Thursday, December 29, 2005

Germany Frees Killer!!!!

Germany Frees Terrorist: Vielen Danken, Angela!
Dr. Joseph Hitti - 12/26/2005
That the German government has decided to release the Hezbollah terrorist Mohammad Ali Hamadi, one of two hijackers of TWA flight 847 who beat, shot to death, and dumped the body of unarmed, off-duty U.S. Navy serviceman Robert Dean Stethem in the summer of 1985 in Beirut, comes as no surprise. We have grown accustomed to European governments kissing the hands of criminals and appeasing them to no end, supposedly to confront violence with love, barbarity with civility, but really to appease, to trade one criminal for a hostage, and thus always cower in the face of terrorism.

What is unacceptable is for the new German government of Chancellor Angela Merkel to secretly take this action without in the least informing the US government, which has sought to extradite Hamadi to the US to stand trial for the murder of serviceman Stethem. The German government also trashed its own justice system by releasing Hamadi after he served only 17 years of a life sentence without possibility of parole. This smacks of the lowliest form of international diplomacy and is a deplorable retreat in the fight against terrorism.

We need only remember that Hezbollah was for the most of the past two decades an Iranian terrorist organization operating mainly from South Lebanon, but with tentacles in Africa where it raised money in the diamond trade, in Latin America where it carried out such terrorist acts as the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, and elsewhere. Now we learn that the quid pro quo of releasing the German hostage in Baghdad at the same time as Hamadi was let go in Germany is evidence that Hezbollah also has tentacles in the insurgency movement in Iraq. Not to mention the 1980s spate of bombings in Beirut against the US Embassy (twice), the French Embassy, the US Marines barracks, the French paratroopers compound, and the notorious kidnappings, murders, and occasional barterings – thanks to the good offices of the Syrian occupation – of Western hostages who were held in sub-humane conditions for years and years. Yes, we also hear and read that Hezbollah is eager to turn that “page” of its history and wants to become a respected political party with representatives in the Lebanese Parliament and ministers in the Lebanese government. But we thought that there are no statutes of limitations for crimes of this magnitude. Where is the conscience of the German people and the German government? Has the German nation sunk so low as to allow a murderer to go free only as in spite to George Bush’s policies? Is this where German diplomacy has ended? In fear of threats against Detlev Mehlis, the German investigator whose reports blamed Syria – whose only remaining ally in Lebanon today is Hezbollah – for the Hariri assassination?

We thought that, now that Lebanon is free of the Israeli and Syrian occupations, peace will return to this tormented country. Yet, of all Syria’s former allies in Lebanon – Jumblatt, Hariri himself, and all the other profiteers and high-flying pirates during the Syrian occupation – only Hezbollah and its sister organization Amal (who incidentally “negotiated” in 1985 the end of the TWA flight hijack) remain steadfast in their defense of Syria. In fact, the current Lebanese government is fractured today because the Hezbollah ministers refused last week to endorse the continuation of the UN investigations into the string of car bombings that have racked Lebanon and killed a number of prominent politicians and journalists. Hezbollah remains the only organization in Lebanon to reject progress towards a peaceful resolution of Lebanon’s border disputes between its two former occupiers, Israel and Syria. Those disputes center mainly on the Shebaa Farms, an outpost of a barren hill at the junction of the borders between the three countries. Belonging to Lebanon originally, the Shebaa Farms were annexed by Syria in the 1950s, back when Syria did not even recognize Lebanon’s right to exist as a sovereign and independent nation. Lebanon let it go, because it had no back to fight the Syrians over a barren hill. Then Israel conquered the Golan Heights, and with them the Shebaa Farms. Neither Syria nor Lebanon made any move to contest the status quo from 1956 to 1967 when the Farms turned from Syrian to Israeli hands, then again from 1967 to 2000 when Israel withdrew behind the 1949 Armistice Line – the official border between Lebanon and Israel. But suddenly, in 2000, having now lost the justification of its own occupation of Lebanon, Syria “remembered” that it pilfered the Shebaa Farms from Lebanon and decided to return them, thus implying that the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon was not complete.

So the endless limbo in which Lebanon finds itself today is still the making of a recalcitrant, disgruntled, foreign-paid Hezbollah who has no cards left to play: Terrorism has become too dangerous today; kidnapping foreign hostages isn’t cool either; even shelling northern Israeli villages does not pay any more. As a result, the importance, respectability and notoriety that Hezbollah garnered over decades of mayhem, lies, terror, of setting up a fiefdom within the Lebanese state and denying the Lebanese government access to the south of the country, of kidnapping ordinary Lebanese citizens and handing them to Syrian Intelligence where they continue to rot in jail to this day…all the exploits and feats on Hezbollah’s resume have become uncovered, and the emperor today has no clothes. There is nothing left for Lebanon to do to recover and begin the long road of rehabilitation and rebuilding but somehow get rid of the cancer and the nightmare that is Hezbollah. With its autonomous islands of training camps and military zones to which the Lebanese government has no access, Hezbollah continues to provide cover for Syrian operatives to proceed apace with their bombings of anti-Syrian politicians and journalists. Hezbollah has become the Trojan horse for the Syrian occupation of Lebanon to continue under a different guise.

Except that the “New European” German government of Angela Merkel has decided to give Hezbollah a fig leaf, to provide it with a lifeline for its waning respectability and a shot in the arm…Why? Out of fear. Out of the pragmatism of dealing and negotiating with terrorists that has shown time and again that it is a failed policy. Out of spite of George Bush. In protest over the American occupation of Iraq. All the reasons that once can conjure up at moments of anger such as this one cannot justify the abysmal moral delinquency of releasing the terrorist Hamadi and dispatching him straight to Beirut where Hezbollah will claim victory, where it will be vindicated yet again that terror pays and that Western nations are paper dolls. Remember that Arafat played the same cards and won. He bombed Western interests and burned Lebanon to the ground during the 1970s and 1980s, and was rewarded with Madrid and Oslo in the 1990s, and a Nobel Prize to boot! I imagine Abu-Musab Al-Zarqawi discussing this latest example of German diplomacy with his henchmen as a vindication of their strategy. Some people never learn. Vielen Danken, Angela!

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Christmas Story

Journal Entries from the Battlefield

BY Brian G. Lukas

Editor’s note: The name Beirut became a one-word symbol for the war torn Middle East of the late 1970s. Civil war had erupted in Lebanon in 1975, the result of clashes between Christian and Muslim groups, including members of the Druse religious sect and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and had escalated over several years. In 1982, Israeli troops invaded Lebanon; the two countries had already fought south of Beirut. As well, Syria had occupied the country since 1976. In 1983, the United Nations dispatched a multinational peace-keeping force, including U.S. Marines, to Beirut. The Marines left Beirut within a year because of terrorist attacks; on Oct. 23,1983, a truck loaded with explosives crashed into the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit Headquarters compound, killing 241 Marines.

“The Marines in Beirut seem to have gotten lost in the history books . . . they had a difficult mission,” says TV photographer Brian Lukas. He, along with news anchorwoman Angela Hill and editorialist Phil Johnson, all of WWL-TV/Channel 4, traveled to Beirut in late 1983 to cover Louisiana Marines stationed there at Christmastime. Lukas kept journal entries of his tense times there, excerpted here.

Christmas 1983 was just a few weeks away. I would travel to Beirut with Angela Hill and Phil Johnson to film and edit stories on local Marines from the New Orleans area. It was a time before portable satellite uplinks and the Internet, so we carried videotaped messages from the Marines’ families back in the United States. Our ambitious itinerary also included production of a documentary about this war-torn area. But as fighting between the various factions escalated, that idea was abandoned. Armed militias set up roadblocks in various sections of Beirut. The Islamic Jihad decided to add another element to its arsenal of terror and brutality: kidnapping Westerners.

•If there is hell on earth, it is here in Beirut. At the same time that I arrived in Beirut, the French Embassy was hit by a car bomb, with 20 people killed. Later that night, a French military base was blasted by a bomb-laden truck. Ten French soldiers were killed, and 23 were hurt. The explosion lit up the whole area. Terror – it is sheer terror. I can see it on the faces of the residents who walk cautiously on the streets. Here in Beirut, teenagers carry assault rifles, mainly M-16s. On the streets, women cradle their children tightly in their arms, begging any Westerners for help. The city smells like death. There is a stench of rotting corpses and smoldering trash strewn about from buildings destroyed by the fighting in the streets. To realize the inhumanity of war, you have to look deep in the faces of the civilian population. Then, if you dare, look deep into their eyes. There you will find the horror of war absorbed deep within the soul. I look into many eyes here in Beirut.

•In the eyes of the young Marines, I can see the uneasy and uncomfortable situation they are in. The U.S. Marines’ position at the Beirut International Airport keeps them under daily sniper and artillery attack. I remember when I was in Washington, D.C., for a White House press function when many of these same Marines from the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit invaded Grenada, a tiny island in the Caribbean. Now I am here in hell with them. The Marines, politically, are not invaders but are so-called “welcome guests,” strategically placed in Lebanon on a peace-keeping mission with the French and Italians as part of a multinational force. Our Marine contact is Capt. Dennis Brooks, the Marine public-information officer on the base, always “spring-loaded to say yes.” He remarked that the various militias near the Marine positions use their tanks like small arms fire: They quickly maneuver the tanks in firing position, release a shell and maneuver back quickly, then repeat the operation. Maximum destruction, I thought to myself. Total destruction was evident when we passed the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps – hundreds, perhaps thousands of Palestinians were killed here: men, women, and children. Our driver remarked, solemnly, that they were executed. The refugee camps are leveled, nothing remains, and where the victims of this civil war sought relief from the terror of war, only the bare reddish-brown earth remains visible from the nearby dusty road. Their graves are not even marked. It is as if they were never born.

•At night there is no time to dream; the evenings are fitful with the sounds of rifle fire. My bed is level with the window. Crazy, I thought, there are snipers on the roofs – one shot through the window and that’s it. I tried to sleep on the floor, but there is no sleep at night. The sounds of sniper fire and the thud of muffled mortar and artillery rounds are trying to find any “peace-keeper’s” position near the Avenue de Paris, the long, winding road facing the Mediterranean Sea.

•At one time Beirut played the Paris of the Middle East; now it plays a sorrowful tune of despair. My hotel in Beirut is owned by the Nassai family, Palestinian owners of the Commodore Hotel. The Commodore Hotel is on the Muslim side of Beirut. On the Christian side, the owner of the Alexandre failed to pay protection money to the thugs and every conceivable terrorist seeking consideration for the hotel’s existence. As a result, somebody exploded a huge car bomb in its parking lot, destroying the hotel. I couldn’t help but notice the line of cars ringing the Commodore Hotel here in Muslim West Beirut. Sometimes the cars were two or three deep. I quickly learned that these vehicles were buffers to prevent any car-bomb attacks on the Commodore. The ring of vehicles and payoffs couldn’t stop the instruments of distant destruction. My hotel room in the Commodore is on the fourth floor, room 405. I could not enter the room without noticing the shift in the door and several large cracks running down the length of the wall. A little later that day, I learned that room 405, my room, had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade just two weeks earlier.

•There is no sanctuary in this city. It’s a sad place and a sad time. Beirut is a city defined by fear, a city bisected by the green line – Christians in the East, Muslims in the West. This is a noisy, depressing, dangerous and disconcerting place to work. I tried not to sleep last night. It’s been several nights since I’ve had any sleep. The last thing I wanted was to be asleep when a car bomb went off and then to be buried under the rubble of concrete and steel from the top five floors. I often fall asleep at the dinner table. Veteran journalists from Europe and the U.S. networks in the hotel remark that this is one of the scariest wars they’ve covered. There is no “commuting” to this war; death and destruction are all around us.

Blackened pockmarks of war are carved into the façade of every building. The city is gravely wounded. And now a new threat is employed by the terrorists: They are kidnapping journalists and teachers at the American University in Beirut. A note was posted on the front bulletin board as we left the hotel. It was a warning from the Islamic Jihad. In very simple words, the note said that all Westerners must leave Beirut or “we will make the ground under your feet move.” It was a direct threat to destroy the hotel where the Western press reported the war. This is the same group that claimed responsibility for bombing the U.S. Marine base here in Beirut, and the U.S. embassies in Beirut and Kuwait.

•The war is escalating now. (A few months later, the Commodore Hotel would be completely destroyed by shelling and car bombs.) The American Embassy was heavily damaged by another car-bomb attack. Forty people were injured, and eight were killed in the suicide attack. The front of the embassy building, facing the seashore, is covered in what appears to be a seven-story green shroud. It hides the embassy’s exposed interior from probing eyes or people that pass through the zigzagged row of 55-gallon metal drums filled with dirt. The metal drums are defenses against another suicide attack. Marines are positioned throughout the building. Another contingent of Marines is stationed just across the street from the embassy. An American flag blew quietly in the wind next to a Marine guard watching the pedestrian movement in front of the embassy. The image of the American flag and the Marine standing with the sun setting on the Mediterranean Sea gave the drab gray seashore kind of a splendid appearance. In a melancholy way I felt a strong connection with home. The obvious presence of the American flag waving in the warm breeze made me feel very thankful that I live in and would return to the United States shortly. And if there is ever an image of the Marines in Beirut that will be forever stamped on my mind, it is that one single Marine and the American flag rippling in the wind next to him.

•On the corniche, in front of the American Embassy, the Marines are routinely targeted by snipers. It becomes very nerve-racking that at any time death may come by a sniper. As I filmed the area I noticed a small bunker with several Marines standing guard. One of them was Cpl. Brad Pellegrin from Slidell. It is the Christmas season, and he is making the best of a very bad situation by lining his bunker with makeshift ornaments. I forgot that we were nearing Christmas.

We were carrying messages from Cpl. Pellegrin’s family to give to him. It was a videotaped message to him from his wife, mother and child. As we showed the message to him I noticed an interesting effect on the other Marines . . . they gathered closer together to hear the family’s greeting to Brad. Closer the Marines came when Brad’s son said, “Daddy, I love you and miss you.” We played the videotape again and again. That’s when I realized that Brad’s family was now family to all the Marines that gathered to watch his videotape in front of the destroyed American Embassy. His family was their family; his son was their son or daughter. The Marines had a Christmas family now . . . and it was amazing to witness a little bit of loneliness disappear as they looked on. Christmas is family . . . even in Beirut.

•The makeshift Christmas ornaments lining the bunkers in front of the destroyed U.S. embassy were a welcome relief. It was a simple reminder of the hope that peace existed. Off in the distance, on the Mediterranean Sea, the sunset cast a shadow on the battleship New Jersey. The broad, flickering light from her was the firepower from her massive guns unleashed on the Druse militias, who rocketed the Marine base at the International Airport on Beirut’s southern edge. We would find out that a Marine was severely wounded; later he died.

•Overnight, hooded Shiite Muslims and their Druse allies drove Lebanese army units from most of their checkpoints on the Muslim West Beirut commercial thoroughfares and residential neighborhoods. I woke up to a very loud mechanical clanking just outside my hotel. The sounds of Lebanese military tanks rolling pass the hotel window quickly eliminated the little rest I hoped to get.

•Reports indicate at least 90 people killed last night and more than 300 wounded in the fighting; in just two days more than 160 people were killed, mostly civilians caught in the cross-fire. It’s a sickness – hatred is a cancer destroying everything here.

•At the Marine base this morning I could see the visible impact of the shelling by the U.S. 6th Fleet on the mountain range surrounding the base. Huge billows of smoke rose as the shells hit their targets. Cpls. Herbert McKnight and Greg Nelson, both from the New Orleans area, said the Marine base was shelled by rockets overnight. Herbert was stationed in a sandbag bunker on the rooftop of the base. This bunker, accessible only by a ladder, is the highest point on the Marine base. It also appears to be a very vulnerable position, an obvious target for a sniper. Cpl. Nelson, from Slidell, manned a .50-caliber machine gun overlooking the Kalda mountain range near the rear of the base. Cpl. Brian Campbell, only 19 years old and from Lafayette, was quickly unloading supplies from a helicopter. The copters didn’t stay long . . . they couldn’t – mortars usually found their targets. Brian, Greg and Herbert, these young Marines, were reminders that wars are fought by the very young, often placed in horrific circumstances and forced to grow up quickly. Several times I asked them to move their helmet up so I could see their eyes while filming. “Son, can you move your helmet up just a little?” I said. I would later say, “Marine, would you push your helmet back just a little?” Eighteen, 19 years old . . . here in hell, when others of their age are probably wrapping Christmas presents and acting goofy back home.

But on the Marine base at the Beirut International Airport, the one focal point no one can pass without some reflection of what happened months earlier is the huge crater. That crater once housed the Marines in a four story building. Every time I moved past it, I thought of the young men like Greg, Brian and Herbert, and then I said a small prayer for the families of the 241 Marines that died here.

•The Marine base alarm is sounding. The Druse militias are firing mortars now. In a few seconds, we must make the decision to stay on the Marine base during the shelling and miss our satellite deadline or leave and walk into the chaos and madness of the streets. We decide to leave. A condition-1 alert has been initiated . . . there are incoming mortar rounds in the distance, and the front gate will be locked shortly. The Marine base is the target.

We had to leave quickly. But as I left the Marine base I noticed a small memorial in front of the former Marine barracks. Despite the imminent danger, I couldn’t help but stop, notice and film the small bouquet of light blue flowers ringed around a Marine-issued camouflage hat. Above the flowers was a small, white sign facing east, toward the city of Beirut. The small sign simply described the Marines’ mission in Beirut: To the “24th MAU, they came in peace.”

