Archive for April, 2006

UN “Action” on Iran

UN “Action” on Iran

Try typing that with a straight face, I dare you.

The UN Security Council will convene this week to begin discussions on a new resolution on Iran’s nuclear program, with the possibility of imposing future sanctions if President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration does not comply with the demand to stop the program.

“Begin discussions…resolution…possibility…future…if…” That’s telling ‘em. No wonder Ahamd…Ahmadenji…Ahmajihad…Jamie Farr is so contemptuous of the UN.


Urine, Faeces, Dogs, Pigs, Disbelievers

Urine, Faeces, Dogs, Pigs, Disbelievers

No, that’s not our law firm here at BTL–it’s what British taxpayers are paying for Muslims to learn:

An Islamic school in London is teaching that non-Muslims are akin to pigs and dogs, and it is doing so with subventions from the British taxpayer. More alarmingly, when notified of this problem, the British authorities indicate they intend to do nothing about it.

The Times (London) reported on April 20 in “Muslim students ‘being taught to despise unbelievers as ‘filth’,” that the Hawza Ilmiyya, a Shi‘i institution, teaches from the writings of Muhaqqiq al-Hilli. This scholar lived from 1240 to 1326 and wrote the authoritative work on Shi‘i law (Shara’i‘ al-Islam). About non-believers, called kafirs, he taught:

The water left over in the container after any type of animal has drunk from it is considered clean and pure apart from the left over of a dog, a pig, and a disbeliever.

There are ten [sic] types of filth and impurities: urine, faeces, semen, carrion, blood of carrion, dogs, pigs, disbelievers.

When a dog, a pig, or a disbeliever touches or comes in contact with the clothes or body [of a Muslim] while he [the disbeliever] is wet, it becomes obligatory-compulsory upon him [the Muslim] to wash and clean that part which came in contact with the disbeliever.

In addition, a chapter on jihad specifies conditions under which Muslims should fight Jews and Christians.

Although Hilli’s attitudes were standard for a pre-modern Shi‘i, they are shocking for 2006 London. Indeed, several students in the Hawza Ilmiyya found them “disturbing” and “very worrying.” Their spokesman told the Times that students “are being exposed to very literalist interpretations of the Koran. These are interpretations that would not be recognised by 80 or 90 per cent of Muslims, but they are being taught in this school. A lot of people in the Muslim community are very concerned about this.” The spokesman concluded with an appeal urgently to re-examine “the kind of material that is being taught here and in other [Islamic] colleges in Britain.”

The Tehran regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sponsors the Hawza Ilmiyya; for example, three of the eight years in the curriculum are spent at institutions in the Iranian city of Qom. Indeed, the school’s 1996 founding memorandum states that “At all times at least one of the trustees shall be a representative of the Supreme Spiritual Leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The institution that funds this school, the Irshad Trust, is a “registered charity” at the Charity Commission (see the trust’s page at the commission website), a privilege that qualifies it for various tax concessions; in other words, the British taxpayer is effectively subsidizing the school. In particular, the school benefits from a program called “Gift Aid,” under which the government refunds the income tax paid by the donor. Gifts made to registered charities can claim and receive a 28 percent tax refund. A gift of £100 to the Irshad Trust, for example, earns it £128.

A correspondent of mine, on reading the Times article, immediately complained to the Charity Commission and asked it to take steps concerning the Irshad Trust. He got a quick reply:

Subject: RE: “non-Muslims are ‘filth’”
From: Monaghan-Smith Tracey []
To: xx

Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dear Mr xx,

Thank you for your e-mail, the contents of which are noted. However, as per booklet CC47, the Commission will not become involved in this particular matter. You may wish to peruse the booklet in further detail, as this outlines our role quite clearly in this respect. The Commission will not look into this particular complaint. I hope this clarifies the position.


Mrs Tracey Monaghan-Smith
Charity Commission

Don’t you just love the officious British tone? She’d deny that her throat was slit because the proper forms had not been filed.


