Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Our Freind Bahrain

When I think of Bahrain I think of a modern dynamic Middle Eastern country that supports our efforts against radical Islamofascists. While this might be the case that does not mean we have a Democratic country that grants what we Americans consider basic human rights such as free speech. Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy and Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King, has pushed for economic and political reforms. Nevertheless Bahrain is still no America, witnessed by the fact that they have attempted to stifle dissent by blocking several blogs. Chief amongst those is the reformist blog Mahmood's Den. At a time when knowledge of Islam and the countries that comprise the ME are paramount to our own survival the loss of such windows into that region are very troubling. Even more damaging is the loss of Mahmood’s voice to the people of Bahrain. Fortunately we can still get his blog and his countrymen can get it at a mirror site, but one wonders for how long. Go here to sign a petition to get it unblocked.

Update: We got the block removed.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Our friend Egypt

Sand Monkey has some incredibly disturbing news from Egypt.

The story is as follows for the those of you who didn't hear about it: It was the first day of Eid, and a new film was opening downtown. Mobs of males gatherd trying to get in, but when the show was sold out, they decided they will destroy the box office. After accomplishing that, they went on what can only be described as a sexual frenxy: They ran around grabbing any and every girl in sight, whether a niqabi, a Hijabi or uncoverd. Whether egyptian or foreigner. Even pregnant ones. They grabbed them, molested them, tried to rip their cloths off and rape them, all in front of the police, who didn't do shit. The good people of downtown tried their best to protect the girls. Shop owners would let the girls in and lock the doors, while the mobs tried to break in. Taxi drivers put the girls in the cars while the mobs were trying to break the glass and grab the girls out. It was a disgusting pandamonium of sexual assaults that lasted for 5 houres from 7:30 PM to 12:30 am, and it truns my stomach just to think about it.
Police did nothing, saying “Happy Eid!”. The press?

Al Jazeera had taped the incidents but were forbidden to air it at the request of the egyptian authorities. The new editor at the Daily Star refused to touch it with a 6 foot pole. This was going to be one of those incidents that only the blogsphere would talk about, while the mainstream media ignored.

I wonder how much of our billions of dollars annually given to Egypt goes towards security?

War in Gaza

Prediction: Israel will attack Gaza and reoccupy some parts to stop the daily rocket attacks and stem the porous Egyptian weapons pipeline. Fatah and Egypt will quietly aid the Israelis. Syria will take the opportunity to attack and try and retake the Golan Heights. Syria thinks that because Israel “lost” against Hezbollah that Israel is now beatable. Like ME despots before him, Assad will of course be proven to have grossly miscalculated.

The Knesset took a strong turn to the right with the election of Avigdor Lieberman into the government. I had heard that the IDF was going to petition the Knesset to let them go back into Gaza. Olmert has said Israel is preparing extensive Gaza operations. Syria has been making noises since the end of the Hezbollah Israeli war.
Assad’s latest declarations reflect his (and his regime’s) growing self-confidence. From his perspective, Syria is now in a “win-win” situation; every development will play to its advantage. A glance through the Syrian prism at three possible scenarios shows how might all (sic) be expected to develop positively:

1. Initiation of negotiations for a comprehensive Syrian-Israeli peace agreement
2. Launching a “popular struggle” to regain the Golan
3. A major Israeli war against Syria
I can’t see #1 anytime soon, not until Lebanon begins to fulfill its obligations vis a vis Hezbollah, not to mention Syria’s support for same. Israel will not willingly open a second front, especially if they actually let the IDF loose to do what must be done. So Assad’s only option is to attack the Golan, even if only by proxy. Again it will not be a win for Syria but even if Assad gets his nose bloodied if the regime is still in existence afterward he will be hailed as a hero who stood up to Israel.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Help a Hero

Millblogger SPC Reid Stanley who blogs at A Storm in Afghanistan needs our help. His wife Ellicia was diagnosed with cancer and will soon be entering a hospice and such care is not covered under the military’s health plan. LTC Buzz Patterson is offering to help by auctioning off a three book set on E-Bay. You can bid on them here. You can also donate directly here.

Most of what I know about how things are going in the War on Islamofascism comes from the boots on the ground rather than the enemy enabling leftist MSM. While I’ve woefully neglected to update my links to the millbloggers I will certainly take the time to link to his site, as well as LTC Patterson’s. Not only is he doing a great service to us by his military service but his input into the tons of firsthand accounts of the war will allow historians to accurately gage what we accomplish and fail to accomplish in our efforts to rid the world of the Islamic extremists who are trying to kill us. Lets help him out.

Nork's Nukes

On the Jim Villanucci afternoon talk show recently Heather Wilson stated her support for sending Governor Bill Richardson to North Korea. Jim also thought someone should talk to them. That seemed to be the message most callers had, someone, if not Richardson, should talk to Kim Jong Il. "You must have dialog", "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer", that still seems to be the American consensus, that we can use diplomacy to get what we want, in this case a nuclear free Korean peninsula.
That this approach hasn’t worked in the past and isn’t working now was made obvious by NK’s recent missile and bomb tests. Despite Madam Albright’s fancy dinners and Clinton’s $4.6 billion bribe Little Kim went ahead and developed his nukes. Clinton even went so far as to allow Jimmy Carter to go to NK as an unofficial ambassador, much the same as is being suggested with Richardson. Jhimmah came back and triumphantly declared peace in our day, on CNN, before even telling the white House. Privately Clinton was furious as it has been reported that Carter overstepped his authority. What damage would a future Presidential candidate from the opposing party do to the Bush administration? Given that going to our enemies and criticizing Bush on their soil is a popular leftist tactic maybe Bush should pass on sending Bill.

My point is that even after talks have failed to the point that he now has his nukes we still opt for that approach. While it might be too late to stop NK it’s not too late to stop Iran. Even the EU is now admitting that nuclear talks with Iran have failed. Iran’s goal is to have nuclear weapons. Any negotiations start at that point and no amount of talk will change that. Yet most Americans want dialog, talk is cheap and confrontation very hard. So talk we will till the Mullahs have their bomb, then we will have more talks to convince them to give up their bombs.

Friday, October 20, 2006

War in Iran

When discussing our war in Iran I often here people asking what we can due short of actually bombing the nuke facilities. Every one agrees that such an act would have horrible consequences. One excellent article on what we can and should now be doing is Henry Sokolski's in the Weekly Standard.

For instance Iran says it will block the Strait of Hormuz:
The first move is to reduce the vulnerability of energy exports from the Persian Gulf. Oil experts have determined that all but the 2 to 3 million barrels a day that Iran itself ships through the Strait of Hormuz could be piped instead to ports on the Red Sea and the Sea of Oman. Pipelines from Iraq, past Kuwait, through Saudi Arabia to the Red Sea, the UAE, and Oman are already in place; they only need to be connected.
This could be done by reopening the Iraqi pipeline across Saudi Arabia that the Saudis seized from Saddam in 2001, and by having anti-drag agents (chemical additives that increase the flow of existing oil pipelines as much as 60 percent) at the ready. It also would require building relatively short spur lines to integrate Omani and UAE pipelines with the Saudi pipeline system (something now under discussion). Most of this project could be completed in roughly 18 months for less than a billion dollars. In addition, it would be useful to build up a stock of oil on ships at sea as a floating reserve. This could provide a supply cushion for several weeks, allowing a smooth transition to moving oil by pipe rather than through the strait.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our Friends the Egyptians

How is Syria an enemy but Egypt an ally? Admittedly Syria allows Iran to funnel arms and other assistance to Hezbollah so they can attack Israel from Lebanon. That is an act of war but keep in mind Syria is still technically at war with Israel. Egypt on the other hand has signed a peace treaty with Israel and is supposed to be our ally in the War on Terror. Yet Egypt continues to preach violent jihad on Israel and the US with its state run media. Couple this with the fact that Egypt has now given Tehran tacit approval of a plan to train and equip Hamas to act in the same proxy war against Israel from Gaza. Also inferred in this is the facilitation by Egypt to allow terrorist and arms to flow from Iran through Egypt to Gaza. How is this different from Syria? We should really take a close look as to what our 15 billion dollars of annual aid to Egypt is netting us. The rational of course is that Mubarak is bad but the Muslim Brotherhood would be worse. My question is how could it be worse?

Update: To those who say the Muslim Brotherhood would turn Egypt into a Sharia run theocracy I would counter that it already is. This man has been in an Egyptian jail for 18 months for "Insulting Islam", he converted to Christianity.