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Monday, July 30, 2012

Overnight Music Video - Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston - When You Believe.

Female Saudi convert to Christianity leaves Lebanon to Turkey

Female Saudi convert to Christianity leaves Lebanon to Turkey.(AA).A 28-year-old woman believed to be a Saudi citizen, who made headlines escaping to Lebanon after converting to Christianity, has now left for Turkey, UAE daily Gulf news reported on Monday. “The Lebanese government has informed the Saudi embassy in Beirut that the girl has left the country for Turkey,” Awadh Aseeri, the Saudi ambassador, said. “The Lebanese authorities said that they were not sure whether the woman would settle in Turkey or would move on to another country,” the Saudi daily Al Sharq. She had allegedly been living in Beirut with assistance from a Saudi national and a Lebanese national. Her case became known, when her father filed a lawsuit against the two men for what he claimed was their role in influencing her and in helping her leave Saudi Arabia without his knowledge.According to Gulfnews, the Saudi envoy said the family had tried to convince the woman to return home amid assurances that she would be safe. Aseer added that were was no evidence indicating that she had converted to Christianity. Reports that she had been living in a church in Beirut were quickly dismissed by local Christian groups. Mariam appeared in video on youtube religious channel called jesussetmefreet talking about how god showed her that Christianity is the right religion in her dreams. She says” I have asked god to show me the truth in my dreams and within a week god showed me that Jesus is his son , if you are uncertain about your religion, if you feel lost, ask god to guide you and he will”
The above video shows Mariam talking to guy who was also Muslim and converted to Christianity. The video is in Arabic with no English subtitles.If Mariam brought back by the Saudi government, she will be charged for apostasy, and she will be given 3 chances to return to Islam, if she didn’t she will face death plenty, in other term ” beheading”.Saudi Arabia adheres to a strict interpretation of Sharia law where committing "Ridda" (the religious term for when Muslims denounce Islam or convert to other religions) can be subjected to the death penalty.Hmmmm....A pity the Obama Admin report on 'religious freedom' missed this.Read the full story here.

Obama Admin hits out at Europe for 'Islamophobia', Egypt over religious freedoms for Copts.

Obama Admin hits out at Europe for 'Islamophobia', Egypt over religious freedoms for Copts.(AA).The United States on Monday accused Egypt, China and European nations of harming religious freedom, citing a rising tide of anti-Semitism, laws banning Muslim veils and attacks on Coptic Christians. “In times of transition, the situation of religious minorities in these societies comes to the forefront,” the State Department wrote, in its first report on religious rights since last year’s Arab Spring revolts. “Some members of society who have long been oppressed seek greater freedom and respect for their rights while others fear change. Those differing aspirations can exacerbate existing tensions,” it warned.
The report which details the situation in 2011 noted that in Egypt, although the Arab country’s interim military leaders had made gestures towards greater inclusiveness, sectarian tensions and violence had increased.
It denounced “both the Egyptian government’s failure to curb rising violence against Coptic Christians and its involvement in violent attacks.”
The report cited an attack in October last year in which 25 people, mostly Copts, were killed when Egyptian security forces cracked down on a protest outside the national radio and television station. “To date, government officials have not been held accountable for their actions, and there were indications in early 2012 of mounting Coptic emigration,” it added.
The State Department also signaled “a marked deterioration during 2011 in the government’s respect for and protection of religious freedom in China. “In the Tibetan Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas, this included increased restrictions on religious practice, especially in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries,” it said.
In a surprise twist, the report warned that European nations undergoing major demographic shifts have seen “growing xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim sentiment, and intolerance toward people considered ‘the other.’“ The report complains of a “rising number of European countries, including Belgium and France, whose laws restricting dress adversely affected Muslims and others.” 
The report also criticized a law passed by the Hungarian parliament that “regulates registration of religious organizations and requires a political vote in parliament to secure recognition. “The law went into effect on January 1, 2012, reducing the number of recognized religious groups from over 300 to fewer than 32,” it noted. Belgium and France have outraged many Muslims with laws against full veils, such as the niqab worn by many women in Saudi Arabia or the Afghan burqa. The French ban came into force in April 2011 and prohibits covering one’s face in public, while the Belgian law went into effect last July. Violations in France are punishable by a fine of up to 150 euros ($190) or a period of citizenship training. U.S. President Barack Obama fiercely criticized European moves to ban the veil in a major speech to the Muslim world in Cairo in 2009. But in Europe, where many voters feel large Muslim immigrant populations are not integrating well and that Islam poses a threat to women’s rights, many see France and Belgium as leading the way on this issue.Hmmmm......Obama: “We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others.”Read the full story here.

Iran warns Turkey of harsh response to potential strikes

Iran warns Turkey of harsh response to potential strikes.(AA).Syrian ally Iran has warned their common neighbor Turkey that it will meet a harsh response should Ankara carry out any strikes inside Syrian territory, a pro-Damascus daily reported on Monday. “Any attack on Syrian territory will meet with a harsh response, and the Iranian-Syrian mutual defense agreement will be activated,” the Al-Watan newspaper said. “Turkey has received very strong warnings in the past few hours and the following message -- beware changing the rules of the game,” the paper added.
Iran is the closest regional ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but has also striven to keep good relations with Turkey even as the standoff over its controversial nuclear program has deepened with other NATO member states. Tehran has enjoyed close ties with Damascus since 1980 when the Syrian government took its side in its devastating eight-year war with now executed dictator Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad, and has signed a series of defence pacts, including in 2006 and 2008.
But Ankara has been a leading champion of the more than 16-month uprising against the Assad regime and has given refuge to large numbers of army defectors, who have formed the kernel of a rebel army, as well as tens of thousands of civilian refugees.
 Al-Watan cited an “Arab diplomat” as accusing Turkey of seeking to use its fears about the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which already enjoys rear-bases in the far north of Iraq, as a pretext to intervene in Syria. “Ankara is preparing an agreement with Washington to intervene militarily in the Syrian (crisis), using the Kurdish card as an excuse,” the paper said.
Turkey has agreed with the United States on a military intervention limited to the north of Syria, specifically the northern province of Aleppo, to pave the way for the creation of a safe haven guarded by the armed gangs.” 
Turkish newspapers have reported that some Kurdish-majority regions of northern Syria have been flying the flag of Syria's PKK ally, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in what they have said is a deal with the Assad family's government, which was a longtime backer of the Kurdish rebel group's insurgency in Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that it is a “given” that Turkish troops would pursue fleeing PKK militants inside Syria, warning that Ankara would not hesitate to strike “terrorists.” Turkey has sent a convoy of tanks, ground-to-air missile batteries and other weapons to the border with Syria to further bolster its forces, the Anatolia news agency reported on Monday.The issue of PKK terrorists infiltrating from Iraq to Syria will become part of the discussion Davutoğlu will have with Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, when he visits there on Wednesday.Hmmmm......"May you live in interesting times".Read the full story here.

Deadly Ebola outbreak reaches Uganda capital.

