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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 Friday, 16, 2011.
Friday, 16 December 2011
East London Mosque: have a happy extremist Christmas

From Andrew Gilligan in The Telegraph

Christmas is always a busy time down at this blog’s favourite hub of moderation’n’tolerance, the East London Mosque, controlled by the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe. The punters have to be saved from what Mahera Ruby, the head of the IFE’s women’s section, called the “pagan myth of Santa Claus.” What’s that, Mahera? You mean Santa doesn’t really exist?

Tonight, there’s a special treat (strictly gender-segregated, of course) to get the non-festive season underway. It’s the final round of the “Battle of the Isocs,” a quiz for university Islamic societies, former stamping-grounds of so many of our finest young terrorists.

If Christmas without music sounds a bit dull, the East London Mosque has the answer. On Christmas Eve, there is a meeting about “the greatest prophet” with the IFE activist and one of Hamas’s most fervent fans, Junaid Ahmed. Then on Boxing Day the mosque hosts another event with another terrorist apologist, Zahir Mahmood.

Posted on 12/16/2011 3:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 16 December 2011
“To Them Out There, This is Just Entertainment� Michael Caine is Harry Brown

Harry Brown is a dark, violent and dramatic British film directed by Daniel Barber, written by Gary Young and released in 2009, a full year before unprecedented urban riots broke out across England’s cities. At the time of its release reviewers at the British newspaper The Times considered it “morally and politically repugnant.” The Sunday Times wrote that, “It is too daft to pass muster as action-movie hokum, let alone as social commentary.”

Harry Brown, played by Michael Caine, is a retired soldier, a former British Royal Marine. He lives in a small apartment in a run down housing estate, an English euphemism for those monumental, architecturally alienating and barren, subsidized housing complexes that have become the 21st century ghettoes of England’s unemployed, under employed or what sociologists call the “underclass.”

These “projects” (the American term) are terrorized by uneducated, unemployed, violent young men, organized in gangs who sell illegal drugs and to whom random and revenge based violence and murder have become a way of life. As anthropologists would say, this pattern of behavior has “become their culture.”

Harry’s wife is dying and we clearly see that “Kath” was and remains the love of his life. He met her at a dance many years ago and from that night on they had spent the rest of their lives together. Later in the film he tells his best friend that when he met his wife he “locked away” all the stories of what had happened to him in the marines and has kept it that way ever since.

Harry Brown spends his time visiting his wife in the hospital and playing chess with his best friend Len, another elderly pensioner at a local bar run by a man named Sid Rourke. He returns to his wife’s hospital bed and sees it is empty. We infer that the hospital had not called him to inform him of his wife’s death before he saw the empty cot. A sympathetic doctor makes a classically contorted English effort at comforting him with little success. There are no volunteers about, no pastor or vicar, and no next of kin. Harry is now completely alone in life.

During his next chess game his friend Len complains that the gangs in the estate are harassing and threatening him and he shows Harry a bayonet hidden in his coat, which he says, he will use if they do not stop. Harry tells him to go to the police. Len answers that he has, but nothing has changed.

The local gang murders Len and this triggers a visit to Harry from Detective Inspector Alice Frampton, a serious police officer, and sincerely dedicated murder investigator who any English viewer of the film would conclude comes from a “good” family and perhaps has gone to a public school (what Americans call a private school).

In this film she represents the best, but inadequate intentions of the Crown and the law.

The second time she visits she regretfully informs Harry that since Len was killed with his own bayonet, as there were no witnesses, even if the case came to trial, gang members could plead self-defense. When he hears this, Harry becomes more than a little depressed.

On a walk near the river one night he is accosted by one of the gang members, high as a kite, on some sort of illegal substance. He points a knife at Harry’s chest in an attempt to rob him. Harry’s instinctive training as a Marine who served in Northern Ireland kicks in. Within the blink of an eye he grabs his assailant’s wrist and plunges the knife into his attacker’s heart, leaving him dead on the ground.

Soon after, Harry searches out two of the gang leaders, high and wary, in order to illegally buy a gun or two from them. As he negotiates the purchase they are sexually violating a young teenage girl, a heroin addict, filming it as porn and they threaten Harry at gunpoint. Once again his Marine training allows him to overcome them. Leaving them dead he continues to pick off, one by one, other members of the gang, leaving a trail of vigilante assassinations in his wake.

The young actors who portray these revolting characters do a marvelous job at creating fear and anxiety on the viewer’s part as we watch Harry’s cool, focused and Biblical justice meted out in a style that used to characterize the best of America’s cowboy Westerns. He reminds me of the hero in the old movie, Shane.

As the numbers of gang deaths on the estate increase (due to Harry) Detective Frampton sees the connection to Harry but is unable to persuade her commanding officer that Harry is the real culprit. Instead, he believes there is a gang war going on, on the estate. His poorly planned massive police raid goes amiss and the estate breaks out into a youth led riot of flying stones, bricks, burning cars and crowds of angry young men hurling Molotov cocktails at the police and innocent bystanders.

These cinematic riot scenes are remarkably similar to the videos and films of those real urban riots that broke out in England one year after the film was released and that we all watched on our I Phones, computer and TV screens. Contrary to the condescending film reviewers of the Times and Sunday Times, this film was and is a case of life imitating art. In that regard it was prophetic.

Frampton and her sidekick try and come to the rescue but they are injured and end up taking refuge with Harry at the pub run by Sid Rourke where he used to play chess with his deceased friend Len. When Harry catches the gang’s leader and restrains him at gunpoint he falters and loses his gun to Rourke, whom we discover is the gang leader’s uncle and who fully knew about Len’s murder by his nephew and his gang. Rourke turns on Harry, Frampton and another police officer. Although intent on killing them all he “only” succeeds in strangling an already wounded and unconscious policeman.

At the end of the film most of the gang members who matter are dead. They no longer terrorize the estate. Frampton has been given a medal. At a public press conference her commanding officer gives the official explanation of the riot and that due to community outreach violence is now down. Viewers know that only Frampton and Harry Brown understand what really happened and that Harry, not the incompetent and deluded police, is the cause of this “outbreak of peace” on the estate.

After the real English riots it was suggested by many that poverty was one of their root causes. The Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron announced publicly, “Those riots were not about poverty.” Yet research and interviews carried out among the rioters suggests that most of the rioters were unemployed youth and that their activities were carried out within two kilometers of their homes. The Guardian Newspaper reported, “two fifths of the young people who have appeared in court in connection with the riots were receiving free school meals-a key indicator of deprivation. Two thirds have been identified as having special education needs-a proportion three times higher than the population as a whole.”

The Guardian research project on the riots interviewed hundreds of rioters. Two thirds predicted they would happen again. Now that the Euro is in trouble and Britain is entering yet another period of fiscal austerity we can only wonder when these will occur.

There is a tendency among the British intellectual and media elite to blame poverty and inequality on capitalism. It is an easy whipping boy as so many of those in the intellectual and media elite are protected from the private sector through government jobs. Many of them got a healthy dose of Marxist or Marxian economics from their University studies and have carried that into their jobs.

Yet there are dissenters among their ranks. Retired British prison psychiatrist and best selling essayist, Theodore Dalrymple, believes that the problem goes back through Karl Marx to the French enlightenment philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau who believed that civilization itself is the cause of injustice and inequality and that man in his “natural state” is to be preferred over living within the law. Dalyrmple’s close contact with prison inmates suggests that the breakdown of family and religious values has as much to do with underclass violence and discontent as does market inequality.

He also explains that this strange adoption of the ideas of Marx and Rousseau by the media elite allows and justifies the newly celebrated “natural” violence of the underclass, their drug addiction and disinterest in work and education (immortalized in pop music) which is then justified and reconfirmed by the chattering classes who claim that the violent poor are “victims of the system.” Surely a nation who gave up India to Ghandi’s non violent protests could use the same tactics to prioritize the suffering of the poor on the British political agenda.

We must remember that a short generation ago even the poorest of the poor sacrificed for King and country and fought off the Nazis without any class warfare or underclass riots. Is this then the future of England, an ideologically justified version of A Clockwork Orange?

Yes, the violence depicted in the film Harry Brown is partially a result of declining wealth and opportunity and a crisis of capitalism. But it is also a moral crisis perpetrated through the free will of the gang members that inhabit Gary Young’s film and the estates of England. The audience experiences a bitter catharsis when one man alone, Harry Brown, acting as the archetypal “Everyman”, that has permeated English literature and ballads for a thousand years, brings justice to his community, whereas the police are ineffective and deluded.

By the time of the real riots during the summer of 2010 the film, Harry Brown, had attracted millions of viewers in England and around the world. It has subsequently grossed more than 30 million dollars. In the last scenes of the film Detective Inspector Frampton cautions Harry and tells him, “It’s not Northern Ireland Harry.” Brown answers, “No it’s not. Those people were fighting for something: for a cause. To them out there, this is just entertainment.”

First published in Syndicated News Net.

Posted on 12/16/2011 4:32 AM by Geoffrey Clarfield
Friday, 16 December 2011
What's Love Got To Do With It? - Now in Paperback
Composer/conductor David Amram writes:

"Thomas Scheff's new book, What's Love Got To Do With It,  successfully addresses the seemingly impossible task of analyzing the lyrics selected from decades of American popular music as way to show the reader the cultural and social ramifications of these lyrics and how they reflect the way each generation dealt with the ups and downs of loving relationships. Like Thucydides History of the Peloponesian War, Scheff is there in the midst of things, and his front line reportage is both thought-provoking and brilliant."

Donald Black, University Professor of the Social Sciences at the University of Virginia adds this:

"The spectacular scope of Thomas Scheff's sociological work -- from mental illness and marital stress to laughter, genius, and the origin of war -- now expands yet further to include this highly innovative investigation of the content of popular songs, with special reference to the emotional economy of love and loss in modern life."

All we can say, is it's a good thing it's finally in paperback - the original hardcover sold for $93.00. The paperback is $17.12, but it's still not in kindle.

Ah, to be an academic publisher...

Posted on 12/16/2011 5:44 AM by NER
Friday, 16 December 2011
Advent Pub Sign 16
The Star, Fakenham
Posted on 12/16/2011 6:48 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 16 December 2011
Extremists jailed for 'evil' terror plot

From the Sydney Morning Herald

They are Islamic extremists who see the people of Australia as infidels and planned to become martyrs by shooting up a Sydney army base.

Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 35, Saney Edow Aweys, 28, and Nayef El Sayed, 27, planned to kill as many people as possible in a mass shooting at Holsworthy Army base to advance the cause of Islam.

It was their way of repaying Australia - the country that had welcomed and nurtured them and their families.

On Friday, the three would-be terrorists remained defiant as Victorian Supreme Court Justice Betty King sentenced them to 18 years in prison. Lebanese-born Fattal, 35, was ejected from the court just as Justice King began her sentencing remarks.

El Sayed, who was born in Australia to Lebanese parents, left his remarks to the end. As he passed the judge's chair, he said, "Allah gives us justice, not these courts."

They were in no mood to take Justice King's advice and be remorseful for what they had done. "The fact that Australia welcomed all of you and nurtured you and your families is something that should cause you all to hang your heads in shame that this was the way you planned to show your thanks for that support," she said.

During a three-month trial in 2010, the court heard the men wanted to advance Islam, which they believed was under attack from the West, including Australia. They picked up strong anti-Australian views, with Somalian-born Aweys even celebrating the death toll in the Black Saturday bushfires.

"These filthy people are coming down, the economy goes first, factories are shutting down, fire is coming and there is no water," he was recorded saying in March 2009. Fattal was caught on security footage walking around the boundary of the Holsworthy barracks and spoke of winning paradise if he killed Australian soldiers.

As the sentences were delivered on Friday, family members wailed in shock

Posted on 12/16/2011 9:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 16 December 2011
Michel Hazanavicius Admires Billy Wilder -- One More Reason To Give "The Artist" An Oscar
Read an interview with Hazanavicius here.
Posted on 12/16/2011 10:20 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
Anti-Israel AP reporter Ambushes State Department Spokesperson Over Mosque Burning in Israel

Source- New York Times:  al-Noor Mosque with  Hebrew Inscription;

"Mohammed was a pig"

A hat tip to Imre H.

In the midst of  a US State Department's Daily Briefing on Wednesday by Spokesperson Ms. Victoria Nuland,  an AP reporter by the name of Matt Lee asked for a response on a Mosque Burning In Jerusalem alleging that it was the Al Aqsa Mosque. Yisrael  Medad on his blog My Right Word addressed this matter in a post yesterday, “Spokesperson puts Spokes in Briefing”.  We had sent out an email alert about the incident. Neither Ms. Nuland nor the State Department has denied the provocative mis-representation by AP reporter Lee.

The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem has yet to respond, but the Palestinian news agencies have accusing Israel of declaring a war over the actual mosque burning incident. The site of the action was the unused al-Noor mosque in the West Bank village of Burqa. These extremist youths are illegal hill-top settlers. They have also been engaged in attacks on IDF bases in the West Bank. That action and others undertaken by extremist  settlers brought a strong condemnation from Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu. He indicated that the perpetrators of this action and those of Israeli Arabs who undertook similar acts would be subjected to military tribunals. Perhaps, PM Netanyahu’s actions in the actual mosque burning and trashing may have preempted any response by his press office.

Matt Lee of AP and Arshad Mohammed of Reuters have been a tag team at State Department Daily Briefings  pressing spokespersons Mike Toner and Ms. Nuland  with anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian questions. Watch Lee and Mohammed castigate State Spokesperson Mike Toner over alleged human rights abuses of Wikileaks ‘hero’ PFC. Bradley Manning at an April, 2011 press briefing. Manning coincidentally  was involved  today in a pre-trial hearing  for possible courts martial at Fort Meade, Maryland -see here. In late June, watch Lee again, pressing Ms. Nuland on the Free Gaza Flotilla and Israeli actions as being in violation of freedom of navigation in international waters. Read this Politico article by Josh Gerstein containing excerpts of the vigorous exchange in late October, 2011 between Lee and State Department spokesperson Ms. Nuland over the UNESCO membership vote for Palestine and holdback of US funding. Watch here.

Coming at the conclusion of the State Department meetings on The Istanbul Process Combating Intolerance with representatives of the OIC, EU and OSCE, this misrepresentation by AP reporter Lee should be corrected by the State Department and the AP. Perhaps it was inadvertent. However, given AP reporter Lee’s demonstrable track record, we believe that it was purposeful.

Ms. Nuland’s response needs clarification, which hasn’t been put forward since Wednesday’s Daily Press Briefing. Moreover, AP reporter Lee’s misleading question and lack of a clarifying response from the State Department  becomes grist for Palestinian and Arab League propaganda.  As sufficient time has elapsed, PM Netanyahu’s press spokesperson should intervene and condemn the misrepresentation by AP reporter Lee. 

Watch the video of the Wednesday Press Briefing and note the excerpt from the transcript:


12:53 p.m. EST

MS. NULAND: Afternoon, everybody. Welcome back, Mr. Lee. I have one small thing at the top and then we’ll go to what’s on your minds.

Just to remind that Secretary Clinton this afternoon will deliver closing remarks at a conference of the Istanbul Process designed to advance religious freedom, promote religious tolerance, combat discrimination on the basis of religion and belief consistent with universal human principles. This is a conference that’ll bring together some 30 nations and international organizations to exchange ideas on this topic.

Let’s go to what’s on your minds.

QUESTION: Yes, ma’am. Do you have any comment on the burning of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem today by settlers, a very well-known settler? It was matter of fact, Baruch Marzel.

MS. NULAND: We do, in fact. We condemn in strongest possible terms today’s burning and vandalizing of the mosque in Jerusalem. There is never any justification for an attack on a place of worship. We have called for calm on the part of all parties. We would also note that the Israeli Government has pledged to investigate these attacks and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We also encourage local authorities to work together with the communities to reduce tension and to defend religious freedom.

QUESTION: Okay. Now, the Israelis have disallowed worshipers from attending to a number of mosques in Jerusalem under the pretext that they are Islamic endowment and some sort of convoluted law that goes back into Jordan, let’s say, and whatever trusteeship over the holy places and all that stuff. Would you call on Israel to allow people to sort of repair and to do some refurbishing of these mosques that are basically falling apart?

MS. NULAND: Well, again, I can’t speak to these specific mosques that you’re referring to, Said. I don’t have information about this law that you’re talking about. But in general, you know that we support the freedom of religion. We support access to places of worship, et cetera, so --

QUESTION: Okay. Now, to follow up just on recent sister activities, there’s a great deal of activity under the name of “price tag” that the settlers are doing, and they are trying to make a point to the Israeli Government that if you withdraw from the settlement, this is what we are going to do. As we have seen last week, they have actually crossed into Jordanian territory and so on. So do you think – do you believe that perhaps these – the settler activity is a result of not taking any kind of strong action against settlements?

MS. NULAND: A result of Israeli Government policy?

QUESTION: A result of, let’s say, even the United States Government not taking a very strong position on settlement activities?

MS. NULAND: A result of United States policy?

QUESTION: Well, it’s Israel and --

MS. NULAND: It sounds like an internal Israeli issue to me.

QUESTION: I mean, this is a – the settlements – you issue statements about the – how it is not helpful in the peace process, but in fact, they are illegal, and perhaps if the United States Government and other European governments and so on take a position that they remain illegal, perhaps they can stem that kind of emboldened settlement activities.

MS. NULAND: We have made absolutely clear where we are on settlements. We’ve also made clear that we don’t support violence or desecration of any kind, so – but I certainly can’t speak to what’s motivating the settler activity. That’s a question for them.

QUESTION: And last week, the Israeli army fired a tear gas at a peaceful demonstrator. They killed him, they shut the door, and they went on with no investigation whatsoever. And today, there as a fatwa issued by four rabbis that actually called on the Israeli army to kill Palestinians that may be throwing stones. Do you have a position on that?

MS. NULAND: First of all, I’ve never heard of rabbis issuing fatwahs, but if --

QUESTION: Well, you know what I mean. I’m saying – (laughter). Fatwah is an Islamic word that’s become to mean an edict, you know.

MS. NULAND: We condemn incitements to violence of any kind, obviously.

Posted on 12/16/2011 2:42 PM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 16 December 2011
Australia: Muslims Who Plotted Jihad Raid on Army Base Get 18 Years Jail

If you click on the link you will get a good look at one of the perps, one Wissam Fattal from Lebanon.  Note the caption: 'described as an "intolerant Muslim" who had a fervent belief in religious martyrdom.  That is, he took seriously the many, many verses of the Quran that incite to Jihad: such as Surah 9: 111 that says Muslims fight in allah's cause, that is, Jihad, and slay and are slain, and that this is how they attain the 'garden', that is, paradise.

From Australia's ABC, their court reporter Sarah Farnsworth reporting.

.'Trio sentenced to 18 years' jail over terror plot'.

Three Muslims sentenced to 18 years jail over jihad terror plot, that is. - CM

'Thee men (that is, three Muslim men - CM) who conspired to plan a terrorism attack (that is, a jihad terror raid - CM) on the Holsworthy Army Base have been sentenced to 18 years in jail.

'Last December a jury found Wissam Fattal, 35; Nayef El Sayed, 28; and Saney Awes, 27, guilty of terrorism offences after a six-week trial in the Victorian Supreme Court.

One should note that these are fully adult men; they cannot be written off as hotheaded and impressionable teenagers.  They knew exactly what they were doing.  They were fully instructed in their belief system and adhered to it zealously. - CM

'Before sentencing began Friday (O, the irony, that this secular, non-Muslim court in Australia brought down its sentence upon three treasonous and murder-minded Muslim residents of Australia, on a Friday - CM) Fattal stood in the dock and yelled about hostilities in Afghanistan and Syria, forcing Justice Betty King to order his removal from the court.

More humiliation for this sharia-minded Muslim; he is being judged not just by non-Muslims, but by a woman, a free, unsubdued woman.

As for how we should view his yelling about the grievances du jour, that is, Afghanistan, and the Alawite suppression of the Sunni revolt;  the two single best analyses of the perpetual Muslim pantomime of victimhood, of the agenda of the religion of the perpetually aggrieved, may be found here:

and here:

"The Dangers of Legitimising Muslim Grievances". - CM

'As Fattal was led away he pointed vehemently towards the judge, calling out "corruption".

What he means by that, is not what we in the West mean by corruption.  What he means is that she, being a female non-Muslim Judge administering non-Islamic laws within a non-Islamic social order and polity, a social order incompatible with and uncomplying with the Sharia - represents, indeed, epitomises, 'corruption'. Everything that contravenes or undermines the sharia or impedes its practice or its imposition upon the world is 'corruption'. - CM

'He did not return to the court even when his sentence was read out.

'After the men were sentenced a woman cried out "Oh my God" and began sobbing loudly.

One must assume that this was a Muslim woman, connected to the perps.  Weeping and wailing because the dirty kuffar have thwarted, for the moment, the Cause of Islam in Australia, and her murder-minded jihadist hero - who plotted to kill as many Australian soldiers as he could -  failed of his ambition, got caught by the kuffar, and is getting put in Infidel jug.   - CM 

'As Sayed was led away he said, "Allah gives us justice, not these courts".

