Tuesday, September 27, 2011
The sins of Adolf Hitler are unforgivable. Even more unforgivable are the many people who have never heard of the evil dictator.
As far as those who support the acts of this monster, their ignorance is amazing.
Hmmm......"Only the educated are free".Epictetus -(Greek-born) slave and Stoic philosopher (55 AD - 135 AD).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Fiji 5.6 , The U.S. 5.2 and Vanuatu 5.1 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Man Who Asked Question ”Would you please raise my taxes?”.An Ex-Google Employee, Has Given $300K To Dems Since 2000.(WZ).(Beltway Confidential) — ”Would you please raise my taxes?”Oh, liberals gushed when a rich audience member asked Obama that question today. It seems relevant to point out that this rich liberal is Doug Edwards from the Obama-friendly and regulation-friendly Google.Edwards has given $300,000 to politicians since 2000 — every single dime to Democrats. He specifically said he wanted his higher taxes to cover Pell Grants.Hmmmm.......New job "Actor'?Following the script of Relection 101?Read and see the full story here.
- CIA, Pentagon fight to keep Osama bin Laden death photos secret.(Politico).Photos and videos of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden after he was killed in May in a U.S. military/Central Intelligence Agency raid in Pakistan should not be released publicly because they would reveal military and intelligence secrets and could lead to violence against U.S. personnel, the Obama administration argued in papers filed in federal court in Washington late Monday night.The new filings from the Justice Department provide scant details about the imagery, but CIA National Clandestine Service Director John Bennett wrote that the CIA has "52 unique....photographs and/or videorecordings" depicting bin Laden during or after the May operation. Bennett did not break down the tally further, but said all the imagery is classified "TOP SECRET," meaning that disclosure of the material could lead to "exceptionally grave damage" to U.S. national security."All of the responsive records are the product of a highly sensitive, overseas operation that was conducted under the direction of the CIA," Bennett wrote, arguing that disclosure of the information would reveal "intelligence activities and/or methods." He called the photos "gruesome," and said they depict the gunshot wound to bin Laden's head. It is unclear whether his descriptions referred to all the images and videos, or just some of them.The motion for summary judgment and supporting declarations ask U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg to rule for the government in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought in May by Judicial Watch. The conservative watchdog group sued the Defense Department after it failed to comply with the group's request for the bin Laden imagery. The suit was broadened in June to name the CIA as a defendant.While the Justice Department's motion is backed by declarations from high ranking officials at the Pentagon and CIA, the government lawyers make clear that their marching orders come from the top. Near its outset, the brief quotes President Barack Obama's comments on the issue during a "60 Minutes" interview in May."It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence. As a propaganda tool. You know, that’s not who we are. You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies," Obama said. "We don’t need to spike the football."The brief includes Obama's claim that then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and intelligence officials "all" agreed that releasing the images would "create some national security risk." The legal papers do not mention that before Obama made the decision to keep the images secret, then-CIA director Leon Panetta said there was no "question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public." (Panetta has since become defense secretary.)Hmmmm...."Just before the Election?"Read the full story here.
- "You Got To Be Kidding!"Homeland Security Cant Find a Terror Operative They Released Who Illegally Crossed Border.(PajamasMedia).By Patrick Poole.Two Bangladeshis who were caught by Customs and Border Protection illegally crossing the border in June 2010 admitted under questioning that they were members of a designated terrorist organization that signed on to a fatwa by Osama bin Laden pledging to wage war against Americans.But amazingly, after one of the men requested asylum, he was released on bond. Now one Homeland Security official tells me, concerning the released terror operative, “We don’t have the slightest idea where he is now.”The two men, Muhammad Nazmul Hasan and Mirza Muhammad Saifuddin, were intercepted near Naco, Arizona, not long after they had crossed the border on June 25, 2010. During their interrogation, one of the men admitted that they were members of Harakat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), which was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in February 2008. Earlier this month the group claimed responsibility for a bombing a courthouse in New Delhi. That attack killed 11 and wounded at least 45 others.A 2006 State Department report described HuJI-B’s goals and connections to other terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda:
The goal of HUJI-B is to establish Islamic rule in Bangladesh. The group’s core membership consists primarily of Bangladeshi veterans of fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. The Bangladeshi Government arrested a senior HUJI-B leader, Mufti Abdul Hannan, in October. HUJI-B has connections to the Pakistani militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI) and Harakat ul-Mujahedin (HUM), which advocate similar objectives in Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir. The leaders of HUJI-B and HUM both signed the February 1998 fatwa sponsored by Usama bin Ladin that declared American civilians to be legitimate targets for attack.
Capturing two terrorist operatives illegally crossing the border would appear to be a big win for the Border Patrol. But in a stunning move, one of the men was released on bond after claiming asylum.A Homeland Security official I met with last week in Washington, D.C., who was familiar with the case says that no government agency is tasked with monitoring those that are released pending asylum hearings, and that the terror operative’s whereabouts now are unknown.That this guy was allowed out on bond is criminal. We don’t have the slightest idea where he is now. If he sets off a car bomb in Tucson or Phoenix, or shoots up a shopping mall or elementary school somewhere, there will be a lot of finger-pointing. But nobody seems that concerned about it now. And this is not the first time something like this has happened.Back in March I reported Two Bangladeshis who were caught by Customs and Border Protection illegally crossing the border in June 2010 admitted under questioning that they were members of a designated terrorist organization that signed on to a fatwa by Osama bin Laden pledging to wage war against Americans.But amazingly, after one of the men requested asylum, he was released on bond. And now one Homeland Security official tells me, concerning the released terror operative, “We don’t have the slightest idea where he is now.”.Back in March I reported here exclusively at PJMedia on a Department of Justice memo submitted in a court case of Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane, who ran a human smuggling ring out of Brazil on behalf of the Somali Al-Shabaab terrorist organization. Dhakane was nearly granted asylum, but was eventually charged with lying about his terrorist associations based on his conversations with a jailhouse informant. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.Dhakane’s case was representative of the surging wave of Somalis who have been intercepted crossing the border over the past two years. And now some officials are worried that the case of Hasan and Saifuddin might be the tip of the iceberg of extremist Bangladeshis who are leaving their country under pressure from authorities there cracking down on HuJI-B and setting up terror-support operations in the United States. And the preferred transit route into the U.S. appears to be illegally entering over the southern border — the route taken by the two Bangladeshi terror operatives.Hmmm......The Good news is the Department knows where all the Grannies are in the US.....well most of them.Read the full story here.
- A ‘Soviet-Style Power-Grab,’ to Squelch Bad Press for ObamaCare.(Cato).By Michael F. Cannon. The Department of Health and Human Services has released new guidelines on communications between department employees and the media. The guidelines evidently require all communications to be approved by the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Also: no off-the-record communications.
The media are not happy. The editor of FDA Webview & FDA Review writes (via Poynter; more here):
The new formal HHS Guidelines on the Provision of Information to the News Media represent, to this 36-year veteran of reporting FDA news, a Soviet-style power-grab. By requiring all HHS employees to arrange their information-sharing with news media through their agency press office, HHS has formalized a creeping information-control mechanism that informally began during the Clinton Administration and was accelerated by the Bush and Obama administrations. The U.S. now takes a large step toward joining other information-controlling countries like my native Australia, where government employees who talk with the news media without permission commit a federal crime. I came to the U.S. in 1974 to escape this oppression.
The HHS guidelines once again show that the purpose of a public information office is not to disseminate information to the public but to withhold information from the public.Since this came on the heels of an HHS official announcing that the agency is scuttling ObamaCare‘s long-term care entitlement, a.k.a. the “CLASS Act,” one wonders if there is a connection. Or maybe HHS is just motivated by a general fear that the more the public learns about ObamaCare, the less we will like it.Read the full story here.
- Toronto Muslims Ask For Sick Room to be Converted to Prayer Room at Attorney Generals Offices.(TorontoSun).A bid to convert a sick room into a Muslim pray area at a downtown office of the province’s top lawmakers has been nixed by some senior Ontario government officials.A proposal by a Muslim employee to turn the room used by Ministry of Attorney General employees on the 12th floor of 655 Bay St. as an Islamic prayer room was rejected earlier this year, according to concerned workers who feared dismissal if their identities were revealed.The bid was turned down last June at an “employee engagement meeting” attended by about seven staffers, including department heads, union officials and other workers, staffers said.“We were taken back by the proposal,” one ministry veteran said. “The room is used by anyone on staff who is not feeling well.”Officials of the Attorney General said they were looking into the issue on Monday.The request for an Islamic prayer room in a public office has angered members of the Canadian Hindu Advocacy who claim religion should not be tolerated in the workplace.“A sick room is there for a reason,” said Advocacy director Ron Banerjee. “Religion should not be playing a part in government.”The group, with the Jewish Defense League and others, have been protesting against Muslims students being allowed to pray under the guidance of an imam at Valley Park Middle School, on Overlea Blvd., on certain Fridays.“I think this is a bad precedent,” Banerjee said. “Other religious groups will soon be demanding a place to pray in other government offices.”The Ontario government last July sent a memo to employees telling them to be “sensitive” to their Muslim co-workers during the month of Ramadan, which was last month, because they would be fasting and praying from dusk to dawn.Managers were told to provide Muslims with a safe place to pray and that they will be using the bathroom more because they have to clean themselves before they worship.The Ontario Public Service, which has about 120,000 unionized employees, was selected one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2011 by an Internet job-search website. With the formation of a diversity office in 2008, it has increased employee training and created a “quiet room” to help meet employees’ religious and spiritual needs. Tory Leader Tim Hudak downplayed concerns raised by some employees over what they consider preferential treatment.Hudak doesn’t think its unfair workplace treatment.“One of the values we hold dear as Ontarians is equal treatment for all,” Hudak said, drawing a link to the Liberals’ lightning-rod pledge to offer what he called an “affirmative action tax credit.”“I think people are respectful (as long as) you get (your) work done,” he said. “It’s not my job to tell them what kind of meals to serve or what time of day (to do it).”Hmmmm....."One of the values we hold dear as Ontarians is equal treatment for all"..Hear,hear.Read the full story here.
- Did i Just wakeup in an other dimension?The Sheikh of Al-Azhar in an Exceptionally Tolerant Article: Christianity, Judaism Share Basic Tenets of Islam; Relationship between Muslims and Non-Muslims Must Be Based on 'Mutual Recognition'.(Memri).Al-Azhar, based in Cairo, is the most important center of learning and the supreme religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world. In an article published June 23, 2011 in the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, its head, Al-Azhar Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb, expressed remarkably tolerant views towards non-Muslims, especially Christians and Jews. He wrote: "A Muslim cannot imagine all of mankind sharing a single creed or turning to a single religion – even if this religion is Islam. As long as this remains the case, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims [must be] one of mutual recognition. The Islamic world has absorbed all the religions of the known world. In its western regions it encountered the Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Christianity, and in its eastern region it encountered Hinduism and Buddhism." In the article, Al-Tayeb distinguishes between the fundamentals of the faith on the one hand and religious laws (shari'a) on the other. He states that the three Abrahamic religions – Islam, Judaism, and Christianity – share the fundamentals of faith, ritual, and morality, and differ only in their specific shari'a laws. He adds that since shari'a depends on circumstances of time and place, the existence of different shari'as is only natural. In saying this, he not only legitimizes Judaism and Christianity, but also implicitly sanctions the differences in shari'a between the Sunna and Shi'a, and among the various Sunni religious schools. An examination of Al-Tayeb's writing reveals that this trend of tolerance towards Christianity and Judaism goes back to his days as president of Al-Azhar University (2004-2010), though this recent article is the most far-reaching expression of this trend to date.Al-Tayeb emphasized that the dialogue must focus on the commonalities between the monotheistic faiths: belief in God, in His oneness, and in the monotheistic holy scriptures.In this article, and on other occasions, he stressed that a plurality of faiths is desirable according to Islam, and that he does not wish to bring all of humanity under one faith. He added: "As a Muslim, I am not required to carry a sword to convert members of other faiths in this generation. I am required to know other peoples and to maintain ties with them that are beneficial to both sides..."It should be noted that despite the tolerance towards Judaism reflected in some of his articles, Al-Tayeb refuses to conduct dialogue with Jewish rabbis or participate in conferences they attend. In one case, he said: "The Children of Israel only expect the dialogue to drag the Arabs toward normalization, without granting the Palestinians anything real. The Prophet maintained with the Jews relations [characterized by] a high degree of friendship and respect – to the extent that if a Muslim desired to marry a Jewish woman, he asked him not to require her to convert, and to take her to synagogue to pray. However, despite this, few Jews are inclined toward justice. The Arabs and Palestinians must know that Israel will not grant them their rights on a silver, copper, or paper platter... The Palestinians must unite in order to protect their legitimate rights and exercise their legitimate right to resist occupation, with everything this entails..."Hmmmm......."A snake that swims did not transform in an eel."Read the full story here.
- Al Jazeera journalist admits to being Hamas operative.(JPost).Samer Allawi, Al Jazeera’s former Afghanistan bureau chief, reached a deal with the Israel State state prosecutors office on Sunday under which he will receive a suspended sentence of three years after he confessed to conspiring in Hamas operations.Allawi, a Palestinian, was arrested in August on the border between the West Bank and Jordan at The Allenby Crossing.During an investigation with The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Allawi said he was recruited to Hamas in 1993 and he served there until 2004 in a senior committee that oversees Hamas operations abroad and is responsible for fundraising.In 2001 and 2003 he traveled to Syria where he reported on his activities to Mousa Aba Marzook, deputy to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus. Aba Marzook offered Allawi to become an official Hamas representative in Iran, but he rejected the offer.During the interrogation with The Shin Bet, Allawi said he attended a meeting in 2000 in Saudi Arabia in which he said he would be part of a terror operation on behalf of Hamas. He also offered to use his position as a reporter to promote Hamas interests. In 2006, Allawi traveled to Qatar and met with additional Al Jazeera reporters, who The Shin Bet said were Hamas operatives, and discussed the possibility of using their position to advance Hamas by critizing the US military in Afghanistan. During his interrogation, The Shin Bet said he also discussed his activities as a member of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan from 1988 till 1992 during which he said that he participated in a rebel raid on an Afghan military base and participated in guerrilla operations against Soviet forces. Hmmmm......Flashback: Hillary Clinton praises Al Jazeera as a “real news” outlet.Read the full story here.
- Cain calls Obama’s plan Bullshit.(IOW).yahoo. After a few caffeine-heavy refills at our corner table, I asked him about President Obama’s new effort to raise taxes on the wealthy, and Cain just about blew a blood vessel–especially when I mentioned the part where Obama says it’s about “math” not “class warfare.”“Can I be blunt? That’s a lie,” Cain said, before the sound of his voice began to rise noticeably higher. “You’re not supposed to call the president a liar. Well if you’re not supposed to call the president a liar, he shouldn’t tell a lie. If it’s not class warfare, it’s highway robbery. He wants us to believe it’s not class warfare, oh okay, it’s not class warfare. Pick my pockets, because that’s what he’s doing!”Cain paused, took a breath and looked at me.“I’m not mad at you, I just get passionate about this stuff,” he said. “I have to tell people because I get so worked up . . . . I’m listening to all this bullshit that he’s talking about, ‘fairness’ and ‘balanced approach’ to get this economy going.”As anyone who watched the past couple of debates knows by now, Cain has his own plan that he says would steer the country out of its economic downturn. He calls it the “9-9-9 Plan,” and it would replace the current tax code with three flat, nine-percent federal taxes on income, consumption and business.“With 9-9-9 guess what? How many loopholes?” he said, tapping his fingers on the table like a drumroll. “None. Everybody gets treated the same. What a novel idea.”As the straw poll and his recent fundraising numbers suggest, Cain’s message is resonating with the conservative movement’s influential base of tea-party activists; for these supporters his status as a non-career politician with an extensive background in the private sector is nearly as strong a draw as his ideas and policy proposals. But despite his recent surge in support, few expect Cain’s momentum to carry him on to victory at the Republican National Convention in 2012.Read the full story here.
- Obama Fundraising Suffers Huge Drop-off.(WHD).By Keith Koffler.President Obama will raise substantially less in the second quarter of his campaign than the first, according to the New York Times.The paper writes that Obama campaign manager Jim Messina has told Democratic officials that the president will raise about $55 million in the quarter that ends Sept. 30, about $30 million less than he raised the first quarter of his campaign – which was the second quarter of the year, ending June 30.No doubt, $55 million is a lot of money. But something’s not right.The campaign attributes part of the decline to the need for Obama to stay in Washington address budget battles with Republicans. That is – sorry for the inconvenience – the need to be president.But a separate Times article Saturday that said many small donors are hesitant to start giving to Obama again. And it’s no secret that even for Democrats, the thrill is gone.This helps explain the vitriol Obama has been dumping out on the campaign trail. He needs to get people motivated to send him their money, and if he can get the hating thing going – hate Republicans, hate the rich, hate EVERYONE – maybe they’ll part with some cash.Hmmmm....Gone are the days of 'Hope and Change', now the days of 'Hate and Wrath' have arrived?Read the full story here.
