Sunday, September 25, 2011


SOMALIA'S Al-Qaeda linked rebels said today they have begun moving more than 12,000 starving families back into famine zones they had fled, areas where the UN have warned they will die without help.

Draconian aid restrictions imposed by the extremist Shebab are blamed for turning harsh drought across the Horn of Africa into famine in the areas they control, with 750,000 people at risk of death in coming months, the United Nations warns.

"The mujahedeen fighters, in their bid to help people displaced by drought, started working on plans to send them back home where they will be assisted, God willing," said Sheik Mahad Abu-Safiya, a senior Shebab official.

The families, estimated to number at least 50,000 people, were "taken back to their homes with packages to feed them for three months", he added.

Witnesses said the packages included rice, maize and cooking oil.

However, the Shebab have refused most international assistance, and blocked people fleeing drought and famine in Bay and Bakool regions from travelling in search of aid to Mogadishu, where relief efforts are centered.

Crowded trucks began moving people late on Wednesday from camps in and around the Shebab-held town of Baidoa back to their original villages, up to 50 kilometres southwest of the town, officials and witnesses said.

"The process has started and we have moved the first of the 12,000 displaced families to their original locations", Mohamed Walid, another Shebab official, told reporters.

"Most of the displaced people were moved from a big camp at Baidoa airport, they were taken on long trucks," said witness Osmail Mohamed.

Shebab fighters last month pulled out of positions in the war-torn capital Mogadishu where they were battling the weak Western-backed government but still control swathes of south and central Somalia.

The United Nations has declared six regions in south Somalia famine zones, the majority in Shebab-controlled areas.

Drought, high food prices and fighting in Somalia has increased the number of those in need of humanitarian assistance across the Horn of Africa to 13.3 million, according to the United Nations.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Michelle Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood

By Eileen F. Toplansky

With the news that "[i]nfiltration of the federal government by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood is worse than some have warned," it should come as no surprise that while Obama has been courting Muslim Brotherhood operatives, his wife has also gotten into the act.

According to the toolkit site,

"[t]he Let's Move! initiative, started by First Lady Michelle Obama, has an ambitious national goal of addressing the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today reach a healthy adulthood. Let's Move! engages every sector impacting the health of children and provides schools, families, and communities with simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy."


"[f]aith-based and neighborhood organizations have a unique and critical role to play in ending childhood obesity and addressing related issues of hunger. Your organizations are trusted leaders in your community, which makes you well-positioned to take action. Children learn many lessons about healthy living and well-being in faith- and community-based settings that set the foundation for their lifestyles as adults.

Let's Move Faith and Communities is designed to help faith-based and neighborhood organizations transform neighborhoods, engage communities, and promote healthy choices."

Consequently, towards the end of July 2011, IRUSA or Islamic Relief USA, "a faith-based disaster relief and development organization, celebrated the inauguration of its Summer Food Service Program ... at the An Nur School in Lanham, Maryland." The White House announced that IRUSA "ha[d] a collaborative partnership with the USDA's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and that IRUSA ha[d] pledged to host 50 sites as part of a Michelle Obama initiative."

So while an FBI "agent confirmed that at least three operatives of the Egypt-based Brotherhood -- whose credo is 'Jihad is our way and death in the cause of Allah is our dream' -- have penetrated the Obama administration," the First Lady is now dealing with an organization that boasts of such people as Yaser Haddara who is a member of the IRUSA board since 2006 and its chairman until May 2011.

According to the IRUSA's own site, "Dr. Haddara was one of the developers and lead trainers for the Student Leadership Training Program that was jointly sponsored by the Muslim American Society and the Muslim Association of Canada.

Dr. Haddara has been actively involved in several community organizations including the Islamic Society at Stanford University, the Muslim Community Association of the Bay Area, the Islamic Society of North America (Western Region), the Muslim American Society, and the Muslim Association of Canada."

One of the main front organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Society of North America's "leadership does not accept Islamic practices that fall outside the version of Islam propagated by Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood."

Furthermore, in addition to terrorism, ... the Muslim Brotherhood [spreads] political Islam, which weds religion, politics, SOCIETAL RULES, SHARIA LAW AND  MILITARY ASPECTS) into a potent force that clashes with pluralistic democracies."

According to the 2007 report entitled Extremism and the Islamic Society of North America, "ISNA is clearly connected to Islamic radicals and terrorist organizations, but it is not simply guilty by association -- its own ideology is marked by extreme social, political, and religious views."

Hence, "ISNA's ideology is its leaders' views of Islam within the context of religion and politics, where they believe in Islamic supremacy" as exemplified in the following statement: "[i]n considering the earth as an arena for Islam, Allah has promised its inheritance to His righteous people, and He has promised that Islam Will prevail over other religions."

So how does one reconcile this with IRUSA's CEO Abed Ayoub who claims that "IRUSA's mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy, and disease regardless of color, race, gender, or creed"?

Also troubling is the point that "[a]ccording to the most influential Islamic authorities, zakat (alms in Arabic) can be given only to Muslims."

So how does this figure in Michelle Obama's outreach program?

Moreover, in January of 2011, Daniel Pipes described how "Islamic 'charities' squander money." He explained how the Islamic Society of North America's Canada branch had engaged in "gross mismanagement" whereby less than one-quarter of monies collected went to the Muslim recipients.

Pipes further explained that "ISNA's management refused to give the auditor all the necessary documents" and thus it was not possible to follow "the trail of funds transferred from ISNA to other organizations[.]" Pipes ends his article by stating that "Islamic 'charities' already have a notorious reputation because of their ties to terrorism; this case shows that they must be watched for more venal problems as well."

Further nefarious associations go to the Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). IRW has had directors who are linked to the U.K. and European Muslim Brotherhood.

One director was a former minister of religious affairs in the Sudan and also held numerous positions associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. In 2006 the Israeli government announced "the arrest of an IRW worker for activities related to supporting Hamas." Moreover, "Islamic Relief was one of the founding members of the Union of Good."

According to Steven Merley of the Hudson Institute, "[t]he Union of Good is a coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas 'social' infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. It is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. The Union of Good was banned by Israel in 2002 and was recently designated a terrorist entity by the United States[.]"

As far back as 2004, Daniel Pipes described the Muslim American Society (MAS) and explained "how it seeks to replace the Constitution with the Koran." Though the MAS "goes about its work quietly; it is none the less dangerous -- and perhaps more so -- for that."

In August 2010, the Muslim Brotherhood-associated "Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations" (CCMO) brought Muslim leaders to attend a special workshop presented by the White House and U.S. government agencies (including Homeland Security) to "provide the groups 'funding, government assistance and resources."

According to a post by Christine Brim at Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace, "the workshop [would] apparently provide special access for these Muslim Brotherhood organizations: the organizers pledge[d] to provide 'direct access' and 'cut through red tape.'

And after the workshop an Iftar dinner (breaking the fast of Ramadan) commenced. The event was announced by the ISNA, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial."

Notwithstanding the concern about the Muslim Brotherhood connections, Meghan Clyne, editor of National Affairs at the Weekly Standard, asserts that while "[m]uch of what the [Michelle Obama] toolkit recommends is innocuous -- encouraging churches to host kids' intramural sports leagues, for instance. ... several sections illustrate the Obamas' strange understanding of the role of religious communities in America and suggest how, under this president, faith-based offices at the White House and in the agencies have changed their mission and purview."

For Clyne "[m]ost worrisome, ... are the administration's efforts to have congregations place themselves in the service of government as recruiters for the welfare state" ... and "[t]his approach is a marked departure from the original purpose of the White House faith-based initiative. Launched at the outset of President George W. Bush's first term, the initiative was largely intended to allow religious entities to compete on an equal footing with secular ones for grants to deliver social services.

When it came to treating addicts, rehabilitating prisoners, mentoring children, sheltering the homeless, and, yes, feeding the hungry, the Bush administration argued that faith-based organizations often had better records of efficiency and compassion than government programs. But rather than reducing the public's dependence on government-run programs by empowering faith-based organizations, [the Obama] White House seems to view churches, synagogues, and so on as tools to increase reliance on programs designed in Washington."

"They're turning this on its head," said Rev. Richard Land, who handles public policy for the Southern Baptist Convention. The wisdom of the original faith-based initiative -- about which he was initially skeptical, Land explains -- was "to have people who live in a zip code making the decisions about what are the best ways to alleviate the problem in that zip code," rather than being pushed to follow some federal initiative. Under the Obama administration, Land said, "the White House says what your priorities should be."

It appears that political strategists in the White House are mindful of the demographics which "serve the President's electoral interests" in this faith-based program. Moreover, is it ever a good "idea for churches to provide platforms for politicians -- or First Ladies" no matter which political party? And, most troubling, "increased dependence on government [ultimately] services the interests of the party that represents big government," leading us farther down the road to less independence and decision-making.

So here's the mix: greater government interference coupled with possible Muslim Brotherhood influence even though the Muslim Brotherhood "is one of the most dangerous Islamic groups in the world today." Is this a recipe for disaster?

Eileen can be reached at .

Monday, September 5, 2011



The expected effects of an Iranian nuclear attack.

This is the dead land This is cactus land.... T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

For a variety of reasons, neither Israel nor the US has exercised its lawful right of anticipatory self-defense against Iran. As a result, Iran’s entry into the Nuclear Club is effectively a fait accompli. In Israel, remaining self-defense options will necessarily be limited to inherently fallible programs and expanded active defense. Unlike a no-longer-viable preemptive option, these programs would come into play only after an Iranian nuclear force has been deployed, or after an Iranian nuclear attack.

There is also a vital antecedent question. Should Washington and Jerusalem expect a newly-nuclear Tehran to be fully rational?

What could happen to Israel if certain Iranian leaders with nuclear weapons value certain presumed religious obligations more highly than their own state’s survival? (Like Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi and his Hojatieh) Ironically, and notwithstanding growing hopes for democracy, a regime change in Tehran could yield a heightened likelihood of irrationality.

There can be no assurances that any post-Ahmadinejad regime would be “better.”

IRRATIONALITY is not the same as madness. Even an irrational Iranian leadership could retain a distinct hierarchy of preferences. This would likely be less dangerous than facing a genuinely mad adversary, or one that is entirely unpredictable.

In any event, as it is not up to Israel to decide which type of adversary it would prefer, Jerusalem needs to plan carefully for all three contingencies.

Whether rational, irrational or mad, any Iranian leadership that slouches toward major conflict with the “Zionist entity” could, perhaps in less than three years, unleash regional nuclear war.

This could be deliberate or inadvertent, as a “bolt from the blue,” or as a fully unintended result of an inexorable religious commitment to Jihad against “unbelievers,” let alone for much more mundane reasons such as miscalculation, accident or coup d’état.

 (Like the very serious, potentially mass destruction/biological weaponry obtained by Al Qaeda in Libya).

Thirty-one years ago, I published the first of 10 books that contained authoritative descriptions of the consequences of nuclear war – any nuclear war. These descriptions were drawn largely from a still-valid 1975 report by the National Academy of Sciences, and included the following outcomes:

large temperature changes;
contamination of food and water;

disease epidemics in crops, domesticated animals and humans due to ionizing radiation;

shortening of growing seasons;
irreversible injury to aquatic species;
widespread and long-term cancers due to inhalation of plutonium particles;
radiation-induced abnormalities in persons in utero at the time of detonations;
a vast growth in the number of skin cancers, and increasing genetic disease.

Overwhelming health problems would afflict the survivors.

These difficulties would extend beyond prompt burn injuries. Retinal burns would even occur in people far from the actual explosions.

Tens of thousands would be crushed by collapsing buildings, or torn to shreds by flying glass.

Others would fall victim to raging firestorms.

Fallout injuries would include whole-body radiation; superficial radiation burns produced by soft radiation; and injuries produced by deposits of radioactive substances in the body.

After an Iranian nuclear attack – even a “small” one – those few medical facilities that might still exist in Israel would be taxed beyond capacity.

Water supplies would become unusable. Housing and shelter could be unavailable for millions. Transportation would revert to rudimentary levels. Food shortages would be critical and long-term.

Virtually everyone would be deprived of the most basic means of livelihood. Emergency police and fire services would be decimated. All systems dependent on electrical power could stop. Severe trauma would occasion widespread disorientation and psychiatric disorders.

Normal human society would cease. Unrestrained murder and banditry could soon augment plague and epidemics. Many survivors would suffer serious degenerative diseases. They would also expect impaired vision and sterility. An increased incidence of leukemia and cancers of the lung, stomach, breast, ovary and cervix would be unavoidable.

Israelis who survive would still have to deal with mushrooming insect hordes spreading from the radiation-damaged areas.

Tens or even hundreds of thousands of rotting corpses would pose the largest health threat.

Insects are generally more resistant to radiation than humans. This fact, coupled with uncontrolled waste and untreated sewage, would generate tens of trillions of flies and mosquitoes.

These insects would make it impossible to control typhus, malaria, dengue fever and encephalitis.

Reciprocally, all these effects would be unleashed upon Iran. An immediate massive Israeli retaliation would be certain. In Iran, the eagerly expected joys of “martyrdom” would fade in a flash.

IN ITS newest report, released in June 2011, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations.” Now, when effective preemption or “anticipatory selfdefense” by Israel or the US is likely no longer practicable, and when any sustained nuclear deterrence would be unstable and unpredictable, Jerusalem may need to place most of its survival bets on ballistic missile defense (the Arrow and the shorterrange Iron Dome).

These gambles cannot be permitted to fail – an imperative that may require IDF planners to begin disclosing specific features of Israel’s nuclear posture, including limited information about secure nuclear bases, counter-city targeting, and cumulative penetration capability.

If, for any reason, these efforts to reduce “deliberate ambiguity” do not succeed, there would be no lilacs to breed out of the now “dead land.”

Rather, before anything fully human could be born, a pitifully sorrowful gravedigger would have to wield the forceps.