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This past Sunday, September 11, Palestinian mobs torched and destroyed four synagogues left behind by Israel in the evacuated Gaza strip. The Palestinian Authority (PA) police did nothing to intervene, while the PA President - Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) - justified the violence as the people “expressing their emotions.” The torching of houses of worship, just like the lootings, beatings and home burnings carried out against a Christian Arab town near Ramallah at the beginning of this month by Palestinians shouting “Allahhu Akbar” (God is Great) as the PA police stood by, bode ill for peace in the Middle East. Religious hatred inspired by Jihadi Islam is clearly no local matter. It is part of a broad conflict unfolding between radical Islam on the one hand and Christianity, Judaism, the Bahai faith, and Buddhism on the other.



Fresh from having put al Qaeda to flight in Iraq, General David Petraeus routed the Democrats in Washington this week. Gen. Petraeus came to Washington in obedience to a law passed by Democrats that he report on the situation in Iraq. But Democrats wanted to pick a fight with him, because they didn't like what he had to say. "There is a long American tradition of savaging failed generals," wrote Michael Gerson in the Washington Post.  "It is more novel to attack a successful one." And not very wise.  When asked in a New York Times/CBS poll who they trust the most on Iraq, 21 percent of respondents chose Congress.  Sixty eight percent chose the U.S. military. When asked about the MoveOn ad, Gen. Petraeus had this classy response: "Needless to say I disagree with the message of those exercising the First Amendment right that so many generations of soldiers have fought and died protecting." While Gen. Petraeus was being classy, Democrats were not.



So many of you have asked me about an alleged Al Qaeda plan called “American Hiroshima” - the multiple detonation of nukes smuggled in to the US - that I must respond, even though some very good friends of mine for whom I have high regard have been taken in by the fellow who’s making the claim.That would be Paul L. Williams, who has been peddling this stuff for a long time. The funniest example is Williams’ claim that “documents captured in Afghanistan show that Al Qaeda had plans to assemble nuclear weapons with fissile material purchased on the black market.” A nuclear scientist friend of mine with all the requisite Pentagon security clearances could not stop laughing when I discussed this with him.“I’ve seen those documents,” he told me, “and believe it or not, they are copied from an article in a science humor magazine called The Journal of Irreproducible Results. It was entitled “How to Build an Atom Bomb,” and these Al Qaeda-Taliban idiots didn’t know it was a put-on. It’s full of physics jargon and seems impressive - but when the article instructs you to make the shock wave focusing lens out of Playdough, you’ve got to be a retard not to get the gag. Living in an Afghan cave can do that to you.”


PREVENTING THE NIGHTMARE: Terrorists Attacking America with Russian Nukes

In 2003, Sheikh Nasir bin Hamid al-Fahd, a prominent Saudi cleric close to al-Qaeda, provided a comprehensive religious opinion (fatwa) justifying the use of nuclear weapons against the United States, even it killed up to 10 million Americans, under the pretext that the U.S. is to blame for the deaths of 10 million Moslems.Over 20 million Moslems - 7% of the total population - live in Russia today. The increasing influence of Salafi/Wahhabi Islam among them may facilitate penetration of the Russian military-industrial complex by collaborators and sympathizers of terrorist organizations.Anti-Americanism pervades the Russian elite from the top down and is escalating in the media. A former senior Russian officials stated that "U.S. behavior [vis-à-vis Russia] is not that of a friend, but of an adversary... While we need to talk to the U.S., we need to keep in mind that it is an enemy." Such anti-Americanism may facilitate illicit transactions involving nuclear weapons or components in which the Russian seller or thief understands that the U.S. is the likely target.



There was something odd about the Osama bin Laden video made public last week, noticed Web logger George Maschke (Booman Tribune). "The video freezes at about 1 minute and 58 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30," (10½ minutes later)  Mr. Maschke said.  "The video then freezes again at 14:02 and remains frozen until the end.  All references to current events occur when the video is frozen." Could the current events references have been added to an older tape? Osama is dressed just as he was in his last video, released in 2004.  But that may be simply because there isn't much of a selection at the mall near his cave. Bin Laden sounds more like Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's nutty talk show host, than like an Islamic terrorist leader.



When you’re scuba-diving, you’re in another reality. You’re totally in the moment, absorbed and fascinated by a world utterly removed from that above the surface. But the pressure of this world drives gasses you’re breathing like nitrogen into your tissues, and if you return to the surface too quickly, bubbles of nitrogen come out of solution like an opened champagne bottle, into your bloodstream and can blow up your brain.Returning to “civilization” from an African safari can have similar effects. Immersed in a world utterly removed from the outside, blissfully unaware of any “news” occurring anywhere as you watch a lioness play with her cubs or a lady elephant tease a big bull in heat, causing him to chase after her dragging his 40 pound “fifth leg” in desperation - you need to decompress and slowly return to reality.I ignored this advice and am suffering the consequences. One day I was in a tent in the Serengeti. The next day I was in London with bubbles of the world’s insanity exploding inside my head.



The result of an extensive research and five months of field interviews in numerous schools in 20 French provinces by a distinguished group of French educators should be sobering for anyone who values European civilization. The report documents the extensive Islamization of French schools in the vicinity of Moslem ghettoes and the imposition of strict conformity with Islamist dictates through violence and intimidation. Having by and large completed their takeover of the Moslem ghettoes, often by “targeted violence” against non-Moslems and moderate Moslems alike, the Islamist fanatics are making great progress towards achieving control of the educational system as well.This is not just France’s problem. The same phenomenon of large numbers of angry young Moslems who totally reject European civilization is easily observable in virtually every large urban center across the EU.



Next week, Gen. David Petreaus will make his report to Congress on the situation in Iraq.  Much will be written about what he has to say.  I'd like to devote a few words to those who will be passing judgment on Gen. Petreaus' report, relative to their military service to America - or lack thereof. We are in the midst of a world war, as the disruption this week of bomb plots in Denmark and Germany reminds us, or ought to.  It figures to be a long war.  What Congress does or doesn't do in response to Gen. Petreaus' report largely could determine whether we win or lose. But the number of senators and representatives who are veterans -- that is to say, who have the experience to make an informed judgment about what Gen. Petreaus has to say -- is the lowest it's been in half a century. There's an easy way to fix that.



MORU ROCKS, SERENGETI PLAINS, TANZANIA, AFRICA. It is at night that Africa becomes most alive - especially when there’s a full moon. The most restful night’s sleep one can have, it seems, is when you are lulled by the cackling whine of hyenas, the incessant barking of zebras, the coughing of lions, the grunting of hippos, the bellowing of Cape buffalo, the stomach rumblings of elephants, the flutter of Guinea fowl roosting in the trees, and the soft chirp of the tiny Scopes owl. The Moonlight Symphony of the Serengeti. I’m writing this on the veranda of my tent overlooking a grassy plain and trees along a nearby stream. Herds of zebra and wildebeest are grazing, a few giraffe are munching on a huge umbrella acacia tree, and two elephants are happily stripping the bark off a yellow fever tree with their tusks for an afternoon snack. It is a peaceful and restful scene. In the distance is a rock outcropping that’s the home of a pride of 11 lions, a mommy with four cubs, two other females, and two males with gorgeous golden manes. They’re sleeping off last night’s repast of a young wildebeest. Predators on the Serengeti do not prey on themselves. Two prides of lions, say, may occasionally compete for territory, but they never attempt to survive upon the other, and it would never occur to them to do so. Only man has the capacity to choose to prey on his fellow man. In our time there have been three great predations upon civilization: Nazism, Communism, and Islamism. The first was defeated entirely, and that by military force. The Soviet version of the second was defeated by a combination of military threat and guile. The Chinese version remains. The struggle continues with the third. There is a lesson to be learned here in the Serengeti about how to conduct this struggle.



Partisan politics in Washington this season are getting interesting, as a few Democrats are cautiously beginning to challenge their leadership's strategy of total opposition to major Bush initiatives. It is dawning on some Democrats that their all-defense strategy may not pair up well with President Bush's all offense strategy. President Bush plays politics the way my friends and I used to play pick-up football when I was a kid. In the huddle, the quarterback would tell everyone else to go out long. On the snap the quarterback would dance around in the backfield until one of us five or six receivers got open, at which point he would complete the pass. With both sides going long all the time, we often ended up with basketball scores. The Democrats, on the other hand, when on offense, merely receive the snap and fall on the ball. When on defense, they put all their men on the line, trying for a quick sack of the quarterback. If the quarterback is too agile for them, they are vulnerable to be scored upon, given their lack of a pass defense. When two such teams meet, the best score the all-defense Democrats can hope for is a 0-0 tie. The best score the all-offense Republicans can expect is at least a 56-0 win.