Thursday, February 20, 2003

Reverend Jackson, let me speak! By Amir Taheri, an Iranian author and journalist, and editor of the Paris-based Politique Internationale.

spent part of last Saturday with the so-called "antiwar" marchers in London in the company of some Iraqi friends. Our aim had been to persuade the organizers to let at least one Iraqi voice to be heard. Soon, however, it became clear that the organizers were as anxious to stifle the voice of the Iraqis in exile as was Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

The Iraqis had come with placards reading "Freedom for Iraq" and "American rule, a hundred thousand times better than Takriti tyranny!"

But the tough guys who supervised the march would have none of that. Only official placards, manufactured in thousands and distributed among the "spontaneous" marchers, were allowed. These read "Bush and Blair, baby-killers," " Not in my name," "Freedom for Palestine" and "Indict Bush and Sharon."

Not one placard demanded that Saddam should disarm to avoid war.

The goons also confiscated photographs showing the tragedy of Halabja, the Kurdish town where Saddam's forces gassed 5,000 people to death in 1988.

We managed to reach some of the stars of the show, including Reverend Jesse Jackson, the self-styled champion of American civil rights. One of our group, Salima Kazim, an Iraqi grandmother, managed to attract the reverend's attention and told him how Saddam Hussein had murdered her three sons because they had been dissidents in the Ba'ath Party; and how one of her grandsons had died in the war Saddam had launched against Kuwait in 1990.

"Could I have the microphone for one minute to tell the people about my life?" 78-year old Salima demanded.

The reverend was not pleased.

"Today is not about Saddam Hussein," he snapped. "Today is about Bush and Blair and the massacre they plan in Iraq." Salima had to beat a retreat, with all of us following, as the reverend's gorillas closed in to protect his holiness.

..was it not amazing that there could be a rally about Iraq without any mention of what Saddam and his regime have done over almost three decades? Just a little hint, perhaps, that Saddam was still murdering people in his Qasr al-Nayhayah (Palace of the End) prison, and that as the Westerners marched, Iraqis continued to die?

THE IRAQIS would had much to tell the "antiwar" marchers, had they had a chance to speak. Fadel Sultani, president of the National Association of Iraqi authors, would have told the marchers that their action would encourage Saddam to intensify his repression.

"I had a few questions for the marchers," Sultani said. "Did they not realize that oppression, torture and massacre of innocent civilians are also forms of war? Are the antiwar marchers only against a war that would liberate Iraq, or do they also oppose the war Saddam has been waging against our people for a generation?"

Sultani could have told the peaceniks how Saddam's henchmen killed dissident poets and writers by pushing page after page of forbidden books down their throats until they choked.

Hashem al-Iqabi, one of Iraq's leading writers and intellectuals, had hoped the marchers would mention the fact that Saddam had driven almost four million Iraqis out of their homes and razed more than 6,000 villages to the ground.

"The death and destruction caused by Saddam in our land is the worst since Nebuchadnezzar," he said. "These prosperous, peaceful and fat Europeans are marching in support of evil incarnate." He said that, watching the march, he felt Nazism was "alive and well and flexing its muscles in Hyde Park."

Abdel-Majid Khoi, son of the late Grand Ayatollah Khoi, Iraq's foremost religious leader for almost 40 years, spoke of the "deep moral pain" he feels when hearing the so-called " antiwar" discourse.

"The Iraqi nation is like a man who is kept captive and tortured by a gang of thugs," Khoi said. "The proper moral position is to fly to help that man liberate himself and bring the torturers to book. But what we witness in the West is the opposite: support for the torturers and total contempt for the victim."

Khoi said he would say "ahlan wasahlan" (welcome) to anyone who would liberate Iraq.

"When you are being tortured to death you are not fussy about who will save you," he said.

Ismail Qaderi, a former Ba'athist official but now a dissident, wanted to tell the marchers how Saddam systematically destroyed even his own party, starting by murdering all but one of its 16 original leaders.

"Those who see Saddam as a symbol of socialism, progress and secularism in the Arab world must be mad," he said.

