Karzai decries Pakistan's actions. BBC: 'President Hamid Karzai has hit out at Pakistan over continuing violence in Afghanistan, accusing it of trying to turn his countrymen into "slaves". Mr Karzai's comments are among his most strongly-worded yet in the spat between the neighbours over border attacks.' (BBC)
Iraqi security adviser to US: Don't pull out of Iraq. Hyscience:
How interesting that the Iraqi national security adviser, Mouwaffaq al-Rubaie, displays far more common sense and offers a much more reasonable strategy than our own Iraq "non-Study" Group report (remember - they never actually left the Green Zone), in saying that Iraq needs more "strategic patience" from Washington to defeat terrorist violence that threatens to swarm the region if the U.S. pulls out too soon.
Mouwaffaq al-Rubaie also asked Washington and regional leaders to back his plans to give general amnesty to insurgents and militias, but warned of more violence if Al Qaeda is able to gain more power in Iraq.
"If we don't act to contain Al Qaeda, the violence will spread like hell, not only to Saudi Arabia and the GCC (Gulf Arab) countries but to Syria, Iran and beyond," al-Rubaie told the International Institute of Strategic Studies conference in the Bahraini capital.
Sunni-Shiite sectarian killings could spread to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Pakistan and India, al-Rubaie warned, naming countries with large Shiite Muslim populations.
The Iraqi national security adviser also asked the United States be patient as Iraq tries to cope with undergoing a "paradigm shift of 1,000 years to a new order."
Full article at Fox News. (Fox via Hyscience)
Saudi Arabia to US: Don't pull out of Iraq. Do we detect a pattern here? Captain's Quarters: 'The Saudis have warned the United States against pulling out of Iraq, telling American officials that a retreat would set off a bloodbath. In fact, the Saudis feel so strongly about it that they told the US that an American withdrawal would prompt them to fund a sectarian arms race to protect the Sunni minority...' The New York Times article reports:
Saudi Arabia has told the Bush administration that it might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq’s Shiites if the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq, according to American and Arab diplomats.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia conveyed that message to Vice President Dick Cheney two weeks ago during Mr. Cheney’s whirlwind visit to Riyadh, the officials said. During the visit, King Abdullah also expressed strong opposition to diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran, and pushed for Washington to encourage the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, senior Bush administration officials said.
Captain's Quarters comments: 'In one sense, it's difficult to take the Saudis seriously on this topic. Their own government has contributed to the spread of radical Islamism around the world, only of the Sunni variety, while the Shi'ite strain has taken the upper hand in Iraq's sectarian violence. ... However, the advice is correct in this case. The result of an American withdrawal would be catastrophe for the region. Either the surrounding nations would have to use the sectarian groups to fight proxy wars with each other or they would have to actually send troops into Iraq to stop the violence, perhaps all the way to Baghdad.' Read the full post at the link. Vital Perspective has more: 'Abdullah let it be known that he is unhappy with talk of American efforts to engage Iran. The Saudis and Iraqi Sunnis fear growing Iranian influence in Iraq which, when seen in the context of the Iranian nuclear program, is potentially disastrous in their eyes. A similar fear that the Iraqi army would be used against the Sunni population if Shiites gain control was recently expressed by Jordan's King Abdallah II.' (NYT via Captain's Quarters, VP)
"Why do you ask me these questions at five o'clock?" Because terrorists operate 24 hours a day, you moron. American Future cites The Times on Silvestre Reyes, Nancy Pelosi's nominee for the House committee on intelligence:
Silvestre Reyes, the Democrat chosen to head the House of Representatives committee, was asked whether members of al-Qaeda came from the Sunni or the Shia branch of Islam.
“Al-Qaeda, they have both,” he answered, adding: “Predominantly probably Shi’ite.”
In fact, al-Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden as a Sunni organisation and views Shia Muslims as heretics. The centuries-old now fuels the militias and death squads in Iraq.
Jeff Stein, a reporter for Congressional Quarterly, then put a similar question about Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia group. “Hezbollah. Uh, Hezbollah . . .” replied Mr Reyes. “Why do you ask me these questions at five o’clock? Can I answer in Spanish? Do you speak Spanish?” Go ahead, said Stein. “Well, I, uh . . .” said the congressman.
How absolutely pathetic. (Times via American Future)
Muslims against Ahmadinejad, Holocaust denial. From Sandmonkey, here's a appeal to righteous Muslims:
A collective statement by Muslim bloggers to the Iranian regime about its Holocaust denial conference
We the following Muslim bloggers hereby affirm that the Holocaust did happen because, not only are we quite capable of understanding overwhelming historical evidence, we also refuse to allow Muslim leaders to twist history for cruel, personal and selfish gains -- thereby reflecting negatively upon us and the message of Islam -- without confronting their actions with the hammer of righteous indignation. For religious, moral, and historical reasons, we repudiate and spit upon the Holocaust deniers conference now taking place in Iran, and stand in solidarity with student, and other, anti-fascists in that great nation, along with the victims of the Holocaust itself.
We further castigate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as an egomaniacal sociopath and incompetent world leader who has embarrassed the reputation and spiritual world of Islam with his political falsifications and distortions. ...
Myrtus also links to AlKaritha - The Arab Institute for Holocaust Research & Education. Go check it out. (Myrtus via Sandmonkey)
Iraq: Six suspected terrorists detained, weapons cache found. MNF-Iraq: 'BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces detained six suspected terrorists and seized a weapons cache Wednesday morning near Tikrit while seeking a terrorist associated with the al-Qaida in Iraq network.Intelligence reports also indicated the production of improvised explosive devices was also taking place in the targeted area.
When ground forces searched the targeted building, they discovered a weapons cache consisting of machine guns, pistols, rocket-propelled grenade boosters and a sniper rifle scope. Ground forces also found the equivalent of more than $200,000 in Iraqi Dinar along with more than $160,000 in U.S. currency.' (MNFI)
Realism from Amarji. Syria's heretic writes: 'Festering old wounds are always a good distraction from developing new ones. However, the real panacea here does not lie in treating the causes of one set of wounds at the expense of another, as so many experts end up recommending, but in tackling the real issues involved: the development and democracy gaps.' (Amarji)
Commentary. I'm going to turn today's commentary section over to Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna, with a pair of posts that express what I've been trying to say for a long time. On the moral case for supporting Free Muslims:
The “Free Muslims” really do exist; Stop the Project has a list of their organizations. They don’t get much publicity, because the MSM, in its tacit alliance with Islamofascism, prefers to focus on CAIR and similar organizations.
But these brave people put their lives on the line every day to speak out on behalf of non-violence and religious tolerance, while still remaining Muslims.
This morning I received an email from a friend of ours who has noticed the nuke-the-ragheads mentality which so often rears its head in Gates of Vienna comments:
A couple of your commenters have got Islam so deeply on the brain, they think the only good ay-rab is a dead ay-rab. People who can’t distinguish individuals from groups are by definition prejudiced.
And indeed they are.
In fact, what they are doing is arguing for the assignment of collective guilt. ...
Go read the rest as soon as you get the chance. Here's the practical side:
The recent election has confirmed that our little corner of the blogosphere — the members of the Counterjihad — will not be affecting public policy any time soon. ...
For at least two years — and more likely for a decade, after two Hillary administrations — what we advocate and strategize for will remain with us, the citizens of America and the free world, and not extend to the people who actually execute public policy on our behalf.
So I don’t want to hear any more prescriptions for public policy. Saying “We need to crack down on Saudi Arabia” or “It’s time we did something about the Salafists in Somalia” is pointless. None of it is going to happen.
When we talk like that, we’re spinning palaces out of gossamer, building castles out of airy nothing. We’re wasting our time. ...
But that doesn’t mean we’re powerless — far from it. It just means that the potential for action has devolved from our national political leaders to where it belongs: local government, civic organizations, and the people themselves.
Go read the rest to find out what you can do. This is an information war, a war of the mind and of the spirit, and we are all soldiers in it.