Archive for category Iraq

Documentary: CULT OF THE SUICIDE BOMBER (part 1)

For the enlightenment, advancement, and inspiration of its members

PRODOS FILM STUDY GROUP

Proudly presents

With the kind permission of

Kevin Toolis, Many Rivers Films

A documentary featuring Robert Baer (pictured below)
(Case officer in the Directorate of Operations for the CIA from 1976 to 1997)

Produced & directed by David Batty and Kevin Toolis

CULT OF THE SUICIDE BOMBER

(part one)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

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Mikheil Saakashvili the greatest strategic asset the West has in Eastern Europe

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Jack Wakeland writes that Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili (above) has the eloquence, spirit, and ideas of Winston Churchill (below).

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Reproduced belowin fullwith permission from from TIADaily(a subscription-only newsletter produced by Robert Tracinski) yesterday’s compelling article by Jack Wakeland …

We Need a New Warsaw Pact Against Russia

by Jack Wakeland

August 14 2008 – (c) 2008 The Intellectual Activist

I do not agree with the hopelessness and defeatism that has crept into much of the commentary on the Russian invasion of Georgia. America and the rest of Western Civilization have not entered an irreversible decline. All forces inimical to liberty have not forged an iron-clad, unified, and unassailable front against us.

Do not be in awe of evil. Do not tremble when its power briefly rises to equal a fraction of our own. This is an invalid perspective, and it is a betrayal of confidence in what we all know is the deep well of power that the good can always draws from: that we are right.

We should know our own power. Being right matters. If you don’t think so, ask yourself why it is that Russian tanks stopped outside of Tbilisi?

Did the Georgian army destroy Russia’s armored columns? No. The tanks were stopped because the Georgians put up a fierce fight for Tskhinvali, the provincial capital of South Ossetia (and for the Kodori Gorge in northeast Abkhazia Province). Georgia’s brief defense of Tskhinvali served as a deterrent, not because it was successful (it wasn’t), but because it was fierce. The only defense that the small nations of Eastern Europe have ever had against the “big dogs” of Russia and Germany is to make themselves into fierce little porcupines and hope that enough quills delivered into enough noses will cause the dogs to give up the quarry as not worth all the trouble.

The Russians were deterred by the prospect of fighting this same force in a terminal battle in a European capital city of 1.5 million people. Reducing a capital city the way they reduced Grozny in Chechnya is a bit too much evil for the Russians to stomach at this time. Tbilisi is a bit too prosperous. It looks a bit too much like Prague or Vienna or Krakow. And most of all, its people—those who would be murdered in the tens of thousands—are too much like the people walking the streets of Milan, Frankfurt, Manchester, Sapporo, or, for that matter, Chicago. They’re too much like us—the 800 million of us who live in Western civilization. Their murder would draw too many of the people of Western Civilization together in a common and militarily hostile front against Russia.

With the assault on the city on hold indefinitely, Tbilisi has become West Berlin, drawing leaders to impudently protest, in public, under Putin’s guns. The big rally Wednesday night in Tbilisi of as many as 200,000 Georgians (10% of the refugee-swollen city’s population), hosted by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and joined by the presidents of Georgia, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia was a spectacle of besieged liberty. It is as good as one more armored division.

It turns out that Georgia’s greatest strategic asset is the attitude and the eloquence of President Mikheil Saakashvili. In his written essays, TV interviews, and public speeches he is a lion. We have found that he has Winston Churchill in his soul.

President Saakashvili has Prime Minister Churchill’s eloquence and his spirit—and his ideas. Saakashvili proved himself by turning Georgia into an engine of prosperity based on stable republican government, the rule of law, recognition of private property, and the effective suppression of corruption. Georgia’s police forces were rated as one of the most corrupt in Eastern Europe, and that is some achievement. Opinion polls showed that only 5% thought that the police were generally trustworthy. Under President Saakashvili’s leadership, this year 70% of Georgians polled thought they could trust the police.

With Winston Churchill’s good ideas, eloquence, and indomitable spirit came his rashness and his self-promotion. These are traits President Saakashvili shares. As egoists, we Objectivist should find no vice in Mr. Saakashvili’s grandstanding and little in his impetuousness.

Saakashvili is the greatest strategic asset the West has in Eastern Europe.

Russian hesitation at the brink of mass slaughter inside a European capital city and the inspired leadership of President Saakashvili have given the West the opportunity we need to make a mess of Russia’s plans for domination, one at a time, of the former Soviet Republics of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

Enough time, that is, if the US shows decisive leadership.

I am not saying that it is the responsibility of our nation, of our brave young men and women in the military, to go to Georgia to confront Putin’s army and to fight. But Georgia is a nation of people—even as small as it is—so determined to defy dictatorship and fight for their freedom even when the odds are grim, that we must join them and fight on their side in some way. If we are American, if we are men, we must do something substantial, something that materially affects the situation on the ground in Georgia—something that begins to change the strategic advantages that Russia has over all of its smaller, liberal neighbors.

In the past few days, the United States has finally entered the conflict in a clumsy and cautious way—but America has entered the conflict, and America is instantly a central part of everything that is going on.

The interesting thing about the way that the US is stumbling into the conflict zone is that we’re not being led by George Bush and the command structure at the Pentagon as much as we’re being led by the articulate and passionate statements about liberty—a battle cry—by Saakashvili. He is someone we cannot say “no” to without saying “no” to our own identity. Ultimately President Bush, architect of the Forward Strategy of Freedom, cannot say “no” to him either.

Mikhail Saakashvili is our leader now.

Here is the overall foreign policy advice I would offer to the Bush administration on what to do.

Because of America’s deep cultural, political, and strategic connection to it, Poland can reasonably count on a major commitment of US military power—including public acceptance of significant and painful military losses—in the event of a Russian invasion. America should exploit our deep military commitment to Poland by encouraging them to serve as the anchor for a new Eastern European military alliance; an alliance that is independent of NATO.

An independent alliance between Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Georgia, and Ukraine—an inverse Warsaw Pact—would be a tremendous asset to liberty. With Poland at its base (protected by its NATO membership and the US nuclear umbrella), this alliance could be a strong deterrent to Russia’s renewed military expansionism.

(Because Romania and Bulgaria have kept a relatively low profile in the affair with Georgia, their enthusiasm for an anti-Russian alliance is doubtful. The same goes for Hungary and the Czech Republic. The new Warsaw Pact should be made up only of republics that are truly on the edge—the countries that are between NATO and Russia.)

A group of nations in such a difficult place, led by a secure country that is a full member of NATO and assisted by the United States, would be far more willing to use military force than the fratricidal and self-loathing nations of NATO as a whole. Thus, they will produce a far more intense threat, and far more substantial deterrent against Russia—especially if their anchor member, Poland, either had the full strategic commitment of the United States behind it, or their own independent nuclear deterrent.

A core cultural goal right now should be to clear some of the woolly-headed European pacifism from the minds of Eastern Europe’s leadership. They need nuclear weapons. Without them, the Russians will be free to probe their border provinces with strong tank and mechanized infantry forces and bomb any defenders that move against them, destroying towns and cities everywhere along their borders from the Baltic to the Caspian. Without nuclear weapons, ineffective resistance to a series of military incursions will enable the Russians to work themselves up to a murderer’s only concept of self-confidence: that he can get away with it. When that day comes, Russia will invade and occupy its smaller neighbors.

Nuclear weapons proliferation is a good thing when the good guys get nuclear weapons. The good nations that border Russia should get them as quickly as they can. And the United States of America should help them.

(c) 2008 The Intellectual Activist

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Michael Yon: The strategic advantage of our values

[photopress:michael_yon_iraq.jpg,full,pp_image] Click here to watch Michael Yon report on progress
in Iraq and how Al Qaeda is getting hammered into the dirt.

Although I completely disagree with his conclusion, Michael Yon has written a beautiful and powerfully reasoned argument against the use of torture.

Disagreements aside, what is most striking and worth reading about this article, however, is not its flawed call for the banning of all forms of “torture”. It’s the presentation of what Michael Yon most elegantly refers to as “the strategic advantage of our values“.

A couple of excerpts …

… once we defeated the Axis, we helped rebuild their countries.

Our Greatest Generation acted with honor and great wisdom. It was the right thing to do, but also the strategically intelligent thing to do. Now Germany and Japan are stable, prosperous democracies and close allies.

When this war is over in Iraq, we do not want a generation of Iraqis thinking that all we did was invade their country and torture and kill people.

We want them to know that, despite whatever mistakes we made, we have no ill-feelings toward Iraqis.

…We want the Iraqis to know that Americans are warriors, but not barbarians. They already know that our young folks will fight like wolverines.The Iraqi insurgents learned that lesson the hard way. American soldiers and Marines have died fighting, with great honor, to bring the region a step forward. By contrast, al Qaeda has murdered tens of thousands of Iraqis, and committed atrocities that have turned the people against them.

Al Qaeda and other terrorists fight without honor. And simply put, that’s why we’re winning in Iraq.

We recaptured the most important strategic territory in guerrilla war – the moral high ground, while never laying down our sword.

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Who’s been good and who’s been Ahmadinejad?

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John Bolton at telegraph.co.uk canvases the likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iran between November and January.

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Israel ready willing and more than able to strike Iran

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=hKZEo6d-ypc] A brief sample of the Israeli Air Force

The New York Times reports on an Israeli military exercise conducted in the first week of June, involving over 100 F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, and covering a distance of more than 900 miles – able therefore to hit Iran.
An unnamed Pentagon official explained the exercise was intended …

… to send a clear message to the United States and other countries that Israel was prepared to act militarily if diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from producing bomb-grade uranium continued to falter.

“They wanted us to know, they wanted the Europeans to know, and they wanted the Iranians to know,” the Pentagon official said.

IslamOnline.net, however, offers a warning or two.

“It’s a nightmare scenario for any contingency planner, and I think you really enter the twilight zone if you strike Iran,” Magnus Ranstorp at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm, told The Christian Science Monitor on Friday, June 20.

“If you attack Iran you are unleashing a firestorm of reaction internally that will only strengthen revolutionary forces, and externally in the region.”

Analysts believe that Tehran would use its rocket capabilities to strike US forces in the Gulf region.

… Analysts believe that Iran’s response to a US or Israeli military strike could be unpredictable.

It “could be” …. “unpredictable”? Doesn’t that also mean it “could be” …”predictable”? Or does this mean that these “analysts” are unable to “analyse” the situation? Or are they saying it’s somehow un-analyseable?

It “could be” …. “unpredictable” … Yeah, I must remember to use that phrase some day.

“One very important issue from a US intelligence perspective, [the Iranian reaction] is probably more unpredictable than the Al Qaeda threat,” said Ranstorp.

Maybe we should also stop hunting downAl Qaeda in that case?

He said Iranian revenge attacks in the past have been marked by “plausible deniability” and have had global reach.

“I doubt very much our ability to manage some of the consequences.”

What about the consequences of allowing Iran to keep on its current quite “predictable” course? Analyse that.

Speaking ofIslamOnline.net, I see that thesitenow brings up an error page where before it had some interesting notes under the heading: “Apostasy: Definition & Ruling” which statedthat apostates (those who leave Islam) should be murdered.

Here is the text from that now missing page:

A questioner asks …

If a Muslim leaves Islam, what do Muslims call him? And what is the Islamic prescribed sentence for the one who leaves Islam. Please send me as soon as possible. Thank you very much.

In a reply dated March 21, 2004 IOL Shari`ah Researchers reply …

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.Dear questioner! Thank you very much for this question that reflects deep insight and true search for knowledge. May Allah grant you success in this life and the Hereafter.

It goes without saying that, leaving Islam is the ugliest and the worst form of disbelief (kufr) in Almighty Allah. It is technically called ridda (apostasy from Islam), and someone who leaves Islam is called a murtadd (apostate).

The Qur’an makes it clear that the one who leaves Islam, hinders people from the path of Allah and then dies as such will be a loser on the Day of Judgment. His eternal abode will be Hell, where he/she will suffer severe torture and endless chastisement. Allah will not forgive him/her, nor will any of his/her good deeds be accepted from him/her. Allah Almighty says: (Lo! Those who disbelieve and turn from the way of Allah and then die disbelievers, Allah surely will not pardon them.) (Muhammad 47: 34)

Also, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said:

“The blood of a Muslim who testifies that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah is not lawful to shed unless he be one of three: a married adulterer, someone killed in retaliation for killing another, or someone who abandons his religion and the Muslim community.”

The prescribed punishment for a murtadd:

If a sane person who has reached puberty voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be punished.‏

In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.

However, don’t worry because here’s the “Religion of Peace” bit …

No one besides the caliph or his representative may kill the apostate. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined (for arrogating the caliph’s prerogative and encroaching upon his rights, as this is one of his duties).

[ … and so on … ]

i.e. The killer of the apostate is not treated as a regular murderer. He is not subject to capital punishment or life imprisonment- not even by the caliph or his representative.

And his crime when killing the apostate is not that he killed a man, but that he was “arrogating the caliph’s prerogative” to kill the apostate.

Warning to Canadians: Do not criticize any of the aboveor you may end up in breach of Canada’s Blasphemy Laws!

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Although the above text and the page from Islam Online is gone, you can in fact still see a copy HERE= http://tinyurl.com/467g47

And should that go missing too, I’ve got a nice screenshot of it rightHERE.

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=zi8uGD3E4Hw] Shalom.

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Does Ron Paul trust dictatorships? Do you trust Ron Paul?

[photopress:arab_league_summit.jpg,full,pp_image] At the 19th Arab League Summit

In his December 7, 2005 speech – The Blame Game – before the US House of Representatives, Ron Paul said:

The Arab League needs to assume a lot more responsibility for the mess that our invasion [of Iraq] has caused. We need to get out of the way and let them solve their own problems.

The Arab League consists of 22 member states, including Palestine.

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Discover Capitalism: Benevolent nature of Capitalism, Thomas Sowell on Iraq

At yesterday’s Discover Capitalism ™ meeting we studied …
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… George Reisman’s essay on the Benevolent Nature of Capitalism, and …
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… Thomas Sowell’s 3 “Mugged by Reality” essays (#1, #2, #3) about Iraq and the USA.

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Discover Capitalism meeting: Discussing Michael Yon and Martin Durkin

Tomorrow’s discussion topics @ DISCOVER CAPITALISM (Melbourne, Australia) …

  1. An American in Iraq.

    For this segment we will draw on two (1 | 2)recent dispatches from embedded (in Iraq) journalist, Michael Yon.What I found fascinating about these two dispatches
    is what they reveal (in part, without even realising
    it) about the way Americans think. And how they shed light on how and why the United States has truly earned
    its Superpower status.

    That America’s economic and military supremacy is no accident. That it flows naturally from the way Americans think.

    The first dispatch reports on a meeting between
    American commanders and Iraq civilian and military leaders.

    The second dispatch details the decision making involved
    in bombing a house in which a terrorist was hiding.

  2. Responses to The Great Global Warming Swindle.

    We’ll have a look at how Martin Durkin, the producer
    of TGGWS has responded to his critics, as well as
    how they’ve responded to his documentary and to
    Global Warming denialists.

Venue: Royal Oak Hotel
Corner of Bridge Road and Church Street, Richmond.

Food & Drinks available throughout the night.

Barboo/Sydney and I will be there from about 6.30 PM.
Join us before the formal meeting begins! …

… which will be at 7.30 PM sharp. And we finish at 9.30 PM sharp.

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Michael Yon speaks with the enemy of our enemy

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In Michael Yon’s latest report from Iraq, Al-Qaeda on the Run, he interviews Abu Ali of the “1920 Revolution Brigades” – the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq, and formerly called the Iraqi National Islamic Resistance.

Michael Yon writes:

Just months ago our forces would have shot Abu Ali on sight, and he surely would have done the same to us.

Today we are allies, for now.

… We had certainly killed a lot of his people, and the 1920s certainly had killed many American soldiers.

During severe fighting with al Qaeda in April 2007, the 1920s reached out to American soldiers, and together they have been dismantling al Qaeda here in Baqubah and other places.

Why? Why has the 1920 actively turned against Al Qaeda?

Abu Ali said that on 1 April 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes against Islam

… Abu Ali said they fought hard against al Qaeda, and on 10 April, they asked the Americans to join the attack. It worked.

Abu Ali said that “al Qaeda is an abomination of Islam: cutting off heads, stealing people’s money, kidnapping… every type of torture they have done.”

In concluding the interview Abu Ali had the following message for Americans …

… he said, “I ask one thing,” and now I [Michael Yon] paraphrase Ali’s words: “After the Iraqi Army and Police take hold and the security forces are ready, we want a schedule for the leaving of the American forces.”

I find this a curious statement to make.

After all, US-led Coalition forces already plan to do exactly that: To leaveonce the job is done – onceIraqachievesa reasonable degree ofstable,democratic governance.That’s been the plan from the beginning, hasn’t it?

Doesn’t Abu Ali know this? Or perhaps he doesn’t trust the Americans? Or perhaps when (hopefully) it finally happens, he can claim some credit for it?

Afterall, as The MIPT Terrorism Knowledge basereports (by the way, its database seems to be a few months out of date regarding the 1920, and doesn’t include mention of recent developments) …

The group first appeared in June 2003 as a “nationalist Jihadist movement” dedicated to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in order to build an Islamic state.

It’s vital that they do not appear to be actually HELPING United States forces. Any appearance of “help” must be a means to an end.

The endbeing the most bitter of allends:building an Islamic state – a state that is incompatible with Democracy.

Let’s also keep in mind that, as the Jamestown Foundation reports (April 10, 2007) a former 1920 leader – as well as about 30 members – have been slain recently by Al-Qaida:

The 1920 Revolution Brigades recently announced the death of its leader, Harith Dhahir Khamis al-Dari, nephew and namesake of Harith al-Dari, the exiled head of the Muslim Scholars Association.

The 1920 Revolution Brigades is one of the largest indigenous Iraqi insurgent groups, but after al-Dari’s death, the Brigades announced its split into two factions (the 1920 Revolution Brigades and Hamas-Iraq).

… Al-Dari was reportedly long targeted by al-Qaeda for his refusal to pledge allegiance to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, amir of the ISI [Islamic State of Iraq], and was finally killed by an al-Qaeda ambush on March 27.

… Al-Dari is not the only insurgent leader who has been targeted by al-Qaeda. In addition to stepping up their propaganda campaign promoting the ISI, al-Qaeda has been actively engaged in assassinations and targeted bombings against Iraqi Sunni tribes who do not comply.

According to al-Hayat, militants from various factions stated that al-Qaeda has killed 30 members of the 1920 Revolution Brigades and the Islamic Army (al-Hayat, March 31).

Looking forward to more details from Honest Yon.

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Michael Yon in Baqubah Iraq: The courteous and the furious

[photopress:email_prodos.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:cool_dude_victor_quinonez.jpg,full,pp_image] Fellow Michael Yon fan, Victor Quinonez, pictured above,
wrote to me saying: “Mike Yon does the best job in telling us about it all, and he takes the best pics.” We’re with you on that one mate!

Michael Yon, embedded (journalist, photograper, blogger) with American troops fighting alongside Iraqitroopsreports on entering and liberatinga villagein Baqubha, previously held byAl Qaeda.

This is a brief report but includesplenty ofgruesome photos of villagers murdered by Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Michael Yon’s reports nearly always include observations about the soldiers and their commanders -their effectiveness on the joband theircharacter. This is often captured by his description ofhow he is treated by the soldiers.

… Although the soldiers usually do not know me, they are courteous and professional, and always watching out for me.

And so it was with LT Baxter, who was commanding the M-1 tank that I’d be riding along in, and who made sure I didn’t break my neck getting into the tank. I nearly pulled him off the tank while climbing aboard.

… LT Baxter, the tank commander, was concerned that the heat was getting to me, and checked my uniform for sweat, asking several times if I was okay. They always watch out for me.

Also, how the American soldiers behave towards captured enemy combatants:

Later in the day, some of the soldiers from the unit I share a tent with, the C-52, told me that one of their Kit Carson scouts (comprised of some of our previous enemies who have turned on al Qaeda) had pointed out an al Qaeda who had cut off the heads of children.

Soldiers from C-52 say that the Kit Carson scout freaked out and tried to hide when he spotted the man he identified as an al Qaeda operative.

Just how (or if) the scout really knew the man had beheaded children was unknown to the soldiers of C-52, but they took the suspected Al Qaeda to the police, who knew the man.

C-52 soldiers told me the Iraqi police were inflamed, and that one policeman in particular was crazed with intent to kill the man who they said had the blood of Iraqi children on his hands.

What’s this guy doing being a cop if he can’t deal with this situation?

According to the story told to me on 30 June, it took almost 45 minutes for the C-52 soldiers to calm down the policeman who had drawn his pistol to execute the al Qaeda man.

Was he sacked from his job? I don’t know. I doubt it.

Anyway, thisis apart of Michael Yon’s report I found most interesting:

That same policeman nearly lost his mind when an American soldier then gave the al Qaeda man a drink of cold water.

I wonder how much this small incident sums up the nature of the problem we have – and may continue to have – in Iraq.

[photopress:al_Zarqawi.jpg,full,pp_image] Al Zarqawi, former leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Oink Oink Akbar!

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