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Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Pre election fever" - US and Israel revive largest joint anti-missile drills

US and Israel revive largest joint anti-missile drills.(RT).Israeli and American officials put plans for a massive missile drill mysteriously on this month, but now the exercise, originally slated for this spring, will be scheduled for October 2012.The drill, which will also signal a surge of American troops to Israel by the thousands, will mark the biggest test of its type for both nations. As tensions worsen between the US and Iran — as well as Israel and its Islamic Republic neighbor — Tehran authorities fear that the exercise will try out more than just the missile capabilities of the allies. Also being put to the test is Iran’s patience.The United States has already equipped almost every nation surrounding Iran with weaponry and mobilized a fleet in the adjacent Strait of Hormuz. The postponement of the exercise, which RT reported last week, was viewed by some to be a response from Israel over America’s lack of initiative in actually putting the heat on Iran. Overseas news outlet Debka, which has close connections with the Jewish state’s intelligence community, suggested that the snag in the plans occurred after Israel grew irritated at America’s hesitance to bite, instead only barking at Iran.
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon called the Obama administration "hesitant" earlier this month, which was followed by a warning only a day later by the nation’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in which he urged the US to "move from words to deeds.”Parts of the program involve a troop surge in the thousands as well as the deployment of America’s Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system and the ship-based Aegis system overseas.
Israel’s own Arrow, Patriot and Iron Dome missile systems will work in cooperation with their US counterparts. The US troops, estimated to be at a tally of 3,000, could arrive in Israel as early as next week. They will join forces with around 2,000 Israeli’s involved in the country’s own missile program.Earlier this month, the US deployed 15,000 troops to the nearby nation of Kuwait. Israel has also in recent weeks increased its defense budget to the tune of $700
million.Hmmmm........."Postponed for electoral reasons".Read the full story here.

Overnight music video - The Coasters - Down in Mexico

Penn State Hosts Conference Promoting Campaign to ‘Boycott, Divest, and Sanction’ Israel

Penn State Hosts Conference Promoting Campaign to ‘Boycott, Divest, and Sanction’ Israel.(BigPeace).Penn State University is the home of the 2012 "National Conference of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement" (BDS), whose origins lie in the actions of nations and groups including Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah. The three-day event will take place on the Penn State campus February 3-5 and feature a variety of speakers with antisemitic, extreme views, such as Ali Abunimah, who has stated, "none of the European and American leaders who constantly lecture about Holocaust denial will dare to admonish Netanyahu for his bald lies and omissions about Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians."Hmmmm.......The legal penalties of supporting the BDS action against Israel.The antiboycott laws were adopted to encourage, and in specified cases, require U.S. firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States does not sanction. The law prohibits U.S. persons from taking certain actions in support of an unsanctioned foreign boycott against a country that is friendly to the United States.Read the full story here.

Susan Daniels Testifies in Atlanta: Obama's Social Security Number is Fraudulent

MFS -The Other News - What the main papers don't say.

                      Picture THE BATTLE OF COPYRIGHT 2011 By Christopher Dombres.
                    Morning Posting.

  • Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Greece 5.3 - 5.2 ; Indonesia 5.2 !More info here.

  • Iranian Parliament Finalizes Draft Bill on Cutting Oil Supplies to Europe.(Fars).TEHRAN (FNA)- Members of the Iranian parliament finalized a draft bill on cutting the country's oil exports to the European states in retaliation for the EU's oil ban against Tehran, a senior legislator said on Saturday. "The bill has 4 articles, including one which states that the Islamic Republic of Iran will cut all oil exports to the European states until they end their oil sanctions against the country," Vice-Chairman of the parliament's Energy Commission Nasser Soudani told FNA. Elaborating on the other parts of the draft bill, he said another article requires the government to stop imports of goods from those countries which are a party to these sanctions against Iran.The statement continued that since just 18 percent of oil produced by Iran is exported to European countries, Islamic Republic can easily replace new markets with the European market. Read the full story here.

  • Washington Should Reject ‘No Missiles, No Meeting’ Russian Blackmail.(Heritage).By Ariel Cohen.Recently, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that there may be no summit between NATO and the Russian Federation if no agreement on missile defense is reached.This is understandable: Moscow has so far refused all Western entreaties to sign a workable missile defense arrangement and threatened that the NATO–Russia summit may be cancelled. If so, the loss will be all the Kremlin’s.NATO should not feel under any pressure to finalize a missile defense agreement, as Moscow is only trying to constrain the development of the U.S. missile defense system that could be used for the protection of Europe against Iran or another rogue power.Russia’s efforts to squeeze unreasonable concessions, such as sharing U.S. missile defense technology for free, are a poke in the eye of President Obama’s “reset” policy. So far, the policy has required large payoffs for small results. Highly significantly, President Obama decided not to talk about the reset policy’s achievements in his State of the Union speech—because there is little to be proud of.In December, Putin accused U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of “giving the signal” for mass protests in Moscow—after the ruling United Russia party brazenly stole parliamentary elections.The putative missile defense agreement presupposes that the foxes will guard the henhouse: Putin recently promoted the loudmouth nationalist Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s former envoy to NATO, to head Russia’s hugely corrupt defense industry as a Vice Premier. This is a big step for Rogozin, which may signal bigger and better things in the future, like a coveted Defense Minister’s job.Rogozin has been leading the anti-American and anti-missile-defense campaigns in Russia and internationally. Recently, he attemptedto link Russia’s opposition to the NATO missile defense in Europe to the future of the NATO supply line to Afghanistan. This complex logistics operation, known as the Northern Distribution Network, is responsible for 60 percent of NATO supplies to Afghanistan; the other 40 percent goes through Pakistan.Congress and the Administration should not tolerate Russian mischief, such as on missile defense. The U.S. should not shy away from protecting its vital security interests, including keeping vital military technology close to its chest. Washington should articulate its priorities and values to its Russian partners—and play hardball when necessary.It is clearly time to reset the “reset.”Hmmmm.......Closing the NATO supply line to Afghanistan, would mean US soldiers caught in a trap with not enough Food, Petrol and Ammo.......Obama's 'Stalingrad'.Read the full story here.

  • Is President Obama Creating A Nation Of Dependents?(ID).By John Merline.If the Republican primaries are any indication, one big debate in the upcoming election will be whether President Obama is pushing the country toward a European-style welfare culture.Mitt Romney, for example, argues that "over the past three years, Barack Obama has been replacing our merit-based society with an entitlement society."Newt Gingrich has taken to calling Obama "the best food-stamp president in American history."Obama, in contrast, says the government must play an increasing role — what he likes to call "shared responsibility" — to ensure a society that is fairer.So is Obama turning the country into a welfare society and away from one focused on opportunity?While it's true that the country has been headed in this direction for many years — with the explosion in entitlements since the 1960s and the aging of the population — Obama has, in fact, greatly accelerated the trend.Read the full story here.

