Archive for April, 2006

Nuestro Himno or Let’s Rewrite History?

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Though I oppose President Bush’s policies for illegal immigrants (e.g., the “guest worker” and amnesty provisions), at least Dubya has publicly condemned the Spanish rewrite of our national anthem. Presumably, scads of illegal immigrants will be parading through our streets tomorrow singing the “Nuestro Himno” — on May 1 no less, a communist holiday, coincidentally? (No coincidence when you consider the labor union involvement in all this “protesting.”) Think about it: Law-breakers will be openly “protesting” in our streets. Perhaps the fact that these illegals’ supporters have rewritten the national anthem has raised a little ire from Bush. From ABC News:

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Mladic Still Hiding in Serbia?

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Serbia had promised to hand over war criminal Ratko Mladic by the end of April. Well, today is April 30, and there’s no sign that Mladic is any nearer to facing justice. Remember that Mladic and his nefarious accomplice, Radovan Karadzic, carried out unspeakable atrocities in Bosnia-Hercegovina from 1992 to 1995, not the least of which was the massacre of Srebrenica, in which 7,000 Muslim men and boys were ruthlessly slaughtered. Serbs murdered 250,000 Bosnian citizens during their “war” against Bosnia. But it seems that some in Serbia consider these two men as heroes. From the BBC:

Ratko Mladic is wanted on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

A spokesman for the UN chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte said she was given that assurance last week by the Serbian Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica.

“We received clear assurances from Kostunica for the delivery of Ratko Mladic by the end of April,” Anton Nikiforov said on Thursday.

The Serbian government has admitted that Mr Mladic was sheltered by the military until 2002, and that his family were drawing a pension on his behalf until December last year.

Along with his civilian counterpart, Radovan Karadzic, he is the most wanted war crimes suspect in Europe.

Today, the Beeb reports:

The EU says it will stop talks on closer ties with Serbia-Montenegro if Gen Mladic is not arrested by 30 April.

On Friday, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said it was time to “locate, arrest and transfer Ratko Mladic to the Hague (tribunal) without delay”.

I don’t have much hope — or respect — for EU deadlines.

I’ve faced a strange political dilemma for being an outspoken critic of Serbian war crimes. On the one hand, the “mainstream” press harps on these war crimes while rationalizing crimes committed by, for example, Islamist extremists. On the other hand, I’ve been berated for reminding people about Serb crimes by those who, because of Muslim terrorism, lump all Muslims as terrorists, and seek to rationalize Srebrenica as some type of payback to be exacted from the Islamic world.

You can’t please all of the people all of the time — nor do I wish to. A war crime is a war crime. A rose by any other name.

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Has the Saudi Kingdom Reformed?

Friday, April 28th, 2006

Middle East Quarterly*
Spring 2006
http://www.meforum.org/article/930
* Cross-posted with permission

On February 14, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman al-Saud on board the USS Quincy, anchored in the Great Bitter Lake along the Suez Canal in Egypt. The summit cemented a lengthy and, in recent years, often fractious relationship. Over the subsequent six decades, U.S.-Saudi relations have been multifaceted and complex, and often tense. In the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks and the revelations that fifteen out of the nineteen hijackers were Saudi nationals, both Washington’s ties with Riyadh and the kingdom’s support for radical Islam have come under increased scrutiny. On December 1, 2005, Patrick Clawson, senior editor at the Middle East Quarterly and deputy director for research at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, convened a roundtable to discuss the current state of U.S.-Saudi relations. Joining him were Thomas Lippman, an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute; Ali Alyami, founder of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia; Simon Henderson, a Washington Institute senior fellow and London-based specialist in Saudi politics; and Amr Hamzawy, a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Are U.S.-Saudi Relations Solid?

Middle East Quarterly: How solid is the U.S.-Saudi relationship, and what interests do the two countries have in common?

