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Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky





















Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Muslim Terrorist Plotted To Tarqet The Louvre
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Along with the Eiffel Tower and a nuclear plant..

 Islamist plot to blow up Eiffel Tower, Louvre and nuclear ...

www.telegraph.co.uk › ... › EuropeFrance
The Daily Telegraph
 
25 mins ago - France foiled an Islamist terrorist plot to target the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and even a nuclear power plant, it emerged on Wednesday, as the 
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Posted on 07/09/2014 3:48 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Diplomat In NZ Sex Attack Invokes Diplomatic Immunity, Escapes Home -- Take A Guess
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From what subset of countries is that diplomat likely to come?

You're right!

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Posted on 07/09/2014 3:40 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Roger Scruton On Ray Honeyford, Who Was Right About Islam In The Schools
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Posted on 07/09/2014 3:32 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Protect Our Borders from Syria and Iraq Jihadists
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From Liberty GB:

Why should people who take a bus or Tube train in London be in fear for their lives from a bomb attack? Is it right that air passengers should be afraid of terror threats when they board a plane and also be subjected to continuous disruptions for the same reason?

Every day we hear news of more young Muslims – often born and bread in the UK but not “British” in any true sense of the word – travelling to Iraq and Syria to join groups fighting in a jihad (Islamic holy war) to establish an Islamic state over there. These Muslims also promise to come back to Britain and create a climate of terror over here.

Their threats have to be taken with the utmost seriousness: we have seen from media reports and internet videos how ruthless these fighters are with the lives of others and how determined they are to ethnically cleanse the Middle East of Christians.

Despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s empty reassurances that Britain will not ignore this security threat, former MI6 director of global counter-terrorism Richard Barrett has said the numbers are too high and the security services won’t be able to monitor all the jihadists returning to the UK. It is "out of the question", he added.

Top counter-terrorism expert Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police's assistant commissioner and head of specialist operations, has warned that Britain will live with the consequences of Syria and the rise of Islamic extremism within its own borders “for many, many years to come”.

The jihadists returning from Syria, due to its relative vicinity to Europe, are considered “the biggest threat to Britain's security” and a “greater threat than al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan”. The British Home Office identifies Syria as “the most significant development in global terrorism.”

Charles Farr - the Home Office’s terror chief - and others warned that the Syrian war is stoking the biggest terror threat to the West since September 11, and this problem is predicted to persist for as long as the hostilities will continue.

It is simply foolish to believe that the threat is minimal or behind us. So far we’ve just been lucky

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee - which oversees the UK’s intelligence agencies -, wrote that new measures increasing security checks at airports are “unavoidable” because jihadists are deploying "devilish technical skill" to create ever more sophisticated devices to evade existing security measures.

He wrote that he had encountered a level of complacency among some elements of the public which he found "seriously disturbing", adding:

"It is simply foolish to believe that the threat is either minimal or now behind us. We have, indeed, been fortunate but, sadly, this has not been because the terrorists have, since 2005, given up trying to do us harm. As Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, has made clear, each year there have been serious plots which if they had not been identified and disrupted would have led to the deaths and mutilation of many British citizens.

"The police and the security services have been very successful but we must not underestimate the devilish technical skill of those terrorists who design ever more sophisticated means of concealing explosives in mobile devices, in clothing and in otherwise innocent objects. They have been hard at work over the last year."

Only last week Britain's airports were put on a new terror alert following intelligence warnings that al Qaeda's chief bomb maker - Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is now said to have sworn allegiance to ISIS - had linked up with jihadists in Syria to pass on his skills.

It couldn’t be clearer that these people mean business. Some “British” Syria fighters have admitted preparing to carry out terrorist acts.

Possible links have also been found between three Muslims based in Cardiff, Wales - Isis militants who were present in a propaganda video filmed by the group - and two other men from the same part of the city, who are in prison for having planned to blow up London's Stock Exchange.

Black flag of Islam over Downing Street

A “British” jihadist has warned of the “black flag of Islam” flying over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the “Caliph” of the Islamic State spreading between Iraq and Syria, has promised support to “oppressed” Muslims everywhere and told his soldiers: “You will conquer Rome and own the world”. Islam supporters hacked a Facebook page dedicated to Pope Francis and filled it with vulgar and offensive words and images: just a warning about things to come.

There is no doubt that militant Islam is on the rise in the world, and we’ll ignore it at our own peril.

We must protect our borders from these would-be terrorists

We must protect our own borders. It’s suicidal to allow would-be terrorists who have already shown their allegiance to violent jihad and acted on it to return to Britain, when top intelligent and security experts have made it clear that we cannot accurately monitor this threat once inside the country.

The party Liberty GB has among its party policies the only measure that would guarantee a greater safety for British people:

“Stop from returning to the UK anyone, including British citizens, who has left the country to fight alongside or support Muslim militias or jihadist groups abroad.”

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Posted on 07/09/2014 2:49 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014
A Palestinian Jordan: Opportunities vs. Threats
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Mudar Zahran writes in the Jerusalem Post:

The concept of a Palestinian state in Jordan is not new. In fact, Jordan was created based on the Faisal-Weizmann agreement by which Jews agreed to give away 78 percent of the British Mandate for Palestine to the Hashemites to establish a homeland for the Palestinian Arabs.

The Hashemites have never kept their promise. Even today, the UNHCR reports that Jordan’s Palestinian majority is still treated as “refugees” by Jordan’s king.

Still, the concept of a Palestinian Jordan – and a Jewish Israel – has come back to life after the Arab Spring.

Jordan has an 88% Palestinian majority – as indicated by a US Embassy Amman cable – and if the king falls, that majority will elect a Palestinian president, a Palestinian parliament and a Palestinian government. Therefore, we Palestinians will have a state for the first time ever.

Countless reports confirm the Palestinians have been oppressed by this king much more than by his father; in fact, Abdullah is still stripping Palestinians of their passports.

Therefore, a Palestinian Spring in Jordan has been likely to happen for the past three years.

In 2011, I wrote several articles predicting a Jordanian revolution. This was dismissed by the king’s cheerleaders in Washington, DC, and Jerusalem. Nonetheless, the revolution took place in November 2012. Half a million, mostly from the refugee camps, took to the streets calling for a regime change.

Then, the US openly supported the revolution. Nonetheless, Israel stood up to defend the king. Israel’s lobby and diplomats particularly in Washington, DC, Moscow and Qatar were relentless and convinced the powers that be to defuse the revolution.

The king survived, but nonetheless he remained deserted by his historic allies. The US does not seem to care for him much; his pleas for additional aid were never answered. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are angered by the king’s open alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood (yes I did say the Muslim Brotherhood), Assad’s Syria and Iraq’s Shi’ite government.

Also, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Egypt’s President Abdel Sisi was “not eager to deal with Jordan’s king because of his support to the Muslims Brotherhood and refusal to ban them.”

The only reason the king is still in power today is because of Israel’s intelligence and diplomatic support. Nonetheless, this king makes sure to punish Israel for each favor it does him. As Yediot Aharonot reported, the king was the one who proposed US Secretary of State John Kerry’s anti-Israel “peace” plan to President Barack Obama in 2013; it is Abdullah’s plan, not Kerry’s.

Also, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that he asked the US for $55 billion in exchange for “accepting” his own Palestinians! Furthermore, the Hamas-Fatah unity deal was brokered directly by the king and Qatar. The king used his Muslim Brotherhood allies in Amman to lobby Hamas to accept the deal, another slap in the face to Israel.

But why is Israel tolerating all of this? Israel’s dogma is: The Palestinians in Jordan are hostile and they must be kept under the Hashemites’ control.

Nonetheless, keeping the king in power is too demanding for Israel. Can Israel keep it up forever? Also, with the amount of money and intelligence work invested in keeping the king on his throne, Israel could place any secular leader in power for a Palestinian Jordan.

Further, the Israeli establishment must understand that a Palestinian state in eastern Palestine (a.k.a. Jordan), even if hostile, is a problem on Israel’s borders, while a Palestinian state the West Bank, even if friendly, is a problem inside Israel itself.

A few months ago, the protests against the king stopped and many of his cheerleaders in Washington, DC, and Jerusalem began celebrating. Then, I warned that the peaceful protesting was over, and violence was in. My statements were again dismissed by the king’s pep squad.

Today, Maan in the south has been raging for months with gun battles between locals and the king’s police. There have been many casualties, and RPGs were used to destroy several armored carriers. Ajloun in the north, has also been burning with confrontations, and two refugee camps witnessed exchanges of fire with the police. The death toll stands at three per week and rising.

And as icing on the cake, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is now pledging to “liberate Jordan.”

Is that what Israel expected when it did everything to keep Abdullah in power? Israel has wisely kept itself distant from the entire Arab Spring affair to avoid being blamed for that mess. Israel should adopt the same policy with regard to Jordan.

Israel does not have to take action, all it has to do is let the king go. And maybe then direct its effort toward making the US support a secular Jordanian leader.

Those who claim the king will be replaced by Islamists need to examine the facts: the king has been aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) since day one, he refused the Saudis’ demands to ban the group and said in an interview with Jeffery Goldberg that there was a margin of 10% disagreement between him and the MB. The king’s minister of reform said to Al Jazeera: “The MB is a part of the Hashemites’ regime” and MB leader Zaki Bani Rusheid said recently, “The king is a necessity...and we oppose limiting any of his powers.”

Further, the MB recently held elections for its governing board and out of 100 only nine were Palestinians. Therefore, Jordan’s Palestinians are not pro-Islamist and when the king falls, the MB will fall with him.

Also, border security between Jordan and Israel will not be compromised, because the American military has one of its largest bases in Jordan already, and the Jordanian army is financed and fully controlled by the US Defense Intelligence Agency. This means borders will remain secure and no civil war will happen.

A declassified White House document aired by Al Jazeera in 2011 showed Hennry Kissinger wanted the Palestinians to win the war against Hussein in 1970 to establish what he described as “a Palestinian settlement.”

We in the Jordanian opposition support that kind of settlement by all means – and a Jewish Israel.

We would never agree to our Palestinian brothers being deported from Ramallah to Amman; nonetheless, they should become Jordanian citizens residing in Israel, not citizens of a Jewish Israel.

We see the new Jordan as a secular, demilitarized and welfare state.

The opportunity for a Palestinian Jordan and a Jewish Israel is ripe. Nonetheless, the opportunity knocks, but does not beg. 

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Posted on 07/09/2014 12:32 PM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Is the Selfie an Act of Narcissism?
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Simon Blackburn is interviewed in the Irish Times:

One of today’s most Orwellian inventions is surely the selfie tripod. Where once holiday-makers used to have to stop passers-byand ask for assistance with a photograph, they can now produce a 3ft-long extension to their cameraphones. In one fell swoop, you can do away with the need for human interaction and fuel your narcissistic tendencies.

This postmodernist win-win reflects a change in societal values. It’s not long ago we used to mock trigger-happy foreign tourists.

Now we record, share and upload our movements as though our experiences are only validated if witnessed.

But philosopher Simon Blackburn warns that we shouldn’t be too judgmental about today’s selfie-obsessed youth. In his latest book, Mirror, Mirror: The Uses and Abuses of Self-Love, he highlights the value of having some self-regard, while citing the likes of Tony Blair and the banking profession as cautionary examples of what happens when you have too much of the quality.

From this balanced perspective, he provides today’s idea: The market economy directs us to channel our competitive spirit away from valuable pursuits to purely materialist ones.

When does self-esteem cross over into narcissism?

Simon Blackburn: “A modest degree of self-esteem is what Milton called a ‘pious and just honouring of ourselves’. It is no more than a decent self-respect. It can actually stand in the way of vanity, which is an undue concern for the admiration of others.

“The road to narcissism, or a fixated self-love, goes via conceit: if the vain person is too concerned with how he stands in the eyes of others, the conceited person has learned to ignore the others and just thrive on his own good opinion of himself. Narcissism is the fatal extreme of this.”

Is technology making us more narcissistic?

“Probably not. It gives us more opportunities: I can interrupt your life and that of dozens of others with an Instagram of my breakfast, which I couldn’t have done 10 years ago. But I think of that as having more to do with vanity – and, indeed, lack of self-confidence – than with true narcissism. And there has always been the tendency to impose oneself on the scene.

“Byron scratched his name into the supreme temple at Sounion, and compared with that a selfie is quite harmless.”

What makes someone authentic?

“The idea is that what you see is what you get: the authentic self is as free of artifice as possible. The authentic is the opposite of the fake or the fraudulent. An authentic Indian meal would be one cooked a traditional way with the traditional spices and techniques, as opposed to one that cuts corners.

