Dear Iran: “Of course you know, this means war!” — Updated

**Posted by Phineas

Or, it would, if we had an administration with the spine of a Warner Bros. cartoon character.

ABC broke the news yesterday of an Iranian assassination plot foiled by the FBI and the DEA:

The new case, called Operation Red Coalition, began in May when an Iranian-American from Corpus Christi, Texas, approached a DEA informant seeking the help of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, according to counter-terrorism officials.

The Iranian-American thought he was dealing with a member of the feared Zetas Mexican drug organization, according to agents.

The DEA office in Houston brought in FBI agents as the international terror implications of the case became apparent.

The Iranian-American, identified by federal officials as Manssor Arbabsiar, 56, reportedly claimed he was being “directed by high-ranking members of the Iranian government,” including a cousin who was “a member of the Iranian army but did not wear a uniform,” according to a person briefed on the details of the case.

Arbabsiar and a second man, Gohlam Shakuri, an Iranian official, were named in a five-count criminal complaint filed Tuesday afternoon in federal court in New York. They were charged with conspiracy to kill a foreign official and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, a bomb, among other counts. Shakuri is still at large in Iran, Holder said.

Holder identified Shakuri as an Iran-based member of the Quds force, a much feared special unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The Treasury sanctions named several other members of the Iranian Quds force as well.

Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen, expressed “utter disregard for collateral damage” in the planned bomb attacks in Washington, according to officials.

The complaint describes a conversation in which Arbabsiar was allegedly directing the informant to kill the Saudi ambassador and said the assassination could take place at a restaurant. When the informant feigned concern about Americans who also eat at the restaurant, Arbabsiar said he preferred if bystanders weren’t killed but, “Sometimes, you know, you have no choice, is that right?”

BTW, that same restaurant is known to be frequented by US senators. But, hey, sometimes “you have no choice.” Argentina was also discussed as a target, a country Iran has attacked before in their desire to kill Jews.

There’s no doubt this is a casus belli — “a cause of war.” The Iranian government has been caught red-handed organizing a terrorist operation on US soil, an operation that would not only have killed foreigners under our protection but, very likely, American citizens. And the flippant dismissal of the prospect of killing government officials makes this an attack on our government, too. While there’s no direct evidence that Khamenei or Ahmadinejad knew about this in advance, well… yeah, right. Their prime foreign covert operations agency, the Quds Force, plans an attack on the territory of the Great Satan (that’s us), and the Big Nuts in the Iranian fruitcake don’t know about it?

Like I said, “yeah, right.”

But, don’t worry, the Obama Administration is not planning any military retaliation, true to its “September 10th” values:

That a foreign government would plot to kill a foreign leader on American soil could be seen as an act of war, but Obama administration officials say the path the U.S. government will purse will align with American interests – and a military response and possible armed conflict with a third Muslim nation would not be part of that. (Though, it should be noted, the official White House position is “no option is off the table.”)

This afternoon the Treasury Department announced further sanctions against Iran, and in coming days diplomats at the United Nations and elsewhere will discuss further ways to isolate Iran, while American officials will spread far and wide throughout the region that the Iranian government was planning to kill an Arab leader.

In other words, we’re going to treat this as a law-enforcement matter, lay down sanctions, and run around telling the Arabs what they already know: that the mullahs are a bunch of dangerous psychos.

That’ll have Tehran quaking in its boots. Probably from laughing at us.

It may seem odd for me to quote Osama bin Laden, but one thing he said was very true, at least as far as life in the Muslim world goes:

“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.”

This is us playing the weak horse, whining when someone uses our land to carry out terror attacks. Other dictators around the world (and the people who have to live under or near them) will see this and act accordingly, as Iraq is now doing.

Let’s be honest: Iran has been at war with us since 1979, but we’ve failed to recognize this and act accordingly. Even a president as great as Reagan had a blind spot when it came to Iran and thought he could reach a grand bargain, and Bush failed to take strong action against Syria and Iran when they sponsored the guerrilla war against us in Iraq from 2004-2008. So Obama isn’t the first to naively believe that restraint would be seen as anything other than weakness.

But it’s time for it to stop.

The naked truth is that Iran is killing our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether directly or indirectly, it doesn’t matter. Their puppets Hizbullah and Hamas attack our ally, Israel. They are waging war against us (this attack was meant as much to humiliate us as to strike at the Saudis) and have taken that war to our homeland. It’s time to stop wagging our fingers in disapproval and instead punch back — hard.

Lest someone accuse me of being a warmonger, I’m not advocating invading Iran or sinking their navy in retaliation, as emotionally satisfying as that might be. We don’t have to in order to defeat them. As Michael Ledeen has often pointed out (most recently here), the Iranian regime’s grip on power is brittle; their people hate them; they face frequent rebellion and acts of sabotage. If we simply had the moral clarity and political courage to provide the peoples of Iran with the political, propaganda, and logistical support to wage their own struggle against the tyrants, as Reagan did in Poland against the Soviets, we could win without firing a shot.

Instead, we do the diplomatic equivalent of writing them a speeding ticket.

That’s no way to win a war.

CYNICAL THOUGHT: Funny how this news breaks just as AG Holder and the administration are facing close scrutiny for the Gunwalker scandal. There’s no evidence I’ve seen that this plot had gone operational and had to be stopped now. Hmmm….

LINKS: Three must-read articles at The Long War Journal and Threat Matrix. JustOneMinute thinks Holder learned a lesson. Fausta talks about the mounting threat in Latin America from Hizbullah, an Iranian cats-paw. Let’s not forget, the Iranians tried to run this plot through Mexican drug cartels. Still think that border is secure, Mr. President? Power Line notes the “axis of evil” between Iran and Los Zetas. This isn’t just about immigration — this is a national security issue.

UPDATE: Former federal prosecutor (And no fan of Obama and Holder) Andy McCarthy puts my cynical thought to rest — a frame-up makes no sense.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

The Gnomes of Zurich are tools of the Zionist Conspiracy!!

**Posted by Phineas

No, this isn’t a round of Illuminati, but horrifying reality: according to Saudi journalist Fahd ‘Amr Al-Ahmadi, Switzerland is a Jewish plot!

“In Europe, there have been dozens of brutal wars. Napoleon and Hitler invaded most of the continent, and two world wars burned up most of the countries. Nevertheless, no one attacked Switzerland, which for 500 years has remained an oasis of peace in the heart of a burning hell.

“These days, the world is uniting under economic, political, and military alliances. Nevertheless, Switzerland refuses to join any international alliance or organization, including the EU and the UN [sic].”

“This isolation and absolute neutrality immediately bring to mind The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which discuss a ‘safe haven’ where the [Jews’] wealth [can] be guarded against the wars they themselves spark. They will work to concentrate the world’s wealth [in this ‘safe haven’] so that it becomes their delicious slice [of the world’s wealth], for when they touch off the world revolution [that they are planning].

“In his book Pawns in the Game, William Guy Carr discusses the Jews’ role in the rise of Napoleon and Hitler and their efforts to prevent an attack on Switzerland. In his book Secret World Government, Cherep[-Spiridovich] explains how world Jewry removed Switzerland from its plans to wreak anarchy and wars, so as to protect their money there. Thus, Switzerland gained a reputation as a safe haven in which to hoard the wealth of the goyim…

“Though I know this hypothesis seems fanciful, reality consistently supports it….”

Fahd, old buddy, you get bonus points for working in a mention of The Protocols, but, somehow, I don’t think “reality” means what you think it means.

Read the whole thing. This is what passes for the intellectual mainstream in the Muslim world. So, naturally, it’s the fault of Israel and the Jews that they can’t make peace with such tolerant neighbors.

via The Jawa Report

PALATE-CLEANSER: If you want to wash the bad taste out of your mouth, have a look at what Egyptian journalist Sharif ‘Abd Al-Ghani wrote in an article in a Qatari newspaper, castigating his co-religionists for their Jew-hatred. An excerpt:

“Sheikh Al-Bari’s stories would cause me and everyone else behind him to curse ‘the Jews – descendants of apes and pigs’ – from the depth of our souls. But there was one thought that occupied my mind, and one question that I could not let go and that no one could answer: Why does our sheikh – and we behind him – shower all these curses on the Jews, but then add the expression ‘peace be upon him’ when speaking of their prophet Moussa [Moses]? Are the Jews not people of the Book and among those whom the Koran orders us to treat kindly so long as they do not fight us? And how could Allah have created them so impure and damned if they are the disciples of a prophet?”

