the Legislative Council cannot be contingent on such a stipulation.”
· The continuation of the violent confrontation against Israel until its annihilation.
Mahmoud al-Zahar attributes to the Zionist movement the desire to take over the region between the Euphrates and the Nile and expresses a radical worldview seeking to establish an Islamic Palestinian state across the entire territory of Palestine , including the territory of the State of Israel.
· Hamas intends to turn the arms in the Palestinian Authority administered territories into “ combat arms ” that would defend the state's borders in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Jerusalem . These arms are also needed to establish a Palestinian state in the 1948 territories.
· Al-Zahar denies the Oslo Accords and lashes out against Abu Mazen's concept that denies “the intifada's militarization”. He claims that this concept failed when a defeated Israel left the Gaza Strip as a result of the armed struggle spearheaded by Hamas.
· Within this context, it should be mentioned that in an interview granted to Newsweek (August 30, 2005), even though he tried to present Hamas as a moderate movement, Al-Zahar stressed that the continuation of the armed struggle against Israel was the right choice and that Hamas had no intention to embrace a policy of holding negotiations with it.
Mahmoud al-Zahar's statements were made following Israel 's disengagement from the Gaza Strip and prior to the Legislative Council elections, a transition period characterized by significant tension between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. The Hamas movement, attempting to poise itself as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority, presents a radical Islamic worldview of the image of the future Palestinian state, fundamentally different than that of the secular state led by the Palestinian Authority, having its source in the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements.
This worldview might appeal to significant parts of Palestinian society, particularly when it is set against the backdrop of Fatah's lack of a clear, unified political agenda. At the same time, however, it distances Hamas from other sectors that do not support the movement's radical Islamic views (more so in the West Bank than in the Gaza Strip). 5 Furthermore, it intensifies already existing concerns in the international community over its integration into the establishmentarian political system.
In summary, Hamas' worldview with regard to the makeup of the Palestinian state, as it is reflected in Al-Zahar's interviews, is as follows: A Palestinian state of radical Islamic character, an extension of the radical Islamic stream led by the Muslim Brotherhood, which holds close contacts with Islamic Arab countries. It is a state where secular and non-Islamic (Christian) elements will be forced to embrace radical Islamist codes in all walks of life; it is a state that does not cooperate and severs its ties with Israel and Western countries, holds close contacts with other Islamic Arab countries (obviously, with radical Islamic movements as well), and embraces a strategy of armed struggle (i.e., terrorism) against Israel until its annihilation. Such a state would be, in fact, of a radical Islamic nature. It will be run by Hamas, the state of “Hamastan”. Indeed, when asked by a Newsweek reporter (August 30, 2005) whether the Gaza Strip would become “Hamastan”, Mahmoud al-Zahar responded: “It should be Hamastan.”
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The New York Sun
SECTION: EDITORIAL & OPINION; Pg. 6
It's beginning to feel like 2002 all over again. In this week's New Yorker, Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the finest reporters working today, provides a recap of General Scowcroft's leading gripes - some of them heard at the outset of the war - and a newsy look into his estrangement from the White House. The general still thinks the Iraq war will feed terrorism, though he thinks the U.S. can win the war in Iraq. He wants America to focus on pressuring Israel to negotiate the final status of a Palestinian Arab state. He accuses Paul Wolfowitz
of dangerous utopianism. He's not getting on well with his old protege, Condoleezza Rice. He covets the adjective of realist.
"The reason I part with the neocons is that I don't think in any reasonable time frame the objective of democratizing the Middle East can be successful," he told Mr. Goldberg. "If you can do it, fine, but I don't think you can, and in the process of trying to do it you can make the Middle East a lot worse." If, in General Scowcroft's view, there is a connection between how a government treats its people and how it will act towards other nations, it's hard to discern. For him and others who place themselves among the realists, democracy is a third-order priority. It is a vision of dreamers to imagine that Arabs could one day live in freedom.
