Muzzling Jihad Watch
By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 6, 2007
I began getting the emails several days ago: Jihad Watch readers telling me that they had been accustomed to reading the site at work, but now their employer had blocked access to the Jihad Watch site on company computers. Many reported that the ban on Jihad Watch was explained with the assertion that Jihad Watch contained “hate speech.” This was true even in Federal Government offices. And it wasn’t only the Feds. Jihad Watch was blocked, readers informed me, on the computers of the State of Connecticut; the City of Chicago; Bank of America; Fidelity Investments; Site Coach; GE IT; JPMorgan Chase; Defense Finance and Accounting Services; Johnson Controls, Inc. IT; Boeing; Tenet Hospitals in North Carolina; Provisio; the Sabre Group TSG; Wachovia bank; and others: several people have written in to tell me that as of this week they can no longer access Jihad Watch at work, but haven’t told me where they work. This was not a simple case of employers being annoyed with their workers lying down on the job and spending time reading Jihad Watch instead of working. This is an attempt to silence us, as an email from a federal employee made abundantly clear when he noted which sites were blocked – and which sites weren’t: I wanted to drop a line about the inability to access JihadWatch at work. I work for the Fed Gov. Three weeks ago, Memri was blocked. Two weeks ago HotAir, which I used to look at on my lunch break for your updates, was blocked. As of Friday, June 29th, JihadWatch was blocked. I can however, visit CAIR, read anything about Islam, and even get the Arab news. The censors I deal with are from the Dallas area. It is very easy to see that this censor is not operating according to the proper rules of access. They are operating by their political beliefs (or hopes.) It is unfortunate that these people block the very information that we need in these times…. With all this happening so suddenly in so many places, obviously this is a decision made in some central location, with impact within all these different places — but I am not certain of the source of it. I have contacted a web filter service to which several of these organizations apparently subscribe and which therefore may have initiated this general ban, but have not heard back yet. In any case, the matter of most concern in this is the likelihood that the decision was made to ban Jihad Watch was political. If it were merely a matter of filtering out controversial material, sites that treat some of the same material from a different perspective – particularly pro-jihad sites – would also have been banned. But they evidently have not been. Jihad Watch is dedicated to the defense of human rights for all people against those who would impose Islamic law, with its institutionalized discrimination against women and religious minorities, over both Muslim and non-Muslim societies. There is no “hatred” in this, except when we report the words of hatred and supremacism of the Islamic jihadists. We are trying to raise awareness of the nature, extent, and goals of the global jihad, which threatens everyone who loves and cherishes freedom and the equality of rights of all people before the law. However, to tar all such initiatives as “hatred” is a tried and true tactic of the Left. Intellectually bankrupt as it is, it silences its critics rather than dealing with them on the level of ideas. They can’t answer us, so they try to shut us up and discredit us. Leftists, as well as apologists for Islamic jihad terrorism, label their opponents “hatemongers” and “bigots,” hoping thereby to make people of good will turn away from their message. And the politicized nature of this Internet censorship will come as a surprise to no one. Committed Leftist ideologues have for many decades waged a war to gain control of the portals of communication. Their stranglehold was broken with the demise of the Fairness Doctrine and the advent of talk radio and the Internet. The Internet, for all its faults, has delivered the coup de grace to the control the politically correct media have long had on the news. Neither liberal or conservative news outlets dare to face the truth about the global jihad in any thoroughgoing or realistic way, but you can get it at Jihad Watch. And so, we are going to fight this. We are establishing a mirror site for Jihad Watch, and will continue to try to get the ban reversed – and in the process, hope to draw attention also to the politicization of Net filtering companies. We are not going to take lying down being vilified and silenced, when we are telling the truth.
As if to mock the efforts of America’s appeasement-advocating, dumbbell diplomats, Stalinist/Kimist North Korea and Islamist Iran (rising China’s vassal and ally, respectively) have reportedly agreed to expand cooperation in political, economic, and cultural fields.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki signed the agreement with visiting North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong-il on Thursday evening, according to the Iranian Student News Agency.
The US State Department can be expected to downplay the significance of the news; but State is wrong, as usual. In fact, the announced accord is a thin cover for cooperation between the two rogue nations in the development of missiles, nuclear warheads, and chemical and biological weapons.
We’ve learned two things about Kim Jong Il recently. While the average North Korean survived on $1,000 a year, Ol Dirty Il Bastard personally spent $800,000 a year on his favorite Cognac. Until, that is, the sanctions hit, and he had to start guzzling cheaper fuels. Well, that may in fact have been his motivation for faking a nuclear test, and then, this February 14, leveraging a massive $330 million economic aid package, in exchange for halting his nuclear program.
Yes, that big North Korean nuclear explosion last year was a failure, according to the head of the CIA. And according to Russian intelligence officers, it was not only a failure, but a straight up fake. The Russians are still trying to figure out how they pulled it off. And it has contributed to a bombshell story also slipping out of Russian intelligence circles: Russia is about to pull the plug on Iran’s nuke aims. This will be one of my next two stories.
As for the CIA statement on North Korea:
Just over a week ago, on March 28, CIA Director Michael Hayden told South Korean media “The United States does not recognize North Korea as a nuclear weapons state. It’s because the nuclear test last year was a failure.” His comment was first published in the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper.
So, for better or for worse, Los Angeles is probably safe from attack.
http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=27704 THE UN HID NORTH KOREAN COUNTERFEITSBy Ed Morrissey
The United Nations faces another embarrassing scandal, as the New York Sun’s Benny Avni reports today. Despite its earlier denials, UN officials not only knew about North Korea’s counterfeiting operation — it helped Pyongyang hide the evidence in Turtle Bay safes:
As federal investigators examine how the leading U.N. agency in North Korea illegally kept 35 counterfeit American $100 bills in its possession for 12 years, documents indicate that more officials were aware of the existence of the fake currency — and earlier — than the agency has reported. Spokesmen for the United Nations Development Program have said top officials at the agency’s New York headquarters learned in February that their safe in Pyongyang contained the counterfeit bills and immediately reported it to American authorities. But several documents shown recently to The New York Sun indicate that higher-ups knew much earlier that the safe held counterfeit money. …
One “safe contents count record” — shown to the Sun with the stipulation that the paper omit such details as the exact issuing date, which was before February — confirms that fake money was in the safe in Pyongyang. According to a source familiar with the system, this and similar records were filed with UNDP headquarters twice a year.
Internal UNDP communication shown to the Sun also indicates that in at least one incident, a Pyongyang office manager reported the existence of the counterfeit money to his successor. Similar reports were filed with the seven managers that have served in North Korea since 1995. Some of these managers have returned to UNDP headquarters since then and now serve as top officials there.
In this case, the familiar refrain of “follow the money” applies literally. The UN’s own documentation shows that their leadership had clear knowledge of the criminal enterprise conducted by the Kim Jong-Il regime. They were required to inform the US of it and to provide the evidence for our investigations. Instead, they aided and abetted Kim and Pyongyang in undermining our currency.
Not surprisingly, the Treasury Department takes a dim view of this activity. The Secret Service wants to talk to at least 13 officials in the UN Development Program to determine their complicity in the counterfeiting ring. So far, the UN has not lifted immunity for those individuals, and they’re not talking about when it will happen; a “senior UN official” told Avni that the UN and the Secret Service are “working out the modalities”.
If federal prosecutors can return an indictment and confirm this activity, the UN will face a much tougher time in the US than it did in the Oil-for-Food Programme scandal. In that case, they turned a blind eye and enabled Saddam Hussein to enrich himself through a vast kickback scheme. If the UN helped hide North Korea’s counterfeiting ring, that is a direct insult to our sovereignty, as well as our hospitality.
It would be an insult that we cannot afford to let pass. If the UN does not immediately fire everyone involved in this scandal and revoke their immunity, then we must cut off all funds for the UN and create a timetable for withdrawal from this thoroughly corrupt organization. We have no need of a debating society whose members transform refugee camps into seraglios, who stuff the pockets of dictators with money meant for those they oppress, and who actively assist other nations in undermining our currency. If the UN fails to cooperate, it’s time to push Turtle Bay into the water and bid adieu to the last of the Cold War anachronisms. Tuesday, April 3, 2007
By Bill Roggio
Districts of Bannu, Lakki Marwat and Swat are Taliban country
NWFP/FATA map. Red agencies/districts are openly controlled by the Taliban; yellow are under threat. Click map to view.
As Pakistan’s civil war continues, the Northwest Frontier Province slips further into the darkness of a Taliban ruled state. During a recent meeting between senior government political and security officials on March 6, the officials recognized the deterioration of the government’s writ not only in the tribal areas, but in the settled districts of the province. The situation in the NWFP, as reported by Dawn, is summed up as follows: “Inaction on the part of LEAs (law-enforcement agencies) -– government on the retreat. Writ of the government shrinking with every passing day. Vacuum being filled by non-state actors. Respect for law and state authority gradually diminishing. Morale of the LEAs and people supportive of government on the decline. Talibanisation, lawlessness and terrorism on the rise.”
The report also notes that the districts bordering the tribal agencies of North and South Waziristan, “namely Tank, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu and Lakki Marwat” are increasingly falling under the control of the Taliban, while the districts of Swat, Charsadda and Mardan, which neighbor Bajaur in the north, are also falling under the influence of the Taliban. “They were also briefed on the resurgence of the defunct Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi, particularly in Swat region where Maulana Fazlullah aka Maulana Radio was making full use of his illegally set up FM radio station to stop people from sending girls to schools and getting their children vaccinated against polio,” notes Dawn “Recently, anonymous letters were delivered to girls’ schools in Charsadda and Mardan asking them to wear veils; shops dealing in video CDs have been warned to stop their ‘un-Islamic’ business or face retaliation.”
The rapid decline of the situation in the Northwest Frontier province should come as no surprise to those who closely watch the Pakistani news. The following incidents are daily occurrences in the NWFP: assassinations of security officials, pro-government tribal leaders and ‘U.S. spies'; bombings of police stations, music and video shops; attacks on military patrols and bases; threats against barbers to stop shaving beards; Taliban recruiting drives; the threats to close schools, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations. The signs of the Talibanization of northwestern Pakistan have been visible for well over two years.
The report indicated the lack of political will and the failure to shore up the security forces has led to the deterioration of security and the rise of Talibanistan in the province. “There seems to be some sort of paralysis at the decision-making level. There is little one can do in these circumstances other than fire-fighting,” an official commented to Dawn. “These are not normal times. Extraordinary situations demand extraordinary decisions. Unfortunately, the focus at the decision-making level now is more on politics than security. It (security) is on the back-burner.”
The Northwest Frontier province is rapidly switching from Taliban influenced (yellow on the map) to outright Taliban controlled (red). The recent fighting in Tank, where the government has called in the army after the Baitullah Mehsud’s Taliban openly attacked the town, highlights just how badly the government has lost control in the settled districts in the NWFP. The tribes in Tank held a jirga (or tribal meeting) where they “banned offices of militant groups in the city, and pledged to fight and expel foreign militants.” “A peace committee was set up to look into ways to guard peace in the district on a permanent basis,” Dera Ismail Khan director Zulfiqar Cheem told reporters.
The Pakistani government claims it is sending in an additional two brigades, about 8,000 ‘crack troops,’ to the tribal regions to conduct a robust offensive and restore order. Apparently the troops are being sent to South Waziristan. The government, however, still clings to the clearly failed agreements in North and South Waziristan by characterizing the internecine fighting between Taliban commander Mullah Nazir, who openly supports jihad in Afghanistan and vowed to continue to fight the West, and Uzbek al Qaeda as signs of success of the Waziristan Accord. The Pakistani government is claiming over 140 Uzbeks have been killed in the fighting, while the locals in the region have put the numbers far, far lower. The Pakistani Army is well known for inflating enemy casualties while hiding their own.
Rumors of the Pakistan Army sending troops to conduct an offensive in the tribal areas have been circulating since the beginning of 2007, yet no offensive has materialized. Past “peace deals” have amounted to little than unenforceable agreements between the Taliban and the government, which result in the Taliban openly controlling the territory. Just prior to the fighting in Tank, Baitullah Mehsud was called in bring the people of Tank a “peace message.”
We hope the Pakistani government will seriously deal with the situation in the tribal agencies. The Taliban and al Qaeda are so entrenched a counterinsurgency campaign is now required to uproot them, according to a senior U.S. military intelligence official.
We hope the tribes of Tank are serious in wanting to eject “foreigners” and opposing the presence of the Taliban. But we doubt the sincerity of the actors involved. The Pakistani government and Army have shown little inclination to deal with the Talibanization on its northwestern border, and the ‘tribes’ they negotiate with to abdicate control of the region to are very often the Taliban. Tuesday, April 3, 2007
From FOX News: Bush: Pelosi Meeting With Syria’s Assad Sends Wrong Signal.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Syria to meet President Bashar Assad sends a signal that the rogue nation is part of the international mainstream when it is not, President Bush said in a Rose Garden address Tuesday. Pelosi, D-Calif., arrived in Syria earlier that day, leading a Congressional delegation on a trip that the White House has criticized.
“It’s one thing to send a message,” Bush said. “It’s another thing to have the person receiving the message actually do something. Sending delegations hasn’t worked, it’s simply been counterproductive.”
Pelosi, who was met at Damascus airport by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, is the highest-ranking American politician to visit Syria since relations began to deteriorate in 2003.
The United States accuses Syria of interfering in Iraq and Lebanon and sponsoring terrorists — charges that Damascus denies. A White House spokeswoman has described Pelosi’s visit to Syria as a “really bad idea.”
Pelosi has shrugged off the criticism, pointing out that Republican members of Congress have also visited Syria. During a visit to neighboring Lebanon Monday, she said she considers the visits to be an “excellent idea” and was hopeful of rebuilding lost confidence between Washington and Damascus.
And IBD Editoirals: Mrs. Chamberlain.
We’ve seen how well Iran plays with others, capturing 15 British sailors in what in earlier times would have been considered an act of war. It is killing U.S. troops with advanced armor-piercing IEDs it supplies Iraqi jihadists. It plays host to Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi army has tried to destabilize Iraq’s infant democracy. Still, Pelosi insists we follow the ISG’s advice. Come, let us reason together. But we’ve seen Iran’s response to the ISG and to the international community that has rightly sanctioned Tehran for building weapons of mass destruction.
Syria and Iran were partners in crime in Hezbollah’s unprovoked attack on Israel and used the democracy of Lebanon as a human shield as it helped provide weapons that rained death and destruction on civilians in Israeli cities and towns. It acted as a conduit for arms flowing to Hezbollah from Iran used in Hezbollah’s attacks.
Syria has been linked to the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri and a host of other anti-Syrian political leaders as it works to destabilize the country it occupied for over two decades. Pelosi won’t be able to talk to Lebanon’s former industry minister, Pierre Gemayal. He was assassinated as part of Syria’s and Hezbollah’s plan to destabilize Lebanon.
UPDATE: From CNN: Pelosi receives warm welcome in Syria.
Pelosi stood by the U.S. assertion that Syria supports groups that the United States considers terrorist organizations. “Of course the role of Syria in Iraq, the role of Syria supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, the role of Syria in so many respects — we think there could be a vast improvement,” she said. “We think it’s a good idea to establish the facts, to hopefully build some confidence between us. We have no illusions, but we have great hope.” Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Cindy Does Seoul
By Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 27, 2006
One of the things that protestors in South Korea know is that the local riot police have ample experience with demonstrators. While a viable democracy, South Korea has seen out-of-control street riots in its turbulent past. Now authorities across the political spectrum are unwilling to allow anyone to go too far. Peaceful demonstrations? Sure, but don’t press your luck. While American demonstrators – including the most violent – are accustomed to being treated with kid gloves; in South Korea the gloves are off.
This is something that career protestors Cindy “Peace Mom” Sheehan and Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin might want to keep in mind while they cavort throughout South Korea on their Quixotic mission of preventing the U.S. military from expanding a base south of Seoul and demanding immediate negotiations with North Korea, NOW!
By short background, the presence of large numbers of American military in the Yongsan Base located in the middle of Seoul has long been a contentious issue with Koreans. Its presence was a needless source of friction in a bilateral relationship that has had its share of disagreements anyway. Originally a remote base outside of the city, urban sprawl has progressed over the decades so the base is now in the geographic center of the bustling city. Aggravating the situation a major roadway bisects the base. Overhead walkways were added years ago to expedite pedestrian traffic, but impatient Korean drivers are forced to wait through two stoplights while on-base vehicles cross the road.
Meanwhile, negotiations for relocation of the American forces to the Camp Humphreys area, located in Pyongtaek about 45 miles south of Seoul, and Taegu, about 70 miles southeast of Seoul, have been underway for years. After adjacent land was purchased by the Korean government for expansion of the Pyongtaek base, the relocation out of Yongsan is finally underway to the delight of both South Koreans and Americans.
To the surprise of many, including no doubt the Korean government, Sheehan and Benjamin decided to shadow President Bush on his Asia trip to protest expansion of the Camp Humphreys site. Along the way they are also protesting the new Free Trade Agreement between America and South Korea, as well as demanding negotiations with North Korea. It is a collection of issues that are unrelated, somewhat mundane, and of little public interest, especially in America.
Sheehan, Benjamin, and 16 fellow Americans accompanied by a handful of South Koreans met with villagers who do not want to be relocated and demanded work cease. AFP reports that construction near Pyongtaek has met “strong protests from activists and villagers” who will be displaced from their homes or farmland. Translated, this means that fewer than 100 villagers don’t want to leave despite the generous compensation paid by the Korean government for their land. This is sad but it happens worldwide in these cases. Open support for the villagers’ protest has come from virulent anti-American, strongly pro-North Korean groups in South Korea including hard-Left student movements, labor organizations, and Communist sympathizers. Reports from South Korea note that without this support the village protests would have “faded away” long ago, but that the anti-American spin gives the local media an excuse to pack cameras down to Pyongtaek on slow news days.
…And for Sheehan and Benjamin to pack their bags. Sheehan bragged to reporters, “Believe me, we will be passing along these [villagers’] concerns to the, to the Congress, to the people of America and we will be doing every thing we can as Americans to correct this situation in South Korea.” Benjamin added, “There is no way that I feel my family will be more secure or that Korean families will feel more secure by expanding the Camp Humphreys base and taking land from people who have farmed there for generations.”
Dissatisfied with the lack of attention their presence generated in sleepy Pyongtaek, Sheehan and Benjamin trucked north to Seoul where they tried unsuccessfully to crash the gates at the Yongsan Base. The American Commander-in-Chief, crusty four-star General Burwell Bell, wisely refused them entrance to the base and virtually ignored their pathetic demonstration. Assembling outside of the gate – blocking traffic on the busy thoroughfare, a move that risked being beaten to a pulp by road-rage-possessed South Korean commuters, taxi drivers, and truckers – the demonstrators were outnumbered by South Korean police in full riot gear. Media swarmed like flies, outnumbering both police and protestors.
With her usual eloquence and reason, Cindy waved her American passport and noted, “My father served at this base. I have the right as an American to come onto this base.” Well, Cindy, actually you don’t. Access to U.S. overseas bases is not automatic but is left to the discretion of the local commander. Many American expatriates working in or visiting Seoul over the years have wished to come onto the base but were denied access if they had no official reason for entry. Apparently General Bell was not convinced of Sheehan-Benjamin’s need to enter.
In reaction to the protest the U.S.-Korean Combined Forces Command issued a statement not naming the demonstrators but upholding their right “to express their opinions.” The statement noted parenthetically that the South Korean general officer who was General Bell’s deputy was rotating that day and that both he and his replacement “are great patriots and have dedicated their lives to protecting freedom, to include the right to protest, here in Korea.” Good night, Cindy and Medea, and good luck.
In what has become her cynical default position, Sheehan held up a photo of her son and “posed for photographers,” while insisting, “we are not against the troops themselves, we’re against their leaders who deploy them carelessly.”
The facts are known about Sheehan and Benjamin: “Mother Sheehan” called terrorists in Iraq “freedom fighters,” and Benjamin has tried to convince soldiers to declare themselves conscientious objectors so they can be sent home. Both present American armed forces as a plague on the earth. At least General Bell had one opportunity to deny Cindy Sheehan the use of American servicemen as a prop for an anti-troop message.
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