Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ann Coulter- Terrorists Win: Deodorants Banned From Airplanes

August 16, 2006

Last week, British authorities arrested 24 members of a terrorist cell plotting to blow up about a dozen U.S.-bound planes simultaneously. As a result of those arrests, we learned:
Nothing being done by airport security since 9/11 would prevent a bomb from being brought onto an airplane; and

This terrorist plot -- like all other terrorist plots -- was stopped by ethnic profiling.

Last week marked the first official admission that everything government airport screeners have been doing until now is completely pointless -- unless you're an airport security guard with a thing for women's undergarments, in which case it's been highly effective.

As we now know, all the ingredients necessary to blow up an airplane can be carried in small liquid containers. Airport security has not even been looking for small liquid containers. Judging from my personal experience, they seem to have been focusing on finding explosive devices inside women's brassieres.

After five years of submissively complying with bag checks, shoe checks and underwire bra checks, Americans have now been informed that the hell we've been going through at the airports (but which the president and members of Congress do not go through because they refuse to fly commercial air) has been a useless Kabuki theater.

The procedures that have wasted millions of hours of time cannot keep the most basic bomb materials off an airplane. This is like locking your windows to prevent burglaries, while leaving the front door wide open.

Airport security has been using metal detectors to confiscate sharp objects that could be turned into make-shift weapons, which could then be used by terrorists to commandeer control of a plane and fly it into a building.

Except the terrorists can't do that because we've seen that trick before.

After 9/11, airline passengers will never allow a half-dozen terrorists to take control of a plane again. Indeed, on 9/11, passengers on Flight 93 prevented terrorists who had already been given control of the plane from flying it into a building after hearing what had happened to the first three hijacked planes.

To pull off a 9/11-style attack now, literally half the passengers on the plane would have to be terrorists. (At least the airport screeners wouldn't have to worry about confiscating a lot of deodorants.)

I think a planeful of Arabs would attract attention -- except from people who had recently completed a government training program teaching them not to notice anyone's appearance. Not even a group of liberal Democrats flying off to a Renaissance Weekend would stand for that.
The sole objective of airport security post-9/11 has been to accomplish the impossible -- remove all sharp objects from a plane -- in order to prevent an attack that won't ever happen again. (OK -- well, that and finding out what color of lingerie Ann Coulter prefers.)

The plan seems to be to make flying so unpleasant that terrorists -- like the people who write laws about airport security -- will refuse to fly commercial air. On that theory, we could also keep terrorists off planes by forcing passengers to undergo root canal surgery before boarding, making them stand on their heads for an hour, or enacting an "all Whoopi Goldberg in-flight movie" policy.

What stopped last week's terrorist attack was ethnic profiling. We don't know the details of the British intelligence work that nabbed the 24 Muslims because The New York Times has not been able to obtain that classified information and publish it on its front page yet. But it is a fact that you could not catch 24 Muslim terrorists by surveilling everyone in Britain equally.
Without the ethnic profiling going on outside of airports, no security procedure currently permissible inside airports would have prevented a terrorist attack that would have left thousands dead.

Airplanes, ports, bridges, subways and shopping malls cannot ever be sanitized against every type of attack that can be dreamed up by fanatics engaged in asymmetrical warfare. We have to target the fanatics themselves. Baby formula doesn't kill people. Islamic fascists kill people.

Mike Lupica: It isn't well-spent, but well-earned

The New York Daily News
19 August 2006

BOSTON - By the time Derek Jeter had cleared the bases with a double in the top of the seventh and the Yankees were about to bat around for the second time in Game 2, on their way to scoring seven in the seventh against the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees and Red Sox had played nearly eight hours of baseball at Fenway Park yesterday.

The Yankees had won Game 1 by a 12-4 score. By the time the top of the seventh ended, a few minutes before midnight, the Yankees were leading, 14-10, against what was left in the boneyard that is the Red Sox bullpen at the present time.

This wasn't the best rivalry in sports anymore. It was like watching relief pitchers do bad auditions for "American Idol," on the worst day the Red Sox have had since they won the World Series.

The Yankees had 17 hits in Game 1 and they also had 17 hits in Game 2. The Yankees had blown leads of 5-1 and 7-5 in Game 2, and things had gotten bad enough that Joe Torre had gone to Ron Villone even though Villone had thrown 42 pitches and two innings the day before against the Orioles. You bring guys back like that in October, not August. The joke around the Yankees sometimes is that the only thing worse than being on Torre's bad side if you're a relief pitcher is being on his good side. Before you know it, you're Paul Quantrill or Tanyon Sturtze and you have been loved to death.

Sidney Ponson started Game 2, an eventual 14-11 Yankee victory, and had nothing. It is hard to see him being around here at the end of next week, much less the end of the month. Then came Villone and then came a fastball kid named Brian Bruney and then came Mike Myers after that and Kyle Farnsworth after Myers. For a while, with Bruney, it looked as if Torre might have thrown in the towel in Game 2, Game 2 of what would eventually be a day-night-morning doubleheader that was about as elegant as mud wrestling.

But the Red Sox have less bullpen than the Yankees these days, and maybe the rest of the way. The Red Sox had less bullpen than anybody in baseball yesterday afternoon and into the night and then into this morning. So the Yankees came back in the top of the seventh, which seemed as long as Rudy Seanez's pathetic effort at the end of Game 1 out of the Red Sox bullpen, as long as Jon Lester's second inning in Game 2, when he managed to get by with a cool 41pitches.

You thought the Red Sox might get out of the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded and Mike Timlin against Jeter. It was 1-1 and 1-2 and 2-2 and finally 3-2. Moving up on eight hours of baseball now at Fenway.

Not too far from midnight. The Yankees trying to get a big sweep, the Red Sox trying not to fall 3-1/2 games behind the Yankees in the American League East.

Jeter, the captain of the team, the guy you want up there in a big spot more than anybody Torre has, reached out and hit one hard toward the right-field corner. By the time everybody stopped running, the Yankees were ahead, 11-10, at Fenway. Then Timlin walked Bobby Abreu intentionally and Alex Rodriguez doubled inside third base, and by the time Timlin managed to get a third out, it was 14-10 and Fenway Park was as loud with boos for the Red Sox as it has been in a long time.

By the time it was Coco Crisp against Scott Proctor, another guy you worry about having an arm fall off, in the bottom of the seventh, Game 2 was past four hours at Fenway, and we were past midnight and this mess of a game and a doubleheader wasn't close to being over.

Game 2 had started at 8:07. After 32 hits for the two teams and 24 runs, the top of the eighth was starting at 11 minutes after 12. There was a time when these two teams played unforgettable baseball at this time of the morning, especially in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series. Now they had given us Ponson and Lester and Villone and Bruney and Julian Tavarez, Mike Myers and Kyle Farnsworth (who took a wicked shot off his leg and had to leave the game) and Scott Proctor. Maybe it will be a great rivalry today when it is Josh Beckett and Randy Johnson, two old Yankee-killers, one a Yankee now, going against each other.

Maybe it will be that way tomorrow night when it is Curt Schilling against Mike Mussina.

There were so many batting stars for the Yankees yesterday and today, because there have to be when you score the way they did against a boneyard bullpen. Johnny Damon had a couple of home runs and A-Rod hit and Giambi Jason hit and Capt. Jeter had the biggest one of the whole day, of course. And Melky Cabrera, who probably won't have a job here next season, had a huge hit in the middle of the seven-run top of the seventh for the Yankees in Boston.

This was one of those nights to make you wonder how anybody can get the Yankees out when they get back Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield.

There is a ridiculous amount of offense on this team even without them, on display in Boston yesterday at a ridiculously long doubleheader that didn't involve a rain delay or extra innings. When the sweep was over, people were comparing it to 1978, when the Yankees came in, during that comeback summer, and beat the Red Sox, 15-3, and swept them four games.

It seemed like a good comparison to make, after all. By the end of this mess, near one in the morning, at the end of the longest nine-inning game in the history of the sport, you had the idea that these two games started right after those four games 28 years ago.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tyler Kepner- Jeter's Secret? It's Simple: Play to Win

The New York Times
Published: August 18, 2006

Derek Jeter was the host of “Saturday Night Live” in 2001, and he was nervous about it all week. He had no acting or comic background, and certainly had never performed on live television at Rockefeller Center.

Jeter thought he might make a fool of himself, but the feeling subsided when he took the stage for his monologue. Everything happened so fast that 90 minutes seemed like 10. The task was remarkably easy.

“They have everything on cue cards for you,” Jeter said. “So as long as you can read, you can do it.”

For all of Jeter’s skills, the most useful is his ability to boil down any job to its essence. In a Yankees season marked by injuries to big hitters and the mystifying mind games of Alex Rodriguez, Jeter’s simple approach has stood out more than ever.

“I think that’s where people get in trouble, when they start complicating things,” Jeter said. “It’s really not that complicated. The more complicated you make it, the more difficult it is on you. You’re playing a game where you fail more than you succeed. You’ve got to try to keep it as simple as possible.”

Jeter has often been hailed for his intangibles, the kind of praise that can come off as a way to excuse his numbers. But this season, especially, Jeter has no need to apologize.

With a .338 average, he is second in the American League to Minnesota’s Joe Mauer. He has the best on-base percentage on the Yankees, at .415, and has a better average with runners in scoring position than Boston’s David Ortiz.

Jeter is hitting .373 with runners in scoring position, compared to .300 for Ortiz, who will try to help the Boston Red Sox wrest first place from the Yankees in this weekend’s five-game series at Fenway Park. Ortiz may be the leading candidate for the A.L.’s Most Valuable Player award, but Jeter is in the discussion.

“He’s definitely been our guy,” said the hitting coach Don Mattingly, who won the award in 1985. “He’s been as consistent as anybody, and he’s done everything you can to win games. So I don’t think there’s any question you can make a case for him.”

Jeter’s home runs are down this season — he has only 10 — but he leads the team in doubles and is on pace for 97 runs batted in. He has 26 steals, 6 shy of his career high. Before his error on Thursday, an ugly one in which he collided with Rodriguez on a pop-up, he had a better fielding percentage (.980) than he did last season, when he won his second Gold Glove at shortstop.

Monday’s game against the Angels was typical for Jeter. In the third inning, with a runner on third and one out, he hit a fly ball to center field. Four innings later, with a runner on first and no outs in a tie game, Jeter bunted the runner over.

In both cases, he got more than he was trying for: the fly ball turned into a homer, and the bunt went for a single. The important thing was that Jeter recognized what each situation demanded, which is easier said than done.

“I wish I could do it a lot more like him,” Johnny Damon said. “I get out of my game sometimes. I’ll go a long time without attempting a bunt, and it’s like, ‘That’s always been part of my game, so why don’t I do it more often?’ ”

Sometimes, Damon admitted, he lets the cozy dimensions of Yankee Stadium seduce him into swinging for homers. Jeter is more disciplined, and it makes him harder to prepare for.

“He may drag bunt one time, and the next time he might try to drive it out of the field on you,” Baltimore Orioles catcher Chris Widger said. “It’s hard, because there’s no one way to pitch him to get him out. He’s one of those rare guys that could bat leadoff or bat third, and he could be very successful anywhere because he’ll adapt his game to whatever the team needs for him to do.”

Jeter had his best statistics in 1999, with a .349 average, 24 homers and 102 runs batted in, all career highs. Asked if this year was his best, Jeter predictably said his best seasons were 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 — the years that ended with World Series parades.

Better than any player, perhaps, Jeter lives by the now famous Herman Edwards credo: You play to win the game. That is how he keeps it uncomplicated.

“It’s simple if you look at it as: Try to win,” Jeter said. “That’s the bottom line. If you win, everybody benefits. It’s not like, ‘I won, I lost.’ It’s, ‘We win, we lost.’ That’s the only way I’ve thought about it.”

Jeter talks like this all the time. He says he knows reporters get tired of boring answers, but sometimes there is nothing much to say. He responds politely to questions, but objects to the premise of most.

“People say, ‘Are you more motivated now because you lost?’ ” Jeter said, referring to the Yankees’ years without a title. “How could you be more motivated if you want to win all the time? You’re not extra-motivated. It’s the same thing.”

Widger said he recognized the same attitude in his White Sox teammates last season.
“I just think winning means more to him than all the other stuff does, and if more people did that, your team is better,” Widger said. “In Chicago last year, we had a lot of guys that played the game that way, and that’s why we won. We weren’t the most talented, but everybody played to win.”

Jeter helped create the Yankees’ modern mentality, in which only championship seasons are considered a success. It is an all-or-nothing mind-set that, for some, creates a joyless, pressurized environment.

But for Jeter, it is simply a fact. Every team wants to win as often as possible, so the goal must be a title every season. It is not like this everywhere, but for Jeter, it would be.

“I don’t know what it would be like, but I wouldn’t change,” he said. “Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand it’s a game of numbers and people are going to pay attention to your numbers, say you did this or did that. I would love to hit .400. That would be a lot better than .200. You take pride in how you play. But that shouldn’t be your main focus. Your main focus should be whether you win or lose.”

Closer Mariano Rivera, another straightforward thinker, grew up with Jeter in the Yankees’ organization. Veteran teammates helped form his makeup, Rivera said, and so did early success.
“We won all those championships, and that helps a lot,” Rivera said. “That helps your mental game.”

Jeter has mastered the mental game and continues to make the most of the physical. His skills are exceptional, but a one-dimensional approach controls every move.

“If you constantly sit around worrying about your stats, once you get in a funk, you’ll never get out,” Jeter said. “Because all you’re worried about is yourself. If you’re worried about how we can win today, that’s your only concern.”

Melanie Phillips: Suicide of the West

Denial is no longer a river in Egypt but a British pathology.
18 August 2006

When America was attacked on 9/11 by Islamic jihadis, it was said that this was a doomsday wake-up call for the West. Within a short while, however, much of Britain decided that 9/11 was actually America’s fault and that Israel was at the core of the problem.

When Britain was attacked last year on 7/7 by Islamic jihadis, it was said that this was a doomsday wake-up call for the U.K. Within a short time, however, much of the country decided that it was Britain’s own fault on account of “Islamophobia” and the war in Iraq. Now 25 British Muslims have been arrested for an alleged plot to blast up to ten trans-Atlantic airliners out of the sky. This vast alleged conspiracy, thought to encompass many dozens more plotters from Germany to Pakistan, bears all the monstrous hallmarks of a classic al Qaeda operation. In addition, security sources say that dozens more al Qaeda-linked terrorist cells are at large in the U.K.

From the evidence of one opinion poll this week, the British public has at least woken up to the fact that we are in the throes of a world war. Not so, however, the British establishment and chattering classes. Denial is no longer a river in Egypt but a British pathology. Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson of the Metropolitan Police described the plot as a “criminal” act which was “not about communities” but about “people who might masquerade in the community, hiding behind certain faiths.” So an act of holy war to be perpetrated in the name of Islam just happened to use that faith as a random bit of camouflage, just as it might have used Zen Buddhism, say, or Zoroastrianism?

Then there’s the customary chorus that it’s all due to the war in Iraq and Britain’s poodling to America. This was also the premise of the letter last weekend by 38 Muslim groups, MPs, and peers that unless Britain altered its foreign policy it would get more terrorist outrages. This shameful threat to the nation produced a furious denunciation by the home secretary, John Reid, for proposing that terrorists should dictate British policies. But the argument that foreign policy is the cause of the threat to Britain — a claim trotted out by a wide spectrum of people — is itself idiotic beyond measure. As Reid said, there was an al Qaeda plot in Birmingham to blow up Britain back in 2000 — before 9/11, let alone the war in Iraq. Similarly, jihadi attacks on the U.S. began 22 years before 9/11 with the Iran embassy hostage crisis in 1979, followed by two decades of further attacks. Even now, much of Britain fails to understand the apocalyptic messianism now driving the regime in Iran to develop nuclear weapons with which to blackmail the world.

It fails to acknowledge the religious nature of this world war, with even more alarming signs of an emerging Sunni and Shia strategic alliance in Iraq and Gaza, and with al Qaeda supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon. When President Bush said we were in a war against Islamic fascism, he was merely stating a demonstrable truth. But many in Britain simply refuse to acknowledge that the root cause of the threat that Britain faces is Islam. This does not mean that all Muslims sign up to these evil ideas. Hundreds of thousands of British Muslims do not, while across the world Muslims are among the most numerous of its victims.

