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Newsletter #127     Friday, March 14, 2003


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by Armstrong Williams - March 12, 2003 -

President Bush admits that he begins each morning by reading a book of evangelical sermons. Faith has long been an integral part of his life. A strong belief in God helped Bush let go of a drinking problem in his youth and move toward an absolute moral reference point. "Christ changed my heart," Bush said during a 1999 presidential debate.

Bush also makes no bones about his belief that religion and spirituality are integral parts of America's public life. His speeches are often studded with the terms "good," "evil" and "God's will." This is especially true of his foreign policy rhetoric. Moving beyond the language of containment, Bush seems intent on using foreign policy as an engine of social and religious liberty throughout the world. Increasingly, this mission takes on tones of a spiritual mandate: "The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity," he proclaimed in his 2003 State of the Union Address.

Of course, the president's self-conscious mingling of church and state causes the relativists to quiver. As a person, they denounce Bush as something akin to a Southern tent revivalist. As a commander in chief, they worry that he has resolved to punish the sins of the rest of the world. At bottom, the relativists maintain that politics and religion should be kept at arm's length. Or, as Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League put it: "When (Bush prays) as a private person practicing his own faith, God bless, but when it becomes part of the official function of the president, then that's something that is inappropriate."

But is it really so preposterous for a political leader - a person who serves as a public faceplate - to discuss his personal convictions? Is there really harm in addressing the moral philosophies that animate the president's policies with meaning? On a more basic level, is it such a terrible indiscretion to admit that religion remains a force in American society? The relativists certainly seem to think so. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State warns that "(Bush is) treading dangerously close to breaching the idea that this is a secular country."

Personally, I'm quite pleased that Bush continues to push faith into the political mainstream. We need to create more forums where candidates are more comfortable discussing their faith in God. After all, surveys consistently show that six out of 10 Americans say that faith is very important in their lives. How can a responsible leader ignore this fact? Our politicians must discuss faith in order to understand and adequately represent their public.

As for the relativist's unkind snorts and snickers, I seriously doubt that America's 200-year-old history of pragmatic and fair governance is going to be threatened by the fact that our president is comfortable discussing his belief in God. But just in case someone wants proof, nine days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush declared to Congress, "freedom and fear, justice and cruelty have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them."

For a moment, a hush fell over the audience as they waited in quiet anticipation. Contrary to assertions by the relativists, our governance did not collapse in a downward spiral. Our elected representatives simply digested the remarks for a moment, and then applauded furiously.

And rightly so.

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By Charles Krauthammer - March 12, 2003

Walk away, Mr. President. Walk away from the U.N. Security Council. It will not authorize the coming war. You can stand on your head and it won't change the outcome. You can convert to Islam in a Parisian mosque and it won't prevent a French veto.

The French are bent not just on opposing your policy but on destroying it -- and the coalition you built around it. When they send their foreign minister to tour the three African countries on the Security Council in order to turn them against the United States, you know that this is a country with resolve -- more than our side is showing today. And that is a losing proposition for us.

The reason you were able to build support at home and rally the world to at least pretend to care about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction is that you showed implacable resolve to disarm Iraq one way or the other. Your wobbles at the United Nations today -- postponing the vote, renegotiating the terms -- are undermining the entire enterprise.

I understand that the wobble is not yours but a secondary, sympathetic wobble to Tony Blair's. Blair is courageous but opposed by a large part of his party and in need of some diplomatic cover.

But, Mr. President, he's not going to get it. Even if you marshal the nine votes on the Security Council by watering down the resolution, delaying the invasion, establishing criteria Hans Blix is sure to muddy and Mohamed ElBaradei is sure to say Saddam Hussein has met, France and Russia will still exercise the veto. You may call it a moral victory. The British left, which is what this little exercise is about, will not. It will not care what you call it but what Kofi Annan calls it, and he has already told us: a failed resolution rendering a war that follows illegitimate.

This, of course, is the rankest hypocrisy. The United Nations did not sanction the Kosovo war, surely a just war, and that did not in any way make it illegitimate. Of the scores of armed conflicts since 1945, exactly two have received Security Council sanction: the Korean War (purely an accident, the Soviets having walked out over another issue) and the Gulf War. The Gulf War ended in a cease-fire, whose terms everybody agrees Hussein has violated. You could very well have gone to war under the original Security Council resolutions of 1991 and been justified.

I understand why you did not. A large segment of American opinion swoons at the words "United Nations" and "international community." That the international community is a fiction and the United Nations a farce hardly matters. People believe in them. It was for them that you went to the United Nations on Sept. 12, 2002.

And it worked. When you framed the issue as the United Nations enforcing its own edicts, vindicating its own relevance by making Hussein disarm, the intellectual opposition to the war -- always in search of some standard outside the United States' own judgment and interests to justify American action -- fell apart.

Thus Resolution 1441, passed unanimously, bought you two things: domestic support and a window of legitimacy, a time to build up our forces in the region under the umbrella of enforcing the will of the "international community."

Mr. President, the window has closed. Diplomatically, we are today back where we were before Sept. 12. It is America, Britain, Australia, a few Gulf states, some of Old Europe, most of New Europe and other governments still too afraid to say so openly. That's enough. And in any case that is all you are going to get.

Why are we dallying and deferring at the United Nations? In your news conference last week, you said you were going to have people put their cards on the table. I thought it a lousy idea to call a vote we were sure to lose. But having made your decision, you are making it worse by waffling. The world knows you as a cards-on-the-table man. Now you're asking for an extension of time and a reshuffle of the deck.

If, for Blair's sake, you must have a second resolution, why include an ultimatum that Blix will obfuscate and the French will veto? If you must have a second resolution, it should consist of a single sentence: "The Security Council finds Iraq in violation of Resolution 1441, which demanded 'full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions.' "

The new resolution should be a statement not of policy but of fact. The fact is undeniable. You invite the French to cast what will be seen around the world as the most cynical veto in the history of the council, which is saying a lot. They may cast it nonetheless. They are, after all, French. But then they -- not you -- will have to do the explaining.

That's all you need. No need for elaborate compromises, stretching the timetable, or a tortuous checklist for Hussein to dance around. One sentence. One line. Cards on the table.

No more dithering. Every day you wait is an advertisement of hesitation and apprehension. It will not strengthen Tony Blair. It will not strengthen the resolve of our allies in the region. It will only boost the confidence and resolve of the people you are determined to defeat.

If the one-line resolution passes, the violation triggers 1441, which triggers the original resolutions ending the Gulf War. If it fails, you've exposed the United Nations for what it is: the League of Nations, empty, cynical and mendacious. Mr. President: Call the vote and walk away.

Washington Post Company


by Emanuel A. Winston - March 11, 2003

U.S. President George W. Bush, through Secretary of State Colin Powell, has given notice to Israel that, should Saddam attack Israel and should Israel respond, Israel would forfeit all international support.(1)

The United States has given Israel the privilege of receiving, in real time, whatever electronic intelligence that the U.S. is generating. The report did not say what Israel was supposed to do, or allowed to do, if Saddam’s attack was non-conventional, such as NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical). I presume that Bush and Powell would expect to be notified if Israelis were to suddenly die en masse, as did the Iranians or the Iraqi Kurds (in an Iraqi town of 45,000, Halabja, in August 1988). As I recall, Saddam used a mix of Mustard Gas and a potent cocktail of nerve gases, including Tabun, Sarin and Soman. Half of the victims died in choking, blistering agony, while those hit with Sarin died as if peacefully asleep. Some may recall the photos of Saddam’s work in one photo news magazine.

The people of Halabja who survived are now suffering from tumors and cancers of all kinds, mutations in birth, eye damage, respiratory and neurological malfunctions. Children die in a few years from Leukemia and lymphomas. Miscarriages are common. Well, you get the idea. And yet, despite all this prima facie evidence, Israel is not to attack preemptively and not even after she has been struck.