Tora Bora on Sinai

Tora Bora on Sinai

Well, looky here. Egypt is shocked–shocked–to find terrorists in its midst:

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Our military sources reveal the battle is raging on Jebel Magharah, 22km SW of El Arish and west of a former al Qaeda base on Jebel Hilal (alt. 654 meters). The fortified al Qaeda stronghold on Jebel Magharah is beating back an Egyptian assault on the mountain site. Signals passed among the troops describe the operation as the “Tora Bora of Sinai,” naming it after the fierce epic US-al Qaeda engagement in Afghanistan three years ago. Both sides have sustained casualties.

Egypt launched a large-scale clean-up operation against al Qaeda’s Sinai bases last week after three bomb blasts killed at least 34 people at the Sinai resort of Dahab Tuesday. They are also reported to be raiding more new al Qaeda havens around St. Catherine’s monastery and Wadi Paran in the south.

In fact, the whole region is soiling its drawers:

The Egyptian and Jordanian rulers, accompanied by their intelligence chiefs, met urgently Saturday, April 29, to discuss the threat to regional stability posed by the al Qaeda in Iraq’s chief’s expansion and stepped-up operations in Egypt, Sinai, the Palestinian territories, Israel and Jordan.

DEBKAfile’s sources report Israel was not invited to the summit, although squarely in Zarqawi’s sights, because its new leaders show scant interest in the encroachment of his cells right up to Israel’s borders.
Presented to Mubarak and the king were updates on the penetration of al Qaeda cells into the Egyptian heartland and the towns on the banks of the Suez Canal. They heard about the heavy recruitment by Zarqawi of Palestinians resident in Jordan and northern Sinai.

Friday night, April 28, Zarqawi’s cell in Gaza announced it is waiting for the final signal to execute the order received in mid-week to “revive the traditional sacrifice of apostates” against four Palestinian targets.

They are identified as Fatah followers of Mahmoud Abbas: former interior minister and Gaza strongman Muhammad Dahlan, prominent West Bank figure Yasser Abd Rabbo, deputy chief of Gaza’s Preventive Security Service Samir Mashrawi, and Abu Ali Shihin, an old Yasser Arafat crony from Rafah.

The above provides some interesting background to this story:

The new Palestinian militia financed by the US and UK is described by DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources as meant to counter the 3,500-strong security force the Hamas government is building under the Gazan terrorist chief, Jamal Samhadana. Abu Mazen’s private army will be built around the Force 17 presidential guard, which served the late Yasser Arafat. Its manpower will be augmented by 40% to eventually match the force controlled by Hamas.

After Jordan exposed the Hamas plot against its senior officials, Abbas’s supporters were able to convince the US and British that their leader was in danger of his life at the hands of Hamas, Jihad Islami or al Qaeda elements in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

The two powers, who maintain secret agents on the West Bank, have informed Abbas through undercover channels that the money is available for setting up and training the new militia.

DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources note that this will be the fifth military force in a decade that the CIA and MI6 have created to buttress Palestinian government.
All four previous efforts petered out when most of the troops they trained defected to terrorist groups taking with them a large part of the military equipment they received.

Pray for Israel.

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In Memorium, Allen Asaf

In Memorium, Allen Asaf

April 30, 1958 – November 26, 1986

Friend, fighter, righteous soul. Who shared his rugelach, Jarlsberg, and Earl Grey without complaint, and who never laughed so hard as when I asked if Krakow (whence his family had escaped) was in Venezuela. Look how far we’ve come, Ace.


Mullah This Over

Mullah This Over

James Lileks is more appreciated on the web than in the mainstream media. Here’s what you may have been missing:

Iran announces it will give Hamas $50 million to meet the bills. Pin money, you might say. Grenade pin money, more like it.

The day after the award, a suicide bomber kills eight at a lunch stand in Tel Aviv. Hamas, speaking with the exquisite sense of nuance and reason that got them elected to run the Palestinian Authority, defends the attack. They blame Israel’s “aggression” — must have been the flowerpots knocked over on the way out of Gaza — and call the action “self-defense.”

