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The Iconoclast

Thursday, 18 September 2014
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There is no word to accurately express the weight and scope of the Jewish Question

Anti-Semitism, Judeophobia, Jew-hatred, anti-Zionism, self-hating Jews…none of these terms captures the full range of negative relations to all that is Jewish. We use them for practical purposes, but they make it difficult to understand and confront a phenomenon of cosmic proportions that cannot be compared to commonplace prejudice based on color, nationality, tribe, social class, etc. The “Jewish Question” does not, as the above terms suggest, concern relations between two entities, Jews and Others. It is not about how Jews behave in general or in specific situations, it is not about how we are individually or collectively. It can’t be influenced by any change in what Jews do or say. Both Jews and non-Jews are affected, in myriad ways, by the enormity of the Question posed by Judaism. Baffled by the impossibility to assimilate the sign “Jewish,” otherwise normal people, veer off into bizarre reactions.  

The Jewish Question cannot be solved by an Answer. Anathema to totalitarian projects, Judaism inevitably provokes their murderous fury. When the destructive forces that periodically beset humanity reach cataclysmic proportions they always include the need to exterminate Jews and Judaism. This exterminationist fury ignites minor secondary conflagrations in different sectors of society that would never consciously support the extermination and, consequently, are terribly offended when accused of anti-Semitism. Today, Islam, which harbors genocidal hatred of Jews in its essential composition, has turned the very word “Israel” into a raw nerve that triggers blinding hostility, leading people to act against their own vital interests.

This explains the grotesque reactions to Israel’s self-defensive “Protective Border” operation in Gaza. By any rational evaluation, Hamas would be seen as one of the countless tentacles of jihad conquest, and Israel would be admired or at least respected for its courage in facing up to the latest attempt by Hamas to annihilate the Jewish state. At the very moment when the free and not so free world is desperately seeking a strategy to deal with the Caliphate, Israel would serve as a model and precious ally. Instead, NATO, the UN, the EU are tossing and turning, abandoned by the superpower that once was the USA, timidly engaged in limited airstrikes and embroiled in confused rhetoric. The watchword is “no boots on the ground.” Netanyahu is under fire at home for not achieving an overwhelming victory, while these big, rich, heavily armed purportedly allied countries promise defeat.

Can we take comfort in the planned 30 or 40-nation coalition, including the likes of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iran but not, of course, Israel? French commentators are pouting this week about the exclusion of Iran, at American insistence, from the September 15th international conference in Paris. Qatar is apparently joining the coalition while continuing to finance the beheaders. Turkey might be skittish about anything that could encourage Kurdish sovereignty. Great Britain will do airstrikes over Iraq but not over Syria. Saudi Arabia and assorted Emirates will swish around in their long white robes and let the infidels do the fighting. The idea, according to the usual experts, is that it won’t be the West killing Muslims, it will be a coalition led by moderate Arab-Muslim nations that will wipe out those caliphating renegades who don’t know what Islam is.

Lethal narrative, my friends. Instead of facing the reality of jihad conquest and fighting like men, the West will fiddle with the truth and reinforce the lie behind which Islam creeps into and over our world. Skipping rapidly over the inevitable squabbles, pecking-order power struggles, underhanded tricks and untenable delays, allow me to predict the gem that will be fashioned deep in the bowels of this coalition: they will decree that there’s no way to defeat the Caliphate unless and until Israel ends the Occupation by satisfying all demands imposed by the joint Fatah-Hamas government. In the meantime, the Caliphate will be increasing geometrically day by day.

The blinding glare of the Jewish Question

There is no lack of concrete evidence to rectify erroneous reports made during the Gaza operation. Hamas intimidation of journalists, use of human shields, installation of rocket launchers in civilian buildings, tunnel entrances in mosques and hospitals… Corrected casualty figures show at least a thousand fighters among the 2,000 dead. The Times of Israel reported that, according to Israeli intelligence, none of the “collaborators” recently executed in Gaza were Israeli assets. They were in prison during the operation, couldn’t have supplied information. The airstrikes that killed several Hamas top brass weren’t based on human intel. The journalist who said on i24 news that Hamas had to shoot rockets from heavily populated areas because there are no open fields in Gaza has not, to my knowledge, retracted. But no single element of the lethal narrative is as important as the casualty figures that served as leitmotif to every broadcast everywhere: 2,000 killed, most of them civilians.

As soon as the unconditional cease fire was concluded, Hamas leaders came out of the tunnels where they had been hiding, and proclaimed victory. Their version of the conflict was confirmed by overwhelming support for Hamas in Gaza and Judea-Samaria. Khaled Mashal rightfully declared that world media had drawn their water from the Hamas well. (cf Richard Landes “from Palestinian sources”). Indeed! They weren’t interested in reliable information that contradicted the image fabricated in the heat of battle. But their ears perked up suddenly when 43 Israeli army reservists of the prestigious 8200 intelligence unit vociferously objected to “unjust practices against the Palestinian population in the West Bank.” It was music to media ears, they couldn’t get enough of it. The other side of the story, the other 99% proud members of the unit, the rebuttal from defense minister Ya’alon among others, the special circumstances in a time of war, the lives saved during the operation…could not drown out those luscious sounds of dissent.

Israel launches an investigation of 11 cases of possible misconduct during the operation, including the alleged hit on the school in Rafa, denounced by Thomas Victor as Pallywood staging.

First, the investigations are reported as proof of misconduct. If it turns out there was no misconduct, they will be denounced as a whitewash. Hamas doesn’t investigate anything; they run to Human Rights Watch and get guaranteed condemnation. No need for evidence, the complaint is enough.

The human interest stories churned out during the Gaza operation might be justified if the context were clearly defined. It never was.  They were raised to a universal plane of human suffering where the only decent reaction must be compassion. In fact, on the human interest level, what’s the difference between the family of a Hamas officer, the wife and children of a DAESH beheader, and a simple citizen caught in the middle? Same rubble, same dead relatives, same smashed furniture, same dismay, same denial: we had nothing to do with Hamas, DAESH, Hizbullah, the Taliban, AQMI...

Some of our best and brightest slip into mermaid discourse in the face of this stonewall. Israel, they say, has to learn how to get its message across. Stop infighting and bureaucratic inertia, use communications-savvy collaborators, stop apologizing, tell the world Hamas is DAESH and they’re out to get all of us, don’t forget to show what’s happening to Christians in the Middle East, occupy the media landscape, send articulate spokespersons… None of this advice should be necessary. The facts speak for themselves. But when they come from Israeli sources the blaring screech of the Jewish Question transforms them into white noise.

Talk about disproportion!

Flat-footed journalism, unable or unwilling to convey the enormous difference between Hamas and Israel, reduced the conflict to a match between two sides in the same category. Noble diplomats zipped back and forth trying to stop the massacre but “neither party wants to stop fighting.” Chronology was reversed--rockets launched by Hamas become tat for the tit of Israeli bombings. Hamas statements of genocidal intent were ignored, Israeli explanations were dismissed.

And the Caliphate was spreading like wildfire. In its path, Christian and Yazidi women were raped, bought and sold, starved to death, slain for refusing to convert to Islam. Where were the feminists? A handful of Lilith activists, convinced that arms for Israel transited through the Liège airport, flooded a terminal with fake blood. On the outskirts of Paris, hysterical BDS harpies screamed themselves hoarse for hours in a Rosny-sous-bois shopping mall until they were dragged away by the police. Tragic irony--several days later in the same banlieue a modest 4-story apartment building collapsed, presumably by a gas explosion, leaving Gaza style rubble.

As French authorities shivered in their boots at the prospect of returning jihad veterans, the Jewish Question took a new twist:  dual nationals who did their military service in Israel were equated with French jihadis who went to fight with the Caliphate. This grotesque equation was promoted by, among others, Argentine president Cristina Kirchner and French firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon of the Front de Gauche. Tawfik Tahani, president of France-Palestine Solidarité, outdid them: he claimed that one week before the start of the Gaza operation, an Israeli sergeant had come to recruit Jewish and non-Jewish French fighters. N.B. only Israeli citizens can serve in the Israel Defense Force.

