Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/20/2008

After a number of reader complaints, I’ve reworked the headline links. The full post no longer has to be open for them to work — just click the link, even from the main page, and it will take you to the article in question.

Batman and Rush: Why McCain Will Win
Forty Years After the Death of a Party
Islamo-Fascism Week III: “Stop the Jihad on Campus”
Muslim Co-Conspirator in Terrorism in Next Week’s Democratic Convention
Canadian Immigration Laws Allow Convicted Terrorist and Killer to Make Home in Ontario
Europe and the EU
Hizb ut Tahrir London Meeting: an Eyewitness Report
Denmark: Intelligence Report Warns of Armed Protestors
Half of Poles Fear Russian Attack
Dutch Reject Further EU Integration
Britain’s Ramadan Pharmacy
7/7 Bombers Were Given £20,000 Funding… by “BBC — Children in Need”
UN Begins Transfer of Kosovo Authority to EU
North Africa
Algeria: Terrorism; Two Car Bombs in Buira, 11 Dead
Israel and the Palestinians
80% of Freed Prisoners Go Back to Terrorism
Middle East
9 Detained in Yemen for Apostasy
OIC Chief Condemns the Terrorist Attack on a Gendarmerie Academy in Algeria
OIC Secretary General Condemns Senseless Suicide Attacks in Iraq
South Asia
Musharraf, Out of Tricks
Italy: Hundreds of Child Immigrants Arrive Alone, Says NGO

Thanks to Fjordman, Gaia, Insubria, LS, no2liberals, Srdja Trifkovic, TB, turn, VH, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Details are below the fold.
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Batman and Rush: Why McCain Will Win

OK. I’ll walk out on a limb.

This election has already been decided. It’s over. The winner is John McCain.

How, you are asking, could anybody be so utterly stupid to say such a thing in August? What about the polls showing Obama ahead? Haven’t I heard about Obama-mania? The conventions haven’t even been held!

Well, since you asked, I’ll tell you.

Yes, I know how to read the polls. I’ve seen the television coverage of the adoring Obama crowds. Followed the “triumph” of the Obama European tour. Know that in some eyes McCain is “old.” I’ve heard all the usual buzz about potential VPs and which possible number two brings what to which ticket. Listened to the usual back-and-forth between the rival campaigns. “Did so!” “Did not!” Yada-yada-yada, as Seinfeld might say.

To which I say: So what?

If you really want to know the outcome of this election, the answers are out there to be found right now. Look around. Take a good hard look at what is going on around us all. It requires only that we understand what we are seeing, beginning with two much reported events of the summer.

First, The Dark Knight broke movie records with first day earnings of over $66 million. The film has broken one record after another, just as films like Star Wars or a Star Wars sequel or Spiderman or a Spiderman sequel did in their time. All by himself, Bloomberg tells us, Batman is poised to boost Hollywood towards a record year of $10 billion in box office sales.

Second. Simultaneous to the huge success of The Dark Knight, Rush Limbaugh has celebrated his 20th year as the host of his nationally syndicated number one radio show, signing an 8-year contract for a reported $400 million. His show is heard on approximately 600 stations around the country, with the president of Premiere Radio Networks saying the show enjoys an “unprecedented platform of radio affiliates.” In recent weeks Rush has received one big happy fist pump from everyone including but not limited to the President of the United States and the “Dittoheads” who listen to him regularly as part of an audience of 20 million a week.

So, as might be phrased by another character out of the world of Batman, riddle me this.

Why is Batman so popular? Why is Rush so popular? And what in the world does the popularity of either have to do with asserting as fact that Senator McCain has already won the presidential election over Senator Obama?

The answer is: you. “You” defined as a cultural American…

           — Hat tip: no2liberals [Return to headlines]

Forty Years After the Death of a Party

By Bruce Walker

Forty years ago, in the third week of August 1968, something horrible happened to the American Left and to its host, the Democratic Party. We have been living with this horror ever since. Democrats once embraced patriotism. Scoop Jackson, a true liberal on domestic issues, was as passionate a supporter of America against our enemies as any other politician in America. JFK, in his 1960 campaigned against Nixon in 1960, argued that the Eisenhower Administration had neglected national defense and he promised to defend freedom anywhere. Harry Truman was wrong on many things, but he defended the Republic of Korea, he ordered the Berlin Airlift, and he pushed the Truman Plan and the Marshall Plan. Once Democrats, liberal Democrats, were genuine patriots who opposed our totalitarian enemies.

This anti-totalitarian Left insisted that communism would implode from within. Contain communism, liberal Democrats once said, and it would fall. Implicit in this interpretation of world events was the idea that this ghastly expression of Leftism totalitarianism was rotten to the core. Implicit in this also was the belief that modern war was too awful a nightmare even to be used to roll back communism. Both Left and Right agreed about the final goal — the end of the Soviet empire — but disagreed about tactics. This, at least, had been true since 1945.

In 1968, America, largely alone, was fighting communism in Southeast Asia. Good men still debate the wisdom of that war. Was trying to stop communism in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos worth the sacrifice of American blood? Should we have fought a war when our SEATO allies, Britain and France, ignored their treaty obligations and traded with the enemy? Should we have fought a war with ground troops that might have been fought with fewer losses by sea and air power? Should we have fought a war hamstrung by civilian bureaucrats in Washington? What few liberal Democrats once questioned was the morality of defending imperfect, partially free allies from totalitarian conquest.

