NetWar: September 2004

Contents Letter From Paris

Contents Letter From Paris

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


The American Diplomadic Underground Vs. Old Europe

Say Cheese!

I mean, I do understand these guys at There are two or three trades that really force their practitioners to hide what they think, that make a professional obligation to smile and say nice things to the stupid fool you are facing with a glass of (weak) booze in a stupid cocktail that you’d be oh, so happy, to strangle. Take journalists, diplomats and priests…

As a journalist I have been so many times there, sheepishly staring at some snide crook delivering the usual load of lies! Furiously chomping on my poor pencil or pretending to check if the recorder was working properly (it usually was), so as to hide my embarrassment and eventual murderous impulses (that itching in the fingertips!) … Now, oftentimes the professional deceiver was a diplomat doing his job, if you see what I mean...

Often the script wants the diplomat to tell the reporter something that he/she perfectly knows the other would be a low-tech dumb cluck to swallow… Since most reporters are reasonably witted and awake, the diplomat -who usually isn’t half-witted  either- knows very well the other doesn’t believe one iota. But well, both make a living playing in that never-ending farce; one does the talking, the other sort of listening for the bell.

Now the Internet and its blogging revolution has made these professionals of concealment free to indulge in sincerity. At last! Free to say whatever you want!

I just enjoyed enormously the post “Sorry, But Euro Bore” of the US State Department Republican Underground. FSOs (and others). Here are some (long) excerpts:

There must be one. We don't know where, but there must be. There must be some place with politics more boring and inconsequential than those in EU Europe, but we can't name that place right now. In fact, everything about EU Europe (sans the UK, we always exempt the UK) is a giant bore. Nothing interesting or particularly important happens there. It's Canada but with tiny cars, 300 million people, and 9,000 types of cheese.

What are EU politics about? Simple, they are all about pensions, doles, subsidies, and new ways to avoid working and contributing to the advancement of mankind. Think we're kidding? Pick a European party -- right or left, no matter --cut through the rhetoric -- you won't have to cut much -- and the party is about coming up with new doles while making sure the old ones are protected. "The mean ol' (fill in name of party) wants you work 35 hours/week! We the (fill in name of party) will make sure you work only 30 hours a week! This will create more jobs, as the evil capitalists will have to hire more people! This will create more pensions, more free time, more sick leave, more, more, more . . .!"

Oops, sorry. We left out something else EU politics is about: being anti-American and anti-Israeli/Semitic. It seems that every continental EU politician has to establish how incredibly anti-American he/she/it is. EU "foreign policy" largely consists of loud denunciations of whatever the USA (or Israel) does (e.g., intervene in Iraq) or protestations about what the USA does not (e.g., not intervene in Darfur.) European foreign policy consists largely of blather about "soft power," quietly paying ransom, and always arguing for the need to "talk more." This has worked so effectively, we hear, that the Iranian mullahs will now give up their nuclear program just to avoid another conversation with a delegation of pompous Euro dips -- Europe has very good smelly cheese and very bad dental hygiene, a potent combination in a negotiating team.

Among the features of EU anti-Americanism is lecturing the US about how superior Europe is because of its doles and pensions and, of course, because it's, well, not the USA. We poor American Diplomads have to sit through endless bloviating from Euro colleagues about how Europe has high taxes but excellent public services, unlike in the USA. Of course, that the reality is far different doesn't bother them. OK, yes, we'll gladly grant them that Europe has taxes that are higher than in the US, but, sorry, they don't get much for them: European public services are much, much worse than ours. This statement comes as a shock not only to Europeans, but also to many Americans of the NY Times variety who see high taxes as the answer to every question. Don't believe it? Go to Europe, get sick or hurt, call an ambulance. Then, wait and wait and wait. If that's not the week the ambulance drivers are on strike, when (if) the ambulance comes, you quickly will learn that an American hearse has more life support equipment, and that European paramedics couldn't teach a Boy Scout first aid course. The ambulance, however, will look good compared to the public hospital where you'll be delivered, and, if still alive, you will wish that you were in the hands of American Boy Scouts.

Our "friends" the French get upset when we say this, and immediately retort that their medical system is considered (by whom?) the best in the world. Yes, that's the very same system that when the temperature went up a few degrees in the summer let 15,000 people die. Imagine the scandal in the USA if 15,000 people died because the temperature "shot up" to 95 degrees Fahrenheit! Imagine if we couldn't handle 95 degrees: LA would be a ghost town; Vegas never would have happened; Texas would be a howling wilderness.

Worth a visit, worth a Blogroll!   Freedom's just another word for blogging, folks.

UPDATE ------------------>
Talking about France, have a look at the thread at Winds of Change. I've been posting there just to get the record straight (less crooked, that is), nuance instead of black & white. Katzman's headline is, well, France: Siding With the Enemy. Again.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Thoughtful reading while in bed, with a terrible cold

Sometimes the cowardice of the emperors, often the weakness of the empire, made that they sought to appease with money the people which threatened to invade.  But peace cannot be bought, because the one who sells it is in the position to force us to buy it again.

It is better to take the risk of an unhappy war than to give money to have peace;  because a prince is always respected when it is known that he will not be defeated without a long resistance.
Montesquieu, Rise and fall of the Romans

Quelquefois la lâcheté des empereurs, souvent la faiblesse de l’empire, firent que l’on chercha à apaiser par de l’argent les peuples qui menaçaient d’envahir. Mais la paix ne peut pas s’acheter, parce que celui qui l’a vendue n’en est que plus en état de la faire acheter encore.

Il vaut mieux courir le risque d’une guerre malheureuse que de donner de l’argent pour avoir la paix ; car on respecte toujours un prince lorsqu’on sait qu’on ne le vaincra qu’après une longue résistance.
Montesquieu, Grandeur et décadence des romains.

A veces la cobardía de los emperadores, a menudo la debilidad del imperio, hacían que se intentaba apaciguar con dinero a los pueblos que amenazaban con invadir. Pero la paz no puede comprarse, porque el que la vende queda en posición de obligarnos a volver a comprársela.

Vale más correr el riesgo de una guerra desgraciada que dar dinero para tener paz; pues se respeta siempre al príncipe que se sabe no se puede ser vencido sin una larga resistencia.

Montesquieu, Grandeza y decadencia de los romanos

UPDATE ----------------->
Barcepundit has an interesting post that is worth reading after this citation...

UPDATE ----------------->
myth·o·ma·ni·a: A compulsion to embroider the truth, engage in exaggeration, or tell lies.
Don't miss Barcepundit's last post about the self-styled Spanish minister of Foreign Affairs who said on Friday he had demanded an explanation from the White House over President George W. Bush's comment that the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq had emboldened terrorists. A good laugh will cheer you out of your cold.

Monday, September 20, 2004


A New Socialism Is Born!

To promote Socialism in 2004 isn't easy. To talk about "citizen's socialism" when one is the prime minister of a democratic country somewhere in Western Europe, takes a man like José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The man that thinks that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a free, stable and sovereign country.

Indeed, reading his interview in Time Magazine felt like following Alice to the other side of the mirror. I also had that particular reverence of being in front of something unique, inimitable. Until I read Mr. Zapatero's interview, I thought that I had already seen all that there was to see of evasive rhetoric, answering on the side and beyond, and populist opportunism. Well...


Mr. Zapatero "answered": The one question we have to ask is this: Are things any better in Iraq after one-and-a-half years of occupation? The answer is, no. There's a spiral of violence and death.
We have two options: close our eyes or face that reality. Now Iraq needs to recover its freedom, stability and sovereignty as soon as possible.

Notice that he won't say whether he's willing or refuses to accept a fundamentalist regime in Iraq. Nor thinks he appropriate to say if he feels comfortable with an ethnic civil war there.

No. He says that he wants Iraq to recover "its freedom, stability and sovereignity".

That stupendous ensemble of vacant rhetoric calls for some exegesis. But first, a dictum for politicians meeting reporters. Let me call it the Zapatero principle: "If some one asks you about something you don't want to answer, answer to something else and smile".

In appraising Mr Zapatero, like he says, we can't close our eyes and pretend he isn't where he is. And yes, we must face the reality that he governs Spain, not Honduras.

Further down in the interview, Mr. Zapatero says that "the way to fight terrorism has to be intelligent".

For instance, when the whole (civilized) world is trying to put some pressure on the Sudanese government so that it stops massacring the non-Muslim population, he has a better idea: increase the Spanish aid to the Sudanese government from 2 M euros to 7 M euros. And say that threatening them isn't the best way to solve things. That may "serve to increase terrorism". Mr. Zapatero is a bright man, indeed.

And he doesn't want to be a great leader, mind you. He just wants to be a great democrat.

Do not ever think that he may be an opportunist, never saying "no" to anyone. He just wants to do what the citizens want to be done.

When visiting the Basque Country a few days ago, he understood that many people there wanted the old, obsolete, state-owned Izar shipyard to remain open. It is a machine to lose money (the last figure is more than €1 billion, about US$ 1,2 Bn), but the people working there didn't care much about the loses, they want to keep their jobs; so, a smiling Mr. Zapatero said to the local trade union bosses: "Don't worry, I'll save your shipyard jobs." To the story belongs that Izar's workers make less money than their south Korean colleagues, but their boats are much more expensive.

Within days after he made it back to Madrid, he went back on his word, saying that he supported a privatization plan that inevitably will cut to size the payroll. The workers cried foul, the word "treachery" was uttered and around the Izar factories there were the usual images of burning cars and riot police firing rubber balls at masked demonstrators armed with slingshots.

As a matter of fact, calling Mr. Zapatero a traitor is a bit of an overstatement. He only wants to please the people, with a resolute preference, on the spur of the moment, for the ones he is with…

In Madrid he had to please his (competent) minister of Finance, who eventually told him that the shipyard's only possible salvation passed by thousands of redundancies. Mr. Zapatero wanted so badly to please him too that he recanted his promises without much regret.

It would be ill advised to think that the Zapateroan brand of socialism is the same tired old populism of your typical Latin politico, God forbid. The Spanish citizen's socialism is the socialization of hope, the collectivization of dreams, nothing less!

Mr. Zapatero, very conscious that the so called "real socialism" failed to bring happiness to the masses, hatched up an ideological platform that doesn't imply, like the socialism of yore, nationalizing the means of production, but rather to promise everyone anything just to make them happy for as long as possible. That is the core of his citizen's socialism.

That ideological solidity of his explains why the unending row of gaffes of his ministers hasn't troubled him the least; between a rock and a hard place, Mr. Zapatero chooses a smile and a promise.

When his Defense Minister, Mr. Jose Bono, awarded a military medal to himself for his direction of the haphazard withdrawal of the Spanish troops from Iraq, Mr. Zapatero approved enthusiastically; even if some Spaniards -many Spaniards, in fact- found the gesture a little self-indulgent, he didin't want to miss the opportunity of pleasing Mr. Bono. After all, he's a citizen too.

Señor Zapatero is also a cunning political strategistç, endowed with the sense of opportunity. When he urged other countries to follow Spain's example and withdraw troops from Iraq, he didn't do that because he wanted to convince al Qaeda that he was a jolly good fellow. He knows that many Spaniards, nearly all who voted for him, would feel vindicated if his example was followed by other countries besides Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Of course, it was just a mere coincidence that he made his statement exactly the same day that the kidnappers of two Italian aid workers in Iraq demanded that Italy withdraw its troops or else they would be beheaded.

Thanks God, he says that he doesn't want to be a great leader!
UPDATE 1 ------------->
Señor Zapatero was at the UN in New York and said:"an effective counterterrorism strategy has to be based on respect for international law, respect for the United Nations and, most pointedly, respect for the Security Council" (i.e. the body that refused to endorse the U.S.-led war on Iraq).

Hey! What happened to Sexual equality? What's more effective against terrorism, respect for the UN Security Council or sexual equality? Please, Mr. Zapatero, enlighten me, please...
UPDATE 2 ------------->
Jaime R. from Camberra has sent me an email daring me to prove that señor. Zapatero’s defense minister got a medal for withdrawing the troops from Iraq.
It’s a matter of public record, but let me just quote from the Opinion Journal:
"Call it the Silver Chicken: Spain's Socialist prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has awarded medals for appeasement "to all those who helped in the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq," reports the Spanish news agency EFE. Among them were three generals and his own defense minister, José Bono, who had been in office all of six weeks when he got the award. Members of the opposition shamed Bono into giving the medal back."
Ole! Have a look at this (funny) Expatica article on the subject.
UPDATE 3 ------------->
I just read a very good post of Vman about Señor Zapatero's memorable speech at the UN. It's rightly called Zapatero's World, Insha'allah


[9/12/2004] Spain, Andalusia, Bin laden revisited by The New Yorker
[8/29/2004] The Plastic Politician
[8/15/2004] La responsabilidad de Rumsfeld y la ministra española [ES]
[9/14/2004] Zapatero's Brand New Old Europe (sigh) (sic)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Zapatero's Brand New Old Europe (sigh) (sic)

M.M. Chirac and Scroeder visited Madrid and were greeted by the Spanish prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, with unabashed self-satisfaction and an impressive show of ignorance about the world we all are living in.

Five months after taking office in the wake of the al Qaeda train bombings which left 191 people dead in Madrid, Mr. Zapatero though it funny to direct a bristle to Washington, saying that "the old Europe is brand new." Chirac and Schroeder had the smiles you can expect from people for whom the writing is on the political wall: one who systematically loses every partial election and is considered the grave digger of his party (the German) or one for whom being in office is, above all other consideration, a shelter against some judge starting to ask tough questions about  joyful use of public moneys (the French).

Yet, the Spaniard’s guests are both old hands and blew the smoke adroitely, particularly Mr, Chirac, who is said to have obtained some vague promise of commands for French companies and a pledge of Zapatero that Spain will rise its “unfair” taxes on tobacco, alcohol, restaurants and hotels, to put them in line with neighboring France’s.

Without saying that he can’t hold a candle to his predecessor, the pro-American Jose Maria Aznar, one has to admit that when it comes to geo-politics –or to governance in general for that matter- Mr. Zapatero isn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the European drawer. His ministers wits bring to mind the saying about the one-eyed man being king (or prime minister) in certain countries.

He now says that his decision of pulling troops out of Iraq was a fine  example for others US partners in the Coalition of the Willing; according to him, if more countries were to give in and meet al Qaeda’s demands and retreat precipitously from Iraq, “more favorable prospects would be opened up." Mr. Zapatero tells to whomever would listen that he intends Spain to have “an strategic alliance with the Arab countries.”

To the story belongs that his minister of Foreign Affairs and inspirer of his foreign policy, Miguel Angel Moratinos, is a personal friend of Yasser Arafat ; the moral reputation of Mr. Arafat’s personal friends taken into account, I’m not really so sure that it is wise to boast about  that sort of relationship. Mr. Moratinos, which has a shrewd sense for opportunity of his own, declared in the days of the stand-off  in the school of Beslam that we all should strive to solve the problem of terrorism by political means. The Zapatero administration is to start paying a salary to Islamic imams in 2005.

According to some knowledgeable sources, Mr. Zapatero, a convinced appeaser, is also signalling for negotiation to the murderous Basque terrorists of the ETA. Despite a pact with the opposition Popular Party not to negotiate with the terrorists, some trusted aides would be “in the process of finding the right words” to circumvent the constraint. “There's no conflict here. There's absolutely no conflict whatsoever.”, said a Socialist friend of mine in Madrid, “Our main responsibility is to end terrorist violence and in order to do that we must explore all possibilities. But you can’t call that a negotiation.” Some believe that the ETA leadership would be ready to give up most of the terrorist activity in exchange for political recognition and some substantial economic perks to compensate for the so called “revolutionary tax”, the protection money they now shake off from Basque companies, which could be around 40 M euros a year (ca. US$ 50 M).

Prospects for the Spanish economy have been looking less cheerful since some investment pundits started to have second thoughts about the country’s medium term stability, along with a more radical unionism coming in the wings of Mr. Zapatero’s impenitent populism. On the bright side, Spanish companies may be less prone than their German and French competitors to move plants to Eastern Europe or Asia, although, on the other hand, it is far from certain that they will be able to withstand the ever fiercer competition coming from the East.

According to Jürgen Donges, a specialist on Spanish politics and economics at the University of Cologne, cited by DWW, Zapatero has also good economic reasons for courting MM. Chirac and Schröder

"When you're in Spain you hear over and over: 'We want to play a part in this Franco-German axis,'" Donges told DW-WORLD. "The Spanish government says: 'If we behave like proper Europeans, we have better chances of getting support for structural funds."

Donges pointed out thet "The current government makes domestic policies according to the device: 'everything that Aznar did was bad; we have to do everything differently'"

"But since the new (anti-American) orientation Spain has become less important to Germany," Donges said. "It's disappeared into a no man's land -- from the viewpoint of the Franco-German axis."


BarcePundit Raves! And he should... Here's to you, caballero:

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was at the centre of a diplomatic row with the United States over comments he made over pulling troops out of Iraq, it emerged Tuesday.

US diplomats in Madrid said they had asked for a clarification of his remarks in the form of a transcript.

The sources said Washington had asked for the transcript "so there can be no misunderstanding" after Zapatero justified his decision to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq shortly after taking office.

Monday, September 13, 2004



Escribo este post en español porque quisiera llevar un viento de ánimo a los españoles (y latinoamericanos) frustrados por unos medios de comunicación que con frecuencia son más la voz de sus amos que los servidores de la verdad y el interés público, manipuladores a sueldo en lugar de conciencia colectiva.

Llevo días queriendo escribir este artículo pero estaba en plena búsqueda de información sobre el tema de los voluntarios musulmanes en el ejército nazi (no perderselo)y preferí dejar que madurase el asunto. Verdaderamente, esta campaña electoral americana está siendo trascendental. Quizá en el futuro se recuerde como el punto en que los medios de comunicación tradicionales perdieron definitivamente la batalla ante los nuevos media en red, los blogs.

El escándalo fallido de los memoranda del servicio militar de George W. Bush durante la guerra de Vietnam ha sido el Waterloo de la prensa tradicional, concretamente del obispo de la cadena CBS Dan Rather. Y los vencedores son el enjambre de blogs que han descubierto que los documentos presentados por Rather eran una falsificación.

Conste que me importa un rábano lo que hicieron o dejaron de hacer durante la guerra de Vietnam tanto Kerry como Bush, cuánta marihuana fumaron o dejaron de fumar o si creyeron que Ho Chi Minh era la Madre Teresa de Calcuta. Lo que me entusiasma es que estamos asistiendo al entierro del ciudadano Kane, de la máquina de picar carne intoxicativa y quiero hablar de las consecuencias sociales de esto. Recemos un responso a la rotativa y el plató de televisión como fuente de poder dictatorial. Lo siento, señor Polanco. Tuviste tu hora, Pedro J. No te des a la bebida, Carmen Lira.

Los nuevos media ha clavado una estaca en el corazón de los megamedias y han dejado temblando al New York Times, el Boston Globe y US Today, que habían apostado por la autenticidad de los documentos... sin molestarse demasiado en hacer las comprobaciones ad hoc. Ha sido como cuando se tomaron a valor facial las afirmaciones de la administración de que en Iraq había armas de destrucción masiva, sólo que ahora era para descabalgar a Bush de la carrera por la reelección; en ambos casos, la prensa tradicional ha seguido su tic de creerse lo que en cada momento coincidía con su política editorial. Esta vez la presunción les puede, les va a salir muy cara.

Para los que no lo sepan: CBS, orgullosamente, puso en su sitio web imagenes de los documentos que supuestamente probaban que George W. Bush había utilizado sus influencias para no realizar los entrenamientos físicos durante su servicio en la Guardia nacional de Texas. De inmediato, un enjambre de blogs furiosos e iconoclastas demolieron la credibilidad de los documentos acusatorios. Simplemente, salieron docenas de expertos que demostraron que en la época en que supuestamente habían sido escritos las máquinas de escribir aún no escribían tan maravillosamente como los ordenadores de hoy. Si eso era ya en sí llamativo, lo impresionante, lo sobrecogedor, es lo fulminante y definitivo del ataque de los blogs.

Es un triunfo de la libertad sobre el poder. En toda mi vida profesional he tenido que padecer desde la derecha y la izquierda las insinuaciones de estar vendido, respectivamente, a la izquierda o la derecha. Y mientras en Estados Unidos los grandes conglomerados informativos apenas si soportaban unas normas deontológicas mínimas, en España la prensa alegremente crítica de la transición democrática se esfumó para caer en manos de trapichadores de poder y en Francia el espectáculo del stajanovismo antiamericano de los medios daba vergüenza ajena. Hoy siento la alegría de abrir la ventana en una habitación cerrada demasiado tiempo, enmohecida. Había en verdad un mundo fuera de Verona...

Internet ha reducido el costo de publicación y distribución de la información a un nivel ínfimo, tendiente a cero. Ha democratizado radicalmente el acceso al conocimiento, pero también ha puesto la producción de información al alcance de todos. Y yo puedo, desde este teclado mio, escribir en tiempo real a amigos de Nueva York, Washington, México, Miami, Toronto, Hong Kong, Boston, Estocolmo, Moscú, Beirut, Cairo, Johanesburgo, Bagdad o Barcelona para que me cuenten si llueve allí o si alguien está bombardeándoles. Y ellos me pueden preguntar, si les interesa, qué pasa entre Sire Chirac y Sire Sarkozy. Eso reduce de forma drástica el poder real de los conglomerados informativos.

Ciudadanos normales y corrientes han podido juntar sus conocimientos de cómo escriben las máquinas de escribir, de los arcanos de la tipografía, de los procedimientos militares, y conseguir competir y neutralizar a uno de los conglomerados informativos más importantes del planeta. Y se acaba poder decir: “Esto es lo que hay, creedlo, porque os lo digo yo, que soy .... (El NYT, CBS, NBC, El País, Le Monde, the Idaho Stateman etc.) . Parque Jurásico, suena el violín de la melancólica extinción de la especie. Ahora ya sólo vale tener mejores argumentos y datos más contrastados que los demás. Se acaba la dictadura del tamaño, derrocada por la inteligencia distribuida de la red.

Nada que tenga que sorprender a quienes conozcan a Frédéric Bastiat o a Hayek. Es el “open-source journalism”, el intelectual (no me atrevo a decir la mente) colectivo. La suma de los autores de los blogs supera a la adición aritmética porque en su interacción hay una función neuronal; el conjunto produce unos editoriales geniales, de geometría perpetuamente variable. La lección de Hayek es que el conocimiento se crea y se ofrece socialmente a los demás a través de la capacidad de entrar en el mercado y competir. En el mercado libre de información que es Internet, los blogs están derrotando al poder establecido. La propia apertura y competitividad, la instantanéidad de la comunicación, relativiza y fragiliza a los detentadores momentáneos del poder, obligándoles a actuar de forma positiva  permanentemente, innovando, imaginando, descubriendo...

Adios a una infamia que se acaba en nuestra sociedad global: los apriorismos de los conglomerados, su "ni quito ni pongo rey, pero ayudo a mi señor" Estoy convencido –aunque no podría jurarlo- de que ni Dan Rather, ni ciertamente CBS, publicaron los documentos falsificados a sabiendas, al estilo de ese embaucador llamado michael Moore. Simplemente, Rather pensó cuando vio aquellos documentos que quizá tenía en la mano la llave de la elección del hombre teóricamente más poderoso del planeta o quizá la herramienta para destruir a George W. Bush y convertirse en el Captain America informativo de una posible administración Kerry. Y ese objeto de deseo les hizo decidir mal sobre lo que necesitaba ser investigado -y con qué rigor- en esa llave del destino. Literalmente, perdieron el juicio. No han estado a la altura del mercado y sus condicionamientos intelectuales, de la competencia con el conocimiento distribuido.

Es posible que esta pifia de Rather y CBS termine por desbaratar las posibilidades de elección de John Kerry. Lo sentiré de verdad, porque creo que hubiera sido un buen presidente, quizá mejor que Bush. Pero me alegro porque siento que se reaviva mi fe en la democracia y mi confianza en el futuro. Vivimos tiempos difíciles, pero prevaleceá la libertad porque la República del Saber vela sobre ella.

Descanse en paz, ciudadano Kane.

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The Political Commissar from the Politburo Diktat is really enjoying it tremendously. The Knights of Bloggoland are going to make the skin of the CBS dragon into a carpet in front of the chimney for the long nights of winter. The stupid documents were a forgery and Dan Rather will be almost as stupid if he doesn’t cut his loses and acknowledges that he’s been hoodwinked!

Sunday, September 12, 2004


Islam and the Nazi Regime - The Unknown Story

When it comes to political correctness, History often becomes a lawbreaker...

 There are scores of historical events that contradict the bucolic laboratory narration deemed, well, correct...they are befittingly condemned to silence and obliviousness.

That is very true for the evolution of Islam through History since its inception 14 centuries ago. Unhappily, Western journalists usually don't know much beyond a couple of platitudes about the de-colonization process or the contradictions with Kemalism and Nasserism... Yet there is much more…
It is amazing, how little we know about Islamic history, even as recent as the Islamic participation in World War II, particularly of the Muslims from the former Soviet Union. Very few people, beyond a hard core of specialists, are familiar with the attitudes of Islam’s traditional notables and religious leaders towards the Nazi regime.
Now, the jihadists of today have declared war on the “Crussaders and the Jews” and we are confronted everyday to suicide bombers, children being coldly murdered and the whole gallery of extreme cruelty of their war against democracy. Have they materialized from historical nothingness?  Hardly. It is high time to look at some antecedents.
During WWII, about 2,000,000 non-German volunteers fought along with the Nazi  armies. Of them, 1,600,000 were from the former Soviet Union; a sizable majority were Muslims. There was for example the 162nd Turkoman Infantry Division, composed of Turkomans and Azerbaijanis, the Caucasian-Mohammedan Legion, made up of Azerbaijanis, Daghestans, Ingushes, Lezghins, and Chechens. The Turkestani Legion had volunteers from the following nationalities: Turkomans, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kirghiz, Karakalpaks, and Tadjiks.
To give a quantitative frame to understand the avalanche of Islamic volunteers to the nazi armies, the Caucasian-Mohammedan Legion is a good example. It had 102,300 men ("Soviet Opposition to Stalin," p.51) at a time when the total population of the Northern Caucasus may have been just above 6,5 M. And they all were volunteers, who chose to fight with the Germans driven by the religious leadership in the region. Almost from the first days of the nazi regime there had ben continuous contacts between Berlin and the Muslim leaders, first and foremost, in Palestine, Iraq and Turkey.

 A relentless agitation had been beamed from the Mosques, inspired by a pivotal man, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the most prominent figure of inter-War Palestine. Besides his pan-Arab tendencies, he hated the Jews as bearers of modern European way of life, which confronted to the concepts of Islam as he saw them. In 1933 the Mufti took contact with Nazi Germany and said he looked forward to spreading their ideology in the Middle East, especially in Palestine. He secretly met with German diplomats, and later that year, the Mufti's assistants approached Wolff, the Nazi General-Consul in the area, seeking his help in establishing a National Socialist Arab party in Palestine. But the German refused, since they didn't want at the time to get involved in the British sphere of influence and, besides, membership of the Nazi party was restricted to German speaking "Aryans" only. But they started helping the Mufti with large sums of money and weapons for his anti-Jewish armed groups. Soon, under the influence of the Mufti, Palestinians were to see the Nazis as their only real friend in Europe. In 1937, during the celebration of Mohammad's birth, the Nazi swastika flag was flying high in Jerusalem over giant pictures of Hitler.

In September 1937 the infamous Adolf Eichmann and another young SS officer, were sent to Palestine to organize the pro-Nazi movement. In 1938 the Mufti was already on the payroll of Abwehr II, the German counterintelligence. The Mufti's organization had become massive. He then moved to Iraq, where he was accepted as an Arab and Islamic hero, and he established his headquarters in Baghdad from where he continued his activities through a web of clendestine cells and private "charity" organizations.
He succeeded in establishing a group of pro-Axis officials led by General Rashid Ali, who in 1941 ousted the pro-British Iraqi Prime MinisterNuri Said Pasha. In May he declared jihad against Britain, "the greatest foe of Islam".
However, in a few months the British managed to crush the uprising and the Mufti had fly; this time he went to Germany. On  November 21, 1941 he had a meeting with Hitler in Berlin. Hitler accepted that, once the Nazi troops would reach South of the Caucasus, he would help the Mufti to exterminate all the Jews in the Middle East and establish a unified pan-Arab state.

The Mufti's part of the arrangement was to raise support for the Nazis among the Muslims in the Soviet Union, the Balkans and the Middle East. The Germans founded the "Arab Bureau", under his leadership, in Berlin. He was in charge of supervising Axis propaganda to Muslims all over the world.
His first achievement was the recruitment of tens of thousands of the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania to the Waffen SS Handschar Division. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Eastern Legions, the so-called "Ostlegionen" which contained only volunteers from the non-Russian nationalities. On December 30th, 1941 a top secret memorandum ordered the Supreme Nazi Command to create, first the Turkestani Legion and second, the Caucasian-Mohammedan Legion. The Crimean Tartar were not only gladly collaborating with the Germans, but also supplying the Wehrmacht with 20,000 soldiers.
Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler was the most willing promoter and collaborator of Islam among the Nazi leadership. He hated the 'soft' Christianity and liked Islam, which he saw as a masculine, martial religion based on the SS qualities of blind obedience and readiness for self-sacrifice, uncontaminated by compassion for one's enemies.
Throughout the war, the Nazi Islamic units were used as auxiliary troops of the Waffen-SS, particularly to help the Germans to fight the partisan in the Eastern front and then in Italy and the Balkans where they later participated in massacring tens of thousands of partisan Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. In Ukraine, to instill more terror among the population, the Caucasian hanged supposed partisans from the balconies and prohibited the removal of the corpses.
The Mufti found in Berlin a twin soul and admirer in Veli Kayum Khan, head of the Turkestani "government in exile", and convinced the Nazi bosses to fund a Turkestani National Committee to agitate in the name of the independence of Turkestan and to be in charge of the political and national leadership of Turkestani volunteers. With the aid of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the SS-FHA, Kayum Khan, sat up schools at Dresden and Götingen to train religious imams for the Muslim military units in the Waffen SS and the Wehrmacht. They were supported by some Muslim leaders from the Caucasus, like Alibegow, Khedia, Kantimer, Mischa, and Tschamalja. A speciphic unit consisting of Muslim Tartars, the Wolgatatarische Legion, was formed in Poland on January 1942.
In 1943, the Turkestanis had 15 battalions and one year later grew-up to 26 battalions. Those battalions were usually integrated as independent battalions within German divisions, in charge of punishing rebellious civilian populations… On 14 December 1943, another meeting was held in presided by the Grand Mufti  Hajj Amin el-Husseini. He approved the plan to raise a Turkic-Muslim SS division and give his "spiritual leadership" to influence the Muslim volunteers. To lead the new unit Himmler decided to appoint SS-Standartenführer Harun-el-Raschid-Bey, an Austrian Nazi officer who converts to Islam.
The Osttürkischen Waffen-Verbände der SS was formed on January 1944 and was to be expanded into a division, Muselmanischen SS-Division Neu-Turkestan. The unit was formed in Trawniki, Poland. When the SS tried to quell the Warsaw Uprising, the unit was attached to the notorious SS Dirlewanger Brigade, and participated in the brutal repression that killed 200,000 Polish civilians.
When the mass of Soviet Muslims collaborators followed the retreating German armies to avoid the reprisals that awaited them from the Russians, they tried to surrender to the Western Allies but were sent back to Russia. Many of them were executed, others lost in the Gulags. Stalin ordered massive deportations to the east of some of Soviet Muslim nationalities that had fraternized with the Nazis - like the Chechens, Balkars, Ingushi, Karachais, and Crimean Tartars.


Spain, Andalusia, Bin laden revisited by The New Yorker

I have just read in the New Yorker a very interesting (and long, 19 pages) article on al Qaeda and the terrorist attacks in Madrid last March.

The author, LAWRENCE WRIGHT, has researched his subject very intensely and I absolutely recommend reading it.HERE IS A LINK TO IT.

Note that Wright comes to some conclusions very close to the ones I evoked in the A Plastic Politician, which were also taken up by, a.o., Urban Empire Link 1 Link 2 and Winds of Change

Here are some excerpts:

Gustavo de Aristegui is one of the leaders of the Popular Party in Spain’s Basque country... His father was Spain’s Ambassador to Lebanon and was killed in Beirut in 1989, when Syrian forces shelled his diplomatic residence.

“Al Qaeda has four different networks,” Aristegui told me in Madrid, the day after the Socialists took power. “First, there is the original network, the one that committed 9/11, which uses its own resources and people it has recruited and trained. Then, there is the ad-hoc terrorist network, consisting of franchise organizations that Al Qaeda created—often to replace ones that weren’t bloody enough—in countries such as the Philippines, Jordan, and Algeria.” The third network, Aristegui said, is more subtle, “a strategic union of like-minded companies.” Since February, 1998, when Osama bin Laden announced the creation of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Crusaders and Jews—an umbrella organization for Islamist groups from Morocco to China—Al Qaeda has expanded its dominion by making alliances and offering funds. “Hamas is in, or almost in,” Aristegui said. “Bin Laden is trying to tempt Hezbollah to join, but they are Shia, and many Sunnis are opposed to them.” Finally, there is the fourth network—“imitators, emulators,” who are ideologically aligned with Al Qaeda but are less tied to it financially. “These are the ones who committed Madrid,” Aristegui said.

Until the Madrid attacks, the Al Qaeda operations—in Dhahran, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Aden, New York, Washington, Jerba, Karachi, Bali, Mombasa, Riyadh, Casablanca, Jakarta, and Istanbul—had been political failures. These massacres committed in the name of jihad had achieved little except anger, grief, and the deaths of thousands. Soon after September 11th, Al Qaeda lost its base in Afghanistan and, along with that, its singular role in the coördination of international terror. New groups, such as the bombers in Madrid, were acting in the name of Al Qaeda, and although they may well have had the blessings of its leaders, they did not have the training, resources, or international contacts that had bolstered the previous generation of terrorists. Some operations, such as the 2003 attack on Western compounds in Riyadh, which killed mainly Muslims, were such fiascos that it appeared that Al Qaeda was no longer able to exercise control.


Al Andalus is the Arabic name for the portion of Spain that fell to Muslim armies after the invasion by the Berber general Tariq ibn Ziyad in 711. It includes not only the southern region of Andalusia, but most of the Iberian Peninsula. For the next eight hundred years, Al Andalus remained in Islamic hands. “You know of the Spanish crusade against Muslims, and that not much time has passed since the expulsion from Al Andalus and the tribunals of the Inquisition,” Fakhet says on the tape. He is referring to 1492, when Ferdinand and Isabella completed the reconquest of Spain, forcing Jews and Muslims to convert to Catholicism or leave the Iberian Peninsula. “Blood for blood!” he shouts. “Destruction for destruction!”


Less than a month after 9/11, Osama bin Laden and his chief lieutenant, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, had appeared on Al Jazeera. “We will not accept that the tragedy of Al Andalus will be repeated in Palestine,” Zawahiri said, drawing an analogy between the expulsion of the Moors from Iberia and the present-day plight of the Palestinians. The use of the archaic name Al Andalus left most Spaniards nonplussed. “We took it as a folkloric thing,” Ramón Pérez-Maura, an editor at ABC, told me. “We probably actually laughed.” This January, bin Laden issued a “Message to the Muslim People,” which was broadcast on Al Jazeera. He lamented the decline of the Islamic world: “It is enough to know that the economy of all Arab countries is weaker than the economy of one country that had once been part of our world when we used to truly adhere to Islam. That country is the lost Al Andalus.”


Imams sometimes invoke the glory of Al Andalus in Friday prayers as a reminder of the price that Muslims paid for turning away from the true faith. When I asked Moneir el-Messery, of the M-30 mosque (in Madrid), if the Madrid bombers could have been motivated by the desire to recapture Al Andalus, he looked up sharply and said, “I can speak of the feeling of all Muslims. It was a part of history. We were here for eight centuries. You can’t forget it, ever.”


Appeasement is a foolish strategy for dealing with Al Qaeda. Last year, many Saudis were stunned when the terrorist group struck Western compounds in Riyadh—shortly after the U.S. had announced that it would withdraw troops from Saudi Arabia, fulfilling one of bin Laden’s primary demands. The Saudis now realize that Al Qaeda won’t be assuaged until all foreigners are expelled from the Arabian Peninsula and a rigid theocracy has been imposed. Yet some of the countries on Al Qaeda’s hit list will no doubt seek to appease terrorists as a quick solution to a crisis.

Intelligence officials are now trying to determine who is the next target, and are sifting through “chatter” in search of a genuine threat. “We see people getting on the Internet and then they get on their phones and talk about it,” a senior F.B.I. official told me. “We are now responding to the threat to the U.S. elections.” The idea of attacking before Election Day, the official said, “was born out of Madrid.” Earlier this year, an international task force dubbed Operation Crevice arrested members of a bomb-making ring in London. During the investigation, officials overheard statements that there were jihadis in Mexico awaiting entry into the U.S. That coincided with vague warnings from European imams about attacks before the elections. As a result of this intelligence, surveillance of border traffic from Mexico has been increased.


Spain's Prime rMinister, JL Rodriguez Zapatero has called the countries of the US lead coalition to leave Iraq.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Islamic Ideology (2):
On poligamy from the woman's point of view

I could and perhaps should comment on this issue. But I think that maybe some good soul, of the kind that believe Michael Moore at face value, would accuse me of Islamophobia or something like that. So here you have it, the Islamic thought on women and a rare defence of poligamy from the point of view of women. No jokes, please.

The Islamic point of view on polygamy


The stand taken by the Quran on polygamy, is often either misunderstood or misinterpreted by vested interests. Let us now examine what is Islam’s stand vis-à-vis polygamy. The related verse in the Holy Quran goes as follows:

"And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice; two or three or four but if you fear that you shall no be able to deal justly with them then marry only one" (Holy Qur’an 4:3)

It is very clear from the above narrated verse from the Quran that:  

Islam exhorts it’s followers to have only one wife per se; but

Under exceptional circumstances such as to tackle problems of orphans, young widows, and divorcees, Islam allows more than one wife, BUT

The person taking up more than one wife is obliged to do equitable justice among all his wives,

If he fears that he will not be able to do equitable justice among his wives, he is very clearly instructed to take only one wife.

At the same time, Islam restricts the total number of wives to a maximum of four only.  

• The world scenario

What happened to the population of the West, at the end of the World War II, when thousands of dying young army men caused huge male-female imbalance may happen once again. Even today there are certain pockets in the world where the marriageable women outnumber their counterparts. How does anybody solve the matrimonial problem of these extra young unmarried women?

Or think about the plight of all those women who after getting married, get terminally ill, paralyzed, bedridden or are infertile. Should they all be divorced and thrown out on the road, so that their husbands can take another wife. Or a more practical approach would be to allow their husbands to take a second wife?

• Injustice to Women

The institute of polygamy is always looked down upon as an injustice to women folks. Is it really so? On the contrary consider the following salient features, which distinctly work in favor of women.

Polygamy gives an opportunity to the woman to choose a life partner who has already proven himself as a good husband, thereby reducing the matrimonial risks.

It extends practical security to a woman against loosing her husband (and everything else with him) to some other better-qualified woman, as it happens in case of monogamy.

It safeguards her husband from possible adultery and its disastrous ill effects.

It gives a possible way out to a career minded woman to pursue her career by having a female friend & husband to share family responsibilities.

It keeps a check on men from flirting with young girls and not marrying them on the pretext of their existing marriages.

Who would know the need of the creation better than The Creator Himself? We mortal human beings may or may not like certain ideas due to our own prejudices, but in the end one has to accept the fact that the Divine Wisdom is infallible.


The French Metaphor (an answer to Michele)

Michele, the author of Letters From NYC, asked me recently if I could give some explanation about some attitudes of the French. She wondered:
Are the French that naive or do they have blinders on. Do they really think that their past history towards Arabs, and their new Paris law on female students would be overlooked by these zealots?
And then, I think quite rightly, she stated, like thinking aloud:
The implications if they [the al Qaeda terrorists] do release these journalists are tremendous. Or perhaps I'm missing something?
I will try to answer…
No, I don’t think Michele is missing anything essential. Indeed, the evaluation by the French politicians of the terrorist threat has more often been tainted by self-delusion than impregnated by their presumed famous Cartesian rationality. They are like the man who in face of an impending catastrophe pinches himself while saying “I’m dreaming! I’m dreaming! I’m dreaming! This is not for real.They just don’t want this war to be real. Until now, somehow, many of them expected the al Qaeda threat to fade away into oblivion or, at least, to become a distant scourge, something that concerned others. After 10 years living in France, I can flat out certify that “naïve” isn’t the adjective that befits best the average French politician; try guileful, canny or perhaps even oversubtle. So, they must have some sort of blinders on.
What sort of blinders? Barring sheer dishonesty, blind wishful thinking seems the most at hand explanation for much of the French elite refusing to look reality into the eye and trying to nitpicker away the notion of being at war. One can understand that: it’s a matter of statistics. Muslims are over 10% of the population in many places in France, including Paris. About 5,5 million. Assuming that 10% may have some sympathy for al Qaeda (that in itself is a very optimistic figure, again falling for wishful thinking), that means some 500,000 potential supporters of terrorism; assume now that 1% would be prepared to actively help the terrorists… You don’t want to believe that in the Paris region you may have 15,000 people ready to participate in Jihad. Of course, one can always seek relief in seeing the figures the other way around: 90% of the French Muslims aren’t potential supporters of terrorism. In the Paris region you have 1,485,000 Muslims who aren’t ready to participate in the Jihad. That’s the line of thought that the French government decided to follow when the Americans asked them if they please would be willing to participate in the War on Terror. But then, I’m really not that sure that it’s wise here to apply the metaphor of the half-empty/half-full glass of water. How many people does it take to plant a bomb on a train?

Sunday, September 05, 2004


The (lackluster) French Connection

On Hostages, Clerics, Chirac, Osama and a load of euros.

UPDATE - 09/06
Bad, very bad news for the French government.

A statement posted on a web site by the Islamic Army in Iraq set a $5 million ransom for the release of French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, who were kidnapped near Bagdad on 20 August.

The statement gave France 48 hours to accept three new conditions:

  • agreeing to a recent truce offer by Usama bin Ladin

  • payment of $5 million ransom

  • cut all commercial and military ties to Iraq.

  • The truce with bin Ladin refers to a peace deal he allegedly offered European countries after al Qaeda’s massacre in Madrid last March. The terrorist leader called on them” to refrain from attacks against Muslims and pull their troops out of the Islamic world within three months.”

    Apparently, the kidnappers chose not to mention their former demand of the French government abroging the law against conspicuous religious signs in the schools...

    NOTE to Michele from NYC - I'm very busy to give a real good answer to your questions about the French. While you wait, here is a link to a very good article on Paris by an American reporter. REAL GOOD.

    The prospects on the fate of the two French reporters held hostage in Iraq for more than two weeks are murky, despite the French government's efforts to sound optimistic. There are reasons to believe, like I already hinted in another post, that MM. Villepin and Barnier –the French ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs- have been less than felicitous in the design of the strategy to cope with the kidnapping. Have they been playing the apprentice sorcerer? I think so.

    According to the daily Al-Hayat from Cairo, the group holding the two journalists, the Islamic Army in Irak, has already said that it wants al Qaeda, and if possible sheik Osama bin Laden himself, to issue a fatwa (Islamic decree) on what to do with the captives. If he graciously accepts to liberate them, President Chirac will find himself in a really awkward position...

    From the beginning, president Chirac and his ministers seemed inclined to take for granted that the kidnapping of the two newsmen was some sort of blooper of a bunch of unsophisticated savages; after all, France was the mainstay of the opposition against the intervention in Iraq, it hasn’t a single soldier there and has plainly said that they didn’t want to send any. They thought they were immune; the terrorists wouldn’t attack French citizens in Iraq. And they were, aw, so wrong!.

    The jihadists aren´t savages. Sure enough, they are cold-bloodedly cruel, perverse technicians of causing fear. Nor are they unsophisticated: they know better the frame of mind and the perimeter of maneuver of the French government than the French government has shown to know theirs. The French president and his ministers still believe –or, rather, want to believe- that the fundamental logic behind the war waged by the jihadists against “the Crusaders and the Jews” is geo-political. But they are wrong again. It’s, above all other consideraton, a war of religion, and then, perhaps, a war against democracy. In the jihadists’ eyes, France is not a European power vying for independence from the American Great Satan; it is just a Little Satan that is too coward to fight.

    I think that faulty perception of the jihadista is the reason why MM. Villepin and Barnier goofed it up so miserably when they drummed up all the support they could muster among the sort of Islamic dignitaries that the jihadists despise and perceive as corrupt and lukewarm in the best of cases, often traitors and always their enemies. Take for instance, M. Arafat or the Sunnite ulemas in Iraq, the ones who were always crestfallen in front of Saddam, the impious dictator. Those were the sort of advocates that could and probably did worsen the case of the hostages.

    Arriving in Iraq, as the French did, without even a minimum modicum of up-to-date intelligence, full of blind wishful thinking and the presumption of possessing the truth, one stands to be baffled by the panorama of some sixty-odd “resistance” groups spanning from al Qaeda proper to self-serving highwaymen and the various remnants of the Saddam regime.

    The problem, the real problem, was that the kidnappers of the Islamic Army in Iraq belong to al Qaeda. They follow orders “from above”. Therefore, they refused to meet with the delegation of Muslim dignitaries from France, who, eager to give gages of their French patriotism back home, came to Iraq looking for someone, anyone, to talk to in favor of the hostages. Nor did the terrorists show any interest in communicating with the minister either, despite Monsieur Barnier's flying back and forth in the Middle East and his staying one whole week in Amman, purportedly with an open-ended authorization of President Chirac to offer some pretty substantial ransom to the Islamic Army in Iraq. At one moment, M. Barnier was convinced that he was going to bring the hostages back home.

    And that, letting it be known that they were willing to pay a lot of money for their hostages, could be the second folly of the French in this disgraceful story. It was bound to attract a thick swarm of the profiteers, commission-hunters, intermediaries of all kinds and fixers that roam around in the region. Including, obviously, a few shoddy insurgent groups and some self-appointed spiritual leaders. It looks like some of them were able to secure a slice of the French largesse.

    A phony sounding Secret Islamic Army-Black Flag Brigade suddenly feels the urge to go public asking the ulemas to publish a generic fatwa about the question of hostage-taking. And a radical Sunnite cleric has immediately complied and asked for the hostages to be liberated… Trying to run faster than al Qaeda and in the process sparing the French government having to thank Osama for the lives of its citizens. I'm affraid that puritan megalomaniac zealots don’t like to have their arm twisted by apostate truants.

    There is a big risk that al-Qaeda will try to optimize, one way or the other, what is already a political victory for them. Now they must humiliate the Little Satan beyond repair, say demanding that the France gives a public apology for its treament of Muslims in the past or something of the kind, and then, for the record, launching a pitiless attack on all "false and trecherous" Muslim leaders who deared to tell al Qaeda what it had to do.

    So… just wait for the most wanted man in the world to speak up to little Satan.

    Saturday, September 04, 2004


    Al-Battar, the al Qaeda Manual on Kidnapping

    Issue no. 10 of Al-Battar, al-Qaeda’s training manual has a special coverage of kidnapping. Notice that the terrorists in the Osetian school followed more or less  the manual...

    A. Reasons for detaining one or more individuals by an enemy:

    i) Force the government or the enemy to succumb to some demands.
    ii) Put the government in a difficult situation that will create a political embarrassment between the government and the countries of the detainees.
    iii) Obtaining important information from the detainees.
    iv) Obtaining ransoms. Such was the case with the brothers in the Philippines, Chechnya, and Algiers. Our brothers from Muhammad’s Army in Kashmir received a two million dollar ransom that provided good financial support to the organization.
    v) Bringing a specific case to light. This happened at the beginning of the cases in Chechnya and Algeria, with the hijacking of the French plane, and the kidnapping operations performed by the brothers in Chechnya and the Philippines.

    B. Requirements needed in forming a kidnapping group:

    i) Capability to endure psychological pressure and difficult circumstances. In case of public kidnapping, the team will be under a lot of pressure.
    ii) Intelligence and quick reflexes in order to deal with an emergency.
    iii) Capability to take control over the adversary. The brother is required to possess fighting skills that will enable him to paralyze the adversary and seize control of him.
    iv) Good physical fitness and fighting skills.
    v) Awareness of the security requirements, prior to, during, and after the operation.
    vi) Ability to use all types of light weapons for kidnapping.

    C. Types of kidnapping:

    • Secret Kidnapping: The target is kidnapped and taken to a safe location that is unknown to the authorities. Secret kidnapping is the least dangerous. Such was the case of the Jewish reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped from a public place, then transferred to another location. It is also the case of our brothers in Chechnya who kidnap the Jews in Moscow, and the kidnapping operations in Yemen.

    • Public kidnapping: This is when hostages are publicly detained in a known location. The government surrounds the location and conducts negotiations. The authorities often attempt to create diversions and attack the kidnappers. That was the case of the theater in Moscow, and the Russian officers’ detention by Shamil Basayev and the Mujahideen brothers. A counter terrorism officer once said: "There never was a successful kidnapping operation in the world". This saying was intended to discourage the so-called terrorists. History is full of facts proving the opposite. Many operations by the Mafia, or the Mujahideen were successful. There are examples of many successful operations, such as those of Muhammad’s Army, and Shamil in Moscow. Although not all the goals were met, some of them were. The leader Shamil Basayev’s operation was 100% successful, because it brought the case back to the attention of the international scene, therefore the Mujahideen got their reward, thanks to God.

    Stages of Public Kidnapping:

    • Determining the target: A target must be suitably chosen, to force the government to achieve your goals. Therefore, it is mandatory to make sure the kidnapped individuals are important and influential.
    • Gathering enough information on the location (kidnapping stage), and the people inside it. For example:

    If the people are inside a building: A thorough study of the fences around the building as well as the security and protection teams and systems. A plan of the building with information on its partitions should be reviewed. The kidnappers could use cars that enter the building without inspection to smuggle their equipment. They should also spot individuals who are exempt from inspection when entering the building. When the cars are parked outside the building, the driver could be kidnapped while parking, or the important people when entering with their cars. High places overlooking the building could be set for snipers, and to prevent the enemy from taking advantage of those strategic spots.
    If the people are on a bus: It is essential to know the nationalities of the people on the bus, as nationalities determine the effect of the operation. All information concerning the bus routing, stops for fuel or rest, protection procedures, the program set for the tourists, and other information should be obtained in order to determine the weak spots, and allow easy control of the group.
    If the target is on a plane: It is important to determine the destination of the plane. A connecting flight is a better option. Transit areas are more vulnerable where little inspection is provided. Our brothers in Nepal took advantage of such situation, put the weapons on the Indian plane, and hijacked it. Hijackers must be creative in bringing weapons or explosives on a plane. They must also be familiar with the inspection process at airports.
    If the target is in a convoy: The same rules for assassination in a convoy apply for kidnapping.

    • Besides specifying the targets, and gathering information on them, leaders must put together a suitable plan made at the level of the weakest team member. It has been said: "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link".
    • Execution of the abduction: The abductors’ roles vary, based on the location of the kidnapping operation. They are grouped in three categories:
    A) Protection group whose role is to protect the abductors.
    B) The guarding and control group whose role is to seize control of the hostages, and get rid of them in case the operation fails.
    C) The negotiating group whose role is extremely important and sensitive. In general, the leader of this group is the negotiator. He conveys the Mujahideen’s demands, and must be intelligent, decisive, and determined.
    • Negotiations: The enemy uses the best negotiator he has, who is normally very sly, and knowledgeable in human psychology. He is capable of planting fear in the abductors’ hearts, in addition to discouraging them. Kidnappers must remain calm at all times, as the enemy negotiator will resort to stalling, in order to give the security forces time to come up with a plan to storm the hostages location. The duration of the detention should be minimized to reduce the tension on the abducting team. The longer the detention is, the weaker the willpower of the team is, and the more difficult the control over the hostages is. One of the mistakes that the Red Army made in the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru - where they detained a large number of diplomats - was to allow the hostage situation to continue for over a month. In the meantime, the storm team excavated tunnels under the Embassy, and was able to liberate the hostages and end the kidnapping. In case of any stalling, starting to execute hostages is necessary. The authorities must realize the seriousness of the kidnappers, and their dedicated resolve and credibility in future operations.
    • Hostage exchange process: This is a very delicate stage. If the enemy submits to the demands, and the purpose of the operation is to release our imprisoned brothers, it is essential to make sure that the brothers are in good and healthy condition. If the purpose of the kidnapping is to obtain money, you have to ensure that all the money is there, that it is not fake, nor traceable. You must be sure there are no listening or homing devices planting with the money. The brothers must be constantly on alert for possible ambushes. In Bosnia, the UN set up an ambush for the Brothers during the exchange; however, the brothers were prepared for it, and prepared a counter-ambush. When the enemy realized that the brother’s readiness and high sense of alert, they let the hostages go without interception. Our Jihadi operations have proven that security forces are not capable of completely seizing control inside the cities. Therefore, the brothers should find ways to transport their liberated brothers even under tight security measures.
    • Hostage Release: The Brothers should be careful to not release any hostage until they have received their own people. It is essential for the brothers to abide by our religion and keep their word, as it is not allowed for them to kill any hostage after our demands and conditions have been met.
    • Withdrawal Process: For the withdrawal, some hostages - preferably the most important - must be detained until the brothers have safely withdrawn.
    Security measures for public kidnapping:

    • Detention must not be prolonged.
    In case of stalling, hostages must be gradually executed, so that the enemy knows we are serious.
    • When releasing hostages such as women and children, be careful, as they may transfer information that might be helpful to the enemy.
    • You must verify that the food transported to the hostages and kidnappers is safe. This is done by making the delivery person and the hostages taste the food before you. It is preferable that an elderly person or a child brings in the food, as food delivery could be done by a covert special forces’ person.
    • Beware of the negotiator.
    • Stalling by the enemy indicates their intention to storm the location.
    • Beware of sudden attacks as they may be trying to create a diversion which could allow them to seize control of the situation.
    • Combating teams will use two attacks: a secondary one just to attract attention, and a main attack elsewhere.
    • In case your demands have been met, releasing the hostages should be made only in a place that is safe to the hostage takers.
    • Watch out for the ventilation or other openings as they could be used to plant surveillance devices through which the number of kidnappers could be counted and gases could be used.
    • Do not be emotionally affected by the distress of your captives.
    • Abide by Muslim laws as your actions may become a Da’wa [call to join Islam].
    • Avoid looking at women.

    Stages of secret kidnapping:
    They are very similar to the stages for public kidnapping.

    • Specifying the target.
    • Collecting enough information on the target
    • Setting the plan and providing appropriate training.
    • The execution team must be formed of 5 groups: The alarming group that reports the movements of the target; the protection group that protects the kidnappers from any external intervention; the kidnapping group which kidnaps the target and delivers him to a sheltering group; the sheltering group whose role is to keep an eye on the hostage until it is time for exchange or get rid of them; the pursuit deterring group which will ensure the shelter group is not followed or watched.
    • Transporting the target to a safe place
    • Getting rid of the target after the demands have been met by transporting him to a safe place out of which he can be freely released. The hostage should not be able to identify the place of his detention.

    Security measures for secret kidnapping:

    • The location where the hostage is transferred to must be safe.
    • Beware of the Police patrol.
    • While the hostage is being transported, you must beware of Police patrols by identifying their points of presence, to avoid sudden inspection.
    • Look for listening or homing devices that VIPs often carry on their watches or with their money. VIPs could have an earpiece microphone that keeps him in touch with his protection detail.
    • Everything you take from the enemy must be wrapped in a metal cover and should only be unwrapped in a remote place far from the sheltering group.
    • Never make contact from the location where the hostage is detained and never mention him during phone calls.
    • Use an appropriate cover to transport the hostage to and from the location. At some point in time the "Allat" party were drugging the hostage and transporting him in an ambulance.
    • It is imperative to not allow the hostage to know where he is.
    • In this case, it is preferable to give him an anesthetizing shot or knock him unconscious.

    How to deal with hostages in both kidnapping types:

    • You must check the hostages and take possession of any weapon or listening device.
    • Separate the young people from the old, the women and the children. The young people have more strength, hence their ability to resist is high. The security forces must be killed instantly. This prevents others from showing resistance.
    • Dealing with the hostages within the lawful control.
    • Do not approach the hostages. In case you must, you need to have protection, and keep a minimum distance of one and a half meters from them.
    • Speak in a language or dialect other than your own, in order to prevent revealing your identity.
    • Cover the hostage’s eyes so that he cannot identify you or any other brothers.
    • Wire the perimeter of the hostage location to deny access to the enemy. 

    [At the end of the issue, a section is devoted to to instructions on how to join the Jihad.]
    CORRESPONDENCE: 1. To all the brothers who inquired on how to join the camp, following are brief instructions:

    • Use the Al Battar training instructions and keep exercising.
    • Try to obtain a firearm (i.e. Kalashnikov), and practice shooting and handling the weapon in the wilderness.
    • In the name of God, try forming a cell or a group, through which you can work on fighting the blasphemers, until you get the chance to join the Mujahideen brothers in Al-Haramain country [Saudi Arabia].
    2. To all the brothers who inquired on explosives and how to get them, we say: Manufacturing explosives is not as hard as the enemies of God are projecting it to be. They are doing so, in order to keep the young generation from using this effective and scary device against them. When the time is right, we shall provide training on how to make/assemble explosive materials, in the Al Battar magazine, under the "sword of victory" section. Should you be in a hurry to obtain this information, you may use the Jihad Encyclopedia as a reference.

    Thursday, September 02, 2004


    Can a machine tell the outcome?

    Have a good look at this article in Bloomberg

    According to some esoteric business mathematical models the winner of Big T election can be predicted... And the winner is...
    Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush will win four more years in the White House under formulas devised by professors to predict the outcome of U.S. presidential elections. It may not be that simple an equation.

    Eight forecasting models are unanimous in predicting Bush will defeat Democrat John Kerry with as much as 57.5 percent of the vote. The models are based on measures including economic-growth projections and opinion polls. Economist Ray Fair of Yale University says his model correctly accounts for the popular vote in 19 of the past 22 elections.

    Even so, forecasters such as political scientist James Campbell say the hunt for terrorist Osama bin Laden and discontent with the war in Iraq are among wild cards that may muddle the modeling. Many forecasts are at odds with polls showing Kerry, 60, running even with Bush, 58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index, down about 1.4 percent this year, isn't providing Bush with an election-year boost either.


    Well, i don't believe in this sort of thing. After all, they can't even predict how the stock market is going to behave, so why in heavens could they do better in predicting election outcomes?


    Helping George W. Bush to Carry the Day

    And Some Video courtesy of Dan Darling

    I think Bush bashers are clearly in the overkill zone. They are becoming his best vote earners...

    The demonstrations against the Republican Convention in NYC might help George W. Bush to be re-elected. I don’t know –and I really would like to know- if the Bush campaign managers chose NYC to have their convention looking exactly for this or if it was just a fortunate coincidence, sheer luck. Machivelian craftiness or not, NYC was about the best place in the whole US where you could get that enormous number of tattooed, bodypierced, red flag waving weirdoes shouting obscenities at your candidate. And shout they did. according to all the accounts…

    Even from Paris –or perhaps because of my being here- some vague instinct was telling me that Bush bashing was getting close to the top of the hill, fatally nearing the ill-omened overkill. Well, I think the demonstrators in NYC may be on the verge of influencing millions of normal Americans into thinking that keeping Bush in the White House might be a good idea after all, to judge on what kind of people are demonstrating against him and how. All and every single interest group in the country, every thinkable and unthinkable marginal bunch of eccentrics, off-beat tribe, outlandish troupe was out there, calling Bush every conceivable insulting thing. Sure, the Peoria Chapter of Drag queens, the anarchist collective of Evanston Illinois, and hundreds of likeminded groups from across the country converged to NYC; but then, the Big Apple has the absolutely best collection in the world of that sort of people. Free-choice chapters, AIDS activists, civil rights groups, chicano unions, the Zapatista support group from Gary, Indiana, all with their own signs and yelling a cacophony of do this, forbid that, Bush ****, Bush @@@@, all dancing at the rhythm of dissident Hare-Krishnas (Hare, Hare) drums. Alice’s mad rabbit riding athwart on a seven wheel bike with a monstrous poster of Bush travestied into Adolf Hitler and some fully tatooed guys selling "George Bush is the Antichrist T-shirts. 

    I had a daydream featuring the most radical crazies of that improbable crowd, all masked and tossing stones at the cops while Bush’s campaign people were at Sardy's tossing down the most expensive grand crus from Nappa to celebrate the best judoka PR electoral grand slam in decades. And free, mind you, absolutely free, paid for by the democratic voting New Yorkers (the cops’ salaries) and by the demonstrators.

    In the middle of the carnival thousands upon thousands of normal people, normal Americans who do want Kerry to win the election, disappeared, obliterated by the weirdoes. And then, of course, if you are the average reporter trying to make a living with a camera, you always prefer to shoot the weirdo rather than Mr. Suburban Father of Three With A Mortgage to Pay.

    The picture of Michael Moore and Rev. Jackson here doesn’t lie. They both know what is going very wrong with that demonstration and understand very well that every picture, every footage of that is giving votes away to their arch-enemy.

    The whole thing is very unfortunate. American democracy is much more that that. In fact, it is something else. And if a candidate wins an election because of the people who demonstrate against him it is wrong! I want some debate on issues, not a competition to see who can better put to use the bag of dirty communicational tricks (with M. Moore-Goebbels as the judge?)


    New York hasn't seen the same unchecked violence on the part of either police or protesters as in the Illinois and Florida conventions, but when it comes to sheer numbers, it's now surpassed them both.

    New York police have arrested more than 1,700 people, more than at any other U.S. political convention. And the GOP convention still has a day left, and President Bush's appearance is almost certain to drive protesters to the streets again.

    "In the history of political conventions, there have never been so many people demonstrating opposition to their government," former Chicago Seven member Tom Hayden told demonstrators Wednesday.

    Police report 1,765 convention-related arrests since last Thursday. At the Republican convention in Miami Beach in 1972, there were 1,129 arrests. Chicago's notorious 1968 street riots resulted in about 588 arrests.

    Part of it, protesters say, is that more people have showed up to protest in New York than did in Chicago or Miami.

    Organized on the Internet and driven by opposition to the war in Iraq, as well as by economic and social issues, protesters have arrived here in droves. Heavily Democratic New York also has contributed to the protesters' ranks and provided a friendly base of operations.

    "To bring a Republican here, you're going to have a lot of problems," said Marie Pride, a New York City middle school teacher who was demonstrating Wednesday.

    Go, Marie, go! George W. thanks you so much!

    Winds of Change

    An example: this analysis of the March 11th attacks in Madrid, written 5 days later! Imposing.

    Inspiring, passionate and decent

    Iraq, the Model
    A very goodview of what is going on in Iraq by Mohammad and Omar, two brothers... Check it out if you're fed up with the EuroPress

    The Patriot Debates
    Many provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire at the end of 2005. This forum is devoted to civil and informed debate about these provisions and whether they should be renewed.

    A serious visit to jihadist ideology

    Michelle Malkin
    Her column appears in nearly 200 US papers nationwide. Pretty conservative AND very articulate. I like her.

    From Barcelona. I like it! And, by the way, it's getting better every day.

    Across the Bay
    Very good blog by Tony, an expert in in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with focus on Semitic Linguistics, Ancient Levantine history, religion....

    Allah Pundit
    It's quite consevative, but really funny!

    Bjørn Stærk's blog
    In the NetWar since 2001, this norwegian wonderkid is just worth reading.

    Norman Geras's blog
    I mean, READ HIM. He's bright, insightful and knows a lot about Marxism and la condition humaine... Yeeees! (thanks Stygius).

    Dan Darling
    Excellent Open Source analysis of al Qaeda!

    Bilingual (FR&EN) and passionate!

    The Politburo Diktat
    Forthrightly, frankly, fully funny, comrades. Neo-Komintern Urgh.

    Insults for use by the ideologically informed
    Nice page of Real Socialist Nostalgia. Check it out, comrade!

    Letters From New York City
    Michele tells it from the place where the world changed three years ago.

    Alphabet City by Robert Stevens
    Very well informed "from the perimeter of Manhattan ;-)" Impresive collection of links.

    Colt's Eurabia
    If you want to know and follow politically incorrect debate, red it!
    His motto is:"...the only secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism." George Orwell

    Monitoring Media Coverage of the War On Terror

    Political Correctness Watch
    John Ray, a former university teacher gone blogger monitors political correctness around the globe. When you needthat cheering information that somewhere else it's even worse than in your home town...


    Free Lance Corner
    Emilio Alonso, madrileño sin pelos en la pluma, liberal y extremadamente sensato.

    Guerra Eterna en Oriente Medio
    Reportero español polí­ticamente correcto, buena gente y suavemente partisano

    Español residente en Parí­s, liberal, vasco, polí­ticamente incorrecto, reflexiona sobre la situación en Euskadi (Paí­s Vasco)

    Carmelo Jordá
    Otro español, buen analista y políticamente incorrecto. Pertenece a la nueva ola de jovenes liberales (en el sentido europeo) que empiezan a poner en cuestión todo en Europa

    Una Temporada en el Infierno
    Interesante blog de Juan Pedro Quiñonero, escritor y periodista español que merece dos lecturas.

    Location: Paris, France

    I have been a journalist since I was 22. For a (long) while I worked as a reporter for the Swedish, Spanish (I was born in Spain) and American media, covering international affairs... After 1991 I recycled myself to the business press.

     A Must Read!
    Note that on the above page you have BOTH a link to buy the book (US$ 20) AND
    the links to all the 6 chapters in PDF for FREE.

    Contents (PDF)
    Chapter One: Introduction
    Chapter Two: Conceptual Outlines
    Chapter Three: A World in Flux - Ripe for Netwar Chapter Four: Varieties of Netwar
    Chapter Five: Challenges for U.S Policy and Organization
    Chapter Six: Implications for U.S. Doctrine and Strategy

    And, by the way...
    I love NYC French Hostages "Social Capital" "King Juan carlos" Barcelona Stockholm Iraq Bagdad Basora Volunteer shia Muqtada al-Sadr Islam Chirac Iraq Ossama Osama Bin laden Markawi Colin Powell London President Bush Paris Tony Blair Blog Allawi Geopolitics Iraqi police "Foreign Affairs" John Kerry campaign Policy Poll Bush Kerry Kofi China Madrid Japan warfare Sun-Tzu Unrestricted asymmetric strategy Survey Bush Kerry perception management Hispanic voters Sarkozy Chalabi oil for food Lebanon Donald Rumsfeld Beirut Pentagon marines Robert Kagan weapons neocon ideology neoconservative Alamut White House preventive Congress Washington Chicago New York Los Angeles Miami San Francisco Seattle California Illinois Massachussets Portland Aznar Zapatero Moratinos Saddam Syria