Friday, October 28, 2011

The Limits of Limited War

by Taylor Dinerman

Since 1945, we have lived through a time when, thanks to the Cold War nuclear standoff and US military supremacy, there have not been any all-out wars. This relatively happy time, however, might be coming to an end.

Carl Von Clausewitz, in his classic study, "On War," pointed out that there are conflicts "where a decision [meaning a decisive, total victory] is not the objective." This is a good description of what we now call "Limited War," that is to say, a war of attrition fought with a relatively low level of violence but a high level of politics and propaganda . Limited war is what we are now seeing in various degrees in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Kashmir, the Arab-Israeli conflict and wars in Africa. These limited wars endure because one, or sometimes both, parties to the conflict cannot inflict total defeat on their enemy, but at the same time, cannot bring themselves to make peace. These wars, therefore, go on and on and on at a low level of violence, with no end in sight.

Clausewitz also stated that "the history of war, in every age and country, shows not only that most campaigns are of this [limited] type, but that the majority is so overwhelming as to make all other campaigns seem more like exceptions to the rule." Substitute the word "war" for "campaigns," and one can see that all, or almost all, of the wars being fought today are of the limited kind.

In a limited war, the principal goal of at least one of the forces involved is to preserve itself and its freedom to be able go on fighting. To put it another way, the commander's intention is to maintain an Army "in being." George Washington's main strategy against the British was keeping his Army intact, and thus keeping up long-term pressure on the British to give up and go home.

Today's Taliban and other Islamist groups are keeping their various wars going in the hope that their Western enemies will one day get tired and disappear

What makes 21st century limited wars different from those fought by Europeans and Americans in the 18th century, is that they are now fought using limited means for unlimited ends. For the Islamists, their unlimited end is the destruction of the current Muslim nation states and their replacement by a Islamist Caliphate, and eventually, the global military triumph of their religion. For the West, the unlimited goal is that of a world order based on democracy and human rights.

In the Arab-Israeli conflict, Hamas and the bulk of the Palestinian Arab population have the "unlimited" goal of wiping Israel off the map. The Israeli goal is to survive as a Jewish state inside "secure and recognized borders, " -- a limited strategic objective. This asymmetry between Israel's virtually unlimited military power but limited strategic goals on the one hand, and Arab military weakness but unlimited strategic objectives on the other, is typical of the majority of post-1945 wars.

Soviet imperialist Communism is perfect example of an unlimited Utopian strategic goal in its wish to transform the world into a new, universal communist state. The USSR was prevented from directly achieving this objective by US military, economic and political power. Instead, the militarily weaker Soviet Union turned to supporting dozens of small-scale, anti Western wars around the world, from Vietnam to Central America to Africa to the Palestinians and West Germany. The men in the Kremlin excelled, at least for a while, at using limited violence in pursuit of unlimited ends.

America's limited wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are currently being fought in an unprecedentedly restrained way. The complex US rules of engagement ensure that every bomb, every rocket, every missile and almost every bullet fired is subject to legal review, both before and after combat. America's NATO allies all have placed similar limits on their own use of firepower.

The enemies in these wars, however, may not be supervised by battalions of lawyers the way that American and other Western forces are. They are sometimes restrained, nevertheless, at least theoretically, by their need to avoid antagonizing the local populations they are trying to control. Yet as we have seen in Algeria, Iraq and elsewhere, Jihadis tend to end up attacking the people they are supposedly trying to enlist. In Afghanistan, as Jihadi bombs have killed far more civilians than have members of the Afghan or NATO armed forces, the Islamists sometimes refer to their casualties as "involuntary martyrs."

Since 2001, the Jihadis have failed to carry out any large scale attacks on US soil. There is no indication, however, that they are going to stop trying to replicate the 9/11 attacks, or at least inflict enough damage on the Americans to remind them that they are still at war with Muslim extremists and their allies. In this instance, the Islamists are not limited by any need to conciliate a local Muslim population, but by their lack of capability.

As the ultimate purpose of the Jihadists -- to establish a global Caliphate -- is unlimited, it is likely that eventually, the Jihadis will carry out an attack, or a series of attacks, that will match the size and violence of their ambition. They may be deterred by the fear of US or Western retaliation, but that is not certain. The spectacle of American and allied internal political bickering since 9/11 must certainly have encouraged the Jihadis to imagine that limited, and occasionally clumsy, US and Western responses, are the worst they can expect.

Another major attack on the lines of 9/11 might provoke a response from America or its allies far more violent and unconstrained than anything seen so far. This may in part be caused by budget cuts which reduce the number and accuracy of the West's precision weapons and which will lead to a substantial increase in so-called "collateral damage."

This economic factor, brought on by current US budget cuts, may play a greater role in future conflicts than it did in the recent past. An extremely violent, short -term, relatively unrestrained air campaign, such as the one President William Jefferson Clinton unleashed against Serbia in 1999, is less expensive than a than a long, drawn -out, limited military operation, especially one that requires large numbers of ground troops. Although the 1999 air campaign failed to destroy the enemy's deployed forces in Kosovo, it did wreck large parts of Serbia's civilian infrastructure. It was this destruction that forced the Belgrade government to surrender.

That kind of campaign, with few limits, may be a far better model for future US operations than the one being followed now in Afghanistan and Iraq. It will, however, be bad news for the proponents of the so-called "Humanitarian War." Humanitarian restraint has long been used as a tool against people who are thought to be susceptible to its appeal to cripple their ability to defend themselves against aggression.

One occurrence, from the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, is an early example of how the idea of humanitarian war could be used against Americans by appealing to their supposed desire to keep civilian casualties to a minimum. During the siege of the Belgian town of Bastogne, the German commander sent a message to the surrounded Americans demanding that they surrender. The German General threatened to annihilate the town with his artillery and then added, "All serious civilian casualties caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with well-known American humanity;" however the American commanding General, Anthony McAuliffe, refused to surrender, writing in reply:

"To The German Commander: Nuts. The American Commander."

When a German officer asked what "Nuts" meant, the American replied, "It means, Go to Hell."

As wars become more bitter and drawn out and levels of both violence and violent propaganda increase, and as more international and media pressure direct our allies and us to surrender in the name of humanitarian concerns, we can only hope that our Wester[n] leaders will say the same.

Taylor Dinerman


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Runaway Anti-Semitism Trampling Italy

by Soeren Kern

A jarring 44% of Italians are prejudiced or hostile towards Jews, according to a new research study released by the Italian Parliament on October 17.

The report, titled "Final Document: Investigation on Anti-Semitism," was commissioned by the Committee for the Inquiry into Anti-Semitism of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Italian Parliament. The 50-page document is the culmination of more than two years of research and parliamentary hearings.

The inquiry found that nearly half of all Italians say they feel no sympathy whatsoever toward the Jews. There has also been an exponential proliferation of anti-Semitic Internet websites and social networks in Italy. Moreover, the level of hatred against the State of Israel in many cases passes the limits of legitimate criticism of Israeli policies and aims at the destruction of the Jews.

"We have been attempting to understand the new aspects of this phenomenon, which is as aggressive and genocidal as it always was, but it is presently hiding itself by assuming new forms," according to Fiamma Nirenstein, the Italian MP who chaired the inquiry.

The report says that Italians harbor varying degrees of hostility towards Jews, ranging from traditional anti-Jewish stereotypes to full-blown anti-Semitism. The report also says that Italians holding anti-Semitic views can be broken down into four general categories.

The first group, which comprises about 10% of the Italian population, holds what the report classifies as "traditional" anti-Jewish views. These include stereotypes such as "Jews are not fully Italian;" "You can never really trust them," and "When it comes down to it, they have always lived at the expense of others."

The report says the second group (11% of the population) holds what it classifies as "modern" anti-Semitic views. These include stereotypes such as "the Jews are rich and powerful," "Jews control and direct politics, the media and the banks," and "Jews are more faithful to Israel than to the country of their birth."

A third group (12% of Italians) holds "contingent" anti-Semitic views such as "Jews use the Holocaust to justify Israeli policy;" "Jews talk too much about their own tragedies and disregard the tragedies of other people" and "The Jews behave like Nazis with the Palestinians."

The report cites a fourth group, which it classifies as the "pure anti-Semites" (12% of Italians). Those classified within this group hold all of the elements of the other three forms of Italian anti-Semitism.

The inquiry says the Internet is partly responsible for fuelling an increase in Italian anti-Semitism. The document notes an "alarming increase" in anti-Semitic websites and social networks. In 2008, for example, there were 836 websites spreading anti-Semitic views in Italy. In 2009, this figure jumped to 1,172, an increase of 40%. Many of the owners of these websites manage to evade Italian authorities by registering their domain names in other countries.

In July 2011, for instance, an Italian website called for the "blacklisting" of more than 160 Jewish professors who teach at Italian universities. The website accused the Jewish professors of "manipulating the minds of students" and "seeking to control Italian universities."

Other websites include blacklists that include names of Jewish magistrates who serve in Italian courts, as well as lists of businesses, restaurants, butcher shops and pastry shops owned by Italian Jews.

Anti-Semitism in Italy is also being fomented by Muslim immigrants who have established links with left-wing and right-wing extremists to carry out attacks on local Jewish communities, synagogues, schools and cemeteries, according to the report.

In June 2011, for example, pro-Palestinian and left-wing activists threatened to "ignite" the city of Milan to protest an exhibit celebrating Israeli culture. The "Unexpected Israel" exhibition, which showcased Israeli culture, technology, agriculture, economics and art to present "the unfamiliar Israel" went ahead as planned on Milan's Piazza Duomo central square. But city police refused to handle security for the event due to the threats of violence. Petitions issued by pro-Palestinian activists groups stated "No to the Israeli occupation of Milano."

Also in June, the city of Turin hosted a "cultural festival" at which the image of Israeli President Shimon Peres was used as a shoe-throwing target. For one euro, Italian students had the chance to hit the face of Israel's president, who was fitted with a Nazi-style Jewish nose.

In other cases, Israeli students at the University of Genoa have been harassed and threatened with death by Arab students. Muslim students shouted "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is great) and "Itbach el Yahud" (slaughter the Jews). Israeli students at the University of Turin have been hiding their Jewish identity for fear of becoming a target.

The report also discusses the growing phenomenon of anti-Semitism disguised as criticism of the State of Israel throughout Italy, where boycotts of Israel are becoming commonplace.

For instance, two Italian supermarkets recently announced they would stop selling Israeli products as they could not differentiate whether they came from Israel or the "occupied territories."

The grocery chain Coop Italia issued a statement saying that they had a problem with "traceability, namely that the consumer is unable to verify whether or not the product in question comes from the occupied territories." Anti-Israel activists said the boycott was "an important success for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli apartheid."

A group of Italian university professors has called for an academic boycott of Israel to protest "against university and cultural discrimination of the Palestinians."

The report documents other cases of anti-Semitism in Italy; the Italian Observatory on Anti-Semitism also compiles copious data on the phenomenon.

The inquiry's findings are in line with other research on Italian anti-Semitism.

A study recently published by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a think-tank affiliated with Germany's Social Democratic Party, reveals high levels of anti-Semitism in Italy and a strong presence of anti-Semitism that is linked with Israel and is hidden behind criticism of Israel.

The April 2011 report, titled "Intolerance, Prejudice and Discrimination: A European Report," questioned roughly 1,000 people in eight European countries. The study found that 37.6% of Italians believe "Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians." More than 40% of Italians believe "Jews try to take advantage of having been victims of the Nazi era." More than 25% of Italians agree with the statement: "Considering Israel's policy, I can understand why people do not like Jews."

In June 2010, the Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights published an annual report stating that anti-Semitism has grown steadily in Italy over the past decade.

In May 2008, a national survey published by the Italian leftwing newspaper L'Unità found widespread negative attitudes towards Jews, with 23% of the respondents stating that Jews cannot be considered "completely Italians;" 39% stating that Jews have a "special relationship with money," and 11% stating that "Jews lie about the Holocaust."

In May 2005, the New York-based Anti-Defamation League published a survey called "Attitudes Toward Jews in Twelve European Countries." It found that 66% of Italians believe "Jews are more loyal to Israel than this country." Nearly 50% of Italians said "Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust." More than 50% of Italians say their opinion of Jews is worse because of policies taken by the State of Israel.

A previous poll, "Iraq and Peace in the World," commissioned by the European Union in November 2003, found that 48% of Italians consider Israel to be the greatest threat to world peace.

The findings are "very disturbing," says Fiamma Nirenstein, the Italian MP who chaired the inquiry. She says it was a "shock for everybody to see how much anti-Semitism exists in Italy and Europe."

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.


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NYPD Under Fire for Investigating Muslim Students Association

by Ryan Mauro

If you were told that the NYPD wasn’t investigating a known Muslim Brotherhood front, you’d probably be outraged. Instead, the NYPD has done just that with the Muslim Students Association, and it is again facing fierce criticism for doing its job.

It has been revealed that the NYPD used informants to infiltrate specific Muslim Students Association branches in New York whose members had suspected ties to terrorism and extremism. Public events organized by MSA chapters were secretly attended and websites and chat rooms were monitored. Seven MSA chapters were labeled as “MSAs of concern,” specifically six branches of the City University of New York and St. John’s University in Queens. The six CUNY MSAs that were listed were at Brooklyn College, Baruch College, City College, Hunter College, La Guardia Community College and Queens College.

The Muslim Students Association was directly founded by the Muslim Brotherhood in 1963 at the University of Illinois. The three main founders were Hisham al-Talib, Ahmad Totonji and Jamal Barzinji. All three have had senior roles in organizations investigated for possible involvement in terrorism. In 2003, Special Agent David Kane’s sworn testimony said Barzinji is “not only closely associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad​]…but also with Hamas.”

Today, the MSA has over 150 chapters directly affiliated with it in the U.S. and Canada. The Investigative Project on Terrorism says, “Through conferences and events, publications, websites and other activities, MSA has disseminated and promoted militant Islamic ideologies on college and university campuses throughout North America.” A 2007 NYPD document identified the MSA as an “incubator” of radicalism.

There’s an extensive list of MSA leaders engaging in terrorism and chapters promoting extremism. Abdurahman Alamoudi, a Brotherhood member convicted for his ties to Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, used to be the national president of MSA. Anwar al-Awlaki was the president of the Colorado State University chapter. Omar Hammami, now with the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia named al-Shabaab, was the president of the University of South Alabama’s chapter. A University of Idaho chapter leader, Sami Omar al-Hussayen, was arrested in 2003 on suspicion of fundraising for terrorists. The president of MSA’s Washington D.C. council was convicted for trying to join the Taliban. And the list goes on and on.

The NYPD investigation into the seven MSA chapters is being portrayed an abuse of student’s rights rooted in anti-Muslim discrimination. The Brooklyn College Faculty Council passed a resolution condemning the NYPD’s actions and 43 law professors at CUNY put out a joint statement saying that the rights of students may have been violated. One English professor at Brooklyn College, Moustafa Bayoumi, accused the government of systematically persecuting innocent Muslims for their faith.

“The government, through the police department, is working privately to destroy the private lives of Muslim citizens,” Professor Bayoumi said. His book is required reading for all students transferring to the school. Dr. Ronald Radosh of the Hudson Institute says it promotes “the view that Americans and New Yorkers in particular are completely Islamophobic.”

Investigations into some of these MSA chapters are justifiable based on information available in the public domain alone. A former Brooklyn College student, Syed Hashmi, pled guilty to providing material assistance to Al-Qaeda in 2010. In 1998, a Hamas front called the Islamic Association of Palestine hosted an event at Brooklyn College with the Council on American-Islamic Relations that featured a speaker who implored Muslims to engage in jihad. He even had the audience sing a song with the words, “No to the Jews, descendants of the apes.” The NYPD was looking into “militant paintball trips” by MSA members at Brooklyn College, a practice used by aspiring terrorists in the past. The police were also concerned about a member who had said he wanted to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel.

According to the information in the press, the NYPD was concerned about City College because it ran a website adherent to the Salafi strain of Islam, which is among the most hardline. The Brooklyn and Baruch MSAs frequently brought in Salafist speakers with extremist beliefs, and an agent reported that Baruch MSA members were “politically active and are radicalizing.” The chapter at Queens College was linked to a member of al-Muhajiroun, an Al-Qaeda affiliate. These are all good reasons for the NYPD to investigate these chapters.

Critics of the government’s domestic counter-terrorism efforts are trying to say that the NYPD’s investigation into the Muslim Students Associations chapters is a scandal. It should have been a scandal if the NYPD didn’t investigate them after learning about their extremism, possible involvement in terrorism, and Muslim Brotherhood​ roots.

College campuses are not somehow immune from the breeding of radical Islam. There are countless stories about how the education system is seen by the Islamists as an ideological battleground. The NYPD was not targeting random Muslim-American students based on their faith alone. It was responding to the realities of the times that we live in and acting on solid intelligence about specific chapters and individuals. The NYPD should be commended.

Ryan Mauro


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Left’s Worst Crime in the Middle East

by Daniel Greenfield

The left’s worst crime in the Middle East has been its support for the region’s Arab-Muslim majority at the expense of its minorities. It has supported the majority’s terrorism, atrocities, ethnic cleansing and repression of the region’s minorities. Very rarely has it raised a voice in their support, and even then only in muted tones completely different from their vigorous defense of the nationalism of the Arab Muslim majority.

The left is obsessed with the Arab Spring, which rewards the ambitions of Arabist and Islamist activists at the expense of Coptic, African and other minorities. It is dementedly fixated on statehood for the Arab Muslims of Israel, (better known by their local Palestinian brand), but has little to say about the Kurds in Turkey or the Azeri in Iran. The million Jewish refugees and the vanishing Christians of the region never come up in conversation. They certainly don’t get their own flotillas.

The Africans of Sudan could have used a flotilla, or an entire UN organization dedicated to their welfare, which the Arab Muslims who had failed to wipe out the region’s Jewish minority are the beneficiaries of. But instead they had to make do with third tier aid.

Unlike the Arab nationalists and Islamists of Libya, the French, English and American air forces did not come to their rescue. They came to the rescue of the Libyans who showed their gratitude in the time honored way of the Arab majority by massacring the African minority. All under the beaming smiles of the selective humanitarians of the left. But what’s a little genocide between friends?

The left embraced Pan-Arabism, a race based nationalism, in line with the Soviet Union’s expansionist foreign policy. Pan-Arabism’s socialism made it easy for the left to ignore its overt racism along with the admiration of many of its leading lights for Nazi Germany. The same left which refused to see the Gulags and the ethnic cleansing under the red flag, turned an equally blind eye to the contradiction of condemning Zionism for its ethnic basis, while supporting Pan-Arabism, which was ethnically based.

Under Zionism, Israel retained a sizable Arab minority. The Pan-Arabists however drove their Jews out with mob violence, political repression, prisons and public executions. The left’s criticisms of Zionism are rendered moot by their own support for Pan-Arabism. In the Middle East and North Africa, Arabization has led to repression of non-Arab minorities and the destruction of other cultures through the insistence on unity through race.

As the sun of Pan-Arabism sets, the left has turned its attention to Pan-Islamism with equal enthusiasm. While Pan-Arabism allowed Christian Arabs some representation, Pan-Islamism excludes them based on religion. Having endorsed a racial tyranny, the left has fallen so low that it now champions majority theocracies.

The left’s fledgling support for Kurdish nationalism has faded as Turkey has gone from a secular ally of the Western powers to an Islamist tyranny dreaming of empire. This perverse twist of affairs has the left abandoning the national struggles of an oppressed people when their rulers align themselves more closely with the bigoted regional majority.

The War on Iraq, which the left hated, removed a tyrant aligned with the region’s Sunni majority and the Libyan campaign, which the left supported, removed a tyrant who had deviated too far from the positions of that majority. So too in Egypt, where Mubarak’s excessive tolerance for minorities, led the left to endorse the Pan-Arabist and Pan-Islamist calls for his overthrow. And in Tunisia, where a government tolerant of minorities has been replaced by Islamists.

The pattern repeats itself over and over again as the left rises in support of racial and theocratic rule. And for all the left’s critiques of American and European foreign policy, its own foreign policy which endorses racial and theocratic rule and works to bring it about is the true crime.

It is no coincidence that the one country in the region that the left hates above all else, is neither Arab nor Muslim. Just as it is no coincidence that the Arab Spring replaces regimes tolerant of minorities with Islamists and Arabists. The left’s true regional agenda is the racist and theocratic agenda of its Arab and Muslim members. The Arab Socialists and the Islamists who have defined its regional positions have turned the left into a vehicle for their racial and theocratic agendas.

For the left to shout racism when American troops empower the Kurds in Iraq, or when Israeli soldiers stand watch over tiny strips of land where the region’s oldest and most frequently oppressed minority finds shelter is the height of hypocrisy. It is the left which is racist. It is the left which backs theocracies and supports the regional majority over its minorities.

The idiots in their Keffiyahs eager to give everyone a lesson on the Middle East think the Assyrians vanished in ancient times, have no idea who the Circassians are, or the Arab Gypsies, think the Zoroastrians are a traveling circus, and couldn’t begin to tell you anything about the Druze, the Bahai or the Ahmadis– except that American foreign policy or Israel are probably to blame.

All the while they proudly wear a garment associated with the Pan-Arabists and their rejection of Ottoman reforms– while stupidly believing that it’s an all-purpose garments of revolution. But why should they care that they’re endorsing a romanticized neo-feudalism that led to mass murder and the rise of a theocratic reactionary movement disguised as nationalism. Or that these movements have inevitably led to the repression of minorities and the ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide of the region’s native inhabitants by their Arab Muslim conquerors.

The left relies on the intellectual laziness of its followers not to notice that the nationalism they support is the nationalism of colonial conquerors and their colonial descendants. The only two nations with any historical roots in the region are Israel and Persia. In North Africa, where the Arab Spring has burned fiercest, the left is cheering the resurgence of an Arab Pretoria, racist regimes turning into even more bigoted and sexist theocracies run by the great-great-grands of the men who invaded the region and destroyed much of its history and culture.

It is no secret that the left is totalitarian and that it is attracted to totalitarian movements. But few have been willing to say it openly and clearly when it comes to its politics in the Middle East.

The left picked Pan-Islamists over secularists in Iran and Turkey. It picked racialist fascists in Egypt, Iraq and Syria– and their local Palestinian militias. It backed Islamist and Arabist revolts again in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. And after backing every totalitarian majoritarian regime that wasn’t too closely aligned to the United States– their one great enemy is the region’s only democratic state.

The left’s worst crime in the Middle East is its craven love for tyranny, for empires built on race and religion, over the national and political rights of the minority. These Apartheid states are all they care about. Their greatest effort has been set not on resolving the stateless problems of the Kurdish minority, on the national borders of Armenia or ending the Turkish occupation and settlement of Cyprus– but on adding yet another Arab-Muslim state to the region.

Palestine, the cynical project of Pan-Arabist and Pan-Islamist thugs, is the great obsession of the left. Because if there’s one thing that the Middle East doesn’t have enough of, it’s totalitarian regimes built on Arab and Islamist identity. And the one thing it has too much of is a democratic state with a non-Arab and non-Muslim majority. And that one thing is what they are committed to destroying.

Daniel Greenfield


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Azzam's Genocidal Threat

by David Barnett and Efraim Karsh

Of the countless threats of violence, made by Arab and Palestinian leaders in the run up to and in the wake of the November 29, 1947 partition resolution, none has resonated more widely than the warning by Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League's first secretary-general, that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to "a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades."

Akhbar al-Yom, October 11, 1947.

This threat is generally believed to have been made during a briefing to the Egyptian press on May 15, 1948, shortly after the pan-Arab invasion of the newly-proclaimed state of Israel. Some scholars trace it to a May 16 New York Times report, citing the Egyptian daily al-Ahram.[1] Yet this New York Times edition contains no such item, whereas the original al-Ahram report has yet to surface. Others cite a BBC broadcast as their source,[2] yet a comprehensive examination, completed by Efraim Karsh, of the corporation's archives in Reading, England, has found no evidence of this broadcast. Others, like the renowned American journalist, I. F. Stone, who covered the saga of Israel's birth as it unfolded, simply noted the threat without proper attribution.[3]

Indeed, failure to trace the original document[4] has given rise to doubts as to whether Azzam actually made this threat. Criticizing Karsh for noting the threat in Palestine Betrayed,[5] Israeli academic Benny Morris wrote:

But was "extermination" their war aim, as Karsh would have it? There is no knowing. Indeed, the Arab leaders going to war in 1948 were very sparing in publicly describing their goals and "exterminating" the Jews never figured in their public bombast. I myself in the past have used the one divergent quote, by Arab League Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Azzam from May 15, 1948, in which he allegedly spoke of a "war of extermination" and a "momentous massacre" à la the Mongols. But in my recent history of the war, 1948 (Yale University Press, 2008), I refrained from reusing it after discovering that its pedigree is dubious.[6]

Yet, the original document does in fact exist. It has eluded scholars for so long because they have been looking in the wrong place.

In his account of Israel's birth, Stone alluded to the possibility that the threat was made on the eve of the U.N. vote on partition, with the aim of averting this momentous decision, rather than before the pan-Arab invasion of Israel six months later.[7] Following this lead, David Barnett found a Jewish Agency memorandum, submitted on February 2, 1948, to the U.N. Palestine Commission, tasked with the implementation of the partition resolution, and yet again to the U.N. secretary-general on March 29, 1948.

Describing the panoply of Arab threats of war and actual acts of violence aimed at aborting the partition resolution, the memorandum read:

(6) … The "practical and effective means" contrived and advocated by the Arab States were never envisaged as being limited by the provisions of the Charter; indeed, the Secretary-General of the Arab League was thinking in terms which are quite remote from the lofty sentiments of San Francisco. "This war," he said, "will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongol massacres and the Crusades."[8]

The Jewish Agency memorandum cites an October 11, 1947 article in the Egyptian newspaper Akhbar al-Yom as the quote's source. An examination of the original article readily confirms the quote's authenticity, laying to rest one of the longest running historiographical debates attending the 1948 war.

War of Extermination

An October 11, 1947 report on the pan-Arab summit in the Lebanese town of Aley,[9] by Akhbar al-Yom's editor Mustafa Amin, contained an interview he held with Arab League secretary-general Azzam. Titled, "A War of Extermination," the interview read as follows (translated by Efraim Karsh; all ellipses are in the original text):

Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha spoke to me about the horrific war that was in the offing… saying:

"I personally wish that the Jews do not drive us to this war, as this will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Tartar massacre[10] or the Crusader wars. I believe that the number of volunteers from outside Palestine will be larger than Palestine's Arab population, for I know that volunteers will be arriving to us from [as far as] India, Afghanistan, and China to win the honor of martyrdom for the sake of Palestine … You might be surprised to learn that hundreds of Englishmen expressed their wish to volunteer in the Arab armies to fight the Jews.

"This war will be distinguished by three serious matters. First—faith: as each fighter deems his death on behalf of Palestine as the shortest road to paradise; second, [the war] will be an opportunity for vast plunder. Third, it will be impossible to contain the zealous volunteers arriving from all corners of the world to avenge the martyrdom of the Palestine Arabs, and viewing the war as dignifying every Arab and every Muslim throughout the world …

"The Arab is superior to the Jew in that he accepts defeat with a smile: Should the Jews defeat us in the first battle, we will defeat them in the second or the third battle … or the final one… whereas one defeat will shatter the Jew's morale! Most desert Arabians take pleasure in fighting. I recall being tasked with mediating a truce in a desert war (in which I participated) that lasted for nine months…While en route to sign the truce, I was approached by some of my comrades in arms who told me: 'Shame on you! You are a man of the people, so how could you wish to end the war … How can we live without war?' This is because war gives the Bedouin a sense of happiness, bliss, and security that peace does not provide! …

"I warned the Jewish leaders I met in London to desist from their policy,[11] telling them that the Arab was the mightiest of soldiers and the day he draws his weapon, he will not lay it down until firing the last bullet in the battle, and we will fire the last shot …"

He [Azzam] ended his conversation with me by saying: "I foresee the consequences of this bloody war. I see before me its horrible battles. I can picture its dead, injured, and victims … But my conscience is clear … For we are not attacking but defending ourselves, and we are not aggressors but defenders against an aggression! …"

David Barnett, an international studies major, is a junior at Johns Hopkins University. He has been an intern at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies as well as a researcher and Emerson Fellow for StandWithUs. Efraim Karsh is director of the Middle East Forum and editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

[1] See, for example, Rony E. Gabbay, A Political Study of the Arab-Jewish Conflict: The Arab Refugee Problem (A Case Study) (Geneva: Librairie E. Droz, 1959), p. 88; Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine (New York: Harper and Row, 1984), p. 444, n. 14.
[2] See, for example, John Roy Carlson, Cairo to Damascus (New York: Knopf, 1951), p. 266; Mizra Khan, "The Arab Refugees—A Study in Frustration," in Walter Z. Laqueur, ed., The Middle East in Transition: Studies in Contemporary History (New York: Praeger, 1958), p. 237; Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, O Jerusalem! (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972), pp. 408, 588; Esther Rosalind Cohen, Human Rights in the Israeli-Occupied Territories, 1967-1982 (Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 1985), p. 60, n. 72; Mitchell Bard, Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Chevy Chase, Md.: American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2006), p. 121.
[3] Isidor Feinstein Stone, This Is Israel (New York: Boni and Gaer, 1948), p. 21.
[4] Alexander H. Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky, "A Tale of Two Galloways: Notes on the Early History of UNRWA and Zionist Historiography," Middle Eastern Studies, Sept. 2010, p. 671.
[5] New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010.
[6] Benny Morris, "Revisionism on the West Bank," The National Interest, July-Aug. 2010, pp. 76-7.
[7] Stone, This Is Israel, p. 21.
[8] "Acts of Aggression Provoked, Committed, and Prepared by Arab States in Concert with the Palestine Arab Higher Committee against the Jewish Population of Palestine in an Attempt to Alter by Force the Settlement Envisaged by the General Assembly's Resolution on the Future Government of Palestine," memorandum submitted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine to the United Nations Palestine Commission, Feb. 2, 1948; Moshe Shertok, "Letter from the Jewish Agency for Palestine Dated 29 March 1948, Addressed to the Secretary-General Transmitting a Memorandum on Acts of Arab Aggression," UNSC, S/710, Apr. 5, 1948.
[9] For the Aley summit, see Karsh, Palestine Betrayed, pp. 87-9.
[10] Tatar is used loosely in Arabic to mean Mongol, a reference to the thirteenth-century invasions.—Eds.
[11] Azzam met with Eliahu Epstein, head of the Jewish Agency's Washington office, on June 18, 1947, and with David Horowitz and Aubrey (Abba) Eban, the Jewish Agency's liaison officers to the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine, on Sept. 15, 1947. In both meetings he sought to dissuade his interlocutors from pursuing their quest for statehood by using the Crusaders metaphor. See Karsh, Palestine Betrayed, pp. 92-5.—Eds.

David Barnett and Efraim Karsh


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Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas Committed to Terror

by IPT News

At a time Hamas is vowing to kidnap more Israelis, some Egyptian leaders are pressuring the European Union (EU) to treat Hamas as a partner in settling the Middle East conflict.

And as Muslim Brotherhood officials issue increasingly hostile rhetoric toward the Jewish state, senior American officials are reaching out to the group.

Egypt believes the recent prisoner swap freeing kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit could be a catalyst for dialogue between Hamas and the EU.

Tarek Fahmy, of the Egyptian research groups National Centre for the Study of the Middle East, told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Mesryoon that Schalit's release gives the West an opportunity to talk with Hamas, and that it has begun to take the group seriously as an Islamic movement associated with the "Arab Spring." Hamas wants to be regarded as a legitimate entity rather than a terror organization, he said, and this convergence of interests could be a basis for discussions with the West.

But Hamas has shown no inclination to change its violent behavior. The head of the terror group's military wing, the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, promises to kidnap more Israeli soldiers. "We will continue to abduct Israeli soldiers and officers as long as there are Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails," said Qassem Brigades boss Ahmed Jabari.

Hamas' military wing has "taken it upon themselves to empty Israeli jails of all prisoners regardless of their political positions or their ideology," Jabari said.

Jabari called the day that Israel freed 477 prisoners in exchange for Schalit, including persons responsible for murders like this, this, and this, the happiest day of his life. Following their release, Hamas brought many of the freed terrorists to a luxury hotel.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders also view the release as "a milestone in the history of the Palestinian cause" and said the prisoner swap "confirmed the success of the 'resistance option' (terrorism)."

In a message posted on the Brotherhood's website, Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie said the Hamas prisoners would not have been freed without the Schalit kidnapping. "The deal also proved that Israel only understands the language of force and resistance," he said. "This language is able, with God's permission, to liberate the Palestinian people suffering under the captivity of the Zionists."

Anti-Semitism and advocacy of terrorism, including suicide attacks, have been recurring themes of Muslim Brotherhood leaders. In an Aug. 23 interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Essam el-Erian, another Brotherhood leader in Egypt, said Israel had no right to exist as a Jewish state:

"Existence of a state for Jews is against all rules of states all over the world."

In a July interview with journalist Michael Totten, Erian called Hamas "a resistance group fighting for freedom and the liberation of their land from occupation." Their land "is occupied by the real terrorists (Israelis)." Suicide bombings did not constitute terrorism, he said, because Hamas is fighting "for liberty."

In a July 9 interview with NBC News, he stated that "Israel cannot tolerate peace" because "they want to live in war. It is the history of Jewish people."

This bigotry has not dissuaded Obama administration officials from reaching out to the Brotherhood. Press reports indicate that in early October, senior U.S. diplomats, including a member of the National Security Council and the first secretary of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, attended a meeting in Cairo with the secretary general of the Freedom and Justice Party, formed by the Brotherhood following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.

In February, National Intelligence Director James Clapper told the House intelligence Committee that the Brotherhood was "largely secular" and sought "a betterment of the political order in Egypt." The MB, he said, had "no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally."

The reality is very different. Hamas is an outgrowth of the Brotherhood and the Schalit deal is among the many ways the two groups remain in sync. There has been no sign of Hamas modifying its violent agenda, one that ultimately calls for Israel's destruction.

In Gaza, Hamas-affiliated newspapers have given extensive coverage to support for additional kidnappings voiced by Saudi cleric Awad al-Qarni. After an Israeli family offered a $100,000 reward for the capture of the terrorist who murdered a relative, Qarni vowed to award $100,000 to any Palestinian who kidnapped an Israeli soldier.

Palestinians say that people who think Hamas would abandon its charter calling for Israel's destruction and accept a two-state solution "are living in an illusion," according to Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu-Toameh. "The prisoner agreement has sent the message to Palestinians that Hamas's 'resistance methods,' and not peace talks, are the only way to force Israel to comply with Palestinian demands."

Read the full article here.

IPT News


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On Distinguishing Between Good And Evil

by Isi Leibler

Good deeds and the spurning of evil preoccupied us throughout the Days of Awe and the festival period, climaxing with the redemption of Gilad Schalit.

We live in times when concepts such as good and evil are deliberately blurred. For example, the mass murder of Norwegians in July by a demented neo-Nazi psychopath – a diabolically evil act – was globally exploited by far-left and Muslim groups to suppress legitimate condemnation or designation of extremist Islamic behavior as evil, even accusing critics of inciting mass murder.

Yet throughout the Arab world we are now witnessing the sickening elevation to hero status of some of the world’s most demented killers.

This is hardly a new phenomenon.

