Friday, June 11, 2004



by Dr.Subhas Kapila

Introductory Observations:

The United States after the Islamic Jehadi attacks on the citadels of American power in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 (9/11) has been engaged in a relentless operation to track down Osama bin Laden and his unholy band of the Al Qaeda hierarchy. The United States launched a military intervention in Afghanistan to destroy the medieval Islamic Jehadi regime of the Taliban imposed by Pakistan on that war-ravaged and hapless country. The attendant aim being also to destroy the Al Qaeda infrastructure in Afghanistan so painstakingly built by Pakistan’s intelligence agency (ISI) with financial assistance from Saudi Arabia. In fact it were Saudi Arabia and Pakistan which formed the real “axis of evil”. This author's SAAG Paper- “Bush’s Other Axis of Evil” refers.

While United States military aircraft were busy rescuing Pakistan Army personnel actively fighting on the side of the Taliban against the Afghan liberation forces, Pakistan seems to have facilitated or spirited away Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda hierarchy to Pakistan territory to evade capture by the Americans. This was also the time that General Musharraf was making statements that Osama bin Laden had been killed in American bombings,

Three years down the line, Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda hierarchy in safe havens in Pakistan have defied United States efforts to capture them. All this despite the Pakistan military rulers assertions that the Pakistan Army was in hot pursuit of the fugitives. It also needs to be recalled that at the same time American field commanders in Afghanistan on the trail of Osama bin Laden were complaining of lack of cooperation by Pakistan Army commanders.

Three years down the line, Islamic Jehad is still playing havoc with American lives in Iraq and rearing its ugly head in South East Asia, Philippines and operators recently arrested in Japan i.e. in areas of strategic importance or strategic interest to the United States. Terrorism, suicide bombings etc of the Al Qaeda variety continue to abound.

This raises a moot question whether Al Qaeda continues to exist as an effective organization directing global terrorism of the Islamic Jehadi type or that the Al Qaeda has spawned “Al Qaedism” as an Islamic Jehad “ideological” movement against the United States, West, Israel and even India.

“Al Qaedism” More Dangerous to United States than Al Qaeda:

The United States must pressurize Pakistan hard to hand over Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda accomplices so that American justice can take its course for the wanton destruction of 9/11. It can be done and some have cynically claimed that it will take place in September 2004, closer to US presidential elections.

Will the capture of Osama bin Laden bring about the elimination of Islamic Jehadi terrorism or will “Al Qaedism” as an Islamic Jehadi terrorism ideology outlive the end of Osama bin Laden?

The answers or clues in this direction have been competently and very aptly provided by Jason Burke in his article “Think Again :Al Qaeda” in the American magazine “Foreign Policy” May-June 2004 issue.

Jason Burke’s significant observations are as follows:

* The mere mention of Al Qaeda conjures images of an efficient terrorists network guided by a criminal mastermind.

* Yet Al Qaeda is more lethal as an ideology than as an organization.

* “Al Qaedism” will continue to attract supporters in the years to come, whether Osama bin Laden is around to lead them or not.

* Al Qaeda functioned like a venture capital firm in providing funding, contacts, expert advice to many different militant groups and individuals from all over the world.

* Though Al Qaeda structure stands destroyed in Afghanistan and there is no central hub for Islamic militancy, “Al Qaedism” is growing stronger every day.

* This radical internationalist ideology sustained by anti-Western, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric has adherents all over----- few of them linked directly with Osama.

* In Pakistan, money from Persian Gulf has funded massive expansion of madrassas (Islamic schools) that indoctrinate youngsters with virulent anti-Western dogma (of the Al Qaeda variety).

If “Al Qaedism” is more dangerous than Al Qaeda as an organization and rightly so argued, then the point comes up as to what is the solution. Some senior American officials to whom this author highlighted Jason Burke’s observations also came up with the same question: “What can the United States do to overcome the challenge of “Al Qaedism”.

To find a solution to overcome the “Al Qaedism” challenge, the United States has to ponder and deliberate over the following factors:

Al Qaeda and and “Al Qaedism:- do they require different strategies and policy approaches or existing ones will suffice?
“Al Qaedism”- is it a precursor or extension of Islam’s civilisational war against America?
“Al Qaedism”-how does the United States tackle its nurseries, financing and experimental laboratories.
Afghanistan critical importance as a US Base to combat “Al Qaedis
“Al Qaedism”resorts to use of a “Dirty Nuclear Bomb"
The remaining part of this paper attempts to put forth the authors views on these critical factors.

Al Qaeda and “Al Qaedism” Require Different Strategies and Policy Approaches:

Elimination of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda hierarchy and structures falls within the domain of military operations. Hence military strategies are required. On the other hand “Al Qaedism” as an Islamic Jehadi ideological struggle would require the United States to adopt a combination of political, strategic and psychological warfare strategies. Strategies for tackling “Al Qaedism”, perforce, will be long drawn out in terms of time and resources. It would involve attacking the very roots of Islamic Jehadi terrorism by a combination of all of the above means. These roots are not poverty of Islamic masses, but the use of “Al Qaedism” (International Islamic Jehad) as an instrument of state policy.

But the bigger question that the United States has now to face is as to which is the priority target-Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda hierarchy or “Al Qaedism” or both have to be tackled simultaneously.

Prioritizing elimination of Osama bin Laden and his hierarchy reduces America’s war against Islamic Jehadi terrorism to distorting United States perceptions and policies on its global counter-terrorism war. It becomes an exclusively United States military operation limited to Pakistan-Afghanistan territory. It also leads to an over-exaggeration of Pakistan’s presumed importance in United States strategy and excluding the rest of the world in the American global war on terrorism. It reduces and opens United States to charges of selective and sequential campaign against global Islamic Jehad.

