Wednesday, November 2, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation updated: Indonesia 5.4 and 5.2 !More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Breaking News - Two boats with 'people' from 5 countries (Including U.S.)have set sail to Gaza.The Canadian ship Tahrir and the Irish ship Saoirse have successfully reached international waters, initiating the “Freedom Wave to Gaza.” The boats have embarked from Turkey and are on the Mediterranean Sea. In all, the 2 boats carry 27 passengers from Canada, Ireland, U.S., Palestine, and Australia.Kit Kittredge on board the Tahrir was previously a passenger on the American ship, The Audacity of Hope, which attempted passage to Gaza last July. Kittredge says, “ The only obstacles in our way are Israel’s military and the complicity of the Obama administration but in our sails is the wind of worldwide public opinion which has turned against the illegal blockade.”Ann Wright retired US army Colonel and former US Diplomat says, “We carry inspiration from the Arab Spring and the worldwide “Occupy” movements that are demanding freedom and justice. Where governments fail, civil society must act. As Americans we are fed up with our government’s unquestioning support of Israel no matter how violent, illegal and oppressive its actions. We will not stand by and watch $30 billion of our tax money committed to buying Israel weaponry used to carry out this illegal occupation of Palestine including the blockade of Gaza.”Jane Hirschmann added, “Our sailing coincides with UN agency UNESCO’s recognition of Palestine as a member state, defying US threats to cut off $80 million of US funding in retaliation. This shows the growing strength of opposition by the international community to U.S. and Israeli policies in Palestine. We call on the international community to go further and take effective action to lift the siege of Gaza. Hirschmann was one of the organizers this past summer of the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope which is still captive in Greece.Hmmm.....Lets hope the autorities in Greece or Cyprus give them a prolonged stay.Read the full story here.More here.HT: IsraelMatzav.
- Rep. Schweikert to Obama: Stop buying your own books with taxpayer money, please.(HotAir).According to various reports last week, the State Department spent $70,000 on copies of Barack Obama’s three lauded literary masterpieces (Dreams from My Father, The Audacity of Hope and Of Thee I Sing) to stock library shelves or to pass out as Christmas presents from U.S. embassies. The administration claims the book distribution helps to “broker talks on important foreign policy matters.” That especially makes sense as a defense of Of Thee I Sing, which just happens to be a children’s book (although, to be fair, royalties on that book go to charity).Supposedly, the White House had no knowledge of the State Department decision to spend taxpayer dollars on purchases that personally benefit Obama. (As one writer put it, “You pay … Obama reaps the royalties.“) Sheesh, not a lot of communication goes on in the Obama administration, does it?But Obama can’t claim to be ignorant now — unless he, like his AG Eric Holder, doesn’t read his own correspondence. Republican Rep. Dave Schweikert of Arizona yesterday sent a letter to the president to tell him to knock it off. Wrote Schweikert: At a time of record deficits and a heightened need to cut government spending, it is clear that spending taxpayer money in this manner is inappropriate.Furthermore, as with any book deal, there is no doubt some level of royalties paid to you for each copy purchased by the government. Receiving royalties from government purchases of your book is exactly the type of out-of-touch Washington behavior that the American people are weary of and will no longer tolerate.We request that you instruct all agencies to no longer purchase copies of your books and remit a payment to the Treasury Department for any royalties received as a result of these sales.Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story: (1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget, (2) At best, Obama probably received something like $6,000 in royalties from taxpayer-funded purchases and (3) The more people read Dreams from my Father, the more they’re exposed to the roots of Obama’s rage.Still, the reason to be worked up trumps them: As American Values president Gary Bauer put it, it’s a prime example of ethics blindness. In other words, it’s the principle of the matter. The administration has violated it — and Schweikert seeks to uphold it. Thank you, Rep. Schweikert.Read the full story here.
- Straight from the 'Emperors voice'.(Politico).Here’s what you need to know from Tuesday’s White House briefing with press secretary Jay Carney:
•Carney deflected a question on whether the White House is angry over the bonuses given to top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “The White House does not have a role for assigning pay in this independent agency,” he said.
•Carney had no “specific agenda” to detail when asked about President Obama’s meeting today with House Democratic leaders. He mentioned jobs and ways in which the “House can be compelled” to take action.
•On executive orders and jobs, Carney said of Obama’s strategy, “I can assure you he would like nothing more than to be deprived of the opportunity to run against a do-nothing Congress.”Read the full story here.
- Fresh Record High for U.S. Food-Stamp Use; 45.8 Million.(Bloomberg).The number of Americans receiving food stamps reached a record 45.8 million in August, the government said.The figure was 1.1 percent higher than the previous month and 8.1 percent more than a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report on its website. Assistance rolls are increasing as joblessness remains at 9.1 percent of the workforce.Texas had the most food-stamp recipients in August, at 4.12 million, followed by California with 3.82 million, according to the USDA. Spending was a record $6.13 billion.The number of Americans receiving food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has set records every month but one since December 2008.Read the full story here.
- Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Show Me The Original; Not The 3 Different Versions The White House Released.(BR).Sheriff Joe Arpaio came up with the idea to demand the original microfilm of Obama's birth certificate after he saw evidence from his Cold Case Posse in Maricopa County, Ariz., that the White House apparently released to the public three different versions of the long-form birth certificate."Show me the microfilm, not the copies the White House released," Arpaio has insisted.What the White House released on April 27 were not original documents but purportedly scans of original birth documents that remain in the Hawaii Department of Health vault.WND reported yesterday that in 1966, the Hawaii Depatment of Health provided microfilm copies to Mrs. Eleanor Nordyke of the birth certificates for her twins, born the day after Obama in the same hospital."Obama's birth certificate is either on that microfilm roll along with the Nordyke twins' birth certificate, or it's not," Arpaio said.Sources close to the sheriff's law enforcement investigation explained to WND that Arpaio had come up with a solution to end almost immediately a controversy over the Obama birth certificate that has continued since 2008."If the microfilm exists, show us the reel. That's the best evidence the document existed in 1961, not the three different versions the White House released on April 27."The White House released three versions of Obama's long-form birth certificate, each one of which appears fundamentally different from the other two.If the long-form birth certificate the White House released was merely a scan of an original document held in the Hawaii Department of Health, critics ask, then why are the three different in appearance?On the morning of April 27, the White House posted on its website a document purporting to be a scan of the original 1961 Obama birth certificate obtained from the vault records of the Hawaii Department of Health.On the morning of April 27, the White House posted on its website a document purporting to be a scan of the original 1961 Obama birth certificate obtained from the vault records of the Hawaii Department of Health.As seen in Exhibit 1, the version of the birth certificate first displayed by the White House to the American public was an electronic PDF computer file that contained a green background clearly showing the green hash-marks of Hawaii Department of Health security paper.Read the full story here.
- Tunisians poke fun at Obama in assault on his Facebook page.(AlArabiya).Tunisians launched an all-out assault on Barack Obama’s Facebook page this week, posting thousands of comments making fun of the U.S. president and supporting the “occupy” protests across America.Among the comments, Tunisian Facebook users circulated “Arab Spring” jokes, such as: “Tunisia is the first country to recognize the American Transitional National Council,” referring the revolutionary upheaval in Libya and the global recognition of the Libyan transitional council.The Facebook users described it as a “virtual surprise attack” on Obama. Many of the recent entries on his 2012 presidential campaign page were bombarded with as many as 20,000 comments each. “Tunisian people are calling the U.S. authorities to respect freedom of expression and not to resort repression and assault on the rights of American citizens,” read one comment, which was reposted by several users.Another comment read: “Tunisian people denounce violations against the American people by the security forces, which affect the freedom of expression.”The Facebook assault was in part organized through Twitter, with the hashtag #TrollingObama helping spread the world, reported social network-inspired news site Storyful.com. The horde of comments, which came after photos of police brutality against “Occupy Wall Street” protesters were released on social media sites.“To overthrow any corrupt system in the world, please contact the Tunisian people,” one comment read.Another comment mimicked Obama’s previous statements about the embattled Arab leaders: “Fouad Mbaza (the current Tunisian president) says that Obama should start the change immediately, or leave power.” Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, who are continuing to protest against social and economic inequality and corporate greed in the U.S., have even been offered advice from Arab Spring. “All protesters take the same risks, from Tunisia to Egypt,” Ramy Raouf, communication officer at Front to Defend Egypt Protesters, told GlobalPost. “When police react with violence, the protesters also need to understand the official laws of the region to understand what they can and cannot do. If they ever get arrested, they should always have a lawyer ready,” he advised.“Protesters should always go to the streets carrying a bag. In that bag, they should carry a can of Pepsi, a bottle of water, and a bottle of vinegar. They should also carry plastic bags and extra clothes. If the police shoot tear gas during a protest and it gets in their eyes, they can immediately smell the vinegar. Then splash the water on their face. After that, add pepsi to wash out the eyes. It will reduce the effects of the gas,” Raouf added.Read the full story here.
- Fast and Furious: NRA calls for Holder’s resignation — and urges you to do the same.(HotAir).Attorney General Eric Holder’s part in the Fast and Furious scandal that intentionally funneled U.S. firearms to Mexican drug cartels has been narrowed down to either (a) a lethally irresponsible knowledge (and presumed authorization) of the program or (b) a lethally irresponsible ignorance of the program. Either way, the president has precious little factual support for his undimmed confidence in his AG — and politicians and outside organizations are calling him on it.The number of congressional representatives to call for Holder’s resignation, for example, has grown to 17. Newly in that group: Reps. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), Allen West (R-Fla.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Dennis Ross (R-Fla.).Now, add the National Rifle Association to the list of those clamoring for Holder to exit. The NRA has launched an ad campaign to urge the American people to pick up the phone, call the president and demand that he “hold Holder accountable.” The ad is a concise summation of the scandal that, somehow, has still yet to reach the eyes and ears of many in the lefty media (and, consequently, to reach the minds of those who consume mostly left-leaning media):So far, Holder has hewn to the line that his congressional testimony of May 3 (referenced in the NRA video — and suspiciously confusing) was “truthful and accurate.” But he only spoke up to defend himself on that front because one outspoken congressman, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), said any in the administration who knew of and accepted the program could potentially be an accessory to murder. Otherwise, the DOJ pattern from Holder down has been to stonewall the Congressional investigation of F&F.The AG testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday, though, so we’ll see if he answers any questions convincingly then. It’s too much to hope he’ll inadvertently assume responsibility for either the program itself or his general incompetence, but no doubt that’ll be what Sen. Chuck Grassley will be gunning for.One last reminder: NRA has a stake in this because the general plan of the program suggests it might have been politically motivated to “prove” that legally purchased weapons yet cross the border and do harm. As always, I hate to believe that, but have to admit it as a plausible possibility.
Update: Another new tidbit of information about Fast and Furious, via CBS reporter Sharyl Atkisson. Apparently, Lanny Breuer, head of the criminal division of the DOJ, definitely knew that the ATF had employed the gunwalking strategy during “Operation Wide Receiver,” a program started under the Bush administration. Why does that matter? Atkisson explains: Today, Breuer issued a statement saying he “regrets” that he didn’t alert others in Justice Department leadership, apparently including his boss Attorney General Eric Holder.In a separate ATF case reported by CBS News earlier this year, called “Fast and Furious” and started under the Obama Administration, Breuer says he likewise regrets not alerting leaders about the similarities in the cases. That, said Breuer, was a mistake.Republican Congressional investigators say this new information contradicts the Justice Department’s original letter to them earlier this year insisting that gunwalking allegations were “false.”Read and see (Video) the full story here.
- Copyright bill controversy grows as rhetoric sharpens.(CNet).Controversy over a new copyright bill continues to grow in Washington, D.C., with both proponents and detractors signing up new allies and sharpening their rhetoric. Even pop icon Justin Bieber has made an appearance. The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, introduced last week in the House of Representatives to the applause of lobbyists for Hollywood and other large content holders, is designed to make allegedly copyright-infringing Web sites, sometimes called "rogue" Web sites, virtually disappear from the Internet. That goes too far and hinders freedom of speech and innovation, the Consumer Electronics Association, NetCoalition, and the Computer and Communications Industry Association trade groups said in a letter sent today (PDF) to House members. SOPA could "constrain economic growth and threaten a vital sector of the U.S. economy and a major source of global competitiveness," it warned. First up is Demand Progress. Before they even saw the House bill, they started calling it the "New Internet Blacklist Bill." Blacklist? That sounds pretty bad. But before we get carried away, let's take a look at the actual language of the actual legislation. Can YOU find a blacklist? No? Can you find a list of ANY kind? No? Oooh, oooh, wait. There's a study! The bill requires a report to Congress about "notorious foreign infringers!" Wow. So, the only thing Demand Progress can hang its hat on is a study and a report to Congress. The fact is that the ONLY way that the Stop Online Piracy Act requires action against rogue sites is through a federal court process, applying the same rules of notice and procedure as any other case. The same is true for the Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act. The progressive activists at Demand Progress could, reasonably, be viewed as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's natural enemy on most technological topics. Its founder, Aaron Swartz, was arrested in Boston in July on charges of illegally downloading (his backers might call it "liberating") millions of copyrighted documents; by then, the Motion Picture Association of America had already claimed that Demand Progress was allied "with at least one--and who knows how many more--offshore rogue Web sites that promote the theft and illegal marketing of American products like movies, video games and software." David Moon, Demand Progress' program director, told CNET today that the Chamber's attack on his organization is a sign that an online anti-SOPA campaign is working. "The proponents are panicking," Moon said. "I think this is a clear sign that we're giving lawmakers some nervousness and hesitation about putting their names on this bill." He added: "I think a lot of the legislators were under the impression that this was not going to be a controversial bill and that it would slide under the radar...As we built a case, I think they've started to get more nervous about it." Tepp, the chamber lawyer, did not respond to a request for comment from CNET. Neither did the chamber's public relations office. And then, of course, there's Justin Bieber. Bieber was making the rounds of radio shows last week to promote his forthcoming Christmas record, He tweeted that he was up at "5:30 this morning to do radio phoners and now off to do interviews"--when a host on a Washington, D.C.-area radio station asked him about proposed restrictions on streaming unlicensed content. Some of the finer points were lost in the interview, including what bill was being talked about, and what it would actually criminalize. But Bieber did say, referring to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who sponsored the Senate version: "Whomever she is she needs to know that I'm saying she needs to be locked up, put away in cuffs...I just think that's ridiculous." That will surely please the fans who launched the thoughtfully-illustrated FreeBieber.org Web site, which warns that "Justin faces 5 brutal years in prison" thanks to proposed copyright law changes.Read and see the full story here.
