Thursday, December 31, 2009

How many lone wolves does it take to make a pack?

Paris December 31, 2009
Nidra Poller

How many lone wolves does it take to make a pack? How many packs make a battalion? How many battalions make a full-fledged enemy in a genuine war?

President Obama copped out on another grave security threat with disingenuous promises and heartfelt finger pointing. Slow on the uptake as usual he finally got around to blaming the CIA—the one G.W. Bush left him-- for missing the red flags that should have kept the Jock Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, from boarding Northwest Airlines flight 253 bound for Detroit—in the minds of unsuspecting passengers—and bound for destruction by the will of Abdulmutallab’s Allah. At first glance Obama’s accusation is plausible. It will reinforce the illusions of softening critics fooled by the Oslo Peace Prize speech and too willing to believe that the American president is finally catching on.The truth is there are so many red flags it looks like a Revolution Day Parade in the heyday of the Soviet Union. Furthermore, this is the president determined to close Guantanamo and send those “innocent” red- flag-bearers back to their old stomping grounds, beefed up and eager to groom fervent young men like Abdulmutallab for bigger and better exploits. The fact is, the baby-faced Nigerian should be sent to Guantanamo and judged by a military tribunal. And who is talking about red flags? Barack Hussein Obama, whose government is stonewalling a congressional investigation into the Fort Hood massacre.

Come to think of it, if the regime had been forthcoming with information on the Fort Hood martyrdom operation, it might have led to disclosure of the full range of activities of Major Hassan’s mentor, al Awlaki, and his cohorts in Yemen. Some sharp-eyed clerk might have happened upon the plot to send a young Nigerian bearing Christmas gifts from Lagos to Detroit via Amsterdam…in his briefs.

It is easy in retrospect to know that the Jock Bomber shouldn’t have been allowed to board a plane heading for the United States. What about the other 499,999 individuals posted with him on the second string watch list? As these words are written, one of them may be hitching up his trousers and preparing to blow up YOUR airplane. Are they all that different from the latest well-groomed shahid to step up to the check-in counter? How about the Virginia five, recently arrested in Pakistan? Airplanes go flitting from one continent to another and so do young jihadis.

Recognizing one--the Jock Bomber-- after the fact is supposed to be proof that the president is getting real about security threats? Recognizing hundreds of thousands waiting in the wings would be called Islamophobic racial profiling and an insult to what Obama calls the “Holy Qur’an.” And we are supposed to poke around in the psyches of these willing serial killers to find out why and where this or that particular individual went wrong? One got it from the mosque, another from the Net, another from an al Qaeda recruiter on campus…

Fulfilling his “we will not torture” vow the president is determined to disrupt, dismantle, and run through the wringer security personnel who dared, in the past, to interrogate enemy combatants. In his zeal to incriminate the G. W. Bush administration, Obama is pushing the 9/11 masterminds in NY’s face and offering them a civilian trial that will downgrade acts of war to misdemeanors. None of the above stopped him from dashing on screen for a flash in the pan appearance in an open collar meant to indicate his sense of urgency. He pouted, passed the buck to agencies that failed to detect this clear-as-a-bell airplane plot, and preened in his heightened self esteem. That’s his idea of getting tough.

I had intended to add, jokingly, that Mr. Obama might want to hand airport security over to Acorn and the SEIU but the Wall Street Journal took the chuckle out of that one. It seems the security breach is going to be exploited as an argument for unionizing TSA employees. That’s a bit greedy isn’t it? They get to monitor full body scanners and want collective bargaining too?

Will President Obama reconsider his promise to close Guantanamo the day after tomorrow? Not on your life! He sticks to his original script: Guantanamo is a recruiting tool for guys like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. According to The Times of London [Al-Qaeda Groomed Abdulmutallab in London] when Abdulmuttalab was president of the Islamic society at University College London he did invite former Gitmo prisoners to speak, and organized a talk on “Jihad versus Terrorism.” If that’s a red flag raiser, how many Islamic campus leaders right home in the USA deserve one of their own? Problem is, 9/11 happened before Gitmo existed, and Barack Hussein Obama wouldn’t dream of outlawing the Qur’an which is the primary source recruiting tool.

Red flags were ignored, security agencies yawned and dawdled, and the American president won’t put the country on a war footing because it would prove that George W. Bush was right to fight. So it looks like simple citizens have to pick up the slack, put out the fires, save the planes. Can private enterprise help us out here? How about a militarized commercial airline catering to people who know the score? Khaki planes, cabin crew in military fatigues, and all the passengers free to come on board fully armed…except for the lone wolves.

Minarets: the last straw for Eurabians

Nidra Poller

Dateline: Paris

The Swiss referendum on a minaret construction freeze—approved by a hefty 57% of voters—blew the lid off the repressed debate on Islamization. Straw polls up and down Europe outdid the Swiss, yielding stronger anti-minaret majorities, often extended to demands for a moratorium on mosque construction and a ban on niqab. Shameful intolerance or the first stirrings of a long-awaited backlash?

Scolding fingers were shaken in expected and unexpected places. James Morrison rather smugly (“Embassy Row,” Washington Times, December 2) reported: “The leaders of a congressional human rights panel criticized Swiss voters for approving a resolution to ban further construction of mosque minarets and warned that the prohibition violates European religious freedom standards.”

A chorus of appeals for tolerance arose in France where Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim sang in harmony with Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the Muslim umbrella organization, and Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux, whipping boy of diversity advocates.

Rabbi Bernheim opposes any discriminatory measure that deprives one religion of the full range of rights our society grants to other religions. He compares the minaret freeze to a long-ago prohibition against building synagogues taller than churches. And he apprehends the “Islamic violence” that such discriminatory measures might provoke. While exhorting Europeans to change their “opinion of Islam,” Gilles Bernheim admits that no significant improvement will be possible without corresponding efforts in Muslim countries.

Muslim spokesmen and imams present their usual argument that can be summed up as: why ban minarets (niqab, halal swimming pools, Muslim women who refuse to be treated by male doctors…) when there are so few in France? The minaret is not absolutely necessary but a construction freeze would alienate and anger Muslims. Ladi Thami Breze of the UOIF—the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and dominant component of the Muslim umbrella organization-- sees no harm in erecting minarets to make mosques visible and acceptable as a normal feature of the landscape. And, the apologists unanimously add, there won’t be any muezzin reciting the call to prayer five times a day…


The tolerance argument is based on the assumption that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam fit into the immutable category of “religion.” Further, it assumes that all Muslims want to thrust minarets in the face of European citizens, and that all those who voted against minarets are non-Muslim. None of these assumptions withstands logical examination.

Islam, Christianity, and Judaism do not practice “religion” in the same way: the differences are more important than the similarities. The minaret issue was put to a vote in Switzerland precisely because Islam in Europe has been encroaching on the very values of tolerance once revered in European society.

Many European Muslims are refugees from oppressive Muslim nations where there is no freedom of religion, speech, or thought. They are disheartened to see Islamic intimidation now gaining ground in the host countries. It is reasonable to assume that some Muslims voted—in the Swiss referendum and in straw polls all over Europe—for a minaret construction freeze.

Extending limitless tolerance to a religion—Islam—that preaches extreme intolerance is a logical absurdity. Jews in France are harassed, verbally and physically attacked, traumatized, maimed and, in extreme cases, murdered by Muslims inspired by doctrinal Jew-hatred. Increasingly, Jewish parents send their children to private schools because no one can protect them from persecution in the public schools. Muslim women who dress “immodestly” are victims of brutal intolerance. Young French-Muslim women have been stoned, stabbed, or burned alive for refusing submission. Gays are taunted and attacked.

An interesting twist was revealed this fall when a Muslim amateur soccer team from the banlieue refused to play a match with a Gay team from Paris. The coach of the Parisian team is, in fact, a homosexual Muslim who fled the banlieue where he was persecuted for his sexual identity. The banlieue team, threatened with exclusion, relented. And a face-saving apologist—a non-Muslim French woman associated with the team—explained that team members had feared the Gay team might be Islamophobic.

If religious tolerance is an authentic value it cannot be promoted by giving free reign to the construction of minarets, mosques, and Islamic Centers until and unless their spiritual leaders forego certain tenets of a thought system incompatible with the universal values of human rights. Could anything be more clear? Tolerance for one manifestation of one religion-- minarets –automatically increases intolerance of all other religions and peoples including citizens of the host country.

Why minarets? Why now? Could it be that minarets are the last straw? Italians have not blocked plans to build a huge mosque that will dwarf St. Peter’s cathedral. The British are stoically accepting a gigantic mosque that will dominate the 2012 Olympics site. In mosques throughout Europe firebrand imams deliver sermons that would make Jeremiah Wright look like a true blue American patriot. And mosque-goers carry out these brutal imprecations on our streets. Only a minority actually seek to destroy the infidels? Of course it’s only a minority. And only a minority of mosques have minarets…so far. And only a minority of devout Muslim women wear niqab…now. It’s not a question of statistics but of a trend that is so obvious you have to be blind to not see it.

Could a Muslim be sincerely surprised by a ban on minarets in Europe when sharia law strictly prohibits the construction of churches or synagogues taller than a mosque and severely limits the rights of Christians to build new churches or even repair dilapidated structures in Muslim lands?

During the 2007 presidential campaign Nicolas Sarkozy made the case for reciprocity. The freedom of Muslims to practice their religion in France would be balanced by freedom for non-Muslims in Islamic nations. Has anything changed? A Christian can’t even bring in his own Bible to read in private in Saudi Arabia, let alone build a church. Slightly less stringent rules and practices prevail throughout the 57 OIC nations but the fact is that Christians are persecuted or chased from most of them (more than 900,000 Jews have already been hounded out of the Muslim world). The once predominant Christian populations of Bethlehem (80%) and Nazareth (60%) have been reduced to persecuted minorities of 20% and 30% respectively.

