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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 Thursday, 29, 2012.
Thursday, 29 March 2012
What idiot let Mullar Krekar out on bail in the first place?

It was a judge, of course. I posted on Monday that Mullar Krekar had been sentenced to five years imprisonment for making death threats to numerous people, including Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg the former Minister of Local Government and Regional Development. I heard he intended to lodge an appeal; I didn't realise he had been granted bail pending appeal.

From News and Views from Norway

UPDATED: Mullah Krekar is at least temporarily out of action, after an Oslo judge ordered on Wednesday that he be held in custody following his arrest on Tuesday. He’d already sent out new messages to his followers, however, that police have interpreted as even more threats against Norway and Norwegians including former prime minister and current peace broker Kjell Magne Bondevik. Some worry the arrest itself will spur Krekar’s followers into violent action.

An Oslo city court judge went along Wednesday with a police request to keep Krekar in custody for at least eight weeks, until May 23, while they continue gathering evidence against him. The court based its ruling on a need to prevent Krekar from committing more crimes, like the death threats that resulted in a five-year prison sentence on Monday. Krekar had appealed and initially been allowed to go home, but police arrested him on Tuesday after claiming he had made new threats aimed at spreading fear in Norwegian society.

Some of the new threats were broadcast over websites during the weekend, before Krekar was found guilty on Monday of making the earlier death threats. Included in them, according to newspaper Aftenposten, were detailed instructions from Krekar on how his followers should organize themselves in cells, and how they must fight against every non-believer, whether they are “Norwegian intelligence agents or American soldiers.”

Krekar also specifically mentioned Bondevik, saying their “brothers in Somalia” know where Bondevik lives and that no one knows what reactions might result from a visit Bondevik paid to Somalia last month. A spokesman at Bondevik’s peace center in Oslo said Bondevik was currently traveling in the Middle East but had been made aware of Krekar’s alleged threat.

Krekar, an Islamic cleric who views himself as a teacher of Islamic and sharia law, also commented on how his followers could react if he was actually jailed. He suggested they could take a Norwegian as hostage in retaliation, and keep the hostage confined in a cellar for as long as Krekar is confined. It’s believed around 600 persons followed Krekar’s appeal on Saturday evening. It’s unclear how extensive Krekar’s international network really is, but some believe it’s large.

Even though Norway’s police intelligence unit PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste) was aware of the statements made by Krekar during the weekend, they didn’t arrest him when he was sentenced to prison on Monday. Krekar appealed on the spot, and Aftenposten reported that PST wanted to wait and see whether Krekar would issue more instructions to his followers.

Police also raided Krekar’s apartment in Oslo’s Tøyen district after his arrest, which may spark some violent reaction from Krekar’s followers, according to the former secretary general of Norway’s Islamic council (Islamsk Råd), Shoaib Sultan.
Krekar, age 55, earlier has said he has prepared two wills with instructions for how his followers should react if he dies in prison. PST officials, though, won’t say whether they intend to raise the threat levels for Norway.

Posted on 03/29/2012 4:20 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Earl Scruggs has Died

From the obituary in The Tennessean:

(...)When a 21-year-old Mr. Scruggs auditioned for [Bill] Monroe, the bandleader heard the final piece in a sound he’d been working to construct. And Mr. Scruggs’ first performance with the Blue Grass Boys, on Dec. 8, 1945, was the “Big Band of Bluegrass,” offering a template — guitar, mandolin, upright bass, fiddle and Scruggs-style banjo — still employed today. During Monroe’s performances, Opry boss George D. Hay often introduced Scruggs as “the boy who made the banjo talk.” If others had made it speak, Mr. Scruggs taught it a master class in what must have seemed a foreign language, offering a vocabulary and clarity of expression never before attained and rescuing the instrument from creeping oblivion.

Earl Eugene Scruggs was born in Shelby, N.C., and raised on a farm in the Flint Hill area, nearer to the Piedmont region hamlet of Boiling Springs than to the town of Shelby. Father George and four siblings played banjo. Mr. Scruggs’ father died in 1928 after an eight-month illness, and Earl began playing banjo that year, at age 4.

