Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Hezbollah and Iran: "We will fight with Assad to defend Syria against any invasion."(GN).– Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah and Iran will fight alongside the Syrian regime if it is attacked by foreign forces, a pro-Damascus Palestinian fighter leader said on Tuesday. In the event of “a foreign attack, we discussed with our brothers (in the Syrian regime), with (Hezbollah chief) Hassan Nasrallah and our brothers in Iran, we will be part of this battle,” said Ahmad Jibril of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
In an interview with Beirut-based Mayadeen television, Jibril said that if a “Turkish-European alliance or NATO escalate… we will take to the streets and fight on behalf of all those with honour and our Syrian brothers.” Jibril also cited Nasrallah as saying Hezbollah would fight on behalf of the Syrian regime, and described the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance as “one axis” that the PFLP-GC is part of.
He added that he met recently with Nasrallah, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, without specifying when. He also noted that the Hezbollah chief “said he would join this battle, in the event of a foreign attack” on Syria. The Iranian regime, he said, told him it would not allow a strike on Syria. “We have warned the Turks several times not to play with fire,” Jibril said. Echoing the Syrian regime’s discourse, the PFLP-GC chief said the 16-month uprising against Assad was not a genuine local movement, but rather “a change in the foundations of this region in order to create a new Middle East,” referring to a term coined in 2006 by former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Jibril described the defence of the Syrian regime as “a decisive battle.” Victory would be necessary, he said, in order to “defeat the American and Zionist projects.” Read the full story here.More from Iran on Syria here.
Rahm Emmanuel’s Confounding CAIR Appointment.(TCJR).By Steve Emerson.Chicago has been home to key Hamas operatives for more than 20 years. It was home to the Islamic Association for Palestine, which served as the terrorist organization’s American propaganda arm. It was home to Mohammed Salah and Abdelhaleem al-Ashqar, both of whom were key Hamas financiers.
Now, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has turned to a key cog in the wheel of domestic Hamas support for a new city panel aimed at making the city more immigrant friendly.
Ahmed Rehab, the head of the local Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Chicago chapter, is among 50 people appointed last week to the mayor’s “New Americans Advisory Committee.” The committee is charged with developing “a roadmap that will ensure Chicago continues to thrive and grow and attracts the world’s leading human capital to compete in the 21st century global economy and beyond.”
Emmanuel should know better.
He was White House chief of staff when it became known that the FBI had broken off communication with CAIR in 2008 over concerns about the organization’s roots in a Hamas-support network. CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad are included in a telephone list of “Palestine Committee” members (Ahmad is identified as “Omar Yehya”), and CAIR was listed in internal records as a specific committee arm.
Other internal records show that the Palestine Committee was created by the Muslim Brotherhood to help Hamas “with what it needs of media, money, men and all of that.”
An FBI official wrote to inquiring U.S. senators in 2009, explaining that “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”
Yet, Emmanuel appointed the head of the group’s Chicago office to the committee on immigrant policy.
Although none of the evidence cited by the FBI implicates Rehab specifically, he has established a record of echoing CAIR’s national leadership in refusing to condemn Hamas as a terrorist group and in reflexively opposing law enforcement counter-terrorism investigations.
Rehab defended Kifah Mustapha when the Illinois State Police revoked his appointment as a Muslim police chaplain. Prosecutors say Mustapha was part of the Palestine Committee. Records show he was a paid fundraiser for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Palestine Committee’s official fundraising arm.
Five former HLF officials were convicted in 2008 on more than 100 total counts related to illegally funneling more than $12 million to Hamas-tied charities in the West Bank and Gaza. Rehab dismissed the prosecution theory in the case as ludicrous and said the evidence amounted to nothing more than “textbook guilt by association.”
But U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis, who saw all the testimony and evidence, came to a different conclusion. “The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas,” he said during a sentencing hearing.
In a separate ruling, Solis found that the prosecution provided “ample evidence” tying CAIR and other organizations to Hamas.
Rehab paid no attention to those court exhibits in criticizing the case, and later in criticizing the state’s decision to rescind Mustapha’s appointment for the chaplain position. Instead, he blamed the messenger, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, for exposing Mustapha’s connections.
“Our concern is that the Illinois State Police is kowtowing to articles online published by notorious anti-Muslims who have been in the business of smearing Muslim activists leaders and Imams for the longest time,” Rehab said. Mustapha is “a man of great integrity.”
That’s not the first time Rehab stood stubbornly behind people tied to Hamas support despite the available evidence.
During a 2007 town hall gathering in Texas, he accused the government of a “political persecution” of Muhammad Salah, who admitted to Israeli authorities in 1995 that he was a Hamas member. Though the United States designated Salah as a terrorist, Rehab described him as “a decent individual” and a “man we hold dear.”
In a column, Rehab said Salah merely “supplied charitable aid to the most vulnerable factions of his occupied and war-ravaged country of origin, Palestine.”
Rehab offered a similar argument during a 2006 interview with the BBC in which he refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization. He does condemn “the blowing up of Tel Aviv pizzerias or cafes,” he said, but not “the hospitals run by Hamas, or the schools that help children learn.”A week after that, and two weeks before Rehab’s comments, outgoing NYPD director of intelligence analysis Mitchell Silber blasted media coverage of the surveillance program for using “cherry-picked and misconstrued examples to support particularly damaging charges.” The program helps police identify pockets of radical activity where terror plots might take root.
The same tactics are used to stop everyday criminal networks, from drug dealers and gangs to human trafficking, Silber wrote.
Surveillance of public places is part of court-approved guidelines, he wrote, and anything involving undercover officers was done “only on the basis of a lead or investigation reviewed and authorized in writing at the highest levels of the department” (emphasis original).
Hmmmm.....I remember Mr. 'Nice guy' leaving for Egypt at the start of the 'Muslim Brotherhood' organised revolution, and tweeting from there.Read the full story here.
"Sunny Side of your wallet Up?" - Germans Cough Up for Solar Subsidies, American's next?(Spiegel).By Alexander Neubacher and Catalina Schröder.Solar subsidies cost German consumers billions of dollars a year and are widely regarded as inefficient. Even environmentalists are concerned that Berlin's focus on solar comes at the detriment of other renewables. But the solar industry has a powerful lobby, and politicians have proven powerless to resist.Germany's new environment minister Peter Altmaier had only been in office a week before he traveled to Bonn for an urgent appointment. Important representatives from the German renewable energy industry were expecting him, including Frank Asbeck, CEO of the Bonn based Solarworld AG. And they were not to be put off. They wanted to know from Altmaier, who assumed his office in May, what was going to happen with solar industry subsidies.
