These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 30, 2012.
Monday, 30 July 2012
More About The Idiotic Waste In Iraq
From The Huffington Post:
Iraq Police Training: $200 Million Wasted On Police Development Program, Auditors Say
BAGHDAD -- U.S. auditors have concluded that more than $200 million was wasted on a program to train Iraqi police that Baghdad says is neither needed nor wanted.
The Police Development Program_ which was drawn up to be the single largest State Department program in the world – was envisioned as a five-year, multibillion-dollar push to train security forces after the U.S. military left last December. But Iraqi political leaders, anxious to keep their distance from the Americans, were unenthusiastic.
A report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, released Monday, found that the American Embassy in Baghdad never got a written commitment from Iraq to participate. Now, facing what the report called Baghdad's "disinterest" in the project, the embassy is gutting what was supposed to be the centerpiece of ongoing U.S. training efforts in Iraq.
According to the report, the embassy plans to turn over the $108 million Baghdad Police College Annex to Iraqis by the end of the year and will stop training at a $98 million site at the U.S. consulate in the southern city of Basra. Additionally, the number of advisers has been cut by nearly 90 percent – from 350 to 36.
"A major lesson learned from Iraq is that host country buy-in to proposed programs is essential to the long-term success of relief and reconstruction activities. The PDP experience powerfully underscores that point," auditors wrote in a 41-page summary of their inspection. An advance copy was provided to The Associated Press.
Auditors noted that it "has clearly been difficult" for American diplomats to secure a solid commitment from Iraq's government to participate in the training program. Still, the report concluded, "the decision to embark on a major program absent Iraqi buy-in has been costly" and resulted in "a de facto waste."
The findings call into question funding needs at the largest U.S. embassy in the world, as the Obama administration prepares its new spending plan for the 2013 fiscal year that begins Oct 1. While auditors said it's unknown how much the embassy in Baghdad is requesting, additional money for the police program "may not be needed."
Despite years and billions of dollars of training, Iraq's police force remains a vulnerable target for militants. On Sunday, seven police were killed and nine more wounded in bombings and shootings near the former al-Qaida stronghold of Fallujah, about 64 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad. It appeared to be the latest strike by the Sunni insurgency as it seeks to reclaim areas where U.S. troops ousted them.
In a July 26 letter responding to a draft of the report, acting Assistant Secretary of State Carol Z. Perez said the embassy will need an unspecified amount of additional funding this year to continue training Iraqi police into 2013. She disputed the finding that the funds have been wasted, noting Iraqis will continue to use the Baghdad Police College Annex for training.
Moreover, Perez said, the embassy has been assured by Principal Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi that Iraq is committed to a streamlined version of the training program. U.S. diplomats will continue working with top security officials, she said, "to ensure that our police assistance efforts meet mutual goals and objectives and to sustain senior-level Iraqi commitment to the program."
The auditors, however, said those assurances fall far short of a written commitment, and quoted al-Asadi as telling U.S. inspectors that the police training program is "useless."
Al-Asadi "also indicated that Iraqi police officers had expressed their opinion that the training received to date was not beneficial," the audit said.
Al-Asadi could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday and his spokesman declined to discuss the report. But a key member of parliament's security oversight committee said that U.S. training programs are no longer needed by Iraqi police.
"The Iraqi federal police went through many training courses, in many fields, and that resulted in having many experts and specialist academies," Shiite lawmaker Hakim al-Zamili said. "At this point, we don't need the American expertise, because of the expertise we have now."
Auditors said the U.S. has spent about $8 billion to train and equip Iraqi police since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. At that time, there were about 58,000 police in Iraq. The report said that number had grown to 412,000 by 2010. Other estimates put the size of Iraq's federal, local and border police force at 650,000. [and the Iraqi army, trained and outfitted entirely by the Americans, has another 400,000 men. So thanks to the American taxpayer, there are now more than a million Muslims in Iraq under arms. Quite an achievement.]
The training was led by the American military until last October, just six weeks before U.S. troops left Iraq for good. The embassy took over the program, but with what Monday's report described as "mixed results."
Iraq's self-rule northern Kurdish region has embraced the program and, as a result, half of the remaining 36 U.S. advisers assigned to police training will be based in the Kurdish capital of Irbil, 350 kilometers (215 miles) north of Baghdad.
But restive politics in the central government, whose factions are reluctant to be seen as dependent on American help, have prompted officials to keep the U.S. trainers at arms' length. Some Iraqi officers have been told to skip the police training sessions, the audit said, citing one who blamed "lukewarm relations between the Americans and Iraqis (that) has created some distance between them."
