- Clinton seeks stronger ties with Arab allies.US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's trip to the Persian Gulf is intended to strengthen ties with Arab allies, rally support for penalties against Iran and promote democracy and security across the Middle East.Clinton departed Washington late Saturday for the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar, where leaders are concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions and growing influence in the region.America's chief diplomat also will seek greater cooperation in enforcing international sanctions on Iran that are designed to make Iran prove that it is not trying to develop nuclear weapons.In her meetings with leaders in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Muscat and Doha, US officials say Clinton will look for more Arab backing for the new government in Iraq and more financial support for the Palestinian Authority.Some Arab states have yet to fulfill pledges to fully normalize relations with Iraq and open embassies in Baghdad, gestures of support that Washington wants to see as it winds down its military presence there.As the Obama administration struggles to get the Mideast peace process back on track, Clinton will push wealthy Arab powers to broaden their contributions to the Palestinians. The US is keen to keep the development of Palestinian governmental institutions moving ahead.Official hope such progress may help forestall Palestinian moves to declare statehood or seek UN action against Israel.Hmmmm.....Barack Hussein Obama wants better relations between the Arab states and an Iraq who will be controled by Iran?Read the full story here.
- Flashback !Nov 05 2010:Mark Penn Says Obama Needs ‘Similar Event’ to Oklahoma City to Reconnect with Voters.Mark Penn, Democratic strategist and former chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, let out the kind of doozy, on last night’s Hardball, that must be seen to be believed. Comparing Obama’s current situation to the aftermath of the 1994 “Republican Revolution,” Penn noted that it took the Oklahoma City tragedy in order for President Clinton to “reconnect” with the American people.He then stepped off the cliff by saying that President Obama needed a “similar event” to achieve that reconnection following his party’s midterm losses.Hmmmm............Read and see the full story here.
- The WhiteHouse or Jarret's house?FIVE HOURS LATER: President Obama and his wife left Valerie Jarrett's house at 11:11 p.m., after spending five hours at his senior adviser's residence, the pool reports.The Obamas left the White House for Jarrett's shortly after the president spoke about the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.The pool adds: "The two stayed for nearly five hours tonight, coincidentally leaving minutes after the conclusion of two incredibly close NFL playoff games. The Seattle Seahawks upset the New Orleans Saints 41-36, and the New York Jets just eliminated the Indianapolis Colts 17-16 with a late field goal. No news on what POTUS was actually doing.".Hmmmm....Did he go and watch the games?Who's running the White House?Transparancy?Yeah whatevah !Read the full story here.
- Pakistani extremists set a new "Target".Pakistan ex-minister Sherry Rehman fit to be killed, says cleric.Islamabad: Several clerics have issued fatwas against former Pakistani minister Sherry Rehman and declared her an infidel for calling for changes in the blasphemy law, prompting civil society activists to register a complaint with police in the port city of Karachi today.Media reports said the imam of Sultan Masjid, one of Karachi's biggest mosques, declared Rehman a 'kaafir' (infidel) and 'wajib-ul-qatl' (fit to be killed) while delivering a sermon after the Friday prayers.The mosque has close ties to the Saudi Arabian government.Islamic hardliners who organised a massive rally in Karachi today also issued a pamphlet that named Rehman as a person who "has invoked the religious honour of Pakistan's Muslims" for calling for changes in the blasphemy law.Civil society activists today filed a complaint against the imam of Sultan Masjid at the Darakhsan police station in Karachi.The complaint was registered on behalf of Rehman, a senior leader of the Pakistan People's Party, Salmaan Taseer's son Shaan Taseer and journalist Ali Chishti.In the complaint, the civil society activists alleged that the imam of Sultan Masjid had also lauded Mumtaz Qadri, the policeman who assassinated Salmaan Taseer.Chishti told the media that civil society groups feared for Rehman's life following the murder of the Punjab Governor.The civil society activists said they were proud to be Muslims but rejected murdering people in the name of Islam.Security has been enhanced at Rehman's residence in Karachi and she has told the media she will not leave Pakistan.Hmmmm......Islam the religion of peace.Read the full story here.
- A country is about to be born?Southern Sudan set to become world's newest country as George Clooney flies in to encourage population to vote in referendum.Citizens of Southern Sudan voted in their thousands today at the start of a week-long, landmark referendum on its independence that is highly likely to result in the north-eastern African region becoming the world's youngest country.Voters turned out unprecedented numbers and there was a carnival atmosphere, fuelled by the prospect of a new state being formed.For the vote to be valid, 60 per cent of the electorate must vote and celebrities, including film star George Clooney, and politicians, such as former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan, ex-US president Jimmy Carter and Senator John Kerry, flew over to offer their support for the voting, which got off to a largely peaceful start.'Nobody ever bothered to ask the people of Southern Sudan as to what their destiny should be.'There is singing, there is dancing, this is a day like no other in the history of the people of Southern Sudan.'The referendum is expected to pass overwhelmingly, but some of the thousands of voters waiting in line at polling stations faced the prospect of having to take advantage of the seven-day period when polls are open.'I would like to call on all south Sudanese people to be patient in case anyone does not have time to cast his or her vote today,' southern Sudan president Salva Kiir said after casting his ballot in the morning.Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir had campaigned for unity, faced with the prospect of losing a quarter of the nation's territory and a majority of its oil reserves. But he has since changed his position, saying this month that he would join in independence celebrations if the referendum passed.Earlier, General Acuil Tito Madut, the inspector-general of the South's police, said rebel groups were trying to depress voter turnout following violent clashes with the region's military.The general added: 'Once these fights break out in these states that will mean some people will not vote, and once people don't vote that means the required percentage is not achieved.'Southern army spokesman Colonel Philip Aguer said forces loyal to rebel leader Gatluak Gai attacked SPLA forces overnight in Unity State, an oil-rich area bordering northern Sudan. He said six rebels died in the exchanges.Should the referendum be passed Southern Sudan would be on track to become the world's newest country in July.Outstanding issues like sharing oil wealth, water rights and demarcating the border still have to be agreed to.Aid groups also fear that southerners living in the north and northerners living in the south will face harassment and abuse.The US has made the referendum a foreign policy priority and has offered to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terror if Khartoum does not hinder the vote.
Hmmmm.....The chances of The Islamic North allowing the Southern part to leave with the oil are as good as non excisting according to me.Once the observers are gone,tension will reach boiling point very soon.Read the full story here.
- Republican Introduce Bill to Eliminate Presidential Czars; How Many Czars are There? Obama on Czars Then vs. Now; Vanity of Barack Obama.President Obama has an army of Czars. Counts vary from 32 to 45 (with 7 more planned). The interesting thing about Czars is Obama's blatant hypocrisy about them. Let's start with a look at Obama and his 32 czars."The biggest problems that we're facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that's what I intend to reverse when I'm president of the United States."- Sen. Barack Obama, March 31, 2008To say President Obama failed to follow through on this promise is an understatement. By appointing a virtual army of "czars" - each wholly unaccountable to Congress yet tasked with spearheading major policy efforts for the White House - the president has made an end-run around the legislative branch of historic proportions.The Imperial Court Please consider The Compleat List of Czars.Hmmmmm.....In my eyes they are a Communist version of congress ,planning to be ready to take over power in 2012 no matter what the election results are,or sooner if needed!Nothing more or less than a government within the government,wake up America!Read the full story here.
- Saudi Arabia gives names of 47 terror suspects to Interpol.Riyadh, Jan 9 (DPA) Saudi Arabia announced Sunday that it has given international policing agency Interpol the names of 47 suspected Saudi terrorists currently living outside the kingdom. Saudi Arabia believes the expatriates are affiliated with Al Qaeda, according to ministry of interior spokesman Mansour al-Turki. He said they 'want to seize the opportunities to carry out, or assist in committing, criminal acts'. The ministry called on the suspects to surrender and, in an attempt to lure them in, promised to take into consideration the possibility of reuniting them with their families. Saudi Arabia announced in November 2010 that it had arrested 149 alleged members of Al Qaeda terrorist rings, thereby preventing a number of planned attacks.Read the full story here.
- Iran: Dutch-Iranian women sentenced to death.Dutch-Iranian woman Zahra Bahrami has been found guilty of drug smuggling and sentenced to death by a court in Tehran.Ms Bahrami was born in Iran but moved to the Netherlands, becoming a Dutch citizen, Zahra Bahrami is 45 and has 2 children. She returned to Iran in December 2009 to visit relatives. She is reported to have been arrested after taking part in anti-government demonstrations.In court, Ms Bahrami maintained her innocence, recanting a nationally televised confession. She says the confession was made under coercion. According to Iranian law, the possession of 30 grams or more of cocaine is a crime punishable by death, with no possibility for appeal. Iranian authorities claim Ms Bahrami had 450 grams of cocaine in her possession at the time of her arrest, in addition to 400 grams of opium.The drugs charges against Ms Bahrami came on top of charges of membership in an armed opposition group, for which she could also face the death penalty. That portion of her trial must still take place.As for the death penalty for possession of drugs, Ms Bahrami does have one more chance to get her punishment commuted in the Iranian legal system, through the co-called Committee of Forgiveness. If she is willing to admit to her crime, she can appeal to the committee for forgiveness. It is rare, if not unprecedented, for the committee to grant forgiveness in cases involving drugs.The Dutch government says it has attempted to provide Ms Bahrami assistance, in the interest of trying to make sure she gets a fair trial, but has been prevented by the Iranian authorities, who do not recognize her Dutch citizenship.Ms Bahrami feels she has not received a fair trial. Her daughter, Banafshef Najebpour, told Radio Netherlands how much her mother had counted on the Netherlands to help assure she got a fair trial. Ms Najebpour broke down as she recounted her disappointment in the Dutch government. She said,The Dutch government says it has attempted to provide Ms Bahrami assistance, in the interest of trying to make sure she gets a fair trial, but has been prevented by the Iranian authorities, who do not recognize her Dutch citizenship."The last time I have seen my mother was Tuesday last week. She was doing quite well, and she was certain that she would receive help from the Dutch government because she knows she hasn’t done anything wrong. But we didn’t get any help."The Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Uri Rosenthal reacted in writing to the news of Ms Bahrami’s sentence. He says Dutch authorities are using every possible opportunity to bring up the subject with Iran.The case of Ms Bahrami is an early test for Mr Rosenthal, who has been foreign minister for just a few months. He has already come under criticism for not prioritizing human rights in Dutch foreign policy.Hmmmm....Come and visit Iran,a once in a lifetime experiance?Read the full story here.More here.HT:IslamInEurope.
- HT:BloggerBase.What do the Talmud and...the Chinese Have in Common?Here is a new take on a Yiddishe Kopf: the Chinese are trying to emulate Jewish business intelligence and ingenuity, by (of all things) studying the Talmud!Jewish visitors to China often receive a snap greeting when they reveal their religion: “Very smart, very clever, and very good at business,” the Chinese person says. Last year’s Google Zeitgeist China rankings listed “why are Jews excellent?” in fourth place in the “why” questions category, just behind “why should I enter the party” and above “why should I get married?” (Google didn’t publish a "why" category in Mandarin this year.) And the apparent affection for Jewishness has led to a surprising trend in publishing over the last few years: books purporting to reveal the business secrets of the Talmud that capitalize on the widespread impression among Chinese that attributes of Judaism lead to success in the financial arts.Han Bing, a Chinese author of the book "Crack the Talmud" said after attending a series on the Torah that Jews and the Chinese people have had similar problems, such as immigration and global isolation. I read somewhere--wish I remembered where, so I could link it--that Chinese leaders met with Israeli leaders some time back and were marveling at the economic success of Israel in such a short span of 62 years of statehood. They were under the impression that there were approximately "only" 100 million Jews world-wide. Were they shocked when they were informed that the global Jewish population was only approximately 13.3 million (don't know if this is current).Read the full story here.
- HT:IslamInEurope.Netherlands: Life benefits to Bosnian refugees who go home.The Netherlands has offered life benefits to Bosnians who settled in the country in the wake of the 1992-1995 war, if they decide to return home, Bosnian Ministry for Human Rghts and Refugees said on Wednesday.It is estimated that some 30,000 Bosnians settled in the Netherlands after the war and many have failed to integrate into Dutch society.The Dutch government said it was a “quality solution for all foreigners who have failed to integrate into Dutch society”.Read the full story here.
- HT:TheBrusselsJournal.The Lights Are Going Out in Denmark!I am posting (below) a letter from the Danish Free Press Society, the parent organization of the International Free Press Society, of which I am vice president. It is of urgent importance. It tells of the terrible turn of events in Denmark, which for years now has bravely spearheaded the West's fights to save free speech, now and seemingly in perpetuity under assault from both the Marxian Left and the press of sharia (Islamic law) -- and with zero support from diplomatic, governmental, or professional institutions in the United States, home and caretaker of the First Amendment. This appalling lack of support, which translates into a lack of courage and vision, is the main reason the assault of free speech continues to be successful.But et tu, Denmark?Last month, Danish MP Jesper Langballe was convicted of "hate speech" -- "racial discrimination," for having highlighted the pattern of "honor killings" in Muslim families. (Here is his "confession.") Now in the crosshairs is my very dear friend and colleague, Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society and the International Free Press Society.On January 24 he goes on trial. His crime? Discussing the high incidence of family rape within Islamic cultures, which the prosecutor is attempting to outlaw as "racism."In fact, the Danish prosecutor is attempting to enforce Islamic "blasphemy" laws, which outlaw all criticism of Islam.Hmmmm....."The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is besides the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech." Justice Anthony Kennedy.Read the full story here.
- HT:NewsRealBlog.The Top 10 People (or Groups) in America Who Loathe Israel, Our Strongest Ally.Across the wide seas, there is a magical place where people live in a similar setting to that here in the United States. They live with democracy, freedom, individual human rights and prosperity – just like here. Although much of their population embraces one faith, they allow all faiths to flourish – just like here. They welcome (legal) immigrants – just like here.And, in perhaps the most compelling commonality of all, they are targeted for destruction by the forces of Islam – just like here (just like all of Western Civilization, in point of fact).So, naturally, this magical place is absolutely loathed by American Leftists. After all, they hate their own country, so why shouldn’t they hate Israel? These haters walk among us. Let’s spend a few minutes calling them out (and in some cases, laughing at them hysterically)… To start with: the self-proclaimed protectors of human rights.10. The United NationsNo, they’re not American. But they are here in America, are they not? Perhaps it’s (long past) time that we kick their fannies off U.S. soil. The U.N. “Human Rights Council” is obsessed with Israel’s “many human rights abuses” and loses no opportunity to condemn the country, while not managing to muster up any indignation toward Iran, Libya, China, Qatar… oh, wait! Maybe it’s because those nations are all part of the Human Rights Council! Which makes perfect sense, if it was Opposite Day. Unfortunately, every day is Opposite Day at the U.N. – like the day they applauded terrorism toward Israel:At least under George W., the U.S. boycotted this kangaroo human rights court. But Obama has us going back, so that we can receive human rights counseling from North Korea, Nicaragua, Cuba, Egypt, and yes, even Iran! Our president apparently believes we have much to learn from these nations.Hmmmm........"They don't trust me because of my middle name".Read the full story here.
- Europe condemns Sheikh Jarrah construction in East Jerusalem.UK issues statement condemning demolition of Shepherd Hotel favor of Jewish housing units, while European Union's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says east Jerusalem part of occupied territory.The European Union's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton harshly condemned the demolition of the Shepherd Hotel in east Jerusalem for the purpose of building housing units for Jewish residents Sunday. Ashton described the compound as a Palestinian symbol. Britain also condemned the step. "The British Government reaffirms its strong, long-standing opposition to the creation of this new illegal settlement in occupied East Jerusalem and condemns today’s demolition in Sheikh Jerrah," a statement on behalf of the British Foreign Office noted."This latest settlement activity does not help – on the contrary, it raises tensions unnecessarily," Britain's Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said. Ashton said in a statement that she strongly condemns the demolition of the Shepherd Hotel and the future construction of "an illegal settlement." She noted settlements were illegal according to International Law.Ashton said that settlements undermine trust between the parties and pose an obstacle for peace. She noted that east Jerusalem was part of occupied territory adding that the EU does not recognize the annexation.The new Jewish neighborhood will contain 20 housing units.The EU's foreign policy chief also expressed sorrow over the death of four Palestinians over the last few days in the West Bank and urged the parties to cease violent acts.Read the full story here.
- 50 people survive Iran plane crash: Reports.Tehran: An IranAir passenger plane crashed Sunday night in the country's northwest, and around half of the 95 people on board survived with light injuries, Iranian media reported.The Boeing-727 operated by Iran's national airline crashed shortly before it was to land in the city of Orumiyeh, 460 miles (700 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Tehran, said Abbas Mosayebi, spokesman of the Iranian civil aviation organization, state TV reported.The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted the head of the State Emergency Canter, Gholam Reza Masoumi, as saying 50 people survived with light injuries. There was no information on the fate of the others.Masoumi said heavy snow was complicating rescue efforts. That report also said there was fog in the area.The plane was broken into several pieces, but there was no explosion or fire, said Mahmoud Mozaffar, head of the rescue department of Iran's Red Crescent Society, speaking on state TV.Iran has a history of frequent air accidents blamed on its aging aircraft and poor maintenance.Read the full story here.