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

These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 16, 2009.
Monday, 16 November 2009
Grave of Neda Soltan desecrated by supporters of Iranian regime

From The Times
Supporters of Iran’s regime have desecrated the grave of Neda Soltan, the student who became a symbol of the opposition after she was shot dead during an anti-goverment demonstration on June 20.
The incident was confirmed by Ms Soltan’s fiancé, Caspian Makan, who fled from Iran after being released on bail following 65 days in prison. A recording of Ms Soltan’s mother weeping and cursing those responsible has been posted on the internet.
Mr Makan, 38, also disclosed that the regime tried to force him and Ms Soltan’s parents to say that she was killed by the opposition, not by a government militiaman on a motorbike as eyewitnesses have claimed. A documentary to be shown on BBC Two next week contains an unseen clip of demonstrators catching the militiaman seconds after the shooting.
On the internet recording Hajar Rostami, Ms Soltan’s mother, weeps over her daughter’s grave and wails: “Woe on me! Where’s my child’s tombstone? . . . My child has no gravestone . . . You bastards! Why don’t you leave my child alone?”
On November 4 Ms Soltan’s parents were attacked and detained when they joined a protest in Iran. One source told The Times that members of the security forces taunted them, saying that they could meet the same fate as their daughter.
Officials had been pressurising Ms Soltan’s parents to say that their daughter was shot not by a government militiaman — a basij — but by enemies of Iran seeking to embarrass the regime. They were told that if they did so she would be declared a martyr and they would receive a pension.
In October Ms Soltan’s mother said: “Neda died for her country, not so that I could get a monthly income from the Martyr Foundation. If these officials say Neda was a martyr, why do they keep wiping off the word ‘martyr’ in red which people write on her gravestone? . . . Even if they give the world to me I will never accept the offer.”
Arash Hejazi, the doctor who tried to save Ms Soltan’s life and who now lives in exile in Oxford, told The Times: “The beating and arrest of Neda’s parents, the shattering of her tombstone, and the torturing and imprisonment of her boyfriend only shows how far this government is ready to go.”

Posted on 11/16/2009 6:57 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 16 November 2009
German apostate

Born in Germany to Turkish parents, Betuel rejected Islam at nineteen, having had doubts for some time. Being those few years older than Rifqa Bary makes her safer, but no apostate is ever completely safe. Here (h/t Gates of Vienna) she tells her story. I like the translation - by not sticking to the letter of the German, it better conveys the spirit:

Posted on 11/16/2009 8:54 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 16 November 2009
Rubin: Why I Murdered 13 American Soldiers at Fort Hood: Nidal Hassan Explains It All to You

Professor Barry Rubin  of the GLORIA Center in Israel posted on his blog Rubin Reports this exposition of Major Hasan's lecture at Walter Reed Hospital explaining why as a devout Muslim he was compelled to commit Jihad. It was a foretelling that Hasan was going to launch a terrorist attack when he delivered the Power Point lecture, "The Koranic World View as it Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military"  in 2007.

We had posted comments by Forensic Psychiatist Dr. Michael Welner about his evaluation of mass shooter Maj. Hasan as acting in a deliberate, pemeditated,  linear, logical manner fueled by ideology. Mark Durie, author of the "Third Choice, Islam Dhimmitude and Freedom," had offerred his views on the Jihad Lectues of Major Hasan. 

Hasan was a professed lone wolf Jihadi.

The Muslim advocacy groups, CAIR and MPAC, as well as the mainsteam media have promoted the diversion that Hasan was deranged, not reflective of the peaceful pofession of faith of Muslim brothers in the umma. So much for taqiyya. Hasan basically has proved that wrong with the Walter Reed lecture.

The content coroborates in our view, the Islamic War threat doctrine lectures of the lone Pentagon expert in that threat assessment, Stephen Coughlin. 

The 'lecture' by Hasan allegedly aroused his colleagues' concerns, but apparently his superiors feared the repercussions of referring the matter of his  Islamic Jihad views  for investigation. At the time in 2007, Walter Reed was going through criticism of the conditions of the facilities and programs for the treatment and convalescence of returning soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.  So perhaps the Hasan Jihad lecture was viewed as not of importance to the embattled command structure at Walter Reed.

Certainly, the revelations about Hasan's email exchanges with al Qaeda recruiter, American born Yemeni radical Imam, Anwar Awlaki didn't raise questions in the mind of the counter terrorism analyst who reviewed them. That person thought Major Hasan was simply engaged in "research."  Now, we find perplexing that according to statements from Texas Congessman, Michael McCaul, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, that Hasan had transferred funds to Pakistan, perhaps 'zakat' for the Taliban and, who knows, al Qaeda.  Thus the starting point of Major Hasan's terrorist track is his 2007 lecture at Walter Reed 

That is why Rubin's analysis is of interest.

We have previously reviewed Rubin's important book on the Assad regime in Damascus, The Truth About Syria. 






By Barry Rubin


November 14, 2009

How do we know that the attack at Fort Hood was an act of Islamist terrorism? Simple, Major Nidal Hassan told us so. You’ve seen reports of a long list of things he did and said along these lines. But what’s most amazing of all is this: Hassan is the first terrorist in history to give an academic lecture explaining why he was about to attack. Yet that still isn’t enough for too many people—including the president of the United States --to understand that the murderous assault at Fort Hood was a Jihad attack.

It was reported that the audience was shocked and frightened by his lecture. He was supposed to speak on some medical topic yet instead talked on the topic: “The Koranic World View as it Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military.” All you have to do is look at

explaining why he was about to attack. Yet that still isn’t enough for too many people—including the president of the United States --to understand that the murderous assault at Fort Hood was a Jihad attack.

the 50 Power Point slides

and they tell you everything you need to know.

It is quite a good talk. He’s logical and presents his evidence. This is clearly not the work of a mad man or a fool, though there’s still a note of ambiguity in it. He's still working out what to do in his own mind and is trying to figure out if he has a way out other than in effect deserting the U.S. army and becoming a Jihad warrior. Ultimately, he concluded that he could not be a proper Muslim without killing American soldiers. Obviously, other Muslims could reach different conclusions but Hassan strongly grounds himself in Islamic texts.

In a sense, Hassan's lecture was a cry for help: Can anyone show me another way out? Can anyone refute my interpretation of Islam? One Muslim in the audience reportedly tried to do so. But unless these issues are openly discussed and debated--rather than swept under the rug--more people will die.

In fact, I’d recommend that teachers use this lecture in teaching classes on both Islam and Islamist politics. .

Follow along with me and you’ll understand everything.

Hassan deals with three topics: What Islam teaches Muslims, how Muslims view the wars in Afghanistan and Iran , how this might affect Muslims in the U.S. military. [Slide 2] Hassan defines Jihad, showing how silly are the claims that it only means a personal struggle to behave better. It also signifies holy war, of course. [Slide 5].

Now here’s Hassan’s central theme. Muslims cannot fight in an infidel army against other Muslims. And Hassan himself says that it’s getting hard for Muslims in the U.S. military to justify doing so. [Slide 11] Obviously, Hassan was deciding that he couldn’t do so.

He then quotes the Koran extensively to prove the point. Allah will punish anyone who kills a Muslim [Slide 12]. Hassan then gives four examples of Muslim soldiers who broke under the strain. One who killed fellow American soldiers (which Hassan would himself do), one accused of espionage (but was acquitted), one who deserted, and one who refused deployment to Iraq . [Slide 13]

Quoting the Koran, Hassan next provides a number of quotations to show that the believer must obey Allah. If they do, they will enjoy great delights (though he left out the 72 virgins, there’s one quote hinting at pederasty), and if they don’t they will suffer torments of Hell.

Finally, he gets into the heavy stuff. Hassan introduces the concept of “defensive Jihad” which is a core element in radical Islamist thinking and has especially been promoted by Usama bin Ladin and al-Qaida. [Slides 37-39]. If others attack and oppress Muslims, then it is the duty of all Muslims to fight them. September 11 was justified by its perpetrators by saying that the United States had attacked Muslims and therefore it was mandatory to kill Americans in return.

And here is the crux of the matter: Verse 60:08, “Allah forbids you…from dealing kindly and justly” with those who fight Muslims.” [Slide 40]

If Nidal Hassan believed this and would follow it, he must—to be a proper Muslim in his eyes—pick up a gun and join the Jihad, Muslim side. He was not shooting Americans because he caught battle fatigue from American soldiers he treated. Think about it. To have done so, Hassan would have had to sympathize with them, thinking about what it would be like for him if he’d been fighting…Muslims in Iraq or Afghanistan . But that was precisely his problem. He sympathized with the other side.

Being ordered to ship out to one of these countries, Hassan now had to decide: which side are you on? Would he choose the side of Allah and the Muslims, to be rewarded in Heaven? Or would he join with the infidels, to be punished with Hell and to betray his religion? He made his decision.

It is interesting that no Muslim debate has developed over a very simple issue: What if two groups of Muslims are fighting, cannot one side with one group, even if it has non-Muslim allies? After all, Americans are not going to Iraq or Afghanistan simply to “kill Muslims” but to defend Muslims from being killed. The Saudis, Kuwaitis, and Egyptians had no problem with using Western troops to save them from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1991, for example. The Iraqi and Afghan governments, made up of pious Muslims, do the same thing.

Arab nationalists who are Muslims can take this position more easily. But for Islamists the problem is not some abstraction but knowledge that they are fighting a battle to seize control of all Muslim-majority states and indeed perhaps of the entire world. The true problem, then, is not that some Muslims help infidels kill Muslims, but that some Muslims help infidels kill Islamists. But Hassan never considered this point, which could be quite persuasive to other Muslims in Western militaries.

So, in his thinking, how might Hassan have escaped from that stark choice? Hassan answers that question. Quoting the Koran, he indicated that if the Americans ended the wars, then that would be okay and no killing would be necessary. [Slide 42]

Another alternative is if the Americans accepted Islam or agreed to become subservient to Muslim rulers (dhimmis) and paid a special tax [Slide 43-44].

The third alternative would be if the Muslim Messiah came, destroyed Christianity as a false religion and set off the post-history utopia. [Slide 45]. He didn’t mention another part of this description, which was the murder of all Jews.

A digression is appropriate here. Hassan, although a Palestinian, has never been quoted as attacking Israel or the Jews. This is one more reminder that this struggle isn’t all just about Israel . But it also tells something important about Hassan which also applies to many Muslim radicals in Europe . Hassan is an American. As such he has no other nationality, neither Palestinian nor Arab. He doesn’t support Hamas or Fatah. But he has a religion that directs his thinking. That’s why he is an Islamist and why he supports a generalized Islamist revolutionary movement, al-Qaida.

As one moderate Muslim from Canada pointed out, the clothes he wore the day before committing his Jihad attack was not (as some sources put it in a silly manner) some martyr or even Arab garb but the clothing of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is an al-Qaida Jihadi, having changed sides in the War on Terror.

Hassan was no fool or blind fanatic. Indeed, he presents a sophisticated view. For example, he quotes contradictory Quranic verses, one suggesting that all religions can enter Heaven; another that all non-Muslims will go to Hell [Slide 47].

His conclusion takes on tremendous significance in light of what would happen at Fort Hood . He writes:

“If Muslim groups can convince Muslims that they are fighting for God against injustices of the `infidels’; i.e., the enemies of Islam, then Muslims can become a potent adversary ie: suicide bombing, etc.” And of course, these groups did so convince Hassan. [Slide 48]

Why? Hassan tells us: “God expects full loyalty. Promises heaven and threatens with Hell. Muslims may seem moderate (compromising) but God is not.” [Slide 49]

And at the very end, he proposes what might have been his own escape route: "Recommendation: Department of Defense should allow Muslim soldiers the option of being released as `Conscientious objectors’ to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events.” [Slide 50]

If that had existed for Hassan, I think, he would not have killed people. This proposal is worth debating, though it has negative implications too, of course. But then he had other options. He could have resigned his commission, deserted, or refused deployment as a conscientious objector and gone to prison. In fact, Hassan himself cited individuals who had done the last two.

Consequently, Hassan's lecture also tells us why Muslims can choose not to be Jihadists, though this requires ignoring or rationalizing clear, religiously binding commandments in their religion or by being basically secular people of Muslim background. This is the kind of solution found in Christianity and Judaism, of course.

Hassan was too pious and consistent to take this way out. The answer to his personal behavior must be found in a mix of psychological factors and political-religious beliefs. The fact  is, however, that he clearly did see himself as a Jihad warrior in the end. The existence of psycological factors in no way negates the importance of religious considerations.

All terrorists have some psychological forces working to make them follow such a path. Yet if not for ideological--and in the case of Islamists, religious--beliefs they never would have become terrorists. In contrast, criminals have psychological factors plus material goals, while mentally ill people who commit crimes are compelled by purely psychogical factors. Hassan does not fit either of those two categories.

Equally, his action cannot be attributed to a "misreading" or "heretical" interpretation of Islam. To read this lecture is to understand how carefully and self-critically he approached the issues. Anything so obviously false or deviant from mainstream Islam would simply not appeal to so many Muslims. Hassan was looking for a way out in the texts and listed the "loopholes" he did find: either the United States must not fight anyone who was a Muslim or it must let him out of the military.

What Hassan neglected was an explanation that lay outside what his strict reading of the Muslim texts would allow him to say: the United States must fight, in general, because the Islamists have been the aggressors. And the United States is actually fighting as allies with one group of (more moderate) Muslims against another (of radical Islamists). Yet the texts always deal with the Muslim community as a united whole (the umma), an interpretation that just doesn't correspond with reality. Indeed and ironically, this view enables Islamists to themselves kill thousands of Muslims all over the world! 

The fact that Hassan’s lecture has not been the centerpiece of the whole post-massacre debate is a true example of how impoverished are the “experts,” journalists, and politicians at dealing with these issues. Of course, without exploring the Islamic factor, they're wasting everyone's time. They're also going to be wasting quite a few lives.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.



Hassan is the first terrorist in history to give an academic lecture

Posted on 11/16/2009 7:25 AM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 16 November 2009
In Memoriam: Edward Woodward

So farewell, then
Edward Woodward
The man with three
Wooden ‘eads
Edward Woodward would
Was my catchphrase
Now you wouldn’t

© E. J. Throbb, aged 17¾

Posted on 11/16/2009 9:07 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 16 November 2009
De haut en bas

Lawrence Auster squeals that this is "the deliberate abasement of the United States by its president".

Whatever Obama's intentions, the disparity in height makes it rather the opposite.  Were he standing upright, it would be Japanese meets Obamanese.

Posted on 11/16/2009 10:36 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 16 November 2009
Five arrested in Manchester anti-terrorism raid

From The Telegraph
Five men have been arrested in the north west under the Terrorism Act

Officers from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit arrested the five men at addresses in the north west in a co-ordinated operation starting at 4am, Greater Manchester Police said.
The addresses searched were in Stockport Road, Levenshulme; Victoria Road, Longsight; Bowdon Avenue, Fallowfield, and Willows Lane, Deane, Bolton.

The spokesman said: "People living in nearby communities will see a high profile police presence during the day and will be able to discuss issues with local officers"
I wonder what community that could be? And what 'issues' they might have?
Police sources said there was no imminent terrorist danger to the Greater Manchester area and the arrests were related to an alleged overseas threat.

Posted on 11/16/2009 4:36 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 16 November 2009
A Musical Interlude: Everything's Changed But You (Teddy Joyce's Band)

Listen here.

Posted on 11/16/2009 9:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 16 November 2009
A head start

What do you call a man with a wooden head?
What do you call a man with 3 wooden heads?
Edward Woodward
What would you call a man with 4 wooden heads?
I don't know either, but Edward Woodward would
Would you happen to know anyone with 5 wooden heads?
I dunno, but Edward Woodward would wouldn't he!

Posted on 11/16/2009 9:58 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 16 November 2009
Local Man Claims Responsibility For Own Problems

From the People's Cube:

In an odd exposé that has left the worlds of politics and academia abuzz, a local homeless person revealed yesterday that he only blamed himself for his failures. The incident occurred near the dumpster behind the Shop Rite store in Brooklyn, when Willard Kookish, formerly of 435 Subprime Lane in Nutly, NJ, casually told a reporter that "my problems are my own fault." The veteran New York Times reporter Ken McLiar, who has been searching area dumpsters for a 3,785-part series on people who are homeless due to the evils of American capitalism, admits he was astonished by Mr. Kookish's bizarre confession. When asked to elaborate, Mr. Kookish went on to say, "I went through college drinking and smoking dope and never learned anything. I've had many job opportunities but didn't bother to show up. My family left me a nice house to live in but I took out home equity loans on it and spent the money on hookers and gambling. When the housing boom collapsed I lost everything. I made bad decisions and here I am bearing the consequences."

The startling revelation has left many in the community troubled by what it may portend for society at large...

Experts, on whom the incompetent depend to explain the complicated world they fail to understand, are unanimous. "It's Reagan's fault," says Professor Wilton Chumpley, a consulting sociologist from the University of Twerp in Belgium. "Remember how in the 1980s that actor-president mislead people into thinking they could spend their own money and run their own lives without expert help? And then you had that crackpot economist Milton Friedman falsely claiming that the government shouldn't be responsible for directing people's existence. It made less sense than the UFO stories, at least for smart people like myself. But, tragically, some fools took it seriously; it ruined their lives." ...

Reverend Al Sharpton excoriated Kookish's "arrogant fantasy," calling it "blame the victim" rhetoric from the right and predicting that the incident would set race relations in the US back fifty years, even though Kookish is white. "It don't matter who the victim is, it's who's doing the blaming that makes it wrong," Sharpton said.

Regardless of the troubling short-term fallout from the incident, the long term trends are clear. "We need to make people understand they don't matter," stated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Having become cogs in the huge state machine, they can't be allowed to think independently and control their lives; that's what we're here for." Pelosi stressed the inevitability of new taxes and government programs in order to liberate people from such delusions. "People like Willard Kookish better get this through their thick skulls: it's not their fault, it's society's. And that's why they need President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress to subdue this country in order to fix it."

Posted on 11/16/2009 3:53 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 16 November 2009
Farrakhan on Fort Hood Shooting

Unlike the story just below, this is a real interview, not satire. Sometimes it's hard to tell. From MEMRI:

Interviewer: "Let us begin with the most recent development on the American front, and the racial discrimination against Muslims and their persecution – the incident associated with Mr. Nidal Hasan, a Muslim psychiatrist of Arab origin, who killed 13 soldiers at the U.S. Fort Hood base. To what extent might this incident affect the Muslims in the U.S. and make them targets of persecution?" 


Louis Farrakhan: "As you know, since 9/11, in America and in other parts of the world, those anti-Islamic forces have stepped up their efforts to make Muslims... to cause the Muslims to be looked at as uncivilized, savage, or wicked people. This is an attempt by anti-Islamic forces, and some members of the Jewish community, and some members of the Christian community, who have united to condemn Islam and to speak ill of our Prophet Muhammad, and to even go so far as to say that the Muslims worship the devil. 


"It is because, my dear brothers and sisters, Islam was making so much progress in the United States that those anti-Islamic forces are trying to stem the tide of the progress of Islam. 


"This recent unfortunate event, which took place at the Fort Hood base in Texas, has only added fuel to the fire. On behalf of all the Muslims in the Muslim world, we are saddened by the loss of these 13 American soldiers and the 30 others who were wounded in the incident. No human being would be pleased to see that kind of slaughter, coming from a fellow officer in the U.S. Army. 

"However, we have to look at Major Nidal Hasan. What happened to him? What kind of stress was he under? What kind of insults had he borne? 


"When there are Muslims who love America, and who join the armed forces to protect America, and to serve the interests of America, and then America, unfortunately, under the falsehoods of the George W. Bush administration, launches attacks against Iraq and against Afghanistan, and now, those soldiers are killing Muslims... So when they go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the kind of hatred that is built up in the American forces, when they call the Muslims 'ragheads' and 'desert niggers,' and then, in the Abu Ghreib prison, Muslim women were raped, and Muslim men were sodomized... All this affects Muslims serving in the army. So when you are being insulted by your superior officers or by your fellow soldiers, at some point, a person might break. Unfortunately, I believe this is what happened to Captain [sic] Nidal Hasan."


Interviewer: "Let me take this phone call from Germany. Mr. Jibril." 

Mr. Jibril (by phone): "Hello. I have a complex question, which I’d like you to let me finish. It is directed to Mr. Farrakhan."  

Interviewer: "Go ahead."  

Mr. Jibril: "The Africans in America – or rather, the Afro-Americans – were subjugated for many years, and conducted a very long struggle for justice and equality, so they, of all people, best understand the issue of justice and equality. You are visiting Tripoli. You are, as a matter of fact, visiting a tyrannical regime, which is subjugating the Libyans and plundering their money. You are receiving impure money, plundered from the Libyan people. You are receiving it from Al-Qadhafi. Years ago, Al-Qadhafi killed 1,200 Libyan political prisoners within a matter of hours. He annihilated them. So how can you accept this, in the name of Islam, and in the name of our Afro-American brothers, who have tasted such suffering? How can you accept impure money from a tyrant?"  

Interviewer: "We got the idea. Do you have any other question? Go ahead, Mr. Louis Farrakhan."  

Louis Farrakhan: "I’m saying to you, sir, that we are not pillaging the wealth of Tripoli or Libya. Libya is not offering us money. The progress we have made in America is by the pooling of the nickels, and the dimes, and the dollars of the poor people who backed Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Let me ask you this, my dear brother. Is there one leader, one king, one ruler in the whole world who is not guilty of some sin?"

Posted on 11/16/2009 4:00 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 16 November 2009
Crazed Syrian Buthayna Sha'ban and Her Bizarre Accusations
From MEMRI: 

Syrian Presidential Advisor Buthayna Sha'ban: Israel's Crimes Are a Mark of Shame on Humanity

In her weekly column in the Syrian government daily Teshreen, Dr. Buthayna Sha'ban, political and media advisor to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, wrote that Israel was trying to exterminate the Palestinian people by methods such as starving them, poisoning their food and water, raping prisoners, and running over children with vehicles. She went on to harshly criticize international organizations, and the West, for not doing enough to protect the Palestinians from Israel.

Following are excerpts from her column: [1]

The U.N. Can Redeem Itself By Eliminating Jewish Colonialism

"When we read that the U.N. has called on Israel to stop the destruction of Palestinian homes and the policy of forced evacuation in East Jerusalem, and has warned that 60,000 Palestinians are in danger of having their homes destroyed or of being expelled [from their homes], we wonder about the role of the U.N. today and about the purpose for which it was founded [in 1945], with the victory of the forces of freedom over fascism and the Nazi barbarism.

"Is this the same organization that was entrusted by history, and by the peoples of the world, with the mission of ensuring the right of self-determination? Is this the same organization that is supposed to end colonialism? Is this the same organization whose members believe that all peoples have a right to freedom, regardless of race or religion?...

"The fact that the U.N. has made no move and taken no initiative to ensure the Palestinians' right to self-determination is a mark of shame on the history of this international organization. This mark of shame can only be expunged by eliminating Jewish colonialism in Palestine, [and liberating the Palestinian] people that has been bent under [the yoke of] this land-grabbing, racist occupation for over 60 years.


Israel Employs Death Squads Against the Palestinians

"Today, [the Palestinians are the target of] an ethnic cleansing [campaign] carried out by armed gangs of Jewish settlers, supported by Israel's army and police forces. This is a crime the like of which has not yet been seen in the 21st century; it includes siege, murder, starvation, assassination, poisoning of food, destruction of homes, burning of crops, razing of fields, withholding of sources of livelihood from an entire people, daily arrests of Palestinians, the running over of civilians and children with tractors and [other] vehicles, rape of prisoners, trafficking in organs of the dead, and [roadblocks that] prevent the Palestinians from moving freely between their cities, villages, fields and schools.

"[And as] all this [is happening], the 'enlightened' Western world keeps silent, completely supporting the Israeli government and ignoring the barbaric crimes carried out every day by the Jewish settlers and the Israeli army in the plain sight of the entire world. The world's silence is a crime against the Palestinian people, for it enables the politicians and army generals who run Israel, and their allies, to continue their barbaric crimes against civilians and their violations of the Geneva Convention and international law...

"Every day, Israel's occupation forces [dispatch] the special death squads of their intelligence apparatuses to hunt down and kill children and civilians in the streets, at the checkpoints, and in the fields, and [to persecute and kill journalists] behind their camera lenses - and the 'free' and 'enlightened' world is not [even] curious to know the names [of the victims]. Those killed by the Israeli leaders do not count as normal [people] whose life, freedom, and dignity the Western politicians claim to defend. Occasionally, the U.N. or [E.U. Foreign Minister Javier] Solana acknowledge that the destruction of Palestinian homes is a violation of international law... They acknowledge that [Israel's actions] - the destruction [of homes], the razing of Palestinians' fields, the arrest of civilians, thousands of whom are imprisoned in Israeli jails without trial for [as long as] 20 years, the selling of spoiled food coming from the settlements to the Palestinians, as well as the wars and massacres - are violations of the international law, as they clearly are. So why doesn't [the international community's] conscience compel it to defend the Palestinian's security?...

"Hundreds of years ago, the white settlers [in America] threw blankets contaminated with germs on the Indians in order to exterminate them. Today, Israel's leaders are withholding food and medicines [from the Palestinians], destroying homes, burning crops and poisoning the water in order to exterminate the Palestinians or force them to emigrate..."


These Crimes "Are a Mark of Shame on Humanity Which Must Be Eliminated Forthwith"

"What the isolated Palestinian people need today is for Israel's crimes to be investigated with all expediency, and for the [resulting] reports to be submitted to some international body that still retains a modicum of self-respect and credibility. The crimes carried out by the Israeli occupation forces, and the unrestrained [barbarity] of the armed settlers against the isolated Palestinian civilians in all their cities and villages in the West Bank and Gaza, are a mark of shame on humanity which must be eliminated forthwith. These settlers, [as well as] the official Israeli government apparatuses that support them and the Western lobbies that finance them, take the world back to the Dark Ages and to the laws of the jungle that prevailed then..."


"The Jewish Intellectuals Who Keep Silent [in the Face of These Crimes] Bear the Responsibility for the Existence of Antisemitism"

"The free people and intellectuals of the world, including Jewish intellectuals, should cry out against [the deeds of] the Israeli war criminals, so that the Jews do not carry an eternal mark of shame for war crimes and genocide... They must not keep silent in the face of these barbaric crimes. They must not be content to [merely] keep the Israeli criminals from traveling [abroad], but must bring them to trial as the world has done with other senior officials [guilty of] murder, deportations and occupation.

"Jewish intellectuals must ask themselves why their government must be founded on the ruined lives and [stolen] freedom of another nation. Why does their government - the only government they ever had in the course of history - murder children, commit massacres, destroy homes and carry out assassinations, and then justify these crimes and condemn anyone who calls to bring it to justice? Why don't Jewish intellectuals confront [this] moral and historic crisis of the Zionist entity?

"After Nazi Germany carried out massacres against the Jews and other nations, the Germans confronted this crisis and passed laws against antisemitism. After the world paid the price for Japan's wars and imperialist aspirations, Japan took a historic decision against [participating in future] wars.

"Why do Jewish intellectuals think that they must justify every action by Israeli politicians and army generals?... Why don't they criticize [these] criminals and tyrants whose hands are dripping with the blood of children?

"The Jewish intellectuals who keep silent [in the face of these crimes] bear the responsibility for the existence of antisemitism. They [also] bear the responsibility for the continuation of these crimes, which brand all [Jews] with an eternal mark of shame..."

[1] Teshreen (Syria), November 2, 2009.

Posted on 11/16/2009 5:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 16 November 2009
In A Panicky Haste, The Federal Government Greatly Overpaid

How Fed let AIG banks off easy

SigTARP [special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program] ]Barofsky said the Fed could have used its clout to convince AIG's counterparties not to take full-dollar on their assets insured by AIG.

By David Goldman,

NEW YORK ( -- Federal regulators, in rushing to rescue AIG last year, failed to use their clout to negotiate concessions from business partners of the troubled insurer, a bailout overseer said on Monday.

As a result, $62.1 billion of taxpayer and AIG funds were essentially funneled to 16 banks, which were counterparties to AIG insurance contracts, according to a report by Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the $700 billion bailout.

The amount paid to the 16 banks represented the full-dollar amount of the underlying assets that the counterparties had insured through AIG. The news that the Fed paid 100 cents on the dollar for the assets caused a big stir among lawmakers and taxpayers.

In his report, Barofsky said the Fed had given up significant leverage to force AIG's counterparties to accept less than the full amount for the assets. Barofsky does not suggest that the Fed acted improperly, he argued that, as a regulator, the Fed still had power to get AIG's counterparties to fall in line.

"Once they bailed AIG out, the Fed said it lost a lot of leverage, because it couldn't threaten to put AIG into bankruptcy anymore," Barofsky told CNNMoney in an interview. "But with GM and Chrysler, the government still played hardball with their creditors."

Though the situation was slightly different, Barofsky noted that Treasury was able to negotiate substantial concessions from GM and Chrysler's creditors after the government bailed them out last year.

How the banks got full-dollar

After the housing bubble burst in summer 2007, the value of subprime home mortgages began to tumble. AIG insured against losses on assets backed by subprime mortgages with insurance contracts called credit-default swaps.

When the underlying home loans began to plummet in value, AIG's counterparties asked the insurer to post billions of dollars of collateral to make up for the tumbling value of the swaps.

AIG started hemorrhaging dollars by the tens of billions in 2008, leading up to a mid-September taxpayer-funded bailout of the insurer. But the collateral calls from AIG's counterparties kept coming, and AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) was quickly running out of bailout funds.

By November, it became clear that the government had to do something to stop the collateral calls.

In an attempt to save taxpayers from paying 100 cents on the dollar for the credit-default swaps, which had clearly lost their initial market value, the New York Federal Reserve asked 16 counterparties to take a voluntary "haircut" on the value of the insured assets. Only UBS volunteered, but the Swiss bank said it would take the haircut only if all of the other banks also agreed to take a cut.

The Fed, chaired at the time by current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, said in response to Barofsky's report that it has a policy to treat all counterparties equally. It also believed it had no leverage with the banks, because it had already bailed out AIG. In addition, the Fed believed it did not have the right to force banks to break their contracts.

Believing it had no other option, the Fed opted to send $27 billion of government funds and $35 billion of collateral already posted by AIG to 16 banks, including Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), Merrill Lynch, UBS (UBS), Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), Wachovia (WB) two French banks and several others.

Not the only solution

The news caused an uproar in Congress. Some called into question the Bush administration's ties with Goldman Sachs, since Goldman held $14 billion in mortgage assets insured by AIG's credit-default swaps.

In his report, Barofsky said that the Fed did not act purposefully to bail out Goldman or the other 15 banks, even though that was the result of their actions.

But the report said the Fed limited itself in its negotiations with AIG's counterparties. For instance, Barofsky said that the Fed failed to use as leverage the fact that its bailout of AIG helped to save the 16 banks from losing substantial capital, since an AIG bankruptcy could have led to a systemic failure of the financial industry.

The Fed also could have used its power as regulator to force the banks to take less than full-dollar on the underlying assets. He said that regulators used "overtly coercive" language to convince financial institutions to take TARP money and creditors take concessions on the amount owed to them by GM and Chrysler.

"In many ways, the New York Fed took all the limitations they had from being a regulator but none of the benefits," said Barofsky. To top of page

Posted on 11/16/2009 8:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 16 November 2009
Sixth 1330AMWEBY - NER International Middle East Radio Panels on Israel, US and Iran, November 17th

WEBY1330AM in Pensacola, Florida is hosting the sixth in a series of discussion panels on recent developments in the Middle East with the New English Review (NER).  Among topics to be addressed by the international panel are:

  • What is behind the revelations about the Iranian arms shipment for Hezbollah intercepted by Israel naval commandos off Cyprus that the US said it would monitor, while Israel eventually had to do it?
  • What is the dilemma facing Israel  with regard to pulling the trigger on possible military action against Iran’s nuclear program?  We  note  Adm. Mike Mullen’s comment  at  a Defense Magazine forum , “how narrow the  window is and time is getting short."
  • What would be the impact on Israel  of Palestinian   demands  at  the UN Security Council to approve a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian  State?
  • What did  Israeli PM Netanyahu reveal in recent Cabinet Minutes and a Saban Center speech about his  talk with President Obama at the White House?  
  • What is behind the meeting between Israeli intelligence, CIA and DIA officials and the presence in Israel of a top-ranking Revolutionary Guard defector who brought out information about Iran’s nuclear program?
  • Why is Israel’s  Radio  Farsi service the highest rated overseas broadcast source of information for Iranians and what else  has Israel been doing to support regime change?
  • Why is the White House  isolating Israel in Washington   amid revelations about  Obama Administration favoritism towards  the J Street lobby group with alleged  Arab and Iranian connections ?
  • Could the 2010 US Congressional mid-term elections present an opportunity for strengthening the strategic alliance between America and Israel?

The program can be heard  November 17th  at 6:00 PM EDST (5:00PM CDST and 3:00PM PDST). The panel discussion will be recorded and archived on the Jewish Policy Council (JPC) website.

The WEBY1330AM panel will be co-hosted by Mike Bates, "Your Turn" moderator and station general manager and Jerry Gordon, senior editor, The New English Review. You can listen live via the WEBY1330AM website, by clicking here.

The WEBY1330AM panel will include:

  • Jerry Gordon. Co-host and frequent WEBY1330AM "Your Turn" guest on Middle East Affairs,  senior editor  at the New English Review and its blog, The Iconoclast.  

Dan Diker will be speaking from Jerusalem.

Be sure to listen to this engrossing discussion on Israel, the Middle East, and implications for the Obama Administration in Washington.

WEBY1330AM has previously broadcast "Your Turn" programs featuring the panel. You may listen to previous WEBY1330AM panel discussions at the JPC website, here.


Posted on 11/16/2009 8:32 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 16 November 2009
Dr. Michael Welner: “Lone Wolf” is Only the First Part of the Story

In a post on Professor Barry Rubin's analysis of Major Nidal Hasan's Power Point lecture at Walter Reed, we raised the issue of whether Hasan acted as a "lone wolf" Jihadi terrorist.  Dr. Michael Welner, a leading forensic psychiatist who has evaluated mass shooters for both law enforcement and military agencies sent us this thoughtful and perceptive analysis of  this issue that  Senator Liebeman's Senate Homeland Security Committee might  consider during heaings scheduled to begin on Thusday, November 17th.

Here is Dr. Welner's assessment:



Based on my professional experience, the lone wolf issue is yet to be resolved.

A number of ideological mass killers are not integrated into a larger terror network, but aspire to be. The individuals more likely to carry out mass shootings are those who want to make an impression on the groups or leaders whom they admire and whose approval they seek. They may be lone wolves only insofar as they do not gain material support from the organization, but linkages are found to their mentors.

I would again suggest that with so much evidence left behind, if Hasan were an al-Qaeda asset, tracks would be better covered and those tracks would include a more clear evidence for his training or at least periods for which one cannot account. As a military man, and a psychiatrist with responsibilities, those gaps are harder to conceal, though not impossible.

There is a debate within US intelligence as to whether al-Qaeda is a leaderless resistance, whether it is entirely organized and orchestrated, or a combination of both, drawing from cues through the digital connectedness of its sympathizers. The leg work on Hasan will have to chase the relevance of this down on this case.

Other “lone wolves” have no connection at all and are inspired by the concept of “leaderless resistance.” They carry out spectacular crime because they want to be known as the person who took initiative when others did not.

Al-Qaeda is clearly known for coordinated attacks involving multiple participants and careful, sophisticated planning. Mumbai. 9/11. 7/7. What distinguishes the Islamist terror movement from other ideologies who inspire mass shooting is that they maintain the capacity for sleeper activity. And we have had a number of tragedies in recent years, from a Greyhound bus attack following 9/11 that killed six in Tennessee, to the Salt Lake City mall shootings in 2007, to the 1999 crash of EgyptAir flight 990, to the Hedayet attack at LAX, that lend further consideration of these possibilities. Hizbullah maintains an active sleeper network in the United States and especially Canada , and while little attention is given to this element, tensions are rising toward Iran , and Hizbulah is certainly an Iranian proxy that has carried out spectacle attacks abroad.

These are among the strands that need to be followed through.

Posted on 11/16/2009 8:54 PM by Jerry Godon and Dr. Michael Welner
Monday, 16 November 2009
Saudi Funded US military conversion to Islam

According to the  World Tribune , a report by former Israel Intelligence officer Gal Luft, unveiled  a "generously  funded"  Saudi  Da'wa (conversion) progam aimed at US military who may have become home grown Jihadi candidates.

The Luft report noted:

.....that Saudi Arabia spent millions of dollars in its effort to convert U.S. soldiers to Islam. The analyst said the campaign by Riyad began during the 1991 war against Iraq, which involved the deployment of nearly 500,000 U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.

"Nearly two decades have passed since the Saudi conversion campaign, and most of the converts may no longer be in uniforms," the analyst, Gal Luft, said. "But the seeds sown during the Gulf War have germinated, creating scores of radicalized Americans who are a threat to their comrades in uniforms as well as to their civilian communities."

"While Muslim soldiers have served in uniforms loyally for decades, it is the rising number of Wahabi-trained and converted Muslims that is a relatively recent phenomenon," the report, "How the Saudis radicalized U.S. troops," said. "Since Wahabism is one of the most radical and puritan strands of Islam, the penetration of Wahabi thinking into the ranks of the military must be treated with care."

The report, released on Nov. 10, said the spread of Wahabi influence has endangered U.S. soldiers. A recurring prospect has been that of Wahabi-indoctrinated soldiers turning on their colleagues.

Luft, quoting former U.S. officers, said Saudi military personnel were directed to identify and missionize their American counterparts. He said the Saudi campaign was a "well-orchestrated and generously funded effort sponsored by the Saudi government to convert as many American military members as possible to Islam."

At one point, Saudi commander and now deputy defense minister, Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, bragged that more than 2,000 U.S. troops converted to Islam in 1991. Some of the U.S. officers were said to have been given as much as $30,000 to convert.

"These Muslim troops are now the messengers of Islam in the U.S. forces," Dr. Abu Ameena Bilal Phillips, an Islamic convert who missionizes in the military, was quoted by the report as saying.

The report said the shooting by Maj. Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas represented an Islamic attack. Luft quoted Hasan as shouting to fellow soldiers, "You guys are coming into our countries and you’re going to rape our women and kill our children."

"It is time to investigate what exactly happened back then in the desert and assess how serious and deep-rooted the damage is," the report said. 


Posted on 11/16/2009 10:09 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 16 November 2009
CAIR cites 'new era of hope' at Fremont event

A steaming pile of taqiyyah from Fremont, California, home to the largest population of Afghans in the world outside of Afghanistan.  From the Contra Costa Times :

FREMONT — Despite concerns that the Fort Hood shooting rampage would lead to a new backlash against American Muslims, optimism pervaded a Sunday gathering of hundreds of Bay Area members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"There is hope for Americans who happen to be Muslim," said host and Fremont dentist Mohammad Rajabally, who said attitudes toward Muslims have improved but could fall back into misjudgment and hatred without persistent advocacy.

The fundraising banquet for the Bay Area chapter of the nation's largest Muslim civil rights group carried a cheerful name — "A New Era of Hope" — but came on the heels of a litany of bad news locally and nationwide.

It's not all bad news.  Despite numerous jihad attacks in the U.S. over the past few years, there has not yet been any "backlash."  Despite successful creeping sharia in Europe and North America, there has been relatively little notice among the non-Muslim population.  "A New Era of Hope," indeed.

"I know that Muslims have said after Fort Hood, some of them have said they felt the same way they felt after 9/11," said Zahra Billo, a Bay Area outreach director for the council, which is known as CAIR.

U.S. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in connection with the Nov. 5 tragedy on the Texas military base. Hasan had been trying to leave the military and had complained of anti-Muslim discrimination, according to media reports, and some feared the attack and questions about Hasan's religious motivations would fuel misguided anger at the minority group.

For the most part, however, Billo said initial fears have not been met with examples of backlash. That is an improvement, she said, over the time following 9/11, when Billo was a college student and remembers feeling a deep-seated concern about how she and other Muslims would be perceived.

"I didn't feel that same way," Billo said of her reaction to the shooting. "Yes, we got hate calls, but we also got supportive calls."

Let's get this straight:  after Major Hasan shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood, people called CAIR to offer support?

Posted on 11/16/2009 10:50 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Monday, 16 November 2009
Italian women disappointed by Gaddafi 'party'

From Reuters:

ROME (Reuters) – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in Rome for a U.N. food summit, spent several hours in the company of 200 Italian women recruited by an agency and tried to convert them to Islam, Italian media reported on Monday.

"Seeking 500 attractive girls between 18 and 35 years old, at least 1.70 metres (5 foot, 7 inches) tall, well-dressed but not in mini-skirts or low cut dresses," read the ad by the Hostessweb agency and quoted in Italy's Corriere dell Sera newspaper in its story.

Some 200 women showed up at a Rome villa, having been told they would receive 60 euros (54 pounds) and "some Libyan gifts." Among them was an undercover reporter for Italian news agency ANSA, who took photos and described the evening's proceedings.

Most had expected to attend a party, according to ANSA, but instead were invited to wait in a large hall until the arrival of Gaddafi, who gave them a lesson on Libya and the role of women in Islam.

After around two hours the lesson, including questions and answers through an interpreter, concluded with an exhortation by Gaddafi to "convert to Islam" and with each woman given a copy of the Koran and a book of sayings by Gaddafi.

"It was anything but the VIP party we were expecting, they didn't even give us a glass of water," one woman told ANSA.

Others said they were offended by what they considered anti-Christian aspects of his lesson, including a claim that Jesus was not crucified but that "someone who looked like him" was put to death in his place.

The Libyan ambassador told ANSA that Gaddafi was planning other similar evenings during his three-day stay for the summit.

Posted on 11/16/2009 11:21 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Monday, 16 November 2009
Chicago Danish Plotter Cased Mumbai Chabad Center

When last heard from, David Headley was arrested in Chicago for plotting to blow up the Danish paper Jylands Posten and kill its former editor, Flemming Rose, for the crime of publishing the Muhammad cartoons. He was also plotting to kill cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.. The Calcutta Telegraph (thanks to Dan Friedman):

Mumbai, Nov. 14: David Coleman Headley personally visited every target site of the 26/11 terror strikes last year, carrying out a recce on behalf of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, a police source said today.

Posing as a Jew, he even visited Nariman House, the Jewish Chabad centre, in July 2008.

The Mumbai police today carried out raids in Bandra, its adjoining suburb Khar and BPO hub Goregaon in search of Headley’s local acquaintances and contacts.

“He (Headley) mapped the Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus, Taj and Trident hotels and Nariman House. We are interrogating (filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s son) Rahul to find out when he went to Leopold Café. That he did is certain — when he did that is what we need to know,” a top officer said.

Headley had visited the Mumbai home of Rahul, who contacted police after learning of the terror suspect’s arrest by America’s Federal Burau of Investigation (FBI) last month.

The source said Headley, a Pakistani-born US national, and his associate Tahawwur Hussain Rana stayed in Hotel Outram, a seedy motel in Mumbai’s Fort area, for about a fortnight in July 2008.

Born Daood Gilani, Headley, who changed his name and passport in 2006, posed as a Jewish American during his Mumbai stay. A source close to Rahul too confirmed that Headley had claimed to be a Jew.

“It is a mystery how he got into that building (Nariman House) just posing as a Jew. We are probing if he had anybody helping him locally. The FBI seized a book called How to Pray Like a Jew from him at the time of his arrest in Chicago. He had prepared himself thoroughly to pose as a Jew,” the officer said.

This morning, the police detained two tourist guides near the Gateway of India for questioning. It is suspected they may have aided Headley or other 26/11 plotters.

“The lead for this came from the FBI,” the officer acknowledged. “We now know most details about Headley’s recce of the terror targets, but there is a bit of a problem in case of Trident hotel as much of its past records were destroyed in the 26/11 attack. But we are getting there and will soon have the information.”

The investigators were always sure that Lashkar operatives had done a recce of both hotels. “The speed with which the Trident attackers moved around the lobby, visited the basement restaurant, Frangipani, and later headed straight for the lift to go to the 18th floor to set up their control room proves this,” the officer said.

Between 2006 and 2009, Headley ran a firm called Immigration Law Centre out of Tardeo AC Market in south Mumbai with the help of a local Parsi woman. Late last night, officials of the federal National Investigating Agency, which has now joined the probe with Mumbai police, visited Headley’s immigration firm.

“A lot of facts have emerged from the interrogation of his co-worker/partner at the firm. She has been very co-operative. We now know Headley rarely used mobile phones and computers; but he did have a Tata Indicom landline number that he used while operating this immigration business. His mobile number is also with us and is leading us to some of his local contacts/acquaintances,” the source said.

Officially, Headley’s job was to facilitate US and Canadian visas for semi-skilled and unskilled workers. The investigators are trying to find out whether he had any contacts in local consulates.

Headley preferred to pay salaries, or make other payments, in cash. He rarely used banking channels and spent limited time at the office —“hardly two hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening”, the source said.

Posted on 11/16/2009 8:25 PM by Rebecca Bynum

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