Sunday, December 31, 2006

Storm Track Appeasement: Terrorism and the Flaw in Gandhi Think

One could say the Mahatma Gandhi is the quintessential role model of the common liberal. His way of dealing with oppression was to dialogue and peacefully protest. Our own protégée of Gandhi was martin Luther King who used many of Gandhi’s tactics to bring attention to and bring about the results of the civil rights movement.

To say that the tactics of Gandhi and King were successful is an understatement. One confronted an Empire and made it conform to his ideals. The other confronted a long held bigotry and made its institutions conform to his will. Both freed their people. Liberals and Progressives forever hold these two men and the means they used in high esteem and claim that dialogue with opponents, peaceful protest and the very power of their ideals will always win over brute force, hatred and aggression.

But there is a flaw in this thinking.

Both men struggled with a fundamentally moral opponent. Their protests were not met with firing squads and their dialogue did not condemn them to concentration camps. They worked their magic of change in an environment ruled by Anglo-Saxon culture that above all recognized the value of life and the procedure of law.

The flaw in Gandhi’s thinking became quite evident during WW II when he was asked how he would respond to Hitler and the Nazis’s persecution of the Jews. David Lewis Schaefer in “What Would Gandhi Do?”

Gandhi offered only one avenue for the Jews to resist their persecution while preserving their “self-respect.” Were he a German Jew, Gandhi pronounced, he would challenge the Germans to shoot or imprison him rather than “submit to discriminating treatment.” Such “voluntary” suffering, practiced by all the Jews of Germany, would bring them, he promised, immeasurable “inner strength and joy.” Indeed, “if the Jewish mind could be prepared” for such suffering, even a massacre of all German Jews “could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy,” since “to the God-fearing, death has no terror.”

The pacifist ignores reality and substitutes it with his or her beliefs. Gandhi said of Hitler just a month before the fall of France, “I do not consider Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted. He is showing an ability that is amazing and seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed.”

As for his response to Muslim demands for a separate nation – Pakistan – once India received its independence from Britain, Sudaram writes in “Gandhi, the Moulana of Muslim Appeasement”:

Dr B R Ambedkar paid his tribute to the Muslim Appeasement Bible of Moulana Mahatma Gandhi in these brilliant words: 'Gandhi has never called the Muslims to account even when they have been guilty of gross crimes against Hindus. It is a notorious fact that many prominent Hindus who had offended the religious susceptibilities of the Muslims either by their writings or by their part in the Shudhi Movement have been murdered by some fanatic Musalmans. The leading Muslims never condemned these criminals. On the contrary, they were hailed as religious martyrs.... This attitude of the Muslims is understandable. What is not understandable is the attitude of Mr Gandhi.'

Dr Ambedkar was not talking through his hat about the anti-Hindu and pro-Muslim attitude of Mahatma Gandhi. When thousands of women were raped and many of them killed by the Moplah Muslims during the Moplah rebellion in 1921, the brutalised women of Malabar led by the senior Rani of Nilambur gave a heart-rending petition to Lady Reading, the wife of the then Viceroy of India. The atrocities committed by the Moplah rebels were widely reported in the English and vernacular newspapers of the day throughout India and the British Empire. Mahatma Gandhi was fully aware of every development in Malabar during this time. But his overweening egoism blinded his eyes to such an extent that he was unable to see the realities on the ground.

Gandhi was a great appeaser and showed many of the traits of appeasers and apologist over the ages. Self-loathing and the belief of being lesser than their enemies, the will of self-preservation, and the need to see their oppressors as ‘human beings’ so as to continue the fantasy that they hold the same basic ideal of humanity as they.

Mahatma Gandhi at that time gave a great finding to the effect that every Muslim is a bully and every Hindu a coward. On the one hand he called every Hindu a coward and on the other hand he exhorted all the Hindus to remain calm and non-violent even when they went all out to defend themselves against the attacking Moplah Muslims. The truth is Mahatma Gandhi displayed all his courage only to suppress the Hindus. In so far as the Muslims were concerned, he was a typical Hindu coward. He was mortally scared of them. So was Jawaharlal Nehru. Therefore Gandhi had no moral sanction to talk about the cowardice of the Hindus. And here is the callous, sadistic and barbarous message he gave to the Hindu victims of Moplah rebellion in Young India of 29 September, 1921: 'The ending of the Moplah revolt is a matter not only of urgency, but of simple humanity. The Hindus must have the courage and the faith to feel that they can protect their religion in spite of such fanatical eruptions. ... Be the Moplahs be ever so bad, they deserve to be treated as human beings.'

Today’s liberal appeasers and apologists should earn from the lesson of Gandhi. He was murdered by the very same ‘human beings’ he held in high esteem.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Storm Track Appeasement: Democrats to TSA – Quotas, Yes. Terrorists, No

“Hey you! The one with the bomb belt. Come on through. We reached our quota today.”

Think that’s absurd? Not if the Democrats have their way. The American Thinker has a very informed post about the Flying Imams and their newly elected useful idiots in the Democratic Congress. The most important part of the post is an excerpt from the legislation proposed by the Democrat led House.

The title of the Bill is S. 2138 and here’s what it says.

S. 2138 provides federal funding defaults and potential civil penalties for any agencies which, when challenged, cannot prove that they did not racially profile anyone they questioned, detained, searched, or seized contraband from. It broadly defines the offense as relying, to any degree, on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion in selecting which individuals to subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities or deciding upon the scope and substance of law enforcement activity following the initial investigatory procedure....It further requires that law enforcement agencies keep records as to the race, ethnicity, national origin and religion of all stops and searches. This data will be analyzed regularly by designees of the DOJ to determine if that agency is engaging in profiling. These inane determinations will be made based upon percentages of encounters compared to percentages of the population.

The most obvious problem? “The new law could keep our courts busy entertaining frivolous lawsuits driven by cherry-picked data and our law enforcement agencies more concerned with sticking to quota than solving and preventing crimes.”

Daniel Horan of the LAPD, who spent 6 years at the Los Angeles airport on profiling-related issues agrees: "A law that would compel security professionals to focus on keeping their statistics within certain norms rather than on their mission keeping airline travel safe would have a devastating effect on our ability to ensure airline safety." Moreover, such a law would ultimately provide exclusionary cause for captured terrorists, as well as yet another "blame the victim" modus for ACLU-molded lawyers to confuse low IQ juries.

American Thinker states:

What next? A similar program at airports to affirm that Muslims, who comprise nearly 100% of the terrorist population, are not searched in numbers greater than the percentage they represent of the flying population? Has this country gone completely mad?

Think this kind of fuzzy headed, quota happy, liberal thinking is too far fetched? A few years back there was this from the Left. Since there were too many blacks executed for murder in comparison to the percentage of the population, they suggested that a quota be put in place were the number of black executions be no greater than the percentages of blacks in the country – no matter if they actually murdered someone. Once the imposed quota was reached, the convicted black murders would be excused from execution.

Expect other types of dhimmitude as the Democrats take control of Congress.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Winds of War: Why We Can Lose to the Islamists

I’ve written quite a bit on the non-violent tactics of the Islamists. That’s the major theme of my blog. And these non-violent tactics have yet to be addressed in this conflict between the Islamists and the free non-Muslim world.

Though the war on terror as a name for this conflict is slowly being discredited, there is little to replace it. Though politicians, MSM analysts and media have agreed that we now face a fascist ideology held and promoted by what we call terrorists, they seem unable to say what the actual tactics are of those who hold that ideology beyond calling them terrorists. Thus, with their circular logic, they arrive back to square one. We must do something to end terrorism. When that happens, out marches the right and left solutions to the problem, all of which have done little to reduce that actual advance of the ideology throughout world.

From the Sudan to Somalia to Iran to Palestine to Afghanistan to Pakistan to Malaysia and Indonesia, the Islamists are advancing their objectives throughout the Muslim world through violent jihad and non-violent infiltration and intimidation. In the non-Muslim world, under the secular beliefs of multiculturalism and political correctness, Islamists have advanced their ideological agenda forcing the governments and institutions of the non-Muslim World to submit to Islamist demands under the promise of peaceful co-existence.

The result is that the non-Muslim world finds itself impotent or even unaware of the threat to its civilization, morals, values and beliefs.

Daniel Pipes writing recently in The Sun describes how the non-Muslim world can lose this clash of civilizations.

On the face of it, the West's military predominance makes victory seem inevitable. Even if Tehran acquires a nuclear weapon, Islamists have nothing like the military machine the Axis deployed in World War II, nor the Soviet Union during the Cold War. What do the Islamists have to compare with the Wehrmacht or the Red Army? The SS or Spetznaz? The Gestapo or the KGB? Or, for that matter, to Auschwitz or the gulag? Yet more than a few analysts, including myself, worry that it's not so simple. Islamists (defined as those who demand to live by the sacred law of Islam) might do better than the earlier totalitarians. They could even win. That's because, however strong the Western hardware, its software contains some potentially fatal bugs.

Pipes exposes what those three fatal bugs are - pacifism, self-hatred, and complacency.

  • Pacifism: Among the educated, the conviction has taken hold that "there is no military solution"to current problems, a mantra applied to Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the Kurds, terrorism, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. But this pragmatic pacifism overlooks the fact that modern history abounds with military solutions. What were the defeats of the Axis, America in Vietnam, or the Soviet Union in Afghanistan if not military solutions?
  • Self-hatred: Significant elements in several Western countries — especially America, Britain, and Israel — believe their own governments to be repositories of evil and see terrorism as just punishment for past sins. This "we have met the enemy and he is us" attitude replaces an effective response with appeasement, including a readiness to give up traditions and achievements. Osama bin Laden celebrates by name such leftists as Robert Fisk and William Blum. Self-hating Westerners have an outsize importance due to their prominent role as shapers of opinion in universities, the press, religious institutions, and the arts. They serve as the Islamists' auxiliary mujahedeen.
  • Complacency: The absence of an impressive Islamist military machine gives many Westerners, especially on the left, a feeling of disdain. Whereas conventional war — men in uniform; ships, tanks, and planes; and battles for land and resources — is simple to comprehend, the asymmetric war with radical Islam is elusive. Box cutters and suicide belts make it difficult to perceive this enemy as a worthy opponent. Senator Kerry and too many others dismiss terrorism as a mere "nuisance."

These three ‘bugs’ as Pipes call them are fertile ground for the gathering storm of intimidation, infiltration and disinformation that is the softening–up process as prelude to the coming war.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Storm Track Appeasement: Blair's Descent Into Dhimmitude

Has Tony Blair’s pilot light gone out? Is he a sandwich short of a full picnic? What’s happening to this man as he winds down his stint as PM of Britain?

He, and along with Prince Charles, have been ramble down the path of dhimmitude for the last several months but these remarks from Tony Blair in Foreign Affairs, January/February 2007, proves how far along he is in his submission to Islam in Britain.

To me, the most remarkable thing about the Koran is how progressive it is. I write with great humility as a member of another faith. As an outsider, the Koran strikes me as a reforming book, trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins, much as reformers attempted to do with the Christian church centuries later.

What the?! Attempted to do? Did this man not study history in college? Christianity WAS reformed and that reformation broke the back of theocratic rule in Europe and lead to the separation of church and which culminated with the American Constitution and a secular government that’s ruled by the law of man and not the law of an interpreted God.

The Koran is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition.

Oh really? FaithFreedom.org thinks otherwise.

There are so many superstitions in Islam that one can safely surmise that the entire edifice of Islam stands firmly on many such mythological /supernatural narrations. When one reads the fundamental scriptures of Islam, namely; the Qur’an and many Ahadith, one is bound to find copious superstitious stories and practices. The belief in such irrational and illogical stories and tales is bound to give rise to many fanatical believers and this could be the root cause of Islamic frenzy among its blind believers.

Blair’s submission to Islam goes even deeper.

It is practical and far ahead of its time in attitudes toward marriage, women, and governance.

Multiple wives? Women treated like property? Shari Law as a basis for government? And how about this from FrontPage magazine?

In preparation for the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha holiday, Muslims living in Cambridge received the following instructions with respect to women attending prayer services. “Many women - may Allah guide them - go out uncovered, wearing make-up and perfume, flaunting their adornment, when there is such serious overcrowding in the mosques - the dangers of this situation are quite obvious. So those who are in charge must organize the `Eid prayers properly, by allocating separate doors and routes for women and delaying the men’s departure until the women have left…. If the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had seen what has happened to women, he would have stopped them from going to the mosques... It is better if permission is given only to those women who are not going to look at men or be looked at, whose attendance will not lead to anything undesirable and who are not going to rub shoulders with men on the street or in the mosque. (i.e., women whose going out will not cause fitnah or temptation to her or to men).”
Ah, the advanced attitude of Islam towards women.

Under its guidance, the spread of Islam and its dominance over previously Christian or pagan lands were breathtaking. Over centuries, Islam founded an empire and led the world in discovery, art, and culture. The standard-bearers of tolerance in the early Middle Ages were far more likely to be found in Muslim lands than in Christian ones.
Tolerance. Right. Open up a newspaper today and learn the tolerance of Islam. Blair has certainly gone over the edge.

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Storm Track Appeasement: US Government Halts Anti-Terror Screening Program

Thanks to the efforts of privacy advocate groups, the government has halted the Secure Fight anti-terrorism screening program.

Secure Flight, the U.S. government's stalled program to screen domestic air passengers against terrorism watch lists, violated federal law during a crucial test phase, according to a report to be issued today by the Homeland Security Department's privacy office. The agency found that by gathering passenger data from commercial brokers in 2004 without notifying the passengers, the program violated a 1974 Privacy Act requirement that the public be made aware of any changes in a federal program that affects the privacy of U.S. citizens.

"As ultimately implemented, the commercial data test conducted in connection with the Secure Flight program testing did not match [the Transportation Security Administration's] public announcements," the report states.

The finding marks the first time that the Homeland Security Department has acknowledged that the problem-plagued Secure Flight program has violated the law. It comes at a time when a separate program to screen international passengers is under attack for officials' failure to disclose until recently that they were creating passenger profiles that would be stored for 40 years.

The report on Secure Flight says that "the disparity between what TSA proposed to do and what it actually did in the testing program resulted in significant privacy concerns being raised. . . . Privacy missteps such as these undercut an agency's effort to implement a program effectively, even one that promises to improve security."


Congress has halted Secure Flight, except for testing, until it can allay privacy and security concerns.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Winds Of War: Rumsfeld Confirms Gathering Storm Blog -"We Are in a Gathering Storm"

OK. So he probably didn’t refer to my blog for his quote. Like myself, he’s and admirer of Winston Churchill. But Rumfeld is correct. He says:

Churchill’s phrase about the gathering storm - there was a storm gathering, but there were people in Europe who didn’t believe it and who didn’t take the periodic storm clouds and the squalls as a real threat. They thought they were transitory and, of course, paid an enormous penalty in treasure and life for their failure to understand the nature of that threat. I worry we are in a gathering storm and we do not, as a society, accept it. Many of the elites of our society, the key opinion leaders, are unwilling or unable to accept what an awful lot of people believe to be the case. The penalty for being wrong can be enormous.
The ‘war’ many say we are fighting hasn’t even started yet - at least as far as the non-Muslim world is concerned – and Rumsfeld and some of his military minds finally are starting get it. They agree that we are not fighting a ‘war on terror’ but an insidious fascist ideology with the objective of dominating the world for Islam.

Jed Babbin at Accuracy in Media understands this well.

We aren't fighting a war against terrorists to win the hearts and minds of the Middle East. We are fighting it to end the threat of terrorism. Victory can't be achieved with bullets and bombs alone. This is, at its core, an ideological war. Just as we defeated communism by defeating the communists' ideology, we need to attack and destroy that of the radical Islamists. To do that, we first have to understand that radical Islam – the Islam of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Usama bin Laden and the rest – isn't a religion. It is an ideology that cobbles totalitarianism together with a messianic vision of religious nationalism. Radical Islam (unlike the actual religion) tolerates no other religion, and demands that its adherents give up the basic human freedoms enshrined in our Bill of Rights. No freedom of speech, no free press, no fair trials by a jury of your peers, only enslavement. Like the Nazis, the radical Islamists play on the sense of persecution and cultural inferiority that many people in underdeveloped nations have because they are truly oppressed. And, like the Nazis, the Islamists have convinced their followers that the problems of their world are the fault of others. The Islamists blame every ill of their world on America, the West, the Jews and Israel. Like the Soviets, the Islamists believe that their enslavement of the world is inevitable (though, unlike the Soviets, they believe it is God's will that they must succeed). Its adherents, like the Nazis and the Communists before them, believe their victory is both inevitable and irreversible. That is a powerful ideology which we have yet to engage with the necessary weapons.

To engage with the “necessary weapons”, we first have to recognize the tactics the Islamists are using, Then and only then can we bring the necessary weapons to bear. And like I’ve said over and over again and which this blog tracks, the tactics of the Islamist ideology is not just violent jihad but the more subtle jihads of intimidation, infiltration and disinformation emboldened by the appeasers and apologists in the non-Muslim world.

As Mark Styen “The dragons are no longer on the edge of the map.”

When you look at it that way, the biggest globali zation success story of recent years is not McDonald's or Microsoft but Islamism. The Saudis took what was not so long ago a severe but peripheral strain of Islam - practiced by Bedouins in the middle of a desert miles from anywhere - and successfully exported it to Jakarta and Singapore and Alma-Ata and Grozny and Sarajevo and Lyons and Bergen and Manchester and Ottawa and Dearborn and Falls Church. It was a strictly local virus, but the bird flew the coop. And now, instead of the quaintly parochial terrorist movements of yore, we have the first globalized insurgency.
And that’s what it is – an insurgency not different in form and soon to copied in acts from what’s happening in Iraq. But the insurgency also had its subtle insidious side.

An insurgency that lurks within a religion automatically has a global network. And you don't need "deep cover": You can hang your shingle on Main Street and we won't even notice it. And when we do - as we did on 9/11 - we still won't do anything about it, because, well, it's a religion, and modern man is disinclined to go after any faith except perhaps his own.
But Islam is not just a religion.

Those lefties who bemoan what America is doing to provoke "the Muslim world" would go bananas if any Western politician started referring to "the Christian world." When such sensitive guardians of the separation of church and state endorse the first formulation but not the second, they implicitly accept that Islam has a political sovereignty too. Thus, it's not merely that there's a global jihad lurking within this religion, but that the religion itself is a political project - and, in fact, an imperial project - in a way that modern Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are not. So we have a global terrorist movement, insulated within a global political project, insulated within a severely self-segregating religion whose adherents are the fastest-growing demographic in the developed world. The jihad thus has a very potent brand inside a highly dispersed and very decentralized network much more efficient than anything the CIA can muster. And these fellows can hide in plain sight.
There’s an elephant in the room and like on September 18th, 1931 when Japan invaded Manchuria, the free world was unaware that the elephant of tyranny was on the loose until a decade later. It’s time we woke up and think about what Rumsfeld said in the beginning of this post.

I worry we are in a gathering storm and we do not, as a society, accept it. Many of the elites of our society, the key opinion leaders, are unwilling or unable to accept what an awful lot of people believe to be the case. The penalty for being wrong can be enormous.

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Seasons Greetings from The Gathering Storm

Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah to you and yours. I wish my readers a Healthy and Happy New Year.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Storm Track Intimidation: Same Propaganda – Different Day

It seems some Muslims in Baltimore County say lessons involving Islam being taught to seventh- and 10th-graders in public schools are inaccurate.

Bash Pharoan, president of the Baltimore chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, says resource sheets, called "Islamic Life," given to seventh-graders studying world cultures and "World Religions" for 10th-graders in world history classes, not only misrepresent Islam, but show disrespect to the prophet Muhammad.

But the Baltimore Country school board, in an act of anti-dhimmitude has held firm and refuse to change the course sheets.

Joe Hairston, county school superintendent, said his "teachers do not use materials that contain inaccurate information."
And what’s inaccurate and has Pharoan’s burka in a bunch?

Pharoan disagrees, saying the resource sheet on Islam belittles the prophet by referring to him only as "Muhammad." "We always say 'Prophet Muhammad,' " Pharoan said, "Omitting the word 'prophet' is disrespectful." Pharoan said many of facts on the resource sheets are untrue or half-true, and they "emphasize negative differences that are divisive in nature."

There are other ‘inaccuracies’ about Islam that he points out.

Pharoan says the information given to students about "jihad" and the Koran, the sacred book of Islam, is especially objectionable. The resource sheets state the Muslim prophet's "main goal was to get people to accept Allah and to spread the faith of Islam. Muhammad justified his attacks to his followers by explaining that to weaken those who opposed the spread of God's word was a virtue, and that those who fell in battle would be rewarded in heaven. Thus, the idea of the jihad became the holy war of the Muslims against 'the unbelievers.'" This reference, Pharoan says, inaccurately portrays Islam as a religion that embraces the use of force.

Oh really. I wonder what the history texts in the county say? Islam spread with flowers and honey?

"Islamic teachings explicitly forbid coercing others to adopt the Islamic religion. Suicide is forbidden. The taking of innocent lives is forbidden. Yet the curriculum would have students believing otherwise," Pharoan said.

Jeeze! Can this guy tell a bold face lie! What about the Christian who was going to be executed in Afghanistan for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity? It toke an international uproar to prevent his execution. And what about the Fox News reporters that were kidnapped in Iraq and forced to convert under threat of death to Islam to save their lives.

Cara Calder, a spokeswoman for the school system, says the class material was selected on a scholarly basis."Our perspective is that when it comes to curriculum, our focus is academic rather than social or political," she said. "We (the administration) are aware of Dr. Pharoan's and Mr. Jameel's concerns, and as we would with any question of curriculum, we will rely on academic and scholarly information."
And this final piece from Pharoan.

"Teachers should ask themselves, 'Am I teaching fact or opinion?'”

They have their facts stright, Mr. Pharoan. Now get your straight.

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Storm Track Appeasement: Women Must Adapt to Rape in Norway

The dhimmitude in Norway knows no bounds. Fjordman reports in the Brussels Journal that the number of rapes in the Norwegian capital Oslo is six times as high as in New York City.

There has been an explosive increase in the number of rape charges in the city of Oslo, but both the media and the authorities consistently refuse to tell us why. They did do so, however, in 2001, when two out of Norway's three largest newspapers, Aftenposten and Dagbladet, reported that most of these rape charges involve an immigrant perp, which again mostly means Muslims. Both newspapers have since then conveniently “forgotten” about this, and have never connected the issue to Muslim immigration although the number of rape charges has continued to rise to historic levels. They are thus at best guilty of extreme incompetence, since their former articles about this issue are still available online. Norway’s Minister of Justice from 2001 to 2005, Odd Einar Dørum, mentioned the problem in 2001 but has later gone quiet about the issue. The reported number of rapes in Oslo is now six – 6! – times as high per capita as in New York City, yet the media keeps warning against Islamophobia.

You would think that some one, anyone in the Norway’s elite would respond to such an epidemic. Right? Well, here’s what Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, in 2001 said. She’s a women by the way.

“Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. The professor’s conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: “Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”
Got that ladies? Wiken says just lay back and enjoy it. After all, you ‘live in a Multicultural society and must adapt to it’.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Storm Track Infiltration: The Education Jihad

Following is the HS Today (Homeland Security Today Journal) cover story "Jihad Versus Education." An analysis of the impact of Jihadi influence and ideology on US Education and recommendations to the US Government, executive branch and Congress. Posted on Walid Phares and FDD web sites. The piece argue that for the past two decades the American educational system has been targeted and impacted by Oil producing regimes leading to a derailing of the national security analysis. The article underlines the fact that by reaching the classrooms, Wahabi and Khumeinist influence was affecting the newsrooms. Hat tip to The Counterterrorism Blog.

Here are some important excerpts of the Phares article.

THE WAR ON US EDUCATION: 1980s-1990s

One of the major results of the 1973 oil crisis was the rise of a determination by many oil producing regimes that the West, in general, and the United States, in particular, “understand” the greater Middle East, the Arab and the Muslim world and, accordingly, design its policies toward those regimes and ideologies on the basis of this “understanding”.
There’s that need to ‘understand’ why our enemy doesn’t like us.

As a result, millions of dollars were invested in American and European educational institutions as a way to “foster” this understanding. But instead of fostering an objective understanding or spreading impartial knowledge, the growing influence of Wahabism, an extreme form of Islam, and other such ideologies on the nation’s campuses played a dangerous role: Because of the ideological nature of the donors, the financed programs followed the guidelines of the donor regimes and organizations, which obviously narrowed research and teaching to issues remote from the major historical crisis in the region, other than the modern Arab-Israeli conflict. It removed all serious attention to the rise of Islamism, jihadism and even Baathism, as well as the deep ethnic and religious conflicts and the mass abuse of human rights in that part of the world.

The apologists like John Esposito and Bernard Lewis at work.

A careful review of curricula and research projects established within the US educational system, both public and private, since the 1980s stunningly reveals that American classrooms were deprived of knowledge on social, historical, ethnic and ideological movements rising to challenge the United States. Moreover, as I taught comparative studies for over a decade and lectured on many campuses in the 1990s, I came to realize that defense, strategic and security studies were heavily influenced by “regional” studies when it came to identifying the backgrounds of international terrorist movements emerging from the greater Middle East and penetrating western societies. History and Middle Eastern studies had been corrupted by Wahabi and other funding with an impact on political science, international relations and, ultimately, defense and security studies across the land.

A thorough review of the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, the Middle East Studies Association of America, the International Studies Association, the Middle East Institute and other professional education associations, of the hundreds of books, publications, articles, talks and research grants distributed by Ivy League universities and other colleges lead to only one conclusion: The gap is immense. There are no traces of the roots of jihadism and its long-term objectives against democracies and the United States. Instead, prominent scholars produced an enormous amount of literature precisely deflecting scholars and students away from the most serious issues related to American defense and security after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The “hole” was so vast and the “deflection” (not to use the term “deception”) so wide that a systemic problem strode the field producing waves of effects into the professional worlds of the media and policy. An academic lobotomy led to an incapacitation of the public learning process about the national security threat and created a cultural crisis in perception. In short, if one isn’t taught about the political thinking of the enemy and his ideological objectives in the classroom, where else would one catch up?

Those who spread the doctrine of jihadism in America during the 1990s had no counter check from the public or government, while even a minimal manifestation of Nazism, anti- Semitism or domestic violent racism was quickly countered. Clearly, Americans never lacked for imagination, but they were deprived of the necessary information.

If intellectual blurring starts in classrooms, it soon reaches the newsrooms and, eventually, the intelligence rooms and war rooms. If young Americans are mistaught the ideology, political culture and intentions of the enemy while at school and in college, once graduated, they will carry this misperception with them as they find jobs and are recruited in all the layers of national analysis. Students enter the media, legislative research, security, intelligence, foreign policy, justice, think tanks and other sectors crucial for national decision making at the bottom levels and rise up to the ultimate positions. By failing students in the classrooms, the educational system caused a national analysis failure: Media failed to report terrorism as it should have, impacting government’s various levels of policymaking; intelligence analysis, deprived of cultural understanding, saw the data but couldn’t put the bigger picture together; courts couldn’t process the concepts of terrorism beyond criminality; and, ultimately, both the legislative and executive branches were denied sound advice on the war already in progress against the country.

In conclusion, the failure in education led to a derailment of national analysis.
So what about today? How deep does the rabbit hole go?

In an article by Gordon Thomas in the G2 Bulletin, he writes that leading UK universities are seriously infiltrated by jihadists.

MI5 has established that four of Britain's leading universities have been "seriously infiltrated" by al-Qaida recruiters. Another 15 campuses are under urgent investigation by the security services. Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, has publicly spoken of a "highly dangerous network that is designed to attract more and more students into al-Qaida." Her claim is the first official indication of how far the terror organisation has penetrated British campuses that will produce the next generation of scientists and economists. "
Both professions have long been targets for al-Qaida.

Among the four universities already identified by MI5 are London University and Brunel University in the western suburbs of the city, Manchester Metropolitan University and Sheffield University. Between them they graduate a steady stream of chemists, biologists and economists. One of the graduates was Dhiren Barot, the most senior al-Qaida plotter to be captured in Britain. Barot, 34, a Hindu convert to Islam, was sentenced last week to serve 40 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to planning terrorist attacks, which the prosecution said "would have created carnage, bloodshed and butchers in Britain and America." It emerged during the trial that Barot had used his Brunel student card to travel to America and film targets.
So how can al-Qaida recruiters openly do the recruiting?
MI5 increasingly believes al-Qaida recruiters are bypassing campus bans on groups with radical links by presenting themselves as "ordinary Muslims. They are also operating behind the names of harmless sounding societies like 'The Search For Truth' and 'To Better Understand The Prophet,'" said an MI5 officer.
MI5 is mot without resources, though.

Working with the security services are small teams of security cleared Muslim imams known as "the trouble shooters." Their task is to go to campuses and tackle indoctrination head on. One of the trouble shooters is Sheik Musa Admani, a Muslim chaplain at London Metropolitan University. "We are dealing at campus level with highly skilled recruiters who are filled with hatred. Hatred of the white man, and America and Britain in particular," he says.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, Michelle Malkin reported in November that Jihad sympathizers are running amok in Australia.

A SIMULATION exercise in which Year 11 students played Arabs and Israelis has been dropped by NSW schools after parents complained it was creating racial tension and painted terrorists in a sympathetic light. An inquiry by a senior Education Department officer found the simulation exercise, devised by Macquarie University's centre for Middle Eastern studies, risked creating disharmony in schools and the community and that there was a "significant risk" of harm to the "welfare and wellbeing of students from particular minorities".

Documents given to The Australian show the inquiry was prompted by complaints from parents that background notes presented to the students gave positive descriptions of groups such as Hamas's Qassam Brigades and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Students were not told the groups are listed terrorist organisations and support for them is an offence under Australian law. The profile of Hezbollah accurately said that its long-term aims were to rid Palestine of the Jewish population and create an Arab state but no mention was made of its terrorist activities, only philanthropic ones.

A profile of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was presented without mention of his sponsorship of international terrorism. Rather, his goal was listed as trying "to bring the internet to Syria".

H.G. Wells wrote nearly 50 years ago that "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."

As far as the true knowledge of Islam is concerned, education is losing.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winds of War: Imagine No Right or Wrong

Much has been said from the starboard side of the bloggesphere on the lack of awareness college students have about the reality of the world today – in particular, the Islamist threat. The liberal left has infiltrated the educational system in this country and has produced a generation of politically correct multiculturalists unable to think logically and rationally. The prime reason is that a liberal feels and a conservative thinks. So the primary response from a liberal is always an emotional one based on ‘feeling’ not logic.

Several days ago I had a chance to actually see the mechanisms of the modern college students’ mind as it wrestled with the contradictions between reality and multiculturalism. I had the usual discussion with her as the anti-Islamists bloggers and commentators do in expressing their opinion and she stood by her multicultural belief and saw me only as a bigot for condemning all Muslims for the actions of a few radicals. I tried to explain to her that the ‘few’ are many more than she thinks and, in my opinion, the vast number of Muslims in the world may not agree with the methods of the violent jihadists but do agree with their objectives. I gave her several examples of the intimidation, infiltration and disinformation tactics used by the non-violent jihadists today in order to enlighten her to the threat to our civilization.

The depth of her misunderstanding, or blindness to reality, came when I tried to use an example of how moderate Muslims agree with the tenants and objectives of their belief system by their reaction to the Mohammed cartoon controversy. I thought for sure she would see this as a crystal clear example of how tens of thousands of moderate Muslims around the world rioted and killed over something as silly as a dozen cartoons.

Didn’t this prove that a very large number of Muslims can not, or will not, live in a 21st century dominated by free cultures? Her response was quit enlightening. She said people riot over silly things all the time. Drunken students sometime riot after football games at her college if their team loses. The behavior of the rioting students and the rioting Muslims were equivalent. They both were upset for whatever reason. And though she did not condone the rioting of either party, she understood their anger. Their reaction was equivalent.

When I asked her if the rioting students at her college burned down the opposing team’s stadium, demanded that the opposing college apologize for their win, the football coach fired and death threats put out on the opposing players, and that the rioting Muslims were demanding that free societies self-censor themselves and bury the concept of freedom of the press and free speech - she just walked away.

This incident only reinforced my belief that we will never convince the appeasers and apologist of the Islamist threat and even when it becomes crystal clear that they intend to kill even them, the majority will respond with self-preservation - but will not like it.

Why?

Because they will always, ALWAYS, hold the belief that we did not do enough, to do whatever, to prevent the conflagration that forced them into a survival mode. Their secular belief of multiculturalism is as much a religion as our traditional ones. But their belief system fails on another count. They can not accept the concept of right and wrong and good or evil. They live in a world of relativity where every belief system is morally equivalent. This belief makes them impotent when faced with pure evil or a culture that does not respect any of the traditions of a freedom loving society where human rights and personal freedom trumps theocratic law.

So when they are eventually faced with the reality of self-preservation, they do not accept the fact that we are right and the enemy is wrong. They merely believe that if we win, it is because our civilization was stronger, harsher and more barbaric than the enemy. Many on the Left still debate the use of the atomic bomb on Japan believing it was an inhuman act that we should apologize for.

Like all enemies to democracies in the past, the enemy today is an ideology in this clash of civilizations and that ideology, not terrorism, is to be defeated wherever it’s found. To the appeasers and apologists of this ideology and secular faith of multiculturalists, the final victory does not affirm anything. Just that we, if we win, are better at killing the enemy than he is of us. Not that our ideology is better than theirs and should be destroyed based on universal human values, but that we won because we were the most brutal. If that was the case, we would have kept Japan and Germany in the primitive state we reduced their countries to. But we didn’t. Why? The Allied leaders knew that the war was not against a nation but against an ideology that had hijacked those nations. Because we fought to defeat an ideology that had hijacked their culture and once the ideology was defeated and outlawed and it’s supporters jailed, we rebuilt their nations.

You can’t win an argument with a multiculturalist based on the higher concepts of right and wrong, good and evil. They will twist and turn words to mean something else or accuse you of seeing the world only in black and white.

But I have a solution.

Let’s not begin by arguing higher values. Let’s talk about the basics. Let’s build an argument that pulls morals, values, good, evil, and religious beliefs out of the equation. That is, let’s argue a case in a language the Left, or Progressives as they like to known, can understand - a secular language. Let’s build an argument that affirms something and build it on science. And one of the very basic laws of science is the three laws of thermodynamics – or the laws of entropy.

Without getting technical, the three laws are:

  1. You can’t win
  2. You can’t break even
  3. You can’t leave the game

But there is another side to the universe that works against entropy and that’s’ syntropy. Syntropy was a word invented by Buckminster Fuller and it is the direct opposite of entropy. While entropy runs things down, syntropy build things up. The main driver of syntropy is life – living systems – which contests the entropy of the physical world by creating order and designs of ever more advantageous and orderly patterns for growth. That which supports growth is syntropic. That which supports destruction is entropic. Those beliefs and actions that are advantageous to the advancement of life are syntropic. Those that are not are entropic. That which creates environments for creativity like personal freedom is syntropic. That which stunts personal freedom is entropic. Syntropy is good for human beings. Entropy is not. What’s right for entropy is wrong for syntropy.

Or to quote Lazarus Long, that long-lived character in Robert Heinlein’s book Time Enough for Love.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded--here and there, now and then--are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

The argument to use against the relativists of multiculturalism is that everything that stunts the expression of free thought and creativity should be fought against. This includes personal freedoms, equality, and the right to practice ones beliefs as long as it does not restrict the freedoms of others.

That’s an argument that the Progressives can not ignore.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Storm Track Appeasement: Bone Head Scheme of the Year

How do you make Americans feels less sensitive to Muslims? The Virginia Interfaith Center has a solution. And with it they win the bonehead award of the year.

The AP is reporting that a program operating near Richmond sponsored by the Virginia Interfaith Center is raising eyebrows and causing some members of the citizenry to worry that secret Terrorist messages are being left across the city.

RICHMOND, Virginia: The small beige signs bearing black Arabic script have been appearing all over town on buses and at colleges. Are they secret messages from terrorists? one panicked bus rider asked. Should the FBI be contacted? What do they mean? Actual translation: "Paper or plastic?"




Why the signs?

The signs, which below the Arabic script carry English translations and comments that indirectly caution against jumping to conclusions, are part of a campaign by A More Perfect Union, a program of the Virginia Interfaith Center, and are aimed at dispelling some of the public's fears toward the Muslim community. Organizers hope to eventually expand the program statewide. "As people see Arabic, they immediately make an association with terrorism," said the Rev. C. Douglas Smith. "That's probably because since Nine-Eleven, not only is fear overwhelming us, but that's how we're being trained to think."
Notice the Reverend’s choice of words – training. I wonder who he thinks is responsible for ‘training’ us - surely not the radical Muslims.

Along with the "paper or plastic" sign, there are two others — one which is the Arabic version of the "I'm a little tea pot" rhyme and the other roughly translating to the English equivalent of "rock, paper, scissors." Accompanying the translations at the bottom of the posters are comments such as, "Misunderstanding can make anything scary," and "What did you think it said?"The signs were placed in all 170 Greater Richmond Transit Company buses in Richmond on Nov. 27 and will remain there through the end of December, though many buses will continue to display them at least through the end of January. The signs, designed by The Martin Agency, have also been posted at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University.
The response from the public?

The transit company has already fielded several calls from concerned riders, said Gretchen Schoel, executive director of A More Perfect Union, a program to promote diversity. One woman, who Schoel described as a well-educated university employee, placed a frantic call to the bus company's manager, suggesting the FBI be called in to investigate. Even after the signs' English translations were explained to her, she remained concern that they might contain secret messages, Schoel said.
Then these cherry bone headed remarks to possibly inciting a riot.

"It's so great that we're getting feedback, even if it is negative, because it shows that people are looking, they're thinking.”
Thinking?! How about scared!

But this quote takes the cake.

"After World War II, when people saw Japanese script it was scary," she said. "But now we see it and it's fun, it's hip, it signifies a cool culture." "That's a huge turnaround."
Yeah. Think December 8th, 1941. The Virginia Interfaith Center places signs in Hawaii and the west coast in Japanese and said, “It's fun, it's hip, it signifies a cool culture”.

Japanese is now fun and hip because we beat the pants off them and forcibly removed an enemy ideology to defeat us. Once we democratized the country and removed the fascist elements form their society, they became a benevolent people and have joined the civilized nations in commerce, entertainment and culture.

Islam has a very long way to go before it’s hip and cool.

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Winds of War: An Insight Into Terrorists

The Counterterrorism blog posted an interview with Pierre Rehov, the creator of the film Suicide Killers. See the trailer here. Hat tip to Michael Travis.

First a little background on Pierre Rehov.

With his French passport, Arabic features, and a digital recorder, Rehov went into the territories (which are forbidden to Israeli citizens) posing as a French tourist and began an undercover investigation of what is really going on behind the scenes. He has thus far produced six documentaries from the "tourist attractions" he visited in the territories: A War of Images, which reveals shocking images of incitement displayed on Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Television network; The Trojan Horse, which betrays Arafat's true intentions and shows rare footage of Palestinian leaders advocating the eradication of the Jewish state and the extermination of the Jewish people, and his film The Holy Land: Christians in Peril, which exposes the true story behind the Church of Nativity confrontation and reveals the dangers for Christians living under Islamic rule, he then filmed The Road to Jenin, that shows there was no massacre in Jenin, as some Palestinians claimed. Silent Exodus, which tells the little known story of the plight of the million Jews who had to leave the Muslim countries their families had lived in for centuries. Hostages of Hatred that gives all the real data about the Palestinian refugees, a question that is not as well known as it might be imagined.

Why is this film especially important? Rehov says, “People don't understand the devastating culture behind this unbelievable phenomenon. My film is not politically correct because it addresses the real problem—showing the real face of Islam. It points the finger against a culture of hatred in which the uneducated are brainwashed to a level where their only solution in life becomes to kill themselves and kill others in the name of a God whose word, as transmitted by other men, has became their only certitude.”

The full interview can be read here but here are some of the important highlights.

What insights did you gain from making this film? What do you know that other experts do not know?

I came to the conclusion that we are facing a neurosis at the level of an entire civilization. Most neuroses have in common a dramatic event, generally linked to an unacceptable sexual behavior. In this case, we are talking of kids living all their lives in pure frustration, with no opportunity to experience sex, love, tenderness or even understanding from the opposite sex. The separation between men and women in Islam is absolute. So is contempt toward women, who are totally dominated by men. This leads to a situation of pure anxiety, in which normal behavior is not possible. It is no coincidence that suicide killers are mostly young men dominated subconsciously by an overwhelming libido that they not only cannot satisfy but are afraid of, as if it is the work of the devil. Since Islam describes heaven as a place where everything on earth will finally be allowed, and promises 72 virgins to those frustrated kids, killing others and killing themselves to reach this redemption becomes their only solution.

What was it like to interview would-be suicide bombers, their families and survivors of suicide bombings?

It was a fascinating and a terrifying experience. You are dealing with seemingly normal people with very nice manners who have their own logic, which to a certain extent can make sense since they are so convinced that what they say is true. It is like dealing with pure craziness, like interviewing people in an asylum, since what they say, is for them, the absolute truth. I hear a mother saying "Thank God, my son is dead." Her son had became a shaheed, a martyr, which for her was a greater source of pride than if he had became an engineer, a doctor or a winner of the Nobel Prize. This system of values works completely backwards since their interpretation of Islam worships death much more than life…… They don't see the innocent being killed, they only see the impure that they have to destroy.

Is there a suicide bomber personality profile? Describe the psychopathology.

Generally kids between 15 and 25 bearing a lot of complexes, generally inferiority complexes. They must have been fed with religion. They usually have a lack of developed personality. Usually they are impressionable idealists. In the western world they would easily have become drug addicts, but not criminals. Interestingly, they are not criminals since they don't see good and evil the same way that we do. If they had been raised in an Occidental culture, they would have hated violence. But they constantly battle against their own death anxiety. The only solution to this deep-seated pathology is to be willing to die and be rewarded in the after life in Paradise.

Describe the culture that manufactures suicide bombers.
Oppression, lack of freedom, brain washing, organized poverty, placing God in charge of daily life, total separation between men and women, forbidding sex, giving women no power whatsoever, and placing men in charge of family honor, which is mainly connected to their women's behavior.

How can we put an end to the madness of suicide bombings and terrorism in general?
Stop being politically correct and stop believe that this culture is a victim of ours. Radical Islamism today is nothing but a new form of Nazism. Nobody was trying to justify or excuse Hitler in the 1930s. We had to defeat him in order to make peace one day with the German people.

Are these men traveling outside their native areas in large numbers? Based on your research, would you predict that we are beginning to see a new wave of suicide bombings outside the Middle East?
Every successful terror attack is considered a victory by the radical Islamists. Everywhere Islam is expands there is regional conflict. Right now, their are thousands of candidates for martyrdom lining up in training camps in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Inside Europe, hundreds of illegal mosques are preparing the next step of brain washing to lost young men who cannot find a satisfying identity in the Occidental world. ……Yes, there will be more suicide killings in Europe and the U.S. Sadly, this is only the beginning.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

A Season's Greeting

YES, CHRISTOPHER, THERE STILL IS A SANTA CLAUS !

You’ve reached the age, Christopher, where you doubt Santa Claus exists. Last Christmas you expressed some uncertainty, but decided to keep your options open just in case. But right about now your peers are probably telling you that belief in such things as Santa Claus is 'childish' and not the 'adult' thing to do. But little do these 'realists' know that adults are merely children who owe money.

So you ask me, "Is there a Santa Claus, Dad?"

And I reply, "Yes, Christopher, there still is a Santa Claus and we need him now more than ever before".

It's just that he's harder to find as you grow older.

Santa Claus does exist - as surely as your hopes, your wishes and your dreams exist. He's the embodiment of the values of family, home and community. Like Christmas Eve itself, he's magic - not because there's magic in the world but because children see the world as magic. He's all that's good, unselfish and generous in the world, and, in his own way, he is Christmas.

When you were young, Christopher, you received from Santa the explicit gifts of Christmas - toys, candy, and the obligatory sweater. But you also received the implicit gifts of family, home and love.

Will you continue to receive Santa's gifts? Yes, you will.

But as you grow older, Christopher, you'll have to work harder to get them. When you were younger, you had to work to be good. As you grow older you'll have to work to create good. When you were younger, he found you. As you grow older you'll have to work to find him.

We're told we live in very bad times - times that suggest logic, cynicism and distrust are the 'values' of survival these days and that the intangibles of love, faith and hope are fast disappearing from our communal landscape. But you'll find that in the final analysis, those abstract intangibles are the only things worth having.

But are they real? Ah, Christopher, there are nothing more real and abiding in this world. Hold strong the intangibles. Ignore the skeptics. These intangibles do serve a practical purpose.

How?

Those who no longer wish, no longer dream. And those who lose their dreams lose their hopes. And those who lose hope are easy to control. The freedom to live, Christopher, comes directly from the freedom to dream. And now, just as you have begun to internalize the values of your parents, you'll have to internalize the values of Christmas. Your journey of self-discovery has just begun and the wonder, awe and magic of life will always be there if you see and not just look, feel and not just touch, listen and not just hear.

Yes, Christopher, Santa Claus is harder to find when you grow up. But he does exist.

Where, you ask? Come close and I'll tell you.

As Tinkerbell said to Peter Pan, you'll find him in between the time you are asleep and the time you are awake - the time when you can still remember your dreams.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Storm Track Disinformation; Where’s the Muslim Voice Against Terrorism?

Yes, yes. We hear it all the time and now recently again in print. Muslims are against violence and a recent post at the American Muslim by Imam Plemon T. El-Amin declares fact once again. Or do they?

Muslim voices against terrorism have not been silent, but it is the trend, perhaps even the policy of major media, to downplay the voice of reason, the voice of faith, and the voice of principle, in favor of the shouts of the extreme, the wails of the grief-stricken, and the threats of the treacherous. The voices of peace, justice, mercy, and tolerance are not difficult to find among Muslims and Islamic media, who consistently denounce acts of terrorism and reject them as illegitimate and unacceptable Islamic strategies or methods……The voice of the Muslim is not mute.

Very nice, Imam El-Amin. But as the Burger King commercial said, “Where’s the beef?” Why didn’t you list the many Muslims voices? Saying they exist does not prove they do.

Here’s the real story Muslim voice that paints Islam as a treacherous religion of violence and intimidation to impose its mores and morals on the non-Muslim world. From Sea to Shinning Sea by Russell Wilcox.

Why is it then, that every time a Muslim spokesman appears on television to explain the position of America’s Muslims, my perception changes slightly for the worse? Sometimes I watch O’Reilly, and sometimes I watch Glen Beck – two programs that often have Muslim spokesmen on to point out the many times Muslim organizations have decried the use of terror. Why is it that their statements ring so hollow? Why is it that they usually appear to be spinning, distorting and obfuscating? Could it be that so many Muslim organizations in the U.S., especially C.A.I.R., have leaders and associates who have some sort of ties to terrorists? Could it be because some of these leaders have led funding drives to raise funds for foreign terrorist organizations? Could it be because some of these leaders have called for the imposition of Sharia law on the citizens of this country?

Russell hits the nail on the head.

I understand why peaceful Muslims who live in areas of the world that are more-directly exposed to terrorists might be afraid to speak out and to act to rid their communities of these mass murderers, but those living in the United States cannot claim this rationale. You have to rid yourselves of those denying the role of Muslims in 9/11. You have to rid yourselves of those teaching jihad to Muslim-American children. You have to rid yourselves of imams who try to pull off the atrocious acts at the US Airway’s counter discussed again below. If you do not, the American people are going to conclude that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, it’s a duck.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Storm Track Infiltration: CyberJihad- The Voice of The Caliphate

Terrorists are using the internet for everything from propaganda to planning attacks, wrote Tom Allard.

The setting is familiar to anyone who watches the evening news. A large, executive-style desk, a laptop perched on top, a logo in the background and a screen showing shifting images to reinforce the newsreader's message. The only difference is the presenter, who is swathed in an Arab headdress and masked to hide his identity, and the subject of the broadcast, a call for an Islamic state for Iraq and a vow to use Iraq as a launching pad to crush the "Zionists" in Israel. Welcome to the "Voice of the Caliphate", the latest offering from the Global Islamic Media Front, widely regarded as the mouthpiece of al-Qaeda and the worldwide jihadist movement. Distributed over the internet, the mock news format is just one of many employed by al-Qaeda's highly sophisticated propaganda arm.

The Jihadists are now well versed in using the Internet for their propaganda, planning and recruitment purposes. It must be countered. But how?

Professor Bruce Hoffman, a Georgetown University academic and one of the world's foremost terrorism analysts, says the use of the internet by jihadists has fundamentally changed the ground rules of terrorism. For the first time, the monopoly of commercial and state-owned media over the mass communication of a terrorist group's message has been usurped. The implications, Hoffman says, are "enormous", not least because terrorism, at its core, has ultimately been about generating publicity, communicating a message through a violent - and preferably spectacular - act to achieve a political outcome. "The art of terrorist communication has evolved to a point where the terrorists themselves can now control the entire production process," he says.

Blogs, chat rooms, and video and audio files - there is little from the online world that jihadists have not employed to spread their message.

In September the Global Islamic Media Front released a video game, The Night of Bush Capturing, which can be downloaded off the web. As songs of praise to jihad play in the background, players work their way through six stages, including "Americans' Hell" and "Bush Hunted Like a Rat". The final mission is to slay George Bush, in one-on-one combat.

But propaganda and recruitment isn’t the only use of the Internet by Jihadists.

And it is not just the propaganda war, or using the internet to entice new recruits. The internet has also been a crucial planning tool and conduit for command and control for jihadists planning their attacks. The attacks of September 11, 2001, the Iraqi insurgency, the London bombings and the alleged terrorist plot in Sydney and Melbourne uncovered last year all used the internet to plan and execute operations. There is also the use of the web to raise money, everything from T-shirt sales to advice on how to undertake credit card fraud and the details of bank accounts where funds can be sent. More often than not, terrorists can spread their propaganda, plan their attacks and gather funds without being detected.

And some of the ways they use the technology of the Net are very creative.

Some of the techniques of evasion are disarmingly simple. Rather than send emails, some jihadists simply write and save draft emails, storing them in an account with a password that's known to other members of the cell. Because they are never actually sent, they can't be detected by intelligence agencies. Raisman points to a recent publication by the al-Fajr group, another communications arm of al-Qaeda and its fellow travellers. He said it contained a very sophisticated manual on internet security, how to avoid hackers, secure personal files and ensure any computer that is captured is of little value to Western authorities. Then there are offensive cyber operations, the possibility of terrorists bringing down critical electronic systems that underpin key sectors such as energy and banking.

So how are we doing? How well are we dealing with the new threat?


In testimony to the US Congress earlier this year, Hoffman warned the US was "dangerously behind the curve" in dealing with the terrorist presence on the web. The message should resonate in Australia, where the internet has wide penetration and is proving pivotal in inspiring militant Islamists. Indeed, when police and ASIO agents swooped on the homes of 19 alleged terrorists in Sydney and Melbourne last year, they found an astounding array of violent material on their computers. Their electronic library was as voluminous as it was disturbing, including recipes for homemade explosives, poems in praise of jihad and grisly video and audio files of beheadings and terrorist attacks.

Like Sean Connery said in the movie ‘Rising Sun’, as usual “We’re playing that most American of games – catch up.”

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