  • Obama vows to remember Holocaust, fight anti-Semitism.(JPost).US President Barak Obama pledged to remember the Holocaust and to fight anti-Semitism, in a statement released on International Holocaust Remembrance day. "Michelle and I join people in the United States, in Israel, and across the globe as we remember the six million Jews and millions of others who were murdered at the hands of the Nazis," Obama said in a statement issued by the White House Friday."Together with the State of Israel, and all our friends around the world, we dedicate ourselves to giving meaning to those powerful words: 'Never Forget. Never Again,'" he said.Obama pledged to keep the memories of the Holocaust alive, "not only in our thoughts, but through our actions."The US president also vowed to fight Holocaust deniers. "We pledge to stand strong against all those who would commit atrocities, against the resurgence of anti-Semitism, and against hatred in all its forms," he said.Hmmmm.....While 'embracing' the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that calls for the extermination of the Jews?Read the full story here.
  • Court Awards Attorneys’ Fees Against the City of Dearborn, Michigan for Violating a Christian Pastor’s Right to Freedom of Speech.(AM).AFLC--Today, a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Detroit, Michigan recommended that Robert J. Muise, the attorney for Christian Pastor George Saieg, be awarded $103,401.96 in fees and costs for successfully challenging the City of Dearborn’s restriction on the Christian’s right to freedom of speech at the 2009 Arab Festival held in the City. The City, not wanting to offend its large Muslim population, would not allow the Christian to hand out religious literature at the Festival.In the order, the federal judge stated, “In this case, the Plaintiff received the full relief he sought — an invalidation of the leafleting restriction and a permanent injunction barring its enforcement. . . . Because this result ‘cannot fairly be labeled as anything short of excellent, [Plaintiff] is entitled to a fully compensatory fee.’” AFLC Senior Counsel Robert J. Muise represented Pastor Saieg in this successful free speech case. At the time, Muise was Senior Trial Counsel for the Thomas More Law Center. The City has 14 days to appeal. [Read order here]“The award of attorney fees in this case,” noted Muise, “is critical in the lawfare against Civilization Jihad and dhimmitization, or subjugation, of an entire municipality in Michigan. Dearborn has a long record of this kind of illegal, heavy-handed treatment of Christians as an attempt to placate Dearborn’s sharia-faithful. The court’s ruling today demonstrates that this kind of behavior will come at great cost.”Muise recently won acquittals for charges of “disturbing the peace” brought by the Dearborn prosecutor against a group of Christians following their arrests by Dearborn police in 2010 for the same kind of peaceful free speech activities. Muise and David Yerushalmi of the American Freedom Law Center, along with attorneys from the Thomas More Law Center, currently represent these Christians in a civil action arising from these arrests.
    The American Freedom Law Center is a Judeo-Christian law firm that fights for faith and freedom. It accomplishes its mission through litigation, public policy initiatives, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. Visit us at the full story here.
  • UN wants end to West Bank demolitions.(YNET).The United Nations on Friday called on Israel to immediately halt the destruction of Palestinian homes in the West Bank after reporting a dramatic rise in demolitions in the past year.Israeli forces destroyed 622 Palestinian homes in the West Bank in 2011, "forcibly displacing" almost 1,100 people, over half of them children, according to a UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs report."The current policy and practice of demolitions cause extensive human suffering and should end," said UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Maxwell Gaylard. Gaylard said the demolition figures represent a "dramatic" increase on previous years and that tens of thousands of people remain under threat of dispossession, demolition and displacement. Israel says it only demolishes structures that have been built without required permission. Palestinians say they are rarely granted permits.Gaylard said he went on Thursday to the village of Anata near Jerusalem where seven Palestinian homes were demolished this week. "He was informed that bulldozers and troops had arrived in the middle of the night of 23 January and that 52 people, including 29 children, had been forced from their homes, which were then completely destroyed," said a UN statement. The operation was carried out Monday night. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) said Israeli forces demolished Beit Arabiya, a family home and "peace centre" at Anata, that has now been destroyed five times since 1994. Israel's administration for the West Bank said the homes had no permit.Read the full story here.
  • The Risk of Islamist Coups.(HurriyetDaily).By Gwynne Dyer.The eastern half of what used to be Pakistan narrowly escaped a military coup last month. Brigadier Masud Razzak, the spokesman of the Bangladeshi army, announced on Thursday (19 January) that “A band of fanatic officers has been trying to oust the politically established government. Their attempt has been foiled.”They had “extreme religious views,” he said, and revealed that some of the sixteen conspirators, all of them current or former military officers, will soon appear before a military court. For a country with a dismalry with a dismal history of military coups, some of them very violent, it was a heartening outcome. But it was also a reminder of where the real danger lies in the subcontinent.A coup by Islamist officers in Bangladesh would be seen by most foreigners as deeply regrettable but mostly of only local interest. A coup by Islamist officers in Pakistan would unleash the Mother of All Panics.An Indian strategist once told me, off the record, what he thought would happen about six hours after news of an Islamist coup in Pakistan reached the rest of the world. There would be a huge “traffic jam” over Kahuta and other major Pakistani nuclear weapons facilities as the Indian, Iranian, American and Israeli air forces all tried to keep the nuclear weapons out of the hands of the fanatics by destroying them.So how likely is an Islamist military coup in Pakistan? About as likely as it is in Bangladesh, which is to say unlikely, but not unimaginable. In this one thing, the two armies are alike – and quite different from those of most other Muslim countries.In almost all other Muslim countries, the armies take great care to ensure that Islamist officers do not rise very high in rank: they may make captain, but they won’t make colonel. This is because the generals know that they can’t be trusted. The generals themselves are mostly faithful Muslims, but they must protect the integrity of the military institution they serve, and that means no Islamists in positions of real power.All previous military interventions in politics in Pakistan have been done by the army as an institution, acting in obedience to its lawful commanders. That kind of thing would not radically change Pakistan’s policies towards the rest of the world. But if middle-ranking Islamist officers were to break the chain of command and seize power, like their comrades in Bangladesh intended to do, then all bets would be off. Read the full story here.
  • Arab League suspends observer mission in Syria as killing spikes.(Alarabiya).The Arab League on Thursday suspended its monitoring mission in Syria because of the upsurge of violence a day after the monitors’ chief said killing had spiked this week, with the death toll approaching 200.“Given the critical deterioration of the situation in Syria and the continued use of violence ... it has been decided to immediately stop the work of the Arab League’s mission to Syria pending prevention of the issue to the league’s council,” the league’s secretary-general said in a statement.“The secretary-general has also asked the head of the mission to take all the necessary procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of the mission’s members.”The mission would remain in Syria, a source at the league had earlier told Reuters, but would temporarily halt its work.The announcement came as the opposition Syrian National Council said its leader would travel to New York to appeal to the U.N. Security Council for protection from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.According to a tally by AFP taken from reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and official Syrian media, 193 people have been killed since Tuesday.That compares with the figure of more than 5,400 given by the United Nations last month since anti-regime protests erupted in March.On Thursday, the bodies of 17 men arrested by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces during an armored assault this week on the city of Hama were found dumped in the streets after being shot in the head, activists said on Saturday. “They were killed execution style, mostly with one bullet to the head. Iron chains that had tied them were left on their legs as a message to the people to stop resisting,” Abu al-Walid, an activist in the city, told Reuters by telephone.Another activist said the bodies, their hands tied by plastic wire and some with their legs chained, were dumped in the streets of five Hama neighborhoods on Thursday evening. “They are of mixed ages. One was in his 60s, another in his 40s and several were in their 20s,” he said, adding that only three had been identified, one of whom was a police deserter.Asked whether the bodies could be those of Assad loyalists killed by rebels, the activist said this was not possible.“Hama is a military zone full of armored vehicles and troops,” he said. “Roadblocks and tanks have isolated districts from each other. The streets are empty and no one dares to drive a car unless he wants to be shot, let alone to move between different neighborhoods and dump bodies.”A YouTube video, which could not be independently verified, showed six bodies of mostly young men in a street described as being in the Bab Qabli district of Hama. Their hands were tied and their legs were chained. They appeared to have died from gunshot wounds to the head or neck. Other bodies were found in the Basateen, Hamidiya, Arbaeen and Masbah neighborhoods, activists said.Read the full story here.
  • Largest conventional U.S. bomb not powerful against Iran: report.(AlArabiya).The U.S. military has concluded that its largest conventional bomb is not capable of destroying Iran’s most heavily fortified underground facilities suspected to be used for building nuclear weapons, The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday. But citing unnamed U.S. officials, the newspaper said the military was stepping up efforts to make it more powerful.The 13.6-ton “bunker-buster” bomb, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, was specifically designed to take out the hardened fortifications built by Iran and North Korea, the report said.But initial tests indicated that the bomb, as currently configured, would not be capable of destroying some of Iran’s facilities, either because of their depth or because Tehran has added new fortifications to protect them, the paper noted. In a report issued in November, the International Atomic Energy Agency said intelligence from more than 10 countries and its own sources “indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device.”It detailed 12 suspicious areas such as testing explosives in a steel container at a military base and studies on Shahab-3 ballistic missile warheads that the IAEA said were “highly relevant to a nuclear weapon program.Meanwhile, doubts about its bomb’s effectiveness prompted the Pentagon this month to secretly submit a request to Congress for funding to enhance the bomb’s ability to penetrate deeper into rock, concrete and steel before exploding, The Journal noted. The Defense Department has spent about $330 million so far to develop about 20 of the bombs, which are built by Boeing Co., the report pointed out. The Pentagon is seeking about $82 million more to make the bomb more effective, The Journal said. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in an interview with The Journal Thursday, acknowledged the bomb’s shortcomings against some of Iran’s deepest bunkers. He said more development work would be done and that he expected the bomb to be ready to take on the deepest bunkers soon.“We’re still trying to develop them,” Panetta said.Meanwhile the Washington Post reported Saturday that the U.S. military plans to send a large floating base for commando teams to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran and intensifying fighting in Yemen, Citing unspecified procurement documents, the newspaper said the Navy is converting an aging warship it had planned to decommission into a makeshift staging base for the commandos in response to requests from the U.S. Central Command. Unofficially dubbed a “mothership,” the floating base could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by Navy SEALs, the report said.Hmmmm.........The bomb will be 'ready' just before the elections?Read the full story here.
  • Dutch plan Muslim face veil ban next year.(TS).One million out of 17 million people are Muslim in the Netherlands.AMSTERDAM - The Dutch minority government plans to ban Muslim face veils such as burqas and other forms of clothing that cover the face from next year.The ban would make the Netherlands, where 1 million out of 17 million people are Muslim, the second European Union country to ban the burqa after France, and would apply to face-covering veils if they were worn in public."People should be able to look at each other's faces and recognize each other when they meet," the interior affairs ministry said in a statement Friday.The ban will also apply to balaclavas and motorcycle helmets when worn in inappropriate places, such as inside a store, Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen told reporters, denying that this was a ban on religious clothing.Geert Wilders' anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV), which helps give the Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition a majority in parliament, has set considerable political store on getting the so-called burqa ban passed into law.Few Muslim women in the Netherlands wear the Arabic-style niqabs which leave the eyes uncovered and Afghan-style burqas that cover the face with a cloth grid. Academics estimate the numbers at between 100 and 400, whereas Muslim headscarves which leave the face exposed are far more common.The face-veil law, which still needs to win approval in both houses of parliament, excludes clothing worn for security reasons such as that worn by firemen and hockey players, as well as party clothing such as Santa Claus or Halloween costumes.The ban does not apply to religious places, such as churches and mosques, nor to passengers on airplanes or en route via a Dutch airport, the interior ministry said.Read the full story here.
  • Growing Number of Child Brides Among Muslims ... in London.(Islingtontribune).By PavanAmara.AN alarming number of under-age girls – some as young as nine – are being forced into marriage in Islington, according to a leading campaign group.The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) claim that at least 30 girls in the borough were forced into marriage in 2010.The practice was condemned by the Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, who said such marriages were against Islam and “unacceptable”.He pledged to invalidate any marriage which he said were carried out by “back-street Imams”.IKWRO, which made headlines last month when they revealed there had been almost 3,000 “honour-based” violence cases in 2010, has shown the Tribune records which revealed at least three 11-year-old girls and two nine-year-olds had been forced into marriage with older men within Islington. The oldest girls involved were 16.They have warned that hundreds of Islington girls could be suffering sexual, emotional and physical scars as a result of the child marriages every year and are calling for teachers, social workers and police to be better trained to spot and manage the abuse.Information from the Ministry of Justice, following a Freedom of Information request, revealed that 32 Forced Marriage Protection Order applications were made for children under 16 in Britain last year.Six of these were made for under-16s within Islington at the Royal Courts of Justice, although these were not necessarily made for Islington residents.At the Islington court, “five or fewer” orders were made to protect children between the ages of 9-11.The orders are a form of injunction that threaten legal punishment if marriage takes place due to emotional or physical force.In most cases, the children fear they will be killed if they reveal the truth to anybody, while others believe they will be separated from their families and taken into social services’ care.Dianna Nammi, director of IKWRO, explained that the girls are married in a mosque’s sharia court. This means they are not legally married according to British law, rendering the Home Office unable to recognise or prove the abuse.“They are still expected to carry out their wifely duties, though, and that includes sleeping with their husband,” she said.“They have to cook for them, wash their clothes, everything. They are still attending schools in Islington, struggling to do their primary school homework, and at the same time being practically raped by a middle-aged man regularly and being abused by their families. So they are a wife, but in a primary school uniform.“The reason it doesn’t get out is because they are too terrified to speak out, and also the control their families have over them is impossible to imagine if you’re not going through it. The way it is covered up is so precise, almost unspeakable.”Ms Nammi said that one 13-year-old had to sneak out of a maths lesson to contact the group, because she was being monitored so closely by her family.“Her teacher didn’t notice because she said she’d gone to the toilet, but when she got home that day she was beaten,” she said. Imam Saad explained that Sharia law stated an individual can marry when they begin puberty, with the most important stipulation being that they are “rushd”, or mature enough to understand marriage.A spokesman for the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) said he was “unsure” whether the lack of legal status of the marriages affected whether the they could intervene or not, but directed the Tribune to government practice guidelines on dealing with forced marriage.The spokesman added that due to the lack of legal status the marriages may be a “criminal matter that only the police can deal with”, but admitted to it being "”a very grey area”.Read the full story here.
  • New US military strategy and Turkey.(HD).As the details of the new U.S. defense budget for 2013 become clear, the outline of the new American military strategy becomes clear, too.the WSJ story also said that in some critical parts of the world – critical to the U.S. interests – the Pentagon considers establishing land bases for special units.The Darwin base in Australia was named among the bases to be used in the Pacific area control. The expansion of the Philippines base was another consideration. And the WSJ reported that the Pentagon was looking into ways to establish bases near the Iraqi border area of Jordan and Turkey.It is not clear from the WSJ story whether the U.S. official meant an additional use of the İncirlik Air Force Base of Turkey which is in NATO use, also hosting U.S. troops, or an additional base in the country that is not very likely considering the huge dimension of the İncirlik Base and the already high anti-American social climate in the country.Later on Pentagon officials denied there were plans to escalate presence in Turkey. Yet there are still a number of issues around Turkey, from energy routes to the consequences of the Arab Spring, including Iran-Israel tension, the sectarian civil war risk in Iraq and the Kurdish problem in a lesser scale.The Turkish proverb goes, “There is no smoke without fire,” and Turks are likely to assess the developments through a different lens from now on. Hmmmm......Obama has a 'relation of trust' with Erdogan?Read the full story here.
  • Source: Hamas' Meshaal Sets Sights on Brotherhood Post.(IPT).Hamas' out-going politburo chairman is leaving the Palestinian terrorist group to take a "high position in the Muslim Brotherhood movement," a "well-informed source in Hamas" told the Nazareth-based Arabic-language Al-Sinnara last week.The move would see Khaled Meshaal—the longtime Damascus-based leader of Hamas—transition to a new, more international role, as head of the "Supreme Council of the [Brotherhood] movement." The Council is said to be "responsible for political issues," according to the report. It remains to be seen whether the article is referring to the group's Guidance Bureau, which largely deals with the movement's political affairs, or with another body altogether.If true, the news would help explain why Meshaal has been so adamant about not seeking re-election. Earlier reports noted that the group made an official plea for Meshaal "to reconsider" his stance.It has been speculated that if Meshaal exits, the post could go to Hamas' Gaza-based Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, or Hamas' original political bureau chief, Mousa Abu Marzook.Meshaal's purported move appears to have the blessing of higher-ups in the Brotherhood. According to the Al-Sinnara source, longtime Brotherhood spiritual advisor, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, is in support of the leadership jump.Read the full story here.
  • Viking mass grave linked to elite killers of the medieval world, they faced their own beheading sword blow standing tall.(AD). A mass grave found in Dorset could belong to a crew of Viking mercenaries who terrorised Europe in the 11th century according to a new documentary on National Geographic which pieces together the story behind the burial. Their burial pit, at Ridgeway Hill, Dorset, was found in 2009 while archaeologists were working in the area ahead of the construction of a new road. In it, researchers made the gruesome discovery of the decapitated bodies of 54 young men. All had been dumped in the shallow grave, and their heads had been piled up on the far side.Radiocarbon dating revealed that the remains belonged to men murdered at some point around the year 1000.While historians will probably never agree conclusively about who the men were, Baillie's analysis draws her to the conclusion that they may have been Viking mercenaries who modelled themselves on, or behaved in a similar way to the legendary Jomsvikings a brotherhood of elite killers whose strict military code involved never showing fear, and never fleeing in the face of the enemy unless totally outnumbered. Allegedly founded by Harald Bluetooth, the Jomsvikings are thought to have been based at a stronghold called Jomsborg on the Baltic coast. At a time when Vikings were feared across Europe, they were known as perhaps the fiercest of them all a reputation which even earned them their own saga.Yet the remains in Dorset also suggest that these men were something unique. Researchers have found that one of the men's teeth had incisions. This rare feature could, it is believed, be the result of the victim filing his teeth deliberately to demonstrate his bravery and status.Further analysis then reveals that the St. Brice's day massacre victims in Oxford were killed in a frenzied mob attack. However, the Ridgeway Hill individuals were systematically executed. They were beheaded from the front just like the warriors in the Jomsviking saga. In the saga, one captured Viking says: "I am content to die as are all our comrades. But I will not let myself be slaughtered like a sheep. I would rather face the blow. Strike straight at my face and watch carefully if I pale at all."Read the full story here.

    The 'Schmallenberg virus'. A new livestock disease hits European livestock.

                                           Picture source : Diatribes Of A Veterinarian.

    The 'Schmallenberg virus' .A new livestock disease hits European livestock.(E24/7).A new livestock disease causing deformities at birth has been detected in at least five European countries, including the Netherlands and Germany, a Dutch agriculture ministry spokesman said Thursday.The Schmallenberg virus was also spotted in Germany, Belgium and Britain.France also reported its first case on Thursday.So far, cases of disease have been detected in 20 farms in Germany (in cattle and sheep), in 52 farms in the Netherlands (in sheep, and one case in goat), and in 14 farms in Belgium (in sheep, only). No clear geographical clusters of these cases has been shown, so far. This may suggest that the undetected subclinical cases of infection in ruminants may be many more,but the current lack of serological tests renders epidemiological investigations difficult.
    Although the congenital malformation in newborn animals have been detected recently and
    are still being detected in these days, they are most likely caused by transmission of virus by
    insect vectors that occurred in summer and early autumn, during pregnancy.
    Named after the German town where it was first detected in November, Schmallenberg affected 51 German farms mainly in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, the German Friedrich-Loeffler Institute for animal health research said.
    Across the border in eastern France authorities said Schmallenberg had been detected for the first time on a sheep farm in Lorraine and suspect cases elsewhere were being investigated.
    The disease, believed to be carried by gnats, causes fever and diarrhoea among adult animals and cannot be transmitted from one animal to another, said Gelinck. There is presently no vaccine for Schmallenberg.
    There is no evidence that the Schmallenberg virus could cause illness in humans.The disease however can be transmitted to sheep, goat and cattle embryos leading to still births or deformities causing death soon after birth, the spokesman said The Member States and the Commission took note of the preliminary assessment carried out by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on the zoonotic risks of the Schmallenberg virus which indicates that "it is unlikely that this virus can cause disease in humans, but it cannot be completely excluded at this stage.The Member States and the Commission recognise that the information on the Schmallenberg virus is still fragmented and mostly extrapolated from data available on genetically similar viruses in the Orthobunyaviridae genus (Simbu serogroup, like the Akabane virus). The situation needs to be reassessed once new data will be available. Awareness should be improved amongst veterinary services and stakeholders in order to better understand and address the possible risks associated with this virus.Given that this virus is likely transmitted by means of insect vectors, further virus circulation in the current winter is unlikely to occur. This will allow Member States time to gather further data and to plan further actions in view of a possible reoccurrence of disease in Spring and Summer..Dutch farmers have been ordered to report all birth deformities to authorities since December 20.Moscow in mid-January suspended sheep and goat imports from the Netherlands because of the disease. Read more here . here and here.

