Ongoing ‘intifada’ in France has injured 2,500 police in 2006

Ongoing ‘intifada’ in France has injured 2,500 police in 2006

Special to World Tribune.comGEOSTRATEGY-DIRECT.COMFriday, October 27, 2006 This might have dropped below the radar, but Al Qaida and its allies are literally battling the Crusaders every day in Europe. And so far, Europe isn’t doing so well.”We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists,” said Michel Thoomis, secretary general of the Action Police trade union. “This is not a question of urban violence any more. It is an intifada, with stones and firebombs.”

The French Interior Ministry has acknowledged the Muslim uprising. The ministry said more than 2,500 police officers have been injured in 2006. This amounts to at least 14 officers each day.

The battles have been under-reported but alarming to French authorities. Muslim street commanders, who run lucrative drug networks, have organized youngsters in housing projects to ambush police and confront security forces. The response time allows hundreds of Muslims to storm police cars and patrols within minutes.”You no longer see two or three youths confronting police,” Thoomis said. “You see whole tower blocks emptying into the streets to set their comrades free when they are arrested.”

France’s huge Muslim minority community has come under the influence of agents often influenced and financed by Al Qaida. These agents have recruited Muslim youngsters for urban warfare in which police and government representatives are injured daily.

Not surprisingly, Muslim neighborhoods are becoming autonomous zones, with police and government workers too scared to enter. The police union is demanding the Interior Ministry supply officers with armored cars.

European law enforcement sources say France could be a model for other countries. The most worried are Britain and the Netherlands

Webb Urged to Withdraw Over Content of Novels

Webb Urged to Withdraw Over Content of Novels
By Monisha Bansal
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
October 27, 2006

(Editor’s note: Some of the content below may offend some readers.)

(CNSNews.com) – Virginia Democratic candidate Jim Webb should pull out of the race for the U.S. Senate because of the controversial content in his novels, a conservative group said Friday.

“I am outraged and sickened by what I have read in the book written by a U.S. Senate candidate,” Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, said during a press conference outside Webb’s campaign headquarters.

Lafferty was referring to Webb’s 2001 novel, “Lost Soldiers,” which includes a reference to a sexual act involving a father and son.

Excerpts from the book and others written by Webb were released late Thursday by the campaign of his Republican rival, Sen. George Allen (See Related Story).

“Democrat or Republican, an individual like that belongs on the couch of a therapist, not on the floor of the United States Senate,” said Lafferty, who sought to compare Webb to disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley of Florida.

“We’ve got a hunt going on on the Hill. It started with Foley [and the congressional page scandal]. He’s gone – we’re glad. But now, we’re going to send someone to the United States Senate who’s the author of this kind of trash?” she said.

Webb “should step down and withdraw from the Senate race,” Lafferty said. “When you read all the other stuff he’s written – this man will not represent us well.”

Citing the child sex reference, Lafferty said: “When you add this to all the degrading things he’s said about women, it shows the man.”

Webb defended the passage during a radio interview earlier Friday.

“It’s not a sexual act,” Webb said regarding the “Lost Soldiers” excerpt, which refers to a man in Southeast Asia placing his young son’s penis into his mouth.

“I actually saw this happen in a slum in Bangkok when I was there as a journalist,” Webb told Washington Post Radio. “The duty of a writer is to illuminate the surroundings.”

Darci Nelson, a resident of Fairfax, Va., who spoke at the Traditional Values Coalition press conference, was critical of Webb’s explanation.

“That is Cambodia, and this is the United States of America and Virginia,” Nelson said. “From where I stand, it is not normal or cultural behavior to put that out there for us to read.

“This stuff is inappropriate. It’s not literature,” she said. “Do I want Hugh Hefner to be president? No. Do I want Hugh Hefner representing me and Virginia? No. I don’t want that kind of character representing me or that kind of moral integrity representing me.”

Nelson was interrupted by Webb supporter Pat Heineman, whose son served in the Army in Afghanistan and whom she said would be deployed to Iraq.

“What’s outrageous is the guys that are dying,” she told Cybercast News Service.

“Jim Webb is going to bring leadership to the Senate. That’s why I support Jim Webb,” Heineman said.

Hezbollah’s Deadly Chess Match

Hezbollah’s Deadly Chess Match
By James G. Zumwalt
The Washington Times | October 27, 2006

When the recent Israeli-Hezbollah war ended, the United Nations’ newly organized human rights council, pressed by its Islamic members, spent its first two sessions criticizing Israel for allegedly causing heavy civilian casualties. But details are now known of a secret Hezbollah operation, mounted long before the war and focused, in violation of international law, on putting civilians at risk, that significantly contributed to this toll once the fighting began.

By way of background, in the early 1980s, Syria, which then controlled Lebanon, reluctantly allowed a group of 500 Iranian Revolutionary Guards into the Lebanese city of Baalbek, providing the seed from which Hezbollah sprang forth. Funded by Tehran, this terrorist organization began currying favor with the local population, providing many social services. Thus, when the popular Hezbollah secretly embarked upon activities with a more sinister purpose — putting a Lebanese citizenry at risk it purportedly sought to protect in order to gain tactical advantage against Israel in any future conflict — the local population blindly accepted this activity without knowledge of what it involved.

The activity upon which Hezbollah had embarked was conversion of private homes into mini-military sites from where it could easily target Israel’s civilian population. Cloaking itself as the protective shepherd, Hezbollah effectively prepared an unwitting Lebanese civilian flock as sacrificial lambs to be slaughtered in furtherance of its own war-fighting capabilities.

Long before hostilities erupted on July 12, Hezbollah construction teams had gone out and modified numerous Lebanese homes. Sometimes with, but most the time without, the homeowner’s permission, workers began adding on a large, single-function room. These rooms were unique for, when completed, they lacked an essential element of all rooms — a door. Each room was sealed shut — but only, and immediately, after an object was placed inside.

Often homeowners and neighbors did not know what exactly was entombed within the room as the object’s insertion and the subsequent sealing of the room normally took place at night — with the object always kept under wraps.

The residences Hezbollah selected for these unsolicited “home improvements” were chosen for their proximity to the Israeli border. When the fighting started after Tel Aviv responded militarily to Hezbollah’s July cross-border raid, resulting in the deaths of three Israeli soldiers and the capture of two more, the purpose of the covert home improvements became evident to the owners — though many were destroyed by Israeli air strikes before they could be activated.

When war erupted in southern Lebanon, designated leaders of Hezbollah combat teams received envelopes, each containing an address of one of the modified homes. The team quickly deployed to its assigned location, immediately breaking through an exterior wall of the sealed room. Each envelope contained aiming and firing instructions for the object prepositioned inside the room before it was sealed — a surface-to-surface missile atop a launcher. After removing part of the room’s roof to allow for unobstructed flight and on command, the team was to fire the missile, raining death and destruction down upon Israel’s civilian population.

There was one major flaw in Hezbollah’s home-conversion-to-missile-launch-site plan: Their construction activities had not gone unnoticed by Israeli intelligence. Closely monitoring Hezbollah’s activities, they knew in advance the locations of most sites. As each room was completed, it had been added to Israel’s target list so, once fighting started, it could quickly be destroyed — its civilian hosts in many cases becoming collateral damage due to Hezbollah’s illegal use of such a tactic.

Israel received much negative press for failing to accurately assess the Hezbollah threat. Clearly, some failures did occur, such as assessing how deeply Hezbollah had entrenched itself into southern Lebanon and Hezbollah’s ability, undoubtedly with Iranian assistance, to monitor Israeli battlefield communications.

But Israel must be applauded for its success in identifying ahead of time the threat posed by Hezbollah’s tactical use of private homes for military purposes — a threat Israeli air power was then able to effectively negate. Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman alluded two days into the conflict to these illegal Hezbollah tactics, a reference apparently lost on the media that failed to investigate further.

Hezbollah had designed a tactical plan calculated to maximize civilian casualties on both sides of battlefield — by design on the Israeli side in targeting its major population centers and by consequence on the Lebanese side as Israel responded. While this tactic was, from the Israeli perspective, checkmated by virtue of good intelligence, from the Lebanese perspective, many civilians at these launch sites were forced to pay the ultimate price. Sadly, from Hezbollah’s perspective, these civilian casualties were but dispensable pawns in its chess match with Israel.

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Cracks in Arab Unity — The Muslim world had fallen victim to its own violence

Cracks in Arab Unity
By Micah Halpern
MicahHalpern.com | October 27, 2006

One of my biggest and most often repeated critiques of the Arab world is their own lack of critique, their own lack of self-criticism. One of the most significant weaknesses of Arab-leadership, Arab intelligentsia and the Arab masses has been that they have all, blindly and boldly, followed the move to extremism. As fractured and as divided as they are internally, the Arab world has always determined to present a cohesive, united front to the rest of the world. Now, suddenly, we are beginning to see cracks in the facade of Arab harmony and unity. Distinct voices are being heard, publicly and in the press, speaking lovingly of their people but critical of the direction the Arab world has taken.

Muslim Fundamentalism is being chastised for turning the Arab world into a violent world. Muslim Fundamentalism is being blamed for altering the very fabric of Arab life and turning every facet of Arab life into an act of destruction.
Muslim Fundamentalists are being reminded that they are neither the ultimate nor the only decision making force when it comes to Arab lifestyle, Arab life or Arab diplomacy.

The fear of intimidation is gone. The fear of destroying the myth of Arab unity is vanishing. The fear of an Arab world bent only on violence and destruction has become too great to suppress. By embracing violence and by turning violence into their primary means of problem solving, both internally and in dealings with the outside world, the Arab world has severely diminished not only the way they are perceived by the outside world, but also the way in which they perceive themselves.

Hosni Mubarak the acknowledged big brother and political advisor to a large segment of the Arab world is the first Arab leader to acknowledge the flawed path Islam has taken and to speak out for change. Last week the president of Egypt delivered his message by means of the national Egyptian media. In a live television appearance Mubarak, a man who minces no words, said: “Shouldn’t we Muslims shoulder part of the responsibility of these wrong ideas about Islam? Have we fulfilled our duty in correcting the image of Islam and the Muslims? What did we do to face a terrorism that wears Islam’s cloak and targets the lives of the people.”

In essence, Mubarak was telling his fellow Muslim leaders as well as all believers that the future of the Arab world is in their own hands, that Arabs must play a major role in the way they themselves are perceived by the rest of the world, that they have done nothing to confront the murderers of innocent people, that they have instead supported terrorists by supporting Islamic radicals. Mubarak chose harsh words to clearly define an even harsher reality.

Even more revealing – and much more surprising than the critique leveled by Mubarak, is the very personal expression of concern and condemnation that came from Dr. Ghazi Hamad, one of the leading spokesmen of Hamas. Yes, Hamas.

In a very self critical column published in the Palestinian weekly al-Ayam. Hamad posed some very thoughtful and introspective questions reprimanding his own society. He takes them to task for embracing violence as a way of life, for allowing violent means to supplant any and all other forms of personal expression. Hamad asked: “Are we truly a violent society?” “Do we suffer from the chronic illness of violence?” “Have we become people who believe that all our problems can be resolved only through violence, with a bullet, a shell, a blatant leaflet and harsh words?”

Truly, this is one of the first times in a very long time that I am hearing material of this critical nature coming out of the Middle East. The best and only serious self-critique we have heard has, until now, come from ex-pat Muslims musing from the safety of the West, in interviews given to al-Hayat, the largest Arabic London-based newspaper, posturing on al Jazeera or even penning op-eds for The New York Times.

The Muslim world had fallen victim to its own violence. The radical Muslim world intended for violence to be a response to the non-Muslim world. And it was. But now that violence has spread and engulfs the world it was supposed to protect.

Muslim terror and violence will continue to haunt us in the West, but first it will haunt and destroy Arab culture and society. First it will cause the Arab world to implode and self-destruct.

The threat of Muslim violence to the Western world is real, but it is not existential. The true tragedy is that the Muslim world has attached so much value to the warped myth of Arab unity uber alis that is has empowered the myth to destroy the value of human life.

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Clinton Shills For Bad Energy Policy — Bill Clinton’s back, now touting tax hikes for ethanol to California voters. “If Brazil can do it, so can we,” he said, claiming an ethanol switch ended Brazil’s need for foreign oil. Once again, he’s telling whoppers.

Clinton Shills For Bad Energy Policy

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

Posted 10/27/2006

Energy: Bill Clinton’s back, now touting tax hikes for ethanol to California voters. “If Brazil can do it, so can we,” he said, claiming an ethanol switch ended Brazil’s need for foreign oil. Once again, he’s telling whoppers.

Brazil did achieve independence from foreign oil all right. It happened this past April. But Clinton, true to form, doesn’t quite recall the critical point showing how it was done.

Here’s a clue for the semi-retired former president and policy wonk: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva didn’t celebrate the oil independence milestone out in an Amazon sugar field.

No, he smashed a champagne bottle on the spaceship-like deck of Brazil’s vast P-50 oil rig in the Albacora Leste field in the deep blue Atlantic. Why? Brazil’s oil independence had virtually nothing to do with its ethanol development. It came from drilling oil.

Which is the very thing Clinton, in his Proposition 87 television ads, seeks to pile taxes on.

Clinton is hawking the idea that taxing offshore oil drilling companies, from 1% to 6% — a 600% hike for some — and then turning the spoils into a new government bureaucracy for ethanol development is the way to end California’s dependence on imported oil.

“Imagine if we stop being dependent on foreign oil. Brazil did it. They made a simple switch to their cars. Switched to ethanol, grown from their own crops. And it’s 33% cheaper than gas,” Clinton said, neglecting one key detail: cars must use three times as much ethanol as gas.

“With Proposition 87, we can switch to cleaner fuels, wind and solar power,” he says in a political ad, “and free ourselves from foreign oil. If Brazil can do it, so can California.”

But as a matter of fact, that’s not what Brazil did.

It launched a crash program of offshore oil drilling in the late 1990s, working with a Manhattan Project-like determination to develop its own natural resources.

In 1997, Brazil opened its oil sector to foreign competition, encouraging companies like Royal Dutch Shell to explore and drill for oil in its offshore waters for the first time. It offered incentives — like tax cuts. It also turned its inefficient state oil company, Petrobras, into a for-profit company run like a real business instead of a government cash cow, forcing it to compete on an international-standard level. In short, it got out of the way.

Net result, lots more oil for Brazil — enough to enable the once-oil-dependent country to actually export some, all from fewer energy reserves than the U.S.

Brazil’s new P-50 rig has boosted output to an average 1.9 million barrels of oil a day, a bit more than the 1.85 million Brazil consumes.

By contrast, ethanol output in Brazil, the world’s biggest producer, is only a small share of its energy consumption.

Last year, the country squeezed out just 282,000 barrels a day mostly using sugar, a more efficient and clean-burning energy source than the corn-based stuff produced in the U.S. But sugar-based ethanol still isn’t as efficient as gasoline.

Not surprisingly, Brazil’s ethanol production began as a big government project in 1975, curiously similar to what Clinton is touting. It was run by the military junta, and was costly — the junta pumped in about $16 billion in loans and price supports to sugar companies over two decades. The output still was meager.

Ethanol output didn’t take off until government fetters were lifted in 1989 and the market was free to develop it without government involvement. It became a far more viable energy source after that.

Clinton has had a long history of raising political funds from agri-biz giants — like Archer Daniels Midland — interested in government contracts. As Brazil’s example shows, taxing oil to subsidize ag firms is exactly the wrong way to produce ethanol — or oil. If Clinton were really sincere about ethanol itself, he’d be lobbying for an end to tariffs on cheap ethanol from Brazil.

But it looks like he’d rather repeat Brazil’s decades of energy mistakes instead of cutting to the real reason for Brazil’s success: its decision to drill offshore for oil.

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