Bush and Powell mentioned that Israel would "forfeit" international support. I was wondering what "International Support" they were referring to. Hopefully, the President did not mean America would remove her support if Israel fought back should it be struck with WMD (Weapons of Mass Death). Israel has always been grateful for the generous support America has given her throughout the years, and tried to repay that generosity with good intelligence and loyalty. As for the "International Community", they are not even supporting America in her fight against global terrorism and terrorist nations. If Bush and Powell were referring to the "Quartet" - namely, the United Nations, European Union (especially France and Germany), Russia and the U.S. State Department - well, Israel does not have to do anything to forfeit their support, since it was never there.

In the last Gulf War, Desert Storm 1991, Israel was promised that American, British and French aircraft would make taking out the Iraqi SCUD launchers a "top priority", if Israel did not attack Iraq and upset the Arab coalition members. Not one launcher was actually destroyed, according to the U.S. Government Accounting Office report years later. As a relevant aside, those mobile SCUD launchers were manufactured by Matrix-Churchill, an English company, later purchased by Saddam’s front companies, where Matrix also acted as a procurer for other weapons, like cluster bombs. In any case, after the 1991 Gulf War, the GAO published its findings about President George Herbert Walker Bush, then-Secretary of State James Baker and then-Chief of Staff Colin Powell regarding their pledge to attack the SCUD missile launchers. The fact surfaced that, apparently, the order was never given; but, even if it was, it was not obeyed.

Israel was hit by 39 SCUDs and if any had contained biological or chemical warheads, the casualties would have been in the tens of thousands and worse than those in Halabja. By G-d’s miracle, only one man was killed by a SCUD, although the property damage was extensive. The Patriots of that day hit the motors of the incoming SCUDS and their shrapnel and explosives hit the residential areas. Israeli pilots who are trained to fly at deck level could have found and hit those SCUDs and maybe could have saved the 28 American soldiers who were killed when their barracks in Saudi Arabia was hit by a Saddam SCUD.

Israel received many promises for additional aid and protection if they stayed out of the war in which they became targets. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir kept his side of the bargain and didn’t send Israeli aircraft, which were warmed up on the runways, to hit Iraq’s mobile SCUD launchers. But, when he later asked Bush, Baker and Powell for the promised loan guarantees for war damages and absorption of one million incoming Soviet Jews, all the administration’s promises evaporated, until Israel accommodated the State Department for Yasser Arafat. Later, after they drove Shamir out of office by interfering with the Israeli elections, they replaced him with a more accommodating Yitzhak Rabin, with Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin, on their way to creating the failed Oslo experiment. Only then were the loan guarantees granted.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has kept his promise of restraint, but he only received delays when he asked President George Bush, Jr. for the promised loan guarantees, intended to offset damages from the 29 months of Arab Palestinian terror attacks and defensive preparations for the possible and probable attack by megalomaniac Saddam Hussein, in his last throes of dictatorship, with the WMD (Weapons of Mass Death) at his disposal.

So, dear Jews of Israel, you have been ordered not to make a fuss and to die quietly. You remember how to do that - just like you did when you waited for the "International Community" to come to your rescue 60 years ago: No bombing of the death camps, the crematoria, the rail-lines to the death camps; the conferences of the "International Community" in Bermuda and Evian, where the leading nations among the Allies decided it would be better not to rescue, feed or clothe Jewish victims until after Germany was defeated. Yes, indeed, we Jews had better be more careful this time, lest we irritate the "International Community". We must be very careful not to defend ourselves and our country, just in case we "forfeit" their support.

So, how about it President Bush? Play fair with the Israelis, because now you know you cannot buy the loyalty or affection of the U.N., E.U., France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, or Arafat’s Arab Palestinians no matter how much you push Israel to the wall. Remember, only the British and the Israelis stepped up immediately next to the American troops when it counted. Let America treat an ally and a friend with the honor and respect it deserves. It is small, but it has proven its fighting spirit against overwhelming forces. And now, America faces the same enemy.

1. “U.S. Military Plugs Israel into Real-Time War Monitoring” by Nathan Guttman, Ha’aretz English Edition (March 4, 2003).
Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East analyst and commentator with the Gamla and Freeman organizations.