- IRS Tightens its Grip in CAIR Probe.(WND).The IRS has forwarded a congressional complaint lodged against the Council on American-Islamic Relations to its investigations unit for further review. The FBI also has been alerted to evidence the prominent Muslim group has solicited funds from state sponsors of terrorism.The 8-page complaint originally was submitted by U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, the co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, after the IRS stripped Washington-based CAIR of its nonprofit status for failure to file annual tax reports as required by federal law.Wolf cited a 2009 letter in which CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad solicited funds from Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi. Referring to the brutal tyrant as “Your Excellency,” Awad asked for donations toward a $15 million fundraising drive. He thanked Gadhafi for his “generous support.”According to a diplomatic cable, CAIR Chairman Larry Shaw, a black convert to Islam, followed up by praising Gadhafi’s “leadership.”“We have felt for years pride and glory in your leadership,” Shaw, a longtime North Carolina state senator, told the terrorist leader in 2009. “We want to assure you that Muslims in America are your brothers and supporters. They share with you your interests and aspirations.”Wolf noted that Gadhafi’s “deplorable” human-rights record was well known to CAIR, long before he slaughtered his own people during the recent civil unrest. He also has a long history of supporting international terrorist attacks, including the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Gadhafi personally ordered the attack, which killed 270.CAIR’s Awad also personally solicited funds from Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir, an internationally indicted war criminal, Wolf said in his June 24 letter to the IRS director.“I request that the IRS investigate whether Awad and CAIR may have violated U.S. law in soliciting or accepting money from foreign governments or agents during the period that CAIR failed to file” its tax records, he said.CAIR repeatedly failed to file its annual disclosure report, IRS Form 990. CAIR blames a clerical error for the delinquency, and claims to have completed the forms. However, several news organizations, including Politico.com, have asked CAIR for the 2007-2010 documents, and CAIR has not been able to produce them.“Compliance with this law is the only assurance the public has that an organization claiming tax-exempt status is not abusing this privilege,” Wolf wrote. “Given CAIR’s status as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing case, this failure to comply with federal disclosure laws is all the more troubling.”In a July 14 letter obtained by WND, IRS official Lois G. Lerner, director of exempt organizations, wrote that information raising questions about the legality of a tax-exempt organization’s activities is automatically forwarded to the IRS’ Dallas office “to determine if it warrants an examination or other action.”Wolf, in turn, sent the IRS letter and several pages of evidence to FBI Director Robert Mueller for criminal investigation. The FBI in 2007 cut off all formal ties to CAIR after evidence emerged from the Holy Land trial that the group was fronting for Hamas, a federally designated terrorist group.At a recent appearance in Florida, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said he would pursue an aggressive criminal investigation of CAIR if elected to the White House. “Absolutely,” Gingrich stated, when asked about it by a concerned citizen.Critics say CAIR should, at a minimum, be subjected to disclosure requirements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The law requires foreign agents to report funding from foreign governments and all lobbying activities on their behalf.According to the bestseller, “Muslim Mafia,” which cites sensitive embassy cables and bank wire transfers, CAIR has solicited millions of dollars in funds from the Saudi Arabian and UAE governments, while publicly denying it takes foreign cash.The book uncovered evidence of direct payments of more than $100,000 into CAIR’s Citbank account from members of the Saudi royal family. It also noted the Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank in 2007 opened an account for “CAIR Trust,” involving a $1 million grant for a religious endowment to be used “for the construction of a multi-purpose Waqf complex for CAIR in the U.S.”In addition, the book learned that redacted pre-2007 tax statements filed by CAIR reveal that Saudi businessman Adnan Bogary has contributed a whopping $600,000 a year to the group’s coffers.CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad, a leader of the radical Muslim Brotherhood in America, once bragged: “We can have as many organizations as we want” in America, no questions asked. The only thing the Brothers have to worry about, he advised, is covering up “orders” from abroad, as well as the “financial connections,” so that the organizations appear independent.“If you cover those bases, you will find that you, as an American organization, can do whatever you want,” the FBI recorded Ahmad saying during a secret Hamas meeting in Philadelphia, according to “Muslim Mafia”. Hamas is a subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood.All told, CAIR has received more than $6.6 million in cash and loans, and more than $54 million in pledges from foreign principals based in Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, Kuwait and other countries hostile to U.S. interests. At one point after 9/11, according to the book “Infiltration,” CAIR’s national headquarters were deeded over to the ruler of Dubai, a known sponsor of Hamas suicide bombers and their families. Dubai was the transit point for many of the hijackers as they entered the U.S. Funds for the 9/11 plot, moreover, were transferred through the city.Yet CAIR has failed to report these payments, while using such funds to target U.S. politicians, organizations and businesses for foreign-influence operations – potentially in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, contends Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney.“The evidence showing that CAIR should register as a foreign agent is conclusive,” said Gaffney, a former Reagan Pentagon official. “Hundreds of Americans, including elected officials, community groups, corporations and private citizens, have been – and continue to be – targeted by CAIR.”He says CAIR has a subversive agenda to support jihad and to Islamize America.“CAIR attempts to silence anyone opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood’s insinuation of Shariah – the totalitarian doctrine of authoritative Islamic law – into the United States, with a relentless program of accusations of bias, racism and ‘Islamophobia,’” Gaffney said.He notes that CAIR has met and coordinated with foreign principals on at least 30 occasions. And he says CAIR has engaged in at least 50 political-influence operations on behalf of foreign principals in the U.S.According to “Muslim Mafia,” CAIR has a stated strategy of placing staffers and operatives in key congressional committees dealing with homeland security to try to undermine efforts to crack down on Islamic terrorism. In one year alone, the book says, CAIR officials made more than 70 trips to the U.S. Capitol to lobby against the Patriot Act, for one example.CAIR is acting as a foreign agent, Gaffney asserts. Yet since its founding in 1994, it has failed to properly identify itself as such to the Justice Department and to the American public. Justice enforces the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.Gaffney urges American citizens to oppose CAIR’s political influence operations funded by hostile foreign governments by writing the Justice Department and requesting an investigation of CAIR under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.Read the full story here.
- "From Russia With A Vengeance?"Russia Hunts Down Chechen Terrorists Abroad.(Spiegel).On orders from the Kremlin, Russian agents have been liquidating Chechen terrorists abroad. Turkish investigators suspect that a Russian was also behind the latest killings, the recent murder of three Chechens in Istanbul. Some believe the operations are being planned from Berlin.The memorial service high above the Bosporus went far beyond what is usual at the funeral of terror suspects. Several thousand people turned up at the mosque, built by Sultan Mehmet, the conqueror of Constantinople, to mourn the deaths of three Chechens. A man wielding a pistol had shot the men from Russia's rebellious northern Caucasus region on Sept. 16 as they left a house in the European part of Istanbul. The killer fled in a black rental car. Last week, he managed to evade Turkish investigators who had tracked him down to his hotel, but he was in such a hurry that he left behind his pistol, a night-vision device and passports. The Turks are now looking for a 55-year-old Russian who entered Turkey in early September under the name Alexander Shirkov.So far, the government in Ankara has not commented on the murders. It is reluctant to jeopardize relations with its old geopolitical rival Russia, which had finally been improving recently. However, representatives of Islamist organizations sharply criticized what they called Moscow's "insidious state-sponsored terrorism" after the funeral service.The bloody deed is a sign of a larger conflict: the struggle between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and those in the Islamic world who sympathize with the radical Chechen underground fighters, provide them funding and grant them refuge. Putin is determined to prevent the region from breaking away from Russia at all costs.Russian intelligence agents appear to be systematically working off a hit list. When he came into power, Putin, who was president at the time, apparently decided to expand the death zone. "We will pursue the terrorists wherever they go. If we find them in the toilet, we'll kill them in the outhouse," the president vowed, and set his agents loose on Chechen rebels and terrorists abroad. In February 2004, Russian agents with diplomatic passports blew up an SUV carrying Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, a Chechen rebel commander, in Qatar, where he had been a guest of that country's emir. Interpol was searching for him, and his name was on a United Nations list of known terrorists, but Qatar refused to extradite Yandarbiyev to Moscow.When the murderers, officially members of the Russian diplomatic corps, were captured and arrested, Putin himself reached for the phone to secure their release in Qatar. In 2006, Putin got a law passed that legalized his approach, just as his counterpart, then-US President George W. Bush, had done a few years earlier. Now, Russian intelligence agencies and special forces are permitted to kill terrorists abroad. The order to liquidate suspects has to be issued by the president.The attacks were carried out in Arab countries, Azerbaidjan in the southern Caucasus and, in particular, Turkey. In September 2008, the Chechen militant Gaji Edilsultanov was murdered in Istanbul in broad daylight. Three months later, his fellow militant Islam Zhanibekov was killed in an execution-style shooting in front of his wife and children. Russian special-forces units had targeted the Chechen because of his involvement in several terrorist attacks.Musa Atayev, a Chechen field commander who was in Turkey under a false name, was killed in Istanbul in February 2009. Neighbors found him lying dead in a pool of blood. Atayev was believed to be the Istanbul representative of terrorist leader Doku Umarov, who has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, including the bombing of the Moscow Metro in March 2010, which killed 40 people, and the attack on the city's Domodedovo International Airport in January 2011. The airport bombing claimed 37 lives. Because of his involvement in these attacks, Umarov is often referred to as the "bin Laden of the Caucasus."According to Turkish police, Alexander Shirkov, who is now suspected of having organized and committed the recent triple murder, was in Istanbul when Atayev died in February 2009.Late last week, there was speculation on Chechen underground websites, as well as in the Russian and Turkish media, that a so-called "Berlin group" may have been involved in the killings. Russian undercover operations have allegedly been directed from the German capital, of all places.Officially, German authorities have no solid evidence that this is the case. However, they did not fail to notice that more than 1,200 Chechen exiles and Russian intelligence agents are now stalking each other in Berlin. The Germans have also noticed that Umarov's following is growing. They report dubious flows of cash -- including from young men who are leaving Germany to join the holy war in the Caucasus.Hmmmm.....No more Visa duty between Turkey and Russia, as i warned in the past terrorists will be traveling between both countries.Sochi will likely be the scene of the next Russian Islamic extremists bloodbath.Lets hope"The Motherland Gets it's men"before it's too late?Read the full story here.
- Eleven children among 16 killed by Afghan roadside bomb.(TheNewAge).Sixteen people including 11 children were killed when a bus hit a roadside bomb in western Afghanistan on Tuesday, a local government official said."At around 1:00 pm (0830 GMT) today a passenger bus returning from a wedding party hit a roadside bomb in Shindand district, killing 16 people," said Mohayedin Noori, spokesman for the Herat provincial government.He added that 11 children, four women and one man were among the dead.Herat police spokesman Noor Khan Neikzad blamed the attack on the Taliban, the leaders of a decade-long insurgency in Afghanistan."The area in which the incident has happened is restive, the Taliban are active there," he said. "We believe they are responsible for killing the civilians." The Taliban were not immediately reachable for comment.Roadside bombs are a major cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, killing hundreds of people every year.Read the full story here.
- Erdogan's WorldWarIII push - Cyprus Drilling: Tension High as “Piri Reis” Enters Block 12.(KTG).Tension is high around the drilling off shore of Cyprus as the Turkish research vessel Piri Reis has allegedly entered Block 12. Greek newspaper Proto Thema claims that Piri Reis entered the area of Block 12 where US company “Noble Energy” carries out natural gas research. The Piri Reis entered the area in the early morning hours on Tuesday and is accompanied by two warships, the frigate “Giresun” and the corvette “Bartin. The Turkish vessel sailed approximately 25 nautical miles northwest form the platform “Homer Ferrington” from where the drilling is carried out.Should Piri Reis start research in the Block 12 is an action that violates the sovereignty of the Cyprus marine Exclusive Economic Zone, an EEZ that Nicosia set together with Israel and other neighbouring states.At the same time, Cyprus is performing a Search and Rescue exercise in the area with helicopters and ships. Odd enough Great Britain joined the exercise with one helicopter!NOTAM
Cyprus + British S.A.R exercise on the way to Turkish Piri Peis ship today. Read NOTAM A0717/11 – SEARCH AND RESCUE EXERCISE WILL TAKE PLACE IN AREA BOUNDED BY: 344000N0330530E 343800N0331400E 342800N0331200E 342100N0325800E 342000N0325000E 343000N0325000E 343030N0330300E 343230N0330500E IN THE INTEREST OF FLIGHT SAFETY UNITS OTHER THAN THE PARTICIPATING HELICOPTERS ARE STRICTLY ADVISED NOT TO ENTER THE ABOVE AREA WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE NICOSIA ATC. SFC – 3000FT AMSL, 27 SEP 08:00 2011 UNTIL 27 SEP 12:00 2011. CREATED: 26 SEP 13:58 2011 (source: Greek journalist Ioanna Iliadi)
Of course, there is the question of what GB is doing down there right now. Maybe to press Nicosia AND Ankara for a drilling share in times where Cyprus, a former British colony, is dancing with USA and Israel? Diplomacy is a hard school…Hmmmm....Why is Obama supporting Erdogan?Read the full story here.
- Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman Rips Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan As “Radical Islamic Extremist”.(JPost).(Video).Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman fiercely attacked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at an Israel Beiteinu pre-Rosh Hashana toast on Monday, calling his administration “a radical Islamic extremist leadership that supports and develops terror.”Lieberman said the Israeli government would stand by the Israeli soldiers who were named in a Turkish newspaper on Monday as bearing responsibility for the IDF’s response to the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in which nine Turkish militants were killed.He mocked Erdogan’s accusations against Israel in media interviews during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.“I saw Erdogan on CNN, and I think [his performance] was great for us,” Lieberman said. “If I wanted to improve Israeli hasbara [advocacy], I would buy media outlets around the world and have Erdogan talk from morning until night.”Lieberman also lashed out at MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al), who flew to New York with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and applauded during his speech.“Representatives of terrorist organizations in the Knesset came to New York as part of the Palestinian delegation and spewed fire,” Lieberman said. “I find it interesting that I never hear Arab MKs complaining about mass murder in Syria.”“There is no diplomatic tsunami or even rain on a cloudy day," Lieberman said. “I remember all the predictions of doom and all the people who said there would be a catastrophe. They should read the statements of the US State Department, Obama's speech and the document of the Quartet. I have reservations about the Quartet's decision, but the fact that it calls for negotiations without preconditions is a great achievement for Israel.”Lieberman rejected Palestinian demands to change the Paris protocol on economic relations with the Palestinians, saying that he could guarantee that Israel would not “change even a comma” in the agreement.Read and see the full story here.
- Terrorists blow up Sinai gas pipeline to Israel.(DocsTalk).REUTERS AND JPOST.COM STAFF.Witnesses say 3 men open fire on pipeline near El-Arish; man admitted to local hospital with burns from the blast; fire brigades bringing flames under control after gas supply cut off; sixth such attack this year.ISMAILIYA, Egypt - Unknown assailants blew up an Egyptian pipeline in Sinai on Tuesday that supplies Israel and Jordan with gas, security sources and witnesses said.A witness told investigators he saw three men jump out of a small truck at a pumping station in an area known as al-Maidan, southwest of the city of el-Arish, and open fire on the pipeline, the security sources said. This was followed by a large explosion heard across the city and witnesses said 15-meter high flames could be seen shooting up from the pipeline.A local hospital said one man was admitted with burns from the blast, which also set olive groves and shacks in the area on fire. Fire brigades were bringing the flames under control after the company operating the pipeline cut off the gas supply.The incident marked the sixth such attack on the pipeline since former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February.The last attack occurred in July when men with machine guns in a small truck forced guards at a station out and blew it up.The extent of the damage caused by Tuesday's blast and the effect on gas supplies to Israel and Jordan was not immediately clear.Egypt has been trying to charge Israel and Jordan more for its gas after complaining that prices fixed during Mubarak's rule were below market rates.The pipeline is run by Gasco, Egypt's gas transport company which is a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS.The Egyptian armed forces launched a security operation in Sinai in August to root out hundreds of suspected militants believed to be behind some of the attacks on the pipeline and police compounds in the peninsula.Security sources said then that they had captured a group of four Islamist militants as they prepared to blow up the gas pipeline in el-Arish.Read the full story here.
- Discriminative Discourse in History Textbooks Upsets Assyrians in Turkey.(Aina).High school history textbooks for 2011-2012 prepared by the Turkish Ministry of Education include anti-Assyrian statements, resulting in disappointed Assyrians at a time when Turkey has been renewing relations with its minorities by eliminating unfair treatment in all sectors of social and economic life.According to a report in the Radikal daily on Monday, the textbook presents Assyrians as traitors to the country not just in a given historical period but also today. "The Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire" is a very problematic part of the textbook in that sense.It frames World War I as a breaking point in which Assyrians betrayed and stabbed the country in the back by cooperating with the great powers like Russia. Moreover, it also focuses on recent sociological aspects of the community's relations with the state. The migration of Assyrians to Europe increased for economic reasons. But this fact is presented in the text from a negative standpoint in which Assyrians are instrumental elements for European political goals, manipulating them for Western interests in their relation with Turkey.Due to the Lausanne Treaty, Assyrians became citizens of the newborn Republic of Turkey in 1923. The text also touches on the issue of Assyrian genocide, labeling the speculations senseless and politically motivated to damage the Turkish position. "There was no genocide carried out against Assyrians in 1915 as has been claimed," the text stated. Assyrian writer Markuz Ürek criticized various aspects of the book. The first objection was that the history of Assyrian people must be rewritten with the assistance of Assyrian scholars and by taking their opinions into account. According to Ürek, the Assyrian people want to live peacefully in this country rather than troubling Turkish society as claimed in the book. Ürek stated that the textbook would have been ideal if it had been written objectively rather than taking a one-sided and subjective standpoint."This textbook must serve the cause of uniting society rather than using a discriminative discourse that can only serve to further fragment society as some segments of society have felt excluded," Ürek told Radikal. According to Ürek, in contrast to the narrative in the book, there was no Assyrian revolt against the Ottoman state during World War I but rather self-defensive moves to protect against aggressive and hostile acts of Kurdish tribes in the Southeast. Assyrians are a minority who belong to the Syriac Orthodox Church and predominantly live in southeast Anatolia. Due to political pressure, Assyrians, like other minorities, faced serious problems during the Republican era. Only 15,000 are left in Turkey, after many migrated to Europe.Read the full story here.
- Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos: Turkey Destroys Religious Heritage in Occupied Cyprus.(Aina).Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II has indicted Turkey for the destruction of holy sites in the northern Turkish occupied areas of the island, calling on the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Georgia, Elias, to assist in any way possible and to exert pressure on the matter in the international arena.The Archbishop, who paid an official visit to the Orthodox Church of Georgia, at the invitation of Patriarch Elias, was speaking at a concelebrating ceremony on Sunday in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi.He said that more than 500 Orthodox churches and monasteries in the occupied areas are in a miserable condition."Some of these churches and monasteries have been destroyed, others have been transformed into mosques, night clubs, army camps even stables. Our holy icons and other religious items have been sold to Europe and America", he noted.He said that the Church of Cyprus has been long demanding a permit from the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in order to repair these churches and monasteries, however there has been no response so far.The Archbishop also referred to the Cyprus problem, noting that Turkey illegally invaded Cyprus in 1974, occupying 37% of the country, adding that it wants to take over the occupied areas and the rest of Cyprus.Turkey, he pointed out, is implementing "ethnic cleansing" tactics in Cyprus, by driving away all Christian Orthodox from their homeland and bringing Muslim settlers from Anatolia, changing the demographics of the whole of Cyprus.Read the full story here.
- Two more women murdered last weekend in Turkey.(TodaysZaman).Two women were killed in instances of domestic violence last weekend in Turkey, where violence against women continues to afflict the country.One woman was killed by her family on Saturday in the eastern province of Elazığ because she gave birth outside of wedlock, the Taraf daily reported on Monday. The family gave her baby to the police, saying they had found it in a field.An individual who knew the family spoke with Taraf correspondents about the tragic murder, stating, “I cannot bear the shame.”Ayşe Konar (30) hid her pregnancy from her family, claiming she had a tumor in her stomach. After she gave birth to the child outside of wedlock, the elders in Konar's family threatened and beat her. One family member tried to strangle her so that she would reveal who the father of the child was, but Konar refused to answer.The family took Konar to the hospital, where she subsequently died from serious injuries. Her brother told police that he had killed her, and her aunt gave them the baby, claiming to have found it alone in a field.In the northwestern province of Yalova, a man allegedly stabbed his ex-wife to death during an argument.Mustafa Görmez (54) and Meve Yayla (33) divorced two months ago following three years of marriage. Görmez went to Yayla's home in Yalova's Çınarcık district to supposedly make peace, but an argument soon broke out. The quarrel escalated when Görmez reportedly took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his ex-wife eight times in the eye and back.Yayla died at the scene of the incident. Görmez was taken into custody and referred to court for the alleged murder of his ex-wife. According to police reports, Görmez had been detained for many knife and gun-related crimes in the past.A report on violence against women by the İstanbul branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD) found that a total of 4,190 women have been killed by men across Turkey in the last seven years. The study also confirmed that honor killings and family councils still operate in eastern Turkey. Family councils describe a sort of traditional justice system in the more rural and eastern parts of Turkey in which family elders meet to discuss and make decisions on personal and community matters.Hmmmm.....Keep Turkey out of the European Union!Read the full story here.
- Pakistani Clerics' Fatwa Says Jihad Mandatory On All Pakistanis In Case Of U.S. Attack On Pakistani Soil.(Memri).Dozens of Islamic clerics in Pakistan have jointly issued a fatwa, declaring that jihad will be mandatory on the entire Pakistani nation in the case of a possible U.S. attack on the Pakistani soil, according to an Urdu-language daily.The fatwa came after the U.S. accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of supporting the Taliban's Haqqani Network to carry out the recent terror attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul.About 50 muftis (Islamic scholars qualified to declare fatwas) issued the decree at a meeting of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) in Lahore. The Sunni Ittehad Council is an organization of Barelvi Sunni clerics in Pakistan. Leaders of about fifty religious organizations participated in the meeting, according to a report in the Urdu-language Roznama Ummat.At the SIC's emergency meeting chaired by Sahibzada Fazal Karim, the Barelvi clerics - who are opposed to the Deobandi-supported Taliban, also asked the Pakistani government to formally start preaching Jihad Fi Sabeel Allah (Jihad only in the way of Allah) in accordance with the rules of Islamic Shariah and take all necessary measures to defend the country's sovereignty.According to the report, the fatwa declared that calling America a super power is Kufr (sinful, being an infidel), as Allah Almighty alone is the super power. It said that the "anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam designs of the U.S. have came into limelight; therefore, the government should forthwith part ways with America as a frontline ally in the war against terrorism and make efforts for a joint front with China, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran."
