Sunday, November 20, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Tonga 5.2 !More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Canary Islands - El Hierro earthquake and volcano eruption – Update 21. here , Live webcams here and here.
- Egypt Updated : Ten dead as military continues attack on protesters in Cairo.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: The army and police have waged a coordinated offensive on protesters in Tahrir Square, attempting to forcibly remove demonstrators who have occupied square in the largest anti-government protest witnessed in Egypt since the January 25 uprisings that toppled the government of former president Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.Five have been reported dead so far by the Egyptian Ministry of Health, and over a thousand have sustained injuries as the police and military fire tear gas canisters and use live ammunition.The army has entered the square in armed personnel carriers (APCs) from the nearby Qasr al-Ainey Street. Police and military set fire to protester tents in the middle of square, as well as an abandoned motorcycle.“Injuries have just continued to flood in. Its hard to count how many we have here,” a worker at a field hospital told Bikyamasr.com.Cairo: Egypt’s Minister of Culture Emad Abu Ghazi has filed for resignation in protest of the military and police offensive waged on protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.The Egyptian Ministry of Health has reported that five are dead, and over a thousand have sustained injuries in the violence.Cabinet Ministers are currently holding an emergency meeting at the Military Council headquarters, set to discuss the situation.They published a statement saying that they are still committed to holding elections as scheduled.Protests have spread throughout cities in the rest of the nation, as demonstrations in Cairo intensify.Read the full story here.
- Violence continues in Syria as Condoleezza Rice promotes unilateral U.S. action.(BlacklistedNews).By Madison Ruppert.As clashes continue in Homs with opposition forces and pro-Assad forces engaging in what the New York Times calls, “A harrowing sectarian war,” Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice advocates unilateral U.S. action on CNN’s “State of the Union.”Rice says that Bashar al-Assad is bringing his country to the brink of a civil war, although it is arguable that civil war is already exactly what is going on with heavily armed opposition clashing with government forces and attacks on government compounds and vehicles.She also said that ousting Assad would be a “great thing” for the people of Syria, along with U.S. interests and according to the Associated Press, “anyone seeking a more peaceful Middle East.”Her statements are far from groundbreaking except in that she called for the “toughest” possible penalties against the Syrian government while saying that if Russia and China block sanctions in the United Nations, the United States should either apply pressure with allies or act unilaterally.She also promoted more assistance to the Syrian opposition, which has already become a bloody insurgent force that has attacked government compounds and vehicles along with a rocket attack on the Baath Party’s headquarters in the Syrian capital of Damascus.Eyewitnesses reported that the headquarters appeared intact and no large security force deployment was reported after activists said the building was hit with several rocket-propelled grenades.This comes as the Assad government rejected the Arab League’s planned mission to send so-called “monitoring” forces, which would likely do a lot more than just monitoring like Qatar did in Libya.The Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said today that the proposed Arab League mission has “pervasive jurisidcation that reaches the level of violating Syrian sovereignty” and added that the Arab League would receive a letter from him questioning their role.Previously the Arab League declared that Assad’s forces must withdraw from cities in which clashes are occurring by November 19th, along with starting dialogue with the opposition.However, the opposition flatly rejected the notion of talking with Assad, just like the al Qaeda-affiliated and Western-backed rebels did in Libya.The League outright rejected the Syrian request to modify the proposal which would send more than 500 monitors into the country, which Syria had tentatively agreed to on Friday.Read the full story here.
- Arab League rejects proposed Syrian amendments to peace plan.(AlArabiya).The Arab League on Sunday rejected amendments proposed by Damascus to its proposal to send a 500-strong delegation to monitor the violence in Syria, saying they would radically alter the mission. “It was agreed that the amendments and appendices proposed by the Syrian side affect the core of the document and would radically change the nature of the mission which is to oversee the implementation of the Arab plan to end the crisis in Syria and protect Syrian civilians,” the Arab League said in a statement.The League on Nov. 16 had given Damascus three days to abide by a plan aimed at ending the violence and starting talks between the government and opposition. The plan included sending a monitoring team to Syria.In related news, the opposition Syrian National Council announced Sunday a political program aimed at bringing down President Bashar al-Assad followed by a parliamentary election after a year’s transition.In a statement received by AFP, the SNC said its goal was to “build a democratic, pluralistic, and civil state by ... breaking down the existing regime, including all of its operatives and symbols.”The SNC, the country’s largest and most representative opposition group, said another objective was “preserving, protecting, and enhancing the peaceful nature of the popular revolution.”The SNC said that after the fall of the Assad regime, it would “take responsibility, with the military apparatus, to manage the transitional period and guarantee the security and unity of the country” during the transition. It would try to forge a “pluralistic ... parliamentary republic ... based on the principles of equal citizenship with separation of powers ... the rule of law, and the protection and guarantee of the rights of minorities. “Within one year at most, the interim government will organise free elections with Arab and international observers to elect a Constitutional Assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution for the country that is then voted on by the people in a referendum,” said the statement.“Free parliamentary elections shall be held within six months, in accordance with the new constitution.”The SNC, which was formally founded in Istanbul on October 2, is made up of Assad’s opponents, including the committees organizing protests on the ground, the Muslim Brotherhood as well as various Kurdish and Assyrian parties.So far it has only been recognized by Libya, where the National Transitional Council is now in power following a revolt that ousted dictator Muammar Qaddafi.France said Thursday that the Syrian opposition’s umbrella group needs to be better organized before it can win its recognition.“We have contacts with them, I saw Burhan Ghaliun in Paris, who’s the president. We help them, we have contact and we encourage them to get organized,” Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said, referring to the head of the SNC.The Assad regime is under mounting international pressure to halt its eight-month crackdown on pro-reform turned anti-regime protests, which the United Nations says has killed more than 3,500 people.In comments published Sunday, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said there was “no place for authoritarian regimes” in the Mediterranean region“I strongly believe that there is no place any more for authoritarian regimes – single party systems that do not have accountability or transparency – on the shores of the Mediterranean,” he told Britain’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper.“As someone who has studied in the United Kingdom, lived in the United Kingdom, has this world view, President Assad should be able to understand this.”His comments, made before the expiry of the Arab League deadline at midnight Saturday (2200 GMT), was the latest criticism of Assad’s regime by Turkey.Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, has already announced a halt to joint oil exploration with Syria and has threatened to cut electricity exports to its neighbor.But despite Ankara’s protests and the Arab League ultimatum, violence in Syria has shown no sign of abating and Assad has defiantly vowed to fight and die for his country if faced with foreign intervention.In Sunday’s interview, Gul said he had been encouraging his Syrian counterpart to embark on democratic reforms before the uprising.“We strongly advised him to hurry up and accelerate the pace of reforms,” he said.“Otherwise, if he was not the leader of the change himself, then things would turn out to be too bad, we said to him.”Read the full story here.
- Syria accuses U.S. and Turkey of inciting civil war.(AlArabiya).Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem on Sunday accused U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Dawood Oglu of pushing Syrians into a civil war.“I say this with all due honesty, whoever reads with details the announcements by all of Hillary Clinton, Ahmed Oglu and others, will feel that they are trying to push for a civil war, and this is what I call a wishful thinking," Moualem told reporters in Damascus.On Saturday, Clinton told the NBC network, “I think there could be a civil war with a very determined and well-armed and eventually well-financed opposition that is, if not directed by, certainly influenced by defectors from the army.” “We’re already seeing that, something that we hate to see because we are in favor of a peaceful protest and non-violent opposition,” she said, blaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for provoking the opposition into “taking up arms.”Former U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice had also accused Syrian President Assad of taking his country to the brink of civil war.Rice told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Assad’s crackdown on peaceful protesters is creating a very dangerous situation. She said Assad “is no friend of the United States” and that his overthrow would be a “great thing” for the Syrian people, U.S. interests and anyone seeking a more peaceful Middle East.Moualem also described an Arab League plan to send a monitoring mission to Syria as compromising the country’s sovereignty despite Damascus not rejecting the mission.He said that the proposed mission has “pervasive jurisdiction that reaches the level of violating Syrian sovereignty” and said he would send the Arab League a letter with questions about its role.“We will reply to the Arab League secretary general by responsibly presenting a number of queries,” he added. “The protocol is three pages that completely ignores the role of the Syrian state. On one hand the Syrian state is responsible for the security of this mission and on the other hand they ignore even coordinating with it.”The Arab League had previously given Syria three days from Nov. 16 to abide by a deal to withdraw its forces from restive cities, start talks with the opposition and pave the way for a League observer team. But Syria was not responsive to the Arab League’s three-day ultimatum and continued with its crackdown. The foreign minister also accused some Arab countries of complicity with the U.S. in pressuring Syria, but added: “This cheek is used to this slapping.”In addition to that, he also denied reports that the Damascus headquarters of the ruling Baath Party was hit by rocket-propelled grenades Sunday, calling them “absolutely false.”But he later thanked a Syrian journalist for clarifying that the explosions heard in the area were the result of a sound bomb, indirectly acknowledging that some kind of attack had taken place.Read the full story here.
- Newly Released Emails Prove Elena Kagan Was Not Walled Off From Obamacare's Legal Strategy and Must Recuse Herself.(DougRoss).During her confirmation hearings, Elena Kagan -- then solicitor-general for the United States -- stated that she had virtually no role in crafting the PPACA (Obamacare) Act nor in advising the Democrat Party on a legal strategy for it.
COBURN: Thank you. And my — I have two final questions. One, was there at any time — and I’m not asking what you expressed or anything else — was there at any time you were asked in your present position to express an opinion on the merits of the health care bill?
KAGAN: There was not.
Newly released emails prove that this was untrue. From cheerleading the passage of the bill, to helping to coordinate the response, to shushing those who had begun to leave a paper trail of her involvement, Kagan was intimately involved in every aspect of the legal strategy.
Thanks to Judicial Watch, we now have more evidence that Kagan fibbed during her sworn testimony.
- An October 13, 2009, exchange between Kagan and former Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal. Katyal informs Kagan, “We just got Snowe on health care,” referring to Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). (The bulk of the email exchange reflects a discussion about Kagan, and also provides instructions regarding a hiring decision within the agency, although the nature of the position is unclear. When Katyal asks if Kagan wants to handle the hire via email or in person meeting, Kagan responds, “In person. I’ll call a meeting when I return.”)
- A March 21, 2010, email from Kagan to then-Senior Counselor for Access to Justice Laurence Tribe: “I hear they have the votes Larry!! Simply amazing...” Tribe responds, “So healthcare is basically done! Remarkable.”
- A March 16, 2010, email from Kagan to David Barron, then-acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, asked if he had seen an article by Michael McConnell published in the Wall Street Journal that discussed a strategy by Democrats to “‘deem’ ObamaCare into Law without voting.” “Did you seee [sic] Michael McConnell’s piece in the wsj?” Kagan writes in an email with the subject line “Health care q.” “YES, HE IS GETTING THIS GOING,” replied Barron.
Furthermore, these recently released documents had been stonewalled by the Holder Justice Department prior to the Kagan confirmation hearings. Upon receiving the documents, just days after the Obamacare case was accepted for review by the Supreme Court, Sen. Jeff Sessions -- who was the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Kagan confirmation -- said the following: I am deeply disturbed by these developments and believe that the Justice Department should have provided these documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee during Justice Kagan's confirmation hearing. The Department’s failure to provide this information to Congress and to comply with FOIA requests, as well as your apparent inattention to these matters, is unacceptable.” There is only one reason that Justice withheld the Kagan documents. What's been revealed thus far is proof positive that Kagan was not walled off from the legal strategy behind Obamacare and was therefore not truthful during her sworn testimony in front of Congress.Justice Kagan must recuse herself from the Obamacare case immediately -- or she should be impeached.Read the full story here.
- Assault on the Truth, Part 1: A PC Military vs. an Absolutist Enemy.(BigPeace).By John Guandolo.How the U.S. National Security Apparatus is Imposing the Islamic Law of Slander on American Citizens and Aiding and Abetting the Enemy. U.S. War fighting doctrine requires we analyze an enemy beginning with (1) who the enemy says he is, and (2) why he states he is fighting us. From there, the enemy’s threat doctrine is identified, studied and taught to those who have national security and war fighting responsibilities so the enemy can be defeated.The United States has been engaged in a war since 9/11/2001 in which 100% of the enemy states they are “Muslims fighting Jihad in the Cause of Allah in order to impose Shariah (Islamic Law) on the entire world.” Violent Jihadi organizations such as Al Qaeda, Hamas, and others make clear their strategic objective is to re-establish the Global Islamic State (Caliphate) under which Shariah (Islamic Law) is the law of the land. All Islamic nations (Head of State level), via the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s (OIC’s) Cairo Declaration define human rights as the imposition of Shariah. The Cairo Declaration was served as an official document to the United Nations in 1993.Hence, when OIC nations say they seek to spread human rights throughout the world, they are stating their objective is a world governed by Shariah. It is a matter of fact the most prominent Islamic organizations in North America are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) whose stated goals (in their By-Law, Strategic documents, etc) are (1) the re-establishment of the Caliphate (by force when needed); (2) under which Shariah is the law of the land. Therefore, our enemy is fighting a Total War in which Shariah (Islamic Law) serves as the basis of their stated threat doctrine, which they seek to impose on the entire world.Even if Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the leaders of Islamic nations are wrong about the requirements of Islamic Law, they continue to use it to wage war against us and, therefore, by our own war fighting doctrine, it constitutes a key element of the enemy threat doctrine.100% of all published Islamic Law – and yes, it is published and authoritative – makes Jihad a permanent obligation on all Muslims until the entire world is subordinated to Islamic Law. All published Islamic Law only defines Jihad as warfare against non-Muslim. No bona fide published Islamic Law differs from this. Our enemy knows this to be true.
