Friday, May 25, 2007

The Culture of Death

When Iraqi insurgents began killing each other in the name of religion and to settle old scores, there were many serious calls for U.S. forces to withdraw to the sidelines and let them kill one another. In the interests of humanity and to avoid allowing the region to fall into complete chaos, President Bush rejected that advice.

Today, Iraq is beginning to look like one of the more stabile areas of the Middle East with various Muslim groups killing each other in Gaza and Lebanon and with serious problems of Muslim fundamentalism appearing in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and resurfacing in Afghanistan.


May 22, 2007 -- TERROR in Tripoli. Havoc in Gaza. Palestinians assassinating the innocent and blaming it on their own victimization.

Sounds a lot like 1982. Except that yesteryear's political hit-men are now fanatics. And the Palestinians have blown yet another chance - to the relief of their fellow Arabs.

No Arab potentate wants the Palestinians to build a successful, rule-of-law state that co-exists with Israel. Nor does a single Arab ruler like democracy in Lebanon.

The Lebanese army's siege of the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Tripoli is an act of desperation. Forced to accept the autonomy of Palestinian bastions on Lebanese soil, a succession of Beirut governments has had to watch the growth of Islamist radicalism as rich Arab states played up the Palestinian cause - and ignored flesh-and-blood Palestinians.

The camp under fire (by the way, the shelling isn't indiscriminate - the Lebanese gunners just aren't very good shots) has 32,000 registered residents. The real number may be closer to 50,000, all crammed in a ghetto where poverty reigns and ignorance rules - exactly the kind of situation in which Saudis, Syrians and Gulf Arabs like to keep Palestinians.

The destitute camp - really, an urban slum - would seem to be a perfect recruiting ground for fanatics. Yet most of the local refugees, who have lived in Lebanon for a full generation, are siding with the Lebanese government. They don't like being shelled, but they want the terrorists gone. For their part, the terrorists hope the fighting will spread to other camps.

And who are these terrorists whose actions brought the Lebanese army down on their heads?

Fatah al-Islam is one of those countless splinter groups right out of Monty Python's "Life of Brian" - except for its murderous bent. Aligned with al Qaeda and backed by Syria, its immediate mission is to make Lebanon ungovernable.

So the bodies pile up as the buildings burn.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian try at self-government in Gaza is an even greater shambles. When Israel withdrew its forces in 2005, Palestinian leaders had an unprecedented chance to prove that they could govern competently. With aid in the pipeline (from the West, of course) and goodwill abounding, they could have given the people they ruled a chance.

Instead, they gave them anarchy, economic collapse, rampant criminality, a return to "honor killings" and a society broken by blood feuds and internecine hatred.

Last week, the Gaza fighting spun out of control, and Fatah forces, whose leadership now quietly leans on Israel for support, proved tougher than the Hamas thugs expected. With newly trained security-forces in play, Fatah threatened to seize the local initiative.

Hamas responded by launching waves of missiles against civilian targets in Israel. By week's end, the Hamas barbarism had become intolerable. Israel responded by killing dozens of Hamas terrorists - including senior figures - with stand-off weaponry.

The result? A fragile truce to which Fatah had to agree in the name of Palestinian solidarity. But the Pal-on-Pal fighting will resume soon enough. After winning the last election, Hamas outed itself as a pure-terrorist organization obsessed with killing Israelis and grabbing power for itself - not a party dedicated to improving the lives of the people.

Average Palestinians would like to get on with the shabby lives left to them. And some are staging a quiet rebellion against Hamas: A significant number of the targets Israel struck over the past several days were identified via Palestinian tip-offs.

Arab societies have a genius for self-destruction (look at Iraq), but President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party may prove readier to deal sensibly with Israel than any Palestinian faction in the past. Abbas recognizes that, today, the greatest danger comes from within, not from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

As for the mess in Lebanon, Syria's inability to refrain from deadly mischief is a blessing in at least one respect: It makes it harder for the advocates of phony Realpolitik (such as former Secretary of State Jim "Have you hugged your dictator today?" Baker) to push us back into yesteryear's cozy relationships with genocidal Arab despots.

But who really are the victims here?

Obviously, Israelis continue to suffer from Arab terror-as-self-actualization. But the global media hates Israel. So don't expect to hear much about the rockets raining on Sderot, beyond a perfunctory aside from a dismissive anchor-babe.

Of course, the Lebanese have been the long-standing victims of meddling Arab powers and the refusal of larger and far richer Arab states to give Palestinians hope for better lives. If the Saudis love the Palestinians so much, why not build a model city in the Kingdom for the 400,000 or so stranded in Lebanon? (Actually, few Palestinians would choose to live in such an oppressive place.)

And couldn't the tasteless Donald Trumps of Dubai spare at least one of those gold-plated, gated condo developments for deserving Palestinians?

The truth is that other Arabs want the Palestinians to continue to suffer. It's useful as an excuse for all their failings. They have about as much sympathy for the refugees as all those good Germans had for the Jews whose real estate was suddenly available.

But the ultimate victims of this round of Palestinian violence are the Palestinians themselves.

After passing up so many chances for peace and statehood, they can no longer be classed as victims of Zionism. Yet the Palestinians are victims - of the other Arabs who exploit them and neglect them. And of the madmen spawned from their own kind.

If you need someone to blame for the current carnage, blame the Palestinian terrorists for whom violence has become a way of life (and death). Forget the rage of the dispossessed and all that sanctimonious claptrap. For the Palestinians preying upon their brethren, terror's a business.

And business is good.

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At 5:17 AM, Blogger personalrep1 said...



We need to deal with Iran now otherwise the US could be left at one minute to midnight with no other option but to attack Iran. The longer the US waits to impose a meaningful sanction regime against Iran, the greater the necessity of military action will become - with all the potential disastrous political and economic consequences for both parties.


The United States with or without EU/Russia/China support immediately imposes economic and political sanctions against Iran. The sanction regime is divided into 4 parts - Defcom 1 to Defcom 4 with each phase commencing every 30 days and staying in effect until the crisis is resolved. Within the space of 4 months Iran will be under total world wide devastating economic sanctions. ANY INDIVIDUAL, CORPORATION, COUNTRY THAT DISOBEYS ANY PART OF THE SANCTION REGIME - THEN THE TOTALITY OF THE ENTIRE SANCTION REGIME IMMEDIATELY APPLIES TO THEM.


Under Defcon 1 sanctions Iran is immediately hit with the following measures:

1. The cutting off of all military and nuclear technology, materials, training, building including the Bushehr nuclear power plant being built by the Russians.

2. The suspension of all flights - both private and commercial aircraft in or out of Iran.

3. The worldwide banning of all Iranian passports.

4. Severing all banking relationships between all Iranian Government agencies/officials/organizations, banks, companies, front companies with the entire world banking community.

5. The freezing of all Iranian assets throughout the world including all assets of Iranian Government, Iranian companies, front companies, government officials/organizations.


In 30 days, if Iran refuses to stop all uranium enrichment and sit down at the table in good faith then the imposition of the following Defcon 2 Sanctions:

1. The immediate stoppage of all forms of transportation coming in or out of Iran including, buses, automobiles, boats. Only oil tankers would be exempt.

2. Cutting off of all satellite signals, phone lines, internet connections, electricity etc.

3. The complete closure of all border crossings to Iran.

4. The complete shutting down of all economic activity/trade with the outside world except for the importation of gasoline into Iran and the export of oil and gas out of Iran.


Thirty days after the imposition of Defcon 2 sanctions, the start of Defcon 3:

1. The importation of gasoline into Iran to be ceased by all countries, companies and individuals.


120 days after the start of the first sanction regime - Defcon 4 - the stoppage of all payments for Iranian oil and gas exports - NOT THE STOPPAGE OF THE EXPORT OF IRANIAN OIL AND GAS. JUST THE PAYMENTS FOR THESE PRODUCTS.

Iran can export oil and gas to China etc but the Chinese and other countries can not send money or any other financial instruments to Iran. In short - the oil/gas flows out but no money flows in. If Iran decides to stop the export of oil to certain countries but not to others like China, then under this sanction regime all countries including China must help the affected country or countries. In short, share the pain of oil shortages. If any country refuses to cooperate then the totality of these sanctions will be imposed immediately on them.

Again, if any country, company, or individual chooses to disobey these sanctions then THE TOTALITY OF THE SANCTIONS IMMEDIATELY APPLIES TO THEM. For example, if China decides to continue trading with Iran then all trade between China and ALL countries, companies, individuals immediately ceases. All Chinese container ships on their way to the US or any other country must be turned back. All international flights in or out of China cease. All Chinese passports to be null and void etc. If any country decides to continue to trade with China then the totality of the sanctions immediately applies to them. And so on.

This sanction regime is absolutely devastating. Having these sanctions apply to any country who decides to ignore them will totally devastate that countries economy. THIS LINKAGE GIVES THESE SANCTIONS TOUGH LOVE FURIOUS TEETH.


Larry Houle


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