This grotesque, and unchallenged, allegation was made during a broadcast-- Le Secret des Sources—on  the highbrow France Culture radio station; Tahani was there to balance Arno Klarsfeld, Esq., son of the famed Nazi-hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld. The idea of the weekly program is to re-examine the way journalists covered a big story. On September 6th the focus was on Gaza. Instead of focus, we got sidestepping. One journalist explained that as they entered Gaza they were assigned a fixer who stayed with them the whole time. Did it influence their coverage? The question wasn’t even raised. Another denied that it was forbidden to show Hamas fighters. “We didn’t see any, that’s all. It’s normal. There was a war going on. They were hiding in the tunnels.” Admitting that some images were falsified, a reporter chose a salient example: Israelis showed recycled footage of pompous funerals of soldiers dating back to earlier conflicts. Their notion of balanced coverage is simple: if you say something negative about one party to the conflict you have to say something negative about the other party.

Why would Tahani claim an Israeli recruiter was rounding up French fighters? In fact, the inclusion of one such damning—and patently false—accusation in hate-Israel barrages is recurrent: excrements in a home in Sheijaya, 45 minutes of fire aimed at Jamal and Mohamed al Dura, heartless Israeli soldiers kicking around a Palestinian baby like a football in Gaza… This from Hamas apologist Sara Roy’s “Response to Elie Weisel” [Counterpunch September 9]. Lurid details that cannot be verified are dropped like a date-rape drug into the let-me-criticize-Israel cocktail. Their purpose is to hit the genocidal nerve of the Jewish Question. When this nerve is hit, rational reception is no longer possible, the message is raised to a lethal level of potency. The ingurgitation of a nerve shocking falsehood dissolved in a mix of misdemeanors that could be attributed to any government or society, turns “Israel” into poison.

The tectonic shift in blame that makes Israel Public Enemy N°1 hinges on every sort of mental and moral perversion of which the human mind is capable

Totalitarian movements periodically beset human history; they have never been perpetrated by Jews or fueled by Judaism. Not only does obsession with the Jewish Question undermine our only ally in the Middle East, it fosters mortal confusion about our real enemy. DAESH Productions Inc. has presented its third beheading film, with coming attractions for the fourth. AQMI chapters in Algeria and other Islamic fighters worldwide are swearing allegiance to the Caliphate, Boko Haram is taking over swathes of Nigeria, and our leaders are tongue-tied. Prime Minister David Cameron, standing upright and British after the September 12th beheading of aid worker Paul Haines, said “Islam is a religion of peace.” Families or spokespersons for the decapitated journalists recite [abrogated] Koranic verses and insist “beheading has nothing to do with Islam.” President Obama, like a doctor trying to get a kid to open his mouth and say aaaah, keeps promising “no boots on the ground.” A retired French general commenting on air strikes against DAESH says reassuringly, “it won’t be like Gaza.” Coalition airstrikes, he says, will be aimed at military units out in the open, not in populated areas like Mosul. We should be able to handle this neatly, he adds, unless --as if it were the most outlandish possibility imaginable--the jihadis use human shields.

Conveniently forgetting atrocities committed under the reign of Saddam Hussein, commentators delight in latter day Bush-bashing. It’s the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq that brought us the Caliphate, they declare, not realizing there is something twisted about assuming a disbanded Iraqi officer would naturally turn into a Caliphate killer.  Other causes are reeled off--it’s because we intervened in Libya… and didn’t in Syria, abandoned Afghanistan and let Maliki discriminate against Sunnis in Iraq. Isn’t it time to realize it has nothing to do with our actions and mistakes?  It’s not the fault of the neo-cons, the Zionists, the Jews, the Christians, the Pope, the Tea Party. It is the dynamics of Islam, its history and its foundations. Unless opposed by overwhelming force Islam can only go in one direction, like a river into the sea.

In between two Caliphate beheadings, a woman was decapitated in her north London garden. Neither the victim nor the perpetrator had been publicly identified before the police declared the crime was “not terrorism.” What did they mean? The killer wasn’t Muslim? Then the killer was identified-- a Nigerian, Nicholas Salvadore, and his victim--a loveable 82 year-old Londoner of Italian origin. But…it was subsequently revealed that the murderer is a convert to Islam. And some say he mistook the suntanned Mrs. Palmira Silva for a Jew. With that, the story slipped out of view. 

It is a terrible portent.

Caliphators returning to Europe will not only attack Jews and other infidels they will tyrannize Muslims. Making use of local allies, they will take over neighborhoods the way they took over parts of Syria and Iraq, running roughshod over those moderate Muslims the progressives claim to love so much. They’ll engage in bloody combat with rivals in the Muslim community, take over mosques and the drug trade, rob banks and munitions depots, take hostages for ransom, kill policemen, rape women…and who will stop them?

Boots on the ground

What should Israel do in the face of this unremitting sleaze that is slopped on its every word and act? Take care of business. That’s what Israelis did this summer, in Gaza and at home. Do what had to be done. Resist Hamas rockets, destroy tunnels, bomb launch pads, while alert citizens run into bomb shelters, bless the Iron Dome and the IDF, and let the commentators ruminate their curd.

5,000 French Jews made Aliyah this year. Instead of scolding them, like Christophe Barbier, for mistaken divestment, French people should be asking how they will manage without these upstanding citizens. French Jews should not be pleading and petitioning for greater protection and less media venom, they should be given concrete proof that their presence is desired. Not flowery words, not interfaith declarations, not shoah memorials, but courage, lucidity, a change of heart, and determined action.

I write these words with affectionate concern for the welfare of my adopted country.

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Posted on 09/18/2014 9:02 AM by Nidra Poller
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Thursday, 18 September 2014
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Here.

Why should not the non-Muslim peoples, those most recently the victims of Islam-prompted atrocities, be invited to settle in Israel, in exchange -- one-for-one -- of Muslim Arabs who will leave. This is nothing new; it is merely an example of the exchange of populations that Greeks and Muslim Turks in the early 1920s, Hindus and Muslims in India at the time of Partition in 1947, Jews and Muslims during and after the 1948-49 war, all engaged in this exchange. 

Such an exchange would allow Christians (Chaldeans and Assyrians) and smaller non-Muslim peoples (Yazidis) to continue to live in the Middle East, in familiar surroundings, but under the protection of the Israeli army and the Israeli State. And  the world's Christians should welcome the chance to enlarge the Christian population as a living presence of the faith  in the Holy Land and the Near East, at a time when Muslim persecution and massacres have driven so many Christins out of their ancestral villages, with many killed, in Syria and Iraq. 

i

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Posted on 09/18/2014 8:30 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 18 September 2014
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Here.

He should never have been allowed into France. Having been allowed in, he should never have been given citizenship. Having been given citizenship, the French state, in order to protect itself, ought to find ways to strip him of his citizenship and send him back to Senegal. And if it currently lacks the laws to do so, it should pass those that will enable it to do so. These might include the ending of jus soli (but that is unlikely to have applied in this case), and the requirement that all naturallized citizens be required to take, on oath, a detailed test of their ability to integrate into French society, and that should include a list of questions -- such as whether they believe in the full legal equality of women, and of non-Muslims -- that will be hard for Muslims to answer truthfully. And such an examination ought to include a dozen or so passages from the Qur'an, including 9.5 and 9.29, so that the examiner can elicit from those being examined just how they think their beliefs can possibly enable them to live side by side, peacefully, with those they are enjoined to subdue, to humiliate, to kill.

The texts -- Qur'an, Hadith, Sira -- are there, waiting to be held up for public examination. The Muslims who follow those texts, or claim to, or who may do so more fervently than they do now, are the ones who are to show that the non-Muslims in the advanced world, the world to which those Muslims seek admission (but without the intent to "integrate" in the sense that the host population means; rather, they intend to use whatever tools, such as knowledge of the local language, laws, ways that are most effective in persuading the locals  they are provided, by the Western, host governments, to further their putative  "integration," in order to solidify and expand their position, their beachhead, in what is a slow inexorable campaign of demographic conquest.

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Posted on 09/18/2014 8:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 18 September 2014
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Here.

Ideally, the Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga or Pesh Merga,  will be built up enough by the Western powers so that they will be in a position, not to  keep the Sunni Arabs from fighting the Shiites (they know, or believe, that Maliki  was on the verge of sending his Shiite Arab army to subdue the Kurds)  -- the Kurds have no stake in keeping Iraq together, and certainly not in keeping the Sunni Arabs and  Shiite Arabs from attacking one another (both are enemies of Kurdish independence)-- but to begin to extend their reach into other Kurdish-populated areas, especially in Iran and Syria.

Iran is not a state but still a many-peopled  empire, the Persian Empire where only half the population is Persian, and the rest Azeri, Kurd, Arab. And the Azeris have Azerbaijan to look toward, the Arabs of Khuzistan (where all of Iranian's richest oilfields are located) have the Arabs of Iraq, and the Kurds in northwestern Iran (there is also an isolated Kurdish population in northeastern Iran, but it is far from Kurdistan) will have a powerful Kurdistan in what had been northeastern Iraq, its borders and population still open to -- in every sense -- dispute.

