Friday, July 17, 2009

Worldwide Caliphate by 2020

From Strategy Page:

Al Qaeda has a plan, and it was first published, four years ago, in a book (Al-Zarqawi: al Qaeda's Second Generation) by Jordanian journalist, Fouad Hussein. Several al Qaeda leaders were interviewed for the book, including al Qaeda's man in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The current version of the plan has been showing up on Islamic radical websites since late last year.

The basic al Qaeda plan lays out a very straightforward strategy for world conquest. Actually, it sounds a lot like what the Nazis and communists had in mind last century. The only difference is that, while the Nazis killed you for who you were, and the communists killed you for what you believed, al Qaeda kills you for not being Moslem. No matter which zealot gets you, you're still dead.

Despite several setbacks, al Qaeda is still proclaiming the plan as in play. The al Qaeda plan has seven phases, all leading to world conquest. It goes like this.

Check out their plan at the link. Despite the fact that al Qaeda has experienced severe setbacks they're still convinced that Allah is on their side and will give them total world domination within ten years.

Exit question: If you were an al Qaeda foot soldier committed to the plan outlined at the link would you consider the election of Barack Obama and Democratic control of the Congress a sign of Allah's favor or his displeasure?


Heresy in the Episcopal Church

Richard Mouw wishes to take polite exception to a rather surprising claim by the presiding bishop of the Episcopal church. In a brief essay at Christianity Today Mouw writes this:

In her opening address to the Episcopal Church's recent General Convention, the Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the church's presiding bishop, made a special point of denouncing what she labeled "the great Western heresy" - the teaching, in her words, "that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God." This "individualist focus," she declared, "is a form of idolatry."

There is good news and bad news here. The good news is that the Episcopal Church's presiding bishop is not afraid to denounce heresy. The bad news is that we evangelicals turn out to be the heretics she is denouncing.

One wonders why Jefferts Schori thinks heretical the idea that we are each accountable to God, and that we, as individuals, can gain eternal life. Upon what, exactly, does she base this strange notion? The Bible? Christian tradition? Maybe, like lots else that issues forth from the cogitations of our mainline bishops and theological poobahs, she just made it up.


Israeli Training Upgrade Needed

McClatchy has a report by Dion Nussenbaum on investigations into the conduct of the Israeli military forces during their operation last winter in Gaza against Hamas. Much of it is troubling.

I have no sympathy for Hamas, a brutal terrorist organization committed to the destruction of the Israeli state and the murder of its citizens. I thought at the time that the Israelis should have continued the fight until they had utterly eliminated Hamas as a functioning organization. Even so, without impugning men who must make excruciating decisions in the pressure cooker of combat, I also want to affirm the necessity that wars fought by civilized people against barbarians still be fought by the precepts of Just War theory.

The problem is not that the Israeli government doesn't agree, but rather that the training of its officers needs to be improved so that every one of them agrees as well. In the case of the Gaza conflict, apparently, there were too many cases when it wasn't clear that mid-level officers understood what was acceptable and what was not.

Here are just two excerpts from Nissenbaum's report. There are more at the link:

Two soldiers from the Givati brigade who served in Zeitoun told the story of shooting an unarmed civilian without warning him. The elderly man was walking with a flashlight toward a building where Israeli forces were taking cover.

The Israeli officer in the house repeatedly ignored requests from other soldiers to fire warning shots as the man approached, the soldiers said. Instead, when he got within 20 yards of the soldiers, the commander ordered snipers to kill the man. The soldiers later confirmed that the man was unarmed.

When they complained to their commander about the incident, the soldiers were rebuffed and told that anyone walking at night was immediately suspect.

Israeli combatants said they forced Palestinians to search homes for militants and enter buildings ahead of soldiers in direct violation of an Israeli Supreme Court ruling that bars fighters from using civilians as human shields.

"Sometimes a force would enter while placing rifle barrels on a civilian's shoulder, advancing into a house and using him as a human shield," said one Israeli soldier with the Golani Brigade. "Commanders said these were the instructions, and we had to do it."

That this testimony is true seems hard to deny since it's doubtful that dozens of soldiers would lie about these things. How widespread such abuses were is less clear. That they violated both Israeli law and war doctrine is certain. They reveal a lacuna in the training of Israeli troops that the government should remedy forthwith.

There are more accounts at the link along with Israeli Defense Forces denials of the accuracy of the testimony. Read them and decide for yourself and keep in mind that the Israelis are facing an enemy which couldn't care less whether its troops commit atrocities. Indeed, they encourage it.