Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Some news reports are still talking about a possible DNA test, his family members &mdash, in Zarqa in Jordan — are already cursing him for besmirching his family name, while others are praying for his body to burn in hell-fire. But how can Mr Duffy be so sure that Mr al-Zarqawi isn't dead in the house?
Because everyone knows that Mr Zarqawi has to be kept alive to keep the fire burning in Iraq?
Whatever it is, we must put it to them that both Mr bin L and Mr al-Z continue to make terrorism work while one of them's either at rest or dead. OK let's face it, when was the last time Mr bin L released a video of his mountain-side homily in a military jacket while terrorism burnt brightly in your neighbourhood? It's Mr al-Z's turn now if you haven't noticed, while Mr bin-L waits for his military jacket to come back from the cleaners. (It takes awhile to deliver it to the caves).
But Mr al-Z is an elusive man. Look here at his aliases:
AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus'Ab (a.k.a. 'ABD AL-KARIM; a.k.a. ABU AL-MU'TAZ; a.k.a. AL-HABIB; a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-MUHAJIR; a.k.a. GHARIB; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. "MOUHANAD;" a.k.a. "MOUHANNAD;" a.k.a. "MUHANNAD;" a.k.a. "RASHID"); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; Passport No. Z264968 (Jordan); citizen Jordan; National No. 9661031030 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]And for that I'm grateful to the Office of Foreign Assets Control for putting them all out in their Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List of February 9, 2004.
AL-ZAWAHIRI, Aiman Muhammad Rabi (a.k.a.ABD AL-KARIM (a.k.a. ABU AL-MU'TAZ; a.k.a.
AL-HABIB; a.k.a. AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-MUHAJIR; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus'Ab; a.k.a. GHARIB; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. "MOUHANAD;" a.k.a. "MOUHANNAD;" a.k.a. "MUHANNAD;" a.k.a. "RASHID"); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa, Jordan; Passport No.
Z264968 (Jordan); citizen Jordan; National No. 9661031030 (Jordan) (individual) [SDGT]
AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal (a.k.a. 'ABD AL-KARIM; a.k.a. ABU AL-MU'TAZ; a.k.a.
AL-HABIB; a.k.a. AL-MUHAJIR; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus'Ab; a.k.a. GHARIB; a.k.a.
KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a. "MOUHANAD;" a.k.a.
"MOUHANNAD;" a.k.a. "MUHANNAD;" a.k.a. "RASHID"); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa,
Jordan; Passport No. Z264968 (Jordan); citizen Jordan; National No. 9661031030 (Jordan)
"MOUHANAD" (a.k.a. 'ABD AL-KARIM; a.k.a. ABU AL-MU'TAZ; a.k.a. AL-HABIB; a.k.a.
AL-KHALAYLAH, Ahmad Fadil Nazzal; a.k.a. AL-MUHAJIR; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI, Abu Mus'Ab; a.k.a. GHARIB; a.k.a. KHALAILAH, Ahmed Fadeel; a.k.a. KHALAYLEH, Fedel Nazzel; a.k.a.
"MOUHANNAD;" a.k.a. "MUHANNAD;" a.k.a. "RASHID"); DOB 20 Oct 1966; POB Zarqa,
Jordan; Passport No. Z264968 (Jordan); citizen Jordan; National No. 9661031030 (Jordan)(individual) [SDGT]
You're quite right of course Mr Duffy, a person with a list of aliases that long can't just be surrounded in a house in Mosul and killed. That's more lives than a cat he's got, and as far as we know, he's only been killed once. In February 2003, then Secretary of State Colin Powell showed photographs of huts in Kurdistan where al-Zarqawi was said to be hiding with his Ansar al-Islam cronies. US Forces bombarded those huts in March 2003, and al-Zarqawi was said to have burnt in the cinders.
Then he re-emerged in Fallujah when fire and brimstone were pouring onto this Sunni enclave, but he escaped alive to other safe havens when many Fallujans were burnt to their bones by burning phosphorus.
Another known fact about al-Zarqawi (revealed to the press by let's say, intelligence sources, and which we were urged to believe): that he had lost a leg in Afghanistan. And then came the gruesome video showing terrorist captive Nicholas Berg being beheaded in Iraq by a man with a wrapped head. That, said the CIA, was unmistakably al-Zarqawi. But wait, said Johnny Doubters, this al-Zarqawi showed no signs of hobbling on one artificial leg. But no, no replied the CIA (or some other leg-watching department in the Bush war cabinet), he's okay now, he grew another one while he was on the run. (Or something like that).
Still, no doubt al-Z is a member of the al-Q, and al-Q's the villain of the piece, and was known to have been fed by Saddam. (Even though it's also known that Saddam hated their guts). Everyone said that, even that nice Colin Powell. That was October 2003. Yet one year later, Secretary for Defense Ronald Rumsfeld said he wasn't sure. "Someone could legitimately say he's not al-Qaeda," Rummy Rambo added.
But just in case, do look around for someone hopping on one leg or two, who may be dead or not, who speaks with a Jordanian accent but chose not to do so on the Berg video, who may now be dead in a house in Mosul, or who most certainly is not. Look carefully, for there may be a $25 million reward, if you can make any sense of all that.
Dead Man Walking
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Mustapha came from a poor background and loved the cinema since his childhood days. When he was leaving for the United States, his father, a poor man, gave him $200 and a copy of the Qur'an, apologising that that was all he could give him. Akkad remembered him with gratitude: "He had already given me the most invaluable of things; he brought me up to be morally and religiously mature and responsible. Whenever I remember him, I praise Allah for having blessed me with this father, who sent me to America penniless but rich in morality, religion, and heritageÂthe reasons I still cherish my Arab Muslim background."
Akkad's daughter Rima died instantly when the bomb went off in the lobby of the Hyatt, but Mustapha died two days later, on 11 November. He was 75, his final ambition unfulfilled, to do a film on the Kurdish Muslim legend, Salahuddin al-Ayyubi, better known in the West as Saladin. Akkad and his family lived in Los Angeles, but he will be returned today to his nativeAleppoo, while the body of his daughter Rima will be returned to Lebanon where she lived with her husband.
The blasts that rocked Jordan was of course attributed to the ubiquitous Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi is a mysterious man who, many believe, died in 2003. Jordanian authorities attributed the blasts to three suicide bombers, but an early report from Reuters said that at least one of the bombs exploded in a false ceiling in one of the hotels. A story appearing in the Ha'aretz Daily said that Israeli tourists avoided one of the hotels, the Radisson, after being forewarned of the attack. But this was later denied. How Ha'aretz got it so wrong we shall never know.
At least 57 people died in the blasts. We express our condolences to the families and condemnation of those who perpetrated the crimes.
Deaths in Jordan
"When examining the question of the Islamic headscarf in the Turkish context, there had to be borne in mind the impact which wearing such a symbol, which was presented or perceived as a compulsory religious duty, may have on those who chose not to wear it."Now, I took me a while to ingest this (so excuse my long absence), but the gist of the judgment - 16 against 1 - is interesting: the ban on the headscarf (hejab) is justified because the desire of the applicant to wear the headscarf (internal conviction) is weighed against the effect of that action on those who choose not to wear it (effects of that external expression). Again, in the words of the Court:
"The regulations on the Islamic headscarf were not directed against the applicant's religious affiliation, but pursued, among other things, the legitimate aim of protecting order and the rights and freedoms of others and were manifestly intended to preserve the secular nature of educational institutions. Consequently, the reasons which led the Court to conclude that there has been no violation of Article 9 of the Convention or Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 incontestably also apply to the complaint under Article 14, taken individually or together with the aforementioned provisions."The Court, in other words, resorted to adjudication by adverse opinion.
This is dangerous nonsense, as even Judge (Mrs) Tulkens saw in her dissenting opinion. Turkey banned the wearing of headscarves in universities and official functions. Judge Tulkens said, "If wearing the headscarf really was contrary to the principle of the equality of men and women...(then) the State would have a positive obligation to prohibit it in all places, whether public or private." She did not, of course, delve into this whole question, as then the ghoul of Islam against all the rest of them would have to be raised.
The Court recognised that issue of Article 9 of the Human Rights Convention was subject to a 'margin of appreciation' by the authorities. In other words, you're free to practise your religion as you please as long as your incense does not get into my eyes. The funny thing here is that Turkey is allegedly a Muslim nation (read between the lines of all those objections to Turkey's entry into the EC to see more than a whiff of that) and yet, Islam there allegedly irritates more than just the noses and eyes of the populace, it is seen as a threat to the religion of the state, i.e. secularism.
So who decided what the motives of Leyla Sahin, the hejabed medical student who was banned from medical school and took her case to the European Court? Well, in this case, the Court did. Without any proof, the Court agreed in its entirety (even the dissenting Mrs Tulkens was very much in this same boat) with the Turkish decision that her motive for wearing the hejab was to cause distress in others who did not choose the same road, to portray aggressive fundamental Islam, and to cock a snook against secularism.
There can be many turns down this noble road once you're in it; these may all be construed as ostentatious Islam, andthereforee ripe for the banning: going to the Mosque in the hours you choose, asking for time off to pray at work, reading the Qur'an out loud, the wearing of 'Islamic' clothes. I was once told by Turkish friends that in Turkey the Imam could not wear his Imam garb on his way to work, but had to dress in western clothes, carry his Imam garb in a carrier bag, then go the changing room once he's indoors to enrobe. I used to laugh at that, but now when I laugh I get chilling echoes coming back.
In Europe France has banned the hejab. Germany and all the rest will follow suit, though arguments are still raging. Britian is still on a delicate road because, as Blair has more than once reiterated, this isn't a war against Islam (he's read the Qur'an twice, mind). Well, let's say it's just a war against the symbols of Islam for now (Semiotics rules OK), but even the language is changing. From 'fundamentalist' Islam as target, the demon is now 'extremist' Islam. We're against extremism, Blair rages, (the man who refused to take the middle road and privatised the railway lines into an unworkable network).
But watch where the Blairmen are going. On 5th October 2005, British Home Secretary Charles Clarke went to the Heritage Foundation (a ragbag of ex-Reaganites, warmongers, extremist free marketeers, and collaborators with Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, to tell them to beware of the Caliphate. Ah, the Caliphate, Abbasids, Mameluks,Umayyadss - lovely times, I thought, great achievements in science, literature and art. But no, the Caliphate is now the evil empire, and Dath Vader was Harun al-Rashid incarnate.
Why this sudden jump from the fight against 'terrorist Islam' to terror of the Caliphate? And er, remind me once again, is this a fight against Islamist fundamentalists/terrorists or a clash of civilisations outright? I can't be sure, next time I'm in the Vatican I'll have to ask the Pope, he probably knows a thing or two about the Caliphate.
Whirling It For Them