Deadly Ebola outbreak reaches Uganda capital.(Yahoo).Uganda's president Monday warned against shaking hands and other physical contact after the first reported death from the deadly Ebola virus in the capital Kampala. "The Ministry of Health are tracing all the people who have had contact with the victims," Yoweri Museveni said in a state broadcast, adding that 14 people had died in total since Ebola broke out in western Uganda three weeks ago. One person believed to have contracted the virus in western Uganda was reported dead in Kampala's Mulago Hospital, Museveni said, calling on people not to shake hands to avoid the spread of the virus. "Ebola spreads by contact when you contact each other physically... avoid shaking of hands, because that can cause contact through sweat, which can cause problems," Museveni said.
"Do not take on burying somebody who has died from symptoms that look like Ebola -- instead call health workers because they know how to do it... avoid promiscuity because this sickness can also go through sex," he added. Seven doctors and 13 health workers at Mulago Hospital are in quarantine after "at least one or two cases" were taken there, with one later dying, he said.
The latest outbreak started in Uganda's western Kibale district, around 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Kampala, and around 50 kilometres from the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. The fatal case in Kampala was a health worker who "had attended to the dead at Kagadi hospital" in Kibale, Health Minister Christine Ondoa told reporters. She is believed to have travelled independently to Kampala -- possibly on public transport -- after her three-month old baby died, Ondoa added. Results of tests were still awaited, but it is "presumed" she died of Ebola, said Dennis Lwamafa, Uganda's commissioner for disease control. "I appeal to you to first of all report all cases which appear to be like Ebola, and these are high fever, vomiting, sometimes diarrhoea, and with bleeding," Museveni added. "When you handle this case well you can eliminate Ebola quickly." According to experts, despite being extremely virulent the disease is containable because it kills its victims faster than it can spread to new ones. It has a fatality ratio of between 23 and 90 percent, according to the World Health Organisation.However, Museveni said that the virus had not been immediately identified this time, resulting in a delay. "The bleeding which normally accompanies Ebola did not take place initially among these patients," he said, adding that health workers at first did not therefore realise what the problem was. "Because of that delay the sickness spread."Hmmmm.....A 'mutated form'?Read the full story here.

Video - Meet "Robocop" it weighs four tons, shoots a Gatling Gun when you smile, controlled by iPhone.

Video - Meet "Robocop" it weighs four tons, shoots a Gatling Gun when you smile, controlled by iPhone.(DM).A Japanese electronics company has unveiled a 13ft super-robot which can be controlled by an iPhone. But be careful with the jokes if you are on the phone to the pilot as the robot, made by Suidobashi Heavy Industry in Tokyo, brings a whole new meaning to ‘trigger-happy’. 'Kuratas' is fitted with a futuristic weapons system, including a gatling gun capable of shooting 6,000 BB bullets a minute, which fires when the pilot smiles.Kuratas, made by Suidobashi Heavy Industry, can be controlled either through the one-man cockpit or from the outside using any smartphone connected to the 3G network. The robot, which is set will go on sale for £900,000, has around 30 hydraulic joints which the pilot moves using motion control. As it is made to order the style conscious buyer will not have to worry about sticking to the grey exterior - it comes in 16 colours, including black and pink, and for an extra £60 they will sort you out with a cup holder. Engineers Wataru Yoshizaki and Kogoro Kurata were saluted in front of Kuratas together with their pilot Anna when they showcased the robot at the Wonder Festival in Chiba, suburban Tokyo earlier today. The team have been working on the robot since 2010. The company also released a video where very attractive Anna gives step by step instructions of how to operate the Kuratas. Realising that there may be a flaw with this system of opening fire, the video warns the pilot against smiling too much whilst operating the Kuratas weaponry. Kurayas is 13ft tall and weighs four tons – not including the pilot. The four wheeled legs ensures that it is easy to transport and the pilot will be able to drive it at a top speed of just under 6.5 mph.Hmmmmm......Can it be hacked?Read the full story here.


Video - Former Spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Kamal Helbawy: America Will Be Brought to Its Knees.

Video - Former Spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Kamal Helbawy: America Will Be Brought to Its Knees.

Following are excerpts from an address by Kamal Helbawy, former spokesman of Muslim Brotherhood in the West. The address was delivered at a rally, organized by the right-wing secular Al-Wafd Party, calling for the release of Omar Abd Al-Rahman (the Blind Sheik), who is imprisoned in the US for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The address by Helbawy was posted on the Internet on July 26, 2012.

Kamal Helbawy: These criminals, with the administration, their system, and their institutions – the Pentagon, the White House, the CIA, Homeland Security, the FBI, and others...

They are all criminals, planning the killing of people, young and old, planning to kill the revolutions in their cradle. They deceive all parties. They have defended that criminal and plundering state of Israel.

We should not fear America or whoever is behind America. We fear none but Allah.

If we use the capabilities at our disposal properly, America will be brought to its knees, and will be defeated like the Soviets in Afghanistan.

This is no difficult task for Allah.

Hmmmm......The 'people' the Obama Admin is donating Billions of Dollars and top of the line Armor and Missiles.Source: Memri.

Video - Nasser Al-Bahri, Former Bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden: There Will Be Large-Scale Attacks against the West in the Near Future.

Video - Nasser Al-Bahri, Former Bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden: There Will Be Large-Scale Attacks against the West in the Near Future.

Following are excerpts from an interview with Nasser Al-Bahri, former bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden, which aired on Alaan TV on July 18, 2012.

Nasser Al-Bahri: Since the commander-in-chief [Sayf Al-Adl] returned to Afghanistan, I expect something to happen in the next couple of years. There will be large-scale targets.

Interviewer: What kind of thing? An attack?

Nasser Al-Bahri: Of course, attacks. I expect great strikes against the US and the Western coalition in the near future, because many of the people...

Interviewer: Where do you think Sayf Al-Adl is right now?

Nasser Al-Bahri: If he is as sensible as he used to be, he will not leave Afghanistan. People like Sayf Al-Adl do not leave Afghanistan.

Interviewer: It is said that he was in Iran.

Nasser Al-Bahri: He was among the people detained in Iran. After 9/11 and the [war] in Afghanistan, many people fled to Pakistan and Iran. Those who fled to Pakistan were either killed or turned in to the Americans. Those who fled to Iran were detained in compounds for a long time.

Interviewer: Including Bin Laden's family...

Nasser Al-Bahri: Right. Brother Sayf Al-Adl has good connections with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. I expect that he and others who were there received special treatment, until they returned to Afghanistan. After that...

Interviewer: Some analysts say that Iran may have timed Sayf Al-Adl's release from house arrest, and allowed him to leave Iran, in order to carry out attacks.

Nasser Al-Bahri: Not only in order to carry out attacks...

Interviewer: Do you believe that there is coordination between Al-Qaeda and Iran?

Nasser Al-Bahri: Such cooperation is inevitable, due to the military principle: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Hmmm.......Hamza Bin Laden.
Source: Memri.

Egypt cannot control traffic in Suez Canal: Muslim Brotherhood member.

Egypt cannot control traffic in Suez Canal: Muslim Brotherhood member.(AA).In response to the criticism directed at the Egyptian government after it allowed a Chinese ship heading to Syria to pass through the Suez Canal, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood said that Egypt does not have the right to control traffic in the strategic waterway. “Egypt does not have the right to prevent any ship from passing through the Suez Canal,” wrote leading Brotherhood member Hassan al-Prince on his Twitter account. Prince explained that the only exception to this rule is if the ship belongs to a country with which Egypt is in a state of war. “The passage of ships in the Suez Canal is regulated by the Istanbul Treaty signed in 1888.” Prince called upon the relevant authorities to publish the text of the treaty so that its terms are clear to all. The Syrian opposition had slammed the Egyptian government for allowing a Chinese ship loaded with arms to pass through the Suez Canal. According to the opposition, the ship was carrying ammunition to the Syrian regime to be used in its brutal clampdown against the revolutionaries. However, a military source denied allegations that the Chinese ship was carrying weapons to Syria saying it was loaded with regular commodities and heading to Ukraine, not Syria. “The ship passed through the Suez Canal in accordance with all international treaties and no law was violated,” the source told the Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm. The Facebook page of Hamza al-Khatib, the 13-year-old Syrian who was brutally killed by regime forces, launched a fierce campaign against Egypt and its president for allowing the ship to pass. “We thank Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi 2038 times for allowing Chinese ship loaded with weapons to pass,” the page’s administrator wrote in reference to the load of the Chinese ship, 2038 tons. “We feel sorry that at some point we thought we could count on the Egyptian president for supporting the Syrian revolution.” Hmmmm.....Better carve this quote in stone for when they refuse Israeli ships of passing trough.Read the full story here.

Iran Sentences 4 Suspects to Death for $2.6bln bank embezzlement, main suspect is fugitive in Canada.

                            Toronto house of  Fugitive banker Mohammad Reza Khavari

Iran Sentences 4 Suspects to Death for $2.6bln bank embezzlement, main suspect is fugitive in Canada.(Fars).Speaking to reporters here in Tehran on Monday, Iran's Prosecutor-General and Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeii said that the court has finished probe into the case and the judge has issued verdicts for 39 suspects. He said that four of the 39 suspects have been sentenced to death, two people have been sentenced to life imprisonment and the remaining inmates have received 10, 20 and 25 years prison terms. Ejeii noted that a number of other suspects have received lighter sentences. The official further noted that in addition to the aforementioned decrees, the court has ordered the convicts to return the assets. Iran has so far arrested and tied tens of suspects over a $2.6 billion bank corruption which was described as Iran's biggest case of embezzlement ever. The embezzlement case started in 2007 by Amir Mansour Arya Investment Group of companies, headed by Amir Mansour Khosravi, founder of private Arya Bank, and progressed in 2010 after some Iranian major banks, including Bank Saderat and Bank Melli, issued loans for the company. Iranian officials said that the case involved the use of fraudulent documents to obtain credit for this investment company. The company used them to purchase assets such as state-owned companies. In June, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast called on Canada to repatriate fugitive banker Mohammad Reza Khavari - a main culprit in the bank scam - to Iran as soon as possible. 
Speaking to reporters at the time, Mehman-Parast said that Tehran has taken action through different channels to return the former Iranian Bank Melli chief, who fled from Iran to Canada during an embezzlement scandal, and has summoned Canada's charge d'affaires in Tehran to the same end. He said that the Iranian foreign ministry is in contact with the Canadian embassy in Tehran, while Iran's embassy in Ottawa has taken some necessary measures to arrange a meeting with Khavari to pave the ground for his return to Iran, but Khavari has refused to come to the session. He pointed to Khavari's dual Iranian-Canadian citizenship, and noted, "We do not recognize dual citizenship and the Canadian government is required to repatriate Khavari to Iran."
Meantime, Iran's judiciary officials said that Interpol has placed the former Iranian banker on its Wanted list and issued the verdict to prosecute Khavari. Khavari, who has been a dual Iranian-Canadian citizen since 2005, left Iran in September 2011 as prosecutors in Tehran announced they wanted to question him in connection with a $2.6-billion embezzlement scandal. Read the full story here.

Daily Caller Now considered by Google a Malware Threat....I wonder what they posted?

Daily Caller Now considered by Google a Malware Threat....I wonder what they posted?HT: AstuteBlogger).

If you google the Daily Caller you get the following result :

If you click the link you get the following result:

Update: Via Twitter, the Daily Caller is telling its readers to ignore the warnings and come on in: “.@DailyCaller came under malware attack. We've turned back the enemy and reclaimed our land. Site is safe to visit. Thanks 4 your patience.”Read the full story here.

Turkish army requests Syrian weather forecast to direct artillery on Syrian Kurds.

Turkish army requests Syrian weather forecast to direct artillery on Syrian Kurds.(HD).The Turkish Armed Forces have asked for detailed weather forecasts in Syria in order to more accurately direct artillery strikes, daily Hürriyet reported on its website today. The army and the Turkish meteorology department signed a protocol three years ago and founded a forecast system to help guide artillery and missile strikes, the report said. The system covered areas in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq, where clashes often occur between Turkish security forces and militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Today, the army asked for Syria and Iraq to be included in the system in their entirety, as well as an area stretching from the Balkans to the Caspian Sea. 
When the system was first launched a website was founded for the exclusive use of Turkish military personnel where, for instance, an artillery commander could find a 36-hour forecast of weather conditions in a specific target area. The forecasts were updated four times a day, the report said. The joint system can produce a weather report in two seconds and predict weather conditions up to an altitude of 40 kilometers with a large range that includes the Black Sea. The conventional Artillery Meteorology System (TOMES) which was used by the military previously, could predict weather conditions up to an altitude of 5 kilometers with a limited range of 15 kilometers and took an hour to produce an accurate report. Weather conditions affected the accuracy of artillery strikes up to 67 percent, the report said.
We won’t allow a terrorist organization to become an element of threat against our country. We won’t allow a terrorist organization to [set up] bases in northern Syria,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said July 26, after numerous Kurdish cities in northern Syria declared autonomy and solidarity between the PKK and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria became a possibility.Turkey sent a convoy of about 20 vehicles carrying troops, missile batteries and armoured vehicles to the border with Syria on Monday amid growing concern in Turkey about security on its southern frontier, news reports and witnesses said. It was the latest in a series of deployments in the region in recent weeks. There has been no indication that Turkish forces will cross the border, and the troop movements may be strictly precautionary in the face of spiralling violence in Syria. The convoy left a base in Gaziantep province to head south to Kilis province, where the troops will stay, the state-run Anatolian news agency said. Hmmmmm.....I'm wondering how many Kurds have been killed so far by Turkish fire?Read the full story here.

'Gutsiest call ever' was postponed three times at the urging of..... Valerie Jarrett

'Gutsiest call ever' was postponed three times at the urging of..... Valerie Jarrett. (DougRoss).At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. The Daily Caller has seen a portion of the chapter in which the stunning revelation appears.In ”Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,“ Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the “kill” mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. 
Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time... Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning. Obama administration officials also said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision. At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. But when Miniter obtained that day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders. “President Obama’s greatest success was actually his greatest failure,” Miniter told The Daily Caller Friday. ”Leading From Behind,“ he said, traces the arc of six key Obama administration decisions, and shows how the president made them — and, often, failed to make them. Great to know that Valerie Jarrett -- the military genius -- is now responsible for national security. Nice Deb reminds us that the so-called "White House Insider" accurately described this scenario at the time of the raid .Read the full story here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Overnight Music Video - Drunken Sailer - Irish Rovers

Exposé : Iranian and Syria's Nerve Gas is Made in Europe.

Exposé : Iranian and Syria's Nerve Gas is Made in Europe.(INN).HT: IsraelMatzav.
"Nothing keeps a German or French firm - and a British, Italian or Swiss one - from making a good profit. And if it puts the Zionist state in danger, no problem."
Syria threatens to use chemical weapons, including lethal gas and germs, against "external forces". And the unthinkable becomes much more concrete in Israel. The gas mask distribution centers have increased their activities in the last few days. Health authorities may start inoculation of soldiers and emergency care personnel against smallpox. Family drug kits, including antibiotics against anthrax, may be delivered door-to-door. The Education Ministry will prepare material for all students instructing them on the ABC's of chemical and biological warfare.
The message is clear: Israel should be prepared for the worst.
Already in May 2011, then US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned about the possibility that Hizbullah is armed with chemical warheads. Syria's stockpiles could fall into the hands of al-Qaeda, which is involved in the fighting, a military faction, or a post-Assad regime controlled by Islamists. It's the worst kind of nightmare. What very few people know is that European companies and scientists gave Iran, Syria, Libya and Iraq the material to attempt to kill the Jews, again. In 1992 a 100-page report, prepared by the Paris-based Middle East Defence News, listed about 300 European firms which the centre said it believed had "played a significant role in the unconventional weapons programmes in Iran, Syria and Libya".
Germany topped the list of suppliers with 100, the report said, then 29 French, 22 British, 13 Italian and 13 Swiss. German companies have played a crucial role in helping Iran to build a chemical weapons industry, and have illegally supplied nerve gas precursor chemicals," the report said.
It said France had played a "crucial helping Syria to develop both a chemical weapons and a biological weapons capability". The West German firm Degussa supplied of chemicals to Libya used to manufacture poison gas. This company also owned a 42.5 per cent share in the Degesch company, which supplied the Zyklon B gas used in the death camps.

Degesch is the acronym for "Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Schaedlingsbekaempfung", a company for the extermination of vermin. 
It developed the method of using hydrogen cyanide, Zyklon B, as an ingredient in its fumigation gas for buildings and ships. The gas it supplied to Auschwitz was used in the killing of two million Jews.
 "For years, Iraqi officers had asked us how it had been with the gassing of the Jews." said Maj. Gen. Karl-Heinz Nagler, former head of the East German Army's chemical service, who had trained the Iraqi Army in chemical warfare for 15 years. 
The manufacturing of di-fluoro - from which nerve gas is obtained - requires resistant glass components. Two German companies gave these to the Syrians. French scientific institutes also played a role, through scientific exchanges. ... 
Today, again, Jews are described by Islamists as sub-humans, with expressions like “pig,” “cancer,” “filth”, “microbes” or “vermin”. Without the European chemical companies, there would be no Syrian and Iranian germs and gas' threat to Israel. 
 We can be partners in the Jewish struggle against the new apocalypse. Or we can be part of it. The European companies and scientists have made their choice.Hmmmm......"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.Read the full story here.

Related - Video: "And You Shall Tell Your Children" A powerful documentary on the legacy of faith and commitment of a special cadre of Holocaust survivors.

Are Iraq and Turkey Models for Democratization?

Are Iraq and Turkey Models for Democratization?(MiddleEastForum). By Ofra Bengio Middle East Quarterly Summer 2012, pp. 53-62 (view PDF).

In the wake of the upheavals that have shaken the Arab world since December 2010, activists, politicians, and analysts have all been searching for new, democratic models of governance that could come into force in these lands. The cases of Iraq and Turkey are perhaps the most obvious choices to examine based on the notion that these are the only examples of functioning democracies within Muslim-majority nations of the Middle East.

Iraq's current experiment in constitutional government is off to a shaky and uncertain start. Despite Iyad Allawi (left) scoring the highest number of votes in the March 2010 elections, the candidate was compelled to hand the prime minister's post to his chief rival, Nouri al-Maliki (right).
Hoping to turn post-Saddam Iraq into a model to be emulated by the Arab states, the Bush administration set out to create an Athens-on-the-Tigris complete with free elections and a constitution with separation of powers provisions. Although the Turkish model had a completely different genesis and evolution, it is worth exploring as Ankara has proclaimed itself a model for the post-revolutionary regimes. What lessons can be drawn from the Iraqi and Turkish experiences, and to what extent do they fit other Middle Eastern states?

The Iraqi Model

In the early decades of the twentieth century, the Western powers sought to graft onto the political systems of the newly-born Arab states the values of democracy, constitutionalism, and pluralism. As soon as Britain obtained the mandate for Iraq in 1920, it set out to build a democratic system very much resembling the British model itself. This included the establishment of a constitutional monarchy subordinate to a progressive constitution, the establishment of a parliament with upper and lower houses, and the launching of a nationwide system of elections. However, this edifice crumbled on the first day of Abd al-Karim Qassem's July 1958 putsch, and it would take nearly fifty years, and a large scale foreign invasion of Iraq, before an attempt at its reconstitution would be made. What went so horribly wrong? And are the new circumstances more conducive to the success of the nascent Iraqi democracy?
The evident answer to the first question is that this construction was imposed artificially on a society that had different cultural, political, and social values and did not evolve from within the society itself. Even if Iraqis wished to have a Western-type constitution, they had no say in its promulgation. In the words of the British president of the Iraqi Court of First Instance, the constitution was a "gift from the West."[1] Similarly, although there was a parliament in place, it did not function in a healthy or normal fashion: During its entire existence, the legislature never cast a single no-confidence vote against the cabinet, rubber-stamping its decisions while simultaneously suffering sporadic dissolutions.[2] While elections were held, they were rigged time and time again. In short there was a façade of democratic institutions but the ideas and practices never set down roots in society. With Qassem's takeover and the murder of the entire royal family, the democratic project expired.
The idea of reviving the democratic project in Iraq began to gather momentum in 1998, once again spurred not by Iraqis themselves but by an outside superpower, the United States. Thus, according to the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, "it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government in place of that regime."[3]
In time, the moving spirit behind the project of Iraqi democratization came to be President George W. Bush who was, in a fashion, walking in the footsteps of his British predecessors. His declared goal was to help the downtrodden people of Iraq get rid of their oppressor and bring progress and democracy to the state. But in Bush's case another more ambitious target was stated as well, namely turning the post-Saddam Iraqi democracy into a model for other Arab countries to follow. Thus, on the eve of the invasion he declared: "A free Iraq can be a source of hope for all the Middle East … instead of threatening its neighbors and harboring terrorists, Iraq can be an example of progress and prosperity in a region that needs both."[4] On another occasion, he stated: "The nation of Iraq, with its proud heritage, abundant resources, and skilled and educated people, is fully capable of moving toward democracy and living in freedom."[5]
But how has this democracy fared in Iraq itself? Can it serve as a model or "a source of hope" to other Arab countries?

Flaws in the Iraqi Model

Regrettably, the haste with which the framework of democracy was put together in post-Saddam Iraq is reminiscent of the earlier British experiment in the same country. This time, however, the constitution generated debates and disputes between different partners regarding such issues as the place of religion in the state or the role of women.[6] Overall, these controversies centered on what The Wall Street Journal described as "two very different visions of what the new Iraq should be: a nation that gives little political significance to ethnic and religious divisions, or one that weaves those divisions into the political fabric."[7] And although Iraqis did have an important say in composing it, for many of them, the constitution and, for that matter, the democratic experiment as a whole looked like a U.S. diktat.[8]
Unlike in the monarchical and Baathist eras, the Iraqi people did participate in three more or less free and democratic elections. However, while the framework of democratic institutions does exist, the spirit and contents are lacking. More often than not the parliament is paralyzed. It took an entire year to form a cabinet after the March 2010 elections because of incumbent Nouri al-Maliki's reluctance to give up his post. Although the list headed by Iyad Allawi scored the highest number of votes in that election, Maliki's maneuvering and shrewdness won him the prime ministry in the end.[9]
Civilian strife that flared up immediately after the U.S.-led invasion also threatened the entire Iraqi democratization project. The underlying cause for this conflict was that the minority Sunni community that had ruled Iraq since its creation was unwilling to accept the democratic norms that granted power to the erstwhile marginalized Shiite majority and the Kurds. In addition, the sudden change from an extremely totalitarian political system to an avowedly democratic one left the majority of Iraqis completely unprepared for such a transformation. Further, the freedom of expression and organization incorporated in the post-Saddam Iraq constitution gave rise to new Islamist forces, which believed more in God's rule than in the rule of man. In the debates that anticipated the drafting of the constitution, these groups, headed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, demanded that Shari'a (Islamic law) be the source of legislation. It was not to be, however, because both Washington and the Kurds were against it.
Two sectors in particular fell victim to the expanding power of political Islam and the illiberal society developing in Iraq: women and minorities. As part of their efforts to construct a new Iraqi society, Washington and its allies placed special emphasis on the status of women, believing it would be impossible to establish democracy in a country that lacked equitable representation for women. Initially women did seem to be well represented in the echelons of power. However, as time went by, the increasing influence of Islamic groups further restricted their participation in the government. For example, by May 2006, only four out of thirty-nine cabinet ministers were women, none in important portfolios. In daily life, many women are harassed for not adhering to what is considered a proper Islamic dress code. Acts of violence, including killing, kidnapping, rape, and other forms of sexual harassment increased significantly in post-Saddam Iraq, so much so that some contend that women were better off under Saddam.[10] Iraqi women's rights activists are, in turn, accused of trying to impose secularism and foreign values. Thus, women were once again "left outside state supervision, vulnerable to unfavorable interpretations of Islamic and customary laws."[11]
The fate of minorities has fared no better. A 2007 field study reached the conclusion that Iraq's Christian, Yezidi, and Mandean communities was under threat and that the majority of Christians had fled their homes with nearly half living abroad as refugees. The report emphasized that Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities were targeted for acts of violence and discrimination precisely because they were non-Muslim or Kurdish.[12] It is indeed ironic that under the watchful eyes of the U.S. military, the harassment of indigenous Christians and other religious minorities has reached its peak.[13]
For their part, the Kurds, since the establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in 1992, sought to portray themselves as a model of democracy for Iraq and other countries in the region. They based their claim on the fact that there was no fratricidal infighting among them since the late 1990s; that elections in the region and the transformation of power from one government to another went smoothly; and that there was freedom of expression and organization. Indeed, though this democracy left much to be desired, it was still stronger than in the rest of Iraq. This was due to both the slower pace of developments in the region and the fact that the framework of democratic institutions was not imposed from the outside (though nongovernmental organizations played an important role in promoting the process). Islamist parties were also much weaker in Kurdistan than in the center of the country.
The eruption of the Arab upheavals at the end of 2010 rekindled the debate over the Iraqi democratization model both in the United States and the Arab world. There were those who considered these events as having been inspired by the Iraqi model and the promotion of democracy there. For instance, Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state under Bush, credited the administration for the Arab uprisings: "The demise of repressive governments in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere … stemmed in part from Bush's 'freedom agenda,'" which "promoted democracy in the Middle East."[14] Former vice president Dick Cheney stressed that "the fact that we brought democracy … and freedom to Iraq, has had a ripple effect on some of those other countries."[15]
Others were more skeptical. Middle East specialist Fouad Ajami debunked what he termed the "myth" that the Arab upheavals were inspired by developments in Iraq, noting that when the protests began in late 2010, "there was bloodshed in Iraq's streets; there was sectarianism, and few Arabs could consider Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki a standard-bearer of a new political culture." In his view, Saddam's "despotism had been decapitated by American power, so it was not a homegrown liberation. And the new Iraqi order had empowered the Shiite majority." In addition, the Sunni "Arab street was not enamored of the political change in Iraq; it had passionately opposed the American war and had no use for Baghdad's new Shiite leaders."[16]
The late Anthony Shadid of The New York Times was even more negative: "My own sense … is that the Iraq war—the invasion of 2003 and the aftermath—delayed the Arab Spring. I think you can make the argument that these revolts and uprisings that have swept the region may have even happened earlier had not this scar of that occupation not been left on the region."[17]
The Iraqi model of democracy is a poor example to be emulated by other Arab states due to the civil strife that accompanied its birth, because it was viewed as an artificial Western diktat, and because it seemed to be lacking authenticity and staying power. There was, however, something to be learned from the Iraqi experience, namely that the ruler was not invincible and that the worst of dictatorships can be destroyed once the barrier of fear was overcome. In this sense, developments in post-Saddam Iraq did serve as a catalyst for the revolutions in the Arab countries even though they took some eight years to mature.
If Iraq has failed to serve as a democratic model, does Turkey offer a better example?

The Turkish Model

For many years, Turkey was considered an island of democracy in an otherwise autocratic Muslim world. Writing in 1994, Bernard Lewis attributed Turkey's position as "the only Muslim democracy" to various historical, political, and socioeconomic factors: Turkey had never been occupied by a foreign power that attempted to impose Western democratic values upon it. Rather, democracy was nourished slowly and gradually within Turkish society itself. From the start, Ankara was Western-oriented, hence more adaptive to the democratic norms developed there. Though lacking oil, Turkey was able to develop a strong economy, which in turn enabled it to cultivate a civil society, an important pillar of democracy. Last, but certainly not least, in Turkey there was a separation between religion and state. Despite three interventions by the Turkish military between the 1960s and early 1990s, the generals handed power back to civilians after a brief period, indicating a commitment to democratic norms.[18]
Almost two decades later, the picture in Turkey has changed dramatically. Since 2002, the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) has managed to marginalize the military in politics, and Ankara is no longer chiefly Western-oriented, having developed strong ties with the Muslim Arab Middle East as well. These transformations also meant that Ankara sought to serve as a model for the democratization of post-revolutionary Arab regimes, a role that held no attraction for it before a decade ago.
The Turkish leaders' claims to such a role are based on the fact that Turkey is a Muslim-majority state; hence, they argue, Ankara is the best proof that Islam and democracy are compatible. Turkish economist Sinan Ülgen has suggested that the Turkish model is more appropriate for the Arab world "not so much because of what Turkey does but because of what it is." He points to the cultural affinity between Ankara and the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, which "find Turkey's own experience more meaningful and see it as more relevant and transposable than the similar experiences of non-Muslim nations." He maintains that Turkey's domestic transformation, brought about by the ruling AKP party with roots in political Islam, can only enhance the effectiveness of such cultural affinity.[19]
Ankara, furthermore, asserts that after detaching the military from the domestic political game in a peaceful manner, Turkey is an even stronger candidate for emulation by emerging Arab governments who are struggling with decades-long intervention by military-led regimes.[20] Similarly, the AKP contends that Turkey's long experience with homegrown democracy can assist Arab societies in establishing their own democratic institutions in this period of transition.[21] It also has claimed that it has stood by the Arab revolutionaries in their difficult times, a further incentive for Arab states to follow in its footsteps.[22] Taha Özhan of the Washington-based Turkish think-tank SETA went so far as to suggest that Turkey's policies and stance on various regional issues had an impact on the eruption of the Arab revolutions. He suggested that to "understand the impact of Turkey in the making of the Arab spring" one should consider that "Turkey … has been a success story for those countries suffering from a lack of democratization, economic development, and distribution of income, and despised and oppressed by Israel."[23]
Two Turkish scholars, Nuh Yılmaz and Kadir Üstün have summed up Turkey's vision thus: While "Turkey's transformation from a staunchly secularist NATO ally under military tutelage to a democratic model did not occur overnight … Turkish democracy has matured, and Ankara feels confident enough to present itself as an inspiration to the Middle East."[24] Ersat Hurmuzlu, an advisor to Turkish president Abdullah Gül, insists that "Turkey is not looking for a role but the role is looking for it."[25]
The Turkish government took some practical and energetic moves to promote itself as a role model, inviting members of the opposition and new would-be political leaders to Istanbul to participate in conferences and seminars on the democratization project. For example, the Syrian opposition movement (including members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood) has held meetings in Turkey to prepare for a post-Assad regime in Syria. At the same time, Turkish universities, nongovernmental organizations, and research institutions have upgraded their relations with Arab countries while academic gatherings, common broadcasts, and forums have reached an unprecedented level.[26]
Seeking to derive the most from the current revolutionary momentum, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan set out in September 2011 on an "Arab Spring tour," visiting the post-upheaval states of Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the tour "has been a hit" as Erdoğan made his way across North Africa, "extolling Turkey as a democratic model for fellow Muslims who have cast off their dictators."[27] In Libya, for example, prayer leader Salim al-Shaykhi told the crowd of several thousand in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square: "After we thank God, we thank our friend Mr. Erdoğan, and after him all the Turkish people."[28] Özhan has written that "people who want to change towards a model based on Turkey enthusiastically welcomed Prime Minister Erdoğan, openly asking him to fill the political vacuum after the Arab revolutions."[29]
Arab commentators have followed suit. Abd al-Bari Atwan stated that "the AKP has become a sort of guide for Islamist parties" which sought to imitate its economic achievements.[30] Others spoke about the admiration that these parties had for the Turkish model.[31] Syrian scholar Sadik al-Azm argued that by the time of the Arab upheavals, all the factions in those countries—leftists, nationalists, and Islamists, who for their own reasons had had a negative view of Turkey—came to regard "the Turkish model" as the best paradigm to be followed.[32]
Erdoğan was welcomed as a hero by crowds in these countries. But this enthusiastic welcome should not be interpreted as wholehearted support for the democratic model. For all the assertions—from Turkish and non-Turkish sources—there is clear evidence that Erdoğan's popularity had to do with other causes, including his government's Islamist tendencies, his confrontational stance on Israel, and Turkey's economic achievements under the AKP.
The election of the Islamist AKP in 2002 was a watershed in the Arab world's interest in Ankara and in its new, positive attitude toward Turkey. There seems to be a clear correlation between a more positive view about Turkey and changes in Turkish foreign policy, particularly with respect to the bilateral relationship with Israel and the Palestinian issue.[33] The most dramatic example came in the aftermath of the 2008-09 Israel-Hamas-Gaza confrontation. As Palestinian journalist Sameh Habeeb stated:
Turkish prime minister Erdoğan criticizing Israel and then leaving the meeting with Israeli president Shimon Peres was the turning point for Turkey in the Arab street ... In a short span of time and in the hearts and minds of those within the Arab street and the global activist community, Erdoğan became a key player in the Middle East, especially in the absence of any real Arab leadership.[34]
Turkey's vibrant economy may have also made it particularly attractive for reformers.[35] As one Turkish analyst suggested, "In sum, the AKP's bottom-up connection with Islam, the economic dynamics that compelled Turkey to seek an active political and economic role in the region, and Turkey's gradual transformation into a soft power have constituted the main pillars of the Turkish model."[36]

Distrust of the Turkish Model

At the same time, skepticism about the Turkish model began to surface little by little. Sami Zubaida of the University of London took issue with Turkish democracy as a model for post-revolutionary Arab regimes and raised concerns regarding the fortune of Turkish democracy under the AKP, stating that "pluralism is now threatened by the repeated electoral successes of the AKP, establishing, in effect, the bases for a majoritarian authoritarianism, at both the institutional and the communal levels."[37] Abdel Moneim Said, chairman of the board of al-Ahram Weekly, a government mouthpiece, admitted to admiring Erdoğan and his achievements but declared that Egypt had
no need for the caliphate. … Historically, Egypt had always offered a model of its own, to which testifies the birth of the modern Egyptian state in 1922 … maybe we will summon the courage to return to our own indigenous principles of civil government as laid down by the fathers of the Egyptian state.[38]
Said's critique was echoed by Hassan Abou Taleb of the al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies who asked rhetorically, "Following the Turkish model or forging our own?" Taleb insisted that there was no resemblance whatsoever between the experience of Turkey and Egypt as the former had a long, if imperfect, tradition of democracy and maintained that unlike Egypt's Salafis, the AKP "has never cast itself as a religious party that has sought to transform the state into a form of theocracy." He added,
Egypt has its own long heritage of a liberal secularism that is at peace with religion. This legacy should enable Egypt to develop a unique, homegrown model for the application of democracy and the rule of law, even if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to share in power via the ballot box.[39]
Nor was the Turkish model more acceptable to the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest party in Egypt. The initial enthusiastic welcome for Erdoğan in Cairo was muted by his statement that the establishment of a secular state was the best option for Egypt. Mahmud Ghuzlan, spokesman for Egypt's Brotherhood, characterized these comments as interference in Egypt's domestic affairs, noting that the experiments of other countries should not be cloned while disparaging Turkey's Kemalist history as "conditions imposed on it to deal with the secular concept."[40] Turkish analyst Shebnem Gumuscu came to the same conclusion, albeit from a different perspective, asserting there is no "Turkish model for Egypt." She explained:
The coexistence between Islam and democracy has come to pass in Turkey not from the AKP's development of institutional and political structures that accommodated both Islamic and democratic principles, but rather because Islamists themselves came to accept the secular-democratic framework of the Turkish state.[41]
Even more compelling criticism of the Turkish model has arisen as analysts within and outside the Arab world have looked closely at the facts on the ground. At the Doha debates held in mid-January 2012 at Boğaziçi University, some warned the emerging Arab democracies against emulating Turkey, which was described as "a bad model" because of Ankara's record on human rights and media freedom. German Marshall Fund fellow Hassan Mneimneh cautioned that the Turkish model could become "a cover for the insertion of Islamism into positions of power where the Islamists would be really entrenched in the Arab world."[42] Egyptian academic Ibrahim Ghanem maintained that many Arabs were now taking a closer, more skeptical look at the Turkish model: "What is the meaning of 'Turkish model'? Do you mean in dealing with minorities like Alevis and Kurds? Do you mean the Turkish model in terms of the vital role of the army in the political life?"[43]
The Turkish model has now begun to look less attractive to potential audiences with the harshest criticism coming from Turkish journalists on Ankara's abuse of freedoms and drift away from democracy. The latest wave of arrests of Turkish journalists at the end of 2011 moved Milliyet columnist Mehmet Tezkan to write: "In a political structure where the head of internal security forces … perceives writers as 'pens for sale,' not even a halfway democracy, let alone an advanced democracy, is possible."[44] Aslı Aydıntaşbaş commented that the political dynamic was developing in a direction that was totally opposite to what the AKP had promised "with the object of subduing the 50 percent of the population who did not vote for the AKP, instead of satisfying the other 50 percent's demand for democratic change."[45] Mehmet Ali Birand cautioned that arresting journalists, thinkers, and political staff because they were sympathizers of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) was "nothing more than forcefully silencing millions of people"[46] while Semih Idiz complained that the arrests were legal "witch hunts" against anyone considered disagreeable from an AKP perspective.[47] Taha Akyol warned against damaging the credibility of the judicial process in Turkey, maintaining that there have been "excessive arrests" which cast a shadow over the rightful nature of the court cases and undermined their credibility.[48]
It is indeed ironic that at the very time that Turkey sought to cast itself as a model of democratization, its own democracy was tottering with ninety journalists[49] and thousands of Kurdish activists or supporters under arrest or in prison.[50] Writing in the Milliyet, journalist Sami Kohen accused the West of indifference toward the negative developments in Turkey, maintaining that what was taking place was "casting a shadow over the 'Turkish model' for the Middle East."[51] For her part, blogger Yesim Erez maintained that
during the last year, Western governments and mass media have urged new, post-revolutionary Arab governments to follow the "Turkish model" as a way of achieving a moderate democracy. The problem with this approach is that the Turkish model is not so moderate, democratic, or admirable.[52]
For all of Ankara's efforts to extol the virtues of and to export its brand of democracy, the Turkish model does not seem to have made much headway in the Middle East. Arab elites remain reserved and suspicious because they fear Turkish ambitions in the region; emerging Islamist parties are wary because Turkey is too secular and too Western despite its AKP government; liberals are skeptical about Turkish democracy, and Arab states are searching for their own authentic, homegrown models to take into account the specific characteristics of each country.


Neither the Iraqi nor Turkish models have proven attractive to the Arab regimes emerging from the most recent unrest. The Iraqi model seems more frightening than encouraging, in part because it is perceived as a foreign imposition and in part because of the civil strife that was unleashed on its heels. Sunni-majority Arab states seem disinclined to embrace a model that empowers new forces such as Shiites or Kurds, especially when they have their own minorities—Copts, Berbers, or Shiites, among others—with which to contend.
For all the admiration that it had initially aroused, the Turkish model appears as unappealing as the Iraqi but for different reasons. Despite the fact that Turkey is a Muslim country, there are lingering fears and suspicions among the new regimes regarding Ankara's real motives. The export of the Turkish model has been perceived as another vehicle for expanding Ankara's neo-Ottoman ambitions in the region. To some, Ankara's behavior seems arrogant as if it were lecturing the uncultured Arabs who need to be schooled by the "superior" Turks. From this perspective, there is little difference between a Christian or Muslim outsider.
The overwhelming sense is that each country affected by the unrest is searching for its own model and is unwilling to emulate another even when it has proved successful. A democratic system cannot be instantly copied and installed in another place. It needs time, a strong economic basis, stability, and most importantly, the willingness of a large segment of the society to embrace democratic norms. As Daniel Pipes has written: "Democracy is a learned habit, not instinct. The infrastructure of a civil society—such as freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, the rule of law, minority rights, and an independent judiciary—needs to be established before holding elections. Deep attitudinal changes must take place as well: a culture of restraint, a commonality of values, a respect for differences of view and a sense of civic responsibility."[53]
As of now, it seems highly doubtful that either Iraq or Turkey can help the post-revolutionary Arab regimes implement these conditions.
Ofra Bengio is a senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. She is author of The Turkish-Israeli Relationship: Changing Ties of Middle Eastern Outsiders (Palgrave, 2004) and The Kurds of Iraq: Building a State within a State (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012).
[1] C. A. Hooper, The Constitutional Law of Iraq (Baghdad: Mackenzie and Mackenzie, 1928), p. 15.
[2] Abd al-Razzaq al-Hasani, Ta'rikh al-'Iraq as–Siyasi al-Hadith, vol. 3 (Sidon: Matba'at al-'Urfan, 1957), p. 235.
[3] "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998," 105th U.S. Congress (1997-98), H.R.4655.ENR, Jan. 27, 1998.
[4] The Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2003.
[5] George Bush, speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C., in The Guardian (London), Feb. 27, 2003.
[6] "Iraq Overview: Governance," World Directory of Minority and Indigenous Rights, Minority Rights Group International, London, accessed Mar. 7, 2012.
[7] The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 12, 2004.
[8] For voices critical of this constitution, see Andrew Arato, Constitution Making under Occupation: The Politics of Imposed Revolution in Iraq (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), pp. 205-49.
[9] "Nuri Kamal al-Maliki," The New York Times, Dec. 29, 2011.
[10] See, for example, Judith Colp, "Women in the New Iraq," MERIA Journal, Sept. 3, 2008.
[11] Noga Efrat, "Women under the monarchy: A backdrop for post-Saddam events," in Amatzia Baram, Achim Rohde, and Ronen Zeidel, eds., Iraq between Occupations: Perspectives from 1920 to the Present (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 121-3.
[12] John Eibner, "The Plight of Christians in Iraq," field trip report, Christian Solidarity International, Westlake Village, Calif., Nov. 3-11, 2007.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Condoleezza Rice, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (New York: Crown, 2011); USA Today, Oct. 31, 2011.
[15] The Washington Post, Aug. 31, 2011.
[16] Fouad Ajami, "Perspective: Five Myths about the Arab Spring," St. Augustine (Fla.) Record, Jan. 15, 2012.
[17] National Public Radio, Dec. 21, 2011.
[18] Bernard Lewis, "Why Turkey Is the Only Muslim Democracy," Middle East Quarterly, Mar. 1994, pp. 41-9.
[19] Sinan Ülgen, "From Aspiration to Inspiration: Turkey in the New Middle East," Carnegie Papers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C., Dec. 2011, p. 1.
[20] Taha Özhan, "The Arab Spring and Turkey: The Camp David Order vs. the New Middle East," Insight Turkey, no. 4, 2011, p. 55.
[21] Ülgen, "Turkey in the New Middle East," p. 1.
[22] Özhan, "The Arab Spring and Turkey," p. 63; The Asia Times (Hong Kong), Sept. 11, 2011.
[23] Özhan, "The Arab Spring and Turkey," p. 59.
[24] Nuh Yilmaz and Kadir Üstün, "The Erdoğan Effect: Turkey, Egypt and the Future of the Middle East," The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Fall 2011.
[25] Al-Ahram (Cairo), Sept. 14, 2011.
[26] Özhan, "The Arab Spring and Turkey," p. 61.
[27] The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 16, 2011.
[28] Ibid.
[29] Özhan, "The Arab Spring and Turkey," p. 59.
[30] Agence France-Presse, Dec. 2, 2011.
[31] See, for example, Ibrahim al-Amin, "Islamists in North Africa and the Turkish Model," Alakhbar (Cairo), Oct. 24, 2011.
[32] Sadik J. al-Azm, "The 'Turkish Model': A View from Damascus," Turkish Studies, Dec. 2011, pp. 638-40.
[33] Meliha Benli Altunışık, "Turkey: Arab Perspectives," Foreign Policy Analysis Series, no. 11, p. 12.
[34] The Palestine Telegraph (Gaza), Sept. 20, 2011.
[35] Altunışık, "Turkey: Arab Perspectives," p. 10.
[36] Alper Y. Dede, "The Arab Uprisings: Debating 'The Turkish Model,'" Insight Turkey, Apr.-June 2011, p. 28.
[37] The Samosa (U.K.), June 6, 2011.
[38] Al-Ahram (Cairo), Sept. 22-28, 2011.
[39] Hassan Abou Taleb, "Following the Turkish Model or Forging Our Own?" al-Ahram, Sept. 19, 2011.
[40] Al-Arabiya News Channel (Dubai), Sept. 14, 2011.
[41] The Daily Star (Beirut), Jan. 17, 2012.
[42] Gulf Times (Doha), Jan. 17, 2012; The Doha Debates, at Bogazici University, Istanbul, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Jan. 12, 2012.
[43] National Public Radio, Jan. 6, 2012.
[44] Milliyet (Istanbul), Jan. 12, 2011, in Mideast Mirror, Jan. 12, 2012.
[45] Ibid.
[46] Hürriyet (Istanbul), Jan. 24, 2012.
[47] Ibid.
[48] Ibid., Jan. 12, 2011, in Mideast Mirror, Jan. 12, 2012.
[49] Mehmet Ali Birand, Posta (Istanbul), Jan. 11, 2012, in Mideast Mirror, Jan. 11, 2012.
[50] Yeni Özgür Politika (Frankfurt), Jan. 8, 2012.
[51] Milliyet, Jan. 10, 2012, in Mideast Mirror, Jan. 13, 2012.
[52] Yesim Erez, "The 'Turkish Model' of Democracy: Neither Moderate nor Democratic," PJ Media, Feb. 1, 2012.
[53] Daniel Pipes, "A Strongman for Iraq?" The New York Post, Apr. 28, 2003.
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PRESS RELEASE new analysis demo that 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled

PRESS RELEASE new analysis demo that 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled.(WUWT).PRESS RELEASE – U.S. Temperature trends show a spurious doubling due to NOAA station siting problems and post measurement adjustments.
Chico, CA July 29th, 2012 – 12 PM PDT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France’s Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends.
The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. 
The paper is the first to use the updated siting system which addresses USHCN siting issues and data adjustments.
The new improved assessment, for the years 1979 to 2008, yields a trend of +0.155C per decade from the high quality sites, a +0.248 C per decade trend for poorly sited locations, and a trend of +0.309 C per decade after NOAA adjusts the data. This issue of station siting quality is expected to be an issue with respect to the monitoring of land surface temperature throughout the Global Historical Climate Network and in the BEST network.
Today, a new paper has been released that is the culmination of knowledge gleaned from five years of work by Anthony Watts and the many volunteers and contributors to the SurfaceStations project started in 2007.

This pre-publication draft paper, titled An area and distance weighted analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends, is co-authored by Anthony Watts of California, Evan Jones of New York, Stephen McIntyre of Toronto, Canada, and Dr. John R. Christy from the Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama, Huntsville, is to be submitted for publication.Hmmmm.......Obama: "All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it's here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster." Read the full story here.

Timeline Palestine: "British Museum Rewriting 'Jewish' History?"

Timeline Palestine: "British Museum Rewriting 'Jewish' History?".(Daphneanson).That's the question posed by one of my much valued Christian readers, Ian G, who earlier today visited the Birmingham (UK) Museum to see a British Museum touring exhibition about the Pharoahs. He wrote on its blogsite:
"I have just visited the exhibition in Birmingham. I was exceedingly disappointed with an overpriced and dull waste of an hour.
Furthermore, there was a gross inaccuracy that would appear to be supporting the bogus Arab claim that Palestine pre-existed Israel
On the time-line you state that one of the Pharoahs conducted campaigns against Nubia and Palestine in 2055 BC. It was, at that point, Canaan. The Sea People, later the Philistines, did not occupy what we now call the Gaza Strip until the 12th Century BC. 
The name of Palestine was not commonly given to the whole of the land until the Romans ethnically cleansed Israel in 70 AD. 

Palestine was never an independent Kingdom and did not include any Arabs until after the Islamic conquests. Finally, it was part of the British Mandate and Israel was re-established by the League of Nations and then by the UN in 1947. The Gaza Strip was taken by Egypt and Samaria (West Bank) by Jordan and it has been Arab occupied land since then. Yasser Arafat created the notion of an Arab Palestine after the Arab defeat in 1967.It seems that you are colluding in the rewriting of history in order to give an Arab Palestine a bogus history and to deny Israel's legitimacy.
Using Palestine as a substitute for Canaan is disingenuous as you do not explain where Nubia was. Will this egregious mistake be corrected or will you continue misleading the public over this politically sensitive issue?" Read the full story here.

Related: The True Identity of the So-called Palestinians.
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