May 9, 2007:
Six Moslem refugees from the Balkans were arrested in the United States
and charged with planning a terrorist attack on an American military base in
New Jersey. The six were observed for over a tear. Three of the young men are
in the country illegally. The base in question, Ft Dix, hosted 4,000 Albanian
refugees from Kosovo in the 1990s. Some 14,000 Kosovo Moslems were let into the
U.S. during the Kosovo crises of 1999. After Serbian troops had been forced out
by NATO, about half of those 14,000 returned to Kosovo. The other remained in
the U.S., and one of the arrested men was from that group. Islamic radicalism
is popular with young Moslems, often to the point where they plan and carry out
terror attacks in their own neighborhoods. Most have been caught, but a few
plots went undetected, and attacks were carried out (as in London and Madrid
over the last few years.) Islamic terrorists have a very paranoid view of world
affairs. NATO and European efforts in Kosovo are seen in the worst possible
light, and considered just another Christian attack on Islam. The appeal of
Islamic radicalism is that it considers everything black and while. Moslems are
good, everyone else is bad, and an enemy. Kids love that kind of simplicity.
Add in automatic weapons, explosives and the promise of an eternal orgy, and
you have a powerful recruiting pitch for young Moslem guys. May 6, 2007: After
the Turkish parliament failed for a second time to elect him president, Turkish
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul withdrew himself as a candidate. At the moment
Gul was the only candidate. It takes a two-thirds vote of the entire parliament
to elect the president. Opposition parties boycotted the parliament so there
were not enough members present to have a legal vote. In the days prior to
Gul's withdrawal, pro-secular demonstrators protested throughout Turkey.
May 3: The US State Department said that the
differences of opinion over what to do about Kosovo's "final status" as "not
insurmountable." The US appears to believe that Russian concerns for Serbia and
concerns about setting a precedent for devolution of European states can be
addressed. The US statement was a clear contrast to Serbia's position. A
Serbian government spokesman said that Serbia was "certain" that Russia would
veto any UN resolution calling for a Kosovo state independent of Serbia.
May 2, 2007: The US State Department's "annual
review of terrorism" concluded that if Transdniestr fully separates from
Moldova is could become "a potential area for terrorist recruitment."
That assessment reiterates a conclusion reached in previous years. Transdniestr
is, at the moment, something of a gangland statelet. Its neighbors accuse
Transdniestr of being a haven for smuggling and money laundering
Turkey's ruling AK Party (AKP) proposed that the
Turkish constitution be changed so that the president is elected by popular
vote. Currently the president is elected by parliament. The proposal comes
after the AKP's failure to elect Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul president.
Secularist opposition parties boycotted the vote in parliament and Turkey' s
highest court ruled that the vote was not valid since a sufficient number of
parliamentary members did not participate.
The Turkish military, which under the Kemalist
system has the mission of "protecting Turkey's secular state," remains in the
background. Few Turks doubt that if the AKP sought to impose religious rule
(Muslim rule) that the military would launch a coup. In 1997 the Turkish
military forced Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan from office. Erbakan favored
many Islamist policies that Turkish secularists feared.