Immigration Reform Begins in Mexico

Immigration Reform Begins in Mexico
USA Frank Salvato, Managing Editor
May 25, 2007

As the debate over the issue of immigration reform rages, we would all be wise to examine, honestly, the reasons why more Mexicans emigrate to the United States than die in Mexico each year. While the common argument is that they come here seeking work, the true root of the problem is that the Mexican government has allowed corruption to reach such alarming levels – in both government and business – that the average Mexican cannot survive within the borders of his own country.

The above statement is not an exaggeration. In 2006, 559,000 Mexican nationals emigrated from Mexico to the United States while the Mexican Demographics Agency reported a total of 501,000 deaths among Mexico’s population. The question that begs to be asked regarding the massive emigration is why?

Mexico is a country rich with natural resources. With its wealth of petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas and timber, it has all the resources a country would need to keep it from becoming a destitute Third World country.

Further, the median age in Mexico is 25.6 years of age and the literacy rate for the total population is at 92.2%. This demographic, combined with their abundant natural resources and central location in the Western Hemisphere, are a perfect catalyst for an employment sector that would – under normal circumstances – compete on the First World economic stage.

According to a recent report produced by the World Bank titled, Democratic Governance in Mexico: Beyond the Capture of the State and Social Polarization, a majority of the identifiable problems facing the Mexican economy are directly related to bureaucratic corruption. From the “untouchable” special interest monopolies that stifle the competitive environment to the ineffective and corrupt tax system that feeds the status quo, the Mexican government has consistently refused to do the hard work of governmental and economic reform, instead opting for short-cuts that allow corruption to thrive.

A byproduct of these short-cuts is that they allow the corrupt special interest robber-barons to run roughshod over the Mexican economy, facilitating an economic environment that encourages the mass emigration of Mexican citizens to the United States. In essence, the Mexican government, through its lack of courage to engage in governmental and economic reforms, which would strengthen its economy to the benefit of its citizens, is exporting its most crucial economic problems – unemployment and an impoverished citizen class – to the United States.

The Embassy of the United States for Mexico lists the amount of US foreign aid received by Mexico through USAID in 2004 for its development assistance, child survival and health programs and economic support at $33 million. This on-average annual and re-occurring aid package comes on the heels of a stunning $20 billion 1995 US aid package that helped to avert a monetary (peso) crisis of global proportions.

At the same time that massive amounts of US taxpayer dollars are allocated to the corrupt Mexican government through US foreign aid, the same taxpayers are shouldering the burden of Mexico’s impoverished citizen class right here on American soil.

Putting aside the fact that each and every Mexican national who has illegally entered the United States has broken US law and that the common argument that illegal Mexican border-jumpers are simply “doing the work that Americans won’t do” (a canard aimed at portraying the employers of illegal workers as the victims of a generation of American slackers), the impoverished Mexican population residing in the United States physically drains resources from the US economy.

The Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform cites statistics provided by The National Academy of Sciences that tally the fiscal cost of illegal immigration – specifically from Mexico to the United States – at $226 per household or over $20 billion. These costs culminate through taxpayer funded education, healthcare and an array of entitlement programs.

In addition to draining taxpayer dollars from a system built to support the economically compromised among the American citizenry, much of the unlawful wages paid to illegally employed Mexican nationals is sent back to Mexico.

According to a 2003 report by The Financial Times, figures released by the Bank of Mexico show that by June of 2003 over $6.13 billion in remittance was successfully transferred from the United States to Mexico. Today, because of the additional influx of Mexican nationals illegally entering the United States since 2003, logic mandates that this amount is much higher.

As American taxpayer dollars pour out of the United States and into Mexico, additional taxpayer generated revenue is used to financially support Mexican nationals here illegally, even as they facilitate the transfer of this ill-gotten wealth out of the US economy. Meanwhile, American lawmakers, blinded by political opportunism, propose opening the doors to the financial and political ruin of our country.

In the most recent legislation concocted by our elected officials – gleefully endorsed by our Executive Branch – legislators propose a $5,000 fine and considered the payment of all back taxes by any “undocumented worker” before they can be cleared for a pathway to citizenship.

It is astounding that this needs to be pointed out: If Mexican nationals here illegally could afford to pay a $5,000 fine and all back taxes (the fine alone works out to be over 53,900 Mexican pesos) they wouldn’t be here in the first place as they would be comfortably ensconced in the Mexican middleclass.

I have stated time and again that I am in favor of meaningful immigration reform. Our country needs an updated 21st Century immigration policy that takes into account the trials and tribulations of the world while we continue to embrace the principle of e pluribus unim.

That said, the currently proposed immigration reform proposal does nothing for the elimination of the problem; all it does is benefit the politicos on the backs of the American taxpayers and at the price of very real threat to our country’s future.

It is imperative that we, the American people, insist that before any immigration reform proposals are proposed, debated or even entertained, that:

The federal government first successfully and completely secure our borders.

Government officials enact policy that ties any future US foreign aid to Mexico and any future trade agreements with Mexico with the reform of their government and economic community.

Then – and only then – should our elected officials tackle the important issue of immigration reform. There isn’t one good reason to have the issues of immigration reform and border security addressed as one. We all need to speak clearly on this point when we contact our elected officials.

