These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 1, 2012.
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
If Democracy Means The Ikhwan In Egypt, Why Should The United States Support Democracy?
From China News:
U.S. supports Egypt's democratic transition: Panetta
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi (R) meets with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, July 31, 2012. (Xinhua/Egyptian Persistency)
CAIRO, July 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reiterated here on Tuesday Washington supported legitimate peaceful transition to democratic rule in Egypt in his talks with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
"The U.S. supported strongly a democratic future in Egypt," Panetta told reporters. He noted the United States will do what it has promised to help the Egyptians to find more jobs and improve its economy and expand the welfare with economic aids.
He also held talks with Hussein Tantawi, chief of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, asserting the importance of Egypt-U.S. relations in the military field, which promoted the regional stability for more than 30 years.
This is another senior U.S. official to visit Egypt after Morsi took office in the most populous Arab nation on June 30. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Egypt in mid-July.
During her visit, Clinton reiterated the one-billion-dollar debt relief for Egypt, which was announced by the Obama administration last year.
She said the U.S. would grant Egypt 250 million dollars of trade credit guarantees and establish an investment fund worth 60 million dollars. A high-level U.S. delegation will visit Cairo in September to discuss business and trade cooperation.
The United States has expressed its willingness to develop a new partnership with Egypt on the basis of mutual respect and common interests.
"Even Such A Writer As Gore Vidal Is More Interesting"
Gore Vidal died. He won't be sadly missed. But if that fixed phrase does not apply, that other phrase -- "untimely death"" -- does: his death was untimely. He ought to have died, twenty, thirty, forrty, fifty years ago.
The BBC is making much of Gore Vidal. And why not? He railed against what the BBC reporter says,without any distancing of any kind, "American imperialism." He thought America should not have entered any war. That includes the very late entry of the United States in World War I, which forced the Germans to finally surrender, which ended a colossally wasteful and stupid war, one in which that BBC reporter's own country suffered idiotically. And he also included World War II, because he didn't think, apparently, it was worth stopping Hitler -- did the BBC reporter know that, and if he did, why didn't he mention that in his adoring coverage of Gore Vidal?
He was always reminding people of what which he affected to despise: lineage. His lineage. His grandfather the Senator from Oklahoma. His distant connection to Al Gore. His distant relationship to Jackie Bouvier, stepdaughter to Hugh Auchincloss, Kennedy. In his constant reminding audiences of his relations -- why should such things be harped on? -- of Patricia Rutledge as Mrs. Bouquet (Bucket). He may have thought himself a Jamesian figure of great transatlantic sophistication, but his world was entirely an American one. Despite having an expensive house in Amalfi, where he lived with assorted passing catamites kept briefly for immoral purposes, as well as with a steady date, and liked to mention, and pretend to have been close to, such writers as Calvino, his Italian remained primitive, and he never sank below the surface of Italian, or European, life.
His works of history were like his historical fiction, that is travesties of history.
He had a stance. The stance was: America is a great, big, stupid country, and has gone steadily downhill. That was it.
That was not enough for Christopher Hitchens. It was enough, howevewr, for the man the BBC reporter described as his great friend, the Foreign Minister of Australia, Bob Carr, who described Vidal as possessing "an unrivalled knowledge of his nation's history." How would Bob Carr, Australian, know if Gore Vidal had an "unrivalled knowledge" of American history without consulting the historians who specialized in Lincoln, Burr, and other figures about whom Gore Vidal wrote? He, Bob Carr, has not earned the right to utter an opinion on whether or not Gore Vidal had this "unrivalled knowledge." A sentence later in the brief interview with him, he shows that he likes that adjective, for he then calls Vidal "an unrivalled essayist." Unrivalled? Compared to whom? Montaigne?
Christopher Hitchens, who had a lot in common with Gore Vidal but who finally decided, after the 9/11 attackes when Vidal said it was unclear who was responibile for the attacks (did I mention that Vidal could not stand Israel, and has never written a word about maleficent Islam?), wrote a good piece on Vidal.
But much better than that was the one glancing mention of Gore Vidal by Vladimir Nabokov, who in an interview with Martha Duffy for TIME was asked about Portnoy's Complaint, at the time a hot topic:
""Portnoy's Complaint? Dreadful. Conventional, badly written, corny. It's farcical—such things as the father's constipation. Even such a writer as Gore Vidal is more interesting."
That's how terrible Nabokov thought "Portnoy's Complaint" and its author, Philip Roth: "Even such a writer as Gore Vidal is more interesting."
