Sunday, August 31, 2008

"A Strong Stand"

Arlene Kushner

According to a Friday report by Ben Caspit in Maariv, subsequently carried in The Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva and elsewhere, a decision has been made by the Israeli government to hit Iran if need be.Israel, it is being reported, made the critical decision three months ago and is now preparing a military strike on Iran that would be activated whether the US approves or not. If the situation is not resolved by 2010 -- through an internal coup, sanctions that are genuinely effective, or military action by the US -- Israel will proceed.

Currently, the US is prepared to provide defensive weapons, but will not assist in making it possible for us to hit Iran -- has not, for example, provided necessary codes for flying over Iraq.


The report describes action to promote sanctions with teeth that has been taken by Ephraim Sneh, a former deputy defense minister who recently left the Labor party. He is pushing a total international embargo on spare parts for Iran's oil industry and a complete international boycott of Iran's banks.

Sneh wrote to both US presidential candidates outlining this plan, which would have to be undertaken within the next 18 to 24 months, and which would cause the regime to topple. It would. however, require recruiting all of Europe to be on board with this -- as partial participation does not constitute effective sanctions. Thus, as good as this plan might be on paper, we should not hold our collective breath waiting for this to happen.

Last week, Sneh visited Austria and Switzerland, which have both announced plans for major investments in gas and oil fields in Iran. As he listened to his hosts describe their plans, he replied, "What a shame, for Ido will set fire to all of it." Ido is Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan, Commander of the Israel Air Force, who would be in charge of carrying out the air strikes on Iran.

"Investing in Iran in 2008," Sneh told the Austrians, "is like investing in the Krupp steelworks in 1938, it's a high risk investment." He reported that his hosts turned pale.

Could it be that talking tough and forcing a new reality might do the trick? European leaders would have to perceive their economic dealings with Iran as ultimately not being in their own narrow best interest. As Sneh said, "Talk of the Jewish Holocaust and Israel's security doesn't impress these guys." Plans -- made public -- for Israeli air strikes on Iran might be useful in this regard.


Iranian officials, responding to talk of an attack on their facilities, warned in al-Quds al-Arabi that they have supplied Hezbollah with longer range missiles that would be unleashed if we or the US were to hit Iran. This is supposed to be the "surprise" that Nasrallah has been referring to recently.

But security analyst Maj.-Gen. (res) Yaakov Amidror says he doesn't believe this is the case:

"This is nothing new. Hezbollah has had these missiles - such as the Zilzal, which can reach Tel Aviv - for years. I don't think Hezbollah received longer-range missiles, but they are stockpiling more of the same."


According to the Post, the Arab states unequivocally oppose a strike on Iran.

I found this interesting because I sat just weeks go with an Arab-speaking Israeli investigative journalist who told me of the on-going animosity between the Sunni Arab states and Shia Iran, which is seeking to overtake them. According to him, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, in particular, have been annoyed at Bush for softening his stance on Iran. The opposition to a strike may be a public stance only.


Let me return here to the issue of a possible signed agreement between Israel and the PA that might be secretly pushed through in a matter of weeks or days. There is an enormous amount of disinformation afloat, with responses that sometimes verge on the hysterical -- perhaps understandably, given the seriousness of the issue.

In a nutshell: The story circulating is that Olmert is pushing to get something on paper before September 17, the day of the Kadima primaries. He would still hold his position after that, but only as a caretaker prime minister until a new government is formed -- he would lack the authority to act on something as major as this. (Never mind that -- in the face of the multiple investigations he is dealing with -- he is currently lacking the authority as well.)

Olmert's "problem" is that the PA and Israel are still too far apart to finalize a deal. The sticking point being discussed most often is Jerusalem (although there is surely similar discord on the matters of "return" of refugees and borders).

Some sources have it that Olmert is pushing for a vague document that simply outlines what has been agreed on so far and can serve as the basis for a shelf agreement to be activated later. But according to Haaretz, Olmert's latest wrinkle on how to resolve differences and allow something to be signed is this:

There would be general framework signed now. But with a five year time-table for completing negotiations on Jerusalem, which would take place under an "international umbrella" with various parties able to "bolster" -- though not impose -- an agreement. His conceptualization is that in an international venue, with a number of nations privy to discussion and putting in their thoughts, there would be a "mellowing" on both sides and an inclination to come to terms. On the one hand, it would give the very weak PA backbone, and on the other, would coerce our public into accepting something that already had international sanction.

My conceptualization is that it is an obscenity.

To propose involving international parties at any level with regard to our heritage, our security, and our sovereignty is a disgrace of the first order. We have here a prime minister -- and I write this with a deeply heavy heart -- who cannot, or chooses not to, speak for and protect our heritage, our security and our sovereignty.


Nor am I alone in voicing this opinion. Shas head Eli Yeshai (who could take apart the coalition if only he would lead his faction in resignation) declared that Olmert had no legal or moral authority to make such a deal.

"The leadership of the Palestinian Authority is virtual. Any agreement with them will be the basis for more terror. It is clear to everyone that Jerusalem's fate cannot be negotiated like it was a currency, and certainly not with international participation."

Foreign Minister and Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni is also greatly unhappy with what Olmert is trying to do. She sees attempts to accelerate the negotiation process as a huge mistake:

"We must not let the pressure of time cause us to make one of two grave mistakes: To try and bridge the wide gaps [note please: there are "wide" gaps] in a manner that will lead to a collapse, or to compromise on issues critical to Israel just to achieve results."

I here reiterate my opinion that a precipitous agreement signed by Olmert would seriously damage Livni's chances of putting together a coalition that would allow her to be prime minister after the Kadima primary. She has to be fiercely opposed to this. (I note however, that, in due course she might well make concessions that are similar.)

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter expressed anger that Olmert was proceeding without the backing of his Cabinet -- without even informing his ministers. Said Dichter:

" light of the security-related circumstances, and even more so the political ones in which Olmert is about to step down and Abbas's term ends in four months' time – we cannot repeat the mistake from the [Israeli-Palestinian] talks at the Taba Summit in January 2001 and create a problematic standard for future negotiations that will be lead by Olmert's successors."


But what of the PA? Once again, they are likely to be our salvation. No, it should not be this way. And yes! we must work to have leaders that protect our interests. But this is how it seems to be now.

For some time PA negotiators have been expressing great reluctance to sign anything that is vague and incomplete. Chief PA negotiator Ahmed Qurei said, just over a week ago, that "We either agree on one package that includes all the issues, or we don't agree," and Abbas aide Yasser Abed Rabbo has declared that they "will not accept any partial deal like a framework or shelf agreement,"

Most recently Abbas has said that the proposal for negotiating Jerusalem over five years represents an incomplete deal that would leave him weakened.


And then we have this, which represents a major stumbling block in negotiations from the PA side:

Rumor of late has had it that Rice is back-tracking on Bush's commitment -- made in a letter to then PM Sharon in 2004 -- regarding our right to retain major settlement blocs, and that Olmert is ready to go along.

But that's not how Nahum Barnea tells it in today's Yediot Ahronot. In conversation with Barnea, a "senior US government official" is reported to have said the following:

"...In her last visit ten days ago Secretary of State Rice heard opposition to the Israeli settlement blocs remaining in the area of the [West] Bank from the Palestinians. They said that this impairs
Palestinian movement. We told them that this is a problem that has to be dealt with, but the settlement blocs would remain. We made it clear to them that they must understand the reality: no Israeli prime minister can abandon communities where tens of thousands of Israelis live."

I would suggest that the rumors originated with Palestinian sources, who implied that Rice agreed with their position. This serves as a prime example of how convoluted and complex this entire situation is, and how prone to misunderstandings.


Summing up more definitively, there is this, from Saeb Erekat, PA negotiator:

"The gap between the Israeli and Palestinian positions still exists. This is especially true with regards to all the final-status issues: Jerusalem, borders, refugees, settlements, water and security. Therefore, I rule out the possibility that there would be an agreement or a written document this month.

"We are not in a bazaar or a market. We are talking about rights and we must ensure our rights in any agreement."

Along with the core issues, Erekat is looking for return of "detainees" (i.e., terrorists) to Judea and Samaria, removal of the security fence and of checkpoints, and the opening of closed PA institutions in Jerusalem.

The simple fact is that the more hungry Olmert has acted to reach an agreement -- an abysmally bad negotiating stance -- the tougher the PA demands have become. The PA presumably wants a state. Why should they not be petitioning us?


Olmert and Abbas met today, presumably for the last time before the Kadima primary. There was no press conference following, so it can be assumed nothing was resolved. It can also be assumed that Olmert used this opportunity to push Abbas to consider his plan, even though officials are denying that Olmert is pushing in this direction. Their claim is that the goal is still the end of 2008.

According to Mark Regev, Olmert's spokesman, "significant progress had been made in the talks" but "there are still considerable gaps between the two sides."


It was anticipated before the fact that Abbas would be requesting the release of more prisoners, and indeed that turned out to be the case, although no details are forthcoming and Israeli officials are saying no promises have been made.