Thomas Lippman: The relationship is solid in a bilateral sense in which you have two governments that have found various issues on which they can work together and come to an agreement. It is not and should not be the kind of relationship that we have had in the past in Saudi Arabia, one essentially of the U.S. as tutor and Saudi Arabia as student. Saudi Arabia is a more mature country now. The damage that was done by 9-11 has largely been repaired in the government-to-government relationship; the relationship between the American people and the Saudi people has suffered what may be permanent damage.

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Subsidizing the Enemy

Friday, April 28th, 2006

by Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com*
April 28, 2006
http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3560
* Cross-posted with permission

An Islamic school in London is teaching that non-Muslims are akin to pigs and dogs, and it is doing so with subventions from the British taxpayer. More alarmingly, when notified of this problem, the British authorities indicate they intend to do nothing about it.

The Times (London) reported on April 20 in “Muslim students ‘being taught to despise unbelievers as ‘filth’,” that the Hawza Ilmiyya, a Shi‘i institution, teaches from the writings of Muhaqqiq al-Hilli. This scholar lived from 1240 to 1326 and wrote the authoritative work on Shi‘i law (Shara’i‘ al-Islam). About non-believers, called kafirs, he taught:

The water left over in the container after any type of animal has drunk from it is considered clean and pure apart from the left over of a dog, a pig, and a disbeliever.

There are ten [sic] types of filth and impurities: urine, faeces, semen, carrion, blood of carrion, dogs, pigs, disbelievers.

When a dog, a pig, or a disbeliever touches or comes in contact with the clothes or body [of a Muslim] while he [the disbeliever] is wet, it becomes obligatory-compulsory upon him [the Muslim] to wash and clean that part which came in contact with the disbeliever.

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¡Desea vivo la revolución inmigrante! — but at what cost?

Friday, April 28th, 2006

By Andrew L. Jaffee

On May 1, illegal immigrant protestors plan to “‘close’ US cities” to intimidate local, state, and the federal government into throwing open our nation’s gates to a flood of foreigners seeking American economic prosperity. Illegals, who by definition are in the U.S. by circumventing legal immigration rules, are now trying to set the nation’s policies. These people do not pay taxes, nor have earned the benefits of our democracy. They do not and should not have the right to vote. They should not be allowed to influence policies agreed to by natural and naturalized citizens. Rather, the illegals seek to intimidate local, state and federal governments into accepting an open-door immigration policy. Such a policy will surely destroy our nation’s most cherished values of freedom and democracy. And the protests themselves are doing great damage to our society already.

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Arab Enlightened Self-Interest?

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

By Andrew L. Jaffee

One would think that after the Arab/Muslim on Arab/Muslim carnage in Iraq, like the Samarra bombing; or the Amman, Jordan bombing last year; or Al-Qaeda’s slaughter of 88 innocent Egyptians last July; or Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990; or Kuwait’s ethnic cleansing of 400,000 Palestinians in 1991; or Jordan’s killing of thousands of Palestinians during Black September; or a 30-year Lebanese civil war; or the Iran-Iraq war which claimed 1 million casualties; would all be enough to convince the Arab/Muslim world that it has a problem with violent infighting. And let’s not forget the annual violence at Mecca. Three-hundred trampled to death in this year’s Hajj; 1,426 killed in the 1990 Hajj; 251 in 2004; etc.

Then there was this week’s bombing in Egypt which killed 24 — mostly Arabs — and injured 60. There actually was a reaction this time. From the Independent:

Egypt was last night contemplating the devastating human and economic costs of the multiple bombing attack, which killed scores of people in the country’s most popular diving and coastal resort.

The potential damage to tourism was underlined last night when around 2,000 local hotel and other service traders and workers staged a rare public demonstration against the three bombings which killed a still disputed number of Egyptians and foreign tourists in the early hours of Saturday.

There was a protest against the Amman bombings last year. And there was a demonstration against the Samarra bombing in Bahrain. Do a few demonstrations make a movement or sea change in Arab/Muslim attitudes? Probably not. But at least it is a start. Better late than never? — a cliché?

The recent Egyptian protests can be ascribed to enlightened self-interest. But that is not a bad thing. Most humans are motivated thusly, and rightly, up to a point. It is just disheartening to see how slow the Arab/Muslim world is recognizing the violence that dominates its societies.

I ask again: How soon is now? When will Iran’s populace topple the mullahs? When will Syrians toss out the Assad dynasty? I don’t buy the leftist sophistry that these people don’t want change, and we should just leave them alone. People have an instinctive yearning for freedoms, but the yearning is tempered by the weapons and ultra-violence held against them by their ruling elites.

Tough questions to which I have no panacea solution. What will light the fire of democracy? Still pondering… Please comment.

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Russia doesn’t like the dollar, but invests in it anyway

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Russia’s finance minister thinks the dollar is “too unstable,” but invests in it anyway. Here’s a news story from Novosti, which seems to contradict the minister:

Russia cannot consider the dollar as a reliable reserve currency because of its instability, the finance minister said Friday.

“This currency has devalued by 40% against the euro in recent years,” Alexei Kudrin told a news conference in Washington on the occasion of the opening spring session of the International Monetary Fund.

According to the Central Bank of Russia, the dollar accounted for 70% of Russia’s gold and currency reserves, euro for 25% and other assets for 5% in late 2005. As of April 14, 2006, the reserves were $212 billion.

Actions speak louder than words. The craze over the Euro is just that — a craze. Europe’s economic performance lags the U.S. by far, so the dollar will make a comeback against the Euro. (See article re: “the unfavourable profitability differential of European venture capital investment in comparison with the United States” . Or look at France’s performance.) Currency markets are self-correcting, and eventually end up reflecting the true economic reality, after the speculators get squeezed out.

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A Bad Week for CAIR

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

By Andrew L. Jaffee

First, news broke that CAIR “settled” its lawsuit (intimidation) against Andrew Whitehead of Anti-CAIR (http://www.anti-cair-net.org/):

…the case was settled and then dismissed with prejudice by stipulation (meaning, the plaintiff has agreed to forever drop all of the claims that were in, or could have been in, the complaint).

On Thursday, a local newspaper printed my letter to the editor challenging the notion that CAIR is “moderate” Muslim organization.

Now, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), has dropped a similar suit against David B. Harris, Director of the International and Terrorist Intelligence Program, INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc. Here’s the press release:

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About Those Iraqi WMD

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun*
April 25, 2006
http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3545
* Cross-posted with permission

The great mystery of the 2003 war in Iraq – “What about the WMD?” has finally been resolved. The short answer is: Saddam Hussein’s persistent record of lying meant no one believed him when he at the last moment actually removed the weapons of mass destruction.

In a riveting book-length report issued by the Pentagon’s Joint Forces Command, Iraqi Perspectives Project, American researchers have produced the results of a systematic two-year study of the forces and motivations shaping Saddam and his regime. Well written, historically contexted, and replete with revealing details, it ranks with Kanan Makiya’s Republic of Fear as the masterly description of that regime. (For a condensed version, see the May-June issue of Foreign Affairs.)

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Islamic Law at Belmont U

Monday, April 24th, 2006

by Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com*
April 24, 2006
http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3544
* Cross-posted with permission

Who would have thought that Belmont University of Nashville, Tennessee, would apply the Islamic law to its staff? But just that happened earlier this month.

Bill Hobbs, a Republican political advisor, blogger, and news writer for Belmont, which bills itself as “the largest Christian university in Tennessee,” was upset in February 2006 about the cowardice of the American media in not publishing the Danish cartoons. So he drew a primitive cartoon of his own and posted it on his personal site. It sat in obscurity until April 5, when a Democratic political operative, Mike Kopp, wrote about it, calling it

a bizzare page with the heading Draw Mohammed that spotlights a stick drawing of the Prophet Mohammed holding a bomb. The cartoon is entitled “Mohammend Blows.” Under the cartoon Hobbs issues an invite to “exercise your right to free expression by drawing pictures of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed”. He ends the post with the phrase “Here’s my first mo-toon.” All this was posted at 12:40 pm, on Friday, February 24, 2006.

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Islamists’ message to Israel at New York City rally: “The mushroom cloud is on its way!”

Monday, April 24th, 2006

By Steven Emerson
counterterrorismblog.org*
April 21, 2006
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2006/04/
islamists_message_to_israel_at_1.php

* Cross-posted with permission

Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) Newswire – April 21, 2006 : The Queens-based Islamic Thinkers Society (ITS) held a rally yesterday outside of the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan. Members of the Islamic Thinkers Society are easily identified by their Khilafah flags and provocative signs as well as rhetoric against homosexuals, Jews, Christians, Danes and others, depending on the hot button issue at the moment. Yesterday’s rally was held in response to Monday’s Tel Aviv bombing that killed 9 and injured scores. While carrying signs including “Islam will Dominate” with a picture of an Islamic flag over the White House, the small but loud group of men chanted threatening slogans (video of the rally will be posted on the Counterterrorism Blog soon):

Excerpts:
Leader (in Arabic): With our blood and our lives we will liberate al Aqsa!
[The rest also respond in Arabic:] With our blood and our lives we will liberate al Aqsa!
Israeli Zionists What do you say? The real Holocaust is on its way
Takbeer!
Response: Allahu Akbar!
Takbeer!
Response: Allahu Akbar!

Israeli Zionists, What do you say?
How many women have you raped today?
Israeli Zionists, What do you say?
How many children have you killed today?

Zionists, Zionists You will pay! The Wrath of Allah is on its way!
Israeli Zionists You shall pay! The Wrath of Allah is on its way!
The mushroom cloud is on its way! The real Holocaust is on its way!

We are not your average Muslims, We are the Muslims of Was al Sunnah

We will not accept the United Nations, they are the criminals themselves
They get paid by the Israeli and the US government to do their job.
We don’t recognize United Nations as a body
We only recognize Allah

Israel won’t last long… Indeed, Allah will repeat the Holocaust right on the soil of Israel
Takbeer!
Response: Allahu Akbar!

* * *
No wonder they call you sons of apes and pigs because that’s what you are.

We know many government services are watching us
Such as the FBI…CIA…Mossad, Homeland Security…
We know we are getting on their nerves
And so are you….
So we say the hell with you!
May the FBI burn in Hell
CIA burn in Hell
Mossad burn in Hell
Homeland Security burn in hell!!

Islam will dominate the world
Islam is the only solution
Islam will dominate the world
Islam is the only solution
Takbeer!
La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur Rasool Allah

* * *
Another mushroom cloud, right in the midst of Israel!
Takbeer!! Allahu Akbar!

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Islamist General Gunned Down by Soldier [Iran]

Monday, April 24th, 2006

SMCCDI (Information Service)
April 23, 2006

Official sources of Iran’s Islamic republic regime are revealing the murder, on Wednesday, of a top Pasdaran Corp. (Islamic Revolutionary Guards) commander in the religious city of Ghom.

General Kamal Kazemi was gunned down, by a ‘crazy’ conscript soldier ‘who will then commit suicide’, according to the same official sources which have not revealed the name of the soldier.

Kazemi was a top Pasdaran Corp. instructor and the local commander of the repressive Bassiji elements who are dealing with what the Islamic regime qualifies as “immoral behavior” or “social corruption.”

Most Iranians reject the rule of the Islamic regime and radical signs of exasperation, against the symbols of the theocratic power, are increasing in Iran.

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Media Admit: No Cartoons Because Fearful of Islamists

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

by Daniel Pipes
DanielPipes.org*
http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/594
* Cross-posted with permission

When asked why they did not publish the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, American media offered many high-minded reasons about mutual respect and the like, all of which begged the question why many of the same editors and producers thought it just fine to insult Jesus. But two outlets have come clean, admitting their intimidation.

First, the Boston Phoenix, a weekly, on Feb. 10, 2006, which listed the following as the first of three reasons not to publish the cartoons:

fear of retaliation from the international brotherhood of radical and bloodthirsty Islamists who seek to impose their will on those who do not believe as they do. This is, frankly, our primary reason for not publishing any of the images in question. Simply stated, we are being terrorized, and as deeply as we believe in the principles of free speech and a free press, we could not in good conscience place the men and women who work at the Phoenix and its related companies in physical jeopardy. As we feel forced, literally, to bend to maniacal pressure, this may be the darkest moment in our 40-year publishing history.

(A day later, Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times quoted the Phoenix argument approvingly and added that “There is something wonderfully clarifying about honesty.”)

Second, the Comedy Central channel, in a generic letter sent to viewers who complained that an image of the Muhammad cartoons had been deleted from “South Park” (to get the details on this complex episode, see Michelle Malkin’s coverage):

Comedy Central’s belief in the First Amendment has not wavered, despite our decision not to air an image of Muhammad. Our decision was made not to mute the voices of Trey and Matt or because we value one religion over any other. This decision was based solely on concern for public safety in light of recent world events.

For good measure, Borders Books also admitted its fears when it refused to sell an issue of the magazine Free Inquiry: “For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority,” said Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham.

Comment: Admitting to intimidation is not good, but it beats denial. (April 20, 2006)

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Mr Maliki faces a tough, but hopeful task

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Finally, Iraq is forming a coalition government. Questions remain: Can Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis work together to peaceably unify Iraq by settling their disputes in parliament, an independent judiciary, and through a free press (which in and of themselves are great achievements for the fledgling democracy)? Or will they continue to argue amongst themselves by proxy via death squads, terrorists, and petty politicking. My hope lays with the former question, to which I answer, “Yes.” It sounds like Iraq is off to a good start:

Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani has asked Shia politician Jawad al-Maliki to form the country’s next government. …

Sentenced to death by Saddam Hussein for belonging to the Shia Daawa Party, Mr Maliki fled Iraq in 1980 and took refuge in Syria.

He returned after the US-led invasion and was a top negotiator for the Shia bloc in the drafting of Iraq’s new constitution.

Correspondents say the tough-talking politician was initially not considered a likely candidate for prime minister, partly because of his proximity to Mr Jaafari.

However, Sunni politicians indicated they would not oppose Mr Maliki.

In Saturday’s parliamentary session, MPs elected President Talabani, a Kurd, to a second term in office.

They also gave the post of parliament speaker to Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, a Sunni Arab.

They picked Khalid al-Attiyah, a Shia politician, and Aref Tayfour, a Kurd, to be his deputies.

More than enough lives have been lost during the period between the December election and today’s formation of a coalition government. The new government has to act now to clamp down on all the rouge elements still wandering the country. That will mean military action against “insurgents,” gathering viable intelligence, and above all, making sure common Iraqis are involved in the decision making processes.

Iraq has achieved a great milestone. Now is not the time to pull Coalition forces out. There are more battles to be fought. The anti-democratic elements of Iraq’s society are most surely preparing a last hurrah to derail the new government.

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Soccer game leads to protest in Iranian capital

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

SMCCDI (Information Service)
April 22, 2006

Hundreds of Iranians used the occasion, offered by the match played between Bargh e Shiraz and Esteghlal (former Taj) soccer teams, in order to protest against the Islamic republic regime. The local game took place yesterday at the “Azadi” (‘Freedom’) stadium of Tehran.

Slogans were shouted and street clashes took place in the Azadi, Karaj and Enghelab areas as security forces attacked the protesters. Dozens of security patrol cars and buses were damaged in retaliation to the brutality of Islamist militiamen.

Tens were seen injured or arrested at the issue of the unrest.

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