Thursday, June 21, 2007

JINSA Report #676

Contrarians. We've been called that before. While much of the American Jewish community approves of President Bush and Prime Minister Olmert's decision to fund and support Abu Mazen as "the President of all the Palestinians," we are disappointed at many levels.

First, Abu Mazen may be the President of all the Palestinians, but he has/had a legislature ted by the freely elected Hamas. For the U.S. to now say that we accept the results of the Presidential election but not the result of the legislative election is poor policy.

Second, Abu Mazen did nothing to change the culture of corruption he actively helped Yasser Arafat develop during the Oslo years. How could the Palestinians be the world's largest per capita aid recipients - according to the Wall Street Journal, "the PA has so far received more foreign aid than all of Europe received under the Marshall Plan" - and still have 30 percent of its people dependent on food aid from outside ? For the U.S. to agree to provide more money with less control is poor policy.

Third, two American generals tried their hand at training Palestinian forces to protect themselves - if not to protect the people they were supposed to serve. We never liked the mission those generals were given, but we had assumed they wouldn't fail. They failed; utterly failed. The Fatah soldiers trained by American officers did not protect the civilians. They did not protect the institutions of the PA . They did not protect their wounded comrades, some of whom Hamas shot in their hospital beds while others were tossed out of buildings. The men our generals trained turned and ran ignominiously. For the U.S. to provide more arms with less control is poor policy.

, Abu Mazen at the height of his capability (and this is not it) was not a partner in the establishment of a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis. He was willing to discuss day-to-day security and economic policy for the territories, and believed ings were counterproductive to Palestinian goals (though not necessarily bad in and of themselves). At the same time, he was entirely committed to Arafat's three-point program: an independent Palestinian State with its borders undefined; Jerusalem as the capital; the so-called "right of return" of the original 1948 Palestinian refugees and their descendants to places inside Israel from which they claim to have come. If he couldn't accept the legitimacy of Israeli sovereignty then, for the U.S. to believe he can and will while under siege from people better trained, better armed and more ideologically committed than he, is poor policy.

Fifth, Abu Mazen has already indicated that he wants to talk to Hamas about the future. Since they won and he lost, it is safe to assume that Fatah will move toward the Hamas position rather than assume Hamas will move toward the Fatah position.

America has already lowered the bar of expectations of Fatah responsibility to the ground. As Fatah becomes more like Hamas in order to survive, the only way for the U.S. to lower the bar further would be to dig a hole. For the U.S. to begin digging is poor policy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Radical Islam's 'End-Game'

A friend of mine said recently, "We shouldn't even be there. Let them kill each other. I mean, that would solve the problem. Right?"

I thought about that statement as I read the news coming out of the Gaza Strip. As Hamas and al-Fatah literally battle to the death for supremacy in their region, it is crucial that we take the time - right now - to understand what it is they're fighting about. The truth is our lives depend on it.

To look at the situations in Iraq and Gaza as separate conflicts is to view them in a naive and overly simplistic way. True, the battles taking place in Gaza are more akin to a civil war, if in fact a civil war can take place without a recognized country to govern. And the battles taking place in Iraq are almost completely instigated at the hands of al Qaeda terrorists hell-bent on creating chaos with violence while destroying any chance of democracy in that nation. But what the less visionary among us are deficient in understanding and neglectful or deceitful in not addressing is the reason they are fighting, their goal, their end-game.

Many anti-war activists and members of the American Fifth Column insist that the reason radical Islamist terrorists -- insurgents or militants as they like to call them -- have taken to jihad against the United States and the West is because of the encroachment of our culture into the 7th Century Middle Eastern culture in which they exist. They point to Osama bin Laden's 1996 fatwa against the US and the West citing the presence of Western military personnel and installations as the catalyst for al Qaeda's Islamofascist aggression.

While these points may very well be the justification used by the cadre of terrorist organizations originating throughout the Middle East for attacks against the West, it doesn't explain their propensity for Arab on Arab, Muslim on Muslim violence. It doesn't explain the original catalyst for the conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims and it certainly doesn't address the Islamofascists' goals.

