Friday, March 25, 2011
- Live broadcast info from Japan directly ! Here.
HT: The Big Picture - Libya: UN air strikes aid rebels - 33 pictures here.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world lots of seismic activity in Japan between 5.1 and 5.6 today. More info here.
- Updated : The wind directions over Japan. Here.
- Latest official Situation Update No. 60.On 25.03.2011 at 11:31 GMT+2.
Residents living between 20 and 30 km from the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are being urged to "voluntarily evacuate" amid difficulties in obtaining daily necessities and the possibility of further radiation leaks, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Friday. While stressing that current radiation levels in the area do not necessitate immediate evacuation, Edano said notices have been sent out to municipalities asking them to be ready to work closely with the central and regional governments in the event an evacuation order is issued. "With the lack of business and logistics, people's lives are becoming increasingly difficult within the 20 to 30 km radius, and we cannot rule out the possibility that more radioactive material might leak and an evacuation order be issued," he said. "Based on this situation, municipalities need to expedite their living support and voluntary evacuation of residents, as well as prepare for a scenario in which an immediate evacuation order is issued." Three workers battling to stop a nuclear meltdown in Japan have been rushed to hospital with radiation poisoning after tainted water got into their suits. The men, two in their 20s and one in his 30s, were exposed to double the safe limit of radiation at the Fukushima plant’s number three reactor. A government spokesman said yesterday: “They were standing in irradiated water.” The country’s death toll stands at 9,811, with 17,541 missing. Source .
- HT:NewZeal."Responsibility to Protect" - The End of National Sovereignty As We Know It?Why Did U.S. President Barack Obama order a military attack on Libya? Why did he seek the permission of the United Nations Security Council, but not that of the U.S. Congress - as he is constitutionally obliged to do? Glenn Beck has explained President Obama's decision to attack Libya in terms of the United Nations' "Responsibility to Protect Doctrine"Mr Beck is right.
According to Radio Free Europe
Those who justify the Libyan intervention on humanitarian grounds draw much of their logic from a concept which has dramatically gained ground over recent decades. The concept is known as "R2P," shorthand for the world's "Responsibility to Protect" civilians.
But what does this catchy little phrase mean? Where did it come from? What are its implications?
The United Nations reported in July 2009;
The Obama administration is supporting moves to implement an U.N. doctrine calling for collective military action to halt genocide. In a week-long debate on implementing the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine, the U.S. joined a majority of U.N. countries, including Russia and China, in supporting implementation of the policy. The doctrine itself was approved in 2005 by more than 150 states including the U.S.
The doctrine specifies that diplomatic options such as internal conflict resolution, sanctions, and prosecution by the International Criminal Court, should be used first. If they don't work, then a multi-national force approved by the Security Council would be deployed.
In other words, if the United Nations does not approve of a certain government's behavior, and that government's leaders will not respond to sanctions and the threat of prosecution, they will be attackeded militarily.The U.S. organization supporting this concept, named unsurprisingly Responsibility to Protect is affiliated to a financial planning firm, General Welfare Group LLC, based in Oak Brook Illinois.
According to the Responsibility to Protect website
The doctrine of the responsibility to protect was first elaborated in 2001 by a group of prominent international human rights leaders comprising the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. Under their mandate, the Commission sought to undertake the two-fold challenge of reconciling the international community's responsibility to address massive violations of humanitarian norms and ensuring respect for the sovereign rights of nation states.
Led by Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia, and Mohamed Sahnoun, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, the Commission issued its report in December 2001. Focusing on the "right of humanitarian intervention", this report examined when, if ever, it is appropriate for states for take coercive - and in particular military - action, against another state for the purpose of protecting populations at risk. In essence, the group concluded that when a group (or groups) of people is suffering from egregious acts of violence resulting from internal war, insurgency, repression or state failure, and the state where these crimes are taking place is unable or unwilling to act to prevent or protect its peoples, the international community has a moral duty to intervene to avert or halt these atrocities from occurring.Gareth Evans, an Australian Fabian Socialist and Mohamed Sahnoun both worked with leftist financier George Soros in the highly influential International Crisis Group.The "responsibility to protect" doctrine received renewed emphasis in 2004 when the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan created the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change. The Panel was established to "identify major threats facing the international community in the broad field of peace and security and to generate new ideas about policies and institutions aimed at preventing or confronting these challenges".Clearly, the Obama Administration has proven far more sympathetic to Responsibility to Protect's agenda than was that of President Bush.While few seem to realize the significance of the new doctrine, Responsibility to Protect convenor Richard H. Cooper fully understands its transformational potential.
Cooper writes on the Responsibility to Protect website
Yet as I write, a quiet revolution is under way. In September 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a declaration - the World Summit Outcome - whereby each and every State in the world accepted its responsibility to protect populations from genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes. The declaration also emphasizes that if a State relinquishes its responsibility to protect – whether by will or lack of capacity - this responsibility must be borne by the international community that can decide to intervene as a last resort. In the face of mass atrocities, every nation and thus every people on earth have pledged to be our brothers’ keepers. Without fanfare and with little notice, the obsolete principles underlying the Westphalian ordering of world affairs have been dramatically rewritten. We can no longer hide behind State sovereignty, a 400-years old shield, to excuse the shameful reflex and ongoing practice of remaining passive in the face of the most outrageous behaviors...
"We can no longer hide behind state sovereignty."
Let that sink in reader. That is what this is all about."Responsibility to Protect" means the end of national sovereignty. It mandates the surrender of any nation state's legal authority over their own citizenry and armed forces to a supra-national body, with the power to sanction or destroy any deemed "rogue" nation - does Israel spring to mind?"Responsibility to Protect" - three little words, that should strike terror into the heart of every patriot in every free nation of the world.Hmmmm......."New World Order" anyone?Read the full story here.
- Congress Needs to RECLAIM Constitutional Authority.A week ago President Obama, without Congressional approval, committed our armed forces to an international conflict in the nation of Libya. Today Congressman Amash (R-Mich) and I are introducing the RECLAIM Act to reclaim Congressional authority to declare war that is so clearly proscribed in Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution; we urge all members to join our effort. Under the guise of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, President Obama claimed the United States must intervene to “prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and address the threat posed to international peace and security by the crisis in Libya.” While those aims are laudable, we cannot intervene everywhere we find injustice. Constitutionally, it is indisputable that Congress must be consulted prior to an act of war unless there is an imminent threat against this country. The President has not done so. Approval from the Arab League, the EU, and United Nations does not mean the American people approve.The RECLAIM Act does two simple things: ceases the use of force in, or directed at, the country of Libya by our Armed forces and halts all use of funds used in the force against the country of Libya. This bill DOES NOT allow an open-ended conflict. It DOES NOT leave us vulnerable to a “Tonkin Gulf”, “Nueces Strip” or a “Black Hawk Down” situation, meaning, it does not leave the United States armed forces in a vulnerable situation to be attacked, thus forcing our hand to retaliate. We’ve already come too close, with one plane having crash-landed—what if those pilots had died or ended up in enemy hands?Not only are these actions unconstitutional, they are unfathomable when we are facing a $14 trillion debt. The first night of this attack, we fired 112 Tomahawk missiles. Each of these missiles can cost up to $1.5 million. That’s $168 million for one night’s assault. Libya is more than four times the size of Iraq; we spent $2.1 billion a year enforcing a no fly zone there. Estimates to maintain the no-fly zone can cost $100 million to $300 million per week. We cannot afford another open ended conflict overseas.This is a bipartisan measure to RECLAIM and restore the American peoples’ faith in the balance of power, faith in the constitution, and—when trust in government is at record lows—faith in the United States Congress. Presidents have long abused their prerogative to conduct foreign affairs on behalf of the United States. From Truman intervening in Korea, JFK’s invasion of the Bay of Pigs, Reagan’s involvement in the Iraq-Iran war; George HW Bush in Panama and Somalia; Clinton in Somalia, Kosovo, Serbia; George W. Bush in Pakistan. The American people elected us to serve in a co-equal branch of the federal government. It is time we act like it.Hmmm....Finally.Read the full story here.
- HT:RobertSpencer.FrontpageMagazine.The Inquisition of Melanie Phillips.Last week British columnist Melanie Phillips wrote a blogpost at the Spectator entitled "Armchair barbarism," discussing the brutal jihad murders of the Fogel family in Israel. Her references to the "moral depravity" of the Arab "savages" who committed the crime have gotten her in hot water with Britain's hyper-PC Press Complaints Commission, which has launched an investigation.
Phillips is being investigated, ironically enough, for writing that "the moral depravity of the Arabs," as she chose to term the murderers of the Fogels and those in Gaza who celebrated those murders, "is finding a grotesque echo in the moral bankruptcy and worse of the British and American 'liberal' media." And as if on cue, the watchdog organization in Britain of that liberal media swooped down upon her.
The irony was compounded by a further statement in Phillips' column: "Overwhelmingly, the media have either ignored or downplayed the atrocity -- or worse, effectively blamed the victims for bringing it on themselves, describing them as 'hard-line settlers' or extremists." In this case, however, they were not blaming the victim, but blaming the columnist who spoke forthrightly about the nature of the murderers.
After the column was published, the P.C. Commission received two complaints about it: one from Engage, a group that is dedicated to advancing Muslim participation in British society, and from one of Britain's most prominent Muslim leaders, Inayat Bunglawala, the chairman of Muslims4UK. Bunglawala fumed that Phillips' words "went far beyond just denouncing the killings. It was a far more generalised racist outburst against Arabs as a whole."
Ignoring the fact that Arab Muslims commit jihad terror attacks on a virtually daily basis, and that there is no equivalent among Jews, Bunglawala claimed that "if you insert the word 'Jew' or 'Jewish' where she has referred to Arabs then I am sure she would have no doubt that those words would be antisemitic. Just as she abhors antisemitism it is important that she maintains the same vigorous anti-racist stance against Arabs. It is just unacceptable to use that kind of language."Yet Bunglawala and Engage were ignoring one undeniable fact: the Islamic jihadists who murdered the Fogel family were savages, as were those who celebrated their murders in Gaza. I would say this while standing in the middle of Trafalgar Square, and if Britain's PC Commission had any residual sense of shame, it would drop its investigation of Phillips immediately.
It is also worth noting, however, that it may have been a lingering politically correct impulse on Phillips' part that played into the hands of the Islamic supremacists who complained about her piece. For she referred to "Arabs" again and again, when the murderers of the Fogels were killing not because they were Arabs, but because they were Muslims, and Islamic jihadists. So many Western analysts will call jihadists anything -- anything -- so as to avoid calling them what they are, devout and observant Muslims. They just can't bear the idea that religious teachings might really have something to do with this conflict. Yet to characterize the Itamar murderers again and again as "Arabs" may have made it easier for the execrable Bunglawala to characterize what she wrote as a "generalised racist outburst."
On the other hand, since resistance to jihad violence and Islamic supremacism is routinely described as "racism" also, if she had referred to the killers as jihadists or Muslims it may not have made any difference.
In any case, note the moral inversion from the complaining Muslims -- a moral inversion that is now so common that we may not even notice it. Bunglawala and the other complainers are full of righteous indignation against Melanie Phillips for her words, but where is the indignation of these supposed "moderates" against the jihadists who murdered the Fogels? Which is worse? Phillips's allegedly "racist" remarks, or the cold-blooded killing of a family sleeping in its home?
And if Bunglawala and co. had issued some pro-forma condemnation, deploring the attacks, admonishing the West that "Islam forbids" such murders and similar eyewash, what were they doing to back it up with real action? What programs have they instituted in mosques and Islamic schools in Britain to teach against the beliefs and assumptions that led Muslims to believe that it would be a good and righteous act to murder the Fogels in the first place?Such questions are the ones British authorities really ought to be investigating.Source .
- Islamic bloc drops 12-year U.N. drive to ban defamation of religion.Islamic countries set aside their 12-year campaign to have religions protected from “defamation”, allowing the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to approve a plan to promote religious tolerance on Thursday. Western countries and their Latin American allies, strong opponents of the defamation concept, joined Muslim and African states in backing without vote the new approach that switches focus from protecting beliefs to protecting believers.Since 1998, the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) had won majority approval in the council and at the United Nations General Assembly for a series of resolutions on “combating defamation of religion”. Critics said the concept ran against international law and free speech, and left the way open for tough “blasphemy” laws like those in Pakistan which have been invoked this year by the killers of two moderate politicians in Pakistan.They argued that it also allowed states where one religion predominates to keep religious minorities under tight control or even leave them open to forced conversion or oppression.But Pakistan, which speaks for the OIC in the rights council, had argued that such protection against defamation was essential to defend Islam, and other religions, against criticism that caused offence to ordinary believers. Islamic countries pointed to the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed in Denmark in 2005, which sparked anti-Western violence in the Middle East and Asia, as examples of defamatory treatment of their faith that they wanted stopped. However, support for the fiercely-contested resolutions — which the OIC had been seeking to have transformed into official U.N. human rights standards — has declined in recent years.The new three-page resolution, which emerged after discussions between U.S. and Pakistani diplomats in recent weeks, recognises that there is “intolerance, discrimination and violence” aimed at believers in all regions of the world. Omitting any reference to “defamation”, it condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that amounts to incitement to hostility or violence against believers and calls on governments to act to prevent it.The U.S.-based Human Rights First campaign group said the new resolution was “a huge achievement because…it focuses on the protection of individuals rather than religions” and put the divisive debates on defamation behind. However, diplomats from Islamic countries have warned the council that they could return to campaigning for an international law against religious defamation if Western countries are not seen as acting to protect believers.Hmmmmmm........And who's going to protect the 'non believers'?Read the full story here.
- It's not Islamophobia ,it's reality in Egypt.Islamist Group Is Rising Force in a New Egypt.CAIRO — In post-revolutionary Egypt, where hope and confusion collide in the daily struggle to build a new nation, religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force — at least not at the moment. As the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence. But what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it. “There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on,” said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. “It makes sense if you are the military — you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street.” There is a battle consuming Egypt about the direction of its revolution, and the military council that is now running the country is sending contradictory signals. On Wednesday, the council endorsed a plan to outlaw demonstrations and sit-ins. Then, a few hours later, the public prosecutor announced that the former interior minister and other security officials would be charged in the killings of hundreds during the protests.Egyptians are searching for signs of clarity in such declarations, hoping to discern the direction of a state led by a secretive military council brought to power by a revolution based on demands for democracy, rule of law and an end to corruption. “We are all worried,” said Amr Koura, 55, a television producer, reflecting the opinions of the secular minority. “The young people have no control of the revolution anymore. It was evident in the last few weeks when you saw a lot of bearded people taking charge. The youth are gone.” The Muslim Brotherhood is also regarded warily by some religious Egyptians, who see it as an elitist, secret society. These suspicions have created potential opportunities for other parties. About six groups from the ultraconservative Salafist school of Islam have also emerged in the era after President Hosni Mubarak’s removal, as well as a party called Al Wassat, intended as a more liberal alternative to the Brotherhood. In the early stages of the revolution, the Brotherhood was reluctant to join the call for demonstrations. It jumped in only after it was clear that the protest movement had gained traction. Throughout, the Brotherhood kept a low profile, part of a survival instinct honed during decades of repression by the state. The question at the time was whether the Brotherhood would move to take charge with its superior organizational structure. It now appears that it has. “The Brotherhood didn’t want this revolution; it has never been a revolutionary movement,” said Mr. Zarwan of the International Crisis Group. “Now it has happened; they participated cautiously, and they realize they can set their sights higher.” But in these early stages, there is growing evidence of the Brotherhood’s rise and the overpowering force of Islam. When the new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, addressed the crowd in Tahrir Square this month, Mohamed el-Beltagi, a prominent Brotherhood member, stood by his side. A Brotherhood member was also appointed to the committee that drafted amendments to the Constitution.Hmmmm......These are the people "They don't trust me because of my middle name" pledged 1,57 Billion Dollar to in 2012.In a few years Egypt will be another Iran!Read the full story here.
- Will Egypt's Youth Movement Be Pushed Aside?Egyptian voters overwhelmingly approved a set of constitutional amendments in last weekend's referendum, paving the way for parliamentary and presidential elections in the next four to six months. But many liberal reformers and youth activists oppose that swift timetable, arguing that early elections would give an extraordinary advantage to Mubarak's old political party and the Muslim Brotherhood, which have strong organizational structures and would move to centralize power. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who met with Egyptian military leaders in Cairo on Thursday, urged them to give new political groups more time to organize.Can the youth movement and those pushing for greater reforms be fairly represented in the upcoming elections? What does that movement need to do to form a viable coalition?Hmmmm.....The Egyptian Youth will go the same way as the Iranian youth!Read the full story here.
