Sunday, October 23, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation update: Turkey 7.3 - 5.9 !More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Video -Powerful earthquake hits Turkey.(YNet).A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit near Van in southeastern Turkey on Sunday near the border with Iran, Turkey's Kandilli Observatory and Research Institute said, and media reported some buildings had collapsed. The institute said the earthquake struck at 10:41 am GMT and was 5 kilometers (three miles) deep. The US Geological Survey earlier reported that the magnitude was 7.6.State-run news agency Anatolian said some buildings had collapsed. After shocks continued after the initial quake, Anatolian said. "Two buildings collapsed in Van, but the telephone system is jammed due to panic and we can't assess the entire damage immediately," Bekir Kaya, the mayor of Van, told NTV television. The state-run Anatolia news agency said rescue workers were trying to reach people believed to be trapped under the wreckage of a seven-story building in Van, close to the Iranian border.A Reuters reporter in Hakkari, a town around 100 km (60 miles) south of the city of Van in southeastern Turkey, said he could feel the building sway for around 10 seconds. There was no immediate sign of any casualties or damage in Hakkari, around two and half hours drive through the mountains from Van, around 20 km (12 miles) from the epicenter.IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz has instructed the army to get ready to aid Turkey in coping with the powerful quake. Gantz said that an IDF delegation will head to Turkey once it receives approval from the government. Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked the head of the Political-Military Affairs section at the ministry, Amos Gilad to offer Turkey "all the help in needs". Major geological fault lines cross Turkey and small earthquakes are a near daily occurrence. Two large quakes in 1999 killed more than 20,000 people in northwest Turkey.Read and see the full story here.
- Forensics complete autopsy on Muammar Qaddafi’s body but disclose no information.(AlArabiya).Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the “way his death happened poses an entire number of questions,” and called for a probe.Libyan forensic doctors carried out an autopsy overnight on the body of Muammar Qaddafi, the former Libyan leader killed last week, one of the people involved in the autopsy told Reuters on Sunday.“We worked all through the night. We just got done,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He did not reveal any of the autopsy’s findings.The autopsy was carried out at a morgue in the city of Misrata, about 200 km (130 miles) east of Tripoli. Local officials said Qaddafi’s body would now be brought back to the cold store at an old market in Misrata where it has been on public display.Military commanders in Misrata said on Saturday that no autopsy would be carried out on the body despite concerns over how he died. As the rigid, bloodied, yellow corpses of Qaddafi and his son Mutassim lay on dirty mattresses on the metal floor of the glacial makeshift mortuary, hundreds of Libyans were allowed inside to view them.A man identifying himself as Sadiq said he was only 18 when the former dictator took power in 1969.“All my adult life I lived with this low life, this...” said the 60-year-old, who declined to give his last name, spattering curses against Qaddafi.“But he is dead and I am happy,” he said, laughing.U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay also called for an investigation, as did Claudio Cordone, senior director at Amnesty International, who said that if Kadhafi "was killed after his capture, it would constitute a war crime and those responsible should be brought to justice."NTC leaders are adamant he was shot in the head when he was caught “in crossfire” between his supporters and new regime fighters soon after his capture.Interim prime minister Mahmud Jibril told the BBC’s Hardtalk program that he would rather Qaddafi had survived.“To be honest with you at the personal level I wish he was alive. I want to know why he did this to the Libyan people,” he said. “I wish I were his prosecutor in his trial.”Jibril added that it would be “absolutely OK” to carry out a full investigation under international supervision into the killing, as long as Islamic burial rules were respected.Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said an investigation was being conducted into the circumstances of Qaddafi’s killing after several foreign governments and human rights watchdogs posed questions. Abdel Jibril said that they are dealing with the subject with transparency. Read the full story here.
- BP wins approval to resume drilling in Gulf of Mexico.(BBC).BP has won approval to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, 18 months after a well blowout killed 11 workers and caused an environmental disaster.Regulators approved plans for drilling to depths of up to 6,000ft about 200 miles off the coast of New Orleans.US officials said in a statement: "Our review of BP's plan included verification of BP's compliance with the heightened standards."The Gulf's Kaskida oilfield could contain up to 3bn barrels of crude.The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said BP's exploration plan meets the stringent standards issued by the government after last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster, as well as the additional self-imposed standards that BP has taken.In the months following the Deepwater affair, many analysts questioned whether BP had a future in the US.Last week, there were reports in the US that BP would not be barred from participating in an upcoming offshore oil and gas lease sale.Read the full story here.
- "CHANGE" - Monster Prediction From BofA: Another US Debt Downgrade Is Coming In Just A Few Weeks.(BussinessInsider).In an analyst note, Bofa/ML Ethan S. Harris drops a bit of a bombshell prediction: We expect a moderate slowdown in the beginning of next year, as two small policy shocks—another debt downgrade and fiscal tightening—hit the economy. The “not-so-super” Deficit Commission is very unlikely to come up with a credible deficit-reduction plan. The committee is more divided than the overall Congress. Since the fall-back plan is sharp cuts in discretionary spending, the whole point of the Committee is to put taxes and entitlements on the table. However, all the Republican members have signed the Norquist “no taxes” pledge and with taxes off the table it is hard to imagine the liberal Democrats on the Committee agreeing to significant entitlement cuts. The credit rating agencies have strongly suggested that further rating cuts are likely if Congress does not come up with a credible long-run plan. Hence, we expect at least one credit downgrade in late November or early December when the super Committee crashes.This is quite a stunning prediction, mainly because nobody is talking about this. And though the experts were 100% wrong in thinking that a downgrade would increase borrowing costs, it did cause a major market jolt when it happened, leading to a major blow to confidence in August and September.Another round of that would certainly not be helpful.Hense Harris' note is titled "Enjoy It While It Lasts." We have a nice little upswing in economic data, but next year could be rough again, when these confidence shocks hit.Hmmmm......."We made all the right decisions"?Read the full story here.
