These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 18, 2010.
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Mum allegedly hacks her four-year-old daughter to death while listening to the Koran
From The Mirror and the Daily Mail
Shayma Bharuchi is believed to have stabbed her young daughter in the heart and horrifically chopped out her organs. Police suspect she carried out the gruesome killing as a religious offering while chanting verses of the Muslim holy book.
The girl’s father, Jerome Negrey, is said to have returned from work on Thursday afternoon to find his partner covered in blood and clutching a kitchen knife. Mr Negney, believed to be a Muslim convert, dialled 999 . . . The little girl's heart and other organs were found in different rooms around the flat in Clapton, east London.
A police source said: “It appears to be some sort of bizarre ritual killing. She was chanting passages of the Koran while listening to a recording of the text on her MP3 player.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Officers were called to reports of a stabbing at 3.24pm on Thursday, December 16. A four-year-old girl was found stabbed to death and was pronounced dead at the scene. A woman was arrested on suspicion of murder and will undergo psychological assessments before being interviewed.”
Bharuchi, who is understood to have two teenage children of 14 and 16, has since been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and is in a secure unit.
Yesterday a shocked resident, a mum in her 30s, said Mrs Bharuchi always wore a black headscarf with a veil. She added: 'Usually you could only see her eyes.
This can’t be jihad, and for once I think the ‘mental health’ excuse is probably genuine. But I would like to know what verses she was listening to. I am reminded of the case of Khyra Ishaq who was starved to death by her niquabed Muslim mother. The isolation of Muslim women must contribute to their ill health and the dysfunction of their family life.
Posted on 12/18/2010 3:20 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 18 December 2010
The Latest On Sunnis And Shi'a In Bahrain
BAHRAIN’S KING PLEDGES TO STOP PLAYING WITH DEMOGRAPHICS
Sunni immigrants receive citizenship, generous benefits, angering Shiite majority
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has pledged to rein in a secretive program aimed at boosting the number of fellow Sunni Muslims in his island kingdom, where Shiites constitute the vast majority of the population but are deprived of power and the best jobs.
Although never formally acknowledged as official policy, Shiite opposition leaders say anecdotal evidence, as well as the kingdom’s extraordinary population growth, point to a policy of tajnees, or naturalization, for Sunnis. On Tuesday, however, the king hinted to parliament, elected after unusually tense voting in October, that this policy would change.
"It is unreasonable for a person to enter the melting pot of Bahrain's identity … without fully espousing the great Bahraini national spirit," Al-Khalifa declared. He said an immigrant should be naturalized only "if he is loyal, and the nation needs him, and in very limited numbers."
Across the water from Iran, Bahrain occupies a strategic position in the Gulf and is a close ally of the United States and home to the American Navy's Fifth Fleet. But the ruling Sunni Al-Khalifa family faces more domestic dissidence than other Gulf rulers because of the island’s Sunni-Shiite split. Shiites constitute some 80% of Bahrain’s population but face discrimination in government jobs and housing.
Bahrain’s 1963 Citizenship Law stipulates that Arabs who lived in the country at least 15 years (and non-Arabs who spent 25 years there), have a clean police record and a steady source of income can apply for citizenship. But Shiites charge that the law isn’t applied equally. Moreover, in 2002, the king issued a decree allowing citizens of other Gulf nations, all heavily Sunni, to take up dual Bahraini nationality.
The U.S. State Department says accurate figures for the number of naturalized citizens isn’t readily available, but it has cited a figure provided by opposition groups that estimate that today some 10% of the population is naturalized citizens. Without a doubt, the government has encouraged immigration: Its population stood at 1.2 million in 2010, showing an extraordinary rise of 90% increase in nine years, the majority of them expatriates.
The opposition has accused the government of bringing in Sunni Muslims from Pakistan, Jordan and Yemen to serve in the military or as government functionaries. The immigrants receive housing immediately upon arrival in the country, creating a housing crisis, said Munira Fakhru, a member of the left-wing opposition group National Democratic Action Society.
The main Shiite opposition bloc, Wefaq, has long criticized the undeclared government policy of tajnees. Two years ago, the party led thousands of mainly Shia Bahraini to the street against tajnees, marching through the streets of Manama with placards saying “naturalization is an absolute evil” and “for the good of Bahrain, stop the naturalization.”
In the parliamentary elections last October, Wefaq won 18 of 40 seats in the lower house of parliament, one seat more than in the previous elections in 2006.
Some experts say the king's speech may mark a major shift in Bahrain's immigration policy.
"This may be the beginning of a strategic process," Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, told The Media Line. "The stake of raising the issue in parliament is simply too high for it not to be politically significant."
King Hamad is trying to incorporate the Shiite opposition into Bahraini politics to counter Shiite Iran, whose government has in the past laid claim to Bahrain and the other Gulf islands, Shaikh said. He added that the mere use of the politically loaded term tajnees by the king was noteworthy.
'Iz Al-Din 'Ali, deputy chief editor of the daily Al-Ayam, said the king specified the reasons for the immigration limit, proving that his speech was the result of serious research.
"The king spoke about people who have received citizenship and benefited from it, but do not feel Bahraini," 'Ali told The Media Line. "From now on, I believe we will see a tightening of immigration and an end to arbitrary naturalization. Only people with special skills, such as doctors or engineers, will receive citizenship."
But some Bahrainis were more skeptical, saying that the king's words must be followed by deeds to be credible.
"It's a very good step, but I would like to see more transparency," Fakhru of the National Democratic Action Society told The Media Line. "I would like to see a list with the number of naturalized citizens, their nations of origin, the government jobs they get, and the reasons for their naturalization."
Immigration is a highly sensitive and secretive issue in Bahrain, Fakhru added, but argued that opposition to it crosses sectarian lines.
"This position is shared by Sunnis and Shiites, because the exploitation of Bahrain's resources is too great," she said.
Fakhru ran for parliament in October, but she and two other candidates from her party lost. The army, she said, is told who to vote for; and since many soldiers are naturalized expatriates, it was clear that odds were against her.
"The army should follow orders, but it shouldn't meddle in politics," she said.
Posted on 12/18/2010 8:18 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Wikileaks: Egypt Tries To Head Off Independence For Southern Sudan
Wikileaks memo reveals Egypt's Nile fears over Sudan
Dec 5, 2010
A leaked US embassy cable has revealed Egypt's fears about the possibility of its neighbour Sudan breaking into two.
In the cable, written last year, a foreign ministry official urged the US to help postpone a referendum on independence for Southern Sudan.
The official said the creation of "a non-viable state" could threaten Egypt's access to the River Nile.
Cairo's Almasry Alyoum newspaper published the cable, one of thousands being released by Wikileaks.
Southern Sudan is due to vote in a referendum on independence in January.
But in the cable - from the US embassy in Cairo - the official talks of implications should south Sudan secede and concern is expressed about the River Nile - a lifeline for Egypt.
Egypt has in the past threatened to go to war with any country tampering with the Nile.
The official said the creation of "a non-viable state" could threaten Egypt's access to the Nile at a time when several countries are negotiating how to share the river's water.[the Southern Sudan is "non-viable" only if the Arabs of the Sudan manage to steal much of its oil, and if the Arabs of Egypt manage to bully the southern Sudanese into not using the waters of the Nile for agriculture]
The official presses the US to help postpone the referendum by four to six years.
Egypt clearly fears a new nation, Southern Sudan, would be more likely to side with the upstream countries of the Nile basin like Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.
Those countries believe a colonial era treaty which guarantees that Egypt receives most of the Nile water is unfair.
Egypt and Sudan are refusing to sign up to a new agreement.
The fact that south Sudan is oil rich is seen as a major reason for tension ahead of the referendum on independence.
However, some argue that the vital water resource is likely to be a far greater bone of contention in the region long after the oil wells have dried up.
Wikileaks has so far released more than 600 of 251,000 classified US diplomatic and military cables.
Posted on 12/18/2010 8:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Meanwhile, In Brazil....
From Latin American Herald Tribune:
BRASILIA – The Brazilian government for the past three years has been “closely monitoring” about 20 people who live in this country and have been linked to the Lebanese group Hezbollah and to the Islamic Jihad militias, the press reported Sunday.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Police and the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, or Abin, an entity that is attached to the Office of the President, which were alerted by U.S. intelligence services, the Folha de Sao Paulo said.
The people being “monitored” are all of Brazilian nationality and “have converted to Islam,” and “the CIA believes ... (that) they were recruited to learn how to establish political or armed cells,” the newspaper said.
The members of the group live in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, in the southern state of Parana and in the northeastern part of the country, and over the past three years they have traveled at least twice to Tehran, the Folha de Sao Paulo said, citing Abin officials.
Intelligence services suspect that Moshen Rabbani – the former cultural attache at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires, for whom there is an international arrest warrant outstanding for the 1994 terrorist bombings of the AMIA Jewish community organization in the Argentine capital that left 85 dead – took “refuge” in Tehran and might be the “intermediary” between the Brazilians and the Islamic groups, the newspaper said.
Cables revealed last week by WikiLeaks show that the United States claims that the Brazilian Federal Police “frequently arrests people linked to terrorism but accuses them of crimes related to other things to divert attention,” Folha de Sao Paulo said.
The United States has expressed on different occasions its fear of the possible presence of Islamic terrorists in the so-called “triple border” region where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay share common borders and where there is a significant Arab community.
However, despite the fact that the matter has been under investigation, especially since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, authorities have never been able to prove that that border region has been any kind of “refuge” for terrorists.
Posted on 12/18/2010 9:06 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Muslim Aid: Hopeless Charity Commission whitewashes yet another Islamist group
The most methodical Andrew Gilligan in The Telegraph
The Charity Commission, Britain’s most ineffective regulator, has once again whitewashed an organisation linked to fundamentalist Islam.
In March this newspaper reported on allegations that the charity Muslim Aid, a close associate of the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe, had channelled funds to eight organisations linked to the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Muslim Aid has admitted funding two of the organisations and has repeatedly refused to deny funding the other six.
Now, however, the Commission has published what it is pleased to call a “regulatory case review” into the charity saying that allegations of terrorist links are “unsubstantiated.”
It has only been able to reach this verdict by completely ignoring the vast majority of the allegations made against Muslim Aid, and by redefining the single allegation it did choose to “investigate” in a way which allowed it to exonerate the charity. By its own admission, it did not even investigate seven out of the eight allegations which it now claims are “unsubstantiated.”
The allegations made against Muslim Aid were as follows:
(1) that it had since July 2009 channelled money to six organisations linked to Hamas:
(a) the Islamic Society of Nuseirat;
(b) the Islamic Society of Khan Younis;
(c) the Islamic Centre of Gaza;
(d) the Islamic al-Salah, Gaza;
(e) the National Association of Moderation and Development;
(f) the Khan Younis Zakat Committee.
The allegations were made by security sources, who provided us with documentary evidence of the dates and amounts.
(2) that it in the year 2005 paid money to another Hamas-linked organisation, the Islamic University of Gaza.
(3) that it had paid money to the al-Ihsan Charitable Society, linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
(4) that it had extensively funded the Muslim Council of Britain, a UK-based political lobbying group. This is contrary to Muslim Aid’s declared charitable objects, which are “to relieve the poor, the elderly, children and all those who are in need in any part of the world as a result of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, droughts, famines, epidemics, poverty and plagues, to relieve those who are refugees fleeing from war zones and war victims.”
Repeatedly asked by us before publication, over a period of more than a week, Muslim Aid refused to deny the security source allegations that they channelled funds to any of groups 1 (a) to 1 (f). Nor, to the best of my knowledge, has Muslim Aid subsequently denied these allegations. It has admitted both to us and the Charity Commission – see paragraph 14 of the Commission’s report – that it did fund al-Ihsan. It has admitted, and its own accounts state, that it funded the Islamic University of Gaza and the MCB.
There is a lot of evidence and links to eveidence such that I recommend reading it all here.
Posted on 12/18/2010 8:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 18 December 2010
French court rules against hijab wearer
From CBC Canada
A French court has ruled against a woman who sued a private child-care centre that fired her for wearing an Islamic headscarf and cloak to work. The case has become a symbol of the debate over religious freedom in France.
The Babyloup nursery, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is located in a poor housing project in the town of Chanteloup-les-Vignes, northwest of Paris. Fatima Afif was fired for wearing a hijab, an Islamic headscarf and a full-length dark cloak. It was not the burqa or niqab, which are face-covering veils.
Nursery director Natalia Baleato said Afif's clothing choice violated internal policy. "Our statutes require us to observe religious neutrality," said Baleato. "People who work with children here all wear a uniform, a smock. Her clothing made it impossible for her to wear the uniform."
Afif sued Babyloup for unfair dismissal. Afif declined to be interviewed Monday, as did her lawyer, Madja Regui. But at a hearing last month, Regui told French media the nursery's religious neutrality policy is excessive. On Monday, the employment court sided with the nursery.
Posted on 12/18/2010 9:06 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Wikileaks: Something Very Wrong With Swedish Political Climate
From The Telegraph:
WikiLeaks: Swedish government 'hid' anti-terror operations with America from Parliament
The Swedish government asked American officials to keep intelligence-gathering “informal” to help avoid Parliamentary scrutiny, American diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks show
The secret cables, seen by The Daily Telegraph, disclose how Swedish officials wanted discussions about anti-terrorism operations kept from public scrutiny.
They describe how officials from the Swedish Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs had a “strong degree of satisfaction with current informal information sharing arrangements” with the American government.
Making the arrangement formal would result in the need for it to be disclosed to Parliament, they said.
They disclose officials’ fear that intense Swedish Parliamentary scrutiny could place “a wide range of law enforcement and anti-terrorism” operations in jeopardy.
Under the heading “teams visits to discuss terrorist screening information exchange with Sweden”, they show Dr Anna-Karin Svensson, Director of the Division for Police Issues, saying the Swedish government would strike controversy if its intelligence methods were disclosed.
The cable claimed that the "current Swedish political climate makes any formal terrorist screening information agreement highly difficult". Swedish citizens are said to place high value on the country’s neutrality. [neutral between Muslim terrorists, and the Western world that is under permemantif low-level attack by Muslim terrorists?]
"The MOJ team expressed their appreciation for the flexibility of the U.S. side in regards to memorialising any agreement," said the cable.
"They expressed a strong degree of satisfaction with current informal information sharing arrangements with the U.S., and wondered whether the putative advantages of an HSPD-6 agreement for Sweden would be offset by the risk that these existing informal channels, which cover a wide range of law enforcement and anti-terrorism co-operation, would be scrutinised more intensely by Parliament and perhaps jeopardised.
"Dr. Svensson reiterated MFA concerns about the current political atmosphere in Sweden."
It continued: "She believed that, given Swedish constitutional requirements to present matters of national concern to Parliament and in light of the ongoing controversy over Sweden's recently passed surveillance law, it would be politically impossible for the Minister of Justice to avoid presenting any formal data sharing agreement with the United States to Parliament for review.
"In her opinion, the effect of this public spotlight could also place other existing informal information sharing arrangements at jeopardy."
The publication of the new cables, sent to Washington from the American embassy in Stockholm in 2008, came after Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, was granted bail on Tuesday over sexual assault claims in Sweden.
Posted on 12/18/2010 10:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The Essence Of Islam (Donner Lecture)
Her Donner lecture, given in Toronto on June 8, 2010, can be found -- third item down -- at postdeville.com. It does not date.
Posted on 12/18/2010 11:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
The Islamisation Assises In Paris Will Be Shown Directly On YouTube
Read about them, and the planned response by Muslims in France, here.
Posted on 12/18/2010 11:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
A Musical Interlude: When Love Stirs The Blood (Konstantin Sokol'skij)
Posted on 12/18/2010 12:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Revolt on the Nile
Some African journalists are calling it the Nile Revolt: Last May, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania signed the Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement, a document that could profoundly change the way the life-giving waters from one of the world's most important rivers are distributed. Congo and Burundi likely will soon add their signatures as well. Only Egypt and Sudan refuse to sign. And the reason they are dragging their feet is obvious: The Agreement would end the virtual monopoly those two Arab-led nations have had on Nile water for generations -- and thereby overturn the politics, economics and demography of northeastern Africa.
The Nile is the longest river in the world, 6,000 kilometres from start to finish. As the Greek historian Herodotus once wrote, Egypt is "the gift of the Nile," as it is almost completely dependant on its waters for its survival. This is as true today as it was in the 5th century B.C., when Herodotus wrote his histories. The Nile begins in numerous highland streams in the mountains of Rwanda, in the Ruwenzori range, once dubbed the Mountains of the Moon by the ancient Greeks. These and other streams feed into Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, whose shores are shared by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The White Nile drains out of Lake Victoria's northern end and crosses into southern Sudan. There, it moves through miles of verdant swampland, amongst the cattle herding Nuer and Dinka tribes (traditionalists and converts to Christianity) who recently fought a successful 20-year defensive war against the largely Arab and Muslim northern Sudanese, who wanted their water and the oil that lies beneath it. The Nile then threads its way into northern Sudan -- meeting the Blue Nile, whose origins lie in Lake Tana in highland Ethiopia. The combined river then flows through Sudan to Egypt, passing through the Aswan dam, which generates much of Egypt 's electricity and regulates the country's annual floods.
There are ecologists and water engineers who argue that the Aswan dam is a failure because of its interference with the Nile's natural regenerative processes, and that it will eventually cause irreparable ecological damage to the entire basin. But that is a minor headache for Cairo. Egypt's biggest problem is control. A few years ago, during a trip to the region, I surveyed the Nile from Cairo and Lake Victoria. I was convinced that one day soon the upstream countries would finally demand their water rights so that they, too, could build local economies around the irrigation that the Nile can provide. That day has come.
Egypt and Sudan negotiated the original two Nile river treaties when they were the only independent countries in the Nile basin-- 1929 and 1959. At the time of the latter agreement, Ethiopia was still slowly recovering from its occupation by fascist Italy, while Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda had not yet attained independence. They were still colonies.
And so Egypt and Sudan claimed the whole river --with Egypt taking 87%of the Nile water and Sudan 13%. This control includes a veto of any upstream projects. Egypt's Aswan dam, which depends on a steady flow from upstream countries, was constructed in the 1960s, during the political acme of the Arab League, and Sudan supported the project. Egypt's president, Gamal Nasser, then was the chief spokesperson for African socialism, and Africa's Marxist elites saw Egypt as a leader in the liberation and modernization of their continent.
But that relationship began to break down. In 1973, in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, the Arab League and OPEC submitted the West to an oil embargo. The Arab League promised to provide the countries of sub-Saharan Africa with discounted oil if they broke diplomatic ties with Israel. African nations complied, but later discovered that no discounts were forthcoming. They had been stung.
When I was working in Tanzania in the 1990s, many Tanzanians whom I met remembered this betrayal. It was one of many factors that motivated a new group of African rulers to begin to think in national and regional terms, as opposed to the Pan African ideology, which had swept the continent during the euphoric days of independence in the 1960s.
They also have a new-found sense of their own history, as Western and African scholars have spent the last 50 years uncovering a distinctively sub-Saharan narrative of the continent, one transformed by the phenomenal rise and spread of the Bantu speaking peoples, as well as other tribal movements (such as those of the Masai) during the last two millennia. It became clear to these new elites that their ancestors had suffered terribly from the East African slave trade, whose main perpetrators were Egyptians, Sudanese and coastal Zanzibaris. Today, they no longer look to Egypt and Sudan as leaders of African politics. Indeed, they see them as more corrupt and autocratic than their own fragile democracies.
These new African elites contain a significant number of feminists, and professional African women holding advanced degrees. And so it comes as no surprise that the key Kenyan politician behind the Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement, Charity Kaluki Ngilu, is a woman. Many of these men and women also happen to be devout Christians. They know their Bible better than most Europeans. In my meetings with them, they have expressed a clear understanding of Egypt's role as oppressor in the story of Exodus. They no longer want to render unto Pharaoh.
This emerging mentality, one of increasing African self-confidence toward the Arab states to the north, has not been widely reported in the Western press. In essence, the descendants of the enslaved are now confronting the descendants of their enslavers. The Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement is a manifestation of this demand for regional social justice.
Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, is one of the agreement's most assertive spokesperson. "Egypt continues to maintain the obsolete notion that it owns the Nile and can dictate the distribution of its waters, and that upstream states are incapable of using the water because they are politically unstable and poverty stricken," he says. "But circumstances have changed."
Until recently, Ethiopia was using only 1% of the Nile for irrigation -- even though it is a country famous for periodic drought and starvation. But the country has just opened a new dam on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile. It is called Tana Beles, and will generate much needed electricity for the highly stressed Ethiopian electricity grid. Similar projects will add more power -- including Gibe 3, which will be the biggest hydro-electric dam in sub-Saharan Africa.
This fight over water could get ugly. Given Sudan's continuing support for the destabilization of Uganda, and al-Qaeda's bombing of the American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam in 1998, the future emergence of more radicalized Islamic regimes in Sudan, and possibly even Egypt, could trigger a military showdown between upstream and downstream countries -- including a sort of hydrological jihad. We have not heard the end of the Nile revolt.
First published in the National Post.
Posted on 12/18/2010 12:11 PM by Geoffrey Clarfield
Saturday, 18 December 2010
â€œAssises contre lâ€™Islamizationâ€� Update
Efforts to kill the anti-Islamization Congress in the bud not only failed, they provided an “excuse” for Agence France Presse to cover the event. An article in which the anonymous “journalist” admits that at least 800 people attended the all-day Congress, was headlined “Demonstration against the anti-Islam colloquium.” There were, reportedly, no more than 200 demonstrators. Apparently no high profile personalities led the charge against the anti-Islamization event, which was closely protected by a no man’s land of several hundred meters and a cordon sanitaire of policemen who, according to the AFP release, “filtered” people at the entry. So far the AFP release has been picked up by three of the four major national dailies: Le Parisien, Le Figaro, and Libération.
Parismayor, Bertrand Delanoë and the 12th arrondissement police chief resisted pressure from a long list of leftwing parties and pro-Islamization organizations. However, two days before the event, the police department issued a solemn warning to organizers and speakers who, they claim, have been associated in the past with “initiatives” that disturb the peace. Agents present in the meeting hall would be attentive to any statement that might cross the line, for which speakers would be answerable in the French courts.
No solemn warning was addressed to the demonstrators. One of the participating organizations, Euro-Palestine, spearheads the BDS campaign here in France. Commandos film their illegal operations in shops and supermarkets and proudly post the videos on their site: http://www.europalestine.com/ Their call to oppose the “islamophobe fascists” on December 18th apparently didn’t generate much enthusiasm among their islamophile fascist fans.
Mouloud Aounit, president of MRAP [movement against racism and for friendship among the people], interviewed this morning on the highbrow France culture (state-owned) radio station, declared that “these organizations” –associated with the anti-Islamization Congress--have been belching hatred for Muslims on their sites. “We know,” intoned Aounit, “that violent words lead to violent acts.”
STOP RIGHT THERE. Isn’t this the point where the handful of protestors and the hefty audience of today’s momentous event come to a meeting of the minds? Let’s hear that again: violent words lead to violent acts. And the Islamization of our society is marked, precisely, by an intolerable level of violence. And this violence is fomented by the hatred of Others inscribed in Islam. The violent words preached in far too many mosques explain why Europeans are becoming “intolerant” of the craze for mosque construction. Oskar Freysinger, initiator of the Swiss minaret ban referendum, was greeted, according to the AFP release, like a hero.
Aounit was followed, on France Culture, by a police official who explained that the pork and wine street party planned for the Goutte d’Or neighborhood on June 18th was banned because it was likely to disturb the peace. On the contrary, he said, the anti-Islamization Congress is held indoors. It is discreet. There was no big poster campaign. The document announcing the event is rather moderate. So authorities decided to respect the right of assembly and free expression.
Isn’t that the point? The other big Islamic issue this week is Muslim street prayers. Maxime Lépante of Riposte Laïque, major organizer of today’s Congress, has been posting videos of the prayers all year. They finally came to the attention of the general public when Marine LePen, daughter of the retiring president of the Front National, compared them to an “occupation” of our territory. (I’m covering this story for Family Security Matters here http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.8167/pub_detail.asp). A pork and wine street party in a [Muslim?] neighborhood of Paris would be offensive, but hundreds of prostrate Muslims praying in the streets of a [French?] neighborhood of Paris is not? Pork and wine are provocative but “allahu akhbar” isn’t?
For a variety of practical reasons I was not able to attend today’s anti-Islamization meeting… which is why I am here to inform you now, as the participants file out into a snowstorm. I will have inside information in the coming days. My attempts to follow the debates online were stumped but I see from readers’ comments on newspaper websites that many people were successful. I’m told that there were five thousand visits to the site.
And we can be proud that our friend Tom Trento (Florida Security Council) was quoted in the AFP release: “All the speakers focused on the ‘dangers’ of Islam. An American militant, Tom Trento, declared—according to the French translation of his speech projected on screen, that ‘political Islam’ is a greater danger than Hitler was.”
Speaking of “political Islam,” the UOIF is listed among the organizations that took part in today’s protest against the “Assises.” The UOIF is known to be a Muslim Brotherhood front.
We don’t intend to wait for proof that these guys are worse than Hitler!
Posted on 12/18/2010 12:42 PM by Nidra Poller
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Hamas Leader Corroborates Israeli Accounts
From Hudson New York:
Finally, A Hamas Leader Admits That Israel Killed Mostly Combatants In Gaza
by Alan M. Dershowitz
December 17, 2010
Since the end of the Gaza War in January 2009, Israel has stood accused of targeting civilians, rather than terrorist combatants. The Israeli Defense Force has claimed that during Operation Cast Lead it targeted only combatants in its efforts to protect its civilians from rocket attacks. It has also claimed that most of the dead were combatants and issued lists of names of many of the combatants killed and identified them as members of the specific Hamas military units. Despite unprecedented efforts to avoid civilian casualties—including hundreds of thousands of leaflets, telephone calls and non-lethal, noise-making warning bombs—some civilians were killed, because Hamas deliberately hid behind civilians, using them as shields, when they fired rockets at Israeli civilians.
