Monday, May 21, 2007

Trouble in the Lebanese Refugee Camps

Michael J. Totten explains the fighting between the Lebanese government and Fatah Al Islam. An American with relatives in Lebanon relates what his daughter told him:

Have you all seen what is going on in Lebanon? They really don't have much of an army, but my daughter told me they have improved somewhat from last year. They are trying to get rid of Fatah Al-Islam, part of Al-Quaeda, hiding in the refugee camps. She told me that they took 6 Lebanese soldiers, while they were alive and cut them up.


Cut them up while they were alive? Couldn't they have waited until they were dead? What was the rush? Ah, but this is al-Qaeda. Never leave any brutality for the morrow that you can commit today. The Counterterrorism Blog has a more systematic account of events and dire predictions for the future.

Yesterday in northern Lebanon, a group named Fatah al Islam conducted several attacks against the Lebanese Army, killing (up to) 25 soldiers and losing (up to) 15 members in addition to civilian casualties. ... It signals in fact the opening of a new front in the War with al Qaeda’s Terror: Lebanon. ...

Fatah al Islam is based in the Palestinian camp of Nahr al Bared in Northern Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city with a Sunni majority. The group is an offshoot of another previously formed group, Fatah al Intifada, both dissidents from the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas and both –importantly- backed and financed by the Syrian intelligence. But Fatah al Islam, formed last November and headed by Palestinian-born Shaker Absi, is linked directly to al Qaeda. Absi was a colleague of Jordanian-born Abu Musab al Zarqaqi, killed by an US air raid last year. Fatah al Islam since its inception has told its supporters and the population in its areas of training and operations that it follows the Jihad of al Qaeda.

Fatah al Islam aims at creating an "Emirate" (Islamist principality as in the Taliban model) in the Sunni areas of Lebanon, and is planning on conducting operations similar to the ones in the Sunni Triangle of Iraq. But according to the Lebanese Government and terrorism experts, the group is being secretly supported by the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. The question arises in the West about the logic of having a so-called “secular” Baathist regime supporting an “Islamic Fundamentalist” organization.

Here's the problem. Iraq really isn't confined to Iraq. Combatants from Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran are pouring into it. Combatants are pouring out of Iraq. Combat is being stirred up in the region by the al-Qaeda Global network probably headquartered somewhere in Pakistan. The War on Terror, it may be shocking to discover, is related through different streams. You don't have to buy the Counterterrorism Blog's analysis completely to admit at least the partial truth of that. Ideology, recruits generated from madrassas and mosques, support groups in the West, as described vividly by Christopher Hitchens are all working together to create a complex, global effect. Maybe one that will impact on Manhattan or some other American city again someday.

It's going to be really interesting to know how we can withdraw from it at all, even if we wanted to.

12 Comments:

Blogger PierreLegrand said...

What we are doing right now by not taking the war to the Islamic Warriors wherever they may lie is making them seem like the lions. And we look like the cowards.

Give Bush full credit for starting to respond to the attacks of the Islamic warriors but he also gets full blame for not following through. Apparently he believed that sending a signal was all that was required...signals are such the fad these days in DC.

Apparently the enemy did not receive the memo regarding the signals thingy...they are apparently operating under that quaint old definition of war that says as long as I have a breath I am fighting to kill you. That might disturb this years elections for us so we opt out.

Hey has anyone ever heard of successfully opting out of a war?

Fighting War with Cops...ooh baby give me some more of that old fashioned love

5/21/2007 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Quig said...

Lebanon is an illustration of AQ's broad strategy.

Wretchard wrote: "Maybe one that will impact on Manhattan or some other American city again someday."

When this happens, and it will happen there will be no going back. The swing to the left, current in North America, will be swiftly terminated. If the Democrats are in power I would not be suprised to see them "release the Atomics". Strangely, I don't see that order being issued under a Republican administration.


Wretchard wrote: "It's going to be really interesting to know how we can withdraw from it at all, even if we wanted to."

There is, now, no withdral. Only surrender, dhimmitude, or death.

The attitudes being expressed, globally, by the extremists, allowing even for the hyperbole, are not those of a movement dedicated to peacefull and ordered change. I cannot recall, and am open to correction here, that the communist movement expressed such hatred and revulsion in such an open way during the cold war. Perhaps they did. Perhaps those sentiments did not see the light of day as they did not have the assistance of widespread global news communication technology or, perhaps more to the point, a largely sympathetic journalistic community. Or perhaps, in my callow youth, I just wasn't paying attention.

I can envision the conflict continueing for perhaps another two decades. Civil strife will become the norm in Europe first after spreading from the middle east. (There is always the hope that leaders with vision, ability, appeal and most importantly, luck will appear.) At the same time civil disorder will spread throughout South East Asia.