"A Muslim is not scared of anyone except Allah and considers martyrdom an honor," the fatwa said, adding, "It will be a real jihad and mandatory for each Pakistani to participate in it according to his capacity to defend the county's frontiers."The fatwa also urged the political and military leadership of Pakistan to start the preparation for war in accordance with Islamic Sharia which requires the Islamic governments of the time to prepare their "horses" to combat enemy forces. According to the report, the clerics also appealed to all political forces to shun their differences and gather on one platform under the banner of Islam to defend the country's independence and sovereignty and to convey a message to the U.S. that the religious, political and military leaderships of Pakistan are united against any foreign aggression.The fatwa also proposed that all politicians, bureaucrats and military leaders should bring back their assets from foreign banks to Pakistan. It called upon the Pakistani nation to promote a culture of austerity to the overcome economic crisis faced by Pakistan. The fatwa also appreciated the bold stand of Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani against the U.S. allegations.Hmmmm.....Exactly how many $ Billion Dollar did the Obama Administration Give them?Read the full story here.
- Pope Spoke of 'Slow Suicide of Europe Through "Muslim immigration".(TheDailyBeast).By Andrew Roberts.An upcoming autobiography from press baron Conrad Black reveals that Pope Benedict lamented the 'slow suicide of Europe' because of Muslim immigration. Buried away on page 48 of the former press proprietor Conrad Black’s superb, soon-to-be-published autobiography, A Matter of Principle, is the answer to a burning question that very many people have been asking for several years: What does the pope really think about Islamic immigration into Europe?
... Lord Black’s authoritative and highly readable new memoir (full disclosure: I’m a dedicatee) reveals that at a small dinner party given at the home of Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter, the then–cardinal archbishop of Toronto, in 1990, the then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—now Pope Benedict—"lamented 'the slow suicide of Europe:' its population was aging and shrinking, and the unborn were being partly replaced by unassimilable immigrants. He thought that Europe would awake from its torpor, but that there were difficult days head."... thanks to Lord Black’s fascinating book we now know what the pope really thinks, and indeed thought back in 1990, even before the last two decades of mass immigration into Europe from African and Middle Eastern Muslim countries. For the phrase "unassimilable immigrants" cannot refer to anyone else, because there was no large-scale immigration into Europe at that time from any other peoples who fit that description. The largely unassimilated Muslim populations of Germany, France, Holland, Italy, and Britain were undoubtedly what His Holiness was discussing, and in his (correct) view they represent "the slow suicide of Europe," or at least the Christian Europe for which he should be the prime spokesman. It was Arnold Toynbee who wrote in his multicivilizational work The Study of History that "Civilizations die from suicide, not murder." Now we know that the pope agrees with him, but only in private, not in public, just in case the reaction is too unpleasant.Hmmmm.......Read the full story here.
Monday, September 26, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Canada 5.3 , The Solomon Islands 5.2 and Tonga 5.1 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Geithner Plan for Europe is last chance to avoid global catastrophe.(Telegraph).By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.The threat of cascading default, bank runs, and catastrophic risk must be taken off the table," said US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner over the weekend."Sovereign and banking stresses in Europe are the most serious risk now confronting the world economy. Decisions cannot wait until the crisis gets more severe."Euroland's dysfunctional arrangements are no longer a local affair. As the European Central Bank's Jean-Claude Trichet said in Washington, EMU is at the epicentre of a global sovereign debt crisis that risks engulfing all, and is more intractable than 2008 because governments themselves are now crippled.China, India, Brazil and the world's rising powers will not escape lightly this time if leaders let events spiral out of control. European banks have lent $3.4 trillion to emerging markets (BIS data), or three quarters of external loans to these countries.The International Monetary Fund warned last week that emerging markets face the risk of "sharp reversals" or even a "sudden stop" if there is further spill-over from Europe. This comes at a time when Asia and parts of Latin America are already in the topping phase of a credit boom, one of epic proportions in China where loans have doubled to almost 200pc of GDP over the last five years.Warning signs have been flashing red for the last three weeks. Shares of China's top property developer Greentown have crashed by a third this month. The currencies of Indonesia, Brazil, Korea, South Africa, and Hungary have all buckled, and central banks have begun intervening to stop the slide. "A continued flight from risk raises the growing possibility of investor capitulation in emerging markets," said Neil Mellor from BNY Mellon.The reserve powers would be well advised to pull out all the stops to save Europe and its banking system. Together they hold $10 trillion in foreign bonds. If they agreed to rotate just 4pc of these holdings ($400bn) into Spanish, Italian, and Belgian debt over the next two years, they could offer a soothing balm. None has yet risen to the challenge. It is `sauve qui peut', with no evidence of G20 leadership in sight.Once again, the US has had to take charge. The multi-trillion package now taking shape for Euroland was largely concocted in Washington, in cahoots with the European Commission, and is being imposed on Germany by the full force of American diplomacy.It is an ugly and twisted set of proposals, devised to accommodate Berlin's refusal to accept fiscal union, Eurobonds, and an EU treasury. But at least it is big.The EU's €440bn bail-out fund (EFSF) will be "leveraged" from €440bn to €2 trillion to cope with Italy and Spain. The fund will assume an "equity" stake of 20pc or so in holdings of EMU debt, supported by loans of 80pc from the European Central Bank.Commercial banks that cannot raise money from Mid-East wealth funds will be seized by the state, partly or fully, or be recapitalized by the EFSF. This should leave them strong enough to absorb a 50pc default imposed on Greece, and potential knock-on defaults in Portugal and Ireland.Or at least, that is the idea. We will see how the Bundestag reacts this week. It has not even voted on the July deal to boost the powers of the EFSF, itself a furiously contested plan that may provoke a 30-strong rebellion within Chancellor Angela Merkel's own coalition. German lawmakers now learn that implicit liabilities may be five times as big."We should not think of leveraging a public pot of funds as a free lunch," said Ireland's central bank governor Patrick Honohan. Indeed not. The details of this financial engineering have a familiar ring to those who remember the `CDOs' and other instruments of structured disguise before the subprime debacle. The bill comes due.We will see too whether France is willing to swallow national pride and confront its own financial elite. Christian Noyer, the Bank of France's governor, denied on Sunday that French officials were mulling a capital injection of up to €15bn to beef up banks.Read the full story here.
- Obama’s Unpresidential Contempt for the GOP.(WHD).The president is president of all of us. Not just the Democratic Party. Even during a campaign.It’s one thing to lambaste your opponents and their ideas. But the president of the United States should not be describing the other Party as un-American. It’s worse than sordid, divisive politics. It’s an ignominious, even somewhat frightening thing for a president to do, and it demonstrates a real ignorance on the part of Obama about the Constitutional role of his position.Let’s look at what he said last night at a fundraiser in San Jose, California.Some of you here may be folks who actually used to be Republicans but are puzzled by what’s happened to that party, are puzzled by what’s happening to that party. I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately?You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change,” he said, to applause. “It’s true. You’ve got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don’t have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because they’re gay. That’s not reflective of who we are . . .This is a choice about the fundamental direction of our country — 2008 was an important election; 2012 is a more important election.The key phrase above is “That’s not reflective of who we are.” As he has before – most notably in describing the budget by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) that was adopted by the House – Obama is suggesting that his opposition is un-American.He’s vilifying an entire Party with a couple of extreme examples.How dangerous for a president to think his values are America’s.Hmmmmm......"Come to the Dark side?"Read the full story here.
- Obama Is Dangerous for Peace.(AT).By James Lewis.The president of the United States has just destroyed the longest-lasting peace treaty in the Middle East. That Nobel Prize-winning treaty between Egypt and Israel was destroyed by Obama in broad daylight, right in front of God and everybody, with stunning audacity.The White House kept repeating the message that Mubarak must resign, and "now means now." This is simply unprecedented, even during the height of the Cold War. American presidents don't demand in public that their crucial allies resign. It is a diplomatic insult of unprecedented proportions.
And yet -- Obama said nothing when Iran's genocide-threatening regime killed and tortured thousands of demonstrators at the start of Obama's administration. He has said nothing about Syria's Assad sending tanks to fire on rebels in the city of Homs. He said nothing when the Saudis sent troops into Bahrain to violently suppress protests. Indeed, the White House has actively aided repression by regimes much worse than Mubarak was -- regimes in Yemen, Somalia, and Iran.
So what's going on? Was it just another opportunistic chance for Obama to parade his overweening ego? Or was it more sinister?Mubarak was the thirty-year strongman who preserved the single biggest pillar of Middle East peace, the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. USA Today predicted that the peace treaty was in danger when Mubarak fell. Everybody knew. The Israelis kept telling Obama, and the Egyptians and Saudis must have done that as well. The Saudis, who are now facing a nuclear Iran fifty miles away, are walking away from their decades-long alliance with the United States. Nobody trusts American guarantees anymore.
Obama did it, knowing that the Arab world would break down into near-universal civil war. The so-called "Arab Spring" is a fraud. What we are seeing is an "Pan-Arab Civil War," from Tunisia to Yemen. Every country is in deep trouble, and Prof. Niall Ferguson, who has been warning about this catastrophe all along, now believes that famine and social warfare will come to Egypt and the others. They can no longer pay for the massive food imports they need to survive. Local capital has fled to safer places.
The Middle East has been "community disorganized." This is straight out of Saul Alinsky: community agitators destabilize communities so that they can push the remnants into whatever shape they want. The people who die are just too bad.This is so shocking, and so contrary to Obama's "peace" rhetoric, that few Americans can believe their own eyes, seeing that the biggest pillar of Middle East peace has been smashed right before them. This can only be a knowing move on the part of the Obama administration. Everybody who remembered the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty had to know.
Obama has now demanded that Israel retreat to its 1949 ceasefire lines --- which he lied about as the "1967 borders." Those 1949 lines would set Israel back to three large wars ago. It would turn Israel into one of those famous gerrymandered districts that look like a wriggling salamander.Those borders are indefensible, and they therefore would drive Israel into its ultimate defensive weapon: nuclear war. The radical leftist fantasy of threatening Israel with destruction runs into that brute fact: with its back to the wall, Israel would use nukes in self-defense. You cannot drive a nuclear power into a corner without it resorting to war.
The overthrow of Mubarak has destabilized the entire Middle East. Indeed, this Pan-Arab Civil War has already taken more lives than the Japanese tsunami...and it threatens to get worse. After half a century of warm and friendly relations, Turkey is now threatening naval war against Israel in the eastern Mediterranean.This is exactly how Iran fell back into its medieval tyranny in Jimmy Carter's time -- and don't doubt that that calamity was triggered by Carter and his NSC henchman Zbigniew Brzezinski. A million people died in the Iran-Iraq war that followed the radicalization of Iran. Thousands of innocent Green Revolution demonstrators are still dying today in the regime's horrific prisons and torture chambers.
The U.S. Sixth Fleet has kept the peace in the Mediterranean for sixty years. When the Sixth Fleet was doing its job, no American ally like Turkey would ever have threatened naval war against another ally like Greece or Israel. Turkey has warships, but nothing compared to the Sixth Fleet. It therefore follows that Obama is not allowing the USN to interfere with the Turkish naval threat.For thirty years the Egypt-Israeli Peace Treaty sustained the fragile peace in the Middle East. Everything positive in Arab-Israeli relations was based on it. Stable relations between Israel and Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, and even Syria were all based on that solid-looking Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.
Then Mr. Obama tore it all down, right in front of our eyes.Israel is now surrounded by countries that used to be at peace, but which are now talking war. They are armed with high-tech missiles: tens of thousands of scud missiles in Syria; forty thousand missiles of various types in Lebanon controlled by Hezbollah, and therefore by Iran; thousands of Grad and more primitive missiles in Gaza. If the PA declares a state, it will try to import even more offensive missiles, just like Hamas did in Gaza.Finally, Iran now has IRBMs and the first ICBMs with nuclear weapons coming soon, which can easily strike Israel -- but Iran can also strike U.S. military bases and naval vessels within a radius of 1,000 miles and more, not to mention the nations of southern and eastern Europe. Once developed, Iranian ICBMs can reach the United States, China, and Russia.The President of the United States has therefore destabilized the Middle East in the most dangerous way, and he has done so in broad daylight. And yes, people are already dying in the tens of thousands -- so far, 90 percent Muslims. But others may start dying soon.Even now, American armed forces are in secret combat in Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, and elsewhere, to keep things from completely falling apart. U.S. soldiers are facing daily death to keep Obama's China shop from shattering.Obama knows that he's pulled the rug out, and U.S. forces are now engaged in unknown numbers of Muslim countries to try to shape the outcome.And yet America's political pundits have watched it happen, and they mostly have kept silent as the grave. Nobody wants to say out loud what's obvious. That is the power of audacity. Obama's overthrow of Middle East peace is so shocking that no pundit even wants to call it what it is. American Jews has been silent. The left and Europe are pretending it didn't happen. The "neocons" are silent so far. (But Michael Ledeen is writing a Broadsides book about it.)This is the biggest news not fit to print in the New York Times. It's the biggest public secret in the world. But open your eyes, and you'll see it.Any sane observer has to wonder why the president did that. The pillar of Middle East peace, what there was of it, is now weakened, maybe fatally. It has to come from the combatants. It took three major wars to bring about that treaty.After Sadat was assassinated, his vice president, Hosni Mubarak, took over instead, and kept the peace with Israel intact for thirty years. Israel ceded the entire Sinai Desert to Egypt in return for that peace -- the biggest piece of land ever at stake in Arab-Israeli struggles. The Sinai is a huge land buffer, and when you're at war with a neighbor, you want to have plenty of land between you and your enemies. So Israel traded land for peace.Obama has "community disorganized" the Middle East, and he did it knowing what would happen. If you think our other at-risk allies aren't watching -- Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Saudi Arabia, Poland -- well, think again. If the United States stabs Egypt and Israel in the back, all the others are looking for safety. The Saudis are getting their own nukes. So will Japan and South Korea. Poland has signed a local self-defense treaty with former Soviet colonies.
So much for Obama, the Prince of Peace and Compassion, not the mention the Messiah of Hope and Progress. V.I. Lenin famously said that things have to get worse before they can get better. The only trouble is that Lenin only made things worse. That is why the Soviet Union gave up seventy miserable years after Lenin.This is the biggest foreign policy gamble by any American president, ever.Obama is dangerous for peace.Source here.
- "Lord Forgive them?"Obama asks CBC for Biblical faith in his agenda.(WE).President Obama made an appeal to the religious faith of black voters at a Congressional Black Caucus rally, likening Biblical prophets who had faith in God -- and so refused to worship an idol -- to the black voters who "keep the faith" by supporting him and his policies - and, he hopes, his reelection campaign.Obama opened the speech by mentioning the Biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, three captive Jews who were thrown into a fiery furnace because they would not worship a golden idol. Obama quoted a pastor who referred to the three men as "good crazy" for having that faith. He added that the pastor had attributed the same "good crazy" to him when he decided to run for president.Obama continued that analogy, equating the Jews' "faith in the things not seen" to the more mundane "belief that if you persevere a better day lies ahead."Obama added, "you and me, we're all a little bit crazy, but hopefully a good kind of crazy...We’re a good kind of crazy because no matter how hard things get, we keep the faith; we keep fighting; we keep moving forward."Obama then explained how he had "kept the faith" through various acts as president -- by responding to the economic crisis with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulations bill, through certain tax credits he had passed and through Obamacare. He finished with a plug for the American Jobs Act.The only "kind of crazy" on display in this speech is the one that says faith in Obama's policies is kind of like faith in God.Hmmmmm....."Beware of false prophets".A Pastor......Might that be Jeremiah Wright?Read the full story here.
- Sen. Mike Lee Is Right to Ask: Is Google a Problem?(BigGovernment).To many conservatives, it may seem surprising that Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) would echo antitrust concerns in his aggressive questioning of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt during this week’s hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. Isn’t that more of a lefty thing? Well, yes and no. The left indeed tends to be altogether too, er, liberal in its use of anti-trust laws to control big business. But conservatives also need to guard America against bad policies and domineering, unfair businesses practices that distort markets and ultimately punish consumers. I believe this is where Sen. Lee was coming from in his line of argument against Schmidt.Antitrust aside, Google has danced very close to the line in terms of profiting from other companies’ property rights, for example. In the eyes of many experts, Google also has violated consumer privacy. It has heavily influenced public policy to protect and enhance its bottom line at the expense of other companies. Surely it’s worth asking if Google’s business, lobbying and legal strategies pose threats free enterprise.As Lee put it, “Whether or not Google formally qualifies as a monopoly under our antitrust laws, one thing is clear. Given its significant ability to steer e-commerce and the flow of online information, Google is in a position to help determine who will succeed and who will fail on the Internet.” American’s have a right to be concerned about the implications of Lee’s observation.I do not begrudge Google its success. It is an amazing company with a superior search offering and a clever business model. At the same time, Google has built its market dominance and cash position, at least in part, by appropriating, some might say misappropriating, the copyrighted content of others. For instance, Google “scrapes” content from other websites and sells advertising based on that scraped content. Google has also become dominant on mobile phones with its Android operating system, which arguably uses patented technology owned by other companies. Google has also played fast and loose with trademark protection—selling ads around other companies’ trademarks.Most notoriously, Google generated significant revenue from illegal pharmaceutical advertising—a practice to which it admitted and forfeited $500 million to avoid prosecution.Finally, Google is altogether too close to liberal politicians and political causes for my personal tastes. There is no crime in that, to be sure. But we need look no further than the front page headlines regarding the Solyndra scandal to know that when politicians and crony capitalists become too familiar, we the people are the victims.There is no doubt that we should be skeptical of antitrust enforcement and other marketplace regulation, for that matter. But faulting Lee for speaking out against Google is misguided. We should not fault the messenger, but instead examine the clear message. No entity—government or corporation—should be in a position to threaten free enterprise or property rights. It is altogether appropriate for elected leaders to ask questions.Read the full story here.
- Do Liberals Care About Palestinian Racism and Anti-Semitism?(Challah Hu Akbar).The Palestinian cause is increasingly supported by western "progressives" who also claim to be champions for tolerance, pluralism, and minority rights. In order to advocate for the Palestinians, progressives have been too willing to ignore the basic and unfortunate fact that racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism are widespread and accepted in Palestinian society. Below are some images that you won't see -- or even hear about -- in left-wing advocacy for the Palestinians. The restrictions of my blog format do not permit me to share the multiple of visuals found in this original article. Therefore, I ask that you click here in order to view what so many of us have written about, visually presented and told you all about over the last many years. I do challenge those of you who described yourselves as liberals, progressives, independents to examine the images and honestly ask yourself am I willing to let the possibility enter my head, my mind, that those of us who describe ourselves differently might not be incorrect, evil or full of sh.. as I have been told so often. I challenge your sense of fairness, propriety and intelligence to begin to understand the nastiness that we live near every day here in Israel-thank you. For those who are in our camp so to speak, please share this with those who should finally see.Read and see the full story here.