Can you recall the last time you had a serious discussion in which the word “evil” was mentioned? It’s unlikely, because employing such a term today is often regarded as politically incorrect and likely to lead to accusations of bias or bigotry.

During World War II, that the Nazis were evil was never in dispute. That knowledge did not imply that the Allies were pure. The Versailles settlement was unjust. Mistakes were made. There were undoubtedly degenerates in our ranks who committed crimes, and we were certainly conscious of the moral shortcomings of our Soviet allies.

But we unequivocally recognized that the Nazis represented evil incarnate and were willing to stake our lives in the struggle against the forces of darkness which sought to undermine freedom and civilization.

OVER THE past half-century, as post-modernism enveloped the new Europe, conflicts became increasingly viewed from the perspective of moral equivalency. Today, it is considered bigoted to define religious or nationalist crimes as evil.

This change in outlook is linked to the erosion of Judeo-Christian values, which despite being more frequently breached than honored, did at least provide a moral framework to distinguish between right and wrong.

It is no coincidence that Christianity in Europe has declined dramatically. In the UK today, more Muslims pray at mosques than Anglicans attend churches. Christian beliefs have been supplanted by secularism, and some churches have themselves adopted post-modernist concepts.

In contrast, in the US where religion continues to occupy a dominant role, morality remains relevant and politicians endeavor to frame their policies in a manner perceived to be ethical.

In this climate, many liberals refuse to take part in the battle against the new global evil confronting us. They fail to acknowledge that the radical elements dominating the Muslim world today represent no less a threat to western civilization than the Nazis in the 1930s. Even many committed Jewish leaders blur the reality, accusing those who point out that the Arab Islamic world is largely dominated by extremists of promoting “hysteria” and “ideological Islamophobia.”

The level of moderation in Islamic societies can be assessed by posing a number of questions: Do Islamic leaders and activists promote moderation or do they at best stand aside and avoid condemning the jihadists? Do most share the goal of imposing Sharia law throughout the world? Endorse freedom of worship? Protest against the violence and murder directed at critics of their prophet or Islam? Demand the curbing of the violent passions which incite hatred and extremism in their mosques, media outlets and schools? Most of the ruling elites in today’s Islamic Arab world would fail to provide acceptable responses to such questions.

In fact, it may not be politically correct to say, but the sad reality is that aside from a minority of courageous moderate Muslims – primarily domiciled in non-Muslim communities – the majority at best remain passive in relation to outrages committed by Islamic extremists.

Indeed, it is unfortunately indisputable that the vast majority of Arab Muslims identify with the naked evil radiating from the venomous, genocidal statements of Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah and Hamas, which leave nothing to the imagination.

And alas, the misnamed “Arab Spring” has merely resulted in an upsurge of regional extremist Islamic fundamentalist power.

It is not only adherents to the Hamas Charter who unashamedly endorse the murder of Jews and boast that they will never forgo the goal of destroying the Jewish state. The Palestinian Authority is merely more circumspect in statements designed for Western consumption. But a recent poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion demonstrated that the vast majority of Palestinians remain committed to our destruction.

Eighty percent responded that it was the duty of Muslims to participate in jihad to eradicate Israel and 73% endorsed the Hamas Charter quoting from the hadith, a call from the prophet Muhammad to kill all Jews.

All PA state instrumentalities – mosques, media and education system – glorify and sanctify mothers of suicide bombers, honoring as “martyrs” those who murder Israeli civilians.

We should be highlighting the contrasting societal responses to evil in democratic countries and Islamic fundamentalist regimes.

Critics of Islam in Western countries do not hail as national heroes liberated psychopaths who murder women and children.

They do not name city squares, erect statues or name football teams to commemorate the perpetrators of such actions. Nor do they hold street parties and hand out sweets to children to celebrate the death of innocent Muslims killed in the war against terror.

But in the wake of every attack on Israeli civilians, that is precisely what happens in the Palestinian street, yet those who condemn such behavior as barbaric are frequently accused Islamophobia and racism.

It is rational, not “racist,” to deem such behavior evil. Prior to Nazi indoctrination, Germany was considered the most cultured European nation.

Since the defeat of Hitler and the implementation of a normal educational curriculum, the evil instilled by the Nazis has been neutralized.

Instead of exposing the criminality and evil of the Palestinian regimes and proclaiming that there is still no credible Palestinian peace partner, we bury our heads in the sand, pleading for a renewal of ritual negotiations with those committed to our demise.

This repeatedly culminates with a “we give and they take” process as the Palestinians endeavor to dismember us in stages. It also contributes to the global climate of opinion in which our adversaries relegate us to pariah status.

The Palestinians are considered the most talented of all Arabs. Provide them with humanitarian leaders. Grant them an enlightened education to substitute the hatred and culture of death in which their youngsters are brainwashed and new humanitarian leaders would emerge, enabling Palestinians and Israelis to jointly create a magnificent region of peaceful coexistence and creativity.

But as Mahmoud Abbas demonstrated in his recent UN General Assembly address, for now, that is but a distant dream.

The time has come to evaluate the evidence, exercise moral judgment and act rationally. To flee from reality and submerge ourselves in a delusionary, Alice in Wonderland environment is highly tempting. But it may incur a heavy price on our children, who will ultimately be obliged to confront the existential threat emanating from the evil surrounding them.

Isi Leibler


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guide for the Perplexed

by Dr. Yasser Dasmabebi

I have come to realize just how difficult it may be to decipher news about the Middle East, Islam, Israel, the Arab World, and all these powerful and explosive issues of our times for those who rely on such media stalwarts as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the major television networks, cable news, etc. for their information. For example, how is a person to ascertain whether the slayer of a family is a terrorist or a militant or a gunman or an assailant or an activist or a freedom-fighter?

So, purely as a public service, I have organized the following glossary of the most pertinent terms and expressions, as typically used in the above-mentioned news sources. I hope, insha’allah, the reader will find it helpful to unravel the Gordian Knot of language that is today’s (and yesterday’s and tomorrow’s) Middle East!


Aggression: Killing people who are trying to kill you.

Al Qaeda: the terrorist group that, according to American security sources, embodies the world-wide Islamist movement, and that is either “significantly degraded” or is still “extremely dangerous,” depending on which government official is doing the talking.

Apartheid: The political/social system of the one and only country in the Middle East that integrates Jews, Beduins, Arabs, whites, blacks, Muslems, Ethiopians, Russians, Christians, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Bahai, et al.

“Apes & Pigs”: See “Jew” below.

Arab Emir: Military dictator.

Arab King: Military dictator.

Arab President: Military dictator.

Arab Prime Minister: Military dictator.

Arab Spring: Replacement of one dictatorship with another, with the help of Western money and media cheerleading.

Arab Street: Enraged mobs chanting and screaming their hatred, determined to annihilate Israel and the Jews. They can often be seen burning American and Israeli flags, passing out candies and firing guns into the air in response to successful murders of Westerners (closely related to):

Arab Humiliation: The pervasive feeling on the Arab street generated by their failure to annihilate Israel and the Jews in several wars. Many opinion-makers, Middle East experts and op-ed writers argue that Arab humiliation is at the root of the Middle East conflict; i.e., “If only the Jews would let themselves be destroyed, the Arab street would feel better about themselves, and then there would be peace.”

Ayatola: Persian dictator. Spiritual leader of that faith that desires to ignite nuclear holocaust in order to bring about the arrival of the Mahdi. (See “Mahdi” below.)

Bias: An expression of support for the existence of Israel.

Caliphate: The unification of lands ruled in the name of Islam, ruled by a Caliph. (See “Arab King,” “Arab President,” etc. above.)

Compromise: To give something palpable, such as land, in return for a promise not to keep on trying to annihilate you.

Developing Country: A country that is not developing.

Disproportionate Response: Winning.

Diversity: The condition in which all cultures are viewed as equally and inherently virtuous, except for the culture of the West, which is viewed as evil by virtue of imperialism, colonialism and endemic racism (see “Racist” below).

Emergency Laws: The law.

Father of the Palestinian People: An Egyptian man, raised by his uncle, Hitler’s buddy, and one of the world’s most successful kleptocrats. (See “PLO” below.)

Fatwa: A pronouncement of a mullah that sanctions murder, but only of disagreeable people, like inadequately covered women, Salman Rushdie, etc.

Female Genital Mutilation: That ritual of which Western feminist organizations seem, by virtue of their silence, to approve.

Hamas: The democratically elected government of Gaza whose founding charter calls for genocide.

Hezbollah: The democratic group whose purpose is saving Lebanon from Israeli aggression, and whose founding charter calls for genocide.

History: Having nothing whatsoever to do with what has actually happened, but rather being what has come to be called “narrative,” i.e., “storytelling.” For one example, allusions to the “Ancient Nation of Palestine;” and for another, almost all the Muslem accomplishments President Obama enumerated in his momentous Cairo speech (also see “Rewriting History” below).

Holocaust: That genocide that did not happen, but that the Jews orchestrated in order to steal Arab land, and that of which the Jewish presence in Palestine is worse than.

Honor Killings: The cultural imperative to murder one’s daughter/sister/niece for humiliating male members…(see “Shariah” below).

Human Rights: The credo by which murder committed by a person from a country which used to be called “Third World” (now considered racist terminology) is good (see “Resistance” below); retaliatory killing by a person who is either from a developed country, a white person or most especially a Jew, is bad (see “Agression” above).

Human Shields: Integral part of Hamas & Hezbollah military strategy.

Islamic Republic: Military dictatorship.

Israel: Occupied territory (see “Zionist Entity” below).

Israeli Prime Minister: Hawkish, right-winger, hard-liner.

Jerusalem: City holy to Islam in which the Jews have no history.

Jew: The source of all decadence and evil in the world; descendent of apes and pigs.

Jihad: The inner spiritual struggle for self-purification or the bloody military struggle for world domination depending on to which journalist and in what language one is speaking.

Judeo-Christian Values: The credo of that civilization which has lost all its values, except for that racism is bad, and diversity is good.

Koran: The book that was revealed word-for-word to the Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) by the Angel Gabriel…or not.

Leftist: Supporter of PLO (see “PLO” below) and Hamas (see “Hamas” above) and Muslem Brotherhood (see “Muslem Brotherhood” below).

Mahdi: The Shia Messiah who has been hiding for centuries at the bottom of a well.

Martyr: Someone who kills someone else while killing himself, said to be rewarded for his martyrdom by the acquisition of 72 virgins upon his arrival in Paradise, at least according to what the Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) said the Angel Gabriel told him (see “Koran” above).

Militant, Assailant, Gunman, Activist: terrorist.

Moderate Palestinian Leader: Former KGB operative, Holocaust denier, and financier of Munich Olympic massacre.

Mosque: A place for the storage of armaments.

Muslem Brotherhood: A mostly secular and non-violent political party in Egypt.

Occupation: Jewish presence in disputed territory. (See “Israel” above.)

Peace: War of attrition.

Peace Process: The dismantling of Israel.

Peace Talks: The avoidance of peace.

PLO: Organization created in 1964 to end the 1967 occupation.

Palestinian Authority: The world’s most successful kleptocracy.

Palestinian Hero: Murderer of children.

Palestinian Prime Minister: Moderate, bold (see “Arab Prime Minister” above).

Protocols of the Elders of Zion: The authentic Jewish playbook for world domination.

Racist: A person who disagrees with or does not like or does not support the reelection of President Obama.

Radical Islamic Movement: A group whose stated official goal is genocide (see “Hamas” and “Hezbollah” above).

Recognition: A truce until the next time.

Refugee: Someone who has refused to take refuge, or who has not been allowed to take refuge.

“Religion of Peace”: That civilization with which the Judeo-Christian civilization is locked in a war to the death.

Resistance: Randomly killing civilians, especially children.

Rewriting History: See “History” above.

Right: Demand to live in Israel by people who hate it and wish to destroy it.

of Return: By people very, very few of whom have ever actually been there.

Settlement: An illegal community made up of settlers. (See “Settler” below.)

Settler: Someone who builds his house in order to thwart any chance at making peace between Jews and Palestinians.

Shariah: The Islamic system of jurisprudence which codifies and dignifies rape, child marriage, specific classes of murder such as honor killings (see “Honor Killings” above), etc.

Shia: People who are certain that Sunnis are not real Muslems, and are in fact infidels, and should therefore be slaughtered.

Sunni: People who are certain that Shia are not real Muslems, and are in fact infidels, and should therefore be slaughtered.

War Crime: Retaliation and defense. Any action whose intent is victory.

War on Terror: Pretense that the enemy of the West is made up of small, shadowy groups motivated by childhood poverty (see “Al Qaeda​” above). (“We’re depraved on account of we’re deprived” — apologies to S. Sondheim.)

Zionism: The ideology of the Jews who aspire to control, dominate and take over the world.

Zionist: Someone who is worse than a Nazi.

Zionist Entity: That place that does not exist, as on Arab maps, but that must be destroyed.

Dr. Yasser Dasmabebi holds the Edward Said-Noam Chomsky Linguistics Chair at Abdul Abulbul Amir University in Cairo ; )


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Who Lost the World? The Unraveling of the Globe Under Obama's Watch

by Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Conventional wisdom has it that the 2012 election will be all about the dismal economy, unemployment and the soaring deficit. That appears a safe bet since such matters touch the electorate, are much in the news at the moment and have indisputably gotten worse on Barack Obama's watch.

It seems increasingly likely, however, that the American people are going to have a whole lot more to worry about by next fall. Indeed, the way things are going, by November 2012, we may see the Mideast - and perhaps other parts of the planet - plunged into a cataclysmic war.

Consider just a few of the straws in the wind of a gathering storm:

Muammar Gadhafi's death last week prompted the Obama administration to trumpet the President's competence as Commander-in-Chief and the superiority of his "small footprint," "lead-from-behind" approach to waging war over the more traditional - and costly and messy - one pursued by George W. Bush. The bloom came off that false rose on Sunday when Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council, repeatedly declared his government's fealty to shariah, Islam's brutally repressive, totalitarian political-military-legal doctrine.

Among other things, Abdul-Jalil said shariah would be the "basic source" of all legislation. Translation: Forget about representative democracy. Under shariah, Allah makes the laws, not man.

In short, the result of Mr. Obama's $2 billion dollar expenditure to oust Gadhafi is a regime that will be led by jihadists, controls vast oil reserves and has inherited a very substantial arsenal (although some of it - including reportedly as many as 20,000 surface-to-air missiles - has "gone missing.") This scarcely can be considered a victory for the United States and will probably prove a grave liability.

An Islamist party called Nahda seems likely to have captured the lion's share of the votes cast in the first free election in Tunisia. While we are assured it is a "moderate" religious party, the same has long been said of Turkey's governing AKP party. Unfortunately, we have lately seen the latter's true colors as it has become ever-more-insistent at home on jettisoning the secular form of government handed down by Attaturk and acted ever-more-aggressively abroad. A similar transformation can be expected, later if not sooner, of any shariah-adherent political movement.

Meanwhile in Egypt, the agenda of the Islamists' mother ship - the Muslim Brotherhood - is being adopted even before elections formally bring it to power. The interim military government has abetted efforts to punish and even kill the Coptic Christian minority. It has facilitated the arming of the Brotherhood's franchise in Gaza, Hamas, and allowed the Sinai to become the launching pad for al Qaeda and others' attacks on Israel.

Egypt's transitional regime also helped broker the odious exchange of over 1,000 convicted terrorists held by Israel for a single soldier kidnapped and held hostage for five years by Hamas. Upon their release, even the convicts with Jewish blood on their hands received heroes' welcomes even as they affirmed their desire to destroy Israel and called for the seizure of still more Israelis to spring their comrades still behind bars. This does not augur well for either the Jewish State or for our interests.

The increasingly mercurial Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has announced that - despite the long-running, immensely costly and ongoing U.S. effort to protect his kleptocratic government - in a war between Pakistan and the United States, Afghanistan would side with Pakistan. The magnitude of this insulting repudiation of America is all the greater since Pakistan is widely seen as doing everything it can to reestablish the Taliban in Kabul.

And in Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has touted his success in thwarting Washington's belated (and half-hearted) efforts to keep a significant number of U.S. forces in his country after the end of this year. Already, his coalition partner and fellow Iranian cats-paw, Muqtada al-Sadr, is boasting that he will also drive out the American contractor personnel who are, for the moment, expected to provide a measure of security after the military withdraws. In that case, we may well see the mullahs' agents take over a U.S. embassy for the second time since 1979 - this one the newest, largest and most expensive in the world.

Add to this litany an emboldened and ascendant China, a revanchist Russia once again under the absolute control of Vladimir Putin, a Mexico free-falling into civil war with narco-traffickers and their Hezbollah allies on our southern border and you get a world that is fraught with peril for the United States. Matters are made infinitely worse by the prospect of the U.S. military being hollowed out by reckless budget cuts.

The Republican candidates to succeed Barack Obama are beginning to find their voices on the national security portfolio. They will be formally debating the president's sorry record in coming weeks. The question the American people will want answered is not only "Who lost the world?" but what will they do to get it back?

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for the Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9:00 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.


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Qatar's Sunni Side

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

How could Qatar's foreign policy best be defined during the Arab Spring? In the midst of the conflict between Gaddafi's forces and the rebels in the Libyan civil war, Qatar was hailed by Barack Obama in April for building a broad coalition of international support for the NATO campaign against Gaddafi. Obama also hailed the emir of Qatar for supposedly being a pragmatic mediator and negotiator in the wider region.

Indeed, as the Guardian puts it, the country has a reputation for "a cautious but active foreign policy." Other analysts have seen Qatar as a nation playing both sides in the Middle Eastern Cold War between the Saudi-led "status-quo bloc" and the Iranian-led "resistance" bloc.

For example, although Qatar has maintained good economic and diplomatic ties with Tehran, it has also hosted American military bases and CENTCOM, besides having limited trade relations with Israel.

However, I prefer to advance the following thesis: Qatar's foreign policy at present is based on the principle of promoting Sunni interests, and where possible, the interests of Sunni Islamists.

For instance, recently the country has come under criticism from some Western diplomats and the National Transitional Council (NTC) for its role in Libya. As the Wall Street Journal notes, Qatari aid has circumvented the NTC, and has been provided to independent rebel militias dominated by Islamist commanders.

Two individuals particularly favored by Qatar are the Islamist leader of the Tripoli Military Council- Abdul-Aziz Belhaj, who is generally not trusted by rebels in and around Misrata, and Sheikh Ali Sallabi, a Libyan cleric currently living in Qatar's capital and with close ties to Belhaj. Tensions have emerged between Sallabi and Mahmoud Jabril, the interim prime minister for the NTC described as a "tyrant in waiting" and part of a group of "extreme secularists" by Sallabi.

Meanwhile, when it came to the Syrian uprising, in which the Sunni Islamist Muslim Brotherhood could well be playing a prominent role in the opposition to the Alawite-dominated government, Qatar quickly transformed from an ally into a harsh critic of Assad's regime. Al-Jazeera's Arabic channel rapidly expanded its coverage of protests in Syria, and Yousef al-Qaradhawi, host of al-Jazeera's "Shari'a and Life" show, called for the Baathist regime to be removed from power.

The cleric criticized Assad as someone "held prisoner by his entourage and the [Alawite] sect." Al-Jazeera, it should be noted, is owned by a member of the Qatari ruling dynasty, and its Arabic channel is certainly aligned with Qatar's foreign policy agenda, intended for Middle Eastern audiences and very different from the English version that is aimed at international viewers outside the region.

The latter's remarks particularly annoyed the Syrian government, leading to a suspension of ties between Syria and Qatar as Assad reportedly told the Qatari emir's emissary that al-Qaradhawi must apologize for his statements if there are going to be friendly relations again.

And so it is that al-Jazeera's Arabic channel has been more than happy to provide coverage of demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, all of which are places where Sunni Islamists can be empowered (the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ennahda party, and the Islah party respectively). Yet al-Jazeera's Arabic channel generally ignores the unrest in Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia, both with Shi'a majorities protesting against Sunni rule.

Bahrain is a country marked by Sunni minority rule at the cost of significant sectarian discrimination against the Shi'a majority. In fact, Qatar has even aided Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council in sending troops to assist the regime in quelling the protests.

As for eastern Saudi Arabia, a perusal of al-Jazeera's Arabic news site reveals no coverage of protests there. As Asad Abu Khalil of "The Angry Arab News Service" correctly notes (for once), "to verify what is going on in Saudi Arabia, al-Jazeera asked its famous witness, Abu Muhammad in Idlib, if he saw protests from his window. Abu Muhammad said that he couldn't see anything and al-Jazeera accordingly reported that all is well in the kingdom."

Finally, in keeping with Qatar's warm ties with Turkey under the Islamist AKP, al-Jazeera's Arabic channel has tended to provide uncritical coverage of the prime minister Erdoğan's efforts to bolster his image as a friend and helping hand for the Arab world, while not mentioning the water crises Turkey's dam projects in Anatolia have helped to trigger in Iraq and Syria. To be sure, the policy predates the AKP government's accession to power in 2002, but has only expanded and accelerated under Erdoğan.

Unfortunately, there has been a far too widespread tendency, both in the media and in policy circles, to see Qatar either as a moderate Western ally in the ongoing unrest as part of the Arab Spring, or somehow as an advocate for liberal democracy and reform in the Middle East and North Africa. Rather, its true Sunni sectarian and pro-Islamist agenda needs to be recognized.

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and an intern at the Middle East Forum.


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