That changed dramatically forty years ago. At the Democratic Convention in Chicago, the pent-up animus against America, simmering on college campuses for years, blossomed into an anti-war movement which was not anti-war at all, but which was rather anti-America and anti-freedom. Banners celebrated brutal thugs like Ho Chi Minh and defined America as “Amerika.” The protesters who carried these banners called openly for violence, not peace. The object of this movement was, quite simply, the triumph of evil…

           — Hat tip: turn [Return to headlines]

Islamo-Fascism Week III: “Stop the Jihad on Campus”

By David Horowitz and Reut Cohen

While America is finally winning the war in Iraq, the global effort against the Islamic jihad goes on. In Afghanistan, the war with al-Qaeda is still raging. In Gaza, Hamas continues to launch genocidal attacks against Israeli towns. Meanwhile, on American college campuses a coalition of organizations connected to the jihad network demonizes America and Israel. This coalition carries on its agendas of hate with the unwitting collaboration of student governments and university administrations.

In October 2007, more than one hundred campuses hosted Islamo-Fascism Awareness weeks to make university communities aware of the Islamist threat and the danger it poses.

In April 2008 a second Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week focused on the network created in America by the Muslim Brotherhood and that includes the Muslim Students Association and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

This fall, during the week of October 13-17, students on more than 100 campuses will hold events under the banner of “Stop the Jihad on Campus,” a campaign designed to make the university community aware of the support the Muslim Students Association, Students for Justice in Palestine and other leftist groups provide for the jihadists’ hatred and agendas.

A focus of this campaign will be the genocidal nature of the jihad. Over one hundred Muslim Students Associations have refused to condemn the genocidal terror groups Hamas and Hizbullah, and have declined to repudiate the infamous Hadith or saying of the prophet which calls on Muslims to kill Jews to bring about the Day of Judgment…

           — Hat tip: LS [Return to headlines]

Barack Obama’s Homeless Half-Brother Found Living in Kenya Shack, Earning Less Than $1 a Day

American presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s long-lost half brother has been tracked down, living in a run-down hut in Kenya. George Hussein Onyango Obama, is the youngest of the democratic senator’s brothers and lives in a ramshackle shanty town.

George, 26, was tracked down by the Italian edition of Vanity Fair earlier this month and is featured in their current issue as he speaks for the first time about his life at Huruma on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.

Vanity Fair also noted that he had a front page newspaper picture of his famous brother — born of the same father as him, Barack Hussein Obama but to a different woman, named only as Jael. George told the magazine: “I live like a recluse, no-one knows I exist” and revealed he does not mention his famous brother.

He added :”If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed.” For ten years George lived on the street however he now hopes to try and sort his life out by starting a course at a local technical college.

He has only met his famous older brother twice — once when he was just five and the last time in 2006 when the American was on a tour of East Africa and visited Nairobi. Barrack does mention his brother in his autobiography describing him in just one passing paragraph as a “beautiful boy with a rounded head.”

Of their second meeting George said: “It was very brief, we spoke for just a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger.” George added he was no longer in contact with his mother and said: “I have had to learn to live and take what I need. […]

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Muslim Co-Conspirator in Terrorism in Next Week’s Democratic Convention

Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama’s appearance before a large evangelical congregation in Orange County over the weekend underscored an evident imperative of his campaign: Emphasize his Christian faith and put to rest insistent rumors that he secretly adheres to the Islamic creed of his father and youth.

The effort to minimize any grounds for fearing Obama has an abiding, if covert, attachment to Islam has prompted him to risk offending Muslims in order to avoid off-message controversies and photo ops. It is, therefore, curious in the extreme that he is giving a prominent role at next week’s Democratic convention to a leader of an organization identified by the Department of Justice as a Muslim Brotherhood front organization and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism financing conspiracy.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson is the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization created by the radical, Saudi- financed Muslim Students Association. She will represent the Muslim community at the first-ever interfaith prayer service at a Democratic nominating convention.

Now, we know from the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial that ISNA is one of many Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups operating in America. We also know from a Brotherhood document entered into evidence in that case (which is currently being retried after the first prosecution resulted in a mistrial) that, “The work [of Brotherhood members] in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within, and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

The question is why would Barak Obama’s campaign — which has prevented Muslim women wearing headcoverings from being in the background of photographs with the candidate and which recently fired a Muslim-outreach coordinator who had ties to another unindicted HLF co-conspirator — allow itself to be put in such company?

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]


Canadian Immigration Laws Allow Convicted Terrorist and Killer to Make Home in Ontario

Once home to inventor Alexander Graham Bell and hockey great Wayne Gretzky, the small Canadian city of Brantford is now home to a terrorist — and the Canadian government might not do anything about it.

Forty years ago, Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad, a former teacher, joined the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

On Dec. 26, 1968, Mohammad and another gunman launched an attack on an El Al airliner at Athens International Airport. The two ran up on the tarmac firing guns and, throwing grenades at the passenger jet, wounded a flight attendant as she opened an emergency exit and killed a 50-year-old passenger, Leon Shirdan.

The gunmen were captured, tried and convicted in Greek court, and they were sentenced in 1970 to serve 17 years in prison. But they were released just months later after the PFLP hijacked an Olympic Airways flight and demanded their release as part of a hostage exchange.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Briton Jailed for Recruiting Jihadists Online

A Briton who recruited Islamist extremists online to stage holy war worldwide, including Britain’s youngest terrorism convict, was jailed for 12 years on Tuesday.

Aabid Khan, 23, built up a computer “encyclopedia” of extremist material including a file on Britain’s royal family, London’s Blackfriars Crown Court heard during the trial.

“The material seized from you… is amongst the largest and most extensive ever discovered and thus makes this case one of the most serious of its type to come before the courts,” said judge Timothy Pontius.

“It is that material… which was possessed by you for a specific intention, to be used in due course to provide practical assistance in terrorist activity,” the judge said.