Ultimately, the lawmakers agreed on a plan that makes considerable concessions to the solar industry, saddling energy consumers with billions in additional costs. The plan calls for funding to install up to 25 additional gigawatts of solar power in the coming years, nearly doubling the current supply. "It's a compromise made at the expense of third parties," says energy expert Holger Krawinkel at the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, "and a disastrous debut for new Environment Minister Peter Altmaier." A new study by Georg Erdmann, professor of energy systems at Berlin's Technical University, reveals just how far Germany's current center-right governing coalition -- made up of Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU and the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) -- has strayed from its own self-imposed goals. Erdmann has calculated the effects that the latest changes to the EEG will have between now and 2030. He believes that subsidies for renewable energy, including an expansion of the power grid, will saddle energy consumers with costs well over €300 billion ($377 billion).
An environmental surcharge known as the EEG contribution, which is already added to German energy bills, will rise sharply. This renewable energy surcharge currently amounts to 3.59 cents per kilowatt hour. Chancellor Angela Merkel previously promised to cap it at 3.5 cents, but Erdmann's calculations show the EEG contribution jumping to "over 10 cents per kilowatt hour," or nearly three times what the chancellor pledged.
Photovoltaics are threatening to become the costliest mistake in the history of German energy policy. Photovoltaic power plant operators and homeowners with solar panels on their rooftops are expected to pocket around €9 billion ($11.3 billion) this year, yet they contribute barely 4 percent of the country's power supply, and only erratically at that.
When night falls, all solar modules go offline in one fell swoop; in the winter, they barely generate power during the daytime. During the summer, meanwhile, they sometimes generate too much power around midday, without enough storage capacity to capture it all. The distribution network is also not laid out in a way that would allow the country's thousands of owners of photovoltaic arrays -- a term used to denote an installation of several panels working together -- to feed into the grid as well as draw power from it. To keep the lights on, Germany ends up importing nuclear power from France and the Czech Republic. Grid operator Tennet even resorted to tapping an aging fossil fuel-fired power plant in Austria to compensate for shortages in solar power.Hmmm.....A view in to America's 'Green energy' future?Read the full story here.
"Blasphemy?" - Russia's Pussy Riot Go On Hunger Strike After Court Ruling.(RN).Members of the all-female Russian punk group Pussy Riot - who face up to seven years behind bars over an anti-Putin protest - went on hunger strike on Wednesday after what their legal team said was a court ruling reminiscent of Stalin-era repression. “I am declaring a hunger strike, because this is unlawful,” suspect Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, told a packed Moscow courtroom after a judge had ruled to drastically reduce the time for the defense team to study case materials. The ruling obliges the defense to finish their study of the materials by July 9. Lawyers had asked to be given until September 1. Suspects Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were detained in March after five masked members of Pussy Riot performed a song in Moscow’s largest cathedral against what they said was church support for Vladimir Putin’s presidential election campaign.. The song, entitled “Holy S**t,” featured the lyrics “Virgin Mary, drive Putin out!” and came amid unprecedented protests against the twelve-year rule of the former KGB officer. The suspects admit being part of the Pussy Riot group, but say they did not take part in the protest in the landmark Christ the Savior cathedral. Putin called the protest “unpleasant.” The group members have been charged with hooliganism as part of an organized group. Polozov told RIA Novosti during an interval in the hearing that he believed a trial would begin later this month and that the suspects could be jailed in August for “two or three years.” “If they were planning to free them, they would have released them on bail,” he said. While a number of figures within Russia’s influential Orthodox Church have expressed disquiet at the continued detention of the suspects, Church head Patriarch Kirill criticized in March those believers he said were seeking leniency for the group. And leading Church official Vsevolod Chaplin said last week that God had revealed to him his displeasure over the protest. “This sin will be punished in this life and the next,” Chaplin cited God as saying. Pussy Riot first hit the headlines in January, when they raced through a musical diatribe against Putin on a snowy Red Square, calling for “Revolt in Russia!” and chanting “Putin’s got scared” before being detained by police.Hmmmm......You don't attack the "Holy Mother Church" in Russia unpunished.Read the full story here.
Deal Reached in Google ‘Jew’ Lawsuit.(PCM).Google’s auto-complete search function can be a blessing or a curse, as the company found out in April, when the Internet giant was sued by French anti-discrimination organizations. This week, Google reached a deal via legal mitigation with the six groups who argued that Google was unintentionally breaking the law with its suggested search results that offered “unsolicited and almost systematic association” of the word “Jew” with well-known politicians, media personalities and business people, the French groups said.
Both sides came to an agreement to drop the legal complaint against Google, the AFPreported, but said there was no comment on the specifics of the deal. Google said in an official statement that the company “supports education and information against racism and anti-Semitism,” and that in association with anti-defamation groups the company “will develop and promote projects aimed at increasing the awareness of Internet users to values of tolerance and respect.”
There is no word on exactly how Google plans to educate, inform, develop, and promote, but the company published an “explanation of our search results” message saying that the views expressed by the sites in a user’s results are in no way endorsed by Google. “If you recently used Google to search for the word ‘Jew,’ you may have seen results that were very disturbing,” the note said. In an effort to right the wrong, the company explained that search results rely heavily on computer algorithms, and sometimes the subtleties of language can cause anomalies that cannot be predicted. According to French law, it is illegal to record a person’s ethnicity in a database, though searchers on Google.fr tend to frequently ask whether celebrities are Jewish, so the term has become a frequent suggestion as a possible result, AFP said. A search for French President Francois Hollande continued on Wednesday to offer the word “Jew” (or “juif” in French) as a top suggestion, according to AFP. “Now it’s likely that the great majority of searches on Google for ‘Jew’ are by people who have heard about this issue and want to see the results for themselves,” the company said in its published statement. Six anti-racism groups, including SOS Racisme, the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Between Peoples, the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, and Memoire 2000, filed suit against Google.Read the full story here.
Another "Obamination" - Obama uses Fourth of July naturalization ceremony to push DREAM Act.(Twitchy).
Hmmm.....Some way of 'celebrating' the Fourth of July?Read the full story here.
Russia Reveals Updated Missile system Fired from Container.(ID).HT: IsraelMatzav.Russia has unveiled a new and advanced variant of a cruise missile that can be fired from a standard naval container. Israel is concerned that the system will find its way into the hands of terror organizations. IsraelDefense revealed the development of the system last year, but now the developer has presented a newer and more advanced version. The system is comprised of a launcher and an SS-25 cruise missile stored within a standard container, which can be loaded onboard any cargo ship. The launcher is operated within minutes and can then launch its missile towards a target. The missile is a newly and advanced missile variant, which according to the Russian developer, possesses an advanced guidance system. The company has stated that the system is not in military use, but has confirmed that several countries have shown an interest in the new system. The cruise missile’s length is 3.8 meters, weighs 520 kg, has a maximum warhead weight of 145kg, and has a range of 130 km. Israeli experts say that the concern is that Russia’s desire to market its systems will result in terror organizations getting ahold of the “container missile” system. In such a case, it would be possible for them to attack population centers from within cargo ships.Hmmmm.....Bringing 'terrorism to your doorstep or in this case harbor.Read the full story here.
