Monday, January 9, 2012
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Solomon islands 6.6 ; Tonga 5.4!More info here.
- Report: Obama to name Jack Lew an Orthodox Jew to be his chief of staff.(JTA).WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama reportedly will name Jack Lew to be his chief of staff.Lew, an Orthodox Jew, will replace William Daley, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.Lew is currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget, a Cabinet-level position and a post he also filled during the Clinton administration.He was previously Obama's deputy secretary of state.Daley is leaving after just over a year on the job; he replaced Rahm Emanuel, who left the White House to run successfully for Chicago's mayor.Lew, like Emanuel, has close Jewish community ties.There had been speculation in the organized Jewish community about whether Obama would fill a top spot with someone close to the Jewish community after the departure last month of Dennis Ross, who had been Obama's top Iran policy adviser.Hmmmm......God knows he needs those Jewish votes.Read the full story here.
- Man thought to be an Islamic extremist in custody after shootout with police in Alabama City.(GadsdenTimes).By Lisa Rogers.A man thought to be an Islamic extremist is believed to have shot the windows out of at least two businesses in Alabama City early Sunday to lure police officers to the area and engage them in a shootout.Luis Ibarra-Hernandez, 21, from Albertville, was charged today with attempted murder, according to a news release from the Gadsden Police Department.“After the man was taken into custody, he reported that he knew he must do something extreme to draw attention to Islam and himself, so he planned to shoot police officers,” Gadsden Police Capt. Regina May said.Gadsden police officers responded to alarm calls for glass breakage after doors were shot out about 1:30 a.m. Sunday at AutoZone and Rainbow Food Mart near the intersection of 27th Street and West Meighan Boulevard.While investigating the broken doors and determining they were shot out, officers heard gunfire and spotted a man near the old CVS building. The man knew he had been seen and ran toward the Cathedral of Praise Church parking lot, then started firing rounds at the officers.The man continued to run through several blocks and at one point was in the Dwight Baptist Church parking lot. Shots were fired over about six blocks, and at least eight officers were shot at, before officers talked the man into dropping his weapon. Read the full story here.
- Developing story ! - Maricopa County Deputy Shot and Killed: Fast and Furious Gun?(BN).It looks like a comment from a Doug Ross reader has drawn attention to a horrible and potentially, very explosive development involving the shooting death of a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy. If officer William Cole was slain with a gun placed into the hands of bad guys by ATF's Operation Fast & Furious, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is likely to be front and center very quickly and his anger will be on full display.Via AZ Central: A veteran Maricopa County sheriff's deputy slain by a gunman early Sunday responding to a call at an Anthem strip-mall was just hours away from finishing his final night shift before switching to daytime duties.
Flags hung at half-staff across the state all day Sunday to honor Deputy William Coleman, 50, a 20-year veteran officer with two young children, and the first Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputy slain in the line of duty since 1995.His killer, who "came out shooting" when approached in his van by deputies in a parking lot just before dawn, was killed in an exchange of gunfire with two other deputies.Here is the comment posted to Doug Ross' blog:
I would like to comment on the shooting of a Maricopa Deputy Sheriff Sunday morning 4am, north of Phoenix, AZ. The no comment policy of the AZ Central newspaper prevents readers from expressing thier views and suspicions on this tragic event. The 50 year old father of 2, died when his body armor was penetrated by an AK 47 bullet. Eric Holder and the DOJ are holding their breath that this weapon is not connected to Gunwalker's Fast and Furious. Real OLD MEDIA is dying, but real scandals are ongoing. That is my tie-in to your article. Censure me if you must.Hmmm.....What would be the Odds?Read the full story here.
- Terror-linked CAIR hijacks MLK Jr Day, converts to ‘Muslims Day’.Join forces with "Occupy the dream" movement?(CreepingSharia).Bullying lawmakers into submitting to the less than 1% of Muslims in the state. And a little dawah with CAIR’s whitewashed version of the Koran for dummies. via Muslims Plan Capitol March – Americas – News – OnIslam.net.SEATTLE – Hundreds of Washington State Muslims are planning to march together to the Capitol Building, meet state lawmakers in their offices and urge their legislators to speak out against Islamophobic rhetoric and hate crimes.“This event will provide an opportunity for Muslims from the majority of our state’s legislative districts to learn more about the political process and to meet their elected representatives,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari.“Legislators should take action during this crucial year to allocate funds to preserve critical services for the most vulnerable in our society.”At the march, planned as part of the annual event, “Washington State Muslims Day at the Capitol,” some 400 Washington state Muslims are scheduled to meet with dozens of their elected representatives.Organized by the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the event, to be held January 16, is one of the largest of its kind in the nation.It is designed to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his defense of civil rights through positive civic engagement.Muslim voters attending the event will represent 33 of the 49 state legislative districts.Participants will urge legislators to take action on other issues, including preserving critical public programs and having a balanced approach to the state budget.They will present legislators and their staff with a copy of the English translation of the Quran, Islam’s holy text.While CAIR hijacks MLK Jr. Day, it’s important to note that Islam sanctions slavery and in Africa Muslims are waging a vicious, violent jihad against black Africans.If you live in Washington, Contact Your Elected Officials en masse and tell them not to pander to Islamists like terror-linked CAIR and consider forming a counter procession next Monday.Hmmmm......It’s Time to “Occupy the Dream:” African-American Faith Community Joins Forces with Occupy Wall Street – First Day of Action on MLK Day, Jan 16 at Federal Reserve Banks.What would be the odds of Obama approving this?Read the full story here.