Khan, a former fast food restaurant worker from Bradford, northern England, was jailed after being convicted on three counts of possessing articles for a purpose connected with terrorism.

His cousin and “right-hand man” Sultan Muhammad, also 23, was jailed for 10 years for possessing similar material and making a record of information likely to be useful in terrorism.

On Monday the court convicted the two men as well as Hammaad Munshi, who was 16 at the time of his arrest. Munshi will be sentenced next month.

The trial heard how the material collected included personal information, including addresses, of Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip, and their four children — Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward and Princess Anne.

“Perhaps most chillingly of all was the vest folder demonstrating in careful, methodical and lethal detail the step-by-step instructions of how to make a suicide bomber’s vest or belt packed with ball bearings and explosives.

“During the playing of that 20-minute video the stunned silence in court was a telling reflection of the collective horror felt by such a potent demonstration of terrorist resolve.”

Khan’s father Sabir reacted angrily to Tuesday’s ruling, and had to be ejected from court after accusing the judge of being “anti-Muslim.” Outside he was restrained after punching a reporter to the ground when asked his name.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Hizb ut Tahrir London Meeting: an Eyewitness Report

A Jihad Watch reader went undercover to the Hizb ut Tahrir conference in London on the caliphate last Saturday, and kindly sends us this exclusive report about what was said there:

Khilafah The Need for Political Unity

London Conference

Saturday 16th August 2008

Hosted by Hizb Ut Tahrir — Britain


Dr. Mahmad Salim: The Shariah and Unity

Quoting extensively from the Quran and Hadith, Dr. Mahmad puts forth the Islamic obligation for Muslims around the globe to support this vision for the re-establishment of the Islamic State.

No longer must Muslims unite on the basis of or identify themselves as belonging to any nationality, but should unite only as Muslims, as part of the Ummah. National or patriotic feelings are unIslamic. In this manner, you will be stronger together as one Umma. Do not be divided over nationality. The enemies of Islam are quick to supply weapons to corrupt leaders in the Muslim World, which causes divisions between nations against nations. Our resources should be plundered by our enemies.

Recall the Shahada (Muslim confession of faith), and stand by it in your actions. Why should we fight amongst ourselves, when we should be united to fight together against our enemies?

When the Khilafah comes, the Imam will be responsible for the protection of the people of the Umma, and including the non-Muslims who are also under the State. The prophet Mohammed demanded political unity for the Umma; we cannot go against this command.

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Intelligence Report Warns of Armed Protestors

The intelligence agency warns that left and right-wing extremists are arming themselves

The Danish intelligence agency (PET) revealed in its annual report for 2006-2007 that more protestors are carrying weapons.

The number of violent confrontations is still low, but the prospect of having to face protestors who are armed means that violent cases will escalate in the future, according to Jakob Scharf, head of PET.

‘If weapons are involved, it will trigger a significant escalation in violent confrontations.’

The violent cases mainly involve left-wing actions against right-wing demonstrations or meetings.

Århus in Jutland has seen a lot of clashes in recent years between the white supremacist fans of AGF football club, White Pride, and the left-wing anti-fascists.

Scharf said that the extremist organisations are becoming more organised and are aimed at uncovering and exposing each other’s activities.

‘These actions often seem like those of private intelligence agencies, which is worrying in itself, and the self-appointed agents often get in the way of PET’s investigations.’

Scharf said that there is a comprehensive left-wing movement in Denmark, which is often centred on Ungdomshuset.

The Ungdomshuset cultural youth house saw mass riots and demonstrations by members against the buildings owners who were selling the property in 2007. The violence spilled onto the streets and resulted in nightly battles against the police.

PET’s report showed that from the end of 2006 to October 2007, 1600 people were arrested as a result of the vandalism and demonstrations.

The annual review showed that the right-wingers are dominated by extreme racists and anti-Muslim groups who aim to create a broad divide among the general population and ethnic minorities.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Half of Poles Fear Russian Attack

As NATO ministers gather in Brussels to discuss how tough to get with Russia after the Georgian crisis, an opinion poll shows one in two Poles fear an attack by Russia. Eastern European countries are unhappy with the response of the West.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Dutch Reject Further EU Integration

Popular support for the European Union has plummeted in the Netherlands since the early 1990s. In 2006, a distinct majority of Dutch voters rejected further European integration, according to the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS). In 2006, 55 percent of the Dutch electorate rejected further European integration, 26 percent supported it and 19 percent were undecided. In 1994, opponents (30 percent) were still outnumbered by supporters (38 percent). Apparently, attempts to convince minors that European integration has more advantages than disadvantages are successful. “The lack of faith in Europe is obviously more widespread than in the early 1990s. With 68 percent in favour, 18 to 25-year-olds are the only age group in the Dutch population to be truly enthusiastic about Europe,” CBS said. CBS claimed 75 percent of the Dutch electorate are satisfied with the way democracy works in the Netherlands. A minority however are satisfied with the way democracy works in the European Union. “Only 41 percent of voters trust the European Union”. This is lower than the number trusting NATO (55 percent), the Dutch parliament (60 percent) and their fellow citizens (61 percent). Party for Freedom (PVV), ChristenUnie and Socialist Party (SP) voters are most Eurosceptical. These were the only parties to urge a ‘no’ to the European constitution, which was indeed rejected in 2005 by the Dutch in a referendum. This resulted in the Treaty of Lisbon, which the Dutch were not however allowed to speak out on.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Britain’s Ramadan Pharmacy

“We appreciate the importance of cultural understanding and sensitivity when discussing the implications on health care of people’s religious beliefs,” said Price. (Google photo)

CAIRO — A famed pharmacy chain in Britain will offer a special medical service for Muslims during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, to help patients observe the dawn to dusk fasting without endangering their health.