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By Ariel Natan Pasko - - 7 March 2003

Recently, Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Yasser Arafat should be treated like Saddam Hussein. Speaking in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the guiding principle of both Israel, in its war against Palestinian terror, and the United States in its campaign against Iraq, is "no tolerance for terror and no tolerance for regimes that spawn terror."

Netanyahu stated, "I think what applies in Iraq should apply here as well. What applies in Iraq, that a brutal terrorist should be removed and democratization should be introduced, should be applied in the Palestinian dictatorship as well." Netanyahu said that in order to begin a process of democratization in regimes that foster terrorism, as was done in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; the existing terror-supporting regimes must be totally defeated and tossed out. It does no good he said to replace one dictator with another.

But in response to Netanyahu's earlier call for Arafat's expulsion in November 2002, Arafat retorted, "No one has the right to deport me from my homeland." I take issue with the last two words, 'my homeland'. As I recall, his 'official biography' ( states he was born in Cairo, so he's an Egyptian like his father, not a 'Palestinian'. But, on the first part of his statement I couldn't agree with him more.

I ask you, what's all the debate in Israel about expelling or not expelling Arafat? Have we all gone mad? How will expelling him solve the problem (him)?

As I recall, Arafat was in exile till 1993, where he was able to lead a terrorist organization and plan attacks on Jews, Israelis, and others, around the world and in Israel. Don't forget, he managed to ally himself with Syria and its occupation of Lebanon (which continues), creating a 'PLO state' with-in a state, brutalizing Lebanese along the way. He also allied himself with Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War of 1991. Oh yes, he also managed to hobnob with the rich, famous, and powerful, lobbying for a Palestinian State in his spare time. Can someone tell me what expelling Arafat will accomplish other than turning him into a victim again? A roll he plays so well.

The debate shouldnt be about expelling or not expelling Arafat, either way we're still stuck with hisleadership of the Palestinians. Do you really think they're going to pick a new leader? And who would that be, Arafat's second-in-command Mohammed Abbas? Abbas is the head of the Iraqi-supported Palestine Liberation Front faction of the PLO. In 1968, Abbas was in Vietnam fighting alongside the Viet Cong against US forces and learning guerrilla tactics. In 1985 he was directing the take-over of the Achille Lauro. The real debate that has yet to begin in earnest, in Israel, is over trying Yasser Arafat for crimes against humanity, i.e. the Jewish People, Lebanese, Americans, and others.

The only decent question for decent people to debate, is whether he should receive life in prison, or the death penalty?

I believe an Eichmann-like War Crimes Trial in Israel, would educate a generation of Israelis and others world-wide who might still think of Arafat as a 'peacenik' (he won the Nobel Peace Prize didn't he?), about his murderous criminal activities. It would teach the world how to deal lawfully with terrorism and how not to appease it. Some might say that Arafat, as head of state is immune to prosecution. Well, guess what? He's not the head of any state yet!

Let's say for the sake of argument, that since 1993 as head of the Palestinian Authority Arafat's wanted peace with Israel, and he just hasn't been able to stop those nasty Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, Tanzim, and Al-Aksa Brigade terrorists (as head of Fatah, he's officially the leader of the last two groups). Do you really believe that? Well, if so, why should Israel negotiate with him? Either he's in charge, in which case he is culpable for their crimes, or he's not in charge in which case Israel should start discussing who is and talk to them. But if he's not responsible for all those bombings and killings since returning in 1993, on what could Israel try him?

How about for starters, trying him for his involvement in the murder of Americans. For example, Cleo Noel and George Curtis Moore, the two US diplomats killed in Khartoum, Sudan in 1973. He's already admitted publicly to it years ago. And throwing wheel chair bound Leon Klinghoffer off the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro, at high sea, in 1985. Arafat's henchmen killed them and many more over the years. The world might not care much about Israelis and Jews killed around the world from the 1960's till 1993 (when his immunity began), but Americans care about the murder of their citizens overseas. And, don't forget the PLO's murderous activities in Lebanon. Arafat should be tried for the massacres in Damour, Beit Mullat and elsewhere also (see Mordechai Nissan's "The Palestinian Strategy for Destroying Lebanon and Israel" at Lebanese also want to see justice done.

Let me tell you, Israel should care about those Jews and Israelis killed even if others't, and try him for those crimes as well. Bringing their murderers leader to justice would teach the world a moral lesson for years to come.

In most democracies, there is no statute of limitations on the crime of murder, or accomplice to murder. Not long ago, a Connecticut court found the nephew of the late Ethel Kennedy's widow guilty of a murder he committed in 1975 at the age of 15, and gave him 20 years to life, in prison. Connections to the Kennedy family didn't seem to help him escape justice. Why should Arafat, a serial murderer of the worst kind, be allowed to escape justice, just because he,s become a respectable politician?

Many of you may now raise the issue of world outcry. Well, Israel seemed to deal with it during the Eichmann trial in 1961 and the Demaniuk trial during the 1980's (for their Nazi past), and the cries of massacre at Jenin. One lesson to learn is no matter how much the world condemns Israel; in 2 weeks there are new headlines. Israel only needs the political strength to stand up for itself. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and others, showed a glimmer of that during Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, by resisting the UN desire to investigate the 'Jenin Massacre'. Which turned out to be nothing but PLO propaganda, again.

Besides, fighting terrorism is in, and a strong Israel leading the way, would return its image that others looked up to in the past. We don't compromise with terrorists, was a phrase that previously earned Israel respect in many quarters. It also set an example that others followed. Israel in the full light of day, through a legitimate judicial process, could try and when found guilty, execute a mass murderer of innocent men, women, children, and babies.

Although I don't feel the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to Judea, Samaria (the West Bank), and Gaza. There is an interesting point to think about for those who prefer expelling Arafat. While Part 3, Section 3, Article 49 forbids individual or mass transfers from occupied territories (and is likely to raise many cries worldwide that we are violating International Law). Articles 64, 66, 67, and 68 (of Section 3), allow the Occupying Power to bring to trial and impose the death penalty on a person guilty of espionage, serious acts of sabotage against the military installations of the Occupying Power, or of intentional offences which have caused the death of one or more persons. Israel would be on firmer legal ground trying Arafat (and any others), than expelling him.

Which leads to the last issue many might bring up. What's after Arafat? Won't Hamas or who knows what take over? Well friends, with over 700 killed and 1,000's injured since Arafat started the 'Oslo War' in September 2001, tell me how it could get worse. Either Arafat is in charge and encouraging the terror, or he's in charge but not doing anything to stop the murder, or he's not really in charge and can't control the terrorist groups. Either way he's politically irrelevant, as the Israeli government has declared. Israel just needs to follow through with the next logical step. Try and execute him! As I said earlier, educationally, he,s a great opportunity waiting for us to take.

What many need to begin to understand is that behind Arafat, the PA and its leaders are Sheikh Yassin, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaida and Hizbollah operatives, and others. Maybe Israel should start thinking of negotiating with Sheikh Yassin already. Or, maybe it has other ways to deal with them also.

You see Netanyahu only got it partially right. When referring to the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Netanyahu (and those in America who have called for Saddam Hussein's expulsion) forget that those wartime leaders weren't 'exiled'; they were tried for war crimes. Many were hung!

At a recent Arab League meeting, the United Arab Emirates' President called on Saddam to leave Iraq in exchange for 'immunity' from prosecution. Why should Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein, with personal fortunes estimated by Forbes, at $300 million and $2 billion respectively, be sent into 'exile', immune from prosecution? They should be brought to justice for their crimes. And so should other dictators in the region, such as Bashar Assad of Syria.

Recently, victims of Arafat's terror have filed claims against him and the Palestinian Authority, with courts in Belgium, in Paris, and in Tel Aviv. But why should it be up to individuals to chase after him? Why doesn't the Israeli government itself take the lead?

The real debate over what to do with Yasser Arafat hasn't yet begun in Israel. The only decent question for decent people to debate is, whether he should receive life in prison, or the death penalty? If there's a referendum, you know my vote.

Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at:


“If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this.”
—Democratic congressman Rep. James P. Moran of Virginia, who apologized for his remarks after Jewish groups called them antisemitic. (N.Y.T., March 12)


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