April 2009 Archives

How dangerous is Pakistan to the United States, India and the world as political Islam burns every more intensely in Pakistan? The takeover of the Swat Valley with the acquiescence of the Zardari government to the imposition of Islamic law by Jamaat-e-Islami is more than disturbing. The Swat Valley is only about 100 miles from the capital Islamabad. Radical demonstrations and terror attacks are occurring in the capital and the government is only responding weakly. Many fear the collapse of the somewhat Western-oriented government is not far off, with hardline Islamists moving into power.

Caroline Glick details the crisis for the West. One wonders who is watching in Washington with any sense of reality to the danger that is mounting. Iran is a nuclear threat in utero, Pakistan is a nuclear danger now.


Column One: The Pakistani dilemma
Apr. 16, 2009

Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST

In the current era of ideological polarization, throughout the West, the Right and the Left diverge on almost every issue. One of the few convictions that still unifies national security strategists across the ideological spectrum is that it would be a global calamity of the first order if al-Qaida gets its hands on nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, due to the rapid demise of nuclear-armed Pakistan as a coherent political unit, this nightmare scenario is looking more possible than ever. Indeed, if events continue to move in their current direction, it is more likely than not that in the near future, the Taliban and al-Qaida will take possession of all or parts of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

This week has been yet another bad week in Pakistan. On Monday Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari officially surrendered the Swat Valley - an immense district in Northwest Pakistan that encompasses seven provinces - to the Taliban when he signed a regulation implementing Islamic Sharia law in the area. Following the government's capitulation in Swat, the Taliban now controls 18 out of Pakistan's 30 provinces in its northwest and Federally Administered Tribal Areas that border Afghanistan. Only two provinces remain under full government control.

With its new territory, the Taliban now controls the lives of some 6.5 million Pakistanis. For their part, the civilians live in a state of constant terror. Since the Taliban took control of Swat in February, executions, public floggings and bombings of girls' schools, restaurants, video and music stores have become routine occurrences. As a merchant in Swat's main village of Mingora told the Wall Street Journal, "We are frightened by this brutality. No one can dare to challenge them."

And with just 60 miles now separating the Taliban from the capital city of Islamabad, the Taliban are well positioned to continue their march across the country. Indeed, the Taliban appear unstoppable.

The Pakistani government, for its part, seems both unwilling and incapable of taking concerted action to destroy Taliban forces. Again according to the Wall Street Journal, Taliban fighters are flooding the Swat Valley with thousands of veteran fighters from Afghanistan and Kashmir and setting up training camps throughout the areas. Moreover, they are recruiting - both through intimidation and persuasion - still more thousands of locals to join their lines.

A further sign of government capitulation came on Tuesday when Pakistan's Supreme Court released Maulana Abdul Aziz, the leader of the Lal Masjid or Red Mosque in Islamabad, from house arrest. In 2007 Aziz used his al-Qaida/Taliban affiliated madrassa to incite an Islamist takeover of the Pakistani capital. It took then-president Pervez Musharraf three months to forcibly take over the Red Mosque. Arguably, Musharraf's actions against Aziz and his followers were the ultimate cause of his political downfall last year.

According to the online Long War Journal, over the past year, the government has signed capitulation agreements with all of Aziz's Taliban and al-Qaida allies and returned control of the mosque/madrassa complex to the jihadists. At the time of Aziz's attempted overthrow of the Musharraf government and since, the Red Mosque became emblematic of the jihadist war to take over the nuclear-armed state. Aziz's release in turn symbolizes the current government's willingness to surrender.

For their part, US strategists appear despondent in their assessments of the situation in Pakistan, and its impact on NATO's capacity to stabilize the security situation in neighboring Afghanistan. US Army General David Petreaus, who is responsible for the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has called the Taliban an "existential threat" to the Pakistani state. David Kilcullen, who advised Petreaus on his successful counter-insurgency campaign in Iraq and now advises the White House, warned last week that Pakistan could fall within six months. The growing consensus in Washington - particularly given the recent unification of command of Taliban forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan under the so-called Council of United Holy Warriors and their open collaboration with al-Qaida - is that Pakistan is a far greater danger than Afghanistan.

THE US'S assessment of the threats emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan has been largely the same under both the Bush and Obama administrations. In both cases, the US has identified Taliban/al-Qaida acquisition of nuclear weapons as a primary threat to US security that must be prevented. Both have also asserted that the unimpeded operation of al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan/Pakistan is a grave threat to US and global security.

Then too, the US's strategy for contending with these challenges has been similarly focused for much of the past eight years. The US has sought to militarily and politically defeat the Taliban/al-Qaida in Afghanistan by fighting them on the battlefield and cultivating democracy. In Pakistan, the US has sought to defeat the Taliban by strengthening the Pakistani government, mainly through financial assistance to its civilian and military budgets.

In recent years, the US has also worked to decapitate the Taliban/al-Qaida leadership through targeted assassinations inside Pakistan carried out by unmanned aircraft. Under the Obama administration the US has declared its intention to maintain these strategies but expand them by increasing the number of soldiers in Afghanistan and by increasing its civilian assistance to the Pakistani government to $1.5 billion per year.
Unfortunately, the US's efforts in Pakistan to date have failed miserably and there is little cause to believe that expanding them will change the situation in any significant way. Both under Musharraf's military dictatorship and under Zardari's civilian government, the Pakistanis have failed to stem the Taliban's advance.

The Pakistani military and Inter-Service Intelligence agency (ISI) have refused to divert their resources away from fighting India and toward fighting the Taliban. They have refused to take any concerted action against terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, that openly operate on Pakistani soil. Against the wishes of the US, they have continued to surrender territory to the Taliban in the framework of "peace accords." And still today, the Pakistani government and military openly oppose US military action on Pakistani territory, preferring to allow the Taliban to take over the country to permitting the US to help the Pakistani military defeat them.

What the situation in Pakistan clearly exemplifies is the fact that sometimes there are no good options for contending with international security threats. Once Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998, the US lost much of its ability to pressure the Pakistani government and military. Washington understood that if it pushed too hard, the Pakistanis could opt to abandon the West and collaborate with the Taliban and al-Qaida, which by then were not only openly operating from Pakistani territory after having taken over Afghanistan with Pakistani support two years earlier. They were also attacking US targets - including the 1998 attacks against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

SINCE THE September 11 attacks demonstrated just how dangerous jihadists in Pakistan/Afghanistan are to global security, it has been clear that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is a primary threat to global security. For eight years, the US's chosen methods for staving off the threats have effectively served as little more than holding actions because Pakistan's governments have been both unable and unwilling to wage successful military or political campaigns against the Taliban and al-Qaida.
Musharraf believed that he could play a double game of at once helping the US in Afghanistan and sheltering al-Qaida and the Taliban in Pakistan. The Zardari government, which exerts little control over the military and the ISI, has simply expanded and intensified Musharraf's policy of capitulating to the jihadists. Due to the Taliban's current control over the territories bordering Afghanistan, Pakistan is no longer in a position to support NATO operations in Afghanistan. And in the meantime, the advancing Taliban forces in Pakistan itself place Pakistan's nuclear weapons and materials in unprecedented jeopardy.

Given the failure of the US's political strategies of securing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal by supporting Pakistan's government, and fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan, it is becoming apparent that the only sure way to prevent the Taliban/al-Qaida from taking control over Pakistan's nuclear weapons is to take those weapons out of commission.

