The Mushroom Cloud Over Tel Aviv

No one is watching the development of Teheran’s nuclear program more closely than the Israeli government. The Jewish state is a tiny island of civilization in a sea of vicious, virulent, and irrational Jew-hatred aided and abetted by the corrupt tyrannies of the Muslim Middle East. The prospect of a nuclear weapon in the hands of such folks surely concentrates the minds of those charged with Israel’s security.

An article in WorldNetDaily (hat tip: Bill Quick) describes an address by Dr. Jerome Corsi, founder of the Iran Freedom Foundation, to the Israeli Knesset:

     “Israel might need to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran, even if the international military and diplomatic reprisals that follow might bring immense pressure upon Israel itself,” Corsi said in a keynote address to the Knesset’s prestigious Forum on the Middle East.
“Israel might well calculate that Iran armed with nuclear weapons would be too unpredictable and dangerous to tolerate. At any moment and for any reason, Iran might simply launch a nuclear strike on Israel,” said Corsi, warning of the consequences of a nuclear Iran.

Given that former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has suggested that Iran would use its nuclear weapons against Israel, the Israelis have good reason to worry. And Israel cannot rely on the United States to act against Iran, since America does not stand in the mullahs’ immediate line of fire.

     Corsi warned the Knesset that Israel should not assume the U.S. will act on its behalf: “The United States cannot be expected to take the first steps if military action should be required. The first credible threat will be to Israel, not the more distant shores of America.”
“Although the mullahs armed with nuclear weapons capability may well seek to develop an improvised nuclear device and ship it into the United States, the threat of an ‘Atomic 9-11’ has failed to waken public fear in a nation which has not experience a terrorist attack since the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked.”

The Europeans will also be within range of Iran’s nuclear-tipped missiles, so we can expect even more craven appeasement from them in the near future. More “religious tolerance” laws, more Koran education in the schools, more suppression of books and art that offend Muslims, more dhimmi behavior…

“Nice doggie, here’s a bone; now don’t bite me, bite those nasty Jews instead.”

The Israelis know that they do not have the luxury of such behavior. The only thing they can do to placate those who wish them harm is to commit collective suicide.

     …Corsi urged immediate action: “Having sworn ‘Never Again,’ the government of Israel must not take the risk of discovering that Iran has a nuclear weapon by waking up one morning to witness a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv.”

I certainly wouldn’t want to be in Ariel Sharon’s shoes right now. So much hangs in the balance, and so many millions of lives can be lost based on a wrong decision.

Our turn will come, but the Jews have to go first.

"International" + "Freedom" = Doublespeak

Debra Burlingame has the facts on who is behind the “International Freedom Center” — i.e., the memorial planned at Ground Zero.

     Take Back the Memorial!The driving force behind the IFC is Tom Bernstein, the dynamic co-founder of the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex who made a fortune financing Hollywood movies. But his capital ventures appear to have funded his true calling, the pro bono work he has done his entire adult life–as an activist lawyer in the human rights movement. He has been a proud member of Human Rights First since it was founded–as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights–27 years ago, and has served as its president for the last 12.
The public has a right to know that it was Mr. Bernstein’s organization, joined by the American Civil Liberties Union, that filed a lawsuit three months ago against Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was Human Rights First that filed an amicus brief on behalf of alleged “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, an American citizen who the Justice Department believes is an al Qaeda recruit. It was Human Rights First that has called for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the alleged torture of detainees, complete with budget authority, subpoena power and the ability to demand that witnesses testify under oath.
In fact, the IFC’s list of those who are shaping or influencing the content and programming for their Ground Zero exhibit includes a Who’s Who of the human rights, Guantanamo-obsessed world:
• Michael Posner, executive director at Human Rights First who is leading the worldwide “Stop Torture Now” campaign focused entirely on the U.S. military. He has stated that Mr. Rumsfeld’s refusal to resign in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal is “irresponsible and dishonorable.”
• Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, who is pushing IFC organizers for exhibits that showcase how civil liberties in this country have been curtailed since September 11.
• Eric Foner, radical-left history professor at Columbia University who, even as the bodies were being pulled out of a smoldering Ground Zero, wrote, “I’m not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House.” This is the same man who participated in a “teach-in” at Columbia to protest the Iraq war, during which a colleague exhorted students with, “The only true heroes are those who find ways to defeat the U.S. military,” and called for “a million Mogadishus.” The IFC website has posted Mr. Foner’s statement warning that future discussions should not be “overwhelmed” by the IFC’s location at the World Trade Center site itself.
• George Soros, billionaire founder of Open Society Institute, the nonprofit foundation that helps fund Human Rights First and is an early contributor to the IFC. Mr. Soros has stated that the pictures of Abu Ghraib “hit us the same way as the terrorist attack itself.”

