• Fox News has reported that five people who are self-described anarchists were arrested in Cleveland for allegedly trying to blow up a bride and were considering a series of other plots of destruction. Editor’s Note: Anarchists: are not a terrorist in the traditional sense! And they are generally defined as one which holds that the state is not only undesirable but harmful…seeking a stateless society. Yes they do violence but not all violent groups or individuals are terrorists.
• CAIRO (AP) — Clashes erupted on Wednesday between unknown and unidentified assailants and mostly Islamist protesters who had gathered outside the Defense Ministry in the Egyptian capital, leaving eleven people dead and nearly 50 wounded. Editor’s Note: And the Arab Revolution continues!
• North Korea has once more been blamed by South Korean officials for jamming signals affecting GPS navigation affecting air transportation in the area. No danger to aircraft was reported but both nations are still technically at war and continue their harassment of each other.
• A resident of New York City, Bosnian-born United States citizen, was found guilty at the conclusion of jury trial in a federal court. The authorities called this matter “one of the biggest terrorism threats” since 9/11. Adis Medunjanin, the defendant, had received military training from al-Qaeda and had planned an attach with co-conspirators on one of the world’s busiest subway systems. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that the trial provided a rare look into the inner workings of al-Qaeda’s recruitment methods.
• Mali: Violence remains the norm in this west African nation when soldiers who had staged a coup in Mali, alleged they had beat back a counter-coup loyal to their ousted president. The attack by paratroopers attempted to kill the coup leader who had promised to restore civilian rule in this war torn nation. A nation in turmoil Mali has been prime feeding ground that allowed Tuareg rebels and Islamist militant to have previously seized the northern half of that country.
• Israel—A military tribunal in Israel has concluded its investigation that 21 members of a Palestinian family who died during the Gaza war in 2009 did not support allegations that their death supported grounds for criminal indictments or disciplinary action when the house they had been sheltered by the Israeli Defense Forcers was thereafter shelled by friendly fire.
• Yemen at war: Reuters reports that Yemen, a small crude old producer, suffering a year of political upheaval has emboldened militants to have seized swathes of territory in that nation. The militants have repeatedly blown up gas pipelines feeding the country’s largest industrial complex. The continue violence in that nation poses a potential risk to global trade because of its strategic location linking Asia, Europe and the Americas.
• Syria –The clashes continue across the country. The claim of troops killed continues to climb, and the Human Rights Watch cited war crimes committed by Bashar al-Assad before the negotiated truce. The report states that arbitrary detentions, summary executions of not merely adults but children occurred. Editor’s Note: In the meantime and unbelievably so, the United Nations peacekeeping mission is seeking additional recruits. What is the West waiting for?
• Foreign Policy-Mideast Daily—reporting of an article from the Washington Post—Disturbing news: “In granting a waiver on national security grounds, administration officials argued that continuing the funding (to Egypt) was more likely to encourage cooperation with the United States and progress on human rights than a cutoff would. As it turns out, the administration was wrong. In a number of tangible ways, U.S.-Egyptian relations and the military’s treatment of civil society have deteriorated since the waiver was issued.*** Conditions for U.S.-backed pro-democracy groups elsewhere in the Middle East have deteriorated as other governments have observed Egypt’s ability to crack down with impunity.”
• From The Mail on Line—we learn that four British alleged terrorist were to employ those little toy cars your child plays with, load them up with explosives then send them under the gates at a Territorial Army base in Luton then blow them up. It appears there is a new flourishing of attacks in the UK.
COMMENTARY: – Bin Laden Dead. Are We Any Safer?
As the anniversary of bin Laden’s death gets circulated, commentated upon and analyzed in all media forms, the question asked in the most somber terms is: With his death, are we safer? And the answer, in even more somber terms, is: Yes. Unfortunately, the answer is far from complete and true.
Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda empire is but a shadow of its former self. That much is true. Its present leaders have neither the charisma nor the leadership nor influence of its former leader. His was a cult of immense power and magnitude. He was a person to be feared, not merely because of his tremendous ability to instill a dedication to “the message”, but even more important devotion to the man.
Those of his papers that were seized in his compound, upon his capture, and made public or reviewed and discussed by recognized analysts reveal that he himself understood that his message had lost its import for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the number of Muslims who had been killed by their own people. His message, though, remained on target, and that is to rid the world of non-Muslim ideas, ideals, religions and “ways of life”. There is, he preached, only one “approach” in all avenues of one’s life. His message was really quite simple but to make it a reality is another question and this was his goal. The purpose of the 9/11 could not be any clearer or more forceful. What is most important in answering the question, ”are we any safer with his demise”, is that although his individual pulpit may have all but vanished, his message is far from being forgotten or abandoned by others.
As a nation and individually, we tend to oversimplify, and it would be a tremendous mistake if we were to construct a disconnect between bin Laden now dead and the Spring, or more accurately, the Arab Revolutions and how they are evolving as we stand far afield and watch from the sidelines. In another piece, I have written about the “free” world’s reaction, applause and celebration, as a democratic uprising took hold in the streets of the Arab world. First in the streets of Tunis, then spreading to Egypt and now in war torn Syria. Those of us addicted to CNN watched throughout the days and nights with fascination, as the streets of the Arab capitals were filled with people from all facets of life, culture and religion. The television conversations were how and when the newly freed people would chose their new forms of government, representatives and constitution. The camera took us into the midst of the people in the squares of these countries. We heard, not merely from those who sought to lead but also, and so much more important we thought, from the individual in the street. The marvel of instant communication brought us “Democracy and Freedom at Work” right before our eyes. Then something happened. Something went wrong.
In reality nothing “went wrong”. What went “wrong” was our lack of understanding of a different culture and history. What went wrong was our substituting our wishes for people with a very different history and culture, who would create their own wish list of ideals. Living in New York City, as I do, with people from every corner of the world with communities reeking with different spices, languages and religions we tend, although not losing their individual identification, to meld the various cultures into one overarching way of life. We are inclined to have a double set of DNA; one for our home and the other for beyond our neighborhood. The same is not true in the Arab world.
Standing afar from the city squares that saw the rise of the Arab Revolutions and the cheering that took place among its people, it became confusing to us that a nation, such as Egypt, who after decades of surviving under a dictatorship that was not benevolent to its people and ruled with an unforgiving hand would not turn to an open and free democracy to fashion their daily lives. Freedom means– I have the right to choose. Democracy means –we all vote and pick. Freedom and Democracy means we are all equals and we are all treated fairly. For that, you need a double set of DNA; it appears that does not exist in Cairo.
The Muslim Brotherhood stands for much beyond its standard definition. Its allies both in Egypt and beyond do not preach democracy or any form of its incarnations. The idea of freedom of choice is not one of their guiding policies. Not for themselves as a people, nor their neighbors, nor the nations far beyond their horizons. It stands for the eradication, annihilation, suppression of all that is not within their embrace. In Egypt, the direction of the new nation(new in that it was free of a brutal management) began when the elections began for its Assembly, when a commission was to be elected to draft its constitution and when there were those who sought the office of president spoke out in the public square. The leading candidate for the country’s highest office has declared that if elected, he will lead the nation toward the destruction of Israel and the fall of the West and the imposition of Islam upon all.
Bin Laden is dead. In lower Manhattan we have constructed a building that is now higher than the Empire State Building and is still growing on a site that is best known for 9/11. But are we any safer today now that he is dead? The answer is clearly—no. The message remains the same, the messenger is different.