Please Help New English Review
For our donors from the UK:
New English Review
New English Review Facebook Group
Follow New English Review On Twitter
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 Tuesday, 9, 2011.
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Soft racism of low expectations

As London's pampered black youth is indulged in its welfare scrounging, looting and feckless fathering by the bleeding hearts of the Guardian/BBC axis, Katharine Birbalsingh tells the truth. From The Telegraph:

A couple of months ago, I went to speak at an event called “Black Men in the Community”. It was filled with some 300 or 400 black people, all wanting to discuss how we might change things for young black men, some of whom regularly fail out of school, get into criminal activity, end up in prison, and ruin their lives.

When I began talking, I was scared. I didn’t pull my punches. I spoke about the black community’s refusal to take responsibility for themselves. I told the audience how parents buy their children mobiles and televisions, encouraging them to text in lessons and watch MTV until 1am. I railed against the lack of trust for teachers; how if a teacher says your child is misbehaving that it is wrong to take the child’s side. The audience was deathly quiet. I surveyed the room and gulped. I thought for sure I was taking my life into my hands. I insisted parents ban MTV from their households, that they should take their children to the Natural History Museum, have picnics in the park and spend time together as a family. I also pointed out how schools were failing their children but that it isn’t due to white racist teachers but that in fact it is because our education system expects too little of ALL of our children and that the most vulnerable are the ones who suffer the most.

The clock was ticking loudly in the eerie silence. And then I spoke my final words, with one eye closed, thinking that someone might throw something at me.

“I have spoken some hard-hitting truths here today and I can imagine that some people in the room are squirming. It would have been far easier for me to have got up here and told some success stories and made everyone feel good. If I have not done so, it is for a reason. I have nothing to gain from saying these things. But we all have something to gain from listening to them. The truth is always difficult to look in the eye, but truth is what will bring us justice. The truth is what will help us take responsibility and change our fate. In the end, the old cliché is true: only the truth will set us free.”

And do you know what happened? The room erupted in applause. Some people even stood with their hands stretched out in the air. While there were some there who clearly hated what I said, the vast majority were thrilled, just like the vast majority of Brixton’s population last night slept as their community was torn apart at the seams.

But these people have no voice, no one and nothing in the system to help them take responsibility for their own. Everything in our system, from our schools, to our justice system, to our welfare system, to the blood in our veins says “it isn’t your responsibility”, “nothing is your responsibility”. When I speak incessantly about people taking responsibility, whoever you are, a teacher, a father, a mother, an ordinary citizen, I am lambasted. None of us believes in personal and collective responsibility anymore. Already, people are saying that these riots are the fault of the cuts. It is as if we are all brainwashed into never holding anyone to account for what they do!

While the perpetrators of the violence last night are of course responsible for this atrocity, that doesn’t let the rest of us off. We too are responsible for these riots because we have allowed a culture of moral relativism to rule, where anything goes, where we refuse to hold others and ourselves to account. Mark my words: if we continue to deny the part we play in this, there will only be more riots to come.

Not "we", but anyone who has ever voted Labour.

Off to Norfolk now, where there are few black hoodies and next to no Muslims. If the former start fighting the latter, which side will the Guardianistas take?

Posted on 08/09/2011 1:32 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
I am a Londoner

This blaze burnt last night, unattended by a single fire engine. People say 'It's like the war' but during the war the firemen (my father was one so I know) were able to attend fires unhindered. This is from Yahoo news.

The owner of a 100-year family business destroyed in a huge blaze has told Sky News of "lives destroyed." A huge blaze gutted furniture business Reeves in Croydon, south of London, which was torched on Monday night as violence spread across the capital.

Owner Trevor Reeves told Sky News: "It has just provided my family and the 15 or 20 staff and families that were supported, it's just completely destroyed. Words fail me. It's just gone, it's five generations. My father is distraught at the moment. It's just mindless thuggery."

His brother Graham added: "Our lives are destroyed" He said the business was established in 1867, but he now had "nothing."

My family and thousands of other built this city, not on rock and roll, but on hard work.  It is now a place alien to us, and we live on the edges, travelling through to work or visit. Last night I was angry, now I am sad. Soon I will be angry again. And I marvel at how prescient this unfairly maligned man was.

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. . . (a pyre of family businesses, cafes, buses and citizen's homes)

The kindest thing that can be said about those who propose and support it is that they know not what they do.

He was wrong on two things. First the Sikhs did integrate and have proved to be an asset, as have Hindus and Chinese. Second, the Labour party did know exactly what it was doing between 1997 and 2010. The traitors wanted this. They have sown the wind, now we are reaping the whirlwind. 

Posted on 08/09/2011 2:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
“I’m Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take It Anymore�

After watching yesterday’s swooning stock markets triggered by the political theater of a US sovereign debt rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) a massive flight to secure capital, the maligned US Treasuries, produced negative yields for those who sought safety. The other market lemmings sought protection by foolishly buying gold, that ‘bling, bling’  storehouse of alleged values.   They were egged on by stock and commodity trading  hucksters who put forth the spiel that we should return to gold backed currency. Surely they jest.   That would place the US and global economies tottering on the brink of a possible double dip recession in jeopardy of  being beholden to control  by two leading producers, South Africa and Russia.  Ultimately that could worsen what Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff calls the ‘Second Great Contraction’.  The first being the Great Depression of the 1930’s. A Great Contraction caused by the bursting of the housing bubble of 2008 urged on by the S&P A+ credit ratings of worthless mortgage back securities. Securities guaranteed by trillions of dollars of leveraged credit default swaps orchestrated by Goldman Sachs and a host of banks ‘too large to fail’ bailed out by taxpayer TARP funds.    

Like many in the US and, I suspect, many abroad, I needed some relief. Call it taking a virtual mental Alka Seltzer. 

The only rational observer to my mind was Wall Street restructuring guru Wilbur Ross, Jr. who knows a thing or two about turnarounds and has minted a fortune doing it for himself and others who invested half a billion in his funds.  His comment on a CNBC Squawk Box program was S&P was “downgrading democracy”. Watch the interview, here.  He followed that with this classic quote  from Winston Churchill, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else”.  Small comfort for many seniors in America faced with no good options to preserve retirement income with minimal risk.

A friend in Connecticut, Carole Rubin sent me a YouTube video by an alleged Baltimore small business owner entitled, “Are You Kidding me”  . In the video, the Baltimorean decried the lack of leadership by President Obama and a bickering Congress with the implied line of a ‘plague on all your houses.’ 

Watch it here.

All this visual angst over a yawning deficit, galloping national debt, lack of effective fiscal leadership and, yes, self- sacrifice by our political leaders in Washington. Political leaders, cosseted as they are with benefits that most taxpayers find appalling, from President Obama and  Members of Congress on both sides of the aisles dunning us to make ‘more sacrifices’.  The You Tube video by this boiling mad Baltimore business owner has become an overnight ‘urban legend’ with currently over a 1.5 million hits.

I don’t know who this alleged Baltimore small business owner is, but he chanced to use a line from the soliloquy by the fabled  British-born Australian  actor  Peter Finch from the brilliant 1976 film by the late Paddy Chayefsky, Network: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”.

Watch the scene where late Peter Finch as the mad Howard Beale gets millions of viewers across America to go to their windows, open them and scream “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” The film character Beale eventually gets gunned down by paid domestic terrorists in a desperate effort to raise the swooning ratings of a third network underwritten in part by Arabs in the midst of an oil crisis, 1970’s version. The script is eerily prescient given today's world and domestic economic crises and  squabbling  America's political leadership in Washington.

All this appears to this observer as the latest episode of the 19th Century classic, “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”

Posted on 08/09/2011 4:08 AM by Jerry Gordon
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Mormon Polygamist Leader Gets Life

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs recorded everything he said. Thousands of pages, written with Biblical flourish, about God wanting him to take 12-year-old wives. About those girls needing to sexually please him. About men he banished for not building his temple fast enough.

Facing his last chance to keep his freedom, Jeffs didn’t say a word.

He was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for sexually assaulting one of his child brides — among 24 underage wives prosecutors said Jeffs collected — and received the maximum 20-year punishment on a separate child sex conviction. Jeffs, 55, will not be eligible for parole until he is at least 100 years old.

The head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints made no plea for leniency. He ordered his attorneys not to call witnesses during the sentencing phase, and forbade them from making a closing argument Tuesday.

Less than half an hour later, jurors returned with the harshest punishment possible.

(...)

Jeffs stood quietly Tuesday as the sentence was read. He must serve at least 45 years in prison: at least 35 years of a life sentence on one of the child sex charges, and at least 10 years on the other.

During the trial, prosecutors used DNA evidence to show Jeffs fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl and played an audio recording of what they said was him sexually assaulting a 12-year-old.

“If the world knew what I was doing, they would hang me from the highest tree,” Jeffs wrote in 2005, according to one of his journals.

Nichols referred to that passage in his closing Tuesday.

“No, Mr. Jeffs, unlike what you wrote in your priesthood records ... we don’t hang convicts anymore from the highest tree. Not even child molesters,” Nichols said.

Jeffs spent years crisscrossing the country as a fugitive who eventually made the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list before his capture in 2006. Former church members testified that Jeffs ruled with a heavy and abusive hand, and excommunicated 60 church members he saw as a threat to his leadership.

Among Jeffs’ most eccentric orders was banning the color red. Rebecca Musser, a former FLDS member who was once a wife of Jeffs’ father, showed up to the sentencing in a deep red dress.

Prosecutors suggested that the polygamist leader told the girls they needed to have sex with him — in what Jeffs called “heavenly” or “celestial” sessions — in order to atone for sins in his community. Several times in his journals, Jeffs wrote of God telling him to take more and more young girls as brides “who can be worked with and easily taught.”

When police raided the group’s ranch, they found women dressed in frontier-style dresses and hairdos from the 19th century as well as underage girls who were clearly pregnant. The call that spurred the raid turned out to be a hoax, and hundreds of children were returned to their families.

Jeffs is the eighth FLDS man convicted since the raid. Previous sentences ranged from six to 75 years in prison.

Posted on 08/09/2011 6:46 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Berbers, In The Breakdown Of Authority, Temporarily Throw Off Arab Yoke In Libya

From The New York Times:

August 8, 2011

Amid a Berber Reawakening in Libya, Fears of Revenge

YAFRAN, Libya — In the evening, as the searing desert temperatures subside, the residents who have returned to this rebel-held city near the front lines appear on the streets. Some of them carry cans of paint, and begin to decorate murals with the characters of an ancient language that had been forbidden by the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

The language is Tamazight, the tongue of the Amazigh, or Berbers, who, after decades of oppression in Libya are re-emerging as a political force.

As rebels have chased the Qaddafi military from much of the arid highlands in Libya’s west this spring and summer, Yafran has become the easternmost outpost of a cultural and linguistic reawakening that has expanded across the map, and it is expected to expand more.

Overlooking the Libyan desert plain, the city shows signs of a nascent sense of self-determination — a step, the Amazigh hope, toward full national and regional recognition.

“Before we were in darkness — we were invisible,” said Osama Graber, 36, an Amazigh mechanical engineer who is now an opposition fighter. “And now we can be seen, and are tasting freedom.”

No sooner had the Qaddafi forces pulled back from this city than its residents began reasserting their standing, even as the Qaddafi military lingered just beyond rocket range.

They followed a model seen in other traditionally Amazigh cities — including Nalut and Jadu — that have already broken free of the government’s grip. And they hope to build on gains realized by Amazigh people elsewhere, including in Morocco, which gave official standing to the language in June.

Classes in Tamazight are being held. An Amazigh security force has been formed. A local weekly newspaper, called Tamusna, for “wisdom,” has started to circulate in three languages — Tamazight, Arabic and English.

And Amazigh cultural and political leaders have framed a set of public demands for a postconflict Libya. As part of their vision, Tamazight will have an equal standing with Arabic, and Libya will become a parliamentary democracy based on a constitution grounded in tolerance and respect for human rights.

But with these high official aspirations, made possible by force, have come whiffs of revenge, which raise questions about whether the swift social reorganization gathering momentum in Libya risks fueling tensions that could undercut stability in the years ahead, or even lead to intractable internecine war.

After the Qaddafi military withdrew in early June, the houses in Yafran of the Mashaashia, a tribe whose members supported the Qaddafi government, were set upon and burned. Their occupants vanished from these mountains, apparently having fled. Many Amazigh residents say the Mashaashia are not welcome back.

The number of houses burned here is in dispute. Some say perhaps 15 or 20, others say more. The Mashaashia had a small presence in the city, which had a full-time prewar population of about 25,000, and the remaining residents say perhaps 150 of them were chased away.

The arson followed patterns seen in more densely populated Mashaashia areas, including the towns of Awaniya and Qawalish. Many Yafran residents say it was justified.

“These people, they were bad,” said a fighter, who gave only his first name, Hatam. “When the Amazigh families moved away from the fighting, they stayed and broke into homes, took things and killed our sheep.”

The Mashaashia households, other residents said, also provided sons who fought in pro-Qaddafi forces or offered intelligence and logistical support to government troops that besieged the mountains.

The attacks on the Mashaashia, however, seemed not to be directed only against the homes of those known to have sons in the military. Among the ruined houses were those once occupied by families whose connections to the government would seem of little consequence, including that of a widow and her children, who neighbors said were 13 and 16 years old.

Reprisals have been a source of embarrassment for the Transitional National Council, the de facto rebel authority, which has relied on Western support to survive. Officially, after prodding from Western diplomats, rebel leaders said that they would investigate the crimes and try to redress the grievances later.

“They are welcome back to their homes after the war, after we defeat the Qaddafi forces,” Jalal el-Digheily, the new rebel defense minister, said in an interview on Thursday.

But such declarations are not often echoed on the lands the Amazigh consider theirs. Years of oppression and months of bloodshed have hardened sentiments.

Even public officials are comfortable declaring that driving away pro-Qaddafi tribes aligns with a popular mood. One prominent Amazigh official, Gen. Ahmed Ismail el-Gul, who is Yafran’s police chief, was blunt.

“We don’t want them,” he said of the Mashaashia. “The government says they can come back. But the people don’t want them.”

With their enemies now gone from the city, the Amazigh have been slowly restoring life to Yafran. One resident, Yousef Grada, 35, has been cleaning the city, block by block.

Mr. Grada ran a small shop before the war. During the two-month guerrilla effort to chase the Qaddafi soldiers from the city, he was a fighter. He first went to combat, he said, with a meat cleaver, but eventually obtained a captured assault rifle.

Once the Qaddafi forces pulled back, he said, he set aside the blade and the rifle and formed a volunteer cleaning crew. First, he carried away the accumulated garbage and the city’s carpet of spent machine-gun cartridges.

Lately, he has been painting the city’s walls, street by street, which are then decorated with revolutionary and Amazigh murals. He said he was waiting for the end of the war, and full legal recognition. “I am expecting good things,” Mr. Grada said.

A few blocks away, at a former government building that has become a revolutionary exhibit, the main artist, Abdul Ghassem, said the Amazigh revival should not harm other Libyans or be seen as a yearning for separatism.

“We are not looking for our own country,” he said. “We are all Libyans. All we want is our rights.” [nowhere, in any Arab-ruled land, do r non-Muslim minorities -- Copts, Maronites, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Orthodox -- or Muslim but non-Arab minorities (Berbers, Kurds, black Africans)-- enjoy  full equality, much less autonomy]

A doctor at the Yafran hospital said that kind of feeling has made the Amazigh sense that the currents of war and history are now making long-suppressed dreams feel possible. But his own fears — he declined to give his name because, he said, he was worried for the safety of relatives in Tripoli — underscored how treacherous life in Libya remains.

He said he was concerned that tensions between tribes and ethnic groups, long exploited by the Qaddafi government’s patronage system and now one of the dividing lines in this war, could create cycles of resentment and violence that could be hard to calm after an ouster of the Qaddafi clan.

“Absolutely we are worried. People have to learn that getting our rights does not mean threatening other people’s rights,” the doctor said in an interview at the hospital, which is not far from some charred remains of what, until June, had been Mashaashia homes.

Posted on 08/09/2011 7:47 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
"Diversity Is Our Strength"

Really?

Could the riots that have been, or may still be,  taking place in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol and elsewhere, have occurred in Japan, Korea, China?

Why not?

Posted on 08/09/2011 8:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Three takes on Ramadan in the media

Here are three stories pertaining to Ramadan, that I have come across in the past couple of weeks.

The first, which appeared in our Aussie ABC  on August 1st, just before the beginning of the 'fast' (that is, the ostentatious daylight-hour fasting, followed by night-time indulgence) undertaken by the world's Muslims, is a typical puff piece, pure propaganda, unquestioningly swallowing and repeating the PR schtick employed by Muslim 'communities' when they are, as yet, seriously outnumbered by the surrounding non-Muslims.

The second, also from the ABC, is interesting in that it gives the ordinary reader just the smallest glimpse into the obsessive-compulsive by-the-rule mindset that Islam produces and maintains in its adherents.

The third, from the Philippines, presents an interesting mix: on the one hand one has the usual flowery nonsense - 'a season of mercy, peace, and forgiveness' -, but on the other, one is presented with the unpleasant fact that the Filipino police force has, in the past, experienced Ramadan - and certainly the lead-up to Ramadan - as anything but, and was, accordingly, beefing up precautions.

From the ABC, item #1. Tis the season to do da'wa...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-01/ramadan-starts-in-australia/2818480

"Muslims urged to reach out for Ramadan"

'The Muslim religious festival of Ramadan starts today for about half a million Australian Muslims.

Half a million. Where did that figure come from?  We haven't had the 2011 census results yet; we haven't even filled in the forms. - CM

'Khaled Sukkarieh from the Islamic Council of New South Wales says Ramadan means fasting from sunrise to sunset as well as doing charity work.

I observe he says nothing about "the month of Jihad". - CM

'He says the Council is asking Muslim families to open up their homes and invite others to the Ifthar evening meal during the festival.

"That helps people to see what Islam is in a normal home setting", he said.

One wonders whether those particular Muslim families where there is more than one wife involved, will take part; or those families where the 'wife'  is under age.  And I wonder,  if the Jewish, or Christian, or Hindu neighbours were then to invite their Muslim neighbours to share, in turn, say, the Sabbath meal, or the Sunday roast, or one of the Hindu feasts, would the Muslim be willing to step foot inside that house, and eat that Infidel food? - CM

"We are trying to build bridges, break down the barriers, encouraging Muslims to reach out.

Mate: don't try to fool me.  I know what your 'scriptures' say about friendship with Infidels; how it must not be genuine or permanent, but may be faked, if expedient.  I get the sense you're in damage control mode: some of us Aussie infidels are getting too suspicious,  and right now there are too many of  us and not enough of you, so you  have to make nice for the moment, just like it tells you to do in Surah 3 of the Quran.  - CM

'the Muslim fasting month will begin on Monday in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates, it was officially announced in all six countries.

The exact dates of the start and the end of Ramadan depend on the sighting of the new moon, as many Muslim countries reject using astronomical calculation for the Muslim lunar calendar.

Thank you, ABC, you have just unintentionally exposed the obdurate obscurantism of Islam, its hostility toward innovation and science. - CM

...Muslims observe the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar when Archangel Gabriel revealed (sic: this should be, instead, "when Muslims claim the Archangel Gabriel revealed" - CM) the Koran - Islam's holy book - to the Prophet Mohammed (sic: this should be "to Mohammed" , for he is only a 'Prophet' in Muslim eyes, not in the eyes of the other six billion humans on the planet - CM).

"The fast is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, which able Muslims should do once in a lifetime".

I observe no mention of the so-called 'sixth pillar of Islam', namely, Jihad

'Sweltering temperatures in the Gulf Arab countries and the length of time between dawn and sunset will make Ramadan in August a trying ritual for Muslims."

Yes, let's all feel sorry for the poor, poor little Muslims as they go about all day with long faces, ostentatiously exhibiting their devotion and the severity of their self-denial...until the sun sets and they can party all night long to their hearts' content....

Now for item # 2, from BBC and AFP via the ABC, nicely illustrating the obsessive-compulsive mindset that Islam tends to produce:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-08/burj-khalifa-residents-told-to-fast-longer-during-ramadan/2828816

'Tower residents given tall order for Ramadan'

'Muslims living in the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, have been told they should fast longer during the Ramadan holy months.

'During Ramadan Muslims are forbidden to eat and drink between dawn and dusk.

'The Burj Khalifa is almost one kilometre high, which means people in higher floors can still see the sun after those at ground level have seen it fall beneath the horizon.

'One Dubai cleric has been quoted as saying that people living above the 80th floor should fast for an extra two minutes, while those on the 150th floor and higher should wait for three more minutes before eating or drinking...

And people in dar al Islam can spend their whole lives obsessing about stuff like that..  On top of all the other, nastier stuff they are taught to obsess about.

Which stuff has been carefully omitted from the previous two stories, but manages to get a mention in item #3.

From Nash B Maulana, reporting for the 'Inquirier' in Mindanao, last Monday:.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/34099/ramadan-monthlong-fasting-starts

 'Ramadan month-long fasting starts.

'Cotobato City, Philippines - Millions of Filipino Muslims begin today (Monday) the observance of Ramadan, a holy month of fasting for followers of Islam around the world.

'As Muslims prepared for Ramadan, police placed their units in Western Mindanao on alert to preempt any violence from extremist (sic: Jihadist - CM) and criminal bands.

'During the month, devotees of Islam are expected to abstain during daylight hours from food, drink, smoking and sex to focus on spirituality...

Official statements issued on Saturday in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Yemen said the holy month would start - as it would among Muslims in the largely Roman Catholic Philippines - on Monday...

'Time for prayers

'The Dharul Ifta (House of Opinion), a collective body of Islamic scholars and clerics in Cotabato City, said that since the moon had not been sighted from selected observation points until late Saturday, the Ramadan fasting would start Monday.

Now we get a little gratuitous boasting and puffery - CM

'Estimates of the number of Filipino Muslims vary from 3.86 million, according to 2000 data released by the National Statistics Office, to a little over 5 million, according to US government figures. The Islamic Web put it at 10.4 million.

They would.  Muslims always go for the biggest figure that is even barely credible. It's all about projecting power. - CM

'During the month, many Muslims spend longer time in seclusion, which they devote to prayers, said Ustadz Jaafar Alik president of the National Ulama Council of the Philippines.

'They also "avoid hurting others, even through backbiting, during the daily fasting", he said.

Given the sorts of things that have happened in previous years in Muslim countries during Ramadan, I am afraid I do not believe him - CM

"Ramadan is about physical and spiritual cleansing to stay fit and keep the faith strong, not about hurting other people", Ali said.

Ah yes, but do non-Muslims count as 'people'? - CM

"Ramadan is not about fanaticism", he said. "It's a season of mercy, repentance and forgiveness".

'Ali said causing even the slightest physical hurt upon a person would invalidate the fast and that hatred should have no place especially during the fasting season.

Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much. - CM

'He said that fasting was also being taught by other religions, not by Islam alone.

'Ali's remarks followed police claims that some groups might use the Ramadan period to engage in violent activities.

'Earlier, Chief Supt Felicisimo Khu, the chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (Dipo) in Western Mindanao, said the police had raised the alert level in anticipation of an upsurge of crimes and terrorist activities.

"As in the past, crimes and terrorism usually occur ahead of the fasting month so we put our troops on an alert status", Khu said.

'Citing what he called intelligence reports, Khu said at least 10 improvised explosive devices had been prepared by the Jemaah Islamiyah-linked bomber Basil Usman to be set off in populated areas of Mindanao.  Police and military forces are also on guard against kidnap-for-ransom gangs which prey on Chinese-filipino traders, according to Khu...".

Let's see whose version of Ramadan is borne out by events - the flowery nonsense from Mr Sukkarieh and Mr Ali, or the grimmer fact-based fears of Mr Khu.  But I hope that the Infidel police in those many countries besides the Philippines that have sizeable Muslim populations, are as  warily prepared for Ramadan as Mr Khu appears to be.   - CM.

Posted on 08/09/2011 7:23 AM by Christina McIntosh
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
A Musical Interlude: When I Take My Sugar To Tea (Harry Reser Orch.)

Listen here.

Posted on 08/09/2011 8:44 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
British Taxpayers Unwittingly Support Arab Suicide Bombers

Families of suicide bombers given £5m in British aid cash

The Daily Mail

By Matthew Kalman

8th August 2011

British aid cash is being given to the families of suicide bombers, it was claimed last night.

The Palestinian Authority, which gets £86million of British aid a year, has authorised payments of almost £5million to the families of ‘martyrs’.

Another £3million has been given to 5,500 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. The payments, using taxpayers’ cash donated from Britain and the European Union, have been described as ‘ludicrous’ by one Tory MP.

 
Hamas militants: The families of so-called 'martyrs' are given millions by the Palestinian Authority

Hamas militants: The families of so-called 'martyrs' are given millions by the Palestinian Authority

The Palestinian Authority, which oversees the West Bank, has introduced a new law which pays the families of suicide bombers out of its civil service budget.

According to the official Palestinian daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, payments to the families of ‘martyrs’ – those killed fighting Israel, including suicide bombers – totalled 3.5 per cent of the budget.

 

‘Every terrorist in prison, including those whose acts led to the deaths of Israeli civilians, are on the PA payroll,’ said Itamar Marcus, of Palestinian Media Watch.

‘The salary goes directly to the terrorist or the terrorist’s family, and prisoners receive their salaries from the day of arrest.’

Tory MP Philip Davies said the payments were ‘ludicrous’. He added: ‘People think overseas aid is to try to alleviate terrible poverty in places where they can’t afford to look after themselves. But it’s being put to these kind of purposes.

‘It would be bad enough at the best of times, but at a time when we have got no money, it is utterly inexcusable.’

Last month, Britain committed to giving £86million a year in aid to the Palestinian Authority until 2015.

The payments to families and prisoners are on a sliding scale, from £250 a month for prisoners sentenced to less than three years, to a maximum of £2,140 a month for anyone serving more than 30 years.

The payments compare with salaries of £515 for a regular Palestinian civil servant and £480 for officers in the Palestinian security forces.

Minister of State Alan Duncan said in February: ‘We are very careful how we spend our money in the occupied Palestinian territories. We would abhor any money falling into the hands of extremists.’

The Government is under pressure for the amount of aid it is handing out at a time of austerity. It plans to increase foreign aid payments by 35 per cent to £11.4billion by 2015.

This comes despite several scandals involving aid. Last week, it was revealed that money to Ethiopia was being used as a political tool and those who oppose the government do not receive handouts.

David Cameron has admitted that the controversial pledge to spend billions more on international aid was a ‘difficult commitment’ at a time when spending programmes were being slashed at home.

The Prime Minister admitted that some aid had been ‘wasted’, but continued to dismiss ‘aid sceptics’.

Posted on 08/09/2011 8:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Views From London

See here.

Posted on 08/09/2011 9:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Hints Of Home Truths In The Times

From The New York Times:

Epidemics: AIDS Cases Increasing in Muslim Countries

AIDS is on the rise in many Muslim countries, driven by men having sex with other men in secret because of homophobia, religious intolerance and fear of being jailed or executed, according to a new study.

The new report, released last week in the journal PLoS Medicine, was led by researchers from the Qatar branch of Weill Cornell Medical College who drew from dozens of smaller studies in Arabic, French and English.

About 2 to 3 percent of men in the region have sex with other men, [this figure  is nonsense; multiplying it by ten might start to come close to the real figures] consistent with global averages, the study found. But condom use is low, gay and bisexual prostitution is common, and many married men hide their bisexuality and risk infecting their wives. In some countries, even male prostitutes often marry for appearances’ sake.

Truck drivers, prisoners and street children often have high rates of H.I.V. infection; in Pakistan, infection rates are rising rapidly among transgender prostitutes known as hijra.

The lowest rates of condom use were reported in populous countries like Egypt and Pakistan, while they were highest in Sudan (above), Oman and Lebanon.

To fight their nascent epidemics, some countries have adopted compulsory H.I.V. testing for marriage licenses and work visas.

Because of religious taboos, accurate statistics on some aspects of health are hard to get from Middle Eastern governments. For example, international health authorities say that the world’s highest rates of birth defects are in Muslim countries where cousins are encouraged to marry but that governments are reluctant to admit it.

 
Posted on 08/09/2011 9:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Qasim Rashid Asks A Question He Never Should Have Asked

A Muslim apologist who is both very stupid, and thinks American Infidels are even more stupid, asks if critics of Islam even bother to find out about Islam. He apparently thinks they will stick to 2.256 (which does not mean what non-Muslims often take it to mean) and 5.32 without 5.33, and of course will never read commentaries on the Qur'an, or look into the even more disturbing stories in the Hadith.

Here's his article at The Washington Post:

08/08/2011

Do critics actually read the Koran?


Libyan children study Koran inside the mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, Aug. 6, 2011. (Sergey Ponomarev - AP)

Norweigian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik killed 76 innocent people in a demented campaign to destroy Islam. Comedian Bill Maher recently called the Koran a “hate-filled holy book.” Evangelical atheist Sam Harris insists, “on almost every page the Koran instructs observant Muslims to despise non-believers .” And Peter King continues his anti-Muslim campaign to become the 21st century Senator McCarthy.


And in case I missed these public events, my readers remind me with private emails.

“The Koran contains much anti-Jewish language,” explained Leonard. “The true lovers of the Koran show their kindness by butchering non-Muslims,” added Angel. A tenured preacher in Richmond, Virginia (who asked to remain anonymous) wrote to me admitting, “I don’t know much about the Muslim doctrine, but your holy book certainly does not teach peace or pluralism.” For someone who admittedly ‘didn’t know much’ about Islam, he banked pretty confidently in his conclusion.

So here’s the $1 million question: Do critics actually read the Koran?

Well, I couldn’t find any reports indicating Bill Maher has actually ever read the Koran. That’s not to say that he hasn’t. Though, even during his recent interview of Congressman Keith Ellison, Maher largely quoted what Sam Harris told him to believe about the Koran, but never actually mentioned he read it himself. And Sam Harris, well he had to have actually read it. How else could he so effectively pick and choose parts of verses to successfully develop his argument? It’s not like he’s making money off it…oh, right. Does Peter King actually know any Muslims? As for Breivik, he and bin Laden now share two characteristics -- mass murdering and Koranic illiteracy.

But stay with me, I promise to address the criticism and not just criticize the critics. First things first, critics aside, why should non-Muslims in general even care to read the Koran?

Well, consider our American leaders as an example. On the surface, Thomas Jefferson, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama might seem vastly different in policy. But, these presidents have each read the Koran. Jefferson, a Founding Father, valued his personal Koran. Bush, a conservative Republican, called the Koran “a very thoughtful gift.” Obama, a Democrat who is not a Muslim, studied the Koran, even as a child. Jefferson, Bush, Obama—why not follow their example?

But the problem runs deeper. Pew reports the American Muslim approval rating is well below 50 percent. Pew also reports that less than half of Americans surveyed even know a Muslim personally. And, at least 17 states have proposed legislation to ban Shariah Law, i.e. the law of the Koran. For as much as we don’t know about the Koran, one-third of our nation’s states are banking it doesn’t promote peace and pluralism…sound familiar?

In a time of soaring unemployment, international strife, and plummeting public education, and a debt-ceiling crisis from...a very hot place, one out of every three states is spending tax dollars on what basically amounts to a Koran ban. I wonder, then, how many have bothered to read the Koran to learn about Islam firsthand? The optimist in me believes this is due to a lack of access, not promotion of malice. But the realist in me asks, ever heard of Google? In fact, here’s a free pdf copy.

And if nothing else, long live the Golden Rule. [read Ali Sina, at the website www.faithfreedom.org, on the Golden Rule in Islam, here]Muslims read the Bible and the Torah and Islam proudly testifies that previous scriptures contain truth. (I personally own—and study—a copy of each). Let us do unto Muslims…

But unfortunately, all we hear from the critics is that the Koran is a “hate-filled holy book” and that “Muslims are dangerous” are verse excerpts like this: “And kill them wherever you meet them…” (2:192). While critics scoff at the “you’re taking it out of context” argument, any judge in any court in any country in any era will explain the uncompromising importance of context when interpreting laws. And that is one thing the Koran is -- a book of laws.

The verse previous to 2:192 states: “And fight in the cause of God against those who fight against you, but do not transgress,”—specifying that fighting is defensive, not preemptive. The rest of 2:192 adds: “and drive them out from where they have driven you out; for persecution is worse than killing,”—explaining the right to reclaim rightful property. While the aforementioned verses permit Muslims to fight defensively, the subsequent verses (2:193-94) demand Muslims desist fighting immediately when their opponents desist, “But if they desist, then remember that no hostility is allowed except against the aggressors.”

This principle is re-iterated throughout the Koran. In fact, 22:40 establishes the rules of war, “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged.” Then, 22:41 commands Muslims to protect all houses of worship—cloisters, churches, synagogues, and mosques—to secure universal religious freedom. Such intolerable hatred, no?

This Ramadan, look at the first word of the Koran ever revealed, iqra. (96:2) Iqra, which also means - you guesed it - read, and go from there. Each of the verses critics cite as [insert negative attribute here] has a clear and logical explanation, surely understood, but only once we actually iqra the Koran.

And that, you can bank on.

_______________________________

Commentary: Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq and many others who survived Islam and lived to tell about it, beg eloquently to differ. You can google their names, read their books, see them on YouTube in some cases.

And then there is Ali Sina on the non-existence of the  "Golden Rule" in Islam -- which Golden Rule Qasim Rashid tells us  in his article he's all for. Sin's piece can be found at the website he runs for, and written by, ex-Muslims, that is defectors from the Army of Islam. That website is www.faithfreedom.org.

Take a look.

And then take a look at both Qur'an, and commentaries on the Qur'an by Muslim scholars (never mind the non-Muslims), and the Hadith, that written record of the words and acts of Muhammad that provide Muslims with a gloss on the Qur'an, and a guide to their existence. It has been said that the Hadith may, as a guide to lifel  be even more important than the Qur'an for the Believer.

Posted on 08/09/2011 11:05 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Islamic Republic Of Iran -- Which Does Not Hesitate To Kill Political Protesters -- Demands UK Police Use "Restraint"

The  totalitarian police-state of Islamic Iran, that does not hesitate to imprison in torture chambers, or hang, or shoot, or decapitate elderly couples, or to bury alive, or delapidate, those accused of adultery, that sometimes uses its own kangaroo courts and sometimes merely has extra-judicial squands of True Believers serve as informal enforcers of the regime by taking the Shari'a into their own hands and doing the hanging, the decapitating, the shooting, the burying and delapidating, those deemed enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Law for which it stands, now blandly tells the government of the U.K. that its police should show more "restraint."

More restraint than what the British police were shown demonstrating yesterday on CNN, as they stood about, while looters helped themselves in Peckham to whatever they could find of high value -- no jean-valjean loaves of bread for them -- such things as Samsung LED flat-panel television sets, and other necessities of life -- cannot possibly be conceived. The CNN reporter, Dan Rivers, though English, was similarly nonplussed at the inaction by the police. He couldn't understand it.

Thee British police should be taught to carry and use weapons, and then usee them. The American police are a model to emulate in this new, anything-goes atmosphere. Start with shots aimed not to kill but to wound, but don't be so worried that someone might be killed not to use live fire to halt rioters.

Police in Peckham? Why? 

Posted on 08/09/2011 11:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
A Musical Interlude: Don't Ever Change (Billy Thorburn Orch., voc. Helen Raymond)

Look at the pictures of London in the 1930s, and listen, here.

Posted on 08/09/2011 11:51 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
The British Police Guilty Of Senseless Non-Violence

From foxnews:

British Police Face Public Anger as Riots Rage

 

Britons swept up, patched up and feared further violence Tuesday, demanding police do more to protect them after three nights of rioting left looted stores, torched cars and blackened buildings across London and several other U.K. cities.

Police said they were working full-tilt, but found themselves under attack -- from rioters roaming the streets, from a scared and worried public, and from politicians whose cost-cutting is squeezing police numbers ahead of next year's Olympic Games.

London's Metropolitan Police force vowed an unprecedented operation to stop more rioting, flooding the streets Tuesday with 16,000 officers, nearly three times Monday's total.

Although the riots started Saturday with a protest over a police shooting, they have morphed into a general lawlessness that police have struggled to halt with ordinary tactics. Police in Britain generally avoid tear gas, water cannons or other strong-arm riot measures. [what is so "strong arm" about tear gas and water cannons? They should act as the police in America act. It's the only way]. Many shops targeted by looters had goods that youths would want anyway -- sneakers, bikes, electronics, leather goods -- while other buildings were torched apparently just for the fun of seeing something burn.

Police said plastic bullets were "one of the tactics" being considered to stop the looting. The bullets were common in Northern Ireland durings its years of unrest but have never before been used in mainland Britain.

But police acknowledged they could not guarantee there would be no more violence. Stores, offices and nursery schools in several parts of London closed early amid fears of fresh rioting Tuesday night.

"We have lots of information to suggest that there may be similar disturbances tonight," Commander Simon Foy told the BBC. "That's exactly the reason why the Met (police force) has chosen to now actually really 'up the game' and put a significant number of officers on the streets."

The riots and looting caused heartache for Londoners whose businesses and homes were torched or looted, and a crisis for police and politicians already staggering from a spluttering economy and a scandal over illegal phone hacking by a tabloid newspaper that has dragged in senior politicians and police.

"The public wanted to see tough action. They wanted to see it sooner and there is a degree of frustration," said Andrew Silke, head of criminology at the University of East London.

London's beleaguered police force called the violence the worst in memory, noting they received more than 20,000 emergency calls on Monday -- four times the normal number. Scotland Yard has called in reinforcements from around the country and asked all volunteer special constables to report for duty.

Police launched a murder inquiry after a man found with a gunshot wound during riots in the south London suburb of Croydon died of his injuries Tuesday. Police said 44 officers and 14 members of the public were hurt, including a man in his 60s with life-threatening injuries.

So far over 560 people have been arrested in London and over 100 charged, and the capital's prison cells were overflowing. Several dozen more were arrested in other cities.

Prime Minister David Cameron -- who cut short a holiday in Italy to deal with the crisis -- recalled Parliament from its summer recess for an emergency debate on the riots and looting that have spread from the deprived London neighborhood of Tottenham to districts across the capital, and the cities of Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol.

Cameron described the scenes of burning buildings and smashed windows as "sickening," but refrained from tougher measures such as calling in the military to help police restore order.

"People should be in no doubt that we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain's streets and to make them safe for the law-abiding," Cameron told reporters after a crisis meeting at his Downing Street office.

Parliament will return to duty on Thursday, as the political fallout from the rampage takes hold. The crisis is a major test for Cameron's Conservative-led coalition government.

A soccer match scheduled for Wednesday between England and the Netherlands at London's Wembley stadium was canceled to free up police officers for riot duty.

A wave of violence and looting raged across London on Monday night, as authorities struggled to contain the country's worst unrest since race riots set the capital ablaze in the 1980s. Groups of young people rampaged for a third straight night, setting buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps alight, looting stores and pelting police officers with bottles and fireworks.

Rioters, able to move quickly and regroup to avoid the police, were left virtually unchallenged in several neighborhoods, plundering stores at will.

Silke said until police were seen arresting large numbers of rioters, it will be hard to control the rioting.

"People are seeing images of lines of police literally running away from rioters," he said. "For young people that is incredibly empowering. They are breaking the rules, they are getting away with it, no one is able to stop them."

Politicians visited riot sites Tuesday -- but for many residents it was too little, too late.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was booed by crowds who shouted "Go home!" during a walkabout in Birmingham, while London mayor Boris Johnson -- who flew back overnight from his summer vacation -- was heckled on a shattered shopping street in Clapham, south London.
Johnson said the riots would not stop London "welcoming the world to our city" for the Olympics.

"We have time in the next 12 months to rebuild, to repair the damage that has been done," he said. "I'm not saying it will be done overnight, but this is what we are going to do."

Violence first broke out late Saturday in the low-income, multiethnic district of Tottenham in north London, after a protest against the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four who was gunned down in disputed circumstances Thursday.

Police said Duggan was shot dead when officers from Operation Trident -- the unit that investigates gun crime in the black community -- stopped a cab he was riding in.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating the shooting, said a "non-police firearm" was recovered at the scene. But the Guardian newspaper reported that a bullet in the officer's radio was police-issue, indicating Duggan may not have fired at the officer.

An inquest into Duggan's death was opened Tuesday, though it will likely be several months before a full hearing.

Duggan's death stirred memories of the bad old days of the 1980s, when many black Londoners felt they were disproportionately stopped and searched by police. The frustration erupted in violent riots in 1985.

Relations have improved since then but tensions remain, and many young people of all races mistrust the police.

Others pointed to rising social tensions in Britain as the government slashes $130 billion from public spending by 2015 to reduce the huge deficit, swollen after the country spent billions bailing out its foundering banks.

Many rioters appeared to relish the opportunity for violence. "Come join the fun!" shouted one youth as looters hit the east London suburb of Hackney.

In Hackney, one of the boroughs hosting next year's Olympics, hundreds of youths left a trail of burning trash and shattered glass. Looters ransacked a convenience store, filling plastic shopping bags with alcohol, cigarettes, candy and toilet paper.

Disorder flared throughout the night, from gritty suburbs along the capital's fringes to west London's posh Notting Hill neighborhood.

In Croydon, fire gutted a 140-year-old family run department store, House of Reeves, and forced nearby homes to be evacuated.

"I'm the fifth generation to run this place," said owner Graham Reeves, 52. "I have two daughters. They would have been he sixth.

"No one's stolen anything," he said. "They just burnt it down."

In the Clapham Junction area of south London, a mob stole masks from a party store to disguise their identities and then set the building on fire. In nearby Peckham, a building and a bus were set ablaze. Cars were torched in nearby Lewisham, and in west London's Ealing suburb the windows of each store along entire streets had been smashed.

A blaze gutted a Sony Corp. distribution center in north London, damaging DVDs and other products, and about 100 young people clashed with police in north London around Camden.

"We locked all the doors, and my wife even packed a bag to flee," said 27-year-old Camden resident Simon Dance. "We had Twitter rolling until midnight just to keep up with the news. We were too afraid to even look out the window."

Outside London, dozens of people attacked shops in Birmingham's main retail district, and clashed with police in Liverpool and Bristol.

On Tuesday, as Londoners emerged with brooms to help sweep the streets of broken glass, many called for police to use water cannons, tear gas or rubber bullets to disperse rioters, or bring out the military for support. Although security forces in Northern Ireland regularly use all those methods, they have not been seen on the mainland in decades.

Conservative lawmaker Patrick Mercer said that policy should be reconsidered.

"They should have the tools available and they should use them if the commander on the ground thinks it's necessary," he said.

But the government rejected the calls, for now.

"The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon," Home Secretary Theresa May told Sky News. "The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities."

The riots could not have come at a worse time for police, a year before the Olympic Games, which Scotland Yard says will be the biggest challenge in its 182-year history.

The government has slashed police budgets as part of its spending cuts. A report last month by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said the cuts -- a third of which have already taken place -- will mean 16,000 fewer police officers by 2015.

Opposition Labour lawmaker David Winnick said the government should scrap its plan to cut police numbers.

"I think it's absolute madness in view of what's happened over the last few nights," he said.

The force also is without a full-time leader after chief Paul Stephenson quit last month amid a scandal over the ties between senior officers and Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers, which are being investigated for hacking phone voicemails and bribing police for information. The force's top counterterrorism officer, John Yates, also quit over the hacking scandal.

Police representatives say officers are demoralized, and feel a sense of betrayal by politicians and their leaders.

Constable Paul Deller, a 25-year veteran working in a police control center during Monday's violence, said the rioting was "horrific."

He acknowledged there were not enough officers on the streets to stop it, but said "we gave it everything we could."

______________

Comment: Constable Paul Deller should see some of what anyone who saw CNN could see. For example, I saw dozens of policemen standing around, not making a move, as shops were looted in Peckham, with some televisions being smashed to the ground by looters- perhaps the looters had some extras, and realized they couldn't carry them all --just for the hell of it. I've never seen police behave as these police did. It made no sense. It was senseless non-violence. I hope that telling phrase I've just come up with, and that will be the title of this posting, takes off. It should.

 
Posted on 08/09/2011 12:03 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Indian Tribe Wiped Out By Insensate Greed?

Gleison Miranda / FUNAI / Survival International

By Stephanie Pappas

This 2010 image shows part of an uncontacted Indian tribe in western Brazil. The tribe has disappeared since a group of armed men (presumed to be Peruvian drug traffickers) overran a Brazilian guardpost near the tribe's lands. Brazilian officials are now looking for signs of the missing tribe.
 
Amazon tribe that made headlines earlier this year after being filmed from the air is feared missing after presumed drug traffickers overran the Brazilian guards posted to protect the tribe's lands.

According to tribal advocacy group Survival International, Brazilian officials can find no trace of the Indians in the area after heavily armed men ransacked the guard post in western Brazil, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the Peruvian border. Like other uncontacted tribes, the Indians live a traditional life in the forest and do not have contact with the outside world.

Workers from FUNAI, the government bureau of Indian affairs, found a broken arrow in one of the men's backpacks, raising fears for the tribe's safety.

"We think the Peruvians made the Indians flee," Carlos Travassos, the head of the government's isolated Indians department, said in a statement. "Now we have good proof. We are more worried than ever."

Lost tribe
As many as 2,000 uncontacted Indians may live in the Javari Valley of the western Amazon, Survival International estimates. Brazilian officials keep an eye on tribal lands but do not force contact with the inhabitants. In February, Brazil's Indian Affairs Department released aerial photos and film of the tribe that is now missing, revealing thatched dwellings, tribe members in red body paint, and gardens full of manioc tubers and papaya.

More photographs, video and earlier story

Now the Indians seem to have disappeared. According to Survival International, police found a package containing 44 pounds of cocaine in the area. That could mean that the Envira River, where the Brazilian guard post is located, is now an entry point into Brazil for Peruvian cocaine smugglers, they said.

According to local reports, police have detained one man, a Portuguese national who was arrested and deported for drug trafficking in March. Jose Carlos Meirelles, who headed the remote guard post, is now back in the area and reported that several groups of men armed with sub-machine guns and rifles are in the forest near the base. 

Guns aren't the only threat to uncontacted Indians. Common diseases can also kill them, because they have not built up immunity to the viruses and bacteria outside their forest home. According to Survival International's uncontactedtribes.org, there are about 100 uncontacted tribes in existence worldwide.

"This situation could be one of the biggest blows we have ever seen in the protection of uncontacted Indians in recent decades," Travassos said, referring to the possible drug traffickers. "It's a catastrophe."

Posted on 08/09/2011 1:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Save This, But Only In Order To Compare The Writer's Latest Prediction Of An Imminent Collapse Of The Alawite Regime With What Happens

Breakdown in Damascus?

The use of deadly force against peaceful demonstrators has been the hallmark of the Assad reaction to protests, and yesterday the King of Saudi Arabia referred to this practice as Assad’s “killing machine.”  A key question is whether and when the armed forces will resist– will begin to wonder what kind of future Syria has, and they have in Syria, as the killing escalates.

The survival of the regime is at stake, for it is surviving now on brute force alone.

It is in that context that the death of the man who was an Assad intimate and his Defense Minister, Ali Habib, is so striking.  There were reports that he had objected to the use of the military in Hama.  And according to news reports, after being fired Monday Habib was found dead in his home Tuesday.  The official news agency noted that he had been suffering from a deterioration in his health.  As we are talking about Assad’s Syria, that deterioration may have been very rapid indeed: it may have occurred immediately after he was shot.

Habib rose through the ranks, had been an important military figure for nearly twenty years, and had been Defense Minister for two.  He was a regime stalwart.  That Assad felt the need not only to sideline him but–if the reports are accurate–to have him killed shows a regime truly falling apart.  The decision to kill Habib would have been meant as a warning to other generals to stick with the Assads or face a similar fate, but may have the opposite effect: it might persuade some of them that Assad is leading them, the Army, and the country to disaster.  This is the kind of thing that leads to defections and coups, and if the Army cracks the regime won’t last long.

share this page

Posted on 08/09/2011 1:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Louis Rene Beres And John T. Chain: Israel, Iran, And Nuclear Deterrence

 From The Jerusalem Post:

   Nuclear deterrence is a game that even sane, rational governments may have to play, but there can be no assurance that enemies will always be rational. This presents a grave security problem, because the entire logic of nuclear deterrence rests squarely on the assumption that each state will always value its continued survival more highly than anything else. It follows that even a nuclear-weapons state able to destroy an aggressor after suffering an enemy first-strike attack could still lose the game.

A nuclear Iran is pretty much a fait accompli. For Israel, soon to be deprived of any remaining cost effective preemption options, this means forging a strategy to coexist with a nuclear Iran. This essential strategy of nuclear deterrence will call for reduced ambiguity about its strategic forces; enhanced and partially disclosed nuclear targeting options; substantial and partially disclosed programs for active defenses; recognizable steps to ensure the survivability of its nuclear retaliatory forces; and, to bring all these elements together, a comprehensive strategic doctrine.

In addition, because of the logical possibility of enemy irrationality, Israel’s military planners must continue to identify suitable ways of ensuring that even a nuclear “suicide state” can be deterred. Such a perilous threat is very small, but it is not negligible. And although the probability of having to face such an irrational enemy state is low, the probable harm of any single deterrence failure could be intolerably high.

ISRAEL NEEDS to maintain and strengthen its plans for ballistic-missile defense (the Arrow system), and also for Iron Dome, designed to guard against shorter-range rocket attacks. Still, these systems, including Magic Wand, which is still in the development phase, will inevitably have “leakage.” Their principal benefit, therefore, must ultimately lie in enhanced deterrence rather than in any added physical protection.

For example, a newly-nuclear Iran, if still rational, would require steadily increasing numbers of offensive missiles to achieve a sufficiently destructive first-strike capability. Significantly, however, there could come a time when Iran will be able to deploy far more than a small number of nuclear-tipped missiles. Should that happen, Arrow, Iron Dome and, potentially, Magic Wand could cease their critical contribution to Israeli nuclear deterrence.

What if the leaders of a newly-nuclear Iran do not meet the expectations of rational behavior? What if this leadership does not consistently value Iran’s national survival more highly than any other preference? In such unprecedented circumstances, Israel’s leaders would need to look closely at two eccentric and more-or-less untried deterrence strategies, possibly in tandem with one another. First, they would have to understand that even an irrational Iranian leadership could have distinct hierarchies of preferences. Their task would be to determine precisely what these preferences might be (most likely, they would have to do with certain religious goals), and how these preferences are apt to be ranked in Tehran.

Second, Israel’s leaders would have to determine the likely deterrence benefit of their own perceived irrationality. An irrational Iranian enemy could be less likely to strike first if it felt Israel’s decision-makers were also irrational. Years ago, Gen. Moshe Dayan, then the minister of defense, said: “Israel must be seen as a mad dog; too dangerous to bother.” Here, Dayan revealed an intuitive awareness of the possible benefits of feigned irrationality.

There is an antecedent point. Before Israel’s leaders can proceed with any usable plans for deterring an irrational nuclear adversary, they must first be convinced that this adversary is in fact irrational, and not merely pretending irrationality.

BECAUSE ALL specific Israeli deterrence policies must be premised on the presumed rationality or irrationality of nuclear enemies, ascertaining precise enemy preferences should become the very first phase of strategic planning. It goes without saying that Israel’s usual military assets should be carefully augmented by collaboration with its wider intelligence community.

Finally, as a newly-nuclear Iran could decide to share some of its fissile material with assorted terrorist groups, Israel’s leaders may also have to deal with irrational nuclear enemies at the sub-state level. This prospect is likely much greater than that of irrationality at the national level. At the same time, the harm suffered from nuclear terror would probably be less overwhelming.

Soon, facing the prospect of a nuclear Iran, Israel must select refined and workable options to deal with two separate but interpenetrating levels of danger.

Should Iranian leaders be judged to meet the usual tests of rationality, Israel will have to focus especially on taking its Bomb out of the “basement,” and on developing a retaliatory force that is appropriately hardened and dispersed. This second-strike nuclear force, counter value, not counter-force targeted, should be recognizably ready to inflict assured destruction against enemy cities.

Where Israel’s leaders determine that they may have to deter an irrational enemy leadership, they will also have to consider the possible strategic benefits of appearing to be a “mad dog.” Together with any such consideration, both Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv civilian and military leaders will need to determine what exactly is valued most highly by the country’s enemies, and then prepare to issue fully credible threats to these enemy preferences.

Whether Iran’s leadership is rational or irrational, Israel will need to continue with its expanding programs for cyber-defense and cyber-war.

In the past, a nuclear Iran could still have been prevented. But today, in the likely absence of any remaining options for “anticipatory self-defense,” Israel’s best available choice will be to deter an already nuclear Iran. Should it succeed in this indispensable objective, the security benefits would accrue not only to Israel itself, but also to the United States.

Louis René Beres is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University. The author of many major books and articles in the field, he was chair of Project Daniel (Israel).

Gen. John T. Chain was commander-in-chief of the US Strategic Air Command (CINCSAC) and director of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff. He has also served as chief of staff for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and as director of the US State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs.

 
Posted on 08/09/2011 9:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Istanbul Remembered As It Was "In The Wonderful 60s And 70s" And Istanbul Today

Turkish athlete claims she was hit for wearing shorts on public bus

August 9, 2011
Ä°brahimoÄŸlu claimed she went to AyazaÄŸa Police station the next day to file a complaint but no one paid attention to her.

Ä°brahimoÄŸlu claimed she went to AyazaÄŸa Police station the next day to file a complaint but no one paid attention to her.

Volleyball player Nurcan Ä°brahimoÄŸlu, 19, claimed she was hit on an Istanbul public bus in July for wearing shorts, daily Vatan reported Tuesday.

Ä°brahimoÄŸlu took a bus from the Bahçeköy neighborhood to the Levent district on July 28, just a few days before the holy month of Ramadan was set to start on Aug. 1.

She said she sat on a seat wearing basketball shorts and stretched her legs out toward the aisle.

A male passenger reportedly hit Ä°brahimoÄŸlu's feet while walking past her and sat next to her despite other available seating. Ä°brahimoÄŸlu asked the man to apologize for hitting her feet. The man in turn yelled at Ä°brahimoÄŸlu, saying, "You cannot sit on this bus, stretching out your naked legs, you are corrupting the morals of the people," and called her "insolent."

Ä°brahimoÄŸlu responded by saying he was the one being insolent, which prompted the man to punch her in the face, splitting her lip. Passengers on the bus calmed the situation but stopped Ä°brahimoÄŸlu from calling the police to prevent any "trouble," DoÄŸan news agency, or DHA, reported.

The assailant then asked the passengers if anyone saw him hitting her, to which nobody replied.

Ä°brahimoÄŸlu claimed she went to AyazaÄŸa Police station the next day to file a complaint, but no one paid attention to her. She later went to the forensics department at the ÅžiÅŸli courthouse to get a battering report, but she was not given one on grounds that "she had no broken bones or stab wound."

 

24 Comments   Bookmark and Share  printer friendly PRINTER FRIENDLY

 
 

READER COMMENTS

 

 
 
Guest - 7Hills
2011-08-09 17:37:22
  Furthermore, this just proves the role and position of women, and girls, in this society. What is next? The assailant is a coward and so were the other passengers on that bus.  

 

 
 
Guest - 7Hills
2011-08-09 17:35:24
  This is disgusting. How can no one on a bus see a man assaulting a young woman. She was wearing shorts, in the summer. Is that wrong? This is really sad and to add insult to the Turkey that many of us love, not even officials wanted to help her! Sad  

 

 
 
Guest - Sakke
2011-08-09 17:23:15
  It is rather peculiar that a man defends "the morals of the people," (as he puts it him self), by punching a woman in the face and splits her lip. I do not like that type of "moral". Wonder if the same applies to men in shorts.....  

 

 
 
Guest - Johnny
2011-08-09 17:13:30
  @PENWISE Turkey is NOT at Muslim country! how would you react if you were instead of that girl? Shame to be to all people that act the same like that pig. and the girl has all my respect for standing up to the man.  

 

 
 
Guest - Force of religion NOO WAAY
2011-08-09 17:06:10
  Pennwise. You are free to excerise Islam and dress and you as you wish. But never ever ever let a Muslim force other non believers to do or wear things they do not want, just becuase you are a believer. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE VIEWS FROM YOU!!!  

 

 
 
Guest - Changes
2011-08-09 17:02:23
  When you look at old pictures from the Istanbul street life, from the 1960's and 1970's, you see quite a number of miniskirts (the same lenght as the fasion in Europe, i.e. really "mini"). People seemed more tolerant back then. Strange.  

 

 
 
Guest - Baris
2011-08-09 16:44:49
  @PENNWISE, it was 4 days before Ramadan. Your point of respecting those about to fast is not valid. In addition, a girl wearing shorts in public is not one of the things which make fasting void. Muslims must learn to tolerate and respect others.  

 

 
 
Guest - kaplanr
2011-08-09 16:37:20
  embarrassing... but this is the real face of turkey. an EU candidate. yeah right..  

 

 
 
Guest - Roberto L Tanizaki
2011-08-09 16:26:14
  When in Turkey, do as the Turks do, especially if you're a Muslim. Shame on that girl for defying public conventions.  

 

 
 
Guest - Minoas
2011-08-09 16:24:21
  Well that is the difference between muslims (not all of course) and christians. I would just praise god for making my bus trip more pleasent by presenting this beauty to admire. And I agree with Ex Pat. She should do something about it.  

 

 
 
Guest - SenBen
2011-08-09 16:13:58
  I am sure that she will get soon arrested because she is an Ergenkon agent and got direvtives from secular Kemalist Generals. irony off. Respect to her braveness, shame over the passengers, police officers and hospital workers. This is the new Turkey  

 

 
 
Guest - AtaAllah
2011-08-09 16:13:55
  Very Correct Pennwise.  

 

 
 
Guest - gorgeous
2011-08-09 16:04:20
  Respect to this brave girl. It is a shame how the other passengers reacted and didnt helped her. This shows whats going on in the heads of the most simple Turkish people. They accept the beating of a young lady from a religious radical pig.  

 

 
 
Guest - USobserver
2011-08-09 16:03:46
  @PENNWISE - Turkey is a Democratic nation, which a majority of people are Muslim. People are free to dresss how they like, no one should have a right to assault another person for not likeling their moral behavior.  

 

 
 
Guest - Atheist
2011-08-09 15:59:48
  @Pennwise, you are right, you can find such things also in Paris-Berlin-Lyon-Brussels-Munich-Madrid. But only in quarters where Muslim immigrants are living. This religion is like a disease. Its poisoning the heads of people, especially of men.  

 

 
 
Guest - Guest
2011-08-09 15:50:29
  @PENNWISE-Turkey is a democracy, NOT an Islamic republic. If you don't like it and are so primitive you cannot control yourself in the company of women, move to Saudi Arabia.  

 

 
 
Guest - sloop john B
2011-08-09 15:48:00
  @PENNWISE, did you just emerge from a cave in the Afghan hills? The AKP will probably condone this attack and comments supporting the assailant, this is the tragedy!  

 

 
 
Guest - Ex Pat
2011-08-09 15:47:36
  If no one will help women being battered by psychopaths in public, it's time for women to protect themselves. She should have used this particular fiend's head as a volleyball and sent him flying into another empty seat.  

 

 
 
Guest - Fleminckx
2011-08-09 15:39:14
  STOP blaming everything on the AKP please, because radical people like this were there before AKP too and also will be there after the AKP. These people also live in the suburbs of Paris-Berlin-Lyon-Brussels-Munich-Madrid,should i blame the EU also  

 

 
 
Guest - PENNWISE
2011-08-09 15:34:23
  I agree he shouldnt of hit her, but she should respect people who are going to fast, why can't she wear jeans. Turkey is a Muslim country. If you don't like it, don't live in Turkey.  

 

 
 
Guest - Antifon
2011-08-09 15:27:02
  Another westerner trapped in Turkey, a Turkey swinging between military and religious fundamentalism.  

 

 
 
Guest - Devman
2011-08-09 15:26:36
  This so called pious Muslims are getting braver and braver in their so called moral mission. AKP and their followers are changing the all-day in Turkey. We will get more divided quarters in Turkey. A shame what happens in this secular country.  

 

 
 
Guest - Fleminckx
2011-08-09 15:15:49
  Maybe its a collision, which escalated so that one called insolent and the other called him maybe a radical. But radical people like that are unfortunately in every society. None has the right to dictate what to wear, especially not in Turkey.  

 

 
 
Guest - Roger
2011-08-09 15:12:03
  In the Istanbul I remember (60's & 70's) The guy who accosted her would have been beaten by other passengers. When I think of the wonderful Istanbul of those days compared to now, I get physically sick to my stomach. How disgusting.  

 

Posted on 08/09/2011 9:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Most Recent Posts at The Iconoclast
Search The Iconoclast
Enter text, Go to search:
The Iconoclast Posts by Author
The Iconoclast Archives
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31    

Subscribe
Via: email  RSS