- U.S. Army Makes Soldiers “Culturally Literate” About Islam, appears to justify Islamic jihad.(JW).In this new era of political correctness, the U.S. Army has published a special handbook for soldiers that appears to justify Islamic jihad by describing it as the “communal military defense of Islam and Muslims when they are threatened or under attack.”Because radical Muslim groups consider Islam to be perpetually under moral, spiritual, economic, political and military attack by the “secular west” they consider military jihad a “constant necessity” and use it as a “rallying cry to resist and attack all this is un-Islamic,” according to the new Army manual.The handbook was created to help soldiers become “culturally literate” ambassadors with sensitivity and understanding of Islamic civilization. The goal is to help them understand how vital culture is in accomplishing military missions. Military personnel who have a distorted picture of a host culture make enemies for the United States. At least that’s what the publication (“Culture Cards: Afghanistan & Islamic Culture”) says. An organization of scientists dedicated to national and international security issues discovered the new Army tool and published it on its website a few days ago. The manual has nearly three dozen informative chapters dedicated to subjects such as Muslim taboos, the five pillars if Islam, Jihad, the Quran and Muslim festivals. There are also sections on ethnocentrism, cultural relativism and social norms and mores. The lengthy introduction defines cultural competency—awareness and sensitivity of another group—and social norms and mores in Arab countries.The portion on jihad is especially interesting because it’s described as a wide-ranging term that includes the everyday spiritual and moral struggle to live a life submitted to God, the attempt to spread Islam by education and example, and the communal military defense of Islam and Muslims when they are threatened or under attack. Today radical Muslim groups consider Islam to be perpetually under attack by the "secular West" – morally, spiritually, economically, politically and militarily, the Army handbook says. They thus consider military jihad as a constant necessity, and use jihad as a rallying cry to resist and attack all that is un-Islamic.At the end of each section there is a question that’s supposed to stimulate “critical thinking.” At the end of the jihad section the question is: “How can the concept of jihad add legitimacy to the claims and aims of Al Qaeda and others? It would certainly be interesting to see how most enlisted men and women, or American civilians for that matter, would answer that particular question.The new Army manual concludes by revealing all the things that make soldiers “culturally literate.” Among them are appreciating and accepting diverse beliefs, appearances and lifestyles, understanding the dangers of stereotyping and ethnocentrism and understanding Islamic and jihadist cultures.Hmmmm........Hmmm......“I will stand with the 'Muslim BrotherHood' should the political winds shift in an ugly direction?”Read the full story here.
- Canada follows U.S. cuts funding for UNESCO.(Yahoo).Toronto (AP) — Canada is joining the U.S. in cutting off funding for the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO because it approved a Palestinian bid for full membership.Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Tuesday the decision is not in the best interests of peace in the Middle East, so Canada is freezing all future voluntary contributions to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.Canada contributes about $10 million a year to the agency.The United States has also announced it will pull its $60 million in funding from UNESCO, which depends heavily on American funding.The UNESCO vote represented a fallback plan for the Palestinian leadership after its bid for U.N. recognition as a state and full membership in the global body foundered in September.Hmmm.........Canada "YOU ROCK!"Read the full story here.
- Canada - Comment on What Do Muslim Canadians Want? The Clash of Interpretations and Opinion Research.(DanielPipes).By Christian Leuprecht and Conrad Winn - Macdonald-Laurier Institute.In their study for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, "What Do Muslim Canadians Want? The Clash of Interpretations and Opinion Research," Christian Leuprecht and Conrad Winn open with a discussion of ways to understand Muslim attitudes in Canada, then go on to discuss specific data. I shall follow their organization and discuss these two topics separately, followed by a conclusion.Before looking at specific survey results, it bears noting, along with Stephen Schwartz of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, that "Canadian Islam is more moderate, more diverse and more open to debate than American or even British Islam." Why so? Primarily because of the nature of Muslim immigration, which prominently included Qadiri and similar Sufi traditionalists, heterodox Muslims from sub-Saharan Africa, and secularists from Tunisia and Algeria. Schwartz concludes on a positive note that "We should be glad that Canada is different, and offers a place where Muslim sanity is prized, rather than dismissed."Survey results: The survey results confirm this Canadian difference, being more positive in attitude toward the host country than one finds in other Western Muslim populations. Very high approval scores accorded to the Government of Canada, comparable to those of the general population, offers a basis for what follows, as does the fact that Canadian Muslims generally dismiss the notion of Canada as a racist country.Questions about specific likes and dislikes reveal greater appreciation for generalities (democracy and freedom) than for one's own circumstances (finding employment). I found it especially encouraging that Canadian Muslims understand democracy as not just a system for choosing leaders but as a mentality and a way of life permitting an individual the autonomy to think and act in freedom, to develop his own opinions, and to opt out of politics entirely.Finding a job stands out as a key issue in the Macdonald-Laurier Institute survey. To sense the worry, imagine applying for a job with the name Muhammad or Fatima; non-Muslim employers are wary of taking on Muslim staff for reasons ranging from terrorism to demands for special privileges to fears of litigation. In part, non-Muslims need to deal with their own prejudices; but in part, Muslims must acknowledge the problems they have created and address them seriously and constructively.The question about implementation of the Shari'a stands for its important implications. A substantial majority of 62 percent wish the Shari'a to be in some fashion implemented; when one factors out the don't know/refuse category, that number jumps to 75 percent. This points to what may be the most intractable problem about Canadian Muslims: their desire to march to a different drummer. That 15 percent of Muslim wish to "require Muslims to be ruled by Sharia courts" is particularly alarming; it also confirms my estimate that Islamists make up some 10-15 percent of Muslim populations.The 3 percent support of Al-Qaeda points to the hard-core Islamist element in Canada – not very large, but 3 percent of a Muslim population of some 700,000 comes to about 20,000 individuals with very dangerous sympathies and ideas. This information should alarm and rouse the immigration and security services alike.The 13 percent approval of Israel in this study differs from a noteworthy estimate forwarded by Conrad Winn in 2004, when he suggested that a fifth of the Muslim population of Canada thinks "Israel is right on just about everything," but the figures do not differ by much and the new one can be seen as an order-of-magnitude confirmation of the old one. So too, the observation in the present study that "pro-Israel feelings were sometimes voiced as a reaction against anti-Israel vehemence" echoes Winn's observation seven years earlier that "Quite often [a pro-Israel outlook] is a reaction against what they would view as extremist leaders in their own communities or in their country of origin."When it comes to extremist views, Leuprecht and Winn acknowledge their surprise: "we expected religious participants in the focus groups to be more radical in their views. In contradistinction, the most radical political views tended to be expressed by relatively secular people, often equipped with higher education in the social sciences, while devout Muslims were sometimes the most articulate advocates for Canada and democracy." This pattern establishes that Islamic piety is not in itself a problem; and that political outlook is the key to attitudes. Seculars can be extreme and the pious moderate.
Conclusion: Leuprecht and Winn find that while the attitudes they uncovered fit none of the three paradigms perfectly, they conclude that the polling data "suggest that Canadian Muslims fit best the paradigm of a divided community with heterogeneous opinions as expressed by Daniel Pipes."On the one hand, I am gratified by this conclusion. On the other, I wonder how else one might characterize a community made up of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Surely no one expects them to be of one mind, implying that Islam turns believers into automatons who lose their ability to think for themselves but are instead dominated by a leadership that programs them. No human population fits this description.And if this notion of a quiescent people were once convincing, surely the Middle East uproar during 2011 suggests that even peoples who obey for decades retain a fire within them that unpredictably can bring down their rulers. Libyans, whom many assumed accepted the ravings of Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi, turned out, for example, to have been thinking for themselves.The Leuprecht-Winn study reveals a number of problematic attitudes, from desire for Shari'a to support for Al-Qaeda, but it also establishes that Canada has the most moderate, diverse, and open Muslim population in the West. Not only is this an advantage to build on but it suggests a potential role for moderate Canadian Muslims to take their message and perhaps their institutions to other Western countries.Read the full story here.
- Greek military leadership changes spark opposition outcry.(TheTelegraph).As Greek poltics grew ever more chaotic strong political protests erupted as the government moved to replace military chiefs with officers seen as more supportive of George Papandreou, the prime minister.In a surprise development, Panos Beglitis, Defence Minister, a close confidante of Mr Papandreou, summoned the chiefs of the army, navy and air-force and announced that they were being replaced by other senior officers.Neither the minister nor any government spokesman offered an explanation for the sudden, sweeping changes, which were scheduled to be considered on November 7 as part of a regular annual review of military leadership retirements and promotions. Usually the annual changes do not affect the entire leadership.“Under no circumstances will these changes be accepted, at a time when the government is collapsing and has not even secured a vote of confidence,” said an official announcement by the opposition conservative New Democracy party.“It has no moral or real authority any more, and such surprise moves can only worsen the crisis currently sweeping the country”.The party said it will not accept the new nominations and will take its own decisions on armed forces changes if it comes to power at the general elections that are expected to take place in Greece if the government loses the vote of confidence on Friday night.The left wing SYRIZA party said that the government’s decision “gives the impression that it wants to create a highly politicized armed forces that it can control at a time of political crisis”. It called on the President of the Republic not to proceed with the formal ratification of the defence minister’s decree and to wait until new general elections take place.Similar statements were made by all smaller political parties from the extreme right to the hard-line communists.The development gave the impression that a Turkish-style military conspiracy was suspected by the government, but no such rumours or allegations had circulated in the country. Greece has been free of political interventions by the military since the overthrow of the military junta that ruled the country in the 1967-74 period.Hmmmm.......Read the full story here.More here (Greek source).
- U.S. Professor Who Shouted “Death To Israel” Quotes The Koran As Justification.(INN).— An American professor who shouted “death to Israel” during an Israeli Bedouin speaker’s lecture, defended his statement by saying it was for Allah.Associate history professor Julio Pino of Kent University in Ohio made the remark after asking a question of Ishmael Khaldi, who was speaking of his experiences working on behalf of Israel as told in his book “A Shepherd’s Journey”. Khaldi, former deputy consul general at the Israeli consulate in San Francisco and now a deputy minister, describes the book as “one man’s story of Israel’s culture, society and politics from the perspective of a Bedouin minority in a Jewish state.”Pino stalked out of the lecture hall after he shouted at the guest speaker.He wrote in a-mail to HigherEd.com, “What I spoke was for the sake of the children of Palestine, and no other reason. The only politics I have are ‘There is no God but God, and Mohammed is His Messenger.’ ”He rounded out his logic by quoting the Koran, “They try to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will allow nothing but the perfection of that light, though the disbelievers dislike it.”University president Lester Lefton denounced the “death to Israel’ statement, but no disciplinary action has been announced against Pino, who has a long history of anti-Israel rants.Read the full story here.
- UN Report Offers Smoking Gun Proof of NATO and US Lies about Libya.(NSNBC).By Dennis South. Here is a type of “smoking gun” proof that NATO and the U.S. has been operating through a smokescreen of lies, as well as intimidation. Please read the following January 4, 2011 report of the 16th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review: Report of the Working Group on the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya [Document A/HRC/WG.6/9/L.13] . Before NATO and the U.S. started bombing Libya, the United Nations was preparing to bestow an award on Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and the Libyan Jamahiriya, for its achievements in the area of human rights. That’s right–the same man, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, that NATO and the United States have been telling us for months is a “brutal dictator,” was set to be given an award for his human rights record in Libya. How strange it is that the United Nations was set to bestow a human rights award on a “brutal dictator,” at the end of March.So, I ask a question. Who is this “brutal dictator” that the United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council was preparing to bestow an award to, for human rights, sometime at the end of March? So, they would have us believe that they knew that he was a “brutal dictator,” yet decided to give him an award for human rights?! Astounding! Astounding the lies that we’re being told by the media, NATO and the U.S. government. Absolutely astounding! Not surprising, but astounding! But more astounding still, is the fact that, time after time after time, much of the American public–without questioning–believes every single word that comes from the “news” media.It is noteworthy to read the following couple of sentences from the General Assembly’s report:
“Several delegations also noted with appreciation the country’s commitment to upholding human rights on the ground. Additional statements, which could not be delivered during the interactive dialogue, owing to time constraints, will be posted on the extranet of the universal periodic review when available.”
In a footnote of that report, there is a list of countries that praised Colonel Gaddafi and the Libyan Jamahiriya (state of the masses), in support of the General Assembly Human Rights Council’s decision to bestow this award upon Colonel Gaddafi.I simply present the list. The reader can look at the list and make his or her own judgement regarding the credibility level, or perceived credibility level, of any of the particular countries listed:
Denmark, China, Italy, The Netherlands, Mauritania, Slovenia, Nicaragua, The Russian Federation, Spain, Indonesia, Sweden, Norway, Ecuador, Hungary, South Africa, The Phillippines, Maldives, Chile, Singapore, Germany, Australia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Angola, Nigeria, Congo, Burundi, Zambia, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Zimbabwe.If you have been paying any attention to the news, you will note that a few of the above-listed countries suddenly made an about-face, and decided to start supporting NATO and the U.S. in their war of aggression. Why? Why else!? Money. That’s always the bottom line, and there’s no doubt that it will all be exposed, at some time in the future, just as was exposed the lies that the U.S. government told its citizens, and the world, about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. And those same countries were just about to bestow an award on Colonel Gaddafi, for human rights, after having carefully studied Libyan society. So, what’s this about the “brutal dictator?” It’s what my big brother would call it: CHEWED UP GRASS [Bullshit!! For the delicate amongst you, pardon my colorful language].Read the full story here.
