The Global War On You Know Who

"The West is facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic world -- and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach. That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad."
-- Robert Spencer

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Osthoff/Hamadi Wrapup

Susanne Osthoff, a German revert, and her Iraqi translator, cavorting with her new friends. To us deniers of truth,* those look like masks, rifles, an RPG, and a ransom demand -- but Suzy says they're actually costumes, puppy dogs, a big candycane, and a polite request for humanitarian aid.

I beat this issue to death to illustrate a key point. By permitting their citizens to travel to the location of an insurgency against Americans and Brits, European countries are already on thin ice. Europeans who go to Iraq fall into two groups: jihadis taking part in hostilities, and fellow travelers who get themselves kidnapped and ransomed.

Whether Europeans ransom hostages because they're short-sighted cowards or to deliberately assist our enemies, the effect is the same. By putting themselves in a position where they must repeatedly cough up money and prisoners -- since they demonstrably lack the will to refuse -- European governments are helping the enemy by their deeds, regardless of their words or intentions.

With that, here are two final tidbits on the Osthoff/Hamadi deal. For once, State is pissed.

I. Speaking from Cairo, Osthoff declared her intention to return and continue her work in Iraq.
Osthoff said she was well-treated by her kidnappers, especially after she discussed with them the fact that Germany is not part of the war coalition.
II. Debka has interesting background on the terrorist-for-hostage trade:
Ernst Uhrlau, Angela Merkel’s new head of the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, is revealed by DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources as the man behind Berlin’s secret decision to trade German archeologist Susanne Osthoff kidnapped in Iraq on Nov. 25 for the jailed Hizballah terrorist wanted in America, Mohammad Ali Hammadi. Uhrlau attained international prominence as broker in the Hizballah-Israel prisoner swap and the failed effort to track down the missing Israeli navigator Ron Arad.

1. It is the first time since al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks in America that a senior European ally in America’s global war on terror has succumbed to enemy pressure and bought a hostage’s release by freeing a convicted terrorist.
. . .

4. The swap of a hostage kidnapped by Iraqi guerrillas for a Lebanese Hizballah terrorist exposes for the first time the clandestine operational links between the Hizballah and Iraqi guerrillas and fellow-terrorists. It elevates the Lebanese Shiite group’s standing in Europe to a higher league in a way detrimental to American and Israeli security interests.

. . . The new German chancellor, by promoting Uhrlau to director of the BND, shows she expects Iranian issues, the war on al Qaeda and the radicalized Middle East to stay at the center of international affairs during her five-year tenure.
In short, terrorists should keep looking for Germans to kidnap as reliable sources of revenue and the return of old comrades. They can behead a hostage every now and then to keep the spigot open, have Al-Jizz air the video, and then the German government and leftie radicals worldwide can turn around and scream at the US for the "quagmire" in Iraq. Sounds like a win-win to me.

* "Deniers of truth" is the term for Christians and Jews used repeatedly throughout The Message of the Qur'an, translated by Muhammad Asad. Asad was born Leopold Weiss, a German Jew who studied in Vienna and converted to Islam in the 1920s. Known for its particular anti-Semitism, this is the version of the Qur'an CAIR sends out for free upon request.