We return to the subject of our yesterday’s post Curious and curiouser. Even our source, DebkaFile, now expresses puzzlement about the story. While it is certain that Israel did intercept and capture a ship carrying Iranian arms, there are things about the event and its aftermath that just don’t add up.
Our sources discount the overblown claims that this unquestioned IDF success in capturing dozens of Syrian-made 302mm rockets carried by the ship saved four million Israelis from attack.
For two years, the IDF refrained from cutting short the incessant stream of mobile Grad rockets and other weapons systems flooding into the Gaza Strip from Libya via Egypt. Those weapons had already imparted to Hamas, Jihad Islami and the al Qaeda affiliates in Sinai the ability to strike Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Rishon Lezion, an ability exhibited during Israel’s 2012 Gaza operation.
Two puzzling questions are raised by the Iranian missile ship episode suggesting that there was more to it than meets the eye.
The capture of a small merchant with a crew of 17 unarmed seamen scarcely warranted a naval commando force of the size employed, especially as it sailed without an Iranian naval escort; nor was there any sign of Iranian naval units based in Port Sudan coming to its rescue.
The original report indicated the size of the force, and the importance attached to the capture:
The operation was carried out under an air umbrella by hundreds of naval commandos without casualties.It was directly commanded by the IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz from high command headquarters and the Navy Chief Maj. Gen Ram Rottberg from a floating command post at sea.
Then there is the second puzzling question, the answer to which would probably explain the first:
It is also strange that, in their comments on the operation, neither Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon nor any Israeli general offered a word of thanks to Washington for its cooperation, after the White House spokesman Jay Carney described how the US military and intelligence had worked with Israel to track the missile ship and were even under orders to arrange its interception, should the Israeli Navy for some reason opt out.
Is this a sign that US cooperation was inconsequential – or even conjured up post factum?
We think it was made up after the event. What we cannot work out is why.
What sense can be made of this story?
Syria flies rockets to Iran: Iran loads them on a ship and sends it sailing down the Gulf, south-west on the Arabian Sea, and north up the Red Sea.
Israel intercepts the ship, commandos board it, find the rockets, re-route the vessel to the Israeli port of Eilat.
Where was it bound for? For whom were the rockets intended? Gaza? How the hell would they get there?
Look at the map showing the path of the arms to the point of interception, search and capture:
Next we are told that the Israelis didn’t accomplish the whole feat alone – gathering the intelligence, setting up the capture. No, suddenly Jay Carney claims that it was a US-Israeli joint venture.
In an unusually frank disclosure, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday night, March 5, that US intelligence services and military had worked with Israel to track the Iranian Panama-flagged ship KLOS C, which was apprehended by Israeli naval commandos on the Red Sea earlier that day carrying missiles for Gaza via Sudan. The ship was boarded by the Israeli elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) and found to be carrying dozens of 302mm rockets with a range of 150 km made in Syria. It is now on its way to Eilat.
Just how would they get from Port Sudan to Gaza? Through Sinai? Then through tunnels? Isn’t the Egyptian army patrolling Sinai? Hasn’t Egypt closed the arms-smuggling tunnels? Why would Egypt allow arms to reach Hamas, the rulers of Gaza and a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood when the MB is the present Egyptian government’s enemy?
And even more curious, why would Obama suddenly co-operate with Israel against Iran when his whole policy towards those two countries for at least the last four years has been to co-operate with Iran against Israel?
Has he had a sudden change of heart and mind? If so, what will his party, his base, his hurrah-chorus the mainstream media, say to this 180 degree turnabout?
It’s really very hard to believe.
The White House spokesman said that Washington worked with Israeli through intelligence and military channels, and at the national security adviser level, as soon as it knew the shipment was on the move. He said that President Barack Obama also directed the US military to work out contingencies in case it became necessary to intercept the vessel (therebysanctioning military action).
Obama? Military action?
“Our Israeli counterparts ultimately chose to take the lead in interdicting the shipment of illicit arms,” Jay Carney said. …
This was the first time in four years that the US and Israel have collaborated in an operation against Iran – ever since the Stuxnet virus attack in 2010 on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Until now, the Obama administration steadfastly refused to act against Iran for fear of jeopardizing the international diplomatic track for curbing its nuclear program.
The unusual frankness with which the Obama administration announced its coordination with Israel is both dramatic in itself and a road sign pointing the way to a radical change in its Iran policy.
The US and Israel appear to be lining up – in their military policies as well – against the Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah bloc.
This radical turnabout was most probably the high point of the conversation between the US president and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House Monday, March 3, after which Netanyahu raised comment by showering Obama with praise during his speech to the AIPAC conference in Washington the next day. …
Whereas Obama had shown impatience, irritation, and antipathy towards Netanyahu in an interview just one day before the meeting.
US and Israeli intelligence sources report that both countries are braced for a swift and stinging response from Tehran … As Carney put it: “We will continue to stand up to Iran’s support for destabilizing activities in the region in coordination with our partners and allies.These illicit acts are unacceptable to the international community and in gross violation of Iran’s Security Council obligations.”
Israel’s elite Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) early Wednesday, March 5, boarded [the] Iranian Panama-registered cargo vessel KLOS C. Concealed in its hold under sacks of cement were dozens of 302mm rockets with a range of 150 kms, manufactured in Syria and destined by Iran for the Gaza Strip after being offloaded in Sudan.
The Israeli commandos seized the vessel in open sea on the maritime border of Sudan and Eritrea, 1500 km south of Israel, and have set it on course for Eilat.
Sudan has [become] in the last two years … a major Iranian weapons manufacturing and logistic depot, which supplies Syria, Hizballah and Hamas. Port Sudan is the hub for the smuggling of Iranian arms to various Middle East locations.
The IDF [Israeli Defense Force] said the Iranian missile cargo was destined for the Palestinian Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip. If this is so, it would mean that Iran had gone back to arming Hamas with missiles and rockets after a two-year pause during which the Palestinian extremists were cold-shouldered by Tehran for their animosity to Syria’s Bashar Assad. …
[But] it is hard to believe the Assad would consent to relay Syrian-made missiles to this antagonist.
Some Middle East military sources believe the shipment was not destined for Palestinian terrorists for use against Israel, but rather for Muslim Brotherhood activists fighting the Egyptian army from their forward base in the Gaza Strip.
They don’t rule out the possibility of Al Qaeda affiliates fighting in Sinai as being the address. Western intelligence has recorded instances of Iran entering into ad hoc operational collaboration with al Qaeda elements when it suits Tehran’s book. …
The rockets were flown from Syria to Iran, then loaded on [the] ship where they were concealed under sacks of cement inside containers. From the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, the ship headed into the Red Sea bound for Sudan where it was intercepted by Israeli commandos.
The Iranian arms ship’s progress was tracked all the way.
By Israel, apparently. By the US, easily if that’s what Obama wanted. But why suddenly does he want to “jeopardize the international diplomatic track for curbing Iran’s nuclear program“?
Will Jay Carney, standing there among the flying pigs, do something he has never done before – tell the truth and explain everything?
That’s not very likely, but then much is not very likely in these bizarre events.
We are in principle against intervention in the internal affairs of other countries. But we are not for isolationism or pacifism – we regard either philosophy as a formula for national suicide. If other countries become belligerent, build up their armed strength, send their warships towards our shores, establish bases in countries on our borders, and declare their aggressive intentions towards us, the politics of those countries become our business. That is happening now. We are under threat – because Obama is deliberately weakening America. And his reaction to the result is to weaken America even more.
The conditions for major war develop much more easily when the U.S. is too weak. They are developing as we speak.
To a meaningful extent, the significant increase we’ve seen in unrest around the globe since 2010 has been made possible, and inevitable, by the retraction of American power. Even where we still have power in place, it has become increasingly obvious that we aren’t going to use it.
We quote from a website interestingly named Liberty Unyielding. The article on the extreme folly of the Obama administration’s moves to weaken America is by Commander Jennifer Dyer, now retired from the US navy. (Her own blog is at Theoptimisticconservative.wordpress.com):
The collapse of order in the Arab nations in 2011 was the first significant stage of the process. The perception that the United States would do nothing about a Hezbollah coup in Lebanon was tested in January of that year. The perception proved to be true, and when protests erupted in Tunisia and Egypt, for causes both natural and manufactured, a set of radical Islamist actors – the “establishment” Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni jihadists, Iran – saw an opportunity. The establishment Muslim Brotherhood has largely won out in Tunisia, but the battle still rages among these radical actors for Egypt, Syria, and now Iraq. Lebanon is being incrementally sucked into the maelstrom as well.
In multiple venues, Russia has watched the U.S. and the West effectively back Islamists in Russia’s “near abroad”: in Turkey (with support for the now struggling Erdogan government); in the Balkans, especially Bosnia and Kosovo; and in Syria. …
There was a time when the implicit determination of the U.S. to enforce the “Pax Americana” order – the post-World War II alignments of the region – held Russia in check. The Russians still derived some security benefit from that order, after all … It appears to me, however, that 2014 will be the year in which it becomes clear that, according to Russians’ perception, they no longer benefit from the old order. If we’re not going to enforce it, Russia will do what she thinks she has to.
In fact, Moscow’s pushback against the plan for Ukraine to affiliate with the EU constitutes just such a blow for perceived Russian interests. It is of supreme importance for Westerners to not misread the recent developments. The EU and the U.S. did back down when Russia pushed hard last fall. The only ones who didn’t back down were the Ukrainian opposition. I predict Vladimir Putin will try to handle the opposition factions cleverly, as much as he can, and avoid a pitched battle with them if possible. He respects what they are willing to do. But he has no reason to respect Brussels or Washington.
And that means he has more latitude, not less, for going after the regional props to the old order, one by one. As always, Russia’s inevitable competition with China is a major driver, along with Russia’s concern about Islamism on her southern border. The whole Great Crossroads – Southwest Asia, Southeast Europe, Northeast Africa, the waterways that snake through the region – is, if not up for grabs, at least in ferment. Look wherever you like: there are almost no nations where there is not a very present menace from radicalism, or where governments and even borders are not gravely imperiled by internal dissent.
Israel is the chief standout for politically sustainable stability and continuity. Romania and Turkey seem likely to at least retain their constitutional order in the foreseeable future, but Turkey’s geopolitical orientation, in particular, is less certain. Greece and Kosovo – even Bosnia – have serious internal problems. Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia all remain in crisis at various levels. Jordan and Saudi Arabia are relatively stable, and the Arab Persian Gulf states relatively so as well. But their neighborhood is going downhill fast. Iran is riding a wave of radical confidence, and the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan.
In this tumultuous region, it’s actually a little funny that Pakistan looks stable and staid compared to Iran, Afghanistan, and neighbors west. We can hope that Islamabad’s perceived need to maintain a symmetrical stance against India will keep Pakistan’s loose federation of intransigents federated, and the nukes under central control. But as we move across South Asia, we near another boiling pot. Thailand – long an American ally and pillar of stability in the region – has been rocked in recent months by national unrest of a kind not seen in Southeast Asia for decades. Islamist radicalism is a growing threat in Indonesia, and an unpacified one in the Philippines, after more than a decade of U.S.-Philippines collaboration in fighting it.
And, of course, China is making real, transformative moves against regional security with her proclamations about air space and maritime rights off her southeast coast.
This disruptive process, like the battles for many of the Arab nations, is already underway. We’re not waiting for something to happen; it’s started.
China assumes, quite correctly, that there will be no effective pushback from the United States. But two other nations with power and means will regard it as intolerable for China to dictate conditions in Southeast Asia: Japan and Russia. The dance of realignment among these nations has implications for everyone in Central Asia and the Far East. The day may be on the horizon sooner than we think when maintaining a divided Korea no longer makes sense to at least one of the major players. The day is already here when Chinese activities in Central Asia are alarming the whole neighborhood, just as Chinese actions are in the South China Sea. …
Russia and Iran are advancing on the US through Central America:
It’s no accident that as radical leftism creeps across Central America (falsely laying claim to a noble “Bolivarian” political mantle), the maritime dispute between Nicaragua and American ally Colombia heats up – and Russia shows up to back Nicaragua and Venezuela – and so does Iran – and unrest turns into shooting and government brutality and violence in Venezuela – and Hezbollah shows up there to openly support the radical, repressive Maduro government.
Now Iran has a naval supply ship headed for Central America, very possibly with a cargo of arms that are not only prohibited by UN sanction, but capable of reaching the United States if launched from a Central American nation or Cuba.
We’re not still waiting for the shocks to start to the old order. They’ve already started. I haven’t surveyed even the half of what there is to talk about …
She looks at the latest defense cuts with dismay and considers what the consequences will be:
This is the world in which the United States plans to reduce our army to its lowest level since before World War II, and eliminate or put in storage much of its capabilities for heavy operations abroad (e.g., getting rid of the A-10 Warthogs, moving Blackhawk helicopters into the National Guard). It’s in this world that DOD proposes to cease operating half of our Navy cruisers, while delaying delivery of the carrier-based F-35 strike-fighter to the Navy and Marine Corps. These cutbacks come on top of cuts already made to training and maintenance expenditures in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force that will affect unit readiness for years to come. …
Then comes what should be a shocking observation:
By cutting back on defense so drastically, America is deciding, in essence, to “fight fair”: to give whatever opponents emerge more of a chance to kill our soldiers, damage our interests, and drag out conflicts. …
That would be hard to believe of any American leadership – until now. It is ludicrous. Worse, it is lunatic. But Obama has never concealed or disguised his wish to weaken America’s military capacity.
The decision “to further limit our capabilities to use power in politically relevant ways” will result in “even more global unrest: more conflict, more shooting, more blood, more extortion and political thuggery menacing civil life in the world’s poorer and more vulnerable nations”, and that cannot be good for America. The point is that -
These unpleasant trends will spill over into civil life in the wealthier nations soon enough …
As it has, she points out, in Ukraine, Thailand, and Venezuela, “whether directly or through second-order consequences”.
Peace and freedom have to be tended constantly; they are not the natural state of geopolitical indiscipline, but its antithesis. …
We’re extraordinarily unprepared for the world that is shaping up around us. …
[And] a world that doesn’t want quiescent trade conditions, tolerance of dissent, the open flow of ideas, and mutual agreements, peacefully arrived at, will not have them.
That’s the world we are sentencing ourselves, for now, to live in. Perhaps we will learn from the consequences how to think again: about what it takes to guard freedom, and indeed, about what freedom actually is.
It is Obama who needs to think again, but there is no reason to hope that he will. It could hardly be more obvious that he does not care for freedom.
The US is at war. Not with “terror”, which is absurd. Not even with “terrorism”, which is almost as absurd. But with Islam. Which doesn’t mean that we regard every Muslim in the world as an enemy. We are under attack by Muslims who are fighting the jihad, directly or indirectly, as the ideology of Islam requires every Muslim to do.
We need to recognize this, and declare it to be the case. And we need also to recognize our enemy in Islam’s ally – the Left.
We call it World War IV. (World War III was the “Cold War”.)
Michael Ledeen is of much the same opinion. Though he defines the enemy more narrowly as “radical Islamists” and “radical leftists”.
He writes at PJ Media:
It’s hard to get our minds around the dimensions of the slaughter underway in the Middle East and Africa, and harder still to see that the battlefields of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria and Mali are pieces in a global war in which we are targeted. For the most part, the deep thinkers zero in on the single battlefields. What if anything should we do about the big fight in Egypt? Should we assist the Syrian opposition? What to do in Lebanon or Jordan? Should we respond positively to the Iraqi government’s request for security assistance? Is anyone thinking hard about Tunisia, likely to be the scene of the next explosions?
It could not be otherwise, since our government, our universities, our news organizations and our think tanks are all primarily organized to deal with countries, and our analysts, policy makers and military strategists inevitably think inside those boxes.
We don’t have an assistant secretary of defense for global strategy. (Actually we do, his name is Andrew Marshall, he’s a sprightly genius of 92 years, and he runs a largely ignored corner of the Pentagon called “Net Assessment”). But we do have one for the Near East and South Asia. And there’s hardly a professor in America who is talking about the fundamental change in the nature of global affairs in which we are enmeshed, the paradigm shift from the post-World War II world dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union, to … we know not what.
So there’s a global war, we’re the main target of the aggressors, and our leaders don’t see it and therefore have no idea how to win it.
Any serious attempt to understand what’s going on has to begin by banning the word “stability”, much beloved of diplomats and self-proclaimed strategists.
Yes. What is the point of wanting stability in or between tyrannies? How long should we want them to last?
If anything is fairly certain about our world, it’s that there is no stability, and there isn’t going to be any. Right now, the driving forces are those aimed at destroying the old order, and their targets (the old regimes, very much including the United States) have until recently showed little taste to engage as if their survival depended on it. But things are changing, as always.
The war is easily described: there is a global alliance of radical leftists and radical Islamists, supported by a group of countries that includes Russia, at least some Chinese leaders, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. The radicals include the Sunni and Shi’ite terrorist organizations and leftist groups …
Their objective is the destruction of the West, above all, of the United States.
The alliance of Islam and the Left is very strange. The Left champions women, sexual and ethnic minorities, condemned criminals, thin people, the planet, and promiscuous copulation. Islam is an ideology concerned centrally with the subjugation of women. It hangs homosexuals; massacres blacks in Africa even if they’re Muslims; tortures prisoners; and has issued no fatwa against the fat. Its only aim for the planet is to put it under a caliphate. It punishes non-virgin brides and stones adulterers to death.
If the alliance is victorious and overcomes liberty, which of the allies will have its way?
What if they win? Some of them want to create a (Sunni or Shi’ite) caliphate, others want Castro- or Kim-style communist dictatorships. …
For the present, Islam is pre-occupied with internecine wars.
War is foggy, and alliances are often very unstable, especially at moments when the whole world is up for grabs. Look at Egypt, for example. At one level, it’s a sectarian fight: the “secular” military vs. the “Islamist” Muslim Brotherhood. So nobody should be surprised when the Brothers burn churches and murder Christians. But the top military dog, General Sisi, has some pretty impressive Islamist credentials. Indeed, his elevation at the time of the Brothers’ purge of Mubarak’s generals was frequently attributed to his close ties to the Brotherhood.
I don’t think anyone nowadays would call him a friend of the Brothers. So what happened? Did he go secular all of a sudden? Was his “Islamism” a trick from the get-go? Or is “Islamism” less monolithic than some suppose? A Saudi of my acquaintance showed up in Cairo a few days ago with a bunch of checks, some currently cashable, others postdated over the next twelve months, all hand-delivered to Sisi and his guys. Their advice to the Egyptian military is to mercilessly crush the Brothers, and their advice will likely be adopted, both because the junta knows that death awaits them if they lose (2 Egyptian major generals and 2 brigadier generals, along with many colonels, have been assassinated by the Brothers in the current spasm), and because only the Saudis can foot the huge bill facing Egypt just to provide the basics for the people. Most of whom, to the evident surprise of Western leaders and journalists, seem inclined to support the junta. (Neighborhood militias have taken on the Brothers throughout the country, for example).
So we’ve got an indubitably Islamist regime – the Saudi Wahhabis – supporting a military junta whose leader is famously Islamist against the infamously Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Yes, they may well all yearn for the destruction of the infidel West (although the junta impiously pockets our dollars), but for the moment the struggle for power trumps the power of the faith.
In Egypt the internecine war is not even between Sunnis and Shiites, but between Sunnis and Sunnis. (Christian casualties are collateral damage.)
Notice that this bloody confrontation [in Egypt] has nothing to do with the celebrated Sunni-Shi’ite war that is so often invoked to “explain” current events. It’s all happening within Sunni Egypt (although the Shi’ite Iranians are certainly meddling – surprise! – on behalf of the very Sunni Brothers). And there are plenty of “foreign fighters”, just as there were in Iraq, just as there are in Afghanistan: in the last 8 days, according to usually reliable sources in Cairo, 253 Uzbeks, 21 Yemenis, 40 Afghans and 11 Turkmens have been arrested, along with 126 Hamas operatives, who bring weapons and train pro-Brotherhood Egyptians. …
Maybe the Middle East is now the scene of a war between Islamists and ex-Islamists, or between pious Muslims and not-so-pious ones, or even between Muslims and ex-Muslims. In this context, we should ban the use of the word “moderate” along with “stability”…
We’re all for that.
Move on to Syria.
You’ve got Bashar Assad on top in a neighborhood of Damascus, supported by Iran and Russia, fighting against a variety of insurgents including al-Qaeda units, Salafists, former members of Assad’s military, and the usual mob of adventurous souls, including Americans and Europeans, who believe they are waging jihad in the name of Allah.
Assad is actually a figurehead; the real capital of Syria is in an office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. A leader of the Syrian opposition made this clear, saying that Hezbollah and Iran were the real powers in Syria, and there’s plenty of evidence for his assertion, including dead Hezbollahis and Quds Forcers.
So al-Qaeda’s fighting Iran in Syria, right? That fits nicely into the Sunni vs. Shi’ite meme … But wait: our very own Treasury Department, which is as good as we’ve got when it comes to deciphering the crazy quilt network of global terrorism, told us in no uncertain terms a couple of years ago that there was a secret deal between AQ and the mullahs. Moreover, the tidal wave of terrorism that has crashed on Iraq is universally termed a resurgence of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has been Iranian-sponsored since Day One . … [So there is] an Iranian (Shi’ite)-sponsored (Sunni) al-Qaeda assault against (Shi’ite) Iraq, and right next door an Iranian-assisted (Sunni) al-Qaeda, alongside other (mostly Sunni) foreign and domestic fighters against a (kinda Shi’ite) regime under the control of (totally Shi’ite) Tehran. …
Let’s get outside these little boxes and look at the big board.
There’s an alliance plotting against us, bound together by two radical views of the world that share a profound, fundamental hatred of us. If they win, it’s hell to pay, because then we will be attacked directly and often, and we will be faced with only two options, winning or losing.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that they’re divided, and slaughtering each other. And it’s not always possible for us to sort out what “each other” even means. But one thing is quite clear, and I know it’s an unpopular idea, but it’s a true fact: they’re not an awesome force.
That is true. And because they are not militarily a match for the US, Michael Ledeen thinks they will fail.
The radical left has failed everywhere, and so have the radical Islamists. Both claim to have history (and/or the Almighty) on their side, but they go right on failing. The left is now pretty much in the garbage bin of history (you can hire Gorbachev for your next annual meeting if you can afford his speaking fee), and the “Muslim world” – sorry to be so blunt – is a fossilized remnant of a failed civilization. Look at the shambles in Iran, look at the colossal mess the Brothers unleashed on a once-great nation.
So we’ve got opportunities, lots of them. We’ve already passed up many: failing to support the Iranian people against the evil regime that is the central source of terror against us and our would-be friends, failing to support Mubarak against the Brothers, failing to quickly support the opposition to Assad at the outset, before the enterprise got buried under a heap of jihadi manure, and so forth. OK, we’re human, we’re led, if that’s the right verb, very badly, by ideologues who think we [Americans] are the root cause of most of the world’s problems. Which is the same thing our enemies believe …
Just think of the consequences of a free Iran: the fall of the Syrian regime, a devastating blow to Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guards, Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Bad news for the Brothers. A kick in the solar plexus of the nasty lefties in South America…
Think globally. Act as if you understood it. On our side, confound it.
Excellent advice. But omitted from the reckoning is the “stealth jihad”. Islam’s advance by immigration, taking over regions within Western countries, imposing sharia wherever they can, infiltrating governments, disseminating their propaganda surreptitiously through the public schools with false accounts of Islam and its history in prescribed books.
And is the left “in the garbage can of history”? Our view is that the USSR was defeated in the Cold War, but Communism was not. It is crowing its triumph in almost every Western university. It’s purring in the public schools. It colors many a ruling from a judge’s bench. It holds the mass media in thrall. It beats its dreary drum and sounds its infuriating trumpet in the United Nations. And it has a protégé of its acolyte Frank Marshall Davis, a member of its New Party, a disciple of its prophet Saul Alinsky presiding over the United States.
Which side, so far, is winning?
Whenever uncomfortable truths about Barack Obama arise, he always seems to know nothing about anything related to the matter in question. He didn’t know what happened when a video was blamed for the 9/11 attacks in Benghazi, he learned about the IRS scandal from the media, and he has appointed Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Eric Holder over the reporting scandals.
So he probably knows nothing whatsoever about the favorable treatment received by the Barack H. Obama Foundation (BHOF) of which Malik Obama is the head.
In May of 2011, BHOF received incredibly expeditious (and retroactive) tax-exempt status from the IRS in general, Lois Lerner in particular. Lerner’s signature is at the bottom of BHOF’s approval letter.
We quote Walid Shoebat, former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, now a most useful source of information on the jihad. He posts this report at his website:
It has been learned that the relationship between President Barack Obama’s half-brother Malik Obama and Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir is much closer than previously thought. Malik is the Executive Secretary of the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO) as reported by all major Saudi press, including Okaz.
How significant is this?
Very significant. The IDO has been created by the Sudanese Government, which is considered by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist state.
This places Malik Obama in bed with terrorists and working as an official with a terrorist state.
[President] Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on seven counts relating to crimes against humanity. As such, Bashir is the head of a country that the U.S. State Department has identified as a State Sponsor of terrorism, a designation issued in 1993.
In 2010, Malik Obama attended the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO) conference in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. One of the objectives of the IDO is to spread Wahhabist Islam across the African continent. Bashir wasn’t just present at the conference; he supervised it. In this photo, from the Barack H. Obama Foundation (BHOF) website, headed by Malik, Bashir can be seen dressed in black, to the right. Another man to take notice of is seated directly to the right of Bashir; his name is Suar Al Dahab (more on him later):
Omar Al-Bashir with Suar Al Dahab. The banner in the background, when translated, says the following: 23rd Conference Islamic Da’wa Organization Under the Supervision of Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir – Organization Supervisor
President Obama’s half-brother Malik addressing the conference
So, what is the significance of Malik’s schmoozing with Al Dahab? … Take a look at who [else] Al Dahab schmoozes with – the Prime Minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh and the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.
Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and IDO Chairman Suar Al Dahab in Gaza in May of 2013
Of course, there will be naysayers who will accuse us of attributing blame to Barack for the sins of his half-brother Malik. Those who make such charges encounter problems because Barack and his brother are very close. Each was the best man at the other’s wedding and Malik has made multiple visits to the White House.
Malik and Barack Obama at the White House
Malik is the fourth Obama family member in Kenya who is now implicated in the spread (Da’wa) of Wahhabist Islam.
The three others are Step-Grandmother Sarah, Uncle Sayid, and Cousin Musa, who in 2011 told Al-Jazeera that the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation (MSOF) deceptively diverts its contributions toward scholarships for Kenyan students to attend the most virulent of Wahhabist schools… in Saudi Arabia.
The MSOF claims to exist in order to provide homes for widows, orphans, and AIDS victims. No such homes have yet been found. But there is a Barack H. Obama Recreation and Rest Center in Kenya, which houses Malik’s 12 wives in a facility that includes a restaurant and a mosque with a madrassa.
On December 10, “Human Rights Day”, the International Humanist and Ethical Union published Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Nonreligious, edited by Matt Cherry.
These quotations were selected by Hermant Mehta at the Friendly Atheist:
“This report shows that atheists, humanists and other nonreligious people are discriminated against by governments across the world. There are laws that deny atheists’ right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry, obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents.”
In Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan atheism is a capital crime. Most executions for the crime of atheism are carried out in Pakistan.
“In a range of other countries — such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan — publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are totally banned or strictly limited under laws prohibiting ‘blasphemy’.
“In many of these countries, and others like Malaysia, citizens have to register as adherents of a small number officially-recognized religions — which normally include no more than Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.”
“Speaking of blasphemy,” Hermant Mehta writes, “the report includes a section on the sharp rise of blasphemy charges on social media …” :
“The trend of prosecuting ‘blasphemies’ shared through social media is most marked in Muslim-majority countries. For example, in addition to the tragic, but all too familiar, wave of blasphemy prosecutions in Pakistan, this year saw prosecutions for allegedly atheist comments on Facebook and Twitter in Bangladesh, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey. In some of these cases, the governments even threatened to prosecute those who commented on, or ‘liked’, or re-tweeted, the offending comments. In May, the Pakistan government went so far as to block all access to Twitter in the country because of objections to ‘blasphemous’ content’. …
“When 21st century technology collides with medieval blasphemy laws, it seems to be atheists who are getting hurt, as more of them go to prison for sharing their personal beliefs via social media… Across the world the reactionary impulse to punish new ideas, or in some cases the merest expression of disbelief, recurs again and again. We even have a case in Tunisia of a journalist arrested for daring to criticize a proposed blasphemy law!”
Max Fisher at the Washington Post provides this map of the countries where atheists are executed, imprisoned or discriminated against by law.
In his comments, Max Fisher points out that -
Restrictions against “religious incitement” … are common in much of the world, including in atheist-friendly Western Europe.
Such laws are applied in many European countries to the critical examination of Islam. And if the Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) – which includes a delegate or “special envoy” from the US, Obama appointee Rashad Hussain – has its way, criticism of Islam will be a punishable offense all over this Islam-diseased world. The Obama administration supported a UN resolution against “defamation of religion” in December 2011.
… not a little video made by a Coptic Christian in America.
This is from the Examiner:
Islamic militants affiliated with al-Qaeda are leaving clues behind at U.S. diplomatic missions that demonstrations are being orchestrated directly by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, with some social networking assistance and logistics, with campaign resources, suggesting ties to Iran.
Militant message boards started lighting up on Sunday with specific instructions regarding recruiting, communication between mosques and followers in primarily Islamic communities, and organization for protests, following the release of a video by al-Zawahiri …
Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of al-Qaeda, is the brother of Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian imam who had the video shown again and again, and called for its insults to the Prophet Muhammad to be avenged on Americans.
What Ayman al-Zawahiri really wanted to avenge were the killings of two al-Qaeda leaders, Abu Yahya al-Libi and Atiyah Abd al-Rahman.
Al-Libi was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on June 4, while al-Rahman is believed to have been killed in a drone attack in North Waziristan on August the 22nd. Al-Rahman relayed Osama bin Laden’s messages, and served as al-Qaeda’s representative in Iran. He became the operational directorof al-Qaeda following the death of Osama bin Laden. Most considered al-Rahman’s death to be a significant loss to al-Qaeda, creating a leadership crisis.
Ayman al-Zawahiri gave the orders. Others carried them out:
In Egypt, the protest was organized by Wesam Abdel-Wareth, a Salafist leader and president of Egypt’s Hekma television channel, who called for a gathering on September 11 at 5 p.m. in front of the United States Embassy, to protest against a film that he thought was named “Muhammad’s Trial” [actually, a scrappy crappy "trailer" made of short video clips titled Innocence of Muslims].
State-backed Islamic scholars in Sudan called for a mass protest after Friday prayers over a film [the same one] denigrating the Prophet Mohammed that originated in the United States, and an Islamist group threatened to attack the US embassy.
That the demonstrations are not spontaneous but organized is indicated by the fact that they all follow common patterns:
Crowds are chanting common slogans – The three most common chants heard have been “death to Obama”, “death to America”, “death to Israel”, and “death to Jews”.
Also: “Obama! Obama! We are all Osama!”
Cameras are present – Cameras have been in abundance at all disturbances.
U.S. flags are burned in every demonstration.
