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Monday, November 20, 2006

Iran calls for summit with Iraq, Syria


Tehran invites Iraqi, Syrian presidents for weekend summit with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss ways to curb violence in Iraq
Associated Press
Iran has invited the Iraqi and Syrian presidents to Tehran for a weekend summit with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to hash out ways to cooperate in curbing the runaway violence that has taken Iraq to the verge of civil war and threatens to spread through the region, four key lawmakers said on Monday.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has accepted the invitation and will fly to the Iranian capital Saturday, a close parliamentary associate said.

The Iranian diplomatic gambit appeared designed to upstage expected moves from Washington to include Syria and Iran in a wider regional effort to clamp off violence in Iraq, where more civilians have been killed in the first 20 days of November than in any other month since the AP began tallying the figures in April 2005.

The Iranian move was also a display of its increasingly muscular role in the Middle East, where it already has established deep influence over
Syria and Lebanon .

"All three countries intend to hold a three-way summit among Iraq, Iran and Syria to discuss the security situation and the repercussions for stability of the region," said Ali al-Adeeb, a lawmaker of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa Party and a close aide to the prime minister.

Syria to US: Help in Iraq for Golan Heights
The Sunday Times
reported this weekend that Syria is expected to demand American help in securing the return of the Golan Heights from Israel as the price of cooperation over Iraq.

Ayman Abdel Nour, a leading reformer in the ruling Ba’ath party, told the Times that Syrian President Bashar Assad wants America and Britain to use their influence with Israel to raise the return of the Golan Heights, seized by the Israelis in the 1967 war.

“It will be the top demand,” he was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

According to the report, Assad has ruled out cooperating with the Americans in return for the promise of unspecified benefits.

“The Syrian leadership is fed up with the Americans and does not trust their word when it comes to future aid for Syria,” Abdel Nour told the Sunday Times.

“Syria will not do anything unless it has secured guarantees from Washington and London that every action Damascus takes to help them will be reciprocated. It will be a step by step scenario: These actions for those actions,” he said.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Netanyahu: ‘It’s 1938, Iran is Germany’



Photo: JTARon Kampeas

Always eloquent and passionate, Bibi is making the rounds of American Media outlets this week.
Tonight you can catch him on the Glenn Beck show at 5:00 MST.

Echoing Israel’s increasing concern about Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu called for urgent action against Iran, which he compared to Nazi Germany.“It’s 1938 – and Iran is Germany,” Netanyahu said repeatedly in an address to some 5000 delegates at the United Jewish Communities’ General Assembly in Los Angeles. “When someone tells you he is going to exterminate you, believe him and stop him.”Hitler started a war and then tried to develop an atomic bomb, Netanyahu noted, while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is building nuclear weapons first and then will start a war, he said. But unlike 1938 and its aftermath, the Jewish people will not be the “sacrificial lamb” this time, Netanyahu declared.He said that Iran is planning to develop 25 nuclear weapons per year, ultimately with a range to reach the United States. He had been trying for a decade to warn world leaders that Iran represents the greatest threat not just to Israel but also to Europe and America, “but nobody seems to care very strongly”, Netanyahu said.Netanyahu’s harsh message comes on the heels of an equally strong warning given by Israeli’s deputy defence minister, Ephraim Sneh, who said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post that the Iranian nuclear program must be stopped “at all costs”. Sneh said that a pre-emptive Israeli military strike against Iran is a “last resort” but “even the last resort is sometimes the only resort”.In the most dramatic comments to date by a senior government member on the Iranian nuclear program, the former IDF brigadier-general described an untenable scenario of Israel “living under a dark cloud of fear from a leader committed to its destruction”.He said he was afraid that, under such a threat, “most Israelis would prefer not to live here most Jews would prefer not to come here with their families and Israelis who can live abroad will. People are not enthusiastic about being scorched.”Thus the danger, Sneh elaborated, was that Ahmadinejad would “be able to kill the Zionist dream without pushing a button. That’s why we must prevent this regime from obtaining nuclear capability at all costs.”

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman, OBM

Libertarianism's greatest champion passed away today, after a long and fruitful life.
He will be terribly missed. Let the celebrations of his life and legacy begin.
I'd start with Friedman's eloquent letter to William Bennett, urging him to end America's disastrous war on drugs. It went unheeded, of course. Sad for this country that the federal government has come to be stocked with more William Bennetts, and fewer Milton Friedmans.
UPDATE: The New York Times obit for Friedman is up, and it's very good.

Posted by Radley Balko on November 16, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

War Crimes? Get Real, Leftists!


A lawsuit in Germany will seek a criminal prosecution of the outgoing Defense Secretary and other U.S. officials for their alleged role in abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo



Here’s what Fuse Action has to say:
Monday, November 13, 2006

War Crimes Suit Filed in Germany Against Rumsfeld, Janis Karpinski to Testify, Plaintiff's Suit Category: News and Politics
Tuesday, November 14th, 2006War Crimes Suit Filed in Germany Against Rumsfeld, Other Top U.S. Officials Over Prisoner Torture
Attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a war crimes lawsuit today in Germany against outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and other high-ranking U.S. officials, for their role in the torture of prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo. We go to Berlin to speak with CCR president Michael Ratner. [includes rush transcript]
The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a criminal complaint in Germany today against outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The complaint requests that the German Federal Prosecutor open an investigation - and ultimately, a criminal prosecution - looking into the responsibility of high-ranking U.S. officials for authorizing war crimes in the name of the so-called "War on Terror."
Former White House Counsel and current Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and former CIA Director George Tenet, are also charged in the complaint. The suit is being brought on behalf of a dozen torture victims - 11 Iraqi citizens who were held at Abu Ghraib prison and one Guantánamo detainee. The plaintiffs claim they were victims of electric shock, severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation and sexual abuse. The complaint filed today is related to a 2004 complaint that was dismissed. This new complaint is filed under new circumstances including the recent resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. Germany"s laws on torture and war crimes permit the prosecution of suspected war criminals wherever they may be found.
Michael Ratner, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He joins us from Berlin, Germany.



Ms Huffington has a few words to say, as you might imagine:

Civil rights activists filed suit Tuesday asking German prosecutors to open a war crimes investigation of outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and a host of other U.S. officials for their alleged roles in abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay.
The 220-page document was sent to federal prosecutors by U.S. and German attorneys under a German law that allows the prosecution of war crimes regardless of where they were committed. It alleges that Rumsfeld personally ordered and condoned torture.
Read Whole Story




Also from the blogosphere comes this take

A coalition of human rights groups has filed a criminal lawsuit against former US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld in Germany, accusing him of war crimes. A first attempt to prosecute him in 2004 failed, but the activists feel they have a better chance this time -- and they have a powerful witness on their side.(...) The coalition, led by the New York-based civil rights group Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), filed a criminal complaint against Rumsfeld on Tuesday at the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe, Germany. The complaint calls on the prosecutor to investigate whether high-ranking US officials authorized war crimes in the context of the war on terror. The complaint is being brought on behalf of 12 alleged torture victims, 11 of whom are Iraqi citizens who were held at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. The twelfth man is Guantanamo detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi citizen identified by the US as a would-be participant in the 9/11 attacks and held at Guantanamo since January 2006. After al-Qahtani did not respond to normal questioning, he was allegedly subjected to a regime of aggressive interrogation techniques, approved by Rumsfeld and known as the "First Special Interrogation Plan,"
This is sort of like kids playing at being grownups, isn't it.
It must be nice for these people who have all this time on their hands.
It would be nice if they had come out aginst, say, Saddam, or Sadr, or Khomeini, or Arafat, etc.
Michael Blackburn

Friday, November 10, 2006

Israel official: Strike on Iran possible

The deputy defense minister suggested Friday that [a strike against Iranian Nuclear targets is possible]...
"I am not advocating an Israeli pre-emptive military action against Iran and I am aware of its possible repercussions," Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, a former general, said in comments published Friday in The Jerusalem Post. "I consider it a last resort. But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort."
Sneh's comments did not necessarily reflect the view of Israel's government or of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said government spokeswoman Miri Eisin.
Olmert, who was arriving in Washington on Sunday, said he was confident in the U.S. handling of the international standoff over Iran's nuclear program. The Bush administration and other nations say is a cover for developing atomic weapons, but Tehran says the program is peaceful.
"I have enormous respect for
President Bush. He is absolutely committed," Olmert said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show. "I know that America will not allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons because this is a danger to the whole Western world."
The United States and its European allies have proposed a raft of sanctions to try to curb the country's nuclear development.
Israel sees Iran as the greatest threat to its survival. Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel's destruction, and Israelis do not believe his claims that Iran's nuclear program is meant to develop energy, not arms.
Israel crippled
Iraq's atomic program 25 years ago with an airstrike on its unfinished nuclear reactor. Experts say Iran has learned from Iraq's mistakes, scattering its nuclear facilities and building some underground.
Sneh's tough talk is the boldest to date by a high-ranking Israeli official. Olmert and other Israeli leaders frequently discuss the Iranian threat in grave terms, but stop short of threatening military action.
Years of diplomacy have failed to persuade Iran to modify its nuclear program so it can't develop weapons.


AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM -

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Hamas, Fatah discuss unity



JERUSALEM — The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, and Prime Minister Ismail Haniya failed Monday in their efforts to finalize a deal on a national unity government but planned to try again today, aides said. Abbas, who leads the secular Fatah movement, and Haniya, who heads the militant Islamic faction Hamas, seemed close to an agreement on a new Palestinian government that would be made up of professionals and technocrats not directly linked to either faction. The new government would seek to end the Palestinians' international isolation and win a restoration of Western assistance cut after Hamas came to power in the spring. "There are issues to be discussed tomorrow and maybe the day after," said Nabil Aburdeineh, a spokesman for Abbas, as the talks in Gaza City broke up Monday night. "We agreed on one thing: a national government of professionals will be coming." Abbas and Haniya announced Sept. 11 that they had reached a tentative agreement or a unity government. But the negotiations quickly stalled with increased fighting between armed Hamas and Fatah groups, and the meeting Monday between the two was their first in weeks. Abbas, whose headquarters are in Ramallah, in the West Bank, travels only occasionally to Gaza, where most senior Hamas leaders are based. Abbas' decision to make the trip signaled that the negotiations had reached an advanced stage. Mustafa Barghouti, a prominent legislator brokering the talks, said earlier on Monday that the sides had already reached an agreement in principle. "Both parties have realized that no one party can lead the Palestinians, and there is a need for a coalition that will include everyone," he said. In another development, Israel began withdrawing tanks and other armored vehicles late Monday night from the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun, Palestinian security officials said. The Israeli forces entered the town six days ago to halt Palestinian rocket fire and clashed daily with Palestinian militants. It was not clear if all or just some of the Israeli forces were leaving, and the Israeli military did not immediately comment.


Monday, November 6, 2006

Justice For Saddam


Separate Jews From Arabs For Peace

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's vice Prime minister, said that the best means of achieving peace in the Middle East would be for Jews and Arabs to live apart, including those Arabs who now live inside Israel.
This is similar to the proscription for peace of the banned Kach Party, founded by Rav Meir Kahane, OBM.
Israel was on the "front line of a clash of civilisations between the free world and extremist Islam," he said.
On Iran, he said: "Every week, the president of Iran declares his intention to destroy us."
Mr Lieberman, 48, the leader of Yisrael Beitanu (Israel Our Home), who has previously urged Israel to bomb Teheran, said: "Iran is the base of an axis of evil which is a problem for all the world."
Mr Lieberman, whose addition to the coalition as "strategic threat" minister prompted the resignation of a cabinet colleague, also said that Israel's 1.25 million Arab minority was a "problem" which required "separation" from the Jewish state. "We established Israel as a Jewish country," he said. "I want to provide an Israel that is a Jewish, Zionist country. It's about what kind of country we want to see in the future. Either it will be an [ethnically mixed] country like any other, or it will continue as a Jewish country."
Protest has been muted. There have been no mass demonstrations. Few voters or politicians seem scandalised as they were in 2003.
Analysts say the smooth appointment of a man recently considered an extremist -rabble-rouser is a sign of political radicalisation in Israel.
"After the summer war in Lebanon, many Israelis have moved to the Right," said Gideon Doron, professor of political science at Tel Aviv University. "They think security is bad and trust Palestinians and Arabs less. They don't believe in the possibility of peace through negotiations, so Lieberman has become the centre of a new consensus."
While Mr Olmert says "Israel Our Home" will not change government policy, it seems almost inconceivable that the prime minister's main election promise of withdrawing tens of thousands of Jewish settlers from the West Bank will be implemented with Mr Lieberman – himself a settler – in the cabinet.
Mr Lieberman, for one, has other ideas. He has no intention of withdrawing Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Instead, he wants to keep them while, "in return", redrawing Israel's border to eject thousands of Israeli Arabs from the country.
"Minorities are the biggest problem in the world," he said in his soft, Russian-accented English. Asked if Israeli citizens of Arab descent should be forced out through territorial redistribution, he said: "I think separation between two nations is the best solution. Cyprus is the best model. Before 1974, the Greeks and Turks lived together and there were frictions and bloodshed and terror.
"After 1974, they constituted all Turks on one part of the island, all Greeks on the other part of the island and there is stability and security."
When it was pointed out that in Cyprus thousands were forcibly driven from their homes, he replied: "Yes, but the final result was better."
Later, an aide to Mr Lieberman tried to flesh out his remarks. "Israeli Arabs don't have to go," he said. "But if they stay they have to take an oath of allegiance to Israel as a Jewish Zionist state.
Such straightforward sentiments have made Mr Lieberman the most powerful new force in Israeli politics.
Since he split with the Likud party and its leader, the former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to form his own party in 1999, he has in effect monopolised the votes of more than a million Russian immigrants. At elections earlier this year, Israel Our Home demolished Likud's traditional grip on the Right to win 11 seats.
Mr Lieberman insists that the world must unite against "an axis of evil led by Iran. Iran is the biggest threat. It's a problem for the whole world, but Israel really has a bad location. We are on the front line between the clash of civilisations between the free world and the extremist Islamic world."

Saddam Sentenced To Death

Saturday, November 4, 2006

IDF officer seriously hurt, Fighting Continues In Gaza


27 Terrorists killed in IDF Gaza raids over weekend
A 12-year-old girl was killed Saturday evening by Israel Defense Forces sniper fire in the town of Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip. The girl, Isra Nasser, died of wounds to the head. The IDF said the sniper's target had been an armed militant, and expressed regret at the mistake.
Earlier, an IDF non-commissioned officer was seriously wounded in clashes with militants the town. Initial investigations indicate that special forces operating against rocket launch sites passed over an explosives charge, and the officer was wounded in the ensuing gunfire exchange. His family has been notified.
Five Hamas militants and two civilians were killed Saturday in a series of incidents in the Strip, bringing to 42 the Palestinian death toll there since the start of an IDF operation Wednesday
More: Haaretz
JERUSALEM, Nov. 4 — Israel continued its military offensive in Gaza on Saturday, destroying a minivan containing a Hamas rocket maker and two associates and demolishing at least five homes in Beit Hanun, on the Gaza-Israel border.
The rocket maker, identified by Hamas as Louay al-Burnu, was killed Saturday in Gaza City with two other members of the militant faction. Another Hamas fighter was killed in a gun battle with Israeli forces after firing an antitank rocket near Beit Hanun, and an Israeli noncommissioned officer was badly wounded. A Palestinian civilian, Marwan Abu Harbid, 46, died when an Israeli tank shell hit his home, burying him inside, a relative told The Associated Press.
In nearby Jabaliya, a Hamas member died from wounds from an artillery shell, which wounded four other members of Hamas’s military wing. Later Saturday, two brothers, both members of Hamas, were killed in a helicopter strike, as was a 16-year-old Palestinian, according to Agence France-Presse.
Since Israel began its new campaign to halt rocket fire into Israel four days ago, more than 40 Palestinians have been killed, most of them militants, and one Israeli soldier has died. More than 200 Palestinians have been wounded, some 30 of them seriously, Palestinian health officials and doctors at local hospitals said.
The rocket fire has continued, with 28 rockets landing in Israel since the operation began Wednesday, an army spokesman said. At least three Israelis have been wounded by shrapnel. Because Beit Hanun is so close to Israel, Palestinian militants often come there to fire their short-range Qassam rockets, made in Gazan workshops, toward nearby Israeli towns like Sderot and Ashkelon.
For three hours on Saturday morning, Israeli troops stopped patrols in Beit Hanun, a town of some 25,000 people, to allow civilians to leave their homes and open shops, and to let aid groups deliver supplies.
Israeli troops have been rounding up young men suspected of being militants and questioning them. Most have been released. At least 15 men have been detained and brought to Israel for further questioning, an army spokesman said.
The houses the Israelis destroyed contained weapons, the army said, including antitank missiles, automatic rifles and grenades.
Also on Saturday, a 12-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed by an Israeli sniper in Gaza, Palestinian officials said. The Israeli military expressed regret, saying the sniper was aiming at an armed militant.
The Israeli operation is a continuation of the Gaza offensive that followed the capture of an Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, on June 25. Corporal Shalit remains a hostage, as do two Israeli soldiers captured by
Hezbollah a few weeks later.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Harry Haft, Survivor of Auschwitz and Rocky Marciano


The time was out of joint, the entire world would soon be engulfed in a cruel war pitting freedom against the tyranny of Hitlers genocidal strategy.
In Poland, long a symbol for the most virulent anti-Semitism, gangs of Nazis and Polish sympathizers roamed the country-side committing pogroms and helping to further Germany's final solution.
With the invasion of Poland Harry Haft, a 16 year old Jewish boy, betrothed to his lovely wife, planning to wed in a few days, was tragically captured by the Nazis while rescuing his older brother, and sent to German enforced labor camps.
Forced into bare-knuckle brawls to entertain Nazi soldiers and Polish collaborators,
Mr Haft learned to defeat his hapless opponents as mercifully as possible, while allowing himself to survive with the hope of someday re-uniting with his family and finding his beloved bride-to-be, Leah.
Harry Haft drew an apparently unending strength from within his heart and soul and survived the death camps, eventually escaping from Auschwitz-Birkenau and the details of his escape are riveting and heart-rending, as well as filled with inevitable brutality .
The story isn't over at his escape, however.
Incredibly, Harry Haft becomes a celebrated boxer, after coming to America, eventually contending with the great champion Rocky Marciano in a controversial heavy weight fight while Marciano is at the height of his pugilistic ability.
The book is filled with shock and horror, but also hope and tenderness.
The author, Mr. Haft's son, Alan Haft, who lives and works in New Mexico with his wife Gail, has done a splendid job in not only chronicling the story of a Holocaust survivor, but capturing the essence and personality of his father, who the reader feels as if he knows personally after this literary journey together.
"Harry Haft..Survivor of Auschwitz and challenger of Rocky Marciano" clearly and chillingly chronicles this heroic young man's journey through horror and ultimate redemption, and indicates, sadly, once more, the true depth of the loss of six million of Mr Haft's brethren, coreligionists and our fellow human beings.


I strongly recommend this well researched, well written, and deeply moving, biography.
It's available at Amazon.com.
For convenience, click the link below:

Amazon.Com

Thursday, November 2, 2006

IDF Says Goal of Overflights is to Encourage International Cooperation


IDF sources revealed today that Lebanon overflights are intended to secure international cooperation in securing the release of the Israeli Soldiers kidnapped by Gazan terrorists and to pressure the international community to take action to stop arms smuggling to Hezbollah .
In addition, The sources assert that the overflights are routine reconnaissance operations designed to gather intelligence about Hezbollah, which has committed terrorist acts against innocent Israelis and opposes the right of Jews to live in Israel.
Israel insists the flights must continue because arms are still smuggled to Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, and the soldiers have not been freed, in violation of the cease-fire. Hezbollah's kidnapping of the soldiers sparked the summer war.
The U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen backed up Israel's assertions on Tuesday when he said the Lebanese government has reported arms smuggling into Lebanon from Syria since the truce. Hezbollah gang leader Nasrallah also said the guerrilla group had reinforced its arsenal.
Later in the day Israeli fighters flew over Hezbollah hideouts in a show of force, diving over Hezbollah strongholds in south Beirut , causing Hezbollah criminals to flee in outright panic and fear.
American and European officials have stepped up their demands for Hezbollah to disarm in accordance with the U.N.-brokered cease-fire, but the criminal group has repeatedly refused to lay down its arms.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Tikum Olam

Israeli Soldier Slain by Terrorists in Gaza

An Israeli soldier was reported killed by terrorists in Gaza today.
8 terrorists were also killed.
According to Israeli sources, "The operation is directed against terror organizations in the town and its goal is to disrupt and prevent the launching of Qassam rockets into Israel."
More than 300 Qassams have been fired from Beit Hanoun this year.
Abbas, the leader of the terrorist orginization Fatah, aka PLO, aka other names when trying to hide complicity in some of their terrorist acts,strongly condemned the Israeli actions that has left 8 terrorists dead and nearly 40 supporters of the terrorists wounded.

Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit is still held by the Palestinians, and one hopes the military actions will continue until the terrorists release him.


The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky