September 12/07

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 6,12-19. In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

Opinions. /September 11/A Day that must not be forgotten
9/11 Amnesia. By: Alan W. Dowd. September 11/07
A bitter anniversary. By Klaus Rohrich. September 11/07
A New Weapon in the Arsenal. By Jonathan Schanzer. September 11/07
Backfire: Al-Qaeda's Failed Message and Breached Security. By: Steve Schippert.
September 11/07
Two Messages for America. By: Frank J Gaffney Jr.September 11/07
A Hizbullah 'Maginot Line' on the Litani? By Andrew Exum. September 11/07
See the Middle Eastern forest to save the Iraqi tree.
By The Daily Star.September 11/07 

Latest News Reports From Miscellaneous Sources for September 11/07
Saudi-Syrian Ties Deteriorate, Mouallem's Visit To Jeddah 'Cancelled'-Naharnet
Aoun to March 14: One Yell and You Will Fall!-Naharnet
Jumblat Says Iran's Holocaust TV Series Contradicts Ahmadinejad Holocaust Denier-Naharnet
Mine Blast Wounds Three Soldiers in Nahr al-Bared-Naharnet
Abssi's Widow Insists He is Dead-Naharnet
Fadlallah: U.S. Response to Sept. 11 Attacks Enhanced Instability-Naharnet
Hezbollah bastion rebuilds after war with Israel.AFP
Al Qaeda Still Plots Another U.S. Attack. Washington Times
Lebanon warned of 'chaos' in presidential poll runup.AFP
Militant may be alive, says Lebanon.Los Angeles Times
Achievement for Fuad Siniora's government : victory over Fatah al ...Journal Chrétien - Paris,France
Look who's accusing Israel of piracy.Jerusalem Post
Among Arab nations, an atmosphere on edge.Los Angeles Times
Key points from US envoy Crocker's Iraq testimony.Middle East Times
UNHCR official calls for emergency aid to Syria, Jordan from EU.People's Daily Online
Reports From Lebanon: Syria Calls Up Reserves (9/11/07).Evening Bulletin
Lebanon's top Shiite Muslim cleric says US response to Sept. 11 ...International Herald Tribune
Arab regimes, media ignore Syrian claims of IAF flyover.Jerusalem Post
Israel and Syria: Smoke on the horizon.Ha'aretz

Lebanon militant 'escaped siege'.BBC News
Flurry of activity expected in bid to break up Beirut logjam
-Daily Star
PM seeks $55 million for Nahr al-Bared displaced
-Daily Star
UNIFIL mediates Lebanese-Israeli military talks
-Daily Star
Dutch invite UN officials to negotiate details of hosting Hariri tribunal
-Daily Star
25 years after Sabra and Chatila, 'we will not forget'
-Daily Star
Mirza confirms 'Abssi's body' is someone else
-Daily Star
Hamadeh holds meeting to tackle broadcast gaffes
-Daily Star
Israeli drone violates Lebanese airspace
-Daily Star
Fourth UAE group arrives to help de-mine South
-Daily Star
Fadlallah: September 11 impacted world peace
-Daily Star
US spy chief warns of Hizbullah attack in America.(AFP)
Syrian authorities arrest two fishermen 'in Lebanese waters
-Daily Star
Lebanese help launch Mediterranean Youth Parliament
-Daily Star
EDL cuts hook-up fees to encourage subscriptions
-Daily Star
A home away from home? Not even close
-Daily Star
More than a year after end of conflict, Israelis are still 'making war' on farmers.(AFP)

Saudi-Syrian Ties Deteriorate, Mouallem's Visit To Jeddah "Cancelled"
Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday that a scheduled visit by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem to the kingdom for apparent rapprochement talks has been cancelled. A Saudi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said "the scheduled visit has been cancelled." He did not disclose further details.The visit would have been the first by a Syrian official to Saudi Arabia since outbreak of a public row between the two countries in mid-August.Muallem was expected to hold talks Tuesday with King Abdullah in the Red Sea city of Jeddah to deliver a message from Syrian President Bashar Assad. Observers believe that using the word cancelled reflects extent of the deterioration in Saudi-Syrian relations.  An Arab diplomat familiar with Saudi thinking told Naharnet: "The Saudi official could have said the visit has been postponed, or even indefinitely postponed."But by Saying it has been cancelled the Saudi official "slammed the door in the face of Syrian rapprochement efforts. It is a way of expressing the kingdom's dismay," the diplomat said. Tension between Riyadh and Damascus erupted into a public row in mid-August, when Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa claimed that the oil-rich kingdom's regional role has been paralyzed.
Riyadh responded by accusing Damascus of trying to stoke disorder in the region. Relations between the two had already chilled after the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 which was widely blamed on Syria. Damascus denied any links to the killing. Ties deteriorated further because of disagreements over last year's war between Israel and Lebanon's Hizbullah which is backed by Syria and Iran. They were further strained after the Hizbullah-led opposition launched a campaign to oust the government of Western-backed Sunni Prime Minister Fouad Saniora, who is close to Saudi Arabia.
Syria moved to calm the row, with an official saying Sharaa's statements had been "unjustly distorted."(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 11 Sep 07, 15:08

Mine Blast Wounds Three Soldiers in Nahr al-Bared
Three Lebanese soldiers were wounded on Tuesday while clearing mines littering a refugee camp where a bloody three-month siege of Islamist fighters ended last week. "While the army continued to clear Nahr al-Bared camp from explosives, a mine blew up, wounding three soldiers including one seriously," a military source said.
Since the army seized control of Nahr al-Bared on September 2 after a 15-week standoff with Fatah al-Islam, soldiers have been clearing mines and booby-traps left over by the Islamist militiamen. Troops were also conducting intensive searches in areas surrounding Nahr al-Bared on the lookout for fugitive militiamen.
The battle between the army and Fatah al-Islam since May 20 has left over 400 people killed, including 163 soldiers and at least 222 militiamen, according to official figures.(AFP) Beirut, 11 Sep 07, 15:37

Abssi's Widow Insists He is Dead
The wife of Fatah al-Islam chief Shaker al-Abssi has insisted that her husband is dead and that a body she viewed at a morgue was his, despite DNA tests that have proved otherwise."I am telling you that the body I saw was that of my husband," Rashdiyeh al-Abssi told the Arabic television channel Al-Jazeera in a telephone interview late on Monday. "I recognized him from wounds on his face and his chin," she added.
Lebanon's attorney general on Monday said DNA tests on the body of a man thought to be Abssi had proved negative and that the Fatah al-Islam chief may have escaped from the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, which was the scene of a bloody 15-week standoff between the army and militants.
The DNA tests were carried out on Abssi's wife and five of her children, as well as a brother of Abssi in Jordan, proving the body in the morgue could not be that of the Fatah al-Islam chief. Abssi's wife was evacuated from the camp along with several other women and children last month and has been staying in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. She said authorities had not summoned her for further tests or to view the body again. All I know is that I saw his corpse and I was sure it was that of my husband," she told Al-Jazeera. Troops have launched intensive search operations around the seafront camp of Nahr al-Bared since the battle ended on September 2 with a desperate breakout attempt in which dozens of militants and several soldiers were killed. The army has said that in all it had killed at least 222 militants and lost 163 troops during the siege. Abssi, a Palestinian who first emerged in the camp late last year, is a veteran of wars against the West ranging from Africa to Latin America.
His background includes a stint as a former MiG fighter pilot who flew sorties for Libya against French-backed troops in Chad before training airmen for the anti-U.S. Sandinista government in Nicaragua. In addition to being hunted by Lebanese troops, Abssi is wanted by both Syria and Jordan for radical activities, including the 2002 assassination of a US diplomat in Amman. Syrian authorities threw him in prison in 2002 for three years for belonging to a banned Islamist group and for plotting attacks.(AFP) Beirut, 11 Sep 07, 15:33

Aoun to March 14: One Yell and You Will Fall!

Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun warned the ruling March 14 alliance against rejecting Speaker Nabih Berri's latest initiative, saying "one yell and you will fall!" Aoun said that other alternatives are readily available in the event that Berri's proposal failed, stressing that "this does not mean we would slide into civil war because no one is willing to die for the sake of the government." The former army general stressed that while "the other time" March 14 got protection, "this time, it takes one yell in their faces and it's over," Aoun said in remarks published by the daily As-Safir on Tuesday. "All it takes is one yell for the ruling team to fall and collapse," he said sarcastically. "Because this time you will find no one to protect you."Aoun accused the pro-government camp of "stealing" the government.
"Let them give us the government and take the presidency," he said. "At least we will split the rip-off share in half." Aoun said he believed MP Saad Hariri was "unable to decide on matters within the ranks of the majority … because he does not possess authority over the others." Berri had announced that the Hizbullah-led opposition was willing to drop its demand for a national unity government on condition the country's feuding political parties agreed on a consensus presidential candidate.
Aoun also responded to accusations made against him by rival Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea that his FPM group was getting military training at Hizbullah bases. "We have individual weapons like the rest of the Lebanese," he explained.
"These weapons do exist and they are for self-defense and not (to be used) to carry out military operations for we do not undergo military or combat training," he said.
Aoun said the opposition has no plans to make any move before the March 14 coalition declares its stance regarding Berri's initiative, insisting that the ruling camp does not possess half-plus-one MPs ' votes "even with international support."Aoun stressed that consensus over a presidential candidate has to be based on agreement over the nominee's political platform and not over names of candidates.The daily newspaper an-Nahar reported Sunday that members of Aoun's FPM and two pro-Syrian factions were receiving military training in the Bekaa Valley and the Byblos Province. Beirut, 11 Sep 07, 07:23

Jumblat Says Iran's Holocaust TV Series Contradicts Ahmadinejad Holocaust Denier
Democratic Gathering leader MP Walid Jumblat said Iran's Holocaust TV series contradicts statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who had described the holocaust as a "myth.""This work (TV series) is an acknowledgement from the Iranian regime that the holocaust has happened and cannot deny that it was the biggest crime of the 20th century," Jumblat told the weekly al-Anbaa newspaper.
Jumblat said that he had recently pointed to the book: "The Wicked Alliance," which tackled the Iranian-Israeli-U.S. clandestine talks that failed to reach the desired outcomes."Had they (talks) reached (their objective), the situation in the region today would have been totally different," Jumblat explained. "And the deals they had cut would have changed the makeup of the region and its alliances." Jumblat stressed that Lebanon will not be used as a place to convey political, military and security messages.He said the battle to preserve March 14 achievements of sovereignty, independence, freedom and justice continue to rage.
"The march toward independence remains the primary goal of the March 14 audience. This is what we meant when we said that every compromise which takes us back to the era of Syrian tutelage and occupation is treason," Jumblatt said."Lebanon will not be used as a place to convey political, military or security messages and will not be a country at whose expense negotiations are conducted, nor will it be used as a mail box," Jumblat added. Beirut, 11 Sep 07, 13:13

9/11, Blame Root causes/ A bitter anniversary
By Klaus Rohrich
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
It was a crisp, sunny Tuesday morning, not unlike today, when at 8:46 AM the first plane crashed into the north tower of New York's World Trade Centre, forever changing our world. Truth is, our world had changed many years previous to that fateful day, but culturally we were incapable of recognizing the change. To this day people are still looking for "root causes" for the hatred that fundamental Islam bears toward the West.
While the ability to turn the other cheek is an admirable one, there is also a time to draw a line in the sand and stand one's ground. That line should have been drawn six years ago today at 8:46 AM.
Instead a large part of the world put the blame for the 9/11 outrage squarely on the shoulders of the victims with excuses that the attacks were the result of abject poverty, which bred the rage that resulted in the attacks. The kindest things that can be said about that viewpoint is that it is delusional, as it has been demonstrated time and again that the prime movers of the Jihad come from middle and upper class backgrounds and are university educated. Osama bin Laden is a multi-millionaire. His deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri is a surgeon, as were the perpetrators of the recently foiled attempts to detonate bombs in downtown London and the attempt to blow up Glasgow Airport. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the killer of Daniel Pearl lived in the United States and took an engineering degree from North Carolina Tech. Mohammed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker was university graduate with a degree in architecture. Poverty and disenfranchisement has absolutely nothing to do with Jihad.
For those who believe that the hatred this movement harbors toward us stems from our forefathers' imperial tendencies or our opulent lifestyles or the decadence to which our culture has slipped, they are only half right. Certainly, Jihadists hate us for these reason as well as many more. I can understand why a fundamentalist Muslim would draw the conclusion that our culture is worthy of destruction when I look at the cultural icons we revere. Yes, there is Madonna, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, gansta rap and a plethora of vacuous airheads whose images grace the pages of our celebrity magazines.
But our civilization has also produced the Magna Carta, the Emancipation Proclamation, Shakespeare, has traveled to the moon and back and has managed to extend the average person's lifespan by over 60% within the last century. The British Empire brought stability and prosperity to much of the world. American ingenuity created the economic powerhouse that made the defeat of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Soviet Russia a reality. Western science and technology have steadily improved the lives of those living within western countries, even those of the Jihadists among us.
When you examine the countries from which the Jihadis originate, countries like Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Nigeria, Somalia or Sudan, they haven't contributed anything meaningful to the world in the last 100 years. Many countries that once were a part of the British Empire are economic and human-rights basket cases today, Zimbabwe being the most stellar example.
The Jihad has nothing to do with economics and very little to do with our lifestyle. The Jihad is an effort to reestablish the Caliphate, the militaristic Muslim empire that was destroyed at the end of World War I. The Jihad is a war of ideas that pits a medieval totalitarian religious mentality against 21st century Western civilization. Sadly, many in the West have failed as yet to realize this fact. But, according to Walid Phares, the Lebanese American historian, whose book The War of Ideas: Jihadism versus Democracy was recently published, we are capable of winning this war. All we need to do is hang tough, firmly stand our ground and allow the counter-Jihad to take effect. He believes that the so-called "moderate Muslims", those who prefer to live their lives out in peace and prosperity will eventually depose the authoritarian fascists in favor of democracy.
While there is no historical tradition of any Muslim nations enjoying a democratic heritage, it's not too much to hope for, given that a country like Japan also had no democratic heritage prior to World War II and is a fully functioning democracy today.
We in the West need to remain vigilant against any further jihad incursions against us. Will there be another attack? The possibility looms large, as our counter-terrorist operations must succeed 100% of the time, while the Jihadis only need to succeed once.
The important thing though is that we do not forget how we arrived at this place. September 11, 2001 was a greater day of infamy than the original Day of Infamy, Dec. 7, 1941 because more people died and they were all civilians. It is important that we keep the image of those twin towers collapsing firmly embedded in our minds as it will help us understand the depth of evil with which we are struggling.
Klaus Rohrich is a columnist with Canada Free Press. Klaus can be reached at:

A New Weapon in the Arsenal
By Jonathan Schanzer
The Journal of International Security Affairs | Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Walid Phares, The War of Ideas: Jihadism Against Democracy. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 266 pp. $24.95. Hardcover.
In The War of Ideas: Jihadism Against Democracy, Professor Walid Phares’ historical perspective on the growth of the modern jihadist ideology and its offensive against the West, America may have found a new weapon in the war for hearts and minds against radical Islam. This book has the potential to make an impact in the battle over how Islamism and jihadism are taught in America’s institutes of higher learning.
The problem on American campuses is a well-documented one. Before September 11, 2001, America’s professors predicted the emergence of a Middle East filled with non-violent Islamists. Their approach to Middle Eastern autocracies, violence and the systematic violation of human rights was one of apologia. After 9/11, they continued to insist that the threat of jihadism is overblown.
Needless to say, these academics appear to be agenda-driven. They prefer the old, corrupt regional status quo, and attack policies designed to combat radicalism and promote democracy. Worse still, they have inoculated themselves against outside criticism, and have shut out other academics who don’t toe their line.
Enter Walid Phares, a professor of Middle East Studies at Florida Atlantic University for more than a decade. He is also a native of the Middle East (Lebanon) whose first language is Arabic. Phares is an insider—both in the Middle East and in Middle Eastern studies—and his writings cannot be ignored.
The good professor is not bashful about his beliefs. Much like his earlier works, Phares’ new book is decidedly pro-democracy and anti-jihadist. As such, it stands in stark contrast to the writings of the multitude of academics and Middle East experts who, either knowingly or by default, have become apologists for radical Islam.
Phares’ point is crystal clear. Academia is a vital battlefield in the struggle for hearts and minds now taking place in the larger War on Terror, and he attacks the academic enemies of democracy accordingly. For example, he hammers University of Michigan professor Juan Cole and University of California-Berkeley’s As’ad AbuKhalil for spouting propaganda from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim lobby group that defends Islamist figures and ideas. He likewise brands Georgetown University’s John Esposito a jihadophile for his consistent apologetics for, and defenses of, Islamism. (Esposito, who runs Georgetown’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, received an award in 2003 from the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) honoring his contribution to the understanding of Muslims.) These and other ivory tower jihadophiles, according to Phares, treat “jihad as a benign spiritual tradition, like yoga.” They insist that jihad is not a holy war, but a “spiritual experience.”
Phares does more than simply attack those professors who are soft on radical Islam, however. His book is, at its core, a tireless and relentless attack on the ideology of jihadism itself. In a measured, judicious and decidedly professorial tone, Phares demonstrates that the adherents of jihadism are violent, ruthless, anti-democratic, and anti-Western. He makes a strong and persuasive argument that the goal of jihadists is to “defeat all other civilizations” and the “dismantling [of] centuries of human advancement.” Phares also systematically and patiently demonstrates how jihadists eschew a host of widely accepted international principles, including human rights, gender equality, and religious equality. He also highlights the antipathy toward pluralism, political parties, an independent justice system, and self-criticism exhibited by Islamic moderates.
Throughout, Phares’ masterful grasp of modern history helps the reader to put the ideological struggle between radical Islam and democracy into context. The first phase of this struggle, he outlines, was a period of relative dormancy that stretched from 1945 to 1990, when jihadists chose to wait out the Cold War and amass their strength for the coming battle. The second phase in the war of ideas, according Phares, was the period spanning 1990 to 2001. During this decade, the Middle East emerged as the region of the world most resistant to the global trend of liberalization and democratization heralded by the fall of Communism. The iron-fisted leaders of the Middle East tenaciously refused to liberalize or evolve, holding fast to the notion that no change should happen until the Arab-Israeli conflict was settled. The plight of the Palestinians is the most common excuse across the Muslim world for why the reform has been painfully slow or nonexistent. All the while, Salafism and Khomeinism, the primary Sunni and Shi’ite strains of jihadism, continued to spread unhindered and unchallenged by democratic ideals.
The current phase of the war of ideas, Phares concludes, is the most overt, in which jihadists and democracy advocates openly clash over their interpretations of international relations, the notion of reform, and even the definition of terrorism. He lays bare how Islamic radicals and their supporters have made systematic efforts to numb the United States and its allies to the threat of radical Islam. They have done so by invoking the specter of Islamophobia, Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and other thorny issues to fool the public into thinking that America is in fact the aggressor.
The War of Ideas is vulnerable to attack on two fronts. First, Phares quotes his own published works and testimonies some fifteen times throughout the book. This does little for his credibility; simply because he said it does not make the argument correct. Moreover, although an Arabic speaker, he rarely cites Arabic sources. This is a serious error, since “native” news and analysis are seen as gospel within the discipline of Middle Eastern studies, and Phares’ detractors will almost certainly use the lack thereof against him.
On the whole, Walid Phares has written an excellent answer to the glut of apologias that now permeates the field of Middle Eastern studies. The War of Ideas has an air of academic authority that exudes more credibility than works written by Beltway analysts, which, although they may make many of the same arguments, can be dismissed all too easily as “alarmist.” Not so with Phares’ writings; given the power of its intellectual reasoning, The War of Ideas is destined to be a broadside that the ivory tower will not be able to ignore so easily.
Jonathan Schanzer is a Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of the forthcoming Al-Qaeda's Armies: Middle East Affiliate Groups and the Next Generation of Terror.