This may seem absurd to some, since the people killed were waiting in a line at a falafel stand. If you believe the Jews exist only to weave dark plots against innocent Muslims and gentiles, well, yes, it’s self-defense. The mother of two who was killed in the bombing could have been taking a break from inventing invisible Mossad vampire robots. You never know.

How should the West respond? With furrowed brows, of course.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, through his spokesperson, called upon the Palestinian Authority “to take a clear public stand against such unjustifiable acts of terrorism.” In other words, Annan wants Hamas to condemn as “unjustifiable” something it has just justified. And do so sincerely. This is the response of civilized men to barbarity: They’re reduced to begging for a lie.

Peeved that the usual niceties of diplomatic lingo are being ignored, Annan has also asked Iran to dial down the blowtorch rhetoric. Enough with the “death to America”; perhaps something along the lines of “a persistent rash to America, not entirely explained away as contact dermatitis” or “a broken arm to America, easily set but requiring it to spend the summer in an itchy cast.”

The world could live with that, because then we could understand it was all a metaphor. And it is a metaphor, isn’t it? These are all just dramatic gestures that must be understood in the context of a volatile region. They’re shouting “theater” in a crowded fire. Right?

Oh, absolutely. That would explain why Iran has created an elite squad of dedicated Human Similes, or, as they call them, “The Special Unit of Martyr Seekers.”

These are battalions of suicide bombers who will attack American and British interests if the West dares to interfere with Iran’s nuclear bomb program. These heroic would-be falafel-stand exterminators appeared in a recent parade, “dressed in olive-green uniforms with explosive packs around their waists and detonators held high,” according to England’s Sunday Times. Wonderful. How seasonal. In your Martyr’s bonnet, with all the wires upon it.

Iran says 40,000 have signed up. The Seekers are run by “Dr.” Hassan Abbasi (one suspects the doctoral program requirements are somewhat different in the Islamic Republic), a chap who runs the “Centre for Doctrinal Strategic Studies” for the Republican Guard.

Sounds so very civilized, no? Doctors and Centres and Studies both Strategic and Doctrinal. We have the Heritage Foundation, they have think tanks that develop religious rationales for sending boys to clear minefields with their bodies. Surely there’s some common ground.

Surely a country that spells “Centre” in the English fashion can be reasoned with. Granted, Abbasi has said that “Britain’s demise is on our agenda,” but it’s a cry for respect, really. When a country announces it has 40,000 suicide bombers, and its president announces that Israel is “a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm” and pledges the destruction of America, it’s a sign we have to sit down and ask: What’s on your mind, really?

Fear not. Oh, we’ll talk. And talk and talk. The U.N. has taken the carrot-and-stick approach. The stick: threatening a fresh round of scowls from the Security Council. The carrot: Iran has just been elected deputy for Asian nations for the U.N. commission on … disarmament.

That probably comes with an extra parking spot in the U.N. garage. There’s not a member of the diplomatic corps who believes Iran would be stupid enough to jeopardize such a plum. Why, it’s close to the elevator. They may be mad, but they’re not crazy.


Calling Joe Wilson!

Calling Joe Wilson!

Odd that no one has picked this up:

NICOSIA [MENL] — Iran has disclosed U.S. efforts to penetrate the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

Officials revealed a U.S. plot to infiltrate Iran’s nuclear program. They said this involved an attempt by U.S. agents to pose as sellers of enriched uranium to Teheran.

Details of the U.S. espionage efforts were disclosed during an international conference on Iran’s nuclear program. The conference, which took place on April 25, was addressed by former Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi in the first open discussion of the U.S. and Israeli spy program.

“However, such attempts were thwarted through the vigilance of Iran’s intelligence service,” Yunesi said.

If he’s done with his book tour, intrepid explorer Clueless Joe Wilson (author of The Truth of Politics) could take tea with the mullahs in Iran and get to the bottom of this.


Français it Ain’t So [UPDATED]

Français it Ain’t So [UPDATED]

The Palestinians are packing arms in Gaza like sardines, and Jaques Chirac proposes to pick up the tab for Hamass’ payroll.

Palestinian President Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday that he was considering French President Jacques Chirac’s proposal to create a World Bank fund to pay the salaries of Palestinian officials.

Chirac’s office released the proposal Friday after he met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

I don’t know who’s worse, Chirac or the Palestinians. I guess I’d have to vote for the former. If the EW–sorry, EU–cut off aid and support the terrorists, the Palestinians would likely have to grow up and behave like responsible adults (change “likely” to “possibly”). By coddling and enabling the death-cultists, Europe has fueled years of additional terror. And never tires of the effort.


ARAB NEWS (Saudi) 29 April ’06:”Editorial: Funding for Palestine”

A couple of months ago … Hamas boldly predicted that it would find the money elsewhere. … whatever funds may have been sent have amounted to almost nothing. The Palestinian state is now in precisely the crisis that President Mahmoud Abbas predicted. Some 165,000 Palestinian government-employees have not been paid salaries for weeks and have to beg and borrow to survive.

the Palestinian Authority is the largest employer in the West Bank and Gaza – cannot pay their bills …The economy is in dire straits. Doubtless there will be many Arabs, Muslims and friends of the Palestinians incandescent with rage at the notion that the Americans and Europeans should be able to “blackmail” the Hamas government. But far more appalling is that the Palestinian Authority should have become so totally dependent on Western aid. …The lesson that the Palestinians need to take from this disaster is …They cannot allow themselves to ever again slide into a state of neocolonial economic dependency on the US and EU. It is bad politics and it is bad economics. …Arabs and Muslim governments are also complicit in this disaster. Their insufficient giving is what has forced the Palestinians into near absolute dependence on Western aid. Moral support is all very well, but it does not pay salaries or feed mouths.

….The French president’s proposal for the World Bank to take over responsibility for paying Palestinian salaries is a diminution of Palestinian sovereignty … .

The onus is on Arab and Muslim governments. …. Palestinians… will not easily forgive a lack of Arab and Muslim action at this desperate time.


Darfur is for Lovers

Darfur is for Lovers

I’ve been writing about the atrocities of the janjaweed (more invasive than dandelions, more toxic than ragweed) since most of you were in short pants, so don’t you dare lecture me about the poor, starving Darfurians. But if you want to actually help the people there–instead of just putting another bumper sticker next to your Free Tibet and Chimpeach stickers–what are you planning to do about it? Don’t look to the pack o’ pussies:

The UN’s World Food Program is cutting in half the emergency food rations it provides to about 3 million people in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan because of a ”severe lack of funding,” especially from the wealthy nations of Europe, officials said yesterday.

The cuts, scheduled to begin in May, could mean the death of tens of thousands of people and bare subsistence for hundreds of thousands of other victims of the Darfur conflict.

The United Nations will reduce the present feeding rations in Darfur from 2,100 calories a day to 1,050 calories, dramatically reducing portions of bread, fortified foods, legumes, cooking oil, sugar, and salt, World Food Program executive director James Morris said at a news conference in Geneva. The reduced portions equal about half the minimum daily calories necessary to maintain health in an adult, according to relief agencies.

The cut must be made, he said, because, despite urgent appeals for assistance and growing media attention on the Darfur crisis, national governments have donated just $238 million this year — about one third of the $746 million the UN says is needed for the hungry of Darfur and displaced people elsewhere in Sudan.

”This is a scandalous step to take in a desperate time,” said World Food Program spokeswoman Caroline Hurford by telephone from the organization’s headquarters in Rome. ”People don’t have enough to eat. But we have no choice.”

Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish Relief Services, who is a leader of efforts in the United States to increase aid to victims in Darfur, said the food program is loudly publicizing the planned food ration cuts to put pressure on European governments to fulfill their commitments.

Nevertheless, ”it is not crying wolf, because people are definitely going to die,” Messinger said in a telephone interview from New York. ”This is going to become genocide by famine.”

The crisis in Darfur began in 2003 when African Muslim tribes rebelled against the Sudanese government, seeking more autonomy. Arab militias called ”janjaweed,” apparently supported by the government, launched a murderous campaign against civilians, driving millions into refugee camps. Sudan denies backing the militias. President Bush and the US Congress have declared the campaign to be a genocide.

That’s right, this President, whom the Left is so quick to condemn as Hitler reincarnated, calls genocide “genocide”, while wealthy European nations, whom the Left look to with hearts in their eyes, call it “scandalous.”

And can someone tell me why George Clooney is so enamored of intervention in Darfur and so contemptuous of the liberation of Iraq? You can be for or agin’ both, but not for one and against the other. Will he please explain to us the difference between Americans dying in Sudan from Americans dying in Iraq?


Zany Ira’s End-Zone Dance

Zany Ira’s End-Zone Dance

A few words of explanation about the title for the uninitiated: Zany Ira is our affectionate nickname for Ayman al-Zawahiri, from the anagram of his name: A wham ail Zany Ira. He also answers to Number Two. An end-zone dance is the choreographed celebration a football player (American football) performs after scoring a touchdown. See the Icky Shuffle for one of the earliest examples. Anyhow, Ira’s Moonwalk is understandable, given his limited TV news coverage (Al-Jazeera and reruns of “Eight Is Enough”):

Al-Qaida’s No. 2 said the terror network’s branch in Iraq had succeeded in “breaking the back” of the US miltary with hundreds of suicide bombings, in a video posted Saturday that was the latest in a string of new messages by al-Qaida’s leaders.

The video by Ayman al-Zawahri, posted on an Islamic militant Web forum, came within the same week as an audiotape by al-Qaida’s top leader Osama bin Laden and a video by the head of al-Qaida’s branch in Iraq – a volley of messages by the group’s most prominent figures.

Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian militant believed to be hiding in Afghanistan or Pakistan, also denounced the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq as “traitors” and called on Muslims to rise up to “confront them.”

He said that US and British forces in Iraq had bogged down in Iraq and “have achieved nothing but loss, disaster and misfortune.”

You have to wonder about the blitz of videos from Wahhabi Bros. Is the Oscar deadline approaching? Is it sweeps week? Or are they worried about something? Bush appoints a new chief of staff and press secretary at the same time Al Qaeda cranks out movies like MGM in its prime. Coincidence? I think not.


They Eat Katyushas, Don’t They?

They Eat Katyushas, Don’t They?

This is what the poor Palestinians are driven to: smuggling Katyushas for their survival.

Palestinians have smuggled a number of Katyusha rockets into the Gaza Strip, potentially threatening towns well inside Israel, a senior military official said Friday.

While the official initially said that several dozen Katyushas have reached Gaza, but later explained that he had meant to say “a few.”

The official also said Israel was prepared to re-enter Gaza in response to the threat of the rockets, but has no plans to do so in the immediate future.

Since the disengagement from the Gaza Strip last summer, Katyushas have been smuggled through tunnels along the southern border with Egypt, the official said, adding that some parts have entered Gaza through the Rafah border crossing. The Rafah crossing is controlled by Palestinian security forces along with European monitors.

The official said some of the rockets were made by Iran, but gave few other details on their origins.

Last month, Islamic Jihad terrorists, who have close ties with Iran, fired a Katyusha rocket into southern Israel for the first time. The rocket caused no damage, but had longer range and was more powerful than the homemade rockets usually fired by Palestinian militants.

The official said Israel wants to avoid a ground operation in Gaza but will do so if the Palestinians increase their capabilities in a “significant way.” He cited the entrance of the Katyushas as a possible reason for military action.

Now, a Katyusha, is that a kind of cabbage? I’ve heard how poor and desperate the Palestinians are, so it’s gotta be some kind of food, right? Maybe a turnip, like a Swede. I’ve heard how fond the Swedes are of Palestinians, so perhaps the inverse is true. BTW, love that aside about the European “monitors” at the Rafah crossing. Monitors is an anagram for “sit, moron”.

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Pack o’ Pussies

Pack o’ Pussies

I try to avoid name-calling, but PoP is eaiser than writing “international community” every time I want to refer to these neo-Chamerlainists (at least Chamberlain realized the error of his ways).

Following the release of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency Friday showing that Iran has been continuing to enrich uranium, world leaders expressed concern and underlined the need for international unity in dealing with Iran.

However, the common message from most leaders appeared to be a reluctance to pursue coercion rather than diplomacy.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said that while the report was worrisome, “we continue, nevertheless, to say to Iran that the door to negotiation is not closed.”

Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, echoed that sentiment. “We maintain that the only solution is a diplomatic one,” he said.

Russia and China, which have important business dealings with Iran, have strongly opposed taking harsh steps against the Tehran regime, arguing that would worsen the dispute. As two of the five permanent members on the Security Council, they have the power to veto its actions.

Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak described ElBaradei’s report as a “very serious document,” telling the Interfax news agency that the Kremlin would study it “very carefully.”

The Chinese government indicated it had not changed its mind about opposing tough action.

“All we want is to work for a diplomatic solution because this region is already complicated, there are a lot of problems in the region, and we should not do anything that would cause the situation (to be) more complicated,” said China’s UN ambassador, Wang Guangya.

US Ambassador John Bolton suggested the council was not likely to soon issue a resolution backed by the threat of sanctions or even military force.

“The first resolution would be simple and straightforward, ‘making mandatory’ last month’s council requests on suspension of enrichment and full cooperation with IAEA inspectors,” Bolton told The Associated Press in a phone call to Vienna.

“We would give Iran a short time to come into compliance. Then, if Iran doesn’t come into compliance, we would consider what the next steps would be … likely targeted sanctions.”

Let me apologize right away to any descendents of Neville Chamberlain who might be reading this. Unlike the Chinese and Russian leaders with the Iranians, he was not involved in any way in a cynical symbiosis with the Nazis. While today’s Europeans (with the ironic inclusion of the Germans themselves) are indeed cowering imbeciles, the Chinese and Russians are as duplicitous as Stalin and as indifferent to human welfare as Mao. It pains me to watch the 1930s play out before my eyes. Had the allied powers acted responsibly then, war might have been averted; the same holds true now, and every day we wait is another step in the forced march toward war.


Of Course You Know, This Means War

Of Course You Know, This Means War

Caroline Glick in a typically sunny mood:

The nature of the war being waged against Israel changed, perhaps irreversibly, this week. Processes that have been developing for more than four years now came together this week and brought us to a very different military-political reality than that which we have known until now.

The face of the enemy has changed. If in the past it was possible to say that the war being waged against Israel was unique and distinct from the global jihad, after the events of the past week, it is no longer possible to credibly make such a claim. Four events that occurred this week – the attacks in the Sinai; the release of Osama bin Laden’s audiotape; the release of Abu Musab Zarqawi’s videotape; and the arrest of Hamas terrorists by Jordan – all proved clearly that today it is impossible to separate the wars. The new situation has critical consequences for the character of the campaign that the IDF must fight to defend Israel and for the nature of the policies that the incoming government of Israel must adopt and advance.

The two attacks in the Sinai were noteworthy for several reasons. First, they were very different from one another. The first, which targeted tourists in Dahab, was the familiar attack against a soft target that we have become used to seeing in the Sinai over the past year and a half. The attack against the Multinational Force Observers was more unique since it only has one past precedent.

In an article published last October in the journal MERIA, Reuven Paz explained that the al-Qaida strategist Abu Musab al-Suri supported the first type of attack. His follower, Abu Muhammad Hilali, wrote last September that in waging the jihad against the Egyptian regime there is no point in attacking foreign forces or Egyptian forces because such attacks will lead nowhere. He encouraged terrorists to attack soft targets like tourists and foreign non-governmental organizations on the one hand, and strategic targets like the Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel on the other. In both cases, such attacks would achieve political objectives. Opposing Hilali’s view is Zarqawi’s strategy. As one would expect from al-Qaida’s commander in Iraq, Zarqawi upholds attacks on foreign forces.

The foregoing analysis is not proof that two separate branches of al-Qaida conducted the attacks. But the combination of approaches this week does lend credence to the assessment that al-Qaida is now paying a great deal of attention to Israel’s neighborhood. And this is a highly significant development.

But why listen to her? She only lives there. Read every word, and commit to memory. There will be a test.


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