Islamic Lying (Taqiyya and Kitman)

Lying (Taqiyya and Kitman)


Are Muslims permitted to lie?

Summary Answer
Muslim scholars teach that Muslims should be truthful to each other. 

There are two forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, taqiyya and kitman.  One of those circumstances is to gain the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.

The Qur’an:
Sura (16:106) – Establishes that there are circumstances that can “compel” a Muslim to tell a lie.

Sura (3:28) – This verse tells Muslims not to take those outside the faith as friends, unless it is to “guard themselves.” 

Sura (40:28) – A man is introduced as a believer, but one who must “hide his faith” among those who are not believers.

Sura (2:225)“Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts”

Sura (66:2)“Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths”

Taken collectively these verses are interpreted to mean that there are circumstances when a Muslim may be “compelled” to deceive others for a greater purpose.

From the Hadith:


Bukhari (52:269)“The Prophet said, ‘War is deceit.'”  The context of this is thought to be the murder of Usayr ibn Zarim and his thirty unarmed men by Muhammad’s men after he “guaranteed” them safe passage (see Additional Notes below).


Bukhari (52:270) – Recounts the murder of a poet, Ka’b bin al-Ashraf, at Muhammad’s insistence.  The men who volunteered for the assassination used dishonesty to gain Ka’b’s trust, pretending that they had turned against Muhammad.  This drew the victim out of his fortress, whereupon he was brutally slaughtered despite putting up a ferocious struggle for his life.


Additional Notes:

Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them.  The two forms are:


Taqiyya – Saying something that isn’t true.


Kitman – Lying by omission.  An example would be when Muslim apologists quote only a fragment of verse 5:32 (that if anyone kills “it shall be as if he had killed all mankind”) while neglecting to mention that the rest of the verse (and the next) mandate murder in undefined cases of “corruption” and “mischief.” 


Though not called Taqiyya by name, Muhammad clearly used deception when he signed a 10-year treaty with the Meccans that allowed him access to their city while he secretly prepared his own forces for a takeover.  The unsuspecting residents were conquered in easy fashion after he broke the treaty two years later, and many leaders of the city who had trusted him at his word were executed.  (See Sura (9:3) – (“…Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters…”)


Another example is when Muhammad tricked the leader of an opposing tribe with whom he was not at war to leave his town on the pretext of meeting with him at Medina.  Usayr ibn Zarim traveled with thirty men who were unarmed because of Muhammad’s guarantee of safety.  They were easily massacred by the prophet’s Muslim assassins.


The 9/11 hijackers practiced deception by going into bars and drinking alcohol, thus throwing off potential suspicion that they were fundamentalists plotting jihad.  This effort worked so well, in fact, that even weeks after 9/11 John Walsh, the host of a popular American television show, said that their bar trips were evidence of ‘hypocrisy.’


The near absence of Qur’anic verse and reliable Hadith that encourage truthfulness is somewhat surprising, given that many Muslims are convinced that their religion teaches honesty.  In fact, it is because of this ingrained belief that most Muslims are quite honest.


The circumstances by which Muhammad allowed a believer to lie are limited to those that either advance the cause of Islam or enable a Muslim to avoid harm to his well-being (and presumably that of other Muslims as well).  Although this should be kept very much in mind when dealing with matters of global security, such as Iran’s nuclear intentions, it is not grounds for assuming that the Muslim one might personally encounter on the street or in the workplace is any less honest than anyone else.

‘Ahmadinejad wants Israeli genocide’

‘Ahmadinejad wants Israeli genocide’

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to carry out another genocide aimed at destroying the State of Israel, head of Israel’s Holocaust center said Thursday.

The remarks by Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev were the most severe public comments to date on the Iranian nuclear threat by the head of Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.

“Iranian President Ahmadinejad has made Holocaust denial part of a strategic agenda; not an academic or intellectual issue. Ahmadinejad wants to lead an Islamic Jihad and to orchestrate another genocide aimed at destroying the State of Israel,” Shalev said at a symposium on Holocaust denial held at Yad Vashem for foreign diplomats stationed in Israel.

The conference, ‘Holocaust Denial: Paving the Way to Genocide’ which was held just days after a meeting of Holocaust deniers in Teheran, was attended by ambassadors and representatives from 40 countries.

“If Europe missed the opportunity to understand what Hitler was promising, then Europe should believe what the Iranian President is saying now. He means business,” said Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, a Holocaust survivor and former Justice Minister who serves as the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council.

“The entire Judeo-Christian tradition is in a battle for survival against Radical Islam,” he added.

Ahmadinejad, who has dismissed the Holocaust as a “myth,” has repeatedly called for the destruction of the State of Israel.

Aimed at combating growing Holocaust denial, Yad Vashem announced that it would be translating its web site into Arabic and Farsi.

About 20,000 people from Muslim countries, including Iran, visit the Yad Vashem website every year, Shalev said.

“Not only do we oppose the message coming out of Teheran, but we condemn it as well.” said Ambassador of Cameroon Henri Etoundi Essomba, who is serving as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Israel.

“I would like to express our solidarity with Israel in its legitimate fight against the dangerous ideologies expressed by the Teheran leadership,” he added.

Ambassadors and representatives from the United States, Uzbekistan, Austria, Uruguay, Ireland, El Salvador, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Bosnia, Belgium, Belarus, Hungary, Greece, Moldova, Norway, Czech Republic, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cameroon, Croatia, Sweden, Italy, Angola, Georgia, Germany, the EU, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Slovakia, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Panama, France, Romania and Russia attended the event.

“I have not been able to sleep for the past few days,” Holocaust survivor Rita Weiss told the crowd of diplomats.

“48 members of my family were murdered in Auschwitz during the first week of June 1944, including my mother, my father, and my brother. I am the only one who survived and managed to emerge alive, an orphan for my whole life. I cannot ever recover from this. I ask you, diplomatic representatives, did all my family just disappear? They were murdered. They have no graves, no one buried them; they became smoke and ashes,” she said.

“We didn’t believe Hitler when he said he would destroy the Jews, but he did it, he put it into practice. President Ahmadinejad has threatened and I believe him, I fear him.”

Dearborn, Michigan: Where Hezbollah Gets Its Laundry Done

Dearborn, Michigan: Where Hezbollah Gets Its Laundry Done

Just last week in greater Dearborn there were two barely reported money laundering-related stories. First, Elfat El Aouar, the wife, or possibly former wife, of federal fugitive and LaShish restaurant owner Talal Chahine, pleaded guilty to helping Chahine hide restaurant revenues from the IRS when she was financial manager for the chain.

The intended beneficiaries included Hezbollah. Chahine is believed hiding in southern Lebanon.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “[u]sing a double set of books, the owner of La Shish chain of 15 restaurants evaded taxes while funneling some $20 million to the Lebanese militant force Hezbollah in recent years.”

In a related story, Imad Majed Hamadeh, of neighboring Dearborn Heights, also was just convicted for his part in a multi-million dollar smuggling ring operating in the area handling contraband cigarettes, counterfeit Zig-Zag rolling papers, and counterfeit Viagra.

Profit beneficiaries included Hezbollah.

According to federal authorities, members of the ring (18 arrested in all), “charged a ‘Resistance Tax’ in excess of the contraband cigarettes’ black market price to fund Hezbollah.” Paying the tax enables Dearborn customers to smoke knowing they aren’t only killing themselves and evading a state tobacco tax, but are helping Hezbollah kills Israeli Jews and maybe even some American military men and women in Iraq. And every now and then some Lebanese civilians.

Meanwhile, “Federal prosecutors in Michigan say Hezbollah gets more support in their area than any other Mideast terrorist group. That may have drawn Mahmoud Kourani, a Hezbollah money man, to Dearborn, Mich. after slipping into the U.S. illegally through the Mexican border. The brother of a Hezbollah general, Kourani hosted fundraisers for the Party of God before he pleaded guilty last year to materially supporting the group. He will be deported after he finishes a 54-month prison sentence.” Read more about it here, and here.

Another article in the Chicago Tribune from last summer, “They’re 100% American, and Pro-Hezbollah,” describes how in Dearborn the “community leaders say Lebanese-Americans are not supporting terrorism against the United States. Even though the U.S. government has linked Hezbollah with the deadly attack on the Marine barracks and the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in the 1980s, Hezbollah has never attacked America at home, they argue, and has shown no interest in doing so.”

Not supporting terrorism? That’s a pretty weak argument, since just because Hezbollah has never attacked America at home doesn’t mean Hezbollah has never attacked America. Hezbollah’s slogan is “Death to America!,” and always has been. Hezbollah has been murdering Americans since its first year of existence. Here’s just part of their long record of trying to live up to it.

And a report last week from Beirut only last Sunday described “more than a half-million pro-Hezbollah demonstrators chanting ‘Death to America!‘’and ‘Death to Israel!’ in the heart of downtown,” so that “the Lebanese capital seemed more like a vision of Tehran.”

Nor is Hezbollah limiting itself to Lebanon. American intelligence sources report that Hezbollah is actively assisting in training the Mahdi army in Iraq, killing, by the way, a lot of Americans.

Another report has saidthat 1,000 to 2,000 fighters from the Mahdi Army and other Shiite militias had been trained by Hezbollah in Lebanon. A small number of Hezbollah operatives have also visited Iraq to help with training, the official said.

“This should come as no surprise, really, since many of Baghdad’s Shiites were out on the streets chanting ‘Death to Israel’ and ‘Death to America’ …in a show of support for Hezbollah militants battling Israeli troops in Lebanon.

“…’Allah, Allah, give victory to Hassan Nasrallah,’ the crowd chanted.

’Mahdi Army and Hezbollah are one. Let them confront us if they dare,’ the predominantly male crowd shouted, waving the flags of Hezbollah, Lebanon and Iraq.”

No one needs to pretend any more that Hezbollah isn’t getting Lebanese civilians killed, too. A new war crimes report shows how Hezbollah’s use of civilian cover, (as was reported in tiny media whispers in July and August and therefore widely ignored), was a key part of Hezbollah’s strategy in its recent war against Israel.

“’[The organization’s operatives] live in their houses, in their schools, in their churches, in their fields, in their farms and in their factories,’ said Mr. Nasrallah in a TV interview on May 27, several weeks before the war. ‘You can’t destroy them in the same way you would destroy an army.’

“Exactly what Mr. Nasrallah means is illustrated in the testimonials of the captured fighters. Asked why Hezbollah would risk the destruction of civilian areas by firing from them, [Hezbollah fighter Hussein Ali Mahmoud Suleiman] replied that while in theory private homes belonged to ‘the residents of the village . . . in essence they belong to Hezbollah.’

“….Islamists seek to use the restraint of Western powers against them. They shoot at our civilians from the safety of their own civilian enclaves that they know we are reluctant to attack. Then if by chance their civilians are killed, they call in CNN and al-Jazeera cameras…. ”

Christian converts irk the world of Islam

Christian converts irk the world of Islam By Sammy Ketz

Rabat – They might have Islamic names like Mohammed or Ali, but every Sunday these Moroccan converts to Christianity go discreetly to “church” – to the ire of Islamic militants and under the suspicious eye of police.

“There are about a thousand of us in around 50 independent churches across the big cities of the kingdom,” explained Abdelhalim, who coordinates these evangelical Protestant groups in Morocco.

“As we are tolerated, but not recognised (by the state) we must, for security reasons, conduct ourselves as a clandestine organisation,” said the 57-year-old, who preferred to use a pseudonym.

“As soon as a church has 20 worshippers it splits in two,” said Abdelhalim, a doctor who converted to Christianity 16 years ago when he was living abroad.

Islam is the state religion in Morocco, a country of 30 million people that counts only 5 000 Jews and 1 000 Christians, according to figures given by the two groupings.

Although you cannot be sentenced if you convert to Christianity, it is illegal to proselytise under Moroccan law.

And while official Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches are recognised by Morocco, they are only for foreigners living in
the country. Moroccan Christians have no right to pray in these churches.

However when Abdelhalim returned home seven years ago, he said he was astonished by the growing number of converts to Christianity.

“At the beginning of the 1990s there were 400 of us, four years ago around 700 and today more than 1 000,” he said.

Most of the converts belong to the middle classes and work in the private sector or as engineers. But these new evangelical Christians also count among their numbers craftsmen, housewives,
students and young unemployed people.

Christianity was established in North Africa in the third century AD but was supplanted by Islam in the seventh century. In the early 1990s, Christianity started to get a new foothold when
foreign missionaries passed on the word to Moroccans.

As for Morocco’s main cities, seven of these “free churches” – not linked to any international Protestant church – are in Marrakesh, six in Casablanca, five in Rabat and even one in El
Ayoun, the regional capital of the western Sahara.

“Television and the Internet are very efficient methods and in our church a soldier became Christian through the Al Hayat channel,” said 30-year-old Youssef, who also preferred to use a

“For many of us, Islam is perceived as a social straitjacket and not as a real faith, and Christianity as a religion of tolerance and love,” said the businessman, who converted at the age of 19 and was later followed by his family.

Yet in the eyes of the state they remain Muslim.

“Officialy, my son and I are Muslim,” said Abdelhalim. “We hold Christian marriages and bless the young couple but this is not recognised by the state. They must go before the Muslim clergy and
marry according to Sharia (Islamic law). If they don’t do this, they can be charged with adultery.”

The same goes for death. “I cannot be buried in a Christian cemetery, only in a Muslim one,” he said.

Jack Wald, 55, an American and pastor of the Rabat International Church – one of the “official” Christian churches – who has lived in Morocco since 2000 also cites the role of technology.

It “means that a country or religion cannot isolate itself from the rest of the world. This happened in eastern Europe and is happening in China and North Korea. The same is true with Muslim countries,” he said.

“Radio, television and the Internet have opened up doors for people to hear a different message than the one the imam preaches on Fridays.”

Youssef estimated that 60 percent of the Moroccan converts became Christian through personal contacts, 30 percent via television or Internet and 10 percent via missionaries.

Three evangelist Christian satellite channels which are beamed into Morocco in the Arabic language give witness accounts, hymns and prayers: Al Hayat and Saturday 7 from Cyprus, and Miracle from Canada.

Discretion is the order of the day for Morocco’s Christians, with the faithful holding services in their homes, against a background of suspicion from the Islamic world.

“We have to be careful because ordinary people cannot understand that we can be Arabs without being Muslim. For us the biggest danger is ignorance,” Abdelhalim said.

The Christian converts also have article 220 of the penal code hanging over their heads, which provides for prison sentences of between six months and three years for anyone who tries to
undermine a Muslim’s faith or to convert him to another religion.

“I have been summoned to the police station dozens of times,” said Youssef. He nonetheless says that Morocco is considered more tolerant than other Muslim countries thanks to King Mohammed VI,
who has encouraged reforms to fight poverty, boost women’s rights and thwart any slide towards Islamic extremism in the kingdom.

Radouan Benchekroun, the president of the council of Muslim scholars in Casablanca is, however, unaccommodating.

“To deny one’s religion, it is the biggest sin that a Muslim can commit,” he said.

Islamic militants insist these conversions “are not accepted by the population,” according to Lahcen Daoudi, a deputy for the Islamist Justice and Development Party.

“As long as it remains at the individual level we can turn a blind eye. The problem is on the social level. If there is proselytism or if children or teachers come to school with the Crucifix, we cannot tolerate that,” Daoudi said. – Sapa-AFP

Israel lets Haniyeh cross, but not the $35 million

Israel lets Haniyeh cross, but not the $35 million

By Joshua Mitnick
Published December 15, 2006

TEL AVIV — Israel yesterday held up Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh for eight hours at the border to the Gaza Strip until he relinquished $35 million in cash he was carrying after a two-week trip to Iran and other Muslim countries.
    The test of wills at the Rafah border crossing came amid escalating violence between Mr. Haniyeh’s ruling Hamas party and the Fatah party of moderate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
    Hamas gunmen seized control of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in a ferocious gunbattle with Fatah-allied border guards. Later, Mr. Haniyeh’s convoy came under intense fire from Fatah militants, and one of his bodyguards was killed. Hamas said the gunmen had been trying to kill the prime minister.
    More than two dozen people were wounded in the fighting, deepening factional violence that has pushed the rivals closer to civil war. One of the injured was Mr. Haniyeh’s 27-year-old son, Abed, the Associated Press reported.
    The gunbattle erupted after Hamas militants, angry that Israel was preventing Mr. Haniyeh from returning, stormed the Rafah terminal, which is controlled by the pro-Fatah Presidential Guard under the watch of European monitors.
    The Presidential Guard opened fire, setting off a gunfight. Terrified travelers ran for cover, while the European monitors who police the crossing fled.
    The Hamas militants, chanting: “God is Great, let’s liberate this place” took over the arrival hall, and border guards escorted the European monitors to safety. Two loud explosions rocked the area, and security officials said militants had blown a hole in the border fence about a half mile from the terminal.
    With the terminal closed, Mr. Haniyeh was stranded on the Egyptian side of the border for several hours. Late yesterday, the Presidential Guard regained control of the terminal, and the European monitors moved back in.
    Acting on an intelligence tip, Israeli officials closed the border in the belief that Mr. Haniyeh was carrying funds that could end up in the hands of the military wing of Hamas. Palestinian and Western sources said the prime minister was forced to leave $35 million in cash in suitcases on the Egyptian side of the border before being allowed back in.
    With international banks honoring an embargo on money transfers to the Palestinian government, Hamas officials have regularly carried large amounts of cash donated by friendly Middle East governments into Gaza to keep the government afloat.
    In Iran, Mr. Haniyeh got a $250 million pledge from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and declared that Iran represented the “strategic depth” of the Palestinians. The alliance has raised concern in Israel that Iran is setting up a protege government and military affiliates just a few miles from Israeli cities.
    “The Israeli security agencies are really disturbed by the links of Hamas to Iran,” said a senior security official. “They train, they fund many of the hostile elements in the Middle East. This is something that should be taken very seriously in terms of counterterrorism.”
    Western countries and centrist Arab regimes don’t want Hamas to have access to the money out of fear it will be used to strengthen the military wing of the Islamic party at the expense of Mr. Abbas.
    Mr. Haniyeh’s meeting with the Iranian president and Tehran’s aid pledge help Hamas demonstrate to Palestinians that they do not need to rely on the United States, Europe and Japan for financial support, analysts said.
    Among ordinary Palestinians, the trip, which included stops in Syria, Qatar and Sudan, has shown Mr. Haniyeh as a leader capable of securing financial aid for the hard-pressed Palestinian Authority.
    Talks between Hamas and Fatah on establishing a unity government have faltered in recent weeks. Even though the Hamas-led government is suffering from an international aid boycott, Mr. Haniyeh’s fundraising trip shows Palestinians that the Islamic militants can take the lead on foreign policy.
    Mr. Abbas is scheduled to deliver a major speech tomorrow in which he is expected to discuss whether he will dismiss the government and order new parliamentary elections.    

Palestine: Peace, Not Prejudice

Palestine: Peace, Not Prejudice
By Joseph Puder | December 15, 2006

Jimmy Carter, it appears, needed a scapegoat for his failed presidency and Israel served as a convenient target. His new book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is a shameful tract filled with factual inaccuracies, and blatant one-sidededness. His pent up frustration with his inability to influence U.S. policy on behalf of his Arab friends prompted the publication of this libelous book.

Lest the readers forget, in March 1977, just months after his inauguration, Carter made his first foreign policy speech in which he called for a “Palestinian Homeland.”


Carter’s presidency, widely renowned for its crowning achievement, The Camp David Accords, which established a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, was not however, a Carter initiative.


Carter’s intentions and policy commitments were geared towards arranging a Geneva Peace Conference with all the parties to the Arab-Israeli dispute present, in addition to the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

 Carter dispatched Cyrus Vance, his Secretary of State, to Moscow to get the Soviets to co-sponsor the conference. On May 21, 1977, Secretary Vance and Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko issued a joint statement that the “elimination of the continued source of tension in the Middle East constitutes one of the primary tasks in ensuring peace and international security.” The statement specified moreover the conviction of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. that in order to achieve the goal, “an important role belonged to the Geneva Conference on the Middle East. 

Carter decided to coordinate his Middle East efforts with the Soviets on the premise that keeping them out of the picture could provoke them to undermine any American sponsored moves. This typical Carteresque strategy of appeasing dictatorships and dictators (Carter never met a dictator he did not like) backfired time and again.


In the case of the Geneva Conference, Anwar Sadat, Egypt’s President, who five years earlier expelled the Soviets from Egypt, did not want the Soviets involved in negotiations, much less in a multilateral negotiations. Sadat understood that the Soviets would press the Arabs to be uncompromising (he also knew that Carter would press Israel for concessions) and was turned off by the thought that radical voices in Syria and Iraq would undermine Egypt’s position as the leader of the Arab world.


Sadat was dead-set against going to Geneva. And, in order to scuttle the idea he had to get Israel to reject it.


On November 7, 1977, Anwar Sadat made an historic trip to Jerusalem providing Israelis with one of the most euphoric days in their collective memory. Sadat’s dramatic move and Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s personal opposition to Geneva and Soviet participation scuttled the idea of the conference. Carter quickly jumped on the Begin-Sadat bandwagon and the rest is history. It is important to acknowledge that the Camp David Accords – Carter’s premier presidential achievement – happened in spite of his misjudgment.

 In a recent interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, Carter claimed, rather unconvincingly, that the title Palestine: Peace not Apartheid only pertained to the “West Bank and Gaza and not to Israel itself.” If that is the case, it must be Carter not George Bush who does not read newspapers. Apparently Carter forgot about Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip for which Israel has been rewarded with increasing and continual Kassam rocket attacks on Israeli towns in the western Negev.  Palestinian-Arab terrorism with its strain of suicide bombers that targeted Israeli civilians, particularly children, is of no interest to “human rights Jimmuh.” Carter, it seems, has amnesia when it comes to recalling the murderous actions of Palestinian terrorists led by his late friend, Yasser Arafat. (Carter volunteered to serve as his advisor on how to deal with the U.S.).  As far as Carter is concerned Israel has contravened all UN resolutions and other agreements, in its eagerness to grab Palestinian lands. The fact that suicide-bombers killed nearly 500 Israelis, in 2002 alone, forcing the Israeli military to reoccupy most of the major cities Israel handed over to the Palestinian Authority as part of the Oslo Accords, in order to protect its civilians, is not within Carter’s scope of understanding.  Israeli closures and security checks as well as the security barrier are meant to forestall Palestinian-Arab terrorism. The Palestinian hardships Carter bemoans were instituted after the al-Aqsa intifada that meant to destroy the Jewish State. Until the late 1980’s hundreds of thousands of Palestinian workers had easy access to Israel and to the jobs they held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and elsewhere throughout the country. Israel was forced to close its doors to Palestinian wage earners for the sake of self-preservation. Suicide-bombings engineered by Arafat and his henchmen ended a long period of growing prosperity among Palestinian-Arabs. Carter’s deep and irrational bias against Israel is illuminated by his charges that the Palestinians-Arabs have always been ready to settle for a two-state solution and that UN Resolution 242 called upon Israel to return to the 1949 ceasefire lines. Israel, in fact, accepted the Peel Commission recommendation in 1938; it accepted the UN Partition Plan of 1947, and called for the implementation of Resolution 242 in 1967. All three were rejected by the Arab states then, and Arafat rejected the far-reaching concessions Israel Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered at Camp David II in July 2000. In each case the Arabs and Palestinians responded with terrorism.  In 1937, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, Hitler’s friend and a partner in the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, incited the Arab Revolt – terrorism a la 1936-1939. In 1947 the Palestinian Arabs rejected Partition and conspired war against the nascent Jewish State. And, in 1967, the Arab Summit in Khartoum answered Israel’s call for peace with the Three No’s: to peace, negotiation, and recognition of Israel. At Camp David II President Bill Clinton recognized Barak’s concessions of more than 95 percent of the West Bank and Gaza, in addition to territories Israel was prepared to give the Palestinians on the Negev’s border with Egypt, and East Jerusalem as the capital of Arab Palestine. Arafat rejected Barak’s offer, predicated on Arafat’s end-of-conflict declaration, much to the dismay of President Clinton. Arafat, believing Israel lacked the will or resolve to fight, launched the al-Aqsa Intifada, hoping to bring down the Jewish State.  Jimmy Carter totally misread UN resolution 242 and NPR’s Terry Gross let the interview, replete with this and other inaccuracies, unfold without a word of contest. According to former British Ambassador to the UN, Lord Caradon, who introduced the resolution to the Council, “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial.”  Arthur Goldberg, U.S. Ambassador to the UN at the time stated that, “The notable omissions – which were not accidental – in regards to withdrawal are the words “the” or “all” and the June 1967 lines…the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of the withdrawal.” The resolution is steadfastly clear in its call for the Palestinians to make peace with Israel. When Egypt and Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel they received all the territories demanded. The Palestinian Arabs insist today, as yesteryear, on “all” of Palestine or “none.” They prefer to destroy the Jewish State rather than legitimately come to a peaceful resolution with Israel. For the Palestinians today it is about a religious war – Jihad against the infidels – and not a territorial claim. Carter has yet to discover that calls for Jihad are not comparable to Sunday school teachings of love and tolerance in the Bible belt or in Plains, Georgia.

Baker-Hamilton Lunacy

Baker-Hamilton Lunacy
By Kenneth R. Timmerman | December 15, 2006

Much ink has already been spilled on the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report. Welcomed by liberals and condemned by conservatives, more importantly it has been rejected by just every public figure in Iraq. Without a doubt, the report’s most controversial recommendation was the call for direct talks with the governments of Syria and Iran. What has gone unrecognized, however, are the stunning misconceptions underlying that recommendation. (Note: the page references below all refer to the PDF version of the report, which can be downloaded here. All emphasis is my own). Misconception #1: “Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively.” (p7) Neither Iran nor Syria has any interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq. On the contrary, their behavior shows that chaos and the collapse of the Iraqi government are in fact their goal. If they had been concerned with avoiding chaos in Iraq, they had many good opportunities to support the Iraqi government, to support the building of a national Iraqi army, and to strengthen border controls. Instead, they promoted insurgents whose goals were to ignite sectarian conflict.  Misconception #2: “In seeking to influence the behavior of both countries, the United States has disincentives and incentives available.” (p7) Since the 1979 revolution, the United States has repeatedly attempted to “influence the behavior” of the regime, without success.  The Baker-Hamilton proposal is a warmed rehash of the same failed policy we’ve been trying since 1979. Following the seizure of US hostages in Tehran in 1979, the U.S. and its allies imposed sweeping diplomatic, economic, and political sanctions. Tens of billions of dollars of Iranian assets were frozen around the world. The new Iranian regime became an instant outcast. Oil output plummeted to one third the pre-revolutionary levels. Unemployment soared. Per capita income collapsed – and has still not regained pre-revolutionary levels. Despite these “disincentives,” the regime persisted in the behavior we found objectionable. One could draw similar examples from the 1980s, the 1990s, or the past few years. Again and again, the world community has sought to “influence the behavior” of the Tehran regime, and the regime has brushed off threats and incentives alike. On the contrary, this is a regime that has been willing to pay a tremendously high price in blood and treasure to pursue its murderous policies. Recall that the only reason the regime ultimately released the U.S. hostages in January 1981 was out of fear that the incoming Reagan administration would join forces with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and bring about the collapse of the regime. Short of an all-out U.S. military assault on Iran, U.S. support for regime-change is the only approach that can avoid a future Persian Gulf region dominated by a radical Iranian regime armed with nuclear weapons. Saying pretty-please, as the Baker-Hamilton group proposed, just isn’t going to work. Misconception #3: “Several Iraqi, U.S., and international officials commented to us that Iraqi opposition to the United States— and support for Sadr—spiked in the aftermath of Israel’s bombing campaign in Lebanon. “ (p24) This is pure mendacity, and is transparently false. It was the Feb. 2006 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra (possibly carried out on orders from Iran) that ignited all-out sectarian conflict, not an Iranian proxy war hundreds of miles from Iraq’s borders. Misconception #4: Iraq cannot be addressed effectively in isolation from other major regional issues, interests, and unresolved conflicts. To put it simply, all key issues in the Middle East—the Arab-Israeli  conflict, Iraq, Iran, the need for political and economic reforms, and extremism and terrorism—are inextricably linked.” This is the type of nonsense the Saudis, their Washington lobbyists and others have been promoting for some time. Bombs are going off in Najaf? Hariri gets assassinated in Lebanon? It’s all the fault of the Jews. If there is logic here, it is not of the sort to make Americans proud. Misconception #5: “…the Support Group should actively engage Iran and Syria in its diplomatic dialogue, without preconditions. This is a prescription for transforming Iran into the superpower of the Persian Gulf. It’s no coincidence that following these encouragements in the Baker-Hamilton report, Iran announced it was installing 3,000 centrifuges in Natanz. Pay no price, pay no heed (or as my 13-year son would say, “No pain, no brain.”)   Note that the Saudis and their GCC partners are not the fools that Baker and Hamilton appear to be. The day after the Iranian nuclear announcement, the GCC announced that it would be studying a joint “peaceful” nuclear program, as I reported earlier this week. Misconception #6: “…[T]he United States and Iran cooperated in Afghanistan, and both sides should explore whether this model can be replicated in the case of Iraq. (Recommendation 9 – p37) Recommendation #9 is the core of the Baker-Hamilton argument for engaging Iran. Here they repeat Misconception #1 (that Iran actually wants to avoid chaos in Iraq) and Misconception #2 (that the U.S. can influence Iran’s behavior by offering incentives), to arrive at Misconception #6, a historic misreading of what actually happened in Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks on America. It should be noted that nowhere in the report does the ISG ever describe how Iran cooperated with the United States in Afghanistan. In television interviews, Baker has referred to multi-lateral talks on Afghanistan’s future that included an Iranian government representative. But for the Iranians, the Afghan talks were a no-brainer. Once the United States had smashed the Taliban regime and demonstrated its dominance in Afghanistan, of course the Iranians wanted to have a stake in crafting Afghanistan’s future. No one else was going to protect the Hazara community (Afghanistan’s Shiite population). Iran felt a historic responsibility to step up to the plate. It’s a safe bet that the Islamic regime in Tehran will take part in international groupings that include U.S. representatives if they believe that is the only way of meeting their interests. But this is simply not the case in Iraq. Beyond that, however, is an omission of tremendous significance. Far from opposing al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as the Baker-Hamilton report suggests, the Iranian regime provided material and logistical support to al Qaeda before 9/11, and opened a rat line to evacuate top al Qaeda operatives to Iran in the weeks after the U.S. assault on Afghanistan began, as the 9/11 commission report reported. Even today, Iran harbors several hundred top al Qaeda terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden’s eldest son Saad and al Qaeda military leader Saef al-Adel, whom they claim to be holding under “house arrest.” Misconception #7: …Worst-case scenarios in Iraq could inflame sectarian tensions within Iran, with serious consequences for Iranian national security interests.” (p37) Iran’s leaders don’t fear “sectarian tensions,” they have been stoking them. And should Saudi Arabia or others start to provide support for Azeri, Baluchi, or other separatists groups inside Iran, don’t worry: the Rev. Guards will crack down in a hurry, and Amnesty International won’t be invited to the party. Like several other “incentives” listed by the Baker-Hamilton group, this is a straw man. (Other “incentives” they cite include things the Iranians know we will do anyway, such “preventing the Taliban from destabilizing Afghanistan.”) The Iranians certainly aren’t going to change their behavior to get what’s being given to them for free. Misconception #8: Further, Iran’s refusal to cooperate [with the Support Group] would diminish its prospects of engaging with the United States in the broader dialogue it seeks (p38) This statement combines two separate misconceptions: first, that Iran actually seeks a broader dialogue with the United States (it does not: it merely seeks an end to perceived U.S. support for regime change), and second, that the United States might actually hold Iran accountable if it refuses to adhere to U.S. conditions for our cooperation.  The record of U.S. negotiations with Iran has been crystal clear:  the minute the United States begins making concessions to Iran, we are already have way down the slippery slope to capitulation. For proof, re-read my cautious welcome in these pages to Condoleeza Rice’s offer of a straight-up, black-and-white offer to Iran in May to give up its nuclear program. Anyone who thinks for an instant the Iranians aren’t aware of our dismal negotiation record has never tried to buy a Persian carpet. Glimmers of truth occasionally make it through the smokescreen of this absolutely abysmal report. Proposed talks between Iran and the United States about the situation in Iraq have not taken place. One Iraqi official told us: ‘Iran is negotiating with the United States in the streets of Baghdad.’” (p25) Given that no one is making the Iranians pay a price for “negotiating” with the United States by setting off shaped-charge IEDs that murder Iraqis and U.S. troops, why should they sit with us and agree to make concessions? If the Baker-Hamilton report had been written by high school freshmen who had never left the American suburbs, one would give them a pat on the back and suggest that they will change their tune once they encounter the real world, where America’s enemies are numerous, determined, and deadly. But Baker and Hamilton don’t have that excuse. Their report, which offers little more than U.S. capitulation, is based on lies and misconceptions these veteran practitioners of U.S. foreign policy are smart enough to understand.The President should respond to it just as Baker demanded when he told Congress not to consider it “like a fruit salad and say, ‘I like this, but I don’t like that. I like this, but I don’t like that.’” He should send the report back to its authors with a Donald Trump cover note: “You’re fired!”