Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who Betrays Us?

from The American Thinker:

June 29, 2010

Who Betrays Us?

By G. Murphy Donovan

Crystal is not glass. Strike crystal and it rings like a bell. When it breaks, crystal makes a special noise, a sound like the end of music. The other day, we heard the end of a special elegy, the 24 notes of taps, when General Stanley McChrystal furled his flag.

McChrystal was no ordinary infantryman; he chose the road not taken. Rangers are a unique fraternity where only extraordinary warriors thrive. Those who rise to the top in any calling often walk a fine line between genius and eccentricity, and soldiers are no exception. General McChrystal crossed the line more than once, but he never stepped on a land mine until Rolling Stone magazine came to do a "profile" at HQ Afghanistan.

The agent of McChrystal's demise was an effete freelancer who looks and sounds like a prep school refugee. Michael Hastings was on special assignment for a magazine whose usual fare is sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Yet, like Hugh Hefner's Playboy, Jann Wenner's Rolling Stone has cultural pretensions. Those affectations were on full display in the McChrystal issue. Lady Gaga [sic] graces the cover; equipped with a bullet brassiere on full auto. Ms. Gaga is a performance artist whose cultural niche is defined by Madonna groupies.

Like Hefner, Wenner panders to a young and, by their own definition, hip demographic of readers under 30 years of age; both publishers might charitably be described as priapic geriatrics at 84 and 64 years of age, respectively. Like all purveyors of progressive culture, Wenner has trouble separating value and vulgarity. And to no one's surprise, he consistently carries water for the left -- as a Clintonista or, more recently, as an Obama contributor.

From any perspective, we have to assume that General McChrystal and/or his staff was aware of these things and the risks of having of an antiwar zealot in their midst. The key question to be answered is: Who was using whom?

After Afghanistan, a maverick like McChrystal wasn't going to be selected for a political job like Army Chief of Staff. Hard to picture McChrystal, like the incumbent George Casey, making the rounds of the Sunday gab shows reminding citizens that the feelings of Muslims are more important than the safety of soldiers massacred at Ft. Hood, Texas. And surely McChrystal wasn't a candidate to follow Mike Mullen into the political swamp at the JCS. On the Pentagon's E Ring, Mullen is better known for social issues, like gay rights for sailors, than he is for war-fighting. There were no stars in McChrystal's future, either; he already had his four.

McChrystal is a country music fan, so no doubt he's familiar with Kristofferson's iconic line: "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." When McChrystal let the fox into the Afghan hen house, he knew which huevos were in play.

Before the Rolling Stone controversy, the friction between the "White House wimps" and the military brass was the worst-kept secret in Washington. Yet the rift, from the beginning, was cultivated by the president -- and what can be described only as a cabal of divisive beltway toadies. From the start, Obama ignored the field commander, refused to define the enemy or describe the end game -- or explain to the American public why Afghanistan "is a war of necessity." The party line had three "soft" features: don't use the word "war," don't mention Islam, and restrict descriptions of the bad guys to either Taliban or al-Qaeda.

Shortly after the election, Obama put on his long pants and fired the previous ISAF commander in Afghanistan -- and then dithered for months over troop deployments. Since then, the White House has been driving on a learner's permit. In the past year and a half, the commander in chief has met the tactical commander on few occasions; McChrystal, in contrast, has met with Hamid Karzai, face to face, over fifty times during the same period. If McChrystal claims Obama is "disengaged" only on the subject of war, the general is being generous.

The hapless Senate majority leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), told America that the Iraq "war is lost" just before the last American election. A newly elected vice president followed up with very public carping at General McChrystal's expense. If there were ever a toady who should be cashiered for loose lips, it's Joe Biden (hereafter known as Joe "Bite Me" to troops in the field). Biden doesn't just put his foot in his mouth; he doesn't bother to remove his shoes after he steps in something. Biden's advice on Iraq was to subdivide it -- i.e., into three new states [sic] -- as if the U.N. didn't have enough dysfunctional members.

"Team" Obama was augmented by Richard Holbrooke and Karl Eikenberry early on, both sent to Kabul, presumably, to make sure McChrystal walked the "soft power" walk. Unfortunately, neither Holbroke nor Eikenberry plays well with other adults.

Holbrooke's function in South Asia is as a dark swan. He doesn't seem to get along with anyone but himself. In the foggy world of diplomacy, androgyny, and cookie-pushing, Holbrooke stands out. He is supposed to be a special envoy, but his specialties might be limited to arrogance and petulance. Holbrooke, former Clintonista and incumbent Karzai-basher, doesn't play well with third-world leaders or allied military officers.

And Eikenberry's performance isn't too far removed from Holbrooke's. Soon after arriving in Kabul, Ambassador Eikenberry started to "back-channel" McChrystal, (i.e., send critical, uncomplimentary reports back to Washington). Indeed, Eikenberry's pique seems to have been tweaked because a Brit, and not Eikenberry, was appointed "viceroy" -- a slight he seems to lay at the feet of a Karzai/McChrystal conspiracy. Eikenberry was miscast in Rolling Stone as a martinet "stuck in 1985"; the year may be closer to 1895, and the Eikenberry character could have come straight out of "Gilbert and Sullivan."

On the U.N. side of Kabul, the blue helmets were having a civil war of their own. Norway's Kai Eide and his American deputy, Peter Galbraith, had a transnational shootout over the legitimacy of Hamid Karzai's election in 2009. Galbraith got fired, Karzai got a second term, and Eide took the Quisling special back to Scandinavia. Eide was and remains an ardent fan of accommodation with the Taliban.

These "team" players were supplemented by a gaggle of second-guessers back in Washington, with the president's national security advisor, Jim Jones, on point. Jones' most recent contribution to the clueless sweeps was a "greedy Jew" joke spliced into a speech that was supposed to underline American support of Israel. After eighteen months in office, the Commander in Chief has traveled to several Arab, Turkish, and Muslim capitals, yet never to Israel. Mr. Obama's Islamic globetrotting sends a message consistent with Jones' taste in jokes. From the beginning, the former Marine commandant, like Joe Biden, also made loud noises that undermined or contradicted McChrystal's strategy at the front.

So what's a soldier to do when a president hand-picks him to lead the charge in combat and then allows lower-echelon cockroaches to eat his lunch? McChrystal did what any good guerrilla fighter would do: He let another insect carry a poison pill back to a dysfunctional nest. Indeed, General McChrystal performed one final service for his country: He used a press nitwit to expose a confederacy of national security dunces using the prescribed "soft" tactics -- things like toxic ridicule.

The clincher in all of this is Hillary; she comes off like the Cheshire cat, grinning from ear to ear while the Oval Office tries to put lipstick on another pig. Clinton has kept her distance: "Give him [McChrystal] what he wants," says she. If and when the Obama national security crowd self-destructs, Hilary can say "I told you so," pick up the pieces, and do a pantssuit rendition of what Bobby Kennedy did to Lyndon Johnson in 1968.

Any idea that McChrystal was insubordinate or threatened civilian authority is bravo sierra, as they say in the barracks. The general simply raised the blinds and let in some light. He even helped the young president to grow up a bit. On the day Obama let his field commander go, the president used the word "war" to describe the Afghan conflict. That's progress! Obama then appointed a third field commander in eighteen months; demoting the CENTCOM commander to replace McChrystal in Kabul.

And yes, the new guy is the old David Petraeus, who, when serving in Iraq under George Bush, was vilified by the left, including then-Senator Obama, as a liar and traitor. Indeed, the same news outlets that published those scurrilous George Soros ads now celebrate the Petraeus choice as "inspired." General "Betray Us" under a Republican has morphed into General "Save Us" under a Democrat. So much for politics stopping at the water's edge.

So what's the plan now? It appears the exit strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan is on schedule (according to Joe Bite Me) and Petraeus will be the happy face of at least one success, even if it belongs to the previous administration. Yet the president is still hostage to a campaign slogan, that "war of necessity." Unfortunately, the Oval Office position is already flanked left and right. The incumbent does not want to carry any war, of choice or necessity, into the next presidential cycle. And the Cheshire cat just grins and waits.

All of this highlights the distinction between politics Chicago-style and principled soldiering McChrystal-style. Given a choice between sacrifice and survival, which road do men of character take? McChrystal has answered that question: He fell on his sword. Obama will get back to us in thirteen months.

Stanley McChrystal may have furled his flag, but let's hope he has not spiked his guns. In or out of Iraq and Afghanistan, the threat whose name we dare not speak will get worse before it gets better. When it does, real soldiers will need to strap on their irons again. Keep your powder dry, Stan.

The author is a Vietnam veteran with 25 years of military service. He also writes at G. Murphy Donovan and Agnotology in Journalism.

Al Queda Commander Killed In Predator Strike In North waziristan

From The Long War Journal:

Al Qaeda commander killed in US strike on safehouse in South Waziristan

By Bill RoggioJune 29, 2010

The US killed seven terrorists in an airstrike today on a known al Qaeda compound in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of South Waziristan. The Predator strike is the seventh this month.

An unmanned Predator or the more deadly Reaper fired two missiles at a compound in the village of Karikot near Wana, the main town in South Waziristan. The compound is known to be used by al Qaeda operatives in the area.

An al Qaeda operative from Egypt known as Hawza al Jawfi, two Punjabi fighters, and five local Taliban fighters are said to have been killed in the strike, The New York Times reported.

Jawfi is said to have led Jundallah, a Pakistani terror group that is based in Karachi and maintains with close ties with al Qaeda. Dr. Arshad Waheed, an al Qaeda commander who was killed in a US airstrike in South Waziristan in March 2008, had close links to Ata-ur-Rehman, the former leader of Jundallah who was detained by Pakistani security forces.

Wana is under the control of Mullah Nazir, the leader of the Taliban in the Waziri tribal areas in South Waziristan. Pakistan's military and intelligence services consider Nazir and his followers "good Taliban" as they do not openly seek the overthrow of the Pakistani state. However, Nazir openly supports Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden, and wages jihad in Afghanistan; more senior al Qaeda leaders have been killed in Nazir's tribal areas during the US air campaign than in those of any other Taliban leader in Pakistan.

In the summer of 2009, just prior to launching a military operation against the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan in the Mehsud tribal areas in South Waziristan, the military agreed to a peace deal with Nazir as well as with North Waziristan Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadar. Nazir and Bahadar are not members of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Bahadar and the Haqqani Network, which is also based in North Waziristan, are also considered "good Taliban" by the Pakistani government and military.

The peace agreement allows for the Pakistani military to move through Nazir and Bahadar's tribal areas without being attacked. Another condition of the agreement prohibits Bahadar and Nazir from providing shelter to fleeing members of the Mehsud branch of the Taliban.

But Taliban fighters from the Mehsud tribal areas have sought shelter with Mullah Nazir in the Wazir tribal areas, and the rearguard fighters still opposing the Army's advance are receiving support from Nazir's forces, US military and intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal, despite a promise to eject the Mehsud Taliban and al Qaeda fighters.

Background on US strikes in Pakistan

Today's strike is the seventh reported inside Pakistan this month. Three of the six prior strikes took place over the course of 24 hours on June 10-11.

So far this year, the US has carried out 45 strikes in Pakistan; all but three, including the strike today, have taken place in North Waziristan. The other two strikes took place in South Waziristan and the tribal agency of Khyber.

The US is well on its way to exceeding last year’s strike total in Pakistan. In 2009, the US carried out 53 strikes in Pakistan; and in 2008, the US carried out 36 strikes in the country. [For up-to-date charts on the US air campaign in Pakistan, see LWJ Special Report, "Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2010."]

Three al Qaeda military commanders and a Taliban commander were killed in airstrikes this month. The first strike, on June 10, killed two low-level Arab al Qaeda military commanders and a Turkish foreign fighter. A US attack on June 19 in Mir Ali killed an al Qaeda commander named Abu Ahmed, 11 members of the Islamic Jihad Group, and four Taliban fighters. On June 27, a Taliban commander known as Hamza Mehsud was killed.

Over the past several months, unmanned US Predator and Reaper strike aircraft have been pounding Taliban and al Qaeda hideouts in North Waziristan, and have also struck at targets in South Waziristan and Khyber, in an effort to kill senior terror leaders and disrupt the networks that threaten Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the West. [For more information, see LWJ report, "Senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2010."]

In early April, a top terrorist leader claimed that the US program had been crippled. Siraj Haqqani, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, said that the effectiveness of US airstrikes in killing senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders had “decreased 90 percent" since the Dec. 30, 2009, suicide attack on Combat Outpost Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan, that killed seven CIA employees and a Jordanian intelligence officer. While other factors may be involved in the decreased effectiveness in killing the top-tier leaders, an analysis of the data shows that only three top-tier commanders have been killed since Jan 1, 2010, but seven top-tier leaders were killed between Aug. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2009. [See LWJ report, "Effectiveness of US strikes in Pakistan 'decreased 90 percent' since suicide strike on CIA - Siraj Haqqani," for more information.]

But the US scored its biggest success in the air campaign in Pakistan last month. On May 21, a US strike in North Waziristan killed Mustafa Abu Yazid, one of al Qaeda's top leaders, and the most senior al Qaeda leader to have been killed in the US air campaign in Pakistan to date.

Yazid served as the leader of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the wider Khorasan, and more importantly, as al Qaeda's top financier, which put him in charge of the terror group's purse strings. He served on al Qaeda's Shura Majlis, or top decision-making council. Yazid also was closely allied with the Taliban and advocated the program of embedding small al Qaeda teams with Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistani and US officials believed that one of the top Taliban leaders in Pakistan was killed in a strike this year. Up until May 2, most US and Pakistani officials believed that Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, had been killed in a Jan. 14 strike in Pasalkot in North Waziristan. The CIA had been furiously hunting Hakeemullah after he appeared on a videotape with the suicide bomber who carried out the attack on Combat Outpost Chapman.

But after four months of silence on the subject, the Taliban released two tapes to prove that Hakeemullah is alive. On both of the tapes, Hakeemullah said the Taliban will carry out attacks inside the US. The tapes were released within 24 hours of an attempted car bombing in New York City by Faisal Shahzad, who was trained by the Taliban in North Waziristan. Hakeemullah's tapes were released along with another by his deputy, Qari Hussain Mehsud, who claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing in New York City.

Read more:

Petraeus: Karzai Denies Meeting With Haqqani

From The Long War Journal:

Karzai denies meeting Haqqani, General Petraeus says

By Thomas JoscelynJune 29, 2010

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning, General David Petraeus told Senator Carl Levin that Afghan President Hamid Karzai denies reports that he recently met with a leader of the Haqqani Network.

This past weekend, Al Jazeera reported that Karzai met with Siraj Haqqani, who leads the Taliban- and al Qaeda-affiliated network in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to discuss a power-sharing agreement. The meeting was reportedly orchestrated by Pakistani intelligence and army officials, who have long supported the Haqqani Network. [See LWJ report: "Afghan president meets with Siraj Haqqani: Report."]

The Al Jazeera account followed several other press accounts saying that Pakistani officials were indeed trying to broker a deal between the Afghan government and Haqqani.

However, Petraeus explained today that Karzai personally assured him, while Petraeus was en route to the confirmation hearing this morning, that the meeting with Siraj Haqqani or any other senior Haqqani leader did not take place.

Of course, Karzai would have little incentive to admit that such a meeting took place, if in fact it did. But US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal also cast doubt on the Al Jazeera report.

These officials do not dispute press reports saying that the Pakistanis are attempting to broker a deal between Haqqani and the Afghan government. Instead, they disputed the notion that Karzai could have met with Haqqani in a face-to-face meeting. One senior intelligence official pointed to Karzai's heavy American security detail as an obstacle to such a meeting.

Read more:

How Are Suicide Bombers Seduced/Selected/Recruited?

From Freedom's Lighthouse:

How Does the Taliban Recruit Children Suicide Bombers? A Look Inside – Video

Here is video put together by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, who takes on a terrifying question: ” How does the Taliban convince children to become suicide bombers? Propaganda footage from a training camp is intercut with interviews of young camp graduates. A shocking vision.”

This is what we are up against. But, then we knew that. It’s our President and his administration that are in denial.

H/T Cheryl

Border Wars

From The American Thinker:

June 30, 2010

Border Wars

By Jonathan F. Keiler

A principal problem in the Afghan war is that it has been improperly defined and thus subject to an unworkable strategy. The replacement of General McChrystal by General Petraeus is not likely to immediately reverse the error, but it at least appears to be leading to some reconsideration of American interests and options. The situation in Afghanistan should not be approached as counter-insurgency battle as in Iraq, but rather as a distant border war.

The Afghan campaign began as a large-scale punitive expedition following the 9/11 attack. Afghanistan (formerly Bactria) was the target of the expedition because al-Qaeda, an Islamic terrorist group made up mostly of Arabs, had used the Pastun-dominated borderland between historic Persia and India (today Iran and Pakistan) as a base and staging area.

That punitive expedition was remarkably successful -- routing al-Qaeda from its bases, sending its remnants fleeing into Pakistan, and overthrowing the Islamic Taliban regime that had supported the terror group. At that point, the vital American interest in this historically wild and lawless border region ended. The Afghan war is not a necessary war.

The Bush administration got sucked into an expanded role in Afghanistan when follow-on counter-guerrilla operations morphed into a nation-building enterprise. The situation became further confused when the United States embarked on a truly necessary war against Iraq.

While the Afghan campaign was a punitive expedition gone wild, the Iraq war was a necessary geopolitical endeavor against a supremely hostile nation-state, which may or may not have produced weapons of mass destruction, but which without doubt threatened vital American and Western interests in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. The Bush administration's reluctance to properly define and defend the war allowed the Left to mischaracterize the campaign pejoratively as "blood for oil." In an attempt to further demonize the Iraq war without appearing to be soft on defense, the Democratic Party went on to turn the truth on its head, characterizing the Iraq war as historic blunder and the Afghan war as necessary, a direct inversion of the truth which Republicans have done little to rectify.

Militarily, the Iraq campaign began brilliantly, but it too bogged itself down in a nation-building enterprise. However, unlike Afghanistan, Iraq is a historically civilized area, capable of being rehabilitated and governed. The enterprise was necessary, just as the rehabilitation of Germany and Japan was necessary after World War II. Unlike Japan and Germany (although it was a real possibility in both cases), the United States was forced to wage a counter-insurgency campaign in Iraq against various armed elements that sought to undermine stability. After several starts and stops, we found an effective counter-insurgency commander in David Petraeus, who appears to have brought the Iraq war to a successful conclusion.

Largely as a result of Petraeus' success in Iraq, we have been attempting to mimic his counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan. With McChrystal gone, Petraeus will have direct control, but not likely more success. That's because Afghanistan is not a nation. It is a collection of warring tribes, ethnic groups, warlords, drug traffickers, and criminals, just as it has been for millennia. It is a border region, and the only war that can be successfully fought on the border is border war. Effectively, Afghanistan is now a distant border for the United States, one that has to be monitored and muzzled, but not necessarily governed.

"Border war" has become a strangely archaic and little-used term in these politically correct times, but it is a legitimate and necessary form of warfare, and one that operates in complete contravention of the strategy of counter-insurgency. The major object of counter-insurgency is providing security to the civilian population, which the enemy seeks to undermine and disrupt through intimidation and violence. In border warfare, the objects are deterrence, preemption, and reprisal, which by their very nature may injure the civilian population.

Thus, in counter-insurgency, it is important to limit civilian casualties, even if this occasionally means losing your own soldiers through restrictive use of firepower, or exposing units to fire as they "show the flag" in contested areas in order to inspire civilian confidence in the government you represent or are attempting to promote. This is the type of campaign we waged successfully in Iraq but which is foundering in Afghanistan. On the other hand, in border warfare, civilian casualties are an inevitable but necessary consequence of combat on a lawless border, and the moral and legal responsibility for those losses rests with the enemy combatants who use the border areas.

In a recent column entitled "The Western Way of War," the Jerusalem Post's invaluable Caroline Glick touches on this issue when she complains that the United States and Israel have both suffered setbacks when fighting wars while attempting to limit civilian casualties. This is true, but it is for mostly differing reasons that need to be understood before effective corrections can be made.

For the United States, using highly restrictive rules of engagement in Iraq, even at the cost of some soldiers, was a necessary aspect of counter-insurgency war. Israel too imposes highly restrictive rules of engagement on its soldiers, but not because they are engaged in counter-insurgency war. It does so in order to limit international and domestic criticism of its military operations.

Israel is not now engaged in counter-insurgency war, nor, really, has it ever been. It fights border wars. Even before Israel became a state, beginning in the 1930s, when Jewish combat groups under the eccentric British officer Orde Wingate took the fight to hostile Arabs, the Israelis have excelled at border war when allowed by officers and politicians to fight it properly. Evelyn Waugh in his satirical novel of World War II Men at Arms seems to poke fun at Wingate through a one-eyed oddball British officer named Richie-Hook who Waugh says "had wandered through the Holy Land tossing hand grenades into the front parlors of dissident Arabs."

In a border war, the enemy is on the other side of the border, and the population on the other side of that border is by definition an enemy population. Soldiers are bound by the various rules of war not to wantonly harm those civilians, but they are not required to sacrifice themselves should an enemy combatant choose to use the front parlor as a sniping post. In that case, you might just toss in a grenade. Not necessarily so in counter-insurgency warfare, when harm to the parlor and the family inside might outweigh taking out the odd sniper.

Israel's latterly problem is that it has imposed counter-insurgency tactics on its soldiers in its border wars. The Lebanon campaign of 2006 was frequently and falsely described in the press as a counter-insurgency war when it was nothing of the sort. It was a deliberate war waged by Hezb'allah on a lawless border using a combination of guerrilla and conventional tactics. Israel's relatively poor performance in that war was caused in part to the use of counter-insurgency tactics in an all-out fight.

Even Israel's battles with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are not counter-insurgency conflicts -- they are just incredibly complex border wars. As Glick pointed out in her column, Israel's last truly successful campaign was when it went into the West Bank heavy and hard in 2002, even though at times, as in Jenin, it sacrificed soldiers in an unsuccessful attempt to lessen domestic and international criticism.

The Western Left has problems with borders, which they, in their usually clouded and contradictory world, view see as impediments to universal fellowship. Of course, few leftists actually live in borderlands, preferring the security of large, comfortable cities run on fossil fuels from which to expound their opinions. But borderlands are often inherently problematic and violent, as we can see on our own southern border today. Afghanistan is such a land, and it likely always will be.

General McChrystal's staff mocked Vice President Biden's proposed approach to fighting the Afghan war -- through special forces and air power -- because they were ordered to prepare a counter-insurgency campaign for which such tactics are counterproductive. And Biden and his boss, no doubt, would quail at my description of border war now in Afghanistan -- or, if we continue to do nothing, likely one day again on our southern frontier (as happened early in the 20th century).

But the fact is that Afghanistan should be treated as a lawless border state, not worth our blood and treasure unless we are threatened, at which time we should hit the place heavy and hard. And if we don't have exact intelligence and there are collateral losses to Afghan civilians, sad as that may be, in the context of border war, it is acceptable. Sometimes a grenade through the parlor is the only way to go.

Why Islam Will Never Accept The State Of Israel

From The American Thinker:

June 30, 2010

Why Islam Will Never Accept the State of Israel

By Steven Simpson

It is a common belief that the "Arab-Israeli conflict" is a conflict of two peoples fighting over the same piece of land and is therefore one of nationalism. Rarely, if ever, do we hear or read of the religious component to this conflict.

However, if anything, the conflict is more of a "Muslim-Jewish" one than an "Arab-Israeli" one. In other words, the conflict is based on religion -- Islam vs. Judaism -- cloaked in Arab nationalism vs. Zionism. The fact of the matter is that in every Arab-Israeli war, from 1948 to the present, cries of "jihad," "Allahu Akbar," and the bloodcurdling scream of "Idbah al- Yahud" (slaughter the Jews) have resonated amongst even the most secular of Arab leaders, be it Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s or the supposedly "secular" PLO of the 1960s to the present. Indeed, the question must be asked: If this is really a conflict of different nationalisms and not Islamic supremacism, then why is it that virtually no non-Arab Muslim states have full (if any) relations with Israel?