- Warning! Progressives’ NPV Plan for White House Control, 2012 and Permanently.(NewZeal).Gulag Bound.By Jacquerie.While the lamestream media holds public attention on GOP candidate rivalries, a “progressive” strategy is underway to eliminate the role of the states in electing a U.S. President. By transferring electoral votes to a “national popular vote” this “Compact” would usurp the role of the states as safeguarded by our Constitution. In doing so, it could also neutralize Obama’s critics — totally.This may be the most vital – and time sensitive - expose WAM has ever uncovered and shared! And it’s happening now, under the radar, with the general public in the dark. This “ultimate vote fraud” is intentionally complicated to keep it obscure until it’s too late to stop it. This complete expose on the “National Popular Vote Compact” won’t be found elsewhere. Because of the complexity and urgency of this issue. read it through completely. See who is behind this scheme and what its intended consequences are.Then spread the word in your blogs, forums and forward to all your contacts now. There is still time to block the NPVC sufficient states passage – only if we act now!All of US urgently need to contact our State Assemblymen, State Senators and Governors to vehemently oppose this covert measure! See below the real facts of this manipulation of the Constitution and American electorate. See Your State Status and action needed in last column.Called the “National Popular Vote Compact” this movement has been in the works nationwide – without public attention – on a state-by-state level since at least 2008.Like other surreptitious actions against the U.S. Constitution, the NPVC “movement” has several promotional websites claiming to represent “true democracy.”The NPVC is a bill now moving state-by-state to make the popular vote winner President by bypassing normal requirements to amend the Constitution. Tts outcome would ensure the Presidency would be declared by giving all the required 270 Electoral Votes needed for a “winner” to the candidate who wins the largest number of popular votes nationally – no matter how small the win margin and no difference how many states voted to oppose him. Here’s how it works: Once enough states have passed the NPVC bill into law to reach the requisite 270 Electoral Votes (by totaling the EV’s of those states which pass this bill) the NPVC goes into immediate effect in the next – and all subsequent – Presidential elections. It doesn’t matter how strongly other states oppose this. We’d all have to go along, if even a minority of states pass it! • Currently, this bill has passed enough state houses to reach more than 160 EV’s – so they are well over half way to their goal right now.According to most up-to-date information this National Popular Vote Pact has already passed 1 of the 2 required chambers in more than 30 other states- without public attention.If their magic number of 270 EV totaling states is reached, it won’t matter how the rest of the states vote on this; nor whether other states never take up the bill; not even if other states vehemently object and oppose this action. It would be the Law of the Land!This sneaky scheme to upend Constitutional rights and protections of all states and their residents in selecting the nation’s leader is underway as an explicit attempt to defeat the careful Constitutional amendment process with no public knowledge, no voter input, no public referendums and no input from states which object to this measure. All NPVC takes is a portion of current state houses to make it law for all of us – always! Who is behind the National Popular Vote Compact?George Soros – and that’s not all. If you have any doubt left about the purpose of this Constitutional reversal in favor of a Presidency by national popular vote, consider these facts and check out these references:
Summary: George Soros favorite game is taking over the politics (and governments) of countries. If you’re not familiar with his bio, you should be. See here his role in the bogus movement toward a popular vote. Soros son, Jonathan, propaganized ”It’s’ time to junk the electoral college” all the way back in 2008. We know by know how their ilk uses long-term, heavily financed astro-turf “reform” movements – under cover of nice-sounding names, multiple websites and distorted messages to increase their public appeal. Here’s what the National Popular Vote movement wants you to believe. Their operatives began moving this Plan through state assemblies even before 2008 election. See an actual chart of the scope of Soros spiderweb of behind-the-scenes influence here.
What’s their game: Take the 2012 election – and those that follow – by the cheapest, most expedient means. Save time and money by focusing “electioneering efforts” (including illegitimate ones) in major population areas to make those vote totals overwhelm the votes of the rest of US. This makes it easy for Obama to continue ignoring increased public resistance – if half the states and nearly half the voters just won’t count anymore anyway. Most of US are by now familiar with the bombardment of attempts to subvert our government under cover of populist propaganda to appear “more truly democratic.” See below those behind this clever manipulation of the law – to pass a “newer and better” way to choose a President without the proper Constitutional amendment.(And somebody tell them our founding fathers formed a Republic, not a democracy!)
Meet the Men behind this “Compact”: Vikram Amar & Akhil Reed Amar. The National Public Vote Compact bill, promoted nationwide, came from this source in 2001. Since then, the same bill based on their strategy has been filed in states nationwide!Digging into the background of the National Public Vote Compact – as a means to radically and permanently shift the basis of the Presidency, here’s what we found: highly credentialed attorneys (and brothers) who devised this “state bill” compact, as a strategy to get around the normal requirements for constitutional amendment – and, instead, undermine the Electoral College by bypassing both Congress and the voters! V. Amar is the author of hundreds of legal articles and several books. Although his age is included in a wiki-bio, Vikram’s country of origin is not mentioned. His articles cover topics like this:”Should Christian groups on state campuses by allowed to restrict their membership to Christians.” Many articles are aimed at using the legal system against the Constitution. Here’s two books he’s written: “Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking” and The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction. Akhil Amar has also “recently proposed that every American should be required to undergo a DNA test so that a national DNA database can be created.” Together this pair has made many other monstrous “legalese” proposals including how an “Instant Run Off System” could “remedy the flaws” in America’s voting system; term-limiting Supreme Court Justices and improving the Presidential line of succession in the event of “election terrorism.” By no strange coincidence, the brainstormer of this end-run to trick the public and the Constitution by a minority of favorable state lawmakers, Vikram, also keeps busy writing frequent legal articles in defense of the constitutionality of ObamaCare! Need we wonder who is financing this scribe?
Conclusion: WAM has done the math and citizen action is urgent to stop this Compact! States where it has already passed add up to 171 Electoral Votes of the 270 required. 81 more Electoral Votes are at stake in states where NPV has passed 1 of the 2 needed chambers. Additionally, States where NPV is listed as currently active legislation hold more than 100 EV. There are under 100 total (electoral vote bearing states) more for this to be our law nationally – and there are way more than enough states with this in process to meet that end goal before 2012 Election!!! Shockingly, numerous Republican state officials have fallen for the popular vote strategy. Enough GOP have supported it, for NPV.com to brag this is a “bi-partisan” measure (along with bogus polls claiming how We the People want this!) Banners of progressive newspaper editorial endorsements are topped (of course) by the New York Times. Some GOP have co-sponsored this in their state. More have even voted for its passage! Whether these are ill-informed, popularity-seeking, bribed or just too dumb to do the math we can’t say. What we know is this probably means no more Republican presidents ever – and Obama back in 2012, if only by the tiniest of margins!Evidently, it’s going to take all of US to contact our own state assemblyman, state senator and governor to inform them of how destructive (and “progressive”) this national vote compact really is.Hmmmm..........“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” ~ Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776.Read and see the full story here.
- Rebels: Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam captured alive.(MSN).Slain dictator Moammar Gadhafi's influential son and heir-apparent, Saif al-Islam, has been captured alive and uninjured, rebel sources told NBC News on Saturday. Saif al-Islam and Moussa Ibrahim, the former spokesman for the Gadhafi's regime, were both captured in the Libyan city of Nessma, near Bani Walid, and were currently being transported to Misrata, rebel forces told NBC News.The collaring of Gadhafi's fugitive son and spokesman could not be immediately verified. Rebel forces have been incorrect in the past with their reporting of the conditions and whereabouts of Gadhafi's loyalists.Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, whose name means "Sword of Islam," was the most elusive of the late Libyan leader's eight offspring. He was wanted on war crimes charges but evaded a manhunt for months to remain the only leading family member still at large.Rebels credited the Osoud el Wadi brigade, which translates as "Lions of the Valley," with the latest roundup of Gadhafi arrests.Meantime, Gadhafi's body remained in Misrata, bearing wounds assumed to have been inflicted by fighters from the city who hauled him from a drain in his hometown Sirte.Gadhafi's family and international human rights groups have urged an inquiry into how Gadhafi, 69, was killed, since gory cellphone video footage showed him alive but being beaten and taunted by his captors. Controversy has surrounded the fate of Saif al-Islam, the most enigmatic of Gadhafi's children. He apparently turned within weeks from philanthropist and liberal reformer into a fighter ready to die on his home soil rather than surrender.A senior official of the National Transitional Council said on Friday that it was suspected that Saif al-Islam had fled south from the last Gadhafi stronghold of Sirte towards Libya's border with Niger, where another son has already taken refuge. Educated at the London School of Economics and a fluent English speaker, Saif al-Islam was once seen by many governments as the acceptable, Western-friendly face of Libya. But when a rebellion broke out in February against his father's 42-year rule, Saif al-Islam immediately chose family and clan loyalties over his many friendships in the West. "We fight here in Libya; we die here in Libya," he told Reuters TV in an interview early in the rebellion. Three of Gadhafi's sons have died on their home soil during the civil war. Gadhafi's four other children — three sons and a daughter — are scattered in exile in neighboring Algeria and Niger.Read the full story here.Related - How much damage could Saif still do to Britain: Why New Labour may not relish Gaddafi's son telling all in a war trial.Read the full story here.
- The Iraq War Ain’t Over, No Matter What Obama Says.(Wired).President Obama announced on Friday that all 41,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq will return home by December 31. “That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end,” he said. Don’t believe him. Now: it’s a big deal that all U.S. troops are coming home. For much of the year, the military, fearful of Iranian influence, has sought a residual presence in Iraq of several thousand troops. But arduous negotiations with the Iraqi government about keeping a residual force stalled over the Iraqis’ reluctance to provide them with legal immunity.But the fact is America’s military efforts in Iraq aren’t coming to an end. They are instead entering a new phase. On January 1, 2012, the State Department will command a hired army of about 5,500 security contractors, all to protect the largest U.S. diplomatic presence anywhere overseas.The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security does not have a promising record when it comes to managing its mercenaries. The 2007 Nisour Square shootings by State’s security contractors, in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed, marked one of the low points of the war. Now, State will be commanding a much larger security presence, the equivalent of a heavy combat brigade. In July, Danger Room exclusively reported that the Department blocked the Congressionally-appointed watchdog for Iraq from acquiring basic information about contractor security operations, such as the contractors’ rules of engagement.That means no one outside the State Department knows how its contractors will behave as they ferry over 10,000 U.S. State Department employees throughout Iraq — which, in case anyone has forgotten, is still a war zone. Since Iraq wouldn’t grant legal immunity to U.S. troops, it is unlikely to grant it to U.S. contractors, particularly in the heat and anger of an accident resulting in the loss of Iraqi life.It’s a situation with the potential for diplomatic disaster. And it’s being managed by an organization with no experience running the tight command structure that makes armies cohesive and effective.You can also expect that there will be a shadow presence by the CIA, and possibly the Joint Special Operations Command, to hunt persons affiliated with al-Qaida. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has conspicuously stated that al-Qaida still has 1,000 Iraqi adherents, which would make it the largest al-Qaida affiliate in the world.So far, there are three big security firms with lucrative contracts to protect U.S. diplomats. Triple Canopy, a longtime State guard company, has a contract worth up to $1.53 billion to keep diplos safe as they travel throughout Iraq. Global Strategies Group will guard the consulate at Basra for up to $401 million. SOC Incorporated will protect the mega-embassy in Baghdad for up to $974 million. State has yet to award contracts to guard consulates in multiethnic flashpoint cities Mosul and Kirkuk, as well as the outpost in placid Irbil.“We can have the kind of protection our diplomats need,” Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough told reporters after Obama’s announcement. Whether the Iraqi people will have protection from the contractors that the State Department commands is a different question. And whatever you call their operations, the Obama administration hopes that you won’t be so rude as to call it “war.”Read the full story here.
- Afghanistan to back Pakistan if wars with U.S.: Karzai.(Reuters).Afghanistan would support Pakistan in case of military conflict between Pakistan and the United States, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview to a private Pakistani TV channel broadcast on Saturday.The remarks were in sharp contrast to recent tension between the two neighbors over cross-border raids, and Afghan accusations that Pakistan was involved in killing the chief Afghan peace envoy, former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, by a suicide bomber on September 20."God forbid, If ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan," he said in the interview to Geo television."If Pakistan is attacked and if the people of Pakistan needs Afghanistan's help, Afghanistan will be there with you."Such a situation is extremely unlikely, however. Despite months of tension and tough talk between Washington and Islamabad, the two allies appear to be working to ease tension. In a two-day visit to Islamabad, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued stern warnings and asked for more cooperation in winding down the war in Afghanistan, but ruled out "boots on the ground" in North Waziristan, where Washington has been pushing Pakistan to tackle the Haqqani network.The Haqqani are a group of militants Washington has blamed for a series of attacks in Afghanistan, using sanctuaries in the Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border.Pakistan is seen as a critical to the U.S. drive to end the conflict in Afghanistan.Pressure on Islamabad has been mounting since U.S. special forces found and killed Osama bin Laden in May in a Pakistani garrison town, where he apparently had been living for years.The secret bin Laden raid was the biggest blow to U.S.-Pakistan relations since Islamabad joined the U.S. "war on terror" after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.Karzai said tensions between the United States and Pakistan did not have any impact in his country's attitude toward Pakistan.The TV channel, Geo, did not say when the interview was conducted.Afghans have long been suspicious of Pakistan's intentions in their country and question its promise to help bring peace. Karzai repeated that concern in his remarks."Please brother, stop using all methods that hurt us and that are now hurting you."Let's engage from a different platform, a platform in which the two brothers only progress toward a better future in peace and harmony," he said.Following the death of Rabbani, Karzai said he would cease attempting to reach out to the Afghan Taliban and instead negotiate directly with Pakistan, saying its military and intelligence services could influence the militants to make peace.Hmmm......Don't you love our 'allies'?Read the full story here.
- Islam and Islamists.(DocsTalk).The term "Islamist" is in common use to refer to Muslim individuals and organizations that adhere to Islamic law's political aspects (most notably its denial of any legitimacy of a separation between religion and the state) and consequently most fiercely oppose America, Israel and the West in general. The implication is that Islam itself, in its authentic form, has no requisite political aspect, and no incompatibility with Western values or democratic government.The problem with this is that it is a Western, artificial distinction, imposed by non-Muslims upon the Islamic world and lacking any real substance with reference to Islamic law as it has always been formulated by the Sunni and Shi'ite madhahib (schools of jurisprudence). Islam has always been political, and the union of religion and the state has always been essential to its political program; the idea that all this can and should be separated from Islam proper is the wishful thinking of Western analysts who do not wish to face the implications of the fact that these ideas represent mainstream Islamic thinking.In line with this, I recently received this email from a Jihad Watch reader in Canada:
A conversation with several friends on Facebook erupted into something quite extraordinary. An 18 year old Muslim student, from Western University and born in Mississauga had this to say about the distinction between Islam and Islamism:"case and point on why you dont understand Islam. No one makes this distinction [between Islam and Islamism] other then the Western world, for the sake of having a tidy little system to classify everything. Our religion and political ideology are one. Furthermore, I really wouldnt use the term islamist or Islamism. Many muslims, including myself, find the term deeply offensive."In other words, IN CANADA, there is an entire generation of Muslims who openly subscribe to 'Islamism' as indistinguishable from Islam.Hmmm....Seems like there is no 'light' version of Islam.Read the full story here.
- Canada - Police uniforms include the hijab.(TorontoSun).Whether it’s worn by a police officer, hockey player, usher, or soldier, surely the ostensible reason for donning a uniform is to have, well, uniformity.But things are changing in regard to uniforms at that ever-sensitive “service” formerly known as the Toronto police force.Indeed, the police have announced they’re going to accommodate Muslim policewomen who want to wear the hijab on duty.Some might hail such a move as another shining example of “reasonable accommodation”; others — count me among them — look upon this directive as another assault against Canadian traditions.Yet again, a public institution appears to be bowing to the tyranny of political correctness — bending over backwards to accommodate certain individuals, some of whom are quite unaccommodating of western values.The question arises: What’s driving this directive? Why is it important for the police to have hijab-wearing policewomen in the first place?Contrary to widespread popular belief, the Qur’an doesn’t mandate Muslim women to wear the hijab.In this regard, the apparel accommodation isn’t the same as allowing a Sikh to wear a turban.(I’d also argue there’s an historical reason for permitting Sikhs to wear turbans, given that Sikh military brigades have long been an integral part of the British Empire.) If anything, the hijab is a political statement and a symbol of fundamentalism.In some cases, a woman wearing such a headscarf is being pressured by her family to do so (case in point, the dearly departed Aqsa Parvez.) Either way, seeing such a garment as part of a police uniform is odd. Imagine if a citizen was to call the cops regarding a suspected honour killing in the neighbourhood and the policewoman who responds is decked out in a hijab? Would this not be unsettling?Also, the police have surely put themselves in a sticky situation regarding haberdashery accommodation.For example, if a female police officer demands that she be allowed to wear a niqab or a burqa, how could such a request possibly be denied, given the precedent that’s been set with the hijab?Indeed, just how far do we take reasonable accommodation in the police department?Do Muslim police officers reserve the right not to work with the Canine Unit, given that many Muslims consider dogs “unclean”?Will ham sandwiches be banned from police stations due to dietary restrictions?As well, is there not a profound double-standard at play here?Read the full story here.
- Canada: Controversial Muslim Conference to go Ahead in Mississauga.(Vinienco).The conference Calling the World Back to Allah, which has raised so much dust throughout the GTA over the last few weeks after being linked to allegations of anti-Semitic and anti-gay remarks, will indeed go ahead over the weekend.The event will now be held at ISNA Canada (Islamic Society of North America, Canada), at its Mississauga headquarters.ISNA staff confirmed that the conference is now scheduled to take place on its premises this Sunday, Oct 23.But at the same time, they also sought to distance themselves from the event. “ISNA is not organizing the conference, all we’re doing is providing a venue for the event,” was the response to a Focus query.The full-day conference is part of the Canada Launch Tour of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), a British organization seeking to establish a presence in Toronto and Montreal.The conference in Toronto was earlier scheduled to be held at the Sheraton Centre, but appeared to have been effectively nixed after allegations emerged that speakers at the conference had made disparaging remarks about gays and Jews.Another conference had been scheduled for Montreal late this week, at Concordia University, but appeared to have been cancelled, as at the time of filing this report.In a sidelight to unfolding events, various faith groups representing different denominations plan to demonstrate outside ISNA headquarters in Mississauga against the holding of the conference.“The Canadian Hindu Advocacy, along with a multifaith coalition, will be joining the Jewish Defence League of Canada on Sunday 3-5pm to protest outside Islamic Society of North America in Mississauga,” Ron Banerjee of the Canadian Hindu Advocacy said in a statement.An official release listed the names of several faith groups — including Pakistani Christians, Egyptian Copts, other Hindu organizations as well as Sikhs — as forming part of the demonstrators.While the conference has raised such deep passions within various communities — as well as South Asians — due to its speakers having allegedly expressed both anti-gay and anti-Semitic sentiments, Banerjee sought to make a distinction on Hindus’ stance regarding gays.“I’m not a priest, but I’d say the difference really is between expressing disapproval of gays versus inciting actual violence against them,” he said.Banerjee added the Hindu religion itself has historically been slightly more tolerant of gays.Meanwhile, media reports also say the advocacy Banerjee heads often opposes Islam and Sikhism. During a speech at a 2010 rally for right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Banerjee reportedly said Islam is less a religion than an ideology.Banerjee also has his detractors within Hinduism, the faith he purports to represent.For instance the Hindu Federation, headed by Roopnauth Sharma, recently said that “self-proclaimed representatives” of the community do not speak for more than 80 per cent of the Hindus in Ontario.The federation is a coalition of at least 14 GTA area temples.Read the full story here.
- Turkey’s hidden love affair for Sharia.(WashingtonTimes). SuzanneFields.Erdogan pivots from secular West to Islamist East.A young American man with black hair and dark brown eyes checked into a small hotel in Capadaccio, where visitors to Turkey flock to see the famous lava formations carved into the landscape.“Are you Muslim?” the clerk asked, acknowledging his Semitic features.“No, I’m Jewish,” the young man replied, smiling and assuming the question was asked in good faith and good humor.“Oh, the clerk replied, disappointment in his voice. “This is not a good time for Jews in Turkey.”A general observation rather than a personal one, but it was true enough. This is not a good time for Jews in Turkey. The bond between Israel and Turkey, once strong, is now frayed and weak. The closeness of the two modern countries was forged in their dedication to democratic secularism, with strong trade, military ties and unifying attitudes toward economic growth binding them together. Turkey was the first country with a Muslim majority to recognize the state of Israel.Western dress is associated with Western ideas, and the ideas - but not the dress - seem to be disappearing. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has turned away sharply from the West.Israel is the canary in the coal mine, the first to breathe the toxic fumes of political change as the Turks seek to win Islamist friends. The government expelled the Israeli ambassador and cut military ties with Israel after the Israelis refused to apologize for the deaths of nine Turkish “activists” on a ship in a Turkish-based flotilla attempting to break the Israeli embargo to Gaza. Israel has expressed “regret for the loss of life,” and a United Nations investigation concluded that the Israeli blockade was legal and the Israeli commandos acted only in the face of “organized and violent resistance.”The Turkish reaction sounds like a ploy to signal Islamists that Turkey is on their side. “While diplomats and generals too often ascribe tensions between Turkey and the West to a reaction to the Iraq War,” says Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, “or disappointment with the slow pace of the European Union-accession process, or anger at the death of nine Turks killed in a clash with Israeli forces aboard the blockade-challenging Mavi Marmara, in reality Turkey’s break from the West was the result of a deliberate and steady strategy initiated by Mr. Erdogan upon assuming the reins of government.” Mr. Erdogan emphasized his secularism initially and Western officials, eager to believe him, ignored his record and his party’s ties to Islamist ideology.“Thank God Almighty,” said Mr. Erdogan in 1994, when he was the mayor of Istanbul. “I am a servant of Shariah.” His favorite newspaper, an anti-Western daily, espouses “neo-Ottomism,” celebrating Turkey’s imperial past in contrast to Attaturk’s modernism. Many in the West hailed his reduction of the army, but he destroyed the check-and-balance role of the military without putting a civilian alternative in its place. The prime minister has locked up without charges secular officers, journalists and opposition leaders.Western governments presumed that Turkey allowed NATO to build a radar station on its soil to monitor a nuclear threat from Iran, but on a recent trip to Africa, Mr. Erdogan made a point of saying that the real nuclear threat is from Israel. He dallied on imposing sanctions against Syrian repression and now says the United Nations should sanction Israel.When a young populist politician in 1999, Mr. Erdogan ran afoul of Turkey’s constitutionally mandated secularism and was imprisoned for reciting a poem expressing militant Islam: “Minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks, and the believers our army.” Many Turks, who have learned that keeping a low profile is the better part of survival, fear Mr. Erdogan was not merely reciting poesy, but speaking his mind and biding his time.Hmmm......What's the 'hidden' link between Erdogan and Obama you may ask?Read the full story here.
- How much has Israel's safety deteriorated under Obama's presidency?(PajamasMedia).By BarryRubin.Remember a peculiar fact: even though Gaddafi was generally a horribly repressive anti-American dictator, in his final years he tried making a deal with the Americans. Gaddafi was frightened by the U.S. attack on Iraq in 2003 and didn’t want to be next on the list. So he cooperated, gave up his nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction programs, and reduced his foreign subversive efforts.That did not save him from being overthrown by the United States, just as it did not save a genuine American ally, President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. On this point, I’m not advocating anything about what the United States should have done in Libya but just observing how it will be received in the region.Bashing the West in the current era brings little cost. Here’s a partial list:
Egypt: Obama courts Muslim Brotherhood and is indifferent to anti-Americanism of the newly empowered political forces
Gaza Strip: Terrorist Hamas gets Western support to stay in power, including bashing of Israel’s military operation and pressure on Israel to minimize sanctions.
Lebanon: No opposition to Syria-Iran sponsored forces and Hizballah; readiness to deal with the government they now control; no enforcement of 2006 UN resolution to stop arms smuggling and Hizballah’s return to the south. Incidentally, on the same day Gaddafi dies the first Hizballah delegation is officially received in Moscow.
Palestinian Authority: Refuses negotiations with Israel; refuses compromise; ignores U.S. requests but gets rewarded by the whole world while its enemy Israel is reviled.
Syria: Courted by the Obama administration; protected at the UN by a Russia-China veto, facing only very limited pressure despite massive repression.
Turkey: No punishment for regime’s sabotage of 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, sabotage of sanctions on Iran, alliance with radical Islamist forces. In fact, Obama administration rewards.
In contrast, allies — Bahrain, Mubarak’s Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the moderate oppositions in Iran, Lebanon, and Turkey — are not helped or are even punished by the West and especially the U.S. government.
Thus, the region will note that when Gaddafi was a leading sponsor of terrorism, subversion, and anti-Americanism, he got away with it. When he was on “good terms” with the United States, he lost power. That might not be fair, but it seems to make sense in terms of Middle Eastern political philosophy.Hmmm.......Indeed...."I will stand with my Muslim Brothers".Read the full story here.
- Turkish Piri Reis exploring for oil and gas in Cypriot waters.(CM). Navies from at least three countries are converging on the eastern Mediterranean in the vicinity of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), according to reports yesterday, as Turkey continued talking tough and asserting its geo-strategic interests in the region.The Jerusalem Post said Turkey has deployed gunboats and helicopters to escort its research vessel, the Piri Reis, as it explores for gas and oil. According to the paper, the United States has discreetly dispatched an aircraft, and Russian naval vessels have been seen patrolling.The same report said US reconnaissance planes have circled the Piri Reis on at least two occasions, and on another occasion low-flying Israeli fighter jets and choppers “harassed” a Turkish ship.Local media meanwhile said a French corvette was expected to arrive in waters southwest of Cyprus’ Block 12 gas prospect and would be patrolling the area for a month. Other reports insisted a Russian submarine is already patrolling the same waters, while a Russian “armada,” or an aircraft carrier, is set to arrive sometime in the next few weeks.The Piri Reis was said to be operating within Block 12 in relative proximity to the Homer Ferrington rig, located some 160 km off the coast. Vessel-tracking website marinetraffic.com likewise placed the Turkish ship there.Turkey’s Institute of Marine Science and Technology, which owns and operates the vessel, said the Piri Reis would remain in the area for a week more.Turkey disputes Cypriot and Israeli offshore territorial claims and says Cyprus should not exploit resources until it resolves a standoff with its breakaway Turkish-speaking north.Energy reserves in the Mediterranean have further raised the stakes in existing political disputes in the region.Dependence on imported energy has helped push Turkey’s current account deficit to about 10 per cent of gross domestic product this year.The US Geological survey estimates that the Levant Basin, a triangular slice of the Mediterranean lying between Cyprus and Israel, may hold 122 trillion cubic feet of gas. That's more than the 86.2 trillion cubic feet held by all EU countries combined, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.Speaking on Turkish television channel Kanal 7, Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis called Greek Cypriots the “Trojan Horse of Israel”.Bagis reiterated that Cypriot drilling was a “provocation” to Ankara, adding: “They are drilling holes in the Mediterranean … as if the natural resources around the island are a fizzy drink. It’s not as if the gas is going anywhere.”And Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu again stressed the Turkish side would press ahead with explorations as long as Greek Cypriots continued doing so.“As you know, we have rights in these territories, we also have rights in the undersea resources,” Eroglu told reporters.Responding to Bagis’ comments, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis said gung-ho statements like these show that Turkey not adhere to international rules. “It is the EU candidate who must adapt to the bloc, and not vice versa,” said Marcoullis. “It seems they have not understood this basic fact which governs the relations of all candidate countries.”She confirmed that the government has made representations to the United Nations Security Council over the Piri Reis’ forays into Cypriot waters.Hmmm.....I'm Obama's best buddy i can bully the whole world....It's mine....All mine?Read the full story here.
- Vice Premier Ya'alon: 'Additional construction freeze would be ethnic cleansing'.(JPost).By Gil Hoffman.Vice Premier Ya'alon responds to reports that Netanyahu willing to partially freeze settlement construction if Abbas resumes direct talks: "Islamic fundamentalism, not settlements, cause of ME instability."Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon came out fiercely against a reported proposal for an Israeli construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria Saturday night, calling the prohibition of Jewish building “ethnic cleansing.”Speaking to a packed audience at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue, Ya’alon referred indirectly to a Haaretz report that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is willing to freeze all construction on government land in West Bank settlements if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas resumes direct diplomatic negotiations. The demand for territory without Jews anywhere else would be called ethnic cleansing,” Ya’alon said. “We cannot accept a demand for ethnic cleansing in the land of Israel.”Ya’alon said that Israel was under pressure from people who incorrectly believe the cause of the Middle East conflict is the building of homes in Judea and Samaria. He denounced that theory as “a corrupt way of thinking” and explained why the true cause of Middle East instability was the Islamic fundamentalism emanating from Iran.The vice premier expressed confidence that an International Atomic Energy Association report set to be released on November 7 would expose to any remaining skeptics in the international community the military intentions of Iran’s nuclear program. He said he hoped sanctions on Iran could then be tightened.Ya’alon called the Arab Spring “a regional earthquake” that exposed young Muslims to Western ideals such as human rights, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and “the sanctity of life as opposed to the sanctity of death.”But he said he was not encouraged by radical elements apparently gaining the upper hand in Egypt and Tunisia, al-Qaida infiltrating Libya and Iran attempting to export its Islamic fundamentalism throughout the Arab world.He made a point of not explaining his vote against the Gilad Schalit deal beyond what he had said before about his heart saying yes and his head saying no.“We should be happy about the reunification of Schalit’s family but prepared to deal with the consequences for the future as a government and a society,” he said.Read the full story here.
- Stabbing attack in Jerusalem;17.year old youth severely wouned.(YNet).Police and army forces continued to search for a suspect who stabbed a Jewish youth at the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot on Saturday. The police believe that the attack, which left the victim, 17-year-old Yehuda Ne'emad, with serious injures, was nationalistically motivated.IDF troops were stationed at the entrance to Kfar Iksa, a nearby Palestinian village, and a police helicopter hovered above the region for hours in an attempt to locate the attacker. Large police forces from the Jerusalem District scoured the area as well in coordination with the IDF.The forces arrived at Kfar Iksa, which is located west of Jerusalem, and searched the homes in the village, where the suspect is believed to be hiding. A joint army and police operations center was set up on the outskirts of the village to coordinate the manhunt.Defense establishment officials estimate that the terrorist exploited the fact that the separation fence, which divides Israeli and Palestinian territories, does not extend to Kfar Iksa, which is located less than half a kilometer from Ramot. The attacker could have slipped in and out of the neighborhood unimpeded.Earlier, forensic experts scoured the crime scene for evidence. Dozens of curious onlookers gathered at the site. "We are currently conducting an investigation and checking all possible leads," Police Commander Haim Blumenfeld said. "We have evidence from the scene, and at the moment the primary lead focuses on a nationalistic motive."Magen David Adom emergency services said that the teen was stabbed twice, in the abdomen and in the back. He was rushed to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem in serious condition. The patient underwent a surgery and hospital officials said later that his condition had improved. His state was defined as moderate, and he appears to be out of immediate danger. Waiting outside the operating room, the Ne'emad's father told Ynet that he was informed of the attack by his younger son. "It is a great scare, and we are trying to deal with it," he said. "We are mostly busy with praying for him right now.""We won't stop living here, it could have happened anywhere and no one is immune," the victim's mother said. "I never thought that it's dangerous to let my kid go out on the street."According to an initial inquiry, the police and MDA received a call about a stabbing victim around 4 pm. Eyewitnesses told Ynet that the attacker came up to Ne'emad, who was walking down a street with his friend, and stabbed him without any provocation. A local doctor who rushed to aid the victim said that "the attacker began to chase a 12-year-old girl, but fortunately he failed to catch her." When onlookers began to gather on the scene, the perpetrator escaped.The second teen's mother said that Ne'emad attempted to fight the attacker after being stabbed for the first time. The attacker tried to chase her son as well, but the latter managed to evade him. The attacker then returned and tried to stab Ne'emad again.Security forces and medical teams were dispatched to the scene immediately, where they discovered the youth, bleeding from multiple stab wounds. Eliezer Asulin, the first MDA paramedic on the scene, told Ynet: "We arrived at the site and found a young man lying on the floor and suffering from stab wounds in his abdomen and back. "He lost a considerable amount of blood and his condition began deteriorating as we were treating him. We evacuated him as soon as possible."A local resident said that many Palestinians from Beit Iksa frequent the Ramot neighborhood. He added that while the area hasn't seen hostile incidents lately, the Palestinians "often taunt us and the young women who pass by."Read the full story here.Related - 'I thought I was going to die'.Read the full story here.
- Dit Tehran Acknowledge Responsibility For Plot In Washington?(Vinienco)By Hadi Norouz.Tehran was taken aback to see the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington was foiled, and that all fingers were immediately pointed at the mullahs for being behind the scheme. They certainly hadn’t prepared for the possibility that the United States would lose no time to unravel the plot and Iran’s connection to it.The mullahs did try hard to cover up the matter and their direct involvement in the assassination plot, but they were not successful. Instead, rather embarrassing for Tehran and its lobbies, it was soon found that the very high ranking Iranian authorities had spoken about the plot in the open and admitted planning of the event both before and after it was foiled.Mohammad Karim Ebadi, a member of the Iranian Parliament (also member of the Security and Foreign Affairs committee), spoke about the plot just before it was revealed by the US.Speaking on October 11th, only a few hours before the plot was unraveled by the US government, Ebadi said: “Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran has agents inside the Israeli capital, Tel aviv, who are ready to carry out their assigned missions when time comes.”Speaking with the Iranian news agency, Ebadi said the Iranian Information system is very strong and well equipped and stressed: “We have agents infiltrated in Tel aviv as well as in every other part of the occupied Qods. Our agents are from among muslem, christian and jewish communities. They are ready and waiting to carry out their missions when it becomes necessary.”To make the matter even clearer, another Iranian high level authority spoke about Iran’s intentions on October 15th. Mehdi Taeb, Commander of the Ommar Military Base, said:“ Should it be needed, we are strong enough to kill King Abdollah himself. So what is the need to try and kill a low ranking person.”The terrorist threats made by the Tehran authorities are far more numerous if they are looked for. Tavakoli, another member of the Iranian parliament, was quoted on the Iranian website “Alef”, when he threatened the Saudi government: “I hope the day does not come, but should it be necessary to answer all the treasons and treacheries committed by the Saudi family against the Iranian nation, the Iranian armed forces will ensure that the sacred land of Hejaz will get rid of the dirty name of the Saudi family.”The fact is that Tehran’s terrorist activities are constantly spoken about by all levels of the regime’s hierarchy and with all such remarks, the mullahs lobbies in the U.S. and Europe have a difficult task to achieve in their attempt to deny all allegations against the mullahs.To complete the picture of the mullahs in Iran, one might look at how Khomeini stressed in his own will that “he would never forgive the crimes of the Saudis who are worse than the Americans.”Read the full story here.
- Iran’s Ahmadinejad condemns Syria for ‘killings and massacre’.(AlArabiya).President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned the “killings and massacre” in Syria in an interview with CNN, in Iran’s strongest criticism yet of its key ally’s deadly seven-month-old crackdown on dissent.“We condemn killings and massacre in Syria, whether it is security forces being killed or people and the opposition,” Ahmadinejad said, according to excerpts of the interview reported in Farsi by the website of Iran’s state broadcaster on Saturday.“We have a clear formula for Syria and that is for all sides to sit together and reach an understanding... therefore these killings cannot solve any problems and in the long term it will lead to a deadlock,” he added.Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Iran in mid-September “not to spoil” the Syrian leadership.“I cannot say there has been tension with Iran but we warned them (the Iranians) that ‘the Assad administration is getting spoiled with your encouragement,’” Erdogan said.Tehran has made maintaining good relations with Ankara a priority in recent years, and has considered Turkey an ally for its refusal to implement Western sanctions imposed over its controversial nuclear program.But in recent months Tehran has criticized Ankara over its agreement to host an early-warning radar as part of NATO’s missile defense system. Tehran says the system is aimed at protecting Iran’s arch-foe Israel.The European Union has accused Iran of assisting Syria in its crackdown on anti-government protests, a charge Tehran has rejected as “baseless.”In late August, the EU named the al-Quds force, the covert operations arm of the elite Revolutionary Guards, on a new list of those under sanctions for their suspected role in quelling the protests.The European Union accused the force of providing “technical assistance, equipment and support to the Syrian security services to repress civilian protest movements.”Ahmadinejad’s statements are the first to go against the official policy towards the Syrian uprising set by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Khamenei has called the upheaval in Syria a “fake revolution” fabricated by the U.S. and Zionists.Ahmadinejad has in recent months been battling constant criticism from hard-line conservatives accusing him of being in the thrall of “deviant” advisers who want to undermine the role of the Islamic clergy, including the office of supreme leader.His latest comments on Syria can be viewed as the widening of the rift between himself and the supreme leader which has now spilling over onto Iranian foreign policy. Iran on Friday hailed the killing of long-time ally and former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in the capture of his hometown Sirte and said it hoped his death would spell a swift end to NATO's military intervention. Iran once enjoyed strong relations with Qaddafi, who broke rank with Arab states to support the Islamic Republic in its war against Iraq in the 1980s.“The inevitable fate of all dictators and oppressors who do not respect the rights of their people is destruction,” the official IRNA news agency quoted foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying.Hmmmm......Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty. ~ Plato.Read the full story here.
- Jordan’s Islamists snub new government.(AlArabiya).Jordan’s powerful Islamist opposition said on Saturday it would not join the reform-mandated government of prime minister-designate Awn Khasawneh, a decision reflecting its “pessimism.”“The executive offices of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Action Front (IAF) decided, after a joint meeting, to refuse to participate in the government,” read a statement on the Brotherhood’s website.“Pessimism replaced our original satisfaction because, according to leaks, it seems the new government will resemble its predecessors,” it said.“The delegation appointed to negotiate with Mr Khasawneh will submit to the prime minister-designate a list of the Islamist movement’s demands,” the statement added without elaborating.The state-run Petra news agency later said “the prime minister received on Saturday evening a delegation of the Islamist movement which expressed its refusal to take part in the (next) government.”The king last week dismissed the government of prime minister Maaruf Bakhit and replaced him with Khasawneh, an International Court of Justice judge, instructing him to focus on political reform in Jordan.Khasawneh is expected to announce his government on Monday, according to officials.Since January, Jordan has faced protests demanding political and economic reforms and an end to corruption.Read the full story here.
- 70m Arabs live under poverty line.(Emirates24/7).The Arab world’s population stood at around 351 million at the end of 2010 and nearly 70 million of them live under poverty line in the absence of sufficient growth in the local economy, a Saudi prince has said.As the region lacks what are termed as “banks for the poor”, only around three million of those people benefit from existing financial services in most member states, said Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, chairman of the Riyadh-based Arab Gulf Program For The United Nations Development (AGFUND), “The latest estimates show that the combined population of the 22 Arab countries stood at around 351 million at the end of 2010,” he told Saudi newspapers.“Around 19.7 per cent of them, or nearly 70 million, live under poverty line….about 35 million of those people are qualified for financial services (bank loans and other facilities) but only three million can get them.”Prince Talal, the father of well-known Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed, estimated domestic personal demand for credit in the Arab region at $18-27 billion a year but he said only around $1.5-2 billion is utilized.“What we need now is to introduce small sized loans to support the poor through special banks for the poor…these types of loans are now one of the most effective and successful solutions to tackle poverty,” he said.“The Arab region does not have sufficient number of banks and other financial establishments….more such units are needed to be set up.”According to the Cairo-based Arab League, many regional nations are suffering from poverty because of a rapid population rise and slow economic growth due to poor investment, low exports, flawed economic policies and other factors.In 2009, the poverty rate was above 30 per cent of the total population in such countries as Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, Yemen, Palestine and Comoros. The rate averaged around 19.6 per cent in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco and Algeria.Besides those factors, many Arab economies have remained dormant because of conflicts and high defence spending, which was at the expense of development expenditure, the League said in a recent report.Its figures showed defence and security allocation in all nations have averaged as high as 28 per cent of the current expenditure over the past eight years while economic affairs allocations have not exceeded eight per cent.“Latest indications point to a decline in poverty rates in some Arab countries but an increase in others…despite the decline in those members, the poverty rates are still considered very high,” the report said.“Poverty in the Arab countries is closely linked to economic growth rates and developments in wealth distribution…economic growth alone is not enough to reduce poverty as wealth re-distribution could not be to the advantage of the poor…Arab states should focus on even and fair distribution of wealth.”Hmmmmm........How much revenue do they have from Oil?Read the full story here.
- History of Saudi-Iranian Frictions.(CrossRoadsArabia).By Adel Al Toraifi.On 5 June, 1984, two Iranian fighter jets violated Saudi airspace. This was not the first time that the Islamic regime in Iran had sought to threaten Saudi Arabia by illegally infiltrating its airspace. Saudi Arabia later sent personal messages to Imam Khomeini and then President Ali Khamenei via Syrian mediators, informing them that Saudi Arabia would not remain silent in the face of these provocations.At that time, the Gulf was witnessing what came to be known as the “Tanker War”, with Iraq and Iran attacking each other’s oil tankers, with Saudi and Kuwaiti oil tankers also being affected by this. As a result, King Fahd – God rest his soul – issued an order to confront Iranian fighter jets [infiltrating Saudi airspace]. Saudi Arabia was able to shoot down one Iranian fighter jet, although another account reports that two planes were actually shot down. Tehran was enraged and dispatched more than a squadron of fighter jets to illegally enter Saudi airspace. Saudi Arabia responded by deploying two aircraft squadrons [to defend Saudi airspace] and thanks to the capabilities of Saudi Arabia’s air force – being equipped with Airborne Early Warning and Control system [AWACS] – Saudi Arabia was able to force Tehran to retreat. Furthermore, for a period of time Iranian aircraft was unable, for some time, to even cross outside of Iranian airspace. former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam reveals the details of two interviews he conducted in this regard; one with then Iranian President Ali Khamenei; and the second with the Saudi side, within the framework of his unsuccessful attempt to mediate between the two countries.Khamenei said: "Saudi Arabia carried out this act, that is to say attacking Iranian aircraft, more than ten times. Only once was it successful and able to shoot down one of our planes. Saudi Arabia is not a superpower, and we are saying that it is not even a power.”Henner Fertig (2002) and others who wrote about this period say that the policy of “mutual deterrence” that Saudi Arabia was pursuing with regards to Iranian harassment had a huge impact on Iran backing down and changing its previous behaviour. Saudi Arabia's decisive reaction to Iran's acts of sabotage during the 1987 hajj pilgrimage represented an effective deterrence to Iran’s transgressions, because the Iranians realized that the strong Saudi reaction would not be a justification in the eyes of Iranian public opinion if Tehran failed to respond, as it would reveal the weakness of the Iranian regime.Some contend that Iran does not believe any foreign power is capable of invading it. Hence, it is reassured that the worst others could do is impose extra sanctions to exhaust the domestic budget rather than try and change the regime. In spite of all this, the anti-regime protests staged in 2009 in the wake of the Iranian Presidential elections revealed the fragility of the Iranian regime from within. Those who are skeptical about the account of the attempted assassination of the Saudi Ambassador must realize that Iran could be – as some writers have indicated – feeling a real threat to its interests, especially if its Syrian ally collapses. Iran’s latest attempt might reflect the fact that it is running out of options and strategic cards, the last of which was its tampering with the issue of Shiite minorities in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Iran's threats have reached the extent whereby an Iranian MP, Kareem Abadi, stated that Iran has the power to occupy Saudi Arabia. Yet this is nowhere near the actual military capabilities of Iran. We must recall that the state of confidence which the Iranian regime portrays and wants others to feel is nothing but a smokescreen to hide a disappointing economic and military reality. A Gulf official once said to me: "We have tried engaging in dialogue with the ruling regime in Iran several times and directly conveyed our threats to them. Unfortunately, they only understand the language of force." A former Iranian official told me that Supreme Guide of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had once said in a private meeting with Iranian officials: "The Bedouin Sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf are nothing but "Nomads" – as the Holy Quran says – who understand nothing except the language of force."Indeed, a misunderstanding exists between both sides. But the unalterable truth for any scholar of the revolutionary regime in Iran is that it is a regime concerned with staying in power first and foremost; a regime that steps back whenever it feels seriously threatened. In his article titled "Who Wants to Assassinate Saudi Arabia's Ambassador" Ata'ollah Mohajerani is correct when he says: "If we acknowledge for the sake of argument that a group affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard Corps aims to start a new war in our region, it is them who should be held accountable and pay the price, not the people of the region."Read the full story here.