There is far more violence and killing in the Middle East, on the ground and from the air, within and across the borders of sovereign states, than even the most attentive news addict would learn from the Western media.
Here’s a report on Turkey’s bombing of northern Iraq.
The Iraqi government is apparently unmoved by the military attack on its territory – not moved to indignation anyway. Perhaps it silently welcomes the onslaught, since the victims are Kurds. Anyway, it has made no attempt to repel the bombers by force or even by diplomacy.
The Western mass media, and the UN, and the government of the United States, also choose to ignore the continuing military operation.
Western governments, media, and professional humanitarians do not find the Kurds interesting.
Turkey justifies its attack by claiming to be retaliating for the killing of Turkish soldiers by Kurdish terrorists.
Western governments, media, and professional humanitarians have not proclaimed that the retaliation is “disproportionate”.
Iran too has recently bombed the Kurds in northern Iraq. No protests. Except by the Kurds, of course – but the powers that have signed on to a UN resolution to protect civilians are not listening to them.
Since mid-July hundreds of Kurdish civilians in Iraq have fled bombings by the Iranian and Turkish armies, and set up refugee camps that are situated along the northern part of Iraqi Kurdistan (which borders Turkey and Iran). Up to a hundred Kurds have been killed in these bombings.
A Turkish crackdown on Kurds is nothing new and is part of an ongoing war with the terrorist organization PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), that started in 1984. In this war approx. 40,000 people – most of them Kurds – died, another two million Kurds or so were displaced and more than 3000 Kurdish villages were destroyed.
This time around however, the stakes are much higher since the Kurds have cast their eyes on the ‘Arab spring’, and feel that this might be the moment to establish an independent Kurdistan.
The situation on the border of northern Iraq started to deteriorate when Iran began bombing Kurdish villages in July. …
Turkish officials insist that the raids are not aimed at civilians but are meant to destroy the PKK’s infrastructure and to annihilate its fighters. …
Aimed at or not, civilians have been killed.
The recent Turkish military campaign triggered Iraqi Kurdish protests. They started when a family of seven was killed by a Turkish air strike near the town of Rania in Iraq, next to the Iranian border.
But let none say that Prime Minister Erdogan, who ordered the Turkish air force to bomb the Kurds in northern Iraq, and under whom “Turkey is rapidly becoming less democratic and more Islamic”, is without a soft side to his nature. He has spoken out against the violence unleashed in Syria, on Kurds and others, by Assad:
Erdogan … harshly criticized Bashar al-Assad’s bloody suppression of opposition protests in neighboring Syria, which has its own Kurdish minority. Tensions between Turkey and Syria boiled over this week, after Assad told Erdogan not to interfere in internal Syrian affairs. …
Erdogan will not confine himself to minding Turkish affairs. He “aims to Islamize Turkish society and to limit political freedom” as the report rightly says, and he is off to a strong start in realizing his agenda not only in his own country but beyond:
The Erdogan regime is supporting the Islamist agenda for the Middle East and working to become a regional superpower.
The writing is on the wall but it is highly doubtful the West will notice it.
Until it must, when the conflagration spreads – as it almost certainly will – too widely to be ignored any longer.
Note: It should be remembered that Turkey is a member of NATO.
From the Religion of Peace:
In the name of
In the name of
There are conflicts in which neither side is worthy of sympathy.
An example from the past is the Afghan Mujahideen versus the Soviet Union. The Western powers decided to give help to the Mujahideen. The result was the victory of the Taliban, the formation of al-Qaeda, and 9/11.
Another example, in the present, is the Libyan civil war in which again both sides are abominable.
This report comes from The Independent:
The killings were pitiless.
They had taken place at a makeshift hospital, in a tent marked clearly with the symbols of the Islamic Crescent. Some of the dead were on stretchers, attached to intravenous drips. Some were on the back of an ambulance that had been shot at. A few were on the ground, seemingly attempting to crawl to safety when the bullets came.
Around 30 men lay decomposing in the heat. Many of them had their hands tied behind their back, either with plastic handcuffs or ropes. One had a scarf stuffed into his mouth. Almost all of the victims were black men. Their bodies had been dumped near the scene of two of the fierce battles between rebel and regime forces in Tripoli.
“Come and see. These are blacks, Africans, hired by Gaddafi, mercenaries,” shouted Ahmed Bin Sabri, lifting the tent flap to show the body of one dead patient, his grey T-shirt stained dark red with blood, the saline pipe running into his arm black with flies. Why had an injured man receiving treatment been executed? Mr Sabri, more a camp follower than a fighter, shrugged. It was seemingly incomprehensible to him that anything wrong had been done.
