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

These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 30, 2013.
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Muslim patrols could become more prevalent and more violent, warns anti-extremist

I take Quillam (the wannabe acceptable face of islam) with a pinch of salt, but in this I fear they are not wrong. From the Telegraph (who got it from The Times)

Muslim patrols stalking British streets could become “a lot more dangerous” and perhaps even willing to maim or kill, the head of an anti-extremism organisation has warned.

As British jihadists venture abroad to capitalise on the aftermath of the Arab Spring and then return to the UK, they are likely to bring a greater level of violence back home, Maajid Nawaz, the chairman of the Quilliam Foundation, suggested.

His comments follow incidents in which groups of Muslim vigilantes, dubbing themselves 'Muslim Patrols' have approached Londoners and demanded they behave in an Islamic way by not drinking.

They have also told women to put more clothes on, claiming they are entering 'Muslim areas'.

Their actions could be “a sign of things to come” and are part of a pattern of extremism spreading across Europe in different forms, be it far right fascism or Islamism, Mr Nawaz said. What the great and good call 'far-right' . like the EDLisn't always truly so, but a natural reaction to that which menaces us. Did they really think we would all roll over and meekly submit?

The Muslim patrols could become a lot more dangerous and, perhaps willing to maim or kill if they are joined by battle-hardened jihadis,” he wrote.

He compared the Islamist vigilantes to extremists like the far-right Golden Dawn supporters in Greece and right-wing vigilantes in France who ran Roma families out of a Marseilles estate and burnt down their camp. They are not nice, but like the Crusdaes only the eventual reaction to Islamic takeover.

Countries such as Denmark and Spain have also seen Islamist extremists trying to enforce their own sharia law, he noted.

Mr Nawaz is now a leading critic of his former Islamist ideological dogma, while remaining a Muslim.

Posted on 01/30/2013 2:41 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
France to expel radical imams to tackle 'global Islamic jihad'

From AFP via Russia Today

Paris says it will deport a number of radical religious imams to tackle extremism in Europe and "global jihadism". French Interior Minister warned the eviction would happen "in the coming days".

­"We will expel all these imams, all these foreign preachers who denigrate women, who hold views that run counter to our values and who say there is a need to combat France,” AFP quoted foreign minister Manuel Valls as saying.

Speaking at the conference in Brussels, he stressed that the move will affect “Salafist groupings, who are involved in the political process, whose aim is to monopolize cultural associations, the school system."

Radical Islam, the key topic at an international conference in Belgium, is a pressing issue for France especially after Mohamed Merah the al-Qaeda inspired murderer, dubbed the Scooter Killer, shot dead three soldiers, three Jewish schoolchildren, and a rabbi in March 2012.

Valls referred to the Toulouse incident, pointing out that Merah did not work alone, but had many contacts in France and abroad and “lived in a [radical] environment. The minister concluded this forged the process of radicalization that led him to kill”.

Posted on 01/30/2013 2:57 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
It’s not poverty that’s fattening - it's the bad eating habits

When a government minister says something that is not only true but also profoundly discomfiting we are surprised and even shocked, so cynical have we become about the intellectual probity of our political class. Anna Soubry, a junior health minister, is therefore to be congratulated for her truthful but disquieting remarks this week about obesity and its statistical association, in modern Britain, with poverty.

It is generally accepted that obesity, bringing with it a host of serious medical and social problems, is of epidemic proportions throughout the Western world, but particularly in Anglo-Saxon countries. Grossly obese people, who have always existed, were once regarded almost as curiosities, but were well-off rather than poor. Now, in the poorer parts of Britain, where unemployment is an hereditary condition and the state is almost of Soviet predominance in the economy, the obese are often confined by the age of 40 to wheelchairs by their size and immobility.

So severe is the epidemic, indeed, that some epidemiologists fear that the increase in life expectancy, which has been continuous for more than a century, will go into reverse.

Dr Robert Lustig, an American paediatric endocrinologist, believes that the epidemic started when President Nixon, acting on the best medical advice at the time, exhorted the food industry to reduce the amount of fat in its products. The industry complied, but, unfortunately, prepared foods denuded of fat are unappetising, so it replaced fat with fructose, the principal dietary cause – according to Dr Lustig – of obesity.

But what we eat also has a social dimension. You can lead a man to a doughnut, but you can’t make him eat. What is the connection between poverty (relative, not absolute), and the obesity that is unprecedented in history?

The first thing to say about the problem in Britain is that food culture has never been our glorious country’s strongest point. One way to go bankrupt quickly would be to open a British restaurant in any number of European countries. Voltaire famously said that England was a land of 60 religions and one sauce: and while this has changed decisively for the better-off and more educated, the Voltairean proposition remains essentially true (if you replace religions by TV channels) for a large proportion of the population.

But of course there is more to it than that. Our bad food never caused people to become fat before. It is rather in social changes that the explanation, or at least an important part of it, is to be sought.

With the decline of the family – wrought by the policies of successive governments – patterns of eating have changed. Meals in many households, especially those of the relatively poor, are no longer family or social occasions. It has been found that a fifth of children do not eat more than one meal a week with another member of their household; and in such households, which I used sometimes to visit as a doctor, the microwave oven was the entire batterie de cuisine, or at any rate the only cooking implement that was ever actually employed.

Moreover, there was no table at which a meal could have been eaten in common if anyone had thought of doing so. The result was that children became foragers or hunter-gatherers in their own homes, going to the fridge whenever they felt like it and grazing on prepared foods – high, of course, in the evil fructose. Not coincidentally, these households were also the least likely to have what would once have been considered the normal family structure.

Such households also tended to be in areas called “food deserts”, in which fresh produce is either not easily available or unavailable. But those who ascribe the dietary habits of the households I have just described to food desertification put the cart before the horse: for if heroin can reach these areas (and it can), surely the humble lettuce can do so?

It is also sometimes alleged that people buy prepared foods because they are cheap. This is nonsense. In fact, if you go to areas inhabited by poor Indian or Pakistani families you will find stores that sell an astonishing range of vegetables at equally astonishing prices. I used to shop in one such store, at a time when I did not have to concern myself too much over the price of food; I could hardly carry all that I could buy for a few pounds. I remember in particular a 10-kilo bag of onions costing £1.49.

The Indian and Pakistani women bought with discrimination and, taking a maternal interest in me, would sometimes indicate what to look for among what were for me the more exotic vegetables. But I never saw any poor whites shopping there: they went straight to the pie and pizza shops, without so much as a glance at the okra and aubergine.

In other words, food desertification and the supposed cheapness of industrially prepared foods is a consequence, not a cause of, the food habits I have described. Food desertification is a symptom of the culinary ignorance, incompetence and indifference of a substantial minority of our population: ignorance, incompetence and indifference unopposed by any attempt of our educational system to counteract it, for example by teaching girls the elements of cookery. Fat is indeed a feminist issue, but not in the sense that Susie Orbach originally meant it.

Another contributory factor to the obesity epidemic is the control or authority now given to children over what they eat. Children are asked (and given) what they want by their solicitous mothers, not as a treat but as a matter of course; and what they choose is what is most immediately attractive to them.

This has the delightful short-term consequence of forestalling the struggle to get the children to eat what at first they do not want to touch; but it has the disastrous long-term consequence of restricting their repertoire and of keeping their tastes childish and undeveloped, that is to say likely to cause obesity. In American books on the subject of appetite and appetite control, irresistibly attractive foods are always depicted as chocolate cake and other sweet and ersatz products of the food industry, whose very names bespeak childishness.

I happen to be staying at the moment in a provincial English town. Often in its centre I observe two fat mothers side by side pushing their almost equally fat infants in pushchairs grazing on milk chocolate hippopotami or cheeseburger-flavoured potato rings (it is never too soon to learn). These perpetual snacks have the great advantage of keeping the nippers quiet while their mothers discuss the shortcomings of their respective boyfriends; unfortunately they are harmful for longer-term and more important objectives.

Things are worse in Britain than anywhere else in Europe, but my patriotism forces me to concede, not without a certain relief, that matters are deteriorating abroad, too. Though only a third as many children are obese in France as in Britain, the numbers are rising there. The continent of Europe will not long suffer Britain to be the glutton of the world.

It is not the combination of poverty and the easy availability of fattening food that has produced the epidemic of obesity: rather it is a sense in these circumstances of meaninglessness, that nothing much matters.

More than 30 years ago I visited an island in the Central Pacific called Nauru. It suddenly became the richest land on earth, its people having gained control of the valuable phosphate rock that was mined from its surface. From being a people of subsistence fishermen and cultivators of taro and coconuts, the Nauruans went directly to being wealthy rentiers, no longer having to work for a living. They did not know what to do instead.

They ballooned in size. They consumed on average 7,000 calories per day. Half of them became diabetic and their life expectancy was low (despite the general rule that rich people are healthy). Having no great culinary tradition, and now nothing much else to do, they ate enormously but crudely. They consumed mountains of rice crowned with large tins of Australian corned beef. Being partial to alcohol and sweet things, they washed it all down with vast quantities of Château d’Yquem. They drank Fanta by the caseload. They ate and ate and ate.

The result was tragic rather than amusing. Fat is an existential issue.

Posted on 01/30/2013 6:01 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Hezbollah, Syria, And The Ties That Bind In Every Sense

From The New York Times:

January 30,2013

Will Syria Bleed Hezbollah Dry?

“THE conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.” Henry Kissinger’s observation, made during the Vietnam War, should be haunting Hezbollah, the Middle East’s most capable guerrilla force, as it becomes embroiled in an increasingly costly effort to save the Assad regime.

In a meticulously planned operation in October, units linked to the Free Syrian Army in the city of Qusayr near the Lebanon border killed Ali Hussein Nassif, who was quickly exposed as commander of all Hezbollah forces in Syria. His death shed light on the extent of the group’s involvement in the conflict.

Hezbollah’s interest in preserving Bashar al-Assad’s seat of power is well known, and its leader Hassan Nasrallah has spared no effort in reminding the world of his group’s political support for the embattled dictator. For three decades, the Assad dynasty’s support propelled Lebanon’s largely peasant Shiite population into the halls of government, backed by an armed wing whose firepower rivals that of many conventional national armies.

Hezbollah’s military commitment in Syria is no less obvious. Since the conflict’s outset, Hezbollah commanders have joined their counterparts in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in advising the Syrian military in its crackdown on opposition strongholds, in addition to training a reported 60,000-member militia to protect Alawite communities in Syria’s coastal northwest. Thousands of Hezbollah-linked fighters have helped protect roughly 20 Shiite Syrian communities along the Lebanese border from sectarian-motivated attacks by hard-line rebels. Hezbollah is said to have used its arsenal to shell Sunni border communities acting as rebel strongholds.

Reports indicate that Hezbollah recently expanded its actions in Syria to include its most valued resource — its highly trained and strategically irreplaceable special forces units. Hezbollah’s secretive military wing is reportedly composed of 2,000 to 4,000 professional soldiers and thousands of reservists hailing from Shiite villages south of the Litani river and the Bekaa Valley, meant to be called into action to repel a future Israeli invasion. During the 2006 conflict with Israel, the loss of roughly one quarter of Hezbollah’s special forces was assumed to constitute the group’s most severe setback.

Varying reports from Syria suggest that the direct participation of these special forces units in combat zones nationwide has increased, and additional forces may be on the way. Secret contingency plans reportedly agreed upon at the highest levels of the Syrian government and Hezbollah indicate that Hezbollah had reportedly agreed to commit thousands of its most elite soldiers to defend the Assad regime, either from a “foreign invasion” or in the event that “urgent assistance” was needed.

With Syrian rebels consolidating their gains in outlying areas of Aleppo and Damascus, there are indications that Nasrallah has already begun to make good on his pledge. Earlier this month, a Saudi newspaper reported that four Hezbollah units, each consisting of 1,300 fighters, had been dispatched to assist the Syrian military in major cities, while the group’s elite 901 commando unit has reportedly been fighting in the Homs area since July. Most recently, Hezbollah’s reported deployments near Syrian chemical weapons facilities has spurred the Israeli government to threaten military intervention as a response to any potential attempt to transfer those weapons into Hezbollah bunkers in Lebanon.

Whether these moves were meant to protect these key facilities from sensitive sites or transfer their deadly materials, the deployment nonetheless testifies to the reality that these foreign Shiite militiamen have become one of Assad’s most trusted fighting units.

Militarily and politically, Hezbollah has much at stake in the Syrian conflict, but it is risking even more by attempting to save a pariah regime that may not be savable. The group has incurred hundreds of losses against Syrian rebels, including its valued special forces. Hezbollah cannot outmatch rebel manpower, and will need to commit its best fighters and most sophisticated equipment to cut rebel supply lines in the hopes of hindering a Damascus invasion force from gaining traction.

Hezbollah’s arsenal of nearly 70,000 rockets will likely remain pointed at the Israelis, but the squandering of its crucial elite units in Syria could deprive Lebanon’s Shiite community of protection from emboldened sectarian rivals in the wake of Assad’s ousting. Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s assisting of the Assad regime in committing atrocities will put its leaders in the crosshairs of future international criminal tribunals, in addition to those already investigating the group’s involvement in the assassination of the former Lebanon prime minister Rafik Hariri. Such negative attention may just spur the European Union to cave to U.S. pressure to place Hezbollah on its list of terror organizations, risking further isolation of the group’s political wing.

Most threatening however, is Hezbollah’s increasingly blatant violation of Lebanon’s commitment to remain neutral in the Syrian conflict, a pledge made in the hopes of preserving the country’s delicate sectarian balance. Nasrallah’s support for Assad has placed Shiites and other minorities in the future line of fire of Syrian jihadists, many of whom are likely to turn their guns to Lebanon in retribution in the event of Assad’s ousting.

Nasrallah has repeatedly affirmed his belief that the Assad regime will survive. Regardless of whether he is right, his assertions illustrate the fact that this conflict is one that Hezbollah desperately needs to win.

Daniel Nisman and Daniel Brode are intelligence managers for Max Security Solutions, a geo-political risk consulting firm based in Tel Aviv.
Posted on 01/30/2013 8:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Get the Starbucks Experience at Home

From Saturday Night Live (hat tip: Maggie's Farm)

Posted on 01/30/2013 8:45 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
In France, "Foreign" Imams To Be Expelled, But All True Believers In Islam Are Foreign To France

From RT:

France to expel radical imams to tackle 'global Islamic jihad'

29 January, 2013

AFP Photo / Charly Tribaleau

AFP Photo / Charly Tribaleau

Paris says it will deport a number of radical religious imams to tackle extremism in Europe and "global jihadism". French Interior Minister warned the eviction would happen "in the coming days".

­"We will expel all these imams, all these foreign preachers who denigrate women, who hold views that run counter to our values and who say there is a need to combat France,” AFP quoted foreign minister Manuel Valls as saying.[and what about all the True Believers in Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira -- will the contents of those texts be widely disseminated to the French public, so they can see exactly what it means to be a Believing Muslim, or one who identifies himself as a Muslim?]

Speaking at the conference in Brussels, he stressed that the move will affect “Salafist groupings, who are involved in the political process, whose aim is to monopolize cultural associations, the school system."

Radical Islam, the key topic at an international conference in Belgium, is a pressing issue for France especially after Mohamed Merah the al-Qaeda inspired murderer, dubbed the Scooter Killer, shot dead three soldiers, three Jewish schoolchildren, and a rabbi in March 2012.

Valls referred to the Toulouse incident, pointing out that Merah did not work alone, but had many contacts in France and abroad and “lived in a [radical] environment”. The minister concluded this “forged the process of radicalization that led him to kill”.

French authorities have expelled numerous Muslim imams in recent years for “hate speech against the Republic and our values" and preaching anti-Western sentiments.

In October 2012 Paris expelled a Tunisian imam accused of spreading anti-Semitic views, denigrating women and calling for "violent jihad" from his pulpit at the Omar Mosque in the capital.

In April 2012, France deported five Islamic militants and Muslim preachers. A preacher of Malian origin was expelled for promoting anti-Semitism, advocating the full face veil and rejecting the West. While in France, imams from Saudi Arabia, Turkey as well as a suspected Tunisian militant have called for the death of all those who deviate from Islam.

Posted on 01/30/2013 8:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
IAF Attacks Weapons Convoy on Syrian Lebanese Border over Hezbollah Access to CW and Advanced Weapons.


Israeli Air Force F16i                                      Areas hit in Latest IAF incursion into Lebanon Source:

On Tuesday, the IAF dispatched  flights of F-16s and according to sources in Lebanon attacked a weapons convoy astride the Syrian Lebanese. cited reports from AL-Monitor in the US and Beirut the Lebanese airspace incursions:

"Israeli forces have attacked a target on the Syrian-Lebanese border overnight," foreign and Arab media sources alleged Wednesday, saying that 12 IAF jets breached Lebanon's airspace on Tuesday. 

The US-based Al-Monitor website quoted Lebanese sources as saying the target was a weapons convoy traveling near Syria’s border with Lebanon. The report has not been corroborated by any Israeli source and the IDF refused to comment on the matter. 

Earlier, Beirut's news agency alleged that the Israeli fighter jets conducted three separate aerial incursions into Lebanon's airspace overnight.

According to the report, the jets flew over the En Nakura area for several hours, leaving Lebanese airspace at around 2 am. The report, citing military sources, said that the first incursion took place at around 4:30 pm, when two jets flew over the village of Ramish, leaving at 9:05 pm.

As the duo was leaving – according to the Lebanese report – two other IAF jets entered Lebanon's airspace, towards En Nakura, leaving at 2 am.

Israel’s military intelligence has been monitoring closely the movement of Chemical Warfare (CW) weapons stockpiled at four bases in Syria   We  have written NER articles on Syrian missile equipped with CW warheads and its  Biological Warfare  (BW) program with  support from Iran and North Korea.

In both October and late December 2012, there were mysterious explosions at Hezbolleh arms depots in Baalbek and South Lebanon. The Kuwaiti website al Jaridi reported that Israel may have bombed the Southern Lebanon site because “Syria had transferred missiles there that were capable of being equipped with chemical warheads. The missiles had been moved into Lebanon from Syria in the last several months.”  David Ignatius writing in the Washington Post noted the threat of these unconventional weapons transfers from Syria to Iranian proxy Hezbollah:

What should we make of these reports? First, the Syrian chemical-warfare capability may be even more dangerous than people had thought, because the weapons can be moved to other locations and mixed en route. And, second, there’s a significant risk of proliferation to other groups, such as Hezbollah, which could pose a global terrorist threat.

Reports yield a bleak prognosis that is difficult to strategize against. Syria’s weapons are excessive in number, pervade the entire region, and are heavily defended by the Syrian army which is said to number 100,000 troops. According to a Pentagon study, uprooting Syria’s arsenal would require upwards of 75,000 troops.

 The latest attacks against weapons convoys along the Syrian Lebanese border reflect fears that Hezbollah may have gained access to CW and other advanced and non-conventional weapons especially hundreds of missiles, many equipped with CW and possibly BW warheads.

 IDF Military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi was dispatched to Washington met on Tuesday with Gen Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon to confer on possible actions.  Al-Monitor noted:

The IDF declined comment on the MI chief's visit, saying that "Israel does not comment on the working visits of IDF officers."

However, the website quoted an anonymous Israeli official as saying that "Some people say (the) IDF wouldn’t object to (the) opportunity to set the record straight vis-à-vis Hizballah... Also, there's the idea of putting them out of play, as done with Hamas recently."

Israel Hayom cited the dispatch of National Security Adviser Gen. Yaakov Amidror to Moscow and Russia’s reply regarding the CW threat in Syria:

Russia said it will take control of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile if Israel promises not to attack Syria, "until it gets a green light from Moscow and Washington", according to a report by Saudi news outlet Al-Watan.

If the reports are true, it would not be farfetched to connect it to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent dispatch of his National Security Council Chief Yaakov Amidror to Moscow. The report claims its information is based on a "senior Israeli official." quoted warnings by Vice Premier Silvan Shalom and IAF commander Maj. Gen Amir Eshel about loss of control over CW and other advanced weapons in Syria:

Assad is believed to have the largest arsenal of nonconventional warfare in the world. Vice Premier Silvan Shalom said Sunday that any sign that Syria's grip on its chemical weapons is slipping, could trigger Israeli military strikes.

On Tuesday, IAF Chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel warned that Israel cannot remain complacent vis-à-vis the growing chaos is Syria and its possible effects on the balance of power in the region.

Earlier in the week, Israel deployed two Iron Dome batteries near the northern border.

IAF commander Eshel noted the rising concerns of CW and conventional arms threats posed by Hezbollah and other terrorist groups gaining access to Syrian armories:

"There have been tectonic movements in Syria shifting it toward collapse." Eshel said at the Israeli Air Force Center in Herziliya. "There is a massive weapons arsenal in Syria, some of which is very advanced and some that is unconventional. All that [weaponry] could find its way to our borders."

"Governments are falling apart and that's bringing a resurgence of terrorist activity on our borders the likes of which we haven't seen for decades. We need to deal with a very wide scope of threats, as of today we are faced with both the conventional and unconventional, from the knife to the nuclear weapon, both near and far," he said

"in the past we may have seen these threats as residing on our borders, today it is entirely different," noting that terrorists today could use weapons "that can reach deep into Israel, be it in the form of ground to ground missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned drones and unconventional arms,"

Israeli citizens have taken due notice of concerns about possible CW attacks, an echo of the Scud missile attacks by the late Saddam Hussein during the First Gulf War.  Israel Hayom noted the rush by Israelis to exchange gas and ABC masks and the dearth in supply:

"The past few days have seen a rise in the demand for gas masks, following the reports of Syria's chemical weapons slipping into the hands of terrorist groups," Israel Postal Company Deputy Operations Manager Haim Mizaki told Army Radio on Wednesday. According to Mizaki, "every security related debate adds to the demand for gas masks."

Mizaki said currently there are not enough gas masks to cover the entire population, and that so far only 4,700,000 have been distributed. "We are working in accordance with the Homefront Defense Ministry ... by their protocols, we are only allowed to hand out 50,000 kits each month, 600,000 a year," he said.


These latest Israeli actions are illustrative of the rising concern over non convention CW and BW threats from Syria, Iran and its proxies.    Witness this comment in a recent Washington Times op ed by Dr. Jill Bellamy van Aalst, Clare Lopez and Reza Kahlili:

The sectarian war in Syria reportedly has claimed more than 60,000 lives and spawned concerns in the Middle East and the West about access to chemical weapons by non-state actors such as al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles are of immediate concern to Israel, Jordan and the United States, whether in Syrian President Bashar Assad’s hands or those of terrorist organizations. Yet the locations of chemical weapons munitions and Scud missiles equipped with chemical warheads in Syria have been identified and are continually monitored. That is not the case with the arguably more dangerous biological weapons being developed by the nexus of Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Posted on 01/30/2013 8:53 AM by Jerry Gordon
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Jannie Schipper: Les Arabes Detestent Les Noirs

From AllAfrica:

Afrique: 'Les arabes détestent les noirs'

Les migrants africains au Maroc se sentent harcelés par les gens du pays, et les Marocains à leur tour ont parfois peur des nouveaux arrivants. Entre les deux groupes, l'incompréhension est profonde. C'est la conclusion qu'a tirée Jannie Schipper, journaliste à Radio Nederland, lors d'une visite dans la zone boisée près de la frontière avec l'Espagne.

Ils pourraient vous manger

Sur le côté de la route de Fnideq à Ksar Sghir, dans le nord du Maroc, six jeunes hommes sont assis, les mains tendues dans un geste suppliant.

"Attention, ces Noirs pourraient vous manger", nous lance sous forme de mise en garde un Marocain vendeur de jus dans la ville frontalière de Fnideq. Ils pourraient quoi ? "Oui, vraiment", répond-il. "Ils sont capables de tout". Les chauffeurs de taxi en attente de clients sur la place poussiéreuse manifestent peu d'enthousiasme lorsqu'il est question d'aller visiter ces Africains qui campent dans la forêt. "N'y allez pas, c'est dangereux".

"Les Arabes détestent les Noirs. Et cela ne date pas d'aujourd'hui, c'est dans leur sang", déclare Aboubakr, un jeune ressortissant du Sénégal qui espère éventuellement rallier l'Europe. Il a passé près d'un an à Rabat, la capitale du Maroc, avant d'arriver dans ce campement près de la frontière espagnole et ses expériences là-bas lui font ressentir de l'amertume.

"Certains de mes amis ont été attaqués au couteau. Les bandits nous prennent pour cible parce qu'ils savent que nous ne pouvons pas aller à la police, même si nous sommes dépouillés et blessés. Étant sans papiers, nous serons plutôt arrêtés. Les Noirs n'ont aucun droit ici".

Frères africains

Les attitudes racistes se manifestent également d'autres façons. Souleymane, de Guinée-Conakry, est en colère du fait que les Marocains l'appellent "Africain" dans un sens péjoratif. "Ils doivent nous considérer comme frères africains, dit-il, c'est différent quand un Européen vous appelle Africain, ou quand un autre Africain le fait". Aboubakr ressent également de l'insulte du fait que les Marocains "ne peuvent pas croire que la plupart d'entre nous sont aussi des musulmans". A l'en croire, les gens sont surpris lorsqu'ils le voient s'agenouiller pour la prière. "Ils ne pensent pas qu'un Noir puisse être musulman".

Du pain et des fruits

Pendant plus d'une heure, au moins cinq voitures s'arrêtent le long de la route. Un garçon court à la voiture, parle brièvement avec la personne à l'intérieur et revient avec un sac en plastique. Du pain, des morceaux de fruits, parfois un peu d'argent. "Ma mère achète du pain pour le leur apporter", nous dit une jeune femme venant de Ksar Sghir voisine. Pour elle, c'est un geste humanitaire naturel. "Ils vivent là-bas sans rien, nous devons les aider". Un vendeur de volaille à Fnideq garde les pattes de poulets pour les Africains vivant dans la forêt parce qu'ils les aiment et les Marocains ne les mangent pas. Il a pitié d'eux, "ils veulent juste aller en Europe, ils n'ont rien ici".

La vie dans la forêt

Les jeunes Africains se frayent un chemin à travers les arbres et traversent des ruisseaux étroits pour arriver à ce qu'ils appellent "le ghetto": un petit camp dans la forêt, à environ une demi-heure de marche de la route. Aboubakr vit là-bas avec une vingtaine d'autres personnes, essentiellement des Sénégalais et des Guinéens. "Le ghetto" se compose d'une tente improvisée et d'un petit feu de bois avec quelques marmites et assiettes.

Quelques centaines de mètres en contrebas de la montagne, il y a des camps similaires avec des personnes d'autres nationalités. Certains y sont depuis des mois, attendant une chance d'atteindre Ceuta, l'enclave espagnole au Maroc. La quasi-totalité de ceux qui vivent dans la forêt ont déjà tenté de passer la frontière plus d'une fois.

Des frontières fermées

Étant donné que l'Europe veille de plus en plus étroitement ses frontières ces dernières années, de nombreux migrants originaires d'Afrique sub-saharienne sont maintenant coincés au Maroc. Certains travaillent comme domestiques ou comme journaliers, très peu trouvent un emploi régulier. Les autorités traitent les migrants avec un mélange de négligence et de répression occasionnelle sous forme de raids et d'extraditions. Les réactions locales sont également mitigées.

"Il y a de cela quelques années, les gens devaient s'habituer à leur présence, mais maintenant, les relations sont au beau fixe", explique un boutiquier dans un village de montagne près de la forêt. Un grand homme noir entre dans le magasin et achète du riz, des yaourts et autres produits alimentaires. "Les autorités m'ont conseillé de ne pas leur vendre", dit le boutiquier, "mais je vends à n'importe qui, nous sommes tous les mêmes".

Ce n'est pas dans leur culture

Le contact entre les deux groupes se limite le plus souvent à un simple bonjour et au revoir. Ni le boutiquier, ni le vendeur de volaille, encore mois la jeune femme avec qui nous nous sommes entretenus ne dit avoir des amis africains. Et les migrants dans la forêt semblent avoir autant une vision limitée de la culture marocaine que les Marocains ont de la leur. "Nous travaillons juste pour eux", dit l'un des Africains. "Certains vous traitent bien, d'autres mal. Mais ils paient tous très peu".

Beaucoup de Noirs dans l'équipe de football

Les migrants sont réticents à croire qu'ils pourraient rencontrer plus de racisme en Europe qu'au Maroc. S'ils parviennent finalement à traverser la frontière "les Noirs et les Blancs sont bien ensemble" estime Aboubakr. "En Hollande, il y a beaucoup de Noirs dans l'équipe nationale de football. Les Marocains sont juste jaloux".

"J'ai cessé de me préoccuper quant à savoir s'ils sont racistes ou non, dit Jules, un ressortissant du Cameroun, dès lors qu'ils ont du travail pour moi. Et les Marocains n'en ont pas, donc je me dois d'aller en Europe.

Posted on 01/30/2013 9:26 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
The Greenland Melt


The Greenland melt

 23 January 2013

Eric Steig

Last July (2012), I heard from a colleagues working at the edge of the Greenland ice sheet, and from another colleague working up at the Summit. Both were independently writing to report the exceptional conditions they were witnessing. The first was that the bridge over the Watson river by the town of Kangerlussuaq, on the west coast of Greenland, was being breached by the high volumes of meltwater coming down from the ice sheet. The second was that there was a new melt layer forming at the highest point of the ice sheet, where it very rarely melts.

A front loader being swept off a bridge into the Watson River, Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, in July 2012. Fortunately, nobody was in it at the time. Photo: K. Choquette

I’ve been remiss in not writing about these observations until now. I’m prompted to do so by the publication in Nature today (January 23, 2013) of another new finding about Greenland melt. This paper isn’t about the modern climate, but about the climate of the last interglacial period. It has relevance to the modern situation though, a point to which I’ll return at the end of this post.

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Posted on 01/30/2013 9:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Turkey Offers Greece A Trojan Horse

Turkey offers Greece to fund Athens mosque hours ago
... government sanctioned the construction of the Islamic prayer house. "I told him that Turkey could cover the costs of a mosque in Athens if ...

Posted on 01/30/2013 9:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Black Africans Attack Arabs (And Touaregs) For Being Traitors

From the Irish Times:

Threat of ethnic reprisals stalk Mali

Jan 30, 2013

Omar Sangare surveyed the wreckage in his hometown of Konna in central Mali, ravaged by battles between the army and Islamist rebels, and vowed his days of living peacefully with Arabs and Tuaregs were over.

"They are traitors," said Sangare, a member of Mali's black African majority, examining the rubble of a military base. "We saw our former neighbours, people who used to live here and run shops, among the attackers. How can we trust them now?"

As Mali's army sweeps northward with French military support, retaking town after town from al Qaeda-linked rebels, they leave in their wake a simmering hatred of the lighter-skinned Arab and Tuareg ethnic groups many Malians associate with the Islamists.

In the main northern towns of Gao and Timbuktu, liberated by French and Malian forces, residents have looted the homes and businesses of Arabs and Tuaregs. Malian soldiers have also been accused of ethnic killings in some central areas of the country.

Many now warn of a ticking timebomb for ethnic reprisals as displaced black Malians take up arms to prepare for their return home. Thousands have joined militias to complete the liberation of the north and purge it of anyone linked to the rebels.

Throughout Mali, many blame the Tuaregs for opening the door to the rebels. Tuareg separatists wrested control of the north in April but were quickly pushed aside by well-armed Islamists, enriched by smuggling and kidnapping in the Sahara.

Several Islamists leaders are also well-known Tuareg tribesmen, particularly in the Ansar Dine group. The other two main factions - al Qaeda's north African wing AQIM and its splinter group MUJWA - are packed with Arabs from Mali and neighbouring Mauritania and Algeria.

The conflict has reawakened centuries-old racial tensions in the land-locked nation. The majority of Mali's 15 million people are from the Mande, Peul and Songhai ethnicities, dwarfing the 10 per cent of the population that are lighter-skinned Tuaregs and Moors, mostly inhabiting the desert north.

Tuareg nomads have long used Songhai slaves, known as "bella" in the Songhai language - a practice some rights groups and Malians say continues to this day, feeding resentment.

At a camp outside the central Malian town of Sevare, about 1,000 men - most refugees from the north - are training to help hunt down Islamist fighters. Dressed in shabby makeshift uniforms, the militia members march up and down a packed-dirt courtyard.

With only a handful of rusty Kalashnikov assault rifles and some rocket-propelled grenades, they are ill-equipped for combat against the battle-hardened Islamists. But their leader, Ibrahim Diallo, inspecting their lines, says they could help the army weed out "infiltrators" who helped rebels seize their hometowns.

"We're ready to fight, something we demanded since the day our country was targeted by Ansar Dine," said one young militia member, Issouf Ah Aguissa, standing on the parade ground. "We're not waiting for the army to accept taking us on board."

The issue is an explosive one for Mali's army, a poorly equipped and demoralised force. It is trying to recruit and train new troops, with EU backing, while coming under mounting pressure from France to prevent rights abuses.

The Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights has alleged that soldiers have killed at least 11 people in Sevare since interim President Diouncounda Traore, installed after a military coup last year, gave the army sweeping emergency powers in early January. It called for an inquiry.

In Sevare, Captain Faran Keita said militia members were expected to make up less than half of new recruits as Mali's army rebuilds. None have yet been brought in.

"We will not just throw them into the fight," Keita said. "If they want to fight alongside the Malian army, they will need to avoid making that kind of trouble."

Amid fears that ethnic reprisals could cast a pall over France's successful military campaign in Mali, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called on Monday for a quick deployment of international monitors to Mali.

Posted on 01/30/2013 11:31 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Ivan Rioufol On The Pollyannas of Paris
Un Français sur deux (77% des sympathisants du FN) estime que "le déclin de la France est inéluctable", selon une récente enquête Ipsos-Cevipof. Ils sont trois sur cinq à voir dans la mondialisation "une menace pour la France". L’immigration et l’islam sont majoritairement mal vécus, à droite comme à gauche, en dépit des démentis des experts en politologie ou en sciences sociales, et des médias propagandistes. Ceux-là assurent que la "diversité" est vécue harmonieusement et que seule la crise économique et le prix du carburant inquiètent les gens. Ces "dénégationnistes", sèchement contredits par les Français, sont-ils prêts à faire leur autocritique, à présenter des regrets, à rendre leur tablier? Que nenni ! Gonflés de suffisance, ces faiseurs d’idées fausses traitent  d’"incendiaires" (Le Monde) ceux qui ont depuis longtemps, singulièrement ici, mis en garde contre la montée du malaise identitaire et contre son déni. Relire Chamfort (maxime 499) : "En France, on laisse en repos ceux qui mettent le feu, et on persécute ceux qui sonnent le tocsin".

Ce mercredi, dans Le Figaro, la philosophe Chantal Delsol parle de "l’autisme des élites", qui ne veulent pas comprendre que la société civile ne leur ressemble pas, ne les comprend pas. Comment, en tout cas, ne pas s’affoler de ce pouvoir qui, confronté à tant d’obstacles (endettement public, compétitivité défaillante, mouvements sociaux, crise existentielle, etc), choisi d’y répandre la brume des sujets sociétaux pour les faire artificiellement disparaître. Non content d’avoir accéléré le débat sur le mariage homosexuel et l’adoption (en attendant celui qui se précise sur la gestation pour autrui), voilà le gouvernement qui remet sur la table, depuis mardi, le projet d’accorder le droit de vote aux immigrés pour les élections locales, tandis que le président va devoir poursuivre sa guerre au Mali. Ceux qui dirigent la France ne veulent pas l’approcher de près, de peur d’être contaminés par l’épidémie de "populisme" qui y sévirait, à en croire la pensée lavée. Mais où est la démocratie dans ces castes qui méprisent tant le peuple ? Ce système ne peut plus tenir longtemps.
Posted on 01/30/2013 11:44 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Malians Meet Out Malian Justice, Pillaging Arab Shops, And Cutting An Islamic Commissar In Two


Mali. Le commissaire islamique de Gao coupé en deux ?

30 janvier 2013

Ce mardi, alors qu'une partie de la population de Tombouctou mettait à sac et pillait les maisons et commerces des Arabes suspectés d'avoir collaboré avec les djihadistes, à Gao l'on s'interrogeait toujours sur la disparition de plusieurs hommes du Mujao (Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'ouest). Parmi eux : le commissaire islamique de Gao, Aliou Mahamar.

C'est lui qui aurait été chargé d'appliquer les sanctions du tribunal islamique et de trancher les membres de ceux qui étaient condamnés.

Au Mali, ces derniers jours, une vidéo qui se transmet de téléphone en téléphone livre une atroce réponse. On y voit un homme encore vivant, coupé en deux, dans une mare de sang. Autour de lui, la foule crie "Lâ ilâha illâ Allah" ("Il n’y a pas de divinité digne d’être adorée, excepté Allah").

Dans cette vidéo, non datée et non authentifiée, de 42 insoutenables secondes, seule la présence d'hommes en tenue, identifiés comme des pompiers maliens, permet de situer la scène dans le pays (lire également l'article de notre envoyé spécial paru ce mercredi dans Le Télégramme).

Au Mali, la diffusion très rapide de cette vidéo échauffe en tout cas tous les esprits, au moment où justement les risques d'exactions et de règlements de comptes sont les plus criants.

Posted on 01/30/2013 12:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
BBC accused of 'extraordinary' censorship after cutting honour-killing references from radio drama for fear of offending Muslims

The BBC has been accused of 'extraordinary' censorship by a leading playwright after she had dialogue cut from her hard-hitting drama because it could have offended Muslims. Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, whose 2004 production Behzti was pulled from a Birmingham theatre after it sparked Sikh protests, has accused the Corporation of tampering with her work because it involved an honour killing.

Ms Bhatti's drama The Heart of Darkness will be played on Radio 4 this Friday as part of its popular DCI Stone series, but she says the BBC has caused an 'awful situation' which has led to a 'betrayal' of her work. At the centre of her story is the honour killing of a 16-year-old Asian girl, and DCI Stone is told by his bosses to treat the case 'sensitively' because she is Muslim.

Although they have admitted removing dialogue from its afternoon drama, the BBC claims they did it to avoid 'potentially misrepresenting majority British Muslim attitudes to honour killing'.

Describing the play's final line, Ms Bhatti told The Independent: 'At the end, a character says: "There is so much pressure in our community, to look right and to behave right." The compliance department came back and said, "we don’t want to suggest the entire Muslim community condones honour killings".

'It's a crucial part of that story. I was very disappointed given my previous experience of censorship. If you take out the line, the whole thing changes, it's a betrayal of the character and the truth of the unfolding story.

'It’s an extraordinary and awful situation. They said the lines were offensive but they absolutely were not. We live in a fear-ridden culture.'

The BBC said today the radio drama to be played on Friday was treated no differently than any other.

'This is a hard-hitting drama about the realities of honour killing in Britain. A single line in the script could be taken to infer that the pressure and motivation to commit such a crime in a family comes from the wider Muslim community, potentially misrepresenting majority British Muslim attitudes to honour killing,' a Radio 4 spokesman said.

Posted on 01/30/2013 12:35 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
A Malian On What It Had Been LIke Under The Sharia In Timbuktu, In Aqmistan

From le nouvel observateur:

Je vis à Tombouctou, voici ce qu'a été notre quotidien sous la charia

Modifié le 30-01-2013 à

22 réactions |

 Tombouctou, ville-phare de l'islam en Afrique subsaharienne, située à 900 km au nord-est de Bamako, au Mali, a été occupée pendant dix mois par les djihadistes armés qui tentent de conquérir le pays. Dimanche 27 janvier, les armées française et malienne sont parvenues à reprendre la ville. El Boukhari Ben Essayouti, habitant et spécialiste de la conservation des manuscrits de Tombouctou, raconte.

Édité et parrainé par Hélène Decommer

Des manuscrits anciens brûlés au Centre Ahmed Baba, à Tombouctou. Photo prise le 29/01/13 (ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP)

Des manuscrits anciens brûlés au Centre Ahmed Baba, à Tombouctou. Photo prise le 29/01/13 (E FEFERBERG/AFP)

Un adage qu’on répète à l’envi à Tombouctou dit que "dans les situations d’urgence, occupe-toi des enfants d’autrui avant de songer aux tiens". Plus que de l’altruisme ou de la générosité, cet adage est une caricature parfaite du tombouctien réputé passif et naïf voire bonasse dans les situations de conflits. Ici, point de traditions guerrières, l’on s’est toujours contenté des valeurs spirituelles et intellectuelles : les études et la recherche, les interminables discussions autour de l’esplanade des mosquées et des parvis des écoles coraniques que les cousins du sud plus habitués des travaux champêtres assimilent à de l’oisiveté.

Aussi, quand les islamistes à l’aube du 1er avril 2012 ont investi la ville et mis en déroute une armée malienne déjà en déliquescence, il n’y eut point de résistance au sein de la population civile. L’on constitua un comité de crise composé de diverses personnalités représentatives de toutes les couches sociales et l’on accepta l’occupation en attendant… Godot.

Tout fut interdit, sauf la mosquée

L’occupation a été d’abord le pillage des banques et autres établissements de micro-crédits, suivi de l’éradication de toute trace de l’administration malienne ou de référence à la culture occidentale.

Ensuite ce fut un chapelet d’interdictions : l’alcool, la cigarette, la musique, les chevelures postiches, le football, les préservatifs, les antennes paraboliques, l’école laïque, l’enseignement de la philosophie et de l’éducation sexuelle, mais aussi la lecture ou la référence à des livres islamiques classés apocryphes ou hérétiques par l’idéologie wahhabite dont relèvent les occupants. Tout fut interdit, sauf la mosquée où, à certains imams, on imposa des prêches fondamentalistes auxquelles ils ne croyaient pas.

Malgré ces faits, la notabilité, la chefferie traditionnelle et le comité de crise discutaient et négociaient avec le chef terroriste Abou Zeïd, avec son compère Iyad Ag Ghali, avec les touareg du MNLA pour pouvoir améliorer le quotidien des populations privées de tout, car les barbus avaient fait main basse sur les magasins de céréales et sur les stocks de carburant de Total.

Ils ont ensuite squatté les bâtiments publics et entrepris de détruire les monuments historiques et surtout les 16 mausolées auxquels sont liées les anciennes familles de la cité des 333 saints.

Flagellations publiques et exécutions sommaires

Pour faire respecter ces lois moyenâgeuses, Abou Zeïd et ses sbires créèrent la police islamique, la justice islamique, la prison islamique et "le centre de recommandation du convenable et de l’interdiction du blâmable" qui ont fait régner pendant dix mois un régime de terreur fait de séances de flagellations publiques, d’amputations de mains et d’exécutions sommaires.

Une législation obscurantiste face à laquelle, les combattants islamistes ont eux des passe-droits : ils se dispensent ainsi de toutes les pratiques religieuses contraignantes sous prétexte d’être en guerre sainte, et au nom de cette même guerre sainte se livrent à la polyandrie pour assouvir leurs envies libidineuses, au nom de cette guerre sainte se livrent à forces libations pour décupler leur ardeur au combat…

Face à tant d’humiliations, les populations fuyaient par milliers vers le sud du pays et vers les pays limitrophes. Ceux qui, pour une raison ou une autre, refusent de partir n’ont d’autre espoir qu’une communauté internationale confondue dans ses indécisions et ses paradoxes. L’on scrute le ciel à la recherche des bombardiers français et invariablement l’on s’entend dire que Ban Ki Moon craint un péril humanitaire, que Bouteflika privilégie la négociation, que les USA veulent un plan précis des opérations, que tel autre veut un coût estimatif….

Pendant ce temps, avec une insolente assurance, les islamistes sur la seule radio locale qu’ils ont maintenu pour leur propagande, narguent avec forces quolibets cette arlésienne d’intervention internationale.

Quand la France a commencé à attaquer...

Mais de temps à autre, puis de plus en plus régulièrement, quelques avions de reconnaissance ronronnent dans le ciel bleu de Tombouctou, ce qui a toujours pour conséquence de rendre les occupants nerveux. Atteints d’espionite, ils multiplient les fouilles et les mises en garde. Certaines personnes sont arrêtées, fouettées publiquement, malmenées devant leurs femmes et enfants, enfermées à la prison islamique.

Tombouctou a alors peur, jusqu’à la date fatidique du 10 janvier 2013 où, aiguillonnés par le démon, ils enfoncèrent les lignes de défense de l’armée régulière malienne à Konna, 300 kilomètres plus au sud ; et quelques heures plus tard l’aviation française entra en action…

A Tombouctou, ce fut un calme pesant et grave. On lorgnait les désormais rares voitures islamistes qui passaient dans les rues mortes de peur, afin de savoir qui des chefs islamistes étaient présents. Oumar Ould Hamaha le chef militaire d’Aqmi et Sanda Ould Boumama, en charge de la logistique, paradaient de temps en temps, mais sont moins diserts sur les ondes de la radio islamique qui diffusent en boucle des litanies coraniques.

Après que l’armée française eusse rendu Konna, puis Diabali à l’armée malienne, les barons d’Aqmi commencèrent à évacuer femmes et enfants vers le grand nord, direction la Mauritanie et l'Algérie. Et quand les frappes françaises ont commencé à toucher Gao, les quelques djihadistes restés pour tenir la ville quittèrent leurs cantonnements habituels : le palais de Kadhafi, le Conseil régional, la Direction du Génie rural, la succursale de la Banque internationale du Mali, le camp militaire, le camp de gendarmerie.

Ils s’installèrent à la Maison des artisans et dans diverses écoles, dans l’épicentre de la ville, une manière d’utiliser les populations comme boucliers. Les habitants proches de ces lieux, très subrepticement, déménagèrent et quelques heures plus tard, dans la nuit du 21 au 22 janvier, les premières frappes touchèrent le camp de gendarmerie, le palais de Kadhafi et plusieurs voitures islamistes dans les faubourgs de la ville.

La nervosité et la fébrilité des forces occupantes firent alors place à la peur. Elles coupèrent le réseau téléphonique mobile, puis l’eau et l’électricité manquèrent faute de carburant que les islamistes utilisent désormais pour leur repli. On s’éclaira avec des lampes à huile, des panneaux solaires et on s’approvisionna en eau dans les puits. La ville commença à sentir les pénuries car les magasins étaient fermés et chacun s’enfermait chez soi craignant les dégâts collatéraux.

Le 27 janvier 2013, la bête est vaincue

A défaut de téléphone, d’internet et de télévision, l’on resta les oreilles rivées aux transistors pour écouter prioritairement RFI afin suivre l’évolution de la situation. Et à mesure que les forces franco-maliennes progressent vers le nord, les djihadistes s’éclipsent. On ne les voit plus, mais la peur est toujours là, tapie dans les cœurs après 10 mois de terreur ; surtout que le 25 janvier, au passage d’un cortège de voitures islamistes, un jeune qui ose un "vive la France" est immédiatement abattu.

Mais le 26 janvier, on apprend que Gao – 465 kilomètres plus à l’Ouest – est libérée et plus aucun islamiste n’est en vue à Tombouctou. A l’Ouest, Goundam, à 90 kilomètres, semble aussi libre selon les quelques rares marchands ambulants qui circulent encore à dos d’âne ou par pirogue ; et le même jour en fin d’après-midi les vols d’hélicoptères et les patrouilles d’avions sont de plus en plus réguliers autour de la ville, assourdissants même.

Photo de l'armée française, aéroport de Tombouctou, le 29/01/13 (Arnaud Roine/AP/SIPA)

Photo de l'armée française, aéroport de Tombouctou, le 29/01/13 (Arnaud Roine/AP/SIPA)

Par petits groupes, les gens sortent et échangent dans les rues. Il ne fait plus de doute, la bête est vaincue. La nuit du 27 au 28 janvier, nul ne dort. Dans les vestibules et sur les terrasses, on discute et on attend l’Heure, on court d’une maison à une autre cherchant un tailleur pour confectionner un drapeau français. On utilise même de la gouache pour peindre les tissus en bleu, blanc et rouge.

Au petit matin, des paysans revenant des champs annoncent que l’aéroport est aux mains de l’armée française, tandis que des chameliers ont vu des parachutistes sauter au nord de la ville. Une marée humaine envahit les rues, déchire et brûle le très sinistre drapeau noir islamiste en criant "Vive la France" et un instituteur à la retraite dira : "Je n’ai jamais vu autant de monde dans la rue depuis l’indépendance de notre pays".

Tout ce monde constitué majoritairement d’enfants et de badauds de milieux défavorisés s’acharne sur tout ce qui pouvait symboliser la violence fondamentaliste. Les magasins et les habitations appartenant à des arabes et des touaregs djihadistes, ou supposés tels, sont systématiquement vandalisés.

Tombouctou est plus que jamais un champ de ruines : les islamistes en quittant la ville ont incendié le centre des manuscrits, la mairie, la radio communale, le domicile du député et plusieurs édifices publics. La France a mis fin à ce qu’on appelle ici l’aqmistan, ce qui fera dire à un antiquaire de la ville que "Tombouctou n’a plus 333 mais 334 saints car François Hollande a été canonisé".

Posted on 01/30/2013 12:39 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
A Musical Interlude: I Wish I Knew A Bigger Word Than Love (Elsie Carlisle)
Listen here.
Posted on 01/30/2013 12:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
"What do you have against Palestinians? They are only against Jews. Jews are evil."

Does the face of hate begin to take form with innocence, stupidity and ignorance? In December Sarah Honig found herself in the middle of a pro-Palestinian fundraiser using Irish school children on an official school expedition!

I wish more Israelis were with me in outlying County Kerry, Ireland, just recently. There, in the tiny town of Cahersiveen, my doubting compatriots would have been reminded of what we face in the international community and why it has nothing much to do with how liberally we conduct ourselves, how many confidence- building concessions we make at the expense of our physical safety or how much we sacrifice of our rights to our historic homeland. It’s all gallingly beside the point.
Our image has exasperatingly little to do with who we are. Distortions about us are blithely disseminated to the most susceptible and gullible members of society. Israel’s role as a scoundrel is made an axiomatic given, a premise for decent but distant folks, who know next to nothing (least of all Israel’s actual size) and couldn’t care less about the Mideast and its staggering complexities. But they are convinced that we are the bad guys. […]
some of us are bent on haughtily pooh-poohing anti-Jewish undercurrents, to say nothing of outrightly hostile motives. It matters little whether the likes of Tzipi Livni actually believe that there’s no thinly disguised prejudice against our vital interests and indeed against our very survival. […]
I wonder how Tzipi would have reacted to what I saw in picturesque Cahersiveen, home to a population of some 1,300. It beautifully straddles the Ring of Kerry, a tourist trail in southwestern Ireland. The town’s imposing Catholic church is the only one in Ireland named after a lay person, Daniel O’Connell. Famed as the Liberator or Emancipator, he campaigned in the 19th century for Catholic rights, thereby in effect triggering the Irish struggle for independence from Britain. In our terms he can be described as Ireland’s Herzl. […]
But the warm affections that members of our own "fighting family" felt for Ireland were a galaxy away from Cahersiveen. There were no hints of affection there for us. On the town’s main thoroughfare, Church Street, I was buttonholed by three boisterous teenagers in Santa hats, carrying a collection box and big signs reading "Free Palestine." They solicited my contribution.
I asked: "Free Palestine from whom?"
The cheery trio’s swift answer was unambiguous: "The Jews."
I pressed on: "Do you know where your money would go? "
The boys: "To plant olive trees."
"Are you sure," I continued, as kindly-looking little old ladies generously opened their purses and dropped coins and bills in the collection box, "that this money wouldn’t fund terrorists and murderers?" Their retort threw me for a loop: "What do you have against Palestinians? What have they done to you? They are only against Jews. Jews are evil."
I pried more. I asked what they know about the conflict. It was nothing except that Israel is the horrid ogre and the oppressed Palestinians are unquestionably worthy of compassion. Indeed the boys never stopped to question any of this.
I inquired who gave them these ideas and who sent them out to seek contributions in the town center. It turned out that it was a school-organized affair and that their teacher brought them all out, as a group, on a school day, during school hours, to do a pre-Christmas Christian good deed by "collecting donations for Palestine."
I asked if they knew of the Palestinian Authority’s and Hamastan’s persecutions of Christians, but my youthful interlocutors had never heard of the Palestinian Authority and didn’t know that Palestinians are overwhelmingly Muslim. […]
The teacher, who unsuspectingly volunteered his name to me, said he took out his pupils, all from the town’s single secondary school, as part of a class project "to further a humanitarian goal." The goal was to collect money to enable the Palestinians to replace olive trees because "Jews stole their lands."
All around him the cheery kids hoisted "Save Palestine" placards. There was a lot of hilarity. It was a lark. A good time was had. Outdoor frolic on a mild winter’s morning sure beats lessons in a dreary classroom.
I asked if this was a sanctioned school event and was solemnly assured that it was, all part of inculcating in the children a commitment to charitable work. I wondered aloud if something else wasn’t being inculcated. The teacher remained remarkably unperturbed when I repeated to him what the three boys said earlier about Jews "always being villains," along with one youngster’s aside that "they crucified our Lord." In fact, the teacher nodded in agreement, without a solitary word of objection.
"Isn’t there another side to this story?" I asked. I was shown a handwritten poster that boasted the Palestinian flag and proclaimed: "There’s a conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians that began in the early 20th century." That was the one simplistic token to seeming objectivity. […]
The squawk was all about rights, but distinctly not about the rights of Jews, which are excluded from the official curriculum. The violated rights are those of Palestinian Arabs and the violators are Israeli Jews. And all this is crudely imparted under the auspices of a state’s school system.
The bottom line for Cahersiveen’s juvenile fund-raisers, without one redeeming exception, was that the Israelis are the tyrants and the Palestinians the sainted victims. It’s black and white, with no grays, no depth, no background. There was no qualm about who deserves the unstinting sympathy of decent folks.
And herein lies our problem – the one too many Israelis avoid, be it out of ignorance or political machination. We, as a people, face bias we can do nothing about. There’s powerful predisposition against us. It’s not fueled by our behavior, because nobody knows much about how we behave and nobody cares to learn.
The Cahersiveen youngsters will surely grow into charming decent adults, but ingrained in their psyches from a young age will be the vague notion of Jewish villains and Palestinian martyrs. Indoctrination of impressionable minds – who can’t answer back and who regard their instructors as respected experts – creates biased adults.
Their bias, because it was formed so early, is intangible and impervious to all Israeli public relations and learned discourse. Historical dissertations are too convoluted to dispel preconceived antipathy. Facts are irrelevant.
There’s sadly no remedy for that unwitting indecency of essentially very decent folks. Its parades as high-minded but is irrational. […]
Cashed-strapped Ireland contributes heftily to Palestinian causes. Calls to boycott Israeli products and expel its diplomats are rampant. Decent folks don’t dissent.
But for all that, Ireland isn’t unique. What’s bon ton there is very bon ton in other countries, with other sordid pasts and intrinsic predilections against our sort – predilections that our homegrown left-wing and post-Zionist politicos persuade naïve and complacent Israelis to forget, so we may persist in our self-flagellating ways. 

With or without children, Palestinian campaigning is a common sight on many an Irish thoroughfare. One incident involved an elderly Israeli tourist in the City of Galway, where the well known pro-Palestinian protagonist (behind the camera) had more than a passing familiarity with anti-Semitism.
Surely the most disturbing aspect of Ms. Honig's story is the use of naïve children for such crass political campaigning? Such a strategy is the modus operandi for pro-Palestinian groups in Ireland. John Connolly of the Cranky Notions blog, draws a link between Irish Charity Trocaire’s pro-Palestinian campaign aimed at school children, a text constituting a miasma of base Palestinian propaganda.
Worryingly, it would seem many teachers and schools in the West are attempting to influence children, to the extent that material can overtly justify Palestinian terrorism! This phenomenon that has even been reflected in the content of mainstream textbooks.

Posted on 01/30/2013 2:04 PM by Robert Harris
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
UN Nuke Watchdog Backtracks on Denial of Fordo Enrichment Explosion


Fordo enrichment facility September 2009                               Fordo enrichment facility January 28, 2013

The past 24 hours had been an agonizing period for intrepid former CIA-spy, Reza Kahlili. In a recent WorldNetDaily article, he had presented both confirmation of the alleged event that occurred on January 21st. The sources he cited indicated the blast had trapped more than 200 people underground including, 15 North Korean ‘visitors”.  Further, his sources described in detail scenes from secret CCTV video inside Fordo of the North Korean visitors and the explosion.  The hiatus occurred when Reuters reported that the International Atomic Energy Administration, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, denied that the Fordo explosion had occurred.  That was construed tobe support of Iran's demial of such reports.

The latest Kahlili article reported the IAEA appears to backtrack on its denial of the alleged Fordo enrichment facility explosion. Further, when prompted by WND it refused to disclose that whether it has inspected the underground cascade hall at Fordo burrowed deep into a mountain near Qom, Iran.

Ambassador John Bolton in The Algemeiner  indicated that the IAEA’s chief inspector was not even present in Iran at the time;

Meanwhile, on Jan. 18, Herman Nackaerts, the chief inspector of the International Atomic Energy Agency, returned to Vienna from Iran after once again being barred from inspecting the Parchin military facility, where weaponization work has likely been underway. The charade of talks about the inspection will resume on Feb. 12. The Iranian regime is also toying with the West on restarting more general negotiations about its nuclear program.

Further , this latest WND report by Reza Kahlili indicates that President Ahmadinejad has also taken action against officials of the Iranian Atomic Development Agency.  Perhaps the mounting confirmations might also reply to the denials of the Fordo event by White House spokesman, Jay Carney.

Here  is the exchange with the IAEA spokesperson from today’s  WND report by Kahlili:

In a statement to Reuters, IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor implied the U.N. agency had inspected the site after the reported explosions and affirmed Tehran’s insistence that the report was false.

But when asked by WND, Tudor would not confirm or deny the incident.

“The agency does not evaluate matters in Iran other than those directly relating to its nuclear verification work, so although we’re aware of these media reports, we are not in a position either to confirm or deny them,” Tudor said in an email to WND.

“That said,” she continued, “I’m sure you are aware that agency inspectors regularly visit Iranian nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s safeguards agreement with that country. (You will find more information on the IAEA’s safeguards mandate and activities in Iran at

“We understand Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordow, and this is consistent with our observations,” Tudor said.

However, in a follow-up inquiry by WND to verify if the IAEA had inspected the site since the report of the explosions, Tudor refused to answer.

“I’m very sorry but I can’t go into any further details on ongoing safeguards work, which is conducted with a high level of confidentiality,” she replied.

Separately, the Institute for Science and International Security has obtained a satellite image of the Fordow site dated Jan. 22, one day after the incident. The photo shows no unusual activity on the surface. However, WND’s original report indicated the regime did not initially make an effort to rescue the workers trapped inside.

Kahlili noted  the fallout at the Iran Atomic agency, perhaps  as a result of the alleged Fordo event:

A source in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s office told WND the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, will be replaced because of the leaked news on Fordow and the delay in the talks with the 5-plus-1 powers over Iran’s nuclear development. The 5-plus-1 nations are the permanent Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.

He goes on to  cite sources who  identify IRGC  uncovering and thwarting previous covert attacks on Fordo and other Islamic regime nuclear facilities:

A source in the regime’s Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit told WND the situation in Iran is troubling. He reported an explosion at the Guards’ Hamzeh 21 base and the discovery of two bombs at the secret nuclear plant in Najaf Abad. He said Quds Force officers have been ordered to Lebanon to assist Hezbollah in evacuating some of the southern villages in what appears to be planned aggression against Israel.

WND reported Jan. 21 that the regime’s intelligence agency received information of major covert operations planned by Israel and other countries to set back Iran’s nuclear program while avoiding a larger-scale war.

[. ..]

Last September, Iranian officials said they had thwarted attempted sabotage at the Fordow uranium enrichment plant.

“The enemies intended to repeat a Chernobyl-like disaster through selling (booby-trapped) equipment and blowing up the centrifuges at the Fordow site, but their plot was discovered and foiled by the Iranian scientists’ wisdom and tact,” Abbas-Ali Mansouri, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, told Fars that separate attacks on Iran’s centrifuges – through tiny explosives meant to disable key parts of the machines – were discovered before the blasts could go off on timers.

Ultimately to confirm that something happened on January 21, 2013, we need satellite imagery over several days to observe whether there have been possible changes to Fordo's surface facilities including the presence of the I.R.G.C. drilling team as previously reported by Kahlili.  As noted in this latest report by Kahlili, the Washington, DC –based Institute for Science and International Security had obtained a satellite image of the site on January 22nd, indicating no apparent changes on the surface. Then there is  the matter of physical  evidence  of  removal of bodies of victims in the alleged blast  and treatment of survivors. Ultimately, most damning of the news blackout by the Islamic Regime to have surfaced time date stamped stills from the CCTV system described in the last report by Kahlili.  Credit must be given to Kahlili and others in the Iranian opposition who are doggedly following this story at great risk.  Stay tuned for further developments.

Posted on 01/30/2013 4:20 PM by Jerry Gordon
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Using The Case Of Mali Against Lebanese Hezbollah Supporters In West Africa

In many countries of West Africa Lebanese are shopkeepers, traders, middlemen, involved also in every louche activity, inicluding being up to their necks in the trade in blood diamonds.

Members of the French and other Western secret services, and diplomats, too, should seize the moment, and the business in Mali, including the revenge attacks by black Africans on Arabs and Arab-owned businesses, to encourage similar sentiments all over West Africa. At the very least, it might drive some of those Lebanese Hezbollah supporters out of those countries, and back to Lebanon, and thereby weaken both Hezbollah and Iran.

Every occasion should be taken to weaken those who are to be regarded as in the Camp of Islam, exploiting whatever local fears and conditions may offer. .In the same way, every occasion should be taken to divide and demoralize that Camp of Islam, by doing nothing to discourage its members from turning on one another: sectarian (Sunni against Shia), ethnic (Arab supremacists against non-Arab Muslims, made aware of that Arab supremacism), economic (resentment of the rich Arabs by the poorer Muslims, Arab and non-Arab, who are not allowed to share in Allah's oil-and-gas bounty).

Posted on 01/30/2013 7:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
A Musical Interlude: Moaning For You (Ambrose Orch.)
Listen here.
Posted on 01/30/2013 8:03 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
After The Merah Affair, Changes In The French Domestic Security Service


Après l’affaire Merah, réorganisation et changements de têtes à la DCRI

La direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI) poursuit sa mue, sous l’impulsion de son nouveau patron depuis juin 2012, Patrick Calvar. Le grand service de renseignement créé en 2008 se recentre inexorablement vers la lutte contre le terrorisme. Selon les informations du Monde, le décret réorganisant en profondeur la DCRI a été signé - mais il n’a pas été publié, puisque toutes les activités du service sont couvertes par le secret défense.

La sous-direction du contre-terrorisme, directement en cause dans les ratés du suivi de Mohamed Merah, a été renforcée, grâce au sacrifice d'une autre sous-direction, celle de la subversion violente. Une disparition qui provoque des interrogations dans le monde du renseignement, alors qu’une radicalisation de certains mouvements se fait sentir, à l’extrême gauche comme à l’extrême droite.

Le 5 novembre 2012, le ministre de l'intérieur, Manuel Valls, avait défendu à Rome une plus grande coopération policière européenne face "aux formes de violence provenant de l'ultragauche, de mouvements d'anarchistes ou d'autonomes". Pour défendre sa réforme, M. Calvar assure, selon plusieurs sources, que la proximité avec la spécialistes du contre-terrorisme permettra de donner plus de moyens aux policiers chargé du suivi des mouvements ultras, notamment en termes de technologies de surveillance.

Chez certains spécialistes du renseignement, l’argument provoque l’étonnement : "Ils ne bénéficiaient donc pas de tous les moyens auparavant ?", s’interroge l’un d’eux. Les opposants à cette suppression jugent au contraire qu’elle se situe dans la lignée de la lutte traditionnelle entre le deux services, qui, en fusionnant en 2008, ont donné naissance à la DCRI : les renseignements généraux (RG), et la direction de la surveillance du territoire (DST), dont M. Calvar est issu. "Calvar veut se débarrasser de tout ce qui reste des RG", assure une source proche du dossier.  La lutte contre la subversion est effectivement issue de l’héritage "RG".

"Tirer les conclusions de l'affaire Merah"

La nouvelle grande sous-direction a été confiée à Lucile Rolland, 48 ans. Elle a toute la confiance de M. Calvar dont elle était l'adjointe à la direction du renseignement de la direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE), entre 2009 et 2012. Elle a précédemment occupé les fonctions de directrice de cabinet de Bernard Squarcini, lorsque ce dernier dirigeait la direction de la surveillance du territoire (DST), puis de chef d’état-major de la DCRI lors de la création du service. Bernard Squarcini a dirigé la DCRI de sa création jusqu’à ce qu’il soit démis de ses fonctions par Manuel Valls, le 30 mai 2012.

L’ancienne patronne du contre-terrorisme, Dominique Roulière, a donc été débarquée. Elle paye les erreurs commises par son service lors de l’affaire Merah, et notamment la mauvaise évaluation du terroriste par ses équipes à Paris, quelques mois avant les tueries de Toulouse et Montauban. Son nom circulait pourtant pour occuper de hautes fonctions en cas de retour de la gauche au pouvoir, mais plutôt dans l’hypothèse d’une nomination de François Rebsamen Place Beauvau.

La réorganisation de la DCRI suit également les conclusions du rapport Léonnet-Desprats sur les dysfonctionnements des services, rendu fin octobre 2012 au ministre de l’intérieur. Une inspection interne a été créée, et confiée à Michel Guérin, auparavant numéro deux de la DCRI.

"Il y a deux changements en cours à la DCRI, pas uniquement liés à l’affaire Merah, décrypte une source, Place Beauvau. La mise en place d’une meilleure coordination sur le terrain, de moyens supplémentaires, mais aussi un travail sur la qualité des agents, avec la nécessité d’avoir des experts dans différents domaines comme le cyberdjihad. Et puis évidemment, un changement de responsables à tous les niveaux. Certains doivent partir. Il fallait tirer les conclusions de l’affaire Merah."

 Laurent Borredon

Posted on 01/30/2013 8:07 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Don't They Know Morsi Was Formed By, And Is Quoting, The Qur'an?

From The Lede (New York Times):

Germans Press Morsi on Slurs Against Jews as Berlin Marks Somber Anniversary

During a visit to Germany that coincided with somber commemorations of Hitler’s rise to power eight decades ago on Wednesday, Egypt’s president was pressed several times to explain anti-Semitic comments he made in 2010, when he called Israelis “bloodsuckers” and “the descendants of apes and pigs.” [haven't non-Muslims heard this phrase from Muslims so many times that they can figure out that it comes from the same source?]

As my colleagues Melissa Eddy and Nicholas Kulish report, President Mohamed Morsi insisted that his comments had been taken out of context, when asked about them by a German reporter at a joint news conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. “I am not against Judaism as a religion,” he replied. “I am not against Jews practicing their religion. I was talking about anybody practicing any religion who spills blood or attacks innocent people — civilians. I criticize such behavior.

Before her meeting with the Egyptian president, Ms. Merkel spoke at the opening of a new exhibition on the Nazi era at the Topography of Terror Museum and urged Germans to remember that Hitler was appointed chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933, with popular support.

A video report from the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle on commemorations of Hitler’s rise to power on Jan. 30, 1933.

Speaking at the museum, which is on the site of the former Gestapo and SS headquarters, Ms. Merkel said, “There is no other way to say this: the rise of the National Socialists was made possible because the elite and other groups within German society helped and, most importantly, because most Germans at least tolerated their rise.”

Later in the day, when Mr. Morsi sat down for a discussion of the upheaval in the Arab world after an address to the Körber Foundation, he was again reminded of how seriously Germans take his inflammatory remarks about Zionists and Jews.

As video of the event shows, the first question put to the Egyptian president by Georg Mascolo, editor in chief of Der Spiegel, concerned “this infamous video” of Mr. Morsi calling Jews “bloodsuckers.” In response to Mr. Mascolo’s question, “did you really say that or not?,” Mr. Morsi first complained that he had already answered the question “five times today” and reiterated his claim that the comments needed to be put into context.

He then went on to essentially defend his rhetorical attacks on Jews and Zionists as an appropriate response to the killing of civilians in Gaza by Israel’s military during the offensive that preceded his remarks in 2010. “The bloodshed of innocent people is universally condemned, now and in the future. The colonizing of the land of others is to be condemned as unacceptable, and the right to self-defense is also guaranteed” as a human right, Mr. Morsi said.

Mr. Mascolo then asked about a report in his magazine this week, in which a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood said that Mr. Morsi, in his previous role as a senior leader of the organization, was ultimately responsible for the publication of even more inflammatory remarks in articles on the society’s Web site, Ikhwan Online. In one such article from 2010 that was discovered last week by an anti-Islamist American Web site, a Brotherhood official called the Holocaust a myth fabricated by American intelligence agents and “the biggest scam in modern history.”

That Spiegel report was based on an interview with Abdel-Jalil el-Sharnoubi, a former editor of the Brotherhood’s Web site, who said that Mr. Morsi had used the same words about Zionists in 2004 and had never objected to hate speech against Jews on the site.

Sharnoubi wasn’t surprised by the Morsi hate video. “Agitation against the Israelis is in keeping with the way Morsi thinks. For the Morsi I know, any cooperation with Israel is a serious sin, a crime.” Morsi’s choice of words is also nothing new, says Sharnoubi. As proof, he opens his black laptop and shows us evidence of the former Muslim Brotherhood member’s true sentiments.

Indeed, the video gaffes do not appear to be a one-time occurrence. In 2004 Morsi, then a member of the Egyptian parliament, allegedly raged against the “descendants of apes and pigs,” saying that there could be “no peace” with them. The remarks were made at a time when Israeli soldiers had accidentally shot and killed three Egyptian police officers. The source of the quote can hardly be suspected of incorrectly quoting fellow Brotherhood members: Ikhwan Online, the Islamist organization’s website.

Few people are as familiar with the contents of that website as Sharnoubi, who was its editor-in-chief until 2011. The current president became the general inspector of the organization in 2007, says Sharnoubi. In this capacity, Morsi would have been partly responsible for the anti-Jewish propaganda on the website, which featured the “banner of jihad” at the time and saw “Jews and Zionists as archenemies.”

Without pointing to any specific factual errors, Mr. Morsi claimed that the Spiegel article was inaccurate and reiterated that he was “not against Judaism or Jews,” but reserved the right to criticize Zionism in the strongest terms.

Belief in the conspiracy theory that the Holocaust was either completely fabricated or vastly exaggerated to justify the creation of Israel is not unusual in Egypt — nor is deep suspicion about the Central Intelligence Agency. As The Lede reported in a previous post, that was evident in a survey carried out in 2008 by, a collaborative project of research centers in various countries managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which asked more residents of 17 nations the question, “Who do you think was behind the 9/11 attacks?” Egypt was the only country where a majority said that either the United States government or Israel was to blame, with 43 percent saying the Jewish state was responsible.

Mr. Morsi was also met in Berlin by protesters who objected to his government’s continued use of tear gas and bullets against demonstrators.

Posted on 01/30/2013 8:45 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Pentagon May have Funded Iran Fuel Sales to Afghan Army

Afghan National Army personnel repairing engines

with US Army technical adviser, September 2012

Source: Army Times

Sometimes, I wonder who is minding the store at the Department of Defense (DoD).  Such is the case with a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) on findings that between 2007 and 2012, the Pentagon funded $1.1 billion in fuel purchases for the Afghan National Army (ANA).  Afghanistan gets nearly half of its fuel from Iran; the balance comes from Russia and Turkmenistan.  Thus, the DoD may have inadvertently violated prohibitions under Economic sanctions against trade with the Islamic Republic for its pursuit of nuclear enrichment and weapons development. To compound the difficulty of determining the extent of fuel imports from Iran, the Afghan government’s   customs information is in disarray.  This was further compounded by the tardy implementation in late 2012 of certification procedures by the Pentagon.  As the Brits would say this is a bullock.  Actually the WWII GI term FUBAR would likely describe this bureaucratic gem.

Here is what SIGAR found   as reported by the AFP :

US funds may have served to buy fuel for Afghan security forces from Iran in direct contravention of America's economic sanctions on Tehran, a US watchdog warned Wednesday.

The office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction urged the Pentagon to boost oversight of how US money is being spent, particularly amid moves to direct funds straight to Kabul.

Accurate data is hard to come by because of unreliable Afghan customs figures, but the State Department told SIGAR that Afghanistan imports between a third and half of all its fuel from Iran.

Between 2007 and 2012, Washington shelled out some $1.1 billion to buy and deliver imported fuel to the Afghan army, Inspector General John Sopko said in his report.

"The fact that the United States has paid for the acquisition and delivery of imported fuel for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)... raises concerns that US funds could have been used to pay for imports of fuel potentially in violation of US economic sanctions against Iran," he wrote.

  But the Pentagon "lacked certification procedures prior to November 2012 and had limited visibility over the import and delivery sub-contracts used by fuel vendors," Sopko said in the report sent to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"As a result, DoD is unable to determine if any of the $1.1 billion in fuel purchased for the ANA (Afghan National Army) between fiscal year 2007 and 2012 came from Iran, in violation of US economic sanctions."

The inspector general also noted that it will become more difficult for the Pentagon to account for how US funds are used as Washington begins transferring funds directly to Afghanistan  starting in March.

"The US government may need to take steps to place safeguards on its direct assistance funding -- over $1 billion alone for ANSF fuel from 2013-2018 -- to ensure that the Afghan government does not use the funds in violation of US economic sanctions," the report warned.

Congress will have a field day with this.  I can just see CENTCOM and the State Department squirming while they are skewered by  the SIGAR findings.  Maybe we should have the Afghan government skim the ANA fuel costs off their take of the country’s massive drug trade.  What the Pentagon has is an exploding SIGAR.

Posted on 01/30/2013 9:29 PM by Jerry Gordon

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