Regarding the situation in Iraq...
"It has been a while since I have written to my friends at First Lutheran Church about what's really going on here in Iraq. The news you watch on TV is exaggerated, sensationalized and selective. Good news doesn't sell.
"The stuff you don't hear about on CNN? Let's start with electrical power production in Iraq. ..."
"When even Lebanon's Daily Star starts noticing that reality isn't conforming to ideology, perhaps it's time to politely ask the NY Times and CNN if it might be time for them to open their eyes and look around.
[Julia Flint writes:] 'In mid-summer, I spent over a month in Iraq. What I found there did not correspond to what was being reported -- most crucially, that the liberators were widely perceived as occupiers. That simply wasn’t true.'"
And finally, Dean Esmay at Dean's World brought to our attention the Iraqi Toy Drive hosted by Chief Wiggles. Dean also has an interesting post about the WWII precedent for the Iraqi toy drive: The Berlin Candy Drops.
This cartoon is totally out of the blue in relation to current news, but there's a reason for it: John Little at Eye On The Left has kindly interviewed Cox & Forkum -- click here to read it. The cartoon, which is from our book and has never been published on the Internet, is featured in the interview.
We hope you enjoy the interview. Our thanks goes to John for putting it all together. (By the way, John's blog is not only one of the best-looking blogs on the Internet, he does an excellent job of keeping an "eye on the Left." Be sure to check it out.)
Another gag cartoon from our "Buster McNutt" series.
From FoxNews: Third Person Questioned in Gitmo Spy Probe.
Yet another military member is being questioned about security violations at a U.S. prison camp, adding to a probe which already includes the arrests of Ahmad I. al-Halabi, the Syrian-born Air Force airman accused of espionage, and a U.S. Army Muslim chaplain, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.[...]
"I think it sends a pretty clear message to the rest of the folks there that we're pretty serious about safeguarding the activities that go on there," retired military intelligence officer John Nolan told Fox News. [...]
The arrests raise new questions about Syria's motives and actions in the U.S. campaign against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.
Syria is on the State Department's list of countries sponsoring terrorism, but Washington and Damascus have long had normal diplomatic relations and Syria was forthcoming with intelligence about Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other administration officials have accused Syria of possessing chemical weapons -- unlike Iraq, it never signed anti-chemical weapon agreements -- and of helping Saddam Hussein's regime before and during the recent Iraq war.
And don't forget: Syria is a member of the U.N. Security Council.
This cartoon is from March 2002 and is in our book, Black & White World.
There was good and bad in President Bush's U.N. speech. Unfortunately, the good was completely undercut by the bad. By repeatedly acknowledging the legitimacy of the United Nations -- going as far as to equate its founding principles with America's -- Bush surrendered the moral high ground to our enemies.
The Good: Bush rightly praised many of the accomplishments of the U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also took a swipe at Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the PA. But most importantly, Bush invoked 9/11 and alluded to the (now long dead) Bush Doctrine:
"Events during the past two years have set before us the clearest of divides: Between those who seek order, and those who spread chaos; between those who work for peaceful change, and those who adopt the methods of gangsters; between those who honor the rights of man, and those who deliberately take the lives of men, and women, and children, without mercy or shame.
"Between these alternatives there is no neutral ground. All governments that support terror are complicit in a war against civilization. No government should ignore the threat of terror because to look the other way gives terrorists the chance to regroup, and recruit, and prepare. And all nations that fight terror, as if the lives of their own people depend on it, will earn the favorable judgment of history."
This is a strong moral statement: "All governments that support terror are complicit in a war against civilization."
The question is: Why is Bush saying this in an appeal to an organization that openly embraces many who "spread chaos," "adopt the methods of gangsters," and "deliberately take the lives of men, and women, and children"? (See yesterday's post.)
The Bad: The answer, judging by Bush's statements, is that Bush feels it is necessary to morally justify the self-defense of the United States in U.N. terms. He lauded the U.N. a number of times, but this quote sums it up:
"Helping Afghanistan and Iraq to succeed as free nations in a transformed region -- cutting off the avenues of proliferation, abolishing modern forms of slavery -- these are the kinds of great tasks for which the United Nations was founded."
