But it is not just better conflict-management within the alliance that Mr Bush is after. There is also a quiet revolution under way both in what America expects of its own diplomats and soldiers around the world and what it will be asking of its friends.
Administration officials are urging their NATO partners and other close allies such as Australia, Japan and South Korea to think—and if need be act—more globally. Some of the Europeans, at least, are far from ready. For NATO, the crunch is likely to come at its planned summit in Riga in late November.
In the light of Iraq, Mr Bush's rethinking is not chiefly about what America should be doing in the world. It is still “at war” with international terrorism, he explained in last week's updated National Security Strategy. It will still take on the world's proliferators, such as North Korea and Iran. And despite the election victory of Hamas in Palestine, his administration makes no apologies for its support for democratic change in the Middle East and beyond. But what Mr Bush's secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, has called America's “transformational diplomacy” is about means and partners, as much as ends. Certainly, America is not turning its back on Europe, insist officials at both the State Department and the Pentagon. Far from it. But the Atlantic alliance should no longer be about defending already secure real-estate in western Europe, argues one senior State Department man. It should be about what America and Europe can do together in the wider world where the new threats come from. Hence the nascent plans for a more global alliance that America hopes will be accepted at NATO's Riga summit later in the year.
The alliance has been tiptoeing in that direction for a while. It is about to take over security duties in Afghanistan; for months the NATO Response Force, trained for mobility, impact and reach, helped bring relief to earthquake victims in Pakistan; and NATO helped lift African Union peacekeepers into Darfur and may be called on to do more if the AU force is strengthened under United Nations auspices.
FAYETTEVILLE -- The federal trial of a Fayetteville man accused of trying to join the Palestinian holy war against Israel is on hold while the sides negotiate a plea bargain, according to court documents.
Arwah Jaber faces charges of knowingly attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, considered by the government to be a terrorist organization. If convicted of the material support charge, Jaber faces up to 15 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both.
The case was set for trial March 27 in Fayetteville but was continued Thursday by U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren at the request of Jaber's attorneys. Prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office did not object.
"The parties are currently working on plea negotiations. These negotiations have raised a number of issues that are currently being researched. The issues have to be addressed by a number of potential agencies," Hendren's order said. "Both parties are working diligently and in good faith to resolve this matter without the need of trial."
The case was reset for May 9.
Jaber was pulled out of line and arrested June 16 at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. The government contends he was flying out to join the jihad. Jaber maintains he was going to visit relatives.
Jaber, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in the West Bank town of Yamoun, allegedly told federal authorities he told his doctoral professor and others at the university he was going to Palestine to "fight for freedom, peace and justice."
Jaber maintains he was frustrated with his professor over delays in graduating and made the statements in an effort to sway the teacher into approving his degree. He contends he didn't mean any of it and recanted the statements under questioning by FBI agents.
He was also indicted for allegedly failing to disclose an alias on an application for naturalization in 2000 and an application for a passport in 2002, and using a fake Social Security number on a credit card application in 2000.
Top Islamist cleric Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi has delivered a speech on Qatari television calling on Muslims to murder Jews in "in the name of Islam." The speech has been translated by the Arabic translation service MEMRI .
On February 25, Qaradawi told viewers: "Everything will be on our side and against Jews on (Judgment Day); at that time, even the stones and the trees will speak, with or without words, and say: 'Oh servant of Allah, oh Muslim, there's a Jew behind me, come and kill him. They will point to the Jews."
"It says 'servant of Allah,' not 'servant of desires,' 'servant of women,' 'servant of the bottle,' 'servant of Marxism,' or 'servant of liberalism'... It said 'servant of Allah,'" added Qaradawi.
Emphasizing the Islamic nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and attempting to denigrate the role of Arab nationalism, Qaradawi
"When the Muslims, the Arabs, and the Palestinians enter a war, they do it to worship Allah. They enter it as Muslims. The hadith says: 'Oh Muslim.' It says 'oh Muslim,' not 'oh Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian, or Arab nationalist.' No, it says: 'Oh Muslim.' When we enter (a war) under the banner of Islam, and under the banner of serving Allah, we will be victorious."
Qaradawi, who is seen as a highly influential religious leader, also threatened that if Palestinians were reluctant to carry out a jihad, other Muslims would take their place.
"We are fighting them in the name of Islam, because Islam commands us to fight whoever plunders our land, and occupies our country. All the school of Islamic jurisprudence - the Sunni, the Shiite, the Ibadhiya - and all the ancient and modern schools of jurisprudence - agree that any invader who occupies even an inch of land of the Muslims must face resistance," he said.
"The Muslims of that country must carry out the resistance, and the rest of the Muslims must help them. If the people of that country are incapable or reluctant, we must fight to defend the land of Islam, even if the local (Muslims) give it up," added Qaradawi.
Qaradawi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was invited to London in 2004 by Mayor Ken Livingstone, who then described the cleric as a "progressive figure."
There has been almost a threefold increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported since 2001, said Ruth Klein, national director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights and one of the lead authors of the 60-page report.
“It’s like with 9/11, the genie was let out of the bottle,” she said. “All of the polite prejudices that were just under the surface, they’ve now become much more evident.”