May 2004

Robert Spencer’s site, Jihad Watch reports on the latest of a string of attacks by terrorists in Saudi Arabia. He links to a list of eleven terrorist attacks at myway news. Besides clashes with Saudi Security forces, many of the attacks targeted foreigners.

May 12, 2003 – Car bomb attacks on three Riyadh compounds housing foreigners kill 35 people, including nine suicide bombers.

Nov. 8, 2003 – A suicide bombing at a Riyadh housing compound kills 17, most of them Muslims working in Saudi Arabia. U.S. and Saudi officials believe the mastermind is Abdulaziz Issa Abdul-Mohsin al-Moqrin, suspected of being al-Qaida’s top figure in Saudi Arabia.

May 1 – Shooters storm the offices of Houston-based ABB Lummus Global Inc. in Yanbu, 220 miles north of the Red Sea port of Jiddah, killing six Westerners and a Saudi. All four attackers are killed in a subsequent shootout. Saudi officials say the attack may be linked to al-Qaida, but blame a wanted man with links to a London-based Saudi opposition group.

May 29 – Gunmen open fire on oil company compounds in Khobar, 250 miles northeast of Riyadh. At least six people, four of them foreigners including a 10-year-old Egyptian child, are believed killed.

Al Qaeda’s strategy can be determined from theses nuggets contained in the Fox News report of the attack:

Saudi Arabia relies heavily on 6 million expatriate workers, including about 30,000 Americans, to run its oil industry and other sectors. The kingdom produces about 8 million barrels of oil a day.

Many expatriates decided to leave, at least temporarily, after the Yanbu attack. Then, U.S. Ambassador James C. Oberwetter advised Americans to leave the country — a move criticized by Saudi officials.

If Al Qaeda can scare off enough expatriates then oil production would be disrupted, since the Saudis currently don’t have the expertise to fill the gaps (if they did a bit less Koran thumping and a lot more technical education in their school system, they might eventually acquire the expertise). Decreased oil production translates into higher energy prices world-wide and economic disruption.


Two-Four gives us a reading list for blogdom. Fun just to read. Here are a couple of his entries that appealed to me:

The Rage And The Pride, 2002, Oriana Fallaci — Hell holds no fury like that of an Italian firebrand shaking the dust of the World Trade Center out of her hair. Look out.

I haven’t gotten further than Robert Spencer’s “Islam Unveiled”, but I gather Oriana sure unloads on the enemy.

The Vampire Economy — Doing Business Under Fascism, 1939, Guenter Reiman — Your average American these days is very likely to agree with the proposition that Nazi Germany represented some sort of “capitalism”. That’s because your average American these days is a walking, talking rutabaga, with no remotely discernable grasp of the simplest facts more than about thirty days aft of his own ass. Here is a book — researched on the scene, at the moment — which could probably not shake loose the ethical deformities taken root in a rutabaga’s so-called “mind”, but, at least, it would bore them to pieces with the actual data.

The Left always tries to equate capitalism with Nazism, conveniently forgetting the “Socialist” part of the Nazi party’s full name. This is the antidote.

Fox News reports on the selection of a new PM for Iraq:

The Iraqi Governing Council (search) on Friday nominated one of its own members, Iyad Allawi (search), a Shiite Muslim physician who spent years in exile, to become prime minister of the new government to take power June 30, members said.

The chief U.S. administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, was at Friday’s council session and congratulated Allawi on his nomination, said Mustafa al-Marayati, an aide to council member Raja Habib al-Khuzaai.

Here’s the best part of the news:

The announcement came as a surprise to the United Nations, which has been leading the process of choosing the government — hopefully by the end of the month. U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has been in Baghdad for weeks consulting with Iraqis about the makeup of the government.

Brahimi “respects” the decision and is willing to work with Allawi to pick the rest of the government, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said in New York.

It doesn’t look like the powers that be in Iraq are going to take much notice of the UN. Given its abysmal record in Iraq and everywhere else, that isn’t a surprise. Saddam’s enemies, the new power in Iraq, simply preempted the UN. That’s a good sign for the future.

Here’s a taste of Kerry’s wisdom:

And that is precisely what this administration has ignored. They’ve looked to force before exhausting diplomacy; they bullied when they should have persuaded. They’ve gone it alone when they should have assembled a whole team. They have hoped for the best when they should have prepared for the worst. They’ve made America less safe than we should be in a dangerous world.

Anyone who followed the lead-up to resolution 1441 knows that the Bush administration got everyone on board. They got a unanimous UNSC resolution threatening Saddam with serious consequences if he did not comply with 1441 and all previous UNSC resolutions. Then the French reneged and threatened to veto Turkey’s application for EU membership. Turkey blocked a US attack from the north of Iraq, and left the Sunni triangle without a decent taste of US miltary might. No amount of diplomacy could have gotten the French to countenance military action to back up UNSC resolution 1441. If Bush had taken Kerry’s advice, offered in hindsight, they’d still be trying to “assemble the whole team”.

Since 9/11 Al Qaeda has not attacked the U.S.. It has lost its base in Afghanistan and a likely ally in Saddam. Pakistan has been forced to choose sides, as has Saudi Arabia. The secret nuclear trade that was supplying nuclear weapons technology to terrorist regimes has been exposed and stopped. Libya has switched sides, apparently because its leader did not fancy being caught like Saddam. Thousands of Jihadists have been captured, killed or scared out of the business. The world is still a dangerous place, but it is lot less dangerous than it was on 9/10/2001. The only thing that could undo the work that the Bush administration has accomplished is to hand Iraq off to the U.N. and our European allies before the Iraqi people have control over their own fate. Then we’d have a failed state with oil wealth (courtesy of France and Russia) hosting Jihad International.

The transcript can be found here:NYT.

It was big news in Houston where the Iraqi men were given replacement prosthetic hands to replace hands cut off by Saddam for the crime of trading in US dollars. But this story reminds people of the horrors of the Saddam regime and the good in the hearts of so many Americans. So far as I can tell, the New York Times has ignored this story, or buried it so deep its own search engine couldn’t find it.

The Times is still trying to stretch the prisoner abuse story hard with reports like this:Abuse of Captives More Widespread, Says Army Survey. If you read the piece, about the only fact that justifies the use of the word “widespread” is that the few incidents noted are geographically widespread. It reports that

According to Army officials and documents, at least 12 prisoners have died of natural or undetermined causes, including nine in Abu Ghraib. In six of those cases, the military conducted no autopsy to confirm the presumed cause of death. As a result, the investigations into their deaths were closed by Army investigators.

Big deal. A fair number of Americans serving in Afghanistan and Iraq have also died of natural causes. War is stressful and being imprisoned is stressful, especially if your captors believe your day job is planting IEDs or sniping at US forces from behind women and children.

An Iraqi General died

after being shoved head-first into a sleeping bag, and questioned while being rolled repeatedly from his back to his stomach. That finding was first reported in The Denver Post.

A charming picture of the General and his grandson accompanies the Times’ online version of the article. Mowhoush, a major general in the Republican Guard, was captured in a raid in Qaim. A U.S. military spokeswoman said at the time that Mowhoush was believed to have been financing attacks on U.S. forces and had close ties to Saddam. This information is not included in the Times report. It might suggest that the good General was withholding information that could have been used to save American lives, had he divulged it willingly.

But bad news filler like this article will always take precedence over any good news coming out of Iraq, at least in the NYT editorial offices.

You can see this lie being taken for granted in this Washington Post editorial. I found it by following a link from this Democrat’s blog which was linked by this Democrat’s blog.. The WPO opines:

Until the Bush administration took office, the U.S. Army operated according to the Geneva Conventions as spelled out in its manuals. But in the chaos of Iraq, there was no firm policy; for U.S. soldiers on the ground, there was “an element of uncertainty in the status of adversaries,” as Mr. Gonzales foresaw. And so interrogation methods that the administration had approved for the Taliban and al Qaeda filtered into the theater, in part through intelligence units and interrogators, some of them CIA personnel and civilians who had worked elsewhere. Soldiers and interrogators took those methods to a criminal extreme. That they were able to do so shows that the harm Mr. Gonzales warned of but ultimately dismissed — the undermining of U.S. military culture — came to pass. Repairing it will require Mr. Bush — or Congress — to reverse his harmful decision to distort the rule of law.

The first issue is the WPO is conflating the prisoner abuses with the harsh interrogation techniques used to deal with Al Qaeda and Terrorist captives. The abuses are quite separate from official interrogations. The military was already investigating the abuses long before the the pictures were leaked to the media.

The second issue is that the Geneva conventions that protect lawful combatants do not apply to terrorists captured in Iraq. They are not fighting for the state of Iraq. They are not uniformed. They do not answer to a properly constituted chain of command. They do not follow the rules of war.

None of our enemies in the last 60 years haven given a tinkers damn about the Geneva Conventions. The Germans massacred American POWs. The Japanese enslaved them. The North Koreans and North Vietnamese treated American POWs abominably. Islamic terrorists fight according to their interpretation of the Koran – all Infidels are targets and prisoners can be beheaded. It is a measure of America’s humanity that our present enemies are largely treated as lawful combatants when they clearly aren’t.

Here’s how the Geneva Conventions distinguish particpants in a conflict:


The Geneva Conventions distinguish between lawful combatants, noncombatants, and unlawful combatants.

Lawful Combatants. A lawful combatant is an individual authorized by governmental authority or the LOAC [Laws of armed conflict] to engage in hostilities. A lawful combatant may be a member of a regular armed force or an irregular force. In either case, the lawful combatant must be commanded by a person responsible for subordinates; have fixed distinctive emblems recognizable at a distance, such as uniforms; carry arms openly; and conduct his or her combat operations according to the LOAC. The LOAC applies to lawful combatants who engage in the hostilities of armed conflict and provides combatant immunity for their lawful warlike acts during conflict, except for LOAC violations.

Noncombatants. These individuals are not authorized by overnmental authority or the LOAC to engage in hostilities. In fact, they do not engage in hostilities. This category includes civilians accompanying the Armed Forces; combatants who are out of combat, such as POWs and the wounded, and certain military personnel who are members of the Armed Forces not authorized to engage in combatant activities, such as medical personnel and chaplains. Noncombatants may not be made the object of direct attack. They may, however, suffer injury or death incident to a direct attack on a military objective without such an attack violating the LOAC, if such attack is on a lawful target by lawful means.

Unlawful Combatants. Unlawful combatants are individuals who directly participate in hostilities without being authorized by governmental authority or under international law to do so. For example, bandits who rob and plunder and civilians who attack a downed airman are unlawful combatants. Unlawful combatants who engage in hostilities violate LOAC and become lawful targets. They may be killed or wounded and, if captured, may be tried as war criminals for their LOAC violations.

Is the WPO suggesting that the killers of Nick Berg, the car bombers, the snipers hiding in mosques, and the rest of the terrorists are lawful combatants? Apparently so. The truth of the matter is that they are War Criminals under the Geneva Conventions. Hanging is too good for them.

And, memo to the WPO, this is a war being waged by Unlawful Combatants. That’s a first for a modern president.

First, the lie. Kay S. Hymowitz, in City Journal notes that:

In an appearance on Comedy Central’s Daily Show in March 2002, Moore announced that during the period that planes were grounded for two days after the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration allowed a Saudi jet to whisk away bin Ladin family members over FBI objections. As, an Internet site devoted to tracking down urban legends, points out, the planes did pick up bin Ladin family members—on September 18 and 19, days after commercial flights had already begun flying again, and they did so only after the FBI had questioned the departing Saudis

Yep, sure sounds like Bush is covering for his Saudi friends.

Second, the final rebuttal. According to a report in The Hill

Richard Clarke, who served as President Bush’s chief of counterterrorism, has claimed sole responsibility for approving flights of Saudi Arabian citizens, including members of Osama bin Laden’s family, from the United States immediately after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Why would the dubious Richard Clarke let Bush off the hook? Probably because he was on it.

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