When rioters have entered U.S. diplomatic compounds, the U.S. flag has been taken down [and] the black flag of al-Qaeda, also known as the battle standard of Muhammad, has been displayed and flown above U.S. diplomatic compounds and buildings.
Defensive perimeters are being tested, and witnesses have spoken of drawings and diagrams of compounds being drawn on location.
Several attempts have been made to infiltrate the interior defenses within U.S. diplomatic compounds to reach areas where sensitive intelligence information is stored.
Protesters have been providing visual screening to al-Qaeda operatives moving in and among the large groups. These operatives are actively gathering on-site intelligence about U.S. diplomatic security measures and personnel. …
Foreign service officer Sean Smith observed before his death, “We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.” …
Yet the Obama administration sticks to its absurd story that the video film traveled about the Muslim world, as if by its own volition without anybody deliberately sending it, and inevitably enraged tens of thousands of Muslims everywhere and set them thirsting for American blood. The State Department singing in harmony with the leaders of the mobs!
The video film had nothing to do with the pre-planned attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, where Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans – former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and Sean Smith a computer expert – were murdered.
While the Obama administration appears to be operating in a combined state of chaos and denial, the administration’s position of “we’re not going to talk about this until investigations are complete”, in regards to releasing further details about the attack on the U.S. consulate office in Benghazi, Libya, signals that the Obama administration is closing ranks to prepare for the congressional investigations that are sure to come in the near future. …
Following the attack that left four dead, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, the messages coming from Barack Obama’s cabinet signal a disconnect between President Obama’s statements, and the reality of events on the ground this week, during well coordinated demonstrations in over twenty countries worldwide. …
The White House still shows no signs that it intends to veer from it’s “the film made them do it” response to attacks on U.S. diplomatic installations. There has been no change in the posture at U.S. Africa Command, and the only sign of activity in regards to consular security and intelligence protection at the administration level was President Obama issuing an order to increase security at diplomatic posts worldwide. ..
U.S. intelligence sources continue to downplay the possibility of al-Qaeda involvement in Libya.
[But] the head of Libya’s newly elected Congress, Mohamed Al-Magarief, pointed at al-Qaeda as the prime suspect. Mr. Magarief didn’t say how far in advance the attack had been planned. He said, however, that he believes the militants went to the consulate with violence in mind. “I think this was al-Qaeda,” Mr. Magarief said in the interview. “If you take into account the weapons used, like RPGs and other heavy weapons, it proves that it was preplanned. It’s a dirty act of revenge that has nothing to do with religion.” Now U.S. intelligence officials are being forced to consider an al-Qaeda possibility, even if they are not announcing that they are, due to mounting evidence of intelligence in the system, at the time of the attack, that was not acted upon by the White House. …
A Washington Post report stated that a senior U.S. intelligence official did acknowledge there were indications of al-Qaeda involvement in the attack, but none were “significant”. [!] The report stated that armed militants began moving into Benghazi one hour before the attack, and that none of them carried signs or shouted slogans during their time outside the compound walls. As many as 50 heavily armed men, carrying AK-47′s, rocket propelled grenades, and mortars were spotted before the attack commenced. The shooting began soon after militants had organized themselves.
There was no protest by Libyan citizens going on outside the Benghazi consulate. All was quiet until the terrorists converged on it.
This is from the Star-Telegram:
A Libyan security guard who said he was outside the U.S. Consulate when it was attacked Tuesday night has provided new evidence that the assault that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was a planned attack by armed Islamists and not the result of anger over an online video that mocks Islam and its founder, Muhammad.
The guard was interviewed Thursday in the hospital where he is being treated for five shrapnel wounds in one leg and two bullet wounds in the other.
He said that the consulate area was quiet — “there wasn’t a single ant outside” — until about 9:35 p.m., when up to 125 armed men descended on the compound from all directions.
The men lobbed grenades into the compound, wounding the guard and knocking him to the ground, then stormed through the main gate, shouting “God is great” and moving to one of the many villas that make up the complex. …
“Wouldn’t you expect if there were protesters outside that the Americans would leave?” the guard said.
This is from CNN:
Three days before the deadly assault on the United States consulate in Libya, a local security official says he met with American diplomats in the city and warned them about deteriorating security.
His warning was apparently ignored.
The attack came. The building was set on fire. The ambassador may have been trapped.
The main building in the compound is in charred ruins. … The suite where the body of the ambassador was found was protected by a large door with steel bars; the windows had steel bars.
His body was recovered after looters broke into the room. It appears his security detail left him in the room while they tried to deal with the attack.
All that may be true. But CNN then falsely reports -
There are numerous questions about what happened at the consulate where protesters had gathered to demonstrate against the film Innocence of Muslims, which reportedly was made in California …
As the guard attested, there was no protest. No one says they saw the film.
But here (in a video clip from PowerLine) is Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, contradicting President Mohamed al-Magarief of Libya who asserts that the attack was planned, and telling the official Obama lie:
More US embassies were attacked today by Muslim mobs.
Muslim leaders deliberately stoked up the flames of riot on 9/11 and again today. They needed a pretext and by a stroke of luck they found one in a movie. It was sent as a gift to the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, through the Egyptian media, by a brainless American member of the minority it is persecuting, Coptic Christians. (Will not the Copts in Egypt pay dearly for it?) Others of the group made the film – and maliciously alleged that it was made by Jews.
This is from (Glenn Beck’s) The Blaze:
Protests in the Middle East that are being blamed on an anti-Islamic and anti-Muhammad film continue to rage. And as details unfold about the shadowy figures behind the film, the plot thickens. This morning, The Blaze provided more details about Steve Klein, a man who served as a spokesman for the film. And last night, we learned more about Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker involved who has a criminal past.
Now, information is coming out about the man who is said to have intentionally translated and sent the video to Egyptian media, thus allegedly sparking a portion of the outrage. Since the initial violent reaction to the video emerged on September 11, many have wondered how the film came to the attention of Middle Eastern media and citizens, alike.
Religion News Service (RNS) is reporting that Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, translated the movie into Arabic and sent it to Egyptian journalists. He also allegedly promoted it on his web site and through social media, the outlet reports. RNS has more about his background:
Morris Sadek describes himself as a human rights attorney and president of a small group called the National American Coptic Assembly, based in Chantilly, Va. Sadek says on his website that he is a member of the Egyptian and District of Columbia bar associations who has “defended major human rights cases” …
But fellow Copts depict Sadek as a fringe figure and publicity hound whose Islamophobic invectives disrupt Copts’ quest for equal rights in Egypt.
