US Criticizes China for Arms Transfers to Iran

US Criticizes China for Arms Transfers to Iran

Voice of America (VOA) reported Thursday that an American official accused China of failing to do all it should to stop militarily significant supplies from reaching Iran, even though China voted for United Nations sanctions aimed at preventing Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

Ambassador Don Mahley, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for international security and nonproliferation, told the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission that Chinese companies sold items to Iran that the United States considers banned under UN resolutions aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Commonly called the China Commission, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission is a Congressional advisory body that was created in the year 2000 to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the US and China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action.

Mahley spoke on the first day of a two-day public hearing in Washington on China’s Proliferation and Impact of Trade Policy on Defense Industries in the US and China. The hearing will examine the impact of China’s proliferation practices on US national security, China’s compliance with its own nonproliferation laws and regulations and international proliferation norms, the development of indigenous defense industrial capacity in China, and the impact of trade practices and manufacturing in China on the US defense industrial base.

“There have been transfers, which we have addressed with the Chinese, in which we believe that the transfers were not permitted by UN Security Council resolutions 1737 and 1747,” Mahley said.

He added that Beijing does not dispute that the transfers occurred, but differs with Washington about whether the transfers violate the UN resolutions. Mahley efused to publicly name specific equipment or technology, but he said they were “involved” with Iran’s missile and nuclear programs.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense David Sedney testified that the Chinese government has taken what he called a legalistic approach to the UN resolutions, which do not call for a blanket ban on such transfers to Iran.

“Very clearly, the transfers that Ambassador Mahley’s talking about are things that are not consistent with the spirit of those U.N. resolutions and the purpose and intent of them,” Sedney said.

Sedney also questioned Chinese sales of conventional arms to Iran.

“Supplying conventional weapons to Iran, at a time when Iran is supplying and funding groups in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, that are confronting and sometimes killing American troops and our allies, that is not the activities that I would expect of a strategic or of a cooperative partner,” he said.

Sedney also highlighted US concerns that Beijing is allowing transfers of what he described as a wide variety of dual-use and conventional technologies to countries like Burma, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

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Bloody consequences of open borders: The kidnapping and murder of Zina Linnik

Turnaround in Anbar

Turnaround in Anbar

Greg Richards
One of the success stories that is coming to light as a result of the “mid-term” report the president issued on Iraq this week is the stunning turnaround in Anbar province, generally described as “lost” or “hopeless” last fall.  Here is the lead paragraph from a story in the Washington Post dated September 11, 2006:

The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country’s western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.

Since that time, in response to the savagery of al-Qaeda, the Sunni tribal leaders and sheiks turned against al-Qaeda and have been cooperating with our forces drive out al-Qaeda.  Ramadi, the capital of Anbar and previously a no-go zone, is now one of the safest cities in Iraq.  John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State, commented on this in an interview with Wolf Blitzer today (July 12) on CNN:

I returned — I had the opportunity since last talking to you, Wolf, of returning to Iraq in the month of June. And I visited Ramadi, which has now been freed from al-Qaida influence and control, and it’s a real success story. So I think some real inroads have been made against al-Qaida in Iraq.

This result confirms an excellent and prescient piece by Ollie North that we flagged in the American Thinker article “How do we know if we are winning or losing in Iraq?”  on January 17, 2007:

But it may be what is not bleeding is what should be leading – that the not bleeding will gradually exceed the bleeding and the normal processes of human nature assert themselves.  Ollie North  thinks we may be observing this in al-Anbar with the surge in volunteering for the Iraqi Police there.

Ollie was on top of this story as far back as last January and turned out to be very right.

Obama hires felonious activist to teach campaign volunteers

Obama hires felonious activist to teach campaign

volunteers

Thomas Lifson
Barack Obama’s pose as a fighter against cynicism does not comport very well with his employment of a convicted felon to instruct youngsters in the art of campaigning. Blogger Tom Roeser has an exclusive account:

Robert Creamer, the husband of U. S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) who was sentenced to jail for running a community group and paying himself big bucks while banks held the bag, has been teaching a group of young (mostly) volunteers for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama….

Nothing wrong with Creamer earning a living. Indeed not long ago he surfaced as a registered lobbyist working against the Senate confirmation of UN ambassador John Bolton, paid by the George Soros-funded “Open Society Policy Center.” But the idea of a convicted felon who kited checks lecturing the supposedly idealistic Obama campaign on how to raise money and get elected is a bit much.

Creamer taught at “Camp Obama,” a week-long summer camp last month held at the presidential candidate’s office in Chicago for campaign interns and volunteers-just a few blocks away from the federal court where on August 31, 2005 he pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud and failure to pay federal taxes… on charges brought by U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Roeser quotes and links to a page at mybarackobama.com, containing a breathless account of Creamer’s tutelage of the young Obama enthusiasts. And (surprise!) the embarrassing page seems to have been removed.

Now some might say that it is a worthy enterprise to rehabilitate criminals. But that presupposes that the criminal has turned over a new leaf. I am certain that I will be called a cynic for questioning Creamer’s rehabilitation. If he instructed the volunteers in the perils of following his path, I would be delighted to see the evidence.

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Congressmen Fleeing in Terror
By William R. Hawkins
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 13, 2007

On July 11, Pakistani commandoes wiped out the last Islamic extremists at the Red Mosque in Islamabad, the nation’s capital. The siege started July 3, aimed at a violent pro-Taliban sect headed by brothers Maulana Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rashid Ghazi. Aziz was arrested as he tried to flee the mosque in women’s clothing. Ghazi and most of his followers died in the assault. Meanwhile, at the other end of the region’s arc of conflict, Lebanese Army troops continued their two-month siege of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, where Fatah al-Islam militants, linked to both al-Qaeda and the Syria-Iran axis, are based. Government forces have killed more than 200 of the jihadists so far. If Pakistan and Lebanon – not the two strongest states in the region – are able to take bold action against terrorists, why is the Congress of the United States so eager to cut and run from a fight with the same radical enemies, in Iraq, where the stakes are much higher?   Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other antiwar Democrats continue to focus on the sectarian killings, while others on the Left claim the Iraqi people are rising in armed opposition to a U.S.-led occupation. Both of these claims are false on their face. Most of the violence in Iraq is sectarian, with Sunni and Shi’ite religious fanatics killing each other. This is not a rebellion directed at Coalition forces. If there were a true national uprising against American “imperialism” as the Left fantasizes, U.S. casualties would be 10 times higher. It is because most Iraqis want to lead normal lives, with the hope for better days after the demise of Saddam Hussein, that American casualties are so low.  Nor has the level of violence reached that of a true civil war. There are no mass armies in the field contending for control of the country. The only mass outpouring of political activity by the Iraqi people was their participation in the national elections. The insurgents are attempting to terrorize the Iraqi people into submitting again to a violent despotism, but so far they have had more success in terrorizing U.S. Congressmen into fleeing in panic from the fight.   The sectarian violence will only subside when the majority in each Islamic sect turns against the cycle of murder and revenge. But this ongoing violence does not threaten the American position in Iraq. It is a grave error to claim a U.S. “defeat” because of religious gang wars. The change from a hostile regime to an allied government in Baghdad is the American victory that still stands, and is crucial to the future of the entire region.  As the interim report on Iraq released July 12 makes clear, the areas of greatest progress in the country have been accomplished in conjunction with U.S. troops. The American military, with their boots on the ground in local neighborhoods, have won the respect of the people. They are having success working with Iraqi security forces and tribal groups that are tired of the blood-letting fomented by foreign terrorists and subversive agents. It is not the soldiers in Iraq who are failing, but the politicians sitting safe at home who have lost their nerve. President George W. Bush has stressed Iraq as the central front against al-Qaeda. The terrorists know that Iraq is a more important prize than Afghanistan. It is where American will is most vulnerable to propaganda and domestic political dissent, thus providing al-Qaeda with the better chance to “win.” Even most antiwar Democrats are unwilling to abandon Afghanistan, because that is where al-Qaeda was based on 9/11. But fleeing in terror from Iraq will only embolden al-Qaeda, giving them a victory they do not deserve, and cannot win on their own.  In neither Iraq nor Afghanistan does al-Qaeda have the strength to win on the battlefield. It is a terrorist group, not an army capable of conquering a country. Its primary weapon is the car bomb driven into a marketplace to kill civilians. It’s a brutal and bloody tactic, but also a sign of weakness, as terrorism always is. The Taliban have fallen back on this tactic after their attempts to gain Afghan territory by more conventional combat were defeated by NATO forces. The real menace in the region is Iran, which, as a national government, has a large population and resource base. With its penetration of the Shi’ite community in Iraq; its support for militia groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza; and its nuclear ambitions, Iran poses a threat to the entire region. And behind Iran stands China, which provides Tehran with both diplomatic support, and the weapons it uses to arm itself and its militia vanguards operating against other states. If America can be driven back into an isolationist, unprepared state in the wake of a “defeat” in Iraq, Beijing will be the major winner as it continues its “rise” to global power. On June 19, President Bush again said that “all options are on the table” with Iran, a remark that China’s official People’s Daily newspaper described as “a hint of possible military confrontation.” At a conference at the American Enterprise Institute July 10, retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane, who is a senior advisor on Iraq, said that Iran is “assisting all of our opponents – the Shi’ite militia, the Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda.” U.S. Special Forces are intensifying their efforts to hunt down Iranian agents in Iraq. When the U.S. first invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam’s regime, the Tehran mullahs were frightened into opening nuclear talks with the Europeans to avoid American wrath. But now, Tehran sees the growing pressure in Congress for a retreat, not only from Iraq but from any confrontation with Iran. Iran can thumb its nose at the UN, knowing that without American muscle, nothing decisive can happen. Iran even signed a new set of cooperation agreements with North Korea.  Terrorists may dream of dominating the Middle East, but the China-Iran axis could actually do it. Iraq is one of the world’s most strategic locations. Situated in the heart of the Middle East, on the fault-line between the Sunni and Shi’ite, the fate of this oil-rich land will shape world events for decades to come.  Diplomatic attempts to pull Syria away from Iran will fail in the wake of an American withdrawal. Damascus will want to stay aligned with the rising power, hoping to gain a share of the spoils. The smaller Sunni Arab states are unable to stand up to Iran without American support. And few local leaders will dare risk confronting the new wave of aggressors who will be emboldened by the “forced” retreat of the once feared and respected United States. Who will want to embrace democracy, if the world’s leading democracy demonstrates that liberal reform is a source of weakness rather than of strength? An American withdrawal from Iraq will not end any of the conflicts in the region. They will continue, but with forces hostile to the United States in the ascendancy. This is the danger that should be at the center of the debate in Washington, but it isn’t.

Red Mosque Meltdown

Red Mosque Meltdown
By Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 13, 2007

It was a good first step.

That is the opinion of analysts concerning the storming of the radical ‘Red Mosque’ in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, last Tuesday after an eight-day siege that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 80 people, including a dozen security personnel. To root out Islamic extremism in Pakistan, however, much more, they say, still has to be done to prevent this strategically important South Asian country from turning into a Taliban-like state. 

The hundreds of radicals in the mosque, symbolically located only 400 meters from the offices of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf who is also head of the armed forces, had consistently defied the government for years. They had kidnapped police officers and held them hostage for exchange whenever a mosque leader had been arrested and often hosted suspected Islamic militants and al-Qaeda terrorists, whose number may also have included the London subway bombers of July, 2005.

 

A major goal of the Red Mosque extremists was to Islamize Pakistani society. To this end, they established a sharia court in the mosque, kidnapped suspected prostitutes, including nine Chinese nationals, and threatened music shop owners, among their other radical religious activities. The Red Mosque also ran an extensive madrassa (religious school) system for thousands of children that taught jihad as part of the curriculum, despite the prohibition of Pakistani authorities, and sent hundreds of ‘graduates’ to fight in Afghanistan with the Taliban, with whom the mosque was well-connected. So it is not without cause that the Red Mosque has been described as the Taliban’s “ideological heartland.”

 

But the extent of the mosque’s countrywide power, influence and willingness to oppose the state was exhibited in 2004 after the Paksitani army had launched an offensive against al-Qaeda and its allies in the lawless North-West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan. The two brothers who led the Red Mosque, Abdul Rashid Ghazi and Maulana Abdul Aziz, then issued a ‘fatwa’ (a religious decree), signed by 500 religious scholars, that “called on people not to say funeral prayers or bury soldiers in Muslim graveyards if they were killed fighting against the Taliban”, according to one Pakistani journalist. The same journalist claimed this fatwa provoked “a fierce reaction” in the NWFP, where the Pakistani army was to lose 600 soldiers in the offensive, causing the government to make peace agreements with the jihadists. 

 

As for the two brothers, Ghazi was killed in Tuesday’s final assault, while Aziz was caught a few days earlier outside the mosque dressed in a burqa with a full veil. In a subsequent television interview, still dressed in the burqa, Aziz said he and his brother had often left the mosque disguised in this fashion when wanted by authorities. In response to the question why he had left the mosque this time in female attire instead of staying to attain the martyrdom in the jihad he had always preached, and as the mosque loudspeakers were apparently calling for during the siege, Aziz said he had been tricked into leaving. But it must be noted that it was the same Aziz who, on those same mosque loudspeakers at the start of the siege, had called for students to put on suicide jackets. 

 

The ostensible reason for the storming of the mosque after so many years of defiance was, as indicated by Musharraf himself, the presence of al-Qaeda-linked suicide bombers in the compound. There was also a fear that control of the mosque had slipped out of the hands of the brothers into the hands such violent extremists. Previously, when the brothers were supposedly in control, members of Pakistani’s intelligence agency, the ISI, were reported to have visited the mosque, indicating a tolerance for its anti-government activities by the authorities.

 

This was probably part of Pakistan’s covert policy of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan, one analyst maintains, follows this policy in order to establish, through the Taliban, a presence in that country again to oppose the India-friendly course of the Kabul government. In pursuit of this policy, Musharraf has also called for talks between the Taliban and Kabul and the inclusion of the former in the Afghan government.

 

However, the skilled defense of the compound during the siege indicates its inhabitants, if not suicide bombers, were more than just religious students. They successfully trapped a police commando unit in the initial assault, killing its leader. One report also said these fighters threatened the brothers with death if they should surrender the mosque. But hundreds of other students were allowed to leave peacefully. The women among them were sent home, while the men were incarcerated.

 

Other observers give different reasons for the attack on the Red mosque at this time. They range from Musharraf losing American support if he did not act against the radical religious institution to the Pakistani president using the incident to detract attention from other problems in Pakistan, especially from his ongoing troubles relating to the dismissal of a Supreme Court judge who had defied him. Another says that Pakistan’s leader also wanted the support of the middle and upper classes, which approved of the attack and wondered why it took so long, in an election year.

 

But whatever the reason, there seemed to be a general consensus that the Islamic extremist movement was becoming too powerful in Pakistan. The Islamic radicals all but rule the NWFP, while al-Qaeda has always called for Musharraf’s toppling and the setting up of an Islamic state. A too strong extremist movement would also have alienated China, Pakistan’s biggest ally in its showdown with India on the subcontinent, since the Islamists are waging jihad against China too. It is interesting to note that three Chinese nationals, and no other foreigners, were executed in the NWFP in response to the mosque siege.

 

Analysts see the seizure of the Red Mosque as the first of the pre-planned moves, made with America’s involvement, to close down the operations of the Islamic radicals in Pakistan. President Musharraf announced the second step on Thursday when he said he was going to shut the radical madrassas, eliminating the flow of recruits to the extremist Islamic organizations and reducing the threat from that quarter to Pakistan’s social stability and national security.

 

Another important step, and the most difficult, will be to eliminate the Taliban bases in the NWFP. To this end, one Pakistani journalist claims a secret agreement has already been made between America and Pakistan to allow American forces to pursue Taliban forces over the Afghan-Pakistan border into Pakistan, which was previously forbidden. America already knows from the Vietnam conflict the futility of waging a war against insurgents who can rest, plan and launch attacks from an off-limits country. In the case of Vietnam it was Cambodia, while the NWFP is serving the same function in the current Afghanistan war.

 

In order to keep the Pakistan military on side in the campaign against the Islamic extremists within its borders, the United States sent the first two of an estimated 12 F-16 Falcons to Pakistan on Tuesday just before the attack on the mosque, which begs the question whether it was a mere coincidence. The head of the Pakistani air force and the American ambassador to Pakistan were on hand to greet their arrival, indicating the importance of the event.

 

Pakistan ordered the warplanes, which are capable of carrying nuclear missiles, in the 1990s, but the order, which may grow to 28, was not filled. M K Bhadrakumer, the journalist who reported the information, believes the fighters’ appearance at this time is meant to help Pakistan’s “wobbly army commanders hold the line.”  

 

It now remains to be seen whether a country-wide war will break out between the Pakistani army on one hand and the Taliban and other allied Islamic extremists on the other as a result of Tuesday’s attack. While there have been disturbances in the NWFP, there has been no general, popular, countrywide uprising so far. But if one does occur, at least the extremists will no longer have the Red Mosque to pray in.  

Five Big Lies Muslims Tell

Five Big Lies Muslims Tell

By Stan Goodenough July 7, 2007

First of all, their Quran does not mention Jerusalem even once, meaning their claim to Israel?s capital as their “third holiest” city is fraudulent and aimed at stealing the city from the Jews.

Secondly they adamantly assert that the “Palestinians” comprise a nation — although they have no national history — and that Israel has to give Judea, Samaria and Gaza “back” to these “Palestinians” — although those lands have never been under Muslim rule.

Thirdly, they claim the Jews occupy Arab lands, when in fact the Arabs are the occupiers in the Middle East — they belong in Arabia and have no right to Egypt, Syria, Jordan or Lebanon. Judea, Samaria and Gaza is not Israeli-occupied territory but Arab-occupied territory.

Fourthly, they proclaim that Islam is a religion of peace, when Islam was established by the edge of the sword; when Muslims are involved in almost every war on the planet; and when Muslims introduced terrorism as we know it today to the world, and are responsible for almost all terrorist attacks in the world.

Fifthly, they repeat ad nauseum that they want to live in peace with Israel when an overwhelming mountain of both factual and circumstantial evidence proves that their unaltered aim and goal is to destroy the Jewish state.

This was the thrust of blistering remarks made by one of the few Jewish leaders still courageous enough to withstand the flood of lies about the Arab-Israeli conflict that have been swallowed and championed as facts.

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton Klein assailed these core myths upon which the whole “Middle East Peace Process” is predicated in a speech in a Canadian synagogue.

According to a report in The Canadian Jewish News Friday, he also slammed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert?s willingness to even consider the Saudi Arabian “peace” plan that sees the Jews returned to the 1967 “Auschwitz borders.”

Posted by Ted Belman @ 12:19 pm |