Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Gang Religion of Islam

By Daniel Greenfield

Killing non-Muslims is the point of Islam. To the extent that it has any point. That isn't to say that Islam doesn't preach the virtues of charity and love for one's fellow Muslim. It does. But its virtues are not original. Like most of the rest of the framework of it, they are lifted from existing religions.

When the Sahih Muslim's Hadith quotes Mohammed as saying, "None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself"; it's a distortion of the Christian Bible. And when Obama quotes the Koran as saying, "If any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of a whole people," it's an equally shameless plagiarism of the Jewish Talmud.

Like the Soviet Constitution's guarantee of freedom of religion, these are nice sentiments borrowed from other people and then not actually put into practice. The Islam that matters is the one that's put into practice not only at the World Trade Center or the Westgate Mall, but in the everyday lives of people in Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Islamic violence we are told is an aberration. But it isn't. To the extent that Islam is anything, it is violence.

Islam may have become a religion, but it began as a code. Like the Pirate Code or the Thieves Law of Russia, it was a set of rules that allowed a select group of bandits to choose leaders, plan attacks and divide the loot.

The code invested their actions with meaning, it kept order in their ranks and allowed the members to believe that dying for the gang was more than a martial ethos, but also contained a spiritual element. Similar attempts to invest gang life with spirituality can be found in the tattoos, rap songs and graffiti memorials of every street gang in America. 

Imagine the Kingism of the Latin Kings street gang, which has its own prayers, crude theology and philosophy becoming the religion of the gangs ruling over a Post-American civilization. In the 80s, the Chicago gang Blackstone Rangers realized the benefits of becoming a religion and declared itself the El Rukn tribe of the Moorish Science Temple of America.

Despite the elaborate mythology, the Latin Kings is a gang first and a religion second. In time it might become a full religion, stranger things have happened, but it will never be able to escape its origins. It will at its heart always be a gang code with an emphasis on providing a spiritual overlay for gang violence.

And that is the case with Islam.

After over a thousand years, after its own empires and conquests stretching around the world, after endless religious schools, reform movements, theological debates and splinter groups, Islam is not able to leave its gang roots behind. It is still at its core a gang religion. That is why it appeals so well to convicts who recognize that they are interacting with something far more ancient than Kingism.

That is also why Islam, like most street gangs, degenerates so readily into internecine violence. No matter how much its devotees dream of conquering the decadent West and planting the black flag of Islam everywhere, they can't help turning their guns on each other, because gangs are naturally primed to fight amongst themselves. The gang code never suffices to settle disputes among men who live by violence. They may fight to impose Islamic law on the world, but they can't live by it.

Syria is Islam at its most primal with gangs fighting over the ruins of cities, small groups joining up, Shiite and Sunni militias killing each other, Free Syrian Army and Al Nusra Front gangs fighting over bakeries and pipelines, an endless stream of recruits from around the world rushing to join up in a gang war that has claimed over 100,000 lives.

That is how Islam began. One man and his gang. That man may not be depicted or the gangs of his followers will blow things up. When they aren't blowing up each other. The gang spread around the world. Its Caliphs and Emirs went from thugs and clan leaders to rulers of nations. And then the whole thing collapsed again. Now the gang leaders are trying to get the gang back together again.

Islam was born in the chaos of the implosion of two empires, Byzantium and Persia, tearing at each other until they both gave way and were overrun by Islam. The second coming of Islam took place during the climactic battle between two new empires, America and the Soviet Union, who exhausted each other, and may end up suffering the same fate as the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanids.

The common denominator is that the rise of Islam parallels the collapse of other civilizations. Like the jackal sniffing around the bones of empire, the gangs of Islam step into a vacuum, but can never fill it. The second-hand knowledge that they steal and pass off as their own never leads them anywhere. The Golden Age built on the labor and creative ideas of others passes and there is nothing left except bitter resentment at greatness lost and a future denied.

Islam always reverts back to the gang. It comes out of the desert and returns to the desert. It begins with a handful of men raiding civilized towns and cities. And no matter how much time must pass and how the world turns, it always reverts back there. Over a thousand years later, the climactic struggle of Islam is almost indistinguishable from what it was in the time of Mohammed.

The world has changed dramatically in a thousand years, but a few thousand men are still ambushing each other in the desert in the name of a warlord named Mohammed.

This isn't the ideal Islam. But that is only because the Islamic ideal is killing non-Muslims. Kingism dedicates itself to the fight against the forces of Anti-Kingism. What is Anti-Kingism? It's everything that isn't a Latin King. Islam likewise dedicates itself to fighting the Kuffar. And the Kuffar are those who deny Islam. They are the forces of Anti-Caliphism. They are everyone who isn't a Muslim.

If Islam stands for anything, it's killing non-Muslims. Islam can't really think far beyond that. Its mindset is that of a dime store Alexander who doesn't want to even think about the prospect of not having any more lands to conquer, towns to sack, women to rape, homes to rob and libraries to torch.

The gang can only think of fighting more, killing more and doing the same things it did last week again. It finds meaning in the ethos of the fight and in the comradeship of fellow gang members. That is why Jihad is so central to Islam. It is why women occupy such an inferior position. Jihad is the gang culture of Islam. Its bonding rituals are central to Islam whose original elements derive mainly from the raids of Mohammed and his companions against the more civilized peoples of the region.

Islam finds its meaning from fighting and killing non-Muslims. It is the only meaning that it can ever have. The exercises of its devotees who memorize countless Koranic verses, who debate the fine points of laws and prepare for their pilgrimages to Mecca must inevitably converge on the violent core that gives the whole thing purpose.

The historical dynamic of Islam has never left behind its gang origins. Its future is measured in terms of conquest and more conquest. The manifest destiny of Islam is an eating contest as its holy warriors cram more and more territories and people into an expanding Caliphate that falls apart vomiting up the conquests into chaos. The lessons are never learned. The holy warriors fall to fighting each other.

Islamists proclaim that Islam is the answer. The trouble is that they've forgotten the question.

And the question was how do you keep a band of bandits from stabbing each other over the loot while convincing them that if they die while stealing a goat or raping someone's third wife, they'll go to a magical place full of goats and virginal third wives with skin of the color of bone marrow.

As the holy warriors of the Syrian Civil War killing each other over control of bakeries while fighting to impose the perfection of Islamic Law on everyone can tell you, it's not a very good answer even to that question. It's an even worse answer to any larger social problem that doesn't involve twenty men trying to divide the profits from one raid on an abandoned university.

But when a religion is based on gang violence and because of that inevitably reverts to gang violence, it's an answer that keeps coming up again and again.

The answer of Islam is the answer of violence. It's the answer of uniting the various gangs around killing non-Muslims. Sometimes that answer even works.

Assad's Alawite neo-Shiites were able to work together with the Muslim Brotherhood Salafist Sunnis of Hamas and the Shiite Ayatollahs of Iran and the Super-Salafist Sunnis of Al Qaeda as long as they had a common goal of killing Americans or Israelis or somebody. When that goal broke down, they began killing each other instead.

Islam's answer only works when there is a non-Muslim target within reach and none of the Muslims have time to start envying the other's rifle, sunglasses or country. But then the violence halts and the gang begins dividing up the loot, knives are drawn and another bloody Arab Spring begins.

Every fourth gang hip-hop song is about how hard it is to leave the gang life. The other three are about how everyone else out there is a pretender and not a real gangsta. That is Islam in a nutshell. Islamic civilization can't leave the gang life and insists that every other civilization and even most other Muslims are pretenders and that only the Salafiest of the Salafists are the real Gangstas.

Syria, Kenya, September 11 is how they prove it. We don't have a foreign policy problem with Islam.

We have a global gang violence problem.

Prophet of Doom

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Islam Is The Greatest Threat To World Peace Since Hitler’s Nazis

By Manzoor Moghal

Islamic jihadism continues to cast its dark shadow across the world. The atrocity in the Nairobi shopping centre is a chilling reminder of the global reach of this vile ideology.

The reported death toll now stands at 62, with most of the victims singled out simply because they were not Muslims. That is sectarianism at its most lethal, where every last ounce of humanity is obliterated by a pitiless dogma.

Although the horror is still unfolding at the Westgate mall, it now seems certain that the attack was carried out by the Al-Shabaab group, a Somalian terror cell linked to the Al-Qaeda network.

This tragedy has been particularly shocking to me, because Kenya is a country I know extremely well.

I lived in neighbouring Uganda for more than 30 years, and regularly visited Kenya, both for business reasons and because I had developed a large number of friendships there.

I left Africa in the Seventies, and the idea back then that Kenya might be ripped apart by fundamentalism would have seemed laughably absurd. Nairobi was an open, prosperous, cosmopolitan city where all races and religions generally lived happily together.

There was little violence and no religious strife. The creed of the African Muslims, with whom I worked and worshipped, was a moderate one. We were on excellent terms with the local Christian communities, regularly attending functions at their churches.

Tragically, all that has changed. Indeed, I could sense a new, more anxious mood in Nairobi during my recent visits within the past few years there to see old friends. There was a smell of fear on the streets. The easy intermingling of the past had vanished.

Houses in the more affluent areas of the city had become mini-fortresses, complete with security grilles and metal doors. Now, as the corpses are removed from the Westgate centre, all the grimmest forebodings have been realised.

Al-Shabaab’s attack in Nairobi has largely been a murderous reaction to the decision by the Kenyan Government in 2011 to send troops into Somalia, under the umbrella of the African Union, to smash the terror regime there.

But we should not pretend that the loud-voiced grievances of the jihadists throughout the world have a shred of justification. The focus of their supposed victimhood varies — they blame anything from American foreign policy to the plight of the Palestinians — but their real aim is the same.

They want to establish a Muslim caliphate across the world, where Islam and sharia law reign supreme. In this religious empire, there is no room for dissent or democracy, no space for compromise or conciliation.

That is why, wherever they operate, the Muslim hardliners are so intolerant. The goal is totalitarian, their methods pure bigotry.

Only this weekend, while one gang of Islamic terrorists was causing mayhem in Nairobi, another gang was murdering 75 Christians at a church in the city of Peshawar in Pakistan, with another 110 innocent worshippers wounded.

And while we in Britain look on in horror at these appalling events in distant lands, the fact is that we cannot pretend that we are immune from the malevolent impact of the zealots in our own country.

It is not just that we have endured a number of serious terrorist attacks in recent years, most notably the London transport bombings in 2007. It is also the deeply worrying social and cultural influence of Muslim fundamentalism within Britain.

The aim of true multi-racialism should be to promote tolerance, understanding and integration. These are vital qualities if our increasingly diverse society is to function successfully.

But while the vast majority of Muslims are tolerant people, the extremists are pushing in precisely the opposite direction. Their eagerness to impose their fundamentalist, alien values is undermining harmony, with suspicion and division rising in their place.

Only this weekend, this was graphically symbolised by reports of events at the Al-Madinah school in Derby, a free school established last year to cater mainly for Muslim pupils. Sadly, the hardliners appear to have taken over its management already.

It’s claimed that, in defiance of all British traditions of tolerance, girls and boys are segregated at the school; that even non-Muslim staff are required to wear the hijab, the Muslim headscarf; and that stringed instruments, singing, the telling of fairy tales and even the use of the word ‘pig’ have all been banned.

I am a proud Muslim — but I find this appalling. Such superstitious, divisive nonsense should have no place in a British school.

We are not living in rural Pakistan or a Taliban-run region in Afghanistan. Apart from anything else, the pupils are being deprived of a proper, rounded education and therefore will not have the same life chances in adulthood.

That is why I am glad the Ofsted inspectors have been sent in to the school. For far too long, the British authorities have turned a blind eye — out of misguided fear of being seen as racist — to the creeping prevalence of militant Islam in our midst.

We see this same fearful attitude in the official tolerance of informal sharia courts in Muslim areas of urban Britain. Such tribunals should not be allowed to operate. Muslims do not need separate judicial institutions.

Under the great English tradition of justice, we are all meant to be equal before the law, regardless of status, wealth or religion. Indeed, it is exactly that genuine equality under the law that has long attracted many migrants to Britain.

How can people ever integrate if the authorities allow separatist enclaves and customs to take root, as we now see all the time in places like Birmingham, Dewsbury in Yorkshire, or Leicester, where I arrived in 1972 and set up my own business interests, integrating happily into the community and setting up civic and political structures to help others integrate?

One of my relatives, who lives in London, recently visited Birmingham to buy some fabrics for his fiancée. On touring some of the city’s Muslim neighbourhoods for such material, he was astonished at how divorced their atmosphere was from mainstream English society, in dress codes, language, food, even architecture.

Women were wearing the full veil or niqab, men foreign garments and headgear. He admitted to me that, despite his own Muslim faith, he felt like ‘an alien’ in this environment.

Nothing imposes that sense of alienation more powerfully than the full veil, which is at the centre of a furore over whether it should be tolerated at educational colleges, or worn by hospital staff and defendants in court.

I personally dislike the growing fashion for wearing it because I feel it is an outward symbol of segregation. There is certainly no religious requirement to wear it. Indeed, I would argue that in British society it is imprudent to wear it, since one of the guiding principles of Islam is that Muslims have a duty to abide by the laws and customs of whatever country they are living in.

Crucially, to me, the veil is a highly politicised refutation of Western values. Its supporters talk about ‘choice’, but there is no choice for schoolchildren or teenage girls from patriarchal families whose parents force them to wear it.

Just as there is no choice for girls who want to mix with boys, or play stringed instruments in Al-Madinah school in Derby, if we are to believe the weekend reports.

My great worry is that, if the British authorities continue to allow the Islamic hardliners to have their way in the name of choice when it comes to segregating boys from girls in schools, or sharia courts, or insisting that women should be allowed to wear veils in all circumstances, then those hardliners will feel they are pushing at an open door.

We must, sadly, accept that there are people in our midst who want to see a hardline Islamist caliphate in Britain. And while the security and intelligence services are nothing less than heroic in their fight against Islamic extremists, continuing to foil terror plots on a regular basis, our civic institutions have in contrast been far too cowardly in their reluctance to challenge fundamentalism.

The shocking slaughter in Nairobi is the true face of Islamic fundamentalism. And we in Britain should never appease such a mentality.

Terra Incognita: It’s time to define Islamism as a crime against humanity

By Seth J. Frantzman

The attacks at Nairobi, Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall follow a familiar pattern to other attacks that occurred in the last few days: in Pakistan, where 81 were killed in the bombing of a church, and in Nigeria where 159 people were slaughtered by Islamists near Maiduguri.

The media and political reactions also follow a neatly crafted script we have all become accustomed to.

First Islamist terrorists attack civilians, attempting to sort out the Muslims from the non-Muslims so as to kill only one group. There are the condemnations of “senseless acts of violence” and appeals for “calm and unity.” Then all is forgotten.

Those terrorists captured alive will be put on trial and perhaps executed. And life goes back to normal with the refrain, “terrorism will not prevail.” The problem is that this script misses a central facet of Islamist terrorism: We must stop treating it as a simple isolated crime; even the word “terrorism” has begun to downplay its actual horror; rather it must be defined as a worldwide crime against humanity.

When the al-Shabaab attack began in Kenya, witnesses related that Muslims were permitted to leave. “They came and said: ‘If you are Muslim, stand up. We’ve come to rescue you,’” Elijah Lamau told the BBC.

The Muslims put their hands up and walked past the gunmen. “One man with a Christian first name but a Muslim-sounding surname managed to escape the attackers by putting his thumb over his first name on his ID. However... an Indian man standing next to him who was asked for the name of the Prophet Muhammad’s mother was shot dead when he was unable to answer.”

Similarly, in 2004, 17 al-Qaida terrorists attacked the Oasis compound housing oilcompany employees in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

Upon entering the compound, the terrorists waylaid the first Arab looking man they saw and said: “Are you Muslim or Christian? We don’t want to kill Muslims.

Show us where the Americans and Westerners live.” The killers then came upon a US citizen from Iraq named Abu Hashem.

He later told reporters that the attackers were polite; “They gave me a lecture on Islam and said they were defending their country and ridding it of infidels.” “Don’t be afraid,” they told him, “we won’t kill Muslims, even if you are an American.”

The murderers then proceeded to hunt down non-Muslims from the US, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, Egypt and Sweden. After a 24-hour siege, 22 of the residents were murdered and many others wounded.

In another instance, on November 27, 2008, in the midst of the Mumbai terror attacks, the perpetrators received a call from their Pakistan-based masters, asking, “How many hostages do you have?” The terrorist responded that they had killed a Belgian hostage but had others.

“I hope there is no Muslim among them.”

“No, none,” replied the killer.

Later the Pakistani handlers called the terrorists at the Oberoi Trident Hotel and spoke to those located on the 10th floor. The intercepted conversation goes as follows: “Kill all the hostages, except the two Muslims, keep your phone switched on so we can hear the gunfire.”

They reply, “We have three foreigners, including women from Singapore and China.”

Then the terrorist can be heard telling the hostages to line up, asking the two Muslims to stand to one side. Gunfire reverberates, followed by cheering from the terrorists.

IT IS interesting how quickly reports of these attacks downplay the guilt of the attackers and filter references to the focus on non-Muslims and the allowing some Muslims to escape the carnage. In November 2009 Fareed Zakaria at CNN did a special on the Mumbai transcripts. Zakaria claims the men were sent from Pakistan with “instructions simply to kill.” After playing one clip in which any reference to letting Muslims live is absent, he notes that “they were told to go to Mumbai and kill as many people as they could.” Actually they were told to go to Mumbai to kill non-Muslims.

Zakaria emphasizes that the terrorists were poverty-stricken children. “These are peasant boys,” he says. To his credit, he does play a transcript from the terrorist attack at Nariman house, where the Chabad center was targeted. The CNN host mentions the “animus against Jews” but then claims, “in the ’60s and ’70s most Indian Muslims would not even know where Palestine was.”

He compares the actions of the terrorists to “brainwashing... it’s sort of the Manchurian Candidate writ large.” Later in the program the presenter again attempts to emphasize how young the terrorists were “these are peasant boys... these kids seem like teenagers... it [their action] seems almost mercenary.”

Note how often Zakaria stresses that these were “boys” – he calls them “boys” twice, “kids” twice and “teenagers” once.

The only terrorist captured alive, Ajmal Kasab, was 21 at the time of the attacks.

The oldest attacker, Nasir Abu Umar, was 28, while the youngest was 20.

Why the conscious effort to redefine these men as children? Why the conscious decision not to include the part of the transcript including the instructions not to kill Muslims, and to paint the attack as indiscriminate? The real story was that these men set out to kill as many non-Muslims as possible.

The media seeks to hide this facet to foster the narrative of “unity,” yet presenting Muslims and non-Muslims as the victims of terror obscures the genocidal nature of the crime. When the radical, right wing Golden Dawn party gained popularity last year, the media highlighted the “antiimmigrant violence” it was involved in.

There was no downplaying the members as “peasant boys” or obscuring of who the violence was directed at.

THESE THREE examples – Mumbai, Khobar and Nairobi – are only the tip of the iceberg. From southern Thailand, to Mindanao in the Philippines, to Syria and beyond, the Islamist or jihadist mentality leads to the mass killing of either non- Muslims, or sometimes to the sectarian slaughter of Muslims, usually Shi’ites.

Hundreds of Shi’ites are massacred every year in Pakistan by the Taliban, for instance.

In many cases the terrorists separate Shi’ites from non-Shi’ites, usually identifying them by their first names. For instance, on August 17, 2012, it was reported that “gunmen wearing army uniforms checked the identification cards of the passengers, lined up the Shi’ite passengers on the roadside, tied their hands and then opened fire on them.” Sound familiar? Many over the years have identified Islamism as “Islamo-fascism” and argued that it champions a form of genocide. But it has not sunk in. We don’t prosecute terrorists as war criminals committing crimes against humanity. Instead, we often obfuscate the nature of terrorist attacks, pretending that terrorists are “misguided youth” who “set out to kill as many as possible.”

The genocidal nature of this type of terror is downplayed. The New York Times described the Nairobi perpetrators as “Shabaab militant attackers.” Really? When they killed 78-year-old Ghanian poet Kofi Awooner and Kenyan radio host Ruhila Adatia-Sood, was that part of a “military” operation? The scenes of piles of dead women sprawled on the floor of the mall; is that “militant?” In a Times article on the anniversary of the Ku Klux Klan bombing of a church in 1963 the perpetrators are not called “militants.” Yet the objectives and methods of the KKK were no different than the Shabaab or Taliban: the killing of specific groups. No one pretends the KKK “set out to kill indiscriminately.”

The KKK is estimated to have killed 4,743 people between 1882 and 1968. The number of primarily sectariantargeted killings in Iraq in 2012 was 4,574.

That’s just Iraq.

Adding up the number of victims from attacks patterned along the lines of the one carried out in Kenya, or the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in places such as Egypt and Northern Nigeria, would bring the number up to tens of thousands in the past decade – millions in the past century. This is a “soft” genocide, embodied by the firebombing of a church in Egypt or the shooting of Alawite truck drivers in Syria.

It is time to stop hiding what connects Mumbai to Westgate and Khobar. It is a worldwide campaign of ethnic cleansing and murder, and the world community must define this as a crime against humanity and not just as “terrorism.”

Sex Jihad and Western Disbelief

By Raymond Ibrahim

The sex jihad is back in the news. Last Thursday, during an address to the National Constituent Assembly, Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Bin Jeddo announced that Tunisian girls who had traveled to Syria to perform “sex jihad” had returned after being sexually “swapped between 20, 30, and 100 rebels and they come back bearing the fruit of sexual contacts [from pregnancies to diseases] in the name of sexual jihad and we are silent doing nothing and standing idle.”

Several video interviews with Tunisian females who went to the sex jihad further testify to the veracity of this phenomenon. For example, 19-year-old Lamia, upon returning, confessed how she was made to have sex with countless men—including Pakistanis, Afghanis, Libyans, Tunisians, Iraqis, Saudis, Somalis, and a Yemeni, all in the context of the “sex jihad, and that she and many other women were abused, beaten, and forced to do things “that contradict all sense of human worth.” Now back in Tunisia, Lamia has been to a doctor finding that she is five months pregnant. Both she and her unborn are carrying the aids virus (read her whole story).

Other interviewed women have told of how they were “fooled,” or how their husbands (they being one of four wives) divorced and sent them to Syria for the sex jihad, with assurances that they would be guaranteed paradise in the afterlife. One 16-year-old explained how her father ordered her to have sex with several jihadi “liberators.”

Due to the severity of this matter, since March, 6,000 Tunisians were banned from travelling to Syria; 86 individuals suspected of forming “cells” to send Tunisian youth to Syria have been arrested.

Back in April, Sheikh Othman Battikh, former Mufti of Tunisia, said before reporters that, “For Jihad in Syria, they are now pushing girls to go there. 13 young girls have been sent for sexual jihad. What is this? This is called prostitution. It is moral educational corruption.”

He was dismissed from his position as Mufti of Tunisia days later.

However, as I wrote back in June when reporting on the sex jihad phenomenon:
Muslim women prostituting themselves in this case is being considered a legitimate jihad because such women are making sacrifices—their chastity, their dignity—in order to help apparently sexually-frustrated jihadis better focus on the war to empower Islam in Syria.

And it is prostitution—for they are promised payment, albeit in the afterlife. The Koran declares that “Allah has purchased of the believers their persons [their bodies] and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain (Yusuf Ali trans. 9:111).
At any rate, while news that Muslim girls in hijabs are prostituting themselves in the name of Islam may be instinctively dismissed as a “hoax,” the fact is, Islamic clerics regularly issue fatwas permitting forbidden, if not bizarre, things.

The fundamental criterion is that they help the jihad to empower Islam.

For instance, not only did the original “underwear bomber” Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri hide explosives in his rectum to assassinate Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayef—they met in 2009 after the 22-year-old Asiri “feigned repentance for his jihadi views”—but, according to Shi’ite talk-show host Abdullah Al-Khallaf, he had fellow jihadis sodomize him to “widen” his anus to fit more explosives.

Al-Khallaf read the fatwa that purportedly justified such actions during a 2012 Fadak TV episode. After praising Allah and declaring that sodomy is forbidden in Islam, the fatwa asserted:
However, jihad comes first, for it is the pinnacle of Islam, and if the pinnacle of Islam can only be achieved through sodomy, then there is no wrong in it. For the overarching rule of [Islamic] jurisprudence asserts that “necessity makes permissible the prohibited.” And if obligatory matters can only be achieved by performing the prohibited, then it becomes obligatory to perform the prohibited, and there is no greater duty than jihad. After he sodomizes you, you must ask Allah for forgiveness and praise him all the more. And know that Allah will reward the jihadis on the Day of Resurrection, according to their intentions—and your intention, Allah willing, is for the victory of Islam, and we ask that Allah accept it of you.
Two important points emerge here: first, jihad is the “pinnacle” of Islam—for it makes Islam supreme; and second, the idea that “necessity makes permissible the prohibited.” Thus, because making Islam supreme through jihad is the greatest priority, anything and everything that is otherwise banned becomes permissible. All that comes to matter is one’s intention, or niyya (see Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s discussion along these lines).

Hence the many seeming contradictions in Islam: Muslim women must chastely be covered head-to-toe—yet, in the service of jihad, they are allowed to prostitute their bodies. Sodomy is forbidden—but permissible if rationalized as a way to kill infidels and/or apostates. Lying is forbidden—but permissible to empower Islam. Suicide is forbidden—but permissible during the jihad—when it is called “martyrdom.” Intentionally killing women and children is forbidden—but permissible during an Islamic jihad raid, as happened last weekend in both Peshawar and Nairobi.

One may therefore expect anything from would-be jihadis, regardless of how un-Islamic their actions may otherwise seem.

And yet, here in the West, many still refuse to believe the existence of such fatwas, habitually dismissing them as “hoaxes”—despite all the evidence otherwise: from a top Tunisian government official openly bemoaning the effects of the sex jihad on Tunisian girls, to several Arabic-language videos and reports of women discussing their experiences in the sex jihad.

Few things are more demonstrative of the arrogant mindset that proliferates amongst Western “progressives” than this inability to believe. And it’s quite ironic: for while supposedly “closed-minded” and “bigoted” conservatives tend to take the words, teachings, and deeds of Muslim clerics and jihadis at face value—and thus respect them as autonomous individuals—liberals, who always claim to “respect other cultures,” often reject as “hoaxes” any news that contradicts their culturally-induced worldviews—since apparently everyone in the world shares in their standards.

If that’s not an ethnocentric position—an especially dangerous one at that—what is?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Islam, Rape and Theology

By Bruce Bawer

Five days before 9/11, a famous Norwegian social anthropologist (and Norway may well be the only nation on Earth where there is such a thing as a famous social anthropologist) instructed her countrywomen that the way to bring down the high number of rapes – most of which, even way back then, were already being committed by “non-Western immigrants” – was for them to stop dressing in a manner that Muslim men found provocative. Norway, she lectured, was steadily becoming “a multicultural society,” and Norwegian women, if they didn’t want to wind up being brutally ravished in an alleyway by some Pakistani gang, should choose their wardrobes appropriately. Period.

That anthropologist, whose name is Unni Wikan, didn’t score any points that day for heroically championing women’s equality, but she was, at least, being honest. The rise in rapes in Norway – as throughout Western Europe – was almost entirely a product of Islamic immigration. That was a fact she didn’t attempt to disguise.

Then, however, came 9/11. And in the years since, there’s been a desperate effort by bien pensant types throughout Europe to deny that the ever-increasing incidence of rape on the continent has anything whatsoever to do with Islam. Some try to dismiss or explain away the numbers entirely; others grudgingly acknowledge them, while fiercely denying that there’s any Islamic connection at all; some, while admitting that a disproportionate number of rapists are immigrants, attempt to blame the problem on ethnic European racism, the idea being that immigrants grow so frustrated over their mistreatment that they resort to rape.

All of which is absurd to anyone who’s remotely aware of Islam teachings about sex and of the high incidence of rape in Muslim societies that is a direct consequence of those teachings. We’re talking about a religion that treats the male sex drive as a virtually holy phenomenon, and that allows men to have multiple marriages and divorce at will, even as it demands that females deny themselves even the most innocuous sorts of human contact in the name of preserving family honor – and that punishes a single infraction with death. In the view of Islam, when a man rapes an immodestly dressed woman, the rape isn’t his fault but hers; and when a Muslim rapes an infidel in the “House of War,” it’s recognized as a form of jihad. As forgiving as Islam is of virtually every imaginable heterosexual act that might be committed by a Muslim male, it’s equally unforgiving of a Muslim woman who happens to be caught alone, doing nothing whatsoever, with a male who’s unrelated to her, or who, for that matter, commits the inexcusable sin of being raped.

The only thing worse than being raped, moreover, is tattling about it. A couple of years ago, a Pakistani woman, Rooshanie Ejaz, contributed several very frank essays on rape in Muslim countries to the website of Norway’s Human Rights Service. Noting in a March 2011 piece that “sexual abuse is actively hidden in Pakistani society, and in Muslim society generally,” she said that “a large percentage of the people I have grown up with have experienced some form of it….Whether the act is committed by a cousin, uncle, house servant, or stranger, the victim is likely to be subjected to further abuse and emotional torment if she opens her mouth about it.”

One distinctive aspect of Islamic theology is its prescription of rape as a punishment – a punishment usually imposed upon some innocent female to avenge a crime committed by a male relative. In another 2011 piece, Ejaz cited a Pakistani village court’s recent decision in the case of a young man who’d been “seen with a young girl from a tribe superior to his”: it ordered several of the girl’s male relatives to gang-rape the guilty party’s sister, Mukhataran – who afterwards (as if the gang-bang itself weren’t enough) “was paraded nude” through the village. Sharia justice of this sort is commonplace in the Muslim world; the only thing special in this instance was that Mukhataran complained to the authorities and argued her case all the way up to the Pakistani Supreme Court – which, in the end, freed five of the six defendants, even as a chorus of prominent media figures and government leaders expressed sympathy for the rapists and dragged Mukhataran’s name through the mud.

Pakistan did pass a Women’s Protection Law in 2006 that allowed women to file rape charges even without the four male witnesses that sharia law requires. Before the law came along, 80% of Pakistani rape victims who dared to go to the cops ended up behind bars for adultery while their assailants remained free. Yet the law was a feeble instrument in a country drenched with Islam; and in late May, the Council of Islamic Ideology, an official body whose job it is to rule on the theological correctness of Pakistani legislation, announced that “DNA tests are not admissible as the main evidence in rape cases” and that, indeed, lacking those four male witnesses, you’re better off keeping quiet.

This rule doesn’t just apply to Pakistan, of course. In Afghanistan, where freedom from Taliban rule cost the U.S. and its allies thousands of lives and gazillions of dollars, the number of rape victims being sent to prison is actually on the rise. In April, the Daily Mail ran a harrowing account of a women’s prison in Kabul that’s full of inmates being punished for crimes of which they were the victims. (According to women’s-rights activists, “life for women is almost the same” in Afghanistan as under the Taliban.) Then there’s Iran, where, according to a 2010 Guardian article, the government uses “rape and the threat of rape as weapons against its opponents.” A 2009 piece in the Huffington Post quoted a young Iranian woman’s observation that rape victims in her country routinely keep silent about their victimization because “a young woman who has been raped can never be touched again.”

What about Syria? An April headline in the Atlantic didn’t pull punches: “Syria Has a Massive Rape Crisis.” A Syrian psychologist who works with rape victims said that she always tells families rape is “a way to break the family” and that she urges them, “Don’t let this break you – this is what they’re trying to do.” (To which the women respond: “Tell that to our husbands.”) A Toronto Star piece acknowledged that rape victims in Syria risk “being cast out or even killed to protect the family’s honour.” – yet managed, as so many of these reports in the Western media do, to omit entirely the words “Muslim” and “Islam.”

In wartime, Islam actively encourages the use of rape as a weapon and/or reward for the soldiers of Allah. On April 3, the Washington Times reported that Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-Ajlawni had issued a fatwa permitting Muslims who are fighting Assad’s regime to “capture and have sex with” non-Sunni women. Raymond Ibrahim observed the next day at Front Page that Aljawni wasn’t “the first cleric to legitimize the rape of infidel women in recent times”: a top Saudi preacher had recently green-lighted the gang-rape of captives, and an Egyptian imam had explained how to turn captured infidels into sex slaves. Yes, rape is almost invariably a side effect of war; but rape instigated by clergy and carried out in the name of God is an Islamic specialty.

In Libya, the number of rapes rose during its revolution – and has kept rising ever since. “Gaddafi used rape as a weapon,” one Libyan women’s-rights activist told the Guardian this month. “It was organized and systematic.” While rape victims aren’t imprisoned quite as often now as under Gaddafi, “there are still strong disincentives against speaking out, making it hard for victims to access help or to seek justice.” In March, two Pakistani-British women – who’d just participated in the latest convoy seeking to break Israel’s Gaza blockade – were gang-raped in Benghazi by a pack of Libyan soldiers.

So it goes. And yet when the growing incidence of rape in an increasingly Muslim Europe is discussed by politicians, academics, and mainstream journalists, such data are almost never adduced, the theological and cultural background to these phenomena almost never mentioned. In the last year or two I’ve written here about Oslo, where everyone found guilty of rape assault between 2006 and 2010 was “non-Western” (i.e. Muslim), and Sweden, with Europe’s second-highest percentage of Muslims and its highest rape figures; I’ve covered Britain‘s wave of Muslim “sex grooming” and Laurent Obertone’s documentation of Muslim rape in France.

All these developments have, of course, a common root – which it’s impossible to understand without a basic awareness of Islamic teachings about sex, gender roles, jihad, and so on. It’s all there, in the Koran, the fatwas, the sermons and public statements by those European imams who aren’t pretending to be building bridges and preaching love. No one who’s reasonably well acquainted with Islamic belief and practice should be surprised in the slightest by Europe’s rape epidemic. Unni Wikan (though her prescribed response to it was nothing but multicultural mush) saw it all quite clearly twelve years ago; Europe’s elites, however, persist in their refusal to recognize this epidemic as part of their continent’s transformation into a Muslim province. And so the statistics continue to soar.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dangerous Times: Putin the Peacemaker vs. Obama the Warmonger

By James Lewis

President Obama has now sabotaged four decades of stability in the Middle East.  First he pulled down the biggest pillar of peace, the Mubarak regime in Egypt; then he bombed Libya into the Dark Ages; and now he has paraded "My Army"  and "My Navy" against the Assad regime in Syria, which is just as evil as the rebels. 

The one thing Obama has never faced honestly is what everybody knows to be the real threat -- namely mullahs with nukes.

In the strangest twist of history, it is Obama the radical leftist who is now acting as the destabilizing warmonger in the Middle East, while Vladimir Putin may be emerging as a stabilizing  peacemaker.

Nobody can figure out whether Obama is the most hapless bumbler in history, or whether there is some sinister purpose behind it all.

It could be both.

But just as big a surprise is Putin's emerging role as a peacemaker.

Last week, we saw the first step in that process, when Putin and Assad agreed to allow supervised surrender of Syria's chemical weapons.  We can assume that Putin also assured Assad of his continuing support against American-supported al-Qaeda rebels, which makes the rebellion unwinnable.

Meanwhile, Egypt's new military ruler, General Al Sisi, is reaching out to Putin to help stabilize his position against the Muslim Brotherhood, the war fanatics whom Obama has been aiding.

The Saudis, seeing Iranian mullahs with nukes emerging 50 miles from their shores, are also looking to make a deal with Putin.  They have a lot of oil and money, and they cannot trust their American ally anymore.

If America bugs out, Russia is the obvious nuclear protector for the Saudis.  In international affairs, survival comes first.

Last year, Vladimir Putin paid a friendly visit to Israel, meeting with the Israeli cabinet in Jerusalem.

In the Syrian confrontation, Putin sent five warships to the Eastern Med, just as we did.  Those naval ships are not up to U.S. standards, but nobody wants to see a clash of the titans.  It's a no-win situation.

Finally, Russia may be the only nation that can scare the bejesus out of the mullahs.  The reason for that is very simple: Putin does not make idle threats.  Every single day for more than thirty years the mullahs have been chanting, "Death to Israel!  Death to America!"

But they never chant "Death to Russia!" because under Tsar Vladimir Putin, they are afraid to do so.  Putin can a very nasty enemy, with far more power than the mullahs have.

Putin can therefore wield more real power in the Middle East than Obama.

Look at his chips: he can threaten Iran, which nobody else dares to do with real credibility.  He can offer protection to Saudi Arabia, scared to death of Iran, only 50 miles away from Mecca and Medina.  He can supply Assad with all the weapons he needs to stay in power, just as long as the United States is willing to support the al-Qaeda rebels against Assad.  And he has no particular beef with Israel.  Putin is therefore a source of stability, not random overthrow of stable regimes.

America's decline as a serious international power goes directly to our failure to find a serious answer to mullahs with nukes.  That lack of seriousness started with Jimmy Carter, and it got much worse with Obama.  The Bushes kept respect for America alive in the Middle East, which respects only hard power.  But Obama, Carter, and Clinton sabotaged us and even surrendered to militant Islamists.

Russia is now the strong horse, and we are the weak horse.

Our weakness is not in our military, which is still the best in the world.

Our weakness is in our lack of political will under Democratic presidents.  We are unreliable in a harsh world that can't afford to risk flabby American presidents every four years.

Putin knows all about pushover liberals.  He rose in the Soviet KGB to become the head of the East German arm of Soviet intelligence.  The Soviets studied Western politics and penetrated West Germany at the highest levels of government.  Our Democrats are useful idiots in Lenin's meaning of that term, and they are not mysterious to Putin.  They can be rolled.  To hardnosed KGB thugs they are ridiculously easy to manipulate.

That makes Vladimir Putin potentially the most powerful player in the Middle East.  If the Saudis come to an arrangement with him, he can protect them against Iran.  One possibility is for the Saudis to coordinate oil prices with Russia, to their mutual benefit.

Putin is a Russian nationalist, like the tsars.  Russian rulers have long been nationalistic tyrants.  The tsars were also the heads of the Russian Orthodox Church, in exactly the way Queen Elizabeth is still the titular head of the Church of England.  The Tsars were religious tyrants.

If you google "Putin + Patriarch of Moscow," you'll get 360,000 hits, including fabulous news photos of Vladimir Putin kissing the ring of the patriarch, surrounded by those golden baubles they inherited from the Byzantine Empire.  Look at those pictures, and you see Putin the tsar.

In Russian legend, even Ivan the Terrible ended up confessing his sins to the Orthodox Church.  Putin is playing a role going back five centuries and more.

Russia needs a unifying ideology, and if it's not Communism, it has to be its ancient form of orthodox Christianity.  The Soviets tried to extirpate the Orthodox Church for seventy years and failed. 

To understand Putin the Peacemaker, consider two more facts.

1. Historically, all the Orthodox Christian churches were shaped by more than a thousand years of warfare against Muslim aggressors.  Putin does not have to learn about Muslim aggression -- unlike Obama, who can't seem to get what everybody else understands.  When Muslim terrorists attacked a full theater in Moscow and an elementary school in Beslan, Putin took a terrible revenge in Chechnya.  The liberal media never covered that war, but you can look it up.  Muslims fear Putin.  He takes no prisoners.

2. Like the English royals, the Russian tsars styled themselves as the protectors of Christians in their own country and abroad.  When Putin therefore expresses official Russian concern about vicious Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East, this is not just a shrewd political move.  It is also a signal that everybody understands.  The Orthodox Churches have ancient ties to Jerusalem, Damascus, and Istanbul, to name just three famous capital cities.

Putin is therefore adopting a traditional Russian approach to the world.  He is a realist who plays big-power politics.

Putin cannot tolerate a Muslim fascist regime with a nuclear martyrdom complex.  Putin knows about suicide bombers.  Chechen suiciders were involved in two great terrorist disasters at the beginning of his rule, the Beslan elementary school massacre and the Moscow theater massacre.  Putin can't doubt the danger of Muslim suiciders, unlike American leftists who keep trying to pretend that reality isn't what it is.

Vladimir Putin therefore knows in his very bones what Obama doesn't know: that suiciders with nukes are not acceptable.

Obama's pro-Muslim policies have to be driving the Kremlin  batty these days.  What is with this American president?  The Russians can understand American leaders acting in our national interest.  They can't figure out why this president seems to be empowering our sworn fanatical enemies: radical Sunnis in Arabia and radical Shi'ites in Iran.

Twelve years after 9/11/01, how dumb can these Americans be?

Iran is the only Muslim nation that has come unharmed out of the last five years of Obama.  That fabulous Arab Spring never spread to Iran, which needs a spring cleaning much more than Syria, Libya, and Egypt.  None of those Arab nations threatened the peace of the world.  Iran does so every single day.

History is full of amazing twists and turns.  The fall of the Soviet Union came as a surprise.  The takeover of America by the radical left was a surprise.  The miraculous coincidence of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II came as a surprise.  The Islamist-radical left alliance is still a big surprise, even after five years of Obama.

Nobody expected the rise of Putin's Russia in its old historical role.

In politics, surprise is the rule.

Obama’s Foreign Policy: Theatre of the Absurd

By Ari Lieberman

“President” Bashar Assad of Syria has responded to President Obama’s demand for WMD disarmament with some demands of his own.  First, he demands that the US drop its threats of use of force. Second, he demands that the US cease “arms deliveries to terrorists,” a euphemism for anyone wishing to overthrow Syria’s murderous warlord. Assad noted that once those demands are satisfied, he would be willing to provide “information” on his chemical weapons arsenal but only one month after becoming a signatory to an anti-chemical weapons convention.

Any analyst with the most basic rudimentary knowledge of Syria and Bashar Assad could have anticipated that Assad would not comply with any request for disarmament. Entertaining that notion demonstrates with utmost clarity how far removed from reality this administration has become. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the administration’s failed policies have drawn support from none other than  former president  Jimmy Carter, the man who introduced us to hyperinflation, who allowed 52 Americans to languish in a foreign prison for 444 days and whose answer to the energy crisis was to wear a sweater.

The President’s Middle Eastern follies commenced with his 2009 apology tour when he visited those democracy stalwarts of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iraq while ignoring America’s one and only true ally in the region, Israel. Then he coddled up to the Mid-East’s petty autocrats (who can forget the image of our president kneeling before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia?) and assorted Islamists in a misguided effort to forge relationships with nations lacking in basic morality and who have as much in common with us as Adolph Hitler had with Winston Churchill.

The President’s mishandling of the so-called Arab Spring has had devastating regional consequences and has sewn mistrust among allies. Israel watches as America and the EU vacillate between threats of “measured” strikes and diplomatic malaise. Israelis see an administration paralyzed with fear and indecision, a characteristic that has been the hallmark of this administration since taking office five years ago.

There is now no doubt among Israel’s decision makers that it is alone when it comes to the Islamic Republic of Iran, much the same way as it was alone when Egypt blockaded the Straits of Tiran in 1967. No one can doubt that Israel’s formidable military is up to the task. The Israelis bought the world a few years of peace when they destroyed Iraqi and Syrian atom bomb facilities, and Israel’s resolve was further underscored by a series of devastating military strikes against Syria this year.

After years of pursuing a failed foreign policy, one characterized by appeasement to autocrats, the administration has belatedly come to realize that other than Israel, it has no reliable ally in the region. Egypt has been wracked by a surge of violence, Iraq and Afghanistan are unraveling, Jordan’s little king is impotent and is due to be next in line in the Arab Spring’s domino effect and Turkey’s Islamist leaders are mired in conspiracy theories involving Jews and the “interest rate lobby.” Despite this, the Palestinian-obsessed administration still appears to be hell-bent on pressuring Israel to negotiate with Palestinian Holocaust deniers and those who propagate ancient Passover blood libels.

The President’s amateurish foreign policies have become a source of derision and amusement in domestic as well as foreign circles. The Russians have out-maneuvered us. The Chinese are ignoring us. Our enemies are mocking us and our traditional allies have grown to become suspicious of us.

The President’s continued waffling on critical issues involving national security as well as his penchant for alienating bedrock allies will have devastating international repercussions and will only serve to embolden our enemies.

The End of U.S. Foreign Policy?

By Herbert London

President Obama's speech to the nation laid out his plan for a limited attack against Syrian President Assad and his use of sarin gas. He made his case with passion. But in conclusion, he asked Congress to postpone its vote on military action because of an apparent Russian proposal to dispose of Syria's poison gas in return for the prohibition of U.S. force.

The diplomatic minuet with Russia is not only odd, it is dangerous. For the first time in memory U.S. foreign policy is hostage to a presumptive enemy. If the U.S. agrees to the Russian proposal, Putin will have more influence over the future of Syria than he does at the moment. In fact, the U.S. will be emasculated in the Middle East.

Russian influence will increase with the sale of weapons to Assad and its diplomatic power to assure Assad's survival. It will be clear to Lebanon, Hezbollah, Iran and various radicals that Russia is the "strong horse" in the region.

President Obama has been outfoxed. He makes the case for limited military action and then says "not so fast. Let's see what the Russians can do for us." Either there is a case for military force or there isn't. Does President Obama believe the Russians are sincere? If so, is he willing to foreswear the use of force in Syria?

The choices now available to President Obama are damaging. If he acts, but doesn't undermine Assad, he will be seen as ineffectual. If he doesn't act, the U.S. will be perceived as a toothless tiger sending a signal to Iran that its pursuit of nuclear weapons will not be forestalled. Either there is a "redline" that cannot be crossed or there isn't.

Is the military strike President Obama referred to limited or not? The president argues our military force doesn't engage in pinpricks, but what does a limited strike mean? This confusion also yields to Russian interests since Putin will argue that the presence of Russian ships off the Syrian coast limits U.S. military options.

President Obama speaks as if he is the first American president that has advocated peaceful solutions in the Middle East. His reliance on Congressional support as a Constitutional obligation is hypocritical since he avoided seeking this form of approval when the U.S. bombed Libya. It is far more likely that he turned to Congress because he wants justification for not acting or at least placing the burden of a decision on others.

At one point, President Obama said "Assad has to go." However, if the Russian proposal is accepted, Assad is likely to stay. It is Putin's play to keep Assad in power and simultaneously ensconce his influence in the region and diminish the role of the United States. Moreover, it appears as if we will be beholden to Russia for taking Obama off the hook. It may well be that Assad might willingly give up his chemical weapons since their effect has already been realized. His Russian allies could compensate for the loss of this deadly weapon through a stockpile of conventional weapons.

The leverage Russia has obtained comes at the expense of a flaccid, ineffective American foreign policy. Syria's war will be remembered by historians a decade from now as the event that undermined U.S. foreign policy. The inability of the U.S. to define its interests; the contradictory message of the president; the indecisiveness of the administration are conditions inscribed on the policy blackboards of our enemies. Weakness is easily detected. From Tehran to Beijing, from Hezbollah to Moscow, the scoundrels are on the ascendency. U.S. foreign policy has disappeared in the sands of the Middle East. Now the globe is in flux and the relative equilibrium we enjoyed since World War II is shattered.

What will the next generation think or will they be able to think about foreign policy at all?

Obama Flees In Terror Over Putin Armageddon Threat

By Sorcha Faal

A very frightening report prepared by the Office of the President (OoP) on the machinations behind the United States rapid retreat from using military action against Syriastates that President Obama was “strongly dissuaded” from attacking this Middle Eastern nation after President Putin threatened that should America strike, “Armageddon would be unleashed.”

According to this report, Putin and Obama met last week in a private meeting during the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg wherein the Russian leader warned his American counterpart that Syrian leader Assad was “fully prepared” to destroy the Tagba Dam holding back Lake Assad on the Euphrates River which would cause the largest man-made catastrophe ever to occur in the Middle East.

Putin further offered to Obama, this report says, a “last chance” to avert a total meltdown of the Middle East, should the US attack Syria, Russian technical assistance to secure all of Syria’s chemical weapons under United Nations control in exchange for America not attacking.

Obama “quickly rebuffed” Putin’s offer and warning, this report continues, whereupon Russian diplomats notified the Assad regime who, “within hours,” then launched a series of air strikes against the Tagba Dam using Russian made KAB-500L-K-E – cluster warhead bombs, but “holding in reserve” the highly feared bunker buster KAB-1500L-Pr that is able to penetrate 10-20 meters of earth or 2 meters of reinforced concrete and would destroy the Tagba Dam completely.

Immediately after the Assad regimes attack on Tagba Dam, this report says, Obama’s main allies in this Syrian civil war, the National Coalition Of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), issued a joint statement stating that this attack paved the way for an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe after the Syrian Air Force poured cluster bombs all over the surroundings of the dam and warning that eastern Syria was among the regions at stake of a new catastrophe.

Important to note, this report says, are that the areas close to the Tagba Dam are within the borders of Raqqa in northern Syria and have been under the control since mid-March by various factions of the FSA supported by the Obama regime.

The Tagba Dam is 60 meters high and 4.5 kilometers long and is the largest dam in Syria. Its construction enabled the creation of Lake Assad, Syria’s largest water reservoir, and should the Assad regime carry through on its threat to destroy it, this report continues, not only will Syria suffer catastrophe, but also Iraq.

Speaking to the Anadolu News Agency, Iraqi Rava district council member Musnah Ismail claimed that Rava, Ane and Al-Qaem districts will be flooded in case of a collapse, putting at least 300 thousand lives at risk along the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Another Iraqi water resources official said they have taken necessary precautions against possible flooding of agricultural areas and houses as well as oil basins.

Iraqi officials also alert that a collapse of the Tagba Dam will jeopardize around 430 historical sites and artifacts including the Ane Castle dating back to the Abbasid reign and a number of caves from the Hellenistic period.

Critical to note, this report says, is that the water crisis in Syria cannot be viewed in any other terms than one of the main causes of this civil war, as faced with critical water shortages, Syrians crowding these farm towns since 2009 at the stare of this nations historic drought had started drilling deeper for fresh water in the aquifer beneath them.

Experts estimated that 60 percent of the aquifer has been lost due to illegal drilling, and a total of 177 million-acre feet of water disappeared, the second-largest aquifer loss in the world.

So dire has the situation become in the eastern parts of Syria, Jay Famiglietti, a hydrologist and leader of a study of seven years of NASA satellite data that show the Tigris-Euphrates region second only to India in the speed of its groundwater loss warned earlier this past month, “I actually don’t think the aquifer will recover.

Internationally respected Israeli Professor Arnon Sofer, the head of the Chaikin geo-strategy group and a longtime lecturer at the IDF’s top defense college, where today he heads the National Defense College Research Center, further warned of this regions unprecedented population explosion aggravating its extreme water shortage by stating: “There is no example of this anywhere else on earth,” he said of the population increase. “Couple that with Syria’s water scarcity,” he said, “and as a geographer it was clear to me that a conflict would erupt.

Important to note are that the events happening today in drought-hit Syria have happened before: In 1973, when Iraq rushed troops to Syria’s eastern border as upstream, Syria began filling its Tagba Dam with Euphrates water to create Lake Assad, and in 1967 when Israel launched its 6 Days War that began due to Israel’s policy of diverting water fromthe Jordan River down to the Negev Desert.

This angered Arabs, who threatened to stem the flow of water into Lake Galilee and Syria had begun earthworks to divert water away from Israel but these were bombed by Israel in 1965 and 1966, and which, in 1967, caused Israel to launch a full-scale war to protect its water rights.

Upon the US learning of Syria’s attack on the Tagba Dam, this report says, Obama ordered a halt to any military action and “quickly fled” to Putin’s side in seeking a peaceful resolution to this war, while at the same time, and as always, still failing to tell the American people the truth about what is really happening.

As Syrian forces have now retaken the ancient Christian village of Maaloula where this past weekend Obama regime backed rebels forced conversions to Islam under threat of death, this report concludes, it should not be ruled out that the Assad regime will eventually destroy the Tagba Dam anyway, which if done would effectively leave the rebel held areas of Syria a desolate wasteland and the Obama regime, along with its Western allies, bearing the monumental costs of supporting them.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The attack on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi

By Tony Rennell

Fumbling in the dark, the American ambassador hurriedly pulled on bullet-proof body armour over his blue trousers and T-shirt. A shrill warning siren was sounding and the crash of gunshots could be heard, getting closer by the second.

‘Follow me, sir,’ urged a diplomatic bodyguard, gripping his M4 assault rifle, shouldering an additional pump-action shotgun and looking anxiously around him as they set out along blacked-out corridors. ‘We are under attack.’

It was 9.40pm in the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the second city of strife-torn Libya, a country trying to re-build itself in the aftermath of civil war and the ousting and killing of its mad dictator, Colonel Gaddafi.

The year was 2012 and the date hugely significant for the American and Arab worlds alike — September 11, the anniversary of the 9/11 attack by Islamic terrorists on the Twin Towers in New York.

To mark it, one of the many rogue militia armies that were now ripping Libya apart as the so-called Arab Spring turned sour fired up a mob to launch a murderous assault on this vulnerable U.S. outpost.

It was an attack that would not only cost American lives, but bring embarrassment and humiliation to the Obama White House that it has not been able to shrug off.

Heavily armed and flying the black flags of Al Qaeda, the terrorists arrived en masse at the eight-acre Mission Compound, whose outer defences — manned by local guards of doubtful loyalty — collapsed all too easily in the initial onslaught. A rocket-propelled grenade took out the front door of the ambassadors’ residence, and they were in.

As men poured through the opening, the safety of Ambassador Chris Stevens — who had flown into Benghazi for a week of talks with political leaders, businessmen and officials in the hope of bringing some peace and order to the troubled and violent city — was top priority for the handful of special agents of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service who were guarding him.

Stevens, 52, was a highly respected Arabist, a top-notch diplomat and an acknowledged friend of Libya. He believed fervently that with U.S. help the country would flourish.

But in Libya’s political and religious ferment, that made him a target. The Benghazi mission was a nervy place to be.

It had been set up in a hurry in response to the fast-moving political situation, with the result that basic security measures were far short of the norm in U.S. establishments in the Middle East.

Shockingly, Washington knew this. Just weeks earlier, agents on the ground in Libya had sent an emergency message detailing their fears that the post was under-manned, under-gunned and under-resourced, and was not capable of withstanding a major terrorist attack.

There were, for example, no sprinklers, smoke hoods and anti-fire foam. But nothing had been done, and it was now too late.

At least, though, there was a specially built safe haven at the heart of the main residence building, and it was into this room that the bodyguard bundled Stevens and an aide, 34-year-old Sean Smith, a communications wizard, and locked all three of them in behind its steel mesh gate, with a sense of relief.

‘Package and one guest secure, hunkered down,’ he reported on his hand-held radio to colleagues manning a command centre in a neighbouring barracks building.

All the three could do was wait until rescue arrived. They could only hope that help would reach them before the murderous bunch now ransacking the residence did.

What happened next was, for all the courage of the men involved, a catalogue of disaster and death. The events of that night have now been told for the first time in a new gung-ho, all-guns-blazing account.

As foreign governments debate the merits of strikes on the Assad regime in Syria, the book is a timely reminder of how American intervention in Middle Eastern trouble spots seems doomed to backfire, however well intentioned. In the eyes of fundamentalists in those regions, the U.S. is Satan — an enemy to be attacked and humiliated at any cost.

As Ambassador Stevens sat on the floor in the safe room making calls on his BlackBerry to local leaders pleading in vain for their help, he must have felt his dream of a free, regenerated and peaceful Libya going up in smoke.

Literally smoke, because by now the building was on fire, deliberately set alight by the dozens of armed intruders, some of whom had now reached the safe room and were peering menacingly through the grille.

Inside, the three Americans lay low, quiet and out of sight. The bodyguard — unnamed in the book for security reasons and identified only as Agent A — panned his gun sight at one screaming balaclavaed head after another as they appeared at the grille but held his fire rather than reveal their presence in what was now becoming a rapidly heating oven rather than a haven.

A stifling heat built up within the safe room, as clouds of black, acrid smoke crept in. On his knees, the bodyguard crawled through the choking darkness to what was now the only possible exit — a small iron-grilled window in the adjoining bathroom.

With great difficulty, he heaved it open and pulled himself out onto the roof of the building, signalling to Stevens and Smith to follow, believing they were right behind him. He coughed repeatedly to clear his soot-caked lungs and then stretched his arm back through the window to haul the other two out.

No hand came to meet his. There was no sign of either of them. They were lost in the choking smoke.

Bravely Agent A — his hands already scorched, his lungs hardly able to draw breath — plunged back into the smoke and flames to find them, not just once but five, six times. Each time he re-emerged to gasp a few lungfuls of air, bullets cracked around him from gunmen on the ground.

Frantic at having failed in a diplomatic guard’s number one priority, he yelled into his radio. ‘I don’t have the ambassador,’ he shouted at the embassy compound’s control centre.

The agents there were under siege too, barricaded in and surrounded by hostile fire. Now they gathered their strength, cleared the area outside the control centre with a grenade and then charged out, shooting at anyone who lingered.

Three of them made it across open ground to the residence and onto the roof where a distressed Agent A was still trying to rescue the Ambassador and his aide.

Soaking their shirts in water and wrapping them round their faces, they took over the search for the missing men, both by now certainly unconscious inside the smoke-filled safe room, their lives hanging in the balance.

Mercifully, help was at last coming.

A mile away was a heavily-fortified building used by the CIA for covert intelligence-gathering in Benghazi. Half the staff there were Special Forces veterans — now racing to the embassy, battering their way through road blocks and hails of hostile gunfire in armoured Mercedes 4x4s.

Equipped with full battle kit, they took back control of the Mission Compound, forcing the marauders out. But for how long?

In the streets outside, more gunmen, dissidents and demonstrators were massing, chanting their bloodlust like hyped-up fans at a football match.

‘Today we have attacked the infidels and avenged the honour of Islam,’ a voice screamed through a microphone. ‘Let’s go and finish the job!’

Meanwhile, back inside the safe room, the lifeless body of Sean Smith had at last been found and was carried out. But there was still no sign of Ambassador Stevens.

What if he had been captured? Visions of America’s diplomatic envoy being held for ransom, tortured, beheaded on film even — all recent fates of U.S. citizens who had fallen into jihadist hands — flashed through anxious minds. The search went on.

The mob, though, was pushing at the gates again, firing bullets into the compound, eager for a battle, hundreds of them against a dozen Americans. They swarmed into the grounds in the darkness. U.S. snipers fired, leaving casualties strewn on the manicured lawns, but still the mob came on, an unstoppable tide of hate.

There was no choice left for the Americans. They had to retreat or die.

Leaving without having found Ambassador Stevens was a terrible decision for the diplomatic service agents. Even supposing the man it was their job to protect was dead, there was the gut-wrenching prospect of his body falling into terrorist hands and being dragged through the streets, U.S. pride trampled in the dust.

But that thought had to be put aside. Escape was the only option. Cramming into armoured Land Cruisers, they pushed their way out of the compound and down roads filled with heavily armed men.

They exchanged machine gun fire with the mob and swerved to avoid volleys of grenades. The tyres were torn to shreds as they screamed round corners flat out until they screeched into the safety of the CIA base.

It was over, a chance now to tend their wounds .?.?. or was it?

The insurgents had not given up. If anything, they were more enraged and more determined than ever at having let their quarry get away.

They surrounded the CIA outpost in alarming numbers wielding machine guns and grenade launchers. As explosions rocked its walls, it was in real danger of being overrun.

The defence line was paper thin — just a handful of American snipers in vantage points on the roof as overhead, a U.S. Predator drone cruising backwards and forwards sent back to the defenders vivid images of the sheer scale of the attack being mounted against them.

Not even the seven-man hit squad of trained commandoes that had finally made it by air from the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, the capital city, to back up the Americans in Benghazi could swing the situation in their favour.

Short of all 34 of them dying where they stood in a last-ditch Alamo defence, they would have to get out.

Frantically, nervous CIA agents shredded classified files and took sledgehammers to computers and hard drives brimming with secrets, anxious that nothing should fall into enemy hands.

As preparations were made to break out of the compound, another furious attack began, this time with an even deadlier weapon — mortars.

Perched up on a roof, two former Navy Seals, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were picking off the attackers with their Mk 46 automatics when a mortar shell hit their position. Woods died instantly, his friend Doherty seconds later, killed by another mortar round. Shrapnel cut down other defenders.

Dawn was breaking, and in the early morning light the next onslaught could well be final.

The battle was about to be lost, Americans slaughtered, their nation humbled. But the Libyan army saved the day. As the sun rose, Special Forces soldiers from its Military Intelligence section came barrelling in with orders to get the Americans out of the country as quickly as possible. The terrorist mob was driven back.

As the Muslim morning call to prayer echoed around Benghazi, 32 weary survivors packed themselves and crate-loads of CIA equipment into a convoy of vehicles and drove under escort to the airport for a rapid exit from this place of destruction and death. They carried with them the bodies of Smith, Doherty and Woods.

But what of Ambassador Stevens? He had choked to death in the flames of his residence, his body unrecovered by his team.

At the now deserted Mission Complex, looters wandered into the still burning remains of the ambassador’s home. Abandoned weapons, furniture, iPods, mobile phones, the ambassador’s clothes, his luggage, cigars, bottles of water — everything was carried off in triumph.

Eventually they forced their way into the safe room — and there was Stevens’s blackened body. It was carried out, laid on the ground, propped up to be photographed and the pictures flashed around the world to be gawped at.

Much worse indignities could well have been heaped on it. Twenty years earlier, the corpse of an American soldier had been dragged through Mogadishu in Somalia. The photograph was seen all over the world.

Instead, local Libyan men — dressed in jeans and football shirts rather than the jihadists’ uniform of dark shirts and combat trousers — lifted the ambassador’s body into a car to rush it to Benghazi’s main hospital. There doctors worked for 90 minutes in a desperate attempt to resuscitate him.

It was a futile task, but the fact that it was attempted at all in the circumstances is a surprise.

Even now there were Libyans who wanted to distance themselves from the terrorists and send a message to Washington that not everyone in that benighted country was its enemy.

Stevens’s remains were taken to the airport, loaded on a plane and, along with the other three bodies and the survivors, flown out. The Benghazi raid was over — but its aftermath haunts U.S. foreign policy.

In a speech paying tribute to those who died, President Barack Obama was emphatic that the U.S. would not be deterred from its global mission. But his John Wayne confidence in America as the world’s policeman has now backfired.

His allies edge away from intervention in Syria, and U.S. voters show an understandable reluctance for their country’s soldiers and diplomats to put their lives at risk in far off desert nations.

A year on, the Benghazi raid is the focus of bitter contention in the U.S., where accusations are made by senators and conspiracy theorists alike that the Obama administration covered up — and continues to obscure — failings that led to an ambassador and three other Americans dying in such horrendous circumstances.

Why was the attack not anticipated by intelligence sources? Why were warnings ignored that the mission building was inadequate for its job?

Was the response from Washington on the night in question bungled? What precisely did the President know and when? Or did he sleep though the whole thing?

The questions seem even more pointed in the light of allegations that the survivors have allegedly been silenced.

Under this continuing cloud of suspicion, the damage caused by the insurgents in Benghazi that fearful night may sadly end up running far deeper than even the most hardened jihadist fanatic could have imagined.

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