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



















These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 14, 2012.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Rotting from the Head Down

In his article on London in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, titled “Oh, London, You Drama Queen,” novelist China Miéville writes: “The aftermath [of the recent riots] was one of panicked reaction. Courts became runnels for judicial cruelty, dispensing sentences vastly more severe than anything usual for similar crimes.”

This is the statement of a typical intellectual whose indifference to the actual lives of the urban poor masquerades as compassion for them. Miéville fails to mention that most of the sentences handed down were for people with criminal records, no doubt in many cases long ones. The real judicial cruelty—not to the criminals but to their victims—was the leniency before the riots that gave the rioters a hitherto justified sense of impunity.

Some figures: in 2011, there were 12,699 knife attacks in London known to the police (up 13.6 percent from the previous year); 58,160 burglaries (up 8.8 percent); and 68,754 street robberies (up 13 percent). The average national detection rate for burglaries is about one in 12, though even this is an overstatement, due to police manipulation of the figures. Approximately 800,000 domestic burglaries took place in Great Britain in 2009; this means that some 67,000 were detected by the police. In that same year, 6,136 people went to prison in Great Britain for burglary (for an average of 17 months each). Considering the 800,000 burglaries annually, a domestic burglary attracts on average four days’ imprisonment: hardly indicative of judicial ferocity, and not much of a deterrent to burglary.

One cannot say often enough that the victims of crime are, like the perpetrators, more likely to be poor than rich. For example, single-parent households in Britain have a more than one-in-20 chance of being burgled in any given year; and since most burglars are recidivists, indeed multiply so, it follows that the class of victim is much larger than the class of perpetrator. Leniency toward criminals is not therefore a form of sympathy for the poor, but a failure to take either their lives or their property seriously. For Miéville to talk of “panicked reaction” in these circumstances is a form of moral exhibitionism. He is showing off in front of his peers.

The notion that the disorder in London (and elsewhere in the country) is a protest against injustice—a thread that runs through Miéville’s article—is both crude and laughable. It is true that the British police have, after years of liberal-inspired reform, become simultaneously bullying and ineffectual, a disastrous combination. But you have only to read an account or two of the knife-murders among London adolescents to know how little injustice has to do with police behavior and how much with the disorderly and fundamentally vicious culture that Miéville extols.

I take at random an account of a murder in 2009 of a 15-year-old youth, Steven Lewis. Here is how the BBC described the trial at the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales:

The Old Bailey heard that police faced a wall of silence as youths at the scene denied seeing anything.

Hundreds had attended a “back-to-school”-themed youth event at the church in January, which ended early when gatecrashers arrived, the court heard.

During a subsequent row Stephen was surrounded by a group of youths, some of them shouting, “shank him,” meaning “stab him.”

Chris Mazekelua boasted of the murder with “apparent glee” after stabbing Stephen, the Old Bailey heard.

An anti-knife crime patrol that happened to be in the area was at the scene within seconds.

They found knives scattered over the floor but youths who were there told officers they had not seen anything.

There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of protest against social injustice in such cases; nor was there any in the accounts that I’ve read of the 120 similar murders in Britain between 2009 and 2010.

Miéville goes on to describe a scene with which every urban Briton is only too familiar:

Two boys get on a bus from northwest London heading to the center. They swagger upstairs, lounge on the front seats, turn their phones into inadequate speakers and drawl along with the Notorious B.I.G.: “Every Saturday ‘Rap Attack,’ Mr. Magic, Marley Marl/I let my tape rock till my tape popped.” Like they know what tape is.

Inadequate speakers? Inadequate for what? Such imprecision of mind is astonishing in someone with a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and who has held a fellowship at Harvard. Miéville’s commentary on the above scene demonstrates an ability to avoid social reality common in a certain kind of educated fool: “Everyday silliness, adolescent thoughtlessness are treated like social collapse. Of which there’s a fair bit going around, true, but does it really inhere in this?”

I won’t comment on the prose—does social collapse “go around” in “fair bits”?— but surely only someone with a degree in anthropology (as Miéville has) could miss the most obvious purpose of the behavior described: to mark out a territory and to intimidate others. This would be clear enough to the most uneducated old lady of the working class.

According to an old Russian saying, fish rot from the head down. I suspect this isn’t really true of fish, but it is certainly true of societies. After all, China Miéville, a successful and critically acclaimed novelist, is among the British intellectual elite.

First published in City Journal.

