May 9, 2012 | 5:17 am
Israel’s leaders must take into account the opinions of all its defense experts when making a decision on whether to attack Iran, writes Ed Koch in Algemeiner.
Israel has to be the final arbiter of any decision bearing on its survival. It would obviously be helpful beyond belief if the U.S. joined it in any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but even if it is forced to go it alone, that should come as a result of a reasonable consensus of opinion, arrived at by these people and others with expertise on the issue. The government of Israel should take all reasonable measures to assemble a consensus of Israeli opinion makers in and out of government to support the government in its response to an apocalyptic event threatening Israel’s very survival.
Writing in Time, Tony Karon says that Assad’s response to the unrest in his country is more akin to Milosevic than Mubarak.
President Bashar Assad appears to have decided early in the Syria campaign that he’d rather be Milosevic than Gaddafi, albeit with a different ending. And thus far he’s doing a pretty effective job. Now that this has turned from protest movement to sectarian civil war, he has managed to sidestep the demand that he should step down. Instead, peace plans are now based on securing his agreement to stop state violence.
Matthieu Aikins of the Columbia Journalism Review describes how Syrian forces used a British journalist’s digital notes against the people who talked to him, which could signal a worrying new phenomenon for reporters in warzones.
The Syrians had interrogated [Sean] McAllister about his activities, and seized his laptop, mobile phone, camera, and footage. All of McAllister’s research was now at the disposal of Syrian intelligence. When Kardokh heard that McAllister had been arrested, he didn’t hesitate—he turned off his mobile phone, packed his bag, and fled Damascus, staying with relatives in a nearby town before escaping to Lebanon. He said that other activists who had been in touch with McAllister fled the country as well, and several of those who didn’t were arrested.
Jeffrey Goldberg, writing in Bloomberg, takes the Obama administration to task over its response to the ongoing violence in Syria.
The Obama administration hasn’t helped to arm the rebels, nor has it created safe havens for persecuted dissidents. But it has done something far more important: It has provided the Syrian opposition with very strong language to describe Assad’s various atrocities. The administration’s unprecedented verbal and written sorties against the Assad regime have included some of the most powerful adjectives, adjectival intensifiers and adverbs ever aimed at an American foe. This campaign has helped Syrians understand, among other things, that the English language contains many synonyms for “repulsive.”
The FBI has a habit of engaging with Muslim groups and activists who are themselves engaging with terrorist organizations, writes Patrick Poole in PJ Media.
The FBI has a long history of partnering with groups accused of supporting Islamic terrorism. Among the first groups appointed to the FBI’s Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Advisory Council following the 9/11 attacks was the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). After CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, an FBI agent testified during that trial that CAIR was a front for the terrorist group Hamas. Federal prosecutors also told a federal court: “From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.” The FBI was publicly forced to sever ties with CAIR.
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