Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Saudis: "We have been stabbed in the back by Obama"

(Fox News) Arabs don’t trust Obama either.

As 2013 ends, President Obama has lost credibility with many people who trusted him at the start of the year. Thanks to the Healthcare.gov debacle, polls find support for the president among women and independents has dropped to the lowest ebb of his presidency. Obama's words -- promising Americans they could keep their doctors under his health care plan -- didn’t match his deeds.

Surprisingly, the same thing is happening on the other side of the world among Arabs in the Middle East and for the same reason.

Too often, Obama’s speeches and actions don’t match.

"We are glad the Americans are here," said Ahmed al-Ibrahim, an adviser to some of Saudi Arabia's royals and officials, when I met with him recently, "but we fear that the president has lost credibility after Syria."

The Saudi official is referring to Obama’s “red line” vow of military action if the Syrian dictator Bashir Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Assad did and Obama didn’t. Saudi officials were stunned.

Next came the revelation earlier this year that Obama was secretly negotiating with Iran, the mortal enemy of both Israel and Saudi Arabia. Officials in both nations have told me that they simply don't believe that the president can sweet-talk the mullahs out of the weapons they have coveted for years.

“The bond of trust between America and Saudi Arabia has been broken in the Obama years," al-Ibrahim said. "We feel we have been stabbed in the back by Obama."

"Every time that Obama had to choose between his enemies and his friends, he always chose his enemies," he said. "We don't know what he's putting in his tea."

Al-Ibrahim also pointed to Obama's “dangerous inaction” during violent Iran-backed uprisings in Bahrain, and now his negotiations with Iran, and his separate, secret negotiations with Iran's terrorist proxy Hezbollah. Since American officials cannot legally negotiate with terrorist groups and Hezbollah is a State Department-listed terror organization, the administration has been using British diplomats to carry messages to Hezbollah. The Obama administration reportedly favors a "warm up to a direct relationship in the future" with Hezbollah.

Obama is sending conflicting messages. In Washington, the president says negotiations are all we need to meet the Iranian threat. He issued a rare veto threat to try to halt tougher sanctions against Iran.

At the same time, in the Middle East, the president has dispatched more than 40 U.S. Navy vessels (including a carrier-strike group) and sent his secretary of defense to detail America's vast military assets in the region.

Speaking to Arab defense ministers, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel itemized America's military commitment to immediately respond to Iranian aggression:

• More than 35,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines in the theater;
• Even after exiting Iraq, the U.S. Army maintains more than 10,000 forward-deployed soldiers as well as tanks, artillery, and attack helicopters;
• America's most advanced fighter jets, including F-22s, are deployed less than an hour's flight time from Iran;
• American surveillance aircraft, ground listening stations, satellites, and sea patrols continue to scan for threats across the region;
• America's missile defense systems--on ground, sea, and air--remain on high alert. That includes the U.S. Navy's ballistic missile defense ships, Patriot missile batteries, and phased-array radars.

“The Department of Defense will work with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on better integration of its members’ missile defense capabilities. The United States continues to believe that a multilateral framework is the best way to develop interoperable and integrated regional missile defense. Such defenses are the best way to deter and, if necessary, defeat coercion and aggression," Hagel told the Gulf News on Dec.18.

With little fanfare, Obama has also quietly lifted the ban on selling sensitive missile-defense technology to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies living within reach of Iran's new Shahab-3 missiles. The Shahab-3's range is 1,242 miles--placing Israel and most of America's Arab allies within striking distance.

However, Obama's quiet efforts to provide new missile defenses and renewed security guarantees may be too little, too late.

The Saudis are now seeking their own military arrangements because they no longer trust the U.S. The GCC, a regional alliance of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, recently announced the creation of a joint military force based in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

“There will be a unified command of around 100,000 members, God willing,” Prince Miteb bin Abdullah told reporters. This new force represents a massive expansion of the 30,000-strong Peninsula Shield force.

"We no longer believe that America alone can safeguard our freedom from Iranian aggression," said al-Ibrahim, "that's why we are expanding our forces and integrating our missile defenses with our neighbors."

He added, "the world should understand that the GCC will not stay quiet and leave our member-states vulnerable to bad actors and bad deals in the region. It is our duty to protect our region."

And now, astonished Saudi officials are contrasting Obama's quick actions last weekend in South Sudan with his unwillingness to act in places like Syria or in Bahrain where thousands of U.S. troops and the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet are based.

"The president has shown that he can take action when he chooses to. He chose not to act after the chemical weapons attacks in Syria, but as soon as things started to go wrong in South Sudan, Obama jumped on it," said al-Ibrahim.

On Saturday, Obama dispatched three CV-22 Osprey aircraft, the sort that can fly like an airplane and an helicopter, to South Sudan to evacuate Americans caught in ongoing violence in the city of Bor. The aircraft came under small arms fire and were forced to retreat as they attempted to land. Four U.S. service members were injured in the attempted evacuation. American citizens were rescued successfully on Sunday using civilian and U.N. helicopters.

In his June 4, 2009 Cairo speech, the first American president raised in a Muslim land came to offer a bold promise: "I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect." Four and a half years later, Arab leaders like al-Ibrahim say that "mutual interest" is sundered and "mutual respect" squandered.

If the Saudi exasperation sounds familiar, it is because it is the same tone you hear in Tel Aviv and in Washington.

JibJab 2013 Year in Review: "What A Year!"

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hamas-Repping, ‘Certified Self-Loathing’ Jewish Lawyer Indicted Over $3M in Income

(Algemeiner) Stanley L. Cohen, a Manhattan based Jewish lawyer who made a name for himself representing members of terror groups, has been charged in a Manhattan court for wire fraud and for failing to report more than $3 million in income, the New York Post reported.

Cohen, whose clients have included Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook and Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, faces up to 20 years jail-time. He also currently faces similar charges made last year in a Syracuse court.

On his Twitter account Cohen refers to himself as a “Certified Selfloathing’ Jew” and an “AntiZionist.”

Following the Syracuse charges, Cohen claimed that he has “known for almost a decade that some prosecutors in the Justice Department have been looking for a way to curtail my practice, and that law enforcement has been investigating me actively for years.”

“I have every reason to believe that my oppositional politics have drawn the attention resulting in this indictment,” he asserted.

In 2012 Cohen arranged an interview for the Jewish Daily Forward with Abu Marzook, the Hamas chief’s first with a Jewish publication.

Cohen represented Marzook in 1995 after he was arrested in New York at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Israel sought his extradition from the U.S. at the time, but Marzook was able to return to Jordan.

The defense attorney has claimed in the past that Israel was “the principal beneficiary” of the September 11th 2001 terror attacks and that the Mossad played a role in bringing down the World Trade Center in New York. He has also boasted of spending time with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat and having lunch with the mastermind of the 1985 Achille Lauro ship hijacking in which a Jewish wheelchair bound man, Leon Klinghoffer, was murdered and thrown overboard.

Arab Spring returns Libya, with a bang: Libya's first suicide attack kills seven near Benghazi

(BBC) Seven people have been killed at a security checkpoint near Benghazi in the first known suicide bomb attack in Libya since the fall of Col Gaddafi.

The attacker targeted the checkpoint in the village of Aguiria, some 50km (30 miles) east of Libya's second city.

At least eight people, including soldiers and civilians, were wounded. [...]

The suicide bomber detonated a truck load of explosives at the checkpoint early on Sunday.

"A Toyota truck approached the checkpoint and parked there," Aymen al-Abdlay, a Benghazi army officer, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

"There was a young man driving, but when the army troops went to check it out, the vehicle exploded."

Waiting civilians as well as soldiers were among the victims.


Latest Obamacare deadline is T minus 48 hours

Obama is like the Grinch who stole Christmas. Obamacare stole the health insurance of millions of people. People who were punished simply for having health insurance not approved by Obama.

He creates a mess and then wants someone else to fix it. But like an elephant in a china shop, there is no fix possible, everything is broken.

