Thank you viewers around the world for your support in helping us grow 80% over the previous year!
DemoCast presents this special, TV documentary, "Israel - Birth of a Nation," produced for The History Channel, hosted by Sir Winston Churchill's biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert. Please enjoy the video (10 segments of approx 9 minutes) to begin the New Year with a refreshed understanding of Israel's founding and legitimacy.
...The World Bank annual reports are entitled "Intifada, Closures and Palestinian Economic Crisis." They make the very simple point that the intifada--an armed Palestinian war on Israel--leads to closures and thus the combination brings on a crisis. The reports are quite careful in pointing out all the factors that led to the Palestinian economic decline. They do not say the losses were strictly due to Israeli curbs on movement. On the contrary, the 2003 report for example, written at the height of the violence, says the closures and movement restrictions are pretty insignificant. (see it here).
This specific example of dishonesty matters because the approach we see here--predetermining the story, ignoring most of the factors involved, blaming Israel--sets a pattern for a whole raft-full of stories:
- Why is there no peace? Israel doesn't give enough concessions. Often there is no mention of Palestinian hardline positions, behavior in not keeping commitment, terrorism as a key element in the failure to achieve peace. Most important of all, there is endless talk about what Israel can or should give for peace but far less about what the Palestinians must give: end of conflict, full recognition of Israel, return of refugees to a Palestinian state, a real end to incitement and terrorism.
- Why is there suffering in Gaza? Israel's restrictions. Far less mention of Hamas hard line, openly genocidal stance, constant aid to terrorist attacks and rocket firing, refusal to meet even minimal international requirements.
- Why are Palestinians, to quote the Reuters story, "Deprived of dignity"? No mention of a corrupt government and gangs of gunmen who couldn't care less about their well-being, and a strategy that starts unwinnable wars. It's all Israel's fault.
Thank you for your generous support.
Debka publishes,"This incident led also to the first real falling-out between President George W. Bush and his secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. He blamed her for seeking to bolster the Annapolis declaration by Security Council endorsement, thereby exposing the hyped-up event to the world as a charade and his own declaration as too flimsy to stand up."
The Bush administration has so far made the running by giving Iran a clean
bill of health from US intelligence and this week’s approval of a shipment of
nuclear fuel from Russia for Iran’s atomic reactor in Bushehr. Both the US and
Russian presidents declared that following this delivery, Iran had no further
need to develop its own uranium enrichment capabilities.
Losing patience with the lack of reciprocity from Tehran, Secretary Rice and Ambassador Schulte outlined the script which Washington expects Iran to follow. While Rice emphasized the potential rewards – and appealed for suspension rather than halting enrichment - Schulte stressed Iran must acknowledge that it had a
nuclear program up until 2003. “ And we’re looking for them to cooperate fully
with the agency in understanding their current activities.”
This was a warning that if Iran was shown to have resumed its weapons program after 2003,Washington would revise its intelligence estimate, bringing tough sanctions back into the foreground of the crisis.
At the same time, the Iranians may well interpret these statements as reflecting Washington’s despair of achieving much from its efforts for an accommodation before the Bush administration’s tenure runs out. This assessment would tend to toughen their bargaining position.
Israel needs the barrier of electric fencing, barbed wire and concrete walls built across Judea and Samaria to stop Palestinian attackers from infiltrating the country and attacking Jewish people and communities.
Since TV viewers won't get to enjoy singer Darlene Love making a new, annual performance on The Late Show with David Letterman this year (due to writers' union strike), we present you Darlene showing you a fantasy of lonely Zionists around Christmas-time. Robert Smigel's Bix Pix-produced claymation from his Saturday Night Live, TV Funhouse slot. Enjoy the video:
"Christmas-Time for the Jews"
It is the holiday season and we all have received this most welcome present: the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate about Iran’s nuclear problem. Since 2003 the mullahs running Iran have, on their own and through their own goodwill, have ceased all activities aimed at acquiring the bomb, so says the report. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about folks, nothing to spoil the holiday season, and there is good reason to be upbeat about a safe and secure world. Superficial reading of the CIA’s presentation of the findings is the comfort pill that successfully sugar-coats swallowing even the most unpalatable news.
A word of advice for President Bush: now you can also relax and give the celebratory mood a boost by ordering the armed forces to stand down. We have enough trouble in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots of the world. This huge worry about the mullahs’ bomb is a distraction and doesn’t rate anything. Why listen to the warmonger alarmist Dick Cheney and his Neo-cons and keep us all in a jittery mood about the men-of-Allah mullahs? Mr. President, in addition to the comforting NIE report (which was incidentally ordered by your adoring fans, Congress Democrats), you probably want to hear the dissenters and the skeptics before impulsively singing the praise of the mullahs, as Jimmy Carter did, or hastily launching a re-enactment of “ Shock and Awe,” this time on Iran.
Read complete article.
Also, The San Antonio Express-News' Todd Bensman reveals why Nicaraguan citizens' concerns about the ominous Iranian beach-head being developed there also concerns American officials.
... Some of the men were from the Islamic Republic of Iran and had come promising to establish a Central American foothold in the middle of their territory.
As part of a new partnership with Nicaragua's Sandinista President Daniel Ortega, Iran and its Venezuelan allies plan to help finance a $350 million deep-water port at Monkey Point on the wild Caribbean shore, and then plow a connecting "dry canal" corridor of pipelines, rails and highways across the country to the populous Pacific Ocean. Iran recently established an embassy in Nicaragua's capital.
In feeling threatened by Iran's ambitions, the people of Monkey Point have powerful company. The Iranians' arrival in Nicaragua comes as the Bush administration and some European allies hold the threat of war over Iran to force an end to its uranium enrichment program and alleged help to anti-U.S. insurgents in Iraq.
What worries state department officials, former national security officials and counterterrorism researchers is that, if attacked, Iran could stage strikes on American or allied interests from Nicaragua, deploying the Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard operatives already in Latin America. Bellicose threats by Iran's clerical leadership to hit American interests worldwide if attacked, by design or not, heighten the anxiety.
"The bottom line is if there is a confrontation with Iran, and Iran gets bombed, I have absolutely no doubt that Iran is going to lash out globally," said John R. Schindler, a veteran former counterintelligence officer and analyst for the National Security Agency.
"The Iranians have that ability, particularly from South America. Hezbollah has fronts all over Latin America. That is not new. But it's certainly something we're starting to care about now."
American policymakers already had been fretting in recent years over Tehran's successful forging of diplomatic relations, direct air routes and embassy swaps with
populist South American governments that abhor the U.S., such as President Hugo
Chávez's Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. But Iran's latest move places it just a
few porous borders from Texas, where illegal Nicaraguan laborers routinely travel.
Finally, the year wouldn't be complete without a JibJab 2007 Year in Review. And what 2007 Year in Review would be complete without Britney Spears, Alberto Gonzalez, Michael Vick and the almighty iPhone? This funny animation has them all, and so much more!
These awards apply mostly to biased coverage excusing Islamist imperialism, which media-outlets or their producers/reporters typically rationalize, often by attempting to criminalize the Jewish state of Israel. Here are a couple of well-placed honors, though the entire list is worth reviewing:
Worst Film Editor: Charles Enderlin
In his legal battle over the Mohammed al-Dura video, French media analyst Philippe Karsenty forced France 2 TV to publicly screen for the first time cameraman Talal Abu Rahma's raw, unedited footage.
When the judge asked correspondent Charles Enderlin why only 18 minutes of footage were submitted – instead of an expected 27 minutes – the veteran reporter told the court that when he transferred the images to DVD for the court, he had to manipulate some footage that wasn't relevant for that day. Although a final ruling isn't due till the end of February, the development and the footage discredited the myths of Mohammed al-Dura.
Dishonest Reporter of the Year
This year's Dishonest Reporter voting marks a change for HonestReporting readers. Previous awards went to large, impersonal news services, but not so this year. One journalist made herself such a lightning rod in 2007 she easily defeated BBC and Reuters – the traditional disfavorites.
The results didn't surprise us, but the depth of anger and lingering resentment indicate that readers weren't just outraged by our winner's work; on some level, they were personally offended in a way far exceeding the rest of the MSM’s Mideast coverage this year.
Which is why the 2007 Dishonest Reporting Award goes to Christiane Amanpour, for her in-depth, but tragically flawed CNN special series, God's Warriors.
The series sought to examine Jewish, Muslim and Christian extremism. It's not our intention to address God's Warriors yet again. However, reader criticism can be boiled down to four primary charges. In a nutshell, Amanpour's series:
- Equated years-old isolated cases of Jewish extremism with Islamic terror that has killed thousands of people in New York, London, Madrid, Bali, Amman, etc.
- Spuriously claimed that fringe elements of world Jewry succeeded in hijacking Israeli and American government policy.
- Addressed radical Islam with kid gloves.
- Belittled religious belief in general.
Religious extremism is a valid news story and an accurate, honest comparson of the three major monotheistic faiths would undoubtedly have a positive impact on public debate.
Unfortunately, the sense our readers and we have is that Amanpour didn't spend a year researching religious extremism, but rather reinforcing her own world views.
Western powers top Arabs in bankrolling Jihad-front to destroy Israel for Global Caliphate; Jeopardizes free-world, benefits oil & arms-biz's, cronies
'U.S. to Shoulder One-Third of Cost'- Secy of State Condi Rice
InfoliveTV reports: "Ninety delegations from the world's powers attended a one day conference in Paris to agree on an aid package worth billions of dollars to stabilize the Palestinian economy. At the start of the conference, French President Nikolas Sarkozy urged fast international support towards creating a Palestinian state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to impose a total freeze on settlements. As the money poured in, Hamas officials in Gaza, while denouncing the meeting, admitted they will apply the funds to pay 77,000 workers in Gaza."
The amount the Palestinians needed for 2008 was "around $1.6 to $1.7 billion," said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, adding the US will shoulder one third of the financial burden, Ynet published.
"This is an historically large figure. I think this is the largest assistance package that we have ever done for the Palestinians," a senior US official said. According to YNet here's what some governments are reported to be donating:
$630 million- The European Union
$555 million- United States of America
$500 million- Saudi Arabia
$300 million- Britain, France, and Germany, each
$300 million- Kuwait and United Arab Emirates, each
$150 million- Japan
$140 million- Norway
$60 million- Spain
$10 million- Russia
Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni headed the Israeli delegation to the Conference of Donors. Israel was not named an official member of the conference, but it presence, Ynet was told, helps legitimize the process.
Some 3.4 billion dollars of Monday's pledges was to go to the Palestinians in 2008, the first year of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's three-year recovery plan, diplomats said.
Fayyad promised that the donated funds would be transferred to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. "The money is meant for all Palestinians and will be budgeted according to the Palestinian government under the leadership of elected the elected president, President Abbas," Fayyad emphasized.
He also said that that the Palestinian government would monitor the manner in which the money was used.
Fayyad noted that, since the Oslo accords, the PA had received around $9 billion in aid, but said that there had been poor oversight on how the money was spent. He promised that the funds raised at the conference would be spent in a manner controlled and supervised by the international donors.
Analytical blog-publisher "Sultan Knish" disagrees. In "Palestinian Terrorist Billion Dollar Giveway Outrage!" he analyzes population, employment, and funding and deduces an increase in historic PA fraud.
Considering that the PA barely has any infrastructure, gets its power from Israel and has lost control and responsibility for the 1.5 million Arabs in Gaza leaving it with only half the population-- what exactly does Abbas need all that money for? ...
$150 million is just being given away as a blank check. Another 130 million is going into "job creation" and like all the billions advanced toward job creation is simply going to go toward Fatah's payments to the huge number of people it keeps on its payroll, including the militias attacking Israel and killing Israeli citizens. Another 40 million is being given away to the ministries directly to "improve their administration". 10 million will cover security for the American experts who will take a tour of the area because Abbas in reality controls nothing, including Fatah militias. ...
The PA "security forces" themselves range in the tens of thousands. The bulk of the PA's employees are really terrorists drawn from the Fatah and even the Hamas ranks. Local militias who enforce PA rule outside its base of power and Fatah loyalists in Gaza still being paid.
The money being sent to the PA really consists of salary checks for an army of murderous thugs responsible for the ongoing reign of terror against both Israelis and Arabs.
Weed out the rhetoric, and the lion's share of the money is going into the same old money pit, the PA Ministries, a nepotistic network of family organizations and militias that do absolutely nothing but employ a staggering number of people. ...
Where the money is really going is anyone's guess, but much of it does indeed go to salaries just not of civil service workers, but of the terrorist and thug militias that make up the real backbone of the PA. Much of that money goes into foreign bank accounts for leading PA figures and funds their lavish mansions and luxury automobiles.
The $5.6 billion covers the massive bribes and the graft that has enriched the PA leadership all throughout the years even as the PA's infrastructure has collapsed.
The one true employer in the West Bank is the Palestinian Authority itself funded by foreign aid, followed closely by international relief organizations such as the UNRWA which alone employs thousands of Palestinian employees and has virtually no actual outside UNRWA employees there anymore. Whatever remains of the Palestinian economy is parasitic on these.
Like the Palestinian state, the Palestinian economy is a corrupt and bloody fiction. Its real economy is underground, it is rooted in drugs and weapons smuggling and theft, particularly car theft from Israel.
While the international community pledges billions to keep on paying the terrorists to stay loyal to Abbas, that same community is insisting that Israel dismantle the checkpoints that keep those same terrorists from murdering Israelis.
Having rearmed Fatah's terrorists with assault rifles and ammunition, poured billions into their war chest, the world is now eagerly demanding that Israel lower the gates so they can put their new toys to use.
Analyst, Emmanuel A. Winston, lays out the motivations of the donors in economic and ethno-psycho-social benefits:
Strangely, although Islam and Christianity have been natural enemies through the centuries, they do cooperate in attempting to eliminate Israel and the Jews in it. On this they agree, although presently in Europe it has not reached the level (yet) where they can express their hatred too openly. The Arab Muslim immigrants take care of that as Germany and France tell their Jews not to look Jewish on the streets.
Europe also wishes to sell armaments to the Arabs. They also want the oil. Both of these motives drive their official government attitude toward Israel. However, underlying the urge for profit, there is always the taught, but now endemic, hatred of Jews and the Jewish State.
It’s no longer a question of hatred; it’s just a matter of degree. Right now, as Islam threatens their society, by extension, it increases Jew hatred. The European benefits are both money and satisfaction in their hatred of Jews. They would like to see Israel eliminated. After that it’s highly probable they would go to war with the Arab Muslims, hoping for U.S. participation. Expect some form of the Crusades or, as some refer to it, as a Clash of Civilizations.
One last thought: With the elimination of Israel, they could expunge their ever-present guilt for their active participation in the Genocidal murder of six million Jews. In other words: "Out of Sight - Out of Mind!"
Video: "American Foreign Policy in the Middle East" - John Podhoretz, Mona Charen, & Dennis Prager; Moderated by Michael Meved
Panelists: John Podhoretz, Dennis Prager and Mona Charen; moderated by Michael Medved
Held December 9, 2007 Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco, Calif.
Watch video here
BBC Newsnight told a small story over a big one
The Telegraph by Charles Moore
Over the summer, Policy Exchange produced the most comprehensive report so far on the extent to which extremist literature is available in British mosques and Islamic institutions. It is called The Hijacking of British Islam.
Muslim undercover researchers visited nearly 100 mosques. In 26 of them, they found extremist material - titles such as Women Who Deserve to Go to Hell (for answering their husbands back), virulent insults of Jews and homosexuals, puritanical attacks on moderate Muslims, calls for the complete rejection of Western society etc.
It was a big story, and as I shall make clear, none of Newsnight's claims this week has diminished its dimensions.
The report made the front page of many newspapers, including this one. It was extensively covered everywhere - everywhere except for the entire national output of the BBC.
This was because of Newsnight. Thinking that such a report was a serious public issue that could advance well under the "flagship's" full mast and sail, Policy Exchange had originally offered it to Newsnight exclusively.
Newsnight's people were enthusiastic, but on the late afternoon of the intended broadcast, they suddenly changed their tune.
Policy Exchange had offered them many of the receipts it had collected from mosques as evidence of purchase; now they said that they had shown the receipts to mosques and that there were doubts about the authenticity of one or two of them.
Instead, view BBC Newsnight's production which they broadcast - an exploration of the receipts, avoiding the significance of the mosque-hate propaganda evidence.
African-American jihadists plead guilty in terror plot against Jewish-Americans, LAX Airport Terminal, Santa Monica Hospital office
(Dec 14, 2007, Associated Press) Two of four men accused of plotting attacks on Southern California military sites and Jewish targets have agreed to plead guilty to terrorism conspiracy charges, prosecutors said.
Kevin James and Levar Haley Washington were set to enter the pleas Friday in federal court in Santa Ana, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement. Both were indicted in 2005 on federal charges including conspiring to wage war against the U.S. government through terrorism.
Authorities claimed that the plot was hatched in prison and that James, Washington and two others were a cell of radical Muslims planning attacks on military facilities, synagogues and other sites in the Los Angeles area.
Prosecutors assert that James even prepared a press release that the men planned to send out after an attack:
"This incident is the first in a series of incidents to come in a plight to defend and propagate traditional Islam in its purity," James allegedly wrote. "We are not extremists, radicals or terrorists. We are only servants of Allah."
Police uncovered the plot in July 2005 while investigating gas station robberies that authorities say were committed to finance the attacks.
Washington faces a sentence of five years to life in prison, and James could be sentenced to as much as 20 years, according to their plea agreements.
Also indicted in the case were Gregory Vernon Patterson and Hammad Riaz Samana. Samana is a Pakistani national, while the others are U.S.-born Muslim converts.
The plot was orchestrated by Washington, Patterson and Samana at the behest of James, a California State Prison, Sacramento, inmate who founded the radical group Jamiyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh, or JIS, authorities said.
Washington converted to Islam while imprisoned with James, then looked to recruit other members for the group, authorities said.
Washington, Patterson and Samana — who attended the same Inglewood mosque — allegedly conducted surveillance of military sites, synagogues, the Israeli Consulate and El Al airline facilities in the region as well as Internet research on Jewish holidays, prosecutors said in 2005.
James preached that JIS members should target for violent attack any enemies of Islam or "infidels," including the U.S. government and any supporters of Israel, according to court documents.
Prosecutors say he also created a document he called the "JIS Protocol," which advocated the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the U.S. that followed Shariah law, a strict form of Islam observed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
"Sit back, build and attack!" prosecutors say James wrote in his document. "Our obvious targets being the Western forces of the U.S. and their ... society."
James spelled out in a separate document that JIS members must learn Arabic, acquire two pistols with silencers, learn bomb-making and become "legitimate."
"Acquire identification, drivers license ... keep regular contact with your parole agent," prosecutors say James wrote. "Your dress code must not bring attention. ... We have work to do."
All four were charged with conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. government through terrorism and conspiracy to possess and discharge firearms in a violent crime. Washington, Patterson and Samana each face a count of conspiracy to kill members of the U.S. government uniformed services and a count of conspiracy to kill foreign officials. Washington and Patterson are charged with robbery and using a firearm in a violent crime.
The L.A. Times reports: FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said the case is a chilling example of law enforcement thwarting a terrorist plot at the eleventh hour. "These homegrown terrorists had raised the money, recruited the people, chosen the targets, obtained the weapons and set the date," Mueller said in a prepared statement. "All they had left to do was strike."
James faces 20 years in prison. Washington, who also pleaded guilty to using a gun during the plot faces 25 years. Patterson is expected to plead guilty on Monday.
The targets for the operation included National Guard facilities, synagogues and the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, with the intention of "killing everyone at the target" (The Sacramento Bee, 18 August 2005). A history of the case is also available on "MilNet Brief.
19 terrorist attacks stopped against US since 9/11 - by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. of the Heritage Foundation
The government's success in protecting the homeland argues that vigilant and proactive counterterrorism operations are an essential part of keeping America safe in the 21st century.
Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh was allegedly formed in the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, as an offshoot of the Nation of Islam, led by Louis Farrakhan, one of the largest Muslim religious sects in American prisons. This and more on Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh's activities is available from Inside Prison.
Background: "4 Are Indicted in Alleged Plot to Spread Terror" by Greg Krikorian and Solomon Moore, L.A. Times, September 1, 2005
A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted four men, including the leader of a radical Islamist prison gang, for allegedly plotting a string of terrorist attacks on U.S. military facilities and synagogues in southern California. The six-count indictment accuses Kevin Lamar James, 29, Levar Haney Washington, 25, and Gregory Vernon Patterson and Hammad Riaz Samana, both 21, of planning attack on sites including National Guard recruitment centers and the Israeli Consulate.
All four men were charged with conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. government through terrorism. The plot, the indictment says, was hatched by James, an inmate at the California State Prison in Sacramento and founder of small gang of radical Muslims. ...
Patterson, 21, took classes at El Camino College and California State University, Northridge, and still lived at home with his parents, both community college employees. A former Catholic school student described by his acquaintances as bookish and quiet, Patterson fell in love with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and converted three years ago.
Samana was raised a Muslim in Pakistan and moved with his family five years ago to an apartment in Inglewood. He worked at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, attended Santa Monica College, played cricket and ran cross-country.
Despite their different backgrounds, the three young men shared a faith took them to the Jamat-e-Masjidul Islam mosque, across the street from Samana's apartment, three months ago. Authorities allege that their meeting at the mosque was a key moment in a complex conspiracy that had its roots 400 miles away at a state prison in Folsom.
There, James dreamed up the idea of attacking targets in southern California and urged Washington, then a fellow prisoner, to implement the plan when released in November 2004, the indictment said. Prison officials years ago marked James as a radical Muslim and a security threat, and transferred him from another state prison after he allegedly founded a prison gang called Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh, or the Assembly of Authentic Islam. Authorities say the group espoused such a violent interpretation of the Koran that they scattered its followers across the state prison system in hopes of squelching the movement.
The alleged actions of Samana and Patterson troubles officials because neither man had criminal records. But they said they are equally troubled that James and Washington were allegedly able hatch the plot at a state prison -- without any apparent ties to international terrorist organizations.
James, who also went by several aliases including Shakyh Shahaab Murshid and Abdul-Wahid Ash-Sheena, "emerged from the Nation of Islam," said one official, who declined to be identified because of the government's ban on speaking publicly about the case. "He decided they were not radical enough."
The Nation of Islam, led by Louis Farrakhan, is one of the largest Muslim sects in U.S. prisons, though it differs from orthodox Islam in its adherence to the teachings of the late black separatist, Elijah Muhammad. Although the group has been criticized in the past for harshly condemning the U.S. government and making anti-Semitic remarks, it publicly opposes terrorism.
James created Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh, or JIS, while in prison at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, according to investigators. James bolstered his Islamist credentials by claiming to have spent time in Sudan, sources close to the investigation said. He clandestinely distributed a protocol for his organization that justified attacks on "enemies of Islam" including the U.S. government, Jews, supporters of Israel and other "infidels," the indictment said.
For as much sympathy as it can evoke by media depictions of victimization by Israeli hostility, the Palestinian Authority is able to generate commensurate billions of dollars in humanitarian aid from Western taxpayers (through direct aid & UN programs) and some Arab monarchs (who benefit from portraying Israel as enemy-worthy).
Depicted: The last time we see Mohammed al-Durah on Talal’s videocamera: He holds his hand over his eyes, not his allegedly, deadly stomach wound. He lifts his up his arm and looks around. Enderlin had already declared him dead in an earlier scene, and (therefore?) cut this scene from his broadcast. (Courtesy: Augean Stables).
The 'news' is systematically manufactured by an permanent, Arafat-initiated, propaganda campaign ("Pally-wood" alleges Augean Stables' media expert, Prof. Richard Landes and French-based Media-Ratings.Fr director, Philippe Karsenty) with foreign media complicit for their social and business agendas. To what extent does this propaganda / hoax business benefit the Palestinian leaders and their EU donors? By evoking humanitarian aid funds from the West, which can evade accountability, i.e. kickback.
Where has the previous $10 billion in foreign aid gone and to where will future money likely go?According to the Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick (detailed amounts in an extensive article, "Palestinians are the new, chosen people" by Boker Tov Boulder):
"Since its establishment in 1994, the PA has received more aid per capita than any other group of people in the world has ever received - more than the victims of genocide in Sudan or Rwanda, more that the victims of the tsunami in Asia,
more than the Iraqis or the Afghans - more than anyone."
In the same article it's noted that "terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons get $4 million a month," and more millions are paid to families of dead terrorists.
And weren't we talking about Muhammed Dahlan just the other day? He's been quoted as admitting that of the $10 billion in international aid that the Palestinians have received over the past 12 years, some $5 billion has gone missing.
This problem is not new, as terror-funding tracking author, Rachel Ehrenfeld, indicated in the National Review exactly 4 years ago:
... The Israeli government had already given them (Members of the European Parliament, "MEPS") volumes of captured Palestinian documents providing evidence that the PA was using EU funds to pay for homicide bombings, the upkeep of terrorists, weapons, and bomb-manufacturing plants; vacations, travel, scholarships and medical treatments for members of the Palestinian leadership and their families; and — not least — Chairman Arafat's personal bank accounts.
How is it possible that the International Monetary Fund, CBS, the BBC, and even the PA itself were all able to document the PA's misuse of funds while Commissioner Patten failed to acknowledge it?
Despite thousands of the PA's own documents — some signed by Yasser Arafat himself — European Union's external-relations commissioner, Christopher Patten, Hannes Swoboda (a member of the European parliament's ad hoc working group on aid to the PA), and many other MEPs not only continue to deny that European tax money has funded Palestinian terrorism, but also claim that the PA documents, authenticated by American, German, and Israeli experts —
and even by the Palestinians themselves — are "forgeries produced by Israel." ...
History gives us little reason to think the PA will stop funding terrorism. Maybe it's time to hold European donors legally accountable for the return on their investment.
The AP reports that on 14 & 17 December '07 in Paris, "Palestinians ask for $5.8 billion in aid"
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will ask the international community
this week to nearly double aid through 2010, for a total of $5.8 billion.
Abbas says he needs help with a huge deficit run up in years of strife,
but also is promising to curb spending and spark economic growth.
The Abbas government's 2008-2010 development plan, obtained by The
Associated Press, will be given to officials from donor countries in Paris on
Friday, ahead of a high-level donor meeting there on Dec. 17.
Learn more on Augean Stables.
"Here is what happened: The rate of violent acts dropped in Iraq; therefore the American intelligence services discovered that Iran had halted its military nuclear program in 2003. This means that the resumption of violence will make American intelligence services find out that there is a secret military program that is different from the peaceful and famous one.Saudi and American sources told DEBKAfile that President George W. Bush used the Annapolis conference as a piece of theater, which presented a sham moderate Arab front against Iran to disguise the intense work underway on a Saudi-mediated accommodation between Washington and Tehran.
The Saudi reporter went on to ask: "Is there a deal between the Bush administration and Iran? I cannot categorically assert that a deal was concluded between the two parties through direct negotiations; however, there is an understanding resulting in the 2007 national intelligence report.”
U.S. defense officials said they did not believe the briefings Mullen received would change America's stance on Iran, but they could help him understand the way Israel views the threat.
During their meetings, Mullen and Ashkenazi discussed the Iranian threat. Israel believes Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon and will be ready to manufacture such a device as early as the end of 2009.
Mullen and Ashkenazi also discussed the Hizbullah and Hamas threats.
Mullen briefed the IDF generals on ongoing American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The IDF is concerned of the consequences a premature US withdrawal from Iraq could have on the region. Nehushtan presented Mullen with the IDF's multiyear plan that, for the first time in a decade, includes ways for dealing with a potential threat from Iraq if the US pulls out prematurely.
The radical Washington about-face has in the last ten days touched off a chain of repercussions:
- DEBKAfile's sources disclose that Iran’s extremist president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began purging the Iranian leadership of his opponents, emboldened by what he perceived as the victory of the intransigent nuclear policy he and the Revolutionary Guards had pursued.
- Still in crowing mode, Iran’s oil minister Gholam Hossein Nozari announced Saturday, Dec. 8, the cessation of oil transactions in US dollars. He labeled the greenbacks an “unreliable” currency.
- Less than 24 hours after the NIE was released, the Kremlin announced resumption of Russian work to finish Iran’s nuclear reactor at Bushehr and the consignment of nuclear fuel.
- In Lebanon, the Hizballah opened the door for the election of chief of staff Gen. Michel Suleiman as president. To buy a stable Beirut government, Washington accepted a pro-Syrian Hizballah sympathizer as president.
- The prospects of tough UN sanctions against Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium dimmed dramatically. The Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said there is no point in the light of the US intelligence reassessment. Saturday, the Iranian ambassador in Tokyo invited Japanese investors to put their money in Iranian oil production which he said could be expanded by 30 percent. Tehran has clearly lost its fear of international economic sanctions.
- Moscow has dispatched war fleets to the Mediterranean and the northeast Atlantic.
A flotilla of six Russian warships including an aircraft carrier will dock at Syria’s Tartous port for the first time.
President Vladimir Putin and defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov decided to send a sortie of six Russian warships, led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and the Moskva guided missile cruiser, to the Mediterranean. This will be the first prolonged stay of a Russian carrier to the eastern Mediterranean vicinity of Israel’s shores and waters patrolled by the US Sixth Fleet. On its decks are 47 warplanes and 10 helicopters. The Moskva is the Russian Navy’s Black Sea flagship.
According to our Moscow sources, the Kremlin is determined not to be left lagging behind the new Bush administration’s steps towards an accommodation with Iran, which were signaled by the US National Intelligence Estimate absolving Tehran of running a military nuclear program from 2003.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Russian fleet, which has already set out for its new mission from the North and Black Seas, will have the use of naval facilities at Syria’s Tartous port. Its presence for several months will be a complication for the Israel navy’s operations opposite the Lebanese and Syrian coasts, especially if the Russians are joined at Tartous by Iranian submarines or warships.
It was not clear from the report how or when the weapons-grade uranium contamination was discovered at the Technology Faculty of a state university."
The Bush/Rice administration's forcing Israel's self-dismemberment at Annapolis or putting forward the National Intelligence Estimate contradicting previous intelligence about Iran's nuclear weapons program - can be best understood by analogue of the Jedi Council, minds clouded by the Dark Side of the Force, while the Dark Lord of the Sith was plotting under their noses.
Count Dooku: What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of a Dark Lord of the Sith?
Obi-Wan: No, that's not possible. The Jedi would sense it.
Count Dooku: The Dark Side has clouded their vision. Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith lord called Darth Sidious.
Obi-Wan: I don't believe you!
Melanie Phillips explains this could be something far more insidious:
"So why has America done this? Maybe because it has sold Israel to the devil, in the shape of Iran and Saudi Arabia, in order to save its skin in Iraq. As we know, it is of overwhelming importance to President Bush that peace comes to Iraq by November’s presidential election. The situation in Iraq over the past few months has dramatically improved. This has been assumed to be because, under the shrewd strategic leadership of General Petraeus, the previously terror-supporting and fratricidal tribal leaders finally turned against al Qaeda and decided to unite to reclaim their country from the endless spiral of mass murder.
But there may be another explanation. The Samson Blinded blog suggests the US did a deal with Iran, in which Iran wound down its support for terror in Iraq — in return for which the US promised not to bomb Iran. The NIE was published to cloak this decision in the convenient if implausible fiction of the scaling down by the US intelligence community of the Iranian threat. The major player at Annapolis was Saudi Arabia. It was Saudi’s ‘peace plan’ to destroy Israel which the US was trying to force Israel to accept. My own sources suggest that at the heart of Annapolis was another deal done with Saudi Arabia by the US. Saudi is absolutely terrified by the power of Iran, which it perceives as a major threat to itself and its role in the entire region. Saudi well understands that for Iran, the destruction of Israel is the core goal of goals which is driving Iran’s nuclear weapons programme — a programme that also directly threatens Saudi itself. So it made a deal with the US. Saudi would tell its terror puppets in Iraq to back off — and as a quid pro quo the US would force Israel to the negotiating table with the Palestinians and set in train a process to force it into concessions that would deal it a mortal blow. Thus two birds would be killed with one stone: Iran’s frenzied impulse to build a nuclear weapon — and Israel itself. If this analysis is correct, Israel’s existence and the safety of the world have thus been bargained away in exchange for the ability of a US president to declare success in Iraq.
On the other hand, as I said in my post below, it may be that Bush has simply been out-manoeuvred by both the spooks and the State Department. The NIE report is of course being cheered on by all who see America (and Israel) rather than Iran as the major threat to the world. Those who believe the poisonous fiction about the ‘neocon conspiracy’ will once again be unable to grasp what is staring them in the face. Indeed, madness over Iraq is now broadening into madness over Iran.
Those whose truncated brain processes tell them that the failure to discover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq proves that they never existed now claim that the Iranian threat is no more than a malevolently constructed fiction. Neocon ‘warmongers’, they say, believe US intelligence when it says there is a threat but not when it says there isn’t. This ignores the context of that intelligence. All intelligence should be regarded with a degree of circumspection. It has to be assessed in the light of everything else that we know about the given situation. Given what we knew back in the 1990s about Saddam -- his regional ambitions, ties to terror and WMD efforts -- it is reasonable to conclude that US intelligence first failed to assess correctly the threat he posed to the west; then got part of it right; and then devoted the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq to putting out disinformation in order to cover up their own past incompetence.
And given what we know about Iran, the NIE’s volte-face simply isn’t credible. The report states as firmly as it can that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon until 2003. Is it really likely that it would have stopped and not re-started? If so, why is it continuing to defy the international community by enriching weapons grade uranium in 3,000 centrifuges? Why doesn’t it open up all its nuclear sites to IAEA inspectors? Why has it gone to such lengths to scatter and bury its nuclear installations? Why would a country whose president has said: ‘We must get ready to rule the world… the Islamic government in Iran is the pre-requisite for a world wide Islamic state’, which has committed itself publicly to the destruction of Israel and which is responsible for blowing up coalition soldiers in Iraq as part of its three decade-war against the west, want to restrict its nuclear technology to the blameless production of electricity?
Those who bat such questions away would believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden. The west is signing its own death warrant. With its ignorance and stupidity exceeded only by its arrogance, it is unable to see that it is being played for suckers. Pull yourself together, Mr President. You may score temporarily in Iraq, but at what terrible cost?"
She updates: "As the Weekly Standard points out for the umpteenth time, the US intelligence community has a lousy record in that part of the world. Ever since the war in Iraq, elements within that intelligence community have been throwing disinformation around both to santise retrospectively their own incompetence and to thwart President Bush’s foreign policy approach towards the ‘axis of evil’. This latest NIE smells like another exercise in political gamesmanship. No-one knows whether President Bush intends to strike Iran before he leaves office. What this NIE tells me is that some intelligence folk think (with ‘high confidence’) that he may well do so — and they are determined to stop him. In the Washington Post, John Bolton shows up the NIE report for the rubbish that it is in his typically incisive way. But the thing that really caught my eye was this:
Fifth, many involved in drafting and approving the NIE were not intelligence professionals but refugees from the State Department, brought into the new central bureaucracy of the director of national intelligence. These officials had relatively benign views of Iran's nuclear intentions five and six years ago; now they are writing those views as if they were received wisdom from on high. In fact, these are precisely the policy biases they had before, recycled as ‘intelligence judgments.’
They weren’t even independent intelligence officials at all. No wonder this NIE is such an insult to the intelligence. She updates on Pearl Harbor Day with references from The Wall St. Journal and the NY Sun: The NIE is not about intelligence or Iran. It is about the treacherous war that has been waged by the State Department and intelligence world against President Bush ever since 9/11.
As the New York Sun went on to observe:
"The proper way to read this report is through the lens of the long struggle the professional intelligence community has been waging against the elected civilian administration in Washington. They have opposed President Bush on nearly every major policy decision. They were against the Iraqi National Congress. They were against elections in Iraq. They were against I. Lewis Libby. They are against a tough line on Iran. One could call all this revenge of the bureaucrats… The bureaucrats may even think they are stopping another war." It's a dangerous game that may boomerang, making a war with Iran more likely. Our diplomats, after all, hoped to seal this month a deal to pass a third Security Council resolution against Iran. Already on Monday the Chinese delegation at Turtle Bay has started making noises about dropping their tepid support for such a document. Call it the Van Diepen Demarche, since the Chinese camarilla can boast that even America's intelligence estimate concludes the mullahs shuttered their nuclear weapons program more than four years ago." As a result of the NIE, the world is now an even more dangerous place. What perfidy. Ahmadinejad has every reason to gloat. Unless the US pulls itself together, this is the way the west loses."
The US intelligence report showing Iran froze weapons development in 2003 does not show the full picture, a top US intelligence official told Congress on Thursday. The deputy director of National Intelligence, Donald Kerr, told a House of Representatives Intelligence subcommittee that Iran retains key nuclear capabilities despite having frozen its weapons development and its ambitions could be considered benign, Reuters reported. Kerr said there was reason to believe Iran still wanted an ability to make nuclear weapons. He was responding to a Republican lawmaker who questioned the accuracy of an official National Intelligence Estimate this week that said US agencies did not know whether Iran intended to develop a nuclear weapon. "We did not in any way suggest that Iran was benign for the future," Kerr told the panel. "What we had to do was address the evidence we had, that at least a part of their program (was) suspended in 2003." Kerr noted the assessment also concluded with "moderate confidence" that Iran still wants a future weapons capability.
US Rep. Todd Tiahrt, a Kansas Republican, told Kerr he was puzzled by the new intelligence estimate. "We have this sort of dichotomy, the words and actions from Iran seem to be offset by the National Intelligence Estimate," Tiahrt said. He suggested US intelligence agencies had gotten too big at their headquarters and not put enough agents in the field.
Angry Khartoum protestors burn newspaper article on the penalization of British schoolteacher Gillian for allowing students to name a teddy bear Mohammed.
Meanwhile, Britain’s most popular newspaper, The Sun, notes on its website at the present time that “ten thousand people, some carrying knives and sticks, have marched on the capital of Sudan calling for the teacher jailed for naming a teddy bear Mohammed to be shot.” The Sun is also urging people to “put a teddy in their window to show their support for Gillian.”