Balloon for each Kassam on UN doorstep

Itamar Sharon
As the United Nations Security Council debated a response to the situation in the Gaza Strip and Sderot, Israel's New York Consulate held a protest in front of UN headquarters on Thursday, in which they placed 4,200 red balloons on the UN's doorstep. The number of balloons signified the 4,200 Kassam rockets fired into Israel from Gaza since the 2005 disengagement from the Strip.
The display was meant to raise world awareness to the fact that Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip are part of an effort to end the rocket attacks, the consulate said in a statement.
“Up until this day, every attempt to raise the issue and make it part of the American media's agenda has been unsuccessful,” Consulate Spokesman David Saranga said.
“The suffering of Gaza residents has received increased attention recently. The display is intended to emphasize the suffering of the residents of Sderot [and to] illustrate the incessant Kassam rocket attacks, as well as to call on the international community to stop ignoring what is happening in Israel,” Saranga explained.
Meanwhile, as the New York Consulate was staging the protest, five rockets were fired from Gaza into the western Negev. The rockets hit …

The audacity of truth

By Caroline B. Glick 
It is hard to believe, but in just two weeks, American voters will all but determine the identities of the Democratic and Republican nominees for this year's presidential elections. It is hard to believe because today, after a handful of early primaries, neither side has even identified a frontrunner.
The open race, unprecedented in recent history, is a consequence of the fragmentation of America's political center. Ten years after Bill Clinton's impeachment; seven years after President George W. Bush's contested victory in 2000; and five years into the Iraq campaign, the cleavages both between the two major parties and within them have given purchase to candidates and policies that would have previously never made it out of the starting gate.
On the Republican side, this phenomenon is being played out in the campaigns of Congressman Ron Paul and Governor Mike Huckabee. On the Democratic side of the aisle, it is manifested in Senator Barack Obama's campaign.
Last Saturday Congressman Paul placed second in the Nevada primaries with 14 percent of the vote. Paul, who has raised some $20 million in three months, owes much of his mainstream support on both the Left and the Right to …

Iran receives 6th shipment of Russian nuclear fuel

 IRNA reports 11-ton load of enriched uranium transferred to the light-water Bushehr nuclear power plant
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran received a sixth shipment of nuclear fuel Thursday from Russia, destined for a power plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr, the official IRNA news agency reported. 
The report said the 11-ton load of enriched uranium arrived in Iran and was transferred to the light-water Bushehr nuclear power plant Thursday morning. The remainder of the fuel will arrive in two separate shipments in the coming weeks, it said. 
“Of 82 tons of initial fuel needed for the Bushehr nuclear power plant, 66 tons have been shipped to Iran so far,” the agency reported. 
Iran received the fifth shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia on Tuesday. The first shipment arrived on Dec. 17 after months of dispute between the two countries, allegedly over delayed construction payments for the reactor. 
Iran has said Bushehr, the country's first nuclear reactor, will begin operating in the summer of 2008, producing half its 1,000-megawatt capacity of electricity. Russia's decision to ship nuclear fuel to Iran follows a US Intelligence report released last month that concluded Tehran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in late …

Western blindness

By Diana West – Mazir-i-sharif.Ring a bell? In 2001, a 32-year-old Marine captain and CIA officer named John Micheal Spann was killed there in a prison riot, thus becoming the first American combat death in Afghanistan. Not incidentally, Spann, before violence broke out, had interrogated an uncooperative John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban. This all took place before the United States military completely toppled Afghanistan's Taliban oppressors. Nearly seven years later, American-liberated Mazir-i-sharif has again made headlines — well, one or two — as the site of the prison where a 23-year-old Afghan journalist has been detained for three months (and counting) on blasphemy charges. These charges derive, Reuters reports, from Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh “distributing an article which said Prophet Mohammed had ignored the rights of women.” As President Bush might say… well, what might President Bush say: Let freedom reign?
Then there's Halabja.
Remember Halabja? The name is notorious for being the town where in 1988, 15 years before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Kurdish civilians to death. This month, American-liberated Halabja made headlines as the site of the court that sentenced a Kurdish author in absentia to six months in prison for blasphemy: namely, for …


By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
It is now a well-established tradition in Washington that any scandal, no matter how seemingly innocuous, soon is given the suffix “-gate,” establishing a lineal connection to the mother of all scandals, Watergate.
Well, let me be the first to suggest that a recent scandal in the Pentagon be known hereafter as “Front-gate” in recognition of the central role played in the drama by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization designated by the Justice Department as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan). With the House and Senate both back in business this week, Front-gate should be subjected to close congressional scrutiny since it may involve the most strategically ominous case of official misconduct since the Clinton Administration's China-gate.
The Front-gate saga began with the firing last month of Stephen Coughlin, a Major in the Army Reserves who was working as a civilian contractor for the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he ran afoul of one Hashem Islam. Islam is Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England's point-man for the Pentagon outreach to the Muslim community.
Hashem Islam is also evidently an admirer of ISNA. He arranged for Secretary England to address one …

Dutch MP: Holland dominated by fear of Islam Staff
A Dutch politician cautioned that the government of the Netherlands was dominated by a “fear of Islam,” after it delayed the release of a short film he had made attacking the Koran. In the film, Geert Wilders, the leader of the conservative Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) compares the sacred Muslim text to Hitler's Mein Kampf.
In an open letter to the Dutch De Volkskrant newspaper Wednesday, Wilders claims that the panic shown by politicians and by police served only to prove his point.
Police and politicians were afraid that the film would spark riots and even went so far as to tell Wilders that he would have to leave the country,
“If I had announced that I was going to make a film about the fascist character of the Bible would there have been a crisis meeting of Holland's security forces?” he asked. “Would I have received as many death threats as I have done since announcing I was making a film about the Koran? Of course not.”
“The fact that a 10-minute film not yet shown could, according to some, lead to economic boycotts, riots and other horrible things says everything about the nature of Islam. Nothing …