Those are the facts.
Had the professional standard inside the U.S. National Security apparatus been maintained regarding the identification of the threat from the Islamic Movement after 9/11, it would be standard protocol inside the bureaucracy of the U.S. government to teach the basics of Islamic Law, as it relates to terrorism, to all new military officers, federal agencies, U.S. Attorneys Offices, and the like. However, that, sadly, is not the case.In fact, those who teach these facts are being systematically purged from the government sector by the very agencies whose reason for existence is to pursue facts to find the truth in order to enforce the Constitutional laws of these United States. The Muslim Brotherhood calls this “Civilization Jihad” by our hands – getting our leadership to do the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding for them – in this case, silencing those presenting facts about the enemy threat doctrine.
The Islamic Law of Slander
In 14th century Islamic Sacred Law (Shariah) – Umdat al Salik – published today in English in Beltsville, Maryland (“Reliance of the Traveller”), “Slander” is defined as follows: “Slander means to mention anything concerning a person (Muslim) that he would dislike.” A truthful statement about Shariah which a Muslim does not want you to know or teach others is considered “Slander” in Islamic Law, and can be punishable by death. The international campaign launched by the OIC to have “Islamophobia” criminalized through official international channels, including the United Nations, is having a direct impact on local, state and federal law enforcement in the United States as the truthful, yet “offensive” information about Shariah is being kept from many of them – not by the Muslim Brotherhood, but by U.S. government officials acting on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Should We Understand Shariah? Is it a Threat?
Is Shariah (Islamic Law) really an imminent threat here in America? We know it is the very reason the enemy acts, and it is what the enemy uses to drive what he does. So let’s look at some evidence (read: “Facts”).In June 2009, Carlos Bledsoe, who previously converted to Islam and changed his name to Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, drove to the Army Recruiting Center in Little Rock, Arkansas and shot and killed Private William A. (“Andy”) Long, and wounded Private Quinton Ezeagwula. The U.S. government did not pursue this as a “Terrorism” matter, but let the local police and prosecutors handle it as a drive-by shooting. Abdulhakim Muhammad was “radicalized” at the Islamic Center of Nashville, a Muslim Brotherhood front organization, and trained for jihad in Yemen. The FBI was aware of his arrest in Yemen, and sent an agent from the Nashville Field Office to interview him.The police report from the shooting revealed Muhammad “stated that he was a practicing Muslim … that he was mad at the U.S. military because of what they had done to Muslims in the past.” Muhammad called the circuit court judge a “tyrant” and said he had no jurisdiction over him – which is true under Islamic Law. In a letter to the judge he said, “This was a Jihadi attack on infidel forces.” It doesn’t get clearer than that. Asked why this case was being prosecuted in the Pulaski County Circuit Court, a Justice Department spokesman stated: “Given that the capital murder case against Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Muhammad, is a matter of pending litigation in Arkansas, we refer you to the prosecutors handing the case in Arkansas for any comments on this matter.” Private Andy Long was killed by a Jihadi on the streets of America by the same enemy we are fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and elsewhere. He is deserving of a Purple Heart and should be remembered as a warrior.
Facts in Evidence
The largest terrorism finance and Hamas trial successfully prosecuted in U.S. history was United States v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (hereafter “HLF”). The case was adjudicated in the Northern District of Texas (Dallas) in 2008, and HLF and its leadership were convicted of sending over 12 million dollars to Hamas overseas. HLF was created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. to be one of three front organizations for Hamas. Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, and is a designated terrorist organization by the U.S. government. At the time it was indicted, HLF was the largest Islamic charity in the United States.The massive evidence in this trial reveals nearly all major Islamic organizations in the United States are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. These include the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), and many others. In fact, the Federal Judge overseeing this trial stated the “Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association of Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” Evidence in this trial reveals ISNA was created to be the ‘nucleus’ for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Movement in North America.Evidence also reveals CAIR was established in 1994 by the Muslim Brotherhood’s U.S. Palestine Committee (Hamas) as the fourth front organization for Hamas in the United States. The leaders of CAIR, Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad, led the IAP (Hamas), were surveilled by the FBI at a 1993 meeting of Hamas leaders in Philadelphia, and their names were on a list of Palestine Section (Hamas) members in the United States. CAIR is Hamas. CAIR’s headquarters office is two blocks from the U.S. Capitol Building.Additionally, the leadership of the Muslim American Society (MAS), another leading Islamic organization in the U.S., has openly stated they were founded by and are a Muslim Brotherhood entity.If these facts hold true, and they do, it begs the following questions: Why is the White House, the State Department, and the National Security Council relying on the leadership of ISNA for counsel and input with regards to the American Muslim community? Why is the DHS Secretary working closely with MAS? Why is TSA allowing its security officers to be trained by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), originally formed out of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Center of Southern California? Why is Nihad Awad continually allowed on Capitol Hill? Why is the government working with the enemy instead of prosecuting them?Hmmm.....I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes. ~ Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776.Read the full story here.
- President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation.by Steven Ertelt.Hmmm.....perhaps time to contact the Guiness record book?Read and see the full 'record' here.
- US mulls new financial sanctions against Iran.(YNet).Washington is planning to impose fresh sanctions against Iran's petrochemical industry, in wake of the recent IAEA report on Tehran's atom endeavors and its adamant refusal to suspend its nuclear efforts, CNN reported Saturday.Current US sanctions prohibit American companies from doing business with Iran and according to the news network's sources, the new measures aim to bar foreign companies from doing business with the Islamic Republic's petrochemical industry "by threatening them with being banned from US markets."European nations are expected to announce similar measures next week, but not all of the euro-zone members are in agreement: While Switzerland and France, for example, support tightening the financial vise on Iran, Russia is adamantly against it, and has warned further sanctions would be "a serious mistake."US President Barack Obama defended his efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions recently, saying the economic sanctions proposed against Tehran have an "enormous bite." The latest round of proposed measures will build on existing sanctions on Iran's oil and gas industry.The US' plans for additional sanctions come on the heels of the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which suggested that Iran was making serious progress towards developing and constructing a nuclear weapon.Hmmmm....More sanctions that 'bite' ask Turkey how that 'biting' works out for them, the bilateral trade volume between Iran and Turkey has grown remarkably over the last decade. It has boomed from about $1 billion in 2000 up to $10.7 billion in 2010. Beyond that, earlier this year the Iranians and Turks signed a joint economic commission accord and declared that they aim to increase their bilateral trade volume to $30 billion in the future.Read the full story here.
- Europe’s new fascists are closet liberals.(DocsTalk).By Timothy Stanley.The spectre of neo-fascism is haunting Europe. But is it fascism or is it something else?The Economist, which prefers to call it “populism”, writes: “Anti-Muslim, anti-elite, anti-globalisation and increasingly anti-Brussels, populists now count for something in the Nordic countries, among the Dutch and Flemish, in France, Italy and Austria, and in parts of eastern Europe. They come in many varieties, but all claim to represent... the ripped-off, lied-to little people”. Harvard professor Dani Rodrik (who is happy to call them “fascists”) explains in National Magazine how these parties gained popularity: “Mounting concerns about the erosion of economic security, social stability and cultural identity could not be handled through mainstream political channels. National political structures became too constrained to offer effective remedies, while European institutions still remain too weak to command allegiance.” The result was an explosion of populist Far Right movements that have played “kingmaker” in Holland and Finland, while the Italian “post-fascist” Gianfranco Fini is now President of his country’s Chamber of Deputies. Outside the Eurozone, even the Neo-Nazi Sweden Democrats won 6 percent of the vote in last year’s parliamentary elections. Frightening stuff. But the temptation to lump all these movements together under the banner of “revived fascism” should be resisted. Although all these groups are anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim, they do have profound differences.Those with a long history (the French National Front) tend to have genetic links with 1930s fascism. But figures who have come to prominence in the last decade, such as Holland’s Geert Wilders, do not (Wilders has Indonesian blood and his father fled the Nazis).Some parties have fluctuating electoral success that suggests they are purely a protest vote (Britain’s BNP), while others have long-term regional or demographic support (Italy’s Lega Nord).Certainly, there is no single fascist movement in Europe, rather a patchwork of different nationalist reactions to domestic problems.If you extract the outright crazy (the BNP) from the serious attempt at mainstream politicking (Finnland’s True Finns), you’ll actually find a set of parties that don’t easily fit the fascist label.The fascism of the 1930s was illiberal, anti-free speech, anti-feminist and homophobic. In contrast, contemporary nationalists wear their cultural liberalism as a badge of political legitimacy. Holland’s Wilders, for example, attacks Islam as an agent of intolerance, highlighting what he perceives as the Koran’s prejudices against women and gays.Even the ruffians of the English Defence League have a Facebook page devoted to its “Gay Division”.Perhaps this is part of a strategy to dress up racial bigotry as social liberalism. But the new movements are consistently secular in their rhetoric: rarely do they invoke Christianity as the bedrock of Europe, preferring instead to quote the Enlightenment as its genesis.Nor do they express that most constant theme of traditionalist Christianity: anti-Semitism. On the contrary, the True Finns are big fans of Israel and have received favourable write ups in the Jeruslam Post (although the Hungarian Jobbik movement is truly, awfully anti-Semitic).Most importantly, none of these groups present a threat to established democratic institutions. The fascists of the 1930s saw democracy as a Trojan horse for communism, legitimising popular socialism. They campaigned openly for a one party state and won power in countries where democracy had only been practised for one generation.In contrast, no nationalist party in Europe is promising a dictatorship. On the contrary, most see themselves as a bulwark against a perceived Islamic conspiracy to pervert democracy.Many wish to extend democratic participation either by reintegrating the working-class into politics, leaving the EU or (as in the case of the separatist Vlaams Belang of Belgium) replacing the bureaucratic nation state with ethnic self-determination.Mussolini, Hitler or Franco would have recognised little of themselves in the modern Far Right. That’s not to suggest that it is a benign phenomenon, but it’s important that critics understand what they’re writing about when critiquing it.And the Left must not be allowed to use it as a bogeyman to scare the Right out of talking about immigration or the future of the EU. Indeed, in its secularism and embrace of postmodern cultural values, the new nationalism actually has little in common with traditionalist conservatism.Its mix of social liberalism and economic populism makes it more empathetic to the demands of the old fashioned Left. It is infused with the values of the 1960s and regards itself as the protector of the contemporary European social contract against the more religiously conservative threat of Islam.Europe’s fascists aren’t fascists at all: they’re liberals on steroids.Read the full story here.