It’s not perfect by any means, as you’ll see when you read the whole thing, and I’m not as sanguine as Walter Russell Mead that this may represent the beginnings of real change in the Islamic world, but one has to admit that it’s a vast improvement over the irrational Jew-hatred that infests and cripples it.

But, for everyone’s sake, let’s hope it’s indeed a spark of reason and critical thinking that catches fire.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Just to be clear, there is no minimum age for marriage in Islam

**Posted by Phineas

After all, Muhammad married Aisha (his favorite wife) when she was six. But, lest you think him a lech, he did at least wait until she was nine before consummating the marriage.

From Saudi Arabia’s Iqra TV, listen as cleric Muhammad al-Arifi assures us that there is no minimum age for marriage in Islam:

And here’s the transcript:

Muhammad Al-‘Arifi: There is no agreed-upon minimum age for the marriage of a boy or a girl. It depends upon their maturity. Let’s assume that someone wants to marry your 20-year-old daughter. But your daughter’s mentality and capabilities… She wouldn’t know how to handle it. You feel that her marriage is bound to fail, because she has no understanding of how she is supposed to behave. You think that this girl is not ready to get married. It would be best to wait two or three years.

We don’t want to marry her off, and then have her husband divorce her after 2-3 weeks, saying: “What is this?! This girl doesn’t know what to do, she has no appreciation of marital life. She knows nothing.” In such a case, it is better to delay marrying her off.

In the days of Prophet Muhammad and his companions, people would get married at a younger age. For example, how old was ‘Aisha when the Prophet Muhammad married her? I will give you a hint.

Member of panel of Saudi youth: She was seven years old.

Muhammad Al-‘Arifi: And how old was she when he had sex with her?

Member of panel: Fourteen.

Muhammad Al-‘Arifi: Fourteen?! No way, she was nine. You are getting married tonight and you still can’t count…

She was nine years old. People might think it is strange that he married such a young girl. But this was the age at which they used to get married. The proof is that when the Prophet told Abu Bakr that he wanted to marry ‘Aisha – what did Abu Bakr say? He said: “You are more than welcome, oh Messenger of Allah, but my daughter is already engaged.” At seven years old she was already engaged.

[…]

If a girl’s physical and mental build allows her to get married, it is okay for her to get married. There is no minimum age for a girl’s marriage set by Islam.

Al-Arifi tries to minimize the skincrawl-factor (1) by saying “this is how they used to do it, back then,” but arranged marriages of children to adults are still common in countries ruled by Islamic tradition, including Saudi Arabia. In fact, in 2009, a top Saudi cleric went so far to say that prohibiting the marriage of a 12-year old girl to an adult was unfair — to the girl.

And did you notice something telling about this panel? There was not a single woman on it. No one to give a woman’s point of view, because a woman’s point of view isn’t worth considering; she isn’t as intelligent as a man, you see, and so couldn’t really understand the subtle issues involved. This is one facet of the degraded state of women subject to Sharia law, which makes them little better than property under the control of men. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has written movingly about this.

via MEMRI

Footnote:
(1) That’s a technical term for the revulsion one feels when considering a pedophile.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Free speech, Saudi-style

**Posted by Phineas

In the totalitarian religious tyranny Islamic state of Saudi Arabia, bloggers are free to write about whatever they wish — as long as it’s off the Kingdom-approved list of topics and you get a license, first:

Saudi Arabia has enacted stringent new regulations forcing some bloggers to obtain government licenses and to strongarm others into registering. In addition, all Saudi news blogs and electronic news sites will now be strictly licensed, required to “include the call to the religion of Islam” and to strictly abide by Islamic sharia law. The registration and religion requirements are also being coupled with strict restrictions on what topics Saudi bloggers can write on–a development which will essentially give Saudi authorities the right to shut down blogs at their discretion.

The new regulations went into effect on January 1, 2011. Fast Company previously reported on the law’s announcement this past autumn, but the actual reforms enacted were far more punitive than we were earlier led to believe. The exact specifics of the new regulations were not previously announced by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

What the new regulations center around is a legal redefinition of almost all online content created in Saudi Arabia. Blogs are now legally classified as “electronic publishing” and news blogs (the term is not explicitly defined in the Saudi law) are now subject to the same legal regulations as newspapers. All Saudi Arabia-based news blogs, internet news sites, “internet sites containing video and audio materials” and Saudi Area-created mobile phone/smartphone content will fall under the newspaper rubric as well.

Under the regulations, any operators of news blogs, mobile phone content creators or operators of news sites in Saudi Arabia have to be Saudi citizens, at least 20 years old and possess a high school degree.

At least 31% of Saudi Arabia residents do not possess citizenship; these range from South Asian migrants living in poor conditions to well-off Western oil workers. All of them will find their internet rights sharply curtailed as a result of the new regulations.

I wonder if this would make the approved list for a Saudi-licensed blogger?

Nah. Might corrupt a person’s mind, and then what? Genuine respect for individual liberty?

Perish the thought.

via Jihad Watch

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Saudi Arabia: rape victim to be whipped

**Posted by Phineas

In civilized countries, such as the United States or any other Western liberal democracy, a woman who was gang-raped would be given medical care and whatever therapy she needed to recover. If her attackers were captured, she’d have the right to testify against them in open court and see them punished.

Remember, we’re talking about civilized countries.

In the Islamic police state of Saudi Arabia, however, which is governed by the totalitarian Sharia code of religious law and which treats women as little better than a man’s property, that same rape victim gets sent to jail and given 100 lashes:

A 23-year-old unmarried woman was awarded one-year prison term and 100 lashes for committing adultery and trying to abort the resultant fetus.

The District Court in Jeddah pronounced the verdict on Saturday after the girl confessed that she had a forced sexual intercourse with a man who had offered her a ride. The man, the girl confessed, took her to a rest house, east of Jeddah, where he and four of friends assaulted her all night long.

But, let’s not be too harsh. The court did, after all, postpone her whipping until after the baby was born. See? They really do have a heart! And, hey, she confessed!

It says a lot about a society in which the victim is the one who “confesses.”

Bear in mind that this same religious legal code is what al Qaeda and other jihadist groups want to impose on us by force, and that Muslim Brotherhood front-groups such as CAIR, ICNA, and ISNA want to bring to the West through a cultural jihad — with Saudi support.

Women in the West have much to look forward to.

RELATED: Other posts on the Religion of Misogyny.

via Jihad Watch

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

The United Nations: a sick joke

Would you like (yet another) example of why the United Nations is worthless? Well, here ya go, pal. Saudi Arabia has joined the executive board of the new United Nations organization on the rights of women. No, I’m serious. It seems Iran was beyond the pale, but Saudi Arabia was a-okay by the UN’s high standards. I guess the difference must be that, in Iran, they still stone women to death, but, in the enlightened heart of Islam, they’re merely whipped and sent to jail for the crime of being victims of a gang-rape. That obviously qualifies the Saudis to oversee the rights of women around the world

At least, to anyone who understands George Orwell.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Two Saudi girls pepper spray Saudi morality police

Love it!

Dammam, Asharq Al-Awsat- Members of Khobar’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice were the victims of an attack by two Saudi females, Asharq Al-Awsat can reveal.
According to the head of the commission in Khobar, two girls pepper sprayed members of the commission after they had tried to offer them advice.

Head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Eastern province Dr. Mohamed bin Marshood al-Marshood, told Asharq Al Awsat that two of the Commission’s employees were verbally insulted and attacked by two inappropriately-dressed females, in the old market in Prince Bandar street, an area usually crowded with shoppers during the month of Ramadan.

According to Dr. Al-Marshood, the two commission members approached the girls in order to “politely” advise and guide them regarding their inappropriate clothing.

Consequently, the two girls started verbally abusing the commission members, which then lead to one of the girls pepper-spraying them in the face as the other girl filmed the incident on her mobile phone, while continuing to hurl insults at them.

The Eastern Province’s head of the commission also revealed that with the help of the police his two employees were able to control the situation.

The two females were then escorted to the police station where they apologized for the attack, were cautioned and then released.

I know I’m not the only one anxious to see that cell phone video uploaded to YouTube ;)

Fausta believes this, along with the story about Saudi women lobbying for the right to drive, is a sign that things are changing in Saudi Arabia. I hope she’s right.