These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 3, 2011.
Friday, 3 June 2011
MI6 hacks al-Qaeda web magazine in 'Operation Cupcake'
British intelligence has hacked into an al-Qaeda online magazine and replaced bomb-making instructions with a recipe for cupcakes. Or fairy cakes as we used to call them.
The cyber-warfare operation was launched by MI6 and GCHQ in an attempt to disrupt efforts by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular to recruit “lone-wolf” terrorists with a new English-language magazine, the Daily Telegraph understands.
When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of instructions about how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” by “The AQ Chef” they were greeted with garbled computer code. The code, which had been inserted into the original magazine by the British intelligence hackers, was actually a web page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America” published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.
It included a recipe for the Mojito Cupcake – “made of white rum cake and draped in vanilla buttercream”- and the Rocky Road Cupcake – “warning: sugar rush ahead!”By contrast, the original magazine featured a recipe showing how to make a lethal pipe bomb using sugar, match heads and a miniature lightbulb, attached to a timer.
The cyber attack also removed articles by Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and a piece called “What to expect in Jihad.”
Al-Qaeda was able to reissue the magazine two weeks later and has gone on to produce four further editions but one source said British intelligence was continuing to target online outlets publishing the magazine because it is viewed as such a powerful propaganda tool.
"We just want to ask all the wives to be obedient wives so that there will be fewer problems in our society," such as infidelity, divorce and domestic violence, she told AFP. "Obedient wife means they are trying to entertain their husbands, not only taking care of their food and clothes," Maznah said. "They have to obey their husbands. That's the way Islam also asks."
Maznah said it was also the men's responsibility to teach their wives to be obedient. Ah yes, the old beat her lightly with a toothpick move. "To entertain their husbands is compulsory. If she doesn't do this, the husband will look for another woman... and the house will break down."
Maznah is already involved in another controversial venture -- the Ikhwan Polygamy Club, which was launched in 2009 to promote polygamy. Muslim men in Malaysia can take up to four wives.
She is herself in a polygamous marriage, as the second of her husband's two wives. So her husband has already looked elsewhere, and will do again.
Call to Ban the Bible Troubles Pakistanâ€™s Embattled Christians
(CNSNews.com) – Pakistani Christians reacted with dismay Thursday to campaign by radical Muslim clerics to have the Bible declared blasphemous and banned, but some said the community should respond calmly, without fear, trusting God to protect His word.
A group of Muslim clerics has asked the Supreme Court of Pakistan to determine that certain passages of the Bible violate the country’s blasphemy laws, because they depict some biblical figures – whom Muslims revere as “Islamic prophets” – as flawed or immoral. If the court does not make the declaration, the campaigners said, they would lodge an formal application for the Bible to be banned in its entirety.
The group, led by Abdul Rauf Farooqi of the Islamist party JUI-S (Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Sami-ul Haq group), says its initiative is in response to the burning of a Qur’an at the small Florida church headed by Terry Jones.
“This move by the JUI-S is in reaction to Terry Jones’ action of burning the Qur’an,” said Asif Aqeel, director of the Lahore-based Community Development Initiative, an affiliate of European Center for Law and Justice. . . Aqeel said JUI-S should remember that, even during the times of Mohammed and the subsequent caliphs and other Muslim rulers, the Bible was not banned “despite the fact that all of them knew that the Bible had different viewpoint on several things.”
Naveed Walter, the president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan, a non-governmental organization advocating against the blasphemy laws, was taken aback by the latest move by radicals. “I am shocked to hear about the new Islamists’ plans to attack the Christians, now in a different way,” he told CNSNews.com. “They usually attack individuals, groups, churches and communities of Christians, by falsely accusing them of blasphemy,” he said. “But this time they are planning to ban even the Bible in Pakistan. The extremists have crossed the all limitations of extremism.”
Islam’s view of the Bible is open to debate and interpretation. In places (such as sura 29:46-47) the Qur’an appears to direct Muslims to respect the Bible and those who believe in it. But elsewhere (such as sura 9:29-31) it exhorts Muslims to fight those – including Christians and Jews – who do not accept Islam, until they pay tribute and accept inferior (dhimmi) status.
The JUI-S is closely associated with the Taliban and other violent Islamic groups. According to Aqeel, it is not a prominent political faction, though considered influential due to its historical relationship with the Taliban. . . Given that background, he said, the group’s anti-Bible campaign had to be taken seriously.
Another publication reminds readers of the words of Khaled Ahmed who wrote an article titled “What if the Bible is found blasphemous?” in March 21, 2006 in Daily Times. The first paragraph of the article is as follows:
“Most Pakistanis are not aware of the dangers our law against blasphemy might entail. The law says no prophet shall be insulted and awards death for the offence. This means that prophets in the Juaeo-Christian-Islamic tradition are all protected. But do we know what the Bible says about Old Testament prophets? What if the stories of the Bible are taken to court and found blasphemous? Will we then have to burn the Bible and kill all the Christians who read it?”
Muslims consider different people to be prophets than Judaism and Christianity. They include Adam, Noah, King David, King Solomon and Jesus Christ himself. Blasphemy in the Bible might include the historical details of David and Solomon's extra marital relationships (which unlike those of Mohammed were with willing grown women!!!! Or in the case of David's first wife Michal, his own age.) The worst blasphemy of all to a Muslim is the divinity of Christ. Assigning a partner to Allah is shirk, the very worst thing a Muslim can do. They say, and this was spread all across Lea Bridge Road outside the mosque, "God is only one, he has no son" and God cannot have a son because God does not have a wife.
The Koran contains a blasphemy for Christians. That Christ is not the Son of God, God made man, but is a cheat who sent a look alike to die on the cross. When he returns he will break all the crosses and admonish all the Christians for revering him and not Mohammed.
A sheikh familiar with an Arab truck driver who went on a recent rampage in Tel Aviv says the man, Issa Ibrahim Islam, was "possessed by the devil" at the time of the incident. The sheikh claims he treated Islam, who he said was in a difficult mental state before the incident took place. The truck driver prayed at his mosque frequently, the sheikh said.
On the recent "Nakba Day," Islam went on a rampage with his truck in southern Tel Aviv, killing one person and wounding 17. The sheikh, who was interrogated by police Wednesday, said that Islam was "possessed by the devil," which prompted him to press the gas pedal of his heavy truck.
The sheikh said he treated Islam using alternative methods in the days before the incident. The treatment included rubbing oil on the suspect's stomach while reciting Koran verses. I suppose if a priest prayed with a sick man and anointed him I wouldn't find it comical; let us be charitable and say that the meaning of the sentence was 'lost in translation'.
Islam's attorney, Mufid Badir, told Ynet: "I asked the police before…to look into his mental history, in light of the medical and alternative treatments he underwent…I don't understand how they gave him a license to drive a heavy truck given his mental state."
So if it wasn't the devil blame the Jooz for giving him a licence.
On May 31st, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) aired a chilling report by Dale Hurd, its chief European correspondent about the spate of European mega -mosque construction projects. The report focused on the giant mosque in Rome, the Turkish Government underwriting of a mega-mosque challenging the spires of the famed Gothic Cologne Cathedral in Germany. The report also addressed similar mosque efforts in London and Copenhagen. The latter is being built with funding from Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Witness the comments from Lars Hedegaard, Danish free speech hero, about the Copenhagen mosque constituting ‘barracks’ to spread Islamic indoctrination and terrorism.
Pat Robertson’s following comments to this CBN European mega-mosque segment about the dangers lurking behind the European mega-mosque construction campaign seemed appropriate, especially for those who have learned about the imperatives for mosque construction inherent in Islamic Shariah doctrine. Those imperatives are patently evident in our interview with Sam Solomon on mosques and our review of his book, Al Yahud, about implacable Muslim Jew Hatred at the core of Islam. That Islamic Jew Hatred is very much on display via MEMRI videos of rallies in Egypt and other hot spots in the so-called Arab Spring.
But all this is lost on the incredible Abe Foxman of ADL. Foxman and his ‘diversity-minded’ minions at the ADL, a supposed bulwark against anti-Semitism in America, dashed off a letter on June 2nd to Pat Robertson of the 700 Club taking him to task for being against mosque construction, against Muslims generally and creating the impression that Islam is equivalent to doctrinal equivalent of Hiterlism.
Note what Foxman wrote to Robertson:
We were deeply disturbed by your remarks on the May 31 edition of The 700 Club concerning Muslims in Europe and America following a segment on the growing construction of mosques on the European Continent. You asked the question, why is it bigoted if one speaks out "against an institution that is intent on dominating us and imposing Sharia law and making us all part of a universal Caliphate? That is the goal of some of these people. Why is that bigoted? Why is it bigoted to resist Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and to say that we don't want to live under Nazi Germany?"
Your statements here were troubling on several levels. For one, the suggestion that Muslims who, as you put it, "come into Europeand build their mosques" and "come into America and set up their schools and madrassas" are doing so in an effort to "exercise domination over the world" is a false notion based on hateful stereotypes of Islam. While you did qualify your statement with "some of these people," you then pre-empted it with a series of generalizations. In fact, many if not most Muslims in Europe and in America immigrated to find a better life for themselves and to freely practice their faith. Sure, there is a minority of Muslims with extreme views. But the overwhelming majority of Muslims rejects these views and wants little more than the ability to practice their faith openly and freely and to be accepted as contributing members of society. It is wrong to paint all Muslims with such a broad brush, or to portray all Muslims as extremists as you have done here.
Second, the notion that Islam is something that needs to be opposed in the same manner as people resisted Adolf Hitler and the Nazis is outrageous and offensive. Nazism was a racist and genocidal political movement unlike any other in history, responsible for the massacre of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust. One simply cannot and should not lump Muslims into the same category as Hitler.
So in response to your question about why is it bigoted for people to "oppose Muslims," to me the answer is clear: It is bigoted when one assumes the worst about an entire faith based on the beliefs of a few; it is bigoted to paint all Muslims (or for that matter, Christians or Jews) with the broadest of brushes when in fact you are talking about a many-faceted and culturally diverse belief system; it is bigoted to suggest that the Islamic faith has nefarious and sinister plans to take over majority Christian nations when this is false at its core. Sadly, the answer to your question may be found within your own statements, which I believe should be categorically rejected by all reasonable people.
