Thursday, May 31, 2007

40 Years Ago Today....

It was 40 years ago today ... that The Beatles changed the world by releasing "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Forty years--that's two generations.


Israel was universally admired--and less than a week away from defeating its Arab enemies in six days of fighting. Palestinian terrorism was confined to Palestine--that is, to attacks on the Jewish state in what was once called Palestine.

Middle East experts referred to the Arab-Israeli conflict; the word Islamism was on nobody's lips. There were no airline hijackings or metal detectors.

Air travel was still glamorous.

The Shah sat on the Peacock Throne. Iran was an American asset and friend.

Beirut was still known as the Paris of the Middle East.

The United States was mired in Vietnam--a rotten, unnecessary intervention.

The Cold War was raging.

The Cultural Revolution was a year old.

Castro was in power.

Some things never change.

UN Vote Will Accelerate March to War

Yesterday's United Nations Security Council vote to establish a tribunal for suspects in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is likely to speed up the Middle East war dynamic.

The prime assassination suspect, Syria, will respond to the UN move by stepping up support for Palestinian Islamists battling the Lebanese army and for Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which (a) aims to control Lebanon, and (b) is preparing for war with Israel. With Syrian help, Iran has rearmed its Shiite proxy; and the stage is set for a new round of rocket assaults against the Jewish state.

Hezbollah has tens of thousands rockets ready to go, while, in the south, Syrian-Iranian Palestinian ally, Hamas, has also achieved unprecedented levels of armament and is actively preparing for full-blown war.

Contrary to Israeli and American expectations, Syria will not sit out the conflict; rather, it will seize the opportunity to divert attention from its role in the Hariri killing--which was personally approved by Syria's dictator, Bashar Assad--by making every effort possible to defeat Israel and erase the stain of perceived humiliation dating 40 years to the Six-Day War of June 1967, which resulted in Syria's loss of the strategic Golan Heights to Israel.

Assad's father, Hafez, tried and failed to liberate Golan in the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, although he did succeed in regaining some lost territory in susbequent, American-sponsored peace talks. His son, who has been in power since 2000, feels conditions are ripe for victory. Threatened by a rising Islamist movement (which his father managed to crush), the present despot of Damascus has decided to roll the dice with Tehran's turbaned tyrants. The Baathist buzz in the Syrian capital is that the once-ridiculed Bashar could ironically emerge as the Arab world's next hero in its decades-old struggle against the "Zionist entity."

Ahead of all-out war, Assad will escalate tensions by stirring the terrorist pot in Lebanon--and on Israel's borders.

Hariri's assassination was the latest in a long line of Syrian-sponsored political killings in Lebanon. The billionaire politician and 22 others were killed in a massive car bomb in the capital, Beirut, on 14 February 2005.

An interim UN investigation found Hariri's killing was "probably" politically motivated and has implicated Syria, which has naturally denied any involvement in his death.

The killing recalled Syria's Soviet-supported assassination of Lebanese president-elect Bachir Gemayel in September 1982. The charismatic, beloved Maronite Christian leader--who was the son of the Phalangist party founder and leader Pierre Gemayel--was murdered nine days before he was due to take office, along with 25 others, in an explosion at party headquarters in the Maronite stronghold of Achrafieh.

Five years ealrier, in March of 1977, Lebanon's Druze leader, Kamal Jumblat, was assassinated by the pro-Syrian faction of the Lebanese Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party. Syrian intelligence officers collaborated in the killing. Jumblat was shot and killed in his car by four gunmen a few meters from a Syrian check point.

Jumblat's son, Walid, who has succeeded his father as Druze leader, has also been threatened by Syria. An unsuccessful attempt on the life of a political ally was widely regarded as a Syrian signal.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Islamists Threaten Jordan

Intelligence item.

Jordan is scared.

The pro-Western monarchy feels increasingly encircled and threatened from within--by Iranian-backed Islamists.

Islamism is on the rise in Jordan. The leading Islamist opposition group, the Islamic Action Front, is publicly committed to peaceful methods. But some intelligence experts believe Al Qaeda has infiltrated the movement.

These same experts contend that hundreds, if not thousands, of Islamist fighters in Iraq are poised to enter Jordan, Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern nations.

Hamas is also a threat to Jordan. The Palestinian Islamist movement, which has repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel, knows that its terrrorism and extremism are leading many observers to suddenly question the conventional wisdom of the sacrosanct two-state solution to the Palestinian/Arab/Islamist-Israeli conflict--i.e. the creation of an independent Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza. For the first time in decades, Jordan is seen by many in Israel and the West as a proper negotiating partner for the future of the contested West Bank territories of Judea and Samaria, which Israel conquered in the Six-Day War of June, 1967.

Hamas, which actually regards Jordan as part of historic Palestine, will do everything possible to derail talks between Jerusalem and Amman on the future disposition of the West Bank lands.

Iran Backing Iraqi Terror Plots

Early warning.

America's Islamist enemies in Iraq--including Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Al Qaeda-associated groups--are planning a major terrorist offensive that could involve bombings and attacks on an unprecedented scale.

The overall objective is to shed as much American and allied blood as possible in order to hasten America's departure from war-torn Iraq--and the entire Middle East.

Again, Rice Reveals Her Stupidity

On Tuesday, America's worst-ever Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, revealed her staggering stupidity--yet again. The incredibly arrogant lightweight accused nuclearizing Iran of perverting "the rule of law" by charging three Iranian-Americans with spying. Rice denied they were involved in espionage.

Rule of law? Say what? Condi ... we're talking about Islamist Iran, for heaven's sake. The monstrous, mass-murdering mullahocracy is dedicated to destroying Israel and defeating--if not also destroying--the United States.

What law are we talking about? Islamic law? Shiite Islamist Islamic law?

Nazi Germany had lots of laws. The good Germans who helped and heiled Hitler to power were sort of obsessed with laws.

Who gives a damn?

Bomb Iran now--before it's too late.

Kim Disappoints Hill; More Missiles Could Fly

American envoy Christopher Hill has urged North Korea--or the DPRK, as he delights in calling the Communnist hell-hole--to begin dismantling its nuclear weapons program in accord with the promise Pyongyang made in February. But North Korea, which is more than a month and a half overdue on an April deadline to begin the denuclearizing process, says it will not move ahead until it takes possession of $25 million of its (ill-gotten) funds from a bank in Macau. There have been technical delays in transferring the money.

Our forecast: China's secretive vassal state will continue to disappoint Hill and the other dumbbell diplomats who seem incapable of seeing North Korea (and China, too, for that matter) plain. The Stalinist/Kimist regime is essentially a criminal enterprise in totalitarian garb. Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il is committed to totalitarian ideology and ways as a means of control and crime as a means of wealth creation.

Like Iranian monster-in-chief Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim does not fear the United States. Unlike Ahmadinejad, however, who actually believes in his insane Islamist creed, Kim believes in nothing but raw power and material gain.

The Macau money is more important to Kim than Hill ever imagined.

We expect Kim to green-light new provocations, such as more missile launches--maybe another July 4 salvo, like last year.

The Three Criminals Must Go!

Forty years ago, Israel's Arab enemies, led by Egypt, mobilized their armies to destroy the reborn Jewish state in the Land of Israel. In the weeks leading up to war, Israel's weak government appeared paralyzed. Fortunately, a young, native-born warrior class--Sabra generals whose courage and skill inspired the nation and world Jewry--forced the politicians to form an emergency government and give the army the green light to launch a preemptive attack against those seeking to finish Hitler's work.

The result was a spectacular Israeli victory in what the nation and much of the world came to call the Six-Day War and what Israel's foes and their friends still refer to as the June War.

Today, Israel's remaining Arab enemies, led by nuclearizing, non-Arab Iran, are again planning a final solution to the problem of Jewish sovereignty existing--in fact, thriving--in a sea of Muslim barbarism and backwardness. Tehran's turbaned tyrants have made their intentions clear: to wipe Israel off the map. Their strategy is also obvious: to use Arab proxies, puppets, and allies for much, if not all, of the actual fighting, although the possibility of Iranian armed intervention in the coming conflict cannnot be excluded.

