|Terrorism rev. 08.25.2007||Back to Lessons Page|
07.19.2007: Another from Larry is this link to one of the scariest, most chilling web movies you can watch. Here's the site; here's the movie.
Here's the deal: if there aren't enough non-militant, non-fundamentalist Muslims to put a stop to the militant fundamentalists, the world will rise up and crush the militant fundamentalists. Just wait. It's a matter of choices. Poor people have fewer choices than wealthier people. Money brings wider choices, including where to live, where to work, where to go to school, what to believe. It's no coincidence that the most militant fundamentalists come from the poorest Muslim countries. Even when they emigrate to wealthier areas, it's their goal to take from the new countries by destroying, not building. This is what separates them from the rest of the human race. In the end, they will be destroyed. Unfortunately, they will take many innocent people with them. People who don't have animosity towards the militant fundamentalists; just folks who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. This will be the downfall of militant, fundamentalist Muslim people. At the heart of it, the problem always boils down to: it's the zealots who create most of the problems for the rest of us.
07.17.2007: Thanks, Larry for yet another view of why the militant Islamic movements are so far from rationality that it's barely believable..
05.18.2007: From the Arab News, 17 May, 2007, "Islamophobia [is the] Worst Form of Terrorism"
How do you reconcile that with things like this and this and this and this and this and this?
From Melanie Phillips' Diary....
"No, no, no! It is not the equivalent at all. It is completely different. The purpose of the IRA was to achieve a united Ireland; it was not to take over Britain and turn it into a Catholic state. But the jihad aims to turn Britain and the west into an Islamic state. IRA terrorism was committed in the name of Irish nationalism; Islamist terrorism is committed in the name of holy war. The Pope and the Catholic priesthood worldwide were not issuing encyclicals or sermons calling on the faithful to destroy unbelievers and install Catholicism as world government; the most influential religious authorities in the Islamic world are instructing their faithful to destroy unbelievers and install Islamic world government. To equate Islamist terror with Irish terror as if it were really ‘Catholic terror’, while insisting that the term ‘Islamist’ or ‘Islamic’ terror is now a forbidden term, would be Orwellian were it not simply so utterly stupid and ignorant. A party leader who makes this fundamental mistake, thus showing that he really hasn’t got a clue about the true nature of the deadly threat that this country is facing, simply does not deserve to hold high office."
Can you, too, see the difference???
02.27.2007: David Horowitz has posted the Flash video of "The Islamic Mein Kampf."
He announced that he is sending it out via email to more than 850,000 individuals including the entire liberal arts faculties at Duke University, Brandeis, Georgia Tech, Berkeley, and other schools. (Does anyone have Jimmy Carter's email address?) He is also placing full page ads -- "What Every American Needs To Know About Jihad" -- in college papers across the country.
He has established the Terrorism Awareness Project site with information about his new movement and about the terrorist threat.
This is a bit long, but worth the time. People NEED to know this. War is being waged against everyday by Muslim extremists......we can never let our guard down.
Click here to view the "The Islamic Mein Kampf."
Herb finds another one... 10.07.2006. This one strikes me as what you get when you cross hypocrisy with insanity...
POOR ISLAMISTS - THEY GET INSULTED - WE GET BEHEADED - AND WE APOLIGIZE AND THEY SAY WE GONNA KILL YOU ANYWAY
From John Alstad, U.S. Marine:
The Pope says that jihad violence is against God's nature, and officials fear that in response, Muslims enraged by this insult will commit... jihad violence.
Muslims murder 3,000 innocents in New York and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 202 tourists in Bali and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 333 schoolchildren and their teachers in Beslan and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 292 innocents, mainly Kenyans and Tanzanians at two US Embassies and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 241 US and 58 French peacekeepers in Beirut and expect no criticism.
Muslims fire 4,000 Katyusha rockets into Northern Israel killing over 50 innocent civilians and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 52 in London and 191 in Madrid and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 200 in Mumbai and expect no criticism.
Muslims behead Western hostages in Iraq, Buddhist monks in Thailand and Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 500,000 in Darfur and expect no criticism.
Muslims regard Jews as 'sons of pigs and monkeys', and vow to nuke Israel and expect no criticism.
Muslims force women to wear hideous sacks, stone to death women for getting raped and for leaving the home unescorted, engage in honor killings of sisters and daughters for unapproved dating, and expect no criticism.
Muslims danced in the streets and handed out sweets to their kids to celebrate the 9/11 atrocity, and still expected no criticism.
Since 9/11 Muslims have killed over 26,000 and wounded over 50,000 in terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11 and expect no criticism.
Since 9/11 Muslims have committed terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Chad, Chechnya, Dagestan, Denmark, East Timor, Egypt, England, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ingushetia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Jordan-Iraq, Kabardino-Balkans, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Gaza-Palestinian Authority, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Republic, United States, Uzbekistan and Yemen, and still expect no criticism.
Muslims have carried out over 5,800 fatal terrorist atrocities since 9/11, and countless thousands since Islamic conquest began in 623 AD and expect no criticism. But if a Pope dares to tell the truth about Islam or Danes publish cartoons about Mohammed, then let the outpourings of Islamic hate and outrage begin.
And, in some twisted reach of logic, some demand the Pope issue an apology.
Thanks again, Herb: 09.22.2006
I agree with Doug Patton's writing:
WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS?
"Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001? Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from our nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania?
Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?
And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was "desecrated" when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? Well, I don't. I don't care at all.
I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.
I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.
I'll care when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi tells the world he is sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.
I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.
I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.
Thanks again, Herb: 08.04.2006
When you run into folks who can't quite figure out what's going on in the Middle East or are unduly influenced by the propaganda of our enemies, the next two sentences really say it all:
If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence.
If the Israelis put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.
In a recent interview, General Norman Schwartzkopf was asked if he thought there was room for forgiveness toward Hizbollah, The General said,
" I believe that forgiving Hizbollah is God's function. The Israeli's job is to arrange the meeting ."
I have no idea if what is written below and attributed to a retired Navy Captain is true, but what is written certainly is.
Why the world should stand back and let Israel do what it has to do.
Dave Wilson, Capt. retired, US Navy.
When I was in the Navy, I once witnessed a bar fight in downtown Olongapo (Philippines) that still haunts my dreams. The fight was between a big oafish Marine and a rather soft-spoken, medium sized Latino sailor from my ship.
All evening the Marine had been trying to pick a fight with one of us and had finally set his sights on this diminutive shipmate of mine... figuring him for a safe target.
When my friend refused to be goaded into a fight the Marine sucker punched him from behind on the side of the head so hard that blood instantly started to pour from this poor man's mutilated ear.
Everyone present was horrified and was prepared to absolutely murder this Marine, but my shipmate quickly turned on him and began to single-handedly back him towards a corner with a series of stinging jabs and upper cuts that gave more than a hint to a youth spent boxing in a small g ym in the Bronx.
Each punch opened a cut on the Marine's startled face and by the time he had been backed completely into the corner he was blubbering for someone to stop the fight. He invoked his split lips and chipped teeth as reasons to stop the fight. He begged us to stop the fight because he could barely see through the river of blood that was pouring out of his split and swollen brows.
Nobody moved. Not one person. The only sound in the bar was the sickening staccato sound of this sailor's lightning fast fists making contact with new areas of the Marine's head. The only sound I have heard since that was remotely similar was from the first Rocky film when Sylvester Stallone was punching sides of beef in the meat locker.
Finally the Marine's pleading turned to screams.... a high, almost womanly shriek. And still the punches continued relentlessly. Several people in the bar took a few tentative steps as though they wanted to try to break it up at that point, but hands reached out from the crowd and held them tight. I'm not ashamed to say that mine were two of the hands that held someone back.
You see, in between each blow the sailor had begun chanting a soft cadence: "Say [punch] you [punch] give [punch] up [punch]... Say [punch] you [punch] were [punch] wrong [punch]".
He had been repeating it to the Marine almost from the start but we only became aware of it when the typical barroom cheers had died down and we began to be sickened by the sight and sound of the carnage.
This Marine stood there shrieking in the corner of the bar trying futilely to block the carefully timed punches that were cutting his head to tatters... right down to the skull in places. But he refused to say that he gave up... or that he was wrong.
Even in the delirium of his beating he believed in his heart that someone would stop the fight before he had to admit defeat. I'm sure this strategy had served him well in the past and had allowed him to continue on his career as a barroom bully.
Finally, in a wail of agony the Marine shrieked "I give up", and we gently backed the sailor away from him.
I'm sure you can guess why I have shared this story today. I'm not particularly proud to have been witness to such a bloody spectacle, and the sound of that Marine's woman-like shrieks will haunt me to my grave. But I learned something that evening that Israel had better learn for itself if it is to finally be rid of at least one of its tormentors:
This is one time an Arab aggressor must be allowed to be beaten so badly that every civilized nation will stand in horror, wanting desperately to step in and stop the carnage... but knowing that the fight will only truly be over when one side gives up and finally admits defeat.
Just as every person who had ever rescued that bully from admitting defeat helped create the cowardly brute I saw that evening in the bar, every well-intentioned power that has ever stepped in and negotiated a ceasefire for an Arab aggressor has helped create the monsters we see around us today.
President Lahoud of Lebanon, a big Hezbollah supporter and a close ally of Syria, has been shrieking non-stop to the UN Security Council for the past two days to get them to force Israel into a cease fire.
Clearly he has been reading his autographed copy of 'Military Success for Dummies for Arab Despots' by the late Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. Ever since Nasser accidentally discovered the trick in '56, every subsequent Arab leader has stuck to his tried and true formula for military success: Instigate a war.
Once the war is well underway and you are in the process of having your ass handed to you... get a few world powers to force your western opponent into a cease fire.
Whatever you do, don't surrender or submit to any terms dictated by your enemy. That would ruin everything! All you have to do is wait it out and eventually the world will become sickened at what is being done to your soldiers and civilian population... and will force a truce.
Once a truce has been called you can resume your intransigence (which probably caused the conflict in the first place), and even declare victory as your opponent leaves the field of battle.
This tactic has never failed. Not once. In fact it worked so will for the Egyptians in 1973, that to this day they celebrate the Yom Kippur War - a crushing defeat at the hands of Israel - as a military victory! No kidding... it's a national holiday over there!
President Lahoud has already begun to shriek like a school girl to the UN Security Council to "Stop the violence and arrange a cease-fire, and then after that we'll be ready to discuss all matters."
Uh huh. Forgive me if I find that a tad hard to swallow. He allowed Hezbollah to take over his country. He allowed the regular Lebanese army to provide radar targeting data for the Hezbollah missile that struck the Israeli destroyer. He has turned a blind eye while Iranian and Syrian weapons, advisers and money have poured into his country. And now that his country is in ruins he wants to call it a draw.
As much as it may sicken the world to stand by and watch it happen, strong hands need to hold back the weak-hearted and let the fight continue until one side finally admits unambiguous defeat.
Input: 07.29.2006. Thanks, again, Herb. F. Right on! [emphasis added]
The psychology behind suicide bombings.
By - Pierre Rehov, documentary filmmaker
On July 15, MSNBC's "Connected" program discussed the July 7th London attacks.
One of the guests was Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who has filmed six documentaries on the intifada by going undercover in the Palestinian areas. Pierre's upcoming film, "Suicide Killers," is based on interviews that he conducted with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in an attempt to find out why they do it. Pierre agreed to a request for a Q&A interview here about his work on the new film.
Q - What inspired you to produce "Suicide Killers," your seventh film?
A - I started working with victims of suicide attacks to make a film on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) when I became fascinated with the personalities of those who had committed those crimes, as they were described again and again by their victims. Especially the fact that suicide bombers are all smiling one second before they blow themselves up.
Q - Why is this film especially important?
A - People don't understand the devastating culture behind this unbelievable phenomenon. My film is not politically correct because it addresses the real problem, showing the real face of Islam. It points the finger against a culture of hatred in which the uneducated are brainwashed to a level where their only solution in life becomes to kill themselves and kill others in the name of a God whose word, as transmitted by other men, has become their only certitude.
Q - What insights did you gain from making this film? What do you know that other experts do not know?
A - I came to the conclusion that we are facing a neurosis at the level of an entire civilization. Most neuroses have in common a dramatic event, generally linked to an unacceptable sexual behavior. In this case, we are talking of kids living all their lives in pure frustration, with no opportunity to experience sex, love, tenderness or even understanding from the opposite sex. The separation between men and women in Islam is absolute. So is contempt toward women, who are totally dominated by men. This leads to a situation of pure anxiety, in which normal behavior is not possible. It is no coincidence that suicide killers are mostly young men dominated subconsciously by an overwhelming libido that they not only cannot satisfy but are afraid of, as if it is the work of the devil.
Since Islam describes heaven as a place where everything on Earth will finally be allowed, and promises 72 virgins to those frustrated kids, killing others and killing themselves to reach this redemption becomes their only solution.
Q - What was it like to interview would-be suicide bombers, their families and survivors of suicide bombings?
A - It was a fascinating and a terrifying experience. You are dealing with seemingly normal people with very nice manners who have their own logic, which to a certain extent can make sense since they are so convinced that what they say is true. It is like dealing with pure craziness, like interviewing people in an asylum, since what they say, is for them, the absolute truth. I hear a mother saying "Thank God, my son is dead." Her son had became a shaheed, a martyr, which for her was a greater source of pride than if he had became an engineer, a doctor or a winner of the Nobel Prize.
This system of values works completely backwards since their interpretation of Islam worships death much more than life. You are facing people whose only dream, only achievement goal is to fulfill what they believe to be their destiny, namely to be a Shaheed or the family of a shaheed.
They don't see the innocent being killed, they only see the impure that they have to destroy.
Q - You say suicide bombers experience a moment of absolute power, beyond punishment. Is death the ultimate power?
A - Not death as an end, but death as a door opener to the after life. They are seeking the reward that God has promised them. They work for God, the ultimate authority, above all human laws. They therefore experience this single delusional second of absolute power, where nothing bad can ever happen to them, since they become God's sword.
Q - Is there a suicide bomber personality profile? Describe the psychopathology.
A - Generally kids between 15 and 25 bearing a lot of complexes, generally inferiority complexes. They must have been fed with religion. They usually have a lack of developed personality. Usually they are impressionable idealists. In the western world they would easily have become drug addicts, but not criminals. Interestingly, they are not criminals since they don't see good and evil the same way that we do. If they had been raised in an Occidental culture, they would have hated violence. But they constantly battle against their own death anxiety. The only solution to this deep-seated pathology is to be willing to die and be rewarded in the afterlife in Paradise.
Q - Are suicide bombers principally motivated by religious conviction?
A - Yes, it is their only conviction. They don't act to gain a territory or to find freedom or even dignity. They only follow Allah, the supreme judge, and what He tells them to do.
Q - Do all Muslims interpret jihad and martyrdom in the same way?
A - All Muslim believers believe that, ultimately, Islam will prevail on earth. They believe this is the only true religion and there is no room, in their mind, for interpretation. The main difference between moderate Muslims and extremists is that moderate Muslims don't think they will see the absolute victory of Islam during their lifetime, therefore they respect other beliefs. The extremists believe that the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Islam and ruling the entire world as described in the Koran, is for today. Each victory of Bin Laden convinces 20 million moderate Muslims to become extremists.
Q - Describe the culture that manufactures suicide bombers.
A - Oppression, lack of freedom, brain washing, organized poverty, placing God in charge of daily life, total separation between men and women, forbidding sex, giving women no power whatsoever, and placing men in charge of family honor, which is mainly connected to their women's behavior.
Q - What socio-economic forces support the perpetuation of suicide bombings?
A - Muslim charity is usually a cover for supporting terrorist organizations. But one has also to look at countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran, which are also supporting the same organizations through different networks. The ironic thing in the case of Palestinian suicide bombers is that most of the money comes through financial support from the Occidental world, donated to a culture that utterly hates and rejects the West (mainly symbolized by Israel).
Q - Is there a financial support network for the families of the suicide bombers? If so, who is paying them and how does that affect the decision?
A - There used to be a financial incentive in the days of Saddam Hussein ($25,000 per family) and Yasser Arafat (smaller amounts), but these days are gone. It is a mistake to believe that these families would sacrifice their children for money. Although, the children themselves who are very attached to their families, might find in this financial support another reason to become suicide bombers. It is like buying a life insurance policy and then committing suicide.
Q - Why are so many suicide bombers young men?
A - As discussed above, libido is paramount. Also ego, because this is a sure way to become a hero. The shaheed are the cowboys or the firemen of Islam. Shaheed is a positively reinforced value in this culture. And what kid has never dreamed of becoming a cowboy or a fireman?
Q - What role does the U.N. play in the terrorist equation?
A - The U.N. is in the hands of Arab countries and third world or ex-communist countries. Their hands are tied. The U.N. has condemned Israel more than any other country in the world, including the regime of Castro, Idi Amin or Kaddahfi. By behaving this way, the U.N. leaves a door open by not openly condemning terrorist organizations. In addition, through UNRWA, the U.N. is directly tied to terror organizations such as Hamas, representing 65 percent of their apparatus in the so-called Palestinian refugee camps. As a support to Arab countries, the U.N. has maintained Palestinians in camps with the hope to "return" into Israel for more than 50 years, therefore making it impossible to settle those populations, which still live in deplorable conditions. Four hundred million dollars are spent every year, mainly financed by U.S. taxes, to support 23,000 employees of UNRWA, many of whom belong to terrorist organizations (see Congressman Eric Cantor on this subject, and in my film "Hostages of Hatred").
Q - You say that a suicide bomber is a 'stupid bomb and a smart bomb' simultaneously. Explain what you mean.
A - Unlike an electronic device, a suicide killer has until the last second the capacity to change his mind. In reality, he is nothing but a platform representing interests which are not his, but he doesn't know it.
Q - How can we put an end to the madness of suicide bombings and terrorism in general?
A - Stop being politically correct and stop believing that this culture is a victim of ours. Radical Islamism today is nothing but a new form of Nazism. Nobody was trying to justify or excuse Hitler in the 1930s. We had to defeat him in order to make peace one day with the German people.
Q - Are these men traveling outside their native areas in large numbers? Based on your research, would you predict that we are beginning to see a new wave of suicide bombings outside the Middle East?
A - Every successful terror attack is considered a victory by the radical Islamists. Everywhere Islam expands there is regional conflict. Right now, there are thousands of candidates for martyrdom lining up in training camps in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Inside Europe, hundreds of illegal mosques are preparing the next step of brain washing to lost young men who cannot find a satisfying identity in the Occidental world. Israel is much more prepared for this than the rest of the world will ever be. Yes, there will be more suicide killings in Europe and the U.S. Sadly, this is only the beginning.
Remember one other thing: Mohammed could neither read nor write. Today, it might be insulting to call him "illiterate" but that's the accurate term. He dictated the Koran to his scribes over his lifetime. You can only assume that there were many scribes involved, and that there might have been just a few who did not exactly agree with everything Mohammed told them to write, so they just might have mis-translated a few of Mohammed's words. Not that he would know, since if he asked for the "testimony to be read back," they'd just recite what Mohammed had said, and not necessarily what they'd written down.
That's a fine basis for a religion which started out friendly to Judaism and then "suddenly changed" to not-so-friendly as Mohammed got into his old age. He'd offered to join with the Jews "if only" they'd follow his teachings and not some shared or merged version of theirs and his. When they refused, they suddenly became less of friends. Go figure.
Now, we've got young Muslims, in the prime of their lives, killing themselves at the direction of a bunch of old men who keep the women to themselves at home while the young men don't even get to see their young women's faces while they're alive.
And, since "nobody's written home" after martyrdom, don't you think it's just a little stupid of these young men to keep following the other lemmings off the cliff?
I'd rebel if I were in their shoes [and hadn't been brainwashed from an early age,] wouldn't you?
Think about it, all of you, Muslim boys and girls and non-Muslims alike. Think about it. Then rebel, get a real life and live it. Leave legacies of discovery and invention and good things when you die, not just smithereens of your body and of innocent victims'.
Please, Think About It.
Input: 07.25.2006. Thanks, Herb. F.
I am seldom in agreement with him but this time he is right on. Worth the read.
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Cease fire in the Middle East?
Guest: Fox News analyst Newt Gingrich
"The Pope, French President Chirac, the Lebanese prime minister, the Russians - they all want Israel and Hezbollah to stop fighting. So let's examine this in a fair and balanced way. We now know that Hezbollah had about 13,000 missiles in southern Lebanon in violation of a United Nations order.
Hezbollah attacked Israel, killing eight of its soldiers and kidnapping two others. After Israel responded, Hezbollah opened up with its missiles. Suppose Mexican soldiers cross the border tomorrow, kill eight US Border Patrol agents and kidnap two others?
Then the Mexican military announces they have set up thousands of missiles that could blast American cities. Is the American government going to allow that? Of course not.
But the Pope, Chirac, and the others don't seem to care about the Hezbollah missiles or the fact that the UN can't get the terror situation under control.
Talking Points is big on simplicity. Who does a cease fire help? It helps the terrorists who started the latest conflict. It's amazing how many people will not realize that Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terror groups want to kill Jews. They don't want peace. Keep in mind just one vital truth - only people who want peace can secure peace."
Fox News Video: FoxNews.com
Fox News analyst Newt Gingrich joined The Factor and also condemned the calls for an immediate cease fire. "I don't remember any Talking Points I've ever listed to that I agree with more strongly. This is like calling for a cease fire between criminals and the police, as if they're moral equals." Gingrich offered his own prescription for eventual peace:
"First, we should indicate to the Lebanese government that we would be willing to back them if they are willing to take control of their own country.
Second, we should indicate that as long as there's a single missile or a single Iranian Revolutionary Guard in south Lebanon, Israel has total legitimacy to go in and take apart the entire Hezbollah structure.
Third, we should indicate to Syria and Iran that we will take whatever steps necessary to stop them from intervening in Lebanon. If the Syrians want to have a fight, the Israelis should take down the Assad dictatorship."
The former Speaker of the House also spoke about widespread European anti-Semitism. "For a lot of European elites, it's okay to kill Jews. Which is why if Israelis get killed you don't see any outrage. Particularly on the left in Europe, there's a sense that Israel is always wrong and there's always an excuse for terrorism. The truth is that some Europeans would be happy if Israel ceased to exist." The Factor complained that few nations are willing to fight the Hezbollah terrorists. "This is going to be like Iraq - there will be the United States, Britain, and a couple of other countries against these Islamic fascists. That's the way it is."
"A peaceful religion is being hijacked by a dangerous foe, who seeks to destroy the shared values we stand for. The world should be very concerned.
Today, WWIII is raging, but few are aware of it.
War has been declared by Radical Islam against the West, but much of the the West, like Chamberlain did in his time, tends to discount the threat, choosing instead to appease it. Today, even those with courage enough to recognize the conflict, fear to identify the enemy, instead calling it a 'war on terror', as if terror—a means of battle, not an enemy—and not some specific group of people, was the foe.
Obsession makes clear that we are facing an enemy intent on destroying us.
We’ve been here before
Obsession also explores the current threat and its surprising parallels with Nazi Germany. We can learn about Nazism by listening to Hitler in his writing and actions - he was a clear thinker who knew that he was battling over the moral foundations of Western civilization. Hitler fought against the 'insidious Judeo-Christian ethics' which had been almost victorious over the ancient values of power and 'might makes right'. In going against the West, Hitler determined he must focus on and destroy the Jews as well, the people who he identified as the source of these sinister Western values. WWII, Hitler's war, showed how deeply he believed his ideas.
And what are the Radical Islamists about? They also express themselves clearly, if only we choose to listen. Obsession will help us listen. The Islamists are now acting out their ambitions and threatening the values of freedom, democracy, respect for human life, and other shared ideals of Western civilization.
Much of the Western world today would like to believe that we have arrived at an era of heightened moral refinement, or that Radical Islam has some legitimate grievances that, once solved, would bring peace and stability. But Radical Islam, a dangerous strain of the world's fastest growing religion, believes the time has come for its final violent victory over the Crusader infidels of America and the West.
Like WWII before it, this is an ideological war of aggression against Western civilization, and like WWII, the Western powers are waking up far too slowly.
Our shared values are at stake
The enemies of the West are not mistaken: the West stands for an ethical system of civilization that threatens them. And they have not come to terms with these values. To the degree that the West recognizes that they are ALREADY in a war for the survival of their democratic civilization, they will resist.
An erstwhile peaceful religion has been hijacked by extremists who are seeking to transform our world. Obsession will help people appreciate that freedom itself is at stake today. Western civilization should be concerned."
"Most significant of all, the "War on Terror" is our government's top rhetorical catch-phrase. It is the way we define for the American people and the world — especially the Islamic world — what we are doing, and what we are about. It is the way we explain the nature of the menace that we are striving to defeat.
But is it accurate? Does it make sense? More importantly, does it serve our purposes? Does it make victory more identifiable, and hence more attainable? I humbly suggest that it fails on all these scores. This, furthermore, is no mere matter of rhetoric or semantics. It is all about substance, and it goes to the very core of our struggle.
Terrorism is not an enemy. It is a method. It is the most sinister, brutal, inhumane method of our age. But it is nonetheless just that: a method. You cannot, and you do not, make war on a method. War is made on an identified — and identifiable — enemy.
In the here and now, that enemy is militant Islam — a very particular practice and interpretation of a very particular set of religious, political and social principles."