In an Iconoclast post last November with the tag line, “the staggering delusion of the ADL in supporting Mosque Initiatives,” we exposed the credulous, nay, invincible ignorance of Foxman and his minions.
Arutz Sheva Israel National News has a follow up report, “Mosque Opposition Moves from Ground Zero to Tennessee” to the AP story that we posted on regarding the wrap up of the Murfreesboro Chancery Court Hearing in Tennessee. We draw your particular attention to the INN reporter’s reference to the ADL Civil Rights director’s alleged comments in the Los Angeles Times that reflects a staggering and persistent delusion by the ADL about annihilationist Islamic anti-Semitism.
After lamely criticizing the Ground Zero Mosque project in New York, the ADL formed another ecumenical group, the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques (ICOM) to defend mosque projects elsewhere in America. The ICOM-ADL filed an amicus curiae brief in the Murfreesboro Chancery Court proceedings. The ICM-ADL brief paralled one the US Department of Justice filed in support of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro expansion plan project, the subject of the Murfreesboro Chancery Court Hearing. A hearing brought by community plaintiffs contesting approvals by the Rutherford County Planning Commission and County Commissioners.
The ADL in its amicus curiae brief lauded itself as having been in the forefront of pushing for enactment of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) of 2000 passed by the US Congress. RLUIPA is now being used ironically to exempt Mosques from local zoning approvals across the US. The ADL contended that under RLUIPA the ICM had every right to build its 52,000 square foot complex in Rutherford County. The USDOJ amicus curiae brief contested plaintiffs arguments about Islam not being a religion, but a political doctrine in possible violation of the US Constitution. The USDOJ argued that Islam is a religion covered by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
Note the bizarre comment of the ADL Civil Rights representative as regards the revelations by The Investigatgive Project on Terrorism and others, including Elizabeth Coker, about what was found on a member of the ICM board’s MySpace Page regarding support for Hamas, a foreign terrorist group designated by the State Department.
Deborah Lauter, director of civil rights for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which sponsors a newly-formed Interfaith Coalition on Mosques, is one of those who maintain that Rowash’s political preference is irrelevant. Lauter allegedly told the Los Angeles Times that if all the members of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro were public cheerleaders for Hamas, it would still be illegal to discriminate against them because the First Amendment protects freedom of worship.
The ADL is totally feckless about the threat of Sharia in America from expansion of mosques here largely backed by Muslim Brotherhood groups and financed through the Saudi funded North American Islamic Trust. The ADL has been deluded by its focus on teaching tolerance and diversity in America while derogating Christian Zionists, defenders of Israel and the Jewish people’s biblical and legal rights to the holy land.
[. . .]
The ADL’s staggering delusion of what lies behind the eruption of Mega-Mosques nearly rivals that of the infamous Judenrate Jewish councils in Nazi – occupied Europe who sacrificed their own coreligionists during the Holocaust that ultimately killed Six Million Jewish men, women and children. The irony is that Foxman is himself a holocaust survivor and should understand the close parallels between Nazi annihilationist doctrine and that of normative Islam. Pity!
There is no doubt that free speech, the bedrock of democracy and civilization, is under dangerous assault in many Western countries, by a variety of leading organizations and individuals who align themselves with Muslim institutions.
They all promote the fantasy of Muslim victimhood, and force the West to overprotect Muslims, to ignore their atrocities, and to surrender to their escalating demands.
Around the world, Muslims enforce non Muslims compliance and deliberate air-brushing of the extent and magnitude of the Islamic threat -- from holy war, or Jihad, to the treatment of women under Islam. As approved by Sharia dictates, Muslims also try to forbid non-Muslims from speaking critically about Islam.
How do they accomplish this? They name anyone who engages in an honest examination of Islamic texts as a bigot, or full of hate, or call him an "Islamophobe." Dissent brings trials for non-specific "hate-speech" crimes, as well as threats of riots, violence and boycotts. In many worst-case scenarios, Muslims kill non Muslims, as well as those brave Muslims who dare to defy mind-control and suppression.
Only a few days ago the courageous Lars Hedegaard was found guilty of so called "hate speech" for having made allegedly racist statements. Yet, Mr. Hedegaard has been telling the truth. He has been bringing to the public's attention the appalling widespread Islamic 'honor' violence, in which family members are directed kill female relatives, reportedly to "restore family honor," for "crimes" such as as being raped -- often by a family member; the woman is always declared guilty, never the rapist -- as well as for alleged adultery, even if there is no proof, but just "a feeling" the judges may have as in the recent case of Hena in Bangladesh. who was sentenced to 300 lashes, and during the lashings died.
* * *
During my thirty-two years of living in Syria, I have witnessed first hand countless acts of vicious violence and cruelty. As a practicing physician in Syria, I have seen and treated countless abused women who were severely beaten and raped with the tacit approval of Sharia and family "honor."
Those victims I treated were of the same type of victims honor violence to which Mr. Hedegaard referred, and for which he is now being penalized by those who are supposed to be championing the same values we all hold dear in the West.
By suppressing the freedom to expose atrocities and cruelty against Muslim women, however, the West undermines their status as respected and valued citizens. Is this what government leaders seek to accomplish? Are Muslim women who suffer immensely under Sharia Law, including in the West, not worthy of government protection?
As a physician, I am alarmed at the coordinated effort by Islamists and their accomplices in the West to disrupt this basic right to freely express and expose what needs to be corrected.
The horrific attack on 9/11 has brought to light the recognition that no spot on Earth is immune to Islamism. My own personal stories -- my opthamology teacher in medical school in Syria, for example, was shot and killed in front of us because he was teaching female students -- apply to all of us.
As long as there are Muslims within our societies who promote Islamic Sharia Law and work tirelessly to apply it in our free societies, we need to be educated, vigilant and active in defending our liberties. It is one issue that all of us must be concerned about and strongly attentive to.
I am not here to incite anyone against Muslims. Please understand that Muslims are my people, and under any circumstances I wouldn't be able to peel off my own skin and be anything else but a woman from a Muslim country and the Islamic culture. But I am here to unearth the true face of Islam as a hateful and intolerant ideology, including its treatment of women.
Osama Bin Laden is now dead and gone. But the harsh and intolerable Sharia Law he so faithfully practiced is alive and thriving. Bin Laden's life and horrific actions are clear proof that Islamists are victims of an intolerable dogma that lures them away from their inherent common sense, and turns them into human beasts.
At a very early age, they are brainwashed to believe that Islam is bound to control the entire world, and that their mission on earth is to fight for the sake of this goal. For this, the end justifies the means -- therefore humiliating, torturing or killing others is a divine mission.
Lara Logan, the CBS journalist who covered the recent Egyptian revolution broke the wall of silence on a program called "60 minutes," by sharing the sexual violence that was inflicted on her as a female and a foreign journalist in the field. In her own words, she stated that the Egyptian mob who assaulted her "really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence."
For many Westerners this is a vivid view into the shocking treatment and continuous harassment of native women, as well as foreign women, in Egypt.
This practice persists due to Muslim inculcation of hostility to, and derision of, women. To add salt to wound, Muslims blame only the victim -- for supposedly falling short of Islamic restrictions on dress and behavior and thereby "enticing" the men.
Unfortunately, in her interview, Logan submitted to the persisting political correctness, and was careful not to use the words "Muslim" or "Islam" with connection to the terrible sexual ordeal against her.
Let me share with you only few personal stories. These are tales which only affirm Lara Logan's deplorable episode, and prove the pervasiveness of the abuse of women in the Muslim world.
My own niece was forced to marry her cousin when she was eleven and he was over forty. Her marriage was valid under Islamic Sharia because the prophet Muhammad married his second wife, Aisha when she was 6 years old and he was over fifty. My niece for many years was terribly abused and did not have the right to ask for a divorce.
She would escape from her husband's house to her father's, begging him; "Please let me stay here. I promise to be your maid to the last day of my life. He is so abusive; I can't take this torture any more." Her father would reply, "It's shame for a woman to leave her husband's home without his permission. Go back. I promise I will talk to him"
At the age of 28, my niece committed suicide by setting herself on fire; she left behind four children.
While working as a physician in Syria, I witnessed many crimes committed in my society in the name of Islam. Once, when I worked in a small village, a woman in her late thirties came to my office complaining of nausea, vomiting and back pain. An examination revealed that she was three months pregnant. As soon as I told her the news, she collapsed on the chair and began to scream, smacking her face, "I beg you doctor, I beg you to rescue me from the mess I'm in. My son will kill me. I don't care about my life. I deserve to die, but I don't want my son to dirty his hands with my blood."
"What is wrong, Fatima?" I asked.
"My husband died five years ago and left me with four children. His brother rapes me every day in exchange for feeding my children. If he knew I was pregnant he would provoke my son, who is 15, into killing me rather than be exposed to public disgrace."
I sent her to see a gynecologist. When she came back to see me about two weeks later, she looked gaunt, haggard and ill. "I came to thank you." she said. "But they performed the operation to remove the fetus without an anesthetic. I didn't have enough money to pay for the drugs to sedate me, so the doctor had to operate without them. The pain was unbearable. I nearly died"
As for my own story, my husband left for America a year ahead of me. When I submitted a request for passports for my children, the officer in charge refused to grant me one on the grounds that under the Islamic Sharia law I was not considered mentally fit to be the legal guardian of my children. He therefore asked me to bring a male from my husband's family who would allow us to get my children's passports.
No member of my husband's family lived in our town except one of his cousins. He was an alcoholic, and because of his ill nature, my husband had never wanted to introduce him to me. To make a long story short, I went to his house and bribed him with fifty Syrian pounds which is equal to one dollar. As I left the immigration building, I couldn't help thinking of the absurdity that we, women of the Muslim world are faced with: as a medical doctor, I wasn't fit to be the legal guardian of my children, but a drunken man could control my entire destiny.
It is obvious that the teaching of my faith did not coincide with my basic rights, and for sure did not respect me as a professional woman. Under Islamic Sharia Law, for example, male Muslims are granted full control over their female relatives. A father can marry his daughter off at any age to any man of his choice without her consent.
Tragically, these accounts that I share with you, are not isolated stories by any means. They signify tragic stories of millions of other Muslim women all over the world, including here in Europe and in North America. On a daily bases, there are countless domestic abuses of Muslim women: rapes and honor killings which are frequently ignored by the so called "progressives," who claim to be such big supporters of human rights..
Many in the establishment legally prosecute those brave people who dare to speak up and expose the dismal reality of violence against Muslim women, and the harsh reality of Sharia Law in general. Many people forbid our society from labeling the Islamic discrimination and maltreatment of women. Obviously, as we are presently witnessing, especially in Europe, the consequences for those who dare, are grave.
Accordingly, let me challenge those who are on the wrong side of history; how can a Muslim woman raise a fair-minded child when she is oppressed herself? Certainly, a male child who grows up watching his mother being treated with no respected, marginalized and abused, will almost inevitably have a distorted view that such behavior against women id permissible and normal; and be capable of the type of cruelty that was inflicted by the mob against Lara Logan. Is that not a dilemma which affects the West's relationship with the Muslim world?
Sadly, Muslims and their enablers will keep defying those of us who dissent. We have a choice to make. We can continue to give in, or we can win people over by making it clear that our freedoms and our culture and our heritage will be protected -- no matter what it takes.
In his show "Real Time" Bill Maher, an American comedian, stated last month: "Islam is the only religion that 'kills you when you disagree with it. They claim: 'Look, we are a religion of peace…and if you disagree we shall cut off your head.'" Maher predicts that "there are very few people who will call them on it."
We are some of the very few who will call them on it. We are here with clarity and conviction to identify, to expose and, we hope, to marginalize the enemies of the free world. We are here to deter the destruction of our values by those who aspire to enslave us under the harsh and intolerable shackles of Sharia Law.
When a woman living under Islamic Sharia Law immigrates to a free Western country, it can become a complete transformative path, as happened to me. Now that I am free, I do not have to allow my rights to be abused by any religious or political authority. In the United States I am a person -- equal to all others.
But how can we expect all other Muslim women in all parts of the free world to become emancipated when there are judicial institutions that help suppress their urge for freedom by punishing those who try to protect them, as happens to individuals like Lars Hedegaard, Geert Wilders, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Kurt Westergaard, Jesper Langballe, Ezra Levant, Rachel Ehrenfeld, Joe Kaufman and Mark Steyn among others? Too often, the West seems indifferent to its denigration by Islam. Times are difficult nowadays.
I, for one, do not take my rights for granted, and therefore I will continue to fight to protect these rights, not only for me but for all other Muslim women.
As citizens of the free world, we must have the moral aptitude to fight and protect our liberty by exposing the totalitarian abuse of Islam against women.
The enemy has both unwitting and malevolent allies. We are obliged to call on those who surrender to Islam's oppressive doctrine, those who weaken all of us and unintentionally --- or some deliberately -- cause our decline.
We must realize that we are in a war. We must continue our unwavering resolve to serve as a buffer against the forces of evil. We cannot appease. We cannot compromise. We must recognize the enemies, and deter them at every pass.
We will not stifle our language. We will use the appropriate vocabulary to call things by their rightful name. We will continue to press for moral clarity, for open intellectual discourse with the precise definitions of our goals against their goals.
From now on, let us invoke the new terminology, "Truthphobes," against those who call us "Islamophobes. "This is because their irrational fear of the truth is a detrimental factor for our survival as free people.
The bitter reality of Islam's Sharia doctrine should not be ignored. Real victory can take place only in the spirit of genuine inquiry, transparency, and the fearless pursuit of truth. A culture that does not respect half of its population will never thrive and prosper.
Consequently, any attempt to make criticism of Islam forbidden and punishable by law is intolerable and will be strongly resisted by all people who love freedom.
When I was living in Syria, I cried often because I suffered. Now that I am free, I still cry, but for all other Muslim women over the world. I dream of a future when all Muslim women can savor a taste of my freedom. This is a dream that should be granted for all humanity and our job is to be unrelenting in pursuing that objective.
I challenge anyone responsible for the trial against Lars Hedegaard to reconsider the horrendous consequences of such preposterous allegations against him. Let us not revert to the Europe of the Middle Ages.
House Debates That Haste-Makes-Waste Decision In Libya
House debates resolutions on US military role in Libya, president’s authority
By Associated Press,June 3
WASHINGTON — The House is poised to reproach President Barack Obama for dispatching U.S. forces against Libya without getting congressional approval.
The votes Friday on two resolutions marked the first significant debate on the issue since Obama launched air strikes against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in March. Republicans and Democrats criticized the president for ignoring Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war.
The House was likely to pass a resolution by Speaker John Boehner opposing U.S. ground forces in Libya and demanding specifics on the operation and its costs from Obama in 14 days. A separate resolution by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to end U.S. involvement was expected to fail.
The measures were unlikely to have any impact on the U.S. military’s role logistical and intelligence support in the NATO-led operation.
Today President Obama faces perhaps the biggest Congressional challenge yet to his foreign policy and it comes from fellow Democrats.
Shortly after 1 p.m., the House will vote on a resolution offered by anti-war Democrat Dennis Kucinich of Ohio that would force the Obama Administration to end all U.S. military in the NATO Libya operation within 15 days. This is a resolution with teeth: As a so-called privileged resolution it would go directly to Senate.
The main movers behind this resolution are liberal Democrats like Kucinich and Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., but it also has significant support among rank-and-file Republicans who, unlike the Republican leadership, are strongly opposed to the Libya operation.
Vote counters in both parties tell me that anger at President’s Libya policy is so great that there are enough votes to pass the Kucinich resolution – something that would be a major headache for the White House.
Enter John Boehner. The Speaker of the House is attempting to throw the White House a lifeline by offering a alternative, and largely symbolic, resolution that would allow Republicans to vent anger of Libya without actually doing anything to stop the operation.
Boehner’s resolution – which simply gives the “sense of the House” and does not have the force of law – expresses the Congress’s displeasure that “the President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon United States national security interests for current United States military activities regarding Libya.” It urges the President to provide such a rationale within 14 days and says the Congress has the power to cut off funding for the war.
It’s unclear with Boehner’s resolution will be enough to convince rank-and-file Republicans to vote against the Kucinich resolution.
Leading opponents of the Libya operation say Boehner’s resolution is meaningless.
“If you're into symbolism, if you're into therapy… vote for the Boehner resolution," Rep. McGovern said today. "This is a way for some of my friends on the other side of the aisle to kind of cover their backsides, to be able to say to their constituents, 'we did something tough on Libya.”
What are people fed up with? They are fed up with the two trillion dollars spent -- for what? -- in Iraq. They are fed up with the one trililon dollars spent -- for what? -- in Afghanistan. They are fed up with the tens of billions tha have been spent on endlessly meretricious Pakistan, which has among other things, used the money to enlarge the number of what it calls "Islamic bombs" in its nuclear arsenal. They are fed up with Maliki, and Moqtada al-Sadr, and others in Iraq; fed up with Karzai, and his brother, and the Kabul bank scandal, and the hideous corruption in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They are fed up with Pakistani generals.
And they are fed up, too, with Saleh in Yemen, who has beenr receiving hundreds of milliions of dollars each year to "fight Al Qaeda" and who is merely one more warlord, eager early on to blame America and Israel for his troubles, and now using his American-trained forces to fight tribal rivals. They are fed up with an Administration that hails, prematurely and absurdly, an "Arab Spring" that so far has done nothing to dislodge the stratokleptocratic state in Egypt, one made possible, incidentally, by the American aid that provided the res for the Rais, that is the money upon which the now-disgraced Mubarak and his courtiers battened, but also provided money for the corrupt Egyptian military whose only goal other than that of enrichissez-vous is to prepare for war against just one enemy: Israel.
They are fed up with the 20 billion dollars in G-8 aid that was promised to Tunisia (where the secularists are fighting to maintain their control against the likes of Rachid Ghannouchi) and to Egypt (a country that despite having insoluble economic problems, has a Muslim populationj determined to keep wildlly breeding, and within 15 years will have not the current unsustainable 80 million people, but 120 million, a 50% rise, and all at a time when Egypt will no longer be able to monopolize the Nile waters -- the southern Sudan and Ethilopia and other black African states will start to claim, rightly, their share).
They are fed up with people who allow themselves to be influenced by an Arab League resolution - the one denouncing Qaddafy and calling for a No-Fly Zone - and who, almost as hastily as Cameron and Sarkozy, who both behaved with unseemly hysteria about supposed large-scale "massacres of civilians" by Qaddafy's forces that remain a figment of their imagination, but who have managed to help create conditions in which, without massacres, plenty of civilian deaths have occurred.
Qaddafy is now on the ropes and his regime so wounded, that it will never be a threat to the West again. But nothing can be said, so assuredly, about those who might, in that Libyan opposition, come to power. And the predictable result will be more Western intervention, and of course more, and ever more, Western aid, to Arab Muslims who do not wish us well.
When the steady Romans shook the world, one of their mottos was: Divide et Impera.
Why should we not do the same, and welcome internecine strife, sectarian, ethnic, tribal, economic, you name it, within the constituent parts of the Camp of Islam?
Speaking to CNN on Thursday after she arrived in Benghazi, in eastern Libya, Ms. Obeidy said that she had been beaten, handcuffed and forced onto a Qatari military plane. A Libyan opposition activist who met Ms. Obeidy in Benghazi told CNN on Friday that she had a black eye, bruises on her legs and scratches on her arms.
The activist, Nasha Dawaji, said that members of the rebel council in Benghazi were shocked by Ms. Obeidy’s appearance and plan to open an investigation into her treatment. Qatar has been a strong supporter of the Libyan rebels.
A spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency, Adrian Edwards, told reporters on Friday: “Yesterday’s forced return of Libyan national Eman al-Obeidy by Qatar to Libya violates international law.” Mr. Edwards added that United Nations officials were “present at the hotel where Ms. Obeidy was staying in Qatar, ready to accompany her to the airport to travel to an emergency transit center in Romania. She was prevented from leaving for this flight in the early hours of Thursday morning.”
Another spokesperson for the United Nations refugee agency, Sybella Wilkes, said that a colleague in Qatar confirmed that Ms. Obeidy had been forced onto the flight to Libya on Thursday. She also reported on Twitter that staff members from the United Nations refugee agency met with Ms. Obeidy in eastern Libya on Friday.
Benghazi is under the control of Libya’s opposition, but is far from secure: a sleeper cell loyal to Colonel Qaddafi was blamed for a bombing there on Wednesday.
Qatar’s embassy in Washington has not yet replied to a request for comment from The Lede.
Shouldn't Arab Muslims be allowed to live, and benefit from what's on offer, in any Arab Muslim land? Why should the non-Muslim, indeed Western, concept of the modern nation-state take precedence over loyalty to fellow members of the Umma? Why shouldn't all Arab Muslims, or even all Muslims, fleeing Libya, be allowed to enter and settle in, such hyper-rich states as Qatar? Apparently there is plenty of need for outside labor. Of the 1.7 million people in Qatar, only 250,000 are native Qataris; the rest are permanently barred from citizenship. But why?
And come to think of it, all those Yemenis, suffering because of misrule over centuries, and economic paralysis that Islam encourages, are going to need to go elsewhere. Where should they go? America? England? France? No, the obvious place, the place where they can share the language, cutlure, and above all the Total Belief-System of Islam, is Saudi Arabia just to Yemen's immediate north. Or if not Saudi Arabia, or if not only Saudi Arabia, then to Kuwait, the Emirates, and of course -- Qatar.
Qatar wants to be a leader. It wants to have an impact. Let Qatar show the way, and display the loyalty that Muslims are supposed to show to fellow members of the Umma. What better way to show that loyalty than to take some of those people in?
This is something to talk, write, scream about.
Americans and Europeans, weary of being deluged with Arab and Muslim "refugees" who cannot possibly fit in, who cannot possibly offer genuine loyalty to the political and legal institutions of the Infidel nations within which they have so dangerously been allowed to settle (and there to take every advantage, and then some, of whatever benefits the generous societies they now live in may have on offer), should make clear to their represenatives that they want to see thousands of Libyans going to fabulously rich Qatar, which helped to get the whole NATO intervention ball rolling.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
But not forever. For a while.
And then, if there is no sign of any real reciprocity, and if, further, there is a recognition on your part that such reciprocity is impossible, then for your own sanity and survival, do unto others as they have been doing to you.
House Adopts Resolution Demanding Detailed Justification For That Libyan Intervention
House adopts resolution on US role in Libya
By DONNA CASSATA
WASHINGTON—The House has adopted a resolution rebuking President Barack Obama for dispatching U.S. military forces against Libya without congressional approval.
The vote was 268-145. The White House objected, saying the measure was "unnecessary and unhelpful."
The measure by Speaker John Boehner says the president has failed to provide a "compelling rationale" for the nearly 3-month old operation to aid rebels battling Moammar Gadhafi's forces. Democrats and Republicans complained that Obama ignored Congress' constitutional authority to declare war.
The nonbinding measure insists that Obama provide Congress with details on the scope of the mission and its costs within 14 days. It also bars U.S. ground forces except to rescue an American service member.
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted Friday to harshly rebuke President Obama for continuing to maintain an American role in NATO operations in Libya without the express consent of Congress, and directed the administration to provide detailed information about the cost and objectives of the American role in the conflict.
The resolution, which passed 268 to 145, was offered by Speaker John Boehner to siphon off swelling Republican support for a measure sponsored by Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, which calls for a withdrawal of the United States military from the air and naval operations in and around Libya.
The resolution criticizing the president passed with the support of 45 Democrats and all but 10 Republicans.
The measure from Mr. Kucinich, one of the most liberal members of the House, later failed by 148 to 265, with 87 Republicans voting in favor. [that is, with greater Republican than Democratic support] for the Kucinich resolution]
As a legislative matter, the resolution has no practical effect, and indeed is little more than an expression of opinion. A decision by the Supreme Court over two decades ago suggested that Congress is not empowered to enforce a resolution or other directive that, unlike a bill, the president has no chance to veto.
But as a political matter, the resolution was an unusually blunt confrontation of a president during an ongoing military conflict, and underscored a bipartisan distaste among members of Congress for being bypassed on the road to war.
The roughly two hour debate concerning both resolutions provided some interesting alliances among far left and hard right lawmakers, and a bit of role reversal in the discussion of executive power and the relevance of Libya to America’s vital interests.
“It seems the shoe is on the other foot,” said Representative Howard L. Berman, Democrat of California, noting that Republicans had accused Democrats of “cutting and running” on military operations in the past. Representative Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, chided Republicans, saying “to tie the president’s hands is inconsistent with the legacy of this body, which is to do what is necessary to protect American interests.”
In contrast, Republican Representative Dan Burton, who voted for both measures, said, “We’re not going to go to war without the people of this country supporting it. The Boehner resolution I’m going to support, but it doesn’t go far enough.”
The United States is currently providing NATO with intelligence, logistical support and armed Predator drones in what is largely a bombing campaign against Libyan government forces. The administration has contended that it was within Mr. Obama’s power to initiate American participation in the hostilities without Congress because the combat was limited to an air offensive.
Last month, Mr. Obama sent a letter to Congress emphasizing that the United States had turned control of the operation over to NATO and that it was primarily providing support to allies.
The War Powers Resolution says that presidents must terminate hostilities after 60 days if they have not been authorized by Congress; that deadline passed on May 20 without an explanation to Congress from the administration detailing why it thinks it was lawful for the operation to continue.
This lack of explanation, following Mr. Obama’s failure to obtain Congressional authorization for the engagement at the outset, angered both the anti-war factions of his own party in Congress, and conservative Republicans seeking to rein in executive power and federal spending alike. An intense floor debate ensued Friday over the nature of the conflict in Libya, the country’s importance to American security interests and the role of Congress in authorizing military campaigns.
The Boehner resolution demands that the administration provide, within 14 days, detailed information about the nature, cost and objectives of the American contribution to the NATO operation, as well as an explanation for why the White House did not come to Congress for permission.
Members on both sides complained of war fatigue in their districts, and the reluctance of constituents to support the opening of yet another conflict, although some members stressed the importance of supporting an ongoing operation, even if they did not agree with how it started.
“It is not surprising that there is a desire to simply say, ‘enough,’” said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; she voted for Mr. Boehner’s resolution but against the one brought by Mr. Kucinich.
Yemen slides towards all-out war after President Saleh survives rocket attack
Government claims attack on presidential compound was 'attempted coup' as fighting intensifies in Sana'a
The latest violence in Yemen is likely to lead to Saudi Arabian calls for Saleh to step down. Photograph: Hani Mohammed/AP
Yemen's embattled president survived an apparent attempt to kill him on Friday as fighting intensified in Sana'a amidst warnings that the country is sliding inexorably into all-out war.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 32 years, emerged defiant from his compound in the capital after it was attacked: shells or a missile hit a mosque inside, killing three guards and a cleric and lightly injuring him and two other senior government figures.
The incident fuelled growing anxieties that the Arab uprisings, which have have brought dramatic changes to Egypt and Tunisia, is turning Yemen — already the Arab world's poorest country — into something far more volatile and dangerous.
The government was quick to accuse Saleh's bitter rival, Hamid al-Ahmar of the opposition Islah party, of launching the attack, and government forces immediately shelled his mansion in Sana'a.
"The al-Ahmars have committed a great crime, and crossed a red line," said Tareq al-Shami, a government spokesman. "This was an attempted coup, and the government will take all necessary measures."
Sadeq al-Ahmar, head of the powerful Hashid tribal federation, blamed Saleh himself for the shelling, saying it was carried out to help justify the government's escalation of streetfighting in the capital.
Saleh, who was treated at a military hospital, was reported to be preparing to give a press conference later. Claims of his death were first reported by an oppostion TV station and made headlines around the world before being denied.
Abdul Ghani al-Iryani, a Yemeni political analyst, told al-Jazeera it was "quite reasonable to assume" that Ahmar's fighters were behind the palace attack. "[The tribesmen] probably wanted him to know that [Saleh] can no longer attack them with impunity, and that they can reach him as he can reach them," Iryani said.
Other regional analysts say the chances for a democratic or peaceful transition of power in Yemen are slim.
It was a violent end to a violent week. On Thursday government jets strafed roads and villages north of Sana'a as thousands of tribesmen tried to enter the capital to fight Saleh loyalists. Residents described an atmosphere of fear and alarm at food shortages and rising prices.
Saleh has reneged on a deal brokered by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states under which he would step down in return for an amnesty to be followed by free elections.
The US, which has leaned on the Yemeni leader in its fight against al-Qaida, has increased pressure for Saleh to go, blaming the bloodshed on his backpedalling from the agreement. Britain and the EU are also pushing hard for him to implement it.
The latest violence is likely to persuade neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which has strong ties with the Yemeni tribes, to strongly press Saleh to step aside, and so avert disaster in a country where half of the 23 million people owns a gun.
The attack on the president came after Friday prayers, with heavy artillery repeatedly striking the presidential compound and shaking nearby buildings. The streets were deserted after many residents fled the city for the safety of nearby villages.
"People there were happy to hear that he [the president] had been killed, but then the government denied that," said Ibrahim Mothana, 22, a student. "It means we will experience an escalation and it will probably be more violent."
Another resident told the Guardian: "The streets are empty. I managed to go out yesterday to buy some food but the prices are going up daily. In the street where I live all the families have gone back to their villages and just left a family member to stay behind to look after the house. There must be more than 100,000 in total who have left the city."
The US emphasised the need for an orderly and peaceful transfer of power. "Violence cannot resolve the issues that confront Yemen, and today's events cannot be a justification for a new round of fighting," a White House spokesman said. President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, spent two days this week trying to peruade the Saudis and the UAE to boost efforts to help bring an end to Yemen's violence.
On Thursday, the official Yemeni news agency said the government was, again, willing to endorse the Gulf-brokered transition agreement.
If It Makes Sense For Libya, It's Not Too Late For A Similar Statement About Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan
The House resolution demands that the Administration furnish it with a statement of its objectives in Libya.
That's fine. That could be salutary. That could be clarifying.
But it was never demanded when the Americans entered, and stayed, and stayed, and stayed, in Iraq, and are in Iraq still, and if the Defense Department and the State Department had their way, the Americans -- some 50,000 -- would still be staying, to "keep the peace" and help the Iraqis from being at one another's throats and building the country, and so on.
Why not another resolution, one that asks the Executive Branch to explain what constitutes "Victory" in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that there can be discussion as to the what definition of "victory" makes the most sense.
My definition of "victory" in Iraq, and my suggestion that we "concede victory," was posted on the web five years ago this June.