"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Mohammad cartoon. If it looks like a duck and quakes like a duck, its a duck.

In September 2005, the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, posted 12 parody cartoons of Mohammad. Now four months later, Muslims, spurred to riots by Imams, caused several deaths, 10 in Afghanistan (Al Qaeda) alone, burned the Danish consulate and attacked the Maronite Catholic church in Lebanon (Hezbollah), torched the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus (Syria), and stormed European buildings in Gaza (Hamas) burning German and Danish flags. Iran launched a competition calling for cartoons about the Holocaust.

Interesting that these riots match exactly the "Coalition of the Willing", an Iranian, Syrian, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Qaeda alliance solidified on 19 Jan 06. It would seem that this "Coalition" has executed its first successful operation. Namely, they have expertly executed a media blitz on Western democracies with the Mohammad cartoon issue.

What is even more striking is which embassy was "saved" from destruction-the French embassy. Even though rioters apparently tried several times to storm the city's French mission, they were held off by police. This is extremely interesting. France is leading the UN push for sanctions against Syria and while the Danish and Norweigian embassies were torched, France's embassy was miraculously spared. Okay, this may be a coincidence.

However, Secretary of State Rice points out, "Iran and Syria have gone out of their way to inflame sentiments and to use this [the riots] to their own purposes...." So why would Assad inflame riots only to protect a country's embassy which is trying to impose sanctions on his own country? This is a two-part question.

First, why would Assad inflame riots in his own country. The anwer is simple. The international pressure on Assad has greatly weakened him politically. What better way to build strength then to band together your people against a common foe, namely the Europeans who published inflammatory cartoons against your religious leader. Second, why not let your rioters destroy the French embassy, the very country leading the charge to impose sanctions on your country? Again, this is a simple answer. Assad can now go back to the French and show how he protected their embassy despite their newspapers publishing inflammatory cartoons about Mohammad and despite the fact they are pursuing UN sanctions. So far, Assad has succeeded beautifully in this respect. Whether or not France will buy this line will wait to be seen.

Another question. Why now? The cartoons were published in September 2005. Why the ruckus now? Again, the answer is simple. Iran was just referred to the Security Council by the IAEA and international banks/companies have pulled up to $700 billion of investment money out of Iran as protection against potential sanctions. Hamas was just elected to lead the Palestinian Parliament and international pressue is being applied to either renounce violence and recognize Israel or loose over $1 billion in aid annually. Assad is trying to save his skin as pointed out above. Hezbollah's recent Al Qaeda-sponsored rocket attack on Israel is drawing severe criticism from the Lebanese. Again, another coincidence. Al Qaeda is losing support in Iraq and its insurgency is truly on its last leg as Sunnis are actively fighting against the foreigners.

The final question. Why? Al Qaeda is moving operations from Iraq to Afghanistan. Hence the 10 death in Afghanistand but the relatively mild reaction in Iraq. Iranian and Syrian reasons are listed above. Hezbollah, with the Syrian pullout of Lebanon, is severely weakened. Hamas needs to shift focus from its own exploits to somebody else in hopes that aid will continue and it will be allowed to form a government with decreased international pressure. Finally, why attack European countries? Again, the answer is extremely simple. The EU just recently committed forces to Afghanistan amongst much international pressure to do its share in providing security in this country.

We have now come full cycle and have seen many apparent coincidences. Al Qaeda, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas solidified their coalition last month. All used four month old cartoons to inflame riots for similar purposes against a weak European Union in the hope to limit williness to support the Global War on Terrorism. But with a surprisingly unpredictable response to these riots, namely several European papers republishing these cartoons in defense of freedom of speech, the "Coalition of the Willing" may have caused an awakening in Europe they had not planned or prepared for.

One thing about a evil coalition must be understood. When one member starts to hurt they usually turn on the other member. What would appear to be a successful operation may very well pan out to be another nail in Al Qaeda's coffin.

Mohammad outrage; Ferry disaster concern.

I find it quite interesting that this photo-

Caused this furor.

I also find it equally interesting that this photo-

Resulted in this relative calm.

The differences here are quite interesting to say the least. In a free, democratic, and tolerant society, we would have just the oppposite. The furor would be directed at the ferry owner and the possible criminal charges. But in a totalitarian society, the people are up in arms over a simple photo published in September 2005. Hold on, September 2005, why is the furor just now erupting?

It must be Pallywood all over again.