And, in the run-up to the nightmare ahead--coordinated rocket and ground attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria, possibly coupled with Al Qaeda-associated terror strikes--Israel is again saddled with a paralyzed political leadership. In fact, Israel's present government is the worst in its history. There really is no precedent for the ... crimes ... of the Olmert-Livni-Peretz troika. They should be sittiing in jail, not in the Knesset. To call them "The Three Stooges," as they are popularly known in Israel, is to insult the memory of the three patriotic American Jewish comic geniuses who created and played the classic film characters that entertain TV and video audiences to this day.

Israel's only hope lies with its military and intelligence agencies. Will they act now to force The Three Criminals to resign to make way for an emergency government? Defense Minister Peretz, who has thankfully been ousted as head of the Labor Party, has talked about stepping down; but the timing is still up in the air. The sight of this arrogant bum blissfully casting his vote at a polling station Monday in the Labor Party primary ... as Hamas rockets slammed into neighboring Sderot ... was beyond belief.

What has become of the party of David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, and Yitzhak Rabin? Time was, a putz like Peretz would have not been assigned to sweep the offices of such giants, let alone entrusted with Israel's defense.

As for former Likudniks Livni and Olmert ... for many Israelis and Jews the world over it is simply too disturbing to recall that the incredibly incompetent and corrupt Kadima creeps clinging to the offices of Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, respectively, were once rising stars in the wing of the Zionist movement that was founded by the legendary Ze'ev Jabotinsky and led for decades by Menahem Begin.

Come to think of it, distrubing is not the right word. SIckening is more like it....

Maoist Landmines Kill Nine Indian Policemen

Police in central India say nine policemen were killed Monday by a series of landmine blasts in Chhattisgarh state.

Authorities blame Maoist rebels for the explosions.

The police were on patrol at the time of the blasts. At least three other policemen were wounded.

India's Maoist rebels have a strong presence in Chhattisgarh, which is one of India's poorest states. They are active in several eastern and central Indian states.

Thousands of people have died in the insurgency, which began 40 years ago.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hitlerian Hamas Vows to Destroy Israel

Iran's Islamist Palestinian ally, the Hitlerian Hamas movement, is clearly committed to Israel's destruction. The leaders speak....

Friday, May 25, 2007

North Korea's Real Target Was Washington

The missiles that North Korea test-fired Friday--modified, longer-range versions of Chinese-built, Silkworm anti-ship missiles-- were physically aimed at Japan but politically directed at the United States.

When all is said and done, the Stalinist/Kimist regime--which is protected and sustained by China--is still fighting the Korean War. The North will not rest until it succeeds in driving the US military from the Korean Peninsula.

But America's accommodating, dumbbell diplomats are likely to downplay the importance of Pyongyang's fresh provocation.

The party line by the US State Department will probably be that while the incident is "not helpful," we should take comfort in the fact that the missiles launched towards the Sea of Japan Friday were of the shorter-range variety and not Rodong or Taepodong 1 ballistic missiles. Merely routine exercises, the diplomats and their friendly media mouthpieces will assure us. Besides, they will remind us, the North has signed onto nuclear disarmament; excessive criticism of the test-firings could kill the deal, or at least complicate matters needlessly.

And so on and so forth.

Last month, North Korea used a massive military parade to display a newly developed ballistic missile capable of reaching the US territory of Guam.

In July of last year, North Korea--or the DPRK, as US Assistant Secretary of State delights in calling the giant concentration camp--test-fired a salvo of short and longer reange missiles, including the Taepodong-2, which can reach parts of the US.

Pyongyang provoked the US again in October with its first-ever explosion of a nuclear device. (China Confidential predicted the nuclear test--to the day.)

The State Department and its friends in the US foreign policy establishment responded true to form--by making the case that the nuclear detonation actually showed that North Korea has yet to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon.

In Frebruary, North Korea agreed to begin dismantling its nuclear program. But the regime blew off a key deadline and remains in clear violation of the flawed accord.

In addition to its nuclear and missile programs, North Korea has a robust biological weapons program that the US and the international community have decided to ignore.

North Korea Stages Fresh Provocation

Iran's nuclear tag-team partner is back in the ring.

North Korea fired a salvo of short-range missiles towards the Sea of Japan on Friday morning, Kyodo news agency said, quoting Japanese and American officials.

Pyongyang's provocation comes nearly a year after its July 2006 test-firing of ballistic and short-range missiles.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hamas Transcends Old PLO Position

Overlooked by mainstream media: Islamist Hamas has transcended the old PLO in its opposition to Israel.

Whereas the secular, nationalist PLO was officially committed to Israel's destruction and replacement of the Jewish state in Palestine with a state that would allow individual Jews--on paper, at least--to reside as citizens within its borders, Hamas defiantly declares that it will not rest until "the last Jew is expelled from Palestine." Hamas is fighting a religious war.

The group's rhetoric is significant, though the media will not address the matter. Meanwhile, the pro-Islamist Chamberlains and Quislings crusading for Western appeasement and capitulation will do their best to distort and disinform in order to help Hamas achieve its awful aims.

So it goes.

Non-Arab Iran Commands Two Arab Legions

Islamist non-Arab Iran now has two Islamist Arab foreign legions at its command: Hezbollah and Hamas. The former proxy is Shiite and Lebanese; the latter force, Sunni and Palestinian. Both groups function as forward strike forces for Tehran's monstrous mullahocracy; both groups are committed to the destruction of Israel and the defeat and expulsion of the United States from the Middle East.

Iran's secular (for how long, who knows?) Arab ally, Syria, is going along; when war breaks out, it will almost certainly join the conflict with its missiles and, even, perhaps, chemical weapons.

The situation is unprecedented and dire--and completely beyond the comprehension of America's worst-ever Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and Israel's worst-ever Foreign Minister, the intellectually and ethically challenged Tzipi Livni. Their collaboration has hurt their nation's interests immeasurably.

Israel is basically left with no alternative except all-out war against its enemies, which, as we have reported, are actively planning to change history on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Israel's dramatic Six-Day War victory in June 1967.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

America Abides: WW II Alternative History

How about this for a Memorial Day-themed alternative history/parallel universe plot?

A Japanese publisher is reportedly working on a manga comic book or graphic novel that posits a world in which George W. Bush was president of the United States in 1941 instead of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The World War II fantasy story line is summarized below.

Set in 1946, the US is bogged down in the Philippines and ... Russia ... where an invasion aimed at replacing Stalinist rule with Western-style democracy has failed miserably, along with the dream of domino-like democracy promotion spreading to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Germany, which has been left alone and allowed to develop atomic weapons and long-range missiles while exporting its ideology across the world, has conquered all of Europe, including Britain. Most of South America has come under Nazi influence or outright control.

In the US, the German American Bund, the Silver Shirt Legion, the Ku Klux Klan, and other Nazi, Fascist, and racist groups are increasingly powerful; the President feels pressured to praise "beautiful and peaceful" German culture as appeasement advocates and Nazi agents of influence accelerate attempts to "engage" Berlin in the hope of strengthening the hand of "moderates" in the Nazi regime. The supposed moderates allegedly share the extremists' objective of world conquest and the extermination of world Jewry. But the moderates, unlike the extrermists, appear interested in attaining power through parliamentary processes and elections instead of continued warfare.

The stepped-up appeasement effort has the support of the US Secretary of State--and Foreign Affairs magazine, which has published a special issue devoted to the topic, titled "Nazi Democracy."