He didn't criticize the dictatorship members of the U.N. He didn't condemn or even acknowledge their active participation in the "war against civilization." [Correction: Bush did at least say, "Arab nations must cut off funding and other support for terrorist organizations" -- however, he did not name the nations nor indicate what would happen if they didn't stop supporting terrorism.]
Yet the one time he mentions Israel, it is a criticism: "Israel must work to create the conditions that will allow a peaceful Palestinian state to emerge." As if Israel isn't fighting a war against Palestinian terrorists who "deliberately take the lives of men, and women, and children."
The climax of this moral equivalence came at the end of his speech:
"The founding documents of the United Nations and the founding documents of America stand in the same tradition. Both assert that human beings should never be reduced to objects of power or commerce, because their dignity is inherent. Both recognize a moral law that stands above men and nations, which must be defended and enforced by men and nations. ... And both point the way to peace, the peace that comes when all are free."U.N. member Syria -- who is allowing terrorists into Iraq to kill U.S. soldiers -- is on the U.N. Security Council. U.N member North Korea regularly threatens to turn America into a nuclear "sea of fire." U.N. member Iran -- who just two days ago displayed missiles painted with "We will crush America under our feet" and "Israel must be wiped off the map" -- is considered by even the State Department to be the world's worst sponsor of terrorism. And let's not forget that Saddam's bloody Iraq was a U.N. member before being felled by American-lead coalition forces despite U.N attempts at obstruction.
Does anybody really believe that an organization that allows such members cares about "the peace that comes when all are free"?
Let's hope that Bush sees the difference between the founding principles of America and the U.N. Glenn Woiceshyn did an excellent job a few years back explaining that difference: UN Declaration of Rights Destroys Rights.
But even giving Bush the benefit of the doubt, it's shameful that he would say there isn't any difference, especially if it's political kow-towing to get other countries' help in Iraq.
A September 4th Wall Street Journal editorial described the motivation behind Bush's renewed appeals to the U.N.:
"White House spokesman Scott McClellan yesterday said that some countries, such as India, need a U.N. imprimatur before they dispatch troops to Iraq. Mr. Bush wants to provide that fig leaf -- our words, not Mr. McClellan's -- but the current coalition will retain civilian and military control in Baghdad. ... If this is how it all works out, the inevitable U.N. wrangling may well be worth it."
Commenting on the editorial, Objectivist scholar Harry Binswanger rightly noted:
"The 'fig leaf' we are to supply is more like a feather pulled from the wing of the American eagle. [...] Rather than seek the 'imprimatur' of the U.N., we should regard any approval they would give us as a stain of dishonor."
From FoxNews: Bush to Ask U.N. for Cooperation in Iraq.
"I will make it clear that I made the right decision, and the others that joined us made the right decision. The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein," Bush said in the interview taped Sunday in the Oval Office.
As we've said before, though the U.S. may in fact need help in Iraq, President Bush is wrong to try to deal with the U.N., an organizations whose primary goal is to prop up and legitimize dictatorships at the expense of America.
The U.N. is Evil is a Web site dedicated to compiling op-eds detailing the U.N.'s systematic assault on individual rights, the sovereignty of free nations, and the rule of law.
Yes, there is a value to cooperating with other nations -- but only with free nations who share a commitment to standing up against the threats of terrorism and dictatorship. Any time free nations agree to subordinate themselves to a collective consensus with hostile dictatorships, it is only the free nations that lose -- and it is only the dictatorships that gain. Indeed, the dictatorships run the United Nations. Within weeks of September 11, terrorist-sponsor Syria was invited to chair the United Nations' Security Council. Iraq and Iran are scheduled to trade chairmanship of its disarmament committee, while Libya is set to chair its human rights commission.
Reuters reports this morning: Iran Shows Off Missile Might Amid Nuclear Concerns.
Iran, under mounting pressure to dispel fears it is developing nuclear arms, Monday paraded six of its newly deployed medium-range missiles, military analysts say could reach Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf.[...]
Television pictures showed one of the missile carriers displayed a defiant message in bold letters on a giant yellow banner facing Khatami which said: "We will stamp on America." Iran insists its nuclear scientists are not working on a weapons program but trying to meet soaring electricity demand.
