Tag Archives: Los Angeles Times

Washington Backs Islamists as Sinai and Gaza Explode

The Los Angeles Times reportsthat the Obama administration is “deeply concerned” by the Egyptian military regime’s having seized powers so as to prevent a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the country.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said that “We…urge the [military] to relinquish power to civilian-elected authorities….” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that “We are particularly concerned by decisions that appear to prolong the military’s hold on power.”

As the report notes, the military regime’s move is aimed at preventing the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi—if he has indeed been elected—from “declaring war without the agreement of the ruling generals.”

In other words, it’s a move aimed at preventing an Egyptian attack on Israel, the total collapse of Israeli-Egyptian peace, and a drastic regional destabilization.

The generals are not acting against the Islamists because they’re wonderful people who love Israel and the West. They are, however, sane pragmatists who do not want Egypt, with its severe economic problems, to be dragged into a ruinous conflict.

And for their efforts, the generals have the Obama administration up in arms and crying foul.

How differently the situation is viewed in Israel is revealed by, for instance, veteran military analyst Alex Fishman, who wrote: “This is no longer the same Egypt. It is no longer the same border, the peace treaty is dying, and we better start to change our way of thinking.”

Fishman was referring to how much the situation has already deteriorated since the fall of Hosni Mubarak—hailed at the time by the likes of Obama and Thomas Friedman—in February last year. He was also referring to a military flare-up over the past few days that has seen scores of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza.

The flare-up began, however, south of Gaza on Monday when terrorists—Gaza-based but of Al Qaeda provenance—tried to breach the fence Israel has been building along its southern, Sinai border with Egypt to keep out terrorists, smugglers, and illegal labor migrants.

And it is since Mubarak’s fall that the situation in Sinai has gone to seed as this tract of land—which figured in the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty as a peacekeeping buffer zone—has been taken over by both Bedouin and international-terror gangs, sometimes working in tandem, as the central regime in Cairo has its hands full trying to quell anarchy closer to home.

The current round of hostilities has also seen Hamas—the Islamist rulers of Gaza—openly taking credit for the rocket fire for the first time in years. That lack of inhibition is widely viewed in Israel as reflecting a surge of confidence over the developments in Egypt, particularly the prospect of Hamas’s parent movement—the Brotherhood—and other Sunni extremists taking over or at least steadily gaining ground there.

Indeed, a year and a half after the start of what some may still be calling the Arab Spring, the view from Israel is not among the more uplifting in the country’s short history.

To the west and south, the direct security threat steadily worsens as arms from Libya—a country where the Western powers succeeded to sow anarchy and a possible Islamist takeover—flow unhindered into Sinai and Gaza.

To the east and north, the ongoing Syrian crisis poses grave risks of the Assad regime’s huge chemical-weapons stockpiles falling into dangerous hands through—again—either anarchy or a Sunni-jihadist takeover.

And in the background Iran—which hopes to capitalize on the Islamist energies of the Arab Spring, which it more accurately calls the “Islamic Awakening”—is succeeding along with the world powers to sustain a transparent sham of “nuclear talks” with, incredibly, yet another “round” having been scheduled for Istanbul in July 3 after this week’s “round” in Moscow yielded absolutely nothing by all accounts.

Israel’s worsening security environment along with stubborn Western failure to understand the regime’s dynamics—a failure that is the flipside of sheer tiredness and cynicism—does not, then, add up to an encouraging picture.

The situation has, though, fostered an enhanced unity that has seen the rise of an almost wall-to-wall, apparently stable governing coalition, and a decline of Israel’s own delusions that not long ago produced such bitter internal dissensus.

With Washington backing the belligerent fanatics in Egypt against the moderates, and still, with its allies, playing ineffectual games with Iran, Israel will need all the unity and realism it can muster. By P. David Hornik

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“As far as editorial content is concerned, print media in the United States is very pro-Muslim”

“Pro-Muslim,” i.e., defending special accommodations for Muslim practices in businesses and workplaces — accommodations that would never be granted to non-Muslims. “Pro-Muslim,” i.e., demonizing and marginalizing anyone who stands up and defends the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and equality of rights for all people before the law, against Islamic supremacism. “Pro-Muslim,” i.e., working assiduously to obscure any connection between Islam and Islamic jihad terrorism, even when the jihad terrorists themselves point to the Qur’an and Sunnahas their motivation and inspiration. “Pro-Muslim,” i.e., characterizing jihadis as “insurgents,” “militants,” or “youths,” or some other term, but never what they are. “Pro-Muslim,” i.e., casting Muslim violence against non-Muslims as “clashes” between two equally aggressive groups. And on and on and on.

English: The Ethnic composition of Muslims in ...
English: The Ethnic composition of Muslims in the United States, according to the United States Department of State based on the publication of Being Muslim in America as of March 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“American print media ‘very pro-Muslim,'” by Sidrah Roghay for The News International, June 17 (thanks to Kenneth):

Karachi: Born in a sufi family in India before Partition, Shabbir Mansuri was chosen by his father to go to the United States, and do all the things that Americans do. Several decades later he was invited by the US consulate at a local hotel as an American citizen and founder of the Institute of Religionand Civics to head a talk titled ‘religion, media and politics in the United States’.

“As far as editorial content is concerned, [the] print media in the United States is very pro-Muslim,” he said talking about this one time when controversy sparked about designating an area for ablution (wudhu) at the Michigan Universities especially for Muslims.

The Los Angeles Times protected the decision in the name of freedom of religion.”…

Posted by Robert

Iran Senses Western Weakness

As the clock ticks closer to a nuclear-armed Iran, the Western powers are girding their loins for––more talks. Actually, they’re getting ready to talk to Iran about the conditions for talking some more. EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton announced that the “P5 + 1” powers (the permanent Security Council membersplus Germany) hoped to persuade “Iran to move away from its nuclear program,” and expected “from the contacts we’ve had that this process can now move forward swiftly and seriously.” Ashton didn’t produce any evidence why the Iranians would voluntarily give up the bomb, or how yet one more round of negotiations, like the so-called “crippling sanctions,” will produce anything other than giving Iran more time to “swiftly and seriously” achieve nuclear-weapons capability.

Obama

Meanwhile, the Obama administration keeps shifting the conditions under which the U.S. would take military action. Secretary of State Clinton on February 29 three times told the House Foreign Affairs committee that “it’s absolutely clear that the president’s policy is to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons capability.” A few days later anonymous “administration officials” said Clinton had “misspoken,” which Obama confirmed in his speech to AIPAC where he several times asserted that “obtaining a nuclear weapon,” not capability, would be the casus belli, even though he has no clue exactly how we’d know the mullahs had nuclear weapons before they announced it to the world, the same way we found out Pakistan and North Korea had them. The purpose of this shift is obvious: it provides more time for “diplomacy” and “sanctions” to work their magic, and puts more pressure on Israel not to do anything that might make unpleasant headlines compromising Obama’s reelection. However, the history of Pakistan and North Korea’s acquisition of nuclear weapons shows that the consequence of this delay will be a nuclear-armed Iran.

But that contingency doesn’t seem to bother Obama’s academic allies like Bruce Ackerman, who recently provided a specious justification for inaction in the Los Angeles Times. The Yale law professor asserted that American support for a preemptive strike on Iran “would be a violation of both international law and the U.S. Constitution.” The Hoover Institution’s Peter Berkowitz dismantled Ackerman’s tendentious and erroneous interpretation, which Berkowitz shows is an attempt “to bend the precedents and provisions of international law and twist the facts of American politics to conform to their policy preferences.” The left’s hysterics about the illegality and immorality of “preemption,” of course, has always been an ideological pretext for demonizing and hence discouraging U.S. military action, which to the left is almost never justified, given America’s neo-colonial crimes and oppression.

But preemption has for millennia been an obvious common-sense response to an aggressor. The 4th century B.C. orator Demosthenes used a memorable metaphor for preemption when he was trying to rouse the indolent Athenians to use force to resist Philip II of Macedon’s aggression: “To manage war properly, you must not follow the trend of events but must forestall them . . . But you Athenians, possessing unsurpassed resources––fleet, infantry, cavalry, revenues–– have never to this very day employed them aright, and yet you carry on war with Philip exactly as a barbarian boxes. The barbarian, when struck, always clutches the place; hit him on the other side and there go his hands. He neither knows nor cares how to parry a blow or how to watch his adversary.” In other words, anticipate the aggressor’s actions, and, as Nathan Bedford Forrest supposedly put it, “ Get there firstest with the mostest.”

So much is mere common sense, but common sense is woefully lacking in the West’s response to a regime of religious fanatics in pursuit of nuclear weapons. Unwilling to act, whether because of fear, ideology, or political self-interest, Western leaders continue to camouflage their inaction with sanctions and diplomatic palaver. Yet the historical record of both in deterring a committed aggressor is one not just of failing to stop aggression, but of enabling it. The Thirties, of course, provide numerous examples, starting with the League of Nations’ toothless response to Japanese aggression in China, moving on to the flaccid reaction to Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia, and culminating with the Munich conference that delivered Czechoslovakia to Hitler and paved the way for World War II. In each case, sanctions and talk led to more aggression, because the aggressors correctly interpreted that sanctions and words were the face-saving excuses of nations afraid to act.

The reason aggressors think this way is obvious. As Demosthenes told the Athenians, “All words, apart from action, seem vain and idle.” So too today. The mullahs in Iran have carefully listened as Obama has pressured Israel not to take action, shifted the grounds for U.S. action, and demanded time for sanctions and negotiation “to work,” and they have made the correct calculation that such statements cancel out the rhetoric about “having Israel’s back” and acknowledging Israel’s right for taking unilateral action at the same time such action is discouraged and proclaimed to be futile. The mullahs further calculate that this administration, and the American people, do not have the stomach for an attack, and thus Iran can continue to work toward creating nuclear weapons, as long as they provide a diplomatic fig leaf for Western leaders to hide their weakness.

Worse yet, even if the negotiations achieve their aim, which is to allow inspectors to monitor Iran’s suspension of uranium enrichment, the problem won’t be solved. As John Bolton pointed out three years ago, “Any resolution that leaves Iran’s current regime with control over the entire nuclear fuel cycle is simply a face-saving way of accepting” that Iran will possess nuclear weapons. “Given Iran’s fulsome 20-year history of denial and deception, there is simply no doubt that its efforts toward building nuclear weapons would continue.” Indeed, what makes us think that Iran will be any less adept at gaming inspections than was Saddam Hussein, who for years rope-a-doped the inspectors until he felt confident enough simply to kick them out of the country? Or North Korea, which wrote the playbook for deceiving gullible Westerners with “negotiations” and “talks” until it could present its nuclear bombs as a fait accompli?

And surely Iran must be heartened by the recent restart of “six-party talks” with North Korea, a patent ploy to acquire more food aid for feeding the regime’s army and cronies, as North Korea has done now for decades. The mullahs have to be laughing at comments like the following, from a German representative to the talks: “I can say that based on the amicable and candid interaction among the participants, the organizers believe that the conference achieved its final result of building trust despite remaining political differences.” Such myopic gullibility reminds me of Neville Chamberlain’s report to his cabinet during the Munich negotiations that Hitler “would not deliberately deceive a man whom he respected and with whom he had been in negotiation, and he was sure that Herr Hitler now felt some respect for him. When Herr Hitler announced that he meant to do something it was certain he would do it.” Indeed, but what Hitler had announced years earlier in Mein Kampf was the conquest of Europe and the solution to the “Jewish problem.”

And now another anti-Semitic aggressor is sitting down to talk with representatives of Western nations unwilling to take seriously the genocidal threats of a regime rushing to create the weapons that could make those threats reality. Instead, our highest military official calls the mullahs “rational,” and the president says they are “self-interested,” both dismissing the religious motives of a regime that for thirty years has made plain its world-historical mission to make Islam triumph over the infidels. So the Western negotiators gather once again to talk and talk and talk until they’ve talked Iran into the bomb.

Posted by Bio

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