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

Friday, January 27, 2006

Caliphate Corkers

Sorry for the hiatus, everyone -- we bloggers have to change out of our PJs and go make an actual living from time to time! Which is too bad, cuz apparently the news needs a babysitter. Turn your back for one minute, and things go to hell in a handbasket.

I. Palestinians have gotten their state, and its name is Hamastan. A terrorist group responsible for almost 400 murders since 2000 has won an election. Here's what the Free Muslims Coalition has to say about it:
The Free Muslim Coalition applauds President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine and his FATAH party for respecting the results of democracy in light of their substantial losses to the radical Islamic group, HAMAS.
Fatah is the "moderate" party, meaning "conquest;" HAMAS is the acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement.
This is the first time in modern Arab history that a ruling party gracefully accepts its losses. The Palestinian people have become the most democratic people in the entire Arab and Muslim world and this is a cause for celebration.
Not Iraqis or Afghans, mind you, but people who cheered in the streets on 9/11.
However, HAMAS' win poses serious questions to the future of the Palestinian/Israeli peace talks. At present, Israel is saying it will not deal with HAMAS and HAMAS has said that it will not deal with Israel. So what's next?

The Free Muslims Coalition, while disappointed with the election results, believe that all sides must respect the wishes of the Palestinian people. The main issue for internal Palestinian politics and the international community is to make sure that HAMAS does not
keep raining down bloodshed and death on innocent civilians? Nooo. The biggest issue for the FMC is for Hamas to respect the democratic process that brought it to power.
try to create a theocratic "Islamic State" or change the rules that brought them to power as Iran had done after the Islamic revolution. If HAMAS tries to change election rules where only people with an Islamic ideology can enter elections in the future then the entire world should boycott and suspend all aid to a HAMAS led government.

. . . The world should not boycott HAMAS without giving them a chance to do the right thing by pursing a non-violent approach to solving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Attacking HAMAS at this point may only strengthen their hold on Palestinian hearts and minds.
Riiight. Resisting terrorism causes terrorism. Tells you something about the terrorists -- and their supporters.

II. In France: there's an uproar over . . . pork soup (Hit tip: TC).
Small groups linked to the extreme right are ladling pork soup to France's homeless. Critics and some officials denounce the charity as discriminatory: because it contains pork, the soup is off-limits for Muslims.

Critics view the stew — dubbed "identity soup" by its cooks — as a cynical far-right ploy to penetrate the most vulnerable level of society while masking their intentions as humanitarian.

The associations offering the soup are satellites of Bloc Identitaire, a small, extreme-right movement that defends the European identity and, as its leader Fabrice Robert said, "the rights of the little whites."

"It's not that we don't like Muslims. It's a problem of critical mass," Robert said in a telephone interview. "Just 1,000 Muslims in France poses no problem, but 6 million poses a big problem."

. . . "One has the right to be charitable toward whom one wants," said Bruno Gollnisch, the [National Front] party's No. 2. Moves to forbid soup kitchens offering pork reveal authorities' "alienation" from the French people, he said.
And this is exactly why Le Pen & Co. are winning votes: they're often the only people left who make any sense.

III. Because today's satire is often tomorrow's reality, writing it has become inreasingly difficult. Atlanta Rofters has made a respectable effort:
American Islamic Leaders Warn Of Anti-Muslim Backlash Following Next Month's Nuking Of Tel Aviv

The D.C. Islamic Eternal Justice Endeavor against War and Stereotyping (DIEJEWS) yesterday issued a strongly worded statement condemning a rising backlash against Muslims following next month's nuclear bombing of Tel Aviv, Israel by Iran. The press release warned against an increase in anti-Muslim discrimination, hate crimes, and government harassment following the destruction of the unofficial Israeli capital city next month, as announced by the Iranian government.

"We call on all Americans of goodwill to hold fast to our traditional American values of tolerance and diversity," the statement said in part. "No justification is possible for the heightened tensions and increased suspicions against innocent Muslims following next month's tragic events. The chilling of Islamic-American relations will overshadow the great strides made since 9/11 in rolling back jingoism." The statement stopped short of calling the nuclear bombing of Tel Aviv by the Islamic Republic of Iran a terrorist act, but called for "restraint by both sides" in future crises.

"Next month's nuking of Tel Aviv and the subsequent dancing in the streets by Muslims worldwide have nothing to do with Islam," DIEJEWS spokesperson Marysuellen al-Shahid said in a telephone interview. "We condemn what's going to happen. People claim they are doing it for Islam, but it's really in spite of Islam. The first people to suffer, after the victims, are the Muslim community. There is no justification for such a horrible crime in Islam, any other divine faith or even the court of human conscience, no matter how many sermons have been preached in mosques calling for exactly this. People have to remember that even though the Revolutionary Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran has nuclear weapons and will use them, they are only a tiny minority of Muslims, who are peace-loving.

. . . In a related development, Nevergreen University announced that, in advance of next month's attack and backlash, all students will be required to attend a "sensitivity workshop" on various aspects of Islamic life, beliefs, and customs. Students will "graduate" by coming before a panel from the university's Islamic Studies department and apologizing for the battles of Tours, Malta, Lepanto, Khartoum, and the Gates of Vienna. The panel will grade them on the sincerity of their regret, and grant extra credit for not being able to name the victorious Christian commanders.
It would be funnier if it didn't so closely resemble reality.

Monday, January 23, 2006

German Mosques

Lorenzo Vidino has written an excellent profile on the IGD (The Islamic Society of Germany) and Milli Görüs (National Vision), the two dominant Islamist groups in Germany. Since these groups advertise their mosques and cultural centers quite openly, I thought I'd go have a look.

Pictured above is Hochstrasse 88, Saarbrücken, one of 30 or so mosques affiliated with the IGD. It's one of several locations I've visited, with the intention of doing a big post with lots of pictures. However, my pictures are mostly worthless, as many of their "mosques" are in bland apartment buildings like this, or otherwise inaccessible. This in itself is a curiosity.

Like many of the "cultural centers" we tracked down, this building has no address on it; it's identifiable as #88 only because the building on the left is #90, while to the right is an empty lot, then #84.

Another notable fact that's difficult to capture in pictures is the level of filth in Muslim neighborhoods. All across the country, the German prediliction for order translates into impeccably clean public spaces. German churches often display black & white photos from WWII that capture the German compulsion for cleanliness: bent old ladies with brooms, absurdly sweeping away dust amidst towering piles of rubble.

This somehow does not penetrate into Muslim areas. Yesterday we were in Mannheim to take a walking tour of several mosques, many of which are clustered in the largely Muslim neighborhood of Jungbusch. About 50 meters off the main street, we realized we looked quite conspicuous. Another 50 meters in, we began noting litter everywhere. Yet another 50 meters in, our minds turned to the Harlem scene from Die Hard 3. And it was right about then that we decided to turn back and do the rest by car. Jungbusch bore strong similarities to Lebach.

It's difficult to tell what goes on in the mosques from outward appearances, though there are aspects that seem to separate the "scary" ones from what look like innocuous community centers. The former tend to be fenced-in compounds in industrial areas, with no signage or minarets and what appear to be guards loitering outside. The latter tend to be well-marked, with headscarfed women coming and going and kids playing out front.

These are just my initial impressions. I'd like to continue the investigation, but I'll need to devise better methods. Please post your suggestions!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Usual Suspects Update

Coupla whoppers today.

It's been confirmed that Germany did pay a ransom for Susanne Osthoff -- in U.S. dollars -- and she and her "captors" split the take.
Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday.

Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed.

The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff's kidnappers, the magazine said.

Efforts to contact Osthoff for comment through her mother and a friend failed.
And NIN reports that high school student Farris Hassan's story is looking like a steaming pile of MSM dung.
Even the most basic research found that Farris Hassan was NOT enrolled in any journalism class at Pine Crest, which should automatically cast doubt on the true nature of his journey. Lourdes Cowgill, president of the Pine Crest School, said that Hassan was never given an "immersion journalism" assignment and added that there is, in fact, no journalism class at the school. Also, the school confirmed that the boy’s father, Dr. Redha Hassan not only knew of his son’s intended travels, but authorized his absence, which is inconsistent with his initial public statements.

Further, investigation found a number of other inconsistencies in the public statements made by Dr. Redha Hassan. Although it was initially reported that neither parent knew of the young boy’s intended travels, it was ultimately revealed that Dr. Hassan actually assisted his son. He admitted that he arranged for his son's flight into Baghdad through his political connections, even though he knew the grave risks to “foreigners” wandering the streets of Baghdad. [According to a January 2, 2005 CNN news story, Hassan's father said that he had helped his son get a visa into Iraq from Beirut. The elder Hassan said he was leaving Iraq himself when the teen called, unable to get into the country from Kuwait. He told him to go to Lebanon and said he spoke with him almost daily].

