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

These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 4, 2013.
Monday, 4 February 2013
A hearse, a hearse, my kingdom for a hearse!

So it wasn't just a hunch. From The Telegraph:

The body of Richard III, slain at the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, has been found buried deep beneath a Leicester car park, scientists confirmed today.

Archaeologists said DNA testing proved "beyond reasonable doubt" that the skeleton was that of the Plantagenet king.

The University of Leicester team described their find as "truly astonishing".

They said the skeletal evidence "provides a highly convincing case for identification as Richard III". They said that the skeleton was the king as far as all scientific tests could prove.

"It is the academic conclusion of the University of Leicester that, beyond reasonable doubt, the individual exhumed at Greyfriars... is indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England," said Richard Buckley, who led the research, to applause.

Richard Taylor, the university's deputy registrar, said: "Today we bear witness to history."

It came 24 hours after an image of the battle-scarred skull of Richard III was released for the first time. Scientists also uncovered the grave site.

The way they found the skeleton suggested the king had been tied when he was buried. There has been extensive damage to the bones, scientists say.

The skeleton had an "unusually slender, almost feminine build for a man" and was aged between the late 20s and early 30s. Richard died aged 32.

Without any "spinal abnormality", the skeleton would have been 5’ 8” high, which was above average height for a medieval man, scientists say.

A total of 10 wounds have been discovered made to the skeleton, including eight on the skull. The injuries suggest the king may have lost his helmet during the battle which saw him deposed by Henry VII.

The skeleton was uncovered last autumn amid the historic foundations of a Franciscan Friary in Leicester, beneath a council car park which is overlooked by Leicester Cathedral.

They will be reinterred early next year at the cathedral, with a visitor centre to be created nearby, which will tell the king's story.

And it's a multi-story.

Teams of experts carried out radio carbon dating, DNA tests and CAT scans and compared notes with experts in weapons and trauma, lifestyle and diet before announcing their findings today.

They have disclosed that the skull appears to have suffered a severe blow.

The body was identified just weeks into a project which began when experts identified the car park as the most likely historical location of the church of Grey Friars, where the King was said to have been buried after his defeat in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

The archaeologists initially described the dig as a "long shot" but uncovered the foundations of a church along with two bodies, one of which would prove to be the King.

As Henry VII's troops dragged the corpse into Leicester its head is said to have struck a stone and broken open.

The remains were dug up last September and Leicester University said there was “strong evidence” that it was Richard III.

The skeleton is not believed to have been buried in either a shroud or a coffin, which although unusual for the time, tallies with historical accounts that suggest he was "irreverently buried" by Henry's forces.

Richard III, depicted by William Shakespeare as a tyrant who murdered two princes in the Tower of London, was killed at the Battle of Bosworth, bringing to an end the two-year dynastic struggle known as the War of the Roses and triggering the reign of the House of Tudor.

Correction: Thirty years not two, thanks to Wally in the comments.

It has been claimed the discovery of Richard's body will lead to a re-examination of his reign and may go some way to rebalancing the largely negative portrayal offered by Shakespeare.

Posted on 02/04/2013 6:53 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 4 February 2013
Frida Ghitis On Reckless Iran, And The Feckless West

From The Miami Herald:

February 4, 2013

Making Iran laugh with U.S. tough talk, no action

Western sanctions are making life difficult in Iran, but at least the West does provide some comic relief to the beleaguered regime. They must be laughing.

The picture of the gray-faced Ahmadinejad cracking a smile, and the dour Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei shaking with laughter beneath his robe, came to me as I accidentally stumbled on a headline from 2006, “Annan: Iran Seriously Considering Nuclear Offer.”

The story, as the title suggests, explains that the then-United Nations Secretary General was feeling optimistic. After meeting with the Islamic Republic’s foreign minister, he thought Tehran was just about to agree to an “incentives package” offered by the Europeans, through their foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium. The prospects were looking good, apparently, but “no specific dates” were given for an official answer.

Those European officials are no longer waiting, because they no longer have their jobs. Also out of their job are Annan and even President Bush, who warned back then that he was starting to lose patience with Tehran.

Fast-forward to this week, and you can see why there must be much amusement in Iran’s halls of power.

Open window

Vice President Joe Biden has just explained that “this window will not be open for an unlimited time.” Hillary Clinton, on her way out the door as secretary of state, declared, “I don’t think the window can remain open for too much longer.” At least the two were on the same page on plans for the window, although the timing, as ever, remains unclear, as Clinton explained. “I’m not going to put days, weeks or months on it.”

The Europeans, too, are struggling with the timing. Solana retired, but his successor, the EU’s Catherine Ashton, said Tehran has not agreed to her latest groundbreaking proposal. The proposal this time was to meet before the end of January. That didn’t happen. Now the mighty West hopes for Iranian agreement to meet in February. There’s no answer at this writing. But the window is sure closing. It will surely shut by the end of February. That’s when the March window might open.

U.N. nuclear officials say they are increasingly concerned about the possible military dimensions of Iranian nuclear activities particularly in locations were the regime is blocking access to inspectors.

Iran, in the meantime, is doing more than guffawing. In a letter to the U.N. nuclear agency, it reported it is installing much more sophisticated enrichment equipment, which will allow it to greatly accelerate the process of developing highly-enriched uranium. Independent experts say this could be another game-changer.

The White House said — wait for it — this is “another provocation by Iran.” You know those harsh words had Iranian leaders quaking in their boots.

A decade later

The U.S., of course, is on record saying it will do whatever it takes — all options on the table, etc, etc. — to stop Iran’s nukes. But there was some confusion about what exactly it is that Washington wants to stop. In his confirmation hearings for the top defense job, Chuck Hagel said he’s committed to “containment,” but later had to correct himself on the crucial point.

Containment would mean allowing Iran to have a nuclear weapon and then trying to make sure it doesn’t use it. That’s exactly the opposite of what the United States and Europe have said for more than a decade.

Speaking of a decade, it’s now 10 years since the start of negotiations on the issue. Perhaps we should plan a way to mark the occasion.

While the West decides its next move, Iran is busy at home and abroad. A ship filled with Iranian weapons was seized in Yemen, and officials in Tehran have confirmed member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, whose constitutionally mandated job is to spread the Iranian revolution, are in Syria, helping Bashar Assad fight in that country’s civil war, with the help of Hezbollah, Iran’s faithful ally in Lebanon.

To be sure, Western sanctions are taking a painful bite out of the Iranian economy. But, contrary to the impressions from Kofi Annan in 2006, and those of many since then, Tehran continues undeterred in its domestic and international machinations in the world’s most dangerous and unstable region. It is no laughing matter.