European Parliament rejects ACTA in landslide vote, what's next?(SG).European Parliament voted on July 4 to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the international treaty that internet freedom groups say opens the door for tight policing of online content. In a decisive win for opponents of the treaty, 478 MEPs voted against ACTA, with 39 votes in favour and 165 abstentions. European Parliament has the final authority on whether the 27-state bloc joins international treaties. The vote effectively kills the treaty’s ratification in the 22 member states that signed the agreement in Tokyo in January, since individual member states cannot join ACTA once the EU officially rejects it.
But it is not necessarily a killing blow for the treaty altogether, since ACTA needs ratification in by six signatory parties to go into effect. Other than the EU and its various member states, the agreement was signed by the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Morocco. However, with the EU out, other developed countries would find it difficult to push acceptance of the treaty onto developing and underdeveloped nations. “I am very pleased that Parliament has followed my recommendation to reject ACTA,” British MEP David Martin, the EP’s rapporteur on the issue, said. He reiterated the concerns that ACTA was too vague, open to misinterpretation and could therefore jeopardise citizens’ liberties, emphasising the need to find alternative ways to protect intellectual property in the EU, as the “raw material of the EU economy”. MEPs decided against waiting for the opinion of the European Court of Justice, to which the European Commission referred ACTA in May, as proposed by the treaty’s defenders. La Quadrature du Net, one of the many advocacy groups defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet who vehemently opposed ACTA, called the vote a major victory for “the multitude of connected citizens and organizations who worked hard for years, but also a great hope on a global scale for a better democracy.” “On the ruins of ACTA, we must now build a positive copyright reform, taking into account our rights instead of attacking them,” the group said in a statement on its website.Hmmmm.......But...how about the Obama Admin who approved ACTA?Read the full story here.More here.
Saudis are preparing to buy nuclear-capable missiles from China?(Debka).DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Saudi Arabia has set its feet on the path to a nuclear weapon capability and is negotiating in Beijng the purchase of Chinese nuclear-capable Dong-Fen 21 ((NATO-codenamed CSS-5) ballistic missile. China, which has agreed to the transaction in principle, would also build a base of operations near Riyadh for the new Saudi purchases. As we reported last year, Saudi Arabia has struck a deal with Pakistan for the availability on demand of a nuclear warhead from Islamabad’s arsenal for fitting onto a ballistic missile. Riyadh owns a direct interest in the two most active Middle East issues: Iran and Syria. Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been advancing for two decades regardless of countless attempts at restraint by every diplomatic tool under the sun and a rising scale of sanctions – to no avail.Hmmmm.....I warned about this before.Hmmm........Thank Pres Obama for making the World a "Safer Place" things just CHANGED BIG TIME!I warned about this Happening end of May 2012.Read the full story here.
So, The Quran Relates Temple Tales.(Myrightword).Via CriticalAnalyst.
Excerpts from a paper, The Temple in the Qurʾān, presented by William J. Hamblin, Professor of History, Brigham Young University today.
Taken together, all of the elements mentioned in this passage [Sūrah 34:12b-13a] --Solomon as builder of a place of worship, the massive use of bronze, the jinn as workers, the images, and water basins -- make it certain that this passage is describing the building of Solomon’s Temple, viewing its construction as having been ordered by God and facilitated by divine intervention.
In these Qurʾānic narratives about Mary, the temple appears in Qurʿān 3:35-37, describing the birth of Mary and her dedication as a youth to serve in the temple, where she is miraculously fed by God.
The Qurʾān also includes a rather detailed description of the destructions of the Jerusalem temple by the Babylonians and the Romans in 17:4-8. and The Qurʾān views the temple of Jerusalem through three different lenses.
- First, the Qurʾānic temple was an Israelite holy place intimately tied to the lives of the ancient prophets. Solomon built it by divine decree and with miraculous assistance. It was commemorated as a place of repentance and miracles.
- Second, it was a Christian holy place, where God fed Mary miraculous food, and angels spoke to Zachariah.
- Finally, it was a contemporary Muslim sacred place, directly linked to the spiritual life of the Muslims, where Muhammad ascended to heaven in vision. But, despite its holiness, it was destroyed because of the apostasy of the Jews. For the Qurʾān, the Jerusalem temple is thus a sign of God’s miraculous power, and a warning, that sacredness does not derive from a place alone, but from submission (ʾislām) to the will of God.
Why Copts Become Muslims By Qummus Sergius.(OnCopticNationalism).By Dioscorus Boles.I publish herewith a report written by the famed Rev. Qummus (Archpriest) Sergius قمص سرجيوس which, as it looks, he had been invited to write by the Coptic Patriarch John XIX (1928–1942), the President of the Coptic Lay Council (Maglis il Milli), and its Deputy and Members.
It appears that these requested him to study and list the causes that led Coptic Christians to abandon their religion and convert to Islam. This is a problem that has been of great concern to the Coptic Church ever since the Muslim Arabs occupied Egypt in 641 AD. At the time of the Arab Conquest almost all Egyptians were Christians – the overwhelming majority of them being Copts (that is the descendants of the ancient Egyptians who became Christians early in our common era). Gradually Copts dwindled in number, while Muslims multiplied – many of the Muslims came from converted Copts (masalima) – so, with time, the Copts became a minority in Egypt, now forming just around 15% of the total Egyptian population. It is during that period, in 1936, that Qummus Sergius wrote his report in Al Manara al Misriah in which he studied the various drivers for the Islamisation of some Copts, and which was translated into English by one E. S. Parry, and published in The Muslim World (Vol. 26, Issue 4, pp. 372-379), October 1936. Although written more than seventy years ago, it is still pertinent to our time, and echoes some of the leading causes of conversion to Islam in the 21st century.
The reasons for Coptic conversion to Islam varied throughout history, and included coercion, association, calculation, resignation, and conviction.
Conversion to Islam through conviction is rare; with other causes predominating, and some of them acquiring increasing importance with time:
Coercion – this has been the main cause for conversion to Islam at all times, whether it revealed itself in naked persecution, such as at the times of the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (996-1020) and the Bahri (Turkic) Mameluke dynasty (1250-1382); or, in increasing taxes; or, as in modern times, in discrimination in employment, education, etc.See  cause no. 2 and 5]
Calculation – triggered and encouraged by the financial inducements and promises that are offered by the Muslim society and state to those who would convert to Islam. This includes tax relief, offers of jobs, monetary rewards, marriages, and public celebration of the conversion. [See QS’s cause no. 3 and 5]
Resignation – they resign their Christian faith, not because they are convinced by Islam, but because they conceive themselves to have been aggrieved, rightly or wrongly, by the Church and Coptic society, and because Islam offers them some sort of escape by which they seek to change or manipulate the conflict situation to their advantage. [See QS’s cause no. 4, 6, 7 and 8]
Association – this has been a major cause, though it works in a subtle way. Copts live in a Muslim dominant country, where the tenets of Islam are displayed everywhere, and one cannot escape from its different manifestations and practices, particularly in villages and small towns. This no doubt is the result of the Copts’ nincompoopery which allowed them to give up their country in the first place to Arab invaders, since they saw themselves as Church only, and were not bothered by the loss of their national independence. The loss of our language in the Middle Ages, which was inevitable, was followed soon on its heels by the loss of our culture and religious knowledge. This is what the Apocalypse of Samuel had tried to warn us about; and it is what Severus of Ashmunin had described in his book Kitab al-Idah – so, with time, Copts fell victims to a process of Islamic culturalisation as they lost their culture, of which religion forms an important part. The outcome of this process is the shifting of so many Copts to a border zone where Copts became almost Muslims except by name – a “state of religious and national limbus”, as I would call it. Once there, a Copt could easily be pushed over to Islam when outward circumstances would arise, triggering a change in religion. [See QS’s cause no. 1].
