Klinghoffer Blog Archive 8-21-03 to 10-23-03

Blog Archives


You know I am not a great admirer of American intelligence. Here are some additional reasons WHY.

Posted by Judith at 5:00 P.M. EST


I think this article is worth contemplating:

"Oct. 22, 2003 | Last Thursday, a senior White House official called Mariane Pearl and Paul Steiger, the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, to report a new, key development in the investigation into the death of Mariane's husband, Journal reporter Daniel Pearl."We have now established enough links and credible evidence to think that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed" -- the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks --"was involved in your husband's murder," the official told Mariane.

"What do you mean 'involved'?" Mariane asked.

"We think he committed the actual murder."

2. So says a sensational article A href="http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2003/10/22/pearl/index.html">on the kidnapping and murder of Danial Pearl, the US journalist, written by Asra Q. Nomani, the free-lance journalist, then living in Karachi, in whose house Pearl and his wife Mariane had stayed when he went on his ill-fated trip to Karachi from Mumbai last year to investigate a report that an E-Mail which had directed Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, to carry out his operation to blow up an American aircraft had originated from Karachi and that the E-Mail had been sent by the Jamaat-ul-Fuqra, a Pakistani organisation with many sleeper cells in the USA, Canada and the West Indies, including in the US Armed Forces.

3.In the year 2000, a mysterious web site calling for solidarity amongst the Muslims serving in the Armed Forces of the world suddenly appeared and started registering such Muslims. While it could not be defnitively established as to who was behind the web site, Police sources in Pakistan suspected that the Fuqra cells in the USA were behind it. One does not know whether Pearl knew all this when he arrived in Karachi, but his investigation, for as yet unknown reasons, was focussed on the background and activities of this organisation and its leaders.

4. In the hundreds of reports---open as well as confidential-- which had emanated from Pakistan till now on his murder the name of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) had not figured. The Pervez Musharraf regime initially projected the murder as the work of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM), which continues to be active despite the so-called ban, and then the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), the banned Sunni extremist organisation, and then others.

5. Omar Sheikh, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, who had been working for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) since the early 1990s and who used to head the Lahore cell of AL Qaeda, was ultimately blamed along with some others. The appeal filed by him against the death sentence awarded to him by the anti-terrorism court and by the other accused against the prison sentences awarded to them has not been heard so far. The hearing on the appeal is being repeatedly postponed on some ground or the other.

6. Even as the hearing in the anti-terrorism court was on, the Pakistani media reported that the Pakistani authorities had in custody some other suspects, including some Yemeni-Balochis, who confessed to murdering Pearl. It was also reported that it was on their confession that the remains of Pearl were recovered by the Pakistani authorities.

7. Under the law in any country, when material objects relating to a case are recovered on the basis of a confessional statement of a suspect, the confession is presumed to be correct unless proved otherwise. Surprisingly, the Pakistani authorities did not charge these new suspects with the murder of Pearl. The anti-terrorism court, under pressure from the Musharraf regime, refused to take cognisance of the media reports in this connection and call for the production of the new suspects before the court. It accepted the denial of the State that any such confession had been made.

8.While the fact that it was an Yemeni-Balochi, who had slit the throat of Pearl before a video camera, had surfaced before, none of the reports so far had identified KSM as the man who did it? The revelation of KSM's role, if correct,raises a host of intriguing questions for which there are no answers at present: Did the Yemeni-Balochi suspects, referred to by the Pakistani media, speak about the role of KSM? If so, did the Pakistani authorities tell the US about it? Did Omar Sheikh mention KSM when he was in the informal custody of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for some days after his voluntary surrender to a retired officer of the ISI, who was functioning as the Home Secretary of Punjab in February last year? Did Omar Sheikh tell the Karachi Police about the role of KSM when he was subsequently interrogated by them? Did KSM tell the ISI about his role when it interrogated him for some hours after his arrest at Rawalpindi in April last before handing him over to the US authorities? Was KSM's role independently known to the Pakistani authorities? If so, up to what level? Did Musharraf himself know about it? Was the US kept informed? If the Pakistani authorities knew about it, why did they readily hand him over to the US whereas they have not only adamantly refused to hand over Omar Sheikh, but even declined to allow the British to independently interrogate him, as reported by the"Daily Times" of Lahore?

9. There has recently been a number of developments, which indicate that the US is probably tightening up the screw on Musharraf, while continuing to support him openly and showering him with one assistance package after another. The first was the premature declassification of a document of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) of the Pentagon, prepared shortly after 9/11, which speaks of the nexus between the ISI and Al Qaeda. The US Government could have legitimately rejected the application under the Freedom of Information Act for the declassification of this sensitive document on the ground that this could damage the USA's relations with Pakistan. It chose not to do so.

10. The second was the US Treasury Department orders of last week freezing the accounts of the Al Alkhtar Trust of Pakistan and Dawood Ibrahim, the Indian mafia leader, living in Pakistan. The order relating to the Trust indicated that it was funding anti-US jihad not only in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also in Iraq. The order against Dawood spoke of his links with the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Toiba, which is a member of bin Laden's International Islamic Front.

11. The US Government generally issues such orders only if it has its own independent information. It does not act on the information provided by others, unless corroborated by its own intelligence agencies. While the orders do not specify wherefrom it got the information, a careful reading would indicate that the information came from a senior operative of Al Qaeda, most probably KSM, though he is not mentioned by name.

12. Why is the US now bringing into the open secret information/findings tending to cast doubts on Pakistan's dependability as an ally in the war against terrorism? Is it to convey a warning to Musharraf that if Pakistan continues to help the Taliban against the Hamid Karzai Government and sponsor anti-India terrorists, it won't do him any good? It would be difficult to answer these questions with conviction on the basis of the evidence available till now.

13. An American academic, known to be close to the State Department, recently said in an interview on an Indian TV channel that while the US continued to back Musharraf strongly, he would not rule out the possibility of the US and Pakistan coming to a parting of the ways one day, if Pakistan's nexus with the jihadi terrorists continued.

14.Musharraf must be a worried man.

Posted by Judith at 5:00 P.M. EST


The Bush administration is complaining about media manipulation of the news. The media denies the charge. In the Philadelphia are a dedicated American by the name of Jerry Verlin (jeromeverlin@brithsholom.org) produces a weekly report detailing the distortions fo the Philadelphia Inquirer. I am posting this week's report an a guide and encouragement to readers who may wish to follow in his footsteps. Here goes:

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


The Inq used last Sunday's page A2, almost all of it, for two Blame-Israel articles, neither of which dealt with events of the previous day.

The first (Inq, Sun 10/12/03, A2, Dafna Linzer, AP, United Nations) was an AP analysis exclusively blaming Israel's attack on a Syrian terrorist camp a full week earlier as the sole mentioned hindrance to progress on the Israeli-Syrian track and even on a lopsided prisoner exchange. The Inq headlined:"Israeli Attack Could Hinder Talks With Syria."

Paragraph 5 quoted"U.N. diplomats" that"last week's Israeli bombing of a purported [sic] Palestinian militant [sic] camp in Syria has hurt both the diplomatic efforts and the [possible] prisoner swap," a charge endorsed as fact, without attribution to anyone, in the article's lead:"Israel's military attack on Syria is threatening to derail secret European and U.N. diplomatic efforts" on Israeli-Syrian negotiations and the prisoner swap.

But just after excluding Syria from the headline's and lead's lists of countries whose actions"hinder" restarting Israeli-Syrian talks on peace and prisoner exchange, the article proceeded to grant Syria a measure of control over"militants" when it comes to Syria's interests:"For Syria, allowing [sic] Hezbollah to go through with a deal now - even a lopsided one in which Israel would give up hundreds of prisoners, including Palestinians, in exchange for a former Israeli colonel and the bodies of three soldiers - could be seen as a sign of weakness."

Beneath this Israel-only"hindering" of Israeli-Syrian talks, and itself consuming more than half of last Sunday's Inquirer's page A2, is yet another Inquirer zeroing in on Israeli settlements as the obstacle that"highlights failures" of the roadmap to peace. This Matza"Report From A Growing West Bank Enclave," headlined"Flourishing Settlement Highlights Failures of 'Road Map' For Peace," featured a Matza-credited photo captioned"Israel continues settlement-building in the West Bank, despite a call by the U.S.-backed road map for a 'freeze.' It recently announced plans for 604 new homes there, 530 [of them] in Beitar Illit, a housing ministry spokesman said.'"

Matza's point, as always, is that (par. 6)"Along with relentless violence by Palestinian militants, the festering dispute over Israeli settlements, which Israel keeps building and Palestinians want halted to preserve land for their future state, has brought the Palestinian-Israeli peace process to its knees." After focusing mainly on settlements, the article ends (pars. 26-27):"Another obstacle to peace is relentless violence by Palestinian militants, and Israel says there is no moral equivalency between blowing up families at a seaside restaurant and building on disputed land. . . . 'We can talk about freezing settlements . . . when they stop killing us.'"

Matza's merely passing references (pars. 6 and 26-27 of 27) to the"relentless violence by Palestinian militants," reminding me of the couple of jarringly inconsistent"balance" paragraphs thrown in at the end of Jerry Long's infamous op-ed, are the article's smallest imbalances. Matza's sense of road map obligation equivalence is that Israel's settlements policy" contradicts" the road map, which calls,"at the same time, on Palestinians to end all 'acts of violence' against Israel." But the road map calls, not on Palestinians as individuals to cease acts of violence, but on the Palestinian Authority (President, Prime Minister, Cabinet, Legislature, Security Forces Aplenty) to take affirmative action to stop it, to begin"sustained, targeted and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure." Mr. Matza makes a big tzimmis about Israel's building 604 new houses in a West Bank settlement built in 1990, as" contradicting" the road map, but leaves out altogether that the Palestinian Authority has not only not cracked down on terrorist groups, as required by the road map, but has repeatedly expressly rejected intention to do so," contradicting" the road map. Nor does Matza mention the"militants'" avowed aim of Israel's violent annihilation, or the Palestinians' demand not just for a judenrein West Bank and Gaza, but also for an Arab-inundated non-Jewish-state Israel.

On Monday (Inq Mon 10/13/03, A3,"Inquirer Foreign Staff" Soraya Nelson, Jerusalem), the U.N. said Israel demolished 120 buildings in a Rafah search for tunnels, whereas Israel said 30 used for tunnels or covering fire. Instead of just pitting the U.N.'s against Israel's version, the Inq could have sent Matza to look.

Tuesday (Inq Tue 10/14/03, A2,"Inquirer Foreign Staff" Soraya Nelson, Jerusalem), the Inq ran an account of"an unofficial, unlikely Mideast plan" cooked up by extreme left (Barak [sic]"dismissed" it as"delusional") Israelis and Palestinians. The article omitted mentioning the extreme left wing alignment of the Israeli"activists," and their most recent election repudiation by Israel's voters. It said"there is little belief that the plan will sway Israel's government," but omitted the plan's ridicule by Palestinians. The article said"the plan calls on Palestinians to give up the right of return to land in what is now Israel in exchange for compensation by an international fund in which Israel would take part," as though"the right of return" was an uncontested Arab right, not a dispute also involving, among other counter-contentions, [always unmentioned] Jewish refugees from Arab lands.

Wednesday's Inq (10/15/03 A5, Jason Keyser, AP, Jerusalem) had an article on Israel's intention to"expel" 15"accomplices to violence" from the West Bank to Gaza that"human rights" groups"denounced as a violation of international law." The article did not mention the position that moving people within"occupied territory" is not such a violation, but the article did take an officious one-sided swing at the Jews:"Expulsion is an especially sensitive issue for Palestinians, many of whom were made refugees as they fled or were forced out of what is now Israel during Mideast wars."

The AP made no mention, of course, of the circumstances of the Arabs' departure from Israel, including Arab aim of annihilating Israel's Jews in these wars. Nor did it mention the Jews' own"sensitivities" toward expulsions, having been expelled themselves at one time or another from virtually all of a Europe in which every term of ethnic cleansing - pale of settlement, ghetto, Holocaust, Inquisition, pogrom - was invented expressly for Jews. Nor did the AP mention the expulsion of hundreds of thousands more Jewish refugees from Arab lands than Arabs left Israel.

Thursday's Matza-Nelson article,"3 U.S. Guards Slain in Gaza (A1, Gaza Strip), might have put higher than paragraph 15 that"U.S. investigators who went to the scene to take pictures and gather evidence were pelted with stones by a large crowd of Palestinian youths." While the article picked up denials of responsibility by the usual credit claimers of attacks on Israelis, and condemnations by Arafat and Qureia in remarks for the West, it was silent on Palestinian remarks for internal consumption blaming Israel and the U.S.

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


Friday's Inq had a page A2 Nelson article with a headline using the word"Palestinians" running all the way across the top of page A2:"Palestinians Arrest 5 in Gaza Bombing." The P-word hadn't made Thursday's less favorable to Palestinians headline:"3 U.S. Guards Slain in Gaza." We shouldn't be jealous though. Pro-Israel forces made a Friday Inq headline themselves:"At Islamic Meeting, Malaysia's Leader Says Jews 'Rule World'" (Inq, 10/17/03, A5, AP).

Matza's significant Saturday article (Inq Sat 10/18/03), making only page A4, headlined"Official: U.S. Was Gaza Target; The attackers' intent was certain, an American said of the bomb that killed three U.S. guards this week," had the Inq back to not mentioning"Palestinians" in an unflattering headline that was smaller and shorter than Friday's page-wide headline, two pages frontward:"Palestinians Arrest 5 In Gaza Bombing."

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


Saturday's Inq had a second page A4 (AP) article headlined"Malaysian Defends His Anti-Jewish Words," quoting the Malaysian Prime Minister that"Muslims had achieved 'nothing' in more than 50 years of fighting Israel," and that"the world's 1.3 billion Muslims 'cannot be defeated by a few million Jews.'" Doubtless these observations, cheered by attendees of the 57-nation Islamic Conference, came as revelations to a Western media constantly pitting an oppressive Israel against poor lonely overmatched"Palestinians" waging a heroic struggle just to throw off the Israeli"Occupier's" yoke in"Occupied Territories."

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


On page 3 of that very Inquirer issue that on page 4 reported that Palestinian bombing of an American diplomatic convoy in Gaza deliberately targeted the Americans, murdering 3, the Inq carried a Reuters article (Inq Sat 10/18/03, A3) on an Arab American Institute meeting in Dearborn at which U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate Lieberman called an American general's remarks that Muslims"worshipped an idol""hateful remarks." The Jewish Senator's goodwill gesture didn't gain him much goodwill. He was booed by the Arab Americans (though this didn't make Reuters' article) because they believe America supports Israel against the Palestinians. Try to imagine American Jews booing a U.S. Presidential candidate the very day American papers print that Israelis had just intentionally targeted an American diplomatic convoy in Israel? Did you read any media criticism of that Arab American booing of that American U.S. Senator, Presidential candidate Jew? Did you read any when we Jews, with less conviction (I was among them), booed fellow Jew Wolfowitz when a hundred thousand of us went to Washington? You did.

Posted by Judith at 2:00 P.M. EST


As George Cloony said to Zeta-Jones in Intolerable Cruelty, Mahathir"fascinates me." The Malaysian proved himself a highly affective leader of his people successfully using affirmative action to advance the majority Malays vs. the Malaysian Chinese in a manner that benefited advanced the country and promoted ethnic coexistence at a very acceptable price. His attitude towards Jews is similar to his attitude towards the Chinese - he considers them smart and able. His admonition to the Arab world to learn from Jewish example is reminiscent of his urgings to the Malay to follow the Chinese example.

But since Mahathir is wrong and Jews do not control the world any emphasis on Jewish achievements is read like an invitation to another round of"pogroms." I am not sure Mahathir fully understand this WESTERN historic lesson. I say this because in 1992 after reading a quote from Himler at the first Holocaust exhibit in China to the effect that the Jews are"proud superior people," a confused Chinese College dean asked my husband if that was good or bad.

In other words, Mahathir may be more naive than vicious and his call for Moslems to make their children into engineers instead of"martyrs" is most welcome. The same cannot be said about Chirac. He knows! He understands! And he seeks to benefit from the new ANTI SEMITISM. How else can his single handed intervention described bellow be understood? Click here: Yahoo! News - Malaysia Explains Anti-Jewish Remarks"At their own summit in Brussels, Belgium, European Union (news - web sites) leaders had drafted a harshly worded statement condemning Mahathir's remarks, but French President Jacques Chirac blocked the wording from becoming a part of a final declaration. The text had said Mahathir's"unacceptable comments hinder all our efforts to further interethnic and religious harmony, and have no place in a decent world. Such false and anti-Semitic remarks are as offensive to Muslims as they are to others." Chirac, however, said there was no place in an EU declaration for such a text. EU leaders compromised by having Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi criticize Mahathir at his closing news conference. Officials said the draft text also would be issued as a separate statement and would be posted on the EU presidency Web site".

The morally blind Madelyn Albright may think that Chirac'a policy"is good for the world," I am glad he had no choice but to vote for the American resolution at the Security Council.

Bravo Collin Powell! It was time that you won one for the gypper!

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah has conducted a public opinion poll in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the period between 07-14 October 2003. A representative sample of 1318 adults was interviewed face to face in 120 locations, with 3% margin of error.


In other words, once Arafat dies, his successor will be the leader who will be willing to cut a peace deal. For more details click here

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


My delight with the inspired decision to award the Nobel peace price to an outstanding Iranian woman is quickly diminished by the willful American silence on the subject."More than 60,000 well wishers welcomed the Iranian lawyer with flowers, lighted candles, cakes and nostalgic songs, as she arrived in Mehrabad Airport, Tehran, in the early hours of Wednesday morning" reports Iranmania. The NYT does not think it merits mention.(click here: IranMania News )."The murder of the Iranian-Canadian photo-journalist, Zahra Kazemi, allegedly by security agents was once again in the news following the opening of the trial against an Intelligence Ministry agent," reports the same source. The Canadian ambassador attends the trial. Not a word in the NYT.

By the way, I am not only focused on the trial. I googled the two issues and the paucity of American coverage of these events boggles the mind.

Come-on guys and gals, what gives?

Posted by Judith at 3:00 P.M. EST


Anybody interested in understanding the recent Islamist game must first read The six dilemmas of the Moderate Islamists and then the story of Khatami's execution of the stratey in Iran. Note the shameful manner in which Khattami downplays Ebadi's Noble.

No one sees through the deception better than the Iranians and the Iraqis who spent time amongst them. Lets hope that Americans do the same.


Today's NYT bemoans the declining influence of mainstream media. Since reporters act as media critics not only in the print media but also on CNN and Fox, they routinely dismiss accusation of bias. But who can trust Tim Russet's objectivity after he repeatedly called the suicide bombing of a Baghdad hotel, resistance? Using a land mine to blow up a coalition military vehicle is resistance. Only Terrorists, their Syrians and Iranian supporters and objective American reporters such as Tim Russet justify suicide bombing by calling it resistance.

Do you think Tim Russet is against the war in Iraq? Would you trust his future objectivity on the subject?

Not I.

Posted by Judith at 7:00 P.M. EST


I have no proof but I suspect that the Iraqis have learned the technique of using remote control devices to blow up army vehicles from the Hizballa who used it very effectively against Israel in Lebanon. Bremer calls Hizballa members - Syrians and they constitute almost half the forigners in Iraq.

Posted by Judith at 7:00 P.M. EST


FBI: Jews need not apply for Arabic linguist jobs Despite shortage, loyalty issues, bureau snubbed 90 N.Y. applicants. Is this not a case of political correctness run amoke or not? Read this and cry

Posted by Judith at 4:00 P.M. EST


I have to post this transcript of the speech recently given by Italian journalist Fiamma Nirenstein at a conference on anti-semitism because she says it better than I could have. No, I have never been a Communist but I was just as naive. Then I started writing. Those of you who read the personal attacks that treat my articles, know of what I speak. But, then, silence is not an option. Here goes:

In 1967 I was a young communist, like most Italian youngsters. Bored by my rebellious behavior my family sent me to a Kibbutz in the upper Galilee, Neot Mordechai. I was quite satisfied there; the kibbutz used to give some money every month to the Vietcong. When the Six Day War began, Moshe Dayan spoke on the radio to announce it. I asked:"What is he saying?", and the comrades of Neot answered:"Shtuyot", silly things. During the war I took children to shelters; I dug trenches, and learned some simple shooting and acts of self-defense. We continued working in the orchards, but were quick to identify the incoming Mig-im and the outgoing Mirage-im, chasing one another in the sky of the Golan Heights.

When I went back to Italy, some of my fellow students stared at me as somebody new, an enemy, a wicked person who would soon become an imperialist. My life was about to change. I didn't yet know that, because I simply thought that Israel rightly won a war after having been assaulted with an incredible number of harassments. But I soon noticed that I had lost the innocence of the good Jew, of the very special Jewish friend, their Jew: I was now connected with the Jews of the State of Israel, and slowly I was put out of the dodecaphonic, psychoanalytic, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Philip Roth, Freud shtetl, the coterie that sanctified my Judaism in left-wing eyes.

I have tried for a long time to bring back that sanctification, and they tried to give it back to me, because we desperately needed each other, the left and the Jews. But today's anti-Semitism has overwhelmed any good intention.

Throughout the years… I've been called a cruel and insensitive human rights denier who doesn't care about Palestinian children's lives. A very famous Israeli writer told me on the phone a couple of months ago:"You really have become a right-winger". What? Right-winger? Me? An old feminist human rights activist, even a communist when I was young? Only because I described the Arab-Israeli conflict as accurately as I could and because sometimes I identified with a country continuously attacked by terror, I became a right-winger? In the contemporary world, the world of human rights, when you call a person a right-winger, this is the first step toward his or her delegitimization.

Jews born after the Holocaust learn a very clear message: evil has come to Jews mostly from the Right--from the church during a large part of its history, and certainly from Nazism and Fascism. The history of the Holocaust placed evil on the Right. And because the Jews are the living torches of how bad the Right can be, they legitimize the Left by their mere existence. The Left blessed the Jews as the victim"par excellence"… In return for being coddled, published, filmed, considered artists, intellectuals and moral judges, Jews, even during the Soviet anti-Semitic persecutions, gave the Left moral support and invited it to cry with them at Holocaust memorials. Today the game is clearly over. The left has proved itself the real cradle of contemporary anti-Semitism.

When I speak about anti-Semitism, I'm not speaking of legitimate criticism of the State of Israel. I am speaking of pure anti-Semitism: criminalization, stereotypes, specific and generic lies which have fluctuated between lies about the Jews (conspiring, blood thirsty, dominating the world) to lies about Israel (conspiring, ruthlessly violent) starting most widely since the beginning of the second Intifada in September 2000, and becoming more and more ferocious since operation Chomat Magen ("Defensive Shield"), when the IDF reentered Palestinian cities in response to terrorism.