The film is very badly made and acted, but at least it denigrates Islam. And neither its quality nor intention are important. Everyone in America is free to make a good or bad film with any intention whatsoever. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula the film-maker, Steve Klein the “spokesman for the film”, and Morris Sadek who translated the dialogue into Arabic and sent the thing to Egyptian journalists are very small fry indeed in the drama of chaos and destruction that is unfolding.
It is the use of the film by Islamic leaders to arouse Muslim mobs to riot, burn, wreck, assault and murder that is evil. Those leaders are guilty of the havoc, the fire and the spilt blood, but they could only do what they’re doing because the present American leadership prepared the way for them.
The events that are shaking the pillars of the world would have happened anyway, because Obama and his administration have over and over again by actions and by words, from his first speech abroad as president in Cairo in 2009 to Hillary Clinton’s speech yesterday, impressed on Muslims the world over that they have been injured by America. And this despite the fact that Islam initiated war on America and is relentlessly pursuing it.
There could be no stronger reason to impeach and severely punish a president of the United States. It almost certainly won’t happen, but it should.
… of Christians now, the cause for which they must suffer martydom, is – Political Correctness.
This is from American Thinker, by Bill Warner:
If you are even slightly awake about the world news today, it is no surprise that Christians are being killed, raped, and brutalized throughout the Islamic world. However, there is a place where you can go to escape the dreadful and relentless details of Christian annihilation by Islam. You can go to church.
Never mind the details; for the most part, Christians in the First World won’t mention the persecution and massacre of Christians in the Third World at all. In our experience, if they ever raise the subject it is to revel mawkishly in the patient endurance of their martyrs, never to accuse the persecutors and killers, never to pour out righteous anger against them. That’s the Christian way. “Resist not evil’” commanded the authors of the “Sermon on the Mount”. But we say, not to resist evil is to permit it; to permit it is to connive at it; and to connive at it is to co-author it. Christians cannot see that. Their indignation is reserved for their own heretics – and the Jews, of course. In fact, they manage to find ingenious ways of blaming Jews for the Muslim persecution of Christians when they’re absolutely forced to admit that it’s happening. But at present they’re obstinately ignoring it. (See our post, Speaking of persecution: Christians as victims and victimizers, July 28, 2012.)
For example, Christians were killed this week in Nigeria. Nothing out of the ordinary – indeed, in the world of Christian persecution, this is routine.
And so the response found in nearly every church to the murder of Christians is…wait for it…complete silence. Not a mention or reference to it, or to the brutality against Christians that happens almost every day in the Islamic world.
This is not a passive silence, because if you try to change it, you will fail. The silence is an active, working conspiracy that goes throughout nearly all of Christendom.
Take a simple example: prayer for the persecuted. From a Christian perspective, this falls under the heading of obvious. Try taking the idea of prayer for the routinely murdered Christians in Nigeria or Egypt to ministers, boards, and any part of the structure of the church, and see how far you will get. You will get rejection with a myriad of lame and evasive excuses, since the people in power fear to recognize the suffering of Christians around the world.
If you acknowledge the suffering, you might wind up asking the question: why are these Christians suffering? Ah, there is the rub. The suffering is caused by Muslim jihadists who are following the Islamic doctrine of jihad against the Christian as found in Koran, Sira, and Hadith. Islam is the cause of suffering of Christians, as well as of Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists.
But stop! We cannot say those things! Facts are the new hate speech, so we cannot speak about the jihad against Christians. Therefore, we get no prayers for the persecuted, because it would lead to talk about why the murder of Christians keeps happening. And that truth would lead to being called an Islamophobe, so we are not going there. Result: silence. …
Absurd as it is to believe that prayer – ie. talking to nothing – will have any effect, the point is they do believe it; so their withholding prayer means that they observe political correctness more conscientiously than their religion. Political Correctness is now their highest cause.
In reality we all have pulpits. Are we using the suffering of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, women, gays, and intellectuals caused by Islam as a topic of conversation with those around us? Who is comfortable with bringing up anything negative about Islam? To tell those facts about Islam is a social crime, and you will be accused of being a hater/Islamophobe. So most of us remain silent about the evils of political Islam, and we are just like the ministers – silent in our own pulpits. Christians and non-Christians share the fear of being insulted as bigots and Islamophobes.
We don’t understand why. The “Islamophobe” label should be worn as a badge of honor.
It turns out that all of those who oppose any social evil will be hated. Think about it. It takes a massive amount of power to put into place any societal doctrine, such as multiculturalism and political correctness. The government, universities, many churches, synagogues, and the media have become enforcers of multiculturalism and political correctness. They are very powerful and believe that their dogma rules all peoples.
They are also full-throated apologists for Islam. Now it turns out that their actual knowledge about the doctrine and history of political Islam is close to zero and Muslim Brotherhood-approved, but that is no problem. The Establishment just says that those who find fault with Islam are bigots and that they hate us.
The silence of the pulpits is the greatest aider and abettor of Islam in the U.S. No one serves and advances Islam better than the silent ministers. They have abandoned their duty of courage in the face of persecution, but the rest of the flock still looks for moral leadership from them. Islam triumphs when Christian leaders do not condemn the murderous evil of political Islam.
Even worse than the silent ministers are those who go to “interfaith dialogs” and smile while the Muslims assert religious and political dominance over them. The nice, oh so nice Christians and Jews show up to tie, while the Muslims are there to win, and they do.
Oh yes. The Muslims are winning. Every time a new mosque is built in the West, they win. Every time an employer agrees to let them have time off to pray, they win. Every time a Muslim woman is allowed to keep on her hijab by an organization that allows no variance of uniform to any other member, they win. And so on.
The pulpits must become a source of courage and knowledge and stand up for Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and all others who suffer under Islam’s persecution today and who have suffered for the last 1,400 years.
It isn’t just about religion; it is about the survival of our civilization.
Religion itself is the disease that makes Western civilization vulnerable. But we agree that the cowardice of the churches faced with the rise of Islam is despicable.
The UN must be destroyed because (to put it very mildly, coolly, and objectively):
- It does no good to anyone
- It does much harm to many
- It is unreformable
- It was a colossal mistake of wishful thinking from its beginning
- It is kept going only because it is a gravy train for its bureaucrats and diplomats at enormous expense to tax-payers, especially Americans
A documentary film made recently by Ami Horowitz and Matt Groff, UN Me, exposes the worst incidences of its uselessness and corruption, violent and cruel actions, and refusals to do what it purportedly came into existence to do.
The following extracts are from an excellent article on the film by Bruce Bawer at Front Page. (It is well worth reading in full.)
UN Me begins by according us a few brief glimpses of the sheer sloth that characterizes the whole shebang. Old UN hands describe the short working days, long lunches, and frequent midday naps that characterize the everyday life of many of its functionaries. Wandering the halls of UN headquarters in New York shortly after 5 PM on a weekday, Horowitz … encounters a virtual ghost town: almost everybody has long since cleared out for the day. This institutional torpor is, he makes clear, emblematic of the whole worldwide enterprise. …
Horowitz reminds us that countries like Libya, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and China have sat on the UN Human Rights Commission – and, later, on the Human Rights Council that was meant to be an improvement on that comically corrupt agency.
In 2010, Iran was elected to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
At one point in the film, Horowitz asks Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and director of the UN’s 2009 anti-racism conference in Geneva, why Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of all people, was named keynote speaker at that event. That question, she replies in a small voice, is “not for me to answer.” (No, you don’t get far at the UN by providing honest answers to reasonable questions like that one.)
Horowitz informs us that Article 6 of the UN Charter actually “calls for the expulsion of any nation that consistently violates the principles of the charter.” Yet no member country has ever been expelled under Article 6. Shashi Tharoor, UN information chief, cheerfully explains that it’s best to have everybody “under the same tent.” …
The film covers some of the more egregious scandals involving UN peacekeeping … anecdotes about peacekeepers in various countries who, in their interactions with the people they were there to protect, acted like thugs, got rich trafficking drugs, spent their time whoring, and sexually abused minors. Peacekeepers in the Congo committed literally thousands of rapes. At least one ran a pedophilia ring.
We’re shown video of UN bureaucrats solemnly vowing that errant peacekeepers will be caught and punished. But in fact almost no UN peacekeeper has ever been held accountable for anything.
In Côte d’Ivoire, peacekeepers actually fired on peaceful, unarmed protestors.
They were standing together, men women and children, singing happily when UN sharp shooters fired on them. One of the few times the “peacekeepers” have actually used their arms.
But was anyone punished? No; that’s just not the UN way. When Horowitz, in a sit-down interview with Abou Moussa, head of the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire, asks about the episode, Moussa gets up and leaves.
The film moves on to the absurdity that is the International Atomic Energy Agency – which, tasked with preventing nuclear-arms proliferation, has actually helped North Korea, Iran, India, and Pakistan to acquire nuclear technology, purportedly for peaceful purposes. Since, as the film notes, the IAEA can only perform inspections in countries that invite it to do so, it spends more than 80% of its $380 million annual budget inspecting facilities in – believe it or not – Germany, Japan, and Canada. …
Iran carries on towards making nuclear weapons. The UN and its agencies can do nothing about it, nor would if they could. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad is one of the most honored, ecstatically applauded gasbags in the UN General Assembly, he who has homosexuals hanged and women stoned to death. Ahmadinejad is the perfect personification of the spirit of the United Nations Organization.
Then there’s terrorism. After 9/11, the UN passed Resolution 1373, which was supposedly designed to fight terrorism. It would appear to be as toothless a measure as was ever ratified by a deliberative body. Horowitz interviews Javier Ruperez, whose title is – get this – Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council. Asked what the committee actually does to fight terrorism, Ruperez speaks blandly of the production of reports. Member countries, you see, are asked to file reports indicating whether or not they’re aiding terrorists. The directorate, or committee, or whatever it is also sends inspectors for, oh, a week or so to various countries to find out whether anything fishy is going on there. None of this, of course, actually accomplishes anything. Asked whether the UN has official lists of terrorist groups and of countries that support terror, Ruperez says no: “This is not the practice of the UN.” …
Another question: how does the UN define terrorism? This, Ruperez declares, is still a “pending matter.” …
The UN will not define terrorism because the General Assembly is dominated by terrorism-sponsoring states.
Next up: the Oil for Food scandal – which, as Claudia Rosett, the top-notch UN expert and eloquent UN critic, tells Horowitz, was absolutely “designed to produce corruption.” Allegedly, the objective of the program was to provide food, medical supplies, and so forth to the Iraqi people in exchange for oil; in reality, a bunch of UN big shots, up to and including Security Council representatives … lined their pockets with kickbacks. But, again, the UN did nothing – it was, as Rosett says, “the biggest scam in the history of human relief,” but nobody was fired or jailed. As always, the UN proved that nothing could be more alien to its institutional culture than the idea of accountability.
The Rwanda genocide gets its own sad chapter in UN Me. The head of the UN peacekeepers in that country, General Romeo Dallaire, actually wanted to do the right thing. But when he asked Kofi Annan, then in charge of all UN peacekeeping forces, for authority to take relatively modest action to prevent a looming genocide, Annan said no. Why? Because it was more important to protect the UN’s “image of impartiality” than to protect people from genocide. UN forces were even ordered to withdraw from a school where they were the only thing standing between Tutsi refugees – many of them children and old people – and Hutus with machetes. Result: a brutal massacre for which – yet again – no UN personnel were punished.
Live footage of what happened there is one of the most heart-rending scenes in the film.
While this nightmare was unfolding in Rwanda, Boutros-Boutros Ghali, then secretary-general of the UN, was on a European tour, which he refused to cancel in order to deal with Rwanda.
He had urgently to attend a string of universities bestowing honorary degrees on him for being such a benefactor of mankind.
When he did return to New York, he denied that Tutsi were being exterminated. … Horowitz and Groff even got Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, on camera smoothly asserting that in the wake of the Rwanda genocide, it’s best not to “allocate the blame to one actor or the other.”
Horowitz also interviews Jody Williams, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was invited by the UN to examine the situation in Darfur and who ended up livid at the UN’s palpable discomfort with her undiplomatic conclusions and its failure to act on her urgent recommendations. …
At film’s end, Horowitz and Graff pose a simple question: what, given all these unpleasant facts, does the UN stand for? The answer, alas, is clear. It stands for itself – period. Like many other pointless bureaucracies, it is about perpetuating its own existence and enhancing its own image – and about seeking to squelch the truth about its fecklessness, incompetence, and absolute lack of a moral compass. It’s also … about providing hack politicians from around the world with yet another career steppingstone, once they’ve risen to the top of the ladder in their own crummy little countries and finished emptying their own citizens’ pockets.
Please watch the film!