This state of religious and national limbus is the responsibility of the Copts themselves, as Qumus Sergius clearly indicates. As a nation, we are responsible for the loss of our national sovereignty and our language, which reduced us to national and cultural state of subservience. But beyond this and that, every individual Copt is responsible for the current situation. Copts have neglected the knowledge of their religion and culture; and parents, both father and mother, are often ignorant of their rich heritage, so they cannot possibly impart it to their children. But, above all, it seems from Qummus Sergius’s report, that the Church and the institutions of the Coptic community, such as its schools and lay councils, bear most of the responsibility. He criticises strongly the ignorance, neglect, greed, and incompetence of Coptic schools, priests and bishops. The fundamental cause that works at the root of all other causes for conversion of Copts, as he tells us, is the widespread ignorance of the Copts of their Christian faith – which is multifactorial in its aetiology. The Coptic nationalists could not agree more; but they add to religious ignorance the weakness in the Copts’ national sentiment, for staying Christian is not just a religious choice but a national matter too. An Irish man or woman do not abandon their Irish national identity, culture and allegiance if they disagree with the Catholic Church – in a like manner, Copts should not abandon their nation if they cease to believe in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Anyway, Qummus Sergius is absolutely right in his own way; and he identifies a few things that could improve the religious education of the Copts. Some of these have already been picked on by the Coptic Church – we now have a widespread net of Christian churches, ministries, Sunday schools, charities, social clubs, etc., that plays a crucial role in the ‘Christianisation’ of the Copts...
But the problem of conversion of Copts to Islam has not been stemmed out completely – it is still a reality with us; and we continue to witness Copts changing their religion, weakening our community and haemorrhaging its resources. Some of the conversion to Islam causes, such as resignation, have recently topped up the list, particularly following conflicts over divorce. Copts must study these causes very carefully, and seek solutions to address them. In his report, Qummus Sergius mentions specific situations related to marital conflicts that often lead some Copts to embrace Islam in order to escape alimony, ‘obedience’, the injustice in some verdicts, and the banning of re-opening of divorce cases once a previous appeal had failed, even if fresh evidence emerge. This must be particularly reviewed by Copts.
Changing religion, in the context of the Copts and their history, which is characterised by Muslim occupation and oppression, is not simply an exercise in religious freedom – it is a change in one’s identity, allegiance and ‘nationhood’. Although not always, it has often been the case that once a Copt changes his colours, he goes to the other camp, joining in the persecution of his past people – this is an act of changing one’s religious and national tags, both at the same time. The question “Why do Copts become Muslims?”, which Qumus Sergius tries to answer in his report, therefore, must concern Coptic nationalists for as much as it matters to Coptic Church ecclesiastics; and hence the publication of his report here.Read the full story here.
Iran: We can destroy US bases 'minutes after attack'.(JPost).DUBAI - Iran has threatened to destroy US military bases across the Middle East and target Israel within minutes of being attacked, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, as Revolutionary Guards extended test-firing of ballistic missiles into a third day. Israel has hinted it may attack Iran if diplomacy fails to secure a halt to its disputed nuclear energy program. The United States also has mooted military action as a last-resort option but has frequently nudged the Israelis to give time for intensified economic sanctions to work against Iran."These bases are all in range of our missiles, and the occupied lands (Israel) are also good targets for us," Amir Ali Haji Zadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, was quoted by Fars news agency as saying. Haji Zadeh said 35 US bases were within reach of Iran's ballistic missiles, the most advanced of which commanders have said could hit targets 2,000 km (1,300 miles) away. "We have thought of measures to set up bases and deploy missiles to destroy all these bases in the early minutes after an attack," he added. It was not clear where Haji Zadeh got his figures on US bases in the region. US military facilities in the Middle East are located in Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Turkey, and it has around 10 bases further afield in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.Defense analysts are often skeptical about what they describe as exaggerated military assertions by Iran and say the country's military capability would be no match for sophisticated US defense systems.
Iranian media reported that this week's three-day "Great Prophet 7" tests involved dozens of missiles and domestically-built drones that successfully destroyed simulated air bases. Iran has upped its fiery anti-West rhetoric in response to the launch on Sunday of a total European Union embargo on buying Iranian crude oil - the latest calibrated increase in sanctions aimed at pushing Tehran into curbing nuclear activity.Read the full story here.
What a drag, Israeli firm grows "highless" marijuana.(Yahoo).SAFED, Israel (Reuters) - They grow in a secret location in northern Israel. A tall fence, security cameras and an armed guard protect them from criminals. A hint of their sweet-scented blossom carries in the air: rows and rows of cannabis plants, as far as the eye can see. It is here, at a medical marijuana plantation atop the hills of the Galilee, where researchers say they have developed marijuana that can be used to ease the symptoms of some ailments without getting patients high. "Sometimes the high is not always what they need. Sometimes it is an unwanted side effect. For some of the people it's not even pleasant," said Zack Klein, head of development at Tikun Olam, the company that developed the plant.
Cannabis has more than 60 constituents called cannabinoids. THC is perhaps the best known of those, less so for its medical benefits and more for its psychoactive properties that give people a "high" feeling. But cannabis also contains Cannabidiol, or CBD, a substance that some researchers say has anti-inflammatory benefits. Unlike THC, it hardly binds to the brain's receptors and can therefore work without getting patients stoned. "CBD plants are available in different forms all over the world," said Klein, adding that the company's plant is free of THC and very high in CBD.
Tikun Olam began its research on CBD enhanced cannabis in 2009 and about six months ago they came up with Avidekel, Klein said, a cannabis strain that contains 15.8 percent CBD and only traces of THC, less than one percent.Today cannabis is used in Israel to treat 9,000 people suffering from illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease and post traumatic stress disorder, according to Israel's health ministry.Although there have been no clinical trials in humans, Mechoulam, who is a leading researcher of cannabinoids, said that Avidekel showed promise as a potent anti-inflammatory. Ruth Gallily of the Hebrew University who works for the company and has been studying CBD for more than 12 years, said she has found that the substance has impressive anti-inflammatory qualities. She has been testing the effects of Tikun Olam's CBD-enhanced cannabis on mice and expects clinical trials to begin in a few months. Avidekel is a new strain of a plant that is already permitted for medical use so there is nothing stopping patients who are already being treated with marijuana from trying Avidekel. About 10 patients began using it in the past six months, Klein said. "The cannabis plant, enriched with CBD, can be used for treating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, liver inflammation, heart disease and diabetes," she said, adding there are no side effects. "It's a huge advantage," said one 35-year-old patient who asked not to be identified, "I can smoke during the day, function with a lot less pain and still be focused, work and drive. It is a great gift." The woman began suffering chronic pains after a tumor was removed from her spine. She began treatment with regular THC-containing marijuana eight months ago. Two months ago she started smoking Avidekel.Read the full story here.
Assad: "Erdogan ‘two-faced’, accuses Turkey of helping Syrian 'terrorists'.(AA).Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad accused Turkey of giving logistical backing to Syrian “terrorists” and told Ankara to stop meddling in his country’s affairs in an interview published on Wednesday. Assad also accused the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of being “two-faced” for pursuing a sectarian agenda in the region and trying to persuade Damascus to introduce political reforms while ignoring the killings and democratic shortfalls in different Arab states. “With his desire from the beginning to interfere in our internal affairs, unfortunately, in the subsequent period he has made Turkey a party to all the bloody acts in Syria,” the Cumhuriyet newspaper quoted Assad as saying.
“Turkey has given all kinds of logistical support to the terrorists killing our people,” Assad said in the second part of an interview published on Wednesday. Speaking to another Turkish newspaper, Vatan, on his way back from Egypt on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu dismissed Assad’s comments as lies and said he did not believe the Syrian leader had any such regrets.
While the West never had solid relations with Syria, Turkey cultivated close ties with its southern neighbor in the past decade. Erdogan even addressed Assad in Damascus as “my brother” and the two were photographed meeting up during holidays.
But as Syria’s president continued to ignore Turkish calls for restraint in dealing with an uprising against his government and pressed his attacks on protesters, the two leaders fell out and the diplomatic tension took on a personal dimension.Turkey now hosts rebels from the Free Syrian Army fighting Assad’s security forces, allowing them to cross over the border freely and giving them logistical support. But Ankara denies it is arming the rebels. There are also more than 35,000 Syrian refugees living in camps in Turkey along the 900-km (560-mile)-long Syrian border.
Asked about the political reforms Erdogan wanted Damascus to implement, Assad said he had already started to introduce changes days after the protests first started and said the Turkish leader was displaying “double standards”. “If you go and ask Erdogan now, again he will say ‘reform’. However, if he was sincere he would have said the things he is saying now during our meetings in 2004. Now he is talking about all these reforms,” Assad told Cumhuriyet.
“There is a double standard here.” Assad said Erdogan was pursuing a sectarian agenda in the Middle East. The Syrian president added that the whole Arab world had changed its view of the Turkish prime minister and were questioning his reliability.
“For example, by crying for the Syrian people in a two-faced manner, why isn’t he also crying for those dying in the Gulf countries? Why isn’t he interfering in those countries’ problems with democracy?” Assad said.
An unnamed Russian source was quoted on Tuesday by Interfax news agency saying that the Turkish fighter jet shot down by Syria last month was asking for trouble when it entered Syrian airspace, “The actions of the Turkish plane were no doubt a provocation. Otherwise how would you explain the fact that the fighter jet flew two, albeit short, sorties in the Syrian airspace? “The crew had to have only one motive for such actions- to test the combat readiness of the Syrian air defense systems and it indeed tested them. And also to conduct a reconnaissance of the strength and capabilities of the Syrian air defense systems in the coastal direction,” it said. The source quoted by Interfax did not make clear where the information came from. “In any case, the crew on the Turkish Phantom have tried hard to literally ask for the Syrian air defenses’ fire,” the source was quoted as saying.Hmmmm......Testing Russian made air defence......Check working fine!Read the full story here.
Obama's BFF Erdoğan urged him to attack Syria: report.(HD).Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly urged the U.S. president to lead an attack on conflict-hit Syria after the country downed a Turkish jet on June 22. A report published on Debka File claimed Erdoğan tried to persuade Barack Obama to use the "opening" created by the shooting down of a Turkish jet to stage an assault on Syria, in a phone conversation between the two leaders on June 26.
Erdoğan "argued forcefully" that the incident provided the perfect opening for a Western-Muslim-Arab offensive on Syria to move in and create a no-fly zone, attacking the regime's military targets and establishing safe zones for Syrian rebels and refugees.
The Turkish Army, Air Force and Navy stood ready for action, Erdoğan allegedly told Obama, but this time the U.S. had to lead the offensive – and not "just from behind," as in Libya.
The U.S. president countered Erdoğan's arguments by saying the time had not yet come for direct military action against Syria by the U.S. and that they had to contend with covert operations by American, British, French and Turkish special forces that were already continuing in the country. Erdoğan reportedly held his ground, saying covert tactics would fail to stop the violence in Syria or overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime. He said only the open exercise of American military power would achieve this end as Turkey was unable to go forward on its own.Hmmm.....Why would NATO need 'ENEMIES" with such allies.Read the full story here.
Video: Liberal Filmmaker sees the real Islam; wakes up.(Shoebat).These kinds of stories are very refreshing but exceedingly rare. It isn’t often that leftists come face to face with the truth and admit they were wrong but it does happen occasionally. The latest example comes courtesy of liberal filmmaker Erick Allen Bell. Bell went to Tennessee to do a documentary about how right-wing extremists were preventing the construction of a mosque. What he found was a truth that was so fundamentally different from his preconceptions. Bell should be congratulated for having the intellectual honesty and courage to admit what the left, in general, refuses to. Be sure to watch as Allen explains how differently the liberal media treated him before and after his realization.
Peres on Iran: Obama will stand strong as a lion.(YNet).A special reception in honor of the 4th of July, the day the US marks its independence, was held at the residence of US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on Tuesday. President Shimon Peres attended the event and congratulated the US on its 236th anniversary. Peres opened his speech by thanking US President Barack Obama for the Medal of Freedom. "Beyond my own personal gratefulness for the decision of President Obama to award me this medal I felt a profound sense of national pride. It was in my eyes a moving gesture of a great leader and a great friend of Israel." Addressing the Iranian issue, Peres said that the leadership in Tehran was the "greatest threat to world peace." He added, "I am convinced that President Obama will stand on this issue strong as a lion. "President Obama has assembled a coalition to lead the international campaign of sanctions and diplomatic understanding to call upon the Iranian regime to change its course. He prefers to achieve an end to the issue peacefully but he has made it clear that all options remain on the table."Unable to attend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a video message in which he apologized for his absence explaining that he had hurt his leg playing soccer. He thanked Ambassador Shapiro for the "wonderful job" he is doing in Israel and also expressed his appreciation of President Obama. "As the leader of one of the world's most vibrant democracies, I appreciate all the great sacrifices that America has made in order to advance liberty and democracy throughout the world." Netanyahu also addressed the Arab Spring. "The Middle East is undergoing a profound transformation. To be a real democracy it's not enough to have a government that represents the majority of the people. "It's not about holding popular elections, but about what happens between elections. It means ensuring that no one is above the law. It means upholding the rights of women, minorities, gays, children, everybody. Will this happen? There is ample reasons for skepticism."Hmmmm......I wonder which countries would suppress women, Gays and minorities?Read the full story here.