Sadly, the president’s thoughtful opinion on the current controversy, published in the highbrow leftwing newspaper of reference (December 8, Le Monde), suggests that the model of reciprocity is not coming from the West but from the Muslim world. President Sarkozy cautions Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike to abstain from “ostentation” and avoid “provocation.” They should show gratitude for living in a land of freedom by practicing their religion with “humble discretion.” He assures the faithful that this discretion doesn’t signify watered-down convictions; it is a sign of “fraternal respect for others, with whom one lives, who do not share one’s beliefs.” Inviting French Muslims to keep a low profile, and then throwing Jews and Christians into the mix, the French president defines a reciprocal dhimmitude modeled on time-honored Islamic law and practices, with one significant difference: European Christians would voluntarily forego the dominant position enjoyed by Muslims in the vast territories they occupy.

Tolerance in proudly secular France has been stretched beyond the limits of legality. In the interest of getting Muslims out of the basement prayer rooms that purportedly foster radicalization while at the same time curbing the influence of foreign powers that finance and control French mosques, the separation of church and state has been twiddled to allocate public funding of Islamic schools, libraries or cultural centers that happen to be inextricably joined to mosques. In another attempt to foster “European Islam,” the government has created a sort of theological seminary to train French imams but no one dares to grab the horns of the dilemma: no matter the language or the land, imams are trained in the one and only Islam, which is irreconcilable with Western values.

Beyond tolerance, French opinion-makers love to celebrate the enriching Islamic influence on our society. Muslim holidays are covered with gushing enthusiasm on prime time newscasts. Stylish women in hijab grace the glossy pages of fashion magazines. Sharia compliant finance is unashamedly announced by major banks such as the BNP-Paribas, with nary a word to inform public opinion about the questionable associations of the prescribed experts that oversee compliance. Most of the luxurious grand hotels of Paris are now owned by Muslims. Quranic verses decorate Moorish moldings in the lobby of the George V hotel. “Diversity” is so widespread in schools, streets, shops, and offices that it begins to look like uniformity.

Public reactions to the Swiss minaret freeze reveal the disconnect between the European elites that concocted and sustain the Islamization of Europe and citizens—including Muslims—who endure the hardships it imposes. This has nothing to do with intolerance and may be a sign of desperation. Is the minaret the “petit doigt” [little finger] Europeans are hiding behind?

Descending from the lofty heights of the minaret to the nitty gritty on ground level, what do we discover? Parisian streets closed to traffic for open-air Friday prayers.

[Videos posted on the Riposte Laïque site: ]

Muslims occupy a Parisian street--rue Léon—for prayers (16 October 16, 2009)

Obama's 2010 Policy and Iran: Misconceptions Guarantee Failure

Barry Rubin

A friend of mine is angry, saying I’m too tough on President Barack Obama and that nothing he does pleases me. Well, I wish he’d do more that pleases me, and disconcerts America’s enemies.

True, he has done three good things lately: his Nobel speech, which sounded like it was actually given by a U.S. president; his remarks on the demonstrations in Iran (better six months late than never), and his tough verbal stance about investigating the mistakes that led to the near disaster (though I worry they’re less about dramatic change and more just a show to reassure the public that something will be done). I also pointed out that the administration’s relationship with Israel was pretty good overall. Yet on the single most important Middle East issue, Iran’s nuclear program and its aggressive ambitions, hints about his policy are getting worrisome both because of what this administration isn’t doing and what it’s obviously thinking. The year has now ended with no major public move toward imposing serious sanctions.

True, there are a few statements you can dig out indicating a turn in that direction. Yet what should have happened was a major public speech by December 31 about the administration’s sanction plans. After all, it set that date as a deadline for action ten months ago yet let it pass with no visible action.

There are other bad signs that the administration still doesn’t comprehend the problems it faces. The likely sending of Senator John Kerry to Tehran is a terrible idea. It signals to the Tehran regime U.S. desperation to make a deal and chooses a highly unqualified envoy with too big an incentive to get some hint of agreement at any price. (Meanwhile, further weakening the Western hand, an 11-member EU parliamentary delegation is visiting Tehran and will make clear how eager the Europeans are to make concessions in exchange for Iran offering some kind of deal.)

Of even more concern is the strategy revealed by officials in interviews with the Washington Post: that the sanctions are focused “against discrete elements of the Iranian government, including those involved in the deadly crackdown on Iranian protesters….” In other words, they’ll put sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its front companies.

"We have never been attracted to the idea of trying to get the whole world to cordon off their economy," a senior U.S. official told the Washington Post, adding, "We have to be deft at this, because it matters how the Iranian people interpret their isolation--whether they fault the regime or are fooled into thinking we are to blame."

In other words, Obama Administration sanctions on Iran (if they ever arrive) will have three functions. First, as a public relations’ campaign “to avoid alienating the Iranian public” while striking at their rulers. Second, to “force the Tehran government to the negotiating table, rather than to punish it” for being an oppressive dictatorship or for seeking nuclear weapons. Third, it will supposedly bring the most fanatical group of rulers to their knees by attacking their pocketbooks.

It would be hard to device a worse strategy, other than doing nothing at all. The U.S. government thus signals the Iranian regime in advance that it won’t go too far because it wants to avoid making the regime too angry to negotiate. In addition, the strategy encourages Iran’s rulers to manipulate American eagerness for talks in order to stall for time. Then, too, it makes clear that there won’t be a serious effort to undermine the country’s economy. So why should Iranians pressure the regime to change course due to sanctions since it isn’t costing them anything?

Finally, the strategy “hits” the current rulers in their least vulnerable spot. Once again we see the West’s absolutely classical mistake in dealing with revolutionary Islamism: the belief it is responsive to materialist punishments. What are the Revolutionary Guard and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the supreme guide going to say: Oh, my! The Americans are reducing my income! Unless I give up nuclear weapons I won’t be able to buy that new country house, that sports car I’ve been eyeing and the Paris original evening gown for my wife!

Sigh. No matter what sanctions the United States focuses on the Iranian elite that group will still have enough money from within the country to buy whatever it wants.

But there’s more. Ordinary people may not understand the uses of sanctions yet leaders of great nations should. Of course, the ideal is to use sanctions to force the target to change its policies. Just because sanctions don’t succeed in doing that, however, doesn’t mean they failed because there are other goals involved:

--Sanctions seek to weaken the target so that it might be more easily defeated or fall in future.

--Another purpose is to deny the enemy resources, making it less able to carry out its programs.

--Still another is to show one’s own allies a high degree of resolution in containing and countering a threat, thus encouraging their own defiance of the mutual foe.

--Sanctions seek to isolate and discredit the target, denying it allies and the help of others.

For example, sanctions against South Africa and the USSR failed to force directly any major policy shift yet by succeeding in the other categories they eventually contributed to the regime’s downfall

The administration is ignoring all these functions to focus merely on one—which will inevitably not work—of getting the Tehran regime to make a deal. But we know they won’t back down, which is precisely why the regime should be weakened and made to face a tougher challenge to succeed in getting nuclear weapons at a relatively low cost.

Then there’s the idea that sanctions will rally Iranians to believe that America is on their side because they won’t affect the lives of the masses.

Can the United States really determine what the Iranian people are going to think by such methods? If they support or believe the regime they will hate America no matter what it does. If they oppose the regime, they will blame it for Iran’s troubles any way and want a tougher policy against it, though they still might be anti-American despite these calibration efforts. Like the bumper sticker says: Never apologize. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it any way.

In fact, the administration’s sanctions strategy could have the opposite effect. By being afraid of even non-violent confrontations, Washington would be showing Iranians the power of the regime, its ability to defy the United States which is either afraid or unable to fight back effectively. This could make more Iranians support the government.

Equally disconcerting is that the U.S. government continues to believe that much of the regime wants a deal in which it will give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, it’s just too divided and busy dealing with internal conflict to make a decision.

Whatever back-channel intelligence has been handed out—remember the 1996 scandal when the Iranian regime fooled the Reagan administration into thinking it was divided in order to get American missiles to use in the Iran-Iraq war?--this Iranian regime is not split between moderates and radicals. How has the United States scared regime elements to the point they want to make a big concession? Does any Iranian politician still in power believe he can give up on the nuclear campaign and still stay in office given the views of that country’s supreme guide and president?

Two other fantasies on the administration’s part add to the mess. One is the idea that the engagement effort has somehow undermined the regime because it is so attractive to some leaders and the masses. An official told the Post that the effort to engage "has had an unsettling effect on people in the regime. It has made it more difficult to demonize the United States and say it has been the root of all evil." This is a fantasy.

In addition, the administration is still pretending that its strategy of engagement has won over Russia and China for tougher sanctions, despite the constant statements from these two countries that they aren’t interested.

One “clever” technique was Obama telling the Chinese that they should support tough sanctions since if Iran did get nuclear weapons Israel would then attack and China’s own energy supply would be jeopardized. The Chinese opposition to sanctions runs deep: fear of antagonizing Iran, of jeopardizing their energy supplies right now, and of setting a precedent that might someday be used against itself.

When the U.S. government so clearly misunderstands the situation and how countries interact with it, the odds of Washington’s policy being effective are zero. If you want a guarantee that there will be lots of violence and defeats for U.S. interests, follow the Obama Administration’s strategy.

