Monday, January 30, 2012
U.S. to send floating floating drone base to Mideast, called an “afloat forward staging base.(Stratfor).WASHINGTON—Within the president’s defense-budget plan is funding for an intriguing new item: a floating drone base that also could be used as a launching pad for commandos.
The vessel—called an “afloat forward staging base”—would be a platform that could be configured to carry and refuel small patrol boats, helicopters or pilotless aircraft.
Within the president’s new defense budget plan is funding for an intriguing new item: a floating drone base that also could be used as a launching pad for commandos. Nathan Hodge has details on The News Hub.It would also give the U.S. military the ability to stage a small strike force offshore—without obtaining a permission slip from another country for access to a land base.
Details are still emerging, but the project offers insight into how the Obama administration envisions a military that in some ways is more lethal even as it contracts.
Plans for the specialized vessel fit neatly with the Obama administration’s plans to grow special-operations forces, while slimming down conventional forces such as the Army and Marine Corps.
Senior officials want to provide military commanders with affordable sea-base options without necessarily sending a big-deck aircraft carrier and a full complement of escort ships.
James Jay Carafano, a national-security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation "this kind of capability was “not a silver bullet,” because such vessels would still have to be sustained and protected by conventional forces.'“It’s a very limited capability,” he said, adding: “Normally, when we do stuff like this, they wouldn’t want to advertise it. It does seem to be a PR campaign for a smaller, leaner, more flexible military.”Read the full story here.
'Iran renaming ships to circumvent arms, nuclear sanctions'.(JPost).Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines has renamed 90 of its 123 ships since 2008 in efforts to dodge sanctions, study finds; "Iranian ships are being shuffled like a deck of cards in a Las Vegas casino.”Using a series of legal loopholes, Iran has renamed over a dozen cargo ships in the past year as it seeks to circumvent sanctions on arms transfers and the supply of nuclear-related equipment, according to a new study released on Monday.The report was published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and included an analysis of reported incidents of illicit arms and drug transfers in recent years. Last March, Navy commandos seized the Victoria, which was transporting 50 tons of weaponry - including advanced radar-guided anti-ship missiles - to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The ship was owned by a German company and was flying a Liberian flag.The report, Griffiths said, was the culmination of two years of work by SIPRI during which it created the Vessel and Maritime Incident Database which contains information on countries and shipping lines suspected of illicit activity.Read the full story here.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Peru 6.3 !More info here.
- Obama Administration Offers $75,000 Grants to Sign Up More Food Stamp Recipients.(BigGovernment).Over the last three years, the number of Americans on food stamps has skyrocketed by two-thirds and stands at a record-high 46 million citizens, or one out of every seven people in the United States. Despite the historic rise in food stamp use, however, the Obama Administration believes not enough people are receiving food stamps who should be and is offering $75,000 grants to groups who devise “effective strategies” to “increase program participation” among those who have yet to sign up.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website singles out Hispanics and elderly Americans as groups who often fail to enroll in the food stamp program (officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) and says that one of the contributing factors that must be overcome to get more people to sign up for SNAP benefits is individual “pride”:There are many reasons why eligible people, including seniors and Hispanics, do not participate in the SNAP. These include unawareness of eligibility, confusion about program rules and requirements, a complex application process, and a lack of transportation and pride.To reduce these “barriers” to food stamp enrollment, the Department of Agriculture offers non-profit groups the chance to receive $75,000 grants for projects designed to boost food stamp participation among those who are eligible but have yet to sign up. The Department of Agriculture believes that the SNAP program is “severely underutilized” and says that 33 percent more Americans who are eligible to receive food stamps have yet to apply, thus the need to offer federal grants to sign more citizens up.President Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has also argued that food stamps are an effective form of economic stimulus that puts “people to work” because each time food stamps are used at a grocery store “someone’s got to stock it, shelve it, package it, process it, ship it–all of those are jobs.”On January 9th, the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) sent a letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting a full report on the Agriculture Department’s oversight efforts. And last year, the Wall Street Journal declared that under President Obama a “food stamp crime wave” was rampant in America.Still, thus far, the Obama Administration has decided to continue offering cash grants through the SNAP Outreach Grant program and plans to pursue its stated strategic plan of increasing food stamp enrollment through 2015.Read the full story here.
- The Heretical Gospel According to Pope Barack Hussein Obama The First.(WyBlog).Via Pundette comes the latest Obamacare tyranny — Pope Barack Hussein Obama The First overrules 20 centuries of Catholic doctrine.Undeterred, and menacingly on the cusp of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Department of Health and Human Services has issued an "interim final rule" which requires all private health plans, including those of Catholic hospitals and schools, to include coverage of prescription contraceptives, female sterilization procedures, and abortion counseling.Thereby replacing "Thou Shalt Not Kill" with a new heresy —The Gospel According to Obama.Archbishop Timothy Dolan: "Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience," said Dolan. "This shouldn't happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights."Disobey our consciences and our faith, or disengage completely from providing health care services. He's "graciously" given us a year to decide. Archbishop Dolan again:"In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences."Which is of course no time at all. Except there's an election coming up. No Catholic can in good conscience vote for Barack Obama. Not after this. To re-elect Obama is to put him above God, to disavow a core tenet of our Catholic faith, to turn your back on everything that Christ taught. And to be complicit in mortal sin. We still believe in mortal sin, don't we? Us Catholics, I mean. The secular world has long since decided to look the other way. Can we? Can we turn our backs and accede to government-sanctioned infanticide? Will we pay our blood money and call it "health care?"I hope not. Is it hyperbole to posit that Barack Hussein Obama is the Antichrist? He will destroy Holy Mother Church. He has said as much, and his actions cannot possibly be interpreted differently. The Church is already out of the adoption business, forced by Obama to surrender our doctrinal authority to the vagaries of homosexual dystopianism.Now he'll prevent us from providing health care. No Catholic hospital can operate under this requirement. They'll be sold, at fire sale prices, probably to Obama cronies like George Soros and Warren Buffett. And no Catholic school will be able to offer health insurance to their employees. "Look at the heartless Catholics," his sycophantic media will say. "The public schools give their employees the best health insurance available!"He will not stop until the Catholic Church is scrubbed from the public square. Banished, like lepers, to the fringes of Obama's New World Order. Crushed under the secular jackboot labeled "tolerance."And then what is left? Who will the people turn to? Government!His message is seductively simple, a siren song, music to the ears of a fickle and easily distracted populace. Obama is our shepherd, we shall not want. It is the eternal seduction of the evil one, played out in the United States of America in the Year of Our Lord 2012.In November Barack Obama must be defeated. Or he will destroy us.Read the full story here.
- DHS Unveils National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security at Davos.(BLN).(DHSPressrelease).DAVOS, Switzerland—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today unveiled the Obama administrations National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Department of Homeland Security is committed to facilitating legitimate trade and travel, while preventing terrorists from exploiting supply chains, protecting transportation systems from attacks and disruptions, and increasing the resilience of global supply chains.We must continue to strengthen global supply chains to ensure that they operate effectively in time of crisis; recover quickly from disruptions; and facilitate international trade and travel, said Secretary Napolitano. As a part of this effort, we look forward to working closely with our international partners in the public and private sector to build a more resilient global supply chain.The National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security outlines clear goals to promote the efficient and secure movement of goods and foster a resilient supply chain system. It also provides guidance for the U.S. government and crucial domestic, international, public and private stakeholders who share a common interest in the security and resiliency of the global supply chain.Following the release of the National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security, DHS and the Department of State will lead a six month engagement period with the international community and industry stakeholders to solicit feedback and specific recommendations on how to implement the Strategy in a cost effective and collaborative manner. Within 12 months of the release of the Strategy, a consolidated report on the status of implementation efforts will be developed.Read the full story here.
- "Sanctions that bite" - Iran, Iraq Agree to Launch Joint Shipping Line.(Fars).TEHRAN - Iran and Iraq reached an agreement on launching a joint shipping line to enhance their marine cooperation, Managing-Director of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Seyed Ataollah Sadr announced on Sunday. Speaking to FNA, Sadr underlined that launching a joint shipping line between Iran and Iraq will provide the ground for both countries' private companies to set up a joint company to increase their cooperation. "Iran can have desirable cooperation in maritime and port fields with the friendly and brotherly country of Iraq," he added. Sadr also expressed the hope that Tehran and Baghdad would activate a joint committee in the near future for maritime cooperation. Tehran and Baghdad signed a number of bilateral agreements during Iraqi Transportation Minister Hadi Farhan al-Amiri's recent visit to Iran. During the visit, the Iranian and Iraqi officials also agreed to establish joint companies to facilitate transportation of goods and passengers between the two countries. "On the sidelines of a recent meeting (between the Iranian and Iraqi road and transportation ministers), the two sides agreed to set up joint transportation companies," Iranian Deputy Minister of Road and Urbanization Shahriyar Afandizadeh told FNA on Saturday. He expressed the hope that the measure would further facilitate transportation between the two neighboring countries.Hmmmm...."Sanctions that bite".Great way to avoid sanctions Iraqi tankers delivering Iranian oil.Read the full story here.
