Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blackwater denied licence to operate in Iraq

Denied licence to operate

The U.S. Private Military Firm (PMF) Blackwater Worldwide was denied a licence for operating in Iraq forthwith. The Iraqi Ministry of Home Affairs oversees the licencing of PMFs in Iraq.

Blackwater history in Iraq

Blackwater has operated in Iraq since the U.S. invasion of 2003. It was charged with protecting officials of the U.S. State Department which was initially responsible for overseeing the Civil administration of Iraq and later the transfer of authority to the Iraqi government. Former Governor of Iraq Bremer amended Iraqi law in such a way that employees of PMF could not be held accountable for their actions in order to ensure that U.S. State Department personel would receive maximum protection by the PMF bodyguards.

Securing the U.S. Governor of Iraq

Blackwater was the number one PMF contracted by the Americans for bodyguarding in Iraq. They were responsible for guarding the governor of Iraq with a security detail of three small helicopters and 24 bodyguards.

Popular discontent with presence of PMFs in Iraq

In 2007 Blackwater became the center of controversy when they massacred 17 civilians in Nisour square in central Bagdad. Since then the Iraqi public has been very hostile towards the presence of the firm in their country.

A cooldown in Iraq - U.S. relations

The fact that the Iraqi government is trying to get rid of the group that is guarding U.S. Diplomats may indicate that they are trying to distance themselves from the U.S. which coincides with new U.S. President Obama´s intention to decrease U.S. in Iraq while increasing efforts in Afghanistan.

More on support for Geert Wilders in The Netherlands

Xeriscapist wrote:

"Actually I'm surprised at the low number of 51%. What is your opinion of this poll which asks "should Wilders be prosecuted?" "

The Geenstijl poll that you mention is not representative for the Dutch population but for the readers of Geenstijl. Right-wingers and Freedom-lovers are overrepresented amongst readers of Geenstijl.

As you can read in the rest of the Geenstijl article they are casting doubt on the accuracy of internet polls. They also mention the TNS NIPO poll which polls a more Leftwing oriented group. They show 51 percent approval for prosecuting Geert Wilders for inciting hatred against Islam.

Geenstijl further seems to imply that the people who are polled by peilpunt, the poll that I used as the basis of my article, are more of the Left than of the Right.

My conclusions:

-all the polls are problematic.
-both NPS NIPO and peilpunt poll amongst a group that is more Leftist oriented than the general population

-so the support for Geert Wilders is actually even bigger than the my peilpunt-poll indicates. Support for Wilders is HIGHER amongst the general voting population than 50 percent.

And finally: Even amongst the Leftist TNS NIPO poll there is only 51 percent approval for the prosecution of Geert Wilders. That is a narrow majority.

I think that Geert Wilders stands a lot to win and the Government and the Court stands a lot to lose in the coming legal battle.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Westermosque organisation tied up by verdict

The Milli Görüs mosque in Amsterdam known as the Westermosque has received a setback in its legal struggles against Building Corporation "Stadgenoot" (Formerly "Het Oosten"). A court judged that it will not be allowed to buy out Building Corporation "Stadgenoot" as intended, but that it will have to co-operate with the Building Corporation if it wishes to continue with its ambitious mosque building project.

Milli Görüs, a Islamist Turkish movement, wants to build a showpiece mosque in Amsterdam-West. In addition to a large mosque the complex will contain a shopping mall and residential housing. The Mosque is supposed to be build by Milli Görüs (Dutch), while the Building Corporation "Stadgenoot" is supposed to develop the mall and the residential housing. The participation of Building Corporation "Stadgenoot" is supposed to be a moderating influence on Milli Görüs. Milli Görüs wanted to dissolve the co-operation with Building Corporation "Stadgenoot", but this was forestalled by the Dutch Court, today.

Earlier posts on Snouck concerning the Westermosque are:

Westermosque: leader arrested
Westermosque: organisation's funds confisquated
Westermosque: the saga continues
Westermosque: Pride comes for the fall

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Freedom Party: another one bites the dust?

Well, is supposed to bite the dust. The Left wants to take out another prominent Freedom Party leader.

The Reds are really on a roll.

This time it is Hero Brinkman. Hero Brinkman is a Freedom Party (PVV) MP with a high public profile. He is a former Amsterdam cop with a lot of scores to settle against our leftist local government concerning the way Amsterdam is run.

But lately he has mostly been making waves with regards to crime and cooruption from the Dutch Antilles. The Dutch Antilles are a corruption-ridden bunch of Islands in the Carribbean which sends a lot of their society's lowest, least employable and most criminal stratum to The Netherlands. The Islands also receive large grants of subsidies annually, which dissappear without much effect on the social-economic situation of the Islands.

Hero Brinkman is a part of a parliamentary commission which oversees the spending of the money grants on the Antilles. He has - recently again - loudly and publicly pointed out the corruption on the Islands and their habit of dumping their underclass on The Netherlands.

René Damen, a member of the Dutch Greens, has now issued a similar complaint against Hero Brinkman (Dutch) as the one that has lead to Geert Wilders being prosecuted for hate crimes.

It seems that the Left is much encouraged by recent developments. On the other hand internet forums show rage building up with thousands of hostile comments against Muslims and the Left. Muslim leaders, such as Yusuf Altuntas of Milli Görüs, are publicly worrying about a backlash.

The more starry-eyed believers in a harmonious multi-cultural society are proven wrong, the more they will try to surpress nativist stirring.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Geert Wilders at Kleinverzet

There is a long and informative post on the matter with the prosecution against the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party Geert Wilders at Kleinverzet.

Geert Wilders has broad support amongst Dutch population

On Thursday 22 January opinion poller Maurice de Hondt of published a poll that shows that 51 percent of those polled were of the opinion that: "the Court made an unacceptable breach of the position of a MP representing more than half a million Dutch voters".

The link is HERE in Dutch. The relevant item is called "Vervolging Wilders"

Similar levels of support for Wilders' position are registered on other questions.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Future of the Dutch Freedom Party

The Freedom Party (PVV) issued a statement replying to the news that Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders will be prosecuted for making Islam-critical statements.

The full statement in English is HERE.

It concludes: “We depend on small donations. The Freedom Party is the only party in Parliament that does not accept any government funding. This court decision jeopardizes the very existence of the Freedom Party. We simply cannot afford the enormous legal expenses.”

This is not good.

Dutch Court of Appeal orders prosecution of Geert Wilders

In a surprising move the Amsterdam Court of appeal today ordered the prosecution of Dutch Parlementarian and MP Geert Wilders. The Public Prosecution (OM) had earlier decided against prosecution of Wilders for making Islam-critical comments on the grounds that the comments were made as a part of the "social debate" and as such are not prosecutable.

Today the Amsterdam Court of Appeal published a judgement agreeing to an appeal by Leftist and Muslim appelants who want to see Geert Wilders prosecuted and punished for opposing Islam.

Mr. Geert Wilders (Dutch) reacted shocked to the judgement and vowed to fight it to the High Court.

A member of the Liberal-Conservative VVD reacted negatively to the Court's decision while MP Ton Heerts (Dutch), a Labour (PvdA) politician and Abdelmajid Khairoun (Dutch) of the National Muslim Council (NMO) reacted cheerfully.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Dutch Army permits soldiers to take oath on Allah

Minister of the Interior Guusje ter Horst said in Dutch Parliament that: police officers are not allowed to give oaths in the name of Allah. Until March last year, two police forces did offer the possibility of giving an Islamic oath, but Ms Ter Horst says the practice was against the rules and has been stopped.

There were two ways in which the oath could be taken in The Netherlands. One is "in the name of God" and the other is "I proclaim". Civil servants working for the national government are also obliged to take the oath this way.

However the Dutch Army and two municipalities do allow the oath to be taken "in the name of Allah".

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Gaza: willpower and a simple rocket

No Peace in Israel

Since Israel was founded in 1948, 60 years ago it has been constantly at war. There have been furious wars, such as in 1973 or 1982. There have been truces. There have been lulls in the fighting. But there has not been peace. Not ever.

There has been war with the neighbouring countries such as Egypt and their armies. But the last neighbouring state, Syria, gave up in the eighties.

There has been war with the Palestinians, their guerilla armies and terror organisations such as Fatah and Hamas.

The IDF has 176,000 men and women as a permanent force. Hamas has 16,000.

Israeli Offensive

Right now the fighting has flared up again. The latest round takes place in the narrow Gaza strip in the South of Israel. It is on the Mediterranean. The Israelis are applying fire power with abandon. Ground forces have attacked and invaded the tiny Gaza strip.

The Israeli government is responding to Hamas ending the cease fire that existed. Hamas is the Palestinian entity that runs the strip. It is militarily stronger than Fatah which used to run the strip. And it has more legitimacy in the eyes of the Gazans due to its more uncompromising stance against Israel. Hamas does not recognize the state of Israel, has vowed never to recognize it and is more ready than Fatah to use violence against Israel.

Hamas used to use suicide bombers against Israelis before. Israel stopped this by building a wall around Gaza. It closed off all traffic in and out.

Hamas' war objective

Hamas has vowed to regain control of the borders. Will it succeed?

The simplest rocket, the Qassam

It has fired more than 10,000 garage built Qassam rockets against Israel. The rockets are extremely simple and require only the simplest tools to be built. In military terms the rockets are laughable but Hamas has managed to elicit a massive and very visible response from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

The goal of the IDF offensive is to "control the Qassam rocket launch sites". But the Qassem require hardly any infrastructure to be manufactured or fire. Watch this Hamas propaganda movie. It give a good idea of how simple the rockets are.

Because the Qassams are so simple and can be launched from almost everywhere the IDF can only succeed when they permanently destroy the entire Gaza strip. The IDF is going to do considerable damage. But it is not going to destroy all of Gaza.

After some time the IDF ground troops will be withdrawn. The bombing will stop, when Gaza and therefore the IDF run out of targets. Hamas will still be there. With Qassams. They will observe a truce. No peace. A truce.

The conclusion: Hamas will come out on top

Mrs. Caroline Glick says what will happen next. There will be negotiations. With a mediator. The EU. "The Europeans, the Egyptians and the Turks have all adopted Hamas's demand for control of its land and sea borders as a starting point. None have included any demands for Hamas to disarm, end its weapons trafficking or commit itself to a permanent ceasefire with Israel."

Israel has demanded a monitoring force on the Gaza border. It will get a monitoring force from the EU, similar to the EU monitoring force "securing" the Lebanese - Israeli border.

Diluting political and security responsibility

The EU will tie Israel's hands in any future confrontation with Hamas.

Which is probably exactly what the current Israeli government wants. They do not want to deal with Hamas. They want to share the responsibility for Israel's security with a partner. In order to dilute their responsibility.

This Israeli offensive is just a demonstration for the Israeli public, in order to get it to accept this deal. The Israelis will accept it. They are good liberals after all, like the rest of the West.

Roll over and surrender boys. But first the fire works.

The Prussian military theorist Carl von Clauswitz wrote that: total military power is the number of men, plus weapons multiplied by will power. Hamas has only a tenth of the manpower of the IDF and extremely simple and cheap weapons. But it achieves its goals by its superior will power.

Dutch MP calls for violence against Israel

Dutch MP Harry van Bommel called for an Intifadah against Israel during a demonstration on 3 januari in Amsterdam. Shouting "Intifadah, intifadah, Palestine Free" he marched with Anti-Israel activist Gretta Duisenburg.

Behind him protesters are calling for "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to be gassed". This rhymes in Dutch and is therefore considered cute by some.

MP Van Bommel is a member of the Socialist Party (SP). The SP is a growing party popular amongst marginalized and more recently also media elite Dutch. MP Van Bommel is second or third most influential within the SP. He has very good contacts with the Dutch media, especially newspapers. MP Van Bommel is well known for his anti-western point of view regarding Middle Eastern politics.

He lives in the Amsterdam neighbourhood where Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot by a Dutch Muslim, for making a Muslim critical film.