Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Cult of Corrie

1. The Cult of Corrie:
Klingons Upon You, Rachel Corrie

2. Jewish Anti-Semitism again:

3. What is a "peace activist." In memory of Tanya Reinhardt.

-Prof. I. Barr,
Michigan, USA.
We were informed that Tanya Reinhardt died in her sleep in her apartment
in New York. She was called a "linguist" expert in syntax and probably
some other linguistic issues. She was called also a "peace activist."
Linguistically the words "peace activist" have the positive connotation
that a peace activist is not only a good person but that he/she is better
than most of us because this person is active. Most of us want peace. Go
to anybody in Israel or West Bank and even in Gaza and you find a majority
that wants peace. To be an activist you have to show the world that you
are doing something, to demonstrate your feelings. Those who are in
government or institution can plan steps that promote peace, a road map, a
series of agreements and alike. The plan for peace is known in advance and
thus may or may not be supported by the interested parties. An agreement
between two different groups of citizens should be an agreement that is
local and not dictated by outside institutions or countries. Heads of
state and their cabinet as rulers who have to come up with decisions and
are responsible to their consequences. "Peace activists" want their voices
to be heard. They do not necessarily have a comprehensive plan for peace.
They quickly understand that the louder they scream, the more extreme they
are, their voices are more likely to be heard. To say that you are for
peace is not enough. Most of us are such. But it is the psychology of "man
bites a dog" which makes news. The more extreme are the allegations the
more "peace activist" you are. So you wave the flag that you are Jewish
and than you say that you are Israeli too. You get some audience. But then
you have to come with more statements, Israeli are racist, do ethnic
cleansing, kill Arabs, occupation, Apartheid state, paria state and "worse
than the Nazi" and now you have a stronger title than your professorship:
You are an internationally renowned "peace activist." At this stage the
renowned does not have to come with a comprehensive peace plan. You trash
the Oslo peace accords and every agreements that were made between Israel
and the Palestinians. You blame Israel for war crimes while developing a
tunnel vision: you look only at Israel and it's deed. Every deed is
inherently bad, but the Palestinians never ever do anything wrong. There
is no mention of homicide bombing in Tanya Reinhardt book. It simply did
not happen. If Israeli civilians are killed it must have been done by IDF
itself to justify the "occupation." Indeed, many doors were opened for her
in the anti Israel anti-Semitic arena. The Palestinian media and activists
accepted her with open hands and probably were one of those who financed
her. But where is her peace plan if she is a "peace activist"? Reinhardt
claimed free speech, yet free speech is a privilege that has to follow
certain rules otherwise it is not free speech but a fascist dictate. Free
speech has to be fair, balanced and accurate. Otherwise free speech
becomes demagoguery. Free speech which criticizes has to allow to be
criticized. She published articles in Counterpunch knowing that this anti
Israel journal does not accept criticism and thus you can load your
articles with falsehoods, misrepresentations, exaggerations and straight
forward lies. You can ignore the Palestinians, Hamas, Hizballah, Islamic
Jihad and alike as if Israel exists in a vacuum. While doing so Reinhardt
did not carry any responsibility, she was not fair and was far from being
balanced. Her peaceful activism turned into bitter hate. Now Israel has to
be boycotted at any level, commerce, academia, culture and alike. This she
thought "peacefully" will force Israel to accept her theory that Israel is
illegitimate. Thus it came to the fact that the University and College
Lecturers' Union (NATFHE) voted for a motion to boycott Israeli academics
who do not condemn Israel's "Apartheid policies." Reinhardt was, of
course, accepted with open hands. Academic freedom, freedom of speech from
which Tanya was nourished did not matter. She was spitting into the well
from which she was drinking water. Tanya Reinhart did not leave behind any
significant linguistic research material, but she left behind tones of her
papers and lectures against Israel and by inference the Jews. One wonders
when did she have time to teach, to fulfill her duties at the University
of Tel Aviv, a duty for which she was paid. What did she really teach? Was
she indoctrinating her students? Was she able to separate her political
world from her academic duties? It seems that in reality she did not
advocate peace and coexistence between Palestinians and Israeli. Rather
she did what ever she could to widen the gap and to delegitimize Israel,
to prefer Arab domination over Jewish right to exist. Tanya Reinhardt does
not deserve the title "peace activist." We only hope that she will not
become the Shahid of the radical left academics who are trying to follow
her steps.

4. From the WSJ:
March 21, 2007

KSM's Confession
March 21, 2007; Page A19

Last week Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) admitted to having been responsible
for planning no fewer than 28 acts of terrorism, including the horrific
September 11 attacks, from "A to Z." The sensational confession, made
during a military hearing at Guantanamo Bay, raises a number of serious
questions -- most pointedly about the decision of the 9/11 Commission to
rely on the CIA for information about this terrorist leader, who was
captured in 2003.

Although the 9/11 Commission identified KSM as a key witness in the World
Trade Center and Pentagon, it never was allowed to question him or his CIA
interrogators. Instead, the staff received briefings from a CIA "project
manager" -- who was himself briefed by other CIA case officers on what KSM
had putatively revealed during his interrogation. As the 9/11 Commission
chairmen noted, this was "third-hand" information; but it allowed the CIA
to fill in critical gaps in the commission's investigation. Now KSM's
claims throw this reliance on the CIA into question.

Consider the Feb. 26, 1993, attack on the north tower of the World Trade
Center. A 1,500 pound truck bomb was exploded by Islamist terrorists,
intending to topple the building. Over 1,000 people were injured, and
eventually five of the perpetrators, including the bomb-builder, Ramzi
Yousef, were caught and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Yousef is a relative of KSM, and was involved with him in a subsequent
plot to blow up U.S. airliners. Nevertheless, the 9/11 Commission
concluded that KSM had played at most a "cameo role" in the 1993 attack,
limited to providing Yousef with $600 and having a few phone conversations
with him. And it based this conclusion largely on the CIA briefings of
what KSM had said during his interrogation.

According to the CIA, for example, KSM had maintained that "Yousef never
divulged to him the target of the attack." The 1993 WTC bombing,
therefore, appeared unrelated to the 9/11 attack -- and so the 9/11
Commission had no need to investigate it, or the conspirators involved in

In his confession, however, KSM says that he was responsible for the WTC
bombing. If so, both it and 9/11 are the work of the same mastermind --
and the planning, financing and support network that KSM used in the 1993
attack may be relevant to the 9/11 attack. Of especial interest are the
escape routes used by Abdul Rahman Yasin and Ramzi Yousef, both of whom
helped prepare the bomb and then fled America.

Yasin (who is not even mentioned in the 9/11 report) came to the U.S. from
Iraq in 1992, at about the same time as Yousef, and then returned to Iraq
via Jordan. Despite being indicted for the World Trade Center bombing, and
put on the FBI's list of the most-wanted terrorist fugitives with a $5
million price on his head (increased to $25 million after 9/11), Iraqi
authorities allowed Yasin to remain in Baghdad for 10 years (In 2003,
after the U.S. invasion, he disappeared.)

His co-conspirator Yousef, who entered the U.S. under an alias on an Iraqi
passport (switching passports to his Pakistani identity), escaped after
the 1993 WTC bombing to Pakistan, where, after being involved in another
bombing plot with KSM, he was arrested and is currently in a U.S. prison.
But if indeed KSM had been behind the 1993 bombing -- and the 9/11
Commission had not been told the opposite by the CIA -- the question of
what support KSM had in recruiting the conspirators and organizing the
escape routes of the bomb makers would have become a far more pressing
investigative issue for the commission.

Of course, KSM's credibility is a very big "if." He might have lied in his
confession about his role in the 1993 WTC bombing; he might have lied to
his CIA captors (which itself would say something about the effectiveness
of their aggressive interrogation); or, in selecting bits and pieces out
of their full context, the CIA project officer may have accidentally
mis-briefed the 9/11 Commission staff.

But at the root of the problem is the failure of the commission itself to
question KSM. This was not for lack of trying. The commission chairmen
fully recognized the need to gain access to the author of 9/11, and took
note that their staff was becoming "frustrated" at their inability to get
information from KSM and other detainees. On Dec. 22, 2003 -- with less
than seven months remaining before they had to deliver their report --
they brought the problem up with George Tenet, then CIA director. He told
them, point blank, "You are not going to get access to these detainees."

The commission considered using its subpoena power, but was advised by its
general counsel that since KSM was being held in a secret prison on
foreign soil, it was unlikely that any court would enforce a subpoena. The
commission also decided against taking the issue public, believing it
could not win in a battle with the administration, at least in the time it
had left. So, lacking any viable alternatives, it allowed the CIA to
control the information it needed from KSM and other detainees.

The result is that basic issues concerning KSM's interrogation -- and the
dozens of crucial citations in the 9/11 Report -- are now in such doubt
that 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey suggested last Sunday, in his Daily News
column, that KSM be put on trial in New York, where presumably he could be
properly cross-examined. While that remedy may be far-fetched, some
resolution of this investigative failure is necessary.

Mr. Epstein is writing a book on the 9/11 Commission.

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