    Raw Video: Woman assaulted in Egypt’s Tahrir Square - "Arab Spring"

    US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's son, Sam on Egypt “no-fly” list says could face jail time

    American on Egypt “no-fly” list says could face jail time.(BM).CAIRO: The director of the Egypt unit of the International Republican Institute (IRI) in Cairo said he fears he could be jailed for up to five years after being barred from leaving the country earlier this month.Sam LaHood, the son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and a number of other Americans were banned from leaving Egypt little over a week ago and told Fox News that they believe they could go on trial and face jail time.
    The younger LaHood told Fox News via telephone on Friday that an Egyptian judge claims he, along with the other Americans stopped, worked for an unregistered non-governmental organization and took a salary.“We’re kind of expecting the worst,” LaHood said.“There hasn’t been a lot of movement nothing has really changed.If it does go to trial, a trial could last up to one year in a case that’s as wide-ranging as this one is. But the penalty for that is six months to five years in jail so these are very serious charges.”
    For its part, the White House demanded that Egypt “immediately” lift the travel ban on Americans.
    US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said top officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have gotten involved. She said the administration so far knows of “four or five specific cases” where Americans have tried to leave and “had difficulties.”“We are urging the government of Egypt to lift these restrictions immediately and allow folks to come home as soon as possible,” she said, later adding: “Frankly, we don’t know how this is going to come out yet.”
    According to the statement from the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), the employees of the organizations are now under investigation by the public prosecutor.“The storming of NGO offices is an unprecedented move in the recent history of Egyptian NGOs. In February 2011, during the 18 days Egyptian revolution, Military Police have stormed the office of Hisham Mubarak Law Center (an Egyptian NGO based in Cairo) and arrested several of its members as well as staff members of other international organizations that were present at the scene,” the statement continued.Hmmmmm........Ever heard of "Jiiza Tax"or 'blackmail'?Read the full story here.

    Update: Egypt plans to send delegation to U.S. as NGO tensions mount.(AlArabiya).An Egyptian military delegation plans to visit the United States next week in talks over future of U.S. aid to Egypt, American officials said on Friday.The delegation is set to meet with state department and Pentagon officials and hold talks on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers will soon consider a new request for aid to Egypt’s military.U.S. aid currently amounts to $1.3 billion per year, one official told Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    The visit comes after Egypt’s military-led authorities pounced on non-governmental organizations, including several funded by the U.S. government, and slapped travel bans on six American staffers including a son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former congressman.The six U.S. citizens work with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI).
    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said American officials were pressing Egyptian authorities the crackdown, which she described as “bizarre.” The Americans have demanded that Egypt lift travel restrictions placed on a number of foreign NGO staffers.“We do not have progress since yesterday, I am sorry to report,” Nuland said.Political analysts say the crackdown, along with questions over Egypt’s Emergency Law and security forces’ treatment of women protesters, has clouded the outlook for Egypt’s fledgling democracy following last year’s overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
    “The assertions of the Egyptian government in these cases are that they are subject to a judicial process which is not complete,” Nuland said. “Our message back is, ‘Complete these formalities and let our people travel as soon as possible.’“Officials said a detailed Washington schedule for the Egyptian visit was still being worked out, adding that it was a regular staff delegation that was coming at a moment of high tension in the U.S.-Egypt relationship.
    Other political sources said the Egyptians were expected to discuss the NGO issue on Capitol Hill, where a number of senators have warned the Egyptians that U.S. aid was at stake if action against the NGOs continues.“Continued restriction of their activities and harassment of international and Egyptian staff will be looked at with great concern, particularly in light of Egypt’s considerable U.S. assistance,” 11 senators said in a letter to Egyptian Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi dated Jan. 18.

    President Barack Obama spoke with Tantawi on 20 January and stressed the importance of the NGOs, as well as Egypt’s deteriorating economic situation and its request for $3.2 billion in support from the International Monetary Fund.Hmmmm......Negociating 'blackmail 101' with the Cairo 'mob'.Read the full story here.

    Antisemitic Installment of Jihadi Comic Strip Portrays Jews As Being Behind Child Trafficking

    Antisemitic Installment of Jihadi Comic Strip Portrays Jews As Being Behind Child Trafficking.(Memri).On January 24, 2012, "Qasf Al-Ru'ood," who is a member of the jihadi forum Shumoukh Al-Islam, posted the second installment in his jihadi comic strip. The installment, titled "The Fleeing Enemy" depicts the journey of a non-Muslim enemy soldier into Islam. The story begins in an unidentified location in the West, where future soldiers are shown as children who are raised with no loving family under harsh conditions. "Managing" the children is a man bearing Jewish characteristics named "Cohen." Cohen, along with his associate, raises the children so he can later sell them to be trained as soldiers. Outwardly, these soldiers are depicted as heroes, but on the inside they are miserable, and seek love and happiness. The story then follows one of the soldiers who travels to a Muslim land and meets the characters that appeared in the first comic strip installment. Those characters are shown to have been raised in a religious Muslim family; their father had travelled to one of the jihad fronts and died there. The soldier then wonders about the reason for their true happiness and fulfillment in life, to which the underlying answer is Islam. The story concludes with the soldier converting to Islam, and declaring that finally he has become a "true human being." He later decides to become a mujahid to fight for Islam and Muslims.Read and see the full story here.

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Overnight Music video - ''Schindler's List'' - violin solos by Itzhak Perlman

    January 27 is designated Holocaust Remembrance Day.In memory of those relatives that did not survive the Camps.

    "Eternal vigilance is the price of our freedom. This is our task, this is our responsibility." ~ Thomas Jefferson.

    (JPost).OSLO - Norway apologized for the first time on Friday for the country's complicity in the deportation and deaths of Jews during the Nazi occupation in World War Two."Norwegians carried out the arrests; Norwegians drove the trucks and it happened in Norway," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said. "Today I feel it is fitting to express our deepest apologies that this could happen on Norwegian soil.""It is time for us to acknowledge that Norwegian policemen, civil servants and other Norwegians took part in the arrest and deportation of Jews," he said in a speech marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.Vidkun Quisling, the country's leader during the occupation whose name has become synonymous with traitor, ordered Norway's 2,100 Jews registered in 1942. More than a third were deported to death camps, while others fled to neighboring Sweden.Read the full story here.

    Human Nightvision - Chinese boy can see in dark night, eyes glow in the dark like cat eyes.

    "Redistribution of wealth?" - Taxpayers Finance Rat Condos.

    Tales of the Red Tape #26: Taxpayers Finance Rat Condos.(Heritage).By  Diane Katz. Millions of American homeowners face foreclosure, but at least one sort of housing crisis has been remedied: No longer will research rats suffer the indignities of crowded cages.
    That is to say that the federal government has ordered labs to provide precisely measured living quarters for all rodents used in federally funded research.
    Thus, a female rat and her offspring must be housed (for their short, genetically altered lives) in lodgings that feature no less than 124 square inches of floor space and 7 inches of head room.
    By comparison, a mama mouse and her litter merit a mere 51-inch area. (Space taken up by food bowls, water containers, litter boxes, and toys doesn’t count.)
    The new requirements appear in the latest edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (page 57), published by the National Research Council.
    No such requirements have appeared in previous editions.
    Researchers are alarmed, to say the least. According to the National Association for Biomedical Research, the new standards will increase lab costs by hundreds of millions of dollars—chunks of it from taxpayers—thereby detracting from research projects. Hmmmm........"Are rats unionized"?Read the full story here.

    "Aloha" ! Hawaii may keep track of all Web sites visited.

    "Aloha"! Hawaii may keep track of all Web sites visited.(CNet).Hawaii's legislature is weighing an unprecedented proposal to curb the privacy of Aloha State residents: requiring Internet providers to keep track of every Web site their customers visit.
    Its House of Representatives has scheduled a hearing this morning on a new bill (PDF) requiring the creation of virtual dossiers on state residents. The measure, H.B. 2288, says "Internet destination history information" and "subscriber's information" such as name and address must be saved for two years.
    H.B. 2288, which was introduced Friday, says the dossiers must include a list of Internet Protocol addresses and domain names visited. Democratic Rep. John Mizuno of Oahu is the lead sponsor; Mizuno also introduced H.B. 2287, a computer crime bill, at the same time last week.

    Democrat Jill Tokuda, the Hawaii Senate's majority whip, who introduced a companion bill, S.B. 2530, in the Senate, told CNET that her legislation was intended to address concerns raised by Rep. Kymberly Pine, the first Republican elected to her Oahu district since statehood and the House minority floor leader.

    "This bill represents a radical violation of privacy and opens the door to rampant Fourth Amendment violations," says Daniel Leuck, chief executive of Honolulu-based software design boutique Ikayzo, who submitted testimony opposing the bill. He adds: "Even forcing telephone companies to record everyone's conversations, which is unthinkable, would be less of an intrusion."Even the Justice Department has only lobbied the U.S. Congress to record Internet Protocol addresses assigned to individuals--users' origin IP address, in other words. It hasn't publicly demanded that companies record the destination IP addresses as well.Read the full story here.

    Iran would consider Russian proposal, World would acknowledge Iran as "A country with nuclear know-how".

    Iran would consider Russian proposal aimed at ending nuclear dispute.(BikyaMasr).Tehran (dpa) – Iran would consider Russia’s proposal for a gradual loosening of sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a gradual increase in access to the country for international nuclear inspectors, a senior Iranian lawmaker said Friday.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the proposal for a step-by-step approach in seeking to end the deadlock between Tehran and world powers suspicious of the aims of its nuclear program last year.“Iranian officials have several times discussed the issue with the Russians and if Moscow raises the proposal at the next nuclear meeting, then it could be examined,” said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who parliament’s foreign policy commission.Boroujerdi however told Mehr news agency that the Russian plan should take into account Iran’s interests.“The world powers should simply acknowledge Iran as a country with nuclear know-how and (based on that) attend the negotiations,” Boroujerdi said.Iran has given the go-ahead for a visit by a high-ranking team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, scheduled for Sunday.
    The team is seeking substantial answers to intelligence reports that Iran had tested nuclear weapon components.Hmmmm...........The maximum of 3,000 centrifuges that Fodow can contain will never produce enough to supply the fuel needed for a nuclear reactor.However, their performance is perfect for making nuclear bombs.Read the full story here.

    Iran "Go With The Flow?" The world will not let Iran block Hormuz, but Tehran can narrow the strait to the maximum.

    Iran "Go With The Flow?" The world will not let Iran block Hormuz but Tehran can narrow the strait to the maximum.(Debka).Military tensions in the Persian Gulf shot up again Thursday, Jan. 26, after Dubai police commander Gen. Dhahi Khalfan said on Al Arabiya television that an imminent Gulf war cannot be ruled out and first signs are already apparent. "The world will not let Iran block Hormuz but Tehran can narrow the strait to the maximum," he said.He echoed debkafile's predictions that Iran will not shut down the Strait of Hormuz completely, but gradually cut down tanker traffic which carries 17 million barrels, or one-fifth of the world's daily consumption, through the waterway. Our Iranian sources report that the rule of thumb Tehran has devised for confront sanctions is to respond to the tightening of an oil embargo by having the Revolutionary Guards gradually narrow the tankers' shipping lanes through the strategic strait. This will progressively cut down the amount of oil reaching the markets.Tehran will not go all the way and shut the channel down completely for fear of provoking a military showdown with the United States. But each time Washington manages to stop Iran supplying a given country, the IRGC will shut down another section of the strait.(Detailed map of the strait here).
    General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff admitted on Jan. 8 that Iran has the capacity to block the Strait of Hormuz temporarily but the US would get it reopened within a short time.Saudi Arabia and Dubai are skeptical about the ability of the American navy and Gulf forces to keep the Strait of Hormuz open at all times in the face of continuous Iranian attacks.
    The prevailing view in Gulf capitals is that for the six months from February through July 1, when the European embargo on Iranian oil and the Iranian national bank freeze kick in, a war of attrition will unfold as Iran carries out sporadic strait closures, either by mining the waterway or firing missiles at tankers from unmarked speedboats.These operations will push up the price of oil and so drum home to oil-dependent Asian and European governments the high cost to them of the alternate opening and closing of the Strait of Hormuz.A Saudi official said Wednesday, Jan. 1, that Tehran's threats to punish Riyadh for offering to make up the shortfall incurred from the oil embargo against Iran "could be seen by Saudi Arabia as an act of war."The Dubai general's remarks Thursday about an imminent conflict referred not only to the flow of American reinforcements to the Gulf region but also to the new deployments of the armies of Gulf Cooperation Council states. They are moving into position in expectation of a military confrontation with Iran.Read the full story here.

    Socialism 101 for Dummies.

    Socialism 101 (13thspitfire).An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

    The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

    After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little..

    The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. It could not be any simpler than that.

    Remember, there IS a test coming up. The 2012 elections.

    These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

    1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

    5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    .. and that Mr Cameron is why every Socialist state in history has failed. No matter that You choose to call it The Big Society, what You and the EU are selling forcing down our throats is socialist communitarianism, and it too will fail.Read the full story here.

    Free Syrian Army shows video of alleged Iranian fighters abducted in Homs

    Here's a video from the Syrian opposition, which captured five Iranian snipers on Thursday in Homs. The video is in Persian and Arabic, but an English summary follows.

    Here's the message that goes with the video: Five of these malignant animals were captured with their guns and the other two are workers in a state company in Syria. The Free Syrian Army will allow those last two to go home with no condition whatsoever but with others: Iran Must remove all their mercenaries working with the 'Syrian' regime , who are helping each other in killing innocent civilians, then the FSA will set those free.
    We respect the Shia religion and we demand from Ali Khamie to tell the Iranian government to stop supporting the brutal regime in Syria and take all their thugs out of Syria.Israel Radio reports on a couple of the things said in the video above. The five prisoners - who were captured in Homs on Thursday - admit that they are Iranians and that they are members of the Revolutionary Guard forces.HT: IsraelMatzav.

    (AlArabiya) - The video showed travel documents of the captives, some of whom appeared to be speaking Farsi. “I am Sajjad Amirian, a member the Revolutionary Guards of the Iranian armed forces. I am a member of the team in charge of cracking down on protesters in Syria and we receive our orders directly from the security division of the Syrian air force in Homs,” one of the captives said.“I urge Mr. Khamenei to work on securing our release and return to our homes,” he added.The armed Syrian opposition group, which called itself the “al-Farouq brigade of the Free Syrian Army,” also released a statement calling for Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamanei to “acknowledge in explicit and unambiguous words the existence of elements of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Syria in order to help the Assad’s regime in its crackdown on the Syrian people.” The group also urged Khamanei to withdraw all Revolutionary Guard fighters from Syria, pledging that that it would then release all captive Iranian fighters.The group said five of those abducted were military men working with the Syrian air force intelligence and two showed “civilian status” as employees in a power plant in Homs.Read the full story here.

    MFS -The Other News - What the main papers don't say.

                        Morning Posting.

    • Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Greece 5.3 - 5.2 ; Indonesia 5.2 !More info here.

    • President Obama: I Want Second Term 'Badly'.(Abc).By Devin Dwyer.President Barack Obama today signaled an aggressive tact for his early re-election campaign, critiquing his Republican opponents by name and insisting he's ready to "fight with every fiber of my being" for a second term."How much do you want it?" ABC News' Diane Sawyer asked Obama during an exclusive interview in Las Vegas."Badly," the president said, "because I think the country needs it." "Whoever wins the Republican primary is going to be a standard bearer for a vision of the country that I don't think reflects who we are," Obama said."I'm going to fight as hard as I can with every fiber of my being to make sure that we continue on a path that I think will restore the American dream," he said.Obama pushed back against what he called Republicans' "rhetorical flourishes," including Newt Gingrich's oft-repeated contention that Obama is the "food stamp president."Hmmm......."Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty". ~ Plato.Read the full story here.

    • Ayatollah orders terrorist Attacks; Colleague of man given the order Visited recently the White House.(BN).The recent assassination of one of Iran's nuclear scientists has apparently prompted the Ayatollah to dispatch Hezbollah to commit terror attacks through the head of the Al Quds Brigade. That man's name is Gen. Qasem Soleimani. That name is made more relevant by the fact that a close associate of Soleimani was recently given the red carpet treatment by the White House.Al Ameri holds the Iranian nationality under the name of Hassan Ameri and his wife is Iranian. He usually visits Iran and meets with Qassem Sulaimani, the head of Al Quds Brigade, under the Iranian guard forces, on a regular basis.While being in Iran, Al Ameri played a role in torturing the Iraqi prisoners, who were captured by Iran during the Iraqi-Iranian war. Prisoners who returned from there accuse him of being the cruelest against them. This role helped him to reach the status that he occupies in the eyes of the Iranians.Hmmmmm.....Obama's 'guest'?Read the full story here.

