Saturday, March 30, 2013

Syrian Rebels Kill Pro-Government Cleric, Parade His Mutilated Body

This is how Muslims treat each other. Notice how there is no Muslim outrage over it.
(VOA) Syrian rebel forces have killed a pro-government Sunni cleric in the northern city of Aleppo and reportedly mutilated his body.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian state media reported Saturday that Sheikh Hassan Seifeddine, the imam of a mosque in northern Aleppo, was killed by rebels during heavy fighting in the neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud. The observatory says the rebels then paraded the cleric's body around the neighborhood.

The latest brutality comes just days after a suicide bomber blew himself up in an ancient Damascus mosque, killing pro-government cleric Mohammed al-Buti. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed Friday to purge his country of extremists blamed for that attack, which killed about 50 people.

Extremists have been playing a bigger role among rebel groups recently in Syria as the two-year uprising drags on with no sign of ending.

UN-Funded NGO Founded by PLO's Media Darling Hanan Ashwari Endorses Blood Libel

(Algemeiner) MIFTAH, an NGO whose founder PLO Official Hanan Ashrawi is a well known media personality in the West, and which receives funding from the UN and the Ford Foundation, published an article to its website Wednesday that claimed Jews use the blood of Christians for Passover rituals.

Anonymous pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon spotted this passage in an article by Nawaf al-Zaru on MIFTAH’s Arabic-language site (bold courtesy of EoZ):
“Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between “Passover” and “Christian blood” ..?!Or “Passover” and “Jewish blood rituals..?!Much of the chatter and gossip about historical Jewish blood rituals in Europe are real and not fake as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover …”
Al-Zaru was responding to this section of U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech to students in Jerusalem last Thursday:
“I also know that I come to Israel on the eve of a sacred holiday – the celebration of Passover. And that is where I would like to begin today. Just a few days from now, Jews here in Israel and around the world will sit with family and friends at the Seder table, and celebrate with songs, wine and symbolic foods. After enjoying Seders with family and friends in Chicago and on the campaign trail, I’m proud to have brought this tradition into the White House. I did so because I wanted my daughters to experience the Haggadah, and the story at the center of Passover that makes this time of year so powerful.

“It is a story of centuries of slavery, and years of wandering in the desert; a story of perseverance amidst persecution, and faith in God and the Torah. It is a story about finding freedom in your own land. For the Jewish people, this story is central to who you have become.”
According to Elder of Ziyon, al-Zaru also quotes “a 2007 Haaretz article on a book by a Bar-Ilan University professor that bizarrely claimed that a few blood libels could have had a basis in fact, without noting that the same professor recanted those claims a year later.”

When reached on the phone by The Algemeiner a MIFTAH employee had no comment on the article. After The Algemeiner emailed the organization the article was removed from MIFTAH’s website. It was never published to MIFTAH’s English-language webpage.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Video: Palestinian throws a rock at Israeli soldiers, gets hit in the face with a tear gas canister

Maybe it knocked some sense into him, but I doubt it.

Turkish government complains to Cyprus over burning of their flag

(Nicosia) If you didn't know, Cyprus is undergoing something of a banking crisis, and under orders from the EU has decided to tax everybody with savings inside a Cypriot bank account in which to ensure that everybody pays. Of course, naturally, the people aren't happy, and in order to ensure that everybody pays, the Cypriot government has ordered all banks to close (including electronic banking) until they receive their pint of blood. Well, the banks reopened in Cyprus yesterday and as you can imagine there were huge queues as people lined up in which to place their money into something the EU can't get its hands on. Outside one such bank in the Cypriot capital a man unfurled a Turkish flag and - surprise, surprise - he was lynched by the locals. It seems that the occupants of the last divided city on the planet (Nicosia is still a divided city, with the Northern half still under Turkish occupation) don't take kindly to being reminded of just why half of their city is out off bounds to them.

Anyway, it transpires as well as getting a good kicking (the police saved his arse), the Turkish flag the man had unveiled was burnt. Get that, the Turkish flag was burnt. End of story. Nah, it seems the Turkish government has been offended and hase directed the Cypriot government to punish the people who did so.

Yup, it seems that the Turkish minister to the EU Egemen Bağış has called on the Greek Cypriot administration to give a clear reaction on a reported incident of desecration of the Turkish flag. In doing so he indicated that protection of the Turkish flag’s honor must be an issue also for Greek Cypriots, since Turkish Cypriots have been providing them with electricity and water when needed. Oh, I forgot to mention that he classed it as a conspiracy.

Isn't it rich that in every Islamic country going (including Turkey), burning the flag of everybody else (but usually the US, UK and Israel) is a popular pastime? But boy, they don't like it when somebody burns their flag.

Mexico: Seven killed in Ciudad Juarez bar shooting

CIUDAD JUAREZ (Reuters) - Seven people were killed when a gunman opened fire in the early hours of Friday in a bar in northern Mexico, which has seen a resurgence in drug-related violence in recent weeks.

The man, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, killed four men who were clients in the bar in Chihuahua state as well as three women who worked there, said a spokesman for the state attorney general's office.


North Korea vs. South Korea and US match-up: Aircraft

If North Korea wishes to start a war with the US and South Korea, it has to control the air, and for that it needs its airforce. So what aircraft has the North got in which to deny the South and the US from taking control of the air?

Well, its primary fighter aircraft is the MiG-29, of which they purchased 45 between 1988 and 1992. Of which they currently have 40 flying with 5 being the 2 seat trainer variant. A formidable opponent when it was introduced in 1983, but 30 years later it is showing its age. Which kind of explains why most air forces which bought it, have now gone on and retired them off.

These cutting edge aircraft (as if) are backed up by around 40 MiG-23 which, while it may have been a player when it first flew in 1967, is only flown by tin pot regimes such as Cuba, Ethiopia, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe. In other words, countries which can't afford to purchase anything half as decent.

Both these world class fighter aircraft (yeah, right) are backed up by around 150 Mig-21 fighter aircraft, a plane which first flew in 1955 and is only used by countries which really can't afford to buy anything else.

As you can see, North Korea doesn't even have a third rate airforce, and if put even against the tiny little Taiwan, it would be blown out of the air within minutes.

South Korea has over 140 F-16s

60 F-15K

The US has the same as the South Koreans, just more of them.

So really, if it came to an air war, North Korea would last as long they could hide their aircraft.

North Korea vs. South Korea and US match-up: Missiles

So with all the rhetoric being banded about by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, how does it match up with the nations it is going to annihilate?

Well, its longest ranged missile is the Taep'o-dong 2. A two- to three-stage ballistic missile developed with Russian, Chinese and Iranian assistance between 1987 and 1992. Tested twice (2006 and 2009) and it has failed both times. But if and when they get it to work, it should be able to carry a 1,000 kg warhead 10,000 km - enough to hit Alaska.

The next is the Taep'o Dong 1 developed during the 90s with Russian assistance, and it consists of the No Dong missile as its first stage and a variant of the Scud B or C as its second stage. With a 1,000 kg payload it is believed to have a range of around 2,000 km. In 2006, a US defence report said that North Korea had between 20 to 30 of these missiles.

Seeing as both these missiles are a little on the large size, they can only be deployed from certain bespoke launch sites. As these will be under satellite surveillance and they both use liquid fuel,. they both require a few days of preparation in which to get them in the air. More than enough time to make both areas glow if the need arises.

However, North Korea does possess something a little smaller (again, liquid propelled), but a little bit smaller in size than the two above. The Musudan (BM-25) based on the Russian R-27 missile which they developed for their Yankee class Ballistic submarine. However, it has only a maximum range of around 4,000 km (2,500 miles), with a 1,000 kg warhead, so it doesn't have the legs to reach the US from the Korean peninsula. However, there is nothing to stop them fitting launch tubes onto a cargo ship.

The rest of North Korea's missile inventory concists of variations of the Russian Scud missile, which themselves are direct copies of the German V2 missile.

So what do the South Koreans (SK) have in which to combat the above?

Seeing as it isn't nuclear armed, they have to make do with smarter weaponry, their primary missile system is the Hyunmoo (Eagle) - a surface launched cruise missile - it can carry a 500 kg warhead over 1,000 km. Where the above have a target accuracy of around 30 km, the Hyunmoo-3 can hit a target within feet (circular error probable). So pound for pound, the South Koreans have the better missile, and while the North Koreans could hurt the South Koreans, at the end of the day, they would come off worse, and that is just from their neighbours in the south.

As for the US, well, there simply isn't a contest, as she can field a whole tranche of missile systems which makes what NK has seem like a child's school project.

The North Koreans know that in any future shooting war, they are simply not going to win, and for all their bluster this time around, the SK and the US are going to teach them a lesson they are simply not going to forget.

Bangladesh: Islamists clash with police, 5 dead

(Dhaka) Still angry at how Delwar Hossain Sayedee, the vice-president of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, has been sentenced to death for his part in killing of thousands of Bangladeshi people during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971, party members decided to have a go at the local police who, after having 17 of their men injured by the peaceful followers, took out their guns and opened fire. 5 deaths later and the moral of never bringing a knife to a gun fight never rung so true.

North Korea reveals US mainland strike plan

(Pyongyang) Clearly offended by how the US flew a couple of B-2 stealth bombers on a training exercise from the American mainland to the Korean peninsula the other day, the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un took part in a photo shoot where he signed the paperwork required in which to settle the score with Washington and destroy the American imperialist once and for all. Here is the picture as reported by the North Korean Government:

Now take a look over the shoulder of that General to the far left of the picture:

Ah, somebody forgot to cover the master plan to attack the US. Let's look closer at where the North Koreans are going to strike, shall we?

The thing is, the above photo shoot wasn't intended for anybody but the people of North Korea. Talk about credibility gap. To be honest, the following video from a children's TV show from the 1960s is much more credible and much more realistic.

Israel increases medical facilities on Syrian border to treat injured from the civil war next door

(Golan Heights) Israel has set up a military field hospital on its border with Syria in which to treat the increasing number of injured Syrian rebels seeking first aid from the so called enemy next door. Maybe there lies the reason behind why the Syrian army fired a machine gun at an Israel checkpoint last week and which was subsequently taken out by the IDF. Strange how all the rabid anti-Semites around the world are keeping quiet about this.

Good Friday and 5 car bombs strike Shia mosques inside Iraq

(Baghdad) Friday prayers at Shia mosques inside Iraq were targeted by the faithful in which to cause as much death and destruction as possible. The blasts in the the capital and in the northern city of Kirkuk saw 17 people killed and over 80 injured. Strange that while Muslims the world over demand that we respect their religion and their ways, that they themselves have no respect for themselves.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

US flies B-2 stealth bomber to Korea to show the North that they don't take shit from 3rd world despots

(Seoul) For the past week North Korea has been upping the ante with its neighbour to the South and with the US. While this is nothing unusual from the hermit kingdom, the latest declaration that they would strike US assets in the region has promoted the US to fly over a B-2 stealth bomber directly from the States on a training mission in which to show Pyongyang that for all its bluster the US can take out any part of the North Korean leadership any time they want, and that anything  the Pocket Dictator can do, the US can do better. Put it this way - the most modern bomber that North Korea owns is the Ilyushin Il-28 (Beagle) which first flew in 1948.

Libyan stop over for aid convey to Gaza results in 2 women getting raped

(Benghazi) Gosh, you've got to love this Islamic brotherhood which I keep on hearing about. You know, that Islamic brotherhood which sees more aid going towards Islamic lands from the unbeliever than you do the faithful. In fact, while the West is more than happy to stump up the cash to feed the poor inside Islamic lands, Islamic cash is used to build... mosques. Yup, nothing like priorities is there.

Anyway, the latest aid convoy from the West to Gaza had a stop over in Libya. However, it seems that the welcome the convoy hoped to receive in honour of helping feed fellow Muslims inside Gaza, didn't go down as well as they presumed when the locals decided to kidnap 2 Pakistani girls from the convoy and gang rape them in front of their father. I wonder if this incident will change the minds of these victims that actually they have less to worry about from the Jews than they do their fellow Muslims.

Palestinian Authority is against Turkish PM visiting Gaza

(Ramallah) Hot on the heels of his Allah appointed apology from the Jews, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has decided to capitalise on his good fortune by visiting the so called state (Gaza) under siege (if its under siege, how the hell can he visit?)

While the mad mullahs inside Gaza are loving every minute of this, it transpires that their opposite number across the way in the West Bank aren't as happy. While they say they are opposed to the visit due to the fact it would deepen divisions among the Palestinians, what they don't say is it would give Hamas a popularity boost which the PA just cannot afford to give them. I mean think of all that aid money which they would lose if Hamas took control of the West Bank.

Cristina Kirchner Argentine bunny boiler?

(Buenos Aires) I have a friend, she's single, really pretty, but bloody hell, she doesn't half go on about her neighbour, they slept together and then he went and found a younger model. Every conversation we have soon turns to him. Bloody hell, he slept with her once and she acts if they were wed. Talk about give it a rest.

And so it is with Cristina Kirchner, the four legged ruler of Argentina. She noted that her country invaded and raped a group of islands over 300 miles to the west of Argentina, and boy how it curled her toes, she hasn't stopped talking about the frill she achieved when the Argentine flag flew over Stanley. Her latest outburst consisted of over 27 tweets on the subject. Christ, it makes you wonder if her husband actually died of natural causes or did he top himself just to get away from her constant rabbiting.

Turkey deports Syrian Protesters, says they left of their own accord

(Ankara) Yesterday, hundreds of Syrian refugees inside the Akcakale Camp in Turkey rioted against their hosts, complaining about their living conditions. Turkey sent in the water cannons and today deported around 140 trouble makers back across the border into Syria. However, as this isn't what the do-gooders want to hear, the Turks have changed their tune and simply said they haven't deported anybody but rather the Syrians left on their own accord.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Erdogan Should Be Tried for Mavi Marmara Deaths

An Israeli lawyer contends Turkey’s prime minister should be tried for the deaths of nine who clashed with IDFsoldiers on the Mavi Marmara.

Which is absolutely correct - this was a deliberate attempt by the Turkish government to spark an international incident and it did.

Erdogan is an Islamist snake, and he plays Obama perfectly.
(INN) An Israeli law activist contends that it is Turkey’s prime minister, rather than Israel’s naval commandos, who should have been tried for the deaths of the nine men who clashed with Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, expressed outrage in a statement to Arutz Sheva slamming the apology to Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the deaths of those killed by the commandos during the clashes.

Immediately following the incident which involved the Mavi Marmara flotilla vessel in an illegal attempt to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza, Israel’s long-time ally broke off high-level diplomatic relations with the Jewish State.

Erdogan has consistently refused to reinstate relations despite all attempts by Israel to restore the ties, insisting on a formal, public apology by Netanyahu in addition to compensation to the families of each of the dead, as well as a lifting of the blockade.

Last Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama personally intervened during his first visit to Israel since entering the White House, handing the phone to Netanyahu to make the required apology after first speaking himself with Erdogan.

But Darshan-Leitner – as well as many others – is extremely critical of the move, calling the decision to apologize “pathetic pandering to an Islamic extremist who compared Zionism to facism.”

The human rights attorney pointed out in her statement that Turkey is “still trying to indict Israeli officers for war crimes” over the incident. Instead, she contended, “Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan should be tried for the deaths of the activists on the Marmara...”

The United Nations, which investigated Israel’s blockade of Gaza, long ago determined the Jewish State is in full compliance with international law in using the measure to prevent the import of weaponry to terrorists in the region, she pointed out.

“The flotilla, which was provided material support by the Turkish government, was a provocation designed to endanger the lives of Israeli sailors,” she wrote, adding, “the Israeli government [displays] that it is still not free from U.S. pressure.”

The Israel Law Center took legal action against the insurance companies holding policies on the Mavi Marmara to prevent the vessel from attempting another, similar provocation the following year.

In December 2012, the group won a multimillion dollar lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. against the government of Syria involving the Turkey-based PKK terrorist organization. In the case, the judge ruled Syria was liable for the PKK’s 1991 kidnapping of a group of American archaeologists leading an excavation in Turkey.

Islamists, secular rebels battle in Syria over Nusra Front’s call for Islamic state

TAL ABYAD, Syria -- Two Syrian rebel groups – one seeking an elected civil government, the other favoring the establishment of a religious state – are battling each other in the city of Tal Abyad, on the border with Turkey, in a sign of the tensions that are likely to rule this country if the government of President Bashar Assad falls.

Four people were killed Sunday in fighting here between the Farouq Battalions, which favors elections, and Jabhat al Nusra, or the Nusra Front, which the United States has declared an al Qaida-affiliated terrorist group. Since then, Farouq has been massing men here in an example of the growing friction that’s emerged in recent months as Nusra has captured strategic infrastructure across Syria’s north and east, including oil and gas installations, grain silos and a hydroelectric dam.


Report: Morsi to smuggle Al-Qaeda’s Zawahiri into Egypt

(Human Events) According to a new report from the Arabic-language website Misr al-Gidida [translated for this story by the author], during Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi’s recent visit to Islamabad, Pakistan, he secretly met with Ayman Zawahiri, the leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, and promised to smuggle the Egyptian-born jihadi back home. The Arabic report cites a Pakistani source saying that the meeting was clandestinely arranged, away from the delegation accompanying Morsi, and “facilitated by elements of Pakistani intelligence (ISI) and influential members of the international organization, the Muslim brotherhood.”

Morsi himself is a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood; Zawahiri is a former member who grew impatient with the Brotherhood’s tactics of non-violent patience and perseverance, eventually quitting the organization and joining the jihad, becoming its current leader. (See “Ayman Zawahiri and Egypt: A Trip through Time” for an expose on Zawahiri and his decades-long connections to Egypt, the Salafis, and the Muslim Brotherhood.)

The Pakistani source adds that “the meeting lasted 45 minutes, during which Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi promised to make preparations for Ayman Zawahiri to return soon to Egypt, indicating that some Muslim Brotherhood members would handle the operation, by first smuggling the al-Qaeda leader to a Gulf nation, likely Qatar, and then easily transferring him to Egypt—on condition that Zawahiri disappear lest he embarrass Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood with its American ally, whose security and intelligence agencies consider Zawahiri most wanted.”

Although this report cannot be independently verified, any number of indicators support its veracity. Among other things, the ever-vocal Salafi faction of Egypt, which all but venerates al-Qaeda, have been incessantly calling for Egypt’s native son Zawahiri—the “hero” who gave America a bloody nose via the strikes of 9/11—to return. Aboud al-Zomor, for instance, the Egyptian jihadi who was implicated for the assassination of Sadat but released after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak and who is now a leading member of the new Egyptian parliament—has called for the return of Zawahiri to Egypt, “with his head held high and in safety.”


Shooting suspect James Holmes, who recently converted to Islam, offers to plead guilty to avoid being executed

DENVER (AP) – Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes has offered to plead guilty and serve the rest of his life in prison to avoid the death penalty -- a deal that would bring a swift end to the sometimes wrenching courtroom battle and circumvent a prolonged debate over his sanity.

Prosecutors haven't said whether they would accept the offer, and victims and survivors of last summer's massacre were divided on what should be done.

Melisa Cowden, whose ex-husband was killed in the theater, said Wednesday she was resolutely opposed to a plea deal.

"He didn't give 12 people the chance to plea bargain and say, `Let's see if you're going to shoot me or not,"' said Cowden, whose two teenage daughters were with their father when he was killed.

"No. No plea bargain," she said.

The attack during a crowded midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" left a dozen people dead and 70 injured.

Prosecutors have said Holmes planned the assault for months, casing the theater complex in the Denver suburb of Aurora, amassing a small arsenal and rigging potentially deadly booby-traps in his apartment.

Then on July 20, he donned a police-style helmet and body armor, tossed a gas canister into the theater crowd and opened fire, prosecutors said.

The plea offer, made by Holmes' lawyers on his behalf earlier this month, was disclosed a defense court filing on Wednesday. It was made public just days before the prosecution was set to announce whether they would seek the death penalty.


Egypt 2.0: Mosque turned into house of torture for Christians after Muslim Brotherhood protest

(Fox News) Islamic hard-liners stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo, turning it into torture chamber for Christians who had been demonstrating against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in the latest case of violent persecution that experts fear will only get worse.

Such stories have become increasingly common as tensions between Egypt’s Muslims and Copts mount, but in the latest case, mosque officials corroborated much of the account and even filed a police report. Demonstrators, some of whom were Muslim, say they were taken from the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in suburban Cairo to a nearby mosque on Friday and tortured for hours by hard-line militia members.

“There is no longer anything to hold them back. The floodgates are open.”

“They accompanied me to one of the mosques in the area and I discovered the mosque was being used to imprison demonstrators and torture them,” Amir Ayad, a Coptic who has been a vocal protester against the regime, told MidEast Christian News from a hospital bed.

Ayad said he was beaten for hours with sticks before being left for dead on a roadside. Amir’s brother, Ezzat Ayad, said he received an anonymous phone call at 3 a.m. Saturday, with the caller saying his brother had been found near death and had been taken to the ambulance.

“He underwent radiation treatment that proved that he suffered a fracture in the bottom of his skull, a fracture in his left arm, a bleeding in the right eye, and birdshot injuries,” Ezzat Ayad said.

Officials at the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque said radical militias stormed the building, in the Cairo suburb of Moqattam, after Friday prayers.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Further setbacks for Hezbollah

(Cyprus) In what appears to be a further setback for Hezbollah in its attempts to be portrayed as a peaceful entity, a court case in Cyprus has found one of its members guilty of conspiring to carry out acts of terrorism and which on top of the charges levied against Hezbollah from Bulgaria points in the direction that Europe, following in the steps of tiny Bahrain, may designate Hezbollah a terrorist organisation after all.

Expect this story not to go down well with the bBC. Oh, hang on, they haven't even reported the story.

Bahrain declares Hezbollah a terrorist outfit

The Kingdom of Bahrain has gone against the grain and voted in an act which declares Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy inside Lebanon, as a terrorist organisation, and has called on other Arab states to do likewise.

It seems that not everybody is Hezbollah now, does it? And it's nice to see Bahrain doing to Iran what Iran has been doing to the tiny Kingdom in upsetting the apple-cart in its own front yard.

Expect the left not to be happy with the above outcome.

The oppression of the new Egyptian Pharaohs continues

(Cairo) While the liberal world celebrated how the Arab Spring (more like disaster) removed the old Arab guard, the so called revolutionaries who replaced them have turned out to be a lot worse than the so called evil despots they replaced.

In Tunisia, what is left of the Jewish community has been attacked, women have have found that actually the revolution has imposed much more restrictions on them, the US embassy has been attacked and the sellers of alcohol have found life becoming very hard indeed. The march of radical Islam across the Middle East continues and what has transpired in Tunisia is replicated in Libya, Syria and, of course, Egypt.

It seems that chapter members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who were democratically voted into power after the forced removal of President El Sayed Mubarak (you know, that man in court on charges of attacking the population) have taken to commandeering local mosques and then using those holy places (be still, my beating heart) in which to torture those people they disagree with, which in this case means anybody who isn't a Muslim.

I wonder why the liberal world is remaining silent on how the Islamists inside Egypt (never mind the Middle East) aren't as peaceful as they keep on banging their very thin drums about. Since they came to power, they have cut power supplies to Israel, attacked women protesters, attacked non-Muslims and enacted laws which point towards an theological society based on that currently in play inside Iran. Meanwhile, the idiots continue to protest about Israel.

Moscow prostitutes itself to China (again)

(Moscow) Yesterday, Russia inked a deal with China in which to sell 35 of its latest Su-35 jets and 4 of its latest (Lada) submarines. What makes this deal even more surprising is that of late, Russia has complained about how China has gone onto illegally copy the arms it has bought from Russia and put them up for sale in competition with the real thing. Yet with the evidence staring them plainly in the face, the Russians have gone and sold them their latest military equipment.

However, this isn't as it seems. the Chinese already build and field their own version of the Su-27 (J-11) which is supposed to be much more capable than the original, and they have upgraded even that with the J-16. So if the Chinese already produce an aircraft just as good as the ones they have just purchased from Russia, why have they done so? It all has to do with the power plant. Whilst China has managed to drag itself up by the bootstraps when it comes to becoming a modern manufacturing nation, the one area it still lags behind everybody else is in the manufacturing of jet engines. Oh, it can make them, it just hasn't mastered the finer art of knocking out really efficient high performance jet engines. This kind of explains why over the past 3 years China has purchased over 500 jet engines from Russia. The thing is, while Russia is happy to continue to prostate itself before China for a quick ruble, it won't be long before the Chinese say No Mas.

Meanwhile, the bBC reports this story as how these two victims are ganging up in which to combat the nasty evil USA.

Monday, March 25, 2013

NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Government has right to ‘infringe on your freedom’

(WT) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Sunday: Sometimes government does know best. And in those cases, Americans should just cede their rights.

“I do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom,” Mr. Bloomberg said, during an appearance on NBC. He made the statement during discussion of his soda ban — just shot down by the courts — and insistence that his fight to control sugary drink portion sizes in the city would go forth.

“We think the judge was just clearly wrong on this,” he said, on NBC. “Our Department of Health has the legal ability to do this. … [They’re] not banning anything.”

Mr. Bloomberg’s remaining months in office have included a firestorm of regulations and policy pushes on wide range of issues. Aside from the soda size ban and a well-publicized call for tighter gun control, another contentious policy he pushed: Nudging hospitals to lock up baby formula to force mothers to breast-feed newborns.

UN to move half of its foreign staff out of Syria after shells land near hotel

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations will move about half of its 100 foreign staff members out of Syria after a number of mortar shells fell near their hotel in Damascus, damaging the building and a U.N. vehicle, the United Nations said on Monday.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said another 800 local U.N. staff had been asked to work from home until further notice.

"The United Nations Security Management Team has assessed the situation and decided to temporarily reduce the presence of international staff in Damascus due to security conditions," Nesirky said.

Syrian rebels lobbed mortar rounds into central Damascus on Monday, killing at least two people and drawing a fierce army response as bombardments shook the capital. [...]

[...] The United Nations says more than 70,000 people have been killed and nearly 1.2 million have fled the violence.


Palestinians: We Hate You, So Please Pay Us More

(Gatestone Institute) The anti-US protests that erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip before and during President Barack Obama's visit serve as a reminder that many Palestinians continue to loathe the U.S., primarily because of its support for Israel.

But U.S. support for Israel is not the only reason why such a large number of Palestinians -- as well as Arabs and Muslims -- hate the Americans with such intensity.

Palestinians who took to the streets during the week to protest against Obama's visit chanted slogans not only against him personally, but also in denunciation of U.S. policies and actions toward the Arabs and Muslims.

In Ramallah, for instance, hundreds of Muslim fundamentalists chanted slogans condemning the U.S. for "perpetrating massacres and atrocities" against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"America is the number one enemy of Islam and Muslims," speakers at the anti-U.S. rally in Ramallah declared.

Palestinian Authority policemen, who are trained and funded by the U.S. and other Western countries, did not intervene even as the extremists also started criticizing the leaders of the Palestinian Authority for agreeing to meet with the "infidel" Obama.

Palestinian demonstrators in Bethlehem, who trampled on Obama's pictures and sprayed Nazi swastikas over them before setting them on fire, also explained that they were protesting not only against U.S. support for Israel, but also Washington's general attitude toward Arabs and Muslims.

"The Americans are the enemies of the Arabs and Muslims," shouted a Palestinian activist standing near Manger Square. "The Americans do only what the Jews tell them to do and that is why they are against all Arabs and Muslims."

The strong sentiments against Israel and the U.S. expressed by Palestinians are the direct result of decades of indoctrination and incitement.

Like the rest of the Arab and Islamic countries, Palestinians have been told that the U.S. is the "Great Satan" and number one enemy of all Arabs and Muslims.

Palestinians have been told by their media, leaders and mosque preachers that the U.S. is "controlled by evil Jews" who seek to humiliate Arabs and Muslims on behalf of the "Zionist Project."

Many Arabs and Muslims hate the U.S. because it stands in the way of fulfilling their dream of destroying Israel. Without U.S. backing for Israel, they believe, the Israelis would not be able to survive for one day in the Middle East.

Today it is almost impossible to find one Palestinian who trusts the U.S. and believes it can act as an honest broker in the Middle East.

Even senior Palestinian officials in Ramallah said -- in private briefings this week -- that the U.S. has lost its credibility as an honest broker.

Still, much of the hate on the Palestinian street was also directed toward Obama personally. In this regard, Obama can only blame himself for the reason why he has become a hated figure in the Arab and Islamic countries.

Obama's famous Cairo speech at the beginning of his first term in office created the impression among many Arabs and Muslims that this U.S. president was "one of ours" and would do everything they expected from him -- including forcing Israel to make unimaginable concessions.

But as Obama has failed to rise to their expectations, Arabs and Muslims are condemning him as a Zionist agent and an enemy of Islam.

Now that Obama has chosen Israel as the first country to visit at the beginning of his second term, he should expect more anger and hatred from Arabs and Muslims. His statements upon his arrival, in which he repeated U.S. support for Israel, have already drawn strong condemnations from Palestinians.

But then one wonders: If Palestinians hate Obama and the U.S. so much, why not just boycott his visit and refrain from talking to any representative of the U.S. government?

The answer is simple. Palestinians badly need U.S. money. They know the U.S. will never endorse all of their demands or cut off its ties with Israel. Yet they will continue to ask for U.S. money, largely because their Arab brothers have turned their backs on them and are refusing to help.

The U.S., of course, will continue to shower hundreds of millions of dollars on the Palestinian Authority. In return, Palestinians will continue to harbor hatred for the U.S.

Mexico: 7 men are executed and dumped in chairs in city center, 7 more killed in a bar elsewhere

(Daily Mail) These shocking photos show how the bodies of seven men were found on plastic chairs in Mexico having been shot in the head, with threat messages nailed to some of their chests using ice picks.

A placard on one of the bodies, which were found early on Saturday morning in Uruapan, Michoacan state, said: ‘Warning! This will happen to thieves, kidnappers, sex offenders and extortionists.’

Seven bodies had bullet wounds and had been placed individually in the sitting position in chairs near a roundabout, local authorities said. The local attorney general's office did not provide a motive.

Some of the bodies had their hands and feet bound, outside a Pepsi bottling plant. The men were believed to have been aged from 15 to 40. The bodies were found at 05:30 local time (11:30 GMT).

Meanwhile another seven people were killed in neighbouring Guerrero, where armed men opened fire in a bar in Ciudad Altamirano late on Friday. Four civilians and three off-duty federal agents died.


Muslim terrorists kill 25 in a series of attacks in Nigeria

(Independent) SUSPECTED Islamist gunmen have launched a series of gun and bomb attacks in a remote town along Nigeria's border with Cameroon, killing at least 25 people, police said.

The gunmen carried out four simultaneous assaults on Ganye in Adamawa state on Friday, opening fire on a bar, a bank, a prisoner warder and separately attacking a prison, Mohammed Ibrahim, police spokesman for the western Adamawa state said.

"Twenty five people were killed in total in four different simultaneous attacks by gunmen in Ganye," Ibrahim said.

Members of insurgent group Boko Haram were the prime suspects, he said. Violence by Islamist insurgents in northern Nigeria is on the rise again after a brief lull.

Three bombs exploded in the north's main city of Kano on Saturday, Kano state police spokesman Magaji Majiya said by telephone.

One of the bombings was a suicide attack, but did not claim any lives apart from those of the bombers. However, a remote control bomb targeting a joint military and police checkpoint wounded several police, he said.

A separate gun attack in the city's Dakata area killed one person on Saturday, he said.

Majiya said four people had been arrested in connection with the attacks.


Suicide bomber kills 17 Pakistani security forces

MIRANSHAH (Reuters) - The death toll from a suicide bombing on a military checkpost in Pakistan's North Waziristan region has reached 17, the military said on Sunday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on Saturday, which prompted the regional government to impose a curfew in the tribal region near the Afghan border.

The military responded with mortar and artillery fire directed at positions held by the Taliban. In a statement, the military said 17 security forces personnel "embraced martyrdom".


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Al Qaeda group AQIM says killed French hostage seized in Mali

NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's North African wing AQIM said it had killed a French hostage captured in northern Mali two years ago and that its other French captives were at risk because of France's intervention there, Mauritania's ANI news agency said on Sunday.

"All the other hostages are alive," AQIM said in a communique seemingly addressed to the French people and quoted by ANI, which often receives AQIM statements. "But we cannot guarantee their survival forever because of the attacks by your army on the mujahedeen's bases."

ANI reported earlier this week that an AQIM member said its fighters beheaded Philippe Verdon, who was seized in northern Mali in November 2011, on March 10.

Egypt: Mursi threatens to enact dictatorial powers

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi threatened on Sunday to take unspecified steps to "protect this nation" after violent demonstrations against his Muslim Brotherhood, using vague but severe language that the opposition said heralded a crackdown.

In remarks following clashes outside the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters on Friday, Mursi warned that "necessary measures" would be taken against any politicians shown to be involved in what he described as violence and rioting.

"If I am forced to do what is required to protect this nation, then I will do it. And I fear that I might be on the verge of doing it," Mursi said in a statement. He did not elaborate.

Mursi has faced increasing anger since the Brotherhood propelled him to power in a June election, and several spates of protest have turned into violent riots.

Mursi's opponents accuse him and the Brotherhood of seeking to dominate the post-Hosni Mubarak era and resorting to undemocratic police powers two years after autocrat Mubarak was brought down by popular protests. [...]

"They are very scary comments," said Khaled Dawoud, a spokesman for the National Salvation Front (NSF), an alliance of non-Islamist parties formed late last year to oppose Mursi.

"I can see language that is heading towards taking some suppressive measures," he added.

Dozens of people were hurt on Friday when several thousand supporters and opponents of the Brotherhood fought near the Islamist group's headquarters.


Afghanistan's Karzai heads to Qatar to discuss peace with Taliban; Obama likes

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai will travel to Qatar within days to discuss peace negotiations with the Taliban, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, as efforts intensify to find a negotiated solution to the twelve year war.

Karzai's trip to Qatar would represent the first time the Afghan president has discussed the Taliban peace process in Qatar, and comes after years of stalled discussions with the United States, Pakistan and the Taliban.

The announcement was made only hours after another thorny issue in the U.S.-Afghan relationship -- the transfer to Afghan control of the last group of prisoners at the Bagram military complex held by U.S. forces - appeared to be resolved. The Pentagon announced on Saturday that a deal had been clinched.

Karzai's Qatar trip was announced by Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai.

"President Karzai will discuss the peace process and the opening of a (Taliban) office for the purposes of conducting negotiations with Afghanistan," he said.

Karzai was expected to travel to Qatar within a week, a senior Afghan official speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters.

The United States has said it would support setting up an office in the Gulf state where peace talks between the Taliban and Afghanistan could take place.


Six killed as Islamists battle Malian army

GAO, Mali (Reuters) - Fierce fighting between Islamist rebels and Malian and French forces raged for a second day in the northern Malian town of Gao on Sunday, residents said.

The rebels attacked the north's largest town just days after French President Francois Hollande said Mali's sovereignty had almost been restored. It was the third major offensive there by Islamists since the town was retaken by a French-led military operation in late January.

"This time there are a lot of them and they are very determined," said a military official in Gao, who asked not to be identified. "We are trying to surround them. A lot of them have been killed and others are heading back to their homes, to melt back into the population."

France has deployed some 4,000 troops to Mali, alongside a regional African force, in a nine-week operation that has driven Islamists into desert hideaways and mountains near the Algerian border.

Gao is a former stronghold of the MUJWA Islamist group which controlled the town for around 10 months, imposing a violent form of sharia, Islamic law.

A Reuters witness saw four Islamist fighters - two carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles, one a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and another wearing what appeared to be an explosive belt - running across a dusty street as fighting continued elsewhere in the town.

Intense shooting had been reported for around two hours on Saturday evening after a group of Islamists slipped past military checkpoints to enter the town. Calm returned during the night but the combat resumed early on Sunday morning, residents said.

Apartheid state? Israeli Arab wins second season of Israel's 'The Voice'

(Haaretz) Lina Makhoul, an Israeli-Arab of Christian parentage, is the winner of the second season of the Israeli franchise of "The Voice." The 19-year-old from Acre bested her three competitors in the final and will receive a record contract and a scholarship to attend music school.

On stage during the special on Saturday night, Makhoul said she had been the victim of racism by the general public during the season's filming, but that she had also received many warm reactions. "But the majority rules, right?" she said to the thousands of audience members, who responded with cheers and applause.

The final was made up of two rounds: The first included singing by the four contenders: Rudy Beinsin, Dana Tzelakh, Ofir Ben Shitrit, and Makhoul, as well as a round of duets with the contenders' mentors, who were, respectively, Shlomi Brakha and Yuval Banay, Sarit Hadad, Aviv Geffen, and Shlomi Shabat. At the end of the round, two contestants were eliminated.

In round two Makhoul and Ben Shitrit faced off for the prize. Makhoul preformed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" while Ben Shitrit sang Ishfiut Zmanit's "Hakaitz Haakharon" ("The Last Summer").

"Thank you for listening, believing, taking part, and putting the music first," Makhoul thanked the viewers after her victory was announced.

USA Today: US under Obama is less popular in the Middle East than at the end of the George W. Bush administration

Posters showing President Obama in the West Bank city of Ramallah are vandalized Friday.
He's on his first trip to Israel as the U.S. president.(Photo: Majdi Mohammed, AP)
(USA Today) President Obama's first journey to Israel as president comes amid earth-shattering change in Middle East, much of it for the worse. The Arab Spring, which once raised hopes of freedom and dignity, has diverged onto the dark path of Islamist authoritarian rule. In Syria, tens of thousands of people have died in a bitter civil war that might have recently seen its first use of chemical weapons. And Iran continues its march toward nuclear weapons capability, heedless of international condemnation. Obama's effort to seek peace between Palestinians and Israelis is in tatters.

That's why the White House has been lowering expectations for Obama's trip to Israel all this week. He will announce no new peace plan, grand design or major foreign policy initiative. His advisers are calling the trip a "listening tour." That is what you call a state visit when you have little to say.

Failed beginning

Despite downgrading the trip, many see Obama's arrival as the sequel to his 2009 visit to Cairo, where he announced a "new beginning" with the Muslim world. Four years later, that doesn't auger well for renewed efforts in Israel and the West Bank. According to the latest survey by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project, confidence in Obama in Muslim countries dropped from 33% to 24% in his first term. Approval of Obama's policies declined even further, from 34% to 15%. And support for the United States in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan is lower today than it was in 2008 in the closing year of George W. Bush's administration. That collapse of support has not happened elsewhere.

In his Cairo speech, Obama pledged a relationship between America and Muslims around the world "based on mutual interest and mutual respect." But in 2013, interests are diverging, and respect is in short supply.

Of all the strained relationships in the Middle East, the partnership with Israel is the most important and potentially the most easily repaired. Obama is not popular in the country. A poll released last week showed he had a scant 10% approval rating in Israel, with an additional 32% saying they respect but don't like him. But the president is making significant symbolic gestures to heal the breach, such as visiting the grave site of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. It's being interpreted as showing support for the Jewish people's historic connection to the land of Israel, something Obama avoided in his first term.

Unpopular in Palestine

If Israelis don't like Obama, Palestinians are even less favorable.Washington's perceived failure to take a harder line with Israel over the final status of Jerusalem, and U.S. opposition to President Mahmoud Abbas' successful campaign for higher Palestinian status in the United Nations, have engendered a deep sense of frustration. Passions spilled over in Bethlehem this week, when young Palestinians defaced a billboard with Obama's image and burned pictures of him in the streets. Obama's symbolic nods to Israel's history are likely to raise Palestinian ire even further.

The hope that Obama will say the right things in Thursday's speech at Jerusalem's convention center is negated by doubts he will follow through. The president has to assure Israelis and Palestinians that he is still engaged if the peace process has any chance of moving forward. In part, this means convincing them that he still matters.

Iraq's Maliki resists Kerry's call to halt flow of Iranian arms to Syria

BAGHDAD – Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki on Sunday to stop Iran from flying arms across Iraqi territory to the beleaguered Syrian regime, but found him unwilling to give ground.

In a visit to Baghdad that was not announced in advance, Kerry told Maliki that the almost daily flights have become a lifeline for Syrian President Bashar Assad that is undermining the efforts of the United States and allies to negotiate the departure of Assad and an end to the 2-year-old war. And Kerry warned that many in the United States are wondering how, after Americans “have tried so hard to be helpful” in rebuilding post-Saddam Iraq, the country could stand in its way.

“The overflights from Iran are, in fact, helping to sustain Assad,” Kerry told reporters after the meeting, which he described as “spirited.”

But Maliki repeated Iraq’s view that there is no definitive proof that the cargoes are arms, rather than humanitarian aid, as the Iranians contend. Kerry was left to say that he will gather more information to prove his point.

The overflights have become an increasingly important issue for the Obama administration, which believes that they have reinforced Assad’s desire to stand and fight even as his military fortunes crumble. Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other U.S. officials have unsuccessfully pressed the Iraqis to halt the flights, or at least begin ground inspections of the Iranian cargo.

“The number of flights shows that they can’t possibly be humanitarian flights,” a senior administration official, who declined to be identified citing the diplomatic sensitivity of the subject, told reporters.

But the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government, which worries that it could be next if Sunni rebel fighters sweep Assad from power, has conducted only two inspections since last year in response to American pressure. They say both of them revealed only humanitarian aid.

Some in Congress are outraged. At a House hearing last week, lawmakers told the U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, that the United States should slap Iraq with unspecified “consequences” for acting as an arms conduit for the Iranians.


Shots fired from Syria into Israel; Israel responds with missile file destroying Syrian outpost

(Times of Israel) IDF soldiers on Sunday morning fired a Tammuz missile at a Syrian army position in Tel Fares, from which shots were fired both that day and the previous day across the border into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The missile destroyed the Syrian post and reportedly wounded two gunmen there.

A military spokesman said the soldiers responded with “accurate fire toward the Syrian post from which they were fired upon.” He could not say whether regular Syrian forces or rebels fired. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.


It looks like Syrian rebels may have been the ones who used chemical weapons

These are the guys who the West has been falling all over itself to support as the people who should be running Syria.
(Telegraph) Whatever happened last week in the town of Khan al-Assal, west of Aleppo, it achieved something extraordinary in the Syrian civil war: unity among Washington, Moscow and Damascus.

All welcomed the rapid decision by Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, to investigate an alleged chemical attack that reportedly killed 26, including Syrian soldiers.

Unusually, the request for that investigation came from the Syrian regime, which claimed that Islamic jihadist rebels launched a chemical weapons attack. Since then, precious little evidence in any way has come from the area despite an awful lot of diplomatic noise around the world.

However a senior source close to the Syrian Army has given Channel 4 News the first clear account of what he claims is believed to have occurred on Tuesday. He is a trusted and hitherto reliable source who does not wish to be identified.

The Syrian military is said to believe that a home-made locally-manufactured rocket was fired, containing a form of chlorine known as CL17, easily available as a swimming pool cleaner. They claim that the warhead contained a quantity of the gas, dissolved in saline solution.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Canada Obama’s personal Palestine?

(CFP) Memo to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Looks like Barack Hussein Obama’s got it in for you.

Why else would the American president invoke Canada as the standing example to liken the American-Canadian relationship as the closest one to Israeli-Palestinian relations at today’s press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas?

That means Obama, who has only visited state-visited this country once, sees Canada as his personal Palestine!

“In his effort to convince the local populations, who have been in a decades-old (and some might even say millennia-old) conflict, Obama invoked perhaps the most peaceful neighbors on the planet, that is the U.S. and Canada.” (The Blaze, March 21, 2013).

“We can’t afford to have our kids in bed sleeping and suddenly a rocket comes through the roof, but my argument is even though both sides may have areas of strong disagreement, may be engaging in activities the other side considers to be a breach of good faith, we have to push through those things to try to get an agreement,” Obama said.

Rockets coming through the roof in America from The Land of the Maple Leaf?

Mr. Obama needs to step out of his Reality TV world into the real one.


Dark Knight killer James Holmes 'is now a Muslim who prays five times a day'

(Daily Mail) James Holmes, the gunman behind the Dark Knight massacre in Colorado last July, has reportedly turned Muslim and prays five times a day.

The killer showed off a lengthy, thick beard during a court appearance earlier this month, and a prison source has claimed it is a symbol of his new-found faith.

The source said Holmes has turned to Islam as a way of justifying his horrific murder spree in an Aurora, Colorado cinema on July 20 which left 12 people dead and 58 people wounded.

'He has brainwashed himself into believing he was on his own personal jihad and that his victims were infidels,' a prison source told the National Enquirer.

He now prays five times a day, sticks to a strict Muslim diet and spends hours each day studying the Qur'an, the source said.


Video: Hamas Women Officers Shoot at Photos of Israeli Leaders at a Graduation Ceremony

Suicide bomber blows himself up in Damascus mosque killing 42 including senior Syrian imam; 84 wounded

Or, a normal, somewhat slow day in Mohammedland.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - An explosion at a mosque in the Syrian capital on Thursday killed at least 42 people, including a senior pro-government Muslim cleric, and wounded 84, the Syrian health ministry said.

State television and anti-government activists earlier had reported 15 dead. The television said a "terrorist suicide blast" hit the Iman Mosque in central Damascus, and Mohammed al-Buti, imam of the ancient Ummayyad Mosque, was among the dead.

"The death toll from the suicide bombing of the Iman Mosque in Damascus is 42 martyrs and 84 wounded," the health ministry said later in a statement.

While attacks in the capital during Syria's two-year-long rebellion have become almost commonplace, an attack on a mosque was deeply shocking to both sides in the conflict.


NY Times: Obama Jump-Started Arab Spring

It is now possible to trace precisely what Obama knew and when he knew it, and it proves that installing the Muslim Brotherhood into power was a conscious and deliberate strategy developed by Obama before the "Arab Spring" began.
(“We have to confront violent extremism in all of its forms.… America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as president to protect the American people.” --President Barack Obama, Cairo, June 2009.

“The United States is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise….Resistance is the only solution. [Today the United States] is withdrawing from Iraq, defeated and wounded, and it is also on the verge of withdrawing from Afghanistan. [All] its warplanes, missiles and modern military technology were defeated by the will of the peoples, as long as [these peoples] insisted on resistance.” --Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad al-Badi, Cairo, September 2010.

What did the president know and when did he know it? That's a question made classical by the Watergate scandal. Now it is possible to trace precisely what Obama knew and when he knew it. And it proves that the installment of the Muslim Brotherhood into power was a conscious and deliberate strategy of the Obama Administration developed before the "Arab Spring" began.

In February 2011 the New York Times ran an extremely complimentary article on President Obama by Mark Landler, who some observers say is the biggest apologist for Obama on the newspaper. That’s quite an achievement. Landler praised Obama for having tremendous foresight, in effect, predicting the “Arab Spring.” According to Landler,
“President Obama ordered his advisers last August [2010] to produce a secret report on unrest in the Arab world, which concluded that without sweeping political changes, countries from Bahrain to Yemen were ripe for popular revolt, administration officials said Wednesday."
Which advisors? The then counter-terrorism advisor and now designated CIA chief, John Brennan? National Security Council senior staffer Samantha Power? If it was done by Obama's own staff, rather than State and Defense, it's likely that these people or at least one of them was the key author.

So should U.S. policy help allies avoid such sweeping change by standing firm or by helping them make adjustments? No, explained the report, it should get on the side of history and wield a broom to do the sweeping. The article continued:

“Mr. Obama’s order, known as a Presidential Study Directive, identified likely flashpoints, most notably Egypt, and solicited proposals for how the administration could push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers who are also valuable allies of the United States, [emphasis added] these officials said.

“The 18-page classified report, they said, grapples with a problem that has bedeviled the White House’s approach toward Egypt and other countries in recent days: how to balance American strategic interests and the desire to avert broader instability against the democratic demands of the protesters.”

As I noted, the article was quite explicitly complimentary (and that’s an understatement) about how Obama knew what was likely to happen and was well prepared for it.

But that’s precisely the problem. It wasn't trying to deal with change but was pushing for it; it wasn't asserting U.S. interests but balancing them off against other factors. In the process, U.S. interests were forgotten.

If Landler was right, then Obama did have a sense of what was going to happen and prepared for it. It cannot be said that he was caught unawares. This view would suggest, then, that he thought American strategic interests could be protected and broader instability avoided by overthrowing U.S. allies as fast as possible and by showing the oppositions that he was on their side.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

U.S. offers reward for capture of two U.S.-born Muslim terrorists

Omar Shafik Hammami and Jehad Serwan Mostafa
(Reuters) - The U.S. government on Wednesday offered rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the capture or conviction of two U.S. citizens alleged to have become fighters for the Somalia-based Islamic militant group al Shabaab.

In announcements posted on its "Rewards for Justice" website, the State Department identified the two men as Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abu Mansour al-Amriki, and Jehad Serwan Mostafa, alias Ahmed Gurey or Anwar al-Amriki. Hammami is a former resident of Alabama and Mostafa a former resident of California, it said.

Hammami is alleged to be a particularly notorious American volunteer for al Shabaab who made propaganda videos for the group, including pictures portraying him as a fighter rather than a mere spokesman, a U.S. law enforcement official said.

The State Department said Hammami moved to Somalia in 2006 and a year later began serving as an al Shabaab propagandist, particularly targeting potential English-speaking recruits through writings, videos and rap songs. Federal authorities in Alabama issued a warrant for his arrest in December 2007.

The government website said that at some point, Hammami led a group of al Shabaab foreign fighters under the supervision of Mostafa.

The website described Mostafa as a native of Waukesha, Wisconsin, who had lived in San Diego before moving to Somalia in 2005. He is on the FBI's list of "Most Wanted Terrorists," and in 2009 a warrant for his arrest was issued by federal authorities in San Diego.

Given the long-standing notoriety of the two men, it is unclear why the State Department decided to post reward notices for them now.


Egypt risking "revolution of the hungry"

40% of the people already live on less than $2 a day and the price of bread just went up. Are they supposed to live on just three pieces of bread rather than just five?

Tensions run high as Egypt trials bread rationing plan.
(Al Arabiya) Egypt ministers on Tuesday announced controversial plans to introduce a smart-card system that limits the amout of subsidized bread citizens can buy.

The government would start rationing “after two months,” Supply Minister Bassem Ouda told Reuters earlier this week.

Besides cutting subsidies, the severe economic crisis has forced the Islamist-led government to introduce rationing.

Tension is already high in Egypt with the shortage of fuel, and economists have warned that restrictions on bread sales could cause a “revolution of the hungry.”

Hundreds of bakers on Tuesday descended on Cairo to protest over the level of subsidy offered by the Egyptian government, which they say covers just two-thirds of the cost, according to Britain-based The Guardian. The case echoes the bread riots of 1977, as well as in 2008 when President Hosni Mubarak faced protests over shortages in supply.

"Rationing might reduce subsidy expenditure, but it will come at the price of increased social tension," warned Moustapha Bassiouny, an economist at Egypt's Signet Institute told The Guardian.

Egypt's foreign reserves have more than halved since 2011. The IMF is refusing to fund Egypt a loan worth $4.8 billion until the country reduces its subsidies.

Got to love North Korea

(Pyongyang) Last week, stung by tough new sanctions imposed by the United Nations over its fission-class nuclear weapons programme, and clearly upset over the support these sanctions have had from its neighbour and recent ally China, North Korea has threatened that it might use its nuclear weapons (presumably attached to ballistic missiles) in a first strike against its enemies, threatening to turn South Korea's capital Seoul and the US capital Washington D.C. into a "sea of fire". On top of that, NK has raised alarm bells in the region by formally ending the "cease fire" which ended the Korean War in 1953, and pulling out of the communications "hot line" between Pyongyang and Seoul which theoretically could prevent a misunderstanding leading to all out war.

This week, in order to show the pocket dictator in North Korea that little boys with little toys are no match for bigger boys with even bigger toys, the US flew a B-52H bomber over South Korea, in which to remind NK that anything they can do, a solitary B-52H can do a lot better (its nuclear weapons capacity includes 12 AGM-129 advanced cruise missiles (ACMS), 20 AGM-86A air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM) and eight bombs).

Naturally, like all bullies, North Korea cried foul play and went sobbing to the media, saying that they had been threatened, but they won't back down and that the will of the North Korean people will prevail. I quote:
The DPRK has made every possible effort to defend the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, exercising its maximum self-restraint. But the premeditated moves of the U.S. bellicose forces to ignite a nuclear war against the DPRK pushed its patience to its limit.

As the U.S. is working hard to provoke a nuclear war, it was entirely just for the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK to have made important decisions including the exercise of its right to make a preemptive nuclear strike at the strongholds of aggressors to protect its supreme interests.
Poor North Korea, the ugly ducking which grew into a winged monkey (of the Wizard of Oz fame). The problem is, the state is just mad enough to start a war.

Yet again, Muslims ignore the rules they demand we abide by

(India) How many times have you heard somebody bitching about how disrespect has been bestowed upon Muslims because of something that transpired at the local mosque? Be it wearing shoes, searching the place with dogs, or even knocking down a mosque no longer in use, then you can be sure that the wrath of Allah will be gained simply because you didn't take into account the feelings of the worldwide Islamic population.

Well, yesterday, 18-year-old Suhail Ahmad Sofi was sat talking to a friend in the grounds of the local mosque when some idiot decided to open up in his direction with a machine gun. Naturally, Suhail wanted non of this and legged it inside the mosque seeking safety. Unfortunately for him, the terrorist followed him inside the mosque and shot him 5 times. Preliminary police investigation reveals that the Pakistani terrorist faction of Lashkar-e-Toibaw was behind the killing.

So where is the outrage? Where are the thousands of people protesting on the streets? You know, those people who become incandescent with rage if you should happen to name a teddy Bear 'Mohammed', if you should happen to publish a cartoon of what you think Mohammed looked like, or even if you should hang a man found guilty of terrorist crimes. But when somebody of the Islamic faith walks into a mosque and shoots dead a child, then there's... nothing.

Soldier’s Warning: Obama Urging Modern-Day 'Munich 1938'

Soldier’s Warning: Obama Urging Modern-Day 'Munich 1938'
(INN) In a short documentary released this week, William “Bill” Langfan, a World War II veteran and witness to the Nazi death camps, warns that U.S. President Barack Obama’s pressuring Israel to retreat to 1948 Armistice lines is another version of the 1938 Munich appeasement of Adolf Hitler.

In the 15-minute-long film, Langfan, who participated in the 1944 Normandy landings and the Battle of the Bulge, remembers reading about the shameful sellout of Czechoslovakia by Britain's Neville Chamberlain as a 16-year-old growing up in New York.
By making it impossible for Czechoslovakia to defend itself and forcing it to relinquish the Sudetenland to Hitler, the West sealed Czechoslovakia’s fate: The Nazis conquered the country the following spring.

Langfan, who has spent decades studying Israel’s security situation, warns that Obama, aided by England France and the European Union, is pressuring Israel to weaken itself by ceding territory to a terrorist Palestinian Authority that remains virulently anti-Semitic and depicts Israelis in terms reminiscent of Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kerry calls Turkish counterpart, asks for Ankara's help in restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace process; Ankara turns down request

Yet another textbook case of "smart diplomacy". Few around the world seem to respect Obama.
(JPost) US Secretary of State John Kerry called his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu this week, asking for Turkey's help in restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported on Saturday.

Turkey turned down the request citing bad relations between Ankara and Jerusalem and saying the responsibility to fix the murky relations between the two countries falls on Israel.


Kenya's PM, who claims to be Obama's cousin, protests losing election, police respond with tear gas

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Defeated presidential contender Raila Odinga challenged his election loss in court on Saturday, alleging widespread ballot rigging in a fresh test of Kenyan democracy five years after a disputed vote triggered deadly tribal violence.

Shortly before the petition was filed, police outside the Supreme Court fired teargas to disperse a rally of around 100 Odinga backers. They were urged by the outgoing prime minister to stay calm and trust in the law to resolve his complaint.

Odinga's complaint threatens to prolong the period of uncertainty shadowing east Africa's largest economy.

Analysts say a swift, transparent resolution of the row will be critical to restoring Kenya's reputation as a stable democracy. Big Western donors worry about a nation seen as a vital ally in a regional struggle against militant Islam.

Odinga, head of the CORD coalition, refuses to accept the slim first-round election win by Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court over the explosion of bloodshed in 2007 that left more than 1,200 people dead.


Report: Syrian regime expands use of cluster bombs; UN estimates death toll reaches 70,000

It seems that Assad got his hands on a lot of cluster bombs and is now using them. Assad will still kill just as many rebels and civilians, it will just be more politically acceptable.
BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian regime is expanding its use of widely banned cluster bombs, an international human rights group said Saturday as the deadlocked conflict entered its third year.

In new violence, rebels detonated a powerful car bomb outside a high-rise building in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour, setting off clashes with regime troops, state TV and activists said.

The blast came a day after Syrians marked the second anniversary of the start of their uprising against President Bashar Assad. The rebellion began with largely peaceful protests, but when the regime cracked down on demonstrators, the unrest evolved into an insurgency and then a civil war.

In recent months, the Assad regime has escalated airstrikes and artillery attacks on rebel-held areas in the north and east of the country, rights groups have said.

On Saturday, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said Syrian forces have dropped at least 156 cluster bombs in 119 locations across the country in the past six months, causing mounting civilian casualties.

The regime denied that it is using cluster bombs, but the report said that two strikes in the past two weeks killed 11 civilians, including two women and five children. [...]

The fighting in Syria has killed some 70,000 people and displaced 4 million of the country's 22 million people, according to U.N. estimates.