Saturday, July 22, 2006

Terrorists in America

Did you know that we had a Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas cell here in Tulsa, and Hamas (groups and conventions) in Oklahoma City?

Click here for the whole map.


Gaza groups agree to stop firing at Israel

Yahoo! News Senior Palestinian officials said militant groups in the Gaza Strip agreed to stop firing missiles at Israel at midnight Saturday, if Israel launches no new raids into Gaza.

It looks like they need to take time out to rearm.

If they want peace, all they have to do is free their hostage, and stop firing rockets into Israel.
But two main guerrilla groups denied that any agreement had been reached. The Palestinian officials said the unilateral cease-fire was aimed at ending an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip that began June 28, three days after militants raided an Israeli army post, killing two soldiers and capturing 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Meryl Yourish blogged Kidnappers demand time to rearm and reload


U.S. Speeds Up Bomb Delivery for the Israelis

NYT reported The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday. The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran’s efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah.

Add a bunch of bunker busters, and perhaps a few Fuel Air Bombs, but keep at least one precision-guided bomb for the New York Times
The munitions that the United States is sending to Israel are part of a multimillion-dollar arms sale package approved last year that Israel is able to draw on as needed, the officials said. But Israel’s request for expedited delivery of the satellite and laser-guided bombs was described as unusual by some military officers, and as an indication that Israel still had a long list of targets in Lebanon to strike.

Michelle Malkin blogged Anonymous blabbers and their stenographers at the NYTimes are at it again

Argo blogged So here they are again conducting foreign policy for the administration. s this even real news? We all know that the US deals arms to Israel, but the Times takes it upon themselves to let all of the Arab nations know that they should be upset with us over a rushed shipment.

Macsmind blogged The Ny Traitor Times with another "scoop". Yeah Duh! "Disclosure!" Like when you get and print a leak? Incidently the Arabs were born angry. Additionally just for the record, we could give a crap about what angers the "Arab Governments" - and the moronic comparison between us helping Isreal eradicate cockroaches isn't the same as rogue nation supplying such cockroaches.

Blog-o-Fascist Hunter blogged Hezbollah's Favorite Newspaper

Bill blogged Terrorists Heart the NYT. Today's headline is the latest exhibit in their ongoing jihad against the Bush administration.

Blue Crab blogged The New York Times, working to actively undermine the US by knowingly printing information that could anger Arab governments and hamper Condi Rice's efforts at diplomacy. By their own admission, no less. One hopes the Times hurries it's rush to bankruptcy and ceases operations.

OTB blogged This continues the administration’s strategy of clearly picking sides in this conflict, which is in marked contrast to American policy over the last 30-odd years of at least attempting to play the role of neutral arbiter. Given how spectacularly unsuccessful that proved to be–both in terms of convincing the Arabs we weren’t backing the Israelis and at achieving lasting peace–maybe a new strategy is called for.

Hyscience blogged In their piece, as we have come to expect from the NYT, they dedicate most of their text to bashing the Bush administration and attempt to cast the effort in negatives, saying that it will anger the Arabs (who are likely jumping up and down in glee at Israel's reining-in of Hezbollah and by proxy - Iran). Rush on, rush on, rush on - double the order and add Syria to the crosshairs.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Exiled Bakri in SOS plea

The Sun reported Exiled preacher of hate Omar Bakri has begged the Royal Navy to rescue him from war-torn Beirut. The Muslim cleric who fled Britain last year, tried to board a ship full of women and children yesterday but was turned away. He also wrote to the British embassy asking to be allowed back on “humanitarian grounds”.

We should help this poor troubled man. We should not send him back to Londinistan; that would just be stupid. Initially I was going to say send him to the Sudan, but I realized they are Sunnis there, just as he is, so we should send him to Iran and let the Shias take care of him.
In an email to officials, dole scrounger Bakri pleaded: “The current situation in Beirut left me without any choice but to appeal to you to grant me a visit visa to see my children for one month.” But his bid to sneak on one of our ships was blocked at harbour gates by sharp-eyed officials. Bakri, 46, left his family in Edmonton, North London, last August and went to Lebanon after a Sun campaign to kick him out.

C.S. Scott blogged How utterly amusing and ironic.

Blue Crab blogged Boo hoo. I feel for this guy. I really do. Disgust and contempt describes it adequately.

CQ blogged Britain has thus far refused, and an evacuation crew kicked him off a ship in Beirut when he attempted to stow away. Why should they allow him to return? He preached hate and war, praised al-Qaeda, and railed endlessly about the evils of the West and Zionists. Now he finds himself in the middle of the war he actively demanded and pursued, and all of a sudden he wants the Western infidels to rescue him from it. What a tool.

Bryan blogged That’s crazy. But it’s not the craziest thing. The craziest thing is that if his letter hits the right desk, one occupied by some Arabist or leftwinger, Bakri stands a good chance of getting out of the war his pals started and into Londonistan, where he can get to work starting the next one.

Michael van der Galien blogged Bakri is of course the same person who preached violence and nicknamed the terrorists who carried out 9/11 the "Magnificent 19". See, there's humor everywhere.


To Save a Revolution

David Ignatius wrote in WaPo You could sense the hurt and anger as Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora pleaded this week to the U.S. ambassador and other diplomats in Beirut for a halt to Israeli attacks on Lebanese targets. "The country has been torn to shreds," he said. "I hope you will not let us down."

Why shouldn't we let you down. You let Israel down. You had a security council resolution that said that you were to take control over all Lebanese territory, and yet you were too afraid of a bunch of terrorists to disarm them and take control, and so you allowed them to commit acts of war against a neighboring country. Israel is in there right now cleaning out the vermin you were afraid to confront. How many do they need to kill before you will find the strength to take over control of your entire country?
The challenge for the Bush administration as the Lebanon war explodes into its second week is just that -- to keep faith with Siniora and his Cedar Revolution, even as it stands by its close ally Israel. This isn't simply a question of appearances and public diplomacy. Unless Siniora's government can be strengthened, there is little hope for achieving the U.S. and Israeli goal of bringing Hezbollah's guerrillas under lasting control.

Blue Crab blogged Do I think Lebanon should be free? Yes, I do. Do I think Hezbollah Should be ejected from Lebanon. Yes I do. Do I think opinion pieces like Mr. Ignatius' help? No.

Carl in Jerusalem blogged If Ignatius' description is correct - and it certainly seems to be - then one of the things Secretary of State Rice needs to do when she visits the region starting Sunday is to get Siniora to get his Defense Minister with the program. The last thing the Lebanese army needs right now is to get into a war with the IDF. The Lebanese army should stand aside and allow Israel to crush Hezbullah.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fatwa Against Hezbollah

New York Sun reported One of Saudi Arabia's leading Wahhabi sheiks, Abdullah bin Jabreen has issued a strongly worded religious edict, or fatwa, declaring it unlawful to support, join or pray for Hezbollah, the Shiite militias lobbing missiles into northern Israel.

Does it also mean the Wahhabis are going to behead any Hezbollah terrorists they can find?
The day after Hezbollah abducted two Israeli soldiers on July 12, Sheik Hamid al-Ali issued an informal statement titled "The Sharia position on what is going on." In it, the Kuwaiti based cleric condemned the imperial ambitions of Iran regarding Hezbollah's cross border raid.

The surprising move demonstrates that Sunni Muslim fundamentalists in the Middle East are deeply divided over whether Moslems should support Hezbollah, Iran's Shiite proxies in the war raging in Lebanon.
A fatwa is a little stronger than "deeply divided"
While the Gulf's ascetic Wahhabi sects, who are closer to the ethnic fighting between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, have opposed Hezbollah in its stand against Israel's forces, other Sunni fundamentalist groups, such as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, have pledged their solidarity. On Friday, the brothers will host a rally in support of Hezbollah at Cairo's most influential mosque, Al-Azhar.
One group of terrorists supporting another group.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

GOP Unveils School Voucher Plan

WaPo reported The Bush administration and Republican legislators yesterday proposed a $100 million national plan to offer low-income students private-school vouchers to escape low-performing public schools. The plan was immediately assailed by Democrats, unions and liberal advocacy groups.