Excerpted from The New York Times:
Jessica F. Waltman, a senior vice president of the National Association of Health Underwriters, which represents 100,000 agents and brokers, said that people trying to sign up should be aware that rates and benefits for some plans had been displayed inaccurately on the federal website, while some plans in some counties were not showing up at all.

Daniel J. Schwartzer, the deputy insurance commissioner in Wisconsin, said that such errors and omissions could affect thousands of people in his state, leading them to believe incorrectly that they would not be responsible for co-payments for doctors’ services or prescription drugs.

“These glitches are creating consumer protection nightmares,” Mr. Schwartzer said. “If companies display wrong information, we make them pay for it, we make the consumer whole. I don’t know how we make the consumer whole when the problem is the fault of the federal government.”

Syrian helicopter bomb raids kill 42, including children, in Aleppo

BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least 42 people, including children, were killed on Sunday when Syrian army helicopters dropped improvised "barrel bombs" in the northern province of Aleppo, a monitoring group said.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said separate air raids hit several districts in Aleppo, but the biggest toll was in Hanano, east of the city. At least six children were among the dead.

"They hit a convoy of cars on a road in Hanano, many cars were destroyed. There were civilians there," said the Observatory's Rami Abdelrahman.

Human Rights Watch said in a report over the weekend that barrel bomb attacks had killed scores of civilians in Aleppo in the last month. It described the attacks as illegal and said they had hit residential and shopping areas.

"The Syrian air force is either criminally incompetent, doesn't care whether it kills scores of civilians, or deliberately targets civilian areas," HRW senior emergency researcher Ole Solvang said in the report.

Barrel bombs are explosive-filled cylinders or oil drums that are often rolled out of the back of helicopters with little attempt at striking a particular target. They are capable of causing widespread casualties and significant damage.

President Bashar al-Assad's forces, battling rebels in a 2 1/2-year conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people, frequently deploy air power and artillery against rebel-held districts across the country.

They have been unable to recapture eastern and central parts of Aleppo, which rebels seized in the summer of 2012, but they have driven rebel fighters back from towns to the southeast of the city in recent weeks.

Child Soldiers Fighting in Rebel Ranks in Syria

Yemeni al Qaeda says attack on hospital and execution of unarmed medics and patients was mistake

SANAA (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's wing in Yemen blamed a renegade fighter for targeting medics and patients in a military hospital during its attack on the Defence Ministry compound in Sanaa earlier this month, it said in a statement released on Saturday.

"We do not fight in this way, and this not what we call on people to do, and this is not our approach," it said in the statement, adding it had warned its fighters not to attack the hospital.

The killing of unarmed medics and patients, captured on closed-circuit television footage and broadcast by state media, caused widespread outrage in Yemen, where al Qaeda has portrayed itself as fighting for normal people against foreign drone strikes.

Al Qaeda's offshoot Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) claimed responsibility earlier this month for the December 5 assault in which at least 52 people were killed, the worst such attack in Yemen for 18 months.

It said it attacked the compound because it believed it to house an operations room for drone attacks carried out by the United States against Islamist militants, which have also led to civilian deaths.

Many of those killed died inside the compound's hospital, where staff said they had seen foreign doctors and nurses executed by attackers.

The footage released on state television showed uniformed figures wandering around the hospital's corridors and wards shooting medics and patients.

One attacker was shown walking up to a group of cowering patients and calmly tossing a hand grenade into their midst before ducking behind a wall.

Illegal Muslim immigrants sew mouths shut in Italy to demand release

ROME (Reuters) - Nine illegal immigrants detained in Italy have stitched their lips together with thread from their bedsheets in a protest to demand their release.

The protest, which started at a center near Rome on Saturday, came days after video emerged of immigrants at another camp standing naked in the cold to be sprayed for scabies. It drew new calls for the closure of detention centers and for changes to immigration laws.

Using a needle improvised from a cigarette lighter, four Tunisians each made a single stitch to join their lips in the middle, Filiberto Zaratti, a lawmaker who visited the protesters, told Reuters.

Five Moroccans later imitated the gesture, according to the centre's manager, speaking on Italian television. The protesters asked to be let out of the center, the manager said.

Italy has borne the brunt of a wave of immigration to the European Union, with more than 40,000 people risking the dangerous sea crossing from northern Africa this year - almost four times as many as last year.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

US Army's New Laser Weapon Can Shoot Down Mortars and Drones

(ABC) The Army has successfully tested a futuristic laser weapon capable of shooting football-sized mortar rounds and unmanned drones out of the sky. The truck-mounted weapon, known as the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) is still about a decade away from becoming an operational part of the Army’s arsenal, but gives a hint at what a weapon of the future could look like.

The Army tested its HEL MD laser at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico for nearly six weeks starting in mid-November. The device was equipped with a 10-kilowatt solid state laser and a radar system mounted atop a heavy truck.

During the tests a “quarter-sized” invisible laser beam successfully targeted and destroyed more than 90 incoming mortar rounds and six to seven unmanned drones.

Terry Bauer, the project manager for the laser program, said the test results were “above and beyond” what they had expected going into the testing. ”We had no thoughts that this 10-kilowatt would be as successful n doing that as it has been. ”

Mortars are common battlefield weapons that are hard to protect against because they can be fired from short distances. The mortars used in the test were standard 60 millimeter rounds – the length of a football — fired from a distance of less than two kilometers in salvos of two to three mortar rounds each. The laser’s success rate against incoming mortar shells indicates that battlefield protection from the small explosive rounds could be possible in a few years.

Army video of the laser tests shows the laser targeting the mortar so that it burns up in mid-air and does not explode when it completes its trajectory. ”We turn it into a rock, basically,” said Bauer.


IDF soldiers wound Palestinian trying to plant bomb along Gaza-Israel fence

Throughout the weekend, incidents involving Palestinians approaching border to carry out suspicious activity have been reported.
(JPost) A Palestinian was wounded on Saturday after he and others approached the Gaza-Israel security barrier in an attempt to plant an explosive device.

An IDF unit was dispatched to the area and soldiers fired at the legs of one of the suspects, striking and injuring him. The suspects then fled the area.The incident occurred on the border with southern Gaza.

Throughout the weekend, there have been several incidents involving groups of Palestinians approaching the border and carrying out suspicious activity. On Friday, soldiers opened fire on four separate occasions in which suspects entered a forbidden security zone along the border.

During one of the incidents, a disturbance took place involving Palestinian rioters.

On Friday, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian and wounded three others in three separate incidents of cross-border violence in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said.

The Israeli military, which has long said the area in Gaza along the border fence is off limits, said it was looking into the reports.

A 22-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by the fence near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. One source said the man was there trying to catch birds.

Three other Palestinians were also wounded by Israeli fire in the Hamas-controlled territory, medical officials said.

According to the army, soldiers noticed the Palestinians approaching the fence and fired numerous warning shots into the air. When the Palestinians continued in their attempts to do damage to the fence, the troops opened fire, wounding both of the Palestinians near the northern Gaza village of Jabaliya.

Palestinian medics told the Ma’an news agency on Friday that one of the wounded Palestinians has been identified as 23-year-old Mohammad Ayoub, who is currently being treated for his injuries at Kamal Odwan Hospital.

This is the third time this past week that the IDF has noticed unusual activity near the separation fence.

Last Sunday, a group of Palestinians approached the Gaza security fence and began carrying out suspicious activity on the ground near the barrier, an IDF source said.

The army dispatched a unit to the area, which borders northern Gaza, and soldiers asked the suspects to vacate the security zone near the fence. The suspects refused, and soldiers opened fire, lightly injuring one of the men, the source added.

Last Saturday evening, a Palestinian was fatally shot on the south Gaza-Israel border, after entering a forbidden security zone.

Soldiers spotted the man acting suspiciously near the fence, and asked him to leave the area. When he refused, soldiers fired warning shots in the air, a security source said. The suspect refused to leave, and was then struck by gunfire, dying of his wounds soon afterward.