Perhaps most importantly, research and investigation into Dr. Redha Hassan found that he was arrested by the FBI in 1985 for forging 2000 Iraqi passports and military I.D. cards and seeking to forge 2,000 more. Dr. Hassan asked his next-door-neighbor and print store owner Joel Feinstein to make the passports and IDs. According to Feinstein, Dr. Hassan claimed the documents were for his family in Iraq. Feinstein reported the request to the FBI, and became an operational asset for the federal government, leading to Hassan’s arrest. Also arrested were two of Farris's uncles and a "pro-Khomeini" activist identified as Salah Jawad Shubber. Interestingly, Dr. Hassan, who also went by the name Redha K. Alsawaf, was also the President of the now defunct Florida non-profit organization World Orphanage & Refugee Relief Foundation at the time of his arrest. Authorities dropped the charges against Hassan, and Shubber ultimately pled guilty to conspiracy charges.

Farris Hassan’s initial stop was Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he claims that he bought a ticket on KLM Airlines. From Amsterdam, Hassan headed to Kuwait City, where he alleges that he tried to cross the Kuwait-Iraq border twice by taxi, but was turned away due to Iraqi elections. At that point, it appears that Hassan sought assistance from his father, who told Farris to travel to Beirut and stay with family friends. Obligingly, Farris spent ten days in Beirut, and while there, met with a media relations officer of the terrorist group Hezbollah at their Central Press Office. This meeting was arranged through the assistance of his hosts – the family’s friends.
Walter Duranty meets P.T. Barnum.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Iran's Continued Psyops

When he's not dismissing the Holocaust as a myth, Ahmadinejad accepts its truth -- and prepares Europeans to blame themselves when he "wipes Israel off the map."
In a new attack on the existence of Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has challenged Europe to take back the Jews who emigrated to Israel, adding that no Jews would remain in Israel if Europe were to open its doors.

Ahmadinejad delivered the challenge after arriving in Syria for a two-day visit on Thursday. Addressing Europe, he asked: "Would you open the doors of your own countries to these (Jewish) immigrants so that they could travel to any part of Europe they chose?"

"Would you offer the necessary guarantees that you would provide for their security when they came to your countries and not allow another anti-Semitic wave in Europe?" he added in an apparent reference to recent attacks on Jewish cemeteries and properties in European states.

He said Europe should welcome Jewish people to prove its sincerity in supporting people's freedoms. He added he was confident that no Jews would remain in Israel if European countries allowed them to immigrate.
The MMs seem to have an even clearer grasp of the West's achilles heel than Saddam: suggest to them that everything bad in the world is their fault, and the half that believes it will scream and howl and cripple the half who sees it for the propaganda it is. Besides tapping into Europe's impotent guilt over the Holocaust, European foreign policy has been sacrificing Israel for three decades now -- so there's just enough truth to it to scramble the minds of people with no sense of right and wrong. It's frankly a brilliant strategy.

Victor Davis Hanson puts it much more eloquently:
[Ahmadinejad] has studied the recent Western postmodern mind, nursed on its holy trinity of multiculturalism, moral equivalence and relativism. As a third-world populist, [he] expects that his own fascism will escape scrutiny if he just recites enough the past sins of the West. He also understands victimology. So he also knows that to destroy the Israelis, he -- not they -- must become the victim, and the Europeans the ones who forced his hand. Ahmadinejad also grasps that there are millions of highly educated but cynical Westerners who see nothing much exceptional about their own culture. So if democratic America has nuclear weapons, why not theocratic Iran? Moreover, he knows how Western relativism works. So who is to say what are "facts" or what is "true" -- given the tendency of the powerful to "construct" their own narratives and call the result "history."
So what's the West's brilliant counter-strategy? Finding a way to impose sanctions without depriving ordinary Iranians of oranges and bananas.
As Western governments debate how to punish Iran for its nuclear activities, Bush administration and European officials said Thursday that they wanted to avoid causing hardship or more anti-Western resentment in the Iranian public.
Fair enough. Something like 70% of Iranians like the U.S.
Iran's leverage over the West because of its oil exports and trade agreements are a fact of life that American and European officials said made sanctions in that area impractical. But these officials also argue the importance of not alienating Iranians who might support the West, causing them to rally around their leaders.

"A heavy-handed sanctions approach is going to hurt an awful lot of Iranians that we don't want to alienate," said a State Department official who is working on the issue. "We're going to have to be more surgical."

President Bush and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany discussed the need for "smart sanctions" in a meeting last week, according to a German diplomatic official, with Mrs. Merkel in particular pushing for care in not angering the Iranian public.

. . . In their discussions last week, Mrs. Merkel gave Mr. Bush a personal example of how such sanctions affected her fellow East Germans during the Communist years, the German diplomatic official said Thursday. She recalled that she and other Germans sympathetic to the West had no problem with Western actions that punished Communist leaders but that "if we ran out of oranges or bananas, then we didn't like it."

. . . "The focus on smart sanctions makes sense because they work the best," said Patrick Clawson, deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "Big economic sanctions would not only be difficult to get, but Iran has vast foreign reserves from its oil revenues, so they can ride out what gets thrown at them."
Just to keep things in perspective, we could end the nuclear threat tomorrow. It's strictly a question of will.

Friday, January 20, 2006

What is the Free Muslims Coalition?

The Free Muslims Coalition Against Terrorism (FMC) is the project of Kamal Nawash. While he has apparently undergone a dramatic transformation, the fact remains that until 2001, Nawash was the general counsel for the American Muslim Council. The AMC's mission was da'wa and taqqiya -- proselytization, apologetics, and disinformation in the guise of "civil rights" concerns. Like CAIR, MPAC, MAS, ISNA, ICNA, MCB, and so on, the AMC was part of a propaganda network comparable to Comintern. It is now defunct, as the AMC's director, Abdurahman Alamoudi, was recently sentenced to 23 years for plotting assassinations and financing terrorism. Nawash served as Alamoudi's defense counsel.

Those of us who have been on the FMC's listserv since its inception in 2004 remain undecided as to Nawash's sincerity. Is he a really a reformed ex-Islamist, or is the FMC just another organ through which to lull gullible Westerners into a false sense of security? On one hand, many of Nawash's releases are worded as strongly and unequivocally as anyone could possibly want, and bring upon himself the flood of death threats that inevitably go with the territory. Generally, this is not a risk an insincere person would take.

However, given his background, it's hard not to be suspicious. People who are genuinely opposed to terrorism, of all kinds and in all places, will necessarily take certain positions, in particular with regard to Israel. A principled commitment against terrorism does not recognize some magic exception for terrorism against Israel. Committed anti-terrorists affirm Israel's right to exist, to defend itself, and to protect its citizens. Careful observers have also learned that appeasing Palestinian terrorists is a recipe for more terrorism, not less. When Palestinians speak of having their own state, they do not mean alongside Israel, they mean in its place, after its annihilation. Because he is the chief architect of the PLO's genocidal goals, no one who sincerely rejects terrorism could ever countenance elevating Yasser Arafat -- Israel's bin Laden -- to the status of a statesman.

Yet in the wake of Arafat's death, that is exactly what Nawash demanded. In a message to the FMC listserv on Nov. 5, 2004, he wrote:
As to Israel, the steps it takes now are crucial to its future ability to forge peace with the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslim world. Arafat has requested that he be buried in Jerusalem. Israel has rejected this request. This is a major mistake by Israel. Hundreds of Palestinians are buried in Jerusalem every year and one more is not going to make a difference or be symbolic of anything that is detrimental to Israel. It is in the best interest of Israel to allow Arafat to be buried in Jerusalem.

Arafat’s funeral can be on the Dome of the Rock. Arab and Muslim leaders from all over the world will naturally want to pay their last respects to Arafat. . . . Whether they land at Ben Gurion Air Port or fly directly to Jerusalem by helicopter, Arab and Muslim leaders should be received by the President of Israel and escorted to the funeral by the Israeli government. This move would show enormous good will by Israel and it will make it easier for the new Palestinian leadership to stop the violence and begin a new future with Israel.
For a mental exercise, let's try that one more time, with a few substitutions:
As to the US, the steps it takes now are crucial to its future ability to forge peace with the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslim world. Bin Laden has requested that he be buried in New York. The US has rejected this request. This is a major mistake by the US. Hundreds of Muslims are buried in New York every year and one more is not going to make a difference or be symbolic of anything that is detrimental to the US. It is in the best interest of the US to allow Bin Laden to be buried in New York.

Bin Laden’s funeral can be in Times Square. Arab and Muslim leaders from all over the world will naturally want to pay their last respects to Bin Laden. . . . Whether they land at JFK Air Port or fly directly to New York by helicopter, Arab and Muslim leaders should be received by the President of the United States and escorted to the funeral by the US government. This move would show enormous good will by the US and it will make it easier for the new leadership to stop the violence and begin a new future with America.
This is what Nawash is demanding of Israel. In the Muslim world, the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 is known as the nakba -- The Catastrophe. Not "a" catastrophe. The Catastrophe. Nawash knows that no demonstration of good will is ever reciprocated for more than an hour, before the shelling and suicide attacks resume. He knows that there is nothing Israel can or can not do to stop Palestinian terrorism, aside from securing their borders and killing the bad guys. The issue is that Jews and Israel exist, and only if they cease to exist will the terrorism end.

After I received this e-mail, I was disgusted and attempted to unsubscribe. After multiple attempts over several weeks, I gave up. You can't unsubscribe. So I continue to receive FMC's e-mails every couple of weeks, including today. Its main topic addressed the latest bin Laden tape:
The Free Muslims Coalition Against Terrorism interpreted bin Laden's remarks as a sign of weakness and an attempt to divide the American people. . . . The United States should ignore bin Laden's offer of truce and continue the search for him until he and everyone in his network is brought to justice.
I would prefer "continue hunting and killing," but okay. However, Nawash also knows that the truce offer is more than a sign of weakness; he knows it's a hudna.

In 628, Muhammad's army was based in Medina, and he sought to conquer Mecca by force as revenge for their rejection of his teachings. At the time, Muhammad was in a temporarily weakened position, so he concluded a truce with the Meccans, the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. This was the first hudna: a truce with mental reservation. Muhammad signed the treaty; but his intention was to buy time to re-arm and consolidate, to enable him to attack from a position of strength later on. The treaty also functioned as a trap; it provided a legal basis upon which Muhammad could "catch" the Meccans in a minor, technical violation, giving him a pretext to launch an attack. Two years later, that's exactly what happened, and Muhammad slaughtered the dominant Quraysh tribe of Mecca.

In accordance with Islamic doctrine, Bin Laden models himself after Muhammad, thus this is almost certainly his intention as well. More to the point, Nawash is an (ex?) Islamist, and a lawyer, and is surely familiar with this famous precedent. One would think that he'd regard it as a priority to educate the FMC listserv about terrorists' ideology. But the e-mail makes no mention of what a "truce" means in Islamic law.

Finally, the e-mail concludes with a decidedly creepy reminder:
The Free Muslims would like to remind everyone about the "Eye on Extremism" program that was enacted in 2004. By visiting, anyone can make an anonymous report about suspicious activities or individuals. In return, the Free Muslims will pass along all information to the proper authorities. Contact Kamal Nawash, 202-776-7190, 301-905-6438,
The Wikipedia entry for FMC is brief, but notes that the organization has a website "where Muslims can report suspcious activity." On one hand, Muslims who object to Islamist goals are in even greater danger than kaffirs, since they're regarded as apostates. Thus the FMC's open offer as an intermediary may indeed facilitate cooperation between scared Muslims and law enforcement agencies who may not understand just how great the risks are.

On the other hand, with the jury out on Nawash's true intentions, it may also function as a way for Islamists to collect information on self-identified Enemies of the Cause. Receiving tips and doing nothing with them would also be a useful way to prevent them from reaching the authorities.

So what is the FMC? Judge for yourself, and post your thoughts.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hardball, French Style

Seriously. Damn.

Yesterday: no more Mr. Nice Guy.
France rejected Iran's request for more talks on the Islamic republic's nuclear program, saying Wednesday that Tehran first must suspend its atomic activities.

Iran asked for a ministerial-level meeting with France, Germany, Britain and the European Union, but its decision to resume some uranium enrichment-related activities "means that it is not possible for us to meet under satisfactory conditions to pursue these discussions," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Denis Simonneau said in Paris. "Iran must return to a complete suspension of these activities."
Today: We have nukes too.
French President Jacques Chirac has said France would be ready to use nuclear weapons against any state which launched a terrorist attack against it.

Speaking at a nuclear submarine base in northwestern France, Mr Chirac said a French response "could be conventional. It could also be of another nature." He said France's nuclear forces had been configured for such an event.
This is certainly a refreshing change from France's usual policy of preemptive surrender. However, the use of nuclear weapons in response to an attack with conventional weapons is one of the few things that is indisputably illegal under international law. Unlike -- as Saddam's French trading partners tirelessly insisted -- the war in Iraq.

Well. It's good that someone has decided to dispense with the velvet diplo-speak and rattle a saber right back at Iran. But France's actual use of nuclear weapons would not necessarily be a good thing.

Baddie Update

Great news: Midhat Mursi is titzup.
ABC News has learned that al Qaeda's master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert was one of the men killed in last week's U.S. missile attack in eastern Pakistan.

Midhat Mursi, 52, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, was identified by Pakistani authorities as one of three known al Qaeda leaders present at an apparent terror summit conference in the village of Damadola.

The United States had posted a $5 million reward for Mursi's capture. He is described by U.S. authorities as the man who ran al Qaeda's infamous Derunta training camp in Afghanistan, where he used dogs and other animals as subjects of experiments with poison and chemicals.
The bad news: in response to thugs' demands, the US will release six of eight female detainees in Iraq.
Iraq's ministry of justice has told the BBC that six of the eight women being held by coalition forces in Iraq are to be released early. The six will be freed because there is insufficient evidence to charge them, a justice ministry spokesman said.

The US forces have refused to confirm the releases, but say they would not be based on any operational activities.

The group holding US journalist Jill Carroll has said she will die unless all Iraqi women prisoners are freed.

The status of prisoners held by coalition forces is reviewed twice a week by a committee made up of the justice, human rights and interior ministries, and a representative of the US-led coalition.

However, the US military stressed that decisions over such matters were a detailed process that were unrelated to any other operational activity.
The really bad news: that same "detailed process" resulted in the release of Dr. Germ and Mrs. Anthrax last month, with no urging from terrorists.
The U.S. military has released eight former Baathist detainees of high value, a military spokesman said Monday [19 Dec 05].

Among them are two female biological weapons experts: Rihab Taha, the head of Iraq's biological weapons program, also known as "Dr. Germ;" and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, a top weapons scientist, known as "Mrs. Anthrax," CNN has learned. Both were captured a week apart in May 2003.

A lawyer for both women, Badie Arif, confirmed their release, saying that in all 25 detainees were freed, eight of whom were considered high-value.

The U.S. military spokesman, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, would not release details on the detainees except to say the release occurred Saturday as part of a detainee review process.

"We no longer had cause to hold them since they are no longer under investigation for crimes," Johnson said in a statement.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Especially when they're barbaric nihilists who glorify the slaughter of innocents and endless total war. More "noble savage" pabulum from Kevin Sites:
Iran reveres its martyrs. But could respect for the dead lead to a threat against the living?

. . . Every row is alike at this cemetery for Iran's war dead, universally referred to here as "martyrs": long stone slabs laid side by side with the name of the dead, an etched portrait, and the date and name of the place he was killed, if known. There is a rectangular glass display case at the head of each grave, often filled with the martyr's Koran, prayer beads, an Iranian flag and a color photograph.

. . . In Iranian society there are few more revered than the martyrs -- defined as anyone killed during war or violent struggle -- or their families. Most receive financial benefits from the government for their sacrifice, including housing allowances for parents and widows, free healthcare, and educational stipends for surviving children.

But because so many were killed during the Iran-Iraq War (Iran has estimated that nearly 300,000 people died; figures for Iraqi dead run as high as 240,000) the Iranian government found it difficult to keep up with so many payments.
These are Iran's and Iraq's official figures for military fatalities, and do not account for the use of chemical weapons on civilians, or the millions maimed and millions of refugees. Proportional to their populations, the Iran-Iraq war was a bloodbath.
At the closing stages of the war, Iran was specifically criticized by the international community for its so-called Martyrs' Brigades, in which "dispensable" children would move in front of the combat troops, clearing minefields with their bodies and allowing Iranian troops to advance.
Spare me the scare quotes. Dispensable, expendable, disposable is exactly what they were. Sites is clearly ignorant of
the 500,000 plastic keys that Iran imported from Taiwan during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88. At the time, an Iranian law laid down that children as young as 12 could be used to clear mine fields. Before every mission, a plastic key would be hung around each of the children’s necks. It was supposed to open for them the gates to paradise.
The only note of disapproval appears to be a suggested parallel between Islamic death cultists and, say, flag-waving, bible-thumping Alabama rubes.
But because of the honor martyrs are given and the esteem in which they are held -- particularly amongst Iran's poor and more conservative religious populations -- the concept of actively seeking martyrdom has become an attractive option, especially amongst those who have little else to live for. The notions are reinforced by Iranian clergy.
The notions originate in the immutable words of Allah, dickweed. Crack open a Qur'an and see for yourself sometime. Well, I've had enough.

Moving on: while Western liberals may have raved over the jihadi propaganda piece "Paradise Now," the very suicide bombers it celebrates didn't like it. Not because it portrays them as bloodthirsty killers, but because it doesn't portray them as barbaric enough, plus it downplays their religious motivations. Funny, that's what I said.
The Palestinian film "Paradise Now," which explores the lives of a pair of suicide bombers and just won the Golden Globe for best foreign film, got two thumbs down Tuesday in this tough West Bank city where it was filmed.

Although the film — which snared the Golden Globe in Los Angeles on Monday — has never been screened in Nablus, residents here said the clips they saw on satellite television portrayed the bombers as godless and less than heroic.

"This movie doesn't help the Palestinian cause," said an armed Palestinian militant who would not give his name because he's on the run. "People who go to carry out bombings do not hesitate so much."

The film tells the story of two Nablus car mechanics who are sent to carry out a double suicide-bombing in Tel Aviv. They shave their beards to blend into Israeli crowds more easily, pray and prepare farewell videos.

Speaking during the glitzy award ceremony Monday, Abu-Assad said he believed the film's success stemmed from the world's recognition that the Palestinians deserve "liberty and equality unconditionally."
Try sheltered, ignorant, morally bankrupt Western "multiculturalists" who, by excusing atrocities perpetrated by anyone brown, are helping to fuel a global resurgence of anti-Semitism. Iran -- the original Aryans, by the way -- is about to rain down a second Holocaust, and Leni Riefenstahl retreads are winning awards? Does this make no one shudder?
The violence even interrupted the filming — once when Israel carried out a missile strike at militants near the camera crew and once when militants briefly kidnapped a cameraman in an effort to stop the filming of a movie they believed would portray them in a negative light.

The filming was then moved to an Israeli Arab city to avoid further interruptions.
Where they could not only film in peace, but those fascist Joooos did not hunt them down, confiscate their film, or check their library records.
During the Golden Globe ceremony, the film's place of origin was announced as "Palestine."

Hostage Update

Report: Germans paid $5 million ransom for Osthoff.
The following from a report on Osthoff in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 4 January:
On her [Osthoff's] account, money was paid by Germany for her release. "The kidnappers had an offer from the Germans. I cannot tell you the exact amount," said the former hostage, who was released shortly before Christmas, in an interview with the magazine Stern.... The first offer was, however, too low for the hostage-takers - "they had, after all, to save face and cover their costs."
If a report from the German domestic wire service ddp is to be believed, however, the hostage-takers did much more than just "cover their costs". The ddp report cites information from unnamed German intelligence sources. Here a resumé from Focus Online [link in German]:
As the ddp reports, the [German] federal government paid around $5 million to the hostage-takers for the release of Osthoff. An envoy of the BND [the German intelligence agency] is supposed to have brought the money, divided up into smaller bills, from Berlin to Iraq, as the hostage-takers demanded. According to what is being said in intelligence circles, the "bound parcel" was of "considerable weight."
Incidentally, the ddp report also claims that Susanne Osthoff worked as an informant for the BND in Iraq. In her Stern interview, Osthoff denies such reports, but admits to having received material support, supposedly on a personal basis, from a BND agent. According to Osthoff, the agent even sent a "whole playmobil set" as a Christmas present to her daughter in Germany, "since I didn't have the money". Inasmuch as the BND seems to have had excellent relations with the previous Baathist regime in Iraq, one might well wonder: what exactly is the BND doing in Iraq today?
And: Christian Science Monitor reporter abducted, US given 3 days to release all female Iraqi prisoners. What, all two of them?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Blog of the Day

I've made an addition to the blogroll, The Religious Policeman. He's a Saudi living in the UK, with a biting wit employed to great effect against the oil ticks. The picture is part of his post on the recent Assad-Abdullah meeting, which is hilarious, so go ye and read!

Entropy Happens

The second law of thermodynamics holds that the total entropy of a system -- a measure of disorder or chaos -- increases over time. The march is always toward a net increase in entropy, despite the creation of pockets of order here and there resulting from inputs of energy. As the West does not expend the required energy, entropy is winning.

In an attempt to persuade the Muslim immigrants to vote for them, the Socialists are selling out to them. Particularly Philippe Moureaux, the leader of the Brussels PS and the mayor of Molenbeek, a Brussels suburb with one of the largest concentrations of North African immigrants, prides himself on this. Moureaux has abandoned Molenbeek to Islamic “youths.” Last year he declared that it was “not expedient” for the police to patrol in Muslim quarters and he prohibited police officers from drinking coffee or eating sandwiches on the streets during ramadan. Moureaux hopes to get the Muslim vote during the municipal elections.

During Eid-al-Adha, an estimated 20,000 sheep are slaughtered in Brussels, of which less than 10% in official establishments. Secretary Kir told the Brussels Parliament that the religious beliefs of the Muslims have to be taken into account. The authorities deliberately failed to interfere, even in situations such as the one on this picture, taken last Tuesday in the Brussels suburb of Neder-over-Heembeek. This is Brussels, the capital of Europe, in the year 2006.
"There’s a civil war underway," one [Paris police] officer declared. "We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting."

. . . If the politicians bring in the army they are acknowledging what the policemen, the fire fighters and the ambulance drivers know but what the political and media establishment wants to hide from the people: that there is civil war brewing and that Europe is in for a long period of armed conflict. This is the last thing appeasing politicians want to do and so they have begun to criticise Sarkozy.

The appeasers are found not only in the opposition parties but also within Sarkozy’s own party, where Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who envies him his popularity, is eager to bring his rival down. Apart from political intra-party rivalry, however, there are two reasons why most politicians seem to be of the appeasing kind.

The first one is that the Muslim population in Western Europe has become so large that politicians fear what it might be capable of. . . . A second reason why some politicians try to appease the Muslims is that these are now a substantial segment of the voting population. Demographics are deciding the fate of Europe’s democracy.
United States:
Setting the tone at the recent conference of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Tariq Ramadan addressed "young Western Muslims" telling them, "If you want to help the oppressed - vote - don’t kill the people, but build a better understanding in your own society."

A Swiss citizen, Ramadan is currently banned from entering the United States by order of the Department of Homeland Security. His Long Beach speech was delivered by video. In 1996 he was temporarily banned from entering France, suspected of ties to an Algerian terror group.

The French newspaper, Le Monde accuses him of organizing a 1991 meeting between al Qaeda's second-in-charge, Ayman al Zawahiri, and Omar Abdel Rahman, who was later convicted in the 1993 bombing of the first World Trade Center. He denies the long history of alleged terrorist associations which follow him like a swarm of flies, dismissing all the accusations as "lies". Ramadan’s books and tapes are popular with young Muslims in the riotous French suburbs who killed, burned and looted to demand that "society follow its own principles" after two criminals electrocuted themselves while evading the police. French-language intellectuals often refer to Ramadan as "the master of doubletalk".

Ramadan’s theme ran throughout many of the convention speeches. "How can we live in this country?" asked Dr. Javeed Akhter, President of the International Strategy and Policy Institute, a MPAC member organization. "We will be confident so that people look at us as an example of how a minority should behave in this country. The Covenant of Medina sets out the principles that are essential to the functioning of a pluralistic society."

The Covenant of Medina, written in 622 AD, establishes the basis for treating non-Muslim minorities within the Muslim empire which ruled much of world for the next 8oo years. The document signed by the Jewish tribes subject to Mohammed’s rule in Medina, began protected subjugation -— dhimmitude -- as a way of life for all non-Muslims who fall under Islamic rule. The next few years were years of conquest and subjugation of Jews and Christians who did not accept Islam. The spirit of the Islamic conquerors is captured in the Koran, Sura 1X, 29: "Make war upon those who have received Scripture . . . until they pay tribute, being brought low."

In essence Akhter proposes that Muslims live within the US -– as rulers whose idea of a "pluralistic society" is dhimmitude for the rest of us. These so-called "moderate Muslims" of MPAC differ from al-Qaeda only in tactics. Rather than blowing themselves up and taking as many infidels as possible with them, they join domestic leftists in seeking to hamstring America in rules and regulations designed to protect the "rights" of terrorists while undermining America through the unrelenting propaganda focused on Guantanamo "prisoners rights" which is everywhere in the media.
Other speakers included Faisal Gill, a consultant to the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Audio files of all the MPAC lectures are available here. It's almost worth plowing through all the standard-issue corporatese about "partnering" to hear each speaker begin with "in the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful" or "as-salaam aleykum" (peace be upon you).

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Case Study: How Europe Imports Terrorists

Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, also known as "Mohamed the Egyptian," was the architect of the 3/11 Madrid bombings. He was captured about a year ago, and goes on trial this month in Italy. In a thorough investigative report, the Washington Post retraced Ahmed's steps, which included stops in Germany:
The asylum camp in Lebach, Germany, has enough cinder-block apartments to house about 1,500 immigrants. They are mainly North Africans, Turks and Palestinians. Most stay a few months as they wait for German authorities to decide whether they can remain in the country for the long term.

On Sept. 13, 2000, a man calling himself Mohamed Abdul Hadi Fayad [Ahmed] arrived at the camp after spending a year in jail and quickly assumed a leadership role among the residents.

"He called himself 'the Imam,' " recalled Barbara Paulus, a case worker at the camp in Lebach, a town of about 22,000 near the regional capital of Saarbruecken. "We didn't have any problems with him. The others respected him. He reported their problems and talked to us on their behalf."

Fayad was an anonymous foreigner who had been arrested a year earlier on his way to Paris. Soon after the arrest, he requested asylum. . . . The German government usually grants asylum as a matter of policy to Palestinians, but officials were unable to verify Fayad's story.

Immigration officials denied Fayad's asylum request. But Germany could not deport him because officials didn't know where to send him. That situation is common in Germany, where about one in 20 asylum seekers is unable to verify their claimed nationality.

With his case in limbo, Fayad remained at the Lebach camp for almost a year. Residents are forbidden from leaving the local area, but they are not confined or closely monitored. As a practical matter, camp officials say, there is little they can do to make sure people stay.

So it didn't strike anyone as unusual when Fayad vanished. He was last seen in the camp on Aug. 29, 2001, when he came to the main office to pick up his twice-weekly food rations. Three weeks later, immigration officials notified the Lebach town hall that Fayad was no longer a resident and crossed his name off their case list.

"Each month, a lot of people disappear here," said Paulus, the case worker. "I don't know how they do it, but each month we have to close a lot of files."
In Al Qaeda in Europe, Lorenzo Vidino recounts these and other details, such as a wiretap transcript in which Ahmed brags to a young recruit how he used liquid bandage to alter his fingerprints each time they were taken. "It drove them nuts," Ahmed laughs.

It seems that Germany exercises no control over asylum seekers -- a much-abused process in any case -- whose identities remain unverified and whose applications may well be denied. So I was curious: how easy is it for terrorist "asylum seekers" to wander off at will? I first did a little research on German asylum procedures, then took a trip to Ahmed's old stomping grounds, the "camp" in Lebach.

But this is a misnomer. Not only will Germans never again build anything one could call a "camp," the term implies controlled access, which is entirely absent. The Lebach facility is best described as projects. Located in a residential area of a quiet town, it consists of perhaps twenty two-story apartment buildings with courtyards, a school, and sports fields, covering an area of about four square blocks. Nearby are two Bundeswehr (German army) installations. We spotted a police cruiser doing a quick patrol as we arrived, and noticed that local Germans, out for their traditional Sunday afternoon walk, did not stray into the neighborhood.

Discarded TVs, but no fences.

Plenty of scuz, but no guards.

Laundry and satellite dishes, but no immigration officers.

Shopping carts and junk, but no access controls.

Overflowing dumpsters and a shiny new Mercedes, but no gates.

More scuz, still no fences.

Three "yoots" barbecueing on a balcony. They eyed us hard as we drove by, and erupted in angry shouts as soon as they saw the flash from my camera.

Last shots of yet more scuz as we got the hell outta dodge. Several other men out walking around had also spotted the camera, so we were actually a little concerned that we might be chased.

The German government (actually, the 16 state governments) maintain 31 more such ghettoes throughout the country. One might be tempted to criticize officials for housing people in such crapulence, or the people who live there for creating it. However, the critical issue is egress. Residents are not yet legal immigrants, but random people who showed up at a German airport and asked for asylum. From there, while their applications are processed (and their rent and food provided by taxpayers) they can melt away into the population at any time. And thanks to Europe's open borders, they can disappear not just in Germany, but to anywhere in the EU. Like Madrid.

Thus, Europe is only as secure as its weakest link. This is not to say that a uniform EU policy would solve the problem, as the Eurocrats would be likely to impose something resembling Germany's system on all of Europe.

The upshot is, citizens of First World countries must follow immigration rules and face consequences for breaking them, while Middle Eastern terrorists are exempt, provided they recite a politically correct sob story. This is compassion taken to its illogical extreme, and sadly, the generosity extended to criminals and terrorists is exactly what generates public antipathy towards all asylum-seekers, including those who are genuinely persecuted and want only to live peacefully. Lebach is the symbol of an asylum system that wrongs decent people while rewarding the bad guys, and of a Europe eager to cooperate in its own destruction.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


I'm Jed Eckert...The Leader...

Which Red Dawn Character Are You?

Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Führer!

The Mahdi thunders away.
"The world public opinion knows that Iran has not violated the Nonproliferation Treaty," Ahmadinejad said. "There are no restrictions for nuclear research activities under the NPT protocol and Iran has not accepted any obligation (not to carry out research). How is it possible to prevent the scientific development of a nation?"

Ahmadinejad called the accusations against Iran were "propaganda" and that the presence of surveillance equipment from the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency is proof Iran has nothing to hide.

"How will the world public opinion accept their propaganda campaign against Iran when IAEA cameras are installed on all nuclear sites?" Ahmadinejad asked. He complained that "a few" Western countries were lobbying against Iran and said Tehran did not trust them.

"They speak and behave as if they are living in the medieval age," the hard-line leader said. "I'm recommending these countries not isolate themselves more among the people of the world. Resorting to the language of coercion is over."

"Now, it is the turn of the European countries to apply trust-building measures," he said.
Think we'll apply a can or two of whup-ass instead, thank you. There just isn't much else to say, is there.

Canada & Russia Consider Polygamy

Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov and Vladimir Zhirinovsky think it's a great idea.
Chechnya has lost so many men to war that survivors should be legally allowed to take several wives, acting Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov has said.

Speaking on Russian radio, the pro-Moscow leader said this was "necessary for Chechnya because we have war - we have more women than men".

He was backed by Russian parliamentary deputy speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Russian law restricts citizens to one marriage, but Islamic custom allows a man to take up to four wives.

Mr Kadyrov told Ekho Moskvy radio that women in the Russian republic outnumbered men by 10%, and that a man should be able to choose how many wives he had without the state getting involved.

"Every man decides for himself how he should live. He is the boss, he decides, I am sure that his personal life will not be interfered with," he said.

Mr Zhirinovsky, who is the leader of the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), said polygamy should be applied across Russia "because we have 10 million unmarried women."
Goodness, we can't let them all run free -- why, they might think of leaving.

But it's not just Chechen militants and Russian kooks; orthodox Canadian "liberals" also want to accomodate such barbarism.
A new study for the federal Justice Department says Canada should get rid of its law banning polygamy, and change other legislation to help women and children living in such multiple-spouse relationships.

"Criminalization does not address the harms associated with valid foreign polygamous marriages and plural unions, in particular the harms to women," says the report, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. "The report therefore recommends that this provision be repealed."

The research paper is part of a controversial $150,000 polygamy project, launched a year ago and paid for by the Justice Department and Status of Women Canada.

The paper by three law professors at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., argues that Sec. 293 of the Criminal Code banning polygamy serves no useful purpose and in any case is rarely prosecuted.

Instead, Canadian laws should be changed to better accommodate the problems of women in polygamous marriages, providing them clearer spousal support and inheritance rights.

Chief author Martha Bailey says criminalizing polygamy, typically a marriage involving one man and several wives, serves no good purpose and prosecutions could do damage to the women and children in such relationships.

“Why criminalize the behaviour?” she said in an interview. “We don't criminalize adultery.
Because it's a recipe for disaster, toots (with a condescending smack on the ass. That's okay again, right?) A female Rantburger comments:
I read a summary of a study the other day, that concludes, among other things, that many of the problems built into Arab and African societies are actually due to polygamy. The authors spoke specifically of weak familial attachment leading to poor societal attachment, due to rivalries between the offspring of the various wives in defence of their mothers on the one hand, and for their father's attention and favour on the other; overt preference for male over female offspring (what benefit is there to having a daughter when she will be competing with other females for the favour of someone else's son; and the dangerous excess of young men with no chance of marriage because the marriageable females are snatched up in harems on the one hand, and on the other surrounded by frustrated females at home (both mothers and sisters) to whom he feels little attachment and no duty on the one hand, and who are within reach of his bed, unlike all the other females of his society on the other hand.
How do flaming multicultis arrive at the conclusion that treating women like chattel should be mainstreamed and institutionalized? By accepting that some -- other than themselves, of course -- must be sacrificed for the good of gay pressure groups and vocal Muslim immigrants.
But the project was also intended to provide the Liberal government with ammunition to help defend its same-sex marriage bill last spring.

The Bailey report, consistent with other research for the project, also concludes the courts might well rule that Canada's law banning polygamy is a violation of Canada's constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion. . . . Canada is also faced with a rising tide of immigration from Africa and the Middle East, where polygamy is legally and religiously sanctioned.
And is otherwise a dank hellhole of self-imposed poverty, rape, slavery, and brutality that these petty Stalinists want to import on the grounds of "cultural sensitivity."

Friday, January 13, 2006

Meanwhile in Europe

Five Danish soldiers convicted of Geneva Conventions "violations" -- like insulting Iraqi detainees, denying them water, and making them kneel:
A Danish Army captain and four military police officers were found guilty yesterday of breaching human rights conventions in interrogations of detainees in Iraq. The Copenhagen City Court said Capt. Annemette Hommel and the four co-defendants violated the rights of the detainees by forcing them to kneel in uncomfortable positions during questioning in March 2004.

The court declined to issue sentences because of extenuating circumstances, saying the defendants had not received clear guidelines from the Danish military. The five defendants had pleaded innocent in what was Denmark’s first trial related to its 530-strong contingent in the port city of Basra, 400 kilometers southeast of Baghdad. All five immediately appealed the verdict to a higher court.

. . . The trial was conducted in a civilian court because Denmark has no military courts.
Conduct of Spanish troops during the battle of Najaf was "idiotic":
The former US governor of Iraq has condemned Spanish troops for their 'idiotic' conduct in Iraq.

Paul Bremer claimed they "did nothing" as a battle between Shi'ite militia forces and coalition troops went on around them in the Iraqi city of Najaf in 2004. In his memoirs, Bremer wrote: "They are sitting in tanks doing nothing," quoting from notes he made at the time.

"It is a perfect outrage – I call it the 'coalition of the not-at-all-willing'."

Bremer's book, 'My year in Iraq: The struggle to build a future of hope', challenges the version given by the Spanish military of the Najaf uprising in April 2004.

The rebellion took place just days before Spanish troops were due to be withdrawn from Iraq by the newly-elected Socialist government which won a general election weeks earlier.

Bremer claims Spanish troops deployed five kilometres from Najaf refused to help US marines and troops from Latin American countries who were fighting insurgents.
And Europe's record on innovation is fifty years behind the US.
The European Union’s record on innovation is so poor that it would take more than 50 years to catch up with the US, according to a survey presented by the European Commission on Thursday.

The Innovation Scoreboard compares the performance of the 25 EU countries with the US, Japan and several other nations, and ranks them according to factors such as the number of science and engineering graduates, patents, research and development spending and exports of high-tech products. The survey finds that only four EU countries – Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Germany – can compete with the US and Japan in terms of their innovative abilities.

Sounds Peaceful to Me

Iran vows to end cooperation with IAEA.
Iran threatened Friday to end all cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog if the agency refers it to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Europeans will lose opportunities they currently have in dealing with Iran and will force Tehran to block snap inspections of its nuclear facilities, state-run television reported.

"In case Iran is referred to the U.N. Security Council, the government will be obliged to end all of its voluntary cooperation," the television quoted Mottaki as saying Friday.
Involuntary cooperation it is, then!

In times approaching the intensity of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kevin Sites is reporting live from Iran this week. As usual, today's dispatch explores the hot issue everyone's talking about: heroin addiction, HIV, and needle exchange programs in Tehran.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Shocka! Germany Convicts a Terrorist

German courts acquitted Abdelghani Mzoudi last year, and just barely convicted his buddy Mounir el Motassadeq on re-trial last August. Sentenced to a lousy seven years in the clink, Motassadeq is so far the only person to be tried, convicted, and sentenced in connection with 9/11.

Today, another thug gets a measly seven years:
Lokman Amin Mohammed, 31, had denied being a member of the radical Ansar al-Islam group, but admitted recruiting fighters and raising funds for them. He was living in Munich when he was arrested by police in December 2003.

His trial was Germany's first under a new law introduced after 11 September 2001, which made membership of a foreign terrorist organisation illegal. Mohammed's defence team had appealed for a lesser sentence, claiming that terrorist acts in Iraq were fuelled by an "illegal" US occupation.

During the trial, the court heard that Mohammed had recruited fighters and collected money in mosques in Munich for the insurgency in Iraq. He had also helped smuggle fighters into Iraq and wounded militants back to Europe for treatment.

In the final days of the trial, Mohammed appealed to all Islamists to stop their suicide attacks in Iraq.
I bet he's wishing he got more than seven years too, because prison is the only place he'll be safe.

More interesting info from equally unlikely sources -- the Isle of Man Treasury Department and the Washington Post.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What's Next For Iran

After blowing off an IAEA meeting, opening sealed facilities, and resuming uranium enrichment, the Euros and El Baradei are jibbering about Iran having precipitated a "serious crisis." A stern nastygram is no doubt forthcoming, and the MMs are likely preparing to laugh hysterically while they read it.

The good news is, the grown-ups sound like they've got a plan too -- and the sort of task forces it involves tend to carry grenades rather than Cross pens.
The White House said on Wednesday that Iran has made a "serious miscalculation" by clearing the way to resume uranium enrichment and that intensive diplomacy was under way with European allies and others about what to do now.

"We believe that if the negotiations have run their course and Iran is not going to negotiate in good faith, then there's no other option but to refer the matter to the Security Council," McClellan said. "If that happens then we would talk about what actions need to be taken at that time."
More details on possible Israeli plans to deliver a nastygram of their own:
Israel is updating plans for a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities which could be launched as soon as the end of March, according to military and intelligence sources.

The Israeli raids would be carried out by long-range F-15E bombers [pictured above] and cruise missiles against a dozen key sites and are designed to set Tehran's weapons programme back by up to two years.Pilots at the Israeli air force's elite 69 squadron have been briefed on the plan and have conducted rehearsals for their missions.

The prime targets would be the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, 150 miles south of Tehran, a heavy-water production site at Arak, 120 miles south-west of the capital, and a site near Isfahan in central Iran which makes the uranium hexafluoride gas vital to the arms manufacturing process.
The really interesting part:
Sources say one, possibly two airfields in Kurdish northern Iraq have been earmarked as launch-points to reduce flying time over Iran.
Since the handover in June 2004, Iraqi airspace is sovereign territory. Israel would need permission from the Shi'a-dominated Iraqi government, presumably a significant obstacle. Most likely the request would come through the US, but the decision still belongs to the Iraqi government. Since we all know how it'll go down at the Security Council, how the US will persuade the Iraqis to allow Israelis to attack a Shi'a nation from Iraqi territory is the diplomatic ballet of interest here.
The Iranians have meanwhile dispersed production facilities across hundreds of miles of remote countryside to make a single, knockout blow more difficult. They have also ringed the sites, some of them deep underground, with missile batteries and radar-controlled anti-aircraft guns.

Part of the reason for an acceleration of Israel's contingency strike plans is that Russia agreed last month to sell Tehran £700m-worth of advanced SA-15 Gauntlet mobile missile systems. Some are believed to be destined for defence of Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant on the Gulf coast, which Russian engineers are helping to build.

Although Western military strategists think an attack on Tehran's scattered sites would be fraught with difficulties and could not be carried out without loss to the attacking forces, few doubt Israel's commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear firepower.
And if the Euros and the UN had a similar commitment, it wouldn't always fall to the Israelis and the US to do the dirty work. Ten bucks says Europe is spending more effort working up a draft condemnation of an Israeli attack than on grasping what it means to be within range of Iranian missiles.

Gunning for the Duranty Award

Part II of useful idiot Kevin Sites' dispatches from Iran -- which are dedicated to Marla Ruzicka, a tireless anti-American radical ironically killed by terrorists in Iraq last year.
I discussed the country's nuclear development program with a key leader in the Iranian parliament, Kazem Jalali, during a recent trip to Iran. Jalali is also a spokesman for Iran's Foreign Policy and National Security Committee.

KEVIN SITES: Dr. Jalali, Europe and the United States are very concerned about Iran's nuclear program -- especially about the potential for uranium enrichment that could be used for nuclear weapons. Why does Iran feel it needs to develop its nuclear technology?

KAZEM JALALI: In the name of God, we're a country who signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT], therefore we should be enjoying all these rights. There are countries who haven't even signed the treaty but they are doing experiments right now. Whereas our only intended use for atomic energy is a peaceful one.

America is not being honest. If they are truly against nuclear weapons, why don't they have any confrontations with those that haven’t signed the NPT? Likewise there is no confrontation with countries who don't even meet a minimum standard of human rights. And why don't they deal with state-sponsored terrorism like the Zionist regime of Israel?
Sites gives Jalali a total pass on this one.
KS: What kind of guarantees can you offer that you won't develop nuclear weapons?

KJ: Iran has cooperated with the IAEA and continues to do so. Up to now, there have been more than 1,400 man-hours of inspections.
The MMs have been about as cooperative as Saddam was.
KS: What about the Russian proposal in which they would do the uranium enrichment for you, ensuring that the fuel is not enriched to weapons-grade, but only for energy applications?

KJ: If the intention of the Russians is to share the efforts then we can talk. But if it's about prevention, then it's a ridiculous suggestion.
Prevention of what?
KS: How far have you gone in your enrichment process?

KJ: We have reached the UF6 process and reached the capability of centrifugal technology. But since we suspended our technology development [in November 2004] as a goodwill gesture, we haven't moved beyond that.

KS: A German newspaper reported that the United States has drawn up plans to attack Iranian nuclear sites if you continue with your program and that it had also notified its allies of those plans. What's your response to those reports?

KJ: The Americans are stuck now in Iraq. It's a little farfetched to think that they might open another front here.
A bit ominous, if they're thinking of striking while the US appears to be distracted. Funny how he neglects the Navy and the Air Force, who aren't especially tied down just now.
KS: So you don’t give those reports much credence?

KJ: They are just analyses that appear in the Western press. I don't think the Americans are so unwise to make that kind of hasty decision. And if they do, we are also quite capable of defending ourselves.

KS: Since [last June, Ahmadinejad] has made inflammatory statements, renewing a call for the destruction of Israel and questioning the historical reality of the Holocaust. What possible purpose does this serve but to further isolate Iran from the West?

KJ: In a talk we held with Dr. Ahmadinejad he said his speech was not reported in its correct context -- that there were portions that were not relayed accurately.
Riiiight. He knows the drill.
KS: Dr. Jalani, those atrocities have been historically documented, besides what's the purpose of even bringing up the Holocaust?

KJ: His aim was to bring up the question of injustice in the whole world and the fact that if humanity went wrong and committed the atrocity then it shouldn't be repeated.

In a sense the spirit of this discussion was to indicate there's injustice, that these injustices need to be alleviated from the world and that the West should not allow such events in the other parts of the world.
Nice. A college boy, I see.
KS: Let's talk about Iraq. There have been reports that Iran has gotten very involved in the conflict in Iraq both politically and even militarily, that it has political alliances with certain Shia groups there and may even be a part of Shia militias like radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.

KJ: These are rumors. Nevertheless, it's natural that we have the closest ties in the religious and cultural aspects to the Iraqi people. It is natural that we and the Iraqis be the most proactive nations in coming together.

And we and the Iraqi nation fought a common enemy called Saddam Hussein, so these common aspects bring us closer together and today Iraq’s stability can bring us profitability, politically and otherwise.
Anyone know how to say "Anschluss" in Farsi?
KS: What about the presence of al-Qaida in Iraq? Aren't you concerned about their influence once coalition forces leave?

KJ: All the world should be worried about al-Qaida being present anywhere in the world. They are terrorists and irrational. They are a big threat to the peace and security of the world.
Funny, you guys have been sheltering them since the US blew up their bases in Afghanistan.
KS: What if you were to receive an overture from the U.S. to join in that war on terrorism. How would Iran react to that?

KJ: America first must prove their sincerity in combating terrorism whether it's al-Qaida or other terrorism groups. They must demonstrate their willingness to fight terrorism everywhere and the biggest contributor to terrorism is the lack of justice.

KS: What kind of demonstration are you talking about?

KJ: If the Americans demonstrate justice within different geographic regions of the world, especially with Palestine -- and Palestine is a nation -- this would be one of the signs Americans are seeking justice globally.

The other signs would be payment of debt the U.S. has to Iran [for freezing assets and debt payment in the past] and apologize for meddling in internal affairs of Iran.

KS: What do you mean meddling? Can you be a little more specific please?

KJ: Since 1953 when the American coup d'etat destroyed the Mossaddeq government and until the outset of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the highest meddling in the affairs of Iran has been done by the Americans. . . . America must apologize for all the black deeds against the Iranian people.

KS: That doesn't seem to leave a whole lot of room for dialogue.
Somebody whack this guy with a cluebat.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Osthoff Was A Spy

She's still nuttier than a fruitcake, but it makes the Germans' eagerness to ransom her somewhat more explicable. It also explains why she was so shocked at how long it took the German government to establish contact with her captors.
Susanne Osthoff, the German archeologist kidnapped by Iraqi gunmen on Nov. 25 and released before Christmas was connected with her country's intelligence service, the BND, and had helped arrange a meeting with a top member of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, possibly Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi himself, according to well informed German sources Sunday.

The sources confirmed German press reports that the 43-year-old woman had worked for the BND in Iraq on a freelance basis, and had for some time even stayed in a German intelligence safe house in Baghdad.

A convert to Islam and a fluent Arabic speaker, Osthoff had lived in Iraq for over a decade, and was at one time married to an Iraqi. Archeology is a classic intelligence cover: T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) posed as an archeologist in the Middle East in the early part of the last century. But archeology is Osthoff's real profession.

One Washington-based German source said Osthoff had been working on arranging a rendezvous with an al-Qaida member on behalf of a German intelligence agent in Iraq. Whether the meeting ever took place has not been revealed, but another source in Berlin, reached by telephone, said experts believed that the kidnapping may have been the work of a rival group, possibly within the same organization.

A day after [actually, three or four days before] Osthoff's release, the Germans had quietly freed and sent home to his native Lebanon Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a Hezbollah militant serving a sentence for killing a U.S. Navy diver in a hijacked TWA jetliner in 1985. Berlin officials denied any connection between Osthoff's release and Hamadi's after serving only 19 years of a life sentence.

But both German sources said the real deal involving Osthoff's release had been the payment of a ransom to her terrorist captors by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Although Merkel has carried on her socialist predecessor Gerhard Schroeder's policy of staying out of Iraq, German intelligence is operating in the area, cooperating with U.S. counterparts both on the ground and in Washington, the sources said.

The Germans' tentative contacts with al-Qaida reflect Berlin's belief in the existence of another split within the Iraqi-based al-Qaida organization itself.
Osthoff responds with a characteristically bizarre "denial":
"If I were a spy I would no longer be alive, my kidnappers would have killed me," Osthoff said in an interview for ARD public television recorded on Saturday that was due to be broadcast on Monday evening.

Osthoff, 43, said she sometimes contacted German diplomats in Baghdad when she learnt about dangerous situations in Iraq, where she lived and worked for 10 years as an archeologist and aid worker.

"This is everybody’s duty. In a conflict and war zone like Iraq, one must do this among fellow countrymen," Osthoff said.
That's an admirably responsible and public-spirited attitude. But Suzy, sweetie, people call that "spying." Go home, take your meds, and keep that veil on.

Iran Update

I. It's Hajj season again, which means Iranian pilgrims in Mecca are shouting peaceful slogans such as "Death to America," "death to Israel," and "may the hands of the infidels be chopped off." Full transcript & video at MEMRI-TV.

II. The MMs resumed nuclear "research" today, as IAEA reps helplessly looked on. Even El Baradei is described as "exasperated." Gee, this seems familiar.

Europe is "concerned."
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the latest move "marks a breach of Tehran's commitments... It cannot remain without consequence."

Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said he was "very concerned" about the developments.

He said the possibility of sanctions against Iran would "in due course be discussed by the EU," but that "that point in time has not yet arrived."
Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

III. Kevin Sites' fatuous reporting meets or exceeds expectations. A sampling:
Friday prayers have become the visual cliché for Iran, and an audible one as well.

Here two speeches are given by a spiritual leader, one religious, one political. In the mosques of centuries past, the leader would be holding a sword during his remarks. Today, he holds the muzzle of an AK-47 rifle, although it is shielded from view by the podium.

"It's purely symbolic," one of the organizers whispers to me. "It's unnecessary from a practical standpoint. There are security guards everywhere. There isn't even a bullet in the chamber."

At the end of the political speech there is the obligatory chant, "Death to America." Microphones and cameras are always poised for the moment. Today the chant is fairly lackluster. "It doesn't have much meaning anymore," one insider tells me.
Well, that's a relief! I'm sure Sites would be equally understanding if he went back to the states and found every priest, preacher, and rabbi leading choruses of "Death to Iran" whilst brandishing automatic rifles. In a purely symbolic way, of course.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Low-Tech Biological Weapons

The only potentially good news here is that AQ's efforts to develop military-grade biological weapons may have hit a wall. For now, it's splodeydopes with AIDS.
Al-Qaeda is recruiting suicide bombers who are infected with the AIDS virus, according to documents revealed to the Sunday Mirror.

Terror chiefs are also targeting fanatics who suffer other lethal blood diseases such as hepatitis and dengue fever in order to increase their "kill rate" from an explosion. The chilling new threat is revealed in papers distributed to British military camps in Iraq and across Europe.

Under the heading "HIV/Hepatitis" the document states: "There is evidence that terrorists might be deliberately recruiting volunteers with diseases that are spread by blood transference."

Experts have found that bones and other blood-spattered fragments from a suicide bomber could penetrate the skin of a victim 50 metres away and infect them.
Meanwhile, the imperialist fascist oppressors they're fighting can't even use hollowpoint rounds, for they violate the Geneva Conventions ban on munitions that inflict unnecessary human suffering. No such moral constraints exist in Islamic law: anything goes.

Iran Ready to Roll?

Disparate events plausibly connected, from Regime Change Iran.
Analysts watching Iran on a daily basis were not taken by surprise by the Islamic Regime not showing up at the International Atomic Energy Agency on January 05, 2006, since reports out of Tehran have for the past weeks been mentioning President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's office privately leaking to the Tehran newspapers that Iran already has four nuclear weapons obtained from the Ukraine.

Back in 1991/1992 three nuclear weapon devices the Mullahs had obtained from Kazakhstan were verified on ground in Iran and intelligence [whose?] further estimates that Iran has totally between eight to 12 nuclear devices from the Soviet era.

The press leaks pointed to Iran possibly not proceeding with negotiations, reassuring internal supporters and preparing to confront the West. The final decision to disdain the European meeting was apparently made with the sudden incapacitation of Israel's Ariel Sharon.

Concurrently, Iran has suddenly moved a significant number of tanks toward its southern border near Basra, Iraq; has started repositioning naval assets and intercepts show military communications have become very atypical.

Is Iran expecting an attack now that the more pragmatic Sharon is out of the picture or has U.S and Coalition information leaked to them of an impending strike to put an end to nuclear weapons falling into the hands of someone like Ahmadinejad. The new regime in Iran has certainly tried to provoke the USA and Israel beyond the point of endurance.

Brigadier-General Mohammad Kossari, head of the Security Bureau of the IRGC has long stated, "Iran intends to become a superpower and will drive all foreign forces out of our region." What was previously sheer hyperbole now has a basis in serious executive policy and planning. Alternatively, is Iran planning to set up a reactive retaliation in the Middle East by the USA from an attack through surrogates like the Hezbollah?

The huge one-day increase in fatalities in Iraq appears to be an effort to distract the Coalition Forces, while the Islamic Regime sets up its pieces on the war map. Part of this involves backing up an increasingly under pressure Syria and trying to take advantage of the power vacuum in Israel.

Palestinian confrontation at the Gaza border with Egyptian forces on January 4th, 2006, which drove the Egyptians back a good mile, allowed Iran supported and financed Hezbollah to bring in substantial quantities of high-end weaponry through the gap they had bulldozed in the concrete slab border.
More at the link.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Same Scheiss, Different Day

So much for the East German anti-Communist who was supposed to come to the rescue of US-German relations. Merkel: "Mr. Bush, Tear Down This Terrorist Detention Facility.
Just days before her first visit to the United States as chancellor, Germany's Angela Merkel has called the closing of the controversial Guantanamo prison camp.

"An institution like Guantanamo can and should not exist in the longer term," Merkel said in an interview with Spiegel. "Different ways and means must be found for dealing with these prisoners."

Let's see. We could expend massive law enforcement and intelligence resources, amass piles of evidence, prosecute them, and then let leftist judges hostile to the US release them. Oh. You tried that. Heh. Well, so have we.

I know: we can drop them off at Ikea, the Swedish Feeding Trough.
The main draw is the price: a hot dog costs €1, a beer €1.30 and apple pie and vanilla sauce 50 cents. [And a liter of Absolut is only €12].

Flocks of people wait outside early every morning in order to storm the buffet at 9 a.m., when the store opens its doors. Long-distance drivers like to use IKEAs as rest stops since most of the stores are easy to see from the highway and are located close to an exit.

"Just fill out a customer feedback form, give your address, write down something unfriendly like, 'I had to wait 30 minutes.' Then you'll get a coupon for breakfast at the store," writes Daniela at a German site, "" [Ask Mom].

More than food-scroungers, though, IKEA workers fear lazy parents. Around 150 three- to 10-year-olds are deposited daily at the Hamburg-Schnelsen store's play area -- a complimentary offer to allow mom and dad to wander in peace through the showrooms. But many people misuse the service as a free babysitting service. Sometimes moms just set their loved ones down among the colorful balls, with the nursery girl watching -- and hurries to the hairstylist or the tennis court. The desperate store announcements asking the mother to please pick up her screeching child then go unheeded.
Betcha it's better than anything Merkel's got.

Iran Threatens Europe

On Thursday, Iran blew off a meeting with the IAEA in Vienna. Now they've told Europe to sit down and shut up, or reap the whirlwind.
The head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, who is also the man behind Iran's foreign policy, has warned Europeans "not to force the Islamic Republic to cut short the dialogue process and to opt for another scenario."

Speaking on Tuesday night on state television he said: "We are for a strategy based on dialogue, but if the counterparty Europe plays dirty, then we will pass onto another plan that we have worked out and then there will be problems for the Europeans."

Without specifying the nature of the other plan and the other scenario, Larijani has compared the talks on Iran's nuclear programme to a chess game.

"In this game, we are for a result that will be satisfactory to both Iran and Europe," said Larijani adding that "if we lose, the same will also happen to the other party (Europe) and they will have to prepare themselves to live in a hell."

But Larijani used even stronger words for the United States. "A small error on the part of USA or the Zionists will be enough to induce us to unleash hell," said Larijani. "They know this very well and for this they haven't gone further than a verbal or psychological war," he said.

Larijani also reiterated how Tehran "does not have any intension of renouncing its cycle of producing nuclear fuel."

"For our requirements we do not intend to trust even our friends," he said, stressing Iran's right to "advance the research in all the areas of the nuclear sector."

Iran's estimated missile envelope. Shahab-3s are nuclear warhead capable and have already been manufactured by the hundreds. Note that the launch point is given as the center of Iran, but launch facilities in Tabriz, in the northwestern corner, substantially extend this range.

UPDATE: Iran accuses the US of working with Sunni jihadis in Iraq to kidnap nine Iranian border guards -- strictly speaking, an act of war. Expect more such agitprop as Iran works to turn world opinion in its favor, so that when they attack the US, it will be viewed as justified and deserved. Ridiculous? By now, most of the world would shrug if Israel were annihilated. The Great Satan is next.

UPDATE II: For Yahoo's The Hot Zone, Kevin Sites will be reporting from Iran next week. The preview:
Led by recently elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a new administration of hardliners is digging in its heels on the nuclear issue, canceling talks with negotiators and warning that Iran soon will resume nuclear research. Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad is ramping up his rhetoric against Israel. The Hot Zone will address these complex issues.

But Kevin also will report on some areas -- such as Iran's serious drug problem and growing HIV/AIDS crisis -- that are showing signs of progressive solutions.

We'll also take a look at Iran's reverence for its war dead, symbolized by a Tehran museum that glorifies its society's "martyrs."

It is not easy for a western reporter to get a visa to Iran. But starting next week in the Hot Zone, Kevin Sites takes the pulse of Iranian society and reports on a country that is much more complicated and colorful than you might have imagined.
Readers will recall that Kevin Sites is the same "objective journalist" who filmed a squad of Marines in Fallujah in November 2004, as they cleared a mosque from which they had been under heavy fire. Sites' film captured a Marine shooting an insurgent who appeared to be reaching for a weapon, one day after another Marine had been killed and five injured by a booby-trapped corpse. Sites didn't feel this complied with our ROE; the clip received Al-Jazeera's 2004 Video of The Year award.

More from the Jawa Report: Kevin Sites, You're Still A Traitor.