The US has two basic options for accomplishing this goal. It can send in forces to take control of Pakistan's nuclear installations and remove its nuclear arsenal from the country. Or, it can destroy Pakistan's nuclear installations. Both of these options - which are really variations of the same option - are extremely unattractive. It is far from clear that the US military has the capacity to take over Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and it also unclear what the ultimate effect of a military strike against its nuclear arsenal would be in terms of lives lost and areas rendered uninhabitable due to nuclear fallout.

The only other option that is discussed by US strategists today is that India may serve as deux ex machina and destroy Pakistan's nuclear arsenal itself. Reasonably believing that India would be the first target for Pakistan's nuclear weapons - which Pakistan built in order to threaten India - US military strategists do not expect India to sit back and wait for the US to defend it against a Taliban/al-Qaida-ruled nuclear-armed Pakistan.

For India however, the calculation is not as clear as one might assume. New Delhi knows it can expect the US to support the imposition of various political and military sanctions against it if it were to attack Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Consequently, it is possible that Washington's unwillingness to make a tough but necessary call may mean that no one is willing to make it.

THE SITUATION in Pakistan of course is similar to the situation in Iran. There, as Iran moves swiftly towards the nuclear club, the US on the one hand refuses - as it does with Pakistan - to make the hard but essential decision to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. And on the other hand, it warns Israel daily that it opposes any independent Israeli operation to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state. That is, the Obama administration is forcing Israel to weigh the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran against the threat of an abrogation of its strategic alliance with the US in the event that it prevents Iran from becoming a nuclear power on its own.

In both Pakistan and Iran, the clock is ticking. The US's reluctance to face up to the ugliness of the options at its disposal will not make them any prettier. Indeed, with each passing day the stark choice placed before America and its allies becomes ever more apparent. In both Pakistan and Iran, the choice is and will remain one between seeing the US and its allies taking swift and decisive action to neutralize nuclear programs that threaten global security, or seeing the world's worst actors successfully arm themselves with the world's most dangerous weapons.

ISLAM POISED TO TAKE OVER PAKISTAN

The battles between the Pakistan military and the Taliban in Pakistan's Northwest Territories are disturbing for their implications for Afghanistan. More disturbing is the surge of radical Islam throughout the entire country and the weak response of the Zardari government. The Red Mosque is the capitl of Islamabad is once again the center of Sharia foment, as the jailed head imam has been released from prison and returned to lead the mosque from his walls he stirred mobs with his cries of "Jihad is our way."

Now a leading cleric from Jamaat-e-Islamia has been given space in a mainstream Pakistani newspaper to provide the historical context of what is happening in Pakistan. He maintains that Pakistan was founded for Islam and not just as a homeland for Muslims. He sees a global Islamic renaissance taking place and soon all of Pakistan would be under Islamic law, as its founders intended. HIs party was founded in the 1940s to promote what is now known as "political Islam," the effort to make all of Pakistan and the world subject to Islamic law. JI is the leading political party in the Northwest Territories. It is closely allied with the hardline party that controls the Red Mosque Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami.

The edited transcript is from jihadwatch.com:

Qazi Hussain Ahmad, until recently the Emir of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, a religious-political party in Pakistan, recently wrote an article that was published by the Pakistani daily The News. In it, he argued that since Pakistan's creation in 1947, the majority of Pakistanis have wanted an Islamic system of government in the country. [...]

"The complete Islamization of Pakistan has been the genuine and long-standing demand of the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis.

"This demand surfaced as soon as the inception of the country [in 1947], since the driving force behind the Pakistan movement was the need for a separate country for Muslims where they could protect and practice their Islamic ideology.

"Consequently, the mounting public pressure led the Constituent Assembly to pass the Objectives Resolution, making a sacred covenant with the people of Pakistan that the Koran and Sunnah will be the guiding principles of the constitution, legislation and policy-making of this land of the pure.

"The British-trained establishment, including the civil and military bureaucracy, were, however, averse to the idea of Islamization and wanted to faithfully preserve the British system and the Anglo-Saxon system of government, besides the laws formulated by the colonial masters for subjects. Those people considered themselves the legitimate successors of the British colonial rulers, and aspired to step into their masters' shoes to enjoy the same powers and privileges exclusively reserved for the privileged class of British officers colonizing the subcontinent for over 200 years. [...]

"The entire debate that Islam should not be the system of governance in the country was the thinking paradigm of those who are mental slaves to Western culture and averse to the Islamic ideology. It is an undeniable fact that Muslims from the length and breadth of the subcontinent strove for the creation of Pakistan, and rendered sacrifices that are matchless in human history. The proponents of the baseless argument that not Islam but economic reasons were the basis of the Pakistan movement have no answer as to why the Muslims of [Indian states such as] UP, CP, Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, etc., endeavored for Pakistan despite knowing that their areas would not be part of Pakistan.
"Evidently, they were striving for the realization of the dream of a separate homeland for Muslims, to enable them practice Islam freely under the system governed by the Koran and Sunnah. [...]

"Pakistan is not just any state based on geographical entities. It is the embodiment of a definite ideology and religion. As the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, put it: Pakistan came into being the very day the first Muslim set foot on the subcontinent. Pakistan is a result of the Two-Nation Theory [i.e. that Muslims and Hindus cannot live together] that clearly spells out that the life of Muslims is governed by the Islamic system based on the Koran and Sunnah. Until we harmonize our lives, economy, society, Constitution and legal system with Islam, our society will continue to suffer from internal strife and friction.

"Those who believe that Pakistan can be secularized by separating the Islamic system from its state are suffering from a serious fallacy. What they conveniently ignore in their bias against Islamic codes is that Islamization of the country is not just the demand of what they call some extremists but is the strong desire of an overwhelming majority of the people, millions of whom are ready to sacrifice their lives to achieve this objective, like those who laid down their lives in the Pakistan Movement.

"Though this majority is under the strong shackles of a tiny minority of Western slaves, the dawn of an Islamic revolution is round the corner. This is the era of a global Muslim renaissance as slavery's shackles are breaking and the enemies of Islam are on the retreat after the huge fortresses of their military and economic might are coming down under the pure resistance and sacrifices of the believers." [...]

"Regarding the argument that promoting Islam would enrage Washington and the West, we would become isolated, and be dubbed as fundamentalists, etc., it must be kept in mind that alienating Islam will negate our existence and disintegrate the country. Islam is the basis of Pakistan, since it was created for Islam and not on the basis of some homeland."

THE 100 DAYS

Ralph Peter focuses on Obama's foreign policy. He finds it terrifying. The level of naivete and ignorance demonstrated is breathtaking.

We now have a president who doesn't know that Pakistan was founded as a democracy, a secretary of state who thinks we created the Taliban, a head of the Department of Homeland Security who doesn't believe Islamist terrorists exist and a vice president who claims FDR gave televised speeches during the Depression.

Read it all.


THE OBAMA DOCTRINE
By RALPH PETERS
April 29, 2009 -- New York Post

AFTER a mere 100 days, the "Obama Doctrine" for our foreign and security poli cies has emerged. And it's terrifying.

The combination of dizzying naivete, dislike of our allies, disdain for our military, distrust of our intelligence services and distaste for our own country promises the worst foreign policy of our lifetimes.

That includes President Jimmy Carter's abysmal record of failure.

The core tenets of the Obama Doctrine to date would make a charter member of the Weather Underground cheer:

We're to blame. If there are problems anywhere, they're America's fault. This central conviction of leftist ideology appears to have soaked so thoroughly into our president's consciousness during his lengthy friendships with extremists that it's now second nature to him.

Problems can be negotiated away. From Somali pirates to Moscow's belligerency, Obama and his Cabinet see a good chat as the best response to a challenge. Our president got to the Oval Office by talking, not doing, and his faith in his powers of persuasion is unlimited.

