Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In Briefs

A primer about the nature of the enemy begins:

Given the stakes involved in this war and how little is known, even now, about what is at the core of this conflict, it is worth reviewing in some detail the nature of our enemy - including disaggregating who they are (Shia and Sunni extremists), what they believe and why they believe it, and the implications of that for America and the West.
Read it all here.

Israel is often called the canary in the coal mine, effectively a looking glass into the future for other Western countries, particularly when it comes to the interaction with the enemy. A disturbing feature of such interaction:
38 of the 272 suicide bombings in Israel (roughly 14 percent) were carried out by terrorists that had received Israeli citizenship in the context of family reunification
Read on here.

ABC News Online has an article called Fatah stages show of force that begins:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party has celebrated its 42nd anniversary with a mass rally in Gaza City that amounted to a show of force against its rival, the governing Hamas.
Note it's a 42-year anniversary. That's 1965 when Fatah was established (1964 to be exact). This preceded the Six Day War in which Gaza, Judea and Samaria (an earlier name for the West Bank) were captured by Israel in a defensive war. Thus putting paid to the idea that Fatah is only trying to "liberate" the lands "occupied" in 1967.

Something to worry about:
Federal authorities have investigated whether Islamic extremists from Saudi Arabia had sought to fund a mosque in South Australia, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says.

Mr Downer said there were concerns that a Saudi-funded Adelaide mosque could have become a breeding ground for extremists.

"I can say that there have been investigations by federal authorities in Adelaide into funding for mosques from Saudi Arabia," he told ABC radio in Adelaide on Monday morning.

"And by funding from Saudi Arabia, I don't mean funding by the Saudi Arabian government, but by extremist groups in Saudi Arabia."

Gee, I hope it was funded by the extremist Saudi Arabian government and not extremist groups in Saudi Arabia.

Alan Dershowitz is on song again:
The international community's obsessive focus on the State of Israel caused it to miss out on genocides all around the world, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz told a rally in a Toronto synagogue last week, according to a report in the Canadian Jewish News.

"Six million additional people have died since the end of the Second World War because of this obsessive focus on Israel," Dershowitz was quoted as saying, citing global inaction over the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and the slaughter currently taking place in Darfur.

The magician's art of distraction.

Finally, what do terrorists do in a period of calm (tahdiye) or ceasefire (hudna)? Answer given here:

The noteworthy drop in Israeli casualties from Palestinian attacks belies the fact that there has been "significant escalation on the ground in terms of the threat levels and the number of attempts to dispatch suicide bombers" in recent months, a senior officer in the IDF Central Command told reporters yesterday.

Relaying data on violence in the territories during the past year, the officer said that 187 Palestinians, currently in Israeli custody, were involved in conspiracies to carry out suicide bombing attacks in 2006.

Last year, 11 Israeli citizens were killed in two suicide bombings perpetrated within the Green Line, the lowest such figure since 2001.

According to the senior officer, the greatest asset in the arsenal of the security forces is the ability to operate freely in Palestinian cities.

During the period of tahdiye (calm), between January and September of 2005, the IDF avoided entering Palestinian towns, but once the agreement that led to the calm collapsed, it was necessary to use greater numbers of troops in order to renew operations inside the cities.
Someone needs to turn the tap off, not just put the plug in the sinkhole.

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