Joined: 09 Sep 2006
|Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:47 am Post subject: KORAN GAVE ISRAEL TO THE JEWS
|KORAN GAVE ISRAEL TO THE JEWS
~Judith Apter Klinghoffer
That is the argument made by the London correspondent of the Central Chronicle, a local Bhopal newspaper. You may find it of interest. I did. For it calls on Muslims a to make their peace with Israel and I cannot think of something more promising.
WILL IRAQ FOLLOW GERMANY?
It has been a while since I wrote about Iraq. I simply had nothing new to say and there were plenty of people saying it. The US/Bush administration made huge mistakes. Richard Perle enumerates the most important ones in a recent interview with Newsmax and I complained about them at the time. Moreover, democracies cannot order their civilian employees to go where they do not wish to go and, hence, its nation building ability especially under adverse circumstances is very limited. The ongoing failings of the state department in Iraq are a case in point.
That means that what the US can do best is throw out the bad guys thereby enable their replacement with elected guys. The rest depends on the local people. As we have seen in Germany after World War I, feuding elected guys can throw away their chance at freedom. Germany got a second chance, took advantage of it and the entire European continent is the obvious beneficiary. Of course, Germany was not transformed alone. It was part of a regional transformation. Richard Cohen is right. Europe should celebrate the 50th anniversary of the EU but it would be a real ingrate if it does not invite its enabler, the US, to the party.
Iraq is getting a second chance. Tom Friedman understandably complains about the price Americans and Iraqis have to pay for not getting it right in the first place. But it should be remembered that Iraq even now is not getting the chance Germany got. It is getting more the chance a post Petain France would have gotten with Hitler and Mussolini as neighbors.
Let's hope Iraq can do it and that the price is going to be much lower than the one the world paid for Germany's do over. After all, Iran and the new Sunni Islamist totalitarians are still hovering in the background. If not, the efforts to minimize the price may just end up again raising it. If so, Bush will learn the same painful lesson FDR did. After all, he told Munich bound Chamberlain not to count on American support if he stood up to Hitler.
Ultimately, both FDR and Bush responded to a just electorate demand that strategic goals be achieved with minimal expense in life and treasure. In that light trying to remake the ME by creating an Iraqi model rather than tackling the entire region as was done in post W.W.II Europe seemed eminently reasonable even if it proves to have been overly optimistic and extremely costly.
If Iraq fails, Bush's successors leave it to its fate as they did Vietnam once they find an alternative way to defeat the new totalitarianism. Given the pre-world war I reminiscent atmosphere in Asia, the stakes of getting it right could not be higher.
JERRY SEINFELD WINS THE OSCAR
Being in India, I watched the Oscars early in the morning. It is quite an experience. In any case, if I were giving out Oscars, I would give one to Jerry Seinfeld. He alone was neither preachy nor pompous, nor even politically correct. He even dared call the selection of nominated documentaries, depressing. Thanks, Jerry.
THE GREAT ASIAN GAME IS HEATING UP
A day after terrorist blow up 68 Indians and Pakistanis on the "Friendship train," Pakistan tests Shaheen II nuclear capable ballistic missile. I suspect that while we are fighting a war against terror, other, even more dangerous, battle lines are also being drawn. There is an incredible arms race going on in Asia and plenty of prepositioning and testing. The recently established Hotline between Beijing and New Delhi was far from a sign of a new friendship. The real reemerging strategic partnership is between India and Russia. Consider:
1. Tajik air base is ready, gives India its first footprint in strategic Central Asia
India refurbished the Ayni air base, 10 km north-east of Dushanbe, at the cost of over Rs 80 crore under a trilateral defence agreement with Tajikistan and Russia. With its runway extended, perimeter fencing secured and aircraft hangars built, the Ayni airbase is ready after a delay of nearly two years. Lying dilapidated since 1985, this airbase was used by the former Soviet Union during its Afghan campaign.
Official sources have told The Sunday Express that the Chiefs of Staff Committee has already put its stamp of approval on operating the base. However, Defence Minister A K Antony has asked the CCS for a formal mandate on force levels before the Indian Air Force moves its platforms to Ayni.
Under the trilateral agreement, India, Russia and Tajikistan will have command and control of the air base by rotation and a contingent of Defence Services personnel is already in Ayni after military contractors completed construction last December.
Ayniís use is limited by the fact that India has no direct access to Tajikistan with part of Kashmir and Northern Areas being controlled by Pakistan. Under the circumstances, the Indian team will have to work with the Russians, who already have a motorised division stationed in Tajikistan, for all logistical help and support.
India has plans to put a squadron of Mi-17 V1 helicopters at Ayni with logistical support coming from Russia in the landlocked Tajikistan. While Russia is operating fighters from this base, New Delhi does not want to commit fixed-wing platforms for Ayni. The Indian Air Force has already given flying training to Tajikistan air force personnel under the agreement.
Conceived in 2002 under the NDA regime, the Ayni air base allows India rapid response to any emerging threat from the volatile Afghanistan-Pakistan arc including a terrorist hijacking like the IC-814. It also gives New Delhi a limited yet significant capability to inject special forces into a hostile theater as and when the situation demands.
The other aspect is Indiaís role in the energy security calculus in the region with prospects of Central Asian natural gas reaching the subcontinent and negotiations with energy-rich countries like Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Energy security is now a major concern with the Strategic Policy Group under Cabinet Secretary discussing the issue with the service chiefs, Home, Defence and Foreign Secretaries on February 7.
2. Indian Supreme Court gets involved in India - China border alignemtn.
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the Centre and West Bengal government on a petition challenging the change of the originally conceived route alignment pertaining to the East-West corridor of the Golden Quadrilateral project, launched by the NDA government in 2002. . . .
Lahoty submitted that the corridor which runs through a stretch of 366 km between West Bengal and Assam was designed on the advice of the defence ministry experts as the expansion covered strategically-significant borders areas involving Sikkim, Darjeeling, Bhutan and the Nathuala Pass linking China.
As per the original plan the route was to start from Islampur, Bagdora, Siliguri, Dooraj areas in West Bengal to Alipur Dwar in Assam.
The defence ministry, according to the petition, wanted such an alignment as it could be strategically useful in case of any border skirmishes.
However, it was alleged that UPA government had changed the alignment by diverting the route towards Jalpaiguri, Mayagudi, Cooch-Behar and Thufangi areas of West Bengal due to political reasons.
3. Crossfire War - China Increases Military Cooperation With Burma
The day after the largest attack in India's Manipur (14 Indian policemen killed) state, on Burma's (Myanmar) western border, Beijing sent State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan to Nay Pyi Taw for a three day working visit. . . .
Beijing knows that as a result of Pyongyang setting off the nuclear test last October, and with Moscow renewing its old influence in North Korea as a result, Beijing has disengaged from there and has increased its control over Myanmar, which is actually one of China's provinces as had been North Korea since the end of the Cold War in 1990. With the attacks increasing last year in Assam province, in India's northeast, and now with the major attack yesterday in Manipur, it is obvious Myanmar has now become one of the main bases for Tehran - Beijing to use for attacks against India and with the full cooperation of the military rulers in the Nay Pyi Taw.
Beijing had probably informed Tehran-Islamabad quite some time ago that Myanmar's government was definitely available so they are now sending a State Councilor to make further arrangements that will increase the ability of separatist units to ambush India's security forces in the area. The title state councillor is suspiciously ambiguous and can cover a variety of functions, which is why I suspect Tang Jiaxuan is in reality one of Beijing's experts on the Southeast Asian region, not only on Myanmar and its support, but also on Thailand and its vulnerability to more attacks by Islamic units, attacks that may soon spread to Bangkok, and can weaken Bangkok's role as a stable ally against Tehran-Beijing and their attempt to control Southeast Asia's resources.
In Nay Pyi Taw, Jiaxuan will be meeting the First Secretary of the Myanmar Peace and Development Council, Lieutenant - General Thein Sein, director of the government's command and control over the country.
He is also the official Beijing is using to prepare Myanmar's military to meet the inevitable military response by Delhi this year as the attacks in India's northeast increase. What Beijing-Tehran intend, along with all the other governments in the South-Southeast Asia region they are working with, is to remove northeast India, all of Assam province and its states like Manipur, from Delhi's control.
In Bangkok Jiaxuan will evaluate the effectiveness and seriousness of the measures Bangkok is making to reduce the impact of further attacks by Islamic separatists units in Thailand's south.
He will also investigate the strength of Bangkok's current government and the possibility, if the attacks do reach Bangkok repeatedly, could that cause the removal of its government. Since Myanmar's border runs south along Thailand's boder, betweeen the Bay of Bengal and the Gulf of Thailand, it is quite possible Myanmar could be another corridor for weapons to Islamic separatists group in southern Thailand.
Mynamar's southern extension is not that far from the four Thai provinces under attack as they have been for the past three years.
The attacks have caused Washington to establish an intelligence listening post in south Thailand shortly after the violence began. With Myanmar now becoming one of the more important bases for Tehran - Beijing, it will force the Allies to support armed groups which have long been opposed to the military dictatorship. Bangkok has long had contacts with a lot of those units, some of them having been in operation ever since Burma's independence in 1948.
It all reminds me of pre-War World I Europe.
SECULAR MUSLIMS CONFERENCE IN FLORIDA
I received this email and it brings good news. Secular Muslims are organizing. As I am out of the country, I will not be able to attend and in any case, I am not a Muslims but some of you may be. So here goes:
The Free Muslims Coalition brings to your attention a Muslim reform summit that will be held in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 4-5. This summit is open to all people and we encourage you to attend the summit which will be covered by CNN's Glenn Beck show and other media personalities.
Muslim thinkers will be asking what went wrong? How did Middle Eastern cultures transform from the openness and intellectual ferment of the medieval period to the closed theocratic societies of today? Where are the secular voices of the Muslim world?
Now, bold critics of orthodoxy are calling for sweeping reforms from inside Muslim societies. With the intent of catalyzing a global movement for reason, humanist values, and freedom of conscience, delegates from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Bangladesh will assemble March 4-5 in St. Petersburg, Florida for an unprecedented Summit (see www.secularislam.org).
"This summit is proof positive that reform-minded Muslims are creating a movement. We no longer exist in isolation." Said author Irshad Manji.
The historic Summit, to be held at the Hilton St. Petersburg, will set in motion the generation of new practical strategies from the world's leading thinkers and activists. At issue will be secularist interpretations of Islam, the importance of expanding criticism, the state of freedom of expression in Muslim societies, and education.
"The Secular Islam Summit hopes to encourage a new global movement for reason, science, and secular values within Islamic societies," said Summit organizer Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, an Iranian-American activist.
To reserve, call Austin Dacey at, ext. 11;; or e-mail email@example.com.
RICE CHASES ABBAS LIKE ALBRIGHT'S CHASED ARAFAT
Some things never change. Those include the willingness of US foreign secretaries to humiliate themselves for the sake of PA chairmen.
Albright ran after Yasser Arafat and now reportedly Rice repeated the exercise.
Al Hayat claims that "Abbas tried to leave the meeting but [US Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice brought him back".
Abbas knows that US secretary of states instinctively stand by Muslim leaders they perceive as weak and spineless.
I would like to know how much money Abbas and company got from the Saudis to swallow the pro-Hamas deal?
WESTERN EUROPE'S AMERICA PROBLEM
Aware of my interest in the book, Jeff Weintraub sent me his post on Andy Markovits' Uncouth Nation. It like the book is well worth reading. Indeed, I hope some of the teachers reading this blog would consider assigning it to their students. Anti-Americanism is not to be dismissed with a shrug for as all irrational hatreds, it tells more about the haters than the hated.
I hope to write a full review of the book once I get home. In the meantime, let me just note that as Markovits points out anti-Americanism is tied to anti-Semitism AND I would emphasize to "anti-democratism."
For hundreds of years America stood for the replacement of the rule of the elite with the rule of the "uncouth masses."
It is still so in the Third world. The Indian elite could not be more anti-American but the eyes of the average Indian lights up when they here we are from America.
If anti-Americanism has spread to the European middle classes, I suspect the reason for that is the fear that the US is identified with globalization and older Europeans fear globalization may endanger their comfortable retirement.
The young who would like the Islamist threat to go away and not interfere with their chance to grab the brass ring of globalization, simply take out their wrath on the messenger, i.e., the US.
Be that as it may, Weintraub's basic argument remains valid:
Readers may or may not agree with every detail of Markovits's analysis of these problems. But there's no question that the problems he has identified are real and important, and they deserve a serious and honest conversation.
One last possible objection.
In the past, some people whose judgment I respect, and who have not tried to deny the undeniable fact that European anti-Americanism exists, have nevertheless suggested that it's not a sufficiently important problem to warrant much concern.
The US, after all, is a wealthy and powerful superpower that can take care of itself. European hostility may wound the pride of some Americans, but it isn't going to do the US much harm, and the idea of serious conflicts between Europe and the US seems fairly implausible.
I think there is a grain of truth to such points, but I'm not entirely convinced.
In the first place, it's always a good idea to face reality rather than evading it, and if an analysis like the one offered by Markovits can help or encourage some people to do that, then this is enough to make the effort worthwhile.
But there's also more to it than that. In so far as anti-Americanism is one factor that contributes to poisoning relations and mutual understanding between Europeans and Americans (not the only such factor, but definitely one of them), that can potentially create or exacerbate a whole range of problems, especially in areas where constructive Euro-American cooperation is necessary and important. And anti-Americanism clearly helps to distort political judgments about a range of substantively important issues.
And that's not all. A friend and colleague once suggested to me that instead of worrying about the relatively trivial problem of anti-Americanism in Europe, I should spend more time worrying about anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in Europe. Well, as Markovits shows, the unfortunate reality is that the three of them are closely interconnected, and the combination is toxic and dangerous. We need to pay careful attention to it, and Uncouth Nation should give some people a necessary wake-up call.
AL QAEDA IS REORGANIZING
This is the year of the Golden Pig. It should be an especially good year - it does not seems so at the moment though the Chinese seem indeed to be doing exceptionally well and the economy is humming along. What else could it do with additional hundreds of millions of new consumers?
The trouble is that Al Qaeda is reorganizing. Do note the following article published TODAY:
The certainly non alarmist New York Times reports that North Africa Feared as Staging Ground for Terror:
The plan, hatched for months in the arid mountains of North Africa, was to attack the American and British Embassies here. It ended in a series of gun battles in January that killed a dozen militants and left two Tunisian security officers dead. . . .
Counterterrorism officials on three continents say the trouble in Tunisia is the latest evidence that a brutal Algerian group with a long history of violence is acting on its promise: to organize extremists across North Africa and join the remnants of Al Qaeda into a new international force for jihad.
The Jihadists have training camps in Syria reports the Washington Times:
One major foreign fighter camp exists in the Latakia province in northern Syria, a mountainous area replete with Syrian Military Intelligence facilities and wide swaths of ostensibly government property closed to the public. The Iraqi officer in charge there is one Maj. Gen. Majid Sulayman. Yet another such camp exists 40 kilometers to the west of the border town of Qamishli, which lies in the Kurdish area in the northeastern tip of Syria bordering Iraq and Turkey; it is run by Maj. Gen. Qays al-Adhami. The al-Shaybani camp lies 30 kilometers south of Damascus and also trains foreign fighters. The al-Ikhals camp lies in the heart of the Qaysun mountain range near Damascus.
The al Qaeda connection is not that far removed. Arab papers report that the recent movement of large numbers of al Qaeda in Iraq fighters from Syria into Palestinian refugee camps in northern Lebanon and Beirut are sounding alarm bells that the Syrian security services are preparing to use these heavily armed and visibly well-funded cells to launch attacks against the anti-Syrian democratic government of Lebanon.
The latest train bombing in India demonstrates that Pakistan is at least as dangerous. As Dr. Tariq Rahman writes in the Beginning of a new Trend terror is striking back at Pakistan just the way it struck back at the PA. In the PA Islamist Hamas benefited. In Pakistan Al Qaeda is benefiting. Manoj Joshi explains:
Pakistan has certainly played a major role in lighting the fires of terrorism in the region. There is enough evidence in the writings of courageous Pakistani journalists, which suggest that elements of the Pakistani system continue to support some groups in the name of the freedom struggle in Kashmir. Yet, fact is that Pakistan is itself teetering on a slippery slope.
Of late, there have been a spate of suicide bomber attacks in and around Islamabad. On January 26, a terrorist killed himself and a security guard at a hotel where the Indian High Commissioner was to host a reception. On February 6, a suicide attacker blew himself up in the car park of Islamabad airport, injuring 10 people. Nine days later, on February 17, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a Quetta court, killing 17 people and wounding 37.
Ever since 9/11, the draconian US-led counter-terrorist operations have led to the mutation of Pakistani terrorist groups. Older ones like the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Harkat-e-jihad-e-Islami have gone underground and newer ones like the Jundullah have emerged with deep links to the al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistanís biggest failure has been its inability to control the Waziristan region.
American officials now say that al-Qaeda and the Taliban have been able to re-establish significant control over their worldwide network and create a new infrastructure of training camps in this tribal region. Over the past year, insurgent tactics from Iraq have migrated to Afghanistan, where suicide bombings have increased five-fold and roadside bomb attacks have doubled. Last Sunday, Iranís Foreign Ministry charged that on February 16 Sunni terrorists with Pakistani links had struck at the south-eastern city of Zahedan ó through which logistical aid to Afghanistan is routed.
What can I say, it does not look good. For the stronger they appear, the more they will recruit. As Bin Laden so correctly said, people prefer the strong horse and his enemies have been much too busy fighting each other to prevent his forces from reorganizing. Just note Joshi's derision for the American "draconian counter terror operations." Perhaps if India and Pakistan had taken similar "draconian" measures, their citizens would not have been blown up in their sleep on the PEACE TRAIN.
You must have noticed that I am quite taken by the sexy French elections. If so are you, read Michel Garfinkel's perceptive analysis in the Weekly Standard.
JUDEA & SAMARIA are clear and unquestionably JEWISH!
MiddleEast Political Expressions