This is the way it is here. We meet in smoky places. We give the high sign, we nod knowingly. We are like members of the Maquis in Occupied France. Or early Christians emerging from the catacombs in Caligula's Rome. We are the GOP in Hollywood, and on the West Side of L.A. The culture here is so dominantly left-wing, PC, vegan, hate-America that many of us feel we have to behave as if we were underground.We Shall Overcome
In a radical departure from years of Parisian critical rhetoric, the French ambassador to Israel, Gerard Araud, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he thought Israel "has tried to show the utmost restraint" in the course of the conflict with the Palestinians since 2000.
The ambassador even evinced a certain understanding of the deaths of Palestinians during the course of Israeli army activity. "It's unavoidable that in some operations...," he said, leaving that sentence uncompleted. "War is dirty, war is always dirty," he went on, and then added: "Occupation is never clean."
I disagree with the UK's planned religious hatred laws on principle. There are no sensible grounds to make a distinction between shouting "kill all Muslims" and "kill all Bolton fans" - being a Muslim or a Bolton fan is an individual act of choice, and both identifications are shaped but not determined by one's cultural background. Neither group is inherently harmful, even if both could be described as somewhat misguided.
But while it's wrong for the law to treat the two utterances differently, the new laws' practical impact on satirists, or indeed almost anyone else, is zero. Saying "Islam is bollocks" will be legal; taking the piss out of Mohammed will be legal; saying "kill all Muslims" will be illegal - just as currently in the UK, saying "blacks go home" is legal, taking the piss out of Nelson Mandela is legal, and saying "burn down the blacks' houses until they go home" is illegal.
Osama bin Laden is using cash from the Afghanistan heroin market to finance his life on the run, paying bodyguards and buying off warlords in Pakistan, says a congressman who has visited the region.
62 percent of respondents in the poll said that they were sick of "all this harping" of German crimes against Jews, while 68% said that they found it "annoying" that Germans today are still held to blame for Nazi crimes against Jews
As flames engulfed the Warsaw ghetto in its last days in 1943, a young Jewish woman hiding from Nazi soldiers kept a journal about her fight to survive in a cramped basement.
The six-page diary, apparently the only account written during the uprising that survived the battle, has surfaced at a Holocaust museum in Israel.
The monthlong uprising by a few dozen desperate, starving Jews holding their own against the Nazis is one of the best known tales of Jewish heroism from the ashes of the Holocaust.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall, some of us argued that the Security Council might finally live up to its original postwar promise. We wrote hopefully about this at the time. And for one brief, shining moment after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, the world united behind U.S. leadership to push him back to Iraq. But soon enough the Security Council fell back on its Cold War habit of failing to act when the moment required it. Let's call the dishonor roll:On Planet U.N.
• Failing to enforce 17 resolutions against Saddam, tolerating his ejection of U.N. weapons inspectors, and even enabling him to stay in power by looking the other way as he exploited Oil for Food.
• Failing to use U.N. peacekeepers already in place to stop the Rwanda genocide in 1994, and, worse, handing over thousands of Bosnian Muslim men for slaughter by the Serbs at Srebrenica in 1995.
• Failing to act in Kosovo in 1999, amid the threat of a Russian veto, leaving NATO the task of preventing a bloody civil war on European soil.
• As recently as this year, failing to stop the massacre of African Muslims in Sudan's Darfur province.
• And failing even to bring up for formal debate, let alone action, North Korean and Iranian violations of non-proliferation agreements.
We could go on, but the point is that anyone who wants to solve a global problem knows not to take it to the U.N. The French jumped into the Ivory Coast on their own, asking the Security Council for its blessing only after the fact. Rather than facilitate "coalitions of the willing," the Council with its vetoes has become a body that thwarts them. We suspect the Security Council is now beyond saving, since the French and Russians are hardly going to give up their veto prerogatives, however outdated in terms of their ebbing global clout.
Michael Scheuer, a former senior intelligence official, says recruiting a terrorist to spy for the US today is much different from soliciting a Communist. During the Soviet era, he says, the CIA targeted the party's youth. It wasn't easy: Many had just come through the Communist youth organization and embraced Marxist ideology. But if the CIA spy could make contact with a young officer early, build a lasting friendship, the operative could find recruits.From the perspective of Islam, these guys are very nearly saints. He has a great point. The dregs and the lowlifes are found at the periphery of the terrorist network, where they have little power to do harm. More on this, plus how the CIA once broke the Abu Nidal organization's back, after the jump...
"They would find that it was the politburo leaders who had the gravy jobs, nice apartments, dachas in the country, and cars," Scheuer says. "[The youth grew to] see it was nothing but gangsterism, and their disillusion with that and their growing admiration of American society made it easier for them to work with us."
But the opposite occurs within Islamist terror groups. If the CIA targets the young, it gets someone who is street savvy - a gunrunner, document forger, or drug trafficker. But as the militant burrows deeper into the group, as the CIA would want, he finds the Al Qaeda doctrine and leaders more appealing.
"The ideological lure of militant Islam is stronger as you progress into the organization," Scheuer says. "From the perspective of Islam, now, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are decent, pious men."
Tens of thousands of opposition supporters gathered on 5 December at Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt's headquarters to show support for his stance against Damascus’ continuing influence over Lebanon.
Other opposition groups also protested, amid growing cohesion among opposition politicians in rejecting the presence of the 14,000 Syrian troops based in the country. “Fear nothing," Jumblatt said. "We are not alone in the world anymore, but what we need now is steadfastness."
The previous day, Jumblatt returned from Paris where he held talks with President Chirac, which focussed on implementing the French-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution calling on Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. A demonstration opposing the resolution was held in Beirut the previous week, but failed to secure the one million protestors promised by Prime Minister Omar Karameh
In the Friday sermon of December 3, 2004, broadcast on Palestinian Authority TV, preacher Muhammad Jammal Abu Hunud called for the development of a modern Islamic discourse, to recognize the "other," to treat him with tolerance, and to avoid extremism and violence. The sermon was broadcast from the Presidency Mosque in Gaza, in the presence of PLO Chairman Abu Mazen, Secretary-General of the Presidency, Al-Tayyib 'Abd Al-Rahim, the former Interior Minister Hani Al-Hasan, and other high-ranking officers. The preacher read the sermon from a sheet of paper.Palestinian Authority TV: A Call to Avoid Extremism and Violence
All this differs from earlier sermons aired by PA TV, which were mostly broadcast from the Shiekh 'Ijlin Mosque, where regular preachers, such as Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi and Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris (PA employees), would frequently call for Jihad and martyrdom operations, and included anti-American, anti-British and Antisemitic messages.
Thousands of women are killed every year by relatives for choosing a partner or lifestyle that "dishonours" the family, in a phenomenon that crosses national and religious borders, experts say.
"I have seen a United Nations estimate of 5,000 women killed a year, but it could be considerably higher," said Gerd Johnsson Latham, a Swedish foreign ministry expert on gender issues.
She is one of the organisers of what officials say is the biggest international conference on so-called honour violence, being held this week outside Stockholm.
Sweden, which has few peers worldwide in promoting women's rights in public life and business, was shocked in 2002 by the "honour killing" of student Fadime Sahindal, shot dead by her Kurdish Muslim father because she wanted to marry a Swede.
"I seriously believe the Death Squad did it," says Mustafa Al Jammal, 21, a law student at Al Azhar University in Gaza, commenting on the latest assassination of an assistant professor at the university on November 27.
Yasser Al Madhoun, 27, who taught statistics at the university, was killed when a bomb placed underneath his seat exploded as he was about to sit in his office. His colleagues and students described him as a quiet man who was not affiliated with any political party.
Lacking both motives and clues as to the perpetrators of this crime, Palestinian suspicions turned to the so-called 'Security and Protection Unit' of Gaza's Preventive Security Service (PSS), which Gazans now call the 'Death Squad'.