Friday, August 23, 2002

Click over to read what Jim B has to say about Freedom of the Press in the Arab world.
A Forest of Falling Trees - Jim Hoagland
The Persian Gulf region today is a forest of falling trees. Iraq's Baathist dictatorship is a dying if still highly dangerous Nazi-like remnant of Arab socialist nationalism. In Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution has run its course as a profoundly disaffected population demands change. And Saudi Arabia's royals can no longer treat their country and its oil wealth as their private plaything and piggybank. (Houston Chronicle)
U.S. Moves Command Center from Saudi Arabia to Qatar

Faced with the loss of Saudi Arabia's large airfields for combat operations and, in particular, the critical combined air operations center (CAOC) south of Riyadh, the U.S. has been building and enlarging bases elsewhere.
These efforts range from repairing three airfields capable of landing C-130 transports, in Kurd-controlled Northern Iraq, to expanding Al Udeid airbase near Doha on the east coast of Qatar. The base now has more ramp and hangar space for aircraft, and will host the new CAOC for the region which, in the event of conflict, would coordinate minute-to-minute air operations.
The U.S. will also rely heavily on bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, and Turkey. (Aviation Week and Space Technology)
Starting Over After Oslo - Gerald M. Steinberg
The optimistic assumptions and mechanisms that guided Palestinian-Israeli negotiations under the "Oslo" process proved unrealistic and fatally flawed. This failure - as reflected in two years of Palestinian terrorism, the catastrophic leadership of the Palestinian Authority, and the realization that the rejection of Israel as a Jewish state remains the core of the conflict - has fundamentally changed the framework for negotiations. Under these conditions, it is entirely unrealistic and counterproductive to use the concepts and parameters of the Oslo process, the Camp David summit, or the Taba talks as the basis for any new Middle East peace effort.
The Moral Blindness of Terje Roed-Larsen - Shlomo Avineri
Roed-Larsen, a Norwegian diplomat who was crucial in negotiating the Oslo agreements, reminds me of those pacifists of the 1930s - moral exemplars, all of them - who called for understanding the German claim to the Sudetenland in 1938 on the grounds that Hitler was, after all, only calling for the right of the Sudeten Germans for self-determination.
Saddam Hussein, Novelist - Charles Paul Freund
Saddam's most recent novel - The Impregnable Fortress, a moving tale of love and war - has been selling poorly. This despite the fact that Iraq printed 2 million copies of the novel, issued purchasing quotas for each Iraqi province, and declared the work the best-selling novel in Iraqi history even before it was released. Saddam's son Udai did his filial literary duty to boost sales; he ordered 250,000 copies. (Reason)
Libya Bankrolling Iraqi Nukes
"There is nuclear cooperation between Iraq and Libya. Iraq has the know-how and Libya - they have the money," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told visiting U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ). Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told Torricelli, "There is no sense talking to Yasser Arafat as long as he doesn't control the situation."
Asked about the right of Jews to settle in the territories, the senator replied, "Israel is being held to a standard which is otherwise not justifiable in history. There is no nation that has ever had territory used against it for an attack, captured at the cost of their own lives, and then forced to return it."
Florida University Seeks to Fire Professor with Terrorist Ties
University of South Florida officials accused tenured Palestinian computer science professor Sami Al-Arian of having terrorist ties and filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a court to determine whether firing him would violate his free speech rights. "The reality is, this guy's been associated with terrorists for the last 15 years," said Dick Beard, chairman of the USF trustees. "The university has been called Jihad U. It's time we take action and effectively cut this cancer out."
While USF President Judy Genshaft recommended in December that Al-Arian be fired, citing disruption and breach of contract, the university's 60-member faculty senate later voted overwhelmingly not to support Genshaft's decision. A committee of the American Association of University Professors released a statement supporting Al-Arian and urging Genshaft not to fire him or face possible censure. (AP/Yahoo)
See also Interview with Al-Arian (FOX News)
Persecution of Christians in Saudi Arabia.
Religious persecution worldwide: the list.
Pakistani Groups Plans Attacks on Christians
The head of a gang of pro-al-Qaida Islamic militants claimed responsibility for two recent deadly attacks on Christian churches and said the group had planned to blow up at least six churches, high-ranking officials said Sunday.

