It wasn't because Saladin was a Kurd rather than an Arab. Nor that he was -- if we are to believe the myths -- insufficiently ruthless toward the Christians he defeated. Nor that he founded the Ayoubid dynasty, and employed Maimonides as his court physician in Cairo..
It's just that, in the view of the most fanatical Muslims, any historic place or shrine gets in the way of the pure unmediated submission to Allah. It's just one more thing -- like music and art -- that causes good Muslims to deviate, from the path. No castles, citadels, shrines, nothing by way of tourist attractions, on that path, allowed.
Canadians who are veterans of the referendary battles in Quebec will watch with knowing sympathy as tension grips Scotland in the week leading up to the Sept. 18 referendum on independence. After many months of drowsy reassurance that the Scottish referendum was a mere formality, and that the separatists would be decisively rejected, most polls now show a slight lead for the secessionists. The British political establishment has been profoundly shaken from its complacent longueurs, and is scrambling around like beetles that have been blasted with insecticide. Prime Minister David Cameron has not pleaded with the Scots to “think of [the virtues of the whole country] before voting to break it up,” as Jean Chrétien infamously did in 1995, but the campaign isn’t over yet.
Some of the patterns between the two independence crises are very similar. The Union of the British and Scottish crowns, in James VI of Scotland who became James I of England, dates to the death of Queen Elizabeth I, the so-called “virgin queen” (a claim that is not insusceptible to doubt, but she was childless), in 1603. This was the year that Aymar de Chaste and Samuel de Champlain set up New France in Canada.
The Act of Union, whose repeal is sought by the Yes side in the Scottish referendum, dates from 1707, when the two countries were amalgamated politically in institutions beneath the crown. At this point in Quebec, Frontenac had beaten off the Iroquois and the Americans, and the elder Vaudreuil was expanding the fur trade to Hudson’s Bay, down the Mississippi, and across the Great Plains.
The Scottish constitute only about 10% of the population of the United Kingdom, and there is no real language gap, though Gaelic sometimes is heard in the highlands, and there are a rich variety of comedic send-ups by, and of, all major regional and socioeconomic British accents. But the perceived or conjured threat of Scottish cultural survival is not really in play as it has been in Quebec.There was never a Scottish majority in Great Britain such as the French possessed in Canada until the 1840’s.
The British-Scottish Union was first by dynastic accident and then by legislation under the crown, unlike the military disposition of the French Canadians caused by the colonial operations of European armies and navies. Baldwin and Lafontaine, and then Macdonald, George Brown, and George-Étienne Cartier built a system of a double majority — a majority of both French and English-speaking Canadians — to approve important initiatives such as Confederation. Scotland never had the demographic strength or constitutional position to exercise such influence, and most Scots were assimilated almost seamlessly into British life. The fact that many British prime ministers were Scottish, including Alec Douglas-Gnome, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, was scarcely noticed. To judge from their surnames, so, ultimately, were the families of Harold MacMillan and David Cameron, but it was never mentioned.
Where the similarities begin is with the transfer payments and the grievances of exploitation: the notion of distinct nationhood abused by a majority taking more than it should from one region, which is incapable of defending its interests adequately in the existing political framework.
In Canada, this claim by Quebec nationalists was made more plausible by the refusal of the Trudeau and Mulroney governments to reveal the precise extent of federal government disbursements in and to Quebec, and revenue collection in that province. Both leaders opposed “putting a price on Canada,” presumably from fear of an English-Canadian backlash at the extent of the Danegeld being paid to Quebec nationalists. In Scotland, there is the predictable wild difference between the claims of the two sides about flows of money under the current regime and the costs and benefits of Scottish independence.
As in Quebec, the Scottish separatists dismiss as of no consequence at all the various formalities in disentangling two nationalities after 400 years. Of course, they tell us, the queen would remain, the currency would be shared, and Scotland would remain in the European Union, but as an independent member.
In reality, none of it is as clear as that. The queen’s status, as the Union of crowns is not challenged, would not be in doubt at first. But Scotland would have to adopt a Constitution (and is pledged to do so), and the status of the queen or a republican alternative would quickly arise in that context. There is no reliable polling on the question publicly available, and there is no agitation against the queen, but she must surely be perceived as more English than Scottish, and if the Scots were to prove unenthused about having an English monarch, the status of that institution in more distant and foreign parts of the Commonwealth where it is not immutable, including Canada, would be seriously undermined.
Scotland would not automatically be admitted to the EU. Britain could veto it. Moreover, new members now have to adopt the Euro, and it is not clear that the Scots, traditionally wise with money (though their recent performance as bankers didn’t bear this out), would not necessarily leap with skirls of joy from the Pound to the Euro. If the tutelage of Britain has been too grating, they are unlikely to be enamoured of the devolutional techniques of Berlin and Brussels. Nor is it certain that the British, who have had an open fiscal artery in Scotland for decades, would wish to continue to provide Scotland a currency.
The English left, as with the Anglo fellow travellers of the Quebec separatists, have fallen to defeatist ruminating. The Guardian newspaper, for instance, wonders if the UK would be thrown out as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Of course, it would not. Russia holds the Security Council seat of the USSR, though it has only half of its former population; China remains though it has lost Taiwan; and France remains though it has lost its formerly largest province, Algeria.
As in Canada, there are the predictable legions of British who want to see the back of the Scots. From the perspective of the rest of the UK, Scotland is costly and leftist, and the Labour Party would be hard put to win an election without sweeping most of Scotland as the Liberals long did in Quebec. If the Yes side wins in the referendum, all the party leaders — Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour’s Ed Milliband and the Liberal-Democrats’ Nick Clegg — probably are finished. They all have been asleep as polls moved these last weeks. They would not be a grievous loss to British public life.
The Scottish Nationalists’ blithe assumption that they will take 90% of North Sea oil is disputed by the British, and their assumption of the extent of reserves is more than twice the figure the British government estimates. The principal Scottish banks are in fact British, and though the Yes-side supporters deny it, they would certainly remove to London, taking many thousands of jobs with them.
We have seen that movie in Canada, too, as René Lévesque, Jacques Parizeau, and Lucien Bouchard announced that these were empty threats while endless caravans of people and money, led by the Royal Bank and the Bank of Montreal, and including perhaps 800,000 people, decamped to Toronto and Ottawa over 40 years (and that was with the separatists losing in 1980 and 1995; we would have needed huge refugee centres if they actually had won).
The British nuclear deterrent — four submarines carrying nuclear missiles — is now at Faslane in Scotland, and the United Kingdom does not have another port that would accommodate them as well, with deep water access so the ships surface only in port, and comparative remoteness. Probably they would be dispersed between Gibraltar and Portsmouth, but it would be an expensive move.
At least the Scots did not try the sleazy Quebec tactic of a trick question that invited the voters to eat their cake with the assurance that it would remain in front of them. The question is stark: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
A prominent Quebec separatist, Jean-François Lisée, wrote last week in the Guardian that the British were conducting a fairer referendum than in Canada — though he tried to argue that the fault on this side of the Atlantic lay with Ottawa, not Quebec City for a confusingly worded question. The PQ’s own leaders, Lévesque and Parizeau, wrote the referendum questions in 180 and 1995; and in both cases, a question as clear as the Scottish one would have reduced the Yes total in Quebec by at least 10%.
Unfortunately, the British, in their over-confidence, effectively have conceded that 50%-plus-one-vote for the Yes side is enough to remove Scotland from the UK, with only the formality of negotiations to confirm it. I warned my British friends in July to be wary of these separatists: They rise like a cobra at the end claiming “the whole race is being taken for granted,” and if they lose they don’t vanish — instead there is the unutterable irritation about the regime having squeaked out “a reprieve.” But I believe they will lose, because, there as here, secession is a bad idea.
Unfortunately, the Unionists have not emulated Pierre Trudeau, who ran a brilliant campaign in the 1980 referendum and was always confident but never over-confident, and have not learned from the near-disaster of Chrétien in 1995. Perhaps, if they do win, they will emulate Chrétien’s brilliant Clarity Act of 1999, which redeemed his poor performance four years before.
The Scots now have got the attention of Westminster and the City of London and have made their point. They are no longer taken for granted, and the Scots can count. The Union should win, but all is in play as we come down to the wire.
As many as 36 children were reported to have died excruciating deaths last night after receiving tainted measles vaccines under a UN-sponsored programme in the rebel-held north of Syria. The programme was suspended amid rumours of sabotage of a high profile international effort to ensure the brutal civil war does not result in an outbreak of measles.Doctors in clinics in the towns of Jirjanaz and Maaret al-Nouman in the northeastern province of Idlib said children started falling ill soon after the doses were administered.
“It’s very bad. The figures of dead we are getting go into the 30s. Children are dying very quickly,” said Daher Zidan, the coordinator of the medical charity, Uossm. “We think it will get worse.” The Syrian opposition coalition, which controls the area of Idlib province and had been administering the programme, said it had halted the immunisation project forthwith.
Medical experts said a contaminated batch of the vaccine was the most likely explanation for the incident. In what had been a rare hopeful breakthrough, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the vaccination drive to ensure 1.6 million children were granted protection from measles this summer.
Many opposition sympathisers circulated images of the dying children on social media sites with suggestions the vaccine had been adulterated with cyanide, possibly by regime agents, to undermine confidence in the opposition. Idlib is one of the few strongholds of a Western-back rebel movement that has largely been eclipsed by the nihilist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) or al-Qaeda’s Jabhat Al-Nusra in non-regime parts of Syria.
Mohammad Mowas, a Syrian doctor working in Turkey, said the reported symptoms were a gradual slowdown in the heart rate as the infants turned blue and were consistent with cyanide poisoning. “This looks like deliberate attempt to spike the vaccines,” he said.
Fears that the death toll could rise yet further circulated the exile medical community last night. Each bottle of the vaccine contains 40 doses and medics believe two bottles were suspect.
Charity Save the Children said it was "appalled and deeply saddened" by the deaths. "The local authorities have launched an investigation. It is clear something has gone badly wrong and Save the Children will help the authorities in any way we can to help find out what has happened."
An ideology that could murder innocent babies in this way, just for propaganda or to prove a point (against vaccinations, usually measles, sometimes polio) is one from which no-one can expect any mercy, receive no quarter. May whoever did this rot in the deepest depths of hell.
Bien, la conférence de Paris sur la nécessité d’éradiquer le Califat Islamique s’est terminée ; elle aura duré trois heures et permis à François Hollande, dont l’action politique jouit de l’appui extatique de 13 pour cent des Français, de prononcer un discours pathétique. Des propos lénifiants sur le ton d’une émission pour enfants, destinés à démontrer combien l’Hexagone était un polygone moral à l’écoute du monde.
Parce qu’il importe de stopper l’Etat Islamique, que Laurent Fabius et Jean-Luc Mélenchon réclament qu’il soit désormais appelé le Califat Suédois, parce que c’est faire insulte à l’islam que de montrer des musulmans étêter des coopérants humanitaires chrétiens, le coran dans la main qui ne tient pas le couteau de cuisine. Parce que Fabius s’apprête à donner des leçons de mahométisme à Abou Bark el Baghdadi et que tout le monde en rigole, sauf lui et les décapités.
Parce que, dixit le pensionnaire de l’Elysée - qui envoie trente SMS par jour à son ancienne compagne Valérie Trierweiler, le double à la nouvelle, quelques-uns à Ségolène et un ou deux à ses enfants, pendant que le paquebot France heurte l’un après l’autre tous les icebergs de l’Atlantique - il faut absolument soutenir le gouvernement irakien présidé par le Kurde Fouad Massoum. Or ce gouvernement est au mieux une vue de l’esprit et qu’il n’y a personne, pas d’entité étatique digne de ce nom, à soutenir à Bagdad.
C’est une dure constatation que la "communauté internationale" se refuse encore de faire : il n’y a plus d’Irak, d’ailleurs, il n’y en a jamais eu. Mosaïque d’entités hétéroclites que seul un tyran comme Saddam Hussein pouvait, à force de terreur et d’exactions, empêcher de suivre leurs destins divergents. C’est pourtant simple : chiites au Sud, sunnites au Nord et Kurdes dans une petite bande montagneuse lovée entre les frontières vénéneuses de la Syrie, de la Turquie et de la "République" de Khamenei. Et, broyés dans ce retour à l’époque biblique, des minorités vouées au supplice, tels les chrétiens ou les Yézidis.
Et le Sud ne s’arrête pas à Bassora, tout comme le Nord ne freine pas aux confins de la népotie des al Assad. Le découpage à la règle du Moyen-Orient par les puissances coloniales a vécu, et avec lui la tentative arrogante, naïve, écervelée, optimiste ou criminelle d’obliger des peuples à vivre ensemble, qui s’exterminaient depuis des siècles.
Back to the schisme historique au sein de l’islam, à l’empire des Perses, aux Mongols-ottomans, aux Pharaons du Nil, aux Bédouins du désert, aux Kurdes, aux chrétiens et aux Israélites.
Fin de la construction d’entités plus larges et début du re-morcellement : durant la bataille d’Alep, on a dénombré jusqu’à soixante entités nationales, linguistiques ou confessionnelles se battant contre Béchar al Assad et les unes contre les autres.
Retour aux recettes de grand-mère pour guerroyer : gagner du terrain, faire des prisonniers, des esclaves, violer et vendre leurs femmes, décapiter, pendre, noyer, tuer en masse, pour s’en débarrasser et faire trembler les prochains adversaires.
Encore faut-il, pour les Occidentaux, ne pas confondre stratégie et tactique, que les chefs d’Etat des grandes démocraties semblent avoir de plus en plus de mal à discerner : lancer des bombes avec des avions sur des barbares, c’est bien, mais ce n’est pas une solution, c’est un moyen.
Et si l’on entend retrouver une situation d’équilibre relatif – c’est ainsi qu’il va falloir rebaptiser la paix dorénavant -, il faut impérieusement se soucier de ce qui va s’instaurer par la suite, une fois que l’on aura affaibli les miliciens ivres d’Allah d’El Baghdadi. En principe on devrait s’en soucier avant de tirer le premier missile.
Parce que l’EI n’est pas fondamentalement pire que les autres acteurs régionaux, ils ont juste commis l’erreur de se vanter de l’assassinat de leurs otages en les diffusant sur le Net, tandis que la junte théocratique iranienne pend les opposants, les militants des droits de l’homme, les Kurdes, au faîte des grues, et ordonne la lapidation des femmes jugées infidèles par des tribunaux expéditifs, justifiant leur sentence, non pas par la charte des Vikings, M. Fabius, mais par le saint coran. Mais en "République" Islamique de Norvège, on prend soin d’interdire de filmer les mises à mort, sous peine d’en faire partie, ce qui limite le courroux indigné de la "communauté internationale".
L’endémie de médiévalisme contagie également les Palestiniens, n’en déplaise aux adorateurs européens du Hamas. Tout le monde n’ayant pas la mémoire assez courte pour avoir déjà oublié les corps mutilés de malheureux, traînés par les pieds derrière des motos dans les rue de Gaza-city, ni, bien sûr, plus récemment, les soi-disant espions du Mossad, parfaitement innocents mais sympathisants du Fatah de Mahmoud Abbas, mitraillés devant la foule avec un sac sur la tête.
Et aussi, parce qu’en politique internationale, il est dangereux d’avoir des dégoûts sélectifs, de rappeler que chez les hôtes préférentiels du pauvre Français Hollande, en Arabie Saoudite, une justice sûre d’elle fait trancher la tête des homosexuels et des apostats de l’islam en place publique, et condamne au fouet les femmes qui conduisent des automobiles, oublient de se couvrir la tête ou serrent la main d’un inconnu. Sauf que le ministre français des Affaires Etrangères n’a pas pensé à dissocier le régime de Riyad du livre de Mohamed, l’économie tricolore étant déjà assez mal en point comme cela.
Donc, on réalise urgemment qu’on est au Moyen-Age. On arrête d’essayer d’expliquer aux opinions publiques ses décisions stratégiques par des appels à la sensiblerie, et on réfléchit consciencieusement, entouré par des spécialistes qui connaissent effectivement la situation, sur les démarches à considérer.
On cesse aussi de désigner les bons et les méchants au gré de ses humeurs et de ses intérêts à court terme, en prenant ses électeurs pour des cons, sur la simple hypothèse que la plupart sont effectivement des ignares, mais qui ont actuellement assez de soucis existentiels pour chercher à savoir où se trouvent Kirkuk, Raqqah ou Aarsal, les régions où la nouvelle guerre de religion fait actuellement rage.
Cela évitera par exemple à la France d’envoyer pour trois milliards d’euros d’armement à l’Armée libanaise, sachant que ces équipements tomberont directement dans l’escarcelle du Hezbollah qui a totalement phagocyté le pays aux cèdres grâce à l’incroyable passivité de l’Europe en général, de Paris, en particulier. Le Hezbollah qui signifie littéralement – et ce n’est pas du finnois, M. Fabius – le parti d’Allah, et dont les miliciens se targuent de leur appellation de "Fous d’Allah", tout un programme par les temps qui courent.
On demandera à l’occasion à la diplomatie française où, sur le globe, on peut trouver des musulmans qu’elle nous autorise à appeler musulmans. Nous cherché, pas trouvé. En Libye, peut-être ? Ailleurs en Afrique ? Dans les banlieues ? Il faudra nous dire.
C’est un analyste qui habite à 20 kilomètres des positions tenues par le Front al-Nosra, qui vous pose la question. Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-Ahl ash-Shām, ou front (djihadiste) pour la victoire des peuples du Levant, étant la branche concurrente de l’Etat Islamique, tous issus d’al Qaeda, qui partage le même mode opératoire que l’EI, et dont les membres se transfèrent sans états d’âme de l’un à l’autre.
Or la conférence d’hier n’a pas déclaré la guerre à al Nosra, pas plus qu’elle n’a défini ce qu’elle projetait pour l’avenir de l’Irak et de la Syrie. La démonstration des dangers représentés par cette lacune est facile à poser ; elle participe, comme une grande tranche de la stratégie politique, du principe des vases communicants, autrement plus dévastatrice qu’un missile de Rafale : si l’Amérique et ses alliés affaiblissent considérablement le Califat Islamique, c’est immédiatement al Nosra qui prendra sa place, recueillant du même coup ses combattants et les armes qu’il aura abandonnées. Rien n’aura été fait. Rien n’aura changé. Hormis la rancœur grandissante des sunnites de tout le Moyen-Orient, qui considéreront l’immixtion des chrétiens dans leurs affaires comme une agression, et l’élimination des miliciens arabes comme autant d’assassinats.
Car il est un autre élément qu’on ne vous dit pas : c’est que le monde entier, les Arabes particulièrement, ne pensent pas comme vous et nous. Ainsi, depuis la montée en puissance de DAESH, la plupart des sunnites, considérant qu’il défend ce qu’ils assimilent à leur honneur et qu’il constitue le seul rempart crédible contre l’expansion du chiisme et de son alliance al Assad en Syrie, Hezbollah au Liban et théocratie iranienne en Perse, lui accordent l’entièreté de leur sympathie.
Jusqu’ici, en Israël, où les partisans d’al Baghdadi terrorisent de plus en plus souvent les Druzes et les chrétiens en effectuant des descentes dans leurs villages et leurs quartiers, leur promettant le même sort que celui réservé aux ennemis de l’EI et commençant même à molester les femmes se trouvant sur leur passage. Les autorités israéliennes sont très peu disertes sur le sujet, craignant d’éveiller d’autres vocations islamistes, mais je peux vous assurer, pour les côtoyer quotidiennement, que la peur au sein de ces minorités se fait de plus en plus concrète.
De plus, tous les sunnites que j’ai rencontrés expriment désormais leur haine irréductible des Américains, des Européens, des chrétiens et des Israélites. En termes stratégiques, il faudrait comprendre que – contrairement à l’idée saugrenue que l’on tente d’imposer – l’islamisme et le djihadisme sont profondément ancrés dans les cœurs et les mentalités du Moyen-Orient et ils augmentent avec chaque succès de l’EI et avec chaque frappe aérienne qu’il subit. D’ailleurs, cette empathie gagne aussi rapidement la banlieue, mais cela également, on le dissimule soigneusement à l’opinion. Celle-ci remarque un discours antithétique entre ce qu’elle constate dans la rue et ce qu’on lui raconte à la télévision. Et cela l’irrite. En France, cette double constatation non-miscible est en train de paver la voie royale à Marine Le Pen, qui devrait la conduire directement à l’Elysée.
Cela pose un autre problème stratégique majeur : il ne suffit absolument pas de ramollir l’appareil militaire d’ISIS pour extirper l’espérance djihadiste du Moyen-Orient. Car, non, cette mouvance n’est plus un corps étranger de la région mais l’un de ses piliers ; un pilier qui a un milliard de fois plus de consistance que le "gouvernement de Bagdad" qu’on nous invite à soutenir, et qui lui survivra durant des décennies pour ne pas parler de siècles.
En termes stratégiques, on doit également redouter l’alliance de facto qui s’est instaurée avec l’Iran. Au point que l’on n’entend pratiquement plus parler des négociations sur la bombe atomique de Téhéran, et que celui-ci n’a toujours pas détruit la moindre de ses milliers de centrifugeuses, pas plus qu’elle n’en a déplacé des sites de Fodow et de Natanz.
Des émissaires d’Obama – c’est le Guide suprême Khamenei qui l’affirme et je le crois – ont tenté diverses approches afin de sceller une alliance tactique en vue de combattre le Califat. Khamenei prétend qu’il a refusé ces appels du pied parce qu’ils proviennent d’une "entité entachée". Plus prosaïquement, les ayatollahs voient d’un mauvais œil un retour de la présence militaire occidentale à leurs portes.
Encore plus prosaïquement, les experts de la théocratie islamique chiite, qui ne sont pas des chèvres, savent pertinemment, qu’avec ou sans accord formel, l’Occident a besoin de son concours s’il entend sérieusement endiguer l’EI en Irak et en Syrie. Cela favorise Téhéran qui, à chaque frappe contre les sunnites, voit sa puissance augmenter. Or si les alliés éradiquent le Califat, comme ils affirment vouloir le faire, au lieu de se contenter de l’affaiblir pour le contenir, ce qui participe de l’unique option stratégique valable, ils offriront à Khamenei l’hégémonie sur le Tigre et l’Euphrate, hégémonie qu’il s’est déjà attribuée sur le sud chiite de l’Irak.
Or gare à ce terrible faux pas, car la "République" Islamique est autrement plus menaçante pour la région, Israël, l’Europe et le monde que l’Etat Islamique. Le premier dispose de missiles balistiques, le second, de mitrailleuses montées sur des pickups. Le premier possèdera bientôt la bombe atomique si la Baronne Ashton ne décuple pas d’efficacité lors des négociations, ce qui est douteux ; Téhéran entretient des millions de soldats et d’auxiliaires, contre trente mille miliciens à DAESH. Et c’est aussi cela qui est incompréhensible, disproportionné, et qui engendre moult questions chez les spécialistes.
Le monde vient de déclarer la guerre à 30 000 fanatiques, obligés de contrôler 40% du territoire irakien et 30, de celui de la Syrie ? Si le million d’hommes de la nouvelle Armée irakienne, formée, dotée et financée à coups de milliards par Washington, ses chasseurs et ses centaines de chars, ne suffisent pas à s’opposer à ces cow-boys de l’islam qui tirent dans tous les sens, c’est que la limite entre ladite armée et les cow-boys n’est pas aussi tranchée qu’on voudrait se le figurer.
La puissance US, les six Rafales de Paris, les forces britanniques, l’Allemagne pour stopper 30 000 dégénérés ? Qui menaceraient la sécurité de la planète ? Cela me semble grotesque.
Il suffirait de donner une douzaine de vieux F-16 à Barzani, de former ses pilotes durant six mois, d’ajouter 50 Merkava et des missiles Tamouz pour que l’on cesse de parler de djihadisme dans le nord de l’Irak. Il est vrai que l’on consacrerait l’indépendance du Kurdistan, mais n’est-ce pas déjà fait ?
The World Health Organisation has released the figures for air pollution levels on a country-by-country basis (here). It’s not really surprising to discover that the five most polluted countries on Earth are all Mohammedan countries. It is also not surprising to learn that eight out of the top ten countries with the worst air pollution on Earth are Mohammedan.
The top five are, in order: Pakistan, Qatar, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Iran. Egypt comes in at number six, the United Arab Emirates at number eight and Bahrain at number ten.
It is not coincidental that the majority of the countries with the worst air pollution record on the planet also happen to have the worst and most inhuman governments on the planet. No matter what the problem, Mohammedanism is not, and can never be, the solution.
But in a statement released today by his office, Mr Wright resigned, saying: "My role as South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner has clearly become prominent in terms of public opinion and media coverage following the publication of Professor Alexis Jay's report. . . With this in mind, I feel that it is now right to step down from the position of police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire, for the sake of those victims, for the sake of the public of South Yorkshire and to ensure that the important issues outlined in the report about tackling child sexual exploitation can be discussed and considered in full and without distraction."
Mr Wright's resignation will trigger a by-election for the vacant Police and Crime Commissioner post, the date of which is yet to be determined.
There are other heads that by rights should roll; and one day....
Both the newest generation of missile-carrying drones and the Iron Dome missile defense system were pooh-poohed by many, including those in the Pentagon, as just not feasible. Both of these developments were magined by, worked on, developed by, Israelis. These two examples (and there are more, not widely and some not publicly known at all) of Israel's contributions to the safety of the Western world reminds us that Israel possesses the greatest pool of technical expertise, in such matters,, outside of the United States itself. That does not prevent much of the Western world from trying to make life as difficult as possible for Israel, showing an ignorance, an ingratitude, and a malevolence that continue to amaze.
Today's Wall Street Journal contains a book review of "Predator" by Richard Whittle, about the "small aircraft that are revolutionizing warfare," and which owe their exisrtence, in the main, to a single genius, "Abraham Karem, an Israeli engineering prodigy, [who] came to the United States after the 1973 Yomn Kippur War to pursue his vision of a UAV armed with antitank missiles, an aircraft that could loiter in the skies and then strike to help defeat an invading army. Mr. Karem's brilliance, alas, did not extend to the mysteries of Pentagon nomenclature or procurement policies. His absurdly misnamed craft, the Albatross, was a model of innovation and capability, but the Defense Department was not interested.It took two brothers, Neal and Linden Blue swashbuckling aviation pioneers themselves, to rescue Mr. Karem's project from bankruptcy. The private firm they had recently acquired, General Atomics, hired Mr. Karem and in 1990 bought his design -- lock, stock and propeller-- just as the Soviet empire collapsed and the military market for drones was zilch."
An Early Example Of The Convert -- Adrift And A Drug Addict, She Found Islam
The psychically and socially marginal constitute the greatest number, and possibly almost all, of Western converts to Islam. Some may have been addicts of one sort or another. Others felt themselves to be in miserable economic or family situations that were to be blamed on something -- never themselves -- and that something became clear, was given a local habitation and a name, when they found the Total Explanation of the Universe, and Compleat Regulation of Life, which is Islam. It offered the Turn-Key Hatred for the Infidel. And then these miserable people could find their reason for being, which became the destruction of Infidels and the victory of Islam, everywhere.
Here's one example, from 2005, before the Islamic State was there to become the cynosure of all true-blue (converted) Muslim eyes, that of a Belgian woman, who was inveigled into Islam by an Arab immigrant she met, and then further inveigled into strapping on a suicide vest, in Baghdad not Belgium, in an attempt to kill Americans.
Al-Qaeda, Al Qaeda In The Maghreb (AQIM), Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and other groups, will support the Islamic State with everything they've got. Who could have thought otherwise? And the Muslim Arab states, that with the exception of the Emirates were not really going to do much of anything, now have the excuse taht "we'd love to but we can't because it might increase domestic opposition to our regimes." The question to ask, obvious to all but our leaders, is: Why might Arabs and Muslims choose to oppose a regime that wants to fight the Islamic State, if the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, and furthermore, merely sullies the image of Islam among non-Muslims?
UPDATE 1330amWEBY “Your Turn” with Ken Timmerman, author of Dark Forces on House Select Benghazi Committee Hearings and role of former Acting CIA Director Mike Morrell today at 6:00PM EDT
Listen to a discussion about tomorrow’s House Select Benghazi Committee Hearings and the role of former Acting CIA Director Mike Morrell on 1330AMWEBY, Pensacola, Florida. This is the latest program in periodic round table discussions on the Middle East led by “Your Turn” host Mike Bates and Jerry Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review and author of The West Speaks. Returning for this interview is Kenneth R.Timmerman, author of the expose, Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.
This interview was prompted by the appearance of Mike Morrell, former Acting Director of the CIA as the featured speaker at the Annual Dinner of The Tiger Bay Club in Pensacola, Friday evening, September 19, 2014. His appearance coincides with the start of the House Select Benghazi Committee Hearings in Washington, tomorrow, Wednesday, September 17th. This follows the FoxNews revelations from three shooters at the CIA Annex drawn from the book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi" by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team. Then, this week we had former CBS journalist Sheryl Atkisson ‘s investigative report , based on an interview with former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Raymond Maxwell about key staff of former Secretary of State Clinton . They allegedly culled out controversial emails and documents, from review by the Accountability Review Board. The ARB was led by Chairman, Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering and Vice Chairman ,former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullins. This follows our earlier interview with Ken on his own investigative book, Dark Forces, The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.
The thing to remember is the Iranians will work with whoever they need to accomplish their goals. For many years the U.S. intelligence community said because they are Shia they won't work with Al Qaeda because they are Sunni fundamentalists. In fact we learned that they did in 9/11 and they did in Benghazi. They are doing it with Hamas. They are working with Sunnis in the Taliban. Iran will work with whomever they need to kill Americans and kill Jews.
The WEBY program has been rescheduled and will air Tuesday September 16, 2014 during the 6 to 7:00PM CDT (6:00 to 7:00PM EDT) segment. You may listen live here.
An archived recording of this program will be put up following the broadcast. An article based on the discussion may appear in the October 2014, New English Review.
WASHINGTON — Militants for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have traveled to Mexico and are just miles from the United States. They plan to cross over the porous border and will “imminently” launch car bomb attacks. And the threat is so real that federal law enforcement officers have been placed at a heightened state of alert, and an American military base near the border has increased its security.
As the Obama administration and the American public have focused their attention on ISIS in recent weeks, conservative groups and leading Republicans have issued stark warnings like those that ISIS and other extremists from Syria are planning to enter the country illegally from Mexico. But the Homeland Security Department, the F.B.I. and lawmakers who represent areas near the border say there is no truth to the warnings.
“There is no credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL to attempt to cross the southern border,” Homeland Security officials said in a written statement, using an alternative acronym for the group.
“There’s a longstanding history in this country of projecting whatever fears we have onto the border,” said Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas. Credit Rod Lamkey/Getty Images
Democrats say opponents of President Obama are simply playing on concerns about terrorism as part of their attempt to portray Mr. Obama as having failed to secure the border against illegal immigration.
“There’s a longstanding history in this country of projecting whatever fears we have onto the border,” said Representative Beto O’Rourke, Democrat of Texas, who represents El Paso and other areas near the border. “In the absence of understanding the border, they insert their fears. Before it was Iran and Al Qaeda. Now it’s ISIS. They just reach the conclusion that invasion is imminent, and it never is.”
At a congressional hearing last week, Representative Jeff Duncan, Republican of South Carolina, pushed back strongly against the testimony of Homeland Security Department officials and Mr. O’Rourke, saying they were ignoring a gathering threat.
“Wake up, America,” Mr. Duncan said before storming out of the hearing. “With a porous southern border, we have no idea who’s in our country.”
But counterterrorism officials say they are far more concerned that an ISIS militant will enter the United States the same way millions of people do each year: legally, on a commercial flight. Their efforts have focused on the more than 2,000 Europeans and 100 Americans who have traveled to Syria to fight alongside extremist groups, nearly all of them crossing over its unprotected borders. Without markings in their passports to show that they traveled to Syria, American border authorities have few ways of determining where they were and stopping them from entering the country.
Warnings about the possibility of terrorists entering the United States from Mexico have been sounded in the past. During the 2012 presidential campaign both Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, said Islamic extremists working with countries in Latin America, including Mexico, posed a significant threat to the United States.
“We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico, as well as Iran, with their ploy to come into the United States,” Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, said at a Republican debate in 2011. “So the idea that we need to have border security with the United States and Mexico is paramount to the entire Western Hemisphere.”
Mr. Perry repeated his concerns in a speech last month at the Heritage Foundation in Washington in which he said that because the border was not secure, “individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be” crossing into the United States. “I think it’s a very real possibility that they may have already used that,” he said...
Muslim leaders have protested against threats to shut down what the State says are mosques that offer radical teachings, saying this would undermine the war against terrorism.
They were reacting to Sunday’s threat by Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Director Ndegwa Muhoro to close mosques he claimed were preaching extremism and promoting Al-Shabaab ideologies. Mr Muhoro said a mosque was, recently, shut in Machakos for recruiting youth to Al-Shabaab and the suspects are facing charges.
But yesterday the CID boss was accused of not only lacking the theological depth to understand Islam before deciding for muslims what is radical but also laying the ground for mosque invasions such as the February 2 storming of Musa Mosque in Mombasa. Critics of the directive claimed the threat was a pretext to attack, redefine and profile Islam and muslims. I think it is very much a matter for the head of CID to decide what is a criminal threat to his country.
And last evening, Mombasa County Police Commander Robert Kitur, who commanded the raid on Musa mosque, said police have placed several mosques “across Coast region under surveillance” over radical activity. “We are not targeting just mosques. There are also non-governmental organisations we are monitoring,” Kitur also added churches suspected to propagate extremism and religious hate will also be targeted but declined to say whether such places of worship will be closed.
He declined to say how many mosques are in the Government’s cross-hairs but suggested that Sakina and Musa are still on police radar.
Senator Billow Kerrow (Mandera) said " . . . If there is a Muslim leader suspected of recruiting for Al-Shabaab, go for him and not the facility because if you shut it down they will go to another one.” There is some truth in that.
Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Deputy Secretary General Hassan ole Naado yesterday said the freedom of worship for Muslims is facing a threat under the guise of fighting terrorism.
Muslim academic gets death threats over women and gay-friendly mosque
It's Taj Hargey of Oxford trying something new in his home town Capetown South Africa. From the Telegraph
A Muslim academic is vowing to push ahead with the launch of his woman and gay-friendly mosque in South Africa, despite receiving death threats.
Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, a group of "forward thinking" Muslims, said his Open Mosque will welcome all genders, religions and sexual orientations when it opens in Wynberg, a Cape Town suburb, on Friday. "Women will enter the same doors as men, women will take part in the service" said the 60-year-old. "This is the first time you'll see men and women praying together."
Mr Hargey says the Open Mosque, that has been in development for two years, is designed to counter growing Islamic radicalism in Africa. "South Africans have become Arabised, they think they must wear the burka, must have face masks, that men must wear pyjama dresses," said Mr Hargey. "They think that is the only version of Islam."
With over 300 people expected to attend the first service, Mr Hargey, who has caused a similar uproar in Britain when he called on Muslims to ban the burka, says the response to the Open Mosque has ranged from ecstatic to apoplectic. Meanwhile, Mr Hargey says he has received "a lot of death threats".
The Muslim Judicial Council, a non-profit religious advocacy group, said it was investigating the Open Mosque, telling to The Telegraph in an email it was "in the process of investigating the policy and objectives of the mosque".
Last week, the deputy president of the Muslim Judicial Council praised the Muslim community for their "vigilance". "We see and feel the anxiousness in our community," said the council's deputy president Riad Fataar, to local radio station The Voice of the Cape.
Mr Fataar added that the Muslim Judicial Council would not consider the Open Mosque a proper place of prayer. "We see in the newspaper clippings and the messages that this is a place of worship but we can't call it a mosque," he said
BERLIN — A Jewish community-organized rally protesting the recent surge of anti-Semitism throughout Germany saw an eclectic 8,000-strong crowd at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate Sunday.
Among the heterogeneous protesters at the rally, organized by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, were non-German minorities including Syrian Christians, Muslims, and Africans seeking recognition of their own struggles at home and abroad.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel headlined the event and unequivocally condemned the anti-Semitism that came to characterize this summer’s demonstrations against Israel and its offensive in Gaza. She said those who have used criticism of Israel to veil their anti-Semitism have “abused our dear fundamental right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.”
The theme of lurking anti-Semitism in anti-Israelism was echoed by current Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit. He also called on the government to ban the far right nationalist party NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany).
Comments by Ron Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, were greeted by roaring applause.
“Jews and non-Jews stand together as one people to say ‘No!’ to intolerance, ‘No!’ to bigotry, and ‘No!’ to anti-Semitism,’” said Lauder, speaking in both German and English....
Big Plans Of Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya, The Islamic State That Has Nothing To Do With Islam
The Islamic State -- the state that has nothing to do with Islam (Cameron, Hammond, Kerry, Obama, a cast of thousands) -- has big plans for the next five years. Its quinquennium neronis includes the recovery of most of the lands of greatest immediate interest, that is those lands that, at some point, were ruled by Muslims: all of the Iberian peninsula, parts of both West and sub-Saharan Africa (on the theory of the grand but factitious empirate of Sokoto, the empire of Timbuktu, and so on and so fantastically forth), Sicily, Greece, the Balkans, much of central and eastern Europe, all of India, parts of what is now western China, all added to what is already, in their eyes, Dar al-Islam (but which will be a Dar al-Islam purged of the Shi'a and the insufficiently-Islamic "hypocrites" among the Sunnis).