Amazing how progressives shout loudly for women’s rights, except in countries where women are truly oppressed. As for Kerry, the “Winter Soldier” is too dense to be called a “willing dhimmi.” He likely has no idea how he’s enabling totalitarian Sharia law.
Oh, they said it was because of the general ineffectiveness of he United Nations in the various crises in the region, but, really, the KSA is ticked off at the Obama administration for its bumbling mishandling of Syria, Iran, Egypt, Iran, and Iran. (You might notice a bit of a focus in the Saudi estimation of their security needs. If you guessed “Iran,” take a cigar from the humidor.) This has Walter Russell Mead rightly concerned, and he helpfully points out the many ways an angry Saudi Arabia could make life miserable for Team Smart Power:
It remains unclear to us whether the Obama administration has for its part thought through the full consequences (1) of a serious rift with the Saudis. It’s possible the administration thinks there is little they can actually do, and it’s also possible that they calculate that the costs of making the Saudis happy are not worth paying (getting tougher on Iran, distancing from the Muslim Brotherhood, and foregoing the ultimate dream of a democratic Arab Middle East).
There are not many signs of order and coherence in US Middle East policy at the moment, so there is at least the possibility that the White House hasn’t really thought through just what the Saudis could do that would make us unhappy. That would be a mistake. The Saudis have a lot of weight in Pakistan and could make things easier or harder for us there. They have a lot of influence particularly among the hard core Islamists and in the nuclear program. It’s worth thinking about what that could mean. Also, as US dependence on Middle East oil decreases, China looms larger as a customer for the Saudis, and there are a number of favors those countries could do for each other that would make life more complicated for American foreign policy.
Consider this a second warning shot from the Saudis, the first being their flirtation with Moscow. As I wrote at the time:
We are witnessing the growing collapse of American influence throughout a region crucial to our security, and our rivals will be sure to pick up the slack. This isn’t just the loss of a few years’ work: this is the crumbling of a geopolitical position that’s taken 70 years to build. And it’s all due to the stunning ineptitude of Barack Obama and the Hundred Acre Wood school of foreign affairs. They are leading us toward a major disaster.
We’re in the best of hands.
There’s more at Via Meadia.
(1) “…thought through…?” The team that couldn’t foresee a need to have an emergency reaction force handy for the consulate in Benghazi, in the middle of an al Qaeda recruiting ground — with the anniversary of 9-11 approaching? Why on Earth would anyone think that?
UPDATE: Slight mistake based on my misreading of Mead’s post. Saudi Arabia didn’t quit the UN Security Council, but the did refuse a seat on it, to almost everyone’s shock. I’ve corrected the subject.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
This is truly impressive. Day after day, I can sit back and watch as the American position in the Mideast and North Africa heads into the abyss.
Our Thelma and Louise ride over the cliff began quietly, with Obama turning the key and slapping our allies in Israel and embracing the Islamist premier of Turkey (But what’s a revived caliphate among friends?); he accelerated through his studied silence during the 2009 democratic revolt in Iran, thus emboldening the mullahs; he went into high gear during the Pee-Wee President’s Big Libyan Adventure that ended with the death of a US ambassador and al Qaeda looting Qaddafi’s armories; and he absolutely floored it during the so-called Arab Spring as we found ourselves, after he first dithered like some obscure Illinois state senator, supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al Qaeda-aligned rebels in Syria.
And now, for some reason, our long-term clients in the region seem to have decided we are untrustworthy (or barking mad) and are looking to make their own arrangements.
Via Walter Russell Mead:
[Prince] Bandar [bin Sultan al-Saud] discussed the potential cooperation between the two countries if an understanding could be reached on a number of issues, especially Syria. He discussed at length the matter of oil and investment cooperation, saying, “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets. … We understand Russia’s great interest in the oil and gas present in the Mediterranean Sea from Israel to Cyprus through Lebanon and Syria. And we understand the importance of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe. We are not interested in competing with that. We can cooperate in this area as well as in the areas of establishing refineries and petrochemical industries. The kingdom can provide large multi-billion-dollar investments in various fields in the Russian market. What’s important is to conclude political understandings on a number of issues, particularly Syria and Iran….
The key to the relations between our two countries starts by understanding our approach to the Syrian issue. So you have to stop giving [the Syrian regime] political support, especially at the UN Security Council, as well as military and economic support. And we guarantee you that Russia’s interests in Syria and on the Mediterranean coast will not be affected one bit. In the future, Syria will be ruled by a moderate and democratic regime that will be directly sponsored by us and that will have an interest in understanding Russia’s interests and role in the region.”
Yes, you read that right. Our Saudi allies (1), whose patron we’ve been since FDR’s day, now want an “arrangement” with Putin’s Russia. In return for playing along with Saudi policy in Syria, Russian interests will be protected and, oh, the Saudis will cooperate on price-fixing. (Russian oil being expensive to extract, they need high prices to make it worthwhile. The regime is utterly dependent on oil.) And the American role in all this?
This is jaw-dropping stuff, to say the least. Nothing was signed in this closed-door meeting between Putin and Bandar—Putin requested time for both countries to look into the specifics of such a deal. But the mere fact that our allies felt like they needed to go this route signals that something is seriously awry in President Obama’s Middle East approach.
Putin probably requested time because he was too busy pinching himself to make sure this wasn’t a dream. It’s an opening for a return to influence in the Middle East that the Russians have been looking for since the Soviet Union fell apart.