This view was most apparent when General Scowcroft recounted a dinner he had in 2003 with Secretary of State Rice. The repast did not end well when Ms. Rice observed that America has tolerated authoritarians for 50 years in the region. He responded, "But we've had fifty years of peace." James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, among others, promptly pointed out that 50 years of alleged stability encompassed the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf War, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the two Palestinian intifadahs, and civil wars in Yemen and Sudan. Not to mention September 11, 2001. To which one is tempted to wonder what, if this is what he calls stability, does he call instability?
There are those of us to whom General Scowcroft, the former insider, looks like a tragic figure now operating in league with the Middle East's autocrats. Maybe for business reasons, maybe for other motives, maybe for some failure of analysis. We don't question his honor. But the fact is that for years the House of Saud, the Baathists, and the Hashemites have been telling us that they are the only defense against terrorism. They have tried their best to channel real discontent with their corrupt family-owned regimes on Israel. America bought into this logic for 50 years only to get attacked. The aging general can rattle on for the old approach, but it strikes fewer and fewer as realistic.
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By Natan Sharansky
The Washington Post
Thursday, October 27, 2005; A27
Two years ago this week, Russian law enforcement authorities, guns drawn, stormed Mikhail Khodorkovsky's plane. His arrest and imprisonment, and the insufficient response of the democratic world to his case, represent a great setback for the march of democracy in Russia.
The charges against Khodorkovsky ostensibly focus on financial improprieties related to his control of the Russian oil giant Yukos. But one need not be an expert in that company's finances to recognize that the law was used selectively against Khodorkovsky to thwart the political ambitions of a possible future opponent of President Vladimir Putin.
To those in control of the Kremlin, Khodorkovsky had broken the unwritten rules in which successful businessmen were free to prosper as long as they didn't challenge the government in general and Putin in particular. When Khodorkovsky, whom many touted as a reformist future president, refused to rule out a potential run for the presidency, he broke those rules. One of Russia's wealthiest men, he was initially sentenced to nine years in prison, and this month was sent to a labor camp.
Many see the arrest of Khodorkovsky as heralding a return to the Soviet past. But it is important to put things in perspective. The Soviet Union was a place where millions worked for the KGB, tens of millions were killed and hundreds of millions lived in constant fear. The situation today is a far cry from that, not only because Putin is no Leonid Brezhnev, and certainly no Stalin, but, more important, because the virus of freedom has spread among Russians for well over a decade. To reimpose Soviet-style tyranny in Russia would be virtually impossible.
Still, all those who understand that the right of dissent is the cornerstone of a free society should be concerned with recent developments there. Rather than being marked by the continued development of Russian democracy, the past few years have brought a regression. This is bad not only for Russia's people but also for its neighbors and the entire free world. For while a democratic Russia would be a powerful ally in promoting freedom and stability around the world, an authoritarian Russia would undermine these efforts and thereby weaken the security of free nations everywhere.
Many democratic leaders are sympathetic with Khodorkovsky but are unwilling to press the Russians to release him for fear that this issue will undermine efforts to resolve other geopolitical issues. But I know as well as anyone that the supposed trade-off between democratic idealism and geopolitical realism is largely a false choice. In the early 1980s, my wife, Avital, who had been mounting a worldwide campaign for my own release from prison in the Soviet Union, had the hard facts of realpolitik explained to her by a senior White House official in an administration that was extremely sympathetic to my plight. Pointing to a map of the world, the official outlined the many geopolitical issues that were at stake between the United States and the Soviet Union. "Do you really believe," he asked, "that we can subordinate all these issues to the question of your husband's release?" "What you don't understand," she replied, "is that only when my husband is released from prison will you be able to resolve these issues."
What the diplomat surely considered the heartfelt yet naive words of a passionate wife nevertheless contained a basic truth. I was imprisoned because of the nature of a Soviet regime that sought to stifle all dissent.
And it was the nature of this regime that was at the root of the geopolitical conflict between the two superpowers. When pressure from the United States led to my release -- I was the first political prisoner freed by Mikhail Gorbachev -- it was a sign that the geopolitical challenge posed by the Soviet Union was drawing to a close.
Today, the Soviet Union is no longer an enemy. Russia has a leader, Putin, who sees cooperation with the free world as the way to restore his country to its former greatness. But the feeble protests of the free world to Khodorkovsky's arrest, and the refusal to make Moscow pay any price for its rollback of democratic freedoms, have led those in the Kremlin to believe that they can consolidate power in Russia through undemocratic means and still win the cooperation with the West that they seek.
Any concern two years ago about the potential fallout from imprisoning an international figure has proved misplaced. The dramatic drop in foreign investment of which some had warned never materialized. And whereas some people were arguing in the wake of Khodorkovsky's arrest that Russia should not be invited to that year's Group of Eight summit, Moscow is now set to host the next summit of industrial nations. Indeed, from the Kremlin's perspective, the move against Khodorkovsky, which has silenced both the opposition and the media, has been an unmitigated success.
This is unfortunate. Just as the failure to press the Kremlin to free Khodorkovsky has facilitated its efforts to consolidate power and restrict freedoms, successfully pressuring the Kremlin to free Khodorkovsky would help restore those freedoms and help return Russia to the path of democratic reform.
The Khodorkovsky case presents a real opportunity for those concerned about the state of democracy in Russia to take a stand. By pressuring the Russian authorities to end this travesty of justice, the free world would be strengthening democracy within Russia and thereby strengthening an alliance between Russia and the democratic world that is critically important to our common future.
The writer was imprisoned as a Soviet dissident for nine years. He is a former member of the Israeli cabinet and co-author of "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror."
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October 26, 2005
Homicide Bombing in Hadera MSNBC Video
Homicide Bombing in Hadera (Cont'd) MSNBC Video
Homicide Bombing in Hadera (Cont'd) Fox News Video
Bombing at Israeli Food Stand Kills Five
By ARON HELLER, Associated Press Writer
HADERA, Israel - A Palestinian suicide bomber standing in line at a crowded falafel stand blew himself up Wednesday in this central Israeli town, killing five people and injuring 21, police and rescuers said.
The bombing — the first suicide attack in nearly two months — eroded hopes that Israel's Gaza pullout would revive peace talks.
Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it was in retaliation for the killing of a top militant leader by Israeli troops earlier this week.
"This is another link in the murderous chain of terrorism served up by the Palestinian Authority, which continues to do nothing to stop these terror attacks," said Israeli government spokesman David Baker. "The Palestinian Authority should once and for all disarm and dismantle the terror organization."
Ambulances rushed to the scene after the explosion at the falafel stand, which was next to the central bus station. Rescuers treated the wounded in a nearby field.
"Body parts reached all the way until my apartment building. The damage is really great," witness Eidan Akiva told Channel Ten TV, saying he lived 100 yards from the blast.
"All the stalls alongside just fell apart. The windows are all broken. It looks like a war was here," he said. "This is a very crowded place, very central place. We never expected that this would happen. We thought our world was good but apparently we were wrong."
Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last month has raised hopes for a return to Mideast peacemaking after five years of bloodshed. However, the sides have failed to capitalize on the pullout's momentum, and Wednesday's bombing appeared to hurt prospects for a return to talks.
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Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
Front Page Magazine | October 26, 2005
I was prevented from attending a meeting last weekend that I organized in the U.K. on "How to Combat Terror Financing." Had I gone, I would have been in jeopardy due to British libel laws.
