Blood, Terror, and Lies
Vol: 30 Issue: 22 Monday, March 22, 2004
While a disgruntled former administration anti-terrorism official was on CBS concocting whoppers that would make Burger King jealous, on the other side of the world, Hamas now has an opening for a new spiritual leader.
The two incidents stand in stark contrast. The Israeli decision to take out Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas often referred to as Israel’s Osama bin-Laden, was made despite the fact it guarantees a massive counter-strike by Hamas against it.
Knowing this, and understanding what is at stake, the strike had the full support of both the government and the population upon which any counter-strike will be visited.
On our side of the world, the man who headed America’s counterterrorism effort for eight years turned on his own government in a shameless effort to politicize terror to advance his own personal agenda.
Knowing this, and understanding what is at stake, Richard Clarke has the full support of the media and that segment of the population who couldn’t care less what it means to America in general provided it means defeating George Bush in November.
Both these stories are important, and both have long-range implications for America, and so I am going to try and cover both in today’s briefing.
The first is the death of Sheik Yassin. Yassin formed Hamas in 1987 for the purpose of inflicting terror on Israel during the first intifada. In 1987, Yassin was sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers. Israel released him in 1997 in a futile effort to keep the Oslo Agreement from collapsing.
Sheik Yassin was a very bad guy. Although himself a wheel-chair bound quadraplegic, he was the inspiration for Hamas as well as its founder, and was also Hamas’ banker. Yassin was the boss of Hamas in the same sense bin-Laden is the boss of al-Qaeda.
In 2003, in an interview with Fox News, Yassin issued a Fatwa on American television in which he ordered all Muslims to kill Americans wherever they are found, if America sets one foot on Iraqi soil. (Osama bin-Laden issued a similar Fatwa against the United States two months after 9/11)
In response to the killing of Yassin, Hamas issued a communique in which it said Israel could not have killed Yassin with America’s permission and hinted that Hamas would expand its target environment to include the United States.
This is not idle talk, saber-rattling rhetoric. This is a serious threat to every individual American citizen. This is a threat every bit as real as that posed by a terrorist strolling down Broadway in New York City with explosives strapped to his middle.
A Fatwa, once issued, becomes part of Sharia Law. Sharia is analogous to codified law in Western society. It consists of the Koran, the Sunnah, and a constantly evolving collection of Fatwas or rulings that deal with every aspect of Islamic life from ideology to practical daily matters. Throughout Islamic history, Imams and Mullahs have issued Fatwas, which have the force of law among Muslims, similar to a ruling by a Western court.
As in the West, these rulings can be confirmed or overturned by a higher authority, by issuing a Fiqh.
That is why the Osama bin Laden tape that was released to the world on Dec. 21, 2001, remains so important. The tape contained several significant Fatwas, and made reference to several well-established Fiqhs, in effect linking them to the Fatwas. Because these Fatwas have gone unchallenged by higher Islamic authority, they are now part of Islamic law, and must be observed by all Muslims.
Another element that determines the “strength” or ultimate authority of a Fatwa, is who issues it. bin-Laden has serious credibility in the Muslim world.
So did Sheik Ahmed Yassin, as can be seen by the reaction of the Muslim world to his killing. It is important to note that not one Muslim cleric has issued a Fiqh cancelling the Fatwas of death against America. There are thousands who could — not one, to my knowledge, that has.
That means the Fatwas ordering our deaths stand with the full force of Sharia law and it is the legal duty of every observant Muslim to obey them.
Yet to read the coverage of Yassin’s killing in the Western press, Yassin was a victim of the Israelis, a poor, crippled sheik whose shattered, bloodstained wheelchair is on the front page of most American newspapers.
Virtually all American press refer to the incident as an ‘assassination’ as if Yassin were some respected head of state instead of Osama bin-Laden’s Palestinian counterpart. (Should the US finally kill Osama, will the New York Times call it an ‘assassination’? If it turns out that the body being tested for DNA is Ayman al Zawahri, killed by Force 121 along the Afghan-Pak border, did we ‘assassinate’ him?)
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, formally condemned the killing of Yassin. Soon after, the European Union issued a condemnation, saying Israel’s killing of the leader of Hamas ‘violates international law and undermines the search for peace’ in the Middle East. Hmmm. Leaving Israel’s Osama bin-Laden in place to order more terror attacks ‘undermines the search for peace’? Are they kidding?
The Poles say the any retaliation by Hamas could inflame the Middle East and then spread to Europe. In Europe, the terrorists are winning the war.
Arab League spokesman Hossam Zaki, who is in Tunis preparing for the Arab League summit, which begins later this week, called it a ‘personification of terrorism’ by the Israeli government.
The leader of Egypt’s banned radical Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, also issued a warning, saying, “There can be no life for the Americans and Zionists in the region” and “We will not rest until [Israelis] are expelled.
So much for the ‘blood and terror’ portion of today’s briefing. Now we move to the ‘lies’ part.
Richard Clarke went on CBS Sixty Minutes in what was the most shameless and transparent betrayal since former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. During the Clinton administration and for part of the Bush administration, Clarke served as America’s anti-terrorism czar.
After 9/11, when Bush created the Department of Homeland Security, he took a look at Clarke’s track record and appointed Tom Ridge to head it. Clarke politicked to get appointed Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, but was instead ‘promoted’ to Special Advisor for Cyberspace Security on October 9th. He ‘retired’ a month later and decided to write a ‘tell-all’ book about what a terrible job Bush has done in prosecuting the war on terror.
That he was grossly incompetent to the job is obvious, as I said, from his record. Clarke was America’s terrorism czar for eight years, and Bush kept him on when he assumed the presidency. The first terrorist attack against the US on Bush’s watch took place on September 11. Bush had been in office eight months.
But it was during the 8 years of Bill Clinton that al-Qaeda prospered and grew by repeatedly attacking American interests with impunity.
*1993: Shot down US helicopters and killed US servicemen in Somalia
*1994: Plotted to assassinate Pope John Paul II during his visit to Manila
*1995: Plotted to kill President Clinton during a visit to the Philippines
*1995: Plot to to bomb simultaneously, in midair, a dozen US trans-Pacific flights was discovered and thwarted at the last moment
*1998: Conducted the bombings of the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that killed at least 301 individuals and injured more than 5,000 others
*1999: Attempt to carry out terrorist operations against US and Israeli tourists visiting Jordan for millennial celebrations was discovered just in time by Jordanian authorities
*1999: In another millenium plot, bomber was caught en route to Los Angeles International Airport *2000: Bombed the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, killing 17 US Navy members, and injuring another 39
Clarke proposed the following responses to al-Qaeda during his eight year tenure. The bombing of an aspirin factory in the Sudan that was later proved unconnected to al-Qaeda in 1998, followed up by the use of 22 million-dollar cruise missiles to destroy an empty $12 tent in Afghanistan.
On several occasions, the Clinton administration had opportunities to kill bin-Laden, but were advised against it by White House lawyers. When the Sudan offered to turn bin-Laden over for arrest in 1996, the offer was turned down because the adminstration didn’t have ‘enough evidence’ for a conviction.
To criticize the Bush administration’s efforts to protect Americans against terrorism, long after their own ineptitute had allowed al Qaeda to grow bold and powerful, is contemptible. The book that he was plugging on CBS was neatly timed for release just before the upcoming election. Clarke is hoping to be Homeland Security Secretary in a Kerry administration — the politics are transparent.
And even Democrat Joe Liebermann says he is lying about the Bush administration planning to attack Iraq in response to 9/11. As Liebermann said, and almost NOBODY reported, “I was there. The Bush administration’s focus was on al-Qaeda from the beginning.”
We have discussed the international black eye America gets every time a ‘whistle-blower’ like Clarke, or a politician greedy for power, puts a private agenda ahead of the public good. It is patently obvious that is what is going on here, yet CBS chose to air Clarke’s concoction of lies and innuendo unchallenged, as if each word were gospel truth.
Here’s what Sixty Minutes forgot to mention. CBS is owned by Viacom, who also owns the publisher of Clarke’s book. Cozy.
For CBS it was a ‘win-win’ situation; a change to slam Bush, plug Kerry and make millions for its sibling company, all at the same time. Unlike a paid campaign commercial, this message was brought to you by CBS’s commerical sponsors. Does that bug you as much as it does me?
“He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live,” Proverbs 15:27 tells us.
Now, to connect the dots between the death of Ahmed Yassin and Richard Clarke. Sheik Ahmed Yassin, like Osama bin-Laden, issued a legal ruling requiring observant Muslims to kill Americans. His death at the hands of the Israelis elevated his status to that of a martyr and consequently, elevated the authoritative status of his religious edict to kill Americans.
Richard Clarke’s assessment of the American administration is that it is corrupt and dishonest and cowardly and incompetent. And therefore, to the observant Muslim being recruited by al-Qaeda, deserving of the death sentence imposed on it and its people.
Blood, terror, and lies. A potent cocktail. Where is America in prophecy?
When Solomon was composing the Book of Proverbs, he warned that, “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.” (Proverbs 11:29)
“And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:36)