As usual, the gentle Dr. Mead speaks volumes via understatement. We are witnessing the growing collapse of American influence throughout a region crucial to our security, and our rivals will be sure to pick up the slack. This isn’t just the loss of a few years’ work: this is the crumbling of a geopolitical position that’s taken 70 years to build. And it’s all due to the stunning ineptitude of Barack Obama and the Hundred Acre Wood school of foreign affairs. They are leading us toward a major disaster.
And we’ve got three more years of this? I need a drink…
(1) Yeah, I know. Many Saudis donate to al Qaeda and other groups, and the Kingdom itself is an aggressive pusher of Islamic supremacism. But, when it came to Mideast geopolitics and security, they knew which side their bread was buttered on. And now they’re looking for a new baker.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Money is crucial to global jihadism, and too few people (thanks to a pusillanimous government and media) realize the role played by wealthy Saudis and the dominant Wahhabi sect of Islam. This article is a good antidote.
Originally posted on Money Jihad:
The Woolrich butcher, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and the 9/11 hijackers were all products of a system of Wahhabi inculcation funded by Saudi Arabia over the last several decades. This is the analysis of Jonathan Manthorpe writing for the Vancouver Sun—a judgment that is increasingly impossible to dispute.
Jonathan Manthorpe: Saudi Arabia funding fuels jihadist terror
Big chunks of the country’s huge oil earnings have been spent on spreading a violent and intolerant variety of Islam
By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun columnist May 28, 2013
The ultimate responsibility for recent atrocities like the Boston Marathon bombing and the butchering last week of an off-duty British soldier is very clear.
It belongs to Saudi Arabia.
Over more than two decades, Saudi Arabia has lavished around $100 billion or more on the worldwide promotion of the violent, intolerant and crudely puritanical Wahhabist sect of Islam that the ruling royal family espouses.
The links of the Boston bombers and the London butchers to organizations following the Saudi royal family’s religious line are clear.
One of the two London butchers, Nigerian-born Michael Adebolajo, was radicalized by the cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who headed the outlawed terrorist group Al-Muhajiroun.
The group follows Wahhabist teachings and advocates unifying all Muslims, forcibly if necessary, under a single fundamentalist theocratic government.
Similarly, the Boston bombers, Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev, hailed from Russia’s southern predominantly Muslim province of Chechnya. Starting in the late 1980s, Saudi Arabia began dispatching Wahhabist clerics and radical preachers to Chechnya.
The spread of Wahhabism sparked not only a separatist war against the Russians, but also a good deal of violence among Muslims.
Wahhabism is now institutionalized in Chechnya and is particularly attractive to young men.
There are similar strands leading back to Wahhabist indoctrination in the histories of very many of the known Muslim terrorists of the last 20 years.
The founder of the sect, Muhammad ibn abd al-Wahhab, was an eighteenth century Muslim zealot allied to the Al-Saud clan who promoted an extreme version of Salafism.
Salaf is the Arab word meaning pious ancestor and refers to those who attempt to emulate the pure Islamic life of the Prophet Muhammad and his generation of followers.
But Wahhab and his modern disciples take this notion to extremes. The list of people whom Wahhabists should consider their enemies includes not only Christians, Jews, Hindus and atheists, but also Shiite, Sufi and Sunni Muslims.
And yet no western politicians seem prepared to accept the obvious.
The chances of disaffected young men being drawn into the evil web of Wahhabist murderous extremism would be significantly decreased if the Saudi funding was blocked.
The Saudis began exporting Wahhabism in the early 1970s when the country’s oil wealth began growing at an ever-increasing rate.
The amount the Saudi royal family, both by government donations and the generosity of individual princes, now lavishes on Wahhabist schools, colleges, mosques, Islamic centres and the missionary work of fundamentalist imams around the world is extraordinary.
In 2003, a United States Senate committee on terrorism heard testimony that in the previous 20 years Saudi Arabia had spent $87 billion on promoting Wahhabism worldwide.
This included financing 210 Islamic centres, 1,500 mosques, 202 colleges and 2,000 madrassas (religious schools).
Various estimates put the amount the Saudi government spends on these missionary institutions as up to $3 billion a year.
This money smothers the voices of moderate Muslims and the poison flows into every Muslim community worldwide.
Key figures in the September 2001 attacks on the United States were radicalized at mosques in Germany.
Britain is now reckoned by some to be the worst breeding ground anywhere for violent Muslim fundamentalists
Indian newspapers recently reported Saudi Arabia has a massive $35 billion program to build mosques and religious schools across South Asia, where there are major Muslim communities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the divided territory of Jammu and Kashmir…
UPDATE: I’m sticking this at the top because the story’s important enough to warrant it. Now we have a “Saudi official” saying there was a letter, and their embassy in Washington saying no, there wasn’t. So, who’s lying, and why? (via Toby Harnden)
The Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C. today denied its government warned the U.S. about accused Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
According to a highly placed source who spoke to MailOnline, the Saudis sent a written warning about Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012. That was long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds.
The official told MailOnline about a written warning from the Saudi government to the Department of Homeland Security, and said he had direct knowledge of that document.
But the Middle Eastern nation’s embassy in Washington denied that account on Wednesday.
It issued a statement which read: ‘The Saudi government had no prior information about the Boston bombers. Therefore, it is not true that any information, written or otherwise, was passed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or any other US agency in this regard,’ an embassy statement statement claimed.
