Saturday, 30 April 2011
M.G. Orde C. Wingate – British Christian Zionist, Father of the IDF and Valiant Commander of the CHINDITS in WWII Burma

If you are in the Washington metro vicinity on May 1st, officially the eve of Yom Ha Shoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel ,  you  might go and witness a stirring event: the wreath laying ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery in memory of British Christian Zionist and father of the IDF, Major Gen.  Orde Charles Wingate.    His remains lie mingled  with those of nine members of  an American 1st Air Commando crew whose B-25 Mitchell bomber  crashed in Burma in March, 1944. The remains of Wingate and the Americans who died in Burma were transferred in 1950 to the hallowed ground of our national  military cemetery.

Watch this brief You Tube video of pictures of Wingate as Commander of the famed  CHINDITS force that disrupted the Japanese in Burma during WWII by inserting forces  by air behind enemy lines.

The American Jewish War Veterans  with hold its 35th annual memorial ceremony at which Israeli Ambassador to the US, the Hon. Michael Oren, the British Air Attache, a USAF General and others who served with Wingate  will speak at Wingate’s gravesite. 

See the JWV announcement  below of the program for this year's memorial.

Wingate is revered as the fabled “Ha Yedadid” - the friend- who trained the Special Night Squads (SNS) composed of Jewish Palestinians, that successfully fought Jihadis during the Arab Riots of 1936 to 1939. Many of the SNS trainees became commanders of  combat units of IDF on the founding of the State of Israel in May, 1948 at the start of the War for Independence.  Wingate established the enduring IDF doctrine of 'purity of arms" in pre-state irregular special ops against Arab Muslim bands of terrorists backed by the infamous Grand Mufti, Haj Amin Al Husseini. A number of IDF training facilities and streets in Israel are named in his memory. 

Wingate was the commander of an irregular unit of Ethiopians, Brits, Australians and Palestinian Jews, called the Gideon Force after the Biblical general who was a legendary early practitioner of irregular warfare.   Wingate’s unit succeeding in vanquishing the Italian force that had occupied Ethiopia since 1936; an early allied victory in the summer of 1941.


Despite Wingate’s own legendary eccentricities, he became one of Churchill’s favorite combat commanders because of his championing of irregular warfare.  After a meeting with Churchill in Quebec, he was promoted  and seconded to Admiral Lord Louis Mounbatten, who  was Allied Supremo in the  South East Asia Command,  an aficionado of special ops warfare.  Wingate developed a plan for engaging in behind the lines warfare against the Japanese forces in Burma establishing  an aerial re-supply chain for Jungle bases using the resources of US Army Air Force 1st Air Commandos. The combined British, Commonweath  and American force became known as  CHINDITS - taken from the name of Burmese  Buddhist  Temple  statuary dogs.  The CHINDITS engaged in  the second largest air invasions of  WWII  when more than 22,000 troops were deployed deep in Japanese –held  Burmese territory in Operation Thursday.  The commander of the US Ist  Air Commandos, who worked closely with Wingate  Col. Philip Cochran   became the model for the character Flip Cochran  in Milton Connif’s  comic strip, “Terry and the Pirates.”

Wingate’s sudden tragic death in a US Air commando plane crash in  March 1944 deprived both the allies and the IDF of a brilliant combat officer who  might have become, if he had lived,  the first commander of Israeli forces, even as a Christian Zionist. That role was left to American  Jewish West Point graduate and US Army Ranger officer, Col. David “Mickey” Marcus, who was tragically killed by friendly fire during the early stages of Israel’s War for Independence.  Col. Marcus is buried ‘on the plains’ at West Point- the US Military Academy.

Despite his tragic death in WWII combat, Wingate's legacy lives on in the military doctrine of the IDF and in special ops training in several armed services,  American, British and Israel.

Orde Wingate

Honoring the memory of General Orde Wingate

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA and the JWV Department of DC hold a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery each year to remember British military Commander and ardent Zionist Orde Wingate who is credited with being the founder of Israel's military. Wingate, known in Israel as Hayedid (the Friend), helped to organize the precursor to the Israel Defense Forces and to train Israel's future military leaders while serving as an officer in Palestine in the late 1930's. People gather at Wingate's grave to hear representatives from the Israeli and British Embassies and others discuss Wingate's accomplishments. The Jewish War Veterans have held a memorial service honoring Wingate for more than 35 years.

Public Invited
General Orde Wingate Memorial Ceremony
Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 2:30 PM
Arlington National Cemetery
Gravesite 288 - Section 12
Parking permitted at Gravesite (west side of Grant Avenue)
In the event of rain, ceremony will move to the Women's National Memorial Auditorium


Tributes by:
Honorable Michael Oren
Israeli Ambassador to the United States
Air Commodore, Ken McCann
Military Attache, Embassy of Great Britain
General John Alison, USAF Ret. Served with General Wingate in Burma
Professor Nicholas Kittrie, JD, American University Served with General Wingate in Burma

For all questions and comments contact Richard Rosenzweig
phone # 301-445-0452
or email [email protected]



Posted on 04/30/2011 6:32 PM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Garland - Three Holocaust Poems for Our Time

translated from the Hungarian & edited by Thomas Ország-Land (May 2011)

By Frigyes Karinthy (1887-1938): poet & satirist.

(According to Holocaust legends, this piece was read to a group of starved, naked and brutalized civilian captives -- orthodox Jews observing strict dietary rules -- to calm and comfort them before their mass murder in a gas chamber.)  more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 4:46 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Political Poem

by Mark Goldblatt (May 2011)

Last week, unannounced, came a new Declaration,

From realms of white-whine and of lipo-sucked abs:

“Let us be your compass, your instant salvation,”

Signed Rosie and Robbins and Baldwin and Babs.  more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 4:40 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
High School Rebel

by Thomas J. Scheff (May 2011)

When I was 15, my dad sent me off to a military high school far from home. I argued with him, cried and appealed to my mother, but to no avail. He was determined, as always. For him the matter was straightforward: if he didn’t get me out of town, I was likely to get into deep trouble of one kind of another. He also pasted on a second justification: it would make a man out of me. He thought that I spent far too much time reading, and not nearly enough at athletics, work, and other manly sports.  more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 4:34 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Introduction to the Expression of Meaning in English Churches

by David Hamilton (May 2011)

This is a brief and discursive introduction to important aspects of history, art and literature, legends and stories expressed in English cathedrals and churches with reference to some I have visited recently. It discovers a constant interlinking of symbols, meaning, history, art and literature, legends and stories between cathedrals and churches. A walk round an English church is to enter a world of religous observance but also a world of continuity and expressions of meaning.  more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 4:29 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Somalia in a State of Nature

by Geoffrey Clarfield (May 2011)

Sir Richard Burton once called the Somalis a nation of "fierce republicans," not a bad description for an entire people, for their attitude towards guns makes the most conservative NRA enthusiast seem like a Gandhian pacifist.  If seven million Somalis inhabit the Horn of Africa, with sizable minorities in neighbouring countries like Kenya and Ethiopia, then perhaps it would be reasonable to assume that among them there is a ratio of seven people per one gun, perhaps more, since almost every adult male member in Somalia has access to a firearm.  more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 4:25 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Israel: World Center for Three Great Faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Bahaism

by Norman Berdichevsky (May 2011)

Any mention of Israel by the media as “The Holy Land” almost always entails a colossal verbiage of trite conventional wisdom replete with accolades to the three great monotheistic "Abrahamic religions," Judaism, Christianity and Islam that all regard it as their world center. This is simply patently false, elevating Islam’s regard for Jerusalem (not mentioned by name even once in the Koran compared to more than 800 times in the Old Testament) and ignoring the continued and historic presence of the Bahai faith in Haifa and Acre, places of pilgrimage and universal inspiration for the world’s five million Bahais. more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 4:17 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
A Danish Free Speech Hero: An Interview with Lars Hedegaard

by Jerry Gordon (May 2011)

In George Orwell’s 1984 the totalitarian credo of the Party is ”Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." If one looks at what passes for speech control in the European Union (EU), we see continued assault on basic freedoms. Freedoms that we take for granted in America under our Constitution's First Amendment - the masthead of the Bill of Rights. Notwithstanding this American bulwark in defense of free speech, we are witnessing the lawfare of Muslim Brotherhood front groups abetted by the US Department of Justice that seek to derogate and even supplant basic Constitutional protections via intimidation and the gradual insinuation of Shariah into our judicial system.

Posted on 04/30/2011 4:04 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Sam Johnson – The “Robust Genius” of British Toryism

by Derek Turner (May 2011)

Doctor Johnson bestrides the eighteenth century – and English literature – like the Colossus of Rhodes. His Dictionary alone would have made him immortal, and when that is combined with the Rambler and Idler, his Rasselas, Lives of the Poets, his anno­tated Shakespeare and his conversa­tion, recorded so brilliantly by Boswell, you have one of the most considerable figures in English history. With his massive frame, his many eccentricities, his large firmly-planted boots, his magisterial air and his enormous appetite for life, he might epitomise England — dependable, practical, prejudiced against foreigners, commonsensical, sceptical yet also God-fearing, kindly, chivalrous and civilised.  more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 3:57 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
The Embarrassment of Morality

by Rebecca Bynum (May 2011)

There once was a time, not so very long ago, when Americans felt the need to express a moral viewpoint or to reach for the moral level in art, literature, popular entertainment and politics. Watching old movies or television shows from fifty years ago, one is immediately struck by the moral tone which then prevailed even when, or especially when, these stories depicted immoral acts. In the 1950’s parents felt perfectly safe leaving their children to watch the “Andy Griffith Show” or “Gunsmoke” or pretty much anything else on television. We didn’t need specialized children’s programming then. We were unified by our values. But perhaps by the time Thornton Wilder wrote Our Town, America was already passing out of what my 99 year-old friend calls “a simpler time.”

Posted on 04/30/2011 3:50 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Darwin as an Ethical Theorist

by Mark Anthony Signorelli (May 2011)

In these days of economic stagnation, it is good to know that there is at least one boom market out there yet – the market for books on evolutionary theories of ethics. The last decade or so has seen an absolute deluge of works pouring from the presses, purporting to locate the key to human ethical behavior in Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  In the academies, the evolutionary approach to human behavior has risen to something like an orthodoxy among a certain class of professor, according “Darwinism” now the same academic status that “Freudianism” and “Marxism” held in the ‘70’s and 80’s.  Prominent psychologist Jonathan Haidt exults in the fact that moral theory is enjoying a “renaissance…a golden age,” all thanks to the alleged insights on offer from the camp of evolutionary theory,[i] and in this matter, he certainly speaks for a very large contingency. more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 3:44 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Of Evil and Empathy

by Theodore Dalrymple (May 2011)

The clinical diagnosis of hysteria has long been attacked by doctors and others who believe that it has no explanatory or even descriptive value. They suggest that the word be abandoned; but, as others have pointed out, it has a tendency to outlive its obituarists. Somehow we cannot now do without it; although allegedly meaningless, it is useful.  more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2011 3:40 PM by NER
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Philippa Foot's Trolley Problem
Posted on 04/30/2011 1:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Oh, Pippa More Than Passes


    The year's at the spring
    And day's at the morn;
    Morning's at seven;
    The hillside's dew-pearled;
    The lark's on the wing;
    The snail's on the thorn:
    God's in His heaven—
    All's right with the world!

                        from "Pippa Passes"  by Robert Browning


Posted on 04/30/2011 1:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Iraqis Agree To Recompensing American Gulf War Victims Of Iraqi Abuse -- It's American Money Anyway

After eight years of living lavishly on the American dole -- the whole Iraqi fiasco has cost American taxpayers two trillion dollars (that figure includes the costs hidden in the general American defense budget, as well as the cost of lifetime care for 35,000 severely wounded veterans), of which hundreds of billions have been spent on "reconstruction" of what was never constructed in the first place. Quite a few Iraqi political figures have absconded with many millions or even tens of miillions. The amount of American money that disappeared, never accounted more, must by now be many billions. So why not, for public relations purposes, recognize this lawsuit? $400 million is nothing at all compared to what the Americans have spent. And as the last sentence menacingly hints, this move sets a precedent, the cunning Iraqis hope, so that many of them can now live on what they can get by suing the American government, for the last eight years of "invasion and occupation.."

The story:

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi lawmakers approved a controversial $400 million settlement Saturday for Americans who claim they were abused by Saddam Hussein's regime during the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The settlement is part of a deal reached between Baghdad and Washington last year to end years of legal battles by U.S. citizens who claim they were tortured or traumatized, including hundreds held as human shields.

Many Iraqis consider themselves victims of both Saddam's regime and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and wonder why they should pay money for wrongs committed by the ousted dictator.

Lawmakers approved the settlement by a majority after listening to the foreign and finance ministers as well as the head of the central bank describe why it was necessary, said Abbas al-Bayati of the State of Law political bloc.

Another lawmaker, Mahmoud Othman, said by approving the settlement, Iraq would be protecting itself from more lawsuits in the future that could have been well above the $400 million that was agreed to.

"They explained very well what was the settlement and how it will be negative if we don't approve it," he said. "That's why people were persuaded."

Lawmakers affiliated with anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rejected the settlement, said one of the bloc's legislators, Hakim al-Zamili. Al-Zamili said he was surprised that so many lawmakers who had been arguing against the legislation before Saturday's session reversed course at the last minute.

"It's better to compensate the Iraqi martyrs and detainees than the Americans," he said.

Saddam's regime held hostage hundreds of Americans during the run-up to the Gulf War, using them as human shields in hopes of staving off an attack by the U.S. and its allies. Most of the Americans had been living and working in Kuwait and after being taken hostage were dispersed to sites around Iraq.

Many of the Americans pursued lawsuits for years against Saddam's government and kept up their legal fight after Saddam was overthrown in 2003 and a new government came to power.

Some former American troops who were captured by Saddam's military during the Gulf War and repeatedly tortured and abused have also sued as have relatives of American oil workers who were working in Kuwait when they were picked up by Iraqi guards along the border.

It's not clear exactly who will be entitled to money under the settlement. When asked who would receive the money, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, David Ranz, said: "We are not in a position to confirm whether specific cases or claims by specific individuals are covered by the agreement." He declined to comment further.

Iraq was under a time crunch to approve the settlement before June 30, when Iraq will assume responsibility for overseeing its oil revenue account. Since 2003, the country's oil revenue has been held in a New York-based account that shelters it from international creditors' claims. The U.N.-backed protection expires when the oil revenue is transferred to Iraqi control, and Iraq could face international creditors like any other country.

According to the parliament's website, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told lawmakers the Iraqi government still had the right to submit its own demands for compensation to the American government. [presumably

Posted on 04/30/2011 11:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Naive Enthusiasts For Giving Up The Golan Start To Re-Think

Read Sever Plocker here, admitting "I was wrong about Syria" but who still can't see the worthlesessness of any truce-treaty with a Muslim state, and the danger if such a treaty is obtained by giving up tangible assets -- land -- that are essential for security or will, at the very least, make it much more likely that the Muslim state in question will be tempted yet again to try open warfare as one way to conduct Jihad.

The comments, by others better informed about Islam than Sever Plocker, are illuminating.

Posted on 04/30/2011 11:43 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 30 April 2011
In Westminster Abbey

While we're in Westminster Abbey, let us not forget John Betjeman. His poem In Westminster Abbey popped into my mind yesterday after a long absence, and it's a good 'un:

Let me take this other glove off
As the vox humana swells,
And the beauteous fields of Eden
Bask beneath the Abbey bells.
Here, where England's statesmen lie,
Listen to a lady's cry.

Gracious Lord, oh bomb the Germans,
Spare their women for Thy Sake,
And if that is not too easy
We will pardon Thy Mistake.
But, gracious Lord, whate'er shall be,
Don't let anyone bomb me.

Keep our Empire undismembered
Guide our Forces by Thy Hand,
Gallant blacks from far Jamaica,
Honduras and Togoland;
Protect them Lord in all their fights,
And, even more, protect the whites.

Think of what our Nation stands for,
Books from Boots' and country lanes,
Free speech, free passes, class distinction,
Democracy and proper drains.
Lord, put beneath Thy special care
One-eighty-nine Cadogan Square.

Although dear Lord I am a sinner,
I have done no major crime;
Now I'll come to Evening Service
Whensoever I have the time.
So, Lord, reserve for me a crown,
And do not let my shares go down.

I will labour for Thy Kingdom,
Help our lads to win the war,
Send white feathers to the cowards
Join the Women's Army Corps,
Then wash the steps around Thy Throne
In the Eternal Safety Zone.

Now I feel a little better,
What a treat to hear Thy Word,
Where the bones of leading statesmen
Have so often been interr'd.
And now, dear Lord, I cannot wait
Because I have a luncheon date.

Who hasn't had similar thoughts? I certainly have. But not about Cadogan Square. Make me rich enough to care.

Posted on 04/30/2011 11:18 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 30 April 2011
With Troops and Tanks, Fearful Alawites Tighten Their Grip

From the New York Times:

Syria Sends More Troops to Besieged Southern Town

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Syrian government deployed more military reinforcements on Saturday to the besieged southern town of Dara’a, which has emerged as the symbol of Syria’s uprising and a center of the government’s crackdown, as the death toll from protests a day earlier rose to 73, according to activists and witnesses.

Security forces fortified their presence in Dara’a and its hinterland soon after dawn, with at least four tanks and 20 armored personal carriers arriving from the capital, said a witness from Dara’a, reached by phone. The military also shelled the Omari mosque, a landmark for protesters since demonstrations began more than six weeks ago against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, in power since 2000.

Four people were killed Saturday, said Abdallah Abazid, a resident. Among them, he said, were the son of the mosque’s preacher, who was shot when security forces entered his house looking for his father. The preacher, Sheik Ahmed al-Siasnah, was reportedly arrested later, though that could not be confirmed. He was among a delegation that met with Mr. Assad three weeks ago to discuss potential reforms in Syria.

The military effectively laid siege to Dara’a on Monday, storming the town with tanks and soldiers, and cutting electricity and phone lines. Since then, Dara’a has become a rallying cry for protesters across Syria, though the government has insisted that the unrest there is the work of Salafists, its preferred term for militant Islamists.

“It is a matter of a few hours only and everything will be finished in Dara’a,” a pro-government politician said from Damascus. “It is impossible for the Syrian regime to let some people announce a Salafi emirate in Dara’a. This is not Afghanistan.”

Through the day, Mr. Abazid said, heavy gunfire could be heard. Amid reports of shortages of food, medicine and baby formula, residents remained inside their homes another day, fearful that they might be killed by snipers if they went outside, he said.

“The security forces are hunting us down,” he said. “We are unarmed and protecting our town with our bare chests, and they are shooting at us.”

The military reinforcements in Dara’a came a day after the United States announced sanctions against three top officials in Mr. Assad’s government, including his brother Maher al-Assad, who is leading the military operations in Dara’a.

Activists have warned of a humanitarian crisis in the town.

“The situation in Dara’a is worse today than it was before,” said Wissan Tarif, the executive director of Insan, a Syrian human rights group.

On Friday, 34 people were killed there when thousands of protesters from nearby villages, in a show of solidarity, descended on the town, which straddles a largely agricultural region, known as the Houran, that is knit by extended clan loyalties. Some organizers said the protesters, carrying olive branches and white sheets to signal their peacefulness, were trying to break the siege and deliver food and water. Security forces fired at them anyway, in some of the worst carnage since the uprising began.

Mr. Tarif said that security forces refused to return the bodies of the dead to their families in hopes of stopping funeral processions, which have often turned into more protests. The only bodies given back, he said, were of children, and their parents were told to bury them early Saturday morning in the presence of Syrian officials.

Friday’s toll was the worst since a week earlier, when at least 112 people were killed in protests in towns and cities across the country. Organizers said the breadth was similar on Friday, with large protests in the central cities of Homs and Hama, towns on the Mediterranean coast like Baniyas and Latakia, and Kurdish towns in the east. A protest of hundreds was reported in Damascus — bigger than past weeks, but still relatively small by the standards of demonstrations elsewhere.

Since the uprising began, human rights groups say 535 people have been killed.

Posted on 04/30/2011 10:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 30 April 2011
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, annual report 2011

Download the full 5MB pdf file here.

Page 6, Table of Contents, "Countries of Particular Concern":

  • Burma
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • People's Republic of China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

Page 6-7, Table of Contents, "The Commission's Watch List":

  • Afghanistan
  • Belarus
  • Cuba
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Russian Federation
  • Somalia
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Venezuela

Page 7, Table of Contents, "Additional Countries Closely Monitored"

  • Bangladesh
  • Kazakhstan
  • Morocco

There are 28 countries on that list, of which 20 are Muslim majority nations.  That is, Muslims make up only 21% of the world's population, but make up 71% of the nations with severe religious-freedom problems.  I believe that's no coincidence.  It is exactly due to the intolerant and hateful teachings of Islam and the Qur'an that Islamic-majority nations are intolerant and hateful towards other religions.

Also, some of the non-Muslim nations are listed here in reaction to Muslim terrorism.  Russia curtails religious freedom precisely because of Islamic terrorist attacks in Russia.  And India is listed for acts of "communal violence", which are usually conflicts between Muslims and Hindus.

Note that this report has been in process for a while;  look who is missing:  Tunisia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen.  Could anyone argue with a straight face that any of them do not have a serious problem with lack of religious freedom, or religious violence?  But printing deadlines being what they are, they will have to wait until next year to appear on the list.

Nevertheless, notice that some of our best friends and strongest allies did make the list: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia.  Egypt makes the list for the first time.  And what exactly did we get, how many hearts and minds did we win over, in Afghanistan and Iraq in return for the trillions of dollars we have invested there?

Some quotations:

"The religious freedom situation in Pakistan deteriorated greatly during the reporting period. While the Zardari government has taken some positive actions to promote religious tolerance and remedy abuses, it has failed to reverse the erosion in the social and legal status of religious minorities and the severe obstacles the majority Muslim community faces to the free discussion of sensitive religious and social issues. A number of Pakistan‘s laws abridge religious freedom. Blasphemy laws are used against members of religious minority communities and dissenters within the majority Muslim community, and frequently result in imprisonment on account of religion or belief and/or vigilante violence. Three individuals had death sentences imposed or upheld against them during the reporting period. Anti-Ahmadi laws discriminate against individual Ahmadis and effectively criminalize various practices of their faith. The Hudood Ordinances provide for harsh punishments for alleged violations of Islamic law by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Anti-government elements espousing an intolerant interpretation of Islam continue to perpetrate acts of violence against other Muslims and religious minorities. The government‘s response to religiously-motivated extremism remains inadequate, despite increased military operations." - Page 110

"The Saudi government persists in severely restricting all forms of public religious expression, other than the government‘s interpretation of its version of Sunni Islam. This policy violates the human rights of large, indigenous communities of Muslims from a variety of schools of Islam, including significant populations of Sunni Muslims who follow variant schools of thought, Shi‘a Muslims, and Ismaili Muslims, as well as both Muslim and non-Muslim expatriate workers. The government enforces its tight controls by heavily restricting the religious activity it does permit—through limits on the building of mosques, the appointment of imams, the regulation of sermons and public celebrations, and the content of religious education in public schools—and suppresses the religious views of Saudi and non-Saudi Muslims who do not conform to official positions. In addition, the Saudi government continues its systematic practices of short-term detentions, without trial, of minority Muslims, particularly Shi‘a Muslims, for religious observance not in accordance with the government‘s interpretation of Islam. Such practices are intended to intimidate and harass these groups." -Page 142

And so on.  There is nothing that will be news to regular readers of NER.  However, what is amazing is that this is the work of a U.S. governmental agency.  The USCIRF go into great detail, documenting the who, what, where, how (though admittedly not "why") of the past year's jihad.  There is no way that members of Congress can claim not to have been informed about the terrorizing of Christians, Jews, and Hindus by Muslims.

USCIRF did more than document;  they were also active at the UN in (successfully) trying to stifle passage of the blasphemy law.  They communicated directly with the Obama Administration about the religious persecution taking place throughout the world.

Unfortunately, the USCIRF can only make recommendations;  it is up to the State Department to either add these nations to the official watch lists, or not;  or to set sanctions, or not.  These decisions are usually made out of political expediency, not reality.  Let's hope they follow the USCIRF's recommendations this year.

For all the complaining we do about the performance of our government with regard to Islam, it is heartening that parts of our government get it almost right.  Eventually, the only solution to jihad must involve our government.

Posted on 04/30/2011 10:36 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Saturday, 30 April 2011
German Nationals

German terror suspect trained by al-Qaida, US official says

By Robert Windrem
NBC News investigative producer for special projects

The arrests of three suspected terrorists Friday in Germany are significant, according to U.S. officials, who say at least one member of the trio was trained by al-Qaida – not merely inspired by the terrorist organization.

The three men arrested in and around Duesseldorf, all German nationals, had been under surveillance for some time, and that U.S. intelligence cooperated with German authorities in the investigation, said one U.S. official, who spoke with NBC News on condition of anonymity. The official added that the men had already put together "precursor chemicals" for a terror attack and were planning a "test run" on Friday morning. Although the test was postponed, German authorities decided to move in and arrest them, the official said.

U.S. officials described the planned target as "localized" and related to "public transportation, trains or buses." The official would not comment when asked if U.S. servicemen might have been targeted. Public transportation has become a primary target of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States, with more than 800 people killed around the world, from London to Mumbai to Moscow, in the past five years.

Neither U.S. nor German authorities would identify the suspects, but German security officials said all three were of Moroccan origin.

Posted on 04/30/2011 10:25 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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