Recent News from ACT! for America

comment by Jerry Gordon

captnyol91207180050terror_threat_nyol912.jpgDHS Secretary Michael Chertoff appeared before a House Homeland Security Committee to speak of concerns of how al Qaeda might use European bred terrorists with legitimate E passports to gain entry to the US for possible attacks. Under our current ’swiss cheese’ citizens of EU countries with valid passports can skip through our immigration and passport controls, as they get the benefit of the so-called Easy Visa loophole. Then Chertoff went on to address what DHS is doing about addressing possible infiltration of of radiation materials for constructing ‘dirty bombs’ by flying them in via light planes or small boats. Perhaps, given some errant Colombians caught off the coast of Mexico with seven tons of high grade cocaine in a small sub, that we might be on the look out for that as well, eh? After all isn’t that a piece in Ken Timmerman’s ‘Honor Killing” scenario that I posted on yesterday?

by Eileen Sullivan, AP, July 18, 2008

WASHINGTON - European terrorists are trying to enter the United States with European Union passports, and there is no guarantee officials will catch them every time, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday.

Chertoff’s comments on Capitol Hill comes as the country is entering a potentially vulnerable period with the presidential nominating conventions coming up next month; the presidential election in November; and the transition to a new administration in January — all of which may be attractive targets for terrorists.

In his last scheduled appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee, Chertoff said that the more time and space al-Qaida and its allies have to recruit, train, experiment and plan, the more problems the U.S. and Europe will face down the road.

“The terrorists are deliberately focusing on people who have legitimate Western European passports, who don’t appear to have records as terrorists,” Chertoff told lawmakers. “I have a good degree of confidence we can catch people coming in. But I have to tell you … there’s no guarantee. And they are working very hard to slip by us.”

Chertoff and other intelligence officials have delivered similar warnings before, and he offered no new information about specific threats or an imminent attack.

Chertoff reiterated his concern that terrorists could sneak radiological material into the country on small boats or private aircraft. This material could be used to create an explosive device known as a “dirty bomb.”

The Homeland Security Department has a strategy to protect against this small boat vulnerability and is testing radiation detection equipment in Seattle and San Diego ports.

Chertoff said that getting out a regulation to prescreen and enhance security of general aviation aircraft coming to the U.S. from overseas is one of his top priorities.

He also said he expects to approve new radiation detection technology this fall.

Responding to a question from Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, Chertoff dismissed any rumor that he is on a list of potential running mates for Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Chertoff quipped that the only list he has for next year is a list of vacations.

Chertoff’s term as the country’s second Homeland Security Secretary ends when a new administration takes over the White House in January.

July 19th, 2008 at 6:17 • DHS Secretary Chertoffeuro-terr
 

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“There is in every true woman’s heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”

Washington Irving


Pakistan: Polio Found in Baby
The infant, identified as Tanzila, is from Ali Gram in the Swat Valley, where Islamic fundamentalists have beaten polio vaccination teams.

A Veil Closes France’s Door to Citizenship

“They say I am under my husband’s command and that I am a recluse.”

Hey sweetie, if the veil fits…

Schalit is Hamas’s bargaining chip’

“Schalit will continue to serve as a bargaining card in our hands, and will in the end bring about the release of many prisoners, including prisoners with blood on their hands.”

Any word on whether this young man is still alive? Notice that Gilad Schalit now has the rank of Sgt. in the IDF after serving two plus years in Hamas captivity.

Yusuf Islam wins damages for “veiled women” slur

I thought music was haram in Islam, as well as having any contact with a woman who is not a member of one’s family. In Islam, as in Communism, everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. PS Yusuf Islam is the former 70’s British pop star Cat Stevens of “peace train” fame, remember? Now its, Jihad, Jihad, Jihad for Allah, baby.

Not in My Backyard, Say an Increasing Number of Germans

The planned construction of over 180 mosques in Germany is mobilizing right-wing xenophobes but also an increasing number of leftist critics. They fear the Muslim places of worship will facilitate the establishment of a completely parallel society.


All state pupils may be taught Islamic traditions as part of compulsory citizenship lessons

David Conway, senior research fellow at the Civitas think-tank, said: ‘Some will see this as another sign of a creeping process of Islamisation - an insidious process which plays down the Christian basis of our culture and encourages children to learn more and more about Islam’s contribution…I fear it will play into the hands of the small minority who want to see the Islamisation of Europe, and believe they will triumph through sheer numbers.’

The degenerates of Dubai: How the widespread behaviour of our expats is causing a backlash

Who’s colonizing whom?

 

comment by Jerry Gordon

ed-ah890_book07_20080716181915.jpgKenneth Pollack, ex-CIA Middle east analyst, former Clinton era NSC staffer and policy wonk at the liberal Brookings Institute has a new book out: “A Path out of the Desert.” Bret Stephens comments on in this Wall Street Journal Books report. Pollack you may recall was an item on Cable TV news commenting on the run up to and immediate post conflict stage of the Iraq War in 2003 to 2005. He had favored the incursion and toppling of the Saddam Hussein Ba’athist regime. However, he didn’t agree with the Bush administration occupation and government restoration phase. Pollack in this book says it was good to get into Iraq and topple Arab autocratic regime to make a pathway for democracy to flower in the sand traps of the convulsing Middle East As Stephens point out in his review of Pollack’s tome, Pollack chastises Bush for not doing enough to assist in regime change of other Arab autocratic regimes, for example Mubarak in Egypt. Pollack doesn’t lay too much of a glove on Saudi Arabia that ranks pretty low in terms of ‘democracy’ for a wealthy religiously fanatic Arab Muslim country. Probably because the Desert Kingdom and keeper of the flame of Wahabbism has lots oil that we and the world consume to a fare thee well. Besides the Saudis can afford to fob us off with ‘taqiyya.’

Stephens does note some of Pollack good sense and sharpest criticism of the Arab autocrats that is reflected in the periodic analyses of the UN Human Development Reports on the Arab Muslim countries:

    It’s a misleading title, except perhaps metaphorically, since his path requires the U.S. to remain in the desert for decades in order to help sort out the region’s myriad problems and set it on a path toward greater democracy, better governance, stronger economic growth, less cultural insularity and so on. Sound familiar? It could almost be called the Bush Doctrine, were it not for the author’s embarrassment about all things Bush.

    Also persuasive is Mr. Pollack’s diagnosis of much of what ails Arab societies. The region has the world’s highest unemployment rate. Oil-rich states cosset their industrial and service sectors with subsidies, guaranteeing inefficiency. The quality of education is low, and there’s too much of it: Every year, Arab universities graduate thousands of young men and women whose aspirations exceed their actual skills. Legal systems don’t work, corruption is rampant and bureaucracies are almost comically bloated: In Kuwait, more than 90% of the national work force is employed by the government.

    It gets worse. In Mr. Pollack’s reading, the Arab world exists in what he calls a “pre-revolutionary” state, similar to that of Russia in the late czarist period. There is a dangerously bulging youth cohort: 44% of Egyptians, 48% of Palestinians and 53% of Yemenis are between the ages of 15 and 29. Violence – in the form of government repression, terrorism, revolution, ethnic and sectarian conflict, interstate war, and civil war – has been pervasive from Algeria to Lebanon to Bahrain. Islam, often radical and politicized, is on the rise: In Egypt, there is now one mosque for every 745 people, up from one for every 6,031 in 1986, despite a doubling of the population. And rather than attempt genuine reform, Arab governments are constantly finding pretexts and methods to go on with business as usual, thereby aggravating the problems described above.

    Having laid out a mostly accurate picture of where the Middle East stands today – and how it got there – Mr. Pollack proceeds to offer his version of a cure. In its broad contours, it’s a sound one: The U.S., he writes, must begin “draining the swamp” in which the Arab world’s various pathologies fester. It must prod both our allies and our enemies in the region to mend their ways. And it must have faith that more democratic systems can take root even in the Islamic world. “Despite the fact that George W. Bush said it was the best thing for us to do,” he writes, humorlessly, “it actually is the best thing for us to do.”

Despite these useful nostrums of Pollack, Stephens notes:

    Finally, Mr. Pollack’s policy prescriptions on such key issues as Iraq, Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis amount to the usual mush of olive branches, carrots and sticks, peace processes, and tactical options for policies A, B and C. This is not a new grand strategy but a continuation of what the U.S. has been doing, with varying degrees of emphasis and success, for decades. If that’s any indication of how an Obama administration might act, I won’t sleep any worse at night. But neither will I get my hopes up for a Middle East that’s any better than the declining place of Mr. Pollack’s grim telling.


by Bret Stephens, Books, The Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2008

A Path Out of the Desert
By Kenneth M. Pollack
(Random House, 539 pages, $30)

Kenneth Pollack is a hard man to pin down. A former CIA analyst and member of the Clinton administration’s National Security Council now affiliated with the left-leaning Brookings Institution, he made a qualified case for invading Iraq in “The Threatening Storm,” which appeared six months before the invasion itself. Two years later he produced “The Persian Puzzle,” which urged the U.S. to pursue a negotiated settlement with Iran.

Now Mr. Pollack has given us “A Path Out of the Desert,” billed in its subtitle as a “grand strategy for America in the Middle East.” It’s a misleading title, except perhaps metaphorically, since his path requires the U.S. to remain in the desert for decades in order to help sort out the region’s myriad problems and set it on a path toward greater democracy, better governance, stronger economic growth, less cultural insularity and so on. Sound familiar? It could almost be called the Bush Doctrine, were it not for the author’s embarrassment about all things Bush.

That’s not a bad thing, either, at least if it gives the author whatever liberal street cred he needs to remain an influence on the thinking of the Democratic Party. At his best, Mr. Pollack is a thorough and clear-eyed analyst who knows his subject well and isn’t prone to wishful thinking. The book’s early sections examine U.S. interests – oil and Israel take pride of place – to show why we cannot easily disengage from the Middle East.

Mr. Pollack is particularly good at exposing the myth that close U.S. ties to Israel worsen our relations with other Arab governments or explain popular hostility to America: Our patronage of Arab dictators such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak has more to do with that. Nor has America’s “tilting” toward Israel complicated efforts at Mideast peacemaking. On the contrary, as he writes, U.S. support for the Jewish state “helped convince the Arabs that they did not have a military option against Israel.”

Also persuasive is Mr. Pollack’s diagnosis of much of what ails Arab societies. The region has the world’s highest unemployment rate. Oil-rich states cosset their industrial and service sectors with subsidies, guaranteeing inefficiency. The quality of education is low, and there’s too much of it: Every year, Arab universities graduate thousands of young men and women whose aspirations exceed their actual skills. Legal systems don’t work, corruption is rampant and bureaucracies are almost comically bloated: In Kuwait, more than 90% of the national work force is employed by the government.

It gets worse. In Mr. Pollack’s reading, the Arab world exists in what he calls a “pre-revolutionary” state, similar to that of Russia in the late czarist period. There is a dangerously bulging youth cohort: 44% of Egyptians, 48% of Palestinians and 53% of Yemenis are between the ages of 15 and 29. Violence – in the form of government repression, terrorism, revolution, ethnic and sectarian conflict, interstate war, and civil war – has been pervasive from Algeria to Lebanon to Bahrain. Islam, often radical and politicized, is on the rise: In Egypt, there is now one mosque for every 745 people, up from one for every 6,031 in 1986, despite a doubling of the population. And rather than attempt genuine reform, Arab governments are constantly finding pretexts and methods to go on with business as usual, thereby aggravating the problems described above.

Having laid out a mostly accurate picture of where the Middle East stands today – and how it got there – Mr. Pollack proceeds to offer his version of a cure. In its broad contours, it’s a sound one: The U.S., he writes, must begin “draining the swamp” in which the Arab world’s various pathologies fester. It must prod both our allies and our enemies in the region to mend their ways. And it must have faith that more democratic systems can take root even in the Islamic world. “Despite the fact that George W. Bush said it was the best thing for us to do,” he writes, humorlessly, “it actually is the best thing for us to do.”

Where Mr. Pollack errs is in the details, in matters large and small. In his rage against the Bush administration, for instance, he laments that the president failed to raise the subject of political reform with Mr. Mubarak “in April 2004, less than three months after the second inaugural address.” Er, fact check, please: Mr. Bush gave his second inaugural, which vowed to put freedom at the center of U.S. foreign policy, in January 2005.

More substantively, Mr. Pollack seriously underrates the specifically Islamic contribution to the region’s woes. Instead, he blames religion generically – along with the usual socio-politico-economic sourness – for radicalizing so many young Middle Easterners. Yet not a single Christian became a suicide bomber during the second intifada, never mind that Palestinian Christians suffered as much at the hands of Israelis as Palestinian Muslims. That’s not to say that Islam is incompatible with democracy. But Islam, at least as it’s widely practiced in the Middle East today, has often been in sharp tension with the liberal habits of mind that sustain democratic institutions over time. A religion that preaches death for apostates is not necessarily one that will easily tolerate other forms of dissent.

Finally, Mr. Pollack’s policy prescriptions on such key issues as Iraq, Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis amount to the usual mush of olive branches, carrots and sticks, peace processes, and tactical options for policies A, B and C. This is not a new grand strategy but a continuation of what the U.S. has been doing, with varying degrees of emphasis and success, for decades. If that’s any indication of how an Obama administration might act, I won’t sleep any worse at night. But neither will I get my hopes up for a Middle East that’s any better than the declining place of Mr. Pollack’s grim telling.

Mr. Stephens writes Global View, the Journal’s foreign-affairs column.

 

comment by Jerry Gordon

2663571369.jpgThe National Post of Canada (NP)was one of the few mainstream publications to comment on the Second study of Saudi textbooks that Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute and Commissioner of the USCIRF spear headed. This National Post blog post has access to their story on the USCIRF Saudi texts report and fascinating but chilling excerpts of the Saudi texts in translations, as well as, the full report. Read the NP article of the Second Saudi texts study. It is one of the best around in the media and has telling comments from an interview with Ms. Shea.

Posted: July 17, 2008, 8:38 PM by Ronald Nurwisah, National Post blog
World

The Post’s Charles Lewis has written on a report from a U.S. think tank that condemns the textbooks used in Saudi Arabian schools and those funded by the Saudi government abroad.

From the story:

Despite a promise to remove attacks on other faiths from the public school curriculum, Saudi Arabia’s state-produced textbooks still refer to Jews and Christians as apes and swine, insist that Jews conspire to take over the world and on Judgment Day “the rocks or the trees” will call out to Muslims to kill the Jews, says the Washington-based Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank.

The ‘educational’ materials also attack homosexuality, other Muslim sects (the Saudi royal family are firm believers in the fundamentalist Wahhabi doctrine of Islam), and espouse violent jihad.

The problem is not a new one. Nina Shea, wrote a report in 2006 on Saudi textbooks and the U.S. State Department has been pushing Saudis to change their curriculum by a September, 2008 deadline.

“They want to take some of the pressure off by promising to make the changes ,but they are fairly confident that the State Department will not go after them and will not even bother to open the books or translate them, which they have not done at all.”

Here are a few more examples from Saudi textbooks:

On the ‘role’ of Jews in world history

Examples of how the Zionists achieve their goals:

1. Sedition, ruses, and conspiracies throughout history. Examples include:
a. When the Prophet fled to Medina he concluded a treaty with the Jews there. They soon reneged on the agreement and began to use their poison to encourage divisions among Muslims. They incited the polytheists against the Muslims until the Prophet expelled them [the Jews] from Medina in disgrace.
b. Ibn Saba the Jew engaged in sedition against the Caliph Uthman Bin Affan. One of the results of his destructive movement was the martyrdom of Uthman at the hands of revolutionaries. Ali put up fierce resistance against the movement of Saba and he pursued the followers of Ibn Saba2.
c. The French Revolution: The Jews exploited the French Revolution to fight against religion, break down values, and spread meaningless slogans. They had a hand in planning the revolution and its code of morals.
d. The First World War: The Jews played a role in starting it.

Destructive Movements that Zionism has used to achieve its aims

1. Freemasonry. This is a secret Jewish organization that works surreptitiously to advance larger Jewish interests. Masonry is a deceptive word that fools listeners into thinking that it is a noble profession, since it means “free builders” and its slogan is “freedom, brotherhood, and equality.”

2. B’nai B’rith, or sons of the covenant. This group was founded in 1834 in America.

3. International Lions Clubs. “Lions” means lions. These are Masonic clubs based in America and they have secret agents all over the world.

4. Rotary Clubs. They were founded in 1905 in Chicago, America, and then spread all over the world.

On homosexuality:

Homosexuality is one of the most disgusting sins and greatest crimes. God did not afflict any people with this before [He afflicted] the folk of Lot, and He punished them as He punished no one else. It is a vile perversion that goes against sound nature, and it is one of the most corrupting and hideous sins.

Read more excerpts from Saudi textbooks.

Read the full report from the Hudson Institute

 

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