North America may prove wise enough to see the writing on the wall. But will probably not react soon enough to save itself a great deal of grief. One side effectof the anthropological global warming nonsense may be an elimination of energy dependence. Not that this will eliminate funds for extremism.
The energy dependance of the orient will finance the extremists even if the occident is able to reduce its dependance on middle eastern oil.

How the extremists view Russia, China, India and Japan I know not. Perhaps they are percieved as objectives for the next milennium. Certainly they must be considered.

But in the immediate future, that is to say within the lifetimes of most readers here, the clearly stated objects of conquest are Europe and North America. My guess is that, in Europe, they are less than a decade away from having a population base from which to draw sufficient support to initiate major change. By this I mean gaining major political influence in established governments. Either through intimidation or weight of numbers. I suspect the former to follow from the latterand be predominent.

The Labanese situation, like Palestine, like Afghanistan, like Iraq, illustrates the methods and morality of the "cause". Never believe that Hellenic/Judao/Chritian thought will change this. The culture does not comprehend in this way.

5/21/2007 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Come on, its easy.

As Ron Paul & his supporters are asking? Who appointed us policemen of the world?

They are also getting ready to ask Frodo who appointed him ringbearer.

5/22/2007 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

This is bought and paid for by the UN. Give the 79 year old refugees a pension and disband the camps.

5/22/2007 06:01:00 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Popular Mechanics crunched the numbers on alternative fuels. Bottom line is, there is no silver bullet. When you start thinking about scaling up any solution to supply even a major part of transportation needs, none of them look practical. Biodiesel looks good on paper, until you realize that scaling it up would require taking a huge chunk of arable land out of agricultural production.

Real alternatives to petroleum fuels are generations away. Forget trying to escape the need for oil. We certainly do need more refinery capacity, and it would make sense to explore and tap more of our own resources, but the greenies will raise a stink.

5/22/2007 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, we could always just pledge Islam, strike a favorable deal for oil by playing our new "religion card" --then start a subversive schism inside the religion. Say, a Paris Hilton cult. Hey, look at the bright side, no more damned elections.

5/22/2007 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

We are told that Muslims are just like us, they have the same wants, desires, and needs.

Increasingly, I keep thinking, "where is the grief for all the dead jihadists"? 200 killed here, 20 killed there, 7 killed elsewhere. How many young Arab men have met their Allah since 2003? And where is the grief of their families?

Surely not all the families in Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have bought into the "martyrdom is good" meme of the dreadful Palestinians.

Families of dead American, British and Aussie soldiers react according to their beliefs and tenets ... but they REACT. The only reaction(s) I have read about in the Middle East is ululating of glee when Gitmo sends Saudi captives back to be released into the general Saudi population, or the moonbat equivalent in Australia when David Hicks is released.

We've heard pages and tons of rage and anger about the silly pictures at Abu Ghrabi, but really - how much were any of those men actually physically hurt? Why have there been no pages and pages of equal rage and hurt at the DEATH of how many thousands of Arab young men being used as cannon fodder against the American Big Mean Green Machine.

Aren't the mothers - and fathers - of those young men enraged by their loss?

5/22/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger leigh 2 said...

Thanks for the illumination gained from reading the Belmont Club, it has been eye opening at times. One thing continues to astound me. The inability of people to understand that other cultures really, really, do not think like we do. The answer to your question, Nahncee, is no.

5/22/2007 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

people to understand that other cultures really, really, do not think like we do.

Is it a culture then, really, if it prefers suicide over life, and teaches parents not to cherish and protect their young? Doesn't that fly directly in the face of everything that Darwin and the sciences of biology and psychology have taught us?

5/22/2007 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Leigh, that's sort of a Cretan's paradox in that if you are right, then you can't know it.

5/22/2007 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Why have there been no pages and pages of equal rage and hurt at the DEATH of how many thousands of Arab young men being used as cannon fodder against the American Big Mean Green Machine.

Aren't the mothers - and fathers - of those young men enraged by their loss?


They're not that different from other parents of soldiers who volunteer to go and fight. They're sons are not being used as cannon fodder, but rather sacrificing their lives to remove the American occupiers from Iraq. And they're son's are winning, go look at CNN or Al Jeezera - the Americans will cut & run in October.

5/22/2007 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Another reason that the paradigm has to change from 'Holy Warrior' (Jihadi) to 'Thug' (Mufsidun) and from 'Holy War' (Jihad) to 'Sinful War' (Hirabah). The term taqyyia (deception) is a term that is gaining a wider understanding as this fight goes on. The other terms need to gain the same understanding.

If we're telling them that their attack is 'Holy' they'll have no choice but to believe us. /sarc.

Inshallah, the people of the book will understand the greatness of our cause! Allahu Ackbar! Sorta sounds spiritually inspired. /sarc

5/22/2007 10:45:00 PM  

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