All these leftist lovelies are going to create a monster. Fortunately, you live in America so you have the chance to stop it. Go here before the window closes because you won’t want to go near Ground Zero if the IFC has its way.

You can use their button on your website. Remember: Anything that has “international” and “freedom” in the title is a socialist trick. Think “Peace and Justice” and you’ll get the idea.

Such a disgusting bunch of movers and shovers should not have their way on this one.

Nota Bene: There are addresses and information about people you can write. Letters are probably the most effective tool. A good chance to use the Mail Merge on your tool bar.

The Poetry of War, Part VII

Conclusion of a Series — Previous Installments:   I   II   III   IV   V   VI

The Survivors: “Dead as the Men I Loved”

Them that dies, they’re the lucky ones!

The old saying might have been coined by the veterans of the Great War. No one who lived in the hell of the Western Front ever really left it. Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome had not yet been identified in 1918, but the war left us its own term for the same condition: shell-shock. To one degree or another, all the returning combat veterans suffered from it.

The poets who returned preserved and honored the memory of those who did not. Edmund Blunden was an accomplished poet who survived the war, and it fell to him to edit for publication the verse of his late comrade, Wilfred Owen.

But he left his own record. The following poem, with its haunting and melancholy imagery, was written at a point when he was far enough away from the war to be able to look back:

     1916 seen from 1921
Tired with dull grief, grown old before my day,
I sit in solitude and only hear
Long silent laughters, murmurings of dismay,
The lost intensities of hope and fear;
In those old marshes yet the rifles lie,
On the thin breastwork flutter the grey rags,
The very books I read are there — and I
Dead as the men I loved, wait while life drags
Its wounded length from those sad streets of war
Into green places here, that were my own;
But now what once was mine is mine no more,
I seek such neighbours here and I find none.
With such strong gentleness and tireless will
Those ruined houses seared themselves in me,
Passionate I look for their dumb story still,
And the charred stub outspeaks the living tree.
I rise up at the singing of a bird
And scarcely knowing slink along the lane,
I dare not give a soul a look or word
Where all have homes and none’s at home in vain:
Deep red the rose burned in the grim redoubt,
The self-sown wheat around was like a flood,
In the hot path the lizard lolled time out,
The saints in broken shrines were bright as blood.
Sweet Mary’s shrine between the sycamores!
There we would go, my friend of friends and I,
And snatch long moments from the grudging wars,
Whose dark made light intense to see them by.
Shrewd bit the morning fog, the whining shots
Spun from the wrangling wire: then in warm swoon
The sun hushed all but the cool orchard plots,
We crept in the tall grass and slept till noon.

The Cenotaph © 2003 Mary Ann SullivanRemembrance of the war — the collective process of coming to terms with its horrendous carnage — was a preoccupation in the years after the Great War. With the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, plans for an appropriate monument in London were drawn up, and the Cenotaph was unveiled the following year. It became the focus of the annual Remembrance Day on 11 November, and the symbol of British sacrifice in the war.

Siegfried Sassoon, another prominent war poet who survived the conflict (and lived until 1967), had a more sardonic view of the monument:

     At the Cenotaph
I saw the Prince of Darkness, with his Staff,
Standing bare-headed by the Cenotaph:
Unostentatious and respectful, there
He stood, and offered up the following prayer.
     Make them forget, O Lord, what this Memorial
     Means; their discredited ideas revive;
     Breed new belief that War is purgatorial
     Proof of the pride and power of being alive;
     Men’s biologic urge to readjust
     The Map of Europe, Lord of Hosts, increase;
     Lift up their hearts in large destructive lust;
     And crown their heads with blind vindictive Peace
The Prince of Darkness to the Cenotaph
Bowed. As he walked away I heard him laugh.

The ink on the Treaty of Versailles was scarcely dry when it became evident that another global conflict was on the way. “The War to End All Wars” did not do so; the West was facing two decades of strikes, revolutions, depression, dictatorship, and genocide, followed by another unimaginably brutal war.