“We know that during Ramadan many patients change the times they take their medicines, or even the number of doses they take each day, without first seeking medical advice,” Adrian Price, Professional Practice Manager of the Co-operative Pharmacy chain, told The Telegraph on Tuesday, August 19.

“Spending a few minutes discussing their plans with a pharmacist can identify potential problems and discuss possible solutions.”

The Co-operative Pharmacy, the third largest pharmacy chain in the UK with over 800 branches, is offering free checks for Muslim customers during Ramadan, expected to fall on the first of September.

“We encourage all our regular customers to have a medicine check but with Ramadan approaching they are particularly useful for people intending to fast.”

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Tattoo Thieves Indicted for Scissors Attack

Two men have been indicted for forcefully attempting to cut away a tattoo belonging to a 32-year-old man in Kalmar, south-east Sweden.

The perpetrators claim they thought the tattoo represented Nazi symbols.

The two men attacked the drunken 32-year-old victim in an apartment on the night to 20th July this year. They are accused of aggravated assault, but deny the charges.

However, there are plenty of witnesses to their crime, according to newspaper Barometern.

The men allegedly used scissors to cut away the tattoos, removing chunks of skin in the process.

According to police, several tattoos were taken off completely, while others were partially removed.

Injuries to the man with the missing tattoos were not life threatening, and he was able to leave the hospital after being bandaged up.

He was reportedly heavily intoxicated at the time of the attack, and was unwilling to cooperate with police in their investigation.

The two men being held were apprehended following tips from witnesses and police surveillance work

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Anti-Terror Probe Looks at Pirelli ‘Factory Plot’

An anti-terror probe has begun in Italy after police uncovered detailed architectural plans for tyre-maker Pirelli’s plant in Turin.

Anti-terror investigators from Turin and Genoa are investigating the possibility of a plot after Italian tax police raided an encampment inside highway tunnel being used by the homeless.

Local residents told police they saw a ‘suspicious’ individual wearing Arab clothing and a long black beard entering and leaving the tunnel. However, police found no-one at the encampment when they carried out the raid, just household objects such as razors, shaving cream and foodstuffs.

Pirelli Tyre is part of the multinational Pirelli conglomerate. and claims to be the world’s fifth largest operator in the tyre market.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

7/7 Bombers Were Given £20,000 Funding… by “BBC — Children in Need”

“Children in Need” inadvertently handed £20,000 to the 7/7 London bombers, it emerged last night. The BBC charity cash was given to a bookshop run by Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, who spent it on videos glorifying holy war.

“BBC — Children in Need” also funded computers, gym equipment and the rafting trip made by the pair a month before their attacks claimed 52 lives. Relatives of those who died in the 2005 atrocity claim Children in Need was reluctant to ask about how its money was being used for fear of causing offence to Muslims.

David Ramsden, the charity’s chief executive, said last night he was extremely concerned by the claims and had ordered an investigation. He insisted however that the charity had had no idea the money was being used to fund terrorism.

The £20,000 — donated between 1999 and 2002 — went to Leeds Community School in Beeston. Along with £230,000 from Leeds city council, it was spent on the school and the adjoining Iqra bookshop, which was run by the bombers and became the place they hatched their plans. […]

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Teachers Need Holocaust Homework

A new report finds that many Swedish teachers know little about the Holocaust, the Nazi killing of more than 8 million Jews, Roma, and others during World War Two.

The Living History Forum, a government agency that promotes issues relating to tolerance, democracy and human rights, put a list of 11 questions about the Holocaust to 5000 teachers here. Only two got all the questions right, and seventy percent missed at least eight of them. The questions have been criticised, however, as being too difficult.

The head of the Swedish Teachers Union says the survey reveals deficiencies in teacher training here, and has called for an improvement before the next elections, when anti-immigrant parties may play on racism and anti-Semitism in their campaigns.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Teen Terrorist Behind Bars

Britain’s youngest terrorist was behind bars today after a guide to death and explosives was found in the schoolboy’s home. Hammaad Munshi, just 16 and taking GCSEs when arrested, was part of a cell of cyber groomers that set out to brainwash the vulnerable to kill “non-believers”.

For nearly a year the teenager, whose grandfather is a leading Islamic scholar, led a double life. By day he attended lessons at the local comprehensive and did as he was told. But in the evening he spent hours surfing jihadist sites and distributing material to others as part of what the Crown branded a “worldwide conspiracy” to “wipe out” non-Muslims.

London’s Blackfriars Crown Court heard it contained detailed instructions about making napalm, other high explosives, detonators, and grenades, and “how to kill”. He was 15 when recruited by Aabid Khan, 23, a “key player” in radicalising the impressionable and vulnerable here and abroad with his message of “violent jihad”.

They lived ten miles apart, phoned each other during 2005 and 2006, and swapped documents about “black powder explosives”. Khan wanted to fulfil the teenager’s wish to go abroad and “fight jihad”, and during one internet exchange discussed how the schoolboy might smuggle a sword through airport security.

The Dewsbury-born teenager was detained a day after Khan as he and friends returned from local Westborough High School.

The IT whizz-kid — whose online Arabic profile “fidadee” means a “person ready to sacrifice themselves for a particular cause” — ran a website selling hunting knives and Islamic flags and was the cell’s computer specialist. […] “One who is not taking part in the battle nor has the sheer intention to die is in the branch of hypocrisy,” they read.