There is a common Arabic slogan that is chanted in the Middle East: "Khaybar, Khaybar! Oh Jews, remember. The armies of Muhammad are returning!" It would be most interesting to know how many people have ever heard what -- or more precisely, where -- Khaybar is, and what the Arabs mean by such a slogan. A short history of the Jews of Arabia is needed in order to explain this, and why Islam remains so inflexible in its hostile attitude towards Jews and Israel.

Until the founder of Islam, Muhammad ibn Abdallah, proclaimed himself "Messenger of Allah" in the 7th century, Jews and Arabs lived together peacefully in the Arabian Peninsula. Indeed, the Jews -- and Judaism -- were respected to such an extent that an Arab king converted to Judaism in the 5th century. His name was Dhu Nuwas, and he ruled over the Himyar (present day Yemen) area of the Arabian Peninsula. In fact, it is most likely that the city of Medina (the second-holiest city in Islam) -- then called Yathrib -- was originally founded by Jews. In any event, at the time of Muhammad's "calling," three important Jewish tribes existed in Arabia: Banu Qurayza, Banu Nadir, and Banu Qaynuqa.

Muhammad was very keen on having the Jews accept him as a prophet to the extent that he charged his followers not to eat pig and to pray in the direction of Jerusalem. However, the Jews apparently were not very keen on Muhammad, his proclamation of himself as a prophet, or his poor knowledge of the Torah (Hebrew Bible). Numerous verbal altercations are recorded in the Qur'an and various Hadiths about these conflicts between the Jewish tribes and Muhammad.

Eventually, the verbal conflicts turned into physical conflicts, and when the Jews outwardly rejected Muhammad as the "final seal of the prophets," he turned on them with a vengeance. The atrocities that were committed against these tribes are too numerous to cite in a single article, but two tribes, the Qaynuqa and Nadir, were expelled from their villages by Muhammad. It appears that the Qaynuqa left Arabia around 624 A.D. The refugees of the Nadir settled in the village of Khaybar.

In 628 A.D., Muhammad turned on the last Jewish tribe, the Qurayza, claiming that they were in league with Muhammad's Arab pagan enemies and had "betrayed" him. Muhammad and his army besieged the Qurayza, and after a siege of over three weeks, the Qurayza surrendered. While many Arabs pleaded with Muhammad to let the Qurayza leave unmolested, Muhammad had other plans. Unlike expelling the Qaynuqa and Nadir, Muhammad exterminated the Qurayza, with an estimated 600 to 900 Jewish men being beheaded in one day. The women and children were sold into slavery, and Muhammad took one of the widows, Rayhana, as a "concubine."

In 629 A.D., Muhammad led a campaign against the surviving Jews of Nadir, now living in Khaybar. The battle was again bloody and barbaric, and the survivors of the massacre were either expelled or allowed to remain as "second-class citizens." Eventually, upon the ascension of Omar as caliph, most Jews were expelled from Arabia around the year 640 A.D.

This brings us, then, to the question of why modern-day Muslims still boast of the slaughter of the Jewish tribes and the Battle of Khaybar. The answer lies in what the Qur'an -- and later on, the various Hadiths -- says about the Jews. The Qur'an is replete with verses that can be described only as virulently anti-Semitic. The amount of Surahs is too numerous to cite, but a few will suffice: Surah 2:75 (Jews distorted the Torah); 2:91 (Jews are prophet-killers), 4:47 (Jews have distorted the Bible and have incurred condemnation from Allah for breaking the Sabbath), 5:60 (Jews are cursed, and turned into monkeys and pigs), and 5:82 (Jews and pagans are the strongest in enmity to the Muslims and Allah). And of course, there is the genocidal Hadith from Sahih Bukhari, 4:52:177, which would make Adolph Hitler proud. "The Day of Judgment will not have come until you fight with the Jews, and the stones and the trees behind which a Jew will be hiding will say: 'O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!"' Thus, the Arab Muslims had their own "final solution" in store for the Jews already in the 7th century.

The fact that Muslims still point to these (and many other) hateful verses in the Qur'an and Hadith should give Jews -- not just Israelis -- pause to consider if there can ever be true peace between Muslims and Jews, let alone between Muslims and Israel. When the armies of Islam occupied the area of Byzantine "Palestine" in the 7th century, the land became part of "Dar al-Islam" (House of Islam). Until that area is returned to Islam, (i.e., Israel's extermination), she remains part of "Dar al harb" (House of War). It now becomes clear that this is a conflict of religious ideology and not a conflict over a piece of "real estate."

Finally, one must ask the question: Aside from non-Arab Turkey, whose relations with Israel are presently teetering on the verge of collapse, why is it that no other non-Arab Muslim country in the Middle East has ever had full relations (if any at all) with Israel, such as faraway countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan? Indeed, why would Persian Iran -- conquered by the Arabs -- have such a deep hatred for Jews and Israel, whereas a non-Muslim country such as India does not feel such enmity? The answer is painfully clear: The contempt in which the Qur'an and other Islamic writings hold Jews does not exist in the scriptures of the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and other Eastern religions. Therefore, people that come from non-Muslim states do not have this inherent hatred towards Jews, and by extension, towards Israel. But when a people -- or peoples -- is raised with a scripture that regards another people and religion as immoral and less than human, then it is axiomatic why such hatred and disdain exists on the part of Muslims for Jews and Israel.

Islam -- as currently interpreted and practiced -- cannot accept a Jewish state of any size in its midst. Unless Muslims come to terms with their holy writings vis-à-vis Jews, Judaism, and Israel and go through some sort of "reformation," it will be unlikely that true peace will ever come to the Middle East. In the meantime, unless Islam reforms, Israel should accept the fact that the Muslims will never accept Israel as a permanent fact in the Middle East.

New SST Would Fly Without Sonic Booms


Supersonic Concept Plane Would Shush Sonic Booms

By Staff

posted: 30 June 2010

08:59 am ET

A new design concept for a futuristic faster-than-sound aircraft could break through legal barriers to supersonic flights over land by shushing the sonic booms created by such vehicles.

The concept aircraft, envisioned by aerospace company Lockheed Martin, would revolutionize supersonic cruising by relying upon a so-called "inverted-V" engine-under wing configuration, where the engines sit atop the wings rather than beneath, NASA officials said in a statement.

A Lockheed illustration of the supersonic concept released by NASA is just one of several designs presented in April to the space agency's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate following a call for studies on advanced aircraft that could take to the skies sometime around 2030 or 2035.

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The United States and other nations previously banned overland supersonic flights because of their classic sonic boom and rattle effect that can ruin anyone's morning cup of coffee.

That prevented the now-defunct Concorde airliner from going supersonic except over water during transatlantic trips. Since then, NASA has performed several studies with supersonic flights aimed at shushing supersonic booms.

Such considerations also matter for ongoing hypersonic tests. DARPA tested its HTV-2 hypersonic glider prototype off the southern coast of California in late April, but lost contact with the vehicle early on during the flight.

The U.S. Air Force used the same Pacific corridor when it achieved the longest hypersonic flight in May with its X-51A Waverider. But the X-51A has yet to break the hypersonic speed record of NASA's X-43A project, which achieved Mach 9.6 in November 2004

Taliban Attack Airbase In Eastern Afghanistan

From The Long War Journal:

Taliban attack airbase in eastern Afghanistan

By Bill RoggioJune 30, 2010

Map of Afghanistan's provinces. Click map to view larger image.

Coalition forces defeated a Taliban attempt to storm a major airbase in eastern Afghanistan earlier today.

A small team of Taliban fighters, estimated at six to eight men, launched a complex attack against the main gate of Jalalabad Airfield. The Taliban "attacked Jalalabad airfield this morning using a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, rocket-propelled grenades, and small arms fire," the International Security Assistance Force stated in a press release.

The attack began when a suicide bomber detonated at the main gate in an attempt to create a breach in the security perimeter. After the suicide bombing, the Taliban assault team attempted to enter the base but was repelled during a firefight with US and Afghan security forces manning the perimeter.

The Taliban later claimed to have entered the airfield and also claimed to have killed "dozens" of US and Afghan troops, but ISAF dismissed the reports and said only two troops were wounded during the attack.

"The airfield's perimeter was not breached, and several insurgents were killed during the attack," ISAF stated in a press release. "Two combined security force members received minor injuries; there are no reports of civilian injuries."

The Taliban wildly exaggerate the effects of their attacks and resultant Coalition and Afghan casualties. In propaganda statements released on their website, Voice of Jihad, the Taliban make daily claims that scores of soldiers are killed and dozens of vehicles are destroyed.

The Taliban also stated that the attack was designed to "send a message to David Petraeus," the newly appointed commander of ISAF who replaced outgoing commander General Stanley McChrystal, who resigned week, Al Jazeera reported. General Petraeus, who led US forces during the 'surge' in Iraq in 2007-2008, said during testimony to Congress yesterday that he would review the existing restrictive rules of engagement.

The Peshawar Regional Military Shura, one of the Afghan Taliban's four major commands, directs activities in eastern and northeastern Afghanistan. Abdul Latif Mansur is thought to currently lead the Taliban's Peshawar shura. It was led by Maulvi Abdul Kabir before his detention in Pakistan in February 2010.

A Taliban group known as the Tora Bora Military Front operates in Nangarhar and has been behind a series of deadly attacks in the province. The Tora Bora Military Front is led by Anwarul Haq Mujahid, the son of Maulvi Mohammed Yunis Khalis, who was instrumental in welcoming Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan after al Qaeda was ejected from Sudan in 1996. Pakistan detained Mujahid in Peshawar in June 2009.

Nangarhar is a strategic province for both the Taliban and the Coalition. The province borders the Pakistani tribal agency of Khyber. The majority of NATO's supplies pass through Khyber and Nangarhar before reaching Kabul and points beyond.

Today's assault on Jalalabad Airfield is the latest failed Taliban attempt to penetrate the security of a major air base. The first such attack took place on May 19, when a Taliban assault team attempted to storm the US airbase in Bagram in Parwan province, but was beaten back by US forces defending the base. An estimated 30 to 40 Taliban fighters carried out the assault. During the attack, 16 Taliban fighters were killed, including four suicide bombers; a US military contractor was also killed.

The second attack took place on May 22, when a Taliban assault team launched a coordinated attack against Kandahar Airfield, the largest base in southern Afghanistan and a major hub for operations in the south. The attack was repelled by Coalition forces, but no estimate of the size of the Taliban force was released.

The Taliban attacks are designed to break the will of the Coalition and demonstrate that Taliban forces can strike in the heart of Afghanistan as well as along the periphery. Earlier this month, the Taliban announced that they would begin operation Al Faath, or Victory, on May 10. The Taliban said they would target Coalition and Afghan forces, their bases, the Afghan government, security and logistics companies, and anyone supporting the "foreign forces."

Read more:

Petraeus: Training Afghans Now Is Like "Designing and Building An Advanced Aircraft While It's In Flight"

From Freedom's Lighthouse:

Petraeus: Training Afghans During Insurgency Like “Building Advanced Aircraft While in Flight” – Video

Here is a video report saying that Gen. David Petraeus told a Senate Hearing yesterday that “it will be years” before Afghan Forces can fully take over the fight against The Taliban in Afghanistan.

Petraeus provided a striking analogy for what we are trying to do in Afghanistan:

“Indeed, trying to train and equip host nation forces in the midst of an insurgency is akin to building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed, and while it is being shot at.”

Obama Talks To Our Enemies And It Doesn't End Well

From One Free Korea:

President Obama talks to our enemies, and it does not end well

Posted by Joshua Stanton on June 30, 2010 at 11:29 am · Filed under China, China & Korea, Diplomacy

President Obama, speaking at the G-8 summit recently, sounded very much like his predecessor, saying that “shying away from ugly facts on North Korea’s behavior is, in his words, “a bad habit we need to break.” I don’t know if the similarity should gratify or worry me more, or whether those two sentiments are really mutually exclusive.

The problem for President Obama is that China, Kim Jong Il’s financial backer and sponsor, is shielding North Korea from even the slightest imaginable consequence for sinking the Cheonan and murdering 46 of her crew, not counting those who died trying to rescue them. Apparently, a watered-down “presidential statement” from the U.N. Security Council is more than they can bear.

So our President — having himself just declined a perfect opportunity to at least put North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism — is in fact sounding vaguely like John Bolton, who is, after all, the architect of two of the cornerstones of Obama’s North Korea policy today — the Proliferation Security Initiative and UNSCR 1718. But thank goodness Bolton himself is no longer in a place of real influence or consequence, because he said nasty things to people, and Smart Diplomacy means you mustn’t say nasty things:

U.S. President Barack Obama criticized China, Sunday (local time), for turning a blind eye to North Korea’s belligerent behavior, saying Beijing should recognize Pyongyang’s torpedo attack on the South Korean Navy ship Cheonan in March.

In blunt comments at the end of the Group of 20 Summit here, Obama said that Chinese President Hu Jintao should recognize that North Korea crossed a line in that incident, in which 46 sailors died.

“I think there’s a difference between restraint and willful blindness” by China to the North’s military provocation, Obama said, answering questions from reporters.

It’s not quite “axis of evil,” but it’s still shockingly truthful.

“Now, I’m sympathetic to the fact that North Korea is on China’s border. They have a security interest in not seeing complete chaos on the Korean Peninsula, or a collapse that could end up having a significant impact on them.

“If they adopted a posture of restraint, I understand their thinking. But my hope is that President Hu will recognize that this is an example of Pyongyang going over the line in ways that just have to be spoken about, seriously,” he said.

The U.S. President indicated that he would link the Cheonan case to the resumption of the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, saying, “We are not going to be able to have serious negotiations with the North Koreans” if China fails to deal resolutely with the incident. [Korea Times]

Now China, for its part, is a newly matured emerging world power, so it responded with characteristic class and restraint:

The English-language Global Times hit back at the US leader, saying he should have taken Beijing’s concerns into consideration before “making irresponsible and flippant remarks about China’s role in the region”.

The Global Times being the Chinese equivalent of the Volkische Beobachter.

The newspaper, noting Beijing’s role as host of the on-off six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament, said: “It is thus not China that is turning a blind eye to what North Korea has done and has not done.”

“Instead, it is the leaders of countries such as the US that are turning a blind eye on purpose to China’s efforts,” said the commentary in the paper, which is run by the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily. [AFP]

Now, if I were a Korean, I’d be even more concerned about this statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry:

Asked about those comments, Chinese foreign-ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a news briefing on Tuesday: “China borders on the Korean peninsula, and we have our own feeling on the issue, different from that of the countries tens of thousands miles away.…We have more direct and intense concerns.” [Wall Street Journal, Brian Spegele]

Translation: The Korean Peninsula is within our sphere of influence, not yours.

You know, it astonishes me endlessly how similar this President’s policies and behavior are to those of the last one, except for those lucid moments when I realize that we’re really in the third Clinton Administration. The only thing that astonishes me more is total polarity reversal in the reaction of the news media, the Human Rights Industry, and the Foreign Policy Industry to each president’s actions. Even the schizophrenia is the same. Honestly, calculating the trajectory of this administration’s policy is a lot like it was during the days of Bush’s 2001 “policy review,” and pretty much ever since.

On a related note, the President reminds us that the concepts of speaking softly and carrying a big stick are each sold separately, so now, we’re about to have dueling naval exercises with the Chinese, too:

In response to the sinking of the Cheonan in March, in which 46 sailors died, the U.S. is planning joint naval exercises with South Korea designed to signal strong support for its ally. China, North Korea’s chief international supporter, has condemned the exercises as destabilizing to the region.

A U.S. military spokesman said on Tuesday that the drills could take place next month. U.S. Navy spokesman Cmdr. Jeff A. Davis said the drills weren’t meant to intimidate China or destabilize the region, but “are designed to ensure we have the ability to maintain peace and defeat aggression on the Korean peninsula.”

China has announced it will conduct its own drills in the East China Sea beginning Wednesday. Chinese state media have suggested those exercises are a direct response to the planned U.S. operations. Mr. Qin denied this, saying the Chinese drills have “nothing to do with the situation on the Korean peninsula.” [WSJ]

China insists, of course, that its exercise isn’t directed at us in any way.

Far be it for me to criticize this President for finally grasping that the ChiComs’ support for North Korea is cynical and malicious, or at least for not pretending otherwise. It’s just that I’m not sure how having a public argument with China advances us toward our goal of leaving it face-saving room to execute a policy shift, even if I happen to believe it’s going to take a good deal of quiet coercion to achieve that goal. For now, either China still doesn’t “get” that sinking a South Korean warship isn’t business usual, or it has concluded that President Obama doesn’t have the spine to do anything about it but bitch. I’m not against a little strategic bitching public diplomacy, but it’s going to take more than bitching to change policy in Beijing.

Let me posit, humbly, that it would be far more effective to publish some innocuous notices in the Federal Register about a couple of Chinese mining companies whose assets are about to be frozen for their “investments” in North Korea. And then, for good measure, we could quietly let the Chinese know that we’ll be actively destabilizing North Korea both economically and politically until China makes an immediate good faith effort to bring its regime to heel with a complete (and if necessary, prolonged) closure of its border with the North. We might even let a few more refugees into our consulates in China. We all know by now that China doesn’t want the chaos and refugees along its border. If we want to change China’s behavior, we should leverage that fear and link it to China’s support for Kim Jong Il.

FBI Arrests Ten Russian Spies

From The Heritage Foundation and The Washington Post:

FBI arrests 10 accused of working as Russian spies

A sketch depicts defendants Anna Chapman, left, Vicky Pelaez, "Richard Murphy," "Cynthia Murphy" and "Juan Lazaro" in Manhattan federal court. (Elizabeth Williams/associated Press) Network NewsX Profile

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By Jerry Markon

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

FBI agents arrested 10 people on charges that they spent years in the United States as spies for Russia, taking on fake identities and trying to ferret out intelligence about U.S. policy and secrets by making connections to think tanks and government officials, the Justice Department said Monday.

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Q&A, Transcript: Russian Spies: FBI arrests 10 alleged spies

FBI arrests 10 accused of working as Russian spies

SpyTalk: Case reveals old espionage tricks

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The arrests Sunday capped an almost surreal investigation that extended to the Clinton administration and involved video surveillance, hidden microphones and surreptitious FBI searches of homes along the East Coast. It climaxed Saturday with a fake "drop" in a park in Arlington County, when one of the suspects left $5,000 in an envelope inside a folded newspaper, which was recovered by the FBI.

Three of those arrested lived in Arlington, and court documents depict a trail of covert meetings between the suspects and undercover agents just blocks from the White House and in midtown Manhattan. At one point, agents videotaped an alleged conspirator brushing past his Russian handler and surreptitiously exchanging bags to be paid.

The operation, referred to by U.S. investigators as "the Illegals program," was aimed at placing spies in nongovernmental jobs, such as at think tanks, where they could glean information from policymakers and Washington-connected insiders without attracting attention.

Whether it succeeded was unclear Monday. Federal law enforcement officials portrayed their operation as a spectacular counterintelligence success that uncovered a group of spies capable of doing great damage to U.S. national security. "I can't remember a case where we've been able to arrest 10 intelligence officers from a foreign country in one fell swoop," one official said. "This network in the United States has now been completely compromised."

But other officials said the Russian network appears to have accomplished little, if any, of its espionage aims, even though some of the suspects had lived in this country for up to two decades.

"These are people trying to get inside the tent that you would expect to see more charges on if they had succeeded in doing so," said one U.S. official familiar with the investigation, who added, "It certainly is a wake-up call" for those on the alert for Russian spying.

The defendants

Eleven people face charges in federal court in Manhattan that include conspiring to act as unauthorized foreign agents and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They were not charged with espionage. Ten of the suspects were arrested Sunday in raids in Arlington, New York, New Jersey and Boston; the 11th remains at large.

All of those arrested appeared in federal courts Monday and were ordered held without bond. All will be moved to Manhattan for trial.

Prosecutors said in court that additional search warrants are being executed nationwide.

No one answered the telephone late Monday afternoon at the news media office for the Russian Embassy. A State Department spokesman referred questions on the case's potential diplomatic sensitivities to the Justice Department.

The defendants, eight of whom are married couples, held jobs in fields such as finance and media. One, Vicky Pelaez, was a reporter for a Spanish-language newspaper in New York, officials said. Mikhail Semenko, who was arrested at his residence in Arlington, worked in New York in 2008 and last year for the Conference Board, which provides economic data, the organization said.

Semenko, who is fluent in Russian, English, Mandarin and Spanish, has worked at the Travel All Russia travel agency in Arlington for more than a year, said Slava Shirokov, a co-owner. He said Semenko was known as a smart, hard-working and polite employee who helped Chinese and Hispanic travelers plan trips.

"It's straight from a movie. I would never think of anything like this happening to Mikhail," he said. "It still seems quite surreal."

Attorneys for several of the defendants did not return calls seeking comment. The names of attorneys for other defendants could not be determined Monday.

Court files

Court documents contain hints, often byzantine, about the nature of the information that the suspects might have obtained. One defendant, whose alias was allegedly "Donald Howard Heathfield," made contact with a government official at a seminar and discussed "research programs on small yield, high penetration nuclear warheads," the documents said.

But it is unclear whether the information was passed to the headquarters of Russian foreign intelligence -- known as "Moscow Center" -- which officials said ran the operation, and there is no indication the data were secret or classified.

Two people arrested in New Jersey, known as "Richard Murphy" and "Cynthia Murphy," were instructed to obtain information about the U.S. position on a new strategic arms reduction treaty and Iran's nuclear program in advance of President Obama's visit to Russia last year. Citing intercepted communications between the suspects and their Russian handlers, court documents say, "Moscow Center indicated that it needs intels . . . try to single out tidbits unknown publicly, but revealed in private by sources close to State department, government, major think tanks."

The documents make it clear that the Russians, who officials said began the "Illegals program" in the days of the Cold War, were prepared to wait.

Cynthia Murphy last year was assigned the account of a New York-based financier described as a fundraiser "for a major political party" who is "a personal friend" of a Cabinet member's.

"Try to build up little by little relations with him moving beyond just (work) framework," said an intercepted communication from "Moscow Center."

Staff writers Maria Glod, Greg Miller and Mary Beth Sheridan and staff researchers Meg Smith and Julie Tate contributed to this report.

Rolling The (Vietnam) Stone Forward

From Human Events--Guns & Patriots:

Rolling (the Vietnam) Stone Forward

by Phillip Jennings


So General McChrystal is now the latest victim of forgetting that the press is rarely your friend. It could be argued, and has been, that he received what he deserved, and the response to his poor judgment is a rare instance of agreement from both the right and the left for the most part. President Obama, of whom I am not a fan (but then I’m not on active duty), really had little choice in his decision to fire or not fire. And his choice of General Petraeus was also a no-brainer, as the country, and the war in Afghanistan, doesn’t need the specter of a ‘vetting’ process in which pro and anti Afghan war proponents square off in the media with a miniscule number of them actually knowing what they are talking about (Giving members of Congress another platform from which to pontificate is America at its most masochistic). Granted, the entire flap doesn’t have the gravitas of a MacArthur—Truman battle. This seemed more like a school yard scrap and a public venting. If every military man openly expressed his likely opinion that the U.S. State Department is peopled with incompetent jerks, we would be down to Lance Corporals running the Joint Chiefs. And, to be fair, the feeling is probably mutual.

There is, however, another unfortunate theme which is brought up by the whole affair. And that is the continued and seemingly ubiquitous use of half-truths and outright lies about the American War in Vietnam as a reference point for the war in Afghanistan. A specific instance is in the now famous Rolling Stone interview with McChrystal which launched him into retirement or at least banishment for the immediate future. Near the end of the article we read that “The COIN doctrine, bizarrely, draws inspiration from some of the biggest Western military embarrassments in recent memory: France’s nasty war in Algeria (lost in 1962) and the American misadventure in Vietnam (lost in 1975).”

To deal briefly with the French in Algeria: Nothing in our COIN policy resembles the French actions in Algeria to any significant degree beginning with the fact that colonization was the basis of the conflict.

As to the reference to America in Vietnam, the facts are even clearer. The COIN initiatives in Vietnam were largely highly successful when fully implemented during the final years of our involvement (as a former Marine, I also proudly point out that the Marine Corps strongly advocated a similar policy in Vietnam almost from the beginning of their deployment). By the end of the U.S. military actions in Vietnam (in late 1972) the countryside in South Vietnam was about 90 percent under the government’s control, and the ‘blunt’ end of a COIN policy--killing the enemy in large numbers--sent the North Vietnamese scrambling to the Paris Peace treaty where they agreed to stop their aggression, free our prisoners, and left in place a democratically elected government in South Vietnam. The “loss” in 1975 was the result of a communist North Vietnam rearming and attacking the South Vietnamese in force after the American congress failed to live up to its obligations to support the South Vietnamese (and the peace treaty).

There are indeed valuable lessons to be learned from Vietnam, but the country is ill-served by basing them on false, incomplete, or misleading knowledge of the true history of our Vietnam actions. If the Rolling Stone wants to be taken seriously (as it has stated) as a journal of American political activity, it owes its readers (not just the anti-Vietnam war alumni) more than repeating the old and tired criticisms of our efforts in Vietnam.

Editor's Note: Phillip Jennings is the author of the "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War." You really should buy one - you will like reading the truth!


Phillip Jennings served in Vietnam with the United States Marine Corps, flying helicopters, and in Laos as a pilot for Air America. He is the author of the critically acclaimed comic novels Nam-A-Rama and Goodbye Mexico, and won the Pirate�s Alley Faulkner Society first prize for fiction with his short story, �Train Wreck in a Small Town.� A successful entrepreneur, he is currently CEO of Molecular Resonance Corporation, which is developing technology to detect and disarm Improvised Explosive Devices. He lives with his family near Seattle, Washington.


Medal Of Honor Winner: Vernon McGarrity

From Human Events--Guns & Patriots:

Medal of Honor: Vernon McGarity

by Mike Piccione



Rank: Technical Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company L

Division: 393d Infantry, 99th Infantry Division

Born: 1 December 1921, Right, Tenn.

Departed: No

Entered Service At: Model, Tenn.

G.O. Number: 6

Date of Issue: 01/11/1946

Accredited To:

Place / Date: Near Krinkelt, Belgium, 16 December 1944


He was painfully wounded in an artillery barrage that preceded the powerful counteroffensive launched by the Germans near Krinkelt, Belgium, on the morning of 16 December 1944. He made his way to an aid station, received treatment, and then refused to be evacuated, choosing to return to his hard-pressed men instead. The fury of the enemy's great Western Front offensive swirled about the position held by T/Sgt. McGarity's small force, but so tenaciously did these men fight on orders to stand firm at all costs that they could not be dislodged despite murderous enemy fire and the breakdown of their communications. During the day the heroic squad leader rescued 1 of his friends who had been wounded in a forward position, and throughout the night he exhorted his comrades to repulse the enemy's attempts at infiltration. When morning came and the Germans attacked with tanks and infantry, he braved heavy fire to run to an advantageous position where he immobilized the enemy's lead tank with a round from a rocket launcher. Fire from his squad drove the attacking infantrymen back, and 3 supporting tanks withdrew. He rescued, under heavy fire, another wounded American, and then directed devastating fire on a light cannon which had been brought up by the hostile troops to clear resistance from the area. When ammunition began to run low, T/Sgt. McGarity, remembering an old ammunition hole about 100 yards distant in the general direction of the enemy, braved a concentration of hostile fire to replenish his unit's supply. By circuitous route the enemy managed to emplace a machinegun to the rear and flank of the squad's position, cutting off the only escape route. Unhesitatingly, the gallant soldier took it upon himself to destroy this menace single-handedly. He left cover, and while under steady fire from the enemy, killed or wounded all the hostile gunners with deadly accurate rifle fire and prevented all attempts to reman the gun. Only when the squad's last round had been fired was the enemy able to advance and capture the intrepid leader and his men. The extraordinary bravery and extreme devotion to duty of T/Sgt. McGarity supported a remarkable delaying action which provided the time necessary for assembling reserves and forming a line against which the German striking power was shattered.

Thanks to our friends at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for this citation.


Mike Piccione is the Editor of Guns & Patriots. He is a long time shooter, hunter and writer. Mike is a former United States Marine, NRA Marketing Manager and a member of the Fairfax County, VA, Community Emergency Response Team.


Law Of The Sea (LOST) Treaty Weakens Us

from Human Events--Guns & Patriots:

LOST Treaty Sacrifices Sovereignty, Weakens Military

by Chris Carter


For nearly 30 years, the United Nations has sought ratification of the onerous Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). Although numerous presidents have supported LOST - formally known as the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea - fortunately, the Senate has never managed to ratify the treaty.

What is LOST and why should it concern the American voter?

We ask Cliff Kincaid, editor of the Accuracy in Media Report and president of America's Survival, Inc.. Kincaid has led a national education campaign about LOST.

Chris Carter: How does LOST threaten American sovereignty?

Cliff Kincaid: This treaty is the biggest giveaway of American sovereignty and resources since the Panama Canal Treaty. It gives the United Nations bureaucracy control over the oceans of the world -- seven-tenths of the world's surface. It sets up an International Seabed Authority to decide who gets access to oil, gas and minerals in international waters. The companies that get those rights to harvest those resources have to pay a global tax to the International Seabed Authority.

Carter: You wrote that the passage of LOST "could be the final nail in the coffin of U.S. Naval superiority." How so?

KINCAID: It would cement in place a procedure to use the treaty, rather than Navy ships, to safeguard U.S. interests. That would cause a further decline in the number of Navy ships, on the ground that we don’t need them.

Carter: If LOST weakens our military, why do you think the Joint Chiefs support the treaty?

KINCAID: Several reasons. One, the influence of international lawyers in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) offices; and two, the dramatic decline in the number of Navy ships. We have gone from 594 under President Reagan to only 276 today. Susan Biniaz, Assistant Legal Adviser, Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State, speaking July 17, 2007, at the American Enterprise Institute, said, “I think someone said how few ships there are compared to how many there used to be. We don't have the capacity to be challenging every maritime claim throughout the world solely through the use of naval power. And [we] certainly can't use the Navy to meet all the economic interests." This was her justification for ratifying the treaty.

Carter: While previous presidents have endorsed - or expressed support of - LOST, the treaty has never been ratified. What provisions kept the U.S. from ratifying LOST, and have those provisions since been addressed?

KINCAID: Bill Clinton claimed he had solved some of the problems with the treaty in a 1994 side agreement. But Reagan's people have said that it was not fixed. Some of the supporters of the treaty say Reagan only objected to the provisions on deep-sea mining.

But the fact is that his chief negotiator to the Law of the Sea convention, a man named James L. Malone, gave testimony in 1995 saying that President Reagan rejected this treaty as a whole -- that it was flawed in concept and in detail. Reagan's diaries have now come out and one of those diary entries quotes the former president as saying he rejected this treaty not just because of the deep-sea mining provisions; his objections were far broader than that. Reagan rejected the whole concept of the treaty.

Carter: What kind of timeline are we looking at for a possible ratification of LOST, and what can the American people do to stop it?

KINCAID: I am not aware of any action on the treaty being planned at this time. What we should be focused on instead is the fact that China is building what could be the largest Navy in the world by 2020. Our response should be to deep-six the treaty and build more American Navy ships, striving for the 600-ship Navy envisioned by Reagan.


While LOST hasn't yet begun its push for ratification of LOST, numerous government officials and reports have endorsed the treaty. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff have endorsed LOST. The National Security

Strategy and the Quadrennial Defense Review both call for its passage.

But do we want to subject ourselves to an international law that prohibits submarines from traveling underwater, prohibits aircraft operations, prohibits training with weapons, and even limits our ability to board ships - even when there is a possibility that the ship is carrying weapons of mass destruction? The Constitution states that once a treaty is ratified, it becomes the supreme law of the land. And the U.S. would be only one vote among 155 that historically have proven to vote against U.S. interests.

LOST grants us no rights that we do not already have. We have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

The United States armed forces are the sole reason that American liberty and security has endured for over 200 years. If our nation is to survive for another 200, we must continue to rely on "peace through strength" and not corrupt international lawyers and bureaucrats.

Editor’s Note:

Chris Carter is the Director of The Victory Institute – take a moment to become familiar with his site.


Chris Carter is the Director of the Victory Institute -- an action institution and veterans service organization promoting matters that affect the liberty and security of the American family.


This Week In Military History

From Human Events--Guns & Patriots:

From Pickett’s Charge to Roosevelt’s Rough Riders

by W. Thomas Smith Jr.


This Week in American Military History

June 28, 1776: In what has been described as the “first decisive victory of American forces over the British Navy” during the American Revolution, the garrison at Fort Sullivan, S.C. (today Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island in Charleston harbor) under the command of militia Col. William Moultrie repulse Royal Navy forces under the command of Admiral Sir Peter Parker.

The 12-plus hour battle begins around 9 a.m. when Parker’s ships open fire on the fort: many of the British shells sinking harmlessly into the soft palmetto logs of which the fort is constructed. The ships, on the other hand, (some of which run aground on the harbor’s shoals) are constructed of oak, which Moultrie’s artillerists quickly shatter sending deadly splinters into the unfortunate British crews.

Moultrie is destined to become a Maj. Gen. in the Continental Army and a S.C. governor. And S.C. will forever be known as “the Palmetto State.”

(AUTHOR NOTE: My five-times great grandfather, Capt. Thomas Woodward – commanding a company of S.C. Rangers on Moultrie's extreme left – helps thwart an attempt by Royal Marines to land on the island.)

June 28, 1778: The Battle of Monmouth, N.J. is fought between Gen. George Washington's Continental Army (including the legendary Molly Pitcher) and British forces under Gen. Sir Henry Clinton. Though tactically inconclusive, the battle is a strategic victory for the Americans who prove they can go toe-to-toe with the British Army in a large pitched battle.

July 1, 1898: U.S. Army Lt. Col. (future U.S. pres.) Theodore Roosevelt leads several of his “Rough Riders” – a crack regiment of U.S. cavalry troopers during the Spanish American War – in the famous charge up San Juan Hill, Cuba.

For his actions, Roosevelt will receive the Medal of Honor. A portion of his citation reads: “Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt, in total disregard for his personal safety, and accompanied by only four or five men, led a desperate and gallant charge up San Juan Hill, encouraging his troops to continue the assault through withering enemy fire over open countryside. Facing the enemy's heavy fire, he displayed extraordinary bravery throughout the charge, and was the first to reach the enemy trenches, where he quickly killed one of the enemy with his pistol, allowing his men to continue the assault.”

July 3, 1863: Day-three of the Battle of Gettysburg: Confederate Maj. Gen. George Pickett leads his ill-fated division against Union Army forces under the command of Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock positioned on Cemetery Ridge. Said to be “the highwater mark of the Confederacy,” Pickett’s charge will fail.

Gen. Robert E. Lee – commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia – had ordered the charge. Lee’s subordinate (corps) commander, Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, had argued against such a charge. But following Lee’s orders, Longstreet directed Pickett to attack.

Years later, Pickett will be asked why his attack failed. His reply: “I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.”

Nobel prize-winning author William Faulkner will write, “For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position… .”

July 4, 1776: The American colonies – already at war with Great Britain – declare their independence.

July 4, 1802: The U.S. Military Academy at West Point opens its doors.

July 4, 1863: The Confederate city of Vicksburg, Mississippi falls to Union Army forces under the command of Maj. Gen. (future U.S. pres.) Ulysses S. Grant. It will be decades before the city celebrates the 4th of July again.

Let's increase awareness of American military tradition and honor America’s greatest heroes by supporting the Medal of Honor Society's 2010 Convention to be held in Charleston, S.C., Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, 2010 (for more information, click here).


Mr. Smith is a contributor to Human Events. A former U.S. Marine rifle-squad leader and counterterrorism instructor, he writes about military/defense issues and has covered conflict in the Balkans, on the West Bank, in Iraq and Lebanon. He is the author of six books, and his articles appear in a variety of publications. E-mail him at

"General" Madness

From Human Events--Guns & Patriots:


Comments'General' Madness

by Oliver North


Washington, DC – Set aside for a moment how inconceivable it is that an article in Rolling Stone magazine could be the cause of anyone being fired – much less a U.S. Commanding General in the midst of a war. But that is what happened this week.