I have been sued for libel in London by the Saudi billionaire Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz because my book, Funding Evil, documents how his charity, the Muwafaq Foundation, “transferred at least $3 million, on behalf of Khalid bin Mahfouz, to Usama bin Laden, and assisted al Qaeda fighters in Bosnia,” according to testimony of former National Security advisor Richard Clarke. Bin Mahfouz sued in London, because British libel laws guarantee that he could win without challenging the facts.
The British libel laws are so destructive that they affect writers and publications who never set foot in Britain and never published there. They are used effectively by Saudi billionaires who can afford the steep legal fees to silence successfully writers and publishers around the world who attempt to expose how the Saudis have funded and continue to fund the spread of Wahhabism, Islamist radicalism, and indoctrination that leads to global terrorism.
British libel laws are not the only tools that the Islamists use to silence their opponents. They exploit the laws that are designed to ensure freedom to subvert democracies throughout the world. And what they cannot achieve by exploiting the laws, they often achieve through intimidation and invoking political correctness.
Their success is demonstrated by Britain’s submission to Islamic will. These include the Dudley Council’s ban on all representations of pigs - “in the name of tolerance” - and the Tate Gallery’s cancellation of John Latham's “God Is Great," portraying Christian, Muslim, and Jewish holy-books, “because it could upset Muslims.” This submission is surprising in a people who stood up to the Nazis and did not bend under the Blitz. But now, the Queen knights a Muslim "community leader," Iqbal Sacranie, after he praises former Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin at his memorial service. In fact, Sacraine has also stated publicly, that "death is perhaps too easy" for Salman Rushdie.
This British submission did not help stop the July 7 bombings or the later bombing attempts. But even after the attacks, the Prime Minister appointed to the new anti–terror task force, which they call “the working group on tackling extremism,” Muslim advisers who are known to support Radical Islam, including Tariq Ramadan. Ramadan's U.S. visa was revoked last year, and he is believed to have connections to al Qaeda. Furthermore, last August, to enable Ramadan to speak at a gathering of Muslim youth in London, Scotland Yard contributed $15,000 of taxpayers money. Ramadan, who is also believed to have organized a meeting between Ayman al Zawahiri and Sheik Abdel Rahman currently teaches at St. Antony College, in Oxford. Another advisor to the Prime Minister’s task force, Inayat Bunglawala, was appointed despite his public praise of bin Laden as a “freedom fighter.”
This submissive attitude also leads the British to turn a blind eye to the sale of books like Mein Kampf and The Protocol of The Elders of Zion, which are printed in Egypt and Lebanon in Arabic and distributed in and from London to the rest of Europe. Clearly, the British legal system that banned my book seems to see nothing wrong with this anti-Semitic propaganda, even though this propaganda helps to create the climate that encourages Jihadist recruits from all over Europe to come to Britain to join the international brigade of Jihadis. From Britain, the Jihadis go on to fight British and American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Statements, new laws and banning terrorist organizations are important, but they are useless as long as Islamo-Fascism is allowed to flourish. As President Bush emphasized earlier this month, Islamo-Fascism cannot be eliminated by appeasement, or by dialogue, or negotiated solutions, as many falsely believe, especially in Europe. Indeed, without the political will to stop the direct and indirect financing of terrorism, no law or convention will stop it.
We should have tried to stop the spread of Wahhabism and Islamo–Fascism two decades ago. Our inaction, as much as their efforts, facilitated the funding of terrorism that has killed and maimed many thousands. In addition, Islamo-Facism has already infected tens of millions around the world with a hatred of democracy and freedom.
Although prevented from doing my job in the U.K., I’m challenging the funders of terrorism in the U.S. so as to defend my First Amendment rights. I have sued Khalid bin Mahfouz in the Southern District of New York.
Rachel Ehrenfeld is the director for the American Center for Democracy headquartered in New York. Author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It, she is the world’s leading expert on Narco-Terrorism and a noteworthy authority on international terrorism, political corruption, money laundering, drug trafficking, and organized crime. Most recently, she was a consult for the Department of Defense’s Threat Reduction Strategy.
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