These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 5, 2014.
Saturday, 5 April 2014
News and Views from an East London Mosque
I picked up the newsletter of an East London mosque about my travels this week. There was the prayer times, the usual local adverts, a sermon/homily type article and, for the children, Madrasah Corner.
Two Little Girls
Two Little Girls playing in the sun
One wore a scarf, the other wore none
“Why do you wear a scarf?” asked the one without,
The other girl said without a doubt
“Allah loves me to cover my hair
So that little boys won’t stand and stare
When I grow up what I really want to be
Is a well-dressed Muslim lady like my pretty Mummy”.
Easter - a Christian Bid'ah. As you know a Bid'ah is an innovation. And innovations within religious practice are forbidden in Islam because Mohammed made it perfect, with no room for improvement.
When the subject occurs I will be showing this to some of the naive Christians I come across, who insist that we have nothing to worry about with Islam, because 'Muslims revere Jesus too'
We have written extensively on the roiling scandals that plagued Erdogan during his recent campaigning for municipal elections. AKP victories in a number of municipal races on March 30th have fueled his ambitions to seek the Presidency in June. That assumes a basic constitutional law change is passed by the Ankara parliament where his AK party holds a super majority. That change would transform the Turkish Presidency into a US or French Executive with broad powers. If elected that would extend Erdogan’s tenure as Turkey’s government leader by possibly a decade beyond his 11 years as Premier. That might allow him, if the opposition continues fragmented, to perfect a Sunni neo-Ottoman Caliphate. It could further embroil Turkey in a rancorous dispute with a former ally, ex-pat Sufi Sheik Mohamed Fethulleh Gulen in Pennsylvania. This might result in the AK Party vanquishing the Gulen Hizmat movement becoming the dominant Sunni Islamist government in the Middle East. That might present significant geo-political problems for the US as Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, maintains the alliance’s largest armed force.
What Stakelbeck’s conversation with Schanzer focuses on it’s the record of Erdogan’s radical makeover of Turkey. Especially its involvement in financing terrorism in Gaza and, adjacent Syria. That has been facilitated through personal family relations with shadowy Saudi Al Qaeda terror financier Yassin al-Qadi. Erdogan has provided a safe haven for Hamas operatives and transit points along the Syrian frontier for Islamist opponents of the Assad Regime. It also assisted Iran’s evasion of US and EU sanctions through a multi-billion dollar illicit gold for gas scheme that some believe assisted in financing Iran’s nuclear development and ballistic missile programs. Erdogan has actively threatened Israel, most notably in the Mavi Marmara incident with Israeli Naval commandos during the Free Gaza Flotilla in May 2010.
"You have to remember that the AKP -- the Justice and Development Party in Turkey -- is a spinoff of the Muslim Brotherhood," explained Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). "This is an organization that is founded on Islamist principles."
"Mr. Erdogan sees himself as an Islamist and a Turk first and foremost," he told CBN News. "And so he's synthesizing Turkish nationalism with the Muslim Brotherhood."
Although designated a terror organization by the United States, Hamas leaders regularly meet with Erdogan.
Schanzer says that includes top Hamas operative Saleh al-Aruri, who enjoys safe haven in Turkey.
"He's a military operative and he's based in Ankara," said Schanzer. "And he's met with Erdogan. He's met with [Hamas leader Khaled] Meshaal. And he continues apparently to be involved in fundraising and logistics on the part of Hamas."
And Hamas isn't the only questionable friend of Erdogan's Turkey.
According to Schanzer, al Qaeda financier Yasin al-Qadi, a designated global terrorist, has visited often.
"We're seeing reports that [al-Qadi] has been meeting with senior Turkish businessmen, Turkish officials," he said. "That he has been traveling in and out of Turkey without a visa and without a passport."
A Hub for Jihad
Turkey has also become a key support hub and transit point for global jihadists traveling to neighboring Syria to battle the Assad regime.
"There are now multiple cities along the southeastern border of Turkey that appear to be safe havens for various jihadi groups," Schanzer told CBN News.
"We understand that there are Gulf financiers who are operating there out of hotels, dispersing cash to some of these jihadis as they travel through."
