Posts Tagged ‘Israel’
Debunking the Palestine Lie
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It’s about time someone from the GOP finally came out and said it! Of course, the Palestinians are calling the remark “racist” (they know how to push American’s buttons, don’t they?). One problem with that claim: Palestinians aren’t a “race”. They’re Arabs from Jordan and Syria who claim to be from a non-existent state called “Palestine” that never was. And instead of going back to their home countries, they’ve kept themselves in a perpetual “refugee” state for 60 years to garner world sympathy.
Gingrich staunchly defended his remarks at tonight’s GOP debate when Romney attacked him for them.
He has also promised to appoint John Bolton as his Secretary of State.
Chalk up two points for Gingrich.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said the Palestinians are an “invented” people and the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process is “delusional.”
The former Speaker of the House made his comments this week in an interview with cable network The Jewish Channel, which posted excerpts online Friday.
“I believe that the Jewish people have the right to have a state, and I believe that the commitments that were made at a time,” Gingrich said when asked whether he considers himself a Zionist. “Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it’s tragic.”
Asked about peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Gringrich said, “I think it’s delusional to call it a peace process.”
“We have an armed truce with a Palestinian Authority that’s relatively weak. And on its flank is a Hamas authority which may become relatively weak because it can’t deliver anything. But both of which represent an enormous desire to destroy Israel,” he said. “Frankly, given their school system and the hatred they teach in their schools, often with money that comes from us through the United Nations, I mean I think there’s a lot to think about in terms of how fundamentally you want to change the terms of debate in the region.”
Gingrich is right in this. [...]
The Palestinian nation was invented as a tool of the jihad against Israel. Instead of tiny Israel surrounded by huge and hostile Arab states, the picture suddenly changed to the powerful Israeli war machine victimizing an even tinier people.
I’m extremely surprised to see a presidential candidate affirming this. It is remarkable to see this kind of honesty and clarity from a politician on an issue that has been so thoroughly obfuscated. I’m just sorry that it was Gingrich, who has been such a trimmer and coward under fire in the past.
Considering the fact that he used his addresses on both Passover and Rosh Hashanah to insult the jews and praise the anti-Semitic “Arab Spring” uprisings, who can really be surprised that he would deliberately butcher the festival of lights (can you imagine him treating Ramadan with the same disrespect)?
Even when blatantly pandering for the Jewish vote after stabbing their Israeli compatriots in the back time and again, Obama can’t bother to get it right.
“We never need an excuse for a good party.” So said President Barack Obama last night as he ushered in Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, at the White House. Unlike the slowpoke Jews, who light only one candle the first night, increasing that number by 1 each of the eight nights of the holiday, Obama lit all eight. But that hardly matters since Hanukkah doesn’t officially begin until the evening of December 21, which is two weeks from now.
Some will accuse Obama of getting the date wrong, as he did when he wrote “2008” next to his signature in the guestbook at Westminster Abbey earlier this year. But this video clip provides evidence that the president knew full well what he was doing this time.
So why did he jump the gun on the actual start of Hannukah? Hey, the guy is busy! Who knows what his calendar will be like two weeks from now? He’s got important campaigning to do. Besides, it’s not as though we’re talking about Ramadan here.
[W]ith unemployment at 8.6 percent, and with many having already quit looking for a job, I doubt many Americans would be heartened to hear the president saying he ‘never need[s] an excuse for a good party.’
As for the party, Hannukah is customarily celebrated by the eating of latkes, potato pancakes fried in hot oil. I wonder if the ever-vigilant First Lady saw to it that White House chef Sam Kass substituted fruit, which is an “any time” food.
The Appeaser-in-Chief has spoken.
Unbelievable. He takes the “threat” of political opponents at home far more seriously than threats to our nation’s security.
The Obama administration is pressuring Congress to ease the potential impact of crippling sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank, arguing that the restrictions will drive up oil prices and wind up being a boon for Tehran and its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
In a plea to House and Senate negotiators crafting a broad defense bill, the administration has asked for substantive changes to a provision that would target foreign financial institutions that do business with the Central Bank of Iran, including a six-month delay for all the penalties. But the chief sponsors of the sanctions, which the Senate resoundingly backed last week on a 100-0 vote, are resisting the request.
The penalties are “tough, responsible and, most importantly, bipartisan,” the two lawmakers wrote. “It provides the administration another key tool to curb Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, while keeping oil markets stable and encouraging other nations to reduce Iranian oil purchases. With the support of every single United States senator, it needs no alternations.”
Lawmakers said they hope to complete work on the massive, $662 billion defense bill by the end of the week.
Tougher sanctions against Iran have widespread support in Congress, reflecting concerns not only for U.S. national security but ally Israel’s as well. Two weeks ago, the Obama administration announced a new set of penalties against Iran, including identifying for the fire in its current form because it would undermine its effort to bring international pressure on Iran. He also warned that instead of penalizing Tehran, the sanctions could have the opposite effect by boosting oil prices and benefiting Iran financially.
“Iran’s greatest economic resource is its oil exports,” Geithner wrote. “Sales of crude oil line the regime’s pockets, sustain its human rights abuses and feed its nuclear ambitions like no other sector of the Iranian economy.”
Kirk said he has had discussions with oil suppliers who say production is set to double with the wars ending in Iraq and Libya. Kirk also said last week that Saudi Arabia’s ambassador assured him they were willing to increase production.
The Republican senator said the administration’s opposition was a “miscalculation on the part of the president’s re-election campaign” that the congressional effort would result in higher gas prices for voters next year.