Following the end of the Gaza War, which has essentially stopped Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, there was a great debate about the number of Gaza civilians actually killed, and the ratio of civilian to combatant deaths during this difficult military operation.
The Israel Defense Force put the total number of known combatants killed at 709 and the number of known civilian deaths at 295, with 162 (mostly men of fighting age) "unknown." Such a ratio, if true, would be far better than that achieved by any other nation in a comparable conflict. Not surprisingly, Israel's enemies initially disputed this ratio and claimed that the number of combatants killed was far lower and the number of civilians far higher. The United Nations, the Goldstone Report, various "human rights" organizations and many in the media automatically rejected Israel's documented figures, preferring the distorted numbers offered by Hamas' and other Palestinian sources.
But a statement recently made by a Hamas leader confirms that Israel was correct in claiming that approximately 700 combatants were killed.
First, a word about the context of the Hamas statement. In the aftermath of the war, Hamas has come under considerable criticism from rival terrorist groups for not doing enough to defend Gaza and for allowing so many civilian casualties. So, in a recent interview with a London paper, Al-Hayat, Fathi Hamad, Hamas' Interior Minister, responded to these criticisms as follows:
"It has been said that the people were harmed by the war, but is Hamas not part of the people? It is a fact that on the first day of the war Israel struck police headquarters and killed 250 members of Hamas and the various factions, in addition to the 200-300 operatives from the [Izz al-Din] al-Qassam Brigades. In addition, 150 security personnel were killed, and the rest were from people. (The original text of the interview in Arabic, as reprinted in the Hamas newspaper Felesteen, can be found on the website of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. It was also reported by Agence France Presse)
This statement not only supports the Israeli numbers, but it also acknowledges what Israel has long said about the 250 policemen who were killed on the first day of combat: they were "members of Hamas and the various factions" and were indeed "combatants" by any realistic definition of that term.
Fathi Hamad's figures are in striking contrast to those originally issued by Palestinian groups which claimed that only 48 combatants were killed and that the total amounted to a mere 17 percent of all fatalities.
Because it uncritically accepted the original Hamas claims of very few combatant deaths, the Goldstone Report was able to reach its flawed conclusion that the purpose of the operation must have been to kill civilians, not combatants. This is what the Goldstone Report said:
"The Mission notes that the statistics from non-governmental sources are generally consistent. Statistics alleging that fewer than one out of five persons killed in an armed conflict was a combatant…raise very serious concerns about the way Israel conducted the military operations in Gaza. The counterclaims published by the Government of Israel fall short of international law standards."
Now that the truth has been admitted by the Hamas leadership—that as many as 700 combatants were, in fact, killed—the Goldstone Commission is obliged to reconsider its false conclusion and correct its deeply flawed report.
Richard Goldstone himself has repeatedly said that he hoped that new evidence will prove his conclusions wrong. Well, this new evidence—a classic admission against interest—does just that!
The original false figures have also been submitted by the Palestinian Authority to the International Criminal Court. It too has an obligation to correct the record. It would be an outrageous miscarriage of justice for the International Criminal Court to open an investigation of a nation that, in actuality, had the best ratio of combatant to civilian deaths in any comparable war.
The admission by Fathi Hamad that Israel's figures were correct and those originally offered by Palestinian groups were false exposes the rush to judgment against Israel that has stained the so-called "human rights" community so often in the past. It is essential that this new evidence be widely circulated, which it has not been to date, and that those who condemned Israel on the basis of false allegations correct the record. Don't hold your breath! In today's distorted world of "human rights," truth takes a back seat to ideology, and false claims—especially those that "support" radical ideologies—persist even after they have been exposed.
Posted on 12/18/2010 2:26 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Repeat Performance Of "A Little More About Butter"
Posted on 12/18/2010 4:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
A Literary Interlude: The King's Breakfast (A. A. Milne)
The King's Breakfast
The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
"Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?"
The Queen asked the Dairymaid,
I'll go and tell the cow
Before she goes to bed."
And went and told the Alderney:
"Don't forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread."
The Alderney said sleepily:
"You'd better tell
That many people nowadays
And went to
She curtsied to the Queen, and
She turned a little red:
For taking of
But marmalade is tasty, if
The Queen said
And went to his Majesty:
"Talking of the butter for
The royal slice of bread,
Would you like to try a little
The King said,
And then he said,
"Oh, deary me!"
The King sobbed, "Oh, deary me!"
And went back to bed.
"Could call me
A fussy man;
I only want
A little bit
Of butter for
The Queen said,
And went to
Said, "There, there!"
And went to the shed.
The cow said,
I didn't really
Here's milk for his porringer
And butter for his bread."
The queen took the butter
And brought it to
The King said
And bounced out of bed.
"Nobody," he said,
As he kissed her
"Nobody," he said,
As he slid down
Could call me
A fussy man -
I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!"
-- A A Milne
Posted on 12/18/2010 4:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff: Stop The Islamification Of Our Countries
Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff speaks at the Assises in Paris:
Time is Now: Stop the Islamification of Our Countries
Speech given by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff at the International conference on the Islamisation of our Countries today in Paris, France, December 18, 2010.
Good afternoon, ladies and and gentlemen.
I am delighted to be here in Paris, the birthplace of modern European secular governance. And I am especially delighted to have been invited here by Gandalf, who founded the Alliance to Stop Sharia. Gandalf has been instrumental in shifting the focus of the European Counterjihad from Islam as a religion to the evils of sharia law.
When you discuss Islam and/or sharia law, have you been accused of being an Islamophobe? A nazi? A xenophobe? A bigot? A misunderstander of Islam (copyright R. Spencer)? Have you been verbally attacked by well-meaning friends who belong either to the Leftist/Liberal spectrum and believe in the Religion of Respect and Anything Goes, or who in principle agree with you, but are sooo very afraid for you and suggest that you stop what you're doing to stay alive. (What does that tell us about the Religion of Peace?)
I think I can safely assume that most of you, if not all, have at one point or another been subjected to some or all of the aforementioned accusations. I can certainly testify to that. But I can also tell you that I have been hauled into court to face trial for saying what I believe is the truth; a truth that many, especially those of the ruling elite, do not like to hear. Sadly, it seems that in a discussion, when one side has no real argument, he or she resorts to personal attacks. “This woman [as if I didn't have a name!], she is a hate preacher. She can't say that! She may be right, but she can't say that!” Can't say what? That sharia law is contrary to any of our secular laws? That its legal provisions include gender apartheid as well as killing of those who leave Islam or exercise the right to free speech. That sharia prescribes amputation of limbs and crucifixion even though Article 5 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights postulates that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Well, guess what? That is precisely what was eventually found in the charges!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
In fall 2009, I was asked by the largest Austrian opposition party to hold a three-part seminar on the topic of Islam and the Islamization of Europe. I did this by quoting from the Quran, the hadith, the sunna. I also quoted well-known Muslim politicians like Erdogan, Ghadafi, Arafat, or the former Algerian prime minister. Little did I or the attendants know at the time that a young journalist had infiltrated and recorded the first two seminars without my knowledge. The left-wing magazine then decided to report me to the authorities, who in turn charged me with incitement to hatred. Let me quote the relevant paragraph:
By virtue of § 283 of the StGB, a person is deemed culpable of incitement:
(1) who incites or instigates in a manner liable to jeopardise public order an inimical act against a church or religious community established in the country or against a group determined by their affiliation to such a church or religious community, or to a race, people, tribe or state, or
(2) who agitates against or insults in a manner defamatory to human dignity or endeavours to condemn one of the groups defined in para. (1).
The crime is liable to a term of imprisonment of up to two years.
The outcry among the ruling elite in Austria was ear-splitting. High-ranked politicians, bishops, rabbis, and imams were asked to comment about the contents of a seminar they had never attended. A well-known Muslim university professor, asked by the magazine to analyze some of my controversial statements, even came to the conclusion that I am just like Osama Bin Laden!
In a matter of hours, my personal life was turned upside down. Some of my friends distanced themselves from by asking me to stay away from gatherings where Muslims may have shown up. The media completely ignored me and found the story of a Kosovar family blackmailing the government into granting them humanitarian asylum, after the umpteenth denial of the same, more interesting and captivating. “We do not see the need to report the idiocies of this woman [again, no name],“ one liberal left-wing newspaper answered a curious enquirer. What does it matter that the Kosovar family broke the law and that I merely quoted the Quran? You can't say that!
Interestingly enough, instead of silencing me, the magazine's questionable actions have made me popular. All of a sudden, many people were outraged by what had happened to me and wanted to hear my side of the story. However, no one in Austria wanted to hear me; it was the Americans who were shocked, which was not surprising given the provisions of the 1st amendment of the US Constitution guaranteeing absolute freedom of speech, something we Europeans are in sore need of. I was invited to speak at the launch of the Freedom Defense Initiative, at the National Conference of ACT! for America, both in Washington DC. I spoke in Berlin at a rally for the Citizens' Movement Pax Europa, as well as at the European Freedom Initiative rally in Amsterdam. The Danish Free Press Society in Copenhagen wanted to hear my take on freedom of speech. Just two weeks ago, I conveyed to my Israeli hosts the importance of Israel in the fight against Islamization. And today I am here in Paris to tell you about my trial. I was not silenced, nor will they ever succeed in silencing me!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
By November 28, 2010, the member states of the European Union were required to implement an innocuous-sounding legal provision known as the “Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia”, or, more fully, the “Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.” According to the final article of the Framework Decision, “Member States shall take the necessary measures to comply with the provisions of this Framework Decision by 28 November 2010.”
Why does this matter to the cause of free speech in Europe?
If you read the full text of the Framework Decision (which may be found in the legislative section of the EU’s website), you will learn that “Each Member State shall take the measures necessary… to ensure that the following intentional conduct is punishable”. Such “intentional conduct” includes “conduct which is a pretext for directing acts against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.”
Based on what has recently happened to Geert Wilders and me — and earlier to Gregorius Nekschot, Jussi Halla-aho, and numerous others — we can all guess who will be punished under this provision of the Framework Decision: those who criticize Islam.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
It was not until October that a court date was set for my case. I had to discover this fact in the press — in NEWS, the same left-wing magazine that brought the original complaint against me. I was not officially notified of my hearing date until several days later.
The evidence used against me at my trial several weeks ago was a transcript of a tape of my lecture, provided to the court by the same socialist magazine. It included words that were not spoken by me, and words that were not spoken in public, which therefore were not a violation of the law.
But my case is not really about the law. It is a political trial, and like the trials of Geert Wilders and Jussi Halla-aho, it is intended to silence someone who speaks out against the barbaric nature of sharia law.
Above all else, it is intended to discourage anyone who might consider following in my footsteps. The oligarchs who rule Europe are determined to prevent any frank discussion among their citizens of Islam and its legal doctrines.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
These are the methods of a totalitarian state.
They are more successful than those of the Nazis and the Fascists and the Communists because they are accomplished quietly and peacefully, with no need for concentration camps or gulags or mass graves or the shot in the back of the neck in the middle of the night.
They are surgical strikes executed via our legal systems, and they are quite effective. Between the summary punishment carried out against Theo Van Gogh and the EU Framework Decision applied though our courts, there is no room left for us to maneuver.
We are systematically being silenced.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am not a victim. I intend to stand up for what is right. I will defend what needs to be defended. Above everything else, I will exercise my God-given right to speak freely about what is happening. Freedom of speech is the single most important freedom we possess.
I am doing this for my daughter, and for her children, for those who will have to live in the world we are now preparing for them. I am doing what our grandparents should perhaps have done during the 1930s, when their own freedoms were under threat.
This is our time. This cup will not pass from us.
I am reminded of a passage in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
It is an exchange between Frodo the hobbit and Gandalf the wizard, and it concerns the perilous quest on which Frodo and his friends have been sent.
Frodo says: “I wish it need not have happened in my time.”
Gandalf responds: “So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is time for us to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
* * * *
In speaking these words, I might be subject to arrest. I could be charged under the provisions of the Framework Decision, and extradited to the country that charged me using a European Arrest Warrant, escorted by the European Gendarmerie.
This is not an imaginary scenario; it is a very real possibility.
It is true that only a few people are likely to undergo such an ordeal. But it only takes a few people.
How many people have to endure what Mr. Wilders and I are enduring before everyone else gets the message?
How many examples have to be set before the rest of the European population understands the new rules, and is cowed into submission?
And we must remember to whom they will be submitting in the end. They will be submitting to our successors in Europe. They will be submitting to our replacements.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We must remember that the word for submission in Arabic is Islam.
When there are enough Muslims living in Europe — and it doesn’t have to be a majority of the population, just somewhere around fifteen or twenty percent — we will be living under Islamic law, and not the laws that presently govern us.
We will no longer enjoy what constitutional rights remain to us now. Our rights will be completely prescribed and delimited by sharia. Women will become the virtual chattel of men. Christians and Jews will be driven out or forced to convert to Islam. Atheists and homosexuals will be killed.
The European Union would consider these words to be “hate speech”. Under the Framework Decision, they would be classified as “racism and xenophobia”, and I could be prosecuted for saying them.
But they are in fact the simple truth.
Anyone can verify them by studying history. Anyone who chooses can read the Koran and the hadith and the Sunna of the Prophet.
Widely available official treatises on Islamic law confirm that my description is not “hate speech”, but a plain and accurate reading of the tenets of Islamic law.
It has become obvious that to tell the truth about Islam is now considered “incitement to religious hatred”.
It is now clear that non-Muslims who reveal the tenets of sharia law to the public are “denigrating religious teachings”.
If we meekly accept these rules, then we are acquiescing in the imposition of sharia law in our own nations. And I, for one, will not sit silently while this happens.
I don’t want my daughter to live under sharia.
Our time is short. If you and I do not envision an Islamic future for ourselves, then we must speak out now.
If we wish to preserve the right to speak and publish freely, then we must exercise it now.
I wish this need not have happened in my time. But it has.
We must make full use of the time that remains to us.
Posted on 12/18/2010 4:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Vargas Llosa: Islamic
Mario Vargas Llosa is not quite there, but he's on the right path. He denounces "Islamic fundamentalism" and identifies it as the greatest enemy of "democracy." The formula might be expanded for greater accuracy. Islam, especially the Islam practiced by those who take it, and its duties, and the attitudes it naturally inculcates, most to heart, is the great enemy of civilisation, especially that of the tolerant, amused, easygoing West [East Asia, surer of itself, is another matter].
But if he finds out more, if he discovers what is in the texts of Islam -- Qur'an, Hadith, Sira -- and if he heeds both the testimony of ex-Muslims (such as Wafa Sultan, Ibn Warraq, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ali Sina, Nonie Darwish) and the evidence of his own senses, that is the news of how Muslims behave toward non-Muslims in the places where Islam dominates, and the pressures and demands that come from them in the places even where Muslims are still so small in number but behave in a manner that continues to astonish, then he may put less emphasis on the noun "fundamentalism" and promote "Islamic" from adjective to noun: "Islam." Like everyone else in the Western world, Mario Vargas Llosa is coming along. It takes time to fully grasp the meaning, and menace, of Islam. It would be nice if everyone got up to speed a little faster. It's not a great puzzle.
From Le Monde:
Vargas Llosa: le fondamentalisme islamique principal ennemi de la démocratie
AFP | 18.12.10
Le prix Nobel de Littérature 2010, l'écrivain péruvien Mario Vargas Llosa, a déclaré samedi au Chili que le fondamentalisme islamique avait remplacé le communisme comme principal ennemi de la démocratie.
"La culture de la liberté continue d'avoir des ennemis, et des ennemis extrêmement dangereux: le communisme a été remplacé par le fondamentalisme islamique comme principal ennemi de la culture de la démocratie dans le monde actuel", a estimé l'écrivain au cours d'une intervention qui clôturait un forum international organisé à Santiago sur les politiques publiques.
Selon lui, l'extrémisme islamique "n'est pas aussi fort que l'a été l'Union soviétique, mais c'est un défi parce que des militants fanatiques (sont) convaincus qu'avec la destruction de la culture occidentale et de tout ce qu'elle représente, ils vont gagner le paradis".
"Le fanatique religieux est extrêmement dangereux, surtout s'il est disposé à sacrifier sa vie au nom du modèle auquel il croit", a souligné l'écrivain.
Mario Vargas Llosa a été invité au Chili par un centre de réflexion orienté à droite, Libertad y Desarrollo (Liberté et Développement), à l'occasion de son 20e anniversaire.
"L'intégrisme islamique, qui a tué bien plus de musulmans que de païens ou de chrétiens, représente une minorité, et il se fonde sur des convictions politiques et religieuses qui sont tellement anachroniques et incompatibles avec la modernité que jamais ils ne pourront vaincre la culture occidentale", a poursuivi l'écrivain péruvien.
"Mais nous devons savoir nous défendre, pour ne pas permettre qu'en utilisant les institutions de la liberté, ils s'infiltrent dans nos sociétés et sèment la terreur", a-t-il ajouté.
Mario Vargas Llosa a souligné en conclusion que la lutte des démocraties contre l'extrémisme ne devait pas conduire à des atteintes aux libertés.
"La terreur a souvent conduit les démocraties à renoncer à des conquêtes démocratiques fondamentales, mais nous ne pouvons pas nous le permettre. La démocratie ne peut commencer à utiliser les armes des terroristes", a-t-il dit.
Posted on 12/18/2010 5:51 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Posted on 12/18/2010 5:52 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Regular reader George is, like, totally, you know about "whatev-ah":
And I'm, like, yeah, I hear what you're saying, and that is just soooo, you know, but I can't get to it right now, 'cos I'm, like, you know, but I will get to it .... whenev-ah, to the best of my endeav-ah.
Rememb-ah Keats. He was, like - well, almost like:
A thing of beauty is a joy whatev-ah.
Posted on 12/18/2010 6:16 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Meretricious Pakistanis Blow Cover Of CIA Man, Forcing Him To Flee
ISI blows cover of CIA man in Islamabad
WASHINGTON: Long-time US "ally" Pakistan has broken the spy world's unwritten compact by publicly identifying the CIA station chief in Islamabad in an act that has sent ripples through the American espionage community, including the famed agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
CIA station chiefs are typically undercover spies whose covert presence in U.S embassies is sometimes known to friendly host governments, but they are seldom recognized by name.
However, in a brazen blowing of cover, reportedly at the instance of a disaffected section of the Pakistani spy agency ISI, a Pakistani citizen from North Waziristan who lost family members in a US drone attack has filed a criminal complaint in an Islamabad police station against an American individual named Jonathan Banks, saying he is the CIA station chief in Islamabad who is coordinating the Drone attacks.
According to Karim Khan, a resident of Mir Ali Tehsil of North Waziristan, he lost his brother, Asif Iqbal, a teacher in a secondary school, his son Zahinullah Khan, and Khaliq Dar, a mason, in a drone attack on December 31, 2009. Khan, the Pakistani paper Daily Times reported, alleged that Banks, who was residing at the US embassy in the Diplomatic Enclave, and has a business visa, was the CIA chief in Pakistan and controlled the drone attacks through global positioning system.
The US administration - much less the CIA - does not acknowledge the existence of "station chiefs," a term that is still current, unlike its Cold War counterpart, the "KGB resident." But their continuation is common knowledge in intelligence circles, although they often function undercover, sometimes not even using their real names.
While some station chiefs are seldom seen, others are more public. For instance, the CIA station chief in Kabul is often referred to by his nickname "Spider," and is often in the company of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, functioning both as his bodyguard and his confidante. Milt Bearden, the most famous CIA station chief in Islamabad during the US-backed Afghan war on the Soviet Union, was named only after the conflict ended.
But the purported falling out between Washington and Islamabad at the height of the war on terror has had its fall-out in the spy world.
According to reports in the Pakistani media, police advised Khan to get an order from the court for the registration of an FIR. When he did that, the Secretariat police station in Islamabad, after getting advice from the legal branch, registered a report against Banks.
How Khan came to know Banks' name and cover is unclear, but the suspicion centers on disaffected elements in the Pakistani intelligence community. Following the FIR, the Pakistani litigant appealed to the authorities "not to let Banks escape from Pakistan," and said "he should be arrested and executed in this country." He also sought a $500 million compensation.
The incident comes months after a section of the Pakistani media started publishing photographs and addresses of houses rented by American diplomats in Pakistan, causing immense consternation in Washington at a time U.S is clearly in the crosshairs of terrorists, as much as the latter are in the sights of predator attacks. Earlier this week, CIA deputy director Michael Morell flew to Islamabad to raise this issue, among others, with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who has been exposed in Wikileaks cables as privately supporting drone attacks while publicly criticizing them.
The sense in Washington is the government in Islamabad is increasingly losing control of the ISI, even as it is running rings around the United States. Over the past year, the Pakistani officials have repeatedly harassed U.S diplomats, and in many cases denied or delayed visas for new postings and extensions for serving diplomats, in order to "punish" Washington for getting close to India, a tactic that has been recorded by US officials in cables to the state department. Outing the CIA station chief appears to be another dangerous gambit, the latest from Pakistan.
Read more: ISI blows cover of CIA man in Islamabad - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/ISI-blows-cover-of-CIA-man-in-Islamabad/articleshow/7109489.cms#ixzz18WJJRj6u
Posted on 12/18/2010 8:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
The Problem Of Pakistan (from January 21, 2006)
From January 21, 2006:
Fitzgerald: The problem of Pakistan
Pakistan has a nuclear program based on the thefts of secrets by "Dr." A. Q. Khan, national hero of Pakistan, and willing sharer -- a Secret Sharer -- of such secrets with Iran and North Korea. Pakistan has been the incubator and promoter and supporter of the Taliban, the same Pakistan that has just announced plans to make 40-50 nuclear weapons a year.
Pakistan is a land of impoverished masses who find their solace in Islam and only Islam, while the anglophone families of zamindars and generals are hardly Muslims in their own lives. Their children enjoy English and American universities. Some of those children -- such as the son of the untrustworthy, but bearing-the-allure-of-rectitude Musharraf -- choose to remain (and why not? You would too), making their permanent lives in the Infidel West. (Did Musharraf himself pass out from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurt, like so many of those "trustworthy" and "pro-Western" Terry-Thomas-mustachioed Pakistani generals who for decades won the heart of American geneals and civilian policymakers?) It is understandable that military men stay in Pakistan, for if you are not a zamindar, it is the best way to obtain power and money, but your children may head geographically Infidel-wards. English is not a problem. Musharraf’s son, when last he was in the news, was working as an accountant in Massachusetts.
Many of the richest Pakistanis, though they have chosen the sanity and safety of Infidel lands for their children (and for temporary frequent retreat for themselves), have apparently not used their mental freedom sufficiently. They have not bethought themselves about the nature of Islam and its connection to the hideous condition of Pakistan itself -- its political, economic, social, and intellectual failures. They have not considered the failure of Islamic countries in general, a failure directly attributable to the tenets and attitudes and atmospherics of Islam. Some of the most famous are sly defenders of the faith, even as they deplore terrorism. Ahmad Rashid, for example, for so long a correspondent for The Telegraph, and now made famous as an "expert" on the Taliban, declares in his "Jihad" that the word's primary meaning is that of the inner struggle rather than the outward war on Infidels.
Meanwhile, those zamindars permit or do not try to stop, and many of those generals support (see General Malik's book-length treatment of Jihad) the role of Pakistan in promoting terrorism against Hindus in Kashmir, and deep within India. And they offer refuge as well to Indian Muslims implicated in such terrorism. Where is that leader of the Mumbai underworld, the one now hiding from Indian authorities after the last terrorist attack? In Pakistan. Where is the ISI that has done nothing to stop, and much to promote, Lashkar-e-Toiba as it once promoted the Taliban? In Pakistan.
But it is not Pakistan alone that is the problem. It is India's appeasement of Pakistan, an appeasement possibly born of fear of local Muslim reaction. The Indian government, as Tavleen Singh points out in a recent article, continues to avoid admitting to itself, and is keeping carefully from the people of India, the existence of domestic Muslim terrorists who are self-propelled -- for fear of the reaction of Hindus, and what measures might then might be demanded, or might need to be taken. The government of India, just as governments of the Western world, is hiding the evidence of support of every kind for Muslim terrorists in Mumbai and elsewhere in India.
Pakistan is to blame, yes. But not Pakistan alone. A better formulation would be: Muslims, in India and in Pakistan, are working to terrorize the non-Muslims of India, and not only those in that part which gets attention in the West, the part known as Kashmir.
India and Pakistan began as independent states at the same time, under roughly the same conditions of development, and their different trajectories can be traced and compared. In political freedom, India has had steady or sometimes unsteady democracy, and Pakistan, a succession of mild or un-mild despots, zamindars or generals or zamindars-posing-as-men-of-the-people. In Hindu-dominated India, the Muslim population has increased, while in Pakistan (formerly West Pakistan), the Hindu population has gone from 14% to 1.5% of the population. In Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), it has gone from 35% to 7% of the population.
In economic development there is no comparison. Pakistan is kept afloat, and has been kept afloat, only by Infidel aid -- whether through the disguised Jizyah of foreign, especially American, aid (which helped provide the money, beyond the level needed for subsistence, that was no doubt diverted for A. Q. Khan's nuclear project), or through the money received by Pakistanis, often in the form of welfare benefits, in England. The latter is a system riddled with fraud. These transfer payments within Great Britain is a kind of Jizyah as well, for it has led to unmerited transfers of wealth from the Infidel taxpayers of England to the Muslim recipients of every kind of benefit.
Socially, the position of women in both Pakistan and Bangladesh remains far below what it is in India, though in village India, among Hindus, it is hardly ideal. One has been made aware, by one famous example, of the continued mistreatment of rape victims in Muslim societies -- which are quickly attributed only to "cultural" factors.
Morally, the level of Pakistan and Bangladesh can be examined in the light of the attacks by the former on the later in 1970-71, and the mass killings by the Pakistani Army of Bangladeshis, in which local Muslim fanatics who believed that Pakistan had to remain one country “for the sake of Islam” aided them. They took pleasure, during the 1971 civil war, in killing fellow Bangladeshis. Nearly 2 million civilians were killed. Millions of Hindus fled, to be joined even by Muslims who were given refuge in India. These Muslim did not, however, offer the Infidel nation-state of India their loyalty; their loyalty remains, as it must, to Islam, and to the Umma.
Shall one go on? Shall the possibilities for art and literature, and a free press, be compared in India, and in Pakistan? Do it yourself.
Musharraf writes of those terrorists who managed to become citizens of England (England's great mistake) as if they were completely English. They are not. They are Pakistanis-in-England. By loyalty to Islam, to its tenets, by attitude and atmospherics, they have grown up in societies suffused with Islam, even if the streets they once played on were named Brick Lane or Balfour Crescent. They retain close ties to Pakistan, a source of brides, a place to send English entitlement money or even live on more cheaply than could be done in England. They are England's problem -- but they are also Pakistan's problem. Musharraf has spent much of his recent existence avoiding responsibilities, and not only to the United States, but also to Great Britain, to India, and to Afghanistan. Despite the ostentatious rectitude of his presentation of self, he is looking more meretricious every day. And now we will be treated to even more of the same, to study at our leisure.
Thanks to Simon. Thanks to Schuster.
Posted on 12/18/2010 8:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Pakistan: A Key Ally
“When we speak of democracy in Islam it is not democracy in the government but in the cultural and social aspects of life. Islam is totalitarian -- there is no denying about it. It is the Koran that we should turn to. It is the dictatorship of the Koranic laws that we want -- and that we will have -- but not through non-violence and Gandhian truth." -- Raja Sahib Mahmudabad, chief lieutenant of Mohammed Ali Jinnah (thanks to commenter Frank)
Pakistan continues to be described in the press as a "key ally" in "the war on terrorism." If this "war on terrorism" is to mean something, it should mean a "war" to "prevent constant replenishment of the ranks of terrorists" and not merely "searching, over a wide area, and many years, for those terrorists who are already known to exist and who have attracted the most attention (i.e., the leaders of Al Qaeda)." Their numbers are limited. They can be replaced.
In what way is the government of Pakistan helping to lessen the likelihood of that replenishment? How is it acting to change the understanding of Islam so that the Jihad against the Infidels is de-emphasized, or perhaps even, by textual or ideological escamotage, made to disappear altogether?
There is no such way. The government of Pakistan does nothing to prevent jihad from being jihad -- that is, it does nothing to prevent the widespread dissemination of hostility and hate toward Infidels.
No state that fails to change, or even to attempt to change, that ideology, can be called an "ally" or a "key ally."
Pakistan is neither. It is a country filled with people hostile to Infidels They vary mainly in the degree of that hostility, and in their willingness to carry out acts of aggression against those Infidels. Pakistan is not a "key ally." It is not an "ally." It is, and permanently will be, a menace to all Infidels. Though Mohammed Ali Jinnah himself was relaxed, drank wine, and did not foresee quite the Islam-only state that Pakistan became, he was, being a worldly and less fanatical Muslim, one more of those fooled by the power of Islam itself. In this respect Jinnah was like those Iraqis in exile who forgot what Islam was like. He forgot, just as they have now, the seething resentments, irrationality, inability to control rumor and conspiracy theories, and inshallah-fatalism in both economics and politics that it has inspired. It was no accident that the first response of the Iraqis to the coming of American troops was not to pitch in to rebuild their country, but to exhibit a "wake me when it's over attitude" toward the Americans -- as if those Americans did not do enough in upending Saddam Hussein, but now must turn Iraq, and pronto, into New York and Los Angeles.
If one cared about the people of Pakistan, one would wrack one's brains trying to find ways to limit the power of Islam. A beginning might be made by the government were it to insist on cuttying off all Arab (i.e. Saudi, U.A.E.) funds for madrasas that churn out tens of thousands of students completely unequipped for the world, but well-equipped mentally for Jihad. That could be accompanied by a campaign based on encouraging resentment by Pakistanis against the "rich Arabs." Nothing need be made up. It is rich Arabs who treat Pakistani servants terribly in the Gulf, just as they do all other wage-slaves. It is rich Arabs who come to Pakistan for such diversions as bustard-hunting. They are famous for completely ignoring the wildlife preservation laws. It is rich Arabs who import tiny boys from Pakistan, allow them to be mistreated, tied onto the tops of camels in order to engage in that great Arab sport of camel racing, and whoever manages not to be thrown and trampled, but to survive, will eventually be discarded, as so many non-Arab servants of the rich Arabs are discarded, not always in a metaphorical sense, once they have served their purpose. Is it beyond the wit of Pakistani journalists to record and then to vividly retell for massa audiences, the behavior of the rich Arabs toward those tiny Pakistani boys, or toward Pakistani or even Indian Muslim girls, used up and discarded like kleenex. It is rich Arabs who, as a way of islamically compensating for the demonstrated decadence of their own lives, instead of ceasing to be decadent, as religious recompense supply the funds to pay for these madrasas in Pakistan that churn out millions of students who have spent their earliest years memorizing the Qur'an in a language they do not understand, and who are prepared not for any useful task but for more Qur'an -- which is to say, more Jihad, more aggression, more inability to live in the world with Infidels. Unlike the poor Pakistanis whose lives and real needs they treat with such disdain, rich Arabs need not worry about making a living. They never have had to; the oil money keeps gushing.
A sensible government in Pakistan would try to raise these matters, and to use them to encourage a distancing from those Arabs. Perhaps they would even begin to raise that most delicate of subjects for Muslims in the sub-continent: what was it in the past that caused the ancestors of those Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian Muslims, to convert -- to be converted not always at the point of a sword (though there was often that) but because the conditions of dhimmi (in the subcontinent, zimmi) status were simply unendurable?
What Pakistani journalists will begin, inside or outside Pakistan, to begin to hint at these things? And what officials will take them up, and to hammer home the theme of Arab mistreatment of Pakistanis and of other non-Arab Muslims, Kurds and Berbers and blacks in Darfur, all of which might begin to raise that issue that lurks beneath the surface of Islam: Islam as the Arab religion, the vehicle for Arab supremacism, for Arab cultural and linguistic imperialism that is far more devastating to other cultures and other histories than anything imposed by European imperialism.
Will those Pakistani political figures and journalists take up this theme, as they should for the good of Pakistan -- or are they now, or hoping to be, on the Arab take?
Posted on 12/18/2010 8:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Pakistan And Other Myopias
[Re-posted from January, 2006]
It is common in the Islamic world for America to be regarded as “the bully on the block." This is true even in Pakistan, where outrage is running high today over the failed strike at Zawahiri. The Pakistanis are outraged despite four decades of the American government supporting Pakistan to the hilt, supplying it with every sort of advanced weaponry (partly because American officials loved dealing with those ramrod-straight, mustachioed, sometimes Sandhurst-educated Pakistani generals, all very pukka sahib as opposed to those nasty leftists, some of them from the Christian, but also Marxist, from the Indian state of Kerala, and of course those Bandung-conference leftover leftists such as Krishna Menon). The Cold War, for the United States, meant that Islam was a Good Thing. For though no one knew a damn thing about Islam, they knew that Religion and Atheistic Communism Did Not Mix, and who was more religious than those devout Muslims. Of course it was true -- Islam and Communism don't mix. But the Nazis and the Communists did not mix, either (though all three Total Systems have much in common), and yet, during World War II, we had no difficulty in making common cause with Soviet Russia.
During the Cold War, this inability to see Islam for what it was, is, and will be -- a totalitarian threat at least as great, and probably a good deal greater, than Communism -- led to certain obvious failures, and certain failures that remain unobvious. Among the obvious failures was the CENTO military organization, with Iraq, Turkey, and Pakistan enrolled in a supposedly non-Communist military alliance meant to mimic NATO, under American (and British) leadership. It came to nothing, for it was nothing -- except that the Americans were locked into the myth of stout Muslim allies.
The second was the firm entrenchment of the myth of a benevolent Saudi Arabia, our "staunch ally" -- a notion promoted by ARAMCO in its official publications and through a powerful network of Washington agents. This began in the 1950s, and the power of this myth only grew. No one knew much about Saudi Arabia, and Islam itself was hardly understood; in the State Department, it remains understood. Loy Henderson was not reading Arthur Jeffery or C. Snouck Hurgronje in 1948, or ever. Nor were those children of Beirut missionaries who comprised such a large percentage of what came to be called Arabists. They were akin in their attitudes, these non-Arab scions of Christian missionaries, to islamochristians, that is, Christians who, because of the pull of their Arab identity, had internalized and then promoted views that are essentially Islamic (such as the impermissibility of Israel, as an Infidel sovereignty, to exist within the dar al-Islam, whatever its size and however long and devious the means to eliminate it). Curious, is it not, that no one has noted that the ethnic pull for Arabs (who even if Christian sense that the Arab claim to fame is based on Islam) trumps resentment over their treatment as dhimmis, whereas non-Arab Christians in Muslim-ruled lands -- Christians in Pakistan, or Bangladesh, or Indonesia -- not having this ethnic pull, do not identify with the Muslim besiegers of Israel?
That myth of Saudi Arabia as an ally effectively entrusted our energy fate, our energy policy, to the dreamy idea that Saudi Arabia would “moderate” oil prices “as a favor” to us. It never has, it never will. The Saudi oil policy is always based on one thing: cold calculation of how to maximize, over time, the total revenues to be obtained from Saudi oil reserves. This means a constant calculation of what rises in price will do to demand for oil, over what period of time, and with what elasticity. Many factors -- technological developments in other forms of energy (can coal be cleaned? Can nuclear energy be made safer, or solar energy be made cheaper?), the likely drops or rises in demand, and so on --must all be factored in. But “friendship” and “doing favors” for America, however often this may be claimed, has never been a part of Saudi oil decision-making. No matter how many times the absurdity of this proposition is demonstrated, it keeps coming back -- because there is a powerful lobby of Saudi-funded agents who recycle petrodollars for their personal benefit, as lawyers, investment bankers, public relations experts. They are simply Saudi hirelings, and continue to attempt, with diminishing success, to fool us about Saudi Arabia. But they have helped to prevent an intelligent energy policy, which could have begun back in 1973, if not before, by putting our own taxes, steadily rising, on gasoline at the pump, and on oil used for other things, and used that money for conservation projects, subsidizes to mass transit, and nuclear, wind, and solar energy projects.
During the Cold War, of course, Saudi Arabia was a Stout Friend, and it was the Saudis who helped us in supplying the Muhajideen in Afghanistan. There are those who still feel that the Americans did the right thing in Afghanistan. There are others who may feel, at this point, that a Communist state in Afghanistan would not have been worse than the Taliban (the label "Communist" in Muslim countries often disguises a secularist, who needs some other fervent faith to see him through, and it is not as dangerous to be thought to have put Islam on the back burner for Marxist economics, as it would to abandon Islam for, say, Christianity)). The Afghanistan problem hastened, but did not cause, the crumbling of Soviet power, which came about when enough people within the nomenklatura realized on its own terms Soviet Communism could not deliver. Members of the Soviet elite (and the children of that elite) recognized the connection of Communism, already a moral failure, to economic failures, and they did not need a defeat in Afghanistan to make that clear.
Still another country misperceived was Turkey. Turkish troops performed bravely in the Korean War. Turkey was a member of CENTO, so temporary and so silly as it was. Turkey was a place that supplied airbases and listening posts. And Turkey was both “secular” and straightforward, just like those mustachioed Pakistani generals who were so much more pleasing than the messy, fussy, dangerously leftist Indians (so they were perceived) in the 1950s and 1960s. So Turkey became a “staunch ally.” There was certainly more truth to this than in the same label affixed to Saudi Arabia. But it depended on Kemalism, on the constraints on Islam. And as we now know, when Islam came back, and it has come back (or rather, since it had never left, but had been tied down) to Turkey, that inevitably means the kind of anti-Infidel (i.e., anti-American) attitudes that can be seen in the Turkish press, and in the Turkish government, and among the Turkish public. The secularists of Turkey were not sufficiently grateful to Ataturk; they thought Islam was permanently put in its rightful place, and that only their cooks and drivers, from the poorer sections of Istanbul or the countryside, took Islam seriously. They are beginning to see that they were wrong. And they now may dimly understand that Erdogan is clever, and a real threat, and that they will have to hold fast to the army rather than allow him to destroy the army’s power to step in.
Islam was not opposed to Communism because it was totalitarian and against human freedom. For Islam has much in common with Communism: it is totalitarian, it is against human freedom, and especially of freedom of conscience. It was a mistake to believe that Saudi Arabia was a “staunch ally” or an ally of any sort. It was a mistake to support Pakistan to the hilt, and to allow that country to acquire nuclear weapons. It is a mistake to continue to bribe the Pakistanis for their cooperation, which is limited to picking up Al-Qaeda members and not, much more importantly, at a minimum to sending A. Q. Khan to this country for interrogation. It instead should include handing over the weapons he developed -- or risking the complete destruction of the Pakistani economy and of supporting an Indian pre-emptive strike so as to ensure that no Muslim state, or group within that state, ever acquires weapons of mass destruction.
The notion that the Pakistanis are an American ally is absurd. It is manifestly absurd after their support of the Taliban, after A Q. Khan helping to endanger the United States by selling the most detailed nuclear plans to North Korea, Iran, and Libya, and perhaps to Egypt (the Egyptians have put the $60 billion in American aid to purposes the Americans, endlessly trusting, never intended), and after the Pakistani refusal to allow the Americans to interrogate Mr. A. Q. (tellingly, now a national hero in Pakistan). That the Pakistanis, having received even more billions of dollars from the Americans in outright aid and debt relief, after decades of double-dealing and meretriciousness in every way, should dare to complain about America as a bully makes one’s blood boil. Pakistan cannot be trusted, not now, and not ever.
Pakistan is of course a Muslim country. It is a country whose people do not recognize that they have no other history because, though they are obviously the descendants of Hindus forced to convert by the onerous conditions of dhimmitude, or forcibly converted at the point of a sword, they refuse to recognize their own ancestors, their own pre-Islamic history. All they have to sustain and console them is Islam. That’s it. Nothing else. They cannot bear reality. And they will be that way as long as they remain fervently, even fanatically, Muslim. All of their political and economic and social and intellectual failures come from Islam. But this is the one thing, the thing above all other things, that they cannot allow themselves to recognize. It would disorient them, drive many of them mad.
And therefore, they must blame the Americans. It fits their conspiratorial view of the world, their crazed susceptibility to rumors, their hatred of the Infidels. Even educated Pakistanis have a milder, watered-down version of the same, that they feed to credulous foreigners and journalists, many of whom simply repeat these stories without critical examination (see, e.g., David Rohde of The Times).
They can do no other. But we can. We are free to analyze things as they are.
Posted on 12/18/2010 8:30 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Robert Gates, Pakistan, And The Pressler Amendment
[Re-posted from September 2009]
The Pressler Amendment was passed in 1985. It was intended to ensure that the enormous amount of aid that was being given to Pakistan would not be used to further Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions, but would be used, as the State Department and successive administrations kept assuring Congress and the American public, in order to make Pakistan feel secure, so that it would not develop nuclear weapons.
Among those who had been most astute and most critical of the policy of continued ceaseless appeasement of Pakistan was Senator John Glenn of Ohio. It would be useful, I suspect, to remind people who have not been in government about that Pressler Amendment by quoting at length from what Senator Glenn said in Congress:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to testify on U.S. responses to nuclear developments in Pakistan. I was tempted also to address my many concerns about India's large unsafeguarded nuclear program, but given time limitations and the focus of this hearing, I will address these concerns in another forum. Besides, your Committee has every reason to focus today on Pakistan. After all, American taxpayers shelled out billions of hard-earned tax dollars in aid that was explicitly justified as necessary to curb Pakistan's bomb program. This aid was provided only after repeated waivers of our nuclear nonproliferation laws. Congress has both the right and the duty to see what happened to these funds.
A review of this evidence will also encourage us to reexamine some old policy assumptions--like the faith some of our leaders have put in transfers of arms and high technology as tools of nuclear nonproliferation--and to appreciate the importance of some old fundamentals, like the duty of the Executive to `faithfully execute the laws,' the need for a working relationship between Congress and the Executive, and the public's right to know.
My testimony will address five questions: First, what were Congress and the American taxpayers told about the relationship between U.S. military aid and Pakistan's bomb? Second, how have these claims stood up over time? Third, why did Congress impose nuclear conditions on aid only to Pakistan? Fourth, did the Reagan and Bush administrations implement these conditions as Congress had intended? And finally, where do we go from here?
THE PROMISE OF THE POLICY
Between 1982 and 1990, America provided over $4 billion in assistance to Pakistan, about half of which was military. Some people think this aid was solely intended to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, a goal we shared with Pakistan. My staff, however, has identified 20 official administration statements claiming since 1981 that military assistance would address Pakistan's security concerns and thereby keep Pakistan from acquiring the bomb. I will submit with my testimony some relevant excerpts.
Given these many claims, the answer to my first question is crystal clear: the military transfers and other assistance were explicitly justified to Congress as instruments of a nuclear nonproliferation policy. Yet since this aid was only provided following waiver upon waiver of our nuclear nonproliferation laws, the administration had a heavy burden of proof to demonstrate that the aid was producing the promised results.
Unfortunately, the much-heralded nonproliferation benefits never materialized, which simplifies the job of answering my second question about the effects of the policy. It is well known that Pakistan was acquiring a nuclear weapons capability throughout the 1980's. I will attach to my statement a table listing 50 events that show without a doubt that Pakistan was continuing and even accelerating its pursuit of the bomb despite all of our aid. [Attachment] Mr. Chairman, if you judge by the evidence and not by the promises, there was a direct--not an inverse--relationship between the level of our aid and Pakistan's progress toward the bomb.
This leads to the answer to my third question about why Congress decided to impose new conditions on aid provided only to Pakistan. In the face of sensational daily headlines from around the world attesting to the failure of the administration's arms-for-nuclear-restraint policy, Congress went to work in the mid-1980's to strengthen conditions on further aid to Pakistan. It was no more `discriminatory' for Congress to single out Pakistan for special aid conditions than it was for the Executive to issue waiver after waiver of our nonproliferation laws just on Pakistan's behalf.
ORIGINS OF THE PRESSLER AMENDMENT
On March 28, 1984, this Committee adopted an amendment offered by Sen. Cranston and myself providing that no assistance shall be furnished and `no military equipment or technology shall be sold or transferred to Pakistan' unless the President could first certify that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device, is not developing a nuclear device, and is not acquiring goods to make such a device. On April 3, 1984, the Committee narrowly voted to reconsider this amendment and adopted instead a substitute offered by Senator Pressler, Mathias and Percy, which tied the continuation of aid and military sales to two certification conditions: (1) that Pakistan not possess a nuclear explosive device; and (2) that new aid `will reduce significantly the risk' that Pakistan will possess such a device. This text, which was enacted on another bill in August 1985, has come to be called the `Pressler amendment.'
In summary, the amendment made binding what had been an official policy, namely that our aid would reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation. It also clarified--by its broad prohibition on all arms transfers under any U.S. law--that a failure to meet these standards would lead to a cutoff of not only assistance but of military sales as well.
Let me just add at this point that neither the legislative history nor the text of the amendment itself contains any written or implied exclusion of commercial arms sales from the scope of these sanctions. Indeed, it is useful to recall that in past testimony at least one State Department witness has also dismissed this peculiar argument for allowing commercial arms sales to continue in the event of a nuclear violation. At a hearing of this Committee on November 12, 1981, I asked Undersecretary of State James Buckley to describe how a nuclear detonation by Pakistan would affect our transfers of F-16 aircraft and he replied that such an event would, in his words:
* * * dramatically affect the relationship. The cash sales are part of that relationship. I cannot see drawing lines between the impact in the case of a direct cash sale versus a guaranteed or U.S.-financed sale.
Yet as the evidence kept flowing in about new Pakistan advances toward the bomb, new rationalizations kept flowing out from Foggy Bottom for continuing our transfers of arms and aid in the service of nonproliferation--which brings me to my fourth question addressing how the Pressler amendment and other relevant laws were implemented.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PRESSLER AMENDMENT
I have long believed that continued arms experts to Pakistan was no way to halt its bomb program. But when you consider that of the 50 nuclear weapon-related events I cited in my submission to the Committee, three-quarters of them occurred after the Pressler amendment was enacted, it becomes glaringly apparent that the Reagan and Bush administrations willfully violated not only the Pressler amendment but several other nuclear nonproliferation laws as well. I believe that the Pressler amendment was violated almost immediately after it was enacted, when U.S. assistance and arms were transferred even though our government knew Pakistan was continuing its pursuit of the bomb.
There are three specific violations I would like to discuss today. First, I believe that the President's conclusion in October 1989 that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device conflicts with widely available information indicating that Pakistan was a de facto nuclear-weapon state. Indeed, Pakistan may well have attained that capability even before 1989, when would cast doubt on the accuracy of non-possession certifications by the Reagan administration as well.
Five years ago, a London newspaper published excerpts from an interview with no greater authority than Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's bomb; in Dr. Khan words, `what the CIA has been saying about our possessing the bomb is correct.' Later, in February 1992, the Pakistan foreign secretary publicly conceded that his government had `inherited' a nuclear capability. He told a U.N. audience on February 7th that `there was a capability in 1989,' but he denied that the program was `moved forward' and maintained that `we froze the program.' In an interview reported in the Washington Post the same day, the foreign secretary state that Pakistan possesses `elements which, if put together, would become a device. He referred to specifically to weapons `cores.'
The foreign secretary's statements raise some thorny problems for both the administration and the Pakistani government:
1. If Pakistan possessed these `elements' back in 1989, then how could the President have certified that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear explosive device? By the State Department's own interpretation of the Pressler amendment, if Pakistan possessed the bomb in pieces, it possessed the bomb.
2. If Pakistan did not possess these 'elements' back in 1989, but acquired them after President Bush made his certification of nonpossession in October 1989, then the foreign secretary's statement that the program was `frozen' when his government came to power in November 1990 is hardly reassuring. The foreign secretary is saying that Pakistan has frozen its status as a de factor nuclear weapon state. He is also admitting that Pakistan has violated its solemn commitment to the United States in 1984 that it would not enrich uranium beyond the 5% level needed for civilian uses.
The foreign secretary's candid remarks about the existence of a nuclear capability in 1989--combined with his remarks about weapons `cores' that he claims were produced before his government came to power--raises the real possibility of a violation of the non-possession standard in that year or even earlier.
The second violation also occurred in 1989--actually it was just a repeat of 4 prior violations by President Reagan--when President Bush certified that the provision of new assistance would `reduce significantly' the risk that Pakistan would possess a nuclear explosive device. In contrast to voluminous evidence indicating that Pakistan's program to develop nuclear weapons was advancing throughout the late 1980's, there were just no credible grounds for concluding that the provision of new foreign aid was reducing the risk of Pakistan possessing the bomb.
In fact, I believe there is considerable evidence that America's aid and high technology undoubtedly contributed to Pakistan's nuclear and missile capabilities. The F-16 aircraft we provided along with the dual-use goods we transferred to nuclear and missile facilities in Pakistan provide sufficient grounds for this conclusion.
The third violation--and I do indeed call this a violation--occurred in 1992, when it was officially confirmed that the United States government was continuing to license arms sales to Pakistan despite the clear requirement of the Pressler amendment that `no military equipment or technology shall be sold or transferred to Pakistan' if it has not received the required Presidential certifications.
Evidently, this is what we are now down to: elements of our bureaucracy are grasping at straws to perpetuate the myths that additional military transfers will buy us influence over Pakistan's bomb program, and that such transfers are perfectly legal.
The rationale that our government is somehow justified in licensing sales of munitions to maintain current military capabilities (which the Pakistani foreign secretary now tells us includes nuclear weapons) flies in the face of the black-and-white words of the Pressler amendment.
Commercial arms sales do indeed contravene both the spirit and the letter of the Pressler amendment. All the more so, given that the equipment we are evidently continuing to supply includes spare parts for F-16 aircraft, a known delivery vehicle for nuclear weapons. Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit a list of official statements from the Reagan and Bush administrations taking mutually contradictory positions on the issue of whether the F-16 can be used by Pakistan to deliver nuclear weapons. Clearly somebody--and not just in Pakistan--has not been telling the truth to the people, which raises the possibility of yet another violation of the law.
In summary, the administration's position on commercial arms sales not only lacks a solid foundation in law, it seems almost contrived to subvert and frustrate the very purposes of sanctions, which are to impose a cost for noncompliance with legitimate nonproliferation standards, to offer an incentive to correct the policies to noncompliance, and to signal the priority of nuclear nonproliferation on America's foreign policy agenda.
If you are under forty, you might not remember the brouhaha over the behavior of Pakistan that led to the Pressler Amendment, and then led to the expression of great Congressional unhappiness with the way the Executive Branch chose to “interpret” the Pressler Amendment. But Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is not under forty. He’s close to seventy. He has spent most of his life in the government, intimately connected to matters of high policy. But he apparently has a great deal of trouble remembering exactly how the government of the United States was betrayed, and betrayed again, by Pakistan, led by the nose, and led by the nose before, and then after, the Pressler Amendment was passed. His statement of August 13th about Pakistan having good reasons to “mistrust” the United States because America “walked away from them twice” -- the sheer utter idiocy of it all, the rewriting not of ancient history but of recent history -- simply amazes. The Pressler Amendment was passed because members of Congress were fed up with the behavior of Pakistan. The long discussion by Senator Glenn that took place at hearings held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1992, some seven years after the Pressler Amendment were passed, were prompted by a realization, and disgust, that the American government had not been diligent in enforcing the letter, or being vigilant about the spirit, of the Pressler Amendment.
We did not “walk away” from Pakistan. The government, that is, the military who essentially have always held power in Pakistan, took and took whatever aid they could cajole out of the Americans, and then always came back for more. They took whatever economic aid they could as well, and that economic aid allowed the “failed state” -- always on the brink of bankruptcy -- of Pakistan to nonetheless not only quietly arrange for stealing nuclear secrets from the West, but pay the enormous costs of the nuclear weapons program that led to the building not of one but of dozens of “Islamic bombs,” as they were proudly called, and not only in Pakistan.
The United States did not “walk away” from Pakistan once the Soviet army had left Afghanistan. The country of Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban, who were formed by, trained by, supported by, the government of Pakistan. Pakistan also helped the Taliban get back to Afghanistan and seize power once the Soviets had left, and to make that country a hell for its citizens, or for all but those who were the most fanatical Muslims, and to make it a haven for “the Arabs” who arrived, and set up their Al Qaeda camps, and treated the local Afghanis with such contumely. There was no reason at all for the Americans not to “walk away” from Pakistan, for Pakistan completely betrayed the Americans and its own solemn undertakings to them in this case, and then in the case of the long-term betrayal of promise after promise made to the Americans.
Those broken promises led to the Pressler Amendment, and then to renewed outrage from Congress once it was clear that Pakistan was being allowed, with the State Department’s connivance, to keep fooling the Americans -- that is, the American people, though not the group of apologists for Pakistan who continued to reign, as apologists for other Muslim states still reign and call far too many of the shots in the State Department and elsewhere in our government.
And while the Bush Administration wasted so many men, so much money, so much matériel, in Iraq, Robert Gates was for much of that time the Secretary of Defense. And now that the Obama Administration has come in, with Obama in Cairo not only seeing but raising Bush’s poker-faced nonsense about Islam as a “religion of peace,” but at least abandoning the messianic sentimentalism of Bush when it came to thinking that the Americans could bring “freedom” to “ordinary moms and dads in the Middle East,” Robert Gates is still there, and he still has not thought it necessary, apparently, to rethink the whole business. He has not started to think about Islam in Western Europe, for example, and not merely to take the same idiotic strategy -- winning hearts, winning minds, extending “prosperity” (which means tens of billions of American dollars), and keeping polities “unified” (which means the Americans have to somehow get the various ethnic and sectarian factions to lie down, like so many lions with so many lambs). He is simply moving the whole business from Iraq to Afghanistan, and with help -- help! -- expected from the meretricious government of Pakistan.
Pakistan has always been the spoiled child of American foreign policy. It began way back, with the Dulles brothers, when among the group of fierce but essentially stupid anti-Communists there was a belief that Islam should be regarded only as a "bulwark against Communism." That meant that the Al-Saud were much better than Nasser, because the former were completely Muslim, while Nasser had secular tendencies.
In the subcontinent, Pakistan had a series of fly-whisking terry-thomas moustachioed generals who were past masters at winning the trust of American counterparts in the Pentagon. Those ramrod-straight (Sandhurst posture always being a sure sign of inward rectitude) generals invited comparison with those dangerous, bandung-conferencing, Fabian Society Indian leaders -- haughty untouchable Brahmin Nehru (who had also dared to have a liaison with the wife of Lord Mountbatten) and his fellow member of the Victor Gollancz's New Left Book Club, the even more dangerous, because more marxisant (so it was felt in official Washington) Krishna Menon.
And thus it was that Pakistan -- meretricious Muslim Pakistan (meretricious, in this case, precisely because it was Muslim) was made a member of that ill-fated because ill-conceived military pact known as CENTO, in which the United States and Great Britain were to supply all the money and all the arms and all the training, while the Muslim members -- Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan -- were to be the beneficiaries of the money, the arms, the training, but were to supply the men. The whole farcical thing fell apart in 1958 with the coup by A. Q. Qassem, in which the "pro-Western" Nuri al-Said, always described as the "strongman" of Iraq, was seized and murdered, his mutilated body dragged through the streets of Baghdad.
But while CENTO collapsed, the Pakistani generals' love affair with the Pentagon continued. The Americans continued to supply those generals with all kinds of things, and that did not stop when the out-and-out fanatical Muslim Zia ul-Haq came to power. Anglophone Pakistanis of the upper classes like to claim, in talking to Westerners, that there was nothing wrong with Pakistan until Zia ul-Haq with his "extremism" came along. This is nonsense. Pakistan's "extremism" was always there among its primitive masses -- the masses who, unlike Benazir Bhutto, do not have millions of dollars, are not the children of zamindars, and cannot attend Harvard and Oxford and become, superficially westernized and hence offer the outward veneer of something that seemed familiar and trustworthy.
Far from being ill-treated by the United States, Pakistan continued to receive all kinds of money and all kinds of weapons. It was even promised F-16s. And that American money later came in handy when A. Q. Khan, a metallurgist skilled at thievery, managed while working in Western laboratories in the Netherlands and Germany to win sufficient trust to be given access to certain nuclear secrets. He stole those secrets and brought them back to Pakistan where the I.S.I., still living largely on the financial aid that the Americans supplied, used that aid to help finance Pakistan's nuclear project.
Pakistan not only diverted American aid to build what was called "the Islamic bomb," but A. Q. Khan was permitted by I.S.I., the Pakistan army's intelligence service, to offer to share nuclear secrets with other countries, and apparently he did so in the cases of both Iraq and North Korea.
The government of Pakistan continues, of course, to prevent the Americans even from interviewing A. Q. Khan to try to find out exactly what he gave to whom. That is not exactly the behavior of an ally, or a friend. It is the behavior, more accurately, of an enemy, one willing to take whatever aid, financial and military, it can wheedle out of the Americans, but not willing -- or able-- ever to be a real ally or friend.
During the Musharraf years, with the billions from America now pouring in, the government and military in Pakistan continued to string the Americans along. There were occasional half-hearted largely feigning attacks, by the Pakistan military, on Al Qaeda or the Taliban, but mainly the Pakistan government and press did everything it could to deny that Al Qaeda was either in Pakistan or being aided by a great many Pakistanis.
It was only when the American military was becoming absolutely fed up, and when, too, the local Taliban leaders decided a bit too prematurely to take on the rich zamindars in the parts of Pakistan -- e.g. the Swat Valley -- that they conquered, that the ruling class in both the Pakistani government and military realized that the Taliban were a threat to them. They then turned on the Taliban, not as a favor to the Americans, but in order to preserve the position of themselves and of those like them. That did not make them the friends of the Americans, or of the Indians, or of any other Infidel group. They remain Muslims, in a country almost entirely Muslim, where non-Muslims can be harassed, persecuted, even murdered at will. It was more than twenty years ago that Bishop John Joseph immolated himself in order to bring attention to the murderous persecution of Christians in Pakistan -- that persecution did not start yesterday, and it hardly was the result only of what the Taliban prompted. The persecution of Christians and Hindus is carried out by many and supported by even more. It is, in fact, not at all deplored in Pakistan, save by a handful of the morally most advanced.
Gates -- according to the news report about his August 13th performance -- “described as disturbing, but not surprising, the results of a survey that only 9 percent of Pakistanis saw the United States as a partner while 64 percent looked at it as an enemy.”
So Gates thinks this widespread hostility -- expressed in the survey that found that “64 percent” of Pakistanis see the U.S. as an enemy -- is “disturbing, but not surprising.” He is right: it isn’t “surprising.” But what is “surprising” -- or perhaps, alas, not “surprising” -- is that Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, seems to think it is not “surprising” not because of what Muslims are taught in the Qur’an, in the Hadith, and through the example of Muhammad -- uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil -- in the Sira. In those sources Muslims are taught to be mistrustful of Infidels (to be especially wary when they seem, those Infidels, to be nice, to be generous, for they are of course in league with Shaytan, trying to woo Muslims from the Path of Allah, fi sabil Allah). Muslims are taught that between them and non-Muslims, that is between Believers and Infidels, a state of permanent hostility or war (though not necessarily open warfare) must exist, and that they have a duty to make sure that Infidels do not continue to cling to their own ways, to continue to throw up obstacles (Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Conscience are such obstacles) to the spread and then the certain, the right, the just dominance of Islam, all over the world. Apparently Robert Gates hasn’t even begun to figure out what effect Islam has on the minds of its adherents. He hasn’t begun to grasp how very different Islam is -- as a Total Belief-System that offers a Complete Regulation of Life and a Complete Explanation of the Universe -- from other faiths, because Islam contains a clear politics and geopolitics which he has a duty to learn about, and did have such a duty the minute he assumed the post of Secretary of Defense. Like many others in official Washington, it is a duty he apparently thinks he has no obligation to fulfill. He’s quite wrong.
And Robert Gates has been the man in charge of vast expenditures (by the United States, what have turned out to be squanderings of men, money, matériel, and military morale, all in the misguided attempt to keep Iraq together, to keep Iraq “nonviolent,” to make Iraq “prosperous” -- all in the hope that Iraq would become what it will never become. This hope was never quite spelled out, never quite explained to us who are the citizens watching helplessly at the folly of this policy, first in Iraq and now, with apparently no lessons learned, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A coherent and cunning and even ruthless policy should long ago have been crafted, one devoid of sentimentalism, one recognizing that the most important theatre of war was not in Iraq, nor in Afghanistan, nor in Pakistan but, rather, right now, in the imperiled states of Western Europe, where the growth of Muslim populations threatens to change the tenor of life, the quality of life, and the orientation toward the United States, of those countries that constitute the historic heart of the West, and that without Europe the United States would lose its civilizational ancestry. It would see its legacy taken over, and destroyed, as were, everywhere that Muslims conquered, over the past 1350 years, the artifacts of whatever pre-Islamic civilization had once existed. The conquered non-Muslims were made to turn away from, to forget, even to despise, their culture, wherever Islamization, and then arabization, fully triumphed. It did not, in Iran, for complicated reasons, and the fact that Iranians still have the consciousness of their pre-Islamic identity may turn out to be important in helping Iranians today move away from the Islamic Republic, to constrain Islam, or even to jettison Islam altogether (perhaps by rediscovering an alternative identity – say, Zoroastrianism), in numbers significant enough to transform state and society in Iran.
In order to formulate policies that make sense -- and the war in Iraq, and the wars as currently conducted in Afghanistan and Pakistan are hideously draining on our military, and as policy are senseless -- one has to first recognize, despite all the official blather, that the United States has a stake in preventing the dangerous encroachments of Islam in Western Europe. Islam is not mainly or merely a “religion.” It is a Politics. It is a Geopolitics. It is important for Robert Gates, and all those who presume to protect us, to find out about Islam -- really find out, and not rely on the army of apologists for Islam, both Muslim and non-Muslim, who have so methodically hired and promoted one another in our colleges and universities, and who have been hired by the naïve and the simpletons to “advise” us. They have been hired even within our military academies, even within our security services. Gates needs to learn the truth about Islam itself, and about those hundreds of millions of Muslims who actively support the goals of Jihad, even if many prefer other instruments of Jihad to terrorism and combat (qitaal), for reasons not of morality but of expediency. Those other instruments include deployment of the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da’wa, and demographic conquest.
Intelligent Americans and Europeans realize that there is something uniquely disturbing about Islam. They are perfectly aware that many immigrant groups have come to North America and Europe -- Hindus, Chinese, Buddhists from Vietnam, Andean Indians, sub-Saharan and Caribbean blacks -- and many of these groups have language problems, or come bearing an alien creed. But only Muslim immigrants come bearing an alien and a hostile creed, one that makes claims on every aspect of life. It would be idiotic to ignore the fact that no other immigrant group, in France or Great Britain or in Spain or in Germany or even in those two tiny countries that have made a virtual state religion out of Tolerance And Diversity, Denmark and the Netherlands, has given the kind of trouble, has been impossible to integrate, and that makes endless demands. Those demands keep coming and do not stop. Muslims want changes in their host countries, in the laws, and the customs, and the understandings, above all in the freedoms, that have been the slow-won achievement, and some would describe as the glory and justification, of the Western world. These freedoms help to explain the West’s political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral advances, even as Islam explains the political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral failures of Muslim peoples and polities. The cause of those failures, the very failures of the societies and states they wish to escape by coming to Europe and to North America, instead follows them, is brought by them, is contained in the mental baggage that they bring, undeclared, and then unpack, to the great harm of the Infidels among whom they have come to live, and whose societies those Muslim immigrants -- to the precise extent that they take Islam to heart -- intend to change, slowly, steadily, inexorably.