The basic idea of anti-Semitism, today as always, is that Jews have a perverted soul that makes them unfit, as a morally inferior people, to be regular members of the human family. Today this Untermensch ideology has shifted to the Jewish state: a separate, unequal, basically evil stranger whose national existence is slowly but surely emptied and deprived of justification. Israel, as the classic evil Jew, according to contemporary anti-Semitism, doesn't have a birthright, but exists with its"original sin" perpetrated against the Palestinians… The caricature of the evil Jew is transformed to the caricature of the evil state. And now the traditional hook-nosed Jew bears a gun and kills Arab children with pleasure.

On the front pages of European newspapers Sharon munches Palestinian children and little Jesuses in cradles are threatened by Israeli soldiers. This new anti-Semitism has materialized in unprecedented physical violence towards Jewish persons and symbols, coming from organizations officially devoted to human rights. Its peak occurred at the United Nations summit in Durban, South Africa, when anti-Semitism officially became the banner of the new secular religion of human rights, and Israel and Jews became its official enemy.

[Jews]have been caught unawares, and have failed to denounce the new trend of anti-Semitism. Nobody is scandalized when Israel is accused daily, without explanation, of excessive violence, of atrocities, of cruelty. Everybody is tormented about the necessity of painful attacks against terrorist nests, often located among families and children. Still, every country has the right to defend itself. Only the Jews in history have been denied the right of self-defense, and so it is today… Is it not anti-Semitism, when you act as if Jews must die quietly? Why is Israel officially accused by the human rights commission in Geneva of violating human rights, while China, Libya, Sudan, have never ever been accused? Why has Israel been denied a fixed place in regional groups in the UN while Syria sits in the Security Council? Why can everybody join a war against Iraq except Israel, despite the fact that Saddam has always threatened Israel with complete destruction?… Israel is an"unterstate," denied the basic rights of every other state, to exist in honor and peace. The Jewish state is not equal…

The Jews that survived Nazi-fascist persecution, the persecution of the Right, created a socialist state inspired by the values of the Left, work and collectivism, and by doing so, again sanctified the Left as the shelter of the victims. In exchange for this, the Jews were granted legitimization… The people of Israel were a living accusation of the anti-Semitism that marked the Shoah, the Nazi-Fascist anti-Semitism; and now they were building collective farms and an omnipotent trade union! To some degree, this absolved Stalinist anti-Semitism, or gave it a much smaller importance than it really had. The Jews became indispensable for the left: look at the passionate and paternalistic tone of the Bologna professors, as they seem to plead:"Come back, our dear Jews. Be ours again. Let us curse Israel together and than take a trip together to the Shoah memorials".

But [how] can you cry with the survivors for Jews killed by Nazis when the living Jews are accused to be Nazi themselves? Somebody on a European radio program said that after the diffusion of the images of Muhammed al Dura, Europe could finally forget the famous picture of the boy in the Warsaw ghetto with his hands raised. The meaning of this statement, often repeated in other forms, is obliteration of the Holocaust through the overlapping of Israel and Nazism…

As a journalist, I must mention the significant contribution of the mass media to this new anti-Semitism. Since the beginning of the Intifada, freedom fighter journalists, grown in the Guevara and Fedayeen campus, have given the Israeli-Palestinian conflict one of the most biased coverage in the history of journalism. Here are the main problems that lead to distorted reporting of the Intifada:

1) Lack of historic depth in attributing responsibility for its outbreak. In other words, failure to repeat the story of the Israeli offer of a Palestinian state and of Arafat's refusal which, in essence, is a refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state, and which continues the almost 70-year-old Arab rejection of partition of the land of Israel between Arabs and Jews as recommended by the British in 1936, decided by the UN in 1947 and always accepted by the Jewish representatives.

2) Failure…to assign responsibility for the first deaths to the fact that, unlike in the first Intifada, in the second the IDF faced armed fighters hiding in the midst of the unarmed crowd.

3) Failure to recognize the enormous influence of the cultural pressure on the Palestinians from the systematic education in Palestinian schools and mass media, vilifying Jews and Israelis and idealizing terrorist acts of murder and mayhem.

4) Describing the death of Palestinian children without identifying the circumstances… The equating of civilian losses of Israelis with those of the Palestinian, as if terrorism and war against it were the same …

5) Using Palestinian sources to certify events… I am thinking of Jenin, of the unconfirmed reports that passed to printed pages or TV screens as absolute truth. In contrast, Israeli sources, which are very often reliable, are seen as subservient, prejudiced and unworthy of attention…

6) Manipulation of the order in which the news are given and of the news itself. The headlines give the number of Palestinians killed or wounded in most articles, at least in Europe, before describing the gunfights and their causes, and linger on the age and family stories of the terrorists. The purposes of the IDF actions, such as capturing terrorists, destroying arms factories or hiding places and bases for attacks against Israel, are rarely mentioned…

7) Manipulation of language, taking advantage of the great confusion about the definition of"terrorism" and"terrorist"… The press has learned this very well: the occupation is the cause of everything, terrorism is called resistance and does not exist per se. Terrorists [are] called militants, or fighters. An act of terrorism is often"a fire clash", even when only babies and old men are shot inside their cars on a highway. It is also interesting to note that a young shahid is a cause of deep pride for the Palestinian struggle, but if you ask how a child of twelve can be sent to die and why young children are indoctrinated to do such acts, the answer is:" come on, a child can't be a terrorist…"

This is perhaps the most crucial point: given the fact that there is a ferocious debate on the definition of terrorism, it is widely accepted that terrorism is a way of fighting. This is a semantic and even substantial gift of the new anti-Semitism, where it is natural for a Jew to be dead. Namely, intentionally targeting civilians to cause fear and disrupt the morale of Israel is not a moral sin. It doesn't raise world indignation, and if it does, it hides in its folds some or much sympathy for the terrorist aggressor….

8) The media have promoted the extravagant concept that the settlers, including women and children are not real human beings… Their deaths are almost natural and logical events. In a way, they asked for it. On the other hand, when a Hamas commander is killed, even though he obviously"asked for it", an ethical, philosophical debate arises, on the perfidy of extra-judicial death sentences. This would certainly be a licit debate, were it not for the grotesque double standard on which worldwide press bases it.

9) Not to go overlooked is that censorship and corruption within the PA and the physical elimination of its political enemies is hardly ever covered.

The points listed above all point in one direction: Durban. Here, the human rights movements that we will later find on the streets demonstrating against the war in Iraq chose Israel as their primary target and enemy… A Left incapable of confronting the capitalist globalization system, decided to appoint the state of Israel as its main target. In a word, the Left decided to make Israel pay for what they think America should pay…

This kind of anti-Semitism, unlike Nazi anti-Semitism, is more like the older theological anti-Semitism, for it gives the Jews the option to renounce the devil (Israel, or sometimes Sharon). Whoever declares a sense of revulsion towards Israel's conduct, is allowed to set foot again in the civil society, the one of common sense, civilized conversation, groups of good people full of good will that fight for human rights…

All the theories that claimed classic anti-Semitism would abate with the creation of the state of Israel…have been destroyed. Furthermore, Israel has actually become the sum of all the evil, the proof that the protocols and the blood libels were right. The Palestinians are turned into Jesus, crucified; the war in Iraq or in Afghanistan waged by the U.S. is part of the Jewish plan of domination. Jews all over the world are threatened, beaten, even killed to pay the price of Israel's existence.

Israel and the Jews have today only one certainty: now that Jews have their own means of defense, a new Shoah is no longer possible. Still we have to pass from the idea of our possible physical elimination, to that of possible moral elimination. The only way to face this threat is to fight fearlessly, on our own terrain, using all the historic and ethical weapons that Israel possesses… The watchword of the Jews should be"Jewish pride," in the sense of pride in our history and national identity, wherever we are. Jewish pride means that we have to claim the unique identity of the Jewish people and its right to exist. We must act as though it has never been acknowledged, because today, once again, it no longer is…

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


No, I am not obsessed with Tom Friedman. Just Baffled. How can a man who understands the moderate majority of the Arab world so well fail so miserably in"getting" its radicals. Tom is right about the centrality of Iraq and, yet, he wishes to fail in it by turning it into another Vietnam. No, Hanoi did not defeat the United States in Vietnam anymore than the Jihadis defeated the USSR in Afghanistan. Moscow and its allies defeated Washington in Vietnam just as Washington and its allies defeated Moscow in Afghanistan. Both defeats were made possible by limiting the battlefield.

Let me explain as I did more thoroughly in my book. The United states lost the war in Vietnam during on June 23, 1967 in Glassboro, New Jersey when Lyndon Johnson repeatedly assured the anxious Alexei Kosygin that under no circumstances will the American army cross the DMZ. After all, the summit took place in the shadow of an Israeli victory achieved precisely by an Israeli crossing of its borders. Indeed, the Politburo ordered Kosygin to meet with Lyndon Johnson because it found American media speculations about"Israel's lesson for American Generals in Vietnam" or"What Moshe Dayan says about Vietnam" disconcerting. Unfortunately, instead of exploiting the Soviet concern, Johnson sought to take that Ace of Spades off the table. Instead, he offered Israeli withdrawal in return for North Vietnamese withdrawal. The deal fail through when Hanoi refused it. Freed of concern for the territorial integrity of Hanoi, Moscow used the defeat of Arab nationalists to increase its naval presence in both the Mediterranean and the Arabian Sea. In early 1968, the American intelligence services which apparently also missed the importance of the Soviet post Cuban Missile Crisis Soviet Buildup, nervously reported"the first Russian naval presence in the Gulf since 1903."

Even McNamara noted"the shortage of US resources" in the ME and recommended that forces there"be given very high priority." But the new Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford along with such defense luminaries as Paul Nitze concluded that the Vietnamese conflict was consuming too large a share of the nation's resources and that time had come to get wind out the costly Vietnamese sideshow and return to the center stage, confronting the Soviets in Europe and the Middle East. When the"wisemen" agreed with him, Johnson agreed to give a speech in which the words"let me talk to you about the war in Vietnam" was replaced with the words"let me talk to you about peace in Vietnam." Never a fool, Johnson knew he had just lost a war, so he also announced that he will not run for a second term.

Tom Friedman is right. Both Syria and Iraq worry that if they push too hard, Rumsfeld will use his army to push back. The reason they risk the American wrath is that they fear a Democratic Iraq. Reassuring them will only serve to increase their mischief

Posted by Judith at 4:00 P.M. EST


This is a must read story for pro-UN feminists. It is really heart breaking.

Posted by Judith at 4:00 P.M. EST


Finally, the intelligence services and their supporters are waking up to the reality that whether they wish it or not, undermining the the WMD rational for going to war in Iraq is a dangerous strategy. It undermines the intelligence services much more than the administration. So, their supporters are beginning to change their tune. This material comes from weekly listserv sent to afio - former members of the intelligence services:

-- David Kay's preliminary report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction has been widely publicized as reporting no WMD were found. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the media did not report what the first three months of search did uncover. Here are some highlights copied from the ISG's report:

"We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. The discovery of these deliberate concealment efforts have come about both through the admissions of Iraqi scientists and officials concerning information they deliberately withheld and through physical evidence of equipment and activities that ISG [Iraq Survey Group] has discovered that should have been declared to the UN. Let me just give you a few examples of these concealment efforts...:

A clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment subject to UN monitoring and suitable for continuing CBW [chemical and biological weapons] research.

A prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW agents, that Iraqi officials working to prepare for UN inspections were explicitly ordered not to declare to the UN.

Reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist's home, one of which can be used to produce biological weapons.

New research on BW-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin were not declared to the UN.

Documents and equipment, hidden in scientists' homes, that would have been useful in resuming uranium enrichment by centrifuge and electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS).

A line of UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] not fully declared at an undeclared production facility and an admission that they had tested one of their declared UAVs out to a range of 500 km, 350 km beyond the permissible limit.

Continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited SCUD variant missiles, a capability that was maintained at least until the end of 2001 and that cooperating Iraqi scientists have said they were told to conceal from the UN.

Plans and advanced design work for new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1000 km--well beyond the 150 km range limit imposed by the UN. Missiles of a 1000 km range would have allowed Iraq to threaten targets through out the Middle East, including Ankara, Cairo, and Abu Dhabi.

Clandestine attempts between late-1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to 1,300 km range ballistic missiles--probably the No Dong--300 km range anti-ship cruise missiles, and other prohibited military equipment."

"In addition to the discovery of extensive concealment efforts," Kay continued,"we have been faced with a systematic sanitization of documentary and computer evidence in a wide range of offices, laboratories, and companies suspected of WMD work. The pattern of these efforts to erase evidence--hard drives destroyed, specific files burned, equipment cleaned of all traces of use--are ones of deliberate, rather than random, acts."

The report listed the principal factors hindering the search effort as: Iraq's WMD activities started out highly compartmentalized with each program enforced through terror, deception and denial; deliberate dispersal and destruction of material and documentation related to weapons began pre-conflict and ran trans-to-post conflict; significant elements of post-conflict looting had a clear aim of concealing pre-conflict activities; some WMD personnel crossed borders in the pre/trans conflict period and may have taken evidence and even weapons-related materials with them; any actual WMD weapons or material is likely to be small in relation to the total conventional armaments footprint; and finally, many of the Iraqis contacted report threats and overt acts of intimidation.

One significant element of the report unmentioned by the media in its rush to highlight"no WMD" was the physical danger thrust on the survey group. The report said,"In September alone we have had three attacks on ISG facilities or teams. The ISG base in Irbil was bombed and four staff injured, two very seriously; a two person team had their vehicle blocked by gunmen and only escaped by firing back through their own windshield; and on Wednesday, 24 September, the ISG Headquarters in Baghdad again was subject to mortar attack." Intelligence personnel are accustomed to post-conflict BDA collection problems, but the ISG experience thus far would appear virtually unique. Source: Statement by David Kay on the Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) before the HPSCI and SSCI 2 Oct '03 and File: Congressional oversight (2) (Harvey)

Posted by Judith at 11:00 A.M. EST


Their is a generational strife within the Palestinian Authority and the young Turk and former security chief Muhamad Dhalan continues is at the center of it. We can only wish him luck.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 A.M. EST


That is the message of Bret Stephens' article about Americans who want America to lose in Iraq. I knew that some American leftists along with Middle Eastern tyrants fear democracy in Iraq, it is still shocking to discover just how open they are about their wishes.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 A.M. EST


That Israeli attack on Syria was meant writes SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN in the St Petersburg Times "as a signal to Ramadan Shallah, head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, has spent years in the safety and comfort of Damascus, Syria, where he orchestrated attacks against Israel seemingly without fear of retribution. But Shallah, a former University of South Florida instructor, may finally be feeling some heat".

Let's hope so.

Posted by Judith at 11:30 A.M. EST


Tom Friedman first marvels at the courage with which average Israelis responded to over 150 suicide bombings which Palestinian terrorists rained on them and then proceeds to demand that they be rewarded by exposing themselves to additional risks. How? By yet another attempt to appease the Palestinians. Why? because some Palestinians want to study in Memphis university. Bravo! May I remind Friedman that the worse Islamists (including the 9/11 highjackers) have studied in American and European universities.

On the eve of the Day of Atonement, I can only join Barry Rubin's plea:"Please. Be honest. Look at the facts and experiences already lived through. Stop demanding we risk our lives to try out your theories and experiences. Take responsibility for the terrible situation arising from the fact that Israel heeded your past advice. Ask yourselves how much of what you say comes from double standards and a long-standing bias against a certain people."

I am sad to conclude that this plea has to be directed at such American Jewish opinion makers as Tom Friedman and Stephen Cohen. They should know better.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 P.M. EST


As a historian I believe that timing is everything. So, I am not surprised to see the Plame affair explode and suck the political oxygen out of the failure of the intelligence community to locate Iraqi WMD. Every time intelligence fails and heads should roll, the Agencies finds some way to blame the political class for its incompetence. Self-satisfied Novak published Palme's name in July (he still refuses to apologize for so doing. Taking responsibility is an act reporters like intelligence officers consistently avoid).

Last week leading members of the House Intelligence committee dared state the obvious. The intelligence services that had failed to predict the fall of the USSR, Iraq's attack on Kuwait and 9/11 also did a sub par job on Iraqi WMD. Their inaccurate analysis led the administration to overemphasize the role of WMD in the decision to accomplish a regime change in Iraq and, consequently, undermine its credibility at home and abroad. SO, this week, all we talk about is the outing of a CIA agent. If the intelligence services gambit succeeds again, it will not the Bush administration alone which will pay the price, but all of us.

Posted by Judith at 1:00 P.M. EST

AMERICAN TAKPAYERS TO PAY FOR IRAQI REPARATION TO KUWAIT? Did I hear Armitage correctly? Did he really mean to say that Iraq will not be able to repay American loans because they will encoumbered by the need to pay reparation to Kuwait? I understand the Russian reluctance to forgive the Iraqi debt. They really need the money. France is France. But Kuwait? Isn't that the country for which Americans shed their blood only to betray all their principles and encur the wrath of the Arab opinion makers by returning it to"Louis the 18th," sorry, the Emir? Isn't it that the country that is enjoying the economic benefits of serving as a base to the American forces in Iraq? Should Kuwait not be the first to demonstrate its solidarity with the new Iraq and the American efforts to rebuild it by forgiving the reparations? Or has such an idea never occurred either to the Emir or to Armitage's Department of State?

Posted by Judith at 1:00 P.M. EST


The Jerusalem Post laments:"On Friday night, two Palestinian teenagers, aged 15 and 16, were caught by the IDF at the fence around the Gaza Strip. The two were paid NIS 100 each to risk their lives retrieving bags of weapons that were left at the fence by terrorists the previous night in a botched infiltration attempt. But where is the world when it comes to the wholesale enlistment of Palestinian children in the cause of terrorism?

UNICEF, the UN agency devoted to the rights and lives of children, decries the fact that 'millions of children are exploited, millions are abused, millions are victims of violence.' Yet in its description of the plight of Palestinian children, not a single word is devoted to their systematic exploitation by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Do they believe that it is acceptable to prepare children to blow themselves up, pay them to run guns, or to throw stones at soldiers at the risk of their lives? There is a reason why there are international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, devoted to the protection of children. Such organizations should be shouting from the rooftops about such blatant exploitation of children regardless of the cause.

In today's world, it would perhaps be too much to ask that the effects of the Palestinian onslaught on Israeli children be studied, noted, or commented upon. Yet by ignoring the plight of Palestinian children, such groups in effect become parties to their exploitation and partners in a conspiracy of silence. Palestinian children and our own deserve better."

Posted by Judith at 5:00 P.M. EST


Did you know that Lebanon has NOT signed teh Genenva Conventions? I did not. I have been receiving emails from groups dedicated to ending the OCCUPATION of Lebanon by Syria. It included the following item from the SOLIDA movement (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in which it expressed its concern with the recent deterioration of Human Rights in Lebanon. It reports include the following items"

"In August, Atty. Muhammad Moghrabi, lawyer and defender of Human Rights was detained in the prison of Roumieh on charges filed against him by the Lawyers Bar Association of Beirut for"illegally practicing the profession of an attorney" after Atty. Moghrabi was disbarred by the Association. The decision to detain him, however, while not requested by the Bar Association and totally out of proportion to the charges filed against him, was taken by the Lebanese Judiciary presumably for the sole purpose of repressing the campaign launched by Mr. Moghrabi to denounce the Lebanese justice system.

In September, Samira Trad, a very active militant for Human Rights, was arrested as she returned from a European tour and was detained for one day on the charge of having"tarnished the image of Lebanon abroad". Mrs. Trad is known worldwide for her work upholding the rights of non-Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (who are subjected to inhumane detentions and expulsions since the Lebanese government is not signatory to the Geneva Conventions.)

SOLIDA is gravely concerned by these arrests that specifically target Human Rights defenders and which seem to be part of a new policy of repression by the Lebanese government. SOLIDA also condemns the inhumane inertia of the Lebanese government in regards to the dossier of the disappeared who have, for all practical purposes, been abandoned by their government. This is not surprising when one considers that the majority of those responsible for massacres and deportations during the war remain in power to this day.

The so-called Commission of Inquiry for the detained has files for at least 96 Lebanese detainees in Syria whose fate the Commission refuses to determine. The death in Syria last June under mysterious circumstances of the Lebanese national Joseph Houeiss, and the official admission by Syria of its continued detention of George Chalaweet and two other Lebanese nationals, do not appear to stir any reaction from the Lebanese authorities, which goes a long way to prove the criminal neglect of these authorities in this matter".

I suspect that Baathist Syria, like Baathist Iraq includes numerous mass graves which will"suprise" the world if it ever masters the will needed to pursue regime change in Syria. In the meantime, WHY DOES THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMUNITY REMAIN SO SILENT?

Posted by Judith at 12:00 A.M. EST

Posted by Judith at 5:00 P.M. EST


Bravo Copenhagen! The US could do worse than follow its example. The Danish government published plans to restrict the activities of radical religious leaders.The proposals are part of a package of strict new immigration laws announced late on Thursday by the government and enjoys the support not only of the Danish People's Party (DPP), but also that of the opposition Social Democrats. Under the new rules, religious leaders will be obliged to be self-supporting, speak Danish and respect"Western values" or risk being declared persona non grata.

The rules are apparently designed to deter radical Islamic clerics from establishing bases in Denmark and clip the wings of those who already live in the tiny country. Although the new rules do not specifically target Islamic leaders, commentators often refer exclusively to Islamic leaders and make no mention of Christian, Buddhist, Jewish or other religious clerics.

"The imams (Muslim clerics) have a very negative influence on both parents and young people," Integration Minister Bertel Haarder declared in the Friday edition of daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Haarder told the paper he believed a number of Muslim clerics would be forced to leave Denmark because they would not be able to fulfil the demands of the new rules and would therefore not be able to obtain residence permits or renew them.

"I think the most fundamentalist of the imams, who are poorly educated and speak Danish badly, will end up having to go back home," he said.

"It is necessary for the imams to prove they have had a religious education, respect human rights and sexual equality, show they are worthy of the Danish public's confidence, be aware of Danish society's values and speak Danish before they can be given the right to perform marriage ceremonies," insisted spokesperson Anne-Marie Melgaard."We don't want them to undermine our efforts to integrate immigrants," she said."Immigrant Muslim girls change their behaviour and start wearing headscarves when a new imam from their (home) villages comes and gives Friday prayers," she alleged.

The DPP, which played a key role in the drafting of the new rules, said it was"essential for imams to be self-supporting because there is a tendency for some of them to live at the expense of the Danish state and the state benefit system," said DPP spokesperson Peter Skaarup.

Posted by Judith at 12:00 A.M. EST


As you may see from my current HNN article, I am reading Bernard Henry Levy's book Who Killed Daniel Pearl? It includes yet another admission of media manipulation. Omar Sheikh, the murderer of Daniel Pearl was radicalized in Sarajevo along with many of the Western Muslims aroused by anti-Serb propaganda to fight in Bosnia. Once they got there, he was told by Islamists that he should go to Afghanistan to train. His London Imam will be willing to help persuade his parents to let him do so. After all they were fighting on behalf of the author of the"Islamic declaration," Ilja Izetbegovic.

Levy writes:"the case of the foreign fighters has always been an OPEN SECRET of the . . . intellectuals, journalists, and humanitarians who pleaded for Western military action from the first day." But to his own admission, he and his colleagues,"gave in, at the time, to the classic syndrome . . . of the intellectual who fears he will harm the cause he stands by in telling the WHOLE truth."

This"partial truth" which was sold by prominent intellectuals as the whole truth was the reason Omar Sheikh is the assassin he is; the reason Daniel Pearl is dead; and the reason the war against ethnic cleansing in the Balkans ended up STRENGTHENING AL QUAIDA. The Bosnian government promised to get rid of the"foreign fighters" i.e., Jihadists but did not do so nor did the Clinton administration insist on it. Anyone who thought that the war in Bosnia or Kossovo was about the Serbian policy of Ethnic cleansing of Muslims was disabused of that notion by the international acceptance of Croatian ethnic cleansing of Serbs and Kossovar ethnic cleansing of Serbs and Roma.

In any case, the Balkan wars are far from over. This morning I found a convoluted analysis of the Balkan mess that the half truth created. It asserts that"First, Islamist elements present in both Albania and Bosnia are in a position both to use the region as a transit point and to hit US troops in both areas. Second, the peacekeeping forces deployed in both countries are not actively involved in the war on al Qaeda, but are incidental to whatever operations are taking place in the Balkans. Finally, the region is open to exploitation by al Qaeda at a time and place of its choosing -- and there are insufficient U.S. forces in country to be effective, but too many to be safe. The Balkan theater of operations has not been quiet. Incidents are constant but not widely reported. Moreover, there are ample indications that Islamist forces are present and able to carry out operations. U.S. covert forces have operated in the region as well, searching for al Qaeda. Nevertheless, the region could explode in Washington's face at any time. . . The only power that has an interest in controlling Islamic actions in the region is, interestingly, Serbia. Different time, different regime, but same national interests. What could happen is that, in the end, the United States must rely on the Serbs to deal with the current war".

Once again Palestinians and Israelis were amongst those who paid the price of this tragedy. In the mid-Sixties Arafat and company tried to emulate the success of the Viet Cong in bringing about an American withdrawal from Vietnam with the help of the coalition of leftist - liberal intellectuals and the media telling partial truths (not exposing the Chinese-Soviet role) for"the greater good." The result was the 1967 war. (See my book Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East).

In the late nineties, they tried to emulate the Yugoslav Muslims' success in getting the US to help them achieve their objectives with the help of leftist liberal intellectuals and the media telling partial truths for the"greater good." The"Intifada," admits Graham Usher in fascination Le Monde Diplomatique article entitled"Dead end for the Palestinian resistance," was born by the wish to renegotiate the Olso process. It erupted not because Israel refused to fulfill the terms of the Oslo agreement but because Arafat and company concluded that the Oslo agreement achieved all it could and a war was needed to avoid having to acknowledge that fact and end the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

The second generation of Palestinian leadership also sought to use the Intifada to replace the Palestinian leadership which negotiated Oslo. This whole truth was the one which the liberal-leftist intellectuals and the media have been busy covering up for two years. Bush's response to 9/11 ended whatever chances of success they had. These Lilliputians cannot forgive Bush for refusing to put the American Gulliver at their disposal or Israel for once again refusing to sacrifice itself for"the greater good" of a new international order led by leftist and Islamist anti-modernization forces.

Personally, I suspect that their open anti-Semitism is directed at convincing Jews that the existence of Israel endangers them. If the pessimistic tone of Le Monde is a barometer, the tide has turned against them. For, finally, even Bernard Henri Levy understand that"the devil is not in the details, but in the great causes, and in history." Let's hope that the media, if not necessarily Christian Amanpour, will also get it and discard its advocacy reporting in favor of honest reporting.

Posted by Judith at 12:00 A.M. EST


There is nothing pretty about watching an American President loosing it. The opposing sharks are smelling blood and circling with glee. American soldiers are dying, Islamic moderates are returning to their bunkers and the Baathist and the supporters are celebrating. Why? becaue the intelligence services were outwitted by Saddam and now they are shifting the blame to the politicians. Just note the heading of the following heading Way out: With its Iraq policy in tatters Washington is seeking an exit. It appears in this week's Egyptian Al Ahram, Can you imagine that any Iraqi will endanger his/her life by cooperting with the American authorities?

Posted by Judith at 12:00 P.M. EST


I Received this from a friend:"I am just back from Los Angeles where I met two young professional people who are Iraquis. Neither of them would want the past back in Iraq. I heard nothing but relief from them and a great deal of gratitude to this country. With all our mistakes, we are a country ready to help. Tell that to the dictators. Pat Hoad

Posted by Judith at 12:00 P.M. EST


The media is filled with reports of the poor Postwar planning. There was planning, the administration reports, but we planned for the wrong contingencies. Why? Because we underestimated the degree to which Saddam destroyed his own country both physically and spiritually." In Bush at War, Woodward reports that one of the first requests Tenant made was that there will be"no witch hunts," no discussions of who failed to do what. In other words, lets not explore the ineptitude of the intelligence services. The result? The administration again has egg on its face because it staked its fortune on the accuracy of the intelligence services' reports about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the internal conditions in Iraq.

Do you hear the media filled with calls for intelligence heads to roll? Not that I am aware of. Instead, the administration is blamed for"sexing" up intelligence reports. Why? Because the media shares in the guilt. They failed to tell us what was going in Iraq. John Burns: 'There Is Corruption in Our Business' Indeed, they never tell us the truth about any dictators or dictatorships. They do tell us in great detail what is wrong with democracies. Note the virulent post Iraq war reporting. Burns attributes this bias to corruption.

In his article, "Wielding the moral club," Ian Buruma blames provincialism, the democratic citizen's inability to imagine the venal reality that is life under dictatorships and anti-Capitalism. It may be simple laziness. I suspect that as usual, it is a combination of all the above. In any case, when was the last time you read an article about life under Asad or about life under the FARC? When was the last time you read about the legality of"honor killings" of women in"moderate" Jordan.

The BBC did a report which ended with the admonition by a WOMEN RIGHTS ACTIVIST for the West to stay out of the issue because"the Middle East is being penetrated and the issue is discussed in Jordanian papers." Today we find hidden in a NYT article complaining about the lack of security in Baghdad that the same vicious law which permits the MURDER of a raped or disobedient woman by her relative was also the law in Iraq.

I have recently heard Levy, the author of"Who killed Daniel Pearl?" confess that some French intellectuals like Foucault took some moral responsibility for the Cambodian holocaust perpetrated by their faithful student, Pol Pot. They taught him that the reason previous revolutions did not succeed was that they were not radical enough.

It was heartening to think that a group of intellectuals looked in the mirror and admitted the harm they did. I am still waiting for the media to do the same. More importantly, to mend their ways. The only way they can atone for their silence about Saddam's regime, is to shine a light on the venality of other dictatorships.

Posted by Judith at 12:00 P.M. EST


The front page of the NYT on 9/11 carries an article describing the world's disenchantment with the United States. But the story is not so simple. Apparently, in Eastern Europe and China (were one of every four people on earth live) American popularity has grown. Only you would not know it from the accopanying graph. Neither China, nor easern Europe are included in the graph. Clearly, the NYT is continuing in its new fangled practice of advocacy journalilsm. How sad.

Posted by Judith at 12:00 P.M. EST

NINE ELEVEN 09-11-03 Israeli philosopher Eliezer Shveid wrote:"When a person fights for his life not as an isolated individual, but as a part of a community and a member of a nation - whose existence is threatened by belonging to it, the walls separating the individual and the community fall and are replaced by a sense of identification with the community as a community. Then the history of the nation becomes a biographical experience and cultural symbols and traditions receive a direct personal meaning." On 9/11 3000 Americans died just because they were Americans and we could never be the same. We are better. We stare the culture of death in the face and do our best to replace it with a culture of life. We will succeed.

Posted by Judith at 12:00 P.M. EST


I listened to Collin Powell asking Israel not to try to kill Palestinian terrorists and the hypocrisy raised my blood pressure. Apparently it also raised that of Martin Peretz.

Read his cry of anguish along with the following warning: Arafat has just defeated the US with the help of the European and Russia. That help was extended regardless of the fact that the road map was supported by the"quartet." This fact should be kept in the mind of the American administration as it tries to pursue yet another"quartet" type strategy in Iraq. The price will be paid but the reward will not be there. Already, Washington lost big. It had lost the aura of invincibility.

Posted by Judith at 5:00 P.M. EST


Along the lines of German -Iraqi comparison, you may want to look at an article from 8/21/-03 in the Economist magazine, entitled"Cuddling up to the Americans" regarding Serbia. It mentions in passing that in the month of August, albanian terrorist groups in Kosovo have sabatoged a bridge, ambushed UN forces resulting in the death of an Indian UN soldier, and shot two Serb teenages while they were swimming.

Posted by Joella at 5:00 P.M. EST


A few minutes of reading the NYT index, left me with the impression, that the problems US encounters in Iraq are not all that different from those US forces encountered in Germany. A serious study of this subject would be most welcome.

But let me quote some random article headings I came across:

1945 - March 23,"Army rapid advance causes AMG (American government) problems." March 24,"Public attitude towards AMG seen looking for allies for protection against reprisals by Nazis.""US occupation policy being evolved as results of early mistakes.""No sign of reported underground guerilla resistance noted, Rhineland; Himmler reported directing organization of armed bands to sabotage peace administration. March 26,"German sabotage in occupied areas reported" March 30,"German news agency reports murder of Mayor Velten, Muetzenich; notes Velten pro-US move. April 1, Capt. Haskell, AMG officer in Heidelberg, reports Nazi influence in city strong: Woman guide attempts to justify Hitler; Werewolf activity noted. April 2,"Werewolves: role in murder Aachen Mayor cited."

May 6,"Werewolves: Adm. Doenitz bans activity against allies." Letter deploring lack of trained men for administrative work. May 17,"Dr Ley, mastermind behind movement captured by US troops." May 18,"US troops guarding farmhouse near Ehrenbreitstein, where 2 German civilians had been killed, kill 3 displaced persons believed Russians." May 21, 1945,"Constance: French forces take hostages after a sabotage wave." May 23"2 boys blow up ammunition train: reported orders to start as many fires and explosions as possible." May 26,"French Lt. reported shot by 14 year old boy in Lindau."

1946 - Jan. 2,"US chaplain slain and German girl hurt in series of shootings of US soldiers; 2 Russians held, Berlin; another officer hurt; Pole held as material witness in 1st of series.""Sgt. D. Battaglia wounded in latest of series of shootings involving Americans.""Dr. E Hubener Saxony Provincial president lauds USSR occupation administration; contrasts favorably with US occupation methods. Jan 5,"6 US soldiers held for freight robberies, Herford." Jan 9,"Dr. C. H. Bauer sees no future without democracy" Jan 12," charred bodies of 3 military government officers found in ruins of lodgings wept by gasoline-fed fire, Passau; signs victims were beaten cited." Jan 13,"All US troops ordered to carry arms: slain officer reported to have been investigating black market ring; curfew rules for German civilians tightened." Jan 17,"Allied occupation authorities institute limited rearmament program for Berlin police to combat crime wave." Jan 20,"Organized underground seen likely if occupation objectives fail." Jan 22,"President Truman discusses problems and progress of Allied military government; message to congress; stresses desire to transfer US administration from military to civilian personnel. Jan 24, Truman may be asked to reconsider Oct 31 directive on substitution of civilian for military administration in US zone because of State and War Depts inability to agree on setup." Jan 26 British intelligence officers see poverty as possible source of revolt ." Feb 25,"German nationalism reported being fed by anger over proposed Rohr internationalization and resentment over zonal quarters; universities cited as hotbeds of nationalistic feeling."

And so it goes: Comparisons between British and American administration styles; arguments with the French; demoralization of American troops; attempts to substitute Polish and Yugoslav troops for American ones; the Russians oppose; World Council of Churches scores occupation as confused and, in the meantime, there is plenty of crime, sabotage and attacks on both the allies and those of work with them. In April 7, 1946, there is this:"US military government expects long struggle to change German political ideas; need for systematic attention to indoctrinated youth stressed." And on April 19"Captain H. Von Pflugh-Hartung, rumored head of Nazi werewolves, reported in allied hands."

Plus ca change, as the French say. So take heart.

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


There is a WAR OF FATWAS, an ideological battle going on in the Arab world which centers around the treatment of the Iraqi Governing Council. Are they traitors or representative of the Iraqi people? The Arab league is about to meet and decide whether to accept a council member as the legitimate representative of Iraq. Syria and Islamist are against such legitimization. The Bombings in Najaf were related to this struggle. The Egyptian daily Al Ahram published a couple of articles explaining the emerging struggle. Read "a confusing fatwa" and "The war of fatwas"

Yes, I know the 3 Billion dollars the US sends to Egypt every year did not stop Mubarak from deflecting the Egyptian anger from his failing government to barbarian America whose"Forces in Iraq Strip the Flesh from Their Victims' Corpses" according to a leading Egyptian Government Daily.

Who are our friends? The Iraqi people! And regardless of media rhetoric - they know who to blame for the death of the brethren - and it is NOT the Americans!

If only we learn to trust the Iraqi people and the Palestinian people and their elected leadership.

Note the difference between Algeria (where elections were annuled) and Turkey (where they were not).

And do look at the Palestinian authority where Arafat was permitted to cancel elections.

Will we never learn?

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


"Abbas seeks as how of support, but defers showdown" is the NYT headline. The article goes on to imply that he backed down because the Palestinian people would like to see Arafat and Abbas get along. It fails to report the more pertinent reason, the one that stars every reader in the face in the form of a picture of a mob of armed Palestinian thugs surrounding the legislature. The caption reads:"A Masked Yassir Arafat supporter, left, used a club yesterday to break down the door at the entrance of the Palestinian parliament chamber."

In other words, Arafat was trying to do what Napoleon did in 1799, and Lenin in 1918. He sent armed men to bend the elected legislature to his will.

What Arafat tried to do is called a coup!

Popular leaders do not need to do so. Unpopular ones do. Arafat announced the end of the road map but 80% (up from 71% in April) of Palestinian population reports the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survery Research wants to give the road map a chance. The BBC reporter who interviewed him yesterday had trouble believing his ears. The NYT did not bother ask him.

Most of the Palestinian people like most of the Israelis are willing to compromise. That is the real story!

Posted by Judith at 8:00 P.M. EST


I am quite taken back by the cavalier manner in which the" coalition" or"occupation" forces have been held responsible for the terrorist attacks on the Jordanian Embassy, the UN compound and the Mosque in Najaf because they are ultimately responsible for security in Iraq. Of course, they are and the security situation should be improved in that country. But the US is no more responsible for terrorists attacks in Iraq than she is responsible for terrorists attack in the US. No one blames the Spanish government for ETA terror, Britain for IRA terror, Israel for the Palestinian terror, Russia for Chechen terror or Morocco, Algeria or Saudi Arabia for Islamist terror.

So it is time to stop the defensiveness and put the responsibility where is belongs - on the terrorists and those who give them aid and comfort. They are engaging in a war on the Iraqi people and the international community should unite in stopping them.

Enough is enough!

Posted by Judith at 1:00 A.M. EST


This is one of those articles I always meant to post. It was written by Amir Khosrow Sheibany who does an excellent job drawing the lines between Moslems and Islamists. He begins thus:

We have all heard of the five pillars of Islamic faith. Listening to the reformist intellectuals like Soroush and Khatami, a sharp ear might hear the basis of 5 concepts that if allowed to flourish will constitute 5 pillars of the “new” reformed and enlightened (Islamic) Iran.

Cynics would say, that Souroush’s efforts are only to entrench his own sects “Islamic” and revolutionary interest in Iran for eternity. After all the Iranian regime, under the leadership of Soroush and Khatami, has driven out scholars who wouldn't toe the line, debauched admissions standards to favor pious mediocrities, and gutted curriculums to stuff them with Islamic theology that is about as useful to its students as endless readings from Marx and Engel’s were at Moscow University.

Pious and pragmatic Muslims would say Islam, as a political philosophy in the media age, could not (and should not) answer all the question facing a society that subscribes to it, and should stay in the private and spiritual realm. Else in the political sphere, an Islamic Republic becomes the poster child of a political philosophy that is intellectually bankrupt and damages Islam itself.

In any case, a comparison between the 5 pillars of the reformed and enlightened"Islamic" Iranians, as presented by Soroush, with the two other bankrupt political ideologies of the last century might give an insight into the inner most thought process of Islamic (Republic) reformers and intellectuals.

For the 5 pillars go here.

Posted by Judith at 10:00 P.m. EST


Once again the Bush administration is inundated with calls to appease bilious regime of North Korea with security guarantees. These are the same pundits that first suggested that the US should agree to bilateral talk and then that the US should drop her demand to include other regional powers in the talks. I am surprised they do not suggest that the administration reward"Kim Jr." with a visit from Collin Powell reminiscent of the shameful Albright visit.

In fact, the Bush administration's principled policy is working. China, the future super power, has begun to act as a responsible leader of its region. In the process it is learning invaluable lessons which should help to improve great power cooperation in maintaining world peace.

Unfortunately China is less interested in curtailing Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs than in silencing the Japanese voices advocating the nuclearization of Japan. China believes that the Japanese were unnerved by North Korea lobbing missiles above their heads. They do not wish Japan to turn nuclear. American security guarantees to North Korea will cancel the need for further North Korean testing and thereby solve China's problem. That is the reason Beijing blamed the lack of progress in the negotiations on Washington.

It makes little sense for the US to help solve China's problem before China helps solve the American problem.

Posted by Judith at 10:00 P.m. EST


That is the message of Alan Dershowitz who writes:

The bottom line is that the U.N. has served as an international megaphone for the perverse message that any people who feel that they are occupied have the right to resist occupation by randomly murdering innocent civilians anywhere in the world.

Will the death of their own change this policy? I doubt it. Their first action was to pass a resolution asserting that killing UN workers is worse than killing anyone else.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 a.m. EST


The sad story about good intentions gone ory is told beautifull by Alyssa A. Lappen in an article entitled Enemy with a Human Face It tells about the collaboration between Quakers and Palestinian extremist. After all, as Ian Buruma admits in his invaluable NYT magazine article about the Anti-Semitic - AntiAmerican nexus (whose emergence I detail in my book), that"the Palestinian cause has become the universal litmus test of liberal credentials." Hence, it matters not what Israel does or does not do or what the Palestinians do or do not do. The phenomenon Dershowitz describes has its roote cause in this basic truth since 1967. What Americans have to face is that it is AntiAmericanism has become a similar litmus test regardless of what America says or does. The only thing to do is to fight back by exposing the ideological bankrupcy of this position. This ideological war will not be easier than the hot one against terror. But one cannot be won without the other.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 a.m. EST


Complaints about bias reporting are often dismissed with the suggestion:"You may be right about this single item but study us for a lenght of time and you will discover we are balanced overtime". Well, the results of an 100 day study is in. It is not pretty.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 a.m. EST


That is the message of the scathing article published by the editor of London's Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Daily and translation by the invaluable MEMRI.ORG. Here is the most important paragraphs:

If the occupied Palestinian land pours out blood and pain, we pour out shame. We do not know where to look when we watch the series of squabbles among members of the Ramallah leadership. [I refer to] the arm-wrestling between Abu Ammar [Arafat] and Abu Mazen; the hair-pulling between Rajoub and Dahlan; and the skirmish between Al-Qaddoumi and Sha'ath, the sound of which could be heard as far away as Cairo. . . .

Among the reasons why some of us suspect that their leadership is not a [true] leadership is that [this leadership] will neither fight nor make peace. As the Palestinian women mourn their sons, their brothers, and their fathers, the shrieks of the leaders [scuffling] for chairs and salaries arise. This leadership wants neither a solution nor land; nothing interests it except its own personal battles.

Most unfortunately, the fight of these six is the usual form of rule to which the Palestinian leadership has accustomed [us], over many years. It is this that made many governments, and not only the American [government], demand change and the consolidation of a transparent regime. However, unfortunately, the stick gets stuck in the wheels every time the wagon begins to move - and the reason for this is always fights over personal interests.

If so, why oh why has the media fail to cover this important story? Could it be a vast left wing conspiracy, the kind that keeps the media from covering the internal powser struggles within countries or movements with which it sympathises.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 a.m. EST


By Barry Rubin

Getting as geographically far as one can from the Middle East does not mean escaping it entirely. That's my conclusion from a long speaking tour in Australi and New Zealand.

Wellington, New Zealand's capital, is a very compact city built on a beautiful huge bay, backed by hills and framed by mountains. Finding a flat piece of land isn't easy here. The prime minister's and cabinet's offices are in a strange circular affair which looks like the back end of a missile stuck midway into the ground. The Foreign Ministry is small enoughto fit onto a few floors of an office building nearby.

In Israeli mythology, New Zealand is a green and pleasant land where peace prevails and nothing ever happens, a welcome contrast to our event-ravaged, war-torn region. The scenery is marvelous and the sleepiness is real. But New Zealand does not seem to be a rich country and it has problems ranging from a drug problem in the schools to dealing with demands for restoring land by the Maori minority, the pre-colonial inhabitants.

Certainly, New Zealand is not fixated on the Middle East. Indeed, it is the laid-back kind of place that lacks any obsession, save that for rugby football. The country is so remote from the region that Israel closed its embassy there as an economy measure.

Still, the Middle East impinges regularly on its news and periodically on its foreign policy. Two of the big recent controversies arose from related concerns.

A newspaper cartoonist known for his savagely anti-Israel caricatures--his latest equated Israel's building a defensive anti-terrorist fence to apartheid--was fired. A university lecturer revived an old battle when he publicly defended the award of a master's degree, with an A+ grade, to a thesis denying the Holocaust happened.

Allegations were made that both men had suffered at the hands of the"Jewish lobby," though the community here is tiny and without influence. Many years ago, the Labour party's leader was Jewish and staunchly promoted ties with Israel. Today, the party's leader, who is also the country's prime minister, is a left-winger who as a young activist favored Israel's destruction and is no great fan today.

The media's attitude toward Israel seems comparable to that of France. Europe is New Zealand's continent of choice. An average New Zealander explained that he routinely asks people with a certain accent if they are Canadian since he doesn't want to insult them by asking if they are American.

Still, the attitudes toward the Middle East arise more from lack of knowledge than intentional antagonism. It is just too far away, too hard to understand, and too different from the New Zealand experience and character.

Contrast this, though, with Australia, New Zealand's neighbor across the Tasman Sea. Australia is probably the country in the world most resembling the United States. Visually, it is often hard to tell the difference. Australia's policy, both from parliament and government, is quite pro-Israel. The only exception is the Labour party's far left, which has been kept in check by the leadership.

While one aspect of this situation rests on the efforts of the Jewish community?which person-for-person is probably the most active in the world--there are many more reasons. Australians like the United States--a country whose mere mention sent a well-known New Zealand radio host into an angry rigidity--and embrace pragmatism.

They don't have much time for ideology or extremism, no matter how much humane-sounding rhetoric hides the fact that it is pro-dictatorship and pro-terrorism. Moreover, Australians know what it is like to be victims of XXXX ism, having lived through their own equivalent of September 11, the XXXXX ing that killed 200 people, mostly Australian tourists, on Indonesia's island of Bali.

This isn't to say that there is not an anti-Israel element of the elite. The Australian newspaper covered the Jerusalem boming with a age-one headline, sympathetic editorial, and op-ed piece by an Israeli writer. But the Sydney Morning Herald contented itself with a small article on page 13, accompanied by another one attacking Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The previous day's article blamed Israeli settlers for endangering the ceasefire. And a few days before that, it ran a cartoon equating the building of an anti-terrorist fence with genocide (comparing it to the Nazi-built wall around the Warsaw ghetto).

As for Middle East studies in universities, they are generally taught with all the fairness and accuracy seen in most countries. In short, not much. Two of the television networks are so biased that it would be amusing if it were not so disgusting. My favorite example is this: the BBC made two documentaries about the war in Iraq, one interviewing supporters, the other interviewing opponents. The SBS network just bought and showed the anti-war one. Given a list of stories about Palestinian terrorism and extremism that might be covered, a gloomy moderate journalist explained they would never be run because,"They don't serve the `progressive' cause."

Yet one must be careful of assuming that the masses, much less governments, just accept what the media tells them. What is happening in these far-flung countries parallels patterns elsewhere in the world. The new post-Marxist, post-modernist ideology is that the United States and the Jews are responsible for all the ills of a world they are trying to seize if they haven't already done so. A European-Third World alliance, including Middle East dictators, is advocated to smite the forces of globalization.

The leaps of illogic and outright falsehood in this doctrine would make an old-time Stalinist blush. An Australian expert on Islamist terrorism assures me that these same books are found on the shelves of these groups, cited by them as proof that the September 11 attacks on the United States were fair retribution, if not an out-an-out Zionist-CIA plot.

Yet loony-left notions are all the rage among a wide group of intellectuals, academics and journalists who prove George Orwell's dictum that some ideas are too silly to appeal to anyone but an intellectual. Moreover, the decline of professional standards in these professions has made such people feel themselves freed from any constraints of fairness, accuracy, integrity, or responsibility.

But much of this is background noise. The overall picture is far from gloomy. This new world view is just too silly to win over the masses, governments, or even many other practitioners of these infected professions. People in Australia and New Zealand, certainly in contrast to many in more northerly climes, are open-minded and willing to listen. This same point is largely true for Asia in general.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 A.M. EST


Am I the only person struck by the fact that the United Nations considers blowing up civilians in markets, buses and cafes is"resistence" but blowing up its own officials a"war crime?" Apparently UN people are the new" chosen people." I wonder if this will make them safer. The world so resented the old ones, the Jews, who merely had additional obligations, that it made their blood real cheap. Will it treat the new ones, humanitarian workers, who demand to be securer than the rest of us, better? I doubt it. I suspect they simply made themselves a higher value target. In any case, I resent it.

Posted by Judith at 9:00 p.m. EST


If you are not aware of the extent to which some of the Egyptian intelligentia fear American success in Iraq, read the column Fatma Abdallah Mahmoud published in the Leading Egyptian Government Daily. It is called:"U.S. Forces in Iraq Strip the Flesh from Their Victims' Corpses"

Posted by Judith at 9:00 p.m. EST


by Michael Radu (FPRI.ORG)

A number of recent developments in the war on international Islamist terrorism should raise serious questions about the nature of the terrorism threat and the seriousness of the responses to it. These developments in one week in August clearly show who the terrorists' targets are, and also what to do and what not to do about the threat.

First, how not to do things. On August 19, fourteen European tourists--nine from Germany, four from Switzerland, and one from the Netherlands--who had been kidnapped earlier in the year were released by their captors, the Algerian Islamist terrorist Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). These fourteen tourists were part of a larger group of 32 who were kidnapped in February 2003, of which 17 were freed in May by an Algerian military operation. One 46-year-old German hostage died in captivity in June.

This saga raises some obvious questions: Why were a group of European men and women ranging in age from 14 to 62 traveling without a guide in one of the most remote parts of the Algerian Sahara - a country that has been convulsed by a civil war since at least 1992 (begun by factions of the Islamic Salvation Front) that has left some 100,000 people dead? And why did the Algerian authorities allow them to enter the country? Why did their own governments not post travel advisories on Algeria?

But there is worse still. Even after the Algerian military successfully liberated more than half of the hostages, it appears--the details remain murky at this time--that there was strong pressure on the military not to liberate the remaining hostages. The pressure appears to have come from Berlin, Bern and, possibly, The Hague. Instead, the terrorists were allowed into Mali, whose government was forced into the position of main negotiator.

According to past practice and current media reports (German and Algerian), the German and likely the Swiss government have paid a large ransom: as much as 1 million euros per hostage. This is unsurprising for the German government, which after all has a sad history of dealing with terrorists by appeasement and money. In 1974 it paid 2 million marks for the release of a citizen kidnapped in Chad; and according to reliable Turkish sources, it made a deal with the terrorist Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) to permit the PKK to operate freely in Germany in exchange for not engaging in violence there. To make matters still worse, the Khadafi Foundation, run by Moammar Khadafi's son, Saif al-Islam, claimed to have played a major role in liberating the hostages--just as it had claimed in 2000 that it"mediated" the liberation of French and German tourists kidnapped by another Al Qaeda associate, the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines. True or not, this raises questions. The prevailing rumor in Germany is that the Mali government paid the terrorists and that the tourists' home countries will compensate it via"development aid."

Turning now to the beginning of the same week, on August 11 Riduan Isamuddin, a.k.a. Hambali, Al Qaeda's leader for the Southeast Asian region and also leader of the regional Al Qaeda affiliate, Jamaa Islamyyia (JI), was captured in Thailand. Isamuddin was responsible for last year's Bali bombing that left 200 dead and the more recent bombing of a Marriott in Jakarta--operations that resulted from a decision taken in February 2002 at a Bangkok meeting of the JI to shift its attention toward"soft targets" such as hotels and bars, and away from more difficult targets such as U.S. embassies.

Which brings us to the bombing of the UN compound in Baghdad on August 19, in which the UN's chief official in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Melo, a committed international civil servant, was killed, along with at least 19 others; at least 100 were injured.

UN spokesmen expressed"shock" at the attack, since the UN was only doing good works for the Iraqi people. This is a tragic example of blindness. Just as the European tourists acted in disregard of Algerian realities, the UN appears still to be unmindful of the reality of Islamist global terrorism - even in the face of Osama bin Laden's numerous statements that he and his colleagues see the UN as an enemy, a Zionist and American tool, and thus a target (and a soft one at that). The problem is not only or primarily that Vieira de Melo was murdered: many UN officials have lost their lives throughout the world over the years. The problem is that the UN, by describing the Baghdad attack as"meaningless," is still missing the point. Which is that the UN - no matter how consistently it opposes the United States -- remains an Islamist target. Because it is not Islamist, period. Perhaps the tragedy in Baghdad may awaken the UN, but early signs are not encouraging.

All of these recent events are easier to understand if seen in the context of some basic realities of Islamist terrorism and the global responses to it. First, close and persistent cooperation at the intelligence level works, as Hambali's capture in Thailand (a country that until recently had taken the very UN-like position that"there is no terrorism here") following his pursuit across Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Laos, and Thailand.

Second, paying ransom, no matter how disguised, is worse than counterproductive. The millions of euros the GSPC is rumored to receive will in no time translate into thousands of Algerians murdered, and Al Qaeda's being strengthened.

Third, and most important, the attack against the UN should make it abundantly clear that one simply cannot be"half pregnant" when it comes to dealing with international terrorism. This is not some sort of simplistic, neoconservative Manicheism but a fact of global life. There is, indeed, a global conflict between fundamental Islamists and the rest of the world. The Islamists' war is against the UN and hundreds of millions of peaceful Muslims, not just America.

Posted by Judith at 9:00 p.m. EST


BARRY RUBIN 08-26-03

The ceasefire and Performance-Based Road Map have proven to be a mere reenactment of the failed 1990s’ Oslo peace process.

The Oslo process, initiated in 1993, was a step-by-step, five-year plan in which each stage was to build confidence and move the two sides toward a full peace agreement. The improvement made by the more recent plan was to ensure that we would know at the beginning if it was working. We now know it is not.

During the seven years of the Oslo process there were reasons for both hopes and doubts. But the problems along the way were not supposed to matter. Everything was staked on the end of the process, the moment of truth when the leaders met and Arafat had the opportunity to choose. And thus came the year 2000, a year in which Arafat rejected good peace offers at the Camp David summit and in the Clinton plan, instead deciding to wage a new war on Israel In all three cases, Arafat rejected peace and embraced—as he had so often done before—violence and terrorism.

Why did he do so? The reasons are complex involving his character, ideology, the nature of Palestinian and Arab politics, and many other factors. But one stands out above the others: he was not willing to give up his goal of destroying Israel and getting all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. Many Palestinians agreed with him, though some did not and others would have accepted either direction.

There were two ways in which Arafat hoped (and still hopes) to win this war:

--First, by terrorizing the Israelis into surrender, forcing a unilateral withdrawal from the territories. Terror was not some marginal aspect of his campaign, waged by extremist groups beyond his control. It was the very core of his strategy.

--Second, by creating a crisis, portraying his side as the victim, and inspiring an international intervention that would hand the territories over to him without his having to make full peace or concessions.

In either case, he could then carry the struggle into the next phase, aided by the subversive efforts of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who had been given a “right of return” to live in Israel.

Of course, his war failed miserably. Almost 3,000 people lost their lives, the Israeli army showed its military superiority, the Palestinians were bankrupt, their infrastructure in ruins, their lives miserable. Arafat himself faced a polite revolt by moderates led by Abu Mazin. It was necessary to make an alteration of course, though not of intended destination.

In dealing with the Performance-Based Roadmap and the ceasefire, following his traditional fashion, Arafat tried to have everything, believing—with good reason—that the world would let him get away with it. The truce was limited by the Palestinians to three months but in fact it hardly endured a single day. He did not implement a real ceasefire but a pretend ceasefire, reducing terrorist attacks just enough to escape the world’s notice and censure. He did not dismantle the terror groups, tell even his own Fatah people to stop attacking, stop teaching his children that the highest achievement in life was to be a suicide bomber, or arrest anyone planning or carrying out attacks on Israelis.

Simultaneously, then, he tried to enjoy the benefits of peace and the benefits of war. He could continue pursuing victory through terror but any Israeli retaliation or preventive efforts could be portrayed as aggression. Ironically, the more terror he carried out, then, the more international support he could mobilize. Many Western governments and newspapers were happy to blame Israel and ignore Palestinian violations. Actual Palestinian commitments—stopping terrorism and incitement—were forgotten while Israel was criticized over prisoner releases and building a defensive fence, things not mentioned in the Performance-Based Roadmap.

Most remarkably of all, this strategy turned upside down the U.S. effort to promote Palestinian moderates, notably Abu Mazin. Rather than Abu Mazin be a threat to Arafat’s power, he was totally subverted and turned into a cover for advancing the radicals’ aims. Thus, the Western states gave money and demanded Israeli concessions to help Abu Mazin while Arafat pocketed all the gains. Palestinians were left in no doubt by their leadership that Arafat was their leader and that they owed any benefits to him.

What is the basic solution? There is no hope to even begin negotiating a peace agreement. We can, however, strive for a real ceasefire and continue—albeit with all due skepticism—to try helping those Palestinians who want peace and a state of their own that would live in peace alongside Israel.

This requires neutralizing Arafat’s two efforts. Terrorism must be foiled by Israeli military action and building a defensive fence.

But the big change must be dealing with Arafat’s second tactic. It is time for the world to wake up and understand that Arafat and his followers are behaving like the equivalent of Usama bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein. The world should be on Israel’s side. It should understand that the terrorism aimed at Israel is not different from that which has taken place in Bali and Baghdad, New York and Washington on September 11, or Algeria and Saudi Arabia. To portray the situation in a false light, to provide aid and sympathy for Arafat’s movement, is to justify that terrorism, to make peace harder to achieve, and to be responsible for the continued death and suffering on both sides.

The sponsors of the Performance-Based Roadmap should declare that the Palestinian side has destroyed any chance of progress. Otherwise, they will be rewarding the strategy of terrorism and encouraging more in the future, not only against Israel but also against themselves.

Posted by Judith at 1:00 p.m. EST


Doug Macdonald from Colgate University brought the following article to attention of the h-diplo LISTSERV:

TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) -- A France-based Iranian archaeologist announced that head of the Middle East Department of Louvre Museum has purchased the historical relics discovered in Jiroft but taken out from Iran by smugglers.

Pointing to high value of the precious relics, Yousef Majidzadeh highlighted the fact that the Iranian civilization dating back to millenniums BC, belong not only to Iranians but to the entire world.

A Frenceh archaeologist Jean Perreaux who had long been working as head of excavation group in several historical regions of Iran also mentioned that several measures need to be taken to stop such acts in the future. P>Posted by Judith at 1:00 p.m. EST


Educators in Michigen and,probably, elsewhere are taught that:

America’s “war against terrorism is a fraud;”

“The U.S. has turned into a fascist state;”

“The war against terrorism is “Bush’s Jihad;”

“ The Taliban are victims of American Terrorism.”

Read Jerome Kaufman's amazing story.

Posted by Judith at 1:00 p.m. EST


Reuters reports:"Pakistan, accused by India of harboring Muslim radicals who stage attacks on its territory, condemned the blasts as"acts of terrorism." The attack coincidedSorry Reuters, the attack did not coincide. It followed and, indeed, was probably related to the Indian attempt to ignore terrorism in Kashmir. You refuse to fight me in Kashmir, I will force you to fight me in Bombay, is the message.

Just imagine how Reuters would have explained the bombing had India fulfilled its promise and sent troops to help end terrorism in Iraq!

Posted by Judith at 1:00 p.m. EST


Hooray Paul Bremer. When George Stephanapolos asked Paul Bremer if the recent violence in Iraq, most especially, the bombing of the UN headquarter does not proove that"resistance" to the American occupation is growing? Bremer challenged George's definition of the violence as resistence. But George refused to budge and included the word"resistence" in his follow up question. Pity Paul Bremer let it pass the second time. He should have been even more forceful. What is happening in Iraq is terrorism. It is directed not against soldiers but against the civilians and political opponents.

Languase matters.

Posted by Judith at 1:00 p.m. EST


But then it was Paul Bremer who turned the"liberation" of Iraq into the"occupation" of Iraq. The US has yet to recover from this blunder as it has yet to recover from the blunder he made by cancelling local elections in Iraq and announcing that he will rule directly for years.

But he seems a fast learner. He did appoint a council and local elections have resumed and, I hope, a federal structure and national elections will follow ASAP. Yes, I realize that ASAP may take some months. I hope for the sake of our sons and daughters serving in Iraq, it will not take years!

Posted by Judith at 1:00 p.m. EST


Believe it or not - Egypt is worried that post Sadam Iraq is not democratic or representative enough. This is in the land ruled by Hosni Mubarak, the vice president, who became a president because Anwar Sadate was assassinated in 1979 and who refused to appoint his own vice president either for fear of giving his poeple an alternative to his inept rule or to assure the succession of his son. In other words, he is set to follow in the footsteps of Asad of Syria and Saddam of Iraq and create a dynasty.

To divert attention from himself reports The Arab Timesgovernment-owned Cairo dailies Sunday renewed their criticism of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

"To call things by their true names, what is happening in Iraq is the assassination of a country's freedom and sovereignty to satisfy colonialist-Zionist ambitions," Al-Akhbar newspaper said.

And the US gives 3Billion dollars a year to this American"friend."

Posted by Judith at 6:00 p.m. EST

"Iranian agents responsible for the three British military police deaths and injury of one in south Iraqi town of Basra Saturday – retaliation for arrest in UK of Hadi Soleimanpour who was Iranian ambassador in Buenos Aires at time of 1994 bombing attack on Jewish center in which 85 perished.

Tehran threatens kidnap of British troops if UK extradites diplomat to Argentina. DEBKAfile sources add: Under secret pact with London, Tehran promised abstention from guerrilla action against British forces in Basra, views diplomat’s arrest breach of pact".

If Tony Blair was not in enough trouble, he has now to decide whether to succumb to Iranian blackmail and release the terrorist mastermind or risk further the life of British soldiers in Iraq.

Will those who advocated the arrest of Pinochet demand that Soleimanpour be extradited?

Posted by Judith at 6:00 p.m. EST


Will the US find a way to give North Korea the security guarantees it demands in return for dismantling the nuclear program?" The Japanese fear it may. reports:"Japan is urging the United States to stick to its nuclear umbrella and leave room for the U.S. military to be able to attack North Korea in the event the reclusive country is found to be planning an attack on Japan, informed sources said Wednesday.

Japan fears that if Washington promises Pyongyang not to attack it, the U.S. military would be unable to use force against North Korea even if there were revelations that the country intends to launch an offensive against Japan, the sources said.

A person named Desslar responds:"Well, well, well. I thought Japan wanted the big, bad US military put on ice permanently. Now they want the US at the ready to pound the crap out of North Korea. So much for pacifism.

Posted by Judith at 10:00 p.m. EST


Watching a 2003 Belgian-French documentary entitled"Iran, veiled appearances" shown on the Sundance channel, it dawned on me. Realizing that his people are getting restless, Arafat decided to follow in the successful footsteps of Ayatollah Khameini, the supreme Iranian religious leader. Khameini released some popular steam by permitting popular elections for a powerless president and a powerless legislature. Khatami is the helpless, moderate face of Iranian reform. Abbas is the helpless, moderate face of Palestinian reform. But Arafat made sure that his front man will even lack the legitimacy elections could bestow on him.

We all bought into his big deception.

In the last few days, Arafat and his terrorist friends took the gloves off and revealed Abbas' helplessness? Why? Because the popularity of the roadmap and Abbas increased with each passing peaceful day. A month ago it was supported by little over 50% of the Palestinians but a couple of weeks ago it was supported by 70%. Arafat and his terrorist friends were afraid that another quite month will"spoil" the Palestinians completely. After all, the last BBC report I saw before the collapse of the cease fire, focused on the opening of a new shopping center and supermarket.

Even the not too objective Guardian noted:"Palestinians in Hebron were more troubled. Praise for the mass murder was muted even in a city with a bitter history at the hands of a few hundred deeply religious and well armed Jews who have embarked on a kind of ethnic cleansing of the town center. The hall hired for the suicide bomber's wake, without his body, was largely empty, perhaps in part because the army had arrested 17 relatives. It was also surprisingly devoid of the Hamas flags which usually adorn such events. In terms of numbers of dead, the Jerusalem bombing was the costliest attack on a bus in the past three years of intifada. Yet many Palestinians kept their distance. Some said they feared the slaughter would mean an end to the six-week-old ceasefire and faltering peace process, which offers the only glimmer of hope for an end to the conflict. Others privately speculated that the Hamas leadership had not authorized the attack, and that it had been carried out unilaterally by the Hebron faction."

The fact that Arafat was behind the scuttling of the roadmap is not even debatable. So, does the Bush administration permit Israel to finally get rid of the man? Not on your life. Instead, Powell goes to Kanosa or in other words, he calls Arafat. Not a surprising move from the man, the according to Bob Woodward's"Bush at War" advocated leaving a member of the Taliban in power so that"we will have somebody to negotiate with." The next few days will test the Bush administration's mantle, will it undermine its own doctrine that led it to dispose of Mullah Omar and Saddam Hussein or will it permit Arafat to best it. The whole Middle East (most especially Iran and Syria) is watching!

Posted by Judith at 5:00 p.m. EST


A people's soul can often be found in their songs. These couple of popular Israeli songs that can be heard on the radio these days.

"How Can I Bless" Words: Rachel Shapira

"How can I bless him, what gift shall I give To this child" – said the angel of love.

And he gave him a smile that was radiant as light, And he gave him two eyes that were open and clear To seek out each flower and each creature and bird And a heart to rejoice in each day of the year.

"How can I bless him, what gift shall I give To this child" – said the angel of love.

And he gave him two feet that were light in the dance, A soul to rejoice in each tune and each song, A hand that collected the shells on the shore, An ear to respond to the old and the young.

"How can I bless him, what gift shall I give To this child" – said the angel of love.

But those hands that were able to make flowers grow, Were blessed with the skill to drive engines of might, And the feet that could dance also knew how to march, And the lips that could sing, also summoned to fight.

"How can I bless him, what gift shall I give To this child" – said the angel of love.

"I have given him all that an angel can give, Two light dancing feet, and a song and a smile, A delicate hand and a sensitive heart. What else can I give him? I've given him all.""How can I bless him, what gift shall I give To this child" – said the angel of love.

He has joined the angels, that wonderful boy, He has no more blessings, no longer is blessed. Oh, Lord, Lord above, did your angel forget To bless him with life along with the rest?

I Have No Other Homeland Words: Ehud Manor

I have no other homeland Even when the ground is burning, Just one word ever turning In my mind, into my soul, Though wracked with pain, I murmur again, This is my home.

I must speak - for my homeland seems to be changing, I can't be silent, I must remind it, Sing although my heart is breaking, Until I see that it's waking.

I have no other homeland, I'll sing though my heart is breaking, Until I see that it's waking.

Posted by Judith at 5:00 p.m. EST

WHY THE UN? 08-21-03

In the Middle East they first blew up Jews,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they blew up Americans and I didn't speak up because I wasn't an American

Then they blew up tourists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a tourist.

Then they blew up the ex-pats and I didn't speak up because I was not an expat.

Then they blew up me - a UN official and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Sounds familiar?

Posted by Judith at 12:30 p.m. EST


In July UN offices in Mosul were attacked. UN flights were switched from Mosul to Irbil and the media remained silent

On 29 June shots were fired outside the now-bombed headquarters of the organization in Baghdad itself, the Canal Hotel. UN officials tried to appease the Jihadis by keeping their distance from the"occupation forces" and De Mallo told the press that being ruled for decades by a mass murderer was not humiliating to every Iraqi but being ruled temporarily by the coalition forces was. And the media remained silent.

Posted by Judith at 12:30 p.m. EST


This is the third suicide bombing during the cease fire entitled"the Hudna." But the first two only succeeded in killing one adult each. So, they failed to achieve their goal - scuttling the road map because the Israeli"extremist" Prime Minister listened to the appeasers (this time they included the Bush administration) responded with concilliatory gestures! So Voila!

Posted by Judith at 12:30 p.m. EST


65% of the Iraqi people support the coalition forces in Iraq. Infrastructure had to be blown up to prove to the Iraqis that they should not permit themselves to hope. 70% of the Palestinians supported the road map. The first super market and mall were opened on the West Bank. Abbas is popular that was the reason the hudna had to be ended quickly. Three months would have eroded what ever was left of the support once enjoyed by the rejectionist.

No, the Middle Eastern rulers and their ideological supporters are fighting back and their target are those Iraqis and Palestinians who do want a different future. Just look at some recent MEMRI.ORG articles about the internal Arab debates.

Posted by Judith at 12:30 p.m. EST

comments powered by Disqus