Friday, April 30, 2010

Taking on Islamists’ hidden agenda


In my previous column, I wrote about the lonely effort of the Montreal-based Point de bascule (tipping point) to expose the true hidden feature of the organized Islamist effort in Quebec — as in the rest of North America — to gain acceptance of its agenda. This Islamist effort is highly organized and globally financed, it is multi-pronged and with an outreach directed to penetrate every level of society from the highest reaches of governments to local civic organizations.

It is also exceedingly successful in manipulating support for its agenda by reaching out to the “progressives” in the West ever ready to play the role of “useful idiots,” as Lenin, the Bolshevik leader, so aptly described them.

The Islamist agenda pushed by Muslim Brotherhood and its fraternal affiliates across the Muslim world — in the case of Iran by the followers of Khomeini, the exponent of the Shiite version of Islamism and founder of the Islamic Republic — is to coerce Muslim societies to reinforce Shariah (Islamic) laws.

In the West, the Islamist agenda is to gain acceptance of Shariah for Muslims to live according to its requirements, and to have western governments adopt some of its directives as with the scheme for Shariah-based finance.

Western liberal democracies are highly vulnerable to such organized penetration by external and alien interests for obvious reasons.

The strength of the modern West is derived from its liberalism, secularism, democracy, rule of law, respect for individual rights, gender equity, openness to others and willingness to subject itself to public criticism.

This strength paradoxically provides enemies of the West with tools by which to subvert and weaken it, causing great harm.

The western inability or reluctance to confront Islamists ironically arises from its tolerance of and respect for all religions on the basis of freedom of conscience.

This freedom is a hard won principle that distinguishes the modern West from pre-modern cultures and, especially, the cultures of the Muslim world.

Religious tolerance, which barely exists in the contemporary Muslim societies, lends Islamists the cover with which to mask their ideology and political agenda as religion.

This ploy disarms western liberal critics of Islamism when countered with accusations of religious intolerance and bigotry skillfully made by Islamists and their “useful idiots.”

It also disarms most Muslims opposed to Islamism by the ever-present reality of violence inside the Muslim world. Muslims in the West are similarly disarmed and silenced by Islamists with their control of mosques, enabling them to spread fear of blackmail, intimidation, violence, ostracism and the stigma of betrayal among an immigrant population acutely vulnerable to such threats.

Yet Muslims in increasing numbers oppose Islamism, and across the Muslim world — in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Algeria, Pakistan,Indonesia or Turkey — the fight against Islamism is one of the main causes of political unrest.

It is a fight that pits on the one side Muslims who wish to see their world reconciled with modernity, and those who insist upon “Islamizing” modernity.

For Muslims, this is a historic struggle with global consequences.

And the West with an affinity for this struggle, given its history, needs to oppose Islamism without any misgiving.

Thanks Act for America

Republicans, Democrats and Israel

Caroline Glick

Bipartisan support for Israel has been one of the greatest casualties of US President Barack Obama's assault on the Jewish state. Today, as Republican support for Israel reaches new heights, support for Israel has become a minority position among Democrats. Consider the numbers. During Operation Cast Lead -- eleven days before Obama's inauguration -- the House of Representatives passed Resolution 34 siding with Israel against Hamas. The resolution received 390 yea votes, five nay votes and 37 abstentions. Democrats cast four of the nay votes and 29 of the abstentions.

In November 2009, Congress passed House Resolution 867 condemning the Goldstone report. The resolution urged Obama to disregard its findings which falsely accused Israel of committing war crimes in Cast Lead. 344 Congressman voted for the resolution. 36 voted against it. 52 abstained. Among those voting against, 33 were Democrats. 44 Democrats abstained.
In February 2010, 54 Congressmen sent a letter to Obama urging him to pressure Israel to open Hamas-ruled Gaza's international borders and accusing Israel of engaging in collective punishment. All of them were Democrats.

In the midst of the Obama administration's assault on Israel over construction for Jews in Jerusalem, 327 Congressmen signed a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for an end to the public attacks on the Israeli government. Of the 102 members that refused to sign the letter, 94 were Democrats.

These numbers show two things. First, since Obama entered office there has been a 13 point decline overall in the number of Congressmen willing to support Israel. Second, the decrease comes entirely from the Democratic side of the aisle. There the number of members willing to attack Israel has tripled.

As discouraging as they are, these numbers tell only part of the story. The pro-Israel initiatives the remaining Democrats agree to support today are less meaningful than those they supported before Obama entered office.

Resolution 34 during Cast Lead was substantive. It unhesitatingly blamed Hamas for the conflict, supported Israel and asserted that future wars will only be averted if Hamas is forced to fundamentally change.

Last month's letter to Clinton was much more circumscribed. It focused solely on ending the Obama administration's very public assault on Israel and ignored the nature of that assault. At the insistence of the Democrats, the administration was not criticized for its bigoted demand that Jews not be allowed to construct new homes in Jewish neighborhoods in Israel's capital city.

This week Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited Washington. Congressmen Eric Cantor and Peter Roskam - the Republican co-chairmen of the House's Israel caucus -- held a public event with Barkat where they voiced strong support for Israel's right to build in Jerusalem without restrictions.
In contrast, their Democratic counterparts refused to meet publicly with Barkat. They also refused to issue any statements supporting Israel's right to its undivided capital.

In the midst of administration's assault on Israel's right to Jerusalem last month, Representative Doug Lamborn drafted Resolution 1191 calling for the administration to finally abide by US law and move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Lamborn gathered 18 co-sponsors for the resolution. All of them were Republican.

Then there is Iran.

Acting on orders from Obama, House and Senate Democrats have tabled the sanctions bills that passed overwhelmingly in both houses. This week Obama asked Congressional Democrats to water down the sanctions bills to permit him to exempt China and Russia. In so doing, Obama exposed the entire push for sanctions as a dangerous, time-consuming joke. No sanctions passed in Congress or at the UN will make Iran reconsider its decision to build a nuclear arsenal.

This of course has been apparent for some time to anyone paying attention. And recognizing this state of affairs in January, Lamborn and Representative Trent Franks authored a letter to Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates urging the administration, "to support Israel's sovereign right to take any action it feels compelled to make in its self-defense."

Their letter was signed by 22 other Congressmen. All were Republican.

Similarly, since November Representative Louie Gohmert has been working on a resolution supporting Israel's right to attack Iran's nuclear installations. Gohmert's resolution condemns Iran's threat to commit nuclear genocide against Israel and expresses "support for Israel's right to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats post by Iran, defend Israeli sovereignty, and protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within a reasonable time."

To date, Gohmert has racked up more than forty co-sponsors. All are Republicans.

Recent opinion polls show that the Republican -- Democrat divide on Israel in Congress reflects a growing partisan gap among the general public. A Gallup poll conducted in February showed that whereas 85 percent of Republicans support Israel, (up from 77 percent in February 2009), and 60 percent of Independents support Israel, (up from 49 percent in February 2009), only 48 percent of Democrats support Israel, (down from 52 percent in February 2009).

To date, both the Israeli government and AIPAC have denied the existence of a partisan divide. This has been due in part to their unwillingness to contend with the new situation. One of Israel's greatest assets in the US has been the fact that support for the Jewish state has always been bipartisan. It is hard to accept that the Democrats are jumping ship.

AIPAC also has institutional reasons for papering over the erosion in Democratic support for Israel. First, most of its members are Democrats. Indeed, AIPAC's new President Lee Rosenberg was one of Obama's biggest fundraisers.

Then too, AIPAC is concerned at the prospect of its members abandoning it for J-Street. J-Street, the Jewish pro-Palestinian lobby is strongly supported by the Obama administration.

According to Congressional sources, AIPAC's desire to hide the partisan divide has caused it to preemptively water down Republican initiatives to gain Democratic support or torpedo Republican proposals that the Democrats would oppose. For instance, an AIPAC lobbyist demanded that Gohmert abandon his efforts to advance his resolution on Iran. Sources close to the story say the AIPAC lobbyist told Gohmert that AIPAC opposes all Iran initiatives that go beyond support for sanctions.

And now of course, as Obama makes a mockery of AIPAC's sanctions drive by watering them down to nothingness, AIPAC's sanctions-only strategy lies in ruins. But again in the interest of promoting the fiction of bipartisan support for Israel, AIPAC can be expected to pretend this has not happened.

And many prominent Republican Congressmen are loath to call their bluff. Like the Israeli government itself, Republican House members express deep concern that blowing the lid off the Democrats will weaken Israel. As one member put it, "I don't want to encourage the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attack Israel by exposing that the Democrats don't support Israel."

While this argument has its merits, the fact is that many Democrats remain staunch supporters of Israel. Representatives like Shelley Berkley, Nita Lowey, Steve Israel, Anthony Weiner, Jim Costa and many others have not taken stronger stands in support Israel because thanks to AIPAC, they haven't been challenged to do so. If going into the November midterm elections House Republicans were to initiate an aggressively pro-Israel agenda as members like Lamborn, Franks, Gohmert, Cantor, Roskam, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and others are already doing, they would compel Democratic members to join them or risk being criticized for abandoning Israel by their Republican opponents in November's elections.

