Islam —– A Wakeup Call

Islam — A wakeup Call

Recent events with Hezbollah raise many questions about the real intent of Islam. Islam is an ideology an Islamic revolution hiding in the guise of a benign religion. Lebanon is under the control and influence of Iran and Syria. This puppet regime is now being used to destabilize the region and divert attention from Iran’s atomic weapons program. With the region in turmoil the western media focus is successfully diverted from Iran and its weapons program.

This current Islamic revolution began in the 1970’s under Ayatollah Khomeini. Islamic operatives were sent to universities all over the world to feign seeking higher education and to disappear into the fabric of the society, build an Umma (Islamic community), and to wait for instructions about how to embed Islam in the politics of foreign societies.

Ayatollah Khomeini knew the formula that would launch his Islamic Revolution successfully:

• An ideology that radically mobilizes young, restless, and unemployed Muslims.
• Older mature leadership that personifies the ideology – i.e., black turbans signifies a direct descent from Muhammad himself. Grand Ayatollahs as well as Hasan Nasrallah wear black turbans.
• Military know-how to arm the revolution.
• Funds and weapons in ample supply.
• Supporting states that provide safe havens for training.

One of Ayatollah Khomeini’s pet Islamic Revolution programs, launched in the 1970s was terrorist training schools in Iran. One of the most important was several Iranian airports dedicated to training pilots to fly large airplanes into tall buildings. Syria too became involved then under the leadership of the late Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad, father of Bashir al-Assad.

Though Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds the spotlight for his daily insanity, he does not really hold the power reigns in either Iran, nor in areas where the Islamic Revolution has stretched its tentacles. The term Ayatollah might be better understood by the Western mind by thinking of Catholicism’s Pope who calls himself the “Vicar of Christ.” Ayatollah could be translated as Allah’s Sign upon the earth. If so, then, Grand Ayatollah would be “The Shadow of Allah passing across the Earth.” The black turbaned Ayatollahs of Iran claim a direct genetic line to Muhammad. These are the power brokers of the Islamic Shi’ite Middle East. President Ahmadinejad may posture for the West, but he receives his marching orders from Iran’s Ayatollahs. The nerve center for Iranian spiritual leadership is Qom, some 60 miles southwest of Iran’s capital city of Tehran. Qom is the Shi’ite University that turns out Ayatollahs. However, it is important to understand also that the title of Ayatollah is not just a graduate degree . . . One must be commended by peers and ordained as an Ayatollah.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has spent $20 million US renovating the Jamkaran Mosque in Qom in preparation for the coming of Islam’s Messianic figure, the Mahdi. A prerequisite for the arrival of this Islamic Messiah is chaos in the earth. Just today, Ahmadinejad announced that he is ready for World War III and that it may begin next week. Iran’s real plan in giving Nasrallah the go ahead to attack Israel in a shocking unprovoked manner is simply to gain Iran time to accomplish their nuclear ambitions without the West’s media spotlight shining on their plans. This has been accomplished in grand manner and Iran and Syria are more than willing to keep supplying Nasrallah’s fighters with every manner of rocket they can smuggle to them. As a matter of fact, Israel has found Iranian made rockets capable of reaching Jerusalem and Beer Sheva.

We are naïve in the extreme if we believe that negotiation is going to work with the countries involved in this revolution. Mohamed himself made treaties that he later broke when it suited his desires. If the prophet of Islam was untrustworthy how can we trust any of its adherents?

We must recognize that this is an ideology that wants nothing less than complete world domination by any and all means.

All Islamic institutions should and must be under the closest of scrutiny and subject to be held accountable for seditious acts. Do not be fooled the mosques in the U. S. teach that Islam must conquer the west. The mosques have already discussed putting in Shira law to replace our system of justice. All it takes is for Muslims to become a majority in a community.

No other religious group would be allowed this freedom it would fall under the hate law conventions.

Islam is militantly anti-Semitic and what is not commonly known militantly anti Christian. In actual fact any non Muslim is subject to attack.

Even opposing sects of Islam are not recognized by other adherents Ie. Shiites and Sunnis are in opposition. The most orthodox of the Muslim groups are the Wahabis of Saudi Arabia . The only reason that the Suad regime is friendly to the U. S. is for oil revenue and protection from takeover by the Shiites.

We can no longer keep our naïve attitude about Islam it is not a religion but an ideology that makes communism and fascism look benign.

Wake up it’s a new and frightening day. We must be alert and get the correct facts. Do your homework get the facts. The western news media has shown Israel to be the aggressor , that is far from the truth.

Bud Simmons

Rove Blasts Journalists’ Role in Politics

Rove Blasts Journalists’ Role in Politics
By WILL LESTERThe Associated PressSaturday, July 29, 2006; 9:02 PM
WASHINGTON — Presidential adviser Karl Rove said Saturday that journalists often criticize political professionals because they want to draw attention away from the “corrosive role” their own coverage plays in politics and government.
“Some decry the professional role of politics, they would like to see it disappear,” Rove told graduating students at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. “Some argue political professionals are ruining American politics _ trapping candidates in daily competition for the news cycle instead of long-term strategic thinking in the best interest of the country.”
But Rove turned that criticism on journalists.
“It’s odd to me that most of these critics are journalists and columnists,” he said. “Perhaps they don’t like sharing the field of play. Perhaps they want to draw attention away from the corrosive role their coverage has played focusing attention on process and not substance.”
Rove told about 100 graduates trained to be political operatives that they should respect the instincts of the American voter.
“There are some in politics who hold that voters are dumb, ill informed and easily misled, that voters can be manipulated by a clever ad or a smart line,” said Rove, who is credited with President Bush’s victories in the 2000 and 2004 elections. “I’ve seen this cynicism over the years from political professionals and journalists. American people are not policy wonks, but they have great instincts and try to do the right thing.”
Rove said it is “wrong to underestimate the intelligence of the American voter, but easy to overestimate their interest. Much tugs at their attention.”
But he said voters are able to watch campaigns and candidates closely and “this messy and imperfect process has produced great leaders.”
___
By WILL LESTERThe Associated PressSaturday, July 29, 2006; 9:02 PM
WASHINGTON — Presidential adviser Karl Rove said Saturday that journalists often criticize political professionals because they want to draw attention away from the “corrosive role” their own coverage plays in politics and government.
“Some decry the professional role of politics, they would like to see it disappear,” Rove told graduating students at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. “Some argue political professionals are ruining American politics _ trapping candidates in daily competition for the news cycle instead of long-term strategic thinking in the best interest of the country.”
But Rove turned that criticism on journalists.
“It’s odd to me that most of these critics are journalists and columnists,” he said. “Perhaps they don’t like sharing the field of play. Perhaps they want to draw attention away from the corrosive role their coverage has played focusing attention on process and not substance.”
Rove told about 100 graduates trained to be political operatives that they should respect the instincts of the American voter.
“There are some in politics who hold that voters are dumb, ill informed and easily misled, that voters can be manipulated by a clever ad or a smart line,” said Rove, who is credited with President Bush’s victories in the 2000 and 2004 elections. “I’ve seen this cynicism over the years from political professionals and journalists. American people are not policy wonks, but they have great instincts and try to do the right thing.”
Rove said it is “wrong to underestimate the intelligence of the American voter, but easy to overestimate their interest. Much tugs at their attention.”
But he said voters are able to watch campaigns and candidates closely and “this messy and imperfect process has produced great leaders.”
___

ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM FACTS

ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM FACTS

1. ISRAEL BECAME A STATE IN 1312 B.C., TWO MILLENNIA BEFORE ISLAM;
2. ARAB REFUGEES FROM ISRAEL BEGAN CALLING THEMSELVES “PALESTINIANS” IN 1967, TWO DECADES AFTER (MODERN) ISRAELI STATEHOOD;
3. AFTER CONQUERING THE LAND IN 1272 B.C., JEWS RULED IT FOR A THOUSAND YEARS AND MAINTAINED A CONTINUOUS PRESENCE THERE FOR 3,300 YEARS;
4. THE ONLY ARAB RULE FOLLOWING CONQUEST IN 633 B.C. LASTED JUST 22 YEARS;
5. FOR OVER 3,300 YEARS, JERUSALEM WAS THE JEWISH CAPITAL. IT WAS NEVER THE CAPITAL OF ANY ARAB OR MUSLIM ENTITY. EVEN UNDER JORDANIAN RULE, (EAST) JERUSALEM WAS NOT MADE THE CAPITAL, AND NO ARAB LEADER CAME TO VISIT IT;
6. JERUSALEM IS MENTIONED OVER 700 TIMES IN THE BIBLE, BUT NOT ONCE IS IT MENTIONED IN THE QUR’AN;
7. KING DAVID FOUNDED JERUSALEM; MOHAMMED NEVER SET FOOT IN IT;
8. JEWS PRAY FACING JERUSALEM; MUSLIMS FACE MECCA. IF THEY ARE BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES, MUSLIMS PRAY FACING MECCA, WITH THEIR BACKS TO JERUSALEM;
9. IN 1948, ARAB LEADERS URGED THEIR PEOPLE TO LEAVE, PROMISING TO CLEANSE THE LAND OF JEWISH PRESENCE. 68% OF THEM FLED WITHOUT EVER SETTING EYES ON AN ISRAELI SOLDIER;
10. VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE JEWISH POPULATION OF MUSLIM COUNTRIES HAD TO FLEE AS THE RESULT OF VIOLENCE AND POGROMS;
11. SOME 630,000 ARABS LEFT ISRAEL IN 1948, WHILE CLOSE TO A MILLION JEWS WERE FORCED TO LEAVE THE MUSLIM COUNTRIES;
12. IN SPITE OF THE VAST TERRITORIES AT THEIR DISPOSAL, ARAB REFUGEES WERE DELIBERATELY PREVENTED FROM ASSIMILATING INTO THEIR HOST COUNTRIES. OF 100 MILLION REFUGEES FOLLOWING WORLD WAR 2, THEY ARE THE ONLY GROUP TO HAVE NEVER INTEGRATED WITH THEIR CORELIGIONISTS. MOST OF THE JEWISH REFUGEES FROM EUROPE AND ARAB LANDS WERE SETTLED IN ISRAEL, A COUNTRY NO LARGER THAN NEW JERSEY;
13. THERE ARE 22 MUSLIM COUNTRIES, NOT COUNTING PALESTINE. THERE IS ONLY ONE JEWISH STATE. ARABS STARTED ALL FIVE WARS AGAINST ISRAEL, AND LOST EVERY ONE OF THEM;
14. FATAH AND HAMAS CONSTITUTIONS STILL CALL FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL. ISRAEL CEDED MOST OF THE WEST BANK AND ALL OF GAZA TO THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY, AND EVEN PROVIDED IT WITH ARMS;
15. DURING THE JORDANIAN OCCUPATION, JEWISH HOLY SITES WERE VANDALIZED AND WERE OFF LIMITS TO JEWS. UNDER ISRAELI RULE, ALL MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN HOLY SITES ARE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL FAITHS;
16. OUT OF 175 UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS UP TO 1990, 97 WERE AGAINST ISRAEL; OUT OF 690 GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTIONS, 429 WERE AGAINST ISRAEL;
18. THE U.N. WAS SILENT WHEN THE JORDANIANS DESTROYED 58 SYNAGOGUES IN THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM. IT REMAINED SILENT WHILE JORDAN SYSTEMATICALLY DESECRATED THE ANCIENT JEWISH CEMETERY ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, AN D IT REMAINED SILENT WHEN JORDAN ENFORCED APARTHEID LAWS PREVENTING JEWS FROM ACCESSING THE TEMPLE MOUNT AND WESTERN WALL.
THESE ARE TRYING TIMES. WE MUST ASK OURSELVES WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING, AND WHAT WE WILL TELL OUR GRANDCHILDREN ABOUT OUR ACTIONS DURING THIS CRISIS, WHEN WE HAD THE CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

UNCOVERED: RUSSIAN-SYRIAN-IRANIAN AXIS

This is from Hal Lindsey’s website. Dana

Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 20:16:37 -0600
DATED 07/24 3PM EST – Urgent Intelligence Update
UNCOVERED: RUSSIAN-SYRIAN-IRANIAN AXIS
For students of Bible prophecy, even the title of this communiqué should set off alarm sirens. I just received some electrifying intelligence data. First, from the Debka-Net-Weekly’s briefing. And second, from some personal intelligence sources (I carefully guard) that confirm Debka’s report.
Russia, Iran and Syria have entered a defense pact that is in the process of altering the balance of power in the entire Middle East. Russia’s part in the pact has been kept relatively secret for a long time. But the facts reveal a long steady Russian commitment to the Iranian nuclear program and arms supply to Syria.
A Mossad General shared with me in confidence that he had personally traced the hiring and importation to Iran 283 of the defunct Soviet Union’s top nuclear and missile scientists. This meeting took place in February of 1991.
I shared this information with no one until nine months later when it was first made public (although strangely not followed up by the mainstream media). All Russian leaders continued and expanded this agreement to this day, especially our supposed friend, Vladimir Putin.
Russia has helped the Iranian nuclear program from its inception. Hundreds of Russian scientists with their families live around the some twenty scattered nuclear related facilities. Russian ‘Spetznaz soldiers’ (special forces) guard all the key nuclear facilities.
Iran has had some help on missile development from the North Koreans. But even their missiles are based upon Russian designs. The unmistakable culprit in China, North Korea and Iran’s nuclear development has been the Soviet Union and continued by Russia.
The Soviet Union’s motivation for helping China and North Korea was primarily ideological. Russia’s primary reason is hard cash, although now, it is taking on a strategic importance as well.So here are the disturbing hard facts about what is taking place in what can only be viewed as a dangerous anti-western strategy in the form of a Russian-Syrian-Iranian Axis.
The first part of this strategy was, as I said above, Russia enabling Iran to produce deliverable nuclear warheads.The second part was the forming of the recent mutual defense pact between Iran and Syria. The foreign ministers of Iran and Syria, Mostafa Najjar and Hassan Turkmani, signed the pact in Tehran on June 15th, 2006.
Debka’s intelligence sources unveiled a disturbing clause in the agreement that was reported to President Bush by US Intelligence. This report disclosed:”The clause speaks of more than one battery of upgraded SHEHAB-3 surface-to-surface missiles to be deployed on the 13,000-foot Jabal Ash Shanin ridges towering over central Syria.
“The latest Syrian-Iranian exchanges are reported by DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s intelligence sources as auguring the early dispatch from Tehran of a deputation of officers to take up position at al Qadnus, east of the Syrian port of Tartus, and along the road linking the port to Jabal Ash Shanin. “This team will act as the vanguard of the Iranian missile force to operate the missiles station, will check out the ground and fix its precise location.
“Senior intelligence officials warned the US President that this deployment would not just throw the entire Middle East balance of strength out of kilter, but directly menace American bases as far as West and East Europe and the Central Asian republics, including those located on the shores of the oil-rich Caspian Sea.”
This puts virtually all of Europe within range of the soon-coming nuclear tipped Iranian missiles — and at the whim of Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Remember him? He is the one who believes Allah has chosen him to fulfill an “end time” Muslim prophecy by starting a world apocalypse in which the long-awaited ‘Mahdi’ (Muslim Messiah) will appear and subject all survivors to Allah.
As if this isn’t bad enough news, there is something even more alarming developing within this new axis of evil. Russia is now making moves to protect Syria and its Shehab-3 missile base. This is what DEBKA-News-Weekly reported:
“Our sources have observed the Russians dredging the port of TARTUS, Syria’s second most important Mediterranean port, with a view to expanding their logistical supply point there to a fully-equipped naval base, possibly to serve the Black Sea Fleet warships when they are redeployed from the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol. It is designed to be built up into the permanent base for the fleet led by the RFS Moskva (TG Flag) missile cruiser and the RFS Azov landing ship within the next three years.
“February 27, 2006, DEBKA file’s exclusive sources found the MOSKVA and AZOV heading into the Mediterranean on Feb. 5, escorted by a Russian military tug, to take part in the a NATO marine exercise Operation Active Endeavor, which was to practice counter-measures against nuclear and other WMD smugglers. NATO chiefs and American generals in particular, attached great importance to Russia’s participation in the exercise. NATO secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer had intended to make the gesture of being the North Atlantic Organization chief to visit a Russian flagship.
“The visit was cancelled when it was discovered that the three Russian fleet vessels would be paying an official call at the Syrian port of Latakia.”The arrival of the Russian task force in TARTUS in March marked the opening of the Russian base. Our military experts note that the Missile Cruiser MOSKVA is armed with the weapons, radar and electronic gear of an [aircraft] carrier hunter.
“The American intelligence briefing for the US President further disclosed that sophisticated Russian air defense systems are to be installed for the dual purpose of protecting the TARTUS NAVAL BASE and the SHEHAB-3 missile emplacements. DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military sources identify the system as the S-300PMU-2. It will be operated by Russian military crews and not put in Syrian hands.
“This air defense system is comparable to the American Patriot, but is more effective.”The version to be deployed in Syria is geared to intercept ballistic missiles. It has the great advantage of being ready to fire five minutes after receiving orders …”
This explains why Iran has blatantly defied the world and continued developing nuclear warheads, which are closer to becoming operational than we dare believe. Second, it explains the reason why the Iranian and Syrian defense ministers signed a mutual defense pact last June 15th.
Third, it gives the reason for Hezbollah launching a war with Israel when they did. It was to divert the G-8 leaders from seriously debating action about the Iranian nuclear threat. And Vladimir Putin played a masterful game of concealing what his forces are doing.
Fourth, it explains why Syria and Iran are unafraid to openly support Hezbollah in their war with Israel and support terrorist that target US troops in Iraq. Russia is in the background guaranteeing their protection. Debka reports that they found data indicating that Russia helped persuade Syrian President Bashir Assad to accept the placement of Iranian missiles on their soil by hinting that “it is part of their own deepening strategic plans for Syria.
What is most important is that all this is setting up Ezekiel’s 2600-year-old prophecy in Ezekiel chapter 38. Persia, or modern Iran, is listed a chief among the Muslim nations Russia will lead into an all-out assault against Israel. This is predicted to be the first battle of the war of Armageddon. The one nation that does not seem to be listed is Syria. I believe this is because as a result of actions it is now taking against Israel, Isaiah’s prophecy about Damascus in the last days is going to be soon fulfilled.
Twenty Seven hundred years ago, Isaiah warned, “An oracle concerning Damascus: “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins … In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away.” (Isaiah 17:1, 4 NIV) To establish the time of this event, look at these factors. First, Damascus is one of the oldest continuously populated cities on earth. It has never been totally destroyed – yet.
Second, it is in a context of events that lead up to the catastrophes that precede the Lord Jesus’ Second Coming. Third, it is far enough away from that event that Jacob (Israel) is enduring terrible circumstances. Fourth, Syria and the tribal name of its forefathers are not mentioned in the Russian led Muslim Confederacy that launches Armageddon in the middle of the Tribulation.
All of this leads me to believe that Damascus will be destroyed before the Tribulation begins. I believe that Damascus is about to so threaten Israel’s existence by either launching or furnishing bio-chemical weapons or radioactive dirty bombs, that Israel will nuke them. Israel has sworn that it will implement the Samson-Option against any nation that attacks them with any form of weapons of mass destruction. That means a thermonuclear strike. This may soon happen to Syria.
This in turn will so terrify the world, that it will be ripe to embrace the antichrist when he is unveiled. And that could be very, very soon.
Thank God that you have received the gift of pardon that Jesus purchased by dying in your place under the judgment for your sins. You will be miraculously snatched up to heaven to meet Him before the antichrist is revealed.
But if you haven’t received this free gift of pardon and accepted Jesus into your life, now is the time. Don’t put it off. It is like playing Russian roulette with eternity. Pray right now and receive your forgiveness. Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and make it what He wants it to be. He will give you new desires, new joy and purpose for living. Do it now.

Cease-Fire to Nowhere


July 30, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist
Cease-Fire to Nowhere
By DAVID BROOKS
There are victory markers strewn across southern Lebanon commemorating the last time Israel withdrew from that land. While reporting a piece for The New Yorker a few years ago, Jeffrey Goldberg would come upon them by the roads. It was like seeing the battle markers at Gettysburg or Antietam, he wrote.
One brightly colored sign, written in both Arabic and (rough) English, marked the spot where “On Oct. 19, 1988 at 1:25 p.m. a martyr car that was body trapped with 500 kilograms of highly exploding materials transformed two Israeli troops into masses of fire and limbs.”
Busloads of tourists would take victory tours and stop at the prominent sights. Before the current war, there were gift shops and, in at least one place, a poster showing a Hezbollah fighter lifting a severed Israeli head. It all testified to the magnetism of a successful idea: that Muslim greatness can be restored through terrorism.
Some people believe that terrorists are driven by desperation, but if you read the statements by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and other Hezbollah leaders, it’s obvious that their movement has been inspired by opportunity and nourished by success. And the big news last week was that most of the world is calling for an immediate Lebanese cease-fire and another Israeli withdrawal.
If that happens, Nasrallah will be able to build another chain of victory markers. There will be a missile- launcher monument in Tyre. There will be a terror gift shop in Maroun al-Ras. Hell, he’ll probably build a suicide-bomber theme park in Bint Jbail.
Nasrallah himself will become a legend, and teens across the region will be electrified by his glory.
Many of those calling for this immediate cease-fire are people of good will whose anguish over the wartime suffering overrides long-term considerations. Some are European leaders who want Hezbollah destroyed but who don’t want anybody to actually do it. Some are professional diplomats, acolytes of the first-class-cabin fundamentalism that holds that “talks” and “engagement” can iron out any problem, regardless of the interests and beliefs and fanaticisms that make up the underlying reality.
The best of them have a serious case to make. It’s true, they say, that Israel may degrade Hezbollah if it keeps fighting, but it may also sow so much instability that it ends up toppling the same Lebanese government that it is trying to strengthen.
They point to real risks, but if a cease-fire is imposed now, there won’t be only risks. There will be dead certainties. If Hezbollah emerges from this moment still strong, it will tower like a giant over the Lebanese government. Extremist groups around the world will be swamped with recruits. Iran’s prestige will surge. The defenders of nation states and the sponsors of Resolution 1559 will be humiliated. Israel’s deterrence power will be shattered.
It is dead certain that this cease-fire will not last, any more than the cease-fires of ’78 or ’93 or ’96 lasted. And most important, the idea — that the Muslim renaissance will come through terror — will dominate the sky like the bright summer sun.
That idea is the key to the whole string of crises in this decade of jihad. Lebanon is a chance to show that the death cult is not invincible.
To its enormous credit, the Bush administration has kept its focus on that core reality, and it has developed a strategy to reverse the momentum: let Israel weaken Hezbollah, then build an international force to help create a better Lebanon.
Yet, having spent a week on the phone with experts and policy makers, I’d be lying if I said that I was optimistic the strategy will work. The renovation of Lebanon will require scaffolding, and the fact is the scaffolding of the West is corroding at every joint.
The U.S. lacks authority because of Iraq. Over the past few days, Israel has grown wary of getting into Lebanon, because it might have no help getting out. The Europeans, being the Europeans, are again squandering a chance to play a big role in world affairs. The “moderate” Arabs are finding that if you spend a generation inciting hatred of Israel you will wind up prisoner to groups who hate Israel more than you do. The U.N. is simply feckless.
The U.S. is right to resist the calls for a quick-fix cease-fire. But when you step back, you see once again the power of ideas. The terrorists are more unified by their ideas than we in the civilized world are unified by ours.

The roots of today’s Hezbollah war against Israel began

This is a must read

Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hizballah

Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hizballah
In line with my brief posting here. Note the information about Hizballah launching attacks from civilian Christian areas. That way, if Israel responds, civilians are killed, giving Hizballah grist for its propaganda mill, but the dead civilians are just Christians, so no harm, no foul. “Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hezbollah,” from, of all places, the New York Times, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
TYRE, Lebanon, July 27 — The refugees from southern Lebanon spilled out of packed cars into the dark street here Thursday evening, gulping bottles of water and squinting in the glare of the headlights to find family members and friends. Many had not eaten in days. Most had not had clean drinking water for some time. There were wounded swathed in makeshift dressings, and a baby just 16 days old.
But for some of the Christians who had made it out in this convoy, it was not just privations they wanted to talk about, but their ordeal at the hands of Hezbollah — a contrast to the Shiites, who make up a vast majority of the population in southern Lebanon and broadly support the militia.
“Hezbollah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets,” said Fayad Hanna Amar, a young Christian man, referring to his village. “They are shooting from between our houses.”
“Please,’’ he added, “write that in your newspaper.”
[...]
Many Christians from Ramesh and Ain Ebel considered Hezbollah’s fighting methods as much of an outrage as the Israeli strikes. Mr. Amar said Hezbollah fighters in groups of two and three had come into Ain Ebel, less than a mile from Bint Jbail, where most of the fighting has occurred. They were using it as a base to shoot rockets, he said, and the Israelis fired back.
One woman, who would not give her name because she had a government job and feared retribution, said Hezbollah fighters had killed a man who was trying to leave Bint Jbail.
“This is what’s happening, but no one wants to say it” for fear of Hezbollah, she said.
Note that the New Duranty Times provides no supporting evidence for its assertion that these Lebanese Christians are outraged by the Israeli strikes as much as they are by Hizballah — unless you count the statements by a Muslim they quote at the end of the article.

Palestinians: ‘Day of rage’ against Rice visit

Palestinians: ‘Day of rage’ against Rice visit
Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST
Jul. 23, 2006
Palestinians are calling for a general strike in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to protest US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to the region scheduled for later this week, accusing Washington of backing Israel’s military campaigns against Hamas and Hizbullah.
Leaflets distributed in the West Bank and Gaza by representatives of several Palestinian factions called for a “day of rage” [a euphemism for violent protests] against Rice’s visit. The groups also called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to refrain from meeting with Rice.
“We reject Rice’s visit to the Middle East and we will expose its real goals,” read the leaflets, signed by the National and Islamic Forces in Palestine. “This visit comes in the wake of Israel’s US-backed comprehensive aggression against the Palestinians and Lebanese.”
The factions accused Israel of waging a war of “genocide” against the Palestinians and Lebanese after receiving a green light from the US administration. They also strongly condemned the US for vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israel for its offensive operations in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
The Popular Resistance Committees, an alliance of armed organizations, including Hamas and Fatah, called on Abbas to boycott Rice, saying she was planning to hold separate talks about the situations in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories.
In a statement issued in the Gaza Strip, the committees claimed that Rice was “plotting” behind the scenes “to isolate Lebanon from Palestine.”
The US, the statement continued, wanted to calm the situation in the PA territories to give Israel time to crush Hizbullah.
“We call on President Mahmoud Abbas to respect the feelings of the Palestinian people and to refrain from meeting with Rice and succumbing to her arrogant dictates that will only bring our people more humiliation and suffering,” the committees said.
Osama al-Mazini, a Hamas political leader, said Rice’s visit was designed to help Israel following its “defeat” in the PA territories and Lebanon.
“The Americans are 120 percent biased in favor of Israel,” he said. “That’s why Rice is coming to save Israel from defeat and humiliation. The US always intervenes when Israel is in trouble.”
Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh said the main purpose behind Rice’s visit was to ensure the continued support of certain Arab governments for the US. “She’s also coming here to provide Israel with political and moral support after the severe blows it suffered at the hands of Hizbullah in Lebanon,” he said.
Palestinian political analysts and commentators also lashed out at the US for supporting Israel.
Columnist Imad Afaneh said the US was hoping to punish Syria and Iran through the IDF offensive in Lebanon.
“The Americans want to teach Iran and Syria a lesson for using Hizbullah to undermine US influence in the Middle East,” he said. “The Americans and the Israelis are also hoping to defeat the Palestinians by waging a war on Hizbullah in Lebanon.
“The Americans want a new Middle East devoid of jihad, resistance, liberation, martyrdom, retaliation and dignity. These are all terms that disturb the Americans.
“They want to see a Middle East full of Arab presidents, monarchs and princes who serve as slaves for their American masters,” Afaneh said.
Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the London-based Al-Quds daily, said Rice wanted a new Middle East without Hamas and Hizbullah, where the Arabs would normalize their relations with Israel and form a joint front against Iran.
“The Americans’ problem is that they have never learned from their past mistakes,” he said. “They are continuing to rely on the same corrupt and weak horses in the Middle East.”

The Terrorists Among Us


City Journal
The Terrorists Among Us
Theodore DalrympleSummer 2006

While I was on a visit to Toronto recently, police arrested 17 men, the oldest of them 43 but most much younger, on charges of plotting a terrorist attack. They wished, apparently, to blow up the parliament in Ottawa and publicly behead the prime minister. Cops caught them in the process of buying three times as much material for explosives as Timothy McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City bombing. Reporting the arrests, the New York Times called the men “South Asians”—though one of them was an Egyptian, two were Somali, and most had been born in Canada—thus concealing by an inaccurate euphemism the most salient characteristic of the alleged plotters: that they were all Muslims. The Canadian police, emasculated and even stupefied by the exigencies of political correctness (the modern bellwether of virtue), said that the 17 came from such diverse backgrounds that they were unable to discern anything in common among them.
Canadians, on the whole, reacted to news of the plot with a mixture of outrage and disbelief. A few responded more vigorously, smashing the windows of a Toronto mosque, which the press swiftly denounced as un-Canadian. But many wondered, why us? when Canada had been among the most tolerant and accommodating countries to its immigrants in the world, and where celebration of diversity for its own sake had been made almost an official fetish. Could it be that no liberal policy goes unpunished?
It rapidly became clear that no single sociological factor of the kind usually invoked to explain outrageous behavior—poverty, say, or racial discrimination—could explain the adherence of all 17 to the plot (assuming that the charges against them are true). The Somalis involved were born in Somalia in the midst of the chronic civil war there and came to Canada as refugees, where they soon fell into unideological delinquency before catching the Islamist bug; they were not economic success stories. Other alleged plotters, however, emerged from the well-integrated middle classes, such as the son of a successful doctor of Indian origin who had emigrated to Canada from Trinidad. The pictures of the houses in which some of the plotters lived and grew up must have made more than a few newspaper readers envious. Whatever explained the resort of the 17 to the scimitar and the bomb, raw poverty or the hopelessness of insuperable discrimination was not it.
It so happened that the Toronto arrests coincided with the publication in America of a novel by the distinguished writer John Updike, called Terrorist. This novel is an attempt to enter the mental world not of a young Canadian but of a young American would-be Islamist bomber. It received, to put it mildly, mixed reviews emphasizing its weaknesses far more than its strengths. Sociological or psychological accuracy and acuteness cannot entirely compensate for literary shortcomings in what is, after all, a literary artifact, but in view of the importance of the subject and the dearth of other attempts to treat it imaginatively, I think Updike deserves more credit than he has received.
The story concerns a young man called Ahmad Ashmawy Mulloy, the son of an Irish-American mother and an Egyptian immigrant father. The mother is a nurse’s aide in a hospital and an aspiring, though untalented, amateur artist. Her husband, whom she met while he was an exchange student at what Updike calls the State University of New Jersey, abandoned her when Ahmad was three years old, never to be seen again; his failure to make good in America weighed heavily on his soul.
Ahmad and his mother live in New Prospect, New Jersey, a run-down postindustrial city now home mainly to blacks and immigrants. Ahmad attends the local high school, where he is of above-average scholastic ability; but, falling under the influence of Shaikh Rashid, the imam of a hole-in-the-corner mosque in New Prospect, he decides not to continue his education but to become a truck driver instead. That way he will not participate fully in the degenerate society around him. Becoming a truck driver is, for an 18-year-old of his intelligence and potential, like a spiritual retreat into the wilderness.
A guidance counselor at his high school, Jack Levy, a world-weary and washed-out Jew at the end of his career, tries to dissuade him from this course of action, which Levy supposes will destroy Ahmad’s life chances. In the process, Levy winds up in a torrid affair with Ahmad’s mother. By a coincidence of the novel’s plot, the sister of Jack’s wife, a woman of German Lutheran descent, is an assistant to a Donald Rumsfeld-like director of the Department of Homeland Security.
Ahmad goes to work for a cheap furniture store owned by Lebanese immigrants, whose son, called Charlie (but nonetheless a Muslim), persuades him to undertake a suicide mission to explode a bomb in the Lincoln Tunnel. Charlie is, in fact, an FBI agent who has infiltrated a band of extremists, of whom Shaikh Rashid is one; but his cover is blown and he is murdered brutally before the suicide mission can be averted. However, Jack Levy, via his contact with the Department of Homeland Security, which has passed on to him information concerning the proposed bomb attack, manages to avert it by persuading Ahmad, at the last minute, to desist.
Reviewers disparaged the implausibility of the plot, whose resolution relies upon creakingly contrived coincidences, and criticized the characterization as feeble. How Ahmad became so attached to his slender Muslim heritage, for example, rather than to his much stronger Irish Catholic one—his mother being the only parent he has ever known—Updike doesn’t explain at all. Perhaps he had been taunted at school for his mixed parentage and decided that he might as well die for a Muslim sheep as a Christian lamb by adopting only the Egyptian moiety of his identity; or perhaps he realized in a subliminal way that in the modern multicultural world, there is more mileage in being a minority than in being a déclassé member of the mainstream. In the current climate, you can’t fail as a minority: you can only be failed by others.
The book’s dialogue, too, is frequently stilted and unbelievable. Ahmad, for example, often sounds more like a wooden, pedantic prig than a disaffected youth emerging from a New Jersey slum, tormented by inchoate existential doubts and anxieties. For example, when Charlie tells him that his attendance at the Islamic Center had declined and that the shaikh would like to see more of him, he replies: “To chastise me, I fear. Now that I work, I neglect the Qur’an, and my Friday attendance has fallen off, though I never fail, as you have noticed, to fulfill salat, wherever I can spend five minutes in an unpolluted place.” I’ve met a lot of 18-year-olds, of many different types, from the slums, but I’ve never heard one talk like this.
Yet for all its weaknesses, the novel remains an impressive attempt to understand the worldview of a modern would-be Islamist terrorist, avoiding caricature and recognizing complexity. Without condoning terrorism and without any apologetics for those who commit it, the book invites us to see ourselves as others might see us and to look at the world through eyes other than our own. And this is surely part of the function of imaginative literature.
Updike is scarcely the first author to draw attention to the fact that terrorism is not a simple, direct response to, or result of, social injustice, poverty, or any other objectively discernible human ill.
It is not the personal that is political, but the political that is personal. People with unusually thin skins ascribe the small insults, humiliations, and setbacks consequent upon human existence to vast and malign political forces; and, projecting their own suffering onto the whole of mankind, conceive of schemes, usually involving violence, to remedy the situation that has so wounded them.
Dostoyevsky knew this, but the author closest to Updike in spirit, if his great superior in felicity of execution, is Joseph Conrad, the Pole-turned-Englishman. Conrad experienced political persecution from the inside, having been exiled to Siberia during his childhood with his father by the tyrannical czarist regime. One might have expected him therefore to have sympathized with extremists of almost any stripe, but he understood only too well that those who opposed tyranny by terrorism objected not so much to tyranny as such but to the fact that it was not they who were exercising it. Indeed, the terrorist temperament was apt to see tyranny where there was none. As Conrad puts it: “The way of even the most justifiable revolutions is prepared by personal impulses disguised into creeds.”
In Conrad’s The Secret Agent, for example, the Professor—“his title to that designation consisted in having been once assistant demonstrator in chemistry at some technical institution,” who quarreled with his superiors “upon a question of unfair treatment,” and who had “such an exalted conviction of his merits that it was extremely difficult for the world to treat him with justice”—is a man who has devoted himself to devising bombs and detonators. Predisposed to dissatisfaction by his small stature and unimpressive appearance, he develops “a frenzied Puritanism of ambition” that seems once again, after September 11, only too familiar to us. “The extreme, almost ascetic purity of his thought, combined with an astounding ignorance of worldly conditions, had set before him a goal of power and prestige to be attained without the medium of arts, graces, tact, wealth—by sheer weight of merit alone. . . .
To see [his ambition] thwarted opened his eyes to the true nature of the world, whose morality was artificial, corrupt, and blasphemous. . . . By exercising his agency with ruthless defiance he procured for himself the appearances of power and personal prestige.”
Updike’s Terrorist has much in common with Conrad’s The Secret Agent, published 99 years previously. In both books, a double agent tries to get a third party to commit a bomb outrage; in both books, the secret agent ends up slain. In both books, the terrorists operate in a free society unsure how far it may go in restricting freedom to protect itself from those who wish to destroy it. The terrorists in Conrad are European anarchists and socialists; in Updike they are Muslims in America: but in neither case does the righting of any “objective” injustice motivate them. They act from a mixture of personal angst and resentment, which easily attaches itself to abstract grievances about the whole of society, thus disguising the real source of their consuming but sublimated rage.
Conrad tells us that one of the sources of terrorism is laziness, or at least impatience, which is to say ambition unmatched by perseverance and tolerance of routine. Mr. Verloc, the secret agent, has a “dislike of all kinds of recognized labour,” which, says Conrad, is “a temperamental defect which he shared with a large proportion of revolutionary reformers of a given social state. For”—Conrad continues—“obviously one does not revolt against the advantages and opportunities of that state, but against the price which must be paid in the same coin of accepted morality, self-restraint, and toil. The majority of revolutionists are the enemies of discipline and fatigue mostly.”
Ahmad’s refusal to go to college might be interpreted in this light: for the path to constructive achievement is long, hard, and unsure, strewn with tedium and the chance of failure, while the life of destruction is exciting, even in its most tedious moments, because of the providential role that the destructive revolutionist has awarded himself. Once the magic wand of revolutionary destructiveness has been waved, even dull routine becomes infused with significance and excitement.
The mental laziness of Islamism, its desire that there should be to hand a ready-made solution to all the problems that mankind faces, one that is already known, and its unacknowledged fear that such a solution does not really exist, Updike captures well. When asked by his employer why he does not go for further education, Ahmad replies, “People have suggested it, sir, but I don’t feel the need yet.” Updike, as the omniscient narrator, adds: “More education, he feared, might weaken his faith. Doubts he held off in high school might become irresistible in college. The Straight Path was taking him in another, purer direction.” The refusal of free inquiry derives from an awareness of the fragility of the basis of religious faith; and since certainty is psychologically preferable to truth, the former often being willfully mistaken for the latter, anything that threatens certainty is anathematized with fury.
Muslims are hardly the only ones, either in the past or the present, who experience difficulty in relinquishing their most cherished ideas and presuppositions. It is a normal human trait. (Darwin, in his Autobiography, tells us that when he came across a fact that threw some doubt upon the theory he was developing, he wrote it down, for otherwise he was sure to forget it.) But when a system of ideas and set beliefs claims eternal validity and infallibility, when people adopt that system as their primary source of identity, and when into the bargain those people find themselves in a position of long-standing and seemingly irreversible technical and economic inferiority and dependence vis-à-vis people with very different ideas and beliefs, resentment is certain to result. Not wishing to relinquish their cherished ideology—their only possible source of collective pride and accomplishment—they seek to explain the technical and economic superiority of others by different kinds of denigratory mental maneuvers. They may claim, for example, that the West has achieved its preeminence by illicit use of force and pillage, by exploiting and appropriating the oil of the Muslim lands, say.
The justice of a criticism does not depend upon the motive that lies behind it, of course. But the claim about the exploitation of oil is not merely self-serving; it is patently absurd. If anything, the direction of the exploitation has been precisely the opposite, for merely by virtue of their fortunate geographical location, and with scarcely any effort on their part, the people of the Arabian peninsula and elsewhere have enjoyed a high standard of living thanks entirely to the ingenuity of those whom they accuse of exploitation and without whom the oil resource would not be an economic resource at all.
But this fact does not mean that all Muslim criticism of the West is entirely wrong or beside the point. Updike starts his novel with a description of the world as Ahmad sees it, and a most uncomplimentary vision it is. What he sees is a world of brutal ugliness, vulgarity, egotism, and lack of restraint. He sees a civilization that is charmless and lacking in refinement and substance, even if the people living in it seem to be enjoying themselves at least some of the time. Their sorrows, however, are the consequence of their enjoyments, and outweigh them; their horizons are severely limited to the eternal present moment.
“All day long [at Central High School] girls sway and sneer,” exposing their “bare bellies, adorned with navel studs and low-down purple tattoos,” while “boys strut and saunter along and look dead-eyed, indicating with their killer gestures and careless scornful laughs that this world is all there is.” An atmosphere of indulgence pervades the school. “The halls of the high school smell of perfume and bodily exhalations, of chewing gum and impure cafeteria food, and of cloth—cotton and wool and the synthetic materials of running shoes warmed by young flesh. Between classes there is a thunder of movement; the noise is stretched thin over a violence beneath, barely restrained.”
Out in the run-down city, “former display windows [are] covered by plywood crawling with spray-painted graffiti.” What do these graffiti mean? “To Ahmad’s eyes, the bulbous letters of the graffiti, their boasts of gang affiliation, assert an importance to which their perpetrators have pathetically little other claim. Sinking into a morass of Godlessness, lost young men proclaim, by means of property defacement, an identity.” The teachers at the school, weak or unbelieving Christians and Jews, preach restraint to the children without really believing in anything much themselves, and without practicing such restraint in their private lives. Tylenol Jones, a young black who takes an instant and violent dislike to Ahmad (in a society, or aggregation, of individualists and egotists, people dislike those who are very different from themselves), perfectly symbolizes the generalized egotism of society: he received his name merely because his mother happened to see a television advertisement for the product and liked the sound. Whimsical rejection of convention could scarcely go further; and such a rejection reduces freedom to nothing more than the practical expression of the first thing that comes into one’s head, even if it is at the expense of another human being. As such, freedom seems to Ahmad to be not a blessing but a curse.
Reviewers have mocked and even reviled Updike for his unappetizing description, through the eyes of Ahmad, of the popular culture of underclass America, and for pointing to revulsion against it as a motive for a suicide bombing. Even if one allows that Updike’s description is accurate (as I think any tolerably objective observer must), it is in fact so partial a characterization of the country in its entirety as to be utterly tendentious. It is to mistake the part for the whole, and it risks suggesting that Islamist bombers might have a point after all. Besides, there are far worse things in the world than the smell of chewing gum and bad cafeteria food, and far worse acts committed than the adornment of walls and other surfaces with ugly, hermetic, and no doubt idiotic signs. To complain seriously of what amounts to bad taste and make it a motive for mass murder, when the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot are still within living memory, is—well, in bad taste.
But it seems to me that Updike rather than his critics is right—or rather, accurate. He is not trying to justify Ahmad but to explain him. How could Ahmad have developed a more rounded view of the social environment into which he was born, or have achieved some kind of mature historical perspective on it, without the aid and guidance of people who knew better, whose mental world was not circumscribed by New Prospect, New Jersey? His mother is unable or disinclined to provide him with any guidance. To understand the distinction between criticism of the way people choose to use their freedom and criticism of freedom itself requires some historical and philosophical sophistication, which it is the duty of schools to inculcate. By inference, Central High School has failed to do this where Ahmad is concerned, leaving his clever but uncritical mind a fallow field in which Shaikh Rashid can plant his ill-germinating seeds.
The crude nostrums of Islamism rush in where the Enlightenment fears to tread.
I have talked to a lot of young Muslim critics of Western society, living in the West, and few of them were aware of the philosophical basis of Western achievement, which they believed to be merely materialist and founded on crude plunder, never having heard any other viewpoint.
Updike also has an understanding of the role of sexuality in the formation of the Islamist terrorist mind-set. On the very first page, Ahmad demonstrates that he is a sexual being who is struggling to control his desires, because he realizes that when unbridled or uncontrolled, sexuality is dehumanizing. The description of the navel studs and purple tattoos lying low on the abdomen ends with his question: “What else is there to see?” Clearly he can imagine it and be attracted by it.
Later in the novel, a black girl called Joryleen, whom he knew at school, has since become a prostitute with Tylenol Jones as her pimp, and she seduces Ahmad to the point where she masturbates him to orgasm. He is not so very different, and has never been so very different, at least in his basic desires, from the mass of his fellow slum dwellers, whom he has hitherto despised and excoriated. He is attracted by what is repellent to him; his rejection of the society that produces such powerful attractants is what psychiatrists used to call, in the days when Freud was still a respectable figure, reaction formation. In resisting the hypersexuality of his environment, he is trapped into falsely denying his sexuality altogether.
All in all, then, Updike has produced a more convincing and subtle, and, in my view, accurate portrait of a young Islamist terrorist than he has generally received credit for—even for all his book’s literary faults. He rightly sees Islamism in the West as culturally hybrid, rather than as a pure product of Islam: a reaction, albeit one consonant with certain Islamic traditions, to a very severe and, indeed, overwhelming cultural challenge from without rather than as something arising purely or spontaneously from within Islam itself. He understands the deeply human, but also deeply destructive, desire for a simple solution to all existential and practical problems at once. He is sufficiently imaginative to understand that our imperfect societies have more than enough within them to appall sensitive outsiders and marginals (as surely all conservatives should appreciate). He also realizes that violent repulsion can be the consequence of illicit attraction. And all this without for a moment suggesting that Islamic terrorism is other than a terrible scourge.
This is quite an achievement, even if his book will not outlive the Islamist threat, as Conrad’s book has outlived the anarchist one.

Hezbollah lets Iran buy time for nukes

From The Arizona Republic, July 23, 2006

Hezbollah lets Iran buy time for nukes
Destroying U.S. goal of Tehran
By Orde KittrieArizona State UniversityJul. 23, 2006 12:00 AM
The big winner thus far in the clash between Hezbollah and Israel is Iran. Through attacks by its proxy, Hezbollah, Iran is deftly succeeding in distracting the world from the rapidly progressing Iranian nuclear weapons program. Iran’s success brings it one step closer to one of its ultimate goals. That goal is America’s destruction. As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has starkly put it: “God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States. . . . This goal is attainable, and surely can be achieved.”Why does Iran want to destroy the United States?

Because the United States is the foremost purveyor of Western culture. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, wants to root out Western culture because it is contrary to Islam and in his view directs “everyone toward materialism while money, gluttony and carnal desires are made the greatest aspiration.” As Khamenei put it in an interview in May 2004: “The source of all human torment and suffering is the ‘liberal democracy’ promoted by the West.”Iranian President Ahmadinejad claims he was divinely given the presidency for a single task: provoking a “clash of civilizations” wherein the Muslim world, led by Iran, defeats the “infidel” West, led by the United States, and thereby hastens the return of the “Hidden Imam,” a messiah-like figure. According to Hassan Abbassi, chief strategist for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards: “We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization . . . There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West . . . We know how we are going to attack them . . . Anything that can be done to terrorize and create fright in the infidel camp is our privilege and honor. . . We have to uproot liberal democracy from the face of the world.”What is Iran’s connection to Hezbollah?Iran founded Hezbollah, arms it, trains it, and provides it with $20 million to $40 million per month. At Iran’s direction, Hezbollah had, prior to Sept. 11, 2001, killed more Americans around the world than any other terrorist organization.How is Iran using Hezbollah’s recent attacks on Israel to advance Iran’s nuclear weapons program? This is a textbook example of how a terrorism-supporting state, Iran, like a master magician can use its left hand, Hezbollah, to distract the world from the more significant action it is undertaking with its right hand, the development of a nuclear arsenal capable of threatening the United States. This has been a crucial month for Iran’s work to acquire both components of such an arsenal: nuclear warheads and the missiles capable of carrying those warheads to the United States. On July 4, Iranian officials participated in North Korea’s test launch of a missile which, when perfected, would be capable of hitting Alaska, Hawaii, California, and as far inland as Arizona. The United States, Europe, Japan and others began to discuss how to punish North Korea for this test and dissuade it from future such tests.On July 11, Ali Larijani, Iran’s national security adviser, met with Javier Solana, the European Union diplomat who represents Europe and the United States in negotiations to convince Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program. Solana had in early June presented a very generous offer to Iran of various incentives in exchange for Iran ceasing its nuclear weapons program. Solana wanted a response to the generous offer.Larijani’s response at the July 11 meeting made it clear that Iran is simply dragging out the negotiations to buy time to advance its nuclear weapons program. “The Iranians have given no indication at all that they are ready to engage seriously on the substance of our proposals,” announced the French foreign minister on behalf of the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China, Germany and the European Union. “In this context,” he declared, “we have no choice but to return to the United Nations Security Council” for a resolution ordering Iran to suspend its nuclear weapons program.The world seemed to be turning against Iran, and Iran was in a bind. Larijani flew directly from his meeting with Solana to meetings in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad and senior Hezbollah and Hamas leaders. The next day, Hezbollah fired dozens of Iranian and Syrian made missiles at Israel and dispatched its guerillas across the international border to kidnap Israelis. In the days since, Hezbollah has launched 1,000 more rockets at Israeli cities.Iran’s gambit succeeded. At the G-8 summit, the focus was on the televised fighting between Hezbollah and Israel rather than on Iran’s quiet nuclear weapons program. Russia announced it would not agree to impose sanctions on Iran. The plan for a Security Council resolution ordering Iran to suspend that program is on hold. And the world has lost interest in seriously pressuring North Korea over the missile tests it conducted in partnership with Iran.In this era of CNN and the Internet, it is easy to be distracted by news stories with vivid images. Yet every day, far from the news cameras, Iran is pushing forward with its nuclear weapons program, and continuing to work with North Korea to develop missiles capable of delivering those nuclear weapons to the United States. If the West does not refocus and do whatever it takes to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Israel’s current difficulties fending off Iranian-made conventional rockets could turn out to be a mere pale preview of U.S. difficulties fending off Iranian-made nuclear-armed missiles. And we will risk someday finding ourselves staring at bombed-out U.S. cities and wishing we had kept our eye on Iran’s right hand and taken a stand while we still could.Orde Kittrie is a professor of international law at Arizona State University. He served in the U.S. State Department for 11 years, including as senior attorney for nuclear affairs, and negotiated five nuclear non-proliferation agreements between the U.S. and Russia.
if(ScriptsLoaded) stInit();
OAS_AD(‘x70′)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers