Thursday, December 31, 2009

Indonesia farewells its boldest president Abdurrahman Wahid

INDONESIA's fourth president, Abdurrahman Wahid, was one of the boldest and most eccentric leaders the Asia-Pacific region has seen - and one of the most supportive of Australia.

He died on Wednesday after finally succumbing to his many longstanding illnesses, including kidney failure and diabetes, and was buried yesterday in his family's graveyard in Jombang, East Java, which was surrounded by 10,000 praying followers.

The memorial service was presided over by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who ordered a week of national mourning for the mystical, whimsical one-eyed cleric.

Wahid - more widely known as Gus Dur - became Indonesia's president after the first national elections following the ousting of strongman Soeharto in 1998.

His power base, Nahdlatul Ulama, is one of Indonesia's two mass Islamic movements, whose moderation has been crucial in combating attempts to hijack the world's most populous Islamic nation in an extremist direction.

Since then, presidents have been elected directly and not via parliamentary votes.

He lasted only two years in the presidency before parliament, which had taken a punt on him in the first place, sacked him amid unproven allegations of corruption and incompetence.

That short term in office, however, saw key policies endorsed and initiated. He followed through predecessor B.J. Habibie's extraordinarily radical plan for devolving power - not so much to the 27 provinces, but further down, to the country's 360 kabupaten or regencies. He strengthened the crackdown on Islamist violence, encouraged dialogue with separatists in Aceh and West Papua, and urged the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel.

He did not succeed in the latter. But Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, said: "We have lost a true friend and a warrior for peace and mutual respect."

He visited East Timor after it became a new nation, apologising for human rights abuses committed by Indonesian forces during the 24-year occupation.

He was an ardent supporter of inter-faith dialogue, whom NU vice-president Maskuri Abdillah said would be remembered above all as a "pluralist". But his eccentricity, including his tendency to doze off during important meetings, disqualified him from the leadership of a rapidly modernising nation of the size of Indonesia. When predictability, calmness and inclusiveness were required, he had been at times capricious and prickly.

He was never able to provide ASEAN with the leadership it needed, and which it had formerly expected of Indonesia, where it is headquartered.

He liked Australia, and visited a number of times when he was a refreshingly frank figure. He sought to engage Australia in a West Pacific Forum, a concept Canberra embraced but which has since faded away. Viewers of ABC TV were rivetted, in the latter days of Gus - "Uncle" - Dur, by an extraordinarily intimate profile of him filmed by his friend Curtis Levy.

In that program, Dur walked endlessly around the palace gardens, propped up by aides. He was the first person to live there since Indonesia's almost equally odd founding father, Sukarno.

When he was elected by parliament despite his party gaining only 11 per cent of the vote, he had Suharto's art works replaced with the Sukarno collection, including his library. But not his music. His study table was typically littered with CDs ranging from Kenny Rogers to Janis Joplin and Beethoven.

The Australian

Yemenis in raid on al-Qa'ida stronghold

SANAA: Yemeni forces raided an al-Qa'ida hideout and set off a battle yesterday as the government vowed to eliminate the group claiming it was behind the Christmas bombing attempt on a US airliner.

The fighting took place in an al-Qa'ida stronghold in western Yemen, haven for a group that attacked the US embassy in the country in 2008, killing 10 Yemeni guards and four civilians. A government statement said at least one suspected militant was arrested.

"The (Interior) Ministry will continue tracking down al-Qa'ida terrorists and will continue its strikes against the group until it is totally eliminated," Deputy Interior Minister Saleh al-Zawari told senior military officials at a meeting in Mareb, another province believed to shelter al-Qa'ida fighters.

The attack came as US officials said the Pentagon was drawing up urgent plans for increased military co-operation with Yemen, including possible retaliatory strikes against al-Qa'ida targets.

He acknowledged, however, that Yemen would need technical and intelligence information to carry out such attacks, and senior Pentagon sources said fresh target lists were being drawn up in case US President Barack Obama called for them.

The US has never publicly acknowledged the rapid build-up of its military presence in and near Yemen since last year but sources say that attacks already mounted by Yemeni government forces on al-Qa'ida training camps would have been impossible without American hardware and know-how. Future strikes could involve the use of US drones, fighter jets and ship-launched cruise missiles.

The US military has formidable firepower on permanent standby in the form of carrier battle groups stationed in Bahrain, and unimpeded access to Yemen from bases in Djibouti and the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia.

Pinpointing those who groomed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for his suicide mission in the Arab world's poorest country will not be easy but the movements of known militants and the would-be bomber's responses to interrogators have provided leads.

Two former inmates of Guantanamo Bay detainee camp who were returned to Yemen via Saudi Arabia in 2007 are thought to have assumed the leadership of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, the group that claimed responsibility for the attempted airline bombing.

Muhammad al-Awfi and Said Ali al-Shihri are believed to have been the targets of a pair of airstrikes on suspected terrorist training camps in the east of the country before Christmas that the Yemeni government says killed more than 60 militants. Reports that the pair were killed on Christmas Eve have not been confirmed.

The AQAP leadership was the target again yesterday in the raids by Yemeni forces.

Abdulmutallab has reportedly told his FBI interrogators in Michigan that he attended a gathering of young men "all covered up in white martyrs' garments" in Yemen shortly before he left the country.

The American response to the near-catastrophe over Detroit has veered from casual reassurance to angry recrimination and thinly veiled threats of military action in less than a week.

US investigators said Abdulmutallab told them he received training and instructions from al-Qa'ida operatives in Yemen.

Yemen's government has said Abdulmutallab spent two periods in the country, 2004-2005 and from August to December of last year, just before the attempted attack.

Yesterday's clashes took place in Hudaydah province, an al-Qa'ida stronghold along the Red Sea coast. A security official said the target was a house owned by an al-Qa'ida sympathiser. The official said the owner was arrested, a suspected al-Qa'ida member was injured and several militants who fled were being pursued.

Before yesterday's clashes, Yemeni forces backed by US intelligence carried out two major strikes against al-Qa'ida hideouts, reportedly killing more than 60 militants.

The Australian

Shah's son urges international protest

The son of the deposed Shah of Iran has urged nations worldwide to withdraw their ambassadors from Tehran to protest violence against opposition demonstrators.

Reza Pahlavi, who has lived in exile since his father was toppled in the 1979 revolution, has appealed for a UN investigation into human rights violations during recent unrest.

In a letter, Pahlavi urges UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to press Iran to release those arrested and act to "halt the intolerable and increasingly dangerous march of events".

At least eight people died during protests on Sunday, while hundreds were arrested in the worst unrest in the aftermath of June's disputed presidential election.


H/T: The Jawa Report

France Televisions journalists 'kidnapped in Afghanistan'

SUSPECTED Taliban militants have kidnapped two French journalists working for France's public television broadcaster and three Afghan companions in the east of the war-torn country, a colleague says.

Gunmen snatched the group as they were travelling about 60km from the Afghan capital, a French journalist working with them said.

Criminal groups and Taliban insurgents have kidnapped several dozen foreigners, many of them journalists, since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in Kabul, sparking a nine-year insurgency.

"The two journalists, accompanied by their Afghan translator, and the translator's brother and cousin, were kidnapped on the road between Surobi and Tagab," their French colleague said.

She blamed the kidnapping on the Taliban, saying they had laid an ambush for the group in Kapisa province.

French defence minister Herve Morin, who was visiting French troops in Afghanistan to mark the New Year, confirmed only that the journalists had been missing since Wednesday.

"We can't rule out any hypothesis and are doing everything to make contact with them."

The journalists' employer, public broadcaster France Televisions, did not formally confirm their abduction.

"We have had no news of them for 48 hours," said Paul Nahon, director of documentaries. The journalist and cameraman had been working on a documentary for about two weeks, he said.

French troops deployed in Kapisa have launched a manhunt for the five.

The Australian

Tears and fears made love and glory.

I saw a poem today at islamgreatreligion that glorifys the condition of the traditional Muslimah. As the rabid pro-female person that I am, I had to do my own version of what it means to be Muslimah.

The Slavery of a Muslimah Soul
Is Reflected Through Her Eyes

Eyes flowing with Tears unshed,
Growing resignation dimming the passion of her eyes.
Her “beauty” reduced to acts of servitude that degrade,
Overflowing with the need to comfort
The ones that deny her humanity.

She is like a blazing fire
Smothered beneath an ocean of inhumanity.
Her trust is to another’s strength,
Her slavery made glamorous;
Her ownership is preserved.

Taught to Fear Allah
She lives her life, each day a rape of her soul.
Self worth for her comes from outside,
Her beauty a reflection of her service
With patience and kindness toward
Those who will tolerate nothing less from her.

As she gives each drop of love that remains in her soul,
Look into her eyes and see the tears unshed,
She owes you less than she is owed
For her soul is stronger than yours;
Her true beauty will only be seen
When her bondage ends, for the Love of Allah!

H/T: Heretics Crusade

'abduction plague' in N. Africa

Kidnappings of foreigners is on the rise in North Africa as criminal cells seek financial and political gain.

Four Saudis were killed and three seriously wounded in the latest of a series of kidnapping attempts as they were ambushed in the western Tillaberi region of Niger on Monday.

According to a report in the London-based A-Sharq Al-Awsat the assailants were attempting to kidnap the Saudis with the intention of passing them on to Al-Qa'ida for profit.

"By any standard the kidnappings are lucrative," Geoff Porter, Director in Eurasia Group's Middle East and Africa division told The Media Line. "By local standards of the Sahara, the kidnappings are astoundingly lucrative."

Ransoms are rumored to reach millions of dollars.

"Most Nigerians and a large number of Malian live on less than a dollar a day. Obviously, the kidnappings have their associated expenses, so ransoms are not pure profit, but the profit margin has to be higher than many other legal activities in the Sahara."

Monday's incident went afoul when one of the Saudis opened fire in self-defense and triggered an exchange of fire, the report claimed.

The kidnappers' cell numbers some 30 people and operates mostly on the border between Mali and Niger, and in holiday resorts. Tourists, especially Westerners, are reportedly targeted and handed over to Al-Qa'ida for a cut of the ransom money subsequently paid by governments.

Algerian sources said a cell of Arab Nigerians headed by a weapons smuggler identified by the initials M.I. planned Monday's ambush with the intention of selling them to senior Al-Qa'ida member, Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

Belmokhtar is associated with Al-Qa'ida Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an Algerian terrorist group aligned with the global Al-Qa'ida.

"In the majority of instances the kidnappers' motives seem to be purely financial," Porter said. "There is one active AQIM member in the Sahara, Abdel Hamid Abu Zaid, who seems to be driven by genuine Salafi-Jihadi hostility toward non-Muslims and Europeans. He seems, however, to be in the distinct minority and even other AQIM members, for example Mokhtar Belmokhtar, seem to be motivated by profit rather than ideology."

AQIM has claimed the majority of kidnappings that have plagued North Africa for the past year. The organization has also claimed responsibility for the abduction of an Italian couple earlier this month in Mauritania and the kidnapping of three Spanish nationals in Mauritania in late November.

A spokesman for the organization told Al-Arabiyya satellite channel that the abduction of the Italians was tied to what he called Italy's crime in Iraq and Afghanistan. Italy says it will not negotiate with the terror organization and that it will not change its policies in Afghanistan.

"The number of kidnappings has risen since December 2008," said Louis Caprioli, Director of the Department of International Security at GEOS, a risk management company.

"There are several reasons for this," he told The Media Line. "First, AQIM has intensified its presence in Mauritania, Algeria and in the whole Sahel region."

"Second, they are taking advantage of people from Mali and Mauritania to support them and lead their actions in those countries. They're benefiting from the many cells in those countries."

"Another reason is that the security services in Mauritania, Mali and Niger do not have the equipment or the ability to fight these organizations," Caprioli added. "There's a huge difficulty in controlling this desert region of the Sahel."

"Historically the Sahel is a region where a lot of illegal trafficking takes place," he explained. "Cigarettes, drugs, stolen cars and weapons - all this illegal trafficking has increased the criminality rate in this region. The illegal weapons trafficking benefited from the civil wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Ivory Coast."

Governments very rarely admit they have paid ransom to secure the release of their nationals, Caprioli said.

"I think that when a hostage is liberated it's not because of the kindness of the kidnappers," Caprioli said. "It's not a good solution but the governments don't have other solutions. The public opinion is also pressuring the governments to pay, so it's their only solution. One of the difficulties in the region is that the liberation of hostages by military means is really difficult. The problem is that the armies in Niger, Mauritania and Mali do not have the material means to lead operations to release hostages. Add to this the problem that usually the hostages are held in regions like north Mali, which are very difficult to access. They're held in no-man's land."

Governments in the region are often prevented from accepting military assistance from foreign governments due to sovereignty considerations.

"While states may oppose paying ransoms, many companies and some individuals buy Kidnap-and-Ransom insurance," Porter said. "These pay out a ransom in the event of being taken hostage."

"Foreign firms that operate in kidnap-vulnerable areas include the cost of K&R insurance in their operating budgets," he added. "Obviously if ransoms were no longer being paid that would remove a huge incentive for the kidnappers, but when someone you know has been kidnapped, you are no longer looking at patterns and trends. Instead, you're focusing on resolving one particular situation and you pay the ransom."

"The payment of ransoms has demonstrated that money can be made taking hostages," Porter explained. "Eventually the pace of kidnappings will level out, and then decline as the number of foreigners traveling to the region decreases. Travelers will become more and more aware of the risk and will no longer visit or pass through areas with a high likelihood of being kidnapped."

Kidnappings that have taken place in North Africa over the past year:

- December 2008. Two Canadian diplomats working for the United Nations are kidnapped in Niger. AQIM claims responsibility. They were released in April. Canada said no ransom was paid.


Yemen 'can handle al-Qaeda menace'

The Yemeni government has vowed to deal with the "menace of al-Qaeda in Yemen" after the group claimed responsibility for a plot to bring down an aircraft bound for the US city of Detroit on Christmas.

Saying his government would not authorise or co-operate with any potential US strike on its soil, Abdullah Alsaidi, Yemen's permanent representative to the United Nations, told Al Jazeera that his country "is capable of taking care of its own problems".

Alsaidi welcomed co-operation with and assistance from the US "with respect to intelligence information", saying it was necessary to Yemen's battle against al-Qaeda.

But he added that "we are not encouraging US attacks, we are saying that Yemen will take care of this problem on its own".

On Wednesday, Yemeni security forces raided an alleged al-Qaeda hideout in a western province, sparking a gun battle with fighters.

A security official speaking on condition of anonymity said the target was a house owned by an al-Qaeda sympathiser.

The official said the owner was arrested, a suspected al-Qaeda member was injured and several fighters who fled were being pursued.

Brigadier-General Saleh al-Zawari, Yemen's deputy interior minister, told senior military officials that the interior ministry "will continue tracking down al-Qaeda terrorists and will continue its strikes against the group until it is totally eliminated".

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian passenger, was arrested last Friday on suspicion of trying to bring down the Northwest Airlines aircraft carrying 289 people.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an offshoot of Osama bin Laden's group based in Yemen, claimed it was behind the attempt.

US investigators said Abdulmutallab told them he received training and instructions from al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen.

Yemen's government said Abdulmutallab spent two periods in the country, from 2004-2005 and from August to December this year, just before the attempted attack.

And Alsaidi told Al Jazeera that Abdulmutallab "was probably in touch with terror cells" in Yemen, although the envoy denied that the explosives from the failed attack came from his country, saying Abdulmutallab "most likely picked them up somewhere else".

"I have also heard from other governments that he picked them up in other African countries closer to Nigeria," he said.

Abdulmutallab's Yemen connection has drawn attention to al-Qaeda's presence in the country.

Before Wednesday's clashes, Yemeni forces backed by US intelligence carried out two major strikes against al-Qaeda hideouts this month, reportedly killing more than 60 fighters.

The US has increasingly provided intelligence, surveillance and training to Yemeni forces in the past year, and has provided some firepower, according to a senior US defence official, who requested anonymity.

Bryan Whitman, a US defence department spokesman, said Yemen received $67m in training and support under the Pentagon's counterterrorism programme last year, second only to $112m spent in Pakistan.

"We are going to work with allies and partners to seek out terrorist activity, al-Qaeda, wherever they operate, plan their operations, seek safe harbour," he said, adding that "this is an effort that is years old now".

But US officials downplayed reports that retaliatory strikes in Yemen would be launched.

"These reports are inflammatory and do not address the issue," Barbara Bodine, a former US ambassador to Yemen, told Al Jazeera, adding that "we need to understand the size, configuration of the al-Qaeda presence in Yemen".

"Any moves would be better done by the Yemen military. Conducting air strikes would not help either, as you would end up with collateral damage. Actions such as these are merely reactionary, but not aimed at solving the problem," she said.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama, the US president, has demanded a preliminary report by Thursday on the security lapses in the plane bomb plot.

He said the intelligence community should have been able to piece together information that would have raised "red flags" and possibly prevented Abdulmutallab from boarding the airliner.

Abdulmutallab had been placed in one broad database but never made it on to more restrictive lists, despite his father's warnings to US embassy officials in Nigeria last month.

The failed attack in Detroit was launched almost a year after al-Qaeda's operations in Yemen and Saudi Arabia united to form al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, making Yemen its base.

Al Jazeera

Crime Pays for Somali Pirates

by Stephen Brown

When it comes to the scourge of Somali piracy, the latest incident leaves one wondering whether to laugh or cry. At the very least, it should cause heads to shake and have people asking how the West is ever going to win the War On Terror.

The military news publication, Strategy Page, reports this week that the Dutch frigate, HNLMS Eversten, was ordered to release 13 Somali pirates it had captured earlier this month.

The pirates were attacking a merchant ship when the Dutch intervened and apprehended them and their vessel.

However, instead of being clapped in irons to await trial, the Dutch captain was ordered to put the pirates back on their boat and release them. In addition, the Dutch sailors’ also had to provide the pirates, who not long ago would have been hung on the spot, with food and fuel to return to Somalia. (It is a wonder they were not sent on their way with apologies for any inconvenience.)

The only consolation regarding this sad state of affairs concerned the pirates’ weapons: they were not returned. But the way things are going, Western naval crews may eventually have to do just that, or be required to supply a substitute, like cash or DVDs (The Pirates of the Caribbean might be a big hit) to keep their former captives entertained during their trip home.

Once back at their bases, one can be assured such pillow-soft treatment will see the pirates not hesitate to return to terrorizing international shipping as soon as possible. They can easily obtain new weapons in war-torn Somalia.

The International Maritime Bureau estimates the pirates’ number at about a thousand, organized in well-armed groups of 15 to 20. Last year, they earned about $50 million in ransom money from ships they had seized.

In the past, al Qaeda and Islamists in Somalia have both praised Somali piracy as part of the “fight against the West.” A leader of a Somali Islamist group called the pirates “part of the mujahedeen.

“They are waging war against Christian nations, who want to misuse the Somali coast,” he said.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the surge in pirate attacks in 2008. It called the campaign to seize ships and hold them for ransom a justifiable “new strategy”, since “fighters who aspire to establish the caliphate must control the seas and waterways.”

Counterterrorism consultant Olivier Guitta revealed the importance of the Somali piracy campaign to al Qaeda. Guitta stated al Qaeda “intends to take control of the Gulf of Aden and the southern entrance of the Red Sea, calling the area “strategic” to the Islamic terrorist group.

Al-Qaeda’s goal in seizing control of the vital waterways around the Horn of Africa leading to the Suez Canal is the removal of Western military bases from the Arabian Peninsula. It believes sea lanes weakened by “acts of piracy” and mujahedeen attacks will accomplish this.

The Somali piracy campaign also fits in nicely with al Qaeda’s plan to disrupt the American and other Western economies. It knows Western countries derive their military and cultural strength from their economic power, hence al Qaeda’s attack on America’s World Trade Center.

Al Qaeda wants to draw America and its allies into as many security sideshows as possible in order to further drain their treasuries. The New York Times reports that after 9/11, for example, the Department of Homeland Security spent $40 billion on the aviation security system alone. Tens of millions more can probably be added to that sum after the Northwest Airlines terrorist incident on Christmas Day, making it an al Qaeda victory in this respect despite the plot’s failure.

On the high seas around Somalia, al Qaeda’s strategy of death by a thousand financial cuts sees Western and other countries facing, besides ransom payments and the huge expense of maintaining an anti-piracy naval presence, increased insurance costs. Ships that reroute around South Africa to avoid the Somalia region, while escaping the insurance penalty, incur higher operating bills due to the longer voyage.

Considering the importance the Somali pirate campaign holds for al Qaeda in its long-term plans, it is a wonder that Western strategists have only come up with the harmless “catch and release” tactic as its main counter measure. Resembling a form of appeasement, it has not worked and instead has led to an increase in attacks.

Statistics from the Piracy Reporting Center of the International Maritime Bureau, as reported in New York Times this week, bear this out. Pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden and along the Somali coast have increased 200 per cent since 2007.

While 111 ships were attacked in this area in 2008, 214 have been attacked this year. Only last Monday, pirates seized a chemical tanker with a crew of 26 and a Greek bulk carrier.

Strategy Page notes that although the number of attacks was higher this year, the international naval patrols established to thwart the pirates reduced the number of successful attacks from 40 per cent in 2008 to 25 per cent in 2009. The ransom demands, however, increased and the pirates are now operating off Somalia’s east coast and in the Gulf of Aden to avoid the anti-piracy patrols.

Unfortunately, one can only expect the number of pirate attacks around Somalia to increase in the future. Somali pirates know Western countries seldom use force to free ships and pay large ransoms. According to Strategy Page, Western countries also refuse to attack the pirates’ bases for fear of causing civilian casualties and to avoid becoming bogged down in a land campaign in Somalia.

The fact the pirates seldom face prosecution and are usually released make piracy in that region almost a risk-free crime that encourages attacks. More unsettling, however, is that these weak, ineffective policies on the part of Western countries indicate a moral bankruptcy that could decide the issue of this war.


Obama’s Tortured Rendezvous With Reality – by Jamie Glazov

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and historian at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is a columnist for National Review and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.

FP: Victor Davis Hanson, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

First things first, let me ask you this.

If our government was serious about fighting Islamic terrorism and saving lives, wouldn’t Abdul Mutallab be getting water-boarded just about now?

We know that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed – which included waterboarding – forced KSM to give up crucial information that ended up preventing countless terrorist attacks and saving an infinite amount of innocent lives. It allowed, for instance, the U.S. to capture key al- Qaeda terrorists and to thwart a planned 9/11-style attack on Los Angeles.

But now, thanks to the Obama administration and its approach to the terror war, Abdul Mutallab will probably be getting a lawyer and not have to say anything. This, naturally, drastically increases, rather than minimizes, the possibilities of a future terror attack on our soil and against our citizens.

Your thoughts?

Hanson: I don’t think right now the question is over interrogation techniques, but rather not giving this foreign national would-be mass murderer full rights, as if he were a common criminal rather than a non-uniformed soldier at war.

Mutallab apparently, has been happy to tell all he knows without even being interrogated formally, which makes the entire foiled attack even more absurd: a Nigerian radical Muslim buys with cash a one-way ticket, carries no check-in luggage, was previously reported by his own father as a threat to America, and boards a plane to America after previous stays in Yemen?

Before we even get to questions of interrogation, how about first some sanity? And in reaction to all this, Secretary Napolitano nonchalantly talks about the system working like “clockwork”? I think very soon we will hear of no more “overseas contingency operations” and “man-made disasters”—and no more Janet Napolitano as head of our homeland security.

And when the next official struts and says “Bush did it”, the public will sigh “Thank God, he did”, since in comparison with the seriousness with which the prior administration dealt with terrorism, the Obama team seems to consider radical Islam an interesting catalyst for a civil liberties debate. “Reset” button probably won’t be used any more either—the phrase is too ironic now, and would mean going back to our anti-terrorism policies from 2001-9, which are preferable to the present mess. In political terms, one cannot ask millions of Americans to take off their belts and shoes, and then not put someone like Mutallab on a no-fly list.

FP: The fate of Gitmo?

Hanson: With over 100 Yemenis in Guantanamo, I doubt the facility will be closed; perhaps it will be virtually closed like the Iranian deadlines to stop building a bomb, or the health-care deadlines. I doubt too that Khalid Sheik Mohammed is ever tried in New York; that partisan gambit will be quietly Guatanamoized.

More at FPM

Austria: HuT threaten minister over burka comments

Of all the people who spoke out against burkas recently, the one who gets threatened is the one who said that she might ban burkas in the future?

A banned radical Islamic organisation has sent a threatening letter to Social Democratic (SPÖ) Women's Minister Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek after she called for a ban on burkas, according to the Österreich newspaper.

The newspaper reported today (Weds) that the Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation based in Lebanon had sent it a three-page email after Christmas in which it condemned the minister's remarks last week and threatened her using the sentence from the Koran: "And know that Allah is strong in punishment."

The organisation's Vienna spokesman Shaker Assem also called "on Austrian Muslims to cease supporting the SPÖ".

Österreich said it had handed the document to the Federal Crime Office (BK), adding that to date there had been no serious investigation of Islamic fundamentalists in Austria.


Source: Austrian Times (English)
Thanks to Islam in Europe

Six beheaded in militant slaughter

TALIBAN militants have beheaded six Afghans they accused of spying for the government of President Hamid Karzai.

Police today confirmed the killings of six "moderate Taliban", saying the men had "cooperated with the authorities".

The victims' bodies were found with their heads totally separated in a house near the capital of the southern province of Uruzgan on Thursday, Juma Gul Hema, the provincial police chief, told AFP.

One man survived the attack with a deep gash across his throat, he said.

"A group of moderate Taliban had gathered in a house near Tirin Kot," he said.

"A group of Taliban terrorists went there and beheaded them all. They had separated the heads of six of them."

The seventh man was still alive, he said.

The Australian

Update On Iran Insurrection 12/30/09

Today the fake government of Iran held their own rally, and they could only find up to 20,000 people to show up. They bought them food, made them signs, told them what to chant, and took them home. Oh yes, they had to bus them in from outside of Tehran, so they were not Tehranis. Pretty slick, eh?

Notice one thing, they did not have police shooting at them, they did not have the basij and the irgc fighting them. No riot gear. Yet the Green Movement, which is many times more popular, had about over one million people in July after the fake election and many hundreds of thousand people facing these thugs with no weapons, no protection, no nothing. All they had is disgust and courage.

They want a peaceful, secular Iran. They don't want to fight, and they were not fighting. It was the basij and irgc who started the fighting. They pushed them past the point of peaceful protest. They restrained their anger for so long.

Sunday was the 7th day after the death (they mourn the dead of Mohammad's grandson and family after 7 days on the day of Ashura, very holy day) of one their reformist Clerics who had criticized this regime ever since the 80's. He was one of the original people of the revolution in 1979. He soon became disenchanted with the way the government was taking shape. Many people in Iran are saddened at his loss, so their is a little division because the protest started on that day. Otherwise, they generally agree with the Green Movement.

It is true that not all the people agree or want Iran to change. You will find this in any party, any country, any state, etc. So please don't misquote me as saying everyone! *heh*

Even though I have been praying for the Christians in Iran and trying to talk to Congress about human rights issues, I still do not know as much about the Persian history as I would like to know. That is why I have three people I would like to introduce you to that are Iranian bloggers.

First I would like to introduce to a friend of mine who we share a blog with, his name is 'Korosh' and his blog is DEMOCRACY FOR IRAN دموكراسي براي ايران. He is a very peace-loving man, and he keeps up with the news pretty well.

I met Winston next. He has a site over at The Spirit of Man. He is a rather funny guy. (He has a great sense of humor.) He also desires a regime change. He has been following this history as it happens, so you should really check out his site.

I just found this site a couple days ago, but it is very good also. The name of it is The Daily Nite Owl and his latest post is ‘Millions’ Out in Support of Government in Iran? Think Again. This one covers the state run, state owned, state bought people to rally as if they are pro-government. Ha. If they loved the govt so much, why did they have to go out of town to gather people...starting yesterday!

I don't want to report anything I cannot confirm, and unfortunately I can't even be sure of this. All of them have relatives and friends in Iran, so I have a tendency to rely on their versions. They coincide with what I've been reading in the papers and seeing on Twitter's #iranelection. Also unfortunately, that's all I have for now. I hope to learn more for tomorrow. Until then, everyone stay safe and pray for our brothers and sisters who are fighting for their own Life and Liberty. Thanks.

Update: I have just read a marvelous article at Muslims Against Sharia by SP. The name of the article is Amil Imani: Is Regime Change Coming To Iran? Well written and more in depth than I could write. Great job.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Suicide bomber's victims 'worked for CIA' at Afghanistan base

EIGHT Americans possibly working for the CIA were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up after sneaking into the gym on a US base in Afghanistan yesterday.

And four Canadian soldiers and a woman journalist were also killed when a bomb exploded as their armoured vehicle passed by on Tuesday, in one of the deadliest 24 hours for foreigners in the war-torn country.

The attacks come as the number of US and NATO-led foreign troops is set to soar to 150,000 to try to halt an increasingly virulent insurgency by the Taliban militia that has made 2009 the bloodiest year for international forces since the 2001 invasion.

Pentagon spokeswoman Lt Col Almarah Belk said the eight Americans died when an attacker detonated a vest packed with explosives on Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province - a key Taliban stronghold.

“Eight Americans have been killed in an attack on RC-East,” a US embassy official said, using the military term for a region of eastern Afghanistan.

But the Washington Post newspaper said that most of the eight probably worked for the CIA, which it said was using the Chapman base.

A suicide bomber managed to penetrate the base's defences, detonating an explosive belt in a room described as a base gym.

The Post said US sources confirmed that all the dead and injured were civilians, and that most were probably CIA employees or contractors.

It said the attack appears to have killed more US intelligence personnel than have died since the US-led invasion in 2001, adding that the agency has acknowledged the deaths of four CIA officers in Afghanistan since then.

Suicide attacks are a hallmark of the hardline Taliban militia, who are waging a major insurgency to topple the Western-backed government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and oust the foreign troops.

The US said last month it had doubled the number of civilian experts working in Afghanistan and was “on track” to meet its goal of nearly 1000 by the new year. Many are to work in provincial military bases alongside military reconstruction teams.

The New York Times said an unidentified NATO official described Chapman as “not a regular base,” suggesting it was used by US intelligence agencies.

The five Canadians were killed in a roadside bombing in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar in southeastern Afghanistan, said General Daniel Menard, the head of Canadian forces in the country.

“Yesterday Canada lost five citizens,” General Menard said on Canadian television, adding that a Canadian civilian official was also wounded.

“Four soldiers and one journalist were killed as a result of an improvised explosive device attack on their armoured vehicle during a community patrol in Kandahar City.”

Public television station CBC identified the journalist as Michelle Lang, a reporter with the Calgary Herald.

The deaths raised to 138 the number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Canada has some 2800 troops deployed in the Kandahar region, who are supposed to return home in 2011.

The Australian

Amil Imani: Is Regime Change Coming to Iran?

Introduction: Since the fraudulent June 12th Presidential elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), an increasingly emboldened opposition, the green movement, has arisen to demand the overthrow of the IRI. The green movement refuses to desist from launching massive street protests in Tehran, Qom, Isfahan and other major Iranian cities.

All this is occurring despite violence wreaked upon thousands of valiant regime opponents by the ruling Mullahs and President Ahmadinejad.

As of this writing more than 15 have been killed in clashes with Iranian security services including the nephew of reformist Presidential candidate Mir Mohammad Mousavi, former IRI Prime Minister. Moreover several dissident leaders have been jailed. Something major is brewing in Iran - possibly revolution.

As the year was closing, first a crescendo of massive protests occurred at Students Day events. Then tens of thousands used the occasion of the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri to demonstrate their determination to end the rule of the Supreme Ruling Council head, Ayatollah Khamanei, and his puppet President Ahmadinejad.

The final bloody weekend of 2009 witnessed the faltering IRI regime undertaking unprecedented security measures to pre-empt public mourning and observances of the Shi’a Ashura holy day. Police, revolutionary guard and the Basiji para-military forces blanketed Tehran in a vain attempt to stifle public gatherings. They failed. Massive throngs of people from all classes in Tehran and other major cities defied bans in spite of warnings that violators would be dealt with mercilessly.

As a Der Spiegel article reported these protesters were shouting: “We will fight, we will die, we will reconquer our country.” There were graphic video images sent via the internet of protesters engaged in street battles with Basiji forces.

Now there are reports that elements of the Iranian Military may have sided with the opposition in support of a secular republic. Jane Jamison in the American Thinker noted in a report, “Iranian Military moves in support the people’s revolution”:

It is difficult to verify, but factions in the Iranian military may be breaking rank to join the people’s cause. A group calling itself the National Iranian Armed Resistance Forces (NIRU) posted a news release on an Iranian protest website at the end of the day’s violence.

We, a number of Officers, Soldiers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, hereby declare our readiness for rise to the armed defense of our nation against the forces of the criminal, illegitimate transgressing and occupying current Government of Iran, and hereby inform our brothers and sisters serving with the armed security forces of Iran, invite them to join us, request their support and ask them to provide cover for us in this moral & national act. A special request for support & cooperation goes to our brothers of the Military Police.

The NIRU says it intends to secure Iranian radio and television stations, the Parliament, and the courts, will hold local elections and referendums within 3 months and new presidential elections within 9 months and will dissolve the murderous “Basij” plainclothes police and establish a new national police force.

Protection and firepower from even a few factions of the military could signal a critical momentum change for the Iranian people, who by law cannot own weapons.

All this occurred despite the visible tyranny imposed by Basij para-military, Revolutionary Guards, and regime secret police arresting, beating and torturing opposition student and opposition political leaders. All this amidst vain attempts to prevent the news of this emerging Iranian revolution reaching the world by cell phone and the internet.

Some observers have even suggested that the apocalyptic version of Shia Islam espoused by the ruling Mullahs, might ultimately be consigned to the dustbin of history if such a revolution occurred.

Amir Taheri, expatriate Iranian journalist, in a Wall Street Journal column, “Iran’s Democracy Moment,” has pronounced the democracy movement a possible “hinge moment” in Iranian history reflecting the increasing demand by opposition protesters for replacement of the oppressive theocracy with a democratic secular republic.

This development comes at a time when the ruling Mullahs are desperate to retain control in a truculent nation where many clearly despise Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei and President Ahmadinejad.

These unexpected developments throw into confusion the responses of the Obama Administration in Washington and that of other international players regarding how to deter the Mullahs from their inexorable quest for the ultimate apocalyptic weapon of choice- a nuclear bomb and the missiles for delivering it.

In the face of evident rebellion by Iranians against the Mullahs, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Sen. John Kerry, was seeking clearance from the White House to travel as an emissary to Tehran to confer with the IRI regime that could be in the throes of dissolution. This was an incredible affront to the opposition movement leaders in Iran and supporters of Iranian regime change in America, Europe and Israel.

Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defense in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government announced daunting prospects of a possible unilateral military option against the IRI’s nuclear facilities. In a Jerusalem Post report when he said:

. . . that the recently revealed nuclear facility at Qom was “built over a number of years, located in a reinforced underground bunker and immune to standard bombs.”

Barak further noted the indifference of the West in assisting Iran’s beleaguered people, when he went on to say:

“It is not pleasant to see the response of the free world to the activities there, to the trampling of citizens by the regime.”

More at CFP

On Planet Janet

President Obama yesterday pulled his head out of the sand long enough to promise a thorough review of US se curity practices after the near-suicide bombing of a commercial airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day.

Then he stuck it right back in.

Obama, in a brief address from Hawaii, did manage to utter the "T" word: "A full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism." But he refused to define the nature of the threat.

Nor did he fire Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano -- a pity, because if any government official ever earned the boot, it's her.

Sunday, she claimed "the system" she allegedly oversees "worked" on Christmas Day -- even though Nigerian jihadist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab brought a bomb aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 and almost detonated it.

The claim was nonsensical, as she finally noted yesterday -- "the system didn't work" -- but not before destroying the credibility she needs to hold the job.

Yet Obama is short on credibility, too. Why can't he bring himself to describe the threat for what it is: an Islamist holy war against America?

Yesterday, Obama termed Abdulmutallab "an isolated extremist."

Really? Is that all?

The bomber's own father warned US officials in October that his son had fallen in with Islamic radicals.

Abdulmutallab himself reportedly told federal officials he trained with al Qaeda in Yemen -- and, for what it's worth, al Qaeda in Yemen confirms that.

And ABC News reported yesterday that two of Abdulmutallab's Yemeni trainers had been released from Guantanamo Bay to the Saudis in 2007 -- and then set free after (no joke) "art therapy rehabilitation."

Meanwhile, Brian Jenkins of the Rand Corporation reports 12 incidents of Islamist terror either in the United States or involving Americans abroad in 2009, the most in any year since 9/11. (These include the Fort Hood massacre.)

See the trend line?

Obama refuses to.

"Those who would attack our country" is how he described the jihadis -- a formulation he used four times in his brief address.

But if the president refuses to define the enemy, how can he expect America to defend against that enemy?

No wonder Napolitano is so confused.

No reasonable person believes that terror screening can ever be foolproof. But Americans need full confidence that their government is addressing the problem as vigorously as possible.

This would require Obama to order two basic changes in anti-terror policy:

* Captured terrorists need to be treated as such -- and not as common criminals. Abdulmutallab needs to disappear down a black hole somewhere, and stay there until the war on terror is over. No criminal trials for terrorists.

* Homeland Security needs to quit pretending little old ladies from the heartland pose a security threat and institute an intelligent traveler-profiling policy that targets Middle Eastern males.

Certainly, Abdulmutallab's attack was instructive: Who knew it was so easy to waltz through security with high explosives stuffed down one's pants?

But while odds are that some equally imaginative jihadist will someday succeed, a comprehensive, focused anti-terror policy will make that much less likely.

On Terrorism it's Time to Know, to Profile, and to Discriminate

by Newt Gingrich
After the Christmas Day near disaster in Detroit, it is time for Americans to demand effective anti-terrorist actions.

Over eight years after 9/11 and 30 years after the Iranian illegal seizure of the United States embassy and the 444 day Iranian hostage crisis, Washington is still avoiding being intellectually honest about the war we are in.

Our Politically Correct Government is Making Life More Miserable For the Innocent.

America is long overdue for a serious global strategy that includes targeting threats such as the terrorist killer at Fort Hood, the individuals recently arrested in Detroit, Denver and New York, and the five Americans detained in Pakistan.

The scale, persistence and sophistication of the enemy requires an honesty, a clarity, and a scale appropriate to the response.

Once again, instead of targeting the source of the threats, our politically correct government decides to make life more miserable for the travelling public by imposing hopelessly meaningless rules such as not allowing passengers to leave their seats in the last hour of the flight. Bound by cultural sensitivities, the default reaction of the bureaucracy is to review the procedures and wring its hands ineffectively.

Today, because our elites fear politically incorrect honesty, they believe that it is better to harass the innocent, delay the harmless, and risk the lives of every American than to do the obvious, the effective, and the necessary.

Before a lot more Americans are killed we must acquire the courage to tell the truth and to act on that truth.

It is time to be honest about what we know.

We know our opponents are radical extremists of the irreconcilable wing of Islam (Islamists, some would call them).

We know they have an ideology which is anti-female, desires to impose fundamentalist Sharia as a form of law, is hostile to other religions and is prepared to kill the innocent to achieve their goals.

We know how to identify these enemies but our elites have refused to do so.

In the Obama Administration, protecting the rights of terrorists has been more important than protecting the lives of Americans.

That must now change decisively.

It is time to know more about would-be terrorists, to profile for terrorists and to actively discriminate based on suspicious terrorist information.

The United States should track down the owners of every website that promotes terrorism and systematically root them out. It should be as dangerous to a person promoting terrorism as it is to execute an act of terrorism.

The same should apply to the electronic communications of every known radical (and using these communications to track down every unknown radical).

The people behind these websites should be barred from getting a U.S. visa if not in the United States (concurrently, we should make it easier -- not harder -- for non-terrorists to get visas because we want to encourage the law abiding while discriminating against the potential terrorist).

An integrated data base for threats should have been expected, we now learn that it does not exist. This must be fixed.

It should be reasonable for the flying public to have expected that when the Nigerian terrorist's father reported he was going to a terrorist training camp he should automatically have been barred from getting a visa and from flying into the United States.

The emergence of Yemen as the new planning, equipping, and training center for terrorism should remind us we need a worldwide "grand national strategy" (to use the World War II term) that is far bigger than our current debate over Afghanistan.

Americans should also note that ABC News is reporting that two of the plotters to blow the Amsterdam to Detroit flight out of the air were released from Guantanamo in 2007, attended an “art rehabilitation program” in Saudi Arabia, were released and took up senior leadership positions in al Qaeda in Yemen. Americans should also know that nearly half of the remaining detainees in Guantanamo are from Yemen.

The recent arrest of five Americans in Pakistan and the report there are 25 British citizens training to be bombers in Yemen should remind us this is a global war.

Moreover, the report that 74 Guantanamo detainees who have been released are back in the war trying to kill Americans should stop any further effort to close Guantanamo or to release terrorists.

This new honesty about the threat should end any thought of a civilian trial in New York for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammad with its dangers for exposing American intelligence information. All terrorists including would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should be tried in military tribunals as part of a serious war strategy.

The Attorney General and every Justice Department appointee whose law firms provided pro bono counsel for terrorists should be fired and replaced with lawyers who believe the lives of Americans are more important than the rights of terrorists.

The United States must have a policy of effective interrogation to understand our enemies and disrupt their planned attacks (read Marc Thiessen’s column from yesterday).

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's claim that the Detroit bomber was allowed to board a plan with explosives hidden in his underwear proved the system worked is proof we need a new Homeland Security Secretary who knows we need a new strategy and a new focus.

These are the first steps toward defeating the extremists.

We should take them before there is a tragic attack that kills a lot of people.

We have been warned. Again.

Will we now act?

Your friend,

Human Events

U.S. Knew of Airline Terror Plot Before Christmas

The U.S. government had intelligence from Yemen before Christmas that leaders of a branch of Al Qaeda there were talking about "a Nigerian" being prepared for a terrorist attack, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

A senior official told the Times that President Obama was told in a private meeting Tuesday while vacationing in Hawaii that the government had a variety of information in its possession before the failed bombing on a Detroit-bound flight last week that would have been a clear warning sign had it been shared among intelligence agencies.

The newspaper said the information did not include the name of the Nigerian.

A CIA official prepared a report on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab after a meeting with the suspect's father in November, who shared information about his son's extremist views, CNN reported Tuesday. The report was sent to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, but it sat there for five weeks and was not disseminated, a "reliable source" said.

"Had that information been shared... [he] might have been denied passage on the Northwest Airlines flight," the source reportedly said.

"This agency, like others in our government, is reviewing all data to which it had access, not just what we ourselves may have collected, to determine if more could have been done to stop Abdulmutallab."

The president acknowledged Tuesday that a "systemic failure" on multiple levels allowed Abdulmutallab to board the flight, amid growing evidence of missed warning signs.

The president, in his most extensive comments so far on what went wrong in the security process, said information about the terror suspect was not properly shared among agencies. He said that information, particularly a warning to authorities from the 23-year-old suspect's father in Nigeria, should have landed him on a no-fly list well before he boarded the Northwest Airlines flight in Amsterdam.

"The warning signs would have triggered red flags and the suspect would have never been allowed to board that plane for America," Obama said. "A systemic failure has occurred, and I consider that totally unacceptable."

Senior U.S. officials told The Associated Press that intelligence authorities are now looking at conversations between the suspect in the failed attack and at least one Al Qaeda member. They did not say how these communications with the suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, took place -- by Internet, cell phone or another method.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the conversations were vague or coded, but the intelligence community believes that, in hindsight, the communications may have been referring to the Detroit attack. One official said a link between the suspect's planning and Al Qaeda's goals was becoming more clear.

Obama said a mix of "human and systemic failures" contributed to what could have been a "catastrophic breach of security."

A senior administration official, speaking with reporters on condition of anonymity, said enough was known about the suspect to stop him, but the government didn't connect the dots.

"It is now clear to us that there were bits and pieces of information that were in the possession of the U.S. government in advance of the Christmas Day attack -- the attempted Christmas Day attack -- that had they been assessed and correlated could have led to a much broader picture and allowed us to disrupt the attack," the official said.

The suspect was not on the "no-fly" list or a separate list that would have required secondary screening at an airport.

Obama said there were several "deficiencies" in the intelligence-gathering process, and that information about the suspect "could have and should have been pieced together."

"It's becoming clear that the system that's been in place for years now is not sufficiently up to date to take full advantage of the information we collect and the knowledge we have," Obama said.

The comments come as the administration launches a review of airport screening and the terror watch list system. The president said a preliminary review is due to him by Thursday.

"We need to learn from this episode and act quickly to fix the flaws in our system because our security is at stake and lives are at stake," he said.


Europe's looming demise

By Pamela Geller

"The Europe as you know it from visiting, from your parents or friends is on the verge of collapsing," Geert Wilders said in a speech in the United States last year.

The leader of the Netherlands' populist Party for Freedom added: "We are now witnessing profound changes that will forever alter Europe's destiny and might send the Continent in what Ronald Reagan called 'a thousand years of darkness.' " And not just Europe, but America as well.

Been to Europe lately? Thought it was bad? You ain't seen nothing yet. The passage of the Lisbon Treaty, hailed by President Obama, nailed the coffin shut on national sovereignty in Europe. The people of Europe fought it, but were overwhelmed by their political elites and the lack of American leadership in this age of our rather Marxist, collectivist U.S. president.

Come Jan. 1, 2010, a disastrous and suicidal pact called the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Europe/Mediterranean) goes into effect with little fanfare or examination. It boggles the mind that such a consequential and seismic cultural shift could be mandated and put into play without so much as a murmur from the mainstream media.

Why should Americans care about this? Americans have to care because this global gobbledygook is coming to our shores, thanks to our globalist president.

The European human rights group called Stop the Islamization of Europe (SIOE) has been working tirelessly to expose the mass Muslim immigration plan of the Euro-Med Partnership.

A statement on the SIOE Web site criticizes the secrecy of the process: "It was shocking to hear about the plans and at the same time knowing that Danish politicians and a [cowardly] Danish press - who is otherwise proud to be critical - has told nothing to the Danish people about this project which begins in January.

This also showed clearly at the conference. Only very few politicians showed up and no media. Those politicians who showed up had obviously never heard about the Euro-Mediterranean project.

The goal of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation is to create a new Greater European Union encompassing both Europe and North Africa, with the Mediterranean Sea becoming a domestic Eurabian sea. The goal is to establish a "comprehensive political partnership," including a "free trade area and economic integration"; "considerably more money for the partners" (that is, more European money flowing into North Africa); and "cultural partnership" - that is, importation of Islamic culture into post-Christian Europe.

According to the SIOE, in the Euro-Med plan "Europe is to be islamized. Democracy, Christianity, European culture and Europeans are to be driven out of Europe. Fifty million North Africans from Muslim countries are to be imported into the EU."

Skeptical? It's already happening. The British newspaper the Daily Express reported in October 2008 on "a controversial taxpayer-funded 'job centre' " that opened in Mali at that time as "just the first step towards promoting 'free movement of people in Africa and the EU.' Brussels economists claim Britain and other EU states will 'need' 56 million immigrant workers between them by 2050 to make up for the 'demographic decline' due to falling birthrates and rising death rates across Europe."

To offset this decline, a "blue card" system is to be created that will allow card holders to travel freely within the European Union and have full rights to work - as well as the full right to collect welfare benefits.

A Muslim population from Africa moving freely into Europe threatens America. On Christmas Day, a Nigerian Muslim flew from Amsterdam to Detroit and tried to explode a bomb on the plane - after he was allowed to board the plane without a passport.

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership will make jihad attacks like this one all the easier.

And once in Europe, Muslims have already begun demanding special privileges and accommodations. IslamOnline reported on Dec. 21 that "Muslims activists from 26 European countries have come together to launch the first rights council to enlighten European Muslims about their rights, monitor rising Islamophobia and defend Muslim rights in European courts of law."

Ali Abu Shwaima, a Muslim leader in Italy, explained: "We think European human rights groups are not doing enough to defend the rights of Muslims. Therefore we thought that we need this new council, especially that all laws and constitutions in Europe respect freedom of religion and oppose all forms of discrimination and racism."

"Islamophobia," "discrimination" and "racism" are all terms Muslims in Europe and America use to confuse people into thinking that the perpetrators of Islamic terrorism are the real victims. And it is working: Mr. Wilders is going on trial in the Netherlands, instead of all the Islamic hate sponsors he is fighting against. It has to be this way, to increase harmony among the Muslim and non-Muslim member states of the Euro-Med Partnership.

This internationalism is already destroying what has made Europe free and great. And now Mr. Obama seems to want to do the same to America.

Pamela Geller is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs Web site. She is the author (with Robert Spencer) of the forthcoming book "The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America" (Simon and Schuster, July 2010).

Washington Times

H/T: Atlas

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