He is a Muslim.  'Justice', for him, means the sharia, and the sharia alone.  A non-Muslim court is, by definition, 'unjust', because it administers laws that are different from, and in many cases opposed to, the sharia.  Under sharia, setting out to attack and kill non-Muslim soldiers, in order to advance the power of Islam, is meritorious, not criminal. - CM

'The men, originally from Lebanon and Somalia, plotted a shooting at the Sydney Army base, intending to kill as many  people as they could until they themselves were shot dead.

In conformity with Quran Surah 9: 111. - CM

'The court heard the intent of the attack was to advance Islam through violence.

Yes. These men were intending to carry out an act of combat jihad in order to frighten Australians and weaken them by killing their soldiers, their protectors; and in order to spectacularly demonstrate the power of the Ummah, the Mohammedan Mob.  But what of the constant steady 'non-violent' pressure from Muslims to get Australian society to accept this or that element of the sharia order? - the normalisation of halal meat and other halal products, the persistent demand that our laws recognise Muslim polygyny (two attempts made so far), the constant and deceptive positive spin put on Islam in such things as booklets given to teachers in schools, the demand that we accept the hiding of the face in public by Muslim women, the demands for special and separate treatment for Muslims (e.g. Muslim-only toilets on a university campus), the Islamisation of the landscape by the building of mosque after mosque after mosque, the promotion of 'sharia finance' to our banks and other financial institutions?  It is that jihad, that  persistent push to Islamise the totality of our society, a bit here and a bit there, nibbling away at the edges, that Australians need to become much more aware of.  - CM

'Justice King called the plans "evil".

No need for scare quotes. The plans were evil. - CM

'"A totally horrific event, if it ever came to pass", she said.

It is not just their chosen method but their ultimate goal - to Islamise Australia, to achieve Muslim rule here, to impose the sharia which mandates and sacralises brutal discrimination against and oppression of all women and all non-Muslims, which prescribes practices such as stoning, beheading, talaq divorce, wife-beating, the wedding and bedding of little prepubescent girls, the killing of 'apostates' and 'blasphemers' , and the criminalising and forbidding of such innocent joys as the ringing of church bells, the keeping of pet dogs, the playing of music, the painting of portraits, and the drinking of beer and eating of pork - that was and is evil. - CM

'but she described the plot, which took 10 months to plan, [as] "amateurish".

"This was far from a sophisticated plan that was hatched", she said.

Their incompetence should be no grounds for complacency, nor for pity on the part of those against whom their jihad violence was intended.  Incompetent seditionists and fifth columnists remain seditionists and fifth columnists.  An attempted murder that fails because the would-be murderer is an incompetent amateur, remains an attempted murder, plain and simple. -  CM


'In 2009, Fattal travelled to New South Wales to conduct surveillance of the Holsworthy base.  His visit was captured on CCTV.

'But the court heard he carried no camera, no writing materials, and no plans.

'He was arrested by police on the same day on a separate assault charge.

Violent in little, intending violence also in much. - CM

'The court heard all three men support Al Shabaab in Somalia and both Awys and Fattal were prepared to train and fight for the terror group.

A pity they did not go off to Somalia and get themselves killed in the jihad there.  But how many people in that courtroom asked themselves why support for a sharia-pushing jihad gang in Somalia should translate into a plot to kill Australian soldiers on Australian soil? - CM

'Justice King said because the men had not recanted their belief in jihad, they remained a danger to the country.

And unless they were, per miraculum, to apostasise from Islam,  they will not recant their intention to wage Jihad, that is, to practise what has sometimes been called the Sixth Pillar of Islam.  So they will remain dangerous to non-Muslims anywhere and everywhere. - CM

'She added [that] the men should hang their heads in shame for plotting against a country that had welcomed and nurtured them.

She is wasting her breath.  They are not ashamed of waging jihad against the filthy kuffar of Australia, who foolishly admitted them or their parents to this country, which they fully intend to remake in the image of the violent, chaotic Muslim hell-pits - Islamic Lebanon, Islamic Somalia - from whence they came.  Far from it: they are proud of their obedience to Islam, their devotion to the Cause of seeking to bring about the dominance of Islam over the whole of planet earth. - CM

'Intolerant Muslim'

'Justice King described Fattal as a simple man, but said his low intelligence did not make him any less dangerous.

'She said the former champion kickboxer was a devout man with extremist views (no: with entirely orthodox Islamic views - CM), adding that he was an "intolerant Muslim" who had a fervent belief in religious martyrdom.

'Justice King told the court it was clear Fattal believed that Australia, its Government and its troops were all at war with Islam, and he considered all non-Muslims as infidels.

In other words, he is a bog-standard, perfectly orthodox Muslim.  In his 'An Introduction to Islamic Law', scholar Joseph Schacht sums it up: "The Islamic attitude towards non-believers is the law of war; they must be converted, or subjugated, or killed". - CM

'All three are held in protection and likely to remain there.

'For the past 989 days, Fattal has been kept in protectiion, mainly at the Melbourne Remand Centre, due to his behaviour.

'He will not obey prison guards, tries to convert other prisoners, and it is ccnsidered a management problem.

'A management problem'.  That's putting it mildly.  His refusal to obey the guards is because he does not recognise their authority; they represent a non-Islamic system of law and government.  But so what? - the kuffar guards have the guns and he does not, and it had better be made crystal clear to him that he must do as they tell him whether he likes it or not.  I would advise putting him in solitary. That will put an end to his attempts at da'wa, at least. - CM

'The men must serve 13 and a half years before they are eligible for parole.'

If they are ever let out on parole, they will be back to plotting jihad with redoubled vigour in no time. I would advise that after they have served their full sentence, they should be stripped of their Australian citizenship - for which they very plainly have nothing but contempt - and that they and their entire families (who judging from other reports, fully support their actions and share their attitudes) and deported to Lebanon and to Somalia, never to be permitted to re-enter the lands of the non-Muslims. - CM

Posted on 12/16/2011 2:17 PM by Christina McIntosh
Friday, 16 December 2011
Haaretz And Tom Segev: To Be On The Right Side Of History One Must Ignore History

At Hudson New York, Prof. Ephraim Karsh dissects the bias of the sentimentalist and leftist historian Tom Segev, and his protector Haaretz

Of the countless threats of Arab violence in the run-up to the November 29, 1947 Partition Resolution and in its wake, none has resonated more widely than the warning by Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League's first secretary-general, that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to "a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades."

Unfortunately, the longstanding failure to trace the original document in which the threat was made has given rise to doubts regarding its veracity, and by implication - the murderous Arab intentions: not least since the historical truth has been erased from public memory by decades of relentless pro-Arab propaganda.

Small wonder, therefore, that when the missing document was recently found, with an annotated full translation published in the Middle East Quarterly, which I edit, Haaretz columnist and self-styled "new historian" Tom Segev, who had spent a good part of the past two decades turning the saga of Israel's birth upside down, went out of his way to whitewash Azzam's threat and downplay its significance. "There is something pathetic about this hunt for historical quotes drawn from newspapers," he wrote, without disputing the threat's contents or authenticity. "Azzam used to talk a lot. On May 21, 1948, the Palestine Post offered this statement by him: 'Whatever the outcome, the Arabs will stick to their offer of equal citizenship for Jews in Arab Palestine and let them be as Jewish as they like.'" He then quotes Ben-Gurion's alleged description of the League's Secretary-General as "the most honest and humane among Arab leaders."

Azzam might have talked a lot, but there was no contradiction whatsoever between his public threats and private assertions. He privately told his Jewish interlocutors that their hopes of statehood would meet the same calamitous fate as the crusading state, and he reiterated this prognosis in the newly-discovered document. A week before the pan-Arab invasion of Israel on May 15, Azzam told Sir Alec Kirkbride, the powerful British ambassador to Amman: "It does not matter how many [Jews] there are. We will sweep them into the sea." Even the actual Palestine Post report, from which Segev chose to bring a misleadingly truncated quote, had Azzam describe the Arab-invaded State of Israel as "a bridgehead into Arab territory" (that is, a crusader-like alien implant) that must be fought and destroyed for "otherwise they will be fighting us here, in Transjordan, and elsewhere in the Arab State."

It is true that Azzam was prepared to allow survivors of the destroyed Jewish state to live as Dhimmis, or second-class citizens, in the "Arab Palestine" that would arise on its ruins (after all, his statement was made in a memo to the UN seeking to justify "the first armed aggression which the world had seen since the end of the [Second World] War," to use the words of first UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie). But this can hardly be considered an indication of moderation. If anything, it affords further proof, if such is at all needed, that the gap between "the most honest and humane among Arab leaders" and the basic Jewish aspiration for national-self determination was as unbridgeable in 1948 as it is now.

But the story doesn't end here. For Mr. Segev didn't content himself with distorting the contents and significance of a key historical document but also sought to besmirch those who brought it to public attention by claiming that they lifted it from Wikipedia, to which it had supposedly been uploaded by one Brendan McKay - a professor of computer science at the Australian National University in Canberra.

This claim is not only false but the complete inversion of the truth. There was no trace of the newly-found document in Azzam's Wikipedia entry at the time of the document's publication in the Middle East Quarterly. On the contrary, noting the long-misconceived May 14, 1948, as the threat's date - it was actually made on October 11, 1947, in the run-up to the partition resolution - the Wikipedia entry (accessed October 3) questioned its very existence:

One day after the State of Israel declared itself as an independent nation (May 14, 1948), Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, Egyptian, and Transjordanian troops, supported by Saudi and Yemenite troops, attacked the nascent Jewish state, triggering the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. On that day, Azzam is said to have declared: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades". However, Joffe and Romirowsky report that this "cannot be confirmed from cited sources". Benny Morris, who had previously quoted it in his books, refrained from using it in his book 1948 "after discovering that its pedigree is dubious".

In other words, rather than upload Azzam's original threat to Wikipedia (or to any other publication for that matter) as falsely claimed by Segev, Mr. McKay, who on September 22, 2010 informed fellow Wikipedia discussants of having obtained a copy of the original interview in which the threat was made, failed to share his important discovery with the general public so as to keep Arab genocidal designs on the nascent Jewish state under wraps.

Why Mr. McKay agreed to pass a copy of the document to the evidently pro-Israel David Barnett, an American international politics student who had been chasing the document on his own, thus enabling it to see the light of day at long last - including, eventually, in Wikipedia - is not entirely clear: in a private communication, he declined my offer that his name be added as co-author as he didn't "have a good opinion of MEQ".

It is clear, however, that instead of minimizing Azzam's threat and patronizing him in the worst tradition of the "white man's burden" approach, Mr. Segev should have marveled at an important discovery that lays to rest one of the longest running debates on the 1948 war and helps his country reclaim the historical truth after decades of relentless distortion. But then, some journalists simply cannot handle the truth.

Nor, so it seems, can their editorial colleagues.

On October 24, three days after the publication of Segev's article, I emailed my response to Aluf Ben, Haaretz's editor-in-chief, and was informed that the paper's op-ed editor would be in touch. Yet it was only six weeks later (on December 5), after much haggling during which I agreed to cut the article's length by half, that a Hebrew translation was (almost invisibly) published in the inside pages of the op-ed section. When I kept insisting that the original English-language article be also published I received the following response on December 12:

I'm afraid that we will not be able to publish this piece due to space limitations in the English edition of the newspaper. Our paper is considerably smaller than the Hebrew edition and we give priority to pieces published on the main editorial page of the Hebrew paper, which is why you were passed over last week. I had hoped to find a spare slot this week, but this has not been possible.

I would be pleased to be in touch with you directly next time one of your pieces is published on our opinion pages, so that I can receive the original English version in time to consider it for the same day's newspaper.

It is doubtful whether the editors believe their own words. Not only are space limitations wholly irrelevant in the case of an online publication, which is what essentially is, but the editors have had my article for seven weeks, which should have given them more than ample opportunities for a timely publication.

Worse: the fact that Haaretz took the trouble to have Mr. Segev's Hebrew-written piece translated to English, and to have my response translated to Hebrew, while refusing to post an English-written article on its English-language website - where the main defamatory damage to my professional reputation was intended to be done - cannot but be seen as a blatant cover up of a professional misconduct by one of its most senior columnists.

While there is nothing new or surprising in a paper's refusal to own up to its misreporting or publish facts and analysis contradicting its political line, it is ironic that "the paper for thinking people," as Haaretz habitually flaunts itself, would engage in the shoddy business of truth suppression and mouth shutting at a time when it self-righteously fights an alleged attempt by the Israeli government to do precisely that.

The writer is director of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia), research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College, and author, most recently, of Palestine Betrayed.

Posted on 12/16/2011 4:07 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
A Re-posted Story About Jacques Chirac

Cahiers du Cinema: The Arabian Falcon

by Hugh Fitzgerald (March 2007)

                            Ci-gît Jacques d'Iraq. He deserted the West.

                            Radix malorum cupiditas est.

                                                           Epitaphe d'un homme d'état


                            Prie Dieu, prie Dieu, prie Dieu derechef.

                                                           Avvakum (trans. Pierre Pascal)

The classic example of American film noir is the 1941 The Maltese Falcon, in which John Huston made his directorial debut. The film revolved around the search for a fabulously valuable bejeweled falcon, made by the Knights Templar on the isle of Rhodes in the sixteenth century. In the many centuries since, the statue has appeared, in the possession of various owners, then disappeared again, only to resurface, finally, in Istanbul -- old Stamboul, city of mystery -- now in the possession of a White Russian, a certain General Kemidov. A motley crew, including Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, a private detective, and a host of rivalrous villains, including Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, appear, trying to track down that Maltese Falcon for themselves, and ending up with only – well, if you haven’t seen the movie, let me not spoil it.

For some years American filmmakers have contemplated a remake. Amazingly, a story about another fabulous bejeweled falcon, involving people at the very highest level of world politics, has surfaced and it happens to be true. I tell the tale that I heard told. The story begins in the late-1970s. The war in Vietnam is over. Jacques Chirac has just been serving as Prime Minister of France. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein has begun to construct a nuclear reactor.

Decades earlier, in the waning days of World War II, a mild-mannered American had befriended a Frenchman. The friendship deepened during the period of the Marshall Plan. In the years that followed, while the American became an academic, the Frenchman became a very rich contractor, particularly rich from work he performed in the Arab oil states during the 1970s.

At the end of that decade the American happened to be in Paris and had dinner at the home of his old friend. They had both been drinking; the Frenchman was in an expansive mood, a mood for revealing secrets to his old friend. “Do you want to see something awful?” he asked his American friend. “Something of mauvais goût, really mauvais goût?” And he motioned for his companion to follow him into a room down the hall where, from a closet, he removed a large, heavy box, and opened it. “Just look at that,” he said. “What am I going to do with it? I can’t sell it. It was given to me by the Arabs, a kind of reward.” What the American saw, and did not forget, was a bejewelled falcon, very much like the Maltese Falcon as described in the eponymous film. With a body of gold, and precious gems, including diamonds, studding the body, resulting in a figure ornithologically incorrect, but worth close to a million dollars, perhaps more. “Only two of them were made,” he continued. “The other one they gave to…” At this point he named a figure then prominent in French political life, and after a quarter-century, prominent still.

The story made sense. Desert Arabs are known to love falconry; for the richest, bustard-hunting safaris as far away as Pakistan are a passion. And the desert Arabs of the Gulf are known to give expensive presents, often of a kind that can fix forever a certain attitude in the recipient. Just last year it was revealed that one of the gifts Princess Diana had received, and that was among the objects removed for safe-keeping by her loyal butler, was a bejewelled model of a ship, a gift from the Emir of Bahrain, appraised at more than a half-million pounds.

What about the other falcon, the one the Frenchman said had been given to that political figure, Monsieur X? In the United States, such gifts must be turned over to the government. Perhaps that falcon was turned over to the French state, or given to a museum, or sold for the benefit of French widows and orphans. But perhaps not. Ostentatious display of wealth is, of course, something of which only Americans are guilty; they know how to order these matters better in France which, after all, is an old country, sans moeurs et sans reproches.

All this cries out for a remake of The Maltese Falcon, and what a wonderful film it could be. The French version originale bears the unusual title Le Défi de la farfouille, but American audiences will undoubtedly see it under a more straightforward and less allusive title -- say, The Arabian Falcon. Think of it. Scenes of the Empty Quarter. Quelques arpents de sable. The workrooms of a Parisian jeweller, where two men in dishdashi are quietly consulting in a corner with a third man in a Western business-suit. A very particular meeting dans la plus stricte intimité. Scenes of a code-name being entered into a computer -- Project Majnoon -- in a palatial office, in an unidentified Middle Eastern capital, with a moiety of Muslim moon visible through the window, high above the date palms swaying in the outside night. Then, the delivery and viewing of the bird, a viewing shared with only one, or two, or possibly three special friends, all sworn to secrecy. And then the problem of hiding the falcon, or disposing of it profitably. Perhaps the three “friends” share the proceeds. Perhaps it is sold back to someone in the Gulf. Perhaps the precious gems are removed and the statue melted down. Or perhaps the Arabian Falcon simply vanishes, like its Maltese original in the film, never to be seen again.

Such a big-budget film will surely require an international cast worthy of the theme. Possibly Anthony Hopkins could play the corrupt and dissolute politician. Christopher Walken might be his trustworthy and sinister aide. John Malkovich would be perfect as the French-speaking C.I.A. agent determined to expose both the French politician, and similarly corrupt Americans, members of his own agency, including a former station chief in Jiddah who turned out to be responsible for the deaths of three of his fellow agents. The beautiful Persian Jewish spy who helps to uncover the full extent of the conspiracy -- she is known as Leila to the enemy, though her real name is Esther -- ideally should be played by Laura Morante or Erika Marozsan. Finally, the casting director could scarcely do better than enlist the services of Arielle Dombasle, Laetitia Casta, and Emmanuelle Béart as the expensive trio of friendly genuflectors. And just imagine what it would do to box-office receipts if, just before the movie went into distribution, the missing Arabian Falcon -- the very one given to that prominent Frenchman as part of top-secret Project Majnoon, that plan which almost succeeds in establishing, on behalf of the Jihad, a vast network of bribed and co-opted political figures, diplomats, arms salesmen, intelligence agents, academics, and journalists, through all the capitals of the Western world -- were finally, clamorously, tellingly to be found.


Avec privilège et approbation

Imprimerie de la Vérité

Ça Ira, Virginia

Posted on 12/16/2011 8:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
Those Maddened Crowds, Those Contorted Faces

From Associated Press:

3 Yemeni officers killed, including 2 from renegade unit, in southern city of Taiz

(Hani Mohammed/Associated Press) - Protestors shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the prosecution of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Dec. 16, 2011.

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni security officials say three military officers, including two from a renegade unit, were killed by unknown assailants in the southern city of Taiz.

Friday’s attack came days after the vice president announced a security plan calling for militia and military units to withdraw from the streets in an attempt to restore order after months of protests seeking President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ouster.

The security officials said the slain officers from the renegade unit were shot in the center of Taiz. The other officer was shot in his car in a separate incident. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Posted on 12/16/2011 4:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
Still No Analysis Of Why The War Made So Little Sense

Editorial From The Los Angeles Times:

Dec. 16, 2011

Taking leave of Iraq

It was a war of choice, and the choice was a bad one. The costs far outweighed what we achieved

Marking the end

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey; Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta; Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq; and Sgt. Maj. Joseph Allen take part in ceremonies ending the prescence of U.S. troops in Iraq. (Mario Tama / Getty Images / December 15, 2011)

President Obama can be excused for accentuating the positive in an address this week to a military audience at Ft. Bragg, N.C., marking the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Referring to Saddam Hussein, Obama said: "We remember the early days — the American units that streaked across the sands and skies of Iraq. In battles from Nasiriya to Karbala to Baghdad, American troops broke the back of a brutal dictator in less than a month."

That's fine as far as it goes. But almost nine years after President George W. Bush invaded Iraq, it is an earlier, less lyrical comment by Obama that is more to the point. Assailing the war five months before it was launched, Obama, then an Illinois state senator with grand ambitions, said: "I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war."

It takes nothing away from the heroism of U.S. forces to observe that the war in Iraq was the ultimate war of choice, and the choice was a bad one. The George W. Bush administration is largely responsible for the commitment of U.S. forces, which it justified by harping on the alleged presence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and insinuating that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. But Congress shares the blame. Many Democrats — including Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Hillary Rodham Clinton, but not Sen. Barbara Boxer — supported legislation authorizing Bush to attack Iraq unilaterally.

The result was a bloody and prolonged commitment whose successes — the 2007 "surge" of American forces and the establishment of the highly fragile democracy that is in place today — don't justify the decision to go to war. Nor does the removal of Hussein. He was a bloodthirsty dictator, but he posed no danger to the United States at the time of the invasion. The impression persists that some neoconservatives in the Bush administration knew as much but still wanted to topple the longtime strongman as a down payment on the democratization of the Middle East. If so, it wasn't worth the price. Indeed, when the Arab Spring finally arrived early this year, it wasn't inspired by Iraq's experience over the last nine years or by any other Western campaign to promote democracy through regime change; rather, it was set off by homegrown protests in Tunisia and Egypt that boiled up from below.

And what was the price of the Iraq war? The death toll for U.S. forces is near 4,500; estimates of Iraqi fatalities vary wildly; 100,000 is a common figure. Some 32,000 Americans have been injured in hostilities. These numbers reflect human suffering of a magnitude not justified by the decision to go to war. That is an unavoidable, if brutal, fact.

