Hezbollah adopts Chavez as hero — Talk about an unholy alliance —

Hezbollah adopts Chavez as hero
(AFP)21 September 2006 BEIRUT – Venezuela’s outspoken President Hugo Chavez, who lashed out at his US counterpart George W. Bush from the podium of the UN General Assembly, has scored a big hit with Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

“Gracias Chavez,” proclaimed large posters hurriedly put up on Thursday by Hezbollah activists in their Shia stronghold of Beirut’s southern suburbs on the eve of a “victory” rally following the group’s war with Israel.

The portrait, showing Chavez in a red shirt and punching the air with a fist, also calls for Israel “to be taken to court for its crimes” during the 34-day war which ended in mid-August after more than 1,200 people were killed in Lebanon alone.Caracas pulled the Venezuelan charge d’affaires out of Israel in early August to protest its operations inside Lebanon, with Chavez charging that Israel “had lost its mind”.Another poster, next to a road bridge destroyed in an Israeli air raid, shows Chavez and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah and announces the launch of a petition of thanks for the Venezuelan leader.It also hails “our coalition from Gaza to Beirut, to Damascus, to Tehran, and with our brother Chavez”, quoting Nasrallah.Chavez stunned the General Assembly in New York on Wednesday with a speech which branded Bush “the devil” who acted like he ”owned the world”, a day after the US leader spoke from the same podium.The left-wing Venezuelan president, a frequent critic of the US administration, then crossed himself, brought his hands together as if in prayer and looked up to the ceiling of the assembly chamber.Earlier this week, Chavez hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and renewed his support for Tehran’s disputed uranium enrichment programme, which the United States and other Western countries fear would be used for the development of a nuclear bomb. 

Remarks by Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian,


Remarks by Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian,
at the Duke University Counter-Terrorism Speak-Out

I’m proud and honored to stand here today, as a Lebanese speaking for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arabic country, I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of the Arabic world.

I was raised in Lebanon, where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.

When the Moslems and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in 1975, they started massacring the Christians, city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17, without electricity, eating grass to live, and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.

It was Israel who came to help the Christians in Lebanon. My mother was wounded by a Moslem’s shell, and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room, I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Moslems, Palestinians, Christians, Lebanese, and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn’t see religion, they didn’t see political affiliation, they saw people in need and they helped.

For the first time in my life I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would not have shown to their enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis, who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital. Those days changed my life and the way I believe information, the way I listen to the radio or to television. I realized I was sold a fabricated lie by my government, about the Jews and Israel, that was so far from reality. I knew for fact that, if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown over to the grounds, as shouts of joy of Allahu Akbar, God is great, would echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.

I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers: one in particular Rina, her only child was wounded in his eyes.

One day I was visiting with her, and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded his bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started waking out of the room, and this mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me. She holds me crying and says: “it is not your fault”. We just stood there crying, holding each other’s hands.

What a contrast between her, a mother looking at her deformed 19 year old only child, and still able to love me the enemy, and between a Moslem mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a few Jews or Christians.

The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It’s barbarism verses civilization. It’s democracy verses dictatorship. It’s goodness verses evil.

Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian “armed struggle”.

However, once such behavior is legitimized against Israel, it is legitimized every where in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of god.

Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York, from Moscow to Madrid, from Bali to Beslan.

They blame suicide bombing on “desperation of occupation”. Let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred ten weeks before Israel even became independent.

On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948, in anticipation of Israel’s independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street, in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem. Fifty-four people were killed, and hundreds were wounded. Thus, it is obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by the “desperation” of “occupation”, but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.

So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. It’s time to all stand up, and support and defend the state of Israel, which is the front line of the war against terrorism

The Media vs. The War on Terror How ABC, CBS, and NBC Attack America’s Terror-Fighting

How ABC, CBS, and NBC Attack America’s Terror-Fighting
Tactics as Dangerous, Abusive and Illegal

By Rich Noyes, MRC Research Director
September 11, 2006

Executive Summary

In the five years since al-Qaeda terrorists killed nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, both international critics and domestic groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have suggested that the American government’s tactics in the War on Terror are as frightening as terrorism itself. These mostly liberal critics portray the Bush administration as trampling on the civil rights of ordinary Americans, abusing the human rights of captured terrorists and acting without regard to the rule of law.Unfortunately, the broadcast networks are using this Bush-bashing spin as the starting point for much of their coverage of the War on Terror. An analysis by the Media Research Center finds network reporters are presuming the worst about the government’s anti-terror efforts, and permitting their coverage to be driven by the agenda of leftist groups such as the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights. While some on the Left have claimed the media were enthusiastic boosters of the Bush administration in the days after 9/11, the MRC found that network reporters began to question the idea of a vigorous War on Terror within days of the attacks.MRC analysts analyzed 496 stories that aired on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News between September 11, 2001 and August 31, 2006. They examined all evening news stories about three major elements of the post-9/11 war on terrorism: the treatment of captured terrorists at Guantanamo Bay (277 stories); the National Security Agency’s program to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists calling to or from the U.S. (128 stories); and the USA Patriot Act (91 stories). Major findings:■ Most TV news stories about the Patriot Act (62%) highlighted complaints or fears that the law infringed on the civil liberties of innocent Americans. This theme emerged immediately after the law was first proposed in September 2001, less than a week after the 9/11 attacks. Only one report (on NBC) suggested the Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism measures “may not be enough.”■ ABC, CBS and NBC heavily favored critics of the Patriot Act. Of 23 soundbites from “experts” (such as law professors or ex-FBI agents), 61 percent faulted the law as a threat to privacy rights. Of 19 soundbites from ordinary citizens, every one condemned the Patriot Act, despite polls showing most Americans support the Patriot Act and believe it has prevented new acts of terrorism.

■ Most of the network coverage of Guantanamo Bay focused on charges that the captured al-Qaeda terrorists were due additional rights or privileges (100 stories) or allegations that detainees were being mistreated or abused (105 stories). Only 39 stories described the inmates as dangerous, and just six stories revealed that ex-detainees had committed new acts of terror after being released.

■ Network reporters largely portrayed the Guantanamo inmates as victims, with about one in seven stories including the word “torture.” The networks aired a total of 46 soundbites from Guantanamo prisoners, their families or lawyers, most professing innocence or complaining about mistreatment. Not one report about the Guantanamo prisoners included a comment from 9/11 victims, their families or lawyers speaking on their behalf.

■ Most network stories (59%) cast the NSA’s post 9/11 terrorist surveillance program as either legally dubious or outright illegal. Exactly half of the news stories (64) framed it as a civil liberties problem, while 38 stories saw the President provoking a constitutional crisis with Congress and the courts. Only 21 stories (16%) focused on the program’s value as a weapon in the War on Terror.

■ ABC, CBS, and NBC were five times more likely to showcase experts who criticized the NSA’s surveillance program. Of 75 total soundbites, 41 of them (55%) condemned the program, compared to just eight (11%) from experts who found it worth praising. The CBS Evening News has so far refused to show any pro-NSA experts.

The debate is not about whether reporters can challenge a president and his policies during a time of war. Of course they can. But the networks have chosen to highlight the complaints of those who paint the Bush administration as a danger equal to or greater than the terrorists themselves. Reporters could have spent the past five years challenging the administration with an agenda most Americans share, demanding that the government do everything within its lawful powers to protect the public and prevent another attack. Instead, liberal reporters have opted to join the ACLU in fretting that the War on Terror has already gone too far.

Is Islam Dying? Europe Certainly Is === read this carefully I highlighted some points

Dr Koenraad Elst, one of Belgium’s best orientalists and an occasional contributor to this website (if I had time I would translate more of his Dutch-language contributions into English), told me last week that he thinks “Islam is in decline, despite its impressive demographic and military surge” – which according to Dr Elst is merely a “last
upheaval.” He acknowledges, however, that this decline can take some time (at least in terms of the individual human life span) and that it is possible that Islam will succeed in becoming the majority religion in Europe before collapsing.

I am not a specialist of Islam. Hence, I do not know what to think of this analysis. Perhaps it can be argued that Islam is in agony, and that this is precisely the reason why Muslims reacted so sensitively to twelve, mostly inoffensive, Danish cartoons earlier this year and why they respond in a fury beyond all reason to the words of a 14th century Byzantine Emperor quoted last week by Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope emphasized that he did not approve of the quote, but the reactions of Muslims to the Emperor’s words “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman,” only lends credibility to what the Emperor said.

If a person is incapable of tolerating criticism, including mild criticism, and especially if he perceives criticism where there is none, this is often a sign of this person’s deep psychological insecurity. Rude aggression and wild rage, too, are usually not the normal behaviour of a self-confident person, but rather of someone who knows that he will lose an argument unless he can bully others into silence. Last Sunday, Catholics going to Holy Mass in London’s Westminster Cathedral were confronted by Christophobic Muslims, carrying hate posters such as “Pope go to hell,” “Benedict watch your back,” “May Allah curse the Pope,” “Jesus is the slave of Allah, “Islam will conquer Rome,” and the like. An English blogger has some photos here. What must one make of these Muslim protestors? Do they look like self-assured people?

It looks as if Muslims cannot cope with an open society and the modern globalized world. Should we interpret their aggression – the result of their inability to cope with the world – as a token of strenght, or rather as a sign of inherent weakness – a sign, as Dr Elst says, that the decline of Islam has visibly begun?

Last weekend a 24-year old Moroccan woman was assaulted in Antwerp by a group of male Moroccan youths. They began by reproaching her for not wearing a headscarf. When she answered back, they beat her up. When the police intervened to protect the woman the officers were attacked by about thirty youths hurling stones. Fortunately, the officers were able to relieve the brave woman and escort her to hospital. She has meanwhile been discharged from hospital, though one dreads to think what may await her when she returns to her own community.

“We have no figures, but we notice that there are more and more incidents of verbal abuse towards Muslim women by male immigrants who cannot stomach that they do not wear the veil,” says Sven Lommaert of the Antwerp police, in one of today’s papers: “Often the abuse is limited to insults, but sometimes the women are attacked.”

However, Dominique Reyniers, the spokeswoman of the Antwerp judiciary said: “If violence is used a complaint is sometimes lodged. Verbal abuse, however, is obviously not a crime. Hence, we cannot say that there is a rise in this kind of incidents.” Ms Reyniers is saying that intimidating and bullying people is not a crime, unless one beats them up. If Dr Elst is right, and the intimidation of adversaries by the islamists is a proof of Islam’s inherent weakness, the refusal of the West to stand up to the bullies and to defend and protect their victims is proof of an even greater weakness.

I am inclined to suspect that the intolerance of radical Muslims, even if directed against the ‘enemy’ in the West, such as Danish cartoonists and the Pope, is primarily intended to intimidate and terrorize people who grew up in Muslim societies and families, in order to prevent their apostasy. It is intended to show the latter that they need not hope for any support from the West, i.e. from authorities such as those represented by Ms Reyniers.

Perhaps, as Dr Elst fears, Islam in its stage of decline might, by the mid-21st century, succeed in conquering Europe and becoming the old continent’s dominant religion. In this knowledge one slogan of last Sunday’s Islamic hatemongerers in London may be more than just hate speech: “Islam will conquer Rome” may be prophetic. Here, however, we ourselves are to blame, because Islamists will not find it difficult to conquer Europe. Christianity in Western Europe has virtually ceased to exist. The spirit of secular relativism that originated from the French Enlightenment has persuaded Europe (including Europe’s churches) to commit a protracted, two centuries long suicide, the symptoms of which were visible in Communism, National-Socialism and moral relativism in general.

Man is a religious being and needs religious faith. If European Christianity had still been healthy today it would have proselytized, it would have reached out with missionary zeal to the millions of Muslims who migrated to Western Europe since the 1970s, it would have offered them Christ. Instead, it’s churches became bastions of religious relativism. Europe offered the newcomers only cultural decadence, from which decent people want to shield their children, and spiritual emptiness, which one can only despise.

The Europeans, who lost the missionary zeal to reach out to the immigrants, also lacked the zeal to pass on their own civilization to their offspring. Worse still, they lacked the zeal to have offspring. Since demographics is the mother of all politics, it is, barring a miracle, certain that Islam will become the old continent’s dominant religion.

Unless Europe rediscovers its will to survive – and it may already be too late (though as a Christian I do not exclude miracles) – soon furious Islamists may be holding sway over Europe in much the same way as the Taliban did over Afghanistan, removing all visible remnants of pre-Islamic culture. The Cathedrals of Europe may share the fate of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Christian works of art may be destroyed. Surely, a faith that forbids the depiction of human figures will be offended by the Christian art of medieval Europe and the nudes of the Renaissance. Perhaps it is wise to seriously consider salvaging as many European cultural treasures as one already can, before it is too late, and bringing them to safety elsewhere.

BBC, NY Times and Guardian Appear to Have Stage-Managed Muslim Anti-Pope Hatred — This is deplorable the media has been manipulating stories to sensationlize thier coverage They are as bad as the terrorists


Monday September 18, 2006

BBC, NY Times and Guardian Appear to Have Stage-Managed Muslim Anti-Pope Hatred

Ratzinger, now Benedict, has been favorite Catholic target of liberal media for years

by Hilary White

LONDON, September 18, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The international furor over the Pope’s comments at Regensburg last week appears to have begun through a series of carefully stage-managed media reports

Tracing the media coverage from the day of the Pope’s speech in Regensburg, Germany, a distinct shift in approach, what media analysts call a “meme,” of “Islamic outrage”, is clearly traceable starting with the BBC’s coverage three days later.

The day after the speech, Wednesday the 13th, the Pope’s lecture elicited little response from apparently bored secular journalists who had little interest in what was considered his “obscure” and “academic” points on the relationship between religious belief and the secular world.

Catholic news sources who reported the day after the lecture were also quiet. “Pope spends quiet afternoon at home with brother,” was the leading headline at Catholic World Report.

On Thursday the 14th, however, under the headline “Pope’s speech stirs Muslim anger,” the BBC began with a report that police in Kashmir had seized newspapers carrying coverage of the pope’s speech in order “to prevent tension.” The BBC’s coverage did not include any quote from the Indian-administered Kashmiri police force.

The BBC’s September 14th report was transmitted around the world in Arabic, Turkish, Farsi (the language of Iran), Urdu, the official language of Pakistan; and Malay. The next day, the anticipated furor had became a reality.

Immediately after the appearance of the first BBC coverage, the Pakistani parliament issued a declaration condemning Benedict’s speech and demanding an apology.

Later the same day, the BBC published, under the headline, “Muslim anger grows at Pope speech” a report on the Pakistan government’s reaction. It quoted the head of the Islamic extremist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, saying “the Pope’s remarks ‘aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world’.

The same day, the Guardian, following the BBC’s lead, ran the headline, “Muslim anger builds over Pope’s speech.” From that moment, the internet was flooded with reportage from around the world on the Pope’s alleged “attack” on Islam and the predicted response from Islamic groups began.

On the 13th, the New York Times, focusing on the Pope’s critique of Western secularism ran the headline, “The Pope Assails Secularism, with a Note on Jihad.” The report contained no hint of their later demands for papal apologies.

Ian Fisher wrote, “Several experts on the Catholic Church and Islam agreed that the speech — in which Benedict made clear he was quoting other sources on Islam — did not appear to be a major statement on, or condemnation of, Islam.”

By the weekend, however, the New York Times had dropped its examination of the content and intention of the pope’s lecture, and joined the chorus of demands for apologies in its editorial.

The BBC continued stirring the pot on the 15th, with commentary from their religious affairs correspondent, Rahul Tandon, who wrote darkly that the former Cardinal Ratzinger had “appeared to be uncomfortable with Pope John Paul II’s attempts to improve dialogue with the Islamic world.”

Benedict’s unpopularity with the secularist mainstream media is legendary. Since before his election as Pope, Joseph Ratzinger had been for years the secularist and leftist media’s favorite Catholic target. Led by the BBC, the Guardian and the New York Times, media editorials had long since dubbed him “The Rottweiler” and the “Panzer Cardinal,” for his defences of Catholic doctrine, particularly on abortion and contraception.

Thousands of stories and editorials are appearing online – with no sign of slowing – carrying headlines such as that from Australia’s The Age: “‘Rottweiler’ bares teeth.” The Guardian today has issued an editorial headlined, “An Insufficient Apology,” featuring the familiar secularist accusations against the Catholic Church’s past. 

On Sunday, Toronto-based columnist, David Warren, wrote in the Ottawa Citizen on the media-instigated uproar that has led to retaliatory attacks in Israel against Christian churches and clergy and the murder of a nun in Somalia.

By manipulating the event, Warren says, the BBC was “having a little mischief. The kind of mischief that is likely to end with Catholic priests and faithful butchered around the Muslim world.”

Warren wrote, “The BBC appears to have been quickest off the mark, to send around the world in many languages…word that the Pope had insulted the Prophet of Islam, during an address in Bavaria.”

While the pope, Warren said, was not offering a “crude anti-Islamic polemic,” the content of the Pope’s speech, and his key questions in the dialogue between religions and the secular world, will now be ignored.

Warren pointed to coverage by Rahul Tandon who implied that, since his election as Pope, though Benedict has “surprised many with his attempts to improve dialogue with the Muslim world…,there have been signs of his earlier views.” These Tandon identified as “theological conservatism.”

“From now on,” Warren writes, “the reporting will be about the Muslim rage, and whether the Vatican has apologized yet. That is the “drama” the media will seek to capture — the drama of the cockfight — because they know no better kind.”

Why We Cannot Rely on Moderate Muslims — The links on this page work use the for more VERY enlightening info

Author : Fjordmann on Sep 09, 2006 – 08:08 PM
According to Dr. Daniel Pipes, Omar Ahmad, the long-serving chairman of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reportedly told a crowd of California Muslims in July 1998, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran … should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
In 2005, three Dallas-area brothers were convicted of supporting terrorism by funnelling money to a high-ranking official in the militant Palestinian group Hamas. Ghassan and Bayan Elashi and their company were found guilty of all 21 federal counts they faced: conspiracy, money laundering and dealing in property of a terrorist. Ghassan Elashi was the founder of the Texas chapter of CAIR.One would normally think that an organization that has convicted terrorist supporters among its members and whose leading members have stated a desire to replace the US Constitution with sharia would be shunned by Western media and political representatives. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.In August 2006, a poll revealed that most Americans favor profiling of people who look “Middle Eastern” for security screening at locations such as airports and train stations. News wire Reuters stated that the “civil rights and advocacy organization” CAIR protested against this. Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the CAIR, wanted Americans to solve the problem of Islamic terrorism by cooperating with, well, people such as CAIR: “It’s one of those things that makes people think they are doing something to protect themselves when they’re not. They’re in fact producing more insecurity by alienating the very people whose help is necessary in the war on terrorism,” he said.The Kentucky office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has been conducting ”sensitivity training” for FBI agents in Lexington, examining “common stereotypes of Islam and Muslims,” and ways in which to improve interactions with the Muslim community.Meanwhile, a survey revealed that 81% of Detroit Muslims wanted sharia in Muslim countries. Yehudit Barsky, an expert on terrorism at the American Jewish Committee, warned that mainstream US Muslim organizations are heavily influenced by Saudi-funded extremists. These “extremist organizations continue to claim the mantle of leadership” over American Islam. Over 80 percent of the mosques in the United States “have been radicalized by Saudi money and influence,” Barsky said.

The northern Virginia-based Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) might easily be taken for a benign student religious group. At a meeting in Queensborough Community College in New York in March 2003, a guest speaker named Faheed declared, “We reject the U.N., reject America, reject all law and order. Don’t lobby Congress or protest because we don’t recognize Congress. The only relationship you should have with America is to topple it … Eventually there will be a Muslim in the White House dictating the laws of Shariah.”

So, what happened to the famous “moderate Muslims” in all this? That’s a question writer Robert Spencer asks, too. Imam Siraj Wahaj is in great demand as a speaker. In 1991, he even became the first Muslim to give an invocation to the U.S. Congress.

However, he has also warned that the United States will fall unless it “accepts the Islamic agenda.” He has lamented that “if only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.” In the early 1990s he sponsored talks by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman in mosques in New York City and New Jersey; Rahman was later convicted for conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993, and Wahaj was designated a “potential unindicted co-conspirator.”

Mr. Spencer notes that “The fact that someone who would like to see the [US] Constitution replaced has led a prayer for those sworn to uphold it is just a symptom a larger, ongoing problem: the government and media are avid to find moderate Muslims — and as their desperation has increased, their standards have lowered.” The situation is complicated by many factors, including, taqiyya and kitman: “These are Islamic doctrines of religious deception. They originated in Shi’ite Islamic defenses against Sunni Islam, but have their roots in the Qur’an (3:28 and 16:106). Many radical Muslims today work hard to deceive unbelievers, in line with Muhammad’s statement, “War is deceit.”

Professor Walid Phares gives an explanation of such religious deception, part and parcel of Jihad while Muslims are in a weaker position: “Al-Taqiya, from the verb Ittaqu, means linguistically ‘dodge the threat’. Politically it means simulate whatever status you need in order to win the war against the enemy.” “According to Al-Taqiya, Muslims were granted the Shar’iya (legitimacy) to infiltrate the Dar el-Harb (war zone), infiltrate the enemy’s cities and forums and plant the seeds of discord and sedition.

“These agents were acting on behalf of the Muslim authority at war, and therefore were not considered as lying or denouncing the tenets of Islam. They were “legitimate” mujahedeen [holy warriors], whose mission was to undermine the enemy’s resistance and level of mobilization. One of their major objectives was to cause a split among the enemy’s camp. In many instances, they convinced their targeted audiences that Jihad is not aimed at them.”

This deception “has a civilizational, global dimension versus the narrow state interest of the regular Western subversive methods.” “The uniqueness of today’s Taqiya is its success within advanced and sophisticated societies. Taqiya is winning massively because of the immense lack of knowledge among Western elites, both Jewish and Christian.”

Youssef Mohamed E., a 22-year-old Lebanese man, is one of two persons suspected of trying to carry out bomb attacks on regional trains from Cologne, Germany, in July 2006. His fellow students were stunned. They couldn’t imagine how one of their fellow students could be a terrorist, a train bomber. He was a “completely normal guy” said one of them. “He was friendly, polite, inconspicuous,” and he never spoke ill of anyone. The publication of caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed was interpreted by Youssef as an insult to Islam by the Western world, and triggered the attempted terror attack.

Muhammad Atta was named by the FBI as the pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was also a student in Germany, where he was described as quiet, polite and inconspicuous. This strategy of using religious deception, smiling to the infidels while plotting to kill them, has become a common feature of many would-be Jihadists in the West.

According to Robert Spencer, secular clothing is actually in accord with instructions in a captured Al-Qaeda manual to appear to be a secular, assimilated Muslim with no interest in religion. In renting an apartment, “It is preferable to rent these apartments using false names, appropriate cover, and non-Moslem appearance.” And in general: “Have a general appearance that does not indicate Islamic orientation (beard, toothpick, book, [long] shirt, small Koran)….Be careful not to mention the brothers’ common expressions or show their behaviors (special praying appearance, ‘may Allah reward you’, ‘peace be on you’ while arriving and departing, etc.).”

Muslim Ambassadors to the Czech Republic from Arab nations and members of the Czech Muslim community were outraged by a documentary aired on ÄŒTV that used hidden camera footage of conversations in a Prague mosque. The footage showed a reporter pretending to be someone interested in converting to Islam. One of members of the mosque said Islamic law should be implemented in the Czech Republic, including the death penalty for adultery. “The result was alarming, and if not for the hidden camera, I would have never had any of this footage,” the journalist said.

An Arabic-speaking journalist had on several occasions visited a large mosque in Stockholm, and noticed that what the imam said in his speech in Arabic didn’t match the Swedish translation. “America rapes Islam,” imam Hassan Mousa roared in Arabic. Minutes later the Swedish translation was ready. Not a word on how America was raping Islam. Imam Mousa said that many Muslims call him an “American friendly” preacher. The mistranslation was because “Arabic is a much richer language than Swedish. It’s impossible to translate everything.”

Examples such as these leave non-Muslims with a very powerful dilemma: How can we ever trust assurances from self-proclaimed moderate Muslims when deception of non-Muslims is so widespread, and lying to infidels is an accepted and established way of hiding Islamic goals? The answer, with all its difficult implications, is: We can’t.

Does this mean that ALL Muslims are lying about their true agenda, all of the time? No, of course not. Some are quite frank about their intentions.

Norway’s most controversial refugee, Mullah Krekar, has said in public that there’s a war going on between the West and Islam, and that Islam will win. “We’re the ones who will change you,” Krekar told. “Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes.”

“Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children. By 2050, 30 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim.” He claimed that “our way of thinking… will prove more powerful than yours.” He loosely defined “Western thinking” as formed by the values held by leaders of western or non-Islamic nations. Its “materialism, egoism and wildness” has altered Christianity, Krekar claimed.

In The Force of Reason, Italian journalist and novelist Oriana Fallaci recalls how, in 1972, she interviewed the Palestinian terrorist George Habash, who told her that the Palestinian problem was about far more than Israel. The Arab goal, Habash declared, was to wage war “against Europe and America” and to ensure that henceforth “there would be no peace for the West.” The Arabs, he informed her, would “advance step by step. Millimeter by millimeter. Year after year. Decade after decade. Determined, stubborn, patient. This is our strategy. A strategy that we shall expand throughout the whole planet.”

Fallaci thought he was referring simply to terrorism. Only later did she realize that he “also meant the cultural war, the demographic war, the religious war waged by stealing a country from its citizens — In short, the war waged through immigration, fertility, presumed pluriculturalism.”

The US State Department believes that Washington can contain the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk through dialogue and should avoid any further clash with them, because this “would only fan hatred and incite more attacks against US interests.” The State Department has asked the US Embassy in Cairo to reach out to the Muslim Brotherhood’s leaders as a preliminary step for an organized dialogue.

At the same time, the new Brotherhood leader Muhammad Mahdi Othman ’Akef said in 2004 to Arab media that America is ‘Satan’ and “will soon collapse.” “I have complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America, because Islam has logic and a mission.” Western authorities are thus trying to “reach out” to an organization that wants to conquer and subdue them.

Besides, exactly what does “dialogue” mean, anyway? Poul E. Andersen, former dean of the church of Odense, Denmark, warns against false hopes of dialogue with Muslims. During a debate at the University of Aarhus, Ahmad Akkari, one of the Muslim participants, stated: “Islam has waged war where this was necessary and dialogue where this was possible. A dialogue can thus only be viewed as part of a missionary objective.”

When Mr. Andersen raised the issue of dialogue with the Muslim World League in Denmark, the answer was: “To a Muslim, it is artificial to discuss Islam. In fact, you view any discussion as an expression of Western thinking.” Andersen’s conclusion was that for Islamists, any debate about religious issues is impossible as a matter of principle. If Muslims engage in a dialogue or debate on religious subjects, this is for one purpose only: To create more room for Islam.

In Britain’s The Spectator, Patrick Sookhdeo writes about the myth of moderate Islam:

“The peaceable verses of the Koran are almost all earlier, dating from Mohammed’s time in Mecca, while those which advocate war and violence are almost all later, dating from after his flight to Medina. Though jihad has a variety of meanings, including a spiritual struggle against sin, Mohammed’s own example shows clearly that he frequently interpreted jihad as literal warfare and himself ordered massacre, assassination and torture. From these sources the Islamic scholars developed a detailed theology dividing the world into two parts, Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Islam, with Muslims required to change Dar al-Harb into Dar al-Islam either through warfare or da’wa (mission).”

“So the mantra ‘Islam is peace’ is almost 1,400 years out of date. It was only for about 13 years that Islam was peace and nothing but peace. From 622 onwards it became increasingly aggressive, albeit with periods of peaceful co-existence, particularly in the colonial period, when the theology of war was not dominant. For today’s radical Muslims — just as for the mediaeval jurists who developed classical Islam — it would be truer to say ‘Islam is war.’”

What is a moderate Muslim? In 2003, the Associated Press touted as a “moderate” a cleric who told Saudi radio that terrorist attacks in his capital violated “the sanctity of Ramadan.” Leading government cleric Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan was a member of the Senior Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body. He was also the author of the religious books used to teach 5 million Saudi students, both within the country and in Saudi schools abroad — including those in Washington, D.C. “Slavery is a part of Islam,” he said in one tape, adding: “Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam.” A moderate Muslim by Saudi standards is thus a person who wants to reinstate slavery in the 21st century.
During his speech at the opening of the 10th Session of the Islamic Summit Conference on Oct 16, 2003, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia stated that: “We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated.” “1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way.” “Today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”

“They invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power.” Mahathir talked about how Muslims could win a “final victory,” and recalled the glory days when “Europeans had to kneel at the feet of Muslim scholars in order to access their own scholastic heritage.”

Farish Noor, a Malaysian scholar who specializes in politics and Islam, says that the idea of a secular state is dead in Malaysia. “An Islamic society is already on the cards. The question is what kind of Islamic society this will be.” There is a creeping Islamization of the country, and Islamic police officers routinely arrest unmarried couples for “close proximity.” Yet despite all of this, Malaysia is considered one of the most moderate Muslim majority countries in the world. What does this tell us?
While NATO soldiers are risking their lives to establish a “democratic and moderate” regime in Afghanistan, a former regional governor who oversaw the destruction of two massive 1,500-year-old Buddha statues during the Taliban’s reign was elected to the Afghan parliament. Mawlawi Mohammed Islam Mohammadi was the Taliban’s governor of Bamiyan province when the fifth-century Buddha statues were blown up with dynamite and artillery in March 2001.

In the same, Western-supported, moderate Afghanistan, the police arrested six people for stoning to death an Afghan women accused of adultery. The arrests were made after the interior ministry sent a delegation to a remote village in north-eastern Badakhshan province following reports that the woman was stoned to death. Were they arrested because stoning was barbaric? No. They were arrested because they were carrying out an unauthorized stoning: The mullah who authorized the killing was not a judge.

Ashram Choudhary, Muslim MP in New Zealand, will not condemn the traditional Koran punishment of stoning to death some homosexuals and people who have extra-marital affairs. But the Labour MP – who has struggled with his “role” as the sole parliamentary representative of the local Muslim community — assures that he is not advocating the practice in the West. The question is not just of academic interest. A 23-year-old Tunisian woman was stoned to death near Marseilles, France, in 2004.

Centre Democrat Ben Haddou, a member of Copenhagen’s City Council, has stated: “It’s impossible to condemn sharia. And any secular Muslim who claims he can is lying. Sharia also encompasses lifestyle, inheritance law, fasting and bathing. Demanding that Muslims swear off sharia is a form of warfare against them.”

Read that statement again, and read it carefully. Muslims in the West consider it “a form of warfare against them” if they have to live by our secular laws, not their religious laws. Will they then also react in violent ways to this “warfare” if they don’t get their will? Moreover, since sharia laws ultimately require the subjugation of non-Muslims, doesn’t “freedom of religion” for Muslims essentially entail the freedom to make non-Muslims second-rate citizens in their own countries?

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello said Australian Muslim leaders need to stand up and publicly denounce terrorism in all its forms. Mr. Costello has also backed calls by Prime Minister John Howard for Islamic migrants to adopt Australian values. Mr. Howard caused outrage in Australia’s Islamic community when he said Muslims needed to speak English and show respect to women.

Hammasa Kohistani, the first Muslim to be crowned Miss England, warned that “stereotyping” members of her community was leading some towards extremism. “Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more.”

So, if radical Muslims stage mass-murder attacks against non-Muslims, the non-Muslims must not show any anger because of this, otherwise the moderate Muslims may get insulted and become terrorists, too. Gee, isn’t it comforting to know that there is such a sharp dividing line between moderates and radicals, and that moderate Muslims have such an aptitude for self-criticism?

Unfortunately, Jihad-supporters are allowed to stifle Western defense capabilities by feeding them Politically Correct propaganda. U.K. police officers were given ”diversity training” at an Islamic school southeast of London, the private Jameah Islameah school in East Sussex, that later became the center of a terrorism investigation. The county’s police officers visited the school as many as 15 times for training to improve their awareness of Muslim culture and for advanced training so they could themselves become diversity trainers.

In August 2006, following the unveiling of a plot to blow up several airliners between Britain and the USA, Muslim leaders summoned to talks with the Government on tackling extremism made a series of demands, which included the introduction of sharia law for family matters. Dr Syed Aziz Pasha, secretary general of the Union of Muslim Organisations of the UK and Ireland, said: ‘We told her [the minister] if you give us religious rights, we will be in a better position to convince young people that they are being treated equally along with other citizens.’

As Charles Johnson of blog Little Green Footballs dryly commented, this is an interesting viewpoint: Only by receiving special treatment and instituting a medieval religious legal code can Muslims be treated “equally.”

After the plot against the airliners was uncovered, a large number of UK Muslim groups sent a letter with veiled threats to PM Tony Blair, stating that “It is our view that current British government policy risks putting civilians at increased risk both in the UK and abroad,” and that the British should “change our foreign policy,” in addition to allowing Muslims more sharia. The same thing happened after the bombs in London in 2005.

If we watch closely, we will notice that Muslims are highly organized and have prepared long lists of demands. Every act of terrorism, or Jihad as it really is, is seen as an opportunity to push even greater demands. Radical Muslims and moderate Muslims are allies, not adversaries. The radicals bomb, and the moderates issue veiled threats that “unless we get our will, more such attacks will ensue.” It’s a good cop, bad cop game.

It is true that Jihad is not exclusively about violence, but it is very much about the constant threat of violence. Just like you don’t need to beat a donkey all the time to make it go where you want it to, Muslims don’t have to hit non-Muslims continuously. They bomb or kill every now and then, to make sure that the infidels are always properly submissive and know who’s boss.

Sadly, they frequently tend to get their will, and the donkey, or as in this case, the British, do what the Muslims want. A hospital in northwest England has introduced a new surgical gown modelled on the burka, allowing female Muslim patients to cover themselves completely. The blue “Inter-Faith Gown” is the first of its type in Britain and has being tried out at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Professor Moshe Sharon teaches Islamic History at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He gives this description of how a temporary truce, a hudna, is used as an Islamic strategy against infidels:

“Peace in Islam can exist only within the Islamic world; peace can only be between Moslem and Moslem.” “With the non-Moslem world or non-Moslem opponents, there can be only one solution – a cease fire until Moslems can gain more power. It is an eternal war until the end of days. Peace can only come if the Islamic side wins. The two civilizations can only have periods of cease-fires.”

“A few weeks after the Oslo agreement was signed, [Palestinian leader] Arafat went to Johannesburg, and in a mosque there he made a speech in which he apologized, saying, “Do you think I signed something with the Jews which is contrary to the rules of Islam?” Arafat continued, “That’s not so. I’m doing exactly what the prophet Mohammed did.” “What Arafat was saying was, “Remember the story of Hodaybiya.” The prophet had made an agreement there with the tribe of Kuraish for 10 years. But then he trained 10,000 soldiers and within two years marched on their city of Mecca. He, of course, found some kind of pretext.”

I have earlier quoted how even Norwegian diplomat and United Nation’s envoy Terje Röd-Larsen, a key player during the Oslo Peace Process in the 1990s, later admitted that “Arafat lied all the time.”

The Arabs never wanted a peace with Israel. They wanted to buy time until they were strong enough to win. The peace overtures by the Israelis were interpreted as a sign of weakness. The so-called Treaty of Hudaybiyya, signed while Muhammad and his supporters were not yet strong enough to conquer Mecca, has become a standard for Islamic relations with non-Muslims ever since.

Sharon states that “Thus, in Islamic jurisdiction, it became a legal precedent which states that you are only allowed to make peace for a maximum of 10 years. Secondly, at the first instance that you are able, you must renew the jihad [thus breaking the “peace” agreement].” “What makes Islam accept cease-fire? Only one thing – when the enemy is too strong. It is a tactical choice.”

Furthermore, the Islamic world has not only the attitude of open war. There’s also war by infiltration, as we can see in Western countries now. Is there a possibility to end this dance of war? According to Moshe Sharon, the answer is, “No. Not in the foreseeable future. What we can do is reach a situation where for a few years we may have relative quiet.”

As Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald says of moderate Muslims: “They are still people who call themselves Muslims, and we, the Infidels, have no idea what this will cause them, or could cause them, to do in the future. We likewise have no idea what their children, or their grandchildren will see as their responsibility as Muslims. The “moderate” Muslim today may be transformed into an “immoderate” Muslim, or his descendants could be if he does not make a complete break and become an apostate. All over the West now we see the phenomenon of Muslim children who are more devout and observant than their parents.”

This is, unfortunately, very true. In November 2005, an intelligence study obtained by Canada’s National Post said that a “high percentage” of the Canadian Muslims involved in extremist activities were home-grown and born in Canada, a marked shift from the past when they were mostly refugees and immigrants: “There does not appear to be a single process that leads to extremism; the transformation is highly individual. Once this change has taken place, such individuals move on to a series of activities, ranging from propaganda and recruiting, to terrorist training and participation in extremist operations.”

Hugh Fitzgerald wonders how many of our Muslim immigrants will be truly moderate. How many of them “will turn out to be like Ayaan Hirsi Ali? One out of 20? One out of 100? One out of 1,000? One out of 100,000? How many of the men will turn out to be like Magdi Allam in Italy, or like Bassam Tibi in Germany? How many Ibn Warraqs and Ali Sinas, or converts to Christianity such as Walid Shoebat, are there likely to be in any population of, say, 1000 Muslim immigrants? Should the Western world admit a million immigrants, or permit them to remain, because a few of them see the light?”

“Let Muslims remain within Dar al-Islam. Let the Infidels do everything they can to first learn themselves, and then to show Muslims that they understand (so that Muslims will then have to begin to recognize) that the political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral failures of Islamic societies, both within Dar al-Islam and in Dar al-Harb, are directly related to, and arise out of, Islam itself.”

Youssef Ibrahim of the New York Sun is tired of the silence from the Muslim majority: “Hardly any Muslim groups, moderate or otherwise, voiced public disapproval of [Dutch Islamic critic Theo] van Gogh’s murder except in the most formulaic way.” “In Islam, “silence is a sign of acceptance,” as the Arabic Koranic saying goes.” “The question that hangs in the air so spectacularly now — particularly as England has been confronted once again by British Muslims plotting to kill hundreds — is this: What exactly are the Europeans waiting for before they round up all those Muslim warriors and their families and send them back to where they came from?”

A just question, which increasing numbers of Europeans are asking, too. A big part of the answer lies in the elaborate Eurabian, pro-Islamic networks that have been built up by stealth over decades, and hardly ever debated by European media. Besides, it’s embarrassing for Western political leaders, who have championed Multiculturalism for a long time, to admit that they have made a terrible mistake that is now threatening the very survival of their countries.

It is possible that those Western countries where the infidels are strong enough will copy the Benes Decrees from Czechoslovakia in 1946, when most of the so-called Sudeten Germans, some 3.5 million people, had shown themselves to be a dangerous fifth column without any loyalty to the state. The Czech government thus expelled them from its land. As Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch has demonstrated, there is a much better case for a Benes Decree for parts of the Muslim population in the West now than there ever was for the Sudeten Germans.

The most civilized thing we can do in order to save ourselves as a civilization, but also to limit the loss of life among both Muslims and non-Muslims in what increasingly looks like a world war, is for Westerners and indeed non-Muslims in general to implement a policy of containment of the Islamic world, as suggested by Mr. Fitzgerald. This includes completely stopping Muslim immigration, but also by making our countries Islam-unfriendly, thus presenting the Muslims already here between the options of adapting to our societies or leaving if they desire sharia law. Even whispering about Jihad should be grounds for expulsion and revoking citizenship.

I have compared Islam to the movie “The Matrix,” where people are turned into slaves by living in a make-believe reality designed to keep them in chains. In the movie, everybody who hasn’t been completely unplugged from this artificial reality is potentially an agent for the system. I have gradually come to the conclusion that this is the sanest way to view Muslims, too.

Some would argue that it is a crime and a betrayal of our own values to argue for excluding Muslims from our countries or even expelling some of the ones who are already here. I disagree. The relatively small number of Muslims we have in the West now has already caused enormous damage to our economy, to our culture and not the least to our freedoms. The real crime, and the real betrayal, would be to sacrifice centuries of advances in human freedom as well as the future of our children and grandchildren to appease Muslims who contribute virtually nothing to our societies and are hostile to their very foundations.

As I have demonstrated above, it is perfectly accepted, and widely practiced, by Jihadist Muslims to lie to non-Muslims about their true agenda. I have also demonstrated that the relationship between radicals and so-called moderates is a lot closer than we would like to think. At best, they share the goals of establishing sharia around the world, and differ only over the means to achieve this goal. At worst, they are allies in a good cop, bad cop game to extort concession after concession from the infidels. Moreover, even those who genuinely are moderate and secular in their approach may later change, or their children may change. This can be triggered by almost anything, either something in the news or a crisis in their personal lives, which will create a desire to become a better, more pious Muslim. The few remaining moderates can easily be silenced by violence from their more ruthless, radical counterparts.

At the end of the day, what counts isn’t the difference, if any, between moderate Muslims and radical Muslims, but between Muslims and non-Muslims, and between Muslims and ex-Muslims. Ibn Warraq says that there may be moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate. He is probably right. As he writes in the book Leaving Islam — Apostates Speak Out, a unique collection of testimonials by former Muslims, ex-Muslims are the only ones who know what it’s all about, and we would do well to listen to their Cassandra cries.

Note from Fjordman: I have plans for at least a dozen longer essays after this, provided I have the time and financial opportunity to write them. The essays will be dealing with why I find a Reformation of Islam unlikely to happen, why the work of many self-appointed Muslim reformists is inadequate, why Islam probably cannot be reconciled with democracy and how the West should deal with these facts. All of my online essays can be republished for free by anybody who wants to, as long as credit is given to the author. Any financial donation, which can be given here, should be considered as payment in advance for future essays.

(c) 2006 by Faith Freedom International

NY Governor Sick of Chavez, Will Boycott Citgo

NY Governor Sick of Chavez, Will Boycott Citgo
By Jeff McKay
CNSNews.com Correspondent
September 22, 2006

(CNSNews.com) – Following another Bush-bashing by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, New York’s governor is so angry that he said he will personally boycott one of the Chavez government’s biggest revenue makers – the Citgo oil and gasoline company.

Republican George Pataki, a potential 2008 presidential candidate, said he has had more than enough with the Venezuelan leader bad mouthing the American commander-in-chief.

“This person has no right coming to our country to criticize our president. He can take his cheap oil and do something for the poor people of Venezuela,” said Pataki during an interview with Fox News.

When asked if he would patronize Citgo, the gas company owned by Petroleus de Venezuela, the state-run oil company, Pataki told Fox News, “I have no plans to.”

Pataki’s disgust of Chavez’s statements came after the Venezuelan president traveled from the United Nations headquarters in New York City to Harlem to speak at the Mount Olivet Baptist Church. Chavez announced an increase in the amount of low-cost home heating oil his government would send to the United States for low-income families.

Wearing his signature red shirt, Chavez was introduced to the crowd by actor-activist Danny Glover, who called Chavez “a visionary.” Before being whisked away in a limousine, Glover told reporters that he considers the Venezuelan leader “a friend” and “a brother”

As the crowd cheered, Chavez continued his personal attacks against Bush, this time calling the president “a sick man,” an “alcoholic,” and repeating his label of Bush as “the devil.” Chavez had first fired off that insult during a speech at the United Nations on Wednesday, a speech that drew applause and laughter from many international delegates in the audience.

Ordinarily one of President Bush’s harshest critics, New York Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel blasted Chavez for the remarks he made while speaking in Rangel’s congressional district.

“You don’t come into my country, you don’t come into my congressional district and criticize my president,” said an irate Rangel about Chavez’s comments, which included comparing Bush to John Wayne and mimicking Bush walking like a cowboy.

“It should be clear to all heads of government that criticism of Bush administration policies, either domestic or foreign, does not entitle them to attack the president personally,” said Rangel.

During his speech to the Harlem crowd, Chavez claimed that he was a friend to America and spoke of his strong alliance to Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

He also said the Citgo home heating oil program would benefit over 450,000 American families over the winter months and that it was made possible because the program cuts out what he calls a “greedy capitalist element.”

Chavez’s claims however come at a time when his support at home is waning. His popularity in Venezuela has hit a low of 30 percent, down from the 80 percent approval rating when he took over as his nation’s leader.

Despite Chevez’s pledge to help the poor using his nation’s vast oil wealth, Venezuela still suffers from chronic poverty, crime, kidnappings, and unemployment. The latter has been rated as high as 12 percent in a nation of 25 million people.

According to a report from the United Nations, Venezuela ranks first in the world in gun deaths per capita, and reports indicate homicides in Venezuela have doubled since 1999.

However, despite the problems Venezuela faces, Chavez still leads in polls for the nation’s upcoming presidential election.

Unintentionally, Chavez may have at least temporarily united Democrats and Republicans in their support of President Bush.

“Hugo Chavez is little more than a power-hungry autocrat on an anti-American public relations tour — a showboat whose speech to the United Nations was an embarrassment and an insult to the American people,” said Ohio’s John Boehner, the House majority leader, in a written statement.

“Hugo Chavez fancies himself a modern day Simon Bolivar, but all he is, is an everyday thug,” said House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi during a press conference.

“I think Chavez would be much more effective if he would say something that’s true,” former President Bill Clinton said on CNN.

After the Shiite bomb, a nuke for Sunni Egypt?

Hezbollah chief makes first public appearance since war –The coward slinks out of his hole after his followers died for him — How many virgins do you get for hiding??

Hezbollah leader appears in public
Friday 22 September 2006 7:54 AM GMT

Speaking at a victory rally in south Beirut in his first public appearance since the war with Israel, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said his group still had over 20,000 rockets available.Nasrallah joined hundreds of thousands of Hezbollah supporters who filled the devastated southern suburbs of Beirut on Friday with a sea of yellow flags to celebrate “divine victory” in their month-long war against Israel.“The resistance today has more than 20,000 rockets. The resistance is today stronger than on July 12 [the outbreak of the hostiltities] … and stronger than ever before,” he said.One of Israel’s stated aims in the offensive was to eliminate  Hezbollah’s capacity to fire rockets, thousands of which were fired at the country during the conflict.

Nasrallah last appeared in public at a news conference on July 12 when he announced the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah fighters, an act which led to the Israeli attacks.

The assembled crowd, which Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television said was in the hundreds of thousands, was swollen by Amal supporters waving the green flags of the sometime rival but more recently allied movement.

Supporters arrived from across Lebanon, with many setting off for the capital on Thursday by car and on foot from Shia villages in the south of the country, an area badly damaged in the Israeli offensive.

No weapon handover

Nasrallah said his fighters will give up their weapons only when “Israel’s threats” end and the Lebanese government is strong enough to protect the country.

“We will not give up our arms in a weak Lebanese state incapable of defending itself from the threat of Israel,” Aljazeera quoted him as saying on Friday.

“There is no army in the world that can [force us] to drop our weapons from our hands, from our grip.

“We will not release the two captured Israeli soldiers except in an exchange for Lebanese prisoners.“We do not want to keep our arms for ever. We do not say that our arms are forever, and this is not logical. It has to end. “But any word on disarming the resistance under this state, this authority, this regime and this current situation means keeping Lebanon under the risk of having Israel killing and bombarding at will.”

‘Strong, just state’

Aljazeera further quoted Nasrallah as saying “let us build a strong and just state”, and calling for a new Lebanese government of national union. 

“We are sticking to and calling for establishing a state but we will never let anyone to insult us.

“The time of victory has begun and the time of defeats has gone.”

The Hezbollah chief strongly criticised, albeit indirectly, the anti-Syrian Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who is a key government ally, and demanded that he apologise for his past statements.

Festive atmosphere

Fouad Siniora, Lebanon’s prime minister, was absent from the event and Aljazeera’s Beirut correspondent said many people shouted anti-Siniora slogans, urging him to resign.

The atmosphere at the rally was said to be happy and festive.

Muhammed Hajj Hussein, 50, said: “Today is a holiday for Lebanon and I have never felt more happy. I am very happy for the victory of the resistance.”Hasan Slyman said: “This is a victory for Lebanon and the Islamic world. I’m very proud and hope the international community will now act against Israeli violations and incursions into our airspace.”Ali Sahhar said: “Everyone thought the Israeli army was unbeatable, this wasn’t true and today we are declaring the victory the resistance achieved.” 

Long walk

The rally had been expected to coincide with the final withdrawal of Israeli soldiers from southern Lebanon, but Israel’s army chief said on Wednesday there were “a few issues to be wrapped up” before the pullout could be completed.

Israeli forces have been gradually pulling out from territory they captured in fighting which killed nearly 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 157 Israelis.

Hezbollah has declared victory in the war, during which it fired nearly 4,000 rockets into northern Israel.Border patrolEarlier, Nasrallah said on the group’s Al-Manar Television: “I call on you all to participate in a victory rally, your victory … in the southern suburb, the suburb of honour, glory, faith, steadfastness and victory for the whole country.

“Let us renew our covenant and declare our joy at the divine victory to the whole world.”

Under the terms of a truce which ended the fighting last month, UN and Lebanese army forces are deploying in the south to monitor the ceasefire and try to assert the authority of the Beirut government.But Nasrallah has said his fighters remain on the border with Israel and Hezbollah has dismissed demands that it disarm.

Earlier, Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, declined to say if the Hezbollah leader would be attacked if he appeared at the rally.

“And you think, that if he was, I would tell you – and tell him?” he told Israel’s Channel 10 television on Thursday.

Aljazeera + Agencies

Iran warns of ‘lightning’ response to any attack

Sep 22 5:54 AM US/Eastern

Iran has warned Western powers the armed forces would hit back “like lightning” against any attack as it crowed over its military prowess and showed off firepower at a major army parade.Thousands of members of the armed forces and the whole panoply of Iran’s ballistic missile arsenal were on display at the parade, including the Shahab-3, a weapon whose range includes arch-enemy Israel.“We want peace but we warn the expansionists not to think of an aggression against Iran as we can defend the fatherland and Islam,” Vice President Parviz Davoodi warned.“Our lions are so powerful that they can strike the enemy like lightning and destroy him,” he added.

The comments of Davoodi — standing in for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has yet to return from a visit to the United Nations in New York — come at a time of mounting tension over Tehran’s contested nuclear programme.

The United States has never ruled out using force to make Iran comply over its atomic drive that Washington charges is aimed at making nuclear weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear programme is for civilian energy purposes only.

Iran has also never been shy of warning it would retaliate if the Islamic republic was attacked and the parade included its longest-range missile, the Shahab-3, which has the range to hit Israel and US installations in the Middle East.

“Are you not proud to see the Shahab-3, a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles)?” boomed the commentator over the loudpeakers as two green Shahab-3s were driven past the parade ground on the back of a truck.

The missile was up until last year believed to have a range of 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) but Iran has worked on extending its range.

However the missiles appeared to lack the anti-Israeli and anti-US slogans that were daubed on the weapon at last year’s event and caused European diplomats present to stage a walk-out in protest.

A succession of other missiles were also on display, including the short-range Fajr and the medium-range Nazeat, Shahab-1, Shahab-2 and Zelzal.

Thousands of soldiers clutching their rifles marched past Davoodi and other dignitaries to the sound of martial music in an event that has become Iran’s most significant annual display of its military might.

The parade, which marks the anniversary of the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, took place just opposite the mausoleum built for Iran’s revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on the outskirts of Tehran.

“Our armed forces have no need for their power to be based on atomic weapons, this power is based on our convictions,” said Davoodi, restating Tehran’s denial of US allegations it is seeking nuclear weapons.

While Iran remains at loggerheads with the West over its nuclear programme, it has been engaged in talks with the European Union to find a solution and in New York Ahmadinejad said that discussions were on the “right path”.

Davoodi also played up the importance of major war games that Iran has staged in the past month which have seen it claim the development of new missiles and warplanes.

“In the recent manoeuvres the armed forces showed their power, notably in the areas that were once the monopoly of the great powers,” said Davoodi.

“We will resist until the end,” proclaimed a slogan on the main grandstand erected for the parade, which coincided with a march to Beirut by supporters of Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah to mark its resistance against Israel.

Among the thousands of armed forces personnel marching past the main grandstand were ethnic minority members of Iran’s Basij militia in their national dress, including Kurds, Baluch, and for the first time Arabs.