- Iran Eyeing Power-Grab in Iraq.Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is so worried that his country could descend into another round of civil war, and that Iran could ratchet up its power-grab plans, that he has dispatched an adviser to Washington, D.C., to ask Obama to reconsider the withdrawal of U.S. troops later this year.“Everyone is now preparing for the division of Iraq,” Talabani adviser Wrya Saeed Rwandzi told Newsmax in an interview late last week. “In practical terms, Iraq is already divided,” with Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds living in geographically distinct areas and encouraging internal migration to create more ethnically pure regional entities.Already, the main Sunni and Shiite political parties in Iraq are controlled by Islamist elements, he said.“If the U.S. withdraws its troops as scheduled at the end of this year, it will trigger the splitting up of Iraq. There will be civil war, maybe even a regional war. Iran will come in. So will Turkey and Syria. And they will all try to pull Israel in as well. We are very, very worried about foreign interference,” Rwandzi said. “None of our neighbors have an interest in a stable Iraq.”Talabani is especially worried that Iran will step in to fill the power vacuum created by the U.S. troop departure. Obama made the troop pullout a centerpiece of his 2008 election campaign and has repeatedly promised he will carry it out on schedule by the end of 2011.“Iran is now the main base of all the terrorist groups in the region,” Rwandzi said. “All the top leaders of al-Qaida are based in Iran. So are many top Taliban leaders. Iran is publicly claiming to lead the terrorist movements of the world. They are seeking to create a Shiite crescent from Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon to Gaza. Now they are penetrating the Gulf countries, as you can see in Bahrain.”Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki clearly doesn’t share Talabani’s worries about Iran. Since his new government took power last year, al-Malaki has invited Iran to play an increasingly open role in Iraq’s internal security affairs. Members of his own government have accused him of packing the Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry, which al-Malaki controls directly, with Iranian agents.Just last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Iraq not to go through with a long-planned purchase of American fighter jets.“I can say that Iran now fully controls our parliament and our government,” Rwandzi said. “Iran is competing with the United States for the future of the entire Middle East.”Iran has also infiltrated Iraqi Kurdistan, and has extensive intelligence and terrorist networks operating there. “They are putting pressure on our leaders, bombarding our border areas, and sending in terror cells,” Rwandzi said. “They threaten us in public.”And Iran will not be alone in seeking to exploit Iraq’s increasing vulnerability should U.S. troops withdraw as is currently planned. Turkey, Russia, and even China have expanded their commercial, diplomatic, and intelligence operations in Iraq.“All of them are moving ahead because they see how weak the United States has become and how the United States hesitates in the region,” Rwandzi said. “These foreign players are all anti-democratic.”Turkey alone has more than 1,000 commercial companies operating in Iraq, generating bilateral trade with Iraq worth tens of billions of dollars every year. But Talabani sees Turkey as much less of a threat than Iran since it is using dialogue not violence to resolve problems, whereas Iran is trying to impose on Islamic Shariah through coercive means and terror. “Iran is openly fighting the secular democratic forces in the entire region,” Rwandzi said. “They are more dangerous than al-Qaida.”The Iranians see Obama as weak, because he has done nothing to counter their aggressive expansion into Iraq, Rwandzi argued. “Obama is doing nothing. The U.S. has no clear policy, and is sending contradictory messages. Often this administration can’t seem to distinguish between their friend and their enemy, especially in Iraq.”He said the U.S. has been backing Sunni leaders who are anti-American, and who continue to preach anti-American hate in their mosques and in their schools. Talabani felt particularly slighted because the Obama administration was lobbying hard to replace him with Ayad Allawi, as a means of breaking the impasse that followed the tied elections last March.Hmmmm.....The Obama doctrine of 'Change' Makes the world a whole deal 'different?Read the full story here.
- Turkish base to be center of NATO operations in Libya.Once-reluctant Turkey is now gearing up to play a critical role in NATO operations in Libya, which will have their command center at the alliance’s air base in the Aegean city of İzmir.The announcement of the base’s selection as the center for operations monitoring the no-fly zone in the crisis-hit North African country followed the lifting of Turkey’s previous opposition to any kind of NATO involvement in Libya.Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced late Thursday that Turkish concerns about the mission had been resolved and that the government would join the international coalition intervening in Libya, an operation for which NATO would assume command.Many observers said the selection of the base in İzmir for the Libya operation clearly demonstrated that Turkey had used its leverage during NATO meetings in Brussels. The base was one of two headquarters, along with the one in Larissa, Greece, that NATO was considering shutting down last year as part of plans to tighten its command structure.“İzmir is the most suitable air base for a NATO operation in the Mediterranean,” a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Friday.According to NATO officials, 48 hours are needed to ready the İzmir base to undertake the mission. It was not yet clear at press time which country would be in charge of the operation, but a NATO spokesman reportedly said the alliance could appoint a commander from Turkey, the United States or any other member state.“We are very glad that allies reached a consensus in Brussels on the no-fly zone as well as the arms embargo. Turkey is a member of NATO. We have been very close to Turkey in this process, communicating well at all levels,” a Western source told the Daily News.Turkey has already contributed five warships and a submarine to the international operation in Libya; the vessels are to be used solely for humanitarian and defense purposes. The country may additionally offer F-16 jets and its tanker aircraft in the Central Anatolian province of Konya were said to be ready for any NATO request.One of the key factors that angered Ankara was the way France has taken control of the situation in Libya.“Paris has begun to be excluded, which is a positive development,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday in Istanbul, reflecting his government’s initial uneasiness.Turkey will attend a Libya summit in London on Tuesday, following France’s failure to invite Ankara to a meeting in Paris on March 19.The French plans to establish a contact group or a steering committee that includes broad-based participation at the London summit are being considered by some as an attempt by Paris to maintain a lead role in the Libya operation and divide the political leadership from the NATO military command. “It has been observed that Paris will maintain its political ambition,” said a diplomatic source.Hmmmm....Why do i get the feeling that Obama is pushing his buddy Turkey as leader in all this?Read the full story here.
- Canada: Gaza rocket strikes 'criminal'.Canada 'vigorously condemns' Palestinian attacks, says Israel has right to defend itself.Strong support from North American ally: Canada "vigorously condemns" a spate of rocket fire by Gaza groups against Israel, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said Friday."Canada vigorously condemns the rocket attacks on Israel launched from the Gaza Strip. These terrorist attacks, which indiscriminately target civilian areas, are abhorrent and criminal," he said in a statement."Israel has a right to defend itself against such terrorist acts," the statement added. "Terrorism is never justified. We call on all parties in Gaza to cease these criminal attacks. Those responsible should be brought to justice."Meanwhile, Canada's pro-Israel government was defeated in a no-confidence vote Friday.The defeat by Canada's minority Conservative government sets the scene for a federal election in early May.Legislators in the House of Commons voted by 156-145 to back the motion, which was presented by the main opposition Liberal Party.Hmmmm.......You can always count on Canada to do the right thing.How many Americans these days envy Canada for this?Read the full story here.
- HT:BigGovernment.Obama’s Anti-Energy Policy Is Destroying American Jobs.President Obama’s hometown of Chicago is nearly 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexicont Obama’s hometown of Chicago is nearly 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. But like many other communities across the country, it is suffering the consequences of his Administration’s anti-drilling agenda. Illinois accounted for $376.2 million in shallow-water drilling expenditures over the past three years, according to an analysis by 14 oil and gas companies that spend money on vendors and subcontractors. The bulk of that money—$242.2 million—was spent in the Chicago district represented by Representative Danny Davis (D–IL).It’s fresh evidence that Obama’s anti-drilling agenda is having a ripple effect across America since last year’s oil spill, claiming jobs not just in Louisiana and Texas but also in communities far removed from the shipyards in the Gulf of Mexico.The study from the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition paints a picture of the nationwide economic ramifications. Obama can’t even be blamed for playing politics. Five of the states that benefit most from shallow-water drilling backed him as a candidate in 2008. And Democrats represent many of the congressional districts that stand to lose millions.The cost in jobs is startling. A new analysis by Louisiana State University professor Joseph Mason projects national job losses at 19,000 from the drilling moratorium, with wage losses at $1.1 billion. About one-third of those jobs are located outside the Gulf region.Nearly a year after imposing his anti-drilling agenda, it’s quite clear that Obama is carrying out misguided policies causing widespread harm.And job losses aren’t the only consequence. The Obama Administration’s deliberate delay in issuing permits for both deepwater and shallow-water drilling has led to a sharp decline in oil production for the Gulf of Mexico this year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration puts the figure at 240,000 fewer barrels every day.With gas prices hovering around $3.56 per gallon nationwide, now is not the time to lower production. The only way to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil is to produce more of it here at home.The recent approval of new drilling permits for the Gulf of Mexico is a welcome and long overdue move by the Administration, but it’s nothing to celebrate. The pace of permitting is far below the historical average, and there’s no indication that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has any desire to return production to a pre-spill level.Until that happens, expect more grim news like the unfortunate circumstances facing Seahawk Drilling, which was forced to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a direct result of the bureaucratic delays at BOEMRE. Seahawk’s president and chief executive Randy Stilley, writing in The Washington Post, painted a dire picture:The government’s drastic slowdown in the issuance of permits for shallow-water drilling operations—in which companies work in familiar geological formations, typically in less than 500 feet of water, mostly seeking to produce natural gas—has all but crippled the industry. The survivors (for now) like Hercules are staying afloat largely thanks to revenue from operations outside U.S. waters. Put another way, a once-proud industry born in the gulf during the Truman administration can no longer survive on operations in its own back yard.Unless things change soon, Seahawk Drilling won’t be alone. Businesses located in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, California, and New York—top recipients of shallow-water drilling spending—will all face economic consequences as well.It’s time for lawmakers to take notice. Representative John Sullivan (R–OK), who represents a district with $87.2 million in shallow-water expenditures over the past three years, recognizes the impact. He told us: “Continuing to keep American sources of energy under lock and key by failing to issue drilling permits only serves to place American jobs at risk, drives up costs at the pump and deepens our dependence on foreign oil.”Things don’t have to be this way. The House of Representatives must continue to conduct rigorous oversight of the Obama Administration, challenging the Administration’s excuses and applying pressure when necessary. America’s energy future depends on it.Hmmmm.....Chicago politics..... give drilling permits to the Brazilian (Soros) owned oil compagny and get re-elected?Read the full story here.
- HT:BarracudaBrigade.Sheriff Arpaio: Obama and the ACLU Are Targeting Me.
Dear Concerned Citizen:
Did you hear that the Obama Justice Department worked hand-in-hand with the far-left ACLU to bring a lawsuit against Arizona for passing a tough anti-illegal immigration law?That’s right. Obama’s liberal lawyers at his Justice Department are in full collusion with the ACLU to do everything they can to stop Arizona’s SB1070 from becoming law. This new law would have strengthened law enforcement’s ability to identify, arrest and detain those who are in this country illegally.
Several emails were obtained between Justice lawyers and their friends at the ACLU. In one exchange, a government lawyer tells his ACLU buddy that it’s a “real pleasure to be on the same side.”Same side of what? Aren’t these federal employees supposed to be acting in the best interest of the citizens of the United States? If the Justice Department and the ACLU are on the same side, where does that leave the rest of us?
The ACLU collaborated with several far-left extremist organizations to file a lawsuit to block Arizona’s tough illegal immigration law. But who would have thought they’d be teaming up directly with theDepartment of Justice.This is an outrage! But it also may clear up why the Department of Justice has had a “civil rights” investigation against me for almost two years now. They’re probably taking direction from the ACLU, one of my worst enemies.
Because I have taken the lead over the years by enforcing existing state and federal laws against illegal immigration, I have become the target of attack by radical, left-wing, open-borders extremists.I’ve been sued, picketed, burned in effigy and even had the Reverend Al Sharpton come to Phoenix – TWICE! – to march on my headquarters. Some have even gone so far as to call for my assassination! And, the Mexican Drug Cartels have put a $1 MILLION BOUNTY on my head.
What these extremists really want is a Sheriff who will look the other way, be silent and allow the charade to continue, while ignoring the laws of our land. That, I promise, will never happen.I won’t back down. I won’t surrender to politicians, thugs or drug dealers! And I certainly won’t back down to the far-left ACLU!But I desperately need your help. It's going to take a lot of resources to combat the attacks and false allegations against me and my deputies — as well as the latest talk about a recall campaign to remove me from office. We anticipate the hardest campaign in history to remove me due to my unyielding stance on illegal immigration enforcement.Hmmmm......As i warned 'the patriots of today seem to become the terrorists of tomorrow' in the eyes of this regime!Read the full story here.
- HT:Memri.Saudi Daily: Hizbullah, Iranian Snakes Striking In Gulf.In an editorial, the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah stated that the recent events in Bahrain, the Houthi uprising in Yemen, and the unrest in several Arab countries shows that the "snakes" in the form of Hizbullah – which instead of "the party of God" should be called "the party of the Devil" – had left their nests and bared their fangs so as to spread their venom and harm the social infrastructure of the Gulf states. The paper said that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states must fight against the Shi'ite plots of Iran, Hizbullah, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, and remove these snakes' venom. Source .
- Canada vows to hold Iran to the fire over human rights abuses.UNITED NATIONS — Canada pledged on Thursday to maintain its annual "diplomatic" assault on Iran at the United Nations — even though the world body's Human Rights Council earlier Thursday resumed direct scrutiny of the Islamic republic after a nine-year hiatus.Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon told Postmedia News there would be no let-up in Canada's successful multi-year bid to push through resolutions in the UN General Assembly deploring abuses in Iran that include public executions and arbitrary arrests."Canada will continue to take Iran to task for their egregious human rights abuses," Cannon said from Ottawa. "We will do this at every opportunity, and in every appropriate forum, including in the General Assembly, until the situation improves dramatically."Canada's drive annually infuriates Iran, which invariably lobbies against the measure — one year by issuing a book documenting what it described as human rights abuses committed by the Canadian government.Ottawa launched its attacks after the Geneva-based council's predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, went mute over Iran in 2002 as human rights "rogue" states came to dominate the body. At the same time, the European Union quit tabling resolutions in the General Assembly criticizing Iranian practices as it focused on a human rights "dialogue" with Iran.But what specifically spurred Canada was the 2003 torture and murder in an Iranian jail of the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. The first Canadian-led resolution on Iran emerged that year.Canada, though not a council member, was among the "sponsors" of the resolution, which calls on Iran to "fully co-operate" with the investigator. It also speaks of "regretting" Iran's "lack of co-operation" with requests in the most recent Canadian-led resolution in the General Assembly. That document included calls for Iran to end flogging, amputations, and executions by stoning and suspended strangulation.Cannon was among a number of international players calling for the establishment of a special investigator, doing so most recently in a speech last month before the council.Members of the international Baha'i community, which is 30,000-strong in Canada, were among groups who welcomed the council move as they continued to campaign for an end to persecution of Baha'is in Iran. The faith began there, but Iranian authorities consider those practicing it to be apostates."They've been abusing the human rights of Baha'is for many decades, but for some time they've also been doing the same to the Muslim population," Bani Dugal, the community's chief representative at the UN, said from Geneva. "The international community is indicating they have had enough," she added, highlighting that "even Malaysia," a Muslim state, abstained instead of opposing the resolution — in defiance of traditional Muslim solidarity.But the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch on Thursday warned against interpreting the Iran resolution as a signal of wider change within the council."Regrettably, it is only one of the few exceptions to the rule that the vast majority of the world's ruthless dictatorships, such as China, Syria and Zimbabwe, get a free pass from the council," said Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director."The anti-Israel obsession continues, with an unprecedented six resolutions this week (against that country), and with the sham five-year reform package, which perpetuates the special agenda item on Israel," he added, citing measures that result in a disproportionate focus on Israeli actions compared to those of other countries.Hmmmmm......Canada the Number ONE in the world when it comes to defending human rights.Read the full story here.
- "The War on Christianity".Thousands of Christians Displaced in Ethiopia After Muslim Extremists Torch Churches, Homes.Thousands of Christians have been forced to flee their homes in Western Ethiopia after Muslim extremists set fire to roughly 50 churches and dozens of Christian homes.At least one Christian has been killed, many more have been injured and anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 have been displaced in the attacks that began March 2 after a Christian in the community of Asendabo was accused of desecrating the Koran.The violence escalated to the point that federal police forces sent to the area two weeks ago were initially overwhelmed by the mobs. Government spokesman Shimelis Kemal told Voice of America police reinforcements had since restored order and 130 suspects had been arrested and charged with instigating religious hatred and violence.Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the Islamist group Kawarja is believed to have incited the violence."We believe there are elements of the Kawarja sect and other extremists who have been preaching religious intolerance in the area,” he said at a Saturday press conference. “In previous times, we have cracked down on Kawarja because they were involved in violence. Since then they have changed their tactics and they have been able to camouflage their activities through legal channels."One of those areas is Besheno where, on November 9, all the Christians in the city woke up to find notes on their doors warning them to convert to Islam, leave the city or face death, a Christian from Besheno told FoxNews.com on condition of anonymity.“Under the Ethiopian constitution we are supposed to have freedom of religion, but Muslim leaders in our town don’t allow us that right,” the source said.Later that month three Christians in Besheno were assaulted in religiously-motivated attacks and three others were forced to flee the city after being told that Muslim leaders had commissioned hit men to kill them, one of the exiled Christians told FoxNews.com.“We were told by some Muslims that live in the city that there was already a plan to kill us and that the people who were assigned to kill us had already come from another city to do it.” A witness to the three attacks was then assaulted in January after testifying about them in court, International Christian Concern (ICC), an organization that aims to fight Christian persecution, reported.In the southern town of Moyale, a Christian was sentenced to three years in prison in November for allegedly writing "Jesus is the Lord" in a copy of the Koran, Compass Direct News reported. Christians from the area told the website he had actually written the phrase on a piece of cloth."The violence against Christians in Ethiopia is alarming because Ethiopian Muslims and Christians used to live together peacefully. Besides, it’s extremely disconcerting that in Ethiopia, where Christians are the majority, they are also the victims of persecution," Jonathan Racho, ICC's Regional Manager of Africa and South Asia, told FoxNews.com.Meles said that the government is doing everything it can to stop religious violence.Hmmmm.......“Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be,” Pope Benedict XVI . Read the full story here.
Watch Islamic states’ reps discuss sexual orientation at the UN.
Here are Islamic states speaking about sexual orientation at the UN “Human Rights” Council on March 22, 2011. The gross intolerance is undeniable. Except that in their own words it is labeled Islamic culture. Where is the response by “liberals” who make a practice of coming to their defense?HT: PajamasMedia.
- Live broadcast info from Japan directly ! Here.
HT: The Big Picture - Libya: UN air strikes aid rebels - 33 pictures here.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world lots of seismic activity in Japan between 5.1 and 5.6 today. More info here.
- Updated : The wind directions over Japan. Here.
- Latest official Situation Update No. 59.On 25.03.2011 at 03:56 GMT+2
A Japanese news report claims the nuclear power plant crisis in Fukushima prefecture is level 6 indicating a serious accident on the seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale. Japanese news daily, Asahi Shinbun, reported Friday that the amount of iodine leaked from the power plant has reached almost thirty to 1-hundred-10 thousand tera Becquerel per hour. The Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 was categorized as level 7, the worst nuclear accident ever in history, while the one occurred on Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979 was recorded as a level 5 incident.Source .
- High radiation leak suggests damage to No. 3 reactor vessel: agency.A high-level radiation leak detected Thursday at one of six troubled reactors at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant indicates possible damage to the reactor's vessel, pipes or valves, the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Friday.Three workers at the No. 3 reactor's turbine building, connected to the reactor building, were exposed Thursday to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level, with two of them taken to hospital due to possible radiation burns to their feet, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for the governmental nuclear regulatory body, told a press conference, ''At present, our monitoring data suggest the (No. 3) reactor retains certain containment functions, but there is a good chance that the reactor has been damaged.''Nishiyama said the high-level radiation is suspected to have originated from the reactor, where overheating fuel rods are believed to have been partially melted, or a boiling pool that stores spent nuclear fuel, both of which are located in the reactor's building.Following the radiation exposure incident, the nuclear agency ordered the utility known as TEPCO to improve radiation management at the power station, where Japan's worst nuclear crisis is unfolding. The operator began removing the highly radioactive water from the site.The spokesman said further verification is needed to find out how the radioactive water reached the underground site. Huge volumes of water have been poured into the reactor and the pool in the No. 3 reactor building, which was substantially damaged by a hydrogen blast on March 14.The government, which has set the exclusion zone covering areas within a 20 kilometer radius of the Fukushima plant, on Friday encouraged residents within a 30 kilometer radius of the power station to voluntarily leave.Read the full story here.
- Miranda is Obama's latest victim.One of the central pledges of Barack Obama's campaign was that -- as he put it early in his presidency -- the Bush administration had gone wildly wrong because it "established an ad hoc legal approach for fighting terrorism that was neither effective nor sustainable -- a framework that failed to rely on our legal traditions and time-tested institutions; that failed to use our values as a compass." Instead, he implored, we must fight Terrorism only "with an abiding confidence in the rule of law and due process, in checks and balances and accountability." Thus, he thunderously vowed, "We must never -- ever -- turn our back on its enduring principles for expedience sake."The number of instances in which Obama has violently breached his own alleged principles when it comes to the War on Terror and the rule of law are too numerous to chronicle in one place. Suffice to say, it is no longer provocative or controversial when someone like Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin writes, as he did the other day, that Obama "has more or less systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the George W. Bush Administration." No rational person can argue that or even tries to any longer. It's just a banal expression of indisputable fact.Today, the Obama DOJ unveiled the latest -- and one of the most significant -- examples of its eagerness to assault the very legal values Obama vowed to protect. The Wall Street Journal reports that "new rules allow investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, significantly expanding exceptions to the instructions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades." The only previous exception to the 45-year-old Miranda requirement that someone in custody be apprised of their rights occurred in 1984, when the Rehnquist-led right-wing faction of the Supreme Court allowed delay "only in cases of an imminent safety threat," but these new rules promulgated by the Obama DOJ "give interrogators more latitude and flexibility to define what counts as an appropriate circumstance to waive Miranda rights."The right here is established by the Supreme Court as guaranteed by the Constitution, and the specific right in question -- not to have pre-Miranda statements admissible in court -- is one the administration cannot change and does not purport to. But the guidelines long in place for reading a detainee his rights were vital to preserving the Miranda framework -- for preventing abusive interrogations and coerced statements -- and it is this protection which the Obama DOJ is seriously diluting with such a permissive and discretionary standard.Worse, the administration tried but failed to convince Congress to modify it with legislation. But, as we well know, nothing deters a President's will: so they just went ahead and did it on their own. The very same political faction that spent the last decade decrying assertions of unconstrained executive power and the ignoring of Congressional will in the area of civil liberties is now its enthusiastic champion.When it comes to debates between Left and Right over the Constitution and due process, Miranda has always been viewed as one of the key defining issues. Richard Nixon was obsessed with demonizing the Warren Court for providing too many rights to the accused, and his attacks on Miranda were part of a decades-long war by the American Right on the constitutional liberties established over the last half-century. With a swoop of a pen -- more than 9 years removed from the 9/11 attacks -- Barack Obama has done more to erode Miranda than any right-wing politician could have dreamed of achieving.Hmmmm.....Anyone still believing in democracy?Welcome to 1939 Nazi Germany!The patriots will be the 2012 "Terrorists"!Read the full story here.
- HT:BarryRubin.Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Urges Syria Regime Overthrow Against White House Policy.As I’ve reported, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is horrified by White House policies in the Middle East. Indeed, he has an extra reason for being upset since it is his military forces that have to manage the Libyan mess while simultaneously fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while, on top of that, facing cutbacks and administration social engineering experiments in the armed forces.Just after visiting Egypt, Gates became the first administration official to call openly for the success of the Syrian opposition in overturning that dictatorship. Precisely, he urged the Syrian army to “empower a revolution” as happened in Egypt. His statement was made as demonstrations grow in parts of Syria. (If you want to know more about Syria, you might consider reading my book, The Truth About Syria.)Was he reflecting White House orders on this point? Possible but I doubt it. Let’s see if the president says anything about Syria. The White House did strongly condemn the Syrian government’s “brutal repression of demonstrations.” But that’s the kind of language routinely applied by it to lots of countries. Will anything about the U.S. conciliatory effort toward Damascus change? Senator John Kerry, chief appeaser of the Bashar al-Asad dictatorship, will no doubt go on doing so.Meanwhile, the administration is dumping another ally in Yemen, a country where few should be naïve enough to expect anything approaching democracy.As for Syria, can anyone tell us why the Syrian army will stand by the regime? Okay, I’ll do it. Syria is run by the Alawite minority who simply aren’t real Muslims but pretend to be Shia when that suits them. The Alawites know that a revolution would almost certainly produce an Islamist takeover and certainly a Sunni Muslim one. And such a regime would line a lot of the Alawites up against a wall and…bang, bang, bang.That’s a good incentive for shooting down unarmed demonstrators. Kill or be killed.Hmmmm......Read the full story here.
- County, DHS Officials Stage Mock Terror Excercise Featuring 'Anti-Immigration' Shooters.Local parents, citizens, and grassroots organizations in Treynor, IA, are expressing concern over the proposed scenario for a "domestic terrorism/school shooting" mock drill to be performed in a rural Iowa school district this weekend. The problem, they say, stems from the depiction of the shooting suspects as "anti-immigration, gun enthusiasts."In a document dated March 21, 2011, the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency in conjunction with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), Pottawattamie county officials outlined their emergency response plan for a mock school shooting/terrorism exercise scheduled for Saturday, March 26, 2011, at Treynor Community Schools. The plan, Operation Closed Campus, is described as a full scale plan and exercise used to educate players in the proper response of a domestic terrorism or school shooting. Troublesome to parents and community members is the proposed scenario to be acted out by the students, staff, faculty members, and emergency response teams. The scenario details two white males, ages 17 and 18, with ties to anti-immigration groups and gun enthusiasts, opening fire on a group of minority students, hitting a Hispanic student. The scenario then develops into "full-scale chaos" with both white male suspects shooting indiscriminately.Students were sent home with permission slips to participate in the exercise. One parent whose daughter was slated to participate in the mock drill, after reading the proposed scenario, expressed concern over the scenario and its perceived anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant stance. He was told by the local EMS coordinator in charge that his daughter was no longer allowed to participate in the drill and that she nor her father were allowed to be on site on the day of the drill.Local grassroots organizations have actively begun to reach out to local authorities, legislators, and media outlets to express their concern that, as one community member says, "There has never been an incident such as the one they are manufacturing here in the State of Iowa or any other for that matter. This is highly politically motivated, racially inflammatory, and completely egregious."Operation Closed Campus's stated mission is to evaluate the emergency response processes in a "no-fault" setting. The exercise is slated to begin at 9am Central Time and run for four hours.Hmmmm.....At what stage of the 'excercise' do the 'Shutzstaffels' start shouting'Heil Obama'?Read the full story here.
- 'Kinetic military action' or 'war'?Police action, conflict, hostilities and now “kinetic military action.” They’re all euphemisms for that word that this White House and many before it have been so careful not to say: War. Administration officials told congressional aides in a closed briefing earlier this week that the United States is not at war with Libya, and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes danced around the question in a Wednesday exchange with reporters aboard Air Force One.“I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone,” Rhodes said. “Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end. But again, the nature of our commitment is that we are not getting into an open-ended war, a land invasion in Libya.” Those kind of verbal gymnastics to avoid calling a sustained bombing of a foreign country a “war” aren’t flying with members of Congress. “This is an act of war,” Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee told the Rockford Register Star. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), in a letter to the president on Wednesday, said that he was “troubled that U.S. military resources were committed to a war” without a clear goal — or the consent of Congress. So while a United States-led coalition hammers Libya with Tomahawk missiles and precision bombs in support of a rebel challenge to strongman Muammar Qadhafi, a shadow war over the semantics of armed conflict has erupted in the domestic political debate. There’s even a peanut gallery: Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart headlined a segment “America at not-war.” Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) told the Dorchester Reporter that he and his colleagues should have had an opportunity to weigh in on what he said is definitely a “war.” “I take the Constitution kind of seriously and it’s very clear. It doesn’t presume I wouldn’t support it, but I don’t see how you can say shelling an independent country is not an act of war,” Capuano said.“There’s no relevance to the word war,” says Michael Byers, a professor of international law at the University of British Columbia. “If you look at the U.N. charter, it’s framed in terms of the use of force.”Hmmm....You can call it whatever you wish ,he just trampled the Constitution !AGAIN!When will Congress find a bit of guts or do only soldiers and single mothers have courage?Read the full story here.
- HT:IMRA.PM Netanyahu Remarks at start of meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev."Mr. President,
We met here not long ago and have since spoken by telephone. It is true that we have experienced earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, and in the Middle East and in North Africa. There have been floods, sandstorms, a tsunami and fires. We had a massive fire and I called to thank you. You sent pilots immediately. They showed exemplary courage and professionalism. They made a great impression on us and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and Russian Government again for the rapid assistance that you extended to us in our hour of need.Now, other fires must be put out. None of us know how the shock, which has struck the entire Arab world and a considerable portion of the Islamic world, will end. I think that we have a common desire that there should be stable, progressive and modern governments that aspire toward peace.Israel, Russia and the entire modern world must prevent the establishment here of radical, perhaps radical Islamic, regimes that could threaten the peace of the region, of Israel and of Russia. One such regime aspires to this result and that is the radical regime in Iran, which is not only seeking to arm itself with nuclear weapons but is threatening to use them against us, and is threatening to wreck not only any peace agreement but any modern regime that arises. It wants to return us to the ninth century. We have an interest in stopping the bad and advancing the good. I would be pleased to discuss with you how to advance peace and security in our region. I am anxious to discuss this with you.Again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the cooperation. We have many, many more areas in which we can cooperate."Hmmm....It can never be worse then the 'support' he gets from Barack HUSSEIN Obama.Read the full story here.
- Netanyahu: Israel ready to react with 'great force'.Following bouts of terror and rocket attacks, prime miniter says: 'Any civilized society will not tolerate such wanton attacks on its civilians'.Israel had been "subjected to bouts of terror and rocket attacks," Netanyahu said following a spate of rocket fire on southern Israel from Gaza and a bombing in Jerusalem that killed one and wounded more than 30 people."We stand ready to act with great force and great determination to put a stop to it," Netanyahu told reporters before a meeting with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.The prime minister said he had received a "very warm" phone call from US President Barack Obama on Thursday expressing his condolences over the latest attacks. "Any civilized society will not tolerate such wanton attacks on its civilians," he said.Gates, a former CIA director with years of experience in Washington, said US-Israel security ties were as strong as they had ever been at a time when the region is in "turmoil." In Tel Aviv on Thursday, Gates said Washington firmly backed Israel's right to respond to the both the rocket fire and the Jerusalem bombing, which he described as "repugnant acts."Several regional powers have already urged Israel to show restraint amid fears Netanyahu would order another ground invasion of Gaza.Read the full story here.
- HT:AmnonAndJonathan.IF !... Only 1% of 1% is true !...Read and see the full story here.
- Why are Muslim lands in miserable shape?By BURAK BEKDİL.The Muslim world is in an awful shape. It's so sad that the Muslim region, despite its glorious past, today features poverty, misery, hunger, terror and (never-ending) clashes; it looks like a ruin. The situation in Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan and Bangladesh is well-known. Now, we have the same situation in Libya and Yemen. Let us not blame this on anyone else, my dear Muslim brothers. Before asking anyone else "why," we should direct the same question to ourselves: Why? Why are we in such a bad shape? We should look for the answer within us, and nowhere else.But I apologize merely for deliberately omitting the "quotation marks" in the opening paragraph, since those words do not belong to this "Zionist" columnist. They, rather, belong to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; quote-unquote... More adorably, Mr. Erdoğan said all that in the Mecca of the Muslim faith, literally, in Mecca... MaashAllah!It is not a secret that I am not a fan of my country's most beloved personality – most, by the number of fans. And writing in this column, I have most often come under criticism for not acknowledging Mr. Erdoğan's metaphysical virtues – although there are many (non-metaphysical) of them that I do acknowledge. But his words in the opening paragraph of this column are my favorite so far. Yes, Mr. Erdoğan is right!For decades, some Muslims and most Islamists fooled themselves with the idea that their misfortunes could only be blamed on Western/Zionist conspiracy theories. They have meticulously avoided self-criticism and, naturally, those "infidel Muslims" like this columnist who, perhaps in different wording, said the same thing the Turkish prime minister said just this week, were "Zionist spies."I would hope that Prime Minister Erdoğan's piercingly realistic "let's-blame-ourselves-brothers" logic found echoes most among the people who are in his most inner circle, who make policy. But only last week, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu proudly said that thanks to new treaties for the removal of entry visas, "my citizens will now be able to pass freely through Syria and 'free Palestine.’"Let's ignore for a moment why the foreign minister referred to Syria as Syria and to the Palestinian territories as “free Palestine.” But I would have expected Mr. Davutoğlu to sit down for a cool moment and ponder why "his citizens" wake up in the dead of the night to queue up in front of foreign embassies with the hope of getting a visa to travel to infidel lands and, preferably, to stay there for good, instead of rushing to "free Palestine." Because they, subconsciously, know that Mr. Erdoğan is right, that Muslims can only blame themselves for their failures – like all other non-Muslim faithful or atheists should do. Because they, subconsciously, know that if they end up as Gastarbeiter they can have a good living; but if they end up in the Libyan desert for a handful of dollars they will probably have to be evacuated – if they are lucky not to have been killed.I shall wholeheartedly agree to and follow Mr. Erdoğan's Mecca teachings, and ask my fellow Muslims a couple of questions in the hope that we may thus explore where we may have gone wrong. Why, for instance, would a majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries' political life (Pew Research Center poll findings, December 2010) while Hindus or Shintoists around the same globe do not?Why would majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria favor changing their current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion? Why would 85 percent of Pakistani Muslims support segregating men and women in the workplace (and 25 percent of Turkish Muslims, or nearly 20 million Turks)?Why would, for example, a local member of Mr. Erdoğan's party declare that "women without the Islamic headscarf are like houses without curtains: They are either for rent or for sale”?Or why would "Muslim warriors" explode a bomb in Jerusalem's central bus station as the evening rush hour begins and kill one woman and injure 50 people, including two pregnant women?Most importantly, why would a Muslim as wise as Mr. Erdoğan, who thinks Muslims should blame themselves for their failures, not follow his own preaching? Source .
- Obama avoiding major Libya address.President Barack Obama is resisting pressure to deliver an Oval Office speech explaining his policy on Libya — in part, because he doesn’t want to equate what he regards as a smaller, time-limited mission with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.Administration officials haven’t ruled out a big speech, but Obama is reluctant to make a major address on Libya until the United States hands over most command and combat duties to its allies.That’s not to say the president won’t talk about Libya over the next few days, aides say, but he’s not likely to succumb to pressure to deliver a long, explanatory address to outline his elusive endgame to the nation until the path ahead becomes clearer.There were signs that might come sooner rather than later on Thursday. For the first time since combat operations began, the vast majority of flights over Libya on Thursday were conducted by U.S. allies, a sharp contrast to the previous 24 hours when American planes flew the majority of missions.Whatever happens, Obama is intent on putting the U.S. in the back seat. As part of an effort to downplay the scope of U.S. involvement, administration officials have flatly refused to call the enforcement of the Libyan no-fly, no-drive zone — which has included the launch of more than hundred cruise missiles and dozens of U.S. aircraft sorties — a “war.”It is “a time-limited, scope-limited military action,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.Still, the lack of a clearly articulated endgame — or even a rationale for quickly committing U.S. naval and air assets in a third Muslim nation — is making House and Senate members in both parties increasingly uneasy.Their main concern: That Obama’s oft-stated goal of ousting Qadhafi isn’t backed up by the U.N. resolution, which calls only for the use of force in establishing a no-fly-zone and protecting civilians, putting U.S. forces in awkward suspension between humanitarian goals and regime change.“I think he needs to face the nation and tell the nation, and tell Congress, what the endgame is and how this going to play out,” Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday.“Congress is important in this, but the country particularly, addressing the nation about this.”Editorial writers around the country are also asking for a better explanation from the commander-in-chief, with Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, a key outlet in a 2012 battleground state, opining that “it is President Obama’s job to explain to the American people exactly what our mission is, why taking action in Libya is in the U.S. national interest, and what, specifically, is the expected outcome — and what comes next if that expected outcome does not materialize.”Boehner, in particular, has been a critic of Obama’s handling of the Libyan action, and sent the president a detailed list of questions demanding to know the missions parameters, endgame and potential costs.The White House offered a concession of sorts on Thursday, agreeing to Boehner’s request that top administration officials, led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, personally make their case to House members at a classified briefing next Wednesday.Since the U.N. vote, Obama has made several brief statements on Libya, and answered a limited number of questions at press conferences he held during his trip to Latin America. But administration officials have rebuffed reporters who asked why Obama wouldn’t provide a fuller explanation for his Libyan policy.“The president looks forward to communicating to the American public about Libya as he has on multiple occasions already, that he will obviously continue to do it,” Carney said Thursday. “I don’t have an announcement of a forum for the way he will do it next.Hmmmmm......Dictators usually don't explain theirselves.Read the full story here.
- HT:TranslatingJihad.Egypt: Deputy Prime Minister Being Investigated for "Dishonoring the Divine".Facebook Campaign Demands Dismissal of Yahya al-Jamal.Salafi activists in Egypt launched a campaign on Facebook which calls for the dismissal of Dr. Yahya al-Jamal, the Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister. They demanded that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dismiss him, and they accused him of doing nothing but dividing Egyptians against each other. It appears that al-Jamal cannot keep from igniting controversy and creating more problems in the cabinet of Dr. 'Isam Sharaf, who has thus far been unable to contain the long list of crises and problems on his desk since he emerged in Tahrir Square a little less than a month ago. At that time the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces offered him the leadership of Egypt, as his was the face that the revolutionaries in Tahrir Square accepted to form the Egyptian government. Unlike Sharaf, who appeared compatible with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis who embraced him in Tahrir Square, and cleared the way for him to stand on the podium on the condition that he stand in the middle of their symbols, al-Jamal intentionally collides with the Salafis and provokes their anger. Thus it seems that Sharaf's government contains one who can incite the anger of the Brotherhood and the Salafis, who so far appear to have benefited the most from the 25 January revolution. It does not appear that al-Jamal is ready to back down from angering the Islamists; in fact, it's as if he deliberately pushes their buttons. Just days after Mamduh Isma'il, a member of the Council of the Public Union for Egyptian Lawyers who is also affiliated with al-Gama'a al-Islamiya in Egypt, filed a complaint with the public prosecutor against al-Jamal, accusing him of dishonoring the Divine, al-Jamal again returned to defy the Islamic street in Egypt with his insistence on objecting to the second article in the Egyptian constitution, which stipulates that "the Islamic shari'ah is the principal source of legislation." Al-Jamal said that the word "the" in the phrase "the principal" could be replaced with the word "a" to make it "a principal." This was met with satisfaction from the anti-Islamist community in Egypt, and with fierce anger from the Muslim Brotherhood, especially since al-Jamal's comment about replacing "the principal" with "a principal" coincided with Pope Shenouda's request for the deputy prime minister to add text to the second article of the constitution which would confirm a special status for Copts to observe their own laws. The Salafis consider this an unacceptable "veto" from the Coptic church to the application of the Islamic shari'ah in Egypt. Al-Jamal had previously sparked controversy with his comments on the results of the referendum to amend the constitution, which included an improper reference to the Divine. The public prosecutor in Egypt is investigating accusations against him against the backdrop of these comments under complaint number 4,987 for the year 2011, as well as for his description of Islamists as having "dark minds," and having nothing to do with Islam.Hmmmm......Read the full story here.
- UN creates human rights investigator on Iran.The United Nations' top human rights body appointed a special investigator Thursday to look into human rights abuses in Iran, overcoming resistance from nations that considered it meddling with that country's internal affairs.The vote marks the first time since it was formed five years ago that the UN Human Rights Council has created a new such investigative position for a UN member nation, rather than merely extend the mandate of a previously existing one.All of the previous country-specific investigators were created by the former UN Commission on Human Rights, a body long criticized for being dominated by countries with dubious rights records that the new council replaced.Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, the US representative at the council, told members before the voting that the US and other countries “are gravely concerned about the situation in Iran, where respect for fundamental human rights has deteriorated dramatically in recent years.”Iran's UN mission disagreed, saying that the United States has committed human rights abuses against Palestinians by supporting Israel, against Afghan civilians and against secretly held detainees who also have been tortured.The proposal championed by the United States and Sweden won approval in a 22-7 vote at the council. As many as 14 nations abstained, and four of the council's 47 nations did not participate.Iran and Pakistan echoed what has been a widely held view on the council that such posts are an unnecessary intrusion into their internal affairs.“This politicizes the process,” said Pakistan's UN Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking for the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference, which represents most Muslim nations.“As a matter of principle, Pakistan does not support country mandates,” he said. “No country in the world can claim to have an unblemished human rights record.”“This membership has had nothing but a destructive role,” Iran's UN Ambassador Seyed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi said of US participation on the council. Iran, he added, has an “inherent, genuine and deeply rooted” respect for human rights.Hmmmm.....Yup and crows wear stiletto heels?Read the full story here.
- HT:RenewAmerica.Islam and the First Amendment: privileges but not rights.The First Amendment was written by the Founders to protect the free exercise of Christianity. They were making no effort to give special protections to Islam. Quite the contrary. We actually at the time were dealing with our first encounters with jihad in the form of the Barbary Pirates, which is why Jefferson bought a copy of the Koran. He was told by the Bey of Tripoli that Islam requires Muslims to rob, kill and pillage infidel Christians wherever they find them. Jefferson naturally found that hard to believe, so he bought a copy of the Koran to read it for himself. Sure enough, it's right in there, in the 109 verses of the Koran that call for violence against the infidels.Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment.Our government has no obligation to allow a treasonous ideology to receive special protections in America, but this is exactly what the Democrats are trying to do right now with Islam.From a constitutional point of view, Muslims have no First Amendment right to build mosques in America. They have that privilege at the moment, but it is a privilege that can be revoked if, as is in fact the case, Islam is a totalitarian ideology dedicated to the destruction of the United States. The Constitution, it bears repeating, is not a suicide pact. For Muslims, patriotism is not the last refuge of a scoundrel, but the First Amendment is.Hmmmm.....How long before the patriots will be the terrorists?Read the full story here.
- HT:TranslatingJihad."They Hurt Us in Gaza, We'll Hurt Them in Jerusalem".Notice the difference in the description of Palestinian casualties versus Israeli casualties: "some of them were innocent women and children," versus "many settlers and soldiers." Apparently the Israelis have no innocent women and children worth mentioning, only "settlers and soldiers."Ziyad Abushawish, Donia al-Watan Zionist occupation authorities escalated their savage aggression on the Gaza Strip in recent days, exploiting some of the sudden developments in the region. This action is aimed at blocking internal Palestinian reconciliation, as well as preventing the brothers from meeting to work out an agreement on a program for confronting the ongoing aggression against our land and our people.Most of the slain of the Palestinian people, who became martyrs through [the occupation's] barbaric bombings, were civilians. Some of them were innocent women and children. Many people were also wounded in the areas of the bombings, most of which were entirely civilian areas. The Zionists have caused our hearts to bleed, and have gone to extremes in killing and destroying our people in Gaza with total impunity. Western infidel countries have even undertaken to support the aggression and killing, and to find another justification for the Zionist entity to due whatever it wants under the pretext of defending its security against what it falsely terms terrorism. Palestinians have lived with pain and faced death and displacement since the year of the 'nakba' [catastrophe] and yet do not surrender. The oppression which afflicts them only increases their determination to possess all of their legitimate rights in the country, and to not bow down. We have found that the response will come quickly from Jerusalem after resistance fighters in Gaza carried out a response commensurate with their abilities and their available means for defending themselves. The (Palestinian) response came targeting an Israeli bus in the western district of Jerusalem which was stopped near the central bus station, which caused injuries to many settlers and soldiers who were riding or standing near the bus. They know that our response will not be delayed, and that it is coming, and that whoever hurts and oppresses the Palestinian people must pay the price. Experience tells them that aggression, bombing, and killing will not bring them any benefit, and will be returned on their heads in the same way. They know that they can hurt us in Gaza or elsewhere, but we will respond and also hurt them in Jerusalem or elsewhere. They are trapped in a vicious cycle, and the time has come for them to leave our land and our skies.Read the full story here.
- Iron Dome heads south.Following escalation on Gaza border, Israel will station portable air defense system in south on Sunday in order to intercept rockets, mortar shells.Iron Dome put to work: Due to recent escalation on the Gaza Strip border the IDF plans to activate a portable air defense system on Sunday in order to intercept short-range rockets and mortar shells fired from Gaza.The IDF will also check whether the system can work in accordance with the alarm systems. The system's installation may be postponed by a day or two.The Iron Dome system can protect an area as big as 10X10 km from rockets and mortar shells threatening to explode in communities or on vital structures. The system can calculate the trajectory of the rockets and avoid intercepting rockets which are about to land in open areas. However, the Iron Dome cannot intercept objects fired from a distance shorter than 1.737 miles.Last month, the members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, headed by former Defense Minister Amir Peretz, decided the first Iron Dome batteries should immediately be positioned in the south.Hmmmm.....Lets hope the system works.Read the full story here.
- HT:RubinReport.Egypt's Revolution Plus U.S. Government Mistakes Makes Israel-Hamas War Inevitable.By Barry Rubin .I'm going to make a prediction here that, unfortunately, I'm sure will come true. Any good analyst should be able to see this, yet few will until it happens within the next one or two years:The Egyptian revolution and U.S. policy mistakes make a new Israel-Hamas war inevitable, and as a result it will be a lot more of an international mess.Why?
First, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, is a revolutionary Islamist movement that views itself as directed by God's will; considers Jews to be subhuman; believes that a willingness to court suicide and welcome death and destruction will bring victory; is certain that it is going to destroy Israel; and is determined to transform Palestinian society into an Islamic utopia, no matter how many people it has to kill. It is indifferent to the well-being, or even physical survival, of the Palestinians it rules.And not one word of that is an exaggeration.Given this situation, there are only two ways to stop Hamas from waging war on Israel. A shorter-range solution is deterrence through strength and weakening Hamas with tough sanctions. The defeat Israel inflicted on Hamas in the 2008-2009 war and the tight sanctions in place until 2010 forced the organization to retrench and be cautious for a while.The only longer-term solution is the overthrow of the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip and the maximum possible destruction of that group's leadership, structures, and resources.Events in Egypt and U.S. policy, however, have destroyed this shorter-range solution and made impossible the longer-range one. If Hamas is confident, it will go to war. With more and better weapons, Hamas will go to war. If it believes that the international environment is permissive--much less supportive!--it will go to war. It's only a matter of timing.Second, the Egyptian revolution removed a regime that defined its own and Egypt's national interest as having an anti-Hamas policy. The Mubarak government did not maintain sanctions and an (imperfect) blockade of weapons' shipments out of concern for Israel. No. It did so because the Egyptian government saw revolutionary Islamism as the main threat to the country and to itself. This was not, as current U.S. officials claim, some cynically manipulated mirage to justify dictatorship. Rather, it was a very logical policy. In addition to the direct threat of Hamas subverting Egypt in cooperation with Islamist groups in the country, the Mubarak government saw Hamas as part of a broader Iran-led strategic threat to Egypt, Sunnis, and Arabs generally. A new government in Egypt, whether radical nationalist, Islamist, or "liberal democratic" will have the opposite view.The Muslim Brotherhood views Hamas as its closest ally and wants it to overthrow the Palestinian Authority as well as to destroy Israel.What makes matters worse, is the Obama Administration's demand--after being shaken by a small incident in which about a half-dozen Islamist militants were killed on a ship after they attacked Israeli soldiers--to minimize sanctions. And then, out of misplaced humanitarian concern, the U.S. government deliberately, albeit indirectly, pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the Gaza Strip, thus strengthening Hamas and its popular base of support.By such behavior, the Obama Administration is not just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic; it's enlarging the hole below the ship's water-line, arguing that by doing so it is moderating the ocean. This strategy ensures that there would be a genocidal-oriented, revolutionary Islamist, subversion-spreading, anti-American, brutally repressive, anti-Christian, woman-oppressing, Iranian client regime on the Mediterranean. What's really alarming is that the previous sentence is not in the least bit exaggerated. We're talking about a Taliban-equivalent regime here. Now, U.S. support for a transformation of Egypt with no idea where that would lead, has helped turn that enemy of Hamas into a Hamas ally. The Obama Administration has also supplied one more reason why revolutionary Islamists feel as if the future belongs to them, America is finished in the region, and why they should be even more bold and aggressive. Much of the escalation of attacks on Israel now is the result of Hamas getting new weapons and escalating its use of terrorism on all levels. In addition, we are seeing no significant international action or even criticism of this behavior. On the contrary, the more terrorism Hamas commits, the more Israel is criticized in the Western media.Terrorism works; aggression goes unpunished. Why be surprised that Hamas becomes increasingly confident and aggressive?It is only a matter of time until Hamas once again does what it did at the end of 2008: launch a larger-scale assault on Israel. At that point, Israel will have to respond by a major attack on the Gaza Strip. What will happen? Will Egypt remain neutral? Will its government stop the Muslim Brotherhood and other sympathizers rush arms, money, and even armed Egyptian volunteers into the Gaza Strip? Will the West blame Israel, instead of itself, for the violence? Will the United States take any productive action at all?This crisis is inevitable, though it might take one or at most two years to happen. Yet nobody outside Israel sees--or wants to see--what's coming.Hmmm........Thank you "They don't trust me because of my middle name".Read the full story here.
- Israel can say farewell to peace.The occupation is even more dangerous than it was. The settlements are even more delusional than they were. The status quo has become a firetrap, and all the familiar ways of escaping it have been blocked.By Ari Shavit Say farewell to peace with Syria. Those who believe, like the writer of these lines, in the necessity of the Golan-for-peace formula cannot close their eyes to what is happening. With the great Arab revolt threatening his regime, there is no chance that President Bashar Assad will choose the path of peace. With the Syrian masses rebelling against him, there is no chance that Assad will gamble on peace.The Assad of 2011 lacks the legitimacy to negotiate for peace. The Assad of 2011 lacks the minimal maneuvering room needed to make peace. Even if he wanted peace when he was young, it's too late now. There's no chance that the Syrian dictator will carry out a Sadat-like peace move in the next year or two. Say farewell to peace with Palestine. Those who believe, like the writer of these lines, in the necessity of the two-state solution cannot close their eyes to what is happening. With the great Arab revolt sweeping up Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, there is no chance that he will pay the price needed to reach peace. With the Arab masses thronging the streets, Abbas cannot tell three million Palestinian refugees that he has forged a compromise on the right of return. With the Arab nations seething, Abbas cannot tell them he has compromised on Jerusalem. The Abbas of 2011 lacks the legitimacy to make peace. The Abbas of 2011 lacks the minimal maneuvering room needed to make peace. Even if Abbas wanted peace, it's too late now. There's no chance that the moderate Palestinian leader will carry out a Sadat-like peace move in the next year or two.Say farewell to everything you thought until January 2011. The Middle East has been transformed, root and branch. This is a new, fluid, revolutionary reality. There is no longer any foundation for a solid peace like that with Egypt. There are no longer any strong forces for peace like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf emirates. There are no longer any potential peace partners like Assad and Mahmoud Abbas. On the other hand, there is also no longer any option of deploying force against the rebellious masses. The occupation is even more dangerous than it was. The settlements are even more delusional than they were. The status quo has become a firetrap, and all the familiar ways of escaping it have been blocked. U.S. President Barack Obama bears a share of the responsibility for this new situation. When he decided to play an active role in ousting Egypt's president, he didn't realize that as a result of this move, he would be forced within a month to fire Tomahawk missiles at Libya. He didn't understand that he was undermining the old Middle Eastern order without creating a new one. He didn't understand that he was dooming Israeli-Syrian peace and Israeli-Palestinian peace and endangering Israeli-Egyptian peace.Hmmmmm.....Obama "Israel may benefit from the Arab uprising"Pure idiocy or pure evil?Read the full story here.
- Wary of France, Turkey wants NATO in charge in Libya.Turkey has reiterated its skepticism of French motives in the Libya operation and insisted that NATO should have sole control over all military actions in the North African country, dismissing French calls for an international committee led by France and Britain to be politically in charge.After initially opposing any NATO role in Libya, Turkey has revised its position following a UN Security Council decision last week authorizing use of force and a no-fly zone in the North African country to protect civilians from attacks by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Ankara is now rattled by activism on the part of France, which hastily organized a summit on Saturday of 22 Western and Arab countries and initiated the ongoing military campaign by launching the first aerial attacks on Gaddafi forces hours after conclusion of the summit. Turkish leaders have publicly criticized France for “turning the operation into a show of force” and questioned French motives in the operation, voicing suspicion that some partners seeking to act outside NATO have their eyes on Libya's mineral wealth. The Turkish government thus now demands that planning regarding any military action should be done within NATO, strictly in line with objectives set out in the UN decision.News reports said Turkish F-16s might also be dispatched to the region to protect NATO’s AWACS surveillance planes and tanker planes. Hundreds of Turkish troops will be serving on the ships, which have already been sent to Libya’s coasts before a parliamentary vote in advance preparation for their mission. Two frigates were already in the region while one frigate and the support ship departed on Wednesday.“We want NATO to be fully in charge of command and control of such an operation,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters after talks with the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, late on Wednesday. “Two channels, two command systems -- this should not exist.”Turkish objections to the nature of the current military campaign on Libya are holding up a deal in NATO on the alliance’s participation in the operations, particularly its planned role in enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libyan airspace. “What France is considering is continuing the operation by the coalition and getting support from NATO at the same time, but this is not what we want. We are saying, if NATO is going to do this, NATO ‘alone’ should do this,” a Turkish official was quoted as saying by Reuters.Meanwhile, the first diplomatic contact between Turkey and France took place on Thursday, when French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe phoned Davutoğlu. The two sides repeated their known positions, but agreed to stay in touch, officials said of the conversation. France opposes NATO control, saying that US-led NATO’s involvement would undermine support for the anti-Gaddafi operation in the Arab world. Davutoğlu, during a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday rejected the French argument, putting the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister on the phone to explain that this is not how the Arabs would feel about NATO leading the operation.Hmmmm....Turkey ....NATO's 'ennemy within'?Read the full story here.