UPDATE: From FoxNews: Iranian Nuke Official: Tehran Will Scale Back Cooperation With U.N. Watchdog Agency.
Iran will scale back its cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog in response to the agency's Oct. 31 deadline for Tehran to prove its atomic programs are peaceful, Iran's representative to the agency said Monday.
UPDATE: Sept. 25 From FoxNews: IAEA Finds Uranium Traces in Iran.
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., stressed that Iran needed to be taken seriously. ... "They're sending rather mixed signals, but bottom line, Iran supports terrorists," Coleman said, referring to Tehran's strong ties to Lebanese Hezbollah. "They're a danger and they have to be dealt with."
A leading hard-line Iranian cleric contradicted government policy on atomic weapons Friday, saying Tehran should withdraw from an international nuclear arms control treaty and restrict access to its nuclear facilities.
Here is another gag cartoon from our "Buster McNutt" series that was published earlier in the summer in AutoGraphic's Automotive Report>.
The cartoon above may contain a first in the long, prestigious history of editorial cartooning: product placement. We figured there are at least two, maybe three of you who have managed to resist the subtle marketing efforts for our book, Black & White World, like the ad to the right. So we've resorted to product placement in our cartoons. We've even employed a subliminal manipulation tactic involving the cute dog in the upper left-hand corner.
You looked at him, didn't you? Yes, you did. Don't be surprised if later you have the urge to buy a bug-eyed puppy dog and read to him excerpts from Black & White World.
The cartoon was inspried by the second photograph in this story: Clinton praises Democratic candidates in Iowa.
And the Iraqi tyrant happens to be in the news this morning: 'Saddam' Tape Urges Iraqis to Fight Americans.
Last week FoxNews reported: Saudi Religious Police Say Barbie Is a Moral Threat. Reality left little room for added absurdity on this one.
The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, as the religious police are officially known, lists the dolls on a section of its Web site devoted to items deemed offensive to the conservative Saudi interpretation of Islam.
"Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. Let us beware of her dangers and be careful," said a message posted on the site.
The local paper ran an AP story with this headline: "Israel ignores outrage at its threat to remove Palestinian leader." It should have read: "Media ignore outrages committed against Israel by Palestinian leader."
As usual, Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs is on top of things, compiling these stories this weekend:
Here is a sample of what Arafat's Palestinian Authority is teaching its children ... 'I'm prepared to kill Jews wherever they are' says Palestinian schoolgirl.
"I came here to defend President Arafat against the occupiers who are killing us every day. I'm prepared to make a big sacrifice. I'm prepared to go to the Jews myself and to kill them wherever they are just as they killed us and destroyed us," she said.
For more, be sure to check out Charles' Palestinian Child Abuse Slideshow.
To deal with this threat, an Israeli authority naturally mentioned that killing Arafat is definitely one of the options.
This is exactly the option we, the United States, chose for Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and everyone directly associated with them. But as the same article indicates, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Israel should not be allowed that option.
He said that if Arafat was either exiled or killed, "I think you can anticipate that there would be rage throughout the Arab world, the Muslim world and in many other parts of the world."
"The United States does not support either the elimination of him or the exile of Mr Arafat...the Israeli government knows that," Powell said.
In other words, do as we say, not as we do.
Not surprisingly, we have this news today: Palestinians Demand U.N. Protect Arafat.
UPDATE: FoxNews reports: Israel Backs Off Killing Arafat Option.
Israel backed off Monday from threats to kill Yasser Arafat, while the incoming Palestinian prime minister ceded control over many Cabinet appointments to Arafat's Fatah party despite Israeli demands that the veteran Palestinian leader be stripped of authority.
A FoxNews poll this week found Americans Split on Bush Request for $87 Billion.
"Helping the economy recover" barely bests "protecting the country from terrorism" when the two priorities are pitted directly against each other (32 percent to 29 percent respectively), but a plurality (37 percent) says "both" are important priorities for the government to work on right now. This is a shift from almost a year ago, when only 22 percent said "helping the economy," 24 percent said "protecting" from terrorism and 51 percent put them on equal footing (December 2002).
This cartoon was actually created last year during the run-up to the Iraq war. It was never posted or published and perhaps is even more appropriate on this day.
The terrorists, who in their words "love death like Americans love life," understand the connection of business to life. That is why they struck at the symbols of commercial success: the skyscrapers of the World Trade Center. It is time we grasp that same connection.
Rather than denounce businessmen whenever the price of gasoline rises [...] -- rather than habitually cast businessmen as the villains in our TV shows and movies -- rather than smear all businessmen for the dishonesty of a few who want to get rich not by production, but by fraud -- we should praise the producers.
The attacks of September 11 have made people more acutely aware of the value of the American way of life -- and of those who defend it. But the many businessmen who perished on that date, and their thousands of brothers-in-spirit who survived, are the individuals who make that way of life a daily reality.
In justice, as we commemorate the anniversary of that tragic day, should we not also pay tribute to these heroes?
...At fifteen seconds after 9:41 a.m., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky -- falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame -- the Falling Man-- became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew's photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves. The picture is his cenotaph, and like the monuments dedicated to the memory of unknown soldiers everywhere, it asks that we look at it, and make one simple acknowledgment.
That we have known who the Falling Man is all along.
This week, the second anniversay of the 9/11 atroicity, we have posted entries as reminders of what was taken from America and life-valuing people all over the world on that day. Rather than "move on" we have chosen to "never forget." That is why we have 9/11 links permanently featured in our side bar.
But there has to be more than just remembrance if we are to avoid the next atrocity. America must do what is necessary to ensure that never again will we let such threats go unanswered.
Over 3,000 people were murdered on 9/11, but each and every one of us was attacked. Here are two bloggers (of many I'm sure) who have been collecting personal stories about that day:
UPDATE Sept. 12: Our deepest gratitude goes to all those who have expressed appreciation of "That Day," whether through blog posts or e-mails to us. Some have gone as far as to explore the meaning of the cartoon. Robert Tagorda contrasted "That Day" to an Al-Jazeera editorial cartoon: On This Day, Images Speak (scroll down to that title). And this LGF thread contains a thoughtful analysis (see comment #47 by Friend of America).
I think the blogosphere did justice to the remembrance of 9/11. Just click through the blogs in our sidebar to see. A good round-up of articles, photos and thoughts can be found at Winds of Change and Kesher Talk.
Flight 93 should be remembered for many reasons.
Foremost is that it was the first victory in the War on Terrorism, though it came at a high price. The terrorists' plan depended on the passenger's common assumption that their temporary cooperation with hijackers would likely result in their eventual release or rescue, which is how most hijackings had ended in the past.
That assumption forever changed the instant Flight 93 passengers learned the fate of the other three hijacked planes. The passengers knew that any chance of survival was not a matter of negotiation and diplomacy -- it was a matter of fighting force with force. That is exactly what America should have been doing all along with Islamic terrorists and their supporters.
Passenger Jeremy Glick spoke these words to his wife minutes before the crash: "Our best chance is to fight these people, rather than accept it." His words were true before 9/11 and they are still true today.
Another aspect of Flight 93 that deserves remembering is this: Authorities had F-16 fighter jets in the air and authorized to, if necessary, deliberately target Flight 93 with missiles and blow it out of the sky. That is: We were prepared to kill innocent American captives in order to prevent still more Americans from being murdered. This act would have been morally justified and should be remembered every time someone criticizes America (and Israel for that matter) for harming innocents while waging a war of self-defense.
Unlike, say, Palestinian terrorists, our goal is not to kill innocents. But in a war of self-defense, just as might have been with Flight 93, sometimes it is necessary. The guilt for those deaths is on the heads of those terrorists and tyrants who initiated force against us or threatened to do so.
As the second anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the lessons and the heroes of Flight 93 deserve our remembrance.
This cartoon is an update of this cartoon.
The Pentagon Memorial campaign is trying to raise money for a memorial.
The goal [...] is to construct a memorial commemorating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon and the 184 lives lost in the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77.
Earlier this year, a Department of Defense news release featured some technical facts regarding how well the Pentagon withstood the impact of the hijacked airliner: Engineer Study Reports Pentagon Was Built Tough.
But this article reveals just how far off the deep end some have gone to deny such basic facts about the Pentagon attack:
[The Zayed International Centre] hosted Thierry Meyssan, the French author of "9-11, The Big Lie," which seeks to implicate U.S. military officials in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Meyssan's book suggests that the Pentagon was hit by an American missile, and not a hijacked airliner and that the attacks were plotted to promote a U.S. military agenda that included waging war in Afghanistan.
The French press ridiculed the book, but it became a best seller in France for three months. The Pentagon has called the allegations in the book "more than insulting."
News from Afghanistan has been overwhemled by news from Iraq, but our troops are still bravely meting out justice there: U.S. General Sees Taliban in Afghanistan.
Taliban fighters, paid and trained by al-Qaida, are pouring into Afghanistan from Pakistan, the top American commander in Afghanistan said Sunday.
Lt. Gen. John Vines said the Taliban were trying to regroup and regain control of the country they ruled until ousted by the United States in late 2001. His comments to reporters traveling with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were the first confirmation from a top U.S. military official of reports of a Taliban resurgence out of Pakistan into Afghanistan.
American, Afghan and coalition forces have responded with military operations against the radical Islamic fighters. As many as 200 Taliban have been killed this week alone, Vines said.
Thank you, men and women of the armed forces, for keeping up the fight. (Click here for ways to support the troops.)
As an illustration of how some mindsets have changed in the past year, the New York Daily News on Thursday published an e-mail written by the vice president of the Tishman construction firm, Robert McNally.
Responding to a request from New York City officials for a 24-hour moratorium on work around Ground Zero on September 11, McNally replied: "9/11 happened two years ago, it is time to move on."
"Move on"? If he meant we should move forward, as in rebuilding bigger and better at the WTC site rather than turning it into a cemetery pit, then I would agree. But I don't think he meant that. He seems to mean get over 9/11, accept it, don't dwell on it, don't acknowledge the anniversary, don't place any importance on it.
It is exactly in that sense that we should never "move on" from 9/11.
"Moving on" has been part of the problem for decades. We moved on when Hezbollah killed 241 U.S. Marines in Beirut. We moved on when the World Trade Center was bombed the first time, murdering six. We moved on when the Khobar Towers were blown up in Saudi Arabia: 19 dead. We moved on from the U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa, and the USS Cole bombing in Yemen, and the incessant bombings by Palestinian terrorists in Israel.
Had we faced head-on the Islamist threat from the beginning, we wouldn't today be talking about "moving on" from 9/11.
Unfortunately, some seemed to have moved on all too easily.
This cartoon is a follow-up to a cartoon from last year: UNfree.
Earlier this week, the Bush Administration put forth a U.N. resolution that would grant more authority to the U.N. in Iraq. A key component is to "transform the U.S.-led coalition force into a U.N.-authorized multinational one under a unified command, with an American officer in charge. The force would be required to submit periodic reports to the [U.N. Security] Council." Secretary of State Colin Powell described the effort as "essentially putting the Security Council in the game."
It must be kept in mind the United Nations is composed of an number of dictatorships, one of which -- Syria -- has a seat on the Security Council. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumself stated just yesterday that many of the foreign fighters in Iraq are from Syria.
As opponents of the war in Iraq, France and Germany naturally welcomed America's willingness to submit to U.N. authority but quickly added that the resolution didn't go far enough.
The top U.S. commander in Iraq announced yesterday that the U.S. needs more help in Iraq. But the Bush Administration is making a terrible mistake seeking that help from those who are united against America pursuing its own interests.
Although American forces impressively deposed the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein, the nearly two-year-long War on Terrorism is, in fact, going badly.
The tragedy is that we lack not weapons, nor military prowess, nor bravery; our military is the most powerful in the history of the world. The problem lies not with our armed forces, but with the ideas guiding our military campaign. [...]
It is much to the credit of our soldiers that they succeeded [in Afghanistan and Iraq] while bearing only minor casualties, despite Washington's contradictory injunctions.
The Iraq war, however, has done nothing to quell Islamic terrorism. Whereas Afghanistan, the stronghold of al Qaeda, was a plausible first target, Iraq was not a major base of terrorists, nor the most significant supporter of them. We have let the arch-sponsors of Islamic terrorism -- Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran -- believe that they are untouchable. Observe that terrorism against American and Western interests -- from Indonesia to Kenya to Morocco -- continues unabated. [...]
To defend American lives properly, we should target not terrorism, a tactic, but militant Islam, the ideology that motivates the terrorists. But we have been flailing in unpredictable directions, unsure of where to go next, because the war lacks a clear purpose.
Why? The Bush Administration lacks moral confidence.
This cartoon was created in December 2001 and is in our book, Black & White World. At the time it seemed to us that American Muslims were doing little to explain what differentiated them ideologically from the 9/11 terrorists. It should have been their first priority, because so heinous a crime understandably threatened to tarnish all of Islam. Unfortunately, not much has changed in two years.
"The Associated Press reports that American Muslim leaders at the ISNA convention in Chicago, led by the radical Islamist front group CAIR, are expressing their seething anger over the US government's totally unwarranted scrutiny of Islamic groups. What a shock."
CHICAGO -- American Muslim leaders, stung by the government's scrutiny of their community during the domestic hunt for terrorists, have pledged to express their anger at the polls.
Leaders of the Islamic Society of North America announced plans Sunday during their annual meeting to register 1 million Muslim voters and make civil rights a top issue in any endorsement of a presidential candidate.
"A defining moment of Islam in America is approaching," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group based in Washington. "We cannot surrender our future and our destiny to hate in this country."
[Charles continues:] "Never mind that the largest Islamic conference this year would be a perfect opportunity to denounce radical Islam and its totalitarian agenda. Instead they'll whine about how oppressed they are and how evil America is, and deny, deny, deny.
"This is exactly why an ever-increasing number of Americans have a negative opinion of Islam. Stand up and be counted, 'moderate Islam,' or forever hold your peace. Time is running out."
FoxNews reports: Animal Rights Conference Sparks Debate.
While road kill may be a dead issue to some people, transportation and environmental experts addressed the problem in a series of meetings in upstate New York this week.
The group gathered in Lake Placid at the Conference on Ecology and Transportation to discuss life and death issues as they relate to snakes, frogs and turtles. Meanwhile, critics blasted the event's $100,000 price tag.
That didn't seem to sway Nelson Hoffman of the Vermont Transportation Agency, who was on hand to explain how putting up fences helped his state preserve the life of its waning frog population.
"It's making sure frogs are fat and not flat," he said.
Among other things inspiring him to address the issue, Hoffman said, was a question posed to him by his 5-year-old son.
"Why do you need to spend a whole week talking to people about that? Why don't we just tell people to stop running over animals?" Hoffman reported his son asking him.
That essentially was the argument being made by the forum's critics, who are thoroughly convinced that such extravagant sums of money should be spent on improving the quality of life for humans, not animals.
Reuters reports: South Korea Says North's No-Talks Stance a Tactic.
North Korea's hostile weekend reaction to last week's six-way talks on its nuclear program was an initial response and probably a negotiating ploy, South Korea said on Monday. [...]
It is not yet clear whether Pyongyang has officially reneged on that agreement or is using past tactics that mix bluster and brinkmanship with gradual steps forward.
"The North Koreans' post-conference verbal offensive was nothing but a stupid repeat of their habitual negotiating strategy," the Korea Herald said in an editorial.
Professing his complete loyalty to Yasser Arafat, Mohammed Abu Arraj says he is prepared for a fight Israel to the death despite the veteran Palestinian leader's call to renew a shattered truce.
"Truce? What truce?" asks Abu Arraj, a local leader of the hardline Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who spent last week fighting with his men against Israeli tanks in this northern West Bank town. [...]
"Nobody can replace Arafat. He is our historical leader. If he were to be killed, all Palestinian factions would take to the street, even the Islamists," warned Abu Arraj.
He said "nobody" in Jenin supports Abbas and denounced the latter's recent decision to block weapon smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt as well as moves to prevent militants firing home-made rockets towards Israel.