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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bin Laden’

9/11 Spreads in the Middle East

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Al Qaeda was alive and well in the Middle East Wednesday, the 12th  anniversary of the terrorist web’s attacks on the United States.

Two of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists are not so alive and well, but they had the joy of knowing they will be welcomed by 72 virgins for having killed at least 11 Egyptian soldiers and civilians in a double suicide bombing attack at Rafiah, the divided city that straddles the border between Egypt and Gaza.

Bin Laden is long and gone, but he left behind thousands of monsters who are united by a hatred of the West and a burning desire to inflict radical Islam rule on the world.

Al Qaeda is not a monolithic group, but its ideology inspired what are commonly known as “Al Qaeda-linked groups.”

Marc Sagemen, a former CIA officer and now a psychiatrist and counter terrorism consultant, has pointed out, “We like to create a mythical entity called [al-Qaeda] in our minds, but that is not the reality we are dealing with.” He described the terrorist organization as a “loose label for a movement that seems to target the West.”

Al Qaeda and copy-cat groups operate in dozens of countries and in the past three years have helped turn the Middle East into fertile ground to establish a base of power to spread hate and death in the West.

Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and Syria are in danger of extinction as countries. President Shimon Peres noted Wednesday that if Syrian President Bassar al-Assad does not play ball and come clean with its stockpile of chemical weapons, it will continue to dissolve into “ a number of countries.”

The Russian RT news agency reported on Wednesday a disgusting example of what goes though the demented minds of Al Qaeda terrorists.

Raouchan Gazakov brought his family to Syria, taught his 5-year-old son to make bombs and bade farewell to his relative, a suicide bomber,” he told RT’s Maria Finoshina in a Damascus prison, where he explained why he came to fight for Al-Qaeda.

“A group called Murad approached me a year ago and convinced me that Muslims in Syria are being oppressed and killed, and that I should go and take up arms against Assad for world jihad.” Raouchan sneaked into Syria last January through Turkey, from where he was accompanied by two men saying they were from Al Qaeda. Once in Syria, he joined an Egyptian-run jihadist group.

Another terrorist in a Syrian prison, Amer El Khadoud, related that he left a normal family life in France to join the Syrian jihad with an Al-Qaeda affiliated group.

The Washington think tank Bipartisan Policy Center recently concluded, “The civil war in Syria may provide Al-Qaeda with an opportunity to regroup, train and plan operations. Foreign fighters hardened in that conflict could eventually destabilize the region or band together to plot attacks against the West.”

Congress heard the same message Tuesday.

“Al Qaeda and its allies dominate a large portion of northern Syria and play a key role in fighting throughout the rest of the country,” Thomas Joscelyn, an analyst with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the House Homeland Security Committee.

His scary appraisal contradicted that of  John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State and Wishful Thinking. He said Al Qaeda does not play a major role in Syria.

Thomas Joscelyn, an analyst with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, dumped that idea into the Foggy Bottom sea of illusions. He told the House committee on Tuesday, “These same al Qaeda-affiliated forces have fought alongside Free Syrian Army brigades. Al Qaeda has made the fight for Syria a strategic priority.”

Al Qaeda and similar groups have not forgotten 9/11.

“The Islamic Emirate of Libya,” a terrorist organization that may be an Al Qaeda affiliate first reported in 2011, warned on Tuesday that it will “celebrate” 9/11 with terrorist attacks on certain targets, such as the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

In Somalia, terrorists who work with Al Qaeda have staked out headquarters, according to the country’s Mareeg news website.

One of the terrorists is Taliban spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, who gave bin Laden and Al Qaeda leaders’ shelter prior to 9/11.

And there is  Sirajuddin Haqqani, a warlord and leader of the Haqqani network that fights American forces in Afghanistan from his base in Pakistan and which hosts Al Qaeda terrorists. He is the leader of the Haqqani network and is a veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Saturday Night Notes

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Note 1. Regular readers may have noticed that there was no roundup on Friday. I am dealing with the illness of a close family member and posting will be spotty right now. Some older articles will likely show up on the site.

Hopefully that will change soon, but for the moment I am making multiple trips to the hospital a day and balancing everything isn’t easy.

Note 2. My site is under sustained spam attack. Today I came on to find over 700 comments in moderation, 99 percent of them spam. The volume has gotten so bad that I’m losing legitimate comments in it.

I would like to ask readers to use a name when commenting. You don’t have to make an account. Just choose Name/URL in the dropdown menu, where it says Anonymous now. It makes it a lot easier for me and I would appreciate it. And it makes it a lot less likely that your comment will be lost.

Note 3.  A very belated roundup:

Looking for a Few Good Men in Syria

McCain is warning of a regional conflict, but it’s already a regional conflict. Helping the Sunni militias beat the Shiites won’t change that. It will just advance the conflict to the next stage in Iraq and Lebanon. Overthrowing Gaddafi did not stabilize Libya, it destabilized Mali and Algeria, and overthrowing Assad will not stabilize Syria. There are no “right people” to arm because there are no good guys in an inter-religious holy war. And there is certainly no one we can trust.

There is as little sense in choosing Sunni Islamists over Shiite Islamists as the other way around. The only reason we have taken the Sunni side is because so many of our allies are Sunni. And yet the term “ally” is a misnomer.

Are the Saudis really our allies? Can the Islamist governments in Turkey or Egypt be trusted despite their ideological hostility to the United States?

Al Qaeda in Iraq Still Threatens America

Washington, D.C. often lives in its own bubble. Having forgotten about Iraq once it stopped being a political football, Democratic politicians imagine that Iraq and its Al Qaeda legions have forgotten about them. The Sarin raids in Iraq, Turkey and Syria are a reminder that Al Qaeda in Iraq may now be a bigger threat than it ever was before.

The Clinton Administration chose not to take down Bin Laden when it had the chance, instead taking refuge in outreach and “smart” targeted strikes that were the predecessors of today’s drone warfare. It believed that showing Muslims that we would engage in humanitarian intervention to empower their national aims in Yugoslavia would count for more than hunting down Osama bin Laden. It was wrong.

September 11 was the outcome of its neglect. Now the Obama Administration is allowing history to repeat itself with more humanitarian interventions and smart strikes that overlook the real threat growing on the horizon.

Zimbabwe Achieves Economic Growth by Destroying Ability of Government to Print Money

So the good news is that once the economic collapse kicks in and the dollar becomes worthless preventing Hillary Chelsea Clinton Obama III, our 79th President from just printing more money, we too can have an actual economic recovery. Just like Zimbabwe.

“It Is Only When People Tire of Slaughtering their Neighbors and Eating Them…”

As in Israel, the state sponsors of terror are insulated from the terror they spread. The cannibalism is not likely to come to Doha or Istanbul. If it did, perhaps Erdogan might turn into a genuine moderate, instead of a firebreathing radical whom everyone in the diplomatic class has agreed to pretend is a moderate.

Syria is getting the same treatment that Israel has gotten over the years. The irony is that Syria used to dole out the treatment to Israel and to the United States in Iraq. Now it’s on the receiving end.

The question then is when will Islam get tired of its worshipers killing each other? Historically the answer may be never.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

Why the CIA Director is Wrong: Islamism Scarier than Al Qaeda

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

It’s time, a dozen years after September 11 and following Islamist coups in the Gaza Strip; Islamist electoral revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Turkey; and a probable Islamist victory during the next year in Syria–to rethink completely our view of Al Qaeda.

First, Al Qaeda wasn’t involved in any of these events or in several more big developments we could list. Second, Al Qaeda hasn’t disappeared, contrary to the Obama Administration’s claims. And third, the American homeland is now demonstrably well-protected from terrorist attacks so consequently while success on this front remains important it need not be the top U.S. strategic priority.

So let me propose a new way of looking at things:

Aside from being a problem of counter-terrorism—that is, of law enforcement—Al Qaeda is no longer important. It certainly isn’t strategically important nor is it important for the biggest and most essential U.S. national interests. That doesn’t mean Al Qaeda should be ignored. Yet combating it is relatively manageable.

This alternative view is especially significant at a moment when the new CIA director is the father—and the president, secretary of state, and secretary of defense the avid fans—of a theory that places Al Qaeda at the center of the world stage. Basically their theory goes like this:

Al Qaeda is terribly evil and a threat to America. It must be fought. But all Islamism—except for Al Qaeda—can be moderated and won over by a sympathetic U.S. policy. The Islamists are the best people to handle and defeat Al Qaeda and by giving the people what they want–Islam running the society–their desire to commit terrorism or attack America will subside. After all, if the United States shows itself to be Islamism’s best friend, why should Islamists be angry at it? This strategy began with Obama’s Cairo speech which was a profoundly pro-Islamist statement, and that’s why he invited Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders to sit in the front row.

In other words, put your enemies in power and they are no longer your enemies. Moreover, once Islamists get into power they will get entangled in party politics, paving roads, running schools, and doing all the other things that governments do. They will lose their radicalism and certainly stop using violence.

Now there’s a lot to say against this theory. It either hasn’t worked historically on other radical ideologies—Nazism, fascism, Communism—or at least only after a very long time in power (including millions of victims) often mixed in with military debacles. It can be said to have worked with radical Arab nationalism but only after 50 years and multiple military defeats. This was also the precise theory that underpinned the 1990s’ Oslo peace process and assumptions about Yasir Arafat settling down to become a great and practical statesman. And that didn’t work either.

Moreover, it ignores the fundamental extremism, anti-Americanism, antisemitism, anti-Christian, and anti-women tenets of Islamist philosophy, which are rooted in reasonable (but not the only possible) interpretations of Islam. And it also leaves out the power gained once radicals take over institutions. Sure they’ll be running the schools but that doesn’t mean they will become entangled in planning curricula so much as to persuade people they should grow up to be radical Islamists and jihad warriors.

Finally, all Islamists want Islamist rule and the application of Sharia as the law. Some will talk and do nothing; others will talk and organize; others will use violence, and among those who organize there are those who can seize state power—in Muslim majority countries—and those that will fail. The Muslim Brotherhood is brilliant tactically; Al Qaeda has only one note in its orchestra, endless struggle and terrorism rather than political maneuvering and building a mass base.

Usually, as you can see, when I talk about this issue I stress the non-Al Qaeda side of the equation. But it’s time to reanalyze Al Qaeda also.

The importance of Al Qaeda in the history of Islamism is actually more marginal than it might seem from the massive study and headlines it generated. Al Qaeda had three innovations of importance:

First, that the movement be international, fighting simultaneously on all fronts. While the Muslim Brotherhood had been an international group it had a limited number of branches, only four of real significance. However, this only succeeded because Al Qaeda’s organization—especially after the U.S. destruction of the center in Afghanistan and long before Osama bin Ladin’s assassination—was so loose. Basically, local groups could simply affiliate with Al Qaeda without being its actual creation. Being active everywhere and not concentrating one’s forces is a formula for survival but also a recipe for ultimate defeat.

America Leaves Afghanistan to the Mercy of the Taliban and Iran

Monday, February 18th, 2013

In his State of the Union address, the president of the United States announced that the American army will begin to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan  before the end of the year, so that by the end of the year, 34,000 soldiers, approximately half of the total force,  will have left, and the other half by the end of 2014.

The American media – the Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition for the 9th and 10th of February, for example, paid close attention to the fact that the United States military is withdrawing without regard for the situation that these forces leave behind. The thrust of the coverage is that what is important for the United States today is how and when to get out of Afghanistan, without addressing the simple question: “What did we want to achieve and what have we actually achieved in the eleven years of the Sisyphean war in this country?”

The West’s invasion of Afghanistan began in late 2001, after the September 11 attacks revealed Afghanistan to be an al-Qaeda state and Osama bin Laden had formed a pact with Mula Umar, the Taliban leader, the main point of which was that the billionaire bin Laden would fund Afghanistan, and would be allowed to do whatever he wished with it. Bin Laden kept his word and Mula Umar kept his part as well. Within a few years – from the mid-nineties – the state of the Taliban became a terror state and hundreds of facilities such as training bases, enlistment centers and schools that taught the doctrine of terrorism were established on its soil.

Many Ethnicities, but No “Afghans”

This process was made possible because the Taliban, an organization based on the Pashtun people, gained dominance over the other ethnic groups in the country. Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic country that comprises more than eleven (!) ethnic groups: Pashtun, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Aimaqs, Balochs, Kyrgys, Turkmen, Nuristans, Pamirs and more. It is interesting to note that none of these groups are called “Afghan.” The country was named Afghanistan by the British and Russians who delineated the borders in the mid-nineteenth century because “Afghan” is a variation of the name historically attributed to the main ethnic group in that area, known today as Pashtuns.

Contrary to India, where English is the common language for all of the groups, in Afghanistan, the various ethnic groups have no common language. The weakness of the civil system stems from the fact that these ethnic groups differ from each other in every way: language, culture, leaders, dress, leadership and world view.

The fact that these groups are forced to live with each other creates friction and continual conflict, which has turned the country into a hell where armed militias fight each other fiercely and continually, despite the fact that everyone is Muslim.The Hazaras, for instance, are Shi’ites and are seen as unclean. It is important to note that each one of these ethnic groups is further broken down into tribes, which don’t always coexist peacefully with each other, and many of them tend to resort to violence immediately.

A Litany of Failures in Afghanistan

Since the creation of the state of Afghanistan, there have been several attempts to stabilize it. The British tried, failed and left it to its misery. The Soviets tried to stabilize its political system during the eighties and failed miserably, which accelerated the collapse of the Soviet Union. The United States invaded – along with its partners – toward the end of 2001, and it seems that it also is about to fail in its efforts to stabilize the state and governmental system.

The question that naturally arises is why all of the attempts to stabilize this miserable state have failed. The only possible answer is that it is simply not achievable, because the many ethnic and tribal units will never become one cohesive unit with a shared national consciousness, with loyalty to a common framework and common leadership. When a state tries to unify rival groups that have nothing in common, the task of leading all of them under one national framework is not possible. The Impact of Ethnic Diversity in European Cases

This need not surprise us: we need only glance for a moment at Europe to see what happened to the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, who also – despite their having been functional states for more than seventy years – disintegrated into entities based on ethnicity. And what is happening in Belgium between the Flemish and the Walloons? And in Spain with the Catalonians who seek to secede from Spain? And in Britain with the Scots who, in another two years will vote in a referendum on whether to remain as part of the “United” Kingdom or not? And Cyprus, which is also divided on an ethnic basis? So what do the Aimaq and Hazara citizens of Afghanistan expect? That they will get along with each other better than the Czechs and the Slovaks?

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi: Thus Passes the Glory of the World

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

In the past, the United States was the “glory of the world”, mainly after it came to the aid of Europe in the Second World War, the victory over Germany and Japan in 1945, and the American success in establishing a democratic state in South Korea (1953) following the war against the communists, who were allied with China and the USSR. However, the glory of the U.S. has faded during the last generation. Historians point to Vietnam as the beginning of the process of decline; the war lasted 16 years (1959-1975), cost the lives of almost 60,000 American soldiers and ended in a disastrous American rout and Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, falling to the Vietcong, the militia of communist North Vietnam.

The Vietnam War left parts of American society with a lack of will to fight for the values of freedom and democracy, especially if it’s a question of fighting in countries outside of the U.S. The U.S. military took part in several wars since 1975, but in the Middle East its performances were not always satisfactory. As a result of this, the military strength of the U.S. does not make much of an impression in the Arab and Islamic world, and even back in September of 1970 the terrorists of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine did not hesitate to hijack American and British jets to Jordan and blow them up for all the world to see.

In 1973 the American ambassador, his deputy and the deputy ambassador of Belgium were kidnapped in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan by the Palestinian organization “Black September,” and were executed on the personally telephoned orders of Yasir Arafat. Despite the fact that the Americans recorded the discussion and knew all of the details in real-time, the humiliation by the terrorist silenced them and Arafat subsequently became (with the help of a few bleeding-heart Israelis who were taken in by his charisma and his lies) a “darling of the peace groupies.” He mocked the Americans, fooled them without blinking an eye, and they believed him.

The Iranian audacity towards the U.S. knows no bounds: In October 2011, Iran attempted to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington, no less than the capital of the U.S. The Iranians have no problem calling the U.S. “the Great Satan,” which has only one meaning: that holy war must be waged against the U.S. – a jihad for the sake of Allah, which will only end with the destruction of the U.S. government and the conversion of its citizens to Shi’ite Islam.

In April 1983 Hizb’Allah – the long arm of Iran in Lebanon – blew up the U.S. embassy in another breach of its sovereignty and killed 63 people. In October of that same year, Hizb’allah demolished Marine headquarters in Beirut killing 241 American soldiers and citizens. The American reaction was to flee from Lebanon, which very much encouraged Hizb’Allah and its patrons in Iran and Syria, and caused the United States to appear as a country without a backbone. A month before this, in March of 1983, Hizb’Allah attacked the U.S. embassy in Kuwait, and in June, 1985 Hizb’Allah organized the hijacking of an American passenger jet of TWA. In June, 1996 Hizb’Allah carried out an attack on an American military base in Saudi Arabia. All of these attacks, carried out by Shi’ite Hizb’Allah with Iranian inspiration, were left unanswered by the Americans.

Qadhaffi’s Libya also contributed its part to aggression against the U.S. with the attack on the disco in Berlin where a number of American soldiers were killed as they were enjoying a night out in 1986. The aggression was answered with an attack on Qadhaffi’s palace, and although his adopted daughter was killed, he did not stand down: In 1988, he organized a revenge attack on a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing almost 300 people. What was his punishment? Nothing, until 2011, when the United States was dragged into attacking Libya, almost reluctantly.

On the Sunni side of the Islamic equation, they saw the American weakness toward Iran and Hizb’Allah, and also decided to increase the pressure on the U.S.: in August, 1990, Saddam Hussein disregarded U.S. warnings and invaded Kuwait, one of the West’s main suppliers of oil, claiming that Kuwait is a province of Iraq. The West was outraged, and led by the U.S., in January, 1991, it entered a war that successfully liberated Kuwait, but did not liberate Iraq and the world from Saddam Hussein. This war caused the detractors of the U.S. to draw two conclusions: One is that the West goes out to war not for idealism but rather for interests, and in the case of Kuwait, oil was the causative factor. The second conclusion is that the West is afraid of causing regime change, no matter how bad the regime may be, because of the fear that the successor will be even worse. However, in this war there was an additional American failure. There were Americans, perhaps CIA operatives, who hinted to the Shi’ites in Southern Iraq that if they rebel against Saddam, the U.S. will support them and overthrow him. In March 1991 the Shi’ite rebellion against Saddam (who had been vanquished in Kuwait) began, but he put down the rebellion with great cruelty, costing the lives of tens of thousands of Shi’ites, and the U.S. did not lift a finger. The effect of the American betrayal of the Shi’ites of Iraq at that time continues until today to influence the way the Shi’ites in Iraq relate to the U.S.

No Liberal Media Bias? Just Substitute Bush For Clinton

Wednesday, June 25th, 2003

Brian Ross of ABC News reported last week that the FBI was poised to capture Osama bin Laden back in 1998, but the plan was quashed by then-Attorney General Janet Reno.

“There was concern that people around the bin Laden compound would be killed,” said former FBI agent Jack Cloonan, a member of a secret team of federal investigators assembled solely for the purpose of apprehending the Al Qaeda leader.

“We had information, pretty good information on the particular house where he was,” said Cloonan. But, he added, when the plan worked its way up the chain of command, Reno killed it.

Describing the incident as classified, the former attorney general declined to respond to Cloonan’s charge.

The story, first broadcast on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” made its way to some wire-service accounts but otherwise was pretty much downplayed by the media. Imagine, by contrast, the uproar that would ensue were a similar story to come out about a president named Bush and an attorney general named Ashcroft – the saturation coverage, the breathless reporting, the outraged editorials – and then try to take seriously the argument, advanced by certain lefty pundits, that the notion of a “liberal media” is mere exaggeration or myth.

The indecisiveness that characterized the Clinton White House is spelled out in even more damning detail in Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Endangered National Security, which has been sitting at or near the top of the bestseller lists for a couple of months now. The book, however, has been virtually ignored by the “prestige” media, no doubt because it would be difficult for Clinton apologists to portray the author, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Patterson, as some agenda-driven conspiracy monger.

Patterson, who served as Clinton’s senior military aide from 1996 to 1998, describes this missed opportunity to kill Osama bin Laden: “The White House Situation Room was buzzing. It was fall 1998 and the National Security Council (NSC) and the “intelligence community” were tracking down the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, the shadowy mastermind of terrorist attacks on American targets overseas. “They’ve successfully triangulated his position,” yelled a “Sit Room” watch stander….The watch officer notified National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, “Sir, we’ve located bin Laden. We’ve got a two-hour window to strike.”

“….Berger ambled down the stairwell and entered the Sit Room. He picked up the phone at one of the busy controller consoles and called the president. Amazingly, President Clinton was not available. Berger tried again and again. Bin Laden was within striking distance. The window of opportunity was closing fast….For about an hour Berger couldn’t get the commander in chief on the line. Though the president was always accompanied by military aides and the Secret Service, he was somehow unavailable. Berger stalked the Situation Room, nervous and impatient.

“Finally, the president accepted Berger’s call. There was discussion, there were pauses – and no decision. The president wanted to talk with his secretaries of defense and state. He wanted to study the issue further. Berger was forced to wait. The clock was ticking. The president eventually called back. He was still indecisive. He wanted more discussion….The NSC watch officer was convinced we had the right target. The intelligence sources were conclusive. The president, however, wanted a guaranteed hit or nothing at all. This time, it was nothing at all. We didn’t pull the trigger. We “studied” the issue until it was too late – the window of opportunity closed. [Bin Laden] slipped through the noose.”

Patterson also recounts how Clinton twice lost the card containing the nuclear-launch codes, which presidents keep on their person at all times. The first time Clinton misplaced the codes, the president’s valets eventually found them in the White House residence. On a later occasion, however, Clinton had to admit to Patterson and another military aide, ?I just can?t find it…don?t know where it is.”

An embarrassed Clinton assured the aides, “I’ll track it down, guys, and get it back to you.”

Of course, he never did.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/no-liberal-media-bias-just-substitute-bush-for-clinton/2003/06/25/

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