"WAR OF IDEAS [see my writings at "The War On..."]
When I was a prosecutor in the 1980s, it was the "War on Drugs" that was all the rage. We would do mega-cases, make mega-arrests, and seize mega-loads of cocaine and heroin. It made for terrific headlines. It looked great on television. But we weren't winning. Neighborhoods were still rife with narcotics traffickers and all their attendant depravity. And there was the tell-tale sign: The price of drugs kept going down instead of up. We said we were at war, but with all we were doing we were still failing to choke off the supply chain.
Now I see another version of the same syndrome, and if we don't talk about Islam we will remain blind to it — to our great detriment. To understand why, all we need to do is think for a moment about the cradle-to-grave philosophy of Hamas. Yes, what blares on the news are suicide bombings that slaughter scores of innocents. But look underneath them, at what Hamas is doing day-to-day. They don't just run paramilitary training for adult jihadists. They start from the moment of birth. From infancy, hatred is taught to children. They learn to hate before they ever have a clue about what all the hatred is over. At home, in mosques, in madrassas, in summer camps — dressed in battle fatigues and hoods, and armed with mock weapons — it is fed to them.
Muslims and Terrorists, read this letter.
Allah or Jesus? by Rick Mathes
Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who explained each of their belief systems.
I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say. The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.
When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked: "Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world. And, that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?"
There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, "Non-believers!"
I responded, "So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. Is that correct?"
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He sheepishly replied, "Yes."
I then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr.Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go to Heaven!"
The Imam was speechless.
I continued, "I also have problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me. Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and He wants you to be with me?"
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.
Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the 'Diversification' training seminar were not happy with Rick's way of dealing with the Islamic Imam and exposing the truth about the Muslim's beliefs.
Everyone in the US should read this, but with the liberal justice system, liberal media, and the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized. Please pass this on to all your email contacts.
This is a true story and the author, Rick Mathes, is a prominent leader in prison ministry.
from a friend of mine, 01.31.2004
Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it ?
His trial is over and here is the sentencing statement by Judge William Young U.S. District Court.
Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.
His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his "allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah," defiantly stated "I think I ought not apologize for my actions," and told the court "I am at war with your country."
Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below, a stinging condemnation of Reid in particular and terrorists in general.
January 30, 2003 United States vs. Reid. Judge Young: Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other.
That's 80 years. On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines. The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.
The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further. This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence. Let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here. And I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, where we deal with individuals as individuals, and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.
You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view. You are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.
So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said you're no big deal..
You're no big deal.
What your counsel, what your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?
I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you. But as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.
It seems to me you hate the one thing that is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom. They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.
We are about it.Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow it will be forgotten. But this, however, will long endure Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged, and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape andrefine our sense of justice.
See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. You know it always will.
Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.
August 19, 2003 No.553 Al-Qa'ida Claims Responsibility for Last Week's Blackout Al-Qa'ida's Abu Hafs Brigades has claimed responsibility for "Operation Quick Lightning in the Land of the Tyrant of this Generation," referring to the blackout last week in the Northeast and Midwest United States. A communiqué by the Abu Hafs Brigades was published at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/abubanan2/message/330. This is the third communiqué by the "Brigades" that is being published by the same web-group; in the first, they accepted responsibility for the downing of an airplane in Kenya. The second accepted responsibility for the Jakarta bombing of the Marriott hotel on August 5, 2003. The new communiqué says that in compliance with the orders of Osama bin Laden to strike at the American economy, the Brigades struck two important electricity supply targets on the East coast. The Brigades say that they cannot reveal how they did it, because they will probably have to use the same method again soon. The communiqué also claimed that the operation was meant as a present for the Iraqi people. The following are excerpts from a report by the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat about the communiqué:  The Blackout was 'a Realization of bin Laden's Promise to Offer the Iraqi People a Present' "A communiqué attributed to Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the power blackout that happened in the U.S. last Thursday, saying that the brigades of Abu Fahes Al Masri had hit two main power plants supplying the East of the U.S., as well as major industrial cities in the U.S. and Canada, 'its ally in the war against Islam (New York and Toronto) and their neighbors.' "The communiqué assured that the operation 'was carried out on the orders of Osama bin Laden to hit the pillars of the U.S. economy,' as 'a realization of bin Laden's promise to offer the Iraqi people a present.' 'The Americans Lived a Black Day they will Never Forget' "The statement, which Al-Hayat obtained from the website of the International Islamic Media Center, didn't specify the way the alleged sabotage was carried out. The communiqué read: 'let the criminal Bush and his gang know that the punishment is the result of the action, the soldiers of God cut the power on these cities, they darkened the lives of the Americans as these criminals blackened the lives of the Muslim people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. The Americans lived a black day they will never forget. They lived a day of terror and fear… a state of chaos and confusion where looting and pillaging rampaged the cities, just like the capital of the caliphate Baghdad, and Afghanistan and Palestine were. Let the American people take a sip from the same glass.' 'The U.S. will not Live in Peace until Our Conditions are Met' "It added: 'we heard amazing statements made by the American and Canadian enemies which have nuclear physics universities and space agencies, that lightning hit and destroyed the two plants. And we are supposed to believe this nonsense. If the blackout occurred in one or two cities, their lie would have been credible. But the fact is that the blackout hit the entire East and part of Canada.' "The communiqué continued: 'one of the benefits of this strike is that the U.S. will not live in peace until our conditions are met, such as releasing all the detainees including Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman, and getting out of the land of the Muslims, including Jerusalem and Kashmir.' "The authors of the communiqué said that the strikes aimed at 'hitting the major pillar of the U.S. economy (the Stock Exchange)… [and] the UN, which is opposed to Islam, and is based in New York. It is a message to all the investors that the U.S. is no longer a safe country for their money, knowing that the U.S. economy greatly relies on the trust of the investor…' 'The Gift of Sheikh Osama bin Laden is on Its Way to the White House' "The communiqué mentioned that some economists said the blackout in the U.S. and Canada would cost the U.S. Treasury no less than ten billion U.S. dollars and in order to 'break the hearts of U.S. officials, just know that the cost paid by the Moujahideen to sabotage the power plants was a mere seven thousand dollars. Die of sorrow!' "The communiqué ended with: 'we tell the Muslims that this is not the awaited strike, but it is called the war of skirmishes (to drain the enemy), and that the American snakes are enormous and need to be consumed and weakened to be destroyed. We tell the people of Afghanistan and Kashmir that the gift of Sheikh Osama bin Laden is on its way to the White House; then the gift of Al Aqsa, and do we know what is the gift of Al Aqsa, where and when? The answer is what you are seeing!'
Blah, blah, blah....
But none of this is true....
At 4pm the power went out in our building. Sunday there was a water main break on the floor above so we just assumed that someone blew a fuse with all the cleaning equiptment. Soon enough we learned that the power outage was throughout Manhattan and the boroughs as well as other major cities. I had been hesitant to leave since I work on the 43rd floor and there was no elevator. And if I got down I work on 50th and Broaway, which is a good seven miles from my apartment.
Eventually I had to go downstairs and I started walking down Broadway. There were tons of people walking and buses packed to the gills. It was completely odd to see Times Square without electricity. As you'll see in the pictures, there were people selling scooters, selling shoes (to girls in heels), selling ice cream for $1 or just hanging out and listening to radios. It was quite a scene. You also noticed a lot of business owners shutting down with the fear of looting.
Around 23rd Street I decided to get a Choco Taco at a Tastee Freeze truck. While in line and chatting with people I met Margaret. We were both on our way to Brooklyn so we teamed up for the walk home. The Buddy System is key. We kept walking down Broadway all the way to Chambers Street on our way to the Brooklyn Bridge. When we arrived the bridge was overflowing with people and one side of the bridge had become pedestrian only. We eventually made it back to my place, with two more friends in tow, and I drove the three of them home as they lived many miles further into Brooklyn.
I got home to my roommate and we talked for a while and then went to my car to watch a movie on my laptop in the AC. It was very nice. I came back, went to sleep and woke up at 8am to see the power come back on. Good timing. Now I am going to eat breakfast.
...and it's easy to not specify how one did something that one didn't do...
Epiphany: 11:43 pm, Pacific Time, 08.14.03. Cupertino, California... Thanks to: Clay Shirky's Writings.
Excerpt from Clay Shirky's Writings About the Internet
Economics & Culture, Media & Community, Open Source
A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy : A speech at ETech, April, 2003
Published July 1, 2003 on the "Networks, Economics, and Culture" mailing list.
