Monday, May 19, 2003

The print version of The Atlantic magazine's May issue has a great article on the corruption of the Sauds. Available online here:
The Fall of the House of Saud
Americans have long considered Saudi Arabia the one constant in the Arab Middle East—a source of cheap oil, political stability, and lucrative business relationships. But the government is also deeply corrupt, and gives succor to terrorism. Now, a former CIA operative argues, the Saudi royal family is on the verge of collapse—and much of the global economy could collapse with it
by Robert Baer

(Thanks to Jonathan for the link)

Friday, May 02, 2003

I found this to be a very inspirational story. It speaks volumes about the resilience of the human spirit and the will to live.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

pro-Saddam British politican was rewarded handsomely for his efforts

George Galloway, the Labour backbencher, received money from Saddam Hussein's regime, taking a slice of oil earnings worth at least £375,000 a year, according to Iraqi intelligence documents found by The Daily Telegraph in Baghdad.

Also see Washington Post article on the subject.

Via Imshin and Instapundit and Tim Blair and Andrew Sullivan. (yes the blogosphere is all over this one.)

Now it appears Galloway siphoned his annual $600k kickback from Saddam through the U.N. oil for food program (aka oil-for-palaces program as General Tommy Franks put it.) This incredibly corrupt program allowed the U.N> to skim a 2.2% commission on Iraqi oil as well as keep 1,000 U.N. pencil pushers employed (not to mention 3,000 Baath party loyalists within Iraq.) If you think Enron was bad --- the books on the deals done through oil for food are completely closed with no independent accounting oversight.
Run, don't walk, to read Claudia Rosett's NY Times article on the subject before it goes into the archive. Excerpt:

The oil-for-food program is no ordinary relief effort. Not only does it involve astronomical amounts of money, it also operates with alarming secrecy. Intended to ease the human cost of economic sanctions by letting Iraq sell oil and use the profits for staples like milk and medicine, the program has morphed into big business. Since its inception, the program has overseen more than $100 billion in contracts for oil exports and relief imports combined.

It also collects a 2.2 percent commission on every barrel — more than $1 billion to date — that is supposed to cover its administrative costs. According to staff members, the program's bank accounts over the past year have held balances upward of $12 billion... the oil-for-food program has evolved into a bonanza of jobs and commercial clout. Before the war it employed some 1,000 international workers and 3,000 Iraqis. (The Iraqi employees — charged with monitoring Saddam Hussein's imports and distribution of relief goods — of course all had to be approved by the Baath Party.)

Initially, all contracts were to be approved by the Security Council. Nonetheless, the program facilitated a string of business deals tilted heavily toward Saddam Hussein's preferred trading partners, like Russia, France and, to a lesser extent, Syria. About a year ago, in the name of expediency, Mr. Annan was given direct authority to sign off on all goods not itemized on a special watch list. Yet shipments with Mr. Annan's go-ahead have included so-called relief items such as "boats" and boat "accessories" from France and "sport supplies" from Lebanon (sports in Iraq having been the domain of Saddam's Hussein's sadistic elder son, Uday)...

The quantities of goods involved in shipments are confidential, and almost all descriptions on the contract lists made public by the United Nations are so generic as to be meaningless. For example, a deal with Russia approved last Nov. 19 was described on the contract papers with the enigmatic notation: "goods for resumption of project." Who are the Russian suppliers? The United Nations won't say. What were they promised in payment? That's secret...

Bureaucratic lags notwithstanding, putting a veil of secrecy over tens of billions of dollars in contracts is an invitation to kickbacks, political back-scratching and smuggling done under cover of relief operations. Of course, with so little paperwork made public, it is impossible to say whether there has been any malfeasance so far — but I found nothing that would seem to contradict Gen. Tommy Franks's comment that the system should have been named the "oil-for-palace program." Why, for example, are companies in Russia and Syria — hardly powerhouses in the automotive industry — listed as suppliers of Japanese vehicles? Why are desert countries like Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia delivering powdered milk?

