War, the Long War: A Just Crusade
“Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master.” — Demosthenes (384-322 BC)
“It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.”
– James Madison (letter to the [Muslim] Dey of Algiers, August 1816) Reference: Madison, III, page 17
Thought the Muslim Brotherhood Was Bad? Meet Egypt’s Other Islamist Party.
Eric Trager December 2, 2011
The real surprise is the emergence of the Salafist Nour party, a deeply theocratic organization that bases its ideology on a literal reading of the Qur’an and Sunna and, most astoundingly, didn’t exist until a few months ago. Although Salafist political activity was, unlike the Brotherhood, completely banned under the Mubarak regime, the Nour Party is giving the Brotherhood a run for its money in some districts. Not only is the Islamist Alliance, in which the Nour Party is the major player, running 693 candidates—but those candidates’ banners and images have been ubiquitous, even in Egypt’s least religious neighborhoods. It is now expected to place second when the final round of elections is completed in January, perhaps winning as much as 30 percent of the vote.
The Nour Party’s strong campaign was particularly noticeable here in Fayoum, a rural governorate 81 miles southwest of Cairo that is home to 2.5 million people. Based on my experiences covering various Cairo polling places on Monday, I fully expected a strong showing in Fayoum for the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Islamist ideology is very much at home in this traditional countryside region. And, indeed, the Brotherhood was quite visible. But the Nour Party was, without question, much more visible. From the moment we entered the governorate, Nour banners—and often only Nour banners—were everywhere: atop light poles, along traffic islands, and even on mosques. (One aspect of the Nour’s campaign particularly impressed me: To get around the ban on using the Islamic crescent as a party symbol, Nour chose to be represented on ballots by another Islamic symbol: the fanous, a decorative lamp that Muslims display during Ramadan.)
My first stop was at a polling station along a major road, a schoolhouse that was one of the few structures in an otherwise pastoral setting. Although there was little foot traffic, approximately two dozen enthusiastic Nour party supporters—again, only Nour party supporters—were milling about, apparently waiting to help voters. “I voted for the Nour party yesterday,” Ahmed Kamel, sporting the bushy-beard-sans-mustache look that is typical of Salafists, told me. “They are honest and I trust them a lot. They depend on the Holy Qur’an and the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him.”
At my second stop, a very busy polling station towards the center of Fayoum city, the Nour Party and Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice—and no other parties—manned nearby voter assistance kiosks. But here, the Nour Party’s presence was notably more advanced: whereas the Brotherhood was using an old desktop with a boxy monitor to tell people which voting box was theirs, the Nour activists were working off of two sleek, new-looking laptops and handing out impressively concise copies of their platform.
Yet the most impressive scene came at my third stop, in front of the Nour Party’s Fayoum headquarters, where I found a number of activists clad in yellow, Nour-emblazoned, reflective vests. They had been collecting voters from centralized locations and bringing them to the polling places all day. “We announce where [voters] should meet,” Mohamed Abdel Rahman Mahmoud, a 32-year-old electrician, told me. “We have a microphone on our cars, and we move around to tell them.” The Nour Party’s voter-roundup operation was hardly unique to Fayoum: a colleague of mine also spotted yellow-vested Salafists in the city of Luxor, and it is likely that they used this technique in similarly traditional settings where they have wide support.
When I asked these bushy-bearded politicos how they had emerged from obscurity to omnipresence in a matter of months, they insisted that the Nour Party had organically grown from the bottom-up. “As Salafists, we are part of the Muslim community and we connect with Muslims as brothers, and there is a private connection as Salafists,” Mohamed Abdel Tawaq, the Nour Party’s 31-year-old Fayoum coordinator, told me. “We met each other through mosques and universities. We live in a Muslim society.”
But the mass organization that they’d pulled off so quickly clearly requires money. Where is it coming from? “We pay zakat to an organization that belongs to the party,” said Abdel Tawaq. Rumor has it, I replied, that most of their funds come from Saudi Arabia, which—I didn’t say this part aloud—has a history of exporting its own Islamic radicalism elsewhere. “You see all the [Nour Party] branches around Egypt, and you think we have so much money,” said Ali Sharaf, a Nour party coordinator who was sitting nearby. “But we’re really struggling to pay the rent here. Our money comes from dues.” He said that dues were only 10 Egyptian pounds—roughly $1.75—each month, and that they had registered thousands of new members. (Given the ubiquity of the Nour Party’s banners and the scale of their operation, this is scarcely believable.)
I also asked the Salafists why hadn’t they just joined the Muslim Brotherhood. “Because the Muslim Brotherhood is a group and tied to certain rules,” said Ali Sharaf, a Nour party coordinator who was sitting nearby. “But I’m a Muslim and Islam is open to anything.”
Yet I’d already learned that the Salafists were not as open-minded as they claimed. At one of my polling place visits, a van full of women that had been brought to vote for Nour called me over to extol the Nour Party’s virtues. A Nour representative swiftly approached my translator and told us to stop talking to women.
Middle East: Mass bloodshed followed by Islamist rule is in Egypt’s future thanks to President Obama’s Mideast destabilization policy. A hijacked “Arab Spring” isn’t limited to the … More »
1. Hamas is a radical Islamic terror group operating out of the Gaza Strip. Hamas, which means “enthusiasm” or “bravery” in Arabic, is the acronym for its full title, the Islamic Resistance Movement. Its military wing is called Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, named after the group’s infamous weapon, the qassam rocket. Hamas also has a paramilitary police force, known as the Executive Force.
The group has some 20,000 fighters among its ranks. Hamas’ political leader Khaled Mashaal runs Hamas from Damascus, Syria while Ahmed Jabari, Hamas’ military leader, lives in Gaza. Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh also sits in Gaza. Following the recent revolts sweeping across Syria, Hamas’ leadership is now worried it may have to relocate to Egypt or Qatar. [more]
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New York Post,
|Israel’s Closing Window to Strike Iran
David Makovsky, The Washington Institute, Nov. 22
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BBC, Nov. 21
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Haaretz, Nov. 23
“Why has this president not supported a movement that stands for freedom?” — Dr. Michael Ledeen
Actual gunfights are breaking out between the supporters of Ahmadinejad and his opponents. The major GOP presidential candidates stand with the Iranian opposition. According to Dr. Ledeen, the Green Movement has given coded pleas for help that have been ignored by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Why? The answer might surprise you.
PJ News Break: Iran Threatens Israel with Hail of Missiles.
It’s the PJ News Break with Scott Ott. Hear the latest on the Egyptian elections and Iranian threats of missile warfare.
Iran’s ‘World Without America’ and the EMP Threat Recent reports indicate Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2015, if not earlier. What has been largely ignored is Iran’s ability to acquire an …
Trifecta: Obama Declares Victory in Iraq, But Will Iran Fill the Vacuum?
After eight years, the War in Iraq has ended, at least, according to President Obama. American troops will be out of that county by the end of the year, but will the United States be back in the future? Stephen Green, Scott Ott and Bill Whittle break down President Obama’s decision.
“It all comes to an end at the end of this year, when the last American soldier leaves the country, and that’s because of a botched negotiation by the Obama Administration.” – Steve Green
“I think the Arab Spring is a misnomer” — Rep. Allen West
White House: “Profoundly” Isolated Iran Still Pursuing Nuclear Weapons
By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Obama’s national security adviser on Tuesday declared that years of sanctions have weakened the Iranian regime as never before, but have not derailed Tehran’s efforts to pursue nuclear weapons.
Roughly 200 Iranian entities and individuals are set to be targeted by European Union penalties endorsed informally by the bloc’s members on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Iran denied providing any assistance to the chemical weapons program once operated by the Qadhafi regime in Libya, Agence France-Presse reported on Wednesday.
By Yochi J. Dreazen National Journal
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Monday unveiled a sweeping new set of sanctions against Iran, but the White House held off on directly targeting Iran’s central bank, a hard-hitting move that would damage Iran’s economy but risk sending global oil prices skyrocketing and sparking potentially violent Iranian retaliation.
A new round of U.S., British and Canadian penalties targeting Iran’s financial and petroleum operations has little chance of prompting the Middle Eastern state to end its disputed atomic activities, experts told Reuters.
Iran appears to have accelerated work at its Parchin military installation, possibly in a bid to eliminate remnants of atomic efforts that a recent U.N. report suggests were carried out at the site, the Associated Press on Monday quoted a government source as saying.
Iran was conducting a secret experiment linked to ICBM development earlier this month when a detonation took the life of a participating Revolutionary Guard general and no fewer than 20 others, the officer’s brother reportedly said on Saturday in comments that he later disavowed.
by Dr. Robin McFee
Now that the world finally has accepted that Iran is building nuclear weapons after a long denial, the deeper issues of what this means, and will mean in the future, should be explored seriously.
Iran and Iraq Cozy Up
Despite the Obama Administration’s “rose-colored glasses” assessment of Iraq’s future as a democratic haven in a sea of radical Islamist despots, political thugs and monarchs, Iraq appears open to befriending its neighbor Iran as was demonstrated yesterday. As was predicted by several former military, intelligence and law enforcement commanders, the Iraqi military and their Iranian counterparts are already meeting in anticipation of the December withdrawal of all U.S. forces in an effort to thwart Iraq’s internal enemies……
by Jim Kouri
Obama is merely one tip of the real, global and Islamic conspiracy
Dictators rarely establish control through war, although some do. Most, however promise, lie and seduce the masses to believe in them and follow them. Dictators hand out enough dog bones to the people and present enough confusion and diversion, that they are caught. Once the needy people have taken the hook, the other shoe starts to drop. The diversions, entertainment and dog bones continue to flow as all wealth, freedom, food and property are stolen and redistributed. Meanwhile, the…..
by Laurie Roth
BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Announces New Sanctions on Iran
White House orders sanctions to target those who contribute to the growth of Iran's petrochemical products, amid new concerns of nuclear weapons development. More headlines from FoxNews.com: http://email.foxnews.com/t?ctl=16F6E:CB2F3FC8DC49563DAF227C3871ABD478&
Late Thursday night, American company Hawker Beechcraft was informed by the U.S. Air Force that they were not going to be allowed to compete for an American military aircraft contract.
The company had been working with the Air Force for two years and spent over $100 million to ensure compliance with the requirements for the plane and says the craft (Beechcraft AT-6) met all requirements as shown through a demonstration actually led by the Air National Guard.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t appear to be a question of being outbid or outclassed. In fact, this seems to be a classic example of a contract being awarded without any bidding process at all, something you may remember infuriated the left when the recipient of the contract was American company Haliburton.
There’s a big difference this time. The company the no-bid contract went to isn’t an American company. Worse yet, the company it did go to has questionable friends. Namely, Iran.
Iran Will Never End Its Nuclear Quest
The religious dimension to Iran’s nuclear weapons program makes it unlike any threat previously posed by the Soviets: the Iranian regime actively wants to bring on Armageddon.
Report: Hundreds of N. Koreans Work on Iran’s Nukes
North Korean nuclear and missile experts have been sent to Iran to help Tehran’s nuclear weapons development program, according to a diplomatic source.
“Hundreds of North Korean nuclear and missile engineers have been working at more than 10 sites [in Iran], including Natanz and Qom,” the source told South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
According to Yonhap, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, “has a track record of accurate information.”
“The North Koreans are visiting Iran via third countries and many of them are being rotated in every three to six months,” the diplomatic source disclosed.
“The North Korean experts are from the country’s so-called Room 99, which is directly supervised by the North’s ruling Workers’ Party Munitions Industry Department.” Room 99 “is widely believed to be engaged in exports of weapons and military technology.”
A South Korean official said the source’s allegations are “not a matter that the government can officially confirm.”
But reports surfaced late last year that Mohammad Reza Heydari, a former Iranian diplomat who defected to the West earlier in 2010, said he saw many North Korean technicians in Iran between 2002 and 2007 working on the country’s nuclear program, according to Yonhap.
North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, and both Pyongyang and Iran are under United Nations sanctions for their nuclear programs.
Reacting to the Yonhap report, the Iranian embassy in South Korea told the agency it “categorically rejects such allegations,” calling the report a “sheer lie and blatant accusation” against Iran.
AIPAC Urges ‘Devastating’ Iran Sanctions
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has sent an email warning about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and urging support for a bill to stiffen sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The email signed by Jonathan E. Missner, AIPAC’s director of national affairs and development, and addressed to “Dear Friend of Israel” begins: “Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued an unprecedented report that confirms Iran is closing in on the capability to produce nuclear weapons.
“This alarming report comes on the heels of the discovery last month that Iran was behind a foiled plot to attack Saudi and Israeli targets on U.S. soil.
“These wakeup calls further indicate the need for the United States and our allies to act with devastating new sanctions on Iran now. These sanctions are needed to prevent the nightmare scenario this nuclear-armed regime would pose.”
AIPAC asks recipients to send an email urging their representative to vote for the Iran Threat Reduction Act when it comes to the House floor. The bill would impose tough new sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and establish as law that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
AIPAC also asks for online contributions in support of the organization’s work with Congress and the administration “to ensure these vital Iran sanctions are enacted without delay.”
The email states: “The time to act is now. Iran is nearing a tipping point in its illicit nuclear pursuit and will only be further emboldened if it is allowed to acquire a nuclear weapons capability.”
STRATFOR Intelligence Report. Read the online version.
Syria, Iran, and the Balance of Power in the Middle East
By George Friedman | November 22, 2011
U.S. troops are in the process of completing their withdrawal from Iraq by the end-of-2011 deadline. We are now moving toward a reckoning with the consequences. The reckoning concerns the potential for a massive shift in the balance of power in the region, with Iran moving from a fairly marginal power to potentially a dominant power. As the process unfolds, the United States and Israel are making countermoves. We have discussed all of this extensively. Questions remain whether these countermoves will stabilize the region and whether or how far Iran will go in its response.
Iran has been preparing for the U.S. withdrawal. While it is unreasonable simply to say that Iran will dominate Iraq, it is fair to say Tehran will have tremendous influence in Baghdad to the point of being able to block Iraqi initiatives Iran opposes. This influence will increase as the U.S. withdrawal concludes and it becomes clear there will be no sudden reversal in the withdrawal policy. Iraqi politicians’ calculus must account for the nearness of Iranian power and the increasing distance and irrelevance of American power. Read more »
Middle East analyst Bayless Parsley examines the impact violent clashes between Egyptian protesters and security forces will have on upcoming parliamentary elections and how Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces plans to respond. Watch the Video »