- Related - Major Anti-Semitic Motifs in Arab Cartoons.Interview with Joël Kotek.Read and see the full story here.
- ‘Massive Jobs Shortfall’ Predicted for Global Economy, risk of the number doubling by the end of next year.(TheGuardian).The world's major economies are heading for a "massive jobs shortfall" by the end of next year if governments do not change their tack on policy, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said in a study published on Monday.In the report, prepared with the OECD for G20 labour ministers meeting in Paris on Monday, the ILO said the group of developing and developed nations had seen 20m jobs disappear since the financial crisis in 2008.At current rates it would be impossible to recover them in the near term and there was a risk of the number doubling by the end of next year, it said."We must act now to reverse the slowdown in employment growth and make up for the jobs lost," ILO director general Juan Somavia said in a statement."Employment creation has to become a top macroeconomic priority."The number of people in work in the G20 has risen by 1% since 2010, but 1.3% annual growth is needed to return to pre-crisis employment levels by 2015, the ILO said."However, employment growth of less than 1% cannot be excluded given the slowdown of the world economy and the anaemic growth foreseen in several G20 countries," the report said. "Should employment grow at a rate of 0.8% until end 2012, now a distinct possibility, then the shortfall in employment would increase by some 20m to a total of 40m in G20 countries."Read the full story here.
- The Federal Reserve Plans to Identify “Key Bloggers” and Monitor Billions of Conversations About the Fed on Facebook, Twitter, Forums and Blogs.(Cryptogon).Is there are Federal Reserve link for this document?Here’s the document that ZeroHedge has produced:
Request for Proposal (Event-6994)Event Information
Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“FRBNY”) is extending to suppliers an invitation to participate in an Sentiment Analysis And Social Media Monitoring Solution RFP bid process. The intent is to establish a fair andequitable partnership with a market leader who will who gather data from various social media outlets and newssources and provide applicable reporting to FRBNY. This Request for Proposal (“RFP”) was created in an effort tosupport FRBNY’s Social Media Listening Platforms initiative.The Federal Reserve Bank of New York intends to listen in on “billions of conversations” and to actually determine the “sentiment” of those that are participating in those conversations.
Of course it will be those conversations that are “negative” about the Federal Reserve that will be setting off the alarm bells.“Identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers”Uh oh. So they plan to “identify” key bloggers and influencers?What exactly do they plan to do once they “identify” them?“The solution must be able to gather data from the primary social media platforms –Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube.”Hmmmm......"FinanceWatch"?Read the full story here.
- US net neutrality rules finalized, in effect November 20.(ArsTechnica). Get ready, America—net neutrality finally comes to the Internet on November 20, 2011.That's the plan, at least. The FCC has just filed its final "open Internet" rules (PDF) with the Federal Register, which will publish them tomorrow and make them official. The rules go into effect on November 20, nearly a year after they were passed over Republican opposition on a 3-2 vote. (One of the FCC Commissioners who voted against the rules now works for Comcast.)But the plan will likely be derailed by lawsuits. Two, by Verizon and MetroPCS, were filed earlier this year but tossed because the rules had yet to be finalized. With tomorrow's printing in the Federal Register, the litigation floodgates will be thrown open and and complaints about the government overstepping its authority can start pouring in.Those complaints might well meet with success, given how the FCC went about the whole process. Rather than reclassifying broadband services in such a way that the FCC has clear jurisdiction over them, the agency relied instead on its much weaker "ancillary jurisdiction." (The legal rationale for this begins on p. 77 of the final rules, and the FCC gamely makes a case that it has the proper authority.) As law professor James Grimmelmann noted today in our subscriber-only webchat, "The FCC is in a real tangle here. I think if they reclassified broadband service (long story), they'd have a better shot at getting their rules to stick."Read the full story here.
- 'King' Obama sidesteps Congress again.US-Turkey agree on delivery schedule for Predators.(TodaysZaman).Turkey is expecting the delivery of Predators in June 2012, the Turkish defense minister said a day after the country's prime minister announced that Turkey has agreed with the US on a deal involving the transfer of US-engineered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that could prove crucial in combating terrorism.“We have agreed in principle [on the delivery of Predators]. Negotiations will continue,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quoted as saying by the Cihan news agency on Saturday in New York, where the Turkish leader was visiting on the occasion of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly. Erdoğan also noted that Turkey had offered to either purchase or lease the drones and that the two countries were still settling the details regarding the delivery of the Predators.Following up on the agreement, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz told reporters on Saturday that the drones to be received from the US would be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in June of next year, reported the Anatolia news agency.“These [Predators] are UAVs with better qualities and features than the Herons,” Yılmaz said, and added that the Turkish-made Anka would also be ready for the TSK around the same time, as an alternative to Israeli-made Herons.Turkey was disappointed by Israel's failure to return six Herons it had sent to the country for maintenance, as it relies heavily on spy aircraft for surveillance missions that gather data on the activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) across the country's borders in the Southeast.Yılmaz did not give any details on the number of Predators the US would deliver to Turkey but acknowledged that Ankara had presented a request for the UAVs in line with the TSK's needs. The minister added that the US and Turkey have been strategic partners and are cooperating in combating terrorism, which necessitated that both “support each other with no conditions or prejudice.”Meanwhile, the domestically made Anka, named after the legendary flying creature of Persian mythology, was brought out of the hangar for the first time in July 2010 and is expected to provide Turkey with a crucial advantage in its fight against PKK terrorism. The Anka is capable of disrupting the electronic ware of enemy aircraft and has made Turkey the third country in the world, after the US and Israel, to engineer UAVs.Hmmmm.....I must have missed when the US Congress approved this?Or else 'King' Obama just 'overruled' Congress again?Read the full story here.
- Story that Facebook’s Charging Users in the future is a Myth.(ALLFaceBook).We can only speculate why there’s been a resurgence of the myth that Facebook will start charging users for the site.This falsehood resurfaced this week, so perhaps people believe that they can pay Facebook to restore their accounts to what they looked like before the news feed got revamped.Some folks may also think that the enhanced functionality of timeline will cost them money.Neither of these are correct, yet panicky posts that Facebook will charge users money continue to proliferate.Hmmm......Mea culpa,mea maxima culpa.Read the full story here.
- US linking Israel's missile shield to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.(IsraelMatzav).It should be interesting to hear what Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has to say about this story.You will recall that on Friday I reported on Eli Lake's Newsweek story that says that the Obama administration sold bunker busters to Israel in 2009.The full story is now out and it includes this little tidbit: The United States is linking the missile defense shields of its Middle East allies - including Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia - via the use of x-band radar which the US insists on controlling.Read the full story here.
- Report: Turkey operated agents in Israel to track soldiers.(YNet).Turkish intelligence officials have submitted to the state prosecution a list of 174 Israelis, mostly soldiers, who were involved in the 2010 raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara ship, the Turkish newspaper Sabah reported Monday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tops the list as the "primary responsible party."Turkish newspaper Zaman went a step further and reported on its website that Ankara had also operated intelligence agents inside Israel to confirm the soldiers' identities. The Turkish government denies ever asking its National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to confirm the identities of Israeli commandos involved in the raid. Istanbul's deputy prosecutor said that a lawyer for the IHH submitted a list of soldiers' names to his office and said it will be examined. The Turkel Commission investigating the events of the 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara has asked the Military Advocate General for materials regarding criminal records opened following the flotilla. It has also requested to view files concerning possible violations of laws of war involving the deaths or injuries of citizens. The materials will be examined by Sukkot. Last month, the Military Advocate General released a report concerning six flotilla events. The Turkel Commission could not rule on the cases. According to the report in the Sabah newspaper, the Israelis were identified from photographs and various media sources."Almost all of the Israeli soldiers who killed nine Turkish citizens and injured 30 others have been identified," the report claimed. It was stated that Israel's government has not responded to the Turkish Justice Ministry's demand to release a list of the individuals who took part in the operation, prompting the intelligence officials to pour over records of the raid. Facebook and Twitter were used later in the hunt for information.The fact-finding team examined the names of the commandos of Shayetet 13 – the Navy unit that took over the Gaza-bound vessel – and matched them up with the numerous photos used in the media. Furthermore, the officials reviewed correspondence written by soldiers whom they believed took part in the raid in order to confirm their participation. Names submitted by the IHH movement, which organized the flotilla, were used in the search as well. According to the report, the Turkish prosecution intends to request the Israeli authorities to verify whether the people on the list, which includes 140 photos of 174 Israelis who directly or indirectly participated in the raid, were indeed ivolved.Officials who allegedly contributed to the decision and issued the order to stop the Mavi Marmara, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, made it to the top of the list as well."All of the Israeli Cabinet ministers were responsible for the order," the report read. The list also includes former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, former Israel Navy Commander Eliezer Marom, former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin and a variety of other high- and low-ranking officers. Moreover, it includes 10 photographs of soldiers who are yet to be identified.Hmmmmm......What's next?Predator drones to take them out?Read the full story here.
- Abbas Launches 'Palestinian Spring' in Ramallah.(ArutzSheva).Cheered by thousands, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was given a hero's welcome Sunday when he returned from his trip to the United Nations.“This is the popular Palestinian Spring,” he declared, calling for the official start of a non-violent intifada against Israel. “Raise your heads with pride; you are Palestinians!” he told the crowd that greeted him in Ramallah. The speech followed his application to the U.N. Security Council on Friday for recognition of the PA as a sovereign state, and its “full membership” in the international body.“The entire free world has accepted your history, your aspirations and your hopes with the utmost respect,” he told the gathering. “We told the world that today there is an Arab Spring – but also a Palestinian Spring. A non-violent Fighting Spring that will reach its goal."“Facing this determination – which I conveyed from you to the world – everyone stood up and appreciated your expectations and aspirations,” he told the cheering crowd. “Our diplomatic move, which has already begun, still has a long way to go,” he warned. “We must know that there will be those who will place obstacles in our path. They will block us and our existence here.”But, he added, “We have emphasized that we wish to obtain our rights via negotiations. The entire world was witness to the civility of this nation, which only demands its rights. We will remain on this land.”The U.N. speech, carefully geared to excite the PA street without inflaming it, was nevertheless seen by many in Israel as an exercise in official, institutional incitement “from the top.” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said over the weekend that the PA leader's speech from the podium at the U.N. General Assembly was the “worst example of anti-israel incitement and vitriol” he had ever heard.Throughout his address, Abbas referred to Israel as a “colonial occupying power” and accused the Jewish State of deliberately targeting civilians, arbitrarily destroying crops, and demolishing schools, mosques and hospitals. He demanded that the U.N. recognize Judea, Samaria and major portions of Israel's capital city, Jerusalem, as the PA's hoped-for state and that Israel end all construction in Jewish communities in those areas as a precondition for any talks.Abbas also accused Israel of destroying Islamic holy sites and claimed the IDF sent “attack dogs” against Palestinian Authority Arabs. In addition, he also called for the release of all jailed PA terrorists, including murderers with blood on their hands, whom he referred to as “political prisoners.”During his trip back to Ramallah, Abbas told the London-based Arab daily newspaper a-Sharq al-Awsat that Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was the “last” leader with whom he could reach a final status agreement, “since he holds tough and almost ideological positions.”Read the full story here.
- Qaddafi relatives have reportedly left Algeria and are now in Egypt.(AlArabiya).Relatives of Muammar Qaddafi who had crossed into Algeria after Tripoli fell into rebel hands last month are now in Egypt, a day after the Algerian government criticized the release of an audio recording by Qaddafi’s daughter Aisha, an Algerian newspaper reported on Monday.The el-Khabar daily reported that eight of Qaddafi's relatives, possibly including his daughter Aisha, who had crossed into the country on August 29 boarded an Egypt Air plane t Algiers’ Houari Boumediene Airport on Saturday evening.Algeria’s foreign minister, Mourad Medelci, had denounced as "unacceptable" an audio recording by Qaddafi’s daughter criticizing Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC). Medelci, who was attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York, pledged to “take measures” against Qaddafi’s relatives. Neither Algerian nor Egyptian officials have confirmed the reports. In her first public remarks since the fall of Tripoli a month ago, Aisha Qaddafi accused Libya’s new leaders of being traitors, noting that some of them were members of Qaddafi’s regime before defecting in the civil war.“Those who have betrayed the pledge they offered [to Qaddafi], how come they won’t betray you?” she said in a warning to Libyans.“I assure you, he is fine, a believer in God, in good spirits, is carrying his gun and is fighting side by side with the warriors,” she said.The prerecorded four-minute message was broadcast Friday on the Syrian-based al-Rai TV, which has become Qaddafi’s main mouthpiece. The elder Qaddafi, his chief spokesman, and his son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, have also released statements through the channel since the takeover of Tripoli.Read the full story here.
- Syrian tanks pound town near Homs amid increasing numbers of army defectors.(AlArabiya).Syrian tanks pounded a town on a strategic highway overnight, injuring at least three people during a military crackdown on dissent in the central region of Homs, activists and residents said on Monday.Homs has become a major flashpoint between troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and army defectors, backing pro-democracy protesters demanding the president's overthrow.Three inhabitants of al-Rastan were injured when pro-Assad forces opened fire with heavy machine guns mounted on the tanks surrounding the town, on the main northern highway leading to Turkey, said residents.“There are around 60 tanks and armored vehicles on the eastern edge of Rastan alone. All communications are cut and the firing is being directed at the street and buildings,” Abu Qassem, a resident of al-Rastan, told Reuters by satellite phone.Activists have reported a military push into towns and villages north of the city of Homs, 165 km (100 miles) north of Damascus, where increasing numbers of defectors have been organizing and mounting guerrilla raids on loyalist posts.Faced with expanding street protests demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family rule, the president has sent troops and tanks into cities and towns across the country.The military crackdown has killed at least 2,700 people, including 100 children, according to the United Nations.Syrian authorities say 700 police and army have been killed during the unrest which they blame on “terrorists” and “mutineers.”Assad has said foreign powers are using the unrest to divide Syria, and added any state would use similar techniques to end a revolt.Homs, together with the northwestern province of Idlib on the border with Turkey, has traditionally provided the bulk of majority Sunni foot soldiers in the military, which is effectively commanded by Assad’s brother Maher and led by officers from Assad’s minority Alawite sect.The two regions have seen some of the biggest street protests against Assad in the last few weeks.Troops earlier stormed the villages of Za’faraneh and Deir al-Jin, between Rastan and the town of Talbiseh to the south, local activists said, adding that there was no immediate information on casualties.Syria’s crackdown protests have sparked international outrage and rebukes from Syria’s powerful northern neighbor Turkey, once among Assad's keenest backers.Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told CNN in an interview broadcast on Sunday that Bashar will be ousted “sooner or later” by his own people.“You can never remain in power through cruelty. You can never stand before the will of the people,” Erdogan said.Hmmmm......Stronger words are for Israel?"Empty barrels make the most noise"?Read the full story here.
- Pakistani teenage girl expelled from school for blasphemy.(AlArabiya).A Pakistani school expelled a 13-year-old Christian girl for alleged blasphemy and her mother was transferred from her job as a nurse near the town where Osama bin Laden was killed, officials said Monday.The conservative Muslim country has been increasingly criticized in the West for tough anti-blasphemy laws that make defaming Islam punishable by death and over the persecution of the tiny non-Muslim minority.Faryal Tauseef, an eighth grade student at Sir Syed High School in the northwest garrison town of Havelian, was asked with her class to define “naat”, a style of poem written in praise of the Prophet Mohammed.The town is just south of Abbottabad, the garrison city where U.S. special forces killed the al-Qaeda leader in a covert raid on May 2, which exposed the Pakistan military to accusations of incompetence or complicity.“In her explanation Faryal wrote a word which was blasphemous,” school administrator Junaid Sarfraz told AFP.“The girl confessed, saying that she did it by mistake and the school administration, after consulting local clerics, decided to rusticate (expel) her.”According to her teacher, the girl made the mistake “intentionally” and the matter was referred to clerics because she had aroused similar suspicions of blasphemy in the past, Sarfraz added.Faryal’s mother, a staff nurse, had also been transferred out of town, he said.“The girl has been expelled for using derogatory words and her mother has been moved to another place,” district commissioner Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah told AFP.Police said no case had been registered and that the matter was considered over following a pardon from Muslim clerics.The government says it has no intention of reforming Pakistan’s tough anti-blasphemy law, introduced in 1986, despite the assassinations of a leading politician in January and a Christian cabinet minister in March.Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) member Salman Taseer was killed by his bodyguard and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti assassinated en route to a cabinet meeting for their opposition to the law.Taseer had supported a Christian mother of five sentenced to death in November 2010 for alleged blasphemy in the central province of Punjab.Pakistan has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy. Most of those given the death penalty have their sentences overturned or commuted on appeal.Religious parties strongly defend the law.Hmmmmmmm......"Interfaith dialog in it's natural Habitat?"Read the full story here.
- China could open up to Arctic with Iceland deal.(HurriyetDaily).A Chinese businessman’s plans to buy a swathe of Iceland for a resort have sparked local scepticism, amid speculation it is a bid by Beijing to get its hands on Arctic riches.The melting Arctic ice cap means lucrative oil and gas deposits under the seabed could soon become accessible, and shorter shipping routes between Asia and Europe will open up.Observers suggest those prospects may be the real reason behind property tycoon Huang Nubo’s plans to buy 300 square-kilometres (200 square-miles) of Icelandic wildnerness. Huang says he wants to build a luxury resort with a hotel, golf course and sports facilities, and Europe’s biggest nature reserve.The purchase could give China a foothold in the region - enabling it to establish contacts and gather information - before the Arctic treasure chest opens up.“It is likely that the Chinese government will find every way to enhance cooperation at multiple levels ... to lay the groundwork for future involvement in the construction and operation of infrastructural hubs” in the Arctic, Embla Eir Oddsdottir, project manager at The Stefansson Arctic Institute in Iceland, told Agence France-Presse. “The possibility of shipping and transport across the Arctic is very important for China.”With the icecap melting in summertime, the route between the Atlantic and the Pacific will shorten the sailing distance between Shanghai and Europe by about 6,400 kilometers (4,000 miles).“In talks with Icelandic authorities, (the Chinese) have made a point of saying it was very plausible” that China would use Iceland as a trans-Arctic shipping port, the chairman of the Icelandic parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Arni Thor Sigurdsson, told AFP.Marc Lanteigne, a senior lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and an expert on China’s rise as a strategic and economic power, said there were “very strong and very opaque links between large Chinese businesses and the country’s government.”China could especially be eying the up to 160 billion barrels of oil believed to be in the Arctic. “China is now importing more than 50 percent of its crude oil consumed, and like other large economies is worried about the safety of petroleum imports from the Middle East and is seeking alternative sources,” Lanteigne said.He noted that Beijing had been active in the oil trade in Central Asia, the Caspian region and sub-Saharan Africa in recent years.“It is therefore very likely that China would want to increase its presence in the Arctic out of concern for being left out of oil exploration there.”Sigurdsson said China had “no direct claim to natural resources” in the region, but could “become a participant ... by cooperating with states or companies searching for resources.”Observers said there was no concrete indication Beijing would use Huang’s land purchase to hunt for Arctic riches. Yet his plans have raised eyebrows in Reykjavik, where Interior Minister Oegmundur Jonasson has said he would scrutinize the application carefully.Huang has offered to buy the partially state-held land, known as Grimsstadir a Fjoellum, for $10 million and wants to invest a total of $100 million (70 million euros). The businessman has said he is attracted by Iceland’s wilderness and pledged to respect the local environment.Hmmmmmm...........And we all know how China 'respects and protects' nature.Read the full story here.