- The Report That Will Blow Up The Eurozone.(BI).HT: KleinVerzet.The report I refer to in the title requires a little background info: In Holland, where I'll be for a few more days, there's a "rogue" right-wing party named PVV (Party for Freedom). It has no cabinet ministers, but the minority moderate right-wing government needs its support to stay in the saddle. The PVV, like other European right-wingers, is, among many other things, against much of what the European Union stands for. It's certainly against the Euro, and the bailouts with Dutch taxpayer money of countries like Greece and Portugal.A few months ago, the PVV announced they had commissioned a report from British financial consultancy firm Lombard Street Research on the economic consequences of staying in the Eurozone versus returning to the guilder. That report is about to be published "within days". It will prove to be highly explosive material. And the PVV will do all it possibly can to make sure it receives a lot of media attention. It may tear down the incumbent government, which is a heavy advocate of all things Europe, and which will have to quit once the PVV support dies, but for that party that's not the no. 1 concern.And if and when Holland has a large scale discussion on the report and the issues it raises, Germany won't be able to ignore it and stay behind. And then, neither will France.Max Julius of Citywire.uk did a piece on the report, without mentioning it directly, 10 days ago: BI estimate that once the report is published governments in Berlin and The Hague will have a lot of explaining to do. They have to do so against a backdrop of (near-)failing Greek debt swap talks, which will at the very least force them to admit that they have a lost tens of billions in taxpayer money to Club Med countries already. With a second Portugal bailout waiting in the wings. And lots of negative news on Italy and Spain. And more domestic budget cuts. The report will be the moment when the Dutch (and the Germans) realize that our governments have painted far too rosy pictures about the issues so far.The combination of economic reality in the eurozone is already causing a seething hatred and anger. The fact that a reputable economic research firm will flatly contradict the dire predictions by our government about the effects of leaving the euro will "serve as the catalyst that blows up the powder keg. It may take a few months, but it will happen".Hmmm....To put it in a quote"luctor et emergo""I struggle and emerge” are we talking about the Truth? The coat of arms of the province of Zeeland(TheNetherlands).Read the full story here.
- US Embassy in Egypt housing citizens barred from leaving country.(BM).CAIRO: A new report published on Monday says the United States Embassy in Cairo is sheltering American citizens working for NGOs in the country who have been barred from leaving the country.The Washington Post said Embassy officials and a former NGO official have confirmed that the US citizens banned from leaving Egypt are currently on its grounds.The American Embassy in Cairo is taking the step as relations between Washington and the military junta in the country continue to deteriorate.The embassy did not return calls from Bikyamasr.com for a comment on the situation, but in recent months has been unwilling to assist American citizens arrested and detained by the military, including Bikyamasr.com Editor-in-chief Joseph Mayton, who was detained, beaten and held for more than 12 hours by the military. The US Embassy told Mayton that they would not come retrieve him and had to deal with “the political relationship between Washington and the military.”A Hungarian citizen detained hours after Mayton, was picked up by his embassy in the early evening.The US Embassy has since claimed it always assists its citizens in Egypt, but did not comment on specifics.A senior State Department official said Sunday that a “handful of US citizens have opted to stay in the embassy compound in Cairo while awaiting permission to depart Egypt.”The official, who was not allowed to discuss the matter on the record, would not say whether Sam LaHood, the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, was among those at the embassy.Hmmm.....Perhaps Obama can give the Muslim Brotherhood a couple of extra $Billions?Read the full story here.
- U.K. - The Prime Minister-In-Waiting is on the Muslim Payroll.(IVE).We all know that the Labour leader Ed Miliband is a joke. Sooner or later he will be replaced by his more personable brother David, who stands a good chance of eventually becoming Prime Minister. It's interesting to note, therefore, that this Prime Minister-in-waiting is already on the Muslim payroll. In fact, he works for two different sets of Muslims: Arabs and Pakistanis.Mr Miliband recently pocketed more than £21,000 a day for work in the United Arab Emirates. His rate of pay even outstrips controversial Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester, who earns just under £6,000 a day in salary and bonus.Mr Miliband’s latest entry in the Commons Register of Members’ Interests shows that he received £64,475 from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.He was also provided with transport and accommodation for himself and an accompanying member of staff worth £4,935 for joining the ‘advisory board’ at the ‘Sir Bani Yas Forum’ in Abu Dhabi last November.The confidential forum lasted just three days. The event was described as a ‘high-level retreat’ that ‘created a space for action-oriented discussions among leading policy and opinion-makers about critical issues for peace and security in the Middle East’.The forum was held on Sir Bani Yas island, a luxurious desert island resort created in the Eighties by UAE founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who spent billions of pounds transforming the island into a forest and animal park. More than 3.5 million trees and 60,000 animals were shipped to the island in 1985, following ten years of construction work. And nine million gallons of desalinated water are reported to be pumped to the island each day.Last week The Mail on Sunday revealed Mr Miliband is also working for a Pakistan-based City firm backed by a Swiss aristocratic playboy.Mr Miliband was joined at the ‘Sir Bani Yas Forum’ in Abu Dhabi by his former political patron, Tony Blair, whose own earnings now surpass £12 million a year.Last night Tory MP Charlie Elphicke MP was critical of Mr Miliband and his brother Ed. He said: ‘Usually when spouses own shares it is to help avoid tax. Ed Miliband and Labour talk tough on tax-avoidance except when it’s in the family. You can’t trust a thing they say.’ Read the full story here.
