DISENGAGEMENT NOT IN U.S. INTEREST

Israpundit reports that now some members of Congress are beginning to question the wisdom of having Israel withdraw from Gush Katif (Gaza). Read the article at Israpundit for details.

As I stated in this post, turning the Gaza Strip with its seaport over to Hamas, Fatah and the Al Aqsa Martyrs will create a danger for the United States and the West in the future. The United States foolishly believes that Abu Mazen is in control of the Palestinian territories, and that they will be able to establish a peaceful state alongside Israel, if only Israel withdraws and leaves their territory.

It is too dangerous these days for the United States to be in such denial of reality and believe the impossible. It is the terror groups whose avowed aim is the destruction of Israel (and the West) that are in charge and which will set up bases in the Gaza upon Israeli withdrawal. Expect to see Zarqawi set up recruiting centers for insurgents to come to Iraq and fight the U.S. and coalition troops.

In the best interest of the United States, let alone Israel, the U.S. should ask Israel to defer its withdrawal.


Previous:
Eyeless in Gaza
Why The “Roadmap” Will Hit A Dead-End
Arab Terrorist Bombs Israeli Mall
Female Terrorist Targets Israeli Hospital That Helped Her

I Love America – Part II

About a week ago I wrote about the offensive anti-American art of Stephen Pearcy which was being shown in the California State Capitol. I also told you about the painting depicting the American flag in the shape of the United States in the toilet which is proudly displayed in the offices of the Attorney General of California, a Bush/Schwarzenneger-hating, Republican-despising Democrat (Oops,was I being redundant?).

Melanie Morgan, of Move America Forward, decided to protest the despicable display by having a competing “I Love America” art display at the same time. The protest was a great success with patriotic Americans coming from all over California, and even some from out-of-state.

The Sacramento Union describes the event:

The California Department of Justice building has become ground zero over a collection of artwork that critics have attacked for being ‘anti-American.’ The most controversial painting depicts the U.S. flag in the shape of the United States being flushed down a toilet.

Thursday night the debate was elevated to new heights as more than 600 hundred people gathered to both support and oppose the display titled “A Creative Merger: Artists & Lawyers”.

Law enforcement officers stood in between the two sides to keep the peace, with emotions running high at times.

On one side were those who felt the controversial artwork was not appropriate for display in a public building that is supported by taxpayer funding.

Move America Forward in conjunction with Sacramento radio talk show host, Mark Williams of KFBK 1530, put together the “I LOVE AMERICA” art exhibit on the sidewalks in front of Attorney General Lockyer’s offices. The purpose was to show what they called a ‘pro-American alternative’ to the controversial exhibit inside.

After Move America Forward announced their plans for the event, anti-war protestors put out a statement saying they would counter with their own protest. And both sides turned out in force.

Move America Forward’s supporters sang the national anthem, chanted “USA, USA, USA” and performed the pledge of allegiance.

“It dumbfounds me that the State Attorney General would sponsor an anti-American art exhibit and put it on display in a taxpayer funded facility,” said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of Move America Forward.

“Taxpayers should not be forced to endorse messages that seek to undermine our nation and the men and women serving in our military,” Morgan explained.

By looking at the pictures, which you can find here, here and here, you will see how many people were there for each side.

The State Attorney General says that no taxpayer funds are involved in the displaying of the exhibit, however the exhibit was co-sponsored by Lockyer and the California Arts Council which receives millions of dollars each year in taxpayer funds. One of the private sponsors cited by the California Arts Council as a financier of the display, River City Bank, demanded that their name be removed from the list of sponsors. They say they provided no funding for the exhibit.

In the press release announcing the exhibit, Lockyer and the California Arts Council were listed as the co-sponsors of the event. Lockyer praised the “style and beauty” of the pieces which included an image of Lady Justice shackled in a prison cell with blood streaming down and a ghostly hooded soldier from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Another image features a Palestinian refugee behind barbed wires with the heading “Stop U.S. Financed Genocide in the Middle East.”

To contrast what they called ‘anti-military’ and ‘anti-American’ art, Move America Forward also displayed several hundred pieces of patriotic artwork sent from around the nation and as far away as Alberta, Canada.

One piece included a five-foot iron replica of the 9/11 memorial displayed in the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania following the crash of Flight 93 on September 11, 2003.

Dozens of images of the American flag and representations of U.S. troops were drawn or painted by schoolchildren who participated in the program.

Other pieces included exquisite oil paintings featuring a slice of Americana.

Red, white and blue were on display in just about every piece of art in the “I LOVE AMERICA” display.

The America-hating lefties are the same people who undermined the will of America to succeed in Vietnam. Americans will not passively let that happen with Iraq and Afghanistan.

I guess we can thank Mr. Pearcy and Mr. Lockyer for making patriotic Americans come out to show the love of their country.

Previous:
I Love America – An Art Exhibit Protesting Anti-American Art

London Bombings May Have Been Masterminded from Saudi Arabia

The Telegraph reports that Scotland Yard in investigating a possible Saudi connection with the London Bombers of 7/21.

The Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist squad has learnt that Hussain Osman, 27, one of the suspects for the second failed attacks, called a number in Saudi Arabia hours before his arrest in Rome on Friday. He was believed to be making only the most vital calls because he feared his mobile phone was being tracked by investigators.

In an unconfirmed development, the Saudi Arabian authorities are understood to be investigating the possibility that the attacks were planned by extremists there.

7/21 London Bomber Senior Al Queda Operative?

Hussain Osman, a 24-year old Somali must be a senior operative in Al Queda, according to DEBKA.

After an amazing, fast-paced two days in which three of the four suicide bombers who carried out botched attacks on three trains and a bus on July 21 were captured alive -operations in which no one was hurt – Rome chipped in with an equally surprising announcement. Bomber No 4 was in their custody. Britain has asked for his extradition.

The two men rounded up in London after refusing to surrender are Ramzi Mohammed, linked to the attempted bombing at the Oval station and Muktar Said Ibrahim, believed to have tried to blow up a bus in Hackney. Thursday, Yassin Hassan Omar, the would-be Warren St. bomber was tracked down in Birmingham and taken to London.

The wanted man who reached Rome is Hussain Osman, a 24-year old Somali. After failing to blow up a train at Shepherds Bush tube station, he escaped the scene nimbly, dumped his blue shirt while running at full tilt, boarded a bus and ended up on a plane to Italy. In Rome, the Italian police arrested him and the relative who took him in..

DEBKAfile’s counter-terrorist sources naturally wonder how he passed through either of the two London airports, both of which are armed with stringent security measures and reached an outgoing flight undetected.

Scotland Yard officials indicated while still on the run in the UK, Osman had talked by phone to his relative in Rome, implying he was under their eye all the time. Yet it is hard to believe that British security services took the chance of knowingly letting a suicide terrorist travel out of the country – even for the purpose of identifying his contacts. The risk was too great. He might have tried to explode another bomb and killed many people. And they might have lost him. It therefore stands to reason that Osman threw off his pursuers before slipping out of the country and into Italy and fooled the security screens at both ends. His trail was only picked up again when he reached his relative in Rome.

Our counter-terror experts say Osman displayed the escape skills of a highly trained terrorist operative. His ability to pass through borders from country to country places him high up in al Qaeda’s ranks. He must have been senior enough to know about and call on secret logistical back-up in the course of his escape. The organization’s networks must have given him the money to buy tickets and fitted him with forged passports to get out of the UK and into Italy.

It is clear therefore that active terrorist structures are still operational in London and Britain. Scotland Yard spokesmen have indeed warned that the terrorist threat to the country is very much alive.

DEBKAfile’s terrorism experts add: The fact that two of the captured terrorists are of Somali extraction and one is from Eritrea leads directly to al Qaeda’s East African cell and its commander Mohammed Fazul. Fazul is himself an adept escape artist who has eluded capture time after time since he masterminded the 1998 attacks on US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es-Salaam and last year’s strike in Mombasa, Kenya. Fazul’s purview has been extended to northwest Africa, including Mauritania. He is thought now to be working closely with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is senior to him in the organization’s hierarchy.


The Terrorists Motivation: ISLAM

This essay from the Ayn Rand Institute dispenses with political correctness to say what it is that really drives the terrorists to kill non-Muslims.

Their attempt to practice religion consistently explains the terrorists’ actions.

By Edwin A. Locke

The continued attacks by Islamic terrorists against the West–most recently, the horrific suicide bombings in London–have led many to ask, what is the motivation of the terrorists? Commentators are eager to offer a bevy of pseudo-explanations–poverty, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, etc.–while ignoring the motivation the terrorists themselves openly proclaim: Islam.

The near silence about the true role of Islam in motivating Islamic terrorists has two main causes: multiculturalism and religion. Multiculturalism asserts that all cultures are equal and therefore none may criticize another; intellectuals and politicians are therefore reluctant to declare the obvious superiority of Western culture to Islamic culture. And the strong commitment to religion of many Americans, especially conservatives, makes them reluctant to indict a religion as the cause of a massive evil. But if we are to identify the fundamental cause of the terrorists’ actions, we must understand at least two fundamental premises of the religion they kill for.

First, Islam, like all religions, rejects reason as a means of gaining knowledge and guiding action; it holds that all important truths are grasped by faith in supernatural beings and sacred texts. The Koran explicitly states that knowledge comes from revelation, not thinking. (Christianity in pure form entails a similar rejection of reason, but it has been heavily diluted and secularized since the Renaissance.) Islam advocates the subordination of every sphere of life to religious dogma, including the legal system, politics, economics, and family life; the word “Islam” means literally: submission. The individual is not supposed to think independently but to selflessly subordinate himself to the dictates of his religion and its theocratic representatives. We have seen this before in the West–it was called the Dark Ages.

Second, as with any religion that seeks converts, a derivative tenet of Islam is that it should be imposed by force (you cannot persuade someone of the non-rational). The Koran is replete with calls to take up arms in its name: “fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them . . . those who reject our signs we shall soon cast into the fire . . . those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads . . . as to the deviators, they are the fuel of hell.”

These ideas easily lead to fanaticism and terrorism. In fact, what is often referred to as the “fanaticism” of many Muslims is explicitly endorsed by their religion. Consider the following characteristics of religious fanatics. The fanatic demands unquestioning obedience to religious dogma–so does Islam. The fanatic cannot be reasoned with, because he rejects reason–so does Islam. The fanatic eagerly embraces any call to impose his dogma by force on those who will not adopt it voluntarily–so does Islam.

The terrorists are not “un-Islamic” bandits who have “hijacked a great religion”; they are consistent and serious followers of their religion.

It is true that many Muslims who live in the West (like most Christians) reject religious fanaticism and are law-abiding and even loyal citizens, but this is because they have accepted some Western values, including respect for reason, a belief in individual rights, and the need for a separation between church and state. It is only to the extent that they depart from their religion–and from a society that imposes it–that they achieve prosperity, freedom, and peace.

In the last year, there has been more and more of a call for a “War of Ideas”–an intellectual campaign to win the “hearts and minds” of the Arab world that will discourage and discredit Islamic terrorism. Unfortunately, the centerpiece of this campaign so far has been to appeal to Muslims with claims that Islam is perfectly consistent with Western ideals, and inconsistent with terrorism. America has groveled to so-called “moderate” Muslim leaders to strongly repudiate terrorism, with little success. (Those leaders have focused little energy on damning Islamic fanaticism, and much on the alleged sins of the US government.) Such a campaign cannot work, since insofar as these “moderates” accept Islam, they cannot convincingly oppose violence in its name. A true “War of Ideas” would be one in which we proclaim loudly and with moral certainty the secular values we stand for: reason, rights, freedom, material prosperity, and personal happiness on this earth.

Edwin A. Locke, a Professor Emeritus of management at the University of Maryland at College Park, is a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif. The Ayn Rand Institute promotes the ideas of Ayn Rand–best-selling author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and originator of the philosophy of Objectivism.