- Holland takes tough stance against Iran.(JPost).‘The Iranian threat to annihilate 6 million Jews is an Auschwitz in the making,’ Party of Freedom official says.BERLIN – A parliamentary resolution last week against Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons contributed to the Dutch Foreign Ministry embracing what appears to be the strongest European position toward ratcheting up the pressure on Tehran’s leaders.Wim Kortenoeven, a deputy from the Party for Freedom, told The Jerusalem Post in a telephone interview from The Hague on Friday that his party had worked to pass a potent measure.“Now for the practical execution of our resolution, which was unanimously supported in parliament. The foreign minister should be in the forefront of demanding the most forceful sanctions. And he is doing that. There is still a window of opportunity. There seems to be a willingness in Europe to go far in the sanctions and even to follow the initiatives of the US Congress.But at the same time there seems to be a reluctance on the part of the US government where it concerns targeting the Iranian Central Bank. And boycotting that entity is probably the key for our success,” Kortenoeven said. Kortenoeven, 56, one of Europe’s most prominent advocates for Israel’s security, spearheaded the passage of the parliamentary resolution.According to the text, “the Islamic Republic of Iran violates the NPT and the IAEA suspects Iran of illegally developing nuclear weapons and illegal ballistic delivery systems.”The resolution urges that “fast-working and effective sanctions must be imposed in order to force Iran to abandon the illegal nuclear program and open up completely to the IAEA,” and, “ultimate means should be used, if necessary, so as to prevent the need for military intervention.”The resolution states that “measures should hurt the Iranian regime in its heart in order to compel them to compliance,” and, “calls on the [Dutch] government to take the lead with European and American allies in order to impose swift and effective sanctions.”The Dutch resolution appears to be the only European legislative motion to slam Iran after the International Atomic Energy Agency report confirmed that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons designs.The Party for Freedom plays the role of kingmaker in the Dutch coalition government, with the governing parties needing its support.Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal, from the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), issued the strongest statement at EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday.When asked about military intervention, Rosenthal said, “I don’t exclude anything.Now is not the moment to say anything else.”The Dutch resolution, a product of political compromise in the parliament, did not meet all of Kortenoeven’s goals.“Our proposal to cut the diplomatic ties with Tehran, however, was rejected by all other parties. We reasoned that the regime in Tehran is for all practical purposes a terrorist organization and that their threat to annihilate the Jewish state is in fact an ultimate terrorist act.And since we do not have contact with Hamas and with Hezbollah, them being terrorist organizations, we should also cut ties with the ayatollahs,” he said.Kortenoeven is a leading expert on the Middle East and has garnered an international reputation for his analysis on the region.His party’s leader, Geert Wilders, advocates a tough approach to radical Islam in the Netherlands, including restrictions on immigration.The Party for Freedom has prioritized Israel’s security interests and sees combating extremist Islam as integral to defending Israel and Western liberal values.Kortenoeven told the Post, “My party, the Party for Freedom, will never let Israel down. We will never let down the Jewish State of Israel. We will also support Israel when they exercise their legitimate right to self-defense.In the debate I repeated it three times: My party will never abandon Israel. We support it unconditionally and with whatever it takes. The Iranian threat to annihilate six million Jews is a moral call to us. It is an Auschwitz in the making. We take this threat seriously. History forces us to do that. It happened before and the West did nothing to stop it.”He continued, “In the debate, I referred to the ships that were crossing oceans and seas, filled with Jews trying to escape the Nazis, but ending up in Hamburg or being torpedoed in the Black See. The St. Louis and the Struma. Perhaps I also should have referred to the Evian Conference of 1938.There the free West effectively turned its back on the Jews, making nice statements but offering nothing substantial to save them, and bluntly refusing to go to the hilt in stopping the Nazi menace.The similarity is very disturbing and very real.”According to Kortenoeven, “Supporting Israel now is a moral obligation. But it is also in our own best interest, as the Iranian threat is also extending to the rest of the free and liberal West.“These terrible things may start with the Jews, but they never end with the Jews. The Jewish people and the State of Israel are the canary in the coal mine. That is also a lesson of history.”Kortenoeven twice worked in a kibbutz: in 1976 in Nahshon and in 1981 in Matzuva.In an e-mail to the Post on Friday, Yochanan Visser, an expert on Dutch-Israeli relations – who made aliya from the Netherlands in 2000 – wrote, “Now, it is good that Dutch FM Rosenthal said that the military option is still on the table, during the EU meeting last Monday.”Visser, the head of the Missing Peace NGO, said “the Dutch government should take the lead in the EU. That can be done by pushing for a military buildup in the Persian Gulf by EU NATO countries and by giving the example in the sanctions regime by cutting all ties with Iran.”Read the full story here.
- Why Do Western Elites Minimize Radical Threats in the Middle East?(DocsTalk).By Barry Rubin.A leading journalist heard my analysis on the rise of the radical Islamists in the Middle East, how U.S. policy is helping them, and why this is a disaster. His response? How could I say that Hamas was radical and wanted to wipe out Israel since it had not continually attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip?Although this remark was about a very specific issue, I understood the general concept underlying it. To be a radical or extremist, many Westerners seem to believe, means you are a drooling loony, a caricature of a bomb-throwing revolutionary, like a rabid dog unable to stop himself from biting anyone within reach. If you wear a tie and jacket, or just a jacket, or speak patiently and protest your moderation, or have patience you cannot be a radical. Oh, yes, you are also not a radical if you claim not to be one, even if that’s only done in English while you are calling for Islamist revolution, Sharia law, genocide against the Jews, and anti-Western hate in Arabic. Yet radicals have used strategy for many decades. Lenin wrote a short book, Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Malady, to ridicule the mindless extremists in his movement. The Muslim Brotherhood took a similar view of al-Qaida as being a one-note terrorist group. The whole Turkish model of revolutionary Islamism is based on a patient strategy of hiding their true objectives and maneuvering into total control.Why cannot Western elites see this kind of lightly camoflauged extremism, used by thoroughly by the Communists and also, though this has been largely forgotten, by Nazi and fascist movements. Here are two examples among hundreds. First, an official Palestinian Authority (PA)—the moderates, remember—cleric gives a Friday sermon broadcast on PA television, November 11, 2011 (thanks to MEMRI):. “This racist entity [Israel] will also come to an end, because it too contradicts the natural disposition of the prophets, the righteous, the martyrs, and humanity as a whole….Oh Allah, destroy our enemies. They are no match for you. Oh Allah, count them one by one, and disperse them all. Don’t leave a single one. Oh Allah, drive them out of Palestine in humiliation and disgrace. Oh Allah, drive them out of Jerusalem and its environs, just as you drove them out of Mecca and Medina. Oh Allah, drive them out of the Levant, just as you drove them out of the Arabian Peninsula.”Remember that the Jewish tribes were not exactly driven out of the Arabian Peninsula. The men were murdered; the women and children enslaved. For some reason I don’t quite understand, the Western media does not report on literally hundreds of this type of sermon, broadcast, or article. Somehow they are considered not important even though they drive people into a killing frenzy and make a compromise peace impossible.I do recall, however, a spate of articles a few months ago giving credit for the PA for getting rid of radical preachers. Not at all. It merely eliminated Hamas supporters. Can we ever hope for honest coverage that would thus show people that the PA is not moderate, keeps its people hysterical with hatred, incites them to kill, glorifies terrorists, and thus makes peace impossible?Then there are the moderate Islamists. There is a large collection of statements by Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Libyan warlords, and Tunisian Islamist politicians that show they are definitely not moderate. Here’s one.Tunisia’s prime minister-designate Hamadi Jebeli speaking at a rally:“My brothers, you are at a historic moment in a new cycle of civilization, God willing. We are in [the] sixth caliphate, God willing.” So durable is the mandatory myth of moderation that the article in the Daily Telegraph (a conservative newspaper) reporting this tells us that Jebeli is a moderate. However, it points out that a leftist party, Ettakatol, was so upset at this statement that it suspended coalition talks with Jebeli’s party. The two liberal parties have already denounced those who are called moderate Islamists in Washington as being radical Islamists.“We thought we were going to build a second republic with our partner–not a sixth caliphate,” Khemais Ksila, a senior member of the leftist party, said.The article explains that the caliphate idea is controversial because of its association with al-Qaida. Well, actually there are a few other problems. When people like Jebeli speak of a caliph they are talking about a divinely-guided individual who must be obeyed, will unite all Muslims into a single state, will certainly impose Sharia law on all Muslim-majority countries, and can legally declare Jihad.There isn’t going to be a caliphate for a very long time if ever because Muslims will never agree on who should be caliph, where his capital city should be, whether he should be a Sunni or Shia, and lots of other stuff. Thus, Jebeli’s statement isn’t important because he talks about a caliphate as such but because it tells us his true politics and goals.So this is just a small sample: the “moderate” Palestinians preaching genocide; the “moderate” Islamists preaching a universal Islamic dictatorship. Why oh why cannot Western leaders speak about such things, Western “experts” talk of them, and Western media publish or broadcast this very real news? There is no “racial” stereotyping or Islamophobia or any such things here. The guilty are those who hold these political and theological stances, not those who reject them. The heroes are Muslims and other Middle Easterners who fight against genocidal extremism and radical Islamism. Most of the victims of these movements are also Arabs, Muslims, or both.Even in their own ideology there is no excuse for these Western officials, politicians, journalists, and academics to conceal the nature of the threat. It is almost the end of 2012, years too late to please ignorance.Reflecting on this point, a Turkish friend in the anti-Islamist regime opposition said to me: “We can no longer regard these people as fools. We can only consider them to be enemies.”Read the full story here.
- 'It's all i, i, i nowadays': Chief Rabbi blasts late Apple boss Steve Jobs for helping to create a selfish consumer society.(DailyMail).The Chief Rabbi today launched an eyebrow-raising attack on late Apple founder Steve Jobs - who he says helped create a selfish consumer culture that has only brought unhappiness. Lord Sacks, who represents Britain's 300,000 Jews, singled out Jobs for blame likening his iPad tablets to the tablets of stone bearing the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses.He said advertising only made shoppers aware of what they did not have - rather than feeling grateful for what they did - and warned a culture where people only worried about themselves could not last long.Faith and spending time with family, he said, were the only way to true happiness.Religious leaders have condemned banks and politicians in recent years to criticise the growing gap between the rich and poor. But this is one of the first times a private individual has been blamed.Speaking at an interfaith reception attended by the Queen this week, he said: 'People are looking for values other than the values of a consumer society. The values of a consumer society really aren’t ones you can live by for terribly long.'The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune, i, i, i. 'When you're an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about 'i’, you don’t do terribly well.'Jobs died aged 56 in October, prompting an outpouring of grief from across the world.Sacks added: 'What does a consumer ethic do? It makes you aware all the time of the things you don't have instead of thanking God for all the things you do have.The Chief Rabbi, who is due to step down from his post in 2013, added: 'Therefore the answer to the consumer society is the world of faith, which the Jews call the world of Shabbat, where you can't shop and you can't spend and you spend your time with things that matter, with family.'Unless we get back to these values we will succeed in making our children and grandchildren ever unhappier,' the Telegraph reported him as saying. Hmmm......"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness". ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.Read the full story here.
- Video - Syria’s Assad will not ‘bow down’ to foreign pressure, vows to continue crackdown.(AlArabiya).President Bashar al-Assad said Syria would not bow down in the face of mounting international pressure over his lethal crackdown on dissent, in an interview with The Sunday Times.Assad told the British weekly newspaper he was “definitely” prepared to fight and die for Syria if faced with foreign intervention.“This goes without saying and is an absolute,” he said.The president said he felt sorrow for each drop of Syrian blood spilt but insisted Damascus must go after armed rebel gangs and enforce law and order.“The conflict will continue and the pressure to subjugate Syria will continue,” he said. “I assure you that Syria will not bow down.”In video footage on the newspaper’s website, Assad said there would be elections in February or March when Syrians would vote for a parliament to create a new constitution and that would include provision for a presidential ballot.“That constitution will set the basis of how to elect a president, if they need a president or don’t need him,” he said. “They have the elections, they can participate in it. The ballot boxes will decide who should be president.”Assad accused the Arab League, whose deadline for Syria to stop its clampdown has expired, of creating a pretext for Western military intervention, which would trigger an “earthquake” across the Middle East.“If they are logical, rational and realistic, they shouldn’t do it because the repercussions are very dire. Military intervention will destabilize the region as a whole, and all countries will be affected,” he said.In an interview at the Tishreen Palace in Damascus, the 46-year-old said the solution to the violence was not to pull back his troops.“Like any other Syrian, when I see my country’s sons bleeding, of course I feel pain and sorrow,” he said. “Each spilt drop of blood concerns me personally.“But my role as president is in deeds, not words and sorrow. My role is to think about the steps I should take to prevent more bloodshed.”The Arab League’s deadline expired at 2200 GMT Saturday, but Assad dismissed their move.“It’s been done to show that there’s a problem between the Arabs, thus providing Western countries with a pretext to conduct a military intervention against Syria,” he said.Activists from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 civilians were killed in raids by government forces on Saturday while two army defectors died when they clashed with the army in Homs, which has become a centre of armed revolt against more than 40 years of Assad family rule.Asked if his forces had been too aggressive, Assad told the newspaper mistakes had been made but these were the fault of individuals, not the state.“We, as a state, do not have a policy to be cruel with citizens,” he said.The United Nations says 3,500 people have been killed during the crackdown on the protests which began in March, but Assad disputed this and put the number killed at 619. He told the paper that 800 government forces had been killed.Syria has come under growing international pressure to stop the crackdown. Britain, a strong critic of Damascus, said on Friday senior figures including Foreign Secretary William Hague would meet Syrian opposition representatives in London next week.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed fear that Syria could be slipping into civil war but said the international community was reluctant to intervene as it had in Libya.Assad also vowed to prevent further attacks by the Free Syrian Army, which opposition sources said had killed or wounded at least 20 security police in an assault on an Air Force Intelligence Complex near Damascus two days ago.“The only way is to search for the armed people, chase the armed gangs, prevent the entry of arms and weapons from neighboring countries, prevent sabotage and enforce law and order,” he told the paper.However early Sunday morning at least two rocket-propelled grenades hit a main ruling Baath Party building in Damascus, residents said, in the first insurgent attack reported inside the Syrian capital since uprising began against Assad.Read and see the full story here.
- Saudis to Increase Diplomatic Security.(SaudiGazette).After the plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to the US
NailAdel Jubeir, and attacks on the Saudi Embassy in Damascus, the Saudi government is going to establish its own bureau of Diplomatic Security, Saudi Gazette reports. The move seems to be setting up an office somewhat similar in its mission to that of the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) in that it will protect missions and diplomats abroad as well as foreign missions within the Kingdom. This latter job is currently being done by both police and the Saudi Arabian National Guard.JEDDAH — The government is setting up a special security unit to protect Saudi ambassadors and diplomatic missions abroad. The unit will also be responsible for providing protection to foreign diplomatic missions in the Kingdom.Teams of commandos, officers and non-commissionedspecial security unit to protect Saudi ambassadors and diplomatic missions abroad. The unit will also be responsible for providing protection to foreign diplomatic missions in the Kingdom.Teams of commandos, officers and non-commissioned officers will be trained specifically for the unit known as the “Special Forces for Diplomatic Security”.
It will fall under the Ministry of Interior, said Al-Hayat Arabic daily, quoting informed sources.
It is believed that the authorities were working on the idea long before the revelation of the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Ambassador in Washington.
Members of the unit will be armed with the latest sophisticated weapons.
They will be trained to protect diplomatic facilities and residences, and escort ambassadors on official business. They will also have special training in anti-terrorism methods and air-borne exercises and drive special armored vehicles used to guard diplomats and missions.Read the full story here.
- Dozens of Israeli women strip in support of Egypt blogger.(YNet).Dozens of Israeli women stripped off their clothes Saturday in a show of solidarity with the 20-year-old Egyptian blogger who caused a stir in the Arab world last week when she posted a naked photo of herself in protest against the limits on free expression in her country. Touched by the spirited protest measure, some 40 Israelis posed for a nude group shot in support of the Egyptian activist, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, who received threats and harsh criticism for her actions. Unlike Elmahdy, however, the Israeli women did not fully display their intimate parts for the camera.The brains behind the operation is Or Tepler, 28, who opened a Facebook event inviting women "to show support in a non-violent and legitimate way for a woman who is just like us – young, ambitious, full of dreams and evidently has a developed sense of humor.""Girls, let's give the world a good reason to see the unique beauty of Israeli women," Tepler wrote. "Regardless of whether they are Jewish, Arab, straight or Lesbian – because here, as of now, it doesn't matter. (…) Let us show the doubters that our international discourse doesn't depend on governments." More than 100 women said they would attend. The participants were photographed holding a sign saying "Love without Limits," and "Homage to Aliaa Elmahdi. Sisters in Israel." "I got the idea the day that the blogger's photo was posted," Tepler told Ynet. "I didn't expect that she would get the response that she got. It got on my nerves that she received a quarter of a million abusive comments and death threats. (…) I felt that when a liberal, enlightened woman in Cairo cannot express herself and gets threats from her state, I should show solidarity. "Of course there's the nationalistic aspect, and I won't deny being a leftist and a seeker of peace," she added. "I feel like the governments don't represent the enlightened, simple people who want peace." Tepler, who was active in the social protest movement over the summer, made efforts to get in touch with Elmahdy, but was unsuccessful. "She's as popular as Daphni Leef on the 14th of July," she explained. "I sent her an e-mail, but I saw that her Twitter and Facebook account have been closed. People really want to take her down, while we want to show her that there are many groups that support her."Read the full story here.
- Somalia’s Shabaab vow to defeat Ethiopian forces.(AlArabiya).Somalia’s Islamist Shabaab rebels warned Ethiopia on Sunday they would “break the necks” of their troops inside Somalia, a day after several hundred soldiers crossed into the war-torn country.“Soldiers of our enemy, the black colonialists of Ethiopia, made some movements into our region on Saturday, but they do not scare us,” said Sheikh Yusuf Ali Ugas, the insurgent group’s commander for the Hiran region.“We will break the necks of the invaders. ... Our troops are ready for anything, if the Ethiopian enemy try to attack us,” Ugas added, speaking on the group’s radio Al Andalus.Ethiopian troops in lorries and armored vehicles entered southern and central Somali regions, local elders said on Saturday, although Addis Ababa has denied all reports. No fighting has so far been reported, and the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militia said their positions were secure.“We shall defeat them and fight them any way we can,” Ugas said. “The Ethiopian attack is a plan to oppose the implementation of Sharia law in Somalia by the enemies of our Muslim nation. Small numbers of Ethiopian forces have been reported operating in Somali border regions in the recent past, but witnesses said the scale of troop movements was far larger this time.The numbers of troops reported suggest that Addis Ababa could be making its first large-scale incursion since it invaded Somalia in 2006 with US backing.It pulled out three years later after a sparking bloody uprising against its forces and failing to restore order in its lawless neighbor, which has lacked a functioning government for two decades.Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti on Saturday dismissed the reports outright, saying there were “absolutely no troops in Somalia.”Hardline Shabaab insurgents control much of southern Somalia, but are battling both the Western-backed government in Mogadishu and Kenyan troops in the far south, who crossed the border last month to attack rebel strongholds.Hmmm.....Why is the guy in the picture showing off a crucifix, got it of a 'slayed' Christian?Read the full story here.
- From Greece : Greece-EU 2011: Parents Give Up Their Children Because They Can’t Feed Them.(KTG).The newspaper reports of a case of a 30-year-old woman from a suburb of western Athens. She asked the prosecutor to ‘keep her baby so that it won’t die of cold’. The woman had no money to pay for the rent, while the electricity was cut off. The prosecutors’ office staff made a fundraising, gave her money to pay the rent so she won’t be separated form her child. They also informed the municipality to support the woman as much as possible.Read the full story here.
- Related:School Closes Due to Lack of Heating Oil.(KTG).The Association of Parents at the 2. Elementary School on the island of Skiathos, Sporades, decided to close the school due to lack of heating oil. The parents decided to do so because the municipality delayed the creation of the school committee with the effect that no heating oil can be supplied.There is a total of 143 pupils attending the school.Read the full story here.
- What secrets will he reveal? Gaddafi's playboy son Saif cowers after capture by rebels and will be quizzed about Blair, Mandelson and Prince Andrew friendships.(Dailymail).Looking haggard and fearful, Saif Al Islam Gaddafi cowers in terror after his capture by Libyan fighters yesterday.His old swagger gone, the British-educated son of Colonel Gaddafi was clearly terrified that he might encounter the same fate as his father, who was killed a month ago.Saif could yet face the death penalty for his crimes, but Libyan officials promised he would, at least, receive a fair trial. That trial could prove highly embarrassing for influential British figures – including Prince Andrew and Tony Blair – if Saif reveals details of the close links he enjoyed with them.The 39-year-old former playboy and womaniser was captured trying to flee across the border into Niger. A mob of angry protesters tried to storm the plane but were beaten back by soldiers under orders to keep their prisoner alive so he could face justice.Only three weeks ago Saif had vowed to avenge his father’s death, declaring defiantly: ‘I am alive and free and willing to fight to the end.’But last night he was facing the likelihood of trial in his own country – or extradition to the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity. Thousands of Libyans celebrated in the streets after hearing that the fugitive, who remained loyal to his father’s murderous regime to the end, had been captured without a struggle.The dictator’s heir was intercepted near the oil town of Obari as he tried to reach the frontier in a 4x4 vehicle, accompanied by three bodyguards. Desert fighters acting on a tip-off fired into the air and ground to bring the car to a halt.As they checked the identity of those inside, Saif told them his name was Abdelsalam – which means ‘servant of peace’ – but he was immediately recognised and taken away by the fighters.One of those involved in the capture, Ahmed Ammar, said: ‘At the beginning he was very scared. He thought we would kill him.’ Saif’s captors said they found only a few thousand dollars and a cache of rifles in the seized vehicles.Saif is thought to have been hiding in the southern desert since fleeing the tribal bastion of Bani Walid, near the capital, Tripoli, last month.After his capture, he was photographed lying on a bed in a prison cell, his fingers wrapped in bandages and his legs covered with a blanket. Officials said the injury had been sustained in a Nato air raid a month ago.There was jubilation across the country as car horns and flag-waving marked the seizure of Saif, who had close connections with some of the most powerful figures in Britain, including Tony Blair and Lord Mandelson. The London School of Economics graduate, who threw wild parties in the South of France and owned a £10 million mansion in Hampstead, will now face the judgment of his own people and of the international community.If he decides to reveal all he knows about the UK’s relations with Libya during his father’s rule, his evidence could prove highly embarrassing.Saif was indicted by the International Criminal Court during the brutal fighting that preceded the tyrant’s overthrow. Last night prosecutors said they would travel to Libya for talks.Under international laws, Libya has the right to put Saif on trial. The ICC will only act if a country is unable or unwilling to prosecute. Many Libyans want him tried in his own country because they believe he knows the location of billions of dollars of public money amassed by the Gaddafi family.‘The good news is that Saif Al Islam is arrested, he is alive, and now he will face justice,’ said ICC lawyer Luis Moreno Ocampo.Speaking on the plane which took him to an army base, Saif denied reports that he had been in contact with the ICC while on the run, insisting: ‘It’s all lies. I’ve never been in touch with them.’Libya’s justice minister said Saif would now be put on trial in his homeland for crimes that carry the death penalty, including instigating others to kill and misusing public funds.Mohammed Al Alagy said: ‘We are ready to prosecute him. We have adopted enough legal and judicial procedures to ensure a fair trial for him.’Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib celebrated Saif’s capture as the ‘crowning’ of the rebel uprising and said: ‘Saif Al Islam will receive a fair trial under fair legal processes which our own people have been deprived of for the last 40 years.’ David Cameron said the arrest was ‘a great achievement for the Libyan people and must now become a victory for international justice too’. Once seen as a reformer who could end Libya’s isolation, Saif had cultivated relationships with those at the heart of the British Establishment.Prince Andrew was a regular visitor to Tripoli as a trade ambassador and is reported to have played host to Saif at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Lord Powell, the former adviser to Margaret Thatcher and John Major, chaired a company that agreed construction deals in Libya.Another person linked to Saif is Nat Rothschild, of the banking dynasty, who has business interests in Libya. In 2008 Saif was a guest at a party thrown by Mr Rothschild at his New York home. He was later a guest at a shooting party at Mr Rothschild’s British country home and also stayed at the family’s villa in Corfu.Lord Mandelson, then Labour’s Business Secretary, was also a guest at the villa and has admitted discussing with Saif the fate of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, who was later released from prison in Scotland because of failing health.But the main effort to forge closer links with Gaddafi’s Libya was led by Mr Blair. In August 2003, Tripoli agreed to compensate the Lockerbie victims and accepted responsibility for its involvement in the atrocity. Five days later, Mr Blair introduced a UN resolution to lift sanctions against the pariah state. The following year, he embraced Colonel Gaddafi when they met in the Colonel’s tent near Tripoli to discuss bilateral relations.Saif knows Britain well since studying for a PhD at the London School of Economics. Britain’s former Ambassador to America, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, has been forced to deny claims he helped him with his thesis.But Sir Howard Davies resigned as LSE director after it emerged that Saif’s charitable foundation had given the college a grant of £1.5 million.Last year, Saif was invited to give a speech at the university, at which Professor David Held described him as ‘someone who looks to democracy, civil society and deep liberal values for the core of his inspiration’.While Saif al-Islam looked for now to have avoided the brutal fate of his father - killed shortly after his capture - it is far from clear what will happen next. Western states in particular are keen that he be handed over to the International Criminal Court, which indicted him earlier this year for crimes against humanity during the crackdown on protesters.'This is an acid test of the NTC's authority,' said Henry Smith, Libya analyst for London-based consultancy Control Risks. 'The capture presents a challenge... if they want to try Saif then what can they do to make Zintan hand him over. 'They do not have the capacity to use coercive means so do they offer the town the coveted security portfolios in the forthcoming cabinet? If so, then to which of the Zintan militias? They may leave his fate to the Zintanis, but then where does that leave Libya's embryonic justice system?' Western human rights groups were critical of the mob justice handed out to Gaddafi senior and to at least one of his sons, and, along with many foreign governments, are demanding Saif al-Islam be better treated. 'The authorities will send an important message that there's a new era in Libya, marked by the rule of law, by treating Saif al-Islam humanely and surrendering him to the ICC,' said Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. 'His fair prosecution at the ICC will afford Libyans a chance to see justice served in a trial that the international community stands behind.'Human Rights Watch said there was far too much evidence of extrajudicial killings of former Gaddafi loyalists by opposition fighters as well as mistreatment in custody. Rights group Amnesty International said an immediate transfer to the ICC was the best option for Saif al-Islam.'He must be handed over to the ICC, and his safety and rights must be guaranteed," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director. Read the full story here.
Egyptian Cleric Hazem Shuman Gives a Survey of the Numbers Killed in Wars throughout History: Just Think How Merciful Islam Is
Hazem Shuman: Brothers, in all the raids of the Prophet Muhammad – in the course of ten years – less than a thousand polytheists were killed. Consider what the non-Muslims have done, so you can appreciate the compassion of Islam. The Torah describes the wars waged by the Jews, and mentions the number of non-Jews killed: 1,650,000 dead.