But nothing comparable to the Great War has happened since. The stupid and senseless slaughter of the trenches has not been repeated. The hundreds of millions of innocent victims of Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot and Saddam were not victims of war, but of something more banal, and therefore more horrifying: the brutal and cynical calculation of absolute dictators.

We should thank God that in our time, when wars must come, they at least have meaning.

Italy Seeks Revenge

It happened in 2003, a month before the Iraq war started. Here’s Joy of Knitting‘s take on it:

Last Friday Milan’s District Attorney Office issued arrest warrants for thirteen CIA agents who had allegedly kidnapped an imam attached to a Milan mosque and suspected of being a terrorist. Apparently, they had subsequently taken him to the Aviano American military base (Northern Italy), then to Ramstein American military base (Germany) and finally to Egypt, where he was interrogated and perhaps tortured.

And Italy is hopping mad. There are several MSM reports, including The Boston Globe, though none say why Italy waited more than two years to issue the warrants.

The Globe notes that the warrants list dates and places of birth, credit card numbers, and American addresses of the alleged kidnappers. While the article speculates that these would be aliases anyway, the deliberate publication of the information shows the depth of the Italians’ ire.

The man who was kidnapped was an imam in Milan, Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr. He was believed to be a member of Ansar al-Islam and to have ties with the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, and al-Qaeda — all of which may point to a motivation for the kidnapping, perhaps? Nasr, a native of Egypt who sought political asylum in Italy, had lived there for two years prior to his disappearance.

“He was involved in an organization that sent people to training camps in Kurdistan,” said (an) Italian law enforcement official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. “He was involved in preparing false documents and passports for sending people in Iraq, [perhaps] to train for bomb attacks.”

DIGOS, the Italian counter-terrorism police, had been closely following Nasr’s activities. That came to an end when he disappeared. The following year he contacted his wife, telling her he was in Egypt and had been tortured by the authorities there.

Joy’s take on the story is one of puzzlement at her country’s anger:

At first I thought that it was something done just to abide by the official rules, and then forgotten about. After all, we are supposed to be on the same side and if Americans had overstepped their mark in the pursuit of an alleged terrorist a polite protest could suffice. I was wrong. Today, Monday, the Italian arrest warrant was transformed into a European arrest warrant and Italy has decided to go after the American agents employing the full force of the law.

She also has a long memory, recalling Italy’s refusal to help years ago:

This reminds me of the time when Italian authorities refused to hand over the Islamic terrorists who had hijacked the Italian cruise ship “Achille Lauro” and killed one of the passengers, American Leo Klinghofer, and then allowed at least one of them to escape. I was so nauseated then that I’ve been wanting to apologize to someone in the US ever since.

Apology accepted. Now, Europe: continue with your snit fit. The war will go on without you.

No Need to Turn Off the Lights and Don’t Bother Closing the Door

The Pharisees are in the driver’s seat of the Mini Cooper that has become the Anglican Church in England. Following the map printed up for them by the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, the C. of E. is busy driving over the cliff. How could anyone with a lick of common sense believe one word coming from a “Peace and Justice” committee? Did these people sleep through the birth and (Deo gratias) death of Communism? Do they not see the bright neon socialist signage in “Peace” or “Justice” –good Lord, never mind the double whammy PEACE and JUSTICE.

Does the Anglican Communion in England have any idea how irrelevant it is? The Incredible Shrinking Church has just shriveled another centimeter or two. It’s sooo bad it’s embarrassing. You could go read the report here (it’s a PDF. You’ll need version 7), but why bother. You can recite the p.c. lines from memory by now: poor Palestinians, bad Jews. Let’s take our money away from the bad Jews and give it to the deserving Palestinians who only want peace but the Jews are too mean to let them have it. Blah. Blah.

Well, we knew it was coming; this was just a matter of waiting for the final mainstream sheep farm to sell out. The only surprise is that it took so long. Here’s Melanie Phillips’ take on this “defining moment” —

     The APJN report is full of the most inflammatory lies, libels and distortions about Israel — and the fact that the amended resolution that was finally passed only welcomed part of it (a weaselly caveat to provide deniability) does not alter the fact that it provided the ammunition for a poisonous onslaught against Israel. The document uncritically reproduced the Arab propaganda version of Israel’s history and the present circumstances of the Middle East conflict, presenting the Arab perpetrators of genocidal mass murder as victims and their real victims as oppressors merely for trying to defend themselves. But then what can one expect of a report which concludes by referring to ‘the honor of meeting the President of the Palestinian Authority, the late Yasser Arafat, who so warmly welcomed us in what turned out to be one of his last days among us’?

A warm welcome from the late pederast himself. How charming. Arafat was the father of terrorism, a diabolical Communist and one of the most truly evil people of his generation, so of course the Anglican Peace and Justice Network loved him. What’s not to love? Do you suppose they have a position paper on Castro,too? Another honorable sweetie-pie.

There are not words to describe the moral revulsion the name Arafat engenders. You could perhaps see why the naive could be taken in by the man-in-the-street Palestinian: they’ve had years to work on and perfect their royal sense of resentful entitlement. And you might even decide to overlook the festering sores on a culture which produces suicide bombers who want to attack the hospital that treated them. But information on Arafat is readily available; his shameful history is there for the reading. One has to be willfully blind to refuse to acknowledge the depth and breadth of his malevolent inquity.

This is a grievous moment. The beautiful Anglican tradition, its sacramental life, its Scriptural authority — all sold for a few pieces of agitprop dung. And there is no C.S. Lewis to turn us around, no transcendent generosity, none. Into the silence drop the neutered utterings from the current Archbishop of Canterbury. St. Augustine he is not.

So we pick up our prayerbooks, take a deep breath and head out into the world to put our money to better use: let’s find a practical way to invest in Israel before we get trampled by the sheep.

In my heart of hearts, I hope Lambeth Palace is cut up into council housing.

Pimping Misery

Sometimes relationships reach the point of no return. Often it’s not possible to say when that point comes except in retrospect. And so our long arrangement with the United Nations is coming to a close. How long and dragged-out will be the divorce is unknown, but the dissolution of ties is coming, be it through mandate or court battle.

Jinnji at Hot Needle of Inquiry thinks that the corruption in the United Nations is too pervasive for the UN to be salvageable as an institution. Calling it a “misery pimp,” Jinnji points out that the order of business for the UN is simply that: misery—

So what is the industry of the UN today, if it is not preventing holocausts? I think it is misery. The UN administers misery, and Kofi et al are misery pimps. Since this is the main industry of the UN, there is really no incentive to eliminate it, or even to try. The UN keeps misery at a nice stable level, managing it and skimming off a respectable profit. And that is just basic misery management–not including the perks like sex with underage children in Dafur and the Congo, and giant managment bonuses like Oil for Food bribes and contractor kick-backs.

Pointing out how unlikely it is to change, Jinnji suggests that the whole thing be dissolved and that we start all over again.

An interesting idea, but I don’t think it goes far enough. Why don’t we simply eliminate it and refuse to participate ever again in any bloated, centralized entity? There are many smaller confederations we could join — and have joined — for mutual security and economic reasons.

The world has gotten smaller and the rate of change has increased exponentially so the last thing we need is central control. It can’t respond quickly enough, as the Tsumani aftermath proved; it has no moral authority, as illustrated in Darfur, and it has no accountability, as Oil for Food demonstrates, continuing to bubble out vast reserves of corruption and downright evil.

The world not only doesn’t need the United Nations, the sad fact is the world would be a better place without the United Nations. If it ever had any usefulness that utility is so long past it’s no longer visible.

When the UN disappears the economic costs to New York City will be great. But we have closed military bases before and communities have thrived. New York can be helped; it would be a better city without the scofflaws and outlaws who people the whore house on First Avenue. Simply put, the United Nations cannot and should not continue.


Prayer for the UN

Let Kofi be the last.
Let the past be the past.
Do not feed it anymore.
May the UN be like the Marxist state:
Let it wither away.

Boiling the Frog

Am I done yet?Last Thursday, in the already notorious decision Kelo et al v. City of New London, the Supreme Court ruled that the phrase “public use” means whatever local government officials say it means. For practical purposes, there is no longer any such thing as private property — each of us is enfeoffed to the federal government, and we retain our holdings at the whim of our liege lord. Next you can expect that a local bureaucrat will exercise his droit de seigneur with your wife.

How did we come to this pass? At one time this was a nation of liberties, and our forefathers raised a militia and took up arms to keep it so. How have we come to surrender meekly to such tyranny and injustice, with scarcely a whimper of protest? What happened to us?

There is an old chestnut about how to boil a frog: you don’t drop him into boiling water, because he’ll hop right out. Instead, you put him in a pot of water at room temperature and increase the heat under him very slowly. The frog never notices the incremental changes in temperature, and eventually boils without realizing what is happening.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think our frog is very nearly cooked.

It’s not only the frog of our property rights which is almost boiled. The erosion of our liberties has proceeded on many fronts, aided by a grotesque expansion of the size and scope of government. Our common culture has been so degraded that words like “decency” and “civility” can hardly be used without irony. And traditional American self-reliance has been simmering in the pot for so long that we are rapidly becoming wards of the state.

Presented below is a random sample of the boiled frogs of American political culture. Readers will undoubtedly want to add their own favorites.

The Commerce Clause. The Gonzalez vs. Raich decision on June 6 demonstrated the extent to which the federal government will go to interfere with the rights of the individual and the prerogatives of the states. There was a time when “commerce” actually meant commerce, and interstate commerce involved monetary or in-kind transactions that crossed state lines. Little by little the meaning of interstate commerce has been transformed, so that a commodity produced and consumed by an individual locally, and never sold, is considered to be “interstate commerce”. Just as in Kelo, the phrase means whatever the government says it means.
Taxes. Changes in taxes ratchet in one direction only: up. Once a tax is passed, it is rarely repealed, and reductions in rates are just as rare. The federal surcharge on your telephone bill was enacted in order to pay for the Spanish-American War. Strangely enough, it’s still there.
The Size of Government. Government transfers and subsidies have more than doubled since the 1960s, as a share of GDP. There are more people employed now by the government than in manufacturing jobs. Once a government program is set up, it is next to impossible to shut it down, and its funding must increase every year by more than the rate of inflation; anything less is deemed a “cut”. Once hired, a federal employee is almost impossible to dislodge. These trends damage the economy and the character of American citizens; when the employees of the government and their “clients” exceed half the population, the government and the country will have become synonymous.
Political Correctness. Restrictions on “hate speech” and laws against “sexual harassment” did not appear overnight. Incremental infringements on our First Amendment rights accumulated until they produced our current PC climate. The right not to be discriminated against became the right not to be offended.
The Cultural Sewer. Two generations ago, the occurrence of the word “damn” in a movie was risqué and daring. Public discourse and popular culture managed to thrive without the “F” word, and decorous civility was the norm. Brick by brick the barriers to expression have been removed, so that children are routinely sexualized and exploited in pop culture. Even as political expression has been stifled, pornography has come to be considered an inalienable right.
Illegal Immigration. At one time it was considered normal to restrict the flow of foreigners into our country, and to arrest and deport those who entered it illegally. Now only “racists” call for curbing immigration and enforcing the law on “undocumented workers”. We have imperceptibly lost the cultural self-confidence that once insisted on maintaining the integrity of our borders.
Education. The America-hating Left did not storm the schools and universities and occupy them in a blitzkrieg operation. Yet they have become one of the four pillars of liberal extremism (along with the courts, the media, and the federal bureaucracy). Professor by professor, textbook by textbook, the common cultural heritage that used to be transmitted from generation to generation by our schools has been replaced by ideological cant.
The Great Jihad. How did we get to the point where it is more important not to damage a copy of the Koran than it is to take terrorists out of circulation? When did it become more of a priority not to offend Muslims than to prevent innocent Americans from being murdered? We didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Let’s hire civil rights lawyers for foreign terrorists and then let them out on bail!” Yet somehow it happened.

*    *    *    *    *    *

The frog’s eyes are a little bloodshot and steam is rising from him. At what point does he cease being a frog and become dinner? And who will be left to eat him?

Frogs’ legs, anyone?

Council Winners Here

Watcher's CouncilThis week’s Council Winner is Dr. Sanity for her “La Belle Indifference.” I know she translates it to English for us dummies, but “La Belle” has always been one of my favorite medical terms, along with the Islets of Langerhans. “Where you going on vacation this year?” Oh, probably the Islets of Langerhans. The wife likes it there.”

Anyway, the good doctor has a definition of conversion hysteria and a practical application of this disorder to the news of the day as filtered through the questionable mental apparatus of the MSM. Go read it just for her table. I hope it spreads through the blogosphere.

The Non Council King of the Hill is the Jawa Reports Kos Says U.S. Torture ‘Equal’ To that of Saddam Hussein (A Comparison). Recommendation: don’t go there if you suffer from PTSD. It’ll trigger you for days. I’m still looking for the door. The rest of you, please go. Witness must be borne.

Also to be recommended is Varifrank’s I’ve Got a Bad Feeling Aout This. And here’s what he has a bad feeling about:

The end result of this “Shark Summer” process will be for the Democrats to push for impeachment of the President some time during the summer of 2005; the groundwork is already being laid for this action this summer. The Democrats are trying to get traction on something, anything to allow them to drive home to an impeachment trial on which they will end the Bush Legacy.

Each week there are so many good posts to read. Try the Education Wonks if you want to be truly disturbed about fraud and waste in our schools. Those criminals put the Third World baksheesh mentality to shame.

For comic relief, read Dennis the Peasant and see justice done as Hop Sing, the Mexican houseboy with the dead armadillo, puts the rich kid in her place.

It’s all here thanks to the Watcher of Weasels.

How About Some SOLs for the NGOs?

What a waste. Americans opened their hearts and their pocketbooks to the tsumani victims and all they got was a storm of corruption.

Mark Steyn, the inimitable, points out that Oxfam paid a million dollars in “fees” Sri Lanka to be allowed to use their four-wheel-drive vehicles to get into the country to deliver aid. And fourteen Unicef ambulance idled on the docks in Indonesia because of the Indonesian Red Cross paperwork.

Here’s an idea: let’s turn the UN, the Red Cross, all the do-nothing NGOs and their hangers-on over to the NEA here in America. The NEA can design a feasibility study, see, one that would be based on outcomes or some other education-speak, and we could give all these organizations and the countries in which they languish some report cards.

In addition to SOLs for students, we could have SOLs for non-profits, including the UN. Oh, dear God, especially the UN. They could get report cards, grades to be based on what they actually do rather than on their thick, bound, handsome proposals about what they’re going to do. Someday.

Until we get some hard facts on their accomplishments here’s an idea for the next major disaster: send your contributions to the Pentagon so they can be used to fuel the ships and planes and personnel who actually get there, do something useful, and then move on.

Otherwise, keep your money in your pocket. Sometimes the best response is no response, as the Tsunami Tshakedown (thank you, Mr. Steyn) has proved.

Exporting Terror

An interesting article in Wednesday’s South Asia Times discusses the export from Pakistan of the manpower for the Great Jihad.

     From Australia to Europe to North America, a spate of arrests, trials and convictions has brought to the world’s attention the growing threat posed by jihadis from Pakistan.
On June 5, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a pair of Pakistani-Americans from the sleepy little farming town of Lodi, California. Hamid Hayat, 23, and his father, Umer Hayat, 47, were later charged with lying to the authorities regarding their connection with jihadi training camps. But the formal FBI affidavit contained the bombshell piece of information that the training camps in question were in Pakistan, not in the notorious tribal areas, but right outside the city of Rawalpindi, which also hosts the Pakistan army headquarters.

These busy mujahedeen gathering and training in the terror camps are bound for locales all over the world, including the branch of Lashkar-e-Taiba here in Virginia:

     In 2003, American authorities broke up a terrorist cell in the state of Virginia. During the subsequent trial, six men pleaded guilty, while three more were convicted of terrorism-related charges. The men, belonging to various ethnic backgrounds, admitted to being members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the notorious Pakistani Salafist group that is also active in Indian Kashmir. The US government released their indictment, which laid out the dates and periods when they went to Pakistan to train in LeT’s camps.

An amusing detail is the Pakistani government’s version of the “I didn’t hit him, and besides he hit me first” defense:

     For its part, the Pakistani government denies that there are any terrorist camps in its territory. However, even Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri recently admitted during questioning that there were LeT terror camps in Pakistan, but insisted that the government had closed them down. The jihadi groups themselves, which still operate under new names despite being “banned”, regularly publish magazines and newsletters that give out the phone numbers and addresses of their recruiters. Many former Pakistani officials have also pointed out that the Pakistan government’s denials lack credibility. They note that Pakistan’s continued support of Kashmir jihadi elements effectively torpedoes any chances of removing al-Qaeda from Pakistan, since jihadi groups do not tend to distinguish between Kashmir, Afghanistan and the West. “To these tanzeems [outfits], Hindus, Jews and Christians are all the same type of enemy,” one Pakistani expert based in the West noted.

Note that the Pakistani official is echoing the assertion that we have been making here for so long: from the point of view of the Great Islamic Jihad, we are all kufr. Jews, Christians, Hindus, atheists — same thing.

Professors of Terror

An article in the current issue of The Jewish Week tells a story which has not received much play in the major news media — Are Arab Professors Masterminding Terror?:

     It has been called “the most significant terrorism trial” since 9-11: the first time alleged leaders of Islamic Jihad, self-confessed killers of more than 100 Israelis and two Americans, are being tried in an American court; the first time the controversial Patriot Act has lassoed jihadists of this magnitude; and the first time that Arab professors in an American university who have claimed “academic freedom” for their pro-Palestinians views have been indicted for using their university offices to direct and finance terrorist activity.
Yet most New Yorkers are oblivious to this case because The New York Times, let alone most other northern newspapers, has decided not to cover the extraordinary testimony being heard now in a Tampa, Fla., courtroom.
Charged with racketeering, conspiracy, materially aiding terrorists and running the American office of Palestinian Islamic Jihad are Kuwaiti-born Palestinian Sami Al-Arian, former professor at the University of South Florida; Sameeh Hammoudeh, a former instructor at the university; and two Islamic activists, Hatim Fariz and Ghassan Ballut.

The professors are accused of complicity in an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing of a bus in Israel in 1995, one which killed a 20-year-old college student from New Jersey. The prosecution is presenting evidence of their involvement in promoting and funding the terrorist group.

Academics such as Sami Al-Arian know how to talk the PC talk in English in front of the microphone for the media, but they walk the jihad walk in Arabic with their “students” in mosques and political meetings. Protected by tenure and the First Amendment from any consequences, they are swathed in the suffocating layers of political correctness that have become so pervasive in our country. The protective layer covering them now is that of media silence.

But it was not always thus. As the article points out, Sami al-Arian was a media darling not that long ago:

     It’s not that the Times was always reticent about Al-Arian. Three years ago (Jan. 27, 2002) he was the centerpiece of an editorial charging that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the University of South Florida “dishonor ideals of public universities by trying to fire Palestinian professor Sami Al-Arian … whose anti-Israel statements have produced threats to campus and a decline in contributions.” Now there are no Times editorials.
Al-Arian was the focus as well of two Times columns by Nicholas Kristof. On March 1, 2002, he wrote that Al-Arian “denounces terrorism” and “promotes interfaith services with Jews,” and warned that “a university, even a country, becomes sterile when people are too intimidated to say things out of the mainstream. … Three exhaustive studies of his conduct have found no evidence of wrongdoing.”
Now that evidence is being presented and Kristof is silent.

These professors have something to teach us all. But are we prepared to learn?

Note: interested readers can find thorough and up-to-date coverage of the trial at The Tampa Tribune.

Give It Up, Guys

I Could Scream
The MMA in Pakistan is having a hard time. Failing on all sorts of initiatives, this loose consortium of Islamic-law political parties is reduced to beating up women when they show up as participants at marathons.

salwar kameezInitially the MMA claimed it was the fact that they didn’t want their “sisters and sisters-in-law” running around the country in their t-shirts and knickers. So when the women showed up in the traditional salwar kameez and wearing high heels, the MMA retreated to another tack: no running with men. When that didn’t work, they got down to it: no running at all for women, not even during the Haji rites.

The MMA is fighting a rear-guard action in Pakistan. They have tried in various ways to throw a spanner into President Musharraf’s alliance with the United States and his determination to bring Pakistan into the 19th century. Failing politically, they have entered into cultural mode, beginning with women’s participation in public life.

They have succeeded in defeating attempts to repeal the Islamic penal provisions that date from the 1980’s. Thus, a woman still needs four men to testify for her when she’s raped. They’ve also been successful in defeating Musharraf’s attempts to repeal blasphemy laws. But they failed to stop bus service into Kashmir and they are in crisis since the government has begun negotiating with Benazir Bhutto’s PPP. If Musharraf can bring off a successful negotiation, it will end his dependence on the MMA for parliamentary strength.

Here’s one way to look at it: when you see pictures of the police beating up women runners, you know whoever is behind it is on the losing side. This is a picture of desperate measures. It is only a matter of time till time catches up with them.

Welcome to the modern world, guys.


Here are the news items (dating back to April 2005) used as background for this post:
Pakistani Police Clash With Demonstrators
Pakistan’s Hard-Line Islamists
Races Turn Into FIght for Pakistani Women’s Rights