An acquaintance who may have our government's best grasp of the Russians shakes his head at the tone in Washington. The current mantra: "We have to get over our Cold War thinking." Great -- except that it's the Russians who've revived Cold War hostility.
The Taliban devours Pakistan, and we want to talk. President Hugo Chavez destroys Venezuela's democracy, and we want to talk. Iran pursues nuclear weapons with refreshed enthusiasm . . . and we want to talk.

Problems that can't be talked out can be bought off. Pakistan, a nuke-armed state of 170 million Muslims seething with anti-Americanism stirred up by our "friends," faces a crack-up as its once-monolithic military splinters. Obama's answer? Send billions of dollars that will disappear and weapons that may soon be used against our troops.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thinks the solution to piracy is a generous program to rebuild Somalia. (Been there, done that.) She'd also like to hand Hamas a billion bucks.
The "Las Vegas law" applies: You can buy sex but not enduring love. We can't defeat terror with welfare checks.

Islamist terrorism doesn't exist. The term's even been banned from government departments. As Muslim extremists slaughter innocent victims by the thousands, we're assured Islam's a "religion of peace" that contributed profoundly to our country's development. (Huh?)

It's as if 9/11 never happened. The "nonterrorists" drenching the greater Middle East in blood and threatening us as loudly as they can are just victims of our aggression. It's all our fault.

Terrorists do exist, though -- among our returning veterans and amid those Americans who don't subscribe to MoveOn.org's revulsion at our country.

Israel's the obstacle to Middle East peace. Palestinians are all victims. Hamas consists of struggling community activists. The terrorists are in the Israeli military.

Our nukes threaten world peace and we need to get rid of them. Other states only maintain or seek nuclear arsenals because we worry them. If we can get down to zero nukes, peace will reign on earth.

Forget that only our nuclear weapons prevented World War III and that they still deter potential enemies. Just get rid of them, OK?

Our military is dangerous. Beyond Obama's cynically choreographed appearances with our troops, he and his coterie clearly disdain military advice and uniformed service. The administration views our troops as primitive creatures who must be collared and leashed, not as part of any solutions.

Our intelligence services are even more dangerous than our military. The administration's already begun to gut our intelligence capabilities. Carter at least pretended to study the problem. Obama's plunging straight in with the demoralization of our shadow warriors.

It's only torture if we do it.

Blame President George W. Bush. Should the Obama Doctrine lead to new terror attacks (sorry, Janet: I meant "man-caused disasters") or to foreign-policy humiliations, it won't be Obama's fault, but Bush's.

We're becoming a third-world country, succumbing to a sickening (in both senses of the word) culture of blame. And that culture is fostered by breathtaking ignorance.

We now have a president who doesn't know that Pakistan was founded as a democracy, a secretary of state who thinks we created the Taliban, a head of the Department of Homeland Security who doesn't believe Islamist terrorists exist and a vice president who claims FDR gave televised speeches during the Depression.

If Bush had made such gaffes, the media would've mocked him. But Obama and his entourage excite orgasmic forgiveness among journalists. Which brings us to the Obama Doctrine's final tenet:

Our media sluts will portray defeat as victory
.

Ralph Peters is Fox News' strategic analyst.

OBAMA IMPERILS AMERICANS AND ALLIES

There is no sounder, clearer thinker writing today than Thomas Sowell.

It is frightening the danger President Obama is exposing the citizens of this nation and of our allies to.



Survival Optional

Thomas Sowell
Syndicated Writer

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It used to be said that self-preservation is the first law of nature. But much of what has been happening in recent times in the United States, and in Western civilization in general, suggests that survival is taking a back seat to the shibboleths of political correctness.

We have already turned loose dozens of captured terrorists, who have resumed their terrorism. Why? Because they have been given "rights" that exist neither in our laws nor under international law.

These are not criminals in our society, entitled to the protection of the Constitution of the United States. They are not prisoners of war entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention.

There was a time when people who violated the rules of war were not entitled to turn around and claim the protection of those rules. German soldiers who put on U.S. military uniforms, in order to infiltrate American lines during the Battle of the Bulge, were simply lined up against a wall and shot.

Nobody even thought that this was a violation of the Geneva Convention. American authorities filmed the mass executions. Nobody dreamed up fictitious "rights" for these enemy combatants who had violated the rules of war. Nobody thought we had to prove that we were nicer than the Nazis by bending over backward.

Bending over backward is a very bad position from which to try to defend yourself. Nobody in those days confused bending over backward with "the rule of law," as Barack Obama did recently. Bending over backward is the antithesis of the rule of law. It is depriving the people of the protection of their laws, in order to pander to mushy notions among the elite.

Even under the Geneva Convention, enemy soldiers have no right to be turned loose before the war is over. Terrorists-- "militants" or "insurgents" for those of you who are squeamish-- have declared open-ended war against America. It is open-ended in time and open-ended in methods, including beheadings of innocent civilians.

President Obama can ban the phrase "war on terror" but he cannot ban the terrorists' war on us. That war continues, so there is no reason to turn terrorists loose before it ends. They chose to make it that kind of war. We don't need to risk American lives to prove that we are nicer than they are.

The great Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that law is not some "brooding omnipresence in the sky." It is a set of explicit rules by which human beings structure their lives and their relationships with one another.

Those who choose to live outside those laws, whether terrorists or pirates, can be-- and have been-- shot on sight. Squeamishness is neither law nor morality. And moral exhibitionism is beneath contempt, when it sacrifices the safety of those who live within the law for the sake of self-satisfied preening, whether in editorial offices or in the White House.

As if it is not enough to turn cutthroats loose to cut throats again, we are now contemplating legal action against Americans who wrung information about international terrorist operations out of captured terrorists.

Does nobody think ahead to what this will mean-- for many years to come-- if people trying protect this country from terrorists have to worry about being put behind bars themselves? Do we need to have American intelligence agencies tip-toeing through the tulips when they deal with terrorists?

In his visit to CIA headquarters, President Obama pledged his support to the people working there and said that there would be no prosecutions of CIA agents for prior actions. Then he welshed on that in a matter of hours by leaving the door open for such prosecutions, which the left has been clamoring for, both inside and outside of Congress.

Repercussions extend far beyond issues of the day. It is bad enough that we have a glib and sophomoric narcissist in the White House. What is worse is that whole nations that rely on the United States for their security see how easily our president welshes on his commitments. So do other nations, including those with murderous intentions toward us, our children and grandchildren.


If Israel cannot rely on support from the Obama Administration against Iran, at least it can turn to its Arab neighbors. Caroline Glick details the ugly truth of America's fanciful and dangerouls Middle East policy.

It is true that you can't help but get a funny feeling when you see the Arabs defending Israel from American criticism. But with the Obama administration's Middle East policy firmly grounded in La La Land, what choice do they have? They understand that today all that stands between them and enslavement to the mullahs is the Israel Air Force and Binyamin Netanyahu's courage.

Read it all.

Our World: Israel's Arab cheerleaders

Apr. 27, 2009
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST

It is a strange situation when Egypt and Jordan feel it necessary to defend Israel against American criticism. But this is the situation in which we find ourselves today.

Last Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee that Arab support for Israel's bid to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is contingent on its agreeing to support the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state. In her words, "For Israel to get the kind of strong support it's looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can't stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts." As far as Clinton is concerned, the two, "go hand-in-hand."

But just around the time that Clinton was making this statement, Jordan's King Abdullah II was telling The Washington Post that he is satisfied with the Netanyahu government's position on the Palestinians. In his words, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has "sent a message that he's committed to peace with the Arabs. All the words I heard were the right words."

