Morning Report: May 8, 2007

A rebel leader is profiled, while the French stage a rebellion of their own. Terrorists in Iraq have an unlucky day, and an American official votes "no confidence" on a Middle Eastern leader.

Glick at JPost: Ayaan Hirsi Ali's rebellion. Via Tammy, here's Caroline Glick: 'Hirsi Ali's rebellion against Islam was personal, not political. As a young girl and later as a young woman, she found herself abused and stifled by the dictates of Islam just as her youthful spirit wished most to take flight. As a five-year-old in Somalia, she screamed in pain and shock when her grandmother tied her down and had a man with a knife mutilate her genitals. Living in Saudi Arabia she was struck by the oppressiveness of the "true Islam." Why, she wondered were she and her mother and sister prohibited from leaving their apartment without a male relative escorting them? As an adolescent in Nairobi she wondered why the enjoyment she felt in the company of boys was sinful. Why did her mother need to suffer the humiliation of polygamy? Why could she not choose her own husband? Why was she told by one and all that her normal human impulses to seek love, respect and compassion and think for herself were sinful and evil? AS SHE puts it, "I could never comprehend the downright unfairness of the rules, especially for women. How could a just God - a God so just that almost every page of the Koran praises his fairness - desire that women be treated so unfairly? When the [Islamic teachers] told us that a woman's testimony is worth half of a man's, I would think, Why? If God is merciful, why did He demand that His creatures be hanged in public? If He was compassionate, then why did unbelievers have to go to Hell?" In her words, "The spark of will inside me grew even as I studied and practiced to submit." Ali credits Harlequin romance novels for her initial mental deliverance from submission. These books, with their passionate loves and steamy sex scenes were her first glimpse at the possibility of freedom. The novels showed her that the emotions and desires she was told to repress were natural and could even be beautiful and right.' Go read it all. Tammy notes: 'Almost without exception, those publicly challenging the misogynist brutality of Islam are women. Not so long ago, the collective oppression of blacks by whites in South Africa was deemed to be a worldwide concern, and acted on. Yet the public and horrific enslavement of women by Islam is not only never really discussed, it is ignored or excused as "religious."' (JPost, Tammy Bruce)

Sarkozy wins in France, riots ensue. As you've probably heard by now, Nicolas Sarkozy has won the French presidential elections. ThreatsWatch:
A near-record French voter turnout resulted in a decisive victory for conservative Nicolas Sarkozy, which comes at a time when Washington looks to lose its closest ally in the War on Terror when Britain’s Tony Blair steps down. Sarkozy is decidedly pro-American and looks to address the French ‘welfare state,’ promising to “restore the value of work, authority, merit and respect for the nation.”

Sarkozy’s defeated bitter rival, Socialist Segolene Royal, said, “Something has risen which will not stop. Let us keep intact the energy and joy … of this campaign.” But as she spoke those words, riots ensued in Paris and cities throughout France. The rioters, described mostly as youths, had burned over 730 vehicles and injured 78 police officers. Nearly 600 were reportedly arrested. The violence spilled over into a second night.

GayPatriotWest writes: 'For the past 4 years (at least), many on the left (& in the MSM) have accused the President of “cowboy” diplomacy, of going it alone without the participation of our allies. In making that claim, the President’s critics have made much of France’s opposition to his policies. But, with the victory yesterday of Nicolas Sarkozy, we can once again see that the problem was not so much Bush’s decision to “go it alone,” but the duplicity of the French. ...' Go read the rest. Meanwhile, LGF keeps an eye on the riots and the media.

13 suspected terrorists detained in Iraq. MNF-Iraq: 'BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces detained 13 suspected terrorists Monday and Tuesday during raids around Iraq targeting al-Qaeda, foreign fighter facilitators and a chemical vehicle-borne improvised explosive device network.

Information collected from previous raids, including one April 30 that uncovered several documents related to a chemical VBIED operation in Baghdad, led Coalition Forces to a target in the city. One suspected terrorist was detained on the scene Tuesday morning for his alleged involvement in the VBIED cell. Coalition Forces detained seven suspected terrorists in a raid southwest of Tal Afar Monday night after intelligence reports indicated the presence of a known terrorist with key ties to a network facilitating the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq. Northeast of Karmah, two connected raids Monday afternoon targeted an individual suspected of coordinating anti-aircraft attacks against Coalition Forces. Coalition Forces detained five suspected terrorists, including the targeted individual.' (MNFI)

Rice postpones Israel visit. Ha'Aretz: 'U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has postponed an expected visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority in which she was expected to prod both sides to carry out proposed U.S. benchmarks designed to lead to the resumption of peace talks. Rice was due to arrive around May 15 but Israeli and Palestinian officials said the visit would be postponed due to the political crisis threatening Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack confirmed the change in plans and suggested Rice was putting off the trip because of the Israeli political turmoil.' Debka: 'US Vice president Dick Cheney arrives in the Middle East Wednesday, May 9. He too will visit Amman and Riyadh but not Jerusalem or Ramallah.'

Commentary. Here's NRO's Andy McCarthy:
If one listens, truly listens, to the gloomiest war critics — Democrat congressional leaders and presidential candidates — the president has already won the debate about what is to be done in Iraq.

That’s because, (1) whether or not they actually believe it, top Democrats keep saying we should be fighting al Qaeda, and (2) al Qaeda, like it or not, is in Iraq — massed, determined and deadly. It is the enduring failure of the administration that it cannot seem to make Americans see these two stark realities.

Iraq: The place where jihadists commit the latest atrocity hard on the last. Iraq: The “capital of the Caliphate,” as Osama bin Laden has called it, further describing it as the center of the “third world war … a war of destiny between infidelity and Islam.” Iraq: The site of the battle bin Laden aptly says will end either “in victory and glory or misery and humiliation.”

Americans, of course, do not want to be immiserated and humiliated by our enemies. Democrats know this — which is why they dare not end the war, as it is in their power to do, right this minute, by cutting off funding.

Clearly the Democrats are in a sticky position. Here's Ocean Guy: 'I know I'm not the only Democrat being alienated by The Party. As if we needed any proof that the far left had taken over the de facto leadership of The Party, look at this article in the New York Times about a DAILY conference call with The Party Apparatus in Congress and representatives from a cluster of antiwar groups.' Go to the link for details. OG concludes: 'Maybe there's hope. Maybe if MoveOn takes a position of opposition to the Democratic leadership, that the leadership will finally throw that yoke from their necks. ... Typical of those who cannot argue with reason, those whose most powerful tool is emotion... is the use of hate to create that toxic environment. When their ideas cannot change minds then play on their emotions... demonize the opposition. Turning within to find opposition is surely a recipe for another lost election.'