Saifu-ur-Rehman, alleged leader of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi movement, told investigators that the group was planning to blow up at least six churches in cities throughout Pakistan's eastern Punjab province, senior police and Interior Ministry officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Saifu-ur-Rehman, alias Saif, told investigators that he had visited a Protestant church in Islamabad's heavily guarded diplomatic quarter for several weeks before sending a militant on a suicide mission on March 17, police officials said Sunday. The ensuing attack killed five people, including an American woman, her 17-year-old daughter and the lone assailant.

Police said that Saifi and his associates also confessed they were responsible for the Aug. 9 grenade attack on a chapel located on the grounds of a Presbyterian hospital in Taxila, 25 miles west of Islamabad. That attack killed four nurses and wounded 25 people. One of the assailants also died when grenade shrapnel entered his back and pierced his heart.

Four days earlier, several attackers raided the Murree Christian School about 40 miles east of Islamabad, killing six Pakistanis including guards and non-teaching staff. None of the 150 students, who come from 20 countries, was injured.

The militants have been transferred to a jail in the city of Rawalpindi, outside Islamabad, officials said.
Jihad Worldwide: Christian Villages Burn Again in Central Indonesia:
The villages of Sepe and Silanca, some 10 miles from the city of Poso, have been burned to the ground. Reports from several sources confirm that August 12 attacks on the Christian villages started after armed forces guarding the villages were unexpectedly withdrawn.
Sepe, with a population of 1,250, was attacked at 6:30 p.m. by a large group of men dressed in black and firing automatic weapons. Some villagers tried to fend off the attackers with farming implements and bamboo spears but soon joined the rest of the villagers in flight.
"The sound of automatic weapons was coming from every direction mixed with the hysterical voices of mothers calling for their children, and shrieks of fear from the children," said the Rev. Vence Waani, pastor of the Sepe Pentecostal Church. "The flames were engulfing the houses. It was a scene of horror."
Waani, his wife, and child were forced to flee the burning village as attackers fired volleys of bullets behind them. They did not see their newly-rebuilt church burnt down...
Suspicions of collusion between the armed forces and the Muslim extremists have grown among Christian leadership. The Rev. Rinaldi Damanik, secretary of the General Synod and coordinator of the Crisis Center of the Protestant Church in Central Sulawesi (GKST), has recently spoken out against what he sees as the authorities' bias against the local Christians.
"For the people of Central Sulawesi, this is exactly the style of the Laskar Jihad and is what has been happening since the beginning of the Poso conflict," Damanik said. "Car shootings, bus bombings, attacks in villages, the killing of innocent civilians…"
In November and December, 2001, the Laskar Jihad (Muslim extremists) and local Muslims attacked and destroyed five villages. Sepe was the last attacked and only partially destroyed due to the defense of the villagers and the timely intervention of additional armed forces sent by the government.
Some historical quotes:

"Since 1948 Arab leaders have approached the Palestine problem in an irresponsible manner. They have not looked into the future. They have no plan or approach. They have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous and, I could say, criminal."
- Jordan's King Hussein, Associated Press, Jan 1960

"The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, THEY ABANDONED THEM, FORCED THEM TO EMIGRATE AND TO LEAVE THEIR HOMELAND, imposed upon them a political and ideological blockade and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe, as if we were condemmed to change places with them; they moved out of their ghettos and we occupied similar ones. The Arab States succeeded in scattering the Palestinian people and in destroying their unity. They did not recognize them as a unified people until the States of the world did so, and this is regrettable". - by Abu Mazen, from the article titled: "What We Have Learned and What We Should Do", published in Falastin el Thawra, the official journal of the PLO, of Beirut, in March 1976

"The refugees were confident that their absence would not last long, and that they would return within a week or two. Their leaders had promised them that the Arab armies would crush the 'Zionist gangs' very quickly and that there was no need for panic or fear of a long exile."
- Monsignor George Hakim, Greek Catholic Bishop of Galilee, in the Beirut newspaper Sada al Janub, August 16, 1948

"Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the -Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit.. . . It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades."
- The London weekly Economist, October 2, 1948

"It must not be forgotten that the Arab Higher Committee encouraged the refugees' flight from their homes in Jaffa, Haifa, and Jerusalem."
- Near East Arabic Broadcasting Station, Cyprus, April 3, 1949