What about the Christians? Only in the last century, the Catholics in Europe killed 250 million non-Muslims. That's a quarter of a billion people. In World War I, 15 million were killed. The [Christians] killed one another. The large countries – England and France – did it, civilized countries, which the secularism want us to learn from. In World War II, 55 million were killed, while there were only 15 millions soldiers. So 40 million were civilians, killed brutally, indiscriminately, and without mercy.
When the US bombed Romania, it killed 50,000. When it bombed Germany, it killed 600,000. When it bombed Japan, it killed one and a half million. When it bombed Vietnam, it killed three million.
When the Americans reached the two Americas and encountered the Indians, historians say that they killed between 15 to 100 million human beings. It reached the point that they would be among themselves who split an Indian's body into two with a single blow of the sword. They would bet who could give an Indian an "artistic" blow of the sword that would make his guts spill out of his stomach. Imagine that they did such things to the Indians in the two Americas.
The same year they discovered America, [Muslim] Andalusia fell. What did they do to the Muslims in the Inquisition courts? This is in addition to those killed by the Inquisition courts, those killed by the Italians in Libya, those killed by the French in Algeria, and those killed by the British in Palestine – not to mention giving Palestine to the Jews, as if it belonged to them. If you want to give something to the Jews, give them land in Britain, your own country. Why are you giving them part of our land?
I'm not counting those killed by the Serbs in Czechoslovakia, Bosnia, and Sarajevo. There are many more I haven't counted, such as those killed in the seven Crusades. Brothers, if we could only calculate what they did…
In the German civil war between Catholics and Protestants, 11 million were killed. In the Spanish civil war, one and a half million were killed. In the Russian civil war, ten million were killed. In the French civil war, four million were killed.
These are all cases of Christians, non-Muslims, killing one another. So just think how tolerant and merciful our religion is. Hmmm.....some 80 Million Hindus might disagree, not mentioning the Christians , Buddists and last but not least the Jews?Source.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation New Zealand 5.1 - 5.3 !More info here.
- Europe - Nuclear Event in MultiCountries situation update on Wednesday, 16 November..Here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Canary Islands - El Hierro earthquake and volcano eruption – Update 21. here , Live webcams here and here.
- Egypt Protests Update: One reported dead,Over 600 injured in Egypt violence.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: Egypt’s Channel 25 has reported one demonstrator is dead, a man who was shot by security forces on Saturday as police bombarded activists in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Hundreds of other protesters have been injured.According to the report and eyewitnesses on the ground, there is live ammunition being fired on the street by the downtown campus of The American University in Cairo (AUC) and bullets are fired at protesters from people dressed in plainclothes.Activists on the ground report scores of people arriving with knives and other “light weapons,” ready “to attack” the protesters. One eyewitness said residents of the nearby Bab al-Louk and Abdeen neighborhoods were spotted from rooftops throwing Molotov bottles.At around 10 PM on Saturday, Islamists leader Hazem Saleh Abu Ismail – the man who initially sparked clashes between protesters the evening before – and Seleem al-Awa, were reportedly in the square attempting to get information on what was happening from their followers, yet activists said the two were attempting to convince protesters to return home.Al-Awa was reportedly forcibly removed from the square by protesters after they refused to return home and said they would remain in the square.The Mohamed ElBaradie campaign told protesters that the once popular presidential candidate is on his way with a vision for a “national salvage government” that he wishes to discuss with protesters.Earlier in the day he had said on his official Twitter account that the police had used “excessive” force and added that “saving Egypt is a national duty that cannot be delayed.”Eyewitnesses are reporting a massive rise in the number of injured and calling on people to give medical supplies and asking doctors to arrive to the iconic square to help the victims.At least 600 people have been injured in the police-led violence.Police attacked thousands of encamped protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets and military vehicles, forcibly clearing the square earlier this evening. Protesters gathered in the nearby Abdel Moneim Riyad Square, pushing back toward Tahrir. They have reportedly gained control of the square again, gathering in numbers nearing 30,000.“The protesters and police are playing a cat and mouse game. When they open up space, people try to return and get back to Tahrir, but trucks have attempted to run people over,” said Joseph Mayton, Editor-in-Chief of Bikyamasr.com, reporting from the scene.“Police are just driving and firing indiscriminately, cornering protesters,” he continued.Protesters set two police vehicles ablaze in the clashes, chanting slogans including, “Down with the Mushir,” referring to the title of Egypt’s interim ruler, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi.Police entered Tahrir on Saturday morning, dispersing a small group of protesters who had spent the night in the square after Friday’s “Day of One Demand,” demonstration.The armored vehicle sped down the road, protesters jumping out of the way as the APC whirled left, then right, in an apparent attempt to hit protesters who had retaken Tahrir Square from the police earlier that evening, but were driven out by tear gas. The smoke rose from the streets as the police kept firing. Vinegar and soda was being passed out to everyone as eyes had turned red from the gas. Cairo was again the battlefield for revolution.By 8:00 PM, the police had retreated to their barricades in front of the ministry of defense, giving the thousands of predominantly middle-class demonstrators a chance to return and take positions in the same square that witnessed the ousting of Hosni Mubarak 10 months earlier. It was a cat and mouse game of sorts, with protesters moving forward, only to face yet another American-made barrage of tear gas rang out – demonstrators were more than willing to put the canisters up for the cameras.The chants were clear, these demonstrators wanted the military out. “Down with the Field Marshall” echoed throughout Tahrir Square as thousands and thousands continued to stream into the square in the evening.On the sidewalk just around the corner from the American University in Cairo (AUC) downtown campus, scores of injured were being carried out of harm’s way. Some were bleeding, others were passed out as a result of the high level of gas being indiscriminately bombarded into hundreds of people. The smoke lined the sky as bomb after bomb hit the ground, its screeching sound making it know that the eye-burning gas was to be unleashed.But what made Saturday so contrasting from Friday’s mainly Islamist demonstration was the diversity of protesters. Men and women from all walks of Egyptian society were present, making their voices home. There were bearded youth, young women, men and families out to call for an end to the military’s rule of Egypt. It was a cross-section of Egyptian society, a moment much like the January 25 uprising, where religion, faith, gender and the other divisive ideology that has come to represent the political arena had evaporated.This was not the ultra-liberal left, with their smart phones tweeting away as their fellow Egyptians protest, chant and demand change. No, it was the Egyptians. They had, or have, returned to Tahrir. And they have done so with power and force.As one elderly man told me, “it is the felool [remnants of the old regime] like the military who don’t understand that the people don’t want them. This is disgusting what is happening and we will have no more.”The question is how far they will go. How far will the military and the police go in attempting to put down the demonstrations? With tens of thousands of Egyptians on the streets, the only way to forcibly remove them would be to shoot and kill. Will they do that? Let us hope not.Saturday should be seen as the return of the middle-class to the streets of Egypt. It is a moment that may have the galvanizing force that January 28 and the police brutality of that day had which catapulted millions to the streets in anger and defiance. Now, Tahrir is gaining steam, but it is through the single voice of the middle-class that will bring change once again to Egypt, if they want.Read the full story here.
- Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders and government ally opposes Turkish President Abdullah Gul visit because Turkey is an “Islamist regime”.(AlArabiya).Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, a key ally for the ruling Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition, said on Saturday he opposed a planned visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul because Turkey is an “Islamist regime”.Wilders, whose party is the third-largest in the Dutch parliament and opposes closer ties between Europe and Turkey, backs the Dutch minority government in return for tougher immigration and integration rules. Gul has been invited to visit the Netherlands next year, when the two countries will celebrate 400 years of relations.Wilders said in a commentary in the Dutch daily De Volkskrant that Gul should stay in Ankara.“There is nothing to celebrate. The Islamist regime of Gul and his party member and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is not a true friend of the West and therefore neither of the Netherlands,” Wilders said.“Everywhere Erdogan comes, he calls on Turkish immigrants to not adapt. Turkey does not want to become European but wants to islamise Europe,” Wilders said. While Erdogan heads a political party with roots in political Islam, Turkey is a constitutionally secular democracy.A Dutch parliamentary committee cancelled a visit to Turkey in 2009 after Turkish government officials refused to meet Wilders, who has compared Islam to Nazism but was acquitted of hate speech in June.In 2009, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted by Dutch public broadcaster NOS as calling Wilders a racist who was not welcome in Turkey.Wilders said in his article that Islam was “fundamentally intolerant” of Judaism, Christianity and humanism.Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said that Gul’s visit was in line with the long relationship between the nations and the celebrations would focus on mutual economic interests.Officials at the Turkish embassy in The Hague were not immediately available for comment.Read the full story here.
- Artist Behind “Hope” Poster Asks Obama To Throw More Support Behind Occupier Protests: He’s Our “Man On The Inside”.(WaPo) — In 2008, Shepard Fairey created a political poster that became iconic, and undoubtedly help get Barack Obama elected president. Now, Fairey has tweaked the “Hope” image — “the bright colors, bold lettering, geometric simplicity, heroic poses,” as The Post’s William Booth wrote of Obama’s poster 2008 — for today’s milieu. The new poster replaces Obama (or perhaps simply covers his face?) with the Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous image of the Guy Fawkes mask.It is, Fairey writes, both a statement of support for the Occupy movement — and a sign of support for Obama.“As flawed as the system is, I see Obama as a potential ally of the Occupy movement if the energy of the movement is perceived as constructive, not destructive. I still see Obama as the closest thing to “a man on the inside” that we have presently,” he posted to his Web site Friday.The trend has prompted political analysts to wonder whether Obama can win reelection without the fierce support he engendered in 2008.But Fairey, a longtime supporter of the Occupy protests and Obama, seems to be warning his fans not to give up on Obama just yet: “Change is not about one election, one rally, one leader, it is about a constant dedication to progress and a constant push in the right direction. Let’s be the people doing the right thing as outsiders and simultaneously push the insiders to do the right thing for the people.”Hmmm......."All Communist leaderships had a 'Personality' cult......Heil Dear leader"?Read the full story here.
- 1st the CA pipeline is delayed/cancelled killing 20k jobs and now, 204,000 jobs are flushed by Obama over shale gas.(Ibloga).By Epaminondas.President Obama’s United States Department of Agriculture has delayed shale gas drilling in Ohio for up to six months by cancelling a mineral lease auction for Wayne National Forest (WNF). The move was taken in deference to environmentalists, on the pretext of studying the effects of hydraulic fracturing.“Conditions have changed since the 2006 Forest Plan was developed,” announcedWNF Supervisor Anne Carey on Tuesday. “The technology used in the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations need to be studied to see if potential effects to the surface are significantly different than those identified in the Forest Plan.” The study will take up to six months to complete. The WNF study reportedly “will focus solely on how it could affect forest land,” the significance of hydraulic fracturing to united proponents of the delay, “and not how it could affect groundwater.”Speaking of the WNF gas drilling, one environmentalist group spokesman suggestedthat moving forward with drilling “could turn the Ohio Valley into Ozone Alley,” even though Wayne National Forest already has nearly 1300 oil and gas wells in operation.The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) recently estimated that drilling in the Utica shale, which is affected by the suspension of the mineral lease auctions, would produce up 204,500 jobs by 2015.Hmmmm....If he really wanted to destroy America as a Superpower would he do anything different?Out of Chaos comes a 'New world Order'?Read the full story here.
- Breaking : Saif al-Islam Gaddafi arrested in Libya.(Al-Jazeera).Libyan military commanders have declared that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has been arrested near Ubari in southern Libya.In a press conference in Tripoli on Saturday, Bashir Thaelba, a field commander in the National Transitional Council, said in Tripoli that Saif al-Islam was captured and would be moved to the southern city of Zintan.Saif al-Islam, the 39-year-old son of Muammar Gaddafi, had been on the run since the fall of Libya and the death of his father.He was detained with several bodyguards while trying to flee to Niger, according to a government official. He is said to be in good health."The information saying he was captured is accurate," he said, adding that more details regarding the capture will be given later on in the day."We are happy with his capture, which is why we told you quickly, in order to inform the Libyan people," he said."We hope the Libyan people will do well now after the capture of Saif al-Islam, and they need to move forward and take care of themselves and their country."The press conference ended with cries from the podium of "God is great!".Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught reported from the coastal city of Misrata that residents were out in their cars celebrating the news.Mohammad Alalaqi, the Libyan justice minister, told Al Jazeera that Saif al-Islam will face a fair trial according to international standards."We do not mind having international observers at the trial," he said. "We will coordinate with the International Criminal Court on the trial."Saif al-Islam is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court at The Hague.Read the full story here.More here.
- Obama Awarded 2010 Medal of Freedom to his Allies.(WhitehouseDossier).By KeithKoffler.Any day now, the White House will announce the 2011 winners of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. What will be interesting to see is whether President Obama will again give many of the awards to his supporters and friends.More than half of the 15 people awarded the 2010 Medal of Freedom, which was presented at an East Room event February 15 of this year, have either political or personal connections to Obama. Some played critical roles in getting him elected president.Most of these people arguably deserved the award. But vast numbers of individuals across the country also deserve it, and most of them are not connected to Obama.Here’s how eight of the fifteen recipients are related to Obama.
- As president in 2008 of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney played one of the most important roles of any single citizen in sweeping Obama into the White House. Sweeney’s union spent tens of millions of dollar on grass roots mobilization and other efforts to secure the Oval Office for Obama.
- Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), also was a pivotal player in getting Obama elected, helping him grab the Democratic nomination.Lewis initially backed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries but switched to Obama in late February 2008 after it became clear black voters were supporting Obama. As the elder statesman of the civil rights movement, Lewis’s move was a major coup for the Obama campaign, which was still far from wrapping up the nomination.Warren Buffett was an adviser to Obama’s campaign, and his support gave the liberal Democrat badly needed credibility with business types. Buffett continues to advise Obama on the economy and has in the months since receiving his award role helped Obama promote his economic initiatives.
- Buffett headlined Obama fundraisers this year on September 30 in New York City and on October 27 in Chicago. Each was particularly useful to Obama because it didn’t require a moment of his time, featuring instead Buffett as a stand-in attraction for the president. Ticket prices ranged up to $35,800 a head.
- Recipient Jean Kennedy Smith is of course the brother of the late Edward Kennedy, whose decision to back Obama over Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primaries was instrumental in his seizing the nomination from her. Mrs. Smith herself endorsed Obama for the presidency in April 2008, before the nominations was his.
- Basketball great Bill Russell is an Obama supporter who appeared at a fundraiser in Seattle for Obama seven months after receiving his award.
- Author Maya Angelou is an ardent Obama backer who helped promote his candidacy, introducing Michelle Obama at a 2008 general election campaign event.
- Cellist Yo-Yo Ma had been appointed by Obama to be a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities before receiving his medal and also played at Obama’s inauguration.
- The possible political ties of John H. Adams to President Obama are less clear but worth taking a look at. Adams was a co-founder and until 2006 the president of the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental group generally aligned with Democrats.But is what is less well known is that Adams is on the boards of the Center for American Progress, the politically minded Democratic think tank and advocacy organization, and The League of Conservation Voters.The League of Conservation Voters of course endorsed Obama over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential contest. But it also played a critical role – in the League’s own estimation – in the 2004 Illinois Democratic Senate primary in which Obama leapfrogged several opponents to become the Democratic nominee, launching his career on the national stage and leading to his election as Senator.I have not found any specific evidence, though, that Adams himself played a role in the 2004 effort for Obama.
- At least one of the recipients, however, can be said quite clearly not to be an Obama ally. Obama quite properly gave one of the 2010 awards to George H.W. Bush.Hmmm........In the Old Days Kings would bestow titles on their loyal
traitorsvazals...."Imperator Rex"?Read the full story here.
- Judge Declares Law Governing Warrantless Cellphone Tracking Unconstitutional.(WSJ).In a succinct one-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Lynn N. Hughes of the Southern District of Texas declared that the law authorizing the government to obtain cellphone records without a search warrant was unconstitutional.“The records would show the date, time, called number, and location of the telephone when the call was made,” Judge Hughes wrote in the decision, dated Nov. 11. “These data are constitutionally protected from this intrusion.”Judge Hughes’ decision comes as the U.S. government is facing increasing judicial challenges to its practice of obtaining information about the location of individuals without a search warrant. Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case where the government placed a GPS tracking device under a vehicle and monitored the driver’s movements for a month without a search warrant.During the argument, Chief Justice John Roberts said to Michael Dreeben, deputy solicitor general of the Justice Department: “If you win this case then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States.” The Justice Department argues that people have no expectation of privacy on public roads.Cellphone records are governed by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a 1986 law that permits law enforcement officers to obtain certain digital records – such as some e-mail and cellphone records – without a search warrant. A coalition of technology companies—including Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and ATand Corp.—is lobbying Congress to update the law to require search warrants in more digital investigations.Read the full story here.
- Video - Iran's oil minister Rostam Qasemi says oil could be used as a political tool, if necessary.(Al-Jazeera).The new head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has unveiled a hawkish stance towards Iran.The IAEA's new report claims to show "credible" information of activities relevant to an Iranian nuclear weapons programme, prompting fresh threats and warnings from Israel's Prime minister Netanyahu.At the same, the leading US Republican candidates running for presidency are competing to outdo each other in promising aggressive action against the Islamic Republic.The oil markets are watching the political rhetoric with a sense of unease; another US led war in the Middle East will have far-reaching consequences for global supplies.But what does Iran have to say about all this? What will it do in the event of conflict, and in particular, how does it see oil supplies being affected?With international leaders discussing the propsects of an attack on Iran, Talk to Al Jazeera's Teymoor Nabili sits down with Iran's Oil Minister, Rostam Qasemi, to discuss the current threat and its implications for the oil market. Although the minister says Iran does not want to use its vast oil resources as a political tool in a crisis, he says Iran would use it, if necessary."Well, I would like to mention that our economy does rely on oil. However, we don't foresee any difficulties in exporting our oil. We don't consider crude oil as a political tool, however if necessary, we'll use it as a tool any way we need to.We are not keen on using oil as a political tool and really we don't see any difficulties that would prompt us to use oil as a political tool. We are not interested in using crude oil as a tool. And right now, we believe everything's ok and that there is no need to use crude oil as a tool. However, I have to reiterate that in case we are urged to and in case we think it's necessary: yes, we will use this."Read and see the full story here.
- Putin to Coordinate Oil Production with OPEC?(Heritage).Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that his country, the world’s leading oil and gas producer, plans to work closely with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the oil cartel.Russia has long spoken about linking up with OPEC, but at this point the extent of its participation has been sending high-level delegations to attend OPEC meetings in Vienna as observers.“OPEC is sometimes irritated by us as we, not being a member of the organization, produce more oil, which influences international crude oil prices,” said Putin. “But we will coordinate our work with OPEC.” This is almost word for word what the prime minister said in September 2010. Russia continued to pump away at full capacity regardless of this announcement, exacerbating tensions with OPEC countries.In 2008, faced with plummeting oil prices, Russia considered curtailing production in cooperation with OPEC by storing the oil rather than exporting it. This announcement from Minister of Energy Sergei Shmatko was enough to buoy crude prices by a few dollars late in the year.Despite this, Russia continued to pump more while OPEC countries cut production to meet output goals. While Saudi Arabia, the oil market maker, produced below capacity, Russia ramped up and surpassed it, becoming the world’s largest oil producer with an output of more than 10 million barrels per day.Now that crude prices are well above OPEC’s 2010 target of $70–80 per barrel, production has been thrown back into high gear. Putin’s remarks coincided with a report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicting that Saudi Arabia will surpass Russia in oil output in about 2015. The agency’s World Energy Outlook cites the inability of output in new fields to match the decline in production from mature deposits in Russia (mainly in the depleted Tatarstan and West Siberia provinces) as the reason for Russia slipping back to the number two position.The IEA report also predicts that Saudi Arabia’s output will reach 14 million barrels per day in 2035, although it is not clear whether it has reserves to back up such production goals. Furthermore, the geopolitical situation in the Persian Gulf remains explosive, with Iran making a bid to acquire nuclear weapons and dominate its Sunni Arab neighbors.Russia may also not have the necessary reserves to keep up with the Saudis, who have 262.6 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, while Russia has a comparatively small 60 billion barrels as of the beginning of 2011.Whether or not Russia decides to collude with OPEC in setting production goals will have serious ramifications for world energy prices. Russia may not assume a full membership in OPEC, but its collaboration would boost the organization’s cartel-like power. The United States, China, Japan, and Europe—being the principal oil importers—would particularly suffer from the higher crude prices resulting from this collusion if and when it occurs.Hmmm....Especially with a U.S. President preventing drilling in America.Read the full story here.
- Hidden in Plain Sight - Facts and Myths about Germany's Far-Right Extremists.(Spiegel).In depth analysis By Barbara Hans, Benjamin Schulz and Jens Witte. Officials estimate that there are roughly 25,000 far-right extremists among Germany's almost 82 million residents. Still, their views enjoy much more support than the numbers would suggest. Here, SPIEGEL ONLINE takes a close look at just how rooted right-wing extremism is in Germany.Read the full story here.
- Egypt military chases, beats protesters away from Tahrir Square.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: Less than 24 hours after almost one million Egyptians participated in the “Friday of One Demand,” security forces attacked those who had spent the night and tore down their tents, chasing them around the side streets of downtown Cairo around noon on Saturday.Eyewitnesses have said at least 18 people were injured and dozens more arrested after the military police, aided by riot police clashed with protesters to disperse their sit-in in Tahrir square.They added that the police broke into the nearby Omar Makram mosque looking for protesters and searched the metro for anyone who had attempted to run away.Heavy gunfire was heard in the square when the police fired warning shots.Eyewitnesses, and a Bikyamasr.com reporter on the ground, confirmed that the military police were seen beating protesters and dragging them from their clothes on the ground, including women and elderly citezines.Among those injured was a young man in his twentees from the “injured of the revolution,” who was again assaulted and beaten by security forces, while activists on the ground reported that ambulances were very late responding to calls, which endangered many people’s lives.It was also reported that media workers were detained by the military, including a video journalist with ON TV and other print journalists are curently detained in the army’s armored vehicles in Talaat Harb street, just off from Tahrir.Meanwhile, the remaining few protesters are continuing their attempt to continue their sit-in and were on a march in one of the small streets surrounding the square, chanting “we either die like them or bring them justice,” before the police chased after them again.A few hundred activists remain in the square, while not all the injured have been taken to hospital. Some injuries are reportedly serious. Dozens, including journalists, were detained and a number of them were released after spending over an hour in an ill-ventilated armored military car. Read the full story here.
- "Like shooting fish in a Barrel"?On the trail of Libya's 20.000 missing missiles.(BBC).By Karen Allen.Colonel Mohammed Amer, a commander with one of the "revolutionary" brigades that helped to topple Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, shows off his war trophy at a military camp near Misrata. He explains this was one of 13 Scuds that Gaddafi planned to use on his people. It is a crude, imprecise weapon capable of inflicting damage on a target up to 300km (190 miles) away. This one was seized from the desert in Bani Walid and brought east to the city of Misrata, where thousands of people lost their lives trying to defend the city between February and May. But it is not the crude Scuds that are worrying the international community: it's the proliferation of other weapons that have not yet been secured.The interim authority, the National Transitional Council (NTC), has been quick to identify some of the largest weapons sites, especially where chemical weapons - including mustard gas - have been identified. Even so we found artillery shells, ammunition and more lying unsecured in abandoned warehouses in Tripoli. Now there are concerns that other more deadly weapons are going astray.For the past two weeks, we have been on the search for so called Manpads - Man Portable Air Defence Systems - a new acronym in Libya's war lexicon. These surface-to-air missiles, which are easy to use and easy to hide, are the weapon of choice for groups like al-Qaeda, say security experts. We've seen warehouses turned into arsenals, trenches three metres deep once stuffed with weapons, breathing apparatus for chemical respirators, and AK47s everywhere - even children brandishing them.Videos circulating on the internet during the early days of the eight-month uprising show NTC "liberation fighters" or rebels, posing with a portable surface-to-air missile for the cameras.Seized from one of Colonel Gaddafi's packed arsenals, the missiles portray a potent symbol of power, not just on the battlefield but in civilian life. Capable of disabling an aeroplane in a matter of seconds, portable surface-to-air missiles were used in Kenya back in 2002, during a failed attempt to bring an Israeli plane down. Now that the guns are almost silent in Libya, there's a sense of urgency to try to locate the missiles and launchers that may have been looted.The Americans, who have refused repeated requests to do interviews with our BBC team in Libya, have been briefing widely on the issue elsewhere.The official line sent in a text message is that "teams on the ground have already disabled or destroyed... over 1,500 Manpads in Libya", adding that they believe many more were destroyed during the Nato campaign.But we have found the evidence on the ground hard to find. Human Rights Watch identified surface-to-air missiles discarded at weapons dumps during the final days of fighting. But a month on - and despite NTC assurances that there are attempts at recovery - there is still much confusion."There are just a few thousand, not 20,000," insists Fawzi Abu Katif, the deputy defence minister, who concedes that they have no clear idea how many of these weapons are in circulation". Colonel Gaddafi is believed to have stockpiled up to 20,000 Manpads back in the 1970s, but just how many were sold on to his allies in the intervening years, no-one knows.Read the full story here. Video report here.
