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Reality Check For Hamas
By Micah Halpern

Thursday January 1, 2009

I've Been Thinking:

Abuse of a Mosque:
Israel intelligence and reconnaissance showed that Hamas was using a mosque not as a prayer hall but as a hall in which to stockpile and hide munitions and from which to shoot rockets into Israel.
Israelis took aim and bombed the building.
The resulting secondary explosions, which can be seen on You Tube, are proof that the mosque was a warehouse for explosives.

Saudi Leadership on the Conflict:
The opening remarks of the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister at a special session of the Arab League dedicated to aiding Gaza placed responsibility for the entire messy affair on Hamas. Couching his criticism in diplomatic terms he said: "This terrible massacre would not have happened if the Palestinian people were unified behind one leadership."

Egyptian Leadership on the Conflict:
The head of Egyptian Intelligence, Omar Suleiman, said that "Mashaal (the head of Hamas) and his thugs will pay for foiling the internal Palestinian dialogue that was supposed to take place in Cairo." He continued saying that "Hamas' leadership is guilty of great arrogance. It snubs Egypt. It leaders must be reined in and must wake up from their dream."

Reality Check:
Mainstream Arab leadership is very upset with Hamas. And they want to teach Hamas a lesson.
Mainstream Arab leadership must, pro forma, protest Israel action and innocent casualties, but they do not cry for Hamas.

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

Cease Fires: After the Goal is Accomplished
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 31, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is planning to come to Jerusalem.
He intends to mediate and negotiate a cease fire between Hamas and Israel.

There is a conceptual problem with racing toward a ceasefire in the midst of this conflict. Europe, the United Nations and at times even the United States subscribe to the theory that the quicker a cease fire is reached the better, but that is not always the case.

In this conflict with Hamas, Israel is attempting to destroy the terror infrastructure and create a new status quo. It is premature, even dangerous, for Western states to even raise the idea of ceasefire until the new status quo has been achieved and essential goals have been attained.

The thinking goes that the longer there is conflict the more innocent bystanders will be hurt so let's end it all with a ceasefire.
That is where the fallacy lies.
As long as the terrorists are able to act freely innocent lives are at stake, both at the hands of the terrorists and by the retaliatory strikes against the terrorists.

Hamas terrorists are using human shields in order to jack up the numbers of innocent causalities.
International law is clear on this issue: those people are no longer innocent if the terrorists act behind them.
Unfortunate, but true.
Sarkozy needs to think this through before lunging ahead with plans for a cease fire.

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

By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 30, 2008


Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, is a terrorist organization that trains cohorts from that other terrorist organization, Hamas. Hezbollah also sponsors Hamas through donations of weapons and donations of money. The nation of Iran is another large supporter and sponsor of Hamas. Iran also lends Hamas moral support, offers advice and serves as a general cheering squad.

It comes as no surprise that Hezbollah and Iran have been loud and public in denouncing Israel's retaliatory strike on Hamas security strongholds in Gaza.

The surprise comes in the form of the almost inaudible voices of protest emanating from the rest of the Muslim world. Protests against Israel have been minimal. Disapproval of Hamas, now and in the period leading up to the Hamas decision to discontinue the "lull" with Israel has been vocal.

Major players in the Arab world urged Hamas to continue with the "lull" but Hamas turned a deaf ear, Hamas would not heed their urgings. In a break with tradition, rather than showing a united Arab/Muslim front against enemy Israel, Arab leaders have come out in censure against Hamas.

On Sunday, the second day of Israel's operation, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas held a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Gheit. Abbas minced no words, he laid all the blame on Hamas. "I say in all honesty, we made direct contact with the leaders of the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. We spoke with them in all honesty and directly and after that we spoke with them indirectly, through more than one Arab and non Arab side ... We spoke with them on the telephone and we said to them: We ask of you, don't stop the lull. The lull must continue and not stop, in order to avoid what has happened and if only we had avoided it."

In response, Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, called Jordan and Egypt collaborators and an arm of the Zionists and the Americans in the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.

Mainstream Arab leaders think that Hamas brought this situation upon themselves and believe that now Hamas must suffer the consequences of their own actions. They hope that the operation ends quickly and they hope that the innocent people living in Gaza are spared from too much suffering and horror. President Bush, who made contact with many Arab leaders in the region expressed that same concern for the people of Gaza. So, too, did Israeli leadership who allowed one hundred supply trucks to enter Gaza from Israel on Monday. The trucks contained medicines, blood, cooking fuel and even ambulances.

Even Palestinians living in Gaza, victims of the destruction brought on by this retaliatory effort by Israel, blame Hamas and not Israel for the death and destruction. Even a seven year old girl who woke up to find bricks on her head and her younger sister lying dead beside her after an Israeli air raid was quoted in an interview on Al Aksa Hamas TV saying that she blamed Hamas for the death. In Gaza, Hamas is far from loved, in Gaza Hamas is feared.