They must not be allowed to do so, and the threat they represent has to be recognized by those who are in charge, as it is, more and more, by those people who have been sickened by the nonsense and lies, not only of those in charge of immigration policy, but by all those, among our political and media elites, who know far less about Islam, who still know almost nothing about Islam, eight years after the fatidic date which marks, or should have marked, an end to ignorance about Islam. Many people have -- almost unwillingly, hoping not to discover what they have discovered, hoping it can’t really be true -- engaged in intensive self-study of Islam. And in studying Islam, its texts, its tenets, its attitudes, its atmospherics, in reading the works of the great Western scholars of Islam, those who lived in the century, roughly, from 1860 to 1960, and in reading, as well, the works of those who, having been born and raised within Islam, and then having moved to the West and enjoyed its mental freedom and freedom from physical fear (a fear that keeps questioning people in Muslim lands permanently quiet about whatever doubts they may have about Islam), have testified so eloquently. See Wafa Sultan, Ibn Warraq, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ali Sina, and many thousands of others whose names are as yet unknown, sometimes by design, to the Great World.
It all seems to be taking place below the radar of Our Great And Powerful Men in Washington, who construct policies that make no sense, and spend trillions of what is our money, and expend the lives of those who are our relatives or our friends or our fellow citizens, and who use up vast amounts of war matériel. And incidentally, that matériel is used up not only in combat, or blown up by the enemy, but is also being transferred to Muslim soldiers, to the armies we have idiotically built up in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and with still more tens of billions being transferred to Pakistan. How many thousands of very expensive vehicles, capable of withstanding I.E.D. attacks, will be left with the Iraqi army and police? With the Afghanis? Possibly given to Pakistan? How much other expensive equipment is being crazily lavished on Muslims? How much training is being given, which our military appears to believe will be used only against other Muslims, that is, against the so-called “extremists” who are supposed to be so very different from the other Muslims, the “good” Muslims, whom we are so eagerly training and outfitting?
Between the army and the police, in Iraq the Americans have trained, outfitted, supplied with advanced weaponry of every kind, more than half-a-million Iraqis. Our friends and allies, forever? Do you think so? On what basis do you think so? And there are another several hundred thousand men under arms -- army and police -- in Afghanistan, Muslims all of course, who have been trained, outfitted, given all kinds of equipment. Is this an achievement? Eight years after the 9/11/2001 attack, the leading Infidel military power can claim as its greatest achievement that it has built up two very large armies of Muslims. In doing so, it has also spent nearly three trillion dollars, money spent or committed (including life-time care for tens of thousands of severely wounded American soldiers and Marines) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.
What might we have done with that three trillion dollars, in, for example, energy projects to deprive Muslims of their Money Weapon? What kind of health care problems would we have had we not spent three trillion dollars in the last eight years in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, and on aid to practically any Muslim state that did not have oil -- Egypt, Jordan, even the “Palestinians” who are merely the carefully-renamed local Arabs who are the shock troops of the Jihad, that has no end, being waged against Israel?
No, none of this is the kind of thing of which Robert Gates shows any awareness. His speech last Thursday was an amazing performance, one that should give pause to all those who think that those who run the Pentagon have a grasp of history and of the ideology of Islam. He, Gates, has no idea of Pakistan’s consistent record of grasping, calculated meretriciousness over the past fifty years. And he appears to have forgotten -- if he ever knew -- how constantly, and characteristically, generous, as well as far too trusting, the American government has been with Pakistan, endlessly treacherous Pakistan.
Perhaps there are others in the corridors of power who can enlighten Gates, or work around him, or somehow get policies accepted that are based on something very like reality. It’s not much to ask.
If, during the Cold War, the Americans had thought for a bit, and read, for example, the Manual on Jihad written by a Pakistani general (Malik), and if they had been more willing to come to grips with Islam, they might have decided that the ruthlessness of the Soviet forces in suppressing Islam in Central Asia, in the “stans” of the Soviet Union, was not a thing to be deplored but to be welcomed, and that government by those who, in the Afghani context, called themselves “Communists” (a word which sometimes merely signaled “secularist”) would not be enough of a victory to give the dying Soviet Union a reprieve from its fate, but at least would not help, and might hinder, the renewal of Muslim power in parts of Central Asia. Sometimes an enemy’s behavior should be recognized as, objectively, furthering one’s own goals. But the Americans in dealing with Afghanistan thought only about defeating the Soviets, and not about what that defeat, and the victory of the muhajideen, might mean.
This inability to think ahead has always been a problem. Had the American government in 1945, just as the war was ending, immediately stopped thinking about the Soviet Union as a necessary “ally” (as it was during World War II), and instantly recognized the malevolent designs on Eastern and Central Europe by Joseph Stalin, and had the Americans moved troops in or at a time of the American nuclear monopoly made other threats, a great deal of anguish, lasting nearly a half-century, might have been spared all the Central and Eastern European countries that came under Soviet domination after World War II. It is just possible that the Soviet Union itself might have collapsed earlier than it did.
It is the same with Islam. The mind-set of American policy-makers has been that of the Cold War, and in the Cold War various Muslim countries, and Islam itself, were seen, not quite accurately in the former case and completely misleadingly in the latter case, as enemies of totalitarianism, Communist division.
Robert Gates is a child of that Cold War. And so are many others in the Administration who did not, in the eight years that have followed 9/11/2009, taken even a month, even a week off, to try to learn about Islam. Washington is full of people who remain confused about the subject, and determined to rely on Muslim advisers, or on the repetition of soothing phrases such as “we must win the confidence of Muslims” or “we must win Muslim minds and hearts.” They do not find out whether or not such goals are either possible or worthwhile, given the kinds of violence we might have to do to our own ideals, and to our alliances, and to our own understanding of what the Western world is, and to the rights of other, but less powerful, Infidel lands. Those less powerful Infidel lands are often deemed expendable by some of the false “realists” who want us to win those unwinnable hearts and minds, or to curry favor with Muslims by paying them in the coin of the security of other Infidels (in Western Europe, or Israel, or India, or Thailand, or elsewhere).
For our own leaders, civilian and military, are willfully ignorant and unable, or incapable, of learning enough about Islam to cease to be taken in by the what should be seen as the most transparent kind of Muslim blague, designed to separate us from ever more of our money and war matériel, and to keep getting American and European concessions, in all kinds of ways, in order that the will-o’-the-wisp of Muslim cooperation and “appreciation” can be (impossibly) obtained.
And watch out for “Charm” as a weapon of Jihad. Most people, alas, often make judgments about large matters on the basis of the most trivial anecdotal evidence, or personal experience that, if analyzed correctly, would be seen in the nature of things to be deceptive. I am thinking in particular of the Pakistani ambassador in Washington, Husain Haqqani, and his helpmeet, in every sense, one of the very attractive Ispahani girls (the Ispahani family being one of the richest in Pakistan), all of whom have gone to excellent American schools. So use your imagination, with these smooth Anglophones, well-versed in the conversational arts of Georgetown and McLean, with the wife being so able to fit into her jeans (which allows us all to forget about the hundreds of millions of women forced to wear burqas or chadors or even the niqab), and who can allude to a picnic at Lake Waban (Wellesley!). All this can make conversationalists forget all about Muslim strictures on the education of women (enforced violently in Afghanistan), and of a host of legal and social disabilities that Muslimahs must endure, not because of “cultural practices” but because of Islam itself, which clearly assigns an inferior place to women, and spells out the reasons in Qur’an and Hadith, with details from the Sira, the Life of Muhammad, offering illustrative, and illuminating, examples.
Georgetown must get beyond mere “charm.” Then Husain Haqqani et ux. can be enjoyed the way Trollope might have enjoyed them, by engaging with them in outwardly affable social intercourse but at the same time casting a cold unswerving novelist’s eye on how they operate, and what they are attempting to achieve. And that is not money, or social status, as with Trollopean protagonists. Rather, they are attempting to win billions more in aid and military equipment, and above all continued political indulgence, for Pakistan.
I can imagine the two of them at Georgetown parties, seated next to, say, Teresa Heinz Kerry and her morganatic-marriage-in-reverse husband, artfully displaying their Western-educated ways, and in that very display, helping their dinner partners, Americans and other non-Muslims, to forget or not to inquire too deeply into the nature of Islam, and even to forego, later on, trying to find out more about Islam. For Husain Haqqani and his charming wife are there to ‘splain it all, night after night after night.
Robert Gates, and Richard Holbrooke, and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, and a few hundred others in Official Washington, must start hitting the books instead of relying on the likes of those ambassadors who truly do put into practice what the old definition of a diplomat describes: “someone who is sent abroad to lie for his country.” The formula would be more accurate if instead of “country” the word were “his faith.” Because what Ambassador Haqqani does is only what all the Muslim ambassadors do, though since Prince Bandar ruled the diplomatic roost (even showing up at the Pentagon for top-secret gatherings, apparently), it has not been quite the same.
It is difficult to believe that Robert Gates is as ignorant of American-Pakistani relations over the past half-century, and of the nature of Islam, as he appears from this speech, and many others, to be. Let us cling to the hope that this is all an act, that in the privacy of the inner sanctums of power he reveals that he understands things quite differently, much more accurately, and speaks more truthfully.
Let that hope not turn out to be a forlorn hope.
Posted on 12/18/2010 8:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 18 December 2010
The Arrest Of Hassan Diab, And Idiotic Irrelevancies (Re-Posting)
The other day one Donald J. Pratt (who though he identifies himself as being from San Mateo, California takes such a keen interest in the extradition proceedings for Hassan Diab that he is practically a member of the legal defense team)and I had a little colloquy, in the comments section to my original piece on deference to French -- as opposed to Iranian or North Korean -- justice. He appears determined to have others believe that unless the French reveal all their sources and methods, in terrorism cases where the need for not revealing everything about those sources and methods should be obvious, neither Mr. Diab nor anyone else should be extradited to France, to be tried according to French law. You can read the back-and-forth here. I don't think Mr. Pratt will be using "to reference" as a verb any time soon.
I had completely forgotten that more than two years ago I had written something on Hassan Diab, and the sillinesses of his naive, or worse, deeply indifferent to what he was accused of doing, loyal claque. I thought it fitting, given the recent discussion, to re-post it here:
The Arrest Of Hassan Diab, And Idiotic Irrelevancies
by Hugh Fitzgerald
November 22, 2008
"When you've never had any problems with the law and all of a sudden to be handcuffed and foot-chained and driven to RCMP headquarters and then to court, it's distressing," Duval [Hassan Diab's lawyer] said from his home in Trois-Rivieres, Que....[H]e's a devoted teacher who has the support of his students and the universities, Duval said....."This is a gentleman who is a very professional person and, of course, everyone is surprised by this thing that happened. You will have a hard time finding someone who will say something negative about him." – from this news article
He's "never had any problems with the law," yet "all of a sudden" is "handcuffed and footchained and driven to RCMP headquarters...its distressing." He is a part-time instructor at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, where he is "a devoted teacher." He's "a gentleman." He's a "very professional person." And "you will have a hard time finding someone who will say something negative about him."
Ah yes. The idiotic irrelevancies.
Might it be possible that "a devoted teacher," "a gentleman," a "very professional person" of whom it can be said that "you will have a hard time finding someone who will say something negative about him" could possibly have been involved in a bombing outside a Paris synagogue that killed four people in October 1980?
Is it possible? Or does his devotion, his gentlemanliness, his professionalism, make it absurdly out of the question that he could have ever been involved in such a thing, even twenty-eight years ago?
Points for consideration:
Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. He loved dogs. He loved children, provided they were blonde Aryan children.
Josef Stalin was a wonderful fellow, the Father of his Country and, come to think of it, of his Countrymen, who could always be counted on. And if you only saw the outpouring of grief in March 1953 in the Soviet Union, it certainly outdid the outpouring of grief for FDR in April 1945 in the United States, in both scope and duration. This grief was not all orchestrated. Much of it was clearly genuine.
As for Chairman Mao, one simply can't say enough about his splendid qualities. Why, his calligraphy alone is so distinctive and heart-warming that the ideograms on the sign advertising the Yenching Restaurant in Harvard Square are, or at least used to be, written in the exact calligraphic style of Chairman Mao. And where shall we begin with his natatory abilities, and his deep concern for the Chinese people?
And Germany all through the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s and 1980s and 1990s, in numbers ever-diminishing of course, because of Father Time and Mother Nature, had all kinds of men, some of sober mien, fine upstanding fellows, even some of them with those heartwarming crinkles around the eyes, who were liked by all the neighborhood. And few would have guessed, and many would not have cared, what those men did on the Eastern Front, or the Western, in the years between 1939 and 1945, or even, some of them, before the war began.
It's the same story.
Never caused any problem. Never swatted a fly. Never did any damage. Why don't you leave him alone? For god's sake, how far back must we go in our insensate urge to wreak a cruel revenge? And will punishing Diab, after all these years, bring anyone back anyway? What good would it do to punish him now?
But there was that bomb at that synagogue, and the people killed by, it is charged, among others, Hassan Diab, part-time instructor at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, who managed to escape justice all these years. For the evidence against Diab must have been very strong, even overwhelming, for the RCMP to come knocking on his door.
And no one of sense should for one minute treat with anything but disgust those who seem to think his being a "caring" teacher -- or whatever it is some seem to think --mitigates what is charged. And what is charged is that Hassan Diab, part-time instructor at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, participated in the mass-murder of people at a synagogue in Paris, on the rue Copernic, in October of 1980.
Posted on 12/18/2010 9:07 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald