Saturday, June 23, 2007

Iran takes step nearer to a nuclear bomb

Iran moved significantly closer towards acquiring the essential material for a nuclear bomb yesterday when the regime claimed to have stockpiled 100 kg of enriched uranium.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Iran takes step nearer to a nuclear bomb
President Ahmadinejad 'seems to be goading the West and Israel'

So far, this uranium has only been enriched to the level needed to run civilian nuclear power stations. But if Iran chooses to enrich it to 84 per cent purity, the uranium would reach weapons-grade level. Iran would need 50 kg of weapons-grade uranium in to make one atomic weapon of the kind that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. By storing twice this quantity of low-enriched uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime is widening its options.
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Norwegian Foreign Minister coddling Hamas

March 2007 Dhimwit:
The Government of Norway

Palestinian reform?  Not on Norway's watch.

Ismail Haniyeh is a man with blood on his hands.  His organization, Hamas, is a very successful terrorist group that has deliberately racked up hundreds of innocent Israeli lives in just the last ten years, with attacks on cafes, retail shops, hotels, and passenger buses. 

The many unfortunate victims who survived his organization's terror campaigns often suffered physical disability, mental impairment, disfigurement, and/or a lifetime of chronic pain. These include children, the elderly, and hundreds of other human beings in the prime of their lives.

Haniyeh and his fellow terrorists have promised to keep attacking the Jewish people in their own state and denying them basic human rights.  Last year, they raided Israel and captured an innocent soldier, whom they have yet to free.

As can be seen from the picture posted above (Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister, Raymond Johansen, shaking Haniyeh's hand), the government of Norway is not deterred by any of this.  Shamefully, they have chosen to recognize the Hamas government and send a diplomatic mission to Gaza.

The sly grin on Haniyeh's face belies his confidence that the murderous activities and diplomatic intransigence of Hamas are fully affirmed by Norway's recognition. 

Norway (which sent at least 737 Jews to the Nazi death camps) is the first Western country to breach the dam of international ostracism that was intended to slowly pressure Hamas into reform and peace. 

There will be none of either now, as other Western nations are sure to follow Norway's example.

(See also, Norway's Socialist Dhimmis, which briefly discusses the pathetic response to the 2001 report that the perpetrators of two out of every three rapes in Oslo are Muslim immigrants).

Venezuela Won't Seek Nuclear Bomb Technology in Iran

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dismissed European press reports that he would sign an agreement with Iran to develop nuclear weapons when he visits the Central Asian country next week.

``We don't need an atomic bomb, because we already have one: it's called the Venezuelan people,'' Chavez said in a televised speech to thousands of supporters at a political rally in Caracas. ``That has the force of 100 atomic bombs.''
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru
P.S. Chavez spent $4.3 billion in weapons in two years. 55% of Venezuelans are under the poverty line.

Gaza: Christian appreciation of Jewish Charity

Israel, the "Occupying Oppressor"

June 20, 2007 - News reports today confirm that Ehud Barak, the newly-appointed, Israeli Defense Minister has ordered the IDF to begin evacuating any of the "Palestinians" attempting to flee Gaza who require urgent medical attention into Israel through the Erez crossing. These are the same Arabs who, just over a year ago, democratically-elected a terrorist regime, whose charter openly advances an ideology committed to the eradication and annihilation of Israel, into public office shortly after Israel evacuated the region. Mind you, I realize, as Christians, we are to love our enemies, but I must say: Mr. Barak, you, sir, are a better man than I.

More at  Israel, the "Occupying Oppressor"

Cross posted at Israel News  and Middle East Analysis 

Islamism: The Real Danger

The Real Danger

by Carlos

June 22, 2007 - Earlier this week a coalition airstrike against al-Qaeda terrorists taking sanctuary in a religious compound in Afghanistan killed seven children.

Understandably, the people responded with outrage. Khalid Farouqi, a member of Parliament from Paktika province where the incident occurred, blasted the coalition. "Nobody can accept the killing of women and children" he said. "It is not acceptable in either Islam or international law." (Oddly, Islam is rarely invoked in this manner when the victims are Israeli or American.)

The outrage of the people was part of the plan.

Eyewitnesses said that the terrorists prevented the children from leaving the compound. When the children tried to escape, the terrorists pushed them away from the door and beat them.

The use of children as human shields seems to have become a trend. Three months ago, in Baghdad, American soldiers allowed a car to pass through a checkpoint after seeing two children in the back seat. Once on the other side, the adults ran out of the car and detonated a bomb hidden inside it, killing the two children and three other civilians.

Referring to the incident in Afghanistan, the American ambassador, William B. Wood, said the coalition does as much as it possibly can to avoid harming civilians. "Unfortunately," he said, "when the Taliban are using civilians in this tactical way, instances of civilian casualties, just like instances of casualties from friendly fire, cannot be completely avoided."

Sound familiar? Israel has repeatedly come up against the effective use of this barbarous tactic. Hezbollah used it in Lebanon, even shooting civilians attempting to flee areas of danger.

This is the real "asymmetric warfare." Israel, like America, fights with a sense of morality, trying to do what is necessary but exercising restraint to minimize civilian casualties. The other side - be it al-Qaeda, Taliban, Hamas, or Hezbollah - has no such restraint. These groups all go after civilians as prime targets, and even use their own civilians as decoys and shields. They are united by a demented distortion of religious values that inspires them to a frenzy and justifies the murder of innocents.

Hamas gunmen take control of Gaza (AFP).  
Hamas gunmen take control of Gaza (AFP).

In their war with Fatah, members of Hamas kidnapped people, threw them off rooftops with their hands and legs tied, or shot them dead in the street in front of their wives and children. With cries of "Allahu akhbar" they proclaimed it "a victory of Islam over heresy." Why such scant protest from the international community?

Well, some people are displeased. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called this "the worst thing I've seen since 1967." Worse even than all of Israel's misdeeds? Perhaps so. Many Palestinians voiced comments like this one: "We've had enough, we should be so lucky as to see the return of the Israeli occupation." In fact, according to an opinion poll just released by Khalil Shikaki's Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 56% of the Palestinians surveyed said the greatest threat to them was infighting and the lack of law and order. Only 12% said it was the Israeli occupation.

Make no mistake: the occupation has to end. But it cannot end when the other side is dominated by terrorists and anarchists. One can only hope that increasing numbers of Palestinians are beginning to realize that. The occupation is an albatross that most Israelis would love to get off their necks. It is not the primary threat to world peace.

The most potent threat to peace today is not Israelis. It is not Palestinians. It is a set of ideas spreading throughout the world, whose basis is an amoral God who would justify even the murder of children for the sake of spreading his rule. It is nihilism disguised as spirituality. It has no compassion. It knows no international boundaries. And it is on the threshold of acquiring nuclear weapons.

Incredibly, too many people seem not to know or not to care. Even in Britain, presumably an enlightened democracy, a number of academics, journalists, and now trade unionists have resolved to boycott Israel. Jews are no longer allowed to mention anti-Semitism, so I can't accuse them of that. I do wonder, however, what other conceivable explanation there could be for this consistent, repeated singling out of the Jewish state for punishment while completely ignoring not only the terrorism practiced against it but the real danger, which is an aggressive, expansionist terrorist movement global in scope and unlimited in ambition.

This is the real danger: a global movement that is fueled by religious fervor, yet essentially nihilistic. A movement that would rather destroy its own societes, whether in Iraq, Lebanon, or the Palestinian territories, than allow its rivals to build them up and live in peace and prosperity. A movement that has a devastating advantage over its enemies because it has no moral constraints, while those whom it attacks are shackled by world opinion and by their own consciences.  Islamism: The real danger - continued

Cross posted: Middle East Analysis; Israel News

Friday, June 22, 2007

Congratulations, Hamas

Congratulations, Hamas

by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, the general manager of Al-Arabiya television. Mr. Al Rashed is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine, Al Majalla. He is currently based in Dubai.
It was the biggest insult to the Palestinian nation that looked on with embarrassment and disappointment at what had happened in front of their eyes. The scene was terrible. It was one of the biggest massacres in Gaza's history as the soldiers of Hamas killed tens of Fatah members, dragging those who were alive to their deaths even though they held their arms up in submission in front of the soldiers of Hamas who flashed the victory sign, declaring that they have liberated Gaza without shame.

What is happening? Does it make sense that Hamas chooses to fight Fatah when the Israelis are a stone's throw away? Could Hamas settle for being a mere tool for the Iranians to sabotage the situation and destabilize the region just as it did this time last year? Last summer, Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier and in response, Israel damaged it. This time, Hamas chose to attack the headquarters of Fatah and the President's office as well as to pursue its employees; therefore, it won the battle on the ground. However, which victory exactly is Hamas celebrating?

Hamas has buried the Palestinian cause and thrown the world's respect for the rights of Palestinians down the drain. Furthermore, it has polished Israel's image and thwarted any hopes for an independent Palestinian state. What Hamas has done is just the beginning of dissent that bids farewell to the cause and welcomes a war between brothers.

Arab societies have endured difficult times on a number of occasions but the modern day is worse than ever before in Arab history. For this, the Arab world must take a decisive stand as it should not accept the partition of Palestine even at the hands of its own people. The Arab world does not accept silence whilst one Palestinian party slaughters another. The Arab world will not accept the deposed prime minister [a reference to Ismail Haniyeh] announcing his support of the killing, lawlessness, looting, burning and pursuing of fellow Palestinians from Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the seizing of the headquarters and offices that Haniyeh's men carried out. The Arab world should clearly and decisively declare its stance and announce that it supports the legitimacy that is represented through the PA, not Hamas nor Fatah. Such legitimacy is primarily represented through the president, who brought about elections and admitted Hamas to the political competition, respected the results of the elections and accordingly assigned Hamas' leader, Ismail Haniyeh, as prime minister, granting him all the necessary support.

Full text at:
posted by Wendy in Washington

Thursday, June 21, 2007

An open letter to Norway's Foreign Minister

Published: 06/19/07, 5:14 PM

An Open Letter to Norway's Foreign Minister

by Erez Uriely

Are the Jews to blame for everything?

Are the Jews to blame for everything, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahrs Støre?

At a Foreign Ministry press conference on June 14, 2007, you blamed the Jews for the
Muslim fratricide in Gaza: "Israel has undermined the Palestinian coalition government." ( VG newspaper, Internet edition) You also stated that "Israel is partly to blame for the fighting in Gaza." (Norwegian State Broadcasting company, NRK, June 14, 2007)

Because you do not criticize any other nation in the world as unreasonably as you criticize Israel, this is discrimination. Because you obviously are not accusing the trees, stones or mountains of Israel, it is clear you are accusing the Jews. You and your associates have done this on several occasions, as we documented in our letter to you dated January 11, 2006.

The Centre Against Antisemitism (SMA) objects to your use of an ancient European strategy: whatever is wrong - blame the Jews.

It cannot be the Jews' fault that Muslims are massacring each other. It is happening in several Muslim countries; as well as to non-Muslims there and in other parts of the world. We hope you aren't blaming Jews for the Muslim-on-Muslim massacres in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Algeria, Afghanistan and Iran. We also hope you aren't laying the blame on the Jews for the Muslims' butchering of almost three million Africans in Sudan, or the occupation and oppression of nearly 40 million Kurds, 24 million Berbers, 12 million Coptic Christians and the numerous other indigenous peoples who suffer under the Muslim yoke, far from your moral arena.

Your government, which maintains soldiers in Afghanistan to kill terrorists who haven't yet even targeted Norway, can teach the Jews of Israel - who suffer daily attacks from like-minded jihadis on their home soil - nothing. You demand that Israel use diplomacy, while you send soldiers and fighter planes to Afghanistan.

Norway is the only country in the world that supports both the PLO and Hamas terrorist organizations, gives aid to these anti-Jewish terrorists and, at the same time, reaps enormous economic benefits by securing lucrative investments for Norwegian corporations in Iran and other Muslim countries.

We feel it is worth reminding you that both you and the Norwegian government have Jewish blood on your hands. Almost 2,000 Jews have fallen victim to the wave of violence that was unleashed by the Oslo Accords. Norway also has Muslim blood on its hands due to the government's and Stortinget's (parliament) support of the PLO - the terrorist organization that has murdered thousands of Muslim opponents in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, ruined the economy of the local Arabs, oppresses them and enriches itself by stealing from its people and government coffers.

Foreign Minister Støre, you cannot lay the blame for all this on the Jews, just as Norwegians cannot blame the Jews for the Black Plague or the death of Jesus. You must also cease repeating the mantra that "the ruined economy of the Palestinians is Israel's fault." You know very well that the Arabs of Gaza enjoyed a higher standard of living than in most other Arab countries, until the Oslo Peace Process gave Arafat and his followers the opportunity to take control and rob the grassroots of their taxes and foreign aid.

We also haven't forgotten Norway's role in yesterday's European Holocaust, all the while hearing you spread yesterday's prejudices today. Should Norway's economic partners in the Middle East manage to implement the genocide they openly proclaim, the history books will mention your name and your country as having bloodied your hands - as accomplices to a new Holocaust. You will not be able to claim, "We didn't know."

We will not allow the leaders of Norwegian society to spread more Jew-hatred than they already have. Your repeated statements prove that this animosity towards Jews does not come from the grassroots, but drips down from above. This is governmental anti-Semitism, which we demand must cease immediately, before we experience a new, and Norwegian-assisted, Holocaust.


Hamas – and its Syrian and Iranian sponsors - capture priceless Palestinian Authority intelligence archives in Gaza putsch

The Fatah-led general intelligence and security services caved in too fast to shred, wipe or burn documents, computer disks and archives. The entire collection fell into Hamas' hands when they seized Palestinian Preventive Intelligence HQ at Tel Awa (henceforth Tel al-Islam) and the Palestinian General Intelligence center near Gaza port.

DEBKAfile's intelligence sources say: Never before has a bonanza of Western intelligence secrets on this scale ever reached an implacably hostile Islamist terrorist gang. The US, British and Israeli intelligence services may have suffered their greatest debacle in the war on Islamist terror. It will take them many years to recover.

Hamas has taken possession of hundreds of thousands of documents cataloguing the clandestine operations of Western intelligence services in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates. It is now the owner of complete archives of Palestinian undercover links with foreign intelligence services going back decades, with names of spies, political collaborators and double agents. The documentation covers the secret ties Palestinian intelligence maintained from the 1970s, when Yasser Arafat was based in Lebanon, with the Americans, the British, the French, the Israelis and many others.

Most intelligence experts say Israel should have bombed the two buildings and destroyed their contents rather than letting them fall into the hands of an organization and country dedicated to its eclipse.

For Hamas, this booty is priceless – and not only as the repository of bombs for planting under Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts. The Palestinian group's Syrian and Iranian sponsors will pay a king's ransom for this unique collection of explosive secrets hidden by many a Western intelligence agency and government. Damascus and Tehran will be hugely empowered with the means to stay a jump ahead of American moves in the region and tools to sabotage US policies at any time. They will have a store of national secrets and compromising information to hold over the heads of Western leaders and officials, lists of undercover agents, and records of covert operations carried out by the Israeli Mossad, Shin Bet and Military Intelligence, CIA, British MI6 and other Western agencies. Iran, Syria and Hamas will know the names of politicians, including Israelis, who worked secretly with Palestinians and their shady deals.

One intelligence expert said that the Gaza hoard left in enemy hands by Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan are the crown jewels compared with the Saddam Hussein's intelligence archives.

In the Palestinian security service building, Hamas found computer hard disks covering years of undercover activity and a complete set of sophisticated wiretapping and surveillance equipment and sensors which the CIA and MI6 gave Mahmoud Abbas and his forces. It was all in perfect condition ready to switch on.

After the Nazi regime was defeated at the end of World War II and Eastern Germany fell in the 1990s, there were officials willing to make a desperate effort to destroy or hide their intelligence treasure. Palestinian intelligence officers did not burn a single page.

The US to fund the Palestinian Authority's 'Hate' Curriculum

Tuesday, President Bush, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, announced that the U.S. government will renew funding for "humanitarian needs" of the Palestinian Authority, on the assumption, as Bush emphasized, that this aid will bolster the "moderate" elements of the Palestinian Authority.

One of those "humanitarian" needs involved funding the schools of the Palestinian Authority.
The question remains, however, whether the U.S. government should consider schools of the Palestinian Authority as among those "moderate" elements that it should once again fund.
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Weekly Special: Terrorism rooted in a culture of Hate

Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former dean of the shari´a and law faculty at Qatar University, an exponent of liberal Islam claims that it is impossible to live in denial. Current Muslim teaching is the progenitor of terrorism.
MEMRI (6/19/2007)
Republished in Omedia by courtesy of MEMRI
Baseless Excuses for Terrorism
In an article titled "How the Arabs Explain the Terror Phenomenon" in the Qatari daily Al-Raya, Al-Ansari criticized the ways in which the Arab world denies and ignores the phenomenon of terrorism, and refuted the political and socio-economic arguments justifying it:
"...I don't understand the personality split in some people; they depict the terrorist in Iraq as a martyr and a resistance fighter…How can we term someone a martyr when he blows up schools and hospitals, does not respect the sanctity of religious sites, and, worse, blows himself up in restaurants and bus stations full of workers?!...
"Why has the terrorist violence increased? And why has it reached a level of such madness and barbarism? Why aren't we managing to deal with it and handle it? Why is there a rise in terror operations targeting innocents?!
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Is Russia Selling MiGs to Syria?

According to AFP , they are;

JERUSALEM (AFP)-Israel is concerned about reported Russian deliveries of advanced MiG-31 fighter planes to its enemy Syria as part of an armaments drive, the top-selling Hebrew daily reported on Tuesday.

The MiG-31, considered one of the best fighters in the world, can carry guided missiles with a range of more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) and is capable of striking 24 different targets simultaneously, Yediot Aharonot said.

Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Tales of Hamas Brutality

The fortunate among the Palestinians who suffered at the hand of Hamas survived. The real lucky ones made it to Israeli hospitals. They are able to tell the tale of a hell on earth. This from Fadi Eyadat and Mijal Grinberg for Haaretz ;

Fatan al-Hinawi, 9, was hospitalized in the children's ward of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv after being wounded in Gaza. A bullet punctured her side, hit her spine, bowels, a kidney and came out the other side, hitting her arm.

Al-Hinawi is one of five Palestinians, three of them children, who were caught in Hamas-Fatah cross fire and taken to Ichilov. Some are in serious condition.

Shadi, a 23-year-old policemen, is one of them. He was attacked by Hamas gunmen a week ago. "There were five of them. They stood over me and shot my legs from the knee down. One of them put his Kalashnikov to my head. Instinctively I moved the barrel aside and the bullet hit my hand," Shadi told Haaretz yesterday. He arrived at Ichilov with one leg amputated and the other leg crushed.
Unfortunately, we will never hear testimony from the dozens who were brutally executed.

Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Reductio Ad Occupationum - Blame Israel for Everything

As the fighting goes on in Gaza the world watches and frets wishing those nice boys in their ski masks would stop shooting at each other and get back to their usual time honored hobby of killing Jews.

The bout of savage barbarism that exploded in Gaza and is threatening to spill over into the West Bank challenges the world's deeply held assertion that every terrorist atrocity against Israel was caused by Israel's oppression of the Palestinian Arabs. The sight of Fatah and Hamas terrorists shooting, beheading and throwing each other off tall buildings leads any intelligent person to the inevitable conclusion that Fatah and Hamas haven't been killing Israelis because they had no choice but because they are ruthless murderers greedy for power and who have no regard for human life.
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hersh heard it from Fisk, who heard it from Crooke, who heard it from ....

Emmanuel Sivan, a professor at the Hebrew University, discusses the provenance of a New Yorker article alleging that Bush administration policies toward Sunnis and Shi'ites were resulting in aid to groups linked to al Qaeda. The writer of the New Yorker article was investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winner.

Hersh said he heard the story from Robert Fisk, the bureau chief of The Independent's Beirut office. But Hersh did not check out the story himself. For his part, Fisk said he heard the unconfirmed report from Alastair Crooke, a former British intelligence agent and the founding director and Middle East representative of the Conflicts Forum, a non-profit organization that aims to build a new relationship between the West and the Muslim world. Crooke, who gained his reputation through his involvement in the conflict in northern Ireland, does not know Arabic. When Lebanese journalists spoke to Crooke about the report, they said he told them only that he had heard it "from all kinds of people."

"Thus are reports about the Middle East generated, I thought to myself" the professor wrote. The rest of Sivan's commentary is at the Haaretz site.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sharing the simple truth with all who care to know the historic truth

To share the simple truth with all who care to know the truth and not a deviation from the eminent truth by the enemies of Israel.
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Salam Fayyad's new Palestinian emergency government and the beginning of its struggle against Ismail Haniya's Hamas government

On June 17 the Palestinian emergency government was sworn in at the president's office in Ramallah. 2The government is composed of 12 ministers, most of them technocrats who identify with Fatah's national outlook. The government's composition clearly indicates that it was formed to demonstrate the unification of a diversity of political and social forces as an alternative to Hamas . The first challenges of the government, whose ministers are barely known to the Palestinian public, will be to establish its status as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and to enforce its authority in Judea and Samaria .

Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Report: Al-Qaeda trained suicide bombers on their way to USA and Europe

Something to look forward to...


June 19, 2007 -- Teams of al Qaeda-trained suicide bombers were dispatched to the United States and Europe from an Afghan camp 10 days ago, ABC News reported last night.
About 300 would-be bombers - including boys as young as 12 - were ordered to carry out attacks in Britain, Canada, Germany and the United States, the report said.

A Pakistani journalist invited to attend the camp took pictures of a Taliban commander congratulating graduates on June 9, ABC News said.
"These Americans, Canadians, British and Germans come here to Afghanistan from faraway places. Why shouldn't we go after them?" the commander, Mansoor Dadullah - whose brother was killed by U.S. forces last month - can be heard saying on tape.
U.S. intelligence officials dismissed the graduation ceremony as "aggressive and sophisticated propaganda." But Richard Clarke, a former counterterror expert in the Clinton and Bush White Houses, said the threat should be taken seriously.
"It doesn't take too many who are willing . . . and able to slip through . . . to the United States or England [to] cause a lot of damage," he said.
More than 100 people have been killed in three days of clashes between NATO and the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said.

Israel: A gem of prognostication from Stratfor

From Stratfor's George Friendman, we have this gem of geo-strategic prognostication:
Let's consider the strategic position of the Palestinians. Their primary weapon against Israel remains what it always has been: random attacks against civilian targets designed to destabilize Israel. The problem with this strategy is obvious. Using terrorism against Americans in Iraq is potentially effective as a strategy. If the Americans cannot stand the level of casualties being imposed, they have the option of leaving Iraq. Although leaving might pose serious problems to U.S. regional and global interests, it would not affect the continued existence of the United States. Therefore, the insurgents potentially could find a threshold that would force the United States to fold.

The Israelis cannot leave Israel. Assume for the moment that the Palestinians could impose 1,000 civilian casualties a year. There are about 5 million Jews in Israel. That would be about 0.02 percent casualties. The Israelis are not going to leave Israel at that casualty rate, or at a rate a thousand times greater. Unlike the Americans, for whom Iraq is a subsidiary interest, Israel is Israel's central interest. Israel is not going to capitulate to the Palestinians over terrorism attacks.
A rate 1000 times greater than 1000 casualties a year, is a million casualties a year. That would wipe out the entire population of Israel, Jewish and Arab, in seven years. Long before that time, Israelis would assuredly start leaving, if we could not do something about the terror.
Ami Isseroff
Cross posted: Israel News Middle East Analysis   

Blind giant in Iraq: US incompetence in Middle East diplomacy and Intelligence

An article in the Washington Post discusses the complaints of the new US ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, who complains that the Baghdad embassy staff is inadequate.

Ryan C. Crocker, the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, bluntly told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a cable dated May 31 that the embassy in Baghdad -- the largest and most expensive U.S. embassy -- lacks enough well-qualified staff members and that its security rules are too restrictive for Foreign Service officers to do their jobs.

"Simply put, we cannot do the nation's most important work if we do not have the Department's best people," Crocker said in the memo.

The fact is, the US has suffered from lack of competent Middle East personnel in diplomacy and intelligence for a very long time. Without intelligence personnel and diplomatic staff who speak the language, the US in Iraq is like a blind giant. It is not surprising that the US has suffered unpleasant surprise after unpleasant surprise in this part of the world: The Six Day War was a surprise. Iran 1979 was a surprise. Nobody knew the Shah was going to fall, and when he did fall, nobody did anything about it. Afghanistan was a surprise, Saddam's invasion of Kuwait was a surprise. The problems in Iraq were a surprise. Every terror attack in Iraq is a surprise. Hamas's election win was a surprise, and the implosion of the Palestinian Authority was another surprise.  At least, the fall of Lebanon to the Hezbollah, will hardly be a surprise.
Should these folks be giving "advice" to Israel?
Ami Isseroff