"We have seen multiple visits by Undersecretary of the Treasury [David S.] Cohen to Turkey," said Schanzer. "You don't visit Turkey if you're the undersecretary of treasury for terrorism finance unless there's a problem."
Strained US Ties
President Barack Obama has enjoyed a close relationship with Erdogan.
Yet the Turkish prime minister's radical turn has led bipartisan members of Congress and foreign policy experts to demand the White House hold Erdogan accountable for his anti-democratic actions.
"We've got early warning radar systems in Turkey, we've got Patriot missile batteries, we've got massive airbases, we've got investments," said Schanzer. "And look, more broadly, the Turks have served as an important ally for us. If we lose that, I think it would be very detrimental to American foreign policy."
Watch the CBN video of Stakelbeck interview with Schanzer:
These are baby brownshirts. No violence, as yet, and apparently lots of hesitant giggling, as if they are not quite sure of what it is they are supposed to do, when they invade a building and sit-in for a day or two; .
Those who participated should have been expelled at once. Or, if not at once, had their names taken, and warned that they were all on probation, and that one more such incident would lead to expulsion. For there are many students who would gladly transfer to Dartmouth, and take their places.
As for the man who may be deemed their faculty adviser, one Russell J. Rickford, you can find out more about his scholarly accomplishments to date -- and also that he's leaving for Cornell, which says something about the current standards, or possible desperation to Increase Diversity, of the History Department at Cornell -- here And for a few more piquant details about Russell Rickford, see here.
Russell Rickford's father is a professor of linguistics, and has written a book on Ebonics. Russell Rickford's wife has been employed at Dartmouth as an administrator in the Department of African-American Studies. She claimed, in an interview, that the reason they are leaving Dartmouth is for the sake of their five-year-old, who would, if they remained in Lebanon, New Hampshire, be going to a school that would be "too white." But had he been offered a job with tenure at Cornell, surely she would have mentioned that.
What one may guess happened is something like this. The History Department at Dartmouth, under tremendous pressure to exhibit more "diversity," originally hired Russell Rickford, who exhibits an outward plausible smiling demeanor in the photographs available. And he had grown up in Palo Alto, his father was at Stanford, these were all signs to relieve worry.. And so they hired him, even though, or perhaps because, his scholarly work seems to have been limited to a biography of Betty Shabazz, the wife of Malcolm X. As time went by, Russell J. Rickford did not pan out, and even his supporters on the faculty found they could not plausibly promote him, and Russell J. Rickford, sensing or knowing that he would not be getting tenure, began to ally himself with, by approving of, or possibly encouraging, the most resentful and confused and impressionable students, those who apear to believe that Dartmouth is not so much an educational institution as it is an institution for social engineering, and the righting of wrongs (including a lot having to do with sex, and respeect) and these students, as a group, could be usefully deployed, and gave him implied power. When he learned he had no future at Dartmouth, and had nothing to lose, he did nothing to discourage, and may even have encouraged -- one would need to find out more, and possibly a committee of inquiry can determine what role, if any, Russell J. Rickford played -- the students to behave as they did.
There are many cases where, eager to relieve themselves of a problem arising from the mad and unending push for "diversity" (with its many subsequent discontents), a department will in the case of someone they are eager to get rid of who was hired for the sake of that "diversity," supply references that avoid spelling out the truth, in order to see that faculty member off-loaded onto some other, gullible department or school. Lawsuits, noise, trouble of all kinds is thus avoided. And if that faculty member has a student following, he can potentially be even more dangerous. One wonders if Rickford will, in Ithaca, create or manage to find a similar student posse, one that, whatever other demands it may make, will always be there to cause trouble in case the faculty members in the History Department, or the Administration, don't give him what he thinks he deserves.
Of course this is only speculation, based on observation from afar, and some general knowledge of the unhappy consequences of the Diversity madness. Rickford may claim he had nothing to do with the student sit-in, had no idea it was going to take place, deny that he has any "student following," and claim that he would never dream of suggesting that either he, or anyone else, should ever be considered for a job, or tenure, on any basis other than merit.
But if I were a member of the faculty or administration at Cornell, I'd be worried.
From Casablanca to Carnegie Hall: The Untold Story of North Africa's Jewish Pop Stars
For Boualem Sansal
The Death of Cheikh Reymond Leris
On June 22, 1961 Raymond Leyris was shot in the neck and killed by an unidentified assassin while he was shopping with his daughter Viviane in the Souk el Asser of the city of Constantine during the Algerian war of independence. As a high profile member of the Jewish community of that city he was targeted by the FLN, Algeria's National Liberation Front, to send a message to the Jewish community that they were no longer welcome in their country of birth.
This triggered a quick and traumatic migration of most of Constantine Algeria's Jews to France and Israel. Not surprisingly, when Algeria finally gained its independence in its fight with the French, the government declared itself a Muslim, Arab state and eventually joined the Arab league. In 1960 Algeria had been home to many thousands of Jews. Today none remain. The last official member of the resident Algerian Jewish community died in 2012.
Cheikh Raymond Leyris (Cheikh is the Arabic term that Arab musicians give to a master of a particular musical genre) was one of the most famous musicians in Algeria. He regularly appeared on TV. His live performances were well attended and his recordings sold in the thousands. You can now access many of his TV appearances on YouTube. (He was also the father in law of the future French pop star, Enrico Macias).
Leyris was a gifted oud [lute] player and singer who had studied with Muslim Arab master musicians such as Cheikh Chakleb and Cheikh Bestandji. This was not unusual, as musical talent was one of the few aspects of life in the traditional Islamic world where Muslims did not discriminate against non-Muslims such as Jews or, farther east, Greek and Armenian Christians.
Recent scholarship suggests that the opposite has been the case for the Jews of Western Europe. For centuries Christian theology made a point of describing Synagogue music as noise, whereas the music of the Church was not.
In 2006 American scholar Kenneth Stow referred to this cultural trait in his book called, Jewish Dogs: An Image and Its Interpreters. Stow explains:
So canine was the Jews' image that even synagogal chanting was likened to 'barking'. More than one papal text invokes the term for barking, ululare, to refer to the clamore attached to the synagogue service. A letter by King Henry III of England in 1253 employs ululare, in English 'to ululate', as well as the companion term strepitum, 'a racket'. The term appears again in a text of Philip V of France in 1320, which speaks in nearly the same breath of "their braying" [suos latratos] and also "their barking" [suos ululates] Philip directed that the offending synagogue from whose walls these sounds were emanating be removed: its "noise competed" [concurrenter emitter] with the prayer of the nearby church. Jewish prayer, if not all Jewish practice, seems universally to have been sensed as the yelping of dogs 'pra/eying' to devour the host.
This primitive ideology created a mindset among devout Europeans that what they listened to was sacred and what Jews chanted was profane, as in profanity. Despite their remarkable adoption and mastery of European art music in the 19th century, composers of Jewish descent, like Felix Mendelsohn (who had been raised a Christian) and later unconverted German Jewish composers like Arnold Schoenberg (as well as American Jewish composers like Gershwin) had their compositions banned by the Nazis.
Their music was considered un-Aryan and lacking a true Germanic beauty, a modern ideological transformation of the early Christian stereotype by Europeans of Jewish music as 'noise', which some musicologists are now calling 'the music libel'. Perhaps we can now better understand the then explicit but until recently misunderstood, religiously inspired anti-Semitism behind the quote in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice when Lorenzo, who runs off with Shylock's daughter says, "The man…hath no music in himself."
Because of a tendency in Islamic law to see music as secular, lascivious and religiously questionable, minorities such as Jews and Christians were always overrepresented in the musical life of Islamic countries. This is especially true given that the lyrical content of this so-called 'Islamic' music is usually about wine (explicitly forbidden in Islamic law), women and song.
As a result of this disproportionate involvement of Jews in the secular music of North Africa, their rural/urban migration under French authority, as well as the rise of broadcasting and the recording industry, during the first six decades of the 20th century, many Jewish North African musicians, both male and female, took on the trappings of what we would now call pop stars. For more than a generation they dominated the airwaves and the stages of the clubs and cabarets of French North Africa. These musicians ranged from the cabarets and concert halls of Casablanca, Paris, and, in one marvelous instance to Carnegie Hall itself. This is their story. It is an as yet under-researched odyssey, and what I present here is just a glimpse of their journey.
Despite U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s best efforts to bring Israel and the Palestinians together at the negotiating table and Israel’s support for continued peace talks, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has once again broken his word to Israel and the United States. In addition to rejecting the basic premise of “two states for two peoples,” and instead of meeting with the Secretary to move forward towards peace, Abbas chose to pursue unilateral recognition by signing onto 15 international conventions and treaties.
Revealed here for the first time in a TheTower.org special report: The Palestinians are in clear violation of at least 11 of the 15 treaties they just signed. What follows is a synopsis of the treaties signed and key facts on the ways in which Palestinian leaders are in violation of the their obligations.
The Four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the First Additional Protocol
What They Mean: The Four Geneva Conventions establish rules to regulate conduct during armed conflicts. The first Geneva Convention protects wounded and sick soldiers on land during war. The second protects wounded, sick and shipwrecked military personnel at sea during war. The third outlines appropriate conduct for dealing with prisoners of war, and the fourth affords protection to civilians during wartime.
Palestinian Violations: Hamas, a party which controls the Palestinian Authority legislature and governs territory claimed as part of the “State of Palestine,” routinely violates the Geneva Conventions. It exploits schools, mosques, hospitals and cultural centers to carry out attacks that violate Article 51 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. During the imprisonment of Gilad Shalit, Hamas violated the Third Geneva Convention, including the right to unfettered Red Cross access. Hamas also frequently uses human shields, a practice that violates Article 51(7) of the First Protocol of the Geneva Convention. Acts of “terrorism” are explicitly prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, as are “acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population.”
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
What It Means: The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations forms the basis of diplomatic immunity and lays out the rules for foreign diplomats operating in a host country. However, the Convention lays out that diplomatic immunity is not without its caveats. Article 41 of the Convention states that “it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State.”
Palestinian Violations: Czech police found explosives, assault rifles, and handguns at the Palestinian mission in Prague. Diplomats are subject to local laws and regulations on arms, which require licensing and registration. The weapons were not registered in the Czech Republic, a black-letter violation of the Vienna Convention.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
What They Mean: The Convention on the Rights of the Child establishes civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights for anyone under the age of 18. This includes freedom from economic exploitation (enumerated in Article 32) and the right to education (enumerated in Article 28). The Optional Protocol to the Convention mandates that states not recruit children under 18 for positions in their armed forces, and establish appropriate safeguards to prevent children from joining.
Palestinian Violations: Children’s rights are violated across territories claimed as the “State of Palestine.” Save the Children reports that under the rule of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian children are “denied their rights to freedom of movement, education, health and an adequate standard of living,” all of which are rights guaranteed by the CRC. Notably, a 2012 US Department of Labor report found that “the Palestinian Authority…made minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor…Children continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor in dangerous activities in agriculture and on the streets.” Hamas has long trained children for military combat and terror operations, and plans to establish a “military academy” to train to children as young as 12 to fight the Jews and destroy Israel. Last year, reports surfaced indicating that Hamas has trained at least 37,000 children ages 15-17 in urban warfare.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
What It Means: CEDAW requires all signatories to commit themselves to undertaking measures to end discrimination against women in all forms. This includes a mandate to “incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women”, “to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination”, and “to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.”
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
What It Means: The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities exists to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.”
Palestinian Violations: Multiple laws in the Palestinian Territories discriminate against persons with disabilities. For example, Article 29, section 1 of the 2007 Elections Law states that “An individual shall be deprived of the electoral right if he/she…was declared incapacitated by a final judicial ruling.” The Palestinians have not implemented the Palestinian Disability Law yet, which was ratified in 1999. There are few procedures or policies in place for recognizing the human rights of disabled persons, inadequate access to many municipal services, and virtually no government oversight.
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
What It Means: The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination defines racial discrimination as meaning “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.” It also clarifies that “This Convention shall not apply to distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences made by a State Party to this Convention between citizens and non-citizens.” It mandates that states not sponsor, defend, or support racial discrimination, that states pursue all means necessary to eliminate racial discrimination and promote understanding between all races, that states condemn “all propaganda and all organizations which… attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form.”
Palestinian Violations: Under to Palestinian law, selling property to Jews is punishable by Death. Abbas, Haniyeh, and other senior Palestinian officials have been heavily involved in anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish incitement for decades. Such incitement, including praise for Nazis and Hitler, is regularly spewed forth by senior Palestinian officials, on official PA websites, in PA-sponsored media outlets, and in the Palestinian educational system. Palestinian textbooks, approved by the government, explicitly delegitimize and demonize Israel, and call for violence against Israelis. The poisonous anti-Israeli atmosphere fosters actual violence against Israelis. Beyond incitement, involvement at the highest levels could well mean that Palestinian leaders are also guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide.
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
What It Means: The treaty defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person…” It mandates that each party to the treaty take action to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
Palestinian Violations: A February 2014 report by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights details numerous cases of torture and mistreatment in PA and Hamas prisons. In particular, the number of torture cases in prisons belonging to the PA’s Preventative Security Service has skyrocketed.
The United Nations Convention against Corruption
What It Means: The UN Convention against Corruption requires signatories to use all available legal means at their disposal to prevent corruption, requires the establishment of criminal and other offenses to cover a wide range of corrupt acts and practices, and requires international cooperation to fight against corruption.
Palestinian Violations: The Palestinian political system has long been defined by endemic corruption. Billions in aid sent to the Palestinian territories by Western nations have been squandered and diverted. Even the European Union, a large financial supporter of the Palestinian Authority, has publicly accused the PA of mass corruption and mismanagement, claiming that they squandered close to $2 billion in European aid.
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
What It Means: The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as “a crime of intentional destruction of a national, ethnic, racial and religious group, in whole or in part”. The Convention (Articles 2 and 3) codifies what acts can be prosecuted as genocidal as: “(a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”. It also lists what acts are punishable as genocide: “(a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide”.
Palestinian Violations: Abbas, Haniyeh, and other senior Palestinian officials have been heavily involved in anti-Israeli incitement for quite some time. Anti-Israel propaganda is distributed by senior Palestinian officials, on official PA websites, in PA-sponsored media outlets and in their educational system. Studies have shown that Palestinian textbooks, approved by the government, explicitly delegitimize and demonize Israel, and call for violence against Israelis. The poisonous anti-Israeli atmosphere that Palestinian leaders have worked so hard to cultivate has fostered and encouraged acts of hatred and violence against Israelis. Beyond incitement, involvement at the highest levels could well mean that Palestinian leaders are also guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide.
The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid
What It Means: The Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid was created to define and outlaw apartheid as a crime against humanity. The Convention says that “inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of racial segregation or discrimination” are international crimes. The Convention enumerates what it defines to be an act of apartheid, including “legislative measures that discriminate in the political, social, economic and cultural fields”.
Palestinian Violations: Palestinian law bars Palestinians from selling their homes or properties to Jews. If they do so, they will be charged and face the death penalty.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
What It Means: The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights lays out the mandatory actions that parties to the Covenant must take to ensure freedom and dignity in the civil and political spheres. This includes equal rights for men and women, an inherent right to life, “any propaganda for war” and “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law”. It also stipulates that marriage must be between adults of a marriageable age and that “no marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses.”
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
What It Means: The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights guarantees that parties to the treaty will respect the right to individual self-determination as well as the right to freely pursue economic, social and cultural development. This includes the right to make a living, gender equality, and safe and healthy working conditions.
Palestinian Violations: The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights reported that Palestinians in the West Bank have had their assets unlawfully seized by PA security forces. Freedom of expression, media, and assembly are also under assault. Strict Islamic laws codify inequality and restrict freedom in all aspects of life for Palestinian women. A 2012 report from the US Department of Labor found that “the Palestinian Authority…made minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor…Children continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor in dangerous activities in agriculture and on the streets.”
The Tavrichesky Garden, now open to the public, began life as the gardens attached to the Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg, of Grigory Potemkin, or Potemkin-Tavrichesky, as he was officially known. He was, as everyone knows, a favorite, and the lover, of Catherrine the GreatBut he was much more. He was a military man, and he fought the Turks, and in one of the Russian-Turkish wars in which he took part, the Russian victory led to the incorporation of the Crimea into the Russian Empire. This was in 1783, so the Crimea has been part of Russia at least as long as the United States has been an independent country, and if you think the United States became a viable country not when the Articles of Confederation were still in force, but only with the government formed in 1789 under the ratified Constitution (The Federalist appeared in 1787) even longer.
The Crimea was "Taurica" to the ancients, and Russian orthography makes the "u" appear as a "v" and so the toponym "Tavrika" gives rise, through well-known principles of Russian morphology (where the root change k→ch is standard, as in the word "chelovek" for man, becoming "chelovechestvo" for "mankind"), to the adjectival form "Tavricheski." Potemkin was officially dubbed "Potemkin-Tavrichesky" in recognition of his military exploits that helped to win "Taurica" for Russia. His palace in St. Petersburg was, similarly, named the "Tauride" Palace to reflect that Crimean connection.
As for Korney Chukovsky, a famously sturdy representative of the best of old Russia surviving within the Soviet Union (another example would be, a few decades later than Chukovsky, the literary scholar of Old Russian literature, Dmitri Likhachev), his children's tale Moidodyr about a little boy, from whom things -- soap, towel, soap dish -- run, and a preachy umyval'nik, or washstand, that gives him lessons in hygiene, and that poem includes lines about meeting a crocodile in the Tavrichesky Garden -- lines known to every Russian-speaking child.
Point of all this: consciousness of Taurica, the Crimea, as belonging to Russia, as being an essential part of Russia, is emblemized in the celebrated Tavrichesky Garden. I don't think John Kerry has the faintest notion of such things, but it might have been something, it might have helped a little bit, had he known, and had he shown such a sympathetic awareness in his conversations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov.
The Russians find the Amercans quick to attitudinize in all the "new-Cold-War" manner, and lacking in knowledge of what the Russians think should be known to anyone discussing the Crimea.
Why not surprise them?: Why not learn a little something about the Crimea, and its place in the Russian consciousness that helps to explain why many who have no fondness for Putin,now find themselves supporting him enthusiastically on this?
Former Arsenal footballer 'joins Jihadi fighters waging war in Syria'
That should really read 'man claimed to be former Arsenal footballer' as we only have others jihadists word for it, and they probably only know what he has boasted about. I expect he hada trial for them once, and has taken his bitter failure to heart. From the Mirror
A former Arsenal star (why are they all 'stars'? David Beckham is a star. George Best and Bobby Moore were stars. Out of 22 Premier teams of 11 men + subs each, only one or two a generation are 'stars'.) is thought to have joined a band of ruthless Jihadi fighters waging war in Syria.
The gun-toting fanatic is said to have grown up playing with Real Madrid galactico Cristiano Ronaldo.
The militia man turned his back on a footballer's playboy lifestyle after becoming radicalised two years ago, it is claimed. He is filmed wielding an AK47 and proclaiming holy war in two terror videos on an extremist website.
Fellow jihadists say the fighter - who now calls himself Abu Issa Al-Andalusi - was brought up in Portugal before signing for the Gunners. In the footage he appears in a mask calling on Muslims to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - an al-Qaeda off-shoot group behind murders and beheadings.
The fanatic says: “It’s very important for you to protect your children from these animals, from these dirty people; Allah says they are the worst of creatures.”
One of the videos acts as a recruiting call for supporters in the Ukraine. The man is introduced in a subtitle by his new name. He appears to be in his late 20s as he speaks calmly on a bridge in front of a serene lake. But his words, spoken in English in a heavy Portuguese or southern European accent, contain a message of hatred far removed from the world of sport.
The ex-Premier League footballer says “we are in need of all kinds of help in fighting the enemy . . . We have conquered many cities and we are now implementing the sharia. We have areas where the kaffirs [non-Muslims] are paying us the tax. . . If you have family in these [western] countries what is going to happen probably. You don’t have control over your children. Maybe in some of countries it’s a must for you to put your children in the kaffir schools. Who is going to teach your children? It’s going to maybe be a gay, maybe a drug dealer, maybe a paedophile. It’s very important for you to protect your children from these animals, from these dirty people Allah says they are the worst of creatures. So you prefer to live among the worst of creatures rather than among the Mujahideen?”
In a post, an alleged member of ISIS says: “He grew up with Ronaldo, played for Arsenal, and [then] left football, money and the European way of life for the sake of Allah.” The Russian website claims that the player was brought up in Portugal, adding: “He played for Arsenal in London, [but] realised that [kind of] life was not for him, [so] he left everything and set out for jihad two years ago.”
However, ISIS did not confirm his previous name.
The Middle East Media Research Institute, which works with the US government on counter-terrorism, gave weight to the credibility of the website.
Arsenal have launched an investigation into the claims. A spokesman said: “We do not recognise the individual from the published clips and we don’t have any record of a Abu Isa al-Andalusi representing the club at any level.”
Al-Zawahiri Outraged At Use Of "Car Bombs And Human Bombs" Against Fanatical Muslims By Even More Fanatical Muslims
Al-Zawahiri calls for "arbitration"-- presumably meaning a reasoned committee of inquiry -- to determine who killed the officially-anointed representative of Al-Qaeda in Syria,Abu Khaled Al-Suri of Ahrar Al-Sham.. But everyone already knows that the killers were suicide-bombers belonging to ISIL, headed by a man who is known as Abu Bakr Al-Baghadi. Ahrar Al-Sham, and the Nusra Front, and Al-Qaeda itself, and all the other groups we in the West identify as "extremist" are not "extremist" enough for the extreme extremists of ISIL..
And thus Mr. Baghdad attacks Mr. Syria, and in more ways than one.
Alternately Languid And Frenetic, A Thwarted Kerry Peevishly Reflects Upon His Own Quite Unnecessary Intervention
Here is John Kerry, whose idea it was -- nobody asked him, it was all his silly doing -- to engage in this Peace-Making Between Israelis and "Palestinians" that has led, and of course would lead, to nothing good, except perhaps if it puts paid to all such idiotic ventures in the future. The Israelis certainly didn't want one more American "attempt at peace-making" which consists, as always, of "good faith" gestures by the Israelis alone, to "win the trust" of the completely untrustworthy, malevolent, mendacious "Palestinian" side, now run by the corrupt former henchman of Arafat, one Mahmoud Abbas (whose two children have helped themselves to much of the diverted aid money from foreign donors and are doing well in the Gulf -- when last heard from they were in Dubai), and then again, the slow realization that the "compromise" that is demanded is entirely from one side only, Israel.
Look, the peace is now being maintained, and it will continue to be maintained, by the IDF. That, and that alone, is what keeps the peace --more or less -- between Israel and those conducting, and who will always conduct, Jihad against it. All agreements, all "peace" treaties, will only be hudnas, truce-treaties, to be violated at any point when such violation seems, from the Arab and Muslim side, to make sense.
Where can the "Palestinians" go? What mischief can they make? In Egypt, the government is now run by people who remember the five wars that Egypt fought and lost, and have no intention of getting into that mess again. Besides, they now have decided that the gravest threat to Egypt is the Musliim Brotherhood, and that they now have to systematically emphasize Egyptian nationalism, the "Pharaonism" as a strategy to diminish the power, the hold, the role, of undiluted Islam. And Syria is occupied now, and for many years to come, with the fight between the single majority, that is the Sunni Muslims, against all the rest --- the Alawites, the true (non-Alawite) Shi'a, the Christians, the Druze, with the Kurds now in control of Kurdish-populated territory that will likely remain now forever in Kurdish hands.
All the Administration has to do, or all Congress has to do, is to cut off all aid to the "Palestinian" Authority. Let it get money from Qatar, or from other rich Arabs. They've got trillions. Let them pay for the "Palestinians" whose authority runs no further than the Miqata in Ramallah. And meanwhile, more and more of the Arabs, in Israel and in the territories, will come to realize that the best possible outcome for them is to enjoy Good Government -- Il Buon Governo -- that in the Middle East and North Africa, no Arab state, but only the Jewish state of Israel, offers.
We're coming to an end of the Feydeau farce of the "Palestinians." Egypt is gone as backer, Syria is gone as backer. There's Iran, but Iran has made a mess for itself and surely, at some point, its rulers will realize that there is nothing they can do, not by backing Hamas or Hezbollah, or threatening to drop bombs, or dropping bombs, on Israel, that will make the Sunni Musliims regard Shi'a Iran as the "leader of the Muslims." Sunni-- the Sunni masses -- are all Takfiris now.