"So even if someone isn't really your enemy, identifying them as an enemy can cause a pleasant sense of group cohesion. And groups often gravitate towards members who are the most paranoid and make them leaders, because those are the people who are best at identifying external enemies.
The third pattern Bion identified: Religious veneration. The nomination and worship of a religious icon or a set of religious tenets. The religious pattern is, essentially, we have nominated something that's beyond critique. You can see this pattern on the Internet any day you like. Go onto a Tolkein newsgroup or discussion forum, and try saying "You know, The Two Towers is a little dull. I mean loooong. We didn't need that much description about the forest, because it's pretty much the same forest all the way."
Try having that discussion. On the door of the group it will say: "This is for discussing the works of Tolkein." Go in and try and have that discussion. "
"Even if someone isn't really your enemy, identifying them as an enemy can cause a pleasant sense of group cohesion. And groups often gravitate towards members who are the most paranoid and make them leaders, because those are the people who are best at identifying external enemies."
Read the whole excerpt on the webpage at http://www.shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html. It'll blow your mind.
From the New York Times, August 4, 2003
Taliban Are Killing Clerics Who Dispute Holy War Call, By CARLOTTA GALL
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Aug. 3 — The assassination, witnesses said, was trademark Taliban: two men on a motorbike, the passenger opening fire with a Kalashnikov rifle, the driver making a quick getaway.
But the choice of victim signaled a new turn for the Taliban, the fundamentalist Islamic movement that was ousted from power and has been running a campaign of attacks against foreign and Afghan government troops in southern Afghanistan for months. This time, the assassinated person was Maulavi Abdul Manan, known as Maulavi Jenab, a member of the local district religious council, shot as he left his mosque last week. He was the third senior Muslim cleric killed by Taliban assassins here in the last 40 days.
In addition, the head of Kandahar's Ulema-u-Shura, or Clerics' Council, Maulavi Abdul Fayaz, narrowly escaped death when a bomb exploded in his mosque as he was leading evening prayers on June 30. Twenty-seven people were wounded, 14 seriously, council members said.
Since then two other clerics, also members of their district religious councils, have been shot to death. One, Maulavi Ahmadullah, was killed two weeks ago in his district of Dand, not far from Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. On Wednesday evening, another, Maulavi Jenab, was killed in his district of Panjwai, southwest of Kandahar.
The killings come amid increased Taliban activity in southern Afghanistan. Local officials reported capturing 20 Taliban suspects in the last few days in two operations in Kandahar Province, one against a band of Taliban who killed two government soldiers last week. The authorities also caught a Taliban member trying to plant a mine meant to kill the governor of Oruzgan Province, north of Kandahar.
Maulavi Muhammad Haq Khattib, deputy head of the Kandahar Clerics' Council, said the clerics had undoubtedly been attacked by the Taliban. "According to the villagers and local elders, they had no enemies," he said in an interview in his office in Kandahar. "It was because of their support for the government."
The 15-member Kandahar Ulema-u-Shura and its branches in the districts have been vocal supporters of President Hamid Karzai and have welcomed the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan. Appointed by the governor of Kandahar, the council members are clearly allied with the government, but they are also keepers of the city's most hallowed shrines and are among the most senior tribal and religious figures.
By challenging the Taliban movement at the core of its legitimacy — its claim as a religious authority — the Ulema-u-Shura has drawn direct reprisals against its members. "The Taliban are saying they are religious people, but they are using force to get their aims and are using the cover of Islam," Maulavi Khattib said. "But we say this is not Islam. Islam does not support the use of force, and we are telling people not to fight."
Seven months ago, the council issued a religious edict denouncing the Taliban's call for a jihad, or holy war, against the American-led forces in Afghanistan. Unlike the Soviets, whose intervention here in the 1980's was intended to occupy the country and so justified a jihad, the American-led force had come to expel terrorists and bring peace, and had United Nations support, Maulavi Khattib said.
He gave other reasons that a jihad could not be called. He said that the government had been elected, and that a religious council had no right to call a jihad against a government chosen by the people.
The Ulema-u-Shura edict, signed by dozens of clerics, says of the Taliban: "They are saying that foreign troops have captured our country and they are calling to start a jihad against them. Just by using the name of jihad, they are killing as many people as they want."
"Respected Muslim brothers, you know the situation: you are witnesses that the president of our country is a Muslim, and his vice presidents and all members of the cabinet and government authorities are Muslims," the edict reads. "No one has said you should stop going to the mosque or stop praying, so for what reason is this a place of fighting?"
The Taliban have denounced the Clerics' Council, leaving threatening leaflets in mosques and bazaars, Maulavi Khattib said. "They wrote that people who work with the government would be harshly punished, and religious people would be doubly punished," he said. But none of the clerics who were attacked had received specific threats, he said.
It is not clear who commands the most influence with the people of southern Afghanistan. There is no doubt that Maulavi Khattib, whose family has guarded the Mui Mubarak, the Shrine of the Hair of the Prophet, and his deputy, Maulavi Wali Muhammad — whose family for 200 years has been the keeper of Kandahar's most famous shrine, Karqa Mubarak, the Shrine of the Prophet's Cloak — are well respected. They have support from the district councils and plan to open more offices in southern Afghanistan.
But they admitted in an interview that the Taliban have continuing influence in the districts. "In the rural areas, their propaganda is strong and the people are scared of them," Maulavi Khattib said. "Even if they saw something of the murders, they would say nothing."
From the New York Times, 07.03.2003:
Muslims in Fallujah prayed Wednesday at Al Hassan Mosque, where an explosion on Monday night killed at least six people. The United States Army denied accusations that an allied missile strike had caused the blast.
TIMES NEWS TRACKER
U.S. Attributes Explosion at Iraqi Mosque to Bomb-Making Activity, By AMY WALDMAN
ALLUJA, Iraq, July 2 — An explosion at a mosque here that killed at least six people on Monday night, including the mosque's imam, resulted from the presence of a bomb-making class inside, the United States Central Command said in a statement issued tonight.
But an American commander in the area said he would continue to adhere to a policy of not searching mosques unless troops were fired on from them. "It's sovereign territory," said Capt. John Ives of the Third Infantry Division in Falluja, about 35 miles west of Baghdad.
Mosque members insisted that the explosion had been caused by an American missile fired from a helicopter or an airplane, a version of events that quickly gained currency on the streets of Falluja and beyond, prompting vows of revenge.
Captain Ives said that since the explosion there had been a series of incidents of men driving by and firing at American soldiers, but that none had hit their targets.
The Central Command statement said an investigation by the military and the Iraqi police had concluded that "coalition forces were in no way responsible for the explosion."
Ok, you Fundamentalist Morons, blame us. Right. Sure. Whatever. Despite the evidence. It doesn't matter to you. You'll draw the same conclusion out of the sand or the air, no matter what happens or what the facts are. Believe what you want, but remember what I say: America doesn't want to colonize you, take you over, lord it over you, be an Imperial Power, make you one of us or even like us, other than maybe try to show you that democracy is better than what you've been living for so long. If you want to start a jihad over that, you're sicker than I could have ever imagined you could be.
From the New York Times, 05.22.2003:
"RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 21 — An Arab television network broadcast an audiotape today said to have been recorded by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second most powerful figure in Al Qaeda after Osama bin Laden. It called on Muslims to attack Western interests with the same ferocity as the Sept. 11 assaults and derided Arab governments that aided the war on Iraq, even as they claimed to oppose it."
""Learn the lesson from your 19 brethren who attacked America with their planes, in New York and Washington, wreaking on it unprecedented havoc from which it is still reeling," said one segment of the tape, which was played on Al Jazeera."
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, we are not "still reeling" from the World Trade Center attack. We've recovered, and we're just pissed.
"The tape urged Muslims to attack Western embassies and companies. "
""Kick those criminals from your lands and do not allow the Americans, British, Australian and Norwegians and other crusades, killers of your brothers in Iraq, to live in our countries, enjoying its prosperous resources and spreading corruption," it said. "
Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, we are not crusaders, or killers of "your brothers". We are not enjoying "your countries'" resources or spreading corruption.
If people want to live like us and copy our lifestyle, it is an indicator not of our corruption, but of the failure of you and similar thinkers to deliver to "your people" what they want. Look to us as examples of freedom, not conquerers. If you can not tolerate free thought and action amongst "your people", you are nothing but a petty tyrant and would-be slave owner. You are the one against whom your people should rise up.
Let me make one thing clear: this guy does not accurately reflect my personal positions on many subjects, but I do think there's lots of food for thought in the article here.
A Speech By Don Feder
Where Do We Go From Here. February 15, 2003
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to say a few words to you -- Nigeria, the Sudan, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Armenia, Macedonia, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Chechnya, Russia, the Kashmir, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
What do they all have in common? In each country or province, there is an ongoing struggle involving Moslems and non-Moslems.
Samuel Huntington, author of "The Clash of Civilizations," tells us that out of 22 active conflicts in the world today, 20 involve Moslems and someone else - Moslems and Christians, Moslems and Jews, Moslems and Catholics, Moslems and Orthodox, Moslems and Hindus.
This phenomenon might be explained in one of three ways:
It's so obvious that it hardly bears repetition.
You don't have Orthodox rabbis hijacking airplanes in response to Jews for Jesus. Jesuits don't shoot up Baptist seminaries to protest the Reformation. Members of the Church of Latter Day Saints don't tell you they'll cut your throat if you don't accept the prophetship of Joseph Smith and the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Buddhists don't put out contracts on those who offend them. Hindus don't call members of other religions, dogs, pigs and the sons of apes.
And still our leaders desperately insist that Islam is a religion of peace.
As the body count mounts, and the atrocities become more outrageous, the pronouncements become more bizarre. Islam is a religion of peace. No, wait, it's not just a religion of peace, it's also a religion of tolerance, charity and compassion. Jihad isn't holy war. Why no indeed, it's a spiritual struggle, an effort to overcome bad habits, a Tony Robbins-style self-improvement program. Said the White Queen to Alice: "When I was young, I practiced believing three impossible things before breakfast. Now, I can believe anything." At times it seems like the White Queen is advising the White House on Islam.
This morning, you've had lectures about Islam by some distinguished experts. I am neither - distinguished nor an expert.
But I spent 20 years of my life as a journalist observing the affairs of men and nations. I believe in common sense, in arriving at conclusions based on the evidence at hand, and in logic. And when I encounter something as absurd as the establishment's pronouncements on Islam, I want to know why?
Why do our leaders insist on telling us these soothing lies? And why does a credulous public readily believe them?
Basically, there are three reasons for these delusions about Islam:
It's simply more comforting to tell soothing lies than to confront unpleasant truths. The West has become very adept at this. Consider the lies appeasers told about Nazism in the 1930s. (When Hitler first came to power, commentator Walter Lippman hailed him as a sincere nationalist. After Munich, Neville Chamberlain said the Fuehrer was a man he could do business with.) During the Cold War, liberals closed their eyes to the reality of communist brutality and imperialism. Today, our elite - the media and academia, Democrats and Republicans -- are doing the same with Islam. Call it old appeasement in a new bottle.
Regrettably, avoiding reality doesn't change reality. In and of themselves, words do not alter that nature of things. We can tell ourselves until we're blue in the face that Islam is kinder and gentler - a Methodist service, but in Arabic, with prayer rugs and sans shoes - and terrorists will still be trying to kill us in the name of their god. In the Third World, the Islamic advance will continue to creep down the West and East Coasts of Africa, into the Balkans, the Indian subcontinent and East Asia. Islamic immigration to the First World will continue to challenge Judeo-Christian civilization. And millions the world over will continue to believe that they have a divine mandate to conquer us, to rule us and - if we resist - to kill us.
What should our response to Islam be? That's the subject for another speech. However, in closing, let me repeat something I said a moment ago - because it bears repetition - hiding from the truth doesn't change it.
In the 20th century, Western man became expert at make-believe - one reason for the decline of the West. After the Second World War, we told ourselves that the danger was over. The United Nations would make war obsolete. (Today, the UN is trying to make deterrence obsolete.) After the Cold War, we supposedly had reached the end of history. Still, history rolled merrily along. In many ways, the world a more dangerous place today.
When your head is firmly in the sand, another part of your anatomy is fully exposed.
"They're not suicide bombers, they're homicide bombers."
02.03.2003, from a friend I used to work with....
I think this is a very interesting approach to understanding the Iraq problem. Food for thought, at any rate.
I am basically a conservative hawk with modest military service years ago under my belt. But this question, "Why attack Iraq now?", has been bothering me recently.
It seems to go against the grain for us to be in a "first strike" role against a tin-horn dictator like Saddam Hussein. For possible clarification, I posed this question to a friend of mine from church who is a retired USN Admiral and currently a well connected Defense Industry executive. I've also known him for 15 years and know him to be a smart, level-headed person, and church leader. Here are his thoughts, but in my words.
Al Qaeda, Hamas and associated terrorists of the world are out to get the US in a big way. They proved with the Sept 11 attack that they are capable of a major strike. This just whetted their appetite for an escalation to the next level. There is a strong likelihood that the next level will not be a similar attack that takes out 2,800 people, but leaves no long-lasting damage.
They will take their time, and likely go for a strike that will try to take out a major US city. It could be a dirty bomb, with combination radiation and/or biological agents, exploded near a major city, such as from a container ship in the Hudson River, or San Francisco or Baltimore harbors. It would not even have to be unloaded, and we don't have the technology to detect it in advance. And they are likely to have several such strikes in the works, in case one or two are discovered.
We are talking about a "first strike" by them that will, for all practical purposes, seem like a last strike to us. It will do so much damage to our economy, and several hundred thousand people, that the war is over as far as the terrorists are concerned, and they won. We will only be left to wonder who did it and who to bomb in retaliation.
So the notion that we are not a "first strike" country becomes a death sentence for us, if we allow this to happen first, before we take action.
The terrorists will have a very difficult time pulling this off without the help of a small industrial complex. The current providers of such a complex to the terrorists are Syria, Iran, North Korea and Iraq.
From among these, Iraq and North Korea have the least stable leadership, and Iraq is the one with the most proven attempts to develop weapons of the type that terrorists would like to have.
It is reasonable to think that our national leaders believe that we must prove to all these countries that we are not going to sit by waiting on Armageddon. We need to stop the terrorist supporters now, and we need to show the other terrorist supporters what is in store for them if we feel we need to hit them to protect our national interests.
Terrorists have no allegiance to a particular country, so they don't fear retaliation by the US. The old cold-war standoff is no longer operative. The terrorists probably consider a nuclear retaliation against one or more of these supporting countries just the cost of war. They, and their supporting countries, also know that the US will not just heave a few nukes onto a Baghdad in retaliation, killing a couple of million innocent civilians.
The terrorists are also not members of the UN. Our discussions there are just a comedy to the terrorists.
So the US must act now in every way possible to stop the possibility of such an attack against the US. Part of that action is to deny the terrorists the support of these rogue countries. If a rogue country's leadership is so unstable that they might sell/give the terrorists the weapons, then we must stop it now. Iraq is such a country. A measured, non-nuclear attack on Iraq may cause the others to cease their support of the terrorists in such a dangerous way. It also may cause the least civilian casualties of all the alternatives.
We must make it clear to the terror-supporting countries that there will be a price to pay, and that a nuclear retaliation, which we are unlikely to use, is not the only option open to us.
I think President Bush understands he cannot let a first strike happen, and that nuclear retaliation is no longer a threat. We must go after the terrorists, and their supporters and suppliers, now.
A history lesson
Do you know why the US was in such a rush to develop the atomic bomb in WWII?It's not because we simply wanted such a weapon. It's because concerned physicists, including German refugee, Albert Einstein, warned Roosevelt in writing that the Germans had the most capable physicist in the field of nuclear physics, Nobel Prize winner, Werner Heisenberg, and he was known to have a laboratory working on such a device. We knew what would happen if he was the first to have such a weapon. Think about it.
I believe we are in a similar race today against the terrorists. The war has begun, so the "don't go to war" crowd apparently has a misunderstanding of what we are up against. We are at war today. Our country was similarly divided just before Pearl Harbor and our entry into WWII. A modern day "Pearl Harbor" is likely a surprise that is unacceptable to us.
An Islamic Reformation
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
What's going on in Iran today is, without question, the most promising trend in the Muslim world. It is a combination of Martin Luther and Tiananmen Square — a drive for an Islamic reformation combined with a spontaneous student-led democracy movement. This movement faces a formidable opponent in Iran's conservative clerical leadership. It can't provide a quick fix to what ails relations between Islam and the West today. There is none. But it is still hugely important, because it reflects a deepening understanding by many Iranian Muslims that to thrive in the modern era they, and other Muslims, need an Islam different from the lifeless, anti-modern, anti-Western fundamentalism being imposed in Iran and propagated by the Saudi Wahhabi clerics. This understanding is the necessary condition for preventing the brewing crisis between Islam and the West — which was triggered by 9/11 — from turning into a war of civilizations.
To put it another way, what's going on in Iran today is precisely the war of ideas within Islam that is the most important war of all. We can kill Osama bin Laden and all his acolytes, but others will spring up in their place. The only ones who can de-legitimize and root out these forces in any sustained way are Muslim societies themselves. And that will happen only when more Muslim societies undergo, from within, their own struggle for democracy and religious reform. Only the disenchanted citizens of the Soviet bloc could kill Marx; only Muslims fed up that their faith is being dominated by anti-modernists can kill bin Ladenism and its offshoots.
This struggle in Iran is symbolized by one man, whose name you should know: Hashem Aghajari, a former Islamic revolutionary and now a college professor, who was arrested Nov. 6 and sentenced to death by the Iranian hard-liners — triggering a student uprising — after giving a speech on the need to rejuvenate Islam with an "Islamic Protestantism."
Mr. Aghajari's speech was delivered on the 25th anniversary of the death of Ali Shariati, one of the Iranian revolution's most progressive thinkers. In the speech — translated by the invaluable MEMRI service — he often cited Mr. Shariati as his inspiration. He began by noting that just as "the Protestant movement wanted to rescue Christianity from the clergy and the church hierarchy," so Muslims must do something similar today. The Muslim clergymen who have come to dominate their faith, he said, were never meant to have a monopoly on religious thinking or be allowed to ban any new interpretations in light of modernity.
"Just as people at the dawn of Islam conversed with the Prophet, we have the right to do this today," he said. "Just as they interpreted what was conveyed [to them] at historical junctures, we must do the same. We cannot say: `Because this is the past we must accept it without question.' . . . This is not logical. For years, young people were afraid to open a Koran. They said, `We must go ask the mullahs what the Koran says.' Then came Shariati, and he told the young people that those ideas were bankrupt. [He said] you could understand the Koran using your own methods. . . . The religious leaders taught that if you understand the Koran on your own, you have committed a crime. They feared that their racket would cease to exist if young people learned [the Koran] on their own."
He continued: "We need a religion that respects the rights of all — a progressive religion, rather than a traditional religion that tramples the people. . . . One must be a good person, a pure person. We must not say that if you are not with us we can do whatever we want to you. By behaving as we do, we are trampling our own religious principles."
Mr. Aghajari concluded: "Today, more than ever, we need the `Islamic humanism' and `Islamic Protestantism' that Shariati advocated. While [Iran's clerical leaders] apparently do not recognize human rights, this principle has been recognized by our Constitution. . . . The [Iranian regime] divides people into insiders and outsiders. They can do whatever they want to the outsiders. They can go to their homes, steal their property, slander them, terrorize them and kill them because they were outsiders. Is this Islamic logic? When there is no respect for human beings?"
Mr. Aghajari refused to appeal his death sentence, saying his whole conviction was a farce. But on Monday his lawyer appealed on his own. Mr. Aghajari's fate now hangs in the balance. Watch this story. It's the most important trial in the world today.
Here's another one: and I think the word "cockroach" is the best description I've ever heard....
Latest attack on Jews brings a deafening silence
ROSIE DIMANNO, Columnist, Toronto Star, Dec. 2, 2002.
There's no haven for Jews. Not within Israel and not without.
The earth is stained with their blood: From an El Al counter in Los Angeles to a beach resort in Mombasa.
Their children, their elderly, their scholars, their farmers, the diaspora of their tribe - all targets, at home and abroad.
Shopping for food, riding a bus, strolling across a campus, dining as families in restaurants, dancing in clubs, worshipping in synagogues.
Not a blessed place in all the world is safe.
The carnage in Kenya last Thursday is only the most recent atrocity but no doubt history will recall it as a defining moment in the modern-day Holocaust of Jews - a point where all buffers of presumed security were breached, when the war of attrition against Israelis went extra-territorial, crossing geographical borders and moral boundaries. Those shredded bodies of vacationers who believed themselves somehow beyond the reach of homicide bombers are sad testament to the reality of their predicament. And the poor victims who were not Jews, the Kenyan dancers welcoming new arrivals to a holiday hotel, they were but expendable bit-players, the collateral damage of Jew-hating terrorism.
Palestinians might revile Israelis as oppressors and occupiers, might bleat to the international community for redress of their political grievances. But Palestinians the world over aren't hunted down like dogs. Arabs the world over aren't targeted for extermination. Muslims the world over aren't murdered in packs.
Humankind would not stand for it. The Pan-Arab alliance would not stand for it. Islamic countries would not stand for it.
Imagine, if Zionist terrorists armed with shoulder-held rockets had attempted to bring down a Saudi airplane, as unidentified militants had attempted to blast an El Al flight out of the sky over Kenya, simultaneous with the Mombasa bombing - a two-pronged attack suggesting sophisticated planning and a network of operatives, with the fingerprints of Al Qaeda all over it.
The reverse scenario - Jew on Muslim - would be grounds for war, for a unified assault on Israel. And the West would be hard-pressed to interdict, to mollify.
Ah, but these are just dead Jews. And we are accustomed to their dying.
I have been waiting, in the days since Thursday's abominable attack, for just one word of sympathy, of pity, from the Muslim world. One note of commiseration to emanate from inside the thousands of mosques, one hint of regret and empathy from commentators ever ready to assail any Israeli misstep and aggression.
But the silence has been deafening.
Islam, that great religion of peace, has had nothing to say of more murdered Jews. That silent majority that disapproves of extremism, that argues the Muslim faith has been ill-served by militants who've twisted every article of the Islamic faith - not a murmur of renunciation of those who commit such travesties in their name.
Where is the rage?
If little in the way of revulsion might have been expected from the hostile nations that surround Israel, then surely a word of consolation from moderate Muslims in the West might have been forthcoming. Yet I've heard nary an utterance from the very same agencies and organizations, purportedly representing Muslims and Arabs, that are so vigilant about pouncing on any perceived racism or intolerance against their people, even in this country.
Nothing from the Canadian Islamic Congress, nothing from the Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association, nothing from the Palestinian-Canadian Student Society, nothing from the Canadian Arab Friendship Association, nothing from the Canadian Society of Muslims, to name a few.
Only the beleaguered Palestinians themselves, in a poll taken before Thursday's tragic events, have expressed weariness with the whole campaign of violence aimed at Israel, this as one lone voice - a potential successor to Arafat - has declared that the intifadah must stop because it has done nothing to further the Palestinian cause.
It's impossible to disentangle the war against the Jews from the larger Islamist war against the West. Assuredly, the misery of Palestinians was not what motivated the terrorist agenda of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Bin Laden, preoccupied with routing America's presence in the Arab world, militarily and culturally, paid only passing lip service to the plight of Palestinians in the occupied territories. At some point, they became a postscript to his anti-Western, anti-American screeds.
But others quickly linked the micro-terrorism to the macro-terrorism, as if to invest Al Qaeda and like-minded terrorist networks to a more palatable cause. And in this they've been rather successful, with a rationalizing argument that offers endemic Islamic grievances on the one hand and Israeli truculence on the other. It is a sham of an argument, illogical at its core, but repeat a lie often enough and it will become the lingua franca of terrorism.
Israel, as it has learned from history, cannot depend on any other nation, any other alliance of nations, not even its great and steadfast friend America, to fight its battles, ensure its security or avenge its dead. In the same way Mossad tracked down and eliminated the freed perpetrators of the Munich Massacre in 1972, its counter-terrorist experts will likely, insofar as they are able, track down and eliminate those who committed Thursday's vile attacks.
But this is a new generation of global terrorism and Israel's enemies - like the West's enemies - no longer stand out in a crowd. In many parts of the world, they are the crowd. Islamist pretenders, fomenting hatred in the masses, have made sure of that. And they are like cockroaches, scurrying out of the geopolitical cracks - in Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, in East Africa, in the Philippines, in Indonesia, even in America and Canada.
They kill Jews. They kill Americans. They kill Australians who had the temerity to push rampaging Indonesian paramilitaries out of East Timor, a predominantly Catholic fledgling state. They kill Kenyan dancers and civil employees. They kill French engineers. They blow up skyscrapers and bring down airplanes. They do all this with Allah's name on their lips.
And some day, I fear they'll come for you.
From a friend.... Sent: Sunday, December 08, 2002 6:21 PM
Subject: ORIANA FALLACI STANDS WITH ISRAEL
A French court on Nov. 20, 2002, dismissed a request to ban "The Rage and the Pride," the best-selling book by [leftist] Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci that critics say incites hatred of Muslims.
Fallaci, 73, is a former Resistance fighter and war correspondent best-known for her uncompromising interviews with world leaders.
The following article was written late last year.
I ask you to read it slowly, and then perhaps a second time because I think it stands as one of the most eloquent and powerful condemnations of those who hate all Jews and accurately reflects what is going on in the world today.
Stand with Israel: I Stand with the Jews by Oriana Fallaci
Corriere della Sera | December 2, 2002
I find it shameful that in Italy there should be a procession of individuals dressed as suicide bombers who spew vile abuse at Israel, hold up photographs of Israeli leaders on whose foreheads they have drawn the swastika, incite people to hate the Jews. And who, in order to see Jews once again in the extermination camps, in the gas chambers, in the ovens of Dachau and Mauthausen and Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen et cetera, would sell their own mother to a harem.
I find it shameful that the Catholic Church should permit a bishop, one with lodgings in the Vatican no less, a saintly man who was found in Jerusalem with an arsenal of arms and explosives hidden in the secret compartments of his sacred Mercedes, to participate in that procession and plant himself in front of a microphone to thank in the name of God the suicide bombers who massacre the Jews in pizzerias and supermarkets. To call them "martyrs who go to their deaths as to a party."
I find it shameful that in France, the France of Liberty-Equality-Fraternity, they burn synagogues, terrorize Jews, profane their cemeteries. I find it shameful that the youth of Holland and Germany and Denmark flaunt the kaffiah just as Mussolini's avant garde used to flaunt the club and the fascist badge.
I find it shameful that in nearly all the universities of Europe Palestinian students sponsor and nurture anti-Semitism. That in Sweden they asked that the Nobel Peace Prize given to Shimon Peres in 1994 be taken back and conferred on the dove with the olive branch in his mouth, that is, on Arafat. I find it shameful that the distinguished members of the Committee, a Committee that (it would appear) rewards political color rather than merit, should take this request into consideration and even respond to it. In hell the Nobel Prize honors he who does not receive it.
I find it shameful (we're back in Italy) that state-run television stations contribute to the resurgent anti-Semitism, crying only over Palestinian deaths while playing down Israeli deaths, glossing over them in unwilling tones. I find it shameful that in their debates they host with much deference the scoundrels with turban or kaffiah who yesterday sang hymns to the slaughter at New York and today sing hymns to the slaughters at Jerusalem, at Haifa, at Netanya, at Tel Aviv.
I find it shameful that the press does the same, that it is indignant because Israeli tanks surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, that it is not indignant because inside that same church two hundred Palestinian terrorists, well armed with machine guns and munitions and explosives (among them are various leaders of Hamas and Al-Aqsa) are not unwelcome guests of the monks (who then accept bottles of mineral water and jars of honey from the soldiers of those tanks).
I find it shameful that, in giving the number of Israelis killed since the beginning of the Second Intifada (four hundred twelve), a noted daily newspaper found it appropriate to underline in capital letters that more people are killed in their traffic accidents. (Six hundred a year).
I find it shameful that the Roman Observer, the newspaper of the Pope--a Pope who not long ago left in the Wailing Wall a letter of apology for the Jews--accuses of extermination a people who were exterminated in the millions by Christians. By Europeans. I find it shameful that this newspaper denies to the survivors of that people (survivors who still have numbers tattooed on their arms) the right to react, to defend themselves, to not be exterminated again.
I find it shameful that in the name of Jesus Christ (a Jew without whom they would all be unemployed), the priests of our parishes or Social Centers or whatever they are, flirt with the assassins of those in Jerusalem who cannot go to eat a pizza or buy some eggs without being blown up.
I find it shameful that they are on the side of the very ones who inaugurated terrorism, killing us on airplanes, in airports, at the Olympics, and who today entertain themselves by killing western journalists. By shooting them, abducting them, cutting their throats, decapitating them. (There's someone in Italy who, since the appearance of Anger and Pride, would like to do the same to me. Citing verses of the Koran he exhorts his "brothers" in the mosques and the Islamic Community to chastise me in the name of Allah. To kill me. Or rather to die with me. Since he's someone who speaks English well, I'll respond to him in English: "F*** you.")
I find it shameful that almost all of the left, the left that twenty years ago permitted one of its union processionals to deposit a coffin (as a mafioso warning) in front of the synagogue of Rome, forgets the contribution made by the Jews to the fight against fascism. Made by Carlo and Nello Rossini, for example, by Leone Ginzburg, by Umberto Terracini, by Leo Valiani, by Emilio Sereni, by women like my friend Anna Maria Enriques Agnoletti who was shot at Florence on June 12, 1944, by seventy-five of the three-hundred-thirty-five people killed at the Fosse Ardeatine, by the infinite others killed under torture or in combat or before firing squads. (The companions, the teachers, of my infancy and my youth.)
I find it shameful that in part through the fault of the left--or rather, primarily through the fault of the left (think of the left that inaugurates its congresses applauding the representative of the PLO, leader in Italy of the Palestinians who want the destruction of Israel)--Jews in Italian cities are once again afraid. And in French cities and Dutch cities and Danish cities and German cities, it is the same. I find it shameful that Jews tremble at the passage of the scoundrels dressed like suicide bombers just as they trembled during Krystallnacht, the night in which Hitler gave free rein to the Hunt of the Jews.
I find it shameful that in obedience to the stupid, vile, dishonest, and for them extremely advantageous fashion of Political Correctness the usual opportunists--or better the usual parasites--exploit the word Peace. That in the name of the word Peace, by now more debauched than the words Love and Humanity, they absolve one side alone of its hate and bestiality. That in the name of a pacifism (read conformism) delegated to the singing crickets and buffoons who used to lick Pol Pot's feet, they incite people who are confused or ingenuous or intimidated. Trick them, corrupt them, carry them back a half century to the time of the yellow star on the coat. These charlatans who care about the Palestinians as much as I care about the charlatans. That is not at all.
I find it shameful that many Italians and many Europeans have chosen as their standard-bearer the gentleman (or so it is polite to say) Arafat. This nonentity who, thanks to the money of the Saudi Royal Family, plays the Mussolini ad perpetuum and in his megalomania believes he will pass into History as the George Washington of Palestine. This ungrammatical wretch who when I interviewed him was unable even to put together a complete sentence, to make articulate conversation. So that to put it all together, write it, publish it, cost me a tremendous effort and I concluded that compared to him even Ghaddafi sounds like Leonardo da Vinci. This false warrior who always goes around in uniform like Pinochet, never putting on civilian garb, and yet despite this, has never participated in a battle. War is something he sends, has always sent, others to do for him. That is, the poor souls who believe in him. This pompous incompetent who playing the part of Head of State caused the failure of the Camp David negotiations, Clinton's mediation.
No-no-I-want-Jerusalem-all-to-myself. This eternal liar who has a flash of sincerity only when (in private) he denies Israel's right to exist, and who as I say in my book contradicts himself every five minutes. He always plays the double-cross, lies even if you ask him what time it is, so that you can never trust him. Never! With him you will always wind up systematically betrayed.
This eternal terrorist who knows only how to be a terrorist (while keeping himself safe) and who during the Seventies, that is when I interviewed him, even trained the terrorists of Baader-Meinhof. With them, children ten years of age. Poor children. (Now he trains them to become suicide bombers. A hundred baby suicide bombers are in the works: a hundred!). This weathercock who keeps his wife at Paris, served and revered like a queen, and keeps his people down in the s***. He takes them out of the s*** only to send them to die, to kill and to die, like the eighteen year old girls who in order to earn equality with the fate of their victims. And yet many Italians love him, yes. Just like they loved Mussolini. And many other Europeans do the same.
I find it shameful and see in all this the rise of a new fascism, a new nazism. A fascism, a nazism, that much more grim and revolting because it is conducted and nourished by those who hypocritically pose as do-gooders, progressives, communists, pacifists, Catholics or rather Christians, and who have the gall to label a warmonger anyone like me who screams the truth. I see it, yes, and I say the following. I have never been tender with the tragic and Shakespearean figure Sharon. ("I know you've come to add another scalp to your necklace," he murmured almost with sadness when I went to interview him in 1982.) I have often had disagreements with the Israelis, ugly ones, and in the past I have defended the Palestinians a great deal. Maybe more than they deserved. But I stand with Israel, I stand with the Jews. I stand just as I stood as a young girl during the time when I fought with them, and when the Anna Marias were shot. I defend their right to exist, to defend themselves, to not let themselves be exterminated a second time. And disgusted by the anti-Semitism of many Italians, of many Europeans, I am ashamed of this shame that dishonors my Country and Europe. At best, it is not a community of States, but a pit of Pontius Pilates. And even if all the inhabitants of this planet were to think otherwise, I would continue to think so.
“I’ve found that there’s just no idea that is so ridiculous, that is so bad, that is so dumb, that it won’t attract people to it.”-Phil Plait