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Monthly Archives: August 2006

How About Sanctions on the UN?

August 31st, 2006 - 10:57 am

In what has to be the least surprising piece of news this summer, Iran has refused to comply with the United Nations deadline to give up its nuclear program. So now we get to the episode in this farce in which the UN will debate sanctions on Iran (while former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami, invited here by the UN, enjoys a two-week publicity tour in the U.S.).

How to stop Iran from going nuclear is a tough question, but we should at least start by ruling out what won’t work — which is trying to go through the UN. I have an Op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal on why this is nuts. All it will do is wring concessions from the U.S. in the effort to win over inveterate cheats such as China and Russia, and buy more time for Iran to make bombs. If it’s effective sanctions we want, maybe we should start by banning the State Department from dealing with the UN on Iran (or for that matter, the rest of the Middle East).

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Receipts for Rockets

August 29th, 2006 - 7:03 pm

In the continuing saga of Hezbollah’s “social services,” the U.S. Treasury has just tipped out a great example of how such terrorist charity really works — mingling toys-for-tots with cash-for-katyushas. On Tuesday, Treasury added to its list of banned terrorist-related outfits a “Key Hizballah Fundraising Organization,” a charity called the Islamic Resistance Support Organization, or IRSO, which has been soliticing donations internationally via Hezbollah’s terrorist TV station, Al Manar (target last week of a federal arrest in New York). Donors fill out forms which invite them to tick off from a menu of options how they’d like their money spent. These include:

- Collection box project for the children and homes.
- Equipping a mujahid project.
- Contribution to the cost of a rocket.
- Contribution to the cost of bullets.

There is, of course, a monthly subscription plan.

The sample IRSO documents released by Treasury include a receipt for someone who gave money to help fund a rocket. Here they are in Arabic and in Treasury’s English translation. I guess the good news is, not only are these IRSO donations now banned in the U.S., but anyone who’s been salting away this kind of IRSO “charity” receipt really ought to forget about it as a tax deduction.

Broader Lands and Better Days

August 29th, 2006 - 4:55 pm

There are times I’ve wondered if there is some equilibrium amount of evil in the world –every time it is beaten back, it grows again. We trounce the Nazis and the Cold War begins; the Soviet Union finally collapses and out of a blue September sky, Islamic fascists are upon us. And yet, when freedom-loving people keep faith with themselves — and each other — there are mighty forces set in motion, which, as Winston Churchill foresaw at the beginning of World War II, will “roll on full flood, inexorable, irresistible, benignant, to broader lands and better days.”

As a reporter, I’ve covered this contest between good and evil — on levels ranging from pedantic to historic — for more than 25 years. For much of that time, I worked for The Wall Street Journal, writing editorials from Hong Kong and New York, and reporting from the former Soviet Union. Since 2003, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where I am journalist-in-residence, has given me the support and the freedom to cover the War on Terror in whatever ways seem most compelling. That has led from reporting on tyrants and democratic dissidents to covering the world’s ritziest club for crooks, con-men, thugs, and the occasional genuine diplomat — the place known otherwise as the United Nations.

Blogging is, for me, something new. I’ve done it only once before, in covering the first Oil-for-Food trial earlier this year for National Review Online. This site is a work-in-progress, and I welcome your comments.