Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/30/2008

Black Racists Recruited to Guide the Jihad
CAIR Tries to Censor California Politicians
Islam Convert Gets 35 Years in Plot to Attack Mall
Local Muslim Scouts Celebrate Ramadan
Police: No Evidence of Hate Crime at Ohio Mosque
Prosecutors on Obama ‘Truth Squad’ Sound Retreat
Socialist “Bailout” Could Spark Collapse
US Publisher of Muslim Novel Closes Office as ‘Precautionary Action’
Europe and the EU
Birmingham Will See Rise in Political and Ethnic Clashes, Tories Warn
Danes to be Tested for Viking Ancestry
De Kerchove: ‘We Must Help the Americans Close Guantanamo’
Flight of White Britons From UK Leaps to 70,000 Per Year … But Population Still Rising as Eastern Europeans Come to Britain
Norway: Increasing Majority Opposed to EU Membership
Radical Islamic Clerics Warn of Further Attacks After Publisher is Firebombed
Israel and the Palestinians
Israel Leading Campaign to De-Legitimize West Bank Jews?
Middle East
Afghanistan: Govt Seeking to Take Forward Peace Talks With Taliban
Angry Iraqi Christians Rip Law Stripping Them of Seats in Parliament
Iran: an Arms Race We’re Sure to Lose
Expert: Denmark Beware of Russia
South Asia
Indonesia: Kids Uncover Idul Fitri Bomb Terror Plan in Palu
Pakistan Warns U.S. About Raids on Its Border
Police Face Huge Training Challenges in Afghanistan
Sub-Saharan Africa
Jihad on the High Seas
South Africa: Zuma’s Rise Puts Whites to Flight
South Africa: Between Staying and Going
4,000 Immigrants Flock to Britain Each Day
Culture Wars
Atheist Family Challenges Minute of Silence Law
New Al-Qaida Threat: Thermobaric Bombs
Sunni-Shiite Hacking War Disables 900 Websites
The Big One is Nigh!

Thanks to Fjordman, Holger Danske, JD, Srdja Trifkovic, Steen, TB, Tuan Jim, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Details are below the fold.
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Black Racists Recruited to Guide the Jihad

By John Perazzo

One of the most remarkable trends taking place at so-called “human rights,” “social justice,” and “peace” rallies in a host of venues-most notably university campuses all across the United States-is the delivery of vicious attacks by Islamic speakers against America, Israel, and the Jewish people. These speakers, many of whom are religious leaders known as Imams, unambiguously condemn the United States as the “Great Satan,” the principal wellspring of evil on earth. By extension, they depict America’s ally Israel as the “Little Satan,” a land whose Jewish inhabitants allegedly have conspired with the U.S. to mistreat Muslims in every part of the globe. The hatred upon which these views are founded finds its expression in clearly enunciated calls for the extermination of Jews, the torture and murder of whites, the destruction of America and Israel by any means necessary, the adulation of Osama bin Laden and Islamic suicide bombers, and the establishment of Islam as the universal faith of all mankind. An unremarked fact is that these imams are often black racists in the mold of Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s pastor of more than twenty years.

One notable black racist who, like Rev. Wright, is also connected to Obama, is an orthodox Muslim named Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, whose efforts to facilitate Obama’s 1988 admission to Harvard Law School have recently come to light. An attorney by profession, al-Mansour is a black nationalist and an outspoken hater of the United States, Israel, and white people generally. In recent years he has accused the U.S. of plotting a “genocide” designed “to remove 15 million black people, considered disposable, of no relevance, value or benefit to the American society.” He has told fellow blacks that “whatever you do to [white people], they deserve it, God wants you to do it and that’s when you cut out the nose, cut out the ears, take flesh out of their body, don’t worry because God wants you to do it.” Alleging further that Palestinians in Israel “are being brutalized like savages,” he accuses the Jews of “stealing the land the same way the Christians stole the land from the Indians in America.”

Formerly named Donald Warden, al-Mansour in the 1960s was a mentor to Black Panther Party founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. When Warden became a Muslim and took his new name, he seamlessly adapted the sadistic hatred that had animated his activities with the Panthers, to the religious bigotry for which his newfound Islamic extremism called.

Given the vital role that Saudi Arabia plays in orchestrating jihadi activities in North America, al-Mansour’s Saudi connections merit close scrutiny. In the 1980s al-Mansour served as an advisor helping a pair of Saudi billionaires secretly acquire a major stake in some valuable California oceanfront property, through what the Los Angeles Times described as “an elaborate network of corporate shells in California, the Caribbean and Europe.” Moreover, al-Mansour was an investment advisor to the multi-billionaire Saudi Prince, Alwaleed bin Talal, the man whose $10 million donation to help rebuild downtown Manhattan after 9/11 was rejected by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani when the Prince suggested that America’s flawed foreign policies had helped foment the rage that manifested itself in the attacks.

Another black racist who has become a prominent America-hating, Jew-hating orator is Imam Abdul Alim Musa, founder and director of the As-Sabiqun movement, which aims to “enable Islam to take complete control of … the lives of all human beings on Earth.” In 2004 the San Francisco Bay View described Musa as “one of the highest-ranking Islamic leaders in the Black community, nationwide and specifically in the Islamic movement.” Born in Arkansas as Clarence Reams, Musa was raised in Oakland, California during the 1960s, when he embraced the ideology of the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam. He went on to become a leading cocaine-exporter in Colombia, a crime for which he eventually was incarcerated. While in prison, he converted to Islam and took his present name. An avid supporter of Iran’s late Ayatollah Khomeini, Musa calls for Islam to “take over America.” He praises Muslim suicide bombers as “heroes” who courageously “strike at the heart of Zionism.” He predicts that “this way of life known as Islam will dominate all other ways of life.” He lauds those who seek to honor Allah by means of violence. He says that most white Americans hold values and attitudes consistent with those of the Ku Klux Klan. He has praised Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah, and Hamas. And he claims that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were orchestrated jointly by the U.S. and Israeli governments in order to provide a pretext for waging war against Islam…

           — Hat tip: Holger Danske[Return to headlines]

CAIR Tries to Censor California Politicians

by Steve Emerson

The Investigative Project on Terrorism is among those who are critical of new guidelines discouraging the use of terms like “Islamist” and “jihad” when discussing terrorism and extremism that were issued earlier this year by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center.

