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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
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Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
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edited by S.B. Kelly
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by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
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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:
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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 Thursday, 17, 2011.
Thursday, 17 February 2011
A Musical Interlude: I'm Through With Love (Ambrose Orch.)

Listen here.

Posted on 02/17/2011 8:30 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Judges reject appeal by Muslims who shouted abuse at hero soldiers

Judges yesterday staunchly defended the ‘rights of the majority’ as they threw out an appeal by a group of Muslims against their conviction for hurling hate-filled abuse at soldiers.

The High Court ruled that the men were not acting within their human rights when they heckled and jeered members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment as they marched through Luton after returning from Afghanistan. The anti-war protesters caused outrage when they called the troops – who had previously served in Iraq – rapists, murderers and baby killers.

After the Luton protest, five Muslim men were convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words likely to cause harassment, alarm of distress. They appealed against their convictions at the High Court, arguing that they were legitimately exercising their rights to freedom of expression and to protest under European human rights laws.

But in their ruling two judges said the men’s actions had gone well beyond ‘legitimate expressions of protest’. Tellingly, they added that ‘the focus on minority rights should not result in overlooking the rights of the majority’.

Lord Justice Gross said: ‘There was all the difference in the world between expressing the view that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were illegal or immoral and that British forces should not be engaged in them and the abusive and insulting chants of the appellants. To attend a parade of this nature and to shout that this country’s soldiers were “murderers”, “baby killers”, “rapists all of you” who would or should “burn in hell” gave rise to a very clear threat to public order.’

He said the men were fortunate there had been no serious outbreak of violence and attributed their safety to ‘skilful policing’.

Mr Justice Davis agreed, saying the right to exercise freedom of expression – under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights – ‘necessarily carries with it duties and responsibilities’. He added: ‘These were not just generalised statements of views, vigorously expressed, on the morality of the war but were personally abusive and potentially defamatory of those soldiers. That the soldiers themselves were, as it happened, broad shouldered enough not to care one jot does not matter.’

I hope the magistrates who will deal with a few (and not all) of the Muslims who burnt poppies on Armistice Day will decide the same in court next week and that this decision will prompt prosecutions should there be anymore treasonous displays towards our servicemen.

Posted on 02/17/2011 2:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Nir Rosen's comments, taken in context

Kashmir Hill has Nir Rosen's tweets, which he has since deleted.  Incidentally, Kashmir Hill seems eager to put the blame for this incident on the technology of twitter, rather than on the person typing the twitter message.  I'll skip her comments and just post Nir Rosen's tweets:

  • lara logan had to outdo anderson. where was her buddy mccrystal?

Here he refers to CNN's Anderson Cooper, who was physically (though not sexually) assaulted in Tahrir Square.  General Stanley McCrystal was forced to resign after giving a candid interview with Michael Hastings of the Rolling Stone, in which he criticised members of the Obama administration.  Lara Logan had criticised Hastings for his article.

  • incidentally, it seems like this happened to quite a few women, foreign and egyptian, on friday in tahrir square

Again, if the media reported this prior to Lara Logan coming out with her story, I missed it.  It didn't seem to fit the agreed-upon script of a peaceful Egyptian people yearning for freedom and democracy.  Based on Rosen's comment, he doesn't seem particularly concerned that "quite a few women" were assaulted in Tahrir Square.  People began criticising Rosen:

  • all these people with no sense of humor
  • jesus christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger
  • ah fuck it, i apologize for being insensitive, its always wrong, thats obvious, but i’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get
  • and as a result of that i hope people remember her role glorifying war and condemning rolling stone’s hastings while defending mcchrystal

I assume at some point in here his phone started ringing, and he began to realize that he wouldn't be able to laugh it off.

  • i apologize and take it back. joking with friends got out of line when i didnt want to back down. forgot twitter is not exactly private
  • As someone who’s devoted his career to defending victims and supporting justice, I’m very ashamed for my insensitive and offensive comments
  • on the job you get used to making jokes about our own death, other people’s deaths, horrors, you forget that you sound like a dick at home

Now that he has explained it and put it into context for us, are you laughing?  It was just a few reporters joking among themselves, as they always do, about women getting sexually assaulted, and they forgot that twitter was public.  And anyways, she is a warmonger, and geez, think of all the attention she's getting.