Short answer: very likely, if Obama has anything to do with it. I will be very surprised if Israel isn’t at war for its survival within a year.
Not since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War has the Middle East experienced such radical change. Dictators have fallen in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen; Syria is suffering civil war; and rebellion is cooking in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait.
But with several revolutions behind us, the question remains of whether the revolutions will result in democracy or radical Islamic rule. In western eyes, democracy means the freedom to elect your government representative, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of mind.
But what happens when in the name of freedom and through free elections the people choose radical political parties? Will their freedom last or will the freedom to vote remain the only free choice there is? Political Islam is riding the wave of democracy all the way to victory. Wherever we see revolution in North Africa and the Middle East, the rise of political Islam follows. It’s all done in a democratic fashion with free elections, but the end result is the rise of political Islam.
Some Islamic parties are more moderate than others, but at the end of the day, their goal is Islamic domination, and Islam is not a tolerant religion.
Post-revolution countries, such as Libya and Tunisia, are struggling to rebuild and find the right balance between religion, politics and newly found freedom. Yet under growing Islamic control, Christians and liberals fear for their freedom and rights.
In Tunisia, the birth bed of Arab Spring revolutions where the “moderate” Islamic party won 40% of the vote in free elections, liberals and Islamists faced off this weekend. Thousands of Islamist supporters swooped on central Tunis on Saturday to confront liberal demonstrators rallying against extremism as MPs were drafting a new constitution for the country. The protest was partly a response to ongoing demonstrations at a university outside the capital, where Islamists disrupted courses, demanding a stop to mixed-sex classes and for female students to wear the full-face veil, or niqab.
Egyptian Copts, the Middle East’s biggest Christian community, are fearful of what an Islamist landslide in the country’s election will mean for their community. “All Coptics are very worried. We didn’t expect this,” said Girgi Szaki, a 42-year-old engineer with two children. “We wanted some liberals to be elected. In the other stages, maybe there’ll be a change.” Many Christians are now saying the Mubarak era was better than now.
US’ Secretary of State Clinton said that promoting democracy is in America’s interest – “Americans believe that the desire for dignity and self-determination is universal.” Moreover, democratic governments tend to be more stable, peaceful, and prosperous she added.
Is this naïve approach in line with the events we see in the Middle East? Or is democracy abused to allow the rise of radical Islam?
There is no doubt that people all over the world deserve freedom. But rocking the explosive region of the Middle East and North Africa is not the way to achieve that. We need to work with current leaders of Arab countries and African countries, encourage change and reform, and promote democracy and freedom. Seeing the events of Arab Spring, many leaders are more open to concessions and are willing to make changes in a responsible manner.
We need to work with leaders of Africa’s major countries like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and more. These countriesrepresent a growing powerful economic base, and the West should foster relations and promote democratic reforms for the people in those countries.
In places like Egypt where elections brought radical political Islam to power, we need to do what we can to make sure minorities freedoms remain in place. US foreign assistance to Egypt is set to be over 1.65 Billion dollars in 2011, 1.3 billion of which is reserved for military aid. Other major areas of funding are economic development (246 million), Education (43 million) Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (30 million) Health (20 million) and Environment (10 million). We need to use that aid as leverage and make sure the new leaders do not impose swift radical changes that will diminish the hard won freedom of the people.
Change in itself is not a goal – change can be for better or for worse. Let’s hope that the Arab Spring will not result in the explosion of the Middle East and Africa.
Another ally turns into an enemy, with Obama’s support. Thanks alot, Barack!
With vote tallies in for Egypt’s first round of parliamentary elections in, it is abundantly clear that Egypt is on the fast track to becoming a totalitarian Islamic state. The first round of voting took place in Egypt’s most liberal, cosmopolitan cities. And still the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists received more than 60 percent of the vote. Run-off elections for 52 seats will by all estimates increase their representation.
And then in the months to come, Egyptian voters in the far more Islamist Nile Delta and Sinai will undoubtedly provide the forces of jihadist Islam with an even greater margin of victory.
Until the US-supported overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt served as the anchor of the US alliance system in the Arab world. The Egyptian military is US-armed, US-trained, and US-financed. The Suez Canal is among the most vital waterways in the world for the US Navy and the global economy. Due to Mubarak’s commitment to stemming the tide of jihadist forces that threatened his regime, under his rule Egypt served as a major counter-terror hub in the US-led war against international jihad.
Given Egypt’s singular importance to US strategic interests in the Arab world, the Obama administration’s response to the calamitous election results has been shocking. Rather than sound the alarm bells, US President Barack Obama has celebrated the results as a victory for “democracy.”
Rather than warn Egypt that it will face severe consequences if it completes its Islamist transformation, the Obama administration has turned its guns on the first country that will pay a price for Egypt’s Islamic revolution: Israel.
Speaking at the annual policy conclave in Washington sponsored by the leftist Brookings Institute’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hammered Israel, the only real ally the US has left in the Middle East after Mubarak’s fall. Clinton felt it necessary – in the name of democracy – to embrace the positions of Israel’s radical Left against the majority of Israelis.
The same Secretary of State that has heralded negotiations with the violent, fanatical misogynists of the Taliban; who has extolled Saudi Arabia where women are given ten lashes for driving, and whose State Department trained female-hating Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the lead-up to the current elections in Egypt accused Israel of repressing women’s rights. The only state in the region where women are given full rights and legal protections became the focus of Clinton’s righteous feminist wrath.
In the IDF, as in the rest of the country, religious coercion is forbidden. Jewish law prohibits men from listening to women’s voices in song. And recently, when a group of religious soldiers were presented with an IDF band that featured female vocalists, keeping faith with their Orthodox observance, they walked out of the auditorium. The vocalists were not barred from singing. They were not mistreated. They were simply not listened to.
And as far as Clinton is concerned, this is proof that women in Israel are under attack. Barred by law from forcing their soldiers to spurn their religious obligations, IDF commanders were guilty of crimes against democracy for allowing the troops to exit the hall.
Clinton didn’t end her diatribe with the IDF’s supposed war against women. She continued her onslaught by proclaiming that Israel is taking a knife to democracy by permitting its legislators to legislate laws that she doesn’t like. The legislative initiatives that provoked the ire of the US Secretary of State are the bills now under discussion which seek to curtail the ability of foreign governments to subvert Israel’s elected government by funding non-representative, anti-Israel political NGOs like B’Tselem and Peace Now.
In attacking Israel in the way she did, Clinton showed that she holds Israel to a unique standard of behavior. Whereas fellow Western democracies are within their rights when they undertake initiatives like banning Islamic headdresses from the public square, Israel is a criminal state for affording Jewish soldiers freedom of religion. Whereas the Taliban, who enslave women and girls in the most unspeakable fashion are worthy interlocutors, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which supports universal female genital mutilation is moderate, Israel is an enemy of democracy for seeking to preserve the government’s ability to adopt policies that advance the country’s interests.
The unique standard to which Clinton holds the Jewish state is the standard of human perfection.
And as far as she is concerned, if Israel is not perfect, then it is unworthy of support. And since Israel, as a nation of mere mortals can never be perfect, it is necessarily always guilty.
Clinton’s assault on Israeli democracy and society came a day after Panetta attacked Israel’s handling of its strategic challenges. Whereas Clinton attacked Israel’s moral fiber, Panetta judged Israel responsible for every negative development in the regional landscape.
Panetta excoriated Israel for not being involved in negotiations with the Palestinians. Israel, he said must make new concessions to the Palestinians in order to convince them of its good faith. If Israel makes such gestures, and the Palestinians and the larger Islamic world spurn them, then Panetta and his friends will side with Israel, he said.
Panetta failed to notice that Israel has already made repeated, unprecedented concessions to the Palestinians and that the Palestinians have pocketed those concessions and refused to negotiate. And he failed to notice that in response to the repeated spurning of its concessions by the Palestinians and the Arab world writ large, rather than stand with Israel, the US and Europe expanded their demands for further Israeli concessions.
Panetta demanded that Israel make renewed gestures as well to appease the Egyptians, Turks and Jordanians. He failed to notice that it was Turkey’s Islamist government, not Israel, that took a knife to the Turkish-Israeli strategic alliance.
As for Egypt, rather than recognize the strategic implications for the US and Israel alike of Egypt’s transformation into an Islamic state, the US Defense Secretary demanded that Israel ingratiate itself with Egypt’s military junta. Thanks in large part to the Obama administration, that junta is now completely beholden to the Muslim Brotherhood.
As for Jordan, again thanks to the US’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its aligned groups in Libya and Tunisia, the Hashemite regime is seeking to cut a deal with the Jordanian branch of the movement in a bid to save itself from Mubarak’s fate. Under these circumstances, there is no gesture that Israel can make to its neighbor to the east that would empower King Abdullah to extol the virtues of peace with the Jewish state.
Then there is Iran, and its nuclear weapons program.
Panetta argued that an Israeli military strike against Iran would lead to regional war. But he failed to mention that a nuclear armed Iran will lead to nuclear proliferation in the Arab world and exponentially increase the prospect of a global nuclear war.
Rather than face the dangers head on, Panetta’s message was that the Obama administration would rather accept a nuclear-armed Iran than support an Israeli military strike on Iran to prevent the mullocracy from becoming a nuclear-armed state.
Clinton’s and Panetta’s virulently anti-Israeli messages resonated in an address about European anti-Semitism given last week by the US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman. Speaking to a Jewish audience, Gutman effectively denied the existence of anti-Semitism in Europe. While attacks against European Jews and Jewish institutions have become a daily occurrence continent-wide, Gutman claimed that non-Muslim anti- Semites are essentially just all-purpose bigots who hate everyone, not just Jews.
As for the Muslims who carry out the vast majority of anti-Jewish attacks in Europe, Gutman claimed they don’t have a problem with good Jews like him. They are simply angry because Israel isn’t handing over land to the Palestinians quickly enough. If the Jewish state would simply get with Obama’s program, according to the US ambassador, Muslim attacks on Jews in Europe would simply disappear.
Gutman of course is not a policymaker. His job is simply to implement Obama’s policies and voice the president’s beliefs.
But when taken together with Clinton’s and Panetta’s speeches, Gutman’s remarks expose a distressing intellectual and moral trend that clearly dominates the Obama administration’s foreign policy discourse.
All three speeches share a common rejection of objective reality in favor of a fantasy.
In the administration’s fantasy universe, Israel is the only actor on the world stage. Its detractors, whether in the Islamic world or Europe, are mere objects. They are bereft of judgment or responsibility for their actions.
Israel knows a nuclear Iran is a threat to its very existence, and will not allow that to happen. Covert action is the best way to avoid galvanizing the Arab world into collectively declaring open war on Israel.
Two incidents that occurred on Sunday—Iran’s claim of a shoot-down of a U.S. drone, and an explosion outside the British embassy in Bahrain—may have been unrelated. But they appear to add to growing evidence that an escalating covert war by the West is under way against Iran, and that Tehran is retaliating with greater intensity than ever.
Asked whether the United States, in cooperation with Israel, was now engaged in a covert war against Iran’s nuclear program that may include the Stuxnet virus, the blowing-up of facilities and the assassination or kidnapping of scientists, one recently retired U.S. official privy to up-to-date intelligence would not deny it.
“It’s safe to say the Israelis are very active,” the official said, adding about U.S. efforts: “Everything that [GOP presidential candidate] Mitt Romney said we should be doing—tough sanctions, covert action and pressuring the international community — are all of the things we are actually doing.” Though the activities are classified, a senior Obama administration official also would not deny that such a program was under way. He indicated that the U.S. was not involved in every action, referring to recent alleged explosions at Isfahan and elsewhere. But, he added: “I wouldn’t assume that everything we do is coordinated.”
Former undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, who oversaw America’s Iran engagement during the Bush administration, asked Sunday about reports that the U.S. program began under George W. Bush, said he could not comment on intelligence matters.
In September, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, accused Great Britain, Israel and the U.S. of conducting attacks on him and other Iranian scientists.”Six years ago the intelligence service of the UK began collecting information and data regarding my past, my family, the number of children,” Abbasi-Davani told a news conference at the annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. Abbasi-Davani, who was said to have been wounded in 2010 car bomb explosion, said the attacks were carried out by Israel with the “support of the intelligence services of the United States and England.”
Last week, Iranian protesters stormed the British embassy in Tehran. Dominick Chilcott, Britain’s ambassador to Iran, later said the attack occurred “with the acquiescence and the support of the state.” Then, on Sunday, Bahrain’s interior ministry announced that an explosion occurred inside a minibus parked near the British Embassy. There were no immediate reports of serious damage or injuries.
U.S. officials alleged in October that agents acting for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which has increasingly exerted control over the Tehran regime, were involved in a plot to kill that Saudi ambassador to Washington in a restaurant. Iran denied the allegations. Then, on Sunday, in what have been another escalation, Iran’s news agency reported that Iranian armed forces shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that illegally crossed the country’s eastern border.
Responding to the Iranian report, NATO command in Afghanistan released a terse statement Sunday: “The UAV to which the Iranians are referring may be a US unarmed reconnaissance aircraft that had been flying a mission over western Afghanistan late last week. The operators of the UAV lost control of the aircraft and had been working to determine its status.”
The White House declined to comment but officials did not seem unduly alarmed, suggesting that the drone’s capture would not provide Iran with significant information about U.S. surveillance technology and techniques.
Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council in Washington, said the tit-for-tat incidents “add up to a very worrisome picture,” in part because “the Iranians are absorbing all of these assassinations without seeing the pace of their nuclear program slow down to the extent it would be acceptable to the West.” But if Iranian retaliations grow serious enough, he said, they could provide “the pretext for a much larger war” in which the Israelis, and possibly the Americans, launch a full attack on Iran.
Mark Hibbs, a nuclear expert at the Carnegie Endowment in Germany, says the intensity of the covert war indicates that this is where the U.S. and Israel are putting their energy for now. “If the U.S. or Israel were determined to take Iran’s nuclear installations out they wouldn’t be wasting time pinpointing individual scientists like this,” he says. Still, he points out, that Israel’s 1981 attack on Iraq’s Osirak reactor was also preceded by assassination attempts on Iraqi scientists.
By accident or not, it’s entirely possible the covert war could escalate into a real one, experts say. “I am less enthusiastic about how effective all this going to be than some people in the administration,” says Matthew Bunn, a nuclear investigator at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Bunn says he has occasionally discussed the program with the Obama administration officials, and “some have broadly suggested they think this is major element of slowing down Iranian progress.”
He’s not so sure. “Take Stuxnet. It’s possible that a thousand centrifuges went down” because of sabotage by the mystery computer virus _ a super sophisticated program said to have caused substantial parts of Iran’s uranium enrichment program to self-destruct several years ago. “But Iran has a thousand more than they would require to enrich to highly enriched uranium” needed for a bomb. Bunn also notes that Iran is increasingly keeping its key scientists such as Mohsen Fakrizadeh, said to be the “Oppenheimer” of the Iranian program, hidden away from sight and burying its facilities deeper underground.
Beyond that, says Hibbs, “Some of the concern in the expert community is that in going this route we’re unleashing forces we cannot control.”
This is incredibly sobering. With the Islamic Winter sweeping the Middle East, it will be a miracle if Israel is not at war for its survival within the next year.
H/T The Right Scoop
A world devoid of American leadership is a world with less freedom, more violence, and more tyranny.
I’ve been alarmed by the latest polls. No, not from Iowa and New Hampshire, although they’re unnerving enough. It’s the polls from Egypt.
Foreign policy has not played a part in the U.S. presidential campaign, mainly because we’re so broke that the electorate seems minded to take the view that if government is going to throw trillions of dollars down the toilet they’d rather it was an Al Gore-compliant Kohler model in Des Moines or Poughkeepsie than an outhouse in Waziristan.
Alas, reality does not arrange its affairs quite so neatly, and the world that is arising in the second decade of the 21st century is increasingly inimical to American interests, and likely to prove even more expensive to boot.
In that sense, Egypt is instructive. Even in the giddy live-from-Tahrir-Square heyday of the “Arab Spring” and “Facebook Revolution” I was something of a skeptic.
Back in February, I chanced to be on Fox News with Megyn Kelly within an hour or so of Mubarak’s resignation. Over on CNN, Anderson Cooper was interviewing telegenic youthful idealists cooing about the flowering of a new democratic Egypt.
Back on Fox, sourpuss Steyn was telling Megyn that this was “the unraveling of the American Middle East” and the emergence of a post-Western order in the region. In those days, I was so much of a pessimist I thought that in any election the Muslim Brotherhood would get a third of the votes and be the largest party in parliament.
By the time the actual first results came through last week, the Brothers had racked up 40% of the vote — in Cairo and Alexandria, the big cities wherein, insofar as they exist, the secular Facebooking Anderson Cooper types reside. In second place were their principal rivals the Nour party, with up to 15% of the ballots. “Nour” translates into English as “the Even More Muslim Brotherhood.”
As the writer Barry Rubin pointed out, if that’s how the urban sophisticates vote, wait till you see the upcountry results. By the time the rural vote emerges from the Nile Delta and Sinai early next month, the hard-core Islamists will be sitting pretty. In the so-called “Facebook revolution,” two-thirds of the Arab world’s largest nation is voting for the hard, cruel, bigoted, misogynistic song of Sharia.
The short 90-year history of independent Egypt is that it got worse. Mubarak’s Egypt was worse than King Farouk’s Egypt, and what follows from last week’s vote will be worse still. If you’re a westernized urban woman, a Coptic Christian, or an Israeli diplomat with the goons pounding the doors of your embassy, you already know that.
The Kingdom of Egypt in the three decades before the 1952 coup was flawed and ramshackle and corrupt, but it was closer to a free-ish pluralist society than anything in the years since.
In 1923, its Finance Minister was a man called Joseph Cattaui, a member of Parliament, and a Jew. Couldn’t happen today. Mr. Cattaui’s grandson wrote to me recently from France, where the family now lives.
In the unlikely event the forthcoming Muslim Brotherhood government wishes to appoint a Jew as finance minister, there are very few left available. Indeed, Jews are so thin on the ground that those youthful idealists in Tahrir Square looking for Jews to club to a pulp have been forced to make do with sexually assaulting hapless gentiles like the CBS News reporter Lara Logan.
It doesn’t fit the narrative, so even Miss Logan’s network colleagues preferred to look away. We have got used to the fact that Egypt is now a land without Jews. Soon it will be a land without Copts. We’ll get used to that, too.
Since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact two decades ago we have lived in a supposedly “unipolar” world. Yet somehow it doesn’t seem like that, does it? The term “Facebook Revolution” presumes that technology marches in the cause of modernity. But in Khartoum a few years ago a citywide panic that shaking hands with infidels caused your penis to vanish was spread by text messaging.
In London, young Muslim men used their cell phones to share Islamist snuff videos of Westerners being beheaded in Iraq. In les banlieues of France, satellite TV and the Internet enable third-generation Muslims to lead ever more dis-assimilated, segregated lives, immersed in an electronic pan-Islamic culture, to a degree that would have been impossible for their grandparents.
To assume that Western technology in and of itself advances the cause of Western views on liberty or women’s rights or gay rights is delusional.
Consider, for example, the “good” news from Afghanistan. A 19-year old woman sentenced to 12 years in jail for the heinous crime of being brutally raped by a cousin was graciously released by President Karzai on condition that she marry her rapist.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the last Christian church in the nation had been razed to the ground last year, as the State Department noted in its report on “international” religious freedom.
But Afghanistan is not “international” at all. It is an American client state whose repugnant leader is kept alive only by the protection of Western arms. Say what you like about Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, but at least their barbarous theocratic tyranny doesn’t require vast numbers of NATO troops to build it.
I am not a Ron Paul isolationist. The U.S. has two reasonably benign neighbors, and the result is that 50% of Mexico’s population has moved north of the border and 100% of every bad Canadian idea from multiculturalism to government health care has moved south of the border.
So much for Fortress America. The idea of a 19th century isolationist republic holding the entire planet at bay is absurd. Indeed, even in the real 19th century, it was only possible because global order was maintained by the Royal Navy and Pax Britannica. If Ron Paul gets his way, who’s going to pick up the slack for global order this time?
Nevertheless, my friends on the right currently fretting about potentially drastic cuts at the Pentagon need to look at that poor 19-year-old woman’s wedding to her cousin rapist and ponder what it represents: in Afghanistan, the problem is not that we have spent insufficient money but that so much of it has been entirely wasted.
History will be devastating in its indictment of us for our squandering of the “unipolar” moment. During those two decades, a China flush with American dollars has gobbled up global resources, a reassertive Islam has used American military protection to advance its theocratic ambitions, the Mullahs in Tehran are going nuclear knowing we lack the will to stop them, and even Russia is back in the game of geopolitical mischief-making.
We are responsible for 43% of the planet’s military spending. But if you spend on that scale without any strategic clarity or hardheaded calculation of your national interest it is ultimately as decadent and useless as throwing money at Solyndra or ObamaCare or any of the other domestic follies. A post-prosperity America will mean perforce a shrunken presence on the global stage. And we will not like the world we leave behind.
Americans notoriously care little about foreign affairs, but this week’s elections in Egypt deserve our attention. The Egyptian version of the so-called Arab Spring began as a popular uprising against long-term strongman Hosni Mubarak and promised greater liberty and freedom for the most populous Arab nation. But early returns from parliamentary elections in about a third of Egypt’s provinces, including Cairo, suggest that Islamists will carry the day. The implications for peace in the Middle East are worrisome.
The Muslim Brotherhood — an outlawed group prior to the fall of Mubarak and long considered a terrorist organization — has won a plurality of votes in the first round of voting. (Elections in the remaining provinces will take place in December and January.) What’s more, candidates supported by the ultra-religious Salafi sect have won nearly 25 percent of the parliamentary seats so far, and it’s likely that they’ll join the Muslim Brotherhood to form a government.
The Salafi winners in Egypt’s elections are already talking about changing the banking system to conform to Islamic law (which forbids paying or charging interest), censoring art and entertainment, outlawing the sale of alcohol and restricting education for women. And since the Salafis will hold the balance of power, it’s difficult to imagine that the Muslim Brotherhood will resist.
Of course, the most immediate impact will fall on Egyptian women, whose rights will be curtailed by Islamic law, as well as on the 10 percent of the Egyptian population that is Christian. Inevitably, however, an Islamist government in Cairo will spell trouble for the United States and pose a grave danger to our ally, Israel.
The Egyptian military has twice engaged in wars against Israel. Although defeated decisively, Egypt nonetheless remained a threat until Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli president Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Peace Accords in 1979. Even now, Egypt has the largest military among Arab nations, numbering nearly a half-million. Since Camp David, the U.S. has helped train and professionalize the Egyptian military, but that cooperation will be derailed if the government shifts sharply toward Islamism.
Just as important is Gaza, which is on the border with Egypt and remains a haven for Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Without Egypt’s efforts to control terrorist activity, these groups remain a threat to Israel and add to instability in the region. There will be little impetus for a new Islamist Egyptian government to stop these attacks.
This shift in the politics of the region couldn’t come at a more precarious time for the United States. We’re in the process of withdrawing from Iraq, leaving a vacuum there and a potential for Islamists to become a bigger force. Much of the region is now in flux, and the United States has largely become a non-player. But we won’t be able to afford that stance if the countries in the region become training grounds for anti-American terrorists or if they decide to attack Israel.
What the Egyptian elections prove is that democracy means more than holding popular elections. Democratic nations depend on democratic values and institutions: the rule of law; due process; a respect for women and minorities; freedom of expression, religion and the press; and an independent judiciary. But these necessary building blocks of democracy are almost entirely missing in the Arab world. Indeed, Sharia Law excludes even the possibility of freedom of belief or expression.
Americans have a hard enough time focusing on our own elections this early in the presidential cycle. But we cannot afford to stick our heads in the sand when it comes to awareness of what’s happening elsewhere in the world. As long as we are dependent on the Middle East to provide a major share of our energy needs, what happens there matters here.
And as much as we might want to, we cannot ignore an election that furthers an ideology bent on the destruction of Western civilization — even when it occurs halfway around the world.
My money is on the Israelis. If they struck openly it could possibly galvanize the Arab world and start WWIII, and they have the only intelligence force in the world capable of pulling off an operation like this inside Iran without getting caught.
Force is being used to attempt to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program. On Monday, an explosion rocked the city of Isfahan in western Iran, site of a conversion facility that prepares uranium for enrichment at other sites. Conflicting reports attributed the explosion to either an accident at a gas station or a military training incident, or they denied it even happened.
The blast came two weeks after Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps(IRGC) Gen. Hasan Tehrani Moghaddam and 20 other IRGC members were killed in a massive explosion at a base near the village of Bidganeh, southwest of Tehran. The base was a test site for Iran’s ballistic missile program. Official sources said the blast was the result of an accident while munitions were being moved, but the general’s brother, Mohammad Tehrani Moghaddam, said it happened during a missile test. “It was related to an intercontinental ballistic missile,” he was quoted in the Iranian official press, “It was a completely high-tech, confidential process.” These comments were later scrubbed from the website where they first appeared.
The two explosions join a growing list of unusual and deadly events related to Iran’s secret weapons programs. In late June 2011, five Russian nuclear scientists who had been assisting Iran’s nuclear program died in a plane crash outside the northern Russian city of Petrozavodsk. In November 2010, Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari was killed in Tehran when a motorcyclist placed a bomb on the window of his car and sped away before it detonated. Another scientist, Fereydoun Abbasi, was wounded in an identical attack the same day. In August 2010, Reza Baruni, the mastermind of Iran’s top-secret military drone project, was killed when three explosions destroyed his house. The official version blamed a gas leak. The same day that Baruni died, three unmanned aerial vehicles launched from an unknown location smashed into the dome of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor, killing five. Tehran later claimed this incident was part of a readiness test.
Not all the attacks have been kinetic. The Stuxnet computer virus wreaked havoc on Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, and a new “supervirus” called Duqu has spread throughout Iran’s military computer network.
No country has claimed responsibility for the attacks, though most credit (or blame) Israel. After the blast at Bidganeh, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “I don’t know the extent of the explosion, but it would be desirable if they multiplied.” Potential U.S. involvement is unclear, but President George W. Bush reportedly signed a presidential finding authorizing CIA paramilitary actions inside Iran against the IRGC. This authorization could still be in force. Last week, Tehran claimed to have uncovered a dozen CIA operatives working in Iran after a similar takedown of agency assets in Lebanon.
Some analysts have speculated that the attacks are not meant to halt Iranian weapons development but to goad Tehran into taking overt military action that could then be countered legitimately with force. If so, Iran has not taken the bait. With the international community torn between pursuing sanctions that won’t work and overt military action that could foment a large-scale crisis, the shadow war against Iran is likely to continue.
They’ve promised to break impose Sharia law and break the Camp David peace accords with Israel. Egypt has become a Radical Islamist (soon to be terror sponsor?) state. Thanks alot, Barack!
Judges overseeing the vote count in Egypt’s parliamentary elections say Islamist parties have won a majority of the contested seats in the first round. The judges spoke on conditionof anonymity because official results are expected to be released later Thursday.
They say the Muslim Brotherhood could take 45 percent of the seats up for grabs. The liberal Egyptian bloc coalition and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party are competing for second place.
Together, Islamist parties are expected to control a majority of parliamentary seats by March. This week’s vote was the first of six stages of parliamentary elections that will last until then.
Continued success by Islamists will allow them to give Cairo’s government and constitution a decidedly Islamist character. It could also lead Cairo to shift away from the West towards the Iranian axis.
It will also diminish the influence of Cairo’s caretaker junta, which has sought to maintain the Mubarak-era status quo and keep US foreign aid dollars – running into the billions per annum – flowing.
Analysts say Islamists may also seek to annul the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, which could prompt Israel to seize the Sinai Peninsula for the fourth time in its history to create a strategic buffer zone.
After reaching the Suez Canal in 1967 and controlling the Sinai for twelve years,, Israel ceded Sinai to Egypt under the 1979 treaty on condition it remains demilitarized.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which birthed the virulently anti-Israel Hamas terror militia, might also seek to effectively annex Gaza. Should Hamas be triumphant in future PAelections, they would also gain a foothold in Judea and Samaria.
Trading Secular dictatorships for Islamic Supremacist tyrants. How democratic.
The United Nations Development Programme’s 2002 Arab Human Development Report stated that “deeply rooted shortcomings” existed in Arab countries. In other other words, Arab societies were sick. According to the report, this sickness was reflected in the lack of “respect for human rights and freedoms,” the status of Arab women, and the poor state of “knowledge acquisition and its effective utilization.”
The follow-up report in 2003 stated: “True democracy is absent and desperately needed. The educational system is severely retarded; schools produce ignorant young men and women. Most of the [Arab] intellectuals] realize, even if they deny it, that most of what was said in the most recent Arab Human Development Report is true.”
So if you were thinking that the so-called Arab Spring was going to fix all that, well, you’d better think again. It looks like the Arab Spring will be followed by an Arab Winter. On second thought, this is a development that was entirely predictable: The Islamists are going to inherit the mantle of the dictators.
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Gadhafi in Libya were corrupt dictators who outlived their days. They all suppressed the Islamic movements in their respective countries, and were all thus on the side of the seculars in their own perverse way. The same holds true for Syria’s Bashar Assad, whose father, Hafez, killed some 20,000 people in the city of Hama in 1982, quelling a rebellion by the Moslem Brothers. Now, his son, Bashar, no less ruthless, seems to be about to go the way of Ben Ali, Mubarak and Gadhafi.
The demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt were initially led by secular groups – educated youngsters adept at using the Internet, Facebook and Twitter. In Egypt, they stood shoulder to shoulder with members of the Coptic Christian community, which constitutes 10% of the Egyptian population. Quite naturally, they called for the downfall of Mubarak to be followed by democratic elections. The motley crew in Libya that overthrew Gadhafi was supported by the democracies that make up NATO, and it is unimaginable that the bloodbath that rid the country of the “mad dog of the Middle East,” as former U.S. President Ronald Reagan called him, would not be followed by democratic elections – even under the chaotic conditions that followed Gadhafi’s downfall.
But who is going to win the elections when they take place – in Egypt, in Libya and eventually in Syria?
We already have a preview: In Tunisia, the country that had been the most secular and westernized of the Arab states, the election was won by Ennahda, the Islamic party, with the advocates of a secular Tunisia left far behind.
The western media, in an attempt to put a good face on what has clearly been a disappointing outcome, insists on calling Ennahda a “mildly Islamic party.” But the facts are there for all to see: Tunisia is coming under Islamic rule. And there is no reason to expect a different outcome in Egypt, Libya or Syria, when elections are held there.
A wave of Islamic rule, with all it entails, is sweeping across the Arab world. It will replace secular dictatorships with Islamic ones. We should have expected nothing else.
Demography has been hard at work all through the past years. For those who haven’t noticed, during the long years of totalitarian rule in the Arab states, the population that was fervently Muslim increased in numbers much faster than the secular population. Now, the veiled women far outnumber those willing to show their faces in public – to such an extent that there is no need to await the counting of the ballots after election day; the outcome of elections in the Arab countries is certain before the votes have been cast.
Observers may fool themselves into believing that the Islamic parties contesting the elections in the Arab countries are “mildly” Islamic, or “moderate” Islamists, but their leaders are neither mild nor moderate.
Clearly, expecting the basic faults that characterize Arab societies – as described in the UNDP Arab Human Development reports – to be rectified under the rule of Islamic parties is no more than a vain hope. If anything, the opposite is most likely to be true: Sharia law will prevail, with all it entails.
The toppling of the Arab dictators was inevitable; unfortunately, however, just as inevitable is what is going to follow their overthrow. It looks like it is going to be long Arab Winter.
Behold the “tolerance” of the “religion of peace.”
This is why Islam has thus far been a blight on humanity. In Cairo last Friday the Muslim Brotherhood held a rally with the uplifting message that someday they’d “kill all Jews.”
This kinder, gentler rally was called to promote the “battle against Jerusalem’s Judaization” and was held on the same day as the anniversary of the UN’s partition plan of 1947, which established the Jewish state.
Oh, yes, the rally featured all sorts of nice, religious messages… all based on typically illegitimate Muslim blood lust.
Speakers at the event delivered impassioned, hateful speeches against Israel, slamming the “Zionist occupiers” and the “treacherous Jews.” Upon leaving the rally, worshippers were given small flags, with Egypt’s flag on one side and the Palestinian flag on the other, as well as maps of Jerusalem’s Old City detailing where “Zionists are aiming to change Jerusalem’s Muslim character.
…Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen, as well as Palestinian guest speakers, made explicit calls for Jihad and for liberating the whole of Palestine. Time and again, a Koran quote vowing that “one day we shall kill all the Jews” was uttered at the site. Meanwhile, businessmen in the crowd were urged to invest funds in Jerusalem in order to prevent the acquisition of land and homes by Jews.
This is precisely why Islam is a blight on humanity. It is based solely on murder, destruction, and war not to mention the subjugation of humanity under the iron heel of these kinds of hatemongering people.
A few years ago I wrote a piece that lefty attackers love to quote me on to “prove” how evil I am. Like all left-wingers, they take it out of context, but I’ll reiterate it here because it is a true statement.
Until Islam reforms itself, it is a danger to the human race. What is most unfortunate is that I can’t see Islam reforming itself until it has killed millions of its own. Christianity went through something similar. After the purges, the Inquisition, and hundreds of years of religious wars, Christians finally came to realize that killing each other over religion was a farce beyond farce. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is likely that Islam won’t reform until millions of Muslims are killed at their own hands.
Now, unlike what these haters of the left claim, I am not hoping for or advocating for the deaths of millions of Muslims. I am saying that humans don’t reform religions with much ease. It takes wild conflagrations to do this. Islam has not reached that level of over stimulation yet.
One thing is sure, Islam won’t reform because we westerners say it should. Only Muslims can expunge the murderous part of Islam from the religion.
But there is one other truth that must be addressed here. Islam is the last major religion to undergo reform for a reason. It is because Islam is at its heart a creed based on violence. That being the case it is much harder to expurgate that violence.
Islam is no religion of peace. It is little else but violence, murder, and blood lust. Getting rid of that foundation will be very hard, indeed. Harder times are still to come. For the west and Muslims both.
Israel working under the radar?
Satellite footage of the Iranian military base where a large explosion occurred earlier this month shows extensive damage to a number of buildings within the compound. The footage was obtained by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington DC-based think tank.
Another explosion was reported Monday night in the town of Isfahan which is home to a key Iranian nuclear facility. The cause of the explosion and the target were unknown.
Two weeks ago, on November 12, an explosion rocked an Iranian military base near the town of Bid Kaneh, killing Major General Hassan Moghaddam, chief architect of the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program. Some media reports have claimed that the Israeli Mossad was behind the blast.
Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, head of the Military Intelligence Research Directorate Brig.-Gen. Itay Brun said that the blast at the missile base could delay Teheran’s development of long-range missiles.
“The explosion at the site to develop surface-to-surface missiles could stop or delay activities on that track and in that location, but we must emphasize that Iran has other development tracks in addition to that facility,” Brun said.
The ISIS satellite footage shows extensive damage at the Bid Kaneh base. It said that the blast was caused as Iran was apparently performing a procedure involving an engine for a new missile.
Compared to an earlier satellite image of the site, the image taken after the blast on November 22 shows damages to most of the buildings in the base and some completely destroyed. ISIS said that some of the destruction could have been the result of subsequent controlled demolition of buildings and the removal of debris.
Pakistan Fires on NATO, Then Blocks Supply Lines and Demands Removal of U.S. Bases After NATO Retaliatory Strike
By what criteria does a nation that harbors your enemies and opens fire on you qualify as an “ally”?
Red State’s Moe Lane reports that Pakistan has admitted to provoking the confrontation by firing on NATO troops:
Via Drudge comes the beginnings of clarity on this issue: it’s now being tacitly admitted by the Pakistan government that Saturday’s conflict was initiated by their own troops. Essentially, Afghan/American troops were raiding Taliban in Afghanistan when Pakistan troops fired on them (the Pakistan government maintains that their troops were attacking on what they thought were insurgents). NATO airstrikes were the result, which shot up two military posts and killed over twenty Pakistani troops.
The Pakistanis’ claim here is that they alerted NATO forces that it was their military posts that were being shot up (although they apparently informed NATO earlier that they had no troops in the area); one Afghan response to that was that the insurgents that NATO/Afghan troops were hunting had retreated to said posts and continued to shoot from there. Which, if true, more or less illustrates the reason why you do not offer tactical shelter to people who are shooting at United States troops. The end result will be the local real estate getting reconfigured into a state best described as ‘lunar landscape.’
There’s not much else to say here, except that while I can understand that the Pakistan government might be a little upset that we wiped two of their military posts off of the map, they may wish to contemplate the minor point that we’re perhaps a little upset that the Pakistani government was tacitly shielding Osama bin Laden for ten years. Yes, I’m aware that Pakistan was shocked, shocked! to hear that bin Laden had been living for the last half-decade in a building used by the ISI*. Now ask me if I believe them – but, at any rate, the larger point still stands: there is precious little trust these days between Pakistan and American military forces, and it is frankly mostly the Pakistani government’s own fault that this has happened. There’s not really any goodwill left. Something to consider, the next time a Pakistani military base commander sees a bunch of Taliban running towards his position and looking for shelter.
Now they’re using NATO’s retaliatory strike as an excuse to block convoys from crossing into Afghanistan to resupply troops there.
With “allies” like this, who needs enemies?