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



















These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 28, 2010.
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Watch Walid Shoebat debate Rev. Barry Lynn over Imam Rauf and the Ground Zero mosque on FoxNews’ O’Reilly Factor
The sturm und drang surrounding the controversial Ground Zero Mosque project and Imam Rauf was graphically on display last night on FoxNews.  Laura Ingraham hosted a segment on the O'Reilly Factor with  Walid Shoebat in a debate with the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU). The spur for this debate was the video clip of an appearance on The Daily Show Thursday night of Mayor Bloomberg of New York City, the chairman of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation. Bloomberg is shown in the video clip arguing that opponents of the Ground Zero mosque were religiously demonizing demagogues seeking political gain in the upcoming November mid-term elections. Bloomberg further contended that even 9/11 families have come out in favor of building the Ground Zero mosque, now euphemistically renamed, the Park Place 51 project. He noted that the mosque, which is located just a few hundred yards from Ground Zero, had been in operation for over a year. 
Ingraham countered by citing the opposition to the 13 story Park Place 51 project from persons like  David Beamer, father of Flight 93 hero, his late son Todd, Debra Burlingame of  9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America  and Judea Pearl, the late Danny Pearl's father.
Rev. Lynn, who supports Bloomberg's position, looked foolish. He lamely took Imam Rauf's position that Sharia is somehow in compliance with our Constitution, while suggesting that most American Muslims don't adhere to the Islamic Law, anyway. Lynn tried to softball the issue by suggesting that the arguments against Rauf and the Ground Zero mosque were a mere piffle as American Muslims constituted less than one percent of the US population. Lynn in this FoxNews video falls back on the specious argument that Sharia is all about proselytizing, like any other religion.
Shoebat forcefully argued that Rauf's intent was to establish an Islamic state under Sharia beginning with the Ground Zero mosque project. He cited Rauf's own words translated from the Arabic that we had posted, most recently from a Jordanian newspaper in an article authored by the Imam, currently traveling in the Middle East on a goodwill mission sponsored by our State Department. Shoebat noted his translation from the Al-Ghad Newspaper in Jordan, 5/9/2009
In it, Imam Rauf reveals his views to Muslims right after the 9/11 attacks that Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad were born as a result of the Muslim hunger for Islamic law and justice. 

According to the Imam, secularism is not the answer to a Muslim and that "all the laws Muslims need are in the Quran and the Hadith". It is Islam and not the secular American Constitution that "offers life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Of course Iman Rauf is merely referring to Muslims receiving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness since according to Rauf, 'infidels' (all non-Muslims) deserve the inverse: death, slavery and misery.

In an email exchange with Shoebat, who had sent me the Ingraham video segment, I noted the irony of Rev. Lynn, whose organization allegedly supports the building of the Ground Zero mosque apparently does not understand the inherent conflict between Sharia and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that his group purportedly defends. Under Sharia there is no separation of mosque and State.  
Islam is a political doctrine seeking world domination through stealth Jihad with a thin veneer of religious practices. Islamic Sharia law threatens to control every aspect of life for all Americans if the Muslim Brotherhood Grand Jihad plan ever succeeded in supplanting our Constitution.
Shoebat, in our email exchange, had these observations to make about the Mega-mosque debates, epitomized by the conflict over the Ground Zero mosque promoted by Imam Rauf.  
As usual, I ignore the other side and simply read Rauf's own words, people believe quotes more than a talking head. Quotes are facts.
O'Reily deceives himself when he says that the Mosque will not happen. He doesn't understand Muslim stubbornness. This issue is not going away easily. It will be a long issue that will make the U.S. wake up. We are entering a phase in history like never before and Americans are going to get a rude awakening that will unite them.
Watch this You Tube Video of last night's FoxNews O'Reilly Factor segment with Walid Shoebat versus Rev. Barry Lynn  of AU hosted by Laura Ingraham:

Posted on 08/28/2010 7:07 AM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 28 August 2010
A Musical Interlude: Somewhere The Sun Is Shining (Elsie Carlisle)

Watch, and listen, here.

Posted on 08/28/2010 8:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Multiple Members of Karzai Administration on CIA Payroll

This is indicative of just how confused our policy in Afghanistan really is. Washington Post:

The CIA is making secret payments to multiple members of President Hamid Karzai's administration, in part to maintain sources of information in a government in which the Afghan leader is often seen as having a limited grasp of developments, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The payments are long-standing in many cases and designed to help the agency maintain a deep roster of allies within the presidential palace. Some aides function as CIA informants, but others collect stipends under more informal arrangements meant to ensure their accessibility, a U.S. official said.

The CIA has continued the payments despite concerns that it is backing corrupt officials and undermining efforts to wean Afghans' dependence on secret sources of income and graft.

The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a significant number of officials in Karzai's administration are on the payroll. Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman, disputed that characterization, saying, "This anonymous source appears driven by ignorance, malice or both."

A former agency official said the payments were necessary because "the head of state is not going to tell you everything" and because Karzai often seems unaware of moves that members of his own government make.

The disclosure comes as a corruption investigation into one of Karzai's senior national security advisers - and an alleged agency informant - puts new strain on the already fraying relationship between Washington and Kabul.

Top American officials including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) have expressed concern about Karzai's efforts to rein in anti-corruption teams, as well as intervention in the case against the security adviser. The aide, Mohammad Zia Salehi, is accused of accepting a $10,000 car as a bribe in exchange for his assistance in quashing a wide-ranging corruption probe.

The issue carries enormous stakes for the Obama administration. Concerns that the Afghan government is hopelessly corrupt have prompted a congressional panel to withhold billions of dollars in aid, and threaten to erode American support for the war.

But Karzai supporters accuse their U.S. counterparts of exploiting the issue, and the Salehi arrest in particular, to humiliate the Afghan leader while ignoring more pressing priorities.

In the latest sign of his vexation, Karzai said Thursday that President Obama's timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops "has given courage to the enemies of Afghanistan," and complained that the United States wasn't doing enough to force Pakistan to stop supporting the Taliban.

"We haven't progressed in the war against terrorism," Karzai said in a statement.

The CIA has maintained relationships with Afghan government officials for years. But the disclosure that multiple members of Karzai's government are on the CIA's payroll underscores the complex nature of the American role in Afghanistan. Even as agency dollars flow in, U.S.-backed investigative units are targeting prominent Afghans in the government and trying to stem an exodus of more than $1 billion in cash annually from the country...

Karzai also says the US will need to stay in Afghanistan for ten more years. Any questions?

Posted on 08/28/2010 7:31 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Disinheriting Brooklyn College
Bruce Kessler does the right thing. More people need to follow his lead and give to institutions working to preserve Western civilization and America rather undermining them both.

I just updated my will and trust and, with heavy heart, cut out what was a significant bequest to my alma mater, Brooklyn College.

What caused the disinheritance is that all incoming freshmen and transfer students are given a copy of a book to read, and no other, to create their "common experience." This same book is one of the readings in their required English course. The author is a radical pro-Palestinian professor there.

When I attended in the 1960s, Brooklyn College - then rated one of the tops in the country -- was, like most campuses, quite liberal. But, there was no official policy to inculcate students with a political viewpoint. Now there is. That is unacceptable.

The book is How Does It Feel To Be A Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America It is interviews with seven Arab-Americans in their 20s about their experiences and difficulties in the US. There's appreciation of freedoms in the US, and deep resentment at feeling or being discriminated against post-9/11.

The seven are not a representative sample. Six are Moslem and one Christian. According to the Arab American Institute, 63% of Arab-Americans are Christian, 24% Muslim. The author chose those interviewed and those included in the book.

The title of the book is drawn from communist WEB DuBois' same question in 1903 in his treatise The Souls of Black Folk. The current book consciously draws a parallel, ridiculous on its face, between the horrible and pervasive discrimination and injustices that Blacks were subjected to a century ago and Arab-Americans today.

The author asserts "The core issue [of Middle East turbulence] remains the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination," that the post-1967 history of the entire area is essentially that of "imperialism American-style," and that the US government "limits the speech of Arab Americans in order to cement United States policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Again, preposterous.

The author is Moustafa Bayoumi. He is called an "Exalted Islamic Grievance Peddler"with the following summary of his background:


The second featured speaker at WCU's forum was Moustafa Bayoumi, an associate professor of English at Brooklyn College and co-editor of The Edward Said Reader. Bayoumi contends that in the aftermath of 9/11, armed INS officials, U.S. Marshals, and FBI agents routinely roused Muslims from their beds "in the middle of the night"-indiscriminately arresting, shackling, and investigating them for possible terrorist connections.

In September 2002, a year after 9/11, Bayoumi lamented that "an upswing in hate crimes [against American Muslims] has already begun." As proof, he cited statistics, which would be thoroughly discredited, put forth by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He then pointed to CAIR's claim that "57 percent of American Muslims report that they have experienced bias or discrimination since Sept. 11," and that "48 percent of [Muslim] respondents believe their lives have changed for the worse since the attacks." "This is hardly surprising," Bayoumi reasoned. "For the past year, Muslims have endured a daily barrage of demagoguery, distortions and outright lies about their faith. Never well understood in this country, Islam is now routinely caricatured."

In March 2006, Bayoumi took up this theme again, asserting that "Muslim-bashing has become socially acceptable in the United States." In 2008 he wrote: "It's been seven years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and many young American Muslims are convinced that much of American society views them with growing hostility. They're right."

The theme of Muslim victimhood is by no means restricted solely to Bayoumi's view of the United States. Indeed, he depicts Palestinian suicide bombings as little more than desperate reactions to "a brutal [Israeli] military occupation that has been strangling the Palestinian people for decades."

Most recently, Bayoumi edited a book, Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestinian Conflict, defending it and calling it Israel's Selma, Alabama, the focal point for US civil rights struggles in the 1960s.

Online I found two professors who protested to the college president. One, retired from Brooklyn College, said: "This is wholly inappropriate.  It smacks of indoctrination. It will intimidate incoming students who have a different point of view (or have formed no point of view), sending the message that only one side will be approved on this College campus. It can certainly intimidate untenured faculty as well."

Another, currently on the faculty, said: "While our community of learning is committed to freedom of speech and expression, does that require that we must expose new students to the anti-American and anti-Israeli preachings of this professor? At the least, do not our students deserve a balanced presentation?"

Another retired professor living in Brooklyn, protested and received back from a Dean:


Each year professors in the English Department and I select a common reading for our entering students. We choose memoirs (a genre familiar to students) set in New York City, often reflecting an immigrant experience, and written by authors who are available to visit campus. Students in freshman composition respond to the common reading by writing about their own experiences, many of them published in 'Telling Our Stories; Sharing our Lives'. This year we selected How Does It Feel to be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America by one of our own faculty members, Professor Moustafa Bayoumi, because it is a well-written collection of stories by and about young Arab Brooklynites whose experiences may be familiar to our students, their neighbors, or the students with whom they will study and work at Brooklyn College. We appreciate your concerns. Rest assured that Brooklyn College values tolerance, diversity, and respect for differing points of view in all that we do.

The professor tells us what happened next:

So I wrote to her again, and again, and then again once more, suggesting that she provide some balance to Bayoumi's book, that she provide additional authors and additional speakers. I even suggested another author, Paul Berman, also resident in Brooklyn, also writing on Arab themes, also willing (I would assume) to speak to her students. And what did Dean Wilson reply to these repeated suggestions of mine ? You guessed it, she did not deign to reply at all.

Another professor's unpublished letter (which I verified with him; I've verified the others also) to the college president said: "Anyone who has taught at a university during the past quarter-century and more knows that the slogan of 'diversity' generally alludes to its opposite (i.e., imposed uniformity of thought camouflaged by diversity of physical appearance) and also foretells mischief."

I will always appreciate the excellent liberal arts education I received at Brooklyn College, and the critical thinking that has caused me to disinherit it.

A Board member tells me the 55,000 Scholars for Peace in the Middle East is now considering its next move.
Posted on 08/28/2010 9:05 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 28 August 2010
David Harris On Muslim Terrorists In Canada

From The Ottawa Citizen:

This is our future

 Recent terror threats have been stopped, but we have refused to heed the warnings
 
 
 
Police collect  evidence at 91 Esterlawn Pvt. in Ottawa during this week's sweep of  searches and arrests of terrorism suspects, Aug. 28, 2010.
 

Police collect evidence at 91 Esterlawn Pvt. in Ottawa during this week's sweep of searches and arrests of terrorism suspects, Aug. 28, 2010.


This is your future. That was my wretched thought on behalf of Canadians as I watched Thursday's Project Samossa news conference.

Samossa was the major national security investigation that erupted this week in counterterrorism raids and the arrest of four Muslim-Canadians. The government's charges against three of them imply a wealth of evidence that will shock the conscience of Canadians.

These charges and limited revelations suggest that we could be front-row witnesses to the most vile of manifestations of the Islamist jihad in this country. The allegation is that people living among us and enjoying the immense privileges of Canadian citizenship, are siding with enemy forces aiming to kill and maim our boys and girls serving in Afghanistan -- and maybe residents of Ottawa and other Canadian centres, too.

We shouldn't be surprised.

The Toronto 18 showed us the savagery of the 7th-century war that is being imported into our 21st-century neighbourhoods. Defendants included those who should have been a credit to educated youth. From some we would have expected gratitude of immigrants who had been welcomed to a gentle and generous nation. Canadians' reward was instead a conspiracy to rent Toronto with explosives, and blast our Parliament with invasion and a prime ministerial beheading.

Further hints -- and only hints -- of our growing predicament come from a series of recent convictions.

Think of Momin Khawaja, the handsome Department of Foreign Affairs software consultant and moonlighter in international bomb-making. Then there was Said Namouh, Quebec-based Moroccan bomb-plotter, and the Groupe Fatah Kamel, which drove a French counterterror magistrate to pin Canada as an international centre of North African Islamic extremism.

These threats were headed off by good luck and good security work, but are auguries of future violence, economy-defying instability and further pressure on civil liberties.

But why must this be our future? Because we refuse to heed warnings, learn basic lessons and act in a responsible way to preserve our well-being.

To understand this in the context of Islamic radicalism is to account properly for the main sources of Canada's escalating extremism. These sources are immigration and refugee influxes, and the homegrown extremist phenomenon.

Liberal politicians long ago turned immigration and refugee streams into vote-importing mechanisms. Conservatives continue to do so at the expense of Canadians' safety and tens of billions in net per annum immigration costs, plus attendant and overwhelming security costs. So pronounced is the pathology that not even a terrible recession could prevent Immigration Minister Jason Kenney from hiking immigration and refugee levels from what were already roughly the highest per capita in the world. These levels are too great to allow for reliable vetting in a world where war and ideological struggles rage, and we are a target.

Then there is the near-intractable problem of homegrown or self-radicalizing extremism. Here, we need vigorous efforts by Muslims to take up the work of Dr. Tawfik Hamid and others. They must interpret constructively the portions of the Koran and Hadiths that are routinely invoked to justify brutalizing infidels and non-radical Muslims. This requires challenging those people who embrace the Koranic interpretative doctrine of abrogation by which later militant "sword verses" can supersede earlier, more open and charitable verses.

As part of this, we must put a halt to Saudi funding and similar fundamentalist influence in Canada's Islamic and other institutions. Most emphatically, Islamist front organizations and fellow-travelling "Islamic rights" groups should be barred from the legitimizing table of security outreach.

Outreach has difficulties, and there is concern that some of our police and other security elements may be taking the easy way out when it comes to counterradicalizing and connecting with interest groups. The useful tool of community policing periodically metastasizes into unhealthy outreach programs with Islamic front organizations, as officials seek to appease and humour the louder -- and sometimes aggressive -- influences.

At the Samossa press conference, Ottawa police Chief Vern White inadvertently illustrated the problem in response to a question about reported privileged terrorism briefings for "leaders" of Ottawa's Muslim community, among a few others. The chief asserted that this private access, part of ongoing community outreach, was to reassure fearful members of "certain communities" that they would not be subject to "backlash." A reflection of the new politically correct policing, this remark suggests that some officials are accepting and feeding the Islamist victimology hype that has been repeatedly debunked by statistics showing that blacks and Jews continue to be the main targets of bigotry.

Are we prepared to accept this as our future?

Posted on 08/28/2010 9:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 28 August 2010
The Man Behind, the Man Behind the Ground Zero Mosque

Sharif el-Gamal is the young developer of the Ground Zero mosque whose meteoric rise from lowly waiter to wealthly real estate entrepeneur is very suspicious. He seems to be a front man for another man, Hisham Elzanaty, who may in turn be a front man for someone else. Raheel Raza, who has spoken out against the mosque, says el-Gamal threatened her over the phone. This interesting FOX News video comes from a website called Hyscience (h/t: VFR).

[...] Naturally, we wanted to talk to Sharif el-Gamal to learn more about the man and his plans, but apparently he didn't want to meet us. We made repeated requests for a sit down interview with him, left him multiple voice mail messages and he never returned any of our calls. We even went to his office and talked to colleagues, but we were turned away. He left us with no choice: We had to go find him.

El-Gamal is an American Muslim reportedly born to a Polish mother and an Egyptian father. He was raised in Brooklyn.

Today, el-Gamal's company, Soho Properties, owns the building where arguably the most controversial mosque in the world will be built. He bought the old Burlington Coat Factory building at 45 Park Place, two blocks from the World Trade Center site, for $4.8 million in cash in 2009.

We asked him where he got the money to put down on the property, but he stayed silent when we approached him.

His newfound notoriety was an extraordinary leap from his not-too-distant days as a waiter at Serafina, a trendy Upper East Side eatery, and at Michael's, an upscale celebrity-filled restaurant packed with a veritable who's who in media.

[...] Ken Brandman, president of N.Y. Commercial Real Estate Services, knows el-Gamal well. He, too, was a bit surprised to hear el-Gamal is the developer in the mosque near Ground Zero.

"I don't think he has a lot of money," Brandman said. "I'm sure he didn't buy it with his own money."

Soho Properties bought the site for the mosque for $4.8 million in cash. Just four months later, with Manhattan's real estate market collapsed, el-Gamal made an even bigger deal.

With credit super tight, and prices plummeting, he paid $45 million for a 12-story commercial building in Chelsea that sold three years earlier for $31 million.

"It seems like a lot of pay in a downturn, considering it went for considerably less during the boom," said Stuart Elliott, the editor of Real Deal magazine.

El-Gamal, the waiter turned mogul, plunked down another $5 million as down payment on the Chelsea building.

"Something's up with that deal," Ken Brandman said. "Unless someone gave him a lot of money, or he won the lottery, than somebody else put up the money."

Fox 5 News has learned that el-Gamal did have help from a man named Hisham Elzanaty. Mortgage documents show that Elzanaty is the guarantor on the $39 million loan el-Gamal's company secured to buy the building.

We repeatedly asked El-Gamal where he raised the money, where it was coming from, but he refused to answer our questions and run from us. He also did not answer the question of whether he would consider relocating the mosque.

Posted on 08/28/2010 12:28 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Exposing Shallowness

The tattoo has a profound meaning: the superficiality of modern man's existence.

Essay here.

Posted on 08/28/2010 2:23 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Arson at Murfreesboro Mosque Construction Site

From the Daily News Journal:

One piece of construction equipment at the future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was set afire in the overnight hours while others had gasoline poured on them, according to a spokesperson for the ICM.

Carmie Ayash, spokeswoman for the ICM, told The DNJ Islamic Center officials were contacted by the sheriff's department around 1:30 a.m. Saturday in reference to the damaged equipment. It appeared gasoline had been poured on several pieces of equipment at the site and one was lit afire. Ayash said it appeared the responsible arsonist was spooked during the act and fled the scene before other equipment could be set on fire.

"We were contacted by police department around 1:30 a.m," Ayash said Saturday afternoon. "They said someone had caught fire to some of the equipment. I think they lifted the hood and poured gas into the hood and set it on fire.

"The other equipment had gasoline poured on it but was not set on fire. It seems like it was intentional. Probably, whoever did it got caught in the middle of the act, got scared and left."

Islamic Center officials have contacted the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, according to Ayash, and sheriff's department investigators "told us they will be investigating this as a hate crime."...

Posted on 08/28/2010 2:36 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Bee in her bonnet - Disney waitress refuses two uniform headgear suggestions.

The Disney costume department didn't take up my suggestion last week of a hijab with Minnie mouse ears and a bow. They offered waitress Imane Boudlal a large hat, which she declined.

They offered her three jobs, at the same rate of pay as the one she does, where she would not be 'on stage' ie meeting the public and could wear her own hijab. She refused them.

They offered her a second cap, in the same fabric as her uniform waistcoat inspired by a retro mob cap from1915. She refused to even try that one on and was sent home.

She appears to be insisting on looking specifically Muslim, over and above merely covering her hair from the gaze of lustful men. This will end in tears.

Posted on 08/28/2010 4:22 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 28 August 2010
A Musical Interlude: Lydia The Tattooed Lady (Groucho Marx)

Watch, and listen, here.

Posted on 08/28/2010 6:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Swedish Democratic Party Has A 2010 Election Video

Watch here.

Posted on 08/28/2010 6:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Ron Radosh On Fareed Zakaria, Who Appears To Have Fallen -- In Every Sense -- For Hezbollah

Fareed Zakaria Paints Hezbollah as More 'Tolerant' Than GZM Protesters

August 26, 2010Ron Radosh

Fareed Zakaria spoke last Sunday on CNN - on his weekly program Fareed Zakaria GPS - with his usual haughty display of what he considers to be the great wisdom he regularly presents to his audience. The would-be secretary of State told his viewers this:

And now for the "Last Look." With all the talk about places of worship and where they do and don't belong, I wanted you to see this. This is the Magen Abraham synagogue. It's not in Miami. It's not in Tel Aviv. It's in Beirut. That's right, Beirut, Lebanon.

The synagogue is just now emerging from a painstaking restoration project. When the repairs began over a year ago, the temple was literally a shell of its former self. So why did this nation, often teetering on the brink of religious hostilities and hostilities with Israel, restore a Jewish house of worship? To show that Lebanon is an open and tolerant country.

And indeed, the project is said to have found support in many parts of the community, not just from the few remaining Jews there, but also Christians and Muslims and Hezbollah. Yes, Hezbollah - the one that the United States has designated a foreign terrorist organization.

Hezbollah's view on the renovation goes like this. "We respect divine religions, including the Jewish religion. The problem is with Israel's occupation of Arab lands ... not with the Jews." Food for thought. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week. Stay tuned for "Reliable Sources."

If you insist on seeing his delivery, you can watch it here.

This reminds me of nothing less than the famous phony documentary the Nazis made about Theresienstadt as they were creating this showplace concentration camp to try to fool the world, to show everyone how good they were to those Jews they were actually sending to the death camps.

As the Jewish site linked above explains:

Hitler, the world was to be told, had built a city for the Jews, to protect them from the vagaries and stresses of the war. A film was made to show this mythic, idyllic city to which his henchmen were taking the Jews from the Czech Lands and eight other countries. Notable musicians, writers, artists, and leaders were sent there for "safer" keeping than was to be afforded elsewhere in Hitler's quest to stave off any uprisings or objections around the so-called civilized world. This ruse worked for a very long time, to the great detriment of the nearly two hundred thousand men, women and children who passed through its gates as a way station to the east and probable death.

Now, in our own time - as the organization CAMERA accurately reveals - Zakaria's claim that "Hezbollah respects the Jews and is merely opposed to Israel's occupation of Arab lands" dramatically misinformed viewers about the radical and anti-Semitic nature of the Lebanese terror group.

Hezbollah has repeatedly made clear not only its opposition to Israel's very existence, but also its contempt for Jews.

As Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's chief, said on Al Quds International Day last year:

[Al Quds Day] is the day of all Palestine from sea to river. It is the day of the Palestinian and Arab detainees remaining in the occupation prisons. It is the day of the Palestinian refugees displaced whether inside Palestine or abroad. Al Quds day is the day of patient, resistance, besieged Gaza. Al Quds day is the day of Palestinian resistance of all factions and movements. It is the day of the Lebanese, Arab and Islamic resistance. It is the day of every resistant, withstander, survivor, and fighter in the face of the Zionist scheme in our region. Al Quds day is the day of the Ummah, a reminder to the Ummah of its historical and religious responsibilities in parallel.

It is a day, he makes quite clear, for vowing to destroy Israel. Judaism, he tells his audience, clearly stands for the end of Israel's existence, which is only a creation of the Zionist conspiracy. Citing the Quran, he says:

As for the criminal and murderous limb of Abraham's progeny, who killed the prophets, spread corruption in the land, and committed atrocities and sins... these were not given any promises to start with for promises to be withdrawn. They were not given promises from the onset. It is found in the Old Testament and in history books, that after Moses brought the Israelites across to the blessed land of Palestine, they began to worship the calf and idols, disobeyed God, hurt and conspired against his prophet and his brother Aaron. Consequently, God ordered them out to wander through the desert for 40 years, away from the reaches of their land.
So, no promises were made to them.

His beliefs could not be more clear. Is Mr. Zakaria familiar with this passage in his speech?:

First: Historic Palestine, from the sea to the river belongs to the people of Palestine and to the whole nation.

Second: It is impermissible for anyone and no one has the right, whoever he may be, whether Palestinian, Arab, Muslim or Christian, no matter who it is, regardless of the claims of representation anyone makes, whether representation claims of historic legitimacy, revolutionary, popular, legal or constitutional, no one in this world is entitled to give up a grain of soil from the land of Palestine, nor a drop of water from the waters in Palestine, nor a single character from the name of Palestine.

Third: the "Israeli" entity currently existing on the land of Palestine is a usurper and occupation entity, aggressive, cancerous, illegitimate and illegal presence.

Fourth: It is impermissible for anyone, whoever they may be, to recognize this entity, grant it legitimacy or recognize an existence for it.

Fifth: Collaboration and normalization with "Israel" are forbidden sins. All scholars, Islamic reference authorities are in consensus about this, and anyone that says otherwise, let him step forward and present his case.
These principles and constants are unalterable by time, circumstances, conditions, strengths or weaknesses at all.

At another time, CAMERA reminds us, Nasrallah was quoted in Lebanon's Daily Star saying that if the Jews "all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

Writing in The New Yorker some years ago, Jeffrey Goldberg called Hezbollah "the most successful terrorist organization in modern history." And he went on to write that a Lebanese Shiite scholar named Amal Saad-Ghorayeb has advanced what in Lebanon is a controversial argument: that Hezbollah is not merely anti-Israel but deeply, theologically anti-Jewish.

Her new book, Hezbollah: Politics & Religion, dissects the anti-Jewish roots of Hezbollah ideology. Hezbollah, she argues, "believes that Jews, by the nature of Judaism, possess fatal character flaws." The organization, she adds, holds "a real antipathy to Jews as Jews."

I assume this means that the supposedly informed Zakaria is not familiar with the reporting and analysis of Jeffrey Goldberg. Of course, we know that this is not the case.

Somehow, he has obviously chosen to disregard what he probably does know, in order to score cheap shots and make Hezbollah seem more tolerant than the United States. They allow a synagogue to be restored; most Americans oppose and are trying to stop a mosque from being built near Ground Zero. For Zakaria, the Hezbollah controlled Lebanon is more tolerant than the democratic United States.

This "insight" of his is supposed to be "food for thought."

So please. Flood the CNN network brass with protests, demand they correct his crude hosanna to a group our own government condemns as terrorist, and ask that others be invited on to correct the horrendously false impression he gave to viewers. You can reach CNN by linking to its complaint site.

And finally, as the current incarnation of the almost defunct Newsweek seeks to rebuild itself after being bought by billionaire Sidney Harman, we got the bad news that Zakaria has already jumped ship and moved immediately to the still surviving Time, which last week did its best to paint Americans as crude Islamophobic zombies.

Now, its subscribers will have to read his words along with the already anti-Israel and anti-neocon screeds of Joe Klein. Perhaps in another year, with such an august group of pundits, Time too will need to find another Sidney Harman to save them.


Posted on 08/28/2010 9:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 28 August 2010
A Saturday-Night-Special Musical Interlude: Mama, I'm In Love With A Thief (Tatyana Kabanova)

Listen here.

Posted on 08/28/2010 9:10 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Unsurprisingly, Given His Misunderstanding Of Practically Everything To Do With Islam, Noah Feldman Wants America To Make Iraq Its 35-Year Project

[By way of introduction: www.jihadwatch.org/2008/10/fitzgerald-a-tribute-to-noah-feldman.html]

From The Wall Street Journal: 

AUGUST 28, 2010

A Very Long Engagement

It took 35 years for democracy to take hold in South Korea, and U.S. troops could be in Iraq just as long. Noah Feldman on why the draw-down is a beginning and not an end.

[Cover_Main] Christoph Bangert/laif/Redux

As America prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq, Farnaz Fassihi and Chip Cummins look back at the war's impact on Iraq's people and discuss whether the U.S. can rightly claim victory.

In 1953, after the armistice ending the Korean War, South Korea lay in ruins. President Eisenhower was eager to put an end to hostilities that had left his predecessor deeply unpopular, and the war ended in an uneasy stalemate. But the United States had a strong interest in regional stability, and some worrisome enemies to keep in check. So Eisenhower decided to leave tens of thousands of troops behind, and signed a treaty with the U.S.-backed government to formalize their presence. Thirty-five years later, South Korea emerged as a stable democracy.

Gina Chon and Chip Cummins discuss the prospect for political and ethnic stability once America completes its troop pullout from Iraq.

The situation in Iraq today bears some intriguing similarities. The reduction of American forces in Iraq to 50,000 is thus good news-but not because it is a step closer to complete withdrawal. In the coming year, the Iraqi government (once it is formed) is likely to ask the U.S. to keep some significant number of troops in the country after the pullout date of summer 2011. If so, President Obama may well agree, because it is just about the only way to avoid a resurgence of civil war and continue Iraq's tenuous progress toward consolidating democracy. As in South Korea-where nearly 30,000 U.S. troops remain today, almost 60 years after the war ended-patience may pay off. Then there is the ethical side of the issue: If the elected Iraqi government asks for help, the U.S. owes it to them to continue its commitment.

An Uneasy Peace in Iraq

Scott Nelson for The Wall Street Journal

Iraqi Federal Policemen manned a checkpoint at the entrance to the Amil neighborhod in southwest Baghdad Monday.

Iraq faces a raft of difficulties if it is to become an effective, self-governing nation, and all of them point to the need for a continuing U.S. role in security and beyond. Start with the basic question of who or what is an Iraqi. In the last three years, Iraq's citizens pulled back from the brink of civil war. But they did so because of the surge of U.S. troops, not because they had forged a national consensus on living together democratically.

Iraqis' primary identities are still of religious denomination or ethnicity, not of Iraqi nationhood-and that may remain the case indefinitely. Iraqi national identity under Saddam Hussein never truly incorporated Shiites or Kurds. Sunnis, who identified most closely with the Iraqi nation, remain in some ways disenfranchised relative to the other groups, or at least they perceive themselves that way. Having run the country since its birth under the British, many Sunnis experience the rise of the Shiites and Kurds as a defeat for them in the zero-sum game of domination.

A Look Back

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/Associated Press

Lt. Col. Richard D. Heyward, left, of Illinois, and Sgt. Nick Wysong, of Washington, right, kept watch as the 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment of the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division crossed the southern desert of Iraq on Aug. 17, 2010. Theirs was officially designated the last combat brigade to leave Iraq.

The War's Toll

[IraqWithdrawal_]

A look at the conflict and its milestones.

A new Iraqi identity might conceivably emerge on the basis of common interest-the way Flemish and French-speaking Belgians have, despite historic distrust, so far stayed uneasily together out of inertia, convenience and economic advantage. But that is a far cry from the sort of commonality needed to sustain a state under difficult conditions or the threat of dissolution. Civic citizenship on the basis of pride in democratic institutions is a more desirable endpoint-but to get there, those institutions first must do a good job of functioning.

Then there is the danger that Iraq's fissiparous character could drive it back into civil war. Civil war began to break out in 2004 and 2005 because, in the absence of a national military or an effective occupying force, ordinary people did not believe the government was capable of protecting them. That forced everyone to find someone who might be capable of doing the job-and for most people, the best candidate was a militia. Sunnis squared off against Shiites. Meanwhile Iraq's Kurds cast a baleful eye over the whole situation, and spoke in robust terms about regional autonomy that sounded very much like independence.

Faced with the collapse of Iraq into something like Lebanon-or worse, Somalia-the Bush administration opted for a new counterinsurgency strategy. Violence was reduced because, for the first time since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, Iraqis felt that there was a force capable of dominating the situation and ensuring basic order. The surge worked because it managed to convince the vast majority of Iraqis that they had more to gain by pursuing power peacefully than through violence.

But if war is politics by other means, peaceful politics in Iraq is still not far removed from war. A perceived (or real) security vacuum like the one that sparked the civil war will put us right back where we started. The Iraqi security forces have grown enormously, to more than 660,000 split roughly in half between police and military. They have also improved markedly in quality (a low bar considering how weak they were for most of the last seven years). But they are still some distance from being able to ensure safety for ordinary citizens. Their ranks could still break apart into their constituent ethnic and denominational groups. And they are nowhere near able to protect Iraq's borders from serious threats that might arise in, for example, a regional war involving Iran.

Lightroom Photos /US Army/Redux

Iraqi children gather around an American soldier.

Iraqi politics is still unsettled and unsettling. No party won a clear majority in the March 2010 elections, and since then, no government has been formed. The two largest Shiite parties, which split before the election, have since reunited, giving them together nearly half the seats in the assembly; but they would still need to make a deal with the Kurdish parties to form a government, and that has not yet happened. A Shiite-Kurdish coalition would parallel the structure of elected governments in Iraq since the U.S. occupation formally ended. But it would further alienate Sunnis, who after previous boycotts finally participated fully in an election, supported the winning party (led by Ayad Allawi)-and yet may find themselves out of power once more.

Associated Press

President Dwight Eisenhower receives a medal from Korean boy scouts in Seoul in 1960.

To convince Iraqis that their government is not about to collapse and fail to protect them, a guarantor is needed. Right now, only the U.S. can offer a credible guarantee. This is the reason that many observers, including Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, expect Iraq's elected leaders to ask for troops past the planned pull-out target. The political class has the most to lose if the shaky edifice it has erected begins to teeter. Its members have also grown accustomed to working with the U.S., often at high levels. The cost to Iraqi politicians of asking the former occupier to stick around is likely to be offset by the tremendous gains in public confidence associated with a prolonged American commitment-especially if they ask early in their own election cycle.

Going Abroad

A look at some U.S. troop deployments overseas, with activeduty military personnel in each country as of March 31.

[CovJump3] AFP/Getty Images
Germany
Military personnel: 52,332

Germany became a key base for American troops during the Cold War; the number of personnel there rose from about 98,000 in 1950 to over 250,000 in 1953, and stayed above 200,000 for almost 40 years. During his Army career, Elvis Presley (above) was in Friedberg from 1958 to 1960.


The U.S. began leasing the 45-square-mile area from Cuba under a 1903 treaty, making it the oldest overseas Navy base-and the only one in a country with no U.S. diplomatic relations. Cuba has refused to accept payments on the lease (at $4,085 a year) since the late 1950s, after Fidel Castro rose to power, claiming the lease is invalid.

[Iraq_Jump] Sgt. Gerardo DeAvila

Japan
Military personnel: 35,562

In 1951, Japan and the U.S. signed a security treaty that allowed the U.S. to keep troops in Japan (giving it a bigger presence in Asia), while Japan got domestic security from the Americans. In 1955, more than 160,000 military personnel were deployed there.

A request in the next year, even after midterm elections in the U.S., will still feel like bad timing for the Obama administration, which would prefer to go into its own run for a second term with Iraq completely off the political agenda. But the risks of rebuffing a serious Iraqi request for troops would be enormous. A negative reply would probably speed up disaster within Iraq, since it would send a message of no-confidence that would frighten Iraqis and reactivate militias. Renewed civil war before a U.S. election would allow a Republican challenger to argue that Obama had taken his eye off the ball in Iraq. By contrast, leaving behind some tens of thousands of troops would carry little domestic cost, at least so long as Iraq remains relatively quiet. Al Qaeda may use the troops' presence as proof of an American plot to occupy Arab lands, but this charge can be balanced by the fact that the request will have come from a democratically elected Iraqi government.

What's more, the U.S. has serious, long-term interests in keeping Iraq stable and on the road to democracy-and in maintaining a role in regional security. The reasons go well beyond Iraq's oil or its proximity to Iran, which remains one of the handful of countries that actively considers itself an enemy of the U.S. An Iraq that devolved back into civil war would heighten regional tensions between Sunnis and Shiites-a state of affairs that was becoming increasingly dangerous when the civil war in Iraq was smoldering before the surge.

Civil war would also increase the risks of Kurdish declaration of independence. This would inflame Turkey, a country that, concerned with the progress of its European Union application, is already looking to Syria and other Middle Eastern states as potential allies more than it has in the past. Then there is the tremendous benefit that a reversal of Iraq's progress would bring to al Qaeda, both as a matter of propaganda and also because they could take advantage of the resulting chaos.

As for democracy, Iraq is only at the beginning of a lengthy, tenuous and risky process of consolidating the rough set of political norms that have been put in place. The first and most important element for making democracy grow is time. Repetition of successful elections and successful government operation is the single best mechanism for convincing both political elites and ordinary people that democracy can work for them. The practical core of democracy, defined functionally, is the peaceful exchange of power between different groups of powerful political players arranged in parties. Each party must believe that, when it is out of power, it is worth waiting for its own turn to govern and share the spoils-or else it would have an interest in breaking the system and reaching for power by nondemocratic means. The more times power changes hands, the greater the odds that the players will come to believe that their chance will indeed come.

The other crucial element of democratic consolidation is the spread of belief in its core ideals: voting, equality and liberty. For these values to be more than mere slogans, there must be security and stability. Order precedes law, not the other way around. Once order is in place, government officials need to respect the decisions of electoral majorities and administer justice fairly and effectively. The presence of U.S. civilians can help provide assurances that the government is operating the way it is supposed to do-and those civilians need the protection of U.S. forces if they are to operate safely in a still-dangerous environment.

South Korea again provides an instructive example. The U.S. left troops in the peninsula after the armistice not to benefit the Korean people, but because it did not trust either North Korea or China. Like Iraq, South Korea had no meaningful history of electoral self-government. Indeed, for the first generation after the war, South Korea was governed by a succession of military dictators-and the U.S. acquiesced, even acting in concert with the governments. No one would have predicted at the time that South Korea-war-torn like Iraq, and in dire need of reconstruction-was a candidate for successful democratization.

Over time, however, South Korea grew economically, and political development came in tandem. In 1987, real elections took place, and since then, South Korea has blossomed into a free and functioning democracy. The presence of U.S. forces provided a background security guarantee throughout that process, one that Koreans have used to good effect.

Today, many South Koreans would like to see U.S. troops leave their country. If the U.S. were to find itself a generation from now in a similar situation in Iraq, that would be cause for celebration. In the meantime, if Iraqis seek continued help, we would be well advised to agree. We broke Iraq, let us remember. And if we have never quite bought it, we have a basic responsibility to help put it back together.


Posted on 08/28/2010 9:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Project Samossa: Did Canada get a wakeup call on Homegrown Islamic terrorism?
Ottawa police on Project Samossa Counterterrorism raids
A tip of the hat to Canadian lawyer and intelligence expert David Harris in Ottawa for this latest episode of home grown terrorism north of the border.
In a series of sweeps in Canada's capital of Ottawa on Wednesday, an RCMP  national security investigation  resulted in the arrests  of three  Muslim Canadian suspects. They are  Hiva Alizadeh , Misbahuddin Ahmed and James Lara. They were allegedly  involved in a plot to create improvised explosive devices  for possible attacks on government offices and Canadian Coalition forces in Afghanistan. The RCMP uncovered evidence including sophisticated computer circuitry and materials for remote bomb making. 
As a report in the Ottawa Citizen noted the individuals arrested harbored Jihadist hatred of Canadian values  and were educated leaders in the Muslim community:
Two of the accused men are professionals - a doctor (and father of three) and an x-ray technician.
The third studied to be an electrical engineer. All are apparently intellectually mature individuals rooted in Canadian life. One even appeared on the reality program Canadian Idol. [See the Vlad Tepes blog Canadian Idol video of fourth  suspect Dr. Khurram Sher,  here]. While much is still to be learned about them, poverty, deprivation and social alienation do not appear to have been part their alleged descent to homicidal hatred.
"This group posed a real and serious threat to the citizens of National Capital Region and Canada's national security," said RCMP Chief Supt. Serge Therriault, head of criminal operations for the capital region, told an Ottawa news conference Thursday.
[Vlad Tepes blog has an edited English language video of RCMP Supt. Therriault's news conference here].
He said an RCMP-led national security investigation employing about 100 joint-forces officers for the past year was forced to move on the suspects this week to prevent "financial support" going to international terrorists for weapons to attack western coalition forces.
Raids on two west Ottawa addresses Wednesday uncovered more than 50 circuit boards police believe were intended to remotely trigger detonators for improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Also seized was what police described as a "vast quantity" of schematics, videos, drawings, instruction books and electronic components for IEDs. Investigators believe the suspects are part of a domestic terrorist group with links to international terrorism. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service was the first to begin investigating the individuals, though no details have been released.
"There are certain individuals in Canada who have adopted an ideology inspired by international terrorist groups who promote heinous violence to achieve their goals," CSIS Assistant Director Raymond Boisvert told the packed news conference. "This case reiterates the serious nature of this threat, which can result in tragic consequences if left unchecked." The spy agency at some point alerted the Mounties, who assigned the "Project Samossa" file to the Ottawa-based Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, one of four across the country dedicated to combating threats to the country. RCMP in British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and other parts of Ontario assisted. The alleged plot was in its early planning stages and "months" away from being operationally viable, Therriault said. "There remained, throughout, a varied degree of imminence to the threat, whether they were going to conduct an attack or not and how it was going to be done," he said.
David Harris, Canadian lawyer and intelligence expert, in a column, "This is our future" published in today's Ottawa Citizen questions whether Canadians have heeded the latest episode in home grown terrorist warnings and the failure of federal authorities to address root causes. He noted:
 
This is your future. That was my wretched thought on behalf of Canadians as I watched Thursday's Project Samossa news conference.
Samossa was the major national security investigation that erupted this week in counterterrorism raids and the arrest of four Muslim-Canadians. The government's charges against three of them imply a wealth of evidence that will shock the conscience of Canadians.
These charges and limited revelations suggest that we could be front-row witnesses to the most vile of manifestations of the Islamist jihad in this country. The allegation is that people living among us and enjoying the immense privileges of Canadian citizenship, are siding with enemy forces aiming to kill and maim our boys and girls serving in Afghanistan -- and maybe residents of Ottawa and other Canadian centres, too.
We shouldn't be surprised.
The Toronto 18 showed us the savagery of the 7th-century war that is being imported into our 21st-century neighbourhoods. Defendants included those who should have been a credit to educated youth. From some we would have expected gratitude of immigrants who had been welcomed to a gentle and generous nation. Canadians' reward was instead a conspiracy to rent Toronto with explosives, and blast our Parliament with invasion and a prime ministerial beheading.
Further hints -- and only hints -- of our growing predicament come from a series of recent convictions.
Think of Momin Khawaja, the handsome Department of Foreign Affairs software consultant and moonlighter in international bomb-making. Then there was Said Namouh, Quebec-based Moroccan bomb-plotter, and the Groupe Fatah Kamel, which drove a French counterterror magistrate to pin Canada as an international centre of North African Islamic extremism.
These threats were headed off by good luck and good security work, but are auguries of future violence, economy-defying instability and further pressure on civil liberties.
But why must this be our future? Because we refuse to heed warnings, learn basic lessons and act in a responsible way to preserve our well-being.
To understand this in the context of Islamic radicalism is to account properly for the main sources of Canada's escalating extremism. These sources are immigration and refugee influxes, and the homegrown extremist phenomenon.
Liberal politicians long ago turned immigration and refugee streams into vote-importing mechanisms. Conservatives continue to do so at the expense of Canadians' safety and tens of billions in net per annum immigration costs, plus attendant and overwhelming security costs. So pronounced is the pathology that not even a terrible recession could prevent Immigration Minister Jason Kenney from hiking immigration and refugee levels from what were already roughly the highest per capita in the world. These levels are too great to allow for reliable vetting in a world where war and ideological struggles rage, and we are a target.

Harris suggests that Canadian  laissez faire attitudes towards the Middle East and politically correct community policing programs may have unwittingly abetted home grown Islamic terrorism as evidenced by this week's Samossa Project disclosures:
As part of this, we must put a halt to Saudi funding and similar fundamentalist influence in Canada's Islamic and other institutions. Most emphatically, Islamist front organizations and fellow-travelling "Islamic rights" groups should be barred from the legitimizing table of security outreach.  [. . .] The useful tool of community policing periodically metastasizes into unhealthy outreach programs with Islamic front organizations, as officials seek to appease and humour the louder -- and sometimes aggressive -- influences.

Harris' teaching points to fellow Canadians should not be lost on Americans whose attention has been diverted by the swirl of controversy over the Ground Zero mosque and similar projects across the US. Outreach by national and local law enforcement and homeland security agencies to Muslim Brotherhood fronts has not stopped home grown threats here. Nor has it revealed the sources of funding of mega mosques by foreign Islamic extremist groups and the funneling of Muslim charity funds to designated foreign terrorist organizations.

Posted on 08/28/2010 10:01 PM by Jerry Gordon

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