You asked the BBC for bread and it gave you Jimmy Savile
A man who had worked for the BBC in the 1960s told me some time ago that James, aka Jimmy, Savile was employed by the BBC because it was worried that there were so few working-class broadcasters. I had no reason to suppose that he was lying or mistaken, though I have no corroborative evidence either. But I suspect that what he said was true, and that Savile fitted the bill because the toffs of Auntie thought the working classes were intrinsically vulgar and stupid. Savile himself was certainly vulgar, and affected a certain kind of unintelligence though he was personally very far from stupid: on the contrary, he was highly intelligent and cunning, and knew how to take advantage of the changing times. Eventually he was knighted, officially for charitable work but really for services to execrable taste and downward cultural drift.
Official endorsement of execrable taste was, of course, a boon to those who had to fill several channels a day for 24 hours, because stupid programmes of execrable taste are so easy to produce by comparison with those of intellectual or artistic value, which can be produced only in limited quantity.
Savile was a militant vulgarian to the last, as his gravestone, subsequently removed, demonstrated. But in fact the shocking vulgarity of that gravestone is only the vulgarity of modern British gravestones to a slightly higher degree. Savile was both a beneficiary and shaper of contemporary British taste: he found it bad and left it worse. If his field had been art instead of prolefeed, the critics would have praised him for being avant garde, at the cutting edge and transgressive. He was a man in advance of his time.
It is alleged that there was a cover-up by the BBC of his sexual misconduct. If there was, I think it was not so much to deny knowledge of his sexual misconduct, as not to have to defend the decision to employ so vulgar a man, and to have promoted him to stardom, in the first place. It also wanted to protect a very large section of the British public from embarrassment, in other words from the realisation of its own taste for and promotion of the trashy, the vulgar, the tasteless, the stupid and the worthless. James Savile was a true product not just of the BBC, but of the British people, of whose taste he was a true and accurate reflection; when it comes to James Savile, the sexual abuse is the least of it.
Wife of ISIS leader charged in US in death of American hostage Kayla Mueller
Trump says waterboarding "or worse" would not bother him one little bit. Perhaps we could have found and rescued Kayla Mueller had we been able to use enhanced interrogation techniques. Fox News:
WASHINGTON – The wife of a senior Islamic State leader who was killed in a U.S. raid last year has been charged in federal court with holding American Kayla Mueller hostage and with contributing to the aid worker's death, the Justice Department said Monday.
Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, also known as Umm Sayyaf, admitted after her capture last May that she and her husband kept Mueller captive along with several other young female hostages, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the case. U.S. officials have said that while in custody, Mueller was repeatedly forced to have sex with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group
The criminal complaint, filed in federal court in Virginia, charges Umm Sayyaf with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terror organization, resulting in death.
The case comes one year after Mueller was confirmed dead by her family and the Obama administration, though it's not clear when or if Umm Sayyaf will be brought to the U.S. to stand trial. The 25-year-old Iraqi woman, who was captured last year, is currently in Iraqi custody and facing prosecution there. Her husband, Abu Sayyaf, a former Islamic State minister for oil and gas, was killed last May in a Delta Force raid of his compound.
"We fully support the Iraqi prosecution of Sayyaf and will continue to work with the authorities there to pursue our shared goal of holding Sayyaf accountable for her crimes," Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, head of the Justice Department's national security division, said in a statement. "At the same time, these charges reflect that the U.S. justice system remains a powerful tool to bring to bear against those who harm our citizens abroad. We will continue to pursue justice for Kayla and for all American victims of terrorism."
Mueller, from Prescott, Arizona, was taken hostage with her boyfriend, Omar Alkhani, in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria, where he had been hired to fix the Internet service for the hospital. Mueller had begged him to let her tag along because she wanted to do relief work in the war-ravaged country. Alkhani was released after two months, having been beaten.
According to the FBI affidavit, Mueller was transferred in September 2014 along with several other female captives from an Islamic State prison to the Sayyafs. The couple at times handcuffed the captives, kept them in locked rooms, dictated orders about their activities and movements and showed them violent Islamic State propaganda videos.
After her capture last year, according to the affidavit, Umm Sayyaf admitted she was responsible for Mueller's captivity while her husband traveled for Islamic State business.
The Justice Department's case echoes earlier assertions from U.S. intelligence officials, who had told Mueller's family that their daughter was repeatedly forced to have sex with al-Baghdadi.
According to the affidavit, Umm Sayyaf said that al-Baghadi would occasionally stay at her home and that he "owned" Mueller during those visits, which the FBI says was akin to slavery.
A Yazidi teenager who was held with Mueller and escaped in October 2014 said al-Baghdadi took Mueller as a "wife," repeatedly raping her when he visited. The 14-year-old Yazidi girl made her way to Iraqi Kurdistan, where she talked to U.S. commandos in November 2014. Intelligence agencies corroborated her account and American officials passed it on to Mueller's parents in June 2015.
One of life’s imponderable problems is to decide whether the glass of water we’ve been drinking is half full or half empty. The same problem arises in deciding on the present condition of ISIS, whether it is declining or remaining a potent terrorist force.
In his press conference on February 4, 2016, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told his questioner that new U.S. intelligence reports estimated that the number of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria had declined from about 31,000 two years ago to 25,000 today. This decline is said to have occurred because of battlefield casualties, desertions or defections to other groups, financial problems, the enhanced performance of Iraqi security forces on the battlefield, and the campaign by the U.S. led coalition, now supposed to number sixty six countries, that has attacked and damaged the infrastructure of the oil fields in Iraq. ISIS has also lost some of the territory it held, perhaps 25 per cent, largely due to the successful attacks of the Kurds and Iraqi forces.
The White House assertion is that the growth in the ranks of ISIS fighters is declining, slowly, but declining, and that ISIS is having more difficulty than they have had before in replenishing their ranks.
Yet this is only part of the story, and unfortunately the lesser part of the story. The condition of the glass of ISIS is more than half full. It is premature to claim as the Obama administration has done that ISIS is less significant today than it was a year ago. There are two factors involved. One is that ISIS still maintains considerable territory in Iraq and Syria and has a well organized administrative and efficient structure. Moreover, the terrorist group is trying to recruit people around the world to replace those of its military who have been killed, and has achieved a degree of success.
The other factor, now more threatening and one that the Obama administration refuses to recognize, is that ISIS has become an imperialistic power. The terrorists are bold and assertive in their declarations as they are in their actions. ISIS is no longer merely a terrorist group but a Caliphate, and one that is expanding its influence. There are now nearly 50 affiliate groups of ISIS in 21 countries.
All countries, Muslim as well as non-Muslim, are threatened, particularly the European countries which have been lax in their protection and security. The organizer, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, of the November 15, 2015 attack in Paris that killed 130 people and injured hundreds, boasted that he and 90 other operatives had entered Western European countries, starting through Greece and the island of Leros, Bulgaria, and Romania, by pretending to be refugees from Syria. They had all gone from Syria through Turkey to the EU border.
The EU is belatedly considering border controls on Greece, a country that has not been checking passports carefully or fingerprinting refugees. This is particularly important because ISIS is now proficient in printing false passports.
European countries are now troubled by the number of terrorists pretending to be refugees. Germany arrested on February 2, 2016 one of two Algerians, a couple who were members of ISIS, and trained by the group, at a refugee shelter in Attendorm, Germany. The couple possessed a handgun and a large quantity of weapons and ammo, and was planning a terrorist attack in Berlin. Two days later in Germany, three others were arrested for the same reason. It clear that many more have come into the country under false pretenses. All claim to be Syrians fleeing the civil war. The Germans fear the likelihood of a terrorist attack. To be sure, they closed a soccer game in Hanover, and on New Year’s eve closed stations in Munich.
German Angela Merkel perhaps now regrets her open door policy for migrants. By 2015, Germany had taken 1.1 million migrants: in January 2016 it took 91, 674. It is now recognized that this is an unacceptable situation in itself. But also it is simply not possible to process accurately the thousands of applications for asylum, and would be terrorists have escaped detection.
France has been troubled by ISIS adherents for some time as the massacre in Paris showed. Most recently in Lyon, on February 6, 2016, six people, five men and one woman, were arrested for planning to attack French nightclubs, and then leave the country. They, all of whom were converts to Islam, had already bought tickets to join ISIS in Syria.
ISIS imperialism was demonstrated in the same week of February, in Sydney, Australia. Two 18 year converts to Islam were arrested on suspicion they were going to commit terrorist acts. The wife of the couple, without consulting Warren Beatty, boasted they would be the Islamic Bonnie and Clyde. The Australian authorities have already reported that in the 7 months until February 2016 they had arrested 312 persons suspected of having links with the Islamic State.
The present regime in Egypt has long been concerned with the Muslim Brotherhood. Now it has to deal with the ISIS training camp, the Abu Hajr Al-Masri camp, in the remote desert of Sinai in which terrorists, wearing black robes and a mask, are training with weapons and getting fitness training. Egypt has already been the scene of various attacks, in Luxor in 1997 (62 killed), Sharm el Sheikh in 2005 (88 killed), and October 2015 when 224 passengers were killed by a bomb on Airbus A321 passenger jet. Few tourists now want to risk going to the familiar attractions, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, or the Valley of the Kings.
The political chaos is Libya, divided by tribes and regions, has been worsened by the large number, 5 to 6,000 of fighters affiliated with and being advised by ISIS.
The ISIS empire has even reached to Indonesia which suffered an ISIS inspired attack on January 14, 2016. Terrorists attacked several places in Jakarta, killing eight people and more than 20 wounded.
Within the Obama administration there are divisions on the course of action to combat the Islamic State affiliates in Libya, an oil rich country. President Barack Obama has approved air strikes, and help to Libyan fighters given by small groups akin to the Special Operations forces in Syria. But Obama, not wanting to get involved in any considerable activity, and hoping that a national unity government can be created in what is now a failed state, and one with warring factions, has rejected, as of now, the advice of Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and General Joseph to use American ground troops.
Saudi Arabia says it is willing to take part in a ground operation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria if the US and other countries will do so. Saudi Arabian Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri spoke of putting “boots on the ground.”
The haunting question is, will the US join Saudi Arabia especially since the Obama administration is not likely to intervene unilaterally or put “boots on ground? The task of the American president, now and in the future, is to prevent any possibility that ISIS may purr, “We’ll always have Raqqa.”
Maybe the North Korean Satellite Launch is a Game Changer
North Korea Satellitte launch, January 7, 2015
Source Fox News
FoxNews reported these developments following the success of North Korea’s satellite launching confirmed by the Pentagon:
We've been able to determine that they were able to put a satellite or some space device into orbit,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.
He said the Pentagon will, in light of this, begin “formal consultations” with South Korea over improvements to their own missile defense systems.
“We'd like to see this move as quickly as possible, but we're beginning the consultations now in the coming days with the South Koreans and we expect that this will move in an expeditious fashion,” Cook said.
The U.S. and other world powers have condemned the launch of a long-range rocket, describing it as a banned test of ballistic missile technology.
At an emergency meeting Sunday of the U.N. Security Council which includes the U.S., all 15 council members approved a statement condemning the launch and pledging to "expeditiously" adopt a new resolution with "significant" new sanctions.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said a new U.N. resolution targeting North Korea over its rocket launch and recent nuclear test must be adopted very quickly and include "unprecedented measures" that its leader, Kim Jong Un, doesn't expect.
The United States and China have been trying to agree on a new sanctions resolution since North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Jan. 6.
Gordon Chang in a Fox Newsinterview said the North Korean satellite launch is something to worry about. Chang is a veteran North Korea and China analyst, Forbes columnist author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World. He said the Hermit State “demonstrated the mastery of missile technology.” He was referring to the three stage Unha-3 space vehicle launcher (SLV) that successfully placed a satellite in orbit. Chang further commented that the North Koreans demonstrated they have the means to successfully develop a true ICBM. An ICBM , as we wrote in an NER/Iconoclastpost, yesterday, that both North Korea and its ready customer Iran could use at attack both coasts of this country. Where yesterday, we posted the news of the North Korean satellite launch with the question“is this a game changer?” Chang’s comments and the reaction from the Obama White House suggest maybe it is. US UN Ambassador Samantha Power, called it a missile launch because the SVL and a true ICBM she shared the same technology. That meant in the Administration’s view the successful satellite launch violated UN sanctions against missile testing. However, given the track record will the UN Security Council do anything about this latest North Korean action?
Chang holds that sanctions don’t work with North Korea. Instead He suggested that we might control the aid to North Korea endeavoring to separate the people from the autocratic ruling Kim family. He also suggested that South Korea move 143 companies out of the Kaesong industrial shared with North Korea. He noted that after the January 6, 2016 nuclear test, no further sanctions were proposed at the UN because China would effectively block them. China he pointed out does a fair amount of banking with North Korea.
The success of the North Korean orbit prompted GOP hopeful Texas Senator Cruz at Saturday night’s to raise the question of whether we should pre-emptive attack North Korea’s missile launches. Ironic, as this proposal was suggested by the current Administration Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and former Clinton Pentagon Chief William Perry, a decade ago.
The Administration is scrambling now that the Pentagon confirmed that the North Koreans successfully launched a satellite. Launched in a southerly direction, the 200kg.observational satellite is in polar orbit. That means it passes over the US every 95 minutes, perhaps providing imagery and GPS coordinates for possible later use. Yesterday, it missed the window of opportunity, by an hour, to pass over the stadium for 50th Super Bowl Championship game with tens of thousands of fans intent on watching the Denver Broncos beat the North Carolina Panthers for the title.
The Pentagon is talking about providing South Korea with Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system to complete the shorter range missile defense umbrella that the Republic of Korea has in place.
As we said on the Sunday Lisa Benson Show yesterday “it's great that the US has THAAD and ship borne X band radar floating in the Pacific and both ship and shore based Aegis installations in Eastern Europe (Romania) protecting us from missiles fired towards the East Coast. However, we have nothing in place to provide missile defense our vulnerable Gulf of Mexico coast.” Ambassador Hank Cooper, the Reagan era SDI chief, warned about the absence of Aegis missile defense installations on our Gulf coast in November 2015 and most recently in a Feb.2, 2016 High Frontieralert. He argues that that our ballistic missile defense shield on the Gulf coast lacks the means to combat the threat of a possible North Korean bomb in a satellite (Fractal Orbital Bomb) or missiles launched from either ships in the Gulf or those silos that allegedly Iran has been building in the Paraguana Peninsula in Venezuela. Ex- CIA director R. James Woolsey and Dr. Peter Pry discussed in a July 2015 article the threat from FOBS that could trigger an Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) effect over the US sending us back to the dark ages of the 19th Century before the advent of electricity.
This issue came up in the ABC GOP New Hampshire debates, Saturday night. Sen. Cruz raised the matter of a preemptive attack against a future North Korean ICBM launch during those debates. We may have had a hand in prompting it. A twitter rally was held last week by the Nation Security Task Force of America (NSTFA) of the Lisa Benson Show on the missile defense issue. The twitter rally sent out messages at the rate of 400 an hour, one of which caught the attention of a South Carolinian with a close connection to the Senator's campaign staff. Another NSTFA twitter rally is on deck this Thursday night on the same issue.
The irony is the preemptive attack proposal originated a decade ago in 2006 in a Time Magazinearticle co authored by then Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, now Pentagon Chief and former Clinton Pentagon chief William Perry. Four nuclear and several space launches and missile tests later, we have a President whose response is to hold more UN sanctions talks with China at the UN that North Korea continually violates.
Meanwhile the North Korean satellite launch coupled with the January 6, 2016 nuclear test exposes the vulnerability of the US to possible missile attack by rogue regimes like North Korea and ally Iran. The lack of a Ballistic Missile Defense demonstrated by this latest successful North Korean satellite launch now vaults the issue to the top of national security issues along with Islamic terrorism for serious discussion in the 2016 Presidential campaign.
Watch, the Fox News report with the Chang interview:
'It takes two to tango': As 12 Asian men are jailed for 140 years for gang-raping a 13-year-old white girl, Muslim councillor admits some in community still think SHE was partly to blame
A Muslim councillor has admitted that some feel as though 'it takes two to tango' as 12 men were jailed for gang-raping a 13-year-old white girl in West Yorkshire. Councillor Zafar Ali said some in the community feel 'she played her part'
However, the Councillor for Keighley Central, where the abuse took place, has admitted that some members of the community felt 'it takes two to tango' and that the girl may have 'played her part'.
Zafar Ali, who has been a member of the Keighley Mosque for decades believes that some of the men may have attended in the past, but said the Muslim community totally condemn their actions.
He told MailOnline: 'Everyone now believes that justice has been done, we need to move forward and it is a lesson for the whole Muslim community. There are a few bad apples but this does not represent the Muslim community as a whole and any sensible Muslim totally condemns these actions.'
Eleven of the men were today jailed for rape and a twelfth man was jailed for sexual activity with a child under 16 today at Bradford Crown Court, but the ringleader has fled to Bangladesh.
Left is Faisal Khan demonstrating the arrogance the Judge spoke of during sentencing making a gun gesture outside court during the course of the trial. Let us hope that 13 years imprisonment will 'soften his cough' as the old saying goes; but until the penitentiary system is reimposed I don't hold out much hope.
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said Asian men are still 'getting away with it' After the sentencing, Kris Hopkins, Conservative MP for Keighley spoke out against the 'sick model of organised groups of Asian men grooming young white girls', but said there are more women out there who need justice.
He said the sentenced were vindication for controversial comments he made during a parliamentary debate in 2012, claiming that organised groups of Asian men were 'going around raping white girls'. However, he claims that even today he has been 'lambasted' for even mentioning that the men are Asian when talking about the sentences.
He told MailOnline: 'There are sexual offenders who are white, but the fact is this particular model is all Asian men and all the victims were white. I was attacked in 2012 and today, when these men were convicted, the community was silent. You have to ask yourself why these men get away with this behaviour.
'There is broader issues around the way women are treated in that community, there are hundreds if not thousands of women who live behind that door and have no voice.'
He warned that gangs of Asian men were at large in Keighley, raping white girls, in the debate which followed the Rotherham sexual abuse scandal. Questions were asked after it emerged that between 1997 and 2013, there were various reports of sexual exploitation at the hands of Asian men, but some were never made public or finalised.
However, Zafar Ali, who spent 21 years working for the government's Racial Equality Council, said that it is unfair to 'label the entire Muslim community'. At least he realises that these rapists are Muslim.
A 25-year-old suspected jihadist is appearing in court in Vienna on Monday, accused of having fought for an al-Qaeda affiliated group and taking part in weapons and religious training.
If the man, a native Chechen, is found guilty he faces between one and ten years in prison. A 17-year-old girl is also standing trial. She is married to the man under Islamic law and was planning to travel with him to Syria in Spring last year. She faces up to five years in jail, for membership of a terrorist organization.
The 25-year-old, who came to Austria with his family when he was two-and-a-half years old, is believed to have fought with Islamic militants in the Pakistani-Afghan border region between October 2011 and August 2013.
According to prosecutors his father gave him money to support terrorist activities. . . on April 30th last year he was arrested at Vienna airport. He and his then 16-year-old wife planned to fly to Syria to join the al-Nusra Front, which is allied to al-Qaeda.
AN ARROGANT gang of 12 men in a West Yorkshire town have been jailed for a total of 130 years for the repeated rape and sexual abuse of a vulnerable schoolgirl they saw as “utterly worthless”. Eleven were jailed for rape and a twelfth man was jailed for sexual activity with a child under 16.
The white British victim was aged 13 and 14 when she was repeatedly raped and sexually abused and passed around by the Asian men. In one sustained attack she was raped by five of them in succession. Some of the abuse took place in an underground car park where there was graffiti with the victim’s name and the word “corner”.
Bradford Crown Court heard how the men were led by ringleader Ahmed Al-Choudhury who facilitated most of the offences but then fled abroad.
Judge Roger Thomas QC condemned the “insolent and disrespectful behaviour” the accused showed in court which he said reflected their treatment of their victim.
He told them: “The attitudes of the majority of you have so clearly demonstrated to these proceedings has been contemptuous, disrespectful and arrogant on a scale that I have hardly seen before in many years of practice in criminal law. Exactly the same attitude to the 13/14 year old girl who you all sexually abused and exploited for your own selfish gratification.”
“None of these defendants had any concern for the victim. They were totally uninterested in her welfare and what damage they were causing her. . . They saw her as a pathetic figure who had no worth and who served no purpose than to be an object that they could sexually misuse and cast aside. . . " But how else does one treat a possession of the right hand?
The court heard how the majority of defendants had a host of previous convictions ranging from drugs, dangerous driving, assault, public disorder, stealing and handling stolen goods.
Khalid Raja Mahmood has a “significant record” and is currently serving six and a half years for the rape of a 43-year-old woman and a consecutive one and a half years for attempting false imprisonment of a child. Other convictions include seven sexual offences, three offences of indecent assault and two for curb crawling.
SENTENCES IN FULL
• Khalid Raja Mahmood, 34, received a 17-year extended sentence for two charges of rape and three of sexual activity with a child. The sentences includes a jail term of 13.5 years and an extended licence period of three-and-a-half years;
• Tauqeer Hussain, 23, of Belgrave Road, Keighley, was jailed for a total of 18 years for two counts of rape against the first victim and one against another teenage girl.
• Yasser Kabir, 25, of Belgrave Road, Keighley, was jailed for a total of 20 years for three counts of rape against the first victim and four charges of rape, two charges of sexual assault, two charges of assault by penetration and four charges of causing a child to engage in sexual activity against two young girls.
• Sufyan Ziarab, 23, of Kendall Mellor Court, Keighley, was jailed for 15 years for two counts of rape;
• Bilal Ziarab, 21, of Sedgwick Close, Bradford, was jailed for 12 years for two counts of rape;
• Israr Ali, 19, of Devonshire Street West, Keighley, was sentenced to three-and-half-years in a young offenders’ institution for one count of rape;
• Nasir Khan, 24, of Buxton Street, Keighley, was jailed for 13 years for one count of rape;
• Saqib Younis, 29, of Bradford Street, Keighley, was jailed for 13 years for one count of rape;
• Hussain Sardar, 19, of Bradford Street, Keighley, was sentenced to six years in a young offenders’ institution for one count of rape;
• Zain Ali, 20, of Buxton Street, Keighley, was sentenced to eight years in a young offenders’ institution for one count of rape;
• Faisal Khan, 27, of Buxton Street, Keighley, was jailed for 13 years for one count of rape;
• Mohammed Akram, 63, of Holker Street, Keighley, was jailed for five years for one count of sexual activity with a child.
The U.N’s top migration official called German Chancellor Angela Merkel a hero on Friday, saying she had taken a principled stand to support refugees while some European leaders had failed a test of human decency.
Popular support for Merkel has tumbled to its lowest in 4 1/2 years, a poll showed on Wednesday, after 1.1 million migrants entered Germany last year. Mistrust of migrants grew after some were linked to sexual assaults on women during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne.
“In my opinion Mrs Merkel is a hero,” Peter Sutherland, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special representative for international migration, told a news conference in Geneva.
“She knew it was a moral issue. She knew she was going to take political attack … with her popularity affected negatively as a result…
“Some have said we will take refugees ‘as long as they are Christian’. What century are they living in? What about the concepts of the dignity of the human being and the equality of man?” Sutherland asked…..
“The evidence is irrefutable. Migrants in general, and in every country in Europe, make greater fiscal contributions than they take in benefits. They’ve lower levels of unemployment and in general a greater interest in education.”
The European Union, with a substantial proportion of the global economy, had an obligation to help, [sic]
“Why can’t a continent that has over 500 million, living in the most prosperous part of the world, take in a million who come across the Mediterranean every year, and share them on the basis of fair allocation?” Sutherland asked. — Reuters, Feb. 5
Peter Sutherland declares Angela Merkel a “hero” because she is ignoring the clear will of her own people (her “popular support has tumbled to an all-time low”) and has this year alone allowed, with a despot’s fiat, more than a million Muslims into their midst.
Peter Sutherland is outraged that Germans, or any Europeans, should be worried about Muslim migrants: “What century are they living in?”
Perhaps, in order to help answer that question, we might look at what is now widely known about the theory and practice of Islam, but that apparently has managed to escape the notice of Peter Sutherland, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special representative for international migration.
Islam is a faith whose adherents believe the Qur’an to be the Word of God, immutable and uncreated. The Qur’an tells them that they, as Muslims, are the “best of peoples” (3:110), and that Unbelievers are “the most vile of created beings” (98:6). The Qur’an tells them over and over that they are to “fight in the way of Allah” against the Unbelievers, in order to spread Islam, that the “punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned,” (5:33) that they should “fight those who do not believe in Allah…nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection” (9:29). Allah “will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (8:60).
There are more than 160 such “jihad verses” in the Qur’an, all of them commanding Muslims to engage in Jihad against Unbelievers, to kill them or, if they agree to submit to Allah and become Muslims to spare them, or — if they are Christians or Jews — agree to submit to a crushing host of economic and social disabilities, most notably the head-tax known as the Jizyah. These verses are all variations on the same aggressive theme, and should worry any sensible non-Muslim not in thrall, as Peter Sutherland and Angela Merkel are, to feelgood denial.
But perhaps Peter Sutherland needs still more evidence, and would benefit not just from the handful I’ve quoted above, but from an expanded list of such Jihad verses:
Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. – Sura 2:98
On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. – Sura 2:161
Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. –Sura 2:191
Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme. – Sura 2:193
Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – Sura 2:216
If you should die or be killed in the cause of Allah, His mercy and forgiveness would surely be better than all they riches they amass. If you should die or be killed, before Him you shall all be gathered. – Sura 3:157-8
You must not think that those who were slain in the cause of Allah are dead. They are alive, and well-provided for by their Lord. – Surah 3:169-71
Let those fight in the cause of God who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of God, whether he is slain or victorious, soon we shall give him a great reward. – Sura 4:74
Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil. – Sura 4:76
But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them. – Sura 4:89
Therefore, we stirred among them enmity and hatred, which shall endure till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will declare to them all that they have done. – Sura 5:14
O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – Sura 5:54
Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme – Sura 8:39
O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there are 20 steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish 200; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding. – Sura 8:65
It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. – Sura 8:67
Allah will humble the unbelievers. Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. – Sura 9:2-3
When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. –Sura 9:5
Believers! Know that idolators are unclean. –Sura 9:28
Fight those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, nor what has been forbidden by God and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are People of the Book, until they pay the tribute and have been humbled. –Sura 9:29
Whether unarmed or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah, with your wealth and your persons. – Sura 9:41
O Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s end. – Sura 9:73
Allah has purchased of their faithful lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for His cause, kill and be killed. – Sura 9:111
Believers! Make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Let them find harshness in you. Sura 9.123
As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will not allow their works to perish. He will vouchsafe them guidance and ennoble their state; He will admit them to the Paradise He has made known to them. – Sura 10:4-15
Allah has cursed the unbelievers and proposed for them a blazing hell. – Sura 33:60
Unbelievers are enemies of Allah and they will roast in hell. – Sura 41:14
When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds, then set them free, either by grace or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. – Sura 47:4
Those who are slain in the way of Allah – he will never let their deeds be lost. Soon will he guide them and improve their condition, and admit them to the Garden, which he has announced for them. – Sura 47:5
Muslims are harsh against the unbelievers, merciful to one another. – Sura 48:25
Muhammad is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. Through them, Allah seeks to enrage the unbelievers. – Sura 48:29
Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal sternly with them. The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of hell. They are the vilest of all creatures. – 98:5-6
This florilegium of violence and fanaticism is sufficient, I think, to convey to most people what the Qur’an teaches and what dutiful Muslims believe. But Peter Sutherland is not most people.
In addition to the Qur’an, the other great source of textual authority in Islam consists of the Hadith (reports of what Muhammad said and did, a kind of supplement to, or gloss on, the Qur’an) and the Sira (the biography of Muhammad). What comfort can Peter Sutherland take from the picture they paint of Muhammad? Muslims are presented with a Muhammad whom they consider to be the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil), and the Model of Conduct (uswa hasana). This “Perfect Man” watched the beheading, after the Battle of the Trench in Medina, of some 600-900 bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, ordered the killing of a 105-year-old man, Abu Afak, who had lampooned him, called for the assassination (“who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?”) of a poetess, Asma bint Marwan, who had spoken out against the death of Abu Afak, took as a sex slave a Jewish girl whose father, husband, and brother he had just had killed at Khaybar, and having had little Aisha betrothed to him when she was six, consummated the marriage when she was all of nine. With all this and more, for Muslims he remains the Perfect Man, the Model of Conduct.
And it is not just the behavior of that “exemplary” figure Muhammad that disturbs non-Muslims. Also disturbing has been the behavior of Muslims toward non-Muslims, as they followed Muhammad’s example. What does Peter Sutherland make of the conquest of so many non-Muslim lands, and subjugation of non-Muslim peoples, over the centuries? What does he make of the votaries of the Islamic State, of Al Qaeda, of the Muslim Brotherhood today? Are they all “unrepresentative” Muslims, “perverting” the faith, having “nothing to do with the real Islam,” as Obama, Kerry, and other panicky politicians like to insist?
Why does Peter Sutherland think Germans should welcome into their midst another million Muslims? Is Germany simply a land area open to all, without distinction, who manage to arrive? Many Germans have finally grasped the Qur’anic injunction for Muslims to conduct Jihad against Infidels such as themselves. Why should they be expected to share Merkel’s “heroism” — which is how Sutherland characterizes her wish to open wide the gates of welcome to still more Muslims?
Peter Sutherland asks, in rhetorical outrage, “Some have said we will take refugees ‘as long as they are Christian’. What century are they living in? What about the concepts of the dignity of the human being and the equality of man?”
What “dignity of the human being” has he noticed in any Muslim country? And where in the world do Muslims consider Unbelievers to be their “equals” and treat them as such?
And when Sutherland asks “What century are they living in” of those Europeans who want to take in only Christian refugees, one could answer: why, this century, of course, the century in which Muslims are on the march again, posing a greater threat to Europe than at any time since the Siege of Vienna in 1683. That’s the “century they are living in.” It’s the century in which Muslims have been allowed to settle in Europe, by the millions, deep behind what they are taught to regard as enemy lines, the lines of Dar al-Harb. It’s the century when Muslims are laying siege to European civilization from within, through the newest form of Jihad, demographic conquest. That’s the kind of “century they (the non-Muslims) are living in.”
Finally, the last arrow in Peter Sutherland’s tendentious quiver:
“The evidence is irrefutable. Migrants in general, and in every country in Europe, make greater fiscal contributions than they take in benefits. They’ve lower levels of unemployment and in general a greater interest in education.”
The evidence may be “irrefutable,” but where is it? Sutherland doesn’t produce it; I haven’t been able to find any such evidence anywhere online. I suspect that the phrase “in general” was included in order that Sutherland might lump together the Muslim migrants who, upon entering Schengenland, are known to head for Germany and the Scandinavian countries, where the welfare-state benefits are most generous, with other, non-Muslim migrants from outside Europe of a different make-up, including the industrious Chinese and (Hindu) Indians. And many of the migrants in Europe are people moving from one European country to another, in search of better work opportunities, such as the Polish plumber who now plies his trade in London, or the Frenchman who opens a restaurant in Copenhagen, or the Greek who has a shoe-repair shop in Paris.
Instead of Sutherland’s soothing allusion to “migrants in general,” we have a right to ask him for a breakdown, according to whether the migrants are Muslim or non-Muslim, providing the amounts each group receives in total benefits (housing, health, education) from European welfare states, about their “fiscal contributions” (taxes), about their levels of unemployment, about their respective demonstrations of “interest in education.” Shelter, welfare, and integration for these Muslim migrants to Germany alone, the country currently of most concern to Mr. Sutherland, will cost that country’s taxpayers a total of 50 billion Euros over the next two years.
And aside from the costs of shelter, welfare, and integration, there are the costs of Muslim crime, and of Muslim terror. It is well known that in European countries, Muslim rates of criminality far exceed those of the non-Muslim population (one startling example: Muslim males make up 2% of Sweden’s population but are responsible for more than 77% of the country’s rapes, and you can find similar statistics for other crimes by Muslims in other countries). Police, judges, jails all cost money. Then there are the costs for monitoring mosques, for providing security to places that have already been targets of Muslim attacks, such as nightclubs, restaurants, newspaper offices, churches and synagogues, metro and bus stations, airports, kosher markets, government offices, a list that grows ever longer.
The more Germans and other Europeans find out about Islam’s texts and teachings, and take in the behavior of Muslims in Europe, and grasp the size of the burden Muslim migrants place on their society, the more they will be outraged by feckless Peter Sutherland, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special representative for international migrations. He has set himself up as dispenser of the Higher Morality In Defense of Muslim Migration. Subjected to his bullying bomfoggery, Germans will beg to grimly differ and when election time comes, one hopes they will suitably reward his “hero” Chancellor Merkel for her heedless “heroism.”
A Lesson to Republicans in Canada's Conservative Party Defeat
The failure of Canada's majority Conservative government to win re-election on October 17, 2015 should serve as an object lesson to the Republican establishment in the United States. Among a number of reasons for the debacle, the abandonment or weakening of first principles in the name of pragmatic and ideological compromise was a major factor leading to the Conservative defeat.
The Tories attempted to cater to non-conservative voters, to appeal to a broad constituency, to be liked, to be moderate, by softening the party's message and gutting many of its programs. Perhaps most obviously, they drew back from significantly defunding and at least partially privatizing our deep-left state-supported national broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The CBC is a cultural Marxist production that never met a Conservative policy it liked. It sees its mandate as constantly attacking every Conservative idea or piece of legislation while propagandizing on behalf of multiculturalism; Islam as a religion of peace; anti-Zionism; and radical movements such as Occupy Wall Street, Idle No More, and #BlackLivesMatter. It sided with Canada's two socialist parties, the Liberals and the New Democratic Party (NDP). But aside from legislating a small reduction in the CBC's operating budget, the Conservatives allowed the "MotherCorp" to continue shilling for the opposition. Afraid of giving its foes something to be offended by, the Conservative government funded its own demise.
No less catastrophic, the Conservatives failed to pass legislation to radically protect free speech across the country – legislation that would outrank our provincial kangaroo courts, known as Human Rights Commissions, whose mandate has been to prosecute individual citizens and groups on the flimsy grounds of "hate speech." Aside from the fact that leaving these provincial tribunals in place did not garner a single bit of support or sympathy from the social justice totalitarians, this signal failure guarantees that open discussions essential to Canada's future as a robust democracy – especially conversations about mass immigration, Islamic terrorism, and the relation between the two – will continue to be curtailed by the left-leaning proponents of censorship in the name of social "harmony." Such conversations are also, not incidentally, essential to the survival of a genuine Conservative party.
The Conservatives also implemented half-measures on the subject of gun control, failing to fully disband the despised Gun Registry that makes it almost impossible for people to defend themselves against criminals. Canadian gun control legislation prohibits individuals with gun permits from carrying guns on their persons except in narrowly defined circumstances, and elaborate storage protocols mean that a home-owner who experiences a home invasion by a burglar or worse would be unable to use his or her gun in self-defense.
Perhaps most damagingly, the Conservatives attempted to fight the election chiefly on the basis of fact and logical argument rather than engaging the passions and patriotic sentiments of the electorate. They were unable to rebut progressivist attacks portraying them as hateful, bigoted, backward, divisive, and exclusionary. They had no vision of Canada to offer that was not simply a less enthusiastic version of the feminist, multicultural, and "diverse" image championed by the other parties. In trying to play it safe, the Conservatives not only failed to dislodge Liberal and NDP voters from their political homes, but also alienated their conservative supporters.
The Conservatives might have used their parliamentary majority to enact truly decisive, game-changing pieces of legislation that could have consolidated a center-right political orientation not easily undone – even in the case of electoral loss. They didn't, and we are suffering for it now.
So much, then, for Canada's Conservatives.
The situation of the Republicans is structurally analogous. The GOP failed to use its congressional majority to assert its foundational doctrines on the misguided assumption that it could woo Democrat voters away from their traditional loyalties or perceived entitlement advantages by presenting itself as the lite version of the opposition. Denver-based radio personality Brian Joondeph cogently asks: "Where is the GOP's bully pulpit? No effort to rally the support of the millions of voters who gave the GOP large congressional majorities. Instead, the GOP happily signs on to the Obama agenda."
Stark examples of Republican surrender abound. Most recently, a Republican Congress signing on to Obama's omnibus funding bill has brought itself into tawdry disrepute. Another instance involves the infamous Corker Bill, which could just as easily have been engineered by Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. Senate Republicans refused to deal effectively with the deficiencies of the Corker Bill – a bill, as Andrew McCarthy explains, that was totally inadequate from the beginning to counter the Iranian nuclear threat. The affair smacks of RINO business as usual.
As Andrew Bostom writes in a critical blog entry for April 15, 2015, Senate Republicans "have cravenly acquiesced to cynical, perverse Obama Administration bullying so as not to be labeled 'warmongers.'" Once again, we observe the standard right-wing capitulation from what should have been a position of strength.
One recalls, too, the shameful spectacle of John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, and the bloviating Lindsay Graham doing Obama's bidding in Egypt in defense of the Muslim Brotherhood, or of McCain coming to the aid of Hillary Clinton's Brotherhood-tainted adjunct, Huma Abedin, when she was challenged by Michele Bachmann. Such complicity – voting with or parroting the enemy – is a surefire recipe for yet another Republican electoral defeat, just as it was for Canada's Conservatives.
In an interesting article for American Thinker, James Arlandson comes to the defense of the GOP establishment, which knows that society "moves by degrees," that "incrementalism is the only way to retransform America," and that the party must appeal to a majority of undecided voters. It is not an entirely convincing article. Such temperateness as Arlandson recommends sabotaged Mitt Romney's campaign and did not prevent the installation of the most radical president in American history, whose skin color did not overlay his bred-in-the-bone Marxism. And we recall that Ronald Reagan, arguably the best president of the 20th century, was anything but temperate.
It comes down to this: Republicans need to change their game plan and go on the attack, abide by their core tenets, use their congressional majority to stymie a rogue president on every front without fear of electoral blowback, take on a corrupt and partisan media (as Donald Trump is doing, and as Romney did not when he failed to rein in CNN's Candy Crowley's illegitimate intervention during the second presidential debate between Romney and Obama), and stop being polite to their political enemies. They must rally behind their nominated candidate, whoever that turns out to be, turn a deaf ear to the "strategies" of political advisers and so-called experts (who are habitually wrong about everything), counter the debilitating sickness of political correctness, tackle issues like Muslim immigration and cross-border infiltrations on a consensus basis, and, generally speaking, appeal to principle rather than to the opposition.
A tall order, but RINOs will not win the 2016 election. Blue Republicans will not convince a partisan, cynical, wavering, or undecided electorate. Canada's Conservatives lost the election in part because they shrank from being truly conservative. Similarly, should the Republicans lose in November 2016, it will be because they failed to be truly republican.
Sunday: Listen to Lisa Benson Show 3PM ET with Guests Kent Ekeroth Sweden Democrat MP and Barry Nussbaum Counterterrorism Commentator on Muslim Migrant Men Flooding Sweden and Europe
The Lisa Benson Show will air Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 3PM EST, 2PM CST, 1PM MST, Noon PST and 10PM in Israel. Listen live to the Lisa Benson Radio Show for National Security on KKNT 960The Patriot or use SMARTPHONE iHEART App: 960 the Patriot. Lisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon will co-host this show. Gordon will also address whether North Korea’s Satellite launch on Sunday was a game changer. They will be assisted by Board of Advisors member, Richard Cutting.
Our guests are:
Hon. Kent Ekeroth, Jewish Politician of Sweden Democrat Party in the Riksdag, the national Parliament, member of its Committee on Justice and a deputy member of Committee on European Union Affairs . He will continue his discussion, begun on our January 31, 2016 program , on Sweden’s asylees crisis stemming from mass Muslim immigration from the Syrian conflict and other hotspots in the Ummah that have flooded Sweden and other European countries. Sweden and neighboring Finland have announced deportation of more than 100,000 migrants and asylees arising from unaccompanied male rampages, sexual assaults and rapes and murders in reception centers. He will also address the Swedish government expulsion order for migrants and reaction of opposing parties in the Riksdag. He will also cover the recent Palestine Media Watch briefing to Alliance and other party Swedish parliamentarians endeavored to stop Swedish funding of Palestinian Authority incitement to violence exemplified in the current wave of violence in Israel. Should time permit, he may address continuing Russian provocative actions penetrating Swedish’s airspace and waters that Swedish military officials might lead to a possible war in the next five years.
Barry Nussbaum is a noted southern California businessman and commentator on domestic and international policy issues, host of the weekly Barry Nussbaum Show. Mr. Nussbaum’s interest in both Israel and international affairs stems from his parents, holocaust survivors from Auschwitz. Nussbaum’s business experience and expertise reaches industries of energy and technology, hospitality, health and nutrition, news and advertising, television production as well as the National Basketball Association. Nussbaum is also an experienced news commentator on international affairs, having been featured on major television networks, on web-based and in print media. Nussbaum will be discussing the wave of European mass Muslim migration, the record of crime and sexual assaults and rapes, acquiescence of host multicultural countries imposing de facto Sharia treatment of women, ISIS Manual for terrorists infiltrating the migration stream entering Europe and implications for unvetted Syrian and other Refugees entering the US. Watch his February 3, 2016 presentation before the California Republican Federation of Women/Southern Division.
A study by Ian Acheson, who is a former official at the Home Office, is expected to be published next month the Sunday Times reports. His study was commissioned by Michael Gove, the justice secretary last year when he asked the Ministry of Justice to review its approach to dealing with Islamist extremism in prisons and probation.
Acheson is expected to report that about 140 of the 200 Muslim chaplains (70%) working in the country’s prisons were imams who had studied Deobandi Islam. Amongst other things the Deobandi regime forbids music and free mixing of the sexes.
Usama Hasan, an imam who has worked on deradicalising Muslim inmates, said: “The Deobandi movement is generally anti-western and anti-integration in its spirit . . . Imams in the prison system have to be more progressive and open-minded in terms of being supportive of modern, multicultural and cosmopolitan Britain.”
One of the people interviewed for the report is Ahtsham Ali, the Muslim adviser to the National Offender Management Service. He had responsibility for recruiting Imams for the prison service. He would not comment for The Sunday Times but a friend denied that his views were in any way ‘hardline’.
A senior Whitehall official said: “It is of great concern that the majority of Muslim chaplains in prisons propagate a fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic scripture which is contrary to British values and human rights. Such imams are unlikely to aid the deradicalisation of Islamists in prisons and could potentially even make them more firm in their beliefs.”
Is the North Korean Satellite Launch a Game Changer?
Airbus Defense & Space and 38 North satellite imagery 2-4-16 Sohae Satellite Launch Station 2-5-16
North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it called an observational satellite. However, its neighbors and Washington denounced the satellite launch as a violation of previous accords conducted in defiance of U.N. sanctions and just weeks after a nuclear bomb test. But was the test a game changer in terms of missile technology and development of a possible nuclear warhead capability or merely the lofting into orbit of a satellite for observational, communications or other purposes. The answers, as usual, may be murky as regards what the Hermit Kingdom is up to in such dramatic demonstrations. Is it to buy bargaining leverage in negotiations with both South Korea and the Obama Administration, or is it something more concerning, perfecting an ICBM reaching US territory. We noted in an April 2015 NER/Iconoclastpost on North Korean ICBM developments the comments of Admiral Bill Gortney of the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) at an April 7, 2015 Pentagon News Conference:
At the news conference, Adm. Gortney flatly stated, Pyongyang has “the ability to put a nuclear weapon on a KN-08 and shoot it at the homeland [the continental United States].” He expressed confidence that the U.S. could knock down such a missile if launched by North Korea or its ally, Iran.
He also admitted, however, that it is “very difficult” for the U.S. to counter the threat, because its intelligence is unable to follow the mobile ICBMs and give an efficient warning before they are launched.
U.S. Pacific Command said it had Aegis ballistic missile defense systems, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense batteries and the Sea-Based X-Band Radar in the region, which would work with Japanese and South Korean militaries to detect the launch.
The U.S. Strategic Command said it had detected a missile entering space and South Korea's military said the rocket had put an object into orbit, quashing earlier media reports indicating the rocket might have failed in flight.
"Everything we have seen is consistent with a successful repeat of the 2012 (launch)," said U.S. missile technology expert John Schilling, referring to a previous launch of what the North said was a communications satellite.
"But it's still too early to tell for sure," said Schilling, who is involved in the "38 North" monitoring project at Johns Hopkins University.
The rocket was launched at around 9:30am Seoul time (7.30 p.m. ET/0030 GMT) in a southward trajectory. Japan's Fuji Television Network showed a streak of light heading into the sky, taken from a camera at China's border with North Korea.
North Korea, which last month exploded a nuclear device, had notified U.N. agencies that it planned to launch a rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite, triggering opposition from governments that see it as a long-range missile test.
North Korean state television said it planned a "special announcement" at noon local time (0330 GMT).
The U.N. Security Council was likely to hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the launch, at the request of the United States, Japan and South Korea, diplomats said.
The United States was tracking the rocket launch and said it did not believe that it posed a threat to the United States or its allies, defense officials said.
The United States will work with the U.N. Security Council on "significant measures" to hold North Korea to account for its launch, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Calling the launch a flagrant violation of U.N. resolutions on the country's use of ballistic missile technology, Kerry reaffirmed the "ironclad" U.S. defense commitments to allies Japan and South Korea and called the launch a destabilizing and unacceptable challenge to peace and security.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the launch an unforgivable act of provocation.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch "absolutely unacceptable", especially after North Korea had tested a nuclear device last month.
"To launch a missile after conducting a nuclear test goes against the U.N. resolution. We will respond resolutely, coordinating closely with the international community," he told reporters.
Japan had said that it was ready to shoot down the rocket if it threatened the country, but did not take any action to do so, Japan's NHK reported."
The AP reported on the implications and consequences of the latest North Korean satellite launched by the multi-stage Unha-3 or space launch vehicle (SLV) :
After several repeated failures, North Korea successfully put a satellite into orbit aboard its three-stage Unha-3 rocket in December 2012. The North's space agency said Sunday it successfully put a new Earth observation satellite, the Kwangmyongsong 4, or Shining Star 4, into orbit less than 10 minutes after liftoff, and vowed more such launches. The United States and South Korea are still analyzing the launch.
South Korean defense officials say that a North Korean missile developed earlier than the Unha-3 rocket of 2012 has an estimated potential range of up to 10,000 kilometers (6,210 miles), which puts Hawaii and the northwest coast of the U.S. mainland within reach.
But critics say the North still has some technical barriers to surmount to achieve reliable nuclear weapons that can attack faraway targets. Among the important tasks facing North Korean scientists are thought to be building up a larger rocket that can fly farther and carry a heavier satellite or payload. This would be necessary if the North is going to develop a missile that can reach the entire U.S. mainland and be loaded with a warhead, which is several times heavier than the satellite the country launched in 2012.
The Unha-3 rocket from 2012 was about 30 meters (98 feet) tall and carried the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite, which weighed about 100 kilograms (220 pounds). The size of the satellite and rocket used in Sunday's launch wasn't immediately known.
Outside analysts say the successful flight of a rocket loaded with a satellite weighing about 1 ton (2,200 pounds) would mean the North likely could develop a nuclear-armed long-range missile.
The North has been upgrading its Sohae launch pad since its 2012 launch. Satellite imagery showed the country completed an expansion of its launch tower there in late 2014 to accommodate larger rockets."
It's almost certain that the North will be slapped with fresh U.N. sanctions for the launch.
But critics are skeptical over whether any new sanctions can stop North Korea from abandoning its nuclear and rocket programs because China, North's last major ally and biggest aid benefactor and a veto-wielding power in the U.N. Security Council, is unwilling to cooperate on any harsh punishment on the North.
Beijing fears too much pressure on the North could cause it to collapse, pushing swarms of refugees over the countries' border and establishing a unified Korea that hosts American troops on its doorstep.
The launch gives Kim, the North's young leader, a chance to burnish his image domestically ahead of a landmark ruling Workers' Party convention in May.
Because the North claims the launch as a success, it may think it has increased leverage in diplomatic negotiations and eventually propose talks with the United States and South Korea to try to win concessions, said professor Koh Yu-hwan at Seoul's Dongguk University."
There are several significant aspects of Sunday's satellite launch by a multistage space launch vehicle (SLV) the Unha -3.
First, The Unha-3 SLV, according to NK. news.org uses a liquid fuel booster stage which is vulnerable during launch. Further, it argues solid fuel ICBMs reduce the launch vulnerability exposure as they require minimal time for launch. Note this comment from John Schilling at 38N in Washington, DC: ‘North Korea would find it difficult to build an operational ICBM founded on the Unha-3 technology.” John Schilling, in 38 North, concludes that “The Unha-3, by comparison (to the KN-08 missile], looks like it was designed to launch satellites rather than warheads.”
Second ,this was the second successful launch of a multi stage vehicle; i.e., first stage liquid fuel booster and second and third solid fuel stages. That means that the North Korean have demonstrated the capability of potentially developing an ICBM and the domestic means of making solid propellant.
Third, couple this satellite launch with the January 6th nuclear test that some experts consider a boosted fission warhead, as former Reagan era defense official Dr. Stephen Bryen inferred in our NER January 2016 article.
Fourth, the fact that the trajectory of launch was in a southward direction, meaning a polar orbit, makes it problematic for the US Missile Defense Command as we have limited over the horizon radar detection capabilities and may lack anti- missile installations to detect and destroy objects on the Gulf of Mexico approaches .
Some experts like Ambassador. Hank Cooper, former Reagan era SDI development chief and Dr. Peter Pry of the Congressional EMP Commission believe that ultimately if North Korea could develop a low yield warhead it might be capable of detonating and causing an Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) effect which could be devastating to the US. Cooper and ex-CIA Director Woolsey, also contend that if North Korea had a Fractal Orbiting Bomb System or FOBS with a nuke in a satellite that might be used to trigger an EMP. Other experts believe that North Korea doesn't presently have that technology, but is conducting both nuclear and missile tests to acquire data for further development and simulations.
Nonetheless, we reported in a November 2015 NER/Iconoclast post, Cooper urging the US BMD command to position Aegis BMD batteries in strategic locations on the US Gulf of Mexico Coast to deter possible FOBS threat from a southward polar orbit, as well as, from both ship and land based launched missile threats from rumored Iranian missile bases allegedly under construction in the Paraguana Peninsula of Venezuela. He reiterated those concerns in a February 2, 2016 High Frontier alert concerning this current North Korean satellite launch. There has been no confirmation of the alleged Iranian missile base in Venezeuela by either the US BMD or Southern Commands. The ship borne threats in the Gulf of Mexico are more concerning. Iran has tested the ship borne scenario as long ago as 2008 in the Caspian Sea and may have acquired the Russian Klub-Series of anti-ship and cruise missiles in a ship container technology. Russian cruise missile technology was displayed in strikes on Syrian targets from vessels nearly 900 miles distant in the Caspian Sea.
So why is North Korea continuing to scare its neighbors South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the US, by violating both nuclear development and missile testing UN Sanctions? The answer, according to Dr. Bryen may be that to wants to have prestige and negotiating leverage from having achieved SLV satellite launches, nuclear weapons testing and possible missile technologies breakthroughs. More likely he says North Korea is in the arms business and wants to sell the data and technology to customers. A prominent customer he suggests may be Iran. North Korea has allegedly sold solid fuel missiles, notably BM25's to Iran for placement in underground silos. The BM25 Mustang has a range of 3,500 kames (approximately 2,180) capable of covering targets in Europe. Iran is also interested in North Korea large booster rocket development.
While disquieting as Sunday's North Korea satellite test may be the reality is US Ballistic Missile Shield now has to confront the reality that the Hermit State may have the capability to build, deploy and launch ICBMs like the mobile KN-08 under development with the range to reach the US. At issue is how long it will take North Korea to perfect nuclear warhead technology to fit their ICBMs to sell to rogue customers like Iran. With this weekend's satellite launch and an object in a polar orbit, perhaps it is sending back imagery and GPS information back to Pyongyang for those purposes. Stay tuned for further developments.
BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom – Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) held their fist official UK event today. Around three hundred people walked, in complete silence through the beating rain, without a single confrontation, altercation or arrest.
The event was advertised as happening in Birmingham, but actually took place in neighbouring Solihull, around six miles from the city centre. It kicked off near Birmingham International railway station at 1pm, before moving on to the demo point at Starley Way.
Same EDL, same racists, less booze” touted the Midlands Anti-Fascist Network on their posters for the counter-demo. However, the isolated position and rigorous planning appeared to work, and the event felt far away from the heated days of the EDL and more like the picture we’ve seen of family-friendly PEGIDA events in Germany.
The ‘Birmingham Unites’ official counter event, organised by Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism, met in Victoria Square, in the city centre.
It was supported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), LGBT+ Against Islamophobia, Unison union, Momentum (Jeremy Corbyn’s group in Labour), and the Birmingham Central Mosque – who are currently facing serious allegations of sexism.
Ex-Respect party leader and hard left activist and anti-racism campaigner Salma Yaqoob stated: “Birmingham is a diverse and multicultural city and we are proud of this. We stand against PEGIDA and their racist, Islamophobic and fascist views. Only twenty years ago, we had a genocide of Muslims in Europe, which began with a campaign of dehumanising the Islamic community through propaganda and hate. Today, PEGIDA and other far-right groups are attempting to bring division to our city but we shall stand united. In contrast to the hate propaganda of PEGIDA, we shall be celebrating the richness and strength in our unity through music, food, and speeches..."
Pegida Ireland’s inaugural demonstration, outside the General Post Office on O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main thoroughfare, was planned for today. There is little to be found in the way of dissenting Irish opinion toward the recent Muslim migrations into Europe, where a large highly vocal set frequently march in various cities in support of Islamic causes, with many demonstrations in recent months favouring Muslim migration, and indeed a large anti-Pegida protest gathered on the same street an hour and a half before the planned Pegida event, which appears to have prevented the later rally from going ahead. Suspected Pegida supporters were subjected to sustained attempts of assault by a segment of the pro-Islam protest.
These full-blooded attacks appear to have been to some extent planned, given the large number of anti-Pegida rioters involved at several locations. Jim O’Connell, one of the protest attendees (a leading member of the People Before Profit party), stated before the demonstration that Pegida’s Irish presence must be “stamped out”. Subsequently Michael O’Brien, of a related leftist group (Anti-Austerity Alliance) said the protesters had come out to prevent Pegida establishing itself. Little wonder then that a significant number of protesters thought that bystanders are fair game for assault.
Predictably RTE, Ireland’s public service broadcaster, white-washed the incident. The news-slot (on the broadcaster’s ‘6.1 News’ and Nine News shows) only featured video of anti-Pegida protesters and their messages, which is an oddity given that there have been very many demonstrations in recent months favouring Muslim migration, a phenomenon not exclusive to Dublin either! It may be assumed that the newsroom editors did not wish to display messages that may be offensive to some sensibilities.
The opening headlines to the show initially described the riot as a clash between protesters: “And chaotic scenes at anti-Islam rally in Dublin City Centre as scuffles break out between rival protesters”, whilst placing greater importance on the opinions of the Arch-Bishop of Dublin concerning a gangland murder the day previously, at the beginning and very end of the news broadcast.
Only latterly would the viewer find out that the violent incident was as a result of one party wilfully attacking the other. In the introduction to the 6.1 News segment, the presenter states: “There were chaotic scenes in Dublin City Centre this afternoon as the far-right group Pegida attempted to hold a rally on O’Connell Street. Clashes involving Gardai [Irish police] broke out after opponents of the anti-Islamic group pursued men they believed to be members of Pegida”.
RTE’s ‘News Now’ channel described the incident as a clash between Gardai and anti-Pegida protestors. Such descriptions mischaracterise the nature of the riot and its intent. Efforts to conceal could well have been intentional due to the RTE’s longstanding pro-Migrant stance. RTE also failed to identify the groupings forming the anti-Pegida coalition. They constitute newly resurgent leftist groups (Socialist Workers Party/Anti-Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit), which supported prior riots in Dublin. Notably, the protest was replete with Palestinian flags and keffiyeh, and indeed anti-Israel demagogue Ronit Lentin is a leading figure involved with the organisation of the anti-Pegida protest.
Perhaps the first anti-Islamist protest occurred in Ireland last year, outside a Dublin Mosque noted for having links with the Muslim Brotherhood. A small group called "Anti-Islam Ireland" was intimidated by a much larger group of pro-migrant/Islam protesters. They were pressured to abandon their protest, and obtained police escort when leaving the site.
It seems an irony that the protesters, so ready to attack those they disagree with, are the same people who claim their opponents are intolerant Islamophobes. They are largely of the same grouping as those who have routinely behaved in an intimidating and violent fashion during the recent water charge protests, most notably perhaps when effectively imprisoning the deputy prime minister (Tanaiste), but cry foul when they are brought to book, claiming their civil rights are being curtailed! Heretofore, violent protest was a relatively uncommon phenomenon in the Republic of Ireland.
Whether one agrees with the credo of Pegida or not, and/or has well-founded reservations about the character of its leadership, such violent intolerance, especially to peripheral viewpoints, marks a grave attempt to curtail a basic civil right, as well as silence debate and discussion, on a substantive issue confronting all Europeans.
Almost every day pundits inform us about the voting intentions and habits of various groups in elections in the United States. Almost by decimal points they have identified the intentions of blacks, Jews, evangelicals, Presbyterians, seniors, gays, and others. Now, a new survey in January 2016 by the Pew Research Center has informed about the electoral intentions of Muslims in the U.S. as well as about attitudes by Americans towards Muslims.
The Pew survey, by chance, provides a useful opportunity to comment on the assertions made on February 3, 2016 by President Barack Obama in his first visit to a mosque in the United States. In his speech at the 47 year-old Islamic Society of Baltimore Mosque, the President after praising Muslim achievements in various activities in American life, exhorted his immediate audience but in essence the American people as a whole to do the right thing, and endorse religious pluralism.
Without mentioning the names of any current presidential candidates, and really referring only to their remarks about Muslims, Obama declared “We have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias, and targets people because of religion.” No one can object to this as a general, non-political prescription pertinent to all religious faiths and beliefs, nor to Obama’s admonition to condemn hateful inexcusable rhetoric and not be bystanders to bigotry.
Yet, even if Obama did not seem to imply that Islam is immune from criticism, or that Islamic extremists have little to do with violence and terrorism, he might have clarified the difference between objective appraisal and criticism of certain aspects of Islam and what has been termed “Islamophobia.”
This distinction is important in view of the findings of the Pew survey that shows a division in the American public on attitudes, whether caution or bluntness, about Islam and Muslim behavior. Half of Americans think the next president should be careful not to criticize Islam as a whole when speaking of Islamic extremists, while 40 per cent think the president should speak bluntly about Islamic extremists even if the statements are critical of Islam as a whole.
The two main political parties, as well as various American groups and segments of the population, differ on the issue. Blunt talk about Muslims is preferred by two-thirds of Republican, by those who lean toward the Republican Party, and by 70 per cent of conservatives, while 70 per cent of Democrats and Independents who lean Democratic, and 80 per cent of liberals, say the next president should speak carefully. Among the American population, black Protestants, secular individuals, post-graduates, and those under 30, believe the president should be careful. About 60 per cent of white evangelicals call for bluntness, and Catholics and mainline Protestants are evenly divided.
In his Baltimore speech, Obama assured his Muslim audience “You fit in here (America). Right here,” and declared that only a small fraction of Muslims are propagating a perverted form of Islam. The figures, that can support or disapprove his argument, show that 77 Muslims have been charged in the U.S. with links to terrorist groups and 22 have been convicted.
The Pew study shows that the opinion of many Americans on whether Muslims are indeed part of the American fabric differs from that of Obama. About half of the public believes that at least “some” U.S. Muslims are anti-American, including 14 per cent who think that about half the U.S. Muslim population is anti-American. There is a partisan division on these issues. More than half of Democrats think that “just a few” U.S. Muslims are anti-American, while a third of Republicans think that at least half of Muslims are anti-American.
An earlier Pew study in December 2015 found that 46 per cent of Americans think that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence, and a similar number is “very concerned” about the rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S. About 14 per cent think that some religious teachings encourage violence, and that Islam in particular does this. This perception differs sharply from Obama’s declaration that “in this (Baltimore) mosque and across the country and around the world Muslim leaders are roundly and repeatedly and consistently condemning terrorism.”
In view of these perceptions it is not surprising to learn, in a survey of 2,000 registered Muslim voters in six large states, of the intentions of the 73 per cent of Muslims who say they plan to vote in the current 2016 presidential primaries. In the 2012 election more than 75 per cent of Muslims voted for Obama. In 2016, about 67 per cent plan to vote Democratic, 15 per cent to vote Republican, 2 per cent Liberal, and 5 per cent for other groups.
In general Muslims have indicated their present personal preferences though these may change: 52 per cent for Hillary Clinton, 22 per cent for Bernie Saunders, 7 per cent for Donald Trump (because of his business background and his properties in Middle East countries), and 2 per cent for Ted Cruz.
This preference for Democrats may relate to the fact that, after Islamist massacres in Paris and elsewhere, Democratic politicians including President Obama, with rare exceptions do not refer to the events as the actions of “Islamist terrorists,” but blandly as “violent extremism.” It neglects the reality that, as Ayaan Hirst Ali has remarked, the U.S. has “to engage with the ideology of Islamist extremism.”
Another finding of the survey is the great difference between Muslims and the rest of the U.S. population on what they consider the most important issues. Among Muslims they rank as follows: Islamophobia 30 per cent, the economy 24 per cent, health care 14 per cent, and foreign policy 6 per cent. This priority, so different from the agenda in the presidential primary debates, in which foreign policy has been prominent, is understandable in view of the Muslim disquiet about some political rhetorical excesses that candidates have made about Muslims. Nevertheless, the priority given to “Islamophobia” implies that criticism of Muslim beliefs, say regarding sharia law and its customs, is to be equated to animosity or discrimination against Muslims.
The presidential candidates should take note of the findings of the Pew survey. Muslim voting may only be about one per cent of the total vote, but they may be important, and perhaps, decisive in swing states such as evenly divided Florida with its 29 electoral votes, Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Pegida and fellow anti-Muslim groups called the rallies following last month's signing of an agreement to create a "Fortress Europe" coalition against a backdrop of Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Police in Calais have dispersed a rowdy anti-migrant protest with tear gas after clashes with protesters and detained several far-right demonstrators. Around 150 militants from the anti-Islam, anti-immigration group PEDIGA gathered Saturday at the northern French city chanting slogans like: "We must not let Calais die!" The protesters Saturday had ignored a ruling by the local prefect to ban such demonstrations. One of them, former soldier Christian Piquemal, said he was "shocked by the behavior of police forces."
Another rally in the southern city of Montpellier drew barely 200 people by mid-afternoon.
Czech Republic at half past 4
The main anti-migrant rally Saturday, part of Europe-wide protests in cooperation with Germany's anti-Islam, anti-immigrant group PEGIDA, is taking place in front of Prague Castle, the presidency seat. Czech President Milos Zeman is known for his anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Martin Konvicka, a leader of the anti-Muslim movement, is calling the influx of refugees an "invasion" that poses a "huge threat for us all."
Two other anti-migrant groups are rallying in Prague and another in the second-largest Czech city of Brno. Two demonstrations in favor of immigration are also going on in Prague.
Riot police have clashed with demonstrators in Amsterdam as supporters of the anti-Islam, anti-migrant group PEGIDA tried to hold their first protest in the Dutch capital as part of a series of demonstrations in Europe. A square near Amsterdam city hall that had been earmarked for the PEGIDA demonstration had to be shut down shortly before the gathering as police and explosives experts examined what police called a "suspect package." Only about 200 PEGIDA supporters were present, outnumbered by police and left-wing demonstrators who shouted, "Refugees are welcome, fascists are not!"
Several thousand Pegida supporters turned up in Dresden under clear blue skies in the early afternoon to march along the banks of the River Elbe, which flows through the city, to protest against mass immigration and the "islamisation" of Europe. Police, who deployed around 1,000 officers for the occasion, said Thursday they expected some 15,000 marchers to show up.
An AFP reporter said several thousand had answered the rallying call an hour after the event began at 1400 GMT.
Many held aloft banners criticising German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in the firing line for her liberal stance towards refugees, now increasingly coming in for criticism after Germany took in more than a million migrants last year.
Around 2,000 people -- less than the 10,000 expected by police -- meanwhile joined an anti-Pegida rally at which participants urged tolerance towards migrants. Anti-Pegida marchers chanted slogans including "no place for Nazis" and "we don't need xenophobia, demagoguery or Pegida."
Violent clashes broke out in Dublin city centre today where an estimated 1,000 demonstrators turned out on O’Connell Street to protest the launch of the anti-Islam group Pegida in Ireland.
As small groups of Pegida supporters approached the GPO from surrounding streets to hold their rally, violent clashes quickly broke out.
One group of approaching Pegida supporters was chased back down Talbot Street by a splinter group, some wearing masks and chanting, “Fascist scum, off our streets.” There were particularly violent clashes between over 100 protestors and police as they gathered outside a pub, in which pro-Pegida protestors. were believed to be gathered.
RTE has confirmed one of its cameramen were injured in the scuffles, and that a formal complaint will be made over the incident.
Peter O’Loughlin, a member of Identity Ireland and supporter of Pegida, told Independent.ie that he was assaulted on the Luas as made he way to the city centre rally. Yesterday evening, he said he was in hospital receiving treatment for a head injury after being hit with a blunt object.
A security guard at a shop on Talbot Street described how a group of 15-20 men chased a man into the shop and began beating him.
Riot police arrived quickly on the scene and pushed the men back up to O’Connell Street as they moved a small number of Pegida members out of the shops and pubs where they had sought refuge during the clashes.
I was not at the silent walk in Solihull Birmingham today. Friends who were there tell me that the day went well, that the speeches were impressive, in particular one from a Pakistani heritage apostate from Islam and to expect videos and a write up later. I'll link to these when they are live. These photographs were taken by a friend.
Up to 200 supporters of the controversial Pegida organisation joined a march to a remote Birmingham business park today...Police were out in force for the event, as well as a counter demonstration by the Unite Against Fascism group.
There were no reports of serious disorder or injuries. A 39-year-old man from East London was arrested at the counter demonstation for a public order related matter. Another protest against the group under the Birmingham Unites banner was held in Victoria Square in Birmingham city centre.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the people of Birmingham to stay away from march. The Labour leader has called on communities to drink tea with a stranger today, rather than take part in the march near Birmingham, despite the group claiming it is standing against 'radical Islam'. Mr Corbyn stood beside Birmingham MP Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) with a sign saying “we choose hope” yesterday. The slogan comes from the campaign led by anti-fascist campaigners Hope not Hate.
Opponents of Pegida were also urged to post photos online of themselves drinking tea with other communities.
I can imagine what some of the people in the photograph above are hoping, praying working towards - that Islam will reign supreme through all the land. But what of the others? Do they hope that if they feed the tiger they will be eaten last? Do they hope for a plum role as collaborators? Or a meagre existence as dhimmmis? What do they hope for? and what do they really, if they are honest, expect?
Other demonstrations took place in Warsaw, Bratislava and in Graz in southern Austria.
Canada’s planned defence review is an opportunity for our nation to take a giant stride
The defence review that the federal government has promised by the end of 2016 will be the first in more than 20 years. Given the amounts of money and numbers of people and strategic and industrial questions involved, and the infrequency of such searching examinations, it will be a very important initiative and is to the new regime’s credit that it is doing this. The previous government talked a good game and always spoke as an upholder of Canada’s military, but it was so inflexibly attached to the twin (and virtuous) constraints of a balanced budget and an HST incapable of being raised, that it fell far short in commitment of resources. The (Justin) Trudeau government inherits an annual defence budget of $19.1 billion, or about one per cent of GDP, which is half the NATO target and informal commitment level, albeit a target only the United States and Poland meet. Though the history of the Canadian military in action is a distinguished one, the history of military policy and strategic thinking by Canada’s federal government has been sluggish since Louis St. Laurent’s time, except, up to a point, for Brian Mulroney.
In 2010 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Canadian Navy, but in fact, it did not really begin for some time. Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s Liberals adopted the idea of a Canadian navy, with a Canadian system for training officers and seamen and a domestic shipbuilding industry, as a compromise. Robert Borden’s Conservatives considered a Canadian navy imperial heresy and preferred instead simply to make a financial contribution to the Royal Navy, which would commission the construction of new battleships in British yards by British shipbuilders and man them with British sailors. The first such battleship was named HMS Canada, but was eventually sold to Chile, and the British did not remit the proceeds.
On the other hand, Henri Bourassa’s Quebec Nationalists, who had worked with Borden’s Conservatives to defeat Laurier in 1911 (their shared opposition to Liberals being almost the only thing they could agree on), opposed any contribution to any navy as likely to increase the chances of Canada becoming entangled in a European war that was no earthly concern of Canada’s. French Canada has never had any significant maternal attachments to France in the way English-speaking Canada has had to Britain. Although French-Canadians have always been militant about defending this country, and largely saved it from joining the American Revolution and from being annexed in the War of 1812, they have generally been rather isolationist and are more resistant to this day than English-speaking Canadians to supporting alliance initiatives overseas. The one exception to this was the Korean War. The Union Nationale government of Maurice Duplessis and the Roman Catholic Church leadership whipped the population up to such paroxysms of anti-Communism, Quebec was eager to send a larger contingent than Canada did to Korea. The archbishop of Quebec, the subsequent Cardinal Maurice Roy,had served in the chaplains’ corps in the Second World War, attaining the rank of colonel and receiving the Order of the British Empire for bravery in combat. He eventually became the chaplain general of the Canadian army.
Despite its deemphasis, defence remains a large budgetary item, and as I have written here and elsewhere ad nauseam, this is the most effective form of stimulative public spending, if it is done with that objective in mind, as the new government has pledged to do. Most procurement is in high-tech, high-growth economic areas, encouraging the most sophisticated segment of the work force. Construction is mainly of ships, aircraft and land vehicles, all relatively complicated manufacturing which ramifies throughout heavy industry: steel, aluminum, rubber, glass, and into top-end manufacturing of smaller items — controls and instruments, radar, optics, and engineered products of all kinds. The traditional multiplier effects on economic growth are very gratifying. Like the United States but on a smaller scale, the Canadian armed forces are incomparable engines of adult education and virtually all those who enlist in them get an incentive and ability to raise their academic qualifications as well as their technical skills that they would not enjoy anywhere else.
Without lapsing into the cant of the pretended veteran, there is also little doubt that service in the armed forces often promotes traits invaluable to almost all who have served in them, whether in or near combat or not. This was the secret of the so-called Greatest Generation of the United States: Franklin D. Roosevelt saved the youth of America from unemployment with his infrastructure and conservation workfare programs, then had brilliant commanding officers, Generals Marshall, Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Arnold, and Admiral Nimitz, lead them to victory in the most just of all wars, and then posthumously propelled them into lifetimes of achievement with the GI Bill of Rights that educated and financed the launch of the civilian careers of the 15 million returning veterans (in a population of 135 million people). There is no prospect now of a general war, but increased recruitment in the armed forces is a much better and prouder visa to a better life than the welfare system, and not greatly more expensive.
The most important aspect of the military strength of a country is the influence such strength confers on it in the alliances and councils of the world. The fact that Canada was not invited to the recent meeting of the United States and its principal allies in the action against the Islamic State (ISIL) was not disconcerting to me because, in the interest of giving a new government the benefit of any doubt, I assume that the Trudeau government’s reduction of Canada’s contribution on that front is due to its doubts that the current alliance is altogether coherent. The West, led by the United States, is making common cause with Iran and Russia, a dubious proposition on its face, in Sunni Iraq, around Baghdad, but in Syria is attacking the Iranian and Russian-sponsored Assad regime, while joining Iran and Russia in attacking ISIL, and even as those countries assault the Western entry in the Syrian civil war, the so-called moderate faction. The Kurds appear to be doing most of the heavy lifting and ISIL seems gradually to be losing ground, and probably has not more than 50,000 fighters in its demented crusade for a Caliphate for Sunni Muslims from Turkey to Iraq and through the Arabian Peninsula and across North Africa. It is possibly the most insane political endeavour that has attracted Great Power attention since the Cargo Cult of the Melanesian Pacific Islands wanted to buy President Lyndon Johnson in the mid-sixties and mystically replicate the American consumer society and economy. (Though just as other-worldly as the Islamic State, this was naturally a good deal less troublesome.)
If Canada raised the HST marginally on elective spending, it could double its military strength
The anti-ISIL cause is a good one, but the diplomatic effort is a farce. The answer isn’t the Liberal addiction to dropping blankets on refugees when they were in opposition, and the withdrawal of our six aging CF-18’s and three non-combat airplanes since their election is militarily irrelevant. But in addition to the economic benefits, Canada could move militarily, as it has economically, to a G7 status. Canada has one of the world’s 10 greatest National Products, among 198 countries (including Palestine, Taiwan, and the Vatican), but its military strength is much less formidable. The failure to meet more than half the official target as a percentage of GDP of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the most successful alliance in history, of which Canada was a co-founder, is on a par with the perennial failure of any country to pay any attention to its undertakings to reduce carbon emissions. But in the case of the military, we are failing in our ability to have a force that would enable us to have any weight in revitalizing the Western Alliance. NATO degenerated from “An attack upon one is an attack upon all” to “a coalition of the willing” to an incoherent talking shop and Tower of Babel. Apart from the United States, which has the muscle, but has elevated as commander in chief first a trigger-happy cowboy and then a pacifist and appeaser, nobody has any weight in NATO, except, in extremities, Britain and France because of their nuclear deterrents.
If Canada raised the HST marginally on elective spending, it could double its military strength, raise its position in the aerospace industry, be taken seriously by, and help to revive, NATO, and render immensely more assistance than its generous nature has been able to give in natural catastrophes such as tsunamis and earthquakes that strike unpredictably but inevitably. We should start with an aircraft or at least helicopter carrier; this is how a country shows its flag in the world. Thailand, Spain, and Brazil have one, and India and Italy have two, as Canada once did, and plenty are on offer. Pierre Trudeau scrapped our last aircraft carrier, the Bonaventure, in almost as serious an error as John Diefenbaker’s cancellation of the Arrow interceptor. It would also give us a powerful shot in the arm economically. While we’re at it, we can spruce up our military uniforms, which haven’t entirely recovered from the amiable champion of intergalactic life, Pearson Defense minister Paul Hellyer’s, stab at monochromatic unification of the armed forces 50 years ago. I am usually deluged with messages mocking me as a couturier wannabe when I write this, but I urge readers inclined to that response to put “Chinese women’s military parade” into their search engines and see what pride and ambition can be engendered in well-trained and crisply uniformed forces.
The defence review is an opportunity for Canada to take another giant stride, the greatest since the defeat of the Quebec separatists and the successful Mulroney-Chrétien-Martin assault on the federal budget deficit, to gain Canada the status it has otherwise earned as one of the world’s important powers.
What happened next, Agnes wishes no girl would ever experience.
"They grabbed my legs and arms," she said. "They excised me. Blood was coming out."
Her genitals had been mutilated.
Agnes, now 14, underwent the procedure in Cote D'Ivoire. But the practice is by no means limited to that one country, or even to just a few.
At least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries now live with female genital mutilation, according to a new UNICEF report published in time for Saturday's International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, as the practice is often abbreviated.
The report says 70 million more victims than previously thought have undergone the "violent practice."
The exact number remains unknown.
"In every case FGM violates the rights of girls and women," said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta. "We must all accelerate efforts -- governments, health professionals, community leaders, parents and families -- to eliminate the practice."
Under 5 years old
Although female genital mutilation is carried out in many countries, the report says that more than half of those who have undergone it live in just three countries -- Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia.
Data shows the highest rates of genital mutilation among women between the ages of 15 to 49 are in Somalia, Guinea, and Djibouti.
In most countries, the majority of girls subjected to the practice are younger than 5. About one fourth of all cases worldwide were girls under the age of 14.
"We start at three months," said Josephine Akissi Coulibaly, a former excisionist in Cote D'Ivoire. "They are small and we do it. Sometimes they're 18 years old. Sometimes they are mothers even. Often they bleed."
While female genital mutilation is illegal in many countries, numerous communities consider the practice part of their cultural traditions and continue performing it.
"When you try to convince an excisionist, she won't listen because it's her livelihood," said Molao Bomisso, National Director of OIS Afrique, a UNICEF partner. "But we keep insisting and insisting."
FMG is often performed in conditions that lack proper hygiene, supplies and medications. As a result, the girls and women suffer infections, painful scarring, long-term disabilities and in some cases death.
Labour has been accused of turning a blind eye to years of "systemic misogyny" against Muslim women who are seeking to become councillors.
The Muslim Women's Network UK said in a letter to Jeremy Corbyn that it is an "open secret" that Muslim men have barred aspiring female candidates from getting into office. It said that the party has been "complicit at the highest levels". The organisation said that women seeking office were subject to repeated smears including claims that they were having affairs and criticism that they were too "western".
The letter suggested that Muslim men within Labour had been allowed to operate under the "patriarchal 'biradari' system"...in which votes are delivered in blocks.
"These men have a cultural mindset, which they've brought from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh," Shaista Gohir, from Muslim Women's Network UK said...
"How do men who do not want Muslim women to be empowered or have a voice remain in power unless the Labour Party allows it? It appears that over decades senior Labour politicians have deliberately turned a blind eye to the treatment of Muslim women because votes have been more important to them than women's rights."
Optician Fozia Parveen claims her efforts to become a Labour councillor in Birmingham in 2008 were scuppered by men within the party. She said: "At the time, I was aware of a smear campaign against me. They said that I was having an affair with one of the existing councillors. I was quite taken aback. People were turning up at my family home trying to intimidate my mum." Ms Parveen said Muslim men told her mother to stop her from pursuing becoming a councillor. She added: "It would be members of the local Labour Party. I didn't see them myself but my mum did say it was them."
Shazia Bashir was the first choice for Labour in a seat in Peterborough in 2007. She claims that when her father said he would not support her, Muslim men from within the local Labour Party made her step aside. They deny the claim. "Because I didn't have my father's consent and support, I had to step down. I was pressured into stepping down," said Ms Bashir, who was 31 and married with two children at the time.
Newsnight was told similar stories by other women who wished to remain anonymous.
One said: "They spread this slander about me... It's the way they get to you."
Another said she had been told by Labour members "Islam and feminism aren't compatible".
An advocate for gay rights was told: "This is un-Islamic. Leave that for white people." And many spoke of being criticised for being too Westernised.
Today Mr Corbyn is due to address Labour’s local government conference.
Jean Khote, a Labour councillor, said that the leadership was kept in the dark as talented female candidates were turned down in areas with high Muslim populations. She said those responsible would claim “there weren’t adequate candidates among the women”.
A Labour spokesman said: "The Labour Party's selection procedures include strong positive action procedures such as all-women shortlists and rules to ensure women are selected in winnable council seats. We have the best record of any party in selecting women and BAME candidates . . ."
All these women mentioned wear hijab. If they were in power would they have stopped the abuse of underage English girls? Or would they have regarded them as merely possessions of their menfolk's right hands? An ancient custom and sanctified by the Koran?
In September 2015 the photo of a 3 year-old Syrian child lying dead on a Turkish beach next to his mother and 5 year-old brother who had all drowned, as had over 2,000 others, was a poignant picture. Everyone recognizes the need for humanitarian assistance to a reasonable degree for those trying to escape from the horrors of the brutality of the war in Syria and the barbarous Islamist terrorism.
While recognizing the moral problem involved, the countries of Europe are confronted with the pragmatic problem of responding in the context of 4.6 million Middle East refugees seeking asylum and 13.5 million people needing assistance inside Syria. The numbers will grow as the civil war in Syria continues and ISIS, the Islamic State, still exists.
There are three factors involved. The first is the unwelcome straightforward issue of the number of would be migrants, genuine refugees, from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somali, and Eritrea, who can realistically be accepted by European countries and, to a lesser extent, by the United States. A second is whether those migrants, mostly Muslim, can be satisfactorily integrated into western democratic societies. Already in 2015 more than 1 million people came to Europe by sea, and another 34,000 by land. A third problem is the fear that some of them may be Islamists or jihadists prepared to cause harm, rather than genuine refugees.
By coincidence, these factors were discussed on successive days, February 3 and February 4, 2016. On the first day, the President of Finland Sauli Niinisto said that migration into European by people, almost all Muslims, was a serious threat to Western values, culture and identity. It is now clear that a considerable number of those seeking asylum are not genuine refugees fleeing war. Tougher laws are needed to prevent migrants from entering Europe simply because they are in search of a better life. The West should try to some extent to help those in distress or who are being persecuted but not those people who are not really in need.
On February 4, 2016 a conference in London attended by representatives of 60 countries was held to raise funds to assist in the humanitarian crisis and to provide jobs and schools for refugees. Held one day after peace talks in Geneva on Syria had failed and been suspended, the London Conference agreed to raise more than $10 billion, the largest amount raised in one day in response to a humanitarian crisis. The sum of $6 billion was raised for 2016, and almost $5 billion for future years. Germany is to provide $2.5 billion, the UK $1.75 billion, the European Union 2.6 billion euros, and the U.S. $925 million.
This aid, however, does not resolve the European underlying dilemma and disagreements about admitting migrants, and the numbers of them, a dilemma that also faces the United States. The heated debate among the Republican presidential candidates continues on the various related issues: amnesty for illegal immigrants, temporary visas, green cards, the banning of all Muslims from entering the country, and the need to secure the US border. Already, 30 governors have declared their states would not accept any of the 10,000 Syrians that President Barack Obama had suggested could enter the country, while some of the presidential candidates have suggested admitting only Christian Syrians.
The debate is even more heated among the European countries, facing the largest migration crisis since World War II. Many European citizens regard immigration as the major political concern and one that for two reasons calls for strict limitation on numbers that should be admitted. One is that it is simply not feasible for European societies now encountering economic difficulties, to manage to incorporate a large influx of foreigners that would be a burden on resources. The other is the reasonable expectation that the nature of their society would be changed for the worse.
That concern has a number of practical dimensions. The countries of the European Union, more concerned with their own interests than with collective EU solidarity, have difficulty in agreeing on a solution on admitting migrants. In September 2015 European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared that the 160,000 asylum seekers would be divided according to quotas based on country size, and economic output among the 28 countries of the EU. Germany, which has taken disproportionate numbers, was to take 17,000, and France 12,000, but the UK opted out of this quota proposal. The UK did not join the earlier plan in 2015 to relocate 40,000 migrants from Greece and Italy more evenly. Instead it built walls around the entrance of the Channel Tunnel to prevent migrants camped in Calais from entering it to get to Britain.
One fear has been that refugee camps in European countries may become breeding grounds for jihadists. That has come true according to new reports about young people in the Traiskirchen migrant camp in Austria that holds 1500 individuals. Those young people have apparently become radicalized because of the difficulty and their unwillingness to become integrated into Austrian society.
Austria, with a population of 9 million, received 90,000 asylum claims, but many of the claims were by economic, not political, migrants. The Austrian government deported 12,500, and argued that the European Union should stop giving aid to those Middle East countries that refuse to take back nationals whose asylum claims were rejected.
All the European countries recognize that the influx of migrants has caused difficulties in their social, economic, and political system. They face increasing burdens on social welfare programs. Those countries where unemployment is nearly 11 per cent have cut benefits.
Politically, many of the countries have witnessed the rise of far right and nationalist political parties who call for limits on immigration, especially by those of Muslim culture and religion, who they argue are difficult to integrate into the existing system or even worse may be hostile to it as has been shown by the Islamist violence in Malmo, Sweden.
Among these parties are the French National Front, Dutch Party of Freedom, Ukip in the UK, the Italian Lega Nord, the Swedish Democrats, Pergida and Alternative for Germany in Germany, the Austrian Freedom Party, the Danish People’s Party, the Progressive party in Norway, the Finns in Finland, the Golden Dawn in Greece, the Flemish Interest in Belgium, the PVV in The Netherlands, Jobik and Fidesz in Hungary. They change the landscape in European politics.
Some of these parties are virulent in their opposition to immigration and their fear of the challenge to Western values. Nevertheless, two factors are relevant. It is not racist to suggest that for practical reasons reasonable limits be put on those attempting to immigrate. Considering the millions desiring to leave not only from the Middle East but also from Africa, Europe faces the possibility of an enormous increase in scale and an uncontrollable pressure. That pressure becomes even more potent since the native population of Europe is aging and declining.
More important is the perceived threat of Muslim migrants to western values and the possibility of social, cultural, and religious conflicts, and especially Islamist terrorism, they may bring. The question is not one of discrimination, but of real differences: educational levels, cultural behavior, religious and political views.
The Finnish President on February 3, 2016 asked the question, “We have to ask ourselves whether we aim to protect European values and people …or inflexibly stick to the letter of our international obligation with no regard for the consequences.” If Western democracies are to survive the answer is obvious.
A wheelchair passenger who boarded a commercial plane in Somalia’s capital may have been a suicide bomber responsible for Tuesday’s explosion that ripped a hole in the side of the aircraft as it took off. Investigators suspect the man was able to use the wheelchair to bypass rigorous security screening at Mogadishu's international airport and then detonated a bomb that damaged the fuselage but failed to down the Daallo Airlines flight, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“An individual got onto the plane in a wheelchair and is suspected of being the suicide bomber,” a Western diplomat briefed on the investigation told the New York-based newspaper Thursday.
The strength of the explosion ejected the alleged suicide bomber from the plane’s cabin and his body tumbled near the district of Bal’ad, about 20 miles from the capital, where it was recovered by authorities. The Djibouti-bound Airbus A321 was forced to make an emergency landing Tuesday, just minutes after jetting off from Aden Abdulle International Airport in Mogadishu.
Hussien Mohamed, a freelance journalist in Mogadishu, spoke with eyewitnesses who watched in horror from the ground in Bal'ad as the incident unfolded in the sky above them. “First, they heard a heavy explosion before they saw a body fall from the plane,” Mohamed said in an interview Thursday.
Somali officials said the passenger who fell from the plane has been identified as Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh, 55, from Somaliland. But they did not confirm if the man was the alleged suicide bomber. The crew and the 74 other passengers on board survived, though two people, Abdirashid Abdi Islamil and Ismail Ali Osoble, were wounded.
“Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte indicated that as soon as the investigation is concluded, he promised the government will step up airport security against any potential threat,” a spokesperson from Somlia's Office of the Prime Minister said in a statement Thursday.
Investigators suspect al-Shabab, a Somalia-based terrorist group, was behind the explosion, U.S. government sources told Reuters Wednesday. Al-Shabab has increased efforts in recent months to regain control of lost territories in Somalia, while seeking to topple the country’s Western-backed government. The al Qaeda affiliate emerged in 2006 from the now-defunct Islamic Courts Union that controlled Mogadishu. Al-Shabab launched its own insurgency on major Somali cities by 2009, controlling Mogadishu and southern Somalia until it was driven out by domestic and international forces around 2012. Many rural areas of Somalia are still controlled by al-Shabab and the Sunni Militant group regularly targets civilians, hotels and restaurants in the capital.
What happens if you express a negative view of Islam? Ask Tommy Robinson
Comments closed already at The Telegraph, although I am surprised they allowed them even for a few hours.
A few weeks back, Tommy Robinson, former leader of the English Defence League, sent me his self-published memoirs, called Enemy of the State. The book has been largely ignored by most of the established media, although has caused a bit of a stir among counter-Jihadist groups across Europe. I’d recommend people read it, although perhaps not for the reasons Tommy would like you to.
Analysts will find a lot to chew over in the stories about the EDL, and probably less in his views on religion and society.
But by far the most interesting parts of the book relate to his upbringing and his experience of the police. Though this is probably not his audience, for academics and civil liberties campaigners this book provides a wealth of almost accidental insight.
First, it’s notable just how much of his views about Islam are a result of his upbringing in Luton, and the troubles between Muslim and white youth. . .
When his second cousin, who was a heroin addict, was groomed and sexually assaulted by a gang of Pakistani men, it cemented his view – which hasn’t changed since – that in the end Muslims will always stick together against non-Muslims. "Islam trumps everything," he writes.
Although my reading is that these troubles were with young men in gangs of Asian youths, Tommy sees it all linking back to religion. Ever since then, he’s been reading (and tweeting) stories which all support this thinking. To him, the Paris terrorist murders and recent Cologne sex attacks have been like a souped up, international version of what went on in his home town.
More interesting still are his accounts of the police, with whom he has had more experiences that most people.Tommy is convinced that from the moment he got involved with the EDL he was subjected to a non-stop campaign by the police to use every power they had to harass, disrupt, and, ultimately, recruit him. Prima facie it looks that way. He has been arrested and acquitted an incredible number of times; bail hearings were set at intentionally awkward times; bail conditions were sometimes highly dubious. He even claims that prison guards kept putting him on Muslim majority wings so he’d get beaten up. Perhaps most worrying of all is that, as I read it, most of this was probably all within the law – a series of quite clever, if very aggressive, policing tactics. It’s hard to make out whether or not there is a legal case to answer here, since the numerous claims he makes are difficult to investigate fully. A civil liberties specialist might look into it: but because it’s Tommy Robinson, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
And the reason I wouldn't hold my breath is because Tommy is a pariah. That’s really the background noise for the entire book, although Robinson doesn’t raise it explicitly: that life as a political activist on the fringes of polite opinion really is no fun at all. . . Step too far outside mainstream opinion and life as an activist gets very hard indeed – especially if you're not media-trained and you're working-class.
How far people feel free – legally and socially – to voice controversial opinions is important even for those who detest Robinson’s politics. A society where people with views outside the mainstream have to go through all this is not a healthy one in the long term. In a strange sort of way, how we treat people we disagree with is an indication of how free society really is. I think we still have some work to do.
In recent years the government of France has tried to play a role in Middle Eastern affairs, and in the struggle against Islamist terrorism. It has been particularly eager to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestinians. In December 2014 France proposed an international conference to discuss the issue within a two year framework.
On Friday January 29, 2016 French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, qualifying the 2014 proposal, outlined the French position in two parts. One part was that France would organize an international conference, including the European countries, the U.S., and Arab countries, to agree on a two state solution, Israel and Palestine. The other part, considerably more controversial, was that France would “ live up to our responsibilities” by recognizing Palestine as an independent state if the conference was unsuccessful.
No one can doubt the good intentions of Fabius or the French hopes for a peaceful conclusion of the century old conflict. However, both parts of his proposal are arguable in view of the reality in the area. Palestinian authorities are divided into factions, some of which are determined not to allow the State of Israel to exist. Although the Palestinian Authority exists its ability to make decision is challenged, and therefore it is unclear who is supposed to be the representative body at any peace conference.
Two issues are involved. One is that Hamas, the terrorist ruling group in the Gaza Strip, may insist on its own state, separate from that in the West Bank. The other is that the various Palestinian leaders will not or cannot control Palestinian violence, or even their incitement to violence.
That violence never stops. On Wednesday February 3, 2016 two female Israeli Border Police officers were attacked by three Palestinians in Jerusalem near the Old City, outside the Damascus Gate. One of them, a 19 year-old woman, who had recently joined the Border Police, died. The attackers, who came from the Jenin area and who were armed with a rifle, knives, and an explosive device, were shot and killed by Israeli police.
Immediately, the mainstream media provided a misleading and anti-Israeli account of the attacks. In this CBS News was prominent. Its disgraceful headline was “Three Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on.” After protests were made about this prejudiced presentation, CBS changed it to “Israeli police kill three alleged (sic) Palestinian attackers.” It then changed the headline again, this time to a more correct one, to “Palestinians attack 2 Israeli officers before being killed.”
This was an unhappy coincidence between the French proposal and initiative and the brutal Palestinian attack on two young women. Unfortunately, the Palestinian response to the proposal is not likely to limit the terrorist attacks or plans. A few day after the Fabius proposal, another two members of the military wing of Hamas were killed on February 2, 2016 while rebuilding one of the tunnels in the Gaza Strip, used as a launching pad for attacks against Israeli civilians. The Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismael Haniyeh, said the reconstruction of the tunnels, and the digging of rocks must continue. The Hamas spokesperson, Hussam Badrun, called the February 3 attack a “severe blow to the security apparatus of Israel and as a turning point in Al-Quds Intifada.”
In their turn, the Fatah leaders have praised the acts of terrorists as “heroic,” and honored them.
European countries have already started on the path of recognition of “Palestine.” The European Parliament in December 2014 adopted a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state. So far, Sweden in October 2014 is the only EU country to grant official recognition of the phantom state. However, the UN General Assembly on November 29, 2012 decided by a vote of 138-9-41 that Palestine was a non-member Observer State. All these actions in upgrading the UN status have bypassed the supposed negotiations on the issue. Nevertheless, neither the European decisions nor those of the UN have issued the birth certificate of Palestine.
The EU also in November 2015 issued guidelines that produce made in Israeli settlements must not be labeled “Made in Israel.” This is tantamount to participating in the BDS movement.
There are therefore serious problems with the French initiative, helpful though it intended to be. There are at least two factors. M. Fabius must first ensure that Palestinians are truly interested in negotiations and not dedicated to the elimination of Israel. The second is agreement on the basis of negotiations. President Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues have insisted on conditions, such as Israeli full construction freeze in settlements, and the release of Palestinian prisoners. In contrast, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to enter into negotiations without preconditions and without dictated conditions.
It cannot be encouraging for Fabius, who has proposed the recognition of Palestine even if the negotiations fail, to listen to the ongoing utterances of Palestinian leaders. The adviser to PA Chairman Abbas and member of the Fatah Central Committee , Sultan Abu Al-Einein in January 2016 praised the Palestinian terror wave in which Palestinians have murdered 28 Israelis and wounded 287. He bowed “before every drop of blood that has dripped from our children and women…those seeking knives today will seek rifles and weapons tomorrow.”
Once again this Palestinian leader uses the Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood. He falsely claimed that the terror wave began because of what was happening in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the deliberate falsehood that Israel was seeking to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque.
A more general problem, especially for France in spite of the efforts of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, is the disturbing fact of the increasing number of anti-Israel and antisemitic views of citizens in European countries. A number of recent studies show that more than 40 per cent of the population in the European Union held that Israelis were behaving like Nazis, a view that is akin to anti-Semitic attitudes. As we know the line between criticism of Israel and antisemitism has often been blurred.
If an international conference is well and impartially organized by France the issues are well known. A two state solution with various swaps of land, to which some political leaders of Israel have agreed, is acceptable to most mainstream, if not all, Israelis. The Palestinians, which ever group is in power, must end all violence, accept the legitimacy of the State of Israel, stop denouncing Israel in international forums and end the BDS campaign, must give up the concept of the “Right of Return” in so far as it applies to Israeli territory, and accept the provisions that Israel has made for its security in border controls and fences.
Fabius might also insist that Palestinian gross violations of human rights cease. Even the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights exposed that torture, whippings, hanging a person from his hands, verbal abuse, and sleep deprivation is being carried out in detention centers.
One encouraging event is that a large vulture that had flown from an Israeli game reserve and landed in a Lebanese village and had been detained in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel was released after UN intervention. The vulture, part of an Israeli conservation project had tags on its wings, “Tel Aviv University, Israel.”
Laurent Fabius must tread carefully in the hunt not for the vulture but for the dove of peace.
Britain says Russia trying to carve out mini-state for Assad in Syria
Once again, Russia is playing the adult in the room. How else will non-Sunnis in Syria be protected? This is something no one in the Presidential field is addressing. Reuters:
Britain said on Tuesday Russia could be trying to carve out an Alawite mini-state in Syria for its ally President Bashar al-Assad by bombing his opponents instead of fighting Islamic State militants.
Russia and Britain have been trading barbs after British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told Reuters he believed President Vladimir Putin was worsening the Syrian civil war by bombing opponents of Islamic State.
Hammond dismissed Russian criticism that he was spreading "dangerous disinformation", saying there was a limit to how long Russia could pose as a promoter of the peace process while bombing Assad's opponents, who the West hopes can shape Syria once the president is gone.
The West won't be able to shape Syria by kicking Assad out. See Iraq, Libya and Egypt.