Les attaques de soldats réguliers de l'Armée nationale afghane contre leurs formateurs occidentaux se multiplient.
Le lieutenant-colonel Ghulam Jelani Shafiq, commandant du 33e kandak (bataillon) de l'Armée nationale afghane (ANA), est toujours accueilli avec de grands égards sur la base française de Nijrab en Kapissa. Mais, comme les autres soldats afghans, il est prié de laisser son arme à l'entrée.
Après la guérilla, les explosions au bord des routes (IED) et les attentats suicides, est-ce le dernier mode opératoire d'une insurrection habile à adapter sa tactique? Le commandement de l'Otan s'emploie plutôt à minimiser l'importance du phénomène. «Ces attaques ne sont pas la norme», a souligné hier le général Carsten Jacobson, porte-parole de l'Isaf à Kaboul, tout en reconnaissant qu'elles ont «des conséquences disproportionnées» sur le moral des troupes étrangères et afghanes.
Depuis l'attaque du 20 janvier en Kapissa (Est), où une recrue afghane a tué cinq soldats français et en a blessé treize autres, une séparation étanche a été instaurée entre le cantonnement de la Task Force La Fayette et celui, contigu, du 33e kandak afghan. Fier Turkmène originaire de Kunduz, au nord du pays, le colonel Jelani ne semble pas s'offusquer des nouvelles mesures de sécurité de la base française, qui traduisent pourtant une méfiance accrue. «Je comprends parfaitement leurs raisons, dit-il. Nos amis français ne nous ont jamais laissés tomber, même dans les mauvais jours.» Le général Jean-Pierre Palasset, commandant de la Task Force La Fayette, assure lui aussi que cela n'a «en rien entamé l'esprit de coopération entre les forces afghanes et nous».
Ver dans le fruit
À Kaboul, l'ambassadeur américain Ryan Crocker juge le problème «minuscule», rapporté aux «dizaines de milliers d'hommes de la coalition et des forces de sécurité afghanes qui travaillent ensemble quotidiennement». Mais le soupçon d'une infiltration de l'ANA par les talibans fait son chemin: «Au moins deux des assaillants venaient de la même promotion et avaient eu le même instructeur afghan, confie un officier du renseignement. Nous essayons de remonter la piste et de retrouver les autres soldats passés par cette filière.»
À l'heure de la «transition», qui prévoit le retrait des troupes combattantes de l'Otan fin 2014 et leur remplacement par 195.000 soldats et 157.000 policiers afghans, la découverte qu'un ver est dans le fruit serait de nature à remettre en question la stratégie occidentale. Ne disposant d'aucune alternative valable, la coalition n'est cependant pas prête à considérer cette hypothèse. «Ces attaques sont en majorité liées aux individus, a assuré hier le général Jacobson. Des raisons personnelles, le stress ou des rancœurs en sont une cause dominante. Même si l'insurrection s'en dit responsable, au moins la moitié de ses revendications sont infondées.»
Pour le général Palasset, cette nouvelle menace confirme que «l'Afghanistan expose tous les ressorts d'une guerre asymétrique, où l'ennemi ne respecte aucune limite». Mais il en tire la leçon qu'il faut «toujours plus de coordination entre les forces afghanes et nous».
ASHKELON, Israel—Israeli leaders dismissed the chances that a U.S.-led campaign of economic sanctions will succeed in convincing Iran to give up its nuclear program, a sign Israel is losing patience with negotiations and may be closer to military action.
The stark comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, coupled with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's more hawkish tone toward Iran during his visit to Israel, underlined the challenge facing the Obama administration in heading off an Israeli strike that could engulf the region in another major conflict and, potentially, force the U.S. to intervene.
U.S. officials say it is difficult for them to tell whether Israel is serious about attacking Iran or saber rattling in order to pressure the U.S. and the Europeans to do more to curb the country's nuclear program—or both.
"Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program. This must change, and it must change quickly because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out," Mr. Netanyahu said in Jerusalem with Mr. Panetta at his side.
The war talk in Israel has put the Obama administration in a difficult position at the height of the U.S. presidential campaign. It wants to keep Israel from starting a conflict but doesn't want to appear weak or unsupportive of the Jewish state. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who visited Israel earlier this week, has sought to cast himself as a bigger supporter of Israel should it decide to strike Iran.
In an apparent nod to Mr. Netanyahu's call for the U.S. to. couple sanctions with a more credible threat of military action, Mr. Panetta used unusually strong language to make the case that Mr. Obama will do what it takes to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. Iran denies trying to build a nuclear bomb.
Mr. Panetta said it was his responsibility as secretary of defense to provide Mr. Obama with a full range of options, including military options, should diplomacy fail. "We will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Period," he said. "We will exert all options."
But Mr. Panetta added: "We have to exhaust every option, every effort, before we resort to military action."
At the same time, Mr. Panetta made clear Israel—and Israel alone—has the right to decide if and when to strike Iran if it believes its security is threatened, a sentiment echoed by Mr. Barak.
"We respect Israel's sovereignty and their independence. And their effort to decide what is in their national security interest is something that must be left up to the Israelis," Mr. Panetta said.
Mr. Barak said Israel will make its own decisions but will take U.S. views into account.
In addition to pressure from Washington, Mr. Netanyahu has been grappling with doubts about an attack from within Israel's security establishment. Tuesday night, Mr. Netanyahu said in a television interview that he hasn't yet made a decision on an attack, trying to tamp down Israeli media reports saying that Israeli military Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and the serving Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, are opposed to an attack in the coming months. In the interview, Mr. Netanyahu chastised them, saying they should keep their assessments private and not share them with the media, underlining the potential domestic risks if he decides on an attack.
In his remarks at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, Mr. Netanyahu said Mr. Panetta was "correct" when he said sanctions are having a "big impact" on the Iranian economy.
"But unfortunately it is also true that neither sanctions nor diplomacy have yet had any impact on Iran's nuclear weapons program," Mr. Netanyahu added.
Moreover, Mr. Netanyahu said that Iran doesn't appear to believe that the U.S. really means it when it repeatedly says all options are on the table.
The Obama administration has struggled at times to keep Israel on board with its diplomatic approach to resolving the conflict. So far, talks with Iran, led by the U.S. and other major powers, have gone nowhere, U.S. officials acknowledge.
That tension was evident on Wednesday when Mr. Barak said the probability is "extremely low" that U.S. and international sanctions, however tight, will convince Iran's religious rulers to say "that's it, the game is over, we have to give up our nuclear military program."
Israel's dim view of the diplomatic track appeared to be at odds with the more upbeat assessment offered publicly by Mr. Panetta ahead of his visit to Israel.
While Mr. Panetta has acknowledged Iran has yet to agree to give up its nuclear program, he has repeatedly said that the sanctions are working as intended and should be given more time. "It's biting," he said.
That appeared to be a hard argument for Mr. Panetta to sell in Israel, at least based on the public comments by Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barak.
"We have clearly something to lose by this stretched time upon which sanctions and diplomacy takes place because the Iranian are moving forward" with their enrichment activities, Mr. Barak said at a joint news conference with Mr. Panetta after the two toured missile-defense battery on the outskirts of the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, some five miles from the border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Israel says the Iron Dome is the first missile-defense system capable of detecting and destroying short-range missiles in flight.
The system, made by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is designed to intercept rockets with ranges of up to 44 miles, those typically used by Israel's declared enemies Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon, and Hamas.
Mr. Panetta called Iron Dome a "game changer" for Israel's security and said the U.S. intends to provide funding annually to support the system's deployment in Israel.
The U.S. has so far committed $275 million to support the Iron Dome, which consists of arrays with about 20 rockets each, a command-and-control center and a radar facility. Each system can cover an area the size of a small city.
The Iron Dome's radar detects rockets when they are launched. The command and control center then quickly determines whether to launch an interceptor missile. That depends if the missile is headed toward an area that is populated or has critical infrastructure.
Mr. Barak said the system has intercepted more than 100 rockets so far fired from Gaza and has a success rate of more than 80%.
TEHRAN -- As battles rage across Syria, the crisis has provoked a renewed round of saber-rattling in Iran, President Bashar Assad's staunchest international ally.
An influential columnist in an Iranian daily close to hard-liners gave a dire warning this week of the possibility of “world war” as global powers face off on Syria.
Viewing the conflict in strictly geopolitical terms, columnist Sadollah Zaree wrote that a U.S-led “axis,” including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, sought to undermine the Syrian government, backed by allies Iran and Russia.
“The anti-Syrian measures are a high risk and can lead to world war,” Zaree thundered in an editorial published in the Kayhan newspaper. The pro-Assad bloc of Russia and Iran, he wrote, had “of course” significantly “more legitimacy.”
Some Iranian analysts brushed off the threat of Syria becoming a global conflict as “bluffing,” in the words of Nader Karimi Joni, an independent columnist. He, like many other analysts, views the possibility of a superpower confrontation about Syria as remote.
Reached by telephone in Tehran, Zaree elaborated somewhat, saying he didn’t think Iran and Russia would stand by idly in the event of foreign intervention in Syria aimed at ousting Assad.
“If Turkey and Saudi Arabia wage a war against Syria,” the columnist said, “then we reserve the right to defend Syria.”
Of course, Iran is already widely reported to have been providing logistical, financial and possibly military assistance to Syria. The Islamic Republic’s chief regional rival, Saudi Arabia, has likewise funneled aid to Syrian rebels.
The war warnings echo remarks by Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of Iran’s armed forces, who declared this week that the Islamic Republic "will not allow the enemy to advance" in Syria. But the general added that he saw no need yet “for Syria’s circle of friends to fully enter the arena,” according to comments in Iran’s Shargh reformist daily.
French mayor retreats after suspending fasting Muslims
In all fairness I can't call him a cheese eating surrender monkey because an English mayor would have been too hampered by political correctness to even make the attempt.
Aug 1 (Reuters) - A French mayor has revoked the suspension of four Muslim camp counsellors following an uproar after he said they could not work properly because they might be weakened by their all-day fasting for Ramadan.
Muslim groups threatened to sue the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers for discrimination for recalling the four after an inspector found on July 20 - the first day of the Muslim holy month - that they were not eating or drinking during the day.
Lawyers for the counsellors, who had accompanied children from the suburb on a town-sponsored stay at a summer camp in southwestern France, said they might also take the issue to a labour court.
Muslim leaders presented the case as an issue of religious liberty, while the town's Communist mayor Jacques Bourgoin insisted his concern was only for the safety of the campers. Bourgoin said he revoked the suspensions because the public uproar over the issue prevented the calm discussion of safety issues that he planned to take up again later in the year.
"This has been blown out of proportion and we can't discuss it calmly," he told Europe 1 radio on Wednesday.
The mayor's office said in a communique on Tuesday evening that the counsellors' contracts specifically noted they had to make sure both themselves and the children they monitored were regularly nourished and hydrated. Bourgoin said the town required that because two children were injured in a traffic accident two years ago when a fasting Muslim counsellor fainted at the wheel of the minibus in which she was transporting them.
"This is a discriminatory act," said Abdallah Zekri of the French Muslim Council told BFM TV. "France has religious liberty, it is a fundamental freedom and it must be respected."
PRESSURE is mounting for Mitt Romney to release more of his financial records. Mr. Romney has made public only his 2010 tax returns and has said his 2011 documents will be released soon. “That’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances,” he said recently. He is “simply not enthusiastic,” he also said, about giving the Obama campaign “hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort and lie about.”
But it is a good bet that Mr. Romney’s vetters have picked through more than two years of returns of his vice-presidential contenders. And the Senate typically requires more for confirmation to a cabinet or even a subcabinet post. Until Mr. Romney recognizes the right of voters to understand the finances of their leaders, all we are left with is speculation.
Some commentators have suggested, for example, that — like tens of thousands of other Americans who have taken advantage of an Internal Revenue Service amnesty — he might not have declared and paid taxes on his Swiss bank account. I can’t imagine that he would have engaged in such blatant tax cheating. He is far too smart for that.
Another suggestion is that in 2009 he paid income taxes significantly below the 13.9 percent he paid in 2010. This is more plausible, and potentially more damaging politically, even if perfectly legal.
After all, the one year’s tax returns that he has released raise doubt about his campaign’s claims that his offshore accounts did not save him one penny of tax. Putting business assets into an individual retirement account invested in a Cayman Islands corporation allows Mr. Romney to avoid the “unrelated business income tax” — a 35 percent levy — on at least some of his I.R.A.’s earnings, a tax that he would have had to pay if his I.R.A. were held directly by a financial institution in the United States.
With an I.R.A. account of $20 million to $101 million, the tax savings would be more than a few pennies.
The I.R.A. also allows Mr. Romney to diversify his large holdings tax-free, avoiding the 15 percent tax on capital gains that would otherwise apply. His financial disclosure further reveals that his I.R.A. freed him from paying currently the 35 percent income tax on hundreds of thousands of dollars of interest income each year.
Given the extraordinary size of his I.R.A., we have to presume that Mr. Romney valued the assets he put in his retirement account at far less than he would have sold them for. Otherwise it is quite a trick to turn contributions that are limited to $30,000 to $50,000 a year into the $20 million to $101 million he now has there. But we cannot be certain; his meager disclosure of tax records and financial information does not indicate what kind of assets were put into the I.R.A.
