by Jerry Gordon with Bill Bennett of Morning America and Dr. Michael Welner (April 2015)
In the March New English Review (NER) we wrote about the failure of the Countering Violent Extremism Summit of President Obama.
On Wednesday, February 18, 2014 at a White House Summit, President Obama presented his views on countering "violent extremism." He suggested that Islamic terrorists misappropriate Islamic doctrine, exploit disaffected youths in communities across the US and globally throughout the Ummah - the community of Muslim believers. He suggested that youths prone to radicalization outside the US may be victimized by poverty, without job opportunities and oppressed by corrupt regimes. Countering violent extremism he suggests is a multi-pronged approach involving economic programs, political reform and community involvement to halt radicalization. His focus in the US was on creating community partnerships and pilot projects in several American cities, endeavoring to integrate Muslims in America, preserving and protecting their civil rights under our constitution against untoward surveillance. The President gathered Muslim and other religious clerics from the US and abroad, community leaders, law enforcement, homeland security officials, and high tech entrepreneurs seeking means of stopping radicalization of youths. These youths are attracted by the "successes" of the Islamic State blasted around the world via the internet, tens of thousands of tweets, high production videos and on-line webzines in a number of languages including English. more>>>
Three teenage girls from Graz have been detained in custody in Jakomini prison after allegedly planning to leave Austria for Syria where they intended to marry Islamic State fighters.
The girls, aged 15, 16 and 19, are reported to be originally from Chechnya. All three had planned to marry Islamic State fighters and the 16-year-old had even participated in a “marriage ceremony” with a jihadist via Skype.
Kroschl said that the eldest girl had already planned her departure by plane from Vienna on April 24th and had purchased a ticket. The girls - two are students, and one is learning to be a hairdresser - will be held in custody until April 7th.
They were arrested last Friday, and are likely to be charged with participation in a terrorist organization.
Throughout his life, George Orwell was labeled a fascist by the Communist Left. Reviewing 1984, Harry Politt, head of the British Communist Party, characterized Winston Smith as a Nazi, based on his willingness when asked by O'Brian, who was masquerading as a rebel against Big Brother, if he would murder a child for the revolution. more>>>
It is a term of real rhetorical power. To be accused of essentialism is to be variously, an adherent of an outmoded and dangerous metaphysics, to be anti-scientific, anti-Darwinian, anti-women, racist, nationalist, anti-LGBT, and very probably some kind of political regressive. Like many other terms of that kind, it is almost entirely defined by its opponents and has little generic meaning beyond expressing the disapprobation of those opponents and relegating those who are said to hold those ideas to outer darkness.
-- John S. Wilkins, Essentialism in Biology
According to a very strange article in The Nation by Juan Cole, “How Islamic is the Islamic State?”, claiming those who commit acts of terror in the name of Islam are Islamic terrorists is to commit the sin of essentialism (shudder). He argues that the President is right not to fall into the trap of essentialism and besmirch Islam by allowing the juxtaposition of “Islamic” with “terrorism”: more>>>
When the polls closed in Israel on March 17, 2015 for election of a new government, Israel’s Parliament, the Obama White House was poised for a result far different from the stunning victory of Prime Minister Netanyahu. His Likud Party list won a plurality of 30 seats, far ahead of his nearest rival, the Zionist Union, which secured only 24 seats. Israel’s second leading party, led by Labor MK Yitzhak Herzog, had been in a tight lead in the exit polls. more>>>
Policy is a worldview, a kind of wishful thinking. Intelligence is the real world, a wilderness of untidy facts that may or may not influence policy. The policymaker thinks he knows the answer. The intelligence officer and national security analyst have the much tougher tasks of confirming or changing minds. more>>>
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come in for what the New York Timescalls an “unusually forceful and public condemnation” by President Barack Obama for his pre-election statement on March 16 “that there would be no Palestinian state on his watch.” According to the Times, Obama thinks that Netanyahu’s statement “all but foreclosed the chance for negotiations to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”1 more>>>
Robert Graves (1895 – 1985) was one of the few men who was able to read his own obituary, albeit sixty-nine years before he actually died. He was badly injured in the First World War and left for dead; the Times published an obituary on this mistaken belief. more>>>
In The Life of King Henry the Fifth there is no appearance by Falstaff. After all, he’s been irrevocably barred from the royal presence. Yet he is expressly remembered. (II, i, 112-122; II, iii, 5-41; IV, vii, 38-49) Why? He’s not a part of the tale of King Henry’s invasion of France, which occurs after Sir John has died, the victim of Hal’s egregious betrayal. Yet Shakespeare goes out of his way to see that he’s not forgotten, and that the grim slaughters at Harfleur and Agincourt take place in Jack Falstaff’s ample shadow. Becoming acquainted with Shakespeare’s dedicated memorializing of this plus-sized literary hero may help us to better understand Sir John’s character and meaning in the canon. more>>>
The past is another country where they do things differently: but how long past does the past have to be for the country to be utterly foreign? Sometimes it seems that the time that it takes is shorter and shorter, that a few years is more than sufficient. Who would have thought twenty years ago that the United States Supreme Court would be deliberating twenty years later as to whether it was actually legally permissible for any state of the union not to permit homosexual marriage? And this is so whether you now think that the whole idea is a good one or not. more>>>
“…some covet to have libraries in their houses, as ladies desire to have cupboards of plate in their chambers, only for show; as if they were only to furnish their rooms, and not their minds”. --Sir William Waller,1 Meditation V in Divine Meditations upon Several Occasions:with a Daily Directory, 1680.
Anyone entering my smallish but not tiny apartment in New York is immediately struck by the sight of seventeen overflowing Ikea Billy bookcases of approximately 3450 books.2 All those in happy possession of a private well-stocked library must have encountered the same inevitable question, “Have you read them all?” Occasionally, when the mood takes me, I reply, “Imagine you have a wine cellar. Now what would be the point of having a well-stocked wine cellar where all the bottles are empty?” more>>>
Having spent a very enjoyable two hours in conversation with Dr. John Lennox, professor of mathematics at Oxford University and one of the most rational and persuasive advocates of a Christian theistic view of the world, it has come back to me what a shabby level of mockery and sophistical evasion many of the militant atheists are reduced to, in comparison even with the famous skeptics of earlier times. People like Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell and Sigmund Freud, wrote and spoke well, and were more able than is rigorously admissible now to cloak themselves in the inexorable march of science and reason. Their witty if gratuitous disparagements of Christianity were much more effective than the coarse blunderbuss of my late quasi-friendly and frequent adversary, Christopher Hitchens. more>>>
Chekhov says somewhere that a writer should be able to write a story about an ashtray. Although I have not tried the experiment, I think he is right and in fact it would not be all that difficult to do so. If ashtrays could speak, what tales they could tell! Many have been flung in anger in the course of an argument, but even without such violent drama they would practically all have witnessed (if they had been capable of witnessing) untold emotional crises. Cigarettes are, after all, for many the emotional prop of first and last resort, the heart of a heartless world, to adapt slightly Marx’s dictum about religion. They are not the opium, but the nicotine of the people. more>>>
If Muhamad Buhari wins, and does not immediately go after Boko Haram, and make its destruction the main event of his first months, isn't it likely that more and more of the Christians, and not only the Ibos, will think again about the attempt in the late 1960s to create an independent Christian state, the stae of Biafra, and perhaps try again, to rid themselves of the Muslim problem that won't, because it can't, go away?
Bizarre Shooting Incident at NSA Fort Meade Maryland
Fort Meade, Maryland NSA Heaquarters Main Gate Shooting Incident
A stolen vehicle attempted to breach the main gate of the NSA Headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland resulting in a shooting death , injuries to a second occupant of the vehicle and a security officer in a police cruiser . Fort Meade is located in Laurel, Maryland adjacent to the busy Baltimore-Washington Parkway equidistant between the two cities. I am familiar with the NSA complex having been stationed as an Army Intelligence officer with the 52th MI Group during the Viet Nam Era. The successor 525th MI Brigade is part of the VXIII Airborne Corps headquartered at Fort Bragg, NC. The NSA headquarters complex is separate from the Army base and has extensive physical security arrangements to prevent an assault like today’s bizarre event involving two men disguised as women ramming a stolen vehicle into a police vehicle at the main gate. A later ABC report provided further information, “Hotel Partying Preceded Deadly Shooting At NSA Gate, Sources Say:”
Shortly before 9 a.m. ET today, a vehicle with two people inside "attempted an unauthorized entry at a National Security Agency gate," according to a statement from the NSA.
"The driver failed to obey an NSA Police officer's routine instructions for safely exiting the secure campus," the statement continued. "The vehicle failed to stop and barriers were deployed."
Sources say the two inside were men dressed as women. Preliminary information indicated the two men were partying at an area hotel with a third individual when they took that individual's car without permission. However, it's still unclear how or why they ended up at the NSA gate.
A law enforcement source confirms the car that crashed at NSA was reported stolen in Howard County, Md.
Nevertheless, when the vehicle "accelerated toward an NSA police car blocking the road" and "refused to stop," an NSA police officer opened fire, and one of the two men inside the "unauthorized vehicle" ended up dead, the NSA statement said. The other man in the vehicle was "severely injured” and taken to a local hospital, according to sources.
An NSA Police officer injured in the incident was also taken to the hospital.
“The incident has been contained and is under investigation,” Colonel Brian Foley, Fort Meade garrison commander, said in a statement. “The residents, service members and civilian employees on the installation are safe. We continue to remain vigilant at all of our access control points."
The FBI said they do not believe the incident is related to terrorism. The FBI evidence response team is on the scene investigating and testing for the possible presence of drugs.
The incident is being investigated by FBI, NSA Police and Army Criminal Investigation Command. Anne Arundel Police and Maryland State Police are also on the scene assisting.
President Obama has been briefed on the incident, according to White House spokesman Eric Schultz.