British troops face such danger from their allies in the Afghan army and police force that they should carry a loaded pistol whenever they are working alongside them, a secret Nato report has warned.
The report, ordered after a rogue Afghan policeman shot dead five British servicemen, recommended that British troops should be armed with 9mm pistols at all times - even when sleeping - because of the high risk of being attacked. It also called for British soldiers to have separate sleeping and living quarters from Afghan troops, and for all British "administrative areas" to be covered by armed sentries, such were the fears of further incidents.
But the rulings were never implemented amid fears they would lead to a breakdown in trust between members of the Afghan security forces and the British troops who train them and fight alongside them.
Only eight months after the deaths of the five servicemen, three more British troops were killed when a member of the Afghan army ran amok in a rocket and machine gun attack at a patrol base in central Helmand. Subsequent attacks by rogue Afghan soldiers and police have led to the deaths of 15 further members of Nato's International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF), including American and Spanish servicemen.
However, at an inquest earlier this year, Lieutenant Colonel Roly Walker, who was the Commanding Officer of the Grenadier Guards in November 2009, said that following the five deaths at Blue 25 he had ordered that all of his soldiers working alongside the Afghan security forces should be armed at all times as a deterrent against future attacks.
This newspaper has also learnt that some British commanders have independently ordered that soldiers due to take over the mentoring of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) troops should be trained in pistol "close quarter battle" techniques by members of the special forces in case they are attacked. Troops are being tested in a variety of scenarios in which they have to respond to surprise attacks by members of the Afghan army and police within the confines of a secure compound.
Despite the deaths, commanders maintain that there has been no breakdown in trust between British and Afghan troops. I don't think anyone with their head screwed on ever trusted them as far as they could throw them.
A suicide bomber has launched an attack on a church in Indonesia's central Java, police said. "I can confirm that there was a suicide bomb attack in Church Bethel Injil at 10.55,"
Central Java provincial police spokesman Djihartono told AFP on Sunday. One witness told a local radio ElShinta that four people killed in the blast, which took place after the Sunday's mass and people were leaving the church. An AFP correspondent saw the bomber's body on the ground, wearing a white shirt and black trousers, with his left hand severed.
Victims of the suicide bomb attack at GBIS Bethel church in Kepunton, Solo, Central Java were wounded by nails and bolts contained in the explosive device. Surakarta Mayor Joko Widodo confirmed that the victims were injured by shrapnel. "[They] were hit by nails and bolts," he said after visiting the wounded in the hospital.
Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation of 237 million, has been hit by a string of suicide bombings blamed on the al-Qaida-linked network Jemaah Islamiyah and its offshoots since 2002, when a strike on two Bali nightclubs killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists. . .
Bombings by solo "jihadis" have continued, however, often targeting Christians, security officers and members of Islamic sects deemed "blasphemous" by hard-liners.
"This is clearly a suicide bombing," said police spokesman Col. Djihartono, adding that the explosive appeared to have been strapped to the bomber's stomach. It was packed with nails, nuts and bolts, found scattered around his body.
Witnesses said they believed the perpetrator was not a church member. "He walked about 4 meters (yards) behind me," Abraham, who attended the service, told El Shinta radio. "I believe he was disguised as a churchgoer."
Critics said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who relies heavily on Islamic parties in parliament, has remained silent as minorities have been attacked by hard-liners or seen their houses of worship torched or boarded up.
Lipscomb University professor Lee Camp was wrapping up a book recounting his efforts to befriend Muslims when he learned Osama bin Laden was dead.
His first thought: “Love your enemy.” So he was troubled by the celebrations that followed the news.
Who Is My Enemy? — released by Brazos Press on Sept. 11 — was inspired partly by the reaction to a 2006 speech he delivered, saying that Christians shouldn’t consider themselves superior to Jews and Muslims, and that all of those groups should learn to get along. Media coverage of that event prompted angry responses, mostly from fearful people who had never spoken to a Muslim about faith, Camp said.
This incident also features in my book, Allah is Dead: Why Islam Is Not a Religion. By the word "faith" we mean developing trust in a loving God. By the word "faith" Muslims mean they think Islam is correct, a purely intellectual assent to the rightness of their doctrine.
“It creates this deep distrust that lends itself to the complete inability to listen to another person,” he said. “Fear gives rise to contempt without honest investigation.”
I've listened to many Muslim voices over many years, as have all my colleagues, and I don't believe it has not given rise to fear on our part. I find it interesting how critics of Islam are accused of being fearful of Islam.
Camp, a professor of theology and ethics, decided to try out a piece of advice found in a prayer attributed to St. Francis: It is better to understand than to be understood. That led to meetings with Muslim leaders in Nashville and around the world. He talked with Muslim scholars in Istanbul and Jerusalem and drank Cokes with a PLO leader in Hebron, a community in the West Bank.
It’s a path Bill French — founder of the Nashville-based Center for the Study of Political Islam and a source in Camp’s book — doesn’t endorse. French insists that the way Muslims interpret their faith isn’t important for Christians to understand. He said Muslims have waged war against non-Muslims for more than 1,400 years.
I respectfully disagree with Bill French/Warner on this issue. When we insist on attacking only the political or judicial aspects of Islam, we unwittingly imply there is a religious aspect of Islam that is perfectly fine. More importantly, we leave the major problems of Islamization – Muslim immigration, mosque building, the proselytizing in our prisons and military and the infiltration of our governmental institutions completely untouched and indeed untouchable. Religion becomes a trump card.
French said in an email that he hadn’t read Camp’s book and forwarded a column he’d written about Islam and violence.
“There is another thingabout the apologists for Islam,” he wrote. “They never refer to Islam’s doctrines of jihad,ethical dualism, subjugation of women and the rest of the Sharia.”
But Camp said his encounters put a human face on Islam. He realized that most people overlook the shortcomings of their own faith while exaggerating the faults in other faiths.
“We like to compare an idealized portrait of our own tradition with the messy reality of other traditions,” he said.
Camp also met with Amir Arain, a Vanderbilt neurologist and member of the Islamic Center of Nashville. Arain said that he wanted to learn more from Camp about the Christian idea of just wars. That idea, Arain said, seems to conflict with Jesus’ teaching in the Bible.
Both faiths try to set ethical limits on warfare, such as forbidding armies from killing civilians.
Arain said he hadn’t seen a final copy of Camp’s book, but he agreed with Camp’s approach in talking to people about how they live out their faith. That gives a more accurate picture, he said, than reading another faith’s scriptures without context.
“That’s the faith in action, when you deal with people,” he said. “When you see how people are implementing the scriptures.”
With the Arab spring we can clearly see that when the governing police state is suddenly removed, Muslim societies across the board descend into violence and chaos – religious sects fight other sects, tribes fight other tribes, and people are reduced to defending their families against their neighbors. This is not what we expect from religion. We expect religion to uphold morality and civilizational standards in the absence of external controls. It is clear Islam doesn’t do that. The descent into animal levels of violence and force is almost instantaneous when the police state which seems to be necessary for social control breaks down.
Violent acts of war
Miroslav Volf, professor of systematic theology at Yale Divinity School, said critics of Islam often point to violent acts of war committed by Muslims in the past. But those critics often overlook the violence of Christians during the Crusades and other wars, he said.
Here is an example of a professor of theology who will not or cannot actually compare the theology of Islam to the theology of Christianity, but discusses history instead.
“There was gruesome violence,” Volf said. “Things went both ways.”
Volf grew up in the former Yugoslavia, where his father, a Christian pastor, often encountered Muslims and taught him that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Volf made that point in a recent book called Allah: A Christian Response. He said that Muslims and Christians have to learn to live together.
“Christians increasingly understand that animosity towards Muslims goes against the gospel,” he said. “We will be forced to live together.”
Muslims are the first victims of Islam. Islam leads men away from God and creates a living hell on earth. I don't believe we in the West want to live that way, therefore we should live apart and not be "forced to live together."
In Who Is My Enemy?, Camp takes a hard look at what the Quran and the Bible say about violence.
One of the verses he quotes comes from the book of Deuteronomy. It quotes God as saying, “I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh — with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired enemy.”
“That’s as bloodthirsty as anything in the Quran,” said Jason Byassee, a fellow in theology and leadership at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School.
This passage comes from a time, thousands of years ago, when man's conception of God was as a tribal god of war. Man's conception of God has grown since then. In Islam today and for all time, God is conceived as malevolent, untrustworthy and unknowable. Philosophically Islam is as far from other religions as it is possible to be. It lies beyond nihilism and its morality is inverted. The material obedience to Islam is raised over the values of truth, beauty and goodness. Worship in Islam is defined as obedience to Islam.
