Friday, October 04, 2002

U.N. investigators and relief agencies were working around the clock trying to put a stop to alleged recurrence of sexual abuse against West African refugee children by aid workers and peacekeepers. Aid workers my ass.
..humanitarian officials familiar with the brief said many sex abuse victims are afraid to take part in a formal investigation and don't come forward for fear of vengeance and recrimination...
"... In order for a refugee to make a report, they would have to go through the same persons who themselves are perpetrators of sexual exploitation. Most staff appear to connive to hide the actions of other staff."

Via Instapundit.
Check out Voice from the Commonwealth - many posts, all good. Note, blogspot seems to be having some difficulties. you may have to click reload a few times.
"[M]y disagreement with the peace-at-any-price men, the ultrapacifists, is not in the least because they favor peace. I object to them, first, because they have proved themselves futile and impotent in working for peace, and second, because they commit what is not merely the capital error but the crime against morality of failing to uphold righteousness as the all-important end toward which we should strive ... I have as little sympathy for them as they have for the men who deify mere brutal force, who insist that power justifies wrongdoing, and who declare that there is no such thing as international morality. But the ultra-pacifists really play into the hands of these men. To condemn equally might which backs right and might which overthrows right is to render positive service to wrong-doers ... To denounce the nation that wages war in self-defense, or from a generous desire to relieve the oppressed, in the same terms in which we denounce war waged in a spirit of greed or wanton folly stands on a par with denouncing equally a murderer and the policeman who, at peril of his life and by force of arms, arrests the murderer. In each case the denunciation denotes not loftiness of soul but weakness both of mind and morals." - Theodore Roosevelt, anticipating Bhagdad Bozo Jim McDermott, from TR's "America and the World War." Via Andrew Sullivan.
This is happening in the suburbs of DC.
I think there is a good chance terrorists are responsible. At least 5 people have been murdered. Each with a single gunshot from a far distance.
Imagine what it feels like to live in Israel. Think about how you would want the US government to react if we found out these acts were carried out by Islamic terrorists.
Gay Couples to Enjoy Same Benefits as Heterosexual Couples

The Tel Aviv Municipality approved on Thursday new city regulations that enable gay married couples to receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples, HA'ARETZ reported. Under the new rules, same sex couples will be eligible for discounts and benefits at cultural facilities such as libraries, swimming pools and various city events. Gay couples seeking benefits under the new regulations will have to submit an affidavit to the Tel Aviv Municipality, signed by an attorney.

A statement released by the municipality said that the city of Tel Aviv "will not discriminate against a person in the conferral of services due to his personal status. The municipality will treat couples known to the public, including same sex couples, as couples in every sense, and will confer to them the same discounts and benefits in public services which are provided to married couples."

A new free clinic for sexually transmitted diseases is slated to open near the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, MA'ARIV reported. The clinic is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and the Tel Aviv Municipality and will provide free treatment, consultation and support to all Israelis, regardless of insurance status.
Fact Sheet: Israeli Democracy

During more than five decades of state-building, Israelis have looked to the United States for inspiration, financial and military assistance, and diplomatic support. Americans, in turn, have viewed Israel with special appreciation for its successful effort to follow the Western democratic tradition, its remarkable economic development and its determined struggle against its uncompromising enemies.

While they live in a region characterized by totalitarianism, Israelis have a commitment to democracy no less passionate than that of Americans.

All citizens of Israel, regardless of race, religion or sex, are guaranteed equality before the law and full democratic rights. Freedom of speech, assembly, and press are embodied in the country's laws and traditions. Men and women have equal access to education, modern health care, and good jobs.

Israel's citizens include Jews from more than 100 countries, including dark-skinned Jews from Ethiopia, Yemen, and India. Palestinian Arabs and other non-Jews may also become citizens of Israel. In fact, Muslim and Christian Arabs, Druze, Baha'is, Circassians and other ethnic groups represent more than 20% of Israel's population.

Arabs in Israel have equal voting rights; in fact, it is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote. Arabs have served in the Cabinet, in the foreign service, and on the Supreme Court. Arabic, like Hebrew, is an official language in Israel.

The sole distinction between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel is that the latter are not required to serve in the Israeli army. This is to spare Arab citizens the need to take up arms against their brethren. Nevertheless, Druze and Circassians do serve, and Bedouins and other Arabs have volunteered for military duty.

Whereas the Arab states are almost exclusively autocracies with Islam as the state religion, Israel has no official religion. Israel is home to a variety of faiths, including Muslims, Christians, Baha'is, and Druze.

Israel provides freedom of access to all religious shrines and entrusts the administration of the holy places to their respective religious authorities. Thus, for example, the Muslim Wakf has responsibility for the mosques on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Israel's parliamentary democracy is based on free elections with divergent parties. This multiplicity of parties reflects the openness of the political process. Nineteen parties, including five Arab parties, are represented in the current Knesset. Ten Knesset members are Arabs and 16 are women.

Israel has an independent judiciary, one that has earned international respect for its integrity. The judiciary has not hesitated to overturn government actions that violate Israeli law.

Like the early American pioneers, the Jews who settled the land had a commitment to manual labor to build the nation.

Immigrants to Israel have tried to make better lives for themselves and their children. Some have come from relatively undeveloped societies such as Ethiopia or Yemen and arrived with virtually no possessions, education, or training and become productive contributors to Israeli society.

Israel's commitment to American values was exemplified by a series of dramatic rescues in which Israel brought virtually the entire Jewish population of Ethiopia to Israel. "For the first time in history," New York Times columnist William Safire wrote, "thousands of black people are being brought to a country not in chains but in dignity, not as slaves but as citizens."

The Israel Defense Force defends the country, but also serves as a melting pot. Because most of Israel's army is made up of reserves, it is truly a people's army. And it is democratic. A bank manager may be a private in the reserves and the bank janitor a sergeant. During their reserve duty, the latter will give orders to the former and they will be obeyed without question.

The IDF is devoted to the defense of liberty in a region where armies have been more often used to suppress the freedom of others, including the citizens they are ostensibly responsible to protect. The IDF is non-political and, as in the U.S., is under the control of civilians.

Israeli law prohibits discrimination in employment. All Israeli workers may join and establish labor organizations.
Police said Friday they believe a high-powered hunting or assault rifle was used "at a distance" to randomly gun down three men and two women in a 10-mile radius in Montgomery County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington.
Each victim was killed with a single gunshot, at a distance.

I wonder if there are a couple terrorists on the loose in the suburbs of DC. This doesn't fit any of the usual "disgruntled employee" "kill family then kill self" etc profiles.

Anyone have a description of the shooters? Are they Middle Eastern men??

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Arafat and the E.U. (not for nought does it sound like...ewe)
We interrupt this broadcast to discuss the prospective (cough cough weeze weeze) sex lives of Muslim terrorists aka suicide bombers aka martyr wackjobs. Gil Shterzer has a proposal for offering horny would-be terrorists alternative (ahem) relief.

Just in case you think the 72 virgins thing is a joke, well, read on:
Ibn Kathir (died 1373 CE ) in his Koranic commentary (Tafsir) of Surah Al-Rahman (55), verse 72: "The Prophet Muhammad was heard saying: 'The smallest reward for the people of paradise is an abode where there are 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine, and ruby, as wide as the distance from Al-Jabiyyah [a Damascus suburb] to Sana'a [Yemen]'."
Modern apologists of Islam try to downplay the evident materialism and sexual implications of such descriptions, but, as the Encyclopaedia of Islam says, even orthodox Muslim theologians such as al Ghazali (died 1111 CE) and Al-Ash'ari (died 935 CE) have "admitted sensual pleasures into paradise". The sensual pleasures are graphically elaborated by Al-Suyuti (died 1505 ), Koranic commentator and polymath. He wrote: "Each time we sleep with a houri we find her virgin. Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal; the sensation that you feel each time you make love is utterly delicious and out of this world and were you to experience it in this world you would faint. Each chosen one [ie Muslim] will marry seventy [sic] houris, besides the women he married on earth, and all will have appetising vaginas."

Keep reading here (and all of it fascinating.)

Dr. Frank has more.

Also see, '72 Black Eyed Virgins': A Muslim Debate on the Rewards of Martyrs

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Haggai has a new blog...pop by and say Hi.
A PERFECT SUMMATION of the McDermott/Bonior visit to Iraq. Via InstaPundit.
Laurence has a word or two about Edward Said's flatulent rumblings. If you are a Columbia Alumnus, better ask which profs your money goes to before you open your wallet.

Ooo ya, the anti-idiotarian Rottweiler sinks his teeth into the goat ass as well...
Iraq, Iran, and Brazil ?!?!?!?
Hmm...Jason Rubenstein points out some eerily similar quotes from that other Nikita (the Soviet one) and Hillary "Evita Peron" Clinton.
To quote John Hawkins quoting Jonah Goldberg:
Here is what China, France, and Russia want in return for putting the precious UN stamp of approval on our Iraqi invasion....

"China's vote -or abstention, same difference -is considered the cheapest since it has so few commercial interests in Iraq. All they want is for the United States to either support, or turn a blind eye to, a Chinese crackdown on Muslim minorities in Western China. The United States also tossed into the pot an agreement to soften its stance toward the Tibet issue; we're leaning on the Dalai Lama to lighten up in his negotiations with the Chinese government.

Then there's France, which has publicly carved out the most self-righteous position when it comes to American "imperialism" and a potential war with Iraq. Privately, the French are very much open to negotiations. France has huge oil and other commercial interests in Iraq (despite the sanctions). America is working hard to promise the French that if France goes along with its historic ally -I mean America, if you weren't sure -they won't be frozen out of the new Iraqi economic order. Now, the French may not end up supporting a U.S. invasion of Iraq, but if they do support us, money, not principle, will have won the argument.

And then there's Russia. Russia's interests in Iraq aren't as big as France's but they're still considerable. First, Iraq owes the Russians $8 billion, and Russia wants its dough. A starting point of any conversation about Russian support is a promise that Russia will be paid back. Other chips in the deal include America's support for Russia's WTO bid and a quieter U.S. State Department when it comes to Russian human rights abuses in Chechnya and Georgia."

Anyone who thinks there is some sort of principle involved here or that France, China, and Russia care one way or the other about how many Iraqis get killed or whether Saddam stays in power or not, is gravely mistaken.
Mark Steyn on the implosion of the Democratic party. Via LGF.
"The Man Who Knew," Thursday, Oct. 03 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings)
FRONTLINE

It's been three weeks now since the awful images of last Sept. 11 once
again flooded our screens and invaded our collective consciousness. This
year, as last year, I was in a FRONTLINE editing room. This year, as
last, we stopped our work and considered the magnitude of all that had
happened.

But this year there was a new feeling, a special sorrow about the death
of one of those murdered on that day. We'd gotten to know him only
after the 9/11 tragedy, when what started out as an assignment to make a
documentary turned into a special effort to understand all that had led
to the moment of his death.

His name was John P. O'Neill, and long before the world knew about Osama
bin Laden, Agent O'Neill was obsessed with him. He warned of the
growing threat of Al Qaeda to the United States, but his superiors at
FBI headquarters thought O'Neill was too much of a maverick, and they
stopped listening to him.
In the summer of 2001, O'Neill was finally run out of the FBI. He took a
new job -- as head of security at the World Trade Center, where he died
on Sept. 11.

Our program, which painstakingly follows O'Neill's investigation of Al
Qaeda, his personal crises, and his struggles inside the FBI
bureaucracy, will air this Thursday, Oct. 03 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings).
In the end, "The Man Who Knew" is an investigation of the internal power
struggle at the heart of the FBI's failure on Sept. 11, but for those of
us who have come to know Agent O'Neill in the course of making this
program, it is also a journey into the heartbreaking irony of his death.
--Michael Kirk
Have you read Lord of the Flies?
A man savagely beaten with rakes, shovels and baseball bats by a child mob died Tuesday as authorities held nine youths in custody, and sought seven more.
May the brutes who murdered this man be thrown in prison and never see the light of day again.
U.S. soldier killed in Philippine bombing
One U.S. Army Special Operations soldier was killed and another was wounded today in a bomb blast near a Philippine military base on the southern Philippine island of Zamboanga, Pentagon officials said. The officials said the bomb was believed to be strapped to a motorcycle. No claims of responsibility have come in, officials said.
What do you want to bet this was done by Muslim terrorists?
Israeli soldiers prevent gas station bomb attack. "This incident also proves that the alertness of the public once again succeeded in preventing a terror attack," said Outgoing Ammakim district police chief, Deputy Commander Dov Lutzky.
Khaled Abu Toameh reports: Senior Palestinian judge praises suicide bombers

Sheikh Bitawi, who is on the Palestinian Authority's payroll..noted that the Palestinian women have shown great examples of willingness to participate in Jihad, following the tradition of the Islamic heroine H'ansa, who sent her four sons to the battle of Kadisiya in the era of Muhammad.

"The public has seen on their television screens how a mother sends her son to carry out Jihad, bids him farewell and encourages him," Bitawi said.

"Many mothers and women, after hearing their son was killed, cry out exclamations of happiness and joy. We raise our heads up high in honor of these women."


What a sick orgy of violence and worship of death. Imagine these Islamic fanatics were blowing themselves up in shopping mall or cafe near you. Or in your children's schoolbus. How would you want your government to react?
The Recruitment of Children in Current Palestinian Strategy -
From the outset of the current Palestinian intifada two years ago, children and teenagers have assumed an integral role. How did the celebration of violence against Israelis become so deeply ingrained in Palestinian culture?
Article 38 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) condemns the recruitment and involvement of children under 15-years-old in hostilities and armed conflicts. Islamic law prohibits children under 15 from participating in a jihad. But neither international law nor Islamic law has curtailed the exploitation of children in the intifada.

See also PA Efforts to Have Their Children Die in Confrontations
The Forgotten Refugees: Jewish Refugees from Arab World
Justice for Jews From Arab Countries was launched Monday to publicize the "historical truth" of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, said former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke. Roughly 865,000 Jews were forced to flee Arab and Muslim lands because of hostility surrounding the formation of the State of Israel - more than the estimated number of Palestinian refugees (750,000) who fled from Israel during the 1948 War of Independence.
The new group was created by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Sephardi Federation, and the World Jewish Congress.

Another source of information on Jewish refugees from Arab countries is JIMENA.
Baghdad's Nuclear Breakthrough - Kenneth R. Timmerman (Insight)

Information from recent defectors and other sources working with the broad-based Iraqi National Congress (INC) indicates that Baghdad has made "a recent breakthrough" in production of the fissile material needed to produce the bomb.
The Iraqi regime is turning increasingly to South Africa to procure nuclear materials and forbidden equipment needed for its weapons programs.
Adnan Saeed al-Haideri, an Iraqi specialist who visited scores of clandestine weapons sites before defecting in November 2001, identified for the CIA some 300 separate clandestine sites used by Iraq to hide biological and chemical weapons and nuclear materials.
More from the Arafat Papers - Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes - CBS)

According to documents captured by Israel in March at Arafat's compound in Ramallah, Iraq has infiltrated teams of operatives and weapons into Israel for what Israeli intelligence considers megaterrorism.
Major General Benny Gantz, head of Israel's Northern Command, reports that Iranian supervisors or experts have been patrolling the Lebanese border with Israel, together with Hizballah.
Israeli intelligence officials have also shared evidence with the U.S. about contacts between al Qaeda and senior members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

AYN RAND AT WEST POINT: On March 6, 1974, Ayn Rand addressed the graduating class of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The full text of that speech is the title essay in the collection, Philosophy: Who Needs It:

"In conclusion, allow me to speak in personal terms. This evening means a great deal to me. I feel deeply honored by the opportunity to address you. I can say -- not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots -- that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world. There is a kind of quiet radiance associated in my mind with the name West Point -- because you have preserved the spirit of those original founding principles, and you are their symbol....

"You have chosen to risk your lives for the defense of this country. I will not insult you by saying that you are dedicated to selfless service -- it is not a virtue in my morality. In my morality, the defense of one's country means that a man is personally unwilling to live as the conquered slave of any enemy, foreign or domestic. This is an enormous virtue. Some of you may not be consciously aware of it. I want to help you to realize it.

"The army of a free country has a great responsibility: the right to use force, but not as an instrument of compulsion and brute conquest -- as the armies of other countries have done in their histories -- only as an instrument of a free nation's self-defense, which means: the defense of a man's individual rights. The principle of using force only in retaliation against those who initiate its use, is the principle of subordinating might to right. The highest integrity and sense of honor are required for such a task. No other army in the world has achieved it. You have.

"West Point has given America a long line of heroes, known and unknown. You, this year's graduates, have a glorious tradition to carry on -- which I admire profoundly, not because it is a tradition, but because it is glorious.

"Since I came from a country guilty of the worst tyranny on earth, I am particularly able to appreciate the meaning, the greatness and the supreme value of that which you are defending. So, in my own name and in the name of many people who think as I do, I want to say, to all the men of West Point, past, present and future: Thank you."

Thanks to Arthur Silber for posting this, and to Pejman for pointing it out.
Juan Gato says it all. Via Pejman Pundit.
Stirring Up Dissent In Iran: come on Iranians - overthrow those wacked imams and regain your freedom!
Wondering how mosques incite hatred against Christians, Jews, the West, the U.S., Israel, etc? Streaming right at you, with translations.
Ali Al-Ahmed is one heck of a guy: A Lonely Campaign Against Intolerance In Saudi Arabia :
Al-Ahmed's Saudi Institute, a one-man operation subsisting on donations from Saudi emigres, seeks to spread the word that Saudi Arabia is so deeply intolerant and repressive a society that, as al-Ahmed says, "America must come and force reform on us, because we are incapable of it."

Ali Al-Ahmed, a Shi'a Muslim who grew up in Saudi Arabia, is the executive director of the Saudi Institute, an independent human rights watchdog group based in McLean, Va.
Other resources:
FOX interview w/ Ali Al-Ahmed and Daniel Pipes
PBS interview with Ali Al-Ahmed
Andrew Sullivan expounds on Christopher Hitchens' self-excommunication, George Orwell, and personal hygiene.
Andrew Sullivan points out some lies at the New York Times.
Suman Palit deconstructs Kofi's latest assault on civil liberties.
This has been posted all over the blogosphere, but here t'is in case you missed it: George Will on Useful Idiots.
Spoons found this gem: Buffy, the U.N. slayer.
I've never seen this show, but sounds like it might just be worthwhile..
So either I somehow missed this newsreport last week or else it was hidden on the bottom of page 12 somewhere..Weekly James notes:
The driver and a passenger of a car laden with explosives apparently headed for a U.S. Embassy residence in Jakarta blew themselves up prematurely last night on the way to their destination. Officials at State, meanwhile, say there's no proof yet that U.S. interests were the target, though American diplomatic posts in Indonesia were recently shut for several days after a "credible" threat of an al-Qaeda attack.
Journalists snowballing the public in the name of political correctness.
If you are a recovering or confused/questioning leftie, this is for you.
SilentRunning found this nugget:
"Abu-Mazen [a top Palestinian Authority official] told the Al-Rai newspaper on June 20 this year, that the terrorist organizations paid children in Rafiah [in the Gaza strip] 5 NIS [about $1] to throw explosives on IDF soldiers. 40 of the children lost limbs as a result".

Cold Fury has a story about government intervention in people's lives that is just infuriating.
Political intrigues continue in the Palestinian Authority..
Syrian Sponsorship of Global Terrorism: The Need for Accountability - Syria provides safe haven to the leaderships of at least seven terrorist groups on the State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Many recruits have been sent to Syria, where they receive weapons training as well as lessons in the preparation of explosives, suicide operations, intelligence activities, and hostage taking.
Palestinian Authority (PA) Gen. Masri: We Can Stop Hamas, But Won't
In an interview, Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Masri, head of the Political Security Department at the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, said a PA crackdown on Hamas will likely never happen. "We have enough men and arms, but no political horizon and no incentive to enter into bloody conflict with other Palestinians," said Masri. (Jerusalem Post)
Soldier Killed in Nablus Clash
Sgt. Ari Weiss, 21, of Ra'anana, was killed and a second soldier seriously wounded in a fierce gun battle in the Nablus casbah on Monday. Weiss immigrated with his family to Israel from Dallas, Texas, in 1992. Only two weeks ago, the Jerusalem Post ran a report on how Weiss's mother, Susie, enlisted area merchants to provide food for his unit in Nablus. (Jerusalem Post)
Doubts that Arafat's Can Enforce Reforms
With the 11-day Israeli siege of his compound over, calls are growing for Yasser Arafat's resignation. "It's close to impossible with Arafat as leader," said an aide to security minister Abdel Razak Yehiyeh. He complained that Yehiyeh's efforts to streamline the Palestinian armed forces and denounce the violence against Israeli citizens had been "undercut at every turn" by the Palestinian leader. (Globe and Mail - Canada)
Kurdish Survivor Recalls When Gas Attack Came From Skies - Robin Pagnamenta (Times - UK)
On March 16, 1988, during the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein's forces bombed the Kurds in Halabja with mustard and nerve gas, killing about 5,000 civilians. Thousands more have died since from injuries or related cancers and birth defects.
Some Halabja residents wore protective masks on that day, but because there were two types of gas, they were of limited use: mustard gas suffocates victims by eating away at the lungs and eyes; nerve gas can kill after being absorbed by the skin.
Two dead in Fresno bus attack.
Hm.. Authorities are saying this is "not terrrorism." Well, why don't they release the name and description of the attacker?
Sounds awfully suspicious to me, given how long it took the FBI to admit the LAX attack was an act of terror.
Scratch the above - looks like this guy was a transient.

Read what Daniel Pipes has to say about terrorist acts in the U.S. that have been swept under the rug - including this:
Damir Igric, a Croat immigrant from the former Yugoslavia, used a boxcutter to slash the neck of a Greyhound bus driver in Tennessee last October, causing the bus to roll over, killing six passengers and himself. Although this bus-hijacking scenario echoed similar attacks by Palestinians on Israeli buses, the FBI immediately classified it "an isolated incident" and not an act of terrorism. The media attributed the violence to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Some beautiful music for a cold night: Anne Sofie von Otter & Elvis Costello -- "For the Stars"
enjoy.
Jason Rubenstein has some interesting thoughts on why it is in America's best interests to allow (!) Israel to retaliate should Iraq attack.

