Friday, 31 August 2012
Israel in the Crosshairs

by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (September 2012)

Israel, with her back to the Mediterranean, is surrounded by threats on all of her borders.

On her Southern border an attack by Sinai Islamic terrorists which killed 15 Egyptian soldiers was repulsed by IDF forces. In the wake of the attack there was the re-militarization of the Sinai by Egyptian security and military attacks on Sinai Bedouin terrorist enclaves. That led to Egypt positioning tanks and air defense installations in violation of the 1979 Camp David Accords.  more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 1:54 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
Jews and the Invention of Ethical Consciousness

by Moshe Dann (September 2012)

When does civilization begin? Technically, one can cite the origins of city-states, the development of writing, and the use of sophisticated tools. Tribal monarchies in Mesopotamia, Egyptian dynasties, Hittites and Hurrians all contributed to the development of early cultures – and all disappeared, leaving little trace of what they accomplished. There was, however, a single exception, a group of people who created a spiritual civilization, based on the belief in a divine covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and a book (five books, actually), Torah, and an extensive library thereafter, Tanach (prophesy and history), Talmud (discussions of the Oral Law, halacha) and vast libraries of interpretations.  more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 1:47 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
A Day of Woe

by Myron Gananian (September 2012)

All these things are the beginning of sorrows. Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. - Matthew (24:8,9)

Khachik (Cross) Chookalian could not know that these would be the last flutterings of his eyelids as the just rising sun touched him from atop the hills limning the upper reaches of the Euphrates River, the fourth and last of God’s river creations, whose headwaters are the River of Hate, the River Styx. Nor would his family know of the evil that awaited them on this very special day, Easter Sunday, April 14th, 1913, by the calculation of the Julian calendar, nor that exactly two years later today’s immolation of a handful of impoverished Armenian peasants would be the harbinger for a deluge of blood-letting in the very shadow of the Biblical flood that would inundate the entire country of Turkey and splatter the fleeing remnants for the next century.  more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 1:41 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
2016, Obama’s America – The Film

by Norman Berdichevsky (September 2012)

The low ethical standards of some of the candidates in the recent Republican primary in Florida and the very low turnout bodes ill for the future of the party in attracting new blood and carrying on a spirited campaign to defeat President Obama in November. This dismal malaise was even more apparent during the long drawn out and disreputable spectacle of the presidential primary race across many states in which both Gingrinch and Santorum called Mitt Romney a liar, a buy-out venture and vulture capitalist without any scruples and worse, laid the groundwork for the current malicious campaign of the Democrats.  more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 1:35 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
Adult Conversations

by G. Murphy Donovan (September 2012)

“Maturity is when your world opens and you realize that you are not the center of it.”
 – M.J. Croan

What are the prospects for a US vice-presidential candidate who makes a reputation insulting colleagues and voters alike? Paul Ryan does just that. He insists on having an “adult conversation” about the national economy; implying that the political class and the electorate have regressed to a kind of self-destructive economic selfishness. If candor were coconuts; Ryan would be a bag of macaroons. The selection of Paul Ryan is either a stroke of cryptic genius or a poison pill for the Republicans and the Romney campaign. more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 1:30 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
France, Riots and the Poverty of Marxists

by Geoffrey Clarfield (September 2012)

On August 14, 2012 the BBC filed this report on the latest burst of urban violence in France:

Buildings and cars were torched overnight as youths and police clashed in the northern French city of Amiens. Sixteen police officers were injured in the clashes with up to 100 youths, some of whom threw fireworks, large-sized shot and projectiles, say police. Reports suggest the unrest may have been triggered after police arrested a man for dangerous driving. Interior Minister Manuel Valls was jostled when he visited the area. A small group of people tried to push through his security detail as he walked through the area, alternately booing him, cursing him and trying to speak to him. President Francois Hollande has vowed to beef up security resources to combat the violence, saying public security was "not just a priority but an obligation".


Posted on 08/31/2012 1:24 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
Islamifornia Dreamin’: Maha ElGenaidi Comes to Nashville

by Rebecca Bynum (September 2012)

I attended a lecture entitled, “Women and Sharia,” held at David Lipscomb University (a Church of Christ college) on August 23 in order to observe the latest manifestation of mass psycho-social delusion. After all, it is obvious to even the most reality averse that women are not considered the equal of men in Islamic countries all over the world. The doctrine of male superiority becomes obvious from the most cursory reading of the Islamic texts and yet there are apparently quite a number of people (over 300 in attendance) who are willing to set reality aside and suspend critical thought in order to believe a comfortable lie; men and women are “absolutely equal under Islam” and that “Muslim women actually enjoy more rights than American women.”  more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 1:03 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
The Final Crisis of the Left

by Fergus Downie (September 2012)

Today’s ideology of the Left is a boutique of fragments …. the ‘debris of dead Marxist galaxies’
--Robert Wistrich

If one had to identify those cultural trends which have done most to define the political terrain of the 21st century, the descent of the Left into barbarism must rank high on any conceivable list, and the alliances forged in the heat of the anti-war movement provide ample evidence of this intellectual and moral decay. If the left historically stood for anything it was the for the principles secularism, and the universal values of the enlightenment against the religious authoritarianism and blood and soil mysticism of the Reactionary Right. Nothing should have been less likely than the Red-Black alliance which, behind the scenes, has been the prime mover behind the mass protests and the political fronts spawned in their aftermath..  more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 12:35 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
Closing the State Mental Hospitals

by Thomas J. Scheff (September 2012)

This is the story of my studies of mental hospitals. My first was Stockton State Hospital, in northern California. My involvement began when I was still a graduate student in sociology at UC Berkeley. The Department of Mental Hygiene in Sacramento made available several six-month fellowships to study mental hospitals. I was chosen to be one of Fellows, and, in turn, I chose to study Stockton State, beginning August 1, 1958. This study was the basis for my Ph.D dissertation. As it turned out, the study raised questions for me that I was able to examine more fully in the research I did on the Wisconsin mental hospital system, to be described in a later essay.  more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 12:28 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
Hamlet Made Simple

by David P. Gontar (September 2012)     


When we open our copy of The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, begging admittance, the book raises weary eyes to us, yet another visitor, and complains loudly, "Who's there?" (I, i, 1) We are just the latest intruders in a strange place where secrets lie jealously guarded, like the apples Dorothy picks in the suburbs of Oz. Those peevish trees will never tell her she's still asleep in Kansas. It is the same challenge with which an arch Caterpillar confronts a bewildered Alice: "Who Are You?" We are allowed in, of course, but as we don't supply a fitting answer, the pouting text remains suspicious and aloof, abandoning us to our own devices.  We have been reminded of our Delphic duty, something we have not so much discharged as avoided by simply living, growing up, and taking on the motley roles we're assigned in life. (As You Like It,  II, vii, 139-166; The Tragedy of Macbeth, V, v, 18-27) more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 12:21 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
The Art of Destruction

by Theodore Dalrymple (September 2012)

When I was about nine or ten years old my father had a bonfire of Victorian paintings. Like many a person who was inclined by nature to hoard, he sometimes had fits of clearing things out to make space, presumably for something else to accumulate. The paintings shared a loft for several years with crates of tinned fruit that he had bought during the Korean War, in the fear that the conflict would spread and rationing re-introduced. He kept the fruit and got rid of the paintings.  more>>>

Posted on 08/31/2012 12:10 PM by NER
Friday, 31 August 2012
How Did Khalil Jalil End Up In Great Britain?

Warning: Khalil Jamil blamed his behaviour on his restrictive background

Speaking afterwards Graham Edwards, said on behalf of Mr Jamil: ‘I think the panel’s decision was overall correct.

‘Although Mr Jamil had not acted with sexual motivation, and although he had crossed professional boundaries, it is clear that through his insight and his remedial actions and courses followed, the correct decision has been made to assess that he is not impaired. However it must be said that with Mr Jamil’s failure to observe professional boundaries, which brought him to this hearing, it is correct that the panel warned him about his future behaviour. The duration of the inquiry into these matters, being three years, has caused Mr Jamil and his family to be emotionally damaging, at a great deal financial of cost.’

                                                                                       [From the story in The Daily Mail]

What was the "emotional damage" to the three women who had endured his maladroit advances? 
What was the "financial cost" to the taxpayers who had to pay for the investigation, and for the trial itself -- lawyers, and the judge's salary, and so on?
What is, what will be, the cost to social and cultural coherence, to Scotland, to England, and to Great Britain, of having such a person as Khalil Jalil settled deep within, not far from the  heart of Midlothian?
Tote it all up.
And then add just one more little worry.

If Khalil Jalil should ever take it upon himself to take to heart what the Qur'an and Hadith inculcate on the subject of non-Muslims, if he were ever to be enraged at some act of non-Muslims toward Muslims, in his immediate vicinity or thousands of miles away, if he were then to take out his revenge by deliberately mixing up or misfilling prescriptions, so as to endanger or take the life of some unsuspecting non-Musliim having his prescription refilled -- a scenario that is not far-fetched but perfectly reasonable, or at least reasonable to those who have read and understood the texts of Islam and the attitudes and atmospherics of societies, communities, families suffused with Islam -- then who should be sued? Who will be liable in such a case? Everyone who has suppressed knowledge, or the ability of citizens to acquire knowledge, of Islam. That's who. A day of reckoning, or many days, of many reckonings. 
Posted on 08/31/2012 10:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 August 2012
Pharmacist asked colleague about her favourite love-making position 'because he came from a restrictive Muslim background'

From the Daily Mail

A pharmacist who made crude remarks to three of his female colleagues has escaped with a warning after a panel heard he came from a 'restrictive Muslim background' and was unaware of the offence his conduct had caused.

Khalil Jamil asked one of the women about her favourite love-making position and quizzed another about the mating habits of her horses - but a professional panel ruled his behaviour was not sexually motviated.

The General Pharmaceutical Council panel found Jamil acted inappropriately by making the comments and standing too close to his assistants.

However, they accepted that his background in a strict Muslim community meant he was unfamiliar to working in such an open environment with women and his basic social skills meant he lacked understanding of appropriate conduct.

As the remarks were not sexually motivated the panel cleared Jamil of misconduct and gave him an official warning.

It also took into consideration the fact that Jamil had remedied his actions by attending a 'dignity at work' course.

In a statement read to the hearing one of Jamil’s colleagues, referred to as CH, said she was working with Jamil at the Cooperative Pharmacy in Fauldhouse, West Lothian, in July 2009, when he asked: ‘Do you have a boyfriend? Do you want a boyfriend?’

She said: ‘Whenever it went quiet he came back to me and stood close again. He asked me if I was into sports, I said “No”. He said he was into boxing and said feel my stomach. He grabbed my wrist and tried to get me to touch his stomach.'

Jamil had told the hearing that he had no desire to be in a relationship with the woman saying: ‘I suppose I was showing off, at the time, that I train, I work hard.'

He made similar remarks to another assistant, referred to only as SS, while he was working as a locum at a Morrisons pharmacy in St Andrews, Fife, in November 2009. The pharmacist approached her while she was at the computer at and asked her if she had a boyfriend and how she liked to have sex with him. A similar incident occurred the following week in which he put his arms around her waist.

A third woman, known as SR, was working at the same pharmacy when Jamil stood close to her that as she bent down to pick up some prescriptions, she could not help but back into him. She added that he had asked if getting her horses’ castrated had affected the animals’ sex drives and whether it would have the same effect on a man.

He had admitted that all the incidents took place but denied any possible sexual motivation.

Speaking afterwards Graham Edwards, said on behalf of Mr Jamil: ‘I think the panel’s decision was overall correct.

‘Although Mr Jamil had not acted with sexual motivation, and although he had crossed professional boundaries, it is clear that through his insight and his remedial actions and courses followed, the correct decision has been made to assess that he is not impaired. However it must be said that with Mr Jamil’s failure to observe professional boundaries, which brought him to this hearing, it is correct that the panel warned him about his future behaviour. The duration of the inquiry into these matters, being three years, has caused Mr Jamil and his family to be emotionally damaging, at a great deal financial of cost.’

I don’t believe his defence – and I really don’t understand how the panel fell for it. Surely if his strict religious background made him socially inept he would hardly speak to a woman and blush like fury if one spoke to him. At least that’s how all the nice, shy Christian and Jewish boys I have met in my time behave. And three years studying for a pharmacy degree meant he must have seen women on the course - it isn't taught at a madrassa.

Posted on 08/31/2012 10:22 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 31 August 2012
German Chutzpah
Merkel urges Israel not to strike Iran: report

JERUSALEM — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to order a military strike against Iranian nuclear sites, the newspaper Haaretz reported on Friday.

The article, citing an Israeli official on condition of anonymity, said Merkel had called Netanyahu 10 days ago amid a wave of reports of an imminent Israeli attack, to give a "clear message as to her opposition" to such action.

Merkel urged Netanyahu to "give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to work," and warned of the consequences of such an attack for security in the Middle East.

A spokesman for Netanyahu refused to comment on the report or to confirm the conversation had taken place.

Netanyahu told a visiting US congressman last Friday that Iran was speeding up its quest for nuclear weapons in defiance of international sanctions.

The Haaretz article described the phone call as "exceptional" given the "almost complete disconnect" for two months between Merkel and Netanyahu after a sharp disagreement over Israeli settlements and the Palestinian issue.

Deputy government spokesman Georg Streiter told a Berlin news conference he could "not confirm (the information in) this article," reminding that Berlin did not believe in a military solution to the Iran nuclear issue.

Merkel also said an Israeli attack would have severe consequences for the European Union and that international sanctions, which were taking their toll on Iran, should be strengthened and given time to work, Haaretz wrote.

Comment: Was Merkel's remark a threat, or a prediction? If a threat, it is morally intolerable coming from Germany. If it is merely a more-in-sorrow prediction, Merkel's government, and any German government, o do everything possible to reverse anti-Israel sentiment, and to prevent any anti-Israel measures, in Europe as elsewhere in the world. And within Europe, the German government should work to create conditions in which antisemitism is miminimized, and that means doing everything it can to reduce the Muslim presence and power.  Such things are not, but should be, a permanent and central feature of German policy, foreign and domestic]

Iran has doubled its capacity to produce enriched uranium at its underground Fordo plant, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report released late on Thursday.

The IAEA also accuses Iran of frustrating UN inspection of its Parchin plant, where it suspects tests of explosives that could be used in a nuclear warhead were carried out, by scrubbing it clean.

Netanyahu said on Thursday he would present to the UN the "truth about the terror regime of Iran" at his General Assembly address in late September.

Posted on 08/31/2012 8:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 August 2012
Pakistan blasphemy case: 'Muslims could take law into their own hands'

From The Guardian

Lawyer for man who accused Christian girl of burning Qur'an raises spectre of vigilante act if Rimsha Masih is not convicted. Rao Abdur Raheem, (A) lawyer representing the man who accused a Pakistani Christian girl of blasphemy has said that if she is not convicted, Muslims could "take the law into their own hands".

Rimsha's family had hoped that she would be granted bail Thursday (today) after a crucial medical report lodged earlier this week with the court found that she was a juvenile and mentally underdeveloped. Her family says that she is 11 years old and suffering from learning difficulties. But those hopes were dashed when Raheem challenged the report and the hearing was postponed.

According to  Raheem, the medical report on Masih was illegal, as it followed the orders of a civil servant and not the court, and went beyond its remit of determining her age. He accused the government of supporting her and manipulating court proceedings. Speaking outside the Islamabad court after the hearing, Raheem said: "There are many Mumtaz Qadris in this country … This [medical] report has been managed by the state, state agencies and the accused."

Raheem told the Guardian: "If the court is not allowed to do its work, because the state is helping the accused, then the public has no other option except to take the law into their own hands." Raheem said he had taken on the case for free because he was convinced that Masih should be punished. "This girl is guilty. If the state overrides the court, then God will get a person to do the job," he said.

Look at that face - is there a human being behind those glasses?

The fate of the Christians at Gojra hangs heavily over Masih's own community. They fled en masse after Rimsha Masih was taken away by police from her home. Now, two weeks on, Two weeks later, many of the Christians have trickled back, but they remain terrified.

One Christian, Arif Masih, returned to his house in Mehrabadi after nine days to find it looted. "People are so afraid, they cannot sleep at night," he said. "We just want to leave, we want to be given somewhere else to live," said Masih."

Posted on 08/31/2012 1:36 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Rabbis for Obama versus Rabbis for Romney


Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb                                                          Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg
Rabbis for Obama                                                             Rabbis for Romney

Just before the GOP convention in Tampa,  August 21st, Rabbis for Obama was announced.  613 names were included on the list. The significance of the number 613 to observant Jews is the range of  613 commandments covering  commitments to their faith, their community, and their fellow man.  They are called mitzvot. There are 248 positive ones versus 365 negative ones.  Problem is that  the negative set of mitzvot  does not include commandments to engage in boycott, divestments and sanctions against the Jewish State of Israel nor ones to dialogue with enemies seeking to wipe Israel off the map of the World. Nor do they contain mitzvot to deny the sovereignty of Israel by supporting the nationhood of a neighboring territory  espousing terrorism and destruction of Israel   by dividing its eternal  capital, Jerusalem.

When I scrolled done the list of Rabbis for Obama in Florida, I found one I had met, a temporary reform rabbi in my community of Pensacola.  When I told him I didn’t feature the new head of United Reform Judaism, Rabbi Richard Jacobs, because he was part of rabbinic cabinet of J Street- a group committed to declaration of an instant Palestinian State, he said in reply:  “Rabbi Jacobs was his roommate at the Reform Seminary and he too, was a J Streeter”.

 This reform Rabbi is not an  isolated example. There are worse.   The Jewish Chronicle, the weekly paper of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, in an article, “Competing groups enlist rabbis in support of Obama, Romney”, noted some extremist members of Rabbis for Obama:

But the group, which was just launched last week, has already met with controversy. It has been criticized by the Republican Jewish Coalition as being comprised largely of far left wing, anti-Israel zealots, most notably Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb of the Jewish Renewal movement, who once spoke at an interfaith event in New York featuring Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Gottlieb is also an advisory board member of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a group that promotes boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Israel.

In fact, eight of JVP’s 35 rabbinical council members are also Rabbis for Obama. Included on that list is David Mivasair, a Vancouver-based rabbi who suggested in a blog post in 2010 that the actions of the United States and Israel might have elicited the 9/11 terror attacks, and who has downplayed the launching of Palestinian rockets into Sderot.

The Obama campaign has denied the RJC’s characterization and issued the following statement:

“The president's strong support of Israel and toughest-ever actions against Iran has led rabbis from across the political spectrum to express their support for the president and have committed to seeing him re-elected. The president obviously does not endorse or embrace their every affiliation, action or utterance.”

About 225 members of Rabbis for Obama are also members of J Street’s rabbinic cabinet. J Street bills itself as a pro-Israel, pro-peace organization, though many conservatives have attacked their positions as anti-Israel.

Our colleague at the NER Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, noted theologian and author had an opinion article in The Connecticut Jewish Ledger, “Urgently Needed: Rabbis for Romney”.  Rubenstein presented the rationale for formation of Rabbis for Romney:

There are many reasons why I believe the rabbis who have signed on are fundamentally mistaken. The issues are urgent and rabbinic trust in President Obama is sadly and mistakenly misplaced. Boiled down to essentials, here is why I see the need for the formation of Rabbis for Romney:

No enemy has proven as dangerous as the revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran with its population of 75 million and the resources with which to become a nuclear power. Moreover, the theocratic leaders of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and their successors have not only have promised to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, they have used a religious term to designate Israel, “little Satan,” thereby indicating that they regard Israel’s destruction as a non-negotiable religious imperative.
They have also used the term “great Satan” to refer to the United States. And, what has been the American response? Ineffective sanctions and dilatory delaying tactics, while using every possible pressure tactic to prevent Israel from seeking to destroy the Iranian weapons program before it is too late.
[. . .]
Some of those who have signed on with Rabbis for Obama have indicated that they do not object to the State of Israel but to Israel’s “occupation of Palestinian land.” And, that, of course, has been a principal demand of the Obama administration. When will they ever learn? Every time Israel has ceded territory, that territory has been turned into a base from which to attack her-Gaza, South Lebanon, and now Sinai. Nothing that Israel surrenders will bring peace. On the contrary, it will only facilitate her enemy’s destructive promises. It was Albert Einstein who once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The Chronicle article referred to Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg, who answered Dr. Rubenstein by picking up the cudgel to argue for establishment of Rabbis for Romney.  Note what Dr. Rosenberg, who heads a Conservative Jewish pulpit in Edison, New Jersey said as rationale:

In response to the formation of Rabbis for Obama, Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg, spiritual leader of the Conservative Congregation Beth-El in Edison, N.J., is attempting to launch “Rabbis for Romney.” His outreach to like-minded rabbis had garnered 32 positive responses as of Monday this week, although he says he needs at least 300 potential members before he will be able to form a group with the support of the Republican Party.
[. . .]
 “When 600 rabbis come out for Obama, it sends a message to Romney to not bother with the Jews,” Rosenberg said. “Obama needs the Jewish vote, so he’s being positive to Israel right now.

“If Romney wins, he doesn’t owe anything to the Jewish community [if Jews do not support him],” he said. “My concern is what’s going to happen to Israel. Obama is not doing anything with Iran. Ambassador [Dennis] Ross has said this is the worst time for Israel ever. We’re in deep trouble, and the average Jew doesn’t get it. People ask me if a Holocaust can happen again. Of course it can happen again. Iran can send its nukes to Tel Aviv. People don’t get it.”

In a letter to the editor that we received, Rosenberg goes on to give some further rationale for formation of Rabbis for Romney:

Some of the rabbis who signed onto “Rabbis for Obama” have told me they do not object to Israel’s existence per se, but rather to Israel’s “occupation of Palestinian land.” “Rabbis for Romney” could show our misguided colleagues that every time Israel has ceded territory to the Arabs, they have turned that land into a base from which to launch terror attacks: Gaza, Judea and Samaria, South Lebanon, and now Sinai. Forcing Israel to surrender will never bring about peace. It will only facilitate her enemies’ destructive promises.

But Israel would not be our only issue. Americans must see that “Rabbis for Romney” understand why the principles of ObamaCare are in opposition to Jewish traditions. Who better than rabbis to explain what this economy is doing to so many of our people, and why it is being made worse by this administration’s policies, not better

Many of us also know that vouchers and school-choice programs are the only way to make sure all children—including our own—receive a proper, appropriate education. We will never get anywhere with this idea as long as Obama is in office.

 Those who watched the opening of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa saw  that one of the invocations was given by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik.  Note what Peter Beinert, a controversial editor  at The Daily Beast  and promoter of J Street said about him in an article,”Republican Rabbis and The Soloveichik Dynasty” :

Meir Soloveichik is a grand nephew of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitichik, and an accomplished and learned rabbi himself—ordination from YU, doctorate from Princeton, rabbi at one of the leading modern Orthodox congregations in New York, candidate for the Chief Rabbi of Britain, and outspoken conservative polemicist on issues ranging from abortion to gay marriage to the Affordable Care Act.

Watch Rabbi Soloveichik give the invocation at the RNC:

Posted on 08/30/2012 11:40 PM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 30 August 2012
In Tunisia, Those Who Take islam Most To Heart Threaten Those Who Are Not Quite So Fanatical

Note the phrases "fundamentalist Islamists" and "moderate Islamists." A few years ago I wrote about the "moderate extremists" and compared them favorably to "the extreme extremists." I didn't realize how soon those phrases, or equivalent ones, would be put to solemn use.

From the

Tunisia democratic activists fear a tilt toward militant Islam

Fundamentalist Islamists in Tunisia try to exert influence on the country as it moves unsteadily toward democracy. ["fundamentalist Islamists" means "those who take Islam most to heart"]

By Jeffrey Fleishman

August 30, 2012


SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia — Bearded and sweaty, they pressed in, their faces shining in the shadow and light beneath billowing tunics hanging for sale outside a mosque. The sun edged higher. A veiled woman hurried past and a boy stepped closer to listen to men complain about no jobs in fields or factories, no water in thousands of homes.

"I didn't trust the old government and I don't trust the new one. They lie. I trust in another revolution," said Khalid Ahmedi, his disgust sharpening as shopkeepers slipped past him to pray. "The constitution must be based on the Koran and our prophet. I say to the enemies of Tunisia: We are the sons of Osama bin Laden."

In this town where a fruit seller set himself on fire and inspired uprisings that swept the Arab world, men quote scripture to ease the ills around them. Tunisia has been regarded as a model for its relatively smooth shift from generations of autocratic rule toward democracy. But even as the downfall of President Zine el Abidine ben Ali in 2011 revived political discourse, it roused deep-seated strands of puritanical Islam that are challenging civil freedoms.

The moderate Islamist Nahda party ["moderate Islamist Nahda party" means fanatics who are slightly less fanatical than the Salafis etc.]dominates a coalition government but is under pressure from Salafis and other fundamentalist Muslim groups to tilt the nation closer to sharia, or Islamic law. A proposed bill would protect "sacred values" and criminalize acts such as images and satire against religion. A draft constitution designates women, who make up about 25% of the constituent assembly and are among the most liberated in the Arab world, as complementary to men in family life.

"The extremists here are like the Ku Klux Klan in America," said Bayrem Kilani, a folk singer whose satirical lyrics have upset both Islamists and Ben Ali loyalists. "We have two ways to go now: the way of modern democracy or the way of medieval theocracy."

Art galleries have been firebombed and ransacked, film directors have been threatened, and a prominent Nahda member was assaulted by an extremist at a recent conference titled "Tolerance in Islam." The fervor echoes the passion of Salafis emerging in Egypt and other nations. But it appears more volatile in Tunisia, even though the population of ultraconservatives is significantly smaller.

What is unfolding here is yet another test of what will shape emerging governments in North Africa and the Middle East. The unresolved struggle between fundamentalist and moderate Islamists is the center of a larger debate with liberals and secularists over religion's influence on public life. It has been agitated by newly free societies that feel both the tug of the traditional and the allure of the contemporary.

"I think there may be a civil war," said Bochra Belhaj Hamida, a lawyer and human rights advocate. "Modern Islamists aren't in a hurry to change society, but the Salafis want to do it as quickly as possible. They're focused on Tunisia because of our advanced civil and women's rights. They want to win here to show the rest of the region."

Much of the puritanical wellspring emanates from rural outposts that for years swelled with hate for Ben Ali while dispatching militants to conflicts in Algeria, Iraq and other countries. Fearing that ultraconservatives will question its Islamic credentials, Nahda has done little to stem extremist tendencies. Secularists suggest Nahda is using Salafis to advance an agenda more radical than the party publicly acknowledges.

Nahda's popularity is slipping amid a high unemployment rate, discontent among youths, labor strikes and battles over religion. Tunisians are expected to vote in a referendum on the new constitution next year and, although the country is vibrant with open debate, there is a sense that the revolution has veered in the wrong direction.

The Islamists are "not strong enough to mention sharia in the constitution," said Motah Elwaar, a leftist. "But if they win the next election, they will change the laws."

The capital, Tunis, resonates with Islamist ethos and cosmopolitan flair as if competing personalities are vying for the future. Despite their disarray and infighting, liberals and secularists are strong in Tunis; a recent march to protect women's rights drew thousands into the main boulevard, modeled after a Paris street and bearing the vestiges of colonial rule.

Beyond the capital's ring road and the Mediterranean coast, where highways narrow and dry valleys widen, fields and olive groves stretch through the dust on the way to Sidi Bouzid. Poverty is rampant and young men, like Mohamed Bouazizi, the fruit seller who set himself on fire in despair and touched off Tunisia's revolution in late 2010, stew in empty hours.

Down the street from Bouazizi's memorial — a statue of a fruit cart — the graffiti of revolt had turned into a sparse poetry of despair: "It's a shame they stole our revolution." Soldiers stood guard at the courthouse, where scores of dissidents are on trial for storming a government building. Young secularists seemed unfocused and unsure of how to make things better.

"There's no freedom of expression. No jobs," said Ali Abidi, a blogger. "The Islamists are sitting on the town. The police can't control them anymore. The Salafis don't like what I write. One of them told me, 'Your end is not going to be pretty.' But we just want our rights."

There was certainty in the voices around the mosque.

"We are Muslims. We trust only God," said Abdel Omri, a husky man with a full beard and skullcap shopping for sandals on the sidewalk. "We only use the government to get our ID cards. It has no bearing on our lives. We don't believe in man's democracy. God gave us democracy in the Koran. God accepts and God forbids. That is all."

Omri said he runs a telecommunications repair company and hires only fellow Salafis.

"I was liberal before," he said. "I didn't know my religion. The former regime made Islam disappear. But now I know my faith. I'm very happy. I converted two Christians to Islam not long ago."

Behind the mosque, in a row of shops, Ussayf Issaoni couldn't see beyond his rage: four children, high rent, water shortages, a hurting business, a failing government. He said the revolution that rose from these streets has forsaken him. New dangers, once held at bay, have moved closer.

"A young bearded Salafi was sitting in front of my store," said Issaoni, who owns a phone accessory shop. "I asked him to leave. A lot of my customers are girls and they might feel intimidated by him. He came back with his friends and they beat me. I was in the hospital for two weeks."

Ben Ali's security forces arrested thousands of Islamists accused of plotting to overthrow his government and export extremism across the Middle East and Europe. Younger militants were inspired by foreign Islamic fighters and by decades during which the government suppressed even moderate Islam and dispatched state-sanctioned preachers to mosques.

The Salafi groups that have emerged after years of being underground include those run by older ultraconservatives who, like their counterparts in Egypt, want a place in the new government. But younger Salafis are more militant and resistant to compromise, regarding secularists and liberals as Zionists and infidels. They speak of spiritual renewal.

"We follow the prophet. We try to change what you believe on the inside," said Mohamed Amim, sitting in a whitewashed mosque on a warm evening with his friends. "Our goal is not to change music and cinema, but to change the spirit."

Nahda and other moderate Islamist organizations have yet to ease the militant passions of a group that, although small, presents a threat to a fledgling government beset with deep economic problems.

"It will be very dangerous if we try to deny the Salafis a political say," said Abdel Cherif, a ranking Nahda member. "Our goal is to make them forget about weapons and conflict. We want them to participate in political life."

Posted on 08/30/2012 10:10 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Calls For The French Army, As A Toxic Blend Of Drugs, Crime, And Islam Convulses Marseille

From   [You must read not only the lines, but between the lines]

Hollande et Valls excluent d'envoyer l'armée à Marseille

Par Tristan Quinault Maupoil

Réactions (382)
François Hollande et Manuel Valls lors d'un déplacement dans le Var
François Hollande et Manuel Valls lors d'un déplacement dans le Var Crédits photo : CLAUDE PARIS/AFP

 Une sénatrice socialiste prône le recours à l'armée pour enrayer les règlements de comptes qui ensanglantent la ville. Le premier ministre a annoncé un comité interministériel sur le sujet le 6 septembre.

Le ministre de l'Intérieur, Manuel Valls, s'est opposé jeudi à toute idée d'intervention militaire à Marseille pour combattre l'insécurité galopante qui secoue la ville. «Il est hors de question que l'armée puisse répondre à ces drames et à ces crimes. Il n'y a pas d'ennemi intérieur» à Marseille, a réagi Manuel Valls devant plusieurs journalistes, préférant «une réponse globale, en profondeur et particulièrement forte» à la criminalité. «L'armée n'a pas sa place dans ces quartiers», assure le ministre. «Je comprends l'appel au secours des élus de cette ville», qui «a été d'une certaine manière laissée à l'abandon», a ajouté Manuel Valls. Marseille est «une priorité qui mérite une réponse dans tous les aspects» parce que «cette ville, la deuxième ville de France, a besoin du soutien et de la protection de l'État», a-t-il déclaré.

Un avis confirmé quelques heures plus tard par le président de la République. «La situation à Marseille est une priorité pour le gouvernement mais c'est à la police et la justice qu'il appartient d'y lutter contre la criminalité», a commenté François Hollande lors d'un déplacement à Madrid. Il s'est dit prêt à «renforcer les capacités des forces de l'ordre» à Marseille.

Dans une déclaration transmise à l'AFP, le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a également confirmé que le concours de l'armée n'est en aucun cas envisagé dans le maintien de l'ordre public à Marseille».

Le matin même, un homme de 25 ans a été tué d'une rafale de kalachnikov, nouvel épisode de la guerre que se livrent les trafiquants de drogue dans la Cité phocéenne. Au total, dix-neuf règlements de comptes ont été enregistrés depuis le début de l'année dans les Bouches-du-Rhône.

Une situation qui a fait réagir la sénatrice socialiste de Marseille, Samia Ghali, qui a proposé le recours de l'armée pour faire cesser le trafic de drogue. «Aujourd'hui, face aux engins de guerre utilisés par les réseaux, il n'y a que l'armée qui puisse intervenir. Pour désarmer les dealers, d'abord. Et puis pour bloquer l'accès des quartiers aux clients comme en temps de guerre, avec des barrages. Même si cela doit durer un an ou deux», a-t-elle expliqué dans un entretien au quotidien La Provence.

Un comité interministériel le 6 septembre

Le premier ministre, Jean-Marc Ayrault, a annoncé un comité interministériel sur Marseille qui se tiendra le 6 septembre. Il sera consacré à l'élaboration d'un «programme d'action pour l'agglomération marseillaise». Ce comité interministériel, qui débutera à 17 heures, réunira autour du premier ministre Manuel Valls (ministre de l'Intérieur), Christiane Taubira (Justice), Vincent Peillon (Éducation), François Lamy (Ville), Marylise Lebranchu (Réforme de l'État), Arnaud Montebourg (Redressement productif) et Pierre Moscovici (Economie et Finances). Par ce comité interministériel, Jean-Marc Ayrault veut «montrer la détermination du gouvernement à ne pas laisser les choses dériver» dans la ville.

Un nouveau directeur de la sécurité publique, Pierre-Marie Bourniquel, va également être nommé dans les Bouches-du-Rhône. L'homme était pressenti depuis plusieurs semaines à ce poste. Il va remplacer Pascal Lalle, nommé à la tête de la direction centrale de la sécurité publique, qui englobe tout le pays à l'exception de l'Île-de-France.

Dans un communiqué publié jeudi, le maire de Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin assure que la ville «a besoin de renforts de police, pas d'un appel à la guerre civile» et ajoute que «les propos irresponsables de la sénatrice Samia Ghali, par ailleurs maire des 15e et 16e arrondissements de Marseille, montrent une approche irréaliste de cette problématique et des réalités sociologiques des cités».

Wallerand de Saint Just, membre du bureau exécutif du FN, affirme «qu'au-delà des moyens, c'est surtout la question des instructions reçues par les forces de sécurité qui se pose». «Elles n'ont pas les instructions d'éradiquer l'insécurité, la violence et le crime, assure-t-il. Au contraire, avec la gauche, est revenue la culture perpétuelle de l'excuse et les délinquants ont de beaux jours devant eux».

Posted on 08/30/2012 9:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Reza Kahlili Comments on Iran’s Nuke Expert Re-Surfacing

The Wall Street Journal had an extensive article on the head of the Islamic Republic ‘s nuclear weaponization project,”Iran's Nuclear-Arms Guru Resurfaces”.  His name is Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Note what the WSJ said about him:

The Iranian scientist considered Tehran's atomic-weapons guru until he was apparently sidelined several years ago is back at work, according to United Nations investigators and U.S. and Israeli officials, sparking fresh concerns about the status of Iran's nuclear program.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh widely compared with Robert Oppenheimer, the American physicist who oversaw the crash 1940s effort to build an atomic bomb, helped push Iran into its nuclear age over the past two decades. A senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, he oversaw Iran's research into the construction and detonation of a nuclear warhead, Western officials say.

Mr. Fakhrizadeh complained in 2006 that his funding and nuclear-weapons work had been frozen by Iran's government, according to intercepted email and phone calls, U.S. officials said. The intercepts contributed to a 2007 U.S. intelligence report that concluded Iran had halted its attempts to build a nuclear bomb in 2003.

Today, however, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, believes Mr. Fakhrizadeh has opened a research facility in Tehran's northern suburbs involved in studies relevant to developing nuclear weapons. The offices include some of the same scientists and military staff active in Iran's previous nuclear-weapons research, said intelligence officials who have seen intelligence on the facility.

A number of Mr. Fakhrizadeh's closest colleagues have risen up the ranks of the Iranian bureaucracy in recent months, placing them in positions to influence the future of Iran's nuclear program. Among them is Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and is one of the country's vice presidents.

The apparent re-emergence of Mr. Fakhrizadeh comes as international diplomatic efforts to contain Tehran's nuclear program have stalled and as Israel threatens military strikes.

We turned to Reza Kahlili, ex-CIA Agent, author of A Time to Betray who went undercover in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards about Fakhrizadeh.  Our extensive interview with Kahlili will be published tomorrow in the September edition of the New English review.  Kahlili commented:

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is under constant watch along with his family by the regime in fear of assassination by foreign agents. He is the brain of the Iranian nuclear bomb program. According to my source in the guards, his program was never halted but his unit working on the project have had to relocate from one location to another as the IAEA and intelligence agencies find out about their activities, such as the Lavizan nuclear site which Fakhrizadeh was guiding the bomb project. IAEA was never given permission to visit the site until the site was razed and topsoil removed and the site turned into a park!

My source tells me Fakhrizadeh was involved in the Parchin Military site's nuclear bomb experiment until IAEA and intelligence agencies found out, again IAEA request to visit the site was denied and recent reports indicate that the same level cleaning and removing of buildings was done at the site.

The Iranian nuclear team is also working from several smaller workshops around the country unknown to the IAEA.

Posted on 08/30/2012 7:53 PM by Jerry Gordon
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Fitzgerald: Douce France

Re-posted for the nth-1 time.

Imagine that you are a cosseted member of the French elite. One child is doing the khâgne, aiming for rue d'Ulm. Another is now a politechnicien. You are very comfortable, working for the state. You and your spouse are journalists, or writers, or one of that vast tribe of people conducting "recherches" and life is comfortable, good, the way it should be. Yes, you do notice more and more Muslims about you as you walk, no longer in the banlieues, but in the center of Paris, or Toulouse, or Lyon. And you remember how uneasy you felt, four years ago, when you happened to be walking on the Cannebière in Marseille. You decided, then and there, that you would not return.

And you have friends who live in the south. And they tell you that the beurs - some call them maghrébins -- make life hell for everyone. They attack French children on the way to school. They vandalize cars. They threaten, and do more than threaten, anyone who is still foolish enough to walk out wearing a kippah or a cross. Whole areas of cities in the south, as in the north, and east, and west, have become off-limits to non-Muslims. In the schools, the teachers have lost authority. They cannot even cover the subjects of World War II, the Resistance, and the murders of the Jews as the state prescribes; they fear, with reason, the violent reaction of the Muslim students.

And as the schools become more and more dangerous for non-Muslim students and teachers, with more time and resources devoted to discipline rather than to learning, French parents and would-be parents are now silently factoring into their childbearing plans the present value of the future cost of what, they see, will now have to be added: private school tuition. And that means, of course, that those French people will plan on smaller families. And they will also be factoring in the growing cost, paid by them, those French taxpayers, for the whole expanding edifice of security, the guards in the schools, the guards at the train stations and métro stations and airports and at government buildings everywhere, the costs of keeping the gravestones from being vandalized, the costs of protecting the synagogues and the churches, the costs for all those tapped phones and agents in mosques, and subsidies to lawyers and judges to hear charges and try cases against Muslims, and the costs of monitoring da'wa in the prisons (more than 50% Muslim).

But the Muslims are indifferent to expenses incurred by the French state. France is part of the world; the world belongs to Allah, and to his Believers. That doctrine has remained immutable for 1400 years. Imam Bouziane, the one they keep trying to deport, had 16 children by two wives, all living on the French state: a representative Muslim man. Over time, the difference between average family size of Muslims and non-Muslims steadily increases. And, over time, the education system continues to disintegrate. Right now, perhaps, you cannot see it. Your children go to the best schools, followed by the best lycées. You vacation in Normandy, or Brittany, or the Ile de Ré. And you do not take the metro often enough, or walk in the right districts, or work in the right factories or offices, to understand what tens of millions of your fellow Frenchmen now have to endure. You, for the moment, are still immune, still willfully unaware. You have spent the last few decades learning about the Muslim world from Eric Rouleau, and his epigones (after they silenced Peroncel-Hugoz, the one journalist who reported the truth) in Le Monde. You are deeply-versed in the constantly reported-upon, endlessly dilated-upon, perfidy of the mighty empire of Israel. You know what we have all had dinned into us: that the Arab Muslims are reasonable people, with clearly-justified grievances, grievances so reasonable and so limited in scope, that justice demands they be satisfied. Everyone agrees on the "solution." It is called a "two-state solution" and of course it is a "solution" for otherwise, of course, it would not have been called a "solution."

And everything looks the way it always has looked: the linden trees, the river, the bridges, the réverbères, the étalage in the neighborhood boulangerie. Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance. At the end of the school day, chic mothers still congregate in little towns, or small cities, outside the school - this or that Ecole Jules Ferry -- waiting to pick up their children. Here come the littlest ones, from Maternelle, running up now -- just look at how small they are. And here are the CE1 group, with those huge cartables on their tiny backs. Run, run, run, to Mommy. Oop-la. And then the years of study, study, study marked by ever-larger cahiers -- "cahier" and "cartable" are the words that identify French DNA better than Piaf or gauloises, isn't that true? And now we will read the books, and study the subjects, set down so completely and precisely by the Ministry of Education. And now we are up to the final year, preparing for the Bac, with copies of blue-backed BALISES, guides to Les Châtiments and La Peau de Chagrin. And just look at the results listed in the newspaper: Claire-Alix has a mention très bien. Fantastic. Everything is fine, everything will always stay the same, whole countries cannot change. It's not possible.

But it is changing, coming apart, quietly, slowly -- let's not look too closely, we mustn't pay too much attention -- the streets, the schools, the hospitals, the ability to speak the truth about things, about life as it is lived, la vita vissuta as they like to say in a neighboring country. Dominique de Villepin always knew there was nothing to worry about; he was born, after all, in Salé, next to Rabat, even spent a few years of his infancy there; of course he knows his Arabs, his Muslims. And surely Eric Rouleau, who for decades in Le Monde was the resident expert on the Middle East (he was so knowledgeable that he never had to so much as mention the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunna), surely he knew everything, didn't he? And those French translations of Edward Said that denounced with such passion the Islamophobia, and those vicious cliches with which the blind and rotting West has always caricatured the Arab Muslim world. Oh, we have been so terrible to the Arabs, we colonialists, we French, we Westerners. And then there is the never-ending outrage of Israel, that running colonial sore. Of course, they have every right, those Muslims, to come here to France. We went to their countries once, now they come to ours. And they have every right to hate us, don't they?

So now we have decided not to understand, and to cut all ties of sympathy to, Israel -- and how did we ever have any sympathy for it in the first place, the way some of our parents did back in 1948 or 1956 or 1967? How could they not have seen what the "Palestinian people" had to endure? Hanan, Yasser, Said, Saeb, Aziz, Walid, Rashid, Mohammed -- you have won our hearts and minds. Take us, do with us what you will.

No one will mention what is happening or what kinds of things we must begin to think about doing to save ourselves. No one of any decency. And whatever Le Pen and Megret say, we must say the opposite (except, of course, when they show their hostility to "the Jews"). Do not say those things, do not think them. Free thought is all very well in theory, but really -- consider the consequences. Don't dare to think outside that box brimming with idées reçues. Défense de penser au dehors du box.

No, everything will be all right as you stroll down the Avenue Paule-Anne. Those Muslims will never be a match for us. Why, just look at those legionnaires marching à pas lent down the Champs-Elysées, think of that string of desert victories. Inside our heads, it is 1930 and over here is the Exposition coloniale. You remember, tu t'en souviens, that painting by le Douanier Rousseau, don't you, with the burnoosed Arab standing next to the black Senegalese? I have it right, don't I? France will always be France. Nothing will ever change.

At a certain point, and despite everything that causes you not to see what is staring you in the face, you realize that something has gone irreparably wrong with your country, and you, and your children, are in danger of losing that country, down to every village and house, qui m'est une province et beaucoup davantage. And you do not know what to do, or how to explain this feeling to others, or in whom to confide your secret fears, or what can be done. It is so confusing, and so upsetting. You cannot vote for Le Pen. You cannot endorse "cowboy" Bush or those ridiculous Americans. You have no place to go.

And then you learn what Jacques Chirac -- who now has a Muslim grandchild himself -- and Dominique de Villepin, do not wish you to learn. For if you did, you might be very angry. You discover that 1 out of every 3 babies born in France today is a Muslim baby. And that means, in 20 years, one of every three 20-year-olds in France will be a Muslim twenty-year-old. And that means, twenty years after that, at present rates of reproduction, France will have a majority Muslim population. Where shall we hide the statues from Marly-le-roi? And the Venus de Milo? And what about all those paintings of animated life -- all those portraits in the Louvre, and the Grand Palais, and the Musée Guimet down there in linden-lined Aix, and everywhere else in art-filled artful France, mère des arts, des armes, et des loix -- that are absolutely forbidden according to the immutable strictures of the Qur'an. Should they be sent for safekeeping to those Americans across the seas? By then most of the Jews in France will have left, gone across the oceans for their own safekeeping, to Israel or to English-speaking Canada (they were worried about the Muslim population of Quebec, you see, which had been allowed to grow under the Province of Quebec's policy of encouraging francophone immigrants, preferring North Africans to potential immigrants from Italy, Greece, Spain), and above all, to America. What luck those Americans have had. No more bequests to France by the likes of the Rothschilds, or Nissim Camondo. No more Donations from another Pierre Lévy. Enjoy the Kufic calligraphy; some find it endlessly fascinating.

For the moment, you allow yourself to believe that something will come up. Most likely, all those Muslims will simply convert. I mean, they do that, don't they, quite easily I'm told. Of course, why didn't I think of it, that is exactly what will happen. The situation is always saved in time. Just like during the war. Nothing to worry about. Nothing.

Posted on 08/30/2012 3:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 30 August 2012
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: Le Nez De Cleopatre (Ray Ventura Orch.)

Watch, and listen, here.

"Si les musulmanes n'avaient plus l'accent de Toulon..."

Posted on 08/30/2012 3:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 30 August 2012
The Smarmy Economist Has Always Had A Soft Spot For Islam And The Arabs

Now it presumes to lecture the Americans on their highly effective use of drones in Dar al-Islam (Yemen, Pakistan), with the usual idiotic reason given: that people taught to hate Infidels will hate them even more. No, they won't hate them even more,and the most dangerous ones, drone-dispatched, will no longer be a worry.

And the title is as idiotic and offensive as the comment. The "intended effect" of the drones is not, pace The Economist, to win Yemeni Muslim Arab hearts and minds. It's to kill those who are affiliated with Al Qaeda, the people who take Islamic doctrine and Islamic resentments of the Infidels most to heart. End of story. The Economist, however, never quite sees that. It has never allowed itself -- and given the amount of advertising by Arab banks and Arab businesses it never will -- to begin to write truthfully about the meaning and menace of Islam. And that's why The Economist is not, on any subject impinged upon by Islam -- especially when The Economist refuses to recognize the relevance of Islam, as it does in all of its noxious preaching to the israelis whenever they try to defend themselves, or plan for a response to, the endless Jihad against their Ingifrl nation-state.

And now, when Europe, too, is threatened -- mainly by demographic conquest -- The Economist is a guide to nothing and to nowhere. It ought to be viewed with deep distrust, at least when it comes to its coverage of the Middle East, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and the problem of Islam Allowed Into Europe.

Here's atypicallly infuriating piece from The Economist for Sept. 1, 2012: :

Don’t drone on

It is uncertain whether America’s drones have their intended effect

“PEOPLE are afraid to go to weddings because, whenever large groups of men gather, they are afraid a drone will hit them,” says a sheikh from Bayhan district in Shabwa, a haven for al-Qaeda to the south-east of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. He says he sees or hears about one drone a week flying over his home. After a big lunch, reclining on cushions as he and his friends chew the Yemenis’ beloved qat, a leaf that is a mild stimulant, they all grumble about drones. If these tribesmen are anything to go by, the Americans’ increasingly active deployment of drones is far from winning Yemeni hearts and minds in the battle against jihadism.

“Our people ask how these foreign planes have a right to come here and kill them, even if some of the people they kill are al-Qaeda,” says a friend of the sheikh, a smuggler. “The other thing is that they think the drones are taking photos of them and spying on them. Because of this, our people have finished with America. They see America as this,” he adds, making the letter X with his fingers. All the men on the cushions are convinced that drones photograph their wives, a vile insult in conservative Yemen.

Over the past year, the Americans have increased the pace of drone attacks on al-Qaeda suspects. The country’s president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who formally took over in February from Ali Abdullah Saleh after his predecessor’s 33 years in power, has endorsed the policy. Nobody has an authoritative figure, but unofficial sources say that at least 28 aerial attacks on targets thought to be linked to al-Qaeda have been carried out this year (though that figure may include cruise missiles fired from American warships). Some of the drones are launched from Djibouti, on the other side of the Red Sea, where the Americans have a base.

Yet despite the killing of several al-Qaeda leaders by drones, jihadist attacks have increased. Last month a suicide-bomber killed at least 40 people at a funeral in Jaar, a town in the southern province of Abyan that was taken over by al-Qaeda for several months earlier this summer before being recaptured by government forces in June. Although the funeral was attended by a tribal leader opposed to al-Qaeda, it was the first such attack to target civilians rather than members of Yemen’s armed forces.

In any event, Yemenis in Sana’a and the bigger towns of western Yemen are ambivalent about the drones. But where opposition leaders used to castigate Mr Saleh for letting the Americans infringe Yemeni sovereignty, they now tend to keep quiet; as part of Mr Hadi’s new unity government, they feel they need America’s support for him and his reforms.

Posted on 08/30/2012 3:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 30 August 2012
"Even In Arcady Am I" -- Says Death, And So Do Muslim Terrorists

And even in Georgia, too, in the Caucasus,  a place from which, over many centuries,  Muslim slavers would kidnap Georgian and Circassian women for Middle Eastern harems:

Georgia releases footage of dead Islamist militants

by | Aug 30

MIA released footage from operation on Russian-Georgian border. (Screengrab from Rustavi2)

Tbilisi, DFWatch – Georgia Interior Ministry released a footage of operation of Georgian special forces against Islamist militants from Russia’s volatile Dagestan republic of North Caucasus, when two Georgian officers and one army doctor died, along with 11 “boeviks”.

MIA says among armed groups there are persons from North Ossetia, but doesn’t offer any details about the dead boeviks’ identity.

Before Georgian MIA released the footage displaying corpses of well-armed bearded men, Dagestani Islamists’ website confirmed that people Georgian law enforcers fighting with were Dagestani Mujaheds, as they define local radicals waging a guerilla war against Russian forces and law enforcers of North Caucasus republics.

The fighting occur on Wednesday night-early morning in a forest near Lapankuri village in the gorge of small mountainous river Lopota, just 15 km away of Russian-Georgian border after militants from Dagestan crossed border and took five young Georgians as hostages.

According to the MIA special operation is almost finished but the whereabouts of other, presumably 6, militants is still unclear. Health Minister stated on Wednesday evening that condition of five wounded Georgian officers is “stable”.

“Eleven corpses out of twenty-member armed group are already discovered,” said ShotaKhizanishvili, Deputy Interior Minister during a press-conference on Thursday at the local police station.

He said that possibly there are several injured in the forest; operation wasn’t timely finished because of fog, and bodies will be buried according to the dead men’s religious beliefs, not specifying the location.

Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili responded to recent events saying that there were negotiations with armed group and Georgian law enforcers suggested them to give up, but they refused.

“Shootings followed to the last operation to free hostages, which ended up with liquidation of members of their band.”

President named North Caucasus peoples as ‘brothers’.

“We salute tourists but won’t let raids of armed persons against peaceful population on Georgian territory,” he said adding that disorder will stay beyond the ridge and won’t continue here.

Russian media, relying on anonymous source in the Dagestani police, reported that the armed group had escaped to Georgia from law enforcers of Dagestan, while the Russian Federal Security Service claimed that no armed groups have crossed the Russian-Georgian border’s Dagestani section.

Posted on 08/30/2012 3:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 30 August 2012
How Many Israelis Will Unnecessarily Be Sacrificed Because The Obama Administration Insists There Is Still Uncertainty?

From The Jerusalem Post:

WH: Window on Iran diplomacy not open 'indefinitely' [Is that it? Is that the White House response?]


White House studying UN nuclear watchdog report, which says the number of centrifuges "more than doubled" at Iran's underground site since May and "extensive activities" at Parchin will hamper investigations.

The White House said on Thursday that it was closely studying a UN report that showed Iran has possibly expanded uranium enrichment machines and increased stockpiles of nuclear material.

"We are closely studying the details of the report, but broadly speaking it is not surprising that Iran is continuing to violate its obligations," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters when asked about the UN International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) quarterly report on Iran. "As the report illustrates, we are in a position to closely observe Iran's program," he said.

The report showed Iran has doubled the number of uranium enrichment machines it has in an underground bunker.

Carney said the US has made it clear to Iran that they have a limited window of time to stop its atomic work and diplomatic terms offered by the Western world will not remain open "indefinitely."[how "limited"? Israel started warning about this program in 1991; it started shouting about this program six years ago; and, for the past year, it has threatened and threatened that it would go to war to prevent, not "possession of a nuclear weapon" but -- and this the Obama Administration pretends doesn't matter, "the ability to quickly -- a matter of weeks -- such weapons."

Thursday's report revealed that Iran doubled the number of uranium enrichment machines it has in an underground bunker, showing that Tehran continued to defy Western pressure to stop its atomic work and the threat of Israeli attack.

In the weeks and months when Israeli politicians increased their talk of air strikes on Iran's nuclear sites, the Islamic Republic was rapidly increasing the enrichment capacity of its Fordow site, buried deep underground to withstand any such hit.

The IAEA said in its quarterly report on Iran that the number of centrifuges at Fordow, near the holy Shi'ite Muslim city of Qom, about 130 km (80 miles) from the capital Tehran, had more than doubled to 2,140 from 1,064 in May.

The new machines were not yet operating, it said.

Iran's supreme leader repeated this week that Iran's nuclear programme was entirely peaceful. "Our motto is nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a developing nations summit in Tehran.

But the expansion in enrichment infrastructure and the increasing in stockpiles of potent nuclear material revealed in the report will do nothing to allay fears or reduce the diplomatic and sanctions pressure on Iran.

The report showed that Iran had produced nearly 190 kg (418 pounds) of higher-grade enriched uranium since 2010, up from 145 kg in May.

Iran says it needs this material - which is much purer than fuel needed for electricity generation - for a medical research reactor, but it also takes it significantly closer to making potential bomb material.

The IAEA also expressed concerns about Parhcin, a military site south of the capital that it wants to inspect for evidence of past nuclear weapons development.

"Significant ground scraping and landscaping have been undertaken over an extensive area at and around the location," it said.

Five buildings had been demolished and power lines, fences and paved roads removed, the report said, "extensive activities" that would hamper its investigation if granted access.

"The activities observed ... further strengthen the agency's assessment that it is necessary to have access to the location at Parchin without further delay", the IAEA said.

Iran says Parchin is a conventional military facility and has dismissed the allegations about it as "ridiculous".

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, meeting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Tehran on Thursday, was quoted by Iranian state TV as saying: "The West has put sanctions on Iran for years, however the Iranian nation continues to resist and make progress." A Western diplomat said the doubling of enrichment capacity at Fordow was a "worrying trend" showing that Tehran continued to expand its programme.

The report comes after comments made Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at the Non-Aligned Movement Summit on Thursday that Iran will never try to obtain a nuclear bomb, but will not give up the pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy.

"Iran will never pursue nuclear weapons and will not give up its nation's right to peaceful nuclear energy," Khamenei told the gathering of leaders. "Our motto is nuclear energy for all, and nuclear weapons for none."

Iran's nuclear program is suspected by the West of being aimed at developing an atomic bomb, an accusation Iran denies.

Late on Wednesday, visiting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Khamenei to take concrete steps to prove the country's nuclear program was peaceful.

Posted on 08/30/2012 2:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Greedy British Universities Abet Foreign Student Visa Fraud

From AP:

2,600 students at risk of deportation from UK

August 30, 2012

LONDON (AP) — Around 2,600 foreign students could be deported from Britain after their university was stripped of its ability to sponsor visas for pupils beyond the European Union, the government announced Thursday. The move provoked dismay from students and accusations that the move by the Conservative-led government, which is bent on reducing immigration, could damage Britain's global reputation.

London Metropolitan University has lost its "highly trusted status" because a survey found significant problems with the qualifications of many of its foreign students, Immigration Minister Damian Green said.

In a "significant proportion" of cases, there was no documentation that students had a good standard of English, Green said, and there was no proof that half of those sampled were attending lectures. He said the sampling of the university's foreign students indicated that more than a quarter did not have current permission to be in the country.

"Any one of those breaches would be serious," Green told BBC radio. "We found all three of those breaches at London Metropolitan."

A degree from a U.K. university is highly prized by many students abroad, and those from outside the European Union often pay higher fees than residents. The British government, which has cracked down on immigration in multiple ways, has pointed to student visas as a category ripe for abuse by those who may instead be looking for work.

London Metropolitan has 30,000 students, and 2,600 are affected by the government's decision, said university spokesman Nick Hansen. Students from other European Union countries don't need visas.

The affected students will have 60 days to find new sponsors once they are formally notified by the government, or they could be deported. A task force has been set up to help genuine students who otherwise qualify for visas, Universities Minister David Willetts said, but with the fall term imminent students have little time to find new sponsors and courses.

Emmanuel Egwu, a 24-year-old Nigerian, said he was told he would be unable to do his final year of his three-year course in forensic sciences at London Metropolitan. "I have been paying loads of tuition fees, my parents have been spending a lot of money, selling properties back home to make sure my tuition fees have been paid. It's like flushing money down the toilet," Egwu said.

It was not clear why the affected students currently at London Metropolitan's system were not being allowed to simply finish their courses of study.

The government has not accused London Metropolitan of fraudulently accepting foreign students, and there was no indication its academic accreditation is under threat. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education said in 2010 about London Metropolitan: "Confidence can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the academic standards of its awards."

London Metropolitan was formed in 2002 when London Guildhall University and the University of North London merged, and it traces its history to the founding of the City of London College in 1861.

Vice Chancellor Malcolm Gillies said London Metropolitan was "working with the best lawyers in the country" to challenge the ruling by the U.K. Border Agency. "I would go so far as to say that UKBA has been rewriting its own guidelines on this issue and this is something which should cause concern to all universities in the U.K.," Gillies said.

Two years ago, Green said he feared that the number of visas issued annually to students and dependents — some 320,000 at the time — was not sustainable. A Home Office report found that more than 20 percent of those granted student visas in 2004 were still in the country five years later.

In May, the government launched Operation Mayapple "to crack down on students and other migrants staying in the U.K. longer than permitted." By last month, the Home Office said that program had sent home 2,000 illegal migrants. Recent regulations also have set a five-year limit on completing an undergraduate degree.

The border agency insisted that in the London Metropolitan case, "these are problems with one university, not the whole sector." But education officials expressed fear that the episode could damage Britain's future efforts to attract foreign students, something that also hurts the schools' budgets.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, a group representing higher education institutions, called the government's action "surprising and disproportionate."

"It is one thing, raising issues if they have them with London Met and, if appropriate, penalizing the university ... but penalizing legitimate international students is disproportionate and it is damaging to our international reputation," Dandridge said.

"No matter how this is dressed up, the damaging message that the U.K. deports foreign students studying at U.K. universities will reach all corners of the globe," said Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union. "The last thing we can afford to do is send a message that international students are no longer welcome here."

However, the government had its supporters.

Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, which campaigns for tighter control of immigration, said "there is crystal clear evidence of substantial abuse" of student visas. "The government (is) absolutely right to crack down on this," he said.

Posted on 08/30/2012 1:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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