Also backing appeasement: the Stalinist Left. The Moscow-controlled Communist Party of America and its fellow travelers in the press work hand-in-glove with the America Firsters and other Nazi/Fascist-sympathizing groups to oppose any suggestion that the US should expand the war to take on Germany and Italy. The marginalized Trotskyist Left strongly disagrees, warning of the dangers of an atomic Germany; but criticism of a handful of ex-Trotskyists, whose hatred for Stalin led them to support the costly and failed invasion of the Soviet Union over Germany, is effectively used by both leftwing and rightwing groups--and liberal pacifists--to discredit the entire US war effort.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Comment: Nuke the Bastards!

Israel's frighteningly weak, worst-ever government just doesn't get it. The world--whatever that means--will not pressure Hamas or Hezbollah or Iran or Syria or the Saudis or any Islamist and Islamist-supporting scum--into abandoning terrorism and making peace with Jerusalem. On the contrary, the so-called international community--Europeans especially--will try to save themselves at Israel's expense.

Appeasement and accomodation--and outright betrayal--are the order of the day.

Fortunately, as reported below, Israel's military and intelligence agencies are planning and preparing for the inevitable showdown with the forces of barbarism.

One can only hope that the Jewish state will use all available weapons--underscore all--to defeat its enemies.

Now is not the time for cooler heads to prevail.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Israel Preparing for War

Israel's failed government may be asleep at the switch, as we recently reported, but its military and intelligence agencies are preparing for the worst: escalating rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza and a fresh outbreak of provocative assaults from Iran's Lebanese proxy army, Hezbollah, leading to all-out war with the two terrorist groups, their ally, Syria, and possibly also Iran itself, which is stirring the Middle East pot to divert attention from Tehran's covert nuclear arms program.

As shown by last year's disastrous Lebanese war, the stakes are extremely high. Coordinated missile barrages could level Israeli cities and towns; Syrian chemical and Iranian radioactive dirty bomb attacks could cripple the Jewish state. An Iranian nuclear strike could destroy Israel. Iran has probably not yet developed nuclear weapons; but the possibility that the Hitler-admiring (but Holocaust denying) Islamist regime may have acquired one or more atomic warheads can't be ruled out.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to finish Hitler's work. But Israel is not a defenseless community. Nor is Israel the United States, for that matter. Should its enemies attack, Israel will not again make the mistake of playing by unrealistic rules of engagement. Rather, the reborn Jewish state will move swiftly and decisively to end Iran's monstrous mullahocracy and the regimes running Gazastan and Syria, regardless of the criticism from appeasement-advocating diplomats, journalists and academicians in the US and Europe. The Chamberlains and Quislings are in for a shock.

Japanese Company Considering Chinese Biodiesel

Japan is thinking big--about Chinese biofuels.

China Confidential has learned that a Japanese company is seriously considering making a major investment in a big, vertically integrated, Chinese biodiesel project. It involves constructing a production facility and establishing large plantations for growing the oil-seed-bearing wonder crop, jatropha.

The processing plant, which will cost about $100 million to build, will convert oil pressed from the bushy, perennially growing trees into non-toxic, biodegradable fuel for motor transport and power generation. Sources say the facility will have a production capacity of 300 million gallons per year.

Biodiesel is the world's fastest growing alternative fuel--a replacement for petroleum-based diesel and industrial (and residential) heating oil. Biodiesel can be made by mixing any natural oil--including virgin and used vegetable oils as well as beef tallow and refined chicken fat--with methanol and a chemical agent. The basic process, which is called transesterification (and is actually a century old) thins the oil to give it the viscosity of petro-diesel or heating oil.

Unlike economically questionable (in the US and Europe) ethanol, which is made from corn, sugar cane and sugar beets, biodiesel can be used in unmodified engines and boilers.

Jatropha is a potentially prime, environmentally sound and sustainable biodiesel feedstock. The hardy plant can yield at least 400 gallons of oil per acre annually compared with only 40 gallons per acre of soy, say, or 70-80 gallons per acre of canola. Palm plantations produce more oil per acre--at least 600 gallons, according to studies--but the associated economic and environmental issues make palm oil a costlier and somewhat more problematic feedstock. In contrast with palm and other oil-seed crops, jatropha requires no irrigation and can be grown in arid wasteland. The crop prevents--and may even reverse--desertification, which increasingly threatens China and much of the developing world, including Africa (where large-scale, commercial jatropha cultivation could forever break the cycle of poverty).

After the United States, China is the world second largest oil importer and the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The country has relied on dirty--and deadly--coal-fired power plants for much of its energy needs.

Chinese Air Pollution Threatening Hong Kong

Pollution, not politics, may be the biggest threat facing Hong Kong. China is stalling on its promised timetable for universal suffrage for the island--and poisoning it with greenhouse gas emissions. VOA reports....

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, visiting Hong Kong ten years after it was handed from British to Chinese rule, said she thought the process for Hong Kong was "so far, so good."

She credited the Chinese government for the relative success of the "one country, two systems" formula that allowed Hong Kong to retain its capitalist economic system and a high level of autonomy after the handover.

But Beckett also pressed for the introduction of universal suffrage in Hong Kong "as soon as possible." She told business and political leaders that democracy should be the foundation of a thriving and stable Hong Kong.

British participation in the 10th anniversary celebrations has been low key, prompting Beckett to brush aside reports that Britain has been snubbed from participating in the affair.

"There is no suggestion of the UK being excluded from something, in fact we are planning a series of events during the year as part of the Hong Kong government's program," Beckett said.

The right to directly elect Hong Kong's leaders is set in the Basic Law but China has so far refused to set a timetable for that to happen.

Beckett came to Hong Kong after spending six days in Beijing, where she discussed bilateral issues and climate change.

On Monday she told reporters that climate change threatens the country's economic prosperity.

"China has made substantial strides in reducing the intensity of energy usage but of course they want to, and we all need them to make still more progress," Beckett says.

China's rapid economic growth makes it hungry for energy, and it relies heavily on polluting coal-fired plants. Experts say China will soon overtake the United States as the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases.

Beckett called on Hong Kong investors in the mainland - one of the biggest group of investors there - to do their part in fighting climate change by making investments in low carbon and energy efficient technologies.

Hong Kong has been battling worsening air pollution in recent years, largely coming from power plant emissions from the southern China region.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Banker Buzz: Chinese Stock Market Could Crash

China's sizzling stock market, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, which has skyrocketed some 50 percent since the start of the year, is probably headed for a major correction--crash in plainer English.

That's the buzz among bankers and business leaders. For example, Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, the billionaire chairman of property giant Cheung Kong Holdings, recently said there is a "bubble" phenomenon in the Chinese stock market. He warned Hong Kong investors to be cautious because bubbles collapse.

The top economist for Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, Tai Hui, weighed in with a warning last week. Tai said some correction or fall in Chinese stock prices is inevitable given the record highs reached in recent weeks.

On Friday, Peter Wong, executive director of HSBC, one of the biggest foreign banks operating in China, called concerns about the market "genuine." Wong warned that any significant drop in the Chinese stock market would be felt heavily in Hong Kong. Mainland companies make up half of the Hong Kong's stock market's value.

China's economy has been roaring ahead this year, despite efforts to cool it down to avoid the risk of high inflation or a collapse of asset prices.

The economy expanded more than 11 percent in the first three months of the year. On Friday, China's central bank raised interest rates for the fourth time in a year. The rate on a one-year loan went up 0.18 percentage point, to 3.06 percent. In addition, the central bank on Friday raised the bank reserve ratio or the amount of money banks must keep as capital--the eighth such move in the past year.

But the measures have not deterred hundreds of thousands of new investors from opening trading accounts. The government fears many of those investors could face painful losses if the market gains end, which could lead to unrest in some areas.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

China Pushing Jatropha-Based Biodiesel

China is about to become the world leader in the cultivation of jatropha, a sustainable, perennially growing oil-seed crop that can be used to produce the planet's fastest-growing alternative fuel--biodiesel.

By 2010, the country plans to plant 13 million hectares of bushy jatropha trees, from which a whopping six million tons of oil--nearly two billion gallons--can be extracted every year, according to conservative government estimates. Some analysts believe the yield could actually be three times that amount.

Jatropha oil is a prime--perhaps even superior--feedstock for making biodiesel. Like soy, palm, or peanut oil, jatropha oil can be mixed with methanol and a catalyst, such as sodium hydroxide, in a process called transesterification to produce pure, non-toxic biodiesel--known as B100--which can then be blended with petroleum-based diesel at any ratio for use as a petro-diesel replacement. Transesterification is basically a thinning process that reduces the viscosity of vegetable oil to that of petro-diesel. (Used, or waste, vegetable oils require an additional up-front treatment, called acid esterification.)

Unlike other alternative fuels, such as economically questionable corn- or sugar beet-based ethanol, biodiesel can be used in any existing diesel burning engine or boiler without technical modifications. So-called splash-blending--simply adding levels of petro-diesel--is mainly done to prevent gelling in colder climates and to avoid violating the arguably overly cautious (but slowly but steadily changing) warrantees of leading engine manufacturers.

Consistently reliable, alternative additives--green substitute solutions that will eliminate the need for blending biodiesel with petro-diesel--represent a kind of holy grail for biodiesel researchers. China Confidential has learned that Chinese scientists have developed and are already testing products described as being close to commercialization.

India is also investing in large-scale jatropha cultivation; and several major jatropha plantations are in various stages of development in various African countries.

The hardy plant's potential for breaking the cycle of poverty in Africa--and helping to end the world's addiction to petroleum--has excited energy experts. Studies indicate that more than half the continent could be used for growing jatropha--which requires no irrigation and prevents and may even reverse desertification--and that the oil output from just half of this area could satisfy the annual oil needs of the United States.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chavez Approves Anti-Biofuels Campaign

Venezuela's leftwing, populist dictator, Hugo Chavez, has personally approved funding for a covert propaganda campaign against alternative fuels, including ethanol and bodiesel. The money will be diverted from Venezuela's oil revenues; and there is reason to believe Chavez may have sought financial support for the project from Iran, after successfully persuading Cuba's Communist dictator, Fidel Castro, to condemn biofuels as "capitalist genocide."

With or without Tehran's aid, the Crackpot of Caracas aims to discredit the biofuels industry by subsidizing the production and placement of a series of negative articles, essays and TV programs promoting claims that it robs the poor of productive agricultural land, drives up the price of food for humans and animals alike and actually consumes more energy than it produces.

The brunt of the campaign will be directed at Brazil's thriving ethanol industry. But biodiesel will also be a target. Sources in Venezuela's capital say Chavez insists that the renewable fuel, which is made from virgin or used (recycled) vegetable oils, be branded "deforestation diesel" because of alleged environmental abuses by the palm oil industry.

The anti-biofuels campaign will naturally ignore the promise of cellulosic ethanol, made from trees, switchgrass, straw and other plant waste, as well as biodiesel produced from Jatropha--a perenneial plant that grows in arid wasteland--and algae. Hydroponic, hothouse cultivation of the latter feedstock could yield thousands of gallons of oil per acre.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Appeasement Anniversary Looms

Hold the date: September 29, 2008. It will mark the 70th anniversary of the quintessential appeasement pact, the Munich Agreement, in which France and Britain betrayed Czechoslovokia to Nazi Germany in an unsuccessful, cynical attempt to trade a tiny democracy's land for peace with a rising totalitarian power.

The anniversary of the agreement will fittingly follow the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, which should pave the way for authoritarian China's conquest of nearby, self-ruled Taiwan--a democracy the world seems ready to sacfirice to appease a rising giant's regional ambitions.

Appeasement-minded academicians, journalists and diplomats in Europe and the United States are also growing increasingly comfortable with the idea of selling out another tiny democracy--Israel. The thinking is that rising Radical Islam will be satisfied with the ersasure or step-by-step dismantling of the Jewish State.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The lesson of Munich--which the video below recalls--is that it is impossible to appease imperialist powers bent on world domination. The intentions underlying China's historic military build-up--the likes of which the world has not seen since the 1930s rearmament of Germany--transcend Taiwan. Islamist intentions transcend Palestine. The real intenion in both cases is a permanent reordering of the power relations among the world's nations.

Friday, May 11, 2007

North Korea and Iran Ink Evil Agreement

As if to mock the efforts of America's appeasement-advocating, dumbbell diplomats, Stalinist/Kimist North Korea and Islamist Iran (rising China's vassal and ally, respectively) have reportedly agreed to expand cooperation in political, economic, and cultural fields.

Iran's Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki signed the agreement with visiting North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong-il on Thursday evening, according to the Iranian Student News Agency.

The US State Department can be expected to downplay the significance of the news; but State is wrong, as usual. In fact, the announced accord is a thin cover for cooperation between the two rogue nations in the development of missiles, nuclear warheads, and chemical and biological weapons.

Iran's Friend in Washington Won't Give Up

Again we ask: Is Jimmy Carter's former National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, on Iran's payroll? Is he an agent of influence? An Iranian stooge? Or simply a miserable old antisemite?

We'll probably never know the answers to the above questions, though we are entitled to our suspicions, given his perfidious past. It was Brzezinski, after all, who authored America's covert intervention in Afghanistan--before the Soviet invasion--on the side of the so-called country's reactionary warlords and Islamist scum. And it was Brzezinski who helped Khomeini and his henchmen to come to power in Iran. The vain, wannabe Kissinger persuaded a self-hating US president to betray the modernizing, pro-American Shah in an unsuccessful, cynical attempt to ride the Islamist tiger.

Nearly three decades later, Brzezinski is still at it--propagandizing for the Islamist cause. Click and view. Vomit bag recommended.

US, Chinese Military Commanders Disagree on Significance of Provocative Anti-Satellite Test

Senior US and Chinese military commanders sharply disagreed Friday on the impact of China's provocative anti-satellite weapon test in January. The exchange came during a meeting in Beijing between the commander of US forces in the Pacific and the vice chairman of China's powerful Central Military Commission. VOA Pentagon Correspondent Al Pessin attended the meeting and later interviewed the US commander, Admiral Timothy Keating about the first day of his first visit to China in his new job.

Keating told Chinese General Guo Boxiong many people do not understand why China would test an anti-satellite weapon if it truly seeks a peaceful rise to superpower status, as it claims. The admiral said the test, in which China used a missile to destroy one of its own satellites, sent a "confusing signal" to the United States and the world.

Keating said he hopes China does not pursue its anti-satellite weapon program.

"I'd hope that once demonstrated that they, 'put it on the shelf,'" he said. "There's little further scientific data to be derived, in my perspective. They could have done it in the laboratory, if you will. But, it's done and the debris is there. We can't unring the bell. And I would hope that they now understand, we all understand, the challenges attendant to introduction of large quantities of large debris into the commons of space."

When Admiral Keating raised the anti-satellite weapon issue during his meeting with Guo, the general chuckled and said he does not understand why the world reaction to the Chinese anti-satellite missile test has been so "dramatic." He called the test a normal scientific experiment that had no serious consequences or ulterior motives, and didn't threaten any country. Guo disputed the view that the test left a large amount of debris in orbit.

Guo tried to change the subject to Taiwan, but Keating insisted on staying on subject for a few more minutes, saying some people in the US military, government and business community believe the test was more than a scientific experiment and that the risk to other satellites posed by the debris is "not insignificant."

"The explanation provided, that it was a scientific endeavor, in my view is a partially complete answer," Keating explained. "There are, in my opinion, military overtones to this, if not direct military application."

When the two senior officers did turn to Taiwan, Guo warned Washington not to trust assurances by leaders on the island that they will not try to declare themselves an independent government, and not to encourage them to do so.

Keating said the US recognizes that there is only one China, but he also noted that the US is committed to help Taiwan defend itself against any attack. He said he is concerned that a series of misunderstandings, possibly fueled by rhetoric during the campaign for Taiwan's coming election, could lead to a situation neither China nor the US wants.

To avoid that, Keating called for more US-China military contacts at the leadership level, and also at lower ranks. He said that will help lead to better understanding of each country's strategic intentions, and also to more transparency in China's defense spending and capabilities.

On Friday, Keating also met with China's military chief of staff and the vice foreign minister responsible for North American affairs. Over lunch, he had a long discussion with a Chinese admiral about the possibility that China might develop aircraft carriers. [Editor: Why would peacefully rising China need a blue-water navy?]

As his five-day visit continues, Keating will meet with Chinese military scholars and students, and will visit the eastern military region, directly across the straits from Taiwan.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Another June War?

The fighting could start as early as next month; but Israel's worst-ever government is asleep at the switch.

40 years after the Six-Day War, which began on June 5, 1967, Jerusalem's front-line Arab enemies--Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas--are planning a major assault on the Jewish state with the backing of Saudi Arabia and nuclearizing, non-Arab Iran. The latter foe, which has been ruled by a monstrous mullahocracy for nearly three decades, has the same ambitious war aim as the Lebanese and Palestinian terror-armies: Israel's physical destruction. As such, Iran could become directly involved in the fighting, raining missiles down on Israeli cities and possibly attacking, via terrorist surrogates, with radiological dirty bombs ... assuming, that is, that the Islamist regime has not already acquired nuclear warheads.

Not for nothing does Iran's Hitler-admiring (but Holocaust-denying) monster-in-chief, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, promise his followers "a world without Zionism." He is working overtime to make their horrific dream a reality.

In contrast with Iran, Syria's objectives are more modest: the "liberation" of the Golan Heights and rubbling of Israel's northern cities. The Baathist regime, which is increasingly menaced by an Islamist revival, seeks to erase the "stain of defeat" at the hands of Israeli forces--and earn the respect of the Muslim world by delivering death and destruction to the "little Satan" through massive missile attacks and use of chemical weapons.

Israeli Arabs are also likely to join the fighting: terror cells, including units linked to Al Qaeda, are believed to be planning a major uprising, or intifada, as well as waves of suicide bombings. Like Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas, Islamized Israeli Arabs sense an opportunity to change history.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

UN Attacks Alternative Fuel Industry

The United Nations' first major report on biofuels is a classic UN work product: biased and out of date.

Reflecting the views of extreme conservationists--who fanatically oppose technology-based solutions to the energy crisis--multinational oil companies, and major oil producing nations such as Venezuela and Iran--the so-called study suggests that the benefits of biofuels are likely to be offset by serious environmental problems and increased food prices for the hungry. The report also asserts that many biofuel crops require the best land and a lot of water and environment-damaging chemical fertilizers.

Suffice it to say the world body is wrong, as usual. In addition to painting with a brush that is way too broad--little distinction is made between ethanol and biodiesel, for instance--the report ignores technologies that promise to put waste lands in developing nations and idle farm lands in industrialized nations to productive use in sustainable fashion. For example, the cultivation of jatropha--a hardy, perennial oil-seed plant that grows well in arid conditions, requires no irrigation, and can prevent and perhaps even reverse desertification--is ignored by the UN. Its ideologues are appalled by the mere thought of a wonder crop--watch for a UN report calling for its eradication.

This reporter is only half-joking. Experts estimate that more than half of Africa could grow jatropha; if half of this area were to actually grow it, the output could meet America's oil needs, permanently end the cycle of poverty in Africa ... and put an army of UN aid workers and NGO scammers out of work.

In the United States, where subsidized (and inefficient), corn-based ethanol production has indeed caused the price of animal feed to rise for already hard-pressed dairy farmers, commercial and cooperative-style production of non-toxic biodiesel--a renewable replacement for petroleum diesel that extends engine life for tractors and farm equipment--offers real hope for people trying to preserve a way of life and remain on the land. America's family farmers are keenly interested in growing canola, sunflower, and camelina, as well as soy, for use as biodiesel feedstock.

Much more promising than the above-mentioned crops, in terms of oil yields per acre, is algae. Yes, algae; for farmers and biodiesel producers, slime can be beautiful. An acre of canola produces 70 gallons of biodiesel feedstock, compared with just 40 gallons for an acre of soy. But algae--which could be grown in greenhouses--hydroponically and vertically--could yield thousands of gallons per acre. And there is no reason to rule out algae-oil production for deveoping nations.

None of which interests the UN. Like 1960s American welfare workers and leftwing urban activists, zealously anti-business UN bureaucrats prefer to keep people poor and dependent on state aid and private-sector handouts. The only agriculture of real interest to the UN is collectivist; the survival of family farms--anywhere--offends UN sensibilities.

As for the problem of imported oil, for all its expressed concern for the problem of global warming, the anti-American UN is clearly commited to increasing, rather than reducing, the petro-power of Middle Eastern and Third World potentates and despots.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

US Foils Attack on New Jersey Army Base

The foiled Islamist plot to attack an Army installation in New Jersey may represent the tip of a terrorist iceberg heading toward the United States.

While analysts have understandably been focused on preventing another, 9/11-like, Al Qaeda mega-attack on the US, it is possible that armed Islamist terror cells have been preparing a series of smaller-scale assaults against a wide range of hard and soft homeland targets--from military and police facilities to schools and suburban shopping malls.

The fact that these kinds of attacks have not happened (except for a few incidents that have been largely ignored by mainstream media) does not mean that they won't happen.

In New Jersey, meanwhile, six nationals from the former Yuogoslavia were arrested. Investigators said the men, described as "Islamic radicals," planned to use automatic weapons to enter Fort Dix and kill as many soldiers as possible.

The suspects reportedly trained in the Pocono mountains area in northeastern Pennsylvania, where they practiced firing their weapons.

Cheney Desperately Seeking Saudi Support

Amid stepped-up Syrian war preparations and continued Iranian defiance of the West with regard to an increasingly threatening nuclear program, Dick Cheney is heading to the Middle East to seek Saudi help in countering Iran's growing influence in Iraq.

How sad. More than five-and-a-half years after the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks ... atrocities that may in part be blamed on America's steadfast refusal to confront the Saudis over their cynical support for the terrorist army and its Sunni Islamist allies ... the Vice President of the United States is flying off to the family bsiness masquerading as a country to essentially beg its duplicitous, dysfunctional rulers for assistance in dealing with the world's most powerful Islamist regime ... a monstrous mullahocracy, which, in spite of important theological and ethnic differences with Al Qaeda's senior leaders--Iran's non-Arab rulers are Shiite Muslims--has itself harbored and perhaps even actively collaborated with them for many years.

So much for "World War III." FDR must be turning in his grave.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Syria Preparing for War with Israel

Early warning.

Syria is preparing for war with Israel. The peace overtures by Islamist Iran's Baathist ally are not authentic, although Damascus would accept a de facto Israeli surrender to its demands.

The latter transcend the return to Syria of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured 40 years ago this June in the Six-Day War. Pressured by an Islamist revival it can no longer contain, Syria wants Israel to accept the Saudi peace (by piece) plan calling for the return of all occupied territories, the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and Israeli acceptance of a suicidal, so-called right of return for all Palestinian refugees and their descendants to move back to what is now the Jewish state (with generous international subsidies).

Syria knows that a Palestinian right of return is a non-starter for Israel. Thus, Syria's secret preparations for war--a full-blown followup to last year's summertime conflict between Israel and Iran's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, whose leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has become a folk hero in neighboring Syria.

Condi Condemns Pacific 'Strongmen'

Global cop?

America's idiotic democracy promotion project is alive and well in the South Pacific. While the Middle East and North Africa go to hell in a handbasket, America's worst-ever Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has used the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders to reiterate Washington's concerns about the insignificant coup in tiny Fiji that toppled a corrupt (and apparently racist) and anti-foreign investment prime minister.

"The Pacific cannot devolve into an area where strongmen unilaterally decide the fates of their country and destabilise democratic foundations of their neighbours," Rice said.

China Threatening World Environment

China vs. Earth: How China is Threatening the World's Environment
By Elizabeth Economy, The Nation

The world's most industrialized countries started the climate crisis, but China might well finish the job.

The message is clear: Shanghai under water, Tibetan glaciers disappearing, crop yields in precipitous decline, epidemics flaring. These are just some of the dire consequences that Chinese scientists predict for their country this century if current climate change is not addressed.

Yet China's leaders pay about as much attention to the issue as does George W. Bush. In fact, a report issued last year by the Climate Action Network-Europe ranks China fifty-fourth out of fifty-six countries for its climate change response, just behind the United States and ahead only of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

Beijing knows the costs of inaction: A recent major official study on climate change predicts up to a 37 percent decline in China's wheat, rice and corn yields in the second half of the century. Precipitation may decline by as much as 30 percent in three of China's seven major river regions: the Huai, Liao and Hai. The Yellow and Yangtze rivers, which support the richest agricultural regions of the country and derive much of their water from Tibetan glaciers, will initially experience floods and then drought as the glaciers melt.

Click here to continue reading.

Formal Taiwan Independence Is a Dying Dream

The dream of a formally independent Taiwan is practically dead, as indicated by the selection of Frank Hsieh as standard bearer of the governing Democratic Progressive Party for the 2008 Taiwanese presidential elections.

A former prime minister, Hsieh favors reconciling--code for reunifying--with China, unlike pro-independence Chen Shui-bian, who won the presidency for the Democrats in 2000 and was re-elected four years later.

As mayor of the southern city of Kaohsiung from 1998 to 2005, Hsieh pushed for exchanges with the nearby mainland Chinese city of Xiamen and tried to promote better relations with Beijing under the slogan "coexistence and reconciliation." As prime minister, he called for "peace through talks and negotiation," including an end to bans on direct air and maritime connections to the mainland.

The prospective candidate of the main opposition Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang, Ma Ying-jeou, is more openly in favor of reunification, arguing that it is essential for Taiwan's future economic development and well being.

China is committed to taking back Taiwan, by force if necessary. Beijing regards the self-ruled, democratically governed island as a "renegade province."

The US is obligated under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) to provide the island with the means to defend itself; but there is no clear commitment to intervene in a cross-Strait conflict. Nor is there any significant sentiment for intervention; on the contrary, policymakers will do their best to avoid actually clashing with (nuclear) China over a tiny nation that is increasingly seen by the US (and the world) as an anachronistic liability.

Hamas Hijacks Mickey Mouse to Teach Hate

The Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas, which is committed to Israel's destruction, is using a Mickey Mouse clone to indoctrinate children in Islamist ideology. The key message of the programming: Palestine is the launching pad, or "nucleus," for achieving Islamist world domination.

French Muslim Arson Tally: 367 Cars Torched

According to official figures, Muslim rioters in economically depressed French suburbs burned 367 cars last night following the presidential election victory of Nicolas Sarkozy. Twenty-eight policemen were injured, and 270 people were arrested in the violent protests.

The nationwide, weekly, Saturday night car-burning total averages 50 cars.

Some 1,000 cars are typically burned every New Year's Eve.

So much for car-burning. The real danger, French security experts say, is the infiltration of the no-go Muslim areas by Islamist organizations, including, possibly, Al Qaeda-associated movements.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sarkozy Defeats Socialist Defeatist

France fights back....

Nicolas Sarkozy, of the governing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), defeated Socialist Party candidate Segolene Royal in Sunday's French Presidential runoff election. An advocate of appeasing the country's violent Muslim masses--and Islamism in general--Royal had warned that a Sarkozy victory would trigger a new French intifada.

But the voters were not intimidated. Sarkozy received about 53 percent to Royal's 47 percent in the election, which featured a huge voter turnout. The voters gave him a clear mandate for his economic and social reforms when he takes office on May 16.

The 52-year-old former interior minister--the grandson of a Greek Jew and the son of a Hungarian aristocrat--is widely regarded as a friend of both the United States and Israel and an important figure in the fight against Islamism.

In his acceptance speech after being elected president, Sarkozy signaled a shift in tone in France's relations with the United States and Europe.

"I want to call out to our American friends to tell them that they can count on our friendship,'' he said.

He also challenged the US to take the lead in the fight against climate change.

Turning to Europe, Sarkozy urged the European Union to listen more closely to the citizens it is supposed to protect.

When he succeeds Jacques Chirac, Sarkozy will become the first French president of immigrant stock.

Known as an American-style, law-and-order politician, he took a hard line against Muslim unrest in France, including Islamist-inspired antisemitic attacks.

By the time the unoffocial results had become known Sunday, at around 2 PM, the Interior Ministry had deployed more than 4,000 police around restive Muslim suburbs; helicopters could also be seen flying over the neighborhoods, where Muslim gangs were known to be planning violent manifestations.

Tenet Confirms War on Islamism Was Not an Option

George Tenet's memoir, At the Center of the Storm, My Years at the CIA, confirms one's worst suspicions about America's response to 9/11: a World War II-style military campaign to utterly destroy and defeat Islamism--a war that an overwhelming majority of Americans would almost certainly have wholeheartedly supported--was never in the cards. Not even for a day was a response of this magnitude considered.

From 9/12 on, the Bush administration's strategy was to dislodge the Taliban regime that harbored Osama Binladen and his Al Qaeda movement in order to then kill or capture as many Qaeda members as possible, including Binladen.

In other words, following the worst-ever attacks on US soil, there would be a prolonged--perhaps neverending--"War on Terror" (as if a tactic or technique of warfare had attacked the US), but never a war against Islamism, or Radical Islam. Not really. "Islamic extremism" would be publicly criticized--Tenet still uses this term to describe what the West is up against--but an all-out war to annihlate the clerical fascist enemy, Islamism, including its state sponsors and supporters, was a non-starter, in keeping with decades of secret US support for Islamist groups during the Cold War and decades of turning a blind eye to Saudi and Pakistani support for the radical Muslim menace (as well as decades of counting on supposed moderates in Iran's Islamist regime to change its policies).

Reading Tenet's tome, one realizes that a formal declaration of war against Afghanistan, followed by swift, merciless, massive bombing raids to annihilate the enemy--meaning the Taliban and Al Qaeda--by any and all necessary means was never an option. The US was simply not going to deliver mass death to the Islamist foe--not in Afghanistan, nor in Iran, nor anywhere, for that matter. Blanket targeting of Taliban forces and assets was a non-starter because it was likely to have resulted in a significant number of civilian deaths and turned various Afghan warlords and tribes against the United States. Instead, the US largely relied on the notoriously unreliable (and Islamist or Islamist-sympathizing) warlords--with whom CIA had in the past collaborated in the clandestine war against Soviet forces.

Notwithstanding the courage and skill of the CIA officers and Special Forces commandos who carried out the war plan for Afghanistan, it is clear that America's reliance on proxy forces--and strategic decision to treat the whole conflict as a massaive covert operation--gave Binladen, Taliban leader Mullah Omar and their most senior leaders ample time to escape.

Post Script: Tenet admitted under questioning on the NBC-TV interview program, Meet the Press, Sunday that his book's attention-getting, Page One anecdote--describing a chance White House encounter with Defense Policy Board chief Richard Perle early in the morning of 9/12--was inaccurately reported. Turns out, Perle was out of the country on 9/12 and did not return to Washington until the 15th.

Which is odd, to say the least, given Tenet's detailed, dramatic account. "Less than 24 hours earlier, America had been attacked by a stateless foreign army," Tenet writes. "Thousands perished.... More attacks might be coming....

"All this weighed heavily on my mind as I walked beneath the awning that leads to the West Wing and saw Richard Perle exiting the building just as I was about to enter.... We made eye contact and nodded. I had just reached the door myself when Perle turned to me and said, 'Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility.'

"I was stunned but said nothing. Eighteen hours earlier, I had scanned passenger manifests from the four hijacked airplanes that showed beyond a doubt that al-Qa'ida [his spelling] was behind the attacks....

"At the Secret Service security checkpoint, I looked back at Perle and thought: What the hell is talking about? Moments later, a second thought came to me: Who has Richard Perle been meeting with in the White House so early in the morning on today of all days? I never learned the answer to that question."

Appeasement Camp: Iran Attack Would Aid Al Qaeda

Opponents of military action against Iran have come up with a new argument to bolster their position: an attack would inflame the Muslim world and strengthen Al Qaeda.

The argument supports the US State Department's drive to combat Tehran's turbaned tyrants with sanctions and diplomacy instead of guns and bombs while also seeking to reach out, or engage, the nuclear-arming mullahocracy's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, and Palestinian ally, Hamas.

Some proponents of engagement are going so far as to say that failure to deal with Hezbollah and Hamas could pave the way for Al Qaeda and/or Al Qaeda associated groups to make significant inroads in Lebanon and Palestinian-controlled areas.

The notion that Hezbollah and Hamas are more moderate and acceptable than the Al Qaeda crowd is in tune with an emerging foreign policy establishment consensus that Radical Islam, or Islamism, is not a monolith and that certain Islamist factions--for example, the Muslim Brotherhood, which provided Al Qaeda's core--have evolved ideologically in ways that justify US engagement and accommodation in order to further divide and influence the movement.

Our view: accommodation is code for appeasement; differences among Islamists (akin to differences among Nazis and Fascists) are about strategy, tactics, and tone, not intentions and aims, and are therefore meaningless from a Western perspective; history has shown that appeasement of a rising menace is a prescription for disaster and defeat.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Backed by the Army, Turks Rally Against Islamism

WIth the support of their military, guardian of Turkey's secular system, the Turkish people are taking to the streets to defend their way of life and stop the crypto-Islamists from taking power.

The courage of the masses is inspiring, in sharp contrast with the cunning and cowardice of the Eurabian (aka European) Union, the UK, and, sadly, the US State Department. Across the Muslim world. America's dumbbell diplomats are bent on engaging--i.e. appeasing --Islamism in a cynical, self-defeating attempt to divide and defeat the Nazi-like movement.

Is China Ruled by a Military Oligarchy?

Who rules China?

Until recently, the answer has been obvious: the Communist Party. More specifically, a nine-member standing committee of the party's politburo controls the country, though political power ostensibly resides in the 3,000-member National People’s Congress, which rubber-stamps politburo decisions.

But times--and opinions--change. China's provocative anti-satellite test in January and comprehensive military expansion--the likes of which the world has not seen since the re-arming of Germany in the 1930s--has led a small number of intelligence experts to question the conventional view of Chinese elite politics. For the first time, analysts are seriously entertaining the notion that China may actually be a military dictatorship posing as a party-ruled, authoritarian (formerly totalitarian) state.

According to this intriguing theory, the People's Liberation Army allows the party to manage domestic and foreign affairs--up to a point. Should domestic unrest or dangerously democratic tendencies ever get out of hand, analysts speculate, the PLA would intervene--under party cover. In other words, the party has allegedly become the tool of the military, and real power on the Chinese mainland (in contrast with democratic Taiwan) comes from the barrel of the PLA gun, which is no longer controlled by party leaders.

A Chinese military oligarchy. It's an intriguing and compelling concept ... which may even have the added advantage of being factual and true. We're not sure. Whether the PLA rules, competes with, or is still ruled by the party, this much seems certain: China's military rise constitutes a strategic threat to the United States, because China's generals have decided that the US is China's main adversary, even though it is also China's principal trading partner and a key to China's modernization. Seventeen years of double-digit "defense" spending stems from the PLA's determination to eventually replace the US as the world's leading military power.

More immediately, the PLA is preparing for war with the US over Taiwan. The PLA is obsessed with taking back the island and has essentially given the party a limited time-frame for achieving peaceful reunification. If there is no substantive progress by 2010--two years after the Beijing Summer Olympic Games--the military will move. Not for nothing has it amassed an arsenal of some 1,000 ballistic missiles opposite the "renegade province" and adding approximately 100 missiles a year to the ominous array. Not for nothing is the PLA blinding and blasting satellites in space....

Post Script: The PLA allows the party to appear in charge of the military, analysts speculate, through the titles held by China's Paramount Leader, Hu Jintao. He is President of the People's Republic of China, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. The Central Miilitary Commission is technically an organ of the Communist Party, not the state.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

US Agency Criticizes Turkey Over Headscarf Ban

"Ten years ago it was normal to see groups of young girls in school uniforms on the streets of Istanbul. Today they have virtually disappeared, to be replaced by women wearing headscarves. During the holy Islamic month of Ramadan it is not uncommon for street fights to break out between religious Muslims objecting to their secular compatriots lighting a cigarette during the daytime fast."
-Con Coughlin, writing in The Telegraph

Nearly five years and eight months after 9/11, the United States government is apparently more concerned about the right of Turkish women to wear ugly Islamic headscarves than the growing Islamist threat to Turkey's secular system.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan, federal agency mandated by Congress to review international religious freedom and provide recommendations for its advancement to the Secretary of State, raised concern in a report Thursday that Turkey's enforcement of secularism bars Muslims from wearing certain religious dress, such as headscarves, in public offices and universities.

But the report also noted: “At the same time, concerns must be addressed that a lifting of the ban on headscarves might jeopardize the rights of women."

The Commission is a State Department tool. Its report is in line with State's support for supposed moderate Islamists in Turkey---and throughout the Muslim world--as reported below. Scroll for the stories.

Comment: Defeat and Debacle

Given the debacle in Iraq, it is tempting to blame the Bush administration for discrediting the war on Radical Islam, or Islamism. The case could be made that just as America's disastrous and unnecessary intervention in Vietnam discredited the legitimate anti-Communist cause and rationale for military intervention when needed--and turned a generation of Americans against their government--America's disastrous and unncessary, post-9/11 invasion of Iraq--a contained secular enemy with no significant WMD arsenals and no meaningful Islamist ties--may have dangerously undermined the struggle against a rising imperialist menace--Radical Islam--which is bent on driving the United States from the Middle East, dominating Europe, and destroying America's ally, Israel.

The problem with this argument is that it rests on a false premise--namely, that there was a war against Islamism in the first place. There was no such thing, of course; instead of a war against Islamism, which the overwhelming majority of Americans would have wholeheartedly supported in the wake of the worst-ever attacks on US soil, the Bush team gave us a "War on Terror." As a result, Al Qaeda is a more formidable foe than it was on 9/11; Iran's nuclear-arming mullahocracy and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, and allies, Syria and Hamas, are poised to pulverize Israel with missiles; Islamist ideas have spread throughout the Muslim world and Europe and are attracting followers in the US; America's borders are still wide open; and America's ports, airports and civilian airliners remain vulnerable to attack.

In retrospect, we should have seen it coming. The phony war signs were rather obvious, after all: the exposes of the Secret Saudi airlift and Oval Office chat with Saudi Prince Bandar; the Presidential praise for "peaceful and beautiful" Islam; the reluctance to ask Congress for a declaration of war against Afghanistan, which sheltered and aided the Islamist enemy that attacked us on 9/11; the reliance on notoriously unreliable Afghan warlords to kill or capture Osama Binladen and Taliban leader Mullah Omar (anyone remember him?); the refusal to revoke the visas of aliens from hostile Muslim lands; the cozying up to Taliban-backing Pakistan; and, perhaps most important, the failure to attack international terror-sponsoring, Islamist Iran in favor of going to war against ... contained ... Psycho-Saddam & Sons.

Looking ahead, things are almost certain to get worse before they get better. Under Bush, the US will seek to engage and appease so-called moderate Islamists everywhere in a desperate effort to salvage something .... anything ... from Iraq and contain Iran long enough to hand the mess over to the next administration ... by which time, the American people will be thoroughly exhausted ... emotionally, mentally, every which way ... probably poorer (despite a booming stock market, the country could find itself in another recession before the end of this year), and, absent another Islamist mega-attack (God forbid) on the US homeland, or outbreak of suicide bombings in US cities, more inclined than ever to be won over by those advocating appeasement and retreat in the name of diplomacy and security.

Understanding Rice's Grand Mideast Strategy

The Bush administration has decided to engage Syria as part of a grand strategy of appeasing supposed moderate Islamist elements throughout the Middle East (and the Muslim world).

The crackpot plan, concocted by America's worst-ever Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, aims to divide and rule--rather than destroy and defeat--Radical Islam by helping its more moderate factions come to power. (In fact, there never was a war on Radical Islam. Iraq was in part invaded as a response to the Islamist attacks of 9/11 because truly defeating the movement and its state-sponsors, including Iran, was a non-starter.)

In its approach to secular Syria, the administraion actually believes it can harness and manipulate the Islamist revival sweeping the nation to influence--or replace--the Baathist regime. Following last year's disastrous summertime war between Israel and Iran's Lebanese Shiite proxy, Hezbollah, Syria's Islamists are emboldened; and accommodation attempts by Damascus have basically backfired. It is probably too late for Syria to crush the movement. The US knows this and is trying to make the most of the opportunity.

Rice's fingerprints are all over the scheme, which is merely a warmup to her main act. Borrowing a page from the playbook of Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who successfully instigated an Islamist uprising in Afghanistan in order to lure the Soviet Union into invading the country and becoming embroiled in its own Vietnam-like quagmire, Rice apparently seeks to contain nuclear-arming Iran by essentially sucking it into Iraq and saddling the mullahocracy with responsibility for managing the civil war between Shiite and Sunni militias and death squads.

As for Israel, Rice would like to see the Jewish state accept the Saudi peace (or piece by piece) plan with at best minor modifications. The forecast is for increasing pressure and intensifying secret diplomacy leading up to and immediately following the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War, which began on June 5, 1967.

Washington Working in Favor of Turkish Islamism

Has the Bush administration gone completely crazy?

Not satisfied with its disastrous promotion of Islamism in Iraq--in the name of democracy--the crackpots and creeps running American foreign policy have sided with the Eurabian (European) Union to appease islamism in Turkey and pave the way for the movement's step-by-step dismantling of the country's secular system--in the name of democracy.

The top foreign policy creep, Condoleezza Rice, on Wednesday joined the EU in warning Turkey, a NATO member and close ally, to prevent its military from defying civilian leaders in a conflict between the pro-Islamist government and the secular establishment. The military's threat to intervene in the dispute has confirmed its traditional role as a key player in Turkish politics--and prevented the Islamists from hijacking Turkey's constitution in order to destroy it.

Said the worst-ever Secretary of State: "The United States fully supports Turkish democracy and its constitutional processes, and that means that the election, the electoral system and the results of the electoral system and the results of the constitutional process have to be upheld."

Asked if Washington agreed with Europe's call for the military to stay out of the dispute, Rice replied: "Yes. The answer is yes, the US would be in a similar position."

The Turkish military is fiercely devoted to the secular ideals of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, an army officer who founded the modern republic. If not for the military, the Islamists would have already seized power and imposed their insane ideology on millions of Turks.

Apparently, the US thinks that would be a good thing. In keeping with a decades-old policy of secretly siding with Islamists, dating to covert support for the Muslim Brotherhood against Nasser in Egypt, the US ambassador in Turkey, Ross Wilson, has been meeting with Turkish officials urging that constitutional procedures be followed in resolving the crisis.

In Washington, Deputy State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Wilson has been stressing the need for Turkey to stick to a path that ensures that the "people can have their say."

The State Department won't rest until so-called moderate Islamists have taken power in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. America's solution to the problem of Radical Islam is not to defeat the movement--hence the stupid "War on Terror" term. Rather, the US aims to divide and rule Radical Islam by backing the supposed moderates--in the name of democracy. Watch for mushrooming moderates: from the Sunni Arab Muslim Brotherhood to non-Arab Iran's Shiite mullahocracy, acceptable (in the eyes of the State Department) Islamists--"democratic Islamists"--will be identified and supported by an increasingly desperate US administration. In the name of democracy, naturally.

It's only a matter of time before the ugly headscarf--symbol of repression and backwardness--will be a required or strongly suggested item (by the US government) for female US diplomats and dignitaries visiting Muslim lands. Nancy (click and scroll) was just a little fashion-forward....

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

China's Empire of Lies

EDITOR'S NOTE: City Journal has published a brilliant essay about rising China. An excerpt appears below.

The Empire of Lies
By Guy Sorman

The twenty-first century will not belong to China.

The Western press is full of stories these days on China’s arrival as a superpower, some even heralding, or warning, that the future may belong to her. Western political and business delegations stream into Beijing, confident of China’s economy, which continues to grow rapidly. Investment pours in. Crowning China’s new status, Beijing will host the 2008 Summer Olympics.

But China’s success is, at least in part, a mirage. True, 200 million of her subjects, fortunate to be working for an expanding global market, increasingly enjoy a middle-class standard of living. The remaining 1 billion, however, remain among the poorest and most exploited people in the world, lacking even minimal rights and public services. Popular discontent simmers, especially in the countryside, where it often flares into violent confrontation with Communist Party authorities. China’s economic “miracle” is rotting from within.

The Party’s primary concern is not improving the lives of the downtrodden; it seeks power more than it seeks social development. It expends extraordinary energy in suppressing Chinese freedoms—the media operate under suffocating censorship, and political opposition can result in expulsion or prison—even as it tries to seduce the West, which has conferred greater legitimacy on it than do the Chinese themselves.

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Blair Backs Eurabian Appeasement of Islamism

[UPDATE: Turkey's prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, has announced that he plans to hold early elections. The announcement came hours after the country's constitutional court annulled the first round of parliamentary voting to elect a new president.]

Falling in line with the Quislings and Chamberlains of the Eurabian (European) Union, British Prime Minister Tony Blair Tuesday urged Turkey to "keep to the democratic path" in the face of an Islamist effort to take power and begin the step-by-step dismantling of the country's secular system.

The guardian of Turkish secularism--the military--has threatened to block the election of Abdullah Gul, the foreign minister who is a senior member of the country's pro-Islamist political movement. The powerful Turkish military has intervened iinternally n the past, most recently in 1997 when it ousted an earlier Islamist government.

Should the military move again, it would almost certainly have the support of the country's secularists--including most of the estimated one million Turkish men and women who demonstrated in Istanbul last Saturday.

More protests are likely. The future of Turkey--a strategic American ally vital to NATO--is at stake.

But Blair is not concerned--about the Islamist threat. In a statement, the failed politician said he had been following events in Turkey closely since the first, flawed round of presidential elections last Saturday and urged compliance with the country's constitution in accord with democratic principles.

"I am confident that this will happen, and that Turkey will continue to play a crucial role as a key and democratic partner," Blair said.

Israel is Ready

Approaching the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War, which began on June 5, 1967, Israel's arch enemies--Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas--are preparing for all-out war. But Israel is ready, willing and able to defend itself, as this inspiring video suggests. The stirring images merely hint at the level of readiness and capabilities. Should its enemies dare to attack Israel with massive missile barrages, let alone chemical weapons, dirty bombs, or other weapons of mass destruction, the Jewish state will not hesitate, in our opinion, to fight back with any and all arms at its disposal--including nuclear warheads. Israel's present Prime Minister is a corrupt fool. But the country's political and military leadership will rise to the occasion.