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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

US White House’s 9/11 Anniversary Guidelines Ask Officials to "Minimize References to Al Qaeda"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Yesterday, I posted on the fierce whitewash and propagandizing of the tenth anniversary of 911: 911 Whitewashing the War: "Never Forget" Morphs into "Forget it"

The leftist/Islamic machine is in full throttle now, with the White House strong-arming officials to omit who and why we were attacked. The White House has issued guidelines detailing what the White House has deemed the important themes that must be discussed, as well as the tone the 9/11 observances should take.

the document states that officials should “minimize references to Al Qaeda.” Within the text, Osama bin Laden’s death is the reason given for this request. In what could be interpreted as somewhat of a political call to arms, the guidelines tell officials to place emphasis on the fact that “Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant.”

If this is not surrrender, what is?

There will be a real memorial and remembrance at Ground Zero on September 11th. All Americans who love freedom should stand with us on hallowed ground on the tenth anniversary of that horrible day.
Honor our war dead in the afternoon of September 11th at West Broadway and Park Place at our 911 Freedom Rally. Stand for freedom and against the deception and lies being used to subdue us.
Speakers include 911 family members, including Rosaleen Tallon, sister of hero firefighter and reservist in the United States Marine Corps, Sean Tallon, 9/11  attacks; Sally Regenhard, mother of hero firefighter Christian Regenhard, killed in the 911 attacks (Regenhard is an American activist who has become one of the leading voices for the families of the victims of the September); U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton; German MP René Stadtkewitz leader of Germany’s Freedom Party (livestraming to Germany); Dr. Arieh Eldad, former candidate for Prime Minister of Israel, Member of the Knesset; Ezra Levant, TV anchor, newspaper columnist, author, founding publisher of the Western Standard magazine, the only Canadian media outlet to publish the Danish cartoons of Muhammed will be livestreaming on SUN TV, Sudanese ex-slave and freedom fighter Simon Deng; the courageous ex-Muslim human rights activist Wafa Sultan; war hero and North Carolina Congressional candidate Ilario Pantano; popular radio host Joyce Kaufman; Helen Freedman, Americans for a Safe Israel; Darla Dawald, National Director of the Patriot Action Network; James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Sharia Taskforce (VAST); Coptic Christian activist Joseph Nassralla; Iraqi ex-Muslim Michael Paul; and others.

Members of the clergy (banned from the official ceremonies) will be there for our invocation. And first responders, who were not invited to to the official ceremonies, will speak and are welcomed at our Freedom rally of remembrance.

And that evening, we will host a special screening screening of the groundbreaking film, The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 911 Attacks (more here), at The Actor's Temple Theater on 47th between 8th and 9th Avenues. RSVP to GroundZeroMosque@aol.com

US White House’s 9/11 Anniversary Guidelines Ask Officials to ‘Minimize References to Al Qaeda’ The Blaze
 The White House has provided guidelines to government officials regarding how to observe and discuss the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. While there are certainly some beneficial recommendations held within, some may interpret the disseminated documents as more agenda-driven than not.
 These instructions include information about how to honor the lives lost here in America. Additionally, they call for remembrance of the fact that Al Qaeda and other terror groups have also killed innocent individuals in other localities across the globe. Politico has more:

The guidelines detail what the White House has deemed the important themes that must be discussed, as well as the tone the 9/11 observances should take.

“A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,” the foreign guidelines state.

Again, these are worthwhile goals and ideals, but they may be viewed as something more sinister by President Obama’s political opponents. The Atlantic writes:

Though rebuilding support for the U.S. abroad is a worthy goal, it seems like these guidelines will fit in neatly with a popular meme on the right, that President Obama goes around the world and apologizes for how awesome America is. “Obama’s apology tour” has been debunked by The Washington Post and other places, but several Republican presidential candidates have made references to Obama’s supposed tendency to play down American specialness abroad. That events commemorating 9/11 will be “not just about us” seems likely to fit into that theme.

The guidelines came in two sections, each aimed at a very different audience. One, which was sent to American embassies and consulates across the globe, is intended to assist overseas allies and foreign citizens. In this document, the guidelines call for agencies to focus upon the global battle against terrorism. The text reads:

“As we commemorate the citizens of over 90 countries who perished in the 9/11 attacks, we honor all victims of terrorism, in every nation around the world. We honor and celebrate the resilience of individuals, families, and communities on every continent, whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London.”

Interestingly, the foreign document states that officials should “minimize references to Al Qaeda.” Within the text, Osama bin Laden’s death is the reason given for this request. In what could be interpreted as somewhat of a political call to arms, the guidelines tell officials to place emphasis on the fact that “Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant.”

Additionally, foreign leaders are encouraged to highlight the notion that Al Qaeda played no major roll in the Arab Spring. Further expounding upon this ideal, foreign commemoration ceremonies should focus on the idea that Al Qaeda “represents the past” and that peaceful Arab protests “represent the future.” Clearly, there is a balance here that is intended to bring Arabs on America’s side, rather than being divisive in addressing the issues surrounding the attacks.

The second document, which was sent to federal agencies, is intended for individuals here in America. The guidelines presented within emphasize the need for national service in remembrance of the attacks, while highlighting what the U.S. government has done to prevent another major terror event from taking pace. The single sheet suggests that Americans “draw on the spirit of unity that prevailed in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.”

According to The New York Times, one official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said:

“The important theme is to show the world how much we realize that 9/11 — the attacks themselves and violent extremism writ large — is not ‘just about us.”

And UPI writes:

One significant theme in both sets of documents is that Americans must be prepared for another attack and must be resilient in recovering from the loss. Resilience is a repeated theme of the communications.

There is no doubt that the U.S. is treading carefully, especially in issuing the  foreign guidelines. With negative opinions about America festering in foreign nations, the intention held within the text seems to indicate that the U.S. wants to avoid alienating others, especially those in Arab nations. The attempt to diminish the Al Qaeda also serves the political purposes of instilling a sense of victory both at home and abroad.

Posted by Pamela Geller on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 01:40 PM

Feds go after Idaho man who shot grizzly bear to protect his family

By Michelle Malkin • August 31, 2011 12:30 AM    

Maybe it’s time to start a Jackboot Watch feature.
We’ve got DOJ lawyers going after Gibson guitars. There’s the ongoing Fast and Furious debacle. Add the eco-nitwit rogues at the Interior Department. Then there’s the War on Lemonade Stands.
And now, we’ve got the U.S. Attorney in Idaho filing federal charges against Jeremy Hill, a father who shot a grizzly bear on his property to protect his wife and kids — even though state officials who investigated the case thoroughly took no action against the man. He now faces up to a year in prison and a $50,000 fine. He pleaded not guilty last week and faces trial in October:
A Boundary County man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to unlawfully killing a female grizzly bear in his yard.
So many friends and family members showed up to support Jeremy M. Hill at his arraignment that the hearing was forced to move into a larger room at the U.S. Courthouse in Coeur d’Alene. Hill, 33, faces one charge of killing a grizzly – a federally protected species.
Supporters said that Hill, a father of six, acted responsibly in shooting the female grizzly on May 8, which appeared with two cubs in the yard of his home near Porthill, Idaho, while his children were playing outside.
“It seems unjust to me that someone would be charged when they were protecting their family,” state Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said after the hearing. “I’m at a loss to understand why the U.S. government is pursuing this in the manner they are.”
After shooting the grizzly with a bolt-action rifle, Hill contacted the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
“Jeremy did the right thing, he called Fish and Game,” Keough said. “I think that prosecuting this case really sets back the grizzly bear recovery effort. … People are saying, ‘Boy, if that happened to me, there’s no way that I’d report it.’ That’s a human reaction.”
Hill’s wife and six children – the oldest is 14 and the youngest is an infant – attended the arraignment. The family declined to comment.
Gun rights blogger Dave Workman in Seattle notes the festering anti-rural bigotry (and anti-gun stupidity) rearing its head in the wake of the case.
Having lived in bear country for three years now, I can say with certitude that I’d do the exact same thing if faced with the situation Hill found himself in. Absolute certitude.
Idaho GOP Gov. Butch Otter has appealed to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to intervene on Hill’s behalf. Not likely that Obama’s Loathsome Cowboy Salazar will do anything to help, but Otter’s letter will at least bring needed attention to this injustice.
Here’s the letter (h/t Cam Edwards):
Salazar Jeremy Hill 23Aug11-1
Other Idaho public officials weighed in on Hill’s side:
Idaho’s U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, who serves on the committee that oversees the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which filed the charges, also expressed his view Friday.
“I have deep concerns about this incident and the decision of the government to prosecute Mr. Hill, who did what any parent would do in this situation,” Crapo said. “Clearly, Mr. Hill thought that his family was in danger and was protecting them from harm.”
Idaho U.S. Sen. Jim Risch also had to weigh in, suggesting maybe the Endangered Species Act needs to be changed, a long held position of most Idahoans.
“What Mr. Hill did was not a criminal act in the court of common sense,” Risch, a former prosecutor himself said. “My hope is that common sense prevails in this case.”
Finally, Idaho U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador raised questions about whether the law needs changes. But He also had an opinion on the shooting.
“Only Jeremy knows the threat this bear posed to his family and property,” Labrador said. “No one from D.C. or Boise was present to know the circumstances surrounding his actions, but the Endangered Species Act shouldn’t force us to second-guess these types of life or death decisions.
“If the facts that have appeared in the media accounts are true and accurate, then the judgment call Jeremy made to protect his family and property appears to be justified,” he said.
You can put pressure on the Interior Department here or on Twitter here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Booting Melson Won’t Contain Gunwalker Scandal

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On August 31, 2011 @ 12:24 am

In what is being characterized by The Hill as the ”first major investigative victory” for Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) in the Mexican gunrunning scandal known as Fast and Furious, Kenneth Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is being replaced. Todd Jones, U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, will take over as acting director, according to an announcement released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Mr. Melson is being reassigned to a lesser position at the Office of Legal Policy, where he will be retained in the role of senior advisor for forensic science.

Despite The Hill’s assertion, Congressman Issa hardly sounded placated. “While the reckless disregard for safety that took place in Operation Fast and Furious certainly merits changes within the Department of Justice, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue its investigation to ensure that blame isn’t offloaded on just a few individuals for a matter that involved much higher levels of the Justice Department,” said Issa in a statement. “There are still many questions to be answered about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and who else bears responsibility, but these changes are warranted and offer an opportunity for the Justice Department to explain the role other officials and offices played in the infamous efforts to allow weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels.”

Issa is undoubtedly referring to the fact that, over the July 4th weekend, Melson gave secret testimony to the congressional committee investigating Fast and Furious. He contended his superiors at DOJ attempted to undermine the investigation into the program which put more than 2,000 weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartel members. 80 percent of those weapons went missing. Two of them ended up at the Arizona site where Border Agent Brian Terry was killed last December. Melson had been originally scheduled by the DOJ to appear on July 13th, but came in earlier when he became aware that he could appear with his own lawyer instead of one representing the DOJ — and its interests.

Those revelations were reflected in the second part of Issa’s statement. “I also remain very concerned by Acting Director Melson’s statement that the Department of Justice is managing its response in a manner intended to protect its political appointees. Senator Grassley and I will continue to press the Department of Justice for answers in order to ensure that a reckless effort like Fast and Furious does not take place again,” he promised.

The fallout from the scandal claimed another high-profile player as well. U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke also resigned Tuesday, effective immediately, for his own role in the botched operation. Burke had been privately interviewed by congressional investigators on August 18th, and Fox News reported that according to “several sources,” he became physically ill during his testimony and couldn’t finish the session.

Burke was embroiled in a controversy relating to the scandal earlier this month, when his office opposed a routine motion by Agent Brian Terry’s family to qualify as crime victims at the trial of Jamie Avila, the 23-year-old Phoenix man who allegedly bought the guns used to kill Brian. Victim status would have allowed family members to make statements during the sentencing phase of the trial. Burke argued that the family was not “directly or proximately harmed” by the illegal purchase of the murder weapon, adding that the victim in that case “is not any particular person, but society in general.”

It is speculated that the move was made to protect the federal government in general, and possibly Burke himself in particular, from a wrongful death suit by Terry’s family, if government negligence in the border agent’s death can be proved. “The government’s already been put on notice that they might be facing a wrongful death action by the family,” said Paul Charlton, the family’s attorney. ”And you have to wonder if the government’s efforts to deny the family the status of ‘crime victims’ is part of a strategy to avoid legal responsibility for some of the tragic mistakes of Operation Fast and Furious.”

Those efforts get even more curious. The letter signed by Burke denying the family victim status was written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley. Hurley, who oversaw Fast and Furious on a day-to-day basis, is also being reassigned, from the Criminal Division to the Civil Division. This was ostensibly due to the promotion of three supervisors directly involved in the operation. The ATF disputes that assessment, contending that William G. McMahon, deputy director of operations in the West, where Fast and Furious was centered, along with field supervisors William D. Newell and David Voth, who both worked out of the Phoenix office, were “laterally transferred” from operational to administrative positions.

Yet a confidential email sent to agency members by Kenneth Melson announced that McMahon’s promotion to the Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations, as well as the promotions of other employees, represented a reward for ”the skills and abilities they have demonstrated throughout their careers.” As for the other two men, Newell ended up as special assistant to the assistant director of the ATF’s Office of Management in Washington, and Voth became branch chief for the ATF’s tobacco division.

Those “lateral transfers” have incurred the wrath of at least one senator. On August 16th, Senate Judiciary Committee member John Cornyn (R-TX) blasted the administration. ”Until Attorney General Holder and Justice Department officials come clean on all alleged gun-walking operations, including a detailed response to allegations of a Texas-based scheme, it is inconceivable to reward those who spearheaded this disastrous operation with cushy desks in Washington,” he said.It would seem equally inconceivable that one of the ATF agents who revealed the scandal would be fired. But agent Vince Cefalu, who told FoxNews.com about the operation last December, two months before the story broke nationally, was served with termination papers in June. “Aside from Jay Dobyns, I don’t know of anyone that’s been more vocal about ATF mismanagement than me,” said the former senior special agent who had been based in Dublin, CA. “That’s why this is happening.” Ironically (or perhaps defiantly), Cefalu, a 24-year veteran, was fired during the same week in which Darrell Issa sent a letter to the DOJ “requesting assurance” that the ATF “will not retaliate against witnesses who have provided information to this Committee.”

As for Issa himself, it is a rather curious confluence of events that on August 14th, The New York Times ran an investigative story about the congressman entitled “A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself,” in which Issa was described as a man with “dual careers, a meshing of public and private interests rarely seen in government.” The Times further contended that “[A]s his private wealth and public power have grown, so too has the overlap between his private and business lives, with at least some of the congressman’s government actions helping to make a rich man even richer and raising the potential for conflicts.” Issa, who refused to cooperate with the reporter doing the story, cited 13 errors of fact in the story. The paper has so far issued three corrections.

Pure coincidence? Big Journalism columnist AWR Hawkins doesn’t think so. “[M]y guess is that the real goal of the piece was to malign Issa’s character, thereby undercutting the momentum his investigation of ‘Fast and Furious’ has gained,” he wrote on August 16th.

The Times is not alone in its attempt to take out Issa. On June 21st, the Washington Post ran a story claiming Issa knew about the scandal in 2010 “and did not express any opposition.” They were also forced to issue a correction, which now appears above the story itself, noting the original headline “did not reflect that those accounts were disputed by an Issa spokesman.” Pajamas Media reported that it has a “well-placed source” who told them the hit piece had been “shopped by the administration to several other news organizations. All passed on it, since there was no credible attribution for the story.”

As for the Times‘ latest coverage of the scandal itself, one might find its headline, “Firearms Bureau Chief Is Out After Disputed Inquiry” (italic mine) followed by the characterization of Fast and Furious as “an ill-fated investigation into a gun-trafficking ring in Arizona” rather odd. So, too, their contention that, according to an unnamed Justice official, Mr. Holder was responsible for the “moves” which were made for “management reasons.” The so-called “paper of record” also implies that Mr. Issa is on a bit of a witch-hunt, noting that the chairman of the House Oversight Committee “has repeatedly sought to link high-level Obama administration officials to the operation, although no evidence has yet emerged that they knew about its details.”

One can only wonder what the Times thinks of Kenneth Melson’s aforementioned testimony described in a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder by Issa and Senate investigator Charles Grassley. “Specifically, we have very real indications from several sources that some of the gun trafficking ‘higher-ups’ that the ATF sought to identify were already known to other agencies and may even have been paid as informants. The Acting Director said that ATF was kept in the dark about certain activities of other agencies, including DEA and FBI.”

A comment made yesterday by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, indicates that yesterday’s action isn’t likely to satisfy the skeptics. ”This move by the administration indicates that Director Melson may be being used as a scapegoat for a much larger problem within ATF and DOJ,” he contended. Nor will skeptics be placated by the deeply cynical reality that no one, except a whistleblower, has been fired.

One of the oldest political aphorisms is that the attempted cover up of a scandal is often worse than the scandal itself. Despite the grave nature of an operation that resulted in the deaths of two federal agents and as many as 150 Mexicans killed or wounded, the Justice Department’s ongoing attempt to stonewall this investigation, or deflect it with a transparent shuffling of personnel, is appalling.

Perhaps in the self-constructed, and far too often media-protected bubble in which many members of this administration seemingly operate, yesterday’s “moves” for “management reasons” may be considered sufficient to keep this scandal contained. Not a chance.

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Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/08/31/booting-melson-wont-contain-gunwalker-scandal/

The Center for American Progress’ Jewish Conspiracy Theory

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On August 31, 2011 @ 12:26 am

According to the Center for American Progress, the reason that nearly half of all Americans have a negative view of Islam is because of three and a half Jews and an Irishman. If such an allegation were being made by a Saudi cleric or an Egyptian newspaper, we could laugh it off along with the aphrodisiac gum, the GPS shark and other regional conspiracy theories about the Jews. But that’s not the case here.
Time Magazine described the Center for American Progress as the most influential outside group in the Obama Administration. Run by Clinton’s former Chief of Staff, and funded by shady billionaires, the growing influence of the shadowy organization on the Democratic Party has troubled even the mainstream media.
“It is difficult to overstate the influence in Obamaland of CAP,” Time wrote. It is even more difficult to overstate its influence on the media, which relies on talking points created by the Center and its blog, ThinkProgress. And that makes the CAP’s descent into scapegoating all the more disturbing.
The Muslim world often blames its problems on the Jews. And “Fear Inc“, the CAP report, does the same thing by claiming that five men, three of whom are Jews (while a fourth is employed by a Jew – as the report notes — and receives underwriting from two more Jews), have turned Americans against Islam. But is the 49 percent negative rating for Islam really attributable to a handful of terrorism experts who managed to convince a fourth of the country to change its view of Islam? Or is it attributable to years of terrorism, war, blood curdling incitements from assorted imams and thousands of dead Americans?
Such scapegoating is not new. England’s first socialist party blamed the Boer War on the Jews. Henry Ford claimed the Jews were behind WWI. Charles Lindbergh delivered speeches accusing the Jewish lobby of stirring up war against Germany. The echo of those allegations can be found in “Fear Inc.”, which denounces scapegoating, even as it engages in it.
The majority of Americans have never heard of Frank Gaffney or David Yerushalmi, and they could not begin to name any of the experts or foundations in the report. If their view of Islam is negative, it’s not because a handful of foundations and terrorism experts have convinced them of something contrary to their perceptions. It is because they have lived through years of violence and terror.
If ThinkProgress editor and report co-author, Faiz Shakir really wanted to understand why his religion is viewed negatively by so many Americans, all he needed was to take a walk in their shoes. To stand at Ground Zero, the graveyard of thousands murdered by holy warriors invoking the Koran, to walk through Times Square, where a fellow Pakistani plotted to detonate a car bomb, or to visit the small towns where every few weeks a body is lowered into the ground courtesy of a Muslim terrorist.
Such a journey would be difficult, because it would mean coming to terms with the moral crisis of the Muslim world. It would mean empathizing with Americans, who were willing to give Islam the benefit of the doubt after September 11 until they realized over the years that it was not a one-time event, but a pattern of violence. A pattern that only Muslims can break.
Rather than make the journey, Shakir and his co-authors counter one villain with another. If Americans view Islam badly, it can only be because a handful of Jewish experts financed by other rich Jews brainwashed them into it. Such ideas can be commonly found in the Pakistani press – or that of any number of other Muslim countries — but they should have no place in America. When Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad blamed Jewish influence for the poor image of Muslims in the West, he was widely condemned for it. It is troubling that such views have now found their way into a widely publicized report by the brain trust of the Democratic Party.
In the dark days of the Twentieth Century, while Jewish storeowners were sweeping up broken glass, and Jewish children were being assaulted on the streets of Europe– the appeasers were blaming the Jewish lobby for growing tensions in Europe. Now as Jewish storeowners sweep up broken glass after leftist pro-Muslim attacks on their stores and Jewish children are attacked again on the streets of Europe– growing tensions with the Muslim world are once again blamed on the Jewish Lobby.
The Center for American Progress is guilty of repeating a sinister history by searching for easy answers to difficult questions at the expense of an American minority that is already the victim of the vast majority of religion based hate crimes. And the Democratic Party is guilty of not paying attention to where its talking points are coming from.
In “Fear Inc.”, Muslims appear only as victims and Jews appear over and over again as villains, out to make them look bad. There is no acknowledgment that Jews, Christian Arabs and Greeks, whom Shakir’s report also targets, are persecuted minorities in the Muslim world. And that such attacks on persecuted minorities who are trying to tell their story by a member of the persecuting majority is unworthy of a party that claims to defend the rights of minorities.
Should peoples who have been subject to generations of genocide and persecution be intimidated into silence this way? Are the stories of the minorities of the Middle East to be labeled “Islamophobia”? And will the voices of moderate Muslims like Zuhdi Jasser and Tawfik Hamid who advocate reform and tolerance (and who are attacked and defamed in this report), also be silenced?
“Fear Inc.” labels any dissent from the Islamic view of history as “Islamophobia”, and blames the most scapegoated group by the Muslim world for its spread. But blaming Jews for Islamophobia, is as useless as blaming them for the overthrow of Mubarak, as the Egyptian government did, or the removal of Saddam Hussein, as many American progressives have.
The handful of mostly Jewish terrorism experts blamed in “Fear Inc” did not cause the bubbling violence and fanaticism in the Muslim world that is now spreading through immigration. And silencing them, or those Muslims who speak out for reform, will not change the perceptions of Americans who are regularly confronted with terror alerts, beheadings and videos of splattered body parts.
It is not the Jews who have turned Americans against Islam—it is the Muslims who have done it. If Shakir wants to improve the image of Islam, then he needs to do it by tackling its ills. Reform does not happen when critics are silenced, but when their criticisms no longer apply. Muslims who claim to be progressive, but defend organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, are living a lie. And Muslims who are not willing to address the problems with Islam that have led to terrorist plots and attacks, including some against Jewish targets, but instead launch their own verbal and written attacks against Jews– are equally part of the problem.
The problem is not Islamophobia– it is the Islamic jihad, and its host societies which rely on conspiracy theories while rejecting reform, and which naturally seeks to silence those who oppose it. By employing Faiz Shakir and his co-authors and distributing the conspiracy theories of “Fear Inc.”, the Center for American Progress and the Democratic Party do the work of the jihadists and have thus also become part of the problem.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/08/31/the-center-for-american-progress%e2%80%99-jewish-conspiracy-theory/

The Racial Violence that Dare Not Speak Its Name

August 30, 2011
By John T. Bennett

Recent flash mob violence has alerted Americans to a troubling wave of sadistic racial mayhem.  A notable outbreak occurred in Denver in 2009, setting a pattern of delay, denial, and silence.  Now that same scourge has returned to Denver, among many other places. 
In 2009, a four month wave of mayhem broke out in Denver. There were at least 26 violent robberies committed by two black gangs.  The victims were -- without exception -- whites and Hispanics.  When the dust settled from that initial spate of violence, victims were left with injuries ranging from a skull fracture to broken noses and shattered eye sockets.  The local Denver ABC news affiliate summarized the crime spree:
Black gangs roaming downtown Denver often vented their hatred for white victims before assaulting and robbing them during a four-month crime wave, according to interviews and court records obtained by 7NEWS.
That is not the language of a conservative commentator; it's simply a mainstream local news report from an American city that has witnessed widespread racial violence.
The first-hand accounts and surveillance videos of the 2009 attacks are shocking. These weren't sucker punches or fair fights -- the attackers swing madly and rapidly with a viciousness that can only come from blind cruelty.  The victims, who can be seen in interviews, were kind-looking, ordinary people.  The victims were mostly either gay or straight couples. They didn't provoke the attacks in any conceivable way.  The attackers sometimes fractured skulls, or broke eye sockets, and left one victim in a coma.  There were a total of 26 attacks from July 17 to Nov. 17. 
An incredible 38 people were arrested in connection with this campaign of racist violence. Thirty  were ultimately charged, all black.  Has this number of arrests been made against any violent white supremacist or right wing organization in the last 50 years?
The story first came to light in 2009 when a source inside the Denver police department said that the department was "keeping the public in the dark" about the attacks.  Court documents show that the police did indeed have knowledge of a pattern of racial attacks, but remained silent for 27 days.  One victim complained that, had the police informed the public sooner, he could have protected himself.  The same group responsible for that violence is suspected in the murder of Andrew Graham, a young graduate student who was senselessly shot in 2010. 
Late last month, Denver saw a possible return to violence, as couples leaving restaurants were being attacked by a group of black men with baseball bats. The Denver Police have renewed warnings of those attacks.
The brutality  in Denver is disturbingly similar to violence occurring elsewhere, nationwide.  In the last few months alone, a young white lady named Shaina Perry was taunted and beaten in Milwaukee.  A young white man named Carter Strange had his skull fractured by a mob in South Carolina.  Dawid Strucinski was beaten into a coma by a mob in Bayonne.  Anna Taylor, Emily Guendelsberger, and Thomas Fitzgerald were beaten and kicked to the ground in separate Philadelphia flash mobs.  Every weekend in July, mobs have attacked in Greensboro, NC.  In a mostly-white suburb of Cleveland, witnesses reported large groups of "teens" walking through the streets, "shouting profanities and racial epithets," and one man was viciously beaten while leaving a restaurant with his wife and friends.  In all of those cases, the victims were white and the attackers were black.
Then there are the ominous stories that no one has ever heard about. For instance, a mob of 150 "young people" descended on a small, predominantly white NJ town named Winfield Township during a firefighters' carnival. Perhaps the townspeople are merely lucky that there wasn't violence. Isn't the racial mob mentality scary enough that we shouldn't have to wait for violence before we take it seriously?
It cannot be emphasized enough that these attacks often occur in suburban areas where the black groups have to leave their own neighborhoods and purposefully travel to areas that are predominantly non-black, to attack non-black victims. For instance, in one of the many flash mob attacks in Chicago, Trovulus Pickett, 17, was part of a group that attacked and robbed several victims, including a 68-year-old doctor.  The attacks occurred in the North Side, which is 15 miles away from Pickett's home. This indicates a serious level of planning and potential racial targeting. If these were just run-of-the mill robberies, it wouldn't be too surprising. But the social problem we're looking at is large groups, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, sometimes armed, engaging in racially-focused violent crimes.
There is quite simply no way for a politically correct society to grasp these events, much less effectively deal with them.  Liberals have reached the depths of self-deception and self-censorship in response.  The Washington Post, New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, have all openly stated that they will refuse  to report on the racial facts of these violent crimes. The Los Angeles Times explains that they don't want to "unfairly stigmatize racial groups." They prefer the soft bigotry of low expectations instead.
These flash mobs have turned the comfortable narrative of racism on its head. Politicians, the media, academics, and the legal community do not have the capacity to face the issue. The reigning dogma of white racism is too deeply entrenched. There is a small grievance industry built around condemning white racism and intolerance, real or imagined.  Indeed, the welfare state itself is in large part based on the assumption that whites need to give more to achieve racial equality, as reflected in President Obama's lament that the civil rights movement didn't focus on economic redistribution. 
Legal treatises complain that the racist white power structure grows into the bitter fruit of anti-minority racist violence.  For instance, the work of Mari Matsuda and Richard Delgado is featured in countless undergraduate courses, and is ubiquitous in graduate and law school courses. They argue that hate speech is a severe social problem and that such speech, along with other tools of racism, keeps minorities in an inferior position (1). While academics dwell on hateful speech, the actual violence continues. We all pay the price, as racial guilt is used to extort tax money for the welfare state, which fosters the mobs. The PC status quo will not acknowledge the fact that the worst form of racism today is black mob violence.
John Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, MAPSS '07) is a veteran, writer, and law student at Emory University living in Atlanta, GA.

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1. Matsuda, Mari J., Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering the Victim's Story, 87 Michigan Law Review. 2320, 2362, note 10 (1989); Richard Delgado, Words That Wound: A Tort Action For Racial Insults, Epithets, and Name-Calling, 17 Harv. Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. 133 (1982).

The Islamist Factor in Post-Gaddafi Libya: Will Libya Become “Libyastan”?

August 29, 2011 by
The U.S. and the West’s military intervention in Libya finally succeeded in toppling Gaddafi’s 42- year reign in Libya and brought to power an amorphous body called the NTC (National Transitional Council) headed by Mostafa Abdel Jalil, headed by a former judge and Minister of Justice under Gaddafi, a devout Muslim educated in the best tradition of Muslim jurisprudence.
The question that immediately arises is where Libya will be sailing to now? The question is of immense interest since the last two American interventions, in Afghanistan and Iraq, did not produce stable, democratic and open regimes and Al-Qaeda elements have been reported to be offering support to the rebels from the very first days of the uprising against Gaddafi:
a. At the end of his presidency, US President Jimmy Carter offered assistance to the mujahidin (Islamic fighters) in their war against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. Weapons and equipment were sent. The well-known result was the empowerment of forces that would in the end be inimical to the interests of the West, and ultimately led to the Taliban takeover of the country. Afghanistan became a safe haven for Osama bin Laden and the story that followed included the most lethal terrorist attacks against the West in the decades that followed.
b. The official reason for U.S. military intervention in Iraq was the presence of weapons of mass destruction, which at the end of the day were never found. As a result, Iraq as a state was restructured into what the U.S. thought it should be: Instead of a country ruled for decades by the Sunni minority, Iraq became a Shiite dominated country. Since its renewed “facelift,” Iraq has been a destabilized state living under the constant threat of terror and religious partition. Iraq lost its central role in Arab affairs and worse, stopped being a buffer against Iran and Iranian influence in the Middle East. Many of the political elites of the new Iraq have been receiving funding from the Iranians. No real gain was registered to the US.
There are plenty of reasons to fear that the military action undertaken by the West might be playing into the hands of its worst foes and ideological enemies. A statement released on February 24 on the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Fajr media website quoted the group known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM): “We declare our support for the legitimate demands of the Libyan revolution. We assert to our people in Libya that we are with you and will not let you down, Allah willing. We will give everything we have to support you, with Allah’s Grace”. Support was also expressed by Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, who offered to send some of his military experts to help train the rebels. So did Hamas. There was almost a consensus amongst the extreme and fundamentalist Islamic organizations that there was a necessity to assist the rebels against Gaddafi. Those extreme organizations would have not expressed such unanimous support had they not understood the Islamic implications of a triumph against Gaddafi.
Analysts and reporters, as well as American diplomats (as reflected in the Wikileaks documents) all identified supporters of Islamist causes among the opposition to Gaddafi’s regime, in particular in the towns of Dernah and Benghazi in the eastern province of Cyrenaica. The Wikileaks cables initially revealed by the Daily Telegraph back in 2008, identified Dernah in particular as a breeding ground for fighters in a number of cases, including Afghanistan and Iraq. A field study published by the French Centre of Intelligence Research, headed by former chiefs of French intelligence who toured Libya and met with most of the belligerents, reported amazing statistics: out of the contingent of foreign fighters who came to Iraq to fight the U.S. presence, 19% were Libyans. 85% of the suicide bombers were of Libyan citizenship compared to 56% average from other nationalities. The Libyans were second after the Saudis in number of fighters. In other words, Cyrenaica, Libya’s eastern region, produced one terrorist per 1000-1500 inhabitants!
Cyrenaica has always been the cradle of extreme Islam. Unlike Tripoli, Cyrenaica is the land of the bearded Muslims. In the mid-forties of the 19th Century, the Sanussiyah order (extreme fundamentalist Islam) was born in Al-Bayda, one of its main towns. Forty-two years of Gaddafi’s regime did not succeed in uprooting customs that compel women to walk in the streets only when they are veiled and that forbids women to drive. According to the French team, Saleh Abu Muhammad, responsible for the media at AQIM, declared that his organization had created Emirates in Benghazi, Dernah, AlBayda, Al-Marj, Shihat: “We are present specially in Dernah where Sheikh Abd el-Hakim is our Emir, where the Islamic Council is located that is responsible for running the town according to Sharia law.”
According to the Daily Telegraph, Gaddafi had pinpointed the rebels in Dernah as being led by an Al-Qaeda cell that has declared the town an Islamic Emirate. The regime also cast blame on hundreds of members of the Libyan Islamist Fighting Group (LIFG). LIFG was the jihadist opposition to Gaddafi. The group was formed by Libyan fighters who joined Bin Laden in the 1980′s to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. Upon their return to Libya they formed the organization, although it formally split from Al-Qaeda after September 11, 2001 only to declare in 2007 that the LIGF was a subsidiary of Al-Qaeda. Libyan Islamists, especially over the past two decades, have been subject to government suppression. An LIFG rebellion led by Abdelhakim Belhadj, alias Abu Abdallah Saddiq was crushed in Benghazi in 1995 and 1,800 LIFG members were imprisoned. They were only released after the group’s ideology was revised in 2008. In September 2009, the LIFG published a new jihadist “code”, a 417-page document entitled “Corrective Studies” which was published after more than two years of intense talks between incarcerated LIFG leaders and Libyan officials, including Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. In March 2011, members of the LIFG reportedly announced that they had placed themselves under the leadership of the Libyan rebel National Transitional Council, and that the group had changed its name from the LIFG to the Libyan Islamic Movement.
Abdelhakim Belhadj, today the commander of the Libyan rebel Tripoli Military Council, emerged as a leader during the Libyan rebel operation to liberate the Libyan capital from Gaddafi’s control. Belhadj, is also a former Emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). He was born in 1966. In 1988, he joined the Afghan jihad against the Soviet occupation forces along with other Arab volunteers, many of whom would form the core of al-Qaeda. He is believed to have lived in a number of Islamic countries including Pakistan, Turkey and Sudan. Belhadj was arrested in Afghanistan and Malaysia in 2004, and was interrogated by the CIA in Thailand before he was extradited to Libya in the same year.
Many LIFG members fled Libya and some of them even gained notoriety: Anas El Libi participated in 1998 in the terrorist attacks against the U.S. embassies in Dar El-Salam in Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. He was apprehended by the British in London in 2002 only to be released later. Ibrahim Abu Faraj Farj El-Libi was yet another notorious member of Al-Qaeda arrested in Pakistan in 2005. Gaddafi’s repression was so harsh that he was named by Al-Qaeda’s Ayman El-Zawahiri as number two on Al-Qaeda’s list of targets .
Abdel Hakim Al-Hasidi, chief officer commanding the defenses of Dernah, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002. He was later handed over to US authorities and then held in Libya before being released in 2008. In a statement to a reporter he declared that his jihadists had fought the American coalition in Iraq and “now they are fighting Gaddafi”. According to different sources (including the remarks before Congress of General Stavridis, Commander of NATO who said that some Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah terrorists were fighting against Gaddafi’s forces) there could be about 1000 such fighters. Al-Hasidi is a current member of the NTC (!). Nevertheless he declared that he did not support a Taliban-like state. Al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists”, but added that the “members of Al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.
Two other prominent members of Al-Qaeda of Libyan origin actively involved in the revolt against Gaddafi are Abd El-Moneim El-Madhouni, alias, Mostafa El-Zawi,Alias. Ibn El-Ward has been a member of Al-Qaeda since the mid 90′s. He was killed in the battle over Berga. Ismail Sallabi, also a veteran of Al-Qaeda, is reported to be training 200 fighters in the 7 April caserns.
In any event, Al-Hasidi’s revelations made in late March 2011 came even as Idriss Debby, President of Chad, said that Al-Qaeda had managed to pillage arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms,”including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries”. Intelligence sources indicated that the pillaged weapons had made their way to the Sahel area. Mali Authorities said that the information in their hands indicated that weapons such as the AK-47, R.P.g-7, ZU23mm and SA-7 had been seen in their territory and showed a Libyan origin. These reports were further backed by information leaked by U.S. sources. Indeed, according to two U.S. government officials not authorized to speak on the record, there is evidence that a small number of Soviet-made SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles from Qaddafi’s arsenal have reached the black market in Mali, where al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is active.
With Gaddafi gone, the West finds it difficult to replace him in the battle against Al-Qaeda. While in power, Gaddafi had agreed to very intense cooperation against Al-Qaeda. A special relationship was established between Libyan Intelligence, counter-terrorism and security forces through the good services of the then chief of Intelligence Moussa Koussa and the CIA and MI-5 and MI-6 who even asked the Libyans to send agents to infiltrate Islamist organizations in the UK. Being aware of the dangers from the proliferation of such ground-to-air missiles the U.S. the primary worry at present is the hunt for Libya’s missiles. According to a report published by Bloomberg News on August 26 a U.S. inter-agency team met in Malta with a Libyan official in early August to reach an agreement in principle on creating a program to remove the shoulder-fired missiles. During June and July, that inter-agency team visited Libya’s neighbors to discuss weapons proliferation, coordinate responses and determine what assistance is needed.
The U.S. planned to deploy two contractors to Libya with the exclusive job of tracking down and destroying shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles before they fell into the hands of terrorists. According to the report, the State Department also will deploy an in-house specialist in controlling and destroying the portable missiles to oversee the team, which is expected to arrive in early September. State Department officials notified Congress of these plans on August 15, the day before rebels stormed the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
While the new teams will work with the rebel National Transitional Council on weapons control, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the NTC bears special responsibility to keep these weapons safe. The rebel group “has obligations to the international community,” Clinton said in a recent statement. ”We will look to them to ensure that Libya fulfills its treaty responsibilities that it ensures that its weapons stockpiles do not threaten its neighbors or fall into the wrong hands, and that it takes a firm stand against violent extremism.”
The message to the NTC was loud and clear. Clinton’s concern with the dangers of “violent extremism” was warranted. Indeed, at present Libya is ruled by a coalition of forces represented in the National Transitional Council (NTC). Judging from its composition one can see very clearly that there is no real glue between its different members: royalists, Islamists, Salafists as well as Muslim Brethren, former Gaddafi’s supporters and officers, former Gaddafi’s colleagues in the first Revolutionary Council that toppled the royalty in 1969, a tiny layer of Democrats and secular politicians and finally members of the LIFG.
The National Transitional Council (NTC) aimed to provide political and military leadership, organize basic services and represent Libyans abroad. Its leaders said the council was not a government, but aimed to “steer” Libya into a post-Gaddafi era and then “guide the country to free elections and the establishment of a constitution for Libya”. They stressed they would only serve for an interim period and would not to stand in future elections.
According to its website, the council currently has a chairman, vice-chairman, representatives with various portfolios, and 33 members representing the regions and cities of Libya. Some of their identities have been kept secret for security reasons. There is also an executive board, which functions like a cabinet.
The NTC published in August a 14-page “Draft Constitutional Charter for the Transitional Stage”, in which it set out a plan to create a multi-party democracy with Islamic law (Sharia) as the principal source of legislation ( a major change in the Libyan regime).
However, it is not yet clear if the council is ready to fill the void in a country with little civil society and no real political institutions. It says it is ready, but its meetings have been described as chaotic and its leadership as contradictory. It has not always been clear who the council represents.
The assassination in July of the rebel military commander, Gen Abdul Fattah Younis, a former close associate of Gaddafi who defected to the rebels and conducted military operations against the regime, apparently by members of an Islamist faction (the Obaida Ben Jarrah Brigade, an Islamist militia allied to the NTC) after he was taken into custody for questioning, also raised questions about unity. The assassination has raised fears that the NTC is too weak and fractured to halt a slide into bloodshed as rival factions, including Islamists, bid for power.
At present, Mostafa Abdel Jalil is the leading figure at the NTC. Born in 1952 in Al-Bayda the historic seat of the Sanussi dynasty, he studied Islamic Jurisprudence in Benghazi, became a judge in 1978 at the age of 26, a career culminating in 2007 in his appointment as Minister of Justice. He resigned his position on February 20 2011 and joined the rebel camp to be elected as the leader of the provisional government. Abdel Jalil, a conservative and devout Muslim can often been seen wearing a “shanna”, the traditional burgundy colored wool cap worn by Libyan men. In the Wikileaks documents he is described as open and cooperative but also very clearly anti-Israeli. In the Wikileaks document he is quoted as saying that Islamic terrorism emerged because many Muslims believed the U.S. and Europe were against them. His CV stresses the fact that he has been singled out because of his opposition to Gaddafi as Minister of Justice. Abdel Jalil even offered his resignation in 2010, which was refused. The less brilliant part of his career is his decision to sentence to death the Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian physician accused of deliberately inoculating AIDS to Libyan children.
Is Mostafa Abdel Jalil made of leadership timber? Is there another unifying figure who can lead Libya after Gaddafi? Right now the resounding answer seems to be no. Gaddafi ran Libya without state institutions that would make any transition easier for the rebels who have plenty of spirit but lack a proper chain of command. The rebels are also weighed down by factionalism and ethnic and tribal divisions. Moreover, Abdel Jalil will always be viewed with suspicion by some rebels who want completely new faces with no past links to Gaddafi, a fact that will undermine efforts to choose an effective leadership. Beneath the surface, the rebels are torn apart by divisions and factionalism, Berber and Arab villages look at each other with disdain. Rebels refer to themselves as fighters from village x or village y, not the rebels of Libya.
If hardliners prevail, then Libya could make the same mistake that was made in Iraq after the 2003 U.S. military campaign that toppled Saddam Hussein. Baath party supporters and army officers were purged “en masse” creating a power vacuum that led to instability for years as everyone from his secular supporters to Al-Qaeda waged a violent campaign against Iraq’s new US-backed rulers. A hint of what could be is the increasing number of rebels growing long, thick beards, the trademark of Islamists who are likely to reject close ties with the West in a post- Gaddafi era.

Iran 'discreetly aided Libyan rebels'

(AFP) – 2 days ago 
TEHRAN — Iran "discreetly" provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli, Jam-e-Jam newspaper quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Sunday as saying.
"We were in touch with many of the rebel groups in Libya before the fall of (Moamer) Kadhafi, and discreetly dispatched three or four food and medical consignments to Benghazi," Salehi told the daily.
"The head of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, sent a letter of thanks to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for having been on their side and helping," he added.
Since the Libyan uprising erupted in mid-February, Iran has adopted a dual approach -- criticising the Kadhafi regime for its violent assaults on the rebels while at the same time condemning NATO's military intervention.
On Tuesday, Iran "congratulated the Muslim people of Libya" after rebels overran the capital Tripoli, but it has so far distanced itself from officially recognising the NTC.
Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved

Ex-jihadists in the new Libya

Posted By Omar Ashour Monday, August 29, 2011 - 12:33 PM

Abd al-Hakim Belhaj, the commander of Tripoli's Military Council who spearheaded the attack on Muammar al-Qaddafi's compound at Bab al-Aziziya, is raising red flags in the West. Belhaj, whom I met and interviewed in March 2010 in Tripoli along with Saif al-Islam al-Qaddafi, is better known in the jihadi world as "Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq." He is the former commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a jihad organization with historical links to al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Egyptian al-Jihad organization. Does his prominent role mean that jihadists are set to exploit the fall of Qaddafi's regime?

Established in 1990 and officially dismantled in 2010, the LIFG was modeled along the lines of the Egyptian al-Jihad: secretive, elitist, and exclusively paramilitary. The group led a three-year, low-level insurgency mainly based in eastern Libya and tried three times to assassinate Qaddafi in 1995 and 1996. By 1998, the LIFG was crushed in Libya. Most of its leaders and members fled and joined forces with the Taliban in Afghanistan. They even gave a religious oath of loyalty (bay'a) to Mullah Omar. After 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, Belhaj and most of the LIFG leaders fled that country as well, only to be arrested in 2004 by the CIA and then handed over to Qaddafi's regime, following interrogations in Thailand and Hong Kong.

In 2010, Saif al-Islam was trying to apply the Egyptian model of "deradicalization" on the LIFG and then sell it to the West. Like the Egyptian Islamic group, six of the LIFG leaders authored a 416-page document delegitimating armed opposition to Qaddafi's regime and other rulers by theological and ideological argumentations, regardless of their standards of oppression. The book, which was titled, Corrective Studies in Understanding Jihad, Enforcement of Morality, and Judgment of People, was paraded, along with its authors, by Saif al-Islam in front of Western diplomats and experts. Al-Tuhami Khaled, who was at the time the head of Libya's Internal Security, publicly described the whole process as "heretics repenting."

I met with Belhaj in one of these so-called "reconciliation" conferences. When I asked him about the status of the LIFG, he replied that it had been dismantled. When I asked about the future, he was not sure. He had been released less than two hours before from the notorious Abu Salim prison, where many of his followers chanted earlier to journalists' cameras, "Teach us our leader; teach us how to build our futures." And by "our leader" they meant Qaddafi, not Belhaj.

"The tyrant fled, and we will be after him," said a victorious Belhaj to the media following the storming of Bab al-Aziziya. But neither arrogance nor vengeance dominated his tone. He repeatedly called for enhancing security, protecting property, ending vendettas, and building a new Libya. The moderate tone was generally consistent with what most of the LIFG leaders have stated in the last six months, whether in eastern or western Libya. The experiences of the LIFG leaders in armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya, and Algeria have forced them to mature politically, recalculate strategically, moderate behaviorally, modify their ideological beliefs, and change the title of the organization to the "Islamic Movement for Change."

However, enforcing the moderate behavior and rhetoric of the less-experienced followers in the newly open Libyan environment will be a challenge for the leadership. In 2010, both Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi, the principal ideologue of the LIFG, complained to me about younger members and other jihadists challenging their authority. This occurred within repressive prison conditions that were supported by the pressures and the inducements of Qaddafi's Internal Security. In the current and drastically different lawless war zone that has placed small and midsize arms in the hands of virtually everyone, the conditions change significantly, and so do the loyalties and the hierarchies.

The other challenge for the LIFG is transforming from a militia to a political party. A former member of the group relayed his concerns stating, "They don't have the experience. They were trained as fighters and theologians, not politicians. So when it comes to democracy, constitution, and elections, they've got nothing to say."

In the aftermath of Qaddafi, interactions between the National Transitional Council (NTC) and armed Islamist organizations can take three trajectories: reintegration, inclusion, or clash. The experience of South Africa and reintegration of the African National Congress (ANC) fighters comes to mind as a relatively successful case, providing some useful lessons. Reintegration in the military and security apparatuses will depend on their actual size and contributions, and of course, on the political will and calculations of the NTC. This path would not only be problematic for the NTC's Western partners, but also for the security and intelligence personnel, who will have to deal with the former "terrorists" as colleagues.

The second trajectory is political inclusion. This will also face some hurdles. Among those is the willingness of the mid-rank and the grassroots to participate in a democratic political process after being indoctrinated for decades with the idea that democracy is inherently anti-Islamic. But signs of successful jihadist transformation come from neighboring Egypt. The Islamic Group, a much larger armed Islamist organization whose leaders authored a big section of the anti-democratic literature, successfully dismantled its armed wing and finally formed a politically party (the Construction and Development). This can be a model to follow for Libyan armed Islamist militias, if their leadership so chooses.

The third scenario is probably the worst for Libya -- the clash. A civil war, even a mini one, to oust Islamists would be as disastrous for Libyans and their neighbors as was the Algerian civil war in the 1990s. Unfortunately this scenario is not unlikely. A detailed study on resistance to authoritarianism by Columbia University has shown that the probability of a country relapsing into civil war following a successful anti-dictatorship armed campaign is 43 percent. The study arrives at this figure after surveying 323 cases of armed and unarmed opposition campaigns between 1900 and 2006. Most of the lucky countries that escaped that civil war fate went through a successful disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) process and, in parallel, a serious attempt at democratization. Both processes will be critical in determining the future of Libya and its Islamists in the aftermath of Qaddafi.

The NTC with the support of NATO has a good chance of avoiding an Iraq-like or an Algeria-like scenario in Libya. The pillars of their policies toward the multiple armed Islamist groups following the end of the conflict should be rapid disarmament and political inclusiveness. The disarmament process should be rewarding, and a wide variety of benefits and selective inducements could be proffered in return. In the event that mediation is necessary, interactions between credible scholars and independent sheiks, and the heads of the armed groups should be facilitated by the NTC to provide legitimacy for its policies. In all cases, the NTC is likely to meet resistance, and its objectives should then be focused on minimizing and delegitimizing that resistance.

Omar Ashour is the director of the Middle East Graduate Studies Program at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, and a visiting fellow in the Brookings Doha Center. He can be reached at o.ashour@exeter.ac.uk.

Mshari al-Zaydi: What about the Jihadists in Libya?

It goes without saying that the fall of the Qaddafi regime is a wonderful piece of news. This strange man offered nothing to his people, the Arabs, or the entire world, except pure evil. The dangers and eccentricities of Qaddafi are indisputable. The best thing for Libya is to remove this "Green Man" from its present and future for good. However, we must not ignore the fact that Qaddafi has not left the scene entirely. In my estimation, it is a risk to decisively assert that Qaddafi is totally out of the picture. Indeed, he has tasted defeat and has been forced to flee Tripoli like an outlaw. But the man is still dangerous with a lot of money and maybe even hidden weapons in his possession, not to mention his remaining supporters and fighters.Nevertheless, Qaddafi's privileges will be rendered useless if Libya's revolutionaries can expertly and proficiently handle the current phase, and steer Libya's ship towards safer shores.
Here an issue ought to be raised, although I am aware that many of those who have rejoiced over Qaddafi's defeat – myself included – will be somewhat reluctant to approach this matter at the current moment.
The issue relates to the role of fundamentalist fighters, or "Jihadists", in Libya's war of liberation. Abdelhakim Belhadj has recently been revealed to be one of the "stars" of Libya's rebel forces – a former Mujahideen youth who made his mark in Afghanistan, alongside other familiar Jihadist battlefields. Belhadj is the commander of the Libyan rebel Tripoli Military Council, yet ironically, this Jihadist "military" commander was in prison a few months ago. In fact, it was Saif al-Islam Gaddafi who secured his release under an initiative launched in 2007, to turn over a new leaf with Jihadist Islamists in Libya.
Indeed, it has been said that Abdelhakim Belhadj has now joined the "national" Libyan revolutionary project, and that he is not a Jihadist in the same manner as the "Libyan Islamic Fighting Group", a religious organization similar to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group. This could be true with regards to Abdelhakim, and maybe tens or hundreds of fighters like him, but what about the rest of the Libyan Jihadists?
This is a somewhat disturbing yet necessary question, especially after the Chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, acknowledged the presence of extremist religious groups among the ranks of Libyan fighters, in the wake of Tripoli's fall. I don't think that "Sheikh" Abdul Jalil meant to tarnish the image of the Libyan Revolution by saying that. Actually, his courage in admitting such a fact is a great testament to him.
The problem in our Arab media and culture stems from partisan viewpoints. Either you support a revolution faithfully and categorically, or attack it emphatically and skeptically, without asking critical questions about the key details.
In my estimation, there is a dangerous fundamentalist presence in the depths of the Libyan revolution, and this is something we should take heed of now. This presence could turn into a source of danger for Libya's future, in the days to come. These radicals could easily turn their guns from the Bab al-Aziziya compound towards the Libyan National Transitional Council, targeting it for being "secular" and an ally of the "Crusaders" (NATO). These radicals may seek to establish a Shariaa law state in Libya, and unleash their Jihad across North Africa. I do not believe I am exaggerating here. We have learnt from past years that the dreams of fundamentalists have no limits, and that chaos is the best environment for them to flourish.
Thus, from now on we say: The Libyan Jihadists may prove to be a source of danger to the state in the near future, unless members of the National Transitional Council manage to rescue Libya at this critical juncture. We all hope the Council can succeed in leading Libya through this dark tunnel.
Finally, I am aware that Muammar Qaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam previously drew attention to the potential danger of militant fundamentalists in Libya. This was certainly a sound warning, even if it was declared at the time to strengthen the Qaddafi grip on power, and now we are restating it out of fear for Libya.
(Published in the London-based Asharq al-Awsat on August 28, 2011.)


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