All of whom are desperate to protect the failing public education system
The proposal comes four days after the independent research arm of the Department of Education issued a report showing that public schools are performing as well as or better than private schools,
Once you jiggered the numbers to ADJUST for things, like giving public schools more points so they would score higher.
with the exception of eighth-grade reading, in which private schools excelled. The results prompted questions from foes of vouchers about why taxpayer money should go toward private schools instead of toward improving public schools.
Because we have found that sending more money to the public school system is like throwing it down a well. If the parents believe your study, they don't have to use the vouchers.


Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent

Youssef Ibrahim wrote in New York Sun Yes, world, there is a silent Arab majority that believes that seventh-century Islam is not fit for 21st-century challenges. That women do not have to look like walking black tents. That men do not have to wear beards and robes, act like lunatics, and run around blowing themselves up in order to enjoy 72 virgins in paradise. And that secular laws, not Islamic Shariah, should rule our day-to-day lives.

This is good to hear. I hope it does not get you killed by the nutcase Islamofascists.
And yes, we, the silent Arab majority, do not believe that writers, secular or otherwise, should be killed or banned for expressing their views. Or that the rest of our creative elite - from moviemakers to playwrights, actors, painters, sculptors, and fashion models - should be vetted by Neanderthal Muslim imams who have never read a book in their dim, miserable lives.
Nor do we believe that little men with head wraps and disheveled beards can run amok in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq making decisions on our behalf, dragging us to war whenever they please, confiscating our rights to be adults, and flogging us for not praying five times a day or even for not believing in God.

More important, we are not silent any longer.
Good to hear it.
Rarely have I seen such an uprising, indeed an intifada, against those little turbaned, bearded men across the Muslim landscape as the one that took place last week. The leader of Hezbollah, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, received a resounding "no" to pulling 350 million Arabs into a war with Israel on his clerical coattails. The collective "nyet" was spoken by presidents, emirs, and kings at the highest level of government in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, and at the Arab League's meeting of 22 foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday. But it was even louder from pundits and ordinary people. Perhaps the most remarkable and unexpected reaction came from Saudi Arabia, whose foreign minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, said bluntly and publicly that Hezbollah's decision to cross the Lebanese border, attack Israel, and kidnap its soldiers has left the Shiite group on its own to face Israel. The unspoken message here was, "We hope they blow you away."


IAF foils rocket transports from Syria

Ynetnews reported Although Hizbullah has suffered a harsh blow from Israeli air force strikes which took out a good percentage of their available weapons, Syria was continuing to smuggle arms into Lebanon to rearm the group, IDF Operations Branch Head Major General Gadi Eisenkot said during a press briefing Tuesday.

Why doesn't Israel at least take out the Hizbullah and Hamas headquarters in Syria.
Thus far, the IAF managed to intercept a number of trucks transporting rockets from Syria to Hizbullah, including trucks laden with the 220mm-diameter rockets with warheads like the one that hit the Haifa train depot Monday, claiming eight lives. Maj.-Gen. Eisenkot said he would be very surprised if official elements in Syria were unaware of these transports. “These are rockets that belong to the Syrian army. You can’t find them in the Damascus market, and the Syrian government is responsible for this smuggling,” Eisenkot said, but stressed, “We are not operating against Syria or the Lebanese army.” During the briefing, Maj.-Gen. Eisenkot said the IDF has hit over 1,000 targets, 180 of them Katyusha and rocket storage sites and 350 launch sites. Over 250 missile strikes were carried out with the aim of blocking traffic arteries, and 200 buildings used by Hizbullah were hit. According to Eisenkot, Israel’s offensive would continue without time limitations.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hard to solve but easy to explain

Dennis Prager wrote in Townhall The Middle East conflict is difficult to solve, but it is among the simplest conflicts in history to understand.

You've got that right
The Arab and other Muslim enemies of Israel (for the easily confused, this does not mean every Arab or every Muslim) want Israel destroyed. That is why there is a Middle East conflict. Everything else is commentary.

Those who deny this and ascribe the conflict to other reasons, such as "Israeli occupation," "Jewish settlements," a "cycle of violence," "the Zionist lobby" and the like, do so despite the fact that Israel's enemies regularly announce the reason for the conflict. The Iranian regime, Hizbollah, Hamas and the Palestinians -- in their public opinion polls, in their anti-Semitic school curricula and media, in their election of Hamas, in their support for terror against Israeli civilians in pre-1967 borders -- as well as their Muslim supporters around the world, all want the Jewish state annihilated.
And Israel does not want to be annihilated.
In 1947-48, the Arab states tried to destroy the tiny Jewish state formed by the United Nations partition plan. In 1967, Egypt, Syria and Jordan tried to destroy Israel in what became known as the Six-Day War. All of this took place before Israel occupied one millimeter of Palestinian land and before there was a single Jewish settler in the West Bank.

Two months after the Six-Day War of June 5-10, 1967, the Arab countries convened in Khartoum, Sudan, and announced on Sept. 1, 1967, their famous "Three NOs" to Israel: "No peace, No recognition, No negotiations."

  Read More

Six years later, in 1973, Egypt invaded the Israeli-held Sinai Peninsula, a war that ended in a boost in Egyptian morale from its initially successful surprise attack. Though nearly all of the Sinai remained in Israel's hands, the boost in Egyptian self-confidence enabled Egypt's visionary president, Anwar Sadat, four years later (November 1977), to do the unimaginable for an Arab leader: He visited Israel and addressed its parliament in Jerusalem. As a result, in 1978, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in return for which Israel gave all of the oil-rich Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt.
Land for Peace
Three years later, in 1981, Sadat was assassinated by Egyptian Muslims, a killing welcomed by most Arabs, including the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). Why welcomed? Because Sadat had done the unforgivable -- recognized Israel and made peace with it.

The lesson that Palestinians should have learned from the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement was that if you make peace with Israel, you will not only get peace in return, you will also get all or nearly all of your land back. That is how much Israelis ache for peace.
And the reason Arafat turned down the offer he got under Carter, is that he did not want what he said, he wanted the destruction of the state of Israel.
Think about Israel for one moment: Israel is one of the most advanced countries on earth in terms of culture (most books published, translated from other languages and read per capita; most orchestras per capita, etc.); major advances in medicine; technological breakthroughs; and decency as a society, as exemplified by its treatment of its women, gays and even its large Arab minority (particularly remarkable in light of the widespread Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism and desire to annihilate Israel). This is hardly a picture of some bloodthirsty, land-grabbing society. And Jews, whatever their flaws, have never been known to be a violent people. If anything, the stereotypical Jew has been depicted as particularly docile.

As a lifelong liberal critic of Israeli policies, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman wrote just two weeks ago: "The Palestinians could have a state on the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem tomorrow, if they and the Arab League clearly recognized Israel, normalized relations and renounced violence. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know Israel today."
That is basically the deal Arafat turned down.
Give Israel peace, and Israel will give you land.
But they don't want peace, they want Israel's land. And they are willing for their people to suffer until they get it (when Hell freezes over).
Which is exactly what Israel agreed to do in the last year of the Clinton administration. It offered PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat about 97 percent of the West Bank and three percent of Israel's land in exchange for peace. Instead, Israel got its men, women and children routinely blown up and maimed by Palestinian terrorists after the Palestinians rejected the Israeli offer at Camp David. Even President Clinton, desirous of being the honest broker and yearning to be history's Middle East peacemaker, blamed the ensuing violence entirely on the Palestinians.
And they were the ones at fault.
Israel's Camp David offer of a Palestinian state for Palestinian peace was rejected because most Palestinians and their Arab and Muslim supporters don't want a second state. They want Israel destroyed. They admit it. Only those who wish Israel's demise and the willfully naive do not.