But an insupportable number do subscribe to extremist ideas. A recent poll revealed that a quarter of British Muslims believed the 7/7 attacks were justified, with the number rising to one third among younger Muslims. Many of these young people live in a kind of cultural limbo, stranded between the repressive culture of the Asian subcontinent and the debauched and degraded culture of Britain. And the terrible message of the jihad is a siren song for those who have been abandoned in a psychic desert and who search for a meaning to their lives. It gives them an identity which provides self respect because it casts them in a heroic mould: fighting to ‘defend’ the kingdom of God. It is an identity built on undiluted hatred, on lies, on paranoia, on mass murder and even attempted genocide. These are ideas that kill. And because they are ideas, some of the most significant recruiting grounds are not the backstreet mosques and madrassahs but those seats of intellectual inquiry, the universities. Britain’s campuses are now the prime hunting grounds of the jihad.

A recent Pew opinion poll across Europe revealed that, while Britain was the most respectful country of all towards its Muslim citizens, they repaid the compliment by hating their home country, the west and the Jews more than Muslims anywhere else. Why? The answer is inescapable. British Muslims are being radicalised by Britain itself. Since Muslims whose minds are already bent by the propaganda of lies and hatred against America, Israel and the Jews pouring out of the Muslim world are further subjected by the BBC and other media outlets to daily — even hourly — diatribes about the evil of America, the evil of Israel and the fact that Britain is a patsy of evil America and evil Israel, who can possibly be surprised that untold numbers of impressionable young Muslims sign up to rid the planet of this apparent scourge?

The BBC, whose global influence is equalled only by its culpability, powerfully incites hatred by persistently misrepresenting Israel’s self-defence as unwarranted aggression, and giving air-time to an endless procession of Islamic jihadists, propagandists, anti-Western activists and bigots with rarely even a hint of a challenge. The British political and security establishment, meanwhile, still fails to understand that it is not enough to thwart terrorist plots and disrupt terrorist cells but it must also combat the ideology of lies, hatred and paranoia driving certain Muslims to these terrible acts. Not only do they fail to do so, but they have even recruited jihadists into the very heart of government as advisers. The mantra justifying this appeasement of extremism is that the vast majority of Britain’s Muslims are “moderate.” True, the vast majority oppose terrorism. But Britain has now effectively defined as a moderate someone who does not support mass murder — and even then, only in Britain. Where are the Muslim public figures condemning those in their community who support suicide bombings in Israel and Iraq? Or those who blame Israel and the Jews for all the ills of the world? Or who claim that the west is a giant conspiracy to destroy Islam? You won’t hear such condemnations from the head of the Muslim Council of Britain — an organisation which venerates Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who endorses suicide bomb attacks in Israel and Iraq — who has said his aim is to get Britain to adopt Islamic values.

Nor from Syed Aziz Pasha, secretary general of the Union of Muslim Organisations of the U.K. and Ireland, who has said he wants public holidays to mark Muslim festivals and Islamic laws to cover family affairs which would apply only to Muslims — a demand which astoundingly the Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly said she would consider.

Are these really moderate attitudes?

The unpalatable fact is that there is actually a continuum of Islamic extremism in Britain. While probably only a small number on this continuum will ever be involved in violence, too many others subscribe to odious beliefs and ideas which maintain the sea of hatred and bigotry in which terrorism swims. The key belief that sustains this continuum and fuels the global jihad is the paranoid falsehood that the West is engaged in a conspiracy to destroy Islam — and that the puppet masters of the West are the Jews.

The centrality of anti-Jewish hatred to the threat to Britain and the West makes Britain’s animus against Israel — and gross inversion of Israel’s 50-year fight to defend itself from extinction — not merely a regrettable prejudice but an act of cultural suicide.

Israel’s many enemies in the U.K. will doubtless be highly satisfied with the United Nations resolution to end the Lebanon war. But by emasculating Israel, this resolution has further empowered Iran and boosted the global jihad against themselves. Israel’s inept prosecution of the war in Lebanon and the resulting ceasefire are not merely a potential disaster for Israel. Al Qaeda and — even more importantly, Iran — will now scent not just Jewish blood but, in the apparent weakness of this key salient in the defence of the West, an opportunity to redouble their efforts to strike directly at Britain and America. For Israel’s fight is the world’s fight. Lose Israel, and the world is lost. By the time Britain finally works out just who are its allies and who are its enemies, it may well be too late.

— Melanie Phillips is author of Londonistan.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kenneth R. Timmerman: Infanticide - Mullah Style

Kenneth R. Timmerman
August 17, 2006

A new study of 115 Iranian school textbooks concludes that Iran is preparing its children for war, and is willing to risk massive casualties for the opportunity to defeat America in a world-wide cataclysmic confrontation.

“Iran’s is a war curriculum,” the study said. “Iran prepares its school children to fight the West – America in particular – as an indispensable complementary phase of the Islamic Revolution.”

From the Fifth grade on, Iran’s revolutionary regime portrays itself in government textbooks “as the champion of all non-Western nations, Muslim and non-Muslim, in a fateful struggle against Western hegemony in the world,” the study concluded.

In the vision of Iran’s leaders that is indoctrinated into young Iranians from an early age, “the Muslims, and the world oppressed nations in general, should wage a global war against the infidel oppressors, especially America,” the study reports, using language drawn directly from the Iranian textbooks.

Prepared by scholars Arnon Groisse and Navid Toobian of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace in Jerusalem, the study will be released in the United States by the American Jewish Congress.*

This is the first comprehensive look at how the Islamic Republic of Iran has attempted to indoctrinate two generations of children since seizing power from the Shah in 1979. Until now, many Middle East experts and intelligence analysts who have studied the rants of leaders such as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have pooh-poohed their anti-Western tirades as mere made-for-the-masses propaganda.

This study shows that they are much more than just show. On the contrary, defeating America has been the goal of this Islamo-fascist regime from the very start.

Highly-respected Princeton University scholar Bernard Lewis warned recently that Ahmadinejad’s choice of August 22 for his response to the U.S.-backed ultimatum on Iran’s nuclear program could have a religious significance.

In an oped in the Wall Street Journal, Prof. Lewis pointed out that August 22 coincides with the date in the Muslim religious calendar when the Prophet Mohammad traveled to Jerusalem in a dream, tied up his horse, and ascended to the 7th heaven to speak with Allah directly.

(By the way, Muhammad’s dream adventure is the only claim the Muslims have ever been able to lay on Jerusalem as a city holy to Islam. On the basis of that dream, Muslim armies invaded Palestine and conquered Jerusalem after Mohammad’s death).

Prof. Lewis argues that the West must take such things seriously, not as mere coincidence, and warns that Ahmadinejad could use the opportunity to unleash “the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world.”

In support of his conclusion that Ahmadinejad and his followers in Iran are not wild-eyed fanatics but represent the mainstream of the Islamic Revolution since 1979, Prof. Lewis cites a well-known admonition by Ayatollah Khomeini that is found in an 11th grade Iranian textbook, Islamic Viewpoint.

“I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them,” Khomeini says. “Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another's hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours."

This and other chilling passages that reveal the intent of Iran’s current leaders can be found in this new study of Iranian textbooks. Indeed, the main finding of the new study is that Iran’s entire education system is focused “on fighting American world hegemony in the name of Islam.”

The study points to two main themes within the overall mission of world Jihad against the West.

“One, a massive effort is made to portray the West, with America at its head, as the incarnation of evil. Two, much emphasis is put on the three issues of preparing for war, Jihad, and martyrdom as Islamic ideals that should be followed in the present time.”

It also notes that the struggle against America is “neither religious nor cultural, but rather political.”

“The American danger threatening Iran is perceived to be imminent, which necessitates thorough preparation on a national scale,” Groiss and Tooobian write in their analysis of the textbooks.

How close in time must a threat be for our leaders – and their opponents, and the press – to agree that it is imminent?

And if they agree that the threat is imminent – as France and Britain agreed of the threat from Hitler in 1938 – will our leaders conclude as Daladier and Neville Chamberlin concluded that they can still have “peace in our time” through appeasement?

After all, even the Bush administration decided to give diplomacy one more chance when it opted for a UN Security Council resolution last month that calls on Iran to give its definitive answer to the Western nuclear ultimatum by the end of August – well after Ahmadinejad’s own chosen date.

As I discovered during in-depth discussions with top Israel nuclear experts shortly before Iran launched its proxy war against Israel through Hezbollah on July 12, no one really knows just how close Iran may be to actually possessing nuclear weapons.

That uncertainty itself is disturbing. It shows, for one thing, that both the U.S. and Israeli intelligence communities have failed to penetrate top government circles in Tehran to gain insight into the aims, intentions, and capabilities of Iran’s radical Muslim leaders.

Studying the texts they have been teaching their children for the past twenty-four years won’t answer the question of how close Iran may be to the bomb.

But it will tell you, with great precision, the goals of Iran’s leaders.: extermination of the Jewish state in Israel and the destruction of America, even if this entails a catastrophic world war that Iran will lose decisively.

The United States and its allies have squandered the opportunity to use the best possible tool to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran: aid to pro-democracy forces inside Iran.

If Ahmadinejad and his Revolutionary Guards nuclear team reveal to the world in the coming weeks or months that they have achieved nuclear weapons capability, then we will be left with the worst-possible option, which is war.

And unlike Islamic Iran, we have not prepared our children – or ourselves - for this fight.

* Interested readers can read the complete study of the Iranian textbooks, when it is released, at

Click Here to support

Kenneth R. Timmerman is the author of Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran (Crown Forum, New York), and Executive Director of the
Foundation for Democracy in Iran.

Robert Spencer: Why We MUST Profile

Robert Spencer
August 17, 2006

To profile or not to profile? Some recent suspicious incidents involving mass purchase of cell phones by Middle Eastern men have given this debate a new urgency.

On Tuesday, terrorism charges were dropped against two Muslims from Dearborn, Michigan, who had been arrested in Ohio. Ali Houssaiky and Osama Sabhi Abulhassan had been stopped for a traffic violation a week before; in their car, sheriff’s deputies found $11,000 in cash, airline passenger lists, material about airport security procedures, and twelve cell phones. It turned out that they had bought 600 cell phones recently.

Cell phones can be used as detonators. They’re also a ready means of non-traceable communication, as well as an easy source of ready cash, as they can be resold to people who don’t want their calls traceable. There have been several other strange incidents involving mass purchase of such phones recently: three Palestinians were recently arrested in Texas with 1,000 cell phones in their van, and there was another incident involving “Middle Eastern men” buying cell phones in large quantities in Tucson, Arizona.

These incidents, especially all coming around the same time, are extremely suspicious, but even before prosecutors dropped the terror charges against Houssaiky and Abulhassan, charges of racial profiling began surfacing in the mainstream media. A public defender handling Abulhassan’s case, Ray Smith, said of his client at a hearing: “If his name was Joe Smith, we wouldn’t be here. His origin and appearance and name condition us to (think), ‘Oh my gosh, he’s a terrorist.’” The dropping of the charges will only reinforce this impression, despite the fact that many questions remain about the case and Washington County, Ohio Prosecutor James Schneider said that he still might press terrorism-related charges against the pair. According to AP, “Relatives of the men said they were just trying to make money by reselling the phones and were targeted because of their Arab backgrounds.”

It is unclear, however, what those who are charging that racial profiling was a factor in the arrest of Houssaiky and Abulhassan would have preferred to have happened. The facts of the case remain that they had lists of airline passengers, information on airport security, a large amount of cash, and instruments capable of being used as detonators. I hope that in such circumstances – given the fact that jihad terrorists have abundantly established their taste for targeting airplanes -- investigators would have looked into the possibility of terrorism even if Houssaiky and Abulhassan had been two Norwegian grandmothers.

But the fact that they are two young Muslim men makes this not an option, but a necessity. For however unpleasant or politically inconvenient a fact it may be, young Muslim males are responsible for the overwhelming majority of terrorist violence around the world today. Since 9/11 Islamic jihadists have perpetrated well over five thousand terror attacks; no other group even comes close. Sane and courageous law enforcement officials will therefore subject young Muslim males to greater scrutiny, within the bounds of the law – and political correctness can take the hindmost.

Profiling, of course, is an imperfect tool, however useful it may be. Islam is not a race, and neither is the jihad. Adherents of the jihad ideology can be found among all races: as John Walker Lindh, Jose Padilla, Richard Reid, Ismail Royer, and Hasan Akbar can attest. All those men have in common is that they are converts to Islam – a phenomenon that doesn’t necessarily have any outward signs. In fact, a recently discovered Al-Qaeda manual directs jihadists to adopt a Western secular appearance, and to eschew any outward manifestation of Islamic faith, precisely in order to divert suspicion: “Have a general appearance that does not indicate Islamic orientation (beard, toothpick, book, [long] shirt, small Koran)....Be careful not to mention the brothers’ common expressions or show their behaviors (special praying appearance, ‘may Allah reward you’, ‘peace be on you’ while arriving and departing, etc.)...Avoid visiting famous Islamic places (mosques, libraries, Islamic fairs, etc.).” Likewise, the recent terror arrests in Britain, which included a pregnant woman, demonstrate that not all jihad terrorists are men, either.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that young Middle Eastern males have committed a disproportionate amount of violent terror attacks in recent years. Although Islamic jihad supremacism is an ideology, not a race, more Middle Eastern males hold to it than do members of other groups. Accordingly, it is simply a waste of resources to subject all airline passengers, from grandmothers to toddlers, to equal scrutiny, while refusing to spend more time investigating passengers who come from the group from which most terrorists spring nowadays.

This is not a question of civil liberties. No one is arguing for the rounding-up of people who are just going about their business. If, however, the police see anything suspicious, as they did in the car of Houssaiky and Abulhassan, they have a right and a duty to check it out, and should be able to do so freely, without worrying about hurting feelings or incurring internal affairs investigations for politically incorrect practices. And it is still true that in a free society, people who are not breaking the law will have nothing to worry about.

After the uncovering of the recent jihadist airplane plot in Britain, British officials have begun moving toward this. However, politically this is an explosive issue: a British source said that the British Department for Transport “is ultra-sensitive about this and won’t say anything publicly because of political concerns about being accused of racial stereotyping.” And predictably, once a report was printed about this in the Times of London, Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Ali Desai declared: “What you are suggesting is that we should have a new offence in this country called ‘traveling whilst Asian.’ What we don’t want to do is actually alienate the very communities who are going to help us catch terrorists.” And of course, we don’t want to do that.
But those communities themselves have to take responsibility for the fact that jihadists have lived and recruited and plotted in their midst, generally with no fear that their coreligionists would turn them in. While Muslim tipsters helped expose the latest airplane hijacking plot, and that is highly commendable, all too often the wrath of the Muslim communities in America and Britain has been focused on anti-terror efforts and the foreign policy of their governments – when what is needed instead is an understanding of and tolerance for the need for profiling. But Muhammad Abdul Bari of the Muslim Council of Britain doesn’t think profiling is worth doing anyway: “If the profiling is done on the basis of race and religion, it will be wrong, it is not going to work.”

Why not? All the September 11 hijackers were Muslims. So were the July 7 London bombers. And the Madrid train bombers of March 2004. And on and on. All the plotters in the recent international airplane hijacking attempt are Muslims. All were working on the basis of Islamic theology. Why must officials continue not to notice this? To ignore this is to give up voluntarily the one thing that may make it possible to spot the perpetrators of a terror attack before it happens, and head it off. In other words, it is suicidal.

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Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of
Jihad Watch. He is the author of five books, seven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith and the New York Times Bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). His latest book, The Truth About Muhammad, is coming October 9 from Regnery Publishing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Paul Sperry: America Has Its Own "Islamic Fascists"

Theocracy on the 100-Year-Plan
Paul Sperry
August 15, 2006

When President Bush said we're at "war with Islamic fascists," he was referring to Osama bin Laden and his acolytes in London trying to blow U.S. airliners out of the Atlantic skies.

But America has its own "Islamic fascists" right here at home. Once they amass the numbers, they secretly plan to nullify our Bill of Rights and religious freedoms and create their own Muslim state ruled by Islamic law. They've got a 100-year plan, but they're already making inroads.

Astoundingly, some of them head the allegedly moderate Muslim groups who protested Bush's use of the phrase "Islamic fascists."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations whined that the term contributes to a rising level of hostility toward Islam. "The use of ill-defined hot button terms such as 'Islamic fascists' harms our nation's image and interests worldwide, particularly in the Islamic world," the group said in a press release."

Our nation"? Please. CAIR really only cares about the interests of one nation -- the nation of Islam -- and its own leaders are on record stating their desire to replace our constitutional democracy with a fascist society (as we know it) represented by sharia law.

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant," CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad once told a Muslim audience in Fremont, Ca. "The Quran should be the highest authority in America."

Lest anyone think he was misquoted, CAIR's own spokesman, Dougie "Ibrahim" Hooper, let it slip to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he essentially wants the same thing: "I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future."

They aren't alone:

* The former head of the American Muslim Council -- supposedly the "most mainstream Muslim organization in America" -- exhorted Muslims to turn the U.S. into an Islamic nation ruled by Quranic law even if it takes "a hundred years," according to federal court records.

* Popular New York imam Siraj Wahhaj told his flock in a taped sermon available at his mosque: "In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing. And the only thing that will remain will be Islam."

* Another so-called moderate cleric, Zaid Shakir, admitted in a recent interview with the New York Times: "I would like to see America become a Muslim country."

These quislings aren't part of the fringe. They represent the Muslim establishment in America. And they are on record wishing America would be ruled by Islamic law and not the Constitution.

Now they have the gall to publicly denounce Bush for associating Islam with everything they would let an emir establish in his place: rigid, one-party theocratic rule; forcible oppression of opposing views and beliefs; collectivism; militarism; sexism; chauvinism; and anti-Semitism.

The evidence is overwhelming. Everywhere it is codified and put into practice, sharia law results in brutal suppression of dissent, free will and individualism. Apostates face a death sentence in not only Pakistan, but even post-Taliban Afghanistan, the supposed model for "Islamic democracy" in the Muslim world. Bibles are still confiscated and churches still banned in Saudi Arabia. Non-Muslims working there must still use separate roads and facilities. One of the first decrees by new "reform-minded" King Abdullah was banning photos of women and censoring any anti-Wahhabi stories in newspapers throughout the kingdom. If that's not fascism, what is?

Across the Gulf is another religious police state -- run by Shiites, but no less Muslim or hateful of Jews. Iran's leader Mahmoud Ahmedinijad and his goose-stepping army are big fans of Hitler, the fascist's fascist. What a surprise.

Perhaps these regimes have swerved off the spiritual path and no longer really follow the tenets of their faith. Actually they follow them all too well. Sharia law is plucked directly from the Quran and sunna. That's why we still see today barbarous 1,400-year-old Bedouin justice like beheadings, amputations and stonings. Sharia also sanctions polygamy, denies women basic rights and merges mosque and state. Make no mistake, all of this is scripturally supported.

And it's essentially what even many of the supposedly "hip," "enlightened" and "Westernized" leaders in the American Muslim community want to bring to our shores, as Muhammad brought centuries ago to Medina. (The Muslim American Society even refers to this country as "The American Medina" in its literature.)

Even after 9-11, they've won a number of concessions from cities with large Muslim communities. Mosques can now override noise ordinances and blare their calls to prayer five times a day, for example. And more Muslim kids can ditch public school on Muslim holidays. They see 9-11 not as a setback for their cause but a chance to "educate" Americans about Islam and gain wider acceptance and bigger footholds in our society. And they're in no rush. Abdurahman Alamoudi, the godfather of their movement, counseled patience -- an Islamic Republic of America, even if it takes 100 years.

Until that time, CAIR and other Muslim activists are steadily institutionalizing Islam at the local level, exploiting the very religious freedoms and tolerances they would ban. Here are some recent milestones:

* In North Seattle, Wash., a public pool agreed to set up a swim time for Muslim women in which men, even male lifeguards, are banned.

* In Hamtramck, Mich., officials amended a noise ordinance to let mosques broadcast calls to prayer over loudspeakers -- despite complaints that the Arabic chants, repeated five times a day, are a nuisance.

* In Irvington, N.J., public schools agreed to close for Muslim holidays, joining schools in Paterson and Trenton, as well as ones in Dearborn, Mich., that have recognized Islamic holy days.

* In Fairfax, Va., public schools agreed to produce local TV announcements in Arabic and Farsi.

* In San Francisco, a federal appeals court gave its blessing to Muslim role-playing exercises in California public schools, even though the pro-Islamic lessons -- written by Saudi-backed consultants -- appear designed to promote the religion rather than simply teach its history.

* In Kansas City, airport officials agreed to install special wash basins in restrooms for Muslim taxi drivers who complained they couldn't easily wash their feet before praying.

What if Muslim activists could realize their dream of overturning the entire U.S. system of government in favor of a religious police state for Allah? What then? Think Iran, think Saudi. And picture the following:

* New York without Lady Liberty -- the statue would be one of the first monuments destroyed. Even the Starbucks goddess would be scrubbed from the coffee chain's logo, as was done in Saudi Arabia.

* Women covered from head to toe while in public, forbidden from baring their legs, arms, necks, hair and even ears except in the company of other women or their husbands or close male relatives.

* Legalized domestic violence, as per the Quran. (Husbands may beat their wives, but only after verbal warnings and a period of sexual denial fail to correct their disobedience.)

* Legalized polygyny -- one man married to more than one wife -- with up to four wives per man.

* Men divorcing their wives simply by orally declaring "I divorce you" three times. (The split is then valid. The Quran doesn't offer the same right to wives. Also, fathers would automatically get custody of children.)

* Women barred from voting or driving.

* Two female witnesses required in court for every one male witness.

* Thieves with amputated right hands.

* Homosexuals put to death.

* Critics of Muhammad locked up (cartoonists included).

* Apostates executed.

* Liquor stores shut down. Beer and wine yanked from grocery store shelves, along with pork products and dog food (as dogs are barred from households under Islam). Napa out of business.

* Razed churches and synagogues. Bibles removed from all hotel rooms.

* Non-Muslims driving in separate lanes, using separate bathrooms.

* Playing cards and chips banned (since gambling is haram, forbidden, by Islam). Las Vegas bankrupt.

* "The Three Little Pigs" burned, along with Piglet dolls (as pigs are considered vile in Islam).

* Toilets facing the appropriate direction toward Mecca.

* Mortgages, credit cards, savings accounts, life insurance and most retirement funds outlawed (because they're based on interest, which also is forbidden by Islam). Wall Street shuttered.

* Industries dealing in alcohol, entertainment, pork products, conventional banking services and other so-called vices forbidden by the Quran also shut down. Economic depression.

* Birthday parties forbidden (because there is no evidence in the Quran that Muhammad celebrated his birthday, and devout Muslims strive to imitate their prophet's life in every way).

* No more Thanksgiving (replaced by Ramadan) or Christmas (replaced by Eid).

* Museums and art galleries closed (as Islam bans human representation in art).

* Media critical of the emir of the White House censored.

* Arabic as the official language of America.

* "In Allah We Trust" emblazoned on our currency.

Don't laugh -- especially you 49% who told Gallup you believe U.S. Muslims are loyal to the United States. Given high Muslim immigration and birth rates, their dream could one day be within reach. Some sharia laws are already recognized in parts of Canada and Europe. And America is no less a target of a global Islamic movement to pressure Western society into abiding by Islamic laws.

The movement is driven by the militant Muslim Brotherhood and bankrolled by Arab governments. In addition to Saudi funding, CAIR just last month got an endowment from the United Arab Emirates (which already owns the deed to CAIR's D.C. headquarters) to help launch a new $50 million campaign to mainstream Islam in America.

Part of that campaign involves stocking U.S. libraries -- first in neighborhoods, then college campuses -- with pro-Islamic propaganda. It also involves pressuring corporate America to accommodate Muslim religious customs in the workplace, such as giving Muslim employees time off to attend Friday mosque and letting them wear head scarves and beards even when it violates long-standing dress codes and presents safety and security issues.

CAIR plays the race card. If board members don't accept the group's "offer," it cries bigotry. It's cultural extortion, and no one should give in to it. Those who do only help the Islamic fascists achieve their subversive goal of turning America into a mullahcracy.

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Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington." He can be conacted at

Monday, August 14, 2006

Daniel Pipes: "At War With Islamic Fascists"

Daniel Pipes
August 14, 2006

In his first response to the major terror airline scare in London, President Bush said on August 10, “The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.”

His use of the term “Islamic fascists” spurred attention and controversy, especially among Islamists.

At a pro-Hezbollah rally in front of the White House, on Aug. 12, the crowd (in the Washington Post’s description) “grew most agitated when speakers denounced President Bush’s references to Islam.” In particular, the president of the Muslim American Society, Esam Omesh, won a massive roar of approval when he (deliberately?) mischaracterized the president’s statement: “Mr. Bush: Stop calling Islam ‘Islamic fascism.’”

Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called the term “ill-advised” and “counter-productive,” repeating CAIR’s usual conceit that violence in the name of Islam has, in fact, nothing to do with Islam. Even more preposterously, Awad went on to suggest that we “take advantage of these incidents to make sure that we do not start a religious war against Islam and Muslims.”

CAIR’s board chairman, Parvez Ahmed, sent an open letter to President Bush: “You have on many occasions said Islam is a ‘religion of peace.’ Today you equated the religion of peace with the ugliness of fascism.” Actually, Bush did not do that (he equated just one form of “the religion of peace” with fascism), but Ahmed inadvertently pointed to the evolution in the president’s – and the country’s – thinking away from bromides to real thinking.

Edina Lekovic from the Muslim Public Affairs Council repeated the MPAC argument of the need to cultivate Islamists for counterterrorism: “When the people we need most in the fight against terrorism, American Muslims, feel alienated by the president’s characterization of these supposed terrorists, that does more damage than good.” (Supposed terrorists?) Her case, however, has recently been undercut by the example of Mubin Shaikh and the Toronto 17, in which an Islamist informer has been widely shunned by fellow Muslims. Lekovic did, however, make a valid semantic point: “It would have been far more accurate had he linked the situation to a segment of people rather than an entire faith, along the lines of, say, radical Muslim fascists.”

The Muslim Association of Britain announced that it “condemns” Bush’s wording and worries that such comments “gives yet another excuse for the targeting of the Muslim minority by extreme right-wing forces in the West.” This fear is disingenuous, given how few anti-Muslim incidents do take place in the West, compared to the number of Muslim attacks on Westerners.

There are also rumblings of a more aggressive Muslim response. “Some hypermarkets in Riyadh,” reports the Arab News, “had already withdrawn American products from their shelves in response to the US’ anti-Islam campaign.” Will this incident lead to a further separation of civilizations?


(1) This is hardly the first time Bush has used the term Islamic fascist (or Islamofascist); it has become a part of his routine vocabulary since his path-breaking speech on this subject in October 2005, a speech that, oddly, was dismissed by the mainstream media as a retread, while this glancing reference is treated as major news. (Newsweek calls it a “rhetorical bomb.”) Go figure.

(2) What was new on Aug. 10 was his formulation that the United States is “at war with Islamic fascists.” That was more direct and forceful than anything prior.

(3) Islamic fascist and Islamofascist are more used than ever before, as can be confirmed by a search for those words in my weblog entry, “Calling Islamism the Enemy.” Notably, Senator Rick Santorum gave a powerful speech on July 20 in which he 29 times used the term fascist or fascism with reference to Islam. MSNBC and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution have both suggested that Santorum’s use of this term accounted for its adaptation by the White House.

(4) Protests from Islamists notwithstanding, Bush has indicated that he plans to continue using this term. His spokesman, Tony Snow, explained in an e-mail interview with the Cox newspaper chain that Bush has gradually shifted from the “war on terrorism” to “war with Islamic fascists.” With this new specificity, Snow continues, Bush “tries to identify the ideology that motivates many organized terrorist groups. He also tries to make it clear that the label does not apply to all or most Muslims, but to the tiny factions,” such as Al-Qaeda.

(5) It appears that Islamist protests have been counterproductive, managing the negative double play of bringing more attention to the term and irritating the White House.

(6) I applaud the increasing willingness to focus on some form of Islam as the enemy but find the word fascist misleading in this context. Few historic or philosophic connections exist between fascism and radical Islam. Fascism glorifies the state, emphasizes racial “purity,” promotes social Darwinism, denigrates reason, exalts the will, and rejects organized religion – all outlooks anathema to Islamists.

In contrast, Radical Islam has many more ties, both historic and philosophic, to Marxism-Leninism. While studying for his doctorate in Paris, Ali Shariati, the key intellectual behind the turn to Islam in Iran in the 1970s, translated Franz Fanon, Che Guevara, and Jean-Paul Sartre into Persian. More broadly, quoting the Iranian analyst Azar Nafisi, radical Islam “takes its language, goals, and aspirations as much from the crassest forms of Marxism as it does from religion. Its leaders are as influenced by Lenin, Sartre, Stalin, and Fanon as they are by the Prophet.” During the cold war, Islamists preferred the Soviet Union to the United States; today, they have more and deeper connections to the hard left than to the hard right.

(7) Nonetheless, some voices gamely argue for the accuracy of “Islamic fascists.” After himself using the term on television, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff justified it by noting that bin Laden has

talked about restoring the Caliphate, the empire that existed in the southern Mediterranean centuries ago. That is nothing—it‘s deranged, but essentially it is a vision of a totalitarian empire with him leading under some kind of perverted conception of religion. That comes very close to satisfying my definition of fascism. It might not be classic fascism that you had with Mussolini or Hitler, but it is a totalitarian intolerance—imperialism that has a vision that is totally at odds with Western society and our freedoms and rule of law.

The Washington Times also endorsed the term in an editorial titled “It’s Fascism.”

Fascism is a chauvinistic political philosophy that exalts a group over the individual—usually a race or nation, but in this case the adherents of a religion. Fascism also espouses centralized autocratic rule by that group in suppression of others. It usually advocates severe economic and social regimentation and the total or near-total subordination of the individual to the political leadership. This accurately describes the philosophies of Hitler, Mussolini, the leaders of Imperial Japan and other fascistic regimes through history. It also describes Thursday’s terrorists. It very accurately describes the philosophy of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and many other stripes of Islamism around the world.

(8) The use of Islamic fascists should be seen as part of a decades-long search for the right term to name a form of Islam that is recognizably political, extreme, and often violent. I have already confessed in that I am on my fifth term (having previously used neo-orthodox, fundamentalist, and militant, and now using radical and Islamist). While Islamic fascists beats terrorists, let’s hope that a better consensus term soon emerges. My vote is for Islamists.

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Mr. Pipes ( is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures (Transaction Publishers).

P. David Hornik: Sellout

P. David Hornik
August 14, 2006

If America got fed up with Israel and decided to accede to a UN “ceasefire” resolution, there were reasons for it. For a month an inexperienced Israeli prime minister who had said he was tired of fighting and wanted to turn Israel into a fun place, with a Peace Now, Marxist defense minister at his side, paraded Israel’s delusions in an effort to defeat Hezbollah on the cheap.

First was the attempt to triumph from the air—a basic plank of Olmert’s “disengagement” and “convergence” philosophy that says Israel can safely cede territory to its worst enemies because the air force can handle any problems that arise. Then there was the attempt to stop Hezbollah’s rocket fire with limited ground forays and a pathetically narrow “security zone” a kilometer or two into Lebanese territory—reflecting a hope that Israel could prevail without mobilizing or losing any significant number of soldiers.

In recent days, though, Olmert and the Israeli leadership had shown that they were on a learning curve and were preparing a major ground incursion up to the Litani River and possibly beyond. At the very least, Olmert realized he was finished politically unless he could show the distressed Israeli public that he could stop the rockets once and for all. Hezbollah, finally, was in for a drubbing. That is why it is so tragic that at this moment, America decided to bend to international pressure, put the brakes on Israel, and endorse a document that is a shameful exercise in moral equivalence and facilitation of ongoing terror.

Security Council Resolution 1701 “Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hizbullah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations,” drawing a precise parallel between jihadist aggression and the effort to ward it off. The document also calls for the release of the abducted Israeli soldiers only in the preamble, while also claiming a need to “settl[e] the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel”—in other words, terrorists who include the sadistic child-murderer Samir Kuntar.

The resolution at least cannot be accused of equivalence when it “Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and . . . calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon”—without mentioning Israeli rehabilitation in so much as a breath.
Here the Security Council, with American consent, adopts the BBC-CNN-Reuters view of the conflict in which suffering within the country that has harbored Hezbollah for over two decades, and elected the organization as a sizable faction in its parliament with two cabinet posts—counts; whereas Israeli suffering, devastation, and displacement do not.

The resolution calls for “delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shebaa Farms area.” This is a direct reward to Hezbollah for using the false Shebaa Farms issue to keep terrorizing northern Israel for six years, the UN itself having affirmed that Israel had left Lebanon completely in 2000 and that any further territorial dispute over Shebaa Farms concerned only Israel and Syria.

The resolution puts Israel on a very short tether in terms of looking out for its future security. “Upon full cessation of hostilities,” it “calls upon the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL . . . to deploy their forces together throughout the south and calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from southern Lebanon in parallel”—not leaving Israel even a decent interval to try and ensure that Hezbollah does not return to fill the void left by its departing forces.

Then, even more ominously, the resolution “Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken . . . that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations . . . or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons. . . .” If the UN were an institution that had always given Israel a fair shake, this might not be so unpromising. But that, of course, is not what the UN is, and one can particularly expect the phrase “might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution” to be applied liberally to any future Israeli attempts to defend itself militarily.

But Resolution 1701’s most glaring weaknesses are precisely in those areas that some are touting as its strengths. The resolution “Calls for . . . the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani River of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL”; “authorize[s] an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops”; and even hints at a military role for UNIFIL by authorizing it “to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities.”

UNIFIL having become a synonym for uselessness at best and collusion with terrorism at worst, a UNIFIL force beefed up with troops from France and other dhimmified countries that relate to Iran as a business partner does not inspire confidence. More significant, though, is Resolution 1701’s treatment of the Lebanese government as the main actor in this story that is supposed to ensure peace and stability.

Essentially, anything the document is supposed to achieve is subject to Lebanon’s veto. The word consent appears three times in the text, each time in reference to Lebanon:

“The Security Council...[e]mphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon....”

“ foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government... ”

“Calls upon the government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel.... ”

Again, if Lebanon were a country (a) solidly in the pro-Western camp and (b) powerful enough to assert its will in its territory, these items would be cause for hope. But the resolution, which remarkably never gets around to mentioning the words Iran or Syria, ignores the facts that Lebanon has basically been a plaything of Syria and, less directly, Iran for at least a quarter-century; that much of its populace, army, and government, particularly the Shiite component, enthusiastically backs the Hezbollah-Syrian-Iran axis and is essentially part of it; and that Lebanon’s weak, ethnoreligiously dissonant army is no more capable of exerting control than a 15,000-man UNIFIL force.

Allowing Israel to take a few more weeks and rout Hezbollah—preferably also with some sobering strikes against Syria—would have created a different scenario and, most important, perceptions of a Western victory and humiliating jihadist defeat. That may have allowed the truly moderate Christian, Druze, and Muslim forces in Lebanon to start trying to retake control of their country while leaving the Iranian-led jihad axis reeling.

Instead the United States and the world community have chosen with this dire Security Council resolution to create a powerful scenario of perceived, and to some extent real, jihadist victory while ensuring continuing instability and endangerment of Israel. It is a moment that will come back to haunt America and the West.

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P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Jerusalem. He can be reached at

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mark Steyn: Pan-Islamism Challenges Idea of Nation State

August 13, 2006

Here's how an early report by Reuters covered the massive terrorism bust in the United Kingdom. They started out conventionally enough just chugging along with airport closures, arrest details and quotes from bystanders, but then got to the big picture:
" 'I'm an ex-flight attendant, I'm used to delays, but this is a different kind of delay,' said Gita Saintangelo, 54, an American returning to Miami. 'We heard about it on the TV this morning. We left a little early and said a prayer,' she said at Heathrow.

"Britain has been criticised by Islamist militants for its military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prime Minister Tony Blair has also come under fire at home and abroad for following the U.S. lead and refusing to call for an immediate cease-fire in the conflict between Israel and Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas."

Is there a software program at Western news agencies that automatically inserts random segues in terrorism stories? The plot to commit mass murder by seizing up to 10 U.K.-U.S. airliners was well advanced long before the first Israeli strike against Hezbollah. Yet it's apparently axiomatic at Reuters, the BBC and many other British media outlets that Tony Blair is the root cause of jihad. He doesn't even have to invade anywhere anymore. He just has to "refuse to call for an immediate cease-fire" when some other fellows invade some other fellows over on the other side of the world.

Grant for the sake of argument that these reports are true -- that when the bloodthirsty Zionist warmongers attack all those marvelous Hezbollah social outreach programs it drives British subjects born and bred to plot mass murder against their fellow Britons. What does that mean?
Here's a clue, from a recent Pew poll that asked: What do you consider yourself first? A citizen of your country or a Muslim?

In the United Kingdom, 7 percent of Muslims consider themselves British first, 81 percent consider themselves Muslim first.

And that's where the really valid Lebanese comparison lies. Lebanon is a sovereign state. It has an executive and a military. But its military has less sophisticated weaponry than Hezbollah and its executive wields less authority over its jurisdiction than Hezbollah. In the old days, the Lebanese government would have fallen and Hezbollah would have formally supplanted the state. But non-state actors like the Hezbo crowd and al-Qaida have no interest in graduating to statehood. They've got bigger fish to fry. If you're interested in establishing a global caliphate, getting a U.N. seat and an Olympic team only gets in the way. The "sovereign" state is of use to such groups merely as a base of operations, as Afghanistan was and Lebanon is. They act locally but they think globally.

And that indifference to the state can be contagious. Lebanon's Christians may think of themselves as "Lebanese," but most of Hezbollah's Shiite constituency don't. Western analysts talk hopefully of fierce differences between Sunni and Shiite, Arab and Persian, but it's interesting to note the numbers of young Sunni men in Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere in recent weeks who've decided that Iran's (Shiite) President Ahmadinejad and his (Shiite) Hezbo proxies are the new cool kids in town. During the '90s, we grew used to the idea that "non-state actors" meant a terrorist group, with maybe a few hundred activists, a few thousand supporters. What if entire populations are being transformed into "non-state actors"? Not terrorists, by any means, but at the very minimum entirely indifferent to the state of which they're nominally citizens.

Hence that statistic: Seven percent of British Muslims consider their primary identity to be British, 81 percent consider it to be Muslim. By comparison, in the most populous Muslim nation on the planet, 39 percent of Muslim Indonesians consider themselves Indonesian first, 36 percent consider themselves Muslim first. For more than four years now, I've been writing about a phenomenon I first encountered in the Muslim ghettoes of the Netherlands, Belgium and other European countries in the spring of 2002: Second- and third-generation European Muslims feel far more fiercely Islamic than their parents and grandparents.

That's the issue: Pan-Islamism is the profound challenge to conventional ideas of citizenship and nationhood. Of course, if you say that at the average Ivy League college, you'll get a big shrug: Modern multicultural man disdains to be bound by the nation state, too; he prides himself on being un citoyen du monde. The difference is that, for Western do-gooders, it's mostly a pose: They may occasionally swing by some Third World basket-case and condescend to the natives, but for the most part the multiculti set have no wish to live anywhere but an advanced Western democracy. It's a quintessential piece of leftie humbug. They may think globally, but they don't act on it.

The pan-Islamists do act. When they hold hands and sing "We Are The World," they mean it. And we're being very complacent if we think they only take over the husks of "failed states" like Afghanistan, Somalia and Lebanon. The Islamists are very good at using the principal features of the modern multicultural democracy -- legalisms, victimology -- to their own advantage. The United Kingdom is, relatively speaking, a non-failed state, but at a certain level Her Majesty's government shares the same problem as their opposite numbers in Beirut: They don't quite dare to move against the pan-Islamists and they have no idea what possible strategy would enable them to do so.

So instead they tackle the symptoms. Excellent investigative work by MI-5 and Scotland Yard foiled this plot, and may foil the next one, and the one after that, and the 10 after that, and the 100 after those. And in the meantime, a thousand incremental inconveniences fall upon the citizen. If you had told an Englishman on Sept. 10, 2001, that within five years all hand luggage would be banned on flights from Britain, he'd have thought you were a kook. If you'd told an Englishwoman that all liquids would be banned except milk for newborn babies that could only be taken on board if the adult accompanying the child drinks from the bottle in front of a security guard, she'd have scoffed and said no one would ever put up with such a ludicrous imposition. But now it's here. What other changes will the Islamists have wrought in another five years?

Absent a determination to throttle the ideology, we're about to witness the unraveling of the world.

©Mark Steyn, 2006

Patrick Basham: Are British Muslims Really a Threat?

August 11, 2006, 0:30 p.m.

The Spread of Homegrown Terror

The recent homegrown plot in Britain to blow up transatlantic flights will intensify the fear that the country’s 1.6 million Muslims are rejecting political tolerance and free speech for a violent, radicalized version of Islam. There is a real concern that British Muslims do pose a threat to that country and its traditional values. So how prevalent are such radical views among British Muslims?

Some answers are provided by the most comprehensive survey to date of Muslim opinion in Britain. The results from NOP Research, broadcast by Channel 4-TV on August 7, are startling. Forty-five percent say 9/11 was a conspiracy by the American and Israeli governments. This figure is more than twice as high as those who say it was not a conspiracy. Tragically, almost one in four British Muslims believe that last year’s 7/7 attacks on London were justified because of British support for the U.S.-led war on terror.

When asked, “Is Britain my country or their country?” only one in four say it is. Thirty percent of British Muslims would prefer to live under Sharia (Islamic religious) law than under British law. According to the report, “Half of those who express a preference for living under Sharia law say that, given the choice, they would move to a country governed by those laws.” Twenty-eight percent hope for the U.K. one day to become a fundamentalist Islamic state. This comports with last year’s Daily Telegraph newspaper survey that found one-third of British Muslims believe that Western society is decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to end it.

The news is no less alarming on the question of freedom of speech. Seventy-eight percent support punishment for the people who earlier this year published cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed. Sixty-eight percent support the arrest and prosecution of those British people who “insult Islam.” When asked if free speech should be protected, even if it offends religious groups, 62 percent of British Muslims say No, it should not.

Also concerning freedom of speech, as the NOP Research survey reports, “hardcore Islamists” constitute nine percent of the British Muslim population. A slightly more moderate group is composed of “staunch defenders of Islam.” This second group comprises 29 percent of the British Muslim population. Individuals in this group aggressively defend their religion from internal and external threats, real or imagined. The scary reality is that only three percent of British Muslims “took a consistently pro-freedom of speech line on these questions.”

The Muslim threat to British security is so severe that the assistant London police commissioner, Tarique Ghaffur, has called for an inquiry into the radicalization of young Muslims. Ghaffur sadly describes “a generation of angry young people vulnerable to exploitation.” Before the London bombings, British intelligence services estimated that one percent of British Muslims either support or are involved in terrorism. While this is mainly a peaceful and productive immigrant population, a significant number are prepared to act against their own country.

The British government believes that, in recent years, 3,000 British Muslims have returned home from al Qaeda training camps. Intelligence experts estimate that 1,200 Muslim radicals (80 percent of Pakistani origin) are currently pursuing a terrorist rather than a democratic option to vent their disgust at Tony Blair’s support for America’s invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and opposition to Hezbollah. This terrorist weed which is choking the U.K. is especially hard to eradicate, because it is growing in British soil. America’s fastest-growing religion is Islam, but here in the States the numbers are not a security concern, as a commitment to Islam has not overwhelmed a strong attachment to America itself — another victory for the cultural melting pot. By contrast, the U.K. embraced taxpayer-subsidized multiculturalism and has paid a very dear price, indeed. The result — cultural apartheid — has encouraged a significant number of Muslims to exhibit more loyalty to fellow Muslims outside of the U.K. than to their fellow Britons.

— Patrick Basham is director of the Democracy Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

Stephen Spruill: Denial Is an Isle Across the Pond

August 12, 2006, 8:16 a.m.
Londonistan, disconnected from deadly reality.

The foiled plot to blow up several trans-Atlantic flights originating in London demonstrates Britain’s problem with Islamic extremism is far deeper than its political class wants to acknowledge. So "Londonistan" author Melanie Phillips tells National Review Online. It also should remind us, she says, that Israel is the Western world’s front line of defense against that threat.

“All credit to [the British authorities] for uncovering it,” Phillips told NRO via phone from Israel on Friday afternoon. “But it’s not enough to thwart terror attacks if at the same time you are not only failing to come to grips with the radical ideology behind them, you are busy appeasing it.”

“This is really the core of the problem of what’s happening in Britain,” she said. “Even though Britain had its own atrocity last year, the 7/7 bombings, and it was perpetrated by British-born Muslim youths... there is a settled consensus developed among the political class in Britain that this was kind of one-off, that it wasn’t al Qaeda, that this was a group of guys who put together a plot because of anger over the war in Iraq. Britain does not want to believe what is patently obvious: that it has an enormous fifth column of radical Islamic terrorists who were born and bred in Britain.”

“The British are rightfully concerned to not want to demonize an entire community,” she said. “There are many hundreds of thousands of British Muslims who generally have no truck with radical Islam. Nevertheless, in absolute terms the numbers who have extremist views and support jihad are enormous and unsustainable. The reasons for this are religious. It doesn’t follow that all Muslims subscribe to this particular view, but those who do are being told to do so by Islam, by the belief rooted in Islamic theology, endorsed by clerics, that there is a duty to wage jihad, reestablish the caliphate and turn non-Muslims into believers. Britain refuses to accept this.”

The explanation for Britain’s deep state of denial, Phillips said, is partly psychological: “A holy war is a horrific concept. It is a protracted fight with an uncertain outcome and an enormous cost in terms of casualties. Human nature, when we are faced with a reality that is overwhelmingly awful, is to deny its existence and alight instead on something that is less bad.”
She said that is why so many in Britain blame London and Washington for provoking terror attacks. “We can change ourselves. This is within the scope of our potential. Consequently, the British cannot come to grips with the terrible ideology that’s driving the global jihad.”

“It’s not enough to thwart terrorist plots and break up terrorist cells, vital as those things are,” she said. “In addition, what they have to do and have not done is address the ideas that are driving people to these horrible acts.” They are ideas, she said, based on a paranoid view of the world in which that the West is out to destroy the Muslim world and controlled by the Jews.

“That’s why the war in Lebanon is so important,” she said. “The British don’t understand the reality, which is that Israel is the front line of defense for the West. In the Islamic mind, the Jews are the center of the problem. They believe the Jews are the puppet masters of the West, and the Jews and the West have a malign intention to destroy the world of Islam.” That is why it is so dangerous to misunderstand the conflict, she said. “This is certainly not a fight over Palestinian territory. The fight over Israel is today a fight caused by the fact that the Muslim and Arab world does not want Israel to exist. When we look closely, we find a desire to wipe Israel off the map and destroy the Jewish people altogether. That is what is driving jihad. That is why Israel is important.”

“At the very same time that this plot has been uncovered, Israel is engaged in a life and death struggle with Iran through its proxy, Hezbollah... Insane as this may seem, much of the public in Britain believes that Hezbollah is part of a heroic resistance.” She said that “although [Shia Hezbollah and Sunni al Qaeda] are separate and rival wings of global jihad, they are both united in same objective. Instead of Britain understanding that this is all one fight, Britain is in denial... even today or yesterday, [British authorities] were saying that the terrorist suspects had ‘links to the South Asian community.’ What idiocy! Britain will not even acknowledge the role played by religion. This is the way a war is lost, the way a civilization dies.”

That is why Phillips was only somewhat relieved when she heard the news this week: “This is a desperate situation when you have a country as important as Britain that is so paralyzed by this failure to properly analyze that threat.”

— Stephen Spruiell is NRO’s media blogger. He frequently reports on politics for both NRO and NR.