Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei: An Attack On Syria Will Be A Disaster For The Region
On August 28, 2013, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that a U.S. attack on Syria would be a "disaster for the region," adding that with such an attack, the U.S. would not only set the entire region on fire but would itself be harmed: "Intervention and warmongering [in Syria] will no doubt harm those who fan the flames. If this intervention happens, the Americans will no doubt be harmed, as they were harmed in Iraq and Afghanistan. An intervention in [Syria] by powers from outside the region will only ignite the flames [of war] and increase the nations' hatred towards [these powers]. Such warmongering is like a spark in a gunpowder depot, and its dimensions and consequences cannot be estimated."
IRGC Commander Jafari: Syria Will Be A Second Vietnam For The U.S.; Israel Will Be Destroyed
In an August 28, 2013 interview with the Tasnim website, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari threatened: "The Americans have had much bitter experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. If they carry out a military attack on Syria, the chain of their defeat will be complete, and they will experience their most shameful historic defeat of all; in addition, Syria will become a slaughterhouse and a war arena much more dangerous than Vietnam [ever was]. In fact, Syria will become a second Vietnam for the U.S.
"The Zionists must know that a U.S. military attack on Syria will not rescue [their] regime from the talons of the resistance, but will bring about the imminent destruction of Israel... Certain governments in the region and reactionary Arab regimes that support the military attack on Syria must know as well that the flames [sparked by] this warmongering will not be confined to Syria, but will spread to all those who ignited and supported the war [that will result from the attack]."
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Iran: If Syria Is Attacked, It Will Strike U.S., Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, As Well As E.U. Interests; Israel Will Be Destroyed
(Telegraph) George W. Bush was widely mocked by the Left during the Iraq War, with liberals jeering at the “coalition of the willing,” which included in its ranks some minnows such as Moldova and Kazkhstan. Michael Moore, in his rather silly documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, went to great lengths to lampoon the Iraq War alliance. But the coalition also contained, as I pointed out in Congressional testimony back in 2007, Great Britain, Australia, Spain, Italy, Poland, and 16 members of the NATO alliance, as well as Japan and South Korea. In Europe, France and Germany were the only large-scale countries that sat the war out, with 12 of the 25 members of the European Union represented. The coalition, swelled to roughly 40 countries, and was one of the largest military coalitions ever assembled.
As it stands, President Obama’s proposed military coalition on Syria has a grand total of two members – the US and France. And the French, as we know from Iraq, simply can’t be relied on, and have very limited military capability. It is a truly embarrassing state of affairs when Paris, at best a fair weather friend, is your only partner. John Kerry tried to put a brave face on it at his press conference today, by referring to France “as our oldest ally,” but the fact remains that his administration is looking painfully isolated.
There can be no doubt that David Cameron’s defeat in the House of Commons was a huge blow to President Obama, and has dominated the US news networks this morning. The absence of Britain in any American-led military action significantly weakens Obama’s position on the world stage, and dramatically undercuts the Obama administration. The vote reflected not only a lack of confidence in the Commons in the prime minister’s Syria strategy, it also demonstrated a striking lack of confidence in Barack Obama and US leadership.
In marked contrast to Obama, President Bush invested a great deal of time and effort in cultivating ties with key US allies, especially Britain. The Special Relationship actually mattered to George W. Bush. For Barack Obama it has been a mere blip on his teleprompter. Bush also went out of his way to build ties with other allies in Europe, including with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, and an array of countries in Eastern and Central Europe. Obama simply hasn’t bothered making friends in Europe, and has treated some nations with sheer disdain and disrespect, including Poland and the Czech Republic. He has found common currency with France’s Socialist President Francois Hollande, an ideological soul-mate, but finds himself in a very lonely position elsewhere across the Atlantic.
In addition, and most importantly, George W. Bush was a conviction president on foreign policy matters, driven by a clear sense of the national interest. President Bush emphatically made his case to the American people and to the world, explaining why he believed the use of force was necessary, and dozens of countries decided to follow him. In the case of Barack Obama, whose foreign policy has been weak-kneed, confused and strategically incoherent, the president hasn’t effectively made the case for military intervention in Syria, and has made no serious effort to cultivate support both at home and abroad. President Bush may not have been greatly loved on the world stage, but he was respected by America’s allies, and feared by his enemies. In marked contrast, Obama hasn’t generated a lot of respect abroad, and he certainly isn’t feared.
(Times of Israel) Lebanese media reported Saturday that the IDF has mobilized a large number of troops along the Israel-Lebanon border, ahead of a likely US attack on Syria following the alleged use of chemical weapons by regime forces last week.
According to the reports, which were not confirmed by the IDF, Israeli soldiers were deployed in areas bordering the eastern areas of south Lebanon, namely the Upper Galilee, the Shebaa Farms and the Golan Heights.
Meanwhile Saturday, the Lebanese army arrested two people in connection with rockets fired from Tyre, in southern Lebanon, into Israeli territory last week.
The two suspects confessed to involvement in the rocket attack.
Lebanese news site the Daily Star also reported that Israeli Air Force jets have been flying continuously over southern Lebanon since Thursday.
According to the news site, Lebanon has filed several complaints with the UN regarding Israeli airspace violations.
On Thursday, Lebanese terror group Hezbollah was reported to be mobilizing its forces in southern Lebanon in preparation for a possible US-led strike on Syria, and was said to be considering various retaliatory options against Israel should such an attack take place.
The top leadership of the Shiite terror group, which is closely aligned with the Bashar Assad government in Syria, was holding intensive discussions about the possible consequences of an attack on Syria and the appropriate response against Israel, Channel 10 reported, citing reports in the Lebanese media.
On Friday, the IDF deployed several additional Iron Dome missile defense batteries in the Dan region around Tel Aviv and in the north, as part of the army’s continued preparations for the possibility of conflict with Syria.
The deployment was accompanied by the stationing of longer-range Patriot anti-missile batteries in the north and center of the country. The air force has also raised the readiness level of its Arrow 2 batteries, which are tasked with intercepting long-range missiles from deep inside Syria or Iran.
DUBAI (Reuters) - One of al Qaeda's most militant affiliates has called on Egyptians to take up arms against their army, saying a bloody crackdown on Islamist protesters showed peaceful methods were futile, according to an Internet statement posted on Saturday.
Scores of Egyptian security forces have been killed in a series of attacks by suspected Islamist militants - mostly in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula - since Islamist President Mohamed Mursi was deposed last month.
Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood renounced violence decades ago and denies any links with militants, including those in Sinai who have gained strength since President Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down in 2011.
"There is nothing more right in God's religion (Islam) than those who speak of the infidelity, reneging on Islam and abandonment of religion, and call for the necessity to fight these armies, foremost of which is the Egyptian army," said Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, spokesman for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), according to the Arabic recording.
"The Egyptian army is part and a mere copy of these armies which are seeking in a deadly effort to prevent God's laws from being adopted and trying hard to consecrate the principles of secularism and man-made laws," he said.
Mounting insecurity in Sinai worries the United States because the area is next to Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, as well as the Suez Canal.
Adnani lashed out at the Brotherhood and the smaller, Salafist al-Nour party, saying they have been co-opted to non-violence and what he called the futile secular approach to power through elections and democracy, which he said had left Muslim Brotherhood members either in jail, dead or fugitives.
(INN) Europe is passive as it goes down and lower down once again.
Only negativity is unleashing in the spiritual sky of Europe.
In some European countries, such as Greece, Hungary and Ukraine, anti-Semites are already serving openly in parliaments. In Italy, one of the lawmaker of the Five Stars movement, the country's biggest party, Paolo Bernini, just called Zionism "a plague", not so much different from Iran's Rouhani rethoric.
