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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Archive for the ‘Middle-East’ Category

Why ‘Queers against Israel’ is so Absurd

Posted by Atilla89 on August 29, 2009

I’ve recently started writing articles on a very small university paper under the heading of ‘International News’. Since I very rarely actually write anything here, I will start putting these up on the blog for you all to read.

It is common knowledge that every country around the world has its own set of problems. Some have big and serious problems such as Afghanistan, while others like Australia are quite well off. However, in late June in Toronto, Canada 180 protesters from “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” (http://queersagainstapartheid.org/) marched in an attempt to “reignite Toronto’s queer community in the fight against apartheid”. Israel has many problems, some relating to security, others relating to the issue of the Palestinians. Naming your group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid draws attention to the dirty little secret in the Middle East, that is homosexuals are not welcome there. Except for Israel that it. The protest group echoes another similarly ridiculously named group, Queers for Palestine. Both groups ignore the fact that Israel is the most liberal country in the Middle East allowing anyone almost anyone who is prosecuted to find shelter within its borders. There is a reason why the Baha’I faith decided to move the remains of Bab from Iran to Haifa and it wasn’t for the view.

Some people on the fringe of both sides of politics will believe anything that you tell them about Israel or Jews. If you needed more evidence of blatant lies being printed about Israel look no further then the claim being put forward by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that Israeli soldiers kidnap Palestinians to steal their organs and sell them in the black market. Did I mention that Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt refused to apologise to Israel for this disgusting report. I think Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman got it right when he said “It is regrettable that the Swedish foreign ministry does not intervene when it comes to a blood libel against Jews, which reminds one of Sweden’s conduct during World War II when it also did not intervene.” It is these sorts of allegations and lies that regularly rise up around the world which then must be combated in the media as well as at university campuses.

Posted in Antisemitism, Arabs, Europe, Islamism, Israel, Jews, Middle-East, Uni | 1 Comment »

A Brief Review of the Israel-Hamas War

Posted by Atilla89 on January 19, 2009

As you can see I haven’t been blogging in the last few months, just put it down to laziness. The latest round of fighting in the Middle-East is of course nothing new, in fact, I expected it to happen much sooner then it did. The IDF did a great job that wasn’t helped by the illegal use of human shields (both willing and unwilling) by Hamas. However, the Israeli political leadership has left much to be desired. Now that the ceasefire is in place, Israeli finds itself in a similar situation as it was at the end of the Hezbollah war. Not only did they fail to stop the rockets from falling on the South, Hamas itself still exists as the main player in Gaza.

Indeed, many in the IDF feel that the political leadership was far too hasty in implementing the unilateral cease-fire:

Among many soldiers in the field, many of whom have been pulled out in the past several hours, Israel’s declared truce appears to constitute a missed opportunity to crush Hamas’ will to fire at Israeli civilians. Some reservists reported, though, that Hamas appeared weak.

“We could have done a lot more. There’s a feeling the operation ended too early,” one soldier told Ynet. He and his colleagues are staying alert in an attempt to block ceasefire violations – rocket fire – by Hamas or other Palestinian organizations.

These soldiers maintain that an operation such as Cast Lead should leave Hamas “devoid of desire” to continue aiming rockets at Israel. “We can continue without a problem, in urban Palestinian areas, in Gaza City or anywhere else. All they need to do is tell us to,” soldiers said.

However, for me, the issue that angers me most is the fact that Olmert should have foreseen such problems. Already we have Ismail Haniyeh declaring victory‘ over Israel.

“The enemy has failed to achieve its goals,” Ismail Haniyeh, the top Hamas leader in the territory, said in a speech broadcast on Hamas television.

Though he called the war, in which more than 1,300 Gazans and 13 Israelis died, a “popular victory” for Palestinians, Haniyeh said Hamas’ decision to declare a truce on Sunday was “wise and responsible”.

It is irrelevant whether he is right or not, the military causalities speak for themselves, the point is, he has just won a propaganda victory over Israel through ‘resistance’. Thus he will be able to ensure Hamas’s continued popularity in the Strip through his policy of ‘resistance’ for what may be a very long time judging by the current Israeli political leadership. I can only hope that Likud will be elected on Febuary 10 and take a much harder line with Hamas and indeed Iran.

Soldiers leaving Gaza (Photo: AP)

Posted in Hamas, IDF, Israel, Middle-East, Palestine, War | Leave a Comment »

IAEA Report On Syrian Nuclear Reactor Site

Posted by Atilla89 on November 24, 2008

Last year on September 6th, a suspected Syrian Nuclear reactor was destroyed by Israel. There has been a lot of controversy around the world whether this was an actual nuclear reactor or something else less sinister. Finally the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) has published a report (which cannot be accessed by the general public) which decided that in spite of overwhelming evidence it will not make an ‘…unequivocal statement that the site housed a nuclear reactor under construction when it was destroyed on the night of September 6, 2007.’ The Institute for National Security Studies has penned a report stating that:

By leaving out these two elements [referring to the omitted technical details of the sampled uranium particles found in the vicinity of the Syrian reactor site], the report gave everyone what it wanted: Syria and its supporters could happily claim that there was no reactor at the site, while others could vary in their conclusions from uncertainty to firm belief that the destruction of the construction prevented or at least delayed Syria from acquiring a military nuclear capability. This ambiguity on the part of the IAEA should have been expected, since it is in line with its organizational culture – try to have something nice to say about member states.

It should be now very clear to everyone just how toothless the IAEA really is, in fact, I believe that it should be dismantled and replaced by an organisation that has more power to actively search out suspected nuclear reactor sites in states that have finished or are currently building them. At the moment, all the IAEA can really do is inspect reactors that the host state has declared available for inspection. I’m sure you can now see where the problem lies. As you can see the problem of the IAEA can be clearly seen in its latest report to its Board of Governors:

“Regrettably, as a result of the lack of cooperation by Iran in connection with the alleged studies and other associated key remaining issues of serious concern, the Agency has not been able to make substantive progress on these issues.”

This was obviously part of the problem when trying to find out if Iraq in 2002/3 had Weapons of Mass Destruction or not.

https://i0.wp.com/i.usatoday.net/news/_photos/2008/04/24/reactor-topper.jpg

Posted in Israel, Middle-East, Military, Syria | 1 Comment »

Myths of the Cycle of Violence

Posted by Atilla89 on November 3, 2008

One of the most prevailing views of the Israeli-Arab conflict and specifically between Israel and the Palestinians has been that of a cycle of violence. Basically this view opinions that one side launches an attack on the other forcing the other to attack and so on. Thus both parities are guilty of the violence. This has led to the naive opinion that if only they could just sit down with each other and work out their differences everything would be alright. At first glance this may seem to fit but after further analysis in this CAMERA article, things become a little more clearer.

‘The authors found “there is little evidence to suggest that both sides of the conflict react in a regular and predictable way to violence against them. Rather we find that the direction of causality…runs only from violence committed by Palestinians to violence committed by Israelis, and not vice versa.” They conclude “Overall we find strong evidence that the Israelis react in a significant and predictable way to Palestinian violence against them, but no evidence that the Palestinians react to Israeli violence. This stands in contrast to the popular notion that Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in a ‘tit-for-tat’ cycle of violence.”‘

Basically what this excerpt is trying to say that when the Palestinians commits acts of violence, it is almost certain that Israel will react in some sort of way. Whether it fits some people’s definition of proportionate is up for debate. However, like it says above, it is almost certain that Palestinians will not directly react to violence committed by Israel. This is a very important point because usually violence committed by Palestinians will be random. Examples of this include the recent set of attacks in Jerusalem. Most the reasons given were generic for example being against the ‘occupation’, there was nothing specific.

The reason that this article gives for the randomness of these attacks, one that I happen to agree with, is that:

‘…the authors “suggest that the Palestinians may deliberately choose to randomize the timing of their response to Israeli violence…The effectiveness of terror attacks in disrupting day-to-day Israeli life is, almost by definition, greater if these attacks are unpredictable.”‘

Posted in Arab, Fatah, Hamas, IDF, Israel, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Terrorism, War | Leave a Comment »

Riots In Akko on Yom Kippur

Posted by Atilla89 on October 14, 2008

I have a major deadline coming up so I won’t be posting for a while. I’m just going to briefly comment on the Akko riots. Firstly, it was a disgrace on both parts. Regardless of whether the Arab driver was drinking and blasting loud music as he drove through the Jewish Quarter during Yom Kippur, the response by the Jews in the area was disgusting. This may seem obvious to you and me but if someone is upsetting the peace, call the police! Don’t take matters into your own hand by trying to stone the man! Secondly, the response given by Arab-Israeli MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL) was disgraceful. And as well as this, Arab MK Mohammed Barakeh stated that the alleged attack by Jews was “similar to the pogroms that Jews were exposed to at the hands of the Nazi gangs in Germany.” We really just don’t need those types of comments and it just makes you look bad and ignorant. Thankfully law and order has been restored and I really hope this won’t happen next Yom Kippur.

As a treat, here is a documentary that I’ve found on YouTube that have some significance on upcoming events with Iran – enjoy.

History – Israeli airstrike on Iraqi nuclear reactor (1981)

Posted in Antisemitism, Arab, Arabs, Israel, Jews, Middle-East, Religion | Leave a Comment »

Financial Crisis Is The Jews Fault

Posted by Atilla89 on October 8, 2008

Breaking news! Jews are responsible for all the world’s woes. Now its our fault that the world’s global financial situation is going to hell. You would think that after all our expertise in managing the world’s finance for so long that we should see a little crisis like this a long way off. But no according to Hamas its all our fault. Honestly do they really think that anyone outside of the Arab world takes them seriously, wait, don’t answer that.

The crisis was the result of “bad administrative and financial management and a bad banking system put into place and controlled by the Jewish lobby,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said in a statement.

https://i0.wp.com/www.imemc.org/cache/imagecache/local/attachments/may2008/100_75_1_1_5_0_0_0_0_0_fawzi_barhum.jpg

Fawzi Barhum

And on that note I wish everyone well over the fast!

Posted in Antisemitism, Arabs, Hamas, Jews, Middle-East, U.S. Politics | 1 Comment »

How The U.S. Have Tried To Make Friends With Iran

Posted by Atilla89 on October 8, 2008

Many people believe that from 1979 onwards, the only contact that America has had with Iran is through proxy wars in Lebanon and Iraq. The view is completely wrong and in fact the opposite is true. While it would be correct to say that America has had a frosty relationship with Iran, this hasn’t stopped them from trying to be allies since the moment Iran, as we know it today, was born. More from the Jerusalem Post:

Almost 30 years ago, president Jimmy Carter tried to show what a nice guy he was by pressing the shah of Iran not to crush the revolutionaries. After the monarch fell, national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski met top officials of the new Islamist regime to pledge US friendship to the government controlled by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Khomeini_Famous_Portrait.jpg

Ruhollah Khomeini

This may seem strange, but don’t forget at this time, Khomeini was seen to have the majority of popular Iranian support, it would seem only natural to support the guy that everyone else likes. Plus don’t forget that Iran still hadn’t kidnapped anybody or started up Hezbollah, yet. However this all changed when only:

Three days after the Brzezinski meeting, in November 1979, the Islamist regime’s cadre seized the US embassy and its staff as hostages, holding them until January 1981. This was our introduction to the new Middle East of radical Islamism. Carter continued his weak stance, persuading the Teheran regime that it could get away with anything. The hostages were only released because Iran was suffering desperately from an Iraqi invasion and feared Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, as someone likely to be tougher.

This is just one of the many reasons why I view Carter as the worst U.S. President in history. As usual, Carter lost whatever backbone he had and instead of trying to get rescue the hostages (he held off until April 24, 1980 and even then the attempt failed) he negotiated with a rogue state, even when it was obvious that he was failing. Now this is where relations between Iran and America get really interesting:

On September 29, while [US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates] giving a lecture at the National Defense University in Washington, someone asked him how the next president might improve relations with Iran. Gates responded: “I have been involved in the search for the elusive Iranian moderate for 30 years.” Then Gates revealed what was actually said at Brzezinski’s meeting, in which he has been a participatant, summarizing Brzezinski’s position as follows: “We will accept your revolution… We will recognize your government. We will sell you all the weapons that we had contracted to sell the shah… We can work together in the future.”‘

Knowing this completely changes the view that America has always rejected diplomacy with its enemies. After reading this, it becomes clear that it was America who made the first move to try and open diplomatic relations with the new regimes only to be rebuffed and taken advantaged of.

Far from persuading Khomeini that the US was a real threat, the US government made itself appear a pitiful, helpless giant, convincing Teheran – as Khomeini himself put it – that America couldn’t do a damn thing. His revolution and ideology were too strong for it.

Now if this isn’t enough to persuade you how futile it is to try and negotiate with these people, maybe this will help:

Former US Marine Col. Timothy Geraghty was Marine commander in October 1983 when suicide bombers attacked the barracks of US peacekeeping forces in Beirut, killing 242 Americans. He now reveals that a September 26, 1983 US intelligence intercept showed Iran’s government ordering the attack through its embassy in Lebanon. The timid response to that operation set a pattern leading directly to the September 11 attack.

America has tried to help them, negotiate with them, only give them weak sanctions and after all that they get attacked in their own embassy and lose valuable military personnel to Iranian made and supplied bombs in Lebanon and Iraq. Maybe its time to take a real stand against terrorism and nuclear proliferation?

Posted in Hizbullah, Iran, Islamism, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, Religion, Terrorism, U.S. Politics, US, War | 2 Comments »

Waltz With Bashir Review

Posted by Atilla89 on September 28, 2008

I just came back from seeing this movie and was really blown away. Everything just fitted together, the animation, the soundtrack (mostly early 80s pop rock) and especially the way it ended. The way the animation suddenly gives way to graphic news archive footage just shocks the system in a really touching way. As you would have realised, I have little sympathy for the Palestinian situation then and now, however, seeing human suffering regardless of the context still affects me. I won’t bore you an outline of the plot, you can see it on wikipedia, however, the animation flips between the main character (Ari Folman), who is also the director of the film, trying to find out what happened to him in Lebanon and the events and experiences of the different interviewees in Lebanon. The film is quite violent but not in a Saving Private Ryan way, it is violent in the fact that yes there is lots of blood and dead bodies but there is a sort of unreality attached to it as well. It’s very easy to imagine that this is just a TV show for kids if it wasn’t for the subject being shown.

There has been some discussion on how the film portrays the Sabra and Shatila massacre. In my view it sticks fairly close to the truth, it doesn’t go on like some leftist film and point to Israel as being the only one to blame yet it doesn’t disregard that Israel, specifically Ariel Sharon played a part in allowing the Phalangists (Lebanese Maronite Christians) militiamen to enter two Palestinian refugee camps and ignoring the reports of mass killing that took place there. I personally would recommend people to go see this movie although make sure you do go in with an open mind and be prepared to have a whole lot more questions then answers.

Official website can be seen here.

https://i2.wp.com/livingincinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/waltz-with-bashir-001-433.jpg

Posted in Arabs, entertainment, IDF, Israel, Lebanon, Middle-East, Military, War | 1 Comment »

New Developments In Iran

Posted by Atilla89 on September 9, 2008

I was just sent a worrying article about Iran and the possible Israeli strike on its reactors. There are still a couple a problems that have to be addressed. Firstly, the shortest flight path to Iran from Israel is obviously across Iraq. My reaction to that was how is this a problem, America pretty much owns that airspace? Well, according to senior journalist Ben Caspit:

Instead of the needed overflight codes, Caspit claims, the U.S. is offering Israel defensive radar—“‘We’ll help you defend yourselves, but we’ll prevent you from attacking,’ say the Americans.”

This is a real problem, Israel (nor America really) can’t abide a nuclear Iran yet at the same the same time America is directly hindering the operation, I still don’t understand that. However later on in the article it becomes a little clearer.

A security source told Caspit that “the Americans have accepted a nuclear Iran and are trying to get us [Israel] to accept it.”

Personally, I don’t believe that. America must know that a nuclear Iran is bad news for everybody, not just Israel. However, moving on to a more a serious problem. Further on in the article a bombshell is dropped:

Britain’s Sunday Telegraph reports that both the U.S. and Israel now fear that Russia stands to supply the sophisticated S-300 air-defense system to Iran in retaliation for Washington supporting NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine.

More information from this article titled Israel’s Red Line: The S-300 Missile System:

Although on July 9 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates denied the possibility of Iran acquiring the missile — known as the S-300PMU-1 by its Russian designers — “anytime soon,” defense reporters have speculated widely that the operational deployment of the S-300 air-defense system would represent a “red line” for an Israeli air strike on Iran. This is because the SA-20/S-300 represents a nearly insurmountable obstacle for conventional aircraft, according to air power experts.

“For non-stealth aircraft, the SA-20 represents a virtual no-fly zone,” said retired United States Air Force General Richard E. Hawley.

Additionally, the SA-20 is much more resistant to electronic countermeasures that are typically used by strike aircraft to defeat such weapons and is capable of engaging targets with far smaller radar cross-sections.

Should Iran obtain Russian S-300 missiles along with their mobile launchers, such as this one bearing four S-300-capable missile tubes, the Israel Defense Forces may be unable to mount a successful attack against any Iranian military nuclear facility. Credit: Russian Federation Ministry of Defense [Source for image here]

This is a HUGE development if it is true because it means that Israel may be well and truly screwed in that sense. Their only hope is for an F-22 Raptor which is almost impossible to detect, expect the only country that has these is America and they are not allowed to export them. Israel may have to rely on America for this one.

However it’s not all bad news, first we have an awesome quote from former Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh (head of a new political party started by himself called Strong Israel)

Sneh told them [Switzerland and Austria – both of which have large invesments in the resource sector of Iran] it was “too bad” about their investments, “because Iddo’s going to set it all on fire”—referring to recently appointed Israeli air force chief Iddo Nehushtan. “‘Investing in Iran in 2008,’ Sneh told the Austrians, ‘is like investing in the Krupp steelworks in 1938, a high-risk investment.’ The Austrians, according to Sneh, turned pale.”

Now for some good news, Iran’s economy is supposedly down in the doldrums.

As Ahmadinejad increases subsidies and spending, inflation has become Iran’s chief domestic issue. While the government acknowledges an inflation rate of 18 percent, parliamentarians and central bank officials say the real rate is closer to 25 or 30 percent.

Privatization schemes have also languished. While announcements of impending factory privatizations are many, sales are few. The reformist daily Aftab-e Yazd observed, “The misguided policies of the government hit us harder than the sanctions of the foreigners.”

I’m no economist so I’m not going to comment directly on these issues, all I can say is that I hope this impacts on their foreign military spending, maybe that S-300 will remain just a rumour…

Posted in IDF, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Middle-East, Military, US, War | Leave a Comment »

On Georgia And Hezbullah

Posted by Atilla89 on September 8, 2008

Hey everyone, sorry for not posting in a while, I have been quite swamped with work. There still won’t be regular posting for a time as I have a few deadline coming up, however here’s a few links to whet your appetite.

Firstly, on the Georgian issue, all I wish to say is that I fully support Georgian independence and what Russia did was not only wrong but also illegal. If you want to know the history behind that conflict then you should read this article called The Truth About Russia in Georgia by Michael Totten here. The territories that have been taken from Georgia include South Ossetia and Abkhazia, both of which have had their independence recognised by only one country, Russia. In the meantime, Georgia has decided to try and get the UN to protect them, for all the good that will do. The UN has barely any power as it is; I hope Georgia gets the ‘protection’ they deserve, but I doubt it would stop a Russian advance if they decide to go at it again.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague will hear three days of argument in a Georgian application for interim protection against “ethnic cleansing” it accuses Russia of committing on Georgian territory.

Georgia instituted proceedings against Russia before the ICJ on August 12, accusing it of breaches of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). As it can take months for the court to decide whether or not to entertain the case, Georgia brought another application two days later asking for interim protection measures.

The ICJ has no powers to enforce its judgments, which have on occasion been simply ignored by state parties. (Edit: bold text added)

Moving south now to the issue of Hezbollah, there has been some unsettling news regarding the leadership of Hezbullah. As most people know, Hezbullah is directly connected to Iran, however it was believed that the general-secretary of the terrorist group, Nasrallah did have some measure of independent control over the group. This is significant because if Israel were to ever go to war with Iran, most likely Nasrallah would be urged to attack Israel. He may have or he may not have, the point is now mute because Iran have decided to take full control over Hizbullah.

Iran is consolidating its grip on Hizbullah and has instituted a number of structural changes to the Lebanese group, under which Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah no longer enjoys exclusive command over its military wing, top Israeli defense officials have revealed.

“There is real Iranian command now over Hizbullah,” a top IDF officer said. “This doesn’t mean that Nasrallah is a puppet, but it does mean that whenever he pops his head out of his bunker he sees an Iranian official standing over him.”

Nasrallah walks between...

Nasrallah walks between crowds in south Beirut [file]. Photo: AP

Now we know that Hezbullah, acting as an extension of Iran will attack Israel in the event of a war with Iran, they may even be used as a spark to set off a much larger regional war with nearby countries such as Iran, Syria, Hamas and possibly even Fatah (who we, Israel, supplied weapons to).

Posted in Arabs, Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran, Israel, Middle-East, Military, Palestine, Syria, Terrorism, US | 3 Comments »