As for Egypt, in spite of the Israeli media's hysterical reports that Egypt won't deal with the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration's warning that Israel can only expect Egypt to support its position that Iran must be denied nuclear weapons if it gives Jerusalem to the PLO, last week's visit by Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman clearly demonstrated that Egypt wishes to work with the government on a whole host of issues. Coming as it did on the heels of Egypt's revelation that Iranian-controlled Hizbullah agents were arrested for planning strategic attacks against it, Suleiman's visit was a clear sign that Egypt is as keen as Israel to neutralize Iranian power in the region by preventing it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

And Egypt and Jordan are not alone in supporting Israel's commitment to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. American and other Western sources who have visited the Persian Gulf in recent months report that leaders of the Gulf states from Bahrain - which Iran refers to as its 14th province - to Saudi Arabia to Kuwait and, of course, to Iraq - are praying for Israel to strike Iran's nuclear facilities and only complain that it has waited so long to attack them.

As one American who recently met with Persian Gulf leaders explained last week, "As far as the Gulf leaders are concerned, Israel cannot attack Iran fast enough. They understand what the stakes are."

UNFORTUNATELY, THE nature of those stakes has clearly eluded the Obama administration. As the Arabs line up behind Israel, the Obama administration is operating under the delusion that the Iranians will be convinced to give up their nuclear program if Israel destroys its communities in Judea and Samaria.

According to reports published last week in Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz, President Barack Obama's in-house post-Zionist, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, told an American Jewish leader that for Israel to receive the administration's support for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it must not only say that it supports establishing a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza, it must begin expelling its citizens from their homes and communities in Judea and Samaria to prove its good faith.

With just months separating Iran from either joining the nuclear club or from being barred entry to the clubhouse, the Obama administration's apparent obsession with Judea and Samaria tells us that unlike Israel and the Arab world, its Middle East policies are based on a willful denial of reality.

The cold hard facts are that the Middle East will be a very different place if Iran becomes a nuclear power. Today American policy-makers and other opponents of using military force to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons compare the current situation to what the region could look like in the aftermath of an Israeli campaign against Iran's nuclear installations. They warn that Hizbullah and Hamas may launch massive retaliatory missile attacks against Israel, Egypt, Jordan and other states, and that US military personnel and installations in the region will likely be similarly attacked by Iranian and Syrian proxies.

Indeed, proponents and opponents of an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear installations alike warn that Iran's deployment of terror proxies from Beirut to Bolivia, from Managua to Marseilles, and from Gaza to Giza means that things could get very ugly worldwide in the aftermath of an Israeli attack.

But all of that ugliness, all of that instability and death will look like a walk in the park compared to how the region - and indeed how the world - will look if Iran becomes a nuclear power. This is something that the Arabs understand. And this is why they support and pray for an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear installations.

IF IRAN acquires nuclear weapons, the Obama administration can throw its hopes for Middle East peace out the window. Today, even without nuclear weapons, Iran is the major force behind the continued Palestinian war against Israel. Iran exerts complete control over Hamas and Islamic Jihad and partial control over Fatah.

In and of itself, Iran's current control over Palestinian terror groups suffices to expose the Obama administration's plan to force Israel to destroy its communities in Judea and Samaria as misguided in the extreme. With Iran calling the shots for the Palestinians, it is clear that any land Israel vacates will fall under Iranian control. That is, every concession the US forces Israel to make will redound directly to Iran's benefit. This is why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's claim that it will be impossible to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians without first neutralizing Iran rings so true.

If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, the situation will become even more destructive. A nuclear-armed Iran means that any chance of marginalizing these Iranian-controlled forces in Palestinian society will disappear. For Israel, the best case scenario in the age of a nuclear-armed mullocracy would involve continuous war with Iranian proxies - sort of expanded versions of the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead - in which it has little option for victory because the terror armies would fight under Iran's nuclear umbrella.

Regionally, a nuclear-armed Iran would in short order compel both Egypt and Jordan to abrogate their peace treaties with Israel. The exposure of the Iranian sabotage ring in Egypt last week makes clear that Iran seeks to either overthrow or dominate the Arab world with its nuclear arsenal. If Iran becomes a nuclear power, roundups of Iranian agents like the one in Egypt will be inconceivable. Iranian agents will be given free reign both regionally and worldwide.

For Israel, the abrogation of its peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan would raise the danger of regional war to an all-time high. Goaded by Iran, and operating with Iran's US- and Turkish-armed Lebanese proxy and Teheran's Syrian slave, Egypt and Jordan may well be made to decide that the time has come to invade Israel again.

These scenarios, of course, are likely because they compare favorably to the worst case scenarios in which a nuclear-armed Iran decides to simply detonate its nuclear bombs over Israel, either in the form of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack or in the form of a direct nuclear strike. An EMP attack would not immediately kill anyone, but would destroy the country's electricity grid and permanently paralyze its military and civilian infrastructures, rendering the population defenseless not merely from its neighbors, but from disease and starvation. If successful, a direct nuclear strike would likely kill between 50,000 and several million Israelis, depending on how many warheads reached their targets.

GLOBALLY OF COURSE, a nuclear-armed Iran would be well positioned to take over the world's oil markets. With Saudi Arabia's main oil installations located in the predominantly Shi'ite eastern provinces, it would be able to credibly threaten to destroy Saudi oil installations and so assert control over them. With Iran's strategic alliance with Venezuela, once it controls Saudi oil fields, it hard to see how it would not become the undisputed ruler of the oil economy.

Certainly Europe would put up no resistance. Today, with much of Europe already within range of Iran's ballistic missiles, with Iranian-controlled terror cells fanned out throughout the continent and with Europe dependent on Persian Gulf oil, there is little doubt of the direction its foreign policy would take in the event that Iran becomes a nuclear power. Obviously any thought of economic sanctions would disappear as European energy giants lined up to develop Iranian gas fields, and European banks clamored to finance the projects.

Finally, there is America. With Israel either barely surviving or destroyed, with the Arab world and Europe bowing before the mullahs, with much of Central and South America fully integrated into the Iranian axis, America would arguably find itself at greater risk of economic destruction and catastrophic attack than at any time in its history since the War of 1812. An EMP attack that could potentially send the US back to the pre-industrial age would become a real possibility. An Iranian controlled oil economy, financed by euros, would threaten to displace the dollar and the US economy as the backbone of the global economy. The US's military options - particularly given Obama's stated intention to all but end US missile defense programs and scrap much of its already aging nuclear arsenal - would be more apparent than real.

Yet what Clinton's statements before Congress, Emmanuel's statements to that American Jewish leader and Obama's unremitting pandering to Teheran and its Syrian and Turkish allies all make clear is that none of these reasonable scenarios has made a dent in the administration's thinking. As far as the Obama White House is concerned, Iran will be talked out of its plans for regional and global domination the minute that Israel agrees to give its land to the Palestinians. The fact that no evidence exists that could possibly support this assertion is irrelevant.

On Sunday, Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland claimed that Obama will not publish his administration's policy on Iran until after he meets with Netanyahu at the White House on May 18. It will be during that meeting, Hoagland wrote, that Obama will seek to convince Netanyahu that there is no reason to attack Iran.

The fact that Obama could even raise such an argument, when by Israel's calculations Iran will either become a nuclear power or be denied nuclear weapons within the next 180 days, shows that his arguments are based on a denial of the danger a nuclear Iran poses to Israel and to global security as a whole.

It is true that you can't help but get a funny feeling when you see the Arabs defending Israel from American criticism. But with the Obama administration's Middle East policy firmly grounded in La La Land, what choice do they have? They understand that today all that stands between them and enslavement to the mullahs is the Israel Air Force and Binyamin Netanyahu's courage.

This sobering projection of Muslim growth in Europe and the U.S. is in line wih other similar projections. At the end of the video, there is a call for action. But what action?


LYING LOW

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The stain of Sharia spreads across Pakistan aided by the Pakistani government. The former tourist destination the beautiful Swat Valley has been handed over to Islamic true believers who will install Islamic law -- and want government troops to help enforce it. Their goal is to take all of Pakistan back to the 7th century rule of Mohammad. They are well on their way.

Not content with forcing women into full head-to-toe covering and isolation at home, they have burned schools for girls and taken to public flogging of women seen in public without a blood male relative (a father-in-law doesn't count).

The Pakistan goverrnment sent as its negotiator with the Swat Valley Taliban Maulana Sufi Muhammad. Muhammad was to work out a "peace" deal with the head of the Swat Valley Taliban Maulana Fazlullah. Not only is Fazlullah his son-in-law, Muhammad founded the Taliban party his son-in-law now leads. Peace would come, they agreed, when the government agreed that Sharia, Islamic law, would reign in Swat Valley. After the Pakistani parliament voted in favor, President Zadari approved the deal.

Now the father-in-law has taken up residence with his son-in-law in Swat Valley and is threatening the government he recently represented. He is demanding the government troops work with the Taliban to enforce Sharia.

And the spokeman for the Swat Taliban Muslim Khan has let the press know that Osama bin Laden is welcome to come and settle among them -- and he will be protected.

The Swat Valley is about 100 miles from the nation's capital Islamabad. In Islamabad, the Supreme Court released from prison the head imam Maulana Abdul Aziz of the Red Mosque which was the violent epicenter of the movement in 2007 to establish Islamic courts in Islamabad. Government troops were forced to storm the mosque and hundreds died. The head imam Maulana Abdul Aziz sought to escape hiding in a female's top-to-toe dress, but was captured. During the height of the insurrection, his female followers watched the chaos below the mosque walls.

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In a rally in the capital city of Islamabad, thousands chanted "Our way is jihad!" The clericleading the defiance of the government by establishing a Sharia court has threatened suicide attacks if the government tries to stop him. '[Maulana Abdul] Aziz addressed about 3,000 people at the mosque for a conference on Sharia and jihad - Islamic law and holy war. Listeners filled the courtyard and packed the roof of the red-walled building just a few hundred yards from the city's government district.
Aziz then asked the gathering, "What is our way?" and students bellowed back: "Jihad! Jihad!"

The rule of law in Pakistan is disintegrating. Islamist forces are growing stronger and taking control of more and more of the country. Pakistan, already a nuclear weapons power, is emerging as the greatest danger to the civilzed world.

Taliban in Pakistani: `Welcome, Osama!' By KATHY GANNON, Associated Press Writer Kathy Gannon, Associated Press Writer April 20, 2009 MINGORA, Pakistan - Pakistan was trying to end bloodshed when it let the idyllic Swat Valley fall under Islamic law last week. Instead, it has emboldened the Taliban to extend a hand to militants, including Osama bin Laden.

The local spokesman for the Taliban, which control the valley, told The Associated Press he'd welcome militants bent on battling U.S. troops and their Arab allies if they want to settle there.

"Osama can come here. Sure, like a brother they can stay anywhere they want," Muslim Khan said in a two-hour interview Friday, his first with a foreign journalist since Islamic law was imposed. "Yes, we will help them and protect them."

Khan spoke in halting English he learned during four years painting houses in the U.S. before returning to Swat in 2002. He averted his eyes as he spoke to a female journalist, in line with his strict understanding of Islam.

Pakistan reacted with alarm to his comments, saying it would never let him shelter the likes of bin Laden.

"We would have to go for the military operation. We would have to apply force again," said Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira. "We simply condemn this. We are fighting this war against al-Qaida and the Taliban."

But it is far from clear that the government has the means to do much of anything in the Swat Valley. It agreed to Islamic law in the region -- drawing international condemnation -- after trying and failing to defeat the Taliban in fighting marked by brutal beheadings that killed more than 850 people over two years.

"We lost the war. We negotiated from a position of weakness," said Afrasiab Khattak, a leader of the Awami National Party, which governs the province that includes Swat. He said the region's police force is too underpaid, undertrained and underequipped to take on the militants.

At the behest of the National Assembly, President Asif Ali Zardari last week signed off on a regulation establishing Islamic law throughout the Malakand Division, a strategic territory bordering Afghanistan, and Pakistan's tribal belt where bin Laden has long been rumored to be hiding. The Swat Valley, where tourists once flocked to enjoy Alpine-like scenery, is part of the area.

Whether Swat someday proves an alluring haven for bin Laden could depend on how threatened he feels in his current location, and how successful the Taliban militants are in keeping state forces at bay there.

U.S. officials said they would work with Pakistan to make sure militants aren't safe anywhere.

"With regard to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden, this is not a place where they should be welcome. We believe ... that violent extremists need to be confronted," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Monday.

In an interview with Pakistan's Geo TV, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was asked about U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke's concerns over the Swat deal.

"He doesn't need to worry about that," Gilani said. "This is our country. We know the ground realities better than he does. We will continue supporting this deal if peace comes there. I'm seeing peace is coming there."

On Friday, Taliban fighters in pickup trucks with black flags rumbled through the rutted streets of the valley's main city of Mingora, demanding over loudspeakers that shops shutter their windows and prepare for prayers.

In the city center, a district police station lay in ruins, destroyed by a suicide bomber. The only music blaring praised the Taliban and extolled the young to fight holy war.

Aftab Alam, president of the district court lawyers, took a journalist through an open courtyard and closed the door to his office before whispering in a soft, angry voice about the Taliban.

"They are more than beasts. Our government is impotent, stupid and corrupt. We are helpless (facing) this militancy," he said, calling the Taliban "barbaric" and "illiterate."

Alam said he feared for his life, "but I dare to speak because I am worried about my nation, my religion, my home."

The Swat deal comes as Pakistan's hodgepodge of militant groups appear to be growing increasingly integrated and coordinated.

The Taliban spokesman counted among his allies several groups on U.N. and U.S. terrorist lists: Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for last year's bloody siege in Mumbai, India; Jaish-e-Mohammed, which trains fighters in Pakistan's populous Punjab province; the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan; al-Qaida, and the Taliban of Afghanistan.

"If we need, we can call them and if they need, they can call us," Khan said.

He said his forces would go to help the Taliban in Afghanistan if the United States and NATO continue to fight there.

"You must tell (the Americans) if they want peace ... to withdraw their forces, keep them on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean," he said.

Khattak, the provincial politician, described the implementation of Islamic law as replacing traditional judges with qazis, special judges trained in Islamic law. Already, a handful of qazis have begun hearing minor cases. The deal's broker, fundamentalist cleric Sufi Mohammed, has said no regular courts will be allowed in the region.

But Khan said the Taliban envisions an even a broader system: a whole new set of laws following a strict interpretation of Islam, akin to the system Afghanistan's Taliban imposed during their 1996-2001 rule. There, the government banned music and television, restricted girls' education and women's movement and cut off limbs and stoned women to death in public ceremonies.

"We don't need just qazis. We have to change the laws," Khan said.

He said his group wants to expand Islamic law, also known as Shariah, into all of nuclear-armed Pakistan.

