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Terror in England and Scotland
By Micah Halpern

Sunday July 1, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

What is going on in London and Glasgow?
What's with the car bombs and suicide bombers?
Why there? Why now?

The answer is simple - July 4th.
In the mind of the al Qaeda July 4th is a symbol - and the closest these terrorist can get to the United States is hitting her friend, ally, and partner The United Kingdom. That was the reason for the timing of July 7th London tube bombing that killed 52 people.

To the terrorist - Western is Western - and Western means American.
There is no re-educating the Muslim mind on this issue.
London and Glasgow are stand-ins, understudies for New York and Washington.
It is easier to hit England and other European Western cities than US cities.
So London will remain a target.

These terrorist attacks and attempted attacks have nothing to do with policy.
These terrorist attacks have nothing to do with Blair, Gordon, Clinton or Bush.
These terrorist attacks have everything to do with culture, values and symbols.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Palestinian State?
By Micah Halpern

Saturday June 30, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Just because the Palestinians want a state does not mean they should have one.
Just because Fatah has separated from Hamas does not make the Palestinians capable of managing an independent state.

Hatred of Israel is the only thing that unites the Palestinian people.
Hatred is hardly a foundation on which to build a state.
Hatred is a great catalyst but not for building - it is a catalyst for destruction.

Palestinian leadership needs to define who they are.
Palestinian leadership needs to clarify what they want out of a state.
When that has been accomplished, then Palestinian leadership can begin to build a state by convincing the Palestinian masses of the rightness of their approach.

Self rule for the sake of self rule is a synonym for anarchy.
That is the state of Palestinians today.
It can only get worse.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Blair Can't Do It
By Micah Halpern

Friday June 29, 2007

I'm Predicting:

Tony Blair is the new peace envoy for the Middle East.
He will fail.

Why will Tony Blair fail?
Reason # 1: Because he simply does not understand the region.
Reason # 2: Because the involved parties are not really capable of making the compromises necessary for peace.

The sides are handicapped.
Handicap # 1: Both parties "want" peace, but they are far, far from a situation where they can have either a normal or a normalized relationship.
Handicap # 2: The West has expectation way too stratospheric to even realize when movement exists between the parties.

What can be done?
The most important thing is to get some sense of safety and stability on the Palestinian side, after that happens they can enforce their own agreements.

The situation is pretty grave right now.
So grave that in a survey made public yesterday nearly 20% of Palestinians want Israel to reoccupy and take over the Palestinians in order to improve their lives.
Tony Blair has a steep learning curve looming ahead. I do not think he is up to it.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Teheran is Aflame
By Micah Halpern

Thursday June 28, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Summer's heat is beating down and Teheran is burning - literally and figuratively.

Tuesday was a very hot day in Teheran and it became even hotter after local kids set fire to a gas station in a northern section of the city.
The kids were protesting the new policy of rationing gas.
Yup, the second largest OPEC oil producer is now rationing its own gas.

The kids lit the flame, threw stones and chanted their message:
"Guns. Fireworks. Tanks. Ahmadinejad should be killed."

Frustration and discontent run rampant in Iran.
Like the women of Iran, most of the anger is covered up and veiled.
Most of the anger is directed against Ahmadinejad and the ruling Islamic leadership.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

By Micah Halpern

Wednesday June 27, 2007


Hamas may have won an election, but HAMAS IS NOT a political party.
Political parties, by necessity, engage in give and take, in compromise. Hamas will not compromise.
What is Hamas? HAMAS IS a purely ideological, religious extremist, terrorist organization.

Hamas may have won a civil war in Gaza, but HAMAS IS NOT a great military force.
What is Hamas? HAMAS IS the larger lout with more weapon-toting fighters.

HAMAS IS an organization that knows how to prioritize.
Priority number one is to destroy Israel.
Priority number two is to create an Islamic state in Gaza.

HAMAS IS a very successful organization with very well defined vision and behavioral objectives and a mission statement that has been transmitted loud and clear, across the board, to both friends and foes.
Objective number one is for women to dress modestly
Objective number two is for Christians to remain closed off behind their walls.

HAMAS IS NOT suited for leadership.
Here is a case in point:
Several weeks ago, when Hamas and Fatah were united in government and Hamas was the majority party, a deal was signed with a British energy company to engage in offshore drilling on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza. This week Hamas announced that they are walking away from the deal. Hamas will not challenge Fatah for the gas drilling rights or revenues.

Fatah can have it all - all the profits, all future investments.
What does this prove? It proves that HAMAS DOES NOT care about enterprise, Hamas cares about ideology.
It proves that HAMAS DOES NOT want to get involved in the nitty gritty of leadership.

The decision sounds ridiculous and in another world, it would be. But decision making and problem solving and political analysis Hamas-style is nothing like Western-thinking-style. In the world of Hamas it makes perfect sense. No matter that Hamas now owns 100% of Gaza and the Mediterranean coast and Fatah owns O%, booted out, evicted, told never to return except under direct Hamas rule. Fatah gets it all.

Why does Hamas not grab it all? Why doesn't Hamas make the logical leap and accept the drilling revenues and use it to fund their own religious extremism? Why? The answer is that it does not fit comfortably into the religious ideology of Hamas. The answer is that HAMAS DOES NOT care that this deal could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Religious ideologues are lining up behind Hamas.
Ahmadinejad of Iran has just come out and called Arab leaders traitors because they embrace Western and Zionist agendas rather than supporting Hamas against Zionists and the West. "You want to placate them?" asks Ahmadinejad, meaning Zionists and the West, "try placating Allah."
Ayman Zawahiri, better known as the number two man to al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden and an Egyptian physician turned terrorist leader is calling for Muslims around the world to unite behind Hamas.

Al Qaeda wants Hamas to win. Al Qaeda wants to topple non-Islamic regimes and replace them with Islamic governments. There is a nexus between Hamas and al Qaeda. Al Qaeda loves Hamas, they are truly of one mind. Just read the al Qaeda web site and you will see it. Listen to what Zawahiri has to say and you will understand.

"Taking over power is not a goal but a means to implement God's word on earth."
"Provide them (Hamas) with money, do your best to get it there, break the siege imposed on them by Crusaders and Arab leader traitors."
"Facilitate weapons smuggling from neighboring countries."
"We can support them (Hamas) by targeting the Crusader and Zionist interest wherever we can."
And this last quote:
"Unite with mujahedeen (fighters) in Palestine, with all mujahedeen in the world, in the face of the upcoming attack where Egyptians and Saudis are expected to play part of it."
It is very important to note here that Zawahiri, and by extension Hamas, lumps Egyptians and Saudis with Zionists and the West - they are all the enemy.

Hamas should never have been allowed to run for election, but they did.
Once they won Fatah should have crushed them, but Fatah could not.

HAMAS IS a very successful organization that is now successfully tearing apart the rest of the Arab world.
And you know what, HAMAS IS NOT the least bit concerned.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Hamas will Torpedo Abbas
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday June 26, 2007

I'm Predicting:

The latest Sharm el Sheikh Summit is over.
Olmert has indicated that Israel will take significant steps in order to help Abbas regain control over and stature among the Palestinians.

There are only two paths for Abbas to take in order to regain respect
# 1: attack Hamas
# 2: improve the situation on the ground by getting world support - and that can be accomplished only by embracing Israel.

Hamas will try to destroy Abbas no matter which path he takes.
Hamas will try to torpedo all overtures to Israel and crank up the tensions.
Hamas will sponsor terror attack and pick up the intensity of Qassam rocket attacks on Sderot.

Hamas knows that Abbas knows they are out to intimidate and destroy him.
Now push has come to shove.
Abbas will either destroy Hamas or be destroyed by Hamas.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

PA Gave Hamas Intel
By Micah Halpern

Monday June 25, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

It is official:
Hamas paid Fatah officers to inform them about the strength and security of Abbas' forces in Gaza.
These officers were on the take for a significant amount of time.
In exchange for money they divulged all the inner workings of the Fatah security systems - the who, the where, the when and the what.

There's more:
Not only did they literally sell out Fatah, they intentionally led lackluster defenses.
Most of these officers are still in Gaza and charges against them are being proffered in the West Bank, the Fatah stronghold.

How much did it take to buy them off?
A mere pittance, a few pence - and now the entire future of the Palestinian cause is in jeopardy because of a few silly, selfish and self destructive men.

The recently demoted head of Fatah security in Gaza said: "This battle was lost to begin with, because the members of the Palestinian security forces were not trained to kill their brothers."
They might not be trained to kill their brothers, but they helped others to kill them.
Hamas? Hamas does not care about brotherhood.
They do not care who they kill.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Australian Shiites are All Wrong
By Micah Halpern

Sunday June 24, 2007
I've Been Thinking:

Sometimes it is all about perspective.
Sometimes it is absolutely about what is right and what is wrong.

Sheikh Kamal Mousselmani, head of the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council of Australia, just came out with statements condemning John Howard, the prime minister of Australia, supporting Hezbollah and deriding Israel.

Mousselmani said: that Howard's support for Israel is "encouraging terrorism" and that supporting Zionism was "encouraging Israel to kill our people daily."

Mousselmani said: "If Australia supports Israel, they are defending terrorism. Because we believe terrorists come from Israel. Not from our people. I support Hezbollah."

Mousselmani said: "Our opinion is that Hezbollah is not a terrorist group. We consider Hezbollah a resistance group. Put those words down, we are not afraid to say that."

Mousselmani is absolutely wrong.
Not only is he wrong, he is misleading the 30,000 Shiites he leads in Australia.
This is not about perspective, this is just absolutely frightening.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

The Summit
By Micah Halpern

Saturday June 23, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

The Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president are set to meet.
Olmert and Abbas will be meeting on Monday in Sharm el Sheik.
Mubarak of Egypt and Adbullah of Jordan will join them.
The purpose of the meeting is to give support to the Palestinian president.

Egypt has already publicly declared that they will not permit a radical Islamic state to develop in Gaza.
Egypt and Jordan must be urged to act to help the Palestinians in the West Bank as well as in Gaza.
Declarations are well and fine, but actions speak louder than words.

Israeli Likud leader Netanyahu is in DC lobbying for help for the Palestinians.
That is important.
But Israel should not be expected to fight the battle for Fatah against Hamas.
Jordan and Egypt have more to lose than does Israel if Hamas gains power.