Do you get it now?  Or are you one of "all these people with no sense of humor"?  I have to admit, the humor of Islam is often lost in translation.

Posted on 02/17/2011 2:58 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Thursday, 17 February 2011
No-one yet prepared to grasp the nettle: Australia's parliamentary opposition spooked by idea they might consider resistance to Islamisation

The ABC's choice of headline is somewhat - shall we say - unfortunate.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/17/3141338.htm

'Calls for Morrison's head in 'anti-Muslim' row'.

'Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is standing by his immigration spokesman Scott Morrison amid calls for his sacking over his alleged proposal for the Coalition to pursue an anti-Muslim agenda.

'A Fairfax report says Mr Morrison urged shadow cabinet to capitalise on electorate fears of "Muslim immigration", "Muslims in Australia" and Muslim migrants' "inability to integrate".

Not knowing what Mr Morrison actually said, I have to read between the lines and hope that he was in fact arguing simply that his party should recognise and address the non-Muslim Australian public's real fears - not prejudice, not bigotry or 'racism', but real and rational fear based on many observable facts - about Islamisation and Muslims.  - CM.

'The report says Mr Morrison's suggestion was slapped down by senior Liberals including Julie Bishop and Philip Ruddock (more fools they, if this is the case - CM), but the Opposition has been under pressure over reports of a continuing split within the party over the issue.

'Mr Morrison says he does not comment on shadow cabinet discussions, but Ms Gillard is demanding an explanation.

"This is a big question for Mr Abbott to answer today in an act of leadership, is he saying the modern Liberal Party now stands for discrimination on the basis of religion?" she said.

Religion?  On the basis of ideology; of a brutal, misogynist ideology that has been followed, throughout history, as one Mr Gladstone once said, by "a broad trail of blood".  I am sure Ms Gillard would baulk at permitting - so as not to discriminate on the basis of religion - the practice of head-hunting, or the establishment of Thuggee temples.  She needs to realize that Islam is much closer to the Thuggees, and other human sacrifice/ death cults, than it is to anything else, not to mention certain features it shares with the Mafia, such as its practice of executing its defectors and its critics; and that therefore discriminating against it is nothing more than common-sense and intelligent self-preservation. - CM.

"Mr Morrison, from today's reports, appears to want to go down a very grubby path in the migration debate in this country."

No.  A rational path. He was not, it seems, proposing to discriminate against Buddhists, or worrying about the non-integration of Jews, Hindus and Sikhs; he was focusing solely upon Muslims, whose record of peaceful integration into host societies, once their population reaches a certain self-perceived position of strength, is on all the available evidence very poor indeed. - CM.

"Is Mr Abbott going to follow him down that path, or stop it now and get Mr Morrison to go to the back bench?"

'Labor Senator Doug Cameron echoed Ms Gillard's calls.

"This is not just some lack of judgement, this goes much further than that", he said. "I call on Tony Abbott to show some leadership - sack Scott Morrison and have a shadow minister there who can understand the real issues facing Australia".

Methinks - if his views have been correctly reported - that Mr Morrison does - to some extent - understand the real issues facing Australia. - CM.

'Speaking this morning, Mr Abbott called the Sydney Morning Herald report a "travesty" of Mr Morrison's position during the shadow cabinet discussion.

'He said there was no-one in public life who was more decent, compassionate and sensitive than Mr Morrison.

And that may be precisely why Mr Morrison is sensing people's unhappiness about Islam..CM.

"From time to time there are always going to be issues but I think there is no more successful immigrant society in the world than Australia." he said.

"The important thing for political parties is to do the right thing for our country and the right thing for Australia is for us to continue to be an absolute model of a successful immigrant society."

But  Muslims are not the same kind of thing as other immigrants. Mr Abbott should talk to the British, the French, the Germans and the Danes; and ask the Americans about naturalised-American Muslims who were caught preparing to wage mass-murderous Jihad. - CM.

'Mr Morrison has dismissed the reports as 'gossip'.

"As all journalists know, I don't comment on shadow cabinet here or anywhere else.  All I can say is the gossip reported today does not reflect my views", he said.

Actually, if it doesn't - if he isn't mooting the idea of a policy of resistance to Islamisation - I for one shall be most disappointed. - CM.

'Yesterday Mr Morrison was forced to apologise for the timing of his comments on the Sydney funerals of asylum seekers killed in the Christmas Island shipwreck.

'Opposition frontbencher Greg Hunt this morning defended Mr Morrison and played down reports of division in the party.

"Our position is very clear.  That we are completely color blind, race blind, religion blind on the issue of immigration", he said.

Read Sam Solomon and Elias Maqdisi , 'Modern Trojan Horse: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration', and rethink your position, Mr Hunt. - CM.

"Where we do have a difference with the Government is where people are being lured with policies to travel in dangerous leaky boats, then we think that is a great risk to common humanity".

'While refusing to deny Mr Morrison made the comments, Mr Hunt said the immigration spokesman was a compassionate man. "Unfortunately I wasn't at the meeting, but I know Scott, and his style is deep compassion, he is deeply compassionate, he agonises around the issues of protecting people who are being lured to their deaths", he said.

Some compassion for Australian Copts, and for Australian Jews, and for all the other non-Muslim Australians who face the very real prospect of being mass-murdered, sooner or later, by sharia-pushing jihad-minded Muslims from among the Ummah in Australia, is what we need to start seeing - CM.

'Mr Hunt also dismissed claims the Coalition is looking to One Nation for policies.  

'In an interview with The Australian, Queensland One Nation director Ian Nelson says the Opposition stole the party's idea of cutting aid to Indonesian schools to help pay for Queensland's flood recovery.

"They can deny all they like, but the idea came from us", he said.

'Mr Nelson says he made the call to channel foreign aid into the flood recovery on One Nation's website in the aftermath of the floods in and around Brisbane. 

"After watching this tragedy unfold, we need to see a new model produced with regards to aid, especially foreign aid.  Wouldn't common sense dictate that you take care of your own citizens first and foremost?" he wrote on the site.

'Within weeks, Mr Abbott had adopted the policy, calling for $ 500 million in funding for schools in Indonesia to be cut.

'But Mr Hunt says the policy has been proposed throughout the community. "I think you'll find that lots of people have very strong views, I think you heard in the last few days, the chairman of the Business Council of Australia raised precisely the same point", he said.

'Earlier this week, Mr Abbott backed ACT Senator Gary Humphries's right to present a three-signature petition demanding a 10-year moratorium on Muslim immigration to the ACT parliament, but said he did not agree with its proposal'.

I had a look at the Sydney Morning Herald report which put the fat in the fire to start with.

You may read it here.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/morrison-sees-votes-in-antimuslim-strategy-20110216-1awmo.html

The most interesting passages.

'Mr Morrison's suggestion was made at a meeting in December at which shadow ministers were asked to bring three ideas for issues on which the Coalition should concentrate its political attack during this parliamentary term...

'...after Mr Morrison's comments this week on the cost of asylum-seeker funerals and his role in the controversial decision to cut a Howard government program to fund schools in Indonesia, colleagues are privately questioning whether he is trying to pursue an anti-Muslim political strategy unilaterally...

'Sources say Mr Morrison told the shadow cabinet meeting...that the Coalition should ramp up its questioning of 'multiculturalism' and appeal to deep voter concerns about Muslim immigration and "inability" to integrate.

'The sources say Mr Ruddock, the shadow cabinet secretary,was particularly "blunt" in his rejection of the suggestion, saying a well-run and non-discriminatory immigration policy was essential for nation-building.'

'Others said they had picked up on strong anti-Muslim sentiment in their electorates (now that is interesting. It seems that the low steady rumblings of discontent among non-Muslim Australians are starting to be heard...CM) but thought running a campaign against Muslim immigration could be "misconstrued"....

Try it, gentlemen.  Give it a try, and see what happens.  You might be surprised. - CM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 02/17/2011 2:03 AM by Christina McIntosh
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Soldiers foil attempt by Boko Haram members to torch church in Maiduguri .

From the Nigerian Compass

MEN of the Joint Military, Police Task Force (JTF), on Tuesday night, averted another attempt by suspected members of the notorious Boko Haram sect to cause mayhem, in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, killing an unconfirmed number of them in the process.

Nigerian Compass gathered that the Boko Haram members had stormed the CONCIN Church, located in the Sinimari area of the town, with the intention of setting it on fire.

Members of the Boko Haram sect have killed several people, especially Christian clerics and burnt down many churches, since they began their crusade for the eradication of western education and culture in some parts of the North since 2009.

Posted on 02/17/2011 4:32 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Is the Obama West Wing Preparing to Throw Israel under the Bus at the UNSC?

It started with a Foreign Policy story, yeterday  about US UN Ambassador Susan Rice engaged in ‘conversations’ with Arab delegations about a deal to drop the Palestinian resolution condemning Israel for its ‘settlement’ policies in exchange for beating up on Israel from allegedly dragging its heels on ‘ the  peace process’.   That failed, so  Rice redoubled efforts to rejoin the effort to condemn Israel’s settlement policies at a  UN Security Council vote this week.  This amounts to appeasement of the jackals. The misguided foreign policy minions in the Obama Administration feel emboldened, fresh, from their exhilarating lucky break in Egypt- dethroning ‘Pharoah’ Mubarak and making way for the entry of the Muslim Brotherhood as the leading political opposition, assuming the military council permits that, which seems likely. 

Omri Ceren and John Podhoretz addressed this latest duplicitous appeasement by the Obamites in posts on Commentary’s blog Contentions.

Here  are excerpts from Ceren original post on this latest calumny and Podhoretz’s response.

Omri Ceren: U.S. Offering to Join in Security Council Condemnation of Israel

This just-posted Foreign Policy article says that Ambassador Susan Rice came back with an even bigger bus under which they could throw Israel, this one carrying the imprimatur of a formal UN Security Council condemnation plus an assortment of other international anti-Israel measures. That offer was, naturally, declined:

The U.S. informed Arab governments Friday that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal. But the Palestinian’s rejected the American offer. … [Rice] outlined the new U.S. offer in a closed door meeting on Tuesday with the Arab Group. … [I]n exchange for scuttling the Palestinian resolution, the United States would support the council statement, consider supporting a U.N. Security Council visit to the Middle East, the first since 1979, and commit to supporting strong language criticizing Israel’s settlement policies in a future statement by the Middle East Quartet.

In a way, this is a natural follow-up to the administration’s bumbling in Egypt, where they managed to alienate all parties in the Middle East except the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, and Iran’s assorted proxies. This gesture won’t win us any lasting goodwill from Arab elites. WikiLeaks showed that they care far more about geopolitical stability than they do about the settlements, such that the spectacle of the White House abandoning a second ally for the second week in a row would be met with worried chagrin, regardless of what they say out loud.

More to the point, and by now out of genuine curiosity: who exactly does the Obama administration envision having as a Middle East ally, say, six months from now? Strategic administration leaks about the Egypt crisis have already signaled a renewed chill in the U.S.-Israeli relationship. U.S. backing for a UN resolution wouldn’t detonate the alliance — military-to-military ties are too strong for that — but it would be the end of cooperation between this White House and this Israeli government, a government that a militarily and now diplomatically besieged Israeli public would rally behind.

John Podhoretz: Re: U.S. Offering to Join in Israel Condemnation at UN

John Podhoretz 02.16.2011 - 11:22 PM

Omri, I have no doubt the Foreign Policy story that says the U.S. will cast a vote hostile to Israel later this week in the UN Security Council is genuine. And horrifying. For, of course, the U.S. has absolute veto power over any Security Council action, and so any action that is not a veto is prima facie hostile to Israel, which really is, right now, our only viable ally in the Middle East.

But given the delicacy of the matter, why has it gone public? There are two possible reasons.

The first would be to create a fait accompli in which the U.S. has no choice but to join in the condemnation of Israel. That’s what’s suggested by the spin in theForeign Policy story attempting to establish the ludicrous premise that it is only acting in this manner to forestall a worse Security Council resolution.

It’s a preposterous plan, but diplomats with no political understanding of American public opinion and leftist tunnel vision might think it a good one. That could include U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, whose own instincts are none too good in this direction.

The second would be to kill it by making it public. That seems unlikely, given the way Colum Lynch’s piece was written, but who knows? The last thing Obama needs is a domestic political firestorm over Israel-Palestine policy when that specific can of worms couldn’t be any less significant.

And a firestorm there will be. Word of this leaked during the same week that Gallup reported a favorability rating for Israel in the United States of 69 percent, compared to 17 percent for the Palestinians (who have the second-lowest standing among Americans when it comes to these matters, higher only than Iran).

                [. . .]

An anti-Israel vote at the U.N. with these kinds of numbers would be would be a demented political act for the Obama administration, which spent much of 2010 trying to undo the damage caused by the president’s bizarrely counterproductive temper tantrum against Bibi Netanyahu—which scuttled a year’s worth of diplomatic efforts by his own negotiator, George Mitchell.

Has Obama learned nothing, really? We’ll see. Oh, we shall see.

 

 

Posted on 02/17/2011 4:53 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Tablighi Jamaat trying to overturn enforcement notice which would force it to close its mosque in east London

From Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent  of The Guardian. Miss Butt was sent by The Guardian a few years ago to cover a Bishops conference, an expedition she found somewhat trying. To the suggestion that she would benefit from Salvation she replied that she didn't need salvation, just an aspirin after dealing with Christians all day.

An Islamic group has said Muslim youths risk "being manipulated by others and straying from the right path" if it is forced to close its mosque near the Olympic site. A planning inquiry at Newham town hall in east London heard the buildings at Abbey Mills, south of the Olympic stadium in Stratford, provided an "essential role in the lives of the community that uses it".

Newham council has said it wants to shut the mosque down over concerns about traffic levels, land contamination and visual impact. But one of the mosque trustees told the inquiry there was a significant threat to the "basic need" for Muslims to have a place to pray and that worshippers would test the capacity of other mosques in the area. Solad Mohammed said: "We would be letting down a generation of parents who rely on the centre to provide a centralised focus for younger members of their family. Young people would be at risk of becoming marginalised and lost from the mainstream of the community."

That is completely contrary to what Mary and I were told at the mosque open day in 2008.Then we were told that the mosque was not intended as a local mosque  for local people, but as a training centre of regional, if not national significance, with a catchment area within a 70 mile radius. 70 miles from Newham takes in all London, Essex, Kent and the Home Counties, touches Ipswich in the east, Swindon in the west, Peterborough and Kettering in the north, Southampton in the south. We were told many things that day which were wrong; some we knew to be wrong at the time, others have proved to be wrong later. I think they call it taqiyya.

Under cross-examination from Douglas Edwards QC, on behalf of Newham Council, Mr Mohammed admitted that mosque trustees knew there was no planning permission on the 18-acre site when they purchased it for £1.4m in 1996. He also accepted that Tablighi Jamaat began using the buildings as a mosque without acquiring planning permission and continued to use them even when temporary permission expired.

And let us not forget the contaminated nature of the land, the former site of a sulphuric acid factory.

Posted on 02/17/2011 4:44 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 17 February 2011
More sense from the English judiciary

An unlicensed taxi driver who had not learned English despite living in Britain for 20 years has been criticised by a judge for failing to 'integrate'.

Bangladeshi-born Zamal Uddin, 44, now faces a jail sentence and deportation for grabbing a passenger’s breasts after she got into his cab in Hoxton, east London.

The 44-year-old, who lives among one of Britain’s biggest Bangladeshi communities in nearby Bethnal Green, was yesterday found guilty of twice sexually assaulting the 26-year-old woman. Uddin, who required a taxpayer-funded interpreter during the hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, was told he would be liable for deportation after he finishes his sentence.

‘The authorities may consider your continued presence here undesirable,’ Judge Timothy King told him.

'These are serious matters and custody appears to be appropriate in this case . . . Also what troubles me, although it's not something that bears on sentence, [is that] he has been her for nigh on 20 years and he requires an interpreter. I suspect he lives within his own community and has never bothered to learn English.

'It is highly desirable that those who come to this country from abroad integrate, rather than live isolated within their own community.'

A day after the attack on October 23 last year, brazen Uddin was caught illegally touting for fares in nearby Dalston. Uddin, who lived in a council flat after moving to the UK in 1992, admitted two charges of sexual assault and driving while disqualified. He was remanded in custody pending sentence on February 23.

Posted on 02/17/2011 5:34 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Did Stuxnet Set Back Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program?

The Washington, DC-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) headed by David Albright released an assessment Tuesday that Stuxnet may not have delivered a crippling blow to the cascade hall at Natanz with upwards of 9,000 whirling centrifuges generating lower enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. The ISIS report, “Stuxnet Malware and Natanz: Update of ISIS December 22, 2010 Report” indicated that perhaps 1,000 centrifuges at Natanz were disabled in 2010, but that Iran quickly recovered on its inexorable path towards a nuclear weapon. The ISIS report notes:

Additional analysis also lends more support to the conclusion that the Stuxnet malware is aimed principally at destroying centrifuges, not manipulating parameters of the centrifuge cascades so as to lower the production of low enriched uranium (LEU) on a sustained basis.  To date, Stuxnet is known to have had at least one successful attack.  It is increasingly accepted that, in late 2009 or early 2010, Stuxnet destroyed about 1,000 IR-1 centrifuges out of about 9,000 deployed at the site.  The effect of this attack was significant.  It rattled the Iranians, who were unlikely to know what caused the breakage, delayed the expected expansion of the plant, and further consumed a limited supply of centrifuges to replace those destroyed.  Nonetheless, Iran took steps in the aftermath of the attack that likely reduced further damage by Stuxnet, principally shutting down many centrifuge cascades for months.  The shutdown lasted long enough for the malware to be discovered publicly, by which time Iran could have found Stuxnet on the Natanz control systems.

The ISIS report went on to discuss the scope and consequences of the Stuxnet malworm attack on Iran’s nuclear program:

Contrary to several recent media reports, Stuxnet does not appear to be designed to attack the Bushehr nuclear power reactor.  Stuxnet has spread easily on Windows-based computers, so it is not surprising that computers at other Iranian facilities, namely the Bushehr nuclear power reactor, would contain this malware.  But the code’s attack sequences do not appear targeted at a nuclear power reactor or its associated systems.

A cyberattack like Stuxnet is an uncharted method to damage and delay Iran’s nuclear efforts.  Without a diplomatic settlement with Iran, such attacks are likely to continue against Iran’s centrifuge program.  They provide an alternative to military strikes against Iran’s known nuclear sites, a tactic that most see as likely to be ineffectual or counterproductive. 

“War is ugly, awfully ugly,” Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor recently told diplomats and journalists at the think tank Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. 6  He added that “the cyberworld…becomes more important in the conflict between nations. It is a new battleground, if you like, not with guns but with something else,” he said.  It is strategy, he implied, that would be waged in secret by intelligence agencies.  Thus, more attacks can be expected in the future.  Governments are likely to increase their offensive and defensive cyberwar capabilities.

But nations need to pause before diving into cyberwar against nuclear facilities.  Stuxnet is now a model code for all to copy and modify to attack other industrial targets.  Its discovery likely increased the risk of similar cyber attacks against the United States and its allies.  While it has delayed the Iranian centrifuge program at the Natanz plant in 2010 and contributed to slowing its expansion, it did not stop it or even delay the continued buildup of LEU.  A much broader debate, involving the public, needs to weigh the pros and cons of developing this new type of warfare.

With the release of this report, Albright went onto the Comedy Channel’s Colbert Report with a cameo appearance by ABC’s Christiane  Amanpour to discuss whether the Stuxnet attack constituted an act of war and whether Iran might retaliate by disrupting industrial infrastructure here in the West. Iran does have talented computer specialists, as evidenced by the refugees who have fled to the US and flourished in the incubators of Silicon Valley. Notwithstanding,  the Comedy Channel venue, Albright’s opinion during this interview was that an act of war would have entailed destruction of upwards of 8,000 plus of the estimated 9,000 centrifuges in the Natanz cascade hall. But then he notes that there could be Stuxnet 2.0 versions on steroids, yet to come from alleged Israeli and American sources, with some help from Germans, the latter  concerned about denying Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.

Watch the Albright presentation on the Comedy Channel video here.

Posted on 02/17/2011 5:40 AM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Muslim protest mars Cameron's east London visit

The National papers reported that the launch of the Welfare Reform Bill will be at Toynbee Hall today, but three hours later only Politics.co.uk has details of what happened when the Prime Minister arrived.

 David Cameron's welfare reform launch suffered a minor setback from disruption by a small group of Muslim protesters.

The prime minister was highlighting Iain Duncan Smith's welfare reform bill in Toynbee Hall, east London, when police guarding the venue were surprised by a group of around ten men.

One demonstrator was overheard telling police officers he was from Walthamstow.  

The protesters held placards stating "Women are provided for under Islam" and chanted "UK, UK, Islam is on its way". They called on the government to withdraw from "Muslim lands" including Afghanistan and Iraq and shouted "British soldiers go to hell".

Another (protester) explained afterwards that the small-scale demonstration had been organised by "Muslims who have got upset". A bit miffed were they?

Posted on 02/17/2011 11:19 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Lee Smith On Sinister Nir Rosen, Out In The Open At Last

Nir Rosen and the American Foreign Policy Establishment

Feb 16, 2011 • By LEE SMITH

Nir Rosen, as it turns out, had pro-Taliban inclinations for quite some time. And so it should not really come as a surprise that a person who’d be willing to defend the terrorist organization might mock a woman—in this case, CBS’s Lara Logan—for being sexually assaulted in Cairo.

/><p class=Photo Credit: Center for American Progress

Rosen was forced out—officially he resigned—from his position at New York University due to his ludicrous comments over Twitter yesterday. As Jeffrey Goldberg notes, though: “It's somewhat amazing, in retrospect, that NYU's Center for Law and Security, which took away Rosen's fellowship this morning, didn't separate itself from Rosen then.” That’s true, and NYU is hardly the only mainstream institution that should never have lent credibility to Rosen’s ilk.

Rosen made his name shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a journalist willing to take big risks to get a story. If his editors never wondered how he was able to endear himself to, say, the Sunni insurgency in Fallujah, or the Taliban, or Hezbollah, that’s because they had more important concerns—like waging a media campaign against the Bush administration. Therefore, it didn’t matter to any of the prestigious press outlets that published Rosen (like the New Yorker, Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, or the Atlantic, which also publishes Goldberg) that he was openly rooting for the other side.

“Hizballah is not a terrorist organization,” Rosen said of the Lebanese outfit that is responsible for killing American soldiers, diplomats, and civilians, as well as Israelis, Arabs, and other Lebanese. “It is a widely popular and legitimate political and resistance movement. It has protected Lebanon’s sovereignty and resisted American and Israeli plans for a New Middle East. It’s also among the most democratic of Lebanon’s political movements and one of the few groups with a message of social justice and anti imperialism.” 

Rosen never hid his convictions or sympathies, and no one ever called him to account for it. Instead he was rewarded, made a fellow at the New America Foundation and then NYU, and invited to share his expertise in broadcast media, like the PBS’s “Newshour” and CNN’s “GPS with Fareed Zakaria.” Most remarkably, he was invited to testify on Iraq before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2008, which includes this telling exchange with then Senator Joseph Biden. “As a journalist,” said Rosen, “I'm uncomfortable advising an imperialist power about how to be a more efficient imperialist power.”

This was classic Rosen: the smug, imperious adolescent lacking all self-awareness, acting out to get attention. And that’s exactly what happened yesterday when he claimed that Logan deserved the beating and sexual assault she suffered at the hands of an Egyptian mob in the streets of Cairo. It reflects poorly on mainstream liberal institutions that they appear to be moved to respond only when it hits close to home. Logan merits all the support that’s come to her in the last 24 hours—but then so have the victims of the Sunni insurgency, the Taliban, Hezbollah and any other bloody gang that Rosen’s seen fit to cozy up to over the last decade or so. The fact that up until yesterday Rosen’s ugly worldview found a place in the mainstream narrative of U.S. foreign policy is a stain on our public discourse.

Posted on 02/17/2011 2:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Pseudsday Thursday

I've heard of "wine lakes" - surplus wine produced by the EU - and the "wine-dark sea". But "wine waves" that you can surf? From Snooth:

The World Cup last year caused some minor ripples in the wine world, but we’ve all been waiting for years to see the South African wine wave crest and break.

I like this wave analogy, and sadly have been using it for too long when it comes to South African wines. You see, I think of people in the wine business, those jaded women and men (like me), who’ve been there and done that as surfers. We paddle out far from the shore and catch the wine waves way before they ever reach the shore and the general public. Now, the surfers may catch a great ride, and the wave breaks on the shore as well, but sometimes we catch a great ride, only to see the wave peter out just before it reaches the shore. I keep on getting the impression that this is the case with South Africa’s wines.

This wave has been overridden, and the analogy - never a corker- is all washed up.

"Peter out" is an interesting expression. I'd say it dates from the death of  Joseph Pujol, but perhaps I am talking through my hat.

Posted on 02/17/2011 2:47 PM by Mary Jackson

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