Actually, a PA official had claimed that Israel has agreed to release Barghouti, Fuad Shabuki, who was involved with the Karine-A weapons ship, and Abdel Aziz Dweik of Hamas. And that Abbas would be demanding as well the release of Ahmed Sa'adat, connected to the assassination of Rehavam Zeevi, and hundreds of others. All of this was to strengthen Abbas, according to this official:

"It's better for all if Barghouti and the Hamas officials are released as a result of our efforts and not through a prisoner exchange with Hamas. Hamas is hoping to score points by releasing Fatah and Hamas prisoners in return for Gilad Schalit."

One needs a strong stomach to deal with this. Competition as to who gets credit for securing the release of more prisoners, with some perverted notion that if we are willing to give prisoners to Hamas to secure Shalit, we have to also do something to make Fatah look good.

The bottom line is that Hamas will seek prisoners in return for Shalit no matter what, and in fact, will demand more if we keep giving to the PA without a quid pro quo. (see more following)

In response to these claims, an Israeli official has said that "the release of Barghouti is not on the table today." But he also said that the release of 198 recently is not the end.

Haim Ramon is now convening a committee to decide on 450 prisoners to be released to Hamas for Shalit, but Asharq al-Awsat has cited Hamas officials who say the price is now over 1,000.

I imagine we now have to wait for the other shoe to drop, as Olmert announces what he he is willing to do for Abbas next.


One thing has been announced: Olmert reprimanded Abbas for meeting with Samir Kuntar during his recent visit to Lebanon. "You're not supposed to meet with killers," he told him. Not supposed to if he's a moderate, but this is an indication of Abbas's true inclinations.


A very solid reason (among many!) to not even attempt to complete negotiations by the end of 2008: Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin has reported to the Cabinet that when Abbas's term as president ends in early 2009, there is a good chance that political turmoil will ensue. The "rift between Palestinian factions is so deep it will be nearly impossible to hold an election."

Financing terrorism


The Al-Aqsa Foundation, based in Umm al-Fahm and belonging to the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was closed down due to its cooperation with Hamas’s civilian infrastructure in Jerusalem. The foundation’s activity was also financed by the Union of Good, part of Hamas’s fundraising system.


1. On August 24, 2008 , the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and the Israeli police forces closed down a building which belonged to the Al-Aqsa Foundation, based in the city of Umm al-Fahm in Israel . The shutdown came after Israel 's Defense Minister issued an order stating that the Al-Aqsa Foundation was an “unlawful organization”. Documents, computers, and other equipment were seized in the building. At the same time, some bank accounts belonging to the Islamic Movement, of which the Al-Aqsa Foundation is part, were frozen.

2. According to the ISA report, Al-Aqsa al-Mubarak Ltd. (hereinafter: Al-Aqsa Foundation ) was founded in 2000 by Sheikh Ra'ed Salah (the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, whose leaders were charged with affiliation to a terrorist organization in 2003). That foundation is one of the major organs of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, controlling most of its projects. The Al-Aqsa Foundation serves, inter alia, as the Islamic Movement's supreme authority on everything pertaining to its intensive Al-Aqsa Mosque campaign, which uses the (false) slogan that the mosque is in danger (ynet, August 24).

3. According to the ISA report, there has been more and more information indicating that the Al-Aqsa Foundation cooperates with the Hamas headquarters in Jerusalem and with other Hamas institutions that are considered “unlawful organizations” in Israel . Some of that activity is sponsored by the Union of Good (see below). The Al-Aqsa Foundation serves as the executive wing of Hamas's da'wah (civilian infrastructure) headquarters in Jerusalem . As part of that cooperation, Al-Aqsa Foundation activists transferred monetary and logistical assistance to support Hamas's organizational activities in Jerusalem . Attorney Zahi Nujidat, the Islamic Movement spokesman, criticized the activity of the Israeli security forces and denied any connection between his movement and Hamas (ynet, Galey Tzahal, August 24).

4. Union of Good is an umbrella organization of radical Islamic funds from across the globe, which is part of Hamas's fundraising system. It was outlawed in 2002 by Israel 's Defense Minister. Recently, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has outlawed 36 Islamic funds from across the globe, all belonging to the Union of Good. 1 According to the ISA report, the Union of Good has transferred significant amounts of money for the joint activity of Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Foundation in Jerusalem . Those sums were transferred without proper records, using money changers, smugglers, and bank transfers.

5. Hamas's da'wah infrastructure in Jerusalem , whose activists collaborated with the Al-Aqsa Foundation, is part of Hamas's widespread civilian infrastructure in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. It includes dozens of charitable associations, educational institutions, mosques, women's and workers' unions, sports groups, and financial institutions. The da'wah institutions are one of Hamas's most important power sources, entrenching its hold over the Palestinian population at the expense of the Palestinian Authority.

6. Since Abu Mazen's coming to power, and even more so after the Hamas military takeover of the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority increased its activity against Hamas's da'wah infrastructure in Judea and Samaria. This includes shutting down mosques, disbanding their boards and appointing new administrations associated with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (an activity which continues even now). Israel , which also outlawed Hamas's da'wah institutions, conducts intensive activities against them, both because they are an inseparable part of Hamas and because they support terrorism.

1 See our Information Bulletin: “The war on financing terrorism: Defense Minister Ehud Barak signed an order outlawing 36 global “Union of Good” Islamic funds which raise money for Hamas institutions in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories. The money supports Hamas in building a political alternative to the PA and maintain a terrorism-supporting system” ( July 8, 2008 ).

The Reality of a Palestinian State

Joseph Puder | 8/29/2008

Dean Acheson, the American statesman and President Truman’s Secretary of State, was quoted as saying: “No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.” Since the Oslo Accords of 1993, Israeli leaders have sought to appease the Arab-Palestinians with various concessions. The current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has gone a step further and is determined to create a Palestinian State. In order to be “inoffensive,” Olmert released an additional 200 Palestinian terrorists this week from Israeli prisons, some with Israeli blood on their hand. The recipient of these good will gestures, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader, is committed to Israel’s disappearance as a Jewish State.

President George W. Bush, like his predecessor Bill Clinton, has become a victim of the “legacy seeking mania” – trying to be a peacemaker in the intractable Middle East conflict. Except that in America’s case, being “inoffensive” to the Palestinians who seek to expel America’s interests from the region places Israel’s freedom on the line.

Since Oslo neither the Israeli governments nor the U.S. administrations have understood the simple truth that the Palestinian struggle against Israel is not about land, it is an armed struggle that aims to replace Israel with an Arab Islamic terrorist state that would undermine American and European interests in the region.

The 1937 Peel Commission
offered the Palestinian leadership a significant portion of Palestine for a state, and they rejected it. Through the years, other offers have been made, and the Palestinian leadership has opted for war and violence instead. Under the Peel Commission, the Arab-Palestinian share of Western Palestine would have been larger than the landmass proposed in 1947 by the U.N. Partition Plan, and the Partition Plan would have given the Palestinians more land than they would have had under the Armistice Lines of 1949, following Israel’s War of Independence. Subsequent agreements including the Oslo Accords, Camp David II Summit (with Arafat, Barak and Clinton) and current negotiations between Olmert/Livni and Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and Abu Ala, have involved gradually shrinking landmasses.

The reasonable assumption is therefore simple: if the Palestinians refused settlement when they could have had 82% of the land under the Peel Commission, why would they now settle for a tiny portion of land that is seemingly ungovernable and without any natural resources? The answer is, of course, that they did not settle for the favorable Peel Commission recommendations of 1937 because they rejected the idea of a sovereign Jewish homeland, however small and untenable, and continue to refuse to accept the idea of a permanent sovereign Jewish State today.

At the June 1974 Palestinian National Council (PNC) in Cairo, the PNC inaugurated the “Phased Plan,” a strategy that called for the liberation of all of Palestine (in effect the land of Israel) through both armed struggle and diplomatic double-talk. A Palestinian state would therefore be a base of operation to dismantle the Jewish State. Such a state would be a haven for assorted jihadist terror groups, including al-Qaeda and would work closely with Hezbollah operatives. In Hamas-governed Gaza, this is not merely a possible scenario, but a living reality.

Any future Palestinian state would be unstable and violent at best. The Fatah controlled gangs would clash with Hamas armed gangs not over ideology as much as over turf and profits. Again, this is not a guesstimate but a present reality. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi and Arabia would each seek to control such a state, while Shiite Iran would try to create a second Hezbollah in Gaza if not in the West Bank – all of which would eventually lead to regional wars, increased terrorism and possibly nuclear war. Iran, moreover, would use jihadist elements in Gaza and the West Bank to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and replace it with a jihadist regime.

Under the 1933 Montevideo Treaty, a state must satisfy four specific requirements: It must have a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into peaceful relations with other states. The Palestinian Authority under Abbas does not satisfy any one of these requisites. While it has “permanent residents,” it has also a large portion of unsettled refugees. And it certainly does not have “a defined territory” as evidenced by its official maps. Its display of all of Western Palestine is indicative of its intentions to undermine the Jewish State. As to a “government,” Abbas is running a gang rather than an acceptable government; it lacks legitimacy, as large portions of the Palestinians do not accept him as the leader. The fourth criterion is absolutely clear- it lacks the capacity to live in peace with its neighbor - Israel.

As we approach our elections in the U.S., it is imperative that we hear the presidential candidates reject the current futile negotiations for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The only reasonable solution to the Palestinian’s plight is to have Jordan negotiate with Israel over borders, and absorb the Palestinian territories and people in a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation. American interests and Israel’s freedom are at stake, and to paraphrase Dean Acheson’s words: being “inoffensive” towards a Palestinian terrorist state would destroy the oldest, most vibrant democracy in the Middle East.

Analysis: Roadmap is Prelude to Terrorist State in Palestine

Hillel Fendel

As Israeli and PA negotiators struggle to square the circle and agree on how to implement the U.S. Roadmap, an analyst reminds that PA simply wishes to replace Israel. In an article entitled The Reality of a Palestinian State, Joseph Puder writes in that the Arab struggle against Israel is not about land - as evidenced by repeated Arab rejections of territory over the course of decades. Instead, he writes, "it is an armed struggle that aims to replace Israel with an Arab Islamic terrorist state that would undermine American and European interests in the region."

Puder notes that the Palestinian leadership rejected the 1937 Peel Commission offer of an Arab state, the UN Partition plan, the Camp David II Summit, and, most recently the Olmert-Livni offer of - reports say - 93% of Judea and Samaria. Each of these offers has "involved gradually shrinking landmasses," Puder writes.

The reasonable assumption is therefore simple, he concludes: The Arabs "did not settle for the favorable Peel Commission recommendations of 1937 because they rejected the idea of a sovereign Jewish homeland, however small and untenable, and continue to refuse to accept the idea of a permanent sovereign Jewish State today."

Puder calls upon both U.S. presidential candidates to totally reject further negotiations for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Succinctly summarizing the basic objections to a Palestinian state, he writes that such an entity would be "a base of operation to dismantle the Jewish State [and] a haven for assorted jihadist terror groups, including al-Qaeda, and would work closely with Hezbollah operatives" - as Hamas-run Gaza currently is today.

Any future Palestinian state would be unstable and violent, Puder writes, with rampant Fatah and Hamas clashes, and control sought by Shiite Iran and other Arab countries - leading to "regional wars, increased terrorism and possibly nuclear war." Jordan, too, would be threatened, with Iran using jihadist elements in Gaza and the West Bank to destabilize and replace King Abdullah's regime with a jihadist leadership.

The Palestinian Authority does not even have the potential to fulfill the international definition of a country, Puder writes:

"Under the 1933 Montevideo Treaty, a state must satisfy four specific requirements: It must have a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into peaceful relations with other states. The Palestinian Authority under Abbas does not satisfy any one of these requisites.
While it has 'permanent residents, it has also a large portion of unsettled refugees. And it certainly does not have 'a defined territory' as evidenced by its official maps. Its display of all of Western Palestine is indicative of its intentions to undermine the Jewish State. As to a 'government,' Abbas is running a gang rather than an acceptable government; it lacks legitimacy, as large portions of the Palestinians do not accept him as the leader. The fourth criterion is absolutely clear: It lacks the capacity to live in peace with its neighbor - Israel."

McCain Running Mate Palin Supported ‘Nazi Sympathizer’

Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel

“John McCain's decision to select a vice presidential running mate that endorsed Pat Buchanan for President in 2000 is a direct affront to all Jewish Americans. Pat Buchanan is a Nazi sympathizer with a uniquely atrocious record on Israel, even going as far as to denounce bringing former Nazi soldiers to justice and praising Adolf Hitler"
Jewish US Congressman Robert Wexler criticized John McCain’s Friday announcement of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, saying that it is an insult to Jews. Wexler, an ultra-left representative from Florida, cited Palin's endorsement of Pat Buchanan in the 2000 presidential race, whom Wexler called a Nazi sympathizer. Meanwhile, Jewish supporters from Palin’s home state defend her.
Comment: I object to this headline-I am posting this piece as an example of nasty politics. This news site should know better than to post an outright lie! Read on in the article-journalists with integrity check out their facts, validate them and then report. The emphasis is on report rather than persuade! By the way, any one who knows American politics understand Mr. Wexler's agenda-shame on you both.“John McCain's decision to select a vice presidential running mate that endorsed Pat Buchanan for President in 2000 is a direct affront to all Jewish Americans,” Wexler said. "Pat Buchanan is a Nazi sympathizer with a uniquely atrocious record on Israel, even going as far as to denounce bringing former Nazi soldiers to justice and praising Adolf Hitler."

Buchanan has stated that Palin did indeed support him, but it is not clear whether she supported him for his domestic agenda or his foreign policy, which included stridently anti-Israel views.

Wexler's assertion stems from a 1999 report from the Associated Press, which claimed that Palin wore a Buchanan button in Buchanan’s 1996 visit to the town in which Palin was Mayor.

Palin Enjoys Support of her Jewish Constituents
Leaders from Alaska’s 4,000-strong Jewish community, however, told reporters that Palin enjoys good relations with the community. They pointed out that during her term as governor, Palin met with David Akov, Israel’s Consul General for the Pacific Northwest Region of the US.

The two reportedly discussed cooperation between Israel and Alaska on such issues as counter-terrorism initiatives. During the meeting Akov invited Palin to his home country, which she said she would like to visit, and the governor told the diplomat that her state’s residents love Israel.

The National Jewish Democratic Council also criticized McCain’s choice of running mate, which the Republican candidate announced Friday. The Council said that McCain's judgment appears "lacking."

"Today, Senator John McCain made his first critical decision with his selection of his vice presidential running mate. In Governor Sarah Palin, McCain chooses a running mate with zero foreign policy experience and a brewing scandal which is being investigated by the Alaska state legislature," said Ira N. Forman, Executive Director of the group in a Saturday statement.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, on the other hand, voiced a very positive reaction to McCain's selection of a running mate, commending McCain for his good judgment and stating that his choice reflects his commitment to challenging the status quo of politics.

"As governor of Alaska, Palin has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Alaska's Jewish community. She has demonstrated sensitivity to the concerns of the community and has been accessible and responsive," said Matt Brooks, Executive Director of the pro-Republican Jewish group.

"Palin has a proven track record of experienced and principled leadership. Palin has been a leader on the critical issue of energy independence and lessening our need to buy oil from nations not sharing American and Israel's foreign policy," he added.

Palin Actually Supported Buchanan Opponent, not Buchanan
Kory Bardash, spokesperson for Republicans Abroad Israel, told INN that allegations that Palin supported Buchanan are patently false. “For all visiting candidates, as the mayor Sarah Palin wore a button out of courtesy. In fact, she was a supporter of Steve Forbes in that election,” he pointed out.

Allegations from Democrats Insulting to Voters' Intelligence
“What is absurd is that Sarah Palin wore a button one time and Barack Obama sat in a church of an anti-semitic, anti-Israel preacher and absorbed his teachings for over 20 years,” said Bardash, adding, “I leave it to the intelligence of the voter to determine who has a more troubling record.”

Bardash wished to remind people that “Obama’s associations with ex-terrorist Ayers and pro-Palestinian Arab radicals are of great concern to democrats and republicans alike.” His group helps American citizens register for US elections in Israel, and he noted that “most people contacting our group to vote are registered Democrats that are crossing over to vote for the pro-Israel candidate, John McCain.”

Turning his attention to Obama’s choice for running mate, Bardash warned that “Joe Biden’s sketchy record vis-a-vis the threat that Iran poses should be troubling for all Americans in Israel and in the US.”

Gaza Terrorists Training 11-Year-Old Children to Kill Jews

Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel

"I am learning how to fight the Jews and kill Jewish children," said 11-year-old Muhammad, one of dozens of children who have undergone terrorist training in the last few days in Gaza. “The parents of the Jewish children are the soldiers and officers who kill us here. I want these parents to get a taste of what it's like to have your children killed, just as the Palestinians experience every day,” said the boy. He and his young terrorist associates have undergone live firearms training, including pistols and rifles, from the Salah al-Din Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees.

A photograph published in Ynet showed a young boy from the training aiming an Israeli-supplied M-16 rifle straight at the camera, his small frame bent to support the weight.

"I would rather die fighting the occupation than die at home from a missile, which is what happened to hundreds of Palestinian children," said Muhammad.

The training of child killers is part of a larger step-up in military training that various terrorist groups in Gaza claim to be a response to the threat of a wide-scale Israeli operation in the area.

"Every day we hear threats from Israel and witness its training exercises, therefore we must be prepared," said Salah al-Din Brigades spokesman Abu Abir. “This is an enemy that cannot be trusted and is famous for breaking its promises. The enemy even killed the prophets; it cannot be trusted," he said.

Abu Abir insisted that his group’s training is not a provocation. "Why are they permitted to train and we are not? They are preparing to invade territory that is not theirs, and we are training to protect our lands and children.

"The Palestinian people support the resistance and understand that we are responding to the occupation and that these children are being recruited to help defend their homes and their land. We are preparing these children to fight the enemy, as the enemy does not differentiate between children and adults; it wants to annihilate the entire Palestinian nation."

Meanwhile, the Arab terrorist group Islamic Jihad threatened to unleash "the fires of hell" on Israel, as it conducted a military parade of 800 armed terrorists Saturday in the south of terrorist-ruled Gaza. The parade took place on the site of the former Jewish region of Gush Katif, which Jewish residents were forced to abandon in 2005 when the Israeli government expelled all Jews from Gaza.

The terrorists also staged exercises with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.

"We will unleash the fires of hell if the Zionist enemy continues its crimes," said Abu Hamzeh, the group's military chief after the parade. "We're getting ready for the next round," he added. "The Zionist enemy will have neither peace nor security while it occupies our land."

Abu Hamzeh claimed his group had "hundreds of rockets" aimed at southern Israel and ready to launch.

Khader Habib, a terrorist leader in the group’s political wing, said Islamic Jihad "will not rest until we have liberated all of Palestine," referring to the aim of Arab terrorists and leaders to drive out or exterminate the Jewish residents of Israel and create a Palestinian state in its place.

Although Islamic Jihad claims to abide by the truce between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the terror group said it reserves the right to attack any targets in Judea and Samaria.

Joe Biden's Mythical Blue-Collar Roots

Steve Chapman
Sunday, August 31, 2008

Joe Biden once got in trouble for plagiarizing a speech and inflating his academic record. So it will not surprise you to find that his famous working-class background turns out to be mythical. But it may surprise you to learn that Biden isn't the one who has trouble with the facts. In his Wednesday night speech at the Democratic convention, Biden referred to "those of us who grew up in middle-class neighborhoods like Scranton and Wilmington." In the video preceding his address, he said that the people he knew as a boy didn't regard themselves as working class but as middle class.

So what did the news media report? "Sen. Joseph R. Biden accepted the vice presidential nomination of the Democratic Party with a speech that harkened back to his working-class roots in Scranton," said The Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal informed readers that "Sen. Joe Biden showcased his working-class upbringing." The New York Times said he "spoke frequently, and earnestly, of his blue-collar background."

No, he didn't. In fact, he did just the opposite. Anyone paying attention would have noticed as much. But the legend of Joe Biden, born in a welding shop, dies hard with political reporters, who find it easier to romanticize a gritty, hardscrabble childhood than a conventionally comfortable one.

The facts are there for anyone who wants to look at them. When Joe Biden Sr. died in 2002, his obituary in the News-Journal of Wilmington reported that when he married in 1941, "he was working as a sales representative for Amoco Oil Co. in Harrisburg."

It went on, "Biden also was an executive in a Boston-based company that supplied waterproof sealant for U.S. merchant marine ships built during World War II. After the war, he co-owned an airport and crop-dusting service on Long Island." Upon moving his family to Delaware, the News-Journal said, Biden "worked in the state first as a sales manager for auto dealerships and later in real-estate condominium sales."

Executive, co-owner and manager? Those titles identify the jobholder as solidly middle class, if not better. They fall in the category of white-collar occupations, not blue-collar.

And Biden Sr. clearly knew the difference. In his book, "Promises to Keep," Biden writes that his father was "the most elegantly dressed, perfectly manicured, perfectly tailored car sales manager Wilmington, Del., had ever seen."

Biden notes that he himself could have gone to the best public high school in Delaware. Instead, he enrolled at Archmere Academy, a Catholic prep school that made him think he had "died and gone to Yale." He took a summer job to help pay the steep tuition, which today amounts to $18,450 a year.

That doesn't mean the Bidens never had financial trouble. Biden says they had to move in with his mother's parents after one setback, and he remembers "when the electric company would send a collector to the house."

For nearly a year, the father was reduced to cleaning boilers for a heating company. But middle-class people are not immune to unemployment and bad business deals, and the Bidens regained their footing before long.

So where did he get his working-class reputation? Partly it comes from Biden's streetwise demeanor and his preoccupation with the fact that his family wasn't as well-off as some of the people he knew -- which seems to have given him a permanent chip on his shoulder. Partly it comes from his frequent tributes to blue-collar folks, such as the firefighters who took him to the hospital when he suffered an aneurysm.

But mostly it reflects journalists' weakness for simple, vivid narratives. It's easy to write about a statesman who worked his way up from a log cabin. It's easy to write about a leader who came from great wealth. But someone growing up the son of a sales manager is a bit lacking in color and drama.

The errors about Biden bring to mind the recent satirical report from humorist Andy Borowitz: "A member of the U.S. Olympic diving team was disqualified from competition today when it was learned that he did not have a sufficiently compelling human story line to exploit on the NBC telecast of the worldwide sporting event."

Biden just didn't have a sufficiently compelling human story line for a presidential campaign. Luckily, he does now.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Sheikh Said: Al Qaeda's Financier

Mohamed al Shafey
Arab media

Asharq Al-Awsat, London - Mustafa Abu Al Yazid, or Mustafa Ahmed Mohamed Osman Abu Al Yazid, also known as “Sheikh Said”, commander of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization in Afghanistan, was a familiar face in Egypt in the 1980s. He fled to Afghanistan after security operations against the Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement, to which he belonged, intensified. He may still be remembered in Egypt but not nearly as well as he is known today in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There have been recent reports claiming that Al Yazid had been killed during raids against fundamentalist strongholds along the Pakistani-Afghan frontier. But who is Al Yazid? And what role has he played within the Al Qaeda organization?

Al Yazid could be described as ‘Al Qaeda’s financier’. He was chosen for this role due to his intellect and his theological knowledge of Islam but he lacked knowledge and interest in the military aspects of the Al Qaeda organization.

Like many other members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, al Yazid made a fresh start in Afghanistan. They destroyed their old passports and forged new ones and changed their names so that they could not be traced even by the countries they were born in.

Yasser Al Sirri, Director of the Islamic Observation Centre in London told Asharq Al-Awsat that he was certain that “Mustafa Abu Al Yazid otherwise known as Sheikh Said, Al Qaeda’s third man, survived the rocket attacks on the Pakistani-Afghan border last month.” He added, “Since Al Qaeda has not made a statement or announced his death, it is obvious that Al Yazid is still alive.” There are strong indications that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had knowledge of al Yazid’s whereabouts.

Sheikh Said is Al Qaeda’s current Commander of Operations in Afghanistan; he is an Egyptian national who was imprisoned for a while with Ayman al Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s second man, following the assassination of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Sheikh Said is currently referred to as the third most important member of Al Qaeda, after Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, since the five men who have held this position since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 have been killed or detained.

Yasser Al Sirri revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that al Yazid and Sheikh Said were in fact the same person; the man who was responsible for the finances of one of Osama Bin Laden’s Khartoum-based companies and who is now Al Qaeda’s Commander of Operations in Afghanistan.

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, al Yazid was mentioned as part of the US investigation of Osama Bin Laden but the Americans have only recently come to know the importance of this man. Initially, the US government believed that al Yazid was of Saudi nationality but he is from the Egyptian region of Ash Sharqiyah. An accountant by training, he fled Egypt for Afghanistan in 1988. At present, Sheikh Said is not wanted in Egypt on any charges but he is sought by the USA on charges of sponsoring terrorism. He ranks fifteenth on the most wanted list signed by the US President George W. Bush in 2002. Al Sirri told Asharq Al Awsat that upon his arrival to Afghanistan, Sheikh Said joined Al Qaeda in 1988 and became a member of its Shura Council along with Abu Hafs al Masri and Abu Obeida. Sheikh Said is said to be popular within the Council and able to reconcile conflicting trends of Islamic fundamentalist thought. He is fluent in Pashto and has strong ties with the Afghans, not to mention with other members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group who also fled Egypt for Afghanistan.

The news that Sheikh Said is a pseudonym for Mustafa Abu Al Yazid is important because Sheikh Said is reportedly responsible for financing the 9/11 attacks in the United States. His pseudonym is included in the US congress investigation into the attack as the man responsible for funding the operation via accounts based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Sheikh Said travelled to Qatar then to the UAE as part of his role in financing the 9/11 attacks. Mohamed Atta, who led the 9/11 hijackers, returned a surplus amount of US $26,000 to Sheikh Said two days before the attacks took place.

It is interesting that Sheikh Said agreed to help finance the 9/11 attacks since he and a number of other high ranking Al Qaeda members, including Mullah Omar, opposed the attacks. Despite his objection the Sheikh acceded to the wishes of Osama Bin Laden, and transferred the funds. Sheikh Said was named Commander of Operations for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in June 2007, taking over the role of Abdel Hadi al Iraqi who was arrested in Turkey and handed over to the US forces in Iraq. He was then transferred to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

But what of Sheikh Said? Islamists in Britain claim that he is a spiritual figure, rather than a military commander. Sayyed Imam al Sharif, known as Dr Fadl, the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement to which Sheikh Said belonged, objected to his appointment as a military commander. Dr Fadl, who is currently imprisoned in Tora Prison in Egypt and who recently recanted the theological basis for Jihad and renounced violence, says Sheikh Said’s appointment as Commander of Operations for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan signals an end to Al Qaeda’s cadres due to imprisonment or death. Sources close to Dr Fadl in Europe attribute his opposition to Sheikh Said’s new position to the latter’s lack of experience in military command.

Muntassir al Zayat, an Islamist lawyer, told Asharq Al-Awsat that he personally met Sheikh Said on more than one occasion in Egypt and knew him personally as a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement. He described him as a ‘popular figure, a spiritual leader and a theologian, but he does not have military expertise or command. Therefore we can understand Dr Fadl’s objection to him being given the position of a military commander in Al Qaeda.’

In his last public appearance Sheikh Said appeared in a rare television interview with journalist Najeeb Ahmed from a secret location in Afghanistan that was broadcast on the Pakistani Geo TV channel in July 2008. Sheikh Said revealed in this interview that he was angered by the publication of the Danish cartoons that depicted Prophet Mohammed in 2005. He confessed that the 9/11 attacks were indeed carried out by Al Qaeda, and criticized former Pakistani President Musharraf’s pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States. He also expressed his confidence that Al Qaeda would triumph in Afghanistan.

This interview preceded the broadcast of a video by Al Qaeda’s production house, As Sahab, and only a few days before Sheikh Said appeared in a video in which he elegized the Al Qaeda commander Abu Hussein Al Saidi and commended him for his courage. Abu Hussein Al Saidi was also a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement and fled to Afghanistan to join Al Qaeda. In the video, Sheikh Said also spoke about the merits of suicide bombing operations as a military tactic.

The US Congressional 9/11 Report revealed that Bin Laden’s main objective was to attack the USA, but others within the Al Qaeda organization held different viewpoints. The Taliban command was focusing military attacks on the Northern Alliance. The Taliban believed that any attack on America would result in a negative reaction and would drag the Americans into war just when the Taliban was within reach of a decisive victory over Ahmed Shah Massoud’s forces.

There is evidence that Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, objected to any Al Qaeda operations against the USA in 2001. There were disputes between the leaders of Al Qaeda who wanted the attack on the USA to go ahead and others who supported Mullah Omar’s position opposing an attack on the USA at that time. Mullah Omar attributed his objection to ideological reasons, rather than due to fear of America’s response; he wanted Al Qaeda to attack “Jews”. Mullah Omar was also facing increasing amounts of pressure from the Pakistani government to prevent Al Qaeda from carrying out operations on foreign land.

Despite helping to finance the operation, Al Qaeda’s banker, Sheikh Said also adopted the same opinion as Mullah Omar due to his apprehension of America’s response to any attack. Abu Hafs al Mauritani, one of the more prominent members of Al Qaeda also opposed the attacks, which he outlined in a letter to Osama Bin Laden. Even after the Al Qaeda Shura Council had convened to discuss the matter, and the majority of its members objected to any planned attacks, Bin Laden remained insistent that the 9/11 attacks would go ahead as planned.

The full story about the disputes within the Al Qaeda organization regarding the 9/11 attacks is unknown and perhaps will never be fully discovered as the sources from which information can be derived are far from reliable. Yet there is no doubt that Sheikh Said played a part in preparation for the attacks.

Conniving with Hezbollah

Tariq Alhomayed
Asharq Alawsat

The crimes committed by Iranian-affiliated Hezbollah against Lebanon and the Lebanese are endless. Yet, regrettably, there are MPs and Lebanese politicians who shy away or fail to even comment on Hezbollah’s actions either out of fear or because they are conniving. The clearest evidence in this respect was the recent downing of a Lebanese army helicopter in south Lebanon. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s militia, which actually occupies Lebanon with the power of arms, is not content with establishing security zones on Lebanese terrain; in actual fact, it has begun to mark out its own airspace. So if Iranian-affiliated Hezbollah has veto power in Lebanese government, its own security zones on the ground and in the air, controls the airport, and has its own communications network, then what is left for Lebanon?

Iranian-affiliated Hezbollah, which occupied Beirut with the power of weapons, something that even Israel has never done, recently downed a Lebanese army helicopter with its weapons, which is also something that Israel has never done before. What other crimes are left for Hezbollah to commit against the Lebanese state and its citizens?

Nasrallah’s party has come to pose more of a threat to the state, unity and citizens of Lebanon than Israel and its weapons, yet in spite of this, Abdul Amir Qabalan, the Vice President of the Higher Islamic Shia Council comes out to say that “infiltrators working on behalf of Israel fired at the helicopter.”

Qabalan’s comments represent nothing but connivance with Iranian-affiliated Hezbollah against the Lebanese state and army. Doesn’t Sheikh Qabalan know − especially considering that there are no secrets whatsoever in Lebanon − that not only did Hezbollah fire at the helicopter, which was hovering at a very low altitude, killing one of its pilots who was shot in the head, in addition, there is information that indicates that the Iranian-affiliated party insisted upon interrogating the other injured pilot before allowing him medical attention.

The crimes of Nasrallah’s party are never-ending and are clearly visible. However, what is regrettable is that some leaders are conniving with Hezbollah against the state and army. We all remember when former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, in reference to the army’s capabilities during the July 2006 Lebanon-Israel war, and in defense of Hezbollah, said that the Lebanese army is not qualified to confront Israel.

It is for a simple reason that we say there is connivance; Hezbollah is nothing but Iran’s shadow that acts under the instructions of the Supreme Leader and not in the interest of Lebanon. Suffice it to mention the recent comments made by Iran that Iran’s Shia allies in the Arab world will respond to any military action against Tehran, and in the past, Hassan Nasrallah has boasted about being a member of Wilayat-e-Faqih.

After all that, there are still some Lebanese who, because of the power struggle, give up Lebanon and the Lebanese as a sacrifice to Iran and its ambitions in the region even though Hezbollah used all its weapons against Lebanon and the Lebanese the day it occupied Beirut and the day it launched its assault against the army, which Nasrallah referred to on numerous occasions as a symbol of Lebanese unity.

But the Sayyed often turns his words upside-down just as he turned Beirut upside-down on May 7!

Hundreds cross from Gaza into Egypt

Hundreds of Palestinians are reported to have crossed into Egypt after Cairo opened the border with the Gaza Strip for two days. The opening on Saturday comes ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but only people with pressing humanitarian needs and foreign residency permits are being allowed to cross.

Egyptian security said the Rafah crossing would stay open for two days.

Al Jazeera's Ashraf Amritti, reporting from Gaza, said at least 1,000 people had crossed the border into Egypt so far, most of them residents of Egypt who have been stranded in the Hamas-controlled territory since January.

About 500 people had also crossed from Egypt to Gaza, according to Egyptian and Palestinian officials, he said.

'Alleviating suffering'

Egypt closed the Rafah crossing more than a year ago after Hamas took control of Gaza during fighting with the rival Fatah faction of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.

Hamas wants Egypt to open Rafah permanently to ease an Israeli-led blockade on Gaza, but under a US-brokered accord, it cannot do so without the consent of Israel and Abbas.

Egypt said it opened the crossing as a goodwill gesture for Ramadan, which begins next week.

Sami Aby Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said: "The opening of Rafah for a few days will alleviate the suffering of our people."

Ismail Haniya, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, said: "We thank [Egyptian] president Hosni Mubarak for opening the crossing today, and we hope the opening days will be extended."

Hamas wants Egypt to permanently open Rafah to ease the Israel-led blockade, but under a US-brokered agreement signed in November 2005, they cannot do so without the consent of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Pakistani lawmaker on honor killing: "These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them"

Dhimmi Watch

More on this story. And as I noted there, these are more than just tribal traditions. A manual of Islamic law certified by Al-Azhar as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy says that "retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right." However, "not subject to retaliation" is "a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring." ('Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.

Why does this stipulation appear in a manual of Islamic law if this has nothing to do with Islam? I'm glad that some Pakistani lawmakers in this AP story expressed horror at what Israr Ullah Zehri said, but they will need to confront the tolerance for this practice in Islamic law if they ever hope to end it.

"Pakistani lawmaker defends honor killings," from The Associated Press, August 30 (thanks to Jeffrey Imm):

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A Pakistani lawmaker defended a decision by northwestern tribesmen to bury five women alive because they wanted to choose their own husbands, telling stunned members of Parliament this week to spare him their outrage.

"These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them," Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Baluchistan province, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid."

The women, three of whom were teenagers, were first shot and then thrown into a ditch.

They were still breathing as mud was shoveled over their bodies, according media reports, which said their only "crime" was that they wished to marry men of their own choosing.

Zehri told a packed and stunned Parliament on Friday that Baluch tribal traditions helped stop obscenity and then asked fellow lawmakers to stop making such a fuss about it.

Several lawmakers stood up in protest, describing the so-called honor killings as "barbaric." and demanding that discussions continue Monday. But a handful said it was an internal matter of the deeply conservative province.

"I was shocked," said lawmaker Nilofar Bakhtiar, who pushed for legislation calling for perpetrators of so-called honor killings to be punished when she served as minister of women's affairs under the last government.

"I feel that we've gone back to the starting point again," she said. "It's really sad for me."

The incident allegedly occurred one month ago in Baba Kot, a remote village in Jafferabad district, after the women decided to defy tribal elders and arrange marriages in a civil court, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission.

They were said to have been abducted at gunpoint by six men, forced into a vehicle and taken to a remote field, where they were beaten, shot and then buried alive, it said, accusing local authorities of trying to hush up the killings.

One of perpetrators was allegedly related to a top provincial official, it said.

Accounts about the killings have varied, largely because police in the tribal region have been uncooperative. Activists and lawmakers said a more thorough investigation needed to be carried out.

The Asian Human Rights Commission, however, said the two older women may have been related to some of the teenage girls and were apparently murdered because they were sympathetic to their wishes.

Yemeni columnist: International Islamic terrorism is as Saudi as crude oil

Jihad Watch

Hassan Al-Haifi speaks here of "the Wahhabi misguided rendition of Islam," but the only indication he provides of what exactly he thinks is misguided about it is that the Wahhabis fought and are fighting their fellow Muslims. Meanwhile, he takes our friends and allies the Saudis to task for pretending that they are not responsible for the global spread of the jihad ideology. A"'Libya and Iran financing Al-Qaeda in Yemen': The Saudi Gazette Really Knows Better," by Hassan Al-Haifi in the Yemen Times, August 28:

One cannot help but read with awe the gross misrepresentations of the facts by the Saudi press, as it seeks to whitewash the evil doings of the Saudi religious establishment throughout the world. It is not just by trying to disassociate themselves from all terrorist (and safe to say, absolutely non-Islamic, in deed and in concept) activities.

Like last Thursday's (August 21, 2008) article of the Saudi Gazette (link:, and of course acting under directions from their bosses in the Saudi regime, these paid pens of the Saudi regime wish to convince the reader that anyone to their dislike is the torchbearer of all the evil they have unleashed throughout the world over the last three decades. Thus the Saudi Gazette wishes to mislead the world that the Saudis are as innocent of Al-Qaeda and all its doings as the Prophet Joseph was of the seductress that was infatuated with him and demanded that he relieve her from the fire of temptation that had come to overtake her, because of this infatuation.

That is a reference not to the Bible but to the Qur'an's Sura 12, about which you can read here.

The fact of the matter is that the international so called "Islamic" terrorism, which has engulfed the Islamic world and brought havoc to the rest of the non-Islamic world, is as Saudi as the light crude oil that provides the source of financing for the propagation of the Wahhabi misguided rendition of Islam. The fact of the matter is that the Wahhabi Establishment, itself a hereditary clerical order (although Islam forbids the existence of a clergy) under the tight control of the descendants of Mohammed Abdul-Wahhab. This establishment is the mentor and financial backer of all these prominent so called "Salafi" movements. Mohammed Abdul Wahhab presumably concocted the divergent and deviant "Wahhabi" creed of Islam over two hundred years ago. One is puzzled why the followers of this gross misrepresentation of Islam in so many ways do not even like to be called Wahhabis, and try to cloud this association by taking on names that associate them with genuine ideological and seminarian associations (such as "Salafi", Moslem "Brotherhood", "Jihadists", "Fundamentalist"). The answer is obvious, as the Wahhabis are viewed by most mainstream Moslems, even the majority of Sunnis, as unorthodox, bloodthirsty highway robbers, as their early history was drowned with the blood of thousands of fellow Moslems, who were the victims of their lust for loot from pilgrims to Mecca and from those who dare dispute their misguided interpretations of Islam.

So the "mainstream Moslems" view the Wahhabis as "unorthodox, bloodthirsty highway robbers" because "their early history was drowned with the blood of thousands of fellow Moslems." Not, you see, because they make war against unbelievers. On that the Wahhabis and other Islamic sects and schools do not disagree.

You will never see, in their revelations of the history of their movement, the hundreds of raids, especially in the earlier part of the past two and a half centuries, which these bandits inflicted on their brethren of the faith, who they actually labeled as "non-believers" or infidels, which makes their blood and their assets sanctified for them.

Not that the writer is against Wahhabism as such:

One is not here trying to smear the glorious bloody past of the Wahhabi Movement. Not that their past should be ignored, but one can state for certain that intra-sectarian bloody conflict between Moslems is virtually non-existent since the Prophet Mohammed's days until the Wahhabis came into being. Sure there was politically related Moslem bloodshed, but never was this fuelled by how long your beard is, or where you place your hands while standing in prayer and some of the other very secondary issues, in which Moslems might differ, which to the Wahhabis can be ground for war or for repression, if you are living in a Wahhabi regime. There have only been two countries that have succumbed to Wahhabi regimes (Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan under the Taliban), and in both cases it was by the use of repressive force. Ironically, there is a suspicious historical collusion between the Wahhabi movement and the British Crown (see Wahhabi Past), but that is a long story and there are enough sources in the internet and elsewhere that covers it.

The point to be made here is that the Saudis are not at all acting responsibly when they seek to disassociate themselves from an evil they have been rearing now for over two hundred years whether with British support or collusion with Masonic or Zionist [ed.: Boo!] forces, as so many historical chroniclers wish to point out on many occasions. The obvious incongruity of the accusation that Al-Qaeda is funded by the Iranians, with whom there is a big rift with the Al-Qaeda from a sectarian point of view is somewhat unbelievable and the same is true with the Libyans. On the latter one cannot help but remember how Washington tried to mislead the world into believing that Saddam Hussein was associated with Al-Qaeda (Actually Saddam had his own means of terror, which was more straightforward and down to earth and discernible than the wishy washy form Saudi Arabia has been nurturing and with which the Saudis could never disclaim any sectarian, ideological and even congenial association, as most of the Al-Qaeda elements that have been killed or arrested are actually Saudi citizens (Yemen has just submitted eight of them to the Saudis last week as well).. So it is not hard to tell, who is the real backer of world terrorism, morally and materially?

Turkey goes over to the dark side

"Ahmadinejad got something just as valuable: a chance to spin his own image, court popularity and bash the United States and Israel."

Courtesy our friend and ally, Turkey."Then, as he left the mosque, Ahmadinejad got out of his car to encourage a crowd of about 300 to chant, 'Death to Israel! Death to America!'"

Courtesy our friend and ally, Turkey.

Islamization of Turkey Update: "Turkey bows to the dark side: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit is a sign that the West can no longer take Turkey for granted as a staunch ally against Iran," by Soner Cagaptay in the Los Angeles Times, August 19 (thanks to Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi):

ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- Praying in Istanbul's Blue Mosque on Friday, I witnessed firsthand Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's international publicity coup.

Ahmadinejad's visit produced little in terms of substantive policy; the signing of a multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline deal was put off. But Ahmadinejad got something just as valuable: a chance to spin his own image, court popularity and bash the United States and Israel.

I've long been fond of the Blue Mosque because it is where, many years ago, I attended my first Friday prayers. Last Friday, though, I felt uncomfortable in the prayer hall, where I found myself in front of God but next to Ahmadinejad, who turned the ritual into a political show.

Departing from established practice of having visiting Muslim heads of state pray in a smaller mosque in Istanbul, the government allowed Ahmadinejad to pray in the Blue Mosque, Turkey's symbol of tolerant Ottoman Islam. With permission from Turkish authorities, he also allowed Iranian television to videotape him during the entire prayer, in violation of Islamic tradition, which requires quiet and intimate communion between God and the faithful. There was so much commotion around Ahmadinejad that the imam had to chide the congregants. Then, as he left the mosque, Ahmadinejad got out of his car to encourage a crowd of about 300 to chant, "Death to Israel! Death to America!"

Even without this behavior, any visit from a leader representing an authoritarian, anti-Western autocracy would have created controversy in Turkey just a few years ago. Not today. The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government not only opened the Blue Mosque to Ahmadinejad but accommodated his refusal to pay respects at the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern, secular Turkey -- a major violation of protocol for an official visit.


Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan asked the Turkish public to ignore the snub and instead "focus on the big picture." It is the "big picture," though, that is most disconcerting. By extending an invitation to Ahmadinejad, the first such move by any NATO or European Union member country, Turkey has broken ranks with the West. The West can no longer take Turkey for granted as a staunch ally against Tehran.

Muslim ladies "gone bad"

UK: Muslim women caught on tape promising death and destruction to Christians, Brits, ex-Muslims, moderate Muslims, Muslims working in banks, adulterers, fornicators, gays, and women wearing short-sleeves and make-up

Living up to the Koran's dictum: "The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil" (9:71). "Revealed: Saudi women preaching hate in the British mosque that promised to clean up its act 18 months ago," by Tom Harper, for Daily Mail, August 30 (thanks to Morgaan): Hardline female ‘preachers of hate’ are radicalising Muslim women at one of Britain’s top mosques.

The Saudi Arabian preachers were secretly filmed ordering women to murder gays and ex-Muslims.

Undercover reporters from Channel 4’s Dispatches recorded the lectures in the women’s section of Regent’s Park Mosque in London.

An unnamed Saudi woman is seen mocking other religions – labelling Christianity ‘vile’ and an ‘abomination’. Another, known as ‘Angelique’, claims Britain is a ‘land of evil’.

The investigators attended lectures for two months at the mosque, which had promised a clean-up after another Dispatches probe just 18 months ago exposed it for spreading extreme Islamic views.

During one sermon, a woman called Um Amira says: ‘He is Muslim, and he gets out of Islam...what are we going to do? We kill him, kill, kill.’

She's only saying what her prophet taught. Said Muhammad: "Whoever leaves his religion, kill him."

In the programme, to be screened tomorrow, she adds that women adulterers should be stoned to death and people who have sex before marriage should get ‘100 lashes’.

Regent’s Park Mosque is one of the biggest and most prestigious Islamic institutions in the UK. Opened in 1944 by King George VI, it can hold up to 5,000 worshippers.[...]

Just imagine what's being taught in the small and less than "prestigious" mosques littering London's ghettoes.

This time, Dispatches returned to Regent’s Park Mosque to find exactly the same extremist books on sale there and the female preachers spreading radical Wahhabi Islam.

At least they reformed a little by allowing women to, not only participate, but actually lead the hate-filled, murderous harangues, which just may be unprecedented for "conservative" mosques.

One Saudi woman, who mocks other religions, says: ‘We feel nothing sometimes going past the church. What they say with their tongues is so vile and disgusting, it’s an abomination.’

Another female preacher, Um Saleem, says it ‘breaks her heart’ to see Muslims ‘working in banks, wearing short sleeves...and make-up’.

The man in charge of the mosque, Dr Ahmed Al Dubayan, is Islamic Affairs attaché to the Saudi Embassy. Dispatches claims the mosque has links to the Saudi government, which it accuses of spending billions spreading the Wahhabi message. The Saudi Embassy denied this.

Dr Al Dubayan said he did not know the preachers in the documentary and claimed the mosque ‘does not support or condone extreme views’.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

With Biden On Board, Can Obama Be Trusted?

caroline b. glick

Many American Jewish observers welcomed Barack Obama's selection of Sen. Joseph Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. As a member of the Senate since 1973, and the serving chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden is a seasoned political player and foreign policy heavyweight. His experience, it is argued, will make up for Obama's inexperience; his moderate liberal views will make up for Obama's radical liberal views. Biden has a track record of often supporting Israel. And as he entered the Democratic presidential primaries last year, he stepped up his pro-Israel pronouncements. In an interview with the Forward for instance, Biden rejected the anti-Israel call to distance the U.S. from Israel in a bid to ratchet up Arab support for the U.S. As he put it, "In my 34-year career, I have never wavered from the notion that the only time progress has ever been made in the Middle East is when the Arab nations have known that there is no daylight between us and Israel. So the idea of being an 'honest broker' is not, as some of my Democratic colleagues call for, the answer. It is being the smart broker, it is being the smart partner.

But while Biden's rhetoric on America's relationship with Israel is firm, his positions on issues critically important to Israel's national security call into question his willingness to stand by Israel. He is a staunch supporter of an Israeli transfer of the strategically critical Golan Heights to Syria and has harshly criticized the Bush administration for its refusal to support Israeli negotiations with Syria. At the same time, he downplays the significance of Syria's strategic alliance with Iran and its sponsorship of terrorists in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. Belittling those ties, Biden has claimed repeatedly and without a shred of evidence that the Syrians really want to put all of that behind them.

Biden's positions on Iran are even more troubling. Over the past decade, since Iran's ballistic missile program and its nuclear program came into full view, Biden has distinguished himself both for his refusal to support tough U.S. diplomatic moves against Iran and for his absolute opposition to the notion of a U.S. military strike on Iran's nuclear installations. In 1998, Biden was one of only four senators to vote against the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act, a bill that punished foreign companies and other entities that sent Iran sensitive missile technology or expertise.

In February 2005, at a speech before the global Davos Conference, Biden said that Iran's quest for nuclear capabilities is understandable and called on the U.S. to address Iran's "emotional needs" by signing a non-aggression pact with the mullocracy.

In September 2007, Biden was one of just a handful of senators who voted against a Senate resolution calling on the State Department to classify Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization. The Revolutionary Guards is responsible for the insurgency in Iraq and for commanding, financing, arming, and training Hizbullah, Hamas and other international terrorist groups. It is also responsible for securing and developing Iran's nuclear weapons project and its ballistic missile arsenal.

For his part, Obama managed to be absent from the Senate during the vote last year, though he stated his objection to the resolution referring to it as "excessively provocative."

As to attacking Iran's nuclear installations, though Biden has claimed he would not take the military option "off the table," he has spoken of impeaching President Bush if he attacks Iran's nuclear installations. Late last year the New Hampshire Seacoast Online reported, "Biden said that the best deterrent to prevent pre-emptive military action n Iran is to make it clear, even if it is at the end of [Bush's] final term, action will be taken against Bush to ensure 'his legacy will be marred for all time.'

In the weeks after the September 11 attacks, Biden was already thinking about appeasing Iran. In a New Republic profile in October 2001, Biden was quoted raising the following suggestion to his Senate staffers: "Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran.

YET FOR ALL OF Biden's naivete regarding Syrian intentions, Iranian ambitions and the scope and significance of both countries' hatred of the U.S., Obama's selection of Biden as his running mate does moderate his ticket. While Biden's prescriptions for contending with the forces of global jihad by appeasing them are little different from Obama's, Biden at least tends to view Islamic jihadists as a negative force in international affairs. It is not at all clear that Obama shares his views.

Similarly, by all accounts, Biden -- though wrong on policy preferences -- is extremely proud of America and devoted to securing the country. Here too, it is not at all clear that Obama shares his views.

In an op-ed in his local Chicago neighborhood newspaper The Hyde Park Herald published on Sept. 19, 2001, Obama blamed the 9/11 attacks on al Qaeda's "lack of empathy for its victims."

He argued that the terrorists' hatred was not unique and it "most often grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair."

Obama then drew moral equivalence between the U.S. and al Qaeda by warning that in any future fight with its enemies the U.S. military must "take into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad."

He ascribed the bigotry and hatred that he couldn't find in al Qaeda's murderers to his fellow countrymen warning that Americans must not discriminate against Americans "of Middle Eastern descent."

Obama's apparent disdain for the U.S. was similarly on display in a quip he made about Russia's invasion of Georgia which implied it was morally and legally indistinguishable from the American invasion of Iraq. As he put it, "We've got to send a clear message to Russia and unify our allies. They can't charge into other countries. Of course it helps if we are leading by example on that point."

Obama launched his political career in 1995 when he announced his candidacy for the Illinois State Senate. This most significant turning point in his until then undistinguished career took place at the home of unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn. Ayres and Dohrn were leaders of the Weather Underground when it conducted bombings of numerous government and private facilities in the 1960s and 1970s.

While Obama once dismissed Ayres as "just a guy from my neighborhood,' it has since been revealed that the two men worked closely with one another from 1995 to 2001 as directors of a leftist group called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge or the CAC, which sought to undermine the independence of public school principals and teachers in Chicago by compelling them to adopt radical teaching methods.

OBAMA is currently receiving the support of some 57 percent of American Jews. Although this is less than any Democratic presidential nominee in recent memory, it is still disturbing that a large majority of American Jews support him. The Obama campaign no doubt hopes the Biden selection will shore up Jewish support.

It can only be hoped that despite their party loyalty and what they're telling pollsters, American Jews (indeed, American voters generally) will judge Biden and Obama by their records and positions.

Biden has consistently denied the threat emanating from Iran and Syria not only for Israel but for the U.S. as well. And Obama's statements and actions expose him as a man ill disposed not only toward Israel but America itself.

Caroline Glick is deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Her Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the last week of each month. Her new book, "The Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad, is available at

Russian admiral: Our Black Sea fleet can destroy NATO’s group in 20 minutes

DEBKAfile Special Report
Russian Navy missile practice in Black Sea

Former Russian Black Sea Fleet commander, Adm. Eduard Baltin was quoted by Moscow media as saying Friday, Aug. 29: “Despite the apparent strength of the NATO naval group in the Black Sea… a single salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or three missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group. Within 20 minutes, the waters would be clear.” Adm. Baltin added: "We will not strike first, and they do not look like people with suicidal tendencies."

The Russian Fleet deploys 16 warships in the Black Sea compared with 10 NATO vessels – three American, Polish, German and Spanish frigates, and four Turkish warships, soon to be augmented by another six, including the USS Mount Whitney, which is considered one of the most advanced warships in the world.

In Washington, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino rejected Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin’s assertion that US personnel were in the combat zone during the war in Georgia and “someone in the United States” provoked the conflict to help one of the candidates in the American presidential race.

In his first major remark since the Georgian crisis erupted, Putin quoted information provided by the Russian military but offered no evidence. Perino called his allegations “patently false and “not rational.”

When history is not repeated


On Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced: "We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new cold war."

Medvedev made this declaration after signing an order recognizing the sovereignty of Georgia's two pro-Russian provinces, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Some observers warn that Russian annexation of the two territories is just a matter of time. While a cold war is less attractive than a competitive alliance, Russia's violent, bullying behavior makes it impossible to imagine its leaders returning to their pre-invasion cooperative posture with the West. As a consequence, like Medvedev, many Western officials have been noting the possibility that a new cold war will take place between Russia and the West.

Yet the nature of Russia's regime, which propelled its decision to launch its war in Georgia, raises doubts about the viability of it reaching an equilibrium of hostility with the West comparable to that which existed during the Cold War. It is true that similarities between Russia's current behavior and that of the Soviet Union before it abound. As was the case with the Soviet Union, it is fairly clear that Russia's current regime has expansionist aspirations far beyond its immediate borders. Moscow's threat to attack Poland with nuclear bombs, its aggressive naval deployment in the Mediterranean Sea, its hosting of Syrian President Bashar Assad and its renewed talk of supplying Syria and Iran with advanced weapons systems all make its Soviet-like expansionist aims clear.

Moreover, as Pavel Felgenhauer noted on the Jamestown Foundation's Eurasia Daily Monitor Web publication, Russia's government-controlled media is engaged in Soviet-like, frenzied demonization of US leaders. In one prominent example this week, the government-mouthpiece Izvestia launched an obscene broadside against US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The newspaper referred to her as "insane," and then crudely demeaned her as "a skinny old single lady who likes to display her underwear during talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ivanov."

As the West scrambles to build a strategy for contending with Russia, many writers and policy-makers have pointed out that Russia is fundamentally weak. As my former Jerusalem Post colleague Bret Stephens noted Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal, Russia's demographic forecast, like its oil and gas production forecasts, are dim. The CIA has pointed out through demographic attrition, Russia's population will decline more than 20 percent over the next 40 years. And due to "underinvestment, incompetence, corruption, political interference and crude profiteering," Russia's oil production will decline this year for the first time. Its production rates are expected to drop precipitously next year and in the coming years as well.

Cognizant of these negative trends, US and European leaders are hoping that Russia's bleak prospects will convince its leaders to step back from the precipice of war with the West to which they are now hurtling. On Wednesday, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried warned, "Russia is going to have to come to terms with the reality that it can either integrate with the world or it can be a self-isolated bully. But it can't have both."

WHILE IT remains to be seen if the West will agree to isolate the Russian bully, it is certainly the case that Russia's leaders are not blind to their country's weaknesses. This is so because to a large degree, Russia's dim long-term prognosis has been caused by the domestic policies of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his cronies. And in light of this, it can be safely assumed that far from causing them to avoid confrontation with the West, their cognizance of Russia's problems is what caused them to adopt their belligerent posture.

In December, Russian political insider Stanislav Belkovsky told the German media that during his two terms as Russia's president, Putin amassed a fortune in excess of $40 billion, making him the wealthiest man in Europe. Putin's wealth has been built through his ownership of vast holdings in three Russian oil and gas companies.

Were Putin invested in the long-term prosperity and strength of his country, he would have invested that money in Russia. Instead he has squirreled it away in bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. And of course, Putin is not alone in betting his wealth against his country's future. Like him, his cronies in the Kremlin and the FSB (Federal Security Service) have accrued their wealth through their ownership shares in Russian companies that Putin has nationalized. And like him, they have taken their loot out of the country.

The behavior of Russia's rulers makes clear that they do not concern themselves with the long-term health of their country as they construct their policies. And their concentration on short-term gains makes their decision to confront the US and Europe inevitable. It is now, when Russia's oil wealth is at its peak, that they are most powerful. And with their current power they seek to maximize their personal gains while justifying their actions in the name of Russian glory.

By doing this, they are working to ensure that despite their despoiling of Russia's natural resources and fostering of social pathologies that guarantee Russia will be unable to stem its decline, Putin and his men will go out in a blaze of fire and light. Through his fascist cultivation of a cult of personality and his jingoistic aggression and incitement against the US, Putin, like Peter the Great and Josef Stalin, will enter the pantheon of Russia's great heroes after he abandons his devastated country to be reunited with his money. He cares not for the consequences of his actions for his fellow Russians. His loyalties are to immortality, and his bank accounts.

It is due to Putin's non-domestic considerations that it is virtually impossible to reach a stable equilibrium of hostility with Russia today like that which existed with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This is the case for two reasons. First, because it is impossible to know how long he will stay around. And second, Putin's motivations block any chance of reaching a modus operandi with Russia because his motivations are not shared by his countrymen.

THE FACT of the matter is that in its indifference toward Russia's long-term well-being, Putin's regime is far more similar to Iran and North Korea than it is to the Soviet Union that preceded it. As Iran invests hundreds of billions of dollars in its nuclear program and still more billions in its terror proxies, client states and offensive military systems in the name of its quest for Islamic domination and salvation, its domestic economy is falling apart.

For the first time since 1982, this year Iran was forced to import wheat from the US. Parliament member Sayed Delkhosh announced Tuesday that 30% of Iran's $280b. annual budget has gone toward preventing failed government-owned companies from going bankrupt. Then, too, Iran's oil distribution company just announced that it intends to cut the public's gasoline rations ahead of the winter.

As for North Korea, its principal exports are missiles, weapons of mass destruction, forged currency and narcotics. North Korea is a slave state replete will full regimentation of the entire starving population, abandoned, ruined villages and an archipelago of concentration camps. It is a country dedicated completely to the perpetuation of the pathological regime of absolute dictator Kim Jong-Il and his family.

It is due to the fact that they base their national policies on considerations unrelated to their national well-being that Russia, Iran and North Korea have chosen a posture of war and confrontation with the West. For it is through confrontation and aggression that they coerce the West to pay attention to them. The identification of the West as the enemy enables them to divert their peoples' attention away from their domestic policy failures. Through their manipulation of public opinion Russia, Iran and North Korea have convinced their people to blame the outside enemy for their impoverishment and their suffering. And in light of the supposed enemies at their gates, the Russians, Iranians and North Koreans feel free, indeed compelled, to repress all opponents of their regimes.

It is true that each of these regimes is motivated by different governing rationales. But whether their governing rationales are apocalyptic messianism, megalomania or greed, the result is the same. Guided by short-term goals, the leaders of Iran, Russia and North Korea seek out confrontation and war with the West.

TO UNDERSTAND the acuteness of the challenges that Russia, Iran and North Korea constitute for the West, it is useful to compare them to the ascendant People's Republic of China. It is absolutely clear that like the Soviet Union before it, the PRC is currently engaged in a long-term strategy of expanding its military and economic power. Like the USSR, the PRC is emerging as a major power in competition and in conflict with the US.

While the emergence of the PRC as a competitor of America's presents the US with major strategic challenges, the US has many options short of overt confrontation for contending with the rise of China. It can expand its naval forces and modernize its nuclear arsenal. It can strengthen its alliances with Japan, South Korea and other Asian democracies. It can expand and develop manufacturing markets in Thailand and India to compete with Chinese factories. At the same time, it can diversify its energy consumption to lower tensions over oil supplies with China.

The fact that Russia, Iran and North Korea are unstable does not simply bar the prospect of reaching accords with them that will enable a stable equilibrium of terror and deterrence to emerge. Their inherent instability, evidenced by their otherworldly and so necessarily short-term policy horizons, makes clear that the lifespan of any deal is unknowable at best and most likely extremely limited. Moreover, even in the absence of a deal, it is impossible to reach a stable balance of terror.

In contrast, during the Cold War, even when explicit agreements were impossible to achieve, there was still a basic framework of deterrence that limited the nature of the threat and the magnitude of possible conflagrations. Both the US and the Soviets based their strategies for contending with one another on a balance of terror predicated on mutually assured destruction. This understanding was founded on the American and Soviet presumption of the stability of the other side. In contrast, when forging policies to contend with the Russian, Iranian and North Korean regimes it is impossible to presume their stability because they are by their very natures unstable.

The lesson of all of this is that while all enemies present dangers, not all enemies are alike. The same strategies cannot be employed against unstable enemies as can be employed against stable ones. Rather than forging policies toward Russia as well as Iran and North Korea based on false analogies with the Cold War, it is vital to recognize that regimes that do not concern themselves with the welfare of their own people are not regimes that will be credible negotiating partners or stable antagonists in cold wars based upon an assumption of mutual assured destruction.

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