- Israelis Mapping Every Grave in 3,000 Year Old Mount of Olives Necropolis.(AD).A Jewish group in Jerusalem is using 21st century technology to map every tombstone in the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives, a sprawling, politically sensitive necropolis of 150,000 graves stretching back three millennia.The goal is to photograph every grave, map it digitally, record every name, and make the information available online. That is supposed to allow visitors to find their way in the cemetery, long a bewildering jumble of crumbling gravestones and rubble surrounded by Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. Beset for many years by neglect, it is among the oldest cemeteries in continuous use in the world.Around 40,000 graves have been mapped so far by the team, which began work in 2008. They expect to finish recording all of the intact gravestones -- an estimated 100,000 in total -- by the end of next year. The rest are either so old they are unrecognizable or lie underneath later layers of burial.Mappers look at aerial photographs, consult handwritten burial records dating back to the mid-1800s, walk along the rows of graves and dig through piles of dislocated tombstones, noting names and dates."This place has been used for burial since there have been signs of life in Jerusalem," said Moti Shamis, a member of the mapping team. "The cemetery is a mirror of the city -- in wartime, we see more graves. When new groups of Jews reach the city, the names on the graves change."Like so much in Jerusalem, this project is linked to the city's fraught politics. The mappers are from an organization called Elad, affiliated with the settlement movement, which also works to move Jews into east Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent the city's division in any future peace deal.Elad has made it its business to develop sites of Jewish importance in east Jerusalem, reinforcing the Israeli presence in the part of the city the Palestinians want as their capital.Jews began burying their dead on the hill that later became known as the Mount of Olives about three millennia ago. It was a convenient site a short walk from the city walls. Over the centuries, burial here became linked to a prophecy in the Book of Zecharia according to which the Messiah would approach Jerusalem from the mount, splitting it in two. Those interred on the hill, this belief posited, would be the first to be resurrected.The mount became, and remains, a sought-after place to be buried for Jews in Israel and abroad."As a place of burial it differs from almost every other on earth, in being, as no other is, a witness to a faith that is firm, decided and uncompromising until death," wrote Norman Macleod, a missionary, after a visit in 1864. "It is not therefore the vast multitude who sleep here, but the faith which they held in regard to their Messiah, that makes this spectacle so impressive."Numerous churches were also built here, associated with events in the life of Jesus. In Christian burial grounds and crypts on and around the mount visitors can find the remains of people like Princess Alice of Battenberg, mother of Prince Phillip of Britain, and Russian Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, killed during the Russian Revolution with the rest of the czar's family.The project is mapping only the Jewish cemetery, which includes several burial monuments from the time of the second Jewish Temple, about 2,000 years ago. Among the oldest graves that still bear names is one of a medieval scholar, Ovadia of Bartenura, an Italian who came to Jerusalem and died here around 1500.The work of the mappers has solved several mysteries, one of them that of the missing grave of Shmuel Ben-Bassat.Last year, Israeli authorities accused Israel's Islamic Movement of manufacturing about 300 graves as part of what was supposed to be a restoration of a Muslim cemetery in west Jerusalem. Elsewhere in the same cemetery, an Israeli initiative to build a Museum of Tolerance on land that contained human remains has drawn fierce criticism from Muslims. More recently, Palestinians have sparred with Israeli officials and archaeologists over use of part of a different Muslim cemetery just outside the walls of the Old City."On the Mount of Olives, we have a cemetery that is undoubtedly important to the Jewish people, but we also have a battle over land," said Yonathan Mizrahi, an archaeologist whose group, Emek Shaveh, is critical of much of the Israeli activity in east Jerusalem as heedless of Palestinian residents."The cemetery is identified as Jewish and thus as Israeli and there is an attempt to say -- this is a place that needs to be under Israeli control," he said.Read the full story here.
- Iran commander killed in blast ‘was working on missiles’ his brother says.(AlArabiya).An Iranian general killed in a massive explosion at a munitions base outside the capital on November 12 was working on an intercontinental missile, his brother told a government-run newspaper.General Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam died while working on a “project related to intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Mohammad Tehrani Moghaddam, himself a Revolutionary Guards commander, told Saturday’s Iran newspaper.“He lost his life while doing a final test of the missile," Moghaddam was quoted as saying. "The project was in the final testing phase. It was related to an intercontinental ballistic missile ... It was a completely high-tech, confidential process."The Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s most powerful military force, is in charge of Iran’s missile program.The Guards have said the huge blast was an accident, implicitly rejecting Western media speculation it might have been a covert Israeli or U.S. attack.Officials in Tehran said Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam founded the country’s ballistic missile program after becoming an artillery specialist in the 1980s, during the Iraq-Iran war.The chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi, said last Wednesday the base was being used in the production of an unspecified “experimental product” that could be used against the United States or Israel.Firouzabadi said the development of the project had been delayed by “two weeks” because of the blast.In a statement released after the explosion, the Guard said it would not forget Moghaddam’s “effective role in the development of the country’s defense ... and his efforts in launching and organizing the Guard’s artillery and missile units.”Moghaddam headed a “self-sufficiency” unit of the Guard’s armaments section, it said.In the interview, Mohammed Tehrani Moghaddam said that this brother had also set up Hezbollah’s missile capability. “Hasan ... visited Lebanon and created Hezbollah’s missile unit there,” he was quoted as saying.Iran is a key supporter of Hezbollah and is believed to funnel it weapons and millions of dollars in funding, though Tehran denies arming the Shiite group. Hezbollah, also closely allied to Syria, boasts a heavy arsenal of rockets capable of reaching deep inside Israel.Iran’s arsenal boasts missiles with a range of about 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) that were designed for Israeli and U.S. targets. The missile capability, along with Iran’s nuclear program, is among the reasons why Israel considers Iran its most dangerous enemy.Moghaddam said his brother was also involved in Iran’s space program, assisting the rocket that took an Iranian satellite into orbit.He didn’t elaborate but said Hasan was favored by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Mohammed Moghaddam himself was once Khamenei’s bodyguard.The Guards initially said 17 Guard members were killed in the explosion. The semi-official Mehr news agency listed the names of 21 victims prompting the military force to say some of those critically injured had succumbed to their wounds later.Read the full story here.
- Iranian Schools Teach Children Hatred of Christians, Jews, United States.(DocsTalk).New York – Iranian children are indoctrinated in basic hatred of Christians, Jews and the West, concludes a new study of textbooks used in Iran.“Examining Iranian schoolbooks is a chilling reminder that the words of violent confrontation espoused by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are not mere rhetoric, but need to be regarded with the utmost gravity,” said David A. Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee. “To understand Iran’s defiance against the international community as it pursues development of nuclear weapons, one must read what Iran’s education system preaches.” Researchers with the Center for Monitoring Peace in the Middle East (CMIP) analyzed 115 textbooks and teachers’ guides currently used in grades 1 to 12 in Iran. The full report, which will be released later this year by AJC and CMIP, offers a comprehensive survey of the official Iranian worldview to which school-age children are exposed. AJC and CMIP have previously jointly published studies of schoolbooks used in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.Fighting American world hegemony in the name of Islam is a main focus of the Iranian educational system. Children are taught that America is the “Great Satan,” the “World Eater,” or the “Arrogant One.” For example, Defense Readiness 1, a teacher’s guide used in high school, states, “The students should have a heart overflowing of hatred towards Arrogance.”Iranian textbooks reflect the ideology of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which continues to spread its values to other nations in the Middle East and around the world.“The war with the West is unavoidable and is part of the Islamic Revolution itself,” write Arnon Groiss and Nethanel Toobian, authors of the AJC-CMIP report. Indeed, a seventh grade book, Islamic Culture and Religious Instruction, states: “Now, in order to continue the Islamic Revolution, it is our duty to continue with all [our] power our revolt against the arrogant ones and the oppressors.”Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, is quoted in an 11th grade textbook, Islamic Viewpoint, preaching confrontation with the non-Muslim world. “I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-eaters wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them,” says Khomeini. “Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater liberty which is martyrdom. Either we will shake one another’s hands in the joy of the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours.”Meanwhile, Israel, which is not recognized in any way and whose name does not appear on any maps in Iranian schoolbooks, is portrayed as a danger to the whole world of Islam and as a tool in the hands of Islam’s enemy, America.An 11th grade geography book states: “Another problem [faced by the Muslim countries] is the regime that occupies Jerusalem (Israel), which has been created in this area as a basis for America and other aggressive powers, with the aim of taking over Muslim lands.”In the case of the inevitable Iranian war with the U.S., Iranian children are taught to regard Jews in “Palestine” as garbage to be cleared. Gifts of Heaven, a third grade picture storybook, depicts the inhabitants of a tidy town chasing away a repugnant creature that spreads garbage wherever he goes. The Star of David, the Jewish symbol, is on the creature’s arm, and in one of the pictures it is seen as part of the garbage. “Degrading Jews and Judaism in Iranian schools reinforces the severity of the Iranian president’s frequent threats to annihilate Israel,” said Harris.Iranian textbooks reflect “an educational system that prepares school children for war and martyrdom against the West in general, and against the United States and Israel in particular,” conclude Groiss and Toobian. “The continuation of this way of thinking and indoctrination inside the system under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should alarm all individuals and governments that cherish the principles of peace and international cooperation.”Read the full story here.
- Chinese Government Daily Accuses India of 'Flexing Its Muscle Toward China'; Says: 'India's Troop Increase on the Border Between China and India is Aimed at Meeting the Requirements of the United States'.(Memri).Recently, the People's Daily Online, an official Chinese publication, published reports that expressed concern over the expansion of India's military capabilities, especially with regard to the proposed deployment of additional troops on the India-China border. The Chinese concern follows a recent report in the Indian media that the Indian army plans to station 100,000 more troops along the India-China border.In recent years, Indian media have published a series of reports on China's growing military expansion and the incursion of Chinese troops into Indian territory. According to an Indian media report, India's Ministry of Defense recently "approved a Rs. 64,000-crore (approximately $13 billion) military modernization plan that would include raising four new divisions along the India-China border. Two of these would be part of a Mountain Strike Corps dedicated to offensive operations." In the two reports below, China's People's Daily Online accused Japan of facilitating India's military influence into East Asia and blamed India for "joining hands" with Vietnam to increase its influence in the South China Sea. The Chinese publication also accused the United States of relying on India in a strategic move to counter China and added: "India's troop increase on the border between China and India is aimed at meeting the requirements of the United States…""India's defense ministry has already approved a $13 billion military modernization plan and has decided to send an additional 100,000 soldiers to the China-India border areas over the next five years. This move is regarded as India's second phase of a military buildup along the China-India border. "Once the plan is approved, it will be the Indian military's largest-ever expansion plan and its largest increase in the number of soldiers along the border with China since the India-China border clash in 1962 ended. "India's move is first associated with the adjustments to its national security strategy. India has begun to consider China as an opponent. The East China Sea and South China Sea issues have further continued to expose some countries' 'envious, jealous, and hateful' attitude toward China. "The changes in the international and regional security landscape will negatively affect China and other countries involved, but they will benefit one country: India. "The United States has recently cemented its ties with India and has regarded India as a crucial strategic alliance. At the same time, Japan has been busy facilitating the expansion of India's military influence into East Asia.""India not only stepped into the South China Sea issue, which is very sensitive to China, but also increased troops on the border between China and India and upgraded their weapons. India is also strengthening its military exchanges with the countries around China. "When I was sent to the Indian Army Education Officer Training Center to study and participate in exchanges in 2007 and 2008, I met military officers from Vietnam, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Laos, and Outer Mongolia."Second, the move made by India is connected with some practical issues of China-India relations. The general development trend of China-India relations is actually good. The high-level exchanges and political relationship between the two countries are quite harmonious. However, the people of the two countries do not understand each other well and the mutual military trust is also not strong enough. "Between China and India, there are not only border issues left over by history, but also practical issues of the complex China-India-Pakistan triangle relations. India always worries about the good relationship between China and Pakistan, which is the biggest problem between China and India." "Meanwhile, India insists joining hands with Vietnam to step in the South China Sea issue. All of these factors will not help promote the mutual military trust between China and India. India incorrectly believes that China develops Tibet as a shield, and therefore it continues to strengthen its military power on the border to guard against and contain China."India's arms expansion is also related to its domestic political climate. Certain Indian elites always take China as a frame of reference for India's development. As China has a clear lead over India in many areas, they are worried that India may lag behind China in seizing energy resources, and thus naturally see China's peaceful development as a 'threat.' "Certain Indian elites and media outlets have repeatedly criticized the Indian government for its lack of military investments, which they claim has led to slow development of the country's armed forces…."India is now emerging as a major buyer on the international arms market, and large amounts of advanced weapons from the United States, Russia, Israel, and European countries have supplemented India's troop increase along the border areas with China."In fact, deploying 100,000 more soldiers along the border areas with China is more of a political move than a military one….""The average growth rate of India's military spending has stood at 7-8% percent for more than a decade, and its military spending ranks ninth in the world. India is also the world's largest arms importing country. "The spread of the 'China threat' theory, the increase of troops to the disputed areas near the China-India border, and the display of a tough attitude toward China all aim to make a breakthrough in further increasing military spending. "Despite India's huge military spending, its economic growth has recently been slow, with last year's economic growth rate hitting a six-year low. It is very difficult to considerably increase military spending for a military buildup amid the economic downturn, so India needs to first create a tense atmosphere and transfer domestic problems in the hopes of securing more military spending. "India has continued to hold joint military drills with China's neighboring countries over a recent period, showing that it evidently intends to contain China. Furthermore, India's move to send an additional 100,000 soldiers to the China-India border areas is consistent with its earlier actions aimed at containing China." "In addition, the United States needs to rely on India to restrict China. India needs to show its value to the United States by flexing its muscle toward China so that it could gain U.S. military support and help raise its international status. "India's troop increase on the border between China and India is aimed at meeting the requirements of the United States, and then getting support from the United States. However, will India realize its goal?"First, the action will [make] tense the situation of the region and harm India's own interests. Increasing troops on the border area is always a sensitive move, and it is especially sensitive to increase troops on a disputed border area. "Second, the action is completely not worthwhile. Currently, India has 40,000 troops in the disputed area [i.e. along the border with China], and if the further 100,000 is deployed, the total number of the troops will reach 140,000. In an era when precision-guided weapons are developing rapidly, everyone with common sense knows that concentrated troops could be eliminated easily…."Hmmmm..........Read the full story here.
- Prominent Saudi Preacher Urges the Arabs to Manufacture Nuclear Weapons and Gain Military Strength – For "The World Respects No One but the Strong".(Memri).In a November 8 article titled "The West Wages Jihad But Forbids Us From Doing So"published in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, prominent Saudi preacher Dr. Aidh Al-Qarni wrote that the West's hypocritical stance – of engaging in warfare and stockpiling arms while at the same time urging others to be peaceful and to refrain from manufacturing weapons – is simply a clever tactic of warfare. The West, Al-Qarni said, understands that power and military supremacy are far more important than cultural heritage or moral virtue; therefore, it builds up its own strength while keeping its rivals weak by convincing them to neglect their own. Iran too is developing nuclear weapons in order to gain an advantage over its rivals – not only Israel, but also the Arabs.Al-Qarni warned the Arabs not to fall into this trap, and to invest their efforts not in museums or literature but in tanks, missiles, and nuclear arms. Only thus, he concluded, will they gain the respect of the world and be a match for the West and for Iran.The following are excerpts from a translation of the article that was published in the English edition of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat:
"How can the West wage jihad but prohibit us Muslims from doing so? I am talking about the fact that the West has [manufactured] nuclear missiles yet prevents us from doing so; occupies our lands whilst protecting its own territory; and colonizes our seas and oceans whilst defending its own seas and oceans. Its factories produce rockets, bombs, missiles, frigates, rocket-launchers and aircraft carriers, whilst our factories only produce bubble-gum and Pepsi. The West warns us against acts of aggression and acquiring weapons, whilst it launches attacks and stockpiles arms day and night. "This is because the West is intelligent and knows that power is the source of all stature and grandeur. Allah the Almighty said: 'Prepare against them what force you can.' The world respects no one but the strong. As for diplomacy, romanticism, and political sentimentality, this is mere superficial talk to distract and deceive foes, because war is an act of deception. Preoccupying the Middle East with arts, folklore, and cultural ceremonies at the expense of military factories is an open joke. To [build] one tank would be better than a thousand poems, a rocket more useful than a hundred cultural shows, and a bomb [is] more effective than a hundred epic tales to remind us of the glory of our forefathers, and what it used to be like in the old days. Does the world respect a state for its peaceful reputation, finesse, tact, and modesty, or for its strength and power? Iran realized this secret, and indeed the Persians are among the most cunning people, described by Umar Ibn al-Khattab as having 'the virtue of the mind, with which they rule.'"I agree with what Mr. 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed wrote in this newspaper, and [with] what Mr. Daoud Al-Shiryan wrote in the newspaper Al-Hayat, suggesting that Iran will [build] a nuclear bomb and the West will not attack it. It will then be a case of the survival of the fittest, and the Arab appeal to Iran to abandon its military nuclear program – to have mercy on the Arabs and gain heavenly merit for doing so - will [turn out to be] a hollow cry. Iran has not heeded these words, which are not [worth] the ink with which they were written, because the true rational minds of the world – the international war [experts] and military [mavens] – all agree that the strongest is ultimately the one who is most respected and feared. In this life, there is no room for integrity, because integrity and sanctity belong to the heavens, whilst the world's laws and politics are [based] on deceit and cunning... As long as people [agree] to be ruled by current [man-made] laws without divine [laws], then it is [all] a matter of interests, maneuvers, usurpation, arrogance, oppression and proving oneself." "Look at the five major nuclear states, how they advise others to abandon their nuclear weapons and oppose [their having an] atomic bomb, whilst the United States itself originally gained its respect and political weight [thanks to] its nuclear arsenal. The message of the five states is heard everywhere, and their banners are held high. They possess the right to veto decisions, and the world bows to them, fearing their reach and power. They preach to other states and advise all nations to be peaceful, transparent, and hospitable, urging them not to manufacture nuclear weapons because this constitutes a global threat. In fact, the five major nuclear states want other nations to [refrain from] manufacturing nuclear weapons so that they can maintain their hegemony, authority, and tyranny. The West was wise to develop the inter-continental ballistic missile and the atomic bomb, yet it prevents us in the Middle East from doing so because it knows that in order to rule the world and monopolize its wealth, one needs overpowering strength and clear superiority. We in the Middle East are supposed to be content with reading history and reveling in the glories of the past, but this is only good for students in literacy classes... "The poet Nizar Qabbani once said about the Arabs: They have long written history books and they became convinced. But since when did guns live inside books? Oh Bin al-Walid [Islamic commander Khalid Ibn al-Walid], is there no sword that you can hire, or have our swords turned to wood?""I urge the Arabs to manufacture the nuclear bomb and nuclear weapons. There are buildings currently occupied by minor daily newspapers that no one reads, and 'cultural heritage' museums [exhibiting] scrap metal, worn-out rope, blunt axes, and other artifacts. These should all be turned into factories to manufacture tanks, rocket-launchers, missiles, satellites, and submarines, so that the world comes to respect us, hear our voice, and appreciate our status. The world is governed by the law of the strong. "An ancient Arab poet once said: 'The wolves run after he who has no dogs, but steer clear of the lair of the vicious lion.' Do not let us be fooled by Iran's honeyed words suggesting that Tehran seeks nuclear weapons only to burn Israel, for this is purely an illusion. "The poet Khalaf Bin Hazal said: 'Do not trust the wolf cubs if they are alive whilst their parents are dead, for they will come at you in the morning with their fangs.'" Read the full story here.
- Syria, Turkey and the Kurds.(MEforum).By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi.According to a report by the French daily Le Figaro, Bashar al-Assad is apparently aiming to destabilize Turkey, which has been supporting the predominantly Sunni Islamist leadership of opposition groups to the Syrian regime, by seeking to grant greater autonomy to the Kurdish population that primarily lives in the north and north-east of Syria.As part of this initiative, Assad has reportedly encouraged the opening of Kurdish schools in the north, and has allowed for a Kurdish politician by the name of Muhammad Salih Muslim- a member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that is suspected of being affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and is apparently organizing local elections in the Kurdish areas- to return to Syria from exile in Iraq.What are the observations and conclusions to draw from this report if it is credible?First, that Assad might wish to use the Kurds as proxies against Turkey in a way has precedent in Syrian policy.Bashar's father Hafez had once provided a safe haven for the PKK to launch attacks on Turkish soil, and it was during those years that Turkey, sensing that there was a common terrorist threat in the region, had particularly good ties with Israel. However, in 1998, once Turkey threatened to invade Syria to take out the PKK, Hafez changed course, and the tensions between the two countries slowly began to cool down.On the other hand, while Hafez was sympathetic to the PKK in so far as he could use the group as a proxy against Turkey, granting any form of autonomy was always out of the question. As Adib Abdulmajid points out, one of the key texts that has traditionally defined the Baathist government's discriminatory policies against Kurds in Syria is a book entitled 'A Political, Ethnic, and Social Study of Al-Jazeera Province,' written by a First Lieutenant in the Syrian Army, Muhammad Talab Hilal.In his book, Hilal claimed that the Kurds 'had used the pure religion of Islam for their national goals,' and argued that they were orchestrating a sinister program of mass immigration into the Al-Jazeera region of the country's northeast in order to facilitate the creation of a greater Kurdistan. Hence he lambasted the Kurds, calling them 'rabid dogs' whose 'annoying barking' had to be stopped.The Syrian regime therefore launched a campaign, after the publication of this book, to carry out a policy of Arabization in Al-Jazeera, similar to Saddam Hussein's policies in the north of Iraq. Among these Arabization measures included the loss of Syrian citizenship for 400,000 Kurds (a 1962 measure that predated the Assad dynasty by eight years), confiscation of lands for Arab settlers, and the imprisonment, torture and execution of Kurdish activists.Coming back to the present day, it is plausible that Assad would make concessions to Kurdish demands in order to weaken the opposition, which certainly has some Kurds among its ranks. The Syrian Kurds in general, like those in Iraq, are undoubtedly more concerned with achieving autonomy at the minimum, rather than overthrowing the central government as an end in itself.Even among Kurds hostile to Assad, there has been a degree of reluctance to work with the opposition coalition known as the Syrian National Council (SNC), which has set up a government-in-exile. This should not be surprising in light of the insistence among many members of the SNC that Syria retain its identity as an 'Arab Republic' ('Syrian Arab Republic' being the official name for Syria at present).In addition, as Michael Weiss notes, the Kurds feel under-represented in the Secretariat of the SNC, having only four out of twenty-nine seats, and are concerned about Turkish involvement with the SNC. Thus, it should not come as shock if Assad is trying to exploit these tensions between the Kurds and the SNC.Nonetheless, if Assad is trying to reach out to Kurds to maintain his hold on power, the initiative of granting greater autonomy could prove a double-edged sword for him. As disclosures from Wikileaks cables reveal, Christians in Al-Jazeera province have claimed that the Kurds have gradually altered the demographics of the area through immigration and high birthrates, such that an alleged 80-90% historic Christian majority is said to have now become a 35% minority.Owing to these suspicions and fears of Kurdish aspirations in the area, Assad could well see significant numbers of the Christian minority in Syria- comprising around 10% of the population- turn against him should he be granting autonomy to the Kurds in Al-Jazeera province.But perhaps Assad has decided on balance that the Christians will ultimately refrain from siding with the predominantly Sunni Arab protestors on account of fear of reprisals or discrimination at the hands of a Sunni Islamist regime that might come to power, should the Baathist regime fall.More generally, the above observations demonstrate that the Kurds are increasingly a force that can no longer just be regarded as sitting on the sidelines.Iraq is another case in point, where the Kurdish parties now form a key part of the ruling coalition in Baghdad.Consequently, the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has often been forced to make concessions to the Kurds, such as allowing the Peshmerga (Kurdish militiamen) to move into the disputed territory of Khanaqin district in Diyala province to annex it on the pretext of security issues. When al-Maliki tried to bolster his nationalist credentials by ordering the Kurds in Khanaqin to lower Kurdish flags, demonstrations were staged in response and al-Maliki backed down.It is noteworthy how the Kurds, deprived of a homeland in spite of being promised self-determination in the aftermath of World War One, are beginning to play the role of kingmakers in the two countries that have been ruled by Baathist governments (in Iraq this rule lasted from 1968 until the U.S.-led invasion in 2003).Indeed, despite Baathism's claims to uphold pan-Arab nationalism, the ideology has been little more than a façade for minority despotism: Alawite in the case of Syria, Sunni Arab in the case of Iraq.Read the full story here.
- Female Candidate for Egyptian Parliament Affirms that "Women Are Deficient in Intelligence and Religion, and It Is Not Permissible for Them to Be in Authority"(TranslatingJihad).Translated from Gaza-based Donia al-Watan, 17 November 2011:Female Salafi Candidate for Egyptian Parliament: "Women Are Deficient in Intelligence and Religion, and It Is Not Permissible for Them to Be in Authority" A female salafi candidate for Egyptian Parliament, Muna Salah, said to al-Sharq al-Awsat that women are deficient in intelligence and religion, and it is not permissible for them to be in authority or to occupy the office of the presidency. She defended her candidacy for the People's Council, saying that acting as a representative in the Council only partial authority and not complete authority, such as the presidency of the republic. She added that she seeks to apply the Islamic shari'a, including cutting off the hands of thieves, preventing the mingling of men and women, and specifying black clothes for women and white clothes for men. While just one of thousands of candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections, Muna Salah--president of the Manabir al-Noor Charity Association in Egypt--continues to provoke controversy. She is one of two veiled candidates in the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in two weeks. [...]This lady may sound crazy to you, but keep in mind that she's quoting directly from Muhammad himself, as recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion." -Sahih Bukhari 1:6:301.Read the full story here.