American taxpayers would be justified to threaten Election Day revolution targeting both the political opportunists of the Republican and Democrat parties should we see one more penny of our hard earned money lining the pockets of a corrupt Mexican system.

US Immigration reform starts in Mexico City, not in Washington DC.

Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor. He hosts The New Media Journal on BlogTalk Radio and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, The Bruce Elliott Show on WBAL AM1090 in Baltimore and The Captain’s America on WWPR AM1490 in the Tampa Bay area, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. His organization, Basics Project, is partnered in producing the first-ever national symposium series on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements [read more]

Commissioner Speaks Tough: Illegal Is Illegal

Commissioner Speaks Tough: Illegal Is Illegal

A quote from EU home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini at EUobserver, 25 May 2007

In terms of illegal immigrants currently present [in the EU territory], we have to encourage them to return and follow procedures for legal entrance. This can be co-funded via European projects. […] Illegal [immigrants] must remain illegal. You cannot make something illegal legal.

Blogging the Koran

Debbie Schlussel: When Your Doctor is a Muslim: Medical Terrorism Comes to America

Debbie Schlussel: When Your Doctor is a Muslim: Medical Terrorism Comes to America


By Debbie Schlussel

Sometimes–so many times–diversity is not what it’s cracked up to be.

Just ask Joseph Applebaum. Well, you could ask him. But you won’t get an answer. He’s dead. And he’s dead because he was a Jew, and his doctor is a Muslim and grad of “Ayman Al-Zawahiri” Medical School.

But Applebaum wasn’t denied treatment for being a Jew in Egypt. Or elsewhere in the Muslim world. It happened right here on U.S. soil. In Chicago.

As Muslim doctors continue to flood into the country under lax immigration laws, hospitals around the country have acquired their fair share of them. Many hospitals in the Detroit area are now dominated by Muslim doctors and have been for some time.

josephapplebaum.jpgyellowstar.jpgJoseph Applebaum, Z”L*: Muslim Doctor Refused to Treat Him, Let Him DieBut even in hospitals where they do not predominate, Muslim doctors are starting to demonstrate behavior toward non-Muslim patients that is beyond alarming.

On December 1, 2003, Joe Applebaum was admitted to Rush North Shore Medical Center, a major hospital in Chicago. He was stricken with an acute (or distended) abdomen–a swelling of the stomach that is easily diagnosed and treated. But it was never treated by anyone at the hospital. For 12 hours, Joe Applebaum was left alone–left to die, which he did the next day.

A Jewish man, he was identified as a Jew on the front page of his medical chart. The chief resident doctor assigned to treat Mr. Applebaum, Osama Ahmed Ibrahim, MD, sure noticed the religious notation on Applebaum’s chart. And it appears that this is why he never once checked or examined this emergency patient, Mr. Applebaum, and left him to die. When another doctor at the hospital finally examined Mr. Applebaum–not his assigned doctor, Dr. Ibrahim, he told Applebaum’s son, Michael, to say good-bye to his father because he was about to die.

Dr. Ibrahim, is a Muslim from Birmingham, England–a hotbed of Islamic radicalism and terror planning. It is breeding ground for anti-Semitic hate. He is a graduate of Ain Shams University Medical School in Egypt. This extremist school is also the alma mater of Al-Qaeda mastermind and number two, Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri’s father–a Muslim Brotherhood enthusiast–also taught at the University.

Other Ain Shams grads and faculty members include:

* late HAMAS leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin;* Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Mahdi Akef;

* LAX terrorist shooter Hesham Mohamed Hedayet;

* Extremist Canadian Imam, Aly Hindy; and

* Co-leader of Yemen’s extremist Al-Islah Party, Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani.

Why did Dr. Ibrahim neglect a patient who came in with an easily treatable condition and leave him to die, 12 hours later? It appears it can only be because he did not want to treat a Jewish patient and let him live. There can be no other reason.

Mr. Applebaum’s son, Michael, is a medical doctor and an attorney. While he was waiting for Dr. Ibrahim to see his father, he called Dr. Ibrahim and alerted him to the growingly severe condition his father was in and that his father was suffering from an acute abdomen. Dr. Ibrahim claimed he examined Mr. Applebaum. But that was a lie. He’d never seen him.

And he essentially murdered him by denying treatment. It’s a case of extreme negligence and medical malpractice for the apparent purpose of anti-Semitic murder.

Joseph Applebaum’s son Michael is now suing Dr. Ibrahim, the hospital–Rush North Shore Medical Center, and others involved in his father’s murder. The case is filed in Illinois, and he is looking for a good attorney to pursue the case he has filed. If you are interested or can help, please contact him at the website he set up to document this ongoing tragedy.

This isn’t the only case where a Muslim doctor deliberately let his Jewish patient die, it is just the first that we know of. And it likely won’t be the last.

Muslim doctors–especially those from foreign medical schools deep in the world of anti-Semitic, anti-American hate; but many from here, too–have backgrounds that are incompatible with the basic level of care that is required and expected in America. Sadly, no-one is vetting them out of our healthcare system. And no-one will.

But we know that there are many doctors who’ve been at the forefront of taking lives–not saving them–in the name of the “Religion of Peace”:

* Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri–Al-Qaeda mastermind and number two man, reportedly a surgeon and/or psychiatrist;* Dr. Mohammad Rabi Al-Zawahiri–Ayman’s father and a Muslim Brotherhood enthusiast, pharmacologist and professor at Ain Shams Medical School;

* Dr. “Abu Hafiza”–Al-Qaeda master planner who was the brains and commander of the Moroccan cell that provided logistics for the 9/11 attacks, and he recruited Qaeda insurgents for battles in Fallujah, Moroccan psychiatrist;

* Dr. Abdel Aziz Al-Rantisi–Late HAMAS leader, pediatrician;

* Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahar–HAMAS co-founder and leader, surgeon and lecturer at the Islamic University in Gaza;

* Dr. Fathi Abd Al-Aziz Shiqaqi–Late founder of Islamic Jihad and active in Fatah, physician;

* Dr. George Habash–Founder and chief of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), pediatrician (which is interesting since he rocketed a school bus full of children in Avivim, Israel;

* Dr. Bashar Assad–President of Terror-sponsor state Syria, welcoming home to every Islamic terrorist group imaginable, ophthalmologist.

And there are other issues, such as infectious disease. We are no seeing cases in Britain in which some Muslim doctors refuse to wash their hands with alcohol-based disinfectant, per the Muslim prohibition on alcohol consumption.

In New Jersey, Dr. Ahmed Rashed, a Muslim Arab resident, severed and stole the hand of a cadaver as a gift for a stripper. Such little respect for life from a religion now very much participating in a profession that takes an oath to do no harm and to preserve patient’s lives. Not only did he get a slap on the hand–no jail time and, likely, no criminal record–but he currently has a job practicing medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in New York. The real Maimonides–a legendary, brilliant Jewish doctor, rabbi, and religious scholar–is turning over in his grave.

Perhaps, Dr. Applebaum’s suit against Rush North Shore Medical Center will make hospitals think twice before they hire Muslim doctors inclined to practice Medical terrorism against their patients. Today, the victim is a Jew, solely because he is Jewish. But tomorrow, it will be a Christian, solely because he/she is a Christian. Or some other non-Muslim victim, solely because he/she is a non-Muslim victim.

Can we afford to have doctors in America whose allegiance to their patients is far less than their allegiance to an extreme observance of a religion of hate? If they cannot and will not tender care, they should not be licensed to practice medicine in the United States.

Like I said, Maimonides is turning over in his grave. Joseph Applebaum, *Zichrono LiVrachah–Blessed Be His Memory.


What Conservative Media?

What Conservative Media?

By Ari Kaufman

Despite decades of evidence from Walter Cronkite’s offense at Tet and “Bush lied about WMDs” to the contrary, today’s liberal is fond of claiming there is not only zero lefty bias in today’s mainstream media, but often a conservative bias.

The Nation’s resident leftist provocateur, Eric Alterman, most recently contended so last Fall, after he became enraged by the “lies in ABC’s mini-series Path to 9/11” (the one the Clinton’s had changed in a remarkable cover up). Others look to their perception of the media’s “build up of the Iraq War” in 2003, or the Downing Street Memo that a professor in Florida once told me he “writes to the Times (NY, of course) daily imploring them to publicize it more” and many others.
But, naturally, facts tell a different story, as evidence amounting to a left-leaning bias in the mainstream media is as deep as the Marianas Trench.
Led by their long time hero, Chris Matthews, today’s media will mention any minor scandal from Scooter Libby to Tom Delay in order to market their erroneous claims, despite nearly a century of history showing the dangers in losing focus of the America’s true enemies.
If you watched the deplorably irresponsible journalism the host of Hardball displayed at the first GOP debate, or his racial dividing remarks prior to the Democrat debate on April 26, it is obvious his bias as thick as a humanities professor’s at an “elite” northeastern liberal arts college. Yet, the Democrats’ refusal to have Fox News’ Chris Wallace and Brit Hume moderate their debate was scarcely mentioned nationally? Too bad, as honest analysts noted Brit and Chris W. were “fair and balanced” as can be last week.
The next argument would state that talk radio and internet blogs are dominated by right-leaning folks. Well, that is true. But a closer examination makes clear why. Air America Radio and left-leaning blogs like the Huffington Post and Daily Kos continuously fail or significantly lag behind their competitors due to lack of listeners and readers. There are two overarching reasons for this:
Firstly, the writers, especially on Kos, cannot write. Seriously. It reminds me very eerily of rants of drunk collegians bashing Bush, our soldiers, Christians, anyone but the enemy, etc. Perhaps this toilet humor occurs because the “grassroots” lefty blogs are in fact run by college kids, often left with a lack of facts to support their views. If military history is tragically being retired on campuses, where will bloggers go for proper history? The “Peace Studies” Department?
People, regardless of their political persuasions, are not interested in reading such naive commentary. Kos and Huffington, who rarely pen anything of their own, might also think that having guest writers (often Democrat politicians or celebrities like Laurie David, Bill Maher, Jim Lampley and Harry Shearer) throw out their conjectures makes a blog. This has never been true. The most successful blogs—conservative ones like Michelle Malkin and Little Green Footballs–have no editorialists, but rather are created via links, text, photos and an occasional salient editorial comment at the end or onset, often just a line or two.
Secondly, in a classroom, the NY Times newsroom or in the studios of CNN, CBS or Comedy Central, you need not back up your partisan stances. Make your case to nodding heads, type it up and go to lunch. But live on radio, Rush Limbaugh must back up his claims. Blogs must often do the same in their comment section or with the links to facts.
Truth be told, I’m not really concerned with the Washington Post or SF Chronicle’s editorial pages being chock full of leftists; that’s just the way it is and always will be. But it’s the news stories where the subtle bias is real and disingenuous, since most folks admittedly only glance at the headline and first few lines of a “news” story on their way into work.
My neighbor just canceled her subscription to the Indianapolis Star for those exact reasons. She, a customer for more than three decades, had finally had enough. And though I put the nail in the coffin for her when a recent “news” piece included a Bush-bashing quote from a Chicago-based dental professor with zero relation to the topic {mid-way through linked article}, she had been itching for the time to cancel for a few years now.
When she emailed the paper’s ombudsman, he was concerned and informed her that the Star “does carry “conservatives” like Cal Thomas and George Will.” He missed the point, naturally. Seems too many liberal media members do this everyday.
Ari Kaufman is the author of Reclamation: Saving our schools starts from within He is currently a military historian for the State of Indiana’s War Memorials

Westminister Cathedral to stage new musical work based on Qur’an

Westminister Cathedral to stage new musical work based on Qur’an

Commissioned by the Prince of Wales. What a surprise. The Hermeneutic of Continuity blog reports (thanks to Rather Not Say):

Westminster Cathedral has attracted the notice Private Eye. In the current edition, there is a piece on page 12 “Music and Musicians” reporting on a new work by John Taverner, commissioned by the Prince of Wales that is to be performed in the Cathedral. According to the article:

It is based on the Koran and sets the 99 names of Allah to music, to be intoned over an hour and a half with choir, full orchestra and Tibetan gongs.

The same blog points out that the same Cathedral played host to another form of Islamic expression not too long ago, as we noted here at the time:


Fatah al-Islam leader: “I advise the British people to cease their destructive policies in the Islamic world and to take an example of the fate of the United States, which is on its way to destruction.”

Fatah al-Islam leader: “I advise the British people to cease their destructive policies in the Islamic world and to take an example of the fate of the United States, which is on its way to destruction.”

“You must return the rights of the people you have erred against . . . or pay the price,” by Hala Jaber for The Sunday Times:

The leader of Fatah al-Islam has threatened Britons with “destruction through resistance and attacks” for their government’s policies in the Middle East.

In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Shakir al-Abssi, whose militant group is locked in a battle with the Lebanese army, said: “I advise the British people to cease their destructive policies in the Islamic world and to take an example of the fate of the United States, which is on its way to destruction.

“We tell the British people to exercise pressure on their government not to continue to be the arm and tail of the United States. They must understand that it is in their interest to ensure that unless we as a people are safe, they cannot be safe as a people themselves.”


Abssi was refusing to meet us in person, apparently because we were women and it would contradict his Islamic teachings.


During the interview Abssi blamed Britain for most of the ills of the Middle East.

“The British are the primary cause of the Middle East problems and they should be correcting their errors in the region and returning the rights of the people they erred against instead of blindly following the policies of the Americans,” he said.

“Is it just that we should accept their slaughtering of us and our people, and do nothing for fear of being labelled terrorists?” He spoke calmly, with none of the ranting of some jihadists, but it was clear he believed attacks against the United States and Britain would be justified.

“The crime is for them [Britons] to follow the Americans in their policies. If they want to be safe, especially since they are the principal culprits in the region, then they should now start supporting and backing the oppressed people,” he said.

He argued that both the US and Britain had preached democracy in the Middle East, but failed to recognise the democratically elected Palestinian government on the grounds that it was Islamist.

“How can we swallow this or even accept it? So yes, we do not denounce attacks against the United States. Under what logic should we, given what it is doing in Palestine and the region?” he said.

Demonstrating the fallacy of the Bush administration’s Wilsonian designs on Iraq, Abssi admits the democratic process can and will be used to undermine the West– if it continues under the illusion that introducing democracy alone can instill a nation with the values that have enabled it to be a force for good in the West.

But Abssi is not lashing out only at Britain: “Islamist militant in Lebanon vows to fight U.S.: report,” from Reuters:

“We say to you, the guardians of the American project, the Sunni people will be leaders in fighting the Jews, the Americans and their loyalists,” Abssi said, referring to Lebanese leaders.

Palestinians in Lebanon

Palestinians in Lebanon

By Arlene Kushner

In the last several days world attention has been drawn to the Nahr al Bared UNRWA refugee camp in northern Lebanon, where Lebanese Armed Forces have entered and are doing battle in order to drive out a militant Sunni group associated with al-Qaida, called Fatah al-Islam. The group, which has Syrian support, is led by a Palestinian, Shaker Abssi, and consists, according to reports, mostly of Palestinians, but includes others such as Syrians and Jordanians.

The Lebanese army has encountered stiff resistance in the camp – where they were fired upon by machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. That a militant group would headquarter in a Palestinian refugee camp, and that violence would ensue, should not come as a surprise.

There are presently close to 400,000 Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon who are registered with UNRWA as refugees. Of these, some 225,000 live in the 12 official UNRWA refugee camps that currently exist in Lebanon – all but one of these camps (the exception being one adjacent to Ba’albek) are situated near the Mediterranean coast. The remainder of the registered refugee population lives in close proximity to the camps.

The situation of the Palestinian refugees inside of Lebanon is – by any one of a number of measures – worse than that of Palestinian Arab refugees living in other areas in which UNRWA functions: Jordan , Syria , Gaza , and Judea and Samaria . They endure greater poverty, a higher infant mortality rate, and poorer housing. Lebanon affords the Palestinians little in the way of social and civil rights and actually prevents them from working in dozens of professions. In a word, the Lebanese are hostile to the Palestinians and have no intention of making life easy for them or integrating them.

There have been UNRWA refugees camps in Lebanon since 1950, and the Palestinians situated there were never welcomed or integrated. But current Lebanese hostility to the Palestinians was generated in good part by historical events of thirty years ago. When the PLO was thrown out of Jordan in 1970, Arafat moved his cadres to south Lebanon , and took over the refugee camps there, establishing a political, economic and military presence so considerable that it was referred to as a “state within a state.”

Ultimately the Lebanese paid an enormous price for this situation. The PLO financial empire, called SAMED, established farming and manufacturing industries and, utilizing cheap Palestinian refugee labor, became one of Lebanon ’s largest employers; they harvested poppies in the Bekaa Valley for an extensive drug trade, as well. The balance of Lebanon ’s fragile multi-factional society was upset in part by the presence of the Palestinians, who numbered some 300,000 by 1975 and had developed into a primary military force in Southern Lebanon . They established a law unto themselves that undermined Lebanese sovereignty, and they played a role in Lebanon ’s civil war.

Perhaps bitterest of all to the Lebanese was the PLO use of Lebanese soil as the base for attacks into northern Israel . This provoked Israeli bombardment of Palestinian targets in south Lebanon , and then, in 1982, Israeli military movement into southern Lebanon to drive out the Palestinians.

The PLO infrastructure was driven out and moved to Tunis . The Palestinian presence in the camps remained, however. To a considerable degree the residents of the camps continued to be a law unto themselves: By long standing agreement – dating from the time of the PLO – the Lebanese army has no authority to enter the camps, which are controlled by armed Palestinian militias. The entrance now of the Lebanese army into this camp marks a departure from what has been the norm. Lebanese from the area of Tripoli , near Nahr al Bared, cheered as the LAF entered.

The Palestinian residents of the UNRWA refugee camps in Lebanon , as described above, are seen as a beleaguered population – and there is clearly a way in which this is so. But they are also a radicalized population, often working against the best interests of a stable, independent Lebanon . In 2005, after the withdrawal from Lebanon of Syrian forces, both Syrian weapons and agents were moved into the Palestinian camps. Last summer, during the Lebanese War, the Palestinians in the UNRWA camps provided support for Hezbollah and a secure hiding place for some of its weaponry.

At present close to one-half of the 30,000 residents of Nahr al Bared have fled, many to the UNRWA camp at Beddawi or to Tripoli . Meanwhile, Richard Cook, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon , is expressing outrage that a UNRWA relief convoy that entered the camp on Tuesday was fired upon.

UNRWA officials now concede that they knew months ago about the presence of a heavily armed Fatah al-Islam group in the camp in Lebanon but were helpless to do anything about it. “Somebody hasn’t been doing their job,” said Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd, referring to the Palestinian militias who patrol the camps. According to her the Palestinians refugees in the camp are unhappy about the presence of Fatah al-Islam.

AbuZayd’s statement opens the door to many questions:

In early 1998, Kofi Annan, then secretary-general of the UN, stated in a report that, “Refugee camps and settlements must be kept free of any military presence or equipment, including arms and ammunition…the neutrality and humanitarian character of the camps and settlements must be scrupulously maintained.”

The Security Council, reflecting the spirit of Annan’s words, subsequently adopted Resolution 1208, acknowledging that “the maintenance of the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps and settlements is an integral part of the national, regional and international response to refugee situations, and underlining “the unacceptability of using refugees and other persons in refugee camps and settlements to achieve military purposes.”

In light of this, how is it that armed Palestinian militias have been permitted to continue to control the UNRWA camps in Lebanon ? Further how is it that UNRWA officials kept quiet for months when in possession of the knowledge that a heavily armed Fatah al-Islam group was in an UNRWA camp? The inability of UNRWA officials to “do anything” about the situation directly – because UNRWA possess no armed forces – does not absolve them of responsibility to call the situation to the attention of the Security Council or the international community more broadly.

Lastly, AbuZayd’s statement regarding the fact that the Palestinian militias in the camp “weren’t doing their job” shines a spotlight on the very serious matter of possible complicity of Palestinians in the camps with the radical Islamic group.

Posted by Ted Belman @ 4:32 pm |

How about a “shock and awe” campaign for Iran

How about a “shock and awe” campaign for Iran

The Opinion Journal of the WSJ featured an interview by James Taranto of Bibi Netanyahu titled Dealing With Iran.

True to form, Bibi rails against Iran but acknowledges military strikes would pose “complications and difficulties” and thus “should be a last resort.”

Mr. Netanyahu proposes a third way. The Iranian regime, he argues, is economically vulnerable. He is in America to urge state and local pension funds to divest from foreign companies that do business in Iran (U.S. law already keeps American firms out).

That’s it. That’s his plan. Why do we need the heir apparent to the PM job in Israel coming to America to tell Americans that divestment is the answer. If there is any alternative to attacking Iran, the US will find it.

Bibi should be here promoting a “shock and awe” campaign against Iraq until it suffers utter defeat. The Mullahs and the Revolutionary Guard and most of the nuclear facilities can be destroyed from the air. Then special ops will be landed around each nuclear facility to make sure it is totally destroyed.

MK Efie Eitam recently advised US congressmen that Israel is united in its resolve to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. Why is Bibi giving an alternate message?

Jihadists should not be tolerated. They should be destroyed.

Posted by Ted Belman @ 12:48 pm |


  1. Fred Leder Ph D comments,

    If I were the president I would convene the joint chiefs and ask for a military strategy that changes the focus from Iraq to the entire world. We have no business putting our men and women in the cross-fire of a civil war between the Sunni and the Shia. On the other hand, we have a world wide war on Islamo-fascism which we have every right and obligation to prosecute vigorously.

    So I would identify areas of conflict where Al Qaeda or Hezbollah or other proxies for Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia live and train. Then I would devise a strategy for each region. For instance invading Pakistan may not be practical but invading Syria might work fine. In each area there should be either an overt or a covert plan for destruction of any entity which might attack America. Spies and special ops people can go where an army cannot. Here I would make open alliance with the Israelis who know the region far better than the CIA and I would purge the FBI and the CIA of their anti-Semites.

    We most likely should withdraw our troops from central Iraq. Maybe they should be stationed in Kurdistan. By the way, I would recognize Kurdish claims in Syria, Turkey and Iran as well as Iraq. We should seriously consider aerial and or ground invasion in Iran and Syria.

    The American military is severely depleted in men, materiel and spirit. We need a draft to replace the poor guardsmen who are doing triple tours. We need to ramp up Detroit to replace equipment and invent new vehicles. We need a public relations campaign to sell this to the public and we need most of all to have rules of engagement which protect our troops, not our enemies.

    When Americans understand the challenge and unite for the conflict there is no power on earth that can stop this country. In WW II the movie industry spent a lot of time and money “educating” the public. Remember the series called “Why We Fight”? If we have a credible strategy and a decent information campaign we can win this struggle. What we cannot do is more of the same under the leadership of a failed president or those who somehow think he was on the right track.


    BTW, Fred is about to publish a book on energy self-sufficiency for America,

    Comment by Ted Belman CANADA — May 26, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

  2. Yeah – I was mightily disappointed at the niceness of the Iraqi operation; not a judgement of the American forces, only of their leaders.

    I envisioned a strategy whereby the US would take the west part of Iraq and move into Syria, Saddam’s Baathist brother. Then south into Lebanon, with the Israelis moving up north to cut off Hezbollah in a pincer movement. All that would have cleaned up the area (and a good proportion of the insurgents), sent a message to future jihadis… and left Iran to figure out what to do next.

    Alas, the US forces were so politically hamstrung and their commanders so derelict of imagination and testosterone, that they ordered their troops to become punching bags for every headcase with a gun who crossed the various porous borders. So instead of a massive cleanup of the area, we have all kinds of jihadi partnerships being formed, and all kinds of arms being sold (?) to America’s visceral enemies (Hamas for one). Our enemies are having a field day… every day.

    Comment by keelie CANADA — May 26, 2007 @ 3:27 pm



    We need to deal with Iran now otherwise the US could be left at one minute to midnight with no other option but to attack Iran. The longer the US waits to impose a meaningful sanction regime against Iran, the greater the necessity of military action will become – with all the potential disastrous political and economic consequences for both parties.


    The United States with or without EU/Russia/China support immediately imposes economic and political sanctions against Iran. The sanction regime is divided into 4 parts – Defcom 1 to Defcom 4 with each phase commencing every 30 days and staying in effect until the crisis is resolved. Within the space of 4 months Iran will be under total world wide devastating economic sanctions. ANY INDIVIDUAL, CORPORATION, COUNTRY THAT DISOBEYS ANY PART OF THE SANCTION REGIME – THEN THE TOTALITY OF THE ENTIRE SANCTION REGIME IMMEDIATELY APPLIES TO THEM.


    Under Defcon 1 sanctions Iran is immediately hit with the following measures:

    1. The cutting off of all military and nuclear technology, materials, training, building including the Bushehr nuclear power plant being built by the Russians.

    2. The suspension of all flights – both private and commercial aircraft in or out of Iran.

    3. The worldwide banning of all Iranian passports.

    4. Severing all banking relationships between all Iranian Government agencies/officials/organizations, banks, companies, front companies with the entire world banking community.

    5. The freezing of all Iranian assets throughout the world including all assets of Iranian Government, Iranian companies, front companies, government officials/organizations.

    DEFCON 2

    In 30 days, if Iran refuses to stop all uranium enrichment and sit down at the table in good faith then the imposition of the following Defcon 2 Sanctions:

    1. The immediate stoppage of all forms of transportation coming in or out of Iran including, buses, automobiles, boats. Only oil tankers would be exempt.

    2. Cutting off of all satellite signals, phone lines, internet connections, electricity etc.

    3. The complete closure of all border crossings to Iran.

    4. The complete shutting down of all economic activity/trade with the outside world except for the importation of gasoline into Iran and the export of oil and gas out of Iran.

    DEFCON 3

    Thirty days after the imposition of Defcon 2 sanctions, the start of Defcon 3:

    1. The importation of gasoline into Iran to be ceased by all countries, companies and individuals.

    DEFCON 4

    120 days after the start of the first sanction regime – Defcon 4 – the stoppage of all payments for Iranian oil and gas exports – NOT THE STOPPAGE OF THE EXPORT OF IRANIAN OIL AND GAS. JUST THE PAYMENTS FOR THESE PRODUCTS.

    Iran can export oil and gas to China etc but the Chinese and other countries can not send money or any other financial instruments to Iran. In short – the oil/gas flows out but no money flows in. If Iran decides to stop the export of oil to certain countries but not to others like China, then under this sanction regime all countries including China must help the affected country or countries. In short, share the pain of oil shortages. If any country refuses to cooperate then the totality of these sanctions will be imposed immediately on them.

    Again, if any country, company, or individual chooses to disobey these sanctions then THE TOTALITY OF THE SANCTIONS IMMEDIATELY APPLIES TO THEM. For example, if China decides to continue trading with Iran then all trade between China and ALL countries, companies, individuals immediately ceases. All Chinese container ships on their way to the US or any other country must be turned back. All international flights in or out of China cease. All Chinese passports to be null and void etc. If any country decides to continue to trade with China then the totality of the sanctions immediately applies to them. And so on.

    This sanction regime is absolutely devastating. Having these sanctions apply to any country who decides to ignore them will totally devastate that countries economy. THIS LINKAGE GIVES THESE SANCTIONS TOUGH LOVE FURIOUS TEETH.


    Larry Houle

America’s Limited Options

America’s Limited Options

By Ted Belman

Before 9/11, Islamists attacked American forces, ships, diplomats and Embassies from time to time with relative impunity. The enormity of 9/11 demanded that the US put an end to such attacks. Her first response which came within 24 hours of the attack was to enable planeloads of Saudi VIPs to leave the country. Thus even before determining who was responsible and what course of action to be taken, Bush decided to absolve and protect the Saudis. Incredible, considering that 15 of the 19 terrorists were Saudis.

Nine days later, Bush identified the perpetrators as the “enemies of freedom” (how generic) and named al Qaeda as the culprit declaring that it follows a “fringe form of Islamic extremism” thereby absolving Islam also.

Although he grandly declared that “we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorists” he did no such thing except for invading Afghanistan.

I urge you to reread my article What War on Terror? which sets this out in greater detail.

President Bush studiously avoided the Islamic requirement of Jihad in the name of which al Qaeda was operating and the fact that Saudi madrassas and mosques all over the world emphasize this duty. Nor did he mention that al Qaeda is financed by individual Saudis and perhaps by the government of Saudi Arabia.

Instead, after invading Afghanistan, he substituted another enemy, namely those who were pursuing WMD. This change of target lead to the invasion of Iraq with disastrous consequences. When the Bush administration accepted that there were no WMD in Iraq (preferring not to pursue them in Syria) they shifted the rationale for invading to an humanitarian one pointing out the hundreds of thousands Iraqis, Sadaam Hussein had killed and continued to kill. Then, after Sharansky’s book, The Case for Democracy was published, democratization became the rationale or elixer.

Humanitarian intervention is never done for humanitarian reasons. Thus Rawanda wasn’t invaded to prevent the slaughter of the 800,000 Tutstis and Sudan is not invaded to prevent the slaughter of over 200,000 persons around Darfur.

There must be self interest before invasion is warranted. Thus Serbia was invaded not because of the alleged genocide (less than 2500 bodies have been found, being both Serbs and Moslems) but because of geo-political reasons. Similarly Israel is restrained from killing Arabs in self defense, not because anyone cares about the death of Arabs but for geopolitical reasons. Arabs kill thousands of other Arabs and no one cares but if Israel kills one Arab even in self-defense the whole world is up in arms. Nor is there any attempt to prevent the killing of Jews, just the opposite (look at the international support for Fatah and Hamas), once again for geo-political reasons.

Okay, at least the US is determined to stop the spread of WMD isn’t it? Not if it means going to war over it, it would appear. Furthermore Iran has been actively backing the slaughter of US forces in Iraq and the US has withheld criticizing Iran until lately, and even then half heartedly, and has certainly has not punished it for doing so.

In order to justify invading Iraq, the US adopted the policy of pre-emption. But pre-emption accomplishes only temporary relief. When you invade a country, be it Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran you do so to establish a friendly regime. If you are unable to do so, you must be prepared to stay to shackle the resurgence of an unfriendly regime. This is proving too onerous a task if not an impossible one. Thus the US is looking to cut its losses. None of the enemies of the US is going to let the US succeed in doing so. They will press their advantage to the hilt.

The most immediate issue facing the US is the fact that Iran, al Qaeda and the Iraqi insurgents want to drive the US out of Iraq and, ultimately, the ME. The US must decide what its vital interests are in the ME and how best to protect them. Obviously the protection of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are vital interests. Can the US allow Iran to control Iraqi oil?

What is the strategic value of Jordan and Lebanon? For that matter, what is the strategic value of Israel? Is it a liability or an asset? The US is obviously committed to shrinking Israel to the Green Line thereby reducing its value as an asset in order to lessen it’s detriment as a liability. I believe this is the wrong choice. Any goodwill created will be short lived and the value of Israel as an ally will be permanently diminished to say nothing of the immorality of it. Furthermore, if Israel is weakened too much it may have to turn to the Samson option and this would be a disaster for the world.

But back to 9/11 and the US response.

The US managed to install the Karzai government but it isn’t strong enough to control the whole country, even with the help of NATO. Al Qaeda and the Taliban have regrouped in Pakistan and continue their efforts to chase NATO out of Afghanistan and retake the country. It is only a matter of time. Similarly, the US was better off in Iraq and more in control before she invaded it. I do not believe that this poor outcome was the result of poor management or insufficient troops. Given the desire of Iran, Syria and al Qaeda to chase the US out, it was a mission impossible from the start. The US should have included Iran and Syria in its invasion plans in order to win.

There is little doubt that as a result of the US declaring war on terror and invading Afghanistan and Iraq,

    1. terrorist groups have grown stronger and have an abundance of recruits and money.
    2. US deterrence is shot. Iran and Syria have learned that they can kill Americans with impunity and can stand up to it.
    3. Mushariff has been weakened and Pakistan destabilized. Both were allies of the US

So what should or could the US do in response? Lob a few missiles? Hardly.

US Options

Bush has taken the first step by dropping the use of the phrase “war on terror” and now refers to the battle “as a global war of ideology against a network of terrorists”. He remains unwilling to finger the Saudi support for the Wahhabist ideology which leads to terrorism. To talk about root causes of terror, that has to rank way up there.

The Rand Corporation issued a major report, Building Moderate Muslim Networks in which they advocated that

    “the United States must do more to develop and support networks of moderate Muslims who are too often silenced by violent radical Islamists.”“Instead of focusing on the Middle East, where most of the radical Islamic thought originates and is firmly entrenched, the report recommends reaching out to activists, leaders and intellectuals in Turkey, Southeast Asia, Europe and other open societies. The goal of this outreach would be to reverse the flow of ideas and have more democratic ideas flow back to the less fertile ground for moderate network-building of the Middle East.

    “Partners in this network-building effort should be those who share key dimensions of democratic culture, the study says. The report recommends targeting five groups as potential building blocks for networks: liberal and secular Muslim academics and intellectuals; young moderate religious scholars; community activists; women’s groups engaged in gender equality campaigns; and moderate journalists and scholars”.

Daniel Pipes has long insisted that “radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution”. In support of this report he wrote Bolstering Moderate Muslims and A Million Moderate Muslims on the March and he is joined by others in this opinion, including The Hudson Institute.

Having said that, there are many, including Andrew Bostom and Hirsi Ali, who discount the potential of this effort succeeding either because of intimidation or because the “moderates “ are so few in number. (See also Alyssa Lappen’s Moderate and Radical Muslims: the Confused PBS View )

Nevertheless, I submit that such an effort as laid out by Rand Institute must be encouraged and supported with billions of dollars. But nothing short of a reformation of Islam will do. Islam must excise the odious (to the western mind at least) elements.

Secondly, it stands to reason that if the US is going to work actively to support the reformation of Islam, it must at the same time work to undermine contrary forces and influences. Laws must be passed which outlaws Islamists and the preaching of political Islam as subversive. Anyone or group advocating for political Islam must be imprisoned or deported . Political correctness shouldn’t prevent honest criticism of the objectionable aspects of Islam. The exercise of free speech shouldn’t be restricted if it is offensive.

Given the threat Islam poses for Europe, Europe will no doubt be a positive force for this agenda. European officials have already backed a plan to profile mosques, It will now “map out mosques on the continent to identify imams who preach radical Islam that raises the threat of homegrown terrorism.”.. “The project, to be finished by the fall, will focus on the roles of imams, their training, their ability to speak in the local language and their source of funding”

The US must also stop playing footsie with Islamists in Kosovo, Chechnya, Gaza and elsewhere, where it uses them as proxies. The double game must stop.

Thirdly, the US must adopt a policy of containment of Iran. Iran must be prevented from developing nuclear bombs and expanding its influence. Furthermore the US must abandon the idea of getting the regime to change and instead, getting Iranians to change the regime.

Fourthly, Israel should be strengthened not weakened. Peace will only come by changing the paradigm. (See my article in Israpundit, The ‘peace process’ is in need of a paradigm shift ) Instead of clamouring for political rights, i.e., a two state solution, the US should pursue an humanitarian solution as described by the Jerusalem Summit. Such a solution would involve disbanding UNRWA and dealing with Arab refugees under UNHCR as all other refugees are dealt with. The former serves to perpetuate the problem whereas the latter solves the problem.

Fifthly, assuming a unified Iraq cannot be stabilized, the US should support a federated Iraq where oil revenues are shared but with considerable autonomy to each group. If not it should support independence for Kurdistan, including Kirkup. The US forces in Iraq should then be redeployed to Kurdistan. The US should work to achieve an accommodation between Turkey and the Kurds and make certain that Kurdistan is an ally of the US and not Iran. Furthermore the US should support the secularists in Turkey rather than Erdogan.

The debate currently in the US is about when to bring the boys home. It should be about how to win. The course of action I have laid out has a reasonable chance for success. It should be pursued with resolve.

Posted by Ted Belman @ 2:28 pm |