- Video - Syrian troops seize Damascus suburbs from rebels; Clinton to attend U.N. session.(AlArabiya).Troops seized eastern suburbs of Damascus from rebels early Monday, opposition activists said, after two days of fighting only a few kilometers from the center of power of President Bashar al-Assad. “The Free Syrian Army has made a tactical withdrawal. Regime forces have re-occupied the suburbs and started making house-to-house arrests,” an activist named Kamal said by phone from the eastern al-Ghouta area on the edge of the capital.A spokesman for the Free Syrian Army of defectors fighting Assad’s forces appeared to confirm that account.“Tanks have gone in but they do not know where the Free Syrian Army is. We are still operating close to Damascus,” Maher al-Naimi told Reuters by phone from Turkey.Activists said earlier on Sunday soldiers had moved into the suburbs at dawn, along with at least 50 tanks and other armored vehicles. At least 19 civilians and rebel fighters were killed in that initial attack, they said. “The more the regime uses the army, the more soldiers defect,” Ahmed al-Khatib, a local rebel council member on the Damascus outskirts, told AFP.Other rebel sources reported heavy fighting in Rankus, 45 kilometers from Damascus, and of heightened tension in Hama, further to the north.Rankus was “besieged for the past five days and is being randomly shelled since dawn by tanks and artillery rounds,” rebel Abu Ali al-Rankusi told AFP by telephone.Fighters had taken over districts less than eight km (five miles) from the heart of the city. The areas have seen repeated protests against Assad’s rule and crackdowns by troops in the 10-month-old uprising. “It’s urban war. There are bodies in the street,” said an activist speaking from the suburb of Kfar Batna.Residents of Damascus reported hearing clashes in the nearby suburbs, particularly at night, shattering the city’s calm.Read the full story here.
- Debate on Free Press Heats up in Ankara.(SI).Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected mounting Western criticism over a record number of imprisoned journalists in Turkey, while the top American diplomat in Turkey has confessed he was still unable to understand why journalists and intellectuals were put behind bars. Erdoğan argued the outside world was not aware they were involved in subversive and violent activities."It's hard for Western countries to understand the problem because they do not have journalists who engage in coup attempts and who support and invite coups," Erdoğan said late Wednesday at a reception marking the 25th anniversary of the Zaman newspaper.Without giving a name, he said the jailed journalists included a person who had killed a policeman, and mentioned news stories that were used as evidence in a failed judicial bid in 2008 to have his Justice and Development Party, or AKP, outlawed.However, United States Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said he could not "understand" the situation."I do have to confess, I do not understand how in a country whose democracy has come so far and is so cherished by the people -- I don't think Turks will ever let go their democracy, I don't think you'll ever accept dictatorship in this country -- so how can there be intellectuals and journalists behind bars in a country that so values freedom? I simply do not understand," he told a group of Ankara bureau chiefs Wednesday.Ricciardone made a similar critical statement in early 2011, shortly after his arrival in Turkey, and has been severely criticized by Erdoğan, who described the envoy as a "rookie ambassador.""At the risk of being misunderstood: I said last year, 'anlamadım, anlayamadım' ('I do not understand, I am unable to understand'). I have to say that again. I say it respectfully," he said, drawing attention to the dilemma of the improvements in the nature of Turkish democracy in the last decade, supported both by the government and the opposition, and the increasing number of jailed journalists and intellectuals.Read the full story here.
- Hamas chief Meshaal makes ‘historic’ visit to Jordan amid Islamists’ praise.(AlArabiya).Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal on Sunday made his first official visit to Jordan since the kingdom expelled him more than a decade ago and held talks with King Abdullah.Meshaal was accompanied by Qatar’s Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The visit was planned before an uprising erupted in Syria, where Hamas has had its main headquarters outside the Gaza Strip.“We are happy with this new good start ... We are keen on building strong ties with Jordan and on its security, stability and interests,” Meshaal was quoted as saying in a palace statement after the meeting, according to AFP.“With this new chapter in relations with Jordan, we hope Jordanian and Palestinian interests will be served,” said the leader of the Palestinian Islamic movement.Meshaal, who has Jordanian nationality, blasted Israel.“Hamas stands firm against Israel’s schemes to turn Jordan into a substitute homeland. Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine. We insist on restoring Palestinian rights,” he said.Both Hamas and Jordan have denied that the Islamist movement may move its headquarters from Damascus, where many of its Jordanian leadership relocated after being expelled from the kingdom in 1999. The Syrian conflict has forced Hamas to move some of its activists and families out of the country. “Jordan supports the Palestinian Authority as well as Palestinian reconciliation,” King Abdullah told Meshaal at the meeting, attended by a Hamas political bureau delegation, including number two Mussa Abu Marzuk.“Uniting the Palestinian stand will strengthen the Palestinian people and help restore their rights,” said the king, whose country aims to help efforts at inter-Palestinian reconciliation.Jordan has indicated it will accommodate families of the Syrian based leadership, many of whom are Jordanian citizens, but would not tolerate political activities on its soil.Read the full story here.
- South Sudan demands border deal before restarting oil; Khartoum frees held tankers.(Alarabiya).South Sudan has totally shut down oil output in a row with Sudan over export transit fees and will only restart after the two reach a deal covering border security and the disputed Abyei region, its oil minister said on Sunday. Khartoum, meanwhile, said it freed the tankers being held at port to help defuse the dispute. South Sudan seceded in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended a civil war in which around 2 million people died. The possibility that war could restart over the oil dispute was a “great concern,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.Both sides have failed to resolve a long list of disputes including how to disentangle their oil industries, divide debt, mark the poorly drawn border and decide who should control Abyei, a region the size of Connecticut that was a major battleground during the war.Landlocked South Sudan took about three-quarters of Sudan’s oil output when it broke away, but still needs pipelines running through its northern neighbor to export crude.Juba depends on oil for about 98 percent of state revenues, while for Khartoum transit fees are crucial since it lost the oil fields themselves last year. That plunged it into a severe economic crisis.The new U.N. member state said on Jan. 20 it would shut off its roughly 350,000 barrels per day of output after Khartoum started taking some oil in lieu of what it called unpaid fees. The shutdown was “100 percent complete” on Sunday, Minister of Petroleum and Mining Stephen Dhieu Dau told Reuters in Juba.To restart pumping, he demanded seized cargoes of oil be released, stolen crude returned and for Sudan to cease support for rebel groups in South Sudan, something Khartoum denies.“Oil production will restart when we have a comprehensive agreement and all the deals are signed,” said Dau, adding that any deal had to be overseen by the international community and linked to the demarcation of the border and control over Abyei.“Sudan must recognize the 1956 border, which means they must give back all the areas under occupation,” he said, referring to an internal boundary used around the time of Sudan’s independence.Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti also said this month that an oil deal would likely depend on an agreement on border and security issues.Speaking at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ban said he was greatly concerned that the dispute could reignite armed conflict and blamed a lack of political will on both sides. Their two leaders met on Friday but failed to resolve the row.“(South Sudan) President Salva Kiir and (Sudan) President Bashir should fully engage themselves ... making the necessary compromise and flexibility,” he told reporters.Read the full story here.
- 'Dogophobia'? Hague: Muslim party wants dog ban.(IIE).via Spitsnieuws (Dutch): Hasan Küçük, Hague councilor for the Islam Democrats, says dogs should be banned as pets in the city, reports De Telegraaf. The Muslim party says that the animals belong in nature, not inside the house. Küçük says that keeping dogs is animal abuse and should therefore be criminalized. He responded sharply during a council debate last Thursday, when the Party for Animals suggested more consideration for dogs.Paul ter Linden (PVV councillor) responded saying that pets are the norm in the Netherlands, and whoever disagrees should move to another country.Read the full story here.
- Iran announces production of laser-guided artillery shells.(JPost).TEHRAN - Iran said on Monday it had manufactured laser-guided artillery shells that were capable of spotting and hitting moving targets with a high degree of precision, state-run television reported.Iran does periodically unveil military advancements, but this latest report comes as tension between Iran and the West escalates over Iran's disputed nuclear program.Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi hailed what he described as "intelligent munitions" as a new chapter in the country's weapons and military equipment."Besides America and Russia, there are only three other countries which have this technology," Vahidi was quoted as saying during the unveiling ceremony.State television also showed footage of the shell, called Basir (insightful), being fired by an artillery piece. No more details were given in the report. Read the full story here.
- A Cold War Hot Victory: The Meaning of Assad's Fall.(INN).By Mark Langfan.The writer affords us convincing and compelling reasons to pray even harder for Assad's fall at the hands of Saudi supported rebels. Whether Syria democratizes or not is secondary to what is analyzed below.In the Syrian "Revolution," we are witnessing the beginnings of the greatest "hot" military victory the world has ever seen in a "cold" war. As we speak, in Syria, the dark evil forces of Iran are, hopefully, in the process of being militarily defeated by the bright, good forces of Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, the strategic importance to the West of what will be an inexorable Iranian Shiite defeat and a Saudi Sunni victory in Syria is not even partially understood by the mainstream narrative.A Sunni victory in Syria may very well spare the world from a looming World War which is casting Iran as the new Nazi Germany bent on world military domination. It is as if in 1938, instead of the West's Munich's appeasement, an anti-Hitler Italian revolution crushed the fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and turned Italy into enemy of Hitler and forward base of operations against Hitler for allied forces. Such a "1938 anti-Hitler Italian" revolution would have likely dealt a catastrophically fatal counter-stroke to Hitler’s world-wide ambitions. In a heartbeat, Hitler’s entire order of battle calculus, which had otherwise enabled Hitler to confidently start World War II and invade Poland, would have been reversed against the Third Reich.Similarly, the immediate consequence of the liquidation of Bashar Assad and his Shiite Alawite clan from its minority tyrannical and sectarian rule of Syria, would clearly be a catastrophic sui generis defeat for Iran, Syria's Senior Partner in the, until-now, waxing Pan-Shiite crescent. But that's only the beginning of the fall of Iran's "House of Cards." This Iranian Shiite defeat in Syria will have many second and third order immediate consequences that are already beginning to be felt like an earthquake throughout the entire region.First, the Iranian "sphere" of Iraq will no longer be an Iranian sure-thing walkover, let alone an Iranian "sphere." With the new Sunni Syria as an Iranian enemy instead of an Iranian puppet-state to the West of Iraq, all of a sudden, Iraq will have the ability to stand up to Iran in the East in ways that Iraq never had before when it was bookended to the West and East by two long-standing Iranian military powerhouses. Finally, the last thing this nascent, or even full-grown, Sunni Mesopotamian Alliance will want to do is start a war with the militarily benign Israel, and put the entire Levant into play. Israel provides the Mesopotamian Sunni Alliance with a cost-effective de facto non-hostile and indestructible logistics node for US and Western resupply of any Pan-Sunni defense against any Iranian westward attack. If anything, the current Syrian revolution has only conclusively proved that Israel is not the cause of Middle East "instability," but rather, the bedrock of Middle East stability.In conclusion, the Anti-Assad Sunni Syrian revolution has the promise of forming an embryonic, indigenous Sunni Arab military counterweight capable of possibly defending itself against the waxing nuclear Iran. Such a natural congealing of the Arab Sunni peoples may be the world's best, and only long-term hope, of defeating the Iranian mad Mahdian march to world nuclear domination.Hmmmm.....Yes if there were enough time.Read the full story here.
- Beijing Customers Can Buy Knives Only With ID Card.(RaiNovosti).Customers in large supermarkets of Beijing has to show their ID cards to buy knives from Saturday, Chinese Fachi wanbao newspaper reported.The requirement to register all knives' buyers has been initiated by city's public security agencies. From now on a customer who wants to buy a knife or any other blade has to tell supermarket's special officer his or her name, ID card number, home address and purposes of knife use.Supermarkets are prohibited to sell knives to teenagers and people with 'unusual and abnormal' behavior. If such categories of citizens want to buy knives, supermarket managers must call the police.The requirement has been already in force in city's largest supermarket chains, while owners of small shops in the Chinese capital do not register the customers, the paper said.The reason to tighten knives sale procedure is unknown. Previously ban on the sale of knives was introduced in Beijing during the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China in October 2009.Read the full story here.
- Turkish Women Victims of "Permitted" Rape.(StoneGateInstitute).By Veli Sirin.At the beginning of the New Year, as reported in the daily newspaper Haber Türk (Turkish News) of January 6, 2012, E.D., a 25-year old man in the northwestern Turkish city of Bolu, took his 11-year old "wife," Z.Ç., to the hospital because she suffered pain. The news story identified the couple only by their initials. The doctor diagnosed the girl as eight months pregnant by her "husband." Whether the girl was in a condition to consent to sexual relations is obviously questionable. One would more probably assume she was raped by the 25-year old.Marriage to an 11-year old girl is illegal in Turkey, but such cases are a constant in the country's life.The doctor called for the girl to be kept in the hospital for in-patient care, but her "spouse" refused, and the couple returned to their village, Alpagut, near Bolu. The hospital released them after the girl signed a document declaring her wish to leave the facility.Two days afterward, the governor of Bolu province stated that he had spoken with health authorities who assured him the girl must have been older than 11, given her bone structure.E.D. and Z.Ç. told the doctor they had been married by an imam. Their neighbors had warned them that if they went to a city and disclosed this fact, they would face legal trouble.Read the full story here.
Denying Islamists Federal Security Clearances.(MEForum).By David J. Rusin.PJ Media. January 27, 2012.
Federal departments and agencies tasked with safeguarding the U.S. must first safeguard themselves against Islamist infiltration. Recent news items about Muslims having security clearances rejected or revoked suggest that at least some government entities are forgoing political correctness and taking this problem seriously. More need to follow suit, but the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is determined to make life difficult for them.
The disclosures began last June when the Investigative Newsource (IN), then called the Watchdog Institute, published a report in the Orange County Register describing how a multiagency probe had led the Department of Defense (DoD) one year earlier to remove the secret-level clearance of Rahim Sabadia, president of Sabtech Industries, a California-based company that manufactures electronics and computer systems for military use. This kept his firm from completing work on a classified contract for the U.S. Navy. Apparently the Pentagon had expressed concerns about Sabadia's "charitable contributions."
IN's findings indicate that Sabadia, through his family foundation, "is a frequent donor to Muslim and international charities." Only one Islamic beneficiary is identified: CAIR has received upwards of a million dollars from Sabadia over the past decade. The IN researchers also note that Omar Zaki, the former executive vice president of Sabtech, has sat on CAIR's national board. In addition, Sabadia is linked to the Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA), which often teams up with CAIR and other Islamist groups on various initiatives, events, and letters, though the IN piece does not mention any financial backing of it by Sabadia.
As is typical, the government has provided few specifics about why Sabadia lost his clearance. It is conceivable that his COPAA affiliation could have been viewed as placing him too close to Pakistan, but the defense contractor's generous funding of CAIR is particularly intriguing as a potential cause. Surely it should have raised red flags for the DoD, given CAIR's well-documented radicalism and its status as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), whose bankrolling of Hamas resulted in 108 guilty verdicts. This prompted the FBI to cut off contact with CAIR. A judge later ruled that "the government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR … with Hamas."
Hussam Ayloush, head of CAIR's Los Angeles chapter (CAIR-LA), played the victim card in response to Sabadia's woes. "It would be very unusual if it has anything to do with CAIR," he insisted, because "you're talking about the Muslim community's NAACP." Denying CAIR's connections to Hamas, Ayloush opined that "the whole situation we're dealing with is part of an attempt to smear the American Muslim community by targeting its organizations and business leaders."
One important aspect of the Sabtech case — and another example of how Islamists walk through doors opened for them — is the role of Congressman Gary Miller, a Republican from California. Miller, who has collected significant campaign contributions from Sabadia and his employees, "set aside $9.6 million in defense contract earmarks exclusively for Sabtech" since 2008, according to the IN article. Miller pleaded ignorance about any charitable donations that could have led to Sabadia's clearance troubles, adding, "If Sabtech was taken off that list, shame on them."
Yet it is unlikely that Sabadia's massive support of CAIR would have perturbed Miller, given his own record of friendly relations with the group. Not only has Miller attended at least one CAIR-LA banquet, in 2004. He also dispatched a sugary letter to the 2008 event, extolling CAIR-LA for its supposed ability to help "ensure that our great country continues to be the world's beacon of freedom and democracy" and for "playing a vital role in the integration of the Muslim community into American society in an effort to promote patriotism and pride in their home country." To this day, CAIR's national website carries a quote from Miller's encomium.
The 2008 CAIR-LA banquet took place more than a year after CAIR's designation in the HLF case. Additionally, CAIR-LA is quite problematic itself, due to the radical views of Ayloush, its executive director. Readers who wish to ask Miller if he stands by his earmarks for Sabtech and praise for CAIR-LA may reach his office here.
Another revocation of a Muslim's security clearance — one previously spotlighted by Islamist Watch — emerged several months ago in a federal lawsuit filed against the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Though budget analyst Mahmoud M. Hegab's legal complaint argues that the loss of his credentials amounts to religious discrimination, the real issue appears to have been the Islamist links of his new wife, Bushra Nusairat, whom he married after passing his original screening but before starting work in January 2010.
Nusairat's past — including her leadership position with the radical Students for Justice in Palestine during college and her prior graduation from Virginia's Islamic Saudi Academy, which has a history of using violent, bigoted textbooks and whose 1999 valedictorian conspired with al-Qaeda to assassinate President George W. Bush — drew the NGA's attention as it reevaluated Hegab. However, his complaint indicates that the deal breaker for his clearance was Nusairat's "current affiliation with one or more organizations which consist of groups who are organized largely around their non-United States origin."
This passage likely refers to her job with Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), the country's most prominent Muslim charity.
While IRUSA collaborates with federal bodies on humanitarian projects, it also distributes millions of dollars per year to an international partner immersed in jihad, Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW).
A NEFA Foundation analysis states that IRW helped launch the Union of Good, designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for being a Hamas-financing coalition.
In 2006, the Israeli government announced the arrest of an operative of "IRW's Gaza branch" who had "worked to transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations"; on his computer were photos of "senior Nazi German officials" and Osama bin Laden. Furthermore, several IRW leaders have been tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hegab, who ultimately was placed on unpaid leave, may be the first to have lost a federal clearance due to a spouse's Islamist connections. The lawsuit is pending.
A third controversy involving Muslims and clearances came to light in a heavily redacted letter to the DoD from Amara Chaudhry, civil rights director of CAIR's Philadelphia office (CAIR-PA). Dated November 30, 2011, it is written on behalf of a client "in response to your agency's tentative denial of his eligibility for access to classified information based upon your concerns regarding his susceptibility to 'foreign influence.'" A summary on the CAIR-PA website describes him as "a federal employee with over three decades of service" who "was offered a merit-based promotion which required a top-level security clearance." It states that "his recent pilgrimage to Mecca caused him to have 'contacts with persons in places in the Middle East,'" thus sparking the rejection. CAIR-PA's claims cannot be independently verified at this time.
At the core of the dispute is Guideline B of the U.S. government's Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information, which declares that "foreign contacts and interests may be a security concern if the individual has divided loyalties or foreign financial interests, may be manipulated or induced to help a foreign person, group, organization, or government in a way that is not in U.S. interests, or is vulnerable to pressure or coercion by any foreign interest." An important consideration is whether the foreign country in question "is known to target United States citizens to obtain protected information and/or is associated with a risk of terrorism."
Chaudhry uses an accompanying blog post to lament that "in practice, the contacts which create such a 'heightened risk' are contacts in Muslim-majority countries" — no surprise, given the radicalism and terror being exported by many of them. She goes on to reason that due to their "disproportionate negative impact on American Muslims," the provisions of Guideline B are "motivated, in whole or in part, by anti-Muslim bias and enacted with discriminatory intent." Warning of a potential lawsuit, Chaudhry's letter demands not only that the DoD grant her client his clearance and promotion, but also that the government water down Guideline B.
Denying federal clearances based on support for suspect organizations, a spouse's dealings with these groups, or contacts in nations of concern is nothing new; it was a common occurrence during the Cold War. Without a doubt, an employee's links to those who back the jihad should worry the U.S. government no less than did links to communist fronts half a century ago. After all, both Islamism and communism are totalitarian, utopian ideologies that seek to build their "paradises" on the ashes of Western liberal democracy — and both utilize stealth and subversion to advance their goals.
Howls of "anti-Muslim bias" cannot obscure the history of Islamist-aligned insiders abusing their posts to obtain confidential information for illegal ends. A 2008 piece by Daniel Pipes collates numerous examples, including Nada Nadim Prouty, who as an FBI special agent searched restricted files on Hezbollah to determine whether family members had been tied to the group, and Weiss Rasool, a police officer in CAIR's orbit who alerted the subject of an FBI counterterrorism investigation to data that had a "disruptive effect" on the case. The trend continues. Last October, Mohamed Elibiary, a Khomeini-honoring Islamist who inexplicably serves on an advisory council for the Department of Homeland Security and had been given unique access to law enforcement intelligence records, was accused of downloading materials and shopping them to the media in hopes of furthering the "Islamophobia" narrative.
Despite the aforementioned positive signs at the DoD and NGA, much remains to be done to combat Islamist penetration. Confidence in the overall integrity of background checks for federal security clearances took a hit following a 2011 report about investigators "submitting forms saying they conducted interviews or verified official documents when they never did"; these bureaucratic holes need to be plugged. Additionally, the Elibiary saga demonstrates that various parts of the U.S. government are still largely blind to stealth jihad and all must be more proactive in rejecting Islamists before they do damage. With CAIR-LA's Ayloush having boasted that "many of our members … end up working for the defense industry and the State Department" and columnist Daniel Greenfield having identified several Muslim defense contractors with unsettling associations, redoubled efforts to weed out Islamists cannot come soon enough.
Muslims should not be excluded from holding sensitive government jobs just because they are Muslims. However, the multifaceted conflict with radical Islam and the inescapable fact that every Islamist is a Muslim first make it imperative for agencies on the front lines to jettison political correctness, realistically appraise the threat, concentrate limited resources, and apply the greatest possible scrutiny to Muslim employees and partners. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, but that vigilance is most effective when properly focused.Source: MEForum.
Hillary Clinton US not to recognise Armenian Genocide:"the administration is wary of compromising free speech".
Hillary Clinton US not to recognise Armenian Genocide:"Clinton said the administration was wary of compromising free speech".(TZ).Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu thanked his American counterpart, Hillary Clinton, on Saturday for her remarks on France's controversial genocide bill.Clinton was asked on Thursday why the United States has not matched a move by French lawmakers to criminalize denial that the killing of Armenians during World War I was genocide. Clinton said the administration was wary of compromising free speech. She said the issue was best left to scholars.
The French bill enraged Turkey, which has threatened sanctions if French President Nicolas Sarkozy signs the bill. The US administration has avoided calling the killings genocide despite support for recognition by both Clinton and President Barack Obama when they were senators.
“To try to use government power to resolve historical issues, I think, opens a door that is a very dangerous one to go through,” Clinton said at an event with US State Department employees.
Armenians claim that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.
The issue has also previously roiled US-Turkish relations. A move by a US congressional panel in 2010 to advance a resolution by the House of Representatives recognizing the killings as genocide caused Turkey to temporarily withdraw its ambassador to Washington. The resolution was opposed by the Obama administration. Ultimately, the full House of Representatives did not bring the measure up for a vote.Clinton said on Thursday that the issue should be debated, but not settled by governments.Hmmmm.....Lets hope Americans of Armenian descend remember Obama at the elections.Read the full story here.
Sunni Scholar Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Islamic Law Should Be Implemented Gradually in Egypt; There Should Be No Chopping Off of Hands in the First Five Years
Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: I think [the shari'a] should be implemented gradually. This is a law of the shari'a and a law of nature.
We should do things gradually. We should prepare the people, teach them. People have to learn. We have to make an effort to teach people the truth about Islam.
People do not understand the shari'a properly. We have to teach people the laws of the shari'a and explain them, before anything else. I think that in the first five years, there should be no chopping off of hands. This period should be dedicated to teaching things.
A transitional phase… This should be a period in which we teach people the true laws of the shari'a. when we find food for all the hungry, schools for all the pupils, hospitals for all the sick, homes for all those who want them, wives for all the bachelors – then we can discuss the punishment for theft.
All the [presidential] candidates are good, but I support the candidacy of our brother Abd Al-Mun'im Abu Al-Futuh.
Hmmm......Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi the 'Go Between for the Obama Administration and the Taliban."I think that in the first five years, there should be no chopping off of hands". Source Memri.
Brigitte Gabriel she is something else including being one heck of a great speaker w/o teleprompter, and a superior motivator.If you have not read her book titled " Because they Hate," you should, since her story is one that is quite amazing to mentally envision much less comprehend, as she went through more combat and hardships than most of us ever did during the wars we participated in, and I might add for much, much longer periods of time under frequent and sometimes constant enemy fire.More here.