Once you've read that, read Suman Palit's I-3 prediction. I-3 refers to India, Israel, and Iran (once it frees itself from the clerics' yoke.)
Some commentary by Glenn Frazier's posters.
Mohammad al Dura: Murdered by Arabs, but blamed on Jews.
Thanks to LGF for posting the link.
this kind of thing infuriates me. an example of how recklessly our tax money is squandered (forgetting even the $500 toilet seats.) I would like government budgets (at every level) to be easily accessible online, so tax payers can see where the waste is and hold elected officials accountable. It's time to cut the pork out of government.
Israeli scientist perfects rapid test to detect water poisoning: Using genetically engineered bacteria that light up like fireflies, an Israeli scientist has invented a bionic device to rapidly detect water poisoned by industrial waste -- or by terrorists.
:
The Arab "Street" Poses No Real Threat to U.S. - Robert Satloff
No serious case can be made for counseling Israeli restraint based on the fear that "every U.S. embassy in the Middle East [would be] burned to the ground," as suggested by Sen. Joseph Biden. Since Iranians took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, attacks on our embassies in Arab and other Muslim countries have almost always been by small groups rather than wild mobs. Indeed, when gangs of angry, young men take to the streets in Arab countries, they are often acting with the acquiescence, consent, or even the encouragement of their governments. (Newsday)
Middle East Dictatorships Cannot Make Peace - Bernard Lewis
The dictatorships that rule much of the Middle East today will not, indeed cannot, make peace, because they need conflict to justify their tyrannical oppression of their own people, and to deflect their peoples' anger against an external enemy. A peace settlement would deprive them of this valuable safety valve, leaving them to face the undeflected anger of their subjects, including those who live under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. (Wall Street Journal)
Intrigues in the Palestinian Authority. Looks like there is movement to push aside Arafat the babywipe billionaire. Only the drooling old man won't step aside so easily.
Abu Mazen Goes to Jordan After Death Threats - Khaled Abu Toameh
An unprecedented power struggle has been raging among the top brass of the PA and Fatah over the past few months. Many senior PA officials have come out against Arafat for his refusal to relinquish some of his powers and agree to far-reaching reforms. PLO executive committee member Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is trying to muster support for a proposal according to which he would be appointed prime minister in a new PA cabinet, thus forcing Arafat to surrender many of his powers.
This has the potential of becoming just a huge issue:
Temple Mount May Collapse During Ramadan Prayers
At a secret meeting on Sunday, the (Israeli) prime minister heard reports of fears that the Temple Mount might collapse on hundreds of thousands of Muslim worshippers during Ramadan prayers. Due to unsupervised construction on the Temple Mount by the Muslim Waqf (religious authorities), an increasingly dangerous buckling of the southern wall now extends a meter beyond the surface. "If Israel decides to repair the wall without a prior agreement with the Waqf, this could lead to riots and bloodshed. But if the Temple Mount collapses on a crowd of Muslim worshippers, this would be ten times worse. We'll be held responsible, whatever we do," said one Israeli source. (Maariv)
Daniel Pipes wrote an excellent analysis of this situation.
On a related topic - remember the Buddhas that the Taliban destroyed in Afghanistan? Read about the Muslim Destruction of the Temple Mount Antiquities.
How Iran and Iraq Support Terror - Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes - CBS)
Iraq and Iran are secretly financing and directing acts of terrorism against Israel, according to information found in captured PA files and gleaned from prisoner interrogations. Ido Hecht, a senior intelligence official, said Israel has captured members of a terrorist cell operating near Ben-Gurion Airport who admitted they were trained in Iraq in the use of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.
Israelis also say the Palestinian Authority is earning kickbacks by illegally selling smuggled Iraqi oil, in order to buy weapons like those confiscated from the freighter Karine A last January, including two tons of C-4 plastic explosive. The weapons and explosives come from Iran.
Additional documents show how Iran is helping to finance terrorist organizations operating inside Israel. "We have been interrogating hundreds, thousands of Palestinians since April of this year, and found some that were trained in Iran," said Col. Miri Eisen of the IDF.
For additional background, see Arafat's Iraqi Connection.

Al Qaeda's Links to Iraq (Newsweek)
Two high-level al Qaeda detainees - Abu Zubaydah, bin Laden’s former operations chief, and his onetime deputy Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a fierce Libyan operative who was once the military commander of al Qaeda’s Khalden training camp in eastern Afghanistan - have separately described efforts by al Qaeda operatives to seek out Iraqi assistance in assembling chemical weapons.
The case of Iraqi national Ahmad Hikmat Shakir, 37, also "connects with both Iraq and 9-11,” said one U.S. official. After September 11, a search of Shakir’s apartment in Doha, Qatar, yielded a treasure trove, including telephone records linking him to suspects in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and to a 1994 Manila plot to blow up a civilian airliner over the Pacific Ocean.
U.S. officials found that Shakir had been present at a January 2000 al Qaeda “summit” in Malaysia attended by two of the 9-11 hijackers. Authorities believe the summit may have been a planning session for both the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole and 9-11.
back on the blog after a few day hiatus. Laurence Simon tops them all for comic relief. everytime i need a dose of laughter i click over to him.
and great discussions can always be had at LGF. Actually, if you haven't yet, click over to any of the recommended blogs on the left column for some good reading.