Al Qaeda says it has beheaded a French hostage in reprisal for France's military intervention in Mali, according to reports. Its North African arm claimed responsibility, Mauritania's ANI news agency reported, citing a commander for the group.
A French foreign office spokesman said they were trying to verify the report of the killing of Philippe Verdon, adding that "we don't know at the moment" whether it is reliable.
In a telephone call to the news agency, the group spokesman said Mr Verdon had been beheaded on March 10 "in response to the French military intervention in the north of Mali", ANI reported. The AQIM commander described Mr Verdon as a French spy and said France's President Francois Hollande "bore the responsibility for the remaining hostages".
Mr Verdon and another Frenchman, Serge Lazarevic, were kidnapped from their hotel room on November 24, 2011, in the northern Mali town of Hombori. Their families denied that the two men were mercenaries or secret service agents.
The killing, if proved true, would be a worrying development for Mr Hollande.
Another 14 French hostages are detained in Western Africa, including seven believed to be held in the Sahel region by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its affiliates.
Earlier Tuesday, Mr Verdon's father Jean-Pierre, complained that the families were hearing nothing from the French authorities. "We are in a total fog and it is impossible to live this way," he told RTL radio. "We have no information."
Terror chief Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an AQIM leader and one of the world's most wanted men, had pledged revenge and vowed to attack western targets in Africa after France launched a campaign to help the country's embattled government drive Islamist militants out of northern Mali.
After speaking recently in Belgium, I declared, in response to an audience member’s suggestion that the European Union’s purpose was the preservation of peace, that “Europe”—in the peculiar, Soviet-style usage of the word now so common—does not mean peace, but conflict, if not outright war. We are building in Europe not a United States, I said, but a Yugoslavia. We shall be lucky to escape violence when it breaks apart.
I passed over the fact that Europe is, so far, the consequence of peace, and not its cause; that multilateral agreements between countries have always been possible without the erection of giant and corrupt bureaucratic apparatuses that weigh like a peine forte et dure on most Western European economies; that the maintenance of peace does not require or depend upon regulating the size of bananas sold in the marketplace; and that the notion that were it not for the European Union, there would be war, is inherently Germanophobic—because no one believes, for instance, that Estonia would otherwise attack Slovenia, or Portugal Slovakia.
It always seems strange to me that in Belgium, of all countries, people should be unable to see the European Union’s dangers. After all, the country is composed of only two main national communities—the French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemish—and the division between the two is now sharper than at any previous time, to such an extent that the country recently had no government for more than 500 days. (Honesty compels me to admit that Belgium seems to have come to no great harm during that period.) No one in Belgium explains, or even asks, why what has not proved possible for 189 years—full national integration of just two groups sharing so much historical experience and a tiny fragment of territory—should be achievable on a vastly larger scale with innumerable national groups, many of which have deeply ingrained and derogatory stereotypes of one another.
I also pointed out that “Europe” lacks almost all political legitimacy, which will make it impossible to resolve real and growing differences. The results of the subsequent Italian general election—wherein two anti-European demagogues collected between them more than half of the votes—would seem to confirm my prognostication. Anti-German feeling runs high in Italy, and not only there. Matters weren’t much improved by the insensitive remarks of the German minister of labor in a recent edition of Der Spiegel, to the effect that the ongoing economic crisis is lucky for Germany because, with high youth unemployment elsewhere on the continent—50 percent in Spain, for example—young people, especially the best-qualified, will increasingly seek jobs in Germany. “And that,” she said, “will rejuvenate the country, making it more creative and international.” In other words, the continent’s high unemployment is the solution to Germany’s demographic decline.
After I finished speaking, a man approached and told me that he was not particularly attached to democracy as a solution to our problems. He put his faith, instead, in technocracy, wherein lay our salvation. That he was clearly an intelligent, cultivated, and decent man made what he said more frightening, not less.
Ghassan Hitto, Fervent Supporter Of The Muslim Brotherhood And Hamas
From the Global Muslim Brotherhood Report (Global MB):
U.S. Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas Support Leader Chosen By Syrian Opposition To Head Interim Government
Posted By GlobalMB On March 19, 2013
U.S. media is reporting that Ghassan Hitto, known to have been a leader in several U.S. Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas support organizations, has been elected by the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) as head of an interim government in Syria. According to an AP report:
ISTANBUL – Syria’s opposition coalition early Tuesday elected a little-known American-educated IT manager [at a small Muslim-run company] and Islamic activist to head an interim government to administer areas seized by rebel forces from President Bashar Assad’s troops. Ghassan Hitto received 35 votes out of 48 ballots cast by the opposition Syrian National Coalition’s 63 active members during a meeting in Istanbul. The results were read aloud by coalition member Hisham Marwa to applause from a few dozen of his colleagues who had waited until after 1 a.m. to hear the results. ’I miss my wife and children and I look forward to seeing them soon,’ said Hitto, who has lived in the United States for decades and recently moved from Texas to Turkey to help coordinate aid to rebel-held areas. When asked what his interim government’s first priority would be, Hitto said he planned to give a speech later Tuesday outlining his plans……Hitto’s election follows two failed attempts to form interim governments due to opposition infighting. Coalition members also say they received insufficient international support to allow them to project their authority to groups inside Syria. …..Hitto did not receive a resounding mandate from the coalition, of which he is not a member. Of the group’s 63 active members, only 48 voted. Four cast blank ballots and Hitto received 35 of the remaining votes. Hitto was born in Damascus, the Syrian capital, in 1963, according to his official resume provided by the coalition. Little known in Syria, he has lived in the United States for more than two decades, most recently in Texas. He has academic degrees from Purdue University in Indiana and Indiana Wesleyan University. He worked for a number of different technology companies and helped run a Muslim private school called the Brighter Horizons Academy. He is also a founding member of the Muslim Legal Fund of America, which was founded to give legal aid to Muslims following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He is married with four children.
At least half of the Board of Directors of the Muslim Legal Fund (MFLA) is comprised of individuals who are leaders in U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT) which operates the Dallas Central Mosque that has been known to be tied to Hamas support. Perhaps the most notable of the MFLA board members is Hatem Bazian, President of the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and also part of the U.S. Hamas support infrastructure,
Mr. Hitto has also been a leader in several other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support organizations:
According to investigative research posted on the GMBDR, Mr. Hitto was a Secretary-Treasurer of the American Middle Eastern League for Palestine (AMELP), another name by which the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP) operated and that shared the same office and officers. The IAP was known to have been part of the Hamas infrastructure in the U.S.
In 2002, U.S. media also identified Mr. Hitto as a “friend of the Elashi family” and who appeared to be acting as their spokesperson. In 2009, Ghassan Elashi was sentenced to 65 years in prison for his role in financing Hamas as part of the Holy Land Foundation.
In 2002, U.S. media identified Mr. Hitto as the Vice-President of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Dallas Fort-Worth Chapter (see Note 1). A Hudson Institute report identifies CAIR as part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support infrastructure in the U.S.
According to the Texas Secretary of State, Mr. Hitto is a director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) Youth Center of Dallas. He has also been listed in the past as the contact person for the Dallas chapter of the MAS. The Hudson Institute report also identifies the MAS as part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and close to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
So far, U.S. media has completely failed to identify any of these positions held by Mr. Hitto who has now become the fourth U.S. Muslim Brotherhood figure to be identified as part of the Syrian National Council. According to an Al-Jazeera report, Hitto founded the Coalition of Free Syria activist group in 2011, and become a national board member of the Syrian American Council the following year. The same report says he is a member of the recently formed National Coalition.
A post from November reported on the formation of the new, broader-based National Coalition that included members from the Syrian National Council (SNC). A MEMRI report on the the National Coalition discusses the failure of the group to weaken the Muslim Brotherhood influence in the opposition. The NYT had earlier reported on efforts by the Syrian National Council (SNC), a group with heavy Muslim Brotherhood participation, to resist the unification initiative. A post from late August reported that a third individual was identified who is tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and who is also a part of the SNC. Previous posts had noted that the SNC includes at least two other known members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood- Louay Safi, a leader in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Najib Ghadbian, a board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). The relationship between the SNC and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi should also be noted. In addition, a Carnegie Middle East Center report indicates that Moaz Khatib, who heads the National Coalition, is himself quite close to the Muslim Brotherhood:
In ideological terms, al-Hasani is close to the moderate Islamist profile of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, although he is not formally affiliated with the group. He more closely identifies with the Islamism of the Brotherhood’s Damascene branch, which is associated with Issam al-Attar, a former spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria who was exiled by the Baathist regime in the 1970s, than with its current, more hard-line leadership from the Hama branch.
Issam Al-Attar has been known for many year as head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in Germany and his son is married to Youssef Nada, the infamous Muslim Brotherhood banker who formerly ran the now-defunct Al-Taqwa bank. The Syrian Brotherhood in Germany is also known to have close relations with their Egyptian counterparts in that country.
A post from earlier this month reported that the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had appeared to confirm that the U.S. is training Syrian rebels. A post from last month reported that Kerry has pledged an additional $60 million in aid to Syrian opposition forces that include heavy representation by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hassan Hassan, an editorial writer for the United Arab Emirates-based National, has written an article titled “How the Muslim Brotherhood Hijacked Syria’s Revolution.”
(Note 1: Fort Worth Star-Telegram May 15, 2002, Wednesday FINAL EDITION “Woman tells of detention”)
Dans une discussion avec des lecteurs du quotidien Le Parisien, le ministre de l’Intérieur est interpellé sur l’islam : « Y a-t-il un problème avec l’islam ? Comment éviter que des jeunes Français tombent dans l’islamisme radical ? »
Et voici (in extenso) tout ce que Manuel Valls trouve à répondre : « La France ne va pas bien. Chômage, précarité, crise d’identité… Ce gouvernement doit tout faire pour apaiser notre société. S’il y a un mot qui doit caractériser mon action, c’est le respect de l’autre. L’islam est la deuxième religion de France, c’est un fait. Nous devons faire la démonstration que l’islam est compatible avec les valeurs de la République. Chacun doit y mettre du sien. Ces polémiques sur le halal, les pains au chocolat ont énormément perverti le débat. Mais il faut que l’islam de France s’organise avec des imams français formés dans nos universités, qui parlent français, qui prêchent en français. Il faut aussi avoir une discussion sur le financement des lieux de culte : j’admets de moins en moins que ce soient des pays tiers, parfois amis, parfois non, qui financent les lieux de culte. »
Quel bel exercice de langue de bois ! Décortiquons.
« La France ne va pas bien. Chômage, précarité, crise d’identité… Ce gouvernement doit tout faire pour apaiser notre société. S’il y a un mot qui doit caractériser mon action, c’est le respect de l’autre. »
Parce qu’il n’y aurait pas de problème avec l’islam si la France allait mieux ? Tous les pays occidentaux confrontés à la « religion d’amour, de tolérance et de paix » connaissent les mêmes problèmes avec l’islam, quels que soient leur régime et leur politique sociétale. Donc exit la bonne excuse sociale, où d’ailleurs Manuels Valls tente de culpabiliser les Français : nous ne serions pas « apaisés », et nous ne respecterions pas « l’autre ». Classique « reductio ad islamophobum », si je puis dire, insultante pour nos concitoyens.
« L’islam est la deuxième religion de France, c’est un fait. »
Oui et non. La première religion de France est l’athéisme. Ensuite Manuel Valls confond nés-musulmans et islam, ce qui est aussi idiot que de prétendre que tous les baptisés seraient catholiques pratiquants. L’islam est une idéologie, et très heureusement beaucoup qui y sont nés n’y adhèrent pas ou peu, en particulier rejettent la charia qui est consubstantielle à l’islam.
Et quand bien même ce serait « un fait », nous ne sommes pas obligés de l’accepter. La violence (de plus en plus sauvage), la drogue, la délinquance, etc. sont des « faits » et pourtant Manuel Valls dit les combattre. Nous avons combattu bien d’autres fascismes. Nous ne voyons pas pourquoi nous ferions exception avec l’islam, même s’il a beaucoup d’adeptes.
Le ministre de l’Intérieur fait d’ailleurs la même réponse (avec plus de tact) que l’un de ses prédécesseurs à Beauvau, un certain Nicolas Sarkozy. Quand Alain Duhamel a demandé à celui-ci (lors de la campagne présidentielle 2007) si l’islam est compatible avec la République, Sarkozy a dit tout de go qu’il a beaucoup de musulmans en France et que nous n’allions pas les jeter à la mer. Même confusion entre personnes à qui l’idéologie musulmane est le plus souvent imposée par la naissance, et cette idéologie elle-même ! Et même réponse stupide de Sarkozy : il faut rendre l’islam compatible avec la République. Stupidité qu’on peut démonter par l’absurde : il y a des viols et des vols, donc il faut rendre le viol et le vol compatibles avec la République…
« Nous devons faire la démonstration que l’islam est compatible avec les valeurs de la République. »
Donc même vœu pieux que celui de Nicolas Sarkozy, qui a totalement échoué dans cette mission où il se vantait d’avoir inventé le CFCM. D’ailleurs s’il faut encore « faire la démonstration », c’est qu’elle n’est toujours pas faite. Et elle ne le sera jamais ! Nous n’allons pas reprendre ici la litanie d’exemples qui démontre que le Coran, la Sunna et les hagiographies de Mahomet sont aux antipodes des « valeurs républicaines ». Or que je sache, Messieurs Boubakeur ou Chalghoumi partagent le même Coran « sacré » et le même « prophète-beau modèle » que Mohamed Merah et Oussama Ben Laden.
« Chacun doit y mettre du sien. »
Qu’est-ce à dire ? Il faudrait couper la poire en deux, faire des compromis, des « accommodements raisonnables » comme ceux prônés par Jean Glavany et Dounia Bouzar dans un opuscule avalisé par le Parti socialiste ? Il faudrait 50% de charia et 50% de République ? C’est NIET, Monsieur Valls. Nous n’accepterons pas une once d’islamisation de notre société française. PAS UNE ONCE ! Et les Français vous le confirment dans les sondages.