Report: Radioactive polonium-210 may have killed Arafat.(Ynet).Conspiracy theories surrounding Yasser Arafat's death have resurfaced eight years after his passing. The former Palestinian Authority chairman may died of radioactive poisoning, Al Jazeera reported Tuesday. The report is based on the findings of tests performed by a Swiss laboratory and exposed in a new documentary film.The Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne tested samples taken from Arafat's personal belongings including his clothes, his toothbrush and even his iconic kaffiyeh. The personal effects were provided by Arafat's widow Suha. “I can confirm to you that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr. Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids,” said Dr. Francois Bochud, the director of the institute. Polonium’s most famous victim was Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian spy-turned-dissident who died in London in 2006 after a lingering illness, Al-Jazeera reported. A nine-month Al Jazeera investigation also suggests that Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004, countering rumors he was infected with HIV.Hmmmmm......."The Lord works in mysterious ways?"Read the full story here.
"Islam 101" - Anushirvan: "The Koran determines who is a genuine Muslim and Who isn't!"(TT).Tundra Tabloids’ commentator, Anushirvan comments to a previous post on the Jordanian cleric who admonishes tough treatment on apostates from Islam. He elucidates for us the Islamic understanding of absolutism (driving a nail into the idea of the ”many paths in Islam) and the defining of ”who’s a Muslim”.
text-align: justify;">The Quran itself contains provisions with regards to determining who is a genuine Muslim and who isn’t. The core concept of Islam is called Tawhid, the religion’s most fundamental concept and holds Allah is one and unique. The Qu’ran asserts the existence of a single and absolute truth that transcends the world; a unique, independent and indivisible being, who is independent of the entire creation.
The indivisibility of Allah implies the indivisibility of Allah’s sovereignty which, in turn, leads to the concept of a just, moral and coherent universe, as opposed to an existential and moral chaos. Tawhid is a moral absolute and defines the inherent impossibility of the average human (Muslim or otherwise) to create laws that are binding or legitimate in any way. Such laws would be automatically diluting and corrupting the ultimate moral authority Allah represents.
Hence, total adherence to Islam within the constrains of Tawhid has to be just as absolute.
Last but least, the level to which Muslims adhere in practice to Tawhid has to be measured against the backdrop of two concepts: Shirk (defined as polytheism/idolatry) and bid’ah (heresy within Islam).
As we have already seen, Shirk can be used to determine who the “default infidels” are (non-Muslims in general), ( http://tundratabloids.com/2012/02/r-e-s-p-e-c-t-islam-demands-it-but-never-gives-it.html) and in fact, it is an equally useful concept to sort the Sunni wheat from the Sunni chaff (genuine Sunni Muslims vs. false Sunni Muslims, AKA Munafiqun) in terms of Salafi moral supremacism. (bid’ah on the other hand is a criterion that solely applies to the distinction between Sunni Muslims vs. non-Sunni Muslims)
In the Salafi view, the average Munafiq can also be designated as a default apostate, and thus equally kafir like the default infidel. To the average Salafi, there’s no real distinction to be made between a Munafiq and a Murtad, both imply the same thing in practice: the individual does not attain the moral standards related to Tawhid, he/she is inherently immoral to the core and can be persecuted without any reservations.
The converging concepts of Tawhid, Shirk and Bid’ah have lead to a particular Salafi viewpoint relating to what does or doesn’t constitute legitimate rule, called Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ (literally: Loyalty and Separation) that is commonly understood among Salafis as “Love and Hate for Allah’s Sake”.
Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ is derived from Quranic verses demonstrating that violence against Munafiq Sunnis can be equally justified as in the case of violence directed against non-Muslim infidels (Christians, Jews, Bhuddists, Hindus, atheists,…et al.) or non-Sunni Muslims (Shi’ites of different subdenominations, Ahmadiyya, Ibadi,…etc.)
In order to demonstrate that Al Wala’ Wal Bara serves as an explicit justification and permissible incitement to direct violence against Muslims, (even if they are Sunni) we need to scrutinize the line of reasoning behind this concept and take the definition from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. A google search of Al Wala’ Wal Bara will for instance yield a lot of results linking to different Muslim forums that explain the concept in great detail. (http://quranicverse99.tripod.com/islamicways/id15.html).
The conclusions we can draw from this are manifold:
1) Salafism rejects the idea that infidels can be instrumental in furthering the cause of Islam. Infidels have to be avoided in first instance, they corrupt Muslim doctrine and instill Western decadence in Muslims.
2) Muslim regimes that ally themselves in any way with infidels are de facto illegitimate. (for example: Mubarak’s Egypt and the USA) Salafism clearly defines “the enemy within Islam” by Al Wala Wal Bara.
3) Impermissible idolatry (shirk) includes the integration of non-Islamic concepts into the doctrine (like Western secular-oriented socialism or nationalism in Nasserism, Ba’athism and Kemalism) Secular- influenced regimes in the Muslim world are de facto illegitimate. (Ben Ali’s Tunisia, Mubarak’s Egypt, Assad’s Ba’athist Syria).
4) Solidarity between Muslims can only exist between ‘genuine’ Muslims that submit themselves to Tawhid as Salafis define it, all shirk and bid’ah has to be discarded.
5) Integrating Western ways of life into the life of the Muslim individual is forbidden. Every activity that relates to leisure time amusement or Western materialism is a type of corrupting idolatry. (hence, the “no fun in Islam” tenet is absolute in Salafism).
6) Non-Salafi Sunnis are (alongside Shi’ites, Sufis, Ahmadiyya…etc.) de facto infidels, they have to be persecuted, war can be waged on them and it is perfectly justified against both Munafiq temporal rulers and average citizens going about their daily business, alike. This explains why Muslims kill Muslims all the time.