"This wholesale exodus was due partly to the belief of the Arabs, encouraged by the boasting of an unrealistic Arab press and the irresponsible utterances of some of the Arab leaders that it could be only a matter of some weeks before the Jews were defeated by the armies of the Arab States and the Palestinian Arabs enabled to re-enter and retake possession of their country."
- Edward Atiyah (then Secretary of the Arab League Office in London) in The Arabs (London, 1955), p. 183

I do not want to impugn anybody but only to help the refugees. The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab States in opposing Partition and the Jewish State. The Arab States agreed upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem, [Daily Telegraph, September 6, 19481
- Emil Ghoury, Secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, the official leadership of the Palestinian Arabs, in the Beirut newspaper, Daily Telegraph, September 6, 1948

The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.
- Falastin (Jordanian newspaper), February 19, 1949

We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down.
- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said, quoted in Sir Am Nakbah ("The Secret Behind the Disaster") by Nimr el Hawari, Nazareth, 1952

The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade. . . . He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean. . . Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes, and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.
- Habib Issa, Secretary General of the Arab League (Azzam Pasha's successor), in the newspaper Al Hoda, June 8, 1951

Find more here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

More info on the oil ticks know as the Saudi royalty...
A new and funky e-zine: get a different look at Israel.
This is great!! Bruce Yarock has some great and funny songs. Guaranteed to make you smile ;-)

"Intifada Time"...Welcome To Yasser's Terrorist Kindergarden
"Pali Girl" ...She's a "Valley Girl" on a suicide mission. Like Oh Allah!
"Border Crossing"...2 would be terrorists, Mohammed and Abdul attempt to cross the border from Mexico into Texas with hilarious results.
"Bomb Factory" ...The continuing adventures of Mohammed and Abdul, those wacky militants, as they reflect on their terrorist activities in Palestine.
"Jihad Rock"...The song the terrorists don't want you to hear!
"Jihad Johnny"...
"Terrorist Nightmares"...A crazy slow-rock collage about "Mohammed's" nightmares the night before his act of "Jihad."
"No Faith Medley"...-"No Faith," "You can be a, ..." and "Holy War"
"Learn About It Medley"...More reflections on the nature of the human species and the terrorists polite description of his upcoming Jihad, with "Learn About It" and "Blow You Away"

Monday, August 19, 2002

"It Gets Hard When They Cheer"
Thanks LGF for posting this article.
Syrian human rights activist sentenced to five years prison
A Syrian human rights activist was convicted Monday of attempting to change the constitution, inciting armed rebellion, disseminating false information and fomenting sectarian riots. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Defense attorney Hassan Abdul-Azim said the sentence against Habib Issa, a lawyer, was "unjust and has no relation whatsoever with Syrian law."

The sentence is a "politically motivated decision that aims at intimidating political detainees and the national democratic opposition in order not to express any criticism or show opposition to the political authority in the country," added Abdul-Azim.

Reporters were barred from the court room.

Issa is the seventh of 10 dissidents to be sentenced since the men were rounded up in a crackdown a year ago. The trial of the three remaining activists has been set for Aug. 28.

President Bashar Assad, who succeeded his father, Hafez Assad, two years ago, has moved cautiously to loosen the government grip on the tightly controlled society. Hundreds of political prisoners were released and scores of exiled members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood were allowed to come home. But at the same time, others were arrested.

The Committees for the Defense of Human Rights in Syria has said more than 1,000 political prisoners remain behind bars.
AP reports Islamists in Chechnya shot down Russian helicopter killing 74 people:
The Mi-26 - the most powerful transport helicopter in the world - went down near the Russian military headquarters at Khankala, near the Chechen capital, Grozny.

The 110-foot helicopter, which news agencies said had more than 100 people on board, burst into flames, and the fire was hampering rescue efforts, officials said.

Investigators were examining two main possible causes of the crash - that the helicopter was shot down from the ground or suffered a technical problem, Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky told the Interfax news agency.

There were varying reports on how many troops were killed.

The Russian military headquarters in Chechnya initially said there were no deaths. But hours later Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov offered condolences to relatives of servicemen killed in the crash - though he did not say how many.

The Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies reported that at least 80 soldiers were killed, citing sources at the headquarters. Interfax later adjusted its toll to 74, saying 106 servicemen were on board the helicopter and 32 survived. Interfax had earlier reported 112 on board.

The military headquarters said there were at least 25 injured, but that fire and smoke from the crash hampered efforts to determine the full number of casualties. All five crew members survived, said Col. Boris Podoprigora, the deputy commander of Russian troops in Chechnya.

The head of the Defense Ministry press office, Nikolai Deryabin, told ORT state television that the pilot had requested permission to perform an emergency landing because an engine was on fire.

There were indications the helicopter may have been overloaded. The Mi-26, which has a 40-foot-long passenger compartment, is supposed to carry a maximum 82 people, Podoprigora said. The craft, which has a single eight-rotor blade on top, is designed to carry loads of up to 20 tons.

The crash came amid a spate of rebel actions against federal forces, including attacks late last week in southwestern Chechnya that killed nine servicemen and five civilians. Some analysts said rebels were intensifying their actions to press the Russian government to enter peace negotiations. A Chechen rebel representative met last week in Geneva with Ivan Rybkin, a former head of Russia's Security Council, to talk about restarting talks stalled since last year.

The government maintains that the current war in Chechnya, launched in fall 1999, is all but over, with just isolated groups of rebels holding out. However, rebels unleash daily attacks that sap the military's manpower and morale.

Most of the attacks are small-scale, targeting soldiers and Chechen police and civilian officials who cooperate with them. But the rebels have made some high-profile hits against top officers.

In September 2001, two generals and 11 other Russian servicemen died when their helicopter was shot down by a shoulder-fired missile shortly after takeoff from Grozny. Another helicopter, an Mi-8 carrying two top Interior Ministry officials and 12 other people, crashed in Chechnya in January. The Kremlin said that crash was due to an accident, but an official with the Moscow-appointed civilian administration for Chechnya said that investigators had found some fragments of the helicopter that suggested it, too, was hit by a shoulder-fired missile.
Daniel Pipes will appear twice on television tonight, Monday, Aug. 19:

8-9 p.m., EDT (repeated later in the evening 11-12 p.m., EDT): "The O'Reilly Factor," focusing on the chapter in Militant Islam Reaches America dealing with "sleeper" agents.

7-8:35 p.m., EDT: C-SPAN3 rebroadcasts a Center for Immigration Studies press conference on "Immigration from the Middle East," with Daniel Pipes, Steven Camarota and Peter Skerry.
Please take the time to read this.

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

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
stabbed.

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 (www.theatlantic.com/issues/2001/
09/power.htm).

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
responsible."

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. [Comment: 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.

[Comment : 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 few months 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.
State Department "Breaks Ranks" with the President - William Kristol
The secretary of state allows his top aides to tell the New York Times on background that he disagrees with the president on Iraq and is desperately trying to restrain him. And according to the Washington Post, when told that previous secretaries of state had an hour alone every week to talk foreign policy with the president, Powell is reported to have asked, "But what would I do with the other 55 minutes?" What he could do is spend those minutes figuring out how best to execute the president's policy - or he could step aside and let someone else do the job. (Weekly Standard)
Can you believe this???

NEA delivers history lesson
By Ellen Sorokin THE WASHINGTON TIMES August 19, 2002
The National Education Association is suggesting to teachers that they be careful on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks not to "suggest any group is responsible" for the terrorist hijackings that killed more than 3,000 people.
Suggested lesson plans compiled by the NEA recommend that teachers "address the issue of blame factually," noting: "Blaming is especially difficult in terrorist situations because someone is at fault. In this country, we still believe that all people are innocent until solid, reliable evidence from our legal authorities proves otherwise."
But another of the suggested NEA lesson plans — compiled together under the title "Remember September 11" and appearing on the teachers union health information network Web site — takes a decidedly blame-America approach, urging educators to "discuss historical instances of American intolerance," so that the American public avoids "repeating terrible mistakes."
"Internment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor and the backlash against Arab Americans during the Gulf War are obvious examples," the plan says. "Teachers can do lessons in class, but parents can also discuss the consequences of these events and encourage their children to suggest better choices that Americans can make this time."
The NEA Web site list includes more than 100 lesson plans teachers will be able to use to help elementary, middle and high school students integrate how they might remember the day's events through subjects such as art, drama and math. The Web site (www.neahin.org) is scheduled to go live Aug. 26.
"America is very much together in terms of remembering September 11," said Jerald Newberry, executive director of the union's Health Information Network. "Americans see their schools as the place that will help their children make sense of these horrific events and move forward as better people."
However, critics said some of the suggestions included in the lesson plans aimed at junior and senior high school students can be seen as an affront to Western civilization.
The suggestions and lesson plans were developed by Brian Lippincott, affiliated with the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the John F. Kennedy University in California.
Critics argue the proposed lesson plans are a form of "cultural Marxism," in that the lessons defend all other cultures except Western civilization.
"A lot of what's stated in these lesson plans are lies," said William S. Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative policy think tank. "None of what is mentioned in these plans are facts. It's an ultimate sin to now defend Western culture. It does not matter today whether a student learns any facts or any skills. What matters now is the attitude they come away with when they graduate school."
The critics also have trouble with schools teaching about Islam, specifically when teachers describe it as a "peaceful religion." Instead, they say, schools should warn children that the root of the problem lies in Islamic teaching.
"There is no such thing as peaceful Islam," Mr. Lind said. "It says that followers should make war on those who believe that Christ is the Messiah."
Phyllis Schlafly, president of the conservative Eagle Forum, said schools should stick to teaching more important subjects such as math, English and science.
"There is nothing that schools can add to what happened on September 11, that the children haven't already seen in the media," Mrs. Schlafly said. "They should stay off of it and teach what's true. They should leave it alone."
Mr. Newberry said the suggested list was compiled by about 200 teachers from across the country after the NEA received hundreds of calls from parents shortly after September 11 asking the schools to help their children understand what happened.
Mr. Newberry said that the site will feature speeches that will be read in New York City, including the "Gettysburg Address," the Declaration of Independence, Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
It also will include a look at using the Pledge of Allegiance; however, no specifics were announced.
"Our goal is to capture from the patriotism point of view some of the history of the United States where outstanding leaders have spoken to the issues of patriotism and freedom," Mr. Newberry said. "I think it would be difficult to find an American who doesn't agree with remembering September 11. I think these critics are in the minority."
Muslim groups applauded the NEA's efforts, saying the critics' statements are centered around "an anti-Muslim phobia."
"The NEA's [lesson plans] provides teachers with a well-balanced, wide range of resources teachers can use to help teach students how to appreciate diversity," said Hodan Hassan, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations. "You're only enriching the learning process. The critics' viewpoints will only harm the children."

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Tortured Christians in the Muslim World
This table presents treatment of Christians in each Islamic country.
Malaysia: The State Government of Terengganu approved a bill to introduce hudud, the criminal code based on Shari’ah Islamic law on Monday 8 July.

The bill would apply Shari’ah penalties to a range of offences. These would include death by stoning for adultery and cutting off hands and feet for theft. A Muslim who renounces Islam would be guilty of apostasy, which under the bill is punishable by death and confiscation of the offender’s property.

The federal government has vowed to block the implementation of this bill, but the state government, which is controlled by the Islamic Party Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), is determined to press ahead with its implementation. PAS is the main opposition party in Malaysia and is seeking to gain support ahead of national elections due in 2004. Its ultimate aim is to transform the country into an Islamic state under Shari’ah law. Similar laws were passed in 1993 in Kelantan, the other Malaysian state controlled by PAS, but they have never been enforced because of federal government opposition. Malaysia is currently governed by a moderate Muslim coalition (UMNO) led by long-serving Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who recently announced that he would be standing down in favour of his deputy prior to the general election. However, even the federal government’s stance on the implementation of Shari’ah law now seems somewhat ambiguous. One of the Prime Minister’s religious advisers, Abdul Hamid Othman, is quoted as saying at the beginning of July, “This must not be done in a hurry. We have to prepare people to accept hudud by way of educating students in the universities about Islamic laws.” He went on to suggest that the government would implement hudud once it found that the environment was appropriate.

The Chief Minister of Terengganu, Abdul Hadi Awang, is Acting President of PAS, following the death in June of its more moderate leader, Fadzil Noor. Some of his statements during the debate on the bill in the Terengganu State Assembly have given rise to great concerns about the ultimate aims of PAS. He is reported as saying, “For now it will apply to only Muslims but when the time comes, the hudud and qisas laws will be extended to all non-Muslims.” He also stated, “Politics should not be separated from Islam. As Muslims, it is an obligation and a duty for PAS to use its political power to implement this law.” Christians and other minorities, as well as women’s groups, are fearful that the implementation of such laws will lead to discrimination against them and undermine their equality before the law.
Iraq: In the eleven years since the end of the Gulf War the Christian population of Iraq has dropped by a half to two-thirds as hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled both grinding poverty and widespread discrimination from their Muslim neighbours. Christians in Iraq, who today number an estimated half a million, are regarded by many Muslims with suspicion and hostility. They are seen as potential traitors and the natural allies of the country’s enemies in the “Christian West”. Outside of Iraq’s central region (controlled by Saddam Hussein) Christians are also facing violence in the Kurdish areas in the north of the country, where militants are trying to cleanse whole areas of Christians, and in the Shia dominated south, where some have spoken of “pushing the Christians into the sea”.
Twelve of the thirteen Palestinian gunmen at the centre of the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem were dispersed to different countries in Europe. They presented themselves as the heroic defenders of one of Christianity’s holiest shrines against Israeli aggression. However, when they finally left the church they left behind boobytraps which could have killed Christian worshippers. Source.
Increased political voice for Pakistani Christians and other non-Muslims
President Musharraf of Pakistan has announced the restoration of reserved seats for religious minorities in the National and Provincial assemblies. This will not affect the rights of minorities to vote in the main elections under the previously announced joint electorate scheme and should ensure that Christians and other minority groups have political representation, while still allowing them to have some influence with local candidates from the majority parties.
Sudan: Christians in Southern Sudan continue to suffer hunger and deprivation, largely as a result of the actions of the Islamic Government of Sudan in its pursuit of the long-running civil war with the mainly Christian and animist South of the country.

The Government of Sudan continues to bomb civilian targets in the South of the country. During June the village of Malual Kon, a centre for humanitarian aid, was bombed, killing four people and injuring five others. This attack took place on a Sunday and one report indicates that those killed were on their way to church. There have been at least two other incidences recently of the bombing of civilian targets in the Eastern Equatoria region. In no case were any rebel military units present in the areas bombed.
Indonesia: At least seven people were shot and wounded and four others are missing after an attack on Christians in the village of Matako near Poso in Central Sulawesi in the early hours of Sunday 4 August. Two churches and twenty-seven houses were also burnt down in the worst violence against Christians in the Poso region since the signing of a peace agreement at the end of last year.

One report from a local Christian paints a vivid picture: “The attack began at 3.30 am with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!’ as the sleepy night burst into a blaze of fire, bullets and bombs. The attack came from two directions. Some of the jihad terrorists entered through the middle of the village having come down jungle pathways from the mountains while others landed on the beach in speedboats. The attack force was estimated to be between 80-100 men.” There have also been reports of attacks on Christians in two other villages in the Poso area. As a result over 2000 people have fled their homes, fearing further violence, and have been evacuated to Tentena.
Persecution Watch - Senegal -- 2002-06-29
Armed Muslims have driven worshipers from their new church in the capital, Dakar, and occupied the building, refusing to hand it back to the congregation. Led by a local Muslim politician, the group forced their way into the building on May 23, wielding knives and stones, The Barnabas Fund (TBF) reported.

The clash followed rising tensions between local Christians and Muslims. When they were unable to stop the new church from opening after it received formal approval to hold services, local Muslims "took the law into their own hands" and accused the congregation of disturbing the local community by making too much noise, said the United Kingdom-based Christian group.

Despite the involvement of police and local authorities, and a reconciliation meeting at which church leaders apologized for being too loud, the building has yet to be turned over to the church again. The incident is the latest in a series of attacks, TBF said. "Church leaders fear the incidents may be part of a concerted campaign to put pressure on Christians by Islamic extremist factions who want to make Senegal an exclusively Islamic country."
Persecution Watch: Pakistan -- 2002-07-20
A Christian high school principal jailed for alleged blasphemy against Islam has been attacked while asleep in his cell. Pervaiz Masih, 34, was struck twice in the head by another inmate before he awakened enough to wrestle with his attacker and call the prison guards, Compass Direct reported.

According to the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), a Christian human rights advocacy group in Lahore, Masih was asleep on June 17 when Akhtar Bashir struck him in the face with a sharp fragment of glass. Bashir also tore Masih's Bible and other Christian materials in his cell before guards intervened.

Masih has been refused bail since his arrest in April 2001, when he was accused of slandering the prophet Muhammad several months earlier to three teenage Muslim boys he had been tutoring. A Quran teacher filed the case against him, Compass reported. According to CLAAS officials, at least 10 other prisoners accused of blasphemy have been attacked or abused in Pakistan's jails during the last three months.
Pakistani Christian Teen Assaulted -- 2002-07-29
A teenage Christian has been badly scarred after having acid thrown in her face. Seventeen-year-old Gulnaz Aftab suffered burns to her face, arms and upper body in the attack by a Muslim man whose advances she had rejected, according to a report circulated by International Crisis Aid (ICA) in Washington, D.C.

The incident occurred in a township in Faisalabad, where Aftab had been working as a telephone operator to help support her family. A local Christian leader told ICA that visitors to the public phone office used insulting words, tried to persuade the teen to embrace Islam and told her "beautiful girls like her should not remain in Christianity."

When one man tried to touch her inappropriately, she slapped him in the face. He returned the next day and threw sulfuric acid at her, blinding her.
ICA director Pat Bradley said that he was not aware of similar attacks, but that "Christians in Pakistan are severely persecuted in a variety of ways." ICA is collecting donations to help pay for Aftab's medical treatment.
A California-based population "stabilization" group wants the federal government to enact a moratorium on immigration, at least, they say, until federal law enforcement authorities can tell "a terrorist from a tourist."

Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) President Diana Hull said Wednesday that U.S. immigration policies, and their implementation by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), have placed Americans at risk from foreign-born extremists.

"Open immigration has led to terrorism, because we don't know who's coming in and who's going out. We don't know anything,...and that's because of the INS." Keep reading.
SADDAM WILLING TO FIGHT AMERICA TO THE LAST PALESTINIAN
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is trying to stir up
the Palestinians to perpetrate 'mega-attacks' against
Israel so that an Israeli retaliation will be so
strong that it will upset the entire region and
prevent America from attacking Iraq, an Israeli
analyst said on Tuesday....
Iraq will do everything it can to avoid an American attack, said Professor Amatzia Baram, director of the Middle East Institute at the University of Haifa.
He might even agree to allow weapons' inspectors to return to the country if he believes an attack is imminent, in the hopes of averting trouble, but at that point, Baram said, he doesn't believe it will help.
"America will go to war even if it's unilateral," Baram said. "[And] Israel will certainly be the target of Iraqi missiles."
According to Baram, the Iraqi leader has only about 20 missiles, half equipped with biological warheads and half equipped with chemical ones...
"If any missile is launched toward Israel, Israel will retaliate commensurate with the damage," he said. Israel would respond by hitting targets most cherished by the regime, such as the security system, he said, declining to offer specific suggestions as to what those targets might be.

In the meantime, Saddam is trying to prevent an American attack by urging the Palestinians to carry out a "mega-attack" in which Israel would lose a few thousand people, provoking a massive Israeli response, he said.
Saddam has been quite generous in his financial support of families of Palestinians who have been killed or wounded in fighting with Israel and he has a lot of popularity in the Palestinian street.
Israeli officials have been warning that Palestinian groups want to carry out mega-attacks. Several have already been planned or attempted but were foiled.
Until now, Baram said, Israel has refrained from using all of its military might but if it lost thousands of citizens in one day, its internal inhibitions against a massive retaliation would be "annulled."
"This is precisely what Saddam Hussein wants," he said. "The most effective way is to press the Palestinians to do mega-attacks. Israel's inhibitions will be switched off. He is hopeful that Israel will kill many thousands [of Palestinians in retaliation]. "
If such a scenario developed, Baram said, the Arab countries would go "berserk," the moderate Arab regimes of Jordan and Egypt would be in major trouble from uprisings against Israel in the streets, Europe would become "Hitler-style" in its condemnation and America would be very critical.
"In an atmosphere like this America cannot attack Iraq," he said. "Saddam Hussein is willing to fight America until the last Palestinian."
Good to know where the U.N. is spending our hard earned tax dollars:
U.N. Enables Palestinian Terrorism (JINSA response to Washington Times letter)

In his May 6 letter to the editor "Bloody smear of U.N. staff," Paul McCann of U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) uses the word "sovereign" — meaning "governmental" — to deny UNRWA's responsibility for terrorism emanating from "refugee" camps under U.N. sponsorship. UNRWA camps are under no sovereign authority at all, as the Palestinian Authority is not sovereign and the sovereign state of Israel is not responsible for the camps.

What counts is who dishes out the money and to whom the "disher" reports on money spent. UNRWA is a U.N. agency, and its commissioner-general reports directly to the General Assembly. In 2000, UNRWA raised more than $337 million from U.N. members ($89 million of that from the United States) and spent all of it. The fact that they passed it off to locals who used it to build a terrorist apparatus and produce schoolbooks that teach anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and the glories of death — one's own and that of others — may shield UNRWA by one step, but makes it no less responsible for where the money ends up.

Whether by its own acts or by closing its eyes to the acts of others, UNRWA (and thus the United Nations) supported or permitted terrorists to use the mechanism of refugee relief to kill Jews.
Who said the following:

There is no doubt we have to repeople the country
and the sooner we set about it the better. Some
decision must be made to deed houses and land
captured of the enemy... The civil power being
insufficient to protect life and property ex
necessitate rei, to prevent anarchy, 'which
nature abhors,' the military steps in and is
rightful, constitutional, and lawful. Under this
law everybody can be made to 'stay at home and
mind his or her own business,' and if they
don't do that, can be sent away where they
won't keep their honest neighbors in fear
of danger, robbery and insult.

Your military commanders, provost-marshals and
other agents may arrest all males and females
who have encouraged or harbored guerrillas and
robbers, and you may cause them to be collected...
and when you have enough, say 300 or 400, I
will cause them to be sent... through their
guerrilla gauntlet and by a sailing ship send
them to a land where they may... make a colony
with laws and a future of their own... I wish
you to be careful that no personalities are
mixed up in this, nor does a full and generous
love of country... form a cause of banishment.


Hint: it was a General.

According to biographer Lee Kennett, "the
enemy was fast-moving rebel cavalry on raids,
indigenous guerrillas and partisans, and to
[his] way of thinking, the population that
aided them and cheered them on..." He ordered
a "security zone extending three miles on
each side of the Line. No persons could live
within the zone, towns excepted, unless they
could establish their loyalty." He "extended
his policy of punishing populations to include
those living where [the] cavalry was active,
for he concluded that they tolerated and
sustained such raiders, just as they
accommodated the guerrillas who thrived in
their midst... He had exhausted his patience
with [the] partisans, whom he now classified
as 'wild beasts,' not covered by the laws of
war. Anyone caught damaging the railway, the
telegraph line, or army stores, especially if
in civilian dress, 'should be disposed of
finally and summarily.'"

Hint: This General never conceived of anyone blowing
up children eating pizza or snipers killing babies
in their fathers' arms.

The guerrillas used "torpedoes," hollow logs
filled with gunpowder, hidden among other logs,
to blow up government railway cars and personnel.
The General's response? "[It] is simply malicious.
It cannot alter the great problem, but simply
makes trouble. If torpedoes are found in
possession of an enemy to the rear, you may
cause them to be tested by wagon loads of
prisoners, or if need be, by citizens implicated
in their use. In like manner, if a torpedo is
suspected on any part of the road, order the
point to be tested by a carload of prisoners,
or citizens implicated, drawn by a long rope.
Of course, the enemy cannot complain of his own traps."

Hint: this General was never in Jenin.


If you guessed Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in 1864,
you have our admiration.

The point is not to compare adversaries that cannot
be compared. It is to remind ourselves that:

a) wherever Israel and we find ourselves in the war
against terrorists and their supporters, someone has
been there before;

b) those that argue there is "no military solution"
are wrong; and

c) the good guys won but it wasn't easy.