Monthly Archives: June 2010

How far is Obama into the clutches of Iran & Hamas?

BHO_worships_in_Mosque_from_email_image I pointed out earlier that requiring Israel to lift the military blockade of Gaza is tantamount to supporting Hamas, and consequently Iran. I was gentle in my words compared to Caroline Glick in her column for this week: Our World: Hamas rises in the West.

As I may have mentioned before, I’m thankful that Glick has a much larger audience than I do, because we all need to pay attention to what she and others like her are saying. She pointed out a few things that I didn’t know; for one thing that Barack Obama’s commitment to not just Islam and Islamism, but even to extreme radical Islamism was evidenced in his Cairo speech last year when he thumbed his nose not only at the West but also at Egypt his host, in demanding that members of The Muslim Brotherhood jihad, enemies of Egypt’s more moderate current government, be allowed to attend. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Obama’s loyalties lie not with his own country, nor even yet with the Islamic world in general, but with the most extreme elements within the Islamic world, such as Hamas and the current Iran regime.

Glick says “It is not surprising that Obama is siding with Hamas,” and proceeds to give us several reasons why. I’ll admit I was surprised at first; I knew he was bad news for the US, but didn’t know he was quite this bad.

Then again, maybe we should have paid more attention when the truth slipped out right after the election that the Obama campaign had maintained a secret liaison with Hamas all along. A poor Hamas operative named Ahmed Yousef spilled the beans, before he realized it wasn’t OK. I never heard of him again after that, did you? Somehow I don’t think he was given a lush retirement package on the Riviera.

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On a lighter note (if you can call it that), at least somebody outside of the Zionist Right Wing Blogosphere recognizes Israel as the best thing that ever happened to the West with respect to preserving any semblance of civilization in the region. Somebody like former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar. He wrote Friday in an opinion column that

Anger over Gaza is a distraction. We cannot forget that Israel is the West’s best ally in a turbulent region.

Minister Aznar points out a few often overlooked matters, such as:

It was the United Nations which birthed what is now the State of Israel over 60 years ago; so why is the UN now screaming that the State is illegitimate? What does that make the UN? (OK, so I’m somewhat paraphrasing what the Minister wrote – after all, he is a gentleman.)

Israel is not what is threatening to destabilize the Middle East. It is the rise of radical Islamism which is the destabilizing factor.

Moreover, Israel is the one element in the region which is holding back the forces seeking to destroy civilization. Israel is in reality our first line of defense and is taking the blows for us; if Israel falls, we’re next on the list.

MilitantIslam-FLIKR-WEB It is the decline in the West of a sense of moral and strategic clarity that is setting us up for a fall. For us to pursue appeasement with those who oppose Israel is to seek appeasement with those same forces that seek our own destruction, and that “is not only a grave moral mistake, but a strategic error of the first magnitude.”

Minister Aznar summarizes by saying:

Israel is a fundamental part of the West…  If… Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fate is inextricably intertwined.

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Well, that brief visit with sanity was wonderful, wasn’t it? All right then, back to normal, since of course, complete irrationality seems to have become the norm of late.

Do you recall the story of “The Green Prince,” also called “Son of Hamas?” Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of one of Hamas’ founders, but he converted after witnessing the sickening cruelty of the Palestinians toward their own kind. He worked undercover for Israeli security for a while, saving lives on both sides of the fence, and then came to this country and applied for political asylum.

To any rational mind, he’s the perfect candidate, considering the price on his head if he were to ever go back to Hamastan. Ah, but a rational mind is a rare commodity indeed in the current US administration! Incredibly, the Department of Homeland Security is pursuing deportation proceedings against him this month. Somehow DHS seems to reason that since he fought against terrorism, that makes him a terrorist. Kind of like if you’re black, that means you’re white. Or something like that. Don’t ask me to explain – just read it for yourself.

Of course, it all does make sense if you look at it this way: Barack Obama’s loyalties are with Hamas and with the other elements of radical Islamic jihad, not with the country he was elected to lead. Not that I’m applying the word “treason,” though it does seem to describe his actions better than anything. Maybe I’m hoping to wake up and find all of this alternate reality was just a dream. Or maybe we all just need to wake up.

Good night.

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Why did they go in blind? (And a few other belated 140s.)

Regarding the ill-fated interdiction of the Mavi Marmara, I have been wondering since day one why the IDF walked into a trap, when it was public knowledge that the Turkish terrorist organization IHH was behind the blockade running operation. I mean, if anyone who surfs the web to the same extent that I do knew it, surely Israeli intelligence knew.

So I’ve been watching out for anything that might be a clue. Yesterday, Ha’aretz came out with a story quoting Military Intelligence head Amos Gilad as saying, "Turkey has never been included in [our] intelligence coverage." Why do I find that difficult to fathom?

Then today, from Israel National News comes something a bit more credible, though hardly more comforting: that Israel went in practically unarmed in deference to a request from the Obama White House.

Israeli troops avoided the use of non-lethal riot gear against passengers on last week’s Gaza-bound flotilla in order to appease United States President Barack Obama, according to the World Tribune. Quoting “diplomatic sources,” the paper said Obama nixed the use of equipment such as tear gas to stop the flotilla and demanded that Israel “exercise extreme caution and restraint.”

The White House has not commented on the report.

The report claimed that Defense Minister Ehud Barak accepted Obama’s demand, possibly due to his hopes that America will agree to sell advanced weapons to Israel.

It says that the American demand was made despite Israeli intelligence reports indicating possible danger aboard one ship, the Mavi Marmara, which carried primarily Turkish citizens, many of them members of the pro-terrorist IHH organization. Intelligence agents had found that many of the Turkish passengers were trained in weapons use and hand-to-hand combat; their assessments were relayed to the White House…

Is that really what happened, and all that really happened? I somewhat doubt it. As my mother (and probably yours) always said, “we’ll see…”

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20100606ReutersCropSection2_LM One of the more interesting developments – and I wish I could say surprising – is that Reuters news agency was caught red handed (forgive the pun) doctoring photos of the flotilla raid — cropping out weapons in the hands of the mercenaries, little things like that…

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Every once in a while I like to call attention to an excellent piece by a well known commentator. I’ve referred you to Caroline Glick several times; in The plain truth about Israel she pointed out, among other things, that

Israel is the US’s greatest strategic asset in the Middle East.

Indeed, given the strategic importance of the Middle East to US national security, Israel is arguably its greatest strategic asset outside the US military…  “Israel is a democracy that shares virtually all of the same values as the United States.” …As a democracy, unlike every Arab state, the US does not need to worry a change in leadership in Jerusalem will cause it to abandon its alliance with the US. This of course is what happened in Iran, which until 1979 was the US’s most important ally in the Persian Gulf. As Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak ages, the US faces the prospect of a post-Mubarak Egypt led by the Muslim Brotherhood similarly abandoning its alliance with America…

Glick did not use the word “stupid” in reference to what the U.S. would be if we ditched Israel, as we appear to be doing – but I’ll say it. Please, America – don’t be stupid!

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Speaking of stupid, incredibly enough, the Obama administration announced a couple of days ago that it was going to try to help out with the Gaza situation by sending the terrorists another $400 million.

Or, as one Twitter user put it,

Blair: "I’m 100% on Israel’s side." Biden: "Israel has a right to defend itself." Obama: ‘Let’s send Hamas $400 million’

All kidding aside, even if it were the right thing to do,  read the JINSA Report here to find why it’s not all that easy.

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Oh, and regarding the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza? If you’ve been paying attention, you may realize by now that there is no such thing. Even the Palestinians themselves admit that the only real problem is that Hamas is stealing from them. Come on, world, wake up and smell the oranges!

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It ain’t over until…

WELL, Y’ALL KNOW WHAT Yogi Berra said. And it definitely ain’t over.

Paintballs_ineffective I assume everyone has been at least trying to keep up with the twists and turns in the unfolding tale of what really happened on board the Mavi Marmara and where it all leads. I’ve been holding off on saying anything here until some of the dust has settled, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening any time soon.

I’m not even going to try to go over the whole story at this point. That’s been done already in enough places that I would be merely duplicating others’ efforts.  You can get the basics from day one here, and Peace Flotilla is a great place where you can find current updates.

There have also been a number of excellent commentaries made by prominent figures in this arena. Caroline Glick points out several vital points in “Ending Israel’s Losing Streak.”

But I’ll try to recap just a little in order to get on to my main points. Over the weekend, a hodgepodge of leftists calling themselves “Free Gaza” attempted to run Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces interdicted the offending vessels as allowed under international law. Five of the six vessels were boarded peacefully, but mercenary combatants on board the sixth ship, the Mavi Marmara, ambushed the IDF boarding party with metal poles and clubs, electric saws and other crude weapons, and with grenades, knives and firearms. The IDF troops sustained serious wounds but successfully completed their mission. When the smoke had cleared, the IDF had sustained several injuries, including two rated as serious or critical, and the enemy combatants (please, folks, let’s stop calling them “activists” – they were hired soldiers) sustained many more casualties, including nine fatalities.

As details began to emerge over the next few days, several things began to stand out (including a couple of things that I really haven’t heard discussed much elsewhere):

1) Although the leftists were assembled under the umbrella organization “Free Gaza,” the expedition was actually led by (and the Mavi Marmara operated  by) a known terrorist organization headquartered in Turkey known by its initials IHH.

2) The attackers who assaulted the IDF commandos were identified as cash-paid mercenaries, primarily Turkish nationals. (Of the nine fatalities, eight were Turkish citizens and one was a naturalized US citizen from Turkey.)

According to one well-placed source, the cash with which the mercenaries were paid was not passed to them until after they were on board. This would mean they were not quite dedicated enough to the ‘cause’ to be counted on to otherwise show up.

3) Turkey’s role in this affair was, and still is, of very serious concern. It would be distracting here to try to get deeply into the complexities of the Turkey – Iran – Syria axis, but it appears possible that Turkey is vying for a stronger position in that company of thieves. I had issued several “tweets” over the past few days calling attention to the extremity of Turkey’s involvement, but now I’m not so sure it’s a whole lot more than a serious attempt to gain a bigger piece of the pie. To be certain, the Turkish government has recently become a major sponsor of terrorism, but they still haven’t toppled Iran, or even Syria, in that respect.

HaniyaAhmadinejad 4) Most importantly, though, the military blockade of Gaza has been in fact very effective against Hamas, and by extension against Iran’s interests in the area, not only in terms of making war materiel less available, but also by way of restricting Hamas’ finances, and even causing serious internal political pressure on the regime.

This brings up a crucial point: the blockade running attempt was a desperation move by Hamas and Iran. I haven’t heard that part of the matter emphasized in the media, but it is very consistent with the hiring of mercenaries in an attempt to repel the IDF naval interdiction. And it is consistent also with the possession by the mercenaries of huge sums of cash, some of which was payment for their services, but the greater part of which was apparently intended for Haniyeh’s grubby little hands. It would also mean that Hamas is not about to give up – because it can’t afford to give up. The next attempt is already underway as of this writing.

Crop_ BHO_27_May_2010 A further serious implication of this is that those who are advocating removal of the blockade (and there are many, including major players in the UN and in Europe, and perhaps even the current US administration) are in effect allying themselves politically and even militarily with Hamas, and again by extension with Iran. If that bothers you, it does me, too.

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“No Love Boat:” PM Netanyahu’s Statement on Flotilla Incident

In my earlier post today I pointed out that a crucial aspect of this week’s attempt by Islamist forces to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza coast (and Egypt’s blockade also, by the way – another oft neglected component) is the critical interest which Iran has invested in the continued presence of Hamas in that area.

Here is the official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office regarding the incident. Notice his references to Iran.

Statement by PM Netanyahu

“No Love Boat”

Once again, Israel faces hypocrisy and a biased rush to judgment. I’m afraid this isn’t the first time.

Last year, Israel acted to stop Hamas from firing thousands of rockets into Israel’s towns and cities. Hamas was firing on our civilians while hiding behind civilians. And Israel went to unprecedented lengths to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties. Yet it was Israel, and not Hamas, that was accused by the UN of war crimes.

Now regrettably, the same thing appears to be happening now.

But here are the facts. Hamas is smuggling thousands of Iranian rockets, missiles and other weaponry – smuggling it into Gaza in order to fire on Israel’s cities. These missiles can reach Ashdod and Beer Sheva – these are major Israeli cities. And I regret to say that some of them can reach now Tel Aviv, and very soon, the outskirts of Jerusalem. From the information we have, the planned shipments include weapons that can reach farther, even farther and deeper into Israel.

Under international law, and under common sense and common decency, Israel has every right to interdict this weaponry and to inspect the ships that might be transporting them.

This is not a theoretical challenge or a theoretical threat. We have already interdicted vessels bound for Hezbollah, and for Hamas from Iran, containing hundreds of tons of weapons. In one ship, the Francop, we found hundreds of tons of war materiel and weapons destined for Hezbollah. In another celebrated case, the Karine A, dozens of tons of weapons were destined for Hamas by Iran via a shipment to Gaza. Israel simply cannot permit the free flow of weapons and war materials to Hamas from the sea.

I will go further than that. Israel cannot permit Iran to establish a Mediterranean port a few dozen kilometers from Tel Aviv and from Jerusalem. And I would go beyond that too. I say to the responsible leaders of all the nations: The international community cannot afford an Iranian port in the Mediterranean. Fifteen years ago I cautioned about an Iranian development that has come to pass – people now recognize that danger. Today I warn of this impending willingness to enable Iran to establish a naval port right next to Israel, right next to Europe. The same countries that are criticizing us today should know that they will be targeted tomorrow.

For this and for many other reasons, we have a right to inspect cargo heading into Gaza.

And here’s our policy. It’s very simple: Humanitarian and other goods can go in and weapons and war materiel cannot.

And we do let civilian goods into Gaza. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Each week, an average of ten thousand tons of goods enter Gaza. There’s no shortage of food. There’s no shortage of medicine. There’s no shortage of other goods.

On this occasion too, we made several offers – offers to deliver the goods on board the flotilla to Gaza after a security inspection. Egypt made similar offers. And these offers were rejected time and again.

So our naval personnel had no choice but to board these vessels. Now, on five of the vessels, our seamen were not met by any serious violence and as a result, there were no serious injuries aboard those ships. But on the largest ship, something very different happened.

Our naval personnel, just as they landed on the ship – you can see this in the videos – the first soldier – they were met with a vicious mob. They were stabbed, they were clubbed, they were fired upon. I talked to some of these soldiers. One was shot in the stomach, one was shot in the knee. They were going to be killed and they had to act in self-defense.

It is very clear to us that the attackers had prepared their violent action in advance. They were members of an extremist group that has supported international terrorist organizations and today support the terrorist organization called Hamas. They brought with them in advance knives, steel rods, other weapons. They chanted battle cries against the Jews. You can hear this on the tapes that have been released.

This was not a love boat. This was a hate boat. These weren’t pacifists. These weren’t peace activists. These were violent supporters of terrorism.

I think that the evidence that the lives of the Israeli seamen were in danger is crystal clear. If you’re a fair-minded observer and you look at those videos, you know this simple truth. But I regret to say that for many in the international community, no evidence is needed. Israel is guilty until proven guilty.

Once again, Israel is told that it has a right to defend itself but is condemned every time it exercises that right. Now you know that a right that you cannot exercise is meaningless. And you know that the way we exercise it – under these conditions of duress, under the rocketing of our cities, under the impending killing of our soldiers – you know that we exercise it in a way that is commensurate with any international standard. I have spoken to leading leaders of the world, and I say the same thing today to the international community: What would you do? How would you stop thousands of rockets that are destined to attack your cities, your civilians, your children? How would your soldiers behave under similar circumstances? I think in your hearts, you all know the truth.

Israel regrets the loss of life. But we will never apologize for defending ourselves. Israel has every right to prevent deadly weapons from entering into hostile territory. And Israeli soldiers have every right to defend their lives and their country.

This may sound like an impossible plea, or an impossible request, or an impossible demand, but I make it anyway: Israel should not be held to a double standard. The Jewish state has a right to defend itself just like any other state.

Thank you.

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