Byassee reviewed Camp’s book for the online site Patheos.com and agrees with Camp’s approach of reading scriptures together with people of other faiths. “If you really think that 1.5 billion people are plotting to kill you, that’s a very dark view of the world,” Byassee said.
Some of Camp’s critics call him naive. They say Jesus’ ethics about turning the other cheek and loving their neighbor won’t work in the real world, Camp said.
His faith teaches him otherwise.
“The gospel claim is that this kingdom of love is more real than the warring madness of the kingdoms of this world,” he said.
Of course the kingdom of love is real, but we must at least try to prevent the descent into warring madness in this world as it is. If we value Christianity and Western Civilization we must strive to protect them. If Camp really doesn't believe Western civilization is better than Islamic civilization, then he should say so.
Samuel Menashe, a Greenwich Village poet whose jewel-like, gnomic short verse won him an ardent following in Britain and belated recognition in the United States when the Poetry Foundation gave him its first Neglected Masters Award in 2004, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 85.
The cause was complications of heart disease, Nicholas Birns, a literary critic and friend, said.
Mr. Menashe (pronounced men-AHSH) specialized in very short, often unpunctuated poems of less than 10 lines, with a religious or metaphysical bent. The British scholar P. N. Furbank called them “perfect little mechanisms, minute cathedrals.”
In “The Niche,” included in his 2000 collection “The Niche Narrows,” Mr. Menashe limited himself to four lines:
The niche narrows
Hones one thin
Until his bones
Although his poems appeared with some regularity in journals like Partisan Review and The New Yorker, he wrote and lived as a bohemian, and throughout his career encountered difficulties in finding a book publisher.
His first poetry collections appeared in Britain, where poets like Kathleen Raine and Donald Davie championed his cause, and his work was included in the influential series Penguin Modern Poets. It was Ms. Raine, a poet and critic at Cambridge University, who brought his work to the attention of Victor Gollancz, who published “The Many Named Beloved” in 1961.
In 1971, “No Jerusalem but This,” a collection of poems on Jewish themes, became his first book to be published in the United States. Stephen Spender wrote in The New York Review of Books that nothing was more remarkable about Mr. Menashe than “the fact that his poetry goes so little remarked.”
Samuel Menashe Weisberg was born on Sept. 16, 1925, in Brooklyn and grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, where his father, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, ran a laundry and dry-cleaning business.
He enrolled in Queens College but left in 1943 to enlist in the Army. As an infantryman with the 87th Division, he fought his way through France, Belgium and Germany. In a single day during the Battle of the Bulge, all but 29 members of his company of 190 men were either killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
“When I came back, I heard people talking about what they were going to do next summer,” he told The New York Times in 2003. “I was amazed that they could talk of that future, next summer. As a result, I lived in the day. For the first few years after the war, each day was the last day. And then it changed. Each day was the only day.”
He returned to Queens College but left without taking a degree and sailed to France, where he earned a degree at the Sorbonne in 1950.
He began his writing career with stories drawn from his childhood and his wartime experiences, but he instinctively found his way to poetry. “One night, I woke up in the middle of the night and a poem started," he told National Public Radio in 2006.
His first poem was published in The Yale Review in 1956, the year he moved into his apartment on Thompson Street, where he lived until entering an assisted-living institution in 2010. He leaves no immediate survivors.
Although he taught literature at Bard and C. W. Post College for short periods in the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. Menashe remained largely outside the academic world, the usual support system for American poets. Instead, he worked a motley assortment of pickup jobs: tour guide on Gray Line buses, French tutor, lecturer on cruise ships.
“Most editors do not read poetry,” he told the reference work Contemporary Authors in 1984. “The poetry editor is almost invariably the house poet or a person who is working with the interlocking directorate of establishment poets. Government censorship could not be more effective, but here you can’t be sent to Siberia — you are just kept out of print.”
His poetry collections included “Fringe of Fire” (1973), “To Open” (1974) and “Collected Poems,” which the National Poetry Foundation published in 1986. After he received the Neglected Masters Award, the Library of America published the collection “Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems” in 2005, with an introduction by Christopher Ricks, another of his British admirers.
Mr. Menashe regarded the attention with appreciation but without excess humility. “When one gets what one deserves, it’s a wonderful thing,” he said on receiving the Poetry Foundation Prize and the $50,000 check that accompanied it.
Comment: For "excess" read "false."
This is something about Menashe. But more than one poem -- they are all so short -- ought to have been reproduced.
I am proud to live in a country where the Prime Minister gives a speech to the UN that is pretty much, word for word, the same speech I would give if I had to. I’m very proud of that.
Brian of London here again. Last week saw the good, the bad and the ugly all gathered in New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting.
Here’s the end of the story for the impatient:
Militant Islam is Our Generation’s Nazi Crocodile
What Bibi said, clearly and loudly for those willing to listen (so obviously not for the teaming hordes of main stream media pundits) is that the world’s greatest threat, directly like the Nazis in the 1930′s, is a nuclear weapon armed Islam that is appeased and fed by weakly led, fawning Western democracies.
Otherwise known across the world of despots as “how can I and my favorite cronies blow as much of my peoples’ stolen wealth in one week having a really good time in one of the world’s greatest cities”. Up and down New York diplomatic entourages from hundreds of despotic failed states vie with each other for bookings at the most expensive hotels and restaurants while their wives debate the size of the plane that will be needed to fly home their massive shopping sprees. Glenn Beck was concerned at the cost of the security operation: I’m sure the despots defrayed at least some of that with a considerable chunk of change at New York’s upmarket stores.
As usual the murderous Ahmadinejad was given a world stage to spew hatred, lies and even the outrageous allegation that 9-11 was perpetrated on the American people by their own government. If you believe this to be true in some way I want you to ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the knowledge that a man who simultaneously sanctions the execution of 17 year olds accused of homosexuality while denying that there are any homosexuals in his country is a leading believer of this nonsense.
But I digress: of course the main story this year was the Palestinians and their “Unilateral Declaration of Independence”. There have, I’m sure, already been books written on this, I won’t rehash the background here. In summary, Abu Mazen – Mahmoud Abbas moved his lips and lies came out.
Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu told the truth (and Dave’s already posted the video and the transcript). Besides accurately stating Israel is the land of the Jews and the desire and right of Jews to live there should be beyond question, Benjamin Netanyahu continued two trends I first pointed out in a post at the end of May, The Religion Of Blood And War:
He truthfully described the underlying reason for Israel’s continued fight for it’s existence as stemming from “militant Islam”;
He continued to make very important references to Winston Churchill.
Malignant Militant Islam
Back in May I wrote: by clearly stating that these “powerful forces” are “militant Islam” he’s gone further, I think, than any other leader of Israel.
Well he did it again no less than six times. Bravo. If I would change one thing in his speech it would be to drop the “militant” and focus on the underlying goals, dreams and aspirations of Muhammad but I’m not running the country (probably a good thing). Bibi said:
“That malignancy is militant Islam. It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith, yet it murders Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality. On September 11th it killed thousands of Americans, and it left the twin towers in smoldering ruins. Last night I laid a wreath on the 9/11 memorial. It was deeply moving. But as I was going there, one thing echoed in my mind: the outrageous words of the president of Iran on this podium yesterday. He implied that 9/11 was an American conspiracy. Some of you left this hall. All of you should have.”
And by labelling militant Islam as a “malignancy” he even stepped it up a notch I think. Good.
The second trend he continued was referencing Churchill. Back in May, addressing a joint session of the US Houses of the Senate and Congress, Netanyahu used the phrase “hinges of history”:
“When I last stood here, I spoke of the dire consequences of Iran developing nuclear weapons. Now time is running out, and the hinge of history may soon turn.”
This time he used another phrase, even more famously associated with Winston Churchill:
And these critics continue to press Israel to make far-reaching concessions without first assuring Israel’s security. They praise those who unwittingly feed the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam as bold statesmen. They cast as enemies of peace those of us who insist that we must first erect a sturdy barrier to keep the crocodile out, or at the very least jam an iron bar between its gaping jaws.
“Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear, I fear greatly, the storm will not pass. It will rage and it will roar, even more loudly, even more widely. It will spread to the South; it will spread to the North.”
Netanyahu is drawing the correct and near exact analogy between Israel facing Islamic imperial ambitions to re-conquer and re-occupy the land of Israel and the Nazis slowly devouring the neutral states of Europe, one by one. If Israel is devoured by the Islamic crocodile, the rest of the worlds’ states will also be eaten one by one.
Militant Islam is Our Generation’s Nazi Crocodile
What Bibi said, clearly and loudly for those willing to listen (so obviously not for the teaming hordes of main stream media pundits) is that the world’s greatest threat is a nuclear weapon armed, Islam that is appeased and fed by weakly led, fawning Western democracies.