Posted on 03/14/2012 9:48 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Lindzen Off The Deep End
See his graph, and more about his talk to gullible "skeptics" in a side room at the House of Commons (his talk then became "a speech to the House of Commons"), at realclimate.org here.
Posted on 03/14/2012 12:15 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Australia: Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon, Convert to Islam, Sharia-Pusher, on Child Porn and Jihad Terror Threat Charges

Yet another convert to classical Islam and loud advocate of sharia turns out to be a very nasty and a very naughty boy.  One should note that his now-embarrassingly-exposed interest in child porn is not inconsistent with his devotion to Islam and may not be unconnected with his stated goal of transforming Australia into a sharia society: for sharia holds that a girl of nine, even a girl who has not yet menstruated, may be wedded and bedded.   If Mr Siddiq-Conlon has a thing for little, little girls,  or even for pearly boys - bacha bazi, anybody? - Sharia would permit him to indulge his desires with impunity.  And the hypocrisy of his threats made against Sydney's famous Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras should be glaringly apparent to anyone aware of the extent to which male sexual use of other males is rife (behind closed doors) in dar al Islam.

Let's hear what the Aussie media did with the news.

First, the ABC.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-14/muslim-radical-in-court-over-child-pornography2c-terror-threat/3888834

'Muslim radical on child porn, terror threat charges'

You will note the use of the word 'Muslim' in the headline. - CM

'A convert to radical Islam has appeared in a Sydney court on charges of possessing child pornography and making a hoax terrorist threat against the city's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

How do they know it was a hoax? Because he said it was? - CM

'Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon is accused of posting the threat on the Facebook page for 2Day FM's Kyle and Jackie O Show.

'Police also allege he viewed child abuse material on the internet using his laptop computer between July last year and his arrest on the night of the Mardi Gras parade.

The Aussie police were taking no chances, it seems. Well done, boys in blue. - CM

'Siddiq-Conlon has previously come to attention in the media for his outspoken views (that is, his treasonous views - CM), particularly his call for Australia to become an Islamic state ruled by sharia law.

Of course he wants sharia law.  Then he could have up to four eight or nine or ten year old 'wives' simultaneously, and divorce them with the triple talaq when they got too old to suit his tastes... and it would all be perfectly legal. - CM

'He faced Burwood Local Court this morning and was granted bail to re-appear in May.

'Speaking to reporters outside the court, Siddiq-Conlon said he had posted the hoax threat in a moment of passion and had not meant it.

Suuuuure he didn't mean it.  And I just saw a flock of pigs fly past overhead. - CM

"It was just a moment of passion and I didn't mean it and that's all", he said.

Pull the other leg, mate, it's got bells on. - CM

'He denied accessing child pornography from his computer.

Of course he denies it.  But the cops wouldn't have charged him if they didn't have some evidence he was up to something.  - CM

"Nothing to say on that - of course is that police believe they have some evidence but you know of course we don't have any of that stuff", he said.

Note his attempt to make it all a matter of  perception - 'police believe they have some evidence'.  And - who is 'we'?   And again, mate, I simply don't believe you.  You can try the 'I wuz FWAMED!' defence all you like, but it won't fly with me.  Nor, I suspect, with the jurors you are likely to encounter.  And I will just point out that British police surveilling jihad-minded Muslims found themselves continually bumping into other police from that department of the Force that specialises in tracking down  people who use, trade and produce kiddie porn.  And European police, too, in the course of a number of investigations, have discovered a significant overlap between jihad-mindedness, on the one hand, and a taste for hardcore kiddie porn, on the other.

Anyway: now for what  Natasha Robinson of 'The Australian' made of the story. 

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/sharia-advocate-used-kyle-and-jackie-os-facebook-page-for-threat-against-mardi-gras/story-e6frg6nf-1226299328340

'Sharia Advocate 'used Kyle and Jackie O's facebook page for threat against Mardi Gras'".

Now that is interesting.  We have a mainstream newspaper using the phrases 'sharia advocate' and 'threat' in the same sentence. One should note that Sydney's GLBT Mardi Gras has been for years a major Institution in the city's social calendar - and not only for members of the GLBT community: any sort of threat made by a Muslim against it, even if said threat is subsequently claimed not to have been serious, will focus minds wonderfully. - CM

'An Australian-born Sharia law advocate allegedly used the facebook page of commercial radio hosts Kyle and Jackie O to issue a fake terrorist threat to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

'Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon, a Muslim convert, faced Burwood local court in Sydney's southwest today, and dismissed his social media post as "a moment of passion" that he "absolutely" regretted.  

Only because he got caught, I bet. - CM

'Mr Siddiq-Conlon was also accused of child pornography offences.

'Australian Federal Police charged the self-confessed hater of democracy last month and he faced court today for the first time.

'He was charged with using a carriage service to issue a hoax terrorist threat, possessing child abuse material, and using a carriage service to access child pornography.

'Mr Siddiq-Conlon did not enter a plea and was released from the court on bail.

'He emerged from the court saying he regretted issuing the hoax threat on the Kylie and Jackie D facebook page.

Of course he regrets it. He made a threat that, in the present day and age, had to be taken seriously - a threat that the police could not afford to ignore - and the Infidel Law of the infidel society to which he is now an openly-declared traitor and enemy came down on him like a ton of bricks.   - CM

"(The internet) can be an important medium to talk about things, but obviously there is a lot of problems with it as well".

Yeah, you never know who's listening in when you're shooting your mouth off about Jihad.- CM

'Mr Siddiq-Conlon, who was raised a Christian, converted to Islam after travelling overseas and marrying an Indonesian woman.  He is behind the group Sharia4Australia, formed in southwest Sydney (that is, in heavily Islamified southwest Sydney - CM), to advocate for sharia courts and eventual total Islamic rule.

In other words, he is a perfectly orthodox Muslim.  I wonder if he's affiliated with all the other 'sharia4' groups that have been popping up all over? Might be worth finding out whether he corresponds with Anjem Choudary. -  CM

'Under his bail conditions, Mr Siddiq-Conlon must reside at his parents' address in Cowra.  His next court appearance was set down for May 8 at the Downing Centre local court in Sydney.

Now, let's hear from Paul Bibby at the Sydney Morning Herald.  Again, we have 'sharia' and 'mardi gras threat' in close proximity in the headline.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sharia-advocate-made-mardi-gras-threat-on-kyle-and-jackie-o-facebook-page-court-hears-20120314-1uzgu.html

'Sharia advocate made Mardis Gras threat on Kyle and Jackie O facebook page, court hears'.

'An outspoken Sydney advocate of sharia has appeared in court charged with child pornography offences and using websites to make threats against the recent Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

'Police allege that, on the night before the Mardi Gras last month, Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon, 35, made a terrorist threat against the event on the Facebook page of the popular 2Day FM radio program The Kyle and Jackie O Show.

Paul Bibby now adds a further snippet of information, to fill in the picture on the character and activities of this convert-to-Islam. - CM

'Mr Siddiq-Conlon last year created a Facebook page calling the Australian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan "terrorists".

A classic piece of Muslim projection.  - CM

'He appeared in Burwood Local Court today charged with possessing child abuse material, using a carriage service for a hoax threat, and using a carriage service to access child pornography.

'The charge of using a carriage service for a hoax threat relates to the threat made against the Mardi Gras.

'He was charged on March 4.

'Speaking outside court, Mr Siddiq-Conlon said the threat was "just a moment of passion and I didn't mean it".

'He declined to comment on the child pornography charges.

'He is on bail and will reappear in court on May 8.

Now, cue a Muslim 'community' representative frantically throwing this oh-so-embarrassing new recruit  under the bus as fast as he can, in order to protect Islam. - CM

'Ahmed Kilani, the editor of popular Australian Muslim news website MuslimVillage.com said Mr Siddiq-Conlon had little credibility within the local Muslim community.

He's a bit too open about the ultimate goals of the Ummah, and is alarming the surrounding kuffar no end, making life hard for the Slow Jihadists.  But I hope the Aussie police have done and are doing some legwork to find out just how much contact Mr Siddiq-Conlon really has had with his fellow Muslim mobsters, both within Australia and overseas. What mosque does he attend, for example? And I hope they are thoroughly checking the background and family connections of his Indonesian wife.  - CM

"He is rather considered by Australian Muslims to be a self-promoting media-created phenomena, that has no Islamic qualifications, zero credibility, and no influence over the affairs of the Australian Muslim community", Mr Kilani said on the website.  "To use the Australian vernacular, he is a 'Neville Nobody'.

Methinks Mr Kilani doth protest too much.  He sounds a bit panicky. - CM.

And, finally, the 'take' from Carleen Frost of Sydney's 'The Daily Telegraph'. Note well the DT headline.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/muslim-preacher-ibrahim-muhammad-siddiq-conlon-charged-with-hoax-mardi-gras-threat-and-possessing-child-abuse-material/story-fn7y9brv-1226299285109

'Muslim preacher Ibrahim Muhammad Siddiq-Conlon charged with hoax Mardi Gras threat and possessing child abuse material'.

'A Muslim preacher has faced court on charges related to accessing child pornography and making a hoax threat in the lead up to this year's Mardi Gras.

Congratulations to Carleen Frost and the editorial team at the DT.  'Muslim preacher' is the simplest and most straightforward - and completely accurate - description of Mr Siddiq-Conlon. - CM

'Ibrahim Muhammad Siddiq-Conlon, of Taylor Street Lakemba (oho, so he hangs out in Lakemba, where a very large number of Sydney's Mohammedans live - CM), made a brief appearance in Burwood Local Court this morning, but did not enter a plea.

'He's been charged with using a carriage service to make a hoax threat, possessing child abuse material, and using a carriage service to access child pornography.

'Court documents reveal Siddiq-Conlon "did use a carriage service to make a hoax threat on Facebook page of Kylie and Jackie O outlining a terrorist threat to Sydney Mardi Gras 2012".

'Magistrate Longley approved a slight variation to his bail conditions and adjourned the matter until next month...

'Under the terms of his bail conditions Siddiq-Conlon is not to access the Internet and not to be left unaccompanied in the presence of a child under the age of 18, other than his children.

I didn't know he has children.  Poor children.  I remember what the imam father of ex-Muslim 'Hannah Shah' did to her...regular rape and beatings from when she was six years old, right on into her teens. - CM

'He is not to be within 50 metres of a school, preschool or child care centre.

No leering at potential Aishas for you, mate. - CM

'He is to reside at a property in Cowra and report to the local police station twice a week."

The forces of law and order got Al Capone on tax evasion charges.  Looks like sharia-pushing jihad-minded traitor and seditionist Siddiq-Conlon, enthusiastic would-be imitator of Mohammed (whose name he has taken as part of his wonderful new Muslim name), might be put out of circulation, at least for a while, on child porn charges. - CM

Posted on 03/14/2012 2:47 AM by Christina McIntosh
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Emmet Scott's Mohammed & Charlemagne Revisited: An Amazon Review
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read to understand today's world, March 12, 2012
By 
This review is from: Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy (Paperback)

Having read and recommended Bryan Ward-Perkins The Fall of Rome, I was most interested to read this book, which takes aim on Ward-Perkins. While I recommend both, this controversial update of Henri Pirenne's theory that it was the rise of Islam that destroyed classical civilization in Europe is in my view the most important and on the mark. I confess that there were tedious bits for the non-academic at the start, but stay with them, as they are a necessary foundation to the riveting final four chapters, the conclusion and the epilogue, which are must-reads for those who want to understand today's world and the millennium-old clash between western civilization and Islam. Basically, Scott lays out a solid case that it was the closure of Mediterranean trade route by Muslim raiders, and the destruction of the lowland, coastal agricultural system that supported advanced economies, as the peoples in the south of Europe had to retreat to defended hill top towns to escapes the attentions of Islamic slave raiders that provided the death knell for classical civilization.

Some telling quotes from the book, which bring to mind our present world: "Aside from the aristocrats themselves, there were armies of bureaucrats and courtiers surrounding the (Roman) Emperor, huge numbers of soldiers, and a vast number of unemployed plebeians, who had to be supported by a social security system, which the Roman's named the "dole." ... With the decline of the city as a political power, the great majority of this population would naturally have disappeared. (PP. 80-81). (Be carefully what you wish for, OWS!)

"Under the protective shield of Rome, the farmers, artisans, and intellectuals...had grown to despise the calling of the soldier, and to see the defense of the country as someone else's business. ... The civilian populations of Anatolia, of Syria, of Egypt, and of North Africa were vast, but they were completely unused to war. After the defeats of the Imperial forces (by the Muslims), there existed no tradition of military training or activity which could have facilitated independent local action against the invaders." (P. 172.

"Islam is virtually unique among world religions in that its primary scriptures advocate the use of military force and its early expansion--indeed its expansion during the first six or seven centuries of its existence--invariably involved military conquest and the use of force." (P.185)

"...there was continual and almost uninterrupted war between Muslims and (European) Christians since the first attack on Sicily in 652 and Constantinople in 674. In the great majority of these wars, the Muslims were the aggressors. ... it is estimated that between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries alone (Muslim pirates) captured and enslaved in excess of a million Europeans." (P. 187)

This book will broaden your understanding of the ancient world, the foundations of our civilization, and the on-going clash with Islam. I rate it a "must read."

Robert A. Hall
Author: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
All royalties go to help wounded veterans

Posted on 03/14/2012 6:11 AM by NER
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
The Movie La Ciociara (Two Women) For Sale At Italian Kiosks Tomorrow

La Ciociara is the story of a woman and her daughter, both of them raped by Moroccan soldiers in 1943  Were it not for this movie, and the Moravia novel on which it is based, few outside of Italy would learn about this episode which affected thousands of Italian women.

You can read about it here:

La ciociara

Grande Cinema Italiano
IN EDICOLA DAL 15 MARZOLa Ciociara

A 6 persone piace
LA CIOCIARADrammatico Inedito in edicola Edizione restaurata
  • Vittorio De Sica 1960
Dal romanzo di Moravia, il caos dell’Italia durante la seconda guerra mondiale. Nel 1960 De Sica ritrova la forza dei suoi film neorealisti. E Sophia Loren prima trionfa a Cannes, e poi vince l’Oscar.DÌ LA TUA
TUTTI I TITOLI DELLO SPECIALE

SCHEDA DEL FILM

  • La ciociara (1960)
    Un film di Vittorio De Sica
  • Genere Drammatico
  • Produzione Italia
  • Durata 110 minuti circa
  • Titolo
    La ciociara
  • Produzione
    Medusa Home Entertainment
  • Data uscita 28 maggio 2003
  • Formato schermo
    2,35:1

Trama La ciociara

Tratto dal romanzo di Moravia. Durante l'ultima guerra Cesira, giovane vedova coraggiosa e battagliera, si rifugia con la figlia adolescente nel paese natale. Di lei si innamora Michele, un giovane intellettuale tormentato. Cesira decide di tornare a Roma: sulla strada del ritorno madre e figlia vengono violentate da alcuni soldati marocchini. La ragazza esce dalla terribile avventura totalmente sconvolta e la madre tenta invano di riavvicinarsi alla figlia: soltanto un nuovo dolore, la notizia della morte di Michele, scioglierà l'incomprensione tra le due donne. La cosa migliore è l'interpretazione della Loren, che per questo film vinse l'Oscar.

Nell'estate 1943 Cesira, giovane vedova, lascia Roma con la figlia tredicenne e si rifugia in un paese della Ciociaria. Arrivano gli Alleati: entrambe sono violentate dai marocchini. Oscar per Sophia Loren che vinse anche il Nastro d'argento 1961. Il romanzo (1957) di Alberto Moravia, sceneggiato da Cesare Zavattini, è trasposto con robusto piglio narrativo. Intensa rievocazione degli anni di guerra, dolore e sangue. All'inizio doveva essere un film Paramount, diretto da G. Cukor, con A. Magnani e S. Loren. La prima rifiutò perché non voleva la seconda come figlia anche per motivi di statura.AUTORE LETTERARIO: Alberto Moravia

Posted on 03/14/2012 6:04 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Sweden Democrats face 'honour violence' ad fury

From The Local

The Sweden Democrats’ Women's Association (SD-Kvinnor) presented a new internet commercial last week, meant to “highlight honour related violence”, an issue they feel is not getting enough media attention.  “Today when we speak about equality we speak a lot about equal pay and affirmative action, but there are women out there who are dying, who can’t leave their homes,” said SD Kvinnor spokesperson Therese Borg to The Local.

The film, which was released to coincide with International Women’s Day last Thursday, shows a young immigrant woman who is beaten by what appears to be members of her family and other relatives while a mournful tune is played. The violent scenes are concluded by a blonde and pale-skinned woman wiping up blood from the floor.

The narrative, which is all in rhyme, poses questions such as ”what if tolerance is just naivety” and ”what if culture kills”.

The film was quickly slammed by influential feminists like former leader of the Left Party and later of the feminist party Feminist Initiative (Feministiskt Initiativ, FI) Gudrun Schyman. “SD is trying to hijack the equality question, just like they have done with other issues before. It is just that when you look at their own politics it is the most racist, homophobic and anti-feminist to be found in the Swedish Riksdag,” Schyman said to newspaper Metro.

Borg, on the other hand does not agree. “Does anyone own this issue? Is it only for some to argue for equality? I find what her statement implies remarkable," she said.

Comments include

  •  guess feminism only applies to white women then. Calling out the explicit and rampant abuse of women by a repressive ideology conflicts with their narrative that Swedish culture and white men in general are the great evil in the world and anything "diverse" created non-Westerners must be great. Even if it involves abusing women, mutilating them sexually and killing children for the way they dress.
  • Though shalt not poach from Karl Marx's flock. Only leftists are human enough to care about women, particularly abused ones. Everyone knows that. What are SD thinking?
  •  think everyone is missing an important point here. At least according to the info. placed in this article, it seems clear that what really bothers the lady is that "it was the feminist party idea", and no one else is allowed to use it. May I suggest Ms Schyman, why don't you trademark the idea then? It seems easy enough to trademark just about everything else here.
Posted on 03/14/2012 7:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Syria And Its Chemical Weapons

Syria a chemical weapon ‘powder keg ready to explode,’ experts fear

Mar 13, 2012

Ricardo Garcia Vilanova / AFP / Getty Images

Ricardo Garcia Vilanova / AFP / Getty Images

The Free Syrian Army on Tuesday. Attacks on government weapons depots pose a threat to chemical and biological stockpiles.

While United Nations officials said Tuesday that more than 8,000 people have died in a year of political unrest in Syria, some experts fear the collapse of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime may actually be worse than the threat of all-out civil war.

The sudden demise of Syria’s dictator has the potential to expose the Middle East and the world to a massive new threat from chemical and biological weapons.

Syria has been stockpiling chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction since the late 1970s and is widely believed to possess one of the world’s largest inventories of mustard blister agent, sarin nerve gas and possibly VX nerve agent.

“The country is a chemical powder keg ready to explode,” says a report released last week by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Hundreds of tonnes of chemical weapons, chemical warheads for medium-range, Soviet-built Scud B and C ballistic missiles, air-dropped bombs and conventional artillery shells are believed to be stored in about 50 sites around Syria.

At least four chemical weapon production facilities are located in the towns of al-Safira (12 kilometres southeast of Aleppo), Hama, Homs and Latakia, while massive munition storage depots are located at Khan Abu Shamat (northeast of Damascus) and Furqlus (just east of Homs).

“The situation in Syria is unprecedented,” said Charles Blair of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in a recent report for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. “Never before has a WMD-armed country fallen into civil war.”

While there was considerable concern internationally that Libyan chemical weapons and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles might fall into the hands of terrorists during last year’s fight to depose Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the threat posed by Syria is exponentially higher.

“The Libyan chemical stockpile consisted of several tonnes of aging mustard gas leaking from a half-dozen containers that would have been impossible to utilize as weapons,” Mr. Blair said. “Syria likely has one of the largest and most sophisticated chemical weapons programs in the world.

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CLICK TO ENLARGE

“Should Syria devolve into full-blown civil war, the security of its WMD should be of profound concern, as sectarian insurgents and Islamist terrorist groups may stand poised to seize chemical and perhaps even biological weapons.”

Defections from Syria’s armed forces and attacks on government weapons storage depots by rebel soldiers all pose a threat to chemical and biological weapon stockpiles. Deadly chemical and biological agents could escape into the atmosphere as the result of an attack or the weapons themselves could fall into the hands of insurgents or terrorists.

“If Syria collapses into chaos or the army splits between Assad’s fellow Alawites and the majority Sunnis, a key question will be the fate of these chemical weapons and their delivery systems,” said former CIA officer Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution. “Terrorist groups, such as Assad’s friends, Hezbollah and Hamas, would love to get sarin warheads.”

At least six terrorist organizations have long maintained headquarters in Syria over the years, including Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Since the country plunged into conflict last year, al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters from Iraq have also been streaming into Syria at the request of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

“The question is when, not if,” the Assad government is brought down, said Israel’s armed forces planning chief Major General Amir Eshel. “And the big question is what is going to come the day after.”

“The immediate concern is the huge stockpiles of chemicals, biologicals, strategic capabilities, that are still going into Syria,” he said. “I don’t know who is going to own those the day after.”

Should Mr. Assad feel his grip on power is slipping, he could easily transfer some of his chemical and biological weapons to allies such as Iran and Hezbollah.

“Should centralized authority crumble in Syria, it seems highly unlikely that the country’s 50 chemical storage and manufacturing facilities — and possibly biological weapon repositories — can be secured,” said Mr. Blair. “The U.S. Defence Department recently estimated that it would take more than 75,000 U.S. military personnel to guard Syria’s chemical weapons. This is, of course, if they could arrive before any WMD were transferred or looted — a highly unlikely prospect.”

In the early days of the Iraq War, in spite of the presence of more than 200,000 coalition troops, insurgents managed to make off with more than 330 tonnes of military-grade high explosives that were used in improvised explosive devices for the next decade.

Last week, General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a U.S. Senate committee that U.S. officials are keeping a close watch on Syrian army defections and the command structure of the Syrian army “to make sure they [chemical weapons] are still under the control of the regime.”

Using satellites and other technology to track Syria’s arsenal, U.S. officials are also reported to be making plans with regional allies to develop a strategy to secure the weapon stockpiles in an emergency.

Last week the Wall Street Journal reported U.S. and Jordanian officials are developing plans for Jordan’s special operations forces, acting as part of a larger Arab League peacekeeping mission, to go into Syria to secure more than a dozen weapons sites.

“The best possible outcome, in terms of controlling Syria’s enormous WMD arsenal, would be for Assad to maintain power,” said Mr. Blair of the FAS. “But such an outcome seems increasingly implausible.”

Posted on 03/14/2012 8:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
'Attack on Leon Panetta's plane' at Camp Bastion

From the Telegraph

An Afghan worker made a deliberate attempt on the life of Leon Panetta as he landed in Helmand after he broke through defences and drove a vehicle towards the American defence secretary’s aircraft, defence sources have disclosed.

A British serviceman was also injured in the incident when the local employee at Camp Bastion deliberately drove the stolen vehicle into a group of soldiers undergoing training near the airfield.

The Afghan managed to get through the heavy security cordon surrounding the airfield in the middle of the base and onto the runway where the politician was arriving. He managed to break through the perimeter surrounded by armed security and large concrete block guards. The truck, possibly a pick-up, caught fire and crashed into a ditch on the runway close to where Mr Panetta’s jet had just landed or was coming into land.

Initial military reports indicate there were no explosive devices inside the vehicle at Camp Bastion. The car was heading towards a welcoming committee for Mr Panetta when it burst into flames and the alleged perpetrator was arrested.

 It is understood that he was suffering from severe burns. It is not known if he had gunshot injuries or if the gunfire set his vehicle alight and made it crash.

While the Defence Secretary’s visit to Afghanistan was not publicly announced it is understood that it had become known to people in Bastion that he was arriving.

“It appears to be a serious attempt on the aircraft carrying the US Defence Secretary as he was coming in to land,” a defence source said. “There is a very strong suspicion that he knew Panetta was on the plane Although there was no publicity, people on the base knew it was coming. This guy just drove through blockade and did not stop.”

This statement earlier was obviously not enough. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters aboard his plane en route to Kyrgyzstan that the shooting suspect would be brought to justice under the US military legal code, which allows for the death penalty in some cases.

Afghanistan has not, and will not change.

Posted on 03/14/2012 1:11 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
NCJA Requests that ADL Director Foxman Step Down

Hassan Shibly of CAIR Florida              Abe Foxman of ADL

The National Council on Jewish Affairs (NCJA) issued a call today for the resignation of veteran ADL leader Abe Foxman to step down in the wake of the demise of the American Law for American Courts (ALAC) legislation in the Florida Senate last Friday. The NCJA  cited our report about CAIR’s Florida director, the controversial Hassan Shibly, promoting an alleged “Sharia Victory”.  

In a news release , the NCJA said:

National Jewish leaders, horrified that Abraham Foxman and the ADL board consider American laws insufficient to protect Jews, suggest [Foxman and the board] resign after ADL’s efforts defeat[ed] Florida legislation that would restrict consideration of foreign laws in American legal system.

The NCJA news release went on to note:

ADL lobbying supports agenda of CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the [2008 Federal Dallas] Holy Land terror  funding trial.

According to a source involved with the Florida ALAC legislation

  The ADL should be lambasted for their opposition to 1360 because they were dishonest in their objections.

As reported yesterday in a column on the website of the Dr. Rich Show in Florida, and later confirmed by Holton of the  Center for Security Policy.

A needless last minute dog fight between outgoing Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R-Merritt Island) and the ALAC Senate Bill 1360 sponsor Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) effectively ran out the clock for a measure that had strong support for a veto proof passage. This after having cleared all of the legislative hurdles in order to reach Gov. Rick Scott’s desk for enactment.  Haridopolos’ likely successor as Senate President in 2013 could be Sen. Don Gaetz, who represents a Senate district in the Florida Panhandle. Gaetz in an email response to the author has gone on record in support of the ALAC measure. That and the strong support shown in the passage of the House version might indicate ultimate passage of ALAC in the next legislative session. 

Informed sources advise us that the ADL may have been behind a last minute amendment submitted by Coral Gables state Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portillo that would have “virtually gutted the legislation.”  Sen. De la Portillo was alleged to have said that the ALAC bill sponsor, Sen. Hays, “had no international law expertise”.   We understand that Sen. De la Portillo assured irate district supporters that he would withdraw the hostile amendment but never did.

We know that the ADL in Florida was viewed as complicit in the attack against this measure. Ahmed Bedier, the ex-Tampa CAIR leader and founder of the Muslim Brotherhood front group United Voices for America was caught on film by The United West investigative team  at a Florida Muslim Capital Day gathering stating that they would  “use them [ADL] for our gain”. 

We understand that the ADL officials in the Southeastern region and Florida who were active in lobbying against the ALAC measure were David Barkey, Southern Area Legal Counsel and Florida regional office director Andrew Rosenkranz. Rosenkranz is both an attorney and ordained rabbi and should have known that his arguments about the threat of SB 1360 in barring Jewish Bet Din rulings on divorce and custody were bogus.  Watch Barkey and ACLU ally  debate recent Florida school prayer legislation.

We noted comments of Rabbi Jon Hausman, expert in both Halacha and Shariah, in our report on the demise of SB1360:

No jurisdiction recognizes the efficacy of a Get to dissolve a marriage, legal dissolution of which is controlled by State statute in every State and Territory of the US.

The Southern Palm Beach County Jewish Community Relations Council may also have been complicit.   Sources indicate that the group may have underwritten ADL travel and related expenses for lobbying during the legislative session. 

The national ADL leadership, especially national executive leader Abe Foxman and his office of civil rights director, Deborah Lauter, have furthered support for Muslim Brotherhood initiatives such as mega-mosque expansion via the formation of the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques (ICOM).   The ICOM filed an amicus briefs in the controversial Islamic center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee Chancery Court hearings in the Rutherford County in 2010.   Lauter of the ADL in particular, absolved an ICM board member of his support for Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas, by saying in a Los Angeles Times article that preserving freedom of worship trumped counterterrorism concerns. 

There have been indications that donors to the ADL may have viewed their civil rights activities as a dangerous diversion from the original 1915 charter to fight anti-Semitism in America.  In April 2009, the Florida office of the ADL issued a news release criticizing the Hon. Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV (Freedom Party) in the Netherlands when he spoke in southern Florida criticizing Islamic doctrine, a right preserved in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Further, investigations by Ilya Feoktistov and Dr. Charles Jacobs have uncovered ADL involvement with extremists in Detroit.

 Then there is the matter of Florida CAIR director Hassan Shibly whose track record in Buffalo, uncovered by Feoktistov, Rachel Lipsky and Ryan Mauro built an effective dossier that should have alerted the ADL to  its  dangerous alliance with CAIR .

Jacobs in the “Buffaloed in Buffalo” expose about the myopic synagogue mosque twining program noted the terrorist connections of Shibly and his wife:

 Hassan [Shibly] and his mother, Sawsan Tabbaa, were detained at the US-Canadian border after returning from an Islamic conference in Toronto, about which the Department of Homeland Security said: "... we had credible intelligence that conferences similar to the one from which these individuals were leaving were being used by terrorist organizations to fundraise and to hide the travel of terrorists themselves." 

Feoktistov noted this:

The ADL is effectively partnering with [Shibly] who hates Israel, thinks that Jews and Christians are steeped in heresy. 

He pointed out a Shibly Facebook post in February 2009 that should jar Foxman, a Holocaust survivor:

February 17, 2009: “The Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazis”.

All of these revelations about Shibly of CAIR and the complicit role of the ADL in the recent ALAC legislation episode underline the NCJA request that it is time for Foxman and his coterie at the ADL to leave.  What we need is the equivalent of a “Jewish spring” to sweep out autocrats like Foxman and return the venerable ADL to its original role of exposing anti-Semitism and Israel’s enemies, not supporting them.

Posted on 03/14/2012 2:49 PM by Jerry Gordon

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