If you don't believe this, ask almost anyone living in the Middle East why there is a Middle East War, preferably in Arabic. If you ask in English, they will assume you are either an academic, a Western news reporter, a diplomat or a "peace activist." And then, they will assume you are gullible and will tell you that it's because of "Israeli occupation" or "the Zionist lobby."

But they know it isn't. And it never was.

bondmanp commented How could you, Dennis?

I feel very betrayed. How could Dennis Prager, who heretofore has spoken the truth, spread such terrible lies about the Arab-Israeli conflict? Does Prager have any knowledge of British Mandatory-era history? If he did, he would have made sure to include these facts that place the conflict into perspective:
Although your points are valid, they are old history, and Dennis Prager correctly stated the condition today.
1. There never was a "Palestinian" people prior to the 1964 formation of the PLO, an Egyptian proxy army created to weaken Israel and contribute to its destruction. Prior to 1947, "Palestinans" referred to residents of British Mandatory Palestine, and that included Palestinian Jews. Most of the Palestinian Arabs in Palestine in 1947 came from adjacent Arab countries. They were attracted by the economic opportunities that the Zionists were creating as they built up the land. (For a description of Palestine before massive immigration of European Jews, read Mark Twain's travelogue from the 19th Century.)

2. ALL of British Mandatory Palestine was to be open to Jewish settlement. This included what is now Jordan, Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The British government handed Trans-Jordan to the Hashemite dynasty in 1922 as a reward for their assistance in WWI. This, despite the fact that the Hashemites were and are a tiny minority in the region. Most Palestinian Arabs have made what is now Jordan their home.
And some did settle in Trans-Jordan, and then after the UN Partition Plan they were moved to the smaller area defined as Israel, although the Arabs in Israel were not forced to move into TransJordan.
3. Even under the UN Partition Plan, Gaza (an area with a Jewish history that long predates Islam) was "unallocated" territory given neither to Arabs or Jews. It was seized by Egypt in the 1948 war of aggression, which is why no nation except Egypt ever accepted Egyptian soveriegnty over Gaza. Similarly, Jordan illegally seized Judea and Samaria ("The West Bank") in the same war. Gaza and the West Bank were never intended to be part of any Jew-free Arab country. Conversely, Israel liberated these territories in a defensive war, giving Israel, according to UN rules, the right to retain these lands. That is why a UN resolution was necessary to force Israel to make territorial concessions in the disputed territories for peace treaties (although the UN resolutions intentionally refrained from calling for "all territories" to be traded for peace; only for "territories" captured in the 1967 war).

What you have done, Mr. Prager, is to play fully into the evil hands of the Islamic aggressors by ignoring history and accepting illegitimate Arab claims over Gaza, Judea and Samaria. By holding out the promise of getting their "rightful" land back when it was never theirs to begin with, you have lent support to those who seek to dismantle Israel piece by piece until it can no longer defend itself from the Arab-Muslim onslaught. Shame on you, Dennis.
bondmanp, your description of history would justify Israel's claim on the rest of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), and those might well be more defensible borders, but that is not what Israel is asking for. They would be happy allowing a Palestenian country to be formed in the West Bank, if it would be a country at peace with Israel.


Was Israel a mistake, and when was it made?

Richard Cohen wrote in WaPo The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now

If creating Israel where it is, was a mistake, the mistake was made in 1922 by the League of Nations, when they should have given the Jews the entire Palestine Mandate , and then allow the Israelis to resettle Arabs living west of the Jordan into TransJordan, and resettle the Jews living in TransJordan, into the land west of the Jordan. The Israelis could have then allowed the Arabs in TransJordan to have a country of their own, and Israel would have had more defensable borders.
Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.

Bryan blogged People do not fight and die for what they believe to be a mistake. What Cohen wants Israel to internalize is the very message that Hassan Nasrallah wants them to internalize: Their nation is a mistake and they have no right to live in the land of Abraham. Their state should curl up and die.

That’s a good message for the MSM to internalize, perhaps, but not one that will motivate a tiny country currently fighting for its life. So if anyone’s listening, my advice to Israel: Ignore the press and do what you must do.

Allah Pundit blogged Bryan’s already commented on RC, who stands a chance of surpassing his own record for hate mail with this latest column.

Blue Crab blogged Hunkering down is never a strategy for winning a war. It is a way to die. Israel did not choose this war, it was thrust on them. Sitting back and taking it will not make it better and will not fix the underlying problems. I do not profess to know the ultimate solution, but I highly doubt it is the one Mr. Cohen charts.

Stop the ACLU blogged So there you have you it, straight from American media’s mouth, it is the creation of Israel itself that has created terrorism. That is where the blame lies in the mind of Richard Cohen. He doesn’t blame the terrorists, he blames the creation of Israel. Sickening.


NYT to Reduce Page Size

NYT reported The New York Times is planning to reduce the size of the newspaper, making it narrower by one and a half inches....

The smaller size will reduce postage costs to mail it to their primary customers, Al Qaeda cells all over the world.
The reduction in the size of The Times will mean a loss of 5 percent of the space the paper devotes to news. If the paper only reduced the size of its pages, it would lose 11 percent of that space, but Bill Keller, the paper’s executive editor, said such a loss would be too drastic, so the paper will add pages to make up for some of the loss.

“That’s a number that I think we can live with quite comfortably,” Mr. Keller said of the 5 percent reduction, adding that the smaller news space would require tighter editing and putting some news in digest form.
But it will only be the rare good news story that is reduced to digest size. They will still devote as much space as necessary to cover any military secrets they discover.
Blue Crab blogged Keep shrinking the paper and soon it will disappear! What a great move for a news paper, cut the news. You know, the reason for your existence. It's leadership like this that helps confirm my confidence in my predictions about the Times. Once again, Keller gone by the end of summer, Pinch gone at the next stockholder's meeting.

Don Surber blogged Oh. I see. We can trust the NY Times. Am I the only one who notices this comes in advance of its quarterly earnings report today? I smell trouble for Pinch and company.

Joe Gandelman blogged These announcements by the New York Times are NOT the signs of a healthy, thriving newspaper. The Times may now have to change its logo to "All The News That Fits — Into A Smaller News Hole."

John Podhoretz blogged when you shrink your paper by 5 percent, you want to be sure you decrease the average IQ of your op-ed writers by a comparable percentage.


Monday, July 17, 2006

No-fly list to ignore terror ties

TorontoSun reports Being a member of a terrorist organization won't necessarily land someone on Canada's no-fly list, The Canadian Press has learned. Proposed criteria would limit inclusion on the roster to those who pose "an immediate threat to aviation security," Transport Canada internal briefing notes say.

So you can be a member of Hezbollah or Hamas, but as long as you swear to Allah that you have no intention of hijacking the plane, and that you only intend to blow up buildings and people when you land, they will let you fly?????
Draft regulations, disclosed by a source familiar with details of the plan, confirm the no-fly list will be tightly focused and reviewed every 30 days to keep it up to date. "You cannot be put on the list on the sole basis that you're a member of a 'terrorist group,'" the source said. "In addition, you have to be a demonstrable threat to aviation safety."
This is sheer stupidity
The no-fly initiative, known as Passenger Protect, will also feature an independent appeal process,
Oh, so if they think you may have hijacked a plane in the past, you can appeal and swear that you have other plans now.

What if they plan to set up a camp in Canada, and stock it with Katusha rockets to fire across the border at the US. Will Canada allow them to do it, and then when we react and start bombing their base in Cadana, will we be accused of responding too agressively?
but it won't provide financial compensation to those improperly placed on the list, the source said.

Allah Pundit blogged Not an exaggeration. I understand that racial profiling can be abused, I understand that the U.S. watch list is a bit, shall we say, overinclusive. But, um… It’s every joke you’ve ever heard about Canadian politeness, times a million. Which I guess means Mohammed Atta is okay to fly Air Canada so long as they don’t find out about the pilot lessons. Actually, what I think it means is that members of “legitimate” terrorist organizations, like Hamas, that make a pretense of political dialogue in between bus bombings are good to go....

Across the pond, not only won’t the Brits let terrorists fly, they’ll lock you up now for “glorifying” terrorism.


Mapping Mideast Bloggers

The Truth Laid Bear is using Microsoft's Virtual Earth API to integrate TTLB's Middle East blog tracking with Virtual Earth's rather impressive mapping capabilities. The new map-based tracking page is here.

He has made a first pass through the regional blogs that TTLB has been tracking thus far, and have done his best to assign them locations appropriately.

Commenters raised some very valid points: Ratt said Hmmm , if you map the actual location of a Middle East blogger what happens if they are Pro-Israel and Hezbollah gets it's hands on the map ? Jackie Davis said Do you really think putting the precise physical locations of bloggers in war zones is a good idea? Isn't that sort of like publishing the spy's address? and htom said I'll urge you to randomly displace any exact address by +- 0.25 degree (about 15 miles) in both latitude and longitude.

N.Z. Bear responded Very good point. However, the maps are not displaying any bloggers locations to any real degree of precision. All of the bloggers in Beiruit, for example, are shown in the exact same spot on the map, which is simply a point roughly near the center of the city that I picked for that purpose.

So: I don't believe the map is providing any information that could actually be dangerous in itself. Any blogger in a war zone should of course be thinking of their safety and whether it is wise to be blogging at all --- and whether they even want to reveal their location down to the city level. But for those bloggers that have chosen to report their locations, I don't think showing those locations appoximately on a map changes their risk...

I believe he is adequately protecting their location. He might want to randomly move the point for the Beiruit bloggers by the +- 0.25 degree (about 15 miles) in both latitude and longitude suggested by htom, but it is still interesting to see approximately where the bloggers are from.


Read Tricks To Access Blocked Websites

Amit Agarwal reports Blogspot Blogs Banned in India This may or may not be true (it could be only certain blogs, or it could be just certain ISPs, but this article provides some good hints as to how one can get around such efforts, as does this article. Hopefully this is not something that we will ever need here in the US, but I am posting it in case it could help some bloggers in other countries.


Sunnis Want U.S. to Remain in Iraq

NYT reported As sectarian violence soars, many Sunni Arab political and religious leaders once staunchly opposed to the American presence here are now saying they need American troops to protect them from the rampages of Shiite militias and Shiite-run government forces.

Quick, look out the windows. Did I just see a pig flying by?
The pleas from the Sunni Arab leaders have been growing in intensity since an eruption of sectarian bloodletting in February, but they have reached a new pitch in recent days as Shiite militiamen have brazenly shot dead groups of Sunni civilians in broad daylight in Baghdad and other mixed areas of central Iraq.
Fine, we will stay, but you need to help us by turning in the insurgents that are mad that Saddam is gone, and the foreign terrorists that just want to kill anyone they can find: Sunni, Shia, or American, but would prefer to attack innocent civilians since they don't shoot back.
The Sunnis also view the Americans as a “bulwark against Iranian actions here,” a senior American diplomat said. Sunni politicians have made their viewpoints known to the Americans through informal discussions in recent weeks.


Militia Rebuked by Some Arab Countries

NYT reported With the battle between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah raging, key Arab governments have taken the rare step of blaming Hezbollah, underscoring in part their growing fear of influence by the group’s main sponsor, Iran.

Their fear of Iran outweighs their hatred for the Jews.
Saudi Arabia, with Jordan, Egypt and several Persian Gulf states, chastised Hezbollah for “unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts” at an emergency Arab League summit meeting in Cairo on Saturday. The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said of Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel, “These acts will pull the whole region back to years ago,
Just years ago? The Islamoterrorists want to take the whole region back 13 centuries.
and we cannot simply accept them.” Prince Faisal spoke at the closed-door meeting but his words were reported to journalists by other delegates.
It appears they have problems with leaks, just like we do.
The meeting ended with participants asserting that the Middle East peace process had failed and requesting help from the United Nations Security Council.
The only thing more worthless than the United Nations Security Council is the UN itself.
It is nearly unheard of for Arab officials to chastise an Arab group engaged in conflict with Israel, especially as images of destruction by Israeli warplanes are beamed into Arab living rooms. Normally under such circumstances, Arabs are not blamed, and condemnations of Israel are routine. But the willingness of those governments to defy public opinion in their own countries underscores a shift that is prompted by the growing influence of Iran and Shiite Muslims in Iraq and across the region.

CQ blogged Even if a direct supply route could be found, the Arab nations want no part of this battle, not while America has an overwhelming force in the region, one that has become battle-hardened and expert in confronting Arab terrorists as well as Arab military forces. It sliced through the best Arab military force in the region in three weeks. No other Arab nation has a military even at the reduced strength of Saddam's pre-invasion forces.

The only nation that would support Nasrallah is non-Arab Iran. They have the same problem of communications that everyone else does, as I pointed out earlier. The Iranians might be tempted to start lobbing missiles at Tel Aviv -- I doubt they would try to hit Jerusalem, with the Muslim claim on the city -- but it would invite an immediate American response, perhaps including an anti-missile strike that would strip Iran of any leverage at all in the region.

CQ blogged The New York Times provides an interesting analysis regarding the surprising criticism coming from Arab capitals towards Hezbollah. Yesterday, its chief complained that the Arabs had not rallied around his organization while it fights the hated "Zionists". However, the Arabs understand that Hezbollah represents a non-Arab threat that presents a much bigger problem than Israel.... What is clear is that even the various kleptocracies in the region have becomed unnerved by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's rhetoric and brazen pursuit of nuclear weapons. The fall of Saddam Hussein removed the one military force that could stack up against Israel, and the American occupation puts Israel out of reach for most of the rest of the Arab nations. That makes any nation that deliberately invites Israeli and American retaliation a little less than rational, and the nutty rhetoric coming from Teheran only means that the Americans will stick around a little longer.... For all their talk, the Arabs understand that Israel really presents no long-term threat to their own regimes. Israel does not covet land outside of their own territory and parts of the West Bank. They do not want Lebanon for themselves, nor Jordan nor Syria. They want to be left alone. Iran, on the other hand, wants to pick up where Saddam Hussein left off. Rather than a pan-Arab vision, though, the mullahcracy wants to reestablish the Caliphate, a pan-Islamism with Teheran in charge. That puts all of their regimes at risk, regardless of whether Iran fails or succeeds. The result -- we now have the singular event of Arabs taking Israel's side in a conflict with other Arabs. Check your window this morning, because pigs may soon begin to fly.

Michael Galien blogged This is exactly what the West and Israel need at this point of time. Ahmadinejad seems to make life impossible for himself. It seems that it's not just the West anymore that is determined to do something against the Iranian threat; Arab nations might be joining the pack as well. In the global war against terrorism, this could be an important development.

Michael Galien blogged To summarize Hezbollah's position at this point of time: it needs foreign help to be able to continue carrying on its terrorist attacks against Israel, but it doesn't need anyone's help to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel. Or: Israel is stronger and whooping Hezbollah's butt, while at the same time Hezbollah is much stronger than Israel and whooping Israel's butt.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Iran warns Israel of 'unimaginable losses' if Syria hit

AFP reported Iran warned its arch-enemy Israel of "unimaginable losses" if it attacks Syria

So why waste time attacking another client state of Iran. Just go ahead and wipe Iran out, or at least all of its nuclear facilities, and Syria will quickly change its ways.
and vowed that it was standing by the Syrian people. "We hope the Zionist regime does not make the mistake of attacking Syria, because extending the front would definitely make the Zionist regime face unimaginable losses," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.