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The Iconoclast

Thursday, 14 August 2014
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Yasmine Haifi claimed that ISIS was "a Zionist plot" designed to blacken the image of wonderful Islam.

Now Haifi has been suspended. But how did she ever get to be a project manager at the National Cyber Security Center in the Netherlands? Who could possibly have thought she was not a security risk?

Here.

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Posted on 08/14/2014 7:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 14 August 2014
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On Sunday, August 10, 2014, a Stand for Israel Rally was held in Pensacola, Florida’s Historic Seville Square.  The Rally was sponsored by the Pensacola Jewish Federation.  More than 500 persons attended the event. The large polite crowd was composed of Jews from several denominations, Baptists, Pentecostals and other Christian groups. Mike Bates of Northwest Florida’s 1330amWEBY and this writer served as co-hosts for the rally.   See our Iconoclast post on the Stand for Israel Rally and a Resolution for Israel that passed during a special session of the Florida Legislature in Tallahassee the following day, Monday, August 11th.

John Ramos of VFN-TV.com and radio conducted a series of interviews during the Rally. VFN is a regional Christian cable channel and 24/7 radio with an audience of 1.4 million on the Gulf Coast covering Northwest Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.  VFN’s three prominent messages are “God, Country and Israel.   VFN is especially supportive of Israel during Operation Protective Edge and concerned about the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and globally.  Themes that were propounded by speakers at the Pensacola rally. Ramos posed two questions to each of the interviewees:  “Why did we Stand for Israel” and “What three things came to mind when we thought of Israel”.  Part 1 of the VFN-TV interviews aired on August 12 on the VFN daily radio show with Ramos, and co-hosts, Greg and Pat Hamilton.  One of the interviews shown in Part I is with two pro-Palestinian, Save Gaza protesters who came to protest and film the Stand for Israel Rally.  Watch their responses and how the VFN-TV provided graphic evidence rebutting their answers.

Those interviewed in Part I of the VFN Pensacola Stand for Israel Rally interviews include:

  • Jerome “Jerry” Gordon, a senior editor at the New English Review, frequent co-host of the 1330-amWEBY “Your Turn” International Middle East Roundtables in Pensacola. Gordon is also a co-host of the weekly Lisa Benson Radio Show on National Security Matters that originates out of am The Patriot  In Phoenix, Arizona;
  • Mike Bates, 1330amWEBY,  North west Florida talk radio station general manager and co-host of the “Your Turn” program series who served as moderator at the Pensacola Stand for Israel Rally;
  • Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm Synagogue in Pensacola and host of a Sunday morning 1330amWEBY program, “In the Beginning”;
  • Florida State Representative, Mike Hill, co-sponsor of the Florida Stands with Israel resolution;
  • Kenneth E. Lamb, a local computer service businessman and speaker at the Rally;
  • Gene Rosenbaum, President of Southern Scrap and member of B’nai Israel Synagogue, Pensacola;
  • Jerry Barnett, regional manager for the Volunteers for Israel program that supports the IDF ; and
  • Two pro-Palestinian, Save Gaza protesters.

Watch Part I of the VFN-TV interviews:

 

August 12, 2014 - First Hour from VFNtv & Daily VFNRadio Program on Vimeo.

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Posted on 08/14/2014 7:28 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Thursday, 14 August 2014
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At the outset the obvious should be stated, as Abraham Lincoln stated it in his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865. There was no moral equivalence between the two sides in the Civil War. One side would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish.

There is no moral equivalence between the objective of the terrorist group Hamas to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible and the response of Israel to stop the flow of thousands of rockets directed against it. The directive to massacre all Jews is unmistakable in the Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas) broadcast of July 20, 2014. It called on Jihad fighters “to enter settlements (towns in southern Israel) to kill them all… they are all invaders, they are all criminals… have no mercy on them.”

Nor is any moral equivalence present in the desire of Israel to settle the Arab Israeli conflict by peace negotiations without conditions, and the refusal of Palestinians authorities to do so.         

On one side of the equation is the focus of Hamas, whether its political or military wings or its religious council (Majlis al-Shura), on destruction, and continuation of violence, even massacre, against Israeli citizens, rather than concentration on building a progressive prosperous society, in spite of obvious problems. The fighting in Gaza has revealed the wastage by Hamas of the human resources and the material, bought from funds given by the international community. 

The funds have been used to buy sophisticated machinery and thousands of tons of cement and other materials in order to obtain rockets and to build a network of underground tunnels from which to attack Israeli civilians. The network of the tunnels, of which so far 32 have been destroyed, has cost at least $90 million. Each tunnel has used amounts of construction materials that could have been used to build 86 homes, seven mosques, six schools, or 19 medical clinics. In addition, 160 exploited children have died while being used to build them.

On the other side, if not without blemish and being subject to objective and appropriate criticism, is the constructive record, the process of nation building, of the State of Israel. Since 1948 this has continued in spite of the relentless hostility of the Arab world, of bigoted bias, discrimination, and use of double standards by the “international community,” and the deceptive Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood that projects Palestinians as the most grievous victims in the world.

That process of successful nation building with all the diversity -- religious, ethnic, and economic -- in Israeli society, continues even though unacknowledged by much of the media, mainstream churches, human rights activists who decry Israel’s attempts at self-defense. Little or no attention is paid to the remarkable innovative activity of Israel, in areas of high tech companies, medical research, pharmaceuticals, health care, cyberspace, drip irrigation, electronics, or academic scholarship.

Of the making of books on Israel there is no end, but, in view of the Hamas brutality and hatred, it is refreshing to read a new book, Israel since the Six-Day War, written by Leslie Stein, the Australian historian. It provides an up-to-date broad survey,  precisely and clearly written, of the struggle of Israel to overcome the Arab aggression against it and survive as a Jewish state. Based on secondary sources, the book, though it has a long chapter on social and economic developments, is essentially concerned with Israel’s actions and policies in dealing with the threats against it and the efforts to reach peace with the Arab states and the Palestinians.

Those threats have been based on hatred of Israel, and often of Jews. That hatred has been inculcated from Palestinian kindergartens on. Schoolbooks show maps of “Palestine” that include all of what is Israel. It is sickening that Palestinian groups engage in Holocaust denial or distortion. Palestinian Authority broadcasts have denied the Holocaust death camps and excused them as “disinfecting sites,” and that Hamas documentaries explained that it was Jewish leaders who planned the Holocaust.

The hatred reached a low point in encouraging acts of suicide bombers, and then expressing adoration of the actors. That adoration is even extended to the terrorists who carried out the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Summer Munich Olympic Games on September 5, 1972.

Israel has defended itself and has been prepared to make peace as it did with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. The peacemaking procedure should be an exemplar for the Palestinians to follow: negotiation, conciliation, arbitration. Israel offered to return the Golan Heights it had captured in 1967 in return for peace but Syria refused the offer. Similarly, Israeli prime ministers Barak in 2001, and Olmert in 2008 offered peace, but were turned down.  

Stein deals with the issues facing Israel in nonpolemical fashion as its population has grown from 650,000 in 1948 to eight million today. One is reminded of the heavy cost paid by Israel in defeating the Arab invasion, by armies of Syria, Transjordan, Iraq, and Egypt with a contingent from Saudi Arabia, in 1948 when 6,000 of its soldiers, one per cent of the population, were killed. Then, and as now by Hamas in Gaza in 2014, Arab aggression has been the cause of hostilities. No Arab country, except Jordan and Egypt, has been interested in real peace with Israel.

Nor has the Arab world ever acknowledged its responsibility for creating the Palestinian refugee problem caused by its invasion of Israel. It was Jacob Malek, the Soviet Union’s delegate to the United Nations, who asserted, “The existence of Arab refugees in the Middle East is the result of Arab attempts to scuttle the UN General Assembly’s decision regarding Palestine.” The contrast is startling between the refusal of the Arabs to resettle Palestinians, and the conduct of Israel that has assimilated and integrated Jews from all over the world, especially those from Arab countries, a million from Russia and 125,000 from Ethiopia, and has faced the task of incorporating diverse elements, Israeli Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews in its society.

Nor has there been any moral equivalence in the tactics of Israelis and Palestinians towards each other. Perhaps few of the millions of people waiting to undergo security examination at airports remember why this is necessary. Palestinian groups made the hijacking of planes an art form. Between 1968 and 1977 those groups attacked 29 civilian passenger planes. In July 1968 an El Al plane en route from Rome to Lod (now Ben-Gurion) airport was hijacked, and its Israeli passengers detained in Algeria. In February 1970, a Swiss passenger plane was blown up by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP) group.  

The most dramatic single event was the hijacking in June 1976, by the PFLP, together with the members of notorious German Baader-Meinhoff terrorist gang, of an Air France plane en route from Ben-Gurion Airport to Paris: the plane was taken to Benghazi, Libya before landing at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. The successful rescue of the Israeli hostages by an Israeli unit did lead to the death of the unit’s commander, Yonatan Netanyahu, brother of the present prime minister. The most gruesome event was the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, a disabled retired Jew who was murdered and thrown overboard by Palestinian terrorists who had taken over the cruise ship Achille Lauro in October 1985.  

It is interesting to compare the views and actions of U.S. Presidents on Israeli policies. Jimmy Carter in 1978 depicted Israeli settlements in “occupied territories” as contrary to international law and an obstacle to peace. Richard Nixon was the first President to visit Israel and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin thought he was the most well-disposed president towards Israel. President George H.W. Bush in 1991 claimed, somewhat incorrectly, that Israel had benefitted from U.S. soldiers risking their lives in Iraq to defend Israel in the face of Iraqi Scud missiles. This was indeed one of the lowest points in U.S.-Israeli relations. Bill Clinton in December 1998 issued a plea for the PLO to amend its Charter. President Obama called for a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.

Pessimism is not a worthy political disposition, but to quote Lincoln again, “with high hope for the future, no prediction is ventured.” At present, there is little indication that the Palestinian Authority, let alone Hamas, is genuinely willing to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. One can acknowledge that Palestinians may be genuinely troubled and offended by Israeli roadblocks and IDF patrols, but equally they should recognize that Israel before the 1967 war did not covet land claimed by Arabs. Its modest aims have always been to extricate itself from the threat of extinction. That remains the case in the Israeli response to Hamas aggression.

First published in the American Thinker.

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Posted on 08/14/2014 7:18 AM by Michael Curtis
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Thursday, 14 August 2014
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Here.

But he notes that  many more Gazan Arab babies were born than died during the recent campaign, and that demographic note -- the note that Muslims sound, and have been sounding since Houari Boumedienne, from the podium at the U.N., described the conquest of Europe, by Muslims of "the south," through "the wombs of our women" -- was greeted with comprehension and applause. Europe will indeed be conquered, or made unlivable for its indigenous people, and for non-Muslim immigrants too, if  it is not made Islam-hostile instead of Islam-friendly. Everything by now should  be understood. It's a question of political will.

 

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Posted on 08/14/2014 6:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 14 August 2014
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I was alerted to last night's vigil by a regular e-mail from the British Pakistani Christian Association. We went and met friends there. These are some more photographs. As I said last night we were made very welcome and the atmosphere was warm and friendly. 

The event was a candle-lit vigil to show solidarity against ISIS and support for the persecuted members of religions other than Islam. It was organised by SAIS, the Solidarity Against the Islamic State Campaign and the British Pakistani Christian Association. 

Their aim is to increase awareness of the crisis currently unfolding in the Middle East, to spread knowledge to promote public mobilisation against ISIS, to unify all the Kurdish parties and raise awareness of two charities working to bring aid todisplaced people in Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria. 

I understand that while the police were happy to give permission for a vigil in the area designatedfor demonstrations and suchlike opposite Downing Street permission for a similar event in Whitechapel opposite the east London Mosque was declined. We know the feeling.

Also SAIS were not allowed to bring out collecting buckets for donations for the suffering refugees. This may be because they have not yet received a Charitable registration number. 

This was a lively song which I was told was a Kurdish anthem about freedom fighting.

There is a school of thought that says that had Iraq not been invaded and Sadaam Hussein not been deposed he would have kept the Islamic fanatics in check and ISIS would not have arisen. But Canon Andrew White, Vicar of Bagdad, is of the opinion that he was so evil deposing him was of itself a good thing, althought matters were not handled well afterward. Further it must not be forgotten that under his regime the city of Halabja was gassed, the worst chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history.

I don't know the answer. I do know that this is a very good question below. 

"And the people at this vigil will be hoping that the politicians opposite will be taking notice of the situation of the Kurds . . . " There were news crews about filming including one from LBC. I now know that the chap above is from Breitbart London. He conducted interviews with several of the attendees, including Wilson Choudhury of the BPCA, Maajid Nawaz of Quilliam (below), and an EDL friend. I paraphrased his closing sentence from memory - it's not too far out.

 

Maajid Nawaz of Quilliam who attended for a short time. One of my friends spotted him and captured that brief moment. There were people who could well have been secular Muslims. I couldn't see this passer-by's expression for obvious reasons. She glided past, looking neither to the left, nor to the right until she was well past the vigil; then I noticed her looking back.

There were lots of beautiful well behaved children

Young men and women in traditional dress, also images of the Peacock Angel revered by the Yazidi were prominent. 

and dignified elders

Generators and portable PA systems are notoriously temperamental and so it was not possible to have the expected speeches. But there were chants of Stop, stop, stop, the Crisis; Down, down, down, with ISIS.

Others in support of the Peshmerga, who have been the Kurdish armed militia since the late 19th century. I found out last night that the name means One who confronts death. When the vigil chanted 'we are all Peshmerga' they meant that they are all confronting death in this current genocide. But they remain optimistic.

Another chant was 'UK Awake'. We have been trying to wake the UK up here for many years, with a modicum of success. In order to make that point the members of an Iraqi Refugee Group decided to take their banners further afield.

But the stewards and police quickly ushered them back to the pavement

And as it was a candle-light vigil candles spelling the word Kurdistan were lit. 

It was a night when I could see new friendships being forged,and existing ones cemented. We were very glad we attended.

Photographs E Weatherwax August 2014

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Posted on 08/14/2014 5:35 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 14 August 2014
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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Where did Classical Antiquity go?  And why? What happened to the Arcadian stag? The Stymphalian marsh? The Nemean lion? The Erymanthean boar? And come to think of it, what happened, in the classrooms of America, to Europe? Where are the courses on English constitutional law? On the Court of Louis XIV? On the civilisation of the Renaissance, rather than that desiccated "Early Modern Period"? Can they be smuggled back in to the colleges and the schools?  Can those who reign over us be reminded that in its law, language, literature, its practically everything, America is a child of Europe, no matter what enthusiasts of the Immigration Law of 1965 might want you to believe or forget.

It's a tall task. The Twelve Labors of Hercules, all rolled up in one. Hercules used a club -- though in the Emblemata of Alciatus he wields a sword.  Show mettle more attractive.

 

 

 

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Posted on 08/13/2014 7:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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Just two photograph's of tonights candle lit vigil and protest outside Downing Street to show solidarity against ISIS and support for the persecuted members of religions other than Islam. It was organised by SAIS, the Solidarity Against the Islamic State Campaign and the British Pakistani Christian Association. 

It was well attended, especially considering the short notice. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming and there was no opposition. 

I'll post more information in the morning with more photographs; its quite late in London now. 

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Posted on 08/13/2014 5:14 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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Posted on 08/13/2014 10:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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IF fame were the reward of merit alone, Pierre Ryckmans, who wrote under the name of Simon Leys and has just died in Canberra aged 78, would have been one of the most famous men in the world. Not that he would have greatly enjoyed such fame: his probity and attachment to higher values was far too great for that. He combined in his person qualities that are rarely so closely associated or inextricably linked: vast erudition and scholarship, exquisite taste, complete intellectual honesty, coruscating wit and brilliant literary gifts.

I admired Simon Leys more than any other contemporary writer. He was, in fact, my hero, in so far as I have ever had one. ­Although he had previously written discerningly about Chinese art, I first read his books about the Cultural Revolution. Leys, of Belgian origin, was a passionate lover and connoisseur of Chinese culture and viewed its barbarous destruction with horror during the Revolution; he abominated Maoism at least two decades before it became obligatory for all right-thinking persons to do so. From the very first page — no, from the very first sentence — of all his books and essays it is obvious that Simon Leys always knew what he was talking about.

It was George Orwell’s aim to turn political writing into an art, and in this art Leys was undoubtedly supreme. The Cultural Revolution was not a very funny subject, since it was one of the greatest episodes of vandalism in world history and caused the death of a million people; but Leys wrote so as to make you laugh out loud. He was particularly contemptuous of western Mao-fanciers, who never called a spade a spade but rather a bulldozer a George II silver teaspoon. Here are two examples of his scorn, culled quickly and at random from his books about the Cultural Revolution:

“Everyone has heard the story of the American journalist who like everyone else wrote a report on his travels in China. Trouble was — he hadn’t been there. The hoax was uncovered, there was a scandal, and the poor fellow lost his job. What is remarkable in this story is that the hoax was found out …”

Or again:

“On the question of human rights in China, an odd coalition has formed among ‘Old China hands’ (left over from the colonial-imperialist era, starry-eyed Maoist adolescents, bright, ambitious technocrats, timid sinologists ever wary of being denied their visas for China, and even some overseas Chinese who like to partake from afar in the People’s Republic’s prestige without having to share any of their compatriots’ sacrifices or sufferings).”

Leys’ guiding star was cultivation (in a broad sense) and his betes noires barbarism, stupidity and humbug. There was no better sniffer out of humbug, the besetting sin of intellectuals, anywhere in the world.

His essay on the much-admired French writer Andre Malraux begins:

“We know the story (it is a cliche): the preacher mounts the pulpit in a full church and pronounces an overwhelmingly eloquent sermon. Everyone cries. One man, however, remains dry-eyed. He is asked the reason. ‘It’s because I’m not of this parish,’ he replies.

“Every time I pass through Paris, a foreigner but French-speaking, I feel at home. Only when it comes to the question of Malraux does it strike me: decidedly, I am not of this parish.”

Leys could eviscerate the idiocy of an age in a few brilliant lines:

“If one thinks of the great teachers of humanity — the Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Jesus — one is struck by a curious paradox: today, not a single one of them would be able to obtain even the most modest teaching post in one of our universities.”

Brilliant exposer of foolishness as he was, and much as his withering scorn was to be feared (though his hatred was reserved for real evil), Leys was a near-infallible guide to high quality in literature. His judgment was to be trusted and his enthusiasm was infectious. His literary essays are a delight to read, and demonstrate that literary criticism can be both profound and enjoyable without being in the least incomprehensible.

Literature for him was not ­divorced from life. Here are the opening lines from his essay on Don Quixote: “When, in a discussion, someone is described as a Don Quixote, it is always meant insultingly, which I find astonishing. In reality, it seems to me that one could not think of a more beautiful compliment.”

His little essays connecting literature with life, for example in Le Bonheur des petits poissons, are witty, accessible, beautifully written and profound, extracting from small things the deepest possible significance.

Whenever anyone would say to me that there were no great Belgians, or that there were no great writers alive, I always replied, without having to think for an instant, ‘‘Pierre Ryckmans’’.

Australians should be proud that he chose Australia as his home for the last 44 years of his life.

First published in The Australian.

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Posted on 08/13/2014 9:27 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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War, Famine, Pestilence, And Death: this century's theme, as the world's population begins to downsize. You can make your bets now as to their order -- win, place, or show -- at the end. 

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Posted on 08/13/2014 5:55 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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Nicky Hilton and James Rothschild, tied in knots, here.

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Posted on 08/13/2014 5:39 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga Fighters in Derika, Syrias Refugee Camp

August 10, 2014 Source: AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed

President Obama may be dismissive of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist army, calling them flippantly  in a New Yorker interview the equivalent a “JV team putting  Lakers uniforms which doesn’t make them the equivalent of Kobe Bryant”.  Anything for  this President President to avoid calling  IS, what it is, a powerful international  force of barbarous  Salafist Jihadis. A veritable terrorist Army  who now control a Caliphate  covering a broad swatch of Syria and northern Iraq equipped with hundreds of millions of US and Russian arms captured from fleeing Assad and Iraqi soldiers.  All financed with billions in loot and war booty from their blitz-like rampage.  IS is currently  engaged in ethnic cleansing of  Nineveh province. It is  conducting  a  patent Islamic genocide campaign  dispossessing and ousting  Christians and  Kurdish speaking Yazidis. Yazidis whose ancient Mesopotamian faith preceded Islam.  

Hundreds of thousands have fled into the sanctuary  of  Iraqi Kurdistan.  The Kurdish regional Government (KRG) defended by tough peshmerga forces equipped with ancient Russian weapons from the regime of the late Saddam Hussein. As a result of the IS rampage, a combined humanitarian and military crisis occurred in August 2nd with the fall of Sinjar, Iraq and the flight of  tens of thousands of Yazidis. The rapid advance of IS in both Syria and Iraq was evident to most observers; the exception being the National Security Staff in the West Wing of the White House. They were deflected by the turmoil of establishing a new government in Baghdad, opposed by Shiite autocrat and PM,  Nouri al-Maliki who had deprived the Kurdish regional Government of their fair shares in oil revenues and modern US  supplied arms and weapons.  In June the President sent in 300 military coordinators and planners, since ramped up to an estimated 800 contingent.  US diplomats in the ‘green zone’ in Baghdad and some in Erbil have been flow out to Jordan.

The blame game between the US  broke out with sudden capture  by IS of Iraq’s second largest city Mosul in mid-June threatening the Iraqi Kurdistan and Peshmerga force. The flimsy excuse offered by President Obama for ordering the limited air assault against advancing IS forces was the threat to US several hundred military coordinators and diplomats in Erbil, the KRG capital.  Add to that  the humanitarian crisis caused by the flight of more than 45,000 Yazidis to Sinjar Mountain cut off from possible sanctuary in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Watch this WSJ report with Intelligence Journalist Siobhan Gorman on why the US Intelligence community underestimated the sudden rise of IS:

 

 

 The Presidential order of August 7th initiating limited air strikes  against IS forces only dented their progress  after capturing  the  strategic Mosul Dam astride the Tigris River. The IS blitzkrieg  came within 30 miles of Erbil, the modern capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan.  Humanitarian air drops of water and food by both the US and U.K. to the cowering Yazidi tens of thousands of refugees on the arid 3,000 foot mountain, only provided a brief respite. IS forces seized hundreds of Yazidi women as sex slaves or buried them alive  as  they are considered infidel polytheists and alleged ‘devil worshippers”  under Islamist doctrine.  Iraqi Peshmerga fighters were engaged in pushback of IS forces and recapture of towns along their long frontier with the terrorist Caliphate forces.  It was left to  Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga in adjacent Rojava- their homeland - to come to the rescue of the Yazidis.  By August 7th, the same day the President announced  the limited air operations and humanitarian air drops Sinjar Mountain, the Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga successfully opened a secure path for Yazidis to come down off the mountain and enter the adjacent area of Syria to safety an  eventual re-entry into  adjacent KRG.  

An AP report, “Syrian Kurdish Fighters Rescuing Stranded Yazidis”, reveals the successful humanitarian corridor created by these Rojava  Kurdish Peshmerga fighters without US and UN assistance.  Note these excerpts:

While the U.S. and Iraqi militaries struggle to aid the starving members of Iraq's Yazidi minority with supply drops from the air, the Syrian Kurds took it on themselves to rescue them. The move underlined how they — like Iraqi Kurds — are using the region's conflicts to establish their own rule.

For the past few days, fighters have been rescuing Yazidis from the mountain, transporting them into Syrian territory to give them first aid, food and water, and returning some to Iraq via a pontoon bridge.

The desperate condition of these stranded Yazidis was described:

"The (Kurdish fighters) opened a path for us. If they had not, we would still be stranded on the mountain," said Ismail Rashu, 22, in the Newroz camp in the Syrian Kurdish town of Malikiya some 20 miles from the Iraqi border. Families had filled the battered, dusty tents here and new arrivals sat in the shade of rocks, sleeping on blue plastic sheets. Camp officials estimated that at least 2,000 families sought shelter there on Sunday evening.

Nearby, an exhausted woman rocked a baby to sleep. Another sobbed that she abandoned her elderly uncle in their village of Zouraba; he was too weak to walk, too heavy to carry.

Many said they hadn't eaten for days on the mountain; their lips were cracked from dehydration and heat, their feet swollen and blackened from walking. Some elderly, disabled and young children were left behind. Others were still walking to where Syrian Kurds were rescuing them, they said.

We are thankful, from our heads to the sky, to the last day on earth," said Naji Hassan, a Yazidi at the Tigris river border crossing, where thousands of rescued Yazidis were heading back into Iraq on Sunday.

The U.N. estimated around 50,000 Yazidis fled to the mountain. But by Sunday, Kurdish officials said at least 45,000 had crossed through the safe passage, leaving thousands more behind and suggesting the number of stranded was higher.

The Syrian Peshmerga swung into action:

Syrian Kurdish officials said soon after Yazidis fled their villages, they began fighting to create a safe passage. They clashed with Islamic State fighters upon entering Iraq, losing at least 9 fighters, but by Aug. 7 had secured a safe valley passage, cramming Yazidis into jeeps, trucks and cars to bring them some 25 miles away. Some of the ill were even rushed to hospital.

"We answered their cries for help. They were in danger and we opened a safe passage for them into safety," said military official Omar Ali. "We saw that we had to help them and protect them; they are Kurds and part of our nation."

The AP report noted that autonomy that Syrian Kurds established in Syria that allowed them to undertake this rescue of the Yazidis after the KRG Peshmerga retreated:

In saving Yazidis, Syrian Kurds were also demonstrating their own ambitions for independence as Syria's civil war rages on.

They announced their autonomous area of Rojava in January, and rule several far northeastern Kurdish areas of Syria. Government forces stationed in the area were redeployed over two years ago to battle rebels seeking Assad's overthrow, Syrian Kurdish officials said.

But in entering Iraq, the Syrian fighters are also challenging their Iraqi Kurdish rivals. They say they entered after the Iraqi Kurdish fighting force, called the peshmerga, fled Yazidi villages after short battles with Islamic militants. The peshmerga say they were outgunned by the militants.

The gratitude of the Yazidis for the action of the Syrian Kurdish fighters:

For now, with the peshmerga gone and state aid ineffective, the Yazidis who survived the mountaintop ordeal were counting on the Syrian Kurdish fighters. Covered in dust among crowds at the Tigris crossing, Hassan said without the fighters all would have been lost.

"Were it not for them, no Yazidi would be saved," he said.

If the West is serious about blunting, if not rolling back the IS Jihad blitzkrieg, it must rapidly equip and train both Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish peshmerga with basic small arms, mortars and grenades, as well advanced weapons.  The irony is that desperately needed  weaponry would be used to destroy US weapons and munitions abandoned by regular Syrian and  Iraqi Shiite forces that were slaughtered or fled in panic acquired during the IS rampage.  There is an immediate source that could be drawn immediately less than 601 miles away from Kurdistan, the US War Reserve stockpile in Israel.  All it takes is for President Obama to authorize the Pentagon to make those draw downs and undertake  emergency airlifts to  equip and train those tough  Peshmerga fighters on the frontlines in both Syria and Iraq.  What did Sir Winston Churchill say about US lend lease efforts prior to our entry into WWII in a radio broadcast on February 9, 1941:  “Give us the tools to finish the Job”.

 

 

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Posted on 08/13/2014 5:20 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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Breitbart London had this yesterday, now the London Evening Standard has some more information.

Police were today probing leaflets handed out in the West End by radical students encouraging British Muslims to join the Islamic State (Isis).

Dozens of the leaflets were circulated on Oxford Street last night saying it is the responsibility of Muslims to pledge allegiance to the “Khaleef” - a reference to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-appointed leader of extremists waging a murderous campaign across northern Iraq.

Images of the group were posted on Twitter by users angered by the claims, including one British Muslim who claimed she had been “racially abused” after challenging the group. The men, from Luton, are former students of banned cleric Omar Bakri and firebrand preacher Anjem Choudary.

Scotland Yard today confirmed it was assessing whether the contents of the leaflets is in breach of anti-terrorism laws.

While the wording of the leaflets, headed “Khilafah established”, avoids explicit reference to Isis or al-Baghdadi, it says Muslims have seven duties including pledging allegiance to the khaleef and to migrate to the caliphate. It reads: “Muslims with the help of Allah have announced the re-establishment of the Khilafah and appointed an imam as a Khaleef.”

Choudary today confirmed the men were his and Bakri’s former students and said there was “nothing wrong” with wanting “to go to live there and bring up your children under the khilafah”.He claimed the reports of slaughter were “not true” and that Muslims were living in “peace and security under the Sharia”. We note that he is still living in his home in Walthamstow (near Lloyd's Park and the William Morris gallery) and not under the paradise that is the Islamic State. 

A Met spokesman said: “The Metropolitan Police Service has been made aware of leaflets which reports state were distributed in the Oxford Street area. We are assessing the content of the leaflets to establish whether any criminal offences have been committed.”

The pictures are clearer on Breitbart. 

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Posted on 08/13/2014 4:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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From the Daily Mail

British jihadists fighting with terror squads in Iraq are using social networking sites to lure young Muslim teenagers from the UK into joining the Islamic State fanatics. The extremists, who boast of ‘slaughtering’ innocent Yazidis and ‘taking their women as slaves’, are advising 15-year-olds that they are ‘not too young’ to die fighting for Allah.

Asked by a British 18-year-old girl if she is too young to join, one of them replied: ‘I know sisters younger than you. I heard of maybe 16-year-olds being here from UK. You aren’t too young.’ They are informing their British ‘brothers and sisters’ every day how to make their way to Iraq, claiming they are ‘ordered’ to defy their parents and fight jihad. British jihadist Abu Farris replied (to another boy): ‘We’re all bros here. Trust me, don’t be scared. 15-year-olds can hack it bro, so why can’t you. It is from Allah.’

Young British Muslims are now known to be among the IS terror squads besieging the area around Mount Sinjar where thousands of refugees are trapped, the Mail can reveal. Intelligence officers have identified UK nationals as being part of the fanatical IS army that has swept across northern Iraq, carrying out a horrifying catalogue of medieval war crimes.

The British IS fighters, who refer to themselves as the ‘Baadiya Boys’ after their original base in Syria, include Reyaad Khan and Nasser Muthana, the 20-year-olds from Cardiff who notoriously featured in a jihad recruitment video for the group. The former Catholic college students have been joined on the frontline by young Muslim men and women from across the UK, including a group of five friends from Portsmouth, two of whom have already been killed.

Using Twitter, social media site Ask.fm and smartphone apps, the jihadists are posting disturbing updates on their progress. Uploads have included pictures of mass executions, beheadings, child soldiers and selfies with men captured and tied to railings in the oppressive heat. A British girl who has gone to Syria also posted a picture of herself in the area, wearing a niqab and with a gun by her side.

Some of the British jihadists command followers to ‘make hijrah’ – an Arabic term meaning emigration. They boast about what weapons they are using and offer advice on how to get into Syria and where to buy guns. If those messaging them appear  serious about joining IS, they send private messages on mobile apps Kik and Surespot, which they claim are encrypted and impossible for authorities to monitor.

It is thought about 500 British nationals have travelled to the region. United Nations War Crimes investigators said they are monitoring Islamic State online postings. . . The Home Office said it is aware of the IS propaganda online and is working with social media companies to remove extremist material.

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Posted on 08/13/2014 2:32 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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Here.

Robin turns out to have been a deeper theologian than Rowan.

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Posted on 08/12/2014 9:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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See if you can follow Jamal Khashoggi here.

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Posted on 08/12/2014 9:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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He started with ABC News. But it could be about any of the networks.

Here.
 

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Posted on 08/12/2014 7:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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Not hudaibiyya-hudnas, but only the superior power -- understood to be superior -- of Israel will keep the peace between Muslim Arabs and the Infidel nation-state of the Jews. That's it. No treaties, no smiles, no wiles, no nothing -- only the assurance that many more Muslims will die, and that whole city-states (Qatar, for example) can be brought to ruin, if necessary, will keep the peace.

Who makes this argument most convincingly? A Kuwaiti cleric, that is a Muslim Arab, speaking to an audience of Muslim Arabs.

Watch him, here.
 

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Posted on 08/12/2014 7:30 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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Here.

It is not malignant and turbaned Turks who have been responsible for their plight and flight, but Muslim Arabs, reading from the same sinister playbook -- Qur'an -- as glossed by the Sunnah. 

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Posted on 08/12/2014 7:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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Well, here's an interview he gave. See what you think. See if you think opposition to his appointment is simply "hysteria."

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Posted on 08/12/2014 7:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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William Schabas has a long and nasty record of hostility toward Israel. And not just Netanyahu, but Shimon Peres too. That's how anti-Israel William Schabas is. Apparently, Navi Pillay thought he was just the man for the job. Perhaps you'd  like a brief introduction to William Schabas.

Here. 

There is no end to this.

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Posted on 08/12/2014 4:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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From the East London Advertiser

Bethnal Green man Afsor Ali, 27, was found guilty at the Old Bailey on Friday of three counts of possessing material likely to be used for committing or preparing an act of terrorism. The Scott Street resident was sentenced on Tuesday to spend 31 months in prison.

His sentence included three jail terms of 15 months to run concurrently for the terrorist offences, plus a further 16 months for using someone else’s passport in an attempt to flee to Paris via Kings Cross St Pancras station.

The electronic files, stored on Ali’s computer and MP3 player, included the online al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, produced by the group’s Yemeni branch, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and the terror manual 39 Means to Serve and Participate in Jihad.

Ali is believed to have been a member of the banned group Muslims Against Crusades, run by hate-preacher Anjem Choudhury and proscribed by the government under various names. During the trial the court heard that Ali had promoted “extremism” online using the name Asad Ullah, in one video warning people of a terrorist attack at the Royal Wedding, and in another praising the 9/11 attacks as “historic”.

In a statement, the Met said counter-terrorism police arrested Ali in November 2012 and seized a number of “media devices” after a search of two homes in east London.

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Posted on 08/12/2014 3:08 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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