- Al-Qaeda flag flies high on top of Benghazi courthouse - Video.(YNet).The black flag of al-Qaeda has been put on top of a courthouse in the Libyan city of Benghazi, further raising concerns that the country could turn into a Muslim extremist entity. "There is no God but Allah" was written in Arabic on the flag raised above the streets of Benghazi, considered the heart of the Libyan revolutionaries who toppled Muammar Gaddafi's regime.According to the Daily Telegraph, citing the news site Vice.com, the flag was flying alongside the Libyan national flag but the National Transitional Council denied it was involved.If that were not enough, Vice.com reported that Islamists were seen driving the streets of Benghazi while waving al-Qaeda flags and shouting, "Islamiya, Islamiya! No East, nor West".Despite the voices of radical Islam coming out of Libya, the appointment late Monday of a US-educated engineering professor with little political experience as Libya's new prime minister suggests that the country's interim rulers may be trying to find a government leader palatable both to the West and to Libyans who distrust anyone connected to the former regime.Abdurrahim el-Keib was chosen late Monday by Libya's National Transitional Council, with 26 of 51 votes. He is to appoint within two weeks a new interim government that will pave the way for the drafting of a constitution, as well as general elections.He replaces outgoing interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, who had pledged to step down after victory over Gaddafi's regime.Hmmmm.......Al-Qaida thanks Barack 'Hussein' Obama for his cooperation?Read the full story here.
- Unknown hackers access Paltel Palestinian internet provider, disable services.(YNet).Hackers disrupted Palestinian Internet services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the Palestinian telecoms minister said, alleging that a foreign government was behind the interference."All Palestinian IP addresses have been exposed to a focused, organized attack from abroad," Mashour Abu Daqqa told Reuters. "I think this is organized by a state. This is my prediction," he said.Abu Daqqa said technicians from telecoms firm Paltel, an Internet services provider, were working to resolve the problem which also prevented users from viewing foreign websites. They had identified fake servers behind the disruption, he added. "It's between slow and stopped altogether," said Ghassan Khatib, spokesman for the Palestinian Administration in Ramallah. In separate remarks to the Palestinian news agency WAFA, Abu Daqqa said the attack was linked to the Palestinians' admission to the United Nations' cultural agency UNESCO on Monday - a diplomatic success for the Palestinians and a move opposed by Israel.Hmmmm......"Such is the art of warfare".Read the full story here.
- Is a strike on Iran imminent? (IsraelMatzav).Recently, there have been statements here in Israel that give the impression that a strike against Iran may be imminent.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak appeared to have made a veiled reference to the issue again on Tuesday, when he told the Knesset that Israel may have to protect its vital interests alone, while other reports focused on comments by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who stated this week that difficult decisions were “keeping him up at nights,” without elaborating further.Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about Iran in his address to the opening session of the Knesset on Monday, the first time in quite a while that Iran has been given such prominence. Herb Keinon reports that Israel has the capabilities to carry out a strike. Israel is believed to have a fully prepared plan to launch such a strike, which would likely involve at least several hundred aircraft.Multiple aerial routes are theoretically available for Israeli aircraft to reach targets in Iran. In all those paths though, the jets would likely have to either neutralize or evade radar systems of other countries along the route, as well as face the potential fallout that could follow an intrusion of foreign airspace.Israel also possesses the advanced midair refueling capabilities required for carrying out sorties over multiple Iranian targets situated between 1,500 and 2,000 km. away from home. Possible targets could include uranium- enrichment sites at Natanz and Qom, the uranium- conversion plant at Isfahan, and a heavy water reactor in Arak suspected of being used to pursue a plutonium-based nuclear arms program, as well as additional facilities.But that's only part of the story...............Read the full story here.
- Netanyahu trying to persuade cabinet to support attack on Iran.(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are trying to muster a majority in the cabinet in favor of military action against Iran, a senior Israeli official has said. According to the official, there is a "small advantage" in the cabinet for the opponents of such an attack. Netanyahu and Barak recently persuaded Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who previously objected to attacking Iran, to support such a move. Senior ministers and diplomats said the International Atomic Energy Agency's report, due to be released on November 8, will have a decisive effect on the decisions Israel makes.The commotion regarding Iran was sparked by journalist Nahum Barnea's column in Yedioth Ahronoth last Friday. Barnea's concerned tone and his editors' decision to run the column under the main headline ("Atomic Pressure" ) repositioned the debate on Iran from closed rooms to the media's front pages.Reporters could suddenly ask the prime minister and defense minister whether they intend to attack Iran in the near future and the political scene went haywire.Western intelligence officials agree that Iran is forging ahead with its nuclear program. Intelligence services now say it will take Iran two or three years to get the bomb once it decides to (it hasn't made the decision yet ).According to Western experts' analyses, an attack on Iran in winter is almost impossible, because the thick clouds would obstruct the Israel Air Force's performance.Read the full story here.
- Related - Minister Begin: Public debate on strike in Iran 'madness'.(YNet).Minister Benny Begin (Likud) said Wednesday that the public debate on a possible Israeli strike on Iran was "madness."Begin, who is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's special eight-minister security forum said that the debate was "utterly irresponsible" and that it "severely impeded the government's ability to make decisions" on the matter."I fear this kind of irresponsibility, which could lead to similar (behavior) regarding any other government debate. I fear this orchestrated journey by civil servants and the media," he told Army Radio.Begin hinted to former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan's comments on a possible strike in Iran, saying that they constituted "a dangerous breach of trust, verging on megalomania. It's just despicable."Civil servants, he added, "Are obligated to protect state secret they were privy to regardless of time. These kind of acts are very severe."Read the full story here.
- IDF successfully tests ballistic missile.(YNet). The IDF successfully test fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday. The Defense Ministry confirmed that "a prescheduled test of a rocket propulsion system was conducted out of the Palmachim Airbase." The statement offered no further details.Previous similar missile tests included Hetz ("Arrow") missile tests. The Hetz aims to intercept mid-to-long range missiles, like the kind used by Hezbollah. The Defense Ministry did not confirm whether Wednesday's test fire involved a Hetz system.Foreign media reports suggested that Israel might have tested its surface-to-surface Jericho missiles. The report was neither confirmed nor denied by the Defense Ministry. The white tail of smoke left across the sky by the rocket was seen across large parts of central Israel, sparking mass public interest.Concerned citizens who contacted Ynet ventured that the missile might have been evidence of the Iron Dome system scrambling to intercept a Gaza-fired rocket, and some even speculated that it had something to do with the recent reports suggesting the government was mulling a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.Meanwhile, Iran's Chief of Staff Major-General Hassan Fairouz Abadi commented Wednesday on reported Israeli threats to strike against Iran and warned that Tehran would "punish Israel surprisingly" for any kind of "mistake." According to the Abadi, "Even though the likelihood for such an attack is low, we see the threat as a serious threat and are on full alert."He added that "America knows that a Zionist military strike in Iran would cause it major damages in addition to the damages caused to this regime."Hmmmm......"May you live in interesting times.Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history." ~ John F. Kennedy.Read the full story here.
- Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed by Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part III: Charter to Regulate Activity of Islamic Organizations, Movements in Egypt.(Memri).Following an increase in the involvement of Islamic and Salafi figures and organizations in the political and media arenas in Egypt since the January revolution, 36 prominent clerics from various Islamic streams have recently drafted a "Charter of Honor for Da'wa and National Activity." The charter sets out guidelines for the cautious and limited participation of Islamic organizations in Egyptian politics and public discourse in post-Mubarak Egypt, with the aim of maximizing Islamic achievements in the upcoming parliamentary elections. It aims to identify common ground among all the Sunni Islamists, so as to enable them to conduct a joint elections campaign or at least to avoid sabotaging each other's chances; promoting the cause of establishing an Islamic shari'a state, while acknowledging that this aim can be achieved only gradually; and making whatever Islamic achievements are currently possible and laying the groundwork for further achievements in the future, while avoiding disagreements.The charter contains contradictions that are characteristic of Islamic discourse seeking to reconcile shari'a law with the rules of play of modern democratic politics. It reflects the dilemmas that the Islamists have been facing since the revolution gave them access to the political arena as legitimate players. For example, the charter advocates the existence of multiple Islamic organizations, but only if they are all Sunni and if they agree on core issues. It advocates pluralism of opinion, but at the same time calls to provide "guidance" to advocates of opinions that "deviate from the truth." It calls for tolerance towards non-Muslims, but only within the boundaries set out by the shari'a, which treats the Christians and Jews as dhimmi. It calls on Islamic streams to reassess their perception of jihad and set out guidelines for waging jihad in the modern world. The charter's signatories include: Former minister of religious endowments Dr. Muhammad Al-Ahmadi Abu Al-Nour; Al-Azhar dean of Islamic da'wa Dr. Tal'at 'Afifi; the former vice-president of the American Open University and current secretary-general of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America, Salafi sheikh Dr. Salah Al-Sawy; the spokesman of the Salafi Da'wa group in Alexandria Sheikh 'Abd Al-Mun'im Al-Shahat; one of the most prominent Salafi sheikhs in Alexandria, Dr. Sa'id 'Abd Al-'Azim; Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya spokesman Sheikh Osama Hafez; Gamal Sultan, one of the most prominent writers for the Egyptian daily Al-Misriyyoun; and others.
Implementing Shari'a Law:
"This charter is an attempt to organize the house of da'wa from within and to set out a series of agreed-upon principles and guidelines, in order to prevent conflict [between Islamic groups]..., eliminate disputes among the groups active in the Islamic [arena], and prepare the ground for a deeper discussion aimed at establishing a [broader] public consensus, Allah willing. Da'wa has entered a completely new phase compared to previous years, when it was subject to coercion and tyranny... The Wasatiyya Research Association, along with a large group of the finest clerics, preachers, and experts, debated the contents of this charter, and determined that it would deal specifically with Egyptian society, with an understanding that many of its clauses can be implemented in other societies as well..."We must revive the concept of voluntary appeal to shari'a courts by individuals, bodies, and institutions, in accordance with shari'a. At the same time, an effort must be made to officially implement shari'a law at the state level. Judgment by shari'a is not the obligation of the political leadership alone, but of the entire nation. The da'wa leaders must prepare the mechanisms that will assist in realizing this...""We must raise the bar of aspiration, and expect to implement the religion as Allah sent it down and to amend all actions that counter the dictates of religion and morality. This does not contradict [the principle of] accepting the possible and [focusing on] what can be achieved in [each] stage, in accordance with the situation..., and preparing the ground for what can be achieved in the future – out of [awareness] that insistence on [goals] that cannot be achieved in the present circumstances will lead to the loss of what can be [achieved] in [both] the present and the future... In implementing the instructions of shari'a, we must accept gradual [progress] in proper stages, when this is required..." The charter also calls to strive for the broadest common denominator among Sunnis at this stage: "It is a duty to preserve [the unity] of the group and the coalition and to avoid schism and disagreement. Any Sunni that can be incorporated [into the Islamic camp], and who shares our general [principles] of integrity and piety, must not be opposed... We must avoid entering into artificial conflicts on questions of religious rulings and problems of secondary [importance], which drain the strength of the clerics, cause the masses to stray from the straight path turn their back on da'wa and the preachers..."In addition, the charter says: "We must avoid airing the jurisprudential disagreements among preachers in the public arena... and resolve them internally, using Islamic mechanisms and means. We must restrain the da'wa discourse; avoid various forms of suppressing freedom of opinion; revive the religious law [that permits] pluralism of opinion; spread a culture of tolerance towards those with different opinions or ideas, accepting their opinions that correlate with the truth, and guiding them on those that contradict the truth; inculcate a spirit of moderacy and kind words in da'wa for the sake of Allah; alternate methods of intimidation with methods of seduction, with a stronger emphasis on seduction; promote activities whose goals are shared by the variety of [forces] active in the Islamic arena, under a broad Sunni umbrella... "We must cooperate with the official religious establishment, showing it respect and treat it as [required by] its status. We must exchange opinions with it, consult with it, and advise it, if needed, so that the official and popular activities complement each other in reviving the religion and benefiting the Muslim community... "The charter also forbids preachers from accusing people of heresy, and upholds a Muslim's right to freedom of expression, so long as it doesn't contradict the shari'a commandments whose validity is absolute: "If someone recognizes the oneness [of Allah] and the mission [of Muhammad], and later becomes infected... with heresy as a result of ignorance or misinterpretation, this does not negate his recognition [of God and the Prophet]... He shall be judged only by a shari'a court. Preachers should steer clear of these narrow corners, so as to avoid disputes and fitna. The freedom to think and express one's opinion in speech, writing, etc. are legitimate rights, as long as they do not harm the shari'a texts that are absolute, and do not [contravene] the fundamental principles on which there is a consensus. No one in the field of da'wa must ever deny this [right] to anyone..."The charter permits establishing and joining various Islamic organizations, as long as they agree on the basics: "Modern Muslim organizations are the building blocks of the Muslim community, and constitute tangible milestones on the road to reviving it in its comprehensive form, so long as they follow the straight Sunni path, and are free of partisan or sectarian extremism. There is nothing wrong with a multitude of such organizations, each one specializing [in its field, as long as] they are at harmony [with each other], agree on the fundamentals of the faith, consult with one another on religious questions that require ijtihad [i.e., independent reasoning], and adopt a unified stance on important issues and questions."Thus, this proliferation [will create] a range of organizations, each specializing in its own field, as opposed to a multitude of competing organizations at odds with each other. Establishing organizations and professional unions and joining them is a legitimate right; it is forbidden only if involves violating unequivocal shari'a [laws], deviating from principles over which there is a consensus, or bringing misfortune and corruption upon Islam and Muslims – as in the case of clandestine or armed activities..."The charter also permits establishing and joining Islamic political parties, with several restrictions: "Promoting religion by means of political activity, through political parties and parliamentary seats, is a modern means of influencing reality in order to partially or completely improve it. This activity lies in the balance between usefulness and corruption. Fatwas on this matter change with the time, the place, and the circumstances. As in the case of other activities, there is no escaping legitimizing [political] activity, while committing to follow [certain] rules and avoiding damage, so that this activity adheres to the straight path."[The political activity of clerics] is permitted so long as it does not exhaust [the cleric's] energy, does not cause him to abuse others, and does not replace [his] da'wa, teaching, and educational activities. In multicultural societies, [any] public political move by clerics must be an Islamic move, not a partisan one. It is unbefitting of clerics to engage [in such a move] when they are divided and scattered... If a joint move is not possible, then their public move should, at the very least, be based on agreement and consultation between all [the forces] through dialogue and coordination..."On the status of religious minorities, the charter says: "Purity of heart and justice are at the base of relations with non-Muslims who seek peace with Muslims on the local and global levels. Differences of religion are not a reason to oppress or abuse anyone... since acknowledging the existence of [other] religions does not mean acknowledging their validity..."Citizenship is a bond of common life and coexistence between sons of a single homeland, no matter how different they are in terms of religious [school] and faith. They have mutual rights and obligations, and are forbidden from [harming] each other's lives, money, and honor, except in accordance with Islamic shari'a and final legal rulings..."The document concludes with the clarification that "inter-religious rapprochement" means "an attempt to establish a secure coexistence between members of different faiths... and find a formula to realize the vital common interests of all people...", but does not mean "merging religions, mixing groups, or striving to find a common theological framework that would distort the unique characteristics of the tenets of each faith or group..."Hmmmm............Sharia Above All and Everything.Read the full story here.