‘The Saudi government also does not have any record of any application by Tamerlan Tsarnaev for any visa to Saudi Arabia.’
Original article follows.
If this is true, our intelligence services and the White House have a boatload of explaining to do:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent a written warning about accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012, long before pressure-cooker blasts killed three and injured hundreds, according to a senior Saudi government official with direct knowledge of the document.
The Saudi warning, the official told MailOnline, was separate from the multiple red flags raised by Russian intelligence in 2011, and was based on human intelligence developed independently in Yemen.
Citing security concerns, the Saudi government also denied an entry visa to the elder Tsarnaev brother in December 2011, when he hoped to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the source said. Tsarnaev’s plans to visit Saudi Arabia have not been previously disclosed.
The Saudis’ warning to the U.S. government was also shared with the British government. ‘It was very specific’ and warned that ‘something was going to happen in a major U.S. city,’ the Saudi official said during an extensive interview.
It ‘did name Tamerlan specifically,’ he added. The ‘government-to-government’ letter, which he said was sent to the Department of Homeland Security at the highest level, did not name Boston or suggest a date for his planned attack.
If true, the account will produce added pressure on the Homeland Security department and the White House to explain their collective inaction after similar warnings were offered about Tsarnaev by the Russian government.
DHS pretty much denies the whole thing, but the article reports two meetings between high-ranking Saudi and US officials: the first between Obama and the Saudi Interior Minister in January, while the second was an unscheduled meeting between Obama and the Saudi Foreign Minister two days after the marathon bombing. One almost gets the impression of Saudi officials pleading “Look do we have to draw you guys a picture? We’ve been telling you to look out for this crazy Chechen!”
But… let’s not jump the gun, here. This story comes from a single Saudi source, and there are reasons both to believe and not believe it.
In favor: While not best friends, the Saudis have been a close ally against jihad terrorism, having experienced it themselves and given that al Qaeda has declared open season on the government. They’ve also provided reliable information in the past: the article mentions the “printer cartridge plot” and Richard Reid, the “shoe-bomber” as examples. And while the Yemen connection seems out of left field, it has come up in connection with the Tsarnaevs before (h/t Hot Air), and the Saudis are deeply involved in Yemen. Warning us, besides being the decent thing to do, would also be in the Kingdom’s best interests to curry favor with D.C.
On the other hand: The Saudi government may not be a state sponsor of terrorism against the West, but it provides support to Salafi and jihad groups around the world, prominent wealthy Saudis donate directly to jihad groups, and high-ranking religious figures in the Kingdom urge their young men (of whom they have way too many to gainfully employ) to go wage jihad against the infidel. (1) It’s a open dirty secret of this modern age. And so it could be very tempting for the Saudis to claim “We tried to tell you,” hoping to earn some credit from the many Americans upset with the Obama administration and divert attention (again) from their own involvement with jihad.
For now, I lean toward this being true, at least to some degree: the Saudis may have warned us, but perhaps the information wasn’t nearly as cut and dried as they make it out to be. And I find it hard to imagine they’d claim “We told the British, too,” knowing the UK could falsify their claim at the drop of a hat. On top of that, it looks like we may have been making some of the same kind of mistakes we made before 9/11 with overly compartmentalized information that isn’t shared in a timely manner with all concerned parties. Shades of the “Gorelick Wall.”
And if this is true, even to a limited degree, it looks like another example of fatally stupid incompetence on the part of an administration that just wishes terrorism would go away.
Newsflash: It won’t.
(1)You might recall there were regular reports of young Saudi men being urged to go fight us in Iraq. Basically, they’re happy to send these nuts anywhere to get killed, as long as they’re out of Saudi Arabia.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
I’m not the greatest fan of Glenn Beck (1), but I do think he’s asking some good questions about the Saudi national who, on the day of the Boston Marathon bombing, was held as a “person of interest,” but then declared a nobody but, hey, we’re going to deport him anyway:
- A Saudi national originally identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing was set to be deported under section 212 3B — “Security and related grounds” — “Terrorist activities” after the bombing
- As the story gained traction, TheBlaze’s Chief Content Officer Joel Cheatwood received word that the government may not deport the Saudi national, originally identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi
- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to answer questions on the subject when confronted by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Capitol Hill.
- An ICE official said a different Saudi national is in custody, but is “in no way” connected to the bombings.
- A congressional source, however, says that the file on Alharbi was created, that he was “linked” in some way to the Boston bombings (though it is unclear how), and that documents showing all this have been sent to Congress.
- Key congressmen of the Committee on Homeland Security request a classified briefing with Napolitano
- Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports that Alharbi was allegedly flagged on a terrorist watch list and granted a student visa without being properly vetted. Sources close to the investigation also told him the Saudi is still set for deportation.
- New information provided to TheBlaze reveals Alharbi’s file was altered early Wednesday evening to disassociate him from the initial charges
- Sources say the Saudi’s student visa specifically allows him to go to school in Findlay, Ohio, though he appears to have an apartment in Boston, Massachusetts
- Sources tell us this will most likely now be kicked from the DHS to the DOJ and labeled an ongoing investigation that can no longer be discussed.
Beck also notes that the FBI started changing their story about Alharbi after a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and the Saudi Foreign Minister on Tuesday, the day after the bombing. Coincidence? Perhaps, but it still rates a raised eyebrow and a “hmmm…”
Read the rest of the article, but here’s something that especially intrigues me:
Beck proceeded to highlight the background of the Saudi national first identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston bombings, Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, noting that the the NTC issued an event file calling for his deportation using section 212, 3B which is proven terrorist activity.
“We are not sure who actually tagged him as a ’212 3B,’ but we know it is very difficult to charge someone with this — it has to be almost certain,” Beck explained. “It is the equivalent in civil society of charging someone with premeditated murder and seeking the death penalty — it is not thrown around lightly.”
Then, on Wednesday, President Obama had a “chance” encounter with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud and Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.
“Wednesday at 5:35 p.m. the file is altered,” Beck said. “This is unheard of, this is impossible in the timeline due to the severity of the charge….You don’t one day put a 212 3B charge against somebody with deportation, and then the next day take it off. It would require too much to do it.”
“There are only two people that could revoke the deportation order — the director of the NTC could do it after speaking with each department, the FBI, the ATC, etc. — which is impossible to do in such a short period of time, — or, somebody at the very highest levels of the State Department could do it. We don’t have any evidence to tell you which one did it,” Beck said.
So we have reports of two high-level meetings, after which the FBI says they have no interest in the guy and they’re going to deport him, presumably back to Saudi, where the press will never find him.
I’d say yes, this does raise serious questions, and Republicans on the relevant committees are demanding answers. If the 3B charge is as serious as Beck indicates, then who put it on and on what grounds, and then who removed it and, again, on what grounds? And why is the guy being deported? Minor visa violation? Please.
There’s another reason why I take this Alharbi story more seriously than I might, normally. Saudi Arabia is well known as a source of funding for jihad-terror groups worldwide, including the Caucasus regions that Tamerlan Tsarnaev visited for over six months. Wealthy Saudis will fund jihad as a religious duty –as I recall, supporting it with money is second only to actually doing it– to further the spread of Islam. It’s one of the big problems in the relations between the Kingdom and the United States.
So here’s a speculation based on a hunch with no evidence to back it up, but which seems to fit with past behavior: What if Alharbi, whose background is unknown as of this writing, is a family member of some wealthy, connected Saudi? And what if Alharbi was funneling money to the Tsarnaev brothers? After all, they had no means of support that I know of, yet they were apparently well-trained for this operation and had all the hardware they needed. And just how did Tamerlan pay for that trip and six-month sojourn in Dagestan? Could it be then that an influential relative used his influence with the Saudi government to influence the US government to let their boy go, in the name of “good relations?”
Like I said, the Alharbi affair raises lots of good questions. There may be perfectly reasonable answers, but too much smells in this chain of events to just let it go. House Republicans should continue to press until they get the answers.
via Jihad Watch
(1) Beck’s done some good work in the past, but he too often runs off the emotional rails for my taste, making almost everything seem some sort of existential threat to the republic. Still, in this case, he may be on to something.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
But don’t you dare say Islam doesn’t respect women:
As of last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.
Saudi women’s rights activist Manal al-Sherif, who last year urged women to defy a driving ban, said a man had contacted her to say he had received a text from the immigration authorities while at the airport with his wife.
“The authorities are using technology to monitor women,” said Saudi author and journalist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the “state of slavery under which women are held” in the kingdom.
“This is technology used to serve backwardness in order to keep women imprisoned,” she added.
Under laws influenced by the strict Wahabi interpretation of Islam, women are not allowed to leave Saudi Arabia without permission from their male guardian (a husband, father or brother), who must give consent by signing what is known as the “yellow sheet” at the airport or border.
The article mentions the mockery this new rule has received from women and some men, but it’s supported by the Wahabi religious establishment, which is a lynchpin of the monarchy, so that makes it the law.
What’s next? A fatwa mandating electric shock collars for disobedient wives?
RELATED: More on the wonderful state of women under Sharia.
via The Jawa Report
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
The Saudi muttawa are the kingdom’s religious police, there to promote virtue and prevent vice — as defined by totalitarian, repressive, misogynistic Sharia law. It’s such a wonderful organization that, in order to preserve the virtue of young girls not properly dressed, they prevented their escape from a burning building, letting them die.
Lovely people, no?
Anyway, and on a much lighter note, some “mutts” tried to tell a Saudi woman to leave a mall when she (if I understand the situation correctly) wanted to try on nail polish where men might see it –THE HORROR!!
The lady, on the other hand, would have none of it:
via The Jawa Report
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
We haven’t featured Islamic Jew hatred for a while, so here’s a good one to jump back in with.
Call it a form of compensation: the Arabs’ military record has been so miserable whenever they face modern, Western-style armed forces, that they have to tell lies about their foes to cover up the fact they get their butts kicked with stunning regularity. In this case, that Jews are so afraid to face the brave, brave knights of Allah that they would rather take a dump inside their tanks, than go outside to find relief.
I mean, you might think it’s just locker room braggadocio and that no one would take it seriously, but, no. This esteemed cleric is dead serious that this is the truth, and I’m willing to bet his audience ate it all up. They’re… “trusting” like that.
Anyway, I’ll let the learned Muhammad al-Arifi speak for himself:
And here’s the transcript.
Let’s see: those cowardly, self-soiling Jews have handed the Arabs their head in four major wars since 1948 and several informal actions in-between and since. (Ask Hamas how the last Israeli incursion went.) The only time the Arabs have ever done well is when the Israelis show unseemly restraint, such as in Lebanon in 2006. Had they made up their minds to wipe out Hizbullah, I guarantee you it would have been Hassan Nasrallah needing the change of clothes.
Oh, and nice little swipe there at the Americans in Iraq, Muhammad! How’d that work out for al-Qaeda, anyway?
We approach the end of 2011 with perhaps the best news headline of the year, courtesy of the UK’s Daily Mail:
Repealing a ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia would result in ‘no more virgins’, the country’s religious council has warned.
A ‘scientific’ report claims relaxing the ban would also see more Saudis – both men and women – turn to homosexuality and pornography.
The startling conclusions were drawn by Muslim scholars at the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, working in conjunction with Kamal Subhi, a former professor at the King Fahd University.
According to esteemed researcher Dr. Subhi, the terrible social cost of letting women drive can already be seen in other Arab countries:
And it pointed out ‘moral decline’ could already be seen in other Muslim countries where women are allowed to drive.
In the report Professor Subhi described sitting in a coffee shop in an unnamed Arab state.
‘All the women were looking at me,’ he wrote. ‘One made a gesture that made it clear she was available… this is what happens when women are allowed to drive.’
Poor guy. Loose women in their cars are constantly prowling the streets, looking for pure Islamic men to corrupt with their feminine wiles, bucket seats, and satellite radio. O tempora! O mores!!
Where has morality gone?
Good thing we have sharia law to guard us from temptation and keep women in their places.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Or, it would, if we had an administration with the spine of a Warner Bros. cartoon character.
ABC broke the news yesterday of an Iranian assassination plot foiled by the FBI and the DEA:
The new case, called Operation Red Coalition, began in May when an Iranian-American from Corpus Christi, Texas, approached a DEA informant seeking the help of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, according to counter-terrorism officials.
The Iranian-American thought he was dealing with a member of the feared Zetas Mexican drug organization, according to agents.
The DEA office in Houston brought in FBI agents as the international terror implications of the case became apparent.
The Iranian-American, identified by federal officials as Manssor Arbabsiar, 56, reportedly claimed he was being “directed by high-ranking members of the Iranian government,” including a cousin who was “a member of the Iranian army but did not wear a uniform,” according to a person briefed on the details of the case.
Arbabsiar and a second man, Gohlam Shakuri, an Iranian official, were named in a five-count criminal complaint filed Tuesday afternoon in federal court in New York. They were charged with conspiracy to kill a foreign official and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, a bomb, among other counts. Shakuri is still at large in Iran, Holder said.
Holder identified Shakuri as an Iran-based member of the Quds force, a much feared special unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The Treasury sanctions named several other members of the Iranian Quds force as well.
Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen, expressed “utter disregard for collateral damage” in the planned bomb attacks in Washington, according to officials.
The complaint describes a conversation in which Arbabsiar was allegedly directing the informant to kill the Saudi ambassador and said the assassination could take place at a restaurant. When the informant feigned concern about Americans who also eat at the restaurant, Arbabsiar said he preferred if bystanders weren’t killed but, “Sometimes, you know, you have no choice, is that right?”
BTW, that same restaurant is known to be frequented by US senators. But, hey, sometimes “you have no choice.” Argentina was also discussed as a target, a country Iran has attacked before in their desire to kill Jews.
There’s no doubt this is a casus belli — “a cause of war.” The Iranian government has been caught red-handed organizing a terrorist operation on US soil, an operation that would not only have killed foreigners under our protection but, very likely, American citizens. And the flippant dismissal of the prospect of killing government officials makes this an attack on our government, too. While there’s no direct evidence that Khamenei or Ahmadinejad knew about this in advance, well… yeah, right. Their prime foreign covert operations agency, the Quds Force, plans an attack on the territory of the Great Satan (that’s us), and the Big Nuts in the Iranian fruitcake don’t know about it?
Like I said, “yeah, right.”
But, don’t worry, the Obama Administration is not planning any military retaliation, true to its “September 10th” values:
That a foreign government would plot to kill a foreign leader on American soil could be seen as an act of war, but Obama administration officials say the path the U.S. government will purse will align with American interests – and a military response and possible armed conflict with a third Muslim nation would not be part of that. (Though, it should be noted, the official White House position is “no option is off the table.”)
This afternoon the Treasury Department announced further sanctions against Iran, and in coming days diplomats at the United Nations and elsewhere will discuss further ways to isolate Iran, while American officials will spread far and wide throughout the region that the Iranian government was planning to kill an Arab leader.
In other words, we’re going to treat this as a law-enforcement matter, lay down sanctions, and run around telling the Arabs what they already know: that the mullahs are a bunch of dangerous psychos.
That’ll have Tehran quaking in its boots. Probably from laughing at us.
It may seem odd for me to quote Osama bin Laden, but one thing he said was very true, at least as far as life in the Muslim world goes:
“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.”
This is us playing the weak horse, whining when someone uses our land to carry out terror attacks. Other dictators around the world (and the people who have to live under or near them) will see this and act accordingly, as Iraq is now doing.
Let’s be honest: Iran has been at war with us since 1979, but we’ve failed to recognize this and act accordingly. Even a president as great as Reagan had a blind spot when it came to Iran and thought he could reach a grand bargain, and Bush failed to take strong action against Syria and Iran when they sponsored the guerrilla war against us in Iraq from 2004-2008. So Obama isn’t the first to naively believe that restraint would be seen as anything other than weakness.
But it’s time for it to stop.
The naked truth is that Iran is killing our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether directly or indirectly, it doesn’t matter. Their puppets Hizbullah and Hamas attack our ally, Israel. They are waging war against us (this attack was meant as much to humiliate us as to strike at the Saudis) and have taken that war to our homeland. It’s time to stop wagging our fingers in disapproval and instead punch back — hard.
Lest someone accuse me of being a warmonger, I’m not advocating invading Iran or sinking their navy in retaliation, as emotionally satisfying as that might be. We don’t have to in order to defeat them. As Michael Ledeen has often pointed out (most recently here), the Iranian regime’s grip on power is brittle; their people hate them; they face frequent rebellion and acts of sabotage. If we simply had the moral clarity and political courage to provide the peoples of Iran with the political, propaganda, and logistical support to wage their own struggle against the tyrants, as Reagan did in Poland against the Soviets, we could win without firing a shot.
Instead, we do the diplomatic equivalent of writing them a speeding ticket.
That’s no way to win a war.
CYNICAL THOUGHT: Funny how this news breaks just as AG Holder and the administration are facing close scrutiny for the Gunwalker scandal. There’s no evidence I’ve seen that this plot had gone operational and had to be stopped now. Hmmm….
LINKS: Three must-read articles at The Long War Journal and Threat Matrix. JustOneMinute thinks Holder learned a lesson. Fausta talks about the mounting threat in Latin America from Hizbullah, an Iranian cats-paw. Let’s not forget, the Iranians tried to run this plot through Mexican drug cartels. Still think that border is secure, Mr. President? Power Line notes the “axis of evil” between Iran and Los Zetas. This isn’t just about immigration — this is a national security issue.
UPDATE: Former federal prosecutor (And no fan of Obama and Holder) Andy McCarthy puts my cynical thought to rest — a frame-up makes no sense.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
“In Europe, there have been dozens of brutal wars. Napoleon and Hitler invaded most of the continent, and two world wars burned up most of the countries. Nevertheless, no one attacked Switzerland, which for 500 years has remained an oasis of peace in the heart of a burning hell.
“These days, the world is uniting under economic, political, and military alliances. Nevertheless, Switzerland refuses to join any international alliance or organization, including the EU and the UN [sic].”
“This isolation and absolute neutrality immediately bring to mind The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which discuss a ‘safe haven’ where the [Jews'] wealth [can] be guarded against the wars they themselves spark. They will work to concentrate the world’s wealth [in this 'safe haven'] so that it becomes their delicious slice [of the world's wealth], for when they touch off the world revolution [that they are planning].
“In his book Pawns in the Game, William Guy Carr discusses the Jews’ role in the rise of Napoleon and Hitler and their efforts to prevent an attack on Switzerland. In his book Secret World Government, Cherep[-Spiridovich] explains how world Jewry removed Switzerland from its plans to wreak anarchy and wars, so as to protect their money there. Thus, Switzerland gained a reputation as a safe haven in which to hoard the wealth of the goyim…
“Though I know this hypothesis seems fanciful, reality consistently supports it….”
Fahd, old buddy, you get bonus points for working in a mention of The Protocols, but, somehow, I don’t think “reality” means what you think it means.
Read the whole thing. This is what passes for the intellectual mainstream in the Muslim world. So, naturally, it’s the fault of Israel and the Jews that they can’t make peace with such tolerant neighbors.
via The Jawa Report
PALATE-CLEANSER: If you want to wash the bad taste out of your mouth, have a look at what Egyptian journalist Sharif ‘Abd Al-Ghani wrote in an article in a Qatari newspaper, castigating his co-religionists for their Jew-hatred. An excerpt:
“Sheikh Al-Bari’s stories would cause me and everyone else behind him to curse ‘the Jews – descendants of apes and pigs’ – from the depth of our souls. But there was one thought that occupied my mind, and one question that I could not let go and that no one could answer: Why does our sheikh – and we behind him – shower all these curses on the Jews, but then add the expression ‘peace be upon him’ when speaking of their prophet Moussa [Moses]? Are the Jews not people of the Book and among those whom the Koran orders us to treat kindly so long as they do not fight us? And how could Allah have created them so impure and damned if they are the disciples of a prophet?”
It’s not perfect by any means, as you’ll see when you read the whole thing, and I’m not as sanguine as Walter Russell Mead that this may represent the beginnings of real change in the Islamic world, but one has to admit that it’s a vast improvement over the irrational Jew-hatred that infests and cripples it.
But, for everyone’s sake, let’s hope it’s indeed a spark of reason and critical thinking that catches fire.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
After all, Muhammad married Aisha (his favorite wife) when she was six. But, lest you think him a lech, he did at least wait until she was nine before consummating the marriage.
From Saudi Arabia’s Iqra TV, listen as cleric Muhammad al-Arifi assures us that there is no minimum age for marriage in Islam:
And here’s the transcript:
Muhammad Al-’Arifi: There is no agreed-upon minimum age for the marriage of a boy or a girl. It depends upon their maturity. Let’s assume that someone wants to marry your 20-year-old daughter. But your daughter’s mentality and capabilities… She wouldn’t know how to handle it. You feel that her marriage is bound to fail, because she has no understanding of how she is supposed to behave. You think that this girl is not ready to get married. It would be best to wait two or three years.
We don’t want to marry her off, and then have her husband divorce her after 2-3 weeks, saying: “What is this?! This girl doesn’t know what to do, she has no appreciation of marital life. She knows nothing.” In such a case, it is better to delay marrying her off.
In the days of Prophet Muhammad and his companions, people would get married at a younger age. For example, how old was ‘Aisha when the Prophet Muhammad married her? I will give you a hint.
Member of panel of Saudi youth: She was seven years old.
Muhammad Al-’Arifi: And how old was she when he had sex with her?
Member of panel: Fourteen.
Muhammad Al-’Arifi: Fourteen?! No way, she was nine. You are getting married tonight and you still can’t count…
She was nine years old. People might think it is strange that he married such a young girl. But this was the age at which they used to get married. The proof is that when the Prophet told Abu Bakr that he wanted to marry ‘Aisha – what did Abu Bakr say? He said: “You are more than welcome, oh Messenger of Allah, but my daughter is already engaged.” At seven years old she was already engaged.
If a girl’s physical and mental build allows her to get married, it is okay for her to get married. There is no minimum age for a girl’s marriage set by Islam.
Al-Arifi tries to minimize the skincrawl-factor (1) by saying “this is how they used to do it, back then,” but arranged marriages of children to adults are still common in countries ruled by Islamic tradition, including Saudi Arabia. In fact, in 2009, a top Saudi cleric went so far to say that prohibiting the marriage of a 12-year old girl to an adult was unfair — to the girl.
And did you notice something telling about this panel? There was not a single woman on it. No one to give a woman’s point of view, because a woman’s point of view isn’t worth considering; she isn’t as intelligent as a man, you see, and so couldn’t really understand the subtle issues involved. This is one facet of the degraded state of women subject to Sharia law, which makes them little better than property under the control of men. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has written movingly about this.
(1) That’s a technical term for the revulsion one feels when considering a pedophile.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
You want to know just how enlightened and tolerant the Islamic world is? Watch as a
Saudi Egyptian toddler on Iqra TV in 2002 is praised for how well she’s learned her lessons in antisemitism:
From the transcript:
Amer: How old are you, Basmallah?
Basmallah: Three and a half.
Amer: Are you a Muslim?
Amer: Basmallah, do you know the Jews?
Amer: Do you like them?
Amer: Why don’t you like them?
Amer: Because they are what?
Basmallah: They are apes and pigs.
Amer: Because they are apes and pigs. Who said that about them?
Basmallah: Our God.
Amer: Where did he say that about them?
Basmallah: In the Koran.
That toddler would be about 12 or 13, now. I wonder what other lessons she’s learned?
By the way, Iqra TV described its mission as:
“…presenting the true moderate face of Islam to people in the West where media does not present an objective view on the Islamic Law.”
I don’t know about “moderate, but it is an objective view of Islam.
totalitarian religious tyranny Islamic state of Saudi Arabia, bloggers are free to write about whatever they wish — as long as it’s off the Kingdom-approved list of topics and you get a license, first:
Saudi Arabia has enacted stringent new regulations forcing some bloggers to obtain government licenses and to strongarm others into registering. In addition, all Saudi news blogs and electronic news sites will now be strictly licensed, required to “include the call to the religion of Islam” and to strictly abide by Islamic sharia law. The registration and religion requirements are also being coupled with strict restrictions on what topics Saudi bloggers can write on–a development which will essentially give Saudi authorities the right to shut down blogs at their discretion.
The new regulations went into effect on January 1, 2011. Fast Company previously reported on the law’s announcement this past autumn, but the actual reforms enacted were far more punitive than we were earlier led to believe. The exact specifics of the new regulations were not previously announced by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
What the new regulations center around is a legal redefinition of almost all online content created in Saudi Arabia. Blogs are now legally classified as “electronic publishing” and news blogs (the term is not explicitly defined in the Saudi law) are now subject to the same legal regulations as newspapers. All Saudi Arabia-based news blogs, internet news sites, “internet sites containing video and audio materials” and Saudi Area-created mobile phone/smartphone content will fall under the newspaper rubric as well.
Under the regulations, any operators of news blogs, mobile phone content creators or operators of news sites in Saudi Arabia have to be Saudi citizens, at least 20 years old and possess a high school degree.
At least 31% of Saudi Arabia residents do not possess citizenship; these range from South Asian migrants living in poor conditions to well-off Western oil workers. All of them will find their internet rights sharply curtailed as a result of the new regulations.
I wonder if this would make the approved list for a Saudi-licensed blogger?
Nah. Might corrupt a person’s mind, and then what? Genuine respect for individual liberty?
Perish the thought.
via Jihad Watch
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
In civilized countries, such as the United States or any other Western liberal democracy, a woman who was gang-raped would be given medical care and whatever therapy she needed to recover. If her attackers were captured, she’d have the right to testify against them in open court and see them punished.
Remember, we’re talking about civilized countries.
In the Islamic police state of Saudi Arabia, however, which is governed by the totalitarian Sharia code of religious law and which treats women as little better than a man’s property, that same rape victim gets sent to jail and given 100 lashes:
A 23-year-old unmarried woman was awarded one-year prison term and 100 lashes for committing adultery and trying to abort the resultant fetus.
The District Court in Jeddah pronounced the verdict on Saturday after the girl confessed that she had a forced sexual intercourse with a man who had offered her a ride. The man, the girl confessed, took her to a rest house, east of Jeddah, where he and four of friends assaulted her all night long.
But, let’s not be too harsh. The court did, after all, postpone her whipping until after the baby was born. See? They really do have a heart! And, hey, she confessed!
It says a lot about a society in which the victim is the one who “confesses.”
Bear in mind that this same religious legal code is what al Qaeda and other jihadist groups want to impose on us by force, and that Muslim Brotherhood front-groups such as CAIR, ICNA, and ISNA want to bring to the West through a cultural jihad — with Saudi support.
Women in the West have much to look forward to.
RELATED: Other posts on the Religion of Misogyny.
via Jihad Watch
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Would you like (yet another) example of why the United Nations is worthless? Well, here ya go, pal. Saudi Arabia has joined the executive board of the new United Nations organization on the rights of women. No, I’m serious. It seems Iran was beyond the pale, but Saudi Arabia was a-okay by the UN’s high standards. I guess the difference must be that, in Iran, they still stone women to death, but, in the enlightened heart of Islam, they’re merely whipped and sent to jail for the crime of being victims of a gang-rape. That obviously qualifies the Saudis to oversee the rights of women around the world
At least, to anyone who understands George Orwell.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Severing a man’s spine because a 1,300-year old religious legal code demands it? Yeah, try to tell me they’re civilized:
Saudi court mulls verdict to cut defendant’s spine
A court in Saudi Arabia is seeking medical advice on whether it is possible to cut the spinal cord of a man as a punishment after he was indicted of causing paralysis to another man during a fight, a local daily reported on Thursday.
The court in the northwestern province of Tabuk has sent letters to hospitals in the kingdom asking them whether the punishment to cripple the defendant by severing his spine is medically possible, the Arabic language daily Okaz said.
The unidentified defendant hit Abdul Aziz Al Mutairi, another Saudi, with a cleaver during a fight more than two years ago and the trial has been delayed because Mutairi is insisting that his attacker suffer the same injury.
I guess it makes all the difference in the world that the court is asking first if the procedure is possible; after all, they only want to cripple him for life, not kill him.
Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch summarizes the justification under Sharia law:
It’s in the Qur’an: “We ordained therein for them: ‘Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.’ But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers.” — Qur’an 5:45
Read the rest to see why the argument that the Old Testament contains a similar argument is specious.
Okay, the guy who committed the offense is a maniac who deserves a long jail sentence for mayhem or aggravated assault, but crippling?
Mengele didn’t die in Brazil in 1979, he moved to Saudi Arabia.
You would think the Muslim world would want to forget this ever happened, since it was such an embarrassment the first time.
You would be wrong. At least, in some parts…
Saudi scholar’s fatwa wades into controversy
A Saudi scholar has waded into controversy after he said that women could give their milk to men to establish a degree of maternal relations and get around a strict religious ban on mixing between unrelated men and women.
According to Shaikh Abdul Mohsin Al Abaican, a consultant at Saudi Arabia’s royal court, a man who often entered a house and came in contact with the womenfolk there should be made symbolically related to the women by drinking milk from one of the women.
Under the fatwa, the act would preclude any sexual relations between the man and the donor woman and her relatives.
However, Al Abaican said that the donor woman should not breastfeed the man directly.
“The man should take the milk, but not directly from the breast of the woman,” Al Abaican said. “He should drink it and then becomes a relative of the family, a fact that allows him to come in contact with the women without breaking Islam’s rules about mixing,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti and Saudi media on Saturday.
In the first instance, a scholar at the premier university in the Sunni sphere said it would be okay for unrelated men and women to work together, as long as the woman suckled the man, first. Oddly, many people objected to the cleric’s ruling. So, Mr. Abaican helpfully came up with a compromise: no need to suck on your best friend’s sister’s breast to make it okay to visit his house, she can just give you a glass of warm milk….
And yet some close-minded bigots still object. Amazing.
As Marisol at Jihad Watch points out, Mr. Abaican is just following Islamic precedent, as laid down by Muhammad himself:
‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hadhaifa, lived with him and his family in their house. She (i. e. the daughter of Suhail came to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: Salim has attained (purbety) [sic] as men attain, and he understands what they understand, and he enters our house freely, I, however, perceive that something (rankles) in the heart of Abu Hudhaifa, whereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said to her: Suckle him and you would become unlawful for him, and (the rankling) which Abu Hudhaifa feels in his heart will disappear. She returned and said: So I suckled him, and what (was there) in the heart of Abu Hudhaifa disappeared. (Sahih Muslim 3425)
And, since Muhammad is a perfect example of conduct to be emulated for all time, well, who can argue?
Oh, well. I suppose it’s better than having it go to bin Laden: Arabs Spend 5 Billion Dollars Annually on Magic and Sorcery
Dr. Fahd Bin Abdulaziz al-Sunaidi, a Professor at the Department of Islamic Studies of the King Saud University has revealed that Arabs spend a total of 5 billion dollars a year on practices of magic and sorcery, and that there is one magician for every 1,000 people in the Arab world.
During a lecture at the Department of Education in Najran entitled “The Media and Educations; Cooperation or Discord” Dr. Sunaidi said that the media campaign against magic and sorcery has significantly contributed to reducing the influence of this phenomenon in the Arab world.
In 2009 a study by the Center for Research and Study, which is affiliated with Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice [CPVPV] set procedural guidelines in an effort to combat magic and those who practice it.
The report in question included scientific definitions of magic, witchcraft, divination, fortune-telling and other similar practices and a model in order to help uncover such practices.
The good doctor also recommended that efforts be made to fight Internet sites and other communication media that promote magic.
And I don’t think he’s talking about the card game.
Then again, maybe that link will get me in trouble with the CPVPV. Oh, what the heck. I’ve always wanted a fatwa of my own.
RELATED: They aren’t going to kill the sorcerer – yet.