That's the blood. In treasure, the war has already cost $1 trillion, at a time when the United States had other important uses for its money. When you add in future costs, such as ongoing debt service and healthcare costs for injured veterans, that figure will more than double, even if calculated very conservatively, according to political science professor Neta Crawford, coauthor of the "Costs of War" report from the Eisenhower Study Group at Brown University.

Because of a breakdown in negotiations between Iraq and the United States, a planned residual force of 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops will not remain in Iraq to train the Iraqi armed services. From a high point of more than 170,000, the U.S. military presence will dwindle to about 200 service members attached to the American Embassy (though private U.S. contractors will provide advice to Iraqi forces).

We join Obama in hoping that the aftermath of the American presence will be a free, democratic and pluralist Iraq, and one that doesn't ally itself with Iran. But we're not counting on it. The government the United States is leaving in place is politically riven and close to dysfunctional; the country itself has been physically damaged; and infighting persists between Shiite and Sunni Muslims as well as between Arabs and Kurds. In the months and years ahead, those who are left behind have to agree on how to divide the northern city of Kirkuk and how to share the proceeds from the country's lucrative but damaged oil fields, among other thorny questions. Could it all work out for the best? Of course. But that outcome is by no means likely.

The decision to go to war or to sit out international events is a difficult one, and there is no simple formula that will tell a country like the United States when it should get involved. But at the very least, the price of the engagement has to be measured against the direness of the threat and against the likelihood of a successful outcome. In the case of Iraq, the miscalculation of those variables was extraordinarily costly.
Posted on 12/16/2011 8:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
Why The War In Iraq Was Both Fruitless And Stupid
Today's Los Angeles editorial rightly deplores the war as a waste. But what it fails to explain is why it was a waste. And few of those opposed to the war are able to say what it was, for they can't bring themselves to recognize that the waste comes from a failure to grasp the menace of Islam, or rather of those who take Islam to heart, and in failing to do that, can't think in terms of a Camp of Islam that cannot be won over, but that can be divided and demoralized, and hence weakened, while the Western world and the world's other Infidels buy time in which to learn about Islam and to take measures to protect themselves. All attempts to win Muslim hearts and minds are both fruitless and silly. Fruitless because islam itself, a Total Belief-System, inculcates hostility for, hatred of, Infidels, and Good Works by Infidels do not prove stronger than the Faith of Muslims in their own superiority and their fitness to dominate. Stupid because the best way to deal with Islam is to allow Muslims to suffer the consequences of Islam themselves, while preventing them from making us, the world's non-Muslims, sfuffer the consequences of Islam.
Posted on 12/16/2011 8:40 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
Fitzgerald: Concede Victory [from June 15, 2006]

[Re-posted from June 15, 2006]

Listen, some people like to concede defeat. I don't. I prefer, in Iraq, to concede victory. We won in Iraq; we've inadvertently created a situation which will inevitably lead to demoralization and division within the Camp of Islam. If only we have the good sense to recognize it and stop trying to prevent the result that is devoutly to be wished.

It was all inevitable -- the day the regime was deposed. It was inevitable whether or not Turkey had allowed in a fourth division to invade from the north. It was inevitable whether the number of troops that went to Iraq remained the same, or doubled, or tripled. General Batiste's criticism of Rumsfeld's numbers is wrong and irrelevant -- irrelevant because the number of troops could not have changed what became inevitable, and from our point of view highly desirable, after the removal of Saddam and his regime. Forget about the Iraqis, for god's sake, stop talking and stop thinking about "what's good for the Iraqis." Stop being influenced by the handful of plausible, nice, heartwarming "Iraqis" you have had contact with in Iraq -- many of those "Iraqis" serving as the staff (cooks, waiters, cleaners) in the Green Zone, or as translators, are the completely atypical Christians. Many, almost all, of the trustworthiest fighters are Kurds. For Infidels, the permanent instability within Iraq, and the worry that has created in both Iran and Saudi Arabia (and other Arab states) is a welcome, and to the Bush Administration still uncomprehended, unappreciated, development. But there it is: Saddam Hussein is out and from that all further blessings flow.

Now we have only to withdraw and watch how the removal of Saddam Hussein plays itself out. Some deplore the idea of civil war. Why? Wasn't the Iran-Iraq War a good thing from the viewpoint of Infidels? Wasn't the Egypt-Saudi Arabia proxy war in the Yemen? The hostilities over Polisario between Morocco and Algeria? The dislike of Khaddafy for Egypt, and the expulsion from Libya of all those Egyptians? The brief Syrian incursion into Jordan? The Saudi mischief-making, that worries the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council still, and that helps explain why Oman has British military advisors and some troops, and why Kuwait and Qatar allow American troops (Saudi Arabia being, along with Iran and formerly Iraq, one of the three big local bullies)?

Good God, we've won. We won a while ago.

Others may concede defeat.

I don't.

In Iraq, I think we should concede victory. Bush, for god's sake, if you would only see things correctly, you would realize that for all your grotesque misperceptions and sentimentality about how all people "want freedom" and essentially are brothers under a very thin skin, you have nonetheless had a victory. But only if you recognize it and act quickly upon that recognition -- no more unnecessary squandering of resources to undo that victory allowed. An accident, a series of errors, one goddam unintended consequence after another. But there it is: the Shi'a have the power, the Sunnis will never accept it, the Kurds are drilling for oil and appropriating, as they have every right to do so, the oil of Kirkuk and Kirkuk itself.

Concede Victory, and get out.

It is depressing that so many support Bush because they claim he is better than any "dhimmi Democrat." Could it be simply that the times require someone more intelligent, more able to take in a large amount of material, more able to concentrate? It has been nearly five years since the 9/11/2001 attacks. How much of that time has Bush spent on learning what one must learn, now, about Islam, and about the history of Jihad-conquest, and the treatment of non-Muslims under Muslim rule? Does anyone think Bush spends his time, at night, or at the ranch, studying, studying, studying?

Think of all the meetings. Think of all the photo opportunities. Think of all the silly things a President has to do. Think of all the many things he must somehow keep track of -- Social Security, Katrina, the ice in the Arctic, the level of army re-upping, the Leave No Child behind business, and hundreds of other things.

Then look at Bush. Look at how he led his heedless life before he became President. Do you have the feeling he had studied history? Do you have the feeling that he is now well-versed in what he should be well-versed in? Do you think he can think -- beyond, that is, a certain not-adequate-to-the-task level? What do you think of his aides -- the ones that so impress him? Do they impress you? Do they strike you as able to have mastered the matter of Islam, and the instruments of Jihad? How much of Bat Ye'or do you think Condoleeza Rice has read? What do you think she thinks of when she hears the word "Hadith" or the phrase "uswa hasana"? Do you think the idea of Jihad through Da'wa and demographic conquest of Western Europe is a subject of constant attention at the White House -- or a subject that never comes up? Do you think the Pentagon has an office devoted entirely to propaganda intended to raise the level of awareness among non-Arab Muslims about Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacism?

You don't? Of course not. Bush remains both ignorant of the sources, the scope, and the full menace of the Jihad, and he certainly has not allowed the American government to conduct the kind of all-out propaganda, including making use of clever defectors from Islam, that is called for. He lacks imagination. He lacks broad cultivation. He is not able to articulate cleverly the problem -- referring to Islam synecdochically, for example, by using the word "Jihad" and claiming to be fighting "only those few Muslims" who "believe in Jihad to spread Islam until it covers the globe." (What will Muslims do then? Deny it? Own up to it?) He apparently thinks what counts is the level of economic development, the end to poverty, the GDP, the GNP. He's an economic determinist. And so are those who applaud the war in Iraq (not to mention his sentimentalism and heedlessness about immigration) -- David Brooks, My Weekly Standard, the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. They can't quite grasp Islam. It doesn't fit what they know about the world.

As for the complete dismissal of every single Democrat, that too is foolish. It may be that those who want to get off oil want to do so for only one reason (and that reason is a perfectly sensible one): to save the environment. So what? The effect in diminishing Arab and Muslim revenues will be the same. And it may be that some Democrats wish to leave Iraq for the wrong reasons, but so what? If we leave, the right result -- those sectarian and ethnic divisions -- will start to work their magic. And it will be magic as far as we, the Infidels, are concerned, even if the result does not please even those very nice, very plausible, Shi'a Muslims whose interests diverge from ours, for they do not want to be forced to see Islam for what it is, they do not want to divide and demoralize the world of Islam, they do not want the Infidels to begin to halt and reverse Muslim migration, they do not want to have their views discounted because they are Muslims. Such people as Chalabi and Allawi in Iraq, or Fouad Ajami here, may be very nice. Ajami, after all, has two sons at West Point. And he is wonderful on Edward Said, and a truthteller on Israel. But that is no longer enough. Now the interests of the Infidels, and of even the nicest Muslims, diverge, and we must work to save ourselves, not to redo the Middle East for that handful of entertaining, soft-spoken, funny, altogether delightful Muslims. A different world now. This chase has a beast in view.

Concede victory, and get out. We won.

Posted on 12/16/2011 8:48 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
Fitzgerald: Is Present-Day Jihad Caused By Spontaneous Combustion?

[Re-posted from September 13, 2009]

“The temporary lull in Islamic ambitions after the fall of the Ottoman caliphate has now spontaneously recombusted into nuvoIslamic [sic] ambitions for a world caliphate ala Al Qeda, Iran’s Ayatollahs, Saud supremacy, etc” — From a reader’s comment on my article here.

It was not “spontaneous combustion” that brought back, in a big and most dangerous way, the pursuit of Jihad, which by now has gone beyond such original local victims of the post-war period as Israel and India. It now targets non-Muslim peoples all over, both in the Muslim-ruled lands, where they have steadily been persecuted, humiliated, and their numbers have declined, and in the lands of Dar al-Harb, where the Muslims who have innocently and far too negligently been allowed to settle in large numbers have taken advantage of every benefit the generous Infidel nations provide. These include the kind of education and medical care unobtainable in the Muslim lands. Muslims have also taken advantage of the edifice of human rights guarantees in order not to promote but rather to subvert the very legal and political institutions that gave birth to those rights, and have helped to maintain and even expand them.

The Return of Jihad is a result of the fact that Muslims became both more powerful, and more aware of their power and their ability to spread the message of Islam more fully to fellow Muslims — and to disrupt, and demoralize, and confuse, and even bully non-Muslim peoples and states that remained, militarily, far more powerful.

Three developments that very largely explain this. I have gone over them many times before, but there is always a need to repeat the theme, until it sinks in.

The first is the tremendous transfer of wealth to the oil-and-gas-rich Muslim countries, almost all of them Arab — more than twelve trillion dollars since 1973 alone. That Money Weapon, the Jihad of Wealth, has paid for mosques, madrasas, campaigns of Da’wa, campaigns of propaganda by Western hirelings who are supposed to protect Arab and Muslim interests, and do so, not only by conducting insidious campaigns against obvious targets of Jihad (for example, Israel), but also in targeting individuals who show a willingness to stand up against Islam (e.g., Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali).

These campaigns also promote the continued power of these same Arab and Muslim states by trying to prevent a serious effort to curtail the use of oil. The Saudis hate the phrase “energy independence” — it happens to be a politically useful phrase for those who wish to encourage the use of other forms of energy and energy conservation — and are paying everyone and his brother to write Op/Eds about what the Saudi shills sweetly call “energy interdependence.” This latter phrase is a sly way to insinuate the idea that 1) it will be impossible to get off oil and 2) don’t even try and 3) Saudi Arabia is your friend and don’t tell anyone otherwise or there may be hell to pay.

That is an idle threat, by the way, for the Saudis are hopelessly dependent on the sale of oil, and hopelessly dependent for the running of their economies, and for their political survival, on the West itself. The reverse is not true, no matter how many well-connected Western hirelings tell us otherwise — including former American diplomats and C.I.A. agents (think of the likes of Raymond Close and James Akins). And Saudi money not only pays for thousands of mosques, and imams of the most extreme Wahhabi bent, but it also pays for madrasas, and teams of lawyers to help expand both in the face of local opposition from zoning boards or a worried populace. It also pays for tame journalists, and for academics of the venal esposito sort, and for chairs named after King Abdul Aziz, and whole departments or even centers, for “Islamic Studies” of one phony sort or another. For more on that, see Esposito’s fiefdom, which he continues to connect, shamelessly, to Georgetown. Or see the “Centers” at Exeter and Durham in Great Britain.

For especially delicate matters, however, the Saudis have learned to stand back and let more acceptable-sounding Arab countries be the front men, offering the financial support. Take the case of Tariq Ramadan. A full-time propagandist for Islam, Tariq Ramadan in colubrine fashion pretends there is some brand-new never-seen-before “European” Islam that will somehow develop in Europe, but the contents of which, and the difference between “European” Islam and the Islam to be found everywhere else, is never made clear, because no such difference exists. This “European” Islam is supposed to quiet the growing disquiet of Europeans at the Muslim immigrants who have turned out, in their attitudes and their behavior, unsurprisingly, to be akin to invaders in their midst.

When his contract in Geneva was not renewed, and when the jig in France and Switzerland was up, thanks to such studies as Caroline Fourest’s “Frere Tariq,” Ramadan knew it was time to move on, one step ahead of the Infidel posse. He tried to move to America, having convinced the Interfaith Racketeers, the Peace-and-Justice boys, Scott Appleby and company, spending that endowment of BigMac Money like there was no tomorrow, to invite him. But the American government, in a fit of actual intelligence (two kinds), prevented Ramadan from entering the country. So he moved on to two places. He somehow persuaded the good burghers of the Netherlands to give him a paid position and also landed at St. Antony’s College, Oxford — a college for graduate studies only, and one with a perfectly legitimate operation in East European and Russian Studies, along with a perfectly illegitimate operation in Middle Eastern Studies, at least as long as Albert Hourani was alive and running things, with no courses and no waiting. That’s the D.Phil., not to be confused with the American or continental Ph.D. All kinds of Arabs, especially those working on such fascinating topics as “the construction of a ‘Palestinian’ identity — see Rashid Khalidi for one good example — picked up their degrees from what was, in many ways, a unique diploma mill, undercutting the prestige that, many decades ago even an “M.A. Oxon.” once commanded.

Keep firmly in mind that the vast wealth from oil and gas that the Arabs and Muslims received was not the result of their own efforts. In fact, without the accident of geology, and the discovery of such oil wealth and of the means to transport and distribute and then use it — all done by the Western Infidels — the Arabs and Muslims would still be economically weak. That is their natural condition, because of Islam itself. And only the bonanza of oil helped them to become rich.

It is Islam itself that, absent the bonanza of natural resources such as oil, virtually ensures Muslim underdevelopment. There are a handful of exceptions, that is, Muslim-ruled states where some economic development does take place. There are a few places without oil where a non-Muslim minority — Chinese and Hindus in Malaysia, Chinese in Indonesia, Christians in Lebanon — serves as a catalyst and engine for the economy, helping local Muslims to act in ways that without such a non-Muslim presence would be far more difficult to achieve. For Islam discourages hard work. The Arabs, in particular, were used to living by raiding, the razzia (and where there were non-Muslims, on the Jizyah). But the Islamic work ethic is non-existent not only because of the traditional reliance on such raids, one Muslim tribe or group against another or all Muslims against all non-Muslims, but because inshallah-fatalism discourages hard work.

The second major development, mostly unrelated to the first but overlapping with it in time, is that the countries of Western Europe, for different reasons, allowed different populations of Muslims into their midst. They did this, in West Germany, with Turks who were supposed to come, earn money, send those earnings home, and eventually voluntarily be repatriated to Turkey. In Great Britain, in the late 1940s, a bill was passed that made it easier for members of the Commonwealth countries to enter Great Britain. And in the late 1950s a trickle of Pakistanis came, and then more, and then more, with the results we all see. In France, after the end of the Algerian War in 1962, hundreds of thousands of Muslim harkis arrived, that is, Arabs who had fought with the French and who would suffer greatly from FLN reprisals if not rescued. But then, following that, the French allowed in single Algerian males, for the same reason that the West Germans had allowed in single Turkish males. And just as the Germans changed that policy to allow in wives (sometimes “wives” meant “plural wives”), so too did the French, under Giscard d’Estaing, decide to deal with the perceived anti-social or even seemingly sociopathic behavior of some Algerian males by allowing in their wives, and their children, and then other wives. And the result is grim history.

And in Spain there were predominantly Moroccans, and in the Netherlands Moroccans and Turks, and in Scandinavia Arabs and Kurds, and in Italy Somalis and Egyptians and assorted maghrebins, and so on. And everywhere it was the same story, the same impossibility of integration, the same deep hostility, on the part of the Muslims, no matter how much solicitude was shown them, how many benefits made available to them. And no matter how much access they had to a more advanced, more generous, more just, better-ordered society, they did not exhibit, because they did not feel, any gratitude to the Infidels and the Infidel nation-states that made all this possible. Instead, they felt resentment — resentment that they, the Muslims, the “best of peoples,” were not on top, that they, the Muslims, “the best of peoples,” did not have the position that Allah so clearly intended them to have, that they, the Muslims, the “best of peoples,” did not have their demands met, did not have their commands obeyed, and their prohibitions observed.

And while the very first generation of largely-illiterate, and possibly still a little scared, immigrants sometimes worked, that very temporary work ethic soon went by the board. The level of Muslim unemployment rose. It was caused not by discrimination but because Muslims have found ways to easily go on the Western dole, and to receive free education, free medical care, free or subsidized housing. They supplement, where necessary, such benefits with crime. Nearly 60% of French criminals in prison are Muslims, and similar, or even higher percentages, can be found in some other European countries. And for some crimes — such as rape — Muslims constitute 70-80% of the rapists, even in Scandinavian lands where they represent 2-3% of the population.

They have made demands, and they will continue to make demands, for all sorts of changes in what is done. Sometimes it is for single-sex municipal swimming pools. Sometimes it is for prayer-rooms in schools and airports, or footbaths in both, or guaranteed times off of work. Sometimes it has to do with demands for the building of huge mosques and madrasas, or for speaker systems to broadcast the muezzin’s call to prayer. Sometimes it is for changes in school curricula, so that Muslims will not have to endure lessons on, say, the Infidel Kings of France, or the history of Christianity in Europe, or about European anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, or to be asked to read important writers if those writers — say, Victor Hugo (at this website’s search box, insert “Victor Hugo” and “Hugh” for more) — or Voltaire. And of course Muslims try to influence each country’s foreign policy, to make it more distant from America, more hostile to Israel, and more compliant with the demands of Muslim polities and peoples.

The third change that has made the Jihad possible is that of technological advances, the fruit of the advanced non-Muslim countries, both West and East, that have then been appropriated by Muslims and used to advance the cause of Islam. The illiterate villager in a remote part of Afghanistan learns, when the village acquires a radio transmitter, more about the message of Islam, and is possibly whipped up against the Infidels. That is one example. The villager — or urban dweller — in the Shah’s Iran, could listen to audiotapes of the Ayatollah Khomeini, audiotapes that he recorded during the months he lived in France, at Neauphle-le-Chateau. Then his loyal followers made hundreds of thousands of copies for distribution all over Iran. There are recruitment tapes for Al Qaeda that proudly show beheadings, of Nick Berg or Daniel Pearl, or British or Italian or American soldiers. There are the tapes that show, with equal glee, to the monotonous Arabic intoning of Qur’anic verses, American soldiers in tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles making their way along a road when suddenly, as in a comic book, BLAM!, and the vehicle hits an I.E.D., and the scenes of mayhem and death that follow are registered by some Muslim who has been ready to record the whole scene. Then that scene, and many others, go onto videotapes, or onto the Internet, to be seen by many other Muslims who are not offended, but inspired, by the gory displays of Infidel anguish and torment at the hands of those Muslim “warriors” — including the “warriors” who slit the throats of helpless, often completely innocent captives, such as Nick Berg. Berg went off naively to Iraq to help the Iraqis, having been raised with one kind of nonsense from his father, and having further believed another kind of nonsense about the wonderful “Iraqi people” whom we were helping, that was being put out early on by the American government, hellbent on misunderstanding the nature of the people of Iraq (not the same as “the Iraqi people.”)

All of these things — audiotapes, videotapes, the Internet, satellite television (see Al-Manar, see Al-Jazeera) — have been products of the advanced non-Muslim world. But the primitive Muslim world has money, from an accident of geology, and that money helps the funding of those who participate directly or indirectly in violent Jihad, as well as those who conduct Jihad through other, non-violent, often more effective means.

And that is the answer.

Not “spontaneous combustion” — which is merely a lazy getting-out of the duty to study, and to comprehend. That kind of phrase is of a piece with such expressions of frustration and unwillingness to figure out the causes of things, as “well, the Arabs and the Jews have been killing each other for centuries, so I guess they always will” or “no one can figure out why the Middle East is the way it is, I guess, so let’s forget it” or “I’m just getting sick and tired of the Arab-Israeli problem,” or, from a well-known commentator who becomes unaccountably lazy when he senses that the topic at hand requires a more attention and understanding of Islam than he, at least, is prepared to acquire, this remarkable and telling expression of peevish frustration on the part of one who refuses to do the work necessary for intelligent analysis and understanding: “Does anyone else feel, as I do, an almighty weariness with the Levant and its intractable problems, its immemorial rancors, its savage rivalries, its unappeasable grievances?” (He makes no mention of Islam, nota bene, a knowledge of which would, if intelligently brought to bear, explain that Levant, with its “intractable problems” and “immemorial rancors” and “savage rivalries” and “unappeasable grievances.” Now you can find, and place Your Very Own Example Here.

Leave “spontaneous combustion” to that lawyer and landlord in Dickens’s “Bleak House,” the deeply alcoholic Mr. Krook, who is among the bit characters embroiled in the coils of that endless case in Chancery, Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, that goes on until the last farthing in the legacy has been used up on legal fees. The poetic license of Dickens — which has been renewed every year since his death — allows him to indulge, for the sake of fiction, in such things.

The rest of us do not possess that license, and are in other lines of work, and have different kinds of understanding. Here, we are devoted to understanding what makes certain large masses of people, in thrall to a primitive ideology, tick. Then we wish to discover what threats result from their beliefs and their newly-acquired powers, financial and military and demographic, and what we must consider as alternative ways of containing — not finding a “solution,” which is not the right way to think about the matter, but lessening the threat — the power of Islam, and limiting its presence in the Western world, or indeed in the non-Western, but non-Muslim world as well.

To simply attribute such a world-shaking menace as the Return of Islam and the revival of Jihad to something one breezily calls “spontaneous combustion” does not further the common understanding. Leave that phrase to Dickens. He can handle it. He can make poetic use of it. We others, we imperiled mortals, at least right here and right now, can’t.

Posted on 12/16/2011 8:54 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
USCIRF Saved - House Votes Three Year Appropriations

Leonard A. Leo, Chair of USCIRF

Leonard  A. Leo, Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, is one happy man tonight given the US House of Representatives  vote today that extends the life of the Congressionally-chartered Capitol Hill human rights group for three years. Tens of millions oppressed religious minorities in the Muslim Ummah will have a valued voice in our Nation's capitol to defend their interests in the West. Given our post on Wednesday asking people to reach out to Members of Congress and Senators to save USCIRF this vote came virtually in the nick of time. The legislation next goes to the White House for signing by President Obama. Here is the Christian Post article  on this development, a credit to the original author of the 1998 International Religious freedom Act, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and the Members of the House who voted to continued this valued program.

           House  Vote Saves USCIRF

The House of Representatives has given the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) a happy ending in its long struggle to stay alive.

The office of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) confirmed that the House reached a majority voice vote on H.R. Bill 2867, and thus ensured that USCIRF will receive funding for an additional three years.

The government watchdog group was set up in 1998 to advise the president, Congress and the State Department on religious persecution abroad. Wolf drafted the language for the commission's reauthorization and has been one of its strongest supporters.

"The commission is a beacon of hope for those whose most fundamental liberties are under assault," Wolf said in a statement. "These individuals long to have their plight known and their cause championed. I am grateful that Congress recognizes the importance of the work of the commission."

USCIRF has needed all the help it could get since its funding originally expired in September. Congress decided to keep it around until November, but the group continuously faced the threat of shutdown until today’s House vote. The Friday morning House vote actually took place the same day of USCIRF’s scheduled extinction had the bill not been approved.

"We can start unpacking the boxes now and get back to work," said Leonard A. Leo, USCIRF's chair, to The Christian Post. "This is good news for persecuted people from all over the globe. Freedom of religion is essential to the individual dignity and worth of people everywhere."

Lindsay Vessey, Open Doors USA's advocacy director, said her group was excited for continuing relations with USCIRF as they're a valuable ally in combating religious persecution abroad. All the same, she said, she found it shameful that Congress took so long to approve USCIRF's second chance.

As The Christian Post has previously reported, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) allegedly delayed passage of USCIRF's funding on account of other budget concessions in the same legislation. Calls to Sen. Durbin's office were not returned before press time.

"USCIRF is the only government organization of its kind in America," Vessey said. "When we don't stand up for religious freedom in other countries, we risk losing them here. We have a moral obligation here in the United States to speak out for that freedom abroad."

Leo said USCIRF has protected religious groups from persecution since 1998 by listing oppressive nations as "countries of particular concern." Such "CPCs" are worth highlighting, he said, as they keep America's foreign policy focused on protecting religious liberty. Once USCIRF resumes full operations, he added, it plans on targeting Bahrain for its intolerant government and Iraq after the withdrawal of American troops.

"The difficulties and challenges we faced in this process suggest that unfortunately freedom of religion doesn't have the place of prominence it should in our foreign policy," Leo said. "Countries that ensure religious freedom are more stable, more productive and more agreeable with the rest of the world. This is thus in our country's national interest."

USCIRF will undergo some cosmetic changes as part of its reauthorization. Dr. Richard Land – executive editor of The Christian Post, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and an USCIRF commissioner – said that its nine commissioners will now face two-year-term limits and that their travel will receive greater government regulation. Despite the new restrictions, he said it was more important continuing the commission's work than keeping old practices.

"I've never been more proud to be an American than I have during my service on this commission," said Land, who will leave the group with seven other commissioners in 90 days due to the new term limits. "I am comforted by the fact others will have the opportunity to serve and be blessed like I was. We've made a real difference in real peoples' lives."

Dr. Carl Moeller, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, commented in a statement that Congress' decision finally ended months of speculation on USCIRF's existence. He said he hoped President Obama would approve the group's funding so they can keep monitoring intolerant regimes abroad.

"Praise the Lord that action finally produced results, even if it was at the last minute," Moeller said. "The continued existence of the USCIRF will provide valuable accountability to religious rights violators worldwide."

The USCIRF reauthorization bill will now head to President Obama’s desk to be signed.

Posted on 12/16/2011 8:42 PM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 16 December 2011
A Cinematic Interlude: The Green Man (Alastair Sim)
Watch here.
Posted on 12/16/2011 9:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
Why Was Alwan Allowed Into This Country "As A Refugee" In 2009? Why Was Hammadi?

Iraqi Pleads Guilty To Trying To Assist Al-Qaeda

Waad Ramadan Alwan, right, arrives at the William H. Natcher Federal Courthouse for a detention hearing on Friday, in Bowling Green, Ky. Alwan, 30, appeared in federal court in this south-central Kentucky college town and pleaded guilty to trying to funnel weapons and cash to al-Qaeda operatives in his home country of Iraq.
Enlarge Alex Slitz/AP

Waad Ramadan Alwan, right, arrives at the William H. Natcher Federal Courthouse for a detention hearing on Friday, in Bowling Green, Ky. Alwan, 30, appeared in federal court in this south-central Kentucky college town and pleaded guilty to trying to funnel weapons and cash to al-Qaeda operatives in his home country of Iraq.

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December 16, 2011

An Iraqi man who had claimed he was innocent of terrorism-related charges did an abrupt about-face Friday, pleading guilty in a Kentucky courtroom to trying to funnel weapons and cash to al-Qaida operatives in his home country.

Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, appeared in federal court in this south-central Kentucky college town to plead guilty to conspiring to attack American soldiers in Iraq, conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

Alwan was arrested in May in Bowling Green and had previously pleaded not guilty to charges in an indictment that also named fellow Iraqi Mohanad Shareef Hammadi.

Alwan's attorney, federal Public Defender Scott Wendelsdorf, declined to comment after the hearing.

"Today in open court, Waad Alwan admitted to engaging in terrorist activities both here in the United States and in Iraq," U.S. Attorney David J. Hale said in a statement. "He acknowledged he had built and placed numerous improvised explosive devices (IEDs) aimed at killing and injuring American soldiers in Iraq, and he admitted that he tried to send numerous weapons from Kentucky to Iraq to be used against American soldiers."

Hale said the joint efforts of federal and local law enforcement had thwarted "the ongoing intentions of an experienced terrorist."

"The guilty plea today sends a strong message to anyone who would attempt similar crimes that they will face the same determined law enforcement and prosecution efforts," he said.

Alwan, appearing in an orange jail jumpsuit and wearing leg irons and with an interpreter seated next to him, pleaded guilty to all 23 counts in the indictment against him.

At one point in the proceedings, Alwan nodded and quietly told the interpreter he understood the charges and possible penalties.

He faces a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced April 3.

Alwan pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals abroad, distributing information on how to make and use improvised explosive devices, attempting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to transfer, possess and export Stinger missiles.

Hammadi, 24, was not mentioned during the hearing, and no trial date has been set for him. He has pleaded not guilty. Hale declined to say whether Alwan would testify against his co-defendant. "We can't discuss that issue," he said.

Hammadi's attorney, James Earhart, said Friday that Alwan's guilty plea does not affect Hammadi's case. When asked if Hammadi might also plead guilty, Earhart said, "We're continuing to explore that, but we've not reached any agreement."

Before the hearing, Alwan rubbed his eyes occasionally and would sometimes rest his chin against one of his hands.

Responding to a litany of questions from Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell, Alwan offered a brief autobiographical sketch, saying he had a high school education and had been a chicken factory worker in the U.S. He showed no emotion before the hearing or while answering the questions from the judge.

Alwan and Hammadi were living as refugees in Kentucky when they were arrested after an investigation that began months after their arrival in the U.S. in 2009. Neither has been charged with plotting attacks within the United States, and authorities said their weapons and money didn't make it to Iraq because of a tightly controlled undercover investigation.

Alwan was also charged with conspiring to attack American soldiers in Iraq. Other charges include conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

Hammadi is also charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to transfer, possess and export Stinger missiles.

Alwan admitted to trying to supply al-Qaida in Iraq with a cache of weapons that included machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, plastic explosives, sniper rifles, Stinger surface-to-air missile launcher systems and grenades.

Authorities have said the weapons and money didn't make it to Iraq because of a tightly controlled undercover investigation.

"The successful investigation, arrest, interrogation and prosecution of Mr. Alwan demonstrates the effectiveness of our intelligence and law enforcement authorities in bringing terrorists to justice and preventing them from harming the American people," Lisa Monaco, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement.

On multiple occasions, Alwan transferred money believing it would go to al-Qaida in Iraq for the purpose of killing Americans overseas, according to prosecutors. Alwan admitted to trying to feed the cash and weapons pipeline to al-Qaida from September 2010 through May 2011 from Kentucky.

While in Iraq, Alwan conspired with others to plant and detonate numerous roadside bombs against U.S. troops, according to the plea agreement and other court documents.

Alwan's fingerprints were lifted off an improvised explosive device found in Iraq in 2005. Before he entered the U.S. as a refugee in 2009, he had to provide a set of fingerprints for a security check.

Prosecutors said that from about 2003 through 2006, Alwan conspired to kill U.S. nationals in Iraq.

Alwan also drew diagrams of improvised explosive devices and provided detailed oral instructions on how to make and use them, prosecutors said, adding that the diagrams were intended to train others in how to make and use the bombs in order to kill Americans overseas.

Russell ruled in September that Alwan could be tried in civilian court, a matter that has escalated into a hot-button political issue.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pushed to have Alwan and Hammadi tried at the military-run prison at Guantanamo Bay. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said terrorism-related trials can be successfully handled by civilian courts.

"Today's plea of guilt by Alwan, who boasted of killing U.S. troops in a warzone overseas, and bragged that his `lunch and dinner would be an American,' confirms that he was a combatant who was associated with enemy forces overseas," McConnell said in a statement issued Friday night. "The military should have had custody of him to begin with for purposes of intelligence, detention and punishment."

Alwan and Hammadi entered the United States through a refugee program in 2009.

Both have remained in federal custody since their arrests.

Posted on 12/16/2011 9:31 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
A Musical Interlude: I May Be Wrong (The High Hatters, voc. Frank Luther)
Listen here.
Posted on 12/16/2011 9:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
The Arab Spring Still Blossoming In Egypt

Egypt's Military Clashes With Protesters; 7 Dead

ABC News -
By AYA BATRAWY AP Soldiers stormed an anti-military protest camp outside Egypt's Cabinet building Friday, beating women with sticks and hurling chunks of concrete and glass onto protesters from the roof of the parliament in a resurgence of turmoil only ..

Posted on 12/16/2011 10:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
Pakistan's ISI Asks Arab Leaders For Permission?

From The Independent (Emirates):

ISI chief had got nod to sack Asif Ali Zardari: Mansoor Ijaz

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's powerful spy agency chief, General Shuja Pasha, had sought and got permission from senior Arab leaders to oust President Asif Ali Zardari, said Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz while confirming the claim in a blog in a British daily.

Omar Waraich in his blog on The Independent claimed that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Gen Shuja Pasha had sought and "received permission from senior Arab leaders to sack Z" (President Zardari), reported Geo News.

The blog said: "`I was just informed by senior US intel,' Ijaz writes in a message on May 10, `that GD-SII Mr P asked for, and received permission, from senior Arab leaders a few days ago to sack Z. For what its worth'." GD-SII was an anagram for DG-ISI.

Mansoor Ijaz, who had revealed the secret memo to Washington that said Zardari had feared a military coup after US commandos killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad May 2, told Geo News: "This information has been on the record now for the better part of six weeks."

Ijaz said Pakistan's then envoy to US Hussain Haqqani had approached him May 9 and he then decided to check the veracity of what Haqqani told him.

Mansoor Ijaz claimed that General Pasha had travelled throughout the Arab world and other countries after the May 2 raid.

"In many places he (ISI chief), in fact, explained that there was a lot of stress in the system because people could not understand who the blame should be pinned on for the fact that (Osama) bin Laden was on their soil," said Mansoor Ijaz.

The secret memo to Washington had stunned Pakistan. The abrupt departure of President Zardari over a heart condition to Dubai Dec 6 had sparked coup rumours. There have been conflicting reports of his health, with one saying he suffered a minor attack and another that he had a stroke that caused bleeding in the brain and facial paralysis.

The president has been discharged from the Dubai hospital and shifted to his residence, authorities said Wednesday night.

Posted on 12/16/2011 10:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
Fitzgerald: Victory in Iraq

[Re-posted from January 18, 2007]

Winning in Iraq is important. And we need a return on our investment: 3,000 dead, nearly 25,000 wounded, about $700 billion so far spent or committed in future unavoidable costs, with estimates for the total ranging between $1 trillion and $2 trillion.

And winning can only be done if the definition of "victory" is first made clear.

What is the correct definition of "victory" for the United States? It is the Camp of Islam and Jihad rendered weaker than it was before. The Administration keeps saying that bringing "democracy" itself somehow weakens the appeal of what it inaccurately describes as "extremists who have hijacked a great religion," but since those "extremists" or merely the more religious and less secular have only increased their power whenever free elections have been held -- in Algeria, in Egypt, in the "Palestinian"-controlled territories -- the clash of theory and reality is never explained. How can the Camp of Islam be weakened if American efforts are directed at ensuring a united, stable, and prosperous Iraq?

And if that impossible goal were somehow attained after another few years of expensive and depleting American efforts and expense, and focus remains on Iraq while every other matter is somehow pushed to the back or the side, including that of Iran's steady nuclear project, how would this Iraq serve as a Model? How could an Iraq that was once the place of the Abbasid Caliphate be lost to the Shi'a? After all, that was where so much of that "glorious Islamic past" upon which Muslims like to dwell took place. It is a place so important to their sense of themselves and their rightful role in the universe, that if it were lost by the Sunni Arabs and came to be dominated by the Shi'a, those "Persians," those Rafidite dogs, this would be worse in the eyes of both the Egyptian press and Saudi clerics than Jews and Christians dominating Iraq. Yes, that's just how bad those Shi'a are.

How would the achievement of the stated goals of the Bush Administration in Iraq weaken the Camp of Islam?

The way to weaken the Camp of Islam, and thus to justify the incredible expense in men, money, materiel, and morale both civilian and military, is to allow a situation within Iraq to be created (and still better if that situation is entirely a creation of the people in Iraq -- not "the Iraqis" who do not exist – themselves) in which Muslims who would otherwise be waging jihad against us are divided and demoralized. This will weaken the Camp of Islam. Two of the three major fissures within Islam -- sectarian and ethnic -- are pre-existing conditions. Their origins can be found in the first century of Islam.

The ethnic fissure is that between Arabs and Kurds. The Americans did not cause the mistreatment of the Kurds by both kinds of Arabs, but a not-impossible Kurdish state would serve American interests in two ways. It could weaken both Syria and Iran, that have circumjacent Kurdish populations. And in the case of Iran, not only Iranian Kurds but other non-Persian minorities (Arabs, Azeris, Baluchis) might be inspired by an independent Kurdistan. And the very existence of an independent Kurdistan could have effects far beyond the immediate area for other non-Arabs, including Berbers in North Africa and black Africans in Darfur. They might be heartened by the example of a non-Arab Muslim people throwing off the Arab yoke. And in the "war of ideas" that some like to refer to, anything that reveals Islam to have been and to remain a vehicle of Arab imperialism, cultural, linguistic, economic, and political, is to be encouraged -- so that non-Arab Muslims will begin to view Islam in a new, more accurate, less attractive and more disturbing light.

The much larger fissure is that between Sunni and Shi'a. It goes back to the seventh century and the proper succession, after the Four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, to Muhammad. But it became a difference in ritual and in some doctrines as well, though not in the teachings about, and attitudes exhibited, toward non-Muslims. This too was not encouraged by the Americans. The war being conducted on Shi'a by Sunnis centuries ago led to the former adopting the doctrine of taqiyya (which is now essentially practiced by Sunni Muslims as well, relying on Qur'an and Hadith for justification), that is, religiously-sanctioned dissimulation about the faith. Sunni-Shi'a tensions, and Sunni discrimination against or persecution of the Shi'a, including deliberate campaigns of murder as in both Iraq and in Pakistan, will go on whatever the Americans do. These tensions can be seen in Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan, in Lebanon, in Bahrain, in Kuwait.

The "victory" in Iraq that would result from the continuation, and enlargement, even beyond Iraq's borders, of ethnic and sectarian hostilities and warfare within the Camp of Islam, is the only kind of "victory" that makes sense. And though it was made possible by the removal of the iron regime and mailed fist of Saddam Hussein, the conditions that cause those fissures were none of America's doing. All the Americans have done is try to prevent the very things that they should be deliberately not preventing, but exploiting.

A topsy-turvy strategy. A crazy quilt of plans and counter-plans that miss the essential point.

A mad world, my masters!

Posted on 12/16/2011 10:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 16 December 2011
In Saudi Arabia, Escaped Worker-Slaves Prove To Be A Problem


Saudis complain of huge losses from escaped workers


JEDDAH: Expatriate workers in the Kingdom find it very easy to escape from their sponsors — either a person or a company — without losing money.

Despite the difficulties that Saudi citizens and companies face to import workers in addition to the money they pay for visas — SR7,000 or more per worker — Saudi Arabia does not have a strict law to protect the rights of the citizen or company when the worker escapes. Economists estimate that Saudi Arabia loses SR38 million annually on escaped workers.

Arab News spoke to lawyers and officials in the Ministry of Interior, who confirmed that the government had nothing to do with escaped workers apart from deporting them. They also confirmed that the citizen is the only loser in such cases.

“It is common these days to hear about escaped workers, maids and drivers. They sometimes escape from their sponsor while looking for higher payment and better treatment,” said Abdulrahman Al-Jehani, head assistant of the recruitment department in the ministry.

The government duty, in this case, is to arrest the escaped worker and deport him or her, said Al-Jehani.

He added that workers sometimes escaped because of bad treatment [litotes] or because they had not been paid their salary on time, but “workers should know that escaping is not the solution for them.”

According to Al-Jehani, it was the Kingdom’s rule to deport those working with no passport, no iqama (residence permit), or with someone other than their original sponsor.

Many citizens complain about the high losses they run into when they import a worker and the Ministry of Interior subsequently deports him or her.

“We pay from SR5,000 to SR10,000 to import a maid or driver with a contract that defines eight working hours and a salary of SR800. Some workers accept this contract and spend a few months with their sponsor, but once they get the opportunity to escape, they do so,” said Abdulaziz Al-Ghamdi, a Saudi teacher who recruited a maid and driver from Indonesia two years ago.

Raeda Bahmishan, Saudi owner of a beauty salon in Jeddah, confirmed that a large number of workers she brought from Philippines escaped after they had cost her SR20,000.

“In the past, it was much easier to bring workers from East Asia, and Saudi women actually favor them. I recruited them with a salary of SR4,000, but as a result of the tough competition between beauty salons, they escaped to work in newly established beauty centers with a SR500 salary increase,” she said. Huge losses, she added, forced her to hire Saudi workers for SR2,500 a month, “although customers prefer Asians.”

Abdullah Murad, a Saudi lawyer and member of the lawyers’ committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, confirmed that many cases involving Saudis and expat workers were in courts, but that such cases took long years.

“Clashes are on the rise between worker and sponsor. Some workers prefer to refuge to court, while most expat workers prefer to escape and search for other work opportunities,” he said.

“When the worker escapes, Murad added, he wastes his opportunity to get his right. In this case, the worker loses his job and iqama and risks being arrested at any time.”

Murad confirmed that there was no rule to give the citizen any rights when his worker escaped.

Studies released by Asharqia Chamber show that most escaped workers are from East Asia, constituting some 62.2 percent. It also shows that Arab escaped workers are estimated at 35 percent, most of them Egyptians. The third highest amount of escaped workers is from Bangladesh, an estimated 27.7 percent. These nationalities are followed by Pakistanis with 14.4 percent, Indians constituting 12.1 percent, Filipinos with 2.1 percent, and Sri Lankans with 1.6 percent.

Posted on 12/16/2011 11:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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