Just as 14th-century Christians once held the Jews responsible for the epidemic Black Death, the Israelis are now blamed by the Europeans for all the ills of today's world.
Anti-Semitism in Europe has become a spiritual disease which is growing like a cancer, like the HIV virus which ultimately destroys the body.
Anti-Semitism in the United States is mere racism; in Europe it is more than intolerance, it is a religious disease, infectious and massively destructive.
After the Second World War, anti-Jewish contempt in Europe was confined to neo-Nazi hooligans. Now it resists any rational exorcism and it is hegemonic in public opinion. Europe is again approaching, as many prefer to avert their eyes, the paroxysm of Jew-hatred that plunged the continent into its XX century abyss.
It is quite clear that incitement against Jews in Europe has crossed the danger lines. Resurrecting the blood libels of the Middle Ages, pamphlets accuse Jews of murdering Arab children. Jewish cemeteries are routinely desecrated, tombstones daubed with swastikas and pro-Islam slogans. Jewish schoolchildren are abused, assaulted, robbed and beaten by hooligans, and Jewish women are afraid to go out alone even in their own neighborhood.
Only the deliberately callous or the hopelessly naive would deny that there is an atmosphere of complacency where horrible things are going to happen.
But brutal, vulgar blood libels and street assaults may actually be the lesser danger. The greater one is that a continent which stood by in such cowardly fashion under Nazism is allowing anti-Semitism to regain respectability in the very core of its institutions in the form of Islamopholic cosmopolitanism.
And what is most frightening is that Europe's nations are disintegrating socially along with it. Their spiritual essence is lost in favor of relativism and multiculturalism. Hatred and anti-Semitism always explode when a nation shows a derisory survival instinct and it is pervaded by illogic and inconsistency.
Seventy years ago, one of Europe's greatest writers, the Jewish novelist Stefan Zweig, committed suicide after watching the European culture he worshiped devour itself in World War II.
A year and a half before that, Walter Benjamin, then Europe's most important Jewish intellectual, had killed himself with a morphine overdose as he tried to flee the Gestapo.
Benjamin's friend, Arthur Koestler, also attempted suicide.
There is the same, poisonous atmosphere in Europe today. And like during Zweig and Benjamin days, Europe is both the executioner and the victim.
Terrible thing are going to happen here in Europe. A horizontal feeling of desperation is ravaging the continent.
The last sounds of pride come from the muezzin's lament. The rest of us live in a cold, nostalgic and pusillanimous comfort.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
If his name was Bush, they'd be calling for impeachment.
There is no truly compelling reason to act militarily in Syria except for the fact the empty suit boxed himself into a corner with his "red line".
Now, every tinpot dictator with a stash of sarin gas is watching to see whether they, too, will be free to use it on innocent civilians without repercussions.
Obama already ignored his own red line several times. But, I suppose it's all part of his incredibly intelligent foreign policy we've been told about.
There is no truly compelling reason to act militarily in Syria except for the fact the empty suit boxed himself into a corner with his "red line".
Now, every tinpot dictator with a stash of sarin gas is watching to see whether they, too, will be free to use it on innocent civilians without repercussions.
Obama already ignored his own red line several times. But, I suppose it's all part of his incredibly intelligent foreign policy we've been told about.
EVANSTON, Ill. (NYT) — THE latest atrocities in the Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people, demand an urgent response to deter further massacres and to punish President Bashar al-Assad. But there is widespread confusion over the legal basis for the use of force in these terrible circumstances. As a legal matter, the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons does not automatically justify armed intervention by the United States.
There are moral reasons for disregarding the law, and I believe the Obama administration should intervene in Syria. But it should not pretend that there is a legal justification in existing law. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to do just that on Monday, when he said of the use of chemical weapons, “This international norm cannot be violated without consequences.” His use of the word “norm,” instead of “law,” is telling.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities detained more than 60 people associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in less than 24 hours, including relatives of the group's leaders, officials said Wednesday.
The crackdown on the group, from which ousted President Mohammed Morsi hails, started shortly after the July 3 coup. It intensified this month after security forces cleared out two of the group's sit-ins, killing hundreds and sparking unrest that killed more than 1,000 people in a few days. The Interior Ministry says more than 100 policemen and soldiers have also been killed since mid-August.
The local media, in close step with the new leadership after Morsi, repeatedly describe the actions of the Brotherhood and its supporters as acts of terrorism. Many have been charged with inciting violence. Security forces have arrested much the Brotherhood's senior and midlevel leadership, while others remain in hiding.
(AP) Car bomb blasts and other explosions tore through mainly Shiite districts around Baghdad during morning rush hour Wednesday in a day of violence that killed at least 80, intensifying worries about Iraq's ability to tame the spiraling mayhem gripping the country.
It was the latest set of large-scale sectarian attacks to hit Iraq, even as the government went on "high alert" in case a possible Western strike in neighboring Syria increases Iraq's turmoil.
FORT HOOD, Texas (Stars and Stripes) — A military jury has sentenced Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to death for the 2009 mass shooting at a post clinic that killed 13 people and left 31 others wounded.
The panel of 13 military officers deliberated for two and a half hours; Hasan also was sentenced to forfeiture of all pay and dismissal from the service. He still faces a lengthy appeals process before he can be executed by lethal injection.
Hasan did not react to the sentence.
The convening authority, Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, must still approve the sentence, and then the Army Court of Criminal of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Military Appeals will automatically review the case. The president must also approve the sentence before Hasan is executed.
The last time the military put a servicemember to death was April 13, 1961.
The mothers of Sgt. Amy Krueger, Pfc. Aaron Nemelka and Spc. Jason D. Hunt, and the widows of Michael Cahill and Capt. John Gaffaney sat in the courtroom as the prosecution delivered its closing argument. Cahill wore her wedding band. A few had tears in their eyes after the sentence was read.
Col. Michael Mulligan, the lead prosecutor, talked about each of the 13 murdered victims, as family photos were displayed on small screens for the jurors.
“Although as parents we love all our children, sometimes there’s a stronger bond with one. It’s hard to explain,” Mulligan said, noting the strong bond between Nemelka and his mother.
When the two uniformed officers came to the house at 11 p.m. the night of the shooting, Teena Nemelka “did not need to open the door. She did not want to open the door,” Mulligan said.
Mulligan said in his closing statement that death was a just sentence for Hasan. The 13 soldiers Hasan killed, Mulligan said, “are united in death … 13 soldiers who gave the final measure [of devotion], not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, but answer the call to duty and processing through a medical readiness center.”
In the midst of the carnage, Mulligan said, “there were also incredible acts of bravery.”
Cahill, Gaffaney and Spc. Frederick Greene all charged Hasan in attempts to stop him, according to witness testimony.
“They died in the most noble of ways, they died in the defense of others. They were unarmed, they were unafraid, and they charged a barrage of bullets,” Mulligan said.
Hasan had planned to use a “defense of others” strategy to defend himself during the trial – to argue he killed the soldiers who were about to deploy to protect Taliban leaders in Afghanistan. He fired his defense counsel when they refused to go along with the plan, and a judge later rejected the defense.
Instead, Hasan stayed silent through most of the trial, called no witnesses and delivered no statements. On Wednesday morning, he struck a lackadaisical stance in a session without the jury, telling judge Col. Tara Osborn that he didn’t care whether she instructed the jury members that they should not draw an inference from the fact that he did not testify.
“That’s fine, you can say that, ma’am,” he said.
Seconds later, he told her he would prefer she not give that instruction to the jury.
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorism organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance.
Since the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen "terrorism enterprise investigations" into mosques, according to interviews and confidential police documents. The TEI, as it is known, is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.
Many TEIs stretch for years, allowing surveillance to continue even though the NYPD has never criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating as a terrorism enterprise.
The documents show in detail how, in its hunt for terrorists, the NYPD investigated countless innocent New York Muslims and put information about them in secret police files. As a tactic, opening an enterprise investigation on a mosque is so potentially invasive that while the NYPD conducted at least a dozen, the FBI never did one, according to interviews with federal law enforcement officials.
The strategy has allowed the NYPD to send undercover officers into mosques and attempt to plant informants on the boards of mosques and at least one prominent Arab-American group in Brooklyn, whose executive director has worked with city officials, including Bill de Blasio, a front-runner for mayor.
The revelations about the NYPD's massive spying operations are in documents recently obtained by The Associated Press and part of a new book, "Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD's Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden's Final Plot Against America." The book by AP reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman is based on hundreds of previously unpublished police files and interviews with current and former NYPD, CIA and FBI officials.
The disclosures come as the NYPD is fighting off lawsuits accusing it of engaging in racial profiling while combating crime. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the department's use of the stop-and-frisk tactic was unconstitutional.
The American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups have sued, saying the Muslim spying programs are unconstitutional and make Muslims afraid to practice their faith without police scrutiny.
Both Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have denied those accusations. They say police do not unfairly target people; they only follow leads.
"As a matter of department policy, undercover officers and confidential informants do not enter a mosque unless they are following up on a lead," Kelly wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal. "We have a responsibility to protect New Yorkers from violent crime or another terrorist attack -- and we uphold the law in doing so."
An NPYD spokesman declined to comment.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Wahhabis against Wahhabis? This could be interesting.
(AFP) A top Saudi member of Al-Qaeda slammed King Abdullah's support for the Egyptian army's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, in a video message posted online Sunday.
"One of their latest crimes is supporting the secular forces in Egypt against the government of Morsi," Ibrahim al-Rubaish said in a statement.
Rubaish is considered the religion affairs chief of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based franchise of the jihadist network, formed in a 2009 merger of its Saudi and Yemeni branches.
"The son of Saud was the first to offer congratulations after the fall of the government of Morsi, and the most generous supporter, offering billions to the Tamarod government that rebelled against everything, including Allah," he said.
Tamarod, or rebellion in Arabic, was the movement behind nationwide protests that preceded the Egypt military intervention to depose Morsi on July 3.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states welcomed Egypt's ouster of Morsi, with Riyadh announcing an aid package of $5 billion to Egypt.
Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates followed suit, bringing the pledges made by the three oil-rich Arab states of the Gulf to $12 billion.
Analysts say Riyadh and its allies are throwing their financial and diplomatic muscle behind Egypt's army-installed rulers because they see the political Islam espoused by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood as a destabilising factor.
BEIRUT (AFP) — Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian jihadist group Al-Nusra Front on Sunday vowed revenge strikes against villages from President Bashar al-Assad's community over claims his forces used chemical weapons.
Syria's main opposition body, the National Coalition, has accused Assad's forces of "massacring" more than 1,300 people in chemical weapons attacks on the outskirts of Damascus on Wednesday, which his regime has denied.
"The Alawite villages will pay the price for each chemical rocket that struck our people in Damascus," Al-Nusra front chief Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani said in an audio message posted on the Internet and on his Twitter account, adding that "one thousand rockets will be used for this purpose".
"It is a debt towards... our relatives in the eastern Ghouta," he said.
"This regime attacked the eastern region (of Damascus province) with dozens of chemical rockets that killed hundreds of children, women and men," Jawlani said, calling on opposition fighters across the country to take revenge.
Jawlani also suggested that the revenge attacks could take place as soon as Sunday, calling on "the soldiers of Al-Nusra" to "spread their fire... before the end of the day and the setting of the sun".
Assad hails from the Alawite community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam unlike most Sunni rebel groups fighting to topple him, including Al-Nusra, whose chief in March pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda.
HTAN GONE, Myanmar (AP) — Members of a 1,000-strong Buddhist mob torched dozens of homes and shops in northwestern Myanmar following rumors that a Muslim man tried to sexually assault a young woman, officials and witnesses said, as the country was once again gripped by sectarian violence.
The rioters, who sang the country's national anthem as they rampaged, dispersed after security forces arrived early Sunday, shooting into the air. No injuries were reported.
The hours-long riot in Htan Gone village, located 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of the town of Kantbalu in the region of Sagaing, began late Saturday after a crowd surrounded a police station, demanding that the suspect in the attempted assault be handed over, a police officer told The Associated Press. The officer requested anonymity because he did not have the authority to speak to reporters.
State television reported that about 42 houses and 15 shops were burned and destroyed — most belonging to Muslims.
(FPM) Technically Khalid al Hamad, the Syrian Cannibal, is a Free Syrian Army commander, but those structural lines are loose, and since we couldn’t possibly be arming one of those bad cannibal people, he must be Al Nusra Front. Just ask Lindsey Graham, he’ll tell you so.
But now it appears that members of Boko Haram, widely reputed to be linked to Al Qaeda, despite frequent loud denials from Obama Inc, are joining them on the cannibal front lines.
Dozens of suspected Boko Haram militants in Magumeri forest, Borno state, north east Nigeria, have turned to human eaters after being stranded for days without food or water.That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem under Islam. In times of emergency, there’s a cannibal hierarchy. First you eat infidels, then Muslims who stop praying.
Magumeri forest is about 150 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. The incredible story was related by Malam Momodu Bukar, who claimed to be part of the insurgency group.
He told newsmen on Saturday in Maiduguri that he fled the camp at the forest on Thursday when it became obvious that he was going to be eaten. “I thank God that I escaped because I would have been slaughtered by now to provide meal for my colleagues at the camp,” Bukar said.
Clearly some of the Boko Haram Jihadists had not stayed current with their prayers and went into the pot.
(WSJ) In the beginning, the Hebrew Bible tells us, the universe was all "tohu wabohu," chaos and tumult. This month the Middle East seems to be reverting to that primeval state: Iraq continues to unravel, the Syrian War grinds on with violence spreading to Lebanon and allegations of chemical attacks this week, and Egypt stands on the brink of civil war with the generals crushing the Muslim Brotherhood and street mobs torching churches. Turkey's prime minister, once widely hailed as President Obama's best friend in the region, blames Egypt's violence on the Jews; pretty much everyone else blames it on the U.S.
The Obama administration had a grand strategy in the Middle East. It was well intentioned, carefully crafted and consistently pursued.
Unfortunately, it failed.
The plan was simple but elegant: The U.S. would work with moderate Islamist groups like Turkey's AK Party and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to make the Middle East more democratic. This would kill three birds with one stone. First, by aligning itself with these parties, the Obama administration would narrow the gap between the 'moderate middle' of the Muslim world and the U.S. Second, by showing Muslims that peaceful, moderate parties could achieve beneficial results, it would isolate the terrorists and radicals, further marginalizing them in the Islamic world. Finally, these groups with American support could bring democracy to more Middle Eastern countries, leading to improved economic and social conditions, gradually eradicating the ills and grievances that drove some people to fanatical and terroristic groups.
President Obama (whom I voted for in 2008) and his team hoped that the success of the new grand strategy would demonstrate once and for all that liberal Democrats were capable stewards of American foreign policy. The bad memories of the Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter presidencies would at last be laid to rest; with the public still unhappy with George W. Bush's foreign policy troubles, Democrats would enjoy a long-term advantage as the party most trusted by voters to steer the country through stormy times.
It is much too early to anticipate history's verdict on the Obama administration's foreign policy; the president has 41 months left in his term, and that is more than enough for the picture in the Middle East to change drastically once again. Nevertheless, to get a better outcome, the president will have to change his approach.
With the advantages of hindsight, it appears that the White House made five big miscalculations about the Middle East. It misread the political maturity and capability of the Islamist groups it supported; it misread the political situation in Egypt; it misread the impact of its strategy on relations with America's two most important regional allies (Israel and Saudi Arabia); it failed to grasp the new dynamics of terrorist movements in the region; and it underestimated the costs of inaction in Syria.
America's Middle East policy in the past few years depended on the belief that relatively moderate Islamist political movements in the region had the political maturity and administrative capability to run governments wisely and well. That proved to be half-true in the case of Turkey's AK Party: Until fairly recently Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whatever mistakes he might make, seemed to be governing Turkey in a reasonably effective and reasonably democratic way. But over time, the bloom is off that rose. Mr. Erdogan's government has arrested journalists, supported dubious prosecutions against political enemies, threatened hostile media outlets and cracked down crudely on protesters. Prominent members of the party leadership look increasingly unhinged, blaming Jews, telekinesis and other mysterious forces for the growing troubles it faces.
Things have reached such a pass that the man President Obama once listed as one of his five best friends among world leaders and praised as "an outstanding partner and an outstanding friend on a wide range of issues" is now being condemned by the U.S. government for "offensive" anti-Semitic charges that Israel was behind the overthrow of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi.
(INN) Back to the days of the Mongols. Burn, pillage, destroy.
"Dozens of churches were burned and destroyed in the largest attack on Coptic houses of worship since 1321", reports the Wall Street Journal about the latest persecution of Christians in Egypt.
A symbol of Egypt's national culture, the ancient churches of Minya, did not hold religious services for the first time in 1,600 years. The churches had been destroyed by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
The Coptic Pope Tawadros II, who appeared at the side of General Al Sisi during the announcement of Morsi's dismissal, is now hiding in a secret location for fear of terrorist attacks.
Christian shops and homes have been marked by a black "X", while the Muslim buildings are marked with a red "X". At the end of the clashes, the black painted buildings were destroyed, while the red ones were left unharmed. It was an operation of religious cleansing.
Last July, a Christian was beheaded by Islamists and there have been least seven deaths among Christians in the last few days.
The guru of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, gave formal approval for the attacks against Christians. In a video, Qaradawi says that "Christians" have been "recruited (by the military junta) to kill innocent Muslims."
Videos from Egypt show burned churches and Islamists who embrace and kiss each other, congratulating one another for the destruction of the buildings of "infidels." In the city of Sohag, Islamists raised the black flag of al Qaeda on a church and executed a Christian couple after asking for their identity cards.
The Franciscan School of Beni Suef has been destroyed by Islamists and nuns have been forced to march in the streets as if they were "prisoners of war", while the cross in front of the building was torn down and replaced by the terrorists' flag.
Meanwhile, in the church of Mallawi, the statue of the mother of Jesus was literally decapitated.
Islamists are obliterating non-Muslim heritage in the Middle East. Their targets are Jewish shrines, Christian churches, monuments and cultural masterpieces.
In Timbuktu, Mali, Islamists destroyed the tomb of a Sufi saint, Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar. Timbuktu is known as “the city of the 333 saints”, classified among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The UN cultural body didn’t raise its voice against this Islamic cataclysm.
An Islamic mob destroyed the Institute of Egypt in Cairo, founded by Napoleon and containing 192,000 books and documents from as far back as the XIX century. It’s simply gone.
Napoleon’s legendary “Description de l’Egypte” is lost (in 1822 Jean-François Champollion used this document to unveil the mistery of the hierogliphycs). UNESCO, again, stood silent.
As it stood silent when Egypt’s former cultural minister, Farouk Hosni, said he “would burn Israeli books in Egyptian libraries”.
The dream of Napoleon was to conquer the land of the pharaohs and the "wise general" surrounded himself with men of science. He wanted Egypt and its civilization to be recorded for posterity. There were well-known scientist friends of Napoleon, the physicist Gaspard Monge and the chemist Claude Berthollet (the inventor of bleach) whom he enlisted for the project.
The Institute of Egypt became the headquarters of the scientific expedition. The building was "the favorite mistress of the general," according to the mocking comments of the French military. The "Description", in twenty volumes, now burned forever, was their historical testament. It was burned just the way the Mongols burned the library of Baghdad in 1258.
Egypt's history came under attack this week when pro-Morsi terrorists looted more than 1,000 artifacts, burning mummies, breaking statues and hauling off ancient beaded jewelry from Malawi Museum.
Islamic salafists are trying to ban the ancient statues that dot Egypt and suggested that the pagan treasures “could be covered with wax”.
The sirens that embellish the fountain of Zeus in Alexandria have been deemed “inappropriate” by the Salafist party, which decided to “veil” them completely with a sheet.
In Israel, Palestinian Muslims torched the synagogues in Gaza’s Katif Bloc. It was an orgy of hate.
Twelve years ago, Arabs destroyed Joseph’s tomb, Judaism’s fourth holy site, smashing the stone structure and ripping it apart, brick by brick.
The arson attack on the Shalom al Yisrael synagogue in Jericho and the continuing gunfire at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are two other examples.
The Islamic Waqf is attempting to destroy all evidence of Jewish claims to the The Temple Mount in Jerusalem, while using terror and intimidation to impose its exclusive claim to the sacred site. The Waqf has proceeded on two fronts: de-Judaize the Mount by archeological destruction and Islamize it by preventing the Jews from praying there.
In 2000 the Taliban destroyed two wonderful Buddhas in Bamyan, Afghanistan. It was a turning point for a proto-Nazi ideology bent on the physical eradication of its enemies and their religious symbols. Like when a Greek garrison had to defend Athens' Acropolis against a Turkish siege in 1826.
Between 1999 and 2004 approximately 150 churches, monasteries and seminaries were attacked by Albanian and Bosnian Muslims. Many of the churches contained Byzantine frescoes dating as far back as the 13th century. These sites were reduced to rubble, in full view of the U.N. and the world's media.
We also witnessed the looting of the Baghdad museum during the US invasion in 2003. And in Nigeria dozens of churches have been destroyed by Boko Haram.
French philosopher Christian Godin wrote that Islamism is far more dangerous than either Nazism or Communism with regard to world culture, since the latter, despite their genocidal aberrations, presupposed their own preservation (Hitler's cultural chief, Alfred Rosenberg, travelled through the whole of Europe to collect books and masterpieces).
For the Islamists, it is the world itself that does not deserve to exist. These troglodytes would, if they had their way, take our civilization back to the 7th century.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
(Telegraph) Gomaa Amin is understood to have been made head of the Islamist organisation last week following the arrest of his predecessor in Cairo by Egypt’s military rulers.
Mr Amin, 79, had flown to London about two months ago for medical treatment and as a result escaped detention when the army seized power in a bloody coup.
He is now residing at an undisclosed address from which he is trying to orchestrate the Muslim Brotherhood’s response to the coup.
The presence of Mr Amin in London is a potential headache for British authorities who may be obliged to provide protection for such a senior and controversial figure. [...]
The Muslim Brotherhood, through its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party, has instructed lawyers in London to investigate whether Abdulfattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian general at the head of the army, who deposed Mohammed Morsi, the country’s democratically-elected president, has committed crimes against humanity.
The team of lawyers includes Lord Macdonald of River Glaven, the former director of public prosecutions, and Michael Mansfield QC, who brought the private prosecution against the killers of Stephen Lawrence.
Legal actions may be brought at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague or else through a private prosecution in London.
If successful, Egypt’s new military rulers may face having their assets frozen in the West and even possibly arrest should they try to visit the European Union or other countries signed up to the ICC.
Mr Amin is understood to be heavily involved in bringing the case although lawyers refuse to identify individuals over fears for their safety.
Tayab Ali, a partner at human rights law firm ITN Solicitors who is head of the legal team, said: “It is really dangerous for Muslim Brotherhood members in exile in London.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was convicted Friday in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, a shocking assault against American troops at home by one of their own who said he opened fire on fellow soldiers to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.
The Army psychiatrist acknowledged carrying out the attack in a crowded waiting room where unarmed troops were making final preparations to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded.
Because Hasan never denied his actions, the court-martial was always less about a conviction than it was about ensuring he received the death penalty. From the beginning of the case, the federal government has sought to execute Hasan, believing that any sentence short of a lethal injection would deprive the military and the families of the dead of the justice they have sought for nearly four years.
A jury of 13 high-ranking military officers reached a unanimous guilty verdict in about seven hours. In the next phase of the trial, they must all agree to give Hasan the death penalty before he can be sent to the military's death row, which has just five other prisoners. If they do not agree, the 42-year-old could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Hasan, a Virginia-born Muslim, said the attack was a jihad against U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He bristled when the trial judge, Col. Tara Osborn, suggested the shooting rampage could have been avoided were it not for a spontaneous flash of anger.
"It wasn't done under the heat of sudden passion," Hasan said before jurors began deliberating. "There was adequate provocation - that these were deploying soldiers that were going to engage in an illegal war."
All but one of the dead were soldiers, including a pregnant private who curled on the floor and pleaded for her baby's life.
The sentencing phase is expected to begin with more testimony from survivors of the attack inside an Army medical center where soldiers were waiting in long lines to receive immunizations and medical clearance for deployment.
About 50 soldiers and civilians testified of hearing someone scream "Allahu akbar!" - Arabic for "God is great!" - and seeing a man in Army camouflage open fire. Many identified Hasan as the shooter and recalled his handgun's red and green laser sights piercing a room made dark with gun smoke.
Hasan, who acted as his own attorney, began the trial by telling jurors he was the gunman. But he said little else over the next three weeks, which convinced his court-appointed standby lawyers that Hasan's only goal was to get a death sentence.
As the trial progressed, those suspicions grew. The military called nearly 90 witnesses, but Hasan rested his case without calling a single person to testify in his defense and made no closing argument. Yet he leaked documents during the trial to journalists that revealed him telling military mental health workers that he could "still be a martyr" if executed.
It takes a special kind of evil to do that.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- An official says suspected Islamist extremists killed at least 44 villagers in continuing attacks in an Islamic uprising in northeast Nigeria.
The official of the National Emergency Management Agency says the attackers hit Dumba village in Borno state before dawn Tuesday and slit their victims' throats -- a new strategy since gunfire attracts security forces.
He said the attackers gouged out the eyes of some victims who survived. The official spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to give information to reporters.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's North African branch blamed Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim militant group Hezbollah for twin bombs that hit the northern city of Tripoli on Friday and threatened retribution, a U.S.-based intelligence monitoring website reported on Saturday.
Although al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, is not operational in Lebanon, its statement shows a growing regional hatred against Hezbollah by radical Sunni Muslim groups and a wider, deepening sectarian divide in the Middle East.
AQIM said in tweets it knew "with certainty" that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah was responsible for the attack that killed more than 42 people in Tripoli.
"That vile party ... should know that it will meet retribution soon," AQIM said, according to the SITE monitoring service.
Hezbollah, which was once lauded by both Sunnis and Shi'ites for its battles against Israel, has lost support from many Sunnis since it joined Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's side in his 2 1/2-year-old fight against a majority Sunni uprising.
Syrian rebels, whose strongest elements are radical Sunnis, have been hosted in neighboring Lebanon by sympathetic Sunnis and there have been attacks on Hezbollah members on Lebanese soil. Both Hezbollah and radical Sunni groups in Lebanon have sent fighters into Syria to fight on opposing sides.
The explosions in Tripoli, 70 km (40 miles) from the capital Beirut, were the biggest and deadliest there since the end of Lebanon's own civil war and came a week after a huge car bomb killed at least 24 people in a Shi'ite district of Beirut controlled by Hezbollah.
"We know with certainty that behind this deplorable act committed against are the hands of the vile, rafidah Hezbollah, which stands side by side with Bashar in Syria," the AQIM tweets said, as quoted by SITE.
Al Qaeda groups follow a hardline ideology that rejects all non-Sunnis as infidels and regularly incites antagonism towards Shi'ites. Assad's family is from the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
(Fox News) The Department of Homeland Security said Friday that an employee who runs a racist website predicting and advocating a race war has been put on paid administrative leave.
Ayo Kimathi, an acquisitions officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement who is in charge of buying weapons and ammunition for the government, operates the website named "War on the Horizon." It includes descriptions of an "unavoidable, inevitable clash with the white race." Kimathi is black.
Kimathi, who calls himself the "Irritated Genie," told his supervisors that the website was set up to sell concert and lecture videos.
Kimathi has been with the department since 2009. His website criticizes whites, gays, those of mixed race, and blacks who integrate with whites. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, earlier this week reported on Kimathi's role in running the site.
The report showed the site's content strayed far beyond concert promotion, warning about a coming race war. The website declares, “in order for Black people to survive the 21st century, we are going to have to kill a lot of whites – more than our Christian hearts can possibly count,” the Alabama-based SPLC said in its report.
One of Kimathi’s former supervisors at DHS told SPLC’s Hatewatch that, "Everybody is the office is afraid of him,” and that his co-workers are “afraid he will come in with a gun and someday go postal."
The supervisor, who was not named, continued, "I am astounded he's employed by the federal government, let alone Homeland Security."
Kimathi reportedly got the go-ahead from the government to create and maintain his website. That’s because as a law enforcement agency employee, he is required to get permission in writing if he engages in outside activities which includes everything from working a second job to volunteering.
The SPLC says Kimathi obtained official permission but did it by misrepresenting the true nature of his site.
"He told management that it was an entertainment website selling videos of concerts and lectures," the report said. "He called it simply WOH, never saying that WOH stood for War on the Horizon."
ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said in a written statement this week that the agency "does not condone any type of hateful rhetoric or advocacy of violence of any kind against anyone."
Kimathi hasn't responded to email and phone calls requesting comment.
Friday, August 23, 2013
MIAMI (Reuters) - A 78-year-old south Florida imam was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a judge on Friday for funneling more than $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban.
Hafiz Kahn was convicted in March on four counts of providing money and support to the group, which the United States considers a terrorist organization. He had faced a maximum of 60 years in prison, and prosecutors sought a 15-year sentence.
"The seriousness of what he did and the potential harm it could have caused is something this court takes seriously," U.S. District Judge Robert Scola said.
A U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, Khan was the imam at the Flagler Mosque, one of Miami's oldest mosques. He was arrested in 2011 along with two of his sons.
Prosecutors said Khan sent money to family and friends in Pakistan between 2008 and 2010 that was funneled to the Taliban, which they say used some of the funds to buy weapons.
"Mr. Khan took a list of his contacts and his desire to have sharia law in Pakistan and brought his mosque into this effort," said prosecutor John Carlton Shipley Jr. "He brought his family into this effort."
Evidence against the elder Khan included bank records and wiretapped phone calls in which he solicited money and expressed support for Pakistani Taliban efforts to overthrow the Pakistani government and attack Americans.
Khan said the money was intended to help support relatives, war victims and a school he had founded in his hometown in the Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan.
"Whatever money I sent was for the Islamic faith and to help poor people," Khan said through a translator. "I was never sympathetic to terrorists."
Prosecutors dropped charges against one of Khan's sons last year, citing a lack of evidence. A judge acquitted the other son for the same reason after prosecutors finished presenting their case in court in January.
Khan testified in court that he lied about supporting the Taliban because he wanted a $1 million donation from a purported Taliban sympathizer, a man who was actually an FBI informant.
The Pakistani Taliban was formed by Islamic militants in 2007. The U.S. State Department declared it a foreign terrorist organization three years later.
The group has been connected to a December 2009 suicide bomb attack on a U.S. military base in Khost, Afghanistan, that killed seven people. In 2011 the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for suicide bombings that killed more than 80 people in northwestern Pakistan.
(CNN) -- Two powerful explosions ripped through neighborhoods near mosques in the northern Lebanon city of Tripoli Friday. At least 27 people died and more than 400 were wounded, according to the health ministry.
Heavy gunfire was heard following the blasts, Tripoli residents told CNN.
The Lebanese army said it had established a security cordon around the blast sites. The bombs caused "great material damage" in addition to the casualties, the army said.
The first blast occurred near al Taqwa mosque, which is led by a Sunni sheikh known for his links to Syrian rebels, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said.
The second, which occurred minutes later, happened near al Salam mosque, close to the residence of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, as well as Samir Al-Jisr, a Sunni member of parliament and the former head of the country's Internal Security Forces, Ashraf Rifi.
Rifi is despised by Hezbollah and Lebanese politicians friendly to Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
The bombing will not distract the enemies of Israel from fighting with themselves and killing themselves.
(BBC) The Israeli air force bombed a target south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, early on Friday, an Israel Defence Forces spokesman has announced.
The air strike targeted a "terror site" near Na'ameh, between Beirut and Sidon, said an Israeli military source quoted by Reuters.
This comes a day after rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon.
A total of four rockets were fired from southern Lebanon, a stronghold of the Shia Islamist movement Hezbollah.
No casualties were reported in that attack, although news footage showed some minor damage at a kibbutz near the coastal town of Nahariya.
An Israeli military spokesman said one of the rockets was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system.
Australia: Islamic preacher calls for all Buddhists and Hindus to be killed and describes Australian soldiers as “Crusader pigs”
(Herald Sun) Here we go again:
AN Adelaide Islamic preacher calls for all Buddhists and Hindus to be killed and describes Australian soldiers as “Crusader pigs” in an online video.Now for the yes-buts from the Islamic community, which should be driving such hate-preachers out of their mosques:
Sheikh Sharif Hussein ... also attacks Jews, former prime minister John Howard, US President Barack Obama, and Australian troops.
“Tens of thousands of women were raped in Iraq, by the American and British crusader troops, aided by the Australian troops,” he says.
“The Australian participation in the Crusaders’ war on Iraq is 6 per cent. This is out of approximately 365,000 Crusader pigs sent to Iraq, during the term of (Mr Howard), Allah’s wrath be upon him.
“Listen, oh Obama, oh enemy of Allah, you who kiss the shoes and feet of the Jews. Listen! The day will come when you are trampled upon by the pure feet of the Muslims.
“Oh Allah, count the Buddhists and the Hindus one by one. Oh Allah, count them and kill them to the very last one."…
Sheikh Hussein is known in Adelaide’s Islamic community, used to be connected to the Marion mosque in Park Holme, and has preached at the Islamic Da’wah Centre of SA in Torrensville.
In response to Sheikh Hussein’s comments, the management committee of the Islamic Society of South Australia said it wanted to remind everyone that it was difficult to comment on “edited materials without dates or any other specifics relating to the actual material"…Not good enough. Until Hussein’s brand of Islam is rooted out - and by Muslims themselves, pro-actively - it is wise to be cautious about allowing many more Muslims into Australia.
“It must be noted that Islam’s overwhelming message is that of peace.
“The Islamic Society of South Australia would therefore NOT support any comments made either locally, nationally or internationally, which are not in accordance with this message.”
Ah, that old excuse again:
Wagdy Elgeezawy, the president of the centre where the sermon was delivered, said spoke to Sheik Hussein yesterday…So who let this Tunisian into our country? Why is he still here?
”His words are obviously being taken out of context.”
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Ezra Levant explains how the current chaos in the Middle-East is directly linked to Barack Obama's foreign policy speech in Cairo which marked a major shift in US foreign policy.
(WJD) A shocking report claims that the CIA is helping Hezbollah in its fight against Al Qaeda, primarily in Lebanon and Syria.
Why? Because the CIA has decided that Syria is the most important security issue in the world -- topping Iran -- and al Qaeda must be stopped at all costs, including cooperating with an international terror group.
Lee Smith writes in the Weekly Standard that the CIA has becomes a powerful player in the Middle East precisely because the Obama administration has shown no leadership or vision in the region.
In other words, without guidance from above, namely the president and his national security cabinet, the intelligence community is apt to pursue its own interests and target its own priorities. And for the CIA, according to outgoing deputy director, Michael Morell, that’s Al Qaeda.For emphasis, Lee points out that means the administration and the CIA see Syria, and not Iran, as the world's leading security threat.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal two weeks ago, Morrell explained that Syria now poses the greatest threat to U.S. national security. “It's probably the most important issue in the world today," said Morrell "because of where it is currently heading." The risk, as he sees it, is that “the Syrian government, which possesses chemical and other advanced weapons, collapses and the country becomes al Qaeda's new haven, supplanting Pakistan.”
In effect, the statements of the CIA’s former number two show that despite the administration’s rhetoric regarding Iran, that Obama has a policy of preventing not containing Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, there is in fact no White House strategy to deal with Iran’s regional project. Thus, taking its lead from a president who confuses drone strikes on Muslim extremists for a Middle East policy, the CIA has drafted its own priorities, and Iran is a second order concern. Al Qaeda is the big game. An Iranian bomb just isn’t as dangerous as a gang of Sunni fanatics with car bombs that blow up Iranian hamlets in the middle of Lebanon.In other words, as reported here many times over the last several months, the Obama administration has no plans to take action against Iran and all its rhetoric against Tehran is just that -- rhetoric.
Monday, August 19, 2013
(ABC) Lawyers representing the family members of those killed and injured in the Ft. Hood shooting rampage were outraged today when an Army judge limited prosecutors from introducing evidence, including emails to a known Al Qaeda operative, that would establish accused shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan's "jihadi" motives.
The judge's rulings could inhibit the ability of the victims' families to claim in a civil suit that the shootings were an act of terror. Federal lawyers involved in the civil suit claim that the people shot during Hasan's murderous rage were victims of workplace violence, a designation that could sharply limit the damages in a civil suit.
"This is first degree mass murder case and motive is absolutely relevant to prove premeditation," said Neal Sher, a lawyer representing many of the victims and their family members in a separate civil suit against the government.
Prosecutors have sought to portray Hasan as a Muslim extremist, motivated by Islamist ideology and in touch with known al Qaeda member Anwar Alwaki.
"He didn't want to deploy and he came to believe he had a jihad duty to murder soldiers," lead prosecutor Col. Steve Henricks said in his opening statements. He wanted to "kill as many soldiers as he could."
The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled today that prosecutors could not mention Hasan's correspondence with Alwaki, an American born al Qaeda recruiter and organizer. Osborn also barred prosecutors from mentioning Hassan's interest in seeking conscientious objector status and drawing parallels to a 2003 incident in which another Muslim American soldier attacked U.S. troops in Kuwait, according to the Associated Press.
The judge found much of that evidence was too old, but permitted prosecutors to introduce evidence about Hasan's internet usage and search history from the time of the attack.
Many of the victims and their family members have filed a civil suit against the government, arguing that the attack should be classified as a terrorist attack, allowing victims to receive combat medals, like the Purple Heart, and receive better benefits.
The government maintains that the attack was an incidence of "workplace violence."
"The government is talking from both sides of its mouth," Sher said to describe the Pentagon's decision on the one hand to deny that the attack was an act of terror, while having prosecutors argue that Hasan was motivated by "jihad," or Muslim holy war.
"Our view is pretty basic: It's obvious that the government knew he had jihadist leanings years before the attack," Sher said.
Hasan, who is representing himself, previously called himself a "mujahedeen" or Muslim holy warrior and said he had switched sides in the war between the U.S. and Islamic terrorism.
Prosecutors said on Friday they would soon be wrapping their case against Hasan, which means he may begin his defense as early as Tuesday.
If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Egypt: Coptic churches cancel second mass for the first time in 1,600 years because of Muslim Brotherhood attacks
"And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality."
Barack Obama, Cairo, June 4, 2009.
Barack Obama, Cairo, June 4, 2009.
(Egypt Independent) -- Minya churches canceled on Sunday the second mass, holding only a brief one. Meanwhile, prayers did not take place at other churches which were attacked.
Priest Selwanes Lotfy of the Virgin Mary and Priest Ibram monastery in Degla, south of Minya, said, “We did not hold prayers in the monastery on Sunday for the first time in 1,600 years.”
“Supporters of deposed President [Mohamed Morsy] destroyed the Virgin Mary and Priest Ibram monastery, which includes three churches, one of which is an archaeological site. One of the extremists wrote on the monastery wall ‘donate to the martyrs’ mosque,’” Lotfy added.
I'll bet al-Qaeda would like to see Nasrallah's heart on its menu.
(CNSNews.com) – Hezbollah’s intervention in the Syrian civil war has made it a target of the type of terrorism for which it is itself notorious, but the Lebanese Shi’ite group’s leader is vowing it will not be deterred in its support for Bashar Assad’s regime.
If necessary, Hassan Nasrallah said he would himself go to Syria, along with “all Hezbollah,” to join the battle against Sunni Islamist rebels fighting to topple Assad.
One of the more striking features of the Syrian conflict is the involvement of the world’s leading Shi’ite terrorist group on the side of the regime, arrayed against fighters associated with the world’s most prominent Sunni terrorist network, al-Qaeda, on the rebel side.
Sunni radicals warned Hezbollah earlier that its deployment of fighters alongside Assad’s forces in Syria would carry a price, and a car bombing in Hezbollah’s southern Beirut stronghold on Thursday, which killed at least 21 people, was widely viewed in that light.
(That did not stop some Lebanese politicians, including U.S.-backed President Michel Sleiman, from pointing a finger at Israel.)
In a video clip posted online a Sunni Islamist group calling itself the Brigades of Aisha claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it was a “second powerful message” because Hezbollah has not yet “understood,” and promising that more would follow. Another car bombing in a nearby area of Beirut six weeks ago injured dozens of people.
(Ynet) For the average European opposing the State of Israel has become the standard framework through which one can analyze the Middle East and its current evolutions.
For the average European,Zionism can only be defined as a devastating ideology which cannot be conceived as having brought forward any positive result.
For the average European, anti-Semitism, as the deadliest and most irrational form of hatred known in the continent, is a threat extinguished long time ago, a threat whose details only find their way through the pages of history books.
All this, the new anti-Semites understand it well and know how to use this common European pathology to wage a modern war against the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
Modern anti-Semitism should be considered as a true threat to Europe’s stability as it undermines the basic tenets of a functioning democracy: individual critical thinking and a social thrive for tolerance. They no longer wear brown shirts or build ghettos and, just for that reason, modern anti-Semites are even more dangerous. Behind the mask of cultural relativism, behind the support of the Palestinians and their anti-Zionism, a movement is arising which aims at the same time at destroying the European social fabric, marginalizing the Jewish communities and delegitimizing the State of Israel.
As it has been the case in the end of the 19th century, France and Italy offer an excellent case study to analyze the dark clouds that are gathering over Europe. As it happened in the 20th century, anti-Semitism is built upon three pillars: The destruction of Jewish legitimacy, the acceptance of a radical discourse and the demonization of public figures opposing the trend. Modern anti-Semites understand that their supposed human right-inspired opposition to the State of Israel can be used as a Trojan Horse to condition the European mind into a modern kind of hate toward the Jewish people.
On August 14th, a French court in Perpignan certified the innocence of three members of the BDS movement (Boycott Disinvest and Sanction). While it isn’t necessary to enter into the specifics of this fanatic organization, it is essential to understand that behind the facade of a pro-Palestinian group, a radically anti-Semitic message can flourish. With its managing members defining anybody who opposes their techniques as “Jew Lover” and vilifying time and again the Jewish people, the supposed anti-Zionism of these campaigns is hardly hiding their true message: a relentless campaign against the Jewish people and the State of Israel. The tragedy is that the EU official boycott of Israeli businesses and companies operating in the West Bank comes as an implicit blessing to these organizations, thus providing an institutional backing to a mob-like anti-Semitism.
As it was the case in the 1930s, Western Europe in undergoing a deep cultural crisis stemming from the downturns of its economic downfall and from the ravages of cultural relativism. This enables fundamentalist figures to appear as mainstream public personalities. The end of Ramadan in the Italian hub of Milan was marked by a speech by well-known Jihadist Imam, who got the official authorization to address tens of thousands of people. Infamous for praising child suicide attacks, hatred against Jews and the virtues found in Islamic Jihad, this man shared the stage with members of the Italian Parliament who by their presence implicitly showed their support to this person’s ideas, thus encouraging Muslims and others to take him as an example. Radical Imams are free to pollute the social sphere with their speeches filled by hate throughout French Mosques while public prayers highly disrupting everyday life are a current show of force of these groups.
The third pillar of Western European modern anti-Semitism is the less visible one but the most efficient and certainly the most ancient form of crowd manipulation. Crowds are pushed to accept the boycott of Israeli products and to listen to the outbursts of radical Islamists because the overall media condition them to interiorize and consent to a certain dose of anti-Semitism. When on June 26th French courts condemned Philippe Karsenty in his lone fight for truth in the al-Dura affair, any person interested in unfolding the media orchestrated lie should not only have been shocked by the court’s decision but also by the little attention this affair is obtaining among French citizens. Viewed as a ‘Jewish Affair’, people simply don’t care about the truth especially if this truth upsets them in their preconceived ideas in regard to the State of Israel.
They may no longer impose yellow stars and talk about racial purity but the modern anti-Semites pose a real problem to the future of Europe as well as to its relations with Israel. By distorting the truth, controlling crowds and crafting a well-structured fundamentalist propaganda, these groups come in the perfect line of the religious extremism that blocked Europe in the Middle Ages and the nationalistic rage that burnt the continent in the 1930s and 1940s. Hitler wasn’t a particularly bright individual; he just came at the perfect moment, when the crowds were implicitly begging for a figure like his. The modern anti-Semites in the comfort of their university halls, their street protests and their mosques are preparing a devastating groundwork which could potentially result in millions of people to be accepting a new form of destructive mentality.
(INN) Islamist terror network Al-Qaeda is plotting attacks on Europe's high-speed rail network, German newspaper Bild reported on Monday, citing U.S. intelligence sources.
The group could plant explosives on trains and tunnels or sabotage tracks and electrical cabling, said the newspaper, which is Europe's most widely-read daily.
The information reportedly came from the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States, which had eavesdropped on a call involving top al-Qaeda operatives. The attacks on Europe's rail network was a "central topic" of this call, Bild said.
Authorities in Germany have responded to the threat with discreet measures such as deploying plain-clothes police officers at key stations and on main routes, according to the report.
U.S. media reports earlier this month said that intelligence services intercepted a conference call between al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and more than 20 operatives from across the group's global network.
This prompted the US and several allies to shut embassies across the Muslim world, fearful that a major attack was imminent.
On August 1, the US issued a worldwide alert, warning of al-Qaeda plans to launch an attack in the Middle East or North Africa.
(NYP) When Al Jazeera America hits the air tomorrow, it will come with a big budget, a global network of 1,000 journalists and a mission to compete with entrenched rivals like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
What it won’t have? Advertisers.
The network launches with just six minutes of commercial time an hour — less than half the typical ad load of a cable news channel. Most of those will be in-house promos and local ad spots as national advertisers shun the controversial network.
The Mideast news outlet, funded by the government of Qatar, is gunning for an American audience despite a deep distrust in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Iraq war.
While Al Jazeera is spinning the lack of ads as a positive for viewers, behind the scenes it is having a tough time persuading Madison Avenue to buy airtime on a network perceived as anti-American.
“I wouldn’t give them a dime, especially since we are in New York,” said one advertiser, who asked not to be named.
“They’re owned by an Arab country and they ran the [Osama] bin Laden tapes. I just wouldn’t trust them,” he said, referring to Al Jazeera’s role in gaining access to the late al Qaeda leader.
A major ad agency buyer who was pitched on the channel was even more blunt: “Not touching that one.”
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian army and militia troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have pushed back a rebel offensive in the mountain heartlands of his Alawite sect, officials and activists said on Monday, after days of heavy fighting and aerial bombardment.
The assault by Islamist rebels on the northern edges of the Alawite mountains overlooking the Mediterranean drove hundreds of Alawite villagers out to the coast and marked a major challenge to Assad's reassertion of power over central Syria.
But the Syrian president, battling a two-year uprising which has descended into a devastating civil war, sent reinforcements to the rugged area of northern Latakia to repel the attack.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Assad's forces have retaken all the military observation posts which rebels had seized when they launched their offensive two weeks ago, and regained control of nine Alawite villages.
The army was still trying to recapture two villages, the observatory's head Rami Abdelrahman said, adding that heavy fighting continued on Monday.
State news agency SANA said the army had "dealt with the last terrorist groups" in the area and seized their weapons.
Rebels killed 200 people, mostly civilians, and drove hundreds from their villages in the first three days of the assault, activists said. They also shot down a military jet, according to amateur video footage released on Sunday.
At one stage a rebel commander said the rebels had reached within 20 km (12 miles) of Qardaha - Assad's hometown and the burial place of his father Hafez al-Assad, who ruled Syria with an iron fist for three decades.
In a gesture of support for the rebel fighters, and a sign of the symbolic significance of their advances, the head of the Free Syrian Army was filmed visiting Latakia province last week.
But the army and pro-Assad National Defense Force militia fighters pushed the rebels back, killing many fighters including foreign Arab jihadists who formed part of the al Qaeda-linked brigades on the rebel front line.
Jets have also bombed the Sunni Muslim town of Salma which was the launchpad for the rebel attack against the Alawite villagers, a minority sect that is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
Syria's conflict, which has killed more than 100,000, began as peaceful protests demanding Assad's ouster but is now marred by rising sectarian bloodshed between Sunnis and Alawites.
CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court dropped on Monday a corruption charge against Hosni Mubarak, the president ousted in the 2011 uprising, a ruling his lawyer said would clear the way to his release from jail soon.
Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, was arrested soon after his overthrow and became the first Arab leader to face trial. In scenes that captivated Arabs, the octogenarian appeared in a courtroom cage to face charges that ranged from corruption to complicity in the murder of protesters.
More than a year on, the only legal grounds for Mubarak's continued detention rest on another corruption case which his lawyer, Fareed el-Deeb, said would be settled swiftly.
"All we have left is a simple administrative procedure that should take no more than 48 hours. He should be freed by the end of the week," Deeb told Reuters.
Without confirming that Mubarak would be freed, a judicial source said the former leader would spend at least another two weeks behind bars before the criminal court made a final decision in the outstanding corruption case against him.
This happened right outside the Rafah border crossing with Gaza.
(Fox News) Egyptian security officials say suspected Islamist militants ambushed two minibuses in northern Sinai Monday, killing 25 policemen.
The officials say the attack took place as the two vehicles were driving through a village near the town of Rafah, located on the border of the Gaza Strip in the volatile Sinai Peninsula. According to authorities, the militants forced the two vehicles to stop and the policemen were ordered outside and made to lie down before they were shot execution-style. The officials said that the policemen were off-duty and in civilian clothes.
Initially, rocket-propelled grenades were believed to have been used in the attack. Egyptian state television also reported that the men were shot execution-style.
The officials told the Associated Press the attack also left two policemen wounded. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media.
A few hours after the attack near Rafah, suspected militants shot to death a police major as he stood guard outside a bank in the city of el-Arish, also in northern Sinai, security officials said.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq executed 17 prisoners on Monday, all but one convicted for "terrorism," shrugging off calls from international human rights organizations to reconsider the use of capital punishment.
In a statement posted on its website, the Justice Ministry said authorities had executed 15 Iraqis and an Egyptian convicted of terrorism for "carrying out crimes against the Iraqi people." The other prisoner was convicted of another unspecified criminal offense.
Two of those hanged were women, it added, without saying when the executions were carried out. This year, a total of 67 people have been executed in the country.
According to the London-based Amnesty International, Iraq was ranked fourth among the top five executioners in the world in 2011, after China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and U.S. Groups have questioned whether defendants receive a fair trial.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Interviewer: You explained your defection from the Saudi royal family, saying that you did not want to be responsible for the mismanagement of the country, which harms the interests of the people. What exactly did you mean?
Prince Khaled bin Farhan Aal Saud: I was referring to the monopolization of power, resources, and wealth by the small minority of the ruling family, in the service of their own personal interests, with complete disregard of the interests of the public.
They are not even willing to listen to the legitimate demands of the people, who are human beings just like citizens of other countries. The demands include the public's participation in political life and instating a constitution that stems from Islamic shari'a, which would define the powers of the executive, judiciary, and legislative authorities, so that they act without contradicting one another.
Such a constitution should uphold the honor of the Saudi citizen, as well as his liberties and human rights.
In all honesty, injustice is endemic in Saudi Arabia. There is no freedom of expression, no freedom of speech.
Al-Jazeera Commentator, Former MB Official, Gamal Nassar: Al-Sisi Is Jewish, Implementing Protocols of Elders of Zion in Egypt
Gamal Nassar: I was trying to figure out Al-Sisi's origins. I wanted to know more about him. I was surprised to learn, from the Algerian Al-Watan newspaper, that Al-Sisi is of Jewish origin. His mother is called Mulaika Titani, and her brother was a member of the Jewish Haganah organization. Thus, we see that this man, by any standard, is implementing a Zionist plan to divide Egypt.
This man, who heads the armed forces today, is committing a crime, in the full sense of the word. Many massacres have taken place. In my opinion, if decisive measures are not taken, the massacres will continue. Al-Sisi has come to destroy everything.
Within the framework of his plot, he wants to ignite civil war, in order to portray himself as trying to protect state institutions, while he, in fact, is the one who is burning them down. He portrays himself as trying to defend national security, while he, in fact, is undermining it. In short, he wants to set the state of Egypt ablaze.
This is a Zionist plot, and I am willing to be held responsible for what I say. Whoever reads The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the writings of [the Jews], including those who were writing in the U.S., realizes that this plot was premeditated.
From Raymond Ibrahim:
Possibly as a response to Prime Minister Erdogan’s Islamist-led government of Turkey — which, like its U.S. counterpart, has been condemning and threatening Egypt for trying to liberate itself from the yoke of the Muslim Brotherhood — Veto news agency reports that,H/t: 7th Rangers
Egypt today [August 17] decided to sign onto the international document recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Said Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, on his twitter account: “Our representatives at the United Nations will sign the international document that acknowledges the Armenian Genocide, which was committed by the Turkish military, leading to the deaths of one million.”Sadly, inasmuch as Egypt moves in the right direction, so, too, does the United States — which was once the leader of freedom and human rights — condemn and attack it, under the Obama administration.