Friday, May 06, 2011

6-May-11: There's more to learn about terrorism via Bin Laden's personal example than most realize

When the Palestinian-Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh addresses the subject of terrorism and the terrorists, readers can generally be assured of common sense insights that they will find elsewhere only rarely.

So much nonsense and double-talk about terrorism has been purveyed by journalists, analysts and politicians, that insight is about the last thing a rational consumer of news and analysis can expect to find.

Abu Toameh published an article called 'Muslim Terror Leaders Send Anyone But Their Own Family Members To Murder "Infidels"' earlier today. Here's how it starts:
Those who say they were surprised that Osama bin Laden had been leading a relatively comfortable life in his mansion in an affluent suburb in Pakistan obviously don't know anything about the leaders of Islamic terror groups. The fact that bin Laden was surrounded by women and children also should not come as a surprise to anyone -- nor should the reports that his men and he used some of the women as "human shields" during the US military raid on his compound..
In this regard, bin Laden was doing what many other Muslim terror operatives used to do in Afghanistan, Iraq and the West Bank and Gaza Strip: These operatives are good at sending anyone but their own family members to murder "infidels," "apostates" and any Arab or Muslim who dares to stand up to them. Bin Laden chose to live a good life surrounded by women, children and couriers who provided him with everything he needed. Like the rest of the terror leaders, bin Laden never sent any of his sons on jihad missions. He always made sure that his wives and sons and daughters stayed safe and happy.
Abu Toameh's general observations are especially true of the Palestinian Arab leadership, and in particular that part of which has driven the terror war against Jews and Israel for the last several generations.

Near the end of the piece he writes:
"This is the nature of the coward Muslim terror leaders; they do not hesitate to hide behind women and children and often choose to live in mansions instead of joining their men in the caves and mountains."
Please read Abu Toameh's entire article. It will take you no more than two minutes.

The people he describes here truly are cowards. So too are the analysts and commentators who, far from the danger and threat, relentlessly rip into Israelis who are conducting an existential war of self-defence against an enemy who see pizza restaurants, school yards and buses as their battlefield.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

3-May-11: In a world where you are either for terrorism or against it, Fatah decides

The caption from this 2006 USA Today photo says it depicts members (members?!)
of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades supporting Mahmoud Abbas in Nablus.
When Abbas' gunmen say they are broken up over the death of Osama Bin Laden,
they ought to be believed. And we ought to understand what that tells us
about Fatah and Abbas. 
Mahmoud Abbas, in addition to being the head of the Palestinian Authority, serves as chairman of the organization called Fatah, the largest of the numerous factions making up the PLO. Fatah's military branch is the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. Yesterday the Brigades published a statement responding to the untimely demise of the arch-terrorist and mass murderer Osama bin Laden. His death, they say, was a "catastrophe", no less. His killers, the anti-terror forces of the US military, are "gangs of heretics."

For an ostensibly secular group, as distinct from the fanatically Islamist Hamas with whom they signed a co-operation agreement this morning, it's an interesting turn of phrase.

Palestinian Media Watch today quotes the Brigades unit of Fatah saying its "Jihad fighters will not be deterred in their path". The announcement ends with this less-than-secular vow:
"We say to the American and Israeli occupier: the [Islamic] nation which produced leaders who changed the course of history through their Jihad... is capable of restoring the glory of Islam and the flag of Allah's oneness, Allah willing."
Hamas, a fully-paid-up member of the forces of Jihadist terror, is of course heart-broken at the death in Pakistan. The Guardian today quotes the Gazan jihadists praising Osama bin Laden as an "Arab holy warrior" and condemns his killing by American forces in Pakistan. Presumably editorializing more out of hope than expectation, The Guardian adds:
The comments expose a clear gap between Hamas and their Palestinian counterparts, Fatah, with whom they are due to sign a reconciliation pact this week in Cairo.
That pact, as we noted, is now reality. But a clear gap? Not so much.

3-May-11: Fatah and Hamas are now officially in the same bed

Yes, we know they're praying. But what are they praying for?
AFP is reporting in the past hour that
"Palestinian factions gathered in Cairo on Tuesday signed a reconciliation deal that will pave the way for elections within a year... Representatives of 13 factions, including Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party and its rival Hamas, as well as independent political figures inked the deal following talks with Egyptian officials... "We have discussed all the reservations. Everyone has agreed to take these points into consideration," [a participating politician] told Egyptian state television without elaborating. "Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank will be celebrating this agreement... We must now work to implement what was agreed in the deal," he said. Among the first tasks to be tackled is the formation of a government and the establishment of a higher security council tasked with examining ways to integrate Hamas and Fatah's rival security forces and create a "professional" security service. The accord also calls for the creation of an electoral tribunal and for the release of a number prisoners held by the rival movements in jails in the West Bank and Gaza." laid out a timely reminder a week ago of some of the unanswered questions that bedevil this highly problematic unholy alliance.
  • Does this mean Hamas is pragmatic about peace? Hamas still wants to destroy Israel. It has always defied calls to renounce violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and honor past negotiating agreements. The Hamas charter remains unchanged.
  • Has ruling Gaza moderated Hamas? Quite the opposite. Hamas is emboldened, imposing Islamic law,  smuggling sophisticated weapons, and watching the Muslim Brotherhood’s gains in Egypt. No goodwill gestures for Gilad Shalit from a new and improved PA are on the horizon. Need we go on?
  • Will Palestinian unity pave the way for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood? It remains to be seen how durable this unity will really be. The two sides will bury their squabbles till September, but all bets are off afterwards. Remember, Hamas and Fatah already reconciled in 2007, only to see Hamas take over Gaza as Fatah supporters were literally thrown off the rooftops. And both sides have other calculations. Fatah lost its biggest patron, Hosni Mubarak, while Hamas faces losing Bashar Assad. Now, they need each other, for better or for worse.
  • Is Abbas displaying statesmanship? Salam Fayyad’s state-building efforts were the PA’s main source of credibility in the West. The closer we get to September, the more the PA needs to tout Fayyad’s program. Instead, Abbas is throwing Fayyadism under the bus. That’s stupidity, not statesmanship.
  • Must/does Israel prove its willingness to make peace by negotiating with a unified Palestinian government? What’s to negotiate when the other side wants to destroy you?