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Posted on 09/18/2014 7:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 18 September 2014
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From News.com Australia

AN urgent meeting has been called tonight by members of the Muslim community who are furious about today’s anti-terror raids in Sydney. The meeting will be held at Lakemba station in response to what organisers say is the Federal Government’s heavy-handed approach to the raids, which resulted in 15 arrests.

Just over 2000 people have been invited to the event via Facebook with about 150 saying they would attend.

“The Australian government has overnight carried out “the biggest anti-terror raids in Australian history”. Just as in 2005, these raids come on the eve of new laws being tabled in parliament next week! Many families terrorised in the middle of the night, people beaten, and stories of harsh, unjust policing are emerging,” the Facebook post said.

“The Muslim community is squarely the target of these raids and laws, the climate of hysteria only increases as the government fabricates reasons for these draconian laws.” The anonymous post said the community needed to “raise your voice as one” if they were angry about what occurred.“Spread the word, invite Muslims and non-Muslims and send a strong message against this government aggression.”

Other extremist supporters have also taken to social media to launch attacks on the Abbott Government and police after today’s raids, the Daily Telegraph reported.

At a press conference this morning NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said he appreciated the support of the Muslim community.

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Posted on 09/18/2014 4:14 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 18 September 2014
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From the Australian Times

Australian police say they have foiled a major terror act, following the country’s largest ever counter-terrorism sweep. 15 people have been arrested with one man, Omarjan Azari, charged with serious terrorism offences, apparently including the intent to carry out a public beheading on the streets of Sydney.

It is understood police believe that suspects were planning to behead a random member of the public and drape the victim in the flag of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, amongst objects confiscated by police in the raids was a sword.

Azari, 22, from Guildford, appeared briefly in court later on Thursday. Commonwealth Prosecutor Michael Allnutt told the court that Azari was part of a plot to commit an act to “shock, horrify and terrify” the Australian community. The plan involved the “random selection of persons to rather gruesomely execute”, 

When asked about the alleged plot to conduct a public beheading, Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters: “That’s the intelligence we received. Quite direct exhortations were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country,” Mr Abbott said. “So this is not just suspicion, this is intent.”

About 800 state and federal police officers in New South Wales and 70 in Queensland conducted raids in Sydney and Brisbane late on Wednesday night and into Thursday. 25 warrants were executed in the sweep, in the Sydney suburbs of Beecroft, Bellavista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill and Regents Park

Australian Federal Police acting assistant commissioner Andrew Colvin said the raids in Brisbane were a “follow-up” to last week’s arrests in the city and not necessarily linked to the Sydney raids, although the possibility was being investigated. “So while the raids in Queensland are not directly related to what’s happened here today in NSW, the investigations continue and we are looking at linkages between the two,” Mr Colvin told reporters.

The AFP today also launched Operation Hammerhead, which includes an additional 220 highly visible police at major events and flashpoint locations, to help counter terrorist threats and discourage public unrest related to extremism.

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Posted on 09/18/2014 2:37 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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Posted on 09/17/2014 2:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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We can celebrate the fact that the United States is apparently going to bomb ISIS vigorously and not sporadically, and is going to bomb in Syria, aiming at ISIS, and is also going to assist moderate factions in the Syrian civil war. This last development is unconscionably late, as there was a time when the moderates were a much better bet than they are now, squeezed between the Assad regime and the militant Islamists. There is no possible explanation that is not discreditable for why we went from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Assad was “a reformer,” to the unctuous Obama revelation that it was “time for him to go,” to the infamous, self-eradicating “red line,” to the abdication in favor of Congress to approve the much-announced punitive cruise-missile attacks that new Secretary of State John Kerry assured would be “unbelievably small,” to confiding the disposal of the poison gas that Assad had conferred upon some of his refractory countrymen to the capable and infinitely trustworthy hands of Vladimir Putin, who had supplied Assad in the first place. This dismal sequence was summarized last Wednesday by the president in his address to the country as the combination of strength and diplomacy that resolved the Syrian poison-gas crisis. It would also have been easier to deal with ISIS from the air when they were running amok with their assault vehicles festooned with black flags. And we were admonished to remember that the “Islamic State ” is not Islamic.​

The same singular analytical method was touted as having alit upon the magic combination of strength and understanding that imposed upon Putin a restrained compliance with a fair solution in Ukraine. The president also took credit for America’s having, implicitly almost alone, routed Ebola in Africa (though the pandemic is still spreading and other countries have done their part to fight it). Conspicuous among the supposed triumphs of American policy that the president omitted to mention was any repetition of his statement several months ago that “diplomacy and American strength” had produced a satisfactory end to the crisis of Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons. Given the prodigies of imagination the president displayed in identifying foreign-policy problems his administration had solved, the fact that he didn’t warm up this worm-eaten chestnut again is tantamount to an admission, if not of failure, at least, in the lexicon of Obaman self-evaluation, of deferred success.

No one can blame a political leader for putting the best possible face on his actions, but such wild fantasies as these incite concern over whether the president is really in touch with the facts, or whether he is chronically untruthful. This alarm was escalated when, in the midst of his address, President Obama told his viewers and listeners: “This is American leadership at its best.” There are two serious problems with this. It isn’t American leadership at all, and certainly not at its best; and it is tasteless, déclassé, and unprecedented for a president of the United States, in an address to the nation to outline policy in a national-security crisis, to critique at all, and especially in such unearned superlatives, his own performance. It is not conceivable that Roosevelt in the “great arsenal of democracy” address (December 1940), Truman in advocating aid to Greece and Turkey (1947), Eisenhower in sending the U.S. armed forces into Lebanon (1958), Kennedy in imposing the blockade of Cuba (1962), Nixon in invoking the “silent majority” in support of “Vietnamization” (1969), or Reagan in announcing the Strategic Defense Initiative (1983) would have offered a personal opinion of the quality of his leadership. Roosevelt said that neither “the pious frauds” of those Americans who served the interests of the dictators, nor any “dictator [or] combination of dictators,” would deter the United States from doing what its clear national interest and moral duty required. Nixon said, “This is my policy and I take responsibility for it. If it succeeds, what my critics say now won’t matter; if it fails, what I say then won’t matter.” In Truman’s famous phrase, all of them — and all those named were often responsible for American foreign-policy leadership at its best — understood that the buck stopped with them.

President Obama recently referred to a group of the terrorists as a “junior varsity.” Certainly, none of this rag-tag of terrorists and fanatics, nor all of them together, pose the threat that a great power such as the Third Reich or the Soviet Union, vested with all the instances and sinews of a powerful country and led by cunning and fiercely motivated tyrants, did to Western civilization, and to the United States in particular. But as terrorists go, ISIS is as extreme and odious as it is possible to imagine. Imputations of sophomoric standards and practices are more accurate when leveled against an American president who warps a sequence of failed policies into an illusory winning streak, and puts himself at the head of the 42 men who preceded him in his great office as an author of successful initiatives to lead the United States and its allies to success in a great crisis.

As I wrote above, our hearts may beat faster with the incitement to believe that the president’s dithering and sanctimony will at least produce a serious bombing assault on these terrorist mutants. They are so ghastly that they cannot really shelter invisibly among the civil population like conventional guerrillas, nor expect sophisticated arms from a foreign supplier. This air campaign in itself will not solve the problem, but ISIS et al. will not be able to advance on, or even exchange fire with, the ill-assured army of Iraq in the teeth of heavy American air attacks. Unlike the factions in the former Yugoslavia, which had anti-aircraft missiles and caused the United States and its allies to stay at 30,000 feet or higher to conduct a war worth killing for but not worth dying for, ISIS has no ability to shoot down warplanes and no defense against the combination of absolute precision and carpet coverage any comprehensive over-flight of the U.S Air Force and naval aviators, and contingents from serious allies, can administer. So a partially effective response appears finally to be emerging from years of posturing and pusillanimous shilly-shallying, and a first step may be imminent in resurrecting the Western Alliance as a reciprocal fraternity of purposeful democratic states prepared to act together, albeit with little likelihood of casualties, against an unspeakably barbarous enemy. Some countries are likely to contribute token air forces to such a risk-free turkey-shoot of such a horrible enemy.

But no one should imagine that President Obama’s address, or even the most effective possible sequel to it, will instantly redress most of the squandered credibility of the United States as a serious or consistent influence for international law and resistance to aggression and political criminality in the world that it earned and exercised very consistently from Roosevelt’s Quarantine Speech of 1937 to the overthrow of the Mullah Omar in Afghanistan in 2001. We are prayerfully envisioning a heavy air campaign with practically no casualties, by a president who is weak in the polls, facing a sharp electoral rebuke in eight weeks, and limping toward the end of an unsuccessful presidency at the head of a debt-ridden, bitterly divided, and largely, economically stagnant country. (The president’s claim to the greatest period of unemployment reduction in American history in his address to the nation last week was another Brobdingnagian whopper but went almost unnoticed amid such a heavily forested mass of unfounded claims to foreign-policy successes.) But as it is alleged St. Denis, patron saint of Paris, said after his decapitation (a timely simile), and arising from and walking away from the execution block with his head in his hands, “All journeys begin with a single step.”

First published in National Review.

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Posted on 09/17/2014 2:10 PM by Conrad Black
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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Le monde contre le Califat Islamique (info # 011609/14) Version imprimable
Analyse
mardi, 16 septembre 2014

 

 

At www.menapress.org:

Par Stéphane Juffa

Bien, la conférence de Paris sur la nécessité d’éradiquer le Califat Islamique s’est terminée ; elle aura duré trois heures et permis à François Hollande, dont l’action politique jouit de l’appui extatique de 13 pour cent des Français, de prononcer un discours pathétique. Des propos lénifiants sur le ton d’une émission pour enfants, destinés à démontrer combien l’Hexagone était un polygone moral à l’écoute du monde.

 

Parce qu’il importe de stopper l’Etat Islamique, que Laurent Fabius et Jean-Luc Mélenchon réclament qu’il soit désormais appelé le Califat Suédois, parce que c’est faire insulte à l’islam que de montrer des musulmans étêter des coopérants humanitaires chrétiens, le coran dans la main qui ne tient pas le couteau de cuisine. Parce que Fabius s’apprête à donner des leçons de mahométisme à Abou Bark el Baghdadi et que tout le monde en rigole, sauf lui et les décapités.

 

Parce que, dixit le pensionnaire de l’Elysée - qui envoie trente SMS par jour à son ancienne compagne Valérie Trierweiler, le double à la nouvelle, quelques-uns à Ségolène et un ou deux à ses enfants, pendant que le paquebot France heurte l’un après l’autre tous les icebergs de l’Atlantique - il faut absolument soutenir le gouvernement irakien présidé par le Kurde Fouad Massoum. Or ce gouvernement est au mieux une vue de l’esprit et qu’il n’y a personne, pas d’entité étatique digne de ce nom, à soutenir à Bagdad. 

 

C’est une dure constatation que la "communauté internationale" se refuse encore de faire : il n’y a plus d’Irak, d’ailleurs, il n’y en a jamais eu. Mosaïque d’entités hétéroclites que seul un tyran comme Saddam Hussein pouvait, à force de terreur et d’exactions, empêcher de suivre leurs destins divergents. C’est pourtant simple : chiites au Sud, sunnites au Nord et Kurdes dans une petite bande montagneuse lovée entre les frontières vénéneuses de la Syrie, de la Turquie et de la "République" de Khamenei. Et, broyés dans ce retour à l’époque biblique, des minorités vouées au supplice, tels les chrétiens ou les Yézidis.

 

obasaudi.jpg

Problème

 

Et le Sud ne s’arrête pas à Bassora, tout comme le Nord ne freine pas aux confins de la népotie des al Assad. Le découpage à la règle du Moyen-Orient par les puissances coloniales a vécu, et avec lui la tentative arrogante, naïve, écervelée, optimiste ou criminelle d’obliger des peuples à vivre ensemble, qui s’exterminaient depuis des siècles.

 

Back to the schisme historique au sein de l’islam, à l’empire des Perses, aux Mongols-ottomans, aux Pharaons du Nil, aux Bédouins du désert, aux Kurdes, aux chrétiens et aux Israélites.

 

Fin de la construction d’entités plus larges et début du re-morcellement : durant la bataille d’Alep, on a dénombré jusqu’à soixante entités nationales, linguistiques ou confessionnelles se battant contre Béchar al Assad et les unes contre les autres.

 

Retour aux recettes de grand-mère pour guerroyer : gagner du terrain, faire des prisonniers, des esclaves, violer et vendre leurs femmes, décapiter, pendre, noyer, tuer en masse, pour s’en débarrasser et faire trembler les prochains adversaires.

 

Encore faut-il, pour les Occidentaux, ne pas confondre stratégie et tactique, que les chefs d’Etat des grandes démocraties semblent avoir de plus en plus de mal à discerner : lancer des bombes avec des avions sur des barbares, c’est bien, mais ce n’est pas une solution, c’est un moyen.

 

Et si l’on entend retrouver une situation d’équilibre relatif – c’est ainsi qu’il va falloir rebaptiser la paix dorénavant -, il faut impérieusement se soucier de ce qui va s’instaurer par la suite, une fois que l’on aura affaibli les miliciens ivres d’Allah d’El Baghdadi. En principe on devrait s’en soucier avant de tirer le premier missile.

 

Parce que l’EI n’est pas fondamentalement pire que les autres acteurs régionaux, ils ont juste commis l’erreur de se vanter de l’assassinat de leurs otages en les diffusant sur le Net, tandis que la junte théocratique iranienne pend les opposants, les militants des droits de l’homme, les Kurdes, au faîte des grues, et ordonne la lapidation des femmes jugées infidèles par des tribunaux expéditifs, justifiant leur sentence, non pas par la charte des Vikings, M. Fabius, mais par le saint coran. Mais en "République" Islamique de Norvège, on prend soin d’interdire de filmer les mises à mort, sous peine d’en faire partie, ce qui limite le courroux indigné de la "communauté internationale".

 

L’endémie de médiévalisme contagie également les Palestiniens, n’en déplaise aux adorateurs européens du Hamas. Tout le monde n’ayant pas la mémoire assez courte pour avoir déjà oublié les corps mutilés de malheureux, traînés par les pieds derrière des motos dans les rue de Gaza-city, ni, bien sûr, plus récemment, les soi-disant espions du Mossad, parfaitement innocents mais sympathisants du Fatah de Mahmoud Abbas, mitraillés devant la foule avec un sac sur la tête. 

 

Et aussi, parce qu’en politique internationale, il est dangereux d’avoir des dégoûts sélectifs, de rappeler que chez les hôtes préférentiels du pauvre Français Hollande, en Arabie Saoudite, une justice sûre d’elle fait trancher la tête des homosexuels et des apostats de l’islam en place publique, et condamne au fouet les femmes qui conduisent des automobiles, oublient de se couvrir la tête ou serrent la main d’un inconnu. Sauf que le ministre français des Affaires Etrangères n’a pas pensé à dissocier le régime de Riyad du livre de Mohamed, l’économie tricolore étant déjà assez mal en point comme cela.

 

Donc, on réalise urgemment qu’on est au Moyen-Age. On arrête d’essayer d’expliquer aux opinions publiques ses décisions stratégiques par des appels à la sensiblerie, et on réfléchit consciencieusement, entouré par des spécialistes qui connaissent effectivement la situation, sur les démarches à considérer.

 

On cesse aussi de désigner les bons et les méchants au gré de ses humeurs et de ses intérêts à court terme, en prenant ses électeurs pour des cons, sur la simple hypothèse que la plupart sont effectivement des ignares, mais qui ont actuellement assez de soucis existentiels pour chercher à savoir où se trouvent Kirkuk, Raqqah ou Aarsal, les régions où la nouvelle guerre de religion fait actuellement rage.   

 

Cela évitera par exemple à la France d’envoyer pour trois milliards d’euros d’armement à l’Armée libanaise, sachant que ces équipements tomberont directement dans l’escarcelle du Hezbollah qui a totalement phagocyté le pays aux cèdres grâce à l’incroyable passivité de l’Europe en général, de Paris, en particulier. Le Hezbollah qui signifie littéralement – et ce n’est pas du finnois, M. Fabius – le parti d’Allah, et dont les miliciens se targuent de leur appellation de "Fous d’Allah", tout un programme par les temps qui courent.

 

On demandera à l’occasion à la diplomatie française où, sur le globe, on peut trouver des musulmans qu’elle nous autorise à appeler musulmans. Nous cherché, pas trouvé. En Libye, peut-être ? Ailleurs en Afrique ? Dans les banlieues ? Il faudra nous dire.

 

C’est un analyste qui habite à 20 kilomètres des positions tenues par le Front al-Nosra, qui vous pose la question. Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-Ahl ash-Shām, ou front (djihadiste) pour la victoire des peuples du Levant, étant la branche concurrente de l’Etat Islamique, tous issus d’al Qaeda, qui partage le même mode opératoire que l’EI, et dont les membres se transfèrent sans états d’âme de l’un à l’autre.

 

Or la conférence d’hier n’a pas déclaré la guerre à al Nosra, pas plus qu’elle n’a défini ce qu’elle projetait pour l’avenir de l’Irak et de la Syrie. La démonstration des dangers représentés par cette lacune est facile à poser ; elle participe, comme une grande tranche de la stratégie politique, du principe des vases communicants, autrement plus dévastatrice qu’un missile de Rafale : si l’Amérique et ses alliés affaiblissent considérablement le Califat Islamique, c’est immédiatement al Nosra qui prendra sa place, recueillant du même coup ses combattants et les armes qu’il aura abandonnées. Rien n’aura été fait. Rien n’aura changé. Hormis la rancœur grandissante des sunnites de tout le Moyen-Orient, qui considéreront l’immixtion des chrétiens dans leurs affaires comme une agression, et l’élimination des miliciens arabes comme autant d’assassinats.

 

Car il est un autre élément qu’on ne vous dit pas : c’est que le monde entier, les Arabes particulièrement, ne pensent pas comme vous et nous. Ainsi, depuis la montée en puissance de DAESH, la plupart des sunnites, considérant qu’il défend ce qu’ils assimilent à leur honneur et qu’il constitue le seul rempart crédible contre l’expansion du chiisme et de son alliance al Assad en Syrie, Hezbollah au Liban et théocratie iranienne en Perse, lui accordent l’entièreté de leur sympathie.

 

Jusqu’ici, en Israël, où les partisans d’al Baghdadi terrorisent de plus en plus souvent les Druzes et les chrétiens en effectuant des descentes dans leurs villages et leurs quartiers, leur promettant le même sort que celui réservé aux ennemis de l’EI et commençant même à molester les femmes se trouvant sur leur passage. Les autorités israéliennes sont très peu disertes sur le sujet, craignant d’éveiller d’autres vocations islamistes, mais je peux vous assurer, pour les côtoyer quotidiennement, que la peur au sein de ces minorités se fait de plus en plus concrète.

 

De plus, tous les sunnites que j’ai rencontrés expriment désormais leur haine irréductible des Américains, des Européens, des chrétiens et des Israélites. En termes stratégiques, il faudrait comprendre que – contrairement à l’idée saugrenue que l’on tente d’imposer – l’islamisme et le djihadisme sont profondément ancrés dans les cœurs et les mentalités du Moyen-Orient et ils augmentent avec chaque succès de l’EI et avec chaque frappe aérienne qu’il subit. D’ailleurs, cette empathie gagne aussi rapidement la banlieue, mais cela également, on le dissimule soigneusement à l’opinion. Celle-ci remarque un discours antithétique entre ce qu’elle constate dans la rue et ce qu’on lui raconte à la télévision. Et cela l’irrite. En France, cette double constatation non-miscible est en train de paver la voie royale à Marine Le Pen, qui devrait la conduire directement à l’Elysée.

 

Cela pose un autre problème stratégique majeur : il ne suffit absolument pas de ramollir l’appareil militaire d’ISIS pour extirper l’espérance djihadiste du Moyen-Orient. Car, non, cette mouvance n’est plus un corps étranger de la région mais l’un de ses piliers ; un pilier qui a un milliard de fois plus de consistance que le "gouvernement de Bagdad" qu’on nous invite à soutenir, et qui lui survivra durant des décennies pour ne pas parler de siècles.

 

En termes stratégiques, on doit également redouter l’alliance de facto qui s’est instaurée avec l’Iran. Au point que l’on n’entend pratiquement plus parler des négociations sur la bombe atomique de Téhéran, et que celui-ci n’a toujours pas détruit la moindre de ses milliers de centrifugeuses, pas plus qu’elle n’en a déplacé des sites de Fodow et de Natanz.

 

Des émissaires d’Obama – c’est le Guide suprême Khamenei qui l’affirme et je le crois – ont tenté diverses approches afin de sceller une alliance tactique en vue de combattre le Califat. Khamenei prétend qu’il a refusé ces appels du pied parce qu’ils proviennent d’une "entité entachée". Plus prosaïquement, les ayatollahs voient d’un mauvais œil un retour de la présence militaire occidentale à leurs portes.

 

Encore plus prosaïquement, les experts de la théocratie islamique chiite, qui ne sont pas des chèvres, savent pertinemment, qu’avec ou sans accord formel, l’Occident a besoin de son concours s’il entend sérieusement endiguer l’EI en Irak et en Syrie. Cela favorise Téhéran qui, à chaque frappe contre les sunnites, voit sa puissance augmenter. Or si les alliés éradiquent le Califat, comme ils affirment vouloir le faire, au lieu de se contenter de l’affaiblir pour le contenir, ce qui participe de l’unique option stratégique valable, ils offriront à Khamenei l’hégémonie sur le Tigre et l’Euphrate, hégémonie qu’il s’est déjà attribuée sur le sud chiite de l’Irak.

 

Or gare à ce terrible faux pas, car la "République" Islamique est autrement plus menaçante pour la région, Israël, l’Europe et le monde que l’Etat Islamique. Le premier dispose de missiles balistiques, le second, de mitrailleuses montées sur des pickups. Le premier possèdera bientôt la bombe atomique si la Baronne Ashton ne décuple pas d’efficacité lors des négociations, ce qui est douteux ; Téhéran entretient des millions de soldats et d’auxiliaires, contre trente mille miliciens à DAESH. Et c’est aussi cela qui est incompréhensible, disproportionné, et qui engendre moult questions chez les spécialistes.

 

Le monde vient de déclarer la guerre à 30 000 fanatiques, obligés de contrôler 40% du territoire irakien et 30, de celui de la Syrie ? Si le million d’hommes de la nouvelle Armée irakienne, formée, dotée et financée à coups de milliards par Washington, ses chasseurs et ses centaines de chars, ne suffisent pas à s’opposer à ces cow-boys de l’islam qui tirent dans tous les sens, c’est que la limite entre ladite armée et les cow-boys n’est pas aussi tranchée qu’on voudrait se le figurer.

 

La puissance US, les six Rafales de Paris, les forces britanniques, l’Allemagne pour stopper 30 000 dégénérés ? Qui menaceraient la sécurité de la planète ? Cela me semble grotesque.

 

Il suffirait de donner une douzaine de vieux F-16 à Barzani, de former ses pilotes durant six mois, d’ajouter 50 Merkava et des missiles Tamouz pour que l’on cesse de parler de djihadisme dans le nord de l’Irak. Il est vrai que l’on consacrerait l’indépendance du Kurdistan, mais n’est-ce pas déjà fait ?

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Posted on 09/17/2014 10:42 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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Latest attacks, explosions, killings of rivals here.

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Posted on 09/17/2014 10:15 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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Here.

It wasn't because Saladin was a Kurd rather than an Arab. Nor that he was  -- if we are to believe the myths -- insufficiently ruthless toward the Christians he defeated. Nor that he founded the Ayoubid dynasty, and employed Maimonides as his court physician in Cairo..

No.

It's just that, in the view of the most fanatical Muslims, any historic place or shrine gets in the way of the pure unmediated submission to Allah. It's just one more thing -- like music and art -- that causes good Muslims to deviate, from the path. No castles, citadels, shrines, nothing by way of tourist attractions, on that path, allowed.

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Posted on 09/17/2014 8:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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Canadians who are veterans of the referendary battles in Quebec will watch with knowing sympathy as tension grips Scotland in the week leading up to the Sept. 18 referendum on independence. After many months of drowsy reassurance that the Scottish referendum was a mere formality, and that the separatists would be decisively rejected, most polls now show a slight lead for the secessionists. The British political establishment has been profoundly shaken from its complacent longueurs, and is scrambling around like beetles that have been blasted with insecticide. Prime Minister David Cameron has not pleaded with the Scots to “think of [the virtues of the whole country] before voting to break it up,” as Jean Chrétien infamously did in 1995, but the campaign isn’t over yet.

Some of the patterns between the two independence crises are very similar. The Union of the British and Scottish crowns, in James VI of Scotland who became James I of England, dates to the death of Queen Elizabeth I, the so-called “virgin queen” (a claim that is not insusceptible to doubt, but she was childless), in 1603. This was the year that Aymar de Chaste and Samuel de Champlain set up New France in Canada.

The Act of Union, whose repeal is sought by the Yes side in the Scottish referendum, dates from 1707, when the two countries were amalgamated politically in institutions beneath the crown. At this point in Quebec, Frontenac had beaten off the Iroquois and the Americans, and the elder Vaudreuil was expanding the fur trade to Hudson’s Bay, down the Mississippi, and across the Great Plains.

The Scottish constitute only about 10% of the population of the United Kingdom, and there is no real language gap, though Gaelic sometimes is heard in the highlands, and there are a rich variety of comedic send-ups by, and of, all major regional and socioeconomic British accents. But the perceived or conjured threat of Scottish cultural survival is not really in play as it has been in Quebec.There was never a Scottish majority in Great Britain such as the French possessed in Canada until the 1840’s.

The British-Scottish Union was first by dynastic accident and then by legislation under the crown, unlike the military disposition of the French Canadians caused by the colonial operations of European armies and navies. Baldwin and Lafontaine, and then Macdonald, George Brown, and George-Étienne Cartier built a system of a double majority — a majority of both French and English-speaking Canadians — to approve important initiatives such as Confederation. Scotland never had the demographic strength or constitutional position to exercise such influence, and most Scots were assimilated almost seamlessly into British life. The fact that many British prime ministers were Scottish, including Alec Douglas-Gnome, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, was scarcely noticed. To judge from their surnames, so, ultimately, were the families of Harold MacMillan and David Cameron, but it was never mentioned.

Where the similarities begin is with the transfer payments and the grievances of exploitation: the notion of distinct nationhood abused by a majority taking more than it should from one region, which is incapable of defending its interests adequately in the existing political framework.

In Canada, this claim by Quebec nationalists was made more plausible by the refusal of the Trudeau and Mulroney governments to reveal the precise extent of federal government disbursements in and to Quebec, and revenue collection in that province. Both leaders opposed “putting a price on Canada,” presumably from fear of an English-Canadian backlash at the extent of the Danegeld being paid to Quebec nationalists. In Scotland, there is the predictable wild difference between the claims of the two sides about flows of money under the current regime and the costs and benefits of Scottish independence.

As in Quebec, the Scottish separatists dismiss as of no consequence at all the various formalities in disentangling two nationalities after 400 years. Of course, they tell us, the queen would remain, the currency would be shared, and Scotland would remain in the European Union, but as an independent member.

In reality, none of it is as clear as that. The queen’s status, as the Union of crowns is not challenged, would not be in doubt at first. But Scotland would have to adopt a Constitution (and is pledged to do so), and the status of the queen or a republican alternative would quickly arise in that context. There is no reliable polling on the question publicly available, and there is no agitation against the queen, but she must surely be perceived as more English than Scottish, and if the Scots were to prove unenthused about having an English monarch, the status of that institution in more distant and foreign parts of the Commonwealth where it is not immutable, including Canada, would be seriously undermined.

Scotland would not automatically be admitted to the EU. Britain could veto it. Moreover, new members now have to adopt the Euro, and it is not clear that the Scots, traditionally wise with money (though their recent performance as bankers didn’t bear this out), would not necessarily leap with skirls of joy from the Pound to the Euro. If the tutelage of Britain has been too grating, they are unlikely to be enamoured of the devolutional techniques of Berlin and Brussels. Nor is it certain that the British, who have had an open fiscal artery in Scotland for decades, would wish to continue to provide Scotland a currency.

The English left, as with the Anglo fellow travellers of the Quebec separatists, have fallen to defeatist ruminating. The Guardian newspaper, for instance, wonders if the UK would be thrown out as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Of course, it would not. Russia holds the Security Council seat of the USSR, though it has only half of its former population; China remains though it has lost Taiwan; and France remains though it has lost its formerly largest province, Algeria.

As in Canada, there are the predictable legions of British who want to see the back of the Scots. From the perspective of the rest of the UK, Scotland is costly and leftist, and the Labour Party would be hard put to win an election without sweeping most of Scotland as the Liberals long did in Quebec. If the Yes side wins in the referendum, all the party leaders — Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour’s Ed Milliband and the Liberal-Democrats’ Nick Clegg — probably are finished. They all have been asleep as polls moved these last weeks. They would not be a grievous loss to British public life.

The Scottish Nationalists’ blithe assumption that they will take 90% of North Sea oil is disputed by the British, and their assumption of the extent of reserves is more than twice the figure the British government estimates. The principal Scottish banks are in fact British, and though the Yes-side supporters deny it, they would certainly remove to London, taking many thousands of jobs with them.

We have seen that movie in Canada, too, as René Lévesque, Jacques Parizeau, and Lucien Bouchard announced that these were empty threats while endless caravans of people and money, led by the Royal Bank and the Bank of Montreal, and including perhaps 800,000 people, decamped to Toronto and Ottawa over 40 years (and that was with the separatists losing in 1980 and 1995; we would have needed huge refugee centres if they actually had won).

The British nuclear deterrent — four submarines carrying nuclear missiles — is now at Faslane in Scotland, and the United Kingdom does not have another port that would accommodate them as well, with deep water access so the ships surface only in port, and comparative remoteness. Probably they would be dispersed between Gibraltar and Portsmouth, but it would be an expensive move.

At least the Scots did not try the sleazy Quebec tactic of a trick question that invited the voters to eat their cake with the assurance that it would remain in front of them. The question is stark: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

A prominent Quebec separatist, Jean-François Lisée, wrote last week in the Guardian that the British were conducting a fairer referendum than in Canada — though he tried to argue that the fault on this side of the Atlantic lay with Ottawa, not Quebec City for a confusingly worded question. The PQ’s own leaders, Lévesque and Parizeau, wrote the referendum questions in 180 and 1995; and in both cases, a question as clear as the Scottish one would have reduced the Yes total in Quebec by at least 10%.

Unfortunately, the British, in their over-confidence, effectively have conceded that 50%-plus-one-vote for the Yes side is enough to remove Scotland from the UK, with only the formality of negotiations to confirm it. I warned my British friends in July to be wary of these separatists: They rise like a cobra at the end claiming “the whole race is being taken for granted,” and if they lose they don’t vanish — instead there is the unutterable irritation about the regime having squeaked out “a reprieve.” But I believe they will lose, because, there as here, secession is a bad idea.

Unfortunately, the Unionists have not emulated Pierre Trudeau, who ran a brilliant campaign in the 1980 referendum and was always confident but never over-confident, and have not learned from the near-disaster of Chrétien in 1995. Perhaps, if they do win, they will emulate Chrétien’s brilliant Clarity Act of 1999, which redeemed his poor performance four years before.

The Scots now have got the attention of Westminster and the City of London and have made their point. They are no longer taken for granted, and the Scots can count. The Union should win, but all is in play as we come down to the wire.

First published in the National Post.

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Posted on 09/17/2014 5:24 AM by Conrad Black
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014
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From the Telegraph

As many as 36 children were reported to have died excruciating deaths last night after receiving tainted measles vaccines under a UN-sponsored programme in the rebel-held north of Syria. The programme was suspended amid rumours of sabotage of a high profile international effort to ensure the brutal civil war does not result in an outbreak of measles.Doctors in clinics in the towns of Jirjanaz and Maaret al-Nouman in the northeastern province of Idlib said children started falling ill soon after the doses were administered. 

“It’s very bad. The figures of dead we are getting go into the 30s. Children are dying very quickly,” said Daher Zidan, the coordinator of the medical charity, Uossm. “We think it will get worse.” The Syrian opposition coalition, which controls the area of Idlib province and had been administering the programme, said it had halted the immunisation project forthwith. 

Medical experts said a contaminated batch of the vaccine was the most likely explanation for the incident. In what had been a rare hopeful breakthrough, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the vaccination drive to ensure 1.6 million children were granted protection from measles this summer. 

Many opposition sympathisers circulated images of the dying children on social media sites with suggestions the vaccine had been adulterated with cyanide, possibly by regime agents, to undermine confidence in the opposition. Idlib is one of the few strongholds of a Western-back rebel movement that has largely been eclipsed by the nihilist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) or al-Qaeda’s Jabhat Al-Nusra in non-regime parts of Syria.

Mohammad Mowas, a Syrian doctor working in Turkey, said the reported symptoms were a gradual slowdown in the heart rate as the infants turned blue and were consistent with cyanide poisoning. “This looks like deliberate attempt to spike the vaccines,” he said.

Fears that the death toll could rise yet further circulated the exile medical community last night. Each bottle of the vaccine contains 40 doses and medics believe two bottles were suspect.

Charity Save the Children said it was "appalled and deeply saddened" by the deaths. "The local authorities have launched an investigation. It is clear something has gone badly wrong and Save the Children will help the authorities in any way we can to help find out what has happened." 

An ideology that could murder innocent babies in this way, just for propaganda or to prove a point (against vaccinations, usually measles, sometimes polio) is one from which no-one can expect any mercy, receive no quarter. May whoever did this rot in the deepest depths of hell.

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Posted on 09/17/2014 5:01 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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The World Health Organisation has released the figures for air pollution levels on a country-by-country basis (here). It’s not really surprising to discover that the five most polluted countries on Earth are all Mohammedan countries. It is also not surprising to learn that eight out of the top ten countries with the worst air pollution on Earth are Mohammedan.

The top five are, in order: Pakistan, Qatar, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Iran. Egypt comes in at number six, the United Arab Emirates at number eight and Bahrain at number ten.

It is not coincidental that the majority of the countries with the worst air pollution record on the planet also happen to have the worst and most inhuman governments on the planet. No matter what the problem, Mohammedanism is not, and can never be, the solution.

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Posted on 09/16/2014 8:09 PM by John M. Joyce
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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Shaun Wright, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, has resigned in the wake of the Rotherham child sex exploitation scandal. 

But in a statement released today by his office, Mr Wright resigned, saying: "My role as South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner has clearly become prominent in terms of public opinion and media coverage following the publication of Professor Alexis Jay's report. . . With this in mind, I feel that it is now right to step down from the position of police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire, for the sake of those victims, for the sake of the public of South Yorkshire and to ensure that the important issues outlined in the report about tackling child sexual exploitation can be discussed and considered in full and without distraction." 

Mr Wright's resignation will trigger a by-election for the vacant Police and Crime Commissioner post, the date of which is yet to be determined. 

There are other heads that by rights should roll; and one day....

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Posted on 09/16/2014 3:40 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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Both the newest generation of missile-carrying drones and the Iron Dome missile defense system were pooh-poohed by many, including those in the Pentagon, as just not feasible. Both of these developments were  magined by, worked on, developed by, Israelis. These two examples (and there are more, not widely and some not publicly known at all) of Israel's contributions to the safety of the Western world reminds us that Israel possesses the greatest pool of technical expertise, in such matters,, outside of the United States itself. That does not prevent much of the Western world from trying to make life as difficult as possible for Israel, showing an ignorance, an ingratitude, and a malevolence that continue to amaze.

Today's Wall Street Journal contains a book review of "Predator" by Richard Whittle, about the "small aircraft that are revolutionizing warfare," and which owe their exisrtence, in the main, to a single genius,  "Abraham Karem, an Israeli engineering prodigy, [who] came to the United States after the 1973 Yomn Kippur War to pursue his vision of a UAV armed with antitank missiles, an aircraft that could loiter in the skies and then strike to help defeat an invading army. Mr. Karem's brilliance, alas, did not extend to the mysteries of Pentagon nomenclature or procurement policies. His absurdly misnamed craft, the Albatross, was a model of innovation and capability, but the Defense Department was not interested.It took two brothers, Neal and Linden Blue swashbuckling aviation pioneers themselves, to rescue Mr. Karem's project from bankruptcy. The private firm they had recently acquired, General Atomics, hired Mr. Karem and in 1990 bought his design -- lock, stock and propeller-- just as the Soviet empire collapsed and the military market for drones was zilch."

The full review can be found here.

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Posted on 09/16/2014 2:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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The psychically and socially marginal constitute the greatest number, and possibly almost all, of Western converts to Islam. Some may have been addicts of one sort or another. Others felt themselves to be in miserable economic or family situations that were to be blamed on something -- never themselves -- and that something became clear, was given a local habitation and a name, when they found the Total Explanation of the Universe, and Compleat Regulation of Life, which is Islam. It offered the Turn-Key Hatred for the Infidel. And then these miserable people could find their reason for being, which became the destruction of Infidels and the victory of Islam, everywhere.

Here's one example, from 2005, before the Islamic State was there to become the cynosure of all true-blue (converted) Muslim eyes, that of a Belgian woman, who was inveigled into Islam by an Arab immigrant she met, and then further inveigled into strapping on a suicide vest, in Baghdad not Belgium, in an attempt to kill Americans.

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Posted on 09/16/2014 11:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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The claims by Mahmoud Abbas as to the number of Fatah Shahids in Gaza, , and the Qur'anic-quoting Facebook page of Fatah, reported on here.

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Posted on 09/16/2014 11:28 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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Here.

Al-Qaeda, Al Qaeda In The Maghreb (AQIM), Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and other groups, will support the Islamic State with everything they've got. Who could have thought otherwise? And the Muslim Arab states, that with the exception of the Emirates were not really going to do much of anything, now have the excuse taht "we'd love to but we can't because it might increase domestic opposition to our regimes." The question to ask, obvious to all but our leaders, is: Why might Arabs and Muslims choose to oppose a regime that wants to fight the Islamic State, if the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, and furthermore, merely sullies the image of Islam among non-Muslims?

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Posted on 09/16/2014 11:20 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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Listen to a discussion about  tomorrow’s House Select  Benghazi  Committee Hearings  and the role of former Acting CIA Director Mike Morrell  on 1330AMWEBY, Pensacola, Florida. This is the latest program in periodic round table discussions on the Middle East  led by “Your Turn” host Mike Bates and Jerry Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review and author of The West Speaks.    Returning for this interview  is Kenneth R.Timmerman, author of the expose, Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.

This interview was prompted  by the appearance of  Mike Morrell, former Acting Director of the CIA as the featured speaker at the Annual Dinner of The Tiger Bay Club in Pensacola, Friday evening, September 19, 2014.  His appearance coincides with the start of the House Select Benghazi Committee Hearings in Washington, tomorrow, Wednesday, September 17th.  This follows the FoxNews revelations from three shooters at the CIA Annex  drawn from the book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi" by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team.  Then, this week  we had  former  CBS  journalist  Sheryl Atkisson ‘s  investigative report , based on an interview with former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Raymond Maxwell  about key staff of former Secretary of State Clinton . They allegedly culled out controversial emails and documents, from review  by the Accountability Review Board. The ARB was led by Chairman,  Ambassador  Thomas R. Pickering and  Vice Chairman ,former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullins.   This follows our earlier interview with Ken on his own investigative book, Dark Forces, The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.

Read our  July 2014 NER articles based on our  prior interviews with  Timmerman, Roger Aronoff of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi  and Larry Ward of Special Operations Speaks:  Death in Benghazi, Part I: The Attack  and Death in Benghazi, Part II: Will the House Select Committee Find the Truth?     

Note this remark by author Ken Timmerman:

The thing to remember is the Iranians will work with whoever they need to accomplish their goals.  For many years the U.S. intelligence community said because they are Shia they won't work with Al Qaeda because they are Sunni fundamentalists.  In fact we learned that they did in 9/11 and they did  in Benghazi.  They are doing it with Hamas.  They are working with Sunnis in the Taliban.   Iran will work with whomever they need to kill Americans and kill Jews.

The WEBY program  has been rescheduled  and will air Tuesday September 16, 2014 during the 6 to 7:00PM CDT (6:00 to 7:00PM EDT) segment. You may listen live here.

An archived recording of this program will be put up following the broadcast. An  article based on the discussion may appear in the October 2014, New English Review.

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Posted on 09/16/2014 10:38 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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Dans la situation presente le droit du sol doit etre abrogé et etendu retroactivement pour ceux qui y accede à la majorité
Cela ne veut pas dire que ne fonctionne pas la voie
par Naturalisation et enquete de moralité

"On le saura quand viendra l’heure terrible des attentats dans Paris..."

quand ceux ci se produiront, espérons que les français sortiront enfin de leur torpeur !

Non seulement c'est facile mais c'est aussi méconnaître l'histoire. Ils n'ont jamais eu besoin des occidentaux pour s'entretuer,pour exercer la cruauté gratuite, pour semer terreur discorde et mort !

"ceux qui supportent un systéme dans lequel ils élisent leurs propre propres dictatuers"

"Un peuple qui élit des menteurs, des voleurs, des renégats, des imposteurs et des traîtres, n’est pas victime, il est complice "
George Orwell.

"Il faut réagir très rapidement pour que la France ne devienne un nouveau Kosovo"

Une déclaration de Paul Weston de l'International Free Press Society.

extrait:
"Quand nos politiciens prétendent que l’islam est une religion de paix et laissent les musulmans imposer leurs lois chez nous, à l’Union Européenne et à l’ONU, alors nos politiciens trahissent leur pays et trahissent leur peuple. C’est un acte de haute trahison.
«Peut-on commettre un acte de trahison en période de paix ? » se demandent certains. Mais sommes-nous vraiment en paix ?
Nous ne nous considérons pas comme étant en guerre avec l’islam, mais l’islam se considère, lui-même, comme étant en guerre contre nous.
Et cette guerre nous sommes en train de la perdre. Sur les plans du territoire, de la démographie, de la politique et de la démocratie.
En effet, cette guerre est une agression sur deux fronts. D’un côté l’islam radical, de l’autre la trahison de la classe politique.
On impose à nos enfants de célébrer le multiculturalisme et l’islam, sans leur dire la vraie histoire de l’islam violent et expansionniste.
Par contre, on leur raconte que leur propre histoire, leur religion, leur culture, leurs traditions, leur existence même, est juste une litanie d’impérialisme, de racisme, de meurtres et d’esclavage. C’est l’une des techniques psychologiques efficaces dont le but est de rendre l’ennemi sans défense, ou, pour citer Alexandre Soljenitsyne, « afin de détruire un peuple, il faut d’abord détruire ses racines ».
Un gouvernement qui fait subir cela à son propre peuple, à ses propres enfants, est un gouvernement qui, manifestement, mérite d’être renversé.
Quelqu’un peut-il vraiment argumenter en disant qu’un gouvernement qui flatte l’envahisseur étranger, tout en arrachant les défenses psychologiques et légales de ses propres citoyens, est un gouvernement qui ne serait pas coupable de haute trahison ?

Ce n’est pas raciste de défendre notre pays contre une menace évidente et grandissante. Ce n’est pas raciste de défendre notre culture, notre héritage et nos traditions. Ce n’est pas raciste de s’efforcer d’assurer un avenir démocratique à nos enfants et à nos petits-enfants.
Une immigration de remplacement, plus crument, cela s’appelle un génocide non sanglant" (....)

“Si la guerre est horrible, la servitude est pire », disait Winston Churchill.

« Si vous ne vous battez pas pour vos droits quand vous pouvez vaincre sans verser le sang, si vous ne vous battez pas quand la victoire est certaine et peu coûteuse, le moment viendra où vous devrez vous battre contre tout espoir, avec des chances de survie très minces. Et il y a pire : peut-être devrez-vous vous battre sans la moindre chance de vaincre, parce qu’il vaut mieux périr que de vivre en esclaves. »

@happy rogue,

Votre constat est juste quant à la nécessité de juguler l'immigration et surtout l'islamisation en France, que c'est de notre faute et que cela passe par des mesures bien françaises.
Mais de mettre comme condition de nous tenir à l'écart des règlements de comptes Moyen-orientaux est un vœux pieux quand 20% de la population en France ( 13 millions - sans papiers compris - pour 66 millions) est musulmane et qu'eux ne se tiennent pas à l’écart, même qui fournissent un contingent de candidats au djihad sur le théâtre des opérations. Ceux qui financent le djihad, là bas aux pays Moyen-orientaux, sont les mêmes qui achètent des pans entiers de notre économie, corrompent nos politiques, multiplient les contacts et commercent avec nos édiles, financent des plans "banlieue", nous asservissent avec leur pétrole et leurs fonds souverains dont nos gouvernements empêtrés dans
la dette qui gonfle encore et encore ne peuvent plus se passer.
Quant à ce que dit et redit ex-patriée (et Marlan), c'est parfaitement "dans la plaque". le dernier commentaire d'ex-patriée, c'est même une flèche décochée plein centre de la cible.

"Nous ne sommes plus à nous demander s’il y aura un attentat, mais quand", explique Loïc Garnier, directeur de l’Unité de coordination de la lutte antiterroriste.

Ce qui est aberrant -mais nous savons que ce régime nage dans l'aberration- est que le sacro-saint principe de de précaution que l'on nous impose dans la vie courante à grands coups de propagande médiatique pour des futilités voire parfois pour des risques sans objet ne soit pas appliqué ici alors que c'est tout simplement la vie de Français qui est directement menacée pour ne pas parler de la vie de la France !

De plus, les autorités n'auront aucune excuse, car les causes et les acteurs potentiels des attentats possibles étant connus, tout étant de plus annoncé noir sur blanc dans certains ouvrages à grande diffusion, ils ne se livrent à aucune mesure préventive énergique.
Pis encore, ils continuent d'alimenter en combustible incendiaire la zone à risque, en laissant rentrer chez nous par millions en quelques années des populations dont l'état d'esprit ne prête à aucune équivoque à notre égard.

Si un malheur devait arriver, que ces irresponsables ne croient pas s'en tirer à bon compte en se contentant de mettre en place des cellules de soutien psychologique comme il a été fait à l'occasion des attentats de 1995.

Le meilleur traitement psychologique sera alors la révolte.

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Posted on 09/16/2014 10:34 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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Far from Lake Woebegon, the latest worry here.

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Posted on 09/16/2014 10:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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It's Seth Blatter (Qatari-Swiss) time again, at FIFA, with a new revelation, here.

Updated lines from Casablanca:

"What watch?"

"These twenty-six watches, costing $25,000 apiece."

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Posted on 09/16/2014 10:06 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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The de-kemalising, re-islamifying, Erdogan and his retinue, hard at work in Turkey, here.

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Posted on 09/16/2014 8:46 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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It makes sense. Michael S. Schmidt writes in the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Militants for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have traveled to Mexico and are just miles from the United States. They plan to cross over the porous border and will “imminently” launch car bomb attacks. And the threat is so real that federal law enforcement officers have been placed at a heightened state of alert, and an American military base near the border has increased its security.

As the Obama administration and the American public have focused their attention on ISIS in recent weeks, conservative groups and leading Republicans have issued stark warnings like those that ISIS and other extremists from Syria are planning to enter the country illegally from Mexico. But the Homeland Security Department, the F.B.I. and lawmakers who represent areas near the border say there is no truth to the warnings.

“There is no credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL to attempt to cross the southern border,” Homeland Security officials said in a written statement, using an alternative acronym for the group.

Photo

 

“There’s a longstanding history in this country of projecting whatever fears we have onto the border,” said Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas. Credit Rod Lamkey/Getty Images

Democrats say opponents of President Obama are simply playing on concerns about terrorism as part of their attempt to portray Mr. Obama as having failed to secure the border against illegal immigration.

“There’s a longstanding history in this country of projecting whatever fears we have onto the border,” said Representative Beto O’Rourke, Democrat of Texas, who represents El Paso and other areas near the border. “In the absence of understanding the border, they insert their fears. Before it was Iran and Al Qaeda. Now it’s ISIS. They just reach the conclusion that invasion is imminent, and it never is.”

At a congressional hearing last week, Representative Jeff Duncan, Republican of South Carolina, pushed back strongly against the testimony of Homeland Security Department officials and Mr. O’Rourke, saying they were ignoring a gathering threat.

“Wake up, America,” Mr. Duncan said before storming out of the hearing. “With a porous southern border, we have no idea who’s in our country.”

But counterterrorism officials say they are far more concerned that an ISIS militant will enter the United States the same way millions of people do each year: legally, on a commercial flight. Their efforts have focused on the more than 2,000 Europeans and 100 Americans who have traveled to Syria to fight alongside extremist groups, nearly all of them crossing over its unprotected borders. Without markings in their passports to show that they traveled to Syria, American border authorities have few ways of determining where they were and stopping them from entering the country.

Warnings about the possibility of terrorists entering the United States from Mexico have been sounded in the past. During the 2012 presidential campaign both Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, said Islamic extremists working with countries in Latin America, including Mexico, posed a significant threat to the United States.

“We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico, as well as Iran, with their ploy to come into the United States,” Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, said at a Republican debate in 2011. “So the idea that we need to have border security with the United States and Mexico is paramount to the entire Western Hemisphere.”

Mr. Perry repeated his concerns in a speech last month at the Heritage Foundation in Washington in which he said that because the border was not secure, “individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be” crossing into the United States. “I think it’s a very real possibility that they may have already used that,” he said...

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Posted on 09/16/2014 4:48 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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