    • Obama Can’t Handle the Truth (Just Ask Gov. Brewer).(BigGovernment).By AWR Hawkins.President Barack Obama has a problem, a problem much bigger than his plummeting poll numbers among black voters, the ever-worsening housing market, or the chronically high national unemployment numbers. Although these are all bad and must be weighing down on him—whether he admits it or not—they are minor compared to his deeper problem, which is his inability to handle criticism, his inability to handle the truth.We first saw this when Obama was starting to run for president and he put reporters “on notice” regarding comments about the size of his ears. Since then we’ve seen it in the way he locks out reporters who ask hard questions and, most recently, in the way he appears to have lodged a complaint with Gov. Jan Brewer regarding her criticism of the way he has gone to war with Arizona to keep that state from defending its southern border.If you’ll recall, in December 2006, after New York Times’ reporter Maureen Dowd had written about how Obama’s “ears stick out,” Obama tracked her down at a speaking engagement and said: “I just want to put you on notice. I’m very sensitive,” adding, “I was teased relentlessly when I was a kid about my big ears.” (Rush Limbaugh was then criticized for seizing on that comment and warning people that it demonstrated Obama’s skin was too thin for the rigors of the presidency. And in retrospect, Limbaugh was right.)Perhaps you remember the April 2011 exchange that took place between Obama and Dallas news reporter Brad Watson, during an interview wherein Watson asked the president pointed, probing questions instead of the kind of light and fluffy stuff a CNN reporter asks when he or she gets the chance. For example, as the two sat face to face, Watson looked right at Obama and asked: “Why do you think you’re so unpopular in Texas?” And when Obama tried to make it look like he wasn’t that unpopular in Texas, saying he’d only lost in 2008 by a “few percentage points,” Watson countered: “Well, you lost by about 10%. 55 to 44.” And because Obama can’t handle criticism, he became noticeably bothered as the questions continued. When the short interview was over, an angry Obama whispered to Watson: “Let me finish my answers next time we do an interview.”Of course Watson won’t get another interview, because Obama locks reporters out if they dare take him to task. As Keith Koffler wrote of Obama’s reaction to Watson back in April, “Look how thin-skinned he can be.”Speaking of thin-skinned, that’s the exact phrase Gov. Brewer used to describe Obama after he walked across the tarmac in Phoenix on Wednesday and greeted Brewer not with “hello” or “good to see you,” but with a complaint about how she’d described his efforts to deep-end Arizona’s S.B. 1070. He said he’d read the complaint in a passage from her book, “Scorpions for Breakfast.”There Brewer wrote[Obama] has repeatedly made fun of those of us who want to see the law enforced, saying we want a ‘moat’ with ‘alligators’ in it around our country. The reason he has resorted to these failed attempts at humor, I think, is that he supports a policy that is fundamentally undemocratic, and he knows it.Said Brewer of the exchange: “He brought up my book and he was a little tense. He said he read the excerpt and didn’t think I was very cordial. I said we’d have to agree to disagree. He was a little thin-skinned and tense, to say the least.”The bottom line: Obama can’t handle criticism. Obama can’t handle the truth. Dowd proved it in 2006, Watson proved in 2011, and Gov. Brewer proved it again two days ago.Read the full story here.

    • Obama in SOTU: Cut the Taxes that Pay for Social Security, but Don’t Threaten Social Security.(BigGovernment).By Charles C. Johnson.Last night President Obama renewed his calls for a so-called “middle class tax” cut that would all but kill Social Security:“Right now, our most immediate priority is stopping a tax hike on 160 million working Americans while the recovery is still fragile. People cannot afford losing $40 out of each paycheck this year. There are plenty of ways to get this done. So let’s agree right here, right now: No side issues. No drama. Pass the payroll tax cut without delay.”And yet only two paragraphs later, he said this: Alas, in calling for a renewed payroll tax holiday, President Obama continues to raid Social Security and imperil the retirement account that many Americans have paid into and continue to depend upon.On the one hand, he raids the Social Security trust fund, while on the other he attacks Republicans for threatening Social Security. Republicans ought not let him get away with such transparent chutzpah.As I wrote for Engage America, this is a big mistake and potentially a catastrophic one for America’s largest entitlement program. Indeed, put yourself in the position of those “innocent Americans” and law abiding Americans–Generation X, who will grow old just as Social Security goes belly up.Read the full story here.

    • Jon Stewart Forces Secretary Sebelius to Sweat Obamacare’s Details.(Heritage).Monday on The Daily Show, comedian Jon Stewart interviewed Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The Secretary didn’t escape the hot seat in what turned out to be an interesting discussion regarding the implementation of Obamacare.One notable topic covered during the interview was the surprise proposal by HHS to let states determine their own definitions of “essential health benefits.” Obamacare explicitly instructs HHS to fill in the details of the legislation’s mandatory minimum benefit package, but as the Galen Institute’s John Hoff previously noted in a Heritage writing, “Although HHS can, of course, produce a piece of paper (or, more likely, hundreds of pages of regulation) purporting to define the term, in reality this will not provide the real-world uniformity of coverage contemplated by [Obamacare]. HHS has an impossible task.”It seems HHS agrees that it has an impossible task and is now looking for a way to stick somebody else with the problem. Sebelius claims that letting states define benefits will give them flexibility. But in reality, all that would do is intensify the existing special-interest lobbying in state capitols for more mandated health insurance coverage—driving the cost of coverage under Obamacare even higher.In a second installment, Stewart questioned Sebelius about whether or not employers would be inclined to “dump” their employees in the new health care exchanges and pay the new penalty instead. “Is the penalty more than the [cost of] insurance?” Stewart asked. Sebelius responded, “The penalty will help pay for the tax credit that the employee will get in the insurance.” Extensive research does a better job of answering the question. The cost of the new Obamacare subsidies will not be covered by the fines collected from employer penalties. The facts show that some employers will be able to come out ahead even after paying the penalty and increasing workers’ cash compensation to make up for the lost health benefits.Stewart then posed this question:Do you think ultimately this is, a bunch of people dump to the exchange, and it becomes sort of a back door, of government, not a takeover necessarily, but of a government responsibility for the health care, employees, and it decouples it—I’m not saying that’s a bad thing—but decouples it from employment, and people will get it through the government—through tax credits, rather than through their employers—and then suddenly, obviously then, we’re Sweden. Do you think that’s the case?Well, Jon, America may not be Sweden yet, but it’s getting a lot closer under Obamacare.Read the full story here.

    • Capitol Hill Chevy Volt Hearing: What About All the Other Fires?(BigGovernment).I attended Wednesday’s 8:00am (8am?!?) House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing entitled: Volt Vehicle Fire: What Did NHTSA Know And When Did They Know It?The witnesses were killer: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Barack Obama-appointee Administrator David Strickland.And General Motors (GM), Barack Obama-appointee CEO Dan Akerson.The scope of the hearing was a bit too narrow – leaving out some fairly important attending facts. Like, say, the (at least) five other Chevy Volt fires that have occurred besides the one being discussed.This hearing was all about a single June Volt blaze. The battery burst into flames about three weeks after a test crash at and by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).A fire about which Obama’s NHTSA did tell the Obama White House.But a fire about which neither Obama’s NHTSA, the Obama Administration nor Obama’s GM told the American people for nearly six months – and then did so only when forced by a looming Bloomberg news story.But: The White House had no role in the decision to delay disclosure of a fire that broke out in a crash-tested Chevrolet Volt, the Obama administration told Congress on Friday.Of COURSE not.Hmmmm.....My guess dealers their fire insurance went up quite a bit.Read the full story here.

    • "Another one bites the dust" - Another Stimulus-Backed Energy Company Files for Bankruptcy.(Heritage).After months of financial turmoil, an Energy Department-backed lithium ion battery company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, Ener1, received a $118 million grant from DOE in 2010 as part of the president’s stimulus package. The money, which went to Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel, aimed to promote renewable energy storage battery technology for electrical grid use.But despite generous federal support for the company, Ener1 was racked by problems last year. In October, NASDAQ delisted the company due to non-compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission filing requirements. A month later, the company’s president, chief executive, and top financial officer were fired.On Thursday, Ener1 announced it will initiate a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan as part of an agreement to restructure the company’s debt obligations.Hmmmm........Obama: "All the Choices We've Made Have Been the Right Ones".Read the full story here.

    • Israeli Defense minister Barak: Iran 'drifting' toward nuke goal line.(YNet).Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday the world must quickly stop Iran from reaching the point where even a "surgical" military strike could not block it from obtaining nuclear weapons.Amid fears that Israel is nearing a decision to attack Iran's nuclear program, Barak said tougher international sanctions are needed against Tehran's oil and banks so that "we all will know early enough whether the Iranians are ready to give up their nuclear weapons program." Iran insists its atomic program is only aimed at producing energy and research, but has repeatedly refused to consider giving up its ability to enrich uranium. "We are determined to prevent Iran from turning nuclear. And even the American president and opinion leaders have said that no option should be removed from the table and Iran should be blocked from turning nuclear," Barak told reporters during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. "It seems to us to be urgent, because the Iranians are deliberately drifting into what we call an immunity zone where practically no surgical operation could block them," he said. Barak called it "a challenge for the whole world" to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran but stopped short of confirming any action that could further stoke Washington's concern about a possible Israeli military strike.IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said at a Davos session that "we do not have that much confidence if Iran has declared everything" and its best information "indicates that Iran has engaged in activities relevant to nuclear explosive devices." "For now they do not have the capacity to manufacture the fuel," he said. "But in the future, we don't know." Read the full story here.

