Which domino will fall next? Is it Egypt, where an aging President Mubarak, after years of authoritarian rule, is suddenly raising the question of how a new leader will be chosen? Is it Syria, which, as our Eli Lake reports today, is being targeted for pressure by those such as Senator Brownback who feel that Damascus has backed the terrorists in Iraq? The senator is talking about major funding for civil society groups, a tactic that certainly worked wonders in Iraq, starting with Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress. Is it Iran, where pressure is building for the important next step of a popular referendum on theocratic rule? Such a referendum would, almost by definition, spell the end of such rule. It is hard to predict which domino will fall. But in the face of recent events, skepticism in the domino theory must be tottering like just another, well, dictatorial regime.
Mounting allegations of IRA involvement in the £26.5m Belfast bank robbery and growing police suspicions of a much wider involvement of the Irish republican movement in money-laundering operations are threatening Sinn Fein's legitimate fundraising operations in the US, say diplomatic sources in Washington.Let's make a few small edits, as an exercise in casuistry:
Blah blah blah are threatening Hamas and Hezbollah's legitimate fundraising operations in the EU, say diplomatic sources in Brussels.Why is the second more outrageous to American ears than the first? Is it because the IRA are white, European terrorists? The Europeans are at least consistent; they're not curtailing any terror group's "legitimate" wing's fundraising. In America, however, some terrorists are more equal than others. Check this out:
Further sanctions the US government could use against Sinn Féin include denying visas to the party's leaders - some of whom plan to attend a White House reception marking St Patrick's day next monthTry this on:
Further sanctions the US government could use against Hamas include denying visas to the party's leaders - some of whom plan to attend a White House reception marking Eid al Fitr next monthHmm...
ryan at wonko dot com
Due to the way TCP/IP packets are buffered, using echo to send large strings to the client may cause a severe performance hit. Sometimes it can add as much as an entire second to the processing time of the script. This even happens when output buffering is used.
If you need to echo a large string, break it into smaller chunks first and then echo each chunk. The following function will do the trick in PHP5:
function echobig($string, $bufferSize = 8192)
$splitString = str_split($string, $bufferSize);
foreach($splitString as $chunk)
One of the most striking -- and effective -- strategies of the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat was its policy of presenting one message in English to mainstream media while delivering a separate, often contradictory, message to the Palestinian people in Arabic.Read it all: Saboteur and Shahid.
In the aftermath of Friday night's terror attack on a beachfront Tel Aviv night club -- the first under the tenure of Mahmoud Abbas began -- it is clear that the Palestinian media under Abbas's control are continuing Arafat's standard policies.
While the foreign media accept at face value the PA's official condemnation of Friday's suicide bombing, the PA-controlled media are glorifying the bomber as a shahid (martyr who died for Allah) -- the highest level of human achievement for a Muslim. By granting shahid status to the murderer, the PA media are portraying suicide terror as a positive religious act.
One of the most moving passages in Sharansky's book is his account of the effect Ronald Reagan’s denunciation of the Soviet Union as the “Evil Empire" had on the inmates of the gulag. Reagan’s words were denounced in the West as typical redneck bellicosity. But they were read by Russia’s dissidents as a recognition that their struggle could prevail. As the prisoners tapped out Reagan’s message to each other in morse code, through the prison walls, Sharansky writes, “dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth – a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us".
Thanks to Reagan’s moral clarity, the door of Sharansky’s prison cell swung open in 1986 and he became the first political prisoner to be released by Mikhail Gorbachev. His freedom preceded, indeed helped to lead to, the freedom of millions a few short years later.
Saudi officials told Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday that he must soon begin fully withdrawing troops from Lebanon or face strains in Saudi-Syrian ties, an official said. Assad promised only to study the idea of a partial withdrawal by later this month.Very encouraging to see this from the oil ticks, even if I mistrust their motives.
The kingdom took a tough line as Assad met with the Saudi leader, Crown Prince Abdullah, and other officials in Riyadh. The strong language pointed to increasing impatience among Arab leaders with Damascus' resistance to calling a quick pullout.
Saudi officials told Assad the kingdom insists on the full withdrawal of all Syria's 15,000 troops and intelligence forces from Lebanon and wants it to start "soon," a Saudi official said on condition of anonymity.
Assad said he would study the possibility of a partial withdrawal before an Arab summit scheduled March 23 in Algeria and said he is doing all he can to resolve the problem but that not everything is up to him, the official said.
The Saudis replied that the situation was his problem and warned that if Damascus refuses to comply, it would lead to tensions in Saudi-Syrian ties, the official told The Associated Press, speaking by phone from Riyadh.
Damage in those relations would deepen Syria's isolation after its traditional allies Russia and France joined the United States and United Nations in demanding a full pullout. Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Washington, often presents Syria's point of view to U.S. officials.
In a further sign of impatience, the Saudis rejected a Syrian request that the upcoming summit officially ask Damascus to withdraw its forces, which would give any pullback an Arab endorsement, the official said.
Saudi Arabia is also said to be angry with Damascus over the Feb. 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who also held Saudi citizenship and was close to the Saudi royal family. The Lebanese opposition has blamed Syria of involvement in the killing — an accusation Damascus denies — and has launched a series of protests that on Monday forced out Lebanon's pro-Syrian government.
During a flurry of behind-the-scenes diplomacy in recent days, Syria told Arab countries it needs to keep 3,000 troops in Lebanon "for the time being" — without giving a timetable — and to keep "early monitoring stations" in eastern Lebanon, an Arab diplomat in Cairo said Thursday.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt consider such Syrian terms unworkable, the Arab diplomat said.
The Syrian army already operates radar stations in Dahr el-Baidar, on mountain tops bordering Syria. Israeli warplanes have attacked the sites in the past.
The Syrians also have said they want a new, broader arrangement — including resuming peace talks with Israel — as part of any troop withdrawal from Lebanon. Syria wants Israelis to leave the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau they captured in the 1967 Mideast war.
While diplomats in private pressed Damascus to work quickly, Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Thursday publicly called on Damascus to follow through on the 1989 Taif accord, which calls for a redeployment of the Syrian forces to the border and eventually a full withdrawal. But they did not set a timetable.
"We all agreed to demand the implementation of the Taif Accord with respect to international legitimacy," Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem told reporters after the league meeting.
Under growing pressure, Damascus said last month it was willing to carry out the Taif accord and promised to move troops closer to its border, but hasn't yet done so. Assad has given varying estimates for the timing of a withdrawal, from less than two months to at least a year or not until Mideast peace is achieved.
Assad told Time magazine that the troops would be out "maybe in the next few months. Not after that." In a separate interview published Monday in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Assad said withdrawal would require "serious guarantees. In one word: peace."
The troops were originally deployed during Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war — ostensibly as peacekeepers — and Syria has held sway over Lebanese politics ever since.
Notably absent from the Arab League meeting in Cairo were Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Sharaa and his Lebanese counterpart, Mahmoud Hammoud, who serves in a caretaker role with the rest of the pro-Syrian Lebanese government that resigned Monday.
The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, stopped by the Arab League but did not stay for the full meeting, heading instead to the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheik to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
A wave of anti-Syrian protests began at the funeral of former premier Rafik Hariri, whose Feb. 14 assassination was widely blamed on Syria and the Damascus-allied Lebanese government. Both governments deny any role.
The protests continued — larger, louder and bolder — until the Lebanese government resigned. Far fewer people have kept up the peaceful "independence uprising" in the past few days, shifting attention to political maneuvering.
"You are finally aware of the sentiments of disgust and disrespect that all the Holy Sepulcher Fathers are feeling for the descendants of the crucifiers of our Lord Jesus Christ, actual crucifiers of your people, Sionists (sic) Jewish conquerors of the Holy Land of Palestine.Patriarch Irineos denied that he wrote this and he sued Ma'ariv, the newspaper that originally published the letter, but withdrew his lawsuit soon after and paid the newspaper's legal expenses. As Caroline Glick wrote in her January 30, 2004 column (from Frontpage Magazine - The Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and Terror):
"Irineos has claimed that the letter is a forgery, but a police investigation, which was closed two weeks ago, substantiated its authenticity. Sources close to the investigation say that three people were with Irineos when he penned the letter and all provided testimony to the police that the letter was authentic."And who can forget his former spokesman Attallah Hanna who was urging Arab Christians to join forces with Muslims and take part in suicide attacks against Israel? The Patriarch supposedly distanced himself from Hanna, but during the 2003 Easter celebration, Irineos "greeted Hanna with kisses and hugs, seated him to his right and had him translate his Greek remarks into Arabic for the audience."1
... the traditional attitude of the Greek Orthodox Church, which unlike the Roman Catholic Church, has not yet absolved the Jews for their alleged responsibility for the death of Jesus or removed such references from its liturgy. During Easter Holy Week, for example, the Jews are repeatedly called Theoktoni (God killers) and “an impious and illegitimate people."Here's how life is for a rabbi in Greece3:
Rabbi Mordechai Frisis' calling in life: "to save the remnant of Salonika's once-vibrant Jewish community from extinction… Living in Greek society is no easy task for a religious Jew, as anti-Semitism is rampant. I walk around with a cap because there have really been some problems. There is antisemitism in Greece," the rabbi notes. More than a year ago, while visiting the community, Frisis was attacked and physically beaten at the city's train station… "Greece is a very traditional Christian society, and they blame the Jews for killing Jesus. There are still people who believe that Jews drink the blood of Christians on Pessah."
|Anti-Semitic Cartoons in the Greek Press|
|(Eleftherotypia daily newspaper) |
Someone in the background: "Do you think that the Lord may be related to Hamas? Every time he is resuscitated they kill him again". (the killers walking away are an Israeli and a US soldier)
|(In Eleftherotypia, after the assassination of Sheikh Yassin)|
The woman asks: “Why did the Jewish Government kill a religious leader?" The man answers, “They are practicing for Easter."
Despite the apparent decision by US President George W Bush against renominating him to the board of the US Institute of Peace (USIP), "anti-Islamist" activist Daniel Pipes is working as diligently as ever to protect the United States and the Western world from the influence of radical Islamists.
He has proposed the creation of a new "Anti-Islamist Institute" (AII) designed to expose legal "political activities" of "Islamists", such as "prohibiting families from sending pork or pork by-products to US soldiers serving in Iraq", which nonetheless, in his view, serve the interests of radical Islam.
"In the long term ... the legal activities of Islamists pose as much or even a greater set of challenges than the illegal ones," according to the draft of a grant proposal by Pipes' Middle East Forum (MEF) obtained by Inter Press Service.
Pipes is also working with Stephen Schwartz on a new "Center for Islamic Pluralism" (CIP) whose aims are to "promote moderate Islam in the US and globally" and "to oppose the influence of militant Islam, and, in particular, the Saudi-funded Wahhabi sect of Islam, among American Muslims, in the America media, in American education ... and with US governmental bodies ..."
Schwartz, a former Trotskyite militant who became a Sufi Muslim in 1997, has received seed money from MEF, which is also accepting contributions on CIP's behalf until the government gives it tax-exempt legal status, according to another grant proposal obtained by IPS.
The CIP proposal, which says it expects to receive funding from contributors in the "American Shi'ite community" and in "Sunni mosques once liberated from Wahhabi influence", also boasts of "strong links" with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and other notable neo-conservatives, such as former Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey and the vice president for foreign-policy programming at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Danielle Pletka, as well as with Pipes himself.
Pipes, who created MEF in Philadelphia in 1994, has long campaigned against "radical" Islamists in the US, especially the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and several other national Islamic groups.
Long before the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon, he also raised alarms about the immigration of Muslims, suggesting that they constituted a serious threat to the political clout of US Jews, as well as a potential "fifth column" for radical Islamists.
Aoun told WND Hezbollah is creating an "issue" for the region and its tactics need to be debated.This only increases my distaste for the elder Bush and his entire realpolitik crew, who sold out Lebanon for Kuwait. Actually, a mercenary case could be made for selling out Lebanon in Kuwait's favor; Kuwait had existential strategic importance to us as an oil-rich nation while Lebanon did not. But selling out Lebanon in exchange for token support from Hafez Assad, while we still had to go to war to free Kuwait? We didn't need his token support. We didn't need anything from Hafez Assad. Freeing one tiny nation from Ba'athist dictatorship, while allowing another Ba'athist dictatorship to invade and occupy a tiny nation in exchange for their nominal support for the first liberation? How does this make sense?
"I think we don't need any more resistance in Lebanon, because we covered all the bases. Israel is not occupying Lebanon. Syria must be forced out. After that, any grievance Hezbollah has, such as about the disputed Shabba farms, needs to be negotiated directly."
Aoun is no stranger to revolt against Syria. While prime minister in 1989, he launched a "war of liberation" against Syrian military forces which had earlier invaded Lebanon. The war was highly popular with Lebanese citizens but failed to garner the international opposition needed to successfully oust Syrian troops. It ended in a cease-fire and the signing of the American and Saudi backed Ta'if accord, which required Syria to redeploy its troops to the Bekaa valley and confer with Lebanon on further redeployments.
Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the American government garnered Syria's participation in the U.S.-led coalition against Baghdad, and critics charge in return the previous Bush administration gave Damascus a green light to complete its conquest of Lebanon, allowing it to launch an invasion of East Beirut and the surrounding areas controlled by Aoun's government, forcing Aoun into exile in France.
Despite his exile, Auon has remained a highly popular leader in Lebanon, considered by many to be the country's most prominent opposition figure. There have been calls throughout the decade, both from the Christian community and from a significant portion of the Lebanese Muslim population for his return to power.
Auon told WND he plans to move back to Lebanon in April and may run for top office.
"But my first goal is freeing the country," he said. "After that, we will worry about politics."