7) The converging concepts of Tawhid, Shirk and Bid’ah are explicitly inscribed in the Quran to demarcate the moral boundaries between those who can be considered genuine Muslims and those Muslims who are considered “morally corrupt” and are therefore deemed apostates and infidels. These provisions in the Quran are tools to establish a greater level of Islamic uniformity across the global Muslim world, and have given rise to the Al Wala Wal Bara core tenet of Salafism as a tool to violently reinforce this doctrinal uniformity in practice. Which demonstrates that Islam can in no way be considered as a moderate doctrine or a benign religion. These core issues are specifically designed in order to stave off any type of Islamic reform in the first place ! Thus, Islam can NOT be modernized in any way. Islamic reform constitutes corruption and defilement of the doctrine.
8) If Salafism becomes mainstream in the West (and to a certain extent it is becoming increasingly mainstream already), then these so-called Arab Spring Movements (which are decidedly Salafist by nature) will eventually also mobilize against illegitimate infidel rule across Europe and the Anglosphere. In other words, we can expect Salafi revolutions on our own doorstep !Read the full story here.
Syria Crisis - Russia: "Resuming S-300 shipments to Iran may be a very timely decision."(Fars). Russian sources said the country is mulling over its 2010 decision on withholding the sales of the complicated S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran if it comes to lose its regional ally, Syria. Under a contract signed in 2007, Russia was required to provide Iran with at least five S-300 air-defense systems. However, Moscow's continued delays in delivering the defense system drew criticism from the Islamic Republic on several occasions. Russia has been refusing to deliver the system to Iran under the pretext that the system is covered by the fourth round of UN Security Council resolutions against Iran. Then-President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree prohibiting the sale of Russian weapons, including S-300s, to Iran in 2010 after the United Nations imposed sanctions against the Islamic republic. Iran dismissed Russia's justification that the ban on the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Iran was in line with the (US-engineered) UN Security Council Resolution 1929, and stated that this is an air defense system which is not included in Resolution 1929. Iran then sued Russia for breach of the contract and made Moscow return its advance payment along with its interest fees in May. "The S-300 ban was a political decision and these systems are not actually subject to sanctions," Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, said in an interview on Tuesday. "If the Syrian regime is changed by force or if Russia doesn't like the outcome" of a peaceful transition to a new government, "it most likely will respond by selling S-300s to Iran."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, along with his counterparts from the US, the UK, France and China, endorsed a United Nations plan for political transition in Syria on June 30. Lavrov said the road map doesn't imply Assad's ouster and Russia says it will continue to block efforts in the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria to force him out. Assad's government is fighting an insurrection backed up by the US, Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar which finance terrorist groups and equip them with arms, information and other logistical support. "The fall of the Syrian government would significantly increase the chances of a strike on Iran," said Pukhov, who also sits on a Defense Ministry advisory board. "Resuming S-300 shipments to Iran may be a very timely decision." Due to the export ban on S-300 exports to Iran Russia lost about $1 billion dollars, according to Pukhov's think tank. After Russia annulled the S-300 contract, Iran started making the advanced system domestically. Tehran's defense officials have announced that the early versions of the system will be unveiled as soon as next year.President Vladimir Putin may resume shipments to Iran in retaliation for the US selling weapons to Georgia and at the same time to promote Russia as an arms exporter, Pukhov said.Read the full story here.
Iran Warns to Close Strategic Waterway in case of Full Sanctions Practice.(Fars)."If we completely go under the sanctions, we will not let a single oil drop pass through the Hormuz Strait," Arsalan Fathipour, head of the Iranian Parliament's Economic Commission, told the Iranian students news agency on Tuesday, a day after Europe began to enforce an oil embargo against Iran. Also on Tuesday, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman welcomed a draft bill of the parliament requiring the government to close the Strait of Hormuz to those tankers shipping crude to the countries that support sanctions against Iran, and said the government will implement the bill once it receives the approval of the legislature. "The parliament members are the nation's representatives and they reflect the Iranian nation's views and the Iranian nation's public opinion about the hostile moves against the country," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said in a weekly press conference in Tehran on Tuesday. On Monday the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament drafted a bill requiring the government to stop oil tankers from shipping crude through the Strait of Hormuz to countries that support sanctions against Iran. Mehman-Parast also described the oil sanctions against Iran as "provocative and threatening" to the security of crude supplies, and said, "They should account for their actions and accept the consequences of such decisions which will include social and economic crises in the western countries." An EU embargo on Iranian oil went into effect on Sunday. Tehran has repeatedly cautioned that such measures will hurt talks with world powers over its nuclear program. Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the oil-rich Persian Gulf if its nuclear program is targeted by air strikes that Israel and the United States reserve as an option. Situated between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz is a passageway for 40% of the world's oil production, including much of the crude extracted in Saudi Arabia. That threat, repeated since December, helped propel oil prices to a four-year high of $128 for a barrel of Brent North Sea reference crude in early March.Read the full story here.
"One country flew over a cuckoo's nest" - Iran: "Israel Training US Tourists to Assassinate Palestinians."
"One country flew over a cuckoo's nest" - Iran: "Israel Training US Tourists to Assassinate Palestinians."(Fars).A leftist member of the Israeli Knesset deplored the Zionist settlers for training American tourists how to assassinate the Palestinians, calling it the worst type of fascism."I have witnessed during a tourist trip to Goush Atsion settlement that tourists mainly from the US are trained how to use weapons and kill what they call terrorist Palestinians," Davou Hanin told Yodiot Aharonot newspaper. The newspaper has published the picture of a young American Jew who is being trained by an Israeli settler to kill the Palestinians in the occupied territories. Different world leaders have on many occasions cautioned about the serious violation of human rights by Israel, saying that Palestinians are living in critical conditions.
Iran's Envoy to the UN Human Rights Council Mohammad Reza Sajjadi in his address to the UN human rights council session yesterday reminded the critical situation of the Palestinian people, and said, " My delegation would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his detailed report submitted to the Council." Highlighting the violation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory with reference to "Israeli regime policy and practice of targeted killing" as well as "widespread and abusive use of administrative detention procedures", the report obviously illustrates flagrant violation of human rights in the Palestine, and draws attentions to some horrific incidents occurred by the so-called "Israeli Defense Forces", he added.
The incidences of extrajudicial executions or assassinations underscored in the report as well as the recent upsurge of violence by Israeli Regime in Gaza are just a tip of iceberg demonstrating that this regime continues and even intensifies its heinous crimes against the oppressed and defenseless Palestinian people in defiance of human rights principles, international law, UN resolutions and even the basic norms of decency. What is perplexing is that the Israeli regime, enjoying the unflagging support of the Western bloc, continues to perpetrate its crimes and violations with a sense of impunity, he reiterated. "It is high time for the Council to defend more effectively the human rights of Palestinian people, and adopt a firm position and urge the international community to counter the said regime's inhumane policies and practices against the defenseless Palestinians," Sajjadi said.Hmmmm....I heard that there are herds of 'Killer Unicorns' being trained by Mossad specialist Dr. Doolittle as well.Read the full 'story' here.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Saudi Arabia - Report: Power Struggle Getting Critical in Saudi Royal Family.(Fars).News reports from Saudi Arabia revealed that the country has been practically divided into two parts reigned by the sons of King Abdallah and the sons of former crown prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, who plan to rule the country after the king's death.Informed sources in the Saudi royal family said that Mutaib bin Abdullah, the son of the king, is now ruling important religious cities of Saudi Arabia like Medina, Mecca, Taif and Abha, and is preparing for the days after the death of his father. This is while Mohammed Ibn Nayef, the son of former Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, is controlling Riyadh and has an eye on the Eastern coasts and the oil-rich areas and wants to play a decisive role in the future of Saudi Arabia, said the sources, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the information.
According to the sources, while the Saudi rulers are trying to conceal the power struggle inside the royal family, the second generation of the Saudi monarchs has now started a tough power rivalry which can lead to the country's collapse in future. Also earlier other sources inside the Saudi ruling family had warned that the death of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, a hard-line conservative, in June ignited an internal war in the Al Saud dynasty. Political observers believe that if the Saudi King defense Prince Salman, the existing differences inside the royal family will further widen. Earlier, a London-based analyst had also warned that whenever a Saudi prince dies or nears death, internal power feuds start in Riyadh which sometimes push the Arab country into crisis. "Since long time ago, a great dispute has been underway for starting a hereditary monarchy to transfer power to the younger members of the al-Saud family," Jaffar Hessabi told FNA in 2011 after the death of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. The Saudi ruler has so far picked his crown prince from the al-Saud family, including his aged brothers and nephews and not from his sons or grandsons. Hessabi pointed to the unpopularity of the Saudi dynasty among the people both inside Saudi Arabia and in the region, and stressed that the ongoing conditions in Saudi Arabia indicate the start of an uprising against the country's rulers similar to the popular uprisings in the other Arab states. Saudi Arabia has also been the scene of anti-government protests over the past months with demonstrators demanding rights reform, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners. Saudi activists say there are more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly prisoners of conscience, in jails across the Kingdom. Some of the detainees are reported to be held without trial for more than 16 years and attempting to incite the public against the government and the allegiance to foreign entities are usually the ready-made charges against political dissidents. According to the Saudi-based Human Rights First Society (HRFS), the detainees were subject to both physical and mental torture.Hmmmmm........"Arab Spring" Anyone?Read the full story here.
Egypt's Pres Mursi to Visit Iran - "Iran-Egypt relations are expected to witness an eye-catching growth in coming weeks".
Egypt's Pres Mursi to Visit Iran - "Iran-Egypt relations are expected to witness an eye-catching growth in coming weeks".(Fars).Lebanese daily, al-Saffir, said the Egyptian president is due to pay an official visit to Iran in August to discuss bilateral ties and cooperation and attend a summit meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Egypt currently holds presidency of the NAM and Mursi will deliver his chair to Iran in the August meeting in Tehran as Iran is due to chair the movement for the next three years. "The Iran-Egypt relations are expected to witness an eye-catching growth in coming weeks," the daily said. In an interview with FNA late last month, Mursi underlined his enthusiasm for the further expansion of ties with Iran, and said resumption of formal relations between Tehran and Cairo would create a strategic balance in the region. "The issue will create a strategic balance in the region," Mursi told FNA on Sunday, hours before the final results of the presidential election was announced. Mursi stressed his eagerness to further develop ties with Iran, and said, "It is part of my agenda (as the first post-Mubarak president of Egypt)." Ever since the collapse of Hosni Mubarak's regime, the Iranian and Egyptian officials have voiced their interest in the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and his former Egyptian counterpart Nabil Al-Arabi in a meeting in Bali, Indonesia, which took place on the sidelines of a NAM ministerial meeting, conferred on ways to promote the bilateral relations between Tehran and Cairo, and stressed the need for continued consultations in this regard.Hmmmm.....Aren't you glad Obama helped remove that 'evil dictator' Mubarak?Read the full story here.
Clinton:" “Pakistan will continue not to charge any transit fee," the U.S. will 'only' release about $1.1 billion to Pakistan's military.
Clinton:" “Pakistan will continue not to charge any transit fee," the U.S. will 'only' release about $1.1 billion to Pakistan's military.(AA).Pakistani Taliban threatened to attack trucks carrying supplies to U.S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan after Islamabad and Washington reached a deal to re-open the lines. “We will attack NATO supplies all over Pakistan. We will not allow anyone to use Pakistani soil to transport supplies that will be used against the Afghan people,” the group’s spokesman told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. Earlier on Tuesday, Pakistan and the United States reached a deal to reopen land routes that NATO uses to supply troops in Afghanistan, ending a seven-month closure imposed after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by NATO aircraft last November. The United States has said it will release about $1.1 billion to Pakistan's military as part of the deal. Prior to the closure, Pakistani Taliban carried out dozens of attacks, disrupting supplies for 130,000 U.S.-led NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan, and have repeatedly warned of more if Pakistan reopened supply routes. Following the official announcement NATO truckers said they feared more attacks and demanded security guarantees before the resumption of the supply routes.
Islamabad has long demanded that Washington apologize for the deadly air raid before it would reopen the NATO routes, closed in anger after the U.S. attack. “Foreign Minister Khar and I acknowledged the mistakes that resulted in the loss of Pakistani military lives,” Clinton said in a statement. “We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military. We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again.” Earlier, Pakistan’s new prime minister acknowledged that keeping up the seven-month blockade would damage relations with the United States and other NATO member states. “The continued closure of supply lines not only impinge our relationship with the U.S., but also on our relations with the 49 other member states of NATO,” Raja Pervez Ashraf told a meeting of top civilian and military leaders.The border blockade has forced the United States and its allies to rely on much longer, more expensive northern routes through Central Asia, Russia and the Caucasus. The cost of ferrying supplies by air and over northern railways and roads has cost the U.S. military about $100 million a month, according to the Pentagon. Initial hopes of a deal on re-opening the routes had fallen apart at a NATO summit in Chicago in May, amid reports that Pakistan was demanding huge fees for each of the thousands of trucks that rumble across the border every year. But Clinton said Tuesday: “Pakistan will continue not to charge any transit fee in the larger interest of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region. “This is a tangible demonstration of Pakistan’s support for a secure, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan and our shared objectives in the region.” Reopening the routes will help the United States and NATO to complete its planned withdrawal of troops and equipment from Afghanistan “at a much lower cost,” Clinton said. The U.S. commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, who held talks in Islamabad twice in the last six days, praised the decision as “a demonstration of Pakistan’s desire to help secure a brighter future for both Afghanistan and the region at large.” While Islamabad has demanded a formal apology for the deaths of its border troops, a U.S. and NATO investigation said the killings were the result of mistakes made on both sides. The United States also has indicated it will free up funds for Pakistan that are supposed to reimburse Islamabad for counter-insurgency operations, officials said.Hmmmm.........."free up funds"...How much are we talking about?Read the full story here.