It’s a dangerous world out there. •
December 2001 - Vol. 36 - Issue 3 - Page 36 - #363

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Gold Star Mom, Beirut Veterans of America Mom

A group born of the grief of war weathers a tempest
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff

The American Gold Star Mothers is a wreath-laying, hospital-visiting group of mostly elderly women who have lost a son or daughter at war. At meetings, its members rise to pledge allegiance to the flag, pray for peace and freedom, and ask God to help them bear "the cross of sorrow."

Through a history that dates to the years after World War I, the group has been scrupulously apolitical.

So when Judith C. Young of Moorestown began her term this year as the group's national president, she didn't expect the 20,000 hateful e-mails or the nasty phone messages.

She didn't think her organization would become a piñata for veterans groups, politicians and editorial writers. And she never imagined fretting over whether a group of gold star moms in their 70s and 80s would be heckled during a candlelight ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

"We've never had this much controversy," Young said last week as she sat in an arm chair in her Burlington County home and looked back at the first half of her term. "I'm the first president who's ever had to deal with it. Aren't I lucky?"

Two controversies erupted around her this year.

The first was of the group's own doing. A Filipino woman from New York was deemed ineligible for membership after her son was killed in Iraq because she did not meet the group's American citizenship requirement.

Newspapers and veterans groups denounced the Gold Star Mothers. The criticism was so heated, moms who attended a ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial were escorted by a veterans group to shield them from potential hecklers.

The second was a simple matter of mistaken identity.

Cindy Sheehan is the California woman who camped outside President Bush's Texas ranch this summer in an unsuccessful effort to force him to discuss the war that took her son's life.

Sheehan's anti-war group is called "Gold Star Families for Peace" -- close enough to "American Gold Star Mothers" to confuse just about everyone.

Opponents of the war began calling Gold Star Mothers' Washington headquarters asking for Sheehan, Young said. The supporters called to angrily denounce the mothers on the mistaken belief they had become anti-war activists.

"I know we have some members who are against the war and who support Cindy Sheehan," Young said. "But we're a nonprofit, completely nonpolitical group. It didn't matter. We had all these people calling our office to tell us we were slime balls and dirt bags. It was crazy."

The Gold Star has been a symbol of loss since World War I. That's when families first hung service banners in their windows with blue stars for each member serving in the armed forces. If a family member was killed in action, the blue star was covered with a gold one.

In 1928, after much planning, 25 women who lost sons in World War I formed a group to support each other and organize volunteer work at veterans hospitals. They took the name American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

Young paid the terrible price for admission in 1983, when her son, Jeff, 22, was one of 241 Americans killed in an attack on a Marine barracks in Beirut. She keeps her son's picture on the wall of her dining room and a piece of stone from the barracks under a glass coffee table in her living room. She honors his memory by pouring her time and talents into the American Gold Star Mothers.

She became president of the group in June and will remain president until next July's national convention in Mount Laurel.

The controversies that swamped the Gold Star Mothers at the beginning of Young's term have cooled.

Young supported a successful effort at the convention in June to change the charter so a woman whose son or daughter dies fighting for the U.S. armed forces need not be a citizen to join the Gold Star Mothers. Two noncitizens, but not the Filipino mother, have joined so far.

The angry phone calls and e- mails have stopped, Young said.

"When it got to be a big stink, I thought, 'Well, fixing this is easy as apple pie -- let's just change the bylaws,'" said Georgianna Carter- Krell of Miami, a member of the board of directors and mother of a soldier killed in Vietnam. "We had our pride hurt and some hard feelings about the change, but I think we came out of it OK."

The other problem was not as easily solved. Sheehan certainly has a right to call herself a gold star mother, Carter-Krell said, so long as she doesn't use the name of the American Gold Star Mothers.

Young said the group has done what it can to distance itself from Sheehan. They have issued press releases and posted a statement on their Web site disavowing any association with Gold Star Families for Peace.

Young hopes she now can focus on the problems she expected to confront as president -- dwindling membership chief among them.

The American Gold Star Mothers had as many as 22,000 members in the years after World War II and the Korean War. Young and her husband, Jack, have a photograph of a Gold Star Mothers gathering at a Camden County banquet hall during that era.

There were dozens of more mothers at that local gathering than at national conventions now, she said.

Membership today stands at about 1,000.

The group includes younger mothers who suffered their losses in Beirut, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia and Bosnia. But the relative peace after Vietnam caused membership to decline.

Most members are mothers of men and women who died in Vietnam. They are in their late 70s or older. Young, 65, is the first president whose son or daughter was killed after Vietnam.

The group has seen modest increases in membership recently as mothers of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq join.

Recruiting new members is touchy.

Young said she checks the Department of Defense Web site every day for news about casualties from New Jersey. When she finds one, she sends the parents a condolence card. She makes no effort to recruit the mother, but she does tuck a business card inside the envelope. That way, the mother will know how to contact her if she's interested.

"It's not a sad thing when we get together, not like a bereavement group," said Joan Curtin, of Howell, who received a card from Young after her son, Michael, became the first New Jerseyan to die in the war in Iraq, in March 2003. "I just like to go to be part of the kinship of women who know what I've gone through."

Curtin is among a few mothers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to join in New Jersey so far. Young thinks that will change with time.

"I've seen people handle the death of a child in different ways," she said. "Some want to plunge right in, but others are so consumed by grief they're not ready to go out and visit the local veterans hospital. We just want them to know that this group is here when they are ready."

Tom Feeney may be reached at (732) 761-8436 or

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Beirut, 14 Dec. (AKI) - Nineteen-year-old Samer Qays, on Wednesday refused to join the thousands who on turned out to pay their last respects to murdered anti-Syrian politician Gibran Tueni. While Beirut's Christian districts came to a standstill for the funeral procession, life in the city's eastern, mostly Hezbollah dominated areas, like Qays's neighbourhood Haret Hreik, went on as usual. "Joining the procession today means believing the lies fabricated by the Israelis and the Americans," said Qays.

"Our martyrs are not those who work for the Americans," he said, pointing to the photographs of Hezbollah fighters killed in clashes with the Israeli army

"Syria has nothing to do with the attack against that journalist (Tueni), it is Israel that killed him."

Sharing this view is Abu Abbas, 67, a Shiite Muslim jeweller, whose shop is situated in the main street of Ghbeiri, a district near to Haret Hreik.

"Israel is behind all this, there is no doubt on that," says Abu Abbas, adding that it is the "Israelis who want to control Lebanon," and not the Syrians.

But another Ghbeir resident, Wassim al-Utr, 35, disagrees. "I think it was the Syrians [who killed Tueni]. Syria will not leave the country (Lebanon) without leaving it in flames".

Falafel vendor, Yusuf Kradiye, 31, a Sunni Muslim admits he does not know for certain who was behind the bomb attack that killed Tueni on Monday. "There are many who could profit from the attack. Maybe the Syrians, but also others. After all something seems wrong. It would be stupid for Syria to kill like this and leave its signature all over the place."

Some people chose to give more practical and less political reasons for not turning out with those laying Tueni to rest.

"How can I close my shop when we have been in an economic crisis for months? I work 14 hours a day and it's still not enough," said Yusuf Kradiyye.

Tueni was killed together with his driver and bystander when a bomb exploded in a Christian suburb of Beirut on Monday, the third political murder since former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated in February.

The 48-year-old Tueni, was known for his scathing criticism of Syria's meddling in Lebanese politics, which he frequently denounced from the editorial pages of his an-Nahar newspaper, Lebanon's leading daily. Tueni recently moved to Paris after revealing that he had received death threats and believed he was on a hit-list. He was back in Beirut this week for what was meant to be a short visit.

Many Lebanese politicians have blamed Syria for Tueni's murder, but Damascus has denied any involvement.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

On being Remembered

It's good to be remembered, it seems to be happening a lot lately......

President Bush Speaks at National Defense University on the War on Terror:

We meet at a time of great consequence for the security of our nation, a time when the defense of freedom requires the advance of freedom, a time with echoes in our history.

Twice in six decades, a sudden attack on the United States launched our country into a global conflict, and began a period of serious reflection on America's place in the world. The bombing of Pearl Harbor taught America that unopposed tyranny, even on far-away continents, could draw our country into a struggle for our own survival. And our reflection on that lesson led us to help build peaceful democracies in the ruins of tyranny, to unite free nations in the NATO Alliance, and to establish a firm commitment to peace in the Pacific that continues to this day.

The attacks of September the 11th, 2001 also revealed the outlines of a new world. In one way, that assault was the culmination of decades of escalating violence -- from the killing of U.S. Marines in Beirut, to the bombing at the World Trade Center, to the attacks on American embassies in Africa, to the attacks on the USS Cole. In another way, September the 11th provided a warning of future dangers -- of terror networks aided by outlaw regimes, and ideologies that incite the murder of the innocent, and biological and chemical and nuclear weapons that multiply destructive power.

Like an earlier generation, America is answering new dangers with firm resolve. No matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult the task, we will fight the enemy, and lift the shadow of fear, and lead free nations to victory.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Iran's Defence Minister has ties to the deaths of our Brothers!

Iran Focus

London, Aug. 14 - The nomination of a veteran commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as the new defence minister has been greeted with calls for an investigation into his possible ties to the suicide bombing of the U.S. Marines compound in Beirut airport in October 1983, which killed 241 Americans.

Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, a senior commander in the Revolutionary Guards, was in command of the IRGC expeditionary force in Lebanon when on October 23, 1983, at 6:22 a.m., a suicide bomber drove a large water delivery truck to the Beirut International Airport where the Marine Barracks was located. The bomber and his accomplices had hijacked the original truck on its way to the airport and sent another one, loaded with explosives, in its place.

After turning onto an access road leading to the compound, the driver rushed through a barbed-wire fence, passed between two sentry posts, crashed through the gate, and slammed into the lobby of the barracks. The huge explosion crumbled the four-story building, crushing the soldiers to death while they were sleeping.

All the windows at the airport control tower, half a mile away, shattered. A crater eight feet deep was carved into the earth, and 15 feet of rubble was all that remained of the four-story Marine barracks.

The attack killed 241 U.S. service members. The Americans quickly withdrew their forces from Lebanon and the suicide operation became a turning point in the increasing use of terrorism by radical Islamic fundamentalists across the world.

Two years ago, a U.S. federal court order identified the suicide bomber as Ismail Ascari, an Iranian national.

In July 1987, Iran’s then-Minister of Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rafiqdoost, said, “Both the TNT and the ideology which in one blast sent to hell 400 officers, NCOs, and soldiers at the Marines headquarters were provided by Iran”.

Rafiqdoost’s comments were published in the Tehran daily Ressalat on July 20, 1987.

Iran’s hard-line newspapers continue to feature stories that commemorate the Beirut bombing and the country’s Headquarters for Commemoration of Martyrs of Global Islamic Movement held a memorial ceremony in Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery last December to “honour the man who carried out the largest martyrdom-seeking operation against Global Arrogance [the United States and its allies]…and was able to kill more than 300 occupiers of Lebanon with his courageous operation in 1983”.

A U.S. Defense Department report on the Beirut attack said the force of the explosion “ripped the building from its foundation. The building then imploded upon itself”.

The U.S. court order described the blast as "the largest non-nuclear explosion that had ever been detonated on the face of the Earth”. It was equal in force to between 15,000 and 21,000 pounds of TNT.

Now some terrorism experts want a thorough investigation by the U.S. or an international body to determine the role of Iran’s new defence minister in the attack.

“Those who are knowledgeable about the October 1983 terrorist attack in Beirut know that the Iranian regime was behind it”, said David Neil, a Middle East affairs analyst based in London. “Iran’s new defence minister was in command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards force in Lebanon at the time. This is acknowledged in his official biography that was carried by Iran’s government-owned news agencies today”.

Others agree.

“We must conduct a thorough investigation and bring the perpetrators and masterminds of that terrorist act to justice”, said Simon Bailey of the Gulf Intelligence Monitor. “For two decades, the Beirut bombing has been a landmark for terrorist impunity. Now is the time to change it”.

Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar joined the IRGC soon after it was formed in 1979, only days after the victory of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s Islamic revolution that overthrew the Shah of Iran. Almost immediately, Mohammad-Najjar took part in the bloody campaign to suppress the Kurdish uprising in western Iran in 1979.

After his return to Tehran, Mohammad-Najjar worked as a staff officer in the Central Command Headquarters of the IRGC. His performance in the opening stages of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980 won him quick promotion in IRGC, then a newly-formed army that relied more on ideological loyalty than military skills.

By 1982, the IRGC had turned the tide in the war against Iraq. After a succession of impressive battlefield victories, the Revolutionary Guards were now on the offensive. The new situation led the IRGC High Command to expand its operations in pursuit of export of Islamic revolution beyond Iraq. With Ayatollah Khomeini’s blessing, the Revolutionary Guards set up a Middle East Directorate and Mohammad-Najjar, who was a fluent Arabic speaker, became its commander.

The Middle East Directorate’s area of operation included Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and the Persian Gulf states. The IRGC sent a 1,500-man expeditionary force to Syria and the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon in 1982 and played a key role in the formation of the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Mohammad-Najjar remained in command of IRGC’s Middle East operations until 1985. During those years, the IRGC expanded its presence and influence in Lebanon, both directly and through its proxies, and established active ties with radical Palestinian and Arab groups in the region.

Mohammad-Najjar’s forces were also actively expanding their clandestine presence in Iran’s southern neighbours, including Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Mohammad-Najjar became head of the IRGC’s Military Industries Organisation in 1985 and later developed the 320-mm “super mortars” that were intended for use by the Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force for terrorist operations in Europe and the Middle East.

The choice of Mohammad-Najjar as Defence Minister by fellow Revolutionary Guards commander Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not surprising. President Ahmadinejad is closely allied with the top brass of the IRGC, who played a crucial role in ensuring his victory in the recent presidential elections.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Camp Lejeune is Famiiar with Mourning and Winning Battles

Camp Lejeune in North Carolina is familiar with mourning. This memorial honors the 241 Marines and sailors killed in Beirut in 1983.

N.C. base steadfast in face of casualties
Despite deadly ambush, respect remains for 'the Marine mission'
By Gary D. Robertson
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.04.2005

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — The grim news that a roadside bomb killed 10 Marines in Iraq arrived at Camp Lejeune just days after President Bush outlined his strategy for victory, a speech delivered in the face of increasing calls to bring the troops home.
But even after learning about Thursday's ambush — the deadliest against U.S. troops in four months — this city's embrace of its Marines, their base and their job remains resolute.
"Even when people differ in opinions, you're still respectful to the Marine mission," said Pat McLane, a retired master gunnery sergeant from Jacksonville. "We're still going to take care of our Marines."

The 10 Marines assigned to the Lejeune-based 2nd Marine Division were on foot patrol outside Fallujah, a former insurgent stronghold, when a bomb fashioned from four large artillery shells exploded.

They attached to the unit once in Iraq; all those who died — with hometowns from Tomah, Wis., to Surprise, Ariz. — were from the 1st Marine Division, based at Twentynine Palms, Calif.
"The loss of any Marine life is always tragic. ... it makes for a somewhat somber mood," said 1st Lt. Christy Kercheval, a spokeswoman for the Twentynine Palms base. "But at the same time, just as the president said in his recent speech, the best way to honor the loss is to carry out the mission that they defended."
That the 10 Marines never spent time at Camp Lejeune, a sprawling base of 25,000 service members and the Corps' largest on the Atlantic coast, didn't matter in Jacksonville. They were Marines.

"We are one community and one family here," said Reid Flinchum, 65, who has lived in and around Jacksonville for more than 40 years.
It's a place familiar with mourning so many, so quickly. On March 23, 2003, during the earliest days of the ground war, nine Marines from Camp Lejeune died during an ambush as their company crossed a bridge at Nassiriyah.

And most of the 241 Marines and sailors who died in the Oct. 22, 1983, barracks attacks in Beirut, Lebanon, were based at Lejeune and the adjoining Marine Corps Air Station New River.
Bush came to Camp Lejeune within two weeks of the Nassiriyah attacks, cheered on by 20,000 Marines, their families and locals.

When Bush spoke Friday from the White House Rose Garden about the economy, he didn't mention the Marines' deaths, though White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the president had been briefed twice about the incident. Typically, Bush does not comment on specific losses in Iraq.

Support for the president and his Iraq policy remains high here.
"We all have our opinions, but the best capacity of a Marine is a mission accomplished," said Sgt. Paul Mancuso, 22, who returned two weeks ago from nine months in Iraq as a combat videographer.

The Associated Press

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Thank You Mr. Denzel Washington!!!

I received this email the other day, I hope some other Hollywood Entertainers follow Mr. Washington's lead. He is a Great Actor and most of all, a Great American!

Don't know whether you heard about this

but Denzel Washington and his family visited

the troops at Brook Army Medical Center, in

San Antonio,Texas (BAMC) the other day. This

is where soldiers who have been evacuated from

Germany come to be hospitalized in the United

States, especially burn victims. There are some

buildings there called Fisher Houses. The Fisher

House is a Hotel where soldiers' families can stay,

for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying

in the Hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses

on base, but as you can imagine, they are almost filled

most of the time.

While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave

him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how

much one of them would cost to build. He took his check

book out and wrote a check for the full amount right there

on the spot. The soldiers overseas were amazed to hear

this story and want to get the word out to the American

public, because it warmed their hearts to hear it.

Friday, December 02, 2005




The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed its alarm that the decision by a leading mainline Protestant Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, to permit ongoing contacts with Hezbollah will further embolden international terrorism.

“Americans should be deeply troubled by PCUSA’s decision to permit ongoing contacts with Hezbollah, a terrorist organization in word and deed,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “It was disturbing enough that PCUSA officials met recently with Hezbollah’s Commander in Southern Lebanon. But to learn that future meetings would be sanctioned, even after Hezbollah launched unprovoked bloody attacks designed to kidnap Israelis, will only further embolden the forces of terrorism in the Holy Land, in Lebanon and around the world.”

Officials of the Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human Rights NGO had launched a protest after the Middle East Research Institute, published Lebanese media reports that a PCUSA delegation headed by Robert Morley, a retired professor from McCormick Theological Seminary and Father Nihad Tomeh, the Church’s Mideast liaison met with Sheikh Nabil Qaouk, Hezbollah’s commander in Southern Lebanon. The Church delegation reportedly wanted to learn more about Hezbollah’s charitable works and its "concern" for people.

"The people of Lebanon struggle mightily to reassert their independent democracy, Israel evacuates Gaza and continues negotiations with the Palestinian Authority towards a two-state solution, hundreds of thousands of Jordanians throng to the streets to denounce suicide bombers in Amman, but leaders of the PCUSA rush again to coddle up to Syria and Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists," charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. "Their moral blindness is both arrogant and dangerous, seeking this meeting with Hezbollah even as the group plotted kidnapping and mayhem to blow up the quiet Lebanese-Israel border," Cooper continued.

At the meeting, Qaouk complained to the Presbyterian officials that U.S. policy towards Lebanon was dictated by Israel. Worley assured him that his delegation was blameless, because they had voted for Democratic Party. Worley also voiced his own complaint about how much PCUSA had suffered from Jewish organizations because its stand supporting divestment from companies doing business in the Jewish state.

"The latest photo op with a frontline terrorist leader confirms these Presbyterian leaders are pursuing a functionally antisemitic, punitive campaign against Israel, motivated not by hopes for peace but as a desire to weaken the Jewish state," said Rabbi Cooper.

"The Jewish community can only hope that fair-minded members of PCUSA will take back control of the moral compass of their movement before any further damage is done to the cause of Middle East peace, interfaith relations and the Presbyterian Church’s historic reputation," Cooper concluded.

PCUSA was the first mainline Protestant movement to call for divesting funds from Israel. A year ago, a PCUSA delegation also visited with Sheikh Qaouk in Lebanon. This led to the dismissal of two members of that delegation as well as condemnation by U.S. Congressional leaders, among others.

Now comes word from PCUSA’s interfaith coordinator Rev. Jay Rock that there would be new guidelines for its members. He explained, however, that “there will not be policies for or against meeting with any group, but we do have policies against the use of terrorism in any form.”

“But in fact, PCUSA’s dance with Hezbollah, a group funded and backed by the Iranian and Syrian regimes, only validates and rewards terrorists. In effect PCUSA is saying that it is fine to bring terrorists into civil discourse, so long as you don’t help them strap on the explosives belt,” Cooper concluded.

Hezbollah is designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization. In addition, the distinction between the group’s political and terrorist wings was removed by General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands following an investigation into the groups social services apparatus.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, or visit

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Once again into the Breach!

Once again the Eighth Marines take up their deployment to the Middle East, We say God Bless each and every one of them on their deployment. Semper Fi Marines!!!

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC(Nov. 30, 2005) -- For the fourth time since the seismic events of 9/11, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit is preparing to deploy abroad in support of the War on Terror.

In a ceremony Wednesday at Camp Lejeune’s W.P.T. Hill Field, the unit grew from its standing headquarters of some 100 Marines and sailors to a highly potent air-ground task force of 2,200, as the MEU took charge of its three major subordinate elements.

The re-activation formally launched an intensive six-month pre-deployment training cycle designed to prepare the MEU – arguably the nation’s premier crisis-response force – for a host of possible missions ranging from humanitarian assistance to full-scale combat.

Joining the MEU command element for roughly the next year were its designated air, ground and logistics components: Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, and MEU Service Support Group 24.

The MEU will conduct much of its training in and around Camp Lejeune, but the schedule also includes exercises at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia and in Norfolk, Va., where the MEU will hone its skills at operating in an urban environment. Additionally, the MEU will execute several sea drills aboard the amphibious assault ships Iwo Jima, Nashville and Whidbey Island, the naval vessels that will transport the MEU during its deployment.

While the MEU has been home since it completed a seven-month deployment to Iraq in February, it has not been idle. In early September, while busy assembling the pre-deployment training program, the MEU headquarters, BLT 1/8 and MSSG-24 were ordered to the U.S. Gulf Coast to aid recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The Marines spent nearly a month in the stricken region before returning to North Carolina to resume preparations for its scheduled deployment next spring.

The MEU heads into its latest round of workups with considerable combat experience. The MEU headquarters and MSSG-24 spent their last tour in Iraq south of Baghdad, taming the highly volatile “Triangle of Death,” while 1/8 played a leading role in the recapture of Fallujah in November. At the same time, HMM-365 logged its own seven-month stint in western Iraq.

Still, Col. Ronald Johnson, the MEU commander and himself a veteran of five tours in the Middle East, implored his Marines to guard against complacency and to make the most of every training opportunity.

“Time is our enemy,” he told them, repeating what has become a mantra. “No two deployments are the same. The battlefield is constantly evolving, and our adversaries are constantly thinking and adjusting. As we get ready to re-enter the arena, we must never forget how high the stakes are for our Marines, our families and our country.”

While the 24th MEU’s rich lineage traces back to the 1960s, it wasn’t until October 1983 that the unit, during a watershed deployment to Beirut, Lebanon, entered America’s consciousness.

In what remains the deadliest terrorist strike against Americans overseas, an explosives-laden truck barreled into the barracks housing the headquarters of BLT 1/8, the ground combat element of what was then called the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit. The attack killed 241 U.S. troops, including 220 Marines.

Throughout the 1990s, the 24th MEU distinguished itself in a number of high-profile but relatively low-intensity operations. These included Provide Comfort, the 1991 mission of mercy in support of Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq and Turkey; Restore Hope in Somalia in 1993; Support Democracy in Haiti in 1994; and Allied Force, NATO’s air campaign against Kosovo in 1999.

Its most heralded triumph came in June 1995 with the daring rescue of Air Force Capt. Scott O’Grady, an F-16 pilot shot down over wartorn Bosnia who eluded capture for six days before Marines landed behind enemy lines to pluck him to safety.

The 24th MEU was in Kosovo on Sept. 11, 2001, wrapping up a six-month deployment dominated by training exercises with allied forces. Before it returned home, the MEU briefly supported Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Johnson, then serving as the operations officer for Task Force Tarawa and slated to take command of the 24th MEU later that year, tapped the MEU to help secure key terrain during the drive to Baghdad.

In June 2004, halfway through its last training cycle, the MEU was ordered to straight to Iraq as the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority prepared to hand political control of the country over to the interim Iraqi government.

While it’s too soon to know where the MEU will be sent next year, all eyes are clearly on Iraq.

“We have unfinished business over there, and we expect that’s where we’ll be needed most,” said Johnson. “But we’ll be ready for anything.”

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Teacher of the Homicide Bomber

Hezbollah learnt suicide bomb tactics from Iran - commander Sat. 26 Nov 2005

Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 26 – Lebanon’s Hezbollah group learnt suicide operation tactics from Iran, a senior officer of the Revolutionary Guards boasted.

Mohammad-Ali Samadi, the spokesman for a government-orchestrated campaign to recruit suicide bombers said that Iran first developed the tactic during its eight-year war with Iraq, which left over a million people dead.

Samadi’s organisation, the Headquarters to Commemorate the Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement, is run by the IRGC in an effort to recruit potential suicide bombers. At a recent rally in the city of Shahroud, north-eastern Iran, it claimed to have signed up 1,000 volunteers for suicide attacks against the West and Israel.

The former regime of Saddam Hussein, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia disseminated negative propaganda against suicide operations to keep them apart from Palestinian culture, Samadi said.

“Lebanese Hezbollah used its ties with Iran to adopt the Iranian model and utilised it successfully with light guns and light-weight short-range rockets”, the senior IRGC officer said.

In October, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and threatened the leaders of Muslim countries that developed ties with the Jewish state.

Earlier this month, Samadi told a state-run news agency that 50,000 people had enlisted for martyrdom-seeking operations throughout the country and were willing to attack targets on the orders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The group’s organisers previously said that their targets were three-fold; U.S.-led forces in Iraq, Jews in Israel, and Salman Rushdie, who still has a fatwa against him issue by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Former Commandant General PX Kelley Speaks out


Don't Give Terrorists A Timetable

Letter to the Editor, Washington Post

Nov. 22, 2005, pg. 28

One of the most critical issues that members of Congress must address is
the wisdom of setting a schedule for our continued presence in Iraq. In
this regard, I would hope that they would look back to September 1983, when
both houses of Congress held War Powers Act hearings on our presence in
Beirut as part of a multinational force. I asked Congress then not to set a
schedule for our withdrawal from war-torn Lebanon. I said, "If the time is
too short, our enemies will wait us out; if it is too long, they will drive
us out."

My warning was ignored, and Congress passed a law that said that Marines
would stay for 18 more months. That in essence told the Iranians, the
Syrians, the Druze and the newly organized Hezbollah: "Put your plans on
hold for a year and a half."

On Oct. 23, 1983, they gave us their answer -- an 18-ton truck carrying the
equivalent of 18,000 pounds of TNT smashed into the headquarters of
Battalion Landing Team 2/8, and 241 of our most precious sons, who had done
nothing more than try to restore peace to a troubled country, were

My message to Congress is simple: Never tell your enemies your plans.
Ambiguity in war is essential.

My personal message to our enemies is equally simple: If you continue your
barbaric acts of terrorism, you eventually will be punished -- count on it.
Let me close by reminding all Americans of the mission given to Muslim
terrorists by Osama bin Laden in 2001: "By God's leave, we call on every
Muslim who believes in God and hopes for reward to obey God's command to
kill the Americans and plunder their possessions wherever he finds them and
whenever he can."

Lest we forget!
P.X. Kelley, Arlington
The writer, a retired Marine Corps general, was commandant of the Corps
from 1983 to 1987.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Finally Confirmation of Treason

Recently I spoke with a sailor who was aboard one of the ships that comprised the battle group supporting the Marines in Beirut in 1983. His story is haunting and damning at the same time. The sailor worked in the Comm section of the ship and handled message traffic on a daily basis. The one message that haunts him to this day is the flash traffic from a "CIA mobile" source located in Beirut on 10/22/83. The complete message will not be repeated here, but the main goal of the message was "Iranian agents planning Marine BLT Compound Attack". The message was passed up the chain, with no response from Washington. I had confirmed the sailors identity and know that his statements of the message are true and factual. His main goal in this release is to make the Marines and Sailors know that they are not at fault and never were. Although Colonel Geraghty had pleaded for more troops and more secure positions, Washington had turned him down. Now as the 23rd of October approached it seemed as if everyone except the Marines knew what was going to happen.

Can we draw the conclusion from these reports that there was sloppy communications? I cannot. I know being a Former Marine that every communication was taken as seriously as possible. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that our Brother Marines and Sailors were left purposely in harms way while the political forces that control the United States wondered if Iran and Syria would really do this to us. After all, we had let the terrorist Arafat go. Spoiled the Hated Israelis chance to capture him. We had gotten in between Israel and the various factions in Lebanon.
Would they (Iran, Syria) really treat us this way?

Yes, they would, they did and they continue to do it to this day. A treasonous act was committed on 10/22/83 by someone in Washington by not protecting our Brother Marines and Sailors. Who was it? We may never know. But know this, we will never stop our search for Justice against Hezbollah and all countries who harbor them.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Able Danger and the 9/11 Commission

Congressman Curt Weldon is showing an unusual amount of determination and dedication for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist Attack. He has been actively pursuing the Pentagon and the 9/11 commission demanding an answer to the question that has dogged the pentagon and the victim's families of 9/11. Who and what was "Able Danger?" The pencil pushers at the Pentagon claim it never existed. The 9/11 commission deny its existence. The reason for the denials? It is clear as the destruction of the World Trade Towers, somebody screwed up, and screwed up royally.

Weldon said he believes that the DIA stifled crucial information about Mohammed Atta, who became the lead Sept. 11 terrorist, and then destroyed related documents. He also said that the Sept. 11 commission, which was appointed to investigate the attacks and the intelligence failure involved in them, disregarded information it received from Able Danger members.

Weldon has said he learned that a secret program known as Able Danger was put into place in 1999 and 2000 by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and by the general in charge of the Special Forces Command. It was devoted to uncovering key cells of al Qaeda globally, giving the military the capability to destroy those cells.

This type of stonewalling against investigations into terrorist activities are nothing new to the men who went to Beirut Lebanon. During the investigation into the bombing of the BLT Headquarters. The officers and General Staff took the lion share of the blame while the real investigation into WHO COMMITTED THE ACT was put on hold until the politics of the terrorist act could be known. After twenty years the culprit was finally identified as Hezbollah and its handlers Syria and Iran.

Thank You Congressman Weldon for your support of the Truth and following it to where ever it may lead.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

One more stamp would fit right in

November 15,2005
BY OUR OPINION Jacksonville,NC Daily News

The members of the crowd that gathered at the Marine Corps Exchange at Camp Lejeune last Thursday weren't hard to please. They knew what they wanted, and they came to get it - and that's exactly what they did.They were the first in line when the U.S Postal Service began selling the new Marine Corps stamps honoring four of the Corps' most legendary Leathernecks.

The stamps, finally issued following some intense, years-long lobbying by private, Marine and congressional groups, debuted to a highly appreciative audience. The Marines, both active-duty and retired, and dependents who showed up to get their hands on the first issues of these stamps had long anticipated the event. It's doubtful any will grace the outside of an envelope - instead they were purchased as keepsakes honoring four legendary Marines.

The four: former Commandant John Lejeune; Lewis "Chesty" Puller, recipient of five Navy Crosses; and two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, John Basilone and Daniel Daly, were honored for their contributions to Corps and country.

All were combat heroes. Lejeune, for whom Camp Lejeune is named, was the first Marine officer to command a U.S. Army division. The two-time commandant earned a chest-full of medals and decorations for service in Panama, Cuba, Mexico, the Philippines, France and Germany.

Puller - probably the best-known Marine of all time - was also one of the most highly decorated. Like Lejeune, Puller rose to the rank of lieutenant general. He was what's known as a mustang - an officer who entered service in the enlisted ranks. After seeing combat in several places, including Haiti, Puller distinguished himself during World War II and Korea. Even after retirement, Puller tried to volunteer for duty in Vietnam - a request denied as a result of his advanced years.

John Basilone, an Italian-American who was one of 10 children, never reached "old age." The 27-year-old died on Iwo Jima after receiving the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor for actions aboard Guadalcanal. Basilone, a machine gunner, was brought back to the U.S. mainland following his highly publicized exploits in the Pacific and offered a commission, but he spurned the offer and chose instead to return to combat. He later died on Iwo Jima.

Daniel Daly was a New York state native who achieved fame during World War I. Once described as the greatest fighting man in U.S. history, Daly had the distinction of having earned the Medal of Honor twice for two separate acts of heroism. His first award stemmed from actions during the Boxer Rebellion, while his second was earned at Belleau Woods in France. He retired as a sergeant major.

To be sure, the four men honored by last week's stamp issue represent some of the best who ever claimed the title of Marine.

But still, many believe there is a stamp missing from the U.S. Postal Service line-up of such commemorative stamps - one that commemorates and honors the men who died during the Beirut bomb blast on Oct. 23, 1983.

That tragedy, which struck Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville and Onslow County extremely hard one of the first attacks in the war on terror. Until the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the Beirut bombing was the most significant terrorist attack on U.S. citizens in the country's history.

Efforts to prod the USPS into issuing a commemorative stamp on behalf of the Beirut fallen have thus far proved fruitless, but it's hoped this attack will one day receive the attention it deserves.

The men who died in Beirut deserve to be remembered, honored and most of all, recognized for their sacrifice by the issuance of one more stamp.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Terror Worldwide!!!

Hezbollah ID'd in 1994 Argentina attack
Dozens of people killed at Jewish center

Wednesday, November 9, 2005; Posted: 8:12 p.m. EST (01:12 GMT)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- The Argentine government on Wednesday identified a Hezbollah militant as the suicide bomber who destroyed a Jewish community center and killed 85 people in 1994, embracing accusations made earlier by Jewish groups and the U.S. Congress.

The announcement by prosecutor Alberto Nisman added to earlier accusations that the Iranian-backed group was responsible for Argentina's worst terrorist attack, though he did not specifically allege Iranian involvement.

Nisman said at a news conference that Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a Lebanese citizen, detonated a van packed with explosives at the community center in downtown Buenos Aires, which served the country's more than 200,000 Jews.

Berro had been identified as the suspected bomber in a resolution passed on July 22, 2004, by the U.S. House of Representatives that urged a solution to the case. The resolution said that Berro reportedly been in contact with the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Iran had no immediate comment on the latest developments, but it has vehemently denied earlier allegations of involvement. Nisman said there are several lines of investigation, "including the hypothesis of help from Iran."

Nisman said Hussein "belonged to Hezbollah," an international Iranian-backed Islamic militant group. He said friends and relatives of the man identified him through a photograph, which he called a major breakthrough in the decade-old probe.

Nisman said investigators believe the 21-year-old attacker entered Argentina in the tri-border region at the joint borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, a center of smuggling and alleged terrorist fundraising.

For years, the Jewish community pressured Argentine law enforcement to solve the attack, which also wounded more than 200 people.

A leading Argentine political analyst, Rosendo Fraga, said the announcement seemed to be a response to that pressure.

"It doesn't seem to me that there's anything here that's new and relevant," Fraga said.

In March 2003, a judge asked Interpol for help in arresting four Iranian diplomats allegedly involved in the bombing. Iran recalled its ambassador from Buenos Aires and denied involvement.

In August 2003, English authorities detained Hade Soleimanpour, the Iranian ambassador to Argentina when the attack occurred, but he was later freed on bail when a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.

The judge in charge of the case was removed in December 2003 after complaints of slow progress.

Survivors have bitterly decried the lack of leads, noting that swift progress was made by investigators in other countries after terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid and London.

The Jewish center bombing was the second of two such attacks targeting Jews in Argentina during the 1990s. A March 1992 blast destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people. That bombing also remains unsolved.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remember This Guy?

The guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

Did you know his trial is over?
Did you know he was sentenced?
Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV/Radio?
Didn't think so.

Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court. Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.

His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his "allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah," defiantly stated "I think I will not apologize for my actions," and told the court "I am at war with your country."

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below: January 30, 2003 , United States vs. Reid.

Judge Young: "Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United State s Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other.

That's 80 years. On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines. The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.

The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further. This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice. You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist.

You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or if you think you are a soldier. You are not----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said: "You're no big deal."

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America . That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always s will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

Thanks go to

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We are not alone!

Hizballah in San Francisco

Inspired by this entry at Aaron Weisburd's anti-jihad site Internet Haganáh -- describing how Web sites for the Islamic terror organization Hizballah were being hosted in San Francisco -- I decided to personally investigate the company that was doing the hosting, ServePath, on Spear Street south of Market.

The night before, local television station KPIX had broadcast a short segment about Aaron and his efforts. I didn't see the broadcast, but the online transcript had only this to say about ServePath's response: "While ServePath declined an on camera interview, a representative said they'd passed Weisburd's concerns on to federal authorities, and don't typically take action against a site without a court order or request from authorities." [Update: ServePath has now taken down the Hizballah sites they were hosting, due to pressure from the public. I'm leaving this page online as a permanent record of the event.]

To me, that sounded pretty inadequate as a reply, especially considering that the following day Aaron had discovered that yet another Islamic jihadi site was recently accepted by ServePath as well.

So I headed down to ServePath myself to see what kind of company this was exactly. Were they terrorist sympathizers?

The company, it turned out, was housed in a massive business center with an imposing façade.

There was no evidence of ServePath's presence -- much less their corporate personality -- aside from their name in the window.

Momentarily casting aside my prudence and sanity, I decided to go inside and ask the owners myself how they could justify giving aid and services to a violent group that has been officially branded as a terror organization.

As soon as I stepped through the heavy doors, however, my camera attracted attention. The security guard bolted upright and immediately became very perturbed at my presence.

Before my foolhardy venture escalated into an international incident, I regained my sanity and decided that a hasty retreat was in order.

So my abortive investigation came to an anti-climactic denouement. But it was better than a night in jail.

My only conclusion is that ServePath, instead of being terror sympathizers, are merely amoral capitalists who will take money from anyone, no matter how evil, if it makes them a profit.

If you want to join the effort to close down the terrorist Web sites hosted in San Francisco, can you contact ServePath by going to this page. [Update: so many people contacted ServePath that they did indeed close down the terrorist sites that they had been hosting. Mission accomplished.]

Thanks go to for their efforts to flush out these scum.!

Thirteen Nights in Paris

Well, it seems the French have reaped what they have sowed. Being a Colonial Power, France had many possessions through the world Algeria, Lebanon, French Indo China just to name a few, but the socialist agenda that they have fostered many years ago in Algeria and Lebanon have now come home to roost.

Lebanon, with its many Arab factions was always favored by the French. Beirut was considered the "Paris of the Middle East". As soon as French Influence left the country, it was turned over to it's Islamic Fanatics, and France never looked back. A token French force was sent in 1982 to assist Arafat in leaving the Port of Beirut, but the French knew that drawing the Americans into their former problem would be good for France and good for business.

Now as the streets of Paris burn with Muslim fires, the French have finally declared a curfew. The question is, is it too late for France?

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Advertising on Terror TV

By Mark Dubowitz, Roberta Bonazzi
The National Post
October 18, 2005

In one episode of the 29-part Ramadan TV special Al-Shatat, The Diaspora, a rabbi orders his young son to kidnap a Christian friend so that his throat can be slit and the blood drained into a bedpan to be used to make food for Passover. The rest of the series tells the usual anti-Semitic plot of alleged Jewish aspirations for world domination. This TV show is just one example of the programming run by Hezbollah's global satellite channel, al-Manar. The spread of this kind of hatred is despicable in any context. But when it is broadcast to millions of viewers by terrorists intent on destroying lives, it becomes a weapon of global jihad.

Al-Manar routinely runs videos encouraging children to become suicide bombers, calls for terrorists to attack coalition soldiers in Iraq and promises that "martyrs" will be rewarded in the afterlife.

Hezbollah established al-Manar in 1991 as an operational weapon to incite hatred and violence, and recruit children and adults as terrorists. According to al-Manar officials interviewed by Hezbollah expert Avi Jorisch for his book Beacon of Hatred, the station's programming is meant to "help people on the way to committing what you call in the West a suicide mission." Viewers are told: "The path to becoming a priest in Islam is through jihad," as Hezbollah's secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech on March 23, 2002. Every day al-Manar reaches millions of Arabic speakers in the Middle East, Europe and North Africa.

These are the only areas where the station is available today. When made aware of al-Manar's programming, seven satellite providers -- based in France, Spain, Holland, Hong Kong, Australia and Barbados -- decided that it was contrary to laws or basic decency, and ceased their broadcasts. These satellite providers recognized that far from being a freedom of expression issue, calls to murder can never be a legitimate part of the public debate.

But two satellite companies continue to broadcast the station's programming: Arabsat, whose largest shareholder is the Saudi government, and Nilesat, which is majority-owned by the Egyptian government. The footprint of these two providers covers all of Europe, from Spain to southern Sweden and the Balkans. It extends to North Africa and the Middle East. As a result, Arabic speakers in Paris, London, Madrid and elsewhere continue to have access to a station that fosters a culture of terrorism 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The European Union must pressure the Saudi and Egyptian governments to stop broadcasting this hatred to impressionable young Muslims in Europe.

That's the political part of the fight against al-Manar. But there is also a commercial side to it. While a large part of al-Manar's operating budget comes from Iran (which also funds Hezbollah), a significant portion is derived from ad revenue. There are a handful of multinational corporations that still advertise on al-Manar, indirectly endorsing its message of hatred and violence and directly supporting its operations by paying for air time.

Within the past few months, al-Manar broadcasted ads for products from the following companies: Nissan; Korean electronics maker LG; Tefal, a subsidiary of France-based Groupe SEB that produces home cooking products; Swiss watch manufacturer Jovial; and Cellis-Alpha, a cellular SIM card provider owned by Fal Dete Telecommunications, a Saudi-German consortium majority-owned by Detecon, which in turn is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom.

We contacted the companies about this issue. A spokesman for Tefal denied that its products were ever advertised on al-Manar. A spokesman for Nissan said the company was unaware that its ads were running on al-Manar; after investigating the matter, he said the spots were placed by a local dealer, and that the ads would stop at year's end. The head of the LG liaison office in Lebanon said the ads were placed by a local agent and only during the recent Lebanese elections because al-Manar attracted a particularly large number of viewers during that time. He said he would prefer not to advertise on al-Manar again, but added that he first had to discuss the issue with LG's regional headquarters in Dubai. A spokesman for Jovial wasn't able to comment and did not provide further details on the company's position. Fal-Dete-Telecommunications said they were not aware of the situation and that they are taking the matter seriously. They are currently making inquiries with their partners in Lebanon.

While it is possible that these companies were not always aware that their ads were being placed on al-Manar, ignorance in this case is no excuse. Many of the world's largest corporations -- including Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Western Union -- stopped buying time on al-Manar more than three years ago once they realized what their ad dollars were supporting. Those companies still advertising on al-Manar should follow the example of the many governments and private and public firms that have ended their relationship with al-Manar. They should immediately pull any remaining ads and institute a permanent ban on future advertising.

Western lives and values are under attack by Islamic extremists. Responsible companies should have no relationship with terrorist organizations. To do otherwise is to send a worrying signal to their customers, a message that seems to say that their lives are worth less than the sale of a few extra cars, watches, cellphones and home cooking products. At the very least, that cannot be good for business.

While it is possible that these companies were not always aware that their ads were being placed on al-Manar, ignorance in this case is no excuse. Many of the world's largest corporations -- including Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Western Union -- stopped buying time on al-Manar more than three years ago once they realized what their ad dollars were supporting. Those companies still advertising on al-Manar should follow the example of the many governments and private and public firms that have ended their relationship with al-Manar. They should immediately pull any remaining ads and institute a permanent ban on future advertising.This is very interesting, lets try to find the sponsors of this scum TV and have them be accountable!

Hatred by Satellite


Hezbollah Salute

The Hezbullah Salute. Hezbullah militia members give the Nazi salute, leaving no doubt as to their plans for a "final solution" for Israel. This appears to be normal protocol for Hezbullah and their supporters. Hat tip to Strategy Page.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Beirut remembered in Al Anbar Province

Submitted by: II Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD)
Story by: Computed Name: Cpl. Evan M. Eagan

Story Identification #: 200511234758

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq(Nov. 2, 2005) -- More than 22 years ago the United States government agreed to establish a peacekeeping presence in Beirut, Lebanon to help quell a conflict between Muslim and Christian factions in the country.

In early 1983 Marines and Sailors of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, deployed to Beirut to support the mission.

During the early morning hours of Oct., 23, 1983, having spent nearly six months in country, disaster struck.

At approximately 6:22 a.m., 241 service members [220 Marines, 18 Sailors and three Soldiers] lost their lives in a matter of seconds when a suicide bomber driving a truck carrying the equivalent of 12,000 pounds of dynamite breached Marine security and crashed into the main lobby of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines Battalion Landing Team headquarters building at Beirut International Airport.

Today, two service members serving in Iraq, who were in Beirut at the time of the attack, look back on the tragic day.

“At first I thought we had taken a direct hit,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Darrell Gibson, senior enlisted advisor, Regimental Aid Station, Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, who was at the Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, headquarters in a library about a mile away from the blast. “They were firing rockets at us pretty regularly. It was a pretty good sized explosion and then we could see the mushroom cloud. Then we realized it was something more.”

Captain Kyle O’Malley, officer-in-charge, Regional Detention Facility Al Asad, 5th Battalion, 14th Marines Military Police Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD), was a corporal with 2nd Radio Battalion during the attack.

“I was working out of a position approximately 12 miles up the road in the mountains overlooking the city of Beirut in a place called Yarze at the foothills of the Shouf Mountains,” he said. “The blast shook the building we were in and I bolted up from my rack. There were some hills blocking our view of the headquarters building, but very quickly the mushroom cloud of dust and debris rose well above the airport and foothills in front of us.”

According to Gibson, after the attack the Marines were preparing for a possible follow on attack, and manned their positions.

“We got word from the ship to stay in place,” said Gibson, who was a petty officer 3rd class at the time. “Everyone was on their toes, locked in their positions. We were told that we might get hit next.”

Another attack did occur minutes later, however, not on a Marine position.

“While we were observing the headquarters and making radio calls to our elements at the headquarters area and other remote areas, we actually watched the French headquarters blow up five minutes after our [1st Battalion, 8th Marines Battalion Landing Team] was hit,” said O’Malley, a Le Center, Minn., native. “This was in our clear view.”

After the attack, Gibson and O’Malley assisted in the recovery and extraction efforts.

“The next day [Alpha Company] went to assist the BLT,” said Gibson. “There was about 4-6 days of extraction to move people out of the rubble. There were just so many people buried alive while they were sleeping. It was hard.”

O’Malley was part of the final clearing stage and helped secure any classified material during the debris removal-- a job he was assigned to because of his security clearance.

Twenty-two years later both men say it is still hard to look back on their time in Beirut.

“We trained together, ate together, lived together and got to know each other whether we liked it or not,” said Gibson. “I knew a lot of Marines that were [at the BLT Headquarters] that day. The 8th Marines were special.”

“What are my thoughts 22 years later?” asked O’Malley. “That all those Marines never had the chances we have to get married, have kids and follow our roads in life. As someone else said of these things—it is okay to look back once in a while, just don’t stare.”

Hezbollah accuses U.S. and Israel of manipulating UN reports to stir regional and internal strife

Hezbollah accuses U.S. and Israel of manipulating UN reports to stir regional and internal strife
the report is full of poisonous incitement aimed at ruining relations'

By adenine El-Ghoul
Daily Star staff
Saturday, October 29, 2005

BEIRUT: Hezbollah accused Washington and Israel on Friday of manipulating UN reports to stir internal strife in Lebanon and Syria, while defending Syria and the search for truth and justice by the family of the late Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri. The party's Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah lashed out at UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen's recently released second report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, saying, "The report is full of poisonous incitement aimed at ruining the relations between the various Lebanese factions."

Nasrallah was speaking in Beirut's southern suburbs during a massive rally held to mark Jerusalem Day, an honorary holiday created by the late Ayatollah Khomeini to call for the liberation of Palestine.

The sheikh alleged that Larsen's report falsely claimed that the government was committed to implementing Resolution 1559, stressing that the report was full of such lies and was meant to incite the Lebanese people against the Palestinians and Syrians, as well as pit the Lebanese against each other.

"When officials talk to us about their policies, they tell us exactly what they state in their ministerial statement; they are not with 1559, and the Cabinet confirmed this stance in its latest session," he said.

"However, the report claims the officials told Larsen in private just the opposite," he added. "Larsen wants to plant the seeds of suspicions and cause trouble."

Nasrallah further questioned how the report "was leaked to the Israeli press before it was presented to Kofi Annan and the international community."

Commenting on Nasrallah's speech, Annan's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said "Larsen's report is fully at the discretion of UN Security Council members ... We don't want to comment until they discuss Larsen's report on Monday."

Nasrallah criticized the UN report for "justifying all of Israeli border violations" while admonishing the resistance group for responding to violations.

"Larsen's report, just like other similar reports, indicates that the international community is not concerned with protecting the interests of the Palestinians, Lebanese or Arabs in general," he said. "They only serve Israeli and American schemes currently targeting Syria, Lebanon and Palestine."

He continued: "The report includes all the details regarding Lebanese affairs, even those unrelated to his specified mission, but it only mentioned Israel in two lines."

Nasrallah also had criticism for a report released last week by the head of the UN investigation into Hariri's assassination, Detlev Mehlis, from whom he said he had expected "a professional report."

The cleric slammed the report for being composed of "vague phrases that do not even lead to definite conclusions or findings."

"Still," he added, "the United States is using the investigation, which has not yet finished, as an instrument to demand sanctions against Syria."

Damascus has pledged to cooperate with the probe, but criticized its findings as politically biased. Mehlis named several Syrian and Lebanese officials involved in the murder.

Nasrallah commended a statement from Beirut MP Saad Hariri last week which stressed the family would not accept the use of the late premier's death as a political weapon against other countries or parties.

However, Nasrallah called on the family to "object strongly" to the American efforts to wrap up the investigation quickly and accuse Syria.

He also blasted the UN for leaking that a key suspect identified in the report only as "Mr. X" was a key Shiite figure, believing the release was meant to stir sectarian tensions.

"Mehlis was aiming at stirring sectarian problems between the Sunni and the Shiites," he said. "Our response will be to remain as united as we have been so far; unity is the only means to defuse all schemes that aim at spreading

anarchy, war and destruction in our countries."

Huge crowds turned out for the annual rally, waving Hizbullah's yellow and green party flags and red, white and green Lebanese flags as an elaborate military parade wound through the streets. More than 60 unarmed battalion formations dressed in military uniforms paraded past the party's cheering supporters.

Hezbollah-owned Manar television aired a live broadcast of the events, listing the number of those in attendance at half a million.

Smaller similar rallies were held in Tyre in the South and Baalbek in the Bekaa.

Iran marked Jerusalem Day with massive rallies attended by tens of thousands as Iranians shrugged off worldwide condemnation of their president's call on Wednesday for the Jewish state to be wiped "off the map."

Without making explicit reference to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comments, Nasrallah defended Iran, saying the Islamic Republic "is facing numerous difficulties because of its ideological positions on the Israeli-Arab conflict."

Nasrallah appealed for "an urgent meeting of the Arab League" to "intervene quickly and propose an initiative about the [UN] report and Lebanese-Syrian relations and pressure against Syria."

It seems that the World might be forgetting Sryia's role in the assassination plot; certainly we know, that the UN moves slowly on matters relating to Hezbollah.