The corpses were on the grass verges of two large roundabouts between Bab al-Aziziyah, Muammar Gaddafi’s compound stormed by the revolutionaries at the weekend and Abu Salim, a loyalist district which saw three days of ferocious violence. …
It is also the case that the regime has repeatedly unleashed appalling violence on its own people. But the mounting number of deaths of men from sub-Saharan Africa at the hands of the rebels – lynchings in many cases – raises disturbing questions about the opposition administration, the Transitional National Council (TNC) taking over as Libya’s government, and about Western backing for it.
The atrocities have apparently not been confined to Tripoli: Amnesty International [a nasty lefty organization which sometimes inadvertently tells the truth - JB] has reported similar violence in the coastal town of Zawiyah, much of it against men from sub-Saharan Africa who, it has been claimed, were migrant workers. …
Only a few of the dead found at the roundabouts yesterday were in uniform. However, regime forces have often worn civilian clothes during combat in Tripoli. The street-fighting for Abu Salim was particularly fierce with regime snipers taking a steady toll among the ranks of al-Shabaab volunteer fighters. The losses, and frustration at the continuing stubborn resistance by the enemy after an entry into the capital greeted with celebration by residents, has led to something approaching fury among some of the revolutionaries in the last few days.
“They were shooting at us and that is the reason they were killed,” said Mushab Abdullah, a 35-year-old rebel fighter from Misrata, pointing at the bodies. “It had been really tough at Abu Salim, because these mercenaries know that, without Gaddafi to protect them, they are in big trouble. That is why they were fighting so hard.”
His companion, Mohammed Tariq Muthar, counted them off on the fingers of his hand: “We have found mercenaries from Chad, Niger, Mali and Ghana, all with guns. And they took action against us.”
But, if the men had been killed in action, why did they have their hands tied behind their back? “Maybe they were injured, and they had to be brought to this hospital and the handcuffs were to stop them from attacking. And then something went wrong,” suggested Mr Abdullah.
What went wrong and stays wrong is the Arab culture, shaped by the Islamic ideology of cruelty and murder.
The Libyan rebels are no better and no worse than the savage regime they’re replacing.
Ghaddafi’s cruelty has been well documented. Here’s a titbit of information from CNN about a member of his family – what Aline, wife of his son Hannibal, did to their children’s nanny:
One of the staff told us there was a nanny who worked for Hannibal Gadhafi who might speak to us. He said she’d been burnt by Hannibal’s wife, Aline.
I thought he meant perhaps a cigarette stubbed out on her arm. Nothing prepared me for the moment I walked into the room to see Shweyga Mullah.
At first I thought she was wearing a hat and something over her face. Then the awful realization dawned that her entire scalp and face were covered in red wounds and scabs, a mosaic of injuries that rendered her face into a grotesque patchwork.
What do the Western powers expect of this new regime in Libya that they are helping to establish?
If the Europeans are expecting oil, okay, maybe they’ll get it. Libyans must sell oil to survive.
But what is America expecting? Gratitude? From that blood-thirsty rabble?
Why yes, it seems so.
This is from Investor’s Business Daily:
So the U.S. just spent $1 billion to liberate Libya from terrorist rule only to have Libya’s new rulers thumb their noses at extraditing the Lockerbie bomber? Explain to us again what we’ve been doing in Libya.
Presumably, President Obama’s slapped-together NATO mission to aid Libya’s rebels was to rid that country of its mad-dog dictator, who was a one-man nexus for global terrorism. …
His biggest atrocity was his own: killing 270 innocent people, many of them Americans, in the 1988 bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Gadhafi’s on the run now, but his key man on Lockerbie, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, remains in a wealthy Tripoli neighborhood, incredibly enough because Libya’s new rulers have declared they won’t extradite him abroad to face justice.
“Extradition is what Gadhafi did,” the National Transition Council’s Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi said. “We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West.”
That’s some chutzpah coming from someone who’d be just another dead body in the street or a prisoner dangling from a meat hook had NATO not intervened on his behalf with airstrikes, training and aid since March.
It’s even more ungrateful because these rebels have made it clear they expect more military and humanitarian aid from the West.
Libya’s National Transitional Council chair Mustafa Abdul Jalil urged NATO at a meeting Monday in Qatar to continue its air campaign against Gadhafi’s forces. …
But with Libya’s rebels willfully sheltering one of the world’s worst terrorists — the latest report is he’s sick, a ruse Libyan officials used to get him prematurely released from a U.K. prison two years ago — it seems they aren’t interested in creating a new kind of democratic and law-abiding nation and ridding Libya of the taint of terrorism. …
Imagine that! Arab rebels including al-Qaeda not interested in democracy and getting rid of terrorism! What a revelation, what a shock!
Is the White House reminding the rebels that the U.S. taxpayers have just shelled out $1 billion to buy their freedom? Or that the U.S. has released several billion in Gadhafi’s oil assets abroad for their use? No.
There were plenty of good reasons to object to the NATO involvement in the Libyan rebellion, and perhaps the main one was that the rebels were an unknown quantity. With this refusal to release the Lockerbie bomber, they’ve shown their colors.
If the Obama administration doesn’t want to be seen as Uncle Sucker, it must make the Libyan rebels face consequences for their ingratitude.
Obama will do that? Oh, sure. Wait for it … … any moment now … …
We repeat it often: The UN must be destroyed.
If the US stopped funding it, that atrocious institution would collapse like a pricked balloon.
And now there’s a chance it could happen.
On the “unilateral campaign by Palestinian leaders to secure recognition from individual foreign governments and from the United Nations for a self-declared Palestinian state”, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, writes in the Miami Herald:
If the U.N. were to act in support of this unilateral Palestinian scheme, it would deal a blow not only to Israel and to the cause of peace, but to the U.N. itself. The U.N.’s obsession with castigating Israel — from the Human Rights Council and the Goldstone Report and the Durban conferences to the multitude of U.N. bodies created for the sole purpose of condemning Israel — has eliminated the U.N.’s credibility to aid in achieving peace and security in the Middle East. …
Next month, if the U.N. again sides with Palestinian rejectionism and against Israel and peace, it will be “Zionism is racism” all over again. The U.N., not Israel, will lose whatever remaining legitimacy it holds, and it may never be able to recover.
Fortunately, we are not helpless in the face of this dangerous challenge. There is a historical precedent for how to stop it.
In 1989, Yasser Arafat’s PLO also pushed for membership for a “Palestinian state” in UN entities. The PLO’s strategy looked unstoppable until the George H.W. Bush administration made clear that the U.S. would cut off funding to any UN entity that upgraded the status of the Palestinian observer mission in any way. The UN was forced to choose between isolating Israel and receiving U.S. contributions, and they chose the latter. The PLO’s unilateral campaign was stopped in its tracks. …
With Arafat’s successors up to the same tricks today, the U.S. response must be as strong. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has consistently refused to use our strongest leverage — our financial contributions — to advance U.S. interests at the UN.
Of course Obama hasn’t said or done anything to challenge the UN and its evil practices. He likes it – no, that’s an understatement, he loves it. He wants it to become the most powerful institution on earth, to develop into nothing less than the Government of the World, in which a majority (or even better all) of the states are Islamic and the universal system of law is sharia, and has as its head no less a personage than – himself.
But Ros-Lehtinen hopes to circumvent the administration.
If the executive branch will not demonstrate leadership on this issue, Congress must fill the void.
I will soon introduce the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act, which will reflect the executive branch’s previous successful policies by cutting off U.S. contributions to any UN entity that grants membership or any other upgraded status to the Palestinian observer mission. This legislation will also leverage U.S. taxpayer dollars to make sure they do not fund biased or wasteful UN activities, and to achieve other much-needed reforms that will make the UN more transparent, accountable, objective, and effective.
It is time to use all our leverage to stop this unilateral Palestinian scheme — for the sake of our ally Israel and all free democracies, for the sake of peace and security, and for the sake of achieving a UN that upholds its founding principles.
Of course it would be best if the US simply cut off all funding to the UN immediately, expelled it from Turtle Bay, and breathed a national sigh of relief as the ghastly thing died.
But politicians have to act cautiously, taking one step at a time, and what Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is proposing could be a first step towards the total destruction of the malignant monster.
We think she knows as well as we do that the UN can never become “transparent, accountable, objective, and effective”. Insisting that it should so transform itself, and that if it doesn’t it cannot be allowed to go on, could compel its demise.
