Sunday, October 16, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity Russia 5.5 ; Vanuatu 5.3 and New Zealand 5.1 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Obamacare Has No CLASS: Administration Admits Entitlement Program Unsustainable.(BigGovernment).The Obama administration has admitted that it cannot move forward with a major feature of Obamacare, its long-term care insurance program, due to the fact that it contains a critical design flaw.The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, known as CLASS, a pet program of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D- Massachusetts), was to have been sponsored by the federal government but maintained as a voluntary plan to which healthy, younger, working Americans would contribute in the event they became disabled later on in life. Participants would have paid a monthly premium that ranged widely between $235-$3000, depending on income, during their employment years, and then collected a daily cash benefit of at least $50 if they became disabled.The tragic flaw in the plan is that unless large numbers of healthy people are willing to sign up for the program during their working years, the cost of the program would become prohibitive due to the needs of the disabled who would benefit from the plan. Unlike the purchase of long term care insurance in the private sector, CLASS did not offer lower premiums to healthier participants. Thus, the program attracted those who were already disabled in some way, yet able to work to some extent, and who anticipated the need for long term care in the future. Without healthy subscribers paying into the system, these individuals would not likely be able to afford the steep premiums.Not surprisingly, if the program had survived, it would have ultimately been “too big to fail” and required a tax bailout. Congressional Republicans intend to repeal CLASS, which, according to the Heritage Foundation was “poorly designed, and actuaries criticized it as being unsustainable well before the passage of Obamacare.”Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, who had argued for some time that the flaw in the program could be fixed, announced on Friday that the plan could not, in fact, be saved–a situation that was met by significant protest on the part of liberal seniors’ lobby, AARP, and union leaders. Supporters of CLASS wrote a letter to President Obama, urging him to use his “authority,” provided to him under his signature legislation, to “make necessary changes to the design of CLASS to make it work. We fully expect the administration to go forward and use that authority in implementing the law.”It is almost incredible that the Obama administration entertained the notion that CLASS would actually work. In fact, it is questionable whether the White House ever expected it to survive or if it just threw the program into Obamacare as a bone to its base, never intending to make it viable. In essence, CLASS was really an entitlement within an entitlement, another entire Social Security program built into a government health insurance plan.Of course, when AARP and the unions wrote the president, asking him to use his “authority” to make CLASS work, we can be assured that what they were urging is for the program to become mandatory rather than voluntary.All of Obamacare must be repealed, but the fact that its authors now admit CLASS is unsustainable is a major victory for taxpayers and freedom lovers alike.Read the full story here.
- Most transparant Administration Evah!Obama administration appeals ruling on White House visitor logs.(Politico).The Obama administration is appealing a judge's ruling that Secret Service records of visitors to the White House complex are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.The Justice Department filed a formal notice of appeal Friday afternoon regarding U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell's August ruling rejecting arguments that the so-called WAVES records belong to the White House even though they are maintained and used by the Secret Service.The decision to appeal the ruling to the D.C. Circuit would appear to be in tension with Obama's repeated pledges to operate the most transparent administration in history. The White House announced in Sept. 2009 that it was voluntarily releasing the names of most White House visitors from Sept. 15 forward. However, the conservative group Judicial Watch sought information on visits before that date.The position taken by the Obama Justice Department, namely that White House visitor records are presidential records and not agency records, is essentially the same one that the department took under President George W. Bush.Howell did not rule that every White House visit had to be disclosed. However, she concluded that all the data had to be made public unless the government asserted a specific exemption from FOIA, such as provisions protecting national security and privacy.There was no immediate comment on the appeal from the White House or the Justice Department.Read the full story here.
- Holder Knew About Fast and Furious, Before He Didn’t Know About It.(BigGovernment).On March 24, 2009, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden made the following announcement: “The President has directed us to take action to fight [Mexican] cartels…and Attorney General Holder and I are taking several new and aggressive steps as part of the administration’s comprehensive plan.”Note: From the moment this announcement begins, “the President” and “Attorney General Holder” are both involved in some capacity.The announcement continued by saying the DEA was going to increase its presence in Mexico and on the border, and that the ATF was using $10 million from the stimulus funds to add “37 new employees and 3 new offices” and “redeploying 100 personnel to the Southwest border in the next 45 days, to fortify its project gunrunner, which is aimed at disrupting arms trafficking between the United States and Mexico.”Of course, this dovetails perfectly with Holder’s speech in Mexico on April 2, 2009, where he literally referred back to Ogden’s announcement in describing the focus on the southern border and project gunrunner:
Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion. DHS is making similar commitments, as Secretary Napolitano will detail. (emphasis mine)To date, Holder & Co. have dodged questions on these speeches and announcements by saying Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious were two different things. Thus, his knowledge of one doesn’t necessitate knowledge of the other. Of course this isn’t plausible, because Gunrunner and Fast & Furious were both parts of the same overarching “comprehensive plan.” They were two sides of the same coin.(In fact, to say you knew about one without knowing about the other would be like a football coach saying, “I have knowledge of the plays we run on first and ten, but not on third and long.” Such an excuse won’t work because first down plays and third down plays are part of an overarching game plan that the coaches win or lose by together.The attempt to split the two up, and thereby construct some some wall of ignorance that protects Holder from knowing about Fast and Furious, is exactly what’s making it so hard for the AG and Obama to keep their stories straight.Thus, while Holder claims he only learned of Fast and Furious in the “few weeks” prior to May 3rd, in March 2011 Obama made a statement which at least alluded to a conversation about Fast and Furious and gun walking he’d had with Holder, whom Obama said “has been very clear that he knew nothing about this.”Folks, there are serious problems here.
Number one, Holder had to know about Fast and Furious – he had to at least have been told about it – in order to deny involvement in it before Obama made his statement in March 2011.
Problem number two, Holder’s reason for distancing himself from Fast and Furious was the gun walking aspect of it. But we’ve all read Ogden’s announcement and Holders’ speech, where both men mention Gunrunner as part of the overarching comprehensive plan.
The bottom line: Holder knew about Fast and Furious before he didn’t know about it. And he bragged about the gun walking plan on April 2, 2009.The lies surrounding this operation are so blatant, so bald, that even writing on the story can be infuriating.Hmmmm........The proverbial writing is not on the wall..... it's a gunrack attached to the wall.Read the full story here.
- Why Is The FBI Recording Talk Radio?(PrisonPlanet).The Department of Homeland Security has specifically listed “rightwing extremist activity” as a potential threat that needs to be monitored.
- If you call in to the Alex Jones Show or hundreds of other talk radio stations around the country that maintain a web presence, there is a good chance the FBI will recorded you.Mark Weaver, writing for WMAL talk radio in Washington, D.C., reports that the FBI has awarded a $524,927 contract to a Virginia company to record all the internet broadcast talk radio it can find.“This doesn’t give us any enhanced capability, prying into or any ‘big brother’ concerns because this is information that’s being put out on the airwaves,” FBI spokesman Paul Bresson told WMAL.com. “Its very important to our investigators to know what’s being reported.”In order to make his point, Bresson cited the Times Square non-bomber. “It’s ideal for cases like that because we can extract information that’s already been reported and help our investigators make better decisions."If you believe this explanation, I have a bridge to sell you.The FBI has functioned since its inception as a national political police force used by the establishment to monitor and if need be “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” (according to the late J. Edgar Hoover) political organizations and individuals deemed a threat to the establishment.Talk radio – especially “right-wing” talk radio – poses just such a threat.The Department of Homeland Security has specifically listed “rightwing extremist activity” as a potential threat that needs to be monitored.In 2009, the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) released an internal report listing then presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as “militia” influenced terrorists and advised police to be on the lookout for their supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.Recording talk radio has nothing to do with news reports about the supposed Times Square bomber – who was, after all, under surveillance by the FBI at the time he supposedly drove a car filled with fireworks and barbeque grill gas canisters into Times Square – but instead it is designed as yet another effort to monitor the political opposition and (by telling the media about it) as a way to intimidate and make you paranoid when you call into talk radio shows.Hmmmmm.......Read the full story here.