“Dealing with the trauma of the death of his father at a young age, his emotional outlet turned to music,” wife Louise Scruggs wrote in the liner notes to 2001’s Earl Scruggs and Friends album.

At age 10, inspired in part by guitarist Mother Maybelle Carter, he began experimenting with playing the banjo by using his thumb and two fingers of his right hand to strike the strings in a syncopated manner. Later, as a teen, he would travel the hour or so from Flint Hill to Spartanburg to WSPA radio, where he’d watch banjo player Don Reno play live on the air. Between listening and practicing, Mr. Scruggs was developing a noteworthy style, though going pro was far from his mind. With the family farm failing, he took a job at Lily Mills in Shelby.

“Me and Grady Wilkie would sit in the backseat of my ’36 Chevy and play music,” Mr. Scruggs told The Tennessean. “He’d play guitar and I’d play banjo until they’d motion us to come back into the mill. That’s when I finally realized that what I was doing was of interest to other people. They’d stand around and watch us pick. One of them hadn’t heard nothing like that before, and he took his hat off, threw it on the ground and said, ‘Hot damn!’ That’s the only time I’ve run into a guy that when he got excited would throw his hat down and dance on it. ... That’s hard on a hat.”

In 1945, Mr. Scruggs began playing banjo with “Lost John” Miller and His Allied Kentuckians, a Knoxville-based band that played with some frequency in Nashville. Fiddler Jimmy Shumate had heard Mr. Scruggs play, and Shumate recommended him to Bill Monroe, who with his Blue Grass Boys band was an Opry staple. Neither Monroe nor Blue Grass Boy Lester Flatt was feeling particularly enthused about banjo players, as the instrument was most often played in an inelegant manner. Mr. Scruggs, though, was different.

“The miracle of ‘Scruggs-style’ banjo picking is that amidst a shower of sound — usually two or three accompanying notes for every melody note — the main theme clearly registers on the listener’s ear, like the raised image on a beautifully cast silver box still stands out to the eye even if rain pours upon it,” wrote Richard D. Smith in his definitive biography of Bill Monroe.

After a Nashville audition at the Tulane Hotel, Mr. Scruggs was asked by Monroe to join the band. After checking with Lost John Miller, Mr. Scruggs agreed to become a Blue Grass Boy.

“He never did say, ‘You’ve got the job,’” Mr. Scruggs told The Tennessean. “He just said, ‘We leave at 8 a.m. Monday morning.’”

With Monroe, Mr. Scruggs earned $60 a week, $10 more than he’d made with Lost John. But the chance to be a featured performer on the Opry and to be heard on powerful WSM-AM 650 was worth much more than the pay raise. Upon his Opry debut at the Ryman with Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, Mr. Scruggs and his “fancy banjo” (Monroe’s words) became instant sensations. Banjo players listening to the Opry heard the instrument in a way they’d never heard it before, and a generation of players began unflagging and usually unsuccessful attempts to replicate Mr. Scruggs’ style of playing.

“The right hand changed the world, in a big time way,” said Country Radio Hall of Fame disc jockey Eddie Stubbs on Wednesday night on WSM, the station that carried Mr. Scruggs’ banjo to a national audience. Steve Martin, the actor, comedian and banjo player, recently wrote of Mr. Scruggs’ Opry debut in The New Yorker: “There aren’t many earthquakes in Tennessee, but that night there was.”

Mr. Scruggs’ style of playing cemented — some would say created — the bluegrass sound. And while Monroe is correctly credited as the genre’s father, the music would not exist in its current form without Mr. Scruggs. To this day, many bluegrass players spend their lifetimes trying to achieve a reasonable approximation of what Monroe, Mr. Scruggs, Flatt, fiddler Chubby Wise and bass player Howart Watts achieved onstage in 1945, and in the studio in 1946 and 1947. Those players consider themselves to be purveyors of “traditional bluegrass,” yet the bluegrass sound was born not of tradition but of innovation. And Mr. Scruggs would remain an innovator for the entirety of his life.

In December of 1946, a year and eight days after first appearing with Monroe, Mr. Scruggs met the appropriately monikered Louise Certain after an Opry show at the Ryman Auditorium. The two would marry in the spring of 1948, and Louise Scruggs would become a trailblazer as Nashville’s first female manager. She was the business mind behind Flatt & Scruggs, the group Mr. Scruggs formed in early 1948 after leaving the Blue Grass Boys.

“She advanced me and advanced our music,” Mr. Scruggs told The Tennessean. “What talent I had would never have peaked without her. She helped shape music up as a business, instead of just people out picking and grinning.”

With Louise Scruggs’ help, Flatt & Scruggs’ popularity eclipsed Monroe’s. The band would become bluegrass music’s biggest commercial force in the days before Alison Krauss and Union Station’s late-century ascent.

For many years, Flatt & Scruggs shied from the term “bluegrass,” feeling that it was constricting and that it was a term that immediately called Monroe to mind. Monroe felt for many years that he had pioneered bluegrass and that he shouldn’t share stages with others in the genre, and he worked to keep Flatt & Scruggs from becoming Opry members.

But in 1955, seven years after formation and with aid from sponsor Martha White All-Purpose Flour, Flatt & Scruggs joined the Opry. That same year marked the debut of a Flatt & Scruggs television show that allowed aspiring banjo players to watch their hero’s hands fly across the fretboard, and that featured Mr. Scruggs’ shyly grinning countenance alongside Flatt’s down-home song introductions and effortless lead vocals.

Together, and with integral bandmates including Mac Wiseman, Curly Seckler, Shumate and Buck “Uncle Josh” Graves, Flatt and Mr. Scruggs recorded now-classics including “Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms,” “Foggy Mountain Top,” “Flint Hill Special,” “Earl’s Breakdown,” “Foggy Mountain Special” and “Randy Lynn Rag.”...

Posted on 03/29/2012 6:31 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Other Sheep, not of this Fold?

Researchers discovered that at least 100 of the ''super-Earths'' may be on our galactic doorstep, at distances of less than 30 light years, or about 180 trillion miles, from the sun.

Astronomers say the findings were made after conducting a survey of red dwarf stars, which account for about four in five stars in the Milky Way.

They calculate that around 40 per cent of red dwarfs have a rocky planet not much bigger than Earth orbiting the ''habitable zone'', in which liquid surface water can exist.

Scientists say that where there is water, there also could be life although they add that being in the habitable zone is no guarantee that life has evolved on a planet.

Dr Xavier Bonfils, from Grenoble University in France, who led the international team, said: ''Because red dwarfs are so common - there are about 160 billion of them in the Milky Way - this leads us to the astonishing result that there are tens of billions of these planets in our galaxy alone.''...

Posted on 03/29/2012 6:51 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Muslim Paedophiles, Feminists and Future Civil War

Paul Weston writes at Gates of Vienna:

The British police are slightly less of a disgrace than they were a couple of years ago. In the not-so-distant past there was little reporting of native British girls being drugged, groomed, raped and murdered by gangs of Muslim males in our towns and cities.

Paul WestonThis wall of silence was erected in the interests of “community cohesion,” a modern verbal concept invented by our liberal elites who think it is better that the indigenous population remain unaware of the horrifying abuse carried out by British Muslims. This is understandable, because to be aware might make even the most fluffy-headed of liberals question the benefits of mass Muslim migration into the liberal democracy that was once Great Britain.

That is one way of explaining their historical silence, I suppose. The fact that Mohammed’s marriage to six-year-old Aisha was consummated when she was only nine might also play a part in the whole sordid affair, along with the fact that Muslim males consider Muslim females to be second class-citizens — not to mention infidel females.

But now that the liberal silence has been broken, we appear to suffering from an absolute epidemic of Muslim paedophilia and abuse. Dewsbury, Leeds, Blackburn, Blackpool, Derby, Rochdale, Birmingham etc. etc. all seem to have their very own Islamic gang-rape-of-under-age-children-enclaves, with the recent additions of Oxford and Glasgow. The ongoing benefits of multiculturalism we are constantly being told to celebrate are certainly well-represented geographically, it must be said.

If this were a situation where gangs of white males were raping young Muslim girls it would have been headline news a long time ago, but sadly the native British are now very much second-class citizens within their own homeland. In these perverse multicultural times we live in, all cultures are equal except ours.

If the BBC and Germaine Greer are not too busy over the next few days, perhaps they might like to comment on this matter. As the eternal espousers of feminism, it would appear only right for them to do so. Whilst they are at it, perhaps they might also like to weigh in on the 17,000 cases of Muslim “Honour” violence reported by the Independent, along with a recent report stating one in five Muslims thinks it permissible to inflict physical violence on women who dishonour their families. (It is one of those odd facets of multiculturalism that such dishonour could be incurred by dating a native Brit.)

But even though the British police have finally plucked up sufficient bravery to overcome the sheer awfulness of being called nasty playground names, and are now belatedly actually doing something to protect our children from Muslim rapists and paedophiles, it might be some time before British feminists and the BBC also garner such courage.

Left-wing ideology still thinks of Muslims as a minority to be protected in the face of relentless oppression by the native British. But quite how a lone thirteen year-old girl could oppress a gang of adult bearded males after being drugged, or rendered comatose via vodka, is one of those not altogether incidental questions the BBC feminists and Ms Greer should really be asking themselves.

And it is important that they do. We are already at the early stages of a tribal/religious civil war in Britain, courtesy of the immigration and appeasement policies of ALL the political traitor class. The Muslim rape of our children now appears to be a driving force in what over the coming years can only make civil war inevitable.

If you think this is an overreaction, please read the following paragraphs, taken from a recent Independent article about white riots in Rochdale:

Posted on 03/29/2012 8:12 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 29 March 2012
The Corrections

Well these people aren’t Christians, are they? I set to work on this otherwise good article in the Jerusalem Post (h/t Christina), using New English Review’s Evil Zionist Search-And-Replace Widget. 

In recent weeks, the heart of Israel’s capital has become an increasingly dangerous place for Jews. Residents and visitors alike have been subjected to a series of ominous attacks by local Arabs Muslims, which include vandalism, stone-throwing and the torching of vehicles and other property.

Even more worrisome is the fact that many of the offenses have been committed in broad daylight, signaling that the perpetrators are not all that concerned about the possible reaction of local law enforcement.

The escalating audacity of these assaults poses a direct threat to Israel’s sovereignty and the rule of law, and urgent steps must be taken to crack down on Arab Muslim violence in Jerusalem before it spins entirely out of control.

One of the most serious incidents took place last month, on February 13, when two civilian employees of the Defense Ministry were nearly lynched by a mob of
Arab Muslim youths near Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. The Israelis reportedly got stuck in a traffic jam, when their car was suddenly surrounded by Arabs Muslims and pummeled with stones. The driver was hit in the head by a large rock that slammed through the windshield, and was badly wounded.

The two barely escaped with their lives. This episode did not happen in Gaza or Tulkarm, but in Jerusalem. The attackers were never caught, and it appears little was done to apprehend them.

So it was perhaps only a matter of time before another such incident took place. And this past Monday, that is precisely what happened. An Israeli driving through Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood was abruptly attacked by dozens of
Arabs Muslims  who showered his car with stones and concrete blocks. He, too, was wounded when his windshield was shattered, and medics had to evacuate him to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

Afterwards, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld offered some astonishing advice to Israeli drivers. Speaking with Arutz Sheva, he said that motorists should check with security personnel before entering “sensitive neighborhoods” to determine whether they are safe. In other words, we can no longer assume that all of Jerusalem, our capital city, is necessarily secure enough for Jews to navigate.

This is an astounding admission of failure on the part of the police. It means they have all but lost control over the streets of various Jerusalem neighborhoods and can no longer guarantee the safety of citizens who wish to utilize them. A further sign of the police’s ineffectuality came in the form of an ad published last week by activist Arieh King of the Israel Land Fund calling for volunteers to help him carry out the court-ordered removal of illegal Palestinian squatters from a home in Jerusalem.

A Jerusalem magistrate’s court recently found that the Palestinians had been dwelling illegally in the structure for the past decade even though it was owned by a British Jew.

The judge ordered them evacuated by March 1 and instructed the Palestinians to pay NIS 125,000 in damages.

Incredibly, the police chose to defy the court’s ruling and called off the evacuation, reportedly because of concerns that it was scheduled to take place the day before a planned meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama in Washington.

After King received a new date of March 30 for the Palestinians’ removal, he submitted repeated requests to the police to ensure they would oversee it. After the police did not bother to respond, King took the unusual step of placing the ad, suggesting that if the police won’t do their job, then he may have no choice but to do it for them. It is hard to blame King for his frustration. After all, the job of the police is to enforce the law, not obstruct it.

Worse yet, they have failed to stem the violence targeting Jews, which has become so commonplace that it hardly even generates headlines anymore. On Sunday, for example,
Arabs Muslims hurled a firebomb at an Israeli home in Jerusalem’s Ma’aleh Zeitim neighborhood. The incident was barely mentioned by most media outlets.

This situation has become intolerable. A street war is being waged in Jerusalem, one in which local
Arabs Muslims are attempting to frighten Jews out of various neighborhoods.

Israel cannot and must not allow this lawlessness and impunity to prevail. Steps must be taken to ensure that all of Jerusalem is safe for Jews.

To begin with, the police must significantly increase their presence throughout the eastern part of the city, boosting patrols and responding quickly to any outbreaks of violence. Stone-throwing youths should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Rocks are a dangerous weapon. They can maim, wound and kill, and those who hurl them at others should be treated accordingly.

Two months ago, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced that a new police station would be opened on the Mount of Olives to crack down on
Arab Muslim vandalism against the Jewish cemetery there as well as to provide increased protection to Jewish visitors. The station was supposed to have opened last month, but it has yet to do so. Inaugurating it now would send a strong message that the police are serious about imposing order.

Arab Muslim violence against Jews in east Jerusalem is in danger of spinning out of control. It must be stopped now, before it turns lethal.

Posted on 03/29/2012 12:22 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Frenchman suspected in Indonesian embassy blast

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A Frenchman who studied with Islamic militants in Indonesia allegedly orchestrated last week's bombing at the country's embassy in Paris, a top anti-terrorism official said Thursday, citing intercepted emails and online chats.

The package bomb that exploded March 21 did not cause any injuries or major damage to the building.

Indonesia's anti-terrorism agency chief Ansyaad Mbai told The Associated Press that French investigators had confirmed that the main suspect is Frederic C. Jean Salvi, who also is believed to have studied for several years with Islamic militants in this predominantly Muslim nation.

The attack was apparently meant as a warning to Indonesia to stop a U.S. and Australia-funded security crackdown that has resulted in the arrests, convictions and imprisonment of hundreds of Islamic militants in recent years.

The Frenchman has been on Indonesia's wanted list since 2010 when police raided a home in West Java province.

Salvi and several other members of a small terror cell — who had allegedly been planning a car bombing when police swooped in — managed to escape

Salvi has also been targeted by Interpol for crimes he committed at home, Mbai said. He's presumed to be in France.
Posted on 03/29/2012 12:24 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Not dead yet

The Anglosphere lives. As for the Chinese, they are overrated, as I have long suspected. Joel Kotkin and Shashi Parulekar in City Journal:

Commentators across the political spectrum have described the Anglosphere as decadent, especially compared with the rising power of China. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman praises the “reasonably enlightened group of people” who make up China’s one-party autocracy, which, he feels, provides more effective governance than the dysfunctional democracy of Washington, a point echoed in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by former Service Employees International Union boss Andy Stern. On the conservative side, author Mark Steyn sees the U.S. and its cultural mother in England as “facing nothing so amiable and genteel as Continental-style ‘decline,’ but something more like sliding off a cliff.” Even Australia, arguably the strongest economy in the Anglosphere, is increasingly troubled, with local declinists decrying the country’s growing dependence on commodity exports to developing nations—above all, to China. “We are to be attendants to an emerging empire: providers of food, energy, resources, commodities and suppliers of services such as education, tourism, gambling/gaming, health (perhaps), and lifestyle property,” frets the Australian’s Bernard Salt.

It’s indisputable that the Anglosphere no longer enjoys the overwhelming global dominance that it once had. What was once a globe-spanning empire is now best understood as a union of language, culture, and shared values. Yet what declinists overlook is that despite its current economic problems, the Anglosphere’s fundamental assets—economic, political, demographic, and cultural—are likely to drive its continued global leadership. The Anglosphere future is brighter than commonly believed.

Start with economics. Like Germany in the 1930s or Japan in the 1970s, China has found that centrally directed economic systems can achieve rapid, short-term economic growth—and China’s has indeed been impressive. But over time, the growth record and economic power achieved by the free-market-oriented English-speaking nations remain peerless. A little-noted fact these days is that the Anglosphere is still far and away the world’s largest economic bloc. Overall, it accounts for more than one-quarter of the world’s GDP—more than $18 trillion. In contrast, what we can refer to as the Sinosphere—China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau—accounts for only 15.1 percent of global GDP, while India generates 5.4 percent (see Chart 1). The Anglosphere’s per-capita GDP of nearly $45,000 is more than five times that of the Sinosphere and 13 times that of India (see Chart 2). This condition is unlikely to change radically any time soon, since the Anglosphere retains important advantages in virtually every critical economic sector, along with abundant natural resources and a robust food supply.


The vast majority of the world’s leading software, biotechnology, and aerospace firms are concentrated in English-speaking countries. Three-fifths of global pharmaceutical-research spending comes from Britain and America; more than 450 of the top 500 software companies in the world are based in the Anglosphere, mainly in the U.S., which hosts nine of the top ten. Out of the ten fastest-growing software firms, six are American and one is British. Internet giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon have no foreign equivalents remotely close in size and influence.


With linguistic ascendancy comes cultural power, and the Anglosphere’s remains uncontested. In total global sales of media, movies, television, and music, it has no major competitor. Its exports of movies and TV programs dwarf those of established European powers like France and Germany and upstarts such as China, Brazil, and India (see Chart 5). Exports from Hollywood and the cultural capitals of other Anglosphere countries are growing enormously in developing countries: Hollywood box-office revenues grew 25 percent in Latin America and 21 percent in the Asia-Pacific region (with China accounting for 40 percent of that region’s box office). The hit movie Avatar made over $2 billion outside North America; in Russia, Hollywood films earn twice as much as their domestic counterparts. Anglophone preeminence extends to pop music, with Americans Eminem, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift, along with the U.K.’s Susan Boyle, ruling global charts. Japanese, Korean, and Chinese pop artists do have large followings in Asia, but the biggest global stars continue to originate in the Anglosphere.

That's partly because the non-Anglosphere can't do pop or rock to save its non-Anglospheric life. Johnny Halliday, anyone? Anyone remember how Spinal Tap, who once went up to eleven, ended up "big in Japan"? I rest my case. Besides, the Chinese are a bunch of mingers (geddit?).

Posted on 03/29/2012 3:13 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Is the Obama Administration Leaking Israeli Attack Plans?

It is the day before the Global March to Jerusalem (GM2J), organized by Iran and its proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Free Gaza Movement “progressive” allies on the left given the 36th anniversary of Palestinian Land Day. Israel is not taking this lightly. It has planted fresh mine fields and dug trenches dug on its borders. Reservists have been called up to support border and riot police with drones and helicopters poised for possible action.  The world media has arrived  to capture any provocative acts committed against the Jewish state by marchers on its borders.

Perhaps  there may be greater numbers than those thousands of Palestinians who tried crashing Israel’s Lebanese and Syrian borders on May 15  2011, Israel’s Independence day, called al Nakbah , “the catastrophe”, by the Arabs. More than 12 were killed and 282 were injured.  A second border clash occurred at the Syrian village of Majd al Shams on June 5th, the anniversary of Israel’s victory in June 1967 known as Al-Naksi,”the disaster”.  1,000 Syrians and Palestinians showed up with dozens injured.  

The memories are still fresh in the minds of the Netanyahu government of the violence committed on board the Turkish ferry, the Mavi Marmara that  left 9 activists dead and  several Israel navy commandos injured during the 2010 Free Gaza Flotilla episode. The 2011 Free Gaza Flotilla was a bust, given many vessels that were detained in EU and Greek ports.  Flytilla, the fly in version was a bust, as well.

This time, Israel is prepared for whatever occurs. If provocative acts are committed with rubber bullets, live ammo and tear gas, the assembled world media will be there to record the events and report them. The GM2J organizers and their allies will have a field day in promoting whatever happens as the equivalent of ‘yellow journalism”.  There is not much to counter this from the White House or the State Department. Yesterday, when State Department spokesperson Ms. Nuland was asked repeatedly by pro-Palestinian journalist Matthew Lee about whether the US considers Jerusalem the Capital of Israel, she evaded giving any answers suggesting that had to wait until final status discussions.  This despite legislation passed in 1995 by Congress recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  Watch this State Department You Tube video on yesterday’s press briefing.

We don’t know whether National Security Council, State Department or US embassy legations have engaged in discussions with Israel’s neighbors in communicating possible concerns regarding control of GM2J contingents gathering on Israel’s borders for tomorrow’s protests. 

What is of continuing concern is a chorus of stories in the media during the last 10 days warning Israel against making a pre-emptive attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities. That  culminating in two stories today that appear to be part of an Administration orchestrated campaign.  The New York Times published a Reuters' story, “Could Bombing Iran Push it to Build the Bomb?“ addressing warnings by experts and fellow travelers of the Islamic Republic in Tehran.  That report included comment from the respected Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security.  Also cited was former IAEA  head, Egyptian lawyer and politician, Mohamed ElBaradei, a possible candidate for the Country’s Presidency, should a Constitution  be adopted and the Supreme Armed Forces Council permit national elections. Our suspicions were aroused by comments from Trita Parsi, a Swedish Citizen of Iranian origins and head of the National Iranian American Council in Washington. Parsi is known to be someone who represents the views of the Islamic regime in Tehran, has direct access to the West Wing in the Obama White House, and has regularly prowled Capitol Hill. Then there was a representative from the International Crisis Group that is known to hold views predisposed towards negotiations with Iran and proxy Hamas.  This chorus was communicating a line that said Israel would be foolhardy to exercise its sovereign right to defend itself against Iran with its annihilationist threats.

If that wasn’t enough, today Foreign Policy, a publication of the Washington Post Group floated a story,  “Israel's Secret Staging Ground”  by Middle East analyst, Mark Perry. It was  about an alleged  deal between Azerbaijan and Israel that would give the latter airfield landing rights for a possible attack against Iran. Azerbaijan, which lies to the northwest of Iran on the Caspian Sea, is an oil rich former Soviet era republic, now a Sunni Muslim country. It has good trading and security relations with Israel. Moreover, Azerbaijan leaders have abiding geo-political concern about Azeri brethren in the adjacent Iranian province.  The possible Israeli-Azerbaijan connection on any pre-emptive strike has been speculated upon  for several weeks. However, yesterday’s Foreign Policy report appeared to be staged to coincide with a series of media reports critical of Israel’s  possible pre-emptive attack plans. Note this comment from the Foreign Policy report that has raised US intelligence community and Obama Administration concerns about what is behind this development:

"We're watching what Iran does closely," one of the U.S. sources, an intelligence officer engaged in assessing the ramifications of a prospective Israeli attack confirmed. "But we're now watching what Israel is doing in Azerbaijan. And we're not happy about it."

Israel's deepening relationship with the Baku government was cemented in February by a $1.6 billion arms agreement that provides Azerbaijan with sophisticated drones and missile-defense systems. At the same time, Baku's ties with Tehran have frayed: Iran presented a note to Azerbaijan's ambassador last month claiming that Baku has supported Israeli-trained assassination squads targeting Iranian scientists, an accusation the Azeri government called "a slander." In February, a member of Yeni Azerbadzhan -- the ruling party -- called on the government to change the country's name to "North Azerbaijan," implicitly suggesting that the 16 million Azeris who live in northern Iran ("South Azerbaijan") are in need of liberation.

Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, a long term critic of the Obama Administration dealings with Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, said floating the Azerbaijani- connection was duplicitous endangering Israel’s security.   

In a Fox News report, Bolton accused the Obama Administration of leaking the story to foil Israel’s covert operations on Iran’s border.  Bolton noted:

"I think this leak today is part of the administration's campaign against an Israeli attack".

The White House did not respond to Bolton's claims Thursday.

Bolton, a Fox News contributor, noted that a strike launched from Azerbaijan would be much easier for the Israelis than a strike launched from their own country -- jets could stay over their targets longer and worry less about refueling. But he said tipping the Israelis' hand by revealing "very sensitive, very important information" could frustrate such a plan.

If we follow these two news account they may  portray an Administration in Washington desperate to scuttle an effective Israeli attack scenario that as Ambassador Bolton said would be potentially more effective than thought possible heretofore.

This  may have been perpetrated by both the Islamic Regime's Washington lobbyist Trita Parsi of National Iranian American Council , Obama NSC Advisers and the US Intelligence community who may want to delay any Israeli assault against Iran's vulnerable weaponization facilities. In Jerusalem that opportunity and the window to achieve it is rapidly closing. Moreover, who can trust the comments of ElBaradei, who for years downplayed Iran's weaponization program, only to be upstaged by the November 2011 IAEA reports.

The Reuters piece is nothing more than a furtherance of the Obama West Wing line of to give sanctions a chance to cajole the Islamic Republic into more fruitless jaw boning with Shia Mahdists intent on completing a nearly thirty year effort on  the nuclear project. A project that ironically began under the late Shah. The Administration is eager to let the P5+1 talks scheduled for April 13th proceed with Iran.  A gambit that the Islamic Republic leaders probably laugh at in private giving them space to push ahead to achieve checkmate against international sanction efforts to stop their weaponization and delivery programs. Notwithstanding today’s revelations about a possible Azerbaijan base to launch an attack against Iranian facilities, Israel believes that a window of opportunity is about to close. The Azerbaijani connection makes  the Israel attack more plausible thus clearly upset the plans of their neighbors in Iran

In the meantime, Israel and its allies in the Congress should press the Administration about implementing the existing authorized gasoline moratorium that might cripple the already tottering Iranian economy to foster a groundswell of internal support for regime change. The embargo against Iran oil exports has already had some effect this month as reflected by a drop of such sales in the world markets by an estimated 14 percent. The implementation of the ban by SWIFT against using its international wire transfer system for oil payments has also played a part.

 Nevertheless, it is now time to implement the long authorized gasoline moratorium that US Sen. Mark Kirk, recovering from his unfortunate stroke, might lead in a bi-partisan effort given his track record in the House and now  the Senate.  That effort forced both the Bush and Obama Administrations to implement more effective sanctions. However, in the end, Israel will still have to undertake its own version of a military strike.  What passes for the moribund opposition inside the Islamic Republic, the remnants of the Green Movement, supports an annihilationist agenda towards the Jewish State and wants to become the second Islamic nuclear arsenal after Pakistan. There are few prospects for replacing the Mahdists in Tehran with a secular regime as the US and others in the West have never invested time and money in fostering a suitable replacement. That would include the irredentist objectives of Iran's minority groups such as the Kurds, Azeris and Baluchis. Thus, the Reuters article only deepens the myopic view that appeasement of the Mahdists in Tehran will get Obama re-elected. The Foreign Policy article on the possible Azerbaijani role providing Israel with airfields and refueling facilities increases the likelihood of success for the Israeli military option.  Further, it might give rise to Azeri irredentism in the adjacent Iranian province destabilizing the Islamic regime. Jerusalem knows this as do many outside the Obama West Wing in Washington and even  Riyadh. Thus this untoward leak harbors a game changer strategy by the Israelis, something that upstages the Obama Administration election campaign and may reinforce Israel’s security as a wedge issue.

Posted on 03/29/2012 8:40 PM by Jerry Gordon

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