German Reports: Al-Masri Led Islamist “Commando”

Posted by John Rosenthal

Over the last several months, the German citizen of Lebanese origins, Khaled Al-Masri, has become a sort of poster-boy for the media campaign against the American practice of “extraordinary rendition” in the war on Islamic terrorism. Virtually all the English-language reports on the Al-Masri case have assumed or even underscored Al-Masri’s “innocence” – an assumption [...]

A German “Educator”

Posted by John Rosenthal

The European militant group "Campo Antiimperialista" first came to broad public attention in the US in June of last year when it was reported that it was raising money for the terrorist "resistance" in Iraq. The "Campo’s" public fund-raising campaign "10 Euro for the Iraqi Resistance" had already been common knowledge in Europe since late 2003. [...]

Osthoff Returns to Iraq

Posted by John Rosenthal

Many observers were surprised and others scandalized when almost immediately upon her release from Iraqi captivity last December, former German hostage Susanne Osthoff was quoted saying she intended to return to Iraq. Osthoff would later claim she had been misunderstood and that she had not in fact said this. The following from a report in [...]

“Francophonie” versus “Anglo-Saxonia”

Posted by John Rosenthal

Le Figaro published an interview in its Wednesday (15 February) edition with Brigitte Girardin, The French Minister for Cooperation, Development and so-called “francophonie” or, roughly, “French-speaking culture”. The notion of “la francophonie” has hitherto been associated with the promotion of the French language, notably under the auspices of the International Organization for “la Francophonie” (OIF). [...]

Why not Call it a German Film?

Posted by John Rosenthal

The following from Reuters today. Oscar organizers said on Tuesday they have not yet decided how to designate a film about suicide bombers in the West Bank but denied they were being pressed by Israel to say the movie came from the Palestinian Authority rather than Palestine. John Pavlik, a spokesman for the Academy of [...]

Do the Jyllands-Posten Cartoons resemble “Nazi Cartoons”? Judge For Yourself

Posted by John Rosenthal

Professing understanding for the outraged reactions in the Arab world and among some Muslims in the West, numerous commentators have compared the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons to anti-Semitic cartoons from Nazi-era Germany. As I discussed in my “Freedom, But…”, even the US State Department described the Jyllands-Posten cartoons as “unacceptable incitation to hatred”, and both Presidents [...]

More Excellent Work from the US State Department

Posted by John Rosenthal

Two links that require no comment. First, the AP, under the heading “US Praises Indonesia, Malaysia Handling of Controversial Caricatures”, citing Eric John, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs: At a briefing with reporters, John said Indonesia and Malaysia, which have Muslim majorities, were voices of moderation and that their [...]

How the State Department Fumbled the Cartoon Controversy

Posted by John Rosenthal

Many American observers were surprised last Friday when the US State Department appeared to issue a condemnation of the Danish Muhammad cartoons – referring to them as "unacceptable incitation of religious and ethnic hatred" – and then confused when, barely a couple of hours after this statement first appeared, State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack provided a [...]

Buschirac?: The Presidents Share Words

Posted by John Rosenthal

American government officials continue to sound surprisingly like their French colleagues in their responses to the Muhammad cartoons controversy. (See my earlier post "Freedom, But…" for some prior examples.) And now this astonishing resemblance concerns not only low-level press officers of the State Department, but the President himself. President Bush’s comments at his press conference [...]

A Closer Look at Chirac’s Nuclear Threat

Posted by John Rosenthal

A couple of weeks ago, I translated a passage of Jacques Chirac’s recent speech on French nuclear policy as evidence that it constituted not only an implict threat to Iran – as had been widely reported – but also a not so subtle threat toward one of France’s NATO allies: namely, the United States. For [...]