Friday, June 09, 2006
Zarqawi is Detoxed - Where are those darned Marshmallows?
1. Isi Leibler's heroic struggle against sleaze and legal harassment:
2. The Peace Partners are in Mourning
Hamas, Gaza Arabs, Mourn Al-Zarqawi's Death
Friday, June 9, 2006 / 13 Sivan 5766
An official Hamas announcement mourns the "murder" of Al-Zarqawi, the
"jihad warrior" who "fell in the name of Allah." Gaza Arabs rallied and
demanded revenge for the killing.
Hamas officials read aloud the official government declaration, which
accused the Americans of effecting a "Crusader" killing of the Al-Qaeda
leader on Islamic homeland territory.
In Khan Yunis, near what was once Gush Katif in southern Gaza, young PA
Arabs demanded revenge for the killing of Al-Zarqawi. Holding aloft signs
with his picture, they demanded terrorist attacks to promote the "justice"
for which they claimed Al-Zarqawi fought.
A Qatari newspaper quoted a "Palestinian," Hisham Abu Subhi, as saying, "I
am extremely sad. No real Muslim will be happy hearing of his death. He
was fighting the Americans and laid down his life for Islam."
"The Hamas solidarity with Al-Zarqawi is not surprising," reports
Arutz-7's Dalit HaLevy. "In addition to ideological similarities, Hamas
conducts ties with suspected terrorist affiliates of Al-Qaeda."
On March 26, for instance, Hamas senior Muhammad Siam met near the
Pakistani-Afghani border with Sayad Salah A-Din, the head of the Hazb
Al-Mujahedin terror group in Kashmir, which ran training camps in
Afghanistan and which is suspected of having ties with Al-Qaeda. HaLevy
reports that Siam heads a group that supports all-out war against
"infidels" and has issued a blanket religious dispensation for suicide
attacks against Israelis.
3. NY Libs:
4. Comic Relief News:
Barry Chamish accused by his Toronto host of stealing his TV:
5. June 9, 2006
A Laudable Death
By ELIOT A. COHEN
June 9, 2006; Page A14
Few men have so richly deserved death as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He met a
swifter and cleaner end than what he meted out to Arabs and Americans
alike; his violence included torture and beheadings, videotaped not only
for purposes of propaganda, but, one suspects, out of a near pornographic
pleasure in capturing human suffering on camera. As the head of one of the
most important insurgent groups in Iraq, his demise is not only an
occasion for pride in the prowess of American forces, and satisfaction at
retribution dealt out, but a real blow to al Qaeda in Iraq.
Zarqawi stood at one of the junction points between the war in Iraq and
the global struggle with fundamentalist Islamic movements. Although his
origins were in the criminal world of Jordan, he had risen within al Qaeda
to the point that he had begun to overshadow its chieftains-in-hiding,
Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. His death, and the accompanying
exploitation of captured documents and materials, will surely deliver a
major jolt to one of the more lethal terrorist organizations in Iraq.
But will it make a strategic difference? More broadly, how does the
killing of key individuals in insurgent and terrorist organizations affect
the prospects for success in Iraq? Some difference, surely, but not as
much as one would hope, because of the nature of insurgent warfare. In
conventional warfare, the origins of a war often have little bearing on
how one fights it. The personality of Hitler and the missteps of the
democracies in confronting Nazi Germany had little bearing on the decision
to invade Europe in 1944 rather than 1943. But in irregular warfare, root
causes and operational decisions are intimately linked, and those basic
causes of war can change over time.
The insurgency in Iraq began with the anger of a displaced Sunni elite,
the malice of the survivors of the Baathist regime and the fuel of
unemployed Iraqi young men ready to make money by planting bombs or taking
potshots at foreign forces who were hated sometimes for what they did, but
more often for who they were -- foreigners. The fostering environment was
the chaos of liberation, and the failure of the occupying power to deliver
improvements in basic security and the fundamentals of a livable
existence, including electrical power and basic amenities. Iraqis could
not understand why the liberators who could put a man on the moon could
not deliver reliable electricity to a modern Arab capitol.
Zarqawi and allied Sunni fundamentalists used the opportunity to create a
broader conflict. He helped change the complexion of the insurgency by
stimulating sectarian hatred. His targeting of the Shiite community in
Iraq has succeeded, in some measure: Not a day goes by in Baghdad without
sectarian killings. Both communities have their death squads, often in the
uniforms of the police, and in some areas the process of separation is
well advanced. The development of sectarian militias ready to use violence
against populations of a different confession is today no less a problem
than al Qaeda in Iraq, perhaps more so. The insurgency is, in fact, now
multiple insurgencies. The danger is not, as it is in many guerrilla wars,
a centrally organized enemy, but many. Indeed, for American soldiers
gun-toting members of Zarqawi's organization pose less of a threat than
Iranian-designed roadside bombs planted by agents or sympathizers of that
Success in Iraq will therefore require action on many fronts, and the
administration has, commendably, made only modest claims for what
Zarqawi's death means. There have been too many apparent turning points in
the past, from the toppling of Saddam's statue to the death of his
murderous sons and his own capture, the repeated elections in which the
Iraqi people braved bomb, bullet and knife to attempt to shape their own
future; and now the formation of the first regular post-Saddam government.
Zarqawi's death constitutes good, but not transformative, news.
Progress in Iraq will depend on many things: the creation of a coherent
government, to be sure, but also the development of effective and honest
institutions of governance; the provision of employment to the angry young
men in an impoverished land; the securing of electrical power and clean
water to those whose lives have not improved noticeably in those respects
since the time of Saddam; the disciplined application of force by the
Iraqi military and police forces, and the purging of militias. It will be
a long, long haul, and it will require American participation in Iraq's
defense for many years to come. No one should have any illusions that
Zarqawi's death and the completion of the cabinet means that our task in
Iraq is approaching its end, nor should the administration use this as a
justification for withdrawing troops because the war is going well. It's
not. Until life for the average Iraqi, particularly in Baghdad, has become
more secure and prosperous than it is now, until Iraqi security forces can
manage the multiple threats that beset not only their state but their
sense of common identity, we will have to keep large forces in Iraq, or
admit that our mission has failed, and disengage altogether.
The insurgencies are mutating as we wage the war: that is their nature.
The internal struggles will continue to attract the participation of
outsiders like Zarqawi; more sinister, however, will be the role of those
whose names are not so well known, because they are not charismatic
leaders of transnational movements, but rather serve the interests of
neighbors who have no desire to see a unified and successful Iraq.
Iranians, Syrians, Saudis and Turks all have stakes, and will not shrink
from fanning violence if it suits their purposes. Still, in the final
analysis, it is Iraqi insurgents and not foreigners who are the crucial
problem for the U.S. and the Iraqi government.
Defeating these movements will be the work of many years, and will require
much work that is nonlethal and even nonmilitary in nature. It will be the
work of creating organizations and institutions, of changing stubborn
cultures of rule and power, of producing improvements that show up not in
headlines but in charts and graphs, in victories won in towns and quarters
of cities that most Americans will never know. But victory in Iraq, as
against terrorist organizations elsewhere, will also depend on putting out
of business particularly clever, ruthless and able men, in stripping these
organizations of the institutional memory carried around in their leaders'
heads, and in eliminating the inspiring examples they provided of
successful and persistent opposition to the world's only superpower. This,
then, is only a tactical success, but a victory nonetheless.
Counterinsurgency is not chiefly about killing -- but killing is essential
to it, and by terminating the career of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, American
forces have not only delivered justice, but made real, if limited,
Mr. Cohen is Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies at Johns
Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.
URL for this article:
June 9, 2006
By DANIEL HENNINGER
ABOUT DANIEL HENNINGER
Daniel Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial
page. Mr. Henninger joined Dow Jones in 1971 as a staff writer for the
National Observer. He became an editorial-page writer for the Journal in
1977, arts editor in 1978 and editorial features editor in 1980. He was
appointed assistant editor of the editorial page in 1983 and chief
editorial writer and senior assistant editor in October 1986, with daily
responsibility for the "Review & Outlook" columns. In November 1989 he
became deputy editor of the editorial page.
Mr. Henninger was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing in
1987 and 1996, and shared in the Journal's Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the
paper's coverage of the attacks on September 11. He won the Gerald Loeb
Award for commentary in 1985. In 1998 he received the Scripps Howard
Foundation's Walker Stone Award for editorial writing, for editorials on a
range of issues, including the International Monetary Fund, presidential
politics and cloning. He won the 1995 American Society of Newspaper
Editors' Distinguished Writing Award for editorial writing, and he was a
finalist in that award in 1985, 1986 and 1993. A native of Cleveland, Mr.
Henninger graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor's degree
from the School of Foreign Service.
Mr. Henninger invites comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Al-Zarqawi and the Meaning of Moral Victory
June 9, 2006; Page A14
"The death of our leaders is life for us. It will only increase our
persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be
-- Al Qaeda in Iraq yesterday
The life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi did not represent the word of God. This
is false, a simple, dull lie. Whatever claims have been made through
history in God's name, there is no imaginable sense in which the nations
that emerged from World War II would grant legitimacy to al Qaeda's claims
for God's blessing.
But it is a powerful lie. It appears to be the simple lie, we learned this
week, that turned 17 Canadian Muslims from normalcy to planning the mass
murder of fellow Canadians. It was the lie beneath the bombings of
civilians in Madrid, London, Bali and the U.N.'s Baghdad headquarters. It
was the lie beneath September 11.
It is doublethink: the contradictory belief, and it is a belief, that the
murder of civilian innocents is a moral act, a "holy war." This is the
powerful amoral lie that has allowed Zarqawi and al Qaeda to recruit men
and women from a world-wide pool of 1.3 billion Muslims to wrap themselves
in dynamite and set off bombs in the cafes and markets of Iraq and Israel.
Or Ottawa. They then call it martyrdom. It is not martyrdom. It is mass
If nothing else, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi understood that the effect on people
of unrelenting mass murder in the global village would be corrosive. As
with September 11's second falling tower, Zarqawi knew that he could force
everyone in the dazed world community to participate via information
electronics in every beheading, in every bombing of Iraqi police stations
or open-air markets, and in every homicidal IED (improvised explosive
device) detonated beneath American troops.
Zarqawi understood that promising to make constant murder a phenomenon of
the world's life, and proving he could deliver on that promise, would
corrode the possibility of normal human relationships everywhere -- among
Iraqis, between Iraqis and coalition forces, and in the U.S. between
supporters of the Iraq war and those opponents of the war who abhor
terrorism but have simply gone numb before Zarqawi's limitless capacity to
kill. Western Europe has been made supine.
Now he has been killed, and this should rightly be called a moral victory.
In normal political terms, calling something a "moral victory" is often
considered grasping at straws, putting a good face on a loss. In November
2000, for instance, the Green Party called Ralph Nader's quixotic
presidential quest a moral victory that exposed two corrupt parties. Today
some will diminish claims of a moral victory in the killing of Zarqawi;
for them it is a Pyrrhic victory, not much more than an uptick in George
Bush's "failed war." But I think the high stakes here make it a very
powerful moral victory and that the better analogy would be to the
anti-Soviet dissidents, such as Andrei Sakharov or Natan Sharansky.
Like Stalin, Zarqawi has used barbaric levels of personal violence to
drive all of us -- resident inside the Iraqi hell or in the watching world
-- toward a psychological gulag, a place of submission. Faced with news
earlier in the week of 17 heads in two fruit crates, we are expected to
give up, to throw in the towel against the day when "the word of God will
be supreme." Each Soviet dissident was a singular event that stopped the
world from internalizing the moral and psychological free fall of Soviet
totalitarianism. Killing Zarqawi, who personally beheaded Americans
Nicholas Berg and Eugene Armstrong, is a similar abrupt brake.
It stopped Zarqawi himself. His moral abyss is not inevitable. Those among
us who insist on belittling yesterday's achievement in Baqubah are simply
lost to reflexive opposition to the U.S. side. But for many others, up
against the insurgency, the possibility of reversing the recent drop in
political support for this necessary effort seems possible again.
Start with the Iraqi police. On the news of Zarqawi's death, they were
seen rejoicing in Sadr City, one of Baghdad's poorest districts. No order
can be sustained in Iraq's cities unless men have the courage to serve as
police. Thus the insurgency makes them a top target.
Iraq's new, aggressive Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday that
Baqubah-area residents offered tips for the air strike. This is a
potentially important turn. The respected Iraqi bloggers at Iraq the Model
wrote this week from Baghdad, "Severed heads of civilian Iraqis were found
twice in fruit boxes in and around Hibhib [near Baqubah]; a terrible crime
that shocked Iraqis." So there are limits.
It will take courage for normal Iraqis to blow the whistle on the
insurgents among them. Take Haditha, site of the alleged Marine massacre
that global publicity has made a household name for moral collapse. But
how about this for moral collapse: Haditha is mined with IEDs, the remote
bombs that kill U.S. soldiers. A source with contacts among the Marines
there called this week to explain how this works: Insurgents offer Haditha
residents $100 to plant an IED; if they decline, the insurgents promise to
murder them and their families, and they do murder non-collaborators.
These are villages where everyone knows everyone, not Paris in 1942. As a
result of the insurgents' Satanic kill-or-die policy, my source said, any
conceivable bond between U.S. troops there and the local population has
Getting Zarqawi doesn't solve this. But it helps. It shows average Iraqis
that someone -- their new government, the U.S., the Jordanian intelligence
service and people like themselves -- are capable of organizing to resist
the insurgency's stone killers.
It is ironic that Hamas's statement yesterday described Zarqawi as
"martyred at the hands of the savage crusade." "Crusade" was one of the
favorite words used by the "slaughtering sheik." While the West gave up
holy wars centuries ago, Zarqawi and al Qaeda have made it explicit that
moral claims justified their murders, and many Muslims believe this. We
understand that. We should then understand that the defeat of al-Zarqawi
is a moral victory, and an important one.
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6. Israelis against Jews:
June 9, 2006
Snubbed by Zion
By BENJAMIN BALINT
June 9, 2006; Page W13
JERUSALEM -- A new breed of unilateralism is emerging in Israel these
days. It isn't the type responsible for Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza
Strip last summer. It isn't political at all. It's religious.
Israel's Chief Rabbinate recently canceled a long-standing arrangement
whereby it automatically recognized conversions to Judaism authorized by
Orthodox rabbis in the U.S. The decision, endorsed by Israeli Sephardic
Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, means that those who were converted by Orthodox
rabbis in the diaspora may have to convert again upon arriving in Israel
and that diaspora rabbis will have to submit to a tribunal of Israeli
rabbis before their future conversions can be recognized here.
The move was a startling one, even shocking, asserting the supremacy of
certain Israeli Jews by, in effect, demeaning the legitimacy of their
American co-religionists. And it was done without consulting the American
rabbinate, catching American Orthodox rabbis completely off-guard. The
move rests on a dual assumption: There should be a world-wide uniform
standard for conversions, and the official Israeli rabbinate should be the
body to determine it.
Understandably, American Orthodox rabbis resent suddenly finding
themselves in the same category as Reform and Conservative colleagues,
whose converts have never been recognized by the Israeli rabbinate. Others
feel that, by seeking to represent not just Israel but the Jewish people,
the Israeli rabbinate is attempting to overturn a millennia-old de facto
pluralism born of the diaspora. Jewish peoplehood, they note, was never
threatened by the fact that the Jews of Warsaw, for instance, adopted very
different standards of Jewish law from the standards of the Jewish
community in Baghdad.
The Israeli rabbinate, turning away from this model, cites Isaiah's
prophecy as the justification: "For the Torah will go forth from Zion, and
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." American rabbis now fear that their
Israeli counterparts believe that the return to Zion entails a return to a
monolithic Judaism. One American rabbi told the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz
that the new edict gave the impression "that Rabbi Amar is trying to
become a sort of Jewish Pope."
Naturally, the new policy affects not just American rabbis but also the
laypeople who have spent years preparing to become committed Jews. Rabbi
Seth Farber heads an agency here called Itim that helps individuals
navigate the often maddening Israeli rabbinic bureaucracy. He says that
the decision has "sown panic among hundreds if not thousands of Orthodox
The Chief Rabbinate's move is best seen against the broader backdrop of
the shifting relationship between Israel and the diaspora. In recent years
Israeli Jews have begun to answer what they perceive as the paternalism of
American Jews -- whose financial and political support have greatly
contributed to the country's well-being -- with a little paternalism of
One reason for Israel's new brashness is demographic. Israel's Central
Bureau of Statistics announced last month that 5.64 million Jews live in
Israel. For the first time since antiquity, there are more Jews in Israel
than in any other country.
But another reason that Israelis increasingly think of themselves as the
central agents of Jewish history has more to do with ideology. This notion
was thrown into high relief by another recent case of Israeli conceit
scandalizing American Jewish vanities. The very day that the population
numbers were announced, the well-known, secular Israeli novelist A.B.
Yehoshua dismissed non-Israeli Jewish identity at a highly publicized
panel in Washington. "Those who do not live in Israel and do not
participate in the daily decisions that are made there and that are
entirely Jewish," he told the audience at a centenary celebration of the
American Jewish Committee, "do not have a Jewish identity of any
significance....You are just playing at Jewishness."
Although the notion that Jewish life in a Jewish state is fuller and more
meaningful than diaspora Jewishness is an old Zionist leitmotif, its
resurfacing in this form infuriated American Jewish leaders. Many who
attended the speech resented the spectacle of an Israeli author slighting
one of the most fertile diasporas in the history of Judaism and alienating
Israel's strongest friends.
In Mr. Yehoshua and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate -- the secular left and
the religious right -- we have two fundamentalisms, both schooling
American Jews in the most elemental questions of Jewish identity, and both
looking to Israel as the last and best word on Jewishness itself.
Together, the episodes reveal an Israel-diaspora relationship increasingly
divided. Israelis are strikingly ignorant of American Jewish life:
Students here do not learn about the diaspora; or if they do, it is as
history, not contemporary reality. American Jews, meanwhile, continue to
think of a devotion to Israel as an important part of Jewish identity, but
have been largely ignorant of Israeli disregard for them. They won't
remain in the dark much longer.
Mr. Balint has written on Jewish and Israeli affairs for Commentary, the
Weekly Standard and the Forward.