"You will see the National Assembly will follow after one year, two years, six months," he said. "I don't know, but they will have to pass Shariah for all of Pakistan."

Already, Taliban fighters have moved unhindered into nearby Buner district -- also part of Malakand Division -- declaring themselves to be the enforcers of Islamic law and threatening tribesmen.

"It used to be that you crossed the Malakand Pass to Swat and you thought, 'I am in heaven,'" said Alam, the lawyer. "Now you think, 'I am in Hell.'"

Jews in Israrel observed the Holocaust in which more than six million Jews were exterminated. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed not to allow Holocaust deniers such as Iran any chance to carry out a second Holocaust. At a so-called anti racism conference in Geneva (boycotted by the U.S., Germany and others) European diplomats walked out after Iran's Ahmadinejad called Israel the "most cruel and repressive racist regime" and said the West was using the Holocaust as a "pretext" to use aggression against Palestinians.

Netanyahu: No second Holocaust against Jews By MARK LAVIE, Associated Press Writer Mark Lavie, Associated Press Writer April 20, 2009 JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Monday not to allow Holocaust deniers the chance to carry out a second Holocaust against the Jewish people.

He spoke at the ceremony marking Israel's annual memorial day for the 6 million Jews killed by Nazis and their collaborators during World War II, but the event fell under the shadow of a U.N. anti-racisim conference in Geneva perceived in Israel as anti-Semitic.

Netanyahu criticized the president of Switzerland for meeting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the conference. Netanyahu said the Iranian leader, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, has denied the existence of the Holocaust.

"We will not allow the Holocaust deniers to carry out another Holocaust against the Jewish people. This is the supreme duty of the state of Israel. This is my supreme duty as prime minister of Israel," Netanyahu said, speaking at Yad Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial and study center.

Earlier Monday at the conference in Geneva, the Iranian president accused Israel of being the "most cruel and repressive racist regime" and the West of using the Holocaust as a "pretext" for aggression against Palestinians. His comments prompted European diplomats to walk out of the conference.

In research released to coincide with the memorial day, a study found that anti-Semitic incidents worldwide declined in 2008 but spiked during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip in January. A demographer calculated that if the Holocaust had not occurred, the world's Jewish population would be more than double now.

Also, Yad Vashem has been upgrading its Web site to offer research tools. Its latest entry is "The Untold Stories," devoted to documenting the massacres of Jews in small and medium-sized communities that had been lost to history.

In its annual report on anti-Semitism, The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University found that anti-Jewish incidents dropped 11 percent in 2008, including 560 cases of violence, compared to 632 in 2007.

But Israel's military offensive against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip reversed the trend. The researchers estimated that there were 1,000 incidents during January, more than 10 times the number in January 2008.

The study counted both violent incidents and verbal and visual expressions and said that 90 of the January incidents fit the violent category, three times the number of the previous January. While violent attacks dipped in February and March, verbal and visual anti-Israel and anti-Jewish expressions had not subsided.

The Israeli researchers, working in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress, noted a theme in anti-Israel demonstrations: equating Israel with Nazi Germany, with signs incorporating the Israeli star with the Nazi swastika. The report said the intention was "to underline that if Nazism, the monster of the modern era, has no right to exist, then the Jewish state and its supporters, too, should be eliminated."

The mass slaughter of Jews in Europe has cost the Jewish people at least half its population, according to calculations by demographer Sergio DellaPergola of Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He built a model that projected that without the Holocaust, there would be between 26 million and 32 million Jews in the world today. DellaPergola said in an earlier study that as of the beginning of 2008, there were about 13 million Jews worldwide.

He figured in several factors, including destruction of cultural frameworks, increased intermarriage as a way of avoiding oppression and the high proportion of children, more than 1 million, among the victims.

"Untold Stories," the new feature on the Yad Vashem Web site, documents 51 small and medium sites in German-occupied areas of the former Soviet Union it says have not been chronicled up to now. At the top of the page is a picture of a scrap of paper with a few Yiddish lines on it, found in a woman's clothing at the site of a mass murder in Lithuania.

"My dearest, before I die, I am writing a few words," it says. "We are about to die, 5,000 innocent people. They are cruelly shooting us."

The memorial day, which began after sunset, continues Tuesday with the sounding of air-raid sirens for a nationwide minute of silence in memory of the victims, followed by an official wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem. In honor of the solemnity of the day, restaurants, bars and places of entertainment are closed in Israel.

The Obama Administration continues to live in a fantasy world where Iran can become a good friend -- along with its terrorist proxies Hizbullah and Hamas.

Is this ignorance? Incompetence? Or is it deliberate? Showing such weak resolve in the face of Iranian provocation only ensures more bullying tactics and trouble. Who is driving this dangerous policy?

The British appear to be increasngly spineless, but this "trade" of recognition for hostages is still shocking.

Iran's Western enablers

By Caroline B. Glick in the Jerusalem Post April 14, 2009


Egypt's recent actions against Hizbullah operatives are a watershed event for understanding the nature of the threat that Iran constitutes for both regional and global security. For many Israelis, Egypt's actions came as a surprise. For years this country has been appealing to Egypt to take action against Hizbullah operatives in its territory. With minor exceptions, it has refused. Believing that its operatives threatened only us, the Mubarak regime preferred to turn a blind eye.

Then too, now seems a strange time for Egypt to be proving Israel correct. Senior ministers in the new Netanyahu government have for years been outspoken critics of Egypt for its refusal to act against Hizbullah and for its support for the Hizbullah/Iran-sponsored Hamas terror group. By going after Hizbullah now, Egypt is legitimizing both their criticism and the Netanyahu government itself. This in turn seems to go against Egypt's basic interest of weakening Israel politically in general, and weakening rightist Israeli governments in particular.

But none of this seemed to interest Egyptian officials last week when they announced the arrest of 49 Hizbullah operatives and pointed a finger at Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah and his bosses in Teheran, openly accusing them of seeking to undermine Egypt's national security.

The question is what caused Egypt to suddenly act? It appears that two things are motivating the Mubarak regime. First, there is the nature of the Hizbullah network it uncovered. According to the Egyptian Justice Ministry's statements, the arrested operatives were not confining their operations to weapons smuggling to Gaza. They were also targeting Egypt.

The Egyptian state prosecution alleges that while operating as Iranian agents, they were scouting targets along the Suez Canal. That is, they were planning strategic strikes against Egypt's economic lifeline.

The second aspect of the network that clearly concerned Egyptian authorities was what it showed about the breadth of cooperation between the regime's primary opponent - the Muslim Brotherhood - and the Iranian regime. Forty-one of the suspects arrested are Egyptian citizens, apparently aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood. This alignment is signaled by two things. First, many of them have hired Muslim Brotherhood activist Muntaser al-Zayat as their defense attorney. And second, Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen have decried the arrests.

For instance, in an interview with Gulf News last Thursday, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Issam el-Erian defended Hizbullah (and Iran) against his own government, claiming that Nasrallah and the Iranian ayatollahs are right to accuse President Hosni Mubarak of being little more than an Israeli stooge.

In his words, "The Egyptian government must redraw its national security policies to include Israeli threats against Arab counties like Syria and Lebanon and to consider threats against Palestinians by Israelis as a threat against its national security."

In a nutshell then, both the Hizbullah network's targets and its relationship to Egypt's Sunni Islamist opposition expose clearly the danger the Iranian regime constitutes to Egypt. Iran seeks to undermine and defeat opponents throughout the world through both direct military/terrorist/sabotage operations and through ideological subversion. It is the confluence of both of these aspects of Iran's revolutionary ambitions that forced Egypt to act now, regardless of the impact of its actions on the political fortunes of the Netanyahu government. And it is not a bit surprising that Egypt was forced to act at such a politically inopportune time.