A Couplet By Samuel Menashe, And A Commentary On It, And On It
A pot poured out
Fulfills its spout
Here's Christopher Ricks dilating both usefully and crisrixianly upon those two lines by Samuel Menashe, who died a month ago:
See how the word pot pours itself out into “poured out.” See how, fulfilled but not done with, the word is poured forth again: pot living again within “spout.” But these are not the only fulfillments: how fluidly “out” is taken up, without damage or distortion, effortlessly, within “spout.” Not just le mot juste but la lettre juste. For Menashe (mindful that he is grateful to Britain for first publishing a book of his, as it had done for Robert Frost) has pointed out that his is precisely an American poem. British English, in adopting the spelling “fulfils,” would forfeit the full acknowledgment of the word “fills” that American English proffers so calmly in “fulfills.”
I like the way he takes the couplet and runs -- his crisrixian cup runneth over -- with it. Others might churlishly ask someone to take or pry that chalice from him. But see how the word-vigilant professor pours himself out into his exegetical proffering. And having filled or fulfilled that poetic commentary to the last drop of the poem's premeditated last lambdacity, and now sensing himself in the driver's seat, the professor-profferor, having invited that couplet out for a spin,returns by a commodious vicus, and discovers that same couplet serenely sitting on the same vestpocket park bench, unmoved, for it had refused to budge an inch, had not gotten into the back seat after all, as that spin was being taken around the old neighborhood, on the Lower East Side.
"And these critics continue to press Israel to make far-reaching concessions without first assuring Israel’s security. They praise those who unwittingly feed the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam as bold statesmen. They cast as enemies of peace those of us who insist that we must first erect a sturdy barrier to keep the crocodile out, or at the very least jam an iron bar between its gaping jaws."
It was not all the talk about "peace" -- that could better have been replaced, but circumstances did not permit it, with a discussion of the difference between a "peace" guaranteed through deterrence and a "peace" that relies on a "peace treaty" with Muslim states or entities that cannot be anything other than a "truce treaty," a hudna, to be broken by the Muslim side -- but never by the non-Muslims in the slightest particular, oh no, that would be impossible, that would be intolerable, that would be punishable by mass death.
No, it was, I repeat, that mention of "militant Islam."
That's the most important part of his speech. the theme that has now been introduced, been adumbrated in the shadow-war of words that, little by little, will become, not because the Israelis will do it, but because many others will do it, and keep doing it, the major theme of the age, and many will come to understand, if they do not already, that the war against Israel is a classic Jihad, and all this business about the "Palestinian" people merely a useful invention for the propaganda and diplomatic campaign the Arab Muslims have been conducting, with great success, since late 1967. But as the observable behavior of Muslim states into which we have poured hundreds of billions, behavior that we will regard with fury as a blend of treachery and deep ingratitude -- think of Pakistan -- as the mistreatment of so many different kinds of non-Muslims in so many different lands where Muslims dominate becomes ever more obvious, ever more impossible to hide or explain away (in Nigeria, in the Sudan, in Pakistan, in Bangladesh, in Malaysia, in Indonesia, in Egypt, in Iraq, in this place and in that), and as the disruption, and expense, and daily unpleasantness, that the millions of Muslim migrants, with their aggressive behavior, have brought to the insufficiently vigilant people of Western Europe -- all of this will change, is changing, the understanding of the war against Israel.
The business at the U.N. may have been seen by some Arabs as a triumph for their diplomatic pressure, and their incessant propaganda. No, it actually marks the farthest point that they have or can reach, and from now on out Israel will be rescuedi not by its own countering of such propaganda but by the growing knowledge, among Westerners, of what is in the texts, and tenets, of Islam, and how those texts and tenets explain, and even predict, the behavior of Muslims and make everyone more aware of the menace that will not go away if a Muslim victory, on the road to the final victory over Israel, is achieved.
Whetted not sated, whetted not sated, whetted not sated. Write it out, say it, a hundred or a thousand times, and then make sure everyone understands what that phrase applies to, and what it means.
Netanyahu has now put that phrase there, put a bee in the bonnet of those who are themselves suffering, or sense they are about to suffer, from the forces of Islam, the Camp of Islam.
Now that theme has to be developed, the various aspects of it cunningly deployed, until mention of Slow Jihad and Fast Jihad, and the psychological aspects of the dhimmmi state, and such notions as taqiyya and kitman, are well understood, and even mention of the Treaty of Hudaibiyya becomes de rigueur in any discussion of "peace treaties" and deterrence, or in Arab terms Darura, meaning the "Necessity" that must be yielded to, is understood as the only sure way to keep the peace or what peace, given the doctrine of Islam, can realistically be kept.
It will happen. Not all at once. Netanyahu was wise to introduce the theme in the way he did. Now it will require a small army of those who write and speak to deploy the facts and the logic, to help familiarize a public that knows, in both Western Europe and in North America, that something is terribly wrong, that that something has to do with how Muslims behave and how they think, but have not yet allowed themselves the leisure to study and to think and to make sense of things, and when it comes to Israel, yesterday's men with the pieties of the past that were cultivated by Arab propaganda still are in vogue, have not yet been analyzed sufficiently, held up for ridicule in a sufficient number of public squares. But events, including the spectacle of unending violence and aggression within Muslim states, will force more and more of those who write about the Middle East, and those who make policy for the Middle East, to recognize the centrality of what Islam inculcates to all that happens in Muslim lands. And the impatience that some feel for that "Arab-Israeli conflict that just goes on and on" will become, instead, an understanding that the Jihad against Israel goes on forever, and it is not a question of trying to find a "solution" for the conflict --there is none -- but rather of ensuring Israel's military superiority, and giving the Arabs and Muslims to understand that their propaganda, which has won many victories, is now coming undone, and far from convincing, is making the West more and more wary.
But this depends on a willingness to grasp the nature of Islam, to understand what it is that makes hundreds of millions of Muslims think as they do, raised up in societies suffused with a Total Belief-System that rests on the belief that all of humanity is divided between Muslims and Non-Muslims, Believers and Infidels, and between the two there is a state of permanent war (though not always of permanent warfare), and it is the duty incumbent on all Muslims to participate, directly or indirectly, in the struggle or Jihad to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the triumph, of Islam, so that all over the world, Islam dominates and Muslims rule.
Without that understanding, there can be only folly and frustration and the kind of squandering, of men, money, materiel, and morale, that we have seen in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and that we see, too, in all those vain and expensive efforts to "integrate Muslims" into non-Muslim societies. It can't be done, not unless one convinces Muslims in large numbers to jettison Islam itself. They can't. They won't.
Iran is reviewing its defense of the Syrian regime and Bashar al-Assad has threatened to inform the US of Hizbullah's weapon storage in Lebanon if Iran abandons him, informed sources have told Al-Masry Al-Youm. [since the Americans already know about Hizbullah's weapon storage -- good god, only the U.N. still pretends not to know -- one must assume that what Syria is threatening to reveal is exact types of weaponry, and amounts, and those secret hiding-places]
A regional meeting recently held in Tehran involving several leading Islamic figures, discussed a number of issues that concern the Islamic world, the top being the Syrian crisis.
Although Iran has begun to change its stance toward the Syrian regime, it is concerned about who would succeed it, said the sources.
The Iranian side is concerned about the fall of Assad's regime for three reasons, they added. The first is that the absence of the Syrian regime could lead Iranians into a direct confrontation with Israel and the US; the second is that the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis in Syria are hostile toward Shias; and the third is that there is uncertainty of what the new regime's stance would be toward Hizbullah.
Assad also feels that the Iranian position has started to change, especially after Ayatollah Khamenei announced its suspension of financial aid to Syria, adding that Iran's support would be only through media, the sources said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a recent statement that Assad should stop using excessive force to suppress protests, as military force was never the right solution to such a crisis.
Ahmadinejad said freedom, justice and respecting others are essential rights for all people and that all governments should recognize them and resolve problems through dialogue. The Iranian president called for talks between the Syrian government and its opponents in order to implement reforms.
No Further Aid Should Be Given To Pakistan, No Further Transfer Of Wealth To Any Muslim State Or Society
Here's Lindsey Graham, a great supporter, and funder, of the Iraq mission, and the Afghanistan-cum-Pakistan mission, at the end I trust of his tether:
U.S. Should Put Pakistan on Notice After Kabul Embassy Attack, Graham Says
By Jeff Bliss and Heidi Przybyla - Sep 25, 2011
The U.S. may have to consider a military response to the government of Pakistan’s alleged support of a terrorist group that attacked the American embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said.
“We need to put Pakistan on notice,” Graham, a member of the Senate Armed services Committee, said today on the “Fox News Sunday” program. “If they continue to embrace terrorism as a part of their national strategy, we’re going to have to put all options on the table, including defending our troops.”
Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said lawmakers would muster bipartisan support “to elevate our response” if needed. He didn’t specify what actions he would back.
Pakistan must stop providing safe havens for the Haqqani group, said David Plouffe, a White House senior adviser, on CNN’s “State of the Union.” U.S. and Afghan officials have said the network of militants, supported by Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s main spy agency, is behind a Sept. 13 assault on the U.S. embassy with rocket-propelled grenades.
In a statement, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday denied his government’s ties to the Haqqani group and said U.S. policy on Afghanistan shows “confusion and disarray.” The U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan need to better coordinate action to fight terrorism, he said.
Graham said that Congress should reconsider its practice of approving a designated amount of aid for Pakistan. The administration is talking about whether to change its requests for aid to the country, Plouffe said.
“Those discussions are happening between our foreign policy and national security teams,” he said. Severing the alleged connection between the Haqqanis and the Pakistan government is “going to be a very important aim for us in the coming period of time.”
The U.S. said in July it was withholding about $800 million in aid because of steps Pakistan took following the U.S. raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2, creating difficulties between the two countries.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the armed services panel on Sept. 22 that the Haqqani network also conducted the June 28 attack at the Inter- Continental Hotel in Kabul.
The Haqqani group, based in eastern Afghanistan and the Pakistani region of Waziristan, has claimed responsibility or been blamed by the Afghan, U.S. and Indian governments for attacks on Kabul in the past three years against the Indian Embassy, government ministries and hotels where foreign diplomats or aid workers were living.
There may be little the U.S. can do to halt Pakistan’s support for militants, according to Tom Lynch, a former special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs who is now a research fellow for the Near East and South Asia at the National Defense University in Washington.
Given the fragility of Afghanistan, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and the dangers of a new confrontation with India, even the leverage the U.S. has is very difficult to use, he has said.
A legal obstacle to a military attack on the Haqqani organization inside Pakistan is the fact that the State Department has never designated it a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Three of its leaders have been identified as terrorists and 49 other groups have been named FTOs.
Qatar, And Its Tool Al Jazeera, Or QBC (Qatari Broadcasting Company), Support Hamas
From The Daily Star, Lebanon:
DOHA: Qatar's emir on Monday reaffirmed his country's support of Hamas, the Islamist movement which controls Gaza and which the European Union and the United States blacklist as a terrorist group.
"We support the Palestinian people of Gaza, whom Israel does not like. But Israel now considers that the establishment of a Palestinian state is more dangerous than Hamas," Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani told the Al-Jazeera satellite news channel.
Israel in August expressed its anger with Qatar over the Gulf emirate's growing ties with Gaza's Hamas rulers. "We are angry with Qatar because it supports Hamas," foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP.
Qatar announced it was severing ties with the Jewish state during Operation Cast Lead, Israel's massive 22-day assault on Gaza which began at the end of December 2008.
But although the head of the Israeli delegation in Doha was ordered to leave, the Qatari authorities allowed the delegation's offices to remain open in order not to totally end the relationship, Israel's Maariv daily said.
In March, however, Israel took steps to cut all remaining ties and shut down the delegation's offices, Maariv reported.
Israel is also angry with Qatar over the legal and political support it has been providing to the Palestinian leadership in its bid for UN membership in September, the paper said.
Is there a separate Qatari people? Or are there simply the Arabs who happen to live in Qatar?
What about Kuwait? Is there a separate Kuwaiti people, easily distinguishable, or distinguishable at all, really, from the Arabs who live in Qatar or in the United Arab Emirates?
What about those United Aram Emirates? Who lives there? Is it the Emirati people, or Arabs?
Let's continue this game, shall we?
Are those Arabs who live in southwestern Iran, in Khuzistan, part of the "Khuzistanian people" or are they, simply, Arabs more or less indistinguishable from the Arabs in Iraq, or in Kuwait, or in the Emirates, or in Al-Jazeera-and-Hamas-supporting Qatar, whose waddling emir feels, programmatically, for the "Palestinian people" but, for some reason, can't quite feel enough to send them a billion or so and thus relieve America, and Canada, and Europe, from having to support the "unsustainable" -- in every sense -- "Palestinian people."
Leading Islamic Ideologue Announces Iranâ€™s Hegemony of World Wide Jihad
Hassan Rahimpoor Azghadi
Iranian Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution
A tip of the hat to our colleagues at mrc-tv
Iran’s leading Islamic ideologue, Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi, Member of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution in a speech before Veterans of the Iran-Iraq War, Friday, September 23rd, announced the Islamic Republic assumption of the leadership of worldwide Jihad. Mrc-tv produced this video of excerpts from Azghadi translated by Laleh Gillani. Shortly after the release of this subtitled video, the channel that had captured Azghadi’s Farsi language video was hacked, thereby underlining the importance of Azghadi’s pronouncements.
Veteran Iran watchers who have viewed this mrc-tv video consider Azghadi’s remarks significant.
Similar to the past when our operational units were deployed to the western and southern borders, our forces today must get ready to head towards North Africa, eastern Asia and the heart of Europe. We must get ready for global operations.
We’ve become old, but the next generation must be brought up such that they are ready from this day forward. In the next 3-4 decades, they must go to help and free their Muslim brothers in northern and southern Africa, eastern and central Asia and the heart of Europe. It has become an international effort; the revolution has been exported. We said it repeatedly that the revolution will be exported. Now, it is happening.
Our fellow fighters are present in all five continents of the world and are fighting against exploitation and imperialism everywhere. Preparations for the Coming [of Mehdi, the twelfth Imam of Shi'a] must be made. An international Jihad must be provoked; we must fear no one.
United States and the West bomb loot and occupy without reservation anything, anywhere and whenever they please. They even officially announce that they are coming. Then they do come. If we quietly say that we are going to provide moral support to our brethren in Iraq and Palestine, they holler that we are interfering and are terrorists.
No, sir. We must decisively provide support. They announce their intention to occupy quickly; we ought to declare our anti-occupation efforts swiftly. We have a religious duty. The Islamic revolution of Iran is the mother to all Islamic revolutions. Imam [Khomeini] from the beginning stated, “We will export our revolution, and Iran is the second home to all religious fighters worldwide.” These are the exact words used by Imam. Don’t you recall?
Imam said, “We must destroy Israel and free Jerusalem.” We will do this and are doing it. If they said that we can’t do it, tell them, “we have done it so far.” The victory in Lebanon or Gaza is case in point. We’ll do the same with the rest.
We must stay alert. They quickly announce their intention to occupy; we declare our intentions to stand by Muslims and the oppressed all over the world. All this is written in our constitution clearly. Unfortunately, after Imam, in the 2nd and 3rd decades [following the revolution], some wanted to reduce tensions with the West and imperialists. What do you mean you want to reduce tensions? Did Imam reduce tensions [with the West]?
Imam talked about the war between the rich and the poor, the battle between the tyrants and the deprived, the fight to set Muslims free. He said that we wouldn’t allow them to continue to benefit from us.
In a matter of seven months, four Arab governments have been overthrown. No kidding! Hopefully, a few more will fall in the next 3-4 months or years. We must prepare ourselves for a global conflict. Those working in intelligence and underground subversive operations must get ready. Instead of going to the border regions, fighting fields are all over the world from now on. We must get ready to head to Latin America and eastern Asia to fight, go to central Asia to set our Muslim brothers free and head to the heart of Europe.
In the same way that everything changed in Lebanon and Palestine when our forces arrived at Lebanon. When they arrived at Bosnia, events changed there and in the Baltic region. Muslims in Bosnia were being defeated until our forces arrived. The message from our revolution and martyrs and the style of our Jihad brought about a turn of events. When our forces went to Lebanon, Palestine and Gaza, new developments took place.
Everyone says that Iran was behind the resistance [war] in Gaza. Even the Prime Minister of Israel stated that an Islamic Republic was formed next door in Lebanon and then in Gaza. After the most recent operations, an Islamic Republic will be formed in Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula…
Listening to the god-awful mush that passes for Christian sermonizing nowadays, not infrequently delivered by a woman minister whose voice just can't deliver the deepness necessary for the depth, and that dwells not on the House of the Lord forever, but on tolerance and diversity and desire for a peace that passeth my understanding, topics dealt with so insipidly, and so predictably, that none of this comes close to revivifying, much less inspiring belief (and a good sermon should inspire belief even in a non-believer, the way the King James version of the Bible does), I yet again longed for the Protestant divines of yore, that yore being the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. Here, by way of example, is Lancelot Andrewes, who in his ninth Nativity sermon offers this brief brief for God:
"What gets God by nobiscum? Nothing He. What get we?"
Need I say more?
Only this: Post Nabisco.
The Sunday Sermon Against Sunday Sermons is now concluded.