And then there is this menacing list of countries that supplied "detergent": Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Sudan. Maybe all that multisourced soap was just a terrific bargain for doing the laundry. But there is no way for any independent parties — including the citizens of Iraq, whose money was actually spent on the goods — to know.

Mr. Annan's office does share more detailed records with the Security Council members, but none of those countries makes them public. There is no independent, external audit of the program; financial oversight goes to officials from a revolving trio of member states — currently South Africa, the Philippines and, yes, France.

As for the program's vast bank accounts, the public is told only that letters of credit are issued by a French bank, BNP Paribas. Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq, entitled to goods funded by 13 percent of the program's revenues, have been trying for some time to find out how much interest they are going to receive on $4 billion in relief they are still owed. The United Nations treasurer told me that that no outside party, not even the Kurds, gets access to those figures.

Then there is the program's compensation commission, which is supposed to dole out 25 percent of all oil-for-food proceeds to people and companies harmed by Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. It has so far dispensed $17.5 billion and approved a further $26.2 billion. Who decides on compensation claims? Commission members are picked from a "register of experts" supplied by Mr. Annan. One staff member told me that that this register cannot be released because it is "not public." The identities of the individual claimants are, of course, "confidential."

Another article on the subject from the U.K. Times: Saddam's billions from oil for food corruption

KICKBACKS from Iraq’s oil sales have run into billions of dollars because of loopholes in the United Nations Oil-for-Food system designed to feed the Iraqi people.
Diplomats said yesterday that Saddam Hussein’s regime sometimes exacted an illegal surcharge of as much as 55-75 cents (30-45p) a barrel on its daily oil sales of some two million barrels under the programme, although the amount was generally 15-25 cents.

“We thought they were getting at least $500 million a year in illegal kickbacks,” one Western official said.

The money funnelled to Baghdad helped to finance its banned weapons programmes, but it could also have been used to buy influence abroad...

The main beneficiaries were companies from Saddam’s political protectors at the United Nations, some of them trading companies with little more than a brass plate on the door.

Over the seven years of the Oil-for-Food programme, Russian companies got $7.3 billion of Iraqi business, almost twice as much as firms from any other country. Next on the list of leading trading partners were Egypt, with $4.3 billion; France, with $3.7 billion; and Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and China with $3 billion each.
Read the rest.

Spread the word folks, spread the word.
In the May print issue of the Atlantic magazine:

Long Shot
An eccentric new company called Sea Launch is sending large rockets into space from a floating launch pad that sails to the Equator for blast-off. Has the era of private space travel begun?
by Gregg Easterbrook
"I'm Right, You're Wrong, Go to Hell" Religions and the meeting of civilizations
by Bernard Lewis
The House of Saud

Well this is an oldy but goody - if you haven't read it yet, read it now:

Saudi Arabia's Links to Terrorism: A briefing by Laurent Murawiec

also, the print version of The Atlantic magazine's May issue has a great article on the corruption of the Sauds. Alas not available online:
The Fall of the House of Saud
Americans have long considered Saudi Arabia the one constant in the Arab Middle East—a source of cheap oil, political stability, and lucrative business relationships. But the government is also deeply corrupt, and gives succor to terrorism. Now, a former CIA operative argues, the Saudi royal family is on the verge of collapse—and much of the global economy could collapse with it
by Robert Baer
The April 2003 issue of Middle East Intelligence Bulletin is now fully accessible online


Special Report:
The US-Syrian Crisis and the End of Constructive Engagement
The Bush administration's unprecedented use of coercive public diplomacy in the crisis with Syria suggests that the State Department's management of relations with Damascus has been definitively discredited.
Gary C. Gambill

Syria's Proxy Forces in Iraq
Syrian-backed terrorist groups and radical extremists have poured through the Syrian-Iraqi border to engage American forces in Iraq.
Ziad K. Abdelnour

Al-Manar and the War in Iraq
Hezbollah's television station has begun a propaganda campaign against American forces in Iraq patterned on its incitement of terrorism against Israel.
Avi J. Jorisch

Hezbollah Reportedly Acquires SA-18 SAMs
Hezbollah's reported acquisition of the SA-18 surface to air missile would dramatically improve its air defense capabilities.

The Origins of Iran's Reformist Elite
Iran's reform movement is largely an outgrowth of factional politics and remains disconnected from the alienated masses.
Mahan Abedin

What's Wrong with American Spies?
Once the dust settles in Iraq, attention in Washington will turn again to intelligence reform, an issue that has sparked intense discussion inside (and outside) the beltway.
Thomas Patrick Carroll


Thursday, April 17, 2003

British agents conducted illegal, secret war on IRA
An intelligence community that saw itself as above the law and free to indulge in extensive illegality, not excluding murder, was depicted yesterday in a damning report by Britain's most senior policeman.

Files on 26 Northern Ireland murders were examined by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens, as part of his inquiry into collusion between intelligence agencies and loyalist killer gangs.

Hmmm. Mr. Blair, given your grave concern about Israel's fight against terrorists I'm sure you would agree that your own government's tactics vis a vis the IRA were unhelpful. Perhaps we should set up a roadmap to peace in the British Isles. Now let's see, who shall we choose as the quartet? You of course, will not be invited as a participant, we'll learn from your example of keeping the country most affected by the process out of the picture.

In this article, we have a most interesting bit of information:
Among those already identified as involved in collusion is Gordon Kerr, former director of a secretive British army intelligence arm called the Force Research Unit that sought to plant agents within the ranks of all Northern Ireland paramilitary groups.

Kerr, who until recently was Britain's military attache to China, today holds the rank of brigadier—equivalent to a one-star general—and is currently in Iraq.

In 1992 Kerr testified in court on behalf of Brian Nelson, who had been exposed by Stevens' first collusion probe as a British agent working undercover as the Belfast UDA's top intelligence officer—the person primarily responsible for identifying who should be shot and scouting where they would be most vulnerable.

Kerr testified at the time that Nelson saved scores of lives by passing on details of impending UDA attacks that the agent had helped plan.

Nelson was convicted of conspiring to murder several Catholics, but won an early parole from prison in 1997 and received a secret "safe house" in England. He died last week of a brain hemorrhage.

Let's see, the heat is turned up and someone who is quite important to the investigation dies of a brain hemorrhage. Now, am I the only one who finds this a bit too coincidental?

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

A very happy Passover!

More Passover info here, here and here.

Lots of recipes in all the above links, and a few more here.

Friday, April 11, 2003

In the face of evil don't keep silent.

Thousands of jubilant Iraqis, ready for a brand-new beat, dance in the street to celebrate the toppling of a brutal dictator whose tyranny has lasted 24 years but not 24 hours more. Preoccupied with the dramatic image of a noose around Saddam's neck as he is dragged to the ground in Baghdad's al-Fardous square (a 20-foot metal statue of Saddam, that is), the world largely overlooks the news of another dictator, Cuba's Fidel Castro, so far besting the Iraqi tyrant's run by 20 years and counting. Keep reading.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Al Qaeda in Mexico Seek Entry to U.S. - Bill Gertz (Washington Times)

At least 14 al Qaeda members are said to be in Mexico, working with Mexican organized crime groups and attempting to infiltrate into the U.S. to conduct attacks.
Additionally, intelligence officials said captured al Qaeda operations chief Khalid Shaikh Mohammed recently told U.S. officials that al Qaeda was planning to carry out a firebombing attack on Washington's Metrorail.
Arab Volunteers Draw U.S. Scrutiny
Several thousand guerrilla fighters from Arab countries have flocked to Iraq in the past few weeks to join the battle against U.S. and British forces, with many of them now in the capital engaging in suicidal attacks, senior U.S. officers said Tuesday. They come from Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, and the Palestinian territories. Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division, expressed outrage at the tactics employed by Arab fighters and some of the Iraqi paramilitary members. "They literally hide behind women and children, holding them in their houses as they fire," he said. (Washington Post)
Palestinian Terrorist Training Camp Discovered in Iraq

U.S. Marines have discovered a large-scale terrorist training camp for the Palestinian Liberation Front, southwest of Baghdad, as well as documents indicating that Iraq sold weapons to the PLF for its fight against Israel as late as January. The hidden facility could accommodate at least 600 people at a time. "This proves the link between Iraq and terror groups," said Capt. Aaron Robertson, an intelligence officer. (Los Angeles Times)

Battles in Baghdad Pit U.S. against Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanians -
According to reports, the defense of Baghdad is largely being carried out by some 5,000 Palestinian, Syrian, and Jordanian troops. Iraqis surrendering to U.S. forces have detonated explosive belts strapped to their bodies as the Americans approached them. A directive was issued to force all surrendering Iraqis to undress before approaching U.S. forces to prevent a recurrence of such incidents. (Jerusalem Post)
"Be Strong Baghdad" - new Palestinian Authority music video

Palestinian Media Watch reports a new Palestinian Authority music video being broadcast repeatedly during the last few days on official Palestinian television glorifies the "heroic" fighting of the Iraqis and celebrates the casualties inflicted on the US forces. Pictured twice are scenes of US soldiers carrying away a body of a killed comrade, and the last picture in the video is a coffin draped with American and British flags.

The following refrain is sung repeatedly:

"Be strong, Baghdad, be strong
Pressure the evil ones.
Don't fear bombings and siege
Pull the trigger.
The despicable ones must go. "

The video shows numerous scenes of cheering Iraqis holding their automatic rifles aloft and includes Iraqis celebrating near a downed US helicopter.

The clip is named "Be Strong Baghdad" and the vocalist is the popular Palestinian singer
Jamal al-Najar.

[to view music video click on this link]

[Note: Whereas around the world music videos are used for entertainment, MTV type music videos are used by the Palestinian Authority as a primary tool in its hate indoctrination apparatus.]

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Monday, April 07, 2003

The US Army's 3rd infantry division, 2-7 Mechanized Infantry Brigade, is involved in a fierce battle with Palestinian and Jordanian gunmen in the industrial area of southern Baghdad.

The people shooting at US forces are using coordinated attacks using RPG's, suicide trucks, artillery, and sniper fire. Two journalists and two military personnel were killed in the coordinated attack by the Palestinian and Jordanian fighters.

Military sources are saying that they know from prisoners of war that the Palestinian and Jordanian fighters are attempting to reorganize Iraqi resistance in Baghdad.

The military sources called the gunmen "thugs".

There are some US casualties, but many more enemy casualties. Source.
966 people murdered in the Congo: 966 people had been killed in summary executions by what witnesses believe were ethnic militias in the town of Drodro and nearby villages. Investigators who traveled to the area said they had seen at least 20 mass graves with blood and clothing scattered about. They also saw at least 49 survivors who were badly wounded.

I wonder if any newspaper has deemed this atrocity worthy of front page mention.

Friday, March 28, 2003

France and Germany tied to slavery

The American Anti-Slavery Group expressed deep concern today over French and German policies of placing economic objectives ahead of the human rights of Southern Sudanese people forced into human bondage as part of the Sudanese government's genocidal jihad.
America haters at Columbia University:
A Columbia University professor told thousands of students and faculty that he would like to see "a million Mogadishus" _ referring to the 1993 ambush in Somalia that killed 18 Americans and inspired the movie "Black Hawk Down."
The professor, Nicholas De Genova, also called for the defeat of U.S. forces in Iraq and said, "The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military." And he asserted that Americans who call themselves "patriots" are white supremacists.

Regarding what to do with post war Iraqi oil, two great articles:


The Bear's Lair: What to do with the oil

This reminds me of the successful Chilean transition to a privatized pension system. Also see this article by Jose Pinera, who as Chile's secretary of labor and social security, was the architect of that country's successful privatization of its pension system.

on the subject of energy check out the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, focused on Energy Security
What's the U.S. military doing about radical Muslim soldiers?

Not enough.

Once you've read the above link, click here for more.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Check this out!!, a website created to help arm the liberty-loving Silent Majority with ammo -- ammo that strikes at the intellectual solar plexus of the Left.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

The fragger - Muslim terrorist from the word go

Hasan Karim Akbar is the Muslim, Nation of Islam, convert who murdered his fellow soldiers in the 101st airborne.

Frank Gaffney writes about the Fifth Column in our midst.
Daniel Pipes writes: Murder in the 101st Airborne.

Here is a post from this fifth columner from 1994.
One quote from Akbar's 1994 post (found by an LGF poster) :

"May Allah, the Most Just, the Most Wise, the All-Knowing, the Most Merciful,
guide us to the straight path and make us the people who will reestablish the
Islamic State and make deen above all other ways of life."

Thursday, March 13, 2003

How a terrorist enterprise was created, maintained, financed, and coordinated from the safety of the United States

By Steven Emerson

The indictment of the Islamic Jihad terrorist leadership operating out of
the United States since 1984 was unprecedented in scope and magnitude.
With 50 counts (166 pages), it revealed in fascinating detail the internal
conversations, discussions, planning and covert financing of one of the
most murderous terrorist enterprises in the world. It uncovered a world we
never get to see: how a terrorist enterprise was created, maintained,
financed, and coordinated from the safety of the United States.

From issuing communiques on behalf of suicide operations to arguing how
their monies were being spent by factions in the Islamic Jihad, the
indictment - spanning 19 years - shows a key to Islamic terrorists'
success in planting themselves in the heart of the West: the ability to
deceive the public, media and government in portraying themselves as part
of America's pluralist ethnic mosaic.

Islamic Jihad has been officially headquartered in Damascus, Syria, but
the indictment makes clear that its CEO was a professor at the University
of South Florida in Tampa, Sami Al-Arian - who ran the terror apparatus
under the guise of externally operating three seemingly innocent entities:
a Muslim academic institute, a Palestinian humanitarian-aid group and an
Islamic religious center. As yesterday's evidence makes staggeringly
clear, Al-Arian & Co. used these entities as a perfect cover to operate a
violent terrorist group that has killed more than 100 civilians, including
two Americans.

The indictment contains conversation after conversation of Al-Arian
conspiring with Islamic Jihad leaders outside the United States to
coordinate and finance the Islamic Jihad group. Count 42 states: "The
enterprise members, while concealing their association with PIJ [Palestine
Islamic Jihad], would and did seek to obtain support from influential
individuals in the United States under the guise of promoting and
protecting Arab rights. The enterprise members would and did make false
statements and misrepresent facts to representatives of the media to
promote the goals of PIJ."

Back in 1994, I produced and reported "Jihad in America," a PBS
documentary that exposed the secret Islamic Jihad cell that Al-Arian ran
from Tampa. I interviewed Al-Arian - who, of course, denied any terrorist
affiliation. But the documentary also revealed statements by Al-Arian
championing terrorism, the existence of Islamic Jihad publications
distributed from his office, the use of his academic institute as a cover
for Islamic Jihad and actual videos of Islamic Jihad terrorist conferences
he organized in the United States.

Virtually every national Islamic "civil rights" group - created with the
same guile that fostered the success of Al-Arian's organization -
responded by claiming that we were "attacking Islam" and that we were
stereotyping all Muslims. That pattern of obeisance to terrorism was
repeated yesterday following issuance of the indictment.

Hiding under the patina of promoting Arab and Muslim rights, these groups
gathered impressive supporters in the media, Congress and intelligentsia
who jumped on to the "Al-Arian is the victim" refrain, further emboldening
him to literally get away with murder.

The list of scoundrels who assiduously and systematically protected
Al-Arian's terrorist enterprise included then-Rep. David Bonior, Martin
Merzer of the Miami Herald, The St. Petersburg Times' Sue Aschoff and
countless others.

Al-Arian was so successful in his deception that he was invited to the
White House four times, meeting with both President Clinton and President

In the end, Al-Arian succeeded in his deception via the same exact formula
that constrained the FBI - deterred by the fear of being accused of
"racial profiling" - from investigating Islamic militants training in U.S.
flight academies in the months before 9/11. This formula lies at the heart
of Western vulnerability to terrorist groups implanted in our midst. Al
Qaeda and Hamas used it in setting up Islamic "civil rights" groups and
charities throughout the '90s - designed to tar with the broad epithet of
"racism" anyone who would have exposed their secret terrorist connection.

The Justice Department demonstrated that the United States was not going
to sit quietly and allow this murderous deception to continue. Democracies
only act, a British politician once said, when there is blood in the
streets. For the last 10 years, rivers of blood have flooded Tel Aviv,
Jerusalem, New York and Washington. Unfortunately, the terrorist facade,
while damaged by the indictment yesterday and the series of post-9/11
effective one-two counter-terrorist punches by the Bush administration, is
still vibrant in the United States.

The terrorists had a good 10 years on us. Whether we are able to truly
dissipate their infrastructure in the future will depend on the response
that is forthcoming
Palestinian Media Watch reports:

The Palestinian Authority [PA] has consistently seen Iraq as one of its closest allies and Palestinian enmity towards the United States dates back to the first Gulf war when Palestinians supported Iraq in their attack on Kuwait. Iraq has recently gained even more status in the PA due to Iraq’s support of their terror war with Israel. Especially prominent are the large financial grants that Saddam Hussein has given to families of suicide bombers in public ceremonies televised on PA TV.

For these reasons the PA as policy, has sided openly with Iraq the coming war and continues to send them messages of support combined with vicious expression of hatred directed toward the United States.

This past Friday, in the official Sermon on PA TV by religious figure Ibrahim Madiras, America is defined as “the foremost enemy of the Muslim nation” and is compared to Pharaoh of the Bible who said, according to Islamic tradition: “There is no God besides me….” The US war against Iraq is said to be an imperialist war over oil, and the war on terror is said to be the guise for the theft of the oil. Attacks on US policy appears regularly in the PA media.

The following is from the sermon:
“America is the first-degree enemy of the Palestinian people and the Islamic and Arab nations. Yes, America is the foremost enemy of this people. America is the foremost enemy of the Muslim nation, because it has started a war against this Arab, Islamic people… Iraq possesses far more oil … than the oil reserves in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and America wants to have control over the oil. Therefore it has created various methods and fabricated lies and deceit in order to enter into a war against Iraq…. America is behaving like Pharaoh at this time; I only see within America what we saw and heard from Pharaoh, the curse of God upon him. America is behaving like Pharaoh right now. It is telling the whole world: “There is no God besides me…” (Surat Alkatzetz, verse 38). The entire world is standing there saying ‘no’ to war against Iraq and ‘no’ to war against the Arab nation. Yet America is saying what Pharaoh said: “There is no God besides me….” [PA TV February 21, 2003]

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Palestinian Arabs use Ambulances for Terror Activities
Aslam Jabril, a Red Crescent ambulance driver, has been charged in the Beit El military court with using ambulances to transport guns and explosive belts to terrorists of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Nablus and Ramallah.
Saudi-Funded U.S. Group Recruits for al Qaeda -
The Saudi-funded, al Qaeda propaganda machine is in full effect behind the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), an ostensibly mainstream organization that had five of its members arrested and indicted at the end of February. IANA receives half its funding from the Saudi government and the other half from mostly Saudi private donors, according to a New York Times interview with IANA's director, Mohammed al-Ahmari. Backed by the Saudis, IANA has become a glorified al Qaeda recruitment center. Two of the most radical sheiks in Saudi Arabia who provide religious justification for al Qaeda, Salman Al-Awdah and Safar al-Hawali, have several fatwas (religious rulings) and statements plastered all over IANA's websites that legitimize suicide bombings, terrorist attacks, and spit hatred towards the West. (National Review)
The French Connection - William Safire
France, China, and Syria all have a common reason for keeping American and British troops out of Iraq: the three nations may not want the world to discover that their nationals have been illicitly supplying Saddam Hussein with materials used in building long-range surface-to-surface missiles. (New York Times)
Palestinian Arabs Receive Checks from Saddam Hussein
Palestinian families received $245,000 in checks from Iraq on Wednesday. The family of a Palestinian suicide bomber received a check for $25,000. The other 22 families received $10,000 each. Officials of the Arab Liberation Front said Hussein has paid $35 million to the kin of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip and West Bank since September 2000. (Reuters/Washington Post)
A brief excerpt from Hollywood and "Anti-war" (a more accurate term is pro-appeasment or pro-Saddam) Hypocrisy:

In fact, the Clinton administration was far less willing to seek approval from the United Nations for its bombing campaign than the Bush White House has been over Iraq. In criticizing the Bush team's decision to seek an 18th U.N. resolution to justify the use of force in Iraq, Richard Holbrooke, a Clinton U.N. ambassador, points out that "in a roughly similar situation, in 1999, the Clinton administration and our NATO allies decided to bomb Serbia (for 77 days) without even seeking U.N. approval, after it became clear that Russia would veto any proposal. This contrast with the supposedly muscular Bush administration is especially odd when one considers that Saddam Hussein is far worse than Slobodan Milosevic, and that Iraq has left a long trail of violated Security Council resolutions, while there were none in Kosovo."

Mr. Clinton himself now cautions against going to war in Iraq, but he seems to be having an argument with the man by the same name who occupied the White House for eight years. Here is President Clinton on Iraq in 1998: "What if Saddam fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? . . . Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And someday, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal."

From Honestreporting:

This week, Yasser Arafat appointed Mahmoud Abbas ("Abu Mazen") as prime
minister to run the day-to-day affairs of the Palestinians.

On Wednesday, Arafat then met in his Ramallah office with representatives
of Russia, the EU, and the UN, and demanded they put pressure on Israel --
now that he has agreed to share powers with a prime minister.

BBC reports on Arafat: "The Palestinian leader has thrown his weight
behind the reform process," and that "Mr Arafat
has been told that easing his grip on power is a key condition to restart
peace talks."

Actually, since Arafat hand-picked Abbas, it does not satisfy the world's
demand for the introduction of democratic reforms into the Palestinian

And since it turns out that Arafat is maintaining control of two crucial
portfolios -- security and peace negotiations -- the Abbas appointment
does not satisfy President Bush's demand for "new leadership not
compromised by terror."

As the Jerusalem Post writes: "The whole American-European-Israeli idea
was to transform Yasser Arafat into a figurehead and transfer power to a
more palatable replacement. That, so far, is clearly not what is

---- Media Spin ----

Let's look at how the media is spinning this one.

For starters, The Guardian's Conal Urquhart (his real name) writes: "Mr
Abbas has the stature and ability to sign a peace deal independently..."

This assertion should come as quite a surprise to Arafat, who gave Abbas
no such "ability." (Comments to:

And The Independent (UK) trumpets this headline: "Palestinians Vote for
Powerful Premier" -

"Powerful"?! (Comments to:

By contrast, the Chicago Tribune's headline spoke the plain truth:

"Arafat remains boss in deal to appoint prime minister: PLO chief keeps
reins on police, talks for peace"

---- Background: Who is Abbas? ----

Mahmoud Abbas holds a Ph.D. in history from Moscow's Oriental College,
where his doctoral thesis served as a basis for his 1984 book, "The Other
Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism." In this book,
Abbas raised doubts that gas chambers were used for extermination of Jews,
and suggested that the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust was "less
than a million."

Abbas also proposed the sickening, bizarre claim that the Holocaust was a
joint Zionist-Nazi plot. He wrote: "The Zionist movement led a broad
campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule, in order
to arouse the government's hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them,
and to expand the mass extermination."

It was this type of talk that led Austrian Freedom Party leader Jorg
Haider and French politician Jean Marie Le Pen to be ostracized by the
international community.

So how does BBC profile Abbas?

"A highly intellectual man, Abu Mazen [Abbas] studied law in Egypt before
doing a PhD in Moscow. He is the author of several books."

BBC offers no details of the appalling contents of Abbas' writings.

Meanwhile, much of the media is praising Abbas as a "moderate" for having
criticized the use of armed attacks against Israelis. The same BBC profile
reports: "Referring to the current intifada, Abu Mazen has called for a
halt to armed attacks on Israeli targets to avoid giving Israel a pretext
to destroy the last vestiges of Palestinian autonomy."

Note that Abbas does not oppose killing Israeli civilians from a moral
standpoint; he just finds it strategically ineffective.

Further, in a March 3 interview with the London-based "A-Sharq al-Awsat,"
Abbas called for the continuation of armed struggle, and seemed only to
rule out suicide missions inside the Green Line.

Comments to BBC at:

See a full report on Abbas' Holocaust revisionism here.

---- Palestinian Denial of the Holocaust ---

Yasser Arafat and the PA have systematically dismissed the horrors of the
Holocaust -- in speeches, television appearances, interviews and books --
both before and after the Oslo accords were signed.

The PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeedah, featured an article by Palestinian
author Nabil Salam, declaring:

"Since its establishment, the racist Zionist entity has been implementing
various forms of terrorism on a daily basis which are a repetition of the
Nazi terror. This proves the shared roots of Nazi and Zionist thought.
This also explains the cooperation between the Jews and Nazis during World
War II, through which was revealed the forged claims of the Zionists
regarding the alleged acts of slaughter perpetrated against the Jews
during the same period." (September 3, 1997)

A PA television moderator declared: "It is well-known that every year the
Jews exaggerate what the Nazis did to them. They claim there were 6
million killed, but precise scientific research demonstrates that there
were no more than 400,000." (August 25, 1997)

Hassan al-Agha, a professor at the Islamic University in Gaza City,
declared on PA television in 1997:

"The Jews view it [the Holocaust] as a profitable activity so they inflate
the number of victims all the time. In another ten years, I do not know
what number they will reach... As you know, when it comes to economics and
investments, the Jews have been very experienced ever since the days of
The Merchant of Venice."

Seif Ali Al-Jarwan, writing in the Palestinian newspaper Al Hayat
Al-Jadeeda, declared:

"They concocted horrible stories of gas chambers which Hitler, they
claimed, used to burn them alive. The press overflowed with pictures of
Jews being gunned down... or being pushed into gas chambers... The truth
is that such persecution was a malicious fabrication by the Jews." (July
2, 1998)

Furthermore, Palestinians have refused to incorporate any aspect of the
Holocaust into their educational curricula, fearing it might strengthen
Zionist claims to Palestine. Hatem Abd Al-Qader, a Hamas leader, explained
that such instruction would represent "a great danger for the formation of
a Palestinian consciousness"; it would directly threaten Palestinian
political dreams and religious aspirations, such as the promise by Allah
that the whole of Palestine was a sacred possession to the Arabs.
(Al-Risala, Apr. 13, 2000)

And finally, The New York Times (April 6, 1989) reports that Fuzi Salim
Ali Madi, one of the leaders of Arafat's elite unit, Fatah Force 17,
selected the moniker "Abu Hitler" and named his two sons "Eichmann" and

Read more about "Palestinian Holocaust
Denial" in this article by Robert S. Wistrich.

Friday, February 28, 2003

On March 2, 1973, thirty years ago, the US diplomats Cleo Noel and
George Curtis Moore were murdered by terrorists in Khartoum, Sudan.
Arafat was personally implicated.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the tragedy, IsraPundit has
posted today (28 Feb, 2003) an exclusive interview with James J
Welsh, the US National Security Agency (NSA) analyst who covered this
case. The question of Arafat's involvement is elucidated in the
interview in detail.
Thank you Imshin for the welcome back :-) Was wondering if anyone noticed I was gone!

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

i hope the angelic do survive...

How evil are you?