Hamas has embraced death as a virtue.

Palestinian Authority legislator Fathi Hamad, interviewed on Hamas TV on Monday explained it this way: "For the Palestinian people death became an industry, at which women excel and so do all people on this land: the elderly excel, the Jihad fighters excel, and the children excel. Accordingly [Palestinians] created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the Jihad fighters against the Zionist bombing machine, as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: We desire death as you desire life."

This sentiment, this revelation that Hamas respects death and uses innocent people as human shields, is not new. It is not merely a response to Israel's retaliatory raid. In the weeks before this raid, in the weeks of the "lull," Hamas began the process of instituting a series of punishments, their own revision of Koranic law that was meted out during the medieval period. The Hamas penal regressions were broadcast across the Arab world, to the horror of Arab leaders from other countries who themselves have archaic judicial and penal systems, but nothing as severe as those Hamas intends to impose.

Some of the laws are literally directed at the Palestinian Authority and at Palestinian leadership. It seems clear that according to the new/old Hamas laws all Palestinian leadership is guilty of capital crimes. The language of the law proposes "primary and secondary" laws.

Primary laws include: "Koranic laws, blood revenge, lashes, crucifixion, and execution." The new law establishes that the "punishment of death will be enacted on any Palestinian who intentionally does one of the following: raised a weapon against Palestine on behalf of the enemy during war, was appointed to negotiate with a foreign government on a Palestinian issue and negotiated against Palestinians' interest, performed a hostile action against a foreign country in a way that endangers Palestine in war or in harming political relations, served a foreign army in time of war, advised or helped soldiers to enlist in this army, weakened the spirit or the force of resistance of the people, or spied against Palestine especially during war."

Hamas is not the victim. Hamas is an oppressive, terrorist regime. The rest of the Arab world sees this very clearly. And for the first time, the rest of the Arab world is not afraid to speak out against Hamas. That's how bad the situation in Israel has gotten. Even the Arab world is sympathetic to the plight of Israel.

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

Hamas & Gaza
By Micah Halpern

Monday December 29, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

The death of innocent civilians, whether Israeli or Palestinian, is tragic.
The situation in Gaza warrants serious evaluation.

Hamas was hitting and hitting, launching more and more rockets into Israel it was inevitable that eventually Israel was going to strike back and strike with great force, principally from the air using fighter jets and helicopters.

Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on the face of the earth. Regardless of how precise the Israeli air force targeting mechanisms are and how accurate Israeli intelligence is in identifying targets, it is inevitable that some civilians in Gaza will be hurt. It is Israel's job to make certain that the number of civilian casualties is as few as possible and Israel takes that job seriously.

Everyone knew this was going to happen.
Hamas knew and they actually egged Israel on.
Egypt knew and with the exception of a short period of time when their borders were breached at 4 points and a major was shot and killed Egypt has maintained their border with Gaza and not permitted Palestinians to spill into Egypt.

Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the National Security Council, said it best:
"Hamas' continued rocket attacks into Israel must cease if the violence is to stop. Hamas must end its terrorist activities if it wishes to play a role in the future of the Palestinian people. The United States urges Israel to avoid civilian casualties as it targets Hamas in Gaza."

This is only a beginning. Gaza will not go away.

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

Israel Strike at Gaza
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 28, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

This was not a strike to oust Hamas, this was a nudge towards a ceasefire.

Israel is striking at Gaza. In the first 90 seconds of the strike Israel hit over 40 targets in Gaza. On Sunday in a matter of seconds Israel destroyed 40 tunnels used to smuggle weapons.
On Saturday, in total, Israel struck over 270 targets.

Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the PA begged Hamas to extend the "lull." He begged Hamas not to force Israel to attack and destroy Gaza.

Hosni Mubarak says Egypt has been warning Hamas that an Israeli invasion will be the end result of the rockets they are launching into Israel.

Hamas wanted Israel to attack.
Hamas upped the ante by not extending the "lull." They taunted Israel by launching up to 70 rockets in a single day into Israel. They were hoping for international condemnation and maximum casualties. Hamas wants a 3rd Intifada, they have called for a 3rd Intifada. They are sending rockets as far as Ashdod (200,000 citizens) and into Ashkelon (100,000 citizens), cities with nearly 100,000 Israeli residents.

Israel wanted to stir up Gazans against Hamas. Israel wants to take the momentum away from Hamas and dictate the next stages of the ceasefire. They want Hamas to know that hitting Israel has a high price. Israel will stop the raids after it has setback but not destroyed the terrorist infrastructure.

Hamas will try to launch as many rockets as possible during the Israeli operation to prove that they are still viable. That plan is working, this AM Hamas launched 4 rockets hitting deep into Israel. Hamas will also try to inflict damage on Israel through terror attacks originating from the West Bank. Hamas may also try strike against soft Jewish and Israeli targets across the world.

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

Hamas Qassams Kill Palestinian Girls
By Micah Halpern

Saturday December 27, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

A rocket misfired in Gaza on Friday and it killed two young girls.
The rocket was a Qassam, shot by terrorist who were aiming it to land somewhere in Israel.
Instead, the rocket landed somewhere on a house in Gaza and a 5 year old and 13 year old were killed.

Earlier in the day another rocket misfired from Gaza.
That rocket badly wounded a 35 year old man who is now in a hospital in Israel where his wounds are being treated.
The man was wounded in the head when his house took a direct Qassam hit. After initial treatment at a Gaza hospital he was evacuated on an Israeli ambulance that entered Gaza and whisked him away.

All this was happening under the canopy of war, a war in which Qassams are shot into Israel from Gaza.
While this was happening Israel opened the borders to Gaza to allow in as much food and supplies as possible. Israel opened the gates and sent in the supplies in advance of a strike that Israel is planning against Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza.

For Israel this inconsistent behavior is not strange but expected.
Israel treats and cares for the wounded of their enemy especially the civilian wounded.
Israel delivers food to the enemy.

For Hamas this behavior is also expected.
Hamas, in their zeal to murder innocent Israelis, expects to murder innocent Gazans.
Hamas does not care about innocent bystanders, not their own and certainly not Israelis.
Hamas has said that innocent who die at the hands of martyrs are themselves martyrs and heroes.

Something is wrong with this picture.

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

US 5 Year Threat Assessment
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 26, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

A 38 page long, 5 year threat assessment of terror against the United States was recently uncovered by the AP.
The document details the dangers that will confront the United States in the coming five years.

Here are some highlights:
Terror threats originating from Middle Eastern countries and Muslim countries are extremely high.
Non-conventional nuclear, chemical and biological weapons remain threats despite the practical difficulties in actually using them in an attack.
Significant emphasis was placed on ways in which terrorists can creatively manipulate the internet and other high tech gadgets and how terrorists will be using computers and sabotaging computers in future attempted attacks.

The report even emphasized that Hezbollah might strike on the US homeland. Hezbollah has never hit the United States at home, but their growing strength, their frustration and their need to bow down to Iranian sponsors may push Hezbollah in that direction.

That's some scary stuff.

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

Iran Supplying Sryia With Arms
By Micah Halpern

Thursday December 25, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

An Italian newspaper, quoting a CIA source, reported that Iran was outfitting Syria with advanced weapons in violation of international law and in violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions.

According to the report which was released several days ago, the CIA has uncovered the third party that permitted the transfer of these weapons. That third party is Venezuela.

The plan takes advantage of regular Venezuelan aircraft that fly into Iran.
The Iranians packed the aircraft with weapons. The planes took off and landed in Syria a few minutes later. The planes returned to Venezuela empty.

It was a very simple plan.
By all rights no one would even pay attention to Venezuelan planes.
But the CIA is skeptical of the relationship between Chavez and Ahmadinejad.
So the CIA started watching backdoor and other channels of interaction.
And that is how they must have stumbled upon the weapons transfer.

I wonder.
Why has a story involving the three worst enemies of the free world involved in unsavory, illegal, dangerous, threatening activity, not made news in the United States.

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

Hamas is Readying For Israel's Attack
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 24, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

You and I are not the only ones who know that Israel is preparing to strike Gaza in order to stop the rocket barrage that has showered Israel since the "lull" expired last week.
Hamas knows, too.

Hamas knows that Israel is preparing a land offensive and Hamas is preparing a defense.
When Israel enters Gaza Hamas wants to inflict as many casualties as possible.
Hamas has planted mines and explosives, obstacles that will maim and kill Israeli soldiers.
Israel knows that, too.

Israel knows that the home team has certain advantages.
Israel knows that tanks and vehicles are limited to a handful of routes.
Israel has no doubt that those will be booby trapped.
Israel also knows that Hamas has no compunction about hiding among the civilian masses who can provide them with the perfect cover.
Israel knows that Hamas will coordinate strikes behind the protective cover of children and elderly Palestinians.
Israel would be best advised to keep off the roads and use air attacks whenever possible.

Most importantly Hamas knows that the world will come out strongly against Israel and will condemn Israel for protecting her citizens by re-entering Gaza.

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

By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 23, 2008


His stage name is Massive. He is a rapper. And he is a singing sensation in certain parts of the Middle East. Courtesy of the Goethe Institut, a German based cultural agency, Massive just concluded a tour of the West Bank. His Palestinian audiences were enthralled.

I, on the contrary, am appalled.

This is a verse from one of Massive's most popular numbers: "I'm planning a terrible suicide attack. I'll storm you with a 100 year old beard and we'll blow you up like the Twin Towers." Other lyrics speak of terrorists as freedom fighters and glorify "their fight against the Israelis the Americans and the West."

Massive's parents call him Wassim Taha. He is the son of Lebanese parents who arrived in Germany by way of a United Nations refugee camp set up for Palestinians. Wassim Taha was born in Germany, but his heart and soul and music are pure Palestinian.

The Goethe people claim that they were duped. They say they had no idea of the message Massive spreads through his music. They say that they relied on the good judgment of their satellite office in Ramallah. Truth is, you do not have to go far to uncover the imagery invoked by the Palestinian rapper. Massive is not into subtlety. His songs, his posters, his album covers, all scream hatred.

Middle East diplomacy and culture are rife with complexities that Westerners cannot understand. What Middle Easterners interpret as nuance, Westerners call duplicity and lies. The basic rule of thumb for dealing with Arab Middle East entities is to verify, to check and to confirm through outside sources. Never believe what was promised. That truth holds for politics, for aid packages and for business. It holds for cultural exchanges even for concerts.

The Goethe Institut did not do their due diligence. When the agency discovered that their money was sponsoring an individual who fomented hatred and embraced suicide attacks they expressed embarrassment. German politicians and German newspapers raised serious questions about how this debacle happened.

Politics is not a part of the Goethe Institut. They are a state sponsored educational center that brings German culture and language to the world. Their mandate is to highlight the beauty of Germany. The budget comes directly from the German foreign ministry and the government press office.

The head of The Goethe Institute in Germany issued an important, albeit weak, statement. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann said: "Some of Massive's texts are not free of violence. In the future we should be more careful with whom we invite."

I say, in the future you should be more careful about whom you hire.

The local Ramallah Goethe people should be fired. They knew what they were doing and why they had to hide it. It was no accident that they invited Massive with his lyrics to tour the Palestinian Authority. They sold the home office a carefully crafted lie. And those in charge in Germany simply believed what they were told.

Saying I'm sorry is not enough. The damage has been done.

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

Lebanon Sends Ambassador to Syria
By Micah Halpern

Monday December 22, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

On Saturday the first Lebanese ambassador to Syria was named.
It was a historic event.

Lebanon and Syria are neighbors. The countries are not at war. Why did it take until now for Lebanon to finally appoint an ambassador to Syria?
Because since the 1940's when Lebanon and Syria become independent states Syria has thought of Lebanon as a Syrian province.

Things are slowly changing.
Pressure from the international community coupled with the need to hold Syria accountable for several deadly acts, including the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, have set the stage for a new level of interaction between these neighboring countries.

Lebanon and Syria are not yet like the United States and Canada, they may never be. But this is still an enormous step for the region.
Syria is finally recognizing Lebanon as an independent nation.

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

Israel Will Strike Gaza Soon
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 21, 2008

I'm Predicting:

Israel will take action against Gaza.

The two questions that need answering are:
against whom?
how significant will the strike be?

It's almost impossible to track of the number of rockets that have been launched into Israel from Gaza since the "lull" between Hamas and Israel expired last week.
Of course Hamas is responsible, but responsibility does not belong to Hamas alone.
The Al Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, has claimed responsibility for most of the rocket attacks.
The Al Quds Brigades is claiming that the rocket attacks are a result of Israel's "continued aggression" and "crimes of the occupation."

Israel will take action soon.

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

Russia Asks Hamas to Stop
By Micah Halpern

Saturday December 20, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Russia has gotten into the Middle East act.
The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday that Russia has called Hamas asking them to reconsider their position and to begin negotiations on a new "lull" with Israel.

Since the "lull" expired a few days ago tens if not hundreds of rockets have been shot into Israel from Gaza.
Jimmy Carter also urged Hamas to reconsider when he met with Hamas leadership in Damascus.

But Hamas does not want a cease fire now
Hamas wants to ratchet up the pressure and then start negotiations.
The problem with that behavior is that between now and then more Israelis will be terrorized and Israel will retaliate against Hamas.

Hamas does not care.
Hamas wants more leverage.
Hamas thinks that they will gain more when Egypt negotiation for them.
Hamas is wrong.

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

Shoe Guy Says "I'm Sorry"
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 19, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

The famous shoe thrower has asked for forgiveness.
But not from President Bush.
He asked forgiveness from Iraqi leader Nuri al Maliki.

In a letter of apology written by Munater al Zaidi, aka the famous shoe thrower, to Maliki, Zaidi asks forgiveness for embarrassing the Iraqi leader in front of the world. (It has been mistranslated as asking for a pardon.)

This kind of apology is a classic act in Islam.
When one embarrasses the host one must apologize. The host is more important than the hurt party. The offense took place under the sponsorship of the host even though he was unaware of the offense. The host was violated and blindsided. In Islam guests are afforded safe and respected passage under the authority of the host. A violation of this code is a grave infraction.

Does Zaidi have any intention of asking forgiveness from President Bush?
That's a rhetorical question.

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

Stop the Pirates
By Micah Halpern

Thursday December 18, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

On Wednesday an international force launched a raid to rescue a Chinese ship that was 50 nautical miles off the coast of Yemen.

The boat which had 30 crew members aboard was called the Zhenhau-4.

It was the 4th ship to be pirated in 24 hours.

The incident occurred only shortly after the Security Council voted to permit the chasing of pirates from the air and on land.

The time the mission, which made use of commandos and helicopters, was successful.

It is about time.

Renegade pirates are running roughshod over the seas.
They are stealing, kidnapping and reselling goods. They have harmed innocent people and have set records for hijacking the largest vessels. They do not care who the ship owners are. They have pirated ships from Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia. These pirates must be stopped.

The precedent has already been set.
Teddy Roosevelt fought the Barbary pirates in this same area by investing huge amounts of energy to clear the seas for shipping and trade.

Using the Roosevelt model pirates will first be stopped from perpetrating their deeds by means of extreme intimidation and then they will be prosecuted.

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

Russia Gives Planes to Lebanon
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 17, 2008

I'm Predicting:

Russian wire services and other news agencies are spreading the word that Russia has just agreed to provide Lebanon with 10 MIG 29's.

Russia calls this an Aid Package to Lebanon.
What are the Russians thinking?
Lebanon barely has an air force.

In the end there will be one of two scenarios:

Scenario # 1: Israel or Syria will view these aircraft as aggressive enemy air craft and the region will be drawn into conflict.

Scenario # 2: The aircraft will be called to scramble when Israel patrols either out over the Mediterranean Sea or over parts of Lebanon and they will be downed in a dogfight.

Once again, Russia has made it clear that the sale of arms and opening up new markets is more important than safety and stability.

Giving MIGs to Lebanon is a gargantuan mistake.

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

An Arabic Curse
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 16, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Did you hear the one about George Bush and the flying shoe?
I bet you did.
Did you hear the one about the award given to the shoe hurler?
Probably not.

A charitable organization in Libya has bestowed upon the shoe thrower an award for bravery.
No one can make up a story like that.
The Wa Attussiman society which is chaired by the daughter of Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi called the journalist a hero.

As he chucked the shoe the journalist shouted "this is a farewell kiss you dog."
In many ways it was the perfect Arabic curse.
It combines kiss, dog and shoes.
Kiss is part of every Arabic greeting and departure.
Dogs are subhuman and seen as scavengers with four legs.
Shoes traipse through the drek of the earth becoming encrusted with dirt that is impossible to remove.

A few weeks ago Libya came to an agreement with the US, it was a significant diplomatic step forward.
Honoring someone who cursed the US president is taking a giant step backwards.

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

Carter and Hamas
By Micah Halpern

Monday December 15, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday Former President Jimmy Carter met Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal.
This is their second meeting since April.
This time, Carter and Mashall wanted a quiet meeting and did not call for the almost requisite post-meet press conference.

Before the meeting Mashaal had said that there was no need for Hamas to continue the "lull" in the conflict with Israel.
Carter was pressuring to continue the "lull."
Immediately after the announcement of not renewing the "lull" a Hamas spokesman in Gaza said it was unclear as to whether the "lull" would continue.

The best Israeli insight says that Hamas wants to continue the "lull."
It says that this latest set of saber rattling is specifically intended get more out of negotiations with Israel. Hamas can only gain from quiet, it allows them to rebuild Gaza in relative calm and without fear of retaliation.
That is their objective.

No surpise, but when Mashaal speaks he is not telling the entire truth, he is simply posturing in order to obtain a better bargaining position.

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

Russia Invades Georgia Again
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 14, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

There was a report on Saturday that the Russians had crossed over the border and taken a town on the Georgian South Ossetian side.
It is a small town called Perevi.

According to reports from Georgia and from the wire services Russia ousted the Georgian police. Now the town is occupied by 400 - 500 Russian soldiers.
The village is actually in Georgia but is very close to the South Ossetian border.

The implications of this are enormous.
The Russians and the Georgians are still trading jabs about this summer's invasion.
The Russians want to teach Georgia a serious lesson.
The Russians want to warn the US and other Western countries to stay away from issues that relate to the former republics.

Make no mistake.
Russia is in charge.

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

Ahmadinejad Wants To Erase Israel
By Micah Halpern

Saturday December 13, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Over the past few days Iran has sponsored several large anti-Israel rallies.
At one of these rallies, Ahmadinejad spoke.

Ahmadinejad's message was on point.
Ahmadinejad spoke of erasing the Zionists from the world.

In the world of Ahmadinejad it is possible to explain away and rationalize the events that are taking place in Gaza.
In the world of Ahmadinejad there is a nuanced distinction between these comments, erasing the Zionists from the world and his other comments, wiping Israel off the face of the map, which he asserts will result as a natural course of history.

The Iranian leader said that Israel will soon "fade away from the earth."
He continued by saying that "[t]he crimes being committed by the Zionist regime [Israel] are happening because it is aware that it has reached the end of the line and will soon fade away from the earth."

Ahmadinejad argues that Israel sees its own end in history.
His observation is as fascinating as it is deeply flawed.

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

Iran is Proud to Support Terror
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 12, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

The President elect has started to make an impact on global politics.

The Iranians are responding to Obama's comments about applying pressure to insure that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and the need to have Iran stop sponsoring terror.
The enormously popular speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, responded this way: "We are proud to support Hezbollah and Hamas, and you are wrong for calling them terror organizations."

It appears that we have a significant difference of opinion on the objectives of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Iran supports Hamas and Hezbollah knowing that they murder innocent people.
Not just Israelis, Hamas and Hezbollah regularly terrorize, murder, intimidate and oppress their own communities in Gaza and in southern Lebanon.

How can Larijani be proud of that?
Intimidating Muslims is an Iranian foreign policy goal, that's how.

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

Obama to Address Muslims
By Micah Halpern

Thursday December 11, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

In interviews in the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, president elect Obama confirmed that he intends to follow though with his pledge to deliver a major address from a Muslim capital.
The objective, he says, is to "reboot America's image in the Muslim world."
It is a brilliant idea.

Barack Obama will use charisma and charm, two of his greatest assets, to explain the greatness of America.
Obama knows that those people who hate America will not be convinced even by him and those who already love America need no convincing.
The people he will be speaking to are the masses in the middle.

Obama will try to move the Muslim masses in the middle to move in two directions:
# 1: to fight terror
# 2: to embrace difference.
Obama will explain US policy against terror as he reaches out to touch the Muslim world.
Obama will lead by example.

This is a bold new idea.
I look forward to seeing how it is implemented and to measuring its impact.

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

Carter Again
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 10, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Jimmy Carter is at it again.

Yesterday he touched down in Beirut, Lebanon and announced that he would meet with Hezbollah and any other party interested in talking to him.
In April he met with Hamas leaders in Damascus including Khaled Mashaal the politburo chief.

Carter quoted Hezbollah leadership saying that they would not meet with any US president or any former president. Except for him.
It is as if the terrorists have more principles than the former president from Plains, GA.
US policy is very clear. Terror organizations are not to be elevated to a level of diplomatic exchange.

Carter is not just violating the tenets of US policy he is flirting with danger ... a danger far more serious than anything he is used to. Validating and publicly accepting Hezbollah legitimizes their murderous acts.

Forget for a moment Israeli/Hezbollah conflicts. The US has its own score to settle with Hezbollah. In 1983 it was Hezbollah that bombed the US Marine barrack in Beirut murdering 241 Americans and wounding many more.

Carter needs to be checked, he needs to be tethered, Carter needs to be muzzled.

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

By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 9, 2008


Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Polish born National Security Adviser under President Jimmy Carter who became an early adviser to the Obama campaign, is still dispensing foreign policy advise.

At eighty something years old Brzezinski, aka Ziggy, is probably too old to want to get his hands dirty with the nitty gritty of daily crisis management that a close national security advisor to the president of the United States must be involved in. I do not expect to see Ziggy playing a formal or significant role in the White House of Barack Obama. But I do expect that we will be hearing from him.

Right now, Brzezinski seems to feel more comfortable as an arm chair advisor than as a paid or appointed advisor. And right now he has decided to make the State of Israel the recipient of his hard earned experience and erudite advise.

In an interview with the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, Brzezinski leveled some harsh and disturbing criticism, in the guise of advise, upon Israel's military and political leadership. Brzezinski's remarks were made in the context of following up on comments made by the president-elect. Specifically, Obama saying that he would meet with Iranians without preconditions and his recent Meet the Press interview during which he described the carrot and stick incentives he intends to propose to Iran enabling them to put aside their nuclear aspirations.

Brzezinski had four main points to make:

# 1: He advised the Israeli government "not to engage in this campaign for an American attack on Iran, because I don't think America is going to attack Iran, and if it did, [and] the consequences would be disastrous."

# 2: He warned Israel saying "I don't know if Iran believes the military option is real, but I think it's not a real option for the U.S., and it is not a real option for Israel, because Israel doesn't have a capability to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities."

# 3: He predicted that "It can damage them, so it can only delay the process, while intensifying Iranian extremism and wielding together Iranian nationalism and Iranian fundamentalism, which I don't think is in anyone's interest.

# 4: He heckled. "Last, but not least, Israel really cannot execute effective strike without our permission. Because if you look at the map, you can see the reason why it is so."

Brzezinski is taking Israel to task. The former national security adviser under one of the most unfriendly former presidents of the United States towards Israel, is publicly asserting that Israel is behind the move to stop Iran's race to become a nuclear power. He is asserting that Israel is exerting serious force on the United States to intercede and prevent Iran from becoming an atomic nation and a nuclear leader in the Middle East.

While there is little doubt that Israel sees a nuclear Iran as a significant threat, there is also little doubt that the United States has arrived at the same conclusion totally on its own. And so has the United Nations. And that is where and why Brzezinski's analysis falters. Any student of the global political map knows with clarity and certainty that while Israel may hold some sway over United States policy, Israel holds nothing over the United Nations.

Even the conspiratorialists who actually believe that Israel has a lot to say and considerable pull in determining US policy could never convince any level headed person that Israel pulled the strings and exerted influence to convince the United Nations to exert their power and efforts to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear. The UN Security Council has been the most significant force attempting to persuade Iran from becoming nuclear. And seated on the UN Security Council have traditionally been some of Israel's most vocal and forceful opponents.

While Ziggy is no longer an Obama adviser, his ideas area shared by many of the people who are current Obama advisers. But not by all. There are others who think as I think. Who think that while Brzezinski was a brilliant advisor years ago, now he should remain in his arm chair and keep his thoughts to himself.

If the United States wants Iran to take their demands seriously, the United States must make level demands upon Iran. One of those demands must specifically call for Iran to behave within nuclear norms that are internationally acceptable. Another equally important demand must be for Iran to tone down the rhetoric and stop threatening to wipe Israel off the map. America must demand that Iranians proves that they are a country of builders and not destroyers before they are allowed to have such dangerous technology.

I believe that the new administration will pursue the right path when it comes to Iran, not the Brzezinski path. They will do so because when you analyze the situation today, now, not with hindsight but with foresight, they will discover that there is no other realistic option.

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

By Micah Halpern

Monday December 8, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Police in India have arrested two men for providing SIM cell phone cards to the terrorists who murdered 174 people in Mumbai last week.
The men were arrested in Delhi and then transferred to Calcutta.

This was a huge step forward in the case.
But then ... The anti terror unit called and told the Calcutta investigators that one of the men was theirs.
Not theirs to interrogate.
One of the arrested men was their operative.

The man had been undercover for some time and the anti terror unit actually admitted that he was indeed providing SIM cards to the terrorists in order to track them and listen to them.
There is no reason to believe that this is not true.
The Times of London picked up the story also.

What were the anti terror people waiting for and what were they listening to?
If they had real time intel and info, that meant that they stood by while people were going to be massacred.

That would be scandalous - even for India.

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

Islam's Festival: Eid al Adha
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 7, 2008

I've BeenThinking:

Tonight begins the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha.
Eid al Adha us one of two holiday feasts celebrated by Islam.
In Islam, like in Judaism, the day begins in the evening, at sundown.

Eid al Adha is best translated as the Festival of the Sacrifice.
It commemorates the story from the Koran when Ibrahim (Abraham) was commanded to take his son Ishamel (not Isaac as described in the Genesis 22) and offer him as a sacrifice. It was a test of Ibrahim's faith. In the end a ram appears and Ibrahim sacrifices the animal in place of his son.

Eid al Adha takes place at the end of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.
It falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja.
This is the Islamic year 1429.

Eid al Adha is a three-day-long holiday. Families gather together and slaughter an animal. Traditionally, the family eats 1/3 and gives the rest to the poor.

Eid al Adha symbolizes the dedication of Ibrahim.
Ibrahim's total submission to Allah's will is celebrated as an example for all Muslims to follow.

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A Week Later
By Micah Halpern

Saturday Dec 6, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

One week after the terrorist attack in Mumbai a maintenance person at the train station was sifting through a mound of abandoned luggage and found two 8.8lb bombs.
The bombs were left at the train station by the two terrorists who attacked there and then left to terrorize the patients and staff at Cama Hospital.

No one thought to investigate the area.
No one thought to scour the area.
No one thought to sweep the area.
No one thought about bombs and booby traps.
No one thought about finding ways to help identify the dead.
No one thought to look for leads.

This isn't a bad Bollywood movie, this is real life in India.
This is sad.
This is scary.

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

Russia Offers to Help India
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 5, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Russia has just offered to help India battle against terror.
Real help, by providing intelligence updates.

This type of help from Russia could prove invaluable for India.
Russia gathers an enormous amount of intel in Pakistan from sources scattered throughout the various regions.
India has a hard task ahead.
Confronting the extremist Islamic element that is bent on wreaking havoc on the country and that demands the total capitulation of India will not be easy.

Having the information is important, but it is the next stage that is critical.
What does India do with the information?

The United States warned India of an impending attack on Mumbai by sea.
They warned that the attackers would target tourists and high profile Western hangouts including hotels.
But India instituted no changes, not in security and not in vigilance.

Certainly, we must all pitch in to confront murderous terrorists.
But that is just one step in the process.
Following up and follow through is extremely critical in preventing future attacks.
In the end, each country is on its own.

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

When a Handshake Isn't a Handshake
By Micah Halpern

Thursday December 4, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

In Western societies a hand shake is the sign of acknowledgement.
In the Middle East a handshake is the sign of - nothing.

In Western societies a hand shake is as binding as a signed agreement.
In the Middle East a handshake is nothing more than a mere moment of personal exchange.

Last month, at a United Nations interfaith conference held in New York, Shimon Peres and Grand Sheik Mohammed Sayed Tantawi shook hands.
Shimon Peres is the president of Israel, he is a Nobel Prize laureate and an internationally recognized peace broker.
Grand Sheik Mohammed Sayed Tantawi is an Egyptian, he is one of Islam's most respected and revered leaders, he is dead set against the existence of Israel.

Now the Sheik is claiming that he did not know who Peres was.
He is claiming that he shook every hand that was extended to him.
He rejects the handshake and any meaning it may have.

Because of the handshake, some Arab papers are calling for the Sheik to step down from all religious leadership positions.
The kicker is that Egypt and Israel have a peace treaty.

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

Holtzberg was Pregnant
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 3, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

I was almost getting over the rawness of the horrific attack in Mumbai when the latest news emerged.
Rivka Holtzberg, the slain wife of the Chabad rabbi, was five months pregnant.

The message of this attack is still not out there.
It is a full week after the attack and I am still hearing from people are who say that the attack on the Jewish center must have been a mistake.
How can I expect people to think otherwise when their sources are The New York Times and the BBC?
But they are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The Chabad Jewish Center in Mumbai which is now being renamed in memory of the Holtzberg's was a specific and premeditated target for the terrorists.
The terrorists could never have found it otherwise.
The terrorists confessed this was a part of their plan.
The terrorists wanted to murder Jews and Israelis.
Even the innocence of an unborn child is seen as fair game in the minds of Islamic terrorists.

Islam believes in free will.
This child has not sinned according to Islam.
So how can the child be a target?
There is no religious justification for these murderous, terrorist, acts.

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

By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 2, 2008


We have come face to face with the terror of the future and it is ugly, heinous, barbaric, very well planned and executed with verve and precision.

The enormity of the terror attacks perpetrated by relatively unknown but flawlessly trained terrorists upon the city of Mumbai has left the world shaken and speechless. The legacy of the perpetrators of this terror speaks volumes.

Shariyah, Muslim tradition, clearly commands that all Muslims receive a proper Muslim burial regardless of whether they lived as "drunkard, rapist or criminal." The obligation to bury the nine men who shattered the social, cultural and economic bubble of India fell to the Jama Masjid Trust, the group responsible for the Muslim cemetery in Mumbai. They declined. The Jama Masjid Trust refused to bury the dead Muslim terrorists.

It is an act unprecedented in the modern world. Muslims refusing to bury Muslims. The highly respected and accepted Muslim leaders of the Trust would not accept these men in their cemetery. Why? "[T]he people who committed this heinous crime cannot be called Muslims" they said, "Islam does not permit this sort of barbaric crime."

The elders of the Jama Masjid Trust understand what happened in Mumbai during those three days of terror. They understand what the terrorists were doing and why they did it. They understand the implications of their own decision. Just as the terrorists were sending a message, they are sending a message.

The message sent out by the terrorists was not at first understood by the world. The people covering the attack and the people deciding how the story line should unfold had no clear idea of the mission of the terrorists. Maybe because the messengers transmitting the message - the media - were too busy with thanksgiving stories to pay attention to what was really happening in the city known as the Silicon Capitol of India. They were too busy focusing in on the American and British passport holder angle of the story to understand that "American" and "British" were just shorthand for "Western."

They were too busy recounting the story of the one person who said he was Italian and was told by the terrorist that he could go to focus on the story of the little boy who miraculously escaped in the arms of his baby sitter, the little boy whose parents were mercilessly massacred.

The story behind the terrorist attack on Mumbai is the story of terrorist targets. No location was arbitrarily chosen. No terrorist entered a site by chance. The locations and the people inside those locations were carefully chosen.

The terrorists chose to attack Western hotels, Western hang outs and the Central Train Station populated by Western nationals. They entered those locations in order to cripple India economically. They entered in order to make India pay for the crime of fraternizing with Westerners, for the crime of falling under the influence of Western mores and norms. They were there in order to show the West and the world that ultimately India was weak and incapable of caring for their Western investments, their Western concerns, their Western guests.

The terrorists chose to attack a Jewish Israeli center because Jews and Israelis do not belong in India. Locating the Jewish site was no accident. It required a great deal of research and knowledge. The terrorists were asserting the very nature of India by attacking the Chabad center. India is a Muslim country, Muslims host neither Jews nor Israelis.

These Muslim terrorists were in India to teach the Indians a lesson. Their lesson should not be lost on us. A large part of the world despises, truly despises, the West. The principled Muslims of the Jama Masjid Trust are few and far between. The majority of Muslims will not turn into terrorists. But others will. And they will be well armed, well trained and well organized. We have been warned. We have seen the future of terror.

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

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