Stephanie Sanok, who was at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from 2009 to 2010 and is an expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, called the police training program "doomed from the beginning" because American officials never made sure Iraqis supported it.
"The U.S. government has a tendency to go ahead with programs that it has decreed are in the host country's best interests," Sanok said. "This was such an expensive program, and there was plenty of time to get the Iraqi government to help shape it in such a way that they could eventually take it over. But we never got that buy-in."
Posted on 07/30/2012 1:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 30 July 2012
G4S Olympic guard investigated after 'spitting at soldier and calling him baby killer'
From The Telegraph and The Sun
The G4S worker (believed to be of Asian heritage) is reported to have “flipped” during a London 2012 archery competition at the Lord’s cricket ground, “screaming” at a veteran (from 35 Engineers) of the Afghan war.
According to the Sun newspaper, the firm are now conducting an urgent investigation into the matter, with the security guard facing the sack.
A source said: “This security guard was ranting and raving at the soldier He was trying to defuse the situation but the guard was going crazy. He spat at the soldier and screamed at him. He was calling him a baby killer. He left the soldier in no doubt he meant he’d been responsible for children’s deaths while serving in Afghanistan. Despite the provocation, the soldier remained ice cool and didn’t lose his calm. Some of their respective colleagues arrived and the guard was removed.”
A spokesman for G4S confirmed an investigation into the incident was already underway. Scotland Yard yesterday said no criminal allegations had been made. G4S added the soldier had asked to search the guard prior to the incident, during the Italy vs United States archery contest, but did not disclose why.
The firm said: “We are urgently investigating allegations that a security officer spat on the ground in front of a soldier and insulted him after he was searched. We do not tolerate insulting behaviour and where necessary appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.”
Ex-Helmand commander Colonel Richard Kemp said: “This is an absolute disgrace. A soldier shouldn’t have to put up with this terrible insult. If there’s any possibility of a prosecution, then it should go ahead.” G4S are understood to be waiting to see if the soldier makes a complaint.
Posted on 07/30/2012 2:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 30 July 2012
The Great Muslim Cover Up
This is funny and true. Daniel Greenfield and his Sultan Knish blog, repeated in this morning's Arutz Shiva You need to read it all to get the rhythm; I can only post my favourite highlights..
Over in Toronto, a Muslim cleric with the unwieldy name of Al-Hashim Kamena Atangana had a great idea. Al-Hashim’s idea was for Toronto to pass laws forcing women to wear Burkas. “Cover up or get raped”, was the implied message. Toronto only has an estimated 5.5 percent Muslim population so the Toronto Taliban probably won’t be getting their way until they have higher double digit numbers, but they can wait.
Meanwhile in Egypt where the population is 90 percent Muslim and the other 10 percent are running for their lives, a new TV channel represents a brave new frontier in Islamic feminism. Maria TV features women giving lifestyle and makeup tips while wearing the Niqab, which covers their faces and leaves only their eyes exposed. According to some Saudi clerics who think that women are only allowed to leave one eye exposed, this makes them either a bold feminist experiment or shameless strumpets.
You can attend a university with your head covered, even with your face covered, but it gets harder to attend class when your eyes are covered. If the trend means anything in a decade Muslim feminism will mean fighting for the right to keep one eye open in a religion that wants everyone to keep their eyes shut.
The liberal West has reacted to the Islamic cover-up with its own cover-up.
We all live in villages. Our village is a place where women are considered human beings, but in the village that is an ocean and a desert away, women are considered property. For all the ridiculous noises about Islamic feminism and all the reforms coming out of Riyadh, a proper Muslim can no more consider a woman his equal, than he could consider a sheep or an African slave his equal.
The problem is that lately our two villages have been overlapping thanks to the heap big magic of the airport. Americans travel to Saudi Arabia, where they are told to cover themselves up and respect the local customs, and Muslims travel to Canada where they tell the city of Toronto that it needs to cover up its women or they won’t be responsible for the consequences. Our village just can’t seem to win.
This is not the sort of stuff that you put in tourist brochures, this is the sort of stuff you cover up, and these days our nations exist as long tourist brochures covering up the problems and extolling the virtues of all these people who visit, move in, learn to fly planes and ram them into buildings because a medieval warlord claimed that a fellow named Allah wanted him to conquer the world, but didn’t provide him with any transportation more reliable than camels and a flying horse.
Our noble commitment to diversity leads us to diversify by investing in multiculturalism, but many of those villages full of men with thirteen wives and sharp knives are not interested in multiculturalism.