    • Pentagon taps students to build robots, and death dealing drones.(StratRisks).With an eye toward revolutionizing how defense systems and vehicles are made, the Pentagon has tapped a team of Bay Area-based scientists, engineers and hackers to create a program that will enlist California high school students to build robots, drones and other low- and medium-tech gadgets.The Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has awarded $2 million of a $10 million program to two outfits that have joined forces to develop a pilot project in 10 schools.Part of the agency’s lauded Adaptive Vehicle Make program, which has employed university-based teams to build new navigation systems, the latest effort wants to cut down on manufacturing time. Dubbed Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach, the program hopes to develop and motivate the next generation of chic geeks to collaborate through social networks to design and develop new vehicles.The overall goal is to expand to 1,000 high schools, both in and out of the country, said Dale Dougherty, founder of MAKE magazine and one of the directors of the pilot program, along with Saul Griffith of San Francisco-based design team Otherlab.The team has two years to reach the initial goal of 10 schools, then two more years to expand first to 100 schools then 1,000. The Defense Department wants unlimited rights to everything the students build, including all algorithms, source code, equipment and test use cases.Hmmmm.....Am i the only one who has 'moral objections' to this?Why not use the creativity of the youth for something constructive?Read the full story here.

    • Twitter to restrict user content in some countries.(Reuters).Twitter announced Thursday that it would begin restricting Tweets in certain countries, marking a policy shift for the social media platform that helped propel the popular uprisings recently sweeping across the Middle East."As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression," Twitter wrote in a blog post published Thursday.It said even with the possibility of such restrictions, Twitter would not be able to coexist with some countries. "Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there," it said.Twitter gave as examples of restrictions it might cooperate with "certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content."A Twitter spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the blog."Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country while keeping it available in the rest of the world," the Twitter blog said."Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country while keeping it available in the rest of the world," the Twitter blog said.Twitter's decision to begin censoring content represents a significant departure from its policy just one year ago, when anti-government protesters in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries coordinated mass demonstrations through on the social network and, in the process, thrust Twitter's disruptive potential into the global spotlight.Hmmmm.....The fact that Prince Alwaleed unveiled a $300 million stake purchase in fast-growing microblogging site Twitter has nothing to do with 'oppressing free speech?Read the full story here.

    • 'Iran could ban EU oil exports next week'.(JPost).TEHRAN - A law to be debated in Iran's parliament on Sunday could halt exports of oil to the European Union as early as next week, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a lawmaker as saying on Friday."On Sunday, parliament will have to approve a 'double emergency' bill calling for a halt in the export of Iranian oil to Europe starting next week," Hossein Ibrahimi, vice-chairman of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, was quoted as saying.The Iranian parliament is pushing for the export ban to deny the EU a 6-month phase-in of the embargo on Iranian oil that the bloc agreed on Monday as part of a raft of tough new Western sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to curb its nuclear program."If the deputies arrive at the conclusion that the Iranian oil exports to Europe must be halted, the parliament will not delay a moment (in passing the bill)," Fars quoted Moayed Hosseini-Sadr, a member of parliament's energy committee, as saying.Read the full story here.

    • Turkey to become first Muslim nation to show Holocaust film.(HurriyetDaily).Turkish public television (TRT) was set to show an epic French documentary about the Holocaust last night in the first broadcast of its kind by national media in a Muslim state. A spokesman for TRT said the 1985 film “Shoah” would be shown on one of the network’s 14 channels.The director of the nine-hour-plus documentary, Claude Lanzmann, called the Turkish move historic.“We should acknowledge the courage and determination of the Turks,” said Lanzmann, who spent 11 years working on the documentary. “Turkey is a country people don’t know and understand very badly.”Turkey’s broadcast of the film is the culmination of work by the Aladdin Project, a Paris-based group which tries to improve Jewish-Muslim relations. The group said in a statement that it had never before been shown in its entirely in a Muslim country.Consisting largely of Holocaust-survivor interviews, the film examines the killing of European Jews in Nazi death camps during World War II.The broadcast comes at a sensitive time in Turkey’s international relations.Hmmmm.......How many will actually watch?Read the full story here.

    • Muslim Brotherhood Guide: Parliament has right to hold military accountable.(BM).CAIRO: The head of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie, said in statements on Thursday, that the newly elected parliament has the right to hold all state institutions, particularly the military, accountable and that any organization “cannot be above the rule of the people and the parliament can determine the budget of the military by creating a special committee.”Badie said the Muslim Brotherhood, which now holds 45 percent of the parliament`s seats, “will not nominate one of its members in the presidential elections,” and would not get behind Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, or any candidate with an Islamic reference in the elections, but that it would participate with “all national forces in the selection of a candidate that enjoys consensus on the basis of the rules does not favor anyone and define the specifications of the next Egyptian president according to what`s best for Egypt interests.”Badie stressed in statements to reporters on Thursday that the demands of the Egyptian people “is a top priority for the group to restore all fundamental rights of people, and the preservation of freedom and dignity, and social justice, and provide a decent living for every citizen,” stressing that democratic transition is the “only way for the return of the rights of the Egyptian people and dignity.”The Brotherhood chief said that the position of the Muslim Brotherhood towards the military council is one of “a partner in the protection of the revolution, where if it made mistakes … it should be held accountable and if it does well, it has to be praised without undermining the prestige of the Egyptian People’s Army.”Speaking about the defection of a number of young Muslim Brotherhood members recently, he said that what the group witnessed recently were differences and the rejection of youth and leaders to commit to the decisions of the Shura Council of the Brotherhood, “is evidence of the vitality and democracy,” pointing out that the Muslim Brotherhood, “is an institutional group and whoever violates the regulations, has to be subjected to a decision by the institution.”Hmmmmm........"You don't leave the mob"?Read the full story here.

    • Hamas quietly quits Syria as violence continues.(AlArabiya).The leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, has effectively abandoned his headquarters in the Syrian capital, Damascus, diplomatic and intelligence sources said on Friday.“Meshaal is not staying in Syria as he used to do. He is almost out all the time,” said a diplomat in the region who spoke on condition on anonymity.A regional intelligence source, who also did not wish to be identified, said: “He’s not going back to Syria. That’s the decision he’s made. There’s still a Hamas presence there, but it’s insignificant.”Damascus is isolated following a bloody, 10-month uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad and is not secure, the diplomat said, adding that Meshaal was no longer able to receive international visitors there.Analysts say Meshaal was also embarrassed by Assad’s violent crackdown, with more than 5,000 people reported killed. Many victims of the security forces have been Sunni Muslims allied to the Muslim Brotherhood, whose support Meshaal relies on.Assad is backed mainly by his minority Alawite sect and other minorities.The sources said Meshaal would not publicly shut down the political headquarters of Hamas in Syria, where it has long been hosted by Assad and by his father before him.“In the past month he may have only stayed five days in Syria and the rest he spent in Qatar, Turkey and Egypt,” said the diplomat. “But he did not close the headquarters in Syria in full and there are some Hamas officials still there.”The sources said Meshaal was currently in Egypt. But “there was no agreement to open an office in Cairo. Not yet,” said the diplomat. “The expected residence for Meshaal is Qatar where he may stay most of the time until the Syria smoke has cleared.”Qatar is the Arab world’s most outspoken critic of Assad. Qatari mediation was helpful in arranging Meshaal’s upcoming visit to Jordan next week, restoring ties with the monarchy more than a decade after Hamas was ejected from the kingdom.Hamas Gaza Strip leader Ismail Haniyeh was thought to have “received promises from Turkey to provide the movement and his administration with $300 million a year to help Gaza”.Turkey is also a strong critic of the crackdown by Assad in its southern neighbor, Syria. Haniyeh is scheduled to travel to Iran in the coming days.Hmmmm.........Muslim Brotherhood Egypt.....Turkey....Quatar.....Shaikh Yousef al-Qaradawi.Read the full story here.

    • Car bomb attack outside Baghdad hospital kills 28: medics.(AlArabiya).At least 28 people were killed and 50 others wounded when a bomb exploded near a Baghdad marketplace on Friday in the latest attack on a mainly Shi’ite neighborhood since a political crisis erupted in December, police and hospital sources said.An interior ministry official confirmed the explosion in Zafraniyah, which struck at 11:00 am (08:00 GMT), but said it was caused by a suicide attacker driving an explosives-packed car.The blast hit the funeral procession of Mohammed al-Maliki, a real estate agent who was killed along with his wife and son a day earlier in the west Baghdad neighborhood of Yarmuk, the doctor and interior ministry official said. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.The procession had collected Maliki’s body and was transporting it for the funeral when the explosion struck.A medical official said at least four women were among the fatalities, but no further details were immediately available.Maliki and his family were killed by gunmen in Yarmuk, although there have been differing accounts of the attack itself.A medic at Yarmuk hospital said the attackers burst into a real estate agency and killed three, while an interior ministry official said four people, including two real estate agents, died when gunmen opened fire on their car.Friday’s attack came a day after violence in Iraq killed 17 people, and is the deadliest to hit the country in nearly two weeks, amid a political crisis pitting the Shiite-led government against the main Sunni-backed bloc that has stoked sectarian tensions.The row erupted when authorities charged Sunni Arab Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi with running a death squad and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite, called for his Sunni deputy Saleh al-Mutlak to be sacked after the latter said the premier was “worse than Saddam Hussein”.Hmmmm.......Obama: If We Work Hard, Afghanistan Could Be a Success...Like Iraq!Read the full story here.

    • Indonesia's Islamic vigilantes 'turning to terrorism'.(HD).Tolerance of Islamic vigilantism is helping to breed a new generation of terrorists in Indonesia, the International Crisis Group warned in a report Thursday.The report criticised the government and police for lax law enforcement against hardliners, who often claim responsibility for violent anti-vice and sectarian attacks but regularly evade punishment."Indonesia: From Vigilantism to Terrorism in Cirebon" described how a group of poor uneducated men in the western Javanese town went from using sticks and stones in morality raids to using bombs and guns."What we saw in Cirebon was a a group of about 10 people who started out on a path to terrorism by participating in anti-vice campaigns," ICG analyst Sidney Jones told AFP."By using violence in these campaigns, they clearly violated the law but weren't punished." The group went from carrying out anti-vice attacks on TV stations and convenience stores selling alcohol to orchestrating suicide attacks on a police mosque and a church on Java island.The radicalisation of the Cirebon group was fuelled by weekly sermons where spiritual leaders encouraged the bloodshed of Islam's enemies, which have come to include the Indonesian government and police, the report said.Read the full story here.

    • Egyptian writer: "Who offends the Prophet is not the West, but we Muslims, for making Islam terrorist".(TJ).Translated from, 22 December 2011: Who Offends the Prophet?By Ahmad al-Aswani. I don’t believe that cartoons, books, or movies can offend any religion, or affect the faith of those who adhere to that religion with truth and conviction. The ones who offend the Prophet are those who slaughter and blow up innocent people throughout all the world—from New York to Madrid, in London, Bali, Riyadh, Cairo, Kabul, and Baghdad—even now, after mentioning Allah and the Prophet under the banner of Islamic jihad. Protests come out in support of all this, and internet forums sing praises to the knight Usama bin Laden, the hero of the raids of New York and Washington. Who offends the Prophet is a man like al-Qaradawi, who incites people to kill Jewish children in their mothers’ wombs (from an interview with Egyptian journalists in 1996), and incites people to carry out suicide operations. In the name of the religion and the Prophet, he declares jihad in Iraq, and innocent victims are killed.Who offends the Prophet are those who demand that the world issue a decision preventing the disrespect of religions while they practice it themselves in every prayer in their mosques, schools (madrasas), and on their television stations. They especially disrespect Christians and Jews, and curse them in every prayer (after the Islamic bloc offered a decision on this issue in the Human Rights Council in the United Nations, the Saudi Shura Council objected to this decision because insulting other religions is one of the rites of Islam, according to what was published on the Saudi site al-Arabiya).Who offends is ..Continued.....  Read the full story here.

    • Bahrain detainee dies in custody, opposition sees torture.(Reuters).Bahrain's police said on Thursday that a man detained over "acts of violence and sabotage" died of a chronic disease in hospital while in custody, but the opposition said he was tortured to death.A police official said the man suffered from sickle-cell disease and died of natural causes, state news agency BNA reported.The main Shi'ite Muslim opposition group, Wefaq, said on its website that the 19-year-old had been injured after being squeezed between two police vehicles as he tried to flee during a protest and that he had been detained and tortured instead of receiving treatment.Amnesty International urged Bahrain on Thursday to investigate its use of tear gas against frequent protests in the Gulf state, citing a Bahraini rights group as saying 13 people had died from its indiscriminate use."The rise in fatalities and eyewitness accounts suggest that tear gas is being used inappropriately by Bahraini security forces, including in people's homes and other confined spaces," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, an Amnesty regional deputy director.Washington, which bases its Fifth Fleet on the Gulf island, has linked a $53 million arms sale to the kingdom's response to the inquiry. Bahrain has said it is implementing the inquiry's recommendations, but the top U.N. human rights official argues that Bahrain is not punishing those who have committed abuses."Given the government of Bahrain's malicious misuse of tear gas, the U.S. government should continue its current policy to not issue new licenses for riot control equipment that have the potential for harmful misuse," Hans Hogrefe, chief policy officer of Physicians for Human Rights, said in a statement.Read the full story here.

    • Can there be a second Holocaust?(JPost).By Robert S. Wistrich.In recent years, the Holocaust has been subject to an increasingly sickening blend of ruthless politicization, deliberate distortion, crass commercialization and an often abject sentimentalism.More ominously, it has also become a weapon of choice for many of Israel’s worst enemies and for a resurgent anti-Semitism which brands the entire enterprise of Holocaust memory as nothing but a “Zionist plot.”In contemporary Europe, Holocaust guilt is used more often than not to promote the Palestinian cause rather than to recognize the necessity of having a Jewish state. Arab and Islamist propaganda, aided and abetted by many liberals and leftists (including some vocal Jewish anti- Zionists), hammers away at the grotesque libel that Israeli policies towards the Palestinians are worse than those of the Nazis. Many Europeans believe these fables.In Israel itself, there are even academics who trumpet such absurdities which have become all-too- commonplace on certain campuses abroad, especially in Britain, North America and Scandinavia.Read the full story here.

    • Israeli Ships Switch Flags When Sailing thru Suez Canal.(INN).A sharp decline was reported in the number of ships sailing through the Suez Canal under the Israeli flag in 2011, with only seven making the trip, compared to 15 in 2010, according to the Port and Port Website. Total freight tonnage was down 91 percent, from 166,000 tons to 15,000 tons.A senior source in Egyptian shipping said the level of Israeli shipping did not go down but that Israeli ships switch from Israeli flags to international flags for security reasons when making the trip. It was also reported that Wednesday's anniversary of the revolution that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak was marked by record ship traffic and cargo volume on the canal.Hmmmm......Read the full story here.

    • Turkey Moves to Deport Armenian Workers after French Vote.(A).BY Nanore Barsoumian.ISTANBUL–Turkey is set to amend a law that aims to rid the country of illegal workers. Many view this move as retaliation against Armenians, in light of the new bill criminalizing Armenian Genocide denial in France.Different estimates in Turkey put the number of Armenian citizens in the country at as low as 10,000 and as high as 100,000. Many of them are women, and they are employed in low-skill jobs.This country, which Mark Levene called ‘the Genocide zone,’ throughout its history has made it a habit to deport, expel, and relocate innocent people as retaliation and punishment for things they did not do, or have no connection to at all,” human rights advocate Ayse Gunaysu told the Armenian Weekly Editor Khatchig Mouradian.Back in March 2010, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan hinted at retaliation against Armenian migrant workers if Genocide resolutions were passed in foreign parliaments. In a discussion about Genocide resolutions in the U.S. and Sweden, he told the BBC’s Turkish Service that of the 170,000 Armenians living in Turkey, only 70,000 are Turkish citizens. “We are turning a blind eye to the remaining 100,000… Tomorrow, I may tell these 100,000 to go back to their country, if it becomes necessary.”It appears the French bill was the last straw for Erdogan’s government. On Jan. 25, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters that “Turkey’s response to the adoption of the bill had long been decided.”President of the Migrants’ Association for Social Cooperation and Culture Sefika Gurbuz called the law a “threat to Armenians,” reported Bianet.Meanwhile, Gunaysu characterized Turkey’s response a “black comedy.” “The ongoing blackmail and threats against France is itself proof of guilt as well as a manifestation of lack of dignity and self-respect, despite—of course—pathetic demonstrations of national pride,” said Gunaysu.Gunaysu, who is a member of the Committee Against Racism and Discrimination of the Human Rights Association of Turkey, pointed out the country’s history of deporting innocents peoples. In 1915 the Young Turk regime began its systemic deportations of Armenians as a main tool to rid the Eastern provinces of a native population. “They still tell lies that it was because treacherous Armenians, whereas hundreds of thousands of Armenians were not engaged in any political activity whatsoever,” said Gunaysu. Then it was the turn of Turkey’s Kurdish and Greek populations. “The republican period is full of Kurdish deportations, especially in 1938 during and after the Dersim massacres,” she said. “In 1964, the Turkish government expelled 40,000 Anatolian Greeks, forbidding them to bring along any personal belongings over 20 kg and $20, as a retaliation against Greece in connection with the Cyprus issue—a deportation which is still terribly painful in the memories of these people.”Gunaysu added, “The mindset from which this policy of retaliation originates is racist, inhuman, and brutal. The rulers of Turkey have once more proven that [the government] still follows the same path as that of their predecessors back in 1915 and all along the history of the Republic.”Read the full story here.
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