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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky



















These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 10, 2011.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
EDL - Urgent Call for Action – Clean-Up Operations

From the EDL home page

Already EDL supporters have taken to the streets to help defend their communities and prepare for the clean-up operations that must follow the last few days of rioting of looting. . . please contact your Division Leaders and Regional Organisers to find out what you can do to help . . .

We are hoping to safeguard local businesses through a strong physical presence, and discourage trouble-makers from gathering in our town and city centres. No one should need reminding that the EDL condemn the use of violence: we need to stand with our communities, not do them a disservice like the rioters and looters continue to do.

The EDL, and all decent people, be they black, white, Christian, Sikh, Jewish or Muslim, are sickened by this mindless, selfish and ultimately self-defeating behaviour. We believe that it is our duty to stand united against to those who would seek to divide our communities.

This is not about Islam, it is a different form of radicalism. But if we truly believe that England is a place worth defending – and I’m sure we all do – then we cannot stand idly by.

Posted on 08/10/2011 2:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
EAPPI Assails and Demonizes the Jewish State

Last week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) published an article produced by Ecumenical News International (ENI) about the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (EAPPI). The article misinforms Presbyterians about the nature of the EAPPI. The organization, founded by the World Council of Churches in 2002 does not qualify as a peacemaking organization, but is in fact, a centerpiece of the WCC’s decades-long campaign to assail and demonize the Jewish state at the behest of the Middle East Council of Churches and church leaders in Jerusalem.

EAPPI materials do not provide an accurate map of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but excite the imaginations of its supporters and activists with a mythology that portrays innocent Palestinians suffering under the lash of the uniquely evil Jewish state. 

The EAPPI is quite selective about whose violence it confronts. The organization does not confront all violence in the Arab-Israeli conflict, but merely confronts Israeli settlers and soldiers – without drawing attention to or confronting Palestinian terrorism.

Look at EAPPI materials for yourself (they are readily available at the WCC’s website) and you will see hardly any reference to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad or Hezbollah. Like most other peacemaking organizations, Islamist violence and the theology used to justify this violence is a taboo subject for the EAPPI. It is simply not talked about. For the EAPPI, the cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is rooted solely in the occupation, which itself is rooted in the evils of Zionism. 

The security barrier – which has undeniable impacts on Palestinians – is depicted in EAPPI materials as a bit of Mordor straight out of Tolkein’s trilogy. Nowhere does the EAPPI acknowledge the terrorism that preceded its construction. After reading EAPPI materials about the barrier, one is left with the impression that the Israeli people and their leaders are monsters who decided to build a barrier out of a desire to make Palestinians suffer, not to protect themselves for acts of terror.

There is a troubling narcissism about the manner in which the EAPPI has approached its so-called peacemaking work. The EAPPI has turned the tragic geography of the Arab-Israeli conflict into a theme park where wealthy Westerners can act out heroic, self-aggrandizing fantasies and post the videos on the Internet for the friends to see when they return home.

The group’s website pictures EAPPI activists standing heroically with rustic and beleaguered Palestinians who are waiting in line at checkpoints, watching forlornly as their homes are being demolished or recovering from the effects of tear gas launched by Israeli soldiers at peaceful protests. For some reason, Israeli suffering has not found its way into the EAPPI narrative about the Arab-Israeli conflict, possibly because such suffering would upstage the heroism of the group’s activists.

Ultimately, the EAPPI’s focus is not on the underlying realities of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but on the putative moral and intellectual superiority of EAPPI activists.

 

This is not peacemaking, but grandstanding.

Dexter Van Zile, Christian media analyst
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
Posted on 08/10/2011 9:28 AM by Dexter Van Zile
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
If You've Got The Money Honey, I've Got The Time

The MEK is one of the Iranian communist organizations which opposed the Shah and helped bring about the revolution in Iran. Khomeini turned on them and they've been in opposition to the mullahs ever since. Where they're getting the money to throw at these big time speakers is a mystery. What is not a mystery is that these former government officials are happy to pocket it. Christina Wilkie writes for the Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON -- The ornate ballroom of the Willard Hotel buzzed with activity on a Saturday morning in July. Crowded together on the stage sat a cadre of the nation's most influential former government officials, the kind whose names often appear in boldface, who've risen above daily politics to the realm of elder statesmen. They were perched, as they so often are, below a banner with a benign conference title on it, about to offer words of pricey wisdom to an audience with an agenda.

That agenda: to secure the removal of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) from the U.S. government's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. A Marxian Iranian exile group with cult-like qualities, Mujahideen-e Khalq was responsible for the killing of six Americans in Iran in the 1970s, along with staging a handful of bombings. But for a terrorist organization with deep pockets, it appears there's always hope.

Onstage next to former FBI director Louis Freeh sat Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania and current MSNBC talking head; former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean; former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton; former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo West; former State Department Director of Policy Planning Mitchell Reiss; former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway; Anita McBride, the former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush; and Sarah Sewall, a Harvard professor who sits on a corporate board with Reiss.

All told, at least 33 high-ranking former U.S. officials have given speeches to MEK-friendly audiences since December of last year as part of more than 22 events in Washington, Brussels, London, Paris and Berlin. While not every speaker accepted payment, MEK-affiliated groups have spent millions of dollars on speaking fees, according to interviews with the former officials, organizers and attendees.

Rendell freely admits he knew little about the group, also known as People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI), before he was invited to speak just days earlier. But he told the audience that the elite status of his fellow panelists and the arguments they made for delisting the group were enough to convince him that it was a good idea.

The event where Rendell spoke was just part of a surge in pro-MEK lobbying efforts in Washington during the past year, spurred by an ongoing State Department review of the group's status, which is expected to be completed this month. In addition to funding conferences with influential speakers, supporters have taken out issue ads in newspapers, placed op-eds in major publications, commissioned academic papers, hired new lobbying firms and made scores of visits to lawmakers.

At first glance, these methods seem like standard Washington lobbying practices. But the MEK is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and providing direct assistance or services to them is against the law, as is taking payment from them. So why isn't Howard Dean under arrest? The operative word is "direct".

The MEK's delisting campaign is funded by a fluid and enigmatic network of support groups based in the United States. According to an MEK leader, these groups are funded by money from around the world, which they deliberately shield from U.S. authorities. These domestic groups book and pay for their VIP speakers through speaker agencies, which in turn pay the speakers directly and take a fee for arranging appearances. That way, the speakers themselves don't technically accept money from the community groups. If they did, they might discover what their speaker agents surely know: That most of the groups are run by ordinary, middle-class Iranian Americans working out of their homes -- people who seem unlikely to have an extra few hundred thousand dollars laying around to pay speaker fees and book five-star hotels to bolster the MEK's cause.

The speakers are just the type of national-security heavyweights a plaintiff terrorist organization needs. In addition to those named above, the commissioned figureheads include Obama's recently-departed National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones; former Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge; onetime State Department Counselor Philip Zelikow and former CIA directors Porter Goss and James R. Woolsey.

Retired military officers are popular -- former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley K. Clark and former Commander in Chief of United States Central Command Gen. Anthony Zinni have both addressed MEK groups. Yet more speakers appear to have been chosen for their deep political ties, such as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former New Mexico Gov. and U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson, former Bush White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and former 9/11 Commission Chairman Lee Hamilton.

Hamilton acknowledged to IPS News that he was paid for his appearances, describing his fee at the time as "significant." Dean also acknowledged that he was paid for at least a portion of the speeches he gave to MEK groups in London, Paris and Washington, as did Gen. Clark. Gen. Jones told The Wall Street Journal that he received a "standard speaking fee." Gen. Zinni's speaker agent confirmed that Zinni was also paid his "standard speaking fee" for an eight-minute address at an MEK-related conference in January -- between $20,000 and $30,000, according to his speaker profile. The same firm arranged for Zelikow to speak at two MEK-affiliated events this spring, and it recruited John Sano, the former deputy director of the National Clandestine Service, for his first MEK-related appearance on July 26.

Goss's first speech to an MEK support group was in April. He told The Huffington Post that it had been handled entirely by his speaker agent and that his payment came from his agent. According to his profile, Goss commands a minimum of $20,000 to $30,000 per engagement.

"I never discuss my speaking fees," Card told HuffPost when asked how much he was paid for seven minutes’ worth of remarks in late July on Capitol Hill. His standard fee, however, is between $25,000 and $40,000 per speech. Gov. Richardson's office referred questions to his speaker agent, who did not return a call for comment, but Richardson's standard speaker fees are the same as Card's.

Woolsey was the only one of the speakers who reported that he waived his standard fees for MEK-supporting events, citing his belief in the cause as his motivation for appearing.

Sewall, on the other hand, carefully distanced herself from the MEK’s objectives. “I was invited to speak at a conference on the Arab Spring and I received a speaker fee,” she said of her July 16 speech. “My remarks were aimed at an Iranian American audience that was concerned about Camp Ashraf. I, too, am concerned about the ongoing humanitarian situation there. But I would not want my presence at the conference to be equated with a position on the delisting of the MEK."

(...)

Founded on Marxist principles in 1963, the Mujahideen-e Khalq carried out a number of bombings and assassinations in Iran during the 1970s, including one that killed six Americans. It was initially aligned with the 1979 Islamic revolution, but Ayatollah Khomeini quickly deemed the MEK a threat to his newly-installed government. Forced out of Iran, they eventually settled near Khalis, Iraq, at Camp Ashraf, a desert compound about 75 miles from the Iranian border where the majority of MEK loyalists reside today.

From 1980-'88, a militant wing of the MEK supported Saddam Hussein in his war against their former countrymen, a conflict which resulted in massive casualties on both sides -- further fueled by U.S. financial support for Iraq. As a result of their actions in the war, the group is reviled today within Iran by major segments of the pro-democracy Green Movement and by those loyal to the ayatollahs. In post-Saddam Iraq, the MEK is best known for having allegedly carried out attacks on Kurds and Shiite Iraqis during the early 1990s, under orders from Hussein. MEK supporters deny that the group participated in either of the conflicts. If the alliance with Saddam in the 1980s helped to keep them on the U.S.'s good side throughout the decade, that changed in the 1990s. In 1996, Congress created the Foreign Terrorist Organization List as part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, and when it went into effect in 1997, the MEK was one of the first groups placed on the list.

Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the MEK agreed to give up its weapons arsenal in exchange for protection from the U.S. military. But following a review in 2007, the U.S. State Department maintained the organization’s classification as a Foreign Terrorist Organization when it ruled the group still possessed the "capacity and will" to commit terrorist acts.

Throughout all this, the MEK has been led by the same two charismatic figures: Maryam Rajavi and her husband, Massoud Rajavi. Mrs. Rajavi is based in Paris, where she leads an Iranian shadow-government known as the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI). Massoud Rajavi's whereabouts are unknown. Members have long argued that the NCRI is a separate organization from the MEK, but an extensive FBI investigation concluded in 2004 that the NCRI is "not a separate organization, but is instead, and has been, an integral part of the MEK."

(...)

Visitors to the White House surely recognize the name Camp Ashraf. For months, MEK supporters have stationed themselves in a tent on Pennsylvania Avenue, pleading for U.S. troops to protect the encampment from retaliation by Iraqi forces aligned with Iran, and providing passersby with evidence of massacred supporters.
Following a particularly brutal assault on the camp by Iraqi soldiers in April of this year, Howard Dean defended the Mujahideen-e Khalq on MSNBC.

Posted on 08/10/2011 10:15 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Another View Of MEK

From The Hill:

The mullahs' mouthpiece in the US

By David Amess, British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom - 08/09/11

For two decades, the policy of appeasement has dominated the relationship between the West and Iran. Realpolitik was top of the agenda as the Iranian regime’s cronies in the U.S. cloaked as “Iran experts” and analysts recommended offering incentives to the regime in Tehran in return for constructive coexistence with Iran.

Strong rhetoric had to be replaced with constructive dialogue for improving relations, they argued, claiming that such an approach would in the long-term lead to reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran, severed since 1979.

The advocates of appeasement were fully convinced that this doctrine would eventually prompt a hidden reformist inside the clerical system who in the long run could improve the situation in Iran through subsequent reforms and achieve constructive coexistence between the US and Iran. Believing the theocracy in Tehran to be a lasting regional superpower, they pushed for dialogue and ignored the regime’s barbaric violations of its citizens’ human rights, its pursuit of nuclear weapon and its support for terrorism throughout the world.    

An essential implication emerging directly from this appeasement doctrine was the blacklisting of the main Iranian opposition to the theocracy in Tehran, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK).

The MEK, which has for three decades opposed clerical rule and seeks a free, democratic and secular Iran, was put on the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list in 1997 and subsequently blacklisted in the U.K. and E.U. After a series of legal battles the MEK was de-listed in the U.K. in 2008 and in the E.U. in 2009. Last year the Court of Appeals in Washington found in the group’s favor and ordered the State Department to review the designation. More than 400 days later, the State Department is still reviewing the case.
 

 

Appeasement has emboldened the theocratic regime to spread Islamic fundamentalism, use terror at home to suppress dissent, and move aggressively ahead in its quest to obtain a nuclear bomb. Last week the Treasury Department imposed additional sanctions on Iran for facilitating al Qaeda’s operations in the region.

Iran’s increasing threats to world peace have alerted a whole host of global lawmakers and senior former U.S. officials who have questioned the wisdom in continuing to appease Iran. They include two former chairmen of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, a former commander of NATO, a former national security advisor to the president, a former attorney general, two former directors of the CIA, two former U.S. ambassadors at the U.N., a former Homeland Security secretary, a former White House chief of staff, a former commander of the Marine Corps, a former policy planning director of the State Department, a former director of the FBI, and the list goes on.

These former officials have acknowledged one of the root causes of the failure of U.S. policy towards Iran has been the blacklisting of its main opposition, the MEK, which has hampered the efforts of the opposition in bringing about democratic change. The blacklisting, they argue, was never legally justified and nor is it politically prudent anymore. These officials have called on the State Department to de-list the MEK. 

Now, as Secretary Clinton seems close to making a decision, Iran’s apologists in the US have started to panic. With no sound argument for the ban to be maintained, Tehran’s advocates in Washington are rushing to the mullahs’ rescue with a notorious tactic: If you cannot kill the message, kill the messenger. They have now embarked on a campaign to demonize those officials who speak in favor of the MEK, accusing them of speaking only to get paid.

Blinded by the truth, the regime’s cronies are trying desperately to save the futile appeasement policy and brazenly demand that these American politicians, senior military officers and security officials openly advocate a more lenient U.S. attitude towards the Iranian regime, even as the mullahs in Tehran are behind the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They accuse any and all who do not dance to the tune of the mullahs of wanting war on Iran and being on the payroll of the Iranian Resistance.

Too bad for the mullahs in Tehran that the West is steadily becoming united in its efforts to tackle its nuclear weapons drive. It’s time now to expose Iran’s cronies in the West who are advocating continued appeasement and leading the world to an ultimate confrontation with a nuclear-armed Iran. 

David Amess, a conservative member of Parliament from the United Kingdom, is a leading member of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom.

Posted on 08/10/2011 9:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
A Musical Interlude: Moonlight On The Highway (Al Bowlly)

Listen here.

Posted on 08/10/2011 11:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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