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March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Israeli Shoe on America’s Foot, Swapping Taliban Terrorists for a Soldier

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama is finding himself in the same position as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – having to explain a controversial decision to outraged lawmakers and a questioning public.

Obama faced the nation on Saturday night to defend his directive to negotiate a prisoner swap with the Taliban terrorist organization in order to free the lone American soldier held hostage by the group in Afghanistan for the past five years.

Like that of former Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the background behind the capture of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was less than heroic. Shalit was not in combat when he was kidnapped by Arab terrorists in a cross-border raid in southern Israel in 2006. According to a blog post by prominent U.S. civil rights attorney Jonathan Turley, Bergdahl was taken prisoner after leaving his base in east Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

On Saturday, the 28-year-old army soldier was released by his Taliban captors in exchange for five Taliban members who were freed from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The deal was reached after a week of intense negotiations mediated by Qatar, which allegedly will maintain custody of the Taliban detainees for one year.

U.S. officials said efforts to negotiate the soldier’s release began in November 2010 and that his return became a top priority in May 2011. The opportunity to resume talks over the issue emerged several weeks ago, Turley wrote.

The U.S. president called the deal part of America’s “iron-clad commitment to bringing our prisoners home.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in making the announcement that he informed Congress on Saturday of the decision, adding that the U.S. had “coordinated closely with Qatar to ensure that security measures are in place and the national security of the United States will not be compromised.” He thanked the Emir of Qatar for that and for his “instrumental role in facilitating the return” of the soldier.

But the United States has also had a legal “iron-clad commitment” not to negotiate with terrorists, as it happens.

Turley quoted a joint statement expressing outrage and concern over the swap by top U.S. Congress member Howard P. McKeon, (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“Like all Americans, we celebrate the release of Sergeant Bergdahl from terrorist captivity,” the two lawmakers said. “However – we must carefully examine the means by which we secured his freedom.

“American has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason. Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans.”

Hm. Sound familiar? Perhaps an echo of the fears expressed by the Israeli public over endless “good will gestures” forced on its government by the U.S. State Department to free convicted Arab terrorists in order to keep the Palestinian Authority at the negotiating table? Or the outrage expressed by families of victims of terror when more than 1,000 bloodthirsty jailed terrorists were freed in exchange for the lone Israeli soldier held hostage for more than five years by the Iranian-backed Hamas rulers of Gaza?

Yes – the same Hamas terror organization with which PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas now intends to unite his Fatah faction in a Palestinian Authority “unity” government. Mind you, most of those freed terrorist murderers are still at large, armed and dangerous, working on their next “projects.”

Gee.

America’s lawmakers also pointed out that President Obama “clearly violated laws” requiring him to notify Congress 30 days prior to the transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Those laws require him to explain exactly how the threat posed by those terrorists was substantially mitigated.

Donald Rumsfeld: ‘A Trained Ape’ Better than Obama Administration

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

A “trained ape” could have done a  better job than the Obama administration in handling relations with Afghanistan, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Fox News this week. He was commenting on Afghanistan’s turning its back on the United States and supporting the Russian takeover of Crimea.

“We have status of forces agreements probably with 100, 125 countries in the world,” he said Monday night on “On the Record with Greta van Susteren. “This administration, the White House and the State Department, have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It does not take a genius.”

Whether Obama and  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are geniuses is an open question, although it is reasonable to assume there aren’t too many geniuses running around in the State Dept., and apparently there are no apes there either.

If there were, Rumsfeld would have his candidate to handle American diplomacy, at least in Afghanistan, where he said relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai were good under the administration of George W. Bush but have gone  “downhill like a toboggan” under President Barack Obama.

Officials in Washington “have  trashed Karzai publicly over and over and over,” Rumsfeld said. “[Richard] Holbrooke, the special envoy did. Vice President [Joe] Biden did. Secretary Hillary Clinton has. The president has been unpleasant to him. And it seems to me they put him in a political box where he really has very little choice.”

Rumsfeld’s “trained ape” was not the first time he used that expression.

In 2001, when he was Secretary of Defense he said that with the growing ease in obtaining weapon technologies that could endanger the United States, “a trained ape can figure out that over the coming period, more people are going to have exceedingly powerful weapons, weapons more powerful than ever in the history of the world, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, chemical weapons.

In 2002, he again pulled out the cliché  while discussing the war in Iraq and said, “There’s no debate in the world as to whether they have those weapons. We all know that. A trained ape knows that.”

Without suggesting that a trained ape would be better at the State Dept. than Kerry, not to mention his switching jobs and travelling with the circus, training leaders can be learned from how to train apes.

Palomar College Professor Keith Hill wrote two years ago that he learned a lesson while watching the movie “Planet of the Apes.”

“In the movie, the scientists, who did not know they were dealing with intelligent apes, hung a banana from the ceiling and motioned to a stack of boxes,” the professor wrote. “The scientists hoped that the apes would stack the boxes to reach the banana, thus demonstrating intelligence. One of the apes stacked the boxes, climbed them, and stared at the banana without touching it.

