Beyond Iraq

Beyond Iraq
By Victor Davis Hanson
Washington Times | April 2, 2007

The threat from radical Islamic terrorists will not vanish when President Bush leaves office, or if funds for the Iraq war are cut off in 2008. A frequent charge is that we are bringing terrorists to Iraq. That is true in the sense war always brings the enemy out to the battlefield. But it’s also false, since it ignores why killers like Abu Musab Zarqawi (the late al Qaeda chief in Iraq), Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas (Palestinian terrorists of the 1980s), and Abdul Rahman Yasin (involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing), were already in Saddam’s Iraq when we arrived. 

Moreover, the unpopular war in Iraq did not create radical Islamists and their madrassas throughout the Middle East that today brainwash young radicals and pressure the region’s monarchies, theocracies and autocracies to provide money for training and weaponry. All that radicalism had been ongoing for decades — as we saw during the quarter-century of terrorism that led up to the attacks on America of September 11, 2001. And rioting, assassination and death threats over artistic expression in Europe have nothing to do with Iraq. 

Right now, most al Qaeda terrorists are trained and equipped in the Pakistani wild lands of Waziristan to help the Taliban reclaim Afghanistan and spread jihad worldwide. These killers pay no attention to the fact our efforts in Afghanistan are widely multilateral. They don’t care that our presence there is sanctioned by NATO, or involves the United Nations, or only came as a reaction to September 11. 

These radical Islamists gain strength not because we “took our eye off Afghanistan” by being in Iraq, but because Pakistan’s strongman, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, can’t or won’t do anything about al Qaeda’s bases in his country. And neither Mr. Bush nor House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quite knows how to pressure such an unpredictable nuclear military dictatorship. 

The Iraq war has certainly sharpened our relationship with Iran. But, of course, it’s also not the cause of our tensions with Tehran. For decades, the Iranian government has subsidized Hezbollah, which during the 1980s and 1990s murdered Americans from Saudi Arabia to Beirut. It was not the current Iranian lunatic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but an earlier more “moderate” president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who remarked, in 2001, that “one bomb is enough to destroy all Israel.” 

So Iraq is only one recent theater, albeit a controversial one, in an ongoing global struggle. This larger conflict arose not from the Iraqi invasion of 2003, but from earlier radical Muslim rage at the modern globalized world, the profits and dislocations from Middle East oil, and Islamic terrorism that ranges worldwide from Afghanistan to Thailand. 

Should a peace candidate win the American presidency in 2008, prompting the U.S. to pull out of Iraq before the democracy there is stabilized, in the short term we will save lives and money. But as the larger war continues after we withdraw, jihadists will still flock to the Sunni Triangle. Hamas and Hezbollah will still rocket Israel. Syria will still kill Lebanese reformers. Iran will still try to cheat its way to a nuclear bomb. Ayman al-Zawahri will still broadcast his al Qaeda threats from safety in nuclear Pakistan. The oil-rich, illegitimate Gulf sheikdoms will still make secret concessions and bribe increasingly confident terrorists to leave them alone. And jihadists will still try to sneak into the United States to kill us. 

Critics of the present war can make the tactical argument that it is wiser to fight al Qaeda in Pakistan than in Iraq. Or that money spent in the frontline Iraqi offensive theater would be better invested on defense and security at home. Or that the human cost is simply too great and thus we should instead make diplomatic concessions to radical Islamists in lieu of military confrontation. 

But, again, those are operational alternatives found in every war — as familiar as the old controversies over the 1930s French defensive Maginot Line or the U.S. decision to defeat Germany first, Japan second. In the case of staying on in Iraq, at least, our long-term plan is to go on the offensive to confront radical Islamic terrorists on their own turf and try to foster a democratic alternative to theocracy or autocracy. 

The American public may feel that is too expensive or too naive, but it is a direct strategy aimed at an enemy that seeks to terrorize the West and plans on being around well after 2008. 

Depending on how we leave Iraq, this global war against radical Islamic terrorism will either wax or wane. But it will hardly end.

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Winning the Long War

Winning the Long War
By James Carafano
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 2, 2007

America must consider more deeply the require­ments for fighting and winning the long war.[1] Con­gress needs comprehensive assessments of the nation’s homeland security programs and an independent review that evaluates how national defense and home­land security programs fit within the context of the overall interagency national security effort.

I would like to (1) review the lessons that can be drawn from other government post–Cold War efforts to conduct strategic assessments; (2) make recommenda­tions for the next steps in conducting national security assessments; and (3) offer specific proposals for the homeland security component of these reviews.

Lessons from the Pentagon

Established in 1996, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) requires the Pentagon every four years to provide to Congress a comprehensive assessment of defense strategy and force structure; program and pol­icies; and modernization, infrastructure, and budget plans—outlining future requirements for the following eight years.[2] The QDR has become a touchstone in the debates about restructuring the military and identify­ing the capabilities that will be needed for the new national security environment of the 21st century. This effort offers lessons for considering how to establish a similar strategic review process for homeland security.

Lesson #1: Understand what strategic assessments are and are not.

The QDR process is not a substitute for political decision-making. QDR reports have been highly polit­icized documents used to justify force structure choices, defend future investments, and promote changes in policy. Indeed, strategy reviews have always been used to foster political agendas. NSC-68, Project Solarium, and the Gaither Commission Report, for example, were all early Cold War attempts not just to assess force structure and strate­gic requirements, but also to serve political agendas for shifting priorities or advocating action.[3]

The tradition of defense assessments after the Cold War changed little. The first QDR was, in fact, the fifth major defense review conducted following the fall of the Berlin Wall. In fundamental respects, the QDR process differed little from other post– World War II efforts to justify military requirements.

The QDR does not take politics out of strategy and resource decision-making—either inside or outside of the Pentagon. Implementing the QDR, for example, resulted in divisive political infighting among the services.[4] After all the analysis is done, hard choices still have to made and debated.

What the QDR accomplished, unlike previous Cold War strategic assessments, was to add some transparency to the process and offer a routine plat­form for dialogue between Congress and the Administration. Creating an iterative process is the greatest virtue of the QDR. Periodic reviews offer two advantages:

  • They encourage the armed forces to think deeply about how to match strategy, require­ments, and resources; justify their judgments; and institutionalize the capability to make these assessments.[5]

  • They provide an audit trail for congressional and other government leaders to assess long-term defense trends.

Most important, the QDR provides a means for government to conduct and Congress to consider strategic assessments in a disciplined and system­atic manner.

Lesson #2: Timing is everything.

There is no optimum time for a strategic assess­ment. The QDR is scheduled to be conducted in the initial year of a presidential term.

The first QDR was required five months after the Administration took office. The 2003 National Defense Authorization Act shifted the due date to the year following the year in which the review is conducted, but not later than the date on which the President submits the budget for the next fiscal year to Congress. This timing compels a new Adminis­tration to lay out a strategic framework for how it plans to address future requirements. Congress can also compare the QDR to the Administration’s bud­get submission to assess whether the Pentagon’s programmatic decisions match the rhetoric in the strategic assessment provided in the QDR report.

While having an Administration conduct a strate­gic assessment early on offers the advantage of lay­ing out a blueprint for future defense needs, front-loading the QDR creates difficulties. The incoming Administration is often forced to begin its review before key political appointees have been nominat­ed and confirmed by the Senate. For the 2001 review, for example, the Defense Department had no top management officials in place until May 2001, and this significantly delayed the issuance of leadership guidance for the review process.[6]

There is also a tendency to rationalize strategic requirements to match short-term budget priorities and push the most difficult choices into the out years, creating an unrealistic bow wave of projected spending and requirements. Another concern ex­pressed with both the 1997 and 2001 reports was that reporting requirements were too tight to allow for sufficient time for in-depth analysis.

On the other hand, deferring the QDR assess­ment to later in a presidential term when an Admin­istration is more seasoned has shortfalls as well. It leaves less time to institutionalize decisions implied by the QDR by embedding them in the President’s budget submissions and Defense Department pro­grams and policies. In addition, if the QDR occurs closer to the end of a presidential term, it is more likely to become embroiled in presidential election politics. Finally, if the QDR comes very late in a presidential term and is passed off to a new Admin­istration for implementation, in all likelihood, it will be largely ignored.

The notion of requiring more frequent periodic reports seems most problematic of all. Long-term strategic needs rarely change dramatically enough to justify recurring assessments in a single presiden­tial term. In addition, Congress should be sensitive to the resources demanded to produce strategic assessments. The more reports, the more frequently they occur, and the more time available to produce them, the more government resources will have to be diverted to these bureaucratic tasks. Excessive effort is both counterproductive and wasteful.

The best option is to require that strategic assess­ments be conducted in the first year of a presidential term in order to set the direction for how an Admin­istration plans to match meeting strategic challenges with the resources required to address those chal­lenges. Assessments should be submitted well before the mid-term of an Administration.

Lesson #3: Put requirements in context.

From the outset, the question of what to include in the QDR engendered significant debate. For the first QDR, Congress mandated 12 specific require­ments. Simply listing topics to be covered, however, did not result in a report that was comprehensive or ensure that the analysis of alternatives to meet future requirements was sufficiently exhaustive.

For example, one issue required to be covered in the 1997 review, an assessment of the Reserve Com­ponents, was simply deferred for follow-on study. Indeed, the most significant criticism of the 1997 report was that, despite the extensive reporting requirements mandated by Congress, the Pentagon dodged almost completely the central task of the QDR: to explain how future needs would be squared with anticipated declines in defense spending.[7]

In addition, from the outset, one recognized lim­itation of the QDR process was that the reviews focused narrowly on defense needs. For example, the Defense Department gave scant recognition to the demands of homeland security before 9/11. The inclusion of a section on homeland defense in the 2001 QDR came in response to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. In addition, no report has ever adequately addressed the challenges involved in conducting interagency operations.[8]

To address the inability of the QDR to assess broader issues, in conjunction with the first report, Congress established a National Defense Panel—an independent, bipartisan group of nationally recog­nized defense experts—to review the QDR and offer an independent appraisal longer-term of national security demands. The NDP made the case for mil­itary transformation, restructuring the military from a Cold War force to one more suited for the diverse dangers of the post-Soviet security environment.[9]

The NDP was a one-time requirement. In 1998, Congress authorized another review—the National Security Study Group, later known as the Hart– Rudman Commission.

Both reviews highlighted the limitations of the QDR, which focused almost exclusively on Penta­gon priorities and did not adequately address inte­gration with other national security instruments or concern for non-traditional threats. The Hart– Rudman Commission, for example, in a report released eight months before the 9/11 attacks, emphasized the growing danger of transnational terrorism and proposed the establishment of a National Homeland Security Agency.[10] Both the NDP and the Hart–Rudman Commission added new dimensions to the debate over future national security needs.

The QDR is not adequate for a post-9/11 assess­ment of all of the nation’s critical national security instruments. A separate systematic review of home­land security would be a welcome addition but by itself would be inadequate. An independent “sec­ond opinion” of both that also provides an umbrella overarching analysis of long-term security needs is required to give Congress a full and complete stra­tegic assessment of future security capabilities.

The Next Steps for National Security

Congress should address the shortfalls in the stra­tegic assessments it requires. Congress needs a com­prehensive review of homeland security programs and an independent analysis of how defense and homeland security efforts fit within the overall nation­al security effort. In addition to defense and homeland security, attention should be given to U.S. public diplomacy and foreign assistance programs, the defense industrial base, the intelligence community, and the use of space for national security purposes.

Specifically, Congress should:

  • Establish a requirement for periodic reviews of homeland security. Congress should re­quire the Department of Homeland Security to conduct quadrennial reviews of future DHS capability requirements.

  • Create a one-time National Security Review Panel. In parallel with the first Quadrennial Security Review (QSR), Congress should estab­lish a nonpartisan National Security Review Panel (NSRP). The NSRP should be charged with providing an independent assessment of the QSR as well as providing an overall assess­ment of national security programs and strate­gies. The NSRP should place particular emphasis on evaluating the compatibility of the QSR and QDR and the state of other essen­tial security instruments such as public diplo­macy, the defense industrial base, and the use of space for national security purposes.

Congress should determine the most efficient and expedient method to conduct the NSRP’s review. This review could be conducted by Con­gress, or Congress could authorize an indepen­dent commission to conduct the review.

Homeland Security Assessments

Nowhere is the need for a detailed assessment on the scale of the QDR more important than in the area of homeland security. “DHS 2.0: Rethinking the Department of Homeland Security,” a comprehen­sive report by The Heritage Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, clear­ly established the need for Congress to reevaluate DHS roles, missions, and resources and how these efforts fit into the context of other federal domestic security efforts.[11]

Much has been done through the department’s Second State Review and by Congress over the past year, but there is more still to be accomplished. Spe­cific recommendations for the QSR include:

  • Require the first full QSR well before the mid-point of the next Administration. At this point, there is little utility in this Administra­tion’s conducting a “full-blown” review. Start­ing this process will demand significant resources that could detract from other mis­sions. In the end, there would be scant time to implement its findings. Rather, Congress should require the Administration to report back in six months with a more modest pre­liminary assessment that should include rec­ommendations for how the QSR should be conducted and what steps it has taken to establish the staff, analytic capabilities, and processes necessary for a substantive QSR and NSRP review.

  • Establish a dialogue between Congress and DHS. Congress should not be overly specific in QSR requirements. Rather than establishing a long laundry list of reporting tasks, it would be more fruitful for Congress to issue a broad generic mission statement including a review of management, roles and missions, authori­ties, and resources. Congress should then require the DHS early in the QSR process (no later than May of the first year of the Adminis­tration) to report back to Congress on what it intends to cover in the review. This report would serve to initiate a dialogue between the Administration and Congress. In addition, it would be useful for the Administration to pro­vide an in-progress review of its efforts in the September–October period.

  • Require an interagency effort. In conducting the QSR, the DHS should be required to solicit the input of other key relevant agencies and assess its ability to act with them in the perfor­mance of homeland security missions, as well as support other essential national security tasks.

  • Conclusion

    In the long term, sound strategic thinking is per­haps the most important tool that America can bring to bear for fighting and winning the long war. Timely and comprehensive strategic assessments are an important part of this process.

    ENDNOTES:

    [1] For a discussion of the elements of good long war strategy, see James Jay Carafano and Paul Rosenzweig, Winning the Long War: Lessons from the Cold War for Defeating Terrorism and Preserving Freedom (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation, 2005). 

     

    [2] The Quadrennial Defense Review was first mandated in 1996 by the Defense Authorization Act (Military Force Structure Review Act of 1996). Title 10, Section 118 of the United States Code specifies: “The Secretary of Defense shall every four years, during a year following a year evenly divisible by four, conduct a comprehensive examination (to be known as a ‘quadrennial defense review’) of the national defense strategy, force structure, force modernization plans, infrastructure, budget plan, and other elements of the defense program and policies of the United States with a view toward determining and expressing the defense strategy of the United States and establishing a defense program for the next 20 years. Each such quadrennial defense review shall be conducted in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” [3] See, for example, Ernest R. May, ed., American Cold War Strategy: Interpreting NSC 68 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993).

    [4] See, for example, comments on the 1997 review in John Y. Schrader, Leslie Lewis, and Roger Allen Brown, Quadrennial Defense Review 2001: Lessons on Managing Change in the Defense Department (Santa Monica, Cal.: Rand, 2003), p. 6, at www.rand.org/pubs/documented_briefings/2005/DB379.pdf.

    [5] One of the key findings of the first QDR in 1997 was that the Pentagon lacked the analytical capabilities for examining all the strategic issues that were required to be reported on to the Congress. See John Y. Schrader, Leslie Lewis, and Roger Allen Brown, Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR): A Retrospective Look at Joint Staff Participation (Santa Monica, Cal.: Rand, 1999), p. 49, at www.rand.org/pubs/documented_briefings/DB236/DB236.sec5.pdf. For subsequent reviews, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff, and the services developed more sophisticated analytical assessments and staffed permanent offices to prepare for and conduct strategic assessments.

    [6] U.S. General Accounting Office, Quadrennial Defense Review: Future Reviews Can Benefit from Changes in Timing and Scope, GAO–03–13, November 2002,p. 20, at www.gao.gov/new.items/d0313.pdf.

    [7] Jim Courter and Alvin Bernstein, “The QDR Process: An Alternative View,” Joint Force Quarterly, Summer 1997, p. 21.

    [8] James Jay Carafano, “Not So Much About Homeland Security—What’s Missing from the Pentagon Vision for Its Future Role in Safeguarding U.S. Soil,” remarks presented at the National Defense University, December 16, 2006, at www.ndu.edu/inss/symposia/joint2006/carafano.pdf.

    [9] John Tedstrom and John G. McGinn, Planning America’s Security: Lessons from the National Defense Panel (Santa Monica, Cal.: Rand, 1999), pp. 2–3.

    [10] United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change,Febru­ary 15, 2001, p. viii, at www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/nssg/phaseIIIfr.pdf.

    [11] James Jay Carafano and David Heyman, “DHS 2.0: Rethinking the Department of Homeland Security,” Heritage Foundation Special Report No. 2,December 13, 2004, at www.heritage.org/Research/HomelandDefense/sr02.cfm.

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    War Blog

    To read more of the war blod

    http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=27657  PAKISTAN’S CIVIL WAR

    By Bill Roggio

    Events over the past week highlight the deteriorating situation in the country

    NWFP/FATA map. Red agencies are openly controlled by the Taliban; yellow are under threat. Click map to view.

    Over the past week, the Taliban have been very active in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province. The Taliban attacked the town of Tank, re initiated its turf war with the Uzbeks in Waziristan and continues to consolidate gains in Kohat and Bannu. But perhaps most disturbing event isn’t the slow disintegration of the Pakistani state at the fringes, but the open defiance from the Taliban in the heart of Pakistani capital. At the peripheries, Pakistan is either engaged in a full scale civil war or is abandoning territory. At the core in Islamabad, the Islamist see real weakness in the Musharraf regime, and is growing bolder each day.

    The Talibanization of Islamabad & the Las Masjid

    The recent developments in Islamabad prove the Taliban and al Qaeda are not satisfied with remaining confined to the tribal belt or even the Northwest Frontier province and Baluchistan. The pro-Taliban leaders of the Las Masjid have become emboldened by the weakness of the Musharraf government of late, and are now openly challenging the rule of law in the very heart of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

    Zaffar Abbas, in an article titled “The creeping coup,” explains how two brothers, Maulana Abdul Aziz and Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, run a pro-Taliban movement in and around Islamabad. Aziz “heads Islamabad’s biggest Jamia Fareedia madrassa” which “at any time… boasts over 7,000 students seeking higher degrees in Islamic education.” Ghazi “manages Lal Masjid, which is situated in central Islamabad between the prime minister’s office and the headquarters of the Inter-Services Intelligence. Ghazi “is now spearheading the Islamic ‘brigade’ which includes several thousand madrassa students, both men and women.”

    “Lal Masjid and its adjacent Hafsa madrassa have not only managed to enforce the Taliban-style system of ‘moral policing’ in matters of ‘vice and virtue’, to date they remain in control of the situation” in Islamabad, notes Mr. Abbas. Bands of burka-clad women wielding batons patrol the streets enforcing Sharia, just as Saudi Arabia’s notorious ‘Department for Virtue and Vice,’ or the religious police, do. “Within no time [after becoming emboldened by government weakness over the past few months] groups of men and women from the brigade started visiting shops, threatening them with dire consequences if they didn’t stop selling DVDs, CDs or music cassettes,” reports Mr. Abbas. “People were also issued directives about dress codes and other ‘moral and ethical’ issues.”

    This week, members of the Lal Masjid militia kidnapped a woman, her daughter in law and her infant, and held them until the older woman admitted to running a brothel and denounced her crimes. Two police were held inside the Lal Masjid, and were later released. No arrests were made. The Lal Masjid is off limits to the Pakistani government.

    On March 30, flush with success from the kidnapping standoff, Aziz has taken upon the government’s weakness and has called for the implementation of universal Sharia law in Pakistan. Aziz even gave a deadline.

    Maulana Abdul Aziz, the prayer leader at Lal Masjid and principal of Jamia Hafsa, on Friday gave the government a week’s deadline to “enforce Sharia” in the country, otherwise “clerics will Islamise society themselves”. “If the government does not impose Sharia within a week, we will do it,” Aziz told a gathering after Friday prayers. Similarly, he gave the Islamabad administration a week to shut down “brothels”, otherwise “seminary students will take action themselves”. “If we find a woman with loose morals, we will prosecute her in Lal Masjid,” he said. Sources told Daily Times that the Jamia Hafsa administration would compile a record of brothels and gambling dens over the week, and then launch a drive. They said the seminary believed these places were being run in collaboration with civil society organisations. “Jamia Hafsa will hold a conference on April 5-6 at Lal Masjid, where ulema will finalise a strategy against brothels and gambling dens,” said Aziz, adding that the drive would not be limited to Islamabad.

    A suicide bomber hits a military camp in Punjab

    As the crisis inside the capital deepens, the Pakistani military was stuck by a suicide attack. Two recruits were killed and 8 wounded when a suicide bomber walked up to trainees outside a military base in Kharian in Punjab province. The Kharian base “is considered to be an important military installation and is the headquarters of an army corps,” notes the New York Times. “Mechanized infantry, armor and artillery are stationed in the garrison.”

    A similar attack in Dargai in northern Pakistan last fall killed 45 recruits and wounded scores.

    Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud has been directly implicated in this year’s suicide campaign, where bombers struck in Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Mir Ali and elsewhere.

    A Bajaur Accord, the TNSM and the death of an ISI agent

    The Bajaur tribal agency has long been both an al Qaeda sanctuary, and a command and control center. On March 26, the Pakistani government essentially codified the ugly truth on the ground in Bajaur, and signed off on the Bajaur Accord, which ceded control of the region to the local Taliban under the guise of dealing with the tribes.

    Within 24 hours of the signing of the ‘peace agreement’, the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (the TNSM, or Movement for the Implementation of Mohammad’s Sharia Law) flexed its muscles, and demanded the release of Sufi Mohammed, its leader, or it will prepare to unleash over 100 suicide bombers nationwide. The deadline has passed and there has been no further news on the status of Sufi or the suicide campaign.

    Also, on March 27, Major Hamza, an Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agent assigned to tracking al Qaeda in Pakistan, and Subedar Saeedur Rehmanan, Hamza’s deputy, were murdered in Bajaur province along with two other ISI officials. Hamza and his team were traveling incognito and according to Alexis Debat, were hunting Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command.

    Mr. Debat’s Pakistani military sources told him “they believe ‘elements close to al Qaeda’ carried out the hit on the four officers” and “denied the attack was an ‘inside job’ aided or carried out by rogue ISI officials sympathetic to al Qaeda.” However “Pakistani officials conceded the attackers knew closely-held details of the men’s journey, including the timing of the men’s trip, their route and their purpose.”

    The evidence certainly points to an “inside job.” The rental car was identified by two masked men on motorcycle, who attacked with grenades and assault rifles. Hamza and Rehmanan, the two prime targets, were the first two killed. Days later, Pakistani police arrested 11 suspects in the Hamza murder, including two ISI agents. Pakistani military claims that the ISI was not involved ring hollow, as Hamid Gul’s hidden hand is at work to eliminate men like Major Hamza from the service.

    Waziristan fighting continues to be manipulated by the government

    South Waziristan remains a Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold, despite the fighting between the Taliban of Mullah Nazir and al Qaeda Uzbeks. After a ceasefire was brokered between the two factions, fighting resumed yesterday. The Pakistani government claimed 56 more Uzbeks were killed, while locals put the number at 11.

    The Pakistani government has claimed all along this fighting is evidence of the effectiveness of the Waziristan Accord. The government claims Mullah Nazir is a ‘pro-government’ tribal leader working to eject all foreigners. But in fact the fighting is equivalent to a mafia turf war, with Nazir seeking to gain power, prestige and land at the expense of the Uzbeks, who settled in the region after the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Nazir backs the “Arabs” (or al Qaeda) and has pledged to continue the jihad in Afghanistan.

    While enemy infighting certainly has its advantages, the political mileage the Pakistan government is getting out of the fighting outweighs any body count racked up in South Waziristan. The Pakistani government will use this fighting to demonstrate the success of the peace accords, and press for further surrenders in the Northwest Frontier Province.

    Tide turning red in Tank

    In the district of Tank in Northwest Frontier Province, the Taliban fighters of Baitullah Mehsud made a bold attempt to openly seize power in the city of Tank. Over 200 Taliban fighters massed and attacked the town’s police stations, looted and burned two banks and destroyed a the office of a cable provider. The government claimed 25 Taliban and one police officer were killed, but the Pakistani military has inflated enemy casualties in the past while hiding their own. Tank, which is a ‘settled’ district of the Northwest Frontier Province, is now under curfew after Army units moved in. The Taliban are still holding positions outside the town.

    The fighting in Tank began after the principal of a local high school asked police to prevent the Taliban from recruiting. A skirmish ensued, and the Taliban later returned and kidnapped the principal. Over 100 students have been recruited by the Taliban in this single school.

    Tank borders South Waziristan, where the Taliban openly rule and Baitullah Mehsud is his strongest.

    Kohat turns, Bannu is next

    Last week, we noted that Kohat should now be considered Taliban influenced territory – meaning the Pakistani government has yet to sign a ‘peace deal’ as it has in the Waziristans or Bajaur, but the district is essentially under Taliban control. Isfandyar Wali, the leader of the Awami National Party, recently said the Taliban control Kohat. I am constantly saying that Taliban are very rapidly getting powerful in the North West Frontier Province, but nobody is listening to me,” said Wali.

    The Taliban are now enforcing Sharia in Kohat. “Taliban militants seeking to impose Islamic law blew up two video shops and torched a cable television operator’s office in Kohat,” the Daily Times reported on March 31. “The attackers forced people out of the local office of World Cable 2000 and sprinkled kerosene over it before setting it on fire. Later they detonated crudely-made bombs at the video shops.” Events such as these are becoming commonplace in the Northwest Frontier Province.

    In Bannu, the Taliban kidnapped female poll worker on March 30. “The staff-members are being kept at the Government Primary School, Khidry Mohammad Khel,” the Daily Times reported on March 30. “According to a private TV channel, the Taliban have said that ahead of the election, candidates and militants agreed that women would not poll votes.”

    Bannu, like Tank, borders North and South Waziristan, where the Taliban are strongest. Bannu should be considered Taliban influenced territory. Other districts and tribal agencies are sure to follow as Pakistan’s unspoken civil war proceeds apace.  Saturday, March 31, 2007

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    Recruiting Soldiers Against Radical Islam

    Recruiting Soldiers Against Radical Islam

    by Aaron Hanscom
    FrontPageMagazine.com
    April 2, 2007

    Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes calls himself a “soldier” in the war against radical Islam. This description is in keeping with Pipes’ belief that the “war’s center of gravity has shifted from force of arms to the hearts and minds of citizens.” Because so many people in the West still don’t believe that they are at war, specialists like Pipes are performing an essential role by warning of the dangers of radical Islam.

    The most recent battlefield in the war of ideas is Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, where Pipes spoke about “Radical Islam and the War on Terror” on March 29. Pipes, who is currently teaching a graduate seminar on “Islam & Politics” at Pepperdine University, began his talk by posing two questions that need to be answered before the West can even think about triumphing against the enemy it faces. Of course, to beat the enemy it is necessary to know the enemy, which is why the first question was: Who is the enemy?

    The original answer to this question after September 11 was terrorism. Indeed, “War on Terror” became the standard way to refer to the greatest existential threat to face the West since the Cold War. But it must be remembered that terrorism is just a tactic. As Pipes made clear, we did not call World War II the “war against surprise attacks” in response to Pearl Harbor. Furthermore, if terrorism were the real enemy, non-Islamic terrorist groups such as the Shining Path in Peru would have to be mentioned by Western leaders more often than they are.

    Does this mean that Muslims are the enemy? Pipes doesn’t think so. Such a view is ahistorical: Islam has never been at such a low point as it is today. Viewing Islam as the problem also turns all Muslims into enemies, when, in fact, the West has Muslim allies. Here, Pipes mentioned the Algerians, who have been victims of radical Islamists during the last decade. In order to have achievable war aims, Pipes stressed the importance of creating secular goals. After all, the United States is not engaged in a crusade against Islam.

    According to Pipes, the true enemy is not a religion but a political ideology called radical Islam. Radical Islamists believe that Islam is the answer to all the problems in the world. Put another way, radical Islam is the transformation of faith into a totalitarian ideology. Like fascism and communism before it, radical Islam seeks world hegemony. The rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan from 1996-2001 showed the nightmare that awaits the world if radical Islamists ever achieve their dream of applying Islamic law across the globe. A regime that banned the flying of kites and prevented women and girls from attending school is at odds with the principles of Western civilization. This is the reason why radical Islamists believe that a clash of civilizations is underway.

    This clash is often expressed violently, whether it is through terrorism in New York or London, civil insurrection in Algeria, revolution in Iran or civil war in Afghanistan. But Pipes warned of a second wing of radical Islam that attempts to achieve its goals by working within the system. For example, the Egyptian terrorist group Al-Gama’a al-Islamiya renounced violence after its 1997 attack in Luxor which killed 57 tourists. This was a change of policy rather than a change of heart, as Al-Gama’a al-Islamiya believed it had a better chance of implementing its goals peacefully.

    In Pipes’ view, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan of Turkey is a greater threat to the world than Osama bin Laden. The latter’s prospects have actually dimmed since September 11, while the former has the ability to make Turkey an Islamic state by promoting the Islamist agenda politically. Americans need to be aware of the non-violent wing of radical Islam. Groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)—which Pipes calls an indirect offspring of Hamas—and the Muslim Public Affairs Council share the same goals as the terrorists, even if their means of attaining them are different.

    Pipes then moved on to the second question: What can we do about radical Islam? He believes that we need to overhaul the Muslim world like we did with the Soviet Union, Germany and Japan in the 20th century. A refrain that Pipes repeated throughout the night was “Defeat radical Islam, strengthen moderate Islam.” Only by marginalizing the ideas of our enemies can we defeat them. Muslims can and need to play an important role in bringing this about. Today, isolated individuals live like moderate Muslims, but there is no mass movement of moderate Islam. Such a movement takes a great deal of money and organization, two things Muslims reformers don’t yet have.

    Pipes reminded his audience that since 1945, fascist ideas have not threatened the world. Similarly, 1991 saw the end of the powerful influence of Marxist-Leninist ideology. Pipes views the years 1945 and 1991 as bookends of the alternatives that face us now. He predicts that the current war will end somewhere in between the violence of 1945 and the non-violent collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    It won’t end, however, until Western allies start seeing things on the same page. Pipes described the case of the Swiss scholar Tariq Ramadan, who has been banned from the United States because of his support for terrorism. Meanwhile, Ramadan was employed by Tony Blair’s government to examine the roots of Islamic radicalism after the London bombings of July 7. Western countries need to develop similar strategies and show solidarity if they are ever going to be able to deal successfully with issues like Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

    While the West no longer faces a powerful state like the Soviet Union or Germany (a nuclear Iran would change this), there are probably over 150 million Islamists today. This number is greater than all the communists and fascists who ever lived. Moreover, radical Islam is a utopian movement that has a powerful body of ideas to offer. Proof of this can be found in the increasing number of Western converts to radical Islam. Thus, it is dangerous to view terrorism in cynical terms or—like John Kerry—to call it simply a nuisance akin to gambling or prostitution. Even worse is not to think about radical Islam at all. Pipes said that most of the Republican presidential candidates seem to be deeply affected by the threat radical Islam poses to the United States. The Democratic candidates, meanwhile, hardly seem to mention it at all.

    Pipes ended his talk with a list of things people can do to counter the threat: Learn about and research the subject, write letters to the editor or opinion pieces, get active in politics and organizations, and talk to people. In other words, they can join Pipes by becoming informed and, in turn, informing others in the war against radical Islam.

    From http://www.danielpipes.org | Original article available at: http://www.danielpipes.org/article/4410

    Democrats And Warriors. The Troops Lay Dying, And Need Medical Funding. The Dems Are Getting Drunk For Two Weeks

    Democrats And Warriors. The Troops Lay Dying, And Need Medical

    Funding. The Dems Are Getting Drunk For Two Weeks

    flamingcocktail

    There is no doubt that the Democrats’ three year campaign to force a defeat in Iraq is responsible for the deaths and injuries of countless American servicemen. An essential component to winning this war, is to look the enemy in the eye and tell him that we are not leaving until we achieve victory. The worst thing our side could have done, was to tell the enemy that there was a really good chance we’d just give up. That encouraged the enemy to keep killing our troops, and allowed him to continue to recruit and raise funds. it extended the war. The Democrats and the MSM clearly and openly did this to their own country. As far as Iraq goes, there is absolutely no distinction between the Democrats and Al Qaeda. They are allies of convenience, brought together by a common enemy: George Bush and the Republican Party.

    Today our troops are fighting. Today Chuck Hagel and his Democrat teammates are lounging around the house on a two week vacation. It’s 5:25 P.M. Many are sipping highballs. In front of plasma screens and surround sound systems. Maids are cleaning up after them, cooking their dinners. Most of them have never been to Iraq. Nearly to a man, none of them have any idea what is actually going on in Iraq. The same Iraq that Nancy Pelosi recently said had no Al Qaeda in it. Zarqawi anyone?

    Nancy Pelosi sent a clear message to the troops, America, and our enemies before she kicked off her shoes. She did two things to send this message. She refused to let Congress pass a condemnation of Iran’s kidnapping of our ally’s sailors, and she sceduled a cozy rendevous with the President of Syria – – an enemy of the United States, a State Sponsor of Terrorism, a known killer of American troops in Iraq. As our troops lay dying, Nancy Pelosi is drinking with terrorists. As our troops lay dying, Nancy Pelosi is drinking with their killer.

    Why did she do this? What criterion of appropriate action for an elected official did this meet? None. it met the only criterion of action that matters to the Democrat Party: Does it hurt George Bush?

    And while Hagel and company indulge in the highballs and high living of their Spring Break, this is what is going on with the young Americans in Iraq. Noble young people voluntarily serving their country, while ignoble power-hungry Democrats are merely leeching off of it. What follows is a the story of a young Marine wounded by the Dems’ allies, fighting for his life, who badly needs your prayers. Please keep in mind that in this particular Congressional financing supplemental, most of the funding is for medical care, not combat.

    (Read More)

    Jihad & Hostages: Jimmy Carter & Liberalism’s Gifts To The World

    Jihad & Hostages: Jimmy Carter & Liberalism’s Gifts To The World

    carterdither

    I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but the safe return of the hostages should not be the primary goal of the English Government. The primary goal of the English Government should be the protection of it’s people by meting out consequences to iran in order to discourage anyone else from committing such grievous offences in the future.

    The only appropriate immediate response to such a kidnapping is to threaten. If and when threatening doesn’t work, then it is time to attack, with escalation and cessation ultimately determined by the Government and Military.

    Placing the value of the lives of the few hostages over the greater good and lives of the many people, is a facile, child-like approach to things that results in the abdication of all real governmental responsibility. It is a classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

    There is only one reason this grotesque debacle is unfolding as is. It is because the poisonous thread of Modern Liberalism has blinded and handcuffed the English People and their Government. They need to wipe the Liberals scales from their eyes.

    Jimmy Carter is responsible for the current hostage situation in Iran. Modern Liberalism is responsible for the current hostage situation in Iran. Because both Jimmy Carter and liberalism value “don’t hit” over protecting their people by meting out consequences to those who threaten them, Jimmy Carter and Modern Liberalsim sent a clear message to Iran that hostage taking can be done in a void of consequence. Along with waging the Jihad that began, unchecked, under Carter’s watch. Strengthened and emboldened, it is the greatest threat we face today.

    Just minutes ago, MSM outlets began reporting that Iran would be airing fresh “confessions” by the tortured and humiliated hostages. The Iranian government is following a focused course of action. The British Government is, I believe, talking

    Tax In-Senate-ty

     

    Tax In-Senate-ty

    Taking Democrats to task on taxes


    by Thomas Lindaman

     

    Senate Democrats recently unveiled their budget proposal, the first one they’ve written as the majority party in 13 years. After months of campaigning about how they were going to “roll back the Bush tax cuts” and “restore fiscal responsibility,” there were high hopes for the Senate proposal. And what did they deliver? No attempts to roll back the Bush tax cuts until 2010 (which is when they would expire) and a demand that there be spending cuts to pay for the tax cuts.

     

    Wow. Makes you glad these folks are in control of tax policy, doesn’t it? Maybe next time they can propose to force Blockbuster to waive all late fees for movie and game rentals.

     

    This year, my annual appeal for tax sanity is directed at the party who needs tax sanity the most, the Democrats. Now that they control one house of Congress outright and could control the other depending on how the votes go, it’s their responsibility to come up with a plan to address the serious tax issues that face Americans. And if present conditions are any indication, they’re going to need my help badly.

     

    What I’m about to say may come off as condescending to some. That’s because I’m convinced trusting the modern left to make economic and tax policy is like trusting Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Britney Spears to build a nuclear reactor: you can’t say precisely how much knowledge they have, but your best guess is that it’s just not enough, and the results are bound to be explosive. I want you to be able to understand this so that I don’t find myself being put in a 200% tax bracket because I mock Howard Dean.

     

    Here are five suggestions to help you guys along as you try to figure out the mysteries of the tax code.

     

    1) Tax cuts are your friends. For as much grief as Democrats have given the Bush tax cuts, or any tax cuts they don’t like for that matter, the fact is that they’ve resulted in higher than expected income for the government. This may seem counterintuitive to liberal economists…ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha … sorry, but I always laugh when I hear or see “liberal economists.” Force of habit. Anyway, time and time again tax cuts increase revenue coming into the government because lower taxes mean more money goes back into the taxpayers’ pockets. And with us being a consumer-driven society, that means we spend more. And when we spend more, we pay taxes on what we buy, which goes back to the government. And that, boys and girls, gives you more money to spend! (Geez, could I start any more sentences in a row with “And”?)

     

    2) Tax cuts don’t cost anything. If I hear another Democrat talk about how we have to pay for tax cuts, I’m going to go out in public without panties, shave my head, and go in and out of rehab like Britney Spears. Well, maybe not, but I’m still sick of hearing it. (Besides, I just can’t give up going commando.) The truth is tax cuts don’t cost anything to enact, unless you want to get super technical and say it costs us money for Congress to write and pass legislation and the President to sign it into law. And if you’re going to get that technical, then you really need more of a life. Coming from me, that’s saying something. With the benefits of tax cuts as referenced above and the lack of a real price tag for it, only complete idiots would be against them. Then again, these are Congressional Democrats we’re talking about here.

     

    3) You can’t have it both ways with the middle class. Democrats love to complain about the shrinking middle class in this country. Yet, what’s the only tax cut they’ll come out in favor of every time? A middle class tax cut. Politically, this makes sense, but logically it doesn’t. Why cut the taxes of a group that’s supposed to be getting smaller? That’s a quick way to look good politically until people figure out that it’s more full of crap than Michael Moore after eating the entire holiday shipment of cheese from Swiss Colony for this Christmas. (Which, if my calculations are correct, happened around 3:00 this morning.)

     

    4) Drop the “pay your fair share” crap because you don’t really mean it. Democrats love to complain that the rich don’t pay their fair share, and they know this for a fact because the people doing the most complaining about it have accountants to ensure they don’t pay what they suggest all the rich should. Listen, I know you’re trying to make yourselves look like the champions of the working guy, but socking it to the rich doesn’t do the trick. You really don’t want people to pay their fair share because if you did you’d be supporting a flat tax or a consumption tax. What you want to do is make the rich pay tons of money to the government while doling out the money to the poor, which helps neither rich nor poor. Just level with us for a change, wouldya?

     

    5) Get on the alternate tax bandwagon. The current tax code is more complicated than it needs to be and you guys aren’t making it any better. There are simpler ways to get the necessary tax revenue to run this country. One option is the flat tax, where everyone pays the same percentage. The other is a consumption tax, which is when people pay for the services they use. This is what we currently have, at least in theory, on such items as gasoline, tobacco, and alcohol. It doesn’t matter what you prefer, either system is infinitely easier than the current tax code. If you don’t think so, try doing your taxes using a long form. Which long form? Any of them! If that doesn’t turn you into an alternate tax acolyte, nothing will

     

    Okay, Congressional Democrats, the ball is in your court. You ran and won on reform, so start with reforming taxes. If you accomplish this before the 2008 elections, you might stand a shot at keeping the House and maybe finally getting the Senate in your column for real and not on a technicality. And while you’re at it, could you make sure John Murtha has his rabies shots? I’m afraid he’s going to bite a little kid and that will put a damper on anything you have planned for 2008.

    John Doe vs. the moonbats (language warning)

    Why Iranians Take Hostages

    Why Iranians Take Hostages
    By Alan Caruba

    I often fear that the vast ignorance of Americans and others around the world concerning the history of Islam condemns them to be pawns in the hands of the Iranians and other Muslim leaders who reflect why Islam came to be and how it has conducted itself since the death of its founder.

    The recent “incident” in which 15 British sailors were taken hostage by the Iranians (and you can substitute any radical Islamic group such as Hamas, Hezbollah, or al Qaeda committing other similar acts) and the subsequent “diplomatic” effort totally ignores the fact that these same Iranians took American diplomats hostage in 1979. Our subsequent failure to mete out a severe military retribution has brought us to the current prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran.

    You may have noticed that, every time the United States leaves a war unfinished, we end up having to deal with the same bad people whether they are the North Koreans, the Iranians, or, in the case of Iraq, the return in 2003 after the botched victory in 1991. The only purpose of war is to leave one’s enemies utterly without the will to repeat their bad behavior. By contrast, we have excellent relations with Japan and Germany.

    It should be noted, too, that the Iranians have shown absolutely no regard for the Geneva Convention, having paraded their hostages on television and forced them to make false statements under threat of death. The loudest voices about the proper adherence to the Convention have, of course, been raised against the United States.

    The powerful hold that Islam has on the minds and hearts of Middle Eastern Muslims is deeply rooted in its very beginnings. This “religion” that Mohammed invented had as its purpose a justification for looting other towns and tribes in the name of Allah. Thievery, banditry, the sale of slaves, the imposition of taxes and tribute, were all set in place when in March 623 Muhammed said, “I was ordered to fight all men until they say ‘There is no god but Allah.'”

    Islam, which translates “submission”, is all about war, the division of the booty that results, and the subjugation of those who are conquered. This explains why, alone among the three major monotheistic religions, Islam has produced absolutely nothing that one can call progress.

    Centuries later, in November 2001 Osama bin Laden announced “I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammed.” Not a single new idea has issued forth from Islam since its founding.

    Islam divides the world between itself and what it calls “the world of war” by which it means all others who are not Muslims. The entire early history of Islam under Muhammed was one of looting and pillage as, one by one, those who responded to his banner, calling him a prophet, realized that there were profits to be had in conquering those around them.

    On Mohammed’s death, Islam almost immediately divided into warring parties over who would inherit his mantle as caliph. The Sunnis and the Shiites are still fighting one another over that. Islam is one long history of war, treachery and deceit.

    In his book, “Islamic Imperialism: A History”, Efraim Karsh relates a story of the struggle between the Abbasids and the declining Umayyads, two Muslim dynasties in 883 AD. The leader of the Abbasids, Abul Abbas, called himself “the bloodshedder.” Karsh relates:

    “In an attempt to prevent any backlash from supporters of the fallen dynasty, the Abbasids embarked on a murderous spree. In Mecca and Medina scores of Umayyads were rounded up and murdered in detention. In the Iraqi garrison town of Wasit the governor laid down his weapons in return for a personal guarantee of safe conduct by the caliph, only to be treacherously murdered. In Palestine, the newly appointed governor of Syria invited a group of eighty prominent Umayyads to a banquet, slaughtered them all, then sat calmly among the corpses to finish his meal.”

    In the aftermath of the 1991 defeat of the Iraqis who were driven from Kuwait by a coalition led by American forces, Saddam’s generals met in Safwan to accept surrender terms. What they got was a promise of U.S. withdrawal and the right to use their helicopters for “transportation.” What they did was use those helicopters as gun ships to slaughter thousands of Shiites and Kurds who showed any inclination to resist the further rule of Saddam Hussein. The result of that miscalculation were “no-fly zones” over two thirds of Iraq that were maintained for twelve years until the second invasion in March 2003.

    Today, as the U.S. media puts the various battles between Shiites and Sunnis on the front pages, Americans wonder why are these two Muslim groups are blowing up each other’s mosques? Why are they murdering each other? Why are Iraq’s neighbors, Iran and Syria, maneuvering to secure whatever they can gain from the effort to (1) rid Iraq of the American-led coalition forces and (2) pick up the spoils of a divided and easily conquered Iraqi nation?

    An easy reading of Islamic history and a common sense response to today’s events tell us that the Iranians will continue to probe for weakness among its enemies, the Americans, the British, the other members of the European Union, and of course, those Gulf nations who will have to confront an nuclear armed Iran if they are permitted to continue. Any failure to respond to their outrages will earn their contempt and further rumblings of war.

    “We will continue to export our revolution throughout the world.until the calls ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah’ are echoed all over the world.” Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979.

    Want to hear the call to prayer in your neighborhood? All we have to do is leave Iraq.

    ——————————————————————————————-

    Everyday, American Congress for Truth (ACT) is a 501c3 non profit organization on the front lines fighting for you in meeting with politicians, decision makers, speaking on college campuses and planning events to educate and inform the public about the threat of radical Muslim fundamentalists to world peace. We are committed to combating the global upsurge of hate and intolerance.
    To continue and bolster our efforts, we need your continued solidarity, activism and financial support. We are only as strong as our supporters. We thank you for helping us carry on this important work.

    American Congress for Truth (ACT) , P.O.Box 6884, Virginia Beach, VA 23456
    Email: member@americancongressfortruth.com

    The Muslim Brotherhood’s Propaganda Offensive

    The Muslim Brotherhood’s Propaganda Offensive

    By Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen

    The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is heightening its U.S. propaganda offensive in advance of the 2008 presidential elections, taking advantage of the political uncertainty and opposition to the current Administration’s defense policies against radical Muslim terrorist organizations and states.
     
    Incredibly, “Hear Out the Muslim Brotherhood,” an op-ed in the Boston Globe on Sunday March 25, portrayed the outlawed Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as a reforming tool to promote democracy and stability there and throughout the Middle East, and praised the MB for “surviving” decades of oppression by previous Egyptian regimes.

    However, a referendum on March 26, 2007 in Egypt banned “the creation of political parties based on religion.” The MB, the biggest opposition group boycotted the vote and later criticized the results because of low voter turnout.
    The MB, which is illegal in Egypt, Libya and Syria, operates in at least 70 countries. It is busy preparing the ground to establish Islamic global dominance, successfully using Western democracy to legally inject itself into the political process, while using the free media to portray the Brothers as reformers and protesting any attempt to limit their subversive activities. Indeed, even the Wall Street Journal agrees that in Egypt the MB “has become something of a default opposition.” Criticizing Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak for the latest crackdown on the MB, the Journal declared, “Not even a modern-day Pharaoh can forbid people from gathering in mosques.”
    The Journal recognized that “free elections are no guarantee that liberals will win.” The Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority is a recent reminder. But since “[P]ast attempts to suppress the Brotherhood have only increased its popularity,” the Journal disapproves of Mubark’s crackdown, and laments the U.S. “weak criticism,” since “tolerating authoritarian regimes in the interest of “stability” ensures that liberals will always lose.” Similar arguments were made by Human Rights Watch, which also demanded the immediate release of hundreds of Muslim Brothers from Egyptian prisons.
     
    In addition to the Globe, Foreign Affairs and the New York Times have lately also run apologias for the Muslim Brotherhood. In “Strategic Thinking about the Muslim Brotherhood,” published in the March/April edition of Foreign Affairs, Robert Leiken and Steven Brooke argued that

    “the differences between the Brotherhood and the jihadists abound, and it is imperative to differentiate them…[thus] we should begin to explore whether the moderate current of the Muslim Brotherhood is a worthy interlocutor.”

    Meanwhile, The New York Times is busy whitewashing one of the MB’s most corrosive European leaders, Tariq Ramadan, who was barred last September from the U.S. because he funded Hamas. Ramadan’s protest was published last October in The Washington Post. In his op-ed,  Ramadan declared that unlike the enlightened Europeans who allow criticism, especially regarding the war on terrorism,

    “the U.S. government’s paranoia has evolved far beyond a fear of particular individuals and taken on a much more insidious form: the fear of ideas.”

    But Ramadan’s “ideas” and influence among Muslims are nothing to sneeze at. Indeed, his association with and direct involvement with al-Qaeda operatives in Europe, Africa and the Middle East is well documented by Spanish and French courts.
    That information, however, seem to have escaped the attention of U.S. media outlets that keep singing Ramadan praises. Lately, The New York Times seems to be serving as Ramadan’s mouthpiece.
    A lengthy favorable profile of Ramadan’s appeared in the February 4, 2007, NYT Sunday Magazine. At the end of the 5,181 word article, “Tariq Ramadan Has an Identity Issue,” Ian Burama concluded:

    “Ramadan offers a different way… values that are as universal as those of the European Enlightenment… these values are neither secular, nor always liberal, but they are not part of a holy war against Western democracy either. His politics offer an alternative to violence, which, in the end, is reason enough to engage with him, critically, but without fear.”

    Further arguments on Ramadan’s behalf were made in the April 1, 2007 New York Times Book Review, by Stephanie Giry. Praising Ramadan’s latest book — tellingly titled “In the Footsteps of the Prophet” — Giry recommends,

    “Taking him [Ramadan] literally could be one way to get beyond his critics’ accusations, as well as the paranoid legalism of the State Department.”

    Moreover, she finds “Ramadan’s universalist, apolitical view of Islam” as the “the pragmatic resolution of social frictions.”
    This willful blindness to Ramadan’s agenda to globalize the Shari’a and establish the Caliphate is so prevalent that the media apparently chose to ignore his arrest on March 13, 2007, at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, for “insulting a public agent.” The incident was reported only by the Terror Finance Blog, while the international media kept mum. A week later, a local Swiss newspaper Tribune de Genève, reported the story with Ramadan’s complaint that,

    “he had to spend the whole night in a dirty cell because of the police ‘overzealousness’.” Ramadan, who faces up to 6 months of imprisonment and a fine of €7,500, is expected to be sentenced by a criminal court on April 6.

    And Ramadan does not work alone. Feeding his arguments, the MB’s Ikhwan English website, developed in late 2006, runs articles promoting the “benevolence” of the movement and the MB’s ” reform and moderation,” and praising multiculturalism as the way to proliferate Islam.
     
    On the MB Arabic website, however, their leader Mahdi Akef, in his February 22 weekly address, reassured his followers that “the jihad will lead to smashing Western civilization and replacing it with Islam which will dominate the world.” Moreover, Akef decreed that in the event that Muslims cannot achieve this goal in the near future,

    “Muslims are obliged to continue the jihad that will cause the collapse of Western civilization and the ascendance of the Muslim civilization on its ruins.”

    Akef further declared that “the Western offensive against Islam,” is failing. His evidence:

    “the failure the American war machine to break the rock of the Iraqi opposition, the difficulties facing the coalition forces in Afghanistan, and the military defeat of the Israeli armed forces in Lebanon and against the Palestinians.”

    Hence, Akef called on the Arabs and Muslims to continue their terrorist attacks against the U.S. and Israel “until they withdraw completely from the Middle East.”
     
    Akef’s decrees and ideas of global Islamic domination are not new. They were established by Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna in 1928, and can be found on ummah.net/ikhwan.
     
    The MB states its goals under the heading “Establishing the Islamic government,” outlining the specific guidelines to achieve them. The MB instructions include:

    “Preparing the society is achieved through plans for: spreading the Islamic culture, the possible media means, mosques, and Da’awa [inviting others to Islam, an obligatory duty for Muslims], work in public organizations such as syndicates, parliaments, student unions.” 

    Indeed, the U.S.-designated terrorist organization Hamas, which is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, took over the Palestinian Authority in January 2006, and gave the MB its first field test of grabbing power via democracy, to then enforce Shari’a law.
     
    Hamas’ “accommodation” of the unity government ratified on March 17, without recognizing Israel and reiterating the Palestinian’s “right” to “violently resist the occupation,” is akin to the Iraqi’s right to violently resist the U.S. and U.K. forces there. A ringing endorsement was published by the U.S. based pro-Hamas, virulently anti-American, al-Jazeerah Info, on March 26. Indeed, defeating Israel, the U.S. and the U.K. serve the overriding MB purpose of overthrowing all secular governments and imposing global Islamic law (Shari’a).
     
    Evidence of Muslim Brotherhood violence, repression and authoritarianism upon taking power is abundant in the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority. A recent report by The Australian, documents the

    “Strict observance of Sunni Islam, through the rigid enforcement of radical Islamic law, espoused by the global jihad network that follows the bin Laden worldview,”

    which has taken hold there.
     
    In February, six Rafah pharmacists were attacked for selling Viagra to youths. And in March, at least eight women accused of immoral behavior and fraternizing with men outside their immediate families were hunted down and assassinated because “death gave them honor that their conduct in life had not.”
     
    A ninth victim who survived multiple gunshots stated from her hospital bed that she recognized her tormentors as members of the Hamas executive force. “So long as Hamas is in Gaza, the situation will keep developing,” she stated.
     
    Since Hamas, apart from Al Qaeda, is the most active branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, stating, “The Brotherhood has consistently demonstrated a long-term commitment to working peacefully…” is evidently false and misleading. 

    Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed-and How to Stop It, Director of American Center for Democracy, (ACD) and a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. Alyssa A. Lappen is a senior fellow at the ACD.