Khan, the schoolboy’s mentor, had links with proscribed terrorist organisations Jaishe-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, and helped radicalise jailed “wannabe suicide bomber” Mohammed Atif Siddique.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]


Serbia: Belgrade, European-Socialist Alliance Plays Encore

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, AUGUST 19 — The new political alliance forged in Serbia after the May elections between the pro-European forces, heirs of the opposition to Slobodan Milosevic, and the remains (partially renovated) of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), which was the pivot of the old regime, is extending to the municipality of Belgrade, the country’s key local administration. The confirmation arrived from the city council, which formalised today the election as mayor of Dragan Djilas, Democratic Party (DS, architrave of the pro-European bloc) official and highly loyal to Serbian President Boris Tadic. Djilas secured himself the control of the council thanks to an accord between pro-Europeans and Socialists reflecting and boosting the one already signed in the past weeks for the central government. An accord which was not unexpected, though negotiated for a long time, after SPS’s unhooking from the revanchist front with the Serbian Radical Party (SRS, ultranationalist) and former prime minister Vojislav Kostunicàs Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS, national conservative): two formations which, defeated on a national level, had tried by all means to hold by their side the Socialists at least at the municipal seat, trying to bar to the end the path of Djilas — the most voted-for candidate at the local elections three months ago — in favour of radical tribune Aleksandar Vucic. The accord attributes to the democrats the majority of councillors, apart from the position of mayor, leaving however to SPS the presidency of the city assembly. “Our common objective is a European Belgrade oriented towards the future,” the newly elected mayor declared when all was said and done. In contrast to what happened in the national Parliament, where Tadic’s bloc (40% of the votes received in May) and the Socialists (7%) hold by themselves the absolute majority of the seats, the coalition will however be more pronounced in the municipality. Apart form the 45 democratic councillors and the six Socialists, Djilas will actually have to count on the external support guaranteed by the seven ultraliberals from the LDP: accepted in extremis as road companions despite the old reciprocal grudges with LDP leader Cedomir Jovanovic, protagonist in 2001 of the arrest and extradition of already deposed Milosevic to The Hagués International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), where the former leader would die awaiting a ruling five years later. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UN Begins Transfer of Kosovo Authority to EU

The agreement may be technical in nature, but Serbia views Monday’s accord between the UN and the EU in Kosovo as being illegal. The EU mission has little legal backing, but it is insinuating itself into the newly independent country.

The United Nations and the European Union both insist that it was a technical move. On Monday in Kosovo, the UN mission there, known as UNMIK, and the EU signed an agreement enabling the handover of office space and vehicles to the EU’s mission known as EULEX. It is nothing to get worked up about, people close to the two missions insist.

Serbia and Russia, though, apparently didn’t get the message. Both countries protested vehemently at what they see as an incremental increase in European Union responsibility in Kosovo despite the UN Security Council having thus far refused to give EULEX the green light. […]

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

North Africa

Algeria: Media Report of Attack in Skikda, Victims

(ANSAmed) — ALGIERS, AUGUST 18 — An Algerian army convoy was hit by a bomb yesterday around 8pm local time between Oued Zeguere and Ain Kechra, near Skikda (500 km east of Algiers). According to the first information, El Watan reported, some 15 soldiers and terrorists were killed in the attack. After the explosion, a group of gunmen opened fire against the soldiers. On Thursday, Colonel Abdelkader Yamani, commander of the region of Jijel (350 km east of Algiers), and two Algerian soldiers were killed by a bomb triggered from a distance which hit the vehicle they were travelling in. Another bomb exploded near army barracks in Coopawi, near Lakhdaria, 70 km east of Algiers, the same day. The attack killed one soldier. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Sexual Harassment, 98% of Foreigners Victims

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, AUGUST 19 — A total 98% of foreign women visiting or living in Egypt are victims of several kinds of sexual harassment and 66.1% of them got an unpleasant impression of the Egyptian society due to the negative experience, but not so bad that they will avoid going back to the country. Only 7.0% of them said that they had no intention of going back to Egypt and 4.6% will warn their friends, exhorting them not to visit the country of Pyramids. The above was stated in a research of the “Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights (ECWR)”, released today in Cairo and conducted under the campaign “Make our streets safer for everyone”, which specifically aims at opposing sexual harassment and at condemning the risk that this behaviour might cause a strong reduction in the number of tourists, with disastrous economic consequences. In a study released in the last weeks of July, the Centre had informed that 82% of Egyptian women report to have been subjected to unpleasant attention by men, on the street, in public places or on transport vehicles. Without analysing the reasons for the greater impact of the phenomenon on foreign women, ECWR’s president, Nehad Abul Komsan, suggested that the authorities install street cameras to be able to identify the authors of the harassments and to obtain at the same time a deterring effect, like it happens already in some centres of India and the United Arab Emirates At the presentation of the study there were also MPs like Mohsen Radi, exponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, who remarked how the aggressors “do not spare even the God-fearing women, wearing the hijab (the veil on the head) or the niqab (which exposes only the eyes)”. “The majority of the victims refuse to report the aggressions. I will involve the Parliament to understand why this happens”, he pointed out. Even on the workplaces harassment is widespread, according to economist Hamdi Abdelazeem, who focused on the abuse of power which is often exercised by managers and businessmen over their female employees. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Algeria: Terrorism; Two Car Bombs in Buira, 11 Dead

(ANSAmed) — ALGIERS, AUGUST 20 — Civilians are once again the victims of the double attack carried out this morning in Buira, in Kabylie, east of Algiers. According to a statement of the Interior Ministry, released by APS, two car bombs went off at 6 in the centre of the town killing 11 people, all civilians, and wounding another 31, 27 civilians and 4 military. The first explosion destroyed a military building wounding four soldiers. There is still confusion on the place of the second attack: while official APS agency reports of an explosion near the Municipality of Buira, the national radio reports of Hotel Sophie. The double attack comes 24 hours after the massacre in Issers, again in Kabylie, where a suicide bomber threw himself against an academy of the gendarmerie killing 43 people, including 42 civilians mostly young people aged between 18 and 25. Many university students were queuing outside the entrance of the building to take part in a competition for admission to the military corps. No one has claimed responsibility yet for any of the attacks. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Terrorism: OK to Extradition in Morocco, Former Varese Imam

(ANSAmed) — MILAN, AUGUST 20 — Abdelmajid Zergout accepted to be extradited in Morocco. The former imam, despite being acquitted of terrorism in Milan, received an order to be remanded in custody by the Moroccan bench on similar charges. The fact that the former imam of Varese accepted the extradition, according to his lawyer, Luca Bauccio, is motivated with the fact that “he wants to put an end to the persecution which has already lasted for ten years”. The lawyer, explaining that his client has been two times acquitted of international terrorism in Italy, added that “Zergout is tired, exhausted of being defined a terrorist, guilty in front of the public opinion’. Bauccio explained that Zergout is suspected by the Moroccan authorities of the massacre in Casablanca and the one in Madrid. “Both trials have been already closed and his name has never been touched on. Moreover, with dignity and pain he decided to appear before the court in his country, despite being aware of the risk he takes,” he concluded. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Latest Israeli Weapon in W Bank: the ‘Skunk’

The Palestinian protestors massed at the fence expected tear gas and rubber bullets; what they got instead was a putrid yellow wind, Israel’s newest weapon against West Bank demonstrators.

The noxious mist, which Israeli police refer to as “skunk,” was used for the first time earlier this month, when a truck-mounted cannon sprayed it over the heads of protestors, sending them racing down the hillside, retching and tearing off their shirts to try to escape the stench.

Dozens of Palestinians from the village of Bilin, along with international and Israeli activists, had marched to a nearby segment of Israel’s controversial separation barrier to demand its removal, just as they have done every Friday for the last three and a half years.

“No, no to settlements; no, no to the wall!” they shouted, as they waved Palestinian flags and posters of Yusef Amira, a 16-year-old shot dead by Israeli police at a protest in a neighboring village last month.

Then the skunk truck arrived, spraying a cloud of yellow mist and filling the air with the suffocating stench of faeces and urine.

More than one demonstrator said he preferred the tear gas Israeli troops usually Israeli police say “skunk” is more effective at dispersing crowds than tear gas or the more lethal rubber-coated bullets, which killed Amira.

“It’s the start of a change in tactics in dealing with crowd control and dispersing violent demonstrations and violent instances,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

“It protects the protestors because it doesn’t require us to use tear gas and rubber bullets.”

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Mideast: Love Story in Territories, Cupid Now Does Politics

(by Safwat al-Kahlout and Aldo Baquis) (ANSAmed) — GAZA/TEL AVIV, AUGUST 20 — Cupid in these days is doing extra hours in the Territories. In the modest football field in Jabalya (Gaza) on Friday 160 young Palestinian couples got married in a mass wedding. Yesterday in the West Bank, amid the ruins of the settlement of Homesh, hundreds of Jews danced for a long time to celebrate the wedding of a couple of young settlers. An abyss separates the couples in Jabalya from the ones in Homesh. But all of them had received the blessing of a clear political sponsor: the first by Hamas, and the others by the movement of the settlers. With Muhammed al-Batesh, 23, and his cousin Museka, 17, life has not been clement. Two months ago Muhammed’s brother was killed in a gunfight with Israeli military. Muhammed himself, former Islamic Jihad militant, was hit in 2006 by an Israeli rocket: one of his legs was amputated and the other one was broken. As a disabled serviceman he receives from the government 800 shekels a month (some 150 euro). For a year he had racked his brains in vain to find the seven thousand dollars necessary to marry Museka. JABALYA IS CELEBRATING — “When I found out that Hamas was organising a mass wedding in Jabalya, I cheered up,” Muhammed told ANSA. “Also because in this way it would be possible to adequately celebrate our wedding, though with the pain I feel for the killing of my brother”. On Friday the Jabalya refugee camp threw a huge celebration. Upon initiative of Hamas and other Islamic organisations the couples to get married and their guests engaged in merrymaking for hours, in the presence of local dignitaries. Each couple received a special gift: 1,600 shekels. “I passed it to the friends who had advanced me money for the wedding,” Muhammed, who is the son of a mason jobless for years and has another six brothers and sisters, explained. Then, on Monday, Muhammed and Museka celebrated also a private religious ritual. “We are grateful to Hamas for having organised the mass wedding. Maybe they will hold others in the future,” they say. IN HOMESH SETTLERS DANCE — Music of happiness and dances until the fall of darkness spread yesterday also on the verdant hills of Samaria when Assaf Wolberg, 22, and his fiancee Shulamit Kirschenbaum, 20, exchanged under a baldachin the traditional vows of love and rings. Around them were the ruins of Homesh, a settlement razed to the ground by Ariel Sharon in 2005 in the context of a policy of disengagement from the Territories. Unlike him, the Wolberg newlyweds are sure that, with the help of the Lord, Homesh will become a populous Jewish settlement again and thousands of settlers sent away by Sharon will return to Gaza. The organisation of their marriage required a severe organisational commitment. For months they had showered with requests the office of the defence ministry of Ehud Barak which finally yielded to the pressures of the settlers’ movement. “Here we will build our house, here our children will grow” the spouses assured, interviewed by settlers’ radio Channel 7, from the height of a peak in Samaria where the look embraces half of Israel. Thus, Cupid has enticed with his plots Muhammed and Museka, Assad and Shulamit. He made use of politics, true. But the fact that for a day the news from the Territories was of love rather than war is already a development which stirs hopes. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

80% of Freed Prisoners Go Back to Terrorism

This is an interview with Meir Indor, the head of the Almagor terror victims organization, […] the message is quite strong: releasing terrorists from prison is insane.

Most of the ‘prisoners’ being released tomorrow tried to murder someone but did not succeed. Two did succeed — one of them twice. 80% of terrorists released from prison go back to terrorism.

Something is really wrong here. Let’s go to the videotape.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Middle East

Syria: Damascus to Free Wives of Alleged Islamists, HRW

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, AUGUST 19 — The Syrian authorities have been “illegally” detaining for over two weeks three women, wives of alleged Islamic extremists imprisoned in Syria and in the USA prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced today. In its statement, HRW calls for “the immediate release of the three women unless the authorities have evidence that these women have committed criminal offences”. On July 31, the Syrian authorities seized Yusra al-Husayn, wife of Jihad Diab, a detainee at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, at her house in Utayba, 20 km east of Damascus. Four days later, State Security detained Rawaa al-Kilani from her house in the same village. Rawaa is married to Ziad al-Kilani, who has been behind bars since 2004. At the same time the authorities detained also Bayan Ali, wife of Ahmad Saleh Ali, in prison since 2005. The three men are accused of being members of “fundamentalist formations with terrorist purpose”. Both al-Kilani and Saleh Ali are still awaiting the end of their trials and are both detained in Saydnaya, near Damascus, where a violent protest of detainees erupted last July 5. According to local humanitarian organisations, dozens of prisoners were killed by the Syrian security forces during the riot. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

9 Detained in Yemen for Apostasy

SANAA: Yemeni police have detained at least nine people this year for converting from Islam to Christianity, a security official said yesterday.

The nine were arrested between May and early August and remain in custody, said the official.

Converting from Islam to any other religion is illegal in Yemen and can be punishable by death. But in previous cases, those arrested were released after they revoked their new faith and pledged to return to Islam.

Three of the nine were detained west of the capital, Sanaa, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He declined to provide details about the others.

Separately, police detained six Iranians accused of being members of a rebel group.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

OIC Chief Condemns the Terrorist Attack on a Gendarmerie Academy in Algeria

The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack which targeted on Tuesday, August 19, 2008, a national gendarmerie academy in Boumerdes province, east of the capital Algiers. At least 43 people were killed and dozens injured in the attack.

The Secretary General expressed deep regret that innocent people fell victim to the attack. He conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and extended his wishes to the wounded for a speedy recovery.

Prof. Ihsanoglu lashed out against whoever stands behind these crimes, confirming that these acts are incompatible with the sacred values and teachings of Islam. He also called for a determined response against these blood-shedding and barbarous acts and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

OIC Secretary General Condemns Senseless Suicide Attacks in Iraq

The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu strongly condemned the suicide bomb attacks which took place in Iraq yesterday.

The Secretary General expressed grave concern that the recent wave of acts of violence of sectarian and ethnic character might exacerbate the already volatile security situation in Iraq and deepen the cycle of violence.

Secretary General Ihsanoglu lashed out against whoever stands behind these deplorable and senseless crimes which are against all the sacred values and teachings of Islam.

At the same time, he called upon the Iraqi people to demonstrate restraint, raise above shallow political, ethnic and sectarian pursuits, keep away from provocative acts which might harm the unity and togetherness of the Iraqi nation and unite to build a common future for their beloved country.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Oil Shale: Will Congress Cross the Jordan?

While members of Congress take vacations their constituents can no longer afford, a country prepares to end its dependence on foreign oil by extracting supplies from shale rock. It’s not the U.S. It’s in the Middle East. Jordan imports 95 percent of its oil.

Unlike the U.S., the desert kingdom plans on doing something about it. It does not, however, plan to cover its flat open spaces with solar panels or wind farms. It’s going to do something the Democratic Congress has refused to do: get oil from its abundant shale rock.

Jordan has the world’s fourth largest reserves of oil shale. Wael Saqqa, president of the JEA, said exploiting the 40 billion tons of shale in 26 areas of Jordan “would provide the kingdom with oil for the coming 700 years.” Jordan even fancies itself a net oil exporter within a decade.

Meanwhile, we sit on enough oil to make OPEC look like a mom-and-pop operation. In the West we may have what could be called a Persia on the Plains. A Rand Corp. study says the Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, has the largest known oil shale deposits in the world.

“The United States has 2 trillion barrels of oil shale,” according to the Institute for Energy Research. “This is more than seven times the amount of crude oil reserves found in Saudi Arabia and is enough to meet current U.S. demand for over 250 years.” […] “the U.S. could completely end its dependence on OPEC by 2020.” There’s enough North American petroleum trapped in oil sands and shale rock to form our own OPEC.

[…] Jordan has shown us the way to end independence from foreign oil: become dependent on your own.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

South Asia

Musharraf, Out of Tricks

by Srdja Trifkovic

Parties comprising Pakistan’s ruling coalition continue to be deeply divided in the aftermath of former president Pervez Musharraf’s sudden resignation last Monday. The late Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), which lead the coalition, were able to agree on impeachment charges that forced Musharraf out of office. They appear unable to agree on much else, and notably on the key issue of reinstating dozens of judges sacked by Musharraf last year, as Islamic insurgency in the tribal areas and the collapse of Karachi’s Stock Exchange continue unabated.

Musharraf’s resignation was long overdue, and Western editorialists lamenting his departure are mistaken to assert that the devil we knew was preferable to the ensuing power struggle. He has epitomized the ability of a number of autocrats in the Islamic world to present themselves to the United States as friends and allies, while at the same time conducting policies and pursuing domestic strategies deeply detrimental to Western interests.

Particularly galling was Musharraf’s ambivalent role in the “war on terrorism”: His ability to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds has been an affront to all enemies of jihad for years. The myth of Pakistan as a staunch ally of the United States finally may be laid to rest.

Musharraf’s chronic failure to create a modicum of stability at home was due to the illegitimate nature of his regime. The military coup that brought him to power in 1999 was initially welcomed by many Pakistanis after the chaos and corruption of Nawaz Sharif’s government. But after he appointed himself President in 2001, after he resorted to legal alchemy with a provisional constitutional order retroactively legitimizing the coup, and especially after he stage-managed a farcical referendum in April 2002 to extend his “mandate” for a further five years, Musharraf came to be universally loathed as an usurper…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]


Italy: Hundreds of Child Immigrants Arrive Alone, Says NGO

Lampedusa, 20 August (AKI) — Hundreds of illegal immigrant children who have arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa in the past three months landed without parents or family members, a major international aid organisation said on Wednesday.

Save the Children said more than 775 illegal immigrant children arrived on the island near Sicily in the past three months and 82 percent came without either parents or family members.

The children make up 8.5 percent of the total number of illegal immigrants that arrived off the Italian coast.

According to the organisation, the majority come from former Italian colonies such as Eritrea (19%) and Somalia (17,1%), followed by Nigeria (16,8). A smaller number come from the Palestinian Territories, Ghana, Togo and the Sudan.

“Some of the minors arrive in Italy from crisis zones such as Somalia, Eritrea, Nigeria or Sudan and are forced to flee their homes and leave their family ties behind due to war, civil disorder or persecution,” said Carlotta Bellini, coordinator for protection, of Save the Children Italy.

The organisation’s report is part of a wider programme called Praesidium III, jointly conducted with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, and the Red Cross.

Italy has the European Union’s longest coastline — 4,500 kilometres — making it difficult to police and a preferred destination for migrants.

The would-be migrants usually travel aboard people smugglers’ boats, typically paying thousands of dollars for their passage. Scores drown or die of dehydration, hunger and/heatstroke on the perilous journey.

Lampedusa is a tiny island that is closer to Africa than the European continent and a favourite drop off point for the people smugglers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Immigration Soars Eight-Fold Through Labour’s ‘Open-Door’ Policy

Immigration under Labour has soared eight-fold compared with the last decade of Tory rule, it emerged last night. The astonishing impact of the Government’s controversial ‘open door’ policy is revealed for the first time in a study by the independent House of Commons Library.

Between 1997 and 2006, the population increased by 1,196,000 as a direct result of immigration — the equivalent of almost 330 extra people arriving each day.

migrants …

immigration graphic: In the preceding decade of Conservative rule, from 1987 to 1996, the increase was only 141,000.

The study, compiled by Parliamentary researchers earlier this month, also found that between 1980 and 1986 at the start of Margaret Thatcher’s term in office the number of arrivals from overseas was outstripped by those leaving, with the population falling by 40,000.

MPs said the study — which is based on official figures only and does not include any migrants who have sneaked into the country illegally — gave the clearest indication yet that Labour had deliberately presided over mass migration. […]

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

7 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/20/2008

  1. Ah, yes! The 7/7 “suicide bombers” who had bought round-trip tickets to London on the day that British security was coincidently running a terrorist attack drill at the Underground stations that just happened to be bombed.

  2. Trophonius —

    Your insistence that I prove my support for Israel by meeting a standard imposed solely by you is offensive and insulting. I have no reason to jump through such hoops, and I won’t.

    If you had ever decided to read through my many previous posts on the topic, you’d already know that I consider the designation “Palestinian” to be a pernicious lie (as is 99.9% of the garbage that has been foisted upon the general public about the state of Israel).

    But my job is to communicate effectively, and referring to the Arab Muslim inhabitants of Judaea and Samaria as “Palestinians” is the quickest and most reliable way of conveying meaning. Most readers know to whom I am referring, and most readers know that “Palestine” is a pernicious lie. I could choose to call the people in question “the Phoenicians”, or “the Canaanites”, or “the Dwangfoodles”, or any other term of choice, but that would not be effective communication, even if it somehow satisfied your standards of perfect linguistic and heuristic purity.

    If you had ever written even a syllable of encouragement for my efforts here, I would not be so offended. But as it is, your trivial carping leaves me unmoved.

    I refuse to be hectored again in this manner. If you continue to post comments like this, I shall delete them as they appear, and will not dignify them with a reply.

  3. Trophonius, please consider doing what I did in the last thread where you brought up this issue of nomenclature. Quote Arafat and his thugs about how there is no “Palestinian” people. Expose the fraud.

    Haranguing the Baron over this issue is counterproductive in the extreme. Most of the world refers to these scumbag thugs as the “Palestinians” and to effectively communicate about them and their incessant terrorist taurine fecal matter requires using the accepted term.

    You do realize, don’t you, that were anyone to use the terminology that you suggest, approximately 5% of the population might comprehend what was being talked about?

    The Baron does a damn fine job of what he does best and that’s bringing the evil of jihad into the spotlight. You don’t see any hairsplitting about how “radical” or “fundamentalist” elements have “hijacked” the “Religion of Peace” [spit]. And that’s because GoV has its sights set straight about how Islam and Islam alone is directly responsible for the vast bulk of modern terrorism.

    If you cannot realize why that is the foremost priority then please consider avoiding the subject altogether.

  4. Trophonius —

    I don’t delete comments merely because I disagree with them. Your tone has changed here, and I no longer feel hectored and nit-picked.

    I hope we can agree to disagree. You feel that your suggestion is a must-do; I feel that complying with it would interfere unduly with my efforts to communicate.

Comments are closed.