Khalid Kishtaini, Iraq's most famous satirical writer, added his complaint.

"Don't these marchers know that the only march possible in Iraq under Saddam Hussein is from the prison to the firing-squad?" he asked. "The Western marchers behave as if the US wanted to invade Switzerland, not Iraq under Saddam Hussein."

Keep reading.
Blood Stained Belgium

A very personal j'accuse by a former Belgian Jew: The Belgians as true Europeans, By Isi Leibler

I spoke at a luncheon in the presence of delegates and guests. Suspending diplomatic niceties I confessed to the Belgians that I had strongly opposed holding a World Jewish Congress meeting in a city which had become the capital of the new anti-Semitism in Europe.

Here is what I said: "Your government, and particularly your foreign minister, Louis Michel, have employed such outrageous double standards against Israel that they warrant being described as anti-Semitic.

"Some of the allegations of atrocities against Israel were so outlandish that they were reminiscent of the Middle Ages when Jews were being accused of poisoning the wells and utilizing the blood of Christian children to make unleavened bread.

"Would you tolerate a neighboring territory orchestrating, funding, and blessing as 'holy martyrs' suicide murderers targeting your civilian population? Would you tolerate a situation in which Belgian women and children were terrified at being blown to pieces in your cafes and shopping centers? Would you tolerate street side celebrations by your neighbors sometimes just a few kilometers away, frequently displayed on your TV screens, rejoicing at the carnage that they had inflicted on your people?"

.."It is a mark of shame," I said "for your country - most of whose Jews were exterminated by the Nazis - to now stand at the forefront of actions designed to undermine the only democratic state in the Middle East; the state which also provided a haven to survivors of the Holocaust.

..THE RELATIONSHIP with Belgium has deteriorated considerably since the meeting described above. But the Ariel Sharon issue was the last straw. For a government whose predecessors were responsible for the murder of literally millions of Congolese citizens, to give the green light for a court to sit in judgment on Sharon is simply beyond belief.

Only a fool or a charlatan would suggest that this initiative was motivated by a na ve desire to promote human rights, especially having regard to the fact that this act was initiated 20 years after the events and conducted without reference to the Phalangists who actually carried out the massacres.

And of course this action must be seen in the context of a country which has effectively been leading the pack in demonizing Sharon while simultaneously defending Palestinian terror and extolling Yasser Arafat as a noble statesman fighting for human rights.
Keep reading.

Belgium refused to investigate suspected Nazi war criminals

Belgium, whose Supreme Court ruled that after he leaves office Prime Minister Ariel Sharon can be tried for war crimes stemming from the Sabra and Shatilla massacre in 1982, turned down requests to investigate alleged Nazi criminals in 1990 because of a statute of limitations.

Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Israel office, said that in 1990 he submitted a list of 14 suspected Nazi war criminals who emigrated to Belgium after World War II, most of them from the Baltic states, to the Belgian Justice Ministry.

..The list of suspected Nazi war criminals Zuroff gave the Belgian authorities included Petras Kazlauskas, Jonas Vosylius, and Antanas Laurinavicius, who according to the Wiesenthal Center served in the 12th Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalion which murdered thousands of Jews in Byelorussia. They left for Belgium in 1947.

In addition, the list included Jurgis Deksnis, who "played an active role in the murder of the Jews of Vilkaviskis [Lithuania]"; Jonas Kuzmickas, who "played an active role in the murder of the Jews of Alytus [Lithuania]"; Vaclovas Meskauskas, who "participated in the murder of the Jews of Kelme [Lithuania]"; Bronius Sprindys, who was a "participant in the murder of the Jews of Ukmerge [Lithuania]"; and Antanas Taujauskis, who "participated in persecution and murder of civilians in the Kaunas district [Lithuania]."

According to the Encyclopedia Judaica, when the Germans invaded Belgium on May 10, 1940, between 90,000 and 110,000 Jews lived there, of whom some 20,000 were German Jewish refugees; 25,631 of them were deported to extermination camps during the war, and only 1,244 returned.
Info on the 8 Islamic Jihad Men Indicted in US Court on Terrorism Charges

Eight people, including four U.S. residents, were charged today in a 50-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Tampa, Fla. with supporting, financing and relaying messages for the Islamic Jihad.

Those arrested in the United States today were reportedly setting up a terrorist cell at the University of South Florida. They are:

- Al-Arian, the Florida college professor running the Islamic Jihad's U.S. operations. Al-Arian is a native of Kuwait and teaches engineering.

- Sameeh Hammoudeh, 42, born in the West Bank, now a resident of Temple Terrace, Fla. He also is an instructor at the University of South Florida and administrator at the Islamic Academy of Florida.

-Hatim Naji Fariz, 30, born in Puerto Rico and now living in Spring Hill, Fla. He is a manager at a medical clinic.

-Ghassan Zayed Ballut, 41, a West Bank native now living in Tinley Park, Ill., and owner of a small business.

Four men who live abroad were also charged. It is not clear as yet whether they have been arrested as well. They are:

-Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, 45, a Gaza Strip native and now resident of Damascas, Syria. He is described as the worldwide leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and is a former instructor at the University of South Florida.

-Bashir Musa Mohammed Nafi, 50, originally from Egypt and now living in Oxfordshire, England. The indictment describes him as the United Kingdom leader of the group.

-Mohammed Tasir Hassan Al-Khatib, 46, originally from the Gaza Strip and now living in Beirut; described as the treasurer of the organization.

-Abd AL Aziz Awda, 52, born in Israel and now imam of the Al Qassam Mosque in Gaza Strip. The indictment calls him the founder and "spiritual leader" of the group.

Background Information on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Brief Overview: The Palestinian Islamic Jihad originated among militant Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the 1970’s. It is committed to Jihad for the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel. The United States - which included the PIJ on its list of terrorist organizations - has been identified as an enemy of the PIJ. The PIJ also opposes moderate Arab governments that it believes have been influenced by Western secularism. The PIJ has killed approximately 150 people in past eight years, and has carried out hundreds of attacks, including the August 9th, 2002 Sbarro pizzeria suicide bombing in Jerusalem which killed 15 and injured 130 people.

The PIJ's headquarters are based in Damascus, Syria. Until the IDF Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, the PIJ's infrastructure in Jenin was the strongest in the Palestinian Authority territories, mostly due to the massive financial aid it received for its activities from the PIJ leadership in Syria. The PIJ infrastructure suffered a severe blow with the death of the head of the military infrastructure in Jenin, Mahmud Tu'albe (who was involved in multiple terrorist attacks inside Israel), and the arrest of senior operatives.

List of Terror Attacks Carried Out by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad

History: The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Harakat al-Jihad al-Islami al-Filastini) was founded in 1979-80 by Palestinian students in Egypt, who had split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza Strip. The founders were highly influenced by the Islamic revolution in Iran on the one and hand, and the radicalization and militancy of Egyptian Islamic student organizations, on the other.

The founders - Fathi Shqaqi, `Abd al-`Aziz `Odah and Bashir Musa - were disappointed by the supposed moderation of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and what they considered the neglect by the Egyptian Islamists of the priority that should be given to the Palestinian problem. Shqaqi and Musa, therefore, proposed a new ideological program, which became the basis for the new organization. They claimed that the unity of the Islamic world was not a precondition for the liberation of Palestine, but on the contrary, the liberation of Palestine by the Islamic movements was the key to the unification of the Arab and Islamic world. In other words: the Jihad for the liberation of Palestine by Islamic movements will bring upon the expected Jihad for the reconstruction of the greater and one Islamic state.

The admiration of the three Palestinian militants for the Islamic revolution in Iran was at that time unique of its kind in the Arab world and among the Islamic Sunni movements. Not only did they consider the Iranian revolution as a model for the Arab world, but they accepted the principle of "the leadership of the men of religion" (vilayet-i-faqih) although it was a Shi'ite concept. Shqaqi was also the first in the Arab Sunni world to write, already in March 1979, a book glorifying Khomeini and the Iranian revolution, which was banned by the Egyptian authorities.

This group of Palestinian students maintained close relations with radical Islamic Egyptian students, some of whom were involved in the assassination of president Sadat, in October 1981. As a result, the Palestinian Islamic radicals were expelled from Egypt and returned to the Gaza Strip, where they formally began their activity as an Islamic Jihad organization.

The faction was involved in subversive and terrorist activity in the Territories in the 1980s. During the year 1987, prior to the Intifada, it carried out several terrorist attacks in the Gaza Strip. In August 1988 the two faction`s leaders, Shqaqi and `Odah, were expelled to Lebanon, where Shqaqi reorganized the faction, maintaining close contacts with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards unit stationed in Lebanon and with Hizballah. Shqaqi expanded the political connections of the faction and became a prominent member of the new Rejection Front which emerged after the Israeli- Palestinian Oslo agreement, under Syrian influence.

Shqaqi was killed in October 1995 in Malta, allegedly by Israeli agents. His successor is Dr. Ramadan `Abdallah Shalah, who has resided several years in Florida, U.S.A, and moved to Damascus at the beginning of 1996. Shalah has not the charisma and the intellectual and organizational skills as Fathi Shqaqi and this has influenced the organization's position and activity.

The group has been active on the political scene in the Territories, mainly in the Gaza Strip, among students and intellectuals. Until the foundation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, the Islamic Jihad groups did not have connections to Hamas, and were regarded even as rivals in the Gaza Strip. Since then, and mainly after Hamas switched to the strategy of suicide terrorist bombings, there was some operational cooperation between the two organizations in carrying out attacks like the one in Beit-Lyd, in February 1995, or in coordinating simultaneous terrorist attacks. Shqaqi 's death undermined the PIJ's position in the Territories and Hamas no longer sees it as a threatening rival.

The group has offices in Beirut, Damascus, Tehran and Khartoum, but its activity is focused in Lebanon, where there are several tens of Palestinian members. It has some influence in the Gaza Strip, mainly in the Islamic University, but not in a way that can endanger the dominant position of Hamas as the leading Islamic Palestinian organization.

During the 1980s several other groups of Palestinian Islamic Jihad were formed, but the main faction which has survived is the group founded by Shqaqi.

(Source: The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya)

Additional background Information

The Islamic Jihad Terror Infrastructure in Jenin and the Role of its Damascus Office

The Islamic Jihad:The Imperative of Holy War (An in-depth analysis of the terrorist group by Boaz Ganor, Excecutive Director of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2003


Venezuelan Islamist charged in London for carrying live hand-grenade at airport

Hasil Mohammed Rahaham-Alan, 37, appeared at Bow Street Magistrates Court charged with possession of an explosive, possession of an article for terrorist purposes, and carrying a dangerous item on a flight. He was arrested last week during a huge security alert that saw the army station more than 400 troops at Heathrow airport, west of London. Police said Rahaham-Alan had a Venezuelan passport and arrived on a flight from Caracas.
Huge weapons stash uncovered in Gaza Strip. The Islamic terrorists' arsenal included 250 kg (550 pounds) of explosives and a ready to use explosive belt
The German government suppressed evidence of small pox virus arsenals in Iraq for months, fearing such news could undermine Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder's re-election campaign, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

the term "unilateral" in reference to the campaign to disarm Iraq is incorrect. This is as multilateral as it gets:

The prime ministers of Spain, Portugal, Italy, the U.K., Hungary, Poland and Denmark, and the Czech president recently voiced their unequivocal support for the U.S.' campaign to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein in an eloquent article.

The Vilnius 10--Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, followed with a similar statement.

If anyone is behaving unilaterally it is the members of the Axis of Weasels, France, Germany, and Belgium, who for the sake of their existing oil contracts and lucrative arms deals with Iraq, are willing to condemn the Iraqis to continued death and torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein.
"The boy is gone," eulogized Benni Bahagon after he hoarsely croaked out the Mourner's Kadish for his son, his face contorted in agony.
The New York Times finds a backbone. Via Andrew Sullivan.
"American prosperity, democracy and security all hinge on a cheap, clean, uninterrupted flow of energy. Today, we are dependent for our energy on regimes that derive their power from oil and use it to fuel terror and spread hatred toward our country and our democracy. A shift from oil is the best weapon against America's enemies and the best guarantor of prosperity, freedom and security for generations to come. We do not need to give up our cars or curtail our driving freedom. Through technology we can shake the yoke of our energy dependence without compromising our way of life."


"Today I ask a this question, one that should dictate American energy policy for the 21st century: Why are we importing oil from countries that are exporting lethal terrorism by groups who hate our freedoms and despise our way of life? [..] It is time we seek out new partnerships. It is time we find new sources of production. It is time we turn America's imagination, technology, and ingenuity loose. America, it is time we turn off the spigots of terrorist oil. [..] This requires bold leadership to redefine the National priority. [..]

A great Nation assumes the challenges that accompany a great cause. America has never shied from the leadership of challenge. In the arsenal of the American spirit is the American ability to overcome great barriers. We must act now to fasten that spirit to our backs and move ahead. This new psyche can empower America. This new psyche can embolden our allies to action. Action and inaction, challenge and ease have always been the two paths of mankind. Fellow citizens, we will choose the paths of action and challenge with boldness and determination, convinced by the rightness of our convictions and hopeful of the changes to come. In all that must be done, I know that America is ready and able to conquer this challenge."

Senator Conrad Burns, Montana (R), September 12, 2002

"The wealth produced by oil underlies the power of the three totalitarian movements in the Middle East that have chosen to make war on us: the ruling Iraqi Baathists and Iranian mullahs, and al Qaeda, which was spawned by Saudi money. [..] We are at war. We should start by asking what we can do, as soon as possible, to undercut our enemies' power. Other considerations should now follow, not lead. [..] If we do not act now, we will leave major levers over our fate in the hands of regimes that have attacked us or have fallen under the sway of fanatics who spread hatred of the U.S., and indeed of freedom itself. [..] For all of them, their power derives from their oil. It is time to break their sword."

R. James Woolsey, CIA Director, 1993-95, Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2002


First - If you haven't yet, read this article by Bret Stephens regarding Indirect Responsibility.

The Belgians see themselves as having the moral right to try Sharon. History, however, teaches us a different lesson:

"An open space in the South Congolese jungle, January 17th, 1961. Illuminated by
some headlights, the Belgian captain gives the order to open fire. A thunderous
salvo of rifle fire echoes through the jungle. Almost immediately Patrice Lumumba,
the Congo's first and only democratically elected Prime Minister and two of his ministers fall to the ground, mortally wounded." Source.

"along with the uncounted thousands who died of disease and famine, many Congolese were killed by Leopold's agents for failing to meet production quotas for ivory and rubber, the territory's principal sources of wealth before its diamonds, copper and zinc were discovered. Mr. Hochschild estimates the total death toll during the Leopold period at 10 million." Source.

"Two cases (of mutilation) came to my actual notice while I was in the lake district. One, a young man, both of whose hands had been beaten off with the butt ends of rifles against a tree; the other a young lad of 11 or 12 years of age, whose right hand was cut off at the wrist. . . . I both these cases the Government soldiers had been accompanied by white officers whose names were given to me. Of six natives (one a girl, three little boys, one youth, and one old woman) who had been mutilated in this way during the rubber regime, all except one were dead at the date of my visit." Source.

Israeli Civil Rights Group Seeks Prosecution of Former Belgian Officials for Murder of African Leader (IMRA)

In 1960, the Congo won independence from Belgium and elected Patrice Lumumba as their first prime minister. In December 1960, Lumumba was arrested and on January 17, 1961, he was dragged from his cell and brutally tortured by Belgian police officials. In the evening he was brought, along with two other members of his party, before a police firing squad and executed.
A Brussels-appointed governmental commission found that Belgium was indeed responsible for the African leader's killing in 1961. The Government of Belgium offered an official apology to the Lumumba family, but no individuals were prosecuted for the crime.

See also Lawmaker Seeks to Prosecute Belgians over Congo - Gideon Alon (Ha'aretz)
Free Voices of Iraq
is a series of Perspectives by Iraqi political activists, essays in which they speak out about Saddam Hussein’s persecution of the Iraqi
people and the prospects for bringing democracy and freedom to a post-Saddam Iraq.

"Saddam Hussein himself is a weapon of mass destruction. Disarmament is not enough… His ongoing wars against the Iraqi people must be stopped.”

Safia Taleb Al Souhail, Advocacy Director for the Middle East and Islamic World at the International Alliance for Justice,, a human rights advocacy group. She shares the stories of six Iraqi women who met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair last December to brief him on the Ba’ath regime’s persecution of their

"Removing Saddam Hussein would liberate the Iraqi people’s energy and talents so that they may be directed towards good, not evil.”

Rend Rahim Franke, the Executive Director of the Iraq Foundation, ( a non-profit organization working for democracy in Iraq. She discusses the prospects for democracy in Iraq and argues that a free Iraq would act as a catalyst for democracy in the Middle East.

"All of the Iraqi opposition is united around two common goals: The removal of Saddam Hussein, and the creation of democracy in Iraq. We welcome the United States’ leadership in helping us to achieve these goals.”
Entifadh K. Qanbar, the Director of the Washington, D.C. office of the Iraqi National Congress,, a coalition of Iraqi opposition groups. He calls on United States to commit itself to supporting a democratic Iraq post-Saddam, and forge a new kind of relationship with an Arab state whose political legitimacy will be based on the consent of its people, not the power of its rulers.

"When the President of the United States drives through Baghdad in his limousine, the streets will be filled with thousands of Iraqis waving American and Iraqi flags."
Dr. Barham Salih, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, He explains that a military intervention to remove Saddam Hussein would not be a war on Iraq, but a liberation of Iraq, and points to the success of Kurdish self-rule in the no-fly zones as a model for Iraq’s democratic future.


"I write this to protest against all those people who oppose the war against Saddam Hussein, or as they call it, the "war against Iraq". I am an Iraqi doctor, I worked in the Iraqi army for six years during Iraq-Iran war and four months during Gulf war. All my family still live in Iraq. I am an Arab Sunni, not Kurdish or Shia. I am an ordinary Iraqi not involved with the Iraqi opposition outside Iraq.

I am so frustrated by the appalling views of most of the British people, media and politicians. I want to say to all these people who are against the possible war, that if you think by doing so you are serving the interests of Iraqi people or saving them, you are not. You are effectively saving Saddam. You are depriving the Iraqi people of probably their last real chance get rid of him and to get out of this dark era in their history. . . .

Where were you while Saddam has been killing thousands of Iraqis since the early 70s? And where are you are now, given that every week he executes people through the "court of revolution", a summary secret court run by the secret security office. Most of its sentences are executions which Saddam himself signs.

I could argue one by one against your reasons for opposing this war. But just ask yourselves why, out of about 500,000 Iraqis in Britain, you will not find even 1,000 of them participating tomorrow? Your anti-war campaign has become mass hysteria and you are no longer able to see things properly."

(link to this Guardian article via Instapundit.)

Things aren't always what they seem:

France and Germany. Follow the money.

My 20 years of work in Iraq's nuclear-weapons program and military industry were partly a training course in methods of deception and camouflage to keep the program secret. Given what I know about Saddam Hussein's commitment to developing and using weapons of mass destruction, the following two points are abundantly clear to me: First, the U.N. weapons inspectors will not find anything Saddam does not want them to find. Second, France, Germany, and to a degree, Russia, are opposed to U.S. military action in Iraq mainly because they maintain lucrative trade deals with Baghdad, many of which are arms-related. Keep reading.

How many of those who say they are unreservedly in support of the Khmer revolution would consent to endure one hundredth part of the present sufferings of the Cambodian people? --François Ponchaud, 1977

How many of those who say they unreservedly opposed to liberating Iraq would consent to endure one hundredth part of the present sufferings of the Iraqi people?