Syria views Saudi Arabia as number one enemy

Damascus (AFP) - Syria now views Saudi Arabia as its number one enemy and accuses it of trying to destroy the country by arming jihadists and other rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

The oil-rich Gulf monarchies have sided with the opposition from the start of Syria's conflict in March 2011, with Riyadh leading calls for the fall of Assad.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad told AFP this week that Saudi Arabia was providing unfettered support for "terrorist groups" in Syria, while other nations had reviewed their positions.

"I think that all those who supported these terrorist groups have the feeling now that they have made big mistakes," Muqdad said in an interview on Thursday, referring to the rebels seeking to topple Assad.

"The only party who is declaring the full support to the terrorist groups, to Al-Qaeda, is Saudi Arabia," he said.

Muqdad urged the world to press Saudi Arabia to halt its support for the rebels, to prevent what he said was "another 11 September incident".

"I think that if the world wants to avoid another 11 September incident, they must start telling Saudi Arabia 'enough is enough'," he said, referring to Al-Qaeda's 2001 attacks on the US.

Earlier this month, Assad's government urged the United Nations to take a stand against Saudi support for Islamist groups whose influence has grown on the battlefield.

"We call on the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures to put an end to the unprecedented actions of the Saudi regime, which is supporting takfiri (Sunni extremist) terrorism tied to Al-Qaeda," the foreign ministry said in a message to UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

It was the first time the Syrian government has appealed to the international body to take action against Riyadh.

"Saudi Arabia is not content to merely send weapons and to finance but also mobilises extremist terrorists and sends them to kill the Syrian people," the Syrian message said.


Helicopter Gunships Used in Mexico Resort Battle

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Two government helicopter gunships opened fire on 10 vehicles fleeing a luxury beach condo complex during this week's gun battle at the Gulf of California resort of Puerto Penasco, Mexican authorities said.

New details emerged about the raging gun battle that ensued after federal forces tried to capture a reputed top lieutenant of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was staying at a beachfront villa.

Mexico's federal police said late Thursday that two government Blackhawk helicopters fired on at least 10 vehicles as they tried to flee the complex with drug cartel operator Gonzalo Inzunza. The vehicles were hit by gunfire in the Wednesday battle and were "left useless, causing the assailants to disperse." Five presumed cartel gunmen were killed in the battle.

Police found 14 sniper or assault rifles at the scene, which one federal official confirmed were of heavy caliber. Two federal officers were wounded in the gunfight.

The bullet-ridden, burned-out vehicles were left just outside the complex, which federal police did not identify. But Puerto Penasco city spokesman Cristobal Garcia confirmed Friday that the shootout actually began inside the Bella Sirena complex, where Inzunza was staying at a beachfront villa. The resort has units for both sale and rent, but it was unclear if the reputed capo owned or was renting the unit in which he was staying.

Garcia insisted that "these are not people who live in Puerto Penasco ... perhaps they were here on a holiday."


Friday, December 20, 2013

Islamic Jurisprudence: Bomb-Belted Islamist Judge Runs Syria Jail

That's... different.
(Bloomberg) An Islamist judge in Syria who appears at trials wearing an explosives belt and issues death sentences in hearings lasting a few minutes is running one of seven secret prisons where the rights of local people are “ruthlessly flouted,” according to Amnesty International.

The unnamed judge, a member of the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or ISIL, also participates in daily interrogations at the Sadd al-Ba’ath dam prison in al-Raqqa province -- except on Fridays and Saturdays when he visits his family in the village of Karama, said Cilina Nasser, researcher and author of a report released by London-based Amnesty today and entitled “Rule of Fear.”

“He’d visit a detention facility every single day and would interrogate, that means flogging even of children, to obtain confessions and as a punishment,” Nasser said by phone. “Trials usually take up to three minutes, maximum.”

He could deal with Guantanamo in four hours, tops.

Five days of work and then he makes time to go home and visit the family. Terrorizes them for two days and then he goes back to work.

Obamacare enters the Twilight Zone

Postponing the individual mandate for those who've had their policies cancelled based on a "hardship exemption", a tacit admission that the affordable care act is unaffordable.

Yet for all those who couldn't afford to purchase insurance prior to Obamacare... they're still bound to the mandate.

This just keeps getting sillier. How long will this charade continue?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Middle East Now Has Three Alliances: None Are With the U.S.

U.S. policy is a fatal contradiction: The White House favors both the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, which has alienated all U.S. allies.
(The Clarion Project) Turkey and Iran’s move to form an Islamist super-bloc is changing the balance of the Middle East. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have chosen to lead an Arab bloc of their own, rather than capitulate to their enemies’ dominance.

Our last analysis of this development explained that three distinct blocs were formed since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled in Egypt:

1. The Shiite bloc consisting of Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and the Syrian regime.

2. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood Sunni bloc, consisting of Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia, Hamas and some Syrian rebels.

3. The anti-Iran/anti-Brotherhood Sunni bloc consisting of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, other Syrian rebels and other Arab countries.

The first two blocs are on opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, but are hoping to negotiate a ceasefire that allows them to mend ties. The third bloc feels so threatened by the other two that Saudi Arabia is widely rumored to be offering Israel access to its airspace to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Clarion Project was recently told by an intelligence source that the Saudis and Israelis have moved “beyond talking” and there will likely be on-the-ground preparations for this scenario soon.

The Syrian civil war had put Turkey and Iran at odds, but the prolonged stalemate is compelling the two governments to look for a way forward. The Turkish Foreign Minister was recently in Tehran, where he said they agreed to push for a ceasefire. He also said Turkey and Iran will “join hands” to be “the backbone of regional stability.”

Both sides are bleeding and spending heavily in the Syrian civil war and the demographic realities make it difficult to envision either side prevailing. Syria is likely to be divided with the Iran-allied regime holding onto the Allawite and Christian areas and the rebel-controlled Sunni areas winning autonomy.

Turkey will have to twist the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s arms to make this happen. The group refuses to negotiate with Iran and claims it rejected a recent offer from Iran to pressure Assad into stepping down from power in return for reconciliation.

That is a huge concession. The last reported offer from Iran came in January 2012, when it was willing to hand the Syrian government to the Brotherhood as long as Assad remains at the helm. Now, if the Syrian Brotherhood is telling the truth, the Iranian regime is willing to push Assad aside. Unfortunately for Turkey and Iran, the Brotherhood is unwilling to be seen as a sell-out.

The third bloc led by Saudi Arabia is not giving up on overthrowing Assad and is using its proxies to become the dominant Syrian rebel force. The Saudis arranged for rebel units to break away from the Free Syria Army to form the Salafist-led “Army of Islam.” This Salafist force represents the Saudi brand of Islam but is opposed to Al-Qaeda, an enemy of the Saudi Royal Family.

The Army of Islam is the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s plan to build a 40-50,000 strong national army. The Saudis imported Pakistani instructors to train 5-10,000 of them and have set up training centers in Jordan.

The nuclear deal with Iran heightened the tension between these blocs. As the deal was being finalized, an Iran-backed militia in Iraq fired mortar shells into Saudi Arabia. It said that it was retaliation for Saudi Arabia’s anti-Shiite agitation.

“If they continue their provocations, we will carry out armed operations inside Saudi territories,” the militia threatened.

After the deal was announced, the Saudis abandoned their polite protests of American policy and became downright hostile. Prominent Saudis openly told the press that their country will chart a course independent of the U.S.

“Appeasement hasn’t worked in the past, and I don’t think it will work in the 21st century,” the Saudi ambassador to the U.K. said.

It’s long been an open secret that the Saudis funded the Pakistani nuclear weapons’ program with the understanding that Pakistan would send over nukes if requested. When asked about this deal, the ambassador said, “Let’s just leave it there, all options are available.”

The deal also provides an opportunity for Iran to entice other countries with lucrative trade deals. The Iranians are trying to lure Pakistan by finishing a major gas pipeline.

Turkey says its banks will again be able to make transactions with Iran and will increase their Iranian oil imports to 130-140,000 barrels per day from the current level of 105,000. Turkish imports of Iranian oil were at 180,000 barrels per day before the sanctions were implemented. The two countries are also restarting their gold trade.

The recent Egyptian-Turkish spat is a consequence of this escalating contest. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan continues to rail against the current Egyptian regime for the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is allowing the Brotherhood to set up a new television station in his country called “Rabia” with the slogan, “Pulse of freedom.”

Eypt expelled the Turkish ambassador in retaliation for Erdogan’s pro-Brotherhood rhetoric and Turkey responded by declaring the Egyptian ambassador to be persona non-grata. This dispute will intensify if the Egyptian government follows through on its aspiration to ban the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The Gulf Cooperation Council members except Qatar are trying to stabilize the Egyptian economy. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates immediately pledged $12 billion in assistance after the Brotherhood was toppled. The new Egyptian government returned $2 billion of it.

The United Arab Emirates is encouraging companies to invest in Egypt and is hiring Egyptian teachers that support the new regime. The Egyptian regime has also used the UAE to replace Qatar’s role in developing the Suez Canal.

Qatar, on the other hand, continues to act as the Muslim Brotherhood’s bank. The U.S. “ally” provided the Brotherhood-led Egypt with $7.5 billion in assistance but is now absent. Qatar has made it clear whose side it is on, and Saudi Arabia tried to organize a condemnation of its behavior in Egypt and Yemen.

Qatar is coming to the aid of the weakened Islamist government of Tunisia. The Ennahda Party that leads Tunisia is facing popular protests and may be overthrown. The Qatari National Bank recently agreed to loan it $500 million.

The Moroccan government is poised to play a potentially decisive role in this geopolitical and ideological contest. It is hostile to Iran and fears its own Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated opposition. King Mohammed VI managed to contain the country’s own Arab Spring uprising and protests have faded.

“We can be a model. We can export our reforms and our vision,” says the Deputy Foreign Minister.

Morocco is helping the West with ideologically combating Islamist extremism in Mali. The Mali government picked up to 500 imams to go there for education. The geopolitical position of Morocco places it in the third camp, but how long will Saudi Arabia tolerate Morocco’s promotion of a competing ideology?

U.S. policy is in a state of fatal contradiction.

The White House favors the pro-Brotherhood bloc and is trying to build a better relationship with Iran. This stance has alienated the bloc whose interests most closely align with ours. Egypt is now embracing Russia and Saudi Arabia is openly saying it needs to stop relying on the U.S.

The Middle East is now divided into three alliances and none of them are with the U.S.

Kenya 4 killed, 36 wounded in explosion as bus blown apart in Nairobi

People stand behind caution tape near the scene of an explosion near Nairobi's Eastleigh neighbourhood
on December 14, 2013 (AFP, John Muchucha)
Nairobi (AFP) — An explosion on a bus in Nairobi killed four people and wounded 36 Saturday in the fourth attack to rock the week marking the 50th anniversary of Kenya's independence.

The string of attacks, for which no one has claimed responsibility, have left a total of 13 people dead since Tuesday.

"We are investigating to establish if the explosion was caused by a grenade or an improvised explosive device," said Benson Kibue, Nairobi area police chief, as earlier reports had said it was caused by a grenade.

"We also want to establish if the attacker was in the vehicle or if it was thrown at it," he added.

According to the police, the bus came from Nairobi's Eastleigh neighbourhood, home to a sizeable Somali community and known as "Little Mogadishu". The bus exploded in the nearby area of Pangani.

The blast blew the bus apart, turning it into a mangled metal skeleton. All the windows were blown out and several cars that were following the bus were also hit by the explosion, an AFP photographer at the scene reported.

He also saw a body being extracted from a heavily damaged car just to the right of the bus.

The sudden blast sent metal and other pieces of the bus "flying everywhere, and people were screaming", said witness Peterson Mwaura. "They were calling out for help and crying."

The Red Cross said police on Saturday night dispersed a crowd of rioters in the street where the bus exploded.

The attack comes as Kenya celebrates 50 years of independence from Britain.

Since Kenyan troops invaded southern Somalia in October 2011 to help oust the neighbouring country's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, it has been hit by a wave of attacks -- four in just the past five days.


China safely soft-lands rover on the moon

BEIJING (AP) -- China on Saturday successfully carried out the world's first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades, state media said, the next stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon.
We used to do that, too. That is until Obama redirected NASA to provide counseling services to Muslims.
The unmanned Chang'e 3 lander, named after a mythical Chinese goddess of the moon, touched down on Earth's nearest neighbor following a 12-minute landing process.

The probe carried a six-wheeled moon rover called "Yutu," or "Jade Rabbit," the goddess' pet. After landing Saturday evening on a fairly flat, Earth-facing part of the moon, the rover was slated to separate from the Chang'e eight hours later and embark on a three-month scientific exploration.

China's space program is an enormous source of pride for the country, the third to carry out a lunar soft landing - which does not damage the craft and the equipment it carries - after the United States and the former Soviet Union. The last one was by the Soviet Union in 1976.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bangladesh hangs a mass murderer; Liberals up in arms

(Dhaka) In 1947, Great Britain gave independence to its jewel in the crown, India. However, a certain demographic within India wanted their own religious state and so 3 new states were born on independence day: India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The latter two were to be homelands for the Muslims of India who for some strange reason didn't want to share their future with the non-Muslims of India.

In 1971, East Pakistan, sick of the way it was being treated by its so called Islamic brothers in West Pakistan, voted for independence. The problem was that West Pakistan wasn't going to allow the people who bankrolled them to simply walk away, and so they sent the troops in. 3 million dead people later, they decided to have a go at India by trying to emulate Israel during the Six-Day War. The problem was, it's one thing to attack the sick, lame and lazy and another to attack a non-Islamic army. 2 weeks later, India had defeated the so called impressive Pakistani army and East Pakistan was free to go its own way and become Bangladesh.

Going back to that high death count, the Pakistani government decided that they would remove all the intellectuals from East Pakistan from this plane of existence, so they went around killing anybody who could read or write.

Well, 40 years on and the Bangladeshi government has decided to make those people who had no problem killing for Allah pay for their crimes against humanity. One such arsehole was Abdul Kader Mullah who was the leader of an Islamic group inside Bangladesh. He was meant to have had his neck strung last week, but as is the way of the Islamic hero, he used the courts in which to extend his life. Unfortunately for this murdering piece of shit, the Bangladeshi government is also Islamic and so they simply strung him up today and hung the twat until he was dead.

And now the left, who remain silent on Iran, China and the rest who execute thousands every year have, complain about how this poor Islamic mass murderer died by the sword (or in this case, the rope).

Is it any wonder why so many people have no time for these myopic human rights groups?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

News Flash... Nissen Main Dealer dies... bBC goes into melt down

(London) For those of you who live outside the UK, Nelson Mandela died last Thursday. If, on the other hand, you live in the UK then you will be as pissed off as much as I am at the OTT coverage by the bBC.

They have reported 24/7 for a week on everything about this car salesman. In fact, when this man died, the UK was getting buffeted by something of a storm which resulted in deaths, towns getting evacuated (yes, evacuated). And the bBC? They reported... nothing. Instead, they sent over 100 people from London to South Africa in which to report on 1 death. ITV sent 6.

Anyway, what has the bBC got to say about Nelson Mandela? Well, the list is far too much for me to relate, but here are a few which caught my eye:

The world's 'secular saint'
Taboo-breaking AIDS campaigner
How daughters said goodbye
A strict brother, and a prankster
Mandela by the women who loved him
Master of disguise
Rural rebel
Mandela the soldier
Global legacy
Meeting Mandela
Moment Mandela wore Springbok jersey
Prison guard: He was like a father to me
Nelson Mandela the philanthropist

We in the UK have had a week of this faux fawning. Myself, I turned the TV and radio off and have read 7 books on my Kindle. It really has been that bad. Nice to know your TV tax is getting spent wisely.

The bBC - the traitors within our midst.

EU auditors demand that the EU stop handing over aid money to pay Palestinian civil servants in Gaza who do not work

(Gaza) Auditors who were called in to check how EU money is spent in Gaza found that since Hamas came to power in 2007, over 61,000 civil servants who stopped working due to their links to Fatah have continued to pick up a salary.

Since 1994, the European Union has provided some €5.6 billion ($7.7 billion) in aid to the Palestinians, with its main PEGASE programme worth €1 billion ($1.35 billion) in the 2008-12 period in direct assistance to the PNA.

With money getting tight over at the EU, the auditors have demanded that something should be done in which to reduce their expenditure, say, like cutting off these freeloaders.

Nice little earner if you can get it, which inside Gaza it seems isn't that hard at all.

Poll in Denmark finds Danes feel they are too accommodating towards Muslims

(Copenhagen) A survey carried out for Danish Berlingske newspaper finds that every third non-Muslim Dane is under the impression that Denmark is too tolerant of its Muslim minority population. Really? I wonder how that came about? Answers on a postage stamp please send to your local equal opportunities officer.

Muslims riot on the streets of Pakistan over a page found torn from a Koran

(Quetta) When Sunni Muslim shopkeepers in Pakistan found a page from a Koran inside a box of pomegranates which had originated from Iran, they knew what they had to do. Getting on the old jungle drums, they directed their anger at Shia Muslims who form the majority in neighbouring Iran, and so as it is in the Islamic world, a hostile crowd formed and, once they massed in numbers, they marched en masse to the local Shia neighbourhood in which to show these naughty, naughty people (who had nothing to do with the torn page from a bloody book) that they were going to be taught a lesson. They burnt down shops, vehicles, but were (for once) stopped by the police from going any further. In responce, they fired their guns into the air, killing one and injuring three more.

Jesus, and we allow these bigots free access into our countries?

Shariah Project group to hold public protest against alcohol on the streets of London on Friday

(London) Days after members of a self-elected Islamic sharia police were jailed for enforcing their racist, bigoted ways on non-Muslims, it transpires that another bunch of so called pious Muslims are going to host a public protest on the streets of London this Friday in which to object against the drinking and selling of alcohol, which they say is “sinful” under Islamic law. The march is set to commence at 2pm after midday prayers, which begs me to ask the question:
Do these so called protectors of modern decency work for a living or are they all on benefits?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Epic Don't Drink and Drive Prank

Jihadists abduct Syria's leading human rights lawyer

NABEK, Syria (AP) — Masked gunmen abducted a leading Syrian human rights lawyer and three other prominent activists in a rebel-held Damascus suburb Tuesday in a new sign that al-Qaida linked militants who have joined the fight against President Bashar Assad are trying to silence rivals in the opposition movement.

Razan Zaytouni, one of the most outspoken critics of President Bashar Assad as well as Islamic militants who have gained increasing sway over the fight to oust the government, was seized along with her husband and two other colleagues from her office in Douma.

No group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but Zaytouni herself had publicly blamed al-Qaida linked rebels for kidnapping activists and colleagues said she had received indirect threats from extremists in recent days.


Fruits of multiculturalism: Sweden shocked after woman raped to death by Somali immigrant

A plague of Muslims has descended on Norway and Sweden.
(TC) A 34 year old immigrant from Somalia was arrested for savagely attacking a woman in the parking garage of a Sheraton hotel in Sweden. The woman died while being raped. Police say the perpetrator continued to rape the woman’s corpse well after she had died.

The Somalian was apprehended by police while still in the act of raping the murdered woman.

Sweden and Norway are in the middle of a massive epidemic of violent rapes. Crime statistics show that rapes in both countries are overwhelmingly perpetrated by Muslim immigrants.

2013 figures were given in a recent report by Swedish Public Radio. In the first seven months of 2013, over 1,000 Swedish women reported being raped by Muslim immigrants. Over 300 of those were under the age of 15. The number of rapes is up 16% compared to 2012 numbers.

The coming Obamabomb: While the president dissembles, Iran assembles its nuclear program

(WT) President Obama’s infamous Obamacare lie that “you can keep your doctor, period” is clearly not the exception — it’s the rule. The pattern is especially worrisome with respect to his practice of what amounts to serial national-security fraud.

Consider, for example, the latest on the Iran nuclear-weapons front. Mr. Obama insists that his interim deal “freezes” the mullahs’ nuclear program for six months. He may be the only one who believes that whopper. Certainly, the Iranian regime does not, and neither should we.

Yet the president insisted at a Brookings Institution symposium on Saturday that, “There’s nothing in this agreement or document that grants Iran a right to enrich.” In fact, as the Iranians have noted, the United States and the other so-called “P5+1” members (Russia, China, France and United Kingdom, plus Germany) clearly accepted in two different places in the so-called interim accord that Iran would continue the enrichment of uranium.

Whether we call this arrangement an acknowledgment of an Iranian “right” or not is beside the point. What matters is that the long lead-time item in Iran’s scheme to acquire sufficient nuclear weapons-grade uranium has been legitimated by Mr. Obama’s treacherous diplomacy.

The magnitude of the treachery being exhibited by a man who continues to profess that he will not let Iran get the bomb is evident in another comment made in the course of his remarks at Brookings. Mr. Obama floated for the first time the idea that the final agreement, which supposedly will be fashioned in the next six months, will allow Iran to enrich uranium in perpetuity: “It is my strong belief that we can envision an end state that gives us an assurance that, even if they have some modest enrichment capability, it is so constrained and the inspections are so intrusive that they, as a practical matter, do not have [a] breakout capability.”

Forget about the weasel-word caveats and the president’s empty platitudes about “the military option” remaining on the table. He has thus cleared the way for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, probably on his watch. Just as his health care fraud is properly known as Obamacare, the fruit of the mullah’s nuclear-weapons program he has just green-lighted should be known as “Obamabomb.”

It seems that the real purpose of the interim deal was less to “freeze” Iran’s burgeoning nuclear capability than it was to block the one military option that may actually remain viable: Israel‘s.

There is no small irony to the fact that Mr. Obama chose as the venue for his latest lies about his commitment to the security of the Jewish state — which he described as “sacrosanct” — the Brookings event sponsored by Israeli billionaire Haim Saban. In response to questions posed by Mr. Saban, the president insisted, for example: “Our support of Israel’s security has never been stronger . And that’s not just my opinion; I think that’s something that can be verified.”

Actually, it can be readily verified that no president has done more to jeopardize Israel’s security. The bill of particulars may start, but does not end, with Mr. Obama clearing the way for Iran to have the capability to act on its threats to “wipe Israel off the map.” Even before the interim deal, his administration had acted to impede, if not foreclose, Israeli options to prevent that existential danger. For instance, it compromised, and thereby ended, a secret bilateral arrangement with Azerbaijan to provide post-strike recovery airfields for Israel’s jets.

Insult was added to injury when the president lied to Israel’s Mr. Saban: “Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and I have had constant consultations on these issues throughout the last five years.” The truth is that Mr. Obama completely blindsided Mr. Netanyahu about his secret negotiations with Iran over the past year.

Throughout his presidency, Mr. Obama has also bludgeoned Israel into making concessions to the Palestinians that would be perilous for the Jewish state. He declared that Israel must withdraw to earlier, indefensible boundaries correctly described as the “Auschwitz borders.” He has publicly demeaned and humiliated Mr. Netanyahu. Secretary of State John Kerry has encouraged European boycotts of Israel and threatened “a third intifada” (or Palestinian terrorist war).

Most recently, Team Obama has let it be known that the United States would “impose” a solution on Israel next year if the Jewish state does not make the concessions necessary to satisfy the Palestinians. Mr. Obama nonetheless lied to Mr. Saban: “What I’ve consistently said is that the only way this is going to be resolved is if the people of Israel and the Palestinian people make a determination that their futures and the futures of their children and grandchildren will be better off with peace than with conflict.”

The people of the United States, and the futures of their children and grandchildren, are being imperiled by a president whose disastrous national-security policies are being exacerbated by his lies about them. These constitute high crimes, and should be treated as such by the Congress.

Lawmakers see ‘false narrative’ of Obama as a terrorist fighter

(WT) A growing clutch of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle is publicly countering the Obama administration’s portrayal of al Qaeda as an organization on the run, saying that an evolving network of the terrorist group’s affiliates now may pose as grave a threat to the U.S. as its predecessor did a decade ago.

While some have outright accused President Obama of pushing a “false narrative” to protect his reputation as the man who got Osama bin Laden, others focus on fears that a new breed of decentralized al Qaeda-style groups may control more safe haven territories in the Middle East and North Africa than the original did in Afghanistan prior to 9/11.

Growing evidence, meanwhile, that Syria’s civil war has emerged as what some officials now describe as a “magnet” for al Qaeda-linked fighters from as far away as Russia, Western Europe and the United States, seems only to be fueling an increasingly heated debate in Washington about just how successful the Obama administration has been at fighting terrorism.

Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, became the latest to sound alarms about the state of al Qaeda on Sunday, when he told CNN that the terrorist network’s overall ideology is “spreading like a spider web, like a wildfire through Northern Africa and the Middle East” and that the threat to the U.S. “has become greater, not lesser” in recent years.

Mr. McCaul went on to accuse Mr. Obama of having attempted to paint a rosier picture than the reality of America’s successes against al Qaeda — particularly during speeches the president made while campaigning for re-election last year.

At the time, Mr. Obama told audiences across the nation that al Qaeda’s original core was “decimated” and that the organization as a whole was “on the run” — two sloganlike phrases that, according to Mr. McCaul, amounted to “a false narrative” promoted by the president.

Several members of Congress and various intelligence community sources, during interviews over the past several months with The Washington Times, have noted that Mr. Obama publicly corrected his pre-election assessment of al Qaeda during a major speech on terrorism in May.

In the speech at the National Defense University, Mr. Obama went into more detail to say that while “the core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the path to defeat,” the U.S. is indeed facing an “emergence of various al Qaeda affiliates.”

“From Yemen to Iraq, from Somalia to North Africa, the threat today is more diffuse, with al Qaeda’s affiliates in the Arabian Peninsula — AQAP — the most active in plotting against our homeland,” Mr. Obama said, adding that “while none of AQAP’s efforts approach the scale of 9/11, they have continued to plot acts of terror, like the attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009.”

As debate over the issue has increased, some Democrats have defended the president by saying that while the overarching narrative surrounding al Qaeda has changed, the threat now facing the U.S. homeland is considerably lower than it was a decade ago.

“I think vis-a-vis the kind of attack we had on 9/11, we are much safer than we were,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat and a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “We have seriously degraded the core of al Qaeda, their ability to organize that kind of a massive attack.”

Mr. Schiff, appearing opposite Mr. McCaul on CNN, said that while there may be “a proliferation of these spinoffs,” as well as “very threatening” lone-wolf-style terrorists on the horizon, the U.S. is “safer from the big attacks.”

It is, however, clear that not all Democrats agree with the way the Obama administration has characterized the evolving threat.

Mr. Schiff and Mr. McCaul, for instance, engaged in a back-and-forth just one week after the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees appeared together to claim that — despite the killing of bin Laden in May 2011 and a relentless cascade of U.S. drone strikes aimed at al Qaeda’s leaders — the Obama administration has lost ground in the global war on terrorism that began under President George W. Bush.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, and Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican, told CNN that Islamist terrorism has been particularly resurgent in the past two years.

“I see more groups; more fundamentalist, more jihadist, more determined to kill to get to where they want to get,” said Mrs. Feinstein, who cited concerns that terrorist groups may have access to increasingly powerful bombs.

Mrs. Feinstein told CNN that on four occasions, terrorists had attempted to introduce a new generation of powerful bombs to the U.S. “There are new bombs, very big bombs, trucks being reinforced for those bombs,” she said. “There are bombs that go through [metal-detecting] magnetometers.”

Mr. Rogers said a surge in the number of al Qaeda affiliates worldwide has exposed the inaccuracy of Mr. Obama’s claims last year that the terrorist network was decimated and on the run.

“Al Qaeda as we knew it before is metastasizing to something different,” Mr. Rogers said, adding that while the group may no longer be focused on executing an attack like 9/11, its newly decentralized nature is likely to make it more difficult for U.S. authorities to counter whatever plots may be in the making.

Mr. Rogers for months has maintained that Mr. Obama understated that threat posed by al Qaeda while running for re-election last year. During an interview with The Times in September, he said that assertions made by the president on the campaign trail last year were “not consistent” with the overall counterterrorism assessment being provided by the U.S. intelligence community at the time.

Asked about the apparent discrepancy, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, told The Times in September that “we need to evaluate statements, by the administration or anyone else, in the context of when they were made” during an election.

Other sources familiar with the U.S. intelligence assessments of global terrorist activity have suggested that American politicians are scrambling to understand the increasingly complicated and rapidly evolving story of al Qaeda.

“You’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Is al Qaeda closer today to getting a safe haven as they had in Afghanistan before 9/11?’” said one source, who spoke with The Times in September. “That’s a difficult question for the administration to answer.”

At Mandela's funeral, Obama shakes hands with Castro, Mugabe

(NBC) Briefly laying aside differences hardened over decades, President Barack Obama on Tuesday shook the hand of the president of Cuba at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela. [...]

On his way to the rostrum, Obama also shook the hand of Robert Mugabe, the strongman ruler of Zimbabwe, and hugged Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil, who has stridently opposed spying by the National Security Agency and criticized the U.S. government.

One suspects he is jealous of people like Mugabe and Castro. So much easier to rule with none of that pesky democracy around...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hey, Let's Keep a Fair Perspective on Israel

(WSJ) It is heartening to see for once ("The Real News From Israel," Review, Nov. 30) acknowledgment of what Israel has achieved despite the never-ending threats. It is also instructive to compare how Israel's forward-looking absorption of refugees contrasts with the zero-sum game still played by Palestinian leaders and the broader Arab world.

In the decades following the failed 1948 Arab invasion of Israel, over 900,000 Jews fled or were expelled from Arab countries. Their descendants form roughly half of all Israelis. They came to Israel penniless and were initially housed in pitiful tent camps. Yet they looked forward and rebuilt their lives.

Imagine what could have been achieved if the Arab world, with its vast land and oil resources, had similarly uplifted the Palestinian refugees.

Doron Lubinsky


Whatever Israel's faults, it is the only fully functional nation in the Middle East that lives by and respects Western freedoms and values. How can Israel, surrounded by states that want it destroyed and lacking any of the natural resources that sustain the region's authoritarian regimes, thrive while neighbors are consumed by sectarian wars, civil strife, abject poverty and hatred

Israel's existence is a miracle. Unless U.S. leaders want to be on the wrong side of miracles, values and history, there should be no moral ambiguity when it comes to helping secure an Israeli beacon of light in a very dark and hostile part of the world.

David Wilson


Iraqi FM warns of jihadi 'emirate' in Syria

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Iraq's top diplomat warned Saturday that the "toxic" proliferation of extremist groups among Syria's rebels raises the prospect of a jihadist-ruled territory at the heart of the region.

The comments by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari reflect Iraq's fears that the Syrian conflict is imperiling its fragile domestic security, as well as growing international alarm about the risk posed by waves of foreign fighters bolstering the ranks of armed groups fighting to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Zebari told attendees at a security conference in small Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain that the increase in radical fighters among the Syrian rebels is leading toward the creation of an ungovernable "Islamic emirate" that the world will have to deal with down the road.

"The most important danger coming out of the Syria conflict for Iraq ... and for the region is the mushrooming of terrorist groups and fronts in Syria," Zebari said.

"These are armies of recruits," he continued. "They're not all Syrians. There are European nationals. Some of them have come as far as from Australia, from Canada, and from many other countries. This is really toxic."

The 11 western European countries with the biggest contingents in Syria are estimated to have some 1,200-1,700 people among rebel forces, according to government and analyst figures compiled by The Associated Press. Many others are thought to come from Arab and other Muslim countries.

The Iraqi arm of al-Qaida has muscled into the Syrian conflict too, pushing into rebel-held parts of the north of the country. It earlier this year renamed itself Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in an effort to highlight its cross-border ambitions.

It has recruited significant numbers of foreign fighters and has repeatedly clashed with more moderate groups within the Syrian opposition.

The cross-border movement of fighters is believed to have contributed to a months-long spike in bloodshed in Iraq, blamed largely on al-Qaida's local franchise, with more than 8,000 people killed in car bombings and other violent attacks since the start of the year.

Zebari warned that extremist groups could eventually consolidate areas under their control inside Syria.

"The day will come, God forbid, when they will have another Islamic emirate" outside the effective control of the government. "Then we have to deal with that threat later on. These are facts. We are not creating stories."


Obama takes up new agenda item after battering on healthcare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, battered by weeks of turmoil over the malfunctioning HealthCare.Gov website, turned to a fresh item on his agenda on Saturday as he pressured Republicans in Congress to extend benefits for jobless Americans.
Almost year six of the Obama recovery...
It was a sign Obama may be slowly turning the corner from one of the worst crises of his five years in office, emerging bruised and weakened from the troubled rollout of his signature healthcare law, even as big challenges remain.

He's running out of things to fuck up.

I feel bad for the jobless, he'll probably end up passing a law requiring them to live in the sewers so they don't count against the unemployment figures anymore.

Why doesn't Barry just bypass Congress and pass a bill that if you enjoy leeching off people, you can keep on doing it, forever?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hezbollah threatens to retaliate against Israel for assassination for which Sunni terrorist group already took credit

Brilliant logic.
(JPost) A Lebanese newspaper reported on Thursday that Hezbollah blames Israel for the assassination of Hassan al-Laqqis and will respond.

Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, which tends to support the “axis of resistance” of Hezbollah, Iran and Syria, stated in an article titled “Hezbollah will respond” that all signs point to Israel for the assassination.

“All indications are that Israel was behind the assassination, with a slim possibility that another party was involved. That’s why it did not take long for Hezbollah – based on its long experience with the Israelis – to point the finger at Tel Aviv, even though the occupation’s Foreign Ministry was quick to deny its involvement,” Amin wrote.

He said that the assassination could be seen as an Israeli response to the Iranian nuclear deal made with the West that it was not happy with, and that because of the deal, Israel could not attack an Iranian target, such as a nuclear scientist.

Amin suggested that Israel wanted to send a message to the West – that it would remain independent and maintain its deterrence against its enemies.

Hassan al-Laqqis, who is believed to have commanded Hezbollah troops fighting in Syria’s civil war, was shot in the head from close range outside his home in the Hadath district of the Lebanese capital in a killing that the Shi’ite group immediately blamed on Israel.

A previously unknown group, Ahrar al-Sunna Baalbek Brigade, claimed responsibility for the attack.


Syrian jihadists kidnap 51 Kurds, including children

Beirut (AFP) - Jihadists in northern Syria have kidnapped more than 50 Kurds in the past three days, in the second such case of mass hostage-taking since July, a monitoring group said Thursday.

The kidnappings come months into major battles for control of several parts of northern Syria that have pitted Kurdish fighters against jihadists, chiefly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

"In the past three days, ISIL has kidnapped at least 51 Kurds in the towns of Minbej and Jarablus," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Among the hostages were nine children and a woman, said the Britain-based group, adding that there was no information on where they had been taken.


Egypt reportedly to declare Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorist organization’

Mullahs, Turkish Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood, Palestinian terrorists, Syrian jihadists - all good friends of Obama.

You couldn't have dreamed this up on 9/12/01.
(JPost) Egyptian media reported Thursday that the government is preparing to deem the Muslim Brotherhood “a terrorist organization,” as pro-Morsi organizations sent out a call for protests to be held over the weekend.

The Egyptian El-Watan newspaper, which tends to support the military and oppose the Muslim Brotherhood, reported that interim Prime Minister Hazem el- Beblawi discussed in a closed meeting with a number of ministers a detailed directive that declares the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

The government blames the organization for violence and terrorism that has taken place since Mohamed Morsi was removed from power on July 3.


Gaza is well on its way for another sewage flood

There have been heavy rains and the sewage system is not working because Hamas does not want to pay for diesel fuel. Some families already have had to be evacuated on Wednesday due to sewage flooding their homes.

430 workers are using 250 donkey carts to collect garbage off the streets.

Hamas is refusing to pay the tax that Fatah is demanding in order to send them diesel fuel.

There is a real danger of disease and epidemics spreading in Gaza.
GAZA CITY, Dec 5 2013 (IPS) - The garbage trucks of Gaza city are at a standstill due to an ongoing fuel shortage affecting all aspects of daily life, including garbage collection, sewage and waste disposal and other vital services. But the local donkeys are here to help.

Abu Hesham on his donkey cart won’t be able to clear all the streets of garbage. In Gaza’s Barcelona neighbourhood, trash bins are overflowing – a common sight since fuel for motor vehicles became scarce – and as the 33-year-old donkey cart owner approaches the garbage dump, there is no space left and no option but to throw the trash out on the side of the road.

“What else can I do?” he tells IPS as he carries sacks of waste at 7:00 AM through Gaza’s misty weather.

The smell of rotting garbage is getting worse and worse. The people in Gaza attempt to burn the garbage to reduce the quantity and minimise the risk of infection, so the air is filled with black smoke too. Right now, breathing fresh air is not an option for most people in Gaza, whether children or adults.


Pax Islamia (December 5, 2013)

Gunfire echoes across C. African Republic capital
December 05, 2013

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Heavy gunfire is echoing across the capital of Central African Republic amid reported clashes between the mostly Muslim armed fighters who control the country and Christians who support the ousted president.

Suicide Bomber, Gunmen Attack Yemeni Defense Ministry
December 05, 2013

(VOA) In Yemen, a suicide bomber and gunmen have attacked the heavily guarded Defense Ministry compound in the capital, Sana'a, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens more.

Al Qaeda claims responsibility for Iraq attacks
Thursday, Dec 5, 2013, 21:00 IST | Place: Baghdad | Agency: IANS

(DNA India) Two other suicide bombers stormed the Jawahir mall and continued the attack until Wednesday midnight, when they blew up their explosive vests when security personnel entered the mall.

Al Qaeda on Thursday claimed responsibility for attacks on police headquarters and a shopping mall in Iraq's Kirkuk city, in which 10 people were killed and 75 injured.

7 killed in car bomb attack on military convoy in Somalia
By Omar Nor, CNN
updated 9:45 AM EST, Thu December 5, 2013

Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- A suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a military convoy in the northeastern Somali city of Bosaso on Thursday, killing at least seven people and injuring 37 others, regional health minister Abdullahi Warsame said.

Robber Pulls Gun On Iraq Vet… Gets Met With A Gun To The Face

Jon Lewis Alexander is a Veteran who served four tours in Iraq and now lives in Missouri and works at a store where a dude that looks DRUNK came in to rob him… MISTAKE…

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sunni Group Claims Responsibility for the Assassination of the Top Hezbollah Commander

(INN) A Lebanese Sunni Muslim organization assumed responsibility for the assassination of senior Hezbollah leader Hassan Hawlo al-Lakiss in Beirut. The "Free People of Sunnah Brigade" made the claim in its online Twitter account. Hezbollah is the Shiite Muslim terrorist organization that have several elected officials in the Lebanese parliament. The group is also responsible for numerous deadly terrorist actions against both Lebanese and Israeli civilians in addition to engaging in the Second Lebanon War against Israel. Some speculated that Israelis were behind Wednesday's assassination.
It also appears that
During the late 1990s, Lakkis was in charge of a group of operatives who shopped for equipment in Vancouver and shipped it to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Following a joint investigation by CSIS, the RCMP and FBI, several suspected Hezbollah members were arrested in the U.S. and Canada.

Top Hezbollah Commander Assassinated Outside His Home in Lebanon

BEIRUT (AP) - Gunmen assassinated a senior Hezbollah commander outside his home Wednesday in southern Beirut, a major breach of the Shiite militant group's security as it struggles to maintain multiple fronts while it fights alongside President Bashar Assad's forces in Syria.

The overnight killing of Hassan al-Laqis, described as a founding member of the group and one of its top commanders, was a huge blow to the Iranian-backed group that dominates power in Lebanon.

Hezbollah's heavy-handed and very open involvement in the civil war next door has enraged the overwhelmingly Sunni rebels seeking to oust Assad, and those sectarian divisions have spilled over into Lebanon and exposed the group and its Shiite supporters to retaliatory attacks.

Hezbollah strongholds have been the target of deadly car bomb attacks and suicide bombers attacked the Iranian Embassy in Beirut last month, killing 23 people.

The militant group quickly blamed its main enemy Israel for the assassination. Israeli officials denied any involvement.

Al-Laqis' killing came shortly after Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah ended a three-hour interview with a local television station, in which he accused Saudi Arabia of being behind the Iranian Embassy bombings. He indirectly blamed an alliance between Iran's rivals Israel and Saudi Arabia for trying to strike at the group.

The group announced his death Hezbollah in a statement, saying al-Laqis was killed as he returned home from work around midnight.

"The brother martyr Hassan al-Laqis spent his youth and all his life in this honorable resistance since its inception up until the last moments of his life," the statement said.

An official close to Hezbollah said al-Laqis held some of the group's most sensitive portfolios and was close to Nasrallah.

A Lebanese security official and the official close to Hezbollah said al-Laqis was shot with a pistol equipped with a silencer at close range after he parked his car in the ground floor garage of his apartment building in the Hadath neighborhood, just southwest of Beirut.

He was struck by five bullets in the head and neck, the Lebanese official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. Al-Laqis was rushed to a nearby hospital but died early Wednesday from his wounds, officials said.

The parking lot was stained with muddied footprints that led to a small olive grove nearby. Yellow police tape blocked off the area and Hezbollah investigators were at the scene.


Detroit Meltdown: Romney Was Right About Detroit’s Bankruptcy

(WT) Another day and another of President Obama’s campaign boasts bites the dust. While out on the hustings last year, Mr. Obama pummeled Mitt Romney for writing a 2008 op-ed column in The New York Times titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

The Republican nominee sensibly argued that bankruptcy would force the city to go through a drastic — and necessary — restructuring of its finances. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, boasted, “We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt. We bet on American workers … and that bet is paying off.” Until Tuesday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes cleared the way for Detroit to do exactly what the president promised would never happen: file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. It’s as though the president had told Detroit, “If you like your budget and spending plan, you can keep it.”

Politicians tend to think the public treasury can be endlessly tapped without consequence. This has never been more true than in Detroit, which now owes nearly $20 billion to creditors. Insatiable desire to impose yet more taxes chased away business so that the city that once had 296,000 manufacturing jobs counts less than a tenth of that amount today.

Public-sector unions can take much of the blame for driving up municipal expenses to line their own pockets. Detroit, for example, still employs a “horseshoer” for $56,000 in pay and benefits, even though the department paying his salary doesn’t have a horse. As The Detroit Free Press reported, the unions will fight to preserve obsolete jobs and pad paychecks. Unions ensured retirees would receive a “13th month” of checks every year at a cost of $1.9 billion. Even as the city stared at its fate at the edge of the financial cliff, union bosses kept pressing for more. They asked the bankruptcy judge, with a straight face, to reinstate the 13th-month check.

The decline of the city goes well beyond financial mismanagement. What was once one of the world’s greatest cities is a hollow shell of its former glory. Anyone who saw the writing on the wall has long since run as far as possible away from the decaying town. Despite tax revenues in a deep decline, government spending to placate the unions hasn’t slowed.

“It is indeed a momentous day,” Judge Rhodes declared at the end of his ruling. “We have here a judicial finding that this once-proud city cannot pay its debts. At the same time, it has an opportunity for a fresh start. I hope that everybody associated with the city will recognize that opportunity.” That’s exactly what Mr. Romney said in 2008.

Harry Reid leads by example: Obamacare is so bad that he exempted his staff from it

Washington (CNN) -- Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of Obamacare's architects and staunchest supporters, is also the only top congressional leader to exempt some of his staff from having to buy insurance through the law's new exchanges.

Reid is the exception among the other top congressional leaders. GOP House Speaker John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have all directed their staffs to join the exchange, their aides said.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Girl, 11, told not to sell mistletoe, but begging is fine: "I would rather work than beg"

(KATU) An 11-year-old Oregon girl who wanted to help her father pay for her braces by selling mistletoe over the holidays, found herself embroiled in city bureaucracy. On Saturday, Madison Root went to the downtown market to sell fresh mistletoe she cut and wrapped herself from her uncle’s farm in Oregon.

She told KATU News, “I felt like I could help my dad with the money.”

However, a private security guard hired by Portland Saturday Market blocked her path to a straighter smile by telling her to stop selling the mistletoe, citing city rules that ban conducting business or soliciting at a park without proper approval and documentation.

Specifically, Chapter 10.12 of the Portland city code states that soliciting or conducting business includes the display of ”goods, or descriptions or depictions of goods or services, with the intent to engage any member of the public in a transaction for the sale of any good or service.”

The guard reportedly told Madison she could set up shop outside the boundaries of the park…or she could simply ask for donations. Her father, Ashton, told ABC.com, “The guard told her she can beg if she wanted but she can’t sell the mistletoe.” He went on to say that his daughter “does not want to encourage begging and wants people to earn their living… She is so keen on high work ethic.”

Madison confirmed this, “I don’t want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg. I wouldn’t think I’d have any problems because people are asking for money, people are selling stuff, this is a public place.”

The young entrepreneur also seemed confused that vendors could openly sell pot while her mistletoe business was shut down: “There are people next to me that have big signs that say ‘Got Pot?’ They’re raising money for pot.”

Hamas must be bored: Man found tortured to death in Gaza

Ramallah: Investigations are underway after a man was found tortured to death in the Jabaliyah Refugee Camp north of Gaza. The family of 41-year-old Eyad Al Madhoon accuses Hamas of being involved. The Interior Minister of the Hamas government, Fathi Hamad, is personally leading the investigation.

That's how stuff is done in the Obama administration, too.

Did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?

Bob: "Hey Jim, did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?
Jim: "You mean the Mexican gun running?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean SEAL Team 6?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Obama saying the avg family would save $2,500 on their premiums?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Forcing businesses to violate their religious beliefs by paying for drugs that abort the unborn?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Violating the rights and sanctity of our Churches?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Spending $634 million on a website that doesn't work?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Obama calling for an increase in our debt when he lambasted Bush for the very same thing?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Obama having NSA spy on 124 Billion Phone Calls in One Month?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Saddling our kids with $17 trillion in debt of which they can never get out of and will not have as good a life as we have?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Bailing out Detroit after decades of corrupt Democratic management?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the State Dept. lying about Benghazi?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean voter fraud?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Intentionally trying to hurt Americans during the sequester?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Blocking veterans who secured our freedoms from their monuments but giving the green light for Illegal’s to use Monument Mall?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Denying school kids the ability to tour the White House but still spending lavishly on his parties?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean Obama saying we can keep our insurance and doctors if we wanted to?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the military not getting their votes counted?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The NSA monitoring foreign diplomats?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the use of drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Giving 123 Technologies $300 Million and right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?"
Bob: "No the other one.
Jim: "The IRS targeting conservatives?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The DOJ spying on the press?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean Obama spending $3.7 Trillion on Welfare Over Last 5 Years"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Giving Solyndra $500 Million and 3 months later they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought it?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Millions of Americans losing their health care coverage?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Forcing Americans to include coverage in their insurance policies of items they do not want?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Denying Arizona the right to protect its borders?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Providing weapons to Syrian rebels many of whom apparently are Al Qaeda"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate's advise-and-consent role?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The President using nearly $1 trillion dollars of stimulus money to fund his cronies?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean Fast & Furious?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "I give up! ... Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don't pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?"