Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Islamic Fundamentalist Savagery Knows No Bounds

In many places in the Middle East today, Wednesday, June 13, the savages of Islamic fundamentalism were at work. So savage that you wonder on what grounds these people even call themselves religious, since they spend most of their time and effort killing other Muslims.

In Iraq, in what may have been an inside job, with the Iraqi security forces complicit in the attacks, explosions blew up both minarets of the Shiite Imam al-Askari Mosque (the Golden Mosque) in Samarra. This completed the destruction done by insurgents on Feb. 22, 2006, when their bombing of the mosque, one of the holiest Shiite shrines, set off widespread sectarian warfare in Iraq.

Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, said this morning that the new attack was another move to spark sectarian violence, and within hours, there were reports that a Sunni mosque had been blown up in eastern Baghdad. Also, CNN reported that 15 arrests had been made of the security force that had surrounded the mosque. As with the kidnappings of U.S. troops south of Baghdad in recent months, the attacks seem to have at least been facilitated by the very police and Iraqi army forces that are supposed to be protecting the government of Iraq.

Just yesterday, Admiral William Fallon, the top American military commander for the Middle East,, met with the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, to tell him, in the presence of New York Times military reporter Michael Gordon, that U.S. patience with his efforts is running out, and that the Iraqi government must make quick progress at implementing benchmarks set by the U.S. Congress, such as passing a law splitting oil revenues between the ethnic groups.

But he might have been wasting his breath. Maliki seems to have a hidden agenda to crush the Sunnis and keep Iraq in turmoil until Iranian-leaning Shiites can take over total control. He and his friends in the Iraqi parliament have done nothing to comply with the benchmarks.

Meanwhile, today, NATO forces in Afghanistan have reported seized Iranian arms being sent to the Taliban. At one time, Iran was reportedly cooperating with American forces fighting the Taliban. Now, there are suggestions that it is giving arms to both sides, with the goal of stirring further trouble, just as Iran has been doing elsewhere in the Middle East, in Gaza, in the West Bank and in Lebanon.

Today also was a day in which the U.S. State Department released findings that trafficking in human beings -- in other words, slavery -- is practiced in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, all supposed allies of the United States, but in many ways just as barbaric, just as savage and evil, as our adversaries in that region. Just last week, L.A. Times writer Megan Stack, detailed the foul discrimination against women in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare rages in Gaza, and to a lesser extent the West Bank, between Hamas, which gets support from both Iran and Al-Qaeda, and the corrupt Fatah organization.

The liberal group, Human Rights Watch, had the good grace this week to note that both sides are committing war crimes in Gaza -- throwing people off high rise buildings, shooting people in hospitals, murdering captives -- as part of this Islamic fight. Which is more than the L.A. Times editorial page has done. It has had nothing to say about these crimes. Instead, it again assails the Bush Administration for not closing the Guantanamo prison, where many of the worst Islamic terrorists are at least kept in custody, so they can't murder us, or other Muslims.

In Lebanon too, the carnage goes on. Another bomb, attributed to pro-Syrian elements, blew up today in Beirut, killing an anti-Syrian member of Parliament and nine others.

In Israel, security forces reported foiling planned double suicide bombings in Tel Aviv. Two Muslim women, one the mother of eight children and nine months pregnant, were arrested. How honorable of them!

There are a few faint signs that some Muslims are getting fed up with the continuing Middle East drama. Both Saudi and Egyptian columnists this week have suggested Islamic virtue has been destroyed by the extremists who have come to dominate Muslim life.

But it is doubtful the moderate Muslims can control the others. Should Iran or Al-Qaeda obtain nuclear weapons, it may well be necessary for U.S. and European forces to occupy the Middle East to put the Islamic fundamentalists under forcible restraint and prevent our own destruction.

Such an event is not by any means out of the question. Just this week, a former U.S. Defense Secretary, William Perry, and two other experts wrote a long article on the New York Times Op-Ed page about the necessity of preparing ourselves in this country for an atomic attack, and for the reprisals that would necessarily follow it.

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