While the agencies argue that the words may boost the popularity of terrorists among Muslim radicals, it’s a bad idea to hide the motivations behind those who seek to attack the United States, or innocent people around the world. Another weakness was exposed last month, when the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) attacked California Congressman Ed Royce (R-Orange County) for using the term “Islamist terrorism.”

In an article posted on its website September 10th, CAIR engages in the kind of hyperbolic rationalization it routinely accuses others of using against it. The article describes a letter to Royce from 22 religious leaders of various faiths and community activists. The website article quotes Sharaf Mowjood, identified as CAIR-Los Angeles Government Relations Coordinator, claiming that the DHS language is meant to prevent future terrorist attacks. “So if Royce cares about preventing the next terrorist attack, maybe he should follow what the DHS says,” Mowjood said.

Even by CAIR’s standards, Mowjood’s comment is inane. Stop calling people names and they’ll stop attacking you? That might work on the third-grade playground, but hurt feelings aren’t driving Osama bin Laden or those attracted to his cause. When he declared war on the United States in 1998, our nomenclature wasn’t mentioned. Rather, he listed a series of grievances that he saw justifying his Jihad against America, including the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia. He also provided religious justification for his fight…

           — Hat tip: Holger Danske[Return to headlines]

Islam Convert Gets 35 Years in Plot to Attack Mall

CHICAGO (AP) — A 24-year-old convert to Islam has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for plotting to blow off hand grenades in a crowded shopping mall during the Christmas season.

Derrick Shareef must serve 30 of those years — with five off for good behavior — unless he can get an appeals court to reduce the sentence.

He was arrested in 2006 on charges of scheming to use weapons of mass destruction at the Cherryvale Mall in the northern Illinois city of Rockford.

Federal Judge David Coar said Tuesday he didn’t believe Shareef was evil. But he said people could have been severely hurt if federal agents hadn’t broken up the plot.

Shareef described himself as a devout Muslim who once admired Osama bin Laden but has now realized violence is wrong.

           — Hat tip: Holger Danske[Return to headlines]

Local Muslim Scouts Celebrate Ramadan

Like many girls, 11-year-old Duha Mohamed, of Kirkland, feels proud when she puts on her Girl Scout uniform.

The pride goes beyond the badge on the green vest she’s worked so hard to earn. For her, the uniform “makes me feel like an American.”

Mohamed, a thoughtful sixth-grader who was born in Sudan, says she’s noticed that people stare when she wears her head scarf, long-sleeved shirt and pants to the park. But they stare less when she wears the Scout uniform in addition to her head scarf.

“When I put on my uniform,” she says, “I feel like I am part of the community.”

Mohamed is one of several dozen girls who have formed what are believed to be the state’s first all-Muslim Girl Scout troops, based on the Eastside. An all-Muslim Cub Scout pack also has started up — the first in this area in many years…

           — Hat tip: Holger Danske[Return to headlines]

Muslims’ Observance of Ramadan Comes to a Close as New Moon Rises

As the sun sets over the Rocky Mountains, the fast ends and the feast begins.

So it goes each day of Ramadan for Colorado’s 35,000 Muslims, who observed a daily fast between sunup and sundown. The observance began with special evening prayers, Tarawih, on Aug. 31 this year and will continue until the slim crescent of the new moon is visible, tonight or tomorrow night.

Fasting, or sawm, requires that no food or water be taken during daylight, a practice that Muslims consider one of the five pillars of Islam.

Rafaat Ludin, former president of the Colorado Muslim Society, said a central message of this holy month is to feel how the poor feel when they are hungry and thirsty. The lesson, he says, is of deep appreciation for what you have.

A 12-year-old boy, experiencing the month-long fast for the first time this year says the experience of going without food and water “makes rich people equal to the poor; they see how it feels.”

Ludin said that community is strengthened during this month as family, friends and neighbors gather for evening meals to break the fast and to recite the prayers. Conversation often revolves around the personal changes that are taking place, the appreciation for life, and the deepening of faith through fasting…

           — Hat tip: Holger Danske[Return to headlines]

Police: No Evidence of Hate Crime at Ohio Mosque

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Police say no hate crime was committed when a 10-year-old girl was sprayed in the face with an unknown substance, leading to the evacuation of an Islamic mosque in Dayton.

The girl was watching other children at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton as their parents celebrated Ramadan on Friday night. Police say she saw two men outside a basement window and that one of them sprayed her from a can. She told investigators the substance burned her face and made her sick to her stomach.

Hazardous materials team coordinator Denny Bristow says there was not enough of the spray to determine what it was and that all tests came back negative. He says no chemicals were found on the girl.

About 300 people were at the mosque at the time. A few were treated on site for eye irritation.

           — Hat tip: Holger Danske[Return to headlines]

Prosecutors on Obama ‘Truth Squad’ Sound Retreat

No one involved ‘has any intention of prosecuting anybody’

Missouri law officials, including public prosecutors, who were reportedly planning to “respond immediately” to any misleading advertisements against Barack Obama if they “might violate Missouri ethics laws,” have now backed off the intimidating implications of that report, promising they have no intention of prosecuting anyone.

As WND reported, prosecuting attorneys Bob McCulloch and Jennifer Joyce originally announced on KMOV-TV in St. Louis their participation in Obama’s “Truth Squad,” pledging to defend the candidate from untruthful ads with an undefined “immediate” response.

“Whether it is directly attributable to the (McCain) campaign or to one of the soft money operations,” McCulloch told the station, “if they’re not going to tell the truth, somebody’s got to step up and say, ‘That’s not the truth. This is the truth.’“

The move prompted Missouri’s governor to object that the prosecutors were using “police state tactics” to squelch information hurtful to the Obama campaign.

“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words,” wrote Gov. Matt Blunt in a statement. “The party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.”

A spokeswoman for St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, however, told WND that the televised “Truth Squad” announcement was misunderstood.

“The only action they would take would be to provide truthful information to the public so they can make up their minds,” said Susan Ryan. “Neither (Joyce) nor anybody involved in this has any intention of prosecuting anybody.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Socialist “Bailout” Could Spark Collapse


Schiff, who labels the proposed government takeover of the financial sector as socialism and refers to the Federal Reserve Board chairman as “Comrade Bernanke,” told AIM, “The government doesn’t have the authority to do any of this stuff. This whole bailout bill is illegal. They don’t have the authority to buy up mortgages. Nothing in the Constitution says they can do this.”

“Who needs Bolsheviks when you have the Fed?” he has written.

The author of “Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse,” Schiff said that “The government doesn’t solve problems. It makes them bigger. So if we’re broke, which is the reality—that’s why these mortgages are not worth much because Americans can’t afford to pay the money back that they borrowed—the bottom line is we’ve borrowed and spent ourselves into bankruptcy following the government’s advice. They’re the ones that encouraged all this reckless borrowing and spending.”

Interviewed by AIM before the House of Representatives on Monday afternoon voted down the “bailout” scheme, at a time when it looked like the plan would actually pass, Schiff had shocking advice for ordinary Americans.

“The first thing you do if you have a mortgage is you stop making the payments,” he said. “That’s the number one thing for people who have mortgages based on this plan. And use that money to buy gold or stock up on food. You’re going to need it. Meanwhile, no one is going to kick you out of your house. You’re going to be able to live in your house for probably a year or two before the government calls you up to give you a lower mortgage because nobody is going to foreclose on you right now. Why would you foreclose? You sell the loan to the government. This plan is a huge moral hazard and it’s going to lead to a surge in mortgage delinquencies.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

US Publisher of Muslim Novel Closes Office as ‘Precautionary Action’

NEW YORK — The U.S. publisher of a controversial novel about the prophet Muhammad closed its offices as a “precautionary action,” but emphasized that no threats had been received and that “The Jewel of Medina” would be released as planned.

“We were out of the office for a meeting today, and we felt it was unfair for the employees to be back there without management,” Eric Kampmann, president of Beaufort Books, said Monday. The publisher took on Sherry Jones’ novel after it was dropped by Random House Inc. over security concerns.

In London, police said they arrested three men Saturday on suspicion of terror links, relating to a fire at the home and office of publisher Martin Rynja, whose Gibson Square announced earlier this month that it would issue “The Jewel of Medina,” a fictionalized version of Muhammad and his child bride, Aisha.

Beaufort, the publisher that issued O.J. Simpson’s reviled, once-rejected “If I Did It,” plans to release “Jewel of Medina” on Oct. 15, with a first printing of 50,000.

As of Monday afternoon, the book was No. 204 on Amazon.com. Barnes & Noble Inc. and Borders Group Inc. will both stock the book in stores, according to spokeswomen for the superstore chains.

Kampmann said he has discussed possible security arrangements with the FBI and New York City police, but added that nothing was planned and that there were no immediate worries about safety.

Random House was supposed to publish Jones’ novel in August, but pulled it after determining that Muslims would be offended by its subject matter. The publisher acknowledged that it received no specific threats, saying in a statement that “credible and unrelated sources” had warned that the book “could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment.”

           — Hat tip: Holger Danske[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Birmingham Will See Rise in Political and Ethnic Clashes, Tories Warn

Birmingham City Council will increasingly be forced to deal with “cultural clashes” between people of different ethnic groups or religions, Conservatives have warned.

The possibility for conflict will increase as the city moves towards becoming a “plural city” in which white people are a minority, said Paul Goodman, Conservative Shadow Minister for Local Government and Community Cohesion. This is expected to happen by 2027, based on current trends.

Speaking at a fringe meeting during the Conservative conference, Mr Goodman warned that national governments could do little to deal with the tensions that might arise.

It would be down to local councils to resolve disputes and deal with competing claims of ethnic groups, he said.

He said: “We can see, looking ahead, that you have this picture of diversity and plurality, and cities are going to look very different.

“For policy-makers, in one sense this is all very exciting.

“In another sense, I think there are going to be cultural clashes in these plural cities, between different groups with different value systems, and different outlooks.

“The art of politics, local and national, is going to be managing the culture clashes.”

Tensions could be caused by racism, including racist attitudes from some ethnic minorities towards each other, he said.

“One issue is what you might call old-fashioned racism. Racism hasn’t gone away, and not just what you might call old-fashioned white on ethnic minority racism. There are also other forms of racism taking place.

“When there was great wave of people coming in seeking asylum five years ago, there were reports from channel ports about different recently-arrived groups having very tense relations with each other.”

However, religion would also be a factor, he said. Birmingham already has a population which is 14 per cent Muslim, Mr Goodman pointed out.

“Religion will be a very important factor in British cities, and it is going to be up to local and national politicians to manage this factor too.

“There is a positive side to his, but I think there will also be culture clashes.

“I think the attitude of Muslims in cities on licensing, even on the annual gay pride march, isn’t necessarily going to be the same in those areas as everyone else, just as the attitude of white fundamentalist Christians isn’t going to be the same as everyone else.”

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Danes to be Tested for Viking Ancestry

Researchers are to run genetic tests on Scandinavians to find a link to Viking descendants in England

A group of international researchers will carry out genetic tests on Danes, Norwegians and Swedes to trace the connection between Scandinavia and Viking descendants in northeast England.

The study, lead by Prof. Mark Jobling of the University of Leicester, is a continuation of a previous study carried out in Wirral, in the northeast of England.

The earlier study by Prof. Stephen Harding from the University of Nottingham found that half of the 150 test subjects from Wirral had Norwegian ancestry.

The continuation of the study will extend the test area to most of northeastern England.

Harding is part of the new research team and told The Copenhagen Post that the new study aims to create a larger Scandinavian database to compare the common Viking ancestry.

‘We would like to sample areas, such as Jutland and Zealand, where men can prove that their families have belonged to the area for hundreds of years.’

Harding explained that because of population migration it was necessary to create strict criteria for inclusion in the study.

‘For example, we had a list of names of people from the Wirral area that paid taxes during the time of Henry VIII. The test subjects had to have the same surname as one of these families.’

The researchers have run into some problems because of the different traditions in England and Scandinavia.

‘It has been the norm for the family surname to be passed from father to son for generations in England, whereas in many areas of Scandinavia this is quite a recent development,’ said Harding.

The researchers will also examine the genetic history of men from southern Sweden and from Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim in Norway.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

De Kerchove: ‘We Must Help the Americans Close Guantanamo’

The European Union has engaged in in-depth discussions with the United States over the last three years to harbour prisoners detained in the controversial US Guantanamo centre in Cuba, EU counter-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove revealed in an exclusive interview with EurActiv.

Gilles de Kerchove is a lawyer by training. He has recently been teaching law in several Belgian universities.

On 26 September, German police arrested two Islamist terrorist suspects on a KLM flight before take-off in Cologne. It was also revealed that they had left farewell letters. Despite the fact that no attack has been perpetrated in Europe for three years now, the terrorist threat is obviously still there. How would you assess the situation at the moment?

The fact that there hasn’t been a successful attack does not mean there is no threat. If you look at the different plots that have been foiled in the last year, in Spain, in Germany, in Denmark, the last one you mentioned in Cologne, possible plots such as one in Belgium, all this shows that terrorists are planning attacks, but they are being prevented from doing so by intelligence, security services and police. It also shows that security services are rather efficient.

As for the threat, in many member states it is often assessed as high or severe, depending on the national classification. In many countries it is considered to be rather high. This is the case in the Netherlands, France, the UK and Germany. The reason for this is the various plots mounted in recent months and years and also because the security services are witnessing movement between the [Islamist] community and Pakistan, a kind of relationship with Al Qaeda and the Islamic Maghreb, and now in some parts of the community we see the phenomenon of auto-radicalisation.

Essentially, the terrorist threat remains linked to Al Qaeda: either the Al Qaeda core between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Osama Bin Laden and his accomplices have a safe haven and where people from Europe are being trained and brainwashed, or Al Qaeda-related and inspired organisations like Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and home-grown terrorism inspired by Al Qaeda, via the internet or other means.

Al Qaeda seems to be professing something similar to the franchise model in the business community…

That’s exactly what some analysts and experts say, and they also see other similarities. A few months ago I would have said the Al Qaeda core was seriously disorganised. But then they started very efficient media communication. If you look at Al Sakhab, which is the media branch of Al Qaeda, and the way it is issues statements (often with subtitles in German and English) to make sure that everyone can understand, you can see it is an organisation which relies heavily on the media. In recent months in tribal zones — in the Fatah region in Pakistan — they have found areas where they can build their strength. Many attacks have been mounted either by Afghan Taliban or Pakistani Taliban, inspired and financed by Al Qaeda’s core.

There is an unprecedented Western military presence in Afghanistan, including NATO, but this does not seem to be enough to stabilise the country, which apparently harbours Al Qaeda terrorists.

I’m not best-placed to access the strategy of the various missions there: NATO, ASAF and Enduring Freedom. What the EU tries to do through the police mission is to train the Afghan forces themselves — the police, the judiciary and the border guards — to gradually do most of the work themselves. That’s the challenge. We cannot do all of the work forever.

Another challenge is ‘winning hearts and minds’. If the local population doesn’t see the West as a friend and partner, then what can be done?

Indeed, we will not win — in Iraq and other places in the world — just by sending soldiers and police officers. The country needs to improve its governance, the democratic process, social welfare.

Let me take as an example poppy cultivation, the proceeds of which go partly to Al Qaeda. We follow a different approach to the Americans. We don’t think that aerial spraying of poppy cultivations will do the trick. We think that eradication will only be possible if it’s accompanied by alternative development assistance for farmers. But here again, security is a precondition to any economic development. If you don’t secure a zone and let the farmers develop alternative cultivation, it won’t work.

You’ve mentioned one difference in approach between Europe and the Americans. But there seem to be other significant variations in the EU and US approaches to fighting terror. During a recent speech in Israel, you called for torture to be prohibited, despite the fact that it seems to be applied in the US Guantanamo detention camp. What are the divisions between transatlantic partners?

Let me first say that we are pretty close to the Americans on fighting terrorism. We’ve been next to the Americans since the day after September 11 [2001]. I myself have been very much engaged with the Americans in negotiating an agreement on extradition and another on mutual assistance. By the way, the Senate gave its assent to this treaty a few days ago. It may appear a bit late after 9/11, but it would provide us with a very efficient tool for judicial cooperation.

We have negotiated agreements on data exchange between Eurojust, between Europol, between airline companies on PNR (passenger data records) and with banks on Swift. We discuss our respective strategies regularly.

We are pretty close to the Americans, we have the same goals, but we have slight disagreements. I would even delete the word ‘slight’: we have disagreements on some aspects. What you mentioned for example: we do not endorse the ‘war on terror’ paradigm. There is an EU approach to fighting terror which is based on the rule of law and which considers terrorism a crime to be handled by normal criminal law. That requires that we have adequate legislation, and I would like to mention that the European Parliament has just adopted texts, to be formally approved by the Council, making it illegal to publicly incite people to commit terrorist offences and outlawing terrorist recruitment and training.

We cannot accept torture in any way, that’s against all values of the European Union, as is any lapse in human rights, including methods like the ones used in Guantanamo. These are matters of utmost concern in the EU, not only because it;s against our values, but also because it is inefficient. Experience shows that torture is counterproductive. It contributes to radicalising the Muslim world, because it suggests there are double standards. A study revealed that one of the motivations of people committing suicide attacks is precisely the violation of human rights and double standards [by the Western community].

So, for all these reasons, I think we will have to help the Americans close Guantanamo as soon as possible. We have engaged these last three years in a very in-depth dialogue with the legal advisor of State Secretary Condoleezza Rice on the legal framework of this initiative, on the need to respect the Geneva Convention, because this is a sort of legal limbo into which they put enemy combatants, disregarding the Geneva Convention.

Guantanamo, secret flights and secret detention camps are completely unacceptable. Progressively we have started this dialogue and gradually it has led the Americans to revisit their approach. Now the President of the United States recognises that he has to close Guantanamo as soon as possible and he is trying to send the prisoners back to their native countries, provided they won’t be tortured there.

And the Americans are willing to cooperate with the EU?

They are asking for assistance. Because some of the prisoners vis-à-vis whom there is not enough evidence for a trial cannot be sent back to their home countries, because there they would be in trouble, like the Uighurs in China. So the question is — do we have member states ready to take Uighurs into our territories?

Do we?

So far, no.

           — Hat tip: Holger Danske[Return to headlines]

Flight of White Britons From UK Leaps to 70,000 Per Year … But Population Still Rising as Eastern Europeans Come to Britain

Thousands of Britons leave our shores every year for a new life abroad, official figures show.

But although 75,000 ‘white British’ men and women are moving away, the population is still rising because of an influx of ethnic minority groups.

According to Government estimates, the established white population of England dropped by nearly 250,000 between 2002 and 2006.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

‘Fru Gårman’ Gets Ready to Cross Swedish Streets

The Swedish Road Administration (Vägverket) on Monday revealed the final design for its new, more gender-sensitive pedestrian crossing signs.

The signs, which feature a female figure dubbed Fru Gårman crossing over the street, will soon join the traditional crosswalk signs with her male counterpart Herr Gårman, a name that translates both as ‘Mr. Walkman’ and ‘This is where you walk’.

The decision to come up with an official sign featuring a female pedestrian came after two local municipalities decided to create signs of their own.

In Mariestad in central Sweden, city officials attempted to gain permission for a female pedestrian road sign to honour the late local artist Karl-Gustaf Gustafson, who designed the original Herr Gårman figure back in 1955.

And in Hässleholm in southern Sweden, town officials sought to erect their own ‘Fru Gårman’ signs in the name of gender equity.

Both towns had their proposed signs rejected and the government then tasked the Roads Administration to come up with an official design.

Assuming the new design meets with the government’s approval, signs featuring Fru Gårman will start appearing on Swedish city streets shortly after the turn of the year, reports the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Norway: Increasing Majority Opposed to EU Membership

A fresh poll shows that a large majority of Norwegians oppose membership of the EU. Of those asked, 53 per cent say no to Norway becoming a member of the union, while 36 per cent say yes.

The number of voters in favour is far lower than it was at the 1994 referendum.

At that time, 47.8 voted in favour, while 52.2 per cent were against.

The majority of the nation’s political parties are also against EU membership.

Both the Socialist Left Party (SV), the Christian Democrats (KrF), the Liberal Left (Venstre) and the Agrarians (SP) are opposed.

The Conservative (Hoeyre) and Labour (Arbeiderpartiet) want membership, while the right wing Progress Party (FrP) is undecided.

Those opposed to EU membership claim that the EU is becoming a closed club, showing no solidarity with the developing world, closing its borders to both people and goods.

Those who favour membership, on the other hand, say that Norwegian membership is important in order to show solidarity with the poorer nations of Europe.

Norway already contributes a large sum annually to the EU development fund, as part of the EEA agreement.

           — Hat tip: Tuan Jim[Return to headlines]

Radical Islamic Clerics Warn of Further Attacks After Publisher is Firebombed

Islamic extremists have warned of a wave of reprisals over a controversial book about the Prophet Mohammed after the home of its publisher was firebombed.

Hardline clerics said that further attacks would be “inevitable” if publication of the novel, The Jewel of Medina, goes ahead as planned next month.

Police moved in to arrest three men moments after a fire broke out at the London home and office of Martin Rynja in the early hours of Saturday.

The attack came days after Mr Rynja’s company, Gibson Square, bought the rights to the book by the American writer Sherry Jones, which has already been likened to Sir Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.

The novel, which focuses on the relationship between Mohammed and his child bride Aisha, was recently dropped from publication in the United States by the publishers Random House amid fears that it would anger Muslims.

Mr Rynja, who is described by friends as “taking on projects where others fear to tread” has published several books by controversial authors including Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy who was poisoned in London after becoming an outspoken critic of the country’s prime minister and former president Vladimir Putin.

Buying the British and Commonwealth rights to the Sherry Jones novel last week, Mr Rynja described it as a “moving love story”.

But the radical cleric Anjem Choudhary said the book was an insult to the Prophet Mohammed’s honour, something he said would warrant a “death penalty” under Sharia law.

The attack on Mr Rynja’s home in Lonsdale Square, Islington, north London, came in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Armed police accompanied by firemen broke down the door of the house after flames and smoke were seen.

It is believed officers had been expecting the attack and quickly moved in to arrest two men at the scene while a third was stopped at a nearby London Underground station.

The three men, aged 40, 30 and 22, were being questioned on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism last night.

The EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella whose 16-year-old brother Ben was stabbed to death earlier this year, lives in the square and was among those evacuated by police as part of the operation.

Other neighbours spoke of their terror at being awoken to see armed police in the square but praised the operation as professional.

But the radical cleric Anjem Choudhary, who lives in Ilford, east London, said he was “not surprised at all” by the attack and warned of possible further reprisals over the book

“It is clearly stipulated in Muslim law that any kind of attack on his honour carries the death penalty,” he said.

“People should be aware of the consequences they might face when producing material like this. They should know the depth of feeling it might provoke.”

He denied any involvement in the attack but said he “understood” the feelings of the perpetrators.

“If the publication goes ahead then I think, inevitably, there will be more attacks like this — this is the thin of the wedge,” he said.

Speaking from Lebanon, the radical cleric Omar Bakri, added: “If anybody attacks that man I cannot myself condemn it.”

Sir Salman, who was made the subject of a fatwa by the Iranian leader Ayatolla Khomeini ordering his death in 1989 for publishing a “blasphemous” book, has spoken out in defence of The Jewel of Medina and suggested Random House had allowed itself to be intimidated.

Police were granted a warrant to continue holding the three men until Saturday at a brief hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Sunday.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel Leading Campaign to De-Legitimize West Bank Jews?

Similar events led up to expulsion of Gaza’s Jewish community

JERUSALEM — Is the Israeli government leading a campaign to de-legitimize Jewish settlers who live in the West Bank — territory slated to become part of a Palestinian state if current negotiations are pushed through?

Just before Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, authorities blamed a series of extremist acts on the Jews of Gush Katif, the former Jewish communities of Gaza. The Israeli media and politicians here complained about “violent settlers,” but it turned out many of the acts in question actually were carried out by extremist elements with dubious connections to fringe Jewish organizations from outside Gaza, unconnected to and unsupported by Gush Katif or the larger settler movement.

A case in point was the extremism of protesters inside the Palm Beach Hotel, a rundown former Jewish beachside resort on the shores of Gaza that had been utilized as a staging grounds for a group of rowdy protesters who came to Gush Katif to oppose Israel’s Gaza evacuation. The Jews inside the hotel staged several events provoking Israeli forces, and even were involved with some run-ins with local Arabs, although it seemed the Arabs had started the confrontations.

The Jewish residents of Gaza, mostly peaceful farmers who put up passive resistance to Israel’s evacuation, distanced themselves from the extremist hotel protesters. And yet the Israeli and international media did not distinguish Gaza’s Jews from the outside provocateurs at the hotel, which was one of several examples of extremism blamed on the tree-lined communities of Gush Katif and used against them to argue for their expulsion.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Afghanistan: Govt Seeking to Take Forward Peace Talks With Taliban

Kabul, 30 Sept. (AKI) — Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday he has asked the king of Saudi Arabia to help facilitate peace talks with Taliban rebels in order to bring an end to the Afghan conflict.

“For the last two years, I’ve sent letters to the king of Saudi Arabia, and I’ve sent messages, and I requested from him as the leader of the Islamic world, for security and prosperity and reconciliation in Afghanistan… he should help us,” said Karzai (photo).

Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister, Ranghin Adfar Sepanta, answering questions from journalists on the status of talks with the Taliban, said he knew “nothing” about what was happening in Saudi Arabia.

But he added: “In principle I am in favour of negotiations with the Taliban. The government will always talk with any Afghan group, political or armed, which accepts the constitution and wants to end the war.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Angry Iraqi Christians Rip Law Stripping Them of Seats in Parliament

Iraq’s prime minister sought safeguards Sunday for small religious communities in this mainly Muslim country as Christians protested parliament’s decision to stop setting aside seats for minorities on provincial councils.

In Baghdad, a series of explosions struck mostly Shiite areas, killing at least 32 people and wounding nearly 100, police said.

The attacks appeared aimed at reviving sectarian tensions that once threatened to plunge the nation into civil war.

Parliament last week approved a new law mandating elections in most of Iraq’s 18 provinces.

But the law removed a system that reserved a few legislative seats for Christians and other religious minorities.

Lawmakers cited a lack of census data to determine what the quotas should be. But many Christians saw the move as an effort to marginalize their community.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Iran: an Arms Race We’re Sure to Lose

THE coverage of the latest bombastic tour of Manhattan by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran may have obscured the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency has released its latest report on Tehran’s nuclear program, and it contains some unpleasant news: By the time we inaugurate our next president, Iran is likely to achieve “virtual” nuclear weapon status. This means that it will be able to produce, within a few months of deciding to do so, enough weapon-grade uranium to fuel a bomb.

But how is that possible? After all, about the only thing the Bush administration and our European allies seem to agree on regarding Iran is that there is a lot more time for diplomacy and sanctions to work before the ayatollahs can cross the nuclear line. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the situation.

Since last December, Iran has been feeding uranium into its bank of rapidly spinning centrifuges at an increasing clip. Out has come a growing stockpile of what scientists call “low enriched” uranium, which is ideal for fueling a reactor. However, if you re-circulate this material through the centrifuges, it becomes highly enriched bomb fuel. By Aug. 30, according to the atomic agency’s Sept. 15 report, Iran’s stockpile had reached 1,060 pounds of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride, and it was producing a little more than 100 pounds a month.

At this rate, Iran will have produced at least 1,500 pounds by mid-January. Re-circulated, this could produce 35 pounds of weapon-grade uranium, enough for a bomb. (In fact, this was about the amount called for in the implosion device that Saddam Hussein’s scientists were trying to perfect in the 1980s; according to intelligence sources, the Iraqi design has circulated on the nuclear black market and could well be in Iranian hands.) It would take about two to three months to raise the enrichment level to weapon-grade — meaning Iran could potentially present the world with a bomb by Easter…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Expert: Denmark Beware of Russia

Denmark should develop a security strategy focused on Russia and what should be done if, for example, Russia’s Gazprom buys Denmark’s DONG Energy, according to a Danish military expert.

Denmark should particularly raise a security debate after Russia’s incursion in Georgia.

“We haven’t sat down and re-evaluated the threat from Russia following Georgia, and that is something we should do,” says Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen, head of the Danish Institute of Military Studies.


According to Vedby Rasmussen, Russia’s war in Georgia demonstrates a new and more active security policy in which Russia ‘plays on her energy and military might.”

Therefore, Vedby Rasmussen says that Denmark Denmark should think through the consequences if Gazprom buys DONG.

“It would undoubtedly be a security problem. Do we want to develop instruments to prevent it,” he says.

Understanding Russia

Professor Ole Wæver of Copenhagen University also calls for more focus on Russia, and stresses the need to spend more time on understanding Russians.

Otherwise, he says, the West is bound for major clashes with Russia in the future.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Indonesia: Kids Uncover Idul Fitri Bomb Terror Plan in Palu

Unsuspecting children playing among street vendors near Palu Plaza shopping center in Central Sulawesi found a bomb hidden under the seat of a vendor on early Tuesday before dawn, just a day away before the Idul Fitri holiday.

Local police said the bomb was found by two little boys who were accompanying their parents shopping. The street vendors are usually open until dawn and only available during the fasting month of Ramadan.

The children at first did not notice what they had found until they played with it and saw what seemed to be an electronic device with wires and flashing lights, attached to a mobile phone casing. Afraid, they threw away the thing and told their parents.

A witness, Rosida, told The Jakarta Post that one of the boys was her nephew.

“My nephew played with the thing as if playing baseball. That was when the packaging unfold, showing cables and small lights flickering,” she said.

Only after almost two hours from a phone call to the police, a local bomb squad came securing the scene by pulling a police line and put what the children had found on X-Ray.

An hour later the bomb squad told curious mob surrounding the scene to back away and then detonate the bomb in the open, right on the center of the road. Some witnesses refused to believe that it was a bomb as it was not detonated inside a container such as usually performed in a standard protocol.

Palu has a long history of conflicts between local Christians and Muslims, where the use of bomb had been found several times in past years.

Nevertheless, Palu Police Precinct chief Adj. Sr. Comr. A.B. Sitindjak clarified that the electronic device was a bomb, placed in the complex to terrorize the citizens on the eve of the Muslim holiday, which would fall on Tuesday night according to the lunar calendar.

           — Hat tip: Tuan Jim[Return to headlines]

Pakistan Warns U.S. About Raids on Its Border

Islamabad, Pakistan — Pakistan sought to reassure Washington on Friday that it remained an ally in fighting terrorism, but it also warned the United States to stay out of Pakistani territory while hunting down militants along the volatile border with Afghanistan.

Emphasizing that Pakistan doesn’t need American firepower, a Pakistani general said an offensive along the frontier has killed more than 1,000 militants and predicted the region would be “stabilized” within two months.

He also showed photos of militant tunnel systems and trenches in Bajur, suggesting more tough fighting lies ahead in an area that is considered a likely hiding place for Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.

Washington has launched a flurry of missiles and a ground assault on targets within Pakistan recently, infuriating ordinary Pakistanis and their leaders.

In the first serious exchange with Pakistani forces acknowledged by the United States, American helicopters and Pakistani ground troops briefly traded fire Thursday on the border. The aircraft were not hit and no one was hurt.

U.S. officials said the two choppers were inside Afghanistan when the troops opened fire. Pakistan insisted the aircraft had crossed the ill-defined and contested border.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Police Face Huge Training Challenges in Afghanistan

Norwegian police, who have been trying for the past five years to help Afghanistan build up its own police force, have issued a report that suggests they’re dealing with chaotic conditions involving sex, drugs, corruption and defectors to the Taliban.

Newly trained Afghan police photographed after a 10-day course in Kabul.

Newspaper Aftenposten obtained a copy of the Norwegian police’s own report on their efforts, and it reveals the challenges they face:

In July, while Norwegian police were training instructors for the border police unit, an Afghan officer took two police cars and nine colleagues and defected to the Taliban, signing on with a local Taliban leader.

Drug tests performed on Afghan police undergoing training showed that 95 percent of them tested positive for cannabis and amphetamines.

The police were supposed to have destroyed 50,000 hectares of opium production, but only 4,300 were destroyed during the season.

Female Afghan police officers are the targets of sexual attacks by their superiors.

Afghan police are believed to be setting free persons arrested on narcotics offenses, probably in return for bribes.

“This is all, of course, very unfortunate,” the section chief for international police cooperation in Norway’s police directorate, Torgrim Moseby, told newspaper Aftenposten. “But it’s not surprising.

He said that many of those recruited for police work in Afghanistan have ties to old field marshalls who support the Taliban. British police have said that police training camps function more like rehabilitation centers, and that drugs are a huge problem.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Jihad on the High Seas

By Stephen Brown

After years of battling al-Qaeda on land, Western forces now face a terrorist war at sea. In a recent communiqué, the Islamist organization claimed responsibility for this year’s surge in pirate attacks in the vital Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Dozens of vessels from different nations have been seized and held for ransom, shaking the world’s shipping industry. Al-Qaeda calls its maritime campaign “a new strategy which permits the mujahedeen” to hijack shipping, since “fighters who aspire to establish the caliphate must control the seas and the waterways.”

Counterterrorism consultant Olivier Guitta revealed the al-Qaeda connection in his Asia Times column, writing that the terrorist organization “intends to take control of the Gulf of Aden and the southern entrance of the Red Sea.” Guitta called the area “strategic” for the radical Islamic group.

Al-Qaeda’s goal is the removal of Western military bases from the Arabian Peninsula. It believes sea lanes “weakened by acts of piracy,” combined with mujahedeen attacks, will force concessions from Western powers. And while Al-Qaeda has not abandoned its more traditional tactics — it has a presence in both Somalia and Yemen and attacked the American embassy in Yemen this month, killing 16 — the organization is increasingly focusing its terror on the high seas.

Al-Qaeda’s sea war is already having an effect. Piracy attacks have increased so dramatically in the Horn of Africa that a London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB) spokesman called the waters off Somalia, a Muslim country, the most dangerous in the world. A failed state, Somalia has possessed neither a navy nor a central government since 1991 — factors exploited by criminal organizations and al-Qaeda, sometimes working together. As a result, in the first two weeks of September alone, Somali pirates attacked 17 ships, four more than in all of 2007, and last week captured a Ukrainian ship carrying 33 T-70 tanks. “In my time here, I must say, this is the most concentrated period of destabilizing activity I have seen in the Gulf of Aden,” said Keith Winstanley, a British naval officer patrolling the gulf…

           — Hat tip: Holger Danske[Return to headlines]

South Africa: Zuma’s Rise Puts Whites to Flight

A wave of alarm swept through middle-class South Africa last week as President Thabo Mbeki was sacked by the ruling African National Congress and replaced by Kgalema Motlanthe, who has already presided over sweeping cabinet changes.

The new president is still remembered as a communist militant who urged that the country’s youth be “taught to hate capitalism”.

The real winner in the coup against Mbeki is Jacob Zuma. He will lead the ANC into next April’s election and is strongly backed by the powerful Communist party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, both of which favour radical left-wing policies. Polls show that business confidence has slumped to a seven-year low.

There has long been considerable evidence of “white flight” to cities in Britain, Australia, America and New Zealand. It is estimated that up to 20% of South Africa’s whites have emigrated since the advent of democracy in 1994.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Zuma’s rise, coupled with nationwide power cuts and a continuing crime wave, has led to a further massive brain drain. Polls show that 63% of South Africans have “seriously considered” emigration.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Africa: Between Staying and Going

A decade-and-a-half after the end of apartheid, violent crime is pushing more and more whites out of South Africa. Exactly how many are leaving is impossible to say. Few admit that they are quitting for good, and the government does not collect the necessary statistics. But large white South African diasporas, both English- and Afrikaans-speaking, have sprouted in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and many cities of North America.

The South African Institute of Race Relations, a think-tank, guesses that 800,000 or more whites have emigrated since 1995, out of the 4m-plus who were there when apartheid formally ended the year before. Robert Crawford, a research fellow at King’s College in London, reckons that around 550,000 South Africans live in Britain alone. Not all of South Africa’s émigrés are white: skilled blacks from South Africa can be found in jobs and places as various as banking in New York and nursing in the Persian Gulf. But most are white—and thanks to the legacy of apartheid the remaining whites, though only about 9% of the population, are still South Africa’s richest and best-trained people.

Talk about “white flight” does not go down well. Officials are quick to claim that there is nothing white about it. A recent survey by FutureFact, a polling organisation, found that the desire to emigrate is pretty even across races: last year, 42% of Coloured (mixed-race) South Africans, 38% of blacks and 30% of those of Indian descent were thinking of leaving, compared with 41% of whites. This is a big leap from 2000, when the numbers were 12%, 18%, 26% and 22% respectively. But it is the whites, by and large, who have the money, skills, contacts and sometimes passports they need to start a life outside—and who leave the bigger skills and tax gap behind.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


4,000 Immigrants Flock to Britain Each Day

ALMOST 4,000 temporary migrants arrive in Britain every day and those who stay to work have increased by more than a quarter, figures revealed yesterday.

The number of short-term migrants here at any one time has also shot up to nearly 300,000.

At the same time, far more Britons are leaving to work or visit overseas than foreigners arriving here.

The figures come two weeks after a former Archbishop of Canterbury warned spiralling immigration could spill over into violence on Britain’s streets if not addressed.

A total of 1,437,000 migrants arrived and stayed for less than a year in the 12 months to June 2006, the Office for National Statistics revealed

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Atheist Family Challenges Minute of Silence Law

2003 law mandates silent time in every Texas public school.

Every day in every Texas public school, students pledge allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags and sit through a moment of silence so they can pray, meditate, daydream or twiddle their thumbs.

The quiet time, mandated by the Legislature since 2003, has survived one federal court challenge, but a pending appeal seeks to scrap the practice as an improper religious exercise.

“It’s clear if you watch the video and read the transcripts of the legislative debates that the main purpose of this law is to create school-sponsored silent prayer, and that with a wink and a nod they’re just sort of calling it a moment of silence,” said David Croft, a suburban Dallas parent and atheist who seeks to overturn the law.

In 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed moments of silence in public schools when the practice is motivated by a secular purpose. In the years since, almost every lawsuit challenging the practice has failed.

The first challenge to the Texas law by David Croft and his wife, Shannon, failed in January when U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn found a nonreligious purpose for the quiet time, though she said that she had to hunt for it.

“The Texas Legislature was less than clear in articulating the secular purpose of the Texas moment of silence law,” Lynn ruled.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


New Al-Qaida Threat: Thermobaric Bombs

Packs power like a nuke, but easier to build, blow up

Investigators now believe the bombing on Sep. 21 that killed dozens and left massive damage at the Islamabad Marriott, including a gaping hole in the ground in front of the building, was a crude form of a device that intensifies and enhances an explosive — a thermobaric bomb, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The bomb was delivered in a truck that contained what investigators believe was aluminum powder in addition to grenades and artillery shells. The aluminum power is believed to have been responsible for the acceleration and expansion of the impact of the bomb.

While barriers around the hotel kept the truck bomb at some distance from the structure, the devastation indicated that there had to be something capable of raising the devastation level considerably.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sunni-Shiite Hacking War Disables 900 Websites

In a tit-for-tat retaliatory attack, Shiite hackers infiltrated Sunni religious websites Monday in response to attack on prominent Shiite websites earlier this month.

The Shiite hackers posted a face painted with the Iranian flag with a logo resembling that of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a picture of the Israeli flag split in two by the Arabian Gulf embossed with words “The Persian Gulf.”

The hackers also posted a verse from the Quran reads “Assault those who assaulted you” in reference to the hacking by Sunnis of the Ahlulbayt Global Information Center, the largest Shiite website in the world, which is supervised by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

In the cyber-attack earlier this month Sunni hackers posted a religious chant and a video by American comedian Bill Maher in which he made fun of Sistani’s “sexual fatwas.”

Sunni Hackers infiltrated 300 Shiite websites, many related to Sistani

Among the websites devoted to Sunni teachings hit was Islam Net, a site supervised by Saudi preacher Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported on Monday.

“The entire website is damaged and all its content is lost,” Qarmi told the paper, describing the hacking as “ugly and aggressive” as well as contradictory to Iran’s calls for bridge-building between Sunnis and Shiites.

Islamist scholar Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Qassem said that this exchange of hacking is a projection of the conflict in the Muslim world between Sunni and Shiite faiths, especially as far as missionary activities are concerned.

“These hackings were done by extremist Shiite youth,” Qassem told the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan on Monday. “They were infuriated by the statements of Sunni Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi in which he warned of the Shiite missionary infiltration of the Sunni world.”

Qarni suggested that hackers targeted his website in opposition to his support of Qaradawi.

Sheikh Faleh al-Sagheer, whose website Al-Burhan was hacked, described the attacks as “uncalled for” and said that preliminary estimates indicated that the number of hacked Sunni websites could reach 900.

The UAE-based Sunni hacker group Ghoroub X.P. had targeted about 300 Shiite websites for hacking, including Sistani’s Ahl al-Bayt, according to Iranian news agency Fares.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

The Big One is Nigh!

by Srdja Trifkovic

“The global economy is like the St. Andreas Fault: You know that a terminal disaster is inevitable, but you keep your fingers crossed and try not to think about it,” I wrote in the print issue of Chronicles seven months ago (“Waiting for the Big One,” March 2008). “When a tremor occurs, you often fear it could be the Big One and sometimes panic,” I went on, “but then, when the dust settles, you sigh with relief to find yourself alive and the Golden State still above the ocean.” Well, the Big One is nigh; and here’s the rest of that old column in which I argue that, in the end, the meltdown may be all for the best…

The fiscal imbalances caused by President Bush’s addiction to deficit spending, by the overindebtedness, by ordinary Americans’ negligible savings, by the huge and growing foreign debt, and by the falling dollar, are all still there.

For the time being, the United States is still able to issue and sell large quantities of low-cost debt, denominated in dollars, through Treasury bonds. Right now, they yield less than the inflation rate, but for as long as much of the world’s oil continues to be traded mainly in dollars, central banks around the world have to keep holding substantial dollar reserves. Furthermore, to the extent that the OPEC cartel raises oil prices to capture the dollar’s constantly falling purchasing power vis-à-vis the euro — rather than simply because of chronic excess demand for oil as it peaks out — it imposes on Europe the burden of sharing that part of the oil price hike that follows the falling dollar. This, paradoxically, creates additional built-in support for the dollar, without which its current sickkness could have been well nigh terminal. Other countries’ dollar reserves are still invested in American assets, creating an artificial capital-accounts boost for the US economy.

When the “petro-euro” becomes reality, the global demand for dollars will collapse. […] World trade will cease being a scheme in which Washington prints dollars and the rest of the world produces things that dollars can buy. The U.S. economy will no longer enjoy the benefits of a gigantic subsidy provided by the goods and services of countries holding their reserves in dollars — notably by Japan, whho imports four-fifths of its oil from the Middle East. The fewer dollars circulating outside the United States will then translate into fewer goods and services that this country can obtain from abroad on what amounts to interest-free credit. The current-account deficit — at present 800 billion dollars — will no longer be financed by foreign capital, because its influx would simply cease. Global demand for shares of U.S. companies and Treasury bonds will collapse. Without foreign investors, interest rates will zoom into double digits and the Fed will find inflationary pressures simply irresistible…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic[Return to headlines]


1389 said...

Inflation is more and more money chasing fewer and fewer goods.

Too bad we've outsourced and offshored not only our industrial infrastructure, but the service and informational expertise that should support it. We don't have anything left at home but big agribusiness (dependent on oil), health care, and corruption - nothing to build a recovery on.

dienw said...

Come on 1389. You're such a pessimist. The solution is very simple: McDonald's should open a third shift; that way every body can feed the previous shift. The job is also out source proof - wait a minute, didn't some company out source the drive-in window to an Indian company? /s

Anonymous said...

I agree and was so impressed that I went to the author's website, Rockford Institue, and subscribed to their magazine.

Beach Girl said...

Thank you for this addition at the Gates.