Abbas wants Israel to promise a relaxation of conditions and the transfer of the $600 million in taxes that has been withheld since Hamas took power.
That part is practically a done deal, but it won't solve the Palestinian problem.
What the Palestinians really need is for Jordan and Egypt to take care of Hamas.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

The New Gaza
By Micah Halpern

Friday June 22, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Gaza has declared itself an Islamic state, expect real changes.
The first groups to be affected will be women and Christians.

Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya recently announced: "I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes.
They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza."
He continued:
"Jihadia Salafiya and other Islamic movements will ensure Christian schools and institutions show publicly what they are teaching to be sure they are not carrying out missionary activity. No more alcohol on the streets. All women, including non-Muslims, need to understand they must be covered at all times while in public."
He claimed:
that the 2000 Christians living in Gaza are "proselytizing and trying to convert Muslims with funding from American evangelicals."
"This missionary activity is endangering the entire Christian community in Gaza."

"The situation has now changed 180 degrees in Gaza," he announced.
That, I would say, is an understatement.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Hamas Targets Americans
By Micah Halpern

Thursday June 21, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Twelve members of a terrorist cell were just arrested by Israel.
The terrorists are members of the Israel the PFLP, The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, headquartered just south of Hebron.

The plot was:
to destroy a synagogue in Modiin, a large Israeli city situated exactly halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
to capture Americans and then negotiate their release in exchange for the release of their imprisoned leader Sadaat.
That part of the plan is particularly frightening, never before has this happened.

Americans in Israel have never before been the target, they have been the victims caught in the crosshairs of happenstance. They were hands off.
We are witnessing a dramatic change in terrorist style and objectives.

From the interrogation we know that the orders for this plot originated in Gaza.
Americans in Israel are now in danger.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Arabs To Yank Hamas Support
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday June 20, 2007

I'm Predicting:

Arab and Muslim countries are going to begin to yank their support from Hamas.

Yesterday Egypt announced that they are closing their embassy in Gaza and moving it to the West Bank city of Ramallah. Egyptian diplomats left Gaza weeks ago and their ambassador will arrive in Ramallah in the next few days.
The move is significant.
It says that Hamas does not represent the Palestinians.
It says that Gaza is not the seat of the leadership.

Foreigners left Gaza long ago.
Now they are announcing their diplomatic presence in the West Bank.
They are announcing that they are one with the new PA and without Hamas.

The Muslim and Arab world is discounting Hamas.
They are rejecting the election that took place 18 months ago.
Syria and Iran will be the only exceptions.

This is very good news.
Isolation of the extremists has begun.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

By Micah Halpern

Tuesday June 19, 2007


When the Arab world blames Israel for the unrest and violence in the Palestinian Authority I understand what is happening. But when Western media blames Israel - there is no way to explain except to say that the West has no understanding of the situation.

It's scary. The fighting between Hamas and Fatah is certainly scary. And so is the media coverage.

Blazing headlines often exaggerate, and when they exaggerate they mislead, and that is what is now happening with Middle East coverage. The Middle East is not burning, as many headline writers would have us believe. Parts of the Middle East are on fire, more correctly, are being fired upon. Yes, there is fighting going on. Yes, Muslims are killing Muslims. Yes, there are conflicts in Gaza, in Lebanon and in Iraq. But these conflicts are not connected, not inter-connected, not intra-connected.

Each of the conflicts is local. One has nothing to do with the other. And none have been brought on by Israel. None.

Respected and dare I say nefarious commentators, correspondents, hosts and talking heads have perverted the reality that is the Middle East. Some have actually, publicly, using their forum as if it were a bullhorn, blamed Israel for the current conflict in Gaza. In words and through inference the hypothesis that if only Israel had stopped building settlements then this conflict between the Palestinians would never have happened is laid before their audiences. The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, they are all guilty. One paper actually suggested that Israel get out of Gaza. Another ran a picture of Mahmoud Abbas and called him the Prime Minister of Israel. When media leaders are so misinformed, what hope can there be for the masses relying on them for their own information?

Anyone actually analyzing the situation, anyone thinking about what is going can come to only one conclusion. Arabs are killing Arabs and the conflict in Gaza - just like the conflicts in Lebanon and in Iraq - has absolutely nothing to do with Israel or with Israelis.

Analysis and thoughtful insight, however, is not what I expect from interested parties, i.e. the vast majority of the Arab world. That bias is obvious. That hatred flows as freely as mother's milk. That media manipulation is fodder for the Arab masses.

Al Khabar, the Algerian paper, just ran a cartoon depicting a Jew rubbing his hands together with glee as Palestinians fight. And the Jew declares: "May God give them health because this is real Palestinian diversity." How do I know that the Arab cartoonist has depicted a Jew? I know from the dress and the facial features.

Ar Raya, the Qatar paper, has a cartoon of a winners podium. An ultra-orthodox Jew stands in the center on the highest tier and on either side of him are knocked-out Hamas and Fatah characters in the number two and three places. In Qatar they actually believe in the Jewish Conspiracy Theory. In Qatar they still believe in the Protocols of Zion. But I expect more of Western media.

But why should I expect more from the Western media than I receive from Western policy makers. Sometimes, diplomatic absurdity rivals cartoon commentary.

Now that Hamas successfully launched the coup that ousted Fatah, now that Hamas has taken over Gaza, the United States has begun to change its foreign policy stance vis a vis the Palestinians. In a quirk of diplomatic relations, the defeated Fatah party is being rewarded for its inaction and for its glaring and blatant loss to Islamic radicals.

The United States is removing the embargo against aid to the Palestinian Authority. They are removing it because Abbas, the Palestinian president and the head of Fatah, has finally and officially withdrawn from the Palestinian Unity Government with Hamas. It was not a huge effort on the part of Abbas. Last week he actually held a meeting to discuss whether or not Fatah should remain in the government. Outside, guns were roaring and men were dying, inside there was a discussion around the table. The reality of the situation, the absurdity of the suggestion, was obvious to everyone -to everyone except Abbas.

Fatah was trounced by Hamas. Fatah lost control of an entire, crucially important, area. And now Fatah is to be rewarded. The United States is, in my opinion, making a premature decision here. Not that the Palestinian people do not desperately need aid - they do. But can Abbas deliver even aid to his people - that is the question.

Throwing support behind Fatah before Fatah decides to fight Hamas is throwing good money after bad. It is unwise, it is a foolish a waste. Not as much of a waste as the European Union's promise to continue to pay Hamas salaries or as much of a waste as the decision by Saudi Arabia to continue to support Hamas charities to the tune of a hundred million dollars, but never-the-less an unnecessary waste.

The truth is out. United States policy wonks do not adequately understand the conflict between Palestinians - and I understand that. The culture, the political climate, the hatred are all foreign, literally and figuratively, to the American mind. But US policy people should at least protect US interests.

The United States is also suggesting that Abbas and by extension his Fatah party partner with Israel in pursuit of peace. On paper, the decision sounds reasonable. But once again the same problem arises. Can Abbas deliver on anything, anything at all, to which he agrees?

It is abundantly clear that Abbas cannot deliver Gaza. Major sections of the West Bank are not under his control. Fatah will be an asset for the United States and an ally for Israel only - only, if Fatah takes decisive action and then, only if they are successful. Fatah must continue the fight against Hamas. Now. If not, the fate of Gaza will become the future of the West Bank.

Hamas is more motivated and better trained than Fatah. But for now Fatah has more weapons and better quality weapons than Hamas. Today Fatah has more manpower, more fighters, than Hamas. The Fatah advantage will only last for a short period.

Unrest and violence in the Palestinian Authority will continue. It will continue in order to ensure the Palestinian people a future. Not because Israel has caused it to continue. Not because war makes good headlines. It will continue because it must.

And this time, when we read all about it, when we see the pictures and look at the cartoon depictions, hopefully, we will understand - truly understand, the situation.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Hamas vs. Fatah, Again
By Micah Halpern

Monday, June 18, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Mohamed Dahlan has a unique take on the defeat of his Fatah party by Hamas. In Gaza, the strongman of Fatah was quoted yesterday saying: Ok, there was a Hamas coup and Hamas has taken over Gaza - now Gaza is their problem and they must run it.

The reality is that today Gaza is a mess with splits and tensions between Hamas clans and Hamas leaders. The tensions will now flow over onto the streets of Gaza. Hamasniks will soon kill other Hamasniks. That is the style of Hamas and Palestinian disputations.

The newly sworn in Prime Minister of the PA, Salam Fayad, is a very capable economist. Will he want to restore order? Will he want to create a secular Palestinian state? Does he have the strength and the weapons to do what must be done?

If Fatah wants to gain control they must strip Hamas of weapons. That means another all out civil war. Abbas passed a law yesterday making it illegal for Hamas to carry weapons and illegal for Hamas to have any military organizations.

Passing laws is the easy part, it is implementing those laws that is hard.

The days of Palestinian civil war - Fatah vs Hamas and Hamas vs Hamas - are not over.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Arabs Reject Hamas
By Micah Halpern

Sunday June 17, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

The 22 countries that compose the Arab League met this weekend in Cairo.
The 22 countries voted to support the Abbas government and to reject Hamas.

This is an extremely important step.
The Arab world is petrified of Islamic radicalism - which Hamas represents.
The Arab world has, until now, been wary of criticizing Hamas.
Their rejection of Hamas is now very clear.
Egypt issued its own declaration: "From the Egyptian point of view, there is only one Palestinian government and this is the one formed by President Abu Mazen."

One of the most important tools to pressure and oust Hamas is force from the rest of the Arab world. The only real pro-Hamas country is Iran and even Iran has issued statements decrying the violence and pleading with Hamas and Fatah to unite against Israel the common enemy.

Hamas has succeeded in uniting the Arab world - uniting them against Hamas.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

UN Wants the US to Stay
By Micah Halpern

Saturday June 16, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Even the UN Security Council agrees that the United States must stay in Iraq.
Surprised? Don't be.

Listen to what the Iraqis themselves are saying.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari addressed the Security Council.
He said: "the government has made tremendous strides toward the day when security will be provided by a self-sufficient, Iraqi national security force."
He said: "While Iraqis will always be grateful for their liberation from an absolute despot, no Iraqi government official - indeed, no Iraqi citizen - wants the presence of foreign troops on Iraqi soil one day longer than is vitally necessary."
He said: "But today, and for the foreseeable months at least, the presence of (multinational) troops is vitally necessary not only for Iraq but also to safeguard regional security and stability."

Iraq needs international help.
The United Nations knows it.
But you would never know it by monitoring the world press or listening to "informed" voices around the world and even in the United States.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

What Hamas Thinks
By Micah Halpern

Friday June 15, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

In the world according to Hamas:
Abbas and Fatah had their chance - they did nothing.
Abbas is impotent and powerless.

The truth is, Abbas could have crushed Hamas before their arms were build up.
The truth is, Abbas permitted Hamas the ability to rise up - served it to them on a silver platter.
The truth, Abbas should have and could have squashed Hamas.

But he didn't.
Abbas was afraid of civil war.
Abbas was paralyzed by the fear that he would be blessing and sponsoring internal conflict.
Abbas always hoped that the hatred of Israel would unite the Palestinians.

Hamas viewed the leadership style of Abbas as a sign of weakness and pounced. Even if he took action now, Hamas knows that it will be too little, too late for Abbas, his ideas and his leadership.

Hamas knows Abbas does not have the killer instinct.
Hamas has the killer instinct.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

It's About Family and Religion
By Micah Halpern

Thursday June 14, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

The civil war between Hamas and Fatah is more than a battle for power.
It is about family clans and tribes.
It is about religion.

"We're fighting for Islam and they are fighting for their salaries. As soon as we start shelling, the love of life will win out over the love of salary and we will win."
Those are the words of a Hamas fighter.

Hamas embraces radical Islam and Fatah does not.
The hatred is red hot and palpable.
Yesterday, after a Fatah clan surrendered to Hamas several dozen of the men, fearing for their lives, escaped to Egypt. And then Hamas publicly executed two prominent members of the family, two women killed in plain sight of the masses.

This conflict will not simply disappear.
This conflict cannot simply peter out and go away.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

By Micah Halpern

Wednesday June 13, 2007


The past few days have been particularly costly for the Palestinians. Dozens of Fatah members and an equal number of Hamas followers have been killed and dozens upon dozens have been wounded. Leaders from both sides in this struggle among brothers have been targeted. They are fighting not only for their cause, they are fighting for their lives.

The Palestinians are caught up in an ugly, bloody, deadly civil war.

Civil wars do not begin suddenly and they do not end with the cessation of overt hostilities. Modern day civil wars do not begin when one day, one side launches an all out war against the other side. Civil wars are not camp time color wars. In recent history the initial phases of civil wars have been marked by tensions and skirmishes, hostilities brewing and bubbling below the surface. The idea is to cause the other side pain and suffering but not so much so that they will feel the need for reprisal. The objective is not to escalate the tension, so they brew and bubble until they can no longer be kept in check - and then they boil over.

In a civil war neither the fighters nor the organizers nor the leaders are concerned with the effect that a long protracted conflict will have on the masses. They don't care about the effect it will have on their economy and markets. They don't care about the greater good of their society. They care only about wreaking havoc on the other side, the enemy. Civil war is the most costly and most destructive kind of war. It is a war of atrophy. Civil wars are known as the slow wars of attrition.

For sixteen months I have been observing Fatah and Hamas, watching closely as tensions escalated. For sixteen months I have been predicting this civil war. It came about as the natural, inevitable, next step as Hamas ascended to political power. Gone were the soup kitchens that fed hungry Palestinians. The doors were closed on the school programs that educated Palestinian youth. The money was needed elsewhere. The money was needed for guns.

In any civil war, and the Palestinian civil war will be no exception, victory is hollow. Civil wars and their tensions linger for decades even after they are resolved. Palestinians are used to infighting, they have a long history of internal fighting. But it was always kept under wraps and under control by Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian bully. Arafat pounded his people into submission, he unified them by way of an oppressive regime. Arafat prevented any alternative voice or power from emerging. And with Arafat's death came a dearth in Palestinian leadership.

Fatah and Hamas cannot maintain this war indefinitely. Both sides are equally brutal, ruthless and violent. Neither side has enough manpower, money or munitions. There are several factors that will cause the outward violence to come to a trickle if not a complete stop.

Public disgust and rejection will be a deciding factor.
Right now Hamas is quickly losing the public relations battle, but they do not recognize that reality. Right now Hamas has no time or patience or concern for public opinion and polls. It is a mistake on their part, perhaps a fatal mistake.

Numbers count in determining the victor.
Victory can be predicted based on the number of weapons and the number of supporters who gather in the streets with their guns held high to rally in support of their side. The quality or the age of the weapons is almost irrelevant.

Successful strikes at high level targets will point to a winner.
Whichever side succeeds in killing more high level military leaders will win. Hitting military leaders will cripple the other side not only psychologically but also tactically.

In recent battles Hamas used rockets to attack the house of a Fatah military leader in Gaza killing him and his brother. Fatah retaliated by kidnapping and murdering a Hamas leader and dumping his body outside the offices of Palestinian TV. The Fatah compound of Abbas in Gaza was hit with rockets and a Hamas TV station was taken over by Fatah. This war is escalating.

A cease fire will never last. Only a knock out or a massacre will change the situation. It is only a matter of time before there is a massacre or before one of the highest level leaders is assassinated - or both. In this environment, in this culture and in this kind of war, both are inevitabilities.

In the end Hamas will win. Or Fatah will win. In the end it makes no difference. The Palestinian people will have been decimated, raped by their own leaders.

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

Pot Calling the Kettle Black
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday June 12, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Talk about "the pot calling the kettle black"
The Iranians never cease to amaze me.

On Monday the Iranian ambassador to the UN submitted a formal complaint against Israel. The complaint was delivered to the acting president of the Security Council. It cited Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Former Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz.
The complaint was that they threatened to attack Iran and, according to UN rules and regulations, the two should be censured for using flagrant language.

The objectionable comment from Mofaz was made last week at a press conference in Washington DC after strategic planning meetings with the US concerning Iran.
He said:"[T]he military option is included in all the options that are on the table."
The objectionable comment from Olmert was one line from a German newspaper that was later retracted by the paper.

Iran can see only one side of every issue - their side.
It is OK for Iran to speak of the total annihilation of Israel, but no one may speak out against Iran.
What chutzpah!

Read my new book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.

US Frowns on Israel Syria Talks
By Micah Halpern

Monday June 11, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

I am perplexed by the timing of Israel's extension of an olive branch to Syria.
I am supportive of the rejection by the United States of Israel's overtures to Syria. There have been numerous backdoor negotiations with Syria for years and they have all amounted to nil.

The Deputy Spokesman at the State Department Tom Casey summed it up this way: "It's up to Israel to determine how it's going to conduct its diplomatic relations with Syria or with any other country.
We would certainly note that with respect to Syria, Syria has not to date taken any of the kind of positive steps that we would like to see happen with respect to Lebanon, with respect to its support for Palestinian rejectionist groups, with regard to the need to police its borders with Iraq to prevent foreign fighters from moving across.
And certainly, we think that would be something that Israel would like to consider."

Right now, Syria is carefully monitoring Israel's comments and the US response. Syria wants to be in the power seat in the negotiations. The "backdoor" has said that Israel wants Syria to abandon Iran, cut off ties to terror, and leave Lebanon alone. The Golan would become a demilitarized international park accessible to everyone and anyone while controlled by Syria.

The Syrian track is very bold.
The Syrian track is very dangerous.
I would not suggest that Israel pursue Syria right now.

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Indonesia Protests Against Israel
By Micah Halpern

Sunday June 10, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

In Indonesia today there were 2 large rallies protesting Israel.
The rallies were held in Jakarta and Medan, the two largest cities in Indonesia. The protests focused on Israel's human rights abuses over the past 40 years - since the Six Day War of 1967.

Indonesia is the most-populated Muslim country in the world.
Indonesia is one of the worst abusers of human rights in the world.
In February 2004 the US State Department's Human Rights Report described the Indonesian government's human rights record as "poor."

The report said: They have "continued to commit serious abuses."
Murders, torture, rape, beatings, and arbitrarily detaining civilians and members of separatist movements were all documented as abuses by security force members. The report accuses them of failiing to protect the rights of children, women, peaceful protesters, journalists, disabled persons, religious minorities, and indigenous people. Aceh and Papua provinces were where the most apparent human rights abuses took place.

These 20,000 protestors were probably professional rally goers.
If they did not attend the rally condemning Israel they would probably have been arrested and tortured or at the very least - they would not have been paid.

Spain Catches Terrorists
By Micah Halpern

Saturday June 9, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

A Judge in Spain indicted 32 people on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization, it happened yesterday.
All 32 are members in Ansar al Islam, an affiliate of al Qaeda.

Most of those arrested are from the recruitment arm of Ansar al Islam.
Their job is to entice new people to sign on and fight for al Qaeda in Iraq.
Primary goals are fighting the Shiites, fighting Western influences and unseating and destabilizing non-Muslim governments.

Spain is still spinning form the horrific terrorist attacks that left 191 dead and 1824 wounded in Madrid on March 11, 2004.
The government is now actively trying to protect Spaniards from Islamic terror.
Spain's intelligence network is highly advanced and lawmakers are working to change laws and sentences so that convicted terrorist organizers receive serious jail time even before the heinous murderous attacks have been perpetrated.

The Western world has a lot to learn from Spain.

Al Sadr & Iran
By Micah Halpern

Friday June 8, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

The religious guru Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi Shiite, made an interesting comment on Thursday's Iraqi State TV.

He said: that he has "friendship and good relations" with Iran.
He said: "I must maintain friendship and good relations with Iran but nothing else." "
So, what does "nothing else" mean? It means that he rejects the influence and intimidation Iran is trying to exert on Iraq.

This is very important.
Al Sadr has been in hiding for the past 4 months.
Al Sadr emerged specifically to deliver a veiled threat against Iran.

Al Sadr has addressed some of the big fears and unanswered questions:
Will Iran and Iranian Shiite leadership impose their agenda on the Iraqi Shiites? Will Iraqis reject that pressure?

Al Sadr's comments may be an important indicator of Iraq's future.
But the question remains:
Al Sadr talks the talk but does he have the strength and power to walk the walk.

Ahmadinejad's Blog
By Micah Halpern

Thursday June 7, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

I read Ahmadinejad's blog.
I also read Iranian News Agency (IRNA) reports.
Much of what is written is hyperbole, purely sensational, what the famous Col. Potter from M.A.S.H. would call horse hockey.

The way to read these reports is not so much to read what is written, but to figure out why it was written and what was not written - that is how you get the gems of information crucial to understanding what is really happening inside Iran.

On Monday both the blog and the IRNA report described a conversation between Ahmadinejad and Bashar Assad of Syria - one conversation, two varying reports.
The essence of the conversation, however, was a decision by the Iranian and the Syrian to join forces in a coordinated effort confronting (i.e. destroying) Israel.

What makes that conversation newsworthy?
They spoke about confronting Israel at the very time that Israel and the United States spoke about advancing ties with Syria and about peaceful co-existence.

Which is it?
The answer is revealed on Ahmadinejad's blog.
When you scroll down to the part that refers to the Shiite Messiah, Mahdi, Ahmadinejad beseeches: "Oh Almighty Allah, bestow upon humanity the perfect human promised to all by You and make us among his followers."
Ahmadinejad is praying to Allah to send to him destroy his enemies.

Syria wants it both ways.
Syria wants to destroy Israel.
If they can't do it now they will take back the Golan and destroy Israel later.

Putin's Propoganda Ploy
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday June 6, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

America intends to create a missile shield against Iran and place it in Poland. Poland is very close to Russia and well within range of Russian targets.
Russia is not pleased and tensions between the US and Russia are very high.

The United States is trying to figure out a way to protect Europe from an impending Iranian nuclear threat.
The Russians are taking it personally, they see this decision as a direct threat.

Putin's recent comments smack of an arms race.
Putin's comments and his tone are not at all reflective of s strategy for a united front against a dangerous Iran.
Putin's comments have even raised the ire of NATO and NATO spokesman James Appathurai has called this attitude unhelpful and unwelcome.
Putin's comments remind me of the stuff said by the Soviets in the 70's.

Iran, on the other hand, sees the entire scenario as humorous.
Ali Larijani, head of Iranian nuclear negotiations, called the US defense shield "the joke of the year."
He said that Iranian missiles do not have the range to hit those parts of Europe. He said that the US knows that to be true.
He said that in his eyes and the eyes of Iran this US missile defense system in Poland is just one big propaganda ploy.

Putin agrees with Iran and is really calling the bluff of the United States.
Putin's attitude and uproar is the big propaganda ploy.

By Micah Halpern

Tuesday June 5, 2007


Headlines blazed and radio and television buzzed with the news. Federal agents had located and captured - busted, a terrorist ring. Wasn't it only yesterday that another group of local terrorists had been captured? This time the target was JFK airport in New York, the airport named after the beloved president and world famous figure, the leader who was himself a victim of homegrown terror. This time the venue of choice was the jet fuel pipes that run underground in the heavily trafficked airport.

We were told that had they been successful, Guyanese born and naturalized citizen ring leader Russell Defreitas and his religious Muslim gang would have caused more damage than 9-11. In fact, that is not the case at all. The greatest damage would have come not to individuals and not to the infrastructure but to that great giant called the airline industry. The damage to people and property itself would have been minimal - it was the intention that was grand. These men hoped for an act of destruction so great that it would actually minimize the devastation and dwarf the trauma of 9-11.

The fact that their plan was unworkable in no way diminishes the magnitude or importance of the situation. The United States and the Western world continue to be at risk - from within, by our own.

These Muslim terrorists wanted to make a statement. They wanted to make the United States and by extension the entire Western world and Israel hurt. They wanted to make us quake with fear. According to the indictment, these plotters wanted to "cause greater destruction than in the Sept. 11 attacks" because they "wanted to do something to get those bastards." They mean us.

It requires only a cursory look to determine that the plan was more a wish list than a death sentence for thousands of innocent world travelers. Experts with knowledge about pipelines and fuel have said it would be impossible to cause the kind of explosion that would result in any damage to the line or, more importantly, to anything or anyone above ground. That's what the experts say and these men, while dedicated to their hateful cause, are anything but experts.

Russell Defreitas, sixty-three years old and now retired, used to work at JFK airport and knew it like the back of his hand. The problem for Russell and his plan is that he stopped working at the airport in 1995, long before the airport security system was overhauled, tightened and improved as a direct result of 9-11. Yes, he was spotted on surveillance missions and taking photographs around the airport four times in the past year and yes, he claims to have learned bomb-making in his native Guyana, but neither he nor his cohorts ever built a bomb. They never bought bomb materials. They never even trained as terrorists, never read the al Qaeda textbook or viewed the video.

Defreitas, Kareem Ibrahim, Abdul Kadir and Abdel Nur desperately wanted to hurt America. Luckily for us, they seem pitifully incapable of actually doing America harm. They had no contingency plans and no alternatives. They were not even fluent in the basic operations of the new fuel system and its security and capabilities at the airport. They had an idea but there was no real operational plan. And the plan that they did have seemed poorly conceived and it is most doubtful that it would have worked even with the opportunity to put it into action.

They are guilty of conspiracy to perpetrate an act of terror. They were plotting and the group leader even confessed to an informant that he feared that the FBI was on to them. And because of very important and remarkably effective investigative work on the part of the federal authorities, especially the Joint Terrorism Task Force, they were caught and now they deserve to be punished.

And they are not alone.

A bungling, sixty-three year old former baggage handler is not the true profile of a homegrown terrorist. The probable and highly effective terrorists of tomorrow will be engineering and computer science students in their late 20's and early 30's. They will be men and women with real training and true discipline. They will be people with access to highly secured computer sites and with the ability to get both virtual and real clearance to those sites.

Homegrown terrorists and terrorist wannabes - in the United States and in all other Western countries - are an increasing breed. The West needs to keep up the pressure. The West needs to unmask these perpetrators of evil and uncover and dismantle these plots. It's not easy - it's necessity.

Hamas Commits Act of War
By Micah Halpern

Monday June 4, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Four Israelis were wounded in a mortar attack yesterday.
Almost immediately after the attack, Hamas claimed direct responsibility.

The three mortars were lobbed at the Erez check point, one of several crossing points from Gaza into Israel.
Erez is used predominately by Palestinain workers entering Israel.
Erez is also used as a way to truck Palestinian fruits and vegetables into Israel.

Hamas military and political and religious leaders attack Israel every day.
This time Hamas attacked an Israeli military position.
Put bluntly - Hamas committed an act of war.

Israel is responding - but so far, only gently and kindly resonding.
Israel must go after the military, political and religious leadership of Hamas - they are all united, they cannot be separated.
Each arm of Hamaas leadership plays a central role in directing these daily attacks against Israel.

These acts of war by Hamas must be countered with significant force.
It is time for Isrel to take real action.
It is time for Israel to "cancel with extreme prejudice."

Style Over Substance in Iran
By Micah Halpern

Sunday June 3, 2007

I'm Predicting:

A flurry of diplomatic activity surrounds Iran - good, positive activity.
These diplomatic vibes have been brought on by the belief that Iran is finally about to adhere to the international standard and allow for nuclear inspections.

If the world is reading Iran correctly, confrontations between Iran and the United States and Iran and Israel would be averted.
If the world is reading Iran correctly, Western diplomats could pat themselves on the back because diplomacy triumphs even in Iran.

But the world may not be reading Iran correctly.
Iran is smart and Iran understands the game.
Iran knows that by opening talks and allowing for discussions with the United States they are buying good will and more importantly, they are buying time.

Iran is changing style - not substance.
The West sees the change in style and hopes for a change in content and policy.
Iran has no intention of making a change in either nuclear policy or attitude.

There has been no shift in the national policy of Iran since the process began.
Iran will not, cannot, does not want to change.
Change is not in the Iranian lexicon.

Danger of Peace
By Micah Halpern

Saturday June 2, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Sometimes making peace is more dangerous than the status quo.
Sometimes making peace can leave a country weaker rather than more secure.

Israel is contemplating resuming peace talks with Syria and has begun testing the waters.
Why - after all these years, why now?
Reason # 1: a potential miscalculation by Syria
Reason # 2: improved weapons and continued arms development by Syria

In the aftermath of last summer's war and the release of Israel's internal analysis of the war, Syria sees Israel was weak.
Extending the olive branch at this junction will, in the eyes of Syria, confirm the weakened status of Israel.

According to an Islamic tradition that dates all the way back to the time of the Koran a strong Muslim leader has the power to dictate all treaties with a weaker party and may even abrogate those treaties should he so desire.

If Syria - or any other Arab nation, senses that Israel comes to the peace table out of a position of weakness and fear Israel will be placed in a position configured specifically to put the country more at risk than to keep it safe.

To think that Israel is weak might be a miscalculation by Syria, but it is still the attitude and approach they will adopt at a peace table.

Peres And Babe Ruth
By Micah Halpern

Friday June 1, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

Shimon Peres has declared his candidacy for President of Israel.
It is a largely ceremonial position, in Israel the power belongs to the Prime Minister.

For Peres, this is deja vu all over again.
In 2000 he lost what most analysts assumed was a done deal bid for the office.
Now, he wants to run again.

Shimon Peres has true international clout.
A Nobel Prize Laureate who speaks with a credible voice that nations respect, there is no doubt that as president Peres would have access to world leaders like no other Israeli leader has ever had - the country would benefit greatly.
But rather then wow the world, to become President of Israel Peres has to sway his colleagues in the Israeli Knesst.

Peres is a phenomenon - he has what I call the Babe Ruth/Michael Jordan syndrome. He just cannot walk quietly into the sunset. He runs the risk of diminishing the greatness of his career by hanging on and on and on.

Both his country and the man would be better served if Shimon Peres allowed himself to become a private citizen elder statesman offering the perspective of one who led Israel during many different and often difficult periods.

Instead, Shimon Peres will probably best be remembered as a leader who just never knew when to hang up his spikes, as a self-serving politician with a lust for power that drove him to self-implode.

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