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The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
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
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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
















Monday, 31 January 2011
In Calabria The 'Ndrangheta Is No Longer The Only Worry
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From UPI:

CALABRIA, Italy, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Three Moroccans, one a Muslim cleric, were arrested in Italy on suspicion of training recruits for international terrorism, Italian police said.

The imam of Sellia Marina and his son were arrested at their home in Calabria Monday and the third person arrested is part of the Moroccan community of Lamezia Terme, ANSA reported.

Authorities also searched the homes of nine other people, arresting one for possession of marijuana. The arrests stemmed from a "complex" investigation by security police and Italy's postal police, the report said.

Investigators said the men used the Internet to receive and send "multimedia documents about arms and explosives training" and possessed software that "could be used to sabotage computer systems."



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Posted on 01/31/2011 9:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Nonie Darwish On Egyptian Rulers And Islam
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Egypt; Between Dictatorships And Revolutions

 

Protesters chant outside the Egyptian Embassy in Ottawa on Friday, calling for the removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. (Pawel Dwulit/Canadian Press)

Egypt’s rebellion has been lingering in the horizon for a very long time. The brutal life of the ordinary Egyptian was waiting for the right moment to explode. But instead of understanding what was surely coming, the 82-year-old Mubarak has wasted every opportunity to transfer power to another administration peacefully. He could have gone down in history as the first Arab leader to conduct a fair election and transfer power peacefully. But he kept ignoring the inevitable and, following the many sad examples in the region, kept re-electing himself for 30 years, grooming his son to take over. Now he will go down in history as just another tyrant in the long line of known and unknown ones in the dysfunctional history of the Muslim world.

Is this just a coincidence or is there something in Muslim culture that all too often perpetuates this vicious cycle? I believe the latter is true. Having been born and raised myself in the Muslim faith during the generation of the 1952 Nasser Egyptian revolution, which promised freedom, democracy, Arab Nationalism, socialism and self rule. My father held a prominent role in the Nasser revolutionary government of that time. A revolution that promised that the era of oppressive colonial rule was over. But what the revolution gave Egypt was more of the same and even worse conditions than the era before it; more poverty, illiteracy, tyrannical dictatorships and a police state.

Westerners often describe the current Egyptian government as secular when in reality it is not. It is true that Mubarak comes from a military background and neither he nor his wife wears Islamic clothes. But no Muslim leader can get away with or even survive one day in office if he is secular in the true sense of the word. It was during Mubarak’s rule in 1991 that Egypt signed the Cairo Declaration for Human Rights stating that Sharia Law supercedes any other law. So even though Sharia is not 100% applied in Egypt, it is officially the law of the land. Mubarak, like all Muslim leaders, must appease the Islamists to avoid their wrath. According to Sharia itself, a Muslim head of state must rule by Islamic law and preserve Islam in its original form or he must be removed from office. That law leaves no choice for any Muslim leader. Because of that law Muslim leaders must play a game of appearing Islamic and anti-West while trying to get along with the rest of the world. It’s a game with life and death consequences.

I am not optimistic that the current uprising in the Middle East will bring democracy. Many Egyptians believe they can combine democracy with Sharia Islamic law; that is the first unrealistic expectation. 60% of Egyptians want to live under Sharia law but do not understand the ramifications. Many chant “Allahu Akbar” and “Islam is the solution.” But the truth is, Islam or more accurately, Sharia, is the problem.

Perhaps the most dangerous law in Sharia that stands in the way of democracy is the one that states that “A Muslim head of State can hold office through seizure of power, meaning through force.” That law is the reason every Muslim leader must turn into a despotic tyrant to survive, literally. When a Muslim leader is removed from office by force, we often see the Islamic media and masses accept it and even cheer for the new leader who has just ousted or killed the former leader, who is often called a traitor to the Islamic cause. That was what happened to the Egyptian King Farouk in 1952. Sadat’s assassination followed many fatwas of death against him for having violated his Islamic obligations to make Israel an eternal enemy. He became an apostate in the eyes of the hard-liners and had to be killed or removed from office. This probably sounds incredible to the Western mind, but this is the reality of what Sharia has done and is still doing to the political chaos in the Muslim world.

The choice in Egypt is not between good and bad, it is between bad and worse. Many in the Muslim world lack the understanding of what is hindering them as well as a lack of a moral and legal foundation for forming a stable democratic political system. I fear that my brothers and sisters in Egypt will embrace extremism instead of true democracy and thus will continue to rise and fall, stumble from one revolution to another and living under one tyrant to another looking for the ideal Islamic state that never was. The 1400 year-old Islamic history of tyranny will continue unless Sharia Law is rejected as the basis of the legal and political systems in Muslim countries.

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Posted on 01/31/2011 9:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Al-Jazeera (Arabic Version) And What It Does
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From Hudson New York:

Tunisia: Al-Jazeera's Islamist Revolution

by Tuvia Tenenbom
January 28, 2011

 

One shiny day the citizens of Tunisia woke up from their deep sleep and decided to rise against their brutal dictator. They have yearned for democracy all their lives, believed in it, dreamed of it; and this year seemed the right time finally to get it. All that was needed was a little story to accompany it, a straw to break the dictator's back, and off they could go for the ride.

This is the picture we are getting from the news reports in the West -- beautiful and romantic-- but late last year in Tunisia, the rage and anger of the youth would not be not lost on you. When you spoke English, the young of Tunisia were nice only if you spent money; if not, you were treated like trash. "You, rich people, why can't you give some of what you have to us?" But if you switched to Arabic, it was enough to elicit the most immediate and sincerest of apologies. "So sorry! We did not mean what we said, brother!" They ask ask where you are from; we told them Lebanon. This would get you even more respect. "Do you know Hassan Nasrallah?" "Of course we do." "Allah bless him. He is the only one who can stand up to the Jews!"

Those young people are the youths demanding democracy and freedom now.

How did Hizballah-lovers turn into freedom-lovers in just a few days?

The answer lies with Al-Jazeera -- not the Al-Jazeera in English, which is like the BBC; but the Arabic Al-Jazeera, which is more extreme than Hamas.

From the beginning -- almost from the day a young fruit-seller set himself on fire in a God-forsaken town in Tunisia -- Al-Jazeera was there to drive the story. Al-Jazeera, the most powerful media in the Arab world, adopted the unknown man and wrought him into a worldwide hero. Masters of public relations, and using their handsome and beautiful anchors, this sophisticated, polished, sharp, politically entertaining, and ideologically-driven network reaches more homes and hearts than any other channel in the Arab world. From day one, Al-Jazeera took the Tunisian fruit-seller to heart.

Does Al-Jazeera care about poor fruit-sellers? Not really.

If they did, they would not have to move to Tunisia to find them. There are poor fruit-sellers in Qatar, where Al-Jazeera is stationed; there are poor fruit-sellers in Saudi Arabia, living under the most miserable conditions. As far as Al-Jazeera is concerned, they can rot in hell.

But not so the poor fruit-seller in Tunisia. This was a story Al-Jazeera could not pass up -- and everything around it: Every little demonstration got huge exposure -- on TV and the net, day after day, demonstration after demonstration. Little Tunisia, long neglected by the Big Arab Brothers, suddenly gets its day. Finally Tunisia is no more the laughing-stock of the Arab world. No more being told: "You are not Arabs, you are Berbers." Now Tunisia is on top of the news, ahead of the times, even. Al-Jazeera decided it was so.

This filled the Tunisians with pride - and with courage. This was the fuel they that they needed. Democracy? Democracy! What the Tunisians on the street wanted most of all -- and what Al-Jazeera was happy to provide -- was pride.

Al-Jazeera understands the power of pictures. It was a marvel to watch how it used this power after Ben Ali fled Tunisia. Al-Jazeera got its hands on a couple of soldiers who kissed demonstrators, plus two policemen who were seen crying -- or almost crying -- during the same demonstration. This video was shown again and again and again and again, creating the feeling that the "Army and Police are with you. Keep on going, Tunisians!" Once Al-Jazeera decided a situation was so, it could be made a reality. No one could argue: it was Democracy in the Making!

But in all the tumult, no one remembered to ask: "Why is Al-Jazeera not championing democracy in Qatar?" -- where Al-Jazeera is owned by the rulers there.

Granted, almost nobody liked President Ben Ali. His pictures everywhere were an eyesore. But, by themselves, they were not enough to drive people into the streets. No, what people yearn for most of all in the Arab world is pride; Al-Jazeera was happy to provide it. Now even the brothers from Lebanon are looking up at them. Hello, Mr. Nasrallah. See? We are now heroes, too!

To understand why Al-Jazeera promoted all this, all you had to do was watch the Arabic Al-Jazeera while these demonstrations were going on. One of the first people Al-Jazeera put on its screen, and in its pages, was the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.

And what does the Muslim Brotherhood -- and extremist and fanatic organizations --have to say about what is happening in Tunisia?

They love it! They were, in fact, the first to support the "Tunisian Revolution" -- way before most in the West.

And why do extremists Muslims now support democracies?

Do not expect them any day soon to support a new Iranian Revolution: Their support for "democracy" in Tunisia has to do with Ben Ali's policy of imprisoning Islamists -- a policy they distinctly do not like.

In Tunisia today, as in the rest of the Arab world, the wave of extremism is growing. More and more women wear the Hijab; mosques are getting fuller and fuller -- but for many, not fast enough: The only way to keep this trend gaining momentum is by getting rid of Ben Ali.

Enter Al-Jazeera.

Al-Jazeera, driven by extremist ideology, has been playing the game of news-manipulation for many years. Jerusalem is just one example: For years, the editors at Al-Jazeera have come up with the strangest of stories about what "the Jews" are planning in secret there -- building, for example, a synagogue right under the Al-Aqsa mosque! Yes, exactly there, deep in the belly of the earth. And Al-Jazeera could "prove" it. Always. Many a time, as those who follow Al-Jazeera know, violent demonstrations in Jerusalem occurred right after Al-Jazeera had come up with some bizarre story about yet another plan by the Jews to "storm Al-Aqsa." Do not question why "the Jews" were doing it: it did not really matter. Al-Jazeera always knew how to package its stories with captivating images and "detailed" maps. They are very convincing.

And Al-Jazeera keeps on doing it.

The "Al-Jazeera-Leaks," as some Arab news media call the recent Al-Jazeera stories about the "secret" Palestinian Authority's negotiations with Israel, is another example: It is an attempt by Al-Jazeera to discredit the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Just as the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority are gaining momentum -- and country after country is recognizing Palestine -- Al-Jazeera comes up with revelations that the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas, and his underlings are selling the Holy Lands to the Jews for pennies -- they are the traitors. And who is not a traitor? Hamas! A simple equation, courtesy of Al-Jazeera. Only this news item is too big to be told just in Arabic: Al-Jazeera English is also joining in. A rarity.

As for Tunisia, i it was not Twitter, Facebook, or the iPad that drove the Tunisian revolution -- it was only Al-Jazeera. It was not the hate of Ben Ali, as big as it was, but the love of Allah, which is much bigger.

Although the story of Tunisia is not yet over -- the final outcome is far from clear -- Al-Jazeera, like Ben Ali, can see its influence and control start to fade.

That is why it is important now to set the record straight: how a Qatari news peddler used a Tunisian fruit peddler to change a map, and maybe a lot more than that.

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Posted on 01/31/2011 9:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 31 January 2011
A Musical Interlude: Manhattan (Lee Wiley)
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Listen here. 

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Posted on 01/31/2011 9:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Erasure: A Story
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by Mark Goldblatt (February 2011)


I nodded--just nodded--as Dr. Rothstein, the head librarian, broke the news: The college library had acquired an autographed first edition of Huckleberry Finn, valued at $16,000, for our rare book collection. It was a donation, no strings attached, from an alumnus who wished to remain anonymous; it was, Dr. Rothstein explained, an unadulterated windfall.The book would arrive the following Wednesday and be placed on exhibit at the end of the month. more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2011 4:17 PM by NER
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Maed Inusa
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by Ares Demertzis (February 2011)


Dawn was streaking the leaden sky with a colorful palette. From a neighboring mosque the melodic cry of the muezzin summoning believers to prayer could be heard. Maed Inusa was not a Muslim; he practiced no formal religion, considering life the accidental creation of an indifferent nature unconcerned with the imprudent, self-worshiping idiosyncrasies of mankind. He was awake at this hour because he had once again been unable to sleep throughout an entire restless night.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2011 4:11 PM by NER
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Monday, 31 January 2011
I have this thing buttoned up; but I don't think it's art
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by Esmerelda Weatherwax (February 2011)


We went to the Tate Modern gallery on the Southbank a few weeks ago. I was a frequent visitor to the first Tate Gallery, now known as Tate Britain in Millbank when I worked nearby but this was the first time I had set foot in the new site in the former Bankside Power Station. The Bankside Power station is not the famous one with a chimney at each corner to which an inflatable pig was tethered for the cover of Pink Floyd’s album Animals; that is the former Battersea Power Station further upstream
more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2011 4:04 PM by NER
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Monday, 31 January 2011
The Red Danube: Hungary Counts the Costs of an Ecological Disaster
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by Thomas Ország-Land (February 2011)


A carcinogenic red dust is settling over a 40 square-kilometre disaster area in Western Hungary. It has been devastated by a flood of caustic sludge released by the ruptured dam of a waste reservoir serving an aluminium production plant. This is probably the worst ecological catastrophe ever experienced in Central Europe.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2011 3:58 PM by NER
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Report from S E Asian theatre of the Global Jihad, part II: bus bombing in Manila
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On Tuesday 25 January a large bomb was placed on a bus in Metro Manila in the Philippines, and afterwards detonated (it should be noted that the suburb through which the bus was travelling at the time, Makati City, has a significant Muslim presence).

An initial report that appeared in the 'Philippine Daily Inquirer', a Filipino English-language newspaper.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view/20110125-316506/Big-bomb-kills-4-injures-14-bus-passengers-on-Edsa

'Big bomb kills 4, injures 14 bus passengers on Edsa'

'Manila, Philippines (update 8) - At least four people were killed and 14 others injured when a "big bomb" went off inside a passenger bus travelling along Edsa in Makati City on Tuesday, Metro Manila police chief Director Nicanor Bartolome said.

'The bomb was so powerful that it created a hole on the Newman Gold Liner bus' floor and body and also damaged the side windows, Bartolome said. 

"Isang malaking bomba 'yong sumabog, pero inaalam pa kung anong klase [It was a big bomb that exploded but we're still determining what kind of bomb]" said Senior Superintendent Froilan Bonifacio, chief of police of Makati.

'Bartolome said investigators could not yet ascertain if it was a terrorist attack...

Later, they decided it probably was; see the next report which I have excerpted, below.- CM.

'The explosion occurred around 2 pm, while the bus was approaching the loading bay near MRT Buendia railway station on Edsa's northbound lane, sed Ed Garcia, radio operator at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) metrobase.

'A photo provided by the MMDA showed a shattered windshield and side windows of the ill-fated bus...The bomb was apparently placed on the sixth row from the driver seat...

'The attack occurred two months after the US and several other Western governments warned a terrorist attack in Metro Manila was imminent.

'Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, who arrived quickly at the scene, said the explosion was so powerful it punched a hole in a nearby concrete fence...

'Casualties were taken to the Ospital ng Makati and St Luke's Medical Centre at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

'A bomb squad unit and a contingent of the military's National Capital Region command were deployed to the area..".

A little later, Philippine authorities concluded that the bomb was most likely placed and exploded by Muslims.

The Inquirer, again.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view/20110126-316655/PH-links-Muslim-militants-to-bus-carnage

'PH links Muslim militants to bus carnage'

MANILA - Muslim terrorists from the remote southern Philippines may have been behind a bus bomb attack in the nation's financial hub that killed five people, authorities said on Wednesday.

'A mortar shell triggered by a mobile phone led to Tuesday's explosion that ripped apart a bus travelling along one of Manila's main roads, the city's police chief and President Benigno Aquino's national security adviser said.

'"A Nokia cellphone is the device they used to trigger the explosion.  It acts like a command-detonated explosive", the security adviser, Cesar Garcia, said on ABS-CBN television. "The fact that...the device used was an improvised explosive device similar to the ones used by terrorist organizations in the southern Philippines raises the possibility it was a terrorist attack."

'While Garcia said it was too early to say exactly who was behind the blast, he pointed out the attack was very similar to a bus bombing on the same road in Manila that killed four people and injured 36 others on Feb 14 2005.

"Investigation into the 2005 Valentine's Day bombings showed the suspects rode the bus, carried the (bomb) in a backpack, left the backpack, got off...(and) detonated the bomb with the use of a cellphone."

'The Abu Sayyaf, a small group of Islamic militants blamed for the nation's worst terrorist attacks and a string of kidnappings, claimed credit for the 2005 attack, although it has remained silent following Tuesday's explosion.

'Garcia emphasized that militant groups such as the Abu Sayyaf always wanted to attack Manila, which is more than 1000 kilometres from their strongholds in remote jungles and isolated Muslim-populated towns in the south.

But there are quite a few Muslims living in Metro-Manila - CM.

'Metro-Manila has always been a long-term aspirational target of the organizations operating in the southern Philippines", Garcia said.  It's been five years since a major terrorist attack in Manila.  We have to be lucky all the time (to stop an attack).  They have to be lucky just once.

And that fact - that our police and other security forces have to be lucky all the time, while the jihadist attackers only need to get lucky once - is true not only for the Philippines, but for non-Muslim nations everywhere, all of them in the cross-hairs of those who are waging Jihad to extend the power of the Ummah, or Mohammedan Mob, and to impose sharia. - CM.

'Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said that authorities had no reason to believe more attacks were coming, but that extra security measures had been put in place at bus and rail stations, as well as other key public places...

The Philippines is not a rich country.  Imagine the financial drain that this imposes upon them. - CM.

Aquino said on Tuesday after the attack that his government had been warned last year that unnamed Muslim militants had been planning to stage a bomb attack in Manila.  He said he did [not] make the report public because his officials believed the militants did not have the capabilities to carry it out...

Never underestimate the enemy - CM.

'His admission came after he repeatedly denounced the US and five other western governments in November last year when they issued travel advisories warning that a terrorist attack was imminent in Manila.  

'The southern Philippines has long been an area of conflict, with the Muslim population there seeking a state independent from the rest of the mainly Christian country.

Predictably, for Muslims cannot abide to be ruled by, or simply equal to, non-Muslims: since "Islam is to dominate, and not be dominated" (Hassan al-Banna, theorist of the Muslim Brotherhood). - CM.

'The 12,000 strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which is set to restart peace talks shortly with the Philippine government ('peace talks' and a 'peace process' as entirely futile - and for the same reasons - as the more famous 'peace process' in the Middle East between Israel and the local Arab Muslims - CM) has waged a decades-old rebellion in the south that has claimed an estimated 150, 000 lives.

'The MILF has in the past denied any links with the Abu Sayyaf and foreign Islamic militants allegedly hiding out or training in Mindanao.

I hope the Filipino authorities take those entirely-predictable denials with a heaping tablespoon of salt - CM.

'Robredo said the number of people killed in Tuesday's attack rose from four to five on Wednesday, with 14 people injured.

'Media reports said the latest fatality was a 22 year old female call center worker who died in hospital on Wednesday morning from head injuries sustained in the blast.'

From other reports in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I have been able to discover the names of all the victims and the stories of some of them.  I will cover that in a separate posting, to make up for the fact that our Western media outlets rarely bother to tell us very much about those who are killed or wounded by Jihad in countries such as the Philippines. - CM.

 

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Posted on 01/31/2011 2:25 PM by Christina McIntosh
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Do Israelis Speak Hebrew or Israeli?
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by Norman Berdichevsky (February 2011) 


Largely unknown to most Jews in the Diaspora, a debate has been raging for decades among linguists in Israel that deals with the most fundamental aspects of the rebirth of the Hebrew language. Even the term “rebirth” has been called into question by those “Revisionists” who call the language spoken in the State of Israel today "Relexified Indo-European", and prefer the term “Israeli” to denote what they call a “hybrid language based on both Hebrew and Yiddish" as well as on many other languages. more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2011 3:54 PM by NER
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Fighting Muslim Brotherhood Lawfare and Rabbinic Fatwas: An Interview with Dr. Charles Jacob
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by Jerry Gordon (February 2011)

 

Dr. Jacobs co-founded several enduring pro-Zionist and international human rights organizations. Among them are the Boston branch of CAMERA – the Middle East Media monitoring group, the David Project - endeavoring to train young Jews in advocacy for Israel on college campuses, Americans for Peace and Tolerance – a diverse group formed to combat extremist Islam and the American Anti-Slavery group (AASG).  Jacobs was listed by The Forward newspaper among the 50 most influential American Jewish leaders.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2011 3:49 PM by NER
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Monday, 31 January 2011
More Colossal Waste In Iraq: Now To Protect Unnecessary Diplomats In An Unnecessary Billion-Dollar Embassy
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From The New York Times:

Report Lists Perils for Envoys After U.S. Leaves Iraq

WASHINGTON — The United States will not be able to protect its diplomats in Iraq adequately if it sticks to the plan to withdraw its last 50,000 troops by December, potentially hindering American efforts to reach out to the Iraqi people, according to a new report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The report, to be released Tuesday, contends that if the Obama administration leaves only a token contingent of troops behind in an advisory role, as currently planned, “security and political gains could be jeopardized.”

Without thousands of additional soldiers — a prospect that seems untenable, given political pressures in both countries — the report recommends rethinking the American civilian presence, which is projected to number 17,000 diplomats, contractors and others in 15 sites in Iraq.

“The administration may be forced to choose between scaling back the diplomatic mission or accepting a degree of physical risk familiar to military personnel but normally unacceptable for diplomats,” said the report by two committee investigators, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times.

On Tuesday, the two top American officials in Iraq, Ambassador James F. Jeffrey and Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the senior American military commander in the country, are scheduled to testify before the Senate about the handover to civilians from soldiers.

While the report says that Mr. Jeffrey and General Austin have built a healthy relationship, it found evidence of bureaucratic squabbles between the Pentagon and the State Department — making it easier, for example, for the military to deliver helicopters to foreign countries than to the State Department.

Among the report’s most startling conclusions is the formidable security detail needed to protect new American consulates in the cities of Basra and Erbil, as well as tiny outposts in Kirkuk and Mosul. Securing the consulates will require 1,400 security personnel for the 120 civilians, the report concludes, while the outlying offices will need a security staff of more than 600 for only 30 staff members.

All this could cost between $25 billion and $30 billion over the next five years, the report estimates, recommending that the administration ask Congress for extra money outside the State Department’s regular budget.

The State Department has been bulking up for months for the postwar era in Iraq, when it will take over the lead role from the Pentagon, training the Iraqi police and overseeing an Office of Security Cooperation, staffed with a few hundred American soldiers who will help Iraqi troops with defensive operations.

The department plans to hire 5,500 private security contractors, roughly double the current number; most will guard the embassy in Baghdad and the four satellite outposts. The security of the installations themselves is adequate, the report says, although it questions whether contractors should take over delicate assignments like bomb disposal and aerial surveillance.

But protecting diplomats as they move around Iraq is a much bigger problem, the report says. The issue is not one of armed bodyguards — the report says less firepower might actually benefit the diplomatic mission — but the loss of intelligence, surveillance and rapid response capability that the military has been providing.

“The satellite sites will only be as effective as their inhabitants’ ability to get off their compounds,” the report says.

The Senate staff report does not estimate how many soldiers will be needed to provide adequate security. Military officers have suggested 5,000 to 10,000. But President Obama and Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq have each vowed to stick to the December 2011 deadline for a total American troop withdrawal.

Given that reality, the report concludes, “the United States should consider a less ambitious diplomatic presence in Iraq.”

 
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Posted on 01/31/2011 9:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 31 January 2011
When Mubarak Does At Last Demit, How Should He Himself Acquit?
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When he finally leaves, demits, in short, decides to (yes, two "to's" because of the following infinitive, I know, I know), prendre son congé, -- one hopes not right away, if only to show up those who, like Martin Indyk, have been getting on shows and jabbering away about Egypt, and confidently assertng that "Mubarak will be gone this week" -- how will the Rais put it?

He can't very well copy the people in Washington who, when they  decide to cash in on their years of "public service" by entering what they demurely call "the private sector" (that "private sector" so often has something to do with either high financial finagling, or the defense industry),  announce that "I'm leaving in order to make some real money now that my kids are getting ready to go to college."

No, Mubarak can't say that. 

But he can can look for guidance to that other Eden, demi-paradise, Hollywood, and explain that he'll be leaving (and no one should expect to see him appearing on the lesser or the greater screen), "in order to spend more time with my family."

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Posted on 01/31/2011 12:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 31 January 2011
More about the victims of the Jan. 25 bombing by Muslims in Manila
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When Muslim jihadists planted a bomb on a bus in Manila in the Philippines, and then hopped off , after which they or their accomplices detonated the bomb by mobile phone, on 25 January 2011, they ended five lives - most of them young  - and crippled 13 others.

By consulting the Philippine Daily Inquirer online, I learned much more about these people than the Australian mass media - content merely to state '4 (5) dead, 13 wounded' - would ever bother to tell me.

Here are the names of four of the murdered - I could not discover the name of the fifth.

Shirley Kristel Ausena, 25; Johansson Reye, 24 (Kristel's boyfriend); Irish Teniola, 22; Mariano Magayaw Salustiano (57).

Catholic, and Orthodox and High Anglican readers of this blog may, perhaps, choose to light a candle in their memory.  May they rest in peace.  May their families be comforted.  May those who murdered them be brought to justice; and may the murderous Jihad against the non-Muslims of the Philippines, be utterly defeated.  

Here are the names of the wounded.

Mary Grace Buen Borondia, 29; Anabel Gozon, 40; Antonio Lino, 41; Jeffrey Victoriano, 27, of Taguig City (he suffered severe leg injuries, possibly crippling him for life; he is his family's sole breadwinner); Roy Saguit Rivera, 40; Fe An Padilla Sy, 25; Fleur An Padilla Sy, 48; Aiza Hutalle Peralsta, 26; Virgilio Aquino Reyes, 76; Paul Richard Obial Reyes, 41; Jennifer Valdez Andoque, 19; Veronica Sanchez Gando, 24; Gloria Aquino Reyes, 71.

May they be swiftly healed.

Our condolences to the families of all Filipino non-Muslims who have suffered in this and the many other Jihad raids  that have taken place within the Philippines in the past forty or fifty years.

Here are selected portions of the three articles from the Philippine Daily Inquirer that gave me the names of the victims, and more, bringing home the fact that these were people like us, non-Muslims like us, going about their lives in their familiar city.  And let us never forget that what happened on the streets of Manila, has happened there before, and happened on the streets of London in 2005, and could happen on the streets of Sydney, or of any other city in the non-Muslim world.  And let us never forget the source of these evil acts, the jihad ideology of Islam.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20110126-316610/EDSA-bus-bombing-4-dead

'EDSA bus bombing: 4 dead'

'Bomb under seat of bus driven by Maximo Peligro'

'...The bomb placed under the seat in the middle of a passenger bus driven by a man ironically named Maximo Peligro went off just before 2 pm on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (i.e. 'Appearance of the Saints' - CM), or EDSA, near the north gate of the upscale Forbes Park subdivision in Makati City.  The blast blew a huge hole in the right side of the northbound Newman Goldliner..

'Makati Mayor Junjun Binay said the explosion was so powerful that it punched a hole in a nearby concrete fence...

'The explosion shattered the windows of the air-conditioned bus...Police said the sixth row on the right side of the bus sustained massive damage...

'The President said terrorists were behind the explosion that ripped through the bus.  At a news briefing, Mr Aquino said he received intelligence reports last year that "a Muslim secessionist group" was planning a "bombing" but did not have the resources to mount it.  Wondering how the group was able to mount the attack, the President ordered a probe of the bombing...

'Mr Aquino expressed his sympathies to the families of those who died and who were wounded in the blast.

'When he arrived at the site 10 minutes after the explosion, Binay [the Mayor] said he saw blood and severed body parts on the bus.  He said he also saw a severely injured man through the big hole.

'Two of the victims were killed on the spot.  The two others [now three - CM] died in the hospital, police said.

'Both legs of a female fatality...were cut off from the thighs, according to a survivor.  "She must be at least 18 years old", said Susanna Flores, among the seven passengers brought to Ospital ng Makati.  She said the other fatality, Johannsson de Leon Reyes, of Plaridel, Bulacan, was covered in blood, and "his left leg was at a funny angle, as if it had been broken off."...

'Mary Grace Buen Borondia, 29, of Maybunga, Pasig City, was first brought to Ospital ng Makati, but was later transferred to Makati Medical Center.  Other casualties brought to Ospital ng Makati were identified as Anabel Gozon, 40, of Barangay Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal; ANtonio Lino, 41, of San Mateo, Rizal; Jeffrey Victoriano, 27, of Taguig City; and Irish Teniola, 22 (she later died - CM).  Ten of the victims were taken to St Luke's Medical Center at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.  They were: Roy Saguit Rivera, 40; Fe An Padilla Sy, 25; Fleur An Padilla Sy, 48; Aiza Hutalle Peralta, 26; Virgilio Aquino Reyes, 67; Paul Richard Obial Reyes, 41; Jennifer Valdez Andoque, 19; Veronica Sanchez Gando, 24; and Gloria Aquino Reyes, 71.

'An investigation report issued by the Makati police Tuesday night said the fatalities were Johansson De Leon Reyes, who died on the spot; Mariano Magayaw Salustiano, 57; Shirley Kristel Hausena Andes; a female wearing a silver necklace marked "Krish"; and an  unidentified man brought to St Luke's who died while being treated...

'A doctor said those who survived the blast sustained minor injuries, mostly in the feet...

'Maximo Peligro and Michael Haralde, the driver and conductor of the bus, respectively, were taken into police custody for investigation.  At a Makati police station, Peligro said he smelled gunpowder right after the blast...Peligro, who was unharmed, said that the bus windshield was not damaged by the explosion.  He said he kicked it to enable him and the other passengers to get off the vehicle.

'He said two men, who acted strangely, quickly got off the bus just moments before the explosion. "They were moving from one seat to another although we had no idea there was an explosive aboard", Peligro said.  Haralde said the two men hopped on the bus in Baclaran, Paranaque City, took seats in the middle section, and got off on Evangelista Street in Makati...".

In the discussion of this incident by posters at Mr Spencer's jihadwatch site, two posters with first-hand experience of the Philippines and Manila stated that Baclaran and Makati have significant populations of Muslims.

Now, back to the Philippines Inquirer.

In this report from Laila B. Salaverria

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20110127-316842/Aquino-promises-justice-financial-aid-for-victims

'Aquino promises justice, financial aid for victims - Gov't to pay medical, burial costs, scholarships'

we see the financial drain that jihad imposes on targeted societies.  And this paragraph gives us a glimpse of one of the survivors:

'At Ospital ng Makati, Delia Victoriano expressed fears that her son Jeff, a computer technician, would become an invalid because of severe leg wounds.  "We are praying that he will soon get well.  He is the only one supporting the family, since his father has no regular job", Victoriano said.'...

'Soliman shared stories of survivors she talked with, including wounded senior citizens who recently came back from the United States to retire in the Philippines.  She did not disclose their names to protect their privacy, but said they were in their seventies - a woman with minor leg wounds and a man who was hit by shrapnel in the leg and back".

And this report from Tina Santos and Nancy C Carvajal allows us to share the pain of three Filipino families shattered by Jihad.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20110127-316837/Loves-dreams-shattered

'Loves, dreams shattered.  Fatalities supported families'.

'Sweethearts Shirley Kristel Ausena, 25, and Jhohansson Reyes, 24, left home on Tuesday morning with high hopes for their families and each other.  

'Their dreams of finding a better life were shattered by the explosion that ripped through a passenger bus in Makati City just before 2 pm.

'Kristel and Jhohansson were among the five people killed in the explosion...

'Like the sweethearts, the fifth fatality, Irish Teniola, 22, also supported [her family].  Irish had wanted to become a journalist, but decided against pursuing it because she wanted to earn immediately.  She applied at a call center to support her family, including her grandparents, her mother tearfully said.

'Relatives and friends of Irish described her as slim, fair-skinned, pretty, smart and generous.  

'The families of Kirstel and Jhohansson were not aware that they were meeting that day.  "We did not even know that they got back together", said Karmela, Kristel's younger sister...

'Kristel, who was fondly called 'Darling' by her family, was on her way to a job interview at a fine-dining restaurant in Mandaluyong City when tragedy struck.  Kristel's mother, Leonora, 47, said her daughter left their house in Barangay Rizal in Makata at around 10 am.  She said she was called in for a job interview and, afterwards, she was planning to proceed to a jobs fair in Magamall after.  She asked P100 for her fare", Leonora said.  She surmised that Kristel boarded the bus in the Ayala area, where she could have followed up another job application.  "She mentioned earlier that she had also applied in one of the companies in that area.  Maybe she went there to check her application's status", Leonora said in Filipino.  "I even wished her good luck before she left.  I told her to text me so I would know where she is". But Leonora never heard from her daughter again...

'Jhohansson, of Plaridel, Bulacan, left  his aunt's house in Guadalupe, Makati, where he was temporarily staying, shortly before 10 am on Tuesday, to attend the baptism of a former co-worker's child in Pasig City.

"We had no inkling that he was one of the victims because he said he was going to Pasig", said his aunt Christy de Leon.  She said she heard the news from a relative in Bulacan whom police authorities initially informed about the tragedy.  Reyes' mother Aile was inconsolable when she viewed her son's remains at a funeral parlor in Libertad, Pasay City, on Wednesday.  "He had grand dreams for his family, especially his mom", Christy said...

'A former cook n a restaurant, Jhohannson recently finished a culinary arts course offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.  "He was just waiting for his certification to be released in  February", his mother said, adding that her son was a good man...

'Christy said Jhohansson, the second in a brood of three, had really wanted to become a chef and to work abroad so he could support his mother and finance his 16 year old sister's college education...'

'Not regular bus rider'.

'Irish Teniola, also fondly called 'Ai-Ai', was not a regular bus rider, but that afternoon, she boarded the Newman Goldliner, which turned out to be her last ride, said her cousin, Floredil Persito, the last relative who saw her alive.

'The bus blew up not far from a Convergys office, where Irish had worked as call center agent.  "She was not really a bus rider, but she took that ride to go to Guadalupe and get a jeep ride to San Andres to get a pair of eye glasses which she could not use anymore", Persito said.  Persito and the rest of Teniola's family and relatives were at St Peter Funeral Homes in Quezon City to attend the wake for the victim...

'Persito said she and Irish had agreed the night before that they would get the eye glasses together and meet after the latter's shift at 1 pm on Tuesday.  Irish's mother, Imelda de Ocampo, said she was receiving text messages from her daughter at around 1.30 pm until before 2 pm and then the messages stopped coming...

'De Ocampo described her daughter as "generous, a good dancer", and who liked to read. "She speaks good English because she reads a lot. That's why she was immediately accepted in Convergys", the mother said.  Irish finished a management course at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila...

'The mother, who works as a utility person for a public school, said her daughter was raised by her grandparents when she was young.  Irish regularly sent money to her grandparents after she was employed, her mother said.  Irish planned to be a journalist, but because she wanted to help her family she applied for work at a call center, De Ocampo said.  "She told me that as a call center agent she could earn immediately and help the family", the mother said.

And now she is dead; and the jihadists who killed her, have deprived her family of a significant breadwinner. - CM.

'She [Irish's mother] said her daughter was a "fighter and an optimist".  "She had a fractured skull and a gaping wound on the right side of her stomach, but in the hospital I could feel she wanted to survive.  It was what she was - a fighter who always said the future will be better", De Ocampo said.  "How could this happen to someone who was young, healthy and full of life when she left home on Monday evening?  But when I saw her again she was fighting for her life", the mother told reporters.

"Whoever did this has no conscience", she said.

Yes.

Aileen, 17, Irish's younger sister, said the perpetrators, once captured, should show remorse.

They won't.  Surah 48: 29 of the Quran says that 'those who follow him (Muhammad) are ruthless to the unbelievers, but merciful to one another'  - CM.

 

'

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Posted on 01/31/2011 6:43 PM by Christina McIntosh
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Monday, 31 January 2011
A Musical Interlude: If I Can't Have You (Annette Hanshaw)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 01/31/2011 12:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 31 January 2011
A Civilized Man
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To be in the company of John Gross, who died on January 10 at 75, was to experience a unique kind of pleasure, as well as a relief from the woes of the world. No man ever shared his erudition more delightfully, with less thought of imposing himself on others or of discomfiting the ignorant—as almost everyone was by comparison with him.

Like a surprising number of literary figures—one thinks of Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Proust, and Auden—Gross was the son of a doctor, in his case a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe to the East End of London. He described his Anglo-Jewish upbringing in a delightful memoir, A Double Thread, published in 2001. He won a scholarship to Oxford and thereafter entered literary circles that he never left. He became without doubt the best anthologist of his time and also among the foremost literary scholars and critics. He was successively editor of the Times Literary Supplement, chief book reviewer for the New York Times, and theater critic of the Sunday Telegraph, all positions that he filled with distinction.

Without any display of pedantry, he gave the impression of having read, and remembered, everything. His New Oxford Book of English Prose, published in 1998, was evidence enough of his prodigious knowledge, his broad sympathies, and his excellent judgment. Who but he would quote with equal facility and felicity from Richard Knolles’s The General History of the Turks of 1603 and Dwight Macdonald’s “The Bible in Modern Undress” of 1953? Letters, diaries, sermons, speeches political and forensic, short stories, novels, critical essays, works of philosophy, science, and travel: all are included in his anthology, and all aptly.

But he was not made priggish by his learning. Once, when I relayed to him a remark by a second-hand bookseller of my acquaintance—that the authors of the popular novels of the 1920s and 1930s wrote very well—he brought up Edgar Wallace, about whom he was surprisingly knowledgeable (though I should not have been surprised). He even quoted from Margaret Lane’s biography of Wallace. Further, though few people could have read more books than he had, he was not bookish. He was genuinely interested in the human race, of and upon which literature was a reflection; he had the power of inspiring immediate confidence in his interlocutor. He loved gossip (one of his anthologies was of literary anecdotes), and though he was clear-sighted, he was without malice, which he could safely leave to others to supply.

The excellence of his critical judgment derived from the free play of an intelligence and sensibility that refused to be constrained by fashionable theories. Literary excellence could not, for him, be reduced to any one aspect of a work. Two works could have equal but opposite virtues, and it would be our loss if we refused to acknowledge both. Writing of our current aversion to purple prose in the preface to his anthology, he wrote:

We should be . . . on guard, however, against a provincialism which estranges us from some of the great achievements of the past. If we don’t distinguish between true eloquence and fake eloquence, if we allow our fear of pretentious or precious “fine writing” to frighten us off the real thing, the loss will be ours; and it will be a large one.

There is a provincialism of time as well as of place, perhaps the more dangerous to civilization because it is less obvious. John Gross—incomparably learned, modest, tolerant, and humorous—was a civilized man. Though he wrote a book called The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters, he proved by his life that the man of letters had not yet quite fallen.

First published in City Journal.

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Posted on 01/31/2011 11:21 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Nigerian police say foil bomb attempt in church
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BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Police in the Nigerian city of Bauchi said on Monday they had foiled a bomb attempt in a crowded church, days after clashes between Christian and Muslim youths killed at least 19 people.

The director of the Nigerian secret service in Bauchi said the device was brought into the city's United Methodist Church during a packed Sunday service. The security forces were tipped off and bomb disposal experts were able to detonate it safely.

"The perpetrators of this act are terrorists. We have detonated the bomb. The impact would have been devastating," State Security Service director Adeola Ajayi said.

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Posted on 01/31/2011 11:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Words, Words, Words
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"democracy"

"the people"

"the Egyptian people"

"the right side of history"

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Posted on 01/31/2011 9:53 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Your Tax Dollars At Work In Pakistan
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From The Washington Post:

Pakistan doubles its nuclear arsenal

By Karen DeYoung
January 31, 2011

 

Pakistan's nuclear arsenal now totals more than 100 deployed weapons, a doubling of its stockpile over the past several years in one of the world's most unstable regions, according to estimates by nongovernment analysts.

The Pakistanis have significantly accelerated productionof uranium and plutonium for bombs and developed new weapons to deliver them. After years of approximate weapons parity, experts said, Pakistan has now edged ahead of India, its nuclear-armed rival.

An escalation of the arms race in South Asia poses a dilemma for the Obama administration, which has worked to improve its economic, political and defense ties with India while seeking to deepen its relationship with Pakistan as a crucial component of its Afghanistan war strategy.

In politically fragile Pakistan, the administration is caught between fears of proliferation or possible terrorist attempts to seize nuclear materials and Pakistani suspicions that the United States aims to control or limit its weapons program and favors India.

Those suspicions were on public display last week at the opening session of U.N. disarmament talks in Geneva, where Pakistani Ambassador Zamir Akram accused the United States and other major powers of "double standards and discrimination" for pushing a global treaty banning all future production of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium.

Adoption of what is known as the "fissile materials cutoff treaty," a key element of President Obama's worldwide nonproliferation agenda, requires international consensus. Pakistan has long been the lone holdout.

While Pakistan has produced more nuclear-armed weapons, India is believed to have larger existing stockpiles of such fissile material for future weapons. That long-term Indian advantage, Pakistan has charged, was further enhanced by a 2008 U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation agreement. The administration has deflected Pakistan's demands for a similar deal.

Brig. Gen. Nazir Butt, defense attache at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, said the number of Pakistan's weapons and the status of its production facilities were confidential.

"Pakistan lives in a tough neighborhood and will never be oblivious to its security needs," Butt said. "As a nuclear power, we are very confident of our deterrent capabilities."

But the administration's determination to bring the fissile materials ban to completion this year may compel it to confront more directly the issue of proliferation in South Asia. As U.S. arms negotiator Rose Gottemoeller told Bloomberg News at the U.N. conference Thursday: "Patience is running out."

Other nuclear powers have their own interests in the region. China, which sees India as a major regional competitor, has major investments in Pakistan and a commitment to supply it with at least two nuclear-energy reactors.

Russia has increased its cooperation with India and told Pakistan last week that it was "disturbed" about its arms buildup.

"It's a risky path, particularly for a government under pressure," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, fresh from a visit to Islamabad, said in remarks at the Nixon Center on Thursday.

Wary of upsetting Pakistan's always-fragile political balance, the White House rarely mentions the country's arsenal in public except to voice confidence in its strong internal safeguards, with warheads kept separate from delivery vehicles. But the level of U.S. concern was reflected during last month's White House war review, when Pakistan's nuclear security was set as one of two long-term strategy objectives there, along with the defeat of al-Qaeda, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A publicly released summary of the classified review document made no reference to the nuclear issue, and the White House deflected questions on grounds that it was an intelligence matter. This week, a spokesman said the administration would not respond to inquiries about the size of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor referred to Obama's assurance at last spring's Nuclear Security Summit that he felt "confident about Pakistan's security around its nuclear weapons program." Vietor noted that Obama has encouraged "all nations" to support negotiations on the fissile cutoff treaty.

"The administration is always trying to keep people from talking about this knowledgeably," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a leading analyst on the world's nuclear forces. "They're always trying to downplay" the numbers and insisting that "it's smaller than you think."

"It's hard to say how much the U.S. knows," said Hans M. Kristensen, director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists and author of the annual global nuclear weapons inventory published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. "Probably a fair amount. But it's a mixed bag - Pakistan is an ally, and they can't undercut it with a statement of concern in public." [what makes Pakistan an "ally"?]

Beyond intelligence on the ground, U.S. officials assess Pakistan's nuclear weapons program with the same tools used by the outside experts - satellite photos of nuclear-related installations, estimates of fissile-material production and weapons development, and publicly available statements and facts.

Four years ago, the Pakistani arsenal was estimated at 30 to 60 weapons.

"They have been expanding pretty rapidly," Albright said. Based on recently accelerated production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, "they could have more than doubled in that period," with current estimates of up to 110 weapons.

Kristensen said it was "not unreasonable" to say that Pakistan has now produced at least 100 weapons. Shaun Gregory, director of the Pakistan Security Research Unit at Britain's University of Bradford, put the number at between 100 and 110.

Some Pakistani officials have intimated they have even more. But just as the United States has a vested interest in publicly playing down the total, Pakistan sees advantage in "playing up the number of weapons they've got," Gregory said. "They're at a disadvantage with India with conventional forces," in terms of both weaponry and personnel.

Only three nuclear countries - Pakistan, India and Israel - have never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. India is estimated to have 60 to 100 weapons; numbers are even less precise for Israel's undeclared program, estimated at up to 200. North Korea, which has conducted nuclear tests and is believed to have produced enough fissile material for at least a half-dozen bombs, withdrew from the treaty in 2003.

Those figures make Pakistan the world's fifth-largest nuclear power, ahead of "legal" powers France and Britain. The vast bulk of nuclear stockpiles are held by the United States and Russia, followed by China.

While Pakistan has no declared nuclear doctrine, it sees its arsenal as a deterrent to an attack by the Indian forces that are heavily deployed near its border. India has vowed no first use of nuclear weapons, but it depends on its second-strike capability to deter the Pakistanis.

The United States imposed nuclear-related sanctions on Pakistan and India after both countries conducted weapons tests in 1998, but lifted them shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. With U.S. guidance and a $100 million assistance program, Pakistan moved to increase international confidence by overhauling its command and control structures.

Revelations in 2004 about an illegal international nuclear procurement network run by Pakistani nuclear official Abdul Qadeer Khan, which supplied nuclear materials to Libya, Iran and North Korea, led to further steps to improve security.

The 2008 agreement that permits India to purchase nuclear fuel for civilian purposes was a spur to Pakistani weapons production, experts said. Pakistan maintains that the treaty allows India to divert more of its own resources for military use.

As Pakistan sees India becoming a great power, "nuclear weapons become a very attractive psychological equalizer," said George Perkovich, vice president for studies and a nonproliferation specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The 1998 test date is a quasi-holiday in Pakistan, and the test site was once declared a national monument, part of the nuclear chest-thumping that, along with political instability, makes U.S. officials as nervous as the actual number of weapons.

In December 2008, Peter Lavoie, the U.S. national intelligence officer for South Asia, told NATO officials that "despite pending economic catastrophe, Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than any other country in the world," according to a classified State Department cable released late last year by the Internet site WikiLeaks.

Publication of the document so angered Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, that he told journalists there that the Pakistani people believe that the "real aim of U.S. [war] strategy is to denuclearize Pakistan," according to local media reports.

In 2009, Congress passed a $7.5 billion aid package for Pakistan with the stipulation that the administration provide regular assessments of whether any of the money "directly or indirectly aided the expansion of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program."

While continuing to produce weapons-grade uranium at two sites, Pakistan has sharply increased its production of plutonium, allowing it to make lighter warheads for more mobile delivery systems. Its newest missile, the Shaheen II, has a range of 1,500 miles and is about to go into operational deployment, Kristensen said. Pakistan also has developed nuclear-capable land- and air-launched cruise missiles.

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Posted on 01/31/2011 9:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Updating the Ancient Infrastructure of Christian Contempt: Sabeel
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Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, headquartered in Jerusalem, has been a persistent source of anti-Zionist agitation in mainline Protestant churches in the United States since its founding in 1994. The organization subjects Israel, Jews, and Judaism to intense scrutiny while remaining nearly silent about Arab and Muslim extremism in the Middle East. In addition to publicizing the writings of its founder, Anglican priest Naim Ateek, Sabeel broadcasts its message via regional conferences in the United States and regular study missions to Israel. Far-Left American and Israeli Jews are given prominent display at Sabeel conferences, where Israel is held up to a strict biblical standard of conduct while its adversaries are held to no standard at all. By giving its followers the sense that they are engaging in a showdown with the forces of evil embodied by Israel and its U.S supporters, Sabeel reenacts the church-synagogue rivalry documented in early Christian writings.

Continue reading here.

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Posted on 01/31/2011 5:56 AM by Dexter Van Zile
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Gunfight in Nigeria between police and members of Boko Haram after election candidate murdered
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From The Canadian Press

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in restive northern Nigeria on Sunday, killing a policeman and leading police to shoot dead two of the gunmen, police said. Police commissioner Mohammed Abubakar said the gunmen attacked Sunday morning. He said police believe the attackers were members of a radical Muslim sect.

"One of our policemen was killed today, Sunday, while two members of the Boko Haram gunmen were also gunned down during an exchange of gunshots at the Pompomari Housing estate in Maiduguri," Abubakar said. "Our men have also killed two of the attackers whom we believe are members of the outlawed Boko Haram sect."

He said the attack has prompted police to staff each of the city's more than 25 checkpoints with at least 10 policemen.

Earlier Sunday, Abubakar said police in the northern Nigeria city had arrested 19 people over the slaying of the region's dominant gubernatorial candidate. Modu Fannami Gubio was the Borno state candidate of the All Nigeria People's Party, a conservative party dominant in Nigeria's Muslim north, for the upcoming April elections. The party already controls politics in Borno state. He was killed Friday with six others. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killing. However, the attack mirrors the style used by Boko Haram.

Suspected Boko Haram members have used motorcycle-riding gunmen to attack soldiers and police manning checkpoints throughout Borno state, as well as those who publicly oppose the group. But much remains murky about Boko Haram's intentions, and whether all the killings in Maiduguri are due to the group's reemergence.

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Posted on 01/31/2011 4:27 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 31 January 2011
More on that burqa mural Down Under; a federal senator supports the artist's freedom of speech
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I have previously posted news items about Sergio Redegalli, an Italo-Australian glass artist who painted on an exterior wall of his studio in inner-city Newtown, Sydney, a mural of a Muslim woman in her slave mask, with the caption, 'Say No to Burqas'.'

Every dozy bint and proto-dhimmi Useful Idiot in Sydney came boiling out to attack him.  A Muslim woman has filed a complaint against him with the anti-discrimination board in NSW. And, as you will find from the following blog post by Australian Federal senator for South Australia, Cory Bernardi, Mr Redegalli has also received at least one blood-curdling death threat from a person with a Muslim name, on Facebook.

Here is the article, 'Defending Freedom of Speech', which Senator Bernardi has just put up on his personal blog, in defence of Mr Redegalli's right to speak.  

http://www.corybernardi.com/2011/01/defending-freedom-of-speech.html

'Defending Freedom of Speech''

'Sergio Redegalli is an artist who has become an eloquent spokesman for freedom of speech.  He has also become a friend - as much as you can be friends with someone you have never met.

'Unfortunately, he has been subject to a most appalling campaign of hate and violence, legal threats and personal attacks that now has him living in fear for his life.

'His crime?  Mr Redegalli is the artist responsible for the "Say No to Burqas" mural in Sydney's Newtown.

'To suggest that the six foot high mural has caused controversy would be an understatement but the campaign against Mr Redegalli has highlighted the growing threat of extremism that lurks in Australia.

'Artists pushing the boundaries of community acceptance is nothing new.  Personally, the quasi pornographic Bill Henson images of naked prepubescent teens masquerading as art appalled me.  

'I am also offended by the ritual humiliation of Christian belief in the name of art, but I accept that my taste is not shared by everyone.  To me, artistic expression is a small price to pay for living in a free country.

'In fact, any suggestion that an artist has gone 'too far' in their craft for mainstream sensibilities is usually met with a vigorous defence by those claiming we need to be more tolerant of freedom of expression.

'Unfortunately, it seems this tolerance only extends to those who agree with them.'

'Now, I happen to agree with Mr Redegalli that the burqa has no place in Australia.  I consider it a security risk and a symbol of repression and Islamic fundamentalism.  Many Muslims (and opinion polls suggest a vast majority of other Australians) agree with me.

'However, even if I didn't share Mr Redegalli's views, it is hard to accept that any sensible person could endorse the violent campaign of hate that he has been subject to.

'On dozens of occasions the mural has been vandalised.  Mr Redegalli has been the subject of repeated threats.  He has been forced to hire security guards to protect his business premises. 

'He even performed a citizen's arrest of one alleged vandal  (good job, Mr Redegalli! - CM) who turned out to be a Danish tourist recruited by local lefties.

A Danish tourist? From the same nation whose cartoonist Mr Kurt Westergaard, because he drew the 'turban-bomb Mohammed', had to flee in his own home from a murder-minded axe-wielding Muslim?  Good grief. - CM.

'Unfortunately for this rent-a-rebel, his comrades in arms gave up their solidarity when challenged, preferring instead to run away and leave him to face the Australian court system alone.

'Redegalli is currently having to defend himself before the anti-discrimination board of NSW from a complaint by a non-burqa wearing woman who feels outraged on behalf of her masked sisters in Islam that the mural is "racially vilifying".

What race is Islam, again? - CM.

'One crazy extremist using the Facebook moniker of Sinan Saifullah (which [the surname, 'Saifullah'- CM] basically means the sword of Allah) sent Redegalli a message on January 27 at 8.06 am:

"you racist dogg! ..ill paint over your painting with the blood i drain from your body when i slice your throat you redneck!!..".

'What a way to start the day.  Enjoy some breakfast after morning prayers and then launch a death threat on Facebook.

'Mr Redegalli has been condemned as a racist even though not one of his detractors can establish what race the burqa actually is, or for that matter, explain how Islam is a race rather than a totalitarian political ideology every bit as alien to democracy as communism.

Well said, Senator Bernardi.  If you can get a modicum of your fellow Senators in Federal Parliament to come to the same conclusion, I will feel much happier about Australia's longterm prospects as a free non-Muslim country - CM.

'But it is not just the Islamists who are targeting Mr Redegalli.  The extreme leftist movement have also led a campaign of hate, circulating materials that are designed to incite violent action within the community.

'This has prompted Mr Redegalli to take the unusual step of publishing his own rebuttal through a paid advertisement in his local paper.

Senator Bernardi provided a link, but it does not appear to work, alas.  

'Of course, there will be many who wholeheartedly disagree with Mr Redegalli's opposition to the burqa.  Many will also feel very uncomfortable with such a confronting public display of his sentiments.  They have every right to do so.

'However, we should all be worried that disagreement with another's opinion has resulted in a continuing campaign of violence and intimidation.  It suggests that the hand of extremism (sic: of the Muslim sharia-pushers and their deluded appeasers and fellow-travellers - CM) is tightening its grip on sections of Australian society - a problem that should concern us all."

Yes.

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Posted on 01/31/2011 1:23 AM by Christina McIntosh
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Belated report from S E Asian front of the Global Jihad, part I: Jihadists murder 4, wound 4 in Thai South
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From AFP, as reproduced in the Courier Mail, Brisbane, with some additional details from Thai news sources.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/mum-amongst-four-shot-dead-in-thailands-south/story-e6freoo6-1225996205911

'Mum amongst four shot dead in Thailand's south'

'A security volunteer collecting her two-year-old daughter from day care was among four people shot dead in separate attacks in Thailand's insurgency-plagued (sic: jihad-racked - CM) south, police said Friday.

'Unknown gunmen attacked the 37 year old Buddhist woman in front of her child in Pattani province on Thursday afternoon.

'Two Muslim men, aged 24 and 41, were killed in separate drive-by shootings in the same province on Thursday.

'Another gun attack in neighbouring Yala province on the same day left a 35 year old Muslim security volunteer dead at his home.

'Shadowy Islamic insurgents have appeared to intensify fighting recently, with an unusually brazen attack by armed rebels on a Thai military base in Narathiwat province last week killing at least four soldiers.

'On Friday (nota bene - on Friday, the Muslim 'holy' day - CM), a Buddhist monk and three troops escorting him to collect morning alms were injured when a homemade bomb hidden at the foot of a bridge in Pattani, was detonated by radio.

'Militants (how many different ways can the western press avoid saying 'jihadist'? - CM) have waged a violent campaign (sic: JIHAD - CM) in Thailand's southernmost region bordering Malaysia since early 2004, leaving more than 4400 people dead, including both Muslims and Buddhist.

In one Chinese newspaper report online, I found that someone had done a bit of homework and discovered that of the 4400 dead since 2004, about 500 were police or soldiers; meaning that the vast majority of those murdered by the jihadists, were civilian noncombatants, such as the Buddhist monk in the report I have just posted.  I have yet to see, anywhere, a breakdown of how many of those killed are Buddhists, and how many, Muslims. - CM.

'Thailand extended emergency rule last week in most of the Muslim-majority region for another three months, despite rights groups' concerns about the powers given to the military.

The 'rights groups', in these cases, always seem to be much more anxious about what might happen to the Muslim jihadists and the community that shelters them,  than about the trauma inflicted on, for example, a peaceful Buddhist monk who is blown up by a Muslim-planted bomb, or upon a little two-year-old Buddhist girl who sees the jihadist assassins murdering her mother.  - CM.

By looking in the Bangkok Post, I found a separate story on the 35 year old Muslim defence volunteer, whose name was Malaseng Sa-ah. Curiously, I have not yet been able to find any more information about the mother who was killed in front of her child.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/218693/yala-defence-volunteer-shot-dead

The Post also had a more detailed account of the attack on the Buddhist monk and his soldier escort.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/218682/monk-soldiers-wounded-by-pattani-bomb

'The monk and two soldiers received minor wounds, but other two soldiers were in critical condition with severe leg injuries..

'The bomb victims were identified as Phra Watcharapong, of Wat Lakmuang (the monk), Private Seksan Inpetch (23), Private Krisda Buaban (19), Private Veerapong Prasertsorn (23), and Private Boontom Kantee (22).'

And the Thais appear to have got hold of a suspect for the bombing of the monk:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/219100/police-arrest-pattani-bomb-suspect

And guess what he is?

"Police have arrested an Islamic religious teacher on suspicion of involvement in the road bombing in Pattani's Muang district that injured one Buddhist monk and four soldiers on January 28...".

One Waesa-udee Waesukaloh, to be precise.  It seems these jihadists in southern Thailand are not quite so 'shadowy' as Reuters, AFP, AP, and their ilk would have us believe.   I wonder which madrasa he teaches at, and which mosque he attends? - CM.

 

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Posted on 01/31/2011 4:54 AM by Christina McIntosh
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Monday, 31 January 2011
Jihad Slavery in the Sudan: An Interview with Charles Jacobs
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by Jerry Gordon (February 2011)

 

Charles Jacobs is an enterprising activist based in Boston. We have written about his exploits in “Chelm on the Charles River,” as he endeavored to arouse the Boston community against the rise of Jihadism in his battle over the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center controlled by Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Muslim American Society, with terror financier enablers and anti-Semitic trustees. We have also witnessed his valued attempts to warn the Boston Jewish Community of the dangers and delusions of interfaith Muslim dialogue.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2011 3:44 PM by NER
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Monday, 31 January 2011
The Ruins at Kunduchi
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by Geoffrey Clarfield (February 2011)


As I stood in the middle of the ruins, three women calmly hacked away at the bushes and secondary growth in the baobab forest that surrounded us. They were wearing turbans and printed cloths of many colors wrapped around their breasts and torsos. Apart from the sound of the waves, the hack hack of their pangas (Swahili for machete) was the only sound that cut the morning air.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2011 3:37 PM by NER
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