- Obama has placed more calls to Erdoğan than to any other world leader this year.(TodaysZaman).International relations experts agree the United States and Turkey’s well-established alliance and Turkey’s ascent in the international arena explain why President Barack Obama has chatted with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan more than almost any other world leader despite fissures in a number of policy areas and differences between the two leaders’ governing styles.The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Obama has placed more calls to Erdoğan than to any other world leader this year next to British Prime Minister David Cameron.“It is remarkable to hear how often they speak,” former New York Times bureau chief in İstanbul Stephen Kinzer told Sunday’s Zaman in an exclusive interview. “I think that it’s due above all not to a personal relationship between the two but to Obama’s realization of the role that Turkey has come to play in the region and in the wider world. He understands what Turkey has become, and I think he understands Turkey’s potential to project into other Muslim countries ideals the West would like to see projected but cannot do itself,” Kinzer explained.David L. Phillips, director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, called Erdoğan and Obama’s governing styles “diametrically opposite.”“Obama is a consensus-builder, while Erdoğan is emotional and able to act singularly based on conditions,” Phillips, who is also a fellow at Harvard University’s Project on the Future of Diplomacy, said in remarks to Sunday’s Zaman.Kinzer agreed, arguing that the two leaders often get themselves in a bind because of their temperaments: “Erdoğan is decisive to the point of arrogance, while Obama is weak to the point of appeasement and eternal compromise.” While Obama is understated to the point that it outrages many of his supporters, Erdoğan’s prickly sense of honor and feisty temper have presented problems both at home and in international affairs, Kinzer argued.But Sunday’s Zaman Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan and former adviser to the prime minister İbrahim Kalın argued that Erdoğan and Obama are more similar than some may think.Dr. Joshua Walker, assistant professor of leadership studies at the University of Richmond and currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Crown Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University, described the two leaders’ steady alliance. “Obama and Erdoğan are very different leaders with differing approaches and styles, yet they have been able to develop a crucial relationship built on pragmatism and trust.”One such road bump in the two countries’ relations has been the row between Israel and Turkey that began last year when Israel attacked a Turkish ship that was part of an international humanitarian aid flotilla. During Erdoğan’s Arab Spring tour, he blasted Israel and called for Palestine’s full membership as a UN member.Phillips argues that the conflict between its two allies has been particularly trying the US government’s patience. “There is nothing wrong with Erdoğan’s championing the Palestinian cause, but it is not necessary to go out of his way when he wants to pick a fight with Israel. This confrontational approach puts the US in an awkward position with two important allies and runs the risk of an incident that could spiral out of control.”But according to Aslan, Obama is not exactly happy with Israel, either. “They [the Obama administration] have continuously encouraged Israel to fulfill Turkey’s conditions, but they have not been able to convince the [Israeli] administration. Obama has had a hard time working with the current Israeli leadership,” he said.Obama’s frequently logged calls to Erdoğan, whom Kinzer jokingly referred to as “Obama’s second best friend,” have not gone unnoticed by the US leader’s opposition, Kinzer remarked. Plus, while foreign policy does not tend to play a major role in US elections, the former NYT İstanbul bureau chief said Israel is one issue that always seems to pop up. “I suspect that among all of the accusations Obama’s opposition will throw at him will be the accusation that he is friendly with a country and a leader who is not a cheerleader for Israel,” Kinzer speculated.But Aslan disagreed, arguing that Turkey is not usually a major issue in elections. “We just had the Republican debate, and there was not much reference to Turkey. Some may criticize Obama in the coming months for his relationship with Turkey while it is fighting with Israel, but everything depends on future developments,” he said.While Dr. Walker, who is also a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, called the US-Turkish relationship far more complicated than just between two leaders, he added that Erdoğan and Obama have brought the two countries as close as they can. “They have a similar understanding of the world and a flexible pragmatism that guides their policies and relationships.Hmmmm....."The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers".Both share the same love for Israel.Read the full story here.
- Turkey won't recognize Greek Cyprus as EU presidency.(TodaysZaman).Turkey's prime minister says his country will not sit at the table with Greek Cyprus if it assumes the European Union's presidency before a deal reunifying the ethnically split island is reached.Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has already warned that Turkey will freeze its relations with the 27-nation bloc if Greek Cyprus takes over its rotating presidency in July 2012. He said that Turkey will not deal with a "so-called country." Turkey does not recognize the divided island nation as a sovereign nation. Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek-speaking south and Turkish-speaking north in 1974 when Turkey intervened after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only the Greek section is part of the EU. Erdoğan spoke Saturday during a televised address to members of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the town of Kızılcahamam, near the Turkish capital of Ankara. He reiterated Turkey's wish that a unified Greek Cyprus takes over the EU presidency.Hmmmm......Read the full story here.
- Obama admin wants to see Turkey as member of EU.(NewsAZ).A Spokesperson for the US State Department, Victoria Nuland, said on Friday that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu discussed Iran during phone conversation.Nuland told a daily press briefing that Clinton informed Davutoglu on an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir during the conversation.Replying to a question on the European Commission's progress report on Turkey, Nuland said that the United States has been supporting Turkey's eagerness to join the EU. The United States wanted to see Turkey as a member of the EU, Nuland said.Clinton also said that she would attend a meeting of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations in Washington at end of this month, but Davutoglu told her that he could not attend this meeting due to his schedule and a conference on Afghanistan that would take place in Istanbul at the beginning of November.Davutoglu told Clinton that he hoped to meet with her during the conference in Istanbul.Meanwhile, Kosovo's Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj also called Davutoglu on the phone and the two ministers discussed the latest developments in Balkans.Hmmmmm.........Read the full story here.
- Germany prevents Turkey to sell T-155 artillery system to Azerbaijan.(NewsAZ).Despite the obstacles created by some European companies, Turkey insists on selling T-155 Fırtına self-propelled howitzer to Azerbaijan.The statement came from Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defence Industries Murad Bayar said.Though Azerbaijan and Turkey reached an agreement on purchase and sale of Firtina self-propelled howitzer, according to the reports there are some technical problems in the project. Germany’s MTU company, which is providing Firtina with engine, refused to provide with engine the self-propelled howitzer that will be sold to Azerbaijan. Yonca-Onuk company, which is going to sell boats to Azerbaijan, has faced similar problem.“As a brotherly country we have assumed the solution of this problem,” Bayar said.According to Murad Bayar, Turkey is considering two new variants on export of weapons to Azerbaijan. One of them is the purchase of engine from another country.“Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation is considering alternative variants. The second variant is the production of engine in Turkey. We have started work for the production of engines in Turkey. It will take approximately four or five years. There will be no problems after that,” he said.Bayar also added that T-155 “Firtina” system was a very strong weapon. Azerbaijan will gain the additional power by including it to the weapon inventory. The Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation’s (MKEK) CEO Unal Onsipahioglu said that the problem was on the eve of its settlement: “The engine and transmission problems of the artillery system have been solved and the alternative company was found”.Germany’s MTU Company which provided “Firtina” with engine, refused to give an engine to Azerbaijan because of Nagorno Karabakh conflict.Hmmmm.....All Turkish moves with Obama approval?Read the full story here.
- Israeli-Palestinian prisoner swap deal may be delayed.(RaiNovosti).Israel and Palestine have failed so far to agree on the date of swapping Palestinian prisoners for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, told the Voice of Palestine on Sunday.Hamas leaders announced on Friday that a deal between Israel and Hamas on the exchange of over 1,000 jailed Palestinians for Israeli soldier Shalit would begin on Tuesday.Hamad, who is a deputy foreign minister in the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas and who played a key role in reaching the prisoner swap deal, said no agreement had been reached so far on the number of Palestinian women to be released from Israeli prisons and the number of Palestinian prisoners to be deported.According to the Palestinian Ministry for Prisoners’ Affairs, there are 37 Palestinian women kept in Israeli prisoners and Palestinians are demanding that all of them be released while Israel is ready to free only 27 of them.Hamad said that indirect talks sponsored by Egypt would be held in Cairo on Sunday to try to resolve disagreements.Shalit, a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, was captured in June 2006, aged 19, by Palestinian militants in a raid near the Gaza Strip.Read the full story here.
- Debka: Leon Panetta Brokered Shalit Deal.(Matzav).Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reported to the hastily convened full government session Monday night, Oct. 11 that the deal with Hamas for bringing Gilad Shalit home within days was initialed Thursday and signed Monday, Oct. 11. It was the best possible, he said although the agreed price for the swap is heavy: one thousand jailed Palestinian terrorists, including 60 convicted on multiple murders, who will be exiled to the Gaza Strip and Arab countries.DEBKAfile discloses that secret clauses of the transaction for recovering the Israel soldier, whom Hamas kept hidden for five years, were finalized between the United States, Egypt, Israel and Hamas during US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s visits to Israel and Egypt on Sept. 3-4. Those clauses, negotiated directly between Panetta and Hamas’ political chief Khaled Meshaal, entailed the shutting down of Hamas headquarters in Damascus in order to undercut Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iran and Hizballah and loosen their hold on the Palestinians. Meshaal who visited Tehran a week ago agreed to gradually downgrade his ties with Iran in return for American patronage of Hamas.Netanyahu told the Israeli ministers that he had faced a tough dilemma between rescuing the Israeli soldier and national security and a balance was hard to strike. But his commitment to saving Gilad Shalit was absolute. The “window of opportunity” presented now may never recur, he warned, given the turbulence besetting the Middle East. He therefore asked the ministers for their unanimous endorsement of the swap.During the cabinet meeting, three ministers, Silvan Shalom, Moshe Yaalon and Avigdor Lieberman, voiced reservations in view of the high risk of setting so many terrorists loose.That window, DEBKAfile reports, was the deal the Obama administration had reached with Hamas leaders and their parent, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s rift with Tehran.The Prime Minister thanked the Egyptian government and intelligence agencies for their great contribution toward brokering the deal. He also voiced appreciation for the efforts of the German mediator and Chancellor Angela Merkel who gave the process her wholehearted support.Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped in a cross-border raid from Gaza five years ago, and held without any visitors including the Red Cross every since, will first be transferred from Gaza to Cairo to await Israel’s release of the first batch of 450 Palestinian prisoners.The remaining 550 prisoners will be freed after the soldier arrives home. This is the heaviest price Israel has ever paid for any soldiers in Arab captivity.As to the backdoor diplomacy leading to Gilad Shalit’s release, DEBKAfile further discloses that recognizing the rising electoral strength of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Salafi allies in Egypt’s forthcoming parliamentary elections next month, the Obama administration entered into active dialogue with its leaders to draw them away from Tehran and bring them close to the ruling military junta and Washington.Shortly before Panetta arrived in the Middle East, a US diplomat revealed that US officials had arrived in Cairo on Oct. 2 for talks with Brotherhood representatives. The American side was headed by Prem. G. Kumar, the National Security Council Director for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs at the White House.This was the first clue that the White House was after a deal not only with the Brotherhood but also its Palestinian offshoot Hamas, part of which was to be the release of the Israeli soldier. Two days later, on Oct. 4, the US Defense Secretary arrived to seal the accord while in another part of Cairo, the Israeli prime minister’s personal representative David Meidan and the commander of Hamas’ military wing, Ezz a-din al Qassam, Mohammed Jabry, hammered out the minutiae of the prisoner exchange for Shalit’s release.Netanyahu referred to the heavy price Israel was paying in terms of security by letting a thousand terrorists walk free - scores much Israeli blood on their hands. But he also paid a heavy political price: Israel’s acceptance of the United States’ rapprochement with the Egyptian Muslim brothers - henceforth dubbed in Obama administration parlance a “moderate Muslim force.”. Israel can only hope that this gamble pays off. By procuring the release of 1,000 Palestinians from Israeli jails, Hamas has outperformed is rival, the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as the lead champion of the Palestinian cause. After defying the Obama administration by applying for UN recognition for Palestinian statehood, Abbas is now getting his punishment.Read the full story here.
- U.S. considers sanctions on Iran's central bank.(LATimes).The Obama administration said it was "actively" considering sanctioning Iran's central bank in retaliation for an alleged Iranian assassination plot, a move that could severely damage Iran's economy and potentially provoke a strong response from Tehran.David Cohen, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, told the Senate Banking Committee that officials were "looking very actively" at such a step and might carry it out if other nations could be persuaded to follow suit.The blacklisting is the first specific step the administration has identified as a possible response to the alleged plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's envoy to the United States and to attack embassies in the U.S. and Argentina.Such sanctions would aim to isolate the Bank Markazi, or central bank, from the world economic system by barring any firm that deals with it from doing business with U.S. financial institutions. That would make it far more difficult for Iran to sell crude oil, which funds much of the government's activities.Some Iranian officials have warned that they would look on such a move as an act of war.The sanctions would probably be effective, however, only if other world powers joined in. And the administration would have to overcome arguments that the action would harm ordinary Iranians and damage the oil markets.Cohen, who is in charge of U.S. sanctions on Iran, told the committee that if other countries joined in the blacklisting, it "could further isolate the central bank of Iran, with a potentially powerful impact on Iran."Mark Dubowitz, a specialist on sanctions at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said a so-called designation of the bank would not halt all of Iran's crude oil sales, but it would sharply raise the cost of such transactions and thus "drain the Iranian treasury." He said Iran, the third-largest OPEC oil exporter, is a "one-crop country" that derives 50% to 75% of its government revenue from crude oil. Congress last year slapped sanctions on Iranian banks involved in the energy sector to bar them from contact with the U.S. financial system. But U.S. officials say these banks have continued to conduct oil business because the central bank has secretly carried out the transactions on their behalf.In his testimony, Cohen said U.S. officials were also considering another proposal many lawmakers favor: halting all sales of oil products made from Iranian crude to the U.S. market. Americans use gasoline that is refined from Iranian crude by international oil companies, which then distribute it in the United States. Cohen said Treasury economists were studying that proposal to evaluate its effect on oil markets.Hmmmmm......It's 'effect'?Iran is chairman for OPEC...what effect do you geniuses think it will have?Lower the price a barrel of crude?Sigh.......coming from the same 'geniuses' who predicted last year $80/Barrel oil for 2011.Read the full story here.
- Coptic Church Construction And Egyptian Muslim ‘Emasculation’.(BigPeace).Because it was excerpted in Bat Ye’or’s pioneering The Dhimmi, I obtained Moshe Perlmann’s (1975) complete translation of a 1739 essay on the Churches of Cairo. Written by Sheikh Damanhuri (1689-1764), a highly esteemed leader of Al Azhar University, the pinnacle of learning in Sunni Islamdom, since 973 A.D., the learned jurist’s tract was a reply to a query in that year when, “…the dhimmis began the construction of a church in Cairo…causing great agitation among Muslims.” The good sheikh notes,
When I learned of the rise of this deplorable affair, and that in this community no longer is the prophetic injunction heeded to deter the infidels, the enemies of the faith, from their goal, I began to write the answer…by explaining the right path
Sheikh Damanhuri entitled his reply—in accord with the conclusion of his learned, Islamically-correct argument, “The presentation of the clear proof for the obligatory destruction of the churches of Old and New Cairo.”
Damanhuri states explicity (on p. 20) that areas “demarcated and settled by Muslims,” including Cairo, Kufa, Basra, Baghdad, Wasit, as well as “any village that was taken by force,” and not returned by a Muslim Caliph to those vanquished and dispossessed,
These are Muslim cities in which the protected people may not display any of their religious symbols, for example, erect churches, bring out wine or pork, or sound the clapper (calling to the church, a counterpart of bells). No new synagogue, church, monk’s cell, prayer assembly of theirs is allowed in these cities, by the consensus of the doctors [of Islamic law]. It has been mentioned above that our city, Cairo, is an Islamic town, started after the conquest of Egypt, under the reign of the Fatimids. Therefore, no church, synagogue, and the rest, may be erected in it.
But what Bat Ye’or excerpted in The Dhimmi that is truly fascinating—pathognomonic as we say in medicine—is how this learned Muslim jurist, in conformity with the prevailing orthodoxy, viewed Church construction by Christians as a form of Muslim emasculation! From (p. 21) of Perlmann’s 1975 translation of Damanhuri’s tract:
The Prophet, peace and blessing upon him, said: “No emasculation [khisa] and no church in Islam.” The word “emasculation,” khisa follows the fial, as the verbal noun of khsy, “to emasculate.” The relation between “emasculation” and “church” is that the erection of a church in Muslim territory denotes the elimination of manliness in the people of the territory, just as emasculation, in reality, is the elimination of virility in an animal. Though the sense of the word in our context is withdrawal from women by attachment to churches. The connection is evident. By “no church” the Prophet meant no construction thereof, a prohibition, that is, that no church in Islamic territory signifies the elimination of virility in the people of that territory, which is not permissible, even as the elimination of man’s virility by castration is not.
I would maintain this perverse, ugly sentiment of perceived “emasculation” remains amongst Egyptian Muslims and accounts for their lethal mass violence directed at The Copts for simply, and peaceably, exercising what modern human beings regard as a basic freedom—freedom of worship.Read the full story here.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance
The Lord's Resistance Army (also Lord's Resistance Movement or Lakwena Part Two) is a sectarian religious and military group, which operates in northern Uganda and South Sudan.
The LRA was formed in 1987 and until about 2007 it was engaged in an armed rebellion against the Ugandan government. It is led by Joseph Kony, who proclaims himself the "spokesperson" of God and a spirit medium, primarily of the Holy Spirit, which the group believe can represent itself in many manifestations.
The group is based on a number of different beliefs including local religious rituals, mysticism, traditional religion, Acholi nationalism and Christianity and claims to be establishing a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments and local Acholi tradition.
The LRA is accused of widespread human rights violations, including murder, abduction, mutilation, sexual enslavement of women and children and forcing children to participate in hostilities.
The group used to operate mainly in northern Uganda and also in parts of South Sudan, Central African Republic and DR Congo. The LRA is currently listed as a terrorist organization by the United States.
In 1988, Alice Lakwena established the Holy Spirit Movement, a resistance movement claimed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. She portrayed herself as a prophet who received messages from the Holy Spirit of God. She believed that the Acholi could defeat the government run by Museveni by casting off witchcraft and spiritualism embedded in their culture. According to her messages from God, her followers should cover their bodies with shea nut oil as protection from bullets, never take cover or retreat in battle, and never kill snakes or bees.
Joseph Kony would later preach a similar superstition encouraging soldiers to use oil to draw a cross on their chest as a protection from bullets. During an interview with Jimmie Briggs, Alice Lakwena distanced herself from Kony, claiming that the spirit doesn’t want them to kill civilians or prisoners of war. Meanwhile, Kony gained a reputation as having been possessed by spirits. He became a spiritual figure or a medium. Lakwena scored several key victories on the battlefield and began a march towards Kampala. Kony seized this opportunity to recruit members of the Ugandan People's Democratic Army (UPDA) and Holy Spirit remnants. In 1988, when Lakwena was defeated in Jinja and fled to Kenya, Kony became the leader of the Holy Spirit Mobile Force II some years later.
At times the Ugandan government army has also committed atrocities, which has benefited Kony's credibility. The government has also recruited children in the army, and its army has been accused of mass rapes both in Uganda and in Congo.
According to UPDF spokesman Lt. Col. Shaban Bantariza, mediation efforts by the Carter Center and the Pope have been spurned by Kony.
The LRA's ideology is disputed amongst academics. Although the LRA has been regarded primarily as a Christian militia,the LRA reportedly evokes Acholi nationalism on occasion, but the sincerity of this behaviour and the loyalty of Kony to either ideology is considered extremely dubious by many observers.
Robert Gersony, in a report funded by United States Embassy in Kampala in 1997, concluded that "the LRA has no political program or ideology, at least none that the local population has heard or can understand." The International Crisis Group has stated that "the LRA is not motivated by any identifiable political agenda, and its military strategy and tactics reflect this."
IRIN comments that "the LRA remains one of the least understood rebel movements in the world, and its ideology, as far as it has one, is difficult to understand." UPDF Lt. Col. Shaban Bantariza has said that "you can't tell whether they want political power. Its only aim is to terrorize and brutalize the civilian population and to loot their homes."
During an interview with IRIN, Vincent Otti was asked about the LRA's vision of an ideal government, to which he responded
"Lord’s Resistance Army is just the name of the movement, because we are fighting in the name of God. God is the one helping us in the bush. That’s why we created this name, Lord’s Resistance Army. And people always ask us, are we fighting for the [biblical] Ten Commandments of God. That is true – because the Ten Commandments of God is the constitution that God has given to the people of the world. All people. If you go to the constitution, nobody will accept people who steal, nobody could accept to go and take somebody’s wife, nobody could accept to innocently kill, or whatever. The Ten Commandments carries all this.
In a speech delivered by James Alfred Obita, former Secretary For External Affairs And Mobilisation, and Leader of Delegation of the Lord's Resistance Army, he adamantly denied that the LRA was "just an Acholi thing" and stated that claims made by the media and Museveni administration asserting that the LRA is a "group of Christian fundamentalists with bizarre beliefs whose aim is to topple the Museveni regime and replace it with governance based on the Bible's ten commandments" were false.
In the same speech, Obita also stated that the LRA's objectives are:
1.To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people.
2.To fight for the immediate restoration of competitive multi-party democracy in Uganda.
3.To see an end to gross violation of human rights and dignity of Ugandans.
4.To ensure the restoration of peace and security in Uganda.
5.To ensure unity, sovereignty and economic prosperity beneficial to all Ugandans
6.To bring to an end to the repressive policy of deliberate marginalization of groups of people who may not agree with the NRA ideology.
The government of Uganda claims that the LRA has only 500 or 1,000 soldiers in total, but other sources estimate that there could be as many as 3,000 soldiers, along with about 1,500 women and children. The bulk of the soldiers fighting for the LRA are children. According to Livingstone Sewanyana, executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Yoweri Museveni was the first to use child soldiers in this conflict.since the LRA first started fighting in 1987 they may have forced well over 10,000 boys and girls into combat, often killing family, neighbors and school teachers in the process.
Many of these children were put on the front lines so the casualty rate for these children has been high. They have often used children to fight because they are easy to replace by raiding schools or villages. The soldiers are organized into independent brigades of 10 or 20 soldiers. Sudan has provided military assistance to the LRA, in response to Uganda lending military support to the Sudan People's Liberation Army.
In May 2009, U.S. President Obama signed into law the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, legislation aimed at stopping Joseph Kony and the LRA. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate on March 11, 2010 with 65 Senators as cosponsors, then passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on May 13, 2010 with 202 Representatives as cosponsors. On November 24, President Obama delivered the strategy to disarm Joseph Kony and the LRA.
Since the United States diplomatic cables leak began on 28 November 2010, when the website WikiLeaks started to publish classified documents of detailed correspondence between the U.S. State Department and its diplomatic missions around the world, releasing further documents every day, we have learned that, "Sudan's neighbor, Uganda, blames Khartoum for paying and harboring Ugandan rebel Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a brutal rebel group that has waged the longest-running insurgency in Africa. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer in September 2007 that `Sudan, Sudan, Sudan, Sudan' was behind the rebellion's longevity. `[Museveni] said that even if the Khartoum Government could not supply the LRA at previous levels, he believed it was in constant touch with the LRA and smuggling supplies.'"
On October 14, 2011, President Obama announced he was sending about 100 U.S. troops to Africa to help hunt down the leaders of the LRA.
Purely by coincidence the movie'Machine Gun Preacher' ~ a Film about an American who fought Kony to Free Abducted Children in Uganda & Sudan was released earlier this month.(UNAATimes).
Machine Gun Preacher is the inspirational true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children.
Gerard Butler (300) delivers a searing performance as Childers, the impassioned founder of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization in Golden Globe-nominated director Marc Forster’s (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) moving story of violence and redemption. When ex-biker-gang member Sam Childers (Butler) makes the life-changing decision to go to East Africa to help repair homes destroyed by civil war, he is outraged by the unspeakable horrors faced by the region’s vulnerable populace, especially the children.
Ignoring the warnings of more experienced aide workers, Sam breaks ground for an orphanage where it’s most needed–in the middle of territory controlled by the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a renegade militia that forces youngsters to become soldiers before they even reach their teens. But for Sam, it is not enough to shelter the LRA’s intended victims. Determined to save as many as possible, he leads armed missions deep into enemy territory to retrieve kidnapped children, restoring peace to their lives–and eventually his own.
The explosive, real-life tale of a man who has rescued over a thousand orphans from starvation, disease and enslavement, Machine Gun Preacher also stars Michelle Monaghan (Due Date), Kathy Baker (Cold Mountain), Madeline Carroll (Mr. Popper’s Penguins), Academy Award(R) nominated Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and Souleymane Sy Savane (“Damages”).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity Bolivia 4.8 and 4.5 Japan ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Barack Obama calls John Boehner, gets earful.(Politico).President Barack Obama called House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Thursday to congratulate him for passing three trade agreements — but ended up getting an earful on the jobs debate.According to an unusually detailed account released by the speaker’s office, Boehner “respectfully challenged” the president for saying Thursday that he has not yet seen a jobs plan from Republicans.“I want to make sure you have all the facts,” Boehner told Obama, the account of the 10-minute call said.It is the latest sign of continued frosty relations between the speaker and the president, who have struggled to form a working partnership, particularly after the collapse of negotiations in July for a “grand bargain” on deficit reduction. By providing a rare readout of the call, Boehner’s office is trying to highlight that Obama is ignoring attempts by House Republicans to address the jobs crisis.At a press conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Obama said he is prepared to work with Republicans but added that “I haven’t yet seen” a GOP plan that would create jobs in the near term.“And so, eventually, I’m hoping that they actually put forward some proposals that indicate that they feel that sense of urgency about people — needing to put people back to work right now,” Obama said.The speaker, who last spoke with the president three weeks ago, reminded Obama that the House GOP released a jobs plan in May and that his leadership team has spoken with Obama and his staff about the plan “on numerous occasions.”“The speaker told the president that when he sent his jobs plan to the Hill, Republicans pledged to give it consideration, and have done so,” the release stated. “The president was reminded of a memo written by GOP leaders outlining the specific areas where they believe common ground can be found. The Speaker also noted that a number of the president’s ideas have already been acted on in the House, including a veterans hiring bill, trade agreements, and a three percent withholding bill approved by the Ways and Means Committee today that will be considered on the House floor this month.”Hmmmm.........As usual Blaming others for his own shortcomings. Read the full story here.
- Will Chaos in America Be Obama's October Surprise?(DougRoss).By Dan from NewYork.Watch the trajectory of “Occupy (name goes here)” protests carefully. It may tell us a lot about what the atmosphere in the country might be during the election campaign next year. I for one don’t think Obama will let a little thing like the polls stand in his way.Oh, while we’re on the subject, Mayor Bloomberg has decided to handle these proles with kid gloves. Wouldn’t want to ruffle their feathers, would he? They might get angry and go on a tear. What’s more, while the lumpen marched uptown to picket the homes of some of NYC’s wealthiest residents earlier this week, they passed over hizzoner’s townhouse and George Soros’s pad... Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post two of their worthies, Krauthammer and Gerson, have weighed in.
Krauthammer: “Obama is too intelligent not to know what he started. But so long as it gives him a shot at reelection, he shows no sign of caring.”
Gerson: “We are being asked to reelect a political figure who no longer exists.”
That's a very powerful, powerful line."We are being asked to reelect a political figure who no longer exists."Read the full story here.
- Most transparent administration evah won't turn over Obama’s BlackBerry messages on Solyndra.(Politico).President Barack Obama won't be sharing his BlackBerry messages with House investigators seeking communications about Solyndra, the White House told Hill Republicans on Friday.White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders that they should still be happy with the trove of Solyndra-related documents they’re getting from federal agencies including DOE, the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget.But Ruemmler said the investigators’ request for all internal White House communications about Solyndra — dating back to the first day of the Obama administration — "implicates long-standing and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests.""Encroaching upon these important interests is not necessary, however, because the agency documents the Committee has requested, which include communications with the White House, should satisfy the Committee's stated objective — to 'understand the involvement of the White House in the review of the Solyndra loan guarantee and the Administration's support of this guarantee,’" Ruemmler added in her letter, to committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and oversight subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.).Speaking to CNBC earlier Friday, White House chief of staff Bill Daley signaled that the GOP probably wouldn’t succeed in its request for Obama’s BlackBerry messages.“One of the things you're seeing in the last number of years in this town is an enormous amount of requests for things, seems to take up a lot of people's times,” he said, according to an unofficial CNBC transcript. “I think it's a lot of politically motivated requests. But there's been a long history of White House communications being protected … from a lot of the legislative requests.
To date, the Energy and Treasury departments and OMB have produced more than 70,000 pages of documents to the House panel, as well as nine briefings for committee staff, Ruemmler wrote
The Obama administration has also handed over more than 900 pages of documents that detail communications between the White House and Solyndra, company representatives and investors
Upton and Stearns asked for the internal White House communications earlier this month as part of their probe into Solyndra's $535 million federal loan guarantee and the company’s subsequent financial collapse.While their letter didn't explicitly say they wanted to see Obama's BlackBerry messages, Stearns told reporters he considered anything related to Solyndra that was stored on the president's personal communication device part of his request.“So if there's nothing on his BlackBerry, that's fine," Stearns said Oct. 6. "But if there's something on his BlackBerry, I would assume that would include that."
"I don't know how that technically works," Stearns added. "But we've asked for them, so we're hopeful we'll get some response."Obama had to fight his lawyers just to be able to become the first president to use a BlackBerry, and so far no one has successfully gotten access to the messages.A government source argued Friday that it shouldn't be any surprise that the request for internal White House messages was rejected.“Not supplying internal White House communications is fairly standard historical practice,” the source said.Hmmmm......"Internal communications"....Solyndra now located inside the WhiteHouse?Read the full story here.
- Judge Blocks Release of Recusal-Related Emails Kagan Sent WH—Says They're ‘Personal’.(CNSNews).U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, a Clinton appointee, has ruled that the Justice Department does not need to release emails Solicitor General Elena Kagan sent from her DOJ email account to people in the White House—in which she discussed her recusal decisions as solicitor general—because the emails were “used for a purely personal objective.”CNSNews.com and Judicial Watch were seeking public release of the emails through lawsuits filed under the Freedom of Information Act.The “purely personal objective” cited by the judge was Kagan’s goal of being confirmed to the United States Supreme Court.At issue is whether Kagan must recuse herself as a Supreme Court Justice when the cases challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare reach the court.Kagan was the Obama administration’s solicitor general—charged with defending the administration’s positions in federal court cases--at the time President Obama’s health-care plan was enacted and when Virginia and Florida filed lawsuits against that health-care plan in federal court. Internal DOJ emails that CNSNews.com did obtain via FOIA revealed that in January 2010 Kagan had personally assigned her then-top deputy, Neal Katyal, to handle the anticipated lawsuits against Obama’s health-care plan. The emails also showed that Katyal at that time believed Kagan “definitely” wanted her office involved in the administration’s defense against those legal challenges.Katyal later signed Justice Department briefs countering lawsuits filed against Obamacare and argued some of the cases in federal court.Under federal law—28 U.S.C. 455—any “justice, judge or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be reasonably questioned.” The law further states that any justice “shall also disqualify himself … [w]here he has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceedings or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy.”In May 25, 2010, CNSNews.com filed a FOIA request with the Justice Department asking for any communications to or from then-Solicitor General Kagan, or records of any meeting she personally or electronically attended, that involved any of three things: 1) discussion of pending health-care legislation, 2) any legal challenge to the health-care bill signed by President Obama, and 3) any discussion of the question of whether Kagan ought to recuse herself from involvement in any particular case in her role as solicitor general due to the prospect that it might later come before were she confirmed to a seat on a federal court.When the Justice Department failed to respond to CNSNews.com’s FOIA request by late November 2010, the Media Research Center (MRC), of which CNSNews.com is a division, filed suit against the department in federal court.In a subsquent search of Kagan’s email files pursuant to CNSNews.com's FOIA request, the Justice Department found 8 documents that represented a chain of emails that had gone back and forth between Kagan and officials at the White House on May 17, 2010—a week after Obama had nominated Kagan to the Supreme Court.“In this case, DOJ has explained—and the unredacted material makes clear—that the emails, including the redacted material, discussed legal defense of the forthcoming health care legislation in response to an anticipated court challenge. … This is precisely the type of communication that is protected by the attorney-client work-product privilege.”While this argument protects the Justice Department from unredacting the email in question, it may raise a renewed question about whether Justice Kagan needs to recuse herself from the Obamacare lawsuits. It is now stated in a federal court opinion that while Kagan was solicitor general, an email communication to which her top was party is protected by the attorney work-product privilege because it “discussed legal defense of the forthcoming health care legislation in response to an anticipated court challenge.”Hmmmm......."The Devil takes care of his own?"Read the full story here.
- Rubbing it in at Lake Orion?(StevenRattner).President Obama is visiting the General Motors plant at Lake Orion today with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to celebrate both the passage of the South Korean free trade agreement and also the evident success of his auto rescue program. But there is an interesting irony about today’s visit. The small car that is being made at the Lake Orion plant – the Chevrolet Sonic – was originally scheduled to be made in South Korea, where its predecessor was made. That was because with a traditional Detroit cost structure, cars like the Sonic cannot be made profitably in the U.S. But as part of the new agreement with the United Auto Workers in connection with the 2009 auto rescue, the U.A.W. agreed to permit 40% of the workers in the facility to be paid so-called “Tier II” wages, roughly half of what a traditional U.A.W. member earns. Those Tier II employees will be paid $14 per hour to start. That’s less than $30,000 per year – far from the traditional middle class pay of the auto industry. So while the U.S. gained 1,800 jobs, they came at a significant price.Hmmmm........Read the full story here.
- Obama wants a government bank to fund more Solyndras.(WashingtonExaminer).Now that Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Jim Webb, D-Va., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., have either voted against President Obama's American Jobs Act, or said they would if it came up for final passage, it is safe to say that the chief executive's second stimulus program is dead. Unfortunately, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is trying to revive one of its worst big-spending provisions, creation of a national infrastructure bank to throw more billions of tax dollars at special interests favored by Democrats. It's a terrible idea that should be rejected, along with the rest of Obama's failed stimulus policies.First, it should be noted that Obama's proposed new bank, to be called the American Infrastructure Financing Authority, is guaranteed to create a mere trickle of jobs for at least its first year if it becomes law. Before a single dime could be spent, Obama would have to appoint and the Senate confirm a chief executive officer, who would then have to hire a chief financial officer, chief risk officer, chief compliance officer, general counsel, chief operations officer and chief lending officer. Besides all these chiefs, office space would have to be procured and furnished, then swarms of bureaucrats hired to shuffle paper. This process would take at least a year, probably two, and no money would be spent on infrastructure during that time.Once the bank did get up and running -- seeded with $10 billion in taxpayer money -- it would essentially function the same way Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did, as a government-owned corporation that subsidizes sub-market-rate loans and loan guarantees for projects with politically influential backers. Just like Fannie and Freddie, Obama promises there would be teams of government experts to ensure only "good bets" are funded. But, as the American Enterprise Institute's Peter J. Wallison has amply demonstrated (most recently in the Wall Street Journal), pressures from the forces of political correctness in the Clinton administration steered Fannie and Freddie to make horrible bets on billions of dollars in subprime mortgages. By 2008, 70 percent of all subprime loans were guaranteed by Fannie or some other government entity. No wonder Bill Gale, scholar at the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution, told the Washington Post that "the notion that we're going to do for infrastructure what Fannie and Freddie did for housing is not a particularly enticing prospect."Obama and his political appointees have demonstrated just how lousy they are at picking winners and losers in the economy. After the Bush Energy Department denied a proposal for a tax-subsidized loan for the solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, Obama's crowd came to town and handed the now-bankrupt firm $535 million. And SunPower, another solar power company, scored a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from Obama's experts. SunPower posted $150 million in losses in just the first half of this year and faces dire prospects for its future survival unless propped up with more government money. Bottom line: Washington politicians and bureaucrats can never pick winners and losers using other peoples' money -- ours -- as efficiently and effectively as private investors spending their own money.Read the full story here.
- White House Ends Obamacare’s CLASS Act.(Heritage).The Obama Administration notified Congress today that the CLASS Act–Obamacare’s long-term care insurance plan–is unable to go forward due to critical design flaws that make the program unsustainable.In a letter to Congress, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote that “Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.” CBS News reports:
The law required the administration to certify that CLASS would remain financially solvent for 75 years before it could be put into place.But officials said they discovered they could not make CLASS both affordable and financially solvent while keeping it a voluntary program open to virtually all workers, as the law also required.Monthly premiums would have ranged from $235 to $391, even as high as $3,000 under some scenarios, the administration said. At those prices, healthy people were unlikely to sign up.
That CLASS was unsustainable isn’t news. Brian Blase and John S. Hoff explain that “CLASS was poorly designed, and actuaries criticized it as being unsustainable well before the passage of Obamacare.” And in September, emails released by congressional investigators revealed that proponents of CLASS pushed to include it in Obamacare despite warnings that it would require either a sizable federal bailout or another insurance mandate, as Heritage’s Lachlan Markay reported. Nevertheless, Sebelius insisted that her department could fulfill the law’s sustainability mandate–that is, until today.Read the full story here.
- Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians.(RushLimbaugh).
RUSH: President Obama has deployed troops to another war, in Africa, ladies and gentlemen. Jacob Tapper, ABC News, is reporting that Obama has sent 100 US troops to Uganda to help combat Lord's Resistance Army. Tapper reporting today: "Two days ago President Obama authorized the deployment to Uganda of approximately 100 combat-equipped U.S. forces to help regional forces 'remove from the battlefield' -- meaning capture or kill -- Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and senior leaders of the LRA." I wonder how the Wall Street crowd is gonna react when they find out that Obama has sent troops to another war?
"Mr. Limbaugh, it's just 100 peacekeepers." Yep, yep, yep, that's how Libya started, and, by the way, there's no end in sight for Libya. So nothing to worry about here, folks, only gonna be for a few months. Now, up until today, most Americans have never heard of the combat Lord's Resistance Army. And here we are at war with them. Have you ever heard of Lord's Resistance Army, Dawn? How about you, Brian? Snerdley, have you? You never heard of Lord's Resistance Army? Well, proves my contention, most Americans have never heard of it, and here we are at war with them. Lord's Resistance Army are Christians. It means God. I was only kidding. Lord's Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. That's what the lingo means, "to help regional forces remove from the battlefield," meaning capture or kill. So that's a new war, a hundred troops to wipe out Christians in Sudan, Uganda, and -- (interruption) no, I'm not kidding. Jacob Tapper just reported it. Now, are we gonna help the Egyptians wipe out the Christians? Wouldn't you say that we are? I mean the Coptic Christians are being wiped out, but it wasn't just Obama that supported that. The conservative intelligentsia thought it was an outbreak of democracy. Now they've done a 180 on that, but they forgot that they supported it in the first place. Now they're criticizing it. Lord's Resistance Army objectives. I have them here. "To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people." Now, again Lord's Resistance Army is who Obama sent troops to help nations wipe out. The objectives of the Lord's Resistance Army, what they're trying to accomplish with their military action in these countries is the following: "To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people; to fight for the immediate restoration of the competitive multiparty democracy in Uganda; to see an end to gross violation of human rights and dignity of Ugandans; to ensure the restoration of peace and security in Uganda, to ensure unity, sovereignty, and economic prosperity beneficial to all Ugandans, and to bring to an end the repressive policy of deliberate marginalization of groups of people who may not agree with the LRA ideology." Those are the objectives of the group that we are fighting, or who are being fought and we are joining in the effort to remove them from the battlefield. The government of Uganda claims that Lord's Resistance Army only has 500 or a thousand soldiers in total. So what's the threat? If that's the maximum size of their army, what's the threat? A thousand soldiers? Now, 1100 soldiers because we have sent a hundred. I'm not making this up. This is Jacob Tapper. ABC News had reported that Obama got a letter off to John Boehner a couple days ago announcing this. It's just for a few months until the Lord's Resistance Army is eradicated. That's all. Just a few months. Not much of a threat. BREAK TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: On sending the soldiers to fight the Christians in Africa, here is how Obama ends his letter to John Boehner justifying sending troops to Uganda: "I have directed this deployment, which is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct US foreign relations and as commander-in-chief and chief executive." Would somebody explain to me what you think our "national security interests" are in Uganda. Now, keep in mind, folks, this is the same Barack Obama who said that we had no national security interests in attacking Iraq. After they were shooting at our planes and trying to kill our president and Allah knows what else, Obama said, "We got no national security interests in Iraq! They don't threaten us! What are we doing?" We've got 500 to a thousand soldiers in the Lord's Resistance Army and Uganda trying to wipe them out, and we're sending a hundred soldiers to help them.Vital national interests are at stake, according to Obama.
RUSH: I wonder when the Nobel Committee is gonna call Obama and ask for the Peace Prize back. You think this is what they had in mind when he got the Peace Prize? Remember, he got that prize on the come. He hadn't done anything for peace, and since then, how many wars are we in now, five? And he hasn't gotten us out of any of these wars? I know, isn't gonna happen.BREAK TRANSCRIPT
Is that right? The Lord's Resistance Army is being accused of really bad stuff? Child kidnapping, torture, murder, that kind of stuff? Well, we just found out about this today. We're gonna do, of course, our due diligence research on it. But nevertheless we got a hundred troops being sent over there to fight these guys -- and they claim to be Christians.Hmmmm.....Read the full story here.
- The nonsensical alleged Iranian plot and the end of all reason.(BlacklistedNews).By Madison Ruppert.In order to believe the latest flight of fancy promulgated by Washington, one must suspend any and all logic, reason and plain old common sense. Let’s not forget that one must also ignore any knowledge of Iranian strategy, the operations of the Quds Force and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in general.Even the U.S. government seems to realize these allegations are wildly unrealistic, including State Department Victoria Nuland who said, “When you look at these details, it seems like something out of a movie”.No, Nuland, it seems like something out of a bad movie written by writers who know little to nothing about Iran or terrorism in general, for that matter.The alleged plot, which included not only the assassination of a Saudi diplomat but also the trafficking of massive amounts of opium, was quickly blamed on the somewhat mythical Quds Force, part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.A Corpus Christi, Texas-based naturalized American citizen with an Iranian passport, Mansour Arbabsiar, along with an alleged member of the Quds Force based in Iran, Gholam Shakuri, were implicated in the criminal complaint filed by U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday.The operation was allegedly “directed by factions of the Iranian government” and Obama has claimed that “people within the government were aware of a murder-for-hire plot.”However, many experts who one would think would be in support of the government’s highly questionable narrative are already punching holes in Washington’s latest fable.For instance, an Iran analyst at the infamous Rand Corporation in Arlington, Virginia, Alireza Nader, said that this alleged plot does not fit with Iran’s modus operandi.Nader has coauthored studies on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and told The Christian Science Monitor that, “This [plot] doesn’t seem to serve Iran’s interests in any conceivable way […] Assassinating the Saudi ambassador would increase international pressure against Iran, could be considered an act of war … by Saudi Arabia, it could really destabilize the government in Iran; and this is a political system that is interested in its own survival.”Nader says that Iran has been attempting to avoid more sanctions while building up diplomatic relations with non-Western nations and moving forward with its nuclear program.Clearly, this alleged plot would not fall into this pattern and would only serve to rally more sanctions against them while weakening relations and hindering their nuclear program.Nader points this out by saying that an attack such as the one supposedly planned by Arbabsiar with help from the Iranian government “would put all of Iran’s objectives and strategies at risk.”If this was a movie it would be the most nonsensical, plot-hole-ridden pieces of cinematic garbage to be released as of late.Unfortunately, this is not a movie and instead of attempting to sell tickets, Washington is trying to sell the world on an escalation with respect to Iran.Gary Sick, an expert on Iran at Columbia University and former principal White House aide during the 1979 Islamic Revolution and hostage crisis, also doubts the legitimacy of Washington’s claims.Sick writes, “This plot, if true, departs from all known Iranian policies and procedures,” especially because “it is difficult to believe that they would rely on a non-Islamic criminal gang to carry out this most sensitive of all possible missions.”Sick also points out the naked carelessness of the operation, which makes little to no sense given Iran is “not noted for utter disregard of the most basic intelligence tradecraft.”Why would Iran’s elite intelligence unit depend on “at least one amateur and a Mexican criminal drug gang that is known to be riddled with both Mexican and US intelligence agents”?Attempting to reconcile all of the nonsensical aspects of this story gets more and more difficult as you look at all of the details.In an analysis for the Tehran Bureau’s website, Muhammad Sahimi points out some more aspects of the alleged plot which make little to no sense.Currently, Iran is “deeply worried about the fate of its strategic partner in Syria … tensions with Turkey are increasing … and a fierce [domestic] power struggle is under way”.“[I]t is essentially impossible to believe that the IRI [Islamic Republic of Iran] would act in such a way as to open a major new front against itself”, says Sahimi, yet the U.S. government seems to have missed the memo.The Quds Force simply does not operate in ways which remotely resemble this alleged plot and many are not hesitating to point this out.Kenneth Katzman of the Congressional Research Service writes, “The Iranian modus operandi is only to trust sensitive plots to their own employees, or to trusted proxies such as Hezbollah, Saudi Hezbollah, Hamas, the Sadr faction in Iraq, Iran-friendly extremist Muslims in Afghanistan and other pro-Iranian Muslim groups”.Katzman, who has also written a study on the IRGC in the 1990s, continues, “Are we to believe that this Texas car seller was a Qods [alternate spelling of Quds] sleeper agent for many years resident in the US? Ridiculous […] They (the Iranian command system) never ever use such has-beens or loosely connected people for sensitive plots such as this.”Arbabsiar was characterized by a former business partner as “sort of a hustler” and “likable, albeit a bit lazy” by the Associated Press.Would the enigmatic Quds Force, which was treated as a mythical cabal capable of sabotaging the entire American operation in Iraq, really use such an individual? If you believe that, I have a gorgeous beachfront property on the moon to sell you.The same former business partner of Arbabsiar, David Tomscha, told the AP, “He’s no mastermind […] I can’t imagine him thinking up a plan like that. I mean, he didn’t seem all that political. He was more of a businessman.”While this could be construed as evidence supporting the conjecture that Arbabsiar was aided by the elite Quds Force and other Iranian government officials, it cannot outweigh all of the other holes and nonsensical aspects of this fable.Despite the lack of evidence and the fervent denials coming from Iranian government officials who have called the allegations “hilarious and baseless”, Obama is clearly implicating the entire Iranian regime in this alleged plot.In a news conference Obama said, “We believe that even if at the highest levels there was not detailed operational knowledge, there has to be accountability with respect to anybody in the Iranian government engaging in this kind of activity.”Obama claims that world leaders will buy the U.S.’s latest fairy tale “without dispute once they absorb the details”, although as I absorb the details it just further weakens Washington’s claims.Maybe if world leaders are wholly ignorant and unable to even do a moment’s research into the Quds Force and Iranian strategy they will buy it.However, if they have expert analysts and actually pay attention to detail, I can’t see how any self-respecting government would jump on the bandwagon.The damage control already being exerted by the U.S. government is considerable as it seems they realize that this piece of fiction is wildly unrealistic.State Department spokeswoman Nuland admitted that the initial reaction from governments was one of marked skepticism but claimed that, “as you begin to give more detail on what we knew and when we knew it and how we knew it, it has credibility.”This must be more of the magical intelligence which never reaches the public, the same brand of intelligence that can explain how passports survive massive explosions and the collapse of buildings on September 11th, 2001, or how a teenager (who had a father that repeatedly warned the American government that he was being radicalized) got on to an airplane without a passport, carrying the exact same explosives used by another incompetent terrorist, Richard Reid.It seems that Washington is increasingly reliant on classified intelligence and top secret “evidence” which we are just supposed to believe exists and is wholly conclusive.Instead of ever presenting evidence or reconciling all of the holes in the story, Washington is likely going to attempt to drum up mindless international support in lieu of actually proving anything, as if we are supposed to believe it if government officials from other countries do.This is already underway with the French Ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, telling reporters, “It’s very credible and very convincing […] Obviously, there were officials in Iran who were behind the plot, but I don’t know to which level.”Again it is just declared to be “very credible and very convincing” even though it is neither credible nor remotely convincing to anyone who is able to conduct research and think logically.Thankfully, the United Nations Security Council as a whole is not behind this farce.Russian and Chinese officials have not been so quick to accept the story fed to them by Washington and according to a CBS Foreign Affairs Analyst, Pamela Falk, “Moscow made clear, since the complaint was filed, that it stands by Iran and will not impose a fifth round of sanctions”.However, sanctions are not the only concern, indeed Obama clearly said that military intervention is not out of the question by saying that no option was off the table.Indeed, according to the October 6th edition of a French intelligence bulletin TTU, cited by Gulf News, “the US and Israel are planning an unprecedented joint land forces exercise next May with the goal of establishing a common ‘intervention force’ ready for action in the event of a major regional war.”Furthermore, last month I published an article detailing how Cheney claims that Israel has plans for a preemptive strike on Iran in the works.This is buttressed by Israeli leaders calling for Western nations to present a credible military threat to Iran.Is it pure coincidence that this plot surfaced, giving more impetus to those warmongers in Israel and their cronies in Washington? I doubt it.If regional tensions couldn’t get any worse, Iranian clerics have allegedly called for suicide bombings and attacks on Saudi interests around the world, along with the establishment of recruitment centers for which hundreds have supposedly already registered.Additionally, Bahrain Views claims, “The proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is just beginning — expect to see many more such conflicts in the Middle East which will expand onto the world stage.”But it does not end there, the U.S. government is now claiming that this was not an isolated plot but instead part of a chain of schemes beyond what CBS/AP call the “comically amateurish” plot which has already surfaced.The chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein of California, said, “There may be a chain of these things” on Wednesday.Feinstein said that we must explore the possibility of other plots going on in other nations, which could possibly turn up more hilariously absurd allegations.Next it could be a ring of Islamist leprechauns being directed by the Quds Force in Iran, in collusion with the IRA, who were planning to assassinate the Queen while trafficking Lucky Charms through Mexico.Whatever the case, the United States has leveraged this alleged plot to increase sanctions against Iran and if more absurdist plots are uncovered, we can likely expect Washington to openly call for a military solution.I just hope that the American public is no longer gullible enough to buy this line of nonsense and will actively fight the disinformation so we do not get dragged into yet another endless conflict based on falsified intelligence.Read the full story here.
- Assassination Plot Was Pushed By DEA Informant.(Wakeup2010).By Paul Joseph Watson.Details emerging from the dubious Iranian terror plot strongly suggest that the plan to assassinate a Saudi ambassador was concocted not by Mansour J. Arbabsiar, who thought he was overseeing a drug deal, but by the DEA informant working on behalf of the federal government.“The legal document describing evidence in the case provides multiple indications that it was mainly the result of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting operation,” reports Asia Times’ Gareth Porter. The document confirms that the assassination plan was “originated with and was strongly pushed by an undercover DEA [Department of Drug Enforcement] informant, at the direction of the FBI”.Geopolitical experts have almost universally questioned why the highly professional Iranian Quds Force would hire a washed up used care salesman who had a drinking problem and a propensity for hookers to be the “mastermind” behind such a sophisticated operation, and why that operation would take place in the United States when it would be far easier to carry out the assassination in the middle east.It now appears that Iranian-American patsy Mansour Arbabsiar thought he was merely involved in a drug deal to sell large amounts of opium from Afghanistan, and that the terrorist angle was introduced by “CS-1″ – the DEA informant working on behalf of the FBI.
“On May 24, when Arbabsiar first met with the DEA informant he thought was part of a Mexican drug cartel, it was not to hire a hit squad to kill the ambassador. Rather, there is reason to believe that the main purpose was to arrange a deal to sell large amounts of opium from Afghanistan,”writes Porter.The legal document fails to list any single example directly attributable to Arbabsiar where he mentions killing the Saudi ambassador.“Both that language and the absence of any statement attributed to Arbabsiar imply that the Iranian-American said nothing about assassinating the Saudi ambassador except in response to suggestions by the informant, who was already part of an FBI undercover operation,” adds Porter.Indeed, the record shows that it is the informant who constantly refers to the assassination. When Arbabsiar wired $100,000 dollars to an account in New York in August, he still did so under the impression that the money would be used in connection with the drug deal, the legal document shows.The DEA informant himself was under pressure to pull off the sting because he had already been charged with a narcotics offense and was posing as a drug cartel operative in return for the charges against him being dropped.It appears as though the entire plot was, similar to a myriad of previous terror cases, a case of entrapment where the FBI deliberately chooses an individual down on his luck and promises him money and importance, radicalizing him in the process and convincing him to commit criminal activities. Even so, there is no specific example where Arabsiar directly advocates killing the Saudi ambassador.As we reported yesterday, an FBI insider who spoke with retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer told Shaffer that no details of a terror plot existed within the Department of Justice files, indicating that the story was largely fabricated by the Obama administration as a pretext to give Israel the green light to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, which many geopolitical observers are warning is only weeks away.Read the full story here.More here.
- Iran’s supreme leader calls U.S. plot accusations ‘absurd’.(AlArabiya).Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday U.S. accusations that two Iranians planned to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington were “meaningless”, state TV reported. “A meaningless and nonsensical accusation has been raised against a few Iranians in America, which was made into an excuse to present the Islamic Republic as a supporter of terrorism,” Khamenei told a crowd in the western province of Kermanshah.“It didn’t work, it won’t work,” he said.Iran’s English-language Press TV quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying the U.S. allegations were “untrue and baseless”.“It is a comedy show fabricated by America,” he said. The relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia was based on “mutual respect” and could not be harmed by “fabricating such baseless claims”.Khamenei's comments reinforced fierce denials of involvement made by other Iranian officials ever since the U.S. accusation was made public Tuesday.U.S. authorities say they broke up a plot to bomb the Israeli and Saudi Arabian embassies in Washington and assassinate the Saudi ambassador.The alleged plotters were identified as Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri − both originally from Iran − in a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court in New York City.American officials have said they have evidence that the alleged plot was ordered and supported by Iranian officials, but admit they do not know which leaders, if any, are implicated.The U.S. Justice Department and FBI say the trail leads to officials inside the Quds Force, a special operations outfit within Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards that reports directly to Khamenei.The United States has said it held rare direct contacts with Iran over the allegations. An Iranian news agency quoted an Iranian official at the U.N. as denying that.“I will again confirm that we did meet with the Iranians,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Friday.“They know that very well, and any efforts on their part to deny it speaks again to how truthful they are about any of these sorts of matters.”Read the full story here.
- Senior Al-Qaida figure and Awlaki’s son among 24 killed in drone strike in Yemen.(AlArabiya).The head of the media department of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and six other militants were killed in an air raid on militant outposts in Yemen, and gunmen retaliated by blowing up a gas export pipeline, Yemeni officials and residents said on Saturday.The Yemeni Defence Ministry said Ibrahim al-Banna, an Egyptian national, died in a raid by Yemeni war planes on militant positions in Shabwa province in southern Yemen late on FridayBanna is the second senior AQAP figure to be killed, after a U.S. drone on September 30 killing a key leader of AQAP, the U.S.-born militant Anwar al- Awlaki.A Yemeni official described Banna, 55, as one of the most dangerous militants on their wanted list.Awlaki's son is also among the 24 militants killed in air strikes targeting al-Qaeda in Yemen, local officials said.“Abderrahman Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in the raid,” a tribal source told AFP, adding that he had received confirmation from the militant-controlled Yemeni hospital where the dead and wounded from Friday evening’s strikes were taken.Residents and local officials said they believed the raids were conducted by foreign aircraft. Banna left his native country to Yemen in 1993 to work as a teacher but never came back. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Sharia and Law from al-Azhar University and had a background of joining Salafist groups back in Egypt. He also trained Abu Ayoub al-Masry, the Qaeda leader in Iraq after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is thought to be killed in April.In 2010 Banna was arrested but through multiple prison breaks that rocked Yemen, the Qaeda senior figure managed to escape. Meanwhile, unidentified assailants, believed to be militants, later blew up a gas pipeline which transports gas from Maarib province to Belhaf port on the Arabian Sea.Read the full story here.
- U.N. says Israel’s new settlement plans in East Jerusalem are “unacceptable” and contrary to international law.(AlArabiya).U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized Israel on Friday over reports that it plans to build 2,600 more housing units in East Jerusalem, saying further settlement activity was “unacceptable.”“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at continued efforts to advance planning for new Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem,” Ban’s press office said in a statement.“Recent developments in this regard have been unacceptable, particularly as efforts are ongoing to resume (Israeli-Palestinian) negotiations, and run contrary to the Quartet’s call on the parties to refrain from provocations,” it said.The Peace Now anti-settlement group said on Friday that Israel planned to build the housing units in a new urban settlement in East Jerusalem, angering Palestinians who want a halt to all such projects before they return to peace talks.The “Quartet” of Middle East peace negotiators − the United States, Russia, the European Union and United Nations − has urged Israel and the Palestinians to avoid provocative actions and urged them to resume stalled peace negotiations.The Peace Now group said the settlement plan was approved earlier this week by an Israeli municipal committee, which had given the go-ahead for construction on the site that lies on land seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.There was no immediate comment from the municipal committee on the report, but the Palestinians said they believed the news was accurate.“The Secretary-General reiterates that settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the remainder of the West Bank is contrary to international law,” the U.N. statement said, adding such activity “must cease.”The reports about a new settlement plan come as the Palestinians attempt to secure U.N. recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, along with full membership in the United Nations.The Palestinian U.N. bid has infuriated Israel, which says it is an attempt to delegitimize it. Israel's ally the United States has said it was prepared to veto the Palestinian U.N. application, which is currently being assessed by a U.N. Security Council committee.If the Palestinian application to join the United Nations comes to a vote in the full Security Council, the United States has the power to veto it due to its status as a permanent member of the 15-nation panel.The Security Council committee is expected to report back to the full council next week about progress it has made assessing the Palestinian U.N. application.Diplomats on the committee, which includes all council members, say privately that little progress has been made in assessing the Palestinian request to join the world body.Read the full story here.
- Israel - Hamas prisoners divided on swap.(YNet).Hamas rift worsens: The disagreements and tensions within Hamas over the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap are reportedly pitting group detainees against each other in Israel's prisons. A website affiliated with Fatah reported Friday that great tensions emerged between Hamas prisoners from the West Bank and their counterparts from the Gaza Strip as result of the swap's characteristics.As it turned out, most released prisoners who will not be allowed to return to their homes and instead be expelled to various countries abroad are West Bank residents, while most Gaza detainees would be allowed to go home. Moreover, the report said, as opposed to Hamas' declarations that any swap would be brought up for the prisoners' approval, no such vote was held.As result of the above developments, the Fatah website said, great tensions currently persist between the different groups of prisoners held in Israeli jails. Meanwhile, senior Hamas figure Ismail Radwan attempted to allay the tensions, claiming that the Palestinian prisoners who would be expelled abroad would return to Gaza later.Read the full story here.
- Uganda gay activist wins human rights award.(BikyaMasr).A prestigious global human rights award was presented in Geneva today to a Ugandan woman who has fearlessly defended the rights of her country’s threatened lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera is the winner of the 2011 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, awarded annually by 10 of the world’s leading human rights NGOs, including Amnesty International.She is the founder and executive director of the LGBT rights organization Freedom and Roam Uganda.“This award recognizes Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera’s tremendous courage in the face of discrimination and violence against LGBT people in Uganda,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Africa Programme Director.“Her passion to promote equality and her tireless work to end a despicable climate of fear is an inspiration to LGBT activists the world over who face threats, violence and imprisonment on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”The situation for Uganda’s LGBT community is extremely difficult, with numerous documented cases of discrimination, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, torture and other ill-treatment based solely on sexual orientation and gender identity. Activists who work to expose such abuses are frequently targeted.Under Uganda’s legal system, homosexuality is a criminal offence that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. A bill proposed in 2009 sought to entrench discrimination and hatred against LGBT people.On 26 January, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was murdered after the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone published a list of Uganda’s 100 “Top Homos” and called for the people named in the list to be hanged.Nabagesera’s name also appeared on the list.“I’ve lived my life fighting openly for gay rights in Uganda, and I’ve had to pay a price for that,” Nabagesera previously told Amnesty International.“I’ve been evicted from house to house; my office has been evicted; I can no longer move on the streets openly; I’ve been attacked.”Despite the ongoing intimidation and threats against her, Nabagesera has continued to advocate publicly and in the media on behalf of Uganda’s LGBT community, both at home and abroad.Nabagesera is the 20th person to receive the Martin Ennals Award.Read the full story here.
- Islam gives same rights to women as men, Pakistani UN advisor says.(TodaysZaman).Islam gives the same rights to women as men, which is contrary to the image in Westerners' minds about a woman's status in Islam, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General Nafis Sadik told the Anatolia news agency on Friday.During an official visit to Turkey, Sadık said, “Being a Pakistani woman, I have had many chances to observe the women's rights issue in Islamic countries; the religion of Islam gives equal rights to women.”She added that women should do whatever necessary to acquire the rights that Islam gives them.Emphasizing that there is a negative image in Western countries about the role of women in Islam, Sadik said, “In the Western world when people think of a Muslim person, the image of a Muslim man with four helpless women behind him comes to mind, but this image doesn't reflect reality,” adding that “when reporters find out I'm a Muslim woman, they are usually surprised because they don't believe that a Muslim woman can be successful and hold a high position as I do.”She also mentioned that she grew up under strict religious rules but had the same rights as her brothers, going on to say that “although my father was a religious man, he didn't at all restrict my education and my choice of who to marry.”Women have the right to divorce in marriage, and Islam defends the rights of women, Sadik asserted.Regarding the recent increase in violence against women in Turkey, Sadik said, “Fighting against violence towards women is very important; politicians, lawyers, nongovernmental organizations, media and especially women themselves should cooperate in order to solve this problem in Turkey,” and added that stricter laws should be adopted to punish those who abuse women and that tougher laws against known abusers should be adopted to protect women at risk.Hmmmmm.......•Diyya - compensation paid to the heirs of a victim. In Arabic the word means both blood money and ransom. Diyaa is part of private rights due to the victim(s), and could not be waived by the sovereign.In Saudi Arabia, when a person has been killed or caused to die by another, the prescribed blood money rates are as follows:
•100,000 riyals if the victim is a Muslim man.
•50,000 riyals if a Muslim woman.....................Same rights?Read the full story here.
- Arab rally: Redeem al-Aqsa with blood.(YNet).Some 30,000 Arab Israelis took part Friday in a rally titled "Al-Aqsa Mosque in Danger," vowing to "redeem" the holy Muslim site in Jerusalem "with blood." The event was organized by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in the northern Israel town of Umm al-Fahem. Participants chanted "Allahu Akbar" and "we shall redeem you with blood and spirit, oh al-Aqsa.'"The rally included a show depicting ultra-Orthodox Jews destroying Temple Mount.The head of the Supreme Arab Monitoring Committee, Muhammad Zidan, said that "harming the holy sites is a red line for us and would lead to difficult steps.""Most of the Arab public would hit the streets to defend them," he said.Protestors held up Palestinian and Turkish flags during the event.During the rally, thousands of participants called for the release of more Arab Israelis in the framework of the Shalit deal.Following Hamas' insistence, six Arab Israeli men and two Arab Israeli women will be released from prison as part of the Shalit swap. Their families have not yet been officially informed of their release, but celebrations are underway in their communities.Such festivities were held at the home of Muhammad Jabarin from Umm al-Fahem, who was convicted of murdering a Palestinian collaborator with Israel. Revelers fired firecrackers and handed out sweets to celebrate his imminent release.The prisoner's mother said: "We'd like to thank everyone who dealt with the release of prisoners. This is a message to the State of Israel that we are stronger, and that we shall stand up to the racism and false accusations." Hmmmm.....Indeed they do not respect 'weakness'.Read the full story here.
- Pakistani Journalist Examines Saudi-Pakistani Nuclear Cooperation: 'Saudi Arabia has Allegedly Arranged to Make Available Two Pakistani Nuclear Bombs or Guided Missile Warheads'.(Memri).In a recent article, senior Pakistani journalist Amir Mir examined the history of Saudi-Pakistani nuclear cooperation and recent media reports that Saudi Arabia is trying to reach a secret nuclear pact with Pakistan, in view of the Iranian nuclear threat to Sunni states like Saudi Arabia. In an article titled, "Is Pakistan Helping the Saudis with a Nuclear Deterrent?" Amir Mir also revealed that during this year's "Arab Spring" protests in the Middle Eastern countries, Pakistan had two military divisions on standby to go to Saudi Arabia in case street protests erupted against the Saudi royal family. The Pakistani journalist also recounted a number of international media reports on how Pakistani military officers have worked over the years in secret to help the Saudi ambition to build a nuclear deterrent.Read the full story here.
- Canada - Sheraton Hotel Toronto Cancels Muslim Conference.(Vinienco).The Sheraton Centre hotel will not host a Muslim religious conference that was to feature speakers who have expressed anti-gay and anti-Semitic views.The Star informed a Sheraton convention services manager about the speakers on Wednesday. On Thursday, after the Star published an article on the conference, a hotel spokesperson said it had been “cancelled due to the organization’s failure to satisfy a contractual requirement.”The conference, which had been scheduled for Oct. 23, was organized by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), a British organization seeking to establish a Canadian presence. The IERA’s local public relations officer could not be reached Thursday evening.Jewish and gay organizations had criticized the IERA for inviting four speakers who had disparaged gays, Jews and Christians. Gay activists in Britain denounced a hotel chain in January for hosting a London IERA event involving several of the same speakers.The public relations officer for the conference referred questions to an IERA official who did not respond to a request for comment.A Sheraton convention services employee said Wednesday: “We book things and sometimes we don’t know exactly what they are.”Howard English, senior vice-president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said Wednesday that he was “very concerned” about both conference and the IERA’s attempt to establish itself in Canada. He called the speakers’ views “reprehensible.”“The people that are being tolerated, featured and promoted by this organization are expressing views that, if promoted in Canada, can only serve to divide people rather than uniting people,” he said.Read the full story here.