The specifics surrounding the original cause for conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims are disputed by both camps. But both factions concede that it stems from a disagreement over the direct succession to Mohammed, to the Caliph. This subject requires more space than can be afforded here. What can be addressed here is the "end-game."

That Islamofascist aggression advanced through the use of terrorism is taking place around the world against members of every faith other than Islam is a testimony to the fact that radical fundamentalist Islamists are engaged in an intentional conflict of global conquest. Terrorist attacks in the name of Islam have taken place in Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Spain, Britain, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Somalia, Algeria, Sudan, South America and the United States - to cite a short list - against, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and even conformist and non-fundamentalist Islamists.

When one examines the facts and logistics of Islamofascist aggression - both in history and modern times - it is hard to argue that the basis for this aggression is Western influence on the Islamic culture. If this were the sole reason for Islamofascist aggression there would be no excuse for attacks in the name of Islam on the Hindus or Buddhists or in any nation that doesn't embrace Western values such as Thailand, Somalia or most of Indonesia. Yet, the slaughter of innocents in the name of Islam does take place against these people and in these non-Westernized regions.

By acknowledging these facts - and they are indisputable - we can dismiss the argument that the US and the West have brought the wrath of Islamofascism upon ourselves, which is the basis for the argument used by the anti-war movement, the American Fifth Column and disingenuous and opportunistic politicians.

What, then, is the catalyst for Islamofascist aggression and what could be so powerful as to produce legions of suicide bombers and those willing to die, without reservation, for their cause?

While the many elements of this subject are complex, together they indicate an overall agenda that is not.

In almost every declaration and action of the Islamofascist, from Osama bin Laden to Hassan Nasrallah, Ayman al Zawahri to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the goal is the same: the successful establishment of a global Islamic state - or caliphate - ruled under sharia law. This notion is not a supposition on my part. Rather, it is an accurate observation, based on understanding and acknowledging the actions taken and the words used by each of these fascist leaders (note the correct usage of the word fascist).

In his 1996 fatwa, Osama bin Laden proclaimed, "...O you horses (soldiers) of Allah ride and march on. This is the time of hardship so be tough. And know that your gathering and co-operation in order to liberate the sanctities of Islam is the right step toward unifying the word of the Ummah under the banner of 'No God but Allah'...Our Lord, shatter their gathering, divide them among themselves, shaken the earth under their feet and give us control over them..."

It should be noted that to bin Laden, the Ummah is considered a figurative nation comprised of all Muslims and all Islamic nations.

In 2000 bin Laden declared, "...Afghanistan is the only country in the world that has the Shari'ah. Therefore, it is compulsory upon Muslims all over the world to help Afghanistan. And to make hijra to this land, because it is from this land that we will dispatch our armies to smash all kuffar all over the world."

In October of 2005, during his address to the United Nations, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "From the beginning of time, humanity has longed for the day when justice, peace, equality and compassion envelop the world."

And in a speech to Friday prayer leaders he said, "Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi."

It should be noted here that Ahmadinejad believes - as do most Shi'ites - that the 12th Imam (or Muhammad al-Mahdi), according to their interpretation of the Quran, will bring "peace and justice on earth" by establishing Islam throughout the world. This equivalent of the "second coming" would take place when the world has fallen into chaos and civil war emerges between the human race for no reason.

If we are to take the leaders of the Islamofascist movement at their word - and the leaders of the United States and the West have been delinquent in accepting the declarations of fascists in the past, so much so that world war has ensued - we can only surmise that the battles taking place between Sunni and Shi'ite factions in Iraq, Gaza and elsewhere in the world are for dominance in what they perceive as an inevitable global Islamic Caliphate.

It is crucial that the United States government - and all the governments of the West - dispense with the political infighting that currently holds hostage national unity and the collective will, so we can defend ourselves from the inevitable full-scale confrontation with an emboldened and strengthening Islamofascist movement. The first step to achieving this unity is an honest, comprehensive understanding of the enemy. The education to achieve that end must begin immediately.

Make no mistake. We are essentially re-visiting the ominous days of 1938. It took everything that the freedom loving people of the world could muster to vanquish evil then. This time we may not be so lucky. This time the forces of evil will have nuclear capability.

By Frank Salvato

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Our World: Grounded in fantasy

Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 19, 2007


Iran and its client state Syria have a strategic vision for the Middle East. They wish to take over Lebanon. They wish to destroy Israel. They wish to defeat the US in Iraq. They wish to drive the US and NATO from Afghanistan. They wish to dominate the region by driving the rest of the Arab world to its jihad-supporting knees. Then they wish to apply their vision to the rest of the world.

Today, Syria and Iran are ardently advancing their strategic vision for the world through a deliberate strategy of victory by a thousand cuts. Last week's Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip; Sunday's reopening of the Lebanese front against Israel with the Syrian-ordered rocket attacks on Kiryat Shemona; the now five-week old Syrian ordered low-intensity warfare against Lebanon's pro-Western Siniora government; last week's attack on the al-Askariya mosque in Samarra; the recent intensification of terrorism in Afghanistan and Iran's move to further destabilize the country by violently deporting 100,000 Afghan refugees back to the war-torn country - all of these are moves to advance this clear Iranian-Syrian strategy.

And all these moves have taken place against the backdrop of Syria's refashioning of its military in the image of Hizbullah on steroids and Iran's relentless, unopposed progress in its nuclear weapons program.

For their part, both the US and Israel also have a strategic vision. Unfortunately, it is grounded in fantasy.

WASHINGTON and Jerusalem wish to solve all the problems of the region and the world by establishing a Palestinian state in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. While Israel now faces Iranian proxies on two fronts, in their meeting at the White House today US President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will gush about their support for Palestinian statehood. Creepily echoing LSD king Timothy Leary, they will tune out this reality as they drone on about the opportunities that Gaza's transformation into a base for global jihad afford to the notion that promoting the Fatah terrorist organization's control over Judea and Samaria can make the world a better, safer, happier place.

Today Bush and Olmert will announce their full support for Fatah chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas's new government. The US will intensify General Keith Dayton's training and arming of Fatah forces. Israel will give Fatah $700 million. The Europeans and the rest of the international community will give the "moderate, secular" terror group still more money and guns and love. The US will likely also demand that Olmert order the IDF to give Fatah terrorists free reign in Judea and Samaria.

Olmert and Bush claim that by backing Abbas militarily, financially and politically they will be setting up an "alternative Palestine" which will rival Hamas's jihadist Palestine. As this notion has it, envious of the good fortune of their brethren in Judea and Samaria, Gazans will overthrow Hamas and the course will be set for peace - replete with the ethnic cleansing of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem of all Jewish presence.

FATAH FORCES barely raised a finger to prevent their defeat in Gaza in spite of the massive quantities of US arms they received and the military training they underwent at the hands of US General Keith Dayton. Bush, Olmert and all proponents of the notion of strengthening Fatah in Judea and Samaria refuse to answer one simple question: Why would a handover of Judea and Samaria to Abbas's Fatah produce a better outcome than Israel's 2005 handover of Gaza to Abbas's Fatah?

They refuse to answer this question because they know full well that the answer is that there is absolutely no reason to believe that the outcome can be better. They know full well that since replacing Yasser Arafat as head of the PA in 2004, Abbas refused to take any effective action against Hamas. They know that he refused to take action to prevent Hamas's rise to power in Gaza and Judea and Samaria. They know that the guns the US transferred to Fatah in Gaza were surrendered to Hamas without a fight last week. They know that the billions of dollars of international and Israeli assistance to Fatah over the past 14 years never were used to advance the cause of peace. They know that that money was diverted into the pockets of Fatah strongmen and utilized to build terror militias in which Hamas members were invited to serve. They know that Fatah built a terror superstructure in Judea, Samaria and Gaza which enabled operational cooperation between Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells.

SO WHY embrace the fantasy that things can be different now, in Judea and Samaria? Rather than provide rational arguments to defend their view that Hamas's takeover of Gaza is an opportunity for peace, proponents of peace fantasies as strategic wisdom explain vacuously that peace is the best alternative to jihad. They whine that those who point out that Israel now borders Iran in Lebanon and Gaza have nothing positive to say.

To meet the growing threat in Gaza, they argue that Europeans, or maybe Egyptians and Jordanians can be deployed at the international border with Egypt to stem the weapons and terror personnel flow into Gaza. To meet the growing threat in Lebanon, Olmert pleads for more UN troops.

Both views ignore the obvious: Gaza has been transformed into an Iranian-sponsored base for global jihad because Egypt has allowed it to be so transformed. Assisted by its Syrian-sponsored Palestinian allies, Hizbullah has rebuilt its arsenals and reasserted its control in southern Lebanon because UN forces in southern Lebanon have done nothing to prevent it from doing so.

No country on earth will volunteer to fight Hamas and its jihadist allies in Gaza. No government on earth will voluntarily deploy its forces to counter Hizbullah and Iran in south Lebanon. This is why - until they fled - European monitors at the Rafah terminal were a joke. This is why Spanish troops in UNIFIL devote their time in Lebanon to teaching villagers Spanish.

SO WHY are Bush and Olmert set to embrace Fatah and Abbas today? Why are they abjectly refusing to come to terms with the strategic reality of the Iranian-Syrian onslaught? Why are they insisting that the establishment of a Palestinian state is their strategic goal and doing everything they can to pretend that their goal has not been repeatedly proven absurd?

Well, why should they? As far as Bush is concerned, no American politician has ever paid a price for advancing the cause of peace processes that strengthen terrorists and hostile Arab states at Israel's expense. Bush's predecessor Bill Clinton had Arafat over to visit the White House more often than any other foreign leader and ignored global jihad even when its forces bombed US embassies and warships. And today Clinton receives plaudits for his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

By denying that the war against Israel is related to the war in Iraq; by ignoring the strategic links between all the Iranian and Syrian sponsored theaters of war, Bush views gambling with Israel's security as a win-win situation. He will be applauded as a champion of peace and if the chips go down on Israel, well, it won't be Americans being bombed.

OLMERT LOOKS to his left and sees president-elect Shimon Peres. Peres, the architect of the Oslo process which placed Israel's national security in the hands of the PLO, has been rewarded for his role in imperiling his country by his similarly morally challenged political colleagues who just bestowed him with Israel's highest office.

Olmert looks to his left and his sees incoming defense minister Ehud Barak. In 2000, then prime minister Barak withdrew Israeli forces from Lebanon, and enabled Iran's assertion of control over southern Lebanon through its Hizbullah proxy. In so doing, Barak set the conditions for last summer's war, and quite likely, for this summer's war.

By offering Arafat Gaza, 95 percent of Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem at Camp David, Barak showed such enormous weakness that he all but invited the Palestinian terror war which Arafat began planning the day he rejected Barak's offer.

For his failure, Barak has been rewarded by his Labor Party, which elected him its new chairman on the basis of his vast "experience," and by the media which has embraced him as a "professional" defense minister.

Olmert looks to his right and he sees how the media portrays Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu and former IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon as alarmists for claiming that Israel cannot abide by an Iranian-proxy Hamas state on its border. He sees that Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu supported Peres's candidacy as president and have joined their fortunes to Olmert's in a bid to block elections which will bring the Right to power.

ISRAEL HAS arguably never faced a more dangerous strategic environment than it faces today. Yet it is not without good options. It can retake control over the Gaza-Sinai border. It can renew its previously successful tactic of killing Hamas terrorists. It can continue its successful campaign of keeping terrorists down in Judea and Samaria, and it can continue preparing for war in the north. All of these options can be sold to the Left.

But today both Bush and Olmert will reject these options in favor of mindless peace process prattle. They will reject reality as they uphold Abbas as a credible leader and shower him with praise, money and arms. Their political fortunes will be utmost in their minds as they do this. And they will be guaranteeing war that will claim the lives of an unknown number of Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Bush and Olmert should know that when the time for reckoning comes they will not be able to claim, along with Peres and Barak that their hands did not shed this blood. Reality has warned them of their folly. But in their low, dishonest opportunism, they have chosen to ignore reality and amuse themselves with fantasies and photo-ops.