- The Top 5 Reasons Obama Must Be Removed as Commander-in-Chief.(AT).By Stella Paul.Obama recently signed a mysterious new law that proclaims all American soil is a "battleground," thereby allowing the president to indefinitely detain any American citizen without charges. Critics fear Obama will use his fun new unconstitutional powers to make his political enemies disappear, but that may not be necessary. The way things are going, most patriotic Americans will soon be six feet under, felled by apoplectic strokes brought on by reading the latest outrage committed by our "Commander in Chief." He may not have a limit to what he'll inflict; but our collective blood pressure may have a limit to what we can bear.With each passing hour, the question becomes not if America can survive a second term, but whether we can survive another day. It's not just the $15 trillion in debt, the Muslim Brotherhood in the catbird seat, and our bleeding open border. It's the never-ending deliberate assaults against our safety and security laughingly committed by the cold-eyed man with the nuclear code.Here are the top 5 reasons Obama must be removed as Commander-in-Chief. Please read them while seated.
ONE - LightSquared : If we had an actual media, you should be able to wake up an average fourth grader at 3 AM and ask, "Who's General William Shelton?" and the fourth grader would chirpily recite: "He's the Air Force Commander who was pressured by the White House to change his testimony about LightSquared."The facts are not in dispute. A four-star general has testified to Congress that he was pressured by the White House to alter his testimony to make it friendlier to a broadband company backed by a major Democratic donor. The problem with LightSquared's new wireless project is that it could disrupt all military communications and GPS. But what worth has the entire capacity of the military's communication system against the pleadings of LightSquared's biggest investor, Philip Falcone, who shovels cash to Obama?
TWO- Fast and Furious: No matter how many times you hear the facts they never get less sickening or bizarre. The United States Department of Justice deliberately ran thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels, which then used them to commit at least 11 violent crimes in the US and 200 violent crimes in Mexico. A Fast and Furious gun was used to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and possibly U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata.ATF Agent Vince Cefalu was fired for whistleblowing about this surreal horror show. Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself to Congress, pretending he knew nothing about it. And newly released emails confirm that the motivation for supplying weapons to Mexico's most violent criminals was to use the ensuing chaos to enact stricter gun control laws here.Not content to unleash murder and mayhem, the Department of Justice also went into the money-laundering racket, washing clean millions of dollars for Mexico's drug cartels. Your tax dollars at work! And while this evil madness was raging, Obama conducted a hysterical campaign against Sarah Palin for using an image of a target on her website.
THREE - Giving Top-Secret Technology to Our Enemies: Last week brought word that Obama is planning to share U.S. missile defense secrets with Russia, over the strenuous objections of security officials who say it could devastate the effectiveness of our entire defense system. They also fear Russia will share our secrets with China, Iran and North Korea.Remember how Obama's Mommy and Daddy met in Russian class? If only they could see their little boy now. Obama also gave a freebie of our most classified intelligence to Iran, refusing all three options to destroy a downed U.S. drone. Instead, he let the mullahs paw their way through our most sensitive high-tech secrets. Not to worry -- he did politely ask them to give it back.
FOUR - Waging War Against Libya Without Congressional Approval: Obama's handlers dreamed up a catchy new doctrine called Responsibility to Protect (R2P), and they were itching to try it out. So Obama gave them a nice, peppy little war to conduct in Libya. Why not take out the mad transvestite, Qadaffi? Nobody likes him, anyway.
Flagrantly flouting the War Powers Resolution, Obama spent a billion dollars to wage an unconstitutional war. The grand result is Al Qaeda's flag waving over Benghazi and 20,000 anti-aircraft missiles missing, which will probably wind up blasting towards us.
FIVE - Hollowing Out Our Military: This week we learn that Obama is slashing the defense budget, planning to lay off 14% off our troops, reduce our nuclear arsenal, shelve key weapon systems and explicitly cripple our ability to wage ground wars. What hath Saul Alinsky wrought!Already, Obama has strait-jacketed the military in political correctness, forbidding discussion of the nature of radical Islam and sanitizing the jihad-crazed murder of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood into "workplace violence." But that was not enough for our Commander-in-Chief. Our troops are so heroic that even in straitjackets, they can win. And if there's one thing Obama will not tolerate it's American victory.From George Washington to Barack Obama - it's been quite a ride.Read the full story here.
- McCain: Iraq is Unraveling Thanks to Obama.(Politico).Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says Iraq is in the process of “unraveling” and could eventually split into three different states, blaming the Obama administration for a failure to secure a long-term troop presence in the country.“Iraq is unraveling. It’s unraveling because we didn’t keep a residual force there because the president of the United States pledged to get out of Iraq,” McCain said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And we could have kept a residual force there and kept some stability. Instead it’s unraveling and Iran’s influence is increasing. And there’s every possibility you could see a very chaotic situation”McCain declined to say whether he foresaw the possibility of an outright civil war, but said the country could certain break up into three different states.“There’s clearly an unraveling going on which could eventually lead basically into three different kind of states in Iraq. We needed to keep a residual force there. And that was what the Bush administration envisioned and that’s what we should have done.”McCain went on to say that the Obama administration did not effectively pressure the Iraqi government into allowing American troops to remain long-term.“The Iraqis were ready to deal on the issue. This administration did not give them a number [of troops],” the Arizona Republican told CBS.“Leading from behind is not what this world needs,” McCain said, in a shot at a comment that an anonymous advisor to President Obama made to the New Yorker last year.Read the full story here.
- U.S. orders expulsion of Venezuelan consul for suspected links to Iranian plot.(AlArabiya).The United States has ordered the expulsion of Venezuela’s consul general in Miami amid reports linking the diplomat to an alleged Iranian plot to target sensitive U.S. facilities with cyber attacks, the U.S. State Department said Sunday.The U.S. action comes as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was to kick off a Latin American tour in Caracas later Sunday.The Venezuelan embassy in Washington was notified Friday that Livia Acosta Noguera, the consul general, had been declared persona non grata and had until Tuesday to leave the country, said State Department spokesman William Ostick.“In accordance with Article 23 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the department declared Ms Livia Acosta Noguera, Venezuelan consul general to Miami, to be persona non grata. As such, she must depart the United States by January 10,” he said.“We cannot comment on specific details behind the decision to declare Ms Acosta persona non grata at this time,” he added in a statement.The State Department had said last month it was looking into “very disturbing” allegations that Acosta was a participant in an alleged Iranian plot to launch cyber-attacks on sensitive U.S. national security facilities.The allegations were made in a documentary that aired on the Spanish-language television network Univision, which said Acosta was taped discussing the alleged plot with Mexican students who later sought asylum in the United States.The contacts reportedly took place in 2007 while Acosta was serving at the Venezuelan embassy in Mexico City.On December 12, a State Department spokesman said the department could not corroborate the Univision report, but said, “We’re looking into it and continue to assess what additional actions we might take.”Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has long been a vociferous opponent of Washington, siding with Iran and Syria against US-led efforts to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program and Damascus on human rights abuses.Ahmadinejad’s trip to Venezuela and three other leftist-ruled Latin American countries -- Nicaragua, Ecuador and Cuba -- comes amid spiking international tensions over Iran’s nuclear program.A preliminary agreement by the European Union to embargo Iranian oil shipments has drawn Iranian threats to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance of the Gulf if it does.US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, meanwhile, warned Sunday that the United States would not tolerate the closure of the strait and would respond to reopen it.In October, the United States accused Tehran of plotting to hire Mexican drug traffickers to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, which Tehran dismissed as “baseless and unfounded.”Read the full story here.
- Iran sentences Iranian-US man to death for spying.(AlArabiya).Iran’s Revolutionary Court has sentenced an Iranian-American man to death for spying for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the student news agency quoted a judiciary official as saying, a move likely to aggravate U.S.-Iranian tension already high because of Tehran's nuclear work.Western nations have recently expanded punitive economic sanctions against Iran over suspicions it is trying to develop atomic bombs under the cover of a civilian atomic energy program. The Islamic Republic denies this.“Amir Mirza Hekmati was sentenced to death ... for cooperating with the hostile country America and spying for the CIA,” ISNA news agency quoted judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei as saying.“The court found him Corrupt on the Earth and Mohareb (one who wages war on God). Hekmati can appeal to the Supreme Court.”Iran’s highest court must confirm all death sentences. When it will rule in Hekmati’s case was not known.Hekmati, a 28-year-old of Iranian descent born in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona, was arrested in December and Iran’s Intelligence Ministry accused him of receiving training at U.S. bases in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq.Iran’s judiciary said Hekmati admitted to having links with the CIA but denied any intention of harming Iran, which has had no relations with the United States since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Mutual antagonism has reigned since.Hekmati’s family said earlier this month in a statement that the former U.S. military translator was visiting his grandmothers in Iran when he was arrested.“We have struggled to provide Amir with an attorney in Iran. We have sought to hire at least 10 different attorneys to no avail,” the family’s statement said. It said Hekmati’s “only advocate in Iran was a government-appointed lawyer who he met on the first day of his trial.”The U.S. government has demanded Hekmati’s release, saying he has been “falsely” accused. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said last month that Iran had not permitted diplomats from the Swiss Embassy, which represents American interests in Iran, to see him before or during his trial.Hekmati graduated from a Michigan high school. His father Ali is a professor at a community college in Flint, Michigan.Hekmati, whose trial ended on Jan. 2, was shown on Iranian state television in December saying he was a CIA operative sent to infiltrate the Iranian intelligence ministry.Iran also said on Monday it had broken up an alleged U.S.-linked spy network that planned to “fuel unrest” ahead of the March parliamentary election, the first nationwide vote since the country’s 2009 disputed presidential vote.“The detained spies were in contact with foreign countries through cyberspace,” Intelligence Minister Haydar Moslehi was quoted by state television as saying. He gave no information about the nationalities and the number of those detained.Iran, which often accuses its foes of trying to destabilize its Islamic system, said in May it had arrested 30 people on suspicion of spying for the United States and later 15 people were indicted for spying for Washington and Israel.Despite mounting international pressure and sharpened rhetoric, Iran seems determined to stick to its nuclear course ahead of the parliamentary election, to be followed by a presidential ballot in 2013.Read the full story here.
- Haniyeh: Muslims are creating the new Middle East.(JPost).Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared Sunday that the Muslim revolutions born out of the "Arab Spring" would replace US-backed chaos in the Middle East, Hamas affiliate Al Resalah quoted the Hamas leader as saying. "We are among those who will create a new Middle East. We have created a glorious revolution that will bring back the nation and its glory in place of the chaos that the American administration had so desired," Haniyeh told a gathering of Tunisian Islamist Ennahda party supporters in Tunis. According to the report, tens of thousands of Tunisians gathered outside the palatial government complex in the Tunisian capital to see Haniyeh speak, chanting in support of "Palestinian liberation." Protesters also chanted "Death to Israel" and "the army of Mohammed is back," as Haniyeh reiterated his pledge not "to lay down our arms" or recognize Israel, according to AFP. The Ennahda party, banned under the rule of ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, has since become the country's largest party, garnering 40 percent of votes in last October's parliamentary elections.Haniyeh has traveled Arab and Muslim nations on a Middle East tour that began December 25, including Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and Tunisia.Hmmmm......Thanks to Obama's 'incompetence' or is it something else the Muslim Brotherhood is taking over in the Middle East.Read the full story here.
- 'Europe's Guantanamo': Öcalan Lawyer Discusses PKK Leader's Detention.(Spiegel).Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party, is locked up in a remote island prison and denied access to legal representatives. His lawyer Mahmut Sakar, who fled to Germany, discusses Öcalan's isolation, secret talks with the government and Turkey's recent military escalation against the Kurds.
SPIEGEL: The Turkish judiciary has arrested 36 lawyers who represented Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan. What are they accused of?
Sakar: They are said to be members of a terrorist organization but there is no evidence to support the allegations. Öcalan is currently denied legal representation and cannot receive visitors. For almost six months, he has been completely isolated from the outside world. He is held in a prison on the Marmara island of Imrali, which we see as Europe's Guantanamo.
SPIEGEL: Is Turkey steering itself into a new wave of violence?
Sakar: The situation is very tense. At the end of December, 35 civilians were killed during an air attack by the Turkish army. At the same time around 5,000 Kurdish politicians and activists are in prison. People are frustrated and angry. Day by day the chances of resolving this conflict are waning.Read the full story here.
- Turkey turned into open prison, opposition leader says, names prison “Silivri Concentration Camp”.(Hurriyetdaily).One day after main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has described Turkey as an “open prison” over the arrest of former top commander İlker Başbuğ, he issued a statement on the 1000th day CHP Deputy Professor Mehmet Haberal’s has spent at the “Silivri Concentration Camp.”“Our Zonguldak Deputy Professor Mehmet Haberal has now completed his 1000th day at the Silivri Concentration Camp. Together with Haberal and Balbay, a total of eight deputies -- the ones who have been elected by the scared votes of the people -- are detained in prisons,” the written statement said.Kılıçdaroğlu also said the president, the speaker of Parliament, deputy prime ministers, ministers and many other top officials were declaring they were against long terms of detention. “I want to ask,” the statement said, “If you are sincere, why don’t you move a finger for those outstanding people specially authorized courts have sent to concentration camps?”The CHP chairman slammed the government over the arrest of Başbuğ over the weekend, arguing the court was directed by the government.“Rule of law is just a notion on paper for Turkey. There is no rule of law in practice. Judiciary has been politicized. Specially authorized courts are the instruments of the political authority. I don’t trust in the impartiality of the judges of these courts,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on dissident TV channel Ulusal Kanal.Detention of Başbuğ was the result of the “poor justice system,” according to Kılıçdaroğlu. “Başbuğ has been arrested today, it may be somebody else tomorrow,” he said.Stressing that Başbuğ was inducted as chief of General Staff during the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) term, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “If you appointed this person to his post, then he cannot be the only one responsible. Those who appointed him also have the responsibility. The prime minister should speak on this issue; he cannot remain silent.”The CHP leader also indicated that the arrest of Başbuğ by a specially authorized court decision is jurally problematical. According to the constitution, chiefs of General Staff, even if they are retired, can only be judged by the Supreme Council, Kılıçdaroğlu recalled. The arrest of Başbuğ was a “judicial defect,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.Such shocking decisions were likely to take place in the future to divert attention from the compelling circumstances of the government, he said. “Some special files are being kept in the drawers of specially authorized courts. When the AKP is stranded, a file would be taken out of the drawer, somebody would be arrested and public attention would be diverted,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.Hmmmmm............Read the full story here.
- Updated - Prosecutor launches probe into Turkey's main opposition leader.Courts serve political will: CHP.(HurriyetDaily). Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) reacted to the launching of a probe into party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, saying that courts served the political will. CHP speaker Birgül Ayman Güler made a statement saying, "[the specially authorized courts] are under the command of the political will," and added that the CHP was left as "the last bastion of opposition in Turkey."The public prosecutor's office in Istanbul's Silivri district had launched an investigation into the CHP's leader earlier today, charging him with "attempting to affect a fair trial," and sent a letter to the Justice Ministry requesting the removal of Kılıçdaroğlu's judicial immunity.CHP deputy chairman reacted to the investigation and said, "the Parliament should revoke the immunity of all CHP members."Kılıçdaroğlu had made a public statement in front of Silivri prison, where suspects in the Ergenekon coup case are being held, likening the prison to a concentration camp. Kılıçdaroğlu had also said he could not bear to term members of the court “judges.” The prosecutor's office acted on Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks and prepared a two-fold indictment against him, charging him with "attempting to affect a fair trial" and "insulting members of the court." The CHP leader could face trial if the Justice Ministry revokes his judicial immunity.Hmmmmm....Democracy and Dictatorship both start with the same letter.Journalists,Generals.... Parliamentarians.....who's next?Read the full story here.
- Bahrain to Jewish leader: Iran is a threat to both of us.(JPost).Iran is a common threat to Bahrain, Israel and the US, the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was quoted as saying by a Jewish official on Sunday.Rabbi Marc Schneier, vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said the king told him he was alarmed by the Islamic Republic during a 45- minute meeting held in the capital city of Manama late last month.“I made a point how it’s ironic how we share a common enemy and he acknowledged that Iran has been a threat,” said Schneier, who gave the king a hanukkia at the end of their conversation.The oil-rich island nation has a troubled history with its northern neighbor across the Persian Gulf, which once laid claim to its territory.Schneier said Hamad agreed to his request to host a Jewish-Muslim dialogue in the oil-rich country later this year. The rabbi, who is also president of the Foundation for Interfaith Dialogue, said there was no set date or list of participants yet but that the conference would aim to improve ties between the Abrahamic faiths.The news comes at a time when the Sunni elite that rules Bahrain has been accused of oppressing the country’s Shi’ite majority.Last year Sunni security forces and Shi’ite protesters clashed for weeks, leaving 51 people dead, according to local human rights groups.Schneier said he did not believe Hamad was reaching out to Jews to rebuff charges of religious intolerance against him, saying the ruler had “implemented reforms and reached out to his opponents and tried to help.”He said it was imperative to hold talks between Jews and Muslims now because the perfect conditions to conduct such a conversation would never arise.“Whether we chose to have it [in Bahrain] or not you can’t wait,” he said. “It’s a genuine sincere effort to expand Muslim-Jewish dialogue.”During his stay Schneier met with the small but influential Jewish community in Bahrain including Jewish- Bahraini member of parliament Nancy Khadouri and Houda Nonoo, the country’s ambassador to the US.Read the full story here.
- Deployment of thousands of U.S. troops in Israel, a start of war against Iran?(AlArabiya).As the Middle East roils in crisis when a U.S. aircraft carrier entered a zone near the world’s most important choke point for oil shipments, the Strait of Hormuz, also an offshore region that Iran threatened to close if the United States raises sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops in Israel has raised speculations of an imminent war.On December 20, the Jerusalem Post newspaper reported Lt.-Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of the U.S.’s Third Air Force based in Germany, as saying that there will be a deployment of several thousand American soldiers in Israel.“There is already a U.S. radar station in southern Israel, and might as well contain from 500 to 700 American soldier operating there,” Mathloum said.For Abdulaziz Sager, chairman and founder of the Gulf Research Center in Dubai, the deployment of U.S. troops in Israel is “definitely to send a clear signal to Iran.”But according to Elia Henna, a Lebanon-based expert in military issues, the deployment of 9,000 U.S. troops in Israel goes back to the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and to further the U.S. presence in the region and not to leave the “Arab field” open to further Iranian influence. Asked on why the United States did not increase its troops numbers in its military bases in the Arab Gulf, Henna said that both countries [Israel and United States.] have far more compatible militaries and are bound with military agreements and that the United States has more freedom in Israel. “Israel does not mind even if one million U.S. soldiers to be deployed in the Jewish state,” he added. Despite U.S.-Israel furthering their combative cooperation in light of the crisis looming around Iran, the Islamic Republic remains unyielding.On Sunday, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoun, Abbasi Davani, reportedly said that Iran’s underground uranium enrichment facility will go on stream soon.Davani said that the Fordow nuclear enrichment plant will be operational in the near future and that around 20 percent, 3.5 percent and four percent enriched uranium can be produced at the site.“There is no third party to verify about the site [Fordow] and truth about the announcement,” said Sager, adding “they can say all they want to say but there is no confirmation or verification.”Asked about the nature of the attack against Iran if there will be one, Sager said there will be a surgical and not a complete one since Iran cannot afford to, but it will be leaving the Gulf Arab or the surrounding region of Iran in dire environmental consequence.Hmmmm........"Asked about the nature of the attack against Iran if there will be one, Sager said there will be a surgical and not a complete one since Iran cannot afford to, but it will be leaving the Gulf Arab or the surrounding region of Iran in dire environmental consequence." is he talking nuclear fall out?Read the full story here.
- New Belgian govt. raises its own wages by 8% - paper, implements cuts on everyone else.(RaiNovosti).The new government in Belgium raised its own wages by 8% contrary to promises of 5% cuts under the spending cuts plan, the Het Nieuwsblad op Zondag paper said on Sunday.The ministers’ new wages were approved at a cabinet session on December 16.Therefore annual wages of Belgian deputy prime ministers have been increased from 224,000 euros to 248,000 pretax, ministers’ salaries from 220,000 to 238,000 euros and state secretaries’ from 210,000 to 227,000 euros.The paper did not cite the figures for the premier.Belgian nationalists have already expressed their anger at the new move. Ben Weyts of the New Flemish Alliance opposition party said “ministers are only enriching themselves at a time when others have to save.”On Saturday, the Belgian government decided to freeze about a billion euros of budget expenses for a few months after the European Commission refused to approve the Belgian 2012 budget.The commission disagreed with the Belgian government calculations that the budget deficit would be 2.8 % GDP with 0.8 % economic growth. According to the commission, the budget deficit would reach 3.1% given such growth rate, which is above the 3% margin set by the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact.The European Commission has asked the Belgian government to find 1.2-2 billion euros to cover the budget deficit by January 9.Read the full story here.
Iran says it will close Strait of Hormuz if crude exports blocked, what are the odds they pull it off?
IRGC naval bases
Tehran’s leadership has decided to order a blockade of the strategic Strait of Hormuz if the country’s oil exports are blocked, a senior Revolutionary Guard Commander said as reported by Iranian press.
The strategic decision was made by Iran's top authorities, Ali Ashraf Nouri said, as cited by the Iranian Khorasan daily."The supreme authorities … have insisted that if enemies block the export of our oil, we won't allow a drop of oil to pass through the Strait of Hormuz. This is the strategy of the Islamic Republic in countering such threats," Nouri said.Until now, there had been no official confirmation of Iran’s military having direct orders to block the Strait. However, Tehran has been threatening to block the strategic waterway – one of the world's most important oil routes – if the West slapped more sanctions on its oil exports or risked hostile military act of any kind.Meanwhile, Iran is planning a new round of “massive” naval drills codenamed The Great Prophet, which will be carried out by the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard with its own air, naval and ground forces, separate from those of the regular military.On Thursday, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's naval commander, Admiral Ali Fadavi, said the next round of war games would be "different” from previous ones.
Iran recently held a 10-day naval exercise near the Strait of Hormuz, demonstrating its military prowess and ability to take full control of the waters if necessary.
Meanwhile the EU may delay its embargo on Iranian crude oil imports, a measure aimed at complementing the US sanctions. EU members most dependent on oil imports are seeking to push back the embargo and have called for “grace periods” on existing contracts. But diplomats from different countries differed on the exact length of these grace periods. Diplomats from Greece, which is most dependent on Iranian oil imports, have called for a delay of 12 months, while the UK, France and the Netherlands want a maximum of 3 months. EU foreign ministers are set to meet in Brussels on January 30 to decide on how the embargo will be imposed. Iran is the second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, among the 12 countries in OPEC, making around 3.5 million barrels a day. EU countries buy around 500,000 barrels per day, the largest share of Iran’s total 2.6 million barrel a day oil export.During an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States would not tolerate the blocking of the Strait of Hormuz. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, added that the US would take action to reopen the Strait in the event Iran does block it. “They've invested in capabilities that could, in fact, for a period of time block the Strait of Hormuz. We've invested in capabilities to ensure that if that happens, we can defeat that,” Dempsey said. Panetta also said he did not believe Iran was developing a nuclear weapon but indicated that Iran’s nuclear capabilities are what concern the US and its allies.
Panetta and Dempsey stressed the need to continue putting diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran but also said that the US did not intend to “take any option off the table.” Asked about what the United States would do if Israel were to take out Iran’s nuclear capability on its own, Leon Panetta said the main goal would be to protect US forces in the region.Read the full story here, more The Consequences of a Strike on Iran: The IRGC Navy here.
Related - From yesterday's post the following story:
Such a "Great" Idea It Can Now Be Proclaimed But Not Criticized: Obama Supports the Muslim Brotherhood
- Such a "Great" Idea It Can Now Be Proclaimed But Not Criticized: Obama Supports the Muslim Brotherhood.(DocsTalk).By BarryRubin.Not only is the Obama Administration, as I’ve written for the last year, favoring radical Islamist forces — despite the fact that these are anti-Western, pro-terrorism, building dictatorships, and openly antisemitic and anti-Christian — but now even the establishment media is admitting it.A friend of mine said, “Oh, they are probably saying that the Brotherhood is sounding radical publicly but privately reassuring U.S. officials that they are moderate.”“No,” I replied. “That’s the old way of doing things when it was important to be, or at least to pretend to be, somewhat balanced. Now they say that the Brotherhood sounds moderate both publicly — ignoring all evidence to the contrary — and privately. Those who disagree are merely Republicans trying to defeat Obama in the election, and so should be ignored. The mass media today in such matters is worse than our worst nightmares of a decade ago.”And so for the first time in U.S. history an American government, to the applause of the vast majority of the mass media, is backing an anti-American authoritarian movement. Here’s how the New York Times explains it: The Obama administration has begun to reverse decades of mistrust and hostility as it seeks to forge closer ties with an organization [the Muslim Brotherhood] once viewed as irreconcilably opposed to United States interests.Any serious foreign policy analyst should see three red flags in the above sentence.
- First, of course the U.S. government must deal with Egypt’s government but that doesn’t mean it should publicly proclaim that the Brotherhood is a nice group and give what amounts to an unconditional endorsement of it.Indeed, the Obama Administration and media are using a cheap trick. They confuse the proper, responsible policy of dealing with those in power while doing something quite beyond that: a self-destructive policy of rushing to insist that sworn enemies of freedom and the United States are really nice guys and there’s no problem with having them in power.As I’ve written before, it’s possible to elect a dictatorship. The Egyptian people have a right to do so but that doesn’t mean the West should like it.Obama has given away all U.S. leverage and assets beforehand, just as he did by announcing a year ago, during the revolution’s opening days, that he would be happy to accept a Muslim Brotherhood government.So the Brotherhood’s moderation is assumed. The science is settled; the debate is over.The reversal also reflects the administration’s growing acceptance of the Brotherhood’s repeated assurances that its lawmakers want to build a modern democracy that will respect individual freedoms, free markets and international commitments, including Egypt’s treaty with Israel.Wow, yes that’s it. The Obama Administration believes what the Brotherhood says and not what has been said by Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and others including many moderate Egyptians. No one has bothered to look at the actual radical record of Brotherhood lawmakers in the last parliament! Obama has chosen his friends and he’s on the wrong side.And at the same time it underscores Washington’s increasing frustration with Egypt’s military rulers, who have sought to carve out permanent political powers for themselves and used deadly force against protesters seeking an end to their rule.This is nonsense. Of course, the military has used force, though rarely deadly force. But what evidence is there that the military wants “permanent political powers?” On two occasions it put forth some demands and then retreated within a few hours when pushed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Yet even when moderates protested in the thousands the army either ignored them or broke up the demonstrations.It only took a year to figure that out. Yes, the Brotherhood gains more support because of U.S. policy. Some Egyptians argue the Americans back the Brotherhood so they might as well join the winning side. Others argue that the Brotherhood has intimidated the Americans so they are heroes who should be supported.In other words, Obama isn’t just observing but is affecting events. Now, note how the Obama Administration avoids this issue:“It would be `totally impractical’ not to engage the Brotherhood `because of U.S. security and regional interests in Europe,’ a senior administration official” said. But we are not talking about holding talks, we’re talking about becoming apologists for Islamism, a position announced and defended in a detailed explanation by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It is entirely predictable that as the revolutionary Islamists take anti-American and dictatorial stances the Western media will underreport them and the Obama Administration will ignore them, if only to defend the mistaken ideas they hold and the mistaken policy Obama has staked out.Notice the use of the word “engage.” Earlier, the Obama Administration spent much of its effort engaging Iran and Syria, claiming this was necessary. One thing about this president, and the complicit media, is that they never examine past failures when the precise same strategy is repeated (domestic example: “Stimulus” followed by “Jobs Bill.”)How do we supposedly know the Brotherhood is moderate? Because that is what it tells the Western journalists and diplomats. But that’s not what it tells the Egyptian people or its own members: “the official said.…`They’ve been very specific about conveying a moderate message’….” Indeed, the State Department tells us that the Brotherhood has pledged to maintain “universal human rights” and previous Egyptian government commitments, presumably the peace treaty with Israel.The fact that Senator John Kerry is leading this effort is even scarier. He has been wrong about every Middle Eastern issue, notably his failed engagement policy with Syria and Iran. Might Kerry learn something from this experience about how radical forces can lie to you and manipulate you into supporting their repressive regimes?Of course not.Will anyone in the mass media compare Kerry’s positions on engaging Iran and Syria with his making the same mistake now by engaging the Arab Islamists?Again, of course not. So the public won’t hear people say: Hey, hasn’t this policy already failed twice under this administration?Kerry’s foolishness is endless. He told the reporter, “The Brotherhood’s leaders said they were eager to work with the United States and other Western countries, especially in economic areas.” Oh, they want American money. If that doesn’t prove they’re moderate what does?And here’s an interesting twist, the kind of thing that makes the New York Times the kind of newspaper it is:“The administration’s willingness to engage with the Brotherhood could open President Obama to new attacks by Republicans who are already accusing him letting Islamists take over a pivotal ally. Some analysts, though, said the overtures amounted to a tacit admission that the United States should have begun such outreach to the region’s Islamist opposition long ago.”Did you catch that?First, the Republicans (boo!) will criticize Obama without any basis and, second, the real mistake was that the United States (Bush?) should have engaged Islamists even sooner!So the idea that Obama is wrong about the Brotherhood is dismissed a mere partisanship. Thus, there need be no actual discussion of whether this charge is true! The Times readers are conditioned to reject anything associated with Republicans. The idea that Obama let (I prefer the words “helped,” cheered,” and “declared harmless”) Islamists take over a pivotal ally is now officially banished. And if you hear someone say otherwise, know that he is a Republican trying to sabotage Obama so ignore that person. Immediately put hands over ears.Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, is the person quoted as arguing that the United States missed chances to build ties to “moderate Islamists” earlier. Should America apologize for keeping the Brotherhood waiting? And what about the effort to build ties with “moderate Islamists” like Hizballah, the Iran regime, and Syria’s government which is not Islamist but allied with the Islamist bloc?But here’s Hamid’s really interesting point: “Now the Brotherhood knows it is in a stronger position and it is almost as if the U.S. is chasing them and they are sitting pretty.”Yes, that’s it. They view Obama policy not as one of friendship but of weakness. Thus, they will make no concession — except patience and mouthing soothing words in English — in the pursuit of their radical, anti-American agenda.Hmmm............How deep is this ‘admin’ infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood?What exactly is the role and influence of Huma Abedin in the Hillary Clinton's Admin?Why doesn’t anyone concentrate on Huma’s brother’s role and connection to Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi?Quariawi who now suddenly is the go between between the Taliban and the Obama admin.Does the word treason still excist in America?Read the full story here.
Egyptian Presidential Candidate Muhammad Al-Nishai: The Killing of Bin Laden Was Fabricated by American Filmmakers; George Bush Was an Idiot Whose Mother Was Surprised when They Made Him President
When I saw the news about the killing of Bin Laden, I said... The Secretary of State came and sat down next to... What's his name?... the US President... Barack Obama. They both sat and looked at the TV this way... So I said: "Who's the American director who directed such a beautiful scene?" They built a house just like Bin Laden's, they brought someone who looks like him, and we watch something that didn't actually happen in Pakistan. It will turn out that it was in Washington...
Interviewer: In Hollywood.
Muhammad Al-Nishai: The Americans excel in these matters. They have an amazing imagination. They built Hollywood, which creates a reality that is greater than reality. If you watch "The Ten Commandments" by the film director Cecil DeMille, you say that's exactly how it was in history - the way Cecil DeMille described it.
Interviewer: The film "Air Force 1" portrayed the US President as a brave hero, whereas George Bush ran to hide the moment they attacked the Twin Towers. Until his mother said: "Come back, boy"...
Muhammad Al-Nishai: Even his mother was surprised when they made this idiot president. Source Memri.