The warnings from the West sound more stale every day. At least we know that window will close. We don’t know exactly when, but at some point, either the program will stop, or Iran will have that nuclear arsenal the West vowed so solemnly to prevent it from developing.

Read more here:
Posted on 02/04/2013 8:51 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Dem Royal Dry Bones
The 14 authors of the well-known college textbook, Modern Western Civ: From Richard III To Little Richard, are -- to judge  by all the interest shown on the excitable Internet -- not the only ones who are intrigued  by the news that bones found near Leicester (and Bosworth Field) have been DNA-identified as positively belonging to Richard III. Thank god dem royal dry bones were lying under a parking lot, and not under one of the many mosques that could well have been built, in the last decade or two, on top of the grave, for had that happened, there would have been no retrieving of the ricardian remains. For Muslims would never have allowed it, and the abashed British investigators would not have dared to suggest a dig, as they would have, with the same hunches, in the case of a church, a synagogue, a Hindu temple. And we all know why.
Posted on 02/04/2013 9:01 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Samer Shehata Tries To Pull A Fast One On NPR Listeners

Samer Shehata is a presentable, plausible man, now making his way upwards in academic life. A "moderate." But as a "moderate" he is still unable to see how Islam and the habit of mental submission that Islam inculcates, and its collectivism, and the need for Muslims to submit to the will of the Ruler, as long as that ruler is a Muslim, connects to the despotisms that characterize Muslim countries, where Amurath an Amurath succeeds, sometimes with a period of anarchy in-between those amuraths.

I heard him just now on NPR,  a program about Egypt, in which none of the participants dared even to think, much less to express, the connection between Islam, that suffuses Egypt, and the political (and economic, social, moral, and intellectual) failures of that country, that are unlikely to be corrected, but can only get worse. Egypt has more than 83 milion people but can only support about 20 million, even if it were not a society suffused with Islam. As a society suffused with Islam, and that relies for Infidel support -- the Americans have supplied Egypt with about $70 billion in economic and military aid (the latter both quite unecessary, and dangerous), the Europeans have supplied even more. Were that Infidel aid never given, perhaps the Egyptians might have done something abouit their population explosion -- those 83 million are headed toward being 120 million in a decade, but this is something no one will talk about. Why the Western world, where we limit our familiy size for economic reasons,  should keep on transferring huge sums to the Muslims and Arabs who do not limit family size, and who regard the creation of more Muslims as, in part, a political weapon against Infidels, is a question that deserves pondering.

What did Samer Shehata say on NPR that most attracted my notice? It was his remark, made just a bit too quickly, with too much baseless assurance, that there exists "no evidence" that Arab states cannot be "democratic." If by "democratic" he meant something more than mere head-counting -- that is, guarantees of minority rights, and rights for women, and freedom of speech, and freedom of religion -- then there is no evidence at all that the Arab Muslim states can be "democratic." He has it exactly backwards. Of the 22 members of the Arab League, how many have ever been, for any part of their history as nation-states, "democratic"? The monarchies of Morocco and Jordan, the petromonarchies of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Emirates, little Qatar, even the state most pleasing to Westerners, mostly Ibadi Oman, with the best of Arab rulers, Sultan Qaboos? What about the military dictatorship in Algeria, that has been in place ever since the French left in 1962? What about Libya, where a monarchy gave way to a crazed despot, and he was overthrown, and now a kind of anarchy, with tribe against tribe, and city against city, prevails? What about Tunisia, which after independence had an enlightened despot, Habib Bourguiba, determined through his Destour  Party to force Tunisians to be secularised (an Arab version, thus much less systematic and thorough, of Ataturk), followed by an unenlightened and greedier despot, Ben Ali, now followed by the True Believers of Ennahda, a Muslim Brotherhood group, which is held in desperate check by the forces of secularism, such as Moncef Marzouk, and a respected  85-year-old, Caid Essebsi Bey. The only Arab state that has held elections and respected them for long, is Lebanon. And why is that? Lebanon is a special case, because of the size, and power (until recently) of its Christian Maronite population. And the arrangement, among the sects, that assigns certain positions to representatives of certain sects -- based on a 1935 census -- is what keeps Lebanon,  aside from the occasional civil war and civil strife and assassinations of leaders (the Sunni Hariri, the Christian Gemayel, and all kinds of lesser fry, including many journalists killed by Hezbollah under Syrian orders), as quasi-"democratic." And then there is Egypt itself, which was much freer under the intelligent sway of Lord Cromer and his aide  Edward Cecil (see his "Memoirs of An Egyptian Civil Servant") until 1922, and then under the corrupt easygoing Farouk. Many Egyptians are nostalgic for that ancien regime -- see The Yacobian Building -- but what they really miss, and perhaps are unable quit to grasp, is that they miss the Levantines, the Jews, the Armenians, the Greeks, the Italians -- who had lived, sometimes for centuries, in Cairo and Alexandria, and then when Nasser came, he seized all their property, and booted them out, leaving Egypt culturally impoverished, an impoverishment that will be total if the Copts leave in large numbers. And since 1952, it has been since the Coup of the Colonels, a military regime -- Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak -- now followed by the stolid troglodytic Mohamed Morsi, he of the Muslim Brotherhood. And what of Syria, what of Iraq? When were these countries ever democratic? Iraq had those purple-thumbed elections, that so excited George Bush, but the people in Iraq -- not "the Iraqi people" which is misleading -- voted along ethnic and sectarian linies. The enlightened candidates -- such as Mithal al-Alusi -- had no chance.

That is history.

Then there is the matter of the most important thing in the Arab lands. That most important thing, that thing without discussion of which all other discussion is pointless, is Islam. What does Islam teach? It teaches submission. It teaches emulation -- of a seventh-century Arab who is a Model of Conduct ("uswa hasana"), the Perfect Man ("al-insan al-kamil"). Muhammad, whatever else he was,  was not a democrat. Those who most take to heart the Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira cannot possibly believe in legal equality for those of all faiths, for those of both sexes, cannot possibly believe in freedom of speech and religion. They answer to a Higher Authority. They've got much bigger fish to fry.

Does Samer Shehata really believe what he said on NPR? Or does he just hope that people will not stop to think. He doesn't yet realize that a great many people have been forced, by the negligence, ignorance, and cravenness of those who presume to protect and instruct them, both in North America and in Western Europe, to learn about Islam, and about the history of Islamic conquests of many diffferent non-Muslim lands and peoples, and to learn about many other relevant things too, including the natural fit of despotism, and the unnatural fit of democracy in the Western sense, with lands where Islam dominates, and Muslims rule.

But he will.

Posted on 02/04/2013 10:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
The Hagel Hearings

From The Wall Street Journal:

Dorothy Rabinowitz: Chuck Hagel's Defenseless Performance

Nothing could have harmed the nominee for secretary of defense more than his own confirmation answers.

It shouldn't have been surprising that the Senate hearings to confirm Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense ended up shedding light on much more than this nominee and his qualifications. The trumpets had sounded long in advance on the main claim for Mr. Hagel—i.e., that his experience as an enlisted man, a combat veteran, had endowed him with special expertise not given to others, on matters of war, on our nuclear capacity, the size of our defense budget, a capacity to take the measure of Iran and North Korea.

Mr. Hagel had come by this wisdom, we were informed, because he had been at the front, seen men die, and knew, as we were frequently reminded, what the ordinary soldier thought and felt. All of this, the argument ran, gave him a unique capacity to head the Defense Department.

Could rational men and women seriously credit such a claim? The credential has been touted even by Mr. Hagel's devout partisans on the left, delirious over the prospect of so conspicuous a voice of antiwar sentiment as secretary of defense. And of course by the president who chose, by this nomination, to make the dreams of those cadres come true.

The same argument was made for Mr. Hagel in the confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, though it would come less and less often as events took a decidedly disastrous turn for the nominee. Here was an affair sizzling with exchanges that seemed to come straight from a skillful Hollywood script of the old school—the kind whose most improbable scenes feel like gut-wrenching reality.

And reality it was. Here was Mr. Hagel explaining, after hard thought, that he had really meant—when he referred to the current leadership of Iran as "a legitimate government"—that this government had been recognized by the United Nations. "Almost all of our allies have embassies in Iran," he added, in a comment eerily reminiscent of the logic that caused Sarah Palin to tell an interviewer, "You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska."

Matters didn't improve when Mr. Hagel announced, regarding Iran's nuclear capacity, that he supported the president's strong position on "containment." But the administration's policy is not, as Mr. Hagel apparently had yet to learn, containment—it is to prevent Iran's development of nuclear arms.

Nudged by a note handed him by an aide, the nominee corrected himself and declared that in fact the U.S. doesn't have a policy on containment. This was one misstatement too many for Carl Levin—the committee chairman, a Democrat and supporter of Mr. Hagel's nomination—who ended the discussion with his own terse correction: "We do have a position on containment, and that is we do not favor containment."

Now and again as the nominee, under questioning, repeatedly renounced his own former positions, wished aloud that he had edited himself, a Democratic senator or two expressed unhappiness with the harsh tone of the questions put to this veteran who had seen war. Connecticut's Sen. Richard Blumenthal murmured his dismay that a man who had served the country had to endure the kind of inquiries Mr. Hagel had.

Not all that many decades ago, it would not have been considered exceptional that a senator or congressman had served in the military. The halls of Congress were packed with Americans who had seen war. It says something about the political class today that the experience of having served in the military is such a rarity that it is seen, not infrequently, through a distorting lens. In no other period in the country's history would it have been considered unseemly, indeed ungrateful, that a combat veteran nominated for high office should be forced to face aggressive questioning.

Mr. Hagel's status as a martyr to a host of enemies—neoconservative conspirators, right-wing Republican war mongers, the list is long—has been building for a long while. He had, like a handful of Vietnam era veterans turned politicians, returned to a society drenched in the ideology of the 1960s and '70s, in whose view the United States was the chief enemy of humanity. He would become over the years a darling of the left, favorite dove of the Sunday talk shows, cherished above all for his identification as a Republican. Thanks to him, there could be countless reports that brought word that "even the Republican Chuck Hagel said"—whatever he said, it was warming to the hearts of the left.

Still no amount of right-wing conspiracies against Mr. Hagel could have done to the former Nebraska senator what his own astoundingly disastrous performance did. One that revealed far more about his lack of capacity for the job, his confusion, than anyone could have predicted—a display not without its saddening aspects. The vote count shows that Mr. Obama will still probably have his choice of defense secretary, but it will not come without cost to the reputation of this administration.

Of the parties to the hearings, none emerged with as much profit to show for themselves than the Republican interrogators who revealed the character and history of the man the president had proclaimed his ideal candidate to head the Pentagon. In this sustained effort they were remarkable—lethal, fully equipped, and driven by passion clearly beyondpartisan malice. It has been a long time since Republicans showed a fighting temper of this kind, unyielding in its contempt for what the choice of a Hagel represents about core values like the national defense, our stance regarding the most dangerous of our enemies in the world.

If the Hagel hearings had done nothing else—they had in fact done everything else in their revelations, if not the final outcome—they had, in this time of postelection dreariness, shown Republicans come roaring to life. They had been moved to do so by Mr. Obama's nomination of Mr. Hagel—a gift to the Republicans, though perhaps not to the national defense.

Posted on 02/04/2013 12:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Attempts To Pretend That Sharia Law Does Not Exist

You can watch the debate, held at a London university, here. The Muslim denier are Ahmadis, which lends a certain piquancy to their lies because, as Ahmadis,they are nathema to real Muslims who call them "Qadianis" and do not allow them, in Musilm states (as Pakistan) to identify themselves officially as Muslims. Indeed, in Pakistan they are the subject of attacks, even murder, but this doesn't prevent them from attempting to mislead non-Muslims about the contents of Islam, and perhaps -- who knows? -- to mislead themselves. 

Note the largely Muslim audience, there not to listen in the sense of "to take in," but rather simply to hold firmly to their views, to remain resolutely uninterested in anything that might upset the balance of their made-up, brainwashed minds. I've seen such Muslim audiences before, and I suspect you have too. It's a frightening thing, that hopeless fanaticism.

Posted on 02/04/2013 12:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Fayhan Al-Ghamdi, Famous Saudi Cleric, And What He Did To His Daughter, And Why

From FoxNews:

Outrage over Saudi 'blood money' in 5-year-old girl's beating death

February 04, 2013

| Associated Press

Online activists in Saudi Arabia are calling for harsher punishments for child abuse after reports that a prominent cleric received only a light sentence after confessing to the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter.

The social media campaign gaining momentum Sunday is the latest attempt to use the Internet to pressure the kingdom's ultraconservative rulers.

Saudi media reports say Fayhan al-Ghamdi, a frequent guest on Islamic TV programs, was arrested in November on charges of killing the girl. The reports said he questioned the child's virginity.

Saudi media say he was freed last week after serving a short prison term and agreeing to pay $50,000 in "blood money" to avoid a possible death sentence.

The money was presumably offered to the girl's mother or other relatives.