Here’s what needs to be done: show the revolutionaries that the West is courageous, that they cannot win, isolated them and deny them of every possible asset. The United States should not attack Iran, except with words, aid to its own allies and the opposition, and sanctions that weaken the regime. If you want an alternative to war this is the one to pursue.

Israeli Arab MK: Barak enjoys classical music and killing Gaza children


Some 1,000 people, among them all of Israel's Arab MKs and community leaders, gathered Thursday at the Israeli side of the Gaza border to express solidarity with the residents of Gaza, one year after Israel's offensive there. MK Taleb A-Sana relayed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's message to the Israeli side via a mobile phone. During the rally, Israeli Arab MK Jamal Zahalka directed harsh criticism at Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who he said enjoys "classical music and killing children in Gaza."

The terror emerging from the Gaza Strip was a result of Israel's actions against Palestinians, Zahalka told the protesters.
Haniyeh told activists gathered on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the Gaza border that residents of the besieged territory had not given up hope and would never stop fighting for a state, with Jerusalem as its capital.

"Because of international solidarity and your support, we have become stronger," Haniyeh declared. "The Palestinian nation will never give up its national aspirations or its right to Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine and the Islamic people."

On the Gaza side of the border, nearly 100 international activists joined about 500 Palestinians, chanting and carrying signs denouncing the blockade.

Egypt allowed 84 pro-Palestinian foreign activists to march into Gaza, Egyptian officials in the North Sinai governorate said.

Some 1,400 activists from 43 countries have gathered in Cairo since Sunday to mark the first anniversary Operation Cast Lead. Egypt said 100 activists were allowed to pass through

"Egyptian authorities made an exception and opened the Rafah border on Wednesday and allowed activists from the Gaza Freedom March to pass through," Alhamy Aref, secretary-general of the North Sinai governorate, said.

The Israeli Arab protesters on the Israeli side waved the flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization as they rallied against Israel's continued blockade of Gaza, accusing Israel of starving the Palestinian people.

The 86 international activists began touring the Gaza Strip on Thursday, in an expression of solidarity with Palestinians living there under the Israeli blockade.

They were also scheduled to tour areas hit in the Israeli bombardments, visit Gaza's Shifa hospital, and meet with community leaders, said Hamdi Shaath, the head of the pro-Hamas Committee to Defeat the Blockade.

Tighe Berry, the spokesman of the group, said Hedy Epstein, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, had remained behind in Cairo

Comment: Yes, the reason the PA and Hamas do not resume talks with Israel is the fruits of their labor with the international community via the media! Clearly, the de-legitimization and isolation of Israel is in full swing-this is occurring with the ful and complete support of the mainstream media. Time to go proactive Israel supporters!

Abbas sponsors birthday celebrations honoring "Martyr" Dalal Mughrabi, killer of 37

Square in Ramallah named after Dalal Mughrabi

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

This week Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas once again honored the memory of the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi - this time by sponsoring a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of her birth. Mughrabi led the worst terror attack in Israel's history in 1978, when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians. Present at the ceremony were Palestinian dignitaries and a children's marching band. Earlier this year, Abbas sponsored a computer center named after Mughrabi. The PA further glorified Mughrabi on the date of her birth when the Governor of Ramallah announced the naming of the "Dalal Mughrabi Square".

An article by Fatah spokesman Jamal Nazal in the official PA daily defined the terrorist Mughrabi as "the heroine of Palestine's heroines."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 30, 2009]

Banner showing Mughrabi at birthday celebration

PA leaders at Mughrabi birthday celebration

Children's marching band at Mughrabi birthday celebration
Remnat of bus hijacked bu Mughrabi
Remnant of bus hijacked by Mughrabi
The text on the giant banner carrying Mughrabi's portrait at the birthday ceremony read:
"Under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas
The Political and National Education Authority
Ceremony on the anniversary of the birth of the bride of the cosmos
The Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi."

Two PA TV news broadcasts focused on the celebration:
"Under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas, the Political and National Education Authority held a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi, commander of the Coastal Operation (i.e. hijacking of bus and killing of 37 civilians)."
[PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 29, 2009]

These are not isolated examples of public glorification of terrorists in the PA. The PA has a strong tradition of using terrorists as role models -- especially for children -- by naming public places, facilities and events after them. Dalal Mughrabi, who is not known for anything other than her murderous terror attack, is one of the prominent examples of a terrorist who is promoted as a worthy and desirable role model.

The following are named after, or have been named after Dalal Mughrabi in the last two years:

1- Education: Two PA Dalal Mughrabi Girls High Schools
2- Education: The Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Computer Center
3- Education: School graduation ceremony named after Mughrabi
4- Sports: Two Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi summer camps
5- Sports: The Dalal Mughrabi Football Championship
6- Municipality: The Dalal Mughrabi Square in Al Bira, Ramallah region


Two Palestinian Schools:
1. The Dalal Mughrabi Girls High School - Gaza
2. The Dalal Mughrabi Girls High School - A-Shuyoukh [Hebron]
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), Feb. 26, 2006]

Education: Computer Center
"Yesterday the Hebron Building Committee inaugurated a computer center named after the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi. Present at the event were President Mahmoud Abbas's advisor... inaugurating the center, funded by a contribution from the President's [Abbas's] Office."
[Al-Ayyam, May 5, 2009]

Palestinian School Graduation Ceremony:
"A party in honor of the successful students of the general high school... under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas, and under the name of the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi... Samih A-Sayfi, the commander of the region and the representative of the President [Abbas], wished the distinguished students a brilliant future... and reviewed the heroic life of [Dalal al-Mughrabi] the Shahida (Martyr) and the course of the struggle of the Fatah Movement and its sacrifices."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), July 24, 2008]

Palestinian Summer Camp (1):
"A summer camp in the name of the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi was opened... by the Fatah movement... out of honor and admiration for the Shahida (Martyr)..."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), July 23, 2008]

Palestinian Summer Camp (2):
"The activities of the [summer] camp are organized with the support of the Palestinian Center for Dissemination of Democracy & Community Development... [with] teams which carry names with a national and historical significance, and names of Shahids... the camp activities are dedicated to the memory of two Shahids (Martyrs), Dalal Mughrabi and Azmi Saghir."
[Al-Ayyam, July 22, 2008]

Sports: Football tournament
"Islami Silwan Club wins the Dalal Mughrabi Championship for youth... [for children] born in 1996 - the Islami Silwan Club, won the Dalal Mughrabi Football Championship, organized by the Hilal Al-Quds Club, along with five teams from the different [sports] clubs of the Jerusalem region."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), Aug. 8, 2008]

"[The Governor of Ramallah] announced the naming of a square after the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi, adjacent to the headquarters of the Political and National Education Authority... in order to eternalize her memory."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), Dec. 30, 2009]

In addition, Mughrabi is regularly honored at many official events throughout the year. At the opening ceremony of Fatah's Sixth General Conference this summer, Fatah leaders responded with applause when former PA Prime Minister Abu Alaa (Ahmad Qurei) honored Mughrabi:
"We have in our midst the hero Khaled Abu-Usbah, hero of the operation [terror attack] led by the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi [applause from the audience]. We salute him and welcome him. And [we salute] the hero, the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal. [He shouts:] All the glory! All the glory! All the glory! All the sisters here are Dalal's sisters."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 4, 2009]

Click here to view former PA Prime Minister honoring terrorist Dalal Mughrabi.

This past year PA TV also celebrated the 31st anniversary of Mughrabi's terror attack with an hour-long TV special about the attack. The program opened with the narrator glorifying the attack as:
"One of the most important and most prominent special actions, executed by the Palestinian revolution by sea, on the coast between Haifa and Tel Aviv. This action, carried out by a group of heroes and led by the heroic fighter Dalal Mughrabi."
[PA TV (Fatah), March 11, 2009]

In defiance of demographic fatalism


In 1948, prime minister David Ben-Gurion declared independence in defiance of demographic fatalism, which was perpetrated by the country's leading demographers. He rejected their assumptions that Jews were doomed to be a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, that a massive aliya wave was not feasible, that the Jewish fertility rate was declining to below reproduction levels and that the Arab fertility rate would remain the highest in the world, irrespective of modernity. Instead, Ben-Gurion highlighted demographic optimism and aliya as top national priorities, coalesced a solid Jewish majority and planted the seeds that catapulted Israel to a Middle East power, highly respected for its civilian and military achievements.

In 2005, in capitulation to demographic fatalism, prime minister Ariel Sharon retreated from Palestinian terrorism, uprooting 10,000 Jews from Gaza and Samaria. Sharon abandoned his lifelong ideology of defiance, subordinating long-term strategy and security concerns to doomsday demography. Thus, he facilitated Hamas's takeover of Gaza and its ripple effects: slackened posture of deterrence, intensified shelling of southern Israel, the 2006 Second Lebanon War, 2008's Operation Cast Lead, the Goldstone Report and the exacerbated global pressure on Israel.

DEMOGRAPHIC ASSUMPTIONS have played an increasing role in shaping national security policy since 1992. But what if these assumptions are dramatically wrong? For example, since the beginning of annual aliya in 1882 - and in contradiction to demographic projections - the Jewish population between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean has grown 238-fold, while the Arab population increased only sixfold. Since 1948, the Jewish population has increased almost tenfold, and the Arab population has expanded threefold.

Israel's demographers did not believe that a massive aliya would take place in the aftermath of the 1948/9 war. One million Jews arrived. They projected no substantial aliya from the communist bloc during the 1970s. Almost 300,000 Jews arrived. They dismissed the possibility of a massive aliya from the USSR, even if the gates were opened. One million olim relocated from the Soviet Union to the Jewish homeland during the 1990s.

Contrary to demographic assumptions, a rapid and drastic decline in Muslim fertility has been documented by the UN Population Division: Iran - 1.7 births per woman; Algeria - 1.8 births; Egypt - 2.5 births; Jordan - three births; and so on. The Arab fertility rate in pre-1967 Israel declined 20 years faster than projected, and Judea and Samaria Arab fertility has dropped below 4.5 births per woman, tending toward three births.

Precedents suggest that low fertility rates can rarely be reversed following a sustained period of significant reduction.

At the same time, the annual number of Jewish births increased by 45 percent between 1995 (80,400) and 2008 (117,000), mostly impacted by the demographic surge within the secular sector. The total annual Arab births in pre-1967 Israel stabilized around 39,000 during the same period, reflecting the successful Arab integration into the infrastructure of education, employment, health, trade, politics and sports.

AN AUDIT of the documentation of Palestinian births, deaths and migration, which is conducted by the Palestinian Authority ministries of Health and Education and Election Commission, as well as by Israel's Border Police and Central Bureau of Statistics and by the World Bank, reveals huge misrepresentations by the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics.

For instance, the PCBS's census includes about 400,000 overseas residents who have been away for more than one year, ignores high net-emigration (28,000 in 2008, 25,000 in 2007, etc.) and double-counts some 250,000 Jerusalem Arabs, who are also counted by Israel. Furthermore, a 40,000-60,000 annual birth gap is confirmed between PCBS numbers and the documentation conducted by the PA Health and Education ministries.

The audit of Palestinian and Israeli documentation exposes a 66% bend in the current number of Judea and Samaria Arabs - 1.55 million and not 2.5 million, as claimed by the PA. It certifies a solid 67% Jewish majority over 98.5% of the land west of the Jordan River (without Gaza), compared with a 33% and an 8% Jewish minority in 1947 and 1900, respectively, west of the Jordan River. An 80% majority is attainable by 2035 with the proper demographic policy, highlighting aliya, returning expatriates, etc.

In conclusion, demographic optimism is well-documented, while demographic fatalism is resoundingly refuted. There is a demographic problem, but it is not lethal, and the tailwind is Jewish. Therefore, anyone suggesting that there is a demographic machete at the throat of the Jewish state and that Jewish geography must be conceded to secure Jewish demography, is either grossly mistaken or outrageously misleading.

The writer is executive director of Second Thought, which researches national security aspects of Judea and Samaria.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1261364552534&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Report of Second Airline Bombing Attempt

Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
December 30, 2009

DAVID ASMAN: The Christmas Day bomb attack, not an isolated incident. Are we seeing a pattern here? Welcome everyone, I'm David Asman in for Neil Cavuto and this is Your World and today, word of another potential bomb attack aimed at bringing down a passenger plane. Report out of Mogadishu, Somalia said a young man tried to board a commercial airliner carrying powdered chemicals, a liquid and a syringe. Sound familiar? Authorities say the substances could have been used as an explosive device. Now the incident of course, is eerily similar to the failed Christmas Day bomb attack on Northwest Flight 253. On that flight, the suspect reportedly stashed 80 grams of the highly explosive material PETN in the crotch of his underwear. My next guest says this latest news tells us there are scores of potential bombers just waiting to strike. Terror Analyst, Steve Emerson joins me now. So, Steve, when you first heard about this Somalia incident, did you realize that the bragging claims of terrorists might just be true? That there are dozens of others out there?

STEVEN EMERSON: In fact, its probably even worse than the claims that they've made, David, because we know that there are literally hundreds of Westernized Muslims-that is Muslims coming from Britain, the United States, as well as other European countries-that are studying or being recruited in training in Yemen at this very moment. And they've been there for periods from 4 months to 2 years. This is what a U.S. intelligence official told me in the last few days and threat emanates from; not the Al Qaeda organization, but that the recruits that they have number in the hundreds and they just have to select the right person for the right operation. Now the question is how many more airplane bombs are there and would be bombers. We don't know the answer to that. We're going to obviously go back into the airline records and the U.S. intelligence agencies to determine patterns of traffic and to see whether there were reconnaissance missions on any routes to the United States in the last year. I'll suspect that they'll find that there were.

ASMAN: By the way, we're going to be having on a little bit later in the show, a woman who was on the plane and is the woman who reported seeing somebody else tape recording, video recording the suspect before everything broke out. In other words, there may have been an accomplice on that flight with this guy. What do you think of that?

EMERSON: The only thing I can tell you is I would not be surprised by anything I learn. I have been so surprised since Christmas Day. Even I, who study this phenomenon for years, was amazed to learn how they could evade detection and carry out this would be bombing in light of the fact that the United States just spent tens of billions of dollars on airplane security and technology and hasn't really amounted to anything.

ASMAN: You know, it shows you, Steve, there is no magic bullet here. There is no machine that is going to do the job. The reason El Al has had such a wonderful record in terms of security on their airplane-and every terrorist in the world wants to get them-is because they focus their money on personnel. On eyes of experts, on judgment of experts. That's what you have to do, right?

EMERSON: Absolutely. That's why I call for "smart screening," that is inclusion of other pertinent data such as ethnicity, religion-


ASMAN: You call it "smart screening," other people call it profiling. By the way, we're going to get to that in just a second. When you hear 50 grams, 80 grams it sounds like a pittance of this explosive material, but there was a demonstration done by our own people. This shows you what just 50 grams of what this explosive device can do. Look at the plane. That's 50 grams, so imagine almost as twice as much as what this guy-I mean, we were so lucky. We dodged a huge bullet, didn't we?

EMERSON: Right, and the question is, would we have determined that it was Al Qaeda if it had actually gone off and burnt down the plan at 8,000 feet. Don't know.

ASMAN: Now, let's-you brought up the subject. Let's talk about profiling. You have to find the way of making sure you can get the right type of person. Ask any security guy at El Al, and that's what he'll tell you. Can we do it here?

EMERSON: Absoulutely. It's just a matter of political will. The fact is that what we are doing now is excluding pertinent data such as Major Hasan; he was the Fort Hood shooter that killed 13 people. There were enough indications with him prior to his massacre that he carried out, that he would carry out such a murderous, jihadi spree because he was known in the community to be a jihadist but everyone was afraid to say anything because they were afraid of being accused of racial profiling. I'm not saying base identification of terrorists only on the base of religion. I'm saying include data that could be used in the larger equation and the larger formula that might be relevant and the number one common denominator in all terrorist attacks against us in 2009. There has been one common denominator; they're all Muslim jihadists.

ASMAN: That's right. Of course if they're afraid of racial profiling in a military institution, imagine the TSA. I mean, they must be scared stiff. So, it's going to take a change in attitude in order to get us to that point. Unfortunately, it might take a real terrorist incident gone right from the terrorist perspective.

EMERSON: David, you're right. It might take something like that to galvanize us. Look at how we're galvanized to this day. One week since the bombing-would be bombing. Only because he almost carried it off, I mean, I suspect we're going to be learning a lot more about the threat of radical Islam within the United States and externally, particularly emanating from Yemen that would not have been uncovered and that would not have been discussed had it not been for the would be bombing on Christmas Day.

ASMAN: Well, thank God we got this guy and we can pump him for information. Steve Emerson, great to see you again, Steve. Thanks very much.

EMERSON: Thank you.

HC: Cornhusker Kickbacks for All

Last night the Nebraska Cornhuskers routed the Arizona Wildcats 33-0 in the Holiday Bowl. Most years college football bowl games do not have much to do with health care legislation in Washington. But last night, Husker fans throughout Nebraska were subjected to a 30-second television ad from Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE).Politicians usually don’t run ads a month after November, and almost never more than two years before they are up for re-election. But after a new poll showed Nelson with a 55% unfavorable rating and down 30 points to a would-be 2012 challenger, Nelson decided to take to the air. The source of Nebraskans displeasure with Nelson is no secret. 64% of the state opposes the health care legislation Nelson recently voted for in the Senate, and only 17% approve of the special deal Nelson made for Nebraska’s Medicaid program, more commonly known as the Cornhusker Kickback, in order to secure his vote.

Nebraskans are not the only Americans disgusted by the tactics President Barack Obama and his allies are employing to pass their version of health reform. The attorneys general of 13 states have sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) demanding that the Nebraska deal be removed from the bill or they will challenge the legislation constitutionally in court.

Other states are taking a different tack, demanding that the entire Medicaid portion of the Senate bill be redone. The governors of the nation’s two largest Democratic states, New York and California, warn that the Medicaid expansion at the heart of the bill “could collapse the very safety net system it seeks to expand.” New York Governor David Patterson says the bill would leave his state $1 billion in the lurch and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says Obamacare will drain California’s General Fund an additional $3 billion to $4 billion annually.

The fight over the Medicaid portions of the bill expose one of the dirty little secrets of Obamacare: for all the talk of fundamental reform of the system, over half of the health insurance coverage additions in both the House and Senate bills come from the expansion of Medicaid.

Medicaid was chosen to do the bulk of the health insurance expansion under Obamacare because it is cheap. But as Americans instinctively know: cheaper does not mean better. The President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have warned that the lower Medicaid reimbursements will mean those who gain insurance under Obamacare through Medicaid will have a very difficult time finding doctors to treat them.

There is a reason government-run single payer health care advocates rally under the slogan “Medicare for All.” Medicare is actually popular among those who use it. But Americans who think they are gaining real health insurance under Obamacare are going to be in for a rude awakening when they discover they ended up with “Medicaid for All” instead.

Rush Limbaugh was admitted to a Honolulu hospital today and is resting comfortably after suffering chest pains. Rush will keep his fans updated at

A suicide bomber killed at least eight American civilians in Afghanistan Wednesday and the United Nations is temporarily pulling international staff from Pakistan because of the deteriorating security situation.

After $787 billion in stimulus spending and $700 billion in bank bailouts, the nation’s bulging debt is now $12.1 trillion.

The Obama administration’s latest $3.8 billion bail out of GMAC makes taxpayers the majority owners of the firm.

Fears are growing that Greece or another weak country may default on its sovereign debt obligations, forcing the richer countries in Europe to ride to the rescue.

Former Gitmo Detainees Behind Plot?

Steven Emerson
Interview on MSNBC

CHRIS JANSING: In the meantime, the U.S. is trying to determine whether men who were once held under lock and key at Guantanamo Bay helped mastermind the plot to bring down a U.S. bound jet. The very suggestion could pose serious concerns for the Obama Administration, facing the question of what to do with dozens of Yemeni nationals still being held at the prison in Cuba. Steve Emerson is a NBC News Terrorism Expert and Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Steve, good morning to you. STEVEN EMERSON: Good morning, Chris.

JANSING: We know this early in the investigation, but from what you are reading and hearing, what's the likelihood Abdulmutallab, this suspect, is telling the truth and that he's tied to Al Qaeda in Yemen.

EMERSON: I think we can take him at face value; that he is tied to Al Qaeda. It depends how you define Al Qaeda. I don't think it's the same organization that existed on 9/11. It's a much more decentralized organization with chapters and franchises that basically anoint themselves to the organization and carry out attacks in the name of Al Qaeda without getting the permission of the leaders of the organization. So, I think that we can take him at face value. The question that you raise initially is who trained him, who was the mastermind of this plot and was it connected to those that had been released prior to this plot? After all, 90% of those radical detainees that had been sent back to Yemen had gone back to fighting the jihad. That's a 90% recidivism rate; that's extraordinary, which, as you pointed out, is going to cause problems for him when it comes down time to his promise to close Guantanamo Bay.

JANSING: Let's talk about some of the things we do know, that former Gitmo prisoners involved in Al Qaeda in Yemen or Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as this organization is known. In fact, came from Gitmo went there, and one of them, and I may not pronounce his name correctly. You can certainly correct me but Alshiri supposedly number two. He apparently at one point was released. He goes to Saudi Arabia, he takes this training to renounce extremism which includes a dialogue and art therapy. He promptly goes back to Yemen and re-ups in Al Qaeda. What does that tell us about the situation there?

EMERSON: Don't forget the crayons. That was very important in the rehabilitation process.

JANSING: You're not joking either.

EMERSON: No, I'm not. It sounds like I'm joking but that's actually part of what the Saudi's institute- part of the rehabilitation process which essentially amounted to nothing, because again, all of these prisoners went back to fighting the Jihad against the United States.Yemen is the new battlefront of Al Qaeda's war against the United States.

JANSING: So you agree with Joe Lieberman on that, that we've got to watch out because that's the next big area. We already had Pakistan and Afghanistan, but those are places where the United States and our allies have already had some success in disabling Al Qaeda because of our heavy presence there.

EMERSON: I think that the strikes by the Predators in Waziristan and Afghanistan have actually forced Al Qaeda to relocate to some extent to Yemen. Now, I don't say that containing Yemen because it's a decentralized government-there's no control over the areas now controlled by Al Qaeda is the only solution, Chris, because I think that we still have homegrown Islamic jihadists in the United States. You're not going to bomb Texas; you're not going to bomb Maryland. On the other hand, we have to acknowledge the fact that the threat against the United States, the homeland, is coming from a multitude of radical Islamic sources; whether they are based in the U.S. or based overseas, the latest of which shows that a large concentration are based in Yemen and the question is what can be done about it without having to engage the United States in a more boots on the ground question about putting itself in harm's way. And the reality is that unless you put yourself on the ground, if you just restrict yourself to air strikes, you're not going to get the intelligence you need to actually find out where the terrorists are located.

JANSING: Alright, Steve, thanks so much.

EMERSON: Sure, you're welcome.

Yes, Someone Has To Pay for Health Care

Debra J. Saunders
Thursday, December 31, 2009

Most Americans already have health care insurance, but many middle-class Americans are afraid of losing what they have. The fear is especially profound when a person can work hard and steadily for years, only to find him-or-herself suddenly out of a job and without the means to pay for a costly illness. There have been too many horror stories about people who responsibly buy personal health plans, only to find out that the plans don't really cover large medical bills. If a person gets a job that provides health care benefits, his or her current health problems may not be covered because they are pre-existing conditions.

Washington's catchphrase for the above situation has been, as the fiscal-watchdog group the Concord Coalition wrote in its recent report on health care reform, "doing nothing is not a responsible option."

The other half of the equation, however, is, as the report continued, "It does not follow, however, that doing anything would improve the situation." Alas, doing anything seems to be the one thing at which Washington excels.

Now, I've got issues with the bills passed in the House and Senate when Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid kept tossing in benefits while promising to reduce the country's health care tab.

But my new fear is that during conference committee, lawmakers will throw in even more goodies and then, to make everybody happy, reduce the tax increases necessary to fund the plan. The closer they come to President Obama's 2008 campaign rhetoric -- universal health care that only rich people pay for -- the more red ink they will pass on to the next generation.

The House proposes a 5.4 percent tax on workers earning more than $500,000 annually, or $1 million for couples. The Senate relies heavily on what is called hide-the-tax -- excise tax on so-called Cadillac health care plans. The Senate also would increase Medicare taxes on families earning more than $250,000.

The problem with soaking the rich to pay for a health care plan? This is the fastest-shrinking tax imaginable when the economy sours. If California can serve any useful function in this debate, it should be as a warning to the dangers of over-relying on taxes on the rich.

Besides, as the Concord Coalition noted, broadly based taxes "spread the notion that all must contribute something for government benefits -- imposing an important breaker against 'free lunch' spending giveaways." Hence the coalition's support for the tax on so-called Cadillac health care.

While critics on the left complain that the Cadillac tax will squeeze union workers and the middle-class, I have issues with taxing those with health care benefits to pay for those who don't. Better to pass a value-added tax, but at least this excise eventually would make everyone pay for a universal benefit.

Concord Coalition Policy Director Josh Gordon believes, "Once people start feeling the cost of their insurance, they start getting concerned about premiums being too high." He added that if negotiators remove the Senate excise-tax and cost-control measures, the Concord Coalition would have to brand a final bill as "irresponsible legislation."

Note to anti-tax Republicans: If Washington passes a bill, someone has to pay for it. The only question is who, when and how much.

Note to soak-the-richers: You can't say that universal health care is a moral imperative, but only other people should pay for it.

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

2009 Chickens and their 2010 Roost

Victor Davis Hanson
Thursday, December 31, 2009

In the coming year, plenty of our chickens will be coming home to roost.

Take foreign relations. In 2009, the new administration assumed that George W. Bush was largely responsible for global tensions. As a remedy, we loudly reached out to our foes and those with whom we had uneasy relationships. But so far these leaders -- like Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Russia's Vladimir Putin -- have only interpreted Barack Obama's serial goodwill gestures as weaknesses to be exploited. They play the part of the pushy class bully, we the whiny nerd.

In the waning days of 2009, Iran has announced it has no intention of dismantling its nuclear facilities and ignored the latest Obama deadline to cease. There's no reason not to expect the theocracy to make significant strides in its nuclear program in 2010, while continuing without rebuke to beat and murder democratic dissidents in its streets.

Russia has announced plans to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons -- and scoffed at our polite suggestions that it should pressure Iran to stop its nuclear development.

Venezuela brags of its own similar program to come -- an act that could threaten all the neighboring democracies in the region.

The administration courted China on a much-heralded Asian tour. President Obama even has said he would be our first "Pacific president."

Unfortunately, China was not impressed. It declined our advice about reducing its carbon footprint and instead reminded Americans that we owe the Chinese people nearly $1 trillion. Expect much more of that hectoring in 2010 as our debt to China grows.

Consider also the threat of Islamic terrorism. In 2009, some in the Obama administration decided "war on terror" was too provocative a label for what might be better dubbed "overseas contingency operations." Apparently, they were thinking a kinder, gentler image would discourage terrorists.

Accordingly, the self-confessed architect of Sept. 11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was promised a civil trial in New York rather than a military tribunal normally accorded to out-of-uniform murderous terrorists. Expect a lot of soapbox speechmaking about America's sins during his testimony in 2010.

As part of our efforts to break with the Bush anti-terrorism past, President Obama also vowed he would close the facility at Guantanamo Bay by Jan. 22, 2010 -- another deadline that won't be met.

But as 2009 ended, we were reminded that radical Islamic terrorists still want to kill us for who we are, and what we represent, rather than any particular thing we do.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, nursed on radical Islamic doctrine, murdered 12 fellow soldiers and one civilian at Ford Hood, Texas. Five would-be terrorists with U.S. citizenship were arrested in Pakistan on their way to link up with Islamist militant groups. And Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was stopped in flight from Amsterdam before he could blow up an American passenger jet.

Note that all these recent terrorists were not poor, lived in the hospitable West -- and cared little that the Obama administration has been critical of the U.S.'s prior war-on-terror policies.

So, while we assured the world in 2009 that we wouldn't be overzealous in our various efforts to stop terrorists, the terrorists proved they most certainly would be in theirs to kill us.

Meanwhile, at home we operated on the same naive assumptions. The Obama administration inherited a $500 billion deficit and expanded it threefold. Its planned mega-deficits may well grow the aggregate national debt over the next decade to over $20 trillion.

But the administration's 2009 calculations on how to service the growing red ink are based on continued cheap interest. Yet in 2010, it is likely we will see rising inflation, rising interest rates -- and rising costs to the continual self-destructive borrowing.

We were given a financial break on energy prices in 2009. The worldwide recession sent oil down to about $50 a barrel. But America did little during the year's reprieve to rush into production newly discovered domestic gas and oil fields, to tap existing finds in Alaska, or to license new nuclear plants.

By year's end, oil was creeping back up to $80. If the economic upswing continues, in 2010 it may near its old high of nearly $150 a barrel. Soon we will wish we had done something concrete in 2009 rather than offering more stale rhetoric about wind and solar power.

In other words, 2009 may seem to have ended relatively quietly. But in our foreign relations, in the war against terror, in our massive borrowing, and in our energy policies, we created chickens that soon will come home to roost in 2010.

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Favoring a national unity government

Isi Leibler
December 31, 2009

Just under a year ago after the elections and again last month, I called for a government of national unity. I was apprehensive that our situation was becoming ominously reminiscent to the period preceding the Six Day War. Polls after the elections indicated that the vast majority of Israelis favored such a move. However, motivated by egomania and overriding personal political ambition, Kadima leader Tzipi Livni bitterly opposed the proposal and, in what proved to be her greatest political failure, prevented her party from joining the government.Binyamin Netanyahu was thus obliged to form a narrow government and come to terms with the excessive demands of the small, one-dimensional parties. But contrary to Livni's predictions, far from collapsing after only a few months, Netanyahu succeeded in achieving a rare sense of unity among Israelis.

This week, the prime minister renewed his call for a unity government. In accusing him of cynicism and flatly rejecting the offer on the grounds that the country is not now facing any war, Livni has demonstrated that she is clearly out of touch with reality and lacks the qualities required of a national leader.

THE REALITY is that today we face a perilous era:

We are confronted with an American administration which is less supportive of Israel than any of its predecessors and will probably soon impose additional unacceptable demands.

We face a moment of decision in relation to the Iranian nuclear threat.

We are suffering from greater hostility on the global level than at any time since the state was created. The Europeans (encouraged by the policy shift of the Obama administration) are poised to exert their influence in favor of an imposed settlement which could pose a long-term existential threat to us.
Our enemies are intensifying their global campaign by exploiting the Goldstone report to brand us as war criminals and further our delegitimization.

In such a toxic environment, the need for national unity to fend off the coming onslaught is very real.

It is the policies of the US administration which will largely determine the reality of the threats that we will confront in the international arena. Given that the American people and Congress continue to support us, there is no doubt that the Obama administration would heed a united Israeli standpoint expressed within the framework of a national unity government.

Hence, despite Livni's staged outrage at Netanyahu's proposal, today most Israelis would wish to see Kadima act in the national interest and join a unity government. Besides, under Livni, Kadima has proved to be a weak, inept opposition. Shaul Mofaz, the second-most senior Kadima leader, makes no effort to disguise his contempt for Livni, proclaiming that her victory in the Kadima primaries was the result of "improper actions" which "bordered on the criminal" and that "Kadima is falling apart" because of her "lack of leadership, arrogance and inability to make decisions." It is not surprising therefore, that many within her own party predict that her days are numbered.

KADIMA WAS created by Ariel Sharon solely to enable him to implement an agenda opposed by his party, Likud. Most of Kadima's founding members were thus either defectors from Likud, or joining to further their own political or personal interests. From the outset, Kadima comprised a mishmash of malleable individuals who could broadly be defined, at best, as pragmatic, or in many cases as outright opportunists. Today, since Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan speech, they are unable to even theoretically posit a policy which differs from that of Likud. That largely contributed to their failure as an opposition party.

Had Livni not vetoed Kadima joining the government after the elections, her party would have shared in the division of the major cabinet portfolios. Netanyahu's latest initiative inviting Kadima MKs to suspend their personal ambitions and follow a similar path to that of Menachem Begin, who in 1967 joined the cabinet without a ministerial role, was certain to be rejected. However, the fact that Kadima now complains that it cannot join the coalition because its members are not being offered the same deal as last year, clearly reinforces the fact that the obstacle to joining the government is not based on policy but on ministerial portfolios.

Netanyahu has made it clear that if his offer is rejected, he will endeavor to entice individual members of Kadima to defect in order to broaden his government. Most of us consider such tactics obnoxious. But Netanyahu can at least claim that the inducements he offers for Kadima members to join his government are for a cause supported by the vast majority of the nation. When Yitzhak Rabin acted along similar lines at the time of the Oslo Accords and enticed three Tsomet Knesset members to defect, the country was genuinely divided, and his act effectively changed the course of history rather than reinforcing the will of the majority.

Despite the tenuous moral and antidemocratic motives behind that arrangement, Rabin's efforts were overwhelmingly endorsed by the media which shared his agenda. Yet ironically, Netanyahu is now being accused of cynicism and antidemocratic behavior. This is all the more preposterous given that Kadima was created from the ruins of both Likud and Labor, whose members were seduced to join primarily for opportunistic motives.

THERE ARE additional considerations which give urgency to Kadima joining the government beyond the need for unity to face external threats. A broad government which is not subject to the veto of small, one-dimensional parties will enable the implementation of long-overdue social and economic reforms.

With the demographic explosion in the haredi world, we face a catastrophe unless we act now to review the haredi educational system. As of now, haredi youngsters are denied the ability to sustain a durable livelihood, which guarantees that they will remain wards of the state, relying on social welfare for their entire lives. There is a desperate need for reviewing the structure of the draft and national service; We must enable those who are not halachicly Jewish to institutionalize their marital bonds without the charade of going to Cyprus. There must be an end to the ongoing scandal of conversions controlled by haredi-dominated rabbinical courts and the proliferation of anti-Zionist rabbis receiving state rabbinical appointments. There is an urgency for electoral reform which continues to be sidelined.

In my column last month, I concluded by asking: "Can Kadima led by Livni overcome petty political considerations and act in the best interests of the state?" For reasons set forth above, we should hope that with or without Livni, Kadima or most of its Knesset members will ultimately join the government. Recent events indicate that Livni's personal ambitions no longer dominate the party and that Kadima MKs have become more attuned to the wishes of the public.

If Netanyahu ultimately succeeds in persuading large numbers of Kadima members to join his government, he could also deal with the multiple problems facing our society which are today on the back burner because of the veto power of small parties selfishly promoting their narrow interests. He could also initiate a renaissance and reinforce all the positive Jewish and Zionist forces that have been corrupted over time by a flawed electoral system which served as an incubator for corrupt politicians.

What Israel can teach us about security

December 31, 2009

Cathal Kelly

While North America's airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification.

That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel's, which deal with far greater terror threats with far less inconvenience. "It is mind boggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago," said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy. He has worked with the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals and airports around the world.

"Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don't take s--- from anybody. When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for – not for hours – but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, `We're not going to do this. You're going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport.'"

Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel's largest hub, Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?

The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Ben Gurion is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

"Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," Sela said.

Once you've parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.

Armed guards outside the terminal observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion's half-dozen entrances, another layer of security is watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.

"This is to see that you don't have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious," said Sela.

You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?

"The whole time, they are looking into your eyes – which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds," said Sela.

Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.

At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil's advocate – what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?

"I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with Play-Doh in it and two pens stuck in the Play-Doh. That is `Bombs 101' to a screener. I asked Duchesneau, `What would you do?' And he said, `Evacuate the terminal.' And I said, `Oh. My. God.'

"Take (Toronto's) Pearson (airport). Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let's say I'm (doing an evacuation) without panic – which will never happen. But let's say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, `Two days.'"

A screener at Ben Gurion has a pair of better options.

First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.

Second, all the screening areas contain `bomb boxes.' If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.

"This is a very small, simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports," Sela said.

Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben Gurion airport shares with Pearson – the body and hand-luggage check.

"But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America," Sela said.

"First, it's fast – there's almost no line. That's because they're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you," said Sela. "Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes ... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys."

The goal at Ben Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in 25 minutes tops.

And then there's intelligence. In Israel, Sela said, a coordinated intelligence gathering operation produces a constantly evolving series of threat analyses and vulnerability studies.

"There is absolutely no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada or the United States," Sela said. "Absolutely none."

But even without the intelligence, Sela maintains, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – who allegedly tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day – would not have gotten past Ben Gurion's behavioural profilers.

So. Eight years after 9/11, why are we still so reactive?

Sela first blames our leaders, and then ourselves.

"You can easily do what we do. You don't have to replace anything. You have to add just a little bit – technology, training," Sela said. "But you have to completely change the way you go about doing airport security. And that is something that the bureaucrats have a problem with. They are very well enclosed in their own concept."

And rather than fear, he suggests outrage would be a far more powerful spur to provoking that change.

"Do you know why Israelis are so calm? We have brutal terror attacks on our civilians and still, life in Israel is pretty good. The reason is that people trust their defence forces, their police, their response teams and the security agencies. They know they're doing a good job. You can't say the same thing about Americans and Canadians. They don't trust anybody," Sela said. "But they say, `So far, so good.' Then if something happens, all hell breaks loose and you've spent eight hours in an airport. Which is ridiculous. Not justifiable."

Why Abbas Does Not Want To Resume Peace Talks

Khaled Abu Toameh

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority have reached the conclusion that, under the current circumstances, it would be a waste of time to return to the negotiating table with Israel. They are convinced that the only way to get anything is by rallying pressure from the international community against Israel. It is for this reason that representatives of the Palestinians have been negotiating with the Europeans and Americans about the peace process -- not with Israel.

The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is negotiating about the peace process, but with the foreign ministers of France, Sweden, Norway, Germany and the UK and not with Israel. Almost every step this leadership takes is fully coordinated in advance with Western diplomats and their governments.

They believe that at present Israel is more isolated than ever in the international arena, particularly in light of the UN’s Gaza War report, the “Goldstone Report.”

The Palestinian leadership has chosen to confront Israel in the international arena, and not at the negotiating table. Abbas’s strategy is to further isolate Israel in the world through boycotts and anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and other international forums.

They see growing support for Palestinians in many European capitals, and are convinced that this will eventually be translated into heavy pressure on Israel.

This is why he is prepared to wait and wait. He believes that the longer he waits, the more Israel will come under pressure.

Palestinian leaders see that the UN and almost all European governments have entirely endorsed the Palestinian narrative in the Israeli-Arab conflict Palestinian, namely that Israel must withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, including half of Jerusalem, and allow the establishment of a Fatah-controlled state in these territories.

They see increased anti-Israel sentiments in the West and are encouraged that Israel will not be able to tolerate hostility, isolation and boycott for a long time.

Abbas believes that the international community is negotiating with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. He is fully convinced that only increased pressure on Israel, and not negotiations, will bring about a full withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders.

And since the whole world, with the possible exception of the US Administration, “is on our side,” why bother return to the negotiating table with Israel?

The belief among the Palestinian leadership is that it is only a matter of time before Israel succumbs to the growing international pressure.

By negotiating with Abbas and his government, the Western governments are, in fact, keeping the Palestinians from resuming peace talks with Israel. Instead of negotiating with Abbas, these governments should be urging him to return to the negotiations with Israel as soon as possible and before it is too late.

But for now Abbas does not seem to be in a rush; this is why those who believe that real peace talks could be “revived” in the near future are living under an illusion. Abbas has set out his demands and conditions in a clear and straight manner and he is waiting for the international community to help him achieve all his goals.

If Abbas wants to prove his claim that Israel “does not want peace,” then he should return to the negotiating table tomorrow morning and show the world which party is to blame for the stalemate.

"Looking More Deeply"

Arlene Kushner

I confess it: For me, the secular new year is marked chiefly by the need to remember to write the correct date on my checks and at the top of these postings. But I am mindful of what the New Year means to many of my readers. And I most certainly wish one and all blessings -- for peace, health, inner contentment and prosperity -- in the coming year. The imagery for the new year is one of beginnings that are fresh and hopeful. May 2010 bring the world better tidings than it received in 2009.


In my last posting, I raised the question as to whether Obama will grapple with the root of the "systematic failure" that led to a terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, getting on an American plane and attempting to blow it up outside of Detroit. There is a vast amount of material on this subject coming my way, and so I return for a closer look.

We will pass by the idiocy of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who told CNN, after the incident, that "the system worked." A ludicrous attempt to put a good face on what -- but for the courageous response of passengers and a failed detonator -- would have been a very major terrorist attack.

Of great concern, however, is that fact that the Obama government seems to be treating this as an "incident," and an isolated one at that, rather than as a symptom of something a great deal more ominous. In fact, Napolitano also alluded to this, saying that, "We have no indication that it's part of anything larger." Come on!

Yes, there will be examinations of how screening failed to pick up the explosives being carried on to a plane. This is the "systemic failure" that the president is concerned with. And as a result all passengers flying in or to the US will be considerably inconvenienced. There is talk of such measures as body-frisking and preventing passengers from getting out of their seats for a period before landing.

But there is no mention of the fact that the would-be terrorist was a Muslim. No talk of Islamists, or radical Islam or jihadist ideology.


So thoroughly is Abdulmutallab being treated as a criminal rather than a terrorist that he is simply being charged -- within the civil criminal system -- with committing two felonies: trying to destroy a plane in U.S. airspace, and bringing a "destructive device" on an aircraft.

JINSA (in Report #951) quotes counterterrorism expert Steve Emerson:

"I'd like to first find out who recruited him. I'd like to find out where he got the explosives...I'd like to find out who sent him. How he was recruited...."

However, laments JINSA:

"...being charged in a U.S. court means that Abdulmutallab is now entitled to Constitutional protections, including the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. And we are sure that if Abulmutallab doesn't know about those rights, his court appointed lawyer or the ACLU will surely tell him. How much we will learn from him under the circumstances is unclear.

"We have already learned enough about the young men...who adopt jihadist teachings as their religious touchstone to understand that it is a mistake to endow terrorists with the legal and constitutional rights of American citizens who violate civilian laws."

A Wall Street Journal editorial, "The Terror This Time," on Monday made the same points:

"[The Obama administration] immediately indicted Mr. Abdulmutallab on criminal charges...despite reports that he told officials he had ties to al Qaeda and had picked up his PETN explosive in Yemen. The charges mean the Nigerian can only be interrogated like any other defendant in a criminal case, subject to having a lawyer present and his Miranda rights read. Yet he is precisely the kind of illegal enemy combatant who should be interrogated first with the goal of preventing future attacks and learning more about terror networks rather than gaining a single conviction." (emphasis added)

Miranda rights for terrorists. Setting up a situation that makes it significantly less likely that information will be secured that might help prevent future attacks. Not a good way to go!

Obama has not internalized the fact that we are at war.


I recommend here the very excellent piece -- "The Wake up call from flight 253" -- by Jeff Jacoby.

"...As the near-unanimity of 9/11 receded, Americans divided into what the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes dubbed September 12 people, for whom 9/11 had changed everything, and September 10 people, who believed the terrorist threat was being exaggerated by the Bush administration and who regarded the fight against Islamist extremism as chiefly a matter of law enforcement.

"...Would that divide have closed if Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had succeeded...? If Al-Qaeda...had succeeded in carrying out another 9/11, would the short-lived unity and moral clarity of that terrible day in 2001 have returned?"

Jacoby then lists for us the lessons that too many have been inclined to dismiss in recent years:

[] "Terrorism isn't caused by poverty and ignorance.Abdulmutallab came from a wealthy and privileged family, and had studied at one of Britain's top universities. He wasn't trying to kill hundreds of Americans out of socioeconomic despair...Abdulmutallab was motivated by ideological and religious fanaticism. The teachings of militant Islam may seem monstrous to outsiders, but that is no reason to doubt that their adherents genuinely believe them..."

[] "The Global Jihad is real...Of course Abdulmutallab is part of something larger: He is part of the global jihad -- the relentless assault by Islamist radicals whose deadly serious goal is the submission of America and the West to Islamic law. If government officials like Napolitano cannot bring themselves to speak plainly about the jihadists' ambitions, how will they ever succeed in crushing them? "

[] "Terrorists can always adapt to new restrictions. After 9/11, knives and sharp metal objects were banned from carry-on luggage, so Richard Reid attempted to detonate a shoe bomb. Thereafter everyone's shoes were checked, so the 2006 Heathrow plotters planned to use liquid-based explosives...There is no physical constraint that determined jihadists cannot find a way to circumvent. Yet US airport security remains obstinately reactive -- focused on intercepting dangerous things, instead of intercepting dangerous people. Unwilling to incorporate ethnic and religious profiling in our air-travel security procedures, we have saddled ourselves with a mediocre security system that inconveniences everyone while protecting no one." (emphasis added)

[] The Patriot Act was not a reckless overreaction. Security in a post 9/11 world has not come from...sending Guantanamo inmates off to Yemen, or refusing to use terms like 'war on terrorism.' It has come from stepped-up surveillance and stronger intelligence-gathering tools, and from working to pre-empt terror attacks in advance, rather than prosecuting them after the fact. Congress was not out of its mind when it enacted the Patriot Act in 2001, and the Bush administration was not trampling the Constitution when it deployed the expanded powers the law gave it: They were trying to prevent another 9/11 -- and they succeeded. President Obama has repeatedly and ostentatiously criticized his predecessor's approach. Perhaps it is not just a coincidence that Obama's first year in office has also seen an unprecedented surge in terrorist threats on US soil." (emphasis added)

Jacoby provides a link to "Domestic Terrorism Hits a Peak in 2009":,8599,1949329,00.html

There have been 32 terror-related events in the US since 9/11, and 12 of them were in 2009.

Jacoby's article is at:


A hope for 2010, then, would be an awakening on the part of 9/10 people in the US (which undoubtedly includes Obama and the bulk of his administration) before a tragedy ensues.

Analysts are viewing the unrest inside Iran with increased seriousness. Some are even saying that this is a grassroots rebellion that in due course will either seriously affect the nature of the current regime or even overturn it. Reuters has reported that police in central Teheran are refusing orders to shoot at demonstrators.

Such situations are volatile and difficult to predict. Certainly -- we know this already -- change, if it comes, would not be without cost in limb if not life for some protesters.

But I am mindful of what I reported the other day when Professor Irwin Cotler spoke, and the need to support these protesters. Cotler yesterday called a press conference here, in concert with other lawyers doing the same in other places, to announce the release of the petition he had spoken about, which details actions the international community must take against Iran.


And so this, too, may be a hope for 2010: that the situation in Iran might resolve itself internally, without the need for military intervention by Israel.


Sheikh Abdul Palazzo is a good man. I've known of him for several years now. Born in Rome to an Italian Catholic father who had converted to Islam, and a Muslim mother whose roots were in Syria, he is today the leader of the Italian-Muslim Assembly co-founded and co-chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship, which promotes a positive attitude in Muslims to Jews and Israel. He is profoundly pro-Israel, believing that this is what the legitimate teachings of Mohammad say before they are corrupted by the Ahab perspective.

My biggest quandary, with regard to the Sheikh, is understanding how he has managed to stay alive in spite of what he says publicly. I mention him now because I have just read that he visited in Hevron -- Jewish Hevron, that is.

Do I expect to see other Muslim clergy such as him? Not really. He's an anomaly. But we can hope.


The rest of the news, such as it may be? It can wait.

see my website

FSM’s Experts Weigh In on Security Issues as We Look Toward 2010 (Part Two of Two)

FSM National Security Team

Editor’s note: As we approach the end of 2009 – the first year of a new administration and the end of nearly a decade of fighting jihad – we asked our writers to share their thoughts on where we’ve been and where we as a nation and a culture have yet to go.

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman:
High Time for Profiling

Profiling potential terrorists is the best idea for keeping us safe--although not foolproof. It will always be possible for some European or American convert to pass themselves off as an ordinary citizen, as was done by one half-Pakistani recently who had changed his name to travel below the radar. Anybody wearing a burka should be personally patted down, and I think we do need more puffer machines, which speeds up security checks. I have only encountered one once.

But most important, we must not let these villains frighten us. There is a limit to how much damage they can do even if they succeed – and this should reassure us that we will survive all their attacks.

Finally, we had better have a look at our own universities and their Muslim Student Associations, along with co-opted Middle East Studies professors. Intimidation and brainwashing is not education.

Gabriel Garnica, Esq.:

National Security is Not Graded on a Curve

We are increasingly surrounded by, even led by, those whose measure of success, whose standard of excellence, is based on the pathetic curve of present education. Who can forget that pathetic teacher whose incompetence led to a class average of 50 on some test, and who then tried to conceal his incompetence by grading on a curve so that this 50 magically became a 70, creating a fictitious sense of normality, of order, and of quality? Mathematicians and statisticians will tell you that the so-called bell curve was never meant to be applied to small groups, and that using it on such numbers is a distortion of basic statistical principles. That may be so, but this has never stopped those who live in the fiction of their own competence from doing whatever is necessary to appear qualified, seem prepared or, for that matter, create the illusion that they have a clue as to what they are doing.

As we end another year, another decade, and begin new ones, we tragically find that our national security is being led by people whose standard of quality, even excellence, is based on their own bell curve. This is the curve that allows international peace awards based on pretend accomplishments or allows anyone pretending to lead any part of our national security to say, with a straight face, that the system worked on cue when we almost had a plane blown out of the sky a few days ago. While there are many who owe their very political success to the diluted and distorted perceptions of competence and quality, this will not do for our national security. While there are those who would grade their performance a B+ with free-falling approval ratings and growing stacks of evidence confirming their incompetence, this will not do for our national security. Our national security cannot be, can never be, graded on the curve that fools use to conceal their incompetence. This great country deserves a national security with a face of resolve, determination, and courage, not the deer-in-the-headlights version we are being fed today. We should and must aspire to so much more.

Peter Huessy:

Focus on Financiers of Jihad

The U.S. administration may move to adopt strategies stop nuclear terrorism as one of its top priorities for 2010. That is a good thing. There is no greater threat facing this country and its friends and allies. However, any such strategy has got to face up to one aspect of the war on terrorism which we have tended to forget: the role of state governments, intelligence services, and military entities in supporting terrorism with sanctuary, financing, weapons, training and direction. While lone “wolves” such as Maj. Hasan and Farouk Abdulmutallab can do grave harm to our individual citizens, it is states and their terror group co-conspirators such as Iran, Syria, North Korea, as well as their complicit allies in China, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba and elsewhere, and their combined awesome capabilities such as nuclear and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them that could fundamentally destroy our country.

A North Korean freighter was carrying Chinese weapons to terror groups in Sri Lanka and Iran; Credit Suisse and other major banks have repeatedly been implicated in supporting Iranian investments and arms purchases; Norwegian and Russian weapons have ended up with the FARC after transiting Venezuelan territory as part of potential plots to destroy Mexican oil pipelines into the US; while a Chinese company was indicted in April for supplying Iran with missile and nuclear weapons technology. Can someone connect the dots?

Legislation now before Congress would cut off business entities from doing business with the U.S. if they do business with Iran. In 1993, the US inexplicitly adopted a policy of treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter, an after-the-fact get the bad guy’s strategy. Prevention and pre-emption must be the watchwords of the day. Nice talk, appeasement and concessions, from whatever quarter, however beneficial to our “poll numbers,” will not win out the day. We should completely try up the financial lifeline of the terror masters and their allies and use whatever military capability we need to protect America and put these murderers completely out of business. That would be getting serious about “providing for the common defense.”

Rita Kramer:

The End of American Exceptionalism?

2009 has been a terrible year for those of us who believe in America’s unique character, history and destiny. We have seen the beginnings of a transition from a free nation, a land of economic opportunity, to a statist country in which economic outcomes are enforced. We have seen legislation passed unread by our legislators whose votes are secured by means of corruption. We have seen the appointment of men and women who do not value this country’s achievements and traditions and are determined to change it – into a socialist utopia. Ideologues rule, and their aims are the result of 40 years of miseducation in our country’s schools, colleges, universities, and the teacher-training institutions that draw in the least accomplished, subject them to the propaganda of multiculturalism and disguised racism, and send them out into the classrooms where they spread the idea that our country is exploitive and unfair, and that only a redistributive egalitarianism can correct its wrongs.

No nation can survive for long unless its young grow up believing it is worth defending. And while our educational system from top to bottom emphasizes group identity – self esteem based on racial, gender, or ethnic characteristics among the young and cynicism about our democratic values in higher education – there is little room for love of country. We have pushed pride in America out of our schools along with any knowledge of our history or understanding of our institutions.

As the government weakens our safety by diluting measures that have protected us over the last decade and failing to stand up to the thugs who threaten us from abroad, where can we look for our defense unless we begin where it starts, with our young. We no longer educate for citizenship or indeed for academic excellence, having decided that our schools are not for transmitting our culture but bringing about political change.

How can our schools be improved to bring us from the bottom rung of measures of achievement among students in developed countries to schools that encourage and provide for the abilities that produce innovative thinkers who can carry our culture forward? A beginning would be to scrap the fiction that everyone can be educated to the same degree and end the practice of repeatedly lowering the bar in order to effect equal outcomes. Not all children are equally capable of learning because not all children are equally interested in learning. Until we are ready to admit that demonstrable fact we will be wasting the talents and potential of our best students in the service of a foolish dogma that flies in the face of reason and experience.

We must scrap the idea that our schools are laboratories for radical social change and restore an emphasis on the understanding and appreciation of Western culture and American society. It won’t be easy. It means fighting powerful entrenched interests – the teachers’ unions, the education bureaucracy, the race hustlers, the mass media – but unless we rescue our young from ignorance and mediocrity and encourage them to feel pride in their country, how can we expect them to defend it, and what will be left to defend?

Herbert London:

Undermining our Ability to Cope with Security Threats

In my judgment, national security has been put at risk through a misguided belief that enemy combatants should be tried in civilian courts and by the continued apologies for American actions in the past. As I see it, these conditions expand constitutional rights to unreasonable limits in the first instance and demoralize national foreign policy sentiment in the second case.

Since the U.S. had been an exemplar for establishing international equilibrium and the rule of law, these assertions undermine the nation's reputation and ultimately our ability to cope with terrorist threats.

Mark Silverberg:

Failing to Understand the Threat

In the years that have passed since 9/11, I have come to believe that those to whom we have entrusted our security in Washington fail to understand the nature of the war in which we are engaged. While Western society is the product of the Enlightenment and the Renaissance, those who seek to destroy our way of life believe that Allah has pre-ordained the victory of absolutist Islam as it was practiced in medieval times. What we see as compromise, our enemies see as weakness. While we speak of globalization, modernization, tolerance, multiculturalism, democracy and co-existence, our enemies believe that the key to Paradise is a suicide belt, instilling fear, justifying violence, and a return to a purist interpretation of Islam that legitimizes stonings, decapitations, female mutilations, d'himmitude, subservience and domination. Until the mosque becomes detached from the state; until those who seek a global Islamic Caliphate, and those who sponsor that quest are defeated, we must be on the offensive.

Existential issues are not subject to negotiation, compromise or appeasement as we seek today with the mullahs of Iran. Try as it may, America cannot escape its destiny as the defender of the Free World. Our enemies, most notably the Islamic regime in Tehran have thrown the gauntlet to us, and like it or not, we must respond. As Patrick Henry said on March 23, 1775: "We can no longer indulge in illusions ....For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it ....We have done everything we could to avert the storm, but it is now upon us....If we wish to be free, we must fight." We are approaching a conflict with Iran, whether we want one or not. Our only choice is whether or not we will choose to strike a decisive blow and achieve victory or whether we will continue to allow our hands to be tied by world opinion and our own fears and illusions. We have delayed too long and deluded ourselves for even longer. I hope we choose wisely, and hope we do so soon.

Ben-Peter Terpstra:

The Long War Continues

After 9/11, left-wingers weren’t the only people talking about a long war. “The attacks on New York and Washington were disaster-plus incidents,” I wrote in 2001 (October, 22).”Consequently, America is now faced with the prospect of another drawn-out war.”

In 2009, the War on Terror continues. But here’s where leftists and conservatives differ: I celebrate the fact that millions of Muslim women are free to vote. Left-wingers don’t. Next stop? Iran, I hope. As a wise man said, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” I say, if you want women’s rights, prepare for more wars. .

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