Worth reading today

* Zev Schiff asks if the two Gaza attacks that claimed 11 IDF lives were ‘random incidents, or an operational flaw?’

* Erick Stakelbeck says the Nick Berg murder had ‘nothing to do with Abu Ghraib, and everything to do with the barbaric, pathologically anti-Western nature of militant Islam.’:

As more lurid details and photographs emerge revealing the treatment of Iraqi prisoners, the words “Abu Ghraib” will no doubt become the latest bogus excuse for Islamic terrorists to carry out attacks against non-Muslims, following previous favorites like the Jenin “massacre,” the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan, and Iraq and the always-reliable Spanish reconquista of Al-Andalus.

* The UNRWA has asked Palestinians to stop using ambulances to ferry terrorists and weapons. According to the Jerusalem Post, an ambulance crew was forced to drive a wounded gunman to a Gaza hospital along with two of his armed colleagues.

* Angela Bertz asks Kofi Annan and other world diplomats: Where were you after the Hatuel murders?!

Not one of you has, or had, the moral conscience to come out and condemn this horrendous and despicable act. It was carried out by people trained and heavily brainwashed in barbarism. The same people that you think deserve millions of dollars in aid and their own state.

* ‘In Arab World, Press Coverage of Beheading Varies Widely’ – NY Times

Most newspapers across the Middle East treated the gruesome videotape as front-page news, though generally secondary to stories about the deaths of six Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip.

But in Egypt, Al Akhbar, a semiofficial daily, tucked a 10-line news agency report into its inside pages, while another leading daily, Al Ahram, ignored the news altogether.

The Syrian papers also ignored the killing, though President Bush’s announcement of sanctions against Damascus received blanket coverage. A Kuwaiti paper, Al Siyassah al Kuwaitia ran a front-page story with a photograph of one of the militants holding up Mr. Berg’s head.

* Pepperdine’s Bruce Herschensohn says it’s a fight for survival — pull out all the stops:

The only subject worthy of our national attention and the only pursuit that should be acceptable is total victory — no matter if others are offended or even destroyed. I know this kind of thinking is not considered acceptable in 2004. But we better accept it — and quickly.

* The Pentagon is worried the Saudis will treat their multi-billion-dollar purchase of US jets like a Mideast construction project — halted payments at the whim of the buyer:

“The Saudis have been known to stop paying suppliers in mid-stream because they’ve changed their minds. Such a prospect appears more likely than ever.”