“The scientists were baffled, and asked out loud, ‘Why won’t she take the banana?’ The ape turned to them, and to their amazement, said very clearly, ‘Because I loathe bananas!’”

His point is that trainers teach apes – and people – to mimic behavior “without taking into consideration that people think and sometimes need to know the reason why what they are learning is important to both them and the organization.”

He said organizations and schools have to understand that people need to know why they are being fed certain information and how to apply it.

Failure to realize this “leads to fear of failure, decreased motivation to try, and a lack of importance placed on that subject,” he continued.

American Jewish Bride Imprisoned in Afghani Harem

Monday, January 20th, 2014

One of the wonderful things about her receiving First Prize for memoir from the National Jewish Book Awards for her new book, “An American Bride in Kabul,” is that Phyllis Chesler’s reading audience will expand exponentially.  The competition was stiff, and all the winners are first rate scholars and world-renown authors, including Amos Oz, Martin Halbertal and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. Chesler is in this league.

In each of her many chosen fields Chesler has excelled. A true daughter of Zion and now a student of Torah, Chesler was a molder and macher of the Feminist Movement when it actually broke new ground and opened up the world to women in so many fields.

She is also the author of  15 books, many about women, some about Israel, some about the unpleasant clash between the two, and still more about mental health.

Chesler has also written important articles, and supplied expert testimony in court cases, about the phenomenon of honor killing. This custom is found primarily in the Muslim world (and to a lesser extent, among Hindus and Sikhs) where a female member of a family is killed – either by a brother, a father, or even a mother – in order to restore the honor of that family – regardless of whether the woman killed has committed a grave, or even any, transgression.

But few who know of this prodigious woman realize there was a chapter of her life which appears to have been a complete rejection of all the others. Or perhaps the source of them all.

Phyllis Chesler – brave feminist iconoclast, defender of Israel in a time and in a peer group that attacks the Jewish State, and healer of tortured souls – left college at 20 to marry a Muslim fellow student from Afghanistan.

Not only did she leave school and her home, Chesler left her family, her faith and her country.

Her parents were peasants, Chesler’s beau said at the time. They were observant Jews, poor – Chesler went through school on full scholarships. In sharp contrast, when her boyfriend’s father visited New York, he stayed at the Plaza.

Chesler’s mother was a prodder. If Phyllis received a 98 on an exam, her mother responded, “So, it wasn’t a 100.”  Her mother also was disheartened by her feminism.

Many years later, after Chesler was an accomplished author and sought-after speaker, her mother was still not quite satisfied.

“Once my mother came to hear me speak,” Chesler confides. “Afterwards, she told me I didn’t really look well. Besides, she whispered in an aside, ‘who’s gonna marry you if you if you say these things?’”

Later, many years later, Phyllis learned that whenever her mother traveled she checked in every library to make sure it carried her daughter’s books.

“If only I had known that at the time,” Chesler remarks wistfully.

But her parents and her provincial life in Brooklyn is something Chesler left behind as soon as she possibly could.  With a brand new husband, an exotic foreigner whose father was among his country’s elite, Chesler embarked on what she thought would be a life of glamour and intrigue.

She thought they were going to help westernize Afghanistan.  Her husband was from a prominent family.  Her husband was educated in the West and loved theater and literature.  Her husband was going to bring modern theater to Afghanistan, and Chesler was “going to write the scripts, stories and novels upon which he’ll base his films.”

Chesler sailed off to Europe with her ever-attentive groom – oh how she loved to travel!  But the European tour was cut short by his father’s purse strings.  Instead of a Grand Tour, far too soon she found herself entering an Eastern world she had never closely examined. She was on her way with her groom to his home country.

US Says Freeing Prisoners a Security Risk – in Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

The United States, which muscled Israel into freeing dozens of terrorists who murdered Jews, thinks that releasing prisoners is a security risk if they are in an Afghan jail.

“The Afghan Review Board has exceeded its mandate and ordered the release of a number of dangerous individuals who are legitimate threats and for whom there is strong evidence supporting prosecution or further investigation,” said Colonel Dave Lapan, a spokesman for American forces in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan plans to release 88 prisoners from the Bagram jail, whose control recently was transferred from the United States to Afghan officials.

American officials said that 35 of the prisoners were directly responsible for killing or wounding Afghan civilians and soldiers, and that at least 25 of them were involved in attacks on American and coalition troops.

In Israel, hundreds of prisoners, freed before their terms for murder expired and many of them sentenced to multiple life terms in prison, have returned to terror after their being released and have killed more than 120 Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The American government does not consider freeing them to be a security risk because keeping them in jail would mean that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cannot keep busy muscling Israel and the Palestinian Authority into agreeing to sign a piece of paper for President Barack Obama, without which there would be a severe security risk for the power of the U.S. State Dept.