Common sense says that our village means our customs, but diversity says that our village is on the shores of the global village which is moving into our village and insisting that it’s now their village. This is a problem, but only for those of us who are Jews, Christians, Hindus, Atheists, Zoroastrians, Wiccans, Buddhists, Sikhs and Bahai. Not to mention female or in any other way differing from the Muslim male that runs the other village and is trooping through our airport with thirteen wives in tow.
It used to be that when in Rome, you did like the Romans. Now it’s when in Toronto, you do like Al-Hashim says. Because his voice is the booming echo of diversity and like all the voices of diversity, it isn’t promoting multiculturalism, but a single culture. Their culture. One Ummah, one Caliph and one Burka.
It reads even better in its entirety
Posted on 07/30/2012 3:14 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 30 July 2012
Electronic Armageddon - Live Broadcast August 3, 2012, 11am - 1pm (E.S.T.)
Posted on 07/30/2012 7:07 AM by NER
Monday, 30 July 2012
Michael Graham: Mayor Menino, Chick-Fil-A, And The Boston Mosque
From the Boston Herald:
Radical imam OK but not Chick-fil-A
Given his stance on Chick-fil-A, would Mayor Tom Menino grant permits to a group that has counted among its leaders a man who has repeatedly called homosexuality a “crime that must be punished” by death?
Actually, he has done that . . . and more! Menino effectively gave away city land valued at $1.8 million to the organization, and he gave a speech at its ribbon-cutting ceremony.
It’s the Islamic Society of Boston’s mosque, and when it comes to anti-gay sentiment, one of its early supporters makes Chick-fil-A look like the Provincetown Men’s Chorus.
During the (understandable) controversy over the city selling land for a house of worship at a below-market rate a decade ago, reporters discovered that the Islamic Society of Boston counted imam Yusef al-Qaradawi as one of its spiritual guides. As the Weekly Standard reported at the time:
“The ISB does not dispute the fact that they have repeatedly used al-Qaradawi as a tool to raise funds for the Boston mosque, printing a brochure that highlighted al-Qaradawi’s enthusiastic support of the mosque and playing a videotaped message of support from him at a 2002 gathering.”
Also in attendance at the gathering, listening to al-Qaradawi’s message: Mayor Tom Menino.
Outside Boston, al-Qaradawi is better known as a vocal supporter of terrorism who teaches a hard-core version of Islam. His claim to fame as a “progressive” is that he was the first prominent imam to urge women to become suicide bombers, too.
It was only when his terror support became known that the Islamic Society of Boston announced that epeated listings of al-Qaradawi as an ISB trustee had been a mistake.
But nobody’s accusing Chick-fil-A of supporting terrorism — just traditional marriage (I think liberals still see the former as more dangerous). Menino heard the president of the company call same-sex marriage a “sin,” and he announced it would not be allowed to do business in Boston.
OK, Mr. Mayor. But when you gave all that land to the ISB at a song, here’s what imam al-Qaradawi was teaching:
“[A homosexual should be given] the same punishment as any sexual pervert . . . Some say we should throw them from a high place, like God did with the people of Sodom. Some say we should burn them.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, “In 2003 Qaradawi stated on IslamOnline that the punishment of homosexuality is the death penalty.”
In the end, says the anti-Islamist organization MEMRI, al-Qaradawi came down on the side of stoning.
Hey — say what you want about Chick-fil-A, but they aren’t trying to kill anyone. Other than, perhaps, via hardening of the arteries.
Chick-fil-A wants to come to Boston, pay taxes and put people to work. Menino says “no” because the CEO thinks same-sex marriage is wrong.
But that same mayor was all but giving away city land to the Islamic Society of Boston, even as they were presenting as one of their spiritual guides an imam who says homosexuals should be killed.
And this makes sense . . . how?
The mayor’s office did not respond to my repeated requests for an explanation of this apparent double standard yesterday. However, the mayor did finally admit that his threats against Chick-fil-A were empty. Other than sending a letter to the restaurant’s potential landlord asking that they be turned away, he has no power to stop them from legally conducting business in Boston.
So why did he say otherwise?
“I make mistakes all the time,” he told the Herald. “That’s a Menino-ism.”
When even you admit your own name is a synonym for “Boy, that was dumb,” it’s time to start re-thinking before you speak.
Michael Graham hosts an afternoon drive-time talk show on 96.9 WTKK.
Posted on 07/30/2012 10:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 30 July 2012
A Musical Interlude: You Call It Madness (Russ Columbo)
Posted on 07/30/2012 10:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 30 July 2012
Anti-Discrimination Suit Against Tehmina Adaya In Santa Monica
July 30th, 2012
The Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California.
Photo Credit: Promotional image.
An upscale hotel on a Santa Monica, California, beach is an odd place to be singled out from a crowd and removed because you are Jewish, but that’s what happened to 18 young professionals who are telling their story to a jury in a discrimination trial taking place in Santa Monica Superior Court this week.
Ari Ryan is the grandson of a Ukranian Jew who lost most of his family in the Holocaust and narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Nazis. Ryan’s grandfather moved to Israel in 1942 and served as a captain in the Israel Defense Forces.
Seventy years later Ryan says he got a small taste of what his grandfather lived through, but rather than in the forests of the Ukraine, it took place at an upscale hotel in Santa Monica. Ryan and more than a dozen others have brought a lawsuit alleging anti-Semitic discrimination against them by a multi-millionaire Muslim American hotel owner.
Two years ago Ryan and other twenty- and thirty-something Jews planned to raise money to send children of fallen IDF soldiers to camp with a charity event at the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California.
On the morning of July 11, 2010, Ryan and others arrived at the hotel and began setting up Friends of the IDF banners, literature and piles of shirts for the event guests.
But the event was aborted after, according to one employee’s sworn testimony, the hotel’s owner told staff members, “Get the [expletive deleted] Jews out of my pool.” Then the hotel security and other employees began removing the materials and ordering the guests to leave.
Ryan said, “Anyone wearing a blue wristband,” which identified them as being with the Friends of the IDF, “was asked to get out of the swimming pool and the hot tub.” In fact, no one who was identifiable as Jewish was so much as “allowed to dip their feet in the water.”
Tehmina (Tamie) Adaya, a Pakistani-American Muslim, is the owner of the Shangri-La. Her father, Ahmad Adaya, was a founding partner of the California real estate company IDS Real Estate Group. He also was a founder and benefactor of the New Horizon School for Muslim religious education in Southern California.
The father bought the Shangri-La Hotel in the 1980‘s and the daughter took it over in 2004, investing $30 million to renovate the property into a design award-winning opulent destination. In addition to the hotel, Adaya runs an upscale artist collective called the Crown Jewels which she blogs about at her site “Culture Shock to Culture Architect.”
In the cross-complaint she initially filed, Adaya claimed Ryan and his friends were trespassing on the Shangri-La property and became unruly.
“Not so,” said James Turken, managing partner of the California office of the DC-based law firm Dickstein, Shapiro, attorney for the plaintiffs. He explained that Adaya withdrew her complaint after he interviewed her, under oath, and she was unable to substantiate any of the allegations she had made.
Turken told The Jewish Press that witnesses will testify that, in addition to cursing the Jews and yelling at her staff to remove them from the pool, Adaya was heard saying, “my family will disown me,” and that her “investors will be furious,” if the plaintiffs remained on site.
The defense claims there was no discrimination and that, instead, the promoters of the event had failed to properly schedule the event with the hotel, and therefore they were trespassing.
According to Turken, however, all the necessary arrangements had been made in advance, as evidenced by the initial assistance provided by the Shangri-La employees, which included putting up a rope and stanchions and a check-in table. What’s more, he said, the day before the event “the head of hotel security gave a briefing to the staff to prepare them for the crowd of 150 that were expected to attend.”
The removal from the pool of Jews who were wearing Jewish-identified wristbands evokes a similar selection process of seventy years ago. Ryan, recalling his grandfather’s legacy, said “I felt the weight of standing up to what he had to live through.”
The plaintiffs are seeking $ 1 million from Adaya and the Shangri-La Hotel for emotional distress, attorneys’ fees and other statutory damages.
You may wish to make note of the following names to make sure that neither you, nor any group to which you belong, or others whom you know, have anything to do with the following;
The Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California.
The IDS Real Estate Group.
Tehmina (Tamie) Adaya.
Ahmad Adaya - no need. He died in 2006..
Posted on 07/30/2012 2:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 30 July 2012
Introducing Tamie Adaya, Who Is Revitalizing The Principles Of What It Means To Be A Renaissance Woman
Here is Tamie Adaya on Tamie Adaya, at the Huffington Post:
Posted on 07/30/2012 3:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 30 July 2012
Now Wouldn't That Be Something, Or, Iran Warns Turkey
From The Daily Star (Lebanon):
Syria daily says Iran ally has warned Turkey
DAMASCUS: Syrian ally Iran has warned their common neighbour Turkey that it will meet a harsh response should Ankara carry out any strikes inside Syrian territory, a pro-Damascus daily reported on Monday.
"Any attack on Syrian territory will meet with a harsh response, and the Iranian-Syrian mutual defence agreement will be activated," the Al-Watan newspaper said.
"Turkey has received very strong warnings in the past few hours and the following message -- beware changing the rules of the game," the paper added.
Iran is the closest regional ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but has also striven to keep good relations with Turkey even as the standoff over its controversial nuclear programme has deepened with other NATO member states.
Tehran has enjoyed close ties with Damascus since 1980 when the Syrian government took its side in its devastating eight-year war with now executed dictator Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad, and has signed a series of defence pacts, including in 2006 and 2008.
But Ankara has been a leading champion of the more than 16-month uprising against the Assad regime and has given refuge to large numbers of army defectors, who have formed the kernel of a rebel army, as well as tens of thousands of civilian refugees.
Al-Watan cited an "Arab diplomat" as accusing Turkey of seeking to use its fears about the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which already enjoys rear-bases in the far north of Iraq, as a pretext to intervene in Syria.
"Ankara is preparing an agreement with Washington to intervene militarily in the Syrian (crisis), using the Kurdish card as an excuse," the paper said.
"Turkey has agreed with the United States on a military intervention limited to the north of Syria, specifically the northern province of Aleppo, to pave the way for the creation of a safe haven guarded by the armed gangs."
Turkish newspapers have reported that some Kurdish-majority regions of northern Syria have been flying the flag of Syria's PKK ally, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in what they have said is a deal with the Assad family's government, which was a longtime backer of the Kurdish rebel group's insurgency in Turkey.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that it is a "given" that Turkish troops would pursue fleeing PKK militants inside Syria, warning that Ankara would not hesitate to strike "terrorists."
Turkey has sent a convoy of tanks, ground-to-air missile batteries and other weapons to the border with Syria to further bolster its forces, the Anatolia news agency reported on Monday.
Turkey has repeatedly carried out air and ground operations against suspected PKK rear-bases in northern Iraq. Iran has also done so against suspected hideouts in the same area of PKK ally the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).
Posted on 07/30/2012 4:48 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 30 July 2012
Iranian Official Meets With Rohingya Representative To Discuss Myanmar
Iranian Official Holds Meeting with Myanmar Muslims Leader in Turkey
TEHRAN (FarsNewsAgency)- Representative of the Supreme Leader in Hajj Affairs Seyed Ali Qazi Asgar held a meeting with Leader of Muslims in Myanmar's Western province of Rakhine (or Arakan) Mohammad Yunus in Turkey, and discussed the latest situation of the oppressed Muslim people in the Southeast Asian country.
Mohammad Reza Baqeri, the deputy head of the office of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution for international affairs, who is in Turkey to attend a meeting at the invitation of Turkey's Dianat (religious affairs) Organization, announced the news on Sunday.
During the meeting, he said, Hojjatoleslam Qazi Asgar held talks with a leader of Myanmar's Muslims, and discussed the atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims in the country.
He added that the Myanmar Muslim leader would give additional information on the mass murder of the Muslims in another meeting with Qazi Asgar.
On the first day of the Istanbul meeting, Qazi Asgar and a number of the world's Muslim scholars from different countries, including Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Russia and Tunisia denounced the mass killing of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and called for prompt action by the international organizations to stop the violence.
The government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas, who it claims are not natives and classifies as illegal migrants, although the Rohingya are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Burma as early as the 8th century.
Even Myanmar's so-called democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has kept quiet on the atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslims.
[perhaps because she knows more about the Muslims, and their history of atrocities against non-Muslims, than the Fars News Agency understands]
Myanmar's President Thein Sein said Rohingya Muslims must be expelled from the country and sent to refugee camps run by the United Nations.
The UN says decades of discrimination have left the Rohingyas stateless, with Myanmar implementing restrictions on their movement and withholding land rights, education and public services.
Since June, hundreds of members of the nearly-one-million-strong Rohingya Muslim minority have been killed and tens of thousands of others among them have been displaced in the west of the country due to a wave of communal violence.
Over the past two years, waves of ethnic Muslims have attempted to flee by boats in the face of systematic oppression by the Myanmar government.
Posted on 07/30/2012 7:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 30 July 2012
A Musical Interlude: If I Didn't Care (The Ink Spots)
Posted on 07/30/2012 9:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald