Friday, May 31, 2002

The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism just released a psychological profile and strategic analysis of Arafat. Take a look.

Thanks to Oceanguy for highlighting this translation of an Egyptian article by MEMRI:
Egyptian Press: "the vulgar women that rule America"
Keep in mind that Egypt doesn't have a free press, so the fact that this kind of vileness is published implies government approval.
Here's another example, this one a discussion by Egyptian press on why and how homosexuals should be killed.
Egypt has been persecuting and arresting large numbers of gays. The U.S. provides Egypt with about $2Billion in aid a year - maybe its time we raised these issues??
One more thing. We all know about the abuses heaped upon women throughout the Middle East (other than of course Israel.) But did you know horrific violations of Muslim women's civil rights by their families are happening in ENGLAND? Multiculturalist political correctness aside, one would think Britain would take care to ensure all its residents were protected from this kind of abuse:
"A young girl who refuses to marry the man to whom her father has betrothed her is likely to be (as several of my patients have been) beaten and starved into submission. Every Muslim girl whom I meet knows of girls who have been done to death for their stubbornness in continuing to refuse: sometimes hanged, sometimes strangled, sometimes thrown from the roof of a building, sometimes burnt. It costs a father about £5 to put an end to the not very strenuous investigations into the death of a daughter. " Read the full article
Today in Israel: Terrorist throws grenade at kindergarten.
At about 8:30 AM, an Arab infiltrator managed to open fire and throw at least one grenade at the Shavei Shomron kindergarten before setting off on a shooting spree through the town. He opened fire at several residents and homes before David Elbaz, owner of the local mini-market, gave chase and killed him with gunshots. In addition to several grenades and the weapon the terrorist carried on him, security sweeps revealed several explosive devices that he had intended to detonate during the thwarted attack. Read more..

Zachary Baumel, Tzvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz, are Israeli soldiers that have been MIA for exactly 20 years today.


Regarding Jenin: Dr. David Zangen, chief medical officer of
the Israeli paratroop unit, which bore the brunt of the fighting in Jenin.
stated that the Israelis not only worked to keep the hospital in
Jenin open, but that they offered the Palestinians blood for their

The Palestinians refused it because it was Jewish blood.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Beautiful soul expanding poems. The Glance - Songs of Soul-Meeting ---by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks. Rumi was a 13th century scholar.
Here is one:

I see my beauty in you. I become
a mirror that cannot close its eyes

to your longing. My eyes wet with
yours in the early light. My mind

every moment giving birth, always
conceiving, always in the ninth

month, always the come-point. How
do I stand this? We become these

words we say, a wailing sound moving
out into the air. These thousands of

worlds that rise from nowhere, how
does your face contain them? I'm

a fly in your honey, then closer, a
moth caught in flame's allure, then

empty sky stretched out in homage.

More poems...
Why don't I see a NYT front page headline about persecution of Christians by Muslims in the Middle East?

Christian Exodus from the Middle East

Institutionalized Christian persecution in Bethlehem
Sayed Anwar of the Washington Times discusses rape, murder, and extortion of Christians by Arafat's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Bethlehem:
Exiled Palestinian militants ran two-year reign of terror

Independent Media Review Analysis notes a Palestinian statement accusing the Israelis of "war crimes"--for inspecting the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem for bombs after the Palestinian gunmen withdrew (Israeli soldiers found 40 explosive charges hidden in the Church).

Now let's talk about the Syrian occupation of Lebanon:
Over 500,000 Christians have fled Lebanon since 1976 – fled the Syrian occupation of their homeland. Today, Syrian-backed Islamic Militants and terrorists operate openly, and harshly persecute what has become the Christian minority in Lebanon. Yet few people in either the Arab world or the West express more than passing concern for the on-going occupation and destruction of Lebanon. In “The (Other) Occupation,” Lebanese émigré and international attorney Serge Salwan makes the case for a renewed effort to free Lebanon from the clutches of Syrian dictatorship. Keep reading

Regarding the supposed desperation of suicide bombers....from the WSJ (quoting the NYT!)
Laughing All the Way to the (West) Bank
Next time someone blames terrorism on poverty, read him this passage from a New York Times story on a pair of prospective successors to Yasser Arafat, West Bank security chief Jabril Rajoub and his Gaza counterpart, Muhammad Dahlan:
Both have also been living large: Mr. Dahlan built a mansion in Gaza so huge that Mr. Arafat had to tell him it was ostentatious. When an outraged Mr. Rajoub led a press tour of his damaged house after an Israeli rocket attack, journalists were fascinated by his marble whirlpool bath.

What is remarkable to me (and illustrative of the fact that hope springs eternal in the hearts of Israelis), is that still today, over 70% of the Israeli public supports establishment of a Palestinian state within the framework of a negotiated settlement and in return for true PEACE (ie, not a situation where a day after the deal is signed Iraqi soldiers are sitting on the border - remember that at its narrowest point Israel is a mere 9 miles across.)

Last but not least....

May. 2, 2002
BRET STEPHENS' EYES ABROAD: Indirect responsibility, anyone?
By Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal

ON JUNE 8, 2001, a Belgian court sentenced four Rwandans - a former government minister, a university
professor, and two Roman Catholic nuns - to prison terms of 12 to 20 years for the crime of genocide.
Specifically, the court found that in the spring of 1994, Alphonse Higanaro, the former Rwandan transport
minister, had ordered the killing of a Tutsi family of eight, and that Vincent Ntezimana, the academic, had
drawn up lists of Tutsi to be exterminated. The court also found that one of the nuns, a Sister
Gertrude, had in her capacity as Mother Superior of the Suvo convent refused sanctuary to several thousand
Tutsi refugees, describing them as "rubbish" before alerting the Hutu Interahumwe militia (in which two of
her brothers were then serving) to the Tutsi presence. The refugees were hacked to death with machetes.
Sister Gertrude also expelled 22 refugees - relative's of the convent's Tutsi nuns - from the convent. It is
reported that some of these refugees paid the Hutu $15 for the privilege of being shot to death rather than
As for the second nun, Sister Maria Kisito, she was found guilty of assisting the Interahumwe in setting
fire to a nearby health clinic in which 700 Tutsi had taken refuge. All perished. Altogether, the four
defendants had a hand in an estimated 5,000 Tutsi murders.

Following the trial, George-Henri Beauthier, a lawyer for the prosecution, saluted the verdict this way:
"This will encourage us to continue the fight and prosecute all those responsible for genocide."
Sure enough, the following week suit was brought in a Brussels court against Ariel Sharon by 23 survivors of
the Sabra and Shatilla massacres. The charge: crimes against humanity.

It happens that I was living in Brussels at the time,so I was able to follow the two cases closely. What
struck me then was this: The Rwandans were tried for acts for which they were directly responsible. Sharon
was accused of acts for which he was, at most, indirectly responsible. Yet while the Brussels case
against Sharon was eventually dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, the distinction between direct
and indirect responsibility remains, in European eyes as well as in the eyes of much of the "international
community," a blurred one. The implications of this - for Europe, the United Nations, and the United States
- cannot be ignored.

LET'S RECALL briefly the findings of the Kahan Commission regarding the killing of some 800
Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatilla by Eli Hobeika's Christian Phalagnist militia in September
1982. The commission found that "in having the Phalangists enter the camps, no intention existed on
the part of anyone who acted on the part of Israel to harm the noncombatant population."
The commission also acquited Sharon on the charge that he had been negligent in stopping the massacre;
Israeli generals had, in fact, ordered the Phalangists to withdraw their forces once it became clear that
something dreadful had occured.

What the commission did find was that Sharon should have anticipated the massacre, and that this failure
of foresight amounted to a form of "indirect responsibility," with the recommendation that Sharon
"draw the appropriate personal conclusions." As everyone knows, Sharon did exactly that, and
notwithstanding his political resurrection, he has worn something like a mark of Cain ever since.
So, indeed, has Israel.

It is not my intention here to debate the merits of the concept of indirect responsibility. To me, it
seems a dangerous catch-all phrase, or (to mix my metaphors) a slippery slope. But these arguments are
now moot. Both with the Kahan Commission, and in the proceedings of the International Criminal Tribunal for
the former Yugoslavia, indirect responbibility has become a fact of international law, to say nothing of
political reality.

The point now is that if we're going to punish people for "indirect responsibility" in war crimes, we ought
to define such responsibility clearly and apply it consistently. And this brings me back to the subject
of Rwanda.

ANYONE INTERESTED in what transpired in Rwanda during that awful spring could do no better than to read
Philip Gourevitch's We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Familes. But to
get a sense of how Rwanda was allowed to happen, one must read Samantha Power's meticulously researched
"Bystander to Genocide" in last September's issue of The Atlantic Monthly (

The prelude to the Rwanda genocide is instructive. In 1993, after generations of hostility and periodic
outbreaks of fighting between Tutsi and Hutu, an agreement called the Arusha Accords was reached under
Tanzanian auspices. Its terms called for the return of Tutsi exiles, a power-sharing government, the
demobilization and demilitarization of both Hutu and Tutsi, and the introduction of a UN force, the UN
Assistance Mission in Rwanda, or UNAMIR, to monitor and enforce the agreement.

Within months, however, the Hutu were violating the terms of the accord: military equipment was being
flown in for the Hutus; local militias were being trained; lists of Tutsis were being drawn up for what
the UN officer in charge of the mission, a French Canadian general named Romeo Dallaire, suspected was
for "their extermination."

The conscientious Dallaire then relayed this information to the UN Department of Peacekeeping
Operations, headed by Kofi Annan, and proposed a raid on Hutu weapons depots. Annan's office expressly
turned him down, advising him instead to alert the Hutu President, Juvenal Habyarimana.

The Clinton administration also didn't pay heed. As evidence of Hutu violations of the accord came to
light, the US chose to look the other way. "An examination of cable traffic from the US embassy
in Kigali to Washington [before the killing began]," writes Power, "reveals that setbacks were perceived as
'dangers to the peace process' more than 'dangers to Rwandans.' American criticisms were deliberately and
steadfastly leveled at 'both sides,' though Hutu government and militia forces were usually

Then, on April 6, President Habyarimana's jet was shot down. It was the pretext the Hutu militia needed to
begin the killing. The Prime Minister and her husband, both moderates, were killed within minutes in their
homes. Hutu militia also rounded up 10 Belgian peacekeepers - the Belgians were the backbone of
UNAMIR's operation - and killed them. Rwandan radio began broadcasting the names and addresses of all
Tutsi to be killed immediately.

Writes Power: "Killers often carried a machete in one hand and a transistor radio in the other. Tens of
thousands of Tutsi fled their homes in panic and weresnared and butchered at checkpoints. Little care was
given to their disposal. Some were shoveled into landfills. Human flesh rotted in the sunshine. In
churches, bodies mingled with scattered hosts."

To these several events, the reaction of the West proved remarkably uniform. The Europeans moved quickly
to evacuate their citizens in Rwanda; they landed 1,000 troops in the Kigali airport expressly for that
purpose, and then departed.

The Belgians, Rwanda's erstwhile colonial masters, also wanted out. But as Willie Claes, the foreign
minister at the time, explained: "We are pulling out, but we don't want to be seen doing it alone." He
wanted "cover," which meant the removal of all UN peacekeepers.

On April 21, the United Nations Security Council, with the full backing of the US, complied, with one caveat.
A "small, skeletal" force was to remain in place, in order, as then UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright said,
"to show the will of the international community."

By then, an estimated 100,000 Tutsi had been slaughtered. [me: By the end over 50% of the Tutsi population was exterminated, close to 800,000 people]

The UN wanted to maintain its posture of evenhandedness - and to protect non-Rwandans. In the
face of Dallaire's pleas for beefed up assistance and more proactive measures, Annan's office responded as
follows: "You should make every effort not to compromise your impartiality or to act beyond your
mandate, but [you] may exercise your discretion to do [so] should this be essential for the evacuation of
foreign nationals."

As for the Clinton administration, its objectives were twofold. First, it wanted to extract US citizens,
which it accomplished by April 10. Second, the administration, wary of "another Somalia," wanted to
avoid avoid any form of military involvement.

This latter point posed a peculiar difficulty. The US is a signatory to the 1948 Genocide Convention.
Article One of the Convention stipulates: "The contracting parties confirm that genocide, whether
committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to
prevent and punish."

Thus, in order to avoid any military involvement in Rwanda, the US government had to avoid using "the
g-word." Power quotes from a memo of an interagency group: "Be Careful. Legal at State was worried about
this yesterday - Genocide finding could commit [the US government] to actually 'do something.'"

As a result, the administration was forced to resort to the most remarkable verbal gymanastics. State
Department spokesmen talked of "acts of genocide," but not genocide. Then-secretary of state Warren
Christopher carefully instructed his UN delegation that it was "not authorized to agree to the
characterization of any specific incident of genocide or to agree to any formulation that indicates that all
killings in Rwanda are genocide."

Yet even as this defense became untenable, the administration went out of its way to find excuses for
inaction. A proposal that Rwandan radio be jammed was denied on grounds that it would be a violation of free
speech. A proposal to send in a second UNAMIR mission fell afoul of US tactical objections: the UN wanted an
"inside-out" approach; the US insisted on "outside-in." An undertaking by Vice President Al Gore
to supply the mission with armored personnel carriers was delayed on account of cost considerations, and the
question of whether the APCs should be wheeled or tracked.

In the end, it all amounted to nothing. Only the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front brought the killing
to a halt, in June, by force of arms.

UPON READING Gourevitch's initial account of the genocide in The New Yorker, Bill Clinton circulated
copies of the article to his staff with notes like: "Is what he's saying true?" and "How did this happen?"
In fact, Clinton could not have failed to take notice of the genocide. The story was all over the press. In
the few days during which US Embassy personnel remained in Kigali as the killing unfolded, detailed
diplomatic dispatches were sent to the White House.

Secretary Christopher was kept well-abreast of developments via the work of interagency groups and
his own Africa specialists. So was ambassador Albright at the UN. Peacekeeping chief Kofi Annan was kept
informed via Dallaire. The Belgians had extensive contacts in their old colony.
All of them knew perfectly well what was happening. They chose - for reasons of political expediency,
international indifference or personal embarrassment -to look away.

As for Clinton's jotted questions, they were carefully planted deceits, though whether to himself or to
posterity I can hardly say. None of this is to say that there were not intellectually defensible reasons for the
West to stay out of Rwanda. But these reasons are neither legally nor morally defensible once the Western world
committed itself to preventing genocide. Annan had foreknowledge that a genocide was going to take place,
but did nothing. Clinton and his officers had knowledge that a genocide was taking place, but did nothing.
The Belgians, who possessed the means on the ground to do something, not only abandoned their posts
instantly upon the death of 10 troops, but prevailed on the UN to go along.

[me : At least the Dutch governmnent had the intellectual honesty to accept indirect responsibility for the massacre of 7,000 in Zbrecnica in 1990s .. they resigned a month ago... but no one is talking about prosecuting them for crimes against humanity ]...

All of them bear a clear, if indirect responsibility for the genocide in Rwanda. Yet none of them, to my
knowledge, has drawn the "appropriate personal conclusions."
Only Israelis, it seems, are fools enough to do that.

That's it. Now I'm getting away from the computer and going for a walk.

The Palestinians could have had a state long ago. They were offered a state in 1936, 1947, Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank which was supposed to be a Palestinian State and held it from 1948-1967, etc etc, and Barak and Clinton went to Camp David ready to establish a Palestinian state.
What happened? Dennis Roth was Clinton's Middle East Envoy in charge of brokering peace in the Middle East. He broke his
silence on the events at Camp David in Sept. 2000 during an interview this past weekend on Foxnews with Brit Hume.
Given Dennis Roth's extensive knowledge of the Middle East, unlike reporters who parachute in with little historical context, and his unbiased and even handed track record during his role as MidEast Envoy, his interview is extremely enlightening.
First day on the blog.
First, a joke:
Arafat is in his office alone, when his bodyguards
hear a loud explosion inside his office.

They rush in, and see him on the floor, face all bloodied,
and they ask "What happened, Mr. Chairman?"

"A letter bomb" exclaimed the injured despot.

"But a letter bomb would have wounded your hands
not your mouth" replied one of his experienced men.

"I was sealing it." said Mr. Arafat


Some quotes from today's WSJ OpinionJournal best of the web news summary:
The Boston Globe reports Saddam Hussein--his people suffering under U.N. sanctions--is pouring millions of dollars into Jenin:

Local officials of the Arab Liberation Front, an organization sponsored by Hussein, said that starting a few days ago, they began giving $25,000 to each family whose dwelling in the camp was destroyed. . . .

Hussein also is giving $1,000 to every person who was seriously wounded in the fighting, and $500 to those who were less gravely injured, Bisharat added. The donations are in addition to $25,000 awards Hussein has been making over the past two months to the families of suicide bombers and the $10,000 he gives to relatives of other Palestinians who die while attacking Israelis.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that our friends the Saudis have sent tens of millions of dollars "to aid the Palestinian families of those killed--civilians and suicide bombers alike" and that "some private Saudi money has been funneled in the past to Palestinian groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which carry out many of the suicide attacks."

According to the U.S. State Department, "After September 11 . . ., the Saudi Government reaffirmed its commitment to combat terrorism. . . . The King, Crown Prince, Government-appointed religious leaders, and official news media publicly and consistently condemned terrorism and refuted the few ideological and religious justifications made by some clerics."

Check this out: Payments to terrorists proudly reported on the Saudi Embassy website