General Stanley McChrystal is a tough, combat-experienced officer who knows how to fight. He knows how to kill the enemy. But he clearly doesn’t “get it” when it comes to the media. His staff let him down – badly – by allowing Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone to “hang around” with a tape recorder.

That the Pentagon, Central Command and General McChrystal’s staff granted unfettered, prolonged access to this publication reflects ignorance, arrogance or both. Everyone involved in approving this “embed” ought to be fired for egregious lack of judgment. They apparently believed they could “win over” Mr. Hastings. They were dead wrong.

I don’t disagree with much of what General McChrystal or his staff are quoted saying about the O-Team in the article. I have used many of the same terms to describe the present administration – albeit with fewer expletives. It should also be noted that despite claims of “several lengthy interviews” with General McChrystal, there are very few lines of text in the offending article directly attributable to the General.

On our last Fox News trip to Afghanistan, we reported that many of the troops were concerned about new rules of engagement (ROE), cuts in night operations, and limits on raids and airstrikes making them more vulnerable to Taliban attacks and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Rolling Stone looked for and found troops who were unhappy with the ROE to support the magazine’s contention that the war in Afghanistan is “unwinnable.” That refrain is increasingly prevalent because Mr. Obama refuses to use the words “win” or “victory.”

General McChrystal’s firing has been likened to President Lincoln replacing George McClellan during the Civil War and President Truman’s sacking Douglas MacArthur in the midst of the Korean War. Not true.

Both McClellan and MacArthur vocally opposed the stated policies and strategy of their presidents. That’s not what happened here. In announcing he had “accepted” his battlefield commander’s resignation; Mr. Obama acknowledged he and General McChrystal “are in full agreement about our strategy.” This week’s firing was simply political theater designed to enhance Mr. Obama’s stature as a "leader" in the eyes of his supporters and critics.

Mr. Obama suffers from decision deficit disorder. He is routinely described as detached, disengaged, ambivalent and uncertain in everything from the economy, to securing our borders, to the Gulf oil spill, to the war itself. He has been unable or unwilling to name our radical Islamist enemies or define victory. He is the only commander in chief to announce a deadline for withdrawing troops while committing more Americans to combat.

General McChrystal was relieved because a thin skinned president couldn’t take criticism in "the press" and needed to prove he's “the boss.” The intemperate, published remarks made by General McChrystal and his staff in Rolling Stone provided an opportunity for Mr. Obama to show his left-wing base that he is “in charge.”

The task of commanding 140,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan now falls on the shoulders of General David Petraeus. In accepting the assignment, General Petraeus has not only stepped down from the more senior post as head of U.S. Central Command, but he has also been thrust into the role of “America’s only competent General.” One critic suggested, “He’s very good, but it does make us look like we're a banana republic.” Another, a senior officer, said, “Petraeus has accepted ‘mission impossible’; herding coalition cats, getting the cooperation of a completely corrupt regime in Kabul and meeting the often conflicting expectations of an inept regime in Washington.”

Leading the unruly coalition in Afghanistan may well prove to be far more challenging than what General Petraeus had to do in Iraq from 2007 to 2008. In Baghdad, he had a close working relationship with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the respect of other coalition leaders, a supportive, united White House and backing from a bi-partisan coalition in Congress. The command in Kabul offers few of these advantages, for the O-Team is nearly incapacitated by internal rivalries and enormous egos.

“Why would General Petraeus take what amounts to a demotion?” I asked. The answer, from an admirer, was revealing: “He was selected because he is a proven commodity. Everyone knows Petraeus is a battle tested commander and a patriot. In Iraq, he showed how to work every military, diplomatic and political angle necessary to get the job done. By taking the evidently thankless job in Kabul, he just guaranteed he will be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

Perhaps. But first, General Petraeus has to convince this Commander in Chief how to say, “victory.” He has a year to do it.


Lt. Col. North (Ret.) is a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of the FOX News/Regnery books, "War Stories: Operation Iraqi Freedom," "War Stories II: Heroism in the Pacific" and "War Stories III: The Heroes Who Defeated Hitler." Lt. North hosts "War Stories Investigates: Drugs, Money and Narco-Terror" Saturday, Aug. 22, at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. EDT on Fox News Channel.


The U.S. Should Consider Leaving South Korea

From The CATO Institute:

US Out of South Korea

by Gene Healy

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.

Added to on June 29, 2010

This article appeared in The DC Examiner on June 29, 2010.

PRINT PAGE CITE THIS Sans Serif Serif Share with your friends:

ShareThisSixty years ago Sunday, President Harry Truman ordered U.S. forces into battle to repel North Korean hordes streaming across the 38th parallel in a surprise attack on the South. What Truman termed a "police action," others have called "the Forgotten War," overshadowed by the next decade's bitter controversy over Vietnam.

It's odd that a conflict as pivotal as the Korean War could ever be "forgotten." U.S. involvement saved millions of South Koreans from being swallowed up by a militarized slave-state.

That came at no small price: Truman's unilateral decision crossed a constitutional Rubicon, eroding Congress's power to declare war and leading to the deaths of more than 36,000 American soldiers — most of them conscripts — without the courtesy of an up-or-down vote on the war.

Americans can be proud of what their sacrifices helped achieve. But the Korean War's anniversary ought to prompt rethinking a Cold War-era alliance well past its sell-by date.

After 60 years of guarding the ROK, haven't we done our part?

When America signed a mutual defense treaty with the South after the 1953 armistice, the war-weakened Republic of Korea faced a communist enemy backed by China and the Soviet Union. Today, the "hermit kingdom" to the North remains belligerent — as shown by its recent torpedo attack on the ROK vessel Cheonan — but it's a desperately poor, internationally isolated basket case.

A look at the famous nighttime satellite photo hints at the two countries' relative strengths. In the North darkness reigns; but to the South, the brightly lit ROK is the world's "most-wired nation" and its 13th-largest economy. It has twice the population and more than 20 times the GDP of the North.

Yet today some 28,000 U.S. troops remain in South Korea, ready to defend an ally that's more than capable of defending itself. After 60 years of guarding the ROK, haven't we done our part?

Apparently not. In a Saturday press briefing, President Obama marked the war's anniversary by making clear that the U.S. isn't going anywhere. He announced that the U.S. would retain wartime command of ROK troops in any future peninsular conflict, scrapping a plan to turn over control of South Korean forces in 2012.

The U.S. has an interest in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, of course — but that doesn't require American troops stationed along the DMZ, bearing a disproportionate amount of the risk in an allegedly "mutual" defense pact.

South Korea sacrifices some sovereignty in this bargain, but at least it saves money. The ROK spends 2.6 of its GDP on defense — well less than the United States — and falling. As my colleague Doug Bandow puts it in a forthcoming study, "Americans are borrowing money to pay to defend the South so South Koreans can spend their money on other priorities."

That's a common pattern in our Cold War-era alliances. U.S. membership in NATO, an alliance crafted to contain an enemy that collapsed 18 years ago, has helped keep European defense budgets low and subsidize lavish welfare states for NATO members. Yet we still account for half of the world's military expenditures with a bloated "defense" budget largely devoted to the defense of other nations.

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.

More by Gene HealyIn his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson outlined the ideal American foreign policy: "peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Toward that end, President Obama's other announcement Saturday, that he would (finally) back a free-trade agreement with South Korea, was at least a half-step in the right direction.

In the years to come, we would do well to move closer to the Jeffersonian ideal in international affairs. One thing is clear: In an era of trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, America can't afford to play globocop any longer.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Free Gaza Movement And Its Political Agenda

From The Middle East Affairs Information Center:

The Free Gaza Movement and its Political Agenda

On 06.28.10, In Gaza and Westbank, Humanitarian Aid, Israel, News of Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, The Gaza Flotilla, Posted By Crethi Plethi.

Sun, June 27, 2010
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

Some members and participants of the Free Gaza Movement: Top Left, Caoimhe Butterly; middle 3rd row, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire; front row left, Derek Graham (30 Oct 2008)

Inside documents of the Free Gaza movement seized in the recent flotilla expose considerable discrepancies between its strategy and tactics and its public stance. The documents prove, among other things, the attempts to conceal the aid to the Hamas administration since Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization in the US.

1. Established in 2006, the Free Gaza movement (hereinafter: Free Gaza) is a pro-Palestinian/pro-Hamas group whose stated purpose is to “break the siege” imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip following the Hamas takeover. Free Gaza is registered in Cyprus as a human rights project and is headquartered in Nicosia. Its website says that Free Gaza has branches in 28 countries, including 11 in Europe, 5 in North America (4 in the US and one in Canada), and a branch in Israel (referred to on the movement’s website as “Palestine 1948 territories”). The organizational framework of Free Gaza also includes the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which also took part in the latest flotilla.

2. Free Gaza played an important role in the coalition of organizations which orchestrated the latest flotilla, even though the dominant force was the Turkish IHH. Free Gaza started sending aid flotillas to the Gaza Strip in 2008. Prior to the latest flotilla, Free Gaza was able to send four other aid flotillas to the Gaza Strip:

a. August 2008: two ships departed from Cyprus and arrived at the port of Gaza on August 23 (BBC, August 23, 2008).

b. October 2008: a yacht named Dignity with 26 activists and medical supplies on board arrived in Gaza on October 29 (JTA, October 29, 2008).

c. December 2008: the same yacht, Dignity, with about 3 tons of medical supplies, attempted to penetrate the waters of Gaza but was stopped by the Israeli navy (ynet, December 30, 2008).

d. June 2009: a ship called Spirit of Humanity, which attempted to reach Gaza on June 30, was stopped by the Israeli navy near the Gaza port (Jerusalem Post, June 29, 2009).

3. The movement’s mission, as appears on its website, is to break the siege of Gaza. It also states that it will not ask for Israel’s permission for its actions, since the movement’s intent is

“to overcome this brutal siege through civil resistance and non-violent direct action, and establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world” (Free Gaza website).

4. Free Gaza is now organizing yet another flotilla to the Gaza Strip. Nidal Hejazi, a Free Gaza senior official in Norway, said that the movement is now planning to acquire yet another boat from Norway to depart for the Gaza Strip as soon as possible. He said he was hoping to organize a flotilla consisting of more than ten additional boats from European countries. According to Hejazi, upon returning from Turkey on June 3, the movement started working on a list of passengers from Norway to join the flotilla, and the list will be finalized in the coming days (Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, June 5, 2010).

5. Inside documents of Free Gaza seized in the latest flotilla (see appendices for the unedited, complete text) deal with the movement’s strategy and with briefings given to its activists prior to the flotilla’s departure. Analysis and comparison of the inside documents to the movement’s public stance shows significant discrepancies and even contradictions between them. For example:

a. Legal aspect: a legal briefing (“legal information“) given by Free Gaza to its activists shows that the movement is well aware of the legal problem of delivering assistance to the Hamas de-facto administration in the Gaza Strip, particularly considering that the US designated Hamas as a terrorist organization. Reading between the lines also shows that while Free Gaza publicly states that the aid is for the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, Free Gaza is aware that, in fact, it assists the Hamas de-facto administration. Therefore, at a legal briefing for activists who took part in the flotilla, they were warned against making any statement or taking any action that could be construed as providing material assistance to Hamas to avoid being incriminated in the US and in other countries (the movement has activists in the US whose participation in the flotilla seems to contradict US law; also, Free Gaza raises funds in the US, where it has a contact man for allegedly humanitarian purposes, yet those purposes are in fact clearly political).

b. Political aspect: during the legal briefing, as a way of solving the problem of Hamas’ designation as a terrorist organization, the activists were told that Free Gaza had publicly announced that it had no political agenda, and that it was committed to “non-violent humanitarian assistance” to the Palestinian people (Free Gaza is registered as a Human Rights Project, a definition which appears on its website). However, according to an inside document found on the Mavi Marmara, the goals of the flotilla were clearly political rather than humanitarian (the minimum goals defined in the document are generating media [impact] about the blockade on the Gaza Strip and pushing foreign governments to take punitive action against Israel; delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip was not listed as a goal).

c. Response to possible scenarios during the voyage: Free Gaza drew up “defensive” scenarios for the flotilla based on the premise that the IDF would be unable to stop the boats without using force. Several tactics are listed to prevent the IDF from taking over the boat. One of the things mentioned is putting obstructions with sharp points on the deck and barricading in the wheelhouse and the engine room.

d. Although those tactics pale in comparison to the organized violence used by IHH, they are still incompatible with instructions given by Free Gaza to its activists, which categorically prohibited the use of verbal of physical violence. It therefore appears that the term “non-violent resistance”, which appears in the instructions of human rights organizations which took part in the flotilla, was open to interpretation by the various organizations and the various activists, who were eager to confront the IDF soldiers (as demonstrated by the preparations made by IHH, which also defines itself as a humanitarian organization, for a violent confrontation with the IDF).

6. What follows is an analysis of Free Gaza inside documents seized in the latest flotilla.

Appendix A

Legal briefing given by Free Gaza to passengers on the ship Challenger (it can be assumed that a similar briefing was given to Free Gaza activists on other ships)

1. A document titled “Legal Information” was seized aboard the Challenger, a Free Gaza ship. The document notes that Hamas is designated as a “global terrorist” organization by the US Treasury Department. In addition, it states that the UN has also blacklisted Hamas as a terrorist organization. Consequently, a US citizen providing “material support” to Hamas may face criminal charges in US courts. This may also pose a problem to citizens of other countries, which is why Free Gaza advises them to check the laws and regulations on dealing with Hamas in their countries.

2. Reading between the lines, it appears that Free Gaza is well aware that transporting aid to the Hamas de-facto administration, considered to be an inseparable part of Hamas by the US administration, is a violation of US law.

3. The document illustrates that Free Gaza is aware that it is legally problematic to deliver aid to the Hamas de-facto administration in the Gaza Strip, particularly in the US, where Hamas is banned.[1] Therefore, the document contains a legal briefing of sorts (“legal information“) to activists taking part in the flotilla, the main points of which are:

a. The activists from the various countries, particularly US residents, must avoid even the appearance of providing “material support” to Hamas, including its leadership.

b. Free Gaza has said publicly and repeatedly that it serves no political agenda whatsoever and that it is engaged solely in non-violent humanitarian support for the Palestinian people, not the Palestinian leadership. Under no circumstances should any participant make a public statement of affinity or admiration of any political group in Palestine (note: the public portrayal of providing humanitarian support for the Palestinian people as the movement’s goal is incorrect, since an inside document found aboard the Mavi Marmara defined the goals of the flotilla to be political, not humanitarian—see Appendix B for details).

The original document:

Appendix B

Inside document detailing the strategy and tactics of

Free Gaza in preparation for the flotilla


1. Found on one of the computers seized aboard the Mavi Marmara was the draft of an inside document (“not for distribution“) dated March 7, 2010. The document describes the goals of and preparations for the flotilla, lists problems and offers solutions.

2. Following are the main issues that appear in the document:

a. The goals of the flotilla: the goals of the flotilla as defined in the document are clearly political, contradicting the public image of “humanitarian support” which appears in the legal briefing. The “minimum goal” is to “generate a lot of media about the blockade on Gaza” and the “situation of Palestinians in Gaza”. A secondary goal is “taking legal/political action, including jail stays, to push foreign governments to do more than make statements, but to take punitive action towards Israel.” Elsewhere in the document, the goal is said to be generating media coverage and putting pressure on Israel.

b. Importance of flotilla’s success in view of Free Gaza’s financial difficulties: the document states that the movement is “in a bad financial position” for the current flotilla and for other flotillas to follow: “There is virtually no likelihood of us [i.e., the movement] being able to get more funds for a mission that does not result in tangible results for Gaza.”

c. “The Galloway Factor“: George Galloway is a former British pro-Hamas parliament member who played a key role in organizing Lifeline-3, the previous aid convoy to the Gaza Strip. The participants of the previous convoy confronted Egyptian authorities, subsequent to which George Galloway was declared a persona non grata in Egypt. According to the Free Gaza document, George Galloway no longer assists Free Gaza as much as he did in the past (for his own reasons). The document notes that Galloway may not be able to get much support for a flotilla if the ships do not reach Gaza’s shores. In the view of Free Gaza, this factor makes it all the more important for the flotilla to reach Gaza.

d. Flotilla passengers: the passengers on behalf of Free Gaza were divided into three categories: celebrities and VIPs, parliament members (from national parliaments and ideally not backbenchers), and union leaders. Free Gaza considered increasing the number of passengers since it had permission to bring its passengers on the IHH passenger ship (i.e., the Mavi Marmara). That combination of passengers was designed to increase the media impact of the flotilla.

e. Potential scenarios for the voyage: the document analyzes several “defensive” scenarios, based on a premise that is the fundamental guideline of the flotilla: “We will not turn back. The only way for Israel to stop us is to use force” (from a sub-chapter titled “Mission Strategy”). The scenarios raised in the document can be summarized as follows:

1. Aerial boarding (of soldiers): the document examines how boarding can be prevented. One of the methods mentioned is putting obstructions with sharp points on the deck, making it too dangerous for the soldiers to board (note: the behavior agreement distributed by Free Gaza to its activists prior to the launch of the flotilla says that the activists shall not use verbal or physical violence and that the mission was designed to support the “non-violent resistance of the Palestinians”. The inside document makes it clear that the term “non-violent resistance” is open to interpretation that may change the non-violent and “defensive” resistance into a violent and offensive one, which was what happened aboard the Mavi Marmara).

2. If IDF soldiers do manage to board the ship, the Free Gaza activists were to focus on two areas: the wheelhouse and the engine room. The document says that the wheelhouse had to be made “impenetrable”, which would require replacing glass with bullet-proof glass, replacing doors with steel doors, and adding locks.

3. Using a tugboat to prevent the ship from coming to Gaza. In that case, the ship would try to outmaneuver the tugboat and reach the Gaza Strip, even though its chances of success were unclear.

4. Opening fire (by IDF) or using explosives to neutralize the ship. Free Gaza’s “defensive option” for that scenario was putting VIPs on the cargo ship’s deck (hoping their presence would deter the IDF soldiers).

5. Blocking the cargo ships while giving the passenger ship permission to proceed. In that case, the question was whether the mission was worth continuing with only the passenger ship. The decision was to be made only after the launch of the flotilla.

f. Behavior on the passenger ship: the author of the document believes that there would be a way to deter the kind of boarding Free Gaza had with the Spirit of Humanity (a ship sent by the movement on June 30, 2009, which was stopped by the Israeli navy near the Gaza port). This required putting 1.5-meter steel poles over the sides of the ship. A more likely option was that the Israelis would try to ram the ship, as they had done before.

g. Support from various bodies and organizations: letters from unions and letters from parliaments and governments calling on Israel not to interfere must be prepared; ambassadors in Tel-Aviv must be called on to request no interference from Israel (the countries mentioned are Venezuela, Chile, India, South Africa, Ireland, Belgium, Britain, and Norway); UNIFIL and NATO must be asked for inspection and escort; live broadcasts from the ship must be arranged (the document details a media plan to be implemented in the various stages of the flotilla’s journey).

The original document


Free Gaza Strategy

There are now two parts to the strategy – one for the overall FG situation and one for the mission. The two are not inseparable, as it is prudent to think not only of how we conduct this mission, but also what happens the day after.



2 new passenger ships for high profilers

1 FG boat for activists

1 Cargo ship from IHH

1 passenger ship from IHH (500 pax)

1 passenger ship from ECESG

pending –

cargo ship (FG)

cargo ship (Greece)

passenger ship (Turkey)

passenger ship (Greece)

cargo ship (Sweden)

ship (Indonesia)


The FG accounts (including what is being held aside and what is held elsewhere), seems to have approximately 50,000. From that, at least X will be needed up front for the FG cargo ship and other costs related to holding onto the passenger ships that FG possesses.

There is currently no money available for the mission itself for FG, though efforts are being made to secure those funds.


It is clear that Cyprus will not be a point of departure. Turkish ships can leave from Turkey. FG and Greek ships (if any) can leave from Greece, though the situation in Greece will have to be monitored in the event that the economy dives again and more strikes and unrest follow. The FG cargo ship can leave from its position now (if we get the ship).


The earliest we will know about cargo ship is March 20, and maybe not until March 31. We still do not know what, if any, kind of repairs will be needed and how long it will take. For this ship to be in position to join rest of flotilla, at least 2 weeks are needed. Therefore, if we are using this cargo ship, it is unlikely we can be ready to go with passengers from port before April 25.

Given the above factors, it seems that at as FG, we should next consider the overall FG situation, in order to make decisions that will affect the mission itself.


As stated above, we are in a bad financial position for the mission and for afterwards, if we go ahead with the purchase of the cargo ship. We are also in a limited position in terms of trying to raise more funds if this mission is not successful, in that there is virtually no likelihood of us being able to get more funds for a mission that does not result in tangible results for Gaza. Getting media, creating pressure on Israel, etc. are all good, but unlikely to yield greater funding opportunities. This is particularly true if we end up not in possession of one or more of our ships, or with ships damaged, regardless of what legal strategy we pursue.

Additionally, we cannot ignore the Galloway factor, which practically means that while he may not find as much support as he has in the past, for various reasons mostly of his own doing, and while he may not be able to get as much support for a flotilla if ours does not reach Gaza’s shores, the fact is that he has far greater outreach ability by virtue of his name and the willingness of key people to support him because of his political position as an MP and what he has said/done vis-à-vis Arab governments. Thus, whatever effort we make in the wake of our mission, unless we arrive in Gaza, will undoubtedly be in competition with Galloway, and so far, we have not been able to meet that challenge in terms of funds raised, having a network operating to get funds at that level and to do so in a timely manner.

Now, moving on to other considerations that factor in the financial picture.

Given the responses to the email that was sent out asking for each of us to identify our minimum goal for this mission and the minimum ship requirement for launching this mission, the responses lined up pretty much in accordance with this position:


The goal of this mission is to generate a lot of media about the blockade on Gaza and the illegal/criminal nature of it, as well as the situation of Palestinians in Gaza. Secondly, but connected is the goal of taking legal/political action, including jail stays, pushing foreign governments to do more than make statements, but to take punitive action towards Israel.

Our position, then, is that reaching Gaza, while our intention is not our minimum strategic goal.


This point is seemingly this point is moot now. The IHH has a cargo ship, so we have a minimum of 1, which was the majority opinion of those who responded.

The question now is, does it make sense for FG to get a cargo ship – see below for explanation and for where we need to make a strategic decision.


There is basically a split among those who responded to this, so no decision here.

See below for further explanation why this might make sense, though given the minimum goal for the mission.

For strategic consideration for next mission and FG overall

Given the consensus mission goal, there needs to be decisions derived based on that position, regarding the other points listed above.

Since we have confirmation that we have 1 cargo ship, the pressing question becomes does FG need to get this other cargo ship that is in auction, now that there is competition and that it is potentially going to set us back in terms of timing for mission? I list here some Pros/Cons, but I think we need a decision on this ASAP. (I have tried not to factor in hypothetical situations, as this becomes a never-ending exercise, and should not be how we base this decision – for every ‘if’ on one side, we can add an ‘if’ on the other).

PROS/CONS of having a FG Cargo Ship

Pros Cons

1. Allows more cargo to be brought 1. Cost involved is quite high (management) and a drain on resources that we are not secured of

2. Allows for more groups to participate in providing cargo for mission 2. Owning the ship post-mission will be costly and require full-time attention

3. One more ship that is part of flotilla 3. Given the minimum goal for the mission, there does not seem to be a strategic reason to have more than 1 cargo ship

4. Having 2 cargo ships will necessitate a bigger effort by Israel to stop the flotilla 4. Will require additional expense to secure more cargo, which will require more fundraising

5. While we can bring some material, this is still largely a symbolic measure that until proven that we can deliver, will not be seen as a viable undertaking – having the one cargo ship from IHH allows for the symbolic value already and for testing the viability of this tactic


If we decide on getting this cargo ship, then we proceed accordingly and must stay in this position of being unable to take more concrete action with regard to date, cargo, etc. until we know for sure that this is our ship. Given that the idea of pursuing a back-up cargo ship was pretty much shot down, then we might yet end up in a position of not having a FG cargo ship.


If we decide to not get this ship, then we have to first make sure it is OK with Malaysia, explaining why it is not strategic, and why we are still achieving what we/they want by having the IHH cargo ship. We can use those funds in part then, to procure cargo, which would allow Malaysia to still ‘take credit’ (if that is a concern) for providing building materials to Gaza. If we decide on not getting this ship, then we should be able to move more quickly towards setting time, procuring and getting cargo in place (from departure point of IHH ship), etc. Not getting the ship also frees up funds for FG work in the mission – not just the cost of the cargo ship, but also the cost of the management company and the cost of cargo.

When considering which option, I think we really need to consider financial/logistic aspects of this, notably:

- if we are planning to take legal action, political work and do media work for an extended period after a mission that is stopped, then we need to have funds to do so;

- for those of you who think that regardless of what happens on this mission that FG will continue to send missions to Gaza in some way, then FG must have financial resources to be able to do so;

- having a cargo ship in possession will require ongoing costs and management of the ship, and someone from FG will have to be involved in this.

In terms of the prospect of holding 2 passenger boats back and have them ready for an immediate launch in the event that Israel stops the flotilla, the question to consider is does this fit into the minimum strategic goal for the mission. If the flotilla is not stopped, then these boats will be ready to head to Gaza with a follow up flotilla when the initial flotilla returns from Gaza. Again, some Pros/Cons are (these are only applicable for consideration in planning for if the flotilla is stopped):

Pros Cons

1. Having an immediate follow up mission will generate more media and keep the drama of the situation in the forefront 1. Requires additional land crew and passengers willing to be in a wait and see position; including some key FG personnel to not join initial flotilla

2. More media likely to participate in follow up 2. Likely will not have VIPs on board, but perhaps is not necessary

3. Will keep media focus overall on mission, including on those in flotilla who are taken to jail 3. Requires keeping funds in reserve for this part of the overall mission, and thus potentially the need for having more money in hand to start with

4. Will give tangible action for politicians and governments to support and could result in enabling the kind of political work we need without having us have to go back to capitals to seek action


If we decide to do this, then we need to identify from now which 2 ships, and start identifying passengers for this part of the mission, so they are clear from start. We should also prepare land crew and PR material for the backup teams, all of which should be in place and ready to go within hours of word of what happens with the flotilla when it is confronted by Israeli military.


Continue our work as is.

Overall FG position

In considering the above, we need to consider not just for this mission but for the position of FG overall. Thus making the strategic choices above will impact not just the mission but the ‘day after’. To continue this work in a strategic manner, which requires keeping pressure on Israel, leveraging that by winning allies (organization and political) and generating tangible results (beyond statements of support), will mean that we have to be in position to do so. Choosing from the above choices should therefore be done with an eye to the mission and an eye to beyond the mission.

Mission Strategy


We have decided that for passengers, there would a prioritization of:

1. Celebrities, VIPs

2. MPs (from national parliaments and ideally not those on fringe)

3. Union Leaders

Given the capacity of the IHH passenger ship, we can now accommodate many more passengers, so we do not have pressure to limit spots, but we should still maintain a kind of minimum number of passengers that we want to get per the three categories above.

The sheer number of passengers that we can bring on the IHH ship may result in a different tactic by Israel in terms of detention. To remove that many passengers to shore and to process them would be both a logistic challenge and also a costly maneuver by Israel, require long man-hours, processing time/cost and a challenge to their detention capacity in detention centers that are already crowded with refugees and asylum seekers.

It is thus possible, and potentially likely, that Israel will use a different tactic if it brings the ship to port, which would be to hold the passengers on the ship itself. This is something Israel has developed plans for in terms of housing the detainees it has, but has to implement. We need to strongly consider this possibility and what we could to in terms of this kind of maneuver. However, it should not necessarily change the strategy of the mission prior to capture, though we can take steps to prepare the ship with material/items that could be useful for such a situation.


Basic Principle – We will not turn back. The only way for Israel to stop us is to use force.


On this next mission, we will be traveling with VIPs. Is there a likelihood that they will be willing to take action to resist interference from Israel? Not likely, though we can ask. At this point, we can assume no, and move forward in planning. Once we invite, we can check again.

If the minimum goal for the mission is media attention, etc. then is there a point of having any kind of resistance, including pre-emptive measures to prevent them from taking the ships?

We need a concrete decision here in order to make plans, and in order to work with our partners to develop clear understandings of what we are doing. We also would need to have time to make ships ready for such action.

If we do agree to pre-emptive action, then we can consider that there are basically 2 ways the Israelis have boarded ships – with speedboats the way they boarded the Spirit, and with a helicopter the way they boarded the Lebanese cargo ship.

Since we will have both kinds of ships, we must anticipate both types of boardings.

There is a fundamental question to answer before choosing any strategy – do we want to do all we can to keep the ships in our hands, given that if the Israelis take the boats the chances of us launching another mission become near impossible.

Assuming that we want to keep the boats, then these are possible strategies:


In the event of an aerial boarding, one option is to try to prevent the boarding itself. If the soldiers are coming from the air, then there might be steps to take that can dissuade them from making such a boarding. Put obstructions on the deck of various heights and with sharp points might make such a landing too risky.

If the soldiers do land on the ship, then our choices would need to focus on two areas – the wheelhouse and the engine room. For the wheelhouse, we would have to try to make it impenetrable. This would require switching any glass to bullet-proof glass, replacing doors with steel doors (if not already steel) and adding locks that cannot be broken by conventional tools. For the engine room, we will have to check with the crew about what can be done in terms of safety. And we will have to investigate what possible options would be available.

In any event, even if we prevent a boarding or a take-over of the controls of the ship, Israel can still bring a tugboat out to force our ship. I do not know at this point how that would work if we still maintain ability to maneuver the ship if the tugboat can still force us.

If it can, then the only question left in terms of trying to prevent a takeover of the ship is how long it would take them to bring a tugboat out and if we would have enough time to get to Gaza. If they stop us at the 20-mile limit, that means we need 3 hours at the speed of the cargo ship to get to shore. Assuming the tugboat would come from Ashdod at 15 knots per hour, it does seem that we could conceivably have enough time to get to Gaza.

The Israelis might then open fire on the ship, though would not do so if their soldiers were on board. Another mechanism using some kind of explosive might be used to dismantle the ship, but that would be a serious escalation from the kind of force they have been using to date. Even hitting the Dignity is different than firing or using explosives. That said, we have to take this into consideration.

If we are putting VIPs on board the cargo ship, then they and the crew must be willing to go along with this strategy. If the VIPs are not, then we have to decide if we want to not put VIPs on the cargo ship and thereby have this defensive option open to us.

Another scenario might be that the Israelis try to block the cargo ship while letting the passenger ship go. Assuming we are not successful in preventing the cargo ship from being taken but the passenger ships are not interfered with, then the question to us is whether our mission is worth continuing with only passengers. This is something we have to decide as a board. If we decide to forego going to Gaza, then it seems the only option at that point would be to take the passengers and follow the cargo ship and force the Israelis to deal with us trying to enter Israel. The likelihood is that they would simply detain everyone and move for deportation. We can then put into motion whatever strategy we choose for a DETENTION SCENARIO.

For the passenger ship, it does seem that there would be a way to deter the kind of boarding we had with the Spirit. This would require putting steel poles pointing out from all directions on the boat out over sides of the ship, thus creating a kind of ring of steel poles jutting out 5 feet or so from the ship. I do not know how this would affect the handling of the ship, but assuming it is do-able, then the question is what would be the Israeli response. One option they would have – given they would not get close enough with the speedboats to get onboard – would be to come up alongside and ram the steel poles to break them off. But I think that would not necessarily work for them as they may break but not completely and would leave what remains as a continued deterrent to their boarding. A more likely option is that they would simply ram the ship, like they did with Dignity. Dennis will have to speak to how this new ship would respond to such a ramming. The decision then rests with us in terms of do we want to cause them to escalate. We can also take similar action as with the cargo ship in terms of barricading the wheelhouse and sealing the engine room, per safety issues. But we are not immune on this ship from ramming.

Other Mission Needs


Letters from Unions

Letters from Governments and Parliaments calling on Israel to not


Get Ambassadors in Tel Aviv to Meet with Israeli Ministers to Request no

Interference (Venezuela, Chile, India, S. Africa, Ireland, Belgium, UK, Norway)

Ask UNIFL for inspections and escort

Ask NATO for inspections and escort

Live Broadcast from Ship – use Sailor 500 & have trained people to use


3-prong strategy

- pre-mission media, including launch events

- during mission

- entry or interference


- Press Conference in Ireland for Cargo Launch

- Press Conference with Passengers from Port

- Op-Eds by Passengers in their Home Countries

- Op-Eds by Board of Advisors

- Media Briefing Papers on Humanitarian Situation in Gaza, International Law, Goldstone Report & Blockade, One-Year Later, etc.

- prep work for stories that we want to push with media

- website and YouTube materials

During Mission

- set up Press Center in Jerusalem/Ramallah or Athens or London

- Broadcast from Boat

- Media Interviews with VIPs from Boat – try to schedule in advance on SAT phones

- Media Helicopter from Cyprus

- Symbolic Launches from around the world


- prepare for stories we want told from Gaza – assuming limited time, what is critical to tell; also stories connected to our mission like Green Gaza, etc.


- Publish prepared statements by government officials, celebrities, VIPs, etc. condemning Israel’s actions and in support of Free Gaza Movement

- publish prepared Op-Eds for newspapers from passengers

- Press conference in Jerusalem (at a consulate?) and/or Tel Aviv airport or at embassy (if immediate deportation)

- Immediate filing for return of ship in Israeli court and foreign court where ship is registered

- file lawsuit against navy for aggression

- Malaysia to introduce General Assembly debate on issuing a UN Resolution for ‘Uniting for Peace’ Resolution 377, calling for international action to open Gaza


If this mission is stopped and we are taken to jail, then it is extremely unlikely (and we should plan on it not happening) that VIPs and media will agree to a potential long-term jail strategy. We can put it out in the media that our plan is to stay in jail until we are allowed to go to Gaza, but unless we are serious about it, then it is very harmful to credibility to not follow through. We CAN file for immediate release based on the lack of charges (which is how we were held last time) and petition the court for visas to Israel for all of the passengers. This would allow us to use the court for more PR work and would potentially put Israel in the position of having to charge the passengers, which would also require taking a legal position on Gaza.

If passengers are detained on the 500-person passenger ship, then the likelihood is that any deportation hearings will be done at the port in a makeshift hearing room, although we also need to look at what the legal situation would be if the passengers were not turned over to civilian jurisdiction. That is, if we are kept at a naval base, and in military custody, what legal avenues are available. This should be sorted out prior to mission in the formulation of a legal strategy.

For passengers on the Free Gaza ship, then the question is are they ready for jail stay and to what end? Is Free Gaza in a position to strategically support those staying in jail, particularly if we are going to try to launch another mission/take advantage of the PR opportunities that will abound by virtue of this action. What is minimum number of volunteers needed for jail-solidarity team for media/legal work? Who is going to be available post-mission for touring/public speaking?


Appendix C

A document titled “Free Gaza Movement” found in the

possession of one of the movement’s activists

1. Attached is a list of Free Gaza liaisons and their contact information based on a document found in the possession of one of the activists (with ITIC comments added). One of them, Ramzi Kysia, is located in the US.

Name Position Phone E-mail

Greta Berlin On-board coordinator 33607374512 (French number)

Niamh Moloughney (Ireland) (Included on the list of Free Gaza board members, coordinators etc.) 353857747257 (Irish number)

Ramzi Kysia Washington coordinator 17039945422 (US number)

Alex Harrison On-board coordinator 35796489805 (Irish number)

Angie Pal Ship passenger 35796399715 (Irish number)

Derrick Free Gaza coordinator in Cyprus

Therese McDermott Logistics administrator on Crete 306989943191 (Greek number)

Giorgos Klontzas One of the captains 306944505400 (Greek number)

Caoimhe Butterly (Ireland) ISM contact 353876114553 (Greek number)

Ism Gaza

Eva Bartlett (Canada) ISM contact in Gaza

Bianca Zammit ISM volunteer in Gaza who was injured


[1] The Israeli organization Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center, ILC) sent a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, asking him to investigate whether US law was violated by the organizations which funded the American flotilla. The authors of the letter ask to investigate whether Free Gaza was involved in money laundering and violation of US law (for details, see Shurat Hadin’s website: