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As Far As The Eye Can See
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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
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edited by S.B. Kelly
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Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
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Farewell Fear
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Karimi Hotel
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Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
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An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
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Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
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The Iconoclast

Saturday, 11 October 2014
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The security services are monitoring “thousands” of terrorist suspects in London, Boris Johnson has disclosed, suggesting the threat from Islamist extremists may be far greater than has previously been admitted.

Until now, it was thought that the main danger came from around 500 jihadis who have travelled to Syria and Iraq from the UK to join Isil or al-Qaeda fighters, around half of whom have returned to Britain. But the Mayor of London suggested the threat from home-grown terrorist plots was far more widespread than the relatively small numbers of extremists who have gone abroad to fight.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: “In London we’re very very vigilant and very very concerned. Every day – as you saw recently, we had to raise the threat level – every day the security services are involved in thousands of operations. There are probably in the low thousands of people that we are monitoring in London.” 

Speaking about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) he said: “London has a particular concern, because probably of the five or six hundred that are out there, we think a third, maybe more – maybe half – come from the London area. If and when they come back, we have a real job to deal with them.”

Mr Johnson gave the interview to promote his new book about Sir Winston Churchill, The Churchill Factor . . . He suggests Churchill would have been “very tough” on home-grown terrorism, and would have taken “personal charge” of the situation.

Citing the example of the Sidney Street siege in 1911, when police became involved in a gunfight with a group of anarchists, he said: “If you look at his handling of the Sidney Street siege…Churchill goes down there personally. He would have taken personal charge of counter-terror in London, no question. Had he been Home Secretary now, he would be absolutely appalled to think that these people could be carrying British passports and yet be loyal to another state.” 

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Posted on 10/11/2014 3:26 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 11 October 2014
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Laatest absurd whining demand from Muslim Arabs for American military aid, a bottomless pit, here.

A governor in Anbar Province asks the Iraqi government to "demand" that the American troops come to the rescue of Sunnis in Iraq. Why should we? Why can't the Iraqi army, police, the Shi'a militia who, all of whom amount to nearly a million men under arms, who have been supplied over the past decade with more than $25 billion in American military equipment (including top-of-the-line materiel left behind)  show they are capable of fighting on their own? And why should Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the Emirates (the best of the lot), who have hundreds of billions in military equipmewnt, not give some of that not only to the Iraqis, if they need it, but to the Lebanese?

Well, one reason is that while these fabulously rich and well-armed states have the wherewithal in money and materiel, they don't really want to help the Shi'a regime in Iraq against the Uber-Sunnis of the Islamic State. And they want the American army to fight the Muslims who, because they are true-blue undiluted Muslims, are a danger to the families who run Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the Emirates, and whose behavior in the fleshpots of the West can be, and is seen, as not only "decadent" but also as "un-Islamic." And that is what they dislike about the iIslamic state -- not the killing of Christians and Yazidis, not the beheadings of Westerners, not the re-niqabbing of women who yesterday did not even wear a hijab, not the banning of music, not the spirit of complete and total submission to Islam in all its life-crushing nastiness, but only the threat to those ruling families and their courtiers.

This day's news comes from Lebanon, where the demand is made that "the Americans" give more aid, beyond the $700 million in aid already given, to help a place called "Lebanon" fight the Islamic State. But why can't such aid be requested from Saudi Arabia or Qatar or even Turkey? And if it is Hezbollah that is most worriied about the Sunnis of the Islamic State, why shouldn't they call on, and be a burden to, Iran to supply materiel and perhaps even  men?

How is it that the Muslim Arabs dare to even think they can call on the United States to sacrifice its soldiers, and to keep supplying them with weaponry, which weaponry has an amazing way of ending up in the hands of the Islamic State?

The chutzpah, the cheek, the gall of it all, even if you do divide it in partes tres.

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Posted on 10/11/2014 10:40 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 11 October 2014
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From 2011, but of course does not date.

Here.

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Posted on 10/11/2014 6:13 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 11 October 2014
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Posted on 10/11/2014 5:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 10 October 2014
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In Pakistan, the conspiracy-theorists, who see her as part of an American or Israeli plot, are not on the fringe. They are the vocal majority.

The story here.

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Posted on 10/10/2014 4:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 10 October 2014
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Turkish Tanks on the Syrian Border

Jonathan Schanzer of the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) has written compellingly in a Polltico Magazine article suggesting that  NATO should consider expelling Turkey, “Time to kick Turkey Out of NATO?”    Schanzer notes:

Membership in NATO still holds significance. The alliance was designed to be an elite group of countries that stood for Western values. The NATO charter, set forth in 1949, holds that member states will protect one and all from attack at the hands of ideological foes. The Turkish Republic, founded and governed as an avowedly secular state, agreed to these terms in 1952, three years after NATO's founding.

Of course, NATO was initially engineered to fight communism. But over the years, the threats to the international system have changed. The latest challenge is a jihadist ideology that fuels the Islamic State, but also al Qaeda and other terror groups and their state sponsors.

Yet, it has become clear that Turkey, once a bulwark of secularism in the Muslim world, is now ambivalent at best and complicit at worst, about fighting these forces. The fact that the AKP is a splinter of the Muslim Brotherhood provides a good indication of its leanings. More troublingly, it is a champion of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and allows several of its senior figures to operate out of Turkey. It has failed consistently to uphold international standards on fighting terrorism finance, including the designation of al Qaeda figures on its own soil. It has been reluctant to even acknowledge that groups like the Nusra Front—which has pledged fealty to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri—are terrorist organizations. Its dangerously lax border policies have contributed to the rise of the Islamic State. And it has helped Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world; evade sanctions at the height of the international community's efforts to hinder its illicit nuclear program.

 Schanzer’s   question was spurred on by Turkey’s inaction in the face of the ISIS siege and likely conquest of the Kurdish enclave of Kobani just across the border in Syria. allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, doesn’t want to move against the ISIS jihadists rampaging in Syria and Iraq.  Until recently he tacitly supported their cause fighting to eject the Assad government in Syria and replacing it with a self-proclaimed Caliphate.  This would fill his oil pipelines with smuggled product from captured Syrian and Iraqi oil fields to sell at a good profit. He facilitated the so-called “jihadist highway” filtering foreign Salafist jihadist recruits for ISIS and the Al Qaeda al Nusrah Front opposition to Assad. But Erdogan has to play it cool, as he has a lively trade exchanging gold for much needed gas from neighboring Iran, a Shiite ally of the Assad regime to foster Turkey’s economic growth. The gold received by Iran allowed the Islamic Republic to evade US and international sanctions to finance its nuclear development program. We learned this week that he exchanged 180 jihadists, sequestered in Turkey, on September 20th for release of 49 Turkish diplomats and their families held captive for 101 days following the fall of  Mosul in June  2014.

Those of us old enough to have lived through the so-called Korean Conflict of 1950-53, can recall the tough Turkish military contingents part of the multilateral UN force that endeavored to stave off the North Korean and Chinese PLA hordes in what was euphemistically called, “a police action”.    That was then. Now, Turkey's US supplied F-16 aircraft are not flying from NATO airbases in his  country. He has yet to permit USAF operations out of those airbases despite authorizing legislation passed by the Turkish parliament.  US supplied Turkish Army tanks are positioned silently on the Turkish Syrian border. All while the world's media  coveys images of the courageous YPG fighters, women among them, lightly armed, desperately fighting against all odds with ISIS troops equipped with stolen US mortars, tanks and artillery.   Most of Kobani’s population, over 180,000, has fled to refugee sanctuary in Turkey.  

 The Erdogan regime's decision not to lift the Kobani siege has roiled Turkey’s Kurdish population. President Erdogan was allegedly concerned about Kurdish irredentism in Syria and Turkey.  He got confirmation of  that with the rising of Kurds throughout the Southeastern region of  his country resulting in more than two dozen dead and counting.  Kurds in Europe have also erupted in protest and fought pitched battles with ISIS supporters in the streets of Hamburg.

These developments have given rise to questions  from  fellow NATO  and US-led Sunni coalition members over  Erdogan's  'conditions' to enter the fray to provide ‘boots on the ground ‘and permit air assaults from NATO bases in Turkey.

Let’s examine some plausible reasons why Erdogan may not wish to unleash  his army in the US-led coalition conflict with ISIS.  He has publicly stated that his objective is to bring down the Assad government. Less well known is the current round of Turkish negotiations with Cyprus over 'unification’ of the Republic of Cyprus and the rump Turkish Northern Cypriot 'Republic’. That was  carved out by a Turkish invasion in 1974. An opportunistic invasion contrived by the secular Turkish government at the time to counter the Greek military coup of the Archbishop Makarios government of Cyprus.   Turkey is pressing for a lucrative share of the gas development offshore Cyprus and transmission to EU markets via his network of pipelines.

Until recently the US was willing to sacrifice the Kurds in Kobani and only resorted to conducting  limited bombing to slow down the inevitable advance of ISIS fighters bent on exterminating remaining YPG fighters and the remnant of the town’s  population. Erdogan may be the equivalent of Stalin who during the August 1944 Polish Resistance Uprising ordered the Red Army to sit on the east bank of the Vistula River watching the German Army decimate the valiant Poles and turn Warsaw to rubble.  Stalin barred USAAF air drops from a base at Poltava in the Western Ukraine, forcing allied air drops to originate in England, many of which fell in the hands of waiting German forces.  Stalin also wanted to ensure that a Communist regime spawned in liberated Lublin would rule post war Poland. Erdogan clearly wants the Syrian Kurds decimated so that they will not have virtual autonomy in the country's Northeast.

We note Schanzer’s conclusion in his Politico article:

The crisis in Kobani once again brings the challenge of Turkey into sharp relief. Despite the best efforts of Washington and other coalition members to bring Turkey along, it now appears clear: Turkey under the AKP is a lost cause. It is simply not a partner for NATO. Nor is it a partner in the fight against the Islamic State.

 

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Posted on 10/10/2014 3:40 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Friday, 10 October 2014
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Supporter of Anjem Choudary, Dr Mirza Tariq Ali, fled the country before facing justice for violent disorder

From the Waltham Forest Guardian

Dr Mirza Tariq Ali, 39, of Lambkins Mews in Walthamstow, fled the country before facing justice in Britain’s first ever successful case of sectarian violence. Ali was charged with violent disorder following a demonstration calling for jihad in Syria organised by Walthamstow-based extremist preacher, Anjem Choudary. 
On Wednesday, The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MTPS) panel heard how Tariq helped organise the protest in May 2013 which resulted in several Shi'ite Muslims being attacked in Edgware Road. Ali used the flagpole of his wooden placard to repeatedly hit a man who already been punched to the ground.
The doctor, who worked as a locum in and around London as a general surgery registrar, continued to breach his bail conditions by associating with people affiliated with the proscribed terror group Al Muhajiroun and attend demonstrations.
He fled the country in April 2014 and, in his absence, was convicted of violent disorder. Ali was sentenced alongside Muslim convert Jordan Horner, 20, from Walthamstow, and three others, to 15 months imprisonment on June 20.
He has not returned to the UK.

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Posted on 10/10/2014 8:10 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 10 October 2014