THROUGHOUT the region and indeed throughout much of the world, Iran's star is on the rise. Its burgeoning nuclear program acts as a second arm of a pincer-like campaign against its opponents. The asymmetric and ideological warfare it wages through its terror and state proxies are the campaign's first arm. Together, these two strategic arms are raising the stakes of Iran's challenge to its neighbors and to the West to unprecedented and unacceptable heights. Morocco is so concerned about Iranian subversion of its Sunni population that last month it cut off diplomatic ties with Teheran.

Iran's great leap forward has been exposed by recent events. Last month's Arab League summit in Doha exemplified how Iran has successfully split the Arab world between its proxies and its opponents. For the past three years, and particularly since the 2006 war between Israel and Iran's Hizbullah in Lebanon, Arab League states have been increasingly polarized around the issue of Iran. The country has used its satellite states of Syria, Sudan and Qatar, as well as its burgeoning alliances with Muslim Brotherhood branches in Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and elsewhere, to legitimize its rapidly escalating assaults on Sunni regimes throughout the region.

Although Egypt and Saudi Arabia successfully blocked Qatar from inviting Iran and Hamas to the summit, by using the good offices of Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Thani and Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Iranians were able to get their anti-Saudi/Egyptian platform passed. As the Middle East Media Research Institute chronicled in a report on the proceedings, Assad successfully abrogated the so-called Saudi peace plan that the Arab League adopted in 2002. According to a new Syrian-backed resolution, any Arab rapprochement with Israel would be contingent on Israel first destroying itself by withdrawing into indefensible borders and being overwhelmed by millions of hostile foreign Arab immigrants.

Sensing what awaited him at the summit, Mubarak chose to stay home and send a junior emissary in his place. Saudi King Abdullah said nothing throughout the two-day Arab love-fest with Iran. Both leaders emerged weakened and humiliated.

In recent years, Iran has expanded its sphere of influence to strategic points around the region. Two recent additions to Iran's axis are Eritrea and Somalia. Iran and Eritrea signed a strategic alliance last year that grants Iranian Revolutionary Guard units basing rights in the strategically vital Bab al-Mandab strait that controls the chokepoint connecting the Indian Ocean with the Red Sea. As for Somalia - whose position along the Gulf of Aden provides it a similarly critical maritime posture - Iran has been exploiting its condition as a failed state for several years.

In 2006, the UN reported that some 720 Somali jihadists aligned with al-Qaida fought with Hizbullah in Lebanon during its war against Israel. According to an analysis of Iran's coopting of Somali jihadists published in November 2006 by the on-line Long War Journal, in exchange for the Somali operatives' assistance, Iran and Syria provided advanced military training to the Somalis who had just established the al-Qaida-affiliated Islamic Courts Union regime in the country. Teheran equipped the ICU with anti-aircraft missiles, grenade launchers, machine guns, ammunition, medicine, uniforms and other supplies both before and after it took control of Somalia.

The UN report also linked the ICU to Iran's nuclear program. Its alleged that Iranian agents were operating in ICU chief Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys's hometown of Dusa Mareb, where they sought to buy uranium.

Beyond the Horn of Africa, of course, Iran has been consistently expanding its influence in Iraq and Afghanistan. In both countries the mullahs simultaneously sponsor the insurgencies and offer themselves as the US's indispensible partner for stabilizing the countries they are destabilizing.

What is perhaps most jarring about Iran's ever-expanding influence is the disparate responses it elicits from Israel and Sunni regimes like Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the one hand, and the West on the other. Whereas Israel and the Sunni Arab states warn about Iran daily, far from acknowledging or confronting this ever-expanding Iranian menace, the US and the Europeans have been alternatively ignoring it and appeasing it. If the US were taking the Iranian threat seriously, the Obama administration would not be begging Iran to negotiate with it after Teheran demonstrated that it has complete control over the nuclear fuel cycle.

If the US were interested in contending with the danger Iran constitutes to global security, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would not be absurdly arguing that the US cannot verify whether Iran's announcement that it is now operating 7,000 centrifuges and its opening of another nuclear site signify an increase in its nuclear capacity.

Were the US taking Iran seriously, it would not be asking Iran to help out in Afghanistan and Iraq. It would not be treating Somali piracy as a strategically insignificant nuisance. It would not be ignoring Eritrea's newfound subservience to Iran. It would not be maintaining the Central Command's headquarters in Qatar. And, of course, it would not be permitting Iran to move forward with its nuclear weapons program.


THEN there is Britain. Last week Michael Ledeen from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies reported that Britain's decision to recognize Hizbullah is part of a deal it struck with Iran and Hizbullah in exchange for five Britons who have been held hostage in Iraq by Hizbullah/Iran-affiliated terrorists for two years. According to the deal, in exchange for the British hostages, London agreed to recognize Hizbullah and the US agreed to release a number of Shi'ite terrorists its forces in Iraq have captured.

As Tariq Alhomayed, the editor of Asharq al-Awsat, noted in response to the news, the deal puts paid Nasrallah's contention that Hizbullah does not operate outside Lebanon except to wage war against Israel. But it also points to a severe problem with the West.

If Britain was willing to acknowledge and contend with the grave threat Iran constitutes for global security, it would not accept the authority of Hizbullah or Iran to negotiate the release of British hostages in Iraq. Instead it would place responsibility for achieving the release of the British hostages on the sovereign Iraqi government and use all the means at its disposal to strengthen that government against agents of Iranian influence in the country.

So, too, rather than participate in the deal, the US would seek to destroy the Iranian-controlled operatives holding the hostages and discredit and defeat the Iraqi political forces operating under Iranian control. Certainly if the US were taking the Iranian threat seriously, it would announce that any withdrawal of US combat forces from Iraq will be linked to the complete defeat of agents of Iranian influence in Iraq.

The West's refusal to contend with the burgeoning Iranian menace no doubt has something to do with the West's physical distance from Iran. Whereas Middle Eastern countries have no choice but to deal with Iran, the US and its European allies apparently believe that they can still pretend away the danger. But of course they cannot.

From the Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden to Hizbullah cells from Iraq to Canada; from Iranian agents in British universities to Hizbullah and Iranian military advisers in South and Central America, the West, like the Middle East, is being infiltrated and surrounded.

Egypt's open assault on Hizbullah is yet another warning that concerted action must be taken against the mullocracy. Unfortunately, the absence of Western resolve signals that this warning, too, will go unheeded

Why would an American president dedicated to protecting American citizens do this? Whose side is he on?
This isn't a "lapse," it's a deliberate decision to undermine America's ability to fight Islamic terrorists.

Inexcusable Lapse By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Monday April 27, 2009

War On Terror: Imagine a president of the United States, within his first hundred days, revealing secrets that help terrorists kill. The secret memos on enhanced interrogation, now made public, do exactly that.

We are told by President Obama's senior adviser David Axelrod that the president agonized for four weeks over the "weighty decision" to make public memoranda detailing the specifics of the CIA's tough interrogation of high-value terrorist detainees such as 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

For most other presidents, it would have taken maybe four minutes, required little soul-searching and resulted in the opposite choice.

What on earth could the president have been thinking in revealing the nuts and bolts of how we extract information from al-Qaida operatives to prevent the success of their terrorist operations?

What could have possessed him to make public the steps our interrogators go through, the limits of pain and discomfort they (but not the prisoners) know they will not exceed, and the analytical classification and specific purpose of each of the various techniques?

These top secrets will arm Islamist jihadists with knowledge that will be invaluable to them. Future terrorist detainees will now know, for instance, that their interrogations are under continual video surveillance to make sure no lasting medical or psychological consequences result from the techniques used. Will they now teach themselves to fake such ill effects?

Terrorists will know that when they are placed in a tiny container in "cramped confinement" it will last only "up to two hours," as a declassified memo from the Justice Department to the CIA noted. They will know that "stress positions" are used "only to induce temporary muscle fatigue" not "severe physical pain."

They will now know that when subjected to "water dousing" they need not have the slightest fear of hypothermia, because every precaution is taken to keep the temperature of both the room and the water itself far above freezing.

They will know sleep deprivation inflicted by the interrogators seldom exceeds 96 hours, and they'll know the specifics and purposes behind the relatively mild technique of "dietary manipulation."

What the president has given to our enemies is a treasure chest of defensive weapons. Within the caves of the mountainous Pakistan/Afghanistan border, Islamofascist plotters must wonder how self-destructively corrupt their American adversaries have to be to allow such materials to land in their hands.

The piece of information that may be of most value to terrorists is the government's assessment that waterboarding was "the most traumatic of the enhanced interrogation techniques" and implicitly the most effective.

Terrorist groups around the world will now know that waterboarding was "authorized for, at most, one 30-day period, during which the technique can actually be applied on no more than five days" with "no more than two sessions in any 24-hour period."

Each session lasted no more than two hours, consisting of, at most, six applications of water for 10 seconds each time, for a total of no longer than 12 minutes per each 24-hour period. Presumably the issue is academic since the Obama administration has officially prohibited waterboarding.

There is no more valuable tool for subjects of interrogation than to know what they will be subjected to. How in good conscience could our president have given this gift to those trying to destroy us?

A Kuwaiti professor lectures an appreciate audience on how 300,000 Americans can be easily killed by a man of courage carrying four pounds of Antrax across the Mexican border and then releasing the antrax like confetti on "the White House lawn." He proclaims that so-called "terrorists" are his friend as they should be theirs, because they are the most honorable people in the world.

That the U.S. rescued Kuwait from Saddam Hussain's invasion and occupation didn't change this professor's opinion of the infidel Americans and the Jews.

If one is needed, this MEMRI video is a reminder how deeply inbred the culture of hatred and death to the "other" of Mohammad's Koran is in the Muslim world. Listen to the cultured tone of the speaker, listen to the appreciative chuckles from his audience, watch the enjoyment in the speaker's face as he explains how easy and satisfying it is to kill 300,000 Americans.

The professor doesn't note that his courageous anthrax suicide killer could also be murdering President Obama, who is determined to convince Americans that followers of Islam are just like any old American.

Memri-TV is always worth a visit.

AMERICA'S BETRAYALS MOUNT

More and more it looks as if Obama is returning to his Islamic roots and his Marxist upbringing. Bowing to the monarch of the Land of the Two Holy Places, extending his hand to Iran and endangering Israel's existence while destroying America's entrepreneurial economy couldn't be clearer signals, In befriending America's enemies, Obama is siding with those who have allied against America and the West for more than a century -- Russia and Islam. The Bolsheviks and Soviets supported Islam's goal of world supremacy for decades and they are united once again.

America's enemies are rejoicing as America's allies are betrayed.

But Americans are the principal losers.

Surviving in Obama's Post-American World

By Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post

Like it or not, the United States of America is no longer the world's policeman. This was the message of Barack Obama's presidential journey to Britain, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Iraq this past week.

Somewhere between apologizing for American history - both distant and recent; genuflecting before the unelected, bigoted king of Saudi Arabia; announcing that he will slash the US's nuclear arsenal, scrap much of America's missile defense programs and emasculate the US Navy; leaving Japan to face North Korea and China alone; telling the Czechs, Poles and their fellow former Soviet colonies, "Don't worry, be happy," as he leaves them to Moscow's tender mercies; humiliating Iraq's leaders while kowtowing to Iran; preparing for an open confrontation with Israel; and thanking Islam for its great contribution to American history, President Obama made clear to the world's aggressors that America will not be confronting them for the foreseeable future.

Whether they are aggressors like Russia, proliferators like North Korea, terror exporters like nuclear-armed Pakistan or would-be genocidal-terror-supporting nuclear states like Iran, today, under the new administration, none of them has any reason to fear Washington.

This news is music to the ears of the American Left and their friends in Europe. Obama's supporters like billionaire George Soros couldn't be more excited at the self-induced demise of the American superpower. CNN's former (anti-)Israel bureau chief Walter Rodgers wrote ecstatically in the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday, "America's... superpower status, is being downgraded as rapidly as its economy."

The pro-Obama US and European media are so pleased with America's abdication of power that they took the rare step of applauding Obama at his press conference in London. Indeed, the media's enthusiasm for Obama appeared to grow with each presidential statement of contrition for America's past uses of force, each savage attack he leveled against his predecessor George W. Bush, each swipe he took at Israel, and each statement of gratitude for the blessings of Islam he uttered.

But while the media couldn't get enough of the new US leader, America's most stable allies worldwide began a desperate search for a reset button that would cause the administration to take back its abandonment of America's role as the protector of the free world.

Continue reading . . .

"Distractions" are what the president calls them. North Korea, Iran, pirates.

Mark Steyn has a different view.

When all the world's a "distraction," maybe you're not the main event after all. Most wealthy nations lack the means to defend themselves. Those few that do, lack the will. Meanwhile, basket-case jurisdictions send out ever bolder freelance marauders to prey on the civilized world with impunity. Don't be surprised if "the civilized world" shrivels and retreats in the face of state-of-the-art reprimitivization. From piracy to nukes to the limp response of the hyperpower, this is not a "distraction" but a portent of the future.

Friday, April 10, 2009
Civilization walking the plank
Pirate problem joins North Korean missile, Iranian nukes as 'distractions' for Obama.
Mark Steyn

The Reuters headline put it this way: "Pirates Pose Annoying Distraction For Obama."

So many distractions, aren't there? Only a week ago, the North Korean missile test was an "annoying distraction" from Barack Obama's call for a world without nuclear weapons and his pledge that America would lead the way in disarming. And only a couple of days earlier the president insisted Iraq was a "distraction" - from what, I forget: The cooing press coverage of Michelle's wardrobe? No doubt when the Iranians nuke Israel, that, too, will be an unwelcome distraction from the administration's plans for federally subsidized day care, just as Pearl Harbor was an annoying distraction from the New Deal, and the First World War was an annoying distraction from the Archduke Franz Ferdinand's dinner plans

If the incompetent management driving The New York Times from junk status to oblivion wished to decelerate their terminal decline, they might usefully amend their motto to "All The News That's Fit To Distract." Tom Blumer of Newsbusters notes that in the past 30 days there have been some 2,500 stories featuring Obama and "distractions," as opposed to about 800 "distractions" for Bush in his entire second term. The sub-headline of the Reuters story suggests the unprecedented pace at which the mountain of distractions is piling up: "First North Korea, Iran - now Somali pirates."

Er, OK. So the North Korean test is a "distraction," the Iranian nuclear program is a "distraction," and the seizure of a U.S.-flagged vessel in international waters is a "distraction." Maybe it would be easier just to have the official State Department maps reprinted with the Rest of the World relabeled "Distractions." Oh, to be sure, you could still have occasional oases of presidential photo-opportunities - Buckingham Palace, that square in Prague - but with the land beyond the edge of the Queen's gardens ominously marked "Here be distractions..."

contnue reading . . .

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