3-May-11: Sometimes it's important to know where your neighbours stand on an issue

From the Ynet site:
Dozens of Silwan [a neighborhood of East Jerusalem] residents rallied in east Jerusalem [last night] to support Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US Special Forces in Pakistan. A few protesters cast stones at police forces. 
Silwan, Monday 2nd May 2011

Monday, May 02, 2011

2-May-11: A Holocaust remembrance day message to remember

The site of the central Jerusalem massacre
at the Sbarro restaurant, 9th August 2001
“As a country we will never tolerate our security being threatened nor stand idly by when our people have been killed... We will be relentless in defence of our citizens and our friends and allies... We will be true to the values that make us who we are."

 - The president of the United States, speaking in the early hours of Yom HaShoah in the White House, this morning.

Jerusalem's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem

2-May-11: A terrorist is eliminated... but not terror

Although, as the LA Times and others are reporting, a CIA-led operation has killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and recovered his body after a tortuous decade-long hunt, terrorism was not halted, defeated or eliminated and will certainly continue. We salute the tenacity of the forces that stayed focused on this specific target and express the prayer that they and others will be tenacious and determined and - above all - successful in the far larger war against the practitioners of terror and their countless allies.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

1-May-11: Eye on the terrorism masters: so where is Ahmedinejad ?

Ahmedinejad delivers his infamous
"Wipe Israel from the map" speech at Tehran's
“The World without Zionism” Conference,
October 26, 2005
According to the BBC, there are signs of an internal power struggle among the ruling terrorists in Teheran. It says powerful Iranian MPs
"have called for a closed debate on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's apparent boycott of his official duties. The president has not been seen at his office for eight days, missing two cabinet meetings and cancelling a visit to the holy city of Qom. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, recently re-instated a cabinet minister he had pushed out. Analysts believe an internal power struggle may be under way."
The timing is interesting. Ahmedinejad's Iran is closely identified with the currently-embattled Bashar Assad regime in Iranian-client Syria. The secretive Syrians are in the news because of the ruthless and increasingly bloody attempts by government forces to put down a popular rebellion. Al Arabiya says that this past Friday, Syrian troops armed with tanks and helicopters killed at least four people (BBC says 6) in and near the famous Omari mosque, located in the Roman-era old town of Deraa. (The LA Times carries a report today quoting a Syrian military source who says Assad's security forces have been ordered to quell the uprising in Deraa "even if this means that the city is to be burned down.") Ynet quotes Syrian sources saying 62 Syrians were killed in protests on Friday alone. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 539 people have been killed since protests against the repressive Assad dynasty began on 15 March.

We all know the killing of worshippers in a mosque would normally make major headlines. But for reasons only a close observation of Middle East media coverage would begin to explain, the grotesqueries of the Syrians have long benefited from benign neglect by the world's media and politicians.

Also little noted, but in reality of huge significance, is that Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Thursday for the first time (quoted in an AP report) that a target in the Syrian desert the Syrians complained was attacked and destroyed by Israeli forces in 2007 was indeed the covert site of a future Syrian nuclear reactor
"countering assertions by Syria that it had no atomic secrets. Previous reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency have suggested that the structure could have been a nuclear reactor. Thursday's comments by IAEA chief were the first time the agency has said so unequivocally..."
AP also notes that
"Syria denies allegations of any covert nuclear activity or interest in developing nuclear arms. Its refusal to allow IAEA inspectors new access to the bombed Al Kibar desert site past a visit three years ago has heightened suspicions that it had something to hide, along with its decision to level the destroyed structure and later build over it... The IAEA is also trying to probe several other sites for possible undeclared nuclear activities linked to the bombed target but Damascus has been uncooperative on most counts, saying that most of the sites are restricted because of their military nature... Israel has never publicly commented on the strike or even acknowledged carrying it out. The U.S. has shared intelligence with the agency that identifies the structure as a nearly completed nuclear reactor that, if finished, would have been able to produce plutonium for the fissile core of nuclear warheads."
The Ahmedinejad regime's own nuclear program is also under IAEA investigation after a long history of Iranian denials, semi-admissions and outright falsehoods. The BBC says:
"Iran hid an enrichment programme for 18 years, so the Security Council says that until Iran's peaceful intentions can be fully established, it should stop enrichment and other nuclear activities... Iran's nuclear facilities remain under IAEA monitoring and the IAEA produces regular reports. However it has reported that Iran is refusing to answers questions about allegations that it has in the past studied how to make a nuclear warhead."
The Undersecretary for Media Affairs at Iran's  Supreme National Security Council (Abolfazl Zohrehvand to his friends) captures Iran's attitude well when quoted by an Iranian source a few days ago saying "the world has accepted Iran as a nuclear state" and that Iran's approach "is based on nuclear transparency".

With so much partial and wrong information out there, there may be individuals somewhere who believe him.