Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bush administration arranged support for militants attacking Lebanon

From David Edwards and Muriel Kane at RawStory

In an interview on CNN International's Your World Today, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh said that since the Israelis lost to them last summer, "the fear of Hezbollah in Washington, particularly in the White House, is acute." As a result, Hersh implies, the Bush administration is no longer acting rationally in its policy. "We're in the business of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia. ... "We're in the business of creating ... sectarian violence." And he describes the scheme of funding Fatah al-Islam as "a covert program we joined in with the Saudis as part of a bigger, broader program of doing everything we could to stop the spread of the Shia world, and it just simply -- it bit us in the rear."

Jadwa, Russell shariah funds

From AME Info

Saudi-based Jadwa Investment has partnered with Russell Investment Group to offer shariah-compliant investment products. The companies will initially develop two equity funds for both developed and emerging international markets. Russell has over $200bn in assets under management.

Residents prefer 'in country' sale

From Trevor Brown at the Evansville Courier & Press

James Zoph, who drives a truck for a company that works directly with GE Plastics, said the United States should have stepped in to block the sale to by Saudi Basic Industries Corp. "I think our government is making a terrible mistake by allowing this deal," he said. "Something bad is going to happen. This is a national security issue. I probably would get fired for saying this, but I don't care." Not all residents, however, were opposed to the sale. Some said the change of ownership could result in more money and jobs.

Doctor Guilty Of Pledging Aid to Qaeda

From Joseph Goldstein of the New York Sun

A Columbia University-educated doctor who was taped swearing loyalty to Al Qaeda was found guilty by a jury yesterday of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Rafiq Sabir, 52, faces up to 30 years in prison. In 2005 an FBI undercover agent told Sabir that he would be a valuable asset for Al Qaeda if he could move around Saudi Arabia (where he had a contract with a local hospital) giving medical aid to mujahedeen who are hurt.

Hezbollah and the Political Ecology of Postwar Lebanon

From Gary C. Gambill and The Global Politician

Most Shiites see Saad Hariri as a proxy of the Saudi royal family, handpicked to carry on his father's mission of transforming Lebanon into a corrupt, elitist republic with an "open for business" pro-Western foreign policy ... Shiite distrust of the Harirists has been further inflated by the worldwide upsurge in sectarian violence against Shiites (particularly in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan), mostly by adherents of Saudi Arabia's militant Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islamic fundamentalism. Sunni jihadists have expressed deep contempt for Hezbollah, and Hariri has cultivated close ties with radical Sunni Islamists in Lebanon.

Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq

From Simon Tisdall at The Guardian (UK)

Iran has maintained close links to Iraq's Shia political parties and militias but has previously eschewed collaboration with al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents. But US officials now say they have firm evidence that Tehran has switched tack as it senses a chance of victory in Iraq ... "Their strategy takes into account all these various parties. Iran is playing all these different factions to maximise its future control and maximise US and British difficulties. Their co-conspirator is Syria which is allowing the takfirists [fundamentalist Salafi jihadis] to come across the border," the US official said.

SANE Update: Search of a Moderate Muslim

From David Yerushalmi at The Conservative Voice

At this stage, we ask of you only to support our work to the degree you understand the importance of determining the extent to which the American network of mosques and Islamic day schools, mostly funded by the Wahhabi-sect out of Saudi Arabia, are the focal points for Jihad as they have proven to be in England, Western Europe, and the Scandinavian countries. Once we understand the existential threat in real terms, we can then turn to other programs such as the SANE Immigration proposal.

The compassionate gesture that any father would make

From Michael Gove of The Times (UK)

One other author who has, deservedly, leapt to the top of the bestseller rankings this week is Simon Sebag Montefiore, with Young Stalin, the prequel to Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar ... In the book he discusses a plot by suicide bombers to fly planes into the Tsar’s Winter Palace. It’s a premonition of horrors to come. But the echoes between the totalitarianism that seduced Stalin’s generation and the Wahhabi extremism that bewitched the 9/11 bombers goes beyond that chilling parallel. A pity so few realise that people who appear to be just a bunch of gangsters, in the grip of a crazy ideology, can live out blood-soaked fantasies unless we tackle their ideology at its source.