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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘mali’

Innocents Abroad Build Foreign Armies

Monday, February 11th, 2013

In the near-century that the United States has been a great power, it has developed some original and sophisticated foreign policy tools. Examples include the Marshall Plan, special forces, and satellite imaging. At the same time, the country’s naiveté remains firmly in place. For example, the notion persists that government staff are “particularly qualified to [handle a problem] because they knew nothing about it.” (For details, see my analysis at “American Know-Nothing Diplomacy.”)

The persistent belief that training and equipping foreign troops imbues them with American political and ethical values, making them allies of the United States, offers another sign of innocence. Some examples of this delusional policy in recent decades:

Lebanon: On landing U.S. troops in 1982, the priority was to train a national army. Of course, this failed, with most members returning to their communal militias with new arms and training to use against rivals. Despite this failure, the effort was renewed just two weeks ago.

Afghanistan: Training a national army was an action following the 2001 invasion; but the Afghan Local Police, a militia backed by the government, turned their guns against their international colleagues so often – 34 times in the first eight months of 2012, killing 45 persons – that the training was stopped.

Mali: The latest disaster, where U.S. efforts to train the woebegone Malian national army to take on Al-Qaeda did not exactly work out. In the words of Der Spiegel, “American specialists did train four crack units, totaling 600 men, to fight the terrorists. But it backfired: Three of the elite units have defected en masse to the rebel Tuareg. Most of the commanders, after all, are Tuaregs. Captain Amadou Sanogo, trained in the United States, was one of the soldiers who didn’t defect. Instead, he inflicted even more damage when, last March, he and a few close supporters overthrew the government in Bamako and ousted the elected president.”

Palestinian Authority: A disaster still in the making. The Dayton Mission has trained over 6,000 Palestinian Authority security personnel in the hope that they will become Israel’s partners for peace. To the contrary, I have predicted in writing that “these militiamen will eventually turn their guns against Israel.” When will American politicians and military leaders eventually realize that training foreign soldiers does not allies make them?

Originally published at Daniel Pipes.org on February 10, 2013.

A Moment of Moral Clarity in London (Video)

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

George Galloway was expelled from the Labor Party in 2003 for bringing it into disrepute. He notoriously honored the despot Saddam Hussein in a 1994 speech that ended with this formulation: “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability”.

On Wednesday in Parliament, as the member for Bradford West for the bizarrely-named Respect Party, he put a question/comment to the prime minister, requiring that the latteradumbrate the differences between one brand of “hand-chopping, throat-cutting” terrorist of the kind to be found in Mali and some other sort of jihadist. (For the record, Galloway is no stranger to speaking publicly about terrorists; he has no difficulty praising them lavishly.)

With barely a moment’s hesitation, U.K. prime minister David Cameron rose to his feet with this first-class put-down:

Some things come and go, but there is one thing that is certain: Wherever there is a brutal Arab dictator in the world, he’ll have the support of the honorable gentleman.

To illustrate the point in a very small way, recall that the “honorable gentleman” was said (by the Times of London in August 2012) to “earn almost £80,000 a year from a new Lebanese TV station accused of having links to Syria and Iran… [Galloway] recently began presenting a show on al-Mayadeen. The Arabic-language station, launched in June, presents itself as a counterweight to channels such as the Qatari-funded al-Jazeera, which it sees as biased against Syria and its allies.

Here’s the video of Cameron’s response:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9VAHTqtXYg]Visit This Ongoing War.

Professional Atheist Dawkins Now Insulting Muslims

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Atheist-for-hire and Oxford University Professor Richard Dawkins has managed to outrage yet another religion after calling Muslims “barbarians,” the Daily Mail reported.

Dawkins, whose “The God Delusion” declared that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that belief in a personal god qualifies as a delusion (“when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.”), Dawkins was condemning the severe damage caused by Islamist extremists to a sacred library in Timbuktu, Mali, telling his 600,000 Twitter followers on Tuesday: “Like Alexandria, like Bamiyan, Timbuktu’s priceless manuscript heritage destroyed by Islamic barbarians.”

Dawkins Twieet

On Monday it was reported that Islamists burned down the Ahmed Baba Institute library, with its priceless manuscripts and artifacts. The source for the reports was Timbuktu’s mayor Ousmane Halle, who said: “They torched all the important ancient manuscripts. The ancient books of geography and science. It is the history of Timbuktu, of its people.”

But a source in the University of Cape Town insisted on Wednesday that the extremists had only had time to damage or steal a few manuscripts, before they were forced out of Timbuktu.

Timbuktu residents reported that there was no destruction of any library or collection, according to Cape Town U., which has sponsored a modern facility to house the precious manuscripts.

Richard Dawkins is an equal opportunity insultor, and last year U.K. Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks last year condemned a “profoundly anti-Semitic” comment in Professor Dawkins’s “The God Delusion” which likened the God portrayed in Jewish texts to a fictional villain.

Dawkins responded at the time that he was “anti-God,” not “anti-Jewish,” calling Rabbi Sacks accusation “ridiculous.”

Ancient Islamic manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu, Mali.

Ancient Islamic manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu, Mali.

Daniel Pipes: West Must Oppose Islamism (Video)

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-lions-den-daniel-pipes/daniel-pipes-west-must-oppose-islamism-video/2013/01/27/

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