- Up to 5,000 Bosnian Muslims involved with Islamic terror, expert.(Serbianna).Of 100,000 devout Bosnian Muslims, 3,000 to 5,000 are implicated in terrorism, says Dzevad Galijasevic, member of the Expert Team against terrorism and organized crime for the Southeastern Europe.Referred by Galijasevic as “Wahabbi” sects, these terror cells, for those interested in geography, are located in villages Osvam and Bocinja near Maglaj, then in Zeljezno Polje, Serici, Babina Reka, Tetovo near Zenica, Lepenica, Miljanovci near Tesanj, Mehurici by Travnik, Rujnica near Zavidovici, Blagaja near Mostar, Buzima, Sanski Most, Sarajevo, Jablanica and Konjic.Bosnian anti-terror SIPA units have entered one of these extremist villages yesterday. SIPA has raided Ovse and are questioning local Bosnian Muslim leader Izet Hadzic.Galijasevic expressed concern that Western media wants to portray these Islamic terror cells as “foreigners” either as Middle Easterner or as in the case of the recent attacker on the US Embassy as “Serbian citizen”.“That is minimization and undermining of this terror act,” Galijasevic said about this latest incident.Prime Minister of the Serb Republic Milorad Dodik also noted Western efforts to use the media in order to portray the Muslim attacker on the US Embassy as a Serb.“The attacker is portrayed as a Serb, and not a Muslim, or Bosniak or a Wahabbi. Most world media have shown it like this because to most they like the idea that ‘Serbs are the bad guys’,” said Dodik.Dodik also said that Bosnia’s chief Imam, Mustafa Ceric is very much respected by these extremists and that Imam Ceric has direct contacts with them. Dodik says that Imam Ceric along with the son of the former Bosnian Muslim leader Izetbegovic, have direct contacts with the Iranian intelligence service which has its cells in Bosnia.“With that, he [Izetbegovic] creates an atmosphere in which radical Islamist circles can develop in Bosnia. His positions and the ideology of political Islam, but also the positions of the Imam Ceric warm up the entire situation in which Bosnia is the center of Wahhabism that is responsible for the attack on the Embassy in Sarajevo,” says Dodik.Galijasevic is already on the record saying that Imam Ceric is the responsible party for the development of the radical Islam in Bosnia.Galijasevic says that the most important center of extremism in Bosnia is King Fahd mosque in Sarajevo, built by the Saudis, and ran by Imam Ceric’s ally, extremist Nezim Halilovic Muderis.Another significant extremist center is in Travnik madrassa which is led by an ethnic Albanian Imam Safet Durguti.Several years ago, Durguti was on tour through the US visiting Balkan expatriates and offering his inspirational lectures to the believers.Zenica is another center of extremism, says Galijasevic noting that an organization EnSharia is lead by a Middle Eastern extremist Ayman Awad.Inside the Serb Republic, village of Kamenica is an extremist center and one of the Bosnian Muslim terrorists from that village, Rasim Chamo, lives in the United States, and may have links with the Congress of North American Bosniaks that have recently sent a protest letter to the Colombia University over Dodik’s lecture there.Congress of North American Bosniaks is led by Emir Ramic, a Bosnian Muslim with close ties to Ljevakovic family of Bosnian Muslims whose 5 brothers have ties with the Third World Relief Agency deemed a terror funding organization as well as Iranian intelligence (more on this topic here).Read the full story here.
- France - New Prophet cartoons by French magazine set to anger Muslim world.(BikyaMasr).French weekly Satirical magazine ”Charlie Hebdo” is set to stir conterversy and rage from Muslims after it announced that its Wednesday issue will be edited by the Prophet of Islam. A picture of Prophet Mohamed will also appear on the back cover of the magazine with a red nose above the caption “Yes, Islam is compatible with humor.”The magazine said the issue is “honoring” the Arab spring and the celebrating the Islamic victory in the Tunsiain elections recently. The issue will also be full of satiric articles mocking Arab revolutionists. The main slogan of the issue is “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.”“In order, fittingly to celebrate the Islamist Ennahda’s win in Tunisia and the NTC [National Transitional Council] president’s promise that Sharia would be the main source of law in Libya, Charlie Hebdo asked Mohamed to be guest editor,” said a statement from the magazine.The magazine, which changed its title for the issue to “Sharia Hebdo,” will feature an editorial “by the Prophet” about Halal drinks and a section for women called “Sharia madame.”The same publication was taken to a Paris court in 2007 by Islamic organizations, who charged it with insulting Islam and publishing offensive pictures of the Prophet.The Paris court threw out a lawsuit brought by two Muslim organizations against Charlie Hebdo for reprinting cartoons of Prophet Mohamed that had appeared in a Danish newspaper, sparking angry protests by Muslims worldwide.Read and see the full story here.
- UPDATED - French magazine firebombed after publishing anti-Islam Prophet Mohamed issue.(BikyaMasr).French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was firebombed early Wednesday morning after it it published its weekly issue that portrayed the Prophet Mohamed as a “guest editor” and also had a cartoon inflammatory to Islam on the back cover.According to the magazine’s publisher Charb, police reported a fire around 5 AM after a Molotov cocktail was thrown threw one of the windows of the office.The magazine’s special edition was on its way to the newsstands when the attack occurred.“We can’t put out the magazine under these conditions,” he said. “The stocks are burned, smoke is everywhere, the paste-up board is unusable, everything is melted, there’s no more electricity.”The magazine’s Web site was hacked earlier, but appeared to have been restored by early Wednesday.The magazine said the issue is “honoring” the Arab spring and the celebrating the Islamic victory in the Tunsiain elections recently. The issue will also be full of satiric articles mocking Arab revolutionists. The main slogan of the issue is “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.”“In order, fittingly to celebrate the Islamist Ennahda’s win in Tunisia and the NTC [National Transitional Council] president’s promise that Sharia would be the main source of law in Libya, Charlie Hebdo asked Mohamed to be guest editor,” said a statement from the magazine.The magazine, which changed its title for the issue to “Sharia Hebdo,” will feature an editorial “by the Prophet” about Halal drinks and a section for women called “Sharia madame.”The same publication was taken to a Paris court in 2007 by Islamic organizations, who charged it with insulting Islam and publishing offensive pictures of the Prophet.The Paris court threw out a lawsuit brought by two Muslim organizations against Charlie Hebdo for reprinting cartoons of Prophet Mohamed that had appeared in a Danish newspaper, sparking angry protests by Muslims worldwide.Read the full story here.More here.
- Egypt former Muslim brotherhood candidate Abu Ismail: No gambling, no bikinis, no alcohol, Islamic dress.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: Potential presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail said he would not allow drinking alcohol in public places for tourists and would only permit booze in private residences if he is elected as Egypt’s next president, he said in television interview with the “90 minutes” program.He also called for an end to the peace treaty with Israel, saying that restarting relations with Iran is a better solution than maintaining ties with the Jewish state.He confirmed that relations with the US would remain strong as long as “it is bulit on mutual gains and interests.”When asked if he would force women to cover their hair, making the hijab mandatory, he said that this is an issue “of the nation and not the president,” but if elected he would embark on an conservative dress campaign and that one of his first duties would be to push the idea through the appropriate channels to force the Islamic dress on all women.Around 12 percent of Egypt’s population are Coptic Christian and do not veil.The Islamist nominee also vowed to close down gambling casinos, which are only accessible to foreign visitors and not Egyptians currently, and said he would forbid two-piece bathing suits and if a tourist is walking around wearing one, she would be arrested.The Monday night statements were downplayed by secular activists, who still believe that the polls will lean towards a more moderate candidate.Abu Ismail, who started his public life as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, split from the group in order to run in the presidential election, vaguely set for by the ruling military council for some time in 2013.Ismail is one of the stronger and popular potential candidates, although he will be running against a former MB member, Abdel Moneim Aboul Foutoh, who also had to quit the group to be able to run.Read the full story here.
- Egypt man decapitates pregnant fiance over “bad behavior”.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: A 30-year-old man was arrested and charged for murdering and decapitating his fiancee after he had suspected that she was pregnant with a child that was not his own, a source inside Tanta investigative unit reported.Police found the decapitated body of the young female, and the head of the woman in a potato sack, with her clothes not far by.Police said the man, identified as Taner Mohsen Fahim, was behind the murder and the victim was his finacee. The woman was found five months pregnant.He confessed that he did not believe the baby was his, so he killed her. He stabbed her to death and then seperated her head from her body and threw both at sewerage water tunnel, near the village of Shuber, in the Delta region. He filled the sack where he put the body in with heavy rocks, so she wouldn’t reappear on the surface of the water.Honor murders are more common in conservative rural areas of Egypt, and are always performed by a family member or partner.No clear figures are given about how many women lose their lives each year in Egypt due to honor crimes, as many families do not file police reports in these circumstances.The Egyptian legal system is notoriously lenient about honor murders, and generally give weak sentences for the crime.Read the full story here.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The Declaration and the Constitution have been thrown out the window by the Obama Administration.
There’s no doubt that these are two of the most impressive and influential documents in history. The founding fathers of our country provided a framework for democracy that has stood the test of time. And yet when it comes to actual governing, that framework seems to have been forgotten. It deserves to be revisited.
On our most recent episode, Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, asserts, “Our government needs to have a different character than it does today.” Source.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation updated: Taiwan 5.4 ; Papua New guinea 5.3 ; Japan 5.2 and Turkey 4.9 !More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Canada reconsidering role in UNESCO following PA admittance.(JPost).Canada will reconsider its role in UNESCO following the organization's acceptance of Palestine as a member state, AFP quoted Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird as telling reporters on Monday."We are in the process of evaluating our future participation" in UNESCO, Baird told reporters, adding that "We are not happy with UNESCO's decision. We are working to determine what our response will be."Canada contributes $10 million a year to UNESCO.The United States on Monday froze funding to a United Nations educational body, after it became the first UN organization to recognize Palestine as an independent state.In a dramatic move that inched the Palestinian Authority closer to its bid for unilateral statehood, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) accepted Palestine as the 195th member of its organization.A huge cheer erupted in UNESCO’s General Assembly in Paris as it gave the Palestinians a symbolic victory in their unilateral statehood battle after 107 nations voted in favor, 14 against, and 52 abstained. The US, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Israel voted against Palestinian membership. Countries such as Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa, Austria and France voted in favor. Britain and Italy abstained.PA President Mahmoud Abbas thanked all the countries that supported its UNESCO membership bid.“This vote is a vote for peace,” Abbas was quoted by the PA’s news agency, Wafa, as saying.“The vote constitutes an international consensus to support the legitimate national rights of our people – first and foremost the right to establish an independent state.”The vote is a “victory for Palestinian independence,” Abbas said. The entire world, he added, stood with the Palestinians today.Israel, however, warned that the UNESCO vote harmed ongoing Quartet efforts to jump-start the peace talks, which have been stalled since October 2010.“The Palestinian move at UNESCO, as with similar such steps with other UN bodies, is tantamount to a rejection of the international community’s efforts to advance the peace process,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement it issued to the press.It threatened to cut its ties with UNESCO.“The State of Israel will consider its further steps and ongoing cooperation with the organization,” the Ministry said.At the Knesset, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sternly said Israel should consider cutting all ties to the PA.“My recommendations will be very clear,” the foreign minister explained at an Israel Beiteinu faction meeting. “We need to weigh cutting all ties with the Palestinian Authority.We cannot continue to accept unilateral measures time after time.”The Palestinian application for UNESCO is part of its overall strategy to unilaterally obtain statehood by seeking UN membership both by appealing to the Security Council, which approves all such bids, and by separately asking to join UN bodies such as UNESCO and other international organizations.The Security Council is expected to vote on the issue of Palestinian UN membership later this month.In a statement issued in Ramallah, the PLO Executive Committee said it hoped the vote would pave the way for the Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state “on all the territories that were occupied in 1967.”The US and Israel have opposed all such unilateral bids and have argued that statehood should be achieved through a negotiated peace deal with Israel. Israel has argued that Palestinians are seeking unilateral statehood as a way to avoid a negotiated peace.The US has promised to veto the Palestinians membership bid at the UN Security Council.On Monday after the UNESCO vote, White House spokesman Jay Carney complained that the move “distracts us from our shared goal of direct negotiations that result in a secure Israel and an independent Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.”State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the UNESCO vote was “regrettable, premature and undermines our shared goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”“The United States remains steadfast in its support for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, but such a state can only be realized through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” continued Nuland.She condemned the vote as “creating tensions when all of us should be concerting our efforts to get the parties back to the table.”Nuland said that as a result of the vote, the US would not make a $60 million payment to UNESCO scheduled for later in the month.There is a congressional resolution that forbids the US from financing UN-related organizations that recognize any unilaterally- declared Palestinian state without a peace deal.Washington will not, however, stop its participation in UNESCO, a membership that had already been suspended once by former US president Ronald Reagan.The PA called on Arab countries to compensate UNESCO for the loss of American financial aid in the wake of the vote.Muhammad Shtayyeh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, also expressed hope that the Arab countries that supported the Palestinian move at UNESCO would step in to help the international agency financially.The PLO Executive Committee hailed the UNESCO vote, dubbing it an “historic event.”PA negotiator Nabil Sha’ath called the vote a “victory for Palestinian rights and proof of the international community’s recognition of our people’s right to an independent state.”Sha’ath said the vote would be added to a series of “political victories achieved by the Palestinian leadership.” He said the vote highlighted the size of the crisis facing the Israeli government.Hamas also welcomed Monday’s vote, saying it was an “important step toward serving the Palestinian cause and preserving Palestinian heritage and holy sites in the face of Israeli violations.”Hamas said the vote also “exposed the brutality of the occupation and the bias of the US administration in favor of the occupation and its racist policies.”Hmmmmm........How much will the 'Motherland' of Secretary General of the oic E. Ihsanoglu contribute to compensate for the financial losses of Unesco? Read the full story here.
- Breaking Story - AP reports on another 'suspicious [nuclear] site' in Syria.(DocsTalk).AP is reporting that the IAEA has discovered a 'suspicious' site in northwestern Syria. Pakistan is also involved.U.N. investigators have identified a previously unknown complex in Syria that bolsters suspicions that the Syrian government worked with A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, to acquire technology that could make nuclear arms.The buildings in northwest Syria closely match the design of a uranium enrichment plant provided to Libya when Moammar Gadhafi was trying to build nuclear weapons under Khan's guidance, officials told The Associated Press. The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency also has obtained correspondence between Khan and a Syrian government official, Muhidin Issa, who proposed scientific cooperation and a visit to Khan's laboratories following Pakistan's successful nuclear test in 1998.The complex, in the city of Al-Hasakah, now appears to be a cotton-spinning plant, and investigators have found no sign that it was ever used for nuclear production. But given that Israeli warplanes destroyed a suspected plutonium production reactor in Syria in 2007, the unlikely coincidence in design suggests Syria may have been pursuing two routes to an atomic bomb: uranium as well as plutonium.Details of the Syria-Khan connection were provided to the AP by a senior diplomat with knowledge of IAEA investigations and a former U.N. investigator. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.The Syrian government did not respond to a request for comment.IAEA investigators homed in on the Al-Hasakah facility after an intensive analysis of satellite imagery in the Middle East, sparked by a belief that Khan had an additional government customer, which had not yet come to light. They identified the site, the largest industrial complex in Al-Hasakah, after a 2006 report in a Kuwaiti newspaper claimed Syria had a secret nuclear program in the city.Satellite imagery of the Al-Hasakah complex revealed striking similarities to plans for a uranium enrichment facility that were seized during a Swiss investigation related to Khan. The Swiss were looking into the Tinner family — Urs Tinner, his brother Marco and their father, Friedrich — who are suspected of playing a crucial role in Khan's smuggling network.Another set of the same plans was turned over to the IAEA after Libya abandoned its nuclear program. Libya told the IAEA it had ordered 10,000 gas centrifuges from Khan, most of which it intended for a facility that was to be built according to the plans. Centrifuges are used to enrich uranium in the weapons-making process.The investigator said the layout of the Al-Hasakah facility matches the plans used in Libya almost exactly, with a large building surrounded by three smaller workshops in the same configurations. Investigators were struck that even the parking lots had similarities, with a covered area to shield cars from the sun.But the investigator said he had seen no evidence that centrifuges were ever installed there. The Hasakah Spinning Co. has a website that shows photos of manufacturing equipment inside the facility and brags about its prices.The IAEA asked to visit the site more than two years ago. But it has not pressed the issue, focusing its efforts on the bombed site.By the way, this is not one of the three sites to which the IAEA was denied access by the Syrians in 2008.Hmmmm......Amazing I wonder how many more nuclear facilities there are in this region, perhaps we need to ask Google Earth?Read the full story here.
- Black Farmers’ Advocacy Group to Appeal ‘Pigford II’ Ruling.(BigGovernment).WASHINGTON — A federal judge has agreed to a settlement involving a class of at least 40,000 black farmers who claim they were discriminated against by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and who missed the deadline for an earlier settlement.U.S. Dist. Judge Paul L. Friedman certified a class of plaintiffs aggregated in 23 separate complaints, including one made by the Memphis-based Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Inc., and its president, Thomas Burrell.Burrell testified against the proposed settlement in a “fairness” hearing on Sept. 1, arguing that potential claimants should be able to access the much more liberal benefits of the earlier, 1999 settlement known as Pigford I. More than $1 billion has been paid out to more than 22,000 claimants in the first settlement.Burrell said this morning that he plans to appeal Friedman’s ruling on due process and equal protection grounds. He maintains that a 1998 law signed by President Bill Clinton holds open the door to claims the previous settlement labeled too late and that prospective claimants aren’t limited to the cause of action Congress created for late filers in 2008 or to the $1.15 billion Congress appropriated in 2010, which he said is inadequate.Congress re-opened the courts for claims of racial discrimination when it became clear that many black farmers had missed the earlier deadline. The USDA agreed to settle the second round of claims with an apparatus similar to the 1999 settlement in which two “tracks” are available to farmers.One track would permit farmers to establish discrimination before a neutral third party and be eligible for $50,000 and debt and tax relief. The other track requires proof of discrimination and permits an accounting of actual damages, which could result in judgments higher than $50,000.Burrell objects that the settlement doesn’t permit claimants to appeal an adverse decision by the neutral fact-finders or allow claimants to confront and cross-examine witnesses, such as USDA personnel denying discrimination claims.Hmmmm.......Something smells real bad and it ain't the manure.Read the full story here.
- Birthers - Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Posse Wants Entire Microfilm Roll Containing Obama's Birth Certificate.(ORYR).Arizona's maverick Sheriff Joe Arpaio promised surprises in his jurisdiction's investigation of Barack Obama's eligibility for the presidential ballot and his Cold Case Posse is delivering – raising questions that touch on the authenticity of the long-form birth certificate issued last April and the possibility Obama is using a fraudulent Social Security Number.Sources close to the investigation say the posse has decided it needs to see original birth records before it can conclude whether Obama should be eligible for the presidential ballot in 2012, not an electronic file or scanned copies.The sources say the panel needs to examine the microfilm documenting Obama's birth, as well as the ink-and-paper original 1961 birth records the Hawaii Department of Health is holding in its vault.The PDF file and various scanned copies of the birth certificate that the White House released April 27 are simply not good enough, the posse has determined. Earlier this month, WND senior staff reporter Jerome R. Corsi spent 18 hours over a two-day period in Arizona briefing the Cold Case Posse on a wide range of evidence regarding Obama's eligibility."The posse wants to see the entire microfilm roll containing Obama's birth certificate, not just a microfilm copy of Obama's long-form birth certificate in isolation," Corsi explained. "An individual microfilm copy could be forged, but forging the entire microfilm reel on which Obama's birth certificate is in sequence would be almost impossible."Also, Corsi said, the posse wants the ink-and-paper original 1961 Obama birth records still held in vault by the Hawaii Department of Health to be released publicly and subjected to independent court-authorized forensic examination.
Corsi affirmed that the posse's conclusion it needs to see the Obama birth certificate microfilm is part of the "shock" that Arpaio warned would be forthcoming, when he spoke last week to the Surprise Tea Party group meeting in Surprise, Ariz.The focus on the microfilm records of Obama's birth arose after Arpaio's investigators realized the birth certificates of twins born the day after Obama, the Nordykes, had been released as white-on-black copies of microfilm to the family by the Hawaii Department of Health in 1966.Hmmm......There's nothing as revolting as 'the Naked truth'.Read the full story here.
- The Enemy is Inside the Wire.(TownHall).By FrankGaffney.What would have happened if, during the Cold War, Soviet intelligence had been responsible for training Americans charged with countering communist aggression? Surely, we would not have defeated the USSR. Perhaps, instead, Kruschev's boast that his nation would dance on our graves would have been realized.It should, therefore, be profoundly alarming that, today, the Obama administration is entrusting to agents of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan in Arabic) the responsibility for approving who and what is used in "countering violent extremism" training for our military, law enforcement, intelligence personnel. The use of the term "countering violent extremism" (or CVE) is, of course, the first clue that the enemy is inside the wire. That euphemism is the term Team Obama allows to be employed in lieu of phrases that actually describe the nature of the principal enemy we face at the moment: Muslims who engage in holy war-- jihad-- to compel the rest of us to submit to the totalitarian, supremacist political-military-legal doctrine they call shariah."Countering violent extremism" is problematic for reasons beyond its lack of clarity about the threat. It also explicitly excludes a facet of the menace posed by shariah that is at least as dangerous to an open, tolerant liberal democracy as the violent sort of jihad: the stealthy insinuation of this doctrine in ways that are non-violent or, more accurately, pre-violent.The Muslim Brotherhood specializes in this sort of covert warfare, which it has dubbed "civilization jihad." Its skills were honed during decades of operations under a succession of hostile Egyptian governments. Now that the Brothers have achieved-- with no little help from President Obama-- the overthrow of the last of these under Hosni Mubarak, their true colors are becoming evident. Ask the Coptic Christians who are now being massacred by the putatively "non-violent" Ikhwan.Make no mistake: Stealthy civilization jihad is every bit as toxic and has precisely the same goals as the sort of holy war we have come to associate with murderous hijackers and suicide bombers of MB spin-offs like al Qaeda.We know, for example, from evidence introduced uncontested by federal prosecutors in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism-funding trial that the Brotherhood's mission here is "a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying... Western civilization from within... by their hands [read, ours] and the hands of the believers so that God's religion is made victorious over all other religions." We also are on notice that the MB has a five-phased plan for achieving this mission in the United States; the first four phases are stealthy and pre-violent.Which brings us to the alarming guidelines recently promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security for countering violent extremism training. Under the heading "Trainers should be expert and well-regarded," the DHS directs that a "prospective trainer's resume be "check[ed] with knowledgeable community leaders." Unfortunately, it appears that, as far as the Obama administration is concerned, such "leaders" are exclusively those associated with organizations that the federal government and the Muslim Brotherhood itself have identified as Ikhwan fronts.The DHS guidelines also direct that "training should be sensitive to constitutional values." To that end, it requires that "federal, state and local government and law enforcement officials organizing CVE training...review the training program to ensure that:
- "It uses examples to demonstrate that terrorists and violent extremists vary in ethnicity, race, gender, and religion.
- "Training should focus on behavior, not appearance or membership in particular ethnic or religious communities.
- "Training should support the protection of civil rights and civil liberties as part of national security. Don't use training that equates religious expression, protests, or other constitutionally protected activity with criminal activity."
In other words, Muslim Brotherhood-associated individuals are being afforded the opportunity to veto the use of trainers who might actually understand the nature of the danger its operatives and organizations pose to our country. And those who are allowed to train are not permitted to focus their students on the actual threat emanating from a subset of the Muslim community. Rather, they must promote the notion that there are really no indicators in belief or nationality that can help the authorities apply limited security resources in a sensibly prioritized manner.Some try to excuse this behavior as nothing more than being "sensitive," "tolerant" or "politically correct." The danger is that shariah-adherent Muslims regard such conduct as submissive-- and, according to their doctrine, they are obliged to redouble their efforts to, as the Koran puts it, make us "feel subdued." That means more violence, not less.That prospect becomes all the greater when one adds into the mix the presence of government officials who are themselves tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and/or its shariah doctrine - including in senior positions in the White House, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Such individuals are products of and greatly facilitate the Brothers' influence operations and contribute greatly to our failure to date to recognize, let alone counteract, them.If we would not have won the Cold War had the KGB been able to call the shots here, we surely will not prevail if we allow the Muslim Brotherhood to do the same in the struggle against today's totalitarian ideology, shariah-- a doctrine some have dubbed "communism with a god." Congressional oversight is urgently needed to prevent that from happening.Read the full story here.
- What’s Clogging up U.S. Troops? Feds Have No Idea.(Wired).In a 2010 study of 80 soldiers who struggled to run two miles, half of them were huffing and puffing because of undiagnosed bronchiolitis.And the feds have no idea why.The military’s widespread use of open-air burn pits — massive heaps of Styrofoam, human waste and plastic water bottles, in flames around the clock — seemed to be the most obvious answer.But results of a study published today by the Institute of Medicine, and commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs, are frustratingly inconclusive — largely because the military didn’t collect adequate data for researchers to do their jobs.The team set out to determine whether the burn pits used to incinerate waste at military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan were culpable for the increased prevalence of respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological ailments afflicting recent veterans. But what they know after all that research is essentially what they knew at the study’s outset. First, that more and more troops are complaining of chronic health problems. And second, that the air quality in both combat zones was pretty awful to begin with.Since 2001, cardiovascular problems among military personnel have soared from 65,520 to 91,013 in 2010. Neurological conditions have more than tripled, going from 9,688 to 32,667.Some troops are so sure that burn pits caused their illnesses, they’ve already sued the contractors responsible for them: Close to 1,000 are currently in litigation against megaliths KBR and Halliburton, which were charged with overseeing some pits.But burn pits aren’t the only suspect: With dust storms a common occurrence, soldiers spent plenty of time choking on cloudy air in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the report notes might be enough to cause “long-term health effects.” Not to mention that much of the dust was laden with neurotoxic elements, including chromium and iron.Researchers studied air samples collected by military officials at Joint Base Balad between 2007 and 2009. They detected 51 chemicals and a plethora of particulate matter (caused by, for example, dust and exhaust fumes). The toxins and particulates found in the samples have been linked to, among others, the following health problems: Cardiovascular disease, asthma, adrenal, liver and kidney failure, birth defects, cancer, anemia and decreased function of the central nervous system.“The air in the areas tested contained more pollutants — sometimes much more — than U.S. air standards,” Dr. David Tollerud, lead researcher on the study, told reporters. “What they inhaled was comparable to that of very polluted urban environments around the world.”In other words, troops were living in an environment akin to the heart of Mexico City — if Mexico City was also burning heaps of synthetic goods and human waste adjacent to residential areas and workplaces. So troops should worry about illness. But is the risk reserved for those who worked close to a burn pit? That question’s a little tougher to answer.“We can’t dismiss the potential of the burn pits themselves as being the cause of health effects,” Dr. Tollerud, who was also a key researcher in establishing Agent Orange’s health threats, said. “But exhaust from automobiles, jet emissions, and other pollution, not to mention dust storms, could also be involved.”That said, the air samples did contain dioxins, the same chemicals found in Agent Orange, the herbicide now blamed for widespread illness among Vietnam veterans.And much like Agent Orange — which the VA only this past year acknowledged as the culprit for veteran’s health problems — it seems the confusion surrounding this generation’s long-term health conditions will take decades to resolve — if it ever is.The report notes that researchers were hampered by “a lack of data” collected by the Department of Defense. Nobody kept track of what was burned, when, how much, or in what proximity to soldiers. And now that the military has shut down all of the open-air pits in Iraq, getting relevant air samples is impossible.Despite this dearth of data, the military somehow managed to release two of their own reports on air quality earlier in the decade, and both concluded that any health risks from burn pits fell within an “acceptable” range.The IOM committee isn’t so sure: They’ve suggested another, long-term study that follows troops — especially those who’d been deployed at Balad — and tracks incidence of respiratory problems, neurological impairment and cancer, which often develops later in life. In other words, soldiers will just have to wait until they get sick to help scientists figure out why.Read the full story here.
- Video: Headless
Horseman, Humanoid Robot Preps for Army Duty.(Wired).Sauntering toward you like a mechanized zombie is the Army’s newest recruit: a robot with a blinking red light where its head should be.That’s the PETMAN, the latest creation of Boston Dynamics, the robotics shop best known for its eerily lifelike BigDog, a quadrupedal robot that wants to carry troops’ gear. The PETMAN, in development for years, is built like a human being, walks autonomously on two legs while pumping its arms like a person, and resists efforts by Boston Dynamics engineers to push it over.As recently as 2009, the PETMAN — or Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin — was little more than a circuit board connected to hydraulics that terminated in mannequin feet. Now it weighs 180 pounds, looks like the Terminator with the skin burned off, walks much faster than any non-28 Days Later zombie and can do a push-up. In the new video, it also kind of looks like it can perform the Super Bowl Shuffle.Of course, the PETMAN could use a prosthesis of its own, since it still doesn’t have a head. Even the Octavia robot developed for the Navy has a cherubic face built out of white plastic. The PETMAN’s remorseless flashing red light atop its shoulders is anything but soothing. Which points to another potential use for the robot: scaring the hell out of an enemy.Read and see the full story here.
- Greek PM Calls Referendum Over “Haircut”-Agreement.(KeepTalkingGreece).Greek prime minister George Papandreou announced referendum over the October 26th, 2011 Loan-Agreement (“Haircut”-Agreement) stunning the public. It was the PM’s answer to all criticism by the opposition, the society and even some of his own deputies, the request for early elections and/or government of national unity. Speaking to parliamentary group of PASOK Papandreou also announced that he will ask vote of confidence in the parliament.“The citizens will express themselves democratically about the new loan-agreement and their mandate will be bounding for all of us” said Papandreou. “The citizen will decided if he wants that we adopt the new laon agreement or we reject it. If the Greek nation does not want it, it won’t materialize.”. Papandreou did not reveal exactly what would be the question of the referendum that will most likely be held in January 2012.Alternate Foreign Minister Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou explained during a talk show in ALTER TV om Monday evneing that the question would be “Do you want the new loan agreement ?-yes or no”. At the same talk show Justice Minister Xaris Katsanidis said that the question would be more or less “Do you accept the new loan agreement in its full length” and will refer to Greece’s commitments to the agreement. The announcement triggered negative reactions by the opposition parties, with three of them (left-wing, far-right, centre) rejecting it right away. SYRIZA, LAOS, Nea Dimokratia and Democratic Coalition claimed that the referendum would lead the country into ‘dangerous paths’, a view shared by many journalists. The referendum-bombshell raised many questions with the main of them being : What would NO mean in the referendum? An exit from the eurozone and bankruptcy? And what will be the political consequences should the majority votes NO. Most likely early elections… Another question is how the perspective of the referendum will influence tha banks-EU talks on the haircut. And how the markets will react, as they do not behave in “PASOK time”.The referendum will be held a ‘crucial national issue’. That means it will be held before the loan -agreement wouldbe voted in the parlieamnet and become a law so that the government would bypass Constitutional provisions that forbid a referendum on ‘fiscal issues’. Further the referendum will be possible after the detail agreement between EU and Greece. The vote of confidence will be held on Friday, November 4th, 2011 at midnight. Ruling party PASOK with 153 seats (out of 300) does have the majority to pass the vote of confidence – however Papandreou challenges some of his own deputies who criticize him and some of them demanding early elections, some others ‘government of national unity’.Hmmmm........Talk about a "Greek TRAGEDY" Or is it A G20 TRAGEDY on the 05Th of Novenber?Read the full story here.
- Related - Europe, IIF “freeze” over Greek Referendum.(KTG).I guess the IMF is speechless too. So far there has been not official statement to the decision of Greek prime minister George Papandreou to put the new loan agreement in a referendum.Formally, the response of the representative of the European Union Carolina Kotova was “no comment” and “We are in contact and await formal notification from the Greek authorities.”Charles Dallara, the chief of world banks IIF was asking what would be the question of the referendum.And the IMF is trying to recover from its surprise.Deutsche Welle reported citing sources from the German government that they were “startled”.The EURO plunged -5% and the Wall Street didn’t feel any better.German media reported that George Papandreou overturns the decisions of the Oct 26th EU-Summit. Weekly DIE ZEIT wrote : Greece’s bankruptcy nears.British media report that a fresh crisis in on the way.Associated Press spoke of “gambling”.Hope Greece’s lenders will recover soon form the surprise and will make some statement tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, next month.Hmmm.....The resque of Greece is starting to look more and more like "Odysseus voyage".Read the full story here.
- Revolutionary Guards’ New Slogan: Take Jerusalem Through Iraq.(DocsTalk).By Ryan Mauro. I was reading Robert Maginnis’ column about Iranian domination of Iraq after U.S. forces leave and this paragraph caught my attention: It is noteworthy the Quds recently adopted a new slogan, “On our way to Jerusalem, via Baghdad,” according to Taheri. That means it has a vision to begin using Iraq as it already uses Syria. Specifically, it will use Iraq as a new base to train fighters, and to forward money and arms to proxy groups across the Arab world. The goal is to take Jerusalem—that is, destroying Israel—and for that matter the entire region.In my article on the same subject, I made the point that the Iranian regime views Iraq as the bridge to destroying Israel in fulfillment of End Times prophecy: Iraq plays a central role in Shiite Islamic prophecy. A senior Hezbollah official in Lebanon was not coy about what will follow a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. A “Shiite crescent” will form, bringing together 100 million people against Israel. Hundreds of thousands of “martyrs” will die and Israel will use nuclear weapons, but the Jewish state will be destroyed. There were two things stopping this, he said: The U.S. presence in Iraq and the potential overthrow of Bashar Assad in Syria. The U.S. withdrawal removes these two barriers.The new Quds Force slogan verifies my analysis. Iran isn’t only cheering about the U.S. withdrawal because it dominates Iraq. It views the departure as paving the way for its fulfillment of destiny in destroying Israel.
Part Two By Robert Maginnis. President Barack Obama’s unilateral decision to remove our forces from Iraq prior to year-end hands a major victory to Iran. Expect Tehran to take advantage of that victory to extend its influence across the Middle East.Last Friday, President Obama declared in celebratory remarks, “The tide of war is receding,” the Iraq war is ended. But he failed to tell the American people that after tremendous cost in blood—4,485 killed, 33,169 wounded—and treasure—$800+ billion spent—he gave Iraq to Iran because he lacked political will and diplomatic skills.Unfortunately Iraq is not ready to be weaned or to deal with hegemonic Iran. It has made great progress with its security forces, but it lacks vital military assets in intelligence, logistics and naval and air power. Even the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. Lloyd Austin, requested that 15,000 to 18,000 troops stay past year-end, especially trainers. Gen. Babakir Zebari, Iraq’s army chief of staff, agreed his country still needs American military trainers.Besides training, American forces are needed in Iraq to provide stability against sectarian strife and a wobbly political transition, and to act as a trip-wire against outside forces such as Iran and even ally Turkey, which currently has troops in northern Iraq pursuing terrorists.Last week, Obama promised to discuss “how we might help Iraq train and equip its forces,” but there is no substitute for a long-term presence like what America has had in South Korea since the end of the Korean War. Our long-term security presence is especially important in the Middle East, a region known for its volatility, lack of democracy, and strategic importance to the world’s economy because of oil. But Iraq’s future will be different than ally South Korea's, and to our collective detriment.That is because Obama lacked the political will and apparently the diplomatic skills to persuade the skeptical Iraqis to extend our stay. Of course, the President blames our pending exit on the Iraqis, who refused to grant U.S. troops immunity from prosecution beyond Dec. 31, a Pentagon requirement if troops remained.But much of the blame is due to Obama’s waiting until the last minute to try and salvage a deteriorating situation. He knew the risks associated with leaving Iraq years ago, but he delayed starting the tough diplomatic process until this year. And it is hard to fathom, even given Obama’s last-minute efforts, that some diplomatic compromise couldn’t be worked given Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s and other leading Iraqi politicians’ support to keep some American troops.Unfortunately it appears a common joke about the U.S. war in Iraq is coming true on Obama’s watch. The U.S. spent great treasure and blood to defeat Iraq only to hand it over to the Iranians on a golden platter. “That’s how it will be read in the region,” a senior Arab official told the Wall Street Journal. Worse, the official said, it will be seen as “a sign that the U.S. is less committed to the region.”Now Iran is poised to take advantage of its new leverage in Iraq to better create a Shia crescent across the Middle East. Parenthetically, Obama’s fumbling aside, Tehran already enjoys an influential relationship with Baghdad leaders such as Prime Minister al-Maliki, who once lived in Iran and now cooperates with the Persians on most regional issues.Using Iraq to expand regional influence begins with Iran building militias on the Hezbollah model to make Iraq a Shiite vassal state, much like Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini formed Hezbollah (Party of Allah) in 1982. The horsepower for such a transformation is already inside Iraq in the form of Iran’s Quds Force.The Quds Force or Corps (translated, The Jerusalem Army) is an autonomous part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). It answers directly to Iran’s grand ayatollah and is the cleric’s primary mechanism for spreading the Islamic revolution.The Quds in Iraq is led by Gen. Hussein Mussavi, who is directly responsible for both policy and operations, according to Amir Taheri writing for the New York Post. Mussavi controls Iraqi armed groups, including the Mahdi Army, the Ramadan Corps and the Brigades of the Right, with the aim to drive the Americans out of Iraq.It is noteworthy the Quds recently adopted a new slogan, “On our way to Jerusalem, via Baghdad,” according to Taheri. That means it has a vision to begin using Iraq as it already uses Syria. Specifically, it will use Iraq as a new base to train fighters, and to forward money and arms to proxy groups across the Arab world. The goal is to take Jerusalem—that is, destroying Israel—and for that matter the entire region.U.S. officials indicate the Quds has already increased arms shipments to Iraqi Shiite militias in anticipation of America’s withdrawal, according to the Wall Street Journal. And using its new base in Iraq, the Qods will be in the catbird seat to further feed unrest across the Middle East to Tehran’s advantage.The loss of Iraq to Iran’s sphere of influence also drains America’s credibility in the region. Allies such as Saudi Arabia will now distance themselves from the U.S. and either seek accommodation with the hegemonic Iran or use Iraq as a proxy battleground to contest Iran’s new influence. Other regional partners will follow Riyadh’s lead out of fear of Iran, and as a result, America will find its influence drained.America’s lost credibility and Iran’s new foothold in Iraq will embolden Tehran to make our efforts in Afghanistan more difficult by assisting our enemy the Taliban. It will also accelerate Tehran’s march to nuclear weapons status, which might compel Israel to take unilateral action against the threatening atomic-missile seeking regime.What should the U.S. do at this point?There is always the possibility the Iraqis will change their mind to allow U.S. troops to remain past year-end. But if not, then future talks should lead to an ongoing military relationship that serves our mutual interests. We also need to quickly reassure our regional allies by cooperating closely with them to blunt Tehran’s expansion, which will not be easy or cheap.President Obama’s lack of political will and poor diplomatic skills robbed the Middle East of a democratic victory and drained our credibility. Now Tehran will fill the vacuum we left in Iraq to solidify its power and use that country as a platform to grow the Shia crescent. The result will be a more unstable and highly volatile region that will jeopardize our ally Israel and make a major Middle East war far more likely.Hmmm.....But perhaps this was Obama's twisted plan all along 'to bring new life in the U.S. Economy'?Read the full story here.
- Where are the Muslim Brotherhood and the Obama Administration Taking America?(DocsTalk).Dr. Essam Abdallah.- In this article, published in the leading liberal pan Arab "Elaph”, Egyptian liberal writer Dr. Essam Abdallah exposes the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood within the Obama Administration and the campaign led by CAIR and its allies against Middle East Christians, US experts and American Muslim reformers. Abdallah's article is powerful evidence to a reckless policy of backing Islamists, perpetrated by the Obama Administration and its advisors on Islamic affairs. The Editors. Disturbing reports are coming out of Washington, D.C. These reports reveal the depth of the below-the-surface coordination between the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Jordan. This bloc of regimes and organizations is now becoming the greatest Islamist radical lobby ever to penetrate and infiltrate the White House, Congress, the State Department and the main decision making centers of the US government. All of this is happening at a time when the US government is going through its most strategically dangerous period in modern times because of its need to confront the Iranian Mullahs regime, which is expanding in the Middle East, as well as penetrating the United States, via powerful and influential allies. It looks like the near future will uncover many surprises after the fall of the Gaddafi regime, as we realize more and more that the popular revolts in the Arab world - and the Obama Administration’s position towards them - were determined by political battles between various pressure groups in Washington. Moreover, pressures by these lobbying groups have left an impact on the region's events, the last of which was the canceling of the visit of Maronite Patriarch Rahi to Washington. A number of Arab and Western news agencies have leaked that one of “those who sought to cancel this visit was Dalia Mujahid, a top advisor on Islamic and Arab affairs at the State Department, who is of Egyptian origin. And that”, said the reports, “came at the request of the high command of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who wish to see the US Administration support the Islamist Sunni current.” Also very noticeable at this point is the growing domination of Islamist forces around the Mediterranean: the victory of the Nahda Islamist Party in Tunisia, the declaration by (TNC Chairman) Mustafa Abdeljalil that Libya is an Islamist state and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. These developments wouldn't have happened without the approval of the United States. A document published in Washington indicated that Egypt will face more violence and tensions while moving to the Pakistani, rather than the Turkish, model. Egypt will be ruled by an opportunistic bourgeoisie and a regime declaring itself Islamist, and it will be backed by a military institution. The military will be used by the Islamists to maintain power but the armed forces, the parliament, the regime and the constitution will all become Islamist.In return, the Maronite Patriarch is denied a visit to Washington, Coptic Christian churches are destroyed in Egypt, and Coptic demonstrators are massacred at Maspero in Cairo by the Egyptian military, demonstrating that the goal is to suppress Christians in the Middle East, who are - as Patriarch Rahi said - paying a high price for the revolts of the Arab Spring. Rahi expressed his concerns about the fate of Syrian and Lebanese Christians and sees, as does the world, the flight of millions of Iraqi and Middle Eastern Christians from their homelands as a result of events in Iraq, and the methodic persecution against the Copts. The Christians of Egypt aren't only facing suppression and ethnic cleansing but a form of genocide. The real question now is: who is allowing the Muslim Brotherhood lobby to damage the relationship between the US Administration and millions of Middle East Christians? This lobby was able to delay meetings between leaders from Coptic Solidarity International, including Magdi Khalil and Adel Guindy, with the US Government. Similar obstructions have been happening with Chaldean and Assyrian delegations over the past few years. Moreover, the Muslim Brotherhood has waged a hysterical campaign against prominent experts in counterterrorism such as Steven Emerson, Daniel Pipes, John Guandolo and Robert Spencer. One particularly rough campaign was waged by CAIR against Professor Walid Phares, one of the most important, and even prescient, experts in counterterrorism and Jihadist movements in the US. In his book, “The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East”, Dr. Phares predicted its evolution and the shape of coming Islamist regimes in the region. But the Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign is not limited to liberal Arabs, Christians, Jews and Atheists. It has also targeted Muslims who oppose the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) lobby such as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD); Sherkoh Abbas, from the Syrian Kurdish Council; Farid Ghadri; the Somali-American author Ayan Hirsi Ali; Ali al Yammi; Tarek Fatah and many more. Attacking Muslim liberals in the West helps the Muslim Brotherhood's project in the radical Islamization of the Middle East, but it does not at all help US interests. Oppressing opposition, diversity, pluralism, and shedding human rights and freedoms are in direct contradiction to the values defended, and sacrificed for, by America's founding fathers as well as by all those who fought wars for America throughout her history.These intimidation and suppression campaigns directed against Arab and Middle East Christians – and against intellectuals and researchers opposing the Muslim Brotherhood and its sinister ties to Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran - in fact are aimed at America’s ability to become aware of the threat all of them pose to American freedoms. For American strength isn't only in its navies and military power, but in its Constitution and the laws which provide the moral force for all other distinctly American liberties.Note that the US Constitution did not include any suppressive articles (regarding freedom of religion or freedom of speech), the lack of which is the case in many Middle Eastern countries. Rather, it was written in the spirit of a Jeffersonian federal democracy based on individual freedoms.So, all things considered both here and in the Middle East, where exactly are the Obama Administration and the Muslim Brotherhood lobby, together, taking America? And why?Hmmm......“I will stand with the 'Muslim BrotherHood' should the political winds shift in an ugly direction?”Read the full story here.
- U.S. and Iran discuss Syrian crisis in back channel diplomacy: report.(AlArabiya).Iranian and U.S. government representatives have discussed ways to prevent Syria descending into bloody chaos should the regime of embattled President Bashar al-Assad collapse, French daily newspaper Le Figaro reported Sunday quoting a Syrian opposition figure in exile.The paper said the back channel diplomacy between American and Iranian diplomats occurred at two meetings, one at the end of August and one at the beginning of September, but it did not indicate where.“They spoke about putting in place a high military council on the Egyptian model, with generals running the country and responsible for making senior strategic option,” the paper quoted the Syrian opposition figure as saying.According to a French diplomat in charge of the Syrian crisis quoted in the report, Iranian officials have adapted to the idea of a new government in Damascus and “even to a change at the top of the regime.”The diplomat said that Iran was keen to avoid a civil war in Syria as it could spill over across its border. The paper said the relationship between Tehran and Damascus was not balanced and Iran weighs heavier, which explains the influence Iran has on the regime in Damascus.American diplomats urged Iranians not to disrupt stability in Iraq before the complete pullout of U.S. troops by the end of 2011 and to stop supporting “terror” groups in the region, namely Hamas and Hezbollah. From their side, Iranians asked the United States not to support a post-Assad regime that is hostile to Iran. Both parties agreed that any future regime in Syrian should have a “regional” scope and enjoy friendly ties with different powers in the Middle East, the paper reported.Quoting French ambassador to Damascus Eric Chevallier speaking before the foreign affairs committee at the French National Assembly, the paper said Iranians recently advised the Syrians to stop firing in the streets, urging them instead to identify the leaders of the uprising and arrest them at night.This, the report says, indicates the Iranian ambiguity over Syria. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi recently denounced the use of excessive force against civilians in Syria but Iran’s Revolutionary Guards continue to deploy special forces in Syria to help quell the uprising there. The Islamic Republic even deployed special military units to fight along former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s forces in Libya, and the goal was to prolong the war so that international public attention was deflected from Syria, according to the report. Anticipating Qaddafi’s fall, Iran ordered its special forces out of Libya to join Sudan and Syria.Read the full story here.
- Top Muslim Declares All Christians 'Infidels', Awaiting moderate Muslims to condemn this report...well?(PajamasMedia)By Raymond Ibrahim.To what extent was Egypt's Maspero massacre, wherein the military literally mowed down Christian Copts protesting the ongoing destruction of their churches, a product of anti-Christian sentiment?A video of Egypt's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ali Gomaa (or Gom'a), which began circulating weeks before the massacre, helps elucidate. While holding that Muslims may coexist with Christians (who, as dhimmis, have rights), Gomaa categorized Christians as kuffar — "infidels" — a word that connotes "enemies," "evil-doers," and every bad thing to Muslim ears.After quoting Quran 5:17, "Infidels are those who declare God is the Christ, [Jesus] son of Mary," he expounded by saying any association between a human and God (in Arabic, shirk) is the greatest sin: "Whoever thinks the Christ is God, or the Son of God, not symbolically — for we are all sons of God — but attributively, has rejected the faith which God requires for salvation," thereby becoming an infidel. Gomaa then offered a hypothetical dialogue between Christians and Muslims to illustrate Islam's proper position:
Christians: You have the wrong idea about us; we don't worship the Christ.
Muslims: Okay, fine; we were under the wrong impression — but, by the way: "Infidels are those who declare God is the Christ, son of Mary."
Christians: But these are philosophical matters that we are unable to explain.
Muslims: Okay, fine; God is one—but, by the way: "Infidels are those who declare God is the Christ, son of Mary."
As a graduate of and long-time professor at Al Azhar university and Grand Mufti of Egypt (a position second in authority only to Sheikh Al Azhar), Ali Gomaa represents mainstream Islam's — not "radical Islam's" or "Islamism's" — position concerning the "other," in this case, Christians. Regardless, many in the West hail him as a "moderate" — such as this U.S. News article titled "Finding the Voices of Moderate Islam"; Lawrence Wright describes him as "a highly promoted champion of moderate Islam": He is the kind of cleric the West longs for, because of his assurances that there is no conflict with democratic rule and no need for theocracy. Gomaa has also become an advocate for Muslim women, who he says should have equal standing with men. How does one reconcile such sunny characterizations with reality? The fact is, whenever top Muslim authorities like Gomaa say something that can be made to conform to Western ideals, Westerners jump on it (while of course ignoring their more "extreme" positions). It is the same with Gomaa's alma mater, Al Azhar, the "chief center of Islamic and Arabic learning in the world." MEMRI, for instance, recently published a report titled "The Sheikh of Al Azhar in an Exceptionally Tolerant Article: Christianity, Judaism Share Basic Tenets of Islam." Of course, the day after this report appeared, this same sheikh — Islam's most authoritative figure — insisted that the American ambassador wear a hijab when meeting him: just as Muslim "radicals" compel Christian girls to wear the hijab, "moderate" Al Azhar compels U.S. diplomats.In short, yes, many religions "share basic tenets," but they are secondary to the differences, which are more final and define the relationship. Or, to put it in Ali Gomaa's paradigm: Fine, Christianity and Islam have commonalities — but, by the way: "Infidels are those who declare God is the Christ, son of Mary."The fact is, this Quranic verse is as much a cornerstone of Islam's view of Christianity as the unity of God and Christ is a cornerstone of Christianity, articulated some 1700 years ago in the Nicene Creed. The issue is clear cut for all involved.Accordingly, how can one fault Gomaa? As Grand Mufti, he is simply being true to Islam's teachings. Indeed, his consistency is more commendable than the equivocations of Western ecumencalists who, by falling over themselves to assure Muslims that they all essentially believe in the same things, demonstrate, especially to Muslims, that they believe in nothing.Incidentally, if Gomaa upholds the plain teachings of the Quran concerning who is an infidel, is it not fair to assume he also upholds the Quran's teachings on how to confront them, as commanded in Quran 9: 29: "Fight … the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] until they pay the Jizya [tribute] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." Of course, prudent Muslims, undoubtedly like Gomaa himself, know that now is not the time to talk openly about such things.Either way, here is another reminder of how Quranic verses and terms that Western people brush aside as arcane or irrelevant have a tremendous impact on current events — such as Egypt's Maspero massacre: For the same word Gomaa, the nation's Grand Mufti, used to describe Christians is the same word Muslim soldiers used when they opened fire on and ran over Christian Copts; the same word twenty Muslim soldiers used as they tortured a protesting Christian; and the same word Muslims hurled at Christians during the funeral procession for their loved ones slain at Maspero: Infidel.Hmmmmm........Just Like greasy foods The 'Light' Version gets you also in the long run!Read the full story here.
- Criminal complaint in Germany against Prime Minister Erdoğan.(Firat).Lawyers in Germany have filed a criminal complaint at the responsible Federal Prosecutor's Office (BAW) in Karlsruhe, Germany against Prime Minister Erdoğan (who is today in Berlin for a state visit), and several Chiefs of Staff of the Turkish army because of severe criminal acts during war against the Kurdish population. The complaint is about war crimes and crimes against humanity between 2003 and today which are outlawed by laws of war.The criminal complaint is based on the German International Criminal Code which has been existing since 2002. It enables an international prosecution of outlawed war crimes for which military commanders and political superiors are responsible – even if the “crime scene” is not in Germany. The complaint contains 10 exemplary “cases” from recent years, which have been compiled on the basis of comprehensive own research, the analysis of materials of the Turkish justice system and reports of respected human rights organisations.Among others there are cases of extralegal executions, killing of combatants after taking them prisoner, torture, post-mortal mutilation and even the use of prohibited chemical weapons.Presented are the respective facts and circumstances with names, dates and means of evidence.The complaint is filed in the name of relatives of the victims of the war crimes. The human rights organisation MAF-DAD – Association for Democracy and International Law in Cologne, the writer Doris Gercke (Bella Block), professor for international law Norman Paech, MP Harald Weinberg (DIE LINKE), Dr. med. Gisela Penteker (IPPNW), city council member of Nuremberg Marion Padua and sociologist Martin Dolzer are also among the plaintiffs.The complaint was filed by lawyer Britta Eder and lawyer Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Schneider.On 1 November 2011 in the House of Democracy in Berlin (Greifswalder Straße 4) a press conference will be held with lawyers and plaintiffs.Read the full story here.
- Kurds - Delegation found body's parts scattered around in Kazan Valley.(Firat). A delegation of IHD Hakkari Branch, BDP Provincial Organization members and families of HPG (People's Defence Forces) guerrillas went to Kazan Valley (Geliyê Tiyarê) where Turkish army allegedly used chemical weapons against guerrillas during the clashes on October 22-24 in Çukurca district of Hakkari. While the delegation and families found body parts in the clash area, the villagers in the area told that HPG guerrillas had died in the caves hit by napalm bombs dropped during the clashes. Villagers also remarked that after the clashes the bodies of guerrillas had been taken from the area with diggers and many bodies were torn to pieces. Surveying rocks where 11 bodies had been found, the delegation remarked that the area-next to Cevizli (Gûzereş) Village- had been destroyed to a large extent as a result of the chemical weapons and napalm bombs used during the clashes. While several body's parts like heels, skulls, had been scattered all around the area, the bombs also killed many animals and destroyed trees. Making a statement after the survey, IHD Hakkari Branch Chair İsmail Akbulut said that with the samples they took from the area they would do what it is necessary to establish whether chemical weapons and napalm bombs have been used. Noting that there were only 24 bodies in Malatya's morgue while about 30 guerrillas lost their lives during the clashes on October 23-24, Akbulut stated that six of the guerrillas - parts of their bodies in fact - were still in the clash area. Akbulut continued saying that “We witnessed a terrible situation in which chemical and various weapons were used, according to the eyewitnesses. We took samples of water and grass and gathered the body parts which we will convey to relevant authorities. We will make a statement after researches have been completed.”While the delegation left the region after the survey, some families stayed in Cevizli (Gûzereş) Village to look for the bodies of their children. The report to be prepared by the delegation is expected to be declared to public in the following days.Read the full story here.More here.
- "Freedom of Expression is not Always a Good Thing"(IVE).TheLawyer - The UK takes over the chairmanship of the Council of Europe on 7 November and has made as one of its priorities the promotion of “an open internet, not only in terms of access and content but also [in terms of] freedom of expression.”...But as MP John Mann (Bassetlaw), Chair of the Parliamentary Committee Against Anti-Semitism, pointed out in remarks he made on 27 October on the floor of the House of Commons with respect to the Government’s Open Internet priority for the Council of Europe, “Freedom of expression is not always a good thing.” Mr. Mann observed: “The internet is now the place where anti-Semitic filth is spread, be it the old hatreds, the blood libels, the resurrecting of the protocols of the Elders of Zion, or the new hatreds caused by a failure to differentiate between legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and attacks on Jewish people....Indeed, just moments before John Mann delivered his remarks in the House of Commons, upstairs in a Parliament meeting room, the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combatting Anti-Semitism (ICCA) Task Force on Internet Hate (of which Mr. Mann is a member) was concluding its first hearing on the nature and extent of Internet hate, and its effects. Joining Mr. Mann on the Task Force (which is still in formation) are parliamentarians from Spain, Estonia, Lithuania and Israel (home of the other Task Force co-chair, Minister Yuli Edelstein); representatives of NGOs such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Center for Democracy and Technology; internationally-recognized Internet experts and scholars; and representatives of Facebook (Lord Richard Allan) and Google. The Task Force has been formed by the ICCA to expand the coalition’s general mission of fighting anti-Semitism to combating all forms of online hate including areas such as racism, Islamophobia, homophobia and misogyny.The Task Force received a voluminous written record (compiled by volunteer lawyers in the US and UK at Hogan Lovells) on the scope of Internet hate. And it heard how prior to the Internet, haters were relegated to using the mail to communicate their hatred and rage with like-minded haters. The only place for them to have their benighted views applauded was in sporadic clandestine meetings.The Internet changed all that. Extremists have found the Internet a boon to their warped causes. They set up web sites, post videos, manage online stores selling recordings and clothing with hate slogans, and more, to bolster their fellow haters, and to recruit and indoctrinate new generations of haters. And average people, using the mask of anonymity, find they can vent rage by attacking minorities, even in the comment section to routine news stories (as Mr. Mann pointed out in his floor remarks). The work of the ICCA Task Force will continue, and the group will help to fashion recommended responses to Internet hate, such as education, counter-speech and an increased role for Internet intermediaries to exercise their right to maintain a civil Internet. Likewise, it is hope that the UK government will keep in mind that with an open internet comes a duty to fight online hate.Read the full story here.
- Message to True Christian Friends of Jews.(DocsTalk)By StevenShamrak.There are many different Christian churches, groups and movements. Some call themselves Zionists or good and true Christians. Many of them are deeply antagonistic toward mainstream Catholics and Anglicans. And they disassociate themselves from the actions of their church in the past.Just recently, the Pope, leader of 1.1 billion Catholics, deliberately omitted Israel from the list of countries suffering from Islamic terror in his speech. Following his example, an Anglican archbishop did not mention two Jews as victims of London bombings. Some Church leaders are still advocating divestment from Israel, but not from Muslim countries linked to Islamic terrorism! We have not been hearing condemnations made by "true Christians" of the anti-Semitic behaviour and Israel-bashing by their Christian brothers in the past and the present. Most of them are silent about Arab terrorism in Israel, anti-Semitic acts in their own countries and anti-Israel discriminatory behaviour of the UN, EU, Red Cross and USA as well. True friendship can be measured only by actions!The inaction of church leaders and the Christian leadership of the US and European governments against the spreading of Islamic terror is appalling and borders on criminal negligence. For many years they have been ignoring the warnings about Islamic expansionistic ambitions. They ignore the fact, that true Islamists hate Christians even more than Jews. Now they are experiencing the result of their duplicity. Europe is under the flame of Islamic fire but the hypocrites still are not able to face the reality and are playing the dangerous game of political correctness, ignorance and providing false justifications to basic Islamic hate toward anything that is not Muslim!From the Jewish point of view it is difficult to distinguish the true friends among the Christian groups. Most of them claim friendship but actually have sinister motives. The Messianic Christians, for example, consider themselves as 'good Christians'. This is in spite of the fact that the main objective of the Messianic church is to prove the validity of Christian teachings by converting lost Jewish souls to Christianity. They believe, as many before them, that the increase in the number of Jewish Christians is an indication that the Church is G-d's true religion. In the past the forceful conversion of Jews was a preferred method, but proved ineffective.Unfortunately, many Christian groups and organisations still believe and practice the old traditional theology of hate or misguided envy toward Jews. They ignore the fact that conversion of Jews to Christianity is actually against the will of the G-d and undermines the most important Christian doctrine of the Second coming. It diminishes the chance of all Jews to come to Israel, as He commanded for the arrival of the Jewish Messiah. Effectively, due to deeply imbedded anti-Semitism or pathological jealousy, many branches of the Church have been sabotaging the Second coming of their Messiah by evangelising Jews.I respect any belief system as long as they do not discriminate against others. At the same time, I demand the same respect toward my people, our traditions and our rights from others. True friendship is a two way street. Jews welcome moral and political support for Israel from the non-Jewish friends. But it must be given without any ulterior motives. The good Christian friends must not be frustrated when Jews criticize the anti-Semitic behaviour of the Church. Most often, the Church practice and religion have very little in common! If you follow the Bible's message of love, you are on the right side and have nothing to be concerned about. The bottom line is - your teacher was a Jew and it is difficult to distort his message of love!Hmmm......"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.~ (Luke 23:34).Read the full story here.
- US Cuts Off UNESCO Funding After Palestinian Vote.(VOA).The United States said on Monday it had stopped funding UNESCO, the U.N. cultural agency, following its vote to grant the Palestinians full membership.U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the United States had no choice, Washington will not make a $60-million November payment to UNESCO because of a longstanding U.S. law that prohibits American support for any U.N.-affiliated body that accepts Palestinian membership.Washington currently is UNESCO's biggest funding source, supplying 22 percent of the agency's budget.Earlier Monday, the Paris-based UNESCO voted to approve the Palestinian membership bid by a vote of 107 to 14, with 52 abstentions. France voted for the motion, along with almost all Arab, African, Latin American and Asian nations, including China and India. Israel, the United States, Canada and Germany voted against it. Japan and Britain abstained. A two-thirds vote was required by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's 193 members.The White House called UNESCO's decision “premature,” saying it undermines the international community's goal of a comprehensive Middle East peace plan. Spokesman Jay Carney said the move is a distraction from the task of restarting direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, called the vote “deeply damaging to UNESCO.”Israel's Foreign Ministry described the move as a “unilateral Palestinian maneuver” that would further harm efforts to secure a peace agreement. The ministry thanked countries that opposed the measure and said it was “disappointing” that the European Union could not reach a unified position to prevent the decision.Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki hailed the admission as a “historic moment,” saying it is “not an alternative, not a substitute for something else.”UNESCO is the first U.N. agency the Palestinians have sought to join since President Mahmoud Abbas applied in September for full recognition of Palestinian statehood by the U.N. General Assembly. Palestinian officials say they will call on UNESCO to recognize key monuments in the occupied Palestinian territories as world heritage sites. These include the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, built over the place where many Christians say Jesus is believed to have been born. Also Monday, Bosnian officials said the country's tripartite presidency could not agree on whether to support the Palestinian bid for full U.N. membership, forcing its likely abstention from a key Security Council vote on Palestinian statehood. Palestinian officials have said they already have eight of the required nine votes for a majority on the council and were counting heavily on Bosnia-Herzegovina to give them the ninth.Hmmmm.......Palestine Art "Here we have 'Gone by the wind' a composition of sentex with modernistic TNT?Read the full story here.
- Report: Israel improving nuclear abilities.(YNet).Israel is extending its Jericho III missile's range, developing intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capabilities and expanding its nuclear-tipped cruise missile enabled submarine fleet, The Guardian, quoting an independent committee report, said Monday. According to the British newspaper, the report was prepared for the Trident Commission, an independent cross-party initiative set up by the British American Security Information Council (BASIC)."In the case of Israel, the size of its nuclear-tipped cruise missile enabled submarine fleet is being increased and the country seems to be on course, on the back of its satellite launch rocket program, for future development of an inter-continental ballistic missile," the report said.Israel currently has three submarines and two more being manufactured in Germany. Earlier this year, the Der Spiegel reported that Germany had granted Israel's request to provide it with a six Dolphin submarines said to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Dolphin submarines are manufactured in the city of Kiel in Germany. Experts estimate they are have the longest cruising range of all submarines. Some reports claim they are also able to carry and launch nuclear weapons. Berlin had granted the request after several years during which Israel has been pushing for the deal. Meanwhile, the world's nuclear powers are planning on spending hundreds of billions of dollars modernizing and upgrading their nuclear warheads, The Guardian said. Despite budgetary issues and international rhetoric calling for nuclear weapons disarmament, the report points to "era of nuclear weapons." According to the report, the United States will spend some $700 billion on its nuclear weapons industry in the upcoming decade, while Russia is expected to spend 70 billion on cruise missile systems alone. Other countries, including Israel, India, China and Pakistan, are also expected to spend significant amounts of money on their strategic weaponry systems.The Basic report claimed that for countries such as Israel, Russia, Pakistan and France, having nuclear weapons is not just about deterrence. For Russia and Pakistan nuclear weapons are also designated for attacks, claimed the report.Read the full story here.
- Egypt: Salafi Fatwa Forbids Muslims From Voting For Christian Candidates.(AlArabiya).A prominent Egyptian Islamic scholar spoke out against a fatwa issued by a Salafist cleric that bans voting for non-Islamists in the upcoming parliamentary elections.A former deputy of al-Azhar, the world’s leading institution of Sunni Islam and member of the Islamic Research Center, Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour lashed out at Sheikh Mahmoud Amer, a Salafist cleric and head of the Giza Governorate branch of al-Sunna al-Mohamadeya for issuing a fatwa that renders voting for certain Egyptian groups against Islam.Amer had said that Muslims were prohibited from voting for Copts, secularists, and liberals as well as Muslim candidates who do not pray and who do not call for the implementation of sharia (Islamic law) in their programs.He also included members of the formerly ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) on the black list, yet excluded what he called the “honorable” among them.“Anyone who votes for one of those will be committing a grave sin,” the Egyptian daily independent al-Masry al-Youm quoted Amer as saying.“Muslims should vote for Islamists or other candidates known for frequenting mosques in order to prepare for establishing an Islamic parliament.”Amer added that even if some secularist candidates are not against applying the sharia, it is still prohibited to vote for them.“Secularism is prohibited in Islam.”As for Copts and liberals, he added, they can only be voted for if they are part of a list of Islamists and if they have declared their support for applying the sharia. “In this case the voter is absolved of any sin.” Shaikh Ashour described Amer’s statement as a joke rather than a fatwa.“What he said has nothing to do with religion or science or humanity and is against everything Muslims believe in,” he told Al Arabiya Saturday. Ashour explained that Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) himself made an agreement with the Jews in Medina and called for protecting the rights of Christians in any Muslim society. Ashour added that several clerics issue fatwas without being qualified to do so.“People should not listen to them since their fatwas have no scientific basis.”Hmmmm......Read the full story here.
- On Eid al-Adha, Sacrificial Animals in Pakistan Named after CIA Agent Raymond Davis, Mike Mullen and Bollywood Icons.(Memri).Across the Islamic word, Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice) will be marked this year for three days starting November 5 or 6, depending on the visibility of the moon, which marks the beginning of an Islamic month. Eid al-Adha is celebrated to commemorate the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. In the run-up to the annual event, goats, cows, sheep and oxen are being sold at a market in Karachi, as is the practice across the Islamic world.However, in the Pakistani market this year, these sacrificial animals have been named after Indian movies such as Bodyguard and Gajini, Bollywood suggestive dance scenes such as Sheela ki Jawani (the youth of the girl called Sheela) or Munni Badnam Hui (how the girl called Munni became infamous) as well as after U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen who retired recently and CIA agent Raymond Davis who killed two Pakistani nationals in Lahore. It seems some animals have been imported from the U.S., or it may be that their sellers are claiming so in order to attract good prices.While some Pakistani buyers are willingly purchasing these animals as a mark of status and pompousness, some Islamic circles in Pakistan resent this development in the deeply religious society of Pakistan and blame it on cable television that beams hundreds of Indian movies and songs into Pakistani homes every day. According to a report in the Urdu-language Pakistani daily Roznama Ummat, some Islamic clerics and religious-minded Pakistanis are worried over such a development in Pakistan's Islamic society and resent the sacrificial animals being named after Hindu actors and actresses. "In order to boost the price of their animals [meant for sacrifice on Eid Al-Adha], the brokers of the Sohrab Goth Cattle Mandi [market of Karachi] have named their animals after film heroes, Indian films and American spy Raymond Davis. And, rich people are showing interest in buying such animals which look beautiful and strong. "After attaching the names of actors and films to the animals for sacrifice, a new trend is also being witnessed: People are showing interest in buying the animal with the name of their favorite heroes and heroines. For example, if a rich person is a fan of [Indian actress] Katrina Kaif, he takes interest in buying the cow named after her. Islamic clerics say that linking the pious act of sacrifice with films and actors is an act of grave sin because the act of sacrifice is purely done in the name of Allah."The Beautiful and Strong Animals Reared By the Big Cattle Farmers and Generally Priced High are... Placed in VIP Blocks [of the Market]" "The important thing that was noticed regarding these animals was that these cows and oxen, which were brought for the important act of performing the obligation of the Sunnah of Abraham, were named after Indian films, Indian personalities and American spies. There were a pair of important oxen imported from the U.S. at a tent, which were named after American spy Raymond Davis and General Mike Mullen; and they were priced at 15 to 18 lakhs Rupees [approximately $2,070 maximum].The people who visited the tent were being told that five oxen of Red Ringers and Black Ringers races were imported from … [the U.S.]. "For the first time, oxen have been imported from the U.S. At another tent, there were cows named after [suggestive Bollywood dance scenes and] Indian actresses like Dimple, Sheela, Munni, Chunnu, Ladli, Mini, Kumkum, Maharani, Khushboo, Gulabo; and people were being briefed about the weight and price of those cows. "At a few tents, there were oxen named after Indian films [and Bollywood characters] like Gajini, Bodyguard, Shahenshah, Chulbul Pandey, Dabang and Chandra Mukhi while others had names like Gilly, Homi, Jasmine and Gangoes."In this regard Ummat contacted [prominent Islamic cleric] Mufti Naeem, who said that it is illegal to sacrifice animals named after Indian films and Hindu actors that are being sold in the Mandi as per Islamic Sharia, for these animals would be sacrificed in their names only and sacrifices done in the name other than Allah is unlawful. He also said that the trend of buying costly animals in the city is also wrong, as Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) had said that sacrifice is based on one's intention. "Ummat contacted [Islamic scholar] Allama Mirza Yusuf Hussain who said that animals are being sold for the important obligation of the Sunnah of Abraham in the Mandi but by naming them Hindu names in general and the names of Hindu actors and Indian films in particular, the sellers are showing their love for the Hindu religion. He said that the sacrificial animal should not be ridiculed."Hmmmm......What no Obama donkey?Read the full story here.