However, if the United States were to accord Priority I to tackle the challenges of “Al Qaedism” then its global war on Islamic Jihad perceptions and policy approaches fall into the correct perspective. It would be more inclusive and enlist the willing support of a large number of countries, the world over. It would also correct the policy distortions in America’s Greater Middle East policy of over reliance on an ally of dubious value, namely Pakistan.

“Al Qaedism” is a Manifestation of Islam’s Civilisational War Against the United States and the West:

The United States and the West are in a “denial mode” that Islamic Jihad or “Al Qaedism” is not a manifestation of Islamic civilisational war against the United States and the West. The sooner this realization dawns, the sooner will emerge a united and concerted joint United States and Europe counter-offensive against this challenge. Samuel Huntington was not wrong when he conceived the theory of “Class of Civilisations”. Some thoughts of Huntington on the subject need to be focused on:

* “ Some Westerners, including President Bill Clinton, have argued that the West does not have problems with Islam but only with violent Islamic extremists. Fourteen hundred years of history demonstrate otherwise.”

* “ A prominent Indian Muslim predicted in 1992 that the West’s “next confrontation is definitely going to come from the Muslim world. It is in the sweep of the Islamic nations from Maghreb to Pakistan that the struggle for a new world order will begin.”

* “Islam is the only civilization which has put the survival of the West in doubt, and it has done that at least twice.”

Putting the survival of the West (now including the United States) for a third time may have already commenced now.

Once this perspective is duly recognized by the United States, then the distortions in US attitudes, policies and strategies of its global war on terrorism will recede.

The European nations having tasted the Madrid bombings and what could follow from terrorism sponsored by international Islamic Jehad (read Al Qaeda) should prompt them to unite with the USA unreservedly in pursuing such terror. They have the resources but they need a united will with USA.

Israel is the only country in the world which has recognised the true import of Islamic Jihad, and its pan-Islamic stirrings and its international dimension.

Al Qaedism Nurseries-Pakistan:

After 9/11 many research works by American authors on Islamic Jihad opined that Pakistan was the nursery, the initiator and the organizer of international Islamic Jehad. Yossef Bodansky had pointed this earlier with telling effect before 9/11 in his book on Osama bin Laden. His observations on Pakistan are noteworthy, namely:

* “Benazir Bhutto, who became the Prime Minister in 1989, had a profoundly different perception of the role and utility of Islamist terrorism. Convinced that Pakistan’s destiny lay in strategic alliances with such countries as Syria, Iran, China (PRC) and North Korea. Benazir Bhutto’s Islamabad re-examined all aspects of Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan and the world of state sponsored terrorism became an instrument of crucial significance for policy.”

* Consequently, the ISIs support for and sponsorship of sisterly Islamic terrorist movements throughout the Arab world became a cornerstone of Pakistan’s national security policies.

* “….Islamabad recognized the growing specter of confrontation with the United States ….still Islamabad shifted to active support for militant Islam.

* “..Pakistan became to Sunni Islamist terrorism what Lebanon had been to radical leftist terrorism.”

* “By the late 1980’s….Pakistan had already turned into the center of Islamist terrorism, the melting pot of the Sunni Jihad (read “Al Qaedism”)

Events post-9/11 are well known including Pakistan’s role as a facilitator of 9/11 bombings and are not being re-counted. It is strange that such a nation today stands enlisted by USA as an ally against global terrorism

Leaving that aside, the moot question is how does USA find a solution to eliminating Pakistan’s role( a continuing one ) as the nursery of “Al Qaedism”. In terms of a solution, the United States has to ponder over the following factors:

* “Al Qaedism” found roots and flourished in Pakistan not arising from the poor Islamic fundamentalist masses of Pakistan. “Al Qaedism” was nourished, flourished and exported by Pakistan as an instrument of state policy.

* Pakistan Army and ISI have adopted Al Qaiedism as an act of faith.

* The Islamic ‘madrasas’ and seminaries in Pakistan and “Al Qaedist” terrorist organizations continue to exist extending from Karachi to Peshawar via Multan and Jhang.

United States has only one radical solution where a nation-state like Pakistan emerges as a “rogue terrorist Al Qaedist state”. The United States needs to:

* Sideline Pakistan politically.

* Stop all economic aid to Pakistan till “Al Qaedism” is eliminated

* Cut of all defence ties and military aid to Pakistan.

* Put Pakistan under international quarantine.

* Freeze all Pakistan’s foreign accounts overseas.

Afghanistan conversely needs to be developed as a United States base for containment of Pakistan as an “Al Qaedism” state.

“Al Qaedism” Financiers-Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia, along with Pakistan is the second pole of the “Al Qaedism” axis of terror. It is Saudi Arabia predominantly which has provided extensive financial assistance to Pakistan for training sanctuaries and operations of “Al Qaedism” world wide. On 9\1, 15 of the 19 Islamic Jehadi bombers were Saudis, with many products of terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan created by Pakistan.

In a state like Saudi Arabia, all this financing of “ Al Qaedism” could not have taken place without Saudis official complicity. Even after 9\11, Saudi Arabia kept providing Pakistan with free oil amounting to millions of dollars a month. Obviously this was as a financial off set for Pakistan’s efforts in continuance of “Al Qaedism” and the Taliban-- both American enemies.