Afghanistan this Time of Year

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

U.S. Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 113th Infantry Regiment, Provincial Reconstruction Team Security Forces, provide security outside the village of Shabadeen in Sarobi district, Paktika province, Afghanistan.

It’s so clear what the soldiers in the picture are thinking.

“What am I doing here?”

Followed by:

“What the heck am I doing here?”

NY Arrests 2 in Plot to Help Taliban ‘Cut US Soldiers to Pieces’

Friday, October 11th, 2013

New York City police have arrested two local Muslim citizens for allegedly trying to buy equipment to help Taliban terrorists “cut U.S. soldiers to pieces.”

The arrests follow a two-year investigation, leaving unanswered questions why it took so long to arrest the men and why federal authorities did not intervene.

The men, Humayoun Nabi, 27, and Ismail Alsarabbi, 32, each are being held on $550,000 on charges of conspiracy and seeking to aid terrorists. There were hauled into Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday but the announcement of the arrest was delayed until Thursday because law enforcement officials wanted  to protect their undercover sources and look for additional suspects.

Authorities said the men were not involved with any plots to terrorize New York City but that their scheme, if carried out, would have been a “game changer,” court records revealed.

Nabi is a college-trained renovator with no criminal record and was a victim of police undercover agents’ tricks to arrest him for innocent actions, such as agreeing to “to send shows and coats to Afghanistan,” according to Nabi’s attorney Kenneth Finkelman.

He added, “For 18 months, for two years, the NYPD was trying to convince a guy with a wife and a child to send shoes and coats to Afghanistan. It’s totally entrapment.”

The charge sheet  states that Nabi and Alsarabbi plotted to send military equipment, including boots, to Taliban terrorists.

Alsarabbi’s attorney Sean McNicholas called the prosecution “outrageous” and accused the government of using a “a very common tactic…where they play on our fears and…use a confidential informant.”

The investigation began two years ago after Nabi met a police informant through a mutual acquaintance and talked about his hatred for the United States, Jews and American soldiers.

“The source of the Americans’ strength is their equipment, specifically good jackets, good goggles, good GPS,” Nabi told an undercover agent in December 2011. In another conversation, two weeks after U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden, Nabi allegedly said, “We are sitting here breathing in peace, eating chicken and roasts and our brothers, they are dying.”

Nabi  allegedly admitted to police he planned to provide clothes and boots to terrorists in Afghanistan to “level the playing field” in battles with U.S. soldiers. He was reported as saying he wanted to build “ a small army.”

He  also told agents he ultimately wanted to provide persons to Taliban terrorists but for the time being concentrated on funding clothing and electronics.

The police informant gave Nabi a $3,900 check, and Alsarabbi allegedly told his cohort to send the money to Nabi’s father in Pakistan.

Taliban Suicide Bomber Attacks US Consulate in Afghanistan

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Five Taliban suicide terrorists blew themselves up in an attack on a U.S. consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat early Friday, killing at least two Afghan security forces.

No American personnel were injured, and the U.S. Embassy spokesman Robert Hilton said he had no information to confirm a claim by a police official that an Afghan translator, who apparently worked for the consulate, died in the attack.

Taliban terrorists also engaged security forces in a gun battle after the suicide bombing.

Afghanistan faces a future similar to Iraq, whose fragile government has been in  a constant war with terrorists long after the United States invaded the country and announced it had achieved victory by bringing down Saddam Hussein.

The suicide attack in Afghanistan Friday underlines  the same situation that exists there.

President Barack Obama has announced a “withdrawal” of American troops by the end of 2014, but in truth, only half of the more than 60,000 U.S. soldiers now in Afghanistan will leave the country.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the No. 2 commander for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, calls the term “withdrawal” a misnomer.

He told the Stars and Stripes, “We have no indication whatsoever of a withdrawal completely from Afghanistan. We are going to change our mission, and we are going to reduce in size and scope.”

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, wrote in the Marine Corps Times that Afghanistan is prepared to take over security, but still needs American support.

“There is also growing confidence in the security forces by the Afghan people. In recent surveys, a vast majority of the Afghan people have expressed confidence in the Afghan Army and police,” he said.

Dunford added, “In order for the Afghan forces to secure their nation after the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition combat forces in December 2014, we must assist the Afghans in developing the systems, processes and institutions necessary to support a modern Army and police force. They need continued assistance with intelligence, aviation and logistics. This focus on building the sustainability of Afghan forces will require far fewer U.S. troops than we have deployed today. However, it will require continued commitment and resources for some time to come.”

Citing 9/11 as a wake-up call for the United States to engage in a war against terror, Dunford wrote, “It was those attacks, planned by al-Qaeda from its sanctuary in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban, which brought us to Afghanistan. In 2001, we put U.S. forces in harm’s way because it was in our national interests to do so. In 2013, U.S. forces remain in Afghanistan because our national interests have not changed.”

Friday’s suicide attack on an American consulate leaves in question whether the security of the United States has improved or deteriorated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/taliban-suicide-bomber-attacks-us-consulate-in-afghanistan/2013/09/13/

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