Mr. Romney’s Cayman Islands and Bermuda corporations also probably allowed him to avoid limitations on deductions for investment expenditures that would otherwise apply. So we don’t need any more tax returns to know that Mr. Romney is an Olympic-level athlete at the tax avoidance game. Rich people don’t send their money to Bermuda or the Cayman Islands for the weather.
Moreover, we have no clue whether Mr. Romney paid any gift tax on transfers, now valued at $100 million, to a trust he set up in 1995 for the benefit of his five sons. Until this year, the federal gift tax had a lifetime exemption of $1 million, and it taxed gifts in excess of that amount at rates between 29 and 44 percent. A gift of $100 million to one’s children could, therefore, require paying a tax of as much as $29 million to $44 million.
But every good tax professional knows that gift tax returns are rarely audited, except after the transferor’s death. And normally the I.R.S. cannot challenge such a return after three years from its filing. But if the values of the gifts were not properly appraised and disclosed on Mr. Romney’s gift tax returns, a challenge may still be possible. If he did not file any gift tax return, he would still be liable for the tax, plus interest and penalties.
Based on his aggressive tax planning, revealed in the 2010 returns he has released and his approval of a notably dicey tax avoidance strategy in 1994 when he headed the audit committee of the board of Marriott International, my bet is that — if Mr. Romney filed a gift tax return for these transfers at all — he put a low or even zero value on the gifts, certainly a small fraction of the price at which he would have sold the transferred assets to an unrelated party. Otherwise, he should be happy to release his gift tax returns. According to a partner at Mr. Romney’s trustee’s law firm, valuing carried interests, such as Mr. Romney’s interests in the private equity company Bain Capital, at zero for gift tax purposes was common advice given to clients like Mr. Romney in the 1990s and early 2000s.
If detected, undervaluing large gifts to one’s children could provoke large penalties from the I.R.S. These are the kinds of tax penalties that even multinational corporations try to avoid because they fear how the public would react to the adverse publicity that would inevitably follow.
To settle these questions, Mr. Romney should release his gift tax returns, or other documents showing how he valued his transfers to his family’s trust and to his I.R.A., and at least three additional years of income tax returns.
No one should begrudge Mr. Romney or his family the wealth they have earned. But if he has not paid the taxes that apply to transfers of such wealth, this should concern us all. After all, who do you think pays for the shortfall?
Michael J. Graetz, a professor of tax law at Columbia, was the deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy from 1990 to 1991, and an assistant to the Treasury secretary in 1992, under the first President Bush.
Last May, Vice President Biden took an extremely hard line on Iran. ”We will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon by whatever means we need,” he said.
This week Secretary of Defense Panetta said the same thing: “we will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon,” he said on Sunday. Today he followed that–in Jerusalem–with something even tougher: “I want to reassert again the position of the United States that with regards to Iran, we will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, period. We will not allow them to develop a nuclear weapon, and we will exert all options in the effort to ensure that that does not happen.”
What’s missing is anything like these words from the president. He has been far less specific. “As president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” he said in March. He continued: “I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that, when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.”
Speaking to AIPAC that month, he said this: “I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power: a political effort aimed at isolating Iran, a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored, an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency. Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.”
But saying “I do not bluff” or “I have a policy” is not the same as saying what Panetta did. That the president has never said words as tough as those of his subordinates must alarm the Israelis, for they know that the only view that counts is Mr. Obama’s. It is sometimes argued in his defense that he wants to leave options open and avoid specificity, but that’s just the problem. He should “advertise what our intentions are.” Why could he not say what Mr. Panetta just did? If the goal is to confront the ayatollahs with a stark choice, why not make it starker? That Mr. Obama fails to do so may produce in both Jerusalem and Tehran uncertainty as to whether, in the end, he will use force to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. If his diplomatic and economic efforts against Tehran are to have the slightest chance of success, and if his efforts to persuade Israel not to strike Iran are to succeed, that uncertainty must be eliminated. Only if Mr. Obama can fully persuade the Ayatollah Khamenei that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon, that all the effort and isolation and expense is wasted, and that the goal will never be achieved because the American military will block it, is there any chance that Iran will change course. The very clear statements by the secretary of defense today only underline the absence of equal clarity from the commander in chief.
Professor Abdus Salam was one of Pakistan's finest minds. His work in the field of theoretical physics, on unifying the electromagnetic and weak forces, earned him the country's first – and only – Nobel prize for physics in 1979. He died in 1996 but his name has resurfaced in recent weeks, a reminder of his work in characterising the then hypothetical Higgs boson in the 1960s.
The reason is that Professor Salam was a member of the minority Ahmadi sect, a group persecuted by successive governments and condemned as heretics by even mainstream Muslims. In 1974, Benazir Bhutto's father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, passed a law declaring Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. Later laws prevented Ahmadis from describing their places of worship as "mosques". The persecution continues. In June, police arrived at an Ahmadi mosque in the town of Kharian in Punjab province and tore down its minarets.
So this summer as scientists closed in on the Higgs boson and while India expressed pride in the role of Satyendra Nath Bose, a physicist who gave part of his name to the elusive particle, Pakistan failed to mark their man's contribution.
Now, compare Professor Salam's treatment with that of Engineer Waqar Ahmad, who claims to have solved the world's energy problems with a water-powered car. His miracle car has been trumpeted by newspapers and driven by one of the country's top TV talkshow hosts. . . Now, compare Professor Salam's treatment with that of Engineer Waqar Ahmad, who claims to have solved the world's energy problems with a water-powered car. His miracle car has been trumpeted by newspapers and driven by one of the country's top TV talkshow hosts.
The water cannot act as fuel. Anyone with even the vaguest understanding of physics or chemistry should understand that. No matter. Pakistan's Minister of Religious Affairs, Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah, has driven the car and pledged government support.
Inviting Indonesian Troops Onto Australian Soil to Play War Games, and Selling Uranium to the UAE: Two Pieces of Dangerous Folly That Would Not Be Committed If The Australian Government Understood What Islam is Really All About
Item the first. Allowing the troops of Muslim-majority Muslim-ruled Indonesia to reconnoitre our vulnerable north-west doorstep...on the spot and inside the gates. As reported by Phoebe Stewart for Australia's ABC.
"Indonesia joins Top End war games for first time'
'For the first time, Indonesia has joined international war games in Australia.
'Fighter jets from Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the United States are taking part in combined defence force exercise Pitch Black.
'The two week mock combat operation is held in Darwin every two years because of its open air space.
'Royal Australian Air Force Group Captain David Thiele says it is significant that Indonesia has decided to join in.
Indeed it is...They get to sus out how Australian, Singaporean, Thai and US pilots fly and fight...They get to reconnoitre our biggest northern city, our gateway to SE Asia, and find out exactly where its military installations are. That does not fill me with confidence. Rather the reverse.- CM
"It shows a strong growth in the agreements between Australia and Indonesia, as well as our military cooperation", he said.
My dear Captain David Thiele, I would advise you to do some research, quickly, on what classical Islam teaches about exactly what kinds of 'agreements' and 'cooperation' may obtain between Muslims and Infidels. Start with the Treaty of Hudaybiyya.
For a very brief introductory account of what that Treaty was, and its implications for Infidels, see here - "Fitzgerald: Islam, The Treaty of Hudaybiyya, and the Two-Stage Solution":
"In the Muslim view, treaties with Infidels are not to be obeyed. They are to be entered into when Muslims feel that they are at the moment too weak to do otherwise, and where they sense that they can gain, in the end, by entering temporarily into a treaty with Infidels. For Muslims, every treaty with Infidels is merely a "truce" treaty, a "hudna". The very idea that Muslims could recognize the permanence of an Infidel nation state goes against everything in Islam.
"The basis of Muslim treaty-making with Infidels can be found in the Treaty of Hudaibiyya that Muhammad made with the Meccans in 628 AD. Finding himself and his followers too weak to take the Meccans on directly, Muhammad made an agreement with them...The treaty was to have lasted for ten years - and ten years, by the way, is the maximum period that a treaty with Infidels can normally last, though some Muslim authorities have said that a treaty can be renewed at the expiration of that ten-year-period, if the Muslims need more time to strengthen their forces and would benefit from a continued "hudna".
"The treaty with the Meccans lasted only 18 months, however, when Muhammad decided to find a pretext to attack, and did. And he has been praised ever since in Muslim lore, for his ability to deceive the unwary Meccans and to use the time of that truce to his advantage...". - CM.
"I think the opportunity for the Indonesians to work with us for the first time will be historic."
'It will also be the first time that the RAAF has come in contact with Indonesia's Russian-made Sukhoi SU-30 fighter aircraft.
Take notes, gentlemen. Take lots of notes. Just in case those 'agreements' and that 'cooperation' go the way of all other 'agreements' that many other foolish Infidel states, down through the centuries, have entered into with Muslim entities. - CM
'The planes have been built to compete with American-made FA-18s, which are used by the RAAF and US air force.
'It is the first time that Indonesia has sent its primary air defence aircraft to a foreign nation.
'Four of the SU-30s will take part in Pitch Black.
'The exercise, which will operate out of Darwin and the Tindal air base near Katherine, runs for about three weeks.
'Australia and Indonesia are currently in the process of negotiating a defence co-operation agreement.
Why? How can any non-Muslim state trust any agreement with a Muslim-dominated state such as Indonesia, given what the Quran and other Islamic texts teach?
Surah 48: 29 states - 'Muhammad is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to unbelievers but merciful to one another"; and in Ibn Ishaq's canonical Sira, or 'Life of Muhammad', it is stated that "Muslims are one ummah (community) to the exclusion of all men. Believers are friends of one another to the exclusion of all outsiders". Many Quran verses e.g. 3: 117 and 5: 49, 56, 57 - expressly prohibit befriending or allying with unbelievers such as Jews and Christians. The only exception is if Muslims don't feel strong enough to engage in open jihad; then temporary alliances and feigned friendship may be resorted to, while the Muslim individual or group bides its time and builds up its strength. Surah 3: 28 of the Quran says "Let believers [Muslims] not take for friends and allies infidels [non-Muslims] instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with Allah - unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions".
That line about 'guarding yourselves' and 'taking precautions' has tradtionally been interpreted as permitting Muslims to temporarily feign 'friendship' or enter into alliances, if they deem it expedient.
Al-Tabari, interpreting 3: 28, wrote - "If you (Muslims) are under their (infidels') authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them, with your tongue, while harbouring inner animosity for them...Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels in place of believers except when infidels are above them [in authority]. In such a scenario, let them act friendly towards them"; and Ibn Kathir, another authoritative 'theologian', writes - "Whoever at any time or place fears their [infidels'] evil may protect himself through outward show". - CM
'The move comes after talks earlier this month in Darwin between Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Julia Gillard."
Meanwhile, there are surely more than a few Muslims in Indonesia who share the sentiments and goals that were openly expressed within earshot of V S Naipaul when, some thirty-plus years ago, he visited a pesantren, the Indonesian version of a madrasa, in Pabelan in Java. I quote, from 'Among the Believers' (first published in 1981), section IV, part 3, chapter entitled 'Deschooling':
'Taufiq said, 'We move the younger ones around...for the interaction. Here it doesn't matter whether they are Javanese or Sundanese or Sumatrans. They're indonesians. You see that boy?' he said to Prasojo. 'He's from Timor'.
"Prasojo was interested. 'Which one?' (i.e., from East or West Timor - East Timor being then occupied and ruled by Indonesia - CM).
'Timor', said Taufiq, and laughed. 'Our newest colony. Soon we'll be colonizing Australia.'
'Prasojo said, 'You mustn't say those things.'" End quote.
I wonder whether PM Julia Gillard or RAAF Group Captain David Thiele have read V S Naipaul's Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey, or the follow-up, Beyond Belief: Among the Converted Peoples, both of which deal unblinkingly with the havoc that Islam has wreaked and is wreaking in Islamic Iran, Islamic Pakistan, Muslim-ruled Malaysia and Islamic Indonesia. Probably not, alas. If they did, they might learn something.
But now to our second piece of egregious Aussie folly which would also not be happening if our politicians had even the smallest understanding of Islam, of its doctrine of Jihad and its doctrines of deception. Again, the ABC reports.
'Greens Senator Scott Ludlum says he is very concerned Australia has agreed to sell uranium to the United Arab Emirates.
I am, too, though not perhaps not quite for the same reasons that Senator Ludlum is reported as giving, later in the article. - CM
'Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr yesterday travelled to the UAE to sign off on the deal.
Bob Carr never met a plausible Muslim salesman that he didn't like. Back when he was Premier of NSW he once found a certain Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, proponent of the 'Ground Zero Mosque', so wonderfully charming that he invited him to Sydney to spread his taqiyya and da'wa. As was reported by the SMH in 2004:
"The US and the West must acknowledge the harm they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end, says an Islamic cleric invited to Sydney by [NSW] Premier Bob Carr.
'New York-based Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who impressed Mr Carr at an international conference last year, arrives in Sydney today for two weeks of meetings and public talks... His major talks will be at noon on April 1 [April Fool's Day - how appropriate that was - CM] at St Mary's Cathedral with Cardinal George Pell [who may have been a little harder to fool than Mr Carr - CM] and Mr Carr, and a public lecture at 6 pm at the Wesley Centre in Pitt Street.'
Oh, dear. - CM
'The UAE says the agreement will allow it to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
I would advise FM Carr to read Bassam Tibi and study up on the special Islamic definition of 'peace', which is operative (for example) whenever Ahmadinejad of Iran claims his country's little nuclear project is for 'peaceful purposes', and which is surely operative for the UAE's Muslim rulers as well.
According to Bassam Tibi "the word 'peace'... implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam, or 'House of Islam', to the entire world", and again, "In Islam, peace requires that non-Muslims submit to the call of Islam, either by converting or by accepting the status of a religious minority (dhimmi) and paying the imposed poll tax, jizya". And again: "world peace, the final stage of the da'wa (call to embrace Islam) is reached only with the conversion or submission of all mankind to Islam...Muslims believe that expansion through war is not aggression but a fulfilment of the Qu'ranic command to spread Islam as a way to peace...". 'Peace' indeed... Islamspeak makes George Orwell's Newspeak look amateurish. For a preliminary discussion of Islamspeak, see here - one Wolfgang Bruno's "Islamic Dictionary For Infidels":
'Senator Ludlum is currently in Japan and has visited Fukushima prefecture, which was devastated by a nuclear meltdown last year.
"When things go wrong at a nuclear power station entire economies and regions can be shattered", he said.
"The idea that the Australian Government is blindly entering into another sales treaty with anybody else in the world, no matter where, is a cause for enormous regret, not any sort of celebration.
'Blindly' is the right word. Because this is not just 'anybody else', this is about our selling uranium to Muslims. Muslims who are rich enough to be able to buy what they need to turn that uranium not into rods for reactors, but..into bombs. - CM
"The Australian Government's got to take a good hard look at [itself] as to our responsibilities for the disasters that can be caused from this trade".
You can say that again. But meltdowns in nuclear power plants, my dear sir, are the least of my worries when I see us blithely preparing to sell the hot stuff to an Islamic entity. - CM
'The UAE has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty'.
To which Treaty they will, no doubt, accord exactly the same degree of respect as Muslims throughout history have accorded to any 'agreement' or Treaty made with Infidels. That is: none. Their signature on that Treaty is worth exactly nothing. As and when they deem it to their advantage - to the advantage of the Ummah, or Mohammedan Mob, vis a vis the despised Infidels - to breach that Treaty, they will do so.
"Islamic School Ordered to Repay $9 Million Funding"
'An Islamic school in Sydney's south-west has been ordered to pay back $9 milliion in New South Wales public funds.
'Education Minister Adrian Piccoli wrote to the Malek Fahd Islamic School in Greenacre yesterday advising the funds must be repaid.
'Mr Piccoli says the order follows a Federal Government audit requested after concerns about the financial arrangements between the school and the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.
'He says the school has been operating against not-for-profit guidelines since 2010, but it can keep its doors open.
"The school can operate provided it can prove it is operating not-for-profit", Mr Piccoli said.
I hope the Federal and the NSW State Governments have been and are deploying the best forensic accountants and auditors they can find; for Islam has fraud, deception and lying down to a fine art. - CM
"For any period that it operated for profit or is deemed to have operated for profit any funds given to it, any taxpayer funds, given to it will be recovered by the New South Wales Government.
'Federal Education Minister Peter Garrett says he also received a letter from Mr Piccoli yesterday, and that documents will be referred to the NSW Police Force and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Hmmmm. - CM
'Mr Garrett says the school has not breached federal guidelines, but there are concerns about some governance issues.
"I've asked them to write to me on those matters. They have written to me, I'm now taking advice from the department", Mr Garrett said.
'The school's principal, Intaj Ali, has been unavailable for comment.
'The school, which opened in 1989, has about 2,000 boys and girls enrolled across its primary and high school classes'.
Fraud seems to follow Islamic schools around. Here's another case, from Western Australia, in 2010.
'Islamic School Founder Jailed For Fraud'. "The founder of an Islamic school in Perth will have to serve more than 2 years behind bars for fraudulently obtaining thousands of dollars in government grants."
Only thousands...oh dear, he must have been a rank amateur compared to the folks running the Malek Fahd Islamic School in NSW.
Memo to the ATO [Australian Tax Office], State Treasuries, and Federal and State Education Departments: perhaps you should take extra special care when inspecting the financial and administration details of proposed or currently operating "Islamic Schools" in Australia. I fear that the little episode in Western Australia and the current scandal in NSW may not be the half of what might be going on. - CM