Filling Jesus’ sandals, does Tom Cruise stack up?

Filling Jesus’ sandals, does Tom Cruise stack up?
By Linda Kincaid
Thursday, January 25, 2007 – Updated: 07:28 AM EST

Is Tom Cruise the Jesus of Scientology? That’s what the London papers are saying. Call us old-fashioned, but that seems like a pretty high standard for Tom to meet. See for yourself how T.C. measures up to J.C.:

    

* * * * * * *

    IMMACULATE CONCEPTION?

    
Jesus: Where Jesus came from, according to the faithful.
Cruise: Where baby Suri came from, according to the skeptics.

    

* * * * * * *

    TRANSPORTATION:

    
Jesus: Mostly on foot, rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed ass.
Tom: Sitting on own his ass in a speeding SUV with blacked-out windows.

    

* * * * * * *

    ENTOURAGE:

    
Jesus: Sinners, lepers and 12 guys who were called to help him.
Tom: Paparazzi, Scientology handlers and 1 woman (Katie) who needs help.

    

* * * * * * *

    MINISTERED:

    
Jesus: To the weak, the infirm, those seeking salvation.
Tom: To the celebrity-obsessed, acolytes of a dead sci-fi writer, his own ego.

    

* * * * * * *

    CAMPAIGNED FOR:

    
Jesus: Justice, mercy, forgiveness, service.
Tom: Above-title billing, points, exec-producer credit.

    

* * * * * * *

    BEST-KNOWN SERMON:

    
Jesus: On the Mount
Cruise: On Oprah’s couch

    

* * * * * * *

    “LOVE…”

    
Jesus: “…God; thy neighbor as thyself.”
Cruise: “…me!”

    

* * * * * * *

    PERSONAL SACRIFICE:

    
Jesus: Publicly executed for the sins of humanity.
Tom: Fired by Paramount for his sins, but what has he done for us lately?

Tom Cruise hailed as ‘Christ’ of Scientology

Tom Cruise hailed as ‘Christ’ of Scientology

Thursday January 25, 2007

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise has been hailed as the “Christ” of Scientology.

The actor, who is a devout follower of the religion, has been hailed by leaders of the faith as the “chosen one” who will spread the word.

High-ranking Scientologist David Miscavige is convinced Cruise, 44, will one day be worshipped like Jesus all over the world, becoming a prophet for the religion.

A source close to the actor is quoted by Britain’s The Sun newspaper as saying: “Tom has been told he is Scientology’s Christ-like figure. Just like Christ, he has been criticised for his views. But future generations will realise he was right, just like Jesus.”

Cruise, a top ranking Scientologist, joined the Church of Scientology in the mid-80s. His wife Katie Holmes has reportedly converted to the faith.

The religion’s founder, American science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, claimed that extra terrestrial beings were sent to planet Earth by intergalactic ruler Xenu, who then blew up the aliens with hydrogen bombs in a volcano.

Democrats’ Silence On The Global Jihad

Democrats’ Silence On The Global Jihad
By Jeff Jacoby
Thursday, January 25, 2007

The surge is underway, and more rapidly than many of us were expecting. The influx of new troops into Iraq? No, of candidates into the 2008 presidential contest.  

So far this month, Senators Hillary Clinton of New York, Barack Obama of Illinois, and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, plus Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico — Democrats all — have formally launched White House campaigns (or “exploratory committees”). Already in the race were former senators John Edwards of North Carolina and Mike Gravel of Alaska, former governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa, and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich.  

Eight Democrats, eight would-be commanders-in-chief — all running for president in a time of war. So which of them, on getting into the race, had this to say about the nature of the enemy confronting us?  

“We are engaged in a war against an axis of Islamists, extremists, and terrorists. It is an axis of evil. It has headquarters in Tehran and Waziristan. But because of the unconventional nature of this war, it also has headquarters in cities throughout Europe and Asia and Africa and the United States of America, in cells that operate in the shadows but are prepared to strike us again as they did on September 11th, 2001.  

“The enemy we are fighting is . . . totalitarian. It is inhumane. It has a violent ideology and a goal of expansionism and totalitarianism. It threatens our security, our values, our way of life as seriously, in my opinion, as fascism and communism did in the last century.”  

Can’t match that assessment of the global jihad with the Democratic candidate who uttered it? Don’t feel bad; it was a trick question. Those words were actually spoken by Senator Joseph Lieberman at an American Enterprise Instituteforum on Iraq this month. Lieberman shared the podium with GOP colleague John McCain, who was no less blunt in his evaluation of the war and its stakes.  

For McCain, a Republican presidential hopeful, the struggle against the Islamists is the paramount issue of the day. His campaign website, while spare, highlights a recent speech in which McCain called stopping radical Islam “our most important moral obligation.” He described the jihadists as “moral monsters but . . . also a disciplined, dedicated movement driven by an apocalyptic religious zeal, which celebrates martyrdom and murder.” We are in a battle with “those who would shackle humanity, especially women, in a feudal theocracy,” McCain said. “We cannot afford to take a holiday from history.”  

Sounding nearly as resolute is former governor Mitt Romney, whose campaign website puts “Defeating the Jihadists” first in its list of key campaign issues. “The jihadists are waging a global war against the United States and its allies,” Romney is quoted as saying, “with the ambition of replacing legitimate governments with a caliphate — a theocracy.” Speaking in Israel yesterday, Romney asserted that “a central purpose of NATO should be to defeat radical Islam,” through means both military and ideological.

The Democratic candidates, by contrast, are virtually silent on the subject.  

Barack Obama launched his exploratory committee with an online video that mentioned the economy, healthcare, vanishing pensions, college costs, and the fractiousness of partisan politics. His only nod to national security was a passing reference to the war in Iraq, which he opposes. But 9/11 and its aftermath? The worldwide jihad? The global conflict between democratic freedom and Taliban-style repression? Not a word.  

Hillary Clinton’s highly praised kickoff video likewise included nothing about the overriding threat of our time. Her website does contain a speech she gave at the Council on Foreign Relations last October, but it is filled with windy rhetoric about diplomacy and international conferences and how we must address the “troubled conditions terrorists seek out.” New Yorkers don’t need to be told “that we are in a war against terrorists who seek to do us harm,” Clinton says. But if she recognizes that the future of the civilized world depends on winning that war, she shows little sign of it.  

What is true of Obama and Clinton is more or less true of Edwards, Richardson, and the others. The Democrats seem prepared to emulate John Kerry, who insisted in 2004 that “we have to get back to the place we were” before 9/11. Back, that is, to treating Islamist terrorism not as “the focus of our lives,” but merely as “a nuisance” that we need “to reduce” — like gambling, he said, or prostitution.  

Heading into the 2008 campaign, our political universe is still divided. On one side are those who see the Islamists as a nuisance to be controlled. On the other: those who regard them as an existential enemy to be destroyed. On the relative strength of those two camps, the next election may well depend.

Israel faces nuclear Holocaust warns Gingrich

Israel faces nuclear Holocaust warns GingrichNewt Gingrich: Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem facing mortal Iranian threat, says former US Speaker of the House; emphasizes ‘three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust’
Yaakov Lappin

The Israeli people are facing the threat of a nuclear Holocaust, former US Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich warned the Herzliya Conference held by the Institute for Policy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya on Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, he said, the United States could lose a few million people or a number of cities to a terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction.Gingrich, who addressed the conference via satellite from the United States, said he thought Israel’s existence was under threat again for the first time in 40 years. “Israel is in the greatest danger it has been in since 1967. Prior to ’67, many wondered if Israel would survive. After ’67, Israel seemed military dominant, despite the ’73 war. I would say we are (now) back to question of survival,” Gingrich said. He added that the United States could “lose two or three cities to nuclear weapons, or more than a million to biological weapons.” Gingrich added that in such a scenario, “freedom as we know it will disappear, and we will become a much grimmer, much more militarized, dictatorial society.” “Three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust,” Gingrich declared, adding: “People are greatly underestimating how dangerous the world is becoming. I’ll repeat it, three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust. Our enemies are quite explicit in their desire to destroy us. They say it publicly? We are sleepwalking through this process as though it’s only a problem of communication,” Gingrich said. The former House speaker expressed concern that the Israeli and American political establishments were not fully equipped to take stock of the current threat level. “Our enemies are fully as determined as Nazi Germany, and more determined that the Soviets. Our enemies will kill us the first chance they get. There is no rational ability to deny that fact. It’s very clear that the problems are larger and more immediate than the political systems in Israel or the US are currently capable of dealing with,” said Gingrich.

‘Time to come to grips with threat’

“We don’t have right language, goals, structure, or operating speed, to defeat our enemies. My hope is that being this candid and direct, I could open a dialogue that will force people to come to grips with how serious this is, how real it is, how much we are threatened. If that fails, at least we will be intellectually prepared for the correct results once we have lost one or more cities,” Gingrich added.

He also said “citizens who do not wake up every morning and think about the possible catastrophic civilian casualties are deluding themselves.” “If we knew that tomorrow morning we would lose Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, what we would to stop it? If we knew we would tomorrow lose Boston, San Francisco, or Atlanta, what would we do? Today, those threats are probably one, two, five years away? Although you can’t be certain when our enemies will break out,” he warned. Earlier, Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, said that Islamic jihadism was “the nightmare of this century.” “The war in Lebanon demonstrated that Israel is facing a jihadist threat that runs through Tehran, to Damascus, to Gaza. Hizbullah are not fighting for the coming into being of a Palestinian state, but for the going out of being of the Israeli state,” he said. Romney emphasized that Iran could not be compared to the former Soviet threat, because the Islamic Republic was following a suicidal path. “For all of the Soviets’ deep flaws, they were never suicidal. Soviet commitment to national survival was never in question. That assumption cannot be made to an irrational regime (Iran) that celebrates martyrdom,” he said.

The former governor called for the utilization of the widespread opposition held by the Iranian people to their own regime, in order to facilitate regime change, while also adding that “the military option remains on the table.” “Iran must be stopped. Iran can be stopped,” Romney declared, receiving applause.

Ahmadinejad stormtroopers in Iraq

Ahmadinejad stormtroopers in Iraq

James Lewis
While the MSM and Democrats are too busy gazing at their navels to figure out the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, things are moving very fast in Iraq. The famous “surge” started in December, a month before it was announced in public, and it is having concrete results. A battle has taken place in Baghdad’s infamous Haifa Street, which used to be bandit territory. The challenge is to hold that territory.

El Sadr’s Mahdi Army is offering a cease fire and negotiations for fear of an American-Iraq Army assault. The challenge is how to tie Muqtada el Sadr’s hands by a combination of political/economic incentives and the threat of total destruction if he goes back to the armed option. Al Qaida is said to have retreated from Baghdad tactically, and is reported reported to be fighting in isolation from Sunni and Shiite death squads.  All this is good news; but the challenge is to hold, hold, hold. That is up to the Iraq Army, stiffened by American soldiers and political resolve.
The most significant new development is the arrest in Iraq of the operational director of Ahmadinejad’s storm trooper (Al Quds) brigade.
If the MSM were doing its job, this would be big headline news. First, the Al Quds brigade is Ahmadinejad’s own unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, which he helped grow in order to conduct terrorist operations abroad, in Lebanon, Israel, Iraq and even Mecca.
They are the SS stormtroopers of the Islamic revolution.
The idea that a top officer of the Quds brigade would be caught with his pants down in Iraq is simply astonishing. It tears the veil from all the Iranian denials of direct involvement in arming and funding Iraqi death squads.
Recent documents also show that the Iranians have been aiding both the Sunni and Shiite sides against the government in Baghdad. The enemy of my enemy is my friend – for now.
Second, it is extremely peculiar that the Al Quds operations director would be personally involved in Iraq. He could easily direct Iranian subversion from a hundred miles away in Iran. This is therefore either a major blunder, or it may be a sign that the Iranians are having problems controlling their Iraqi puppet groups and their “rat lines,” supplying IEDs and personnel into Baghdad. 
Alternatively, it may be a sign of barefaced arrogance. The Quds command may have counted on the protection of the Al Maliki government. But the Americans shocked everyone by acting fast on high-value information, arresting the Iranian storm troopers regardless of the political waves it would make. This is very different from our previous compliance with Al Maliki’s efforts to protect Shiite militants. The Americans are getting mad.
At this point secular Iraqis want American troops to protect them, and to keep the government honest. It’s the question of what will happen after the Americans draw down that has the Iraqis covering their bets.
That is why the non-binding Senate resolution against the “surge” comes at precisely the wrong time, scaring our allies and giving hope to the bad guys. US politicians are in CYA mode, undermining the entire effort in Iraq and Iran.
Meanwhile, back in Tehran, which is one place this war will be decided, Ahmadinejad is finally arousing public opposition from “pragmatic reactionaries” like Rafsanjani and “quietist reactionaries” like Montazeri. The Americans’ arrest of Ahmadinejad’s good friends of the Al Quds brigade was bound to ring loud alarm bells in Tehran. The pragmatists are worried that Ahmadinejad’s militant fist-shaking threats will lead to a further tightening of the economic screws on Iran, and a joint Israeli-American series of strikes against known nuclear sites, possibly along with an embargo and other economic ratcheting of the screws. The United States wore down Saddam’s military over ten years of relentless quiet warfare under the UN sanctions.
Tehran must remember that.
The Saudis and Gulf states sound ready to back up Iraq’s Sunnis by funding them, and more important, by persuading them that in the short term, Sunni support of American policy in Baghdad is in their best interests. The alternative is a mounting threat of  Shiite imperialism coming from Tehran.
So Tehran’s pragmatists are arguing for a more moderate short-term policy. They still want their nukes, but they might be willing to wait a couple of years longer. Ahmadinejad seems to have a private timeline for Armageddon. But Rafsanjani didn’t become the richest man in Iran by pursuing personal martyrdom. Because Ahmadinejad is a single-minded fanatic, he will be hard to stop.
So we are in the midst of dubious battle. If the United States remains strong and smart, we can have a good outcome. If we are weak, ambivalent and stupid, or if the Democrats gain power in 2008, we can lose this one. And be faced with an Islamofascist Iran armed with nukes, an Iraq that cannot counterbalance Tehran and might even become its colony, and an Arabian oil supply right across the Gulf that is easily threatened by Khomeinist expansionism.
American firmness of purpose will make all the difference. It’s do or die.
James Lewis is the nom de plume of a frequent contributor to American Thinker. He blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com 

Encouraging signs in Iraq

Encouraging signs in Iraq

Greg Richards
Nibras Kazimi has a column in today’s (Thursday January 25, 2007) New York Sun titled “Turnaround in Baghdad.”  His thesis is that we are making real progress in Iraq:

The wider Sunni insurgency – the groups beyond Al Qaeda – is being slowly, and surely, defeated. 

Kazimi is a skeptic about the reputation of Geneeral Petraeus, seeing severe flaws in the execution of his two previous assignments in Iraq, but nevertheless thinks that he may reap the benefit of progress that is already evident.  He thinks the turning point came in the fall:

Last October, my sources began telling me about rumblings among the insurgent strategists suggesting that their murderous endeavor was about to run out of steam.

Read the whole thing. 
Is there any other evidence to support Kazimi’s scenario?  We here at AT have been pointing to the remarkable surge in the value of the Iraqi dinar that started at about the same time and has continued right through today.  Since the September/October period, as can be seen in the chart, the Iraqi dinar has gained about 14% in value, a very large move for a currency. 
Following an initial slide in value, the dinar had been essentially flat since its introduction by the Coalition Provisional Authority in October 2003.  So the move since September represents a real change in its status.  Why has it advanced in value?  One reason is doubtless the increase in the interest rate – the Policy Rate – by the Central Bank of Iraq from 12% in September to 20% recently.
But this cannot be the whole reason, nor even the principal reason. Why?  Because if there were real fear that the regime would fall, this would be nowhere near sufficient inducement to buy the dinar, which will be worthless if the regime does fall.  What the increase in the value of the dinar very likely represents is a “voting with their feet” of the participants in the economy and an increase in the need for dinars for transactions within Iraq. 
This increase in value coincides with Kazimi’s hypothesis of a turning point in the military situation in October.  Of course, there can be no guarantees on any of these points.  But we, as citizens, want to strive to assemble our own mosaic on Iraq and not be panicked about the future when we may, after considerable sacrifice and effort, be finally cresting the peak of the hill there.

At last! A clear view Ex-CIA Director: PA Arabs Don’t Deserve State

At last! A clear view

Rachel Neuwirth
James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA, in an interview with Israel National Radio, has spoken a blunt truth.

Asked his opinion on the establishment of a Palestinian state, the former CIA director recommended that it not happen in the coming decades. He said that though the Jewish presence in this region precedes the Moslem claim – “for some Muslims like Arafat to deny that Jews were ever present here is idiotic” – the Moslems also have national rights in the area.

Openly avoiding the question of the nature or borders of a Palestinian state, he emphasized his opinion that “the Palestinians should not be granted the right to statehood until they start to treat Israeli Jews who settle in the West Bank as fairly as Israel treats its Muslim citizens.”

“An Arab Muslim living in Jaffa,” Woolsey said, “enjoys freedom of speech, religion, and expression, and can vote for his representatives in the Knesset, and doesn’t go to sleep worrying that some government element might come and kill him. I think that once the Palestinians start treating Jewish settlers with that same degree of humanity – and they’re very, very far from doing that now – at that point I think we have to seriously consider how they could have some degree of self-governing. I won’t get into the question of borders, but what I think is that the Palestinians must be held to the same standards as Israel regarding how they treat the other. I am sure this will be many decades from now, though, because their children are taught the Wahhabi doctrine of being suicide bombers and the like.”

Lebanon Inches Toward the Precipice

Lebanon Inches Toward the Precipice

By Rick Moran

In what is being referred to by pro-government forces as an attempted coup, Hezb’allah and their allies in the opposition took to the streets on Tuesday in what was billed as a “General Strike” in order to force the government of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to capitulate to opposition demands for a “National Unity Government.”

Protestors blocked roads with burning tires in what appeared to be an extraordinarily well organized effort to shut down the country. The roadblocks effectively kept tens of thousands of people from commuting to work and many of Lebanon’s businesses were closed for the day. Also, the road to the airport was blocked when dump trucks appeared and piled dirt and garbage at strategic locations along the route.
Pro government forces clashed with the opposition at many locations throughout the country, but especially in the north in Tripoli where violence continued Wednesday. All told, at least three deaths were reported and 133 injured. Most of the injuries were from gunshot wounds.
As swiftly as the violence broke out, it appears today that the opposition has called off the protests. Hezb’allah leader Hassan Nasrallah may have been taken aback by the intensity of the clashes between his supporters and those of the government and decided to take a step back. Or, he may have planned the strike as a one day demonstration of his ability to shut the country down any time he wishes. In either case, it is clear that Nasrallah has begun to ratchet up the pressure on the government and force them to accede to his demands.
But in so doing, Nasrallah has energized the Sunnis and forced them to confront the Shias. The act of blocking the roads in southern and western Beirut hemmed the Sunnis into their own enclave and was seen as something of a blockade. Not only that, the roadblocks and the shutting down of the road to the airport were all too reminiscent of what transpired during the years of civil war. Many of the same areas that were battlegrounds during that horrible period once again saw blood running in the streets. The significance was not lost on Nasrallah nor on the Sunnis, which may be the main reason that the Hezb’allah leader called off the general strike. Nasrallah and his masters in Iran do not want a civil war in Lebanon. He would just as soon swallow Lebanon whole without a messy sectarian conflict on his hands.
This doesn’t take into account what Nasrallah’s Christian ally Michel Aoun would like to see happen. Aoun and Nasrallah appear to be getting farther apart in what each wants to accomplish with these opposition demonstrations that have been going on since early December. Where Nasrallah wants a sufficient number of ministers in the cabinet so that he would have veto power over the government, Aoun’s Presidential ambitions seem to have taken a backseat in Nasrallah’s planning.
And Aoun’s machinations have split the Christian community to the point that some of those clashes yesterday were between Christian factions loyal to Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and the pro-government Lebanese Forces headed up by Aoun’s longtime rival Samir Geaegea. The Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir has condemned both sides in the conflict but so far has done little to try and heal the split among his people. This schism among Christians is another reminder of what happened during the civil war when the anti-Syrian faction headed up ironically by Aoun fought pitched battles with Geagea’s Lebanese Forces in East Beirut. It is indicative of the tragedy that is Lebanese history and politics that 17 years later, the same forces are fighting again only this time it is Aoun allied with pro-Syrian forces and Geagea in opposition.
Where was the army during these clashes? Early in the day, the army commander Michel Suleiman ordered his troops not to fire on protestors but to try and keep the roads open. This order was honored in the breech as there is ample evidence the army not only assisted the opposition by preventing people from going to work but also stood by and allowed small numbers of protestors to blockade the roads. It is clear that the army failed to do its job. Troops did move in when violence erupted to scatter combatants with tear gas and by firing their guns into the air. But the damage is done. Prime Minister Siniora may not be able to trust the army when Nasrallah makes his next move.
The timing of the protest is interesting in that Siniora was headed to Paris to conclude talks that would bring billions of dollars in aid to the Lebanese economy, devastated by Hezb’allah’s war with Israel last summer. The US has pledged more than $750 million while the French have promised another $500 million to help rebuild much of the infrastructure destroyed in the war as well as help with Lebanon’s crushing debt burden. By any measure, the Paris III Conference, involving dozens of countries in the reconstruction effort, is a triumph for Siniora’s government – something that Nasrallah couldn’t abide. In effect, Siniora is demonstrating that the government doesn’t need Hezb’allah or its allies to govern effectively.
At present, Nasrallah appears to be running out of “peaceful” options in his quest to overthrow the government. Everything he has tried in order to bring down Siniora has failed. He has been stymied not only by the support of the Lebanese people for the government but he has been checked by Lebanon’s friends and neighbors who have worked diligently to help Siniora and his government survive, now holed up in the Grand Serail for nearly two months in order to prevent Hezb’allah from achieving their aims through assassination.
The Arab League has been especially supportive and their appears to be a tentative agreement to end the cabinet standoff that has been negotiated by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Few details are available but the agreement apparently addresses both cabinet representation for the opposition as well as coming to an understanding regarding the International Tribunal that will try the assassins of ex-Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. This is crucial as it is thought that the Tribunal will almost certainly implicate high level Syrian government officials in the death of Hariri as well as other bombings and assassinations in Lebanon over the past 2 years. It is doubtful that the Saudis would have agreed to any measures that would dilute the power of the Tribunal which makes Hezb’allah’s acceptance of this agreement problematic. It is equally doubtful that Nasrallah will be handed veto power over cabinet decisions.
This means that either Nasrallah accepts this face saving retreat (he will probably get a near majority of ministers) or he continues his quixotic protests in the hopes that eventually he can wear down the March 14th Forces in government. But it is becoming more apparent as time passes that the only way that Nasrallah will get what he wants is through violence. Siniora and his government aren’t going anywhere. There is no chance that early parliamentary elections will be held that would give him an opportunity to muscle his way into power through voter intimidation and fraud. And his alliance with Michel Aoun may begin to become more of a burden as time goes on. Losing the vain Aoun would doom his faction to a permanent minority as well as taking away any fig leaf of legitimacy he held in his claim that he represented all Lebanese and not just the Shias.
What will he do? A hard man to read, Hassan Nasrallah. He seems unwilling to take the final plunge into civil war (something opposed by his paymasters in Tehran) but will lose credibility if he simply gives in and goes home. His calculations must include the fact that rule by the Shias or a Shia dominated government will be unacceptable to the Sunnis and most Christians. For this reason, I believe that if the agreement ironed out between Iran and the Saudis gives him enough of what he wanted, he may fold and go home, hoping that the next round of elections will give him more leverage in his next confrontation with the government.
Nasrallah knows that no one will dare disarm his militia, something called for in 2 separate UN resolutions and the Taif Accords under which the Lebanese government operates. And as long as his bully boys have the guns, they will have the ultimate veto power over the Lebanese government and society. For this reason, Nasrallah will be able to bide his time and wait for the next opportunity to take Lebanon to the brink.
Rick Moran is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and is proprietor of the blog Right Wing Nuthouse

A blank map == Democrats Iraq Strategy

A Slow Awakening to the Threat “Londonistan” author on the rise of jihadist Islam in the UK

A Slow Awakening to the Threat

“Londonistan” author on the rise of jihadist Islam in the UK

That the UK had become, by 2000, the European center for the promotion, recruitment and financing of Islamic terror and extremism is not disputed. The debate over how this came to be is ongoing. A bold attempt to answer the question was made this past summer with the release of the groundbreaking book Londonistan by Melanie Phillips, an award-winning journalist at the UK’s Daily Mail. On January 16, Phillips spoke to an audience of more than 250 at a JINSA event in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield.

Londonistan author Melanie Phillips at JINSA event in Michigan.

Phillips said she wrote Londonistan to rouse Britain out of what she argued was a palpable state of denial over the jihadist “war” being waged against it. The story began in 1979 with the Islamic revolution in Iran. It was then that leading elements within radical Muslim circles began to believe that restoration of the Islamic caliphate was indeed within their grasp and set about achieving this goal.

Phillips informed her audience that it took less than two decades for Britain’s transformation into the “European center for the promotion, recruitment and financing of Islamic terror and extremism.” Britain secured this dubious distinction via a perfect storm of two seemingly disparate developments: a severe relaxation of immigration standards in the 1980s and 1990s during which the UK received a large influx of radical Islamists and immigrants susceptible to the message of radical Islam and a widespread repudiation of the supremacy of British cultural and social norms. This systematic undermining of the values, laws and traditions that defined what it meant to be British began in the 1980s and Islamist elements moved eagerly and rapidly into the resulting social and cultural vacuum.

Phillips cited some alarming facts to illustrate the rise of fundamentalist Islam in the UK.

  • London is home to al-Qaeda’s European headquarters;
  • Sixty percent of British Muslims would like sharia law to be established in Great Britain;
  • Numerous individuals residing in the UK would face arrest in their birth countries on charges of being a threat to the state;
  • The UK’s domestic security services are currently tracking 1,600 individual terrorists who have already expressed a willingness to die for their cause;
  • The UK’s domestic security services discovered more than 30 plots to attack in Britain using dirty bombs or other radiological devices;
  • The UK’s domestic security services currently monitor 200 organizations in Britain that have been deemed terrorist threats to British citizens.

Despite these facts, many Britons have convinced themselves that terrorist attacks in the UK are a reaction to anti-Muslim bias, Phillips contended. The terrorist elements in Britain are explained as disaffected youths driven to violence by racism and poverty. Such assertions are ludicrous, Phillips declared. The London subway bombers were young, British-born men well integrated into their surrounding communities. Their economic status ranged from solidly middle class to wealthy.

The reason such Islamic extremists engage in acts of terrorism is quite simply that “terror works,” Phillips believes. This was, in fact, the reason offered by Dhiran Barot, a British citizen, upon his 2004 arrest in England for plotting with at least two other British citizens to attack financial institutions in New York, New Jersey and Washington, DC.

The state of denial evident in Britain extends to Western Europe, the United States and Israel. “Defeatism, appeasement and cultural collapse are at the root of the problem,” Phillips observed. Traditional British values have been hollowed out and in their places fundamentalist Islam took up residence. As a result, multiculturalism is seen as more legitimate than national identity and supranational organizations like the United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights are seen as more legitimate than British governing bodies. So, Phillips said, terror victims blame themselves and/or try to explain away terrorist behavior as aberrant, random acts perpetrated by “copy cats” emulating what they see going on in other parts of the world. A “1930s-style appeasement” is the result where logic is turned on its head as the British public desperately latches onto specious explanations for these horrific events.

Phillips said that many in the UK contend that once the Israel-Palestinian impasse is settled, Islamist terror will cease to exist. She described how the entirety of Britain’s non-Muslim population is divided and that even among those who acknowledge the threat posed by jihadist Islam, most prefer to stay silent. Even in “Middle Britain,” the equivalent of the American “red states,” isolationism is seen as the most effective response to jihadi terror.

Not all Muslims are involved in terrorism, Phillips took great pains to emphasize. She pointed out that many of the most troublesome Muslim immigrants to the UK were in fact expelled from their countries of origin including Saudi Arabia because of their radicalism. Phillips pointed out that the more moderate countries with Muslim majorities understand the dangers posed by jihadist elements in their population better than Britons. They recognize, for example, women who wear the veil are making a political statement that they are separate from society. While many in Great Britain wring their hands over whether or not to ban veils in certain circumstances, Tunisia and Turkey have already done so, she noted.

Phillips did find cause for hope, however. The West, including Great Britain, is waking up slowly to the threat, she believes. The watershed moment was not the infamous July 7, 2005 bombings but the foiled transatlantic plot to blow up 12 airliners en route to the United States from Britain in August 2006. Britons could no longer ignore the fact that this plan was far too sophisticated to have been hatched by disaffected youths enraged by their lot in life. The plot forced the public to confront the reality that homegrown terror attacks were not random acts of violence, but rather a war against the country. Phillips related that days after the foiled airliner plot, 38 “moderate” Muslim groups in the UK demanded that the government alter its foreign policy immediately as Britain’s Iraq and Israel policies were encouraging terrorist attacks. The British public responded to the veiled threat with deserved outrage.

Phillips, who was moved to cautious optimism by this “slow change toward sanity” on the part of her country, closed her address by recounting a December 2006 statement by Prime Minister Tony Blair: “No distinctive culture or religion supersedes our duty to be part of an integrated United Kingdom.”


Source: http://www.jinsa.org/articles/view.html?documentid=3662

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers