Friday, September 20, 2013

Tunisian girls return home pregnant after ‘sexual jihad’ in Syria

(Al Arabiya) A number of Tunisian girls who had travelled to Syria to perform “sexual jihad” there have returned back home pregnant, Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Bin Jeddo said on Thursday.

The Tunisian girls “are (sexually) swapped between 20, 30, and 100 rebels and they come back bearing the fruit of sexual contacts in the name of sexual jihad and we are silent doing nothing and standing idle,” the non-partisan minister said during an address to the National Constituent Assembly.

(France24) Bin Jeddo said the interior ministry has banned 6,000 Tunisians from travelling to Syria since March 2013 and arrested 86 individuals suspected of forming “networks” that send Tunisian youth for “jihad” to Syria.
"After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of 'jihad al-nikah' -- (sexual holy war, in Arabic) -- they come home pregnant," Ben Jeddou told the MPs.

He did not elaborate on how many Tunisian women had returned to the country pregnant with the children of jihadist fighters.

Jihad al-nikah, permitting extramarital sexual relations with multiple partners, is considered by some hardline Sunni Muslim Salafists as a legitimate form of holy war.
(Al Arabiya) The minister hit back at human rights groups criticizing the government’s decision to ban suspected “jihadists” from travel. Most of those slapped with travel bans were less than 35 years old, he said.

“Our youths are positioned in the frontlines and are taught how to steal and raid (Syrian) villages,” Bin Jeddo said.

Former Mufti of Tunisia Sheikh Othman Battikh said in April that 13 Tunisian girls “were fooled” into travelling to Syria to offer their sexual services to rebels fighting to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The mufti, who was dismissed from his post days afterwards, described the so-called “sexual Jihad” as a form of “prostitution.”

“For Jihad in Syria, they are now pushing girls to go there. 13 young girls have been sent for sexual jihad. What is this? This is called prostitution. It is moral educational corruption,” the mufti told reporters.

In August, general director of the public security service Mostafa Bin Omar said a “sexual jihad cell” was broken up in an area west of the country where al-Qaead fighters holed up.

Bin Omar told reporters that al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Shariah was using minor girls, dressed in the full face cover to offer sexual services for jihadist male fighters.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

'Occupy' parasites mark 2nd anniversary

(Reuters) It has been two years since a disillusioned band of protesters first pitched tents in lower Manhattan, sparking the movement against corporate greed known as Occupy Wall Street.

On Tuesday morning, about 100 Occupiers returned to the small granite plaza near the New York Stock Exchange that once teemed with thousands of protesters.

But this time around, the park was barely half full. Most of the granite benches were empty. The number of police officers and reporters nearly equaled the number of protesters.

Former European left-wing leaders call on EU to enforce ban on Israeli settlements

(JPost) Former leaders and senior officials from European Union member states have called on EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to stick to new guidelines limiting interaction with Israeli entities beyond the pre-1967 lines, despite Israel-generated pressure.

US Secretary of State John Kerry called earlier this month for a delay in the implementation of the directive, which would see an end to EU financial assistance to Israeli organizations in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights.

Army Radio said that the angry Israeli response to the guidelines had taken some in Europe by surprise, and that while no one had expected Israel to accept the move without some reaction, the ferocity was unanticipated.

The letter by the group, which includes former NATO secretary-general and Ashton's predecessor at the EU Javier Solana and former Spanish foreign minister Angel Moratinos [both are members of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party - ed.], also called for the guidelines to be enforced with regards to Horizon 2020 - a 80 billion euro R&D project whose Israel involvement was called into question following the announcement of the guidelines.

Responding angrily to the letter, European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor on Monday called it "a danger to peace as it hands one side a political victory without having to compromise and deepens the Palestinian feeling that they can gain more outside of negotiations than in them.”

In a full-page advert in Monday’s Financial Times, Kantor said the letter was discriminatory, and would ultimately harm the success of peace efforts currently underway for the first time in three years.

“From the well over one hundred territorial disputes in the world, the European Union has mandated the creation of a clause in every agreement denying European funding to, and cooperation with, institutions from only one nation involved in a territorial dispute: Israel,” Kantor wrote.

“What makes the situation far worse is that the European Union is abrogating agreements that it signed and witnessed,” he said. "The Oslo Accords, the basis for the peace negotiations, specifically stipulated that the current status of the territories, and its residents, will not be changed or harmed ahead of final status negotiations, to which the parties have recently returned."

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon also accused the former EU officials of harming the peace process. "Former European officials never cease to amaze," he said. "They have crossed the line of criticism of the State of Israel. I expect the European leadership to condemn this move."

Ashton said last month that the guidelines were simply "putting down on paper what is currently the EU position."

Video: Democrat voters endorse Karl Marx for president “since Obama’s been working with him”

From Washington Times:
Video journalist Mark Dice published a new man-on-the-street interview Saturday where he took to the Oceanside Pier in San Diego, Calif., asking people to sign a fake petition allowing Karl Marx on the 2016 presidential ballot, “since Obama’s been working with him.”

The man-on-the-street interviewer and published author received more than a dozen signatures in 20 minutes by people eager to see the deceased German political philosopher succeed the president during the next election cycle.

“Support Karl Marx for president,” Mr. Dice repeatedly said as one person after another signed the fake petition.

“We just want to gather signatures showing that the American people are behind Obama and Karl Marx,” he said as one man signed away feverishly.

“Show support for Obama and his Communist agenda,” he said to one signee who has happy to oblige. “Sign here to support the Marxist takeover.”

Not all San Diegans fell for Mr. Dice’s trick, however. One elderly gentlemen asked, “Where’s the TV camera?”

Monday, September 16, 2013

Navy Yard shooter identified

What we can tell from the photo is that he could've been Obama's son.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials say the man accused in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left at least 12 people dead has been identified as Aaron Alexis.

The two officials spoke Monday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

One of those officials says Alexis was a 34-year-old from Texas. He is believed to have a criminal record there and to be a holder of a concealed carry weapon permit.

That official says Alexis is believed to have gotten into the Navy Yard by using someone else's identification card. It is not yet clear if that individual was an accomplice or if that person's ID card was stolen.

BREAKING: Four Dead, 12 Shot at D.C. Navy Yard; Active Shooter Still At Large; UPDATE: 12 dead in Navy Yard shooting; 1 suspect dead, 1 sought

(NBC) Four people were killed and 12 were shot - two of the victims police officers - at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard Monday morning, and the shooter has not yet been apprehended, authorities confirmed.

A senior Naval official confirmed the number of victims to NBC News.

One of those shot was a D.C. police officer, reported NBC News' Pete Williams. Another was a base security officer.

The conditions of the victims are unknown, but George Washington Hospital reported that at least one victim has been transported to that hospital.

The U.S. Navy says three shots were fired at 8:20 a.m. inside Building #197 at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters, 1336 Isaac Hull Ave. in the Southeast section of the District. U.S. military officials say the gunman - armed with an AR-15, a military-style assault weapon - first shot the base security officer.

One victim was reported to be on the roof of a building, reported News4's Tony Tull. A U.S. Park Police helicopter hovering above the scene around 9:50 a.m. lowered a basket to a building and lifted what appeared to be a shooting victim from the roof. The helicopter came back to the scene just after 10 a.m. to retrieve another victim.

But other details were sketchy from the still-active scene. The shots continued to ring out through the morning, including a volley that Tull reported at about 9:20 a.m.

Authorities say this a lone gunman.

Federal and local emergency personnel converged on the scene, "and a shelter in place order has been issued for Navy Yard personnel," the Navy said. Among the responders was a federal SWAT unit.

The 11th Street Bridge and roads in the area are closed.

Metro has also reopened New Jersey Avenue entrance at the Navy Yard station.

The Navy Yard is located in southeast Washington on the Anacostia River. The Navy says 3,000 people work inside the building, including command staff, headquarters directorates and field activities. They coordinate the Naval Sea Systems Command, or NAVSEA, the largest of the Navy's five system commands.
WASHINGTON — At least 12 people died Monday during a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, officials said. One gunman died in the shooting, and police are seeking another possible shooter.

The Navy Yard was placed on lockdown after shots were fired inside a building on the base, the U.S. Navy said. At least 10 other people were injured in the shooting, including eight civilians, one Washington Metro police officer and one base officer, D.C. Metro Police said.

Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said the gunman, whose name has yet to be released, was shot during an exchange with the Metro Police officer.

"As far as we know, it's an isolated incident," Gray said. "We have no known motive at this stage."

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier had said authorities were seeking two potential suspects: a white male, 40 to 50 years old, wearing a khaki military-style uniform and a beret, carrying a handgun or pistol; and a black male, also 40 to 50 years old, 5'10", 180 pounds, medium complexion with gray sideburns and wearing an olive military-style uniform, carrying "a long gun."

Police later said the white male had been identified and was not a suspect.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rebel Atrocities in Syria: Government Workers Thrown Off Building

Report: Activists volunteer to become 'human shields' in Syria

Now, that's quite a predicament Obama got himself into. If he strikes Syria, he'll be killing, among others, US and British citizens.
(Ynet) While many Western nations are evacuating their citizens from Syria and the neighbors countries ahead of a potential US strikes, human rights activists are planning to enter the war-torn country and act as "human shields" against a US assault, Britain's The Telegraph reported Saturday.

The 'International Human Shields' movement, started by a group of activists in Britain and the US, plans to bring to Syria civilians from countries around the globe, who will try to deter US strikes on the country by staking out potential military targets. [...]

Many of those volunteering to go to Syria also took part in the "Human Shields" movement that travelled to Baghdad in 2003, initially to protect hospitals and schools, and later, key government infrastructure sites.


German jihadists, including Germans converted to Islam, kill Syrian Christians

BERLIN (JPost) – Radical German Islamists participated in the murders of Syrian Christians in an early August attack on the Turkish-Syrian border, according to a report in the German magazine FOCUS.

The magazine reported last week the involvement of nearly 100 “fanatical” German Muslims, including Germans who converted to Islam, in the Syrian civil war.

Two Western intelligence agencies provided the information to FOCUS about the role of German Islamists in the August massacre.

A German police official told the magazine that “the complicity of Germans in the extermination and ethnic cleansing in Syria is a sheer intolerable condition.”

Prosecutors are examining whether the German Muslims can be charged with participation in a terrorist organization.

The growing presence of German Islamists in Syria prompted the Federal Republic’s interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich to issue a warning in April about the “calls for those Europeans who have been trained in battle [in Syria] to return home and pursue jihad.”

The Sunni Salafist movement in Germany has provided the main combatants for the conflict against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. Dirk Baehr, a German political scientist who has written about European and German jihadi groups, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that six months ago there were 60 German Islamists in Syria and now the number has climbed to 150. Many of the jihadis fighting in Syria are from Belgium, Baehr added.

In a video cited in the FOCUS report, which appears in German and Arabic, German jihadists praise the expulsion of Christians from the Syrian villages. The video shows between nine and 10 jihadis walking by dead people. Baehr said it is difficult to ascertain if the dead individuals are Christians.

One Islamic combatant strikes the head of a dead Syrian soldier in the video.

Former gangster rapper from Berlin, Denis Cuspert (a.k.a Deso Dogg), is believed to be fighting with the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front. German counter-terrorism officials view Cuspert as a powerful recruitment tool. He made a video before his departure to Syria, urging Muslims to join the jihad in Syria.

Syrian government sends reinforcements to Christian village attacked by al-Qaida-linked rebel fighters

BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian government sent reinforcements, including tanks and armored personnel carriers, to a predominantly Christian village north of Damascus where rebels have battled regime troops this week, a monitoring group said Friday.

Opposition fighters led by an al-Qaida-linked rebel faction attacked the ancient mountainside sanctuary of Maaloula on Wednesday, and briefly entered the village a day later before pulling out in the evening. The assault has spotlighted fears among Syria's religious minorities about the prominent role of Islamic extremists in the rebel ranks fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad's regime.

The government forces sent to Maaloula have taken up positions outside the village, which is still under the control of local pro-regime militias, said Rami Abdul-Rahman, the director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. He added that there were skirmishes Friday around the village, home to two of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria — Mar Sarkis and Mar Takla.

The assault is being spearheaded by Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the most effective rebel factions and a group the U.S. has deemed a terrorist organization. The group includes Syrians as well as foreign fighters from across the Muslim world.


Military Revolts Against Obama Attack On Syria

(IBD) The administration's planned strike on Syria is increasingly opposed by many in a U.S. military coping with the scars of two long wars, a rapidly shrinking budget and soldiers saying we're "tired, stretched thin and broke."

That sentiment was expressed by an active-duty soldier with a rank of Sergeant First Class in an email to Rep. Justin Amash. The Michigan Republican has been receiving, compiling and tweeting emails from current and former service members now being asked to commit to an ill-defined mission with an unclear goal in support of rebels mostly linked to al-Qaida and other unfriendly interests.

"The message I consistently hear: Please vote no on military action against Syria," Amash tweeted. Most objections relate to the lack of a clear objective in striking Syria and the muddled line between anti-government rebels and al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists.

The backlash against boots on the ground or even wings in the air has exploded on social media. Many in the military are posting photos of themselves holding signs stating they'd refuse to fight on the same side as al-Qaida in Syria. The photos went viral, with one post alone generating more than 16,000 shares on Facebook.

"Our involvement in Syria is so dangerous on so many levels, and the 21st century American vet is more keen to this than anybody," Business Insider's Paul Szoldra quotes former Cpl. Jack Mandaville, a Marine Corps infantry veteran with three deployments to Iraq. "It boggles my mind that we are being ignored."

A decade of involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, with many of the rank and file seeing the fruits of their victories squandered by the Obama administration's precipitous, ideologically driven withdrawals, raises the question why we should bother about Syria.

In a blistering editorial in the Washington Post, Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, former commandant of the Army War College, touches on the growing discontent among military leaders regarding Obama's reckless combination of dithering and bravado on Syria.

"They are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration's attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense," Scales opines. "None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far, at least, this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective."

According to Scales, the military is privately "outraged by the fact that what may happen is an act of war and a willingness to risk American lives to make up for a slip of the tongue about 'red lines.' " The rank-and-file, in other words, are outraged that their blood may be shed just to save presidential face.

The military can't afford any sustained campaign against Syria without the kind of supplemental appropriation then-Sen. John Kerry was for before he was against in Iraq. That fact, and the potential dangers of mission creep, were highlighted in a July 19 letter by Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to Sen. Carl Levin, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Dempsey wrote then that using "lethal force to prevent the use or proliferation of chemical weapons" could cost "well over $1 billion per month." He also wrote that controlling chemical weapons would require more resources than just air and cruise-missile strikes. He said it would need to be coupled with "thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces" to secure critical sites.

Sounds like boots on the ground to us.

During a hearing on Syria in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, committee Chairman Sen. Bob Menendez asked Kerry if there would be any possibility of ground troops entering Syria at some point.

Kerry said the administration had "no desire" to put boots on the ground. But he hinted it could happen in the event "Syria imploded . . . or in the event there was a threat of a chemical weapons cache falling into the hands of al-Nusra or someone else."

Then Kerry added, "I don't want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the president of the United States to secure our country."

Well, many in the military do, saying their boots aren't made for walking on Syrian soil in a war we can't afford, particularly if it means dying for al-Qaida. They are saying, "Hell, no, we shouldn't go."

Friday, September 6, 2013

Russia sends warship with 'special cargo' to Syria

(AFP) A Russian warship carrying "special cargo" will be dispatched toward Syria, a navy source said on Friday, as the Kremlin beefs up its presence in the region ahead of possible US strikes against the Damascus regime.

The large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov will on Friday leave the Ukrainian port city of Sevastopol for the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, from where it will head to Syria's coast, the Interfax news agency quoted a source from the Saint Petersburg-based central naval command as saying.

"The ship will make call in Novorossiisk, where it will take on board special cargo and set off for the designated area of its combat duty in the eastern Mediterranean," the source said.

The source did not specify the nature of the cargo.


Wanted in US and India, Islamist leads mass pro-jihad rally in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani Islamist with a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head appeared openly at a rally in Islamabad on Friday, denouncing India as a terrorist state as thousands of his supporters chanted for "holy war" against the rival nuclear nation.

India has accused Hafiz Saeed of masterminding the 2008 attack on its financial capital Mumbai where gunmen killed 166 people over three days. The United States has offered $10 million for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

As dusk fell, more than 10,000 people gathered in Islamabad in a show of defiance certain to enrage India further following weeks of tensions over the disputed Kashmir border.

"The United States and India are very angry with us. This means God is happy with us," Saeed told the crowd as supporters chanted "Jihad!" ("Holy war") and "War will continue until the liberation of Kashmir". He did not use the word "jihad" himself.


Egypt: Islamists take over town, destroy and loot 1600-year-old monastery

DALGA, Egypt (AP) — The Coptic Orthodox priest would talk to his visitor only after hiding from the watchful eyes of the bearded Muslim outside, who sported a pistol bulging from under his robe.

So Father Yoannis moved behind a wall in the charred skeleton of an ancient monastery to describe how it was torched by Islamists and then looted when they took over this southern Egyptian town following the ouster of the country's president.

"The fire in the monastery burned intermittently for three days. The looting continued for a week. At the end, not a wire or an electric switch is left," Yoannis told The Associated Press. The monastery's 1,600-year-old underground chapel was stripped of ancient icons and the ground was dug up on the belief that a treasure was buried there.

"Even the remains of ancient and revered saints were disturbed and thrown around," he said.


Iraqi officials and terrorists warn of threat to US if Obama strikes Syria

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iranian-backed Shiite militias are threatening to retaliate against American interests inside Iraq if the United States goes ahead with strikes against the Tehran-allied government in neighboring Syria, according to Iraqi security officials and militants themselves.

Iraqi officials say they are taking the warnings seriously. The threats, which come as President Barack Obama's administration and Congress debate possible military action over the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons, risk exacerbating an increasingly deteriorating security environment inside Iraq.

Cleric Wathiq al-Batat, who leads the Mukhtar Army, a shadowy Iranian-backed militia, said his forces are preparing for a strong reaction against the interests of the U.S. and other countries that take part in any Syria strike. He claimed that militants have selected hundreds of potential targets, which could include both official American sites and companies "associated with the Americans."

"There is a good level of coordination with Iran on this issue and I cannot reveal more. But I can say that there will be a strong response," he told The Associated Press. "Each armed group will have duties to carry out."


Twitter shuts down account of Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab, again

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The flagship Twitter account of al-Shabab, Somalia's al-Qaida-linked terror group, was closed Friday for the second time this year, less than 24 hours after a U.S.-based terrorism expert reported violations of Twitter's terms of service.

The closure comes only days after al-Shabab claimed a failed assassination attempt against Somalia's president and tweeted that the next time the president wouldn't be so lucky.

Al-Shabab uses Twitter mainly to make claims of enemy kills and to spread its view of events in Somalia and East Africa. A United Nations report on Somalia released last month said U.N. experts believe the person running the English-language account is a British member of al-Shabab.

Twitter in January suspended al-Shabab's previous account two days after the group used the platform to announce a death threat against Kenyan hostages. Twitter's terms of service says it does not allow specific threats of violence against others in its posts.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Pig blood sprayed on Quebec mosque

Document leaked by Snowden reveals CIA job applicants linked to Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah

That's just wonderful.
(JPost) According to a leaked US classified budget document leaked by US whistle-blower Edward Snowden, individuals with past connections to known terrorist entities such as al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas, have repeatedly attempted to obtain employment within the CIA, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

Among job-seekers that seemed suspicious to the CIA, approximately 20% of that grouping reportedly had “significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections.” The nature of the connections was not described in the document.

“Over the last several years, a small subset of CIA’s total job applicants were flagged due to various problems or issues,” an anonymous CIA official was reported as saying. “During this period, one in five of that small subset were found to have significant connections to hostile intelligence services and or terrorist groups.”

The document in question was provided to The Washington Post by Snowden, a previous NSA contractor who leaked several top secret intelligence documents to the press.

The nature of the connections was apparently not described in the document.

The document also allegedly stated that the CIA re-investigates thousands of employees each year to reduce the possibility that an individual with these connections may compromise sensitive information.

According to the Post, the document revealed that the NSA had planned to launch at least 4,000 investigations of potentially suspicious employees last year.

CIA officials reportedly told The Washington Post that the number of applicants connected to terrorist organizations or hostile governments was “small,” but did not provide an exact number.

As Obama blinks on Syria, Israel, Saudis make common cause

JERUSALEM/RIYADH (Reuters) - If President Barack Obama has disappointed Syrian rebels by deferring to Congress before bombing Damascus, he has also dismayed the United States' two main allies in the Middle East.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have little love for each other but both are pressing their mutual friend in the White House to hit President Bashar al-Assad hard. And both do so with one eye fixed firmly not on Syria but on their common adversary - Iran.

Israel's response to Obama's surprise move to delay or even possibly cancel air strikes made clear that connection: looking soft on Assad after accusing him of killing hundreds of people with chemical weapons may embolden his backers in Tehran to develop nuclear arms, Israeli officials said. And if they do, Israel may strike Iran alone, unsure Washington can be trusted.

Neither U.S. ally is picking a fight with Obama in public. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the nation was "serene and self-confident"; Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal simply renewed a call to the "international community" to halt Assad's violence in Syria.

But the Saudi monarchy, though lacking Israel's readiness to attack Iran, can share the Jewish state's concern that neither may now look with confidence to Washington to curb what Riyadh sees as a drive by its Persian rival to dominate the Arab world.

Last year, Obama assured Israelis that he would "always have Israel's back". Now Netanyahu is reassuring them they can manage without uncertain U.S. protection against Iran, which has called for Israel's destruction but denies developing nuclear weapons.

"Israel's citizens know well that we are prepared for any possible scenario," the hawkish prime minister said. "And Israel's citizens should also know that our enemies have very good reasons not to test our power and not to test our might."

That may not reassure a U.S. administration which has tried to steer Netanyahu away from unilateral action against Iran that could stir yet more chaos in the already explosive Middle East.

Israel's state-run Army Radio was more explicit: "If Obama is hesitating on the matter of Syria," it said, "Then clearly on the question of attacking Iran, a move that is expected to be far more complicated, Obama will hesitate much more - and thus the chances Israel will have to act alone have increased."


USS Nimitz carrier moves into Red Sea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and four other ships in its strike group moved into the Red Sea early on Monday, U.S. defense officials said, describing the move as "prudent planning" in case the ships are needed for military action against Syria.

The officials said the Nimitz entered the Red Sea around 6 a.m. EDT, but the strike group had not received any orders to move into the Mediterranean, where five U.S. destroyers and an amphibious ship remain poised for possible cruise missile strikes against Syria.

Moving the Nimitz into the Red Sea was aimed at putting more U.S. assets in place if they are needed to support what U.S. officials still describe as a limited attack against Syria after it used chemical weapons against civilians.

"It does place that strike group in a position to respond to a variety of contingencies," said one official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The nuclear-powered Nimitz is accompanied by the Princeton, a cruiser, and three destroyers - the William P. Lawrence, Stockdale and Shoup, according to the officials.


Egypt court advised to dissolve Muslim Brotherhood as Mursi goes on trial for inciting violence

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian judicial panel advised a court to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood as a legally registered non-governmental organization on Monday, posing a legal challenge to the group as the army-backed government presses a crackdown.

The case brought by Brotherhood opponents is seeking the dissolution of the NGO registered by the movement in March. The court hearing the case set its next session for November 12, judicial sources said.

The movement behind deposed President Mohamed Mursi formally registered itself as an NGO in response to a lawsuit that argued that it had no legal status.

The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 and formally dissolved by Egypt's army rulers in 1954. The judicial panel's recommendation is not binding on the court.

The Brotherhood operated for decades as a formally outlawed organization until veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was deposed in 2011. The movement then won a series of elections culminating in last year's presidential vote.

The military deposed Mursi on July 3 after mass protests against his rule. Since then, most of the Brotherhood's top leadership has been arrested and face charges of inciting violence. Mursi was himself referred to trial on Sunday on that charge.

Citing Obamacare and amnesty for illegals, 40,000 Longshoremen Quit the AFL-CIO

(Breitbart) In what is being reported as a surprise move, the 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO, one of the nation's largest private sector unions. The Longshoremen citied Obamacare and immigration reform as two important causes of their disaffiliation.

In an August 29 letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, ILWU President Robert McEllrath cited quite a list of grievances as reasons for the disillusion of their affiliation, but prominent among them was the AFL-CIO's support of Obamare.

"We feel the Federation has done a great disservice to the labor movement and all working people by going along to get along," McEllrath wrote in the letter to Trumka.

The ILWU President made it clear they are for a single-payer, nationalized healthcare policy and are upset with the AFL-CIO for going along with Obama on the confiscatory tax on their "Cadillac" healthcare plan.

The Longshoreman leader said, "President Obama ran on a platform that he would not tax medical plans and at the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention, you stated that labor would not stand for a tax on our benefits." But, regardless of that promise, the President has pushed for just such a tax and Trumka and the AFL-CIO bowed to political pressure lining up behind Obama's tax on those plans.

McEllrath also went on to say that they support stronger immigration reform than the AFL-CIO is supporting.

One ILWU committeeman was even harsher on both the AFL-CIO and the President. ILWU Coast Committeeman Leal Sundet criticized the AFL-CIO telling that Trumka was marching "in lockstep" with Obama both on the "Cadillac healthcare tax" as well as immigration.

Sundet slammed Obama's immigration plan saying it is "designed to give [only] highly-paid workers a real path to citizenship."

Private sector unions have fallen to an all time low participation rate in the US workforce. Unionized workers now account for only 11.3 percent of the US workforce.

Bombings cloud Baghdad's once-bustling markets: "Every day is worse than the one before"

"... we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq... And we are ending a war not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home."
~Barack Obama, December 14, 2011.
(AFP) Baghdad's once-bustling markets, overflowing with fruit and vegetables, live animals and books, are facing difficult times as customers increasingly fearful of bomb attacks stay away.

"Every day is worse than the one before," says Ali Hussein, a 32-year-old selling slippers and sandals from a stall outside the main Baab al-Sharqi market, in one of central Baghdad's oldest neighbourhoods on the east bank of the Tigris River.

"Before, when you worked on Fridays, it used to be a lot better. You made a good living and could afford to buy more things for your children," he adds.

"But now it is very bad, and day by day things are getting worse" because of the multiple bomb attacks in the city, he says.

On Wednesday 71 people were killed and more than 200 wounded when a dozen car bombs exploded across the capital, while a day later a bomb ripped through a fruit and vegetable market in Samarra, north of Baghdad, killing 16 people.

Wednesday's violence was claimed by an Al-Qaeda front group, and comes amid a surge in nationwide violence that has left more than 3,700 people dead already this year, sparking worries the country is edging towards the all-out bloodshed that plagued it in 2006 and 2007.

"When going to work I say goodbye to my family as if I might not see them again and then I just count on God," says Hussein, explaining how he copes with the fear of being caught up in an explosion.


Update on Afghan Taliban attack on US base

MOHMANDARA DISTRICT, Afghanistan (AP) — Militants attacked a U.S. base in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan on Monday, setting off bombs, torching vehicles and shutting down a key road used by NATO supply trucks, officials said. At least three people — apparently all attacking insurgents — were killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the strike in the Torkham area, the latest in a surge of attacks in Afghanistan as U.S.-led foreign troops reduce their presence en route to a full withdrawal by the end of next year. Militants frequently target NATO's supply lines in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In a brief statement, NATO confirmed an "unsuccessful coordinated attack by enemy forces" but said none of its personnel were killed. The military alliance generally does not release information on wounded troops. No members of the Afghan security forces or civilians were killed or wounded, according to Esa Khan Zwak, chief administrator in Mohmandara district, in which the base is located.

Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said several militants wearing suicide vests and carrying other weapons staged the attack, and that Afghan and U.S. forces exchanged gunfire with the insurgents. NATO helicopters joined the fight, he added.

The encounter began around 6:30 a.m. and lasted three and a half hours, said Masoum Khan Hashimi, deputy provincial police chief in Nangarhar province. Afghan security forces trying to clear the area were still in the process of defusing a bomb in a car. At least one car bomb also was successfully detonated in the attack, Hashimi said.

An Associated Press photographer at the scene saw three bodies of suspected attackers — apparently shot dead from the NATO helicopters. The suspected insurgents didn't manage to enter the main base area, but had tried to hide under a small canal bridge near it when they were hit.


Turkish generals go on trial over 1997 'post-modern coup'

Obama is watching closely and learning.
ANKARA (Reuters) - The first of more than 100 senior Turkish army officers began testifying in court on Monday over their alleged role in ousting Turkey's first Islamist-led government 16 years ago, a trial that could see them facing life imprisonment.

The investigation into the overthrow of prime minister Necmettin Erbakan in 1997 extends a series of judicial cases targeting the once-supreme Turkish military, whose influence has been tamed sharply over the past decade.

The case also carries personal significance for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who was a member of Erbakan's Islamist party and who has made curbing the military's political clout one of his main missions during his 10 years in power.

A total of 103 officers, mostly serving and retired generals including a former chief of staff, have been named in a 1,300-page indictment accusing them of "overthrowing by force, and participating in the overthrow" of a government.

Around one third of the defendants are currently in pre-trial detention.

The indictment calls for life sentences for the accused, which includes General Ismail Hakki Karadayi, chief of general staff between 1994 and 1998, and former land forces commander General Erdal Ceylanoglu, believed to have sent tanks onto the streets near Ankara before the military intervention.

The complex trial is expected to last several years.

The events of 1997 were dubbed the "post-modern coup" as the generals used pressure behind the scenes to force Erbakan from power, in contrast to the direct intervention of three outright military coups in Turkey in 1960, 1971 and 1980.

Erbakan, who died of heart failure aged 85 in 2011, pioneered Islamist politics in Turkey, a largely Muslim country with a secular state order, and paved the way for the subsequent success of Erdogan's AK Party.

More than 250 retired officers, including another former army chief, as well as journalists, academics and opposition politicians were jailed last month over a coup plot in a separate case that has polarized Turks over the country's political direction.

This came after more than 300 military officers were sentenced to jail in September 2012 for plotting to overthrow Erdogan in 2003 in yet another coup plot.


Afghan suicide bombers attack US base near the border with Pakistan

KABUL (AP) - An Afghan official says a group of suicide bombers have attacked US base near the border with Pakistan, sparking an ongoing gunbattle.

There was no immediate information on casualties.

Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, says the heavily armed militants attacked the site in the Torkham area Monday morning.

An explosion heard toward the beginning was likely one of the suicide bombers detonating his explosives.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid says the insurgent group was behind the attack.

Nato says it has no immediate information on the matter.

Abdulzai says Afghan and US forces are engaged in gunfire against the militants, and that Nato helicopters are flying over the base.

The highway between Jalalabad city and Torkham, an important route for Nato supply trucks, has been closed.

Earlier on Sunday, the badly beaten, bullet-riddled bodies of seven Afghan soldiers were found dumped in an eastern province, apparent victims of insurgents, authorities said.

Local residents found the corpses next to each other in Andar district of Ghazni province, their hands chained behind their backs.

The dead soldiers had been kidnapped at different times, with some abducted while they were on leave visiting relatives, said Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, deputy Ghazni governor.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Me, Myself, and I President

(Commentary Magazine) With Barack Obama, it’s always all about him.

Asked at his early August press conference why there has been so little progress in getting the perpetrators of the Benghazi massacre after eleven months, Obama replied, that these things can take time and added by way of example that “I didn’t get Bin Laden in eleven months.” Obama, of course, was in the White House that day, playing cards. It was Navy Seals who put their lives on the line as they stormed the house in Abbottabad and “got” Bin Laden. (Can you imagine the mockery the media would have rained down on George W. Bush had he ever used such a construction? Bush, of course, a modest man, would never have said any such thing.)

Now Obama is planning a response to the gas attack by the Syrian government against its own people. Again, it’s all about him. Had Obama last year not indulged his bad habit of speaking when he should be quiet and announced with little apparent thought that the use of chemical weapons would be a red line that must not be crossed, no one thinks we would now be about to attack Syria.

But, having casually made the red line remark, he is stuck with it and his credibility (or what little is left of it in international affairs) is clearly on the line. If he let’s Bashar al-Assad get away with his chemical attack unscathed, no one will believe a word Obama says in the future.

But his base fears and loathes American power, so, as Jonathan noted on Wednesday, the Obama administration has been leaking like a sieve to reassure supporters that any attack will be minimal. The fact that he is, inescapably, also reassuring the Assad regime (and even instructing it how to further minimize damage) is, evidently, neither here nor there. His relations with his base are what’s important.

Today, The Hill is reporting the latest leak, one that completely gives away the game, quoting a “U.S. official” that “the White House is seeking a strike on Syria ‘just muscular enough not to get mocked.’” Whether the strike does any good (or does ill, for that matter) doesn’t matter. The risk that Obama might be mocked is all that counts.

History will not treat this man kindly.

South African BDS Protesters: "Kill the Jews!"

A South African protest against an Israeli musician quickly deteriorated into a call for the murder of Jews.
(INN) Anti-Israel students and activists showed their “true colors” last Wednesday night, Jewish students at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa said. Moving quickly from “anti-Zionism” to classic anti-Semitism, a melange of students and BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) activists began screaming “Shoot the Jews” at a concert featuring religious Jewish jazz saxophonist Daniel Zamir.

Zamir, who is Israeli, had been invited to perform by several Jewish organizations. Zamir is world-renowned as a klezmer and jazz musician, having played with jazz luminaries such as John Zorn.

The anti-Israel protest was sponsored by BDS South Africa. Operating since 2010, the group claims that it “facilitated numerous campaigns, including: the University of Johannesburg (UJ) academic boycott, the South African Artists Against Apartheid cultural boycott campaign, and the annual Israeli Apartheid Week.”

Dozens of Arabs and BDS supporters gathered outside Wits' Great Hall, with security personnel keeping them outside. Several scuffles were reported, and concert-goers were subject to a great deal of verbal abuse.

At that point, said witnesses, the protesters broke into a sing-song chant of “kill the Jews,” (“Dubula e Juda” in Afrikaans), a take-off on a protest song sung in the 80s against whites. When questioned, Muhammed Desai, coordinator of the event, said that the protesters did not mean the term “kill the Jews” literally. ““Just like you would say 'kill the Boer' at funeral during the eighties it wasn’t about killing white people, it was used as a way of identifying with the [opposition to the] apartheid regime,” he said, adding that “the whole idea anti-Semitism is blown out of proportion,” and that if anyone in BDS had committed anti-Semitic acts, the group would not tolerate it.

But concert goers and Jewish students at Wits said that this time the BDS group had gone too far. Many said that they no longer felt safe at the university, with others saying that actual shooting of Jews or other violence against them was just a matter of time. “How is ‘shoot the Jew’ not racist rhetoric?,” asked one student. “It is blatant anti-Semitism. If people are blowing anti-Semitism out of proportion then they are blowing apartheid out of proportion too. Have people forgotten about the Holocaust?”

Saudi Arabia Struggled Sunday to Assemble Arab Coalition

Saudi Arabia struggled Sunday to assemble an Arab coalition that would give the U.S. and other Western countries vital political backing for airstrikes on the Syrian regime.

How come the usual suspects on the left don't complain that the Arabs want us to fight their wars for them?
(WSJ) Saudi Arabia, long the most passionate advocate of tough international action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, struggled Sunday to assemble an Arab coalition that would give the U.S. and other Western countries vital political backing for airstrikes on the Syrian regime.

Even beyond the Syria crisis, Arab analysts and diplomats said Sunday, Arab states were re-examining fundamental security strategies in the wake of President Barack Obama's unexpected decision on Saturday to put on hold proposed U.S.-led attacks on Syrian military targets pending a U.S. congressional vote on such an operation later this month.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal indirectly acknowledged Sunday that the Arab world remained reliant on the U.S. as the region's policeman of last resort against transgressions by fellow Arab states, as well as the Arab world's top tier of protection against Iran.

"There is no capacity in the Arab world to respond to this kind of crisis," Prince Saud said, speaking of Syria. He bitterly faulted the deadlocked United Nations Security Council for failing to approve international military action, two years into a Syrian conflict that the U.N. says has killed more than 100,000 people.


Egypt destroys homes for possible Gaza buffer zone

Where are the Rachel Corrie's of today. Why are they missing from the houses in Egypt along the border of Gaza? Where are the ISM members? Where are Richard Purssell, Joe Carr or Tom Dale?

As a side note, I hope the Egyptians used the Caterpillars.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's military has bulldozed 13 homes along the Gaza Strip border and caved in tunnels beneath them as a prelude to the possible creation of a buffer zone to reduce weapon smuggling and illegal militant crossings, angering residents who said they were evicted with no compensation, security officials and residents said Sunday.

The military envisions creating a building-free zone with no trees 500 meters (1,640 feet) wide and 10 kilometers (6 miles) long starting at the Rafah border crossing and ending at the Mediterranean Sea, Northern Sinai government officials said. The homes were knocked down over the last 10 days as a test of the buffer zone idea in an area called el-Sarsoriya, a few kilometers (miles) from the Rafah crossing, while explosives were used to collapse the tunnels. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The move comes as Egypt's interim government and military attempt to assert more stringent state control over the largely lawless northern Sinai Peninsula, where Islamic militants have turned large areas into strongholds from which they have waged repeated attacks on security forces, Christians and tribal leaders — compounding the country's security woes following the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July. Homes and trees along the Gaza border have been used as cover for militants to fire at border guards.

Ehab Ghussein, a spokesman for the Hamas government in Gaza, said he feared the creation of a buffer zone would be a step toward imposing "a new blockade on Gaza and increase the suffering of its people."

"Buffer zones are not needed between neighboring countries that have historical and social relations," Ghussein said, calling instead for the establishment of a free trade zone at the Egypt-Gaza border.