By Ted Belman
Today (Apr 21/09) I had a private conversation with Douglas Feith and Frank Gaffney Jr. It came about due to a conference call that was arranged by the Center for Security Policy of which the latter is the President.
The subject of the call was Feith’s recent book War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism. Feith as you may recall was the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on 911. As such he was in the thick of things.
Of all the players in the planning of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism, few were more integral—or more controversial—than Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense and chief strategist on Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon policy team. Feith’s new book, WAR AND DECISION: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism (HarperCollins Publishers, April 8, 2008), offers the most thorough, rigorous, and searching exploration yet of the administration’s actions—drawing extensively on conversations and previously unseen memos among Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Bremer, Franks, Cheney, President Bush and others, and Feith’s own detailed meeting notes.
I am looking forward to reading it.
That aside, there were technical difficulties that left me as virtually the only person on the call.
Feith explained that the first thing that the administration had to decide after 911 was what to do about it. It could seek revenge against al Qaeda who they believed perpetrated it or it could seek to act to prevent future attacks. It chose the latter.
By Rowan Scarborough, Washington Times
“Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda represent a perverted strain of Islam at odds with the great many peaceful Muslims who practice their great faith peacefully,” Mr. Schmidt said. “But the reality is, the hateful ideology which underpins bin Ladenism is properly described as radical Islamic extremism. Senator McCain refers to it that way because that is what it is.”
A coalition of American Muslim groups is demanding that Sen. John McCain stop using the adjective “Islamic” to describe terrorists and extremist enemies of the United States.
Muneer Fareed, who heads the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), told The Washington Times that his group is beginning a campaign to persuade Mr. McCain to rephrase his descriptions of the enemy.
‘Hamas won’t recognize’ Israel but accept 1967 borders’ read the headlines in JPOST
Hamas will not recognize Israel but will accept a Palestinian state on Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, the Islamic terror group’s exiled leader said Monday.
This article went on to say
The statement by Khaled Mashaal in Damascus amounted to a tacit acceptance of Israel’s right to exist alongside a Palestinian state, but without explicit recognition of the Jewish state.
When will we learn. This is a great error of interpolation.
The proper way to understand it is that they have set the conditions upon which they would accept a Palestinian state reserving their right to later go after the rest of Israel.
Mashaal put it this way
“We have offered a truce if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, a truce of 10 years as a proof of recognition,”
He can only mean as proof of recognition of Palestine.
Israeli conservatives act like ostriches: Olmert soothes their conscience by promising to relegate the Jerusalem issue to the last stage in peace talks with Palestinians. It’s not even important that Olmert lies and, as Palestinians never fail to announce, negotiate Jerusalem now.
Leaving the core issues for the last stage in negotiations is fundamentally wrong. Would you discuss a delivery time for the furniture set if you don’t agree with the seller on price? In our situation, the seller doesn’t even want to sell.
Leaving the core issues for the later assures that Israel would give way on them, as the entire pressure now dispersed over several subjects will be concentrated on the issue of Jerusalem. The story would go thus: “Okay, we have agreed with Palestinians on just everything else, the peace is so close.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, JPOST
The number of Palestinians who support attacks against Israelis continues to rise and more than half of them favor suicide bombings, according to a poll published this weekend.
The survey also showed that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is still more popular than Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The percentage of Palestinians who support “resistance operations” against Israeli targets rose from 43.1 percent in September 2006 to 49.5% at present. Support for this option was highest in the Gaza Strip, at 58.1%, with 24.5% in the West Bank agreeing.
The PAIR Initiative (PLAN FOR ARAB-ISRAELI RECONCILIATION) is one that all supporters of Israel, justice or peace, should study.
It is written by Rachel Neuwirth and Bertram Cohen, two people with whom I have a working relationship.
The P.A.I.R. Initiative is divided into five parts. Each part contains multiple topics arranged in modular form. Where details are too extensive to be contained within the main body of the text, readers are then referred to a corresponding entry in the Appendixes.
Part I of the plan presents a brief summary of the actual historical background of the conflict between Jews, Arabs and Muslims over the country called the Land of Israel by Jews and Palestine by others. Although well documented, this history has been obscured and even suppressed by decades of distorted, misleading and even completely false propaganda. We present this brief historical summary as the first section of our initiative because we believe that peace is not possible without a knowledge of, and acknowledgment of, the truth.
By Ted Belman
The Vietnam War resulted in the Vietnam Syndrome, which entailed the combination of a public opinion apparently biased against war, a less interventionist US foreign policy, and a relative absence of American wars and military interventions. Much has been written about the impact of this syndrome on US policy.
911 brought about a reversal of this syndrome but because our response to it has been problematic, the syndrome has been invigorated as evidenced by the policies of the Democratic Party.
Another event in US history also produced a syndrome but was never seen as such. The McCarthy era seared the American conscience with far reaching and still continuing effect. It ushered in an era of extreme liberalism and tolerance. Both events immensely strengthened the Left. The US has yet to reach an equilibrium.
A new book has just been published under the title Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies and written by M. Stanton Evans. Here’s how Amazon describes it.
One of the most frustrating things to watch is the powerful anti-Israeli and sometimes outright anti-Semitic current that is prevalent in too much of Europe’s media. Bat Ye’or’s predictions about Arab anti-Semitism spreading in Europe as the continent’s Islamization and descent into Eurabia continues have so far proved depressingly accurate. This trend needs to be fought, vigorously, by all serious European anti-Jihadists. Not only because it is immoral and unfair to Israelis, which it is, but also because those who assist it are depriving Europeans of the opportunity to fully grasp the threat and understand the nature of the Jihad that is now targeting much of Europe as well.
FROM THE EDITORS OF MACLEANS
On Oct. 23, 2006, Maclean’s ran a cover story by Mark Steyn, entitled “Why the Future Belongs to Islam.” The piece, excerpted from Steyn’s acclaimed book, America Alone, argued that Western legal and political traditions are being eroded by radical elements in the Islamic community who want our societies to more closely reflect Muslim religious values.
We published that story because we felt it was a compelling perspective on significant world events, from one of Canada’s most interesting and celebrated journalists. Besides Maclean’s, Steyn’s work has appeared regularly in the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Telegraph, and The Atlantic monthly, to name just a few. His book was an international best-seller, and its author remains a highly sought public speaker all over the world.
by Alan M. Dershowitz
Jimmy Carter is making more money selling integrity than peanuts. I have known Jimmy Carter for more than 30 years. I first met him in the spring of 1976 when, as a relatively unknown candidate for president, he sent me a handwritten letter asking for my help in his campaign on issues of crime and justice.
I had just published an article in The New York Times Magazine on sentencing reform, and he expressed interest in my ideas and asked me to come up with additional ones for his campaign.
Shortly thereafter, my former student Stuart Eisenstadt, brought Carter to Harvard to meet with some faculty members, me among them. I immediately liked Jimmy Carter and saw him as a man of integrity and principle. I signed on to his campaign and worked very hard for his election.
Hug for a Betrayed Brother
By Moshe Feiglin, Israel Insider
Moshe Feiglin visited Jonathan Pollard in prison on Tuesday, April 2, 2008. The following is his report (originally published in Makor Rishon on April 8, 2008) on the visit as translated to English by Justice For Jonathan Pollard (J4JP):
He almost never talks about himself. Throughout our conversation, he speaks about Israel, about the Jewish People, about me. But not about himself.
We hug. “You’re banned from England, eh?” he chuckles, before we even have a chance to sit down. These were the first words out of his mouth when we met last Tuesday. It never ceases to amaze me how this man, betrayed by us and buried alive in prison 24 years ago, is always so up to date on everything. How clear he is and sharp as a razor.
FrontPageMag has just posted a new Symposium: A New Koran?
Jamie Glazov poses this question
The organization Muslims Against Sharia is creating a new Koran with the violent verses removed. How legitimate and wise is this action? There is an effort in Turkey, for instance, to also revise Islamic texts. What real hope can these acts offer to bring Islam into the modern and democratic world?
The participants are brutal with each other and opinions are all over the place. But the Symposium serves to educate us about Isalm and the difficulties, if not impossibilities, of reforming it.
By Justin Ewers, US NEWS
[..] Benedict, after all, since taking over from his predecessor, John Paul II, has stumbled spectacularly several times over his own pointed, occasionally inflammatory, references to other faiths. In 2006, while giving a speech at the University of Regensburg in Germany, Benedict offended many Muslims when he quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor’s harsh description of the prophet Muhammad: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new,” Benedict quoted the emperor saying, “and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” The pope’s comments were met with outrage in parts of the world: Pakistan’s parliament voted to condemn him, and Lebanon’s top Shiite cleric demanded an apology. After saying he was “deeply sorry,” the pontiff seemed to stumble again less than a week later, this time over the church’s relationship with Judaism, when he quoted St. Paul in another speech describing the crucifixion as a “scandal for the Jews.”
By Ted Belman
Now that Jimmy Carter is doing what he does best, consorting with the enemy, Phyllis Chesler republished her 2006 indictment of appeasement, The Price of Appeasement
I wouldn’t change a word of it.
By Ted Belman
Phyllis Chesler writes about The Islamification of America and argues that “our concept of “religious tolerance,” academic freedom, and free speech are now being used to promote and protect hate speech against America and Israel and against the Judeo-Christian tradition.”
While giving numerous examples she asks some questions,
- Are we obligated to extend First Amendment rights to our enemies when we are at war? Even if doing so endangers us?
By Ted Belman
When the US invaded Iraq she was looking for total victory which in practice means the total transformation of the country. She has yet to succeed. Must it be so?
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror (ICA/JCPA) prepared a study Winning Counterinsurgency War: The Israeli Experience and summarized,
Contrary to popular belief, conventional armies can indeed defeat terrorist insurgencies. This study will detail the six basic conditions which, if met, enable an army to fight and win the war against terrorism, among which are control of the ground where the insurgency is being waged, acquiring relevant intelligence for operations against the terrorists themselves, and isolating the insurgency from cross-border reinforcement with manpower or material. It will also examine the factors that can help drive a wedge between the local population and the insurgent forces seeking its support. The principles of war will also be analyzed in terms of their applicability to asymmetric warfare to show how they still serve as a vital guide for armies in vanquishing terror. Finally, the study warns that if the U.S., Israel, or their Western allies incorrectly conclude that they have no real military option against terrorist insurgencies – out of a fear that these conflicts inevitably result in an unwinnable quagmire – then the war on terrorism will be lost even before it is fully waged.
The Earth Times
Rabat – A Moroccan court Thursday banned an Amazigh party on the grounds that the law did not allow parties based on religion, language or ethnicity, judicial sources said Thursday. The court in Rabat confirmed the earlier decision of the Interior Ministry, which had refused to recognize the Democratic Amazigh Moroccan Party (PDAM), which had been established in July.
None of the other parties showed solidarity towards the PDAM, largely because the party had championed the full normalization of Morocco’s relations with Israel.
Four reasons why final-status agreement with Palestinians is unfeasible
The prime minister continues to meet with Mahmoud Abbas often, high- ranking American guests visit here constantly in order to advance an agreement with the Palestinians, and Foreign Minister Livni explains that the only obstacle to a final-status agreement is the existence of the radicals opposed to it.
Seemingly everything is clear about the deal being discussed – two stations between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, with the border being more or less the 1967 lines. Anyone who goes into detail will reach more or less what President Clinton proposed seven and a half years ago.
By Edward Bernard Glick, Washington Times | 3/17/2008
As Israel’s enemies see the Palestine problem, the Jewish state, with the weakest and most unpopular prime minister in its history and an army that failed in the second Lebanon war, is in political, military and public-relations free fall. Its military neither intimidates nor defeats its enemies. In spite of repeated assassinations, barrages and incursions, the terrorists continue to lob rockets and missiles into Israel at will. The principal reason, in their view and in mine, is Israel’s paralytic fear of negative world opinion and of inflicting enemy civilian casualties. As Fouad Ajami of The Johns Hopkins University has observed, the terrorist “always works with the winks and nods of the society that gives him cover.”
By DAVID BROOKS, NYT
Back in Iowa, Barack Obama promised to be something new – an unconventional leader who would confront unpleasant truths, embrace novel policies and unify the country. If he had knocked Hillary Clinton out in New Hampshire and entered general-election mode early, this enormously thoughtful man would have become that.
But he did not knock her out, and the aura around Obama has changed. Furiously courting Democratic primary voters and apparently exhausted, Obama has emerged as a more conventional politician and a more orthodox liberal.
[THIS FROM THE NYT NO LESS]
He sprinkled his debate performance Wednesday night with the sorts of fibs, evasions and hypocrisies that are the stuff of conventional politics. He claimed falsely that his handwriting wasn’t on a questionnaire about gun control. He claimed that he had never attacked Clinton for her exaggerations about the Tuzla airport, though his campaign was all over it. Obama piously condemned the practice of lifting other candidates’ words out of context, but he has been doing exactly the same thing to John McCain, especially over his 100 years in Iraq comment.