Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jordan King Commutes Saudi’s Death Sentence

From Abdul Jalil Mustafa at Arab News

Jordan’s King Abdallah has commuted the death sentence of an Al-Qaeda-linked Saudi national convicted of plotting to carry out acts of terrorism in Jordan, judicial sources said yesterday. “The monarch has issued a decree reducing the death penalty passed on the Saudi citizen Fahd Noman Al-Fuhaiqi to life imprisonment with hard labor,” the sources said. Jordan’s State Security Court decided in December 2005 that Fuhaiqi and two other defendants be hanged after finding them guilty of masterminding bombings at the check posts on the two sides of the Iraqi-Jordanian border in October 2004.

Who's On First in Iraq - The Real Plan B?

From by Larry C. Johnson at Atlantic Free Press

So what do we do in Iraq? That depends on what our ultimate objective is. If we want a stable government in Iraq we must accept the fact that it will be dominated by Shias who will have close ties to Iran. If we go that route we must be prepared to work out an accomodation with the Iranians and quell the anger of Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Turkey, who in turn will be more likely to support and encourage groups who share the goals of Al Qaeda. If we want to contain Iran, however, the goal of a stable government in Iraq will have to be put on a back burner and we should look for ways to work covertly with secular Sunnis and Shias. We will be promoting civil war in Iraq, but one targeted against religious extremists with Iraqi tribes taking the lead. This is not the kind of policy we can easily tout in public.

OPEC Is Not in the House

From Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren at National Review Online

What exactly gives the Congress the right to impose its economic regulations on state-owned companies that, for the most part, aren’t doing business in the United States? Do all national governments have this right, or only the United States? If the former, what’s to prevent Saudi Arabia from declaring it illegal for U.S. banks to charge interest on loans — an activity ostensibly banned in many Islamic countries? If the latter, then it’s a naked statement that U.S. policy is premised upon the idea that the biggest guy on the playground makes the rules for everyone else whether they like it or not. That is, might makes right. But if so, wouldn’t those forced against their will to live under U.S. law rightly argue that subjects of governmental power ought to have a right to vote about the laws they are compelled to live under? Or is that a right that only applies for some and not others?

Prisoner of Her Desires

From Reuel Marc Gerecht at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Europeans and many Americans are enraptured by the idea that commerce and capitalism make friends out of enemies, a view that conveniently allows one to spend less on defense and practice a more friendly foreign policy. Advocates of engagement don't want to see that for Iran's ruling clergy there is no fundamental contradiction between seeking trade deals with Boeing and Exxon and also bombing American troops in Saudi Arabia, abetting the movement of Al Qaeda's holy warriors (see the 9/11 commission report) and exporting explosive devises to Iraq to kill American and British soldiers.

Reasons behind Lebanese developments

From Marianna Belenkaya of RIA Novosti

Syria has long been facing allegations that terrorists were moving to Iraq through its territory; now it is similarly being accused of fuelling terrorism in Lebanon. Coupled with Fath Al-Islam's alleged contacts with al-Qaeda and its "representative" in Iraq, Jaish Al-Islam, the accusations against Damascus sound quite serious. But, is there any evidence that the Syrian regime is indeed linked to al-Qaeda? True, terrorists might be using Syria's territory for transit purposes. But does that prove the country's government has anything to do with it? Terrorists are also penetrating Iraq from the territory of Saudi Arabia, but for some reason it has never occurred to the West, primarily to the U.S., to accuse the Saudi government of supporting terrorism. At least now. As regards Damascus, the situation is different.

Do We Want An Islamic Reformation?

From Fjordman at the Global Politician

In the 18th century, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab's alliance with regional ruler Muhammad bin Saud and his family later led to the creation of Saudi Arabia. Another modern "reform" movement within the Islamic world was the so-called Salafism of 19th century thinkers such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh. Whereas the former was an internal reform movement triggered by calls for removing "corruption" from society, the latter was clearly a response to external, Western pressures ... Muhammad Abduh's pupil Rashid Rida inspired Hassan al-Banna when he formed the Muslim Brotherhood. Rida urged Muslims not to imitate infidels, but return to the Golden Age of early Islam, as did Abduh. Rida also recommended reestablishing the Caliphate, and applauded when the Wahhabists conquered Mecca and Medina and established modern Saudi Arabia. The two reform movements thus partly merged in the 20th century, into organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Police Officers meet in Nalchik to discuss Insurgency Options

From Andrei Smirnov of the Jamestown Foundation

Colonel Anatoly Kyarov, head of the Organized Crime Department of the Kabardinian Interior Ministry, warned, “The insurgents could unite their forces in Kabardino-Balkaria and in the whole North Caucasus.” According to Kyarov, the rising popularity of Islam in the late 1980s and the practice of training local youth in Muslim schools in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey gave rise to the armed rebellion in the region. The colonel blamed foreign Islamic organizations that, he claimed, “have set additional conditions for spreading extremism in the republic and financed religious and extremist activities.”

The Trouble With Islam

From Tawfik Hamid at the Opinion Journal/Wall Street Journal

"Progressives" frequently cite the need to examine "root causes." In this they are correct: Terrorism is only the manifestation of a disease and not the disease itself. But the root-causes are quite different from what they think. As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological "rootlets" of Islamism, the main tap root has a name--Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.