Monday, January 14, 2008

Matt 24 watch, 45: Reflections on an "invisible" world war and its implications for the Caribbean . . .

This morning, on BBC, the report was on how China blamed the recent sad violence in Kenya on "Democracy." (While it was going on, the typical story-line was that it was about tribalism affecting the politics.)

Imagine my shock, therefore, when I saw this report by outstanding British reporter Melanie Phillips, which first observes:

While I was away, reading about the appalling atrocities in Kenya in which churches were torched and dozens of Christians burned to death, I wondered whether any mainstream media would get the point. They didn’t. As far as I could see, the violence was universally ascribed to ‘tribal conflict’. But this isn’t the first time churches in Kenya have been torched, as you can read here (date unknown):
On 13 June, Muslims rioting over the arrest of one of their clerics torched five churches in Bura, Tana River district, not far from Mombasa in Kenya… As impunity equals permission, this is a serious issue of national significance at a time when Muslim tensions are rising to boiling point.
or here from 2001:
Anglican Archbishop David Gitari and an interfaith team confronted rioting Muslim youths armed with swords and clubs on December 1 in Nairobi, Kenya. In response to this attempt to quell Kenya's worst outbreak of violence between Christians and Muslims, the rioters pelted the archbishop and his team with rocks. Moderate Muslim leaders plucked Gitari from the mob and rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for head injuries. ‘I survived only because Muslim leaders formed a human shield around me and in the process got more injured than myself,’ Gitari later said in local media reports.
Or here from 2003:
Muslim leaders in Kenya are threatening armed conflict if the new Kenyan constitution does not enshrine Islamic courts (known in Kenya as Kadhi courts).
For years, Kenya has been subjected to creeping Islamisation and jihadi violence by elements within the country’s ten per cent Muslims against the Christian majority. Yet unaccountably there was no mention of this key fact in the media coverage of the post-election violence. Well, fancy!

Ms Phillips then went on to note, devastatingly:

In the Christian Post, this article, (which was picked up by Stephen Pollard) written before the disputed election which led to the violence, put events in a rather more accurate context. Raila Odinga, it said, who was then the current presidential frontrunner, had promised to implement strict Islamic Sharia law if he received the Muslim vote and was elected president. Odinga had signed a secret memorandum of understanding with Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi, chairman of the National Leaders Forum, in which Odinga had allegedly stated his intention, if elected, to
‘within six months, rewrite the Constitution of Kenya to recognize Sharia as the only true law sanctioned by the Holy Quran for Muslim declared regions’.
The Evangelical Alliance of Kenya released a statement in which church leaders said Odinga
‘comes across as a presumptive Muslim president bent on forcing Islamic law, religion and culture down the throats of the Kenyan people in total disregard of the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of worship and equal protection of the law for all Kenyans’ . . . .
Subsequently Joshua Hammer wrote a piece in the New York Times which, without going so far as to join up all the dots (please, this is the NYT!), nevertheless provided a hint of the same, ahem, context. Writing about sitting Kenyan MP Joseph Lekuton, he described his challenger, Godana Harugura, as
… a convert to fundamentalist Islam
who had reportedly raised money from Muslims along Kenya’s volatile border with Somalia by promising to
‘reclaim’ the region for Islam — and by attacking Lekuton for inviting Christian development groups into the area…Indeed, in the view of some of Lekuton’s supporters the election was shaping up to be a proxy confrontation between the West and Islam — a clash of civilizations in the Kenyan bush…
A sizable, largely poor Muslim population concentrated along the coast — and proximity to the volatile states in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia and Sudan — have made Kenya especially vulnerable, in the views of counterterrorism experts, to the call for jihad. Since the early 1990s, the mosques of Mombasa and other towns have resonated with militant Islamic rhetoric. Radical imams have preached violence against Westerners, attacked the Kenyan government as the lackey of the United States and Israel and called for the implementation of Shariah. Members of the Qaeda cells that blew up the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998, were recruited in mosques near the Indian Ocean beaches where hundreds of thousands of Western tourists flock each year.
Apart from that, I have found plenty of worthy hand-wringing in the mainstream media about tribal violence between equally bloodthirsty Kenyan sectarian groups, but diddly squat about the Kenyan jihad and the remorseless creation of Africastan.

A light bulb immediately went off in my head: It's the invisible World War IV again, stupid!

Then, on the weekend, I had occasion to dip into a book I borrowed from the local public library; Sean Hannity's Deliver Us from Evil, in which he cites the son of Ayatollah Khomeni, from 1991:

"After the fall of Marxism, Islam replaced it . . . and as long as Islam exists, U.S. hostility exists, and as long as U.S. hostility exists, the struggle exists." [p. 118, cited from Reynolds, David. One World Divisible: A Global History since 1945 (New York, Norton, 2000), p. 595.]

Notice: not a world war against the global Islamic community, nor a war by that community against the rest of the world, but a war by the militant IslamiSTS, their terrorist organisations, and the states they control starting with Iran against the world, to implement in our century the longstanding Islamist vision of a world under subjugation to Allah, his law, his prophet and his warriors.

So, as Bishop David Gitari observed, the first and most numerous victims of that war are moderate Muslims who do not agree with the terroristic interpretations or strategies of the militant IslamISTS. But, these moderate Muslims -- for instance Ms Benazir Bhutto who was recently murdered by suicide attackers, to block her election in Pakistan -- are only the first targets, as the Islamists seek to create bases form which they can project aggressive power onto the world stage.

To extend a saying used by the Islamists to explain their agenda:

FRIDAY first, then Saturday and then Sunday.

[That is, moderate Muslims are their first targets, followed by Jews, and then Christians. The last includes all those influenced by the Judaeo-Christian based culture known currently as Western Civilisation -- and, until recent years, as Christendom. Of course, if the West's leading power, the USA, is forced to submit to Islamist rule, then the World would be at the Islamists' feet, grovelling for mercy -- a mercy that, on the long track-record of Islmist terrorism and oppression, would simply not be forthcoming.]

In turn, this shows the centrality of the longstanding Arab-Israeli dispute that so often dominates our headlines, but nowadays is ever so prone to misinterpretation through the -- frankly dishonest -- narrative. Namely, the often told but utterly false and easily exposed (but too often naively accepted) propagandistic claim of an aggressor, alien colonialist Jewish movement that has in 1948 then again in 1967 aggressively stolen the land of peaceful Palestinian Arabs resident there from time immemorial and now imposes a wicked Apartheid to prevent liberation through uprising.


  • Jews, Kurds, Samaritans, Assyrian Christians and Chaldeans [among other peoples] have just as valid a historic claim to their Middle Eastern roots, nationalism and homelands as do Arabians and Arabised/Islamised peoples. (And that is before we get into the spiritual issues in Ezekiel 35 - 39!)

  • In particular, this validity of Jewish nationalism was recognised in the Feisal-Weizmann side agreement to the Versailles treaty of 1919, which side agreement envisioned a mutually supportive development of their common Middle Eastern homeland by the Arab and Jewish nations.

  • Had this simply been followed through on, the Middle East would doubtless now be among the most prosperous and peaceful regions in the world, and Britain would be reaping all theglobal fruits of being the sponsor of the process!

  • Instead, we had decades of violence in the name of Islam -- but, doubtless, in the teeth of the higher values and virtues praised and mandated for moral conduct in the Muslim Scriptures.

  • This was joined by unfortunately proverbial British perfidy, and a cycle of violence led to a situation where the 1947 UN attempt at peaceful partition failed. Instead, on the very day of its birth Israel was attacked by five organised Arab armies, and barely survived; but fought back at bitter price and succeeded beyond the expectations of the whole world.

  • In 1967, of course, the massively rearmed Arabs, flush with Soviet-supplied weapons, returned tot he attack, throwing a ring of Iron around Israel and threatening to destroy it. A pre-emptive strike, operation Moked, tuned the tables and Israel captured the land that had been used as pbases for aggression and terrorism. It offered to return these lands in exchange for genuine peace, only to be rebuffed at Khartoum.

  • And the cycle continued to today, where every time a land for peace deal is on teh table, it has been sabotaged by the Arab side, often by terrorists operating in the name of Islam. [Of course ever since the infamous, Nazi-allied Mufti of Jerusalem, moderate Arabs have usually kept silent for fear of their lives.]

Why rehash a by now very familiar counter to the dominant media narrative?

Because, in light of the ongoing invisible world war, it cuts a lot closer to home than we think. For instance, observe again the force of say Dr Sultana Afroz's ill-justified Islamist reconstruction of Jamaica's -- and the wider Caribbean's religious and cultural, historical past:

Jamaica . . . has a rising Islamic influence, especially through the claims[21] that the Spanish settlement from 1494 on was predominantly Moorish, and that “Moor”: (1) implies Islamic – true, and (2) includes Black African (misleading[22]).
It is then inferred that the majority of Jamaicans are descended from Islamic Moors, who were brought here as slaves by the Spanish or the British, so that: “[c]ontemporaneous to the autonomous Muslim Maroon ummah, hundreds of thousands of Mu’minun (the Believers of the Islamic faith) of African descent worked as slaves on the plantations in Jamaica.”[23] Specifically, the Maroons are viewed as resisting the British invaders of 1655 by jihad, as Saladin resisted and finally defeated Richard the Lion Heart and the other Crusaders in the Middle East. Slave revolts, similarly, are reinterpreted by Dr. Afroz as jihads, especially the 1831/2 “Baptist War” rebellion:
Jihad became the religious and political ideology of these crypto-Muslims, who became members of the various denominational nonconformist churches since being sprinkled with the water by the rectors of the parishes.[24] Despite the experience of the most cruel servitude and the likelihood of a swift and ruthless suppression of the rebellion, the spiritually inspired Mu’minun collectively responded to the call for an island-wide jihad in 1832. Commonly known as the Baptist Rebellion, the Jihad of 1832 wrought havoc of irreparable dimension to the plantation system and hastened the Emancipation Act of 1833. [Afroz, p. 227. NB: This claim is most improbable .]
Thus, it is concluded by Islamic advocates that the Caribbean’s ancestral and cultural roots are largely Islamic. Islam, then, seeks cultural legitimacy in the Caribbean as being linked to our predominantly African identity, which is specifically tied to an emphasis on jihad as military struggle. On this basis, Caribbean peoples are in effect invited to turn away from both secularism and the Christian religion of our oppressors, and “return” to Islam.

So, as the case of Trevor William Forest/El Faisal shows, the same pattern of Islamist rhetoric and destabilising, violent and destructive agendas advanced against Israel, Spain, India -- and now Kenya, also holds for us in our region; should the Islamists gain the power to carry out their wishes in our region. That means we need to recognise and respond to dangerous trends, before it is too late to respond save at terrible price.

Given its ties to Iran,and the situation where Hizbollah now openly operates within its borders, this immediately ties into the implications of worrying trends in the behaviour of our regional neighbour, Venezuela,and Nicaragua under the new Ortega regime.

For instance, we may see in a recent Todd Bensman report from Monkey Point, Nicaragua, that:

The second military helicopter in as many days hovered over the jungle and then landed to a most unwelcome reception from several dozen angry Rama Indian and Creole villagers.
Rupert Allen Clear Duncan, a leader of some 400 Creole who live along the shoreline, confronted the foreigners dressed in suits and military uniforms that day in March and demanded to know the purpose of their aerial trespasses.
"This is our land; we have always lived here, and you don't have our permission to be here," Duncan spat, when refused the courtesy of an explanation.
Not until Duncan threatened to have his machete-waving followers damage the aircraft did they learn that some of the men were from the Islamic Republic of Iran and had come promising to establish a Central American foothold in the middle of their territory.
As part of a new partnership with Nicaragua's Sandinista President Daniel Ortega, Iran and its Venezuelan allies plan to help finance a $350 million deep-water port at Monkey Point on the wild Caribbean shore, and then plow a connecting "dry canal" corridor of pipelines, rails and highways across the country to the populous Pacific Ocean. Iran recently established an embassy in Nicaragua's capital.
In feeling threatened by Iran's ambitions, the people of Monkey Point have powerful company. The Iranians' arrival in Nicaragua comes as the Bush administration and some European allies hold the threat of war over Iran to force an end to its uranium enrichment program and alleged help to anti-U.S. insurgents in Iraq.
What worries state department officials, former national security officials and counterterrorism researchers is that, if attacked, Iran could stage strikes on American or allied interests from Nicaragua, deploying the Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard operatives already in Latin America. Bellicose threats by Iran's clerical leadership to hit American interests worldwide if attacked, by design or not, heighten the anxiety.
"The bottom line is if there is a confrontation with Iran, and Iran gets bombed, I have absolutely no doubt that Iran is going to lash out globally," said John R. Schindler, a veteran former counterintelligence officer and analyst for the National Security Agency.
"The Iranians have that ability, particularly from South America. Hezbollah has fronts all over Latin America. That is not new. But it's certainly something we're starting to care about now."
American policymakers already had been fretting in recent years over Tehran's successful forging of diplomatic relations, direct air routes and embassy swaps with populist South American governments that abhor the U.S., such as President Hugo Chávez's Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. But Iran's latest move places it just a few porous borders from Texas, where illegal Nicaraguan laborers routinely travel . . .

So, slowly but surely, a Caribbean theatre of operations for the ongoing under-reported World War emerges from the confusing mists of news and not-news. Just as, during the last global conflict, the Cold War, the Caribbean saw more than its fair share of military operations. indeed, the Cold War was in 1962, within 12 hours of balzing out in nuclear fury, as the Americans confronted the Soviet Union over nuclear missiles and nuclear-caable Il 28 bombers in Cuba.

In an underlying and probably related geostrategic development, the world is moving to biofuels, which makes stable countries with a lot of sunshine and educated workforces very strategically vital for the emerging C21 "Green Gold." Namely, Algal fuels and their kin.

As Wikipedia summarises:

With the higher prices of oil, there is much interest in algaculture (farming algae) to harvest for making vegetable oil, biodiesel, bioethanol, biomethanol, biobutanol and other biofuels . . . .
Currently most research into efficient algal-oil production is being done in the private sector, but if predictions from small scale production experiments bear out then using algae to produce biodiesel may be the only viable method by which to produce enough automotive fuel to replace current world gasoline usage.[4]
Microalgae have much faster growth-rates than terrestrial crops. The per unit area yield of oil from algae is estimated to be from between 5,000 to 20,000 gallons per acre, per year (4.6 to 18.4 l/m^2 per year); this is 7 to 30 times greater than the next best crop, Chinese tallow (699 gallons).[5]

In short, we are not only located in the soft strategic underbelly of the United States -- the principal Islamist global target, but also: over the next decade or so as the technical and production efficiency kinks are probably worked out, we are most likely going to again be immensely valuable places for growing green gold.

The last time that happened, in the C18, we were the most fought-over region in the world.

Will we learn from History, or will we be simply doomed to repeat it? END

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