« Ces polémiques sur le halal, les pains au chocolat ont énormément perverti le débat. »
Encore un bottage en touche, cette fois en directions respectives de Marine Le Pen et Jean-François Copé. Ce ne serait que « polémiques », alors qu’il est gravissime de forcer des gens à manger halal à l’insu de leur plein gré, ou d’en forcer d’autres à faire le jeûne du Ramadan. Manuel Valls utilise de vieilles rhétoriques pour évacuer ces problèmes qui en sont pourtant, qui intéressent les Français, dont d’ailleurs les trois quarts ne gobent plus du tout ces discours lénifiants et accusateurs. Manuel Valls inverse victimes et coupables. C’est grave pour un ministre de l’Intérieur mais on a déjà pris l’habitude avec la nouvelle garde des Sceaux.
« Mais il faut que l’islam de France s’organise avec des imams français formés dans nos universités, qui parlent français, qui prêchent en français. Il faut aussi avoir une discussion sur le financement des lieux de culte : j’admets de moins en moins que ce soient des pays tiers, parfois amis, parfois non, qui financent les lieux de culte. »
Et voilà la série d’emplâtres sur des jambes de bois. Exactement la même que celle de Nicolas Sarkozy… avec en plus un appel du pied au contribuable pour mettre la main à la poche.
Quelles illusions ! Le Coran serait-il moins violent une fois traduit en français ? Mahomet deviendrait un saint homme quand il est raconté dans la langue de Molière ? Payer des mosquées à des prêcheurs les rendraient doux comme des agneaux et soudainement amoureux de la République ? Vastes chimères ! Si ça marchait, ça se saurait et nous en aurions déjà des exemples en France ou ailleurs.
Non, Monsieur Valls, vous ne nous forcerez pas à épouser l’islam, vous ne verrez jamais aux noces de Marianne et de Mahomet que vous tentez de nous imposer, et que vous voulez imposer à Marianne. Un mariage forcé, en quelque sorte, d’où il ne peut déboucher que plus de conflits, de haines et de « polémiques ». Nous n’abandonnerons pas la France à la charia.
Notre République n’est pas islamique, elle ne le sera jamais ou alors il faudra nous passer sur le corps. Et encore, l’Espagne fut islamisée puis… reconquise ! N’oubliez pas Charles Martel, Monsieur le ministre de l’Intérieur, et choisissez vite votre camp.
The Hezbollah Biological Warfare Threat to UN Peacekeepers and Israel
Dr. Jill Bellamy van Aalst
Yesterday, news broke about an alleged Chemical Warfare (CW) attack in Syria. There were cross allegations between Syrian opposition and the Assad Regime. Russia accused the rebels of perpetrating the event, while as the day progressed there wasn’t clear evidence as to which side in the more than two year conflict was the perpetrator. President Obama in White House Press room remarks also drew attention to the potential threat of Biological Warfare (BW). That is a concerning topic Dr. Jill Bellamy van Aalst, noted international expert and NATO consultant on BW threat reduction , addressed in an op-ed article published in today’s Israel Hayom, “Hezbollah Biological Threat to UN Peacekeepers.”
Our interviews with Dr. Bellamy van Aalst in both 2007 and in 2013New English Review articles on the Syrian Biological Threat have been prescient. An op ed co-authored by her on the Iranian, Syrian BW nexus appeared in the Jerusalem Post this January. Her article on the Hezbollah biological weapons threat to the EU was published earlier this month in the English edition of Copenhagen-based Dispatch International. Clearly her expertise and warnings on BW transferred by Syria and Iran to Hezbollah are gaining attention in the international media. Note this comment from her Israel Hayom article:
This could put down an entire battalion and severely affect an operational theater. It could create a window of opportunity either to collect intelligence or engage in operations to prepare the groundwork for a second conventional strike on those forces or for a wider conflict.
In the US the reactions to the reports of a possible CW attack in Syria were used by Congressional supporters of providing kinetic aid to the Syrian opposition. President Obama, prior to his departure for a visit to Israel warned about crossing “red lines” in use of non-conventional weapons in the Syrian conflict..
In a Fox Newsreport, Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Carl Levin (D-MI) noted that a ‘red line’ might have been passed:
"If today's reports are substantiated, the President's red line has been crossed, and we would urge him to take immediate action to impose the consequences he has promised," they said in a statement. "That should include the provision of arms to vetted Syrian opposition groups, targeted strikes against Assad's aircraft and SCUD missile batteries on the ground, and the establishment of safe zones inside Syria to protect civilians and opposition groups."
Their Democratic colleague, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, also spoke of "ratcheting up of military effort" in response to a potential chemical attack.
State Department and White House press spokespersons Victoria Nuland and Jay Carney drew attention to the lack of evidence about Syrian allegations and President Obama’s comments:
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reiterated that the use of chemical weapons would "constitute a red line for the United States," though she made that remark in reference to the Assad regime.
She and Carney, as well as the Pentagon, said they could not confirm the allegations.
"We've seen reports from the Assad regime alleging that the opposition has been responsible for use. Let me just say that we have no reason to believe these allegations represent anything more than the regime's continued attempts to discredit the legitimate opposition and distract from its own atrocities committed against the Syrian people," Nuland said.
"We don't have any evidence to substantiate the regime's charge that the opposition even has CW (chemical weapons) capability," she added.
Carney suggested that the Assad regime could be using the charges to cover up its own use of chemical weapons.
"It is important as fighting in Syria intensifies and the regime becomes more desperate, that the United States and the international community make absolutely clear to Assad that the use of chemical weapons would be totally unacceptable," Carney said. "The president was clear when he said that if Assad and those under his command make the mistake of using chemical weapons or fail to meet their obligations to secure them, then there will be consequences and they will be held accountable."
Amid these developments came warnings of a more direct threat of non- conventional BW by Hezbollah to UN Peacekeepers on Israel’s northern frontier by Dr. Bellamy van Aalst.
March 20, 2013
Recently, 21 U.N. Disengagement Observer Force peacekeepers from the Philippines were seized in the demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights. They were released unharmed in Jordan four days later. Perhaps a more worrying issue is the potential risk to U.N. peacekeepers posed by Hezbollah. As of Jan. 31, the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon comprised 11,026 troops, 338 international civilians and 656 local civilian staff. Thirty-eight countries contributed military personnel to UNIFIL.
UNIFIL could easily be in the crosshairs of a biological or chemical weapon attack. This type of attack is likely to come from Hezbollah, a terrorist military armed and trained mainly in the Sudan on biological and chemical weapon deployment by Iran’s elite Quds forces. Particularly vulnerable are those nations that have not paid for protection from Hezbollah’s intelligence section. Iran has assisted Hezbollah by providing advanced intelligence-gathering technology, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, eavesdropping equipment, and human intelligence assets. These can be used not only against Israel but against UNIFIL forces in developing targets for conventional as well as unconventional attacks.
In contrast to the Israel Defense Forces, which maintains a higher level of security, both technical and physical, UNIFIL forces generally have a lower standard of protection, exposing them to greater and differentiated risk. The immunization of UNIFIL forces would be of little use against the agents Hezbollah has at its disposal and serve only to create a false sense of security among those forces vaccinated against agents such as anthrax and smallpox.
The select agents Hezbollah could likely use in a deniable operation and in geographical zones where they would not necessarily need to worry about spread or transmission are the biological agents Cryptosporidium parvum, botulinum and anthrax, and the potent chemical agent saxitoxin. In terms of deniability, the first three all occur naturally throughout the region.
Deploying them, their toxins and spores, especially versions of them modified in either Iranian or Syrian military biological weapon laboratories, would be formidable. UNIFIL forces could suffer higher death rates if genetically modified pathogens, toxins or agents were used against them in a geographic specific attack. Similar to planting an improvised explosive device, it is possible to target troops with certain types of biological weapons which would not spread outside those targeted.
Advanced biological weapons specifically from Iran’s biological warfare complex could make UNIFIL forces sitting ducks.
To give an idea of a possible deniable operation, in 2007 there was credible intelligence that Hezbollah was planning to infect the water supply of a section of Lebanon with C. parvum, a parasite contracted from contaminated water which causes diarrhea and stomach cramps. While on the surface this may appear to be a relatively low-level attack as it generally does not kill, it does cause vomiting and diarrhea for days, and is only treatable with support therapy.
This could put down an entire battalion and severely affect an operational theater. It could create a window of opportunity either to collect intelligence or engage in operations to prepare the groundwork for a second conventional strike on those forces or for a wider conflict. While UNIFIL forces generally have independent water sources, the parasite passes through all filtration methods and some forces could still be exposed if Hezbollah decided to use it.
There are several scenarios in which biological weapons could be very effectively used against UNIFIL forces.
As the UNDOF peacekeepers scramble to exit the Golan, other pathogenic agents could pose far wider threats to the global community.
Dr. Jill Bellamy van Aalst is an international expert and former consultant to NATO on biological warfare and threat reduction.
It Is The Persian New Year, Nowruz, When You Can Tell A Cover By Its Book
Today is the first day of Nowroz or Nowruz. It will be celebrated by Iranians, who will put out on tables the first fruits of spring, meaning floweers, and grain, and fruits too, and of course eggs, painted eggs -- on tables in their houses. And on those tables lain with those first fruits in celebration of the pre-Islamic holiday of Nowruz, from the time of the Jahaliyya (the Time of Ignorance, in the Islamic view), , there is likely to be placed, symbolically, a book. Now among those who still are fervent about Islam, and have not yet been sufficiently repelled by the past 30 years of Khomeini, and Judge Khalkhali, and Khamenei, and all the rest of those who make up that Islamic Republic of Iran, that b ook will be the Qur'an. But among those Iranians, in Iran, or in America, or in France, there are many who have had the leisure to think about Islam, and to see, more and more, that this "gift of the Arabs" was a curse, and keenly sensing, as Iranians due, their cultural superiority to "the Arabs" (and Iranians, like Turks, are likely to assure visiting Westerners, lest there be any misunderstanding, "we are not Arabs you know" and then to go on to add, startlingly for those Westerners, "we hate the Arabs."
Iranians know that Islam was brought to Iran, imposed on the people and civilization of Iran, by the culturally primitive but warlike Arabs. If the Arabs had succeeded fully in their efforts, they would have convinced those Persians to adapt the Arabic language, Arab names, Arab everything, as happened to so many non-Arab peoples in the Middle East and North Africa. But in Iran, there was too much, physically and spiritually, to remind Iranians of their own, superior, pre-Islamic civilization. There wre the buildings, the monuments -- see Persepolis, where the Shah deliberately chose to hold a huge celebration. These monuments and ruins could not be denied. Spiritually, there was pride in the poets of Persia, and an awareness, too, that these poets -- Hafiz, Sa'adi, Firdowsi, Omar Khayyam (whose outsize fame in the West is a product of Edward FitzGerald's Victorian translation, not to his ranking in Iran) -- had helped to prevent the arabization of Iranian literature, Iranian culture.
That is why, should you happen to learn from an acquaintance that he has attended a Nowroz celebration, the question you might wish to ask him would be: What book, demurely placed by the first grains and first fruits and those painted eggs, was on that Nowroz celebratory table? Whyat book was it that completed that festive couvert or table-cover? Was it a book of poetry by Hafiz, Sa'adi, Firdowsi, Khayyam? Or was it the Qur'an?
For many years one of the most enjoyable parts of the TLS was the literary quiz. This consisted of three quotations, ordinarily obscure -- though at times, tantalizingly, one of the three would be recognizable -- that were linked in some way. They might all contain a description of a chair, or a sunset, or a danceband at a nightclub. Or all three might contain a reference to something, such as the Assize of Novel Disseisin, or electoshock therapy, or moxibustion and infibulation. Or they might all contain characters who were suffering from the same mood disorder, or inclined to use exactly the same phrases. And that alone would be enough to link the three, and provide an excuse for the quiz.
Now for some years the TLS has dropped that quiz.
O, because all you now have to do, in many cases, is simply cut and paste the passages, and you can find out where they originally appeared.
There are ever fewer chances to test your mettle, to prove your prowess, with party-pooping all-recording Google, a highly successful data-collection service that is in every way merely a handmaiden for advertisers, but that pretends, like Facebook, to be something more.
Ce mardi, les 36.000 mairies de France seront invitées à commémorer, pour la première fois, le 19 mars 1962 qui marque, selon l’histoire officielle, la fin de la guerre d’Algérie. Ceux qui, il y a plus de cinquante ans, trahissaient leur pays en portant les valises du FLN, vont continuer à humilier la France, en demandant encore pardon, pour le plus grand plaisir d’un Bouteflika et des dirigeants du FLN, qui, à chaque recul, prennent plaisir à en demander davantage, pour mieux cracher sur notre pays et faire oublier leur incapacité à offrir des perspectives à leur peuple.
Alain Dubos ne résumait-il pas la pantalonade de ces commémorations quand il écrivait, dans Riposte Laïque, il y a quelques jours : « La tendance de nos gouvernants à la génuflexion devant les nations que leurs prédécesseurs ont construites de toutes pièces est suffisamment déprimante pour ne pas y ajouter le débouclage de la ceinture et la mise du pantalon aux chevilles. Ces attitudes qui mettent en joie leur futurs compagnons de route du 19 Mars pérennisé ne leur suffisent apparemment pas. S’ils veulent aller au bout de leur geste, qu’ils se tournent donc, qu’ils se mettent dans la position dite de la prière mahométane et qu’ils attendent. Au moins seront-ils cohérents, au chapitre déjà bien fourni de nos humiliations ».
Avons-nous oublié ces pages une du Parisien, dès 1964, qui, aujourd’hui, seraient impubliables ? Avons-nous oublié que Bouteflika, qui a préféré construire des mosquées que des hôpitaux, dans son pays, insulte régulièrement la France, nous accusant de génocide, ni plus ni moins, ce qui ne l’empêche pas de venir se faire soigner chez nous. Avons-nous oublié l’attitude agressive et arrogante de nombre d’Algériens, sur le territoire français, notamment lors de rencontres sportives ? Avons-nous oublié les propos de Malika Sorel, née algérienne, mais à présent uniquement française, qui disait que jamais une nouvelle population ne s’était aussi mal conduite dans un pays d’accueil ?
Devant tant de mensonges historiques, il faut se réapproprier la véritable histoire de notre pays. Les résistants ont les outils pour cela, d’excellents sites internet, des livres, et un film remarquable, « La valise ou le cercueil », de Charly Cassan et Marie Havenel, que Pierre Cassen avait interviewés, il y a quelque temps. Il faut une véritable Reconquista de notre histoire, face aux aux menteurs qui gouvernement notre pays, aujourd’hui, et n’ont de cesse de trahir la France et sa mémoire.
Il y a un an, j’écrivais, dans un édito, ces quelques lignes, après avoir visionné ce film boulevarsant :
Qui sait par exemple que l’intervention française, à Alger, en 1830, avait pour but de mettre fin aux razzias et actes de barbarie commis par les pirates barbaresques, qui empêchèrent, pendant 3 siècles, le commerce de se développer en Méditerranée ? Qui sait que les musulmans vivaient alors du pillage et avaient fait prisonniers plusieurs millions d’esclaves chrétiens, et que les femmes finissaient dans les harem ou les bordels ? A mettre en balance avec la scandaleuse loi de Taubira, en 2001, qui censure toute motion de l’esclavage des blancs et des noirs par les musulmans.
Qui sait qu’Alger était alors un protectorat turc, qui par ailleurs touchait sa dîme sur chaque acte de piraterie ? Qui sait que c’est l’arrivée des Français, victorieux en 43 jours, qui mit fin à trois siècles d’insécurité dans la Méditerranée ? Qui sait que c’est cette victoire qui mit fin, durant toute la présence française, à l’esclavage, n’est-ce pas, Madame Taubira ? Qui sait que c’est la France qui construisit une Algérie où il n’y avait que du sable ? Qui sait que le « féroce colonialiste » amena des médecins, qui soignèrent les populations locales ? Qui sait que la découverte des richesses du sous-sol algérien doit tout à la France ? Qui sait que les constructions de structures, routes, écoles, hôpitaux, c’est encore notre pays ?
Qui sait par exemple que ce qu’on appelle les massacres de Sétif du 8 mai 1945, ont commencé par le massacre d’Européens par des musulmans fanatisés par leurs imams, et que la répression n’a jamais provoqué la mort de 45.000 personnes, comme l’affirme la propagande algérienne, mais qu’elle n’a pas dépassé 1 millier de victimes ?
(…) Qui connaît surtout, après les accords d’Evian, l’abandon total des Français d’Algérie par le gouvernement gaulliste et sa trahison des harkis qu’il désarma avant de les livrer au FLN, qui les massacra sauvagement par milliers ? Qui connaît les véritables ratonnades contre les Européens, organisées, après le 19 mars, par le FLN, pour les faire partir, avec la menace explicite : « la valise ou le cercueil » ? Qui sait que pendant que les musulmans exigent des mosquées en France, en Algérie, ils ont retiré les croix des églises et vandalisé nos cimetières ?
Qui sait que, pour la plus grande honte du gouvernement de l’époque, l’armée française tira à la mitrailleuse sur nos compatriotes désarmés, à Alger et à Bab-el-Oued, prêtant ainsi la main au FLN contre les nôtres ?
Qui sait réellement que ceux qu’on appelait les pieds-noirs étaient fort loin d’être les exploiteurs décrits par toute une gauche compassionnelle, mais étaient surtout de grands travailleurs, attachés à cette terre qu’ils aimaient, et qu’ils perdirent en quittant ce pays pour sauver leur peau ? Qui connaît l’accueil ignoble qu’ils subirent en France, à l’instar du maire de Marseille Gaston Deferre, qui les refusa dans sa ville ?
Aujourd’hui, grâce à ce film, grâce à des ouvrages comme ceux de Jean-Jacques Jordi, interviewé récemment par RL, ou d’Armand Bénesis de Rotrou, grâce à un journaliste iconoclaste comme Robert Ménard, qui, en invitant un historien comme Daniel Lefeuvre, peut faire entendre une autre musique, on peut entendre à propos de cette douloureuse page d’histoire, une autre version que celle du FLN, qui domina les chaînes publiques durant des semaines, ou celle de l’historien Benjamin Stora, ancien trotskiste et dont la version est considérée comme parole d’évangile pour toute la bobocratie médiatique française.
Ce film complète remarquablement le livre de notre ami René Marchand, « Reconquista ou Mort de l’Europe ». De même qu’il faut informer nos compatriotes sur leur histoire, notre devoir est de leur apprendre ce qu’est réellement l’islam, et quels sont les objectifs de ses dignitaires. Inlassablement, cet ouvrage contredit point par point les faussaires propagandistes au service des soldats d’Allah.
Il n’est d’ailleurs pas anodin de constater que cette cérémonie honteuse se déroule juste une année après les assassinats de Merah, attribués, comme d’habitude, par toute la bien-pensance à l’extrême droite, avant qu’ils ne découvrent, horrifiés, que le tueur s’appelait Mohamed.
Aujourd’hui, en s’appuyant sur le témoignage de deux mères voilées de soldats français victimes du jihadiste toulousain, nous avons droit, bien évidemment, à l’escroquerie sémantique habituelle : Merah n’a pu assassiner au nom de l’islam, ce n’est donc pas un musulman !
En effet, il est temps, n’en déplaise à Malek Chebel et ceux que René Marchand appelle les taupes de l’islam, de dire la vérité aux Français.
Non, l’islam n’est pas une religion d’amour de tolérance et de paix.
Non, l’islam n’est pas qu’une religion, mais une vision politique totalitaire utilisant le fait religieux pour imposer un projet de société théocratique.
Non l’islam, qui interdit la liberté de conscience, n’est pas compatible avec les lois laïques de notre République.
Non, les musulmans ne s’intégreront pas à la France, comme l’ont fait auparavant d’autres strates de l’immigration, parce que ce serait contraire au texte de leur prophète. Comme le disait le roi Hassan II lui-même devant Anne Sinclair médusée, n’essayez pas de les intégrer. « Si vous voulez transformer les musulmans en Français, vous ferez de mauvais musulmans et de mauvais Français. Ils ne seront jamais 100 % Français ».
Non, on ne peut pas être musulman et de nationalité française, c’est-à-dire respectueux des valeurs démocratiques, laïques, égalitaires et républicaines de notre pays. Il faut choisir, il y a incompatibilité.
Non, il ne peut y avoir de cohabitation pacifique, sur un même territoire, entre les habitants d’origine et des nouveaux venus qui sont là pour transformer notre pays en terre d’islam.
Oui, bien évidemment, on peut être né musulman et avoir toute sa place en France. Chaque semaine, Pascal Hilout, Leila Syam, Salem Benammar, Hamdane Ammar, Ahmed Ghlamallah le montrent, en écrivant dans Riposte Laïque. Mais pour cela, il faut avoir abjuré l’islam, sinon la contradiction est impossible. Comme le disait Roger Heurtebise, en quatre articles, il ne peut y avoir de mariage entre Marianne et Mahomet.
Ces évidences, que les maîtres-censeurs de l’antiracisme, gavés de subventions, veulent à coups de procès, contre nous et d’autres résistants, interdire de faire connaître, nous continuerons d’en informer les Français avec notre site, à présent basé en Suisse, ainsi qu’avec nos conférences et nos livres.
Nous ne voulons pas que cette guerre que l’islam nous a déclarés, nous la perdions.
Nous ne voulons pas que la France que nos ancêtres ont construites, et que nous aimons, devienne le 58e Etat de l’OCI, où les droits de l’Homme sont conditionnés, dans l’article 22, au respect de la charia.
