These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 13, 2011.
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Sirhan Sirhan claims to have forgotten the murder of RFK, but we haven't
This week, Sirhan Sirhan was again denied parole for the assassination of Robert Kennedy. He now claims to be unable to remember the events of that day. This is taken by the guillible and the duplicitous as prima facie proof that he was a brainwashed zombie/robot, pre-programmed (by whom?) to murder his assigned target. From the above AP story by Linda Deutsch:
LOS ANGELES – More than four decades after Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, his convicted murderer wants to go free for a crime he says he can't remember.
It is not old age or some memory-snatching disease that has erased an act Sirhan Bishara Sirhan once said he committed "with 20 years of malice aforethought." It's been this way almost from the beginning. Hypnotists and psychologists, lawyers and investigators have tried to jog his memory with no useful result.
Pepper, a New York-based lawyer who also is a British barrister, is the latest advocate of a second gunman theory. Believers claim 13 shots were fired while Sirhan's gun held only eight bullets and that the fatal shot appeared to come from behind Kennedy while Sirhan faced him.
Pepper also suggests Sirhan was "hypno-programmed," turning him into a virtual "Manchurian Candidate," acting robot-like at the behest of evil forces who then wiped his memory clean. It's the stuff of science fiction and Hollywood movies, but some believe it is the key.
There is a problem with these fanciful conspiracy theories. Oh, I agree they are very exciting, creative, and mind-bending. The problem is ... the truth. Sirhan Sirhan did not claim to have no recollection of the murder of RFK "almost from the beginning." In fact, he claimed from the beginning to have a very clear recollection, and he was quite open about his motivation. Sirhan was what Hugh Fitzgerald calls an "Islamochristian," a Christian who has lived under dhimmitude and therefore picked up certain Islamic beliefs, certain Islamic prejudices, certain Islamic thought processes. Sirhan murdered RFK because of RFK's support for Israel. But let's let Paul Kujawsky of Jewish Journal tell the story (from 2008):
June 5  is the 40th anniversary of the first act of Palestinian terrorism against America -- the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan. While Kennedy's 1968 murder is a defining moment in American history, his killer's motive has faded from memory. It's worth recalling for the light it sheds on the world today.
Kennedy served on the legal staff of Sen. Joe McCarthy's communist-hunting Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in the 1950s. His brother, President John F. Kennedy, appointed him attorney general in 1961. In 1964, he was elected senator from New York. He jumped into the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1968.
But before politics, between college and law school, Kennedy was a correspondent for the Boston Post in Palestine during Israel's 1948 War of Independence. Had he visited Jerusalem's Musrara district, he might have met the 4-year-old Sirhan.
The war drove Sirhan's family into the Jordanian-occupied Old City of Jerusalem. The child was deeply affected by the war. He grew up with a bitter hatred of Israel and Zionists.
The Sirhans were Christian Arabs. An American church sponsored their immigration to the United States in 1957. They settled in Pasadena.
After graduating from John Muir High School, Sirhan enrolled in Pasadena Community College. He was expelled in 1964 for poor attendance and grades. For the next several years, he drifted from job to job.
He wanted riches and respect but lacked the patience, perseverance and talent to achieve them. He began drinking and exploring mysticism and occult philosophies like Rosicrucianism and Theosophy. He practiced self-hypnosis and tried to move objects with his mind.
Sirhan blamed America for his lack of success and hated the country for its support of Israel. His anger gradually fixed on Robert Kennedy, who promised to send 50 fighter jets to Israel if elected president. He wrote in his notebook: "Kennedy must die by June 5th" -- the first anniversary of the Six-Day War.
The California primary election was on June 4, 1968. Kennedy's victory party was at the Ambassador Hotel (since torn down by the Los Angeles Unified School District to build a high school). Darryl Gates, then a Los Angeles police officer and later LAPD chief, recalled that "Kennedy's people were adamant, if not abusive, in their demands that the police not even come close to the senator while he was in Los Angeles.... This was politics, Kennedy-style people politics. And in his bid for the presidency, Kennedy had taken the side of the 'peaceniks' and the flower children.... He wanted no uniforms around at all."
After Kennedy's murder, Secret Service protection for presidential candidates became standard.
While Kennedy spoke to supporters in the Ambassador's Embassy Ballroom, Sirhan waited for him in the adjacent kitchen pantry. Shortly after midnight, June 5, Kennedy was led through the pantry to a press conference in another room. As Kennedy turned to shake hands with the kitchen staff, Sirhan stepped forward and shot him in the head. He died the next day.
After his arrest, Sirhan said: "I can explain it. I did it for my country."
By "his country" he did not mean the U.S., the country that adopted him, the country that graciously granted him "refugee" status, the country in which he lived for over 10 years. For Sirhan, and for anyone who places their ultimate loyalty in Allah, the U.S. was never "his country."
It was understood that Sirhan's motivation related to the Middle East conflict. The Los Angeles Times reported on June 6: "When the Jordanian nationalist, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, allegedly shot Kennedy, ostensibly because of the senator's advocacy of U.S. support for Israel, the crime with which he was charged was in essence another manifestation of the centuries-old hatred between Arab and Jew."
That "between-ism" is not quite accurate. There is no centuries-old hatred of the Jews towards the Arabs. There is only the 14 centuries-old hatred of the Arab Muslims toward the Jews, as laid out by that antisemite Mohammad in His antisemitic hate-book, the Qur'an.
Apologists for Sirhan quickly sprang up. For example, Mohamed T. Mehdi, secretary-general of the Action Committee on American-Arab Relations, published "Kennedy and Sirhan: Why."
According to Mehdi, Sirhan's act had a rational rationale: "The one and only reasonable explanation for Sirhan's decision is to bring the tragedy of Palestine to the attention of the American people so that the people of the United States would not continue the strange policy of helping Zionist Jews of Europe and elsewhere go to the home of Christian and Moslem people of Palestine."
Mehdi concluded that Sirhan had acted in justifiable self-defense: "[W]hen Robert F. Kennedy supports Israel against the Arabs, he is assuming the role of an Israeli high ranking official.... Sirhan was defending himself against those 50 Phantom jets Kennedy was sending to Israel."
However, popular understanding of the ties between Kennedy's murder and his support for Israel didn't last. To begin with, the FBI found no link between Sirhan and any Arab organization, such as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). A connection would have bolstered a political motive; contrariwise, the lack of a connection tended to raise doubts about such a motive.
In addition, contemporary commentators decried America's "culture of violence." Amid the calls for gun-control legislation, Sirhan became a symbol -- but of American sociopathy, not of Palestinian grievance.
Most important, Sirhan's lawyers decided to try to save his life with a "diminished capacity" defense. Diminished capacity refers to the defendant's inability to form the specific intent required for first-degree murder. If successful, Sirhan would be guilty only of a lesser crime and would be ineligible for the death penalty.
This defense required downplaying evidence of motive, instead emphasizing the head injury Sirhan received falling off a horse and much psychiatric testimony. The prosecution was kept busy with its own mental experts.
Thus, over Sirhan's objections, evidence concerning Palestinians and Zionists was pushed into the background. (One of his lawyers, Abdeen M. Jabara, later cynically asserted that it was the Zionists who had suppressed the truth.) While unsuccessful -- the jury found Sirhan guilty of first-degree murder and imposed a death sentence -- the diminished capacity defense lent itself to a view of Sirhan as merely mentally ill, rather than politically motivated.
Finally, the conspiracy theorists moved in. Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty announced that Sirhan was "inflamed" by communist groups. Truman Capote said that Sirhan was hypnotically controlled. (Weirdly, before his murder, Kennedy was at the Malibu home of John Frankenheimer, director of the 1962 film, "The Manchurian Candidate," in which a man is brainwashed and programmed to kill a presidential candidate.)
Others pointed to the Mafia, the illuminati, the military-industrial complex or the CIA as the puppet masters. The more the conspiracists insisted that Sirhan was a pawn or fall guy, the more they had to claim that he had no actual, believable motive of his own to shoot Kennedy.
Still, Palestinian terrorists recognized Sirhan as one of them. On March 1, 1973, with Sirhan serving a life sentence (the California Supreme Court having invalidated California's death penalty in 1972), PLO terrorists invaded the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, taking hostage U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel Jr., Deputy Chief of Mission George Curtis Moore and Belgian Chargé d'Affaires Guy Eid.
The terrorists demanded a prisoner exchange: They wanted the release of a Black September leader in Jordan, several Baader-Meinhof gang members in Germany and Sirhan. When President Richard Nixon refused to negotiate, PLO chief Yasser Arafat personally ordered the murder of the three diplomats.
Today , Sirhan is 64 years old. Kennedy would have been 83.
The Kennedy murder and the Palestinian connection matter today. It's important to realize how long Palestinians have used murder and terror as a primary tool of politics and how long they've found observers to excuse and justify it. Perhaps consideration of the Kennedy-Sirhan affair will lead to the clarity and strength to demand that it finally stop.
America and Israel face a common enemy in Palestinian extremism and have a common interest in supporting liberal, reformist Palestinians. America, Israel and the other liberal democracies must use their considerable political and economic leverage to help the Palestinians forge a decent society, in which terror and political murder are a receding nightmare.
And yet, today, we are given stories like that of Linda Deutsch of the AP, mumbling about vague, mysterious conspiracies, trying to lift responsibility from Sirhan's shoulders. Every time a Major Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood shooter), or a John Allen Muhammad or a Lee Boyd Malvo (Beltway Snipers), or a Hesham Mohamed Hadayet (LA airport shooter), or any of the other myriad devout Muslims go on their jihad, we are told that the reason is "mental illness", no matter how clearly the jihadists explain their motivation. It's more convenient for the ummah, and it's more convenient for the kuffar who would otherwise have to come up with a counter-strategy.
Historical Jihad Interlude: 1997 Empire State Building shooting
Between the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 9/11/2001 attacks, there was another attack on a NYC skyscraper. Few now remember this attack, and fewer still remember it as an Islamically-justified jihad attack. As it turns out, that is at least partly intentional. Citations in the original. From wikipedia:
The Empire State Building shootings occurred on February 23, 1997 when Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a 69-year-old Palestinian teacher, shot seven people and then himself on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Two people died, including the gunman; six were wounded.
Abu Kamal opened fire at the observation deck of the Empire State Building on February 23, 1997, killing one person and wounding six before shooting himself in the head, knocking his dentures out. He was later taken to a hospital where he died more than five hours later.
He began shooting shortly after 5 p.m. on the 86th floor observation deck using a .380-caliber Beretta handgun that he apparently bought in Florida several weeks earlier.
Witnesses said the gunman shouted, "Are you from Egypt?" during the shooting. NYPD said they did not know whether it was said in an effort to spare or identify potential victims.
His passport said he was from Ramallah, on the West Bank, and entered the United States on Christmas Eve.
A note was found on Kamal's body which indicated that the motive was related to anger against world powers for mistreatment of Palestinians, but his family claimed that it was because of financial loss.
In February 2007, more than 10 years after the incident, Ali Abu Kamal's relatives revealed they were tired of lying about why Kamal had opened fire on his victims and committed suicide. Kamal's widow had previously insisted that the attack was not politically motivated, claiming that Kamal had become suicidal after losing $300,000 in a business venture.
Kamal's 48-year-old daughter Linda who works for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, told the Daily News that her father wanted to punish the U.S. for supporting Israel – and revealed her mother's 1997 account was a cover story crafted by the Palestinian National Authority.
A Palestinian Authority official advised us to say the attack was not for political reasons because that would harm the peace agreement with Israel.
Three days after the shootings, Kamal's family received a copy of a note that was found on his body. The note blamed the United States for using Israel as "an instrument" against his people. Linda claimed the family became certain that he carried out the attack for political reasons after reading his diary.
He wrote that after he raised his children and made sure that his family was all right he decided to avenge in the highest building in America to make sure they get his message.
She said her mother burned the diary, fearing that it would cause the family trouble.
Intentionally destroying evidence in a case of murder would ordinarily itself be a felony crime. But do not look for a criminal prosecution in this case. When Islam and jihad are involved, everyone can join in on destroying the evidence. Everyone, believers and infidels alike, wants the evidence to quietly disappear.
How ironic that this jihadi went to so much trouble to clearly state his motivation for his attack, only to once again have that motivation swept under the rug. Once again, despite his best effort, his murderous act and his message were simply forgotten in a case of intentional amnesia.
First: a link to this youtube clip, which unfortunately cannot be embedded, of Yo yo ma playing the prelude of the Bach suite no. 1 for solo cello.
The Japanese have been in love with the music of Bach for a very long time. (Indeed, I have heard that there are Japanese enthusiasts for Bach who have ended by converting to Christianity because of what the music of Bach has told them).
Second: an image of the Kannon, the Goddess of Compassion, doubling as the Virgin Mary, made by the crypto-Catholics of Japan.
They certainly make the point about the way in which Japan - despite the persecution of the Christians in the 17th century, and despite the rampages of the Japanese fascists in the 1930s and 1940s - are a radically different society from that which one meets in dar al Islam.
â€œThe Horror, the Horrorâ€� â€“ What an Arab Peace Looks Like in Israel
IDF troops in Itamar in Samaria
Our thanks to Lori Lowenthal Marcus, President of Z Street for this report.
The mainstream media is entranced with the prospect of democracy occurring in the current round of daily stories about protests against autocracy in the Arab Middle East. We noted what US Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) said in remarks before the House of Representatives about the attacks on the minority Copts in Egypt, with Church burnings, abductions, rapes of Christian women and slaughter by Jihadi Muslims: “Democracy without Protection of Minority Rights is Mobocracy”. In the Arab Muslim Middle East it means freedom to commit Jihad against non-Muslim neighbors.
The latest graphic evidence of that came on Friday night in the Israel settlement of Itamar in Samaria, not far from Nablus. Friday night, an Arab stealthily entered the home of a Jewish family and murdered in cold blood all five members: mother, father and three small children. Read this report: ‘West Bank Settler Family Murdered in their Beds”
Watch this Reuters Report and note the comments by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu about Palestinian duplicity: talking peace in English and incitement to murder in Arabic conveyed in Mosques, Schools and in state controlled media.
This was patent Jihad against innocent Jews. It is the latest example of what an Arab Muslim ‘peace’ would look like, if Jewish settlements in Samaria and Judea were included in any proposed peace agreement between Israel and what passes for the Palestinian Authority in the disputed territories. What is the Arabic expression: “first the Saturday people, then the Sunday people”. This is the latest example of Arab Muslim savagery directed towards unbelievers who dare to return to live in realms that Allah had bequeathed after the early waves of Jihad. Think of the Jihad perpetrated against Jews and Christians in Middle East modern history: the slaughter of Jews in Hevron in 1929; the Farhud-Nazi Arab massacre of Iraqi Jews in 1941; the pogroms against Libyan and Egyptian Jews in 1945; Christian Maronites in the Lebanese civil war of the 1970’s, Assyrian Chaldeans in ‘liberated Iraq’ and the Copts in Egypt in 2011. And now this in Samaria.
This may be too graphic, but here are pictures of the victims slaughtered in this Jihad in Itamar and Marcus’ report.
On Friday night at 10:30 pm the terrorists entered the house through the living room picture window. They did not notice the 6-year-old boy sleeping on the couch and continued on to the bedroom where they slashed the throats of the father and newborn baby who were sleeping there. The mother came out of the bathroom and was stabbed on its threshold. The evidence shows that she tried to fight the terrorists. They then slashed the throat of the 11-year old-son who was reading in bed. They did not notice the 2-year old asleep in his bed, but murdered the 3-year old with two stabs to his heart. After that, they locked the door, exited through the window and escaped.
The 12-year-old daughter returned home at 00:30 and found the door locked. She asked a neighbor, Rabbi Yaakov Cohen, of the Itamar Yeshiva, to help her. He brought a weapon with him once he noticed tracks and mud near the house. The two woke up the 6-year old sleeping in the living room by calling through the window and when he opened the door, the Rabbi returned to his home. When she entered the bedrooms, the young daughter saw the horrific blood-soaked scene and ran out of the house screaming. The neighbor ran back and fired several shots in the air to alert security personnel. Within a short time, large police and IDF forces arrived and began intensive searches to see if the terrorists were still in the community. At 03:30 a.m., military trackers discovered footprints leading to the Arab village of Avrata.
'Jihad Cosmo' combines beauty tips with suicide bombing advice
Al-Qaeda has launched a women's magazine that mixes beauty and fashion tips with advice on suicide bombings. Dubbed 'Jihad Cosmo', the glossy magazine's front cover features the barrel of a sub-machine gun next to a picture a woman in a veil. There are exclusive interviews with martyrs' wives, who praise their husbands' decisions to die in suicide attacks.
The slick, 31-page Al-Shamikha magazine - meaning The Majestic Woman - has advice for singletons on 'marrying a mujahideen'. Readers are told it is their duty to raise children to be mujahideen ready for jihad.
And the 'beauty column' instructs women to stay indoors with their faces covered to keep a 'clear complexion'. They should 'not go out except when necessary' and wear a niqab for 'rewards by complying with the command of Allah Almighty'.
another article urges readers to give their lives for the Islamist cause. It advises: 'From martyrdom, the believer will gain security, safety and happiness.
A trailer for the next issue promises tips on skin care - and how to wage electronic jihad.
The first issue's editorial explains that the magazine's goal is to educate women and involve them in the war against the enemies of Islam. 'The nation of Islam needs women who know the truth about their religion and about the battle and its dimensions and know what is expected of them.'
Ceremony naming square after 1978 bus hijacking, in which 35 Israelis were killed, was not attended by PA officials.
Palestinians from President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction named a town square on Sunday after the leader of a 1978 bus hijacking in which 35 Israelis were killed.
The ceremony, in Al-Bireh, a town near the Palestinian city of Ramallah, was held while Israelis mourned five members of a Jewish settler family knifed to death on Saturday in a West Bank settlement in an attack Israel blamed on Palestinians.
Many Palestinians see Dalal al-Mughrabi, a member of the then-underground Fatah movement, as a heroine for her role in hijacking the bus on Israel's Haifa-Tel Aviv highway.
Israelis consider Mughrabi, who was killed in the incident, a terrorist.
"We stand here in praise of our martyrs and in loyalty to all of the martyrs of the national movement," Fatah member Sabri Seidam said at the unveiling of a plaque showing Mughrabi cradling a rifle against a backdrop map of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The square was festooned with Palestinian flags.
Around a dozen people -- none of them Palestinian government officials -- attended the ceremony.
Ron Dermer, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the Palestinian Authority had "allowed a public square to be named after a mass murderer who perpetrated one of the worst terror attacks in Israel's history".
He said the Palestinian leadership must be held accountable by the international community "for its failure to stop the glorification of murderers and for its continued incitement towards hatred and violence against Jews and Israel".
Mughrabi and a group of gunmen landed by sea on a beach in northern Israel. They shot dead an American woman taking photos of wildlife and then hijacked the civilian bus and shot at cars.
The vehicle was brought to a halt at a police roadblock near Tel Aviv, where a gunfight ensued and explosives detonated. Thirty-five Israelis and 10 of the 12 hijackers were killed.
The square's inauguration had originally been scheduled to take place a year ago, coinciding with a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority cancelled that ceremony.
Why Should The Arab League's Calling For A No-Fly Zone "Increase Pressure On West"?
The following is a Washington Post article about that comic and sinister organization, the Arab League (with the sinister Amr Moussa, whose falling-out with Mubarak was based not on any distaste for the corrupt system in Egypt -- Amr Moussa is part of the Egyptian elite, which means he is in that system up to his neck, but rather on Amr Moussa wanting Egypt to be even more dismissive of its obligations under the Camp David Accords, and hostile to Israel, than it already was) and its vote for a "no-fly zone" which, the Washington Post editors appear to believe, "increases pressure on Washington."
But why? Why should "Washington" feel it must do, or should do, the bidding of the Arab League? Egypt, with its vast army, supplied with tens of billions of dollars worth of military supplies by the unsuspecting American taxpayer, is to Libya's immediate east. Egypt has planes and pilots, and has used them far afield before -- as Nasser did in Yemen, in the 1960s, and again in Nigeria, to kill tens of thousands of helpless Christian villagers, during the Biafra War. Surely, if the Arab League wishes to help establish a no-fly zone, or wishes to send aid to LIbyans opposed to Khaddafy (and not all of whom are splendid democrats or fighting, as so much of the Western press appears to believe, for "democracy" which is for so many Arab Muslims merely a word that they have picked up from the West, and which they use, but which they endow with a meaning quite different from that it possesses in the West. They don't care about legal equality for non-Muislims or non-Arabs; what they want is a redistribution of the nation's wealth, so that a family, or a tribe, or a group, can't hog it -- they want more of it themselves, and that is what they define as "justice"), it can funnel funds to Egypt, and encourage it to do what it, that Arab League, thinks must be done in Libya.
Why the hell should the American government feel that a vote by the Arab League increases pressure on it? Or more exactly, why should reporters and editors at the Washington Post choose a headline that suggests that that Arab League vote "increases pressure" on Washington.
It does nothing of the kind, at least if the American government keeps its head.
Oh, I almost forgot -- here's the WP article:
Arab League’s backing of no-fly zone over Libya increases pressure on West
CAIRO — The Arab League endorsed the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya on Saturday and recognized the fledgling rebel movement seeking to topple Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi as the country’s legitimate government, increasing pressure on Western powers to intervene in what increasingly resembles a civil war.
The move represents an extraordinary step by the leading Arab organization, historically reluctant to sanction a member, and provided fresh evidence of the reformist spirit recasting long-stagnating Arab politics. It was also a risky step for a number of Arab leaders facing domestic dissent of their own.
The vote significantly ratchets up pressure on the Obama administration [but why?] and its European allies to act on behalf of Libya’s rebels, who are under heavy assault from Gaddafi’s far better-armed forces. NATO has called Arab League support a precondition for military action in Libya, and the Saturday vote gave new momentum to proposals for a protective no-fly zone over the oil-rich country.
“The main priority right now is to stop the deadly situation,” said Amr Moussa, the Arab League’s secretary general, in announcing the decision after 51/2 hours of closed-door deliberations.
The Arab League acted on the eve of a potentially decisive week of international diplomacy surrounding events in Libya, and the White House welcomed the vote in a short statement.
“The international community is unified in sending a clear message that the violence in Libya must stop, and that the Gaddafi regime must be held accountable,” the statement said. “The United States will continue to advance our efforts to pressure Gaddafi, to support the Libyan opposition, and to prepare for all contingencies, in close coordination with our international partners.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton travels to the region Monday for meetings with representatives of the rebels’ provisional government, the National Transitional Council, based in the eastern city of Benghazi. NATO officials will meet midweek to consider a no-fly-zone proposal, as France and Britain draft a resolution authorizing the mission for possible U.N. Security Council review.
The Arab League vote called on the Security Council to approve the no-fly zone as quickly as possible. But the Obama administration, which is already fighting two wars in Muslim countries, faces a number of issues in Libya that complicate any military intervention.
The administration knows little about Libya’s rebels or what kind of government would replace Gaddafi’s erratic 41-year-long rule. It also has to contend with a de facto civil war on the ground that makes intervention more urgent and complex by the day.
Purpose still debated
Military analysts differ on whether a no-fly zone would significantly change the balance of power in Libya, now shifting swiftly toward Gaddafi’s forces. Much of the fighting is being done by ground forces, including tank-fired artillery, but the government has used air power to bomb rebel positions.
Adopting the recommendation of a no-fly zone, however, would probably send a message to Gaddafi and his inner circle, that the United States and its European allies intend to intensify pressure to achieve their declared goal of ousting the Libyan leader.
Conservatives and liberal interventionists are growing increasingly vocal about what they deem the need for a no-fly zone to ensure that Gaddafi does not remain in power. At a Friday news conference, Obama said that “we’re going to take a wide range of actions to try to bring about that outcome.”
“It is vital to everything that Obama is trying to achieve in the region that we be able to say when this is over that Gaddafi failed,” said Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, adding that the Arab League vote will make it easier for the administration to move ahead with a no-fly zone.
“Otherwise, the conclusion other authoritarian governments will draw is that [toppled Egyptian president] Hosni Mubarak made a mistake not massacring the protesters in Tahrir Square, and that Gaddafi’s survival strategy is the one to emulate,” Malinowski continued. “We need to be able to say that Gaddafi used violence and failed, and that others in the region, whether the king of Morocco or crown prince of Bahrain, accepted peaceful change and succeeded.”
Europe taking the lead
Obama has been willing to let European allies publicly lead the search for solutions in Libya, in part to allow regional bodies such as the Arab League more political room to move against Gaddafi.
Mindful of the low Arab public opinion of the United States, Obama and his advisers have concluded that Arab leaders would find it harder to support international sanctions or military operations against Libya if Washington was calling loudest for them.
European leaders, particularly French President Nicolas Sarkozy, have spoken far more boldly about military action in Libya than Obama, whom conservatives have accused of being absent at a time of historic change in the strategically important region.
Officials of Libya’s government-in-waiting welcomed the Arab League’s endorsement of a no-fly zone and said they hoped the United States and other Western powers would follow suit.
“We hope the Europeans will deliver now. This changes things a lot,” said Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the National Transitional Council. “We hope it will change the American position, but most of all the European position.”
Abdul Hafidh Ghoga, the council’s vice chairman, said that if a no-fly zone is imposed, the rebels will “prevail” over Gaddafi’s forces. But he warned that if Western powers do not take military action, the rebels are prepared to buy weapons from other countries to protect the revolution.
“If the international community chooses to play the role of bystander, with Libyan cities being destroyed and Libyan people being killed, then we will have to defend ourselves on our own,” Ghoga said. “If no steps are taken, we have to take the decision to arm ourselves as best as we can.”
In announcing the Arab League’s decision, Moussa described the no fly-zone as a “preventive measure” whose chief goal is to “protect Libyan citizens.”
The vote was taken by the foreign ministers of 21 Arab nations. Representatives of Gaddafi’s government, which the league suspended as a member this month, were not invited.
Addressing a packed news conference, Moussa said the Arab League would begin working at once with the Libyan provisional government. He referred to a section of the statement, issued after the vote, that condemned “the fatal violations and serious crimes at the hands of Libyan authorities” in declaring Gaddafi’s regime illegitimate.
But Moussa, who is seeking to replace Mubarak in future elections, avoided describing the no-fly zone in military terms. He called the vote an endorsement of a “humanitarian action.”
With popular revolutions and anti-government demonstrations underway from the Persian Gulf to Morocco, the vote amounted to a risky, potentially precedent-setting move by the aging monarchies and brittle autocracies that have run the region for years.
The Arab government of Sudan, for example, has carried out a brutal campaign against Africans in the western Darfur region, and anti-genocide groups have for years called for a no-fly zone to protect them.[but NOT the Arab League, that was and remains a stout backer of the Sudanese government, in its mass-murdering of non-Muslims in the southern Sudan, and non-Arab Muslims in Darfur] Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen and other member countries are confronting varying degrees of unrest.
Outside the league’s headquarters on Tahrir Square, Egyptians and Libyans waved signs describing Gaddafi as a genocidal butcher and displayed photographs of dead Libyans.
But they also expressed wariness over the potential for Western military involvement in the conflict, highlighting the diplomatic balancing act the Obama administration and its allies are attempting to strike.
“We are not calling for American intervention,” said Omar Mohamed, a 21-year-old student. “But they should give weapons to the rebel fighters.”
Appalling as it is, in the Islamic worldview, this cold blooded murder of sleeping children a "victory" in the battle between Dar al Islam and the Dar al Harb and the perpetrators are heroes. Ynet:
Gaza residents from the southern city of Rafah hit the streets Saturday to celebrate the terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Itamar where five family members were murdered in their sleep, including three children.
Residents handed out candy and sweets, one resident saying the joy "is a natural response to the harm settlers inflict on the Palestinian residents in the West Bank."
What's To Come In Libya Is Still Unsure -- But It's Always Fun To Guess
All the best Libyans hate Qaddafy -- but so do all of the worst ones. And it was the same with Mubarak. But how many of those best LIbyans and best Egyptians are there, how many who truly understand what democracy, as it is practiced in the West, is all about? And how many are willing to analyze what it is in the texts, tenets, attitudes, and atmospherics of Islam that make the adoption any time soon of Western, Infidel-style democracy almost impossible? Despite the hysterical enthusiasm -in the Western press for the unrepresentative handful of tweeting youth who, according to TIME Magazine (see the Feb. 21 cover) not only represent the hope of Egypt, and not even its future, but are practically in power right now, the attacks on Copts, in which the Egyptian army participated, and attacks on the women who showed up in Tahrir Square under the misapprehension that Egypt had indeed changed utterly (it hardly changed at all, as will become clear even to the fareed-zakarias and nicholas-kristofs of this world, for even if Mubarak left, the stratokleptocratic system remains, and is aided by the tangible American support for the Egyptian army, which allows it to continue to maintain its baleful political and economic role).
What happens now? Well, if the Americans do nothing, and if the Italians, who rely so heavily on LIbyan sweet crude, answer the Libyan Oil Minister's call to help put out fires at oil facilities, Qaddafy will stay in power. But he has been so wounded, and will continue to be wounded, that he will no longer be a threat outside of Libya. And, given his age, and his image, it is likely that one of his sons may assume power sooner than one might have expected. If it turns out to be not Khamis but, rather, his son Saif, the most articulate and worldly of his sons, the outcome may not be so bad for the West. A little more freedom, a lot less craziness, and little by little a semblance of demihemisemi decency, about what one can expect from any Arab Muislim regime, might be established.
And given the likelihood of permanent guerrilla warfare from whatever rump territory remains with rebels in the East, the Qaddafy regime, whether ruled by father or a son, will have its hands full. There will no longer be any of this "King of Africa" stuff, and no more LIbyan money given to pay for mosques in such places as Togo, nor propping up, through infusions of cash, of Robert Mugabe. Chavez, in Venezuela, already damaged by his association with Qaddafy, may be chary of continuing to support the regime -- and the regime may be wary of continuing to be friendly to him. The country might, that is, become a lonely planet unto itself, like Burma under its present army rule, or Albania under Enver Hoxha.
And if the sons of Qaddafy are as contemptuous of "the Arabs" as Qaddafy was, that too may ultimately help the West.
When the conditions have been created for disarray, division, demoralization, within the Camp of Islam, for any non-Muslim government to do what it can to create "stabilty," much less "unity" (in such tribal societies as Libya or Afghanistan). Mardi Gras was last Tuesday. For the most unsettled Muslim lands, in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, stay far away and let the bad times roll.
Violence in Bahrain, Yemen; Oman's ruler cedes some power
Protesters, police clash in Bahrain as hundreds of demonstrators block a main road in the capital. Yemeni security forces attack a huge sit-in; live ammunition is fired. Oman's sultan grants limited power to the state council.
By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
March 13, 2011
Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of anti-government demonstrators blocking access to the financial district of Bahrain's capital on Sunday, as sectarian tension escalated in this tiny island kingdom.
The clashes began early Sunday morning after protesters set up barricades across a main road into downtown Manama and turned away cars headed for work. Dozens of policemen in riot gear forced the demonstrators back in a series of clashes over two hours, witnesses said.
Elsewhere in the region, confrontations between protesters and security forces continued in Yemen, and Oman's ruler responded to demonstrators by giving some governing power to officials outside the royal family for the first time.
The decision in Bahrain by several hundred demonstrators to block the road appeared to be an effort by some members of the opposition to broaden the protests and escalate the pressure on the government. But there were also signs of growing sectarian strains, as a group of Shiite Muslim protesters clashed with Sunnis armed with sticks at Bahrain University, witnesses said.
The Persian Gulf kingdom, home to the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, has seen weeks of demonstrations led by Shiites, who make up a majority of the population but say they are discriminated against by the Sunni royal family.
Despite the growing tensions, the protest movement in Bahrain remains deeply split and, so far, unwilling to take up the government's offer for talks to resolve their grievances.
The confrontations Sunday were among the most violent since the military killed seven protesters on Feb. 17. They followed similar clashes Friday when security forces fired what protestors said were rubber bullets, and pro-government gangs armed with sticks beat back several hundred protestors near the royal palace.
When word of Sunday's confrontation near the financial district spread, dozens more young men joined the barricades and fought a running battle with police, witnesses said, before falling back to Pearl roundabout, the traffic circle occupied by protesters last month.
"We made a human wall, and they attacked us," said Jafar Mosaed, who said he was heading to his job at American Express before parking his car and joining the protests. "We retreated, and they attacked us again."
There were reports of dozens of injuries among protesters, as well as injuries to police. A policeman was stabbed by a protester, the government said. Demonstrators displayed hundreds of canisters of tear gas that they said had been fired Sunday.
Several protestors warned that the government was deliberately fomenting sectarian tensions, in part to stoke fear that Shiite-dominated Iran would benefit if demands for greater political power by the protesters in Bahrain were met.
The new clashes came a day after Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met with the king, Hamed ibn Isa Khalifa, and urged the government to undertake reforms to prevent Iran from exploiting the unrest. Gates is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Bahrain since the protests began.
Gates said there was no evidence Iran had been involved in starting the protests but that the longer they went on, the more Tehran could benefit.
In Yemen, government forces launched an unsuccessful attempt to shrink a huge sit-in near Sana University among people calling for the immediate ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The security forces launched a tear-gas attack in the afternoon and were joined by men in plain clothes who shot at the protesters with live ammunition from the ground and rooftops. The government disavowed any affiliation with the thugs, but the security forces appeared to be offering them cover.
Ten people were injured by the bullets, and hundreds more sought medical attention after experiencing the tear gas.
In Oman, Sultan Kaboos ibn Said granted legislative and auditing power to the state council, a body that previously served just an advisory role, the state news agency reported.
The new power for the council, which includes elected and appointed members, was the sultan's latest maneuver as he attempted to deal with the most serious civil unrest seen since he took power from his father in 1970.
The worthy and fitting appointment of Maj. Gen. (res. ) Yaakov Amidror to head the National Security Council threw Israel's radical left into a tizzy.The completely disproportionate assault on Amidror by members of this camp crossed every red line, proving that the extreme left is no less delusional and dangerous than the extreme right.
A group of public figures, "artists and authors," wrote an open letter which, according to press reports, described Amidror as a 1930s-style fascist and said the appointment has "a black flag waving over it." We're certainly used to the style of the radical left, which labels as fascist anyone who actively disputes its positions or acts in a manner not deemed appropriate. But taking an expression coined by an Israeli court to describe the killing of innocent Arab men, women and children in the Kafr Qassem massacre, and using it to describe the appointment of a major general in the reserves, is stooping to the lowest possible level. It is nonsense and mean-spiritedness that should be condemned in every possible way.
Amidror was a major general in the IDF, who served impeccably for decades in a variety of roles, mostly in intelligence. Since retiring from the military, he has successfully run an important academic institution. He is known as someone who stands his professional ground and is not afraid to express his professional opinion, sometimes in strong terms; yet he was always also a disciplined soldier.
Amidror has strong political views, which he has expressed on many occasions. His positions are popular with large parts of the Israeli public and are deemed unacceptable by other parts; some of his positions are also completely unacceptable to this writer. But does that disqualify him from serving as a head of the National Security Council? A key condition for any such appointment is whether the candidate is trusted by the prime minister and has similar political views.
One argument against Amidror is that he, together with half the nation, opposed the disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Yet for some reason, people forget that on the same grounds, he was just as fervently opposed to conscientious objection. Amidror was one of the prominent voices in the religious Zionist camp who utterly and completely ruled out and rules out any refusal to obey orders as well as conscientious objection. It is said that during Operation Cast Lead, Amidror called for a renewed conquest of Gaza and for toppling the Hamas regime. Today we know that then prime minister Ehud Olmert was of the same mind. Does that also make him a 1930s-style fascist?
The greatest hypocrisy of it all is the nitpicking that came following his remark - made during an academic discussion, when he did not serve in any official role - that a bullet should be put through the head of any soldier afraid to charge the enemy. This may not be the brightest remark, but any reasonable person knows that it was not meant to express a practical intent, but rather, a deep disgust with the ideology of cowardliness and hesitance in combat. It was David Ben-Gurion who established, as early as 1948, that any soldier in the IDF must commit himself to "give all my strength and even sacrifice my life for defense of the homeland and the freedom of Israel."
The prime minister has the right to appoint to the head of the National Security Council the person he sees most fit. Amidror is deserving and worthy of the role.
What King Hamad Of Bahrain Can't Explain To Robert Gates
Robert Gates has told King Hamad of Bahrain that he must listen more, and be willing to yield more, to the demonstrators, almost all of them Shi'a, in his tiny island-cum-causeway kingdom.
But it is just possible that King Hamad, and his Sunni subjects, who make up about 30% of the Bahraini population (with many more Sunnis represented among the expatriates), know something about their own society than Robert Gates does, but that they cannot explain fully to him?
For what they know has to do with Islam, and its effect on its adherents, whether Sunni or Shi'a. They know that in socieites suffused with Islam, he who offers to compromise is not regarded with admiration, and certainly does not find his offer to share or surrender power taken as a splendid thing deserving of a similar willingness to compromise from the other side. Rather, he is seen as exhibiting weakness, a weakness that has resulted in an offer to an enemy that that enemy should pocket, all the while determinedly pressing, in every conceivable way, the advantage, so as to wijn more and more and more.
Just as those currently in power in the Western world are insufficiently aware that the principle of Pacta Sunt Servanda (Treaties Are To Be Obeyed) applies in the non-Muslim world, but is not accepted in the Muslim world (where the model for treaty-making is the agreement made by Muhammad with the Meccans at Hudaibiyyah in 628 A.D., an agreement that he broke as soon as he felt strong enough to do so, which was within 18 months of the agreement being made, though it was supposed to last ten years), so they blandly assume that compromise as a political principle is universally accepted, and that offers will be reciprocated. But the Muslim attitude toward compromise is like that exhibited by Hitler, during the Munich Crisis, or Stalin. Concessions that are made by enemies are not to be reciprocated but understood as signs of weakness that must be taken advantage of -- until the ultimate goal, which is that of a monopoly of power, is achieved.
Now King Hamad cannot explain this to Robert Gates. He cannot say: "You don't understand. If we make concessions, we will be asked for more, and more, and more, until we are out, and the Shi'a in Bahrain rule over the Sunnis. And that will also embodlen the Shi'a in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, which is why the Saudis will back us to the hilt if we start to get tough with the local Shi'a. And that might include, if it comes to it, expelling many or all of the Shi'a in this country, and replacing them with Sunnis from Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan. We could do it, and if we feel we must to preserve Sunni power, we will.
Oh, he can't say that to Robert Gates. And he certainly can't explain to Gates, is probably incapable of fully recognizing himself, the effect of Islam on Muslims. No Muslim ruler is going to explain to the American Secretary of Defense that the Qur'an and Sunnah are filled with violence, aggression, refusal to compromiseon the part of Muhammad, the Perfect Man, who also counselled that in cases where his followers were weak, they could seem to yield, for "war is deceit" and patience might be recquired.
How The Left Robbed Us Blind And How Today The E.U. Colludes With The Robbers
I have written before at this site, and I’ll write it here again, that I believe that in any other free society but the UK those who held office in the last government would now be arraigned on charges of malfeasance whilst in public office and would be facing hefty gaol sentences. Regrettably, we in the UK have no laws which can be used against those holders of public offices who deliberately, and by design, fail to do their jobs in order to further their own, usually hidden from the public, political agendas.
One such person who, in my opinion, should now be in gaol is the former Work and Pensions Secretary, Yvette Cooper. She knowingly and deliberately, some would say wilfully, allowed a situation in which well over one hundred and fifty thousand people every year for many years claimed state benefits to which they were not entitled. The cost runs into tens of millions of pounds – if not hundreds of millions.
Tens of thousands of workers with no right to be in Britain have been claiming benefits thanks to an extraordinary loophole in the law. Ministers have discovered that Labour allowed 155,000 illegal immigrants to qualify for sickness benefits and maternity pay. Government sources put the cost to the public purse at ‘tens of millions of pounds’. They say the shambles is a damning indictment of how Labour lost control of both the benefits and immigration systems with taxpayers left to foot the bill.
It’s worse, however, than that bald paragraph states because it is impossible for Yvette Cooper and her predecessors not to have known about this situation. Her entire Department knew about it for years – and about much, much more that has yet to emerge – and must have informed its Minister on more than one occasion as that is the protocol.
...someone could be illegally in the UK and able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), paid to those too sick to work, as well as statutory payments such as maternity or paternity pay and sick pay.
That is not the kind of situation that the professional administrators in the Department of Work and Pensions would have remained unaware of for very long and it beggars belief that they would have neglected to tell their Minister. However, and quite incredibly, the local offices of the Department where potential claimants would have registered failed to ask for any proofs of identity and entitlement because, under current guidelines approved by the Minister, they are not allowed to.
A Whitehall source said: ‘It cannot be right that people who aren’t eligible to work here can get benefits that are a substitute for earnings. ‘This is a classic example of where the welfare system has been allowed to get completely out of control. It is difficult to track because these are illegal workers, but the cost is likely to be in the tens of millions.
The current Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will outlaw the practice in welfare reform legislation expected to be unveiled this spring.
However, the European Commission has warned ministers that the rules may infringe the human rights of EU citizens and are ‘not compatible’ with EU law. It has started legal proceedings against Britain to have restrictions on welfare claims by incomers scrapped.
Of course we know why Labour Party former Work and Pensions Secretaries did nothing about this situation – it’s because the left wing Labour Party deliberately set out to encourage as much immigration as it possibly could in order to wreck as much of Britain and its culture and the way of life of its indigenous peoples as it possibly could, for our British socialists actually hate Britain (and here, and here, and here) and its attempts to be a free, meritocratic and capitalist society with a carefully administered social safety net.
British socialist have colluded with every vile manifestation of the E.U. and many of them, particularly Neil Kinnock, have practically hijacked the Brussels’ gravy train and disgraced themselves by their own cupidity and arrogance.
Mostly, however, British socialists are fundamentally divorced from reality. Even today in Parliament they can only just bring themselves to talk about the deficit (which they created), that is to say they can only talk about the difference between the tax take and government expenditure which is approximately £160 billion (US$220 billion) every year, and not about the National Debt which they allowed to spiral out of control to nearly 74% of GDP by running government at a deficit year in year out despite being warned that doing so was probably illegal and most certainly morally wrong.
The socialist approach to government finances since 1997 means that Britain’s National Debt now stands at nearly £1.4 trillion (just under US$2 trillion) and is growing at an unsustainable and alarming rate thanks to the operating deficit left to us by the last socialist government. Remember as you read these figures that Britain’s economy and population is one fifth those of the USA. That means that every man, woman and child in Britain owes about £40,000 (US$65,000) – or, to put it another way, every working person owes just over double that!
Interest on the British National Debt will be almost £60 billion (US$105 billion) this year which equates to just over £2,000 (US$3,200) per household. All the figures in this article are from the UK Office for National Statistics and are probably several months out of date already.
The staggering thing about all this socialist profligacy is that it is EU wide – there is scarcely a country in the Union the finances of which are not saddled with unrealistically high levels of national debt, falling tax revenues and budgets committed to ever increasing deficits. There isn’t one single country in the Union that has managed to bring immigration under control neither has any country in the Union managed to bring its spending on its social safety net under control.
Can it get any worse? Yes, of course it can. Just consider this: the European Central Bank (the financial organisation in charge of the Euro and charged with bailing out countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland is itself actually in debt to the tune of US$1.5 trillion and, by its own admission, it doesn’t know how or when it is going to be able to pay any of it back. The Bank is relying on some magical future economic upturn so that it can dun its clients and pay its creditors. Just recently the Bank doubled its capital base by borrowing 10.8 billion Euros (US$14.6 billion) from the 16 Central Banks in the Eurozone!
No matter how one looks at the figures the kindest thing one can say about this ludicrous and socialist inspired way of doing business is that it is fantasy finance carried out with magical money. There is no attempt to grow economies and the tax base and no attempt to encourage growth by strategically lowering taxes in the right areas – the fell and dread hand of socialist sorcery lies heavy on Europe.
In Britain we recently elected a government of a different hue – a slightly right of centre Conservative government which had to reach a coalition agreement with a rabidly left wing minority party – the Liberal Democrats (neither liberal nor democrats but everything has to be called something in politics). The LibDems, as they are called, turned out to be as shocked at the state of the nations finances as the incoming Conservatives and have been, because of that, fairly reasonable coalition partners. It goes without saying that the socialists still just cannot see what they have done wrong and they, as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, are busy being anything but loyal and are stirring up unrest in the country by maintaining that things are not as bad as they seem and that the Government’s emergency austerity programmes aren’t needed.
Some of us, however, are desperately worried because we remember 1976 – the year that Britain went bankrupt (under a socialist government, needless to say) with well under, very well under, one third of the current level of debt in real terms and with a larger tax base and a smaller government share of economic activity!
And we hadn’t let in over a million potential terrorists and child abusers to worry about back then. Nor were we having to finance illegal foreign benefit scroungers at the jackbooted behest of unelected officials in Brussels together with the so-called judges with no legal training or experience who run the European Courts.