Posted on 02/04/2013 12:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Talking of Richard III ...

Am I the only person nerdy enough to have thought of this?

Posted on 02/04/2013 1:00 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 4 February 2013
Ladyboys, inshallah

Instructive polysexual hadith from Khalifah:

The Messenger of Allah ØµÙ„Ù‰ الله عليه وسلم said: 'The best women of mankind are four: Mariam daughter of `Imraan, Assiya wife of Pharaoh, Khadija daughter of Khuwailid, and Fatima the daughter of the Messenger of Allah.'

Bukhari and Muslim. Narrated from Anas.

Oh what Anas I am -- I couldn't even make the best five. But who are the best men of womankind?

Posted on 02/04/2013 1:49 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 4 February 2013
Iran And Syria: After You, Alphonse. No, You First, My Dear Gaston!
From The Times Of Israel"
  • February 4, 2013

Iran reportedly refuses Assad request to hit back at Israel

Tehran tells Syrian president to ‘take care of your business’ after alleged Israeli air strike; Damascus seen as unable to respond, despite ‘worrying’ seething on Syrian street

February 4, 2013
Saeed Jalili, left, meeting with Bashar Assad in Damascus on Sunday. (photo credit: AP/SANA)
Saeed Jalili, left, meeting with Bashar Assad in Damascus on Sunday. (photo credit: AP/SANA)

Syria’s President Bashar Assad asked Iran to hit back at Israel on its behalf for a reported air strike, an Israeli TV report said Monday night, but the Iranians told him, “You need to take care of your business.”

The unsourced report, on Israel’s Channel 10, said that Iranian officials, who have castigated Israel over the strike and said Israel will come to regret it, were approached by Assad to turn the words of criticism into deeds, but responded that “we’re engaged in a media campaign.”

The TV report came hours after Saeed Jalili, the head of Iran’s National Security Council, said on a visit to Damascus that Israel would “regret the aggression it launched against Syria.” Syria says the raid last Wednesday hit a scientific research center and the US says it hit a convoy of SA-17 surface-to-air missiles headed to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“Just as it regretted its aggressions after the 33-day, 22-day and eight-day wars, today the Zionist entity will regret the aggression it launched against Syria,” Jalili said at a press conference ending a three-day visit to the Syrian capital.

Jalili’s reported rebuffing of Assad represents an about-face from Iran, which has loudly backed Syria.

Earlier in the week, Jalili said, “The Islamic world will not allow aggression against Syria… Syria stands on the front line of the Islamic world against the Zionist regime… The Islamic world must show due reaction to the Israeli aggression.”

Late last month, Iran warned the West against intervening in the ongoing civil war in Syria, with top adviser Ali Akbar Velayati saying that “an attack on Syria is considered an attack on Iran and Iran’s allies.”

In a televised interview Monday, Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij signaled Syria may not be planning to retaliate at all. He said Israel attacked the research center near Damascus because rebels were unable to capture it. He called the rebels Israel’s “tools.”

Freij was asked in an interview with Syrian state TV why Damascus does not retaliate against Israel.

“The Israeli enemy retaliated. When the Israeli enemy saw that its tools are being chased and did not achieve any (of their) goals, they interfered,” he responded. “It was a response to our military acts against the armed gangs,” Freij added. “The heroic Syrian Arab Army, which proved to the world that it is a strong army and a trained army, will not be defeated.”

However, many Syrians are calling on Damascus to attack Israeli interests on the Golan Heights, which borders Syria, Channel 2 Arab affairs analyst Ehud Yaari reported Monday night. Yaari said he was worried by an upsurge in overt demands by Syrians, interviewed on Syrian TV, for attacks on Israel across the Golan.

“I don’t like it,” said Yaari, showing clips of a succession of Syrian civilians repeating the mantra that they “want to open up the Golan front.”

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war. “For 35 years, Syrians have been forbidden by the regime from talking about opening the Golan front. Today, for the first time, [the regime] sent people to demand this,” Yaari noted.

Israel has been bracing for a possible Syrian response to the strike, but has not formally taken responsibility for it. On Sunday morning, Defense Minister Ehud Barak hinted that Israel was involved, however, and Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser, said over the weekend that Israel was responsible. In 2007, Israel reportedly blew up a Syrian nuclear reactor, but never acknowledged responsibility, and Syria did not respond.

The former head of IDF Military Intelligence, Amos Yadlin, warned Monday that the apparent lack of a response so far from the Syrians and their proxy Hezbollah was no indication that there would be no retaliation in the future. Rather, they will choose to take action in a limited, symbolic way, he posited, “in nations across the sea, or by firing rockets with no one taking responsibility.”

Posted on 02/04/2013 2:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Anne-Marie Delcambre Explains The Importance Of The Hadith (In French)

The video is here. The successful blocking, by Muslims, and their collaobrators, of appearances, on French radio and television, by  the well-prepared Anne- Marie Delcambre, should worry you. 

Posted on 02/04/2013 3:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Muslim Immigration To France: You Won't Be Able To Say You Didn't Know

Immigration : Personne ne pourra dire «Je ne savais pas !»


Il y a des calculs qui devraient faire réfléchir.

- En 1968 la population française était de 49.700.000 habitants. Les musulmans en France étaient 610.000 soit 1,23% de la population.
- En 1988 la population française était de 56.000.000 habitants. Les musulmans en France étaient 2.000.000 soit 3,6% de la population.
- En 2009 la population française était de 67.000.000 habitants. Les musulmans en France étaient 8.000.000 soit 11,94% de la population ! (chiffres officiels, mais nous les savons tous en réalité bien plus important)
Puisque tous les 20 ans la population musulmane est multipliée par 3.5, si cette progression n’est pas stoppée et même inversée, il est probable qu'en 2030 la population française sera de 70.000.000 d'habitants. Et que les musulmans en France seront 28.000.000 soit... 40 % de la population française.

Donc, à ce rythme de vagues migratoires, dans 17 ans seulement, près d'un habitant sur deux serait musulman. Consternant pour un pays qui n'a aucune tradition musulmane, pas plus qu’il ne comptait de population arabe en 1930 ? Alors à quoi ressemblera la France dans bientôt 20 ans, puisque l'Islam est une religion conquérante qui refuse toute cohabitation avec d'autres religions ?
- Des églises seront-elles incendiées comme on peut le voir dans certaines parties du monde ?... ça commence !
- Verrons-nous des formations politiques de type HAMAS ou HEZBOLLAH s'implanter en France ?... ça commence !
- La laïcité de l'État sera-t-elle remise en question ?... ça commence !
- L'égalité des droits homme-femme existera-elle toujours, puisqu'elle n'existe pas dans les pays musulmans et qu'elle est déjà remise en cause aujourd'hui même en France dans les banlieues ?... ça commence !
- La viande halal sera-t-elle obligatoire, avec toutes les souffrances que cela représente pour les animaux, égorgés vivants ?... ça commence !
Une chose est absolument certaine : à ce train-là, la France de 2030 ne ressemblera pas à la France de 2010... CE NE SERA DÉJÀ PLUS LA FRANCE !
Regardez seulement autour de vous...
Écoutez les propos de certaines personnes (hommes, femmes et enfants) dans les rues, les transports en commun...
Regardez et écoutez attentivement les bulletins d'informations (Télévisions et Radios)...
Lisez la Presse, les pages "faits divers" et les autres...
Maintenant, réfléchissez sereinement en ayant pleinement conscience de ce que sera alors la vie de nos enfants, de nos petits-enfants... quand nous ne serons plus là !
Et si vous pensez que c'est utile, alors transférez cet article à un maximum de personnes autour de vous.
Plus tard, personne ne pourra dire : « Je ne savais pas !... »
Posted on 02/04/2013 3:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
A Musical Interlude: Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir (Jean Sablon)

Listen here.


Les souvenirs sont là pour m'étouffer
De larmes, de fleurs, de baisers
Oui je revois les beaux matins d'avril
Nous vivions sous les toits tout en haut de la ville.

Vous qui passez sans me voir
Sans même me dire bonsoir
Donnez-moi un peu d'espoir ce soir...
J'ai tant de peine
Vous, dont je guette un regard
Pour quelle raison ce soir
Passez-vous sans me voir ?
Un mot, je vais le dire : "Je vous aime"
C'est ridicule, c'est bohème,
C'est jeune et c'est triste aussi
Vous qui passez sans me voir
Me donnerez-vous ce soir
Un peu d'espoir ?

O, si

Vous qui passez sans me voir
Sans même me dire bonsoir
Donnez-moi un peu d'espoir
Adieu... Bonsoir...

Posted on 02/04/2013 3:28 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Listen to an Interview with Israeli Amb. (ret.) Yoram Ettinger on 1330AMWEBY, Tuesday Feb. 5, 2013

Listen to the latest in a series of international discussions on developments in the Middle East on 1330AMWEBY, Pensacola, Florida. This is the latest program in the periodic round table discussions led by “Your Turn” host Mike Bates and Jerry Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review and author of The West Speaks. Our guest will be Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger of The Ettinger Report and Director of The Second Initiative. He will speak at a series of events co-sponsored by B’nai Israel Synagogue and First Pentecostal Church, Pensacola, Florida over Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 15th to 17th 2013.  

Ambassador Ettinger is a noted lecturer, writer and analyst of Israel and US relations. A graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, he also received a Masters degree from UCLA.   Ettinger has been a consultant to Israel’s Cabinet Members, to Israeli legislators and to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on US-Israel bilateral relations, US policy and Mideast politics.  He has briefed US legislators and their staffs. Ettinger has been frequently interviewed on Israeli TV and radio and published in Israel's dailies, as well as US radio stations and dailies. He is Executive Director of "Second Thought – A U.S. Israel Initiative," dedicated to generate out-of-the-box thinking on US-Israel relations, Middle East politics, the Palestinian issue, Jewish-Arab demographics, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. His columns appear frequently in Israel Hayom in Israel and USA Today. He currently serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of Mekorot, Israel’s Water Company.

The WEBY program will air Tuesday, February 5, 2013 during the 5 to 6:00PM CST (6:00 to 7:00PM EST) segment. You may listen live here.

 Among the topics to be discussed:

•    The emerging coalition from the January 22, 2013 General Knesset Elections;
•    Proposals for possible annexation of  Area C  in Judea and Samaria;
•    President Obama’s nomination of former Nebraskan Senator Chuck Hagel as US Secretary of  Defense and Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan;
•    Impact of the IAF Syrians raids that hit a convoy with advanced SA-17 mobile anti-aircraft missile systems bound for Hezbollah and the destruction of a CW/BW  complex at a Syrian military research and development center;
•    Israel’s ability to defend its civilian population from retaliation by Iran via its proxies and allies Hezbollah, Hamas  and Syria;
•    The  problematic US shipment of F-16’s and M1A1 tanks to arm Egypt with a Muslim Brotherhood President  in the face of opposition riots, and a failing economy  and inability to feed its own people;
•    The dangers to Israel and the West of a emerging alliance between the Shiite Mahdist Iran and Muslim Brotherhood dominated Egypt;
•    Whether  the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan can survive a threat from a rising Muslim Brotherhood and a restive Palestinian majority;
•    The geo-resource implications of Israel’s development and production of significant offshore natural gas fields and onshore shale oil  deposits with American energy partners; and,
•    Israel’s changing demographics with rising Jewish and stable Arab fertility.

An article based on this 1330AMWEBY international round table discussion will appear in the February 2013 edition of the New English Review.

Posted on 02/04/2013 3:49 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 4 February 2013
Robert Benchley Society Announces A Discovery

1914 piece by Robert Benchley discovered

Sept. 9, 1914, New York Tribune, "The Conning Tower"

Thanks to independent historian Stuart Y. Silverstein of Los Angeles and Chicago, the editor of Not Much Fun, the Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker, we can now read something Robert Benchley wrote in 1914 for "The Conning Tower" of the New York Tribune. Benchley was just two years out of Harvard, and the Algonquin Round Table was five years off on the horizon.

The piece, "Blank Form To Be Handed to Returning Tourists," was submitted to the editor of the column, Benchley's mentor, Franklin P. Adams. As all "contribs" to "The Conning Tower" it was signed with Benchley's initials, not his byline. It ran Sept. 9, 1914. Mr. Silverstein says, "Note that it refers to the First World War - which started July 28, 1914 - just 6 weeks earlier. This item appeared less than a week before Benchley's 25th birthday."

Thanks, Mr. Silverstein, for digging up what we believe is the first appearance of Benchley in a New York newspaper, and sharing it with us.

(If the image is hard to read, here is a transcription)

Blank Form To Be Handed to Returning Tourists
Please fill in blanks and return with photograph showing yourself with mouth open.
The first inkling I had of the war was in _____. I was with my _____ (and my _____) at the time, and we had just come from a delightful trip through _____. One evening, the _____th of _____, we heard _____ and I said to our _____friend--, "_____?" He replied: "_____!" Immediately the streets were thronged with enthusiastic _____, all singing "_____." We had time only to get our _____ and stand _____ hours in the station for the train to _____. We were grossly insulted on the border by a _____ who insisted on _____. On reaching _____ we had to stand like cattle before the _____ left for _____. I tell you, the old Statue of Liberty looked pretty good to me. I don't know, of course, but take it from me, the war won't be over until one side is victorious and that won't be for _____.
R. C. B.

Posted on 02/04/2013 4:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Kahlili reports North Koreans may be among 40 dead at alleged Fordow Blast in Iran

 Fordow Nuclear Enrichment site near Qom, Iran

World Net Daily (WND) was tagged “a CIA mouthpiece” by IRNA, the Islamic Regime’s official news agency.  IRNA’s accusations aside,  the government news agency reported verbatim the  essence of various  WND articles  by Reza Kahlili about the mysterious explosions at the Fordow enrichment facility deep in a mountain near Qom.  Reza Kahlili is an ex-CIA spy and a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The IRNA reports may be a  back handed means of  confirming the  catastrophic  explosion  that  was alleged to have destroyed many centrifuges, trapping over 200 persons  underground along with supplies of 20 percent enriched uranium.

Among the 40 dead according to a source in the security detail at Fordow were North Koreans.  North Koreans  and  Iranian Revolutionary Guards  may have been among those killed  at the Syrian Scientific Studies Research Center  (SSRC)near Damascus that the IAF attacked last Tuesday.   The SSRC facility held both CW/BW that were targeted  at risk of transfer to proxies like Hezbollah or seized by rebel Muslim Brotherhood  or al Qaeda militias fighting the Assad regime in Syria.  Moreover, during the run up to the September 2007 IAF raid (Operation Orchard) that destroyed the nuclear reactor and bomb factory at Deir es-Zor, Syria  pictures were taken of North Korean personnel.  This latest Kahlili report demonstrates the continuing collaboration of North Korea, Iran and Syria developing unconventional nuclear, chemical and biological WMD.

Kahlili’s revelations, when confirmed, present a deepening picture of the severe impact   the alleged blast at Fordow may have on Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.    Among the new revelations from his sources are:

The bodies of 11 of the technicians and scientists are beyond recognition, a member of the security forces at the facility told WND. According to the source, 60 others are in critical condition and have been transferred to the central base of the 27th Division of Mohammad Rassool Allah. The base, between Tehran and Qom, is equipped with a modern medical facility.

At the time of the explosions, the source said, 203 Iranian scientists and technicians along with 16 North Koreans had been logged in at the site, though the initial report listed 240 people.

The day before the explosions, the North Koreans had brought in new equipment, described by the source as touch-screen monitors the size of TVs that were installed in the monitoring room and some new parts that were installed in the centrifuges before the start of the enrichment process.
[. . .]
The source said many of the centrifuges have been destroyed and rescuers have still not accessed the reserves of the stock of 20-percent enriched uranium to assess the level of radiation.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has not visited the site since the explosions despite media rumors, the source said. Because the regime’s Ministry of Defense covers the project at Fordow, officials of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization were allowed to visit it Jan. 5.
[. . ]
Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, representatives of the supreme leader and intelligence officers from both the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards have visited parts of the site that have been cleared as secure. A counterintelligence committee has been formed to investigate the incident, which already has been called an act of sabotage, with Israel the prime suspect.

Perhaps the alleged Fordow enrichment facility blast may have prompted   Iran’s Foreign  Minister Ali Akbar Salehi  at the Munich International Security Conference to suggest that the Islamic regime might entertain direct talks with the US over its nuclear weapons development program. Salehi suggested  that   the US gave up its “contradictory approach”, an allusion to “keeping all options on the table”.   Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak speaking at the same Munich Security Conference said Israel is serious in its resolve to stop Iran and would continue to "keep all options on the table". 

Posted on 02/04/2013 6:14 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 4 February 2013
The Islamic Republic Of Iran's Bigshots Accuse Each Other

From The New York Times:

Feb. 4, 2012

Top Iranian Politicians Exchange Accusations

TEHRAN — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad escalated a bitter political fight this week with Iran’s most influential political family by disclosing secret film recordings of what he purported were fraudulent business deals.

During a Sunday session of Parliament, broadcast on state radio, Mr. Ahmadinejad singled out the head of the Parliament, Ali Larijani, a political rival with strong links to influential Shiite Muslim clerics and one of several brothers who have held top positions in the Iranian government.

His older brother, Sadegh, 52, heads Iran’s judiciary, while another brother, Mohammad Javad, a Berkeley-educated mathematician, is also a judiciary official.

On Monday, a conservative newspaper, Kayhan, hinted that the nation’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had been forced to step in to prevent both men from giving potentially damaging news conferences, which were both canceled at the last minute.

This was not the first time Ayatollah Khamenei has been forced to intervene in this feud. In October, he issued an edict aimed at stopping the infighting, saying that those creating divisions before the June 14 presidential elections “betray” the country.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, who went to the Parliament in a failed attempt to head off the impeachment of his labor minister, Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, said Mr. Larijani and his fellow lawmakers had obstructed the government, stepped beyond their constitutional boundaries and written letters ordering the annulment of government decisions.

Instructed by Mr. Larijani to stick to the subject of the impeachment, Mr. Ahmadinejad said, “Don’t order me to close my mouth because you say it’s the law.”

With that, Mr. Ahmadinejad, who for years has threatened to reveal the names of corrupt officials, played a video clip of a conversation in which another of Mr. Larijani’s brothers, Fazel, appeared to discuss the purchase of a state company under favorable terms, the semiofficial Tabnak Web site reported. While Fazel Larijani used to head a medical association in Iran, his current position is unclear.

The public accusation, rare in Iran, could signal a new phase in an already intense conflict between Mr. Ahmadinejad, who represents a powerful group of young, ambitious politicians, and Mr. Larijani, who is the official representative of the holy city of Qum, the center of Shiite scholarship in Iran.

Mr. Ahmadinejad said his associate, Saeed Mortazavi, 45, was also at the taped meeting. In January, Mr. Mortazavi, was dismissed as the head of Iran’s enormous social welfare organization under pressure from Parliament. Some days later, however, he was rehired by the president in the same position, this time as official caretaker.

During the conversation, read out in part by Mr. Ahmadinejad to astonished lawmakers, Fazel Larijani appears to try to use his family connections to buy a factory from the social welfare organization. He promises leniency for Mr. Mortazavi, the former Tehran prosecutor who faces several criminal proceedings over accusations that he played a role in the deaths of three protesters in a substandard prison in 2009.

Mr. Mortazavi was arrested Monday evening, the Fars news agency reported, though no reason was given.

“These are audio and video, and the tape is clear,” Mr. Ahmadinejad is quoted as saying by the Iranian Students’ News Agency. “If the honorable Parliament speaker sees fit, we can turn over the 24 to 25 hours to you,” he said of the recordings. On Monday, Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency, a mouthpiece for Mr. Ahmadinejad, deepened the split by publishing the audio tape on its Web site.

Ali Larijani, cheered on by the Parliament, which has lost nearly every serious political battle with the president, silenced the room, saying, “Let him tell his words. If there is anything about my family, then let him talk about it.”Mr. Larijani said it was a “mafia film” and recalled how he had a meeting with Mr. Ahmadinejad’s estranged brother, Davoud. “He said many things against you,” Mr. Larijani told the president, “about economic corruption, about your inner circle and your relations with foreign countries.”

For his part, Fazel Larijani strongly denied any wrongdoing, saying that while he did appear in the clip, the words were not his, but rather had been added in a voiceover. Calling Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Mortazavi “mafialike individuals,” he said he would sue them both for “spreading lies and disturbing public opinion.”

On Monday, several officials criticized Mr. Ahmadinejad and Ali Larijani, accusing them of lacking self-control and bringing shame on the country. “They broke the leader’s heart and gave the friends of the Islamic republic almost a seizure,” said Mojtaba Zolnour, a special consultant to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, the semiofficial Iranian Labor News Agency reported. “They provided ammunition for the foreign media on the eve of our election.”
Posted on 02/04/2013 10:00 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 4 February 2013
Brennan A Menace As Head Of CIA

Physically Brennan could play one of those pluguglies who serves as some boxer's manager, or a minor gangster who fixes matches, in one of those 1930s movies.

Mentally, he is as coarse in his comprehension of the universe as his outward appearance suggests.

Here is Andrew McCarthy discussing Brennan's inability, or unwillingness, to grasp the meaning, and the menace, of Islam which, after all, is one of the most important things one can ask, in 2013 (and years following) of a Director of the C.I.A.:"

Oppose Brennan for CIA Director

Posted By Andrew C. McCarthy at Ordered Libery (PJ Media) On February 4, 2013

To cut to the chase, a country that was serious about its national security would never put John Brennan in charge of its premier intelligence service.

Of course, it is by no means clear that the United States is any longer a serious country in this regard. Serious countries do not fund, arm and “partner with” hostile regimes. They do not recruit enemy sympathizers to fill key governmental policy positions. They do not erect barriers impeding their intelligence services from understanding an enemy’s threat doctrine – in conscious indifference to Sun Tzu’s maxim that defending oneself requires knowing one’s enemies. All of these malfeasances have become staples of Obama policy, under the guidance of Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism guru.

Still, the installation of a Beltway operator whose métier is misinformation as director of central intelligence would be an epic mismatch of man and mission. It would expand unseriousness to new frontiers of self-inflicted peril.

The reason is as elementary as it gets: The purpose of intelligence is to see what your enemy is trying to hide, to grasp how your enemy thinks, and how he cleverly camouflages what he thinks. That, to be certain, is the only security against stealthy foes who specialize in sabotage, in exploiting the liberties that make free societies as vulnerable as they are worth defending.

Mr. Brennan, to the contrary, is the incarnation of willful blindness. His tenure as Obama’s top national security advisor has been about helping our enemies throw sand in our eyes and thus enabling the sabotage.

As I detail in The Grand Jihad, which recounts the Muslim Brotherhood’s history, ideology, and self-proclaimed “civilization jihad” against the West, sabotage is the Brotherhood’s defining practice. Indeed, “sabotage” is the word the Brothers themselves use to describe their work. It appears in an internal memorandum, which elaborates that the organization sees its mission in the United States as “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Besides that long-term goal, the Brotherhood’s network of American affiliates have pursued the more immediate aim of materially supporting Hamas, a formally designated terrorist organization to which the provision of material support is a felony under federal law.

None of that is new. It was not merely well known but had been proved in court by the Justice Department a year before Obama took office. I refer to the Justice Department’s 2008 Hamas financing prosecution, the Holy Land Foundation case. Yet, counterterrorism czar Brennan remains undeterred, a driving force of the Obama administration’s “Islamic outreach” – a campaign to give Islamist organizations influence over U.S. policy. That several of those organizations were proved in the HLF case to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American network is clearly of no moment.

Two such organizations are the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). They were among a slew of Islamist groups who wrote to Brennan in October 2011 to demand a purge of information about Islamist ideology that was being used to train U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agents. Much of that information was developed in federal investigations that have led to the convictions of violent jihadists. Nevertheless, the Obama administration has slavishly complied (see, e.g., here and here).

Understand: CAIR and ISNA, though never indicted, were proved to be conspirators in the Brotherhood’s Holy Land Foundation scheme to promote and finance Hamas. In fact, the FBI formally cut ties with CAIR as a result of the HLF case (although why they had ties with CAIR in the first place remains baffling). The training materials the Islamist groups insisted be removed include documentation of the fact that terrorism committed by Muslims is driven by an ideology rooted in Islamic scripture.

That this irrefutable fact makes us uncomfortable renders it no less a fact. Maybe the State Department and the White House press office have the luxury of trading in convenient fictions in order to reduce international tensions. Not intelligence agencies. The point of intelligence – a bedrock of national security – is to see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.

Here is how it is: Islamic supremacism, the sharia-based ideology of Islamists, is an interpretation of Muslim doctrine that is entirely mainstream among the world’s Muslims. That is why Islamists are winning elections in the Middle East even as they are found aligning with violent jihadists. Islamic supremacism is, in fact, widely promoted by the Brotherhood, and by such tentacles of its American network as CAIR and ISNA, when they are not otherwise deceptively disavowing its existence.

This Islamist ideology is incorrigibly anti-Western and anti-Semitic. It is deeply hostile to principles of equality and individual liberty (free speech, freedom of conscience, privacy, economic freedom, etc.) that undergird our Constitution, the American conception of civil rights, and the West’s conception of human rights.  Understand Islamist ideology and you will readily understand the ferocity of Islamic resistance to American efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East – not merely jihadist resistance but broad Islamic resistance.

Yet, in a propaganda campaign reminiscent of those waged by the Nazis and the Soviets, Islamists and their fellow travelers (Brennan-types who might be thought of as “anti-anti-Islamists”) purport to be champions of human rights. When it suits them, they even feign reverence for individual liberties (particularly when it comes to the rights of Muslim in America … but don’t you dare ask them how non-Muslims fare in, say, Saudi Arabia).

The counter to such a propaganda campaign is a job for intelligence agencies. The point of having a sprawling intelligence community on which American taxpayers annually lavish $55 billion per year – far more than the vast majority of countries spend on national defense – is precisely to see through the deceptions of those who mean us harm, to perceive the threats against us for what they are. That the competent performance of this essential function may be fraught with political complications is supposed to be a challenge for our politicians, not our intelligence agents. The latter’s mission of unearthing hidden and often excruciating truths is hard enough.

Brennan’s agenda is the antithesis of the intelligence mission. His goal has been to portray our enemies as a small, unthreatening fringe of charlatan “violent extremists,” who kill wantonly and are unconnected to any “legitimate” Islam. Thus, he maintains for example that the only “legitimate” interpretation of the “tenet of Islam” known as jihad is: a “holy struggle … to purify oneself or one’s community.”

Even taken at face value, Brennan’s assertion is absurd. There is between Islam and the West no common understanding of the good, and thus no consensus about “purity.” In Islam, to “purify” something means to make it more compliant with sharia, Islam’s legal code and societal framework. Sharia is anti-freedom and anti-equality, so to purify oneself in an Islamic sense would necessarily mean something very different from what we in the West would think of as struggling to become a better person.

But there is an even more fundamental reason not to take Brennan’s remarks at face value: they run afoul of what mainstream Islam itself says about jihad. Have a look at Reliance of the Traveller, the popular sharia manual (it is available on Amazon). It is quite straightforward on the matter: “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” Reliance, you should know, has been expressly endorsed by al-Azhar University in Egypt (Islam’s center of learning since the tenth century) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (the Brotherhood’s America-based Islamist think-tank). It is a lot more authoritative than John Brennan’s wishful meanderings. Maybe the president actually thinks Brennan knows more about Islam than do these scholars who have spent their lives steeped in Islamic doctrine and jurisprudence. I have my doubts … and, judging from the profound influence of these scholars, so do many millions of Muslims.

In Brennan’s world we’re to believe that holy war is not much different from the struggle to remember to brush after every meal. In Brennan’s world, there is also no need to fret over anti-American terrorists who return to the jihad with alarming regularity once they are released from Guantanamo Bay. After all, Brennan observes, common criminals have high recidivism rates, too. Mass-murderers, pick-pockets … as they say in the administration, “What difference does it make?”

And then there’s the skill of offending our friends while enabling our enemies. Brennan refers to Jerusalem, the Israeli capital, as “al-Quds.” That is the name used by Islamists who reject the Jewish state’s right to exist, who claim Jerusalem and the rest of Israel as their own. In fact, as Brennan undoubtedly knows, it was Ayatollah Khomeini who denominated Iran’s annual ritual of anti-Israeli protest as “al-Quds Day.” Moreover, the Islamic Republic, which has repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the map, calls its most lethal terrorist operatives the “al-Quds” forces.

Brennan’s sense of outrage, unnoticeable in response to slights against a faithful U.S. ally, is instead reserved for the “ignorant feelings” of Americans riled by jihadist attacks against our country. For Brennan, Americans’ anger at Islamists, our perception that the ideology that breeds terrorists is just as much a problem as the terrorists themselves, is “Islamophobia” – a smear cleverly concocted by Islamists to deflect examination. Brennan claims to have seen Islamophobia rear its racist head in the public reaction to the Fort Hood attack – the worst jihadist mass-murder in America since 9/11, but one the Obama administration prefers to think of as “workplace violence.”

Brennan claims that Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese terror militia, is a “very interesting organization,” whose “moderate elements” have evolved it from “purely a terrorist organization” into a political party whose members now serve in the Lebanese government. This, again, is rose-tinted nonsense, bespeaking breathtaking ignorance about the history and operations of jihadists who, until 9/11, had killed more Americans than any other terror network. Hezbollah has never been “purely a terrorist organization.” Like the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Brennan-influenced Obama administration similarly sees as “moderate” (even “largely secular”), Hezbollah has always seen terrorism as one item in a varied menu. For three decades, it has also specialized in media campaigns, social welfare work, lawfare, infiltration of academe, and political activism. Its objective – again, like the Brotherhood’s – is to advance the Islamic revolution at the expense of non-Muslims by any method that shows promise under the circumstances.

Hezbollah is part of the Islamist vanguard waging a global campaign against liberty. But with their Brennan blinders on, the Obama administration chooses not to see it. They see “moderates” committed to participating in a “political process.” This same thinking has led the administration to issue a visa to an admitted member of the Blind Sheikh’s terrorist organization (the Islamic Group) so he could come to the White House with other newly minted Egyptian “parliamentarians” to discuss U.S. policy in the Middle East. This mindset also explains why the administration negotiates with the Taliban, just as it negotiated with the terrorists who murdered American troops in Karbala – ultimately releasing the ringleader, Ali Mussa Daqduq.

There may be a place in government, even in the intelligence community, for discrediting our enemies – for conducting operations that highlight their excesses and making them appear illegitimate in the eyes of those whose allegiance they seek to win. There is no place, however, for deceiving the American people by politicizing intelligence. That Brennan specialty, an exhaustive effort to miniaturize the threats against our nation and appease the president’s Islamist allies, is the antithesis of what we have a CIA for.

To be sure, I have no illusions that senate Republicans will do the right thing by the country and block Brennan’s nomination to run the CIA. This is not Ronald Reagan’s Republican party. That was a party that looked at America’s enemies and said, “We win, you lose”; a party that was unafraid to wage ideological battle against enemy ideologies, regardless of the inevitable caterwauling of the enemies’ sympathizers. Today’s very different Republicans vote to arm and fund the Muslim Brotherhood; they endorse sharia constitutions as “democracy”; and they get exercised not over the infiltration of pro-Islamists in our government but over the temerity of a bare handful of conservatives to raise concerns about that infiltration.

Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing last week only bolstered concerns that he is utterly unfit to serve as secretary of defense. Yet, some Republicans have announced that they will vote for him anyway, and some others who purport to oppose him have signaled that they have no intention of mounting a filibuster, the only procedure that could derail him. Consequently, they’ve ensured that he will be confirmed. So let’s not kid ourselves: senate Republicans who will let Hagel take control of the defense department, and who just joined Democrats in a 94-3 landslide confirmation of John Kerry – a devotee of Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood empowerment strategy – are not going to put up a fight over Brennan.

But that will not alter reality any more than Brennan’s whitewashed Islam alters the reality of Islamic supremacism. The fact will remain: If intelligence is to be politicized so that we let our guard down, then the United States would be better off with no CIA than with a CIA headed by John Brennan.

Posted on 02/04/2013 10:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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