The solution is for the United States to exercise additional pressure against the Saudi monarchy, very untenable at present. United States enjoys several leverages to force Saudi Arabia to desist from financing and supporting “Al Qaedism” namely

* Threat of freezing of billions of dollars of Saudi investments in USA as compensation for victims of 9/11

* United States could implement 1971 plans, speculated then of carving a separate state of oil-rich Saudi Arabia’s Eastern regions under a separate regime, and there by cutting off Saudi Arabia’s financial clout.

Afghanistan’s Critical Importance as United States Base against “Al Qaedism”
Afghanistan was Pakistan’s experimental laboratory for “Al Qaeidsm” and a base for “Al Qaedist” operations to provide a plausible ‘ deniability exit’ for Pakistan. It would be wrong to say that Afghanistan or Afghans, barring the Taliban, were active proponents of ‘Al Qaedism’.

Afghanistan is crucial for the United States after its military intervention post 9/11 as a base of operations against ‘Al Qaedism's' spread. The attention of United States stood diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq, but it is in Afghanistan that the United States must consolidate its gains and launch an onslaught on “Al Qaedism” ensconced in Pakistan and the Pakistan’s Army

The United States needs to implement the following steps in this direction.

* United States must clinically insulate Afghanistan against any Pakistani role, interference or any other activity.

* United States would need to go to the UN for an UN Force to sanitise the Pak-Afghan border against Pakistan’s subversive operations in Afghanistan.

* Pakistan has to be denied any “special interests” or “strategic interests” role in Afghanistan.

* An Afghanistan so insulated can then be built up as a base for containment of an “Al Qaedist” Pakistan.

* United States must enlist all international support for reconstruction of Afghanistan’s infra structure and institutions and its emergence as a democratic state.

* Afghan Armed Forces could be built up with US and European assistance for defending the Pak-Afghan border and prevent the re-emergence of the Taliban, which Pakistan is currently attempting.

“Al Qaedism” Likely Resort to Use of a “Dirty Nuclear Bomb” Against the West: - The Pakistan Factor:

Ever since 9\11security specialists all over the world are exercised over the tormenting possibility of use of a “dirty nuclear bomb” against Western targets. It is a live possibility and very much on the cards going by the reckless operating patterns of the “Al Qaedists.”

Pakistan and Pakistan’s nuclear scientists are the only source which can make this happen. No other Islamic country other than Pakistan has nuclear weapons and materials and nuclear weapons technology. Pakistan has already demonstrated its readiness to proliferate nuclear weapons technology and then if a call comes “in the name of Islam” can Pakistan or its “rogue” (Pakistani nomenclature). Pak nuclear scientist not respond to the “Al Qaedist” calls. The possibility of “Al Qaedist” elements in the Pakistan Army spiriting away the wherewithal for a “dirty nuclear bomb” for the Islamic Jehadis cannot be discounted.

The United States instead of whitewashing Pakistan’s WMD proliferation needs to take stringent measures to quarantine Pakistan's nuclear weapons arsenal.

Concluding Observations:

“Al Qaedism “ is a more explosive civilisational and potent threat facing the United States and the West, than even Nazism. Imperatives therefore exist for the United States and Europe to put their acts together as the standard bearers against this menace as they did during the Second World War. “Al Qaedism” is also a threat to Israel, India, Japan and the other democracies. They too cannot afford to stand aside and pass on the burden to USA and the West.

While “Al Qaeidsm” might represent the lunatic fringe of political Islam, as Jason Burke describes it, but then he does not delve further as to what should the United States do when-

Pakistan, claiming to be USA’s staunch ally, uses this “lunatic fringe” as an instrument of state policy.

Moderates and peace loving people in the Islamic world are terrorized by this “lunatic fringe” and they are unable to speak out or work towards the emergence of moderate and modernised Islamic nations.

Obviously then, it is the United States supported by Europe and other democracies of the world which have to combat “Al Qaedism” world wide. The United States is a “great power” and as Winston Churchill once said, “With great power come great responsibilities.”


Paris metro feared target of suicide bombers

John Hooper in Rome and Jon Henley in Paris

The Guardian

An alleged Egyptian bomb expert arrested in Milan this week was feared to be planning an attack on the Paris metro in the next three days, modelled on the one in which 191 people died in Madrid on March 11.
According to one Italian media report last night, police seized him to avert a massacre before Sunday's European elections. The Madrid bombings took place three days before Spain's general election.

A French interior ministry source said last night that Paris had been informed of the allegations, but played down the claim. "Searches carried out [in France] on the basis of information relayed by the investigators have not allowed a potential attack target to be identified," a French police source told the Reuters news agency.

Police in Milan arrested a man Italian officials now identify as Hamed Sayed Osman Rabei on Monday. The 33-year-old man, also known as Mohammed the Egyptian, is suspected of playing a leading role in the Madrid train bombings and is wanted by the Spanish judicial authorities.

On Tuesday, Belgian police, acting on information from Italy, arrested 15 people they said were preparing an attack. An anti-terrorist prosecutor in Belgium said the attack was planned for a foreign country.

The Italian warrant issued for Mr Rabei's arrest shows that much of the evidence against him was gathered from telephone conversations intercepted by Italy's anti-terrorist branch, the Digos.

A Milan anti-terrorist prosecutor was reported yesterday to have provided the US authorities with transcripts of some of Mr Rabei's calls. Mr Rabei was said in the warrant to have spoken to an associate in Belgium and to have asked for information about "the city", which the investigators believe is Paris. He also allegedly inquired about the underground system, checks and inspections.

At one point, the associate in Belgium, identified only as "Mounrad", was quoted as saying "everything is in place". The two men also discussed a third person, referred to as Mohammed, who was already in Paris and was said to be "ready for martyrdom".

Other telephone references were said to show that the suspected terrorists were preparing a rehearsal of the attack using mobile telephones, as in the March 11 Madrid attack.

They planned to use a programme downloaded from the internet that would allow the mobile phones to be activated simultaneously by an SMS text message. Mobile phones work underground in several of the largest Paris metro stations.

In the Spanish bomb attacks, mobile phones were used as detonator timers. But they were activated by the phones' alarm mechanisms, and one was accidentally set to the wrong time. When it did go off, it failed to detonate the bomb to which it was attached, providing investigators with a clue that led, ultimately, to Mr Rabei's arrest.

The SMS system outlined in the Italian arrest warrant would allegedly have got around that key weakness in the Madrid bombers' plot.

France has experienced a bombing campaign on its metro and suburban RER train network - a terror campaign by the Algerian Armed Islamic Group aimed at taking vengeance on the country for its support of the regime in Algiers. The bombing of a packed commuter train at the Saint-Michel station in Paris in July 1995 killed eight people and injured 100. Nine other attacks injured more than 100 others and terrorised the French capital that summer.

The 27-page Italian arrest warrant also includes an extract from a transcribed conversation in which Mr Rabei allegedly boasted of knowing a method that allowed him to change his fingerprints.

"They are never the same. Not even the American intelligence services will find me. So, you will see that today I have some fingerprints and tomorrow others," he is allegedly quoted as saying.

Mr Rabei was arrested


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Nutwatch 2004 - OJ Simpson is a murderer and the jury was either racist or absolutely so dumb they should have been sterilized so they could not spawn

In a week of sadness and madness, the media has stooped to the absolute lowest and rolled out murderer-set-free OJ Simpson to gloat over his high-rolling lifestyle and let him lie some more about killing two people and getting away with it.

It is a disgrace-almost as big as the fact nobody has pumped a few high-powered rifle slugs into him yet. Anyone with an IQ above room temperature can look at the evidence and understand that OJ killed Nicole and Ron Goldman. He did everything but sign his name in the blood.

Yet what was either a hopelessly racist or pathologically ignorant jury let OJ walk and the media feels like they need to make him a star again on the tenth anniversary of the slaughter.

In the spirit of this sort of media madness-I propose a new reality TV show called: Too Dumb to Live. The OJ Simpson spectacle will be the pilot episode.

A team of 12 people will be divided into Hunter and Truth teams. The Hunter teams will be sent to a week of special operations training and the Truth teams will be sent to Syria to learn interrogation techniques.

The game begins with the Hunter teams locating and capturing everybody deemed "too dumb to live." This includes OJ, the dream team, the jury, Judge Ito, Bryant Gumbel, and anyone recognizable from photographs that stood outside the courtroom in support of OJ.

The hunter teams will have one week to round up all the culprits. Points are earned for minimizing collateral damage, did the culprits wet their pants during the snatch phase, capturing more than 5 culprits in a day and other situations as the producers feel necessary.

The first question the hunter teams will ask is: "Do leather gloves shrink when they get wet?" (like when they have been drenched with blood) A "no" answer gets the culprit savagely caned and then whipped with a straightened clothes hangar.

The second question they will ask is: "Was this a spectacle of racism or living evidence of the bell curve?" Either answer will be considered correct. Answers other than these will result in the culprits being forced to strip naked and then shackled to the front of a working LA bus for a day.

Once all the culprits have been rounded up they will be put into chains and led into the Rose Bowl. Here, the Truth teams will take over.

The Rose Bowl will have the props for the ultimate media frenzy. There will be crosses, guillotines, stocks, whipping posts, and a full-scale mock up of Nicole's condo and OJ's then-house as well as a White Bronco.

For this episode, the culprits will be presented with evidence from the case and ask to decide whether it was a plus or minus for OJ. A jury of engineers will decide whether the culprit's answers make sense or not. A sense answer gets no points. A no-sense answer gets a point. A huge scoreboard will keep a running score.

Then the promo for the second episode will announce: The top three scorers will be forced to literally re-enact the crime. Who will be the victims? Who will be OJ? Tune in next week!

Friends this is the ultimate reality show--people being forced to atone for their actions with a global TV audience participating.

Every episode will build toward the literal re-enactment. The thousands of pieces of physical evidence will be rolled out and there will be whippings and canings and electrical shocks for culprits who can not give logical answers approved by the panel of engineers.

One episode before the finale, and the ultimate twist will occur. OJ gets to be Nicole. Smiling Johnny Cochran gets to be Ron. And Judge Ito gets to be OJ.

For the re-enactment, the three all get knives.

But wait, before the big re-enactment ALL the culprits are divided into groups of three, given knives and told they must literally re-enact the crime.

Imagine the media frenzy leading up to the final episode. Hysterical academics, journalists and politicians wailing over what has become the number one show of all time. Questions of personal responsibility and the quality of our legal system would permeate the talk shows.

Finally the big night arrives. In teams of three the culprits are led shackled onto a huge stage and presented with a question:

Did OJ Simpson kill Ron and Nicole? A 'yes' answer spares them from a literal re-enactment. On national TV they must apologize to the families of Ron and Nicole and admit their racism, idiocy and poor judgment to the world. After 20 lashes with a cane-there are instructed to pay 10 percent of their income until OJ's debt in the civil trial is paid.

A 'no' answer sets off the "too dumb to live," option. A global TV audience votes with their cell phones for each culprit's sentence: § Forced sterilization § Cutting out of their tongue § Sent to hunt for bin Laden

Finally-the finale-OJ, smiling Johnny and Ito are led out in chains. Smiling Johnny and Ito will be given a chance to roll on OJ. If they agree and admit that of course OJ did it-they will be spared the literal re-enactment.

But there is a twist. OJ, sociopath that he is, must first admit that he did it. If he refuses-the literal re-enactment begins.

As we cut away to the commercials, smiling Johnny and Ito start singing like a canary. "Sweet Jesus! Of course he did it," smiling Johnny begins….

Back from the commercial and Johnny Cochran sounds like the prosecutor. Ito tells him to , "shut the hell up and let me talk, windbag." Ito begins to cry and wail and beg for mercy.

"There has never been anybody more guilty," Ito cries. "I was weak. I was incompetent. I was intoxicated with TV."

Cochran begins to scream, "too much blood-juice should have used a gun."

"Guilty as sin-never thought we'd win."

The two are led away and put into the white Bronco.

OJ is led onstage and electrical tongs attached to various parts of his body. OJ will be asked to explain away all the accumulated evidence. Each answer deemed not logical by the panel results in an electrical shock.

When has reached 20 bad answers he receives 20 lashes with a cane. Anytime he uses racism, blames the media, or blames Nicole's friends a finger or toe is cut off.

When he gets to 50 bad answers gets to answer the ultimate question. Did you do it? A 'yes' answer sends him, smiling Johnny and Ito to prison for the rest of their lives.

A 'no' answer sees the three of them being led to the mock up of Nicole's condo

Fade to black.


Can The Iraqis Become Democratic?

Mohamad Al Rumaihi Al-Hayat 2004/06/9

The answer depends on your priorities in Iraq, whether you are looking for a story about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), or wondering whether the U.S. was right in occupying Iraq. Alternatively, if the U.S. president's rhetoric regarding Iraq was sincere or not, or if one considers the former Iraqi president, who is expected to be prosecuted, a hero or a criminal.

I think that the priorities in discussing the Iraqi issue are to see if Iraqis are able to accept, on the short term, the democratic "game" with all its achievements. In order to answer this question, the future of the Arab region depends on the countries neighboring Iraq.

Many, states or individuals, welcomed the appointment of the new Iraqi president and prime minister, each for different reasons, and many criticisms came from inside and outside Iraq, also for different reasons.

However, it was noteworthy that the new Iraqi government thought that it reached power in Iraq through its own struggle, far from any international initiatives; including the war that liberated Iraq. Some people found that "thanking" the U.S. for this matter is an unforgivable national mistake.

I do not know if those people read the famous British philosopher Bernard Shaw who said: patriotic pretense is the last thing an impostor resorts to!

Patriotic pretense, similar to what Mr. Chalabi said: "Get out of my country" or Mr. Pachachi who said: "there is a conspiracy against me and the Americans did not suggest my candidature." Similarly, other hot statements delivered by some Iraqis all mean the same thing; everyone wants to forget that had it not been for the American forceful intervention in Iraq, Saddam Hussein's intelligence would have still been suffocating the Iraqis.

Hence, the golden rule for every Iraqi is, if he truly wants to build a new Iraq, he has to admit that without American intervention, the oppressor would have remained in his palace and Iraqis would be either exiled or dead.

True, the Americans committed many mistakes, which they themselves admit them. However, ignoring what happened means that the former discourse is still the same and that there is a slight hope to improve it.

The former Ruling Council was a suggestion and a creation of the occupation authority; it was supported and criticized at the same time, but it is not a substitute for elected Iraqi institutions that enable the Iraqis to determine the future of their country without ignoring or controlling any group. If the members of the former Ruling Council thought that they are able to exercise hegemony over Iraq, this will be the beginning of the road to the new dictatorship.

I recall that Mr. Lakhdar Al Ibrahimi was coming back from a famous visit to Iraq in the mid-1990s and I asked him what he thought. The experienced diplomat answered with a few expressive words that Iraqis are the worst people to defend a cause! He was pointing out to the former regime. This theory might be applicable today if the leaders and elites do not shift to serving the public interest.

Some of the Iraqi ministers in the former government imposed a uniform on their employees, others consider that Iraq is given to them, or their sects, to control.

No reasonable person can imagine that all the sacrifices, bloodshed and the political efforts that led to Iraq's liberation, could lead to a theocracy, like Iran, for each country has its own circumstances. I do not think that after all the sufferings, one Iraqi group might impose its agenda on the others under the banner of patriotism.

Those who think they have the privilege of hegemony over others should look at Ahmad Chalabi, who wrote an article last September in which he called on the occupation authority to isolate not only those who were related to the former regime, but also, their families and relatives. At that time I was concerned about such an inclination and I wrote an article to criticize it.

Today, the coalition leadership, along with the western and Arab media, blames Chalabi for the failure of a number of policies in addition to falling in a trap he should have avoided.

There are no ambiguities or secrets when it comes to what peoples want these days; whether on the local or international levels. The Iraqis are no exception, their demands are:

- National security

- Social security

- Personal freedoms

- Personal security

- Environmental security

These are the main demands of most Iraqi citizens. The capacity to realize these five demands is deemed political rationalism that is required to rebuild the new Iraq, which is not short on qualified people.


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

How We Will Lose the Islamo-Fascist War

By Greg Crosby | Please bear with me this week as I share some of my thoughts with you concerning the war on terror. I warn you, my mood has not been particularly upbeat lately. I am troubled with what I detect as an anti-war sentiment slowly welling up in our country instigated primarily, although not solely, by the mainstream media. It is depressing to me since I believe that we are engaged in a war that we absolutely cannot afford to lose — but we may indeed lose it, if things don't change.

Some have made the statement that our present enemies are no more evil, ruthless, nor determined than was Hitler's Nazis, and since we succeeded in defeating the Nazis, the thinking goes, we will, in time, defeat the Islamic terrorists too. Nice try, but I don't buy the comparison; in fact I submit that the Islamic fascists we are up against today are by far a more formidable enemy than were the Nazis. Here's why:

First, there are many more radical, Western-hating Muslims in the world today than there were Nazis in Germany during World War II.

Second, they are virtually a stealth enemy; no uniforms, no one country of origin, no central headquarters.

Third, they believe they are driven to this holy war by Allah. They believe their religion commands the slaughter and eradication of all who do not think as they do.

Since they adhere to no normal rules of combat, they are far more ruthless than were the Germans. The Islamists kidnap and murder civilians, use guerrilla tactics, hide in mosques, blend into the civilian population, and have no problem in killing their own people or blowing themselves up. In short they will stop at nothing to destroy us. They literally live to kill us.

They're not bound by Geneva Convention criteria, nor world opinion, nor political correctness, as is America.

The Islamists have a long memory and a deep-seated hatred. Their blood feuds go back centuries. They're still fighting the Crusades with a determination and rage that is incomprehensible to westerners. Conversely, Americans have a short attention span and an even shorter memory. It hasn't even been three years since the 9-11 attacks and already much of us have seemed to have forgotten it — moving on to other priorities such as banning second-hand smoke, watching Donald Trump fire people on TV, and following all the latest celebrity court cases. About half of our country is ready to quit the war on terror altogether.

Political correctness could keep us from winning this war. Our society is so overly-sensitized to this PC doctrine that our government can't even officially call our enemies by their true name — we use euphemisms such as "terrorists," "evil doers," and "enemies of freedom" instead of calling them what they are, and there are several good names — Islamo-fascists, Muslim militants, Islamists, Islamic-jihadists.

To say we are engaged in a "war on terror" is to give the impression that we are fighting against some relatively small ragtag band of crazy religious zealots, sort of like Jim Jones, or the Branch Dividians. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Islamic-jihadists have networks throughout the world and their followers may well number into the millions. We are fighting World War III, and I wish somebody in our government would say so. The Islamists have declared a holy war on us and they are prepared to fight us to the death no matter how many years it takes. Any yet there are many Americans who still believe we can somehow negotiate with them or treat them as though they are just a few misguided criminals. As one political pundit has so clearly put it, "How can we expect to win when they're willing to die for their cause — but we are not willing to even kill for our survival?"

I fear our leaders are losing resolve. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Iraq Governor Paul Bremer has said that American troops would leave Iraq if they were asked to do so by the new ruling government — WHAT? After everything we've been through, after the sacrifices made by our soldiers, how can they say such a thing? It's a weak statement for Americans to hear who want to see Iraq tamed and hopefully put out of the terrorist business once and for all. And it is the wrong message to send to the moderate Iraqis who want to feel protected and supported by us against the militant factions, not to mention the message it sends to the enemy that we got our runnin' shoes on and we're ready to split.

Following the brutal murders and desecration of the bodies of 4 American contractors, we proclaimed to the world that the guilty will pay. We threatened and we didn't make good on those threats. We gathered at Fallujah, saying that we would "pacify" the town and then we stalled. We said we would go after the militant leader, Muqtada al Sadr and bring him to Justice and we haven't. Just as Bush needs tough determined rhetoric, we also need some follow-through, folks. We need some battlefront victories so that Americans are convinced that we know what the hell we're doing over there. We need to win the battle in Iraq before we can win the larger war. There will be other fronts on the larger war, they're waiting for us now, but we can't address them if we get mired in Iraq by attempting too hard to "do the politically correct right thing."

Bush has gotten weak of late in the things he says and does. The strength and resolve he showed after the 9-11 attacks has been replaced with parsing words, stuttering, and political correct phrases. And the American people feel it. Most of us want to sense that our President knows what he must do and is committed to doing it. With the ongoing drumbeat in the media over the photos of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, Americans, made to feel ashamed in the eyes of the world, are beginning to doubt whether the war in Iraq is worth it at all. Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfield travel around the world apologizing to all Arabs who'll listen. The more protracted and extensive the apologies get, the more people will become convinced that the abuses that took place in that Iraqi prison must have been torture of such a horrific level that it ranks among the world's worst atrocities — along side the Gulags, and Nazi death camps. And the more the media digs into it, the more they will find, and the more they find, the more they'll harp on it.

The incessant press and television coverage during the Vietnam War helped to turn Americans against it. The very same thing will undoubtedly happen with the war in the Middle East. If enough dead American names are read on ABC's Nightline, if enough prisoner maltreatment is uncovered and reported on, if the media continues to make the Islamist Jihadists the victims, if the anti-war protest marches and rallies continue to grow in number and continue to get extensive daily television coverage, and the Democrats continue to jump on all of this to bring down Bush, then the wearing-down effect will happen — Americans will slowly but surly start to forget why we are fighting in the first place and the general sentiment will be to "bring the troops home."

When that happens, watch for John Kerry (who up until the prison abuse story broke had been sounding moderate to almost hawkish in his campaign speeches concerning the war) to take a sudden, yet decidedly anti-war stance. He will proclaim that if elected he will end the war and "bring our young men and women home" and he will win. After he takes office he will make good on his promise and begin the extrication of our forces from the region — leaving the place to the terrorists in much the same way that South Vietnam was left to the North. When this happens we are done for. It will be exactly at that point in time when we will have lost the war to the Islamic Terrorists.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

David Brooks--Deliberate Misleader or Just Not Smart?

He's at it again. My favorite conservative pseudo-intellectual has once again proved his mettle. In the June 8 NYT, Brooksie offers this:

"Now Democrats often accuse Republicans of recklessness and utopianism while Republicans accuse Democrats of being the timorous defenders of the status quo. Democrats are more likely to emphasize fiscal prudence, foreign policy caution and economic security."

Somehow or other, our Mr. Brooks manages to see Republicans and Neocons as progressive while casting Democrats as timorous for opposing half-trillion dollar deficits. This kind of thinking is much like a sleight of hand trick in which the magician drops the cards all over the stage. Who else equates passing trillions of dollars of debt on to later generations as "progress"? Who? And for crying out loud, let's have no more of this digusting "fiscal prudence"! If you find out that your congressman or senator is guilty of "fiscal prudence", be absolutely sure to vote him or her out of office right away.

If Brooks equates alienating the entire developed world because of heavy-handed, unilateral, and insulting foreign policy, then I guess he has a point about Democrats preferring "foreign policy caution". Or perhaps he means that opposing a pre-emptive war of invasion based upon faulty intelligence (both from the CIA and the apparent lack of brains in the White House) and non-existent WMDs is just too cautious. Hell, let's throw "foreign policy caution" to the wind and invade three or four more countries just to prove we're "progressive".

I must agree, however, that George W. Bush and his policies are indeed about economic security--primarily for the super-rich and Halliburton. While insisting that we focus on the creation of nearly as many jobs as were lost, we are told to pay no attention to vanishing pensions, skyrocketing drug costs, and diminishing standards of living for millions of citizens. I think anyone who is paying any attention at all knows exactly WHOSE economic security is important to the President.

Utopianism? If what we have done to Iraq is an attempt at "Utopianism" I shudder to think what we might have wrought had our goals been less lofty.

A better characterization of the differences between Republicans and Democrats in 2004 might go like this...

"Republicans now preach a brand of 'conservatism' that seeks to legislate strict morality--especially where sex is concerned, promote fundamentalist christianity, 'starve the beast' by depleting the national treasury and creating huge deficits, and carefully nurture subconscious fears and prejudices to keep America bitterly divided. Democrats, though somewhat lost and indecisive, just seem to want to return to the 'good old days' of a balanced budget, environmental protection, women's rights, privacy, and less government intrusion into personal moral choices."


Monday, June 07, 2004

Comparing Bush to Reagan--Bring It On

Bob Dole has written an excellent tribute to former President Ronald Reagan in today's New York Times. He begins with this:

WASHINGTON — When he said goodbye to the country during his last public appearance at the 1992 convention, Ronald Reagan said he wanted to be remembered as someone who "appealed to your greatest hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts."

Pundits are already weighing in on whether Mr. Reagan's passing and our sentimental remembrances of him and his policies will help George W. Bush's re-election chances. I will let Ronald Reagan's words speak for themselves (and, unlike George Bush, these words may even be those of Mr. Reagan himself). Unlike the Great Communicator, George W. Bush, (aided and abetted by Richard B. Cheney and a host of likeminded heavies in the White House and the Pentagon), has sold the American public nothing but fear and has done its utmost to undermine confidence in every aspect of American life.

I urge Karl Rove to make his puppet compare himself to Ronald Wilson Reagan. The comparison will only help John Kerry take the White House. Comparing the stumbling, bumbling George W. Bush during his embarassing scripted speeches and his (even worse) extemporaneous remarks to the leadership and charisma of Reagan may actually wake up some of the real conservatives and Eisenhower Republicans who take Mr. Reagan's eleventh commandment a little too seriously. Before it's too late, take a good look at Bush, remember Reagan, and just this once, have the courage and conviction to speak ill of another Republican.

(Monday) Mourning in America

The past week has been one of those bizarre and sad stretches that reminds us why we need comedians, heroes and leaders.

Ronald Reagan, actor, conservative and our 40th president died after a lengthy battle with a disease that robbed him and us of a leader who understood the Presidency, leadership and how to live with a smile.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. John Kerry said it well: "Ronald Reagan's love of country was infectious. Even when he was breaking Democrats hearts, he did so with a smile and in the spirit of honest and open debate. Despite the disagreements, he lived by that noble ideal that at 5 p.m. we weren't Democrats or Republicans, we were Americans and friends."

Maybe during this week of mourning we should all ponder John Kerry's observation.

A horse also broke our hearts this weekend--Smarty Jones slowed in the stretch and a long-odds favorite Birdstone deprived us of another Triple Crown. Like me, millions of people who really don't care about horse racing were swept up in Smart Jones's bid for racing immortality. We so desperately need a hero, a victory, a shared sense of accomplishment that we all gasped in disbelief as Smarty faded.

It is a shame that most of our politicians,professional athletes and media pundits lack the class of John Servis, Smarty's trainer, who immediately ran over and congratulated Birdstone's owner and trainer.

In France, the world gathered and paid tribute to brave and courageous souls of all nationalities for their sacrifices to rid the world of tyranny and fascism 60 years ago during D-Day. It is shame that people of all nationalities have forgotten the lessons of this war and seemed doomed to endless repetitions of history.

I would encourage the French to remember the ten-thousands of Americans who came to places they couldn't pronounce to help free them. Let's get past the current acrimony and remember our shared past and agree to watch each other's backs in the future.

I would encourage the Germans, who we defeated to remember who spent billions helping them rebuild. Contrary to the hysterics and lunatic anti-American propaganda saturating Europe right now, we have never been heartless conquerors, never subjugated populations to our will. With the French, we should all stand together as future Fascists attempt to defeat us on the battlefield or from within.

Free people everywhere need to remember how to laugh again--how to disagree with class again--and most importantly learn how to become friends again.

Team Bush is on a Crusade

(The New Republic) This column from The New Republic was written by Michelle Cottle

Karl Rove is no idiot. I realize this observation sounds obvious. But it bears repeating -- often -- as Democrats and Washington's chattering class become increasingly excited about conservatives' increasingly public criticism of the Bush administration.

Perhaps more than any other field, politics embraces the kick-a-guy-when-he's-down outlook. Thus, with W. suffering a popularity slump due to his breathtakingly mismanaged Iraq odyssey, it's unsurprising that many on the right have begun to grouse about other Bush moves that they see as ideologically impure.

Sure, the tax cuts were great. But what about the massive deficits run up on W.'s watch? The White House can jaw about the cost of fighting terrorism all it wants, but a budget analysis conducted by, of all folks, the Heritage Foundation indicates that less than half of new spending under Bush has been related to defense or homeland security. Conservatives are less than thrilled about the president's big-government prescription-drug bill -- not to mention his noxious, federally intrusive No Child Left Behind program. And speaking of intrusive, a colorful mix of right-wingers (including the leadership of the Eagle Forum, the American Conservative Union, and the Free Congress Foundation) think the Patriot Act could use some serious tweaking before John Ashcroft starts implanting spy-cams in everyone's underpants.

Concerns about Bush's conservative cred won't be eased by the fact that members of his own party have launched legislative crusades in conflict with administration positions. Georgia ex-Congressman Bob Barr is lobbying hard for an overhaul of the Patriot Act, while Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook keeps pestering Majority Leader Tom Delay for a vote on a balanced budget amendment. Realistically, such an amendment has about as much chance of victory this year as Dennis Kucinich. But a vote on the issue -- something Delay reportedly promised Istook just before the Memorial Day recess -- could prove uncomfortable for both the White House and congressional conservatives, as Democrats began musing about how the deficits got so big, what draconian cuts would be needed to achieve a balanced budget, and why, exactly, so many Republicans spent so many months arguing that deficits don't matter.

The anti-Bush forces are understandably giddy about W.'s intraparty blues. For one thing, it must come as a tremendous relief to discover that even this president's Teflon coating will get sticky if enough mud is splashed on it. (Who could have predicted Chalabi would turn out to be this big a sleazeball?) More broadly, Democrats have grown accustomed to being the party of self-destructive, internecine bloodletting. For them, the very idea of Republicans publicly savaging one another is the political equivalent of free porn.

But this brings us back to my original reality check: Karl Rove is no idiot. The dark wizard is well aware of his president's troubles, and -- even as the Beltway boys and girls obsess over Iraq -- Team Bush is furiously sucking up to the base on domestic issues. Just this week, W. delivered a keep-the-faith barn-burner to nearly 2,000 religious leaders and social service workers assembled in Washington for the White House Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. In his best preacher's voice, Bush spoke of souls lost and found, the power of the Good Book, and the need to surrender one's life to "a higher being." But his larger goal: Reminding the audience of what a key friend he has been. Stressing his commitment to government funding of religious groups, Bush noted that, when an obstinate Congress tried to block his plans, he outsmarted them by signing an executive order. (Take that, you godless legislators!)

The more illuminating speech, however, came from Jim Towey, Bush's faith-based czar, who helpfully focused the crowd on the fierce "culture war" still raging in this country. Iraq may be getting all the press these days, he allowed, "but there's also another war that's going on ... that really gets to the heart of the questions about what is the role of faith in the public square." If the anti-Bush forces wind up carrying the day, Towey reportedly warned, "you could almost wind up creating a godless orthodoxy." For peddling such divisive, partisan rhetoric at an official White House event, Towey most likely earned a cookie and a pat on the back from the dark wizard.

But the faith-based conference/revival was just one stop on Team Bush's crusade. Last week, the president met with several members of the religious media. This week, during a trip West, he was scheduled to swing by Colorado Springs to kiss the ring of evangelical powerbroker James Dobson. Finally -- and perhaps most impressively -- on Thursday The New York Times broke the news that the Bush campaign is working to recruit literally thousands of "Friendly Congregations" to aid its reelection efforts by identifying volunteers willing to distribute campaign materials, facilitate voter registration, and pray for a plague of frogs to paralyze blue-state voting on election day. (Just kidding about that last part.) In Pennsylvania alone, 1,600 churches have been contacted.

This move, at least, captured the attention of Democrats, who promptly fired off outraged emails accusing the Bushies of mixing church and state. The Dems are right to be furious -- and terrified. Rove has long vowed to make sure evangelical voters turn out this year in far greater numbers than in 2000. And every new Iraq failure makes it that much more important for Team Bush to remind social conservatives who is with them on hot-button issues like gay marriage and partial-birth abortion -- home-grown moral atrocities that inflame the right far more than anything that went down at Abu Ghraib.

The Bush campaign is unlikely to spread this particular message via a nationwide TV ad blitz, since such aggressive moralizing might give swing voters the willies. But they will spread it through every conservative broadcaster, religious publisher, and "friendly congregation" they can find. A mighty army of religious warriors is being assembled on the president's behalf. With this in mind, the Kerry camp had better not get too wrapped up in Iraq (or Vietnam). This is a two-front war. And Team Bush is working hard to convince Americans that -- as in all battles -- God is on its side

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