Nous ne voulons pas que les traîtres et les collabos qui nous gouvernent continuent de faire venir sur notre sol, en période de chômage de masse, par centaines de milliers, des nouveaux venus qui renforcent, par leur présence, les millions de musulmans qui misent sur la démographie pour prendre le contrôle du pays, sans avoir à combattre, comme le professe lui-même Youssouf Al Qaradawi, celui qui attend que les religieux finissent le travail d’Hitler en exterminant les Juifs.
Nous voulons que ceux qui veulent nous imposer l’islam et sa loi la charia retournent dans les pays musulmans, et quittent la France, de gré ou de force. A ceux qui nous disent que c’est impossible, vu le nombre, nous rappellerons – ce qu’oublieront de faire les maires qui oseront, demain, commémorer le 19 mars 1962 – qu’il y a aujourd’hui 51 ans, plus de 10 % de la population établie en Algérie quitta ce pays, sous la menace du FLN, avec ce seul choix : « La valise ou le cercueil ».
René Marchand a fait sa première conférence-dédicace, ce samedi 16 mars, à Paris. D’autres se mettent en place, et nous encourageons nos compatriotes à participer la réinformation de leur concitoyens, en montant des réunions publiques autour de « Reconquista ou Mort de l’Europe », ou de « La Valise ou le cercueil ».
Lors de sa conférence parisienne, René Marchand a rappelé cette phrase de Clemenceau, qui ne faisait pas toujours dans la nuance. Le Tigre disait, pendant la guerre de 1914-1918 : « Pour les traitres, 12 balles dans la peau ! »
A ceux qui lui disaient qu’il exagérait, il répondait : « Pour les demi-traitres, 6 balles suffiront ».
Bien sûr, de telles formules, que nous reprenons, ne sont aujourd’hui que des artifices rhétoriques, comme le dit Christine Tasin, car il n’y a pas de guerre menée sur le territoire français, sinon, les médias nous en auraient informé !
POUR COMMANDER RECONQUISTA OU MORT DE L’EUROPE
Vous pouvez adresser un chèque de 24 euros (5 euros de frais de port compris), à l’ordre de Riposte Laïque, à l’adresse suivante : Riposte Laïque, BP 10001, 78570 Chanteloup-les-Vignes.
Union européenne : 27 euros. Autres pays : 30 euros.
Vous pouvez également le commander par paypal, en cliquant sur le lien suivant :
An Unapologetic Blair Stands By His Man - That Is, Himself
Blair: Iraq uprising would have been 'worse than Syria'
19 March 2013
Former UK PM Tony Blair has told the BBC he has no regrets over Iraq on the 10th anniversary of the country's invasion - and said the situation otherwise would have been "a lot worse than Syria".
The UK lost 179 servicemen and women, while at least 100,000 Iraqis died in the invasion and ensuing violence.
However, speaking about former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Mr Blair said, "How can you regret removing a monster who created enormous carnage?" [it wasn't his two-six trillion dollars that was squandered in Iraq to improve the lot of Muslims in a hopelessly Muslim country. No, Blair got rich, by the tens of millions of euros -- from his spaniel association with the Bush Administration, making money hand over fist once he was out of office, especially with American audiences]
He told Norman Smith, "If you examine what's happening in Syria - just reflect on what Bashar al-Assad, who is a 20th as bad as Saddam, is doing to his people today and the number of lives already lost."
'I've had her bro, you can have her': Men 'groomed teenage girl from the age of 12 before raping her in drug den'
The trial of these specimens from Burnley started at Crown Court Burnley in June last year but the jury were discharged after only 3 days. It has recommenced this week at Crown Court Manchester. Only the Daily Mail is reporting it so far.
A teenage girl was allegedly groomed from the age of 12 and and taken to a drug den before being 'passed around for sex' by a gang of men.
The girl fell pregnant at 14 during an 18-month ordeal which saw her raped and sexually assaulted by the men at a house in the Brierfield area of Burnley in Lancashire.
Six men from the area have appeared before Manchester Crown Court to face a range of sexual offences against the girl. Mohammed Imran Amjad, 26, known as Immy , denies rape, child abduction and intimidating a witness.
Shiraz Afzal,26, known as Frankie, denies aiding and abetting rape. Omar Mazafar ,22, known as Bats, denies inciting rape. Mohammed Suleman Farooq, 23, known as Sully, denies sexual assault, engaging in sexual activity with a child, and witness intimidation (the reason the trial was halted and re-scheduled perhaps? I don’t know.)
Mohammed Zeeshan Amjad,25, known as Zishan, denies rape and engaging in sexual activity with a child and Haroon Mahmood, 22, denies rape and engaging in sexual activity with a child.
Mr Bassano (Counsel for the prosecution. His Christian name is Alaric, which I rather like) told the court that the victim became 'aggressive and disobedient' at the age of 12 and began spending a considerable amount of time with Immy Amjad. But when her worried mother confronted Immy, told him her child's age and accused him of an inappropriate relationship, he shrugged his shoulders and walked away.
The court heard that after her first interview with police, Immy Amjad had been questioned and later phoned her and threatened to kill her. Mr Farooq had also later stopped her in the nearby town of Nelson and threatened to beat her up and said he was going to acquire a gun to shoot her.
A message found on her mobile phone read: 'Immy and Frankie have made me prostitute myself, made me sleep with their friends and said if I didn't want to, they threatened to hurt my Mum or sister.'
Mr Bassano said that a witness would tell the court that she had seen the girl in the house on a number of occasions. She would recall Immy Amjed saying to Mr Afzal: 'I've had her, bro, you can have her.'
The prosecutor added that text messages would show that Immy Amjad had considerable contact with the girl and often spoke about her 'in sexually degrading terms.' He said: 'They will also show that there were organised events in relation to drinking, drug taking and the procurement of females for sex.'
Department Of Homeland Security Strangely Solicitous Of Saudi Arabia
DHS questioned over decision to let Saudi passengers skip normal passport controls
March 20, 2013
A Department of Homeland Security program intended to give "trusted traveler" status to low-risk airline passengers soon will be extended to Saudi travelers, opening the program to criticism for accommodating the country that produced 15 of the 19 hijackers behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Sources voiced concern about the decision to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which issued a report Wednesday on the under-the-radar announcement -- which was first made by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano after meeting in January with her Saudi counterpart. According to the IPT, this would be the first time the Saudi government has been given such a direct role in fast-tracking people for entry into the United States.
"I think you have radical Wahhabism in certain elements in Saudi Arabia, and I think to be more lenient there than in other places would be a mistake," Rep. Frank Wolf told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. "There were 15 [hijackers] from that country, and there is a lot taking place in that region."
Only an exclusive handful of countries enjoy inclusion in the Global Entry program -- Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the Netherlands. According to the IPT, some officials are questioning why Saudi Arabia gets to reap the benefits of the program, when key U.S. allies like Germany and France are not enrolled; Israel has reached a deal with the U.S., but that partnership has not yet been implemented.
Any Saudi travelers cleared through the program will be able to bypass the normal customs line after providing passports and fingerprints. The status lasts for five years.
The decision is a turnaround, the IPT notes, from when Saudi Arabia was briefly placed on a list of countries whose U.S.-bound travelers would face higher scrutiny, in the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt in 2009.
But Napolitano spoke highly of "the bond between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" when she announced the change in January.
"By enhancing collaboration with the government of Saudi Arabia, we reaffirm our commitment to more effectively secure our two countries against evolving threats while facilitating legitimate trade and travel," Napolitano said.
The Global Entry program was launched in 2008 to expedite pre-approved passengers through the airport customs and security process when they arrive in the U.S. The program is designed to weed out low-risk passengers and enable authorities to zero in on those who may be more likely to pose a threat.
But the program has sparked controversy in the past. Critics objected in late 2010 when Mexican citizens were included in the program, raising concerns that drug cartels would quickly learn how to exploit loopholes in the plan. DHS officials, however, insisted at the time that people who attain trusted traveler status don't get a free pass and are still subject to random searches.
The program allows travelers who have undergone a thorough vetting process -- fingerprinting, background checks, interviews with customs agents, etc.-- to attain a low-risk status that allows them to skip the line at customs and complete their entry process at an automatic kiosk.
By David Ingram. WASHINGTON | Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:22pm EDT. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A grand jury has indicted a Saudi-born man accused of being an al Qaeda operative who from 2002 to 2005 conspired to attack American soldiers in Afghanistan ...
But It Is The Muslims Who Kidnap Christians And Forcibly Convert Them
From AlAhram Online:
March 20, 2013
Upper Egypt protests over conversion to Christianity rumour
Alleged kidnapping and forced conversion to Christianity of Muslim woman provokes protests in Upper Egyptian governorate of Beni Suef
Around two thousand people have protested in Upper Egypt against the alleged kidnapping and forced conversion to Christianity of a Muslim woman.
Protesters gathered in Al-Wasti in Beni Suef governorate on Tuesday to condemn what they claimed was the kidnapping last month of a 21-year-old woman by Christians. The woman was allegedly forced to marry a Coptic Christian man and sent to live in Turkey.
Security forces were deployed to protect the local church and police station.
The dispute began in February when members of the Salafist Nour Party and Al-Gamaa Al-Salafaya (the Salafist Group) gathered at Al-Wasti police station to protest the alleged kidnapping and forced conversion of the woman.
The woman's relatives had reportedly found a number of Christian books in her personal library, which led them to suspect involvement by the church in her disappearance.
This is not the first protest against an alleged kidnapping and forced conversion in recent months. In February, clashes erupted in Komombo in Aswan, Upper Egypt after local Muslims accused Christians of kidnapping a middle-aged Muslim woman and forcing her to convert to Christianity.
In May 2011, clashes erupted in Cairo after a rumour spread among ultra-conservative Salafists that a Christian woman, who had allegedly converted to Islam, was being held hostage at a church in Imbaba.
The clashes left at least twelve dead and over 50 injured. Two churches were burnt down.
Al-Wasti is in Beni Suef governorate in Upper Egypt.
No doubt the result of having spent too much time in bureaucratic Washington circles, where everyone thinks what one another thinks, and speaks and writes using a language not ever-fresh from vigilant handling, but soured by overuse.
WASHINGTON — Iran is stepping up its military assistance to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, and the supplies have strengthened his belief that he can prevail in his struggle with the opposition, a senior State Department official said Wednesday.
“They are plussing up their assistance,” said Robert S. Ford, the American ambassador to Syria, referring to Iran. “They are plussing up their people on the ground. They are plussing up what they sending in.”
The continued support from Iran, Russia and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, have had an important influence on Mr. Assad’s calculations, Mr. Ford said.
“Today, he still thinks he can win militarily,” Mr. Ford noted in testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Ford left Syria over a year ago, shortly before the American Embassy in Damascus was closed because of security concerns, but he continues to hold the title of ambassador and has been the senior State Department official dealing with Syrian opposition groups.
In recent weeks, the Obama administration has shifted its public statements on Syria in an effort to persuade Mr. Assad that he must give up power and agree to a political transition. It has stated that it supports efforts by Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to provide arms to moderate elements of the resistance. It has also indicated that it backs British and French efforts to persuade the European Union to lift its embargo on the shipment of arms to Syria.
“President Obama has made it clear that the United States does not stand in the way of other countries that have made a decision to provide arms, whether it’s France or Britain or others,” Secretary of State John Kerry said this week. “He believes that we need to change President Assad’s calculation.
While the Obama administration has declined to send arms itself, it has pledged food rations and medical supplies to the Free Syrian Army, as the opposition’s main military force is known. The Central Intelligence Agency has also been training rebels in Jordan.
But Iran’s aid to Mr. Assad has stiffened his resolve, Mr. Ford said.
The Iranian involvement is so substantial, Mr. Ford said, that Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force had “lost a general” in the recent fighting in Syria, among other personnel. Iraqi Shiite extremists have also crossed into Syria to fight on behalf of the government, he noted.
Another major problem is Iraq, which has resisted American demands for inspections of Iranian flights that have been ferrying arms to Damascus, the Syrian capital. The United States has raised its concerns with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and Mr. Maliki’s national security adviser, Faleh al-Fayad, who met last month with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Tony Blinken.
“We have had very direct conversations with the Iraqis,” Mr. Ford said.
Mr. Ford said that the United States had told the Iraqis that the Iranian shipments were prolonging the two-year-old conflict, hampering the prospects for a negotiated political transition and increasing the odds that Sunni extremists will grab a share of the power in Syria.
“We want the Iraqi government to understand that it has no interest in having an extremist government in Syria,” Mr. Ford said.
“We need all the pressure we can get on the Iraqis.”
Addressing reports that chemical weapons might have been used in Syria on Tuesday, Mr. Ford said the United States still did not have proof that they had been employed.
But he emphasized that the United States was still investigating the reports. The Obama administration has said the rebels did not use chemical weapons, but it left open the possibility that Mr. Assad’s government used such weapons in a limited way and then sought to blame the resistance.
“We take these reports and these possibilities very seriously, and we are using all of our available means to determine what happened,” Mr. Ford said. “There are reports about them being used both in the north and in the Damascus suburbs, the eastern suburbs of Damascus.”
He reinforced the Obama administration’s position that the use of chemical weapons was a “red line” for the White House and that it would have serious consequences, but he declined to say what those would be.
Walter Russell Mead: What Non-Americans Don't Quite Grasp About America And Israel
March 19, 2013
Obama in Israel: It’s Not About The Lobby
Walter Russell Mead
As President Obama heads off for his first visit to Israel, we are getting the usual flood of poll results indicating that Americans want a pro-Israel foreign policy. Meanwhile, the world continues to marvel at American support for the frequently isolated Jewish state. Why, people ask, does the United States incur such risks and costs for the sake of this small country? Why does the United States direct so much foreign aid to it? Why does the United States take its part at the United Nations at such diplomatic cost?
The answer most people around the world give is a very simple one: America takes the positions it takes on Israel because of the power of “the Jews.” By their campaign contributions, by their (alleged) control of the media, by their (alleged) single-minded focus on Israeli interests, America’s supposedly well-organized, well-funded, and very determined Jews succeed in controlling American opinion and American policy. The Jewish tail wags the American dog.
In much of the world this kind of “analysis” sounds like the most banal conventional wisdom. It is so widely accepted, even by many people who think of themselves as seasoned and sophisticated observers of the international scene, that it is hardly worth discussing. And it is here that the divide in thinking about Israel, and about Jews for that matter, appears. To most Americans, the “Jewish string puller” theory of American foreign policy sounds like something Goebbels might have said to Hitler while they were enjoying a cup of tea together on the patio at Berchtesgaden: paranoid, anti-Semitic, and proof of a poverty of political insight and a weak grip on facts. The American dog does not feel wagged by its tail, and when Americans hear foreigners saying that, in essence, this country is run by a Jewish cabal, they immediately discount everything else that person has to say.
On this point, I agree with the American majority. “The Jews” do not run America, and they do not run American foreign policy in the Middle East. Recent Pew polls found that Americans sympathize more with the Israeli cause than with the Palestinian one by a margin of 49 percent to 12 percent, and they have consistently favored a “pro-Israel” foreign policy. When the House and the Senate overwhelming endorse pro-Israel resolutions, and when they tell presidents that they can’t cut Israel’s aid, those politicians are responding to the will of their constituents.
Over time, and especially since 9/11, American public opinion has become significantly more pro-Israel. While some Americans believe that our connection with Israel makes the US a target of radical nut jobs in the Middle East and needlessly stirs up hate against us, most see Israel as an important strategic ally in a dangerous part of the world. While some Americans see Israel as an oppressive, quasi-apartheid state imposing an iron and unfair rule on innocent Palestinians, more think Israel isn’t doing so badly considering its unique and difficult circumstances. While some think Israel overreacts in its responses to Palestinian terror attacks (building the “wall” to stop Palestinian suicide bombers entering Israel, attacking Gaza in retaliation for sporadic rocket attacks), many more Americans think Israel has every right to defend itself from terror attacks by any means necessary.
If American Jews actually controlled American policy in the Middle East, it’s likely that our policies would be much more dovish and much more nuanced. American Jews by and large are more liberal than the general public on almost every issue, and that emphatically includes the Middle East. While there are some prominent Jewish hawks, there are many more prominent Jewish doves. Barack Obama received far more electoral and financial support from Jewish donors than Mitt Romney in 2012, just as he received far more financial and electoral support than John McCain in 2008.
If American Jews controlled American elections we would not have had a single Republican president since World War II. If American Jews controlled Israeli elections there would never have been a Likud government and neither the ultra-Orthodox nor the pro-settlement parties would be represented in the cabinet. Over and over and over again in American politics, doves and anti-settlement candidates get more Jewish votes and more Jewish money than their opponents—and over and over and over again, people around the world blame American Middle Eastern policy on the hidden but irresistible power of “the Jews.” They will then swear up and down that they aren’t anti-Semites. And they have a point: what could possibly be anti-Semitic about claiming that secret cabals of all-powerful Jews use their oceans of cash and their control of the media to dominate the policies of the most powerful country in the world?
There are, of course, significant numbers of American Jews who support Prime Minister Netanyahu and parties and movements to his right. Some of the most radical (and in our opinion, wrongheaded) members of the settler movement in Israel are ultra-Zionist immigrants from the United States. Some of the people who share these views are very wealthy, and some are very interested in generating support for their policy views. Organizations like AIPAC benefit from their loyalty and their support and, clearly, AIPAC and its friends win a lot of battles in Congress.
But those who think right wing, ultra-Zionist Jews control the American debate over Israel policy don’t understand American politics very well. In the first place, a politician simply motivated by the desire to get Jewish campaign contributions would have better luck working the anti-AIPAC side of the street. Liberal Hollywood and the overwhelming preponderance of wealthy Jews who care about the Middle East prefer politicians who take a softer and more nuanced line.
In the second place, there are some things AIPAC and its peers can do, and many others they cannot. For 26 years now the “Israel lobby” has been trying to spring Jonathan Pollard; for 26 years he has been rotting in jail.
There are other things the “Israel lobby” opposes that the United States regularly does. Many of our Gulf Arab allies now have access to some of the most advanced weapons we possess. Ultra-Zionist groups don’t want the United States to pressure Israel at all over settlements and have never liked the two-state formula, but the United States continues to oppose settlements and continues to predicate its peace diplomacy on the two-state solution. The “Israel lobby” has been fighting for decades to get the United States to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The embassy remains in Tel Aviv.
The reality is that the “Israel lobby” is extremely powerful when its goals accord with non-Jewish American public opinion, but it runs out of steam when it goes against that opinion. It is irresistible when its demands accord with the general disposition of non-Jewish Americans to support the Jewish state; it immediately becomes feeble if it takes up an issue (like a pardon for Pollard) that this public opinion dislikes.
Some are ready to concede this point but think they can still attribute American policy to those cunning and all-powerful Jews. Their answer is “the media.” American public opinion supports Israel because the clueless and idiotic Americans—so much less sophisticated, so much more poorly educated, so much less rational in their thinking than the enlightened publics of Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, and Argentina, where a vigilant populace is alert to the insidious plots of the Jews—are fooled by the “Jewish media” into backing the Jewish state.
Once again, this approach betrays a weird combination of anti-Semitic assumptions about Jewish power and cohesion with profound ignorance about American life. The producers of mainstream media coverage in the United States are much closer in their editorial view to what we might call the conventional European vision of the conflict than to the right-wing Israeli view. Ask most correspondents and editors in the media for their private views of the conflict, and they will tell you pretty much what their colleagues in European media would say. That isn’t just true of the working stiffs; generally speaking (with some exceptions at Fox), the upper management of these media outlets is closer to the European than to the Likud view.
But news outlets need eyeballs, and the American public doesn’t want to watch harrowing stories of Palestinian suffering, and it tunes out the ‘blame Israel’ narrative. The public likes Israel, thinks it is a good thing, and rejoices when it does well. What many Europeans and others see as pro-Israel media bias in the United States doesn’t cause pro-Israel public opinion; public opinion imposes an orientation on the media—which many media outlets do their best to resist.
When President Obama lands in Israel, he will be representing a nation that has long seen the existence and security of a Jewish state as an important international achievement, as a step forward on humanity’s long march to a better world. When he speaks to Israelis about America’s commitment to their security, he will be speaking for one of the strongest and most durable points of consensus in all of American foreign policy.
He will not be in thrall to a Jewish-Zionist cabal. He will not be the mouthpiece for the Elders of Zion. He will not be a puppet and no-one will be pulling his strings. He will be speaking about enduring American values, and when he tells Israel that America stands with it, a solid majority of the American people are ready to back that up.
Most Americans want Israel to thrive, and they want it to find peace with its neighbors. That doesn’t mean they want to give it everything it wants, and it doesn’t mean that American presidents will agree to every demand Israeli prime ministers make. This President, like his predecessors, will do what he can to ensure Israel’s security while looking to promote its peaceful integration into the region. It is a hard task, sometimes a thankless one, and one that sometimes sets American policy at variance with Israel. Not every American president manages it equally well, and the current incumbent has had to climb up a steep learning curve.
But helping Israel survive, thrive, and find peace is likely to remain an important American foreign policy objective far into the future. The 98 percent plus of Americans who aren’t Jewish wouldn’t have it any other way.
The document, written by al-Qaeda planner Younis al-Mauretani, suggests planting recruits in jobs which could later be useful in attacks, such as oil or gas transportation, and directing supporters to study chemistry and physics.