And that's the thing of it. While under Obama bipartisan support for Israel has eroded, popular support for Israel has grown. Indeed polls show a direct correlation between Democratic abandonment of Israel and popular abandonment of the Democrats. What this means is that the partisan divide on Israel is a good election issue for Republicans.

If as projected Republicans retake control over the House of Representatives in November, they will be in a position to limit Obama's ability to adopt policies that weaken Israel. And due to the widespread expectation that Republicans will in fact take over the House, if the Republicans set out clear policy lines on Israel today, their declared policies will immediately impact Obama's maneuver room on Israel. So too, a clear Republican policy on Israel will motivate pro-Israel Democrats to more stridently distance themselves from Obama on issues related to Israel.

Take the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's threat that he will unilaterally declare Palestinian independence in August 2011. To date, Obama has refused to say if he will recognize such a unilaterally declared Palestinian state. Fearing that he may recognize such a state, Israel has gone out of its way to appease Obama.

If House Republicans and Republican House candidates were to collectively pledge to cut off US funding for the PA in the aftermath of such a declaration, they could neutralize the threat. And if they pledged not to fund a US embassy in such a Palestinian state, they would make it impossible for Obama to continue holding his decision over Israel's head.

As for Iran, if Republicans win the House, they will be in a position to use omnibus budgetary bills to force the administration to provide Israel with the military equipment necessary to win a war against Iran and its allies. This would limit Obama's capacity to threaten Israel with an arms embargo in the increasingly likely event that the Iranian axis attacks the Jewish state.

In some House races, Democratic abandonment of Israel is already a key issue. For instance, in Illinois, the race between Republican challenger Joel Pollak and incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky has been dominated by Schakowsky's close ties to J-Street and tepid support for Israel. And recent polling data indicate that once a long-shot candidate, Pollak is steadily closing in on Schakowsky's lead.

Exposing the Democrats' abandonment of Israel will be an unpleasant affair. But it won't add to the dangers arrayed against Israel. Israel's enemies are already aware of Obama's animus towards the Jewish state. Demonstrating that the Democrats on Capitol Hill are following his lead on Israel will not add or detract from Iran's willingness to attack Israel either directly or through its Arab proxies, or both.

Moreover, forcing Democrats to account for their behavior will have a salutary long-term effect on their party and on the US as a whole. Support for Israel is a benchmark for support for US allies generally. Obama's abandonment of Israel has gone hand in hand with the cold shoulder he has given Colombia, Honduras, Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Japan, South Korea and other key US allies worldwide. In the long-term, it will be catastrophic if one of the US's two political parties maintains this strategically disastrous policy.

By using support for Israel as a wedge issue in the upcoming elections Republicans will do more than simply constrain Obama's ability to harm the Jewish state. They will be setting a course for a Democratic return to strategic sanity in the years to come. And nothing will guarantee the return of bipartisan support for Israel more effectively and securely than that.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

U.S. Official Explains (Reluctantly?) Why U.S. is Engaging Syria; Egypt Rushes to Get in Good with Winning Iran-Led Side?

Barry Rubin

Listen how the administration's best expert on Syria tries to defend U.S. policy of being nice to the regime there. Then listen to the Egyptian foreign minister interpreting this policy as meaning Syria and its friend Iran are winning so Egypt better start thinking of jumping on the bandwagon.

Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is one of the smartest people in the administration’s foreign policy hierarchy. As former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, he understands what Syria’s regime is like and how Damascus along with Iran and Hizballah are trying to take over Lebanon. What’s really fascinating is when smart people support administration policy in an honest way, since that shows just how thin the veneer is. My favorite was last September’s New York Times editorial touting the great foreign policy achievements of the administration. All it could up with were closing Guantanamo Bay (nope, not yet done seven months later) and getting the Russians to “think” about sanctions (same as above).

So in this vein, here’s Feltman explaining U.S. policy toward Syria in a congressional hearing. Let’s listen:

"While the United States is working with our international partners to mitigate Iran's influence in the region, Syria stands out for its facilitation of many of Iran's troubling policies. Syria's relationship with Iran seems primarily based on perceived political interests, rather than cultural ties or complementary economies.”

Good that he starts by pointing out how Syria helps Iran. But then he tries—in very clear language—to explain why the U.S. government is engaging Syria’s regime and going soft on it.

What does he come up with? First, true they have perceived political interests in common but what about those cultural ties and economies? Regarding economies, Iran gives Syria lots of money, funds that Syria desperately need. That sounds pretty complementary to me regarding Syria’s interests. As for a lack of cultural ties, does this mean they can’t be allies because Syrians don’t like Iranian music? Or perhaps they have more culturally in common with the United States than with fellow Muslim-majority Iran?

“But as with most partnerships, there are clear policy differences. With respect to Israel, the Syrians have a clear interest in negotiating a peace agreement for the return of the Golan Heights, whereas Iran opposes any form of peace with Israel.”

Well, they have a lot of policy similarities: They both want control over Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinians, in fact the whole region. They both want Israel wiped off the map and America kicked out of the region. As for Syria’s “clear interest” one might ask: Who says so?

We get into the dangerous area here of the United States trying to tell Syria’s government what its interests are rather than seeing what the Syrian government thinks and then acting accordingly. Note how the U.S. policy today is similar toward Iran and other dictatorships. Nothing is more ridiculous than some Westerner with no experience in running a Third World dictatorship telling the elite there that their real interest is being moderate and democratic.

Helpful Hint: If those countries become moderate and democratic than those running them now will become imprisoned or dead. The truth is that Syria, like Iran, also “opposes any form of peace with Israel.” The regime just plays with the idea in order to lure unwary Westerners into the quicksand of giving it lots of concessions and gifts in exchange for nothing.

“Syria has a secular government, whereas Iran has a theocratic one.”

Well, that’s true as far as it goes. But precisely because Syria has a secular government it needs the Islamic cover of Iranian approval, with Tehran saying: Yeah, these guys might seem like godless Alawite* pagan infidels but in fact we give them our certificate of approval as good Shia Muslims who support revolutionary Islamism.

I mean, what’s the problem? When they hold joint meetings to plot anti-American terrorist attacks and Islamist takeovers in Iraq, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Israel the Syrian leaders have to forego a scotch and soda?

Feltman continues:

U.S. policy therefore does not operate from an assumption that these two countries are a permanent bloc.” Ok, fair enough. But one should mention that their alliance has now endured for around 30 years with hardly a scratch or a dent, that's the entire life of the Islamic republic of Iran so far! I’d suggest that one might say that the United States and the United Kingdom also don’t necessarily form a “permanent bloc” either despite their cultural similarities. A few more gag gifts from President Obama to the queen and who knows?

“The goal of U.S. policy is to press both governments to adopt policies that advance regional stability and security.” Agreed.

“One way to do that is to demonstrate to Syria why it is clearly in Syria's national interests -- as well as ours -- for Syria to have better relations with its neighbors and the West and to end its support for terrorism and other actions that undermine peace and prosperity."

Right. But there is more than “one way” to demonstrate this idea. An alternative is to inflict high costs on Syria to persuade it to change and block its ambitions. Such a strategy might also involve helping their intended victims—Israel, Lebanon’s moderate forces, Iraq (though the U.S. government has turned down Baghdad’s pleas to get tougher on Syrian help for terrorists murdering Iraqis and Americans there), and the internal Syrian opposition (and I don't mean the Muslim Brotherhood).

Feltman, I’m confident in asserting though I don’t know him and have no inside information, understands everything I’ve written here is true. But as an administration official he has to say that stuff. The problem is that when we read his words we understand even better what’s wrong with the strategy they're trying to sell. Of course, one could argue that U.S. policy was tough on Syria for part of the previous administration and the regime there didn’t crumble. But then, when Syria is tough on the United States, Europe, and their friends, they do indeed crumble.

U.S. policy today is sort of like the Monty Python skit about the Spanish Inquisition in which victims are "tortured" by putting them in a “comfy chair.” Syria’s policy is more like the real Spanish Inquisition.

Once again, thank goodness for the Washington Post as a voice of sanity. It's latest editorial explains:

"Bashar al-Assad is proving to be an embarrassment for the Obama administration....The problem isn't that Mr. Assad is not getting the U.S. message. It's that he sees no need to listen."

Despite U.S. envoys heading to Damascus in relays, the Syrian to "engage" him, the Syrian dictator keeps kicking America in the groin, tightening his friendship with Iran and shipping missiles to Hizballah. And because Feltman is good, he knows what should be done: "President Assad is . . . making decisions that could send the region into war. He's listening to Ahmadinejad. He's listening to Hassan Nasrallah. He needs to listen to us, too."

Right, and how to make him listen? Do I need to tell you the old country joke about how to get a mule to listen?

The punchline is: You have to get his attention first. I'll leave you to fill in the rest.

But there's someone else listening: Egypt. And it is concluding that what it's hearing is that it also better listen to Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah and Bashar al-Asad.

So now the Egyptian government is starting to sound like it's moving closer to Damascus. Perhaps this was politeness and a desire to mend fences, but it seems to me like the sour fruit of U.S. policy.

The current Egyptian government doesn't like its Syrian counterpart for lots of reasons, some going back decades. The two countries have long been rivals for Arab leadership and Syria led the other states in boycotting Egypt after it made peace with Israel. More recently, the Egyptian regime views Syria as a traitor for siding with non-Arab Iran against its Arab brothers.

In addition, Egypt is angry over Syrian sponsorship of Hamas (which works with the Egyptian government's Islamist enemies) and Hizballah (which threatened to overthrow the Egyptian government last year). Indeed, an Egyptian court has just convicted 26 men of working with Hizballah to launch terrorist attacks within Egypt.

Why then all the sudden friendliness toward Syria?

Well, the Egyptians may conclude he's on the winning side. The United States is trying to engage Syria so why shouldn't Egypt also forget about its differences with a fellow Arab dictatorship. Iran, Syria's ally, is speeding largely unimpeded toward nuclear weapons. Hamas is still in power while Syria and Hizballah are gaining more control over Lebanon.

So the Egyptian foreign minister leaped to Syria's defense in proclaiming that Israel was lying in claiming Syria sent Hizballah long range missiles and warned that if Israel ever attacked Syria or Lebanon, Egypt would take their side. Note that it didn't do so in the 1982 or 2006 wars. He referred to Israel as an enemy and Syria as a sister. There are hints that this is only the beginning of a major rapprochement between Egypt and Syria.

The Egyptians aren't so naive. They have tried and failed to reconcile Hamas and Fatah, surely knowing that Syrian and Iranian backing for Hamas is a big part of the problem. They are worried about Iran getting nuclear weapons and Syrian ambitions. They can't be expectant about dramatic progress in the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

Rather, their problem is that if the only superpower isn't going to stand up and support their interests while acting against the radicals, the Egyptian government better start building its own bridges. This is nothing compared to what's going to happen when Iran has nuclear weapons.

*The Alawites comprise only about 12 percent of Syria's population but almost all the ruling elite. In my view they are not Muslim but the rulers pretend to be Shia Muslims. If they didn't have this cover the two-thirds or so of the Syrian population who are Sunni Muslims would be far more unhappy with the current regime. The Muslim Brotherhood portrays the Alawite rulers as non-Muslims. (The Sunni/Shia issue is ignored in Syria though of course the distinction is important elsewhere.) See my book, The Truth About Syria, for a detailed discussion of this issue.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His new edited books include Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict and Crisis; Guide to Islamist Movements; Conflict and Insurgency in the Middle East; and The Muslim Brotherhood

An Appetite for Real Immigration Reform

Heritage Foundation

In a very rare visit to the press cabin of Air Force One yesterday, President Barack Obama told reporters that the White House will not be leading any immigration reform efforts in 2010. Obama said: "…I've been working Congress pretty hard. So I know, there may not be an appetite immediately to dive into another controversial issue." Obama went on to assert that energy taxes were a higher priority, and that the election in November would make tackling immigration tough. Apparently, Majority Leader Harry Reid didn't heed the President's advice. Several hours later, Reid, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and their colleagues from the left introduced an immigration reform framework that on the surface is identical to the legislation America rejected in 2007. When you dig down, it may be worse.

Of course, once introduced, President Obama issued a statement that his administration would take "an active role" toward ironing out the details. This confusing flip-flopping from the White House is indicative of how the administration has treated border security and immigration reform since taking office. Even Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed saying: "If there is going to be real be any movement in this regard, it will require presidential leadership."

Effective reforms can be done in a responsible and deliberate manner through discrete steps rather than another bloated bill that hides from the American people what Washington is trying to do to gain even more power and authority over its citizens. What is required is a step-by-step approach, not an ill-conceived "framework" disguised as "comprehensive" reform.

An appropriate solution would reject amnesty; apply appropriate security to the border; work as a partner with Mexico in helping them address economic and civil society reform and combating transnational crime; enforce workplace and immigration laws in partnership with state and local governments; pilot effective temporary worker programs that help employers get the employees they need to help grow the economy; and reform our visa, immigration and citizenship services.

The Reid-Schumer plan does not accomplish these goals. Their proposal adds a lot more government and bureaucracy (and government spending) while doing little to actually ensure over the long-term the sovereignty, security and prosperity of the nation. It is another example of government taking the short term view of long-term problems.

The Reid-Schumer framework puts an emphasis on amnesty, with empty promises of border security. Granting amnesty, access to welfare and government benefits and citizenship to all who claim they were in the United States at time of enactment of this proposal could cover 11 to 15 million people and overwhelm our borders with people looking to take part. And forgiving such violations would increase the likelihood that these laws be violated again. When you throw in family members, the total number of those eligible for citizenship through amnesty could then be 17 to 22 million individuals.

While Senate Democrats pay lip service to border security, this proposal lacks meaningful metrics for determining "when" the border is secure. It relies on an unelected commission to determine whether we are safe and secure.

And maybe most troubling is the call for a biometric national id card, thinly disguised as a more robust Social Security card. Reid and Schumer are ignoring many legitimate on-going or proposed efforts including E-Verify, Social Security no-match verification and information sharing, and REAL ID in favor of an expansive and expensive program of questionable value as an appropriate enforcement tool.

There are better alternatives:

* We need a temporary worker program. One that is in fact temporary, market-oriented and feasible. A balanced and well-constructed program would provide an additional option or legal temporary workers, while diminishing the incentives for illegal entry. Congress must ensure it resolves issues of family status, require bilateral agreements, include triggers, provide economic incentives, contain caps and resists unwieldy government excess.

* We must remember the American economy. No solution in this debate comes without an economic impact, whether through increased government services, unemployment or states shouldering unfunded mandates. Our immigration policy should encourage a growing economy, not expand the welfare state as we know it. Congress must consider these fiscal costs and benefits.

* Above all, our first priority is national security. No other reforms are possible without a complete, and strict, security apparatus. From the point of origin, to transit, to the border, to within the United States – we require a system of protection that has gone needed for too long. If our borders remain porous and open, if our border states continue to suffer from unwarranted crime, if our laws go unenforced, then this contentious debate will only be a precursor to another and likely more disruptive process in the future.

We are a nation of immigrants. The Statue of Liberty stands as a testament to our desire to create an environment welcoming to all men and women who yearn for freedom and prosperity. We are a self selected class of people who see greater opportunity available through smaller government, economic freedom, religious and social tolerance and a shared responsibility of security and safety. It is no surprise that people from other nations would yearn for what we may sometimes take for granted. Reforming our broken immigration system should not set aside these aspirations, but embrace them.

CAIR's Shrill Attack on the IPT

IPT News
April 30, 2010

Any reader of this website knows we write often about the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). There is ample evidence that it is not the moderate voice of American Muslims as it claims to be. In two and a half years, CAIR has responded to us only once. That's probably out of a desire to not call more attention to information CAIR officials would prefer you not know about them. So it was a little surprising to see a hastily assembled response to Wednesday's story, which called CAIR out for its paranoid response to the controversy surrounding's threat to South Park producers Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Rather than simply condemn such intimidation outright, CAIR officials voiced concern that the threats might be some conspiratorial effort to make Muslims look bad.

The CAIR-Chicago response calls IPT Executive Director Steve Emerson a liar three times, taking issue with the story's statement that CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab dismissed RevolutionMuslim as fraudulent. Rehab merely was citing the views of others, the CAIR response said, so our paraphrase was an outrageous misrepresentation:

"Secondly, Mr. Emerson asserts that Mr. Rehab called the group fraudulent, but fails to provide the quote backing this allegation up. In fact, that part of Rehab's alleged quote is magically omitted from the rest of the Rehab quotation Emerson sites. Why? Because it does not exist and Mr. Emerson is once again a flat out liar who thinks you are stupid. He paraphrases things, rather than quotes them, when he wishes to massage the truth or lie to you."

It's true, Rehab never says "I think they are a fraud." Our reference paraphrased his message. "Most suspect the group is fraudulent," he wrote. Most what? It's a wholly unsubstantiated claim, unless he means most CAIR officials. As our story Wednesday noted, national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper issued the same spin in a Los Angeles Times report:

"In fact, most Muslims suspect they were set up only to make Muslims look bad," Hooper said. "We just have very deep suspicions. They say such outrageous, irresponsible things that it almost seems like they're doing it to smear Islam."

In a Chicago Tribune column, Rehab echoes Hooper's line. Left unsaid is who they think would orchestrate a conspiracy like that. But Rehab cites claims that the group's leader was a Jew who attended an orthodox rabbinical school before converting to Islam and wonders whether they are "true Muslims or agent provocateurs." When he refers to them as Muslims, he sets it off in quote marks, questioning their legitimacy.

The sum of those parts is that Rehab was calling RevolutionMuslim fraudulent. We weren't the only ones to notice. Harris Zafar, director of community service for the Portland, Ore.-based Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, wrote his own column in which he took on the "South Park" threat in clear and direct language:

"Islam is not for censorship. Islam is not for violence or threats of violence. The implicit death threats from 'Revolution Muslim' are completely unwarranted and outside the pale of Islam."

RevolutionMuslim is a "stain" on the Muslim community, he wrote, and called CAIR's response ridiculous:

"And others – like the Council on American-Islamic Relations – may speak out against such groups but then follow their condemnation with ridiculous accusations blaming others instead of Muslims. In the case of 'Revolution Muslim' threatening 'South Park' producers, CAIR condemned the group's comments but then proceeded to say that the 'Revolution' group must be backed by non-Muslims conspiring to make Islam look bad.

That's where they're wrong. There are enough so-called Muslims who are making Islam look bad to warrant an internal review of where these people have lost their way. Islam is not to blame. It's a faith that advocates peace, freedom, liberty and love for all people, not just Muslims. It's time for misinformed Muslims to learn more about their own faith."

The point of our article was that CAIR had missed a teachable moment on Internet radicalism – radicalism it vowed to take on in December after five young men from the D.C.-area turned up in Pakistan hoping to join the jihad against American troops in Afghanistan. The threats of even a couple of knuckleheads can resonate far and wide on the Internet and requires blunt, focused rebuttal from fellow Muslims.

Anwar al-Awlaki is one preacher. Yet, he is considered to have been influential in inspiring numerous terrorist plots, from Nidal Malik Hasan's slaughter of 13 people at Fort Hood, to the failed Christmas Day airline bombing over Detroit. Comedy Central, like Yale University Press and Random House before it, caved in to the threats because similar ranting has led to murder.

Such threats should be condemned for what they are, without the conspiracy theories.

Muslim writer/reformist Irshad Manji seized the moment, offering a petition in support of free speech and explaining how "free expression is entirely acceptable in Islam," even if it is considered offensive. There's no lashing out in her post or any allegations that it's all a set-up as CAIR suggests. Rather, she explains why the radicals have it all wrong:

"The Prophet Muhammad warned Muslims not to put him on a pedestal. That's because he's not the one to be revered; God alone is to be worshiped. Welcome to the hypocrisy of those who claim to be protecting the Prophet while violating one of his core teachings."

The CAIR-Chicago response to our story is filled with generalizations and false claims. "The puff pieces he fills his blog with are often empty of substance and instead replete with anti-Muslim hysterics," it says. Well that hurts. We'll concede the puff pieces – a subjective measure – but anti-Muslim hysterics? Name some. We make a point of citing anti-Islamist Muslims when we can as we did here, here and here.

CAIR's response calls Emerson "devoid of credentials" as a terrorism expert. Yet his work has been honored with the George Polk Award for Excellence in Journalism and by the professional group Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). Former White House counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke called Emerson "the Paul Revere of terrorism" and praised his work in both Against All Enemies and Your Government Failed You.

CAIR lashes out at Emerson over one word in a column. For that, he's a liar, they claim.

We stand by the reference as correct and in context. But it makes you wonder, does CAIR's silence on our other reporting, including this dissection of their claims of "internet myths" about it, or our breaking the news that the FBI had cut off communication with them, mean they can't rebut them?

It was federal prosecutors, not the IPT, who wrote that "CAIR has been identified by the Government at trial as a participant in an ongoing and ultimately unlawful conspiracy to support a designated terrorist organization, a conspiracy from which CAIR never withdrew."

The U.S.-Israel Crisis May Be Over and We Can "Celebrate" the Achievement of Nothing

Barry Rubin*
April 30, 2010

Something very interesting is happening very quietly. The Obama Administration appears to have forgotten about its quarrel with Israel, in part because it is being reported with increasing reliability that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has quietly agreed to suspend all construction in eastern or northern Jerusalem outside the 1967 lines. Goodness, gracious! This administration's great achievement isn't going to be making peace in the Middle East but succeeding in achieving Israel-PA negotiations! I can practically hear the 2012 presidential election ads now: President Obama Got the Israelis and Palestinians Talking!

Sometimes this administration's foreign policy seems like a man who wants a glass of water, exits the building instead of going to the water cooler, gets lost, falls into several holes, narrowly escapes being hit by some cars, and finally arrives home after a very long time. He takes a look at the empty glass in his hand, looks into the camera, and then confidentally announces to the audience: "Now, I am going to get a glass of water!"

A large, albeit diminishing, portion of the audience cheers, while pundits announce that he is really working hard on getting that glass of water, has a terrific strategy, doubt he will soon be sipping away, and everyone sure likes him!

I'm not in the audience booing. I'm shouting: Please, for goodness sakes, pull yourself together and do better!

But I digress. Clearly, for the moment, the White House has realized that it has gone too far. Three different polls show large numbers of Jewish voters saying they are very unhappy with Obama and that Americans as a whole regard the bash-Israel behavior as the most negative aspect of the president's foreign policy. Members of his own party in Congress are revolting against it, as well as against his strategies on Iran and Syria.

Obama no longer "owns" the Democratic party and November elections are looming up to reinforce that lesson by showing Democrats the cost of his mistakes for themselves personally.

And, of course, once again the administration has painted itself into a corner on the "peace process" issue and has nothing to gain.

So now there is talk about all sorts of gimmicks to get negotiations going between Israel and the Paleestinian Authority (PA). I won't go into these since none matter unless actually offered formally. What is important, however, is going to be whether the PA wants to talk, directly or indirectly, as well as whether the administration is going to do anything to push them. Israel has been, and for the last year made it clear, ready and eager to talk.

Perhaps you've heard the expression, "We can do this the hard way or the easy way." The implication is that if the person spoken to decides to cooperate all will be fine but if they don't things can get unpleasant. Despite very occasional exceptions--which usually seem directed at Israel--the Obama Administration does this to itself, chooses the hard way, and still doesn't get anywhere.

Things could have been quite different. A year ago, the White House could have played it smart and been playing host and facilitator for Israel-PA negotiations all this time. Sure they wouldn't produce a lot but would gain a little, kept things peaceful, and make the White House look good. Instead, there's been one mess after another.

For the moment, the government seems to want to move out of Mess Mode. It has Iran to deal with, growing domestic discontent, and an economy that is responding far worse than the media cheerleaders claim. So it needs to back off confrontation with Israel.

Here's what I think, is an extraordinarily important point. The Obama Administration is neither radical satanic nor moderately pragmatic in doing foreign policy. It is rather fettered by a set of ideas, lack of skills, and close-mindedness to criticism that make for an inept approach which is not meeting the needs of U.S. interests. Through action, the Obama administration has not done one big bad thing internationally. The problem stems from its frustrating inactions, misleading words, and dangerous ideas.

What might be called the administration's glamor masks the fact that Obama is in the Gerald Ford-Jimmy Carter-George W. Bush class of president regarding competence. He is not in the Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, etc., category.

Adherents can boast that Obama kept us out of war and unpopularity, though perhaps he is laying the basis for such things in future, as tends to happen when international affairs are not well conducted.

So the great Jerusalem construction affair seems to be over. But where does that leave us? After a lot of shouting and wandering around, right back at the beginning.

*Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

Generals Write to Obama on Israel

Emanuel A. Winston
Freeman Center Middle East Analyst & Commentator

50 American Generals (ret.) who served their country as proud Americans speak out on America’s positive and beneficial relations with Israel. They knew how Israel. They knew how Israel had assisted American via transfer of vital Intel, capturing enemy equipment on the field of war, providing and improving technology, penetrating Terrorist nations and their proxies. As General George Keegan, Head of Air Force Intelligence, said: "Israel is worth 5 CIAs." But along comes President Barack Hussein Obama and his pro-Arab staff of advisors. They proceed to attack Israel in the court of public opinion and the working relationships with a key, staunch, dedicated ally who Obama is trying to destroy - with malice.

The Obama Coalition have virulently attacked the sovereign Nation/State of Israel over her reluctance to divide her Eternal Capital and the other lands won in defensive wars over to Palestinian Muslims whose Charter calls for the absolute elimination of Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

How did Obama become Islam’s Chief Spokesman - even for the worst of Terrorist nations for both Israel and America?
Who does Obama really belong to?

And What is his true agenda?

Generals Write Obama on Israel

By Liran Kapoano Arutz Sheva 7

"Israel as a Security Asset for the United States"

( 26 April 10 09:00

The next time someone tries to throw the nonsensical argument that sometimes Israel just needs some "tough love" to get it "back on track" or that treating the Jewish state like an immature child that needs be made to sit in the corner, is somehow beneficial to anyone -- tell them to go argue with these 50 retired admirals and generals. .

They decided to do something in response to the recent ridiculous treatment Israel has gotten from the Obama administration. This group of about 50 retired United States generals and admirals put together the following letter urging him as well as Congress and the general American public to recognize how truly intertwined Israel's success is with America's.

Here, is the unedited letter, directly from the officers:
Israel as a Security Asset for the United States

We, the undersigned, have traveled to Israel over the years with The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). We brought with us our decades of military experience and, following unrestricted access to Israel's civilian and military leaders, came away with the unswerving belief that the security of the State of Israel is a matter of great importance to the United States and its policy in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. A strong, secure Israel is an asset upon which American military planners and political leaders can rely. Israel is a democracy - a rare and precious commodity in the region - and Israel shares our commitment to freedom, personal liberty and rule of law.

Throughout our travels and our talks, the determination of Israelis to protect their country and to pursue a fair and workable peace with their neighbors was clearly articulated. Thus we view the current tension between the United States and Israel with dismay and grave concern that political differences may be allowed to outweigh our larger mutual interests.

As American defense professionals, we view events in the Middle East through the prism of American security interests.

The United States and Israel established security cooperation during the Cold War, and today the two countries face the common threat of terrorism by those who fear freedom and liberty. Historically close cooperation between the United States. and Israel at all levels including the IDF, military research and development, shared intelligence and bilateral military training exercises enhances the security of both countries. American police and law enforcement officials have reaped the benefit of close cooperation with Israeli professionals in the areas of domestic counter-terrorism practices and first response to terrorist attacks.

Israel and the United States are drawn together by shared values and shared threats to our well-being.

The proliferation of weapons and nuclear technology across the Middle East and Asia, and the ballistic missile technology to deliver systems across wide areas require cooperation in intelligence, technology and security policy. Terrorism, as well as the origins of financing, training and executing terrorist acts, need to be addressed multilaterally when possible. The dissemination of hatred and support of terrorism by violent extremists in the name of Islam, whether state or non-state actors, must be addressed as a threat to global peace.

In the Middle East, a volatile region so vital to U.S. interests, it would be foolish to disengage - or denigrate - an ally such as Israel.

Signed (so far):

Lieutenant General Mark Anderson, USAF (ret.); Rear Admiral Charles Beers, USN (ret.); General William Begert, USAF (ret.); Rear Admiral Stanley W. Bryant, USN (ret.); Lieutenant General Anthony Burshnick, USAF (ret.); Lieutenant General Paul Cerjan, USA (ret.); Admiral Leon Edney, USN (ret.); Brigadier General William F. Engel, USA (ret.); Major General Bobby Floyd, USAF (ret.); General John Foss, USA (ret.); Major General Paul Fratarangelo, USMC (ret.); Major General David Grange, USA (ret.); Lieutenant General Tom Griffin, USA (ret.); Lieutenant General Earl Hailston, USMC (ret.); Lieutenant General John Hall, USAF (ret.); General Alfred Hansen, USAF (ret.); Rear Admiral James Hinkle, USN (ret.); General Hal Hornburg, USAF (ret.); Major General James T. Jackson, USA (ret.); Admiral Jerome Johnson, USN (ret.); Rear Admiral Herb Kaler, USN (ret.); Vice Admiral Bernard Kauderer, USN (ret.); General William F. Kernan, USA (ret.); Major General Homer Long, USA (ret.); Major General Jarvis Lynch, USMC (ret.); General Robert Magnus, USMC (ret.); Lieutenant General Charles May, Jr., USAF (ret.); Vice Admiral Martin Mayer, USN (ret.); Major General James McCombs, USA (ret.); Lieutenant General Fred McCorkle, USMC (ret.); Rear Admiral W. F. Merlin, USCG (ret.); Rear Admiral Mark Milliken, USN (ret.); Rear Admiral Riley Mixson, USN (ret.); Major General William Moore, USA (ret.); Lieutenant General Carol Mutter, USMC (ret.); Major General Larry T. Northington, USAF (ret.); Lieutenant General Tad Oelstrom, USAF (ret.); Major General James D. Parker, USA (ret.); Vice Admiral J. T. Parker, USN (ret.); Major General Robert Patterson, USAF (ret.); Vice Admiral James Perkins, USN (ret.); Rear Admiral Brian Peterman, USCG (ret.); Lieutenant General Alan V. Rogers, USAF (ret.); Rear Admiral Richard Rybacki, USCG (ret.); General Crosbie Saint, USA (ret.); Rear Admiral Norm Saunders, USCG (ret.); General Lawrence Skantze, USAF (ret.); Major General Sid Shachnow, USA (ret.); Rear Admiral Jeremy Taylor, USN (ret.); Major General Larry Taylor, USMCR (ret.); Lieutenant General Lanny Trapp, USAF (ret.); Vice Admiral Jerry O. Tuttle, USN (ret.); General Louis Wagner, USA (ret.); Rear Admiral Thomas Wilson, USN (ret.); Lieutenant General Robert Winglass, USMC (ret.); Rear Admiral Guy Zeller, USN (ret.): from the American Thinker

Reading Rules for Radicals

Michael van der Galien

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to do something I should have done when then-Senator Barack Obama announced he’d run for president : I ordered a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

Of course I realize that Alinsky isn’t exactly the most beloved author and activist among my fellow conservatives. He was a radical progressive who helped taught like-minded individuals how to force their progressive plans upon the rest of the nation. Although I’m not exactly a fan of the man either, the reality of the situation is that he inspired and continues to inspire many progressives. Barack Obama taught Alinsky’s concepts and methods in workshops. Without his mentor’s strategy chances are Obama would never have been president. And Obama isn’t the only progressive greatly influenced by Alinsky. Hillary Clinton was inspired by this godfather of community organizing as well, for instance. We can be certain that Rules for Radicals serves as the political bible for many others like these two influential progressives.

Which brings me to my main reason for reading this book: to defeat one’s enemy, one has to know one’s enemy… and his strategies. You can’t fight the progressive movement if you don’t understand what they’re trying to accomplish and how they go about it.

That’s not all, however. I believe conservatives should not only learn about but also from progressives and their methods. Alinsky’s rules can be used against progressives, just as they’ve been used against us.

I’ll read a bit in Rules for Radicals every day and will share my findings with all of you: the more conservatives understand Alinsky, the better.

Middle East Peace: So Why Have We Failed?

FP speaks with leading Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians who've tried to bring this decades-long conflict to an end.
Gen. Anthony Zinni

Former head of U.S. Central Command and U.S. envoy to the Middle East peace process in 2001 and 2002

What I learned: By now, we should realize what doesn't work: summits, agreements in principle, special envoys, U.S.-proposed plans, and just about every other part of our approach has failed. So why do we keep repeating it? Michael Oren

Israel's ambassador to the United States; historian of the Middle East

What I learned: Calling this an Arab-Israeli conflict today is largely a misnomer. We have two states that have peace treaties with Israel. The largest antagonist is Iran, which is not an Arab state. But I've been studying the relationship between the United States and Israel for a long time, back since the 1967 war, when it was truly more of an Arab-Israeli conflict, and one thing that has struck me is the depth of the relationship between the United States and Israel. The relationship is truly deeper and more multifaceted than how I understood it in the past.

Who's to blame: I don't think assigning blame is productive, but I think the main obstacle is getting the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table. It's quite extraordinary: We now have a situation that existed before Oslo in '93 and before Madrid in '91 -- we can't get the Palestinians to sit down face to face with us and discuss the issues.

Out-of-the-box idea: As an ambassador, we don't generally do out-of-the-box ideas. If you ask me what the key to moving forward is, I would say that Palestinians, and Arabs more generally, must feel that they have more to gain by participating in negotiations than not. If they believe that by staying out of negotiations they can win concessions over issues such as East Jerusalem, why would they participate in what can be a drawn-out, uncertain process?

Yossi Beilin

Former Israeli Knesset member and co-author of the 2003 Geneva Accord, a model agreement for a two-state solution

What I learned: There are majorities on both sides that would support any peace treaty, but that was not enough. I did not appreciate the significance of small minorities that were ready to pay a very high price to torpedo any peace process.

Who's to blame: The leadership on both sides that were not courageous enough to get to the moment of truth. On both sides, there was always a feeling that they had room for maneuver: Let's wait for the next American president; let's wait for the next government on the other side. The combination of Yasir Arafat and Benjamin Netanyahu after the assassination of Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin was also very problematic. I believe that had Rabin not been assassinated, we could have had peace by now.

James Wolfensohn

Special envoy for Gaza disengagement during George W. Bush's administration; former World Bank president

What I learned: I first approached the peace process thinking it was solvable -- that if you came up with a reasonable plan, each side would think that it was in their enlightened interest to follow it. I thought rationality would prevail. But to my great sadness, the notion of some perfect peace plan has not emerged. What's desperately needed is an intervention by, frankly, our country and the president. Absent that, I think it's unlikely you're going to see a near-term solution.

Out-of-the-box idea: If the United States were to take a very straightforward and unyielding line, it would help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he wants to do a deal, and it would certainly help the Arabs come together. But that's certainly not a new idea.

Robert Malley

Special assistant to President Bill Clinton for Arab-Israeli affairs from 1998 to 2001

What I learned: There is no such thing as a good idea -- merely ideas that might work at a given time. Palestinians opposed the two-state solution until the late 1980s; after they accepted it, Israel refused the notion of a Palestinian state until the turn of the century. Today, it seems more of an Israeli than a Palestinian priority.

Who's to blame: Americans, Palestinians, and Israelis were all to blame for the failure of the 2000 Camp David talks. That conclusion can fairly be extended to peace efforts as a whole. Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians have been prepared to fully own up to the fears and needs of the other. As for the United States, it historically has been overly sensitive to Israeli and excessively ignorant of Palestinian politics. It failed to reconcile its multiple and often contradictory roles: as midwife of a putative deal, honest broker, and Israel's closest ally.

Gamal Helal

Chief U.S. interpreter for more than two decades during Arab-Israeli peace negotiations

What I learned: A lot of diplomats consider constructive ambiguity as a viable tool, but I believe there is no such thing as constructive ambiguity -- there is only destructive ambiguity.

Out-of-the-box idea: I would tell the Arabs and Israelis, "I'm not going to need this or want this more than you do." One of the biggest mistakes in U.S. diplomacy is when we look like we want a settlement more than the parties.

Dov Weisglass

Top advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Who's to blame: The United States and Israel in the last year basically reshuffled the whole arrangement so that everything is back in debate; everything is an issue. That's why the conflict is far more complicated than it used to be four years ago, and even two years ago.

Out-of-the-box idea: I'm not sure it's possible to turn the world backward. But if it's possible, I would tell today's leaders to stick to the Roadmap. There will never be a final solution to the conflict here if there is no security. The Palestinian government under Salam Fayyad has made a dramatic improvement in the way they are acting against terrorism. It's not 100 percent, but relative to what it was five years ago, there's no comparison. One part of the doubt, the hesitation -- even the resentment -- toward the Roadmap was the view that this sequentiality of security, then politics is impractical: The Palestinians will never meet those obligations. What's happening now shows that if they want to, they can.

And you wonder why? Read on

Cap Arcona -Death on the Baltic‏

On May 3, 1945, four days after Hitler suicide, but four days before the unconditional surrender of Germany, the Cap Arcona, the Thielbek, and the passenger liner Deutschland (possibly converted to a hospital ship but not marked as such), were attacked as part of general attacks on shipping in the Baltic by RAF Typhoons of 83 Group of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, commanded by Sir Arthur Coningham.

The attacks were by No. 184 Squadron, based at RAF Hustedt, led by Squadron Leader Derek L. Stevenson, by No. 193 Squadron, based in Ahlhorn (Großenkneten), led by Squadron Leader D. M. Taylor, by No. 263 Squadron, based in RAF Ahlhorn, led by Squadron Leader Martin Trevor Scott Rumbold, by No. 197 Squadron RAF, led by Squadron Leader K. J. Harding also at Ahlhorn, and by No. 198 Squadron based at Plantlünne led by Group Captain Johnny Baldwin. These Hawker Typhoon Mark 1B fighter-bombers used High Explosive 60 lb rocket projectiles, bombs, and 20 mm cannons.

Pilots of the attacking force stated that they were unaware that the ships were laden with Jewish prisoners who had survived the camps. However, some sources suggest elements of British command knew of the occupants, but failed to pass the information on.[

The burning Cap Arcona shortly after the attacks.

The RAF commanders ordering the strike reportedly thought that the ships carried escaping SS officers, possibly fleeing to German-controlled Norway.

Equipped with lifejackets from locked storage compartments, most of the SS guards were able to jump overboard from the Cap Arcona, and they shot any Jewish prisoners who tried to escape. German trawlers sent to rescue Cap Arcona's crew members and guards managed to save 16 sailors, 400 SS men, and 20 SS women. Most of the prisoners who tried to board the trawlers were beaten back, while those who reached shore were shot down. Only 350 of the 4,500 former concentration camp inmates who had been aboard the Cap Arcona survived. Among the survivors was Erwin Geschonneck, who later became a notable German actor, and whose story was made into a film in 1982.

RAF Pilot Allan Wyse of No. 193 Squadron later recalled, "We used our cannon fire at the chaps in the water...we shot them up with 20mm cannons in the water. Horrible thing, but we were told to do it and we did it. That's war."

Severely damaged and set on fire, the Cap Arcona eventually capsized. The death toll was estimated at 5,000 people.

Photos of the burning ships, listed as Deutschland, Thielbek, and Cap Arcona, and of emaciated survivors swimming in the very cold Baltic Sea (seven degrees Celsius), were taken on a reconnaissance mission over the Bay of Lübeck by F-6 aircraft of the USAAF's 161st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron around 5:00 pm, shortly after the attack.

On May 4, 1945, a British reconnaissance plane shot photos of the two laid wrecks: Thielbek, Cap Arcona.

The capsized hulk of the Cap Arcona later drifted ashore, and the beached wreck was broken up in 1949. It was the second worst seafaring incident in history.

For weeks after the attack, the bodies of victims washed ashore, where they were collected and buried in mass graves at Neustadt in Holstein, Scharbeutz and Timmendorfer Strand. Parts of skeletons washed ashore over the next thirty years, until the last find in 1971.

The prisoners were mostly Jews from 28 different nationalities: American, Belarussian, Belgian, Canadian, Czechoslovakian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourger, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swiss, Ukrainian, Yugoslavian and others.

Leave it to the British...after the Nazis, the British have the most Jewish blood on their hands.
Death on the Baltic
29/04/2010 14:03

An excerpt from a personal look at the 'Cap Arcona' bombing which killed thousands of Holocaust survivors
On May 3, 1945, thousands of prisoners were loaded onto ships in Lübeck Bay, off the northern coast of Germany. They had endured years of Nazi brutality and were within hours of Allied liberation and the end of a seemingly endless hell. Before that hour could arrive, more than 7,000 would be dead in one of the greatest maritime disasters of World War II. My grandfather was there.

I've always known my grandfather's story. I can't remember a particular time when he first sat me down from beginning to end. So it's as if I was born with a vague understanding of what happened, and the rest of my life was for filling in the details. I'm constantly filling in the details. And I'll always be thankful for a grandfather who's willing to let me.

In 1941, at 15, Henry Bawnik was rounded up on the streets of the Lodz ghetto. He would be leaving his family, and the one place he knew. Scared and anxious, he looked around the group of unfortunate Jews. Through the panicked men, and their barking tormentors, he saw David, an older neighborhood friend he'd always looked up to. David was the one familiar face in the newly assembled group. Thank God for David, a protector, my grandfather thought.

David was beaten to death within hours. This was an unfamiliar world, and it wouldn't be a kind one.
From his year in the Lodz ghetto, and some four years in the camps, there are countless stories. They are painted with senseless violence and inconceivable brutality. They are the kind that come from any victim who bears witness to the madness of men and lives with the burden and courage to speak about it.

But the most prominent theme in all my grandfather's accounts isn't murder and destruction - it is luck. And never was luck more imminent than that afternoon on the Baltic 65 years ago.
In January 1945, as the Allies drew closer, my grandfather left Fürstengrube, a subcamp of Auschwitz, for Gleiwitz. It was the first leg of a death march north, continuously missing liberation by days and sometimes hours. In Gleiwitz, they boarded cattle cars. With the lack of food, space and sanitation, the cars became boxes for rotting corpses, starved and diseased. My grandfather and other prisoners began using these corpses as furniture; a couch, a mattress. Death had been a daily occurrence. It wasn't a tragedy but an accepted inevitability. One day he too would be a couch or a mattress, and that was justification enough.

After 10 days in the cattle cars, they arrived at Dora-Mittelbau. Each living prisoner dragged a dead body to a growing pile of skeletons. The indistinguishable men and women, with sunken cheeks and hollowed eyes, were thrown upon each other, a tangled mountain of death. The bodies were burned that night.

In April, the Allies again drew closer, and once again my grandfather was forced to flee an approaching liberation. The Germans were running out of land. Soon there would be repercussions, and a light would shine on years of horror. For that they were not prepared, so they continued to march.

Max Schmidt, a young SS officer and camp commander, loaded my grandfather and the 540 other prisoners onto barges up the Elbe River. With no camps left, he would take them to his family's estate in Ahrensbök, Germany.

The area of northern Germany was becoming livelier. British bombers filled the sky as the prisoners lined up to be counted. Schmidt leaned back with his hands on his hips, slowly dipping his head to the sky. "Ich sehe schwarz," he quietly said. "I see black." But even Schmidt could not foresee the darkness to come.

The article by Jeremy Elias will appear in this Friday's Magazine.

Obama’s Folly: Censoring Americans

Pajamas Media

Thomas Hobbes, the great philosopher of absolute monarchy, laid down the basic rules according to which tyrants should control the thoughts and actions of their subjects. “For,” Hobbes wrote in his masterpiece, Leviathan, “the actions of men come from their opinions, and the way to govern men’s actions…is to govern their opinions.” Therefore, the ruler must impose a rigorous censorship on all publications. He must select the censor — in Hobbes’s words, “who shall examine the doctrines of all books before they are published” – and must indicate acceptable and unacceptable ideas. In Hobbes’s ideal state it would be impossible for anyone to act against the ruler, because they could not even formulate the ideas that could underlie such an action.

No doubt all leaders have wished that one time or another that they could simply ban offensive or annoying ideas from the minds of their citizens, and even democratic leaders have tried to eliminate such words from the public square. “Hate speech” is now banned by force of law in many democratic countries, and, if its definition is sufficiently expansive, can be used to silence opponents. We see this at work in some of the recent efforts to silence administration critics by calling them “racists.” Racism falls under the “hate speech” rubric, therefore “racists” can be silenced.

Politicians aren’t the only ones who followed the Hobbesian rules of suppressing language they don’t want to hear. “Educators” have been doing the same thing for decades, with the foreseeable results: an increasingly ignorant population, with real knowledge replaced with politically correct stereotypes and myths. Have a look at this scary report.

Efforts of this sort usually don’t work very well in America, although they have been more successful in recent years. We’re very fractious people, we love to argue, and we don’t take kindly to efforts to muzzle us. Even newspapers and journalists who are normally sympathetic to President Obama get angry when they are locked out of major events, as they were at the nuclear security summit in Washington. This prompted the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank to erupt: “World leaders arriving in Washington for President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit must have felt for a moment that they had instead been transported to Soviet-era Moscow.”

Obama’s Nuclear Naivety

The Obama administration has celebrated its recent efforts to sign a nuclear-weapons accord with Russia and the hosting of a nuclear non-proliferation summit in Washington — all silhouetted against grandiose promises to seek the end of all nuclear weapons on the planet. But from all this, what real progress exactly have we made toward ensuring a world safer from the specter of nuclear annihilation? Aside from the wording of proposed treaties and proclamations, what are the larger philosophical assumptions behind the new utopian approach to non-proliferation? First, nuclear weapons per se — regrettable though they may be — are not exactly the problem. None of us is terrified that a democratic Britain, France, Israel, or India possesses them. While we might prefer that major autocracies like China and Russia were not nuclear, we do not at present fret about a first strike from either, given that both are invested in, and profit from, the global system of trade and commerce — and, in their more aggressive moments, are subject to classical laws of deterrence.

Second, if any state is intent on mass murder, there are chemical and biological mechanisms that might be cheaper and more accessible than nuclear weapons. Far more people have been killed by machetes since Hiroshima and Nagasaki than by nukes, but we could hardly have stopped the violence in Rwanda by a worldwide ban on edged weapons. The utopian wishes to ban the six-shooter; the realist, the gunslinger.

So the problem is not nuclear weapons, but who has them — in particular, the degree to which an autocratic, renegade country seeks them either to threaten rivals, or to blackmail the world. We worry a lot about a nuclear Pakistan, are especially disturbed over a nuclear North Korea, and are terrified that Iran may well become nuclear. Their nuclear status earns them undue attention, money, and even deference from the United States — which they might not have garnered had they not been actual, or at least potential, nuclear powers.

So if we are to have a summit on non-proliferation, we should either insist that Iran and North Korea are there, or ensure that their outlawry dominates the agenda. Anything else is merely a photo-op, the equivalent of the grandstanding federal functionary citing the harmless, mostly law-abiding citizen for his misdemeanor while he timidly ignores the felonies of the dangerous hard-core criminal.

Third, an ancillary to nuclear non-proliferation should be strong support for democratization. A world of 20 or so nuclear powers is scary; a world of 20 or so dictatorial and autocratic nuclear powers is terrifying. The Obama administration has loudly caricatured the supposed neoconservative fantasies of George W. Bush, but at least the Bush administration grasped that the promotion of constitutional government was of value in discouraging first use of nuclear weapons.

In this context, it is especially regrettable that we have recently reached out to the dictatorship in Syria, despite its proven record of supporting terrorism and the spread of nuclear missiles while trying itself to obtain a nuclear program. President Obama’s failure last spring and summer to support the Iranian dissidents was even more regrettable; the end of the theocracy is the only real way, short of the use of force, of increasing the likelihood either that Iran will not obtain a bomb, or that a future democratic government might, South African style, give up nukes that a prior regime had obtained.

Finally, the Obama administration is talking of eliminating nuclear weapons entirely. Unfortunately, I cannot think of a single deadly new weapon that ever disappeared by fiat. The Greeks at times tried to forbid the use of missile weapons; they later lamented the arrival of torsion artillery. Crossbows and then harquebuses were condemned by medieval and later European churchmen. Poison gas was supposedly never to reappear after its ghastly use in World War I.

All such utopian efforts failed for the simple reason that nations are sovereign entities and there has never been an effective international cop to enforce such well-meaning edicts. To expect nuclear weapons to vanish because of an international accord would be like supposing that the Articles of Confederation could bind and regulate the behavior of early American states, or that the League of Nations could save Abyssinia or Manchuria.

Instead, what restricts the use and effectiveness of deadly weapons systems historically has been both deterrence and new defensive technologies. If one state were to acquire an army of harquebusiers, they might be deterred from employing them in aggressive fashion, but only if convinced that their adversaries had an even larger army with better fiery weapons. Hitler refrained from using gas against enemy combatants because he feared reprisal in kind, not the long arm of the authorities in Geneva. And he most certainly did use Zyklon B against European Jewry because he felt neither fear nor shame in its usage.

What contributed to the ineffectiveness of catapults was not condemnation from infantry generals, but much broader, stone-faced, packed-earthen fortifications. In other words, given the general imperfectibility of human nature, what will prevent a nuclear rogue state from annihilating its foes is either that it fears even greater retaliation, or, barring such deterrence, that an effective anti-ballistic missile system renders its arsenal nearly ineffective.

Any universal agreement barring the use of the bomb by existing nuclear powers is as likely to be honored by the majority of law-biding nations as it is to be broken by the minority of dangerous, lunatic states. True, international protocols could some day be collectively enforced by democratic states, but not through the promised participation of the world community at large, despite their protestations of global ecumenism. For confirmation of that pessimistic appraisal, simply review the membership rolls of the various U.N. commissions on human rights.

All that is not to say that the United States, either unilaterally or with its Western allies, should forswear the attempt, through force if need, to bar non-constitutional states from acquiring nuclear weapons at all costs. A nuclear Iran poses a myriad of dangers well beyond the specter of its first use of the bomb. More likely, Iran’s agenda is to acquire nuclear weapons, and then increase the frequency of its promises to seek the annihilation of Israel — hoping insidiously and incrementally to wear down the Israelis to either appease Tehran or emigrate to safer places.

A nuclear Iran would be analogous to the lunatic homeowner with a huge personal arsenal who periodically threatens his neighbors with terrible retaliation should their leaves drift over his property — without necessarily intending to spray anyone with machine-gun fire. Who wishes to try to keep up property values, or even to live, in such a neighborhood?

This administration has developed a bad habit of talking tough and bullying friendly constitutional states while reaching out to hostile and bad-acting dictatorships. In general, that is unwise foreign policy. In terms of nuclear politics it is dangerous beyond belief.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, and the author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modernno url. email

Of Waging War While Winning Peace Prizes


In politics, having power and keeping it often mean fudging a little on ideology.

So conservatives sometimes convince the country to do very liberal things — think of Richard Nixon going to China, Ronald Reagan granting a blanket amnesty to illegal aliens or George W. Bush running big deficits. Liberals can sometimes act like conservatives without worry of being smeared by their base as heartless right-wingers — remember Bill Clinton's agreement to sign welfare reform and put caps on federal spending.

But in matters of war, being liberal is a great advantage for a president.

The mainstream media and cultural elite give a Democratic commander in chief a pass that would rarely be extended to a Republican. Perhaps this double standard occurs because they believe a progressive president goes to war only reluctantly — even though most of our bloodiest conflicts have been fought under Democratic presidents.

Woodrow Wilson sent millions of soldiers to Europe and helped to win World War I through head-on clashes with the German army. Yet the country saw him as an idealistic peacemaker. Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, despite respectively firebombing Japan and dropping two atomic bombs, could still count on unified support from the nation's elite.

We equate Vietnam with Richard Nixon, who inherited the war, not John Kennedy, who got us into it in the first place. Few remember that Bill Clinton neither asked Congress nor went to the United Nations before he bombed Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic into submission.

Nobel laureate Barack Obama is enjoying this traditional exemption from wartime criticism — and he is using it to good effect.

Candidate Obama, like his rivals in the Democratic presidential primaries, ran on an array of anti-war themes. Iraq was lost; the surge had failed; it was long past time for all combat troops to come home. President Bush had supposedly shredded the Constitution by starting up military tribunals and renditions, and by opening the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Bush & Co. had also authorized Predator drone assassinations, pushed through the Patriot Act, and expanded wiretaps and intercepts.

Obama's rhetoric reflected the Democratic orthodoxy that by 2006 saw unhappiness with the war as a winning campaign theme.

But after his inauguration, Obama apparently grasped two realities. The first: Anti-war rhetoric on the stump was easy, but the responsibility of keeping Americans safe from terrorism and Islamic radicalism was not. The second: He guessed that liberal furor over the war on terror and the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan had always been mostly about opposing George Bush — not really principled opposition to actual wartime policies.

So after early 2009 there was no more talk of a lost war in Iraq, and no more deadlines to bring home our 130,000 troops that are still there. The Bush-Petraeus plan of staged withdrawal instead still operates. There has been a marked escalation in Afghanistan.

Guantanamo Bay is still open 15 months after the inauguration — and three months after its promised closure date. There have been more Predator drone assassinations during the early months of the Obama administration than in eight years of the Bush tenure. Renditions, tribunals, intercepts and wiretaps go on as before, or have been expanded.

And as Obama must have anticipated, there are now no more anti-war rallies and Hollywood movies, or anguished op-eds about either an imperial warmongering America or a virtual police state at home. A raging Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan are distant memories. We once read that Bush as a wartime president frivolously played too much golf; we don't read that a Obama has played more golf in one year than Bush did in eight.

Progressives have concluded that to now oppose the Bush-Obama foreign policies would only hurt their own party's domestic agenda, and that a cool, sensitive President Obama does what he must reluctantly — in contrast to a zealot warmonger like former President Bush.

Call all this hypocrisy, but it does create interesting political irony. Conservatives don't know whether to score points against Obama for his about-face and past politicizing of national security issues, or praise him for continuing what they feel were necessary Bush efforts that have kept us safe.

Liberals may be slightly embarrassed that their past furor over the various ongoing wars on terror more or less mysteriously ceased in January 2009. And they are certainly angry that conservatives are opposing Obama's domestic agenda in as coarse a fashion as they themselves once did Bush's foreign policy.

How does this affect America at large? Liberal Nobel laureates can fight wars abroad pretty much as they deem necessary — without worrying that they are going to be vilified at home.

Texas cowboys cannot.

Building Israel; The Original Zionist Vision

Nurit Greenger

"...And He will make her desert like Eden, and her wilderness like the garden of Gold"

The State of Israel is a national Jewish treasure.

One hundred and fifty years ago a number of Jews already lived the first Zionist vision, which was to restore their independence in their ancient land of Israel. Jews from Russia to Yemen decided that there is no other place for them to live but in the biblical Jewish Homeland, now known as the State of Israel. And so they packed up their few valuables and a handful of belongings and by foot or by horse they traveled the distance, for months or years, to finally arrive to the desolated Promised Land. They had one state of mind, which was to establish their home in the ancient Jewish Homeland and to never leave it again. And so it was. Those Jewish pioneers who arrived to the Middle East Wild West knew that the local Arabs will be a stumbling factor in their aspiration to make the Land of Israel their home but that did not deter them. They were decisive; they vowed that from the Jewish Homeland no one will remove them again. If, for whatever reason, they were to be uprooted from the place where they lived, then they would simply move elsewhere on the land and build three others homes. No matter what, 'we do not move', they said and did.

The modern State of Israel was established to serve as a home for the entire Nation of Israel wherever it is, no matter if he or she is a religious or secular Jew, reform orthodox.

Sadly,62 years after it was founded, the State of Israel is now facing existential threat. The only way to remedy this peril is to do exactly what the Jewish pioneers did one hundred and fifty years ago; at a grassroots level work endlessly to build, build, and build.

Mistakenly or not, the Israeli leadership can continue doing what they want to do. However, the people of Israel, with the help of Jews everywhere, must follow the only the one goal the first pioneers had and the only solution there is that will save Israel: build!

When one arrives to Israel one may get the impression that Israel is overly congested and there is not much spare land on which one can build. This is a great misconception. The Negev, which is Israel's southern region, makes 60% of the entire country's land from which only 8% of this 60% is inhabited. That means that 50% of Israel's land is ready to be turned into a land of milk and honey. All it needs is to ride the building fever wave. All the land is yearning for is to be judaized!

In recent years Israel's leadership had adopted 'remove the Jew from his land' policy. It is time for the Nation of Israel to tell its leadership they want to be left alone and away from politics. "Our way," they must say, "is the early Jewish pioneers' way and the only way. We are here to build and stay, stay and build."

From the days of biblical Joshua Ben Nun till approximately two hundred years ago, there was a Jewish community in Gaza Strip. Any Arab claiming otherwise is propagating a lie. The most ancient synagogue mosaic floor was found in Gaza. (Gaza Synagogue Mosaic, 6th century CE:,_6th_century_CE)

About two hundred years ago, for unknown reason, Jews stopped living in the Gaza Strip. However, for not too long. One hundred years ago Jews returned to Gaza and founded Kfar Darom *[1] on 250 Dunams of land which Tuvia Miller purchased in 1930 for the purpose of growing fruit orchard on the site of an ancient Jewish settlement of the same name, mentioned in the Talmud. Following the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, in 1946 Miller sold his land to the Jewish national Fund (JNF). In October 1946, Hapoel HaMizrachi Kibbutz Movement established a community on the same land as part of the Israeli government 11 points Negev settlement plan. The community was named [again] Kfar Darom, after a Talmudic-period village of the same name that was located near the site.

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, following the Egyptian army three months siege on Kfar Darom, after numerous battles, in the summer of 1948, Kfar Darom community was abandoned

Following Israel's victory in the miraculous 1967 Six-Day War and Israel's subsequent occupation of the Gaza Strip, in 1970 a military outpost was established at Kfar Darom site. In 1989, the Israeli national unity government of Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir permitted the outpost to be converted to a civilian community.

At the 2005 Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza, the Israeli 'settlers' and their supporters made Kfar Darom their symbolic last stand in Gaza. At the point of the disengagement plan, Kfar Darom consisted of about sixty families, totaling about 330 people, who earned their living from the free working professions and agriculture with a central packing center for the world renowned insect-free vegetables the Gaza Jewish communities produced. The village also had an elementary school, a religious school for adults married men students and the "Torah and Land" Institute, for research into religious laws relating to agriculture in Israel. The village Visitor Center contained the Garden of Commandments Museum, which illustrated commandments relating to the Land of Israel.

Kfar Darom has become the symbol of the return of Jews to Gaza one hundred years ago. The same community was built and destroyed four times, to now remain destroyed. Israelis cannot allow this type of history to be repeated.

Now is the time for Israelis to tell their government that it is not their duty to clean up the ongoing trail of mess it always leaves behind; the citizens see their only duty to clean up Zionism misconceptions and follow the Zionism grassroots narrative of building Israel everywhere.

The Negev region has a great national interest. Nowadays, when Israel is gasping for oxygen the Negev could become Israel's lifeline.

Ordinarily, one seeks the service of an attorney after the fact not before; it is called defense not preemptive action; it is taking action against the past. Now is the time for Israel to look forward, not backward. When Jews were locked in the Auschwitz concentration camp they deserved pity Today, Am Yisrael-the Nation of Israel is not to be pitied; it is free, independent and carries a humongous responsibility to protect and build the Land of Israel to its maximum capacity. The task at hand is challenging, the least to say.

No too long ago I have established an opinion theory that the only remedy to Israel's leadership ongoing faulty policy is to establish a private army, the army of the people, the citizens' militia that will fervently protect those who are farming on and building the land.

There may come the day when Israelis will have to pay a dear price for their leadership's mistakes. They may even have to fight again in order to take back Gaza and even Jerusalem.

Through Zionism Jews returned to their Promised Land, the Romans, Turks, Islamists, British and others in between stole from them.

It is now for the Israeli citizens to regroup and embark on building thriving communities in Israel's south, the Negev, Galilee to the north, Judea and Samaria to the east, Jerusalem and its outskirts in the country's center and to the west, wherever there is still some vacant land; not one stone unturned. Amen!


Reference: *[1]

US Gulf units may not fire on Iranian military without White House say-so

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

The US Fifth Fleet and US aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower in the Gulf of Oman were not allowed to shoot at an Iranian Fokker F27 aircraft which on April 21 hovered for 20 minutes 900 meters over the carrier and no more than 250 meters away, even though they saw its flight crew gathering intelligence on the Eisenhower and its warship escorts. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources report that the US Persian Gulf command went public on the incident on April 28, a whole week later, only after Gulf military circles, amazed at the American naval and air units' passivity in the face of hostile surveillance, threatened to break the story to local media.

This striking restraint indicates that the US Gulf and Arabian fleets are under orders to take no action - certainly not to open fire - against Iranian naval or air units, with first obtaining permission directly from Washington.

Military, naval and aviation sources told DEBKA-Net-Weekly that the Iranian spy plane was 10 second away from flying directly over the Eisenhower and could easily have been shot down.

To try and explain this incident away, US naval sources Wednesday, April 28, claimed the Iranian plane was unarmed and its encounter with the US carrier was not of a threatening nature, although irregular.

Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, tried to play down the importance of the incident by saying: "The Iranians (pilots) were not provocative or threatening. As long as they are professional and not threatening or reckless, it's international space."

But officials of the Gulf emirate navies think otherwise. They say it was the first time that an Iranian spy plane ventured so close to an American aircraft carrier and the US non-response will encourage Tehran to go for bolder and more provocative actions.

Of late, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, especially Oman and the United Arab Emirates, have become extra-sensitive of late to the raised US response threshold to threatening moves by Iran, after witnessing the sinking of a South Korean warship and the handling of the case by Washington.

The South Korean Cheonan, a 1,200-ton corvette, was sunk on March 26, apparently by a naval mine that was planted by the North Korean navy in the Baengnyeong Island area, whose sovereignty is in dispute between Seoul and Pyongyang. Right after the incident, in which 46 South Korean sailors were lost, the Obama administration hastened to issue a statement denying evidence of North Korean involvement - even though South Korean intelligence demonstrated that a North Korean mine, or midget submarine of a type of in the possession of the Iranian Navy, was responsible for sinking the corvette.

Undersecretary of State James Steinberg, who deals with Iranian affairs, said on March 29 that he had heard nothing to implicate any other country in the tragedy.

This was taken in Gulf capitals to show the Obama administration was ready to lean backwards to avoid military action against North Korea - even on the part of the injured party, South Korea. They see a close correlation between the provocative tactics employed by Pyongyang and Tehran, whose nuclear and missile programs are likewise coordinated. These Gulf sources, talking to debkafile, wondered out loud if the United States would also turn a blind eye to an Iranian attack that cause the sinking of a Saudi, UAE or Israeli ship sailing in the Gulf.

And another parallel is worth noting: Just as the two Koreas are at odds over the Baengnyeong Islands, so too the UAE claims the owners of three islands near the Straits of Hormuz – Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa - accusing Tehran of seizing them by force for the use of Revolutionary Guard naval bases.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources say that the Iranian spy plane that flew over the USS Eisenhower on April 21 apparently took off from an Iranian military airfield on the island of Abu Musa.

Far from giving up their claim to the three islands, on April 20, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahayan said there is no difference between the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights, South Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, and Iranian occupation of these islands.

Comment: Oh my, this is dangerous-the MSM does not even report it-do you have any idea how the USA is being perceived over here? Prepare for war and this is on Obama and his reckless and foolish policies.