“An authentic Rembrandt is a picture painted by Rembrandt rather than one that just resembles his work. But it is not so easy to talk of ‘an authentic person’, since we are all, inevitably, persons rather than imitation or fake persons.”

How do you know if you’re not being true to yourself?

“This is a real can of worms. Polonius’s famous advice to his son implies that we each have a solid interior nugget of virtue, and, provided we always tap into it, we cannot be false to anyone else. But Polonius is a conventional old bore.

“Shakespeare himself is far more interested in the self that is conflicted and torn and eventually comes to ruin because of it. His heroes act with misgivings; they do not know whether what they do is right, and this complexity, of course, is precisely why they are so interesting and recognisable.”

What do you make of footballers who peel off their jerseys after scoring? Should they be scorned for showing off their sculpted bodies?

“Fortunately they do not often cross my horizon. But I might be inclined to take a lenient view. I regard pride as the pleasure one takes in something supposedly good about oneself. The poor footballer (using the adjective in its spiritual, not its financial sense) has probably had to spend hours in the gym getting to be like that, so I can see that it might be natural to want to show off the result.”

You quote Adam Smith saying our mistake is to admire the rich or great instead of the virtuous and the useful. How much does commerce influence our perception of value?

“Rousseau called amour-propre the restless spirit of competition, along with vanity, and, of course, envy of others who seem to be beating us. Commercial society channels amour-propre away from wanting to excel in valuable fields and into a simple race to accumulate wealth and its trappings. Smith is right that it turns us away from virtue and into the superficial, worthless, and eventually unsatisfying treadmill of consumption.

“I was told this week that the London store Selfridges is to spend £300 million [€380 million] on a revamp to double the space it gives to selling luxury handbags. I think philosophy has a job to do to make that kind of thing seem either ludicrous or wicked.”

Do you ever take ‘selfies’?

“I am afraid I do not have a smart enough cellphone. Alas, I do quite like to see myself 10 years ago in front of the Taj Mahal or whatever. But it’s nicer if it was a family photo, or a group of friends, because then the picture activates happy and innocent memories.”

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Posted on 07/09/2014 12:02 PM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Israeli Settlements Are Not Illegal
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Seventeen nations of the European union did not listen to or remember the remarks of Julie Bishop, foreign minister of Australia, made on January 21, 2014. She asserted that the international community should refrain from calling Israeli settlements illegal under international law while their status is not yet determined.

The EU members neglected this wise advice and impetuously issued a warning that financial transactions, investments, and economic activity with Israeli settlements or benefiting them carry legal and financial risks.  In their view, this dire analysis stems from the “fact” that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognized as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory.

Three reasons are usually given by those international bodies, academic institutions, and mainstream churches who hold this conviction about the settlements.  They are: Israeli settlements are illegal under international law; they constitute an obstacle to peace; and they threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.  The reality is that none of the three can be justified on the basis of real evidence.

First, are the Israeli settlements illegal?  They can be criticized on grounds of lack of prudence or wisdom, or are unnecessarily provocative, but that is not consonant with illegality.  To make an informed opinion, the large number of very varied settlements, built for economic, religious, or security reasons, should not be assessed in a categorical way, as the critics assess them.  These critics rarely, if ever, distinguish among the 121 settlements that are officially recognized by the State of Israel, with 350,000 inhabitants; the 300,000 in East Jerusalem; the 20,000 in the Golan Heights; and the 102 illegal outposts.  Farming communities, frontier villages, modular homes, and urban suburbs, and towns of considerable size – such as Mod’in Illit with 55,000, Beitar Illit with 42,000, and Ma’ale Adumin with 36,000 – all are part of the diverse settlement movement.

The beginning of wisdom is that the territories in question are disputed, in spite of the constant repetition by so many in the international community that they are “occupied territories.”  Though Jordan, between 1950 and 1967, claimed to have annexed the area that is now called the West Bank, the international community did not accept this claim as valid.  Jordan never had any legal title to the area. Even Jordan later withdrew its claim.

No other political entity has had legal title or sovereignty or statehood over the area since the days of the Ottoman Empire.  The legal claim to the area thus remains disputed.  There is no sovereign authority to which Israel can return the land without negotiated agreement.  After the 1967 Six-Day War, a war fought in Israel’s lawful exercise of the inherent right of self-defense, as Article 51 of the U.N. Charter justifies, Israel established the international law of belligerent occupation to the area it had captured.  Control is exercised on the basis of international law, the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and Israeli law, with the objective of ensuring public order and civil life.  The Israeli High Court has determined that this control must be carried out on the basis of “proportionality.”

What international law declares the settlements illegal?  The critics of Israel all rely on an interpretation of one clause in an international document – namely, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.  Article 49(6) forbids transfers of populations to occupied territories, stating, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”  It is concerned with people and with their rights, not with territory or legal questions relating to that territory.  But no one is being transferred involuntarily.  Israelis are not being deported to the West Bank, nor are Palestinians being deported from the West Bank. 

Nor can the movement of Israelis be regarded as violating the human rights of the occupied individuals.  The situation is totally unlike that of the deportation of Jews to their deaths in the Nazi extermination camps.  The 1949 Geneva Convention was aimed at preventing in the future what had happened in World War II: the forced transfer of large numbers of Jews by Nazi Germany and associates to the extermination camps.  It was never intended to apply to Israeli settlements.

There is no international law to ban Jews, whether Israelis or otherwise, from settling in the area of the original Palestine Mandate established by the League of Nations.  The Mandate clearly says, in Article 6, that the administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage ... close settlement by Jews on the lands, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.”  Eugene Rostow argued thirty years ago that “until the final status of a particular area is resolved, there is no legal basis for barring Jews from settling there.”

That settlement is fulfillment of the historic right, going back 3,000 years, of Jews to live in the land. T his of course is not a legal right, but it is a moral and well as historic one.

Do the settlements prevent a two-state solution?  There were no boundaries between Israel and Palestinians ever drawn up, and therefore the future and extent of the territories is to be decided by negotiations, as called for by U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.  It was the rejection by the Arab League and Palestinians of the U.N. Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947 calling for two states, one Jewish and the other Arab, that prevented the creation of an Arab state.  It is noticeable that almost all the continuing construction in the settlements are in those of the units that are suburbs of Jerusalem, areas that Palestinians accept would be part of Israel in any final status agreement. The settlements in no way prejudge the outcome of negotiations.  On the contrary, their existence must not be used as an excuse to prevent those negotiations.

The essence of the matter is that there are no “1967 borders”; there are only 1949 Armistice Lines and a Green Line.  Resolutions in the United Nations organizations unhelpfully changed from referring to the disputed area as “ territories occupied,” as in U.N. Security Resolution 242 that does not use the words “all territories,” to a formula such as “occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem.”  Yet there are no “Palestinian territories” on the basis of history.  The conclusion can only be that the issue of the settlements must be part of the final status negotiations.

First published in the American Thinker.

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Posted on 07/09/2014 6:52 AM by Michael Curtis
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014
I Don't Like the Sound of That
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad, where remnants of 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with the deadly nerve agent sarin are stored along with other chemical warfare agents, Iraq said in a letter circulated Tuesday at the United Nations.

The U.S. government played down the threat from the takeover, saying there are no intact chemical weapons and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to use the material for military purposes.

Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a letter that "armed terrorist groups" entered the Muthanna site on June 11, detained officers and soldiers from the protection force guarding the facilities and seized their weapons. The following morning, the project manager spotted the looting of some equipment via the camera surveillance system before the "terrorists" disabled it, he said.

The Islamic State group, which controls parts of Syria, sent its fighters into neighboring Iraq last month and quickly captured a vast stretch of territory straddling the border between the two countries. Last week, its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in the land the extremists control.

Alhakim said as a result of the takeover of Muthanna, Iraq is unable "to fulfil its obligations to destroy chemical weapons" because of the deteriorating security situation. He said it would resume its obligations "as soon as the security situation has improved and control of the facility has been regained."

Alhakim singled out the capture of bunkers 13 and 41 in the sprawling complex 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad in the notorious "Sunni Triangle."...

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Posted on 07/09/2014 6:49 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Islam For Dummies: They Knew They Were Muslims, And That Was Enough
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But they wanted to know a bit more.

So they went off to Jihad in Syria, to kill Infidels (Shia, Alawites, Christians), armed with three useful guides: Islam For Dummies, The Qur'an For Dummies, Arabic For Dummies.

The telling, and not merely comical, story is here.

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Posted on 07/08/2014 9:31 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Women Wearing Hijabs Banned, According To The Law, From A Local Pool
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The rules were clear: No visitors to the municipal beach (or possibly pool) were allowed to display obvious religious signs. Now a local Muslim group intends to complain, because it thinks the rule merely a sign of "islamophobia." Would that there were a hundred thousand such laws, carefully employed, and deployed, to make the conduct of Muslim life in much-too-obliging Western Europe, very difficult. Islam-hostile, not Islam-friendly, policies are needed to protect the population, while waiting for national governments to realize what is happening, and to come to their senses, on immigration, on repatriation, on being unapologetically unyielding to all Muslim demands for special dispensation. Nothing else will do in the face of such an invasive species. 

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Posted on 07/08/2014 9:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Aggrieved Sunnis Will Fight Until Maliki Goes
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Here.

But then they will continue to fight. Why? Because their grievance is this: they are no longer on top, and they should be.   They should be receiving the largest share of oil revenues, as they did for the entire history of modern Iraq, and especially in the last half-century, even though none of the oil is in Sunni-populated regions, but in Kurdistan and around Basra. The Sunni Arab grievance cannot be dealt by treating them equally; they believe they are the truest Muslims in Iraq, superior to the Shiites ("Rafidites" or "Safavids" for the uber-Sunnis), and superior, of course, to the non-Arab Kurds.

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Posted on 07/08/2014 8:59 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
A Musical Interlude: Mama, I'm In Love With A Crook (Tatyana Kabanova)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 07/08/2014 4:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
British Boy Attacks Policeman, Breaks His Leg -- Go Ahead, Guess
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See if you were right.

Here.

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Posted on 07/08/2014 3:48 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Shiite Forces On The March In Yemen
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Posted on 07/08/2014 2:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Sunni Ex-VP Of Iraq: US Should Stay Out
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Posted on 07/08/2014 2:00 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
As In Iraq, There Will Be No Power-Sharing In Afghanistan
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The attitudes of Islam, the atmospherics of Islam, allow for despots to rule (as long as they are Muslims), allow for and encourage submission to those despots, allows for and encourages by Muhammad's example violence and aggression against  but never compromise with (save for the purposes of future betrayal) the enemy. That's why Al-Maliki has no intention of yielding any of the Shi'a power to Sunnis. That's why the Presidential candidate in Afghanistan who appears to be losing or have lost won't give up his dream of becoming president and threatens to declare himself the winner. And that's why the man who may have won, possibly through fraud, refuses to contemplate any power-sharing with his (possibly) defeated rival.

 

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Posted on 07/08/2014 9:51 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
When Marijuana Becomes Legal
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New York state became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana today. Chris Miles writes in Policy.Mic:

It's now been six months since Colorado enacted its historic marijuana legalization policy, and two big things have already happened: 

1. Colorado's cash crop is turning out to be even more profitable than the state could have hoped.

In March alone, taxed and legal recreational marijuana sales generated nearly $19 million, up from $14 million in February. The state has garnered more than $10 million in taxes from retail sales in the first four months — money that will go to public schools and infrastructure, as well as for youth educational campaigns about substance use.

According to his latest budget proposal, Gov. John Hickenlooper expects a healthy $1 billion in marijuana sales over the next fiscal year. That's nearly $134 million in tax revenue. Sales from recreational shops are expected to hit $600 million, which is a more than 50% increase over what was originally expected.

2. Denver crime rates have suddenly fallen.

Marijuana-related arrests, which make up 50% of all drug-related crimes, have plummeted in Colorado, freeing up law enforcement to focus on other criminal activity. By removing marijuana penalties, the state isestimated to save somewhere between $12 million and $40 million, according to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.

According to government data, the Denver city- and county-wide murder rate has dropped 42.1% since recreational marijuana use was legalized in January. This is compared to the same period last year, a time frame encompassing Jan. 1 through May 31. Violent crime in general is down almost 2%, and major property crimes are down 11.5% compared to the same period in 2013.

As the Huffington Post notes, this is a far cry from wild-eyed claims by legalization opponents that legal weed was the devil's work and Colorado would see a surge in crime and drug use.

"Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere," said Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver in 2012. 

"I think our entire state will pay the price." Gov. Hickenlooper at one point said. "Colorado is known for many great things — marijuana should not be one of them" 

With only a quarter of the year's data to work from, it may be too soon to definitively attribute these changes to marijuana legalization, but the possibility of a correlative pattern is certainly worth noting.

We are witnessing the fruits of Colorado's legal weed experiment, and those fruits are juicy indeed.

Of course, Gov. Hickenlooper has completely changed his tune, saying, "While the rest of the country's economy is slowly picking back up, we're thriving here in Colorado."

With the fall of prohibition, the marijuana industry has developed rapidly, generating thousands of new jobs. It is estimated there are currently about 10,000 people directly involved with the blossoming weed industry, with up to 2,000 people having gained employment in the past few months alone.

A policy gamble that anti-marijuana activists warned would turn Denver into a drug-infested hellscape has provided the city and state with numerous benefits, and set the stage for more states and cities to follow suit.

Meanwhile, in Washington: In yet another sign that 2014 is shaping up to be the year of marijuana reform, the Department of Drug Enforcement (DEA) is waving a white flag and surrendering on a crucial policy issue that has kept legalization from gaining traction across the nation.   

The DEA is now asking the Food and Drug Administration to remove marijuana from its list of the most dangerous and harmful drugs. This could signal a radical shift in the way our government regulates and enforces weed. Marijuana advocates hail the decision as a necessary policy step towards eventual legalization, removing a critical roadblock that has constrained marijuana legalization on the local and federal levels. It is, of course, the first step of many.

Then there's the city of Washington, D.C. This November, it's all but certain that D.C. will vote on a marijuana ballot measure and even pass it, setting up a battle with Congress to legalize. This could be the most important battle yet in the marijuana prohibition fight; D.C. is considered a staging ground for many local policies that get enacted throughout the country, and a victory for pot could open the floodgates elsewhere.

America agrees: Public opinion has never been more in favor of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of pot. An October 2013 Gallup poll found that 58% of adults favored legalizing marijuana for adult use.

In 2013, 52% thought that marijuana should be legalized, with 45% opposed. According to Pew, this is a 13-point jump from 2010, when 41% thought it should be legalized and 52% opposed. The year 2010 was when Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana in California, was defeated with only a 53% majority. And of course, this is a dramatic swing from 1969, when nearly 8 out of 10 Americans opposed legalization.

Ending prohibition saves money. Since 1970, the government has spent $1.5 trillion on "drug control," though addiction rates remain constant:

If you're staring at these stark numbers and wondering why the government even bothers, you're not alone. 

Six months after marijuana legalization, Colorado has basically proved decades of federal marijuana prohibition policy wrong. The times, they are a-changin'.

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Posted on 07/08/2014 8:31 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
If You Travel To Jihad, Don't Come Back
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BBC

Two British men who went to Syria to join rebel fighters have pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.

Nahin Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar, both 22 and from Birmingham, admitted preparing to carry out terrorist acts.

They spent eight months in Syria and were arrested by West Midlands Police's counter-terrorism unit at Heathrow Airport on their return in January.

They had travelled to Syria to take part in its civil war after contacting Islamic extremists.

Police have said they were alerted to the case after Sarwar's parents contacted them in May 2013 to say he was missing.

They had found a letter in which their son, who was a computer science undergraduate at Birmingham City University, admitted he had gone "to do jihad" in Syria.

He also left instructions to cancel his mobile phone contract and money to settle outstanding debts.

Police believe Ahmed and Sarwar fought with the al-Nusra Front, which is a jihadist group affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Their trial had been due to start but, at Woolwich Crown Court in London, they each admitted one count of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorism acts, contrary to section five of the Terrorism Act.

And for those not lucky enough to be met at tha airport and taken into custody, we propose they be sent on the next plane back to wherever they came from, and that their passports and citizenship be immediately revoked. 

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Posted on 07/08/2014 7:51 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Poll: All Illegals Should be Deported and Mexico and Central American Countries Should Foot the Bill
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Jonah Bennett writes at Barbwire:

A new poll reveals that the majority of Americans want illegals deported as soon as possible, with the added suggestion that Mexico foot the bill for transportation costs, the Washington Examiner reports.

The poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, found that Americans want to hold Mexico — in addition to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — responsible for the waves of illegals pouring over the borders.

Most Americans also blamed the president for poor handling of the border situation, a situation which 75 percent of Americans are closely following in the news.

Not only did a significant number of Americans think the situation was the president’s fault, they also held the view that the Obama administration actively “encouraged this wave of illegal immigration.”

One of the central disputes is whether deteriorating conditions in South America are causing the recent flood of illegal immigration, or whether President Obama’s deferred action program is instead to blame.

Only 28 percent of Americans polled responded that the administration gets good or excellent grades for the way the border crisis has been handled.

The poll follows in the wake of Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador arguing on Sunday that the administration needs to act immediately to protect the integrity of the borders. “The thing this administration needs to do is immediately deport these families, these children,” Labrador said. “I know it sounds harsh, I know it sounds difficult. But they’re creating a crisis.”

Labrador was part of the bipartisan group last year that failed to negotiate a package for immigration reform.

“The violence has existed in these Central American countries for a long period of time. The level of poverty has existed in these Central American countries for a long period of time,” he said. “But it’s over these last two years that you have seen an increase in the number of children coming to the United States.”

The margin of error for the Rasmussen poll is plus or minus 3 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent. The survey included 1,000 Americans.

Of course this poll is not being reported on NBC, ABC, CBS or CNN.

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Posted on 07/08/2014 7:21 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Preparing For The Arab Propaganda About Gaza: Dr. David Sangan On Jenin
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The readiness to believe Arab propaganda, that is to believe the worst about Israel in its without-end campagins to defend itself against Jihad, from the PLO, from Hamas, from Hezbollah, from Islamic Jihad, from whatever group or groupuscule of Muslims, currently chooses to wage open war against Israel, and who are so dutifully supported by whatever group or groupuscule of non-Muslims who, out of antisemitism or ignorance, or both, chooses to misrepresent what Israel does in response to those trying to destroy it.

In the last week, about 300 rockets have been fired at Israeli cities. They were not aimed at military targets, but only sent off into the ether, so that they might land somewhere in Israel, killing or wounding someone. Israel has attacked nearly 100 sites in Gaza, but until now, so great has been the Israeli military's solicitousness, so amazing its ability to target, that not a single Arab civilian has yet been killed as a result of Israeli attacks (the Hamas claim that several of its operatives were killed as a result of a tunnel cave-in brought on by an Israeli bomb has been forcefully denied by Israel).

As you mentally prepare yourself  for  the media onslaught and the distortion, perhaps re-reading the analysis of Muhammad Bakri's propaganda film "Jenin, Jenin," that mkore than a decade ago was written by Dr. David Sangan (who served in Jenin during a previous Israeli effort at self-defense), will be instructive..It will remind you of the torrent of lies that  accompany, or come after, every such effort. Here's a general rule: the Israelis tell the truth, or try to; their enemies tell lies, or try to. It's that simple.

Dr. Sangan on Jenin, the movie, and Jenin, the campaign, here.

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Posted on 07/08/2014 7:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Retired US Army General Supports Kurdish Independence
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Kurdish Flag

Last weekend, Israeli PM Netanyahu announced his support for an independent Kurdistan. Kurdish Regional Government  (KRG) President, Massoud Barzani, is carefully orchestrating a referendum to prepare the way for a possible independent Kurdistan that appears to have the backing of Turkey’s Premier Erdogan, while Iran believes that is delusional calling it “Israel’s Dream”.  Meanwhile the Obama Administration clings to the myopic view that the KRG should remain as part of a less than unified Iraq largely severed given the large swath of territory conquered by the self-declared Islamic State, formerly ISIS.  An ISIS that KRG Peshmerga face across from Mosul and Kirkuk. The latter seized by the KRG when the Baghdad regime’s Army fled abandoning billions of US supplied equipment.  Kirkuk is the equivalent of Jerusalem in the Kurdish homeland. The KRG has become the sanctuary for Iraq's minorities, especially the bleagured Assyrian Chaldean Christians who fle the ISIS takeover of Mosul seeking the protection  on the Biblical Plains of Nineveh.  David Oman of Israeli Magazine Mida sent us this BasNews interview with retired US Army General, Ernie Audino who spent a year with Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Northern Iraq,  “Retired US Army General: Kurds are closer than ever to Independence”.

Of interest was Gen. Audino’s introduction to the Kurds, their language, history and culture resulted from a course given at the National War College by former US Ambassador to Croatia and assistant UN Secretary General Peter W. Galbraith. Amb. Galbraith has been a diplomatic and financial adviser to the KRG and is a proponent of Kurdish independence.  In a recent Politico article, “House of Kurds”, he wrote:

While the State Department takes the official line that it wants reconciliation among Iraq’s leaders, senior officials are, more and more, acknowledging privately that the independence of Kurdistan is inevitable. In fine bureaucratic manner, they simply prefer it not happen on their watch.

[…]

The United States should stop asking the Kurds to help save Iraq because Iraq is not savable, and, if it were, the Kurds would not want to save it. Instead, the critical U.S. interest has now become stopping ISIS. If ISIS is not defeated, there will be in western Iraq and eastern Syria a transnational terrorist state controlling large cities and with vast recruiting potential. Seen in this context, U.S. diplomatic recognition of an independent Kurdistan has become a very small price to pay.

 

US Army Gen. (ret.) Ernie Audino in Kurdistan

Here are excerpts from the BasNews interview with Gen. Audino.

BasNews: How did you become so close to the Kurds and their cause?
 
Ernie Audino: I began studying Kurdish issues and Kurdish history at the US National War College in 2002-2003.  My professor was a man very well known to the Kurds, Ambassador Peter Galbraith. 
 
More than anything else, his example sparked my academic interest, and the Kurds themselves, their history and their current situation have held my interest ever since.  A couple of years after my graduation from the War College the US Army embedded me and my teams in the peshmerga.  For a year we lived with Kak Anwar Dolani’s brigade based in Sulaymaniyah.  
 
I regard that assignment as one of the most significant missions of my military career.  I am forever grateful for the privilege to have served with the Peshmerga and the Kurds.  Frankly, that year changed the second half of my life.
 
BasNews: Can you describe your time in the Kurdistan Region?


Ernie Audino: First, I must sadly say we lost 22 brave Peshmerga and suffered 60 wounded during that year.  I attended most of the funerals, and to this day I keep the names of those martyrs on my bookshelf in my office.  Their memory is always with me.  I pray for comfort for their families.
 
Second, the Kurdish people daily convinced me they work diligently to make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today.   I once remarked to a Kurdish friend how impressed I was at the peace, progress, freedom and developing prosperity within the Kurdish controlled areas.  He told me that it was because anything else would mean that the blood spilled by the Peshmerga and their American allies would have been wasted.  I will never forget that. 
 
Sure, challenges remain and there are more challenges every day, but the Kurds are trying, and their doing so has set the example for the rest of Iraq. 
 
Third, my Peshmerga comrades displayed a clear and enduring will to protect all good people within the Kurdish region.  This is a major reason why such great numbers of people displaced from other regions in Iraq seek refuge with the Kurds.  With the Kurds they are much safer and are treated much more fairly than they were in their hometowns elsewhere in Iraq. This is very important.

BasNews: What do you think of Kurds?
 
Ernie Audino: They have my respect, and they inspire me.  I tell whoever will listen to me that no American has ever died at enemy hand on any Kurdish-controlled soil.  Ever.  The Kurds have literally lifted themselves from the ashes of Anfal and the decades of tragedies prior to that.  They have seen real evil and are determined to never return to that.  As a result they have now created the most peaceful, prosperous and freedom-loving region in Iraq.  There are likely more businesses, more playgrounds, more soccer fields, more new roads, more schools, more new construction, more art galleries, and more news organizations in the Kurdish region than anywhere else in Iraq.  These things cannot exist in the absence of security and good governance. 
 
The Peshmerga and other security organizations have set the conditions for this success, and the KRG and the Kurdish people themselves maintain those conditions and make them enduring. 
 
Still, nothing is perfect, and Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the Kurds have the belief they can do it and are clearly trying to do so.

[…]
 
BasNews: Do you think Kurdistan is close to achieving independence?
 
Ernie Audino: Yes, I do.  Still, “close” is a relative term.  Closer than ever before?  Absolutely. 
 
However, it is because the rest of Iraq is leaving Kurdistan, rather than Kurdistan leaving Iraq.  During my time with the Kurds I routinely saw Kurdish efforts to make the Iraqi Constitution work the way it was intended.  The Kurds have consistently struggled to implement the Constitution, and even to this day, the day of the Islamic State, I continue to watch Kurdish efforts to make the Constitution work.  The problem is it is not working well in the rest of Iraq.  This means what was originally intended to be a truly representative form of government for all Iraqis has not truly materialized. 
 
For the Kurds that means their Constitutional share of the Iraqi federal revenues has routinely been withheld.  That also means Article 140, which sets forth the clear, 3-step process for the peaceful resolution of the status of Kirkuk, was repeatedly blocked from implementation. That President Barzani has asked UNAMI to help implement a referendum on Kurdish independence is, in my opinion, not unexpected as a referendum was also the third and final step of Article 140.


 BasNews: Why has US always been against Kurdish independence?
 
Ernie Audino: This is a difficult question to answer, in part because the way it is worded suggests all of us in the US are against Kurdish independence.  That is not true, of course.  Still, I recognize that many, especially those in government today, are making statements to discourage Kurdish independence. 
 
I believe the reason is partly based on some very old thinking.  Frankly, most of the Americans who have studied Middle Eastern history have had little to no access to materials covering Kurdish history.  This continues to this day.  I am sorry to say, American exposure to Kurdish history, culture, issues and language is extremely limited.  So, the prevailing positions here are likely the product of a large body of study reflecting a very narrow range of perspectives.  Unfortunately, rarely has a Kurdish perspective been included.  Some of us, especially those who have lived with the Kurds and served with them on the battlefield, are trying to change that.

 


 

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Posted on 07/08/2014 7:06 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Just One Little Thing Remains For Iran And The West To Settle
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The American government wants Iran to agree to possess no more than 10,000 centrifuges.

The Iranian government, in the form of its Supreme Leader,  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has just announced that Iran should possess 190.000 centrifuges.

Perhaps that's what the phrase "there's room for compromise" means. Plenty of room.

 

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Posted on 07/08/2014 6:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Western Victims Of Adult-Onset Islam Ready For Rehab?
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Here.

The most important part is this:

"So far, as a society we've only reacted when it was too late," said Kemal Bozay, the son of Turkish immigrants in the city of Bochum. "This is the first time we're approaching the problem pre-emptively."

Bozay runs a project called Wegweiser, which means 'signpost' in German. It seeks to prevent radicalization among Muslim teenagers in the city, which has a large Islamic community, with the help of schools, families, religious leaders and job centers. Besides Bochum, there are two Wegweiser centers in Bonn and Duesseldorf -- all three aimed at engaging troubled youths before they fall into radical Islam.

The centers send out social workers who intervene when they see recruiters approaching teenagers on playgrounds, football fields and school yards, or when they carry out Islamic conversions on market squares. The workers engage the youths in conversation and try to offer solutions that steer them away from fundamentalism.

The centers, which were launched in April, have the backing of the security service in Germany's most populous state, North-Rhine Westphalia. The state has seen a jump in the number of Salafists, adherents of an extreme fundamentalist version of Islam that has authorities worried. Their numbers have grown to 6,000 in Germany, according to official figures, with 1,800 in North-Rhine Westphalia alone.

"Salafism is a lifestyle package for young people because it offers them social warmth, a simple black-and-white view of the world, recognition by their peer group -- basically everything they lack in real life," said Burkhard Freier, who heads the state's domestic intelligence service.  [this is a good summary of what not Salafism alone, but Islam itself, offers to the psychically and socially marginal] 

Most of those drawn to fundamentalism in the West are the children or grandchildren of Muslim immigrants, but a sizable number of Islamic radicals are converts like Boudreau's son, Damian Clairmont, who found religion at 17 after battling depression.

One more attempt to distinguish, misleadingly, between Islam and "radical Islam." But there is no firm line between the two, and while converts tend to be crazier, on the whole, then those born into Islam, and more obviously dangerous, there is no way to know when the most unobservant (i.e., "moderate") of Muslims will, because of some personal setback (lost job, lost girlfriend, failure of business, fury at lack of respect due from the surrounding Kuffar, and so on) become ever more radical.

Note that the German involved in this forlorn-hope  The effort -- to prevent "radicalization" of converts to Islam -- in describing Salafi Islam, is describing Islam itself. It is not Salafi Islam, but Islam itself, that offers a ready-made Community, a Reason For Being, A Simple Solution of the Universe, and the Total Regulation of Everyday Life. Converts to Islam. The pool of those susceptible to Adult-Onset Islam consists of those who are already psychically and socially marginal. For the aggressive prisoner or sociopath (hundreds or thousands of those sociopaths have flocked to Syria to fight), possibly converted in prison, Islam provides justification for making war on the circumambient non-Muslim society, justifies every crime if the victims are non-Muslims. For the psychically marginal, it provides the benefits of enrollment in a Cause, where the individual willingly subsumes himself (as with Nazis, or the most extreme kind of Communists). If you are a lonely freak, converting to Islam -- saying the Shehada will do -- all of a sudden a band of brothers, or rather brovs,  is there to cheer you on. 

 

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Posted on 07/08/2014 5:43 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Will This Be Mentioned In The Times, The Post. On NPR Or The BBC?
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Here.

Abu Al-Einein, an adviser to Mahmoud Abbas (in arte Abu Mazen), calls for killing of any and all Israelis living on "occupied" land (that means: 1. the territories to which Israel had a claim, but  only came into possession of in June 1967 AND 2. The rest of Israel, to which Israel had a claim, which claim could be exercised in 1949 because Israeli forces held onto that territory).

Will this be mentoioned by the callow young who appear to have taken over NPR? Will it be mentioned by anyone who writes for The New York Times, or The Washington Post? No? Would such information contribute to an understanding of the permanent hatred, Islam-based, that  Israelis must forever endure, no matter what further, nearly suicidal, concessions they make? What do you think?

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Posted on 07/08/2014 12:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Israel Combats Another Hamas Rocket War in Gaza
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Black smoke rises after an Israeli air strike on the Gaza International Airport in Rafah, southern Gaza, on July 7, 2014. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Smoke rises over Gaza International Airport, July 7, 2014 Source; Flash 90

In June 2005, I wrote a piece for the American Thinker entitled Gaza Disengagement: Balagan !   Balagan is Israeli military slang for “chaos” in Hebrew.  The article was a warning about the insecure future for Israel following  the unilateral withdrawal of 9,000 Israelis from the north Gaza settlements of Gush Katif ordered by the late PM Ariel Sharon. That withdrawal was followed by the Hamas Gaza takeover in 2006, Palestinian Legislative Council elections and rout of Fatah in 2007.   Since 2006 nearly 13,000 rockets launched from Gaza have struck Israel.

Hamas is now an armed terrorstan in Gaza equipped with an estimated 50,000 rockets and missiles, threatening Israel with daily deadly barrages.  Hamas operatives in Hebron kidnapped and murdered three Jewish yeshiva students in what some deemed a failed attempt to exchange them for release of Israeli held terrorist prisoners.   Given that failed opportunity, Hamas is now  risking another rocket war with Israel to achieve the same objective. 

Israel must deal firmly with another Hamas rocket war.  At 1:00 AM Jerusalem Time on July 8th  , the IDF announced  Operation Protective Edge after more than 100  rockets rained down within 24 hours on Israeli population centers from the Western Negev to Central Israel.  The code red sirens wailed giving Israeli citizens less than a 15 second warning to seek shelter. Skies were filled with fireworks- like displays of Iron Dome batteries intercepting rockets fired from Gaza from protected underground revetments.  These latest rocket barrages were triggered by the deaths of seven terrorists killed in the collapse of a tunnel, which may have been IAF damaged by raids.  The IDF called up 1,500 reservists, largely to man Iron Dome batteries. Tanks and armored bulldozers were already in position on the Israeli Gaza frontier.   That initial IDF reserve call up may be  the  leading contingent  of  a major force  poised  to  possibly enter Gaza.  The Netanyahu cabinet has approved a request  from IDF Cheif of Staff Ganz to call up to 40,000 reservists Such as action occurred  in Operation Cast Lead  that ended on the  day of President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009.

The choice of which option to pursue  is complicated by a  coalition cabinet split between PM Netanyahu  of Likud versus Foreign Minister  Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beteinu.  Some observers believe  the split may be more over politics than differences on how to conduct an action in Gaza.  That might lead to a repeat of Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012   when the IDF called up 18,000 reservists deployed on the Israel Gaza frontier.  That conflict was triggered by an onslaught of over 1,500 rockets fired against targets from the Western Negev to Central Israel from Hamas-held Gaza.  That was the first test of the ability of the Iron Dome batteries to intercept and destroy longer range rockets supplied by Iran.  The assembled IDF ground force never entered Gaza.

Then there was this recent assessment  by Israel’s Mossad director, Tamir Padro, that the “Palestinian conflict and ISIS crisis in Iraq are bigger threats to Israel than Iran.”

Internally, Israeli riot police daily contend with Arab riots in East Jerusalem, and the 'triangle area’ inside Israel. The later are fomented by the nefarious Sheikh Raed Salah of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement. Then there was the torching by Arab rioters of Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank. Those riots   appear to be triggered by the revenge murder of young Mohammed Khdier confessed  to by three young Israeli Jewish “extremists”.  The beating of his American cousin by Israeli riot police in the elite Arab section of Shofoat in East Jerusalem further aggravated the situation.  Israel’s leaders and many Israelis were aghast at  Jewish suspects for committing Khdeir’s “abhorrent” murder.  In contrast, the alleged Hamas suspects of the murders of the three yeshiva students have yet to be found.  Another  illustration of  sectarian violence was the recent  confession by a Haifa Israeli Arab cab driver of the mid-May 2014  murder of 20 year Ms. Shelly Dadon of Afula.   Her bereaved father termed his daughter’s killing a nationalistic murder. 

The turmoil in Israel has complicated travel plans for Americans.  Yesterday afternoon I had a Skype call from a Christian Zionist friend in Boston asking me whether he should cancel his trip with his daughter later in July.  Their concern was it safe? 

Against this background I asked Israeli –Canadian Ted Belman, publisher of Israpundit in Jerusalem for his views.  He wrote:

Netanyahu’s offer of “quiet for quiet”, as ludicrous as it was, is obviously being rejected.  Hamas is spoiling for a fight. From my point of view, Israel should not wait until she is surrounded by Islamists, all of whom are getting stronger. It should pick them off one by one.   Netanyahu and others in his cabinet have already said that Israel would defend Jordan valley  approaches against any threat from the Islamic State, formerly ISIS. Further, that Israel supports Kurdish independence in Iraq, which we consider equivalent as a vote for our own independence.  Israel should now finish off Hamas, at least to the extent of destroying their 50,000 rockets and missiles.  It should assassinate their leaders just as the US has adopted a policy of assassinating the leaders of Al Qaeda affiliates  and the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The US also threatens to do the same to the Emir of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, who surfaced in a video at a Mosque in Mosul this past weekend.  Perhaps Islamic State Salafist terrorists might succeed Hamas and take over in Gaza.  However, at least they won’t have the current inventory of rockets. Israel should in any case cut off gas and electricity to Gaza and seal the borders. As for Judea and Samaria Israel should deal with the rioters more assertively and start annexing the land in phases beginning with Area C.   As to the Likud /Yisrael Beteinu split that could be a harbinger of an election in six months or so. As for the danger, for the most part Israelis go about their business in central Israel without regard to it.

Former Israeli  military intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, director of the Institute for National Security Studies of Tel Aviv University,  in a  Jerusalem Post   article, “Israel Must Strike Hamas Hard”    said:

Reoccupation of Gaza would be a strategic mistake. It would not be right to resume control of a million-and-a half Palestinians. Hamas today is weak politically and on this level has in fact deferred to Abbas. Israel should not replace Hamas or the Palestinian Authority- controlled Gaza. Hamas, however, has not dismantled its military capabilities. It attacks the Negev, prepares kidnapping operations, and threatens populated areas in Israel with its long-range rockets. Therefore, if Hamas continues to shell our civilian population and to launch rockets, Israel should neutralize the threat through a broad military move.

Despite the split between Netanyahu of Likud and Liberman of Yisrael Beteinu, Israel has to demonstrate resolve and vigorously defeat both its near and far Islamist threats.

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Posted on 07/08/2014 5:07 AM by Jerry Gordon
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