â€œBravest Man in Europeâ€� -Wilders in Ottawa Warns of A Multicultural Disaster
Wilders in Ottawa May 10, 2011 with Vladtepes and Gates of Vienna tee shirt
Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party in The Netherlands, spoke in Ottawa last night at an event co-sponsored by the International Free Press Society and the Free Thinkers Film Society at the National Arts Centre (NAC). According to a CBC report, “Dutch anti-Islam speech in Ottawa angers Muslims,” his appearance at the NAC was hotly contested by Imad al-Sukkari, of the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations, who complained about Harper government one-sided treatment of “free speech” barring controversial former UK Parliamentarian, George Galloway, controversial fundraiser for Hamas. Throngs of Muslim and leftists protesters had successfully thwarted an appearance by US conservative icon Ann Coulter at the University Ottawa alleging that she engaged in “hate speech.” That did not stop Wilders’ three city Canadian tour this week in London, Toronto and last night in Ottawa. Later today Wilders wings his way to Nashville for private events and a major address Thursday evening at the Cornerstone Church in Madison, Tennessee.
Watch this interview with Wilders by James Cohen of the Vladtepes blog.
"Multiculturalism, I'm afraid, has been a disaster, but only because it is being used as a tool to promote Islam," he said Tuesday evening in a private reception at the National Arts Centre.
The reception, which saw more than 200 people pack the Fountain Room at the NAC, was jointly sponsored by the International Free Press Society and Ottawa-based Free Thinking Film Society. It was part of Wilders' three-city tour of Canada that also included stops in London and Toronto. Maverick political activist and media commentator Ezra Levant introduced Wilders as "the bravest man in Europe."
He reiterated that attitude Tuesday evening. "Islam and freedom are incompatible," he said, arguing that all the demands for democratic freedom currently embroiling the Middle East will come to nothing unless Arabs "liberate themselves from Islam (and) reject this evil book, the Koran."
Canadians, too, need to liberate themselves from notions of cultural relativism that regard all cultures to be of equal worth. How, he said, can a religious culture that allows honour killing, the genital mutilation of women and the stoning of adulterers be considered as anything other than barbaric.
In Wilders' view, Islam is more an ideology than a religion. Unlike Christianity and Judaism, which long ago made their accommodations with the modern liberal secularized world by accepting the separation of church and state, Islam continues to hold religion and politics together. In that sense, Wilder said, Islam is a totalitarian religion.
Wilders issued a challenge to Canada’s PM Harper’s new Conservative majority in the Ottawa Parliament.
Wilders, noting that Canadians recently elected a majority Conservative government, said that if Canadians want to conserve their way of life, they need to pressure the Tories to adopt certain policies: curbing immigration from Islamic countries, expelling immigrants who turn to crime, stopping the construction of mosques and closing Islamic schools where, he said, hatred against western values is promulgated.
"Islam is causing most of the problems for our societies because it insists on its own agenda. But Islam has only one goal, and that is the submission, by persuasion, intimidation or violence, of non-Muslims."
We await his momentous arrival in the Music City with its own multi-cultural controversies triggering by plans to build mega-mosques and pending anti-Sharia legislation in the state legislature.
French police captured seven suspected Islamist militants in raids in Paris and its suburbs as France tightened security in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden.Six suspects were detained on Monday but the main target of the operation, an Indian national who recently arrived from Algeria, was taken on Tuesday, according to officials close to the inquiry.
The first arrests were made on Monday in Paris and two largely-immigrant suburbs: Stains, where searches continued, and Garges-les-Gonesse, officials close to the inquiry told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Indian who was arrested on Tuesday was "the main target" and had "links with Pakistan", an official said, also on condition he not be identified. All the raids were carried out by the DCRI police intelligence service as part of a probe into an Islamist network alleged to have recruited militants in France and sent them to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Paris residents have noticed a larger than normal security presence around tourist attractions and transport hubs in recent days, but Gueant said he had not ordered an increase in the terror alert level.
A retired San Mateo police officer who helped subdue Rageh al-Murisi, the man charged with trying to break into the cockpit of a San Francisco-bound flight Sunday, said he was sure the defendant intended to crash the plane. Larry Wright, a passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 1561, said he sprang from seat 20C after seeing al-Murisi, 28, walking down the aisle toward the cockpit while saying "Allahu akbar," which means "God is great" in Arabic, over and over again.
"My thought process was that he had a plan," Wright, 54, said at a news conference Tuesday at San Francisco International Airport.
Wright made his remarks the same day as al-Murisi's arraignment in San Francisco federal court. During the brief hearing Tuesday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elise Becker said al-Murisi tried to enter the cockpit of Flight 1561, which had 156 passengers aboard, at a "key time" as it prepared for landing around 8:50 p.m.
Becker noted that al-Murisi continued to shout "Allahu akbar" as he slammed his shoulder into the cockpit door. The defendant was ordered to be held without bail.
Al-Murisi carried no possessions with him on his trip from New York apart from an Apple charger cord, a pair of sunglasses and $47, Becker said. However, he had multiple ID cards and documents, some expired, from New York and California, as well as $5,000 and $8,000 postdated checks.
Al-Murisi, who has a Yemeni passport and a U.S. green card, spoke only once during the hearing, saying "yes" through an Arabic interpreter when U.S. Magistrate James Larson asked if he understood the charges. He faces one count of interfering with a flight crew, a charge that carries up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Officials said that when al-Murisi strode to the front of the Boeing 737 and tried to open the cockpit door, a flight attendant presumed he was looking for the bathroom and told him it was to his left. After it happened a second time, al-Murisi made eye contact with the attendant and began pounding his shoulder into the door, authorities said.
Wright arrived just as other passengers were forcing al-Murisi to the ground. The officer, who retired after 27 years on the force, said al-Murisi was so sweaty that he could barely hold on to him, something Wright attributed to the defendant's agitated anticipation of his plot. Fearing al-Murisi might have an accomplice, explosives or chemical weapons, Wright decided to keep the man in the front of the plane to isolate him.
Rageit Almurisi cannot speak English very well and could have misunderstood the signs inside the jet, his cousin claimed. . . had also only been on three planes in his life and would have been unfamiliar with the layout.
His family also claimed that Almurisi, 28, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and could also have reacted badly when an air stewardess told him to sit down. His painful joint condition meant he had to take regular walks on flights, they claimed.
‘I would not be having that,’ his cousin Rageh Almoraissi said. ‘If a flight attendant has the nerve to grab me and try to force me to my seat, believe me, you would hear about other people having injuries.’
But the suspect's cousin, Rageh, 29, said he was a university educated, easygoing person who had arrived in Northern California a year-and-a-half ago from Yemen in search of a better life. He told the Bay Citizen newspaper he probably overreacted when he was told to sit down.
‘There's a lot of things I'm guessing, you know, I'm just trying to figure it out,’ said Rageh. ‘I know he wasn't trying to harm anyone. I know that for sure. He's not a terrorist. He's a nice guy.’
He added that his cousin, who has a bachelor’s degree from a Yemeni university, could speak some English but had problems understanding it, especially when he was under stress and that he was ‘sometimes naïve and ignorant about American culture’
‘He's been in a third world country, in a village, for most of his life,’ he told the Bay Citizen 'I'm pretty sure he would have been provoked and badly treated - it would not have been the first time. Under the stress he was, being provoked would have sent him over the edge.'
His family did admit that in September last year his uncle Jamal Almoraissi, who lives in Vallejo, was interviewed by federal authorities over an alleged ‘dry run’ of a terrorist attack. Hezam al-Murisi, one of their distant cousins, was arrested in Amsterdam on his way Yemen, when police found what appeared to be suspicious items inside his travelling companion's suitcase. They were held but released two days later due to lack of evidence.
‘That was a mistake, a complete misunderstanding,’ Rageh told the Bay Citizen. ‘When we go back to Yemen, we bring back things for relatives, and it was just packaged weirdly. That's all.’
The incident brought back the memory of a promise Wright said he made to himself in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "I was down in Long Beach when the twin towers fell, and I swore to myself that I would never be a victim," he said, choking up. "That's it.
The BBC mentions the I word and the S word as sources of conflict, but being the BBC doesn't connect them as anything undesirable.
South Sudan will become independent in July, following a long civil war. But that does not mean the country left behind is united. The people of the Nuba mountains, in the north, are on a collision course with President Omar al-Bashir and his party.
They follow Islam, Christianity, or traditional religions - but crucially, most see themselves as very different from the Arab elites in Khartoum. "Despite all the talk about my Arabism, my religion, my culture, I am a Nuba, I am black, I am an African," is how the late Nuba war hero Youssif Kawa Makki put it.
Many Nuba rejected what they saw as attempts to Islamise and Arabise them. "They [Arabs] discourage you that your religion is not good, tell you to just be a Muslim. They can give you money to change your name to a Muslim one. Anything about your culture, they can destroy it," says Kuku Idriss, a Nuba youth leader. (My bold EW)
During the second north-south civil war, many Nuba fought on the side of the southern Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels, now set to form the new country's government. The SPLA is often seen as a southern movement, but its stated aim was to reform the whole country, creating a new Sudan, a secular state where diversity was respected. This resonated very strongly with many Nuba. In 1992, a jihad or holy war was declared, allowing northern troops and Arab militias to kill even those Nuba who were Muslim.
Life here (in the village of Kauda) is very different to most of northern Sudan. Local alcohol, like the heady beer marissa, is openly sold, in defiance of the Sharia, or Islamic law, officially imposed in the north. Women brew it in their homes, then bring it to a line of rough shacks and pour it into calabashes for thirsty customers.
"We don't appreciate Sharia, and don't want it to reach us here," says one drinker, Angelo, an SPLA soldier. "We have our independence and we hope in the future to be independent," he adds.
The alcohol is not the only difference. Students in Kauda are taught in English, not Arabic, and sit exams from Kenya or Uganda. A young teacher, Yassir, says he has 94 students in his class. He brushes aside the suggestion the separate curriculum and language of education could leave the pupils out of step with the rest of the north.
"We are planning to have our own universities, which will be operated in English," he says.
In a well-publicised recent speech, President Bashir said once South Sudan secedes, there would be no place for ethnic or cultural diversity in the north, and Islam would be the sole source of law.
This has got many Nuba worried. "We don't want a war, we need peace," says Mahmoud Badawi, who has set up Kauda's only hotel. But that does not mean simply giving in.
Tens of thousands of Nuba soldiers are in the SPLA in the south, and will almost certainly return to their homeland after southern separation - possibly with their weapons. Officials and ordinary people say there is no way they will give back Kauda or any of the other "liberated territories".
The Nubas' determination to be different has been a problem for Khartoum for years, and that is almost certain to continue. It is not hard to find people offering dire warnings - like Najwa Musa, the head of the Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation and Development Organisation.
"If they will continue to impose the Sharia law, the Islamic religion and the Arabic language on the people, you will see a new Darfur coming up."
BOSSES at the University of Gloucestershire have shrunk the size of a bar because of an increase in the number of Muslim students. The Park campus student bar has been divided up to allow extra space to undergraduates who do not drink alcohol.
Education and welfare officer, Cassie Agbehenu, a student on her sabbatical year, said: "When we started looking at the changes, one of my main concerns was having somewhere that people would not be put off going because of their religious background. There are many people of the Muslim faith who don't want to be around alcohol in any way, whether they are drinking it or not. We want everybody to feel welcome."
Miss Agbehenu said the new refectory, which has one clearly defined area for drinking and another for eating, would make students from all backgrounds feel welcome.
In a document submitted to planning bosses as part of the work, the university stated: "Due to the changing needs of students and particularly in light of the growing numbers of international students, the demand for an alcohol bar has reduced. Relocating a smaller bar into the refectory will enable us to provide a more appropriate facility that aids social interaction within a dining space."
According to the comments the other students now drink in the pubs in Gloucester town centre. An influx of enthusiastic customers is probably good for the pub trade in the long term, which is the one that matters, but our universities do seem to prefer foreign students to our own children.
Obama claimed credit for himself Sunday night, emphasizing the decision to make the bin Laden manhunt a key objective was his, shortly after he took office more than two years ago. He didn't mention Bush, who wanted bin Laden "dead or alive," or Clinton, who declared him "public enemy number one."
"I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda," Obama said early in his speech, "even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network."
Moreover, White House aides said, Obama's decision to go forward with the dangerous secret operation, based on circumstantial evidence alone, was gutsy and bold. The odds bin Laden would actually be there were only 60 to 80 percent, Panetta told Time magazine after the fact.
"From The Banlieues" In France, "Asian" in England -- No One Wants To Tell It Straight
French television last night broadcast a program about the epidemic of robberies in Switzerlandcarried out by "French kids" from the banlieues, mainly from Lyon (the French city closest to Switzgeraldn) who cross the border, take advantage of the Swiss who until recently were lax about security (doors unlocked, border crossings insufficiently monitored), steal what they can, then race across the border into France with their loot.
The French media is not allowed to publish anything about the "background" (ethnic, religious, etc.) of those pursued or arrested for crimes. Names and descriptions of criminals can only be guessed-at, and the tell-tale phrase, meant to conceal, is geographic, the place of origin within France of the suspect, who is described primly as "from the banlieue." In England another kind of geography is used in an act of studied but by now comical vagueness: "Asian."
This has to stop. The indigenous non-Muslims of Europe, and other, non-Muslim immigrants, have a perfect right to know who is most responsible for the rise in crime and the consequent degradation -- slow but steady -- of domestic tranquillity.
And then they will be able to intelligently discuss why, and not limit that discussion to the banal iinvocation of deprived childhoods, and even dare to approach the subject of how Islam -- its texts, tenets, attitudes, atmospherics -- both promotes and justifies acts which we consider crimes, and Muslims can rationalize, in the case of crimes of property, as a proleptic helping themselves to the jizyah which as yet, in a non-Muslim society, they lack the power to impose, and in the case of rape, as justified by the come-hither aspect of Western women, insufficiently hidden from view, and besides, don't Western women -- all those Lara Logans, just waiting for the frenzied Muslim mobs -- deserve what they get no matter how they are dressed? And don't swinish Infidel men deserve to be attacked because, well just because they are non-Muslims, and deserve it for that reason?
A reader asks, "Is anyone else getting bored with Iraq and Islam?"
I am. I am getting bored, quite bored, with Iraq and Islam. In fact, I've long been bored silly with the whole business of Iraq and Islam. It is not terribly interesting in itself, except as a case study offering a rich variety of different kinds of willful ignorance, sentimentalism, and avoidance of the obvious -- as well as of sheer stupidity in so many different, and differently unappealing, forms. It must have been the same for all kinds of people who encountered similar phenomena, although perhaps it was not boring for Winston Churchill to have to again and again say the obvious things (or obvious now) about Adolf Hitler, about the Storm Troopers, about Nationalsozialismus, and about how Mein Kampf was meant seriously and should not be dismissed.
Or it may not have been similarly boring for all those who wrote about Japanese militarism and emperor-worship, that is Kodo, in Japan beginning in the 1920s, with the full menace already clear to some by 1930: one Western student of the subject laid it all out, and even predicted the exact places the Japanese would attack.
And don't you think the members of Giustizia e Liberta would have preferred to do other things in southern France then have to worry about being picked off by the secret police of Il Granitico, with those endless harangues matched only by the crazed speeches of Hitler? Imagine having to watch those speeches, or having to read anything written by either one, or having to solemnly study, for example, the kind of thing Kremlinologists used to have to study: what went on at the First Party Congress in Minsk, and what Comrade Lenin wrote about Renegade Kautsky, and when Comrade Stalin first started airbrushing that wrecker Bukharin out of those photographs of the Soviet leadership.
Who in his right mind could stand it then? Who in his right mind can stand it now?
And why would we want to follow, day by day, what general or admiral in the Japanese Imperial War Office is in, or out, or on his way up, or on his way down, and the ideological origins of Emperor-worship and bushido-cults and all the rest, when one would much rather, if one were reporting on Japan in those days, write about the cherry-tree ceremony, or Murasaki Shikibu, or possibly that nice exhibit of wazikashi blades in the Japanese War Ministry's museum?
We're all bored, just as bored, even more bored, than you are with Islam, and Jihad, and with having to listen to solemn parsing of speeches by Bin Laden, or Ahmadinejad, or Mahathir Mohammed, or with having to analyze some promise made by Hosni Mubarak or Pervez Musharraf or Mahmoud Abbas. Why should primitive peoples with primitive belief-systems take up our time? Because they can. Because they must. Because the Western world made a big mistake, over the past four decades, and now it is paying for it. And the Western world will, if something is not done, pay much more for that big mistake of letting into its midst, at the moment of maximum sentimentality and softness in the collective Western brain, people who do not and cannot wish that Western world, its legal and political institutions, well.
And politics, just writing about anything involving large numbers of people -- so that one writes, actually writes and can't quite believe it, such phrases as "the Iraqis" or "the Arabs" or "the French" or "the Israelis" or "the Hindus." One writes, and then still has to look at oneself in the mirror to keep from cutting oneself when shaving. One simply has to agree to the rules of the public game, in an age of the degradation of the democratic dogma. What else can one do? No one in the world could be as bored with Islam as I am, not even you, given my natural bent and interests and hierarchy of values. But it has to be discussed, until enough people understand what the whole thing is all about, and by helping them make sense, they can be helped to come to their senses.
Fitzgerald: Islam, The Treaty of Hudaibiyya, And The Two-Stage Solution
I have asked before (see my article "Waiting for Hudaibiyya") and I still want to know: what is keeping the editorial page writers for The Times, The Post, The Globe, The Daily Scream, from discovering the rules that, for Muslims, govern their agreements and treaties made with Infidels?
And I still am waiting to find out. But I now want to know from the Grave Men in Government, the Grave Men who presume to be able to protect and to instruct us, who show us day after day how confused or fearful or willfully ignorant so many of them are about Islam, and thus so incapable of constructing policies that make sense to defend non-Muslims from the "struggle" or "jihad" by Muslims, wherever they are to be found, to remove all obstacles to the spread and then the dominance of Islam.
Now Pakistan is clamoring, apparently successfully, for still more billions (and using some of those billions to expand its nuclear arsenal). Now the Administration seems crazily hell-bent not merely on refusing to do what it should, and destroy or set back Iran's nuclear project (Iran, where members of a Shi'a version of the Taliban, in essence, are already in control of the government).
Still more horrifying, it is attempting to prevent Israel from doing so, by denying it the aid and intelligence and weaponry it has every reason to expect would be forthcoming (and that we should be eager, even grateful, to supply), and by publicly warning the Israelis not to do anything "without letting the Americans know first." And now the fiasco of Iraq is being joined by the fiascos of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Muslim threat metastasizes. The only strategy that can be thought of is giving more money to, and relying on assurances from, the slightly less dangerous Muslims in power, instead of coldly welcoming the auto-destruction of Muslim states and peoples, and intervening only to keep them from acquiring, or from delivering, or from keeping, weapons of mass destruction.
The shabby treatment being given to Israel does not surprise. Even the demand that Israel lose the element of surprise by telling the Americans in advance of a strike on Iran is not surprising. That request is absurd and insulting. The Americans would see such a request made on them as such. Also, the Americans have a record of light-headed negligence when it comes to Israeli secrets. How many remember that James Baker inadvertently revealed to Assad of Syria the identities of two Israeli agents, all in order just to show off, to give an example of how much the Americans, through the Israelis, knew?
What Baker said was enough for those spies to be located, arrested, and executed. And given how many people -- it only takes one -- are malevolently inclined toward Israel, it would be madness for Israel to give the Americans prior warning, which would no doubt find its way to Iran. And even if it is argued that Iran surely knows by now that such an attack can come "at any time," there is a great difference, in the ability to protect one's installations, between the awareness that an attack "can come at any time" and the knowledge that the attack "will take place, at a particular time," say, at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, on August 2.
The Administration appears impervious to that "new thinking" that Obama called for, a "new thinking" that should be based squarely on a knowledge of Islam, its texts, its tenets, its attitudes, its atmospherics, we are still stuck in the ridiculous rut of that self-proclaimed "Two-State Solution." And we know it is a "solution," you see, because otherwise it would not have been repeatedly called by the Wise Men of Washington a "solution," now would it? Therefore is again time to ask the question asked here many times before. So once again, with feeling:
Does anyone in the Obama Administration know what the Treaty of Hudaibiyya is, or why that matters so much?
Let's start with the central duty incumbent on all Muslims, to engage directly, or sometimes indirectly, using whatever instruments are available and effective, in the "struggle" or "jihad" to remove all obstacles throughout the world to the spread and then the dominance of Islam. Of course, within this larger struggle for the whole world, there is a To-Do List, with some nations higher on it than others. Those with priority on the Muslim To-Do List are those lands where Islam once dominated and Muslims once ruled. These include, for example, Israel, Spain, Sicily, Greece, the Balkan states, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, most of Russia, almost all of India. These remain, as Infidel nation-states, highest on the Muslim To-Do List. Does anyone in the upper reaches of the Obama Administration understand that the principle, enshrined since Roman times in Western jurisprudence, of Pacta Sunt Servanda, that is, the principle that "Treaties Are To Be Observed" -- see Lauterpacht, see Julius Stone, see Philip Jessup -- does not obtain in Muslim jurisprudence? Sometimes Westerners, without a knowledge of the history of the development of their own legal systems, naively assume that the most fundamental principles are not the product of men, developed in history, but simply the obvious result of logic. How could, Westerners may think, there be any treaty-making of any kind if one side not only feels free to violate the treaty, but positively required to do so whenever it feels stronger? For most Westerners, it is impossible for them to grasp the nature of the Muslim worldview, and its consequences in every area of life.
In the Muslim view, treaties with Infidels are NOT to be obeyed. They are to be entered into when Muslims feel that they are at the moment too weak to do otherwise, and where they sense that they can gain, in the end, by entering temporarily into a treaty with Infidels. For Muslims, every treaty with Infidels is merely a "truce" treaty, a "hudna." The very idea that Muslims could recognize the permanence of an Infidel nation-state goes against everything in Islam.
The basis of Muslim treaty-making with Infidels can be found in the Treaty of Hudaibiyya that Muhammad made with the Meccans in 628 A.D. Finding himself and his followers too weak to take the Meccans on directly, Muhammad made an agreement with them. He would not attack them in return for their promise to allow him and his followers to annually enter Mecca for the 'ijra, or lesser pilgrimage. The treaty was to have lasted for ten years -- and ten years, by the way, is the maximum period that a treaty with Infidels can normally last, though some Muslim authorities have said that a treaty can be renewed at the expiration of that ten-year period, if the Muslims need more time to strengthen their forces and would benefit from a continued "hudna." The treaty with the Meccans lasted only 18 months, however, when Muhammad decided to find a pretext to attack, and did. And he has been praised ever since in Muslim lore, for his ability to deceive the unwary Meccans and to use the time of that truce to his advantage. And Muhammad is the Model of Conduct (uswa hasana) and the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil). He is the model in all things. Among those things, he provides the model, that transcends his time and is good for all time, for how to make treaties with Infidels.
On the justification, and the prescribed duration, of treaties made by Muslims with Infidels, here, for example, is the celebrated Averroes (Ibn Rushd) [d. 1198]:
"Among those who profess that the Imam is entitled to conclude a truce when he considers it in the interest [of the Muslims] are MÄ�lik (founder of the Maliki school of Sunni Islamic Law), ShÄ�fiÄ« (founder of the Shafi'ite school of Sunni Islamic Law), and AbÅ« Hanifah (founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic Law). ShÄ�fiÄ« maintains that a truce may not be concluded for a period longer than that of the truce which the Prophet concluded with the unbelievers in the year of Hudaybiyyah... Therefore, says ShÄ�fiÄ«, a truce may never exceed the period for which the Prophet concluded truce in the case of Hudaybiyyah. Still, there is controversy about the duration of this period. According to some it amounts to four years, but according to others three or ten years. ShÄ�fiÄ« opts for the latter."
And here is Antoine Fattal, a Lebanese jurist (and Christian) who wrote the most complete study, published in 1958, of the legal status of non-Muslims under Islam, "Le status legal des non-musulmanes en pays d'Islam" which, remains untranslated from the French. Dr. Fattal describes the Muslim view of what justifies Muslims in sometimes making treaties with Infidels:
"Connected with the notion of jihad is the distinction between dar al-harb (territory or "house" of war) and dar al-islam (house of Islam). The latter includes all territories subject to Moslem authority. It is in a state of perpetual war with the dar al-harb. The inhabitants of the dar al-harb are harbis, who are not answerable to the Islamic authority and whose persons and goods are mubah, that is, at the mercy of Believers. However, when Muslims are in a subordinate state, they can negotiate a truce with the Harbis lasting no more than ten years, which they are obliged to revoke unilaterally as soon as they regain the upper hand, following the example of the Prophet after Hudaibiyya."
And here is the scholar of Islam Bassam Tibi, originally from Syria, writing in 1996. (After years teaching in Germany, Professor Tibi now teaches at Cornell):
"Islamic wars are not hurub (the plural of harb) but rather futuhat, acts of "opening" the world to Islam and expressing Islamic jihad. Relations between dar al-Islam, the home of peace, and dar al-harb, the world of unbelievers, nevertheless take place in a state of war, according to the Qur'an and to the authoritative commentaries of Islamic jurists. Unbelievers who stand in the way, creating obstacles for the da'wa, are blamed for this state of war, for the da'wa can be pursued peacefully if others submit to it. In other words, those who resist Islam cause wars and are responsible for them. Only when Muslim power is weak is "temporary truce" (hudna) allowed."
And another authoritative summing up of how Muslims view treaties made with Infidels, and the model of Hudaibiyya, can be found in "War and Peace in the Law of Islam," by the celebrated Iraqi-American scholar Majid Khadduri. Strange that Fouad Ajami, the loquacious Fouad Ajami, who holds a chair at Johns Hopkins named after Majid Khadduri, has never in all of his writing or speaking referred to this book, and helped to enlighten the Americans about the Muslim view of such treaties as described in Khadduri's book. I don't have the book at hand, and at this point I'm not going to find the relevant passage. If you are a Washington bigshot, you should go out, buy your own copy, and read the book, and find the passage for yourself. I'm not going to do all your work for you. You do a little.
Yet despite all this, we are told, a treaty creating a "Palestinian" state is a "solution" to the war being made on Israel not only since it came into existence, but against the Jews of Mandatory Palestine just as soon as it became clear, after World War I, when they were no longer subject to Ottoman rule, that they would not accept the position of dhimmis under continued Muslim, now Arab, rule. No such "solution" is possible. Indeed, whatever promises may be made, either by the Fast Jihadists of Hamas, or the Slow Jihadists of Fatah, to Israel or to Washington policymakers, will be broken. According to Muslim law, Muslims will be obligated to break such promises made to Infidels as soon as they feel strong enough. Thus any such treaty will merely serve to weaken Israel. And this always been well understood among Arab Muslims. A good example of such an understanding comes from Yasir Arafat, who was quick to signal to his fellow Muslims, just a few weeks after signing the Oslo Accords, in an address to an all-Muslim audience in Johannesburg (save for the person or persons who secretly taped the event), that he had no intention of honoring any commitments made by the Muslim Arab ("Palestinian") side, and did so by alluding to Hudaibiyya and Muhammad's dealings with the Meccans.
Finally, within the week the "Palestinian" Ambassador to Lebanon, one Abbas Zaki, has been recorded explaining that any treaty with Israel, one that Abbas Zaki assumes will include the loss of Israeli control over the Old City of Jerusalem, will so demoralize the Israelis, undermining all that they achieved at such great sacrifice, that any such agreement will spell the beginning of Israel's end. And that, for Abbas Zaki, and for the "Palestinians" of the Slow Jihad, of Fatah and the "Palestinian Authority," is exactly what they intend to further.
They have no interest in a permanent peace with Israel. But they are more realistic -- just -- than the Fast Jihadists of Hamas, with whom they are locked in a struggle over money and power. That is why they differ from Hamas in matters of tactics and timing, but not on the ultimate goal of causing, in whatever way they can, an end to, the destruction of, the Infidel nation-state of Israel that remains, for Arab Muslims, such an intolerable affront that they can hardly stand it. The Slow Jihadists, being worldly men, want the tap of Western aid turned on, and so are prepared to minimally pretend, and to say, tellingly, as Mahmoud Abbas does in his No-One-Here-But-Us-Accountants mode (and just how far a suit and tie and mild manner will get you, in the capitals of the West, where you tend to be confused with technocrat Fayyad, is simply amazing to behold), when he says "we choose peace as a strategic option." Get that? As a strategic option. Words not to live by, but to worry by. If I were the Israeli leader, I'd call off the farce of the peace-processing that can only mean disaster for Israel right then, and right there.
Here's what that "Palestinian" ambassador to Lebanon, Abbas Zaki, said:
"With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made - just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward."
In this he is merely speaking the truth, echoing Mahmoud Abbas, and Yasir Arafat, and all the others. For they, the Slow Jihadists, welcome the "Two-State Solution." They do so because it will force tangible surrenders of territory by Israel, and a seeming admission by the Israelis that they somehow have been in the wrong, even though Israel has a strong legal (see the Mandate for Palestine, and especially paragraphs 4 and 6 of the Preamble), historic, and moral claim. The Israeli claim is far superior to that of those who now claim, with all kinds of absurd arithmetic, made-up data, and deliberately induced historical amnesia, to have been the residents of the ill-considered backwater vilayets (and a separate sanjak for Jerusalem) that were once part of the Ottoman Empire, were under Arab rule for only a few decades, and that, by all accounts (including that of Mark Twain and many other Western visitors of note), were in a state of "ruin" and "desolation" until the land revived with the early Zionists.
The Zionists brought economic activity, and in so doing also attracted a great many Arabs, especially from Egypt and from modern-day Iraq, who were the grandfathers of so many of those who now claim -- and do so with such vehemence, such feigned or even by this time real deep belief -- to have been part of a non-existent "Palestinian people," and not merely the Arab descendants of all of the Arabs who came between the late 19th century and 1940. But what do facts matter, if you can get the BBC and NPR, and The Guardian, and Le Monde, and Canal Cinq, and Radio France International, to keep parroting the telling epithet "occupied," so that everyone will forget Israel's claim, and treat it as Nazi Germany, with its troops goose-stepping right through the Arc de Triomphe, while Rick and Mrs. Victor Laszlo make passionate love in a room with a view of the rooftops of Paris?
There is no hint, anywhere, in all this futile peace-processing, that the Muslim Arabs would ever recognize, permanently, the state of Israel, or would ever -- permanently -- stop trying to make war on Israel, militarily, or where that is not possible, through economic boycotts, diplomatic pressure, and constant attempts to demoralize the people of Israel. The Muslim Arabs may sign a treaty, may even clamor to sign a treaty that will bring about what they will sweetly call, for their American and other Western donors, a "two-state" solution. But they don't mean it. Nothing in Islam would permit any believer in Islam, any Believer, to permanently accept the existence of an Infidel nation-state, no matter how unthreatening, no matter how hopelessly tiny and permanently imperiled it might be. It just cannot be allowed to stand. The only way for Muslim Arabs to accept the reality of Israel is if they are convinced they cannot win, they cannot break Israel, they cannot push it back, or get others to push it back, to what Abba Eban once called "the lines of Auschwitz."
Those are lines that no American general of any sense would, looking at a map and at the balance of forces, ever recommend if he were the Israeli Chief of Staff. It is ignorance of Islam in many, and deep malevolence toward Israel in some, all over the capitals of the Western world, that have allowed this "Two-State Solution" to become an accepted idea, preposterous as it is in the light of Islam, in the light of its texts and tenets and attitudes, and especially in the light of the Treaty of Hudaibiyya. It is preposterous for the Western world to keep refusing to realize that for the Arabs, the Two-State "Solution" means something that may appear to be quite close -- off by a single letter -- but in fact is far, far different.
For the Muslim Arabs, the local shock troops of those carefully renamed after 1967 as the "Palestinian people," share the same goal (the disappearance of Israel and the reincorporation of its land into Dar al-Islam), but differ on matters of tactics and timing. And on those matters of tactics and timing, some of the Hamas people may now be making noises to indicate that they, too, are a bit more realistic and can mouth a few of the right phrases, if the benefits are understood.
The Americans want what is impossible: a "Two-State Solution." Such a "solution" would whet, not sate, Arab Muslim appetites, and feed Muslim triumphalism everywhere, not least in western Europe. And such an outcome would make Israel's struggle to survive even more hellishly difficult than it already is, and by depriving Israel of the perceived power it now enjoys, would undercut any possibility of "Darura" (Necessity) being invoked by an Arab leader who wanted to resist calls for a final military assault on Israel. The "two-state solution" makes peace less, not more, likely.
The Muslim Arabs would be the winners, and it is their interpretation, their understanding, of the "Two-State Solution" that would prevail. They can never reconcile themselves to the existence of Israel unless Israel remains overwhelmingly, and obviously, more powerful in a military sense. That is all that keeps the peace, and that is all that will ever keep the peace. Egypt refrains from attacking Israel not because Egypt has steadfastly agreed to honor the Camp David Accords (it has violated all of its solemn promises to encourage friendly relations with, and an end to inculcated hostility towards, Israel), but for the same reason that Syria, or Iraq under Saddam Hussein, do or did not attack Israel: fear of what the Israelis would do in return. And in the case of Egypt, what the Israelis would do is obvious: they would take the Sinai, and not ever give it back again. Twice, in 1956 and then in 1979-81, in three tranches, is quite enough. And Egypt wants to keep the Sinai.
It is not the Two-State Solution that the boys of Fatah, of the "Palestinian Authority," or the Saudi king, or any other Arab who takes his Islam seriously, have in mind as what's in store for Israel.
No. Their intended version may be off only by a single letter. But there is a world of difference. Would that those who make policy, and are not already compromised by decades of futile peace-processing whose futility they do not dare to acknowledge, for fear of how silly they would look, would see this. Why the hell didn't the aaron-millers, dennis-rossees, martin-indyks, robert-hasses, learn about Islam, and Hudaibiyya, decades ago? What made them think they could spend years and years doing peace-processing without ever studying and thoroughly grasping, the belief-system that animates hundreds of millions of Muslim Arabs? What were they thinking, or rather, why were they not thinking?
Yes, there is a world of difference between the naïve Americans proposing this Two-State Solution, with such colossal ignorance and at the same time such self-assurance, and what the Arab Muslims have in mind.
And that, as you have been tipped off by the candid title already to know, is what can only be called "The Two-Stage Solution." Anyone of sense should be able to figure out what the second stage of that two-stage "solution" would inevitably be (in the sense, for the Arabs, of their kind of "solution" to the horrible affront of Israel's existence).
The Western world must, for the sake of its own moral sanity, do everything that can be done to prevent that from happening.
RAMALLAH, West Bank — President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority beseeched a group of visiting American Jews on Sunday to urge Congress not to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in aid as a result of his recent unity agreement with Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza.
“We need your help with Congress,” Mr. Abbas told the visitors from J Street, a group that calls itself pro-Israel and pro-peace. “I hear rumors that Hamas will be in the West Bank, or that it will share authority here. This will not happen. The new government will comply with my policies, and I am against terror and violence.”
Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, said he would “bring back to Washington the message that this may be the last opportunity with a Palestinian leader willing to say yes to peace with Israel.” He said he would urge the White House to offer a plan to create a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines with agreed-upon land swaps and a request of Israel to pause West Bank settlement building for two to three months. [Jeremy Ben-Ami seems unable to see that Fatah and Hamas agree on the ultimate goal -- they could not possibly do otherwise -- of ending the existence of an Infidel nation-state in the middle of Dar al-Islam -- but disagree, where they do, only on matters of tactics and timing]
Those are the two conditions under which Mr. Abbas told the group that he would return to peace negotiations with Israel.
“This is our first choice, negotiations,” Mr. Abbas told the group at a lunch he hosted at his West Bank headquarters.
“If we were to start now in negotiations, we would not pay any attention to September,” he added, in reference to the Palestinians’ plan to ask the United Nations to recognize their state this year at its General Assembly meeting if no progress is made by then.
For its part, Israel says it has long advocated beginning talks right away without preconditions, and it contends that Mr. Abbas, with his demands for specific borders and halts on construction, is the one causing delays and lacking in seriousness.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is due to visit President Obama at the White House on May 20 and to address a joint session of Congress the following week. It is unclear if he will lay out a new proposal for how to restart talks, but moving peace negotiations forward will be the focus of the visit.
Ten days ago, Mr. Abbas’s Fatah party, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas made a surprise announcement that after four years of bitter division, they had agreed to establish a unity government of technocrats aimed at holding elections within a year and rebuilding Gaza. Mr. Abbas said that without national unity, a deal with Israel would produce little.
But because Hamas is labeled a terrorist group by the United States, some senators and representatives have expressed deep misgivings. On Friday, 27 senators sent Mr. Obama a letter urging him to halt aid to a unified Fatah-Hamas government unless all of its members renounce violence and recognize Israel. The administration has said it is waiting for more details before judging the new arrangement.
Mr. Abbas reiterated that the members of the new unity government would be affiliated with neither Fatah nor Hamas, that he would continue to set policy and that nothing in the West Bank would change regarding security and cooperation with Israel in the coming year leading up to the election. Israel has denounced the deal as bringing terrorists into the Palestinian government, and for that reason it has delayed handing over Palestinian tax receipts to the Palestinian Authority.
Mr. Abbas made clear that many details remained to be negotiated with Hamas. It also seems likely that he will face compromises. At the ceremony on Wednesday in Cairo, for example, Mr. Abbas originally insisted that the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, neither sit on the podium nor make a speech. He won the argument over the seating, but Mr. Meshal was permitted a short talk.
Mr. Meshal said in an interview on Thursday that Hamas was committed to working with Fatah toward a Palestinian state within the 1967 lines and that together they would decide what kind of resistance to Israel was appropriate.
But he pointedly declined to say that such a state would mean the end of his movement’s dispute with Israel nor would he declare his opposition to the use of violence. [can't Ethan Bronner spare a few minutes to study up on the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah? Can't he read War and Peace In Islam? Can't he do any homework for his reporting task? Must he forever remain a mere reporter, unable to understand -- lacking any apparent knowledge of Islam's texts and tenets and attitudes and atmospherics -- the simplest and most obvious ploys, rhetorical and otherwise? Why is this beyond him, and beyond so many other reporters from the Middle East and North Africa, or for that matter, from meretricious, necessarily so, Pakistan?]
Asked if he thought nonviolent resistance was a useful approach for the Palestinians, he replied, “Unfortunately, nonviolence doesn’t work against the Israelis.”
Galleon billionaire convicted of fraud, conspiracy
By David S. Hilzenrath, May 11
Hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam was convicted on all 14 counts of fraud and conspiracy Wednesday in the biggest insider trading case in a generation.
The verdict was an historic victory for the Justice Department, which used tactics once reserved for investigations of mobsters, drug dealers and the like to expose financial professionals and corporate insiders trafficking in such business confidences as details about pending mergers.
The prosecution secretly made recordings of Rajaratnam talking to his alleged tipsters, taking the jury to a dark side of Wall Street that was long the realm of suspicion rather than proof. The government also drew upon testimony of co-conspirators whom the government had turned against Rajaratnam.
Rajaratnam, 53, head Galleon Management, was accused of using fraud to reap profits or avoid losses of more than $60 million.
The case ushered in a new era in white collar criminal prosecutions, said Anthony Michael Sabino, a professor at St. John’s University.
“For more than 30 years, the government had has a spotty history in insider trading cases, reflecting the difficulty of gathering evidence, explaining the machinations of high finance to a jury, and reconciling sometimes conflicting legal theories,” Sabino said in a statement.
“Not so here, because Raj hung himself with his own words, as caught on tape,” he said.
One of Rajaratnam’s alleged tipsters had been a member of the board of Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs and a former head of the international management consulting giant McKinsey & Co. He allegedly tipped Rajaratnam to the fact that Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffet was going to make a crucial investment in Goldman Sachs at the height of the financial crisis.
The parade of witnesses at the trial in federal court in Manhattan included the chairman of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein.
Rajaratnam did not testify in his own defense, but his lawyer argued that he traded on legitimate investment analysis and information in the public domain.
“Rajaratnam was among the best and the brightest – one of the most educated, successful and privileged professionals in the country. Yet, like so many others recently, he let greed and corruption cause his undoing,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. [in what way "educated"? Vocational training, in economics and business, to make money, is not education]
Insider trading should be offensive to everyone who relies on the stock market because it “ cheats the ordinary investor, victimizes the companies whose information is stolen, and is an affront not only to the fairness of the market, but the rule of law,” he said.
Amid a broader crackdown on such crimes, Rajaratnam was the 35th person-- and the most prominent -- convicted of insider trading in the Southern District of New York in the past year and a half.
The stakes were high for both sides.
Given the extraordinary evidence the government had amassed against Rajaratnam, had the verdict gone the other way, “it would have made insider trading cases against Wall Street traders almost impossible,” said J. Robert Brown, professor of law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.
Brown predicted the verdict will force insider traders to exchange information “in a more devious manner,” but he doubted it would hamper in insider trading.
Should U.S. Stay Or Go? And, Why Should Iraq Be Allowed To Tell Us To Stay?
From The New York Times:
May 10, 2011
Should U.S. Stay or Go? Views Define Iraqi Factions
By TIM ARANGO and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
BAGHDAD — In the Shiite enclave of Sadr City, young men demand in militant tones that American troops leave immediately. Iraqi Army officers worry that the country will take a violent turn if the troops go. In the north, Kurdish factions that have enjoyed 20 years of American security guarantees fret about their future, and Sunni Muslims worry about Iran’s rise as a political power. In Parliament, the political leadership has largely stayed silent.
Iraq now has a choice of whether American troops stay or go at the end of this year, but United States officials have said time is running out to make a decision. The debate rippling across the country reflects a nation still struggling with issues of sectarian identity, national pride and how to secure its future. [why do the reporters write this? Why don't they write: Iraq can refuse to keep American troops in the country, and America can also refuse to keep American troops in the country -- wouldn't that be a more satisfactory way to put it?]
For many Iraqis, it is a decision with two bad choices: remaining beholden to a foreign power many still view as an occupier or charting a perilous new future on their own.
“We can choose now,” said Mustafi Ali, 26, holding an Arabic translation of an American political philosophy book while trolling the stalls recently on Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad. “But it’s not useful. Both choices are bad.”
But like many important milestones of the war, from ratifying a constitution in 2005 to negotiating a security agreement in 2008 to setting elections in 2010 and forming a government afterward, Baghdad is marching to its own clock, not to the one in Washington, where affairs of state are harnessed to the dictates of election schedules and the 24-hour news cycle.
The decision could prove to be one of the most momentous ones yet of Iraq’s young democracy. As Iraqis debate the issue on the streets and in the mosque, the discussion often pivots on symbolic matters of national dignity and has less to do with whether Iraq can remain secure without the help of the United States military.
“It’s a golden opportunity for the Iraqi government to have the decision of whether or not U.S. troops stay or leave in its hand, to show to the Iraqi people that the government has sovereignty,” said Majid Mohammadi, a college student in Anbar Province. [and what about the American government having control of its own sovereignty, that is its own foreign policy? Why have we allowed the Iraqis to think that it is purely their decision, instead of saying that we have no intention of staying, or if we stay, then you will have to not only publicly ask us, plead with us, to do so, but will have to pay, out of oil revenues, any further costs incurred for babysitting Iraqis and keeping them from being at one another's throats. That's what one wishes for, given the vast expense we have incurred, the complete lack of gratitude, the failure of the Iraqis to do any of the simplest things that have been asked of them. They, like all the other Muslim states and entities -- the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Pakistanis, the "Palestinians," see the United States as one vast ATM machine, and they want that machine to keep working, keep spewing out the funds. That is the real extent of their interest in the United States]
Iraqis are also asking themselves a simple question with no simple answer: Will the country become more or less violent if the Americans leave?
Many Iraqis, especially in the northern areas where Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens compete for land, believe that the American presence is a buffer against an ethnic civil war.
But elsewhere, Iraqis who were inclined to see the Americans stay now worry that if they do, their presence could cause new violence set off by insurgent groups like the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr.
“I prefer that the U.S. forces leave Iraq because then extremists wouldn’t have an excuse to carry guns,” said Amira Jwad, 35, a government worker in Najaf.
Last month, Mr. Sadr said he would order his men to attack United States forces if they stayed. A member of Parliament from Mr. Sadr’s party was recently quoted in an Iraqi published report as saying that the party would recruit foreign fighters to take on the American forces. A spokesman for the party later said that it had no intention of recruiting the fighters.
The most fervent opposition can be found in Sadr City, the Shiite slum in Baghdad that represents the heart of Mr. Sadr’s constituency. On a recent Friday before prayers began, Najim Abbas, a young house painter, echoed what many there say when asked about Mr. Sadr’s threat to reconstitute his militia.
“Whatever he says, we will do,” Mr. Abbas said. “We will keep on resisting until the last days of our lives.”
Once prayers began, the preacher cast the American issue as the most important one facing the Iraqi people.
“Government services are important, but there are things that are more important than these things, which is the U.S. withdrawal according to the agreement,” the preacher said. “We need to make this decision now. We don’t want to wait. If we do, they will say, ‘We don’t have enough time to withdraw.’ ” [he has it backwards -- the Americans have been telling the Iraqis, if you don't tell us to stay, and soon, we may not have time to plan accordingly]
The agreement between the United States and Iraq requires all American troops to leave the country by the end of 2011, barring a request from the Iraqis to extend their presence.
In the corridors of power, no politician, not even Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, seems to want ownership of the issue.
Mr. Maliki, who has rarely consulted Parliament as he has consolidated power over the past five years, distanced himself from the issue last week, saying the matter would have to be decided by Parliament.
“If there is an intention to change the terms of the agreement and have U.S. troops stay, there must be a national consensus,” Mr. Maliki said at a news conference in Baghdad.
“The government is a partnership government, so everyone is responsible for the decision,” he said. “The government, the Parliament and political blocs, it’s everyone’s responsibility, and all must bear this responsibility.”
While the growing sense among American diplomats and Iraqi officials is that the government here will not ask for American troops to stay, events here have a way of taking unforeseen turns, and as the American military withdraws, it is also making contingency plans should the Iraqis make a last-minute decision to seek continued military support.
Despite efforts by the Americans to communicate to the Iraqi people that they will only stay if the Iraqi government asks, misinformation and conspiracy theories abound about the Americans’ intentions.
At Al Shabander cafe in Baghdad, where many of the city’s intellectuals congregate on Fridays to drink coffee and smoke shisha, Ali Abdul Rahman, a short-story writer, said he believed that the Americans, who plan to close all their bases in the country, would ultimately dictate their future in Iraq.
“They want to keep a strong muscle over us for their benefit,” he said. “We don’t understand what the withdrawal means. Is it a complete withdrawal? Or will they keep their bases? I think they’ll keep their bases. I don’t think they only came for our benefit.”
Iraqis also fear that if the United States leaves, other countries in the region will quickly swoop in and try to take advantage of the power vacuum created by the Americans’ departure.
“The sectarian conflict between Iran and the rest of the Arab countries will seep into Iraq because the Iranians will try and make the Shiites more powerful and the Arab countries will support the Sunnis,” said Ibrahim al-Sumydai, a political analyst. “This will lead to a sectarian war.” [the best possible outcome for the United States, and for non-Muslims everywhere]
For the rest of the year, many American troops will spend their days alongside the Iraqi forces, training and advising them so they can function on their own and start to move from a counterinsurgency force to one that can defend the nation’s borders.
But the debate around Iraq will hinge on more than security. As violence has fallen, Iraq has put a mirror to itself, asking fundamental questions about what type of country it can be and if it can achieve that without more help from the Americans.
BENGHAZI, Libya — Three weeks ago, a traveler spotted a man’s body in the farmland on this city’s outskirts, shot twice in the head with his hands and feet bound. He had disappeared earlier that day, after visiting a market.
Ten days later, near the same spot, a shepherd stumbled upon the body of a second man, killed with a single bullet to the forehead. Masked, armed men had taken him from his home the night before, without giving a reason, his wife said.
The dead men, Nasser al-Sirmany and Hussein Ghaith, had both worked as interrogators for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s internal security services, known for their brutality against domestic dissidents. The killings, still unsolved, appeared to be rooted in revenge, the families said, and have raised the specter of a death squad stalking former Qaddafi officials in Benghazi, the opposition stronghold.
The killings have unsettled an already paranoid city, where rebel authorities have spent weeks trying to round up people suspected of being Qaddafi loyalists — members of a fifth column who they say are trying to overthrow the rebels. If the violence continues, it will pose a stern challenge to a movement trying to present a vision of a new country committed to the rule of law, while potentially undermining hopes for a peaceful transition if Colonel Qaddafi surrenders power.
The rebels say their security forces are not responsible for the killings. Prosecutors here say they are investigating at least four attacks, including another murder in March, and they are exploring the possible involvement of Islamists who were imprisoned by the Qaddafi government and are now settling old scores. “It’s our responsibility to protect people,” said Jamal Benour, the justice coordinator for the opposition in Benghazi. “It’s important the killers are punished. The law is most important.”
But some here dismiss talk of Islamists, saying they believe the killings are being carried out by an armed group allied with the rebels, or possibly Qaddafi loyalists pretending to be.
Last week, about a dozen men wearing balaclavas and carrying guns arrived at the house of Youssef al-Tobouli in three pickup trucks. At the time, Mr. Tobouli, a former internal security prison guard who had defected to the rebel side, was at the store. His terrified relatives called friends, and in the gunfight that followed, the room Mr. Tobouli shared with his wife and three children was destroyed by fire.
The attackers were eventually routed, and though they did not identify themselves, they left behind a Mitsubishi pickup truck with “February 17th” — the day Colonel Qaddafi’s opponents mark as the beginning of their revolt — painted on the side, Mr. Tobouli’s cousin said.
“I am very sorry to say that,” said the cousin, Eissa al-Tobouli, referring to the markings on the truck. He added that his cousin was part of a group of former Qaddafi officials who registered their names with rebel officials in Benghazi, on orders from the new authorities to make their defections official. “He paid the price for being in internal security,” the cousin said.
There may have been other attacks. Dr. Omar Khalid, a forensic pathologist at Jalaa Hospital in Benghazi, said the hospital had received at least a dozen bodies of executed men, though it was not clear whether they had worked for the government. The authorities are also investigating the executions of Qaddafi soldiers, said Ali Wanis, the Benghazi district attorney.
One victim, whose throat was slashed, has been in the morgue at Jalaa Hospital since mid-April, unidentified. When his body was found in the Guwarsha area outside Benghazi — near where the bodies of Mr. Sirmany and Mr. Ghaith were found — his feet and hands were bound with rope, the morgue’s manager said.
The killings in Benghazi are taking place in a city that otherwise seems safer with each passing day. Police stations burned in February have reopened. Legions of young volunteers have recently taken to the streets, to sweep and pick up the trash.
The rebel authorities are contemplating reopening schools this month, given the improved security. In the midst of a war, the crime rate in Benghazi is lower than it was before the fighting started, many residents say.
Even on calmer streets, the fear of betrayal has led to deadly episodes. Last week, rebel fighters in pickup trucks rushed to the city’s radio station, after an apparently false report that it had been occupied by Qaddafi loyalists. Guns were fired, and a bystander was accidentally killed when a rifle fell off a fighter’s shoulder and went off.
“This is a war of rumors,” said Col. Fawzi Omami, who works as a security guard at the radio station. “People are very edgy.”
Some elements of the rebel security forces have contributed to the discomfort. Mr. Benour, the justice coordinator, said that his office was investigating abuses, including thefts, by the Force for the Protection of the Feb. 17th Revolution, which has official responsibility for arresting Qaddafi loyalists. He said the leader of the force had been suspended.
He said there was no evidence that rebel security forces were implicated in the killings, but admitted the crimes were still a mystery. Salah al-Hami, who was tortured by Colonel Qaddafi’s security agents in the 1990s, said friends had told him he was suspected in the murders of the former Qaddafi officials. Years ago, members of the Hami family were repeatedly jailed as security agents searched for Mr. Hami’s brother Mohamed, a leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the 1990s. An uncle and three of his brothers, including Mohamed, were killed by the security services or died in Colonel Qaddafi’s prisons, he said.
Many people here remember the killing of Mohamed al-Hami, on a Benghazi street in 1996. Afterward, the security forces reportedly crucified him before parading his body around Benghazi in the back of a pickup truck.
Mr. Hami denied any involvement in the recent killings. “Never,” he said. “Everybody is going to have a fair trial. I’m against any person who would take matters into their own hands and execute people.”
It was unclear whether Mr. Sirmany and Mr. Ghaith were minor functionaries or senior officers. Mr. Sirmany served in Libya’s special forces and was an interrogator, but he never talked about his work, his brother said. Mr. Ghaith’s family said he simply recorded the interrogations and was happy to join the revolution.
In a mourning tent outside Mr. Ghaith’s house, his wife, Mariam al-Abdali, said: “He didn’t have any enemies. He joined the revolution 20 days after it started.” His son, Abdulrahman Ghaith, said that after his father was abducted, they searched the city until a call came the next day from the hospital.
His father had cuts on his head, and on his left hand, which Dr. Khalid, the forensic pathologist, said was a defensive wound. “His clothes were ripped,” his son said, revealing details that his sisters had not heard before.
“It looked like he resisted,” he said.
The more stories like this, full of vengeance killings, or mutilation of bodies of enemies, or torture of Muslims by other Muslims, the more chaos, the more violence, the more aggression, the more pictures of hysterical all-male crowds chanting, the more pictures of tanks rolling into towns, the more news of ruling families determined to mow down however many they must to hold onto their millions, the more, that is, the world of Islam and people on Islam is put on public display, is accessible to Infidels all over the world, the better. They will come to, they are already coming to, correctly identify Islam with violence, aggression, craziness of every kind. That's a big step. It should have happened, but would not have happened, a decade ago.
MWMM, financially secure, seeks SW aged 9 to 19, for fun and fourth wifedom, to make my family life complete. Friends tell me I have smoldering come-hither looks, and am incredibly handsome; wives unanimously insist I am Ghassan Massoud look-alike. Piercing brown eyes, nicely-trimmed beard, athletic and fit. Very careful about watching what I eat. South Tehran sincerity, North Tehran income. Widely-travelled (chiefly European capitals, including Vienna and Paris, but also within Middle East) in the past, but really prefer to stay at home with a good book (last book read: Qur’an). Enjoy halal cooking. Wives 1, 2, and 3 have all won pistachio-and-honey pastry bakeoffs. Hobby: haggling for bargains with the bazaaris and haunting old bookshops (last purchase: leather-bound Qur’an with silver metalwork from Meshed). Collect old tapes of Qur’anic recitation, also examples of Qur’anic calligraphy from Qom. Secret dream: being put in charge of redecorating Andalucia as long-term project on popular television series This-Old-Dar-Al-Islam. Outgoing, solid citizen, long-time member of Oversight Council for the Guardians of Virtue. Much-decorated Revolutionary Guard and Basij veteran. Accomplished hands-on former mayor of major metropolitan area, not a thinker but a doer. Proven track record of following through on special projects, from earliest planning stage to final execution.
Unpretentious, good father, history buff (special interest: 7th century Arabia). Solid Mideastern values. Grew up on a farm outside Tehran, like to think I retain that basic rural outlook. Still passionate about most large animals (Ayatollah Khomeini’s “How to Treat Your Barnyard Animals” was favorite bedtime reading during teenage years). Famous for my irreverent humor (jokes about the weather a specialty). Adventurous in spirit, yet thoughtful and quiet in manner, with a truly global approach to the world’s problems. Strong proponent of nuclear program as environmentally-friendly alternative source of power for Iran. Believe that family, tribe, and Umma come before all else. Successful, strongly motivated, never satisfied until all goals completely achieved no matter what the sacrifices.
Hoping to find that special someone of similar background, submissive and quiet, content to be good cook and house-cleaner, happy in her chador, who cannot drive and understands that for women, even more than for men, thinking is greatly overrated.
Pet peeves: sculpture, painting, music, wine, dogs, Infidels.
Marriage first, then possibly getting to know each other, just a little bit, later.
If interested, please send picture (eye-slit only), and contact information (if under the age of 11, please include parents’ contact information) to: Office of the President, Big White Palace With The Gold Leaf Domes and Carpets and Vases and Other Stuff Inside, Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
CHRIST the Saviour has told the Archbishop of Canterbury to stop being such a pansy.
The King of Kings told Rowan Williams that the US definitely-not-an-assassination of Bin Laden was way cool and that because he is Jesus he has been allowed to see the photos of Bin Laden dead and they are wicked.
The Messiah said: "I'm aware of what my teachings are in the gospels about pacifism - after all, I did actually say almost half of it.
"But not even the son of God can deny that kicking through a window and saying 'This one's for New York City you sonofabitch', then emptying a clip into a motherfucker would be totally awesome.
"And if Bin Laden had given me any of that 'turn the other cheek' shit, I'd have been all like 'Yeah? Well, turn THIS, you cocksmoker' and shot him with my gun held sideways like they do in Pulp Fiction."
Jesus went on to repeatedly ask Williams exactly who had died for whose sins anyway before swiping the mitre from his head and running off with it, saying he could have it back if he told his next congregation how the Lamb Of God had kicked his ass.
Tomorrow's Daily Mash gets stuck into the Irish potato famine.
A group of English Defence League supporters clashed with youths outside a magistrates court as their founder faced charges inside. EDL leader Stephen Lennon was attending West London Magistrates Court in Hammersmith. He was facing charges over an Armistice Day poppy-burning stunt by Islamic extremists. About 65 people were involved in the fracas. The Met's Territorial Support Group made five arrests.
For 'youths' read 'Muslim youths' some of whom were way past the age of 21.
During the 'fracas' eye witnesses are reporting that a young woman was punched in the face by a muslim male; her nose may be broken and she may require stitches. The EDL members were then kettled in a pen.
They report that Emdadur Choudhury was fined £50 for burning a poppy on Armistance day but completely fail to mention that for trying to drag down the treasonable black flag of jihad that flew above the burning poppy Tommy was order to pay fines and costs of over £300. He and his wife work, of course; Choudhury is on benefits which we taxpayers provide.
Several months ago one could not turn on the radio or television without hearing about the need to "get on the right side of history." This was in the heady early days -- before we knew about the frenzied mob that attacked Lara Logan, before the unleashed Muslims attacked Egyptian women at a march and later, attacked Copts wherever they thought those Copts were getting too uppity. It was before the violence in Libya, Syria, and Yemen showed that there was not some kind of inevitabilty -- or even necessarily desirability -- about overthrows of despots who would then be replaced by other despots.
I discussed the phrase here:
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Why Not Study History Before "Getting On The Right Side Of History"?
"This is a good man [Harry Reid] who has always been onthe right side of history," Obama said in a television interview Monday..."
And this phrase, part of the political floating world, with the breathless reporting on the events in Egypt, presented as a Morality Play with the Egyptian rulers collectively playing the Devil, has in the last week turned up in every other story, and in follow-the-leader speeches too. By their unthinking use of the suddenly fashionable phrase shall ye know them.
"It is hardly the first time the Obama administration has seemed uncertain on its feet during the Egyptian crisis, as it struggles to stay on the right side of history and to avoid accelerating a revolution that could spin out of control." -- David Sanger in the NY Times, Feb. 5, 2011 ("As Mubarak Digs In, U.S. Policy In Egypt Is Complicated")
"The "Arab Spring" is as important as the fall of communism two decades ago. Then America was on the right side of history; now, it's not so clear. But in the Middle East, it's still not too late to get on it. For the past three decades, political inertia has gotten the better of diplomatic creativity in the Middle East. Washington has backed a host of autocrats in the name of stability. Successively corrupt regimes have presided over nothing but overpopulation, economic stagnation, and literally cutthroat politics. Never has a set of dominoes so deserved to fall." -- Parag Khanna, in FP, "Getting On The Right Side of History"
I could add, and so could you, another ten or hundred thousand examples. But why bother? We get the picture.
Marxism may not, in practice, have quite worked out, but there are other forms of historical determinism ready to take its place, and the phrase "getting on the right side of history" encapsulates that view, one which connects to all kinds of doubtful desiderata, including sullen acceptance of the notion that Diversity is Always And Everywhere Good For You, that Equality (especially in anything to do with intelligence and its cultivation) is, every day, in every way, the highest of goals, the most important of duties. And Western man has this message, this updated coute-que-coute Couéism, coo-cooed to Western babies in the cradle by with-it parents dutifully following their politicized Dr. Spock, before those children, now a little older, go off to school for further indoctrination by their teachers and their textbooks.
One could stand it, just, if only there were some sign that those who use that phrase "getting on the right side of history" had themselves studied history, and thought such study was important for others too. But instead, it's such people as Nicholas Kristof and Tom Friedman, of that dismal ill-schooled ilk, who dare to use the word "history" as they tell us that we must get with the program, get with what's happening baby, jump on the juggernaut before it passes you by, and get on, please do, now, before it's too late, just get on "the right side of history."
Now comes Hillary Clinton, in an interview given to Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, in which the phrase itself is not used, but the same sentiments are expressed -- that there is something called history or History, and that it rolls relentlessly on, a veritable Juggernaut, and we'd all just better get aboard, for any attempt to try to stop it, or direct it in one direction or another, is bound to fail. And HIllary Clinton attacks the Chinese -- whose government appears to be running circles around the American government, and not only in its economic policies -- not for being oppressive and cruel, but for trying to do what good regimes, too, must never do -- which is to try to challenge, to defy, to "stop history." And history, Hillary Clinton knows, cannot be stopped.
All aboard! while there's still time. Don't be silly like the Chinese. Be like those people in Washington who want us to jump on, to get on the ride side of history.
From the Spectator:
Hillary Clinton: Chinese regime can't defy history
Hillary Clinton has given a fascinating interview to the Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg. The main topic of it is the Arab spring but it is her comments about China that are making waves.
When Goldberg comments that the Chinese have been scared by the sight of dictatorships toppling across the Middle East, Clinton replies:“They're worried, and they are trying to stop history, which is a fool's errand. They cannot do it. But they're going to hold it off as long as possible. “
As Goldberg says, it is quite remarkable to hear the US Secretary of State say so frankly that the Communist dictatorship in China will collapse at some point. The question now is how will Beijing, which is notoriously sensitive about this kind of thing, respond and whether Clinton’s remarks mark a new tack in the Obama’s administration’s approach to China.
So history, or rather History, marches on, a juggernaut, and those who try -- the government of China, say -- to stop it, are on a "fool's errand." In the view of Hillary Clinton, there is no stopping history by mere mortals. It has its own laws, its own momentum and relentlessness. You can't stop it.
You just "have to get on the right side of history."
I'll repeat all of my objections here to that phrase, and double those objections, please, to the idiotic remark of Hillary Clinton.
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama is preparing a fresh outreach to the Muslim world in coming days, senior U.S. officials say, one that will ask those in the Middle East and beyond to reject Islamic militancy in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death and embrace a new era of relations with the U.S.
Mr. Obama is preparing to deliver that message in a wide-ranging speech, perhaps as early as next week, these officials say. The president intends to argue that bin Laden's death, paired with popular uprisings sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, signal that the time has come to an end when al Qaeda could claim to speak for Muslim aspirations. [but that ballyhooed "Arab Spring" was not so much about democracy, and "pro-democracy protester" was a phrase invented by Western reporters who made certain unproven assumptions. What was going on was quite different -- fury over the maldistribution of power and wealth, and a display of o'erweening arrogance and daily, petty cruelty by the Despot and his Family and Courtiers. That does not imply some change on the part of those who have had their victories -- so far -- during this "Arab Spring" whose flowers bloomed and are now wilting so obviously fast -- will end, or modify at all, hostility to the non-Muslims, which is shared by Despot and those who would replace -- in both senses -- that Despot, whatever the country. ]
"It's an interesting coincidence of timing—that he is killed at the same time that you have a model emerging in the region of change that is completely the opposite of bin Laden's model," Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser at the White House, said in an interview. [young and callow Ben Rhodes wrote what may have been the falsest speech in American presidential history, the Cairo speech which was full of preposterous claims about the role of Islam in American history, and the presumptuous insistence, by Barack Obama, that "America will never be at war with Islam" -- who does he think he is, ignoring the contents of Qur'an and Sunnah, and failing to understand that the Sharia flatly contradicts the American Constitution, and that Islam is at war with all of non-Islam, though not necesarily, always and everywhere, engaged in open warfare.]
Since January, popular uprisings have overthrown the longtime dictators of Tunisia and Egypt. They have shaken rulers in Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen and Jordan, marking the greatest wave of political change the world has seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
But the push for democracy appears to have stalled in some countries. The street protests against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have morphed into a civil war, with North Atlantic Treaty Organization backing the rebels. Syrian President Bashar
Bin Laden's death gives Mr. Obama a chance to underscore the belief among many administration officials that the terror leader's relevance had already begun to diminish during the so-called Arab Spring. Mr. Obama, who has made outreach to the Muslim world a cornerstone of his presidency, plans to describe the Islamic world as at a crossroads, said U.S. officials, making the case that bin Laden represented a failed approach of the past while populist movements brewing in the Middle East and North Africa represent the future.
Mr. Rhodes said timing of the speech remains in flux but Mr. Obama could deliver it before leaving on a five-day trip to Europe on May 23. The White House is already telegraphing the message of the coming speech to the Islamic world by placing American diplomats on Arab television and radio, according to U.S. officials.
The White House is still debating, however, whether Mr. Obama should lay out a concrete plan for revitalizing the stalled Arab-Israeli peace process.
Many Arab governments have been pressing Mr. Obama to publicly outline his own parameters for the creation of an independent Palestinian state as a way to exert more pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who visits Washington next week. These diplomats said the Mideast's democratic surge is raising expectations among their own populations for an end to the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict.
White House officials said they are still reassessing the monumental changes in the Middle East and whether an aggressive U.S. push to resume peace talks would likely be successful.
Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas forged a unity government with the militant group Hamas, which the U.S. and European Union designate a terrorist group. Israeli officials have already cited Hamas's role in the Palestinian Authority as the reason why Mr. Netanyahu is unlikely to unveil any major new overtures to the Palestinians during his Washington trip.
"We need to sort through these issues as we consider the next steps on a peace process," Mr. Rhodes said. The May 20 Obama-Netanyahu meeting "is a chance for the U.S. and Israel to review the full range of issues, from Iran to the regional change to the peace process."
Arab officials and Mideast peace advocates say there are major risks for the U.S. and Israel in delaying a return to talks.
Mr. Abbas is pressing the United Nations to recognize an independent Palestinian state during the September gathering of the General Assembly. He has specifically cited his frustration with the lack of progress in negotiations with Mr. Netanyahu, as well as the rising expectations among his own people as a result of the Arab Spring.
"There's clearly a lot going on in the region, and there's a case to be made and some are making it, that now is not the time," said Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder of J-Street, a U.S. lobbying group that advocates Washington laying out its own peace plan, something Israel's government opposes. "But we do believe that the only way to avoid U.N. action on a Palestinian state in a unilateral kind of way is for either the president or prime minister to put forward" a peace plan.
A number of lawmakers have cited Hamas's new alliance with Mr. Abbas as reason for the White House to move slowly in restarting the peace process. Mr. Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress during his Washington visit as well the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the U.S.'s most powerful pro-Israel lobby.
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister, on Tuesday broke with Israel's policy of keeping quiet on the regional turmoil, saying the international community's response to repression of demonstrations in Syria, Lybia and Yemen has been "inconsistent'' and "confusing." In remarks delivered before Mr. Netanyahu's scheduled White House visit, Mr. Lieberman added that the confusion sends a "damaging message to the people of the Middle East, and further erodes the path to peace, security and democracy for our region."
Mr. Obama is also scheduled to meet Jordan's King Abdullah II in Washington next week. The Arab monarch has been at the forefront of Mideast leaders calling for the U.S. to impose its own peace plan on the Israelis and Palestinians. Jordan's population is 60% Palestinian, and the king has faced his own popular protests in recent months.
An idea -- cheap and shallow and therefore instantly popular -- is invented, and then it gains currency, and starts being handed around, and no one has the wit to hold it up to the light, and declare it counterfeit. In the case of the soi-disant "Arab Spring" that idea is that Bin Laden and his ilk are irrelevant because a "different model" has come to the Arabs with the "brave young people" (which ones are those? the ones in Tahrir Square who are now smarting from their defeats, both at the hands of the Old Guard -- for example, the unpleasant-in-all-respects Amr Moussa, who is part of the corrupt coterie and only broke with Mubarak because he thought the latter insufficiently hostile to Israel, not because he was appalled by the governmental corruption in which, as a member of Egypt's permanent ruling class, he has benefitted -- and at the hands of both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. In Tunisia, the secularists are appalled and determined to resist those who want to undo the safeguards against too much Islam that were put in place not only by Ben Ali, but before him by Bourguiba, and supported by all enlightened Tunisians. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is back, and so are the Salafists, and attacks on Copts and women have taken place, and will take place. In Libya, a mad-dog dictator fights on, and his opponents, who hardly inspire confidence themselves but do evoke fears about Qaddafy being replace by a conceivably more dangerous, more slavishly Islamic, group. In Yemen, an "ally" in the "War on Terrorism" is willing to kill to keep himself and his relatives in power. Ditto in Syria, where things are more complicated because if the Alawites lose power, all hell may break loose, and the Sunni Muslims who make up 70% of the population would certainly kill not only the Alawites but the full-fledged Christians, Armenian and Arabic-speaking, as well. The "Arab Spring"is about the distribution, and the seizure, of Power and Wealth within Muslim-majority countries. It has nothing to do with Bin Laden's war on the Lands of the Infidels.