Even if it were to start functioning according to its “founding principles”, it would still be a menace. Its declared aim was for nations “to work together to help people live better lives, to eliminate poverty, disease and illiteracy in the world, to stop environmental destruction and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms.” Very pretty. Wholly unrealistic. The idea that nation-states should consider anything but their own self-interest is romantic. To set unrealistic objectives is to invite lying and cheating, hypocrisy, and every form of corruption – as is proved beyond doubt by the histories of the League of Nations and the United Nations Organization. The experiment has been devastatingly destructive of human life and happiness, and needs to be abandoned.
The idea of uniting the nations of the world was always foolish, has proved to be bad, and must be given up, never to be tried again.
Milton Friedman, champion of the Consumer, delights an audience and confounds TV host Phil Donahue, with his explanation of how Ralph Nader did harm by trying to do good, and why the free market ought to be allowed to work. The video was made way back in 1979, but what the great economist says will never become outdated.
We cannot understand how sane, adult, educated, intelligent people can believe in the supernatural.
It’s astonishing to us that such an astute observer of the political scene, so witty a commentator as Ann Coulter can believe in creationism – the belief that the universe was created by a supernatural being: “God”.
Some creationists say that the supernatural being created the earth with the fossil remains in it of creatures who were never actually alive; bones that seem to prove the earth is much older than creationists absolutely know for sure it is; and which may also seem to prove that evolutionary changes have happened over time. They seem to, but they don’t, the creationists say. They were put there by God in the form they have now – as a sort of joke he wanted to play on archaeologists? Creationists don’t put it that way; they don’t ascribe a sense of humor to their God.
In fact there are many versions of creationism, some of them acknowledging that a certain amount of evolution does occur, but denying that human beings evolved from older species. All versions of creationism are equally apodictic. They who demand absolute proofs for every claim that evolutionists make, declare without any proofs at all that God made everything; designed and created the universe out of nothing.
The nearest they come to offering the sort of evidence that science recognizes is by “disproving” evolutionary explanations. They argue: “If some phenomena cannot be incontrovertibly explained by evolutionary theory, it proves they were designed by a superhuman intelligence.”
They believe they have found such phenomena. Not easily, though. Evolution is such a good explanation for Things Being As They Are that, to find anything which challenges its explanations, creationists have probed deep into the structures of life through powerful microscopes. And one of the “gotcha” things they found under the glass was a thread on certain cells, including bacteria such as Ecoli, that enables them to swim. It is called the flagellum.
The flagellum has a complex structure that has set creationists gloating in triumph. There is no way, they say, that the flagellum could have evolved from simpler structures because without every single one of its parts being present and operating exactly how they do, it couldn’t work at all.
In a recent column, Ann Coulter waves the flagellum (so to speak) in the faces of evolutionists. It proves, she believes, that evolution is not true. Its discovery is a supreme achievement of “advances in science” which have, she says, “completely discredited Darwin’s theory of evolution”.
She claims there is now a “mountain of scientific evidence disproving this mystery religion from the Victorian age”. And from the mountain she has plucked “one small slice” – the flagellum.
It is a mathematical impossibility … that all 30 to 40 parts of the cell’s flagellum … could all arise at once by random mutation. … Nor would each of the 30 to 40 parts individually make an organism more fit to survive and reproduce, which, you will recall, is the lynchpin of the whole contraption.
The authority she cites for these assertions is a religious scientist [now there’s an oxymoron for you] named Michael Behe who “proved” them to be the case.
In fact, Michael Behe’s proofs have been disproved, the claims made for the “irreducible complexity” of the flagellum shown to be fallacious. (You can find the counter-arguments for this special case here, and for this and many other anti-evolution claims here.)
We quote a short summary of the refutations of Michael Behe’s “proof”:
Based on similarity in structure and partial similarity in amino acid sequence, it is generally accepted among scientists that the eukaryotic flagellum and cilium have evolved from the cytoskeleton, while the eubacterial flagellum has evolved either from the type III secretion system or from a more ancient secretion system from which the type III secretion system has evolved as well. The archaeal flagellum has probably evolved from the type IV pili. …
In his 1996 book Darwin’s Black Box, intelligent design proponent Michael Behe, under funding from the Templeton Foundation [which exists to promote religion over science - JB] cited the bacterial flagellum as an example of an irreducibly complex structure that could not have evolved through naturalistic means. Behe argued that the flagellum becomes useless if any one of its constituent parts is removed, and therefore could not have arisen through numerous, successive, slight modifications. This claim has been strongly challenged by the work of Zvonimir Dogic. His team reported constructing active hairlike structures containing only two proteins that reproduce the beating functionality of flagella, proving that the flagellar complexity is in fact reducible. Behe’s argument is weakened by the observation that the proteins used by Dogic are all present in every eukaryotic cell in the centriole, and could easily have evolved into a flagellum through numerous, successive, slight modifications. … Exaptation explains how systems with multiple parts can evolve through natural means.
So no – evolution is not proved to be wrong by the flagellum, or by anything else, and “most scientists” do not consider it disproved as Ann Coulter claims they do.
Now let’s briefly examine her alternative belief. In doing so, we step away from science. Science is concerned only with the natural. Anything to do with the supernatural has nothing whatsoever to do with science. “Is there a god?” is not a scientific question.
Let’s posit a Creator. Let’s imagine him designing and making the flagellum – out of nothing, remember.
Let’s translate his God language into English and catch his thoughts as he goes about his creating.
“Now I’m going to fit these bacteria with this complex structure by which they’ll propel themselves into the bloodstream of animals and human beings and make them sick and kill them.”
The question, Ann, is WHY?
A Creator, one who designed and deliberately made the universe – whether exactly as it is at this moment or long ago set upon a course of development through many ages – is a Purposer. Those who believe in him hold that he created a universe not accidentally but on purpose.
What is the purpose of the universe?
Religion absolutely requires an answer to that question. But the believers never answer it. They cannot. It has no answer.
On 24 August, 2011, Glenn Beck gave a speech in Jerusalem, at a rally assembled under the Temple Mount. The full text is here.
He strongly praised and defended Israel. It was a speech that may do Israel some good, considering that Beck has an audience in the US of millions, and Israel needs American public opinion to be on its side.
We select these excerpts from it, the parts we like best. (His many pious allusions to “God”, his references to and quotation from the Jewish Bible, we politely disregard – except for the pillar of fire.)
In Israel, there is more courage in one square mile than in all of Europe. In Israel, there is more courage in one soldier than in the combined and cold hearts of every bureaucrat at the United Nations. In Israel, you can find people who will stand against incredible odds… against the entire tide of global opinion, for what is right and good and true. Israel is not a perfect country. No country is perfect. But it tries… and it is courageous.
Today, the world needs courage more than ever.
We need it because whether you live here in Jerusalem, or in London, or in Athens, or in Washington, D.C., you know – we all know — the world is changing, the world is burning, and whatever we have known… whatever we’ve thought would never change… whatever we’ve grown to think is solid and strong and durable … is under siege.
You don’t have to be a prophet to know that things are not going well in the world. The threats are mounting. Darkness is falling.
Far too many politicians are willing to look away. The shape shifters are at work. They have turned day into night, good into evil. They have changed the very meaning of words.
In New York, the so-called leaders of the world talk about abuses of human rights. But what they will do is abuse the very meaning of the phrase “human rights.”
“Human rights,” they say. But who will they focus on? Libya? Syria? North Korea? No.
They will condemn Israel. Tiny Israel. Democratic Israel. Free Israel. Israel, which values life above all other things.
Israel, as usual, is the exception. …
When the Fogel family was killed in their sleep the world barely took note. The grand councils of earth condemn Israel. Across the border, Syria slaughters its own citizens. The grand councils are silent. It’s no wonder children light their streets on fire.
These international councils, these panels of so-called diplomats, condemn Israel not because they believe Israel needs to be corrected. They do so because it is convenient.
Everyone does it. In some countries, it’s a crime not to.
The diplomats are afraid, and so they submit. They surrender to falsehood. The truth matters not. To the keepers of conventional wisdom, a sacrifice of the truth is a small price to pay. What difference does it make if we beat up on little Israel? These are the actions of the fearful and cowards. …
The cause of human rights has been taken over by organizations who share little with the individuals who led the movement. Human rights was once a cry for justice. Now it used as a threat.
These organizations have become bullies and grotesque parodies of the principles they pretend to represent. They criticize free nations and spare the unfree. They denounce nations like Israel and America, who have high standards for freedom, and leave alone nations that have no freedom at all. They are nearly comical in their double-standards. Whatever moral force they once had is spent. …
If we want to be endowed with rights – real human rights, we have to act with responsibility. We must not be comfortable with rights. We must be comfortable with responsibility. We cannot use our few short years on this planet enjoying our rights… we must do everything we can living by our responsibilities to our fellow man. …
Link arms with others and stand with courage, and walk behind the pillar of fire.
You see evil rear its head in our time. You see the signs again. The swastikas are on display in the street marches. This week they’re holding up signs in Cairo that say: We’re building the gas chambers. They dress their children in suicide belts. They are given the choice, and they choose death. …
We won’t find the answers in some global body halfway around the world, but in ourselves. We won’t find purpose in the drumbeat of destruction and disobedience we hear in the West, but in a mission of building and honor and courage.
With his speech in Jerusalem, Beck was preparing to launch what he hopes will be a global movement in support of Israel but also, more widely, of the foundational values of the United States. From Israel he went to South Africa, to speak about the cruel policy of apartheid that had prevailed there in order to dispel the lie that Israel practises any such policy (as the Palestinians declare they will in the Judenrein state they plan to declare next month). After that he proceeds to South America to enlist support for his movement. Finally, next week, he will formally launch his movement at a mass rally in Dallas.
The founding document of the movement will be a Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities. Its full text is here.
It invokes the Declaration of Independence (but is more God-haunted than that great document). If it is endorsed by a large number of activists, it will confirm Glenn Beck in the heroic leadership role he has assumed at the head of a moral army.
We wish the venture success. We long ago learned to endure the religious decoration so often attached to causes we support.
So onward, Glenn Beck’s soldiers – we march to the same political-moral goal as you do, although to the beat of a different drum.
Thanks to a group of writers and investigators – Douglas Hagmann, Bill Krayer, Michael Travis, Paul Williams – terrorist training camps in the US have been exposed.
Even the Department of Homeland Security must know now that they exist and what they’re about.
Read about them here, where you’ll find a full and scary description of one in particular called Islamberg, established in a forest on the outskirts of Hancock, New York.
Islamberg is a branch of Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization formed in 1980 by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, who … has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra or “community of the impoverished,” an organization that seeks to “purify” Islam through violence.
Though primarily based in Lahore, Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has operational headquarters in New York and openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system. Members live in hamaats or compounds, such as Islamberg, where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority.
Additional hamaats have been established in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House, Virginia; Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulane Country, California; Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington. Others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania.
Before becoming a citizen of Islamberg or any of the other Fuqra compounds, the recruits … are compelled to sign an oath that reads: “I shall always hear and obey, and whenever given the command, I shall readily fight for Allah’s sake.”
In the past, thousands of members of the U.S. branches of Jamaat ul-Fuqra traveled to Pakistan for paramilitary training, but encampments, such as Islamberg, are now capable of providing boot-camp training so raw recruits are no longer required to travel abroad amidst the increased scrutiny of post 9/11.
Over the years, numerous members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra have been convicted in US courts of such crimes as conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, and workers’ compensation fraud. Others remain leading suspects in criminal cases throughout the country, including ten unsolved assassinations and seventeen fire-bombings between 1979 and 1990. …
In 2001, a resident of a California compound was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a sheriff’s deputy; another was charged with gun-smuggling, and twenty-four members of the Red House community were convicted of firearms violations.
By 2004 federal investigators uncovered evidence that linked both the DC “sniper killer” John Allen Muhammed and “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid to the group and reports surfaced that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was captured and beheaded in the process of attempting to obtain an interview with Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.
Even though Jamaat ul-Fuqra has been involved in terror attacks and sundry criminal activities, recruited thousands of members from federal and state penal systems, and appears to be operating paramilitary facilities for militant Muslims, it remains to be placed on the official US Terror Watch List. On the contrary, it continues to operate, flourish, and expand as a legitimate nonprofit, tax-deductible charity.
Why? Because that’s what the US government wants it to do and be. Is there any other possible explanation?
In 1918 Australian troops liberated Damascus from Ottoman rule. An Arab contingent, led and misled by the romanticizing Englishman T.E.Lawrence, wanted to claim that they had achieved the victory. So the British ordered the Australians to withdraw and let the Arabs march in as if they were the conquerors.
The lie fostered the notion among the Arabs that they really were great warriors. This meant that when, thirty years later, a small ill-equipped ad hoc Israeli defense force beat the five Arab armies that attacked the new state, the Arabs felt not only humiliated but incredulous. The lie, as is the way with lies, did them no good.
The Europeans – the British at least – should have learnt their lesson then, that allowing the Arabs their false pretenses is a stupid and counter-productive policy.
But it seems they did not. It’s pretty obvious that something similar is happening now with the “capture of Tripoli by the rebels”.
In our recent post Sudden victory in Libya, we quoted this question asked by DebkaFile:
How did the ragtag, squabbling Libyan rebels who were unable to build a coherent army in six months suddenly turn up in Tripoli Sunday looking like an organized military force and using weapons for which they were not known to have received proper training? Did they secretly harbor a non-Libyan hard core of professional soldiers?
Now here’s the story that is supposed to answer such a question, cooked up (so we suspect) by AP and some wily Arabs, and swallowed whole by the Washington Post:
They called it Operation Mermaid Dawn, a stealth plan coordinated by sleeper cells, Libyan rebels, and NATO to snatch the capital from the Moammar Gadhafi’s regime’s hands.
Ah, so NATO did play a part. Well, everyone knows that NATO was assisting the rebels – with air-strikes, weaponry, intelligence. So what? Nothing new there.
It proceeds in the manner of pulp fiction:
It began three months ago when groups of young men left their homes in Tripoli and traveled to train in Benghazi with ex-military soldiers.
Ex-military, eh? But – soldiers of what nationality? Is care being taken here to hide the fact that NATO soldiers put their boots on Libyan ground and took charge of the rebel forces for an advance on Tripoli? After NATO had said they wouldn’t do such a thing? Perish the thought!
After training in Benghazi, the men would return to Tripoli either through the sea disguised as fishermen or through the western mountains.
A script ready for the big screen.
“They went back to Tripoli and waited; they became sleeper cells,” said military spokesman Fadlallah Haroun, who helped organize the operation.
He said that many of the trained fighters also stayed in the cities west of Tripoli, including Zintan and Zawiya, and waited for the day to come to push into the capital.
Operation Mermaid Dawn began on the night of August 21 and took the world by surprise as the rebels sped into the capital and celebrated in Green Square with almost no resistance from pro-Gadhafi forces.
Haroun said about 150 men rose up from inside Tripoli, blocking streets, engaging in armed street fights with Gadhafi brigades, and taking over their streets with check points.
See what tacticians these rebels are? What long-sighted and meticulous planners?
He said another 200 men [came] from Misrata.
But why did the armed Gadhafi troops melt away when the rebels drove through?
Would they fear a raggle-taggle rebel army?
Fathi Baja, head of the rebel leadership’s political committee, said it was all thanks to a deal cut with the head of the batallion in charge of protecting Tripoli’s gates, the Mohammed Megrayef Brigade.
His name was Mohammed Eshkal and he was very close to Gadhafi and his family.
Close to Gadhafi? Then why – ?
Ah, there was a reason. A secret grudge nursed for many and many a long year. So the plot thickens.
Baja said Gadhafi had ordered the death of his cousin twenty years ago.
“Eshkal carried a grudge in his heart against Gadhafi for 20 years, and he made a deal with the NTC — when the zero hour approached he would hand the city over to the rebels,” said Haroun.
“Eshkal didn’t care much about the revolution,” said Haroun. “He wanted to take a personal revenge from Gadhafi and when he saw a chance that he will fall, he just let it happen.”
But Haroun said he still didn’t trust Eshkal or the men who defected so late in the game.
Haroun said that he didn’t trust any of the defectors who left Gadhafi’s side so close to August 20.
“They knew his days were numbered so they defected, but in their hearts they will always fear Gadhafi and give him a regard,” he said.
Haroun said NATO was in contact with the rebel leadership in Benghazi and were aware of the date of Operation Mermaid Dawn.
Only “aware of it”. Did NATO have no active part in it?
Oh, yes, it did. Haroun would not deny NATO had played a role.
Savor that “Honestly”!
“Honestly, NATO played a very big role in liberating Tripoli — they bombed all the main locations that we couldn’t handle with our light weapons,” said Haroun.
And AP hastens to bear out the honest confession of Haroun by adding details anyone can check out:
Analysts have noted that as time went on, NATO airstrikes became more and more precise and there was less and less collateral damage, indicating the presence of air controllers on the battlefields.
Targeted bombings launched methodical strikes on Gadhafi’s crucial communications facilities and weapons caches. An increasing number of American hunter-killer drones provided round-the-clock surveillance as the rebels advanced.
Okay, that’s accepted. But that was all? Any suspicion that European soldiers were on the ground would be wholly unfounded?
What if European foreign offices were to give out a different tale?
Diplomats acknowledge that covert teams from France, Britain and some East European states provided critical assistance.
Oh? Of what sort?
Well, quite a variety when we get down to it:
The assistance included logisticians, security advisers and forward air controllers for the rebel army, as well as intelligence operatives, damage assessment analysts and other experts, according to a diplomat based at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Only advisers, not trainers, mark you. But what if European military personnel were actually spotted among the rebels? Well,
Foreign military advisers on the ground provided key real-time intelligence to the rebels, enabling them to maximize their limited firepower against the enemy. One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the Qatari military led the way, augmented later by French, Italian and British military advisers.
So a foreign but Arab army was “augmented” by European advisers.
But only “later’. How much later? We’re not told, but they couldn’t have been too far behind considering the speed of the advance.
This effort had a multiple purpose, not only assisting the rebels but monitoring their ranks …
There’s a good word – “monitoring”. It implies “merely observing, merely taking note”.
… and watching for any al-Qaida elements trying to infiltrate or influence the rebellion.
Ah, watching for al-Qaida elements. That’s old policy, perfectly legitimate.
And besides, most of the observing was still being done from the air. Assistance given without the use of any actual Europeans at all:
Bolstering the intelligence on the ground was an escalating surveillance and targeting campaign in the skies above. Armed U.S. Predator drones helped to clear a path for the rebels to advance.
Baja said as the time for Operation Mermaid Dawn came close to execution, NATO began to intensify their bombing campaign at Bab al-Azizya and near jails where weapons were stored and political prisoners were held.
And then the people rose up.
The dramatization is brought to a climax with the last line.
We cannot prove – yet – that the story is a lie. But we are fairly persuaded that it is: a false account seasoned with little hints of the truth to allow the fibbers to say later if challenged, ‘But we said that NATO did this, and the British and French did that, and okay we may have left out details of what they actually did…” in a red-faced effort to minimize their deception.
The AP account serves only to confirm to us – contrary to what it wants readers to believe – that NATO troops were the commanders and effective fighters in the attack on Tripoli.
But it suits the US, Britain and France politically to pretend that it was a victory for the rebels, both in order to seem to be adhering to their declared limits of engagement, and also, most importantly, to make it seem that the Libyan people fought and won their own battle.
So yet again, Arab pride is boosted – truth be damned.
And here’s the latest DebkaFile report which, if it turns out to be accurate, would confirm our suspicions:
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that British, French, Jordanian and Qatari Special Operations forces Tuesday, Aug. 23, spearheaded the rebel “killer strike” on Muammar Qaddafi’s regime and Tripoli fortress at Bab al-Azaziya, Tripoli. This was the first time Western and Arab ground troops had fought together on the same battlefield in any of the Arab revolts of the last nine months and the first time Arab soldiers took part in a NATO operation.
Our military sources report that the British deployed SAS commandos and France, 2REP (Groupe des commando parachutiste), which is similar to the US Navy DELTA unit …
The main body of the rebels to the rear of the combined foreign force was nowhere near being a unified military force.
And one lie has already been exposed.
A story was put out by the rebels that Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, had been captured - and then he appeared at a Tripoli hotel before foreign correspondents.
Even the Guardian was embarrassed by the apparent exposure of this lie. Its report is here:
There was no doubt about it: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s second son and heir presumptive, had been captured. Mustafa Abdul Jalil, head of the rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC), declared on Monday that he was “being kept in a secure place under close guard”. …
News of the supposed arrest, which came without a date or a location, was a huge boost for the rebel movement. …
Yet just hours later, journalists at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli were woken during the night by a knock at the door and told to go downstairs. There, inside a white armoured vehicle, with a mobile phone next to him and a smile playing around his lips, was Saif himself. …
The revelation that the man they had declared to be in captivity was in fact touring parts of regime-held Tripoli and doing the V-for-victory sign for a crowd of apparent supporters seemed to stun many rebels as much as it did the rest of the world. …
A spokesman for the NTC leadership, had no explanation of Saif’s sudden reappearance, and could say only: “This could all be lies.” …
The image it projects of the rebels is hardly flattering – and while Saif’s dramatic reappearance is far from the only occasion on which the international community has had reason to question the credibility of the fighters, this particular misstep could prove damning. …
A British spokesman hastened to excuse the liars.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, the international development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, was keen to avoid chastising the NTC leadership. “I think it’s inevitable in this situation, with the warfare going on … that there will be some confusion.” …
We have a vision of the ghost of T.E. Lawrence hovering over Mr Mitchell in the BBC studio.