LCCC ENGLISH DAILY NEWS BULLETIN
Quotation For Today//James 04/13-17/Boasting
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
editorials from miscellaneous sources published on October 07, 08/14
ISIS on the move: Kurds brace for a massacre in Kobani/By: John Hayward/Human Events/October 07, 08/14
Ebola as a Weapon for Islamic Terrorist Groups/By: Dave Gaubatz/Family Security
Catholic Reverend: Not possible to extract violence and terror from Islam/By: Ltc Allen West/Family Security Matters/October 08/14
ISIL Final Solution Does Require Killing Their Pet Goats/By: Lt.Colonel James Zumwalt.USMC/Family Security Matters/October 08/14
Warning signs run deep within Egyptian society/By: H.A. Hellyer/Al Arabiya/October 08/14
Liberal democracy, a solution for Yemen and other Arab republics/By: Jamal Khashoggi/Al Arabiya/October 08/14
The Houthis have opened Pandora’s Box in Yemen/By: Diana Moukalled /Al Arabiya/October 08/14
Hypocrisy of Israel's right and left wings/By: Ben-Dror Yemini/Ynetnews/October 08/14
Parchin blast may be Iran's nuclear smoking gun/Ron Ben-Yishai/Ynetnews/October 08/14
Lebanese Related News published on October 07, 08/14
Another Tripoli Young Man Killed in Iraq Conflict
Qassem Says Shebaa Blast 'Message to Israel', Brital Attack 'Total Failure' for
Change and Reform Slams Geagea, March 14, Says 'Terrorists Plotting Military
Hostages' families give Lebanese government 24-hour ultimatum
Sources: Qatari Mediation on Arsal Hostages Ends
Israeli Army shells Hezbollah targets in Lebanon after border blast injures 2 Israeli soldiers
Hezbollah claims responsibility for Shebaa blast
Qassem Says Shebaa Blast 'Message to Israel', Brital Attack 'Total Failure' for
Salam Slams Delay in Release of Arsal Captives, Says Can't Offer Promises to Families Iran informs Lebanon of nature of military aid
Hariri: Saudi-financed weapons for Lebanese Army arriving soon
Police arrest dangerous fugitives Hamadeh headed to STL over assassination attempt
Hariri, Gemayel Meet in Paris: Priority is for Presidential Elections Iran informs Lebanon of nature of military aid EDL contract workers launch initiative to end 2-month crisis
Large wildfire spreading near Sidon BLOM Bank strengthens regional presence Abou Faour Says 'Sacrifices' Should be Made to Release Abductees
Mawlawi, Mansour Fortify Security Square in Tripoli, Erect Barricades
2 Million Captagon Pills Seized in Jounieh
2 Wounded as Jaafar, Zoaiter Clans Clash in Baalbek
Miscellaneous Reports And News published on
October 07, 08/14
US-led airstrikes hit Islamic State near Kobani
US uses helicopters for first time to hit IS
Erdogan: Syrian town about to fall to Islamic State
ISIS moves into south west of Syrian Kurdish town
One killed in pro-Kurdish protest in Turkey Secret stash of Islamic State flags found in
US hits back at Israeli PM: US values fund Iron Dome
UK parliament to hold symbolic vote on Palestine
Egyptian army kills 17 militants in Sinai
ISIS warns professors who left their jobs to return
Iran’s mysterious elite General Qassem Suleimani appears in rare picture
Iranian activist: Blast at Parchin is a failure for Iran's Revolutionary Guard
Japanese, American win 2014 Nobel Prize for physics
Video: Libya’s Islamist militants parade with ISIS flags
Ransom paid to free British hostage in Libya: sources
Libyan militants call on Derna residents to join ISIS
Zoabi asks High Court to strike down Knesset ban against her
Moroccan Activist says Jews have a right to a homeland in Israel
Houthi violations prompt mass exodus from Sana’a: source
Cyprus president suspends peace talks The international coalition mission/The silent treatment
Naharnet /An army soldier was accidentally killed on Tuesday while moving a
shell at a shooting and training field near the port of the northern city of
Tripoli. The army said “a soldier was martyred when a military unit was
dismantling an explosive device in Tripoli's Free Zone.”“Military Police arrived
on the blast scene and launched a probe into the incident,” the army added,
without elaborating. It later identified the soldier as Alaeddine al-Oueik,
saying he hails from Tripoli's al-Fawwar area. Earlier in the day, Voice of
Lebanon radio (93.3) reported that “an army soldier was accidentally killed
while moving a shell at a shooting field near Tripoli's port.” Meanwhile, the
Tripoli News Network Facebook page said “the Lebanese army had discovered four
handmade bombs and a number of explosive devices in the Bab al-Ramel area during
a raid at noon.”“One of the bombs exploded as a military expert was dismantling
it at 6:30 pm,” TNN added. The incident resulted in the wounding of the expert
and the death of his assistant, according to the network. On August 6, Tripoli
resident Assem al-Shaar was killed in a bomb explosion in the al-Khnaq area. And
on Thursday, State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged a
detainee and 10 fugitives with involvement in the bombing. The ten wanted men
included notorious militants Osama Mansour and Shadi al-Mawlawi.
Naharnet/Hizbullah was engaged on Tuesday in clashes alongside the Syrian army against Syrian rebels and al-Nusra Front in the Syrian town of Assal al-Ward near Lebanon's border, a few days after it repelled a major militant assault against Brital's outskirts. “Clashes are underway between the gunmen and the Syrian regime army, which is being backed by Hizbullah, in Assal al-Ward and al-Jibbeh near Lebanon's eastern border,” LBCI TV reported. OTV, meanwhile, reported “fierce battles” in Assal al-Ward. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights for its part said “regime forces, backed by the National Defense Force and Lebanon's Hizbullah, engaged in violent clashes with Islamist rebels and al-Nusra Front fighters in Qalamun's mountains.” It reported the death of an Islamist rebel in clashes in Assal al-Ward. Meanwhile, al-Nusra Front announced destroying "a tank belonging to the Nussairi (Syrian) army and Iran's Hizbullat (Hizbullah) at the Deir al-Banat post near the town of Assal al-Ward, using a MILAN missile." Earlier in the day, a funeral was held in the Bekaa town of Ansar for slain Hizbullah fighter Ammar Assaf, who was killed in Sunday's clashes with al-Nusra's fighters in Brital. Speaking at the funeral, Hizbullah top official Sheikh Mohammed Yazbek slammed the stances of some Lebanese parties over the Brital clashes as "irresponsible." “We did not hear your voices, nor the voices of your masters, when the Israeli enemy's army opened fire at the Lebanese army and when a number of army troops and Internal Security Forces members were abducted. We did not hear you speaking or condemning, but you rather pressed on with your seditious approach,” Yazbek said, addressing the rival March 14 camp. “Enough with your incitement against Hizbullah, as had it not been for Hizbullah, the ISIL group (Islamic State) would have reached Beirut and entire Lebanon, and you would have suffered the most damage,” Yazbek added, stressing that his party will carry on with its “approach and resistance, whatever the price might be.”Al-Nusra Front had on Sunday launched an assault against a Hizbullah post in Brital's outskirts, which sparked a major confrontation with the group along the entire Eastern Mountain Range. In the wake of the clashes, Hizbullah announced the death of eight its fighters, while saying that it managed to kill dozens of militants. Commenting on the incidents, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said the clashes must push the government to “take a binding decision on Hizbullah's withdrawal from Syria,” reiterating his call for a “joint command and control center” with the anti-Islamic State international coalition. For its part, March 14's general secretariat noted that “border defense at the hands of Hizbullah is rejected because of Hizbullah's involvement in the ongoing fighting in Syria and because it allows other illegitimate groups to posses arms under the pretext of equality.”
ISIS on the move: Kurds brace for a massacre in Kobani
By: John Hayward/Human Events
Hopefully no one gives the Fundraiser-in-Chief an update on his non-war against the non-Islamic Islamic State while gets ready for the seven big-bucks cash parties he’s holding this week. It would ruin his mood, and if I shelled out $10,000 for dinner to hear him talk, I’d want to see him upbeat and smiling.
While Obama raises funds from Democrats, the Islamic State is preparing to raze an important Kurdish city. Somehow ISIS is still on the move, despite all that American bombing, and it’s on the verge of overrunning a Syrian Kurdish town called Kobani, located near the Turkish border. If Kobani falls, not only will the strategic loss to the Kurds be considerable, but unspeakable atrocities on a huge scale would be perpetrated by the victorious Islamic State. Fox News and the Associated Press report on the situation:
The capture of Kobani would give ISIS control of a large swath of land borderingTurkey and eliminate a vital pocket of Kurdish resistance. It would also provide a link between the group’s territory near the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo and its largest operations base at Raqqa in northeastern Syria.
The Associated Press reported that warplanes believed to be part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, struck militant positions Tuesday. Journalists on the Turkish side of the border heard the sound of warplanes before two large plumes of smoke billowed just west of Kobani. A Fox News crew on the Turkish side of the border reported only one U.S. airstrike in the previous five days.
Fighting continued into Tuesday morning on the outskirts of the town. One coordinator with the Kurdish defenders told The New York Times that their defenses benefited from the new round of airstrikes, but they were still outmatched by the more heavily armed militants.
On Tuesday morning, AP reported that occasional gunfire could be heard in Kobani, also known by the Arabic name Ayn Arab. A flag of the Kurdish force known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, was seen flying over a hill in the center of town.
The Wall Street Journal reported that ISIS fighters had entered the eastern outskirts of the city on Monday after capturing more than 300 surrounding Syrian Kurdish villages in the previous three weeks. The paper also reported that the militants raised their black flag in two separate places, one on top of a civilian apartment building and another on a hilltop near a checkpoint at the city’s eastern entrance. The flag at the checkpoint could be seen by reporters watching from across the border in Turkey.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Kurds forced the jihadists to withdraw from the eastern part of the town in heavy clashes after midnight Tuesday, adding that five loud explosions were heard in the town as warplanes soared overhead. However, a local Kurdish militia commander estimated to The Journal that ISIS fighters were still a mile from the city center. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that ISIS had also taken over several buildings in the southwest of the city.
ISIS doesn’t sound very “degraded,” so I guess their “ultimate destruction” is going to have to wait for a while. The Kurds are putting up a stiff fight, and as the AP notes, American air power has been brought to bear… but the fate of Kobani is still very much in doubt, to the degree that thousands of women and children are being evacuated into Turkey. Turkish ground forces could turn the tide, but they’ve so far been a very passive member of Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling, parking some armor on the Syrian border to keep ISIS at bay, but not seeking battle with the Islamic State. In fact, they seem more concerned about preventing a mass exodus of routed Kurds onto Turkish soil, leading to demonstrations by unhappy Kurds across Turkey, and even beyond – Kurds living in the Netherlands stormed the Parliament building on Monday night, demanding stronger Western action to prevent the fall of Kobani. There have been water-cannon and tear-gas riots along the Syrian border for weeks.
Turkey has an uneasy relationship with its Kurdish citizens, and isn’t thrilled by the prospect of Greater Kurdistan becoming an independent nation, so they might sit and watch until ISIS has “degraded and ultimately destroyed” their prospective regional rival. The Turks also have that sweet NATO security guarantee backing them up, so they don’t see any reason to act aggressively against the Islamic State as it creeps closer to their border. Officially, they claim they’re ready to put some boots on the Syrian ground, but the Turkish prime minister said he’s waiting to hear a “clear strategy.” That’s a stunning rebuke to Barack Obama’s mismanagement of this war. A vital Kurdish town is about to fall, producing a nauseating humanitarian tragedy, and Turkish forces are sitting idle because Obama’s doing Democrat fundraisers instead of formulating a clear strategy and getting the Turks into the fight?
Another problem with the Turks is that they wanted to see the Assad regime deposed in Syria, but Obama’s action is going to cement Assad in place – American bombs are falling on the even bigger monsters who were Assad’s most credible military threat. We’re bombing the second-most-credible threat to Assad, too, namely al-Qaeda, which has been renamed “The Khorasan Group” by Obama spinmeisters. The “moderate” Syrians we’re counting on to serve as proxy forces against ISIS are busy forging alliances with al-Qaeda, which means we’re training and arming people who could end up shooting at us with our own weapons, or at best taking what we’ve given them and resuming their stated mission of overthrowing Assad instead of battling ISIS.
We’ve heard a lot about the squads of female Kurdish fighters in recent weeks, with assertions that ISIS is terrified of fighting them, because they think they’ll be denied entry to jihadi Valhalla if a woman kills them. Well, a celebrated female Kurdish commander fighting to protect Kobani just killed herself with a grenade to avoid capture by the Islamic State monsters. She apparently feared capture after running out of ammunition.
The New York Times previews the horrors to come if Kobani falls:
Anwar Muslim, a coordinator in Kobani for the People’s Protection Committees, a Kurdish militant group known as the Y.P.G., said Monday night that 12,000 civilians were trapped inside the town. He said that his group was running out of heavy ammunition, and with Islamic State militants close by the population was in constant fear of car bombs or suicide bombers.
Rooz Bahjat, who identified himself as a senior security official with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, said that as many as 9,000 Islamic State fighters were closing in on the area, leaving other fronts in eastern and northern Syria and even as far away as Iraq to attack what he called “a bastion of democracy and secularism” in Kobani, which has given shelter to internally displaced Syrians from a wide range of ethnic groups.
“The whole might of ISIS right now is turned onto Kobani,” he said.
The town has essentially been enveloped, surrounded on three sides by better-equipped ISIS forces, cut off from resupply or reinforcement. “Witnesses who had fled Kobani said that old women were being given grenades to throw, and young women with no combat experience were being armed and sent into battle,” according to a Reuters report. CNN sounds like it’s just about ready to stick a fork in Kobani, and it sounds like maybe the Pentagon is too, since at least one official is already trying to spin the fall of the city as overhyped because there are a lot of cameras pointed at it:
A senior defense official said Monday to expect more airstrikes against ISIS targets in the Kobani area.
But that’s easier said than done.
Another senior military official said many ISIS targets in Kobani are too close to the Turkish border or Kurdish forces to strike.
And the Pentagon, the official said, believes there’s a media outcry about the situation in Kobani because reporters are there. Many other towns have fallen to ISIS without TV crews present, the official said.
No matter what role U.S. airstrikes play going forward, such attacks aren’t enough, [Kurdish Kobani official Idriss] Nassan said.
“When I talk to people here in Kobani, they thank the international community, and the United States, they thank the countries who are striking the ISIS. But everyone believes it is not enough,” he said.
The “international community cannot defeat ISIS by just hitting them from the sky. They have to help the people who are fighting — the (Kurdish People’s Protection Unit) YPG, the (rebel) Free Syrian Army who are here on the ground.”
Sorry, guys but you heard what President Obama said about absolutely no boots on the ground, ever, no matter what. The enemy heard him, too. So it looks like we’re about to see ISIS rack up an outright victory in the Nameless Non-War, inflicting horrific atrocities on the Kurds, who were supposed to be the strongest of our three proxy forces against the Islamic State. That success will raise the prestige of the caliphate among scumbags around the world, like the ones who will shortly be in control of Afghanistan again. CNN catches the Taliban fist-bumping ISIS:
Pakistan Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid issued a statement expressing solidarity with ISIS and other fighters in Syria.
“In these times when the enemy is standing against you we ask that you forget internal strife and rivalries and stand up against the nonbeliever army,” Shahid said in the statement. “The Muslims of the world look to you with great expectation, and in this difficult time, we, your mujahidin brothers, are with you and will provide you with fighters and help,” the statement said.
What the hell is he talking about? Didn’t he hear Barack Obama say that ISIS has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Islam? It looks like Obama knows as much about that as he does about running a military campaign.
Update: A Kurdish reporter confronted hapless State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki about the impending fall of Kobani on Monday. It didn’t go well. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)
QUESTION: Over the past 24 hours, we’ve seen only one strike, according to the Central Command, around Kobani. I don’t really understand why there hasn’t been more attacks while large numbers of ISIS fighters are closing in on Kobani. And according to CNN and some other American media reports, they have raised the American flag – the – sorry, Islamic flag over some buildings inside Kobani. Why hasn’t been there more strikes?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I know we have this exchange kind of every single day, which is absolutely fine, but you’re talking about one strike in the last 24 hours. That was the update, you’re right, that came from CENTCOM. There were – that strike destroyed two ISIL fighting positions south of Kobani. Other recent strikes have hit two modular oil refineries, an ISIL training camp, an ISIL-occupied building. So this is an ongoing effort.
QUESTION: They’re not around Kobani, those refineries.
MS. PSAKI: It’s an ongoing effort around – in the same part of the country. I would refer you to DOD for more about their military strategy, but obviously this is something where we’ve long said from the beginning that this would take some time. We’re working closely to do everything we can to help push back ISIL in this part of the country, but again, I don’t have any other military updates from here.
QUESTION: When I talked to – on a daily basis I talk to Kurdish people, Kurdish rebels even, Kurdish politicians on the ground in Syria. They have a different perspective. They say, well, Turkey is now trying to do America’s bid in the country when it comes to ISIS attacks on Kobani, and Turkey yesterday invited Salih Muslim, who is the leader of the Kurdish party, to reach some sort of deal with Turkish intelligence. So are you waiting for Turkey to reach a deal with the Kurdish rebels? That’s why you’re not –
MS. PSAKI: I think we haven’t – clearly we haven’t held back from our own military airstrikes in this regard. There are a range of other countries who have also participated in the last couple of days in strikes in Syria. I don’t have any other update for you.
QUESTION: Just one more thing, Jen. It’s clearly, like, obvious that – I mean, President Obama on the eve of 9/11 said the strategy was to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS. We’ve seen ISIS been degraded in Iraq, but we’ve seen ISIS advancing in Syria. Can we say there are flaws in President Obama’s strategy?
MS. PSAKI: I would not say that. You’re right that the Iraqi Security Forces have certainly pushed back and they have been able to hold and even regain some areas. The efforts that have been underway in Syria have been not – have not been happening as long. I think DOD has addressed some of our strategy, so let me reiterate some of what they’ve said – that the initial round of strikes in Syria had fixed targets, such as command and control nodes, finance centers, training camps and oil refineries. Those kind of strikes will continue. Targeting in Syria is also evolving beyond fixed facilities and also includes more dynamic targeting of a tactical nature, such as vehicles, armored vehicles, convoys.
So obviously there’s certainly a strategy that’s being implemented by our Defense Department.
“Can we say there are flaws in President Obama’s strategy?” Yes, I think people in Kobani are probably saying that right about now.
Hostages' families give Lebanese government 24-hour ultimatum
The Daily Star/Oct. 07, 2014/BEIRUT: The Lebanese government has 24 hours to clarify the exact status of negotiations for the release of the Lebanese soldiers and policemen being held by militants from Syria, the hostages' families warned Tuesday, or they will escalate their protest and close down more roads. “Given the [hostage] crisis we are going through and to ease the pressure on fellow citizens, we decided to give the government a 24-hour deadline to [brief us on the status of negotiations], which sides are obstructing these negotiations and what is the fate of our children,” a statement released by the hostages’ families Tuesday morning said. “As a goodwill gesture on our part, we decided not to close any roads Tuesday, with the exception of the [protest] campsites at Dahr al-Baidar and Qalamoun." The statement said this was the last warning the families would give. Sources close to the families said the ultimatum ends early Wednesday morning. Dahr al-Baidar, which links Beirut and the Bekaa Valley, remained shut after protesters erected high sand mounds Monday, blocking all access, including a narrow passageway that had been kept open for ambulances and emergency cases, disrupting traffic on the Bekaa’s main artery for a second week. Hostages’ families had initially put up huge tents to block the Beirut-Damascus highway. On the Qalamoun highway in north Lebanon, protesters have erected two tents at the side of the road and only block traffic upon a collective decision by the hostages’ families. The frustrated relatives have shut off many roads across Lebanon over the last several weeks to press the government to speed up efforts toward the release of their loved ones. At least 21 Lebanese soldiers and policemen are held captive by ISIS and Nusra Front since their brief takeover of the northeastern border town of Arsal in early August. Among other demands, the captors are reportedly seeking to swap the servicemen with Islamist inmates held at Roumieh Prison. Meanwhile, Health Minister Wael Abu Faour urged the government anew to endorse the Qatari-mediated deal to swap the captive soldiers with Islamist inmates held at Roumieh Prison. “We as Progressive Socialist Party still believe that the government should accept a swap [deal] and move forward with it,” Abu Faour told a news conference after meeting Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail in Beirut. He said every day that did not result in progress toward this goal “is risking the lives of the servicemen.”Abu Faour pointed to what appeared to be a recent swap deal between Turkey and ISIS and the 2008 Israel-Hezbollah prisoner exchange.
According to reports leaked to the Times, two British jihadists were handed back to ISIS in a prisoner swap deal with the Turkish government. They were among 180 jihadists exchanged in return of 49 Turkish diplomats captured by ISIS in May.
Israeli Army shells Hezbollah targets in Lebanon after
border blast injures 2 Israeli soldiers
J. Post/07/10/14/Two IDF soldiers were lightly injured when a Hezbollah bomb went off in their vicinity in the Har Dov region on Tuesday, the IDF Spokesman's Unit said. The IDF said it shelled two Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon in response to the border bombing. Some 30 minutes after the incident a second explosion occurred on the border. There were no injuries or damage in the second blast. The soldiers received initial emergency medical treatment on the spot, before being evacuated away from the Lebanese border to hospital for further treatment. "The IDF sees this incident as a gross and violent violation of Israeli sovereignty, and sees the Lebanese government and Hezbollah as responsible for any attempt to harm Israeli soldiers or civilians," the military said in a statement. "The IDF reserves the right to act in any way, and at any time, to defend the citizens of the state of Israel."Hezbollah later claimed responsibility for the blast. Lebanese media reported heavy Israeli artillery shelling targeting the areas near Kfar Shuba and the Sheba Farms in Lebanon. The reports also stated that Israeli drones were seen flying over the site of the explosions. The incident came after IDF soldiers opened fire on a cell trying to infiltrate Israel from Lebanon on Sunday. An IDF unit dealing with operational security identified the men crossing the border, heading into Israel. The soldiers opened fire with small arms, apparently hitting one of the infiltrators.“The cell fled back into Lebanese territory,” the army said.
Qassem Says Shebaa Blast 'Message to Israel', Brital
Attack 'Total Failure' for Militants
Naharnet/Hizbullah deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem on Tuesday described the bomb attack that targeted an Israeli patrol in the occupied Shebaa Farms as a message that is “addressed exclusively to Israel,” although it came two days after fierce battles with jihadist militants in Brital's outskirts. “The bombs were detonated based on the movements of the enemy's troops and this means that the resistance is ready and its eyes are open,” Qassem said in an interview on OTV.
“Israel knows that the resistance is vigilant and would respond to any retaliatory act,” added Qassem. Asked about the timing of the operation, the Hizbullah leader said the attack “was associated with the name of the martyr (Hizbullah member Hassan Ali) Haidar as one of the connotations, but the other connotation is that resistance is a right that we use at the appropriate timing.” He was referring to a Hizbullah bomb technician who was killed when Israel detonated a spy device in the southern town of Adloun in September.
In response to another question, Qassem described the operation as “a message that is addressed exclusively to Israel even if other parties might understand another connotation.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Hizbullah claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in the Shebaa Farms that wounded two Israeli soldiers. “The group of the martyr Hassan Ali Haidar carried out the operation today, Tuesday at 2:22 p.m.,” it said.
Separately, Qassem commented on Sunday's deadly clashes with the Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front in the outskirts of the Bekaa border town of Brital, which were sparked by the group's attack on several Hizbullah posts along the Eastern Mountain Range.
Eight Hizbullah fighters and dozens of militants were killed in the battle, according to the Lebanese party. “The militants' presence in Qalamun's mountains (in Syria) is a complicated thing and they are suffering a shortage in supplies. Their problem is that they are totally outside the villages, that's why they are seeking to spread to (Syria's) al-Zabadani, al-Jibbeh and Assal al-Ward, knowing that the battles in the entire Qalamun mountains area have not stopped,” said Qassem. “At times we took the initiative and at other times they tried to infiltrate,” Qassem noted. “We inflicted very heavy losses on the gunmen and dozens of them were killed. We regained the post that was briefly seized and we took 3 new posts,” he revealed. Hizbullah number two noted that a new battle might erupt in “all the posts linked to Qalamun's mountains, which means al-Jibbeh, Assal al-Ward, Younine's outskirts, Brital and Arsal's outskirts.” “They are trying to advance through all these axes and meanwhile we're trying to repel them with the least possible losses,” said Qassem.
“Their operation was a total failure and it did not achieve its goals and yes, we lost some martyrs," he added.
Hezbollah claims responsibility for border blast
The Daily Star//07/10/14/BEIRUT: Hezbollah claimed responsibility for planting a bomb that wounded two Israeli soldiers on the south Lebanon border Tuesday, according to a statement issued by the resistance group. “At 2:22 pm Tuesday, the brigade of the martyred Ali Hasan Haidar of the Islamic Resistance set off an explosive device under an Israeli patrol in the Shebaa heights, which led to several casualties among the ranks of the occupying soldiers,” read the statement. The brigade responsible for setting off the explosive device was named after 25-year-old Ali Hasan Haidar, a Hezbollah explosives expert, who was killed while trying to dismantle four Israeli devices planted on Hezbollah's telecommunications network in Adloun, south Lebanon last month. The Israeli army confirmed the incident, saying that two soldiers had been wounded in the blast. "Initial reports indicate that the explosion was caused by an explosive device that was planted" to attack Israeli soldiers, Israel's army tweeted. Within minutes of Hezbollah claiming responsibility for the blast, the Israeli army tweeted that it had fired artillery at two Hezbollah posts along the border. However, an Al-Manar reporter said that no Hezbollah posts were situated in the area. Security sources told The Daily Star that Israel has launched at least 15 explosives in retaliation near the Shebaa hills, at a rate of two per minute. The site of the attack lies 200 meters from Lebanese residential areas along the border. A senior Israeli army source told The Jerusalem Post that "the incident hasn't ended yet from our standpoint." Several reports cited a second blast that came within minutes of the first explosion, however, security sources denied such reports. The blast comes just two days after Israeli soldiers fired at a Lebanese Army post and wounded one soldier in the same area. The Army and UNIFIL have beefed up security measures as a result of Sunday's assault. A UNIFIL source told The Daily Star that there were two scenarios being examined: one, the bomb was planted by Hezbollah in response to Israel firing at the Lebanese Army patrol Sunday; or two, that Israel had gone to the site to inspect a suspected bomb, setting it off in the process. Israeli troops routinely violate the internationally recognized Blue Line around the Al-Sendaneh area to kidnap shepherds and conduct other operations.
Hariri: Saudi-financed weapons for Lebanese Army
The Daily Star/BEIRUT: Weapons and equipment purchased with the $1 billion Saudi grant to bolster the Lebanese Army should arrive in Lebanon soon, according to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. “There are no snags in the Saudi donation," Hariri said after holding talks with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris. “We touched on the $1 billion Saudi grant to the Army and the previous $3 billion to equip the Army with weapons from France,” he said. “The $1 billion donation is finalized and some equipment will arrive in Lebanon soon.” Hariri said he discussed with Hollande how Lebanon would use the Saudi grant to bolster the Lebanese Army in its battle against terrorism, a rising concern after militants from ISIS and the Nusra Front briefly took over the border town of Arsal in August, taking more than 30 soldiers and policemen captive before withdrawing to the porous border region. The $1 billion donation in August came after Saudi Arabia had pledged $3 billion last December to buy weapons from France to help support the Lebanese Army, a deal which has been held up by negotiations between Paris and Riyadh. The two leaders also discussed the power vacuum gripping Lebanon since the expiration of Michel Sleiman’s term as president in May. “The election of a president is a priority for the Future Movement and for the Lebanese,” Hariri told reporters following the meeting, which lasted less than an hour. “We should have presidential election first, and then comes parliamentary elections,” he stressed. “Or else [general] elections will be held without the Future Movement.” On the U.S.-led international coalition strikes at ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Hariri said: “We don’t want strategic strikes but painful strikes for these terrorists who don’t know God and have nothing to do with Islam."“The coalition must strike severely at extremistgroups in Syria and Iraq," he stressed.
Iran informs Lebanon of nature of military aid
The Daily Star/Oct. 07, 2014/BEIRUT: Iran has informed the Lebanese government of the nature of the pledged military aid, Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Fathali said Tuesday, after Iran announced it would donate military equipment last week.
“The military grant provided by Iran to the Lebanese government and the Lebanese Army is ready in storage in Tehran,” Fathali said after meeting with the Lebanese Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan. According to the Iranian ambassador, Tehran has also sent an official letter to the Lebanese government listing the weapons and military equipment included in the pledged aid. “We believe the [donation] would support the valiant Lebanese Army in its heroic confrontation with terrorist groups” he added. Speaking on his meeting with Arslan, Fathali said that the consolidation of bilateral relations between Iran and Lebanon was among the most important points to be raised. Fathali lauded the party chief, saying that he praised Arslan’s approach to local and regional political dossiers. The Iranian ambassador also said that Arslan had a prestigious record in political and national life, causing him to enjoy “great prestige among all the officials in Iran.”
Hamadeh going to The Hague over assassination attempt
The Daily Star/Oct. 07, 2014/BEIRUT: MP Marwan Hamadeh announced Tuesday that he would head to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon where his case is being processed in along with the late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri’s assassination file. “I will go to The Hague in the near future to follow up on the assassination attempt case,” Hamadeh said at the Chouf village of Mazraa, during the 10th memorial ceremony for his companion, Sgt. Maj. Yehya Bou Karoum, who was killed in the assassination attempt. Hamadeh said that his stance on the matter was in harmony with the vision of Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt and derive from the principles of the Druze leader’s late father, Kamal Jumblatt. The ceremony was also attended by a representative of Jumblatt, Druze spiritual judge Sheikh Fouad Beaini, the village’s mayor and other local leaders in the area. In October 2004, Hamadeh was severely wounded when his motorcade was targeted by a car bomb near his residence in Ras Beirut. His assassination attempt was the first of a series of bombings targeting critics of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
EDL contract workers launch initiative to end 2-month
Oct. 07, 2014/The Daily Star/BEIRUT: EDL contract workers Tuesday called on the company’s executives to send a delegation to retrieve documents from the firm's headquarters that management says are necessary to resolve the ongoing dispute over the number of strikers who will be offered full-time employment. “The committee announces that it is ready... to facilitate the entry of a delegation from the institution’s administration to complete the name lists of bill collectors upon the Civil Service Council’s request,” the workers said in a statement. In April, the Civil Service Council asked EDL to provide the number of contract workers and bill collectors that needed to be hired as full-timers at the public company. EDL sent a memo to the council the first week of August, stating that it only needed to hire 897 of the approximately 2,000 contract workers and bill collectors, while the others would remain employed at private service providing companies. As a result, the workers launched a strike on Aug. 9, blocking EDL’s headquarters in Mar Mikhael to demand the company’s executives reconsider the decision. In light of the ongoing dispute, and after the workers continuously argued that EDL does not take into consideration all the bill collectors’ lists, the CSC requested EDL’s complete list of bill collectors.
“The CSC told EDL to provide the full lists, and the latter responded by saying that the headquarters are occupied and we cannot reach the documents,” the workers’ committee leader Lubnan Makhoul told The Daily Star. “So we are telling them that we will open the doors, let them enter and provide all the names to see what the CSC will say.” “We will accept any decision by the CSC, even if it decides to decrease the controversial 897 number.”According to the contract workers, an earlier study at EDL indicated that the number of employees needed was more than 1,300, which is why they are confident in leaving the decision to an "impartial third party." In their statement, the workers said the move should be in coordination with a parliamentary commission, to resume discussions on Law 287 that was issued by Parliament in April to employ the contract workers. They suggested that the commission be headed by MP Mohammad Qabbani, the head of the Water and Energy parliamentary committee, or by another lawmaker that the two sides can agree upon. “The committee pledges to provide all facilitations for the delegation chosen by the institution’s administration,” the statement said, “and vows to not save any effort that could bring an end to the crisis.”
Sources: Qatari Mediation on Arsal Hostages Ends
Naharnet/Qatar is no longer mediating the release of Lebanese soldiers and policemen taken captive by jihadists from the northeastern border town of Arsal in August, al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front sources said. The sources told al-Akhbar newspaper published on Tuesday that the Qatari mediation came to an end after the Lebanese government reneged on an agreement to free Islamist inmates from Roumieh prison in return for the freedom of three of the hostages. The daily expected the Islamic State group to release a statement making a similar announcement. Both al-Nusra Front and the IS overran Arsal in August and engaged in bloody gunbattles with the Lebanese army. They took with them the hostages and later executed three of them. The two terrorist groups have had different demands to release the captives. But the freedom of Islamists from Roumieh prison are one of them. On Monday, al-Nusra allegedly rejected an offer to treat one of its fighters at a hospital in Lebanon in exchange for the release of three of the captives. A commander told Turkey's Anadolu News Agency that the group had asked General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim via a mediator to treat a wounded fighter in Arsal.
Ibrahim demanded the release of three captives. But “we rejected that,” said the commander.
Mawlawi, Mansour Fortify Security Square in Tripoli, Erect Barricades
Naharnet/ Barricades and sandbags were reportedly erected anew on Tuesday around a security square established by two notorious Tripoli fugitives Shadi al-Mawlawi and Osama Mansour. According to Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) the barricades are spread on the main streets separating the rival Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighborhoods in the northern city and between Bab al-Tabbaneh and army posts in Tripoli. The radio station said that surveillance cameras were set to monitor the security square that includes al-Asmar square, Starco, Tartous street and the vegetables market. Media reports said on Monday that security forces are determined to arrest al-Mawlawi and Mansour after locating their hideout in the Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood. Last week, State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged a detainee and 10 fugitives, including al-Mawlawi and Mansour, with “belonging to an armed terrorist group in order to stage terrorist acts, and holing up at a Tripoli mosque with the aim of preparing bombs and explosive devices to target Lebanese army troops in the area.”The eleven were referred to First Military Examining Magistrate Riad Abu Ghida. Military Examining Magistrate Nabil Wehbe also issued an indictment in the case of the August 3 bomb explosion that killed Tripoli resident Issam al-Shaar in the al-Jinan area. Mawlawi and Mansour were also among those charged in the case. On September 12, Mansour, who leads an Islamist militia in Bab al-Tabbaneh, denied reports that his group had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State or al-Nusra Front.
The 27-year-old militant had been wanted on dozens of arrest warrants and was recently apprehended in the Bekaa before being eventually released. Mansour's 20-member group had recently “occupied” the Omar bin Massoud Mosque in Bab al-Tabbaneh and that he started “playing a bigger role” in the city with the beginning of the Arsal battle in the Bekaa in early August. Mansour and his group have however denied “occupying” the mosque, noting that they are present there because they are residents of the neighborhood.
Abou Faour Says 'Sacrifices' Should be Made to Release Abductees
Naharnet/Health Minister Wael Abou Faour expressed hope that the case of the abducted soldiers and policemen would witness a breakthrough in the upcoming days, stressing that “sacrifices” should be made. “The cabinet will continue the serious negotiations that should lead to the release of the abductees,” Abou Faour told reporters at the Grand Serail after meeting with Prime Minister Tammam Salam. The minister described the matter as a “priority.”He pointed out that the cabinet will keep on following up the case until it reaches its “happy ending.”The soldiers and policemen were abducted by Islamist gunmen in August in the wake of clashes with the army in northeastern town of Arsal. Three of the captives have since been executed, a few were released, while the rest remain held by al-Nusra Front and Islamic State gunmen from Syria. The families of the hostages have staged demonstrations and blocked roads throughout Lebanon to pressure the government to exert more efforts to release them. Abou Faour, who is also the aide of Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat, considered that a swap with gunmen is a “possible” solution to end the kidnapping ordeal. “All sacrifices must be made even if we had to exchange Roumieh prison inmates with the kidnapped servicemen,” he told reporters.
The PSP official noted that there's no shame in carrying out such a deal as “we are not more influential than Turkey that swapped prisoners to free diplomats...Or the United States that exchanged prisoners with Taliban.”Abou Faour added that the “authority of the state” would be safeguarded by the return of its citizens. He stressed that Qatar is the key negotiator in the case of the abductees. A Qatari mediator was carrying out negotiations to release the hostages, but media reports said that he withdrew from the case after the talks stalled.
Change and Reform Slams Geagea, March 14, Says 'Terrorists Plotting Military Act'
Naharnet /The Change and Reform parliamentary bloc on Tuesday strongly criticized the stances of March 14's general secretariat and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on the recent clashes in Brital, warning that “the terrorists could be plotting a new military operation.” “We are now facing two 'forbidden things' -- it is forbidden to respond against terrorism outside Lebanon to fend off the threats and it is forbidden to respond from inside Lebanon,” the bloc said sarcastically in a statement issued after its weekly meeting, referring to Hizbullah's intervention in Syria and its latest battle against jihadist militants in the outskirts of the Bekaa border town of Brital. “The general secretariat (of March 14) has mobilized to defend you,” the bloc added, ridiculing the general secretariat's statement on the border incident. The statement, which was recited by former minister Salim Jreissati, warned that “the raids and attacks on the outskirts of Younine and Brital were followed by clashes in Nahle's mountains today and the terrorists could be plotting a new military operation.”
“We will never give up Lebanon's elements of strength,” the bloc underlined. “The repetitive remarks about (U.N. Security Council) Resolution 1701 indicate total ignorance of the aforementioned resolution,” it said, referring to remarks by Geagea and March 14's general-secretariat. The LF leader has said that the clashes must push the government to “take a binding decision on Hizbullah's withdrawal from Syria,” reiterating his call for a “joint command and control center” with the anti-Islamic State international coalition.
For its part, March 14's general secretariat noted that “border defense at the hands of Hizbullah is rejected because of Hizbullah's involvement in the ongoing fighting in Syria and because it allows other illegitimate groups to posses arms under the pretext of equality.”
Separately, the bloc said the recent Iranian grant is “an unconditional grant for the Lebanese army and the letter about it was immediately referred by the foreign minister to the competent minister.” “UNSCR 1474 only applies to economic transactions, so should we reject the grant only because it came from Iran? Political rejection is rejected amid these circumstances which the entire world has described as dangerous,” Change and Reform pointed out. Turning to the issue of the Lebanese troops held hostage by al-Nusra Front and the IS, the bloc said negotiations should be conducted “with nations, not with two groups that are exploiting alleged contradictions between them as well as our hesitation.” “It is important to conduct the negotiations in a serious manner,” the bloc added. It warned that “the takfiris are manipulating time, the families (of the troops) and the decisions, but we should set the price for the release of the troops.”Asked about Geagea's remarks, Jreissati said “what he proposed is a war scheme and Lebanon has said its word regarding the international coalition.” “It must involve a U.N. resolution and coordination with the Syrian state,” he added.
2 Million Captagon Pills Seized in Jounieh
Naharnet/Internal Security Forces arrested on Monday two suspects in the Jounieh region on drug smuggling charges, the ISF general directorate announced on Tuesday. It said that it seized in their possession over two million Captagon pills, weighing 340 kilograms.
An ISF patrol raided an apartment in the Haret Sakhr neighborhood in Jounieh, north of Lebanon, where it arrested the suspects. It identified them as Lebanese S.G. and Syrian S.H. Investigations are underway with them to reveal the identities of the rest of the drug smuggling gang. Last week, customs agents arrested the owner of a furniture factory and the members of a gang that was plotting to smuggle around a million Captagon pills to a Gulf country. Earlier that week, media reports had said that a large quantity of Captagon and drugs was seized at a wood factory in the Jbeil town of Hbaline.
Erdogan: Syrian town about to fall to Islamic State
Associated Press/Ynetnews /10.07.14 Israel News
Turkish president says Syrian border town of Kobani will fall to jihadists, who have outgunned Kurdish forces with tanks, munitions stolen from Iraqi bases.
The Islamic State group is about to capture the Syrian border town of Kobani, Turkey's president said Tuesday, as outgunned Kurdish forces struggled to repel the extremists with limited aid from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.
Islamic State fighters using tanks and heavy weapons looted from captured army bases in Iraq and Syria have been pounding Kurdish forces in the strategic town for days, and planted their black flag on the town's outskirts after seizing several nearby villages in an offensive launched last month. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the coalition air campaign launched last month would not be enough to halt the Islamic State advance and called for greater cooperation with the Syrian opposition, which is fighting both the Islamic State and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"Kobani is about to fall," he told Syrian refugees in the Turkish town of Gaziantep, near the border. "We asked for three things: One, for a no-fly zone to be created; two, for a secure zone parallel to the region to be declared; and for the moderate opposition in Syria and Iraq to be trained and equipped." Turkish tanks and other ground forces have been stationed along the border within a few hundred meters of the fighting in Kobani - also known as Ayn Arab - but have not intervened.
The latest round of airstrikes began late Monday and came as Kurdish forces pushed Islamic State militants out of the eastern part of Kobani, where the jihadists had raised their black flag over buildings hours earlier, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. On Tuesday morning journalists on the Turkish side of the border heard the sound of warplanes before two large plumes of smoke billowed just west of Kobani. The US-led coalition has launched several airstrikes over the past two weeks near Kobani in a bid to help Kurdish forces defend the town, but the sorties appear to have done little to slow the Islamic State group's advance.
Erdogan said more than 200,000 people have fled the fighting in and around Kobani in recent weeks. Their flight is among the largest single exoduses of the three-year Syrian conflict.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists across Syria, said Tuesday that 412 people have been killed since the Kobani fighting began.
On Tuesday morning, occasional gunfire could be heard in Kobani. A flag of the main Kurdish force known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG, was seen flying over a hill in central Kobani.
Turkey has long suspected the YPG is linked to the Kurdish PKK, which waged a long and bloody insurgency against Ankara, while the Syrian opposition has accused the group of conspiring with Assad, charges the YPG denies.
On Monday, jihadi fighters raised two of their black flags on the outskirts of Kobani and punctured the Kurdish front lines, advancing into the town itself.
But the Observatory said the Kurds forced the jihadists to withdraw from the eastern part of the town in heavy clashes after midnight. It said five loud explosions were heard in the town as warplanes soared overhead.
The Observatory said the jihadists were meanwhile able to capture several buildings on the southern edge of Kobani as well as a hospital under construction on the western side.
The Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, also reported coalition airstrikes on the eastern province of Deir el-Zour.
The United States and five Arab allies launched an aerial campaign against the Islamic State in Syria on Sept. 23 with the aim of rolling back and ultimately crushing the extremist group. The U.S. has been bombing Islamic State targets in neighboring Iraq since August.
The Islamic State group has conquered vast swaths of Syria and Iraq, declaring a self-styled caliphate governed by a harsh version of Shariah law. The militants have massacred captured Syrian and Iraqi troops, terrorized minorities and beheaded two American journalists and two British aid workers.
Ebola as a Weapon for Islamic Terrorist Groups
By: DAVE GAUBATZ October 6, 2014
Family Security Matters
Ebola is a very dangerous and often deadly disease. How many people in Africa actually have Ebola? How many people in America actually have Ebola? How many illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican border into America have Ebola? No one actually knows and we know who we can count on to deceive us and provide us a false sense of security....Obama and his staff of misfits.
Most counter-terrorism professionals and journalists particularly in America are not prepared to understand the depth of evil practitioners of Islam are capable of. Only within the last few weeks since the beheadings of the British and American journalists by ISIS (ITG) has the world began raising serious eyebrows about the evils of ITG.
ITG have been conducting atrocities against innocent men, women, and children for centuries. The cutting off of a person's head is nothing new in Islam. Their Prophet (Mohammed) carried out hundreds of beheadings in the name of Islam.
To understand and defeat the ideology of ITG, you first must never make excuses for them. You must understand ITG obtain their information from the Quran and from mosque leaders around the world. There are no moderate Muslims and there are no mosques that are moderate. The difference between mosques is that some are better at hiding the truth than others. Somehow we believe if the worshipers simply say they desire peace and love everyone that they must be telling the truth. You are wrong to think this way.
Throughout the history of Islam, Muslims have sought the weapons that can cause the most severe deaths of their enemies. The Islamic mindset is rather simple. Islamic terrorists do not think the way rational people do. They are constantly working to obtain a weapon that would annihilate the Jews and other non Muslims across the world.
You can be well assured there are Islamic leaders who are working on ways to use the Ebola disease to their advantage. Can you imagine if 1000 people entered America through illegal means (which is rather easy since our borders are not secure and millions enter illegally each year) and were carrying the Ebola virus?
These 1000 Ebola carriers could be used as weapons and dispersed across our country. They would infect hundreds and hundreds of thousands who in turn would unknowingly infect hundreds of thousands more. This plague could kill every American within a few months.
Do not for a minute think Muslim terrorists would not use Ebola as a weapon of mass destruction. The Islamic terror groups have thousands of Muslims ready at all times to die in the name of Islam.
The chosen Muslim martyrs could intentionally be infected with the Ebola virus and sent into America to spread the disease. Most Muslim terrorists would do this for little or no pay, but to recruit a steady flow of Ebola carriers, the Islamic terror leaders may promise to provide for the families of martyrs.
Many folks who say this could never happen because we are on high alert for the signs of Ebola. Again remember our borders are virtually open. If the Islamic terror leaders send 5,000 across and only 1 in 5 make it, America will die a slow and agonizing death.
We must all remember there are approximately 4 million Muslims already living and working in America. Do we honestly believe there are not at least 1 thousand Muslims waiting in line (in America) to be martyrs? This many would volunteer in New York alone.
Can this tragedy be prevented? For the short time no. For the long term the answer is still no. The teachings of Islam are being enacted today across the world, it is a beastly ideology and the people it produces are worse than the wildest rabid animal.
I always like to leave people with a glimmer of hope. If Obama closed all mosques in America, made the adherence of Sharia illegal, and deported any Muslim who does not pledge allegiance to America, then we could defeat this violent ideology. Do you believe Obama would ever do this? Prepare my friends.
Note: CAIR is a sponsor of Islamic based terrorism. They use all forms of Jihad. The materials inside CAIR National advocate the killing of anyone who is actively against the teachings of Islam. I have had many, many threats, and they are increasing. Do you think if CAIR leaders had the opportunity to have me beheaded they would have it carried out. Yes. Do you think they would you and your families as well? Yes.
**Editor Dave Gaubatz spent 20 years as an active duty USAF (Special Agent/OSI), 3.5 years as a civilian 1811 Federal Agent, trained by the U.S. State Department in Arabic, and was the first U.S. Federal Agent to enter Iraq in 2003. He is also a counterterrorism counterintelligence officer. Gaubatz currently owns "Wahhabi CT Publications" and conducts CT Research on behalf of high profile non-profit organizations. His website is here, and he can be reached at email@example.com.
Catholic Reverend: Not possible to extract violence and
terror from Islam
By LTC ALLEN WEST (US ARMY RET)
October 6, 2014
Family Security Matters
As we sit quietly by, watching this entity called ISIS endeavor to create an Islamic caliphate or recoil at the recent beheading of an American woman, I believe it's time to conduct a serious analysis of Islam.
I care not for the cultural jihadist apologists and their PC dismissals. The time has come for the sake of Western civilization and our Constitutional Republic to ask the hard questions and make the tough assessments.
What separates Islam from other religions is a single word - reformation. It's interesting how so many want to play the relativism game when it comes to Christianity and Islam. First, let's make a clear distinction: Christianity is a faith, not a religion. As a matter of fact, there can be no debate that America - if not most of Western civilization - has a Judeo-Christian faith heritage in the formulation of its foundational principles.
Religion is manmade dogma, not a faith - such as Judaism is a faith but there are many different subsets, in other words, religious practices, such as Orthodox Hasidic, Chabad Lubavitch, Conservative, and Reform. As for the Christian faith, it comes down to Catholicism and Protestantism - but there are countless subsets of religious practices in Protestantism (Calvinists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc).
Some say Christianity has fought many wars, but actually it was the clash between the traditions of Catholicism and the newly advocated Protestantism. It was Martin Luther's 95 Theses of 1517 that was the impetus of what would become the Protestant [root word being protest] Reformation. It was a revolutionary endeavor to promote the right and freedom of the individual to have a relationship with God not requiring an intermediary - such as what the Catholic Church at the time promoted. It was this that led to the Gutenberg printing of the Bible in mass for all to read and understand. It's critical to understand what Luther actually set in motion.
First of all, it was the beginning of individual sovereignty in challenging the prevalent belief that the collective was preeminent over the individual. It unlocked the beginning of individual enlightenment and the ability to question and reason. And most important, it challenged the ruling monarchial concept of Divine Law theory - rule being granted to Kings and such by God - and laid the seeds for the Natural Law theory, which led to the concept of unalienable individual rights from the Creator - since Luther had established this personal relationship. It was the Protestant Reformation that has led to the elevation of the individual instead of the subjugation of the collective - the seminal fundamental principle of Western civilization.
The problem we are facing today is that Islam has never been reformed and still holds onto 7th century precepts as promoted by an illiterate, violent, war lord and pedophile - who is considered the "perfect man."
And so I found particularly relevant a recent article entitled "It's time to take the Islamic State Seriously" posted on Crisismagazine.com by Reverend James V. Schall, S.J. Rev. Schall taught political science at Georgetown University for many years and his latest books include The Mind That Is Catholic, Remembering Belloc, and Reasonable Pleasures.
Rev Schall's piece was thought-provoking, and theologically and historically spot on. He writes, "What I want to propose here is an opinion. An opinion is a position that sees the plausibility but not certainty of a given proposition. But I think this opinion is well-grounded and makes more sense both of historic and of present Islam than most of the other views that are prevalent. The Islamic State and the broader jihadist movements throughout the world that agree with it are, I think, correct in their basic understanding of Islam. Plenty of evidence is found, both in the long history of early Muslim military expansion and in its theoretical interpretation of the Qur'an itself, to conclude that the Islamic State and its sympathizers have it basically right. The purpose of Islam, with the often violent means it can and does use to accomplish it, is to extend its rule, in the name of Allah, to all the world. The world cannot be at "peace" until it is all Muslim."
And we must not forget that Islam means "submission" - quite in contrast to what Luther was promoting.
Rev. Schall is saying that it's not possible to extract violence and terror from Islam itself as that is an integral part of its calling. Islam began in 612AD and its first convert was Mohammed's first wife Kadeisha. The so-called "peaceful verses" of the Qur'an come in the time period from 612AD-622AD. Around 622AD, Mohammed took his "night ride" to Jerusalem because he was rejected in his home tribal area of Mecca, and he enacted the Hijra to Medina. This began the second phase when Mohammed aligned himself with violent tribes and started his actions with the Nahkla raid and the verses of the Qur'an shifted to violent - but based upon the Arabic term "Nakesh" which means abrogation, the latter more violent verses supersede all those previous, but all verses have validity. This lends to the duplicity of Islam.
"In Muslim doctrine," Rev. Schall writes, "everyone born into the world is a Muslim. No one has any right or reason not to be. Hence, everyone who is not a Muslim is to be converted or eliminated - [as we saw done to the Christian community and others in Mosul]. This is also true of the literary, monumental, and other signs of civilizations or states that are not Muslim. They are destroyed as not authorized by the Qur'an. It is the religious responsibility of Islam to carry out its assigned mission of subduing the world to Allah. It may be possible for some to read Islam as a religion of "peace." But its "peace," in its own terms, means the peace of Allah within its boundaries, Dar-al-Islam. With the rest of the outside world, it is at war - Dar al-Harb - in order to accomplish a religious purpose, namely, to have all submitted to Allah in the passive way that the Qur'an specifies."
The problem Rev. Schall brings out in his piece is that we here in the West, and certainly this Obama administration, attempt to rationalize and reason the problem away. We fail to just accept what is happening, and has happened historically, before our eyes.
Now, this is not about condemning Muslims. However, it is about indicting a political-theocratic totalitarian imperialistic ideology - it ain't workplace violence folks. We always hear about "crusades" yet no one wants to talk about how Islam sought to spread - certainly not by peaceful proselytization - as could be seen from North Africa to Spain (Al Andalusia) to France (Battle of Tours) to the Mediterranean (Battle of Lepanto) to Constantinople (Istanbul) to the Balkans to Vienna to Hindu India to China to the Phillipines and today to Ft. Hood, Texas and Moore, Oklahoma. And yet we have individuals such as CIA Director John Brennan giving us some wishy-washy definition of jihad or B. Hussein Obama telling us ISIS isn't Islamic.
I highly encourage you all to read Rev. Schall's entire piece. It is highly enlightening and I leave you with his conclusion, "It is easy to write this movement off as fanatical and ruthless, which it is. To the outside world, it sounds horrific, but I suspect not to those who believe its truth and see the current revival of Islam with relief. The second or third class ranking of Islam in the modern world is over. But to the degree that we misjudge what is motivating the renewal of Islam, we will never understand why it exists as it does."
Luther's reformation brought about great strides for the civilized world. If Islam does not undergo a reformation, there is no coexistence, only a new Dark Age.
**Lt. Col (Retired) Allen West served 22 years in the US Army and represented Florida's 22nd Congressional District in the US House of Representatives from 2011-2013. To hear more from Col. West, visit www.allenbwest.com.
ISIL “Final Solution” Does Require Killing “Their Pet
By: LT. COLONEL JAMES G. ZUMWALT, USMC (RET)
October 6, 2014
This author needs to issue an apology.
Four years ago, after delivering a speech to a college audience on the Vietnam war and the enemy we fought there, a student asked for a comparison between our loss in Vietnam and a possible loss in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The response was, our Vietnam loss did not result in the enemy following us home; a loss in Iraq and Afghanistan would.
A follow-up question was how then do we change the mindset of an Islamic enemy so committed to killing or being killed on the battlefield.
The author's response was we don't change it because we can't. The only way to defeat such an enemy was to kill him.
A week later, the author received a letter from a very irate woman audience member who was critical about giving impressionable young students such a response. She suggested, as humans, we are all capable of rational thought and, therefore, an alternative to war always exists. The recent and continuing stream of brutal videos put on the Internet by the terrorist group ISIL caused the author to reflect upon her letter again. He wondered if she finally came to recognize an enemy willing to behead innocent children is not human and, thus, no alternative to killing him on the battlefield exists. Just like ebola, the mindset of ISIL and its ilk is a disease. While no one would suggest "talking a disease down" to remove it as a danger, why then do some believe talking to any Islamic terrorist group-as the Obama administration has done-would be any more successful?
But, it is here the author believes an apology is needed.
In responding to that student's question four years earlier on how to change the enemy's mindset, the author regrets failing to be more definitive. His response should have been that given by retired U.S. Army Colonel Ralph Peters during a recent Fox News interview.
Asked for the best way to handle ISIL terrorists, Peters said it is "to kill them, keep on killing them until they're all dead, and then kill their pet goat." Undoubtedly, there are people who heard Peters' interview and have written him a "kumbaya" letter critical of his brutally honest comment. It is a cold, hard fact-whether it is ISIL, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, the mullahs of Iran, Boko Haram, Somalia's Shabaab, Khorasan group, etc.-the enemy we face is blindly committed to eliminating all infidels. They are fearless about dying on the battlefield because they truly believe it is their springboard to an afterlife of endless sexual pleasure as guaranteed by Allah in the Quran. Our own safety turns on adherents to this ideology going the way of the dinosaur. A Muslim death wish is even evident from the ISIL massacre videos by the inactions of their victims. Captives-vastly outnumbering their ISIL captors, realizing they are about to die, make no effort to overpower their captors. They are lemmings, lacking any motivation to survive this life, apparently prompted by a motivation to access the next. The message to take from Muslim victims unwilling to save themselves to pursue their promised afterlife should be clear: their murderers will never be convinced to stop killing.
As for ISIL and those similarly motivated, a rational world should recognize but one "final solution" exists-their extinction.
While bombing ISIL in Syria is a good start on the evolution, it is not the final solution.
**Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.
Warning signs run deep within Egyptian society
H.A. Hellyer/Al Arabiya
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
‘Knowledge is power.’
It has become something of a cliché, but the saying ‘knowledge is power’ is a very true adage. No less so in the Arab world and the surrounding region – which is probably why so many different governmental authorities and regimes are so keen on controlling access to knowledge. Indeed, they do not stop there – information itself, the barest facts and figures, are also construed with great suspicion. Even data on public opinion itself, which ought to be the most unobtrusive type of information imaginable, can be considered a threat.
It’s easy to see why. Last week, Gallup, the polling company that essentially sets the “gold standard” in the surveying industry, released a set of data relating to Egypt. At this point in Egyptian history, the value of that kind of information is tremendous. The country’s society is polarized – between those who support the current military-backed establishment, and those who are sympathetic to the forces calling for the return of Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammad Mursi, to the presidency. The question of who is more popular within the country is a deeply divisive one – and, unsurprisingly, the answer will vary depending on whom you ask.
Since the military ousted the first elected president after the Jan. 25 revolutionary uprising, Egypt has seen a number of polling results released. Tahrir Trends; Gallup; and others – including a few that were remarkably disreputable, and even sectarian. The reality is that the best of polls are not only politically non-partisan, but also done face to face, nationwide – and those are remarkably rare in Egypt. Hence the attention that is given to those reputable polls that do get released regarding Egypt – which provide influence on those in power, and thus power itself is provided.
Gallup’s latest survey is not just powerful in terms of the information it provides – it’s also very easily manipulated. The “war on terror” narrative that so invigorates Egyptian society, and its political elite, at present is in desperate need of being moderated, tempered, and thoroughly reversed. For Egypt to get through this current phase of its post-Mubarak transition with any degree of health, the notion that a security solution is appropriate to all types of dissent needs to be not only discredited, but fundamentally rejected. A poll that reveals that indeed, the current administration, which has been viciously criticized by a variety of human rights organizations inside and outside of Egypt, is quite popular, can easily be abused. The more right-wing elements within the emerging political establishment can, fairly effortlessly, use that sort of information to claim that the population does not actually disagree with a hard security solution to the country’s problems.
Short-sighted and dangerous
Beyond any notion of strategic positioning, however, such a usage of the data would not only be misleading – it would be wrong. The data released last Friday does, indeed, lead to the conclusion that when it was collected, shortly after Sisi’s presidential election, a majority of Egyptians felt the economy was getting better. Moreover, the latest government of Prime Minister Mahleb is the government which more Egyptians have confidence in than any other in the last four years. Supporters of the current administration will likely look at these numbers, and smile triumphantly, figuring that the post-Mursi political dispensation is remarkably well rooted in popular support.
“Knowledge, indeed, is power. But while it can warn, there are also some things it cannot protect against”
That would be an incredibly short-sighted and dangerous assessment, however. The numbers are, actually, rather worrying. Looking at how public opinion has varied over the last few years, the main lesson to be drawn by these numbers is not that the post-Mursi political dispensation has popular support – that should have been obvious since the military ousted Mursi last year. A far more troubling issue is that of high expectations. In the past four years, expectations for governments to succeed in turning things around for more Egyptians citizens have gone up and down, dizzyingly.
What these numbers show is that, again, Egyptian citizens have very high expectations for the current administration. Hosni Mubarak and Mursi both met their fates after varying forces instrumentalized popular discontent against them. No-one seriously ought to think that Sisi’s administration will meet a similar fate – he has not only sufficient popular support, but the backing of key institutions in the country – but that is not to say that the crashing of expectations come without a cost.
On the contrary, if anything has been clear about the last few years, it’s that the failure to meet the expectations of Egyptian citizens comes with consequences. In 2011, it eventually led to Mubarak becoming a liability, and being removed from office by the military – not the success of the revolution, but certainly an end to his political career. In 2013, Mursi’s inability to build a genuine coalition made him vulnerable to his opponents – and popular dissatisfaction made him a target.
Getting too comfortable
In both cases, however, the disgruntlement of a majority of Egyptian citizens was defused by an organised political act, carried out by the most popular state institution in the country – the military. Expectations for this new administration are high – and if it does not meet those expectations, and there is another wave of popular upheaval, it won’t be like 2011 or 2013. Because in this scenario, there does not seem to be any political force that anyone really trusts anymore. In this scenario, a chaotic bedlam, with no observable political entity, could become a reality, based on purely economic grounds. Knowledge, indeed, is power. But while it can warn, there are also some things it cannot protect against. Egypt’s new rulers should not feel comfortable due to knowing that the majority of the Egyptian population has confidence in their ability to deliver – because with that confidence comes the expectation they actually can deliver. If they do not, then that popular discontent which was temporarily defused in 2011 and 2013 could easily manifest itself again – and possibly in a far more chaotic fashion.
Liberal democracy, a solution for Yemen and other Arab
Jamal Khashoggi/Al Arabiya
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
It was normal for Gulf interior ministers to meet in Jeddah last Wednesday to discuss the situation in Yemen as that other country in their backyard. They were rather late at holding this meeting. Developments in Yemen are a result of hands being lifted off the country for years now, and they are also a result of just settling with the famous Gulf initiative without looking after the details in Yemen itself. The result of the meeting is a general statement warning Iran of intervening, supporting the collapsing Yemeni government and condemning the use of arms. However, it did not provide a magical formula for Yemen. Truth be told, the only magical formula for Yemen and other Arab republics is democracy but I don't expect the Gulf Cooperation Council or the Arab League to make such a specific decision. Why? Because most Arab countries have problems with democracy that must be finalized by politicians first before being finalized by political intellectuals and elites who have now buckled under a general collapse which has struck many Arab countries. No one has presented an alternative mission in the Arab world other than war, confrontations, appeals, condemnations and hopes.
The Gulf states said they "would not stand idly by sectarian foreign intervention in Yemen." What's meant here is clear; they are referring to Iran. However, Iran will not completely settle in Yemen unless Houthis take over complete governance. Directly intervening to prevent the Houthis from doing so means an expanded war which no one wants or means supporting one party against another and this means a Yemeni civil war.
A civil war does not serve the interest of Gulf countries and their stability. Therefore we're left with the magical wand of democracy to prevent Houthis from solely governing and to protect Yemen from sliding into a civil war that serves no one and that will negatively impact its neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia, which shares the most borders with Yemen.
Democracy or civil war
Some might say "this is a suggestion full of contradictions as neither Saudi Arabia implements democracy nor do the Yemeni people know how to practice democracy." However democracy for Arab republics is not a choice. It's a duty and the only possible cure for survival - not from this state of backwardness, corruption and tyranny, but from what's far more dangerous: civil wars and complete disintegration. Therefore, it's a choice of either democracy or civil war. The sole leaders who governed Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Egypt under the fake guise of democracy and achieved a form of “stability” in their countries via the power of security forces will not re-emerge after being toppled in the real popular revolutions of 2011. Proof of this is loud and clear amid internal fighting currently destroying Syria, Iraq and Libya. Yemen is heading towards this path of a civil war if no one looks after it. These three countries (Syria, Iraq and Libya) would have avoided this fate if they had resorted to liberal democracy.
“Yes, we lack a mature culture when it comes to democracy. This is an old crisis that has just recently re-emerged”
Another excuse often said claims the people on the ground “are not ready for democracy” but this evades the only solution left for these miserable people. The truth is that even if people are not well-informed about democracy (the corrupt regimes who governed them are to blame for this), they've actually quickly learnt it. Proof of this was the high voter turnouts in elections in the post-revolutionary Arab countries. More proof is the post-Saddam Iraq. Those who failed and proved they are not ready for democracy are the political elites and intellectuals who didn't accept democracy's results and incited strife in their societies, mobilizing those behind their selfish desires, emptying democracy of its essence and hiding behind the tyranny they once complained of be it the military, a sect or a tribe. Those are the ones who need to learn democracy and not the citizens whom they label as "mobs" just because they haven't voted for them.
A crisis of the ages?
Yes, we lack a mature culture when it comes to democracy. This is an old crisis that has just recently re-emerged. It's linked to the problem of balance between "mature governance" and not violating the will of the ruler. This problem is what led to incompatibility with democracy despite many early approaches of which the first was the Ottoman state and then with the Khedivate of Egypt. But all these approaches were experiences that continued to stumble until the 2011 revolutions. They continue to stumble and there are still people among us who say democracy does not suit us. This culture of rejecting or tampering with democracy did not only give birth to people who reject democracy but also gave birth to people who accuse others of infidelity for practicing it and who kill whoever accepts it and practices it. Our crisis with democracy is bigger than we think. Learning it and accepting it will be painful but escaping from it towards civil fighting is more painful.
In order not to give up and surrender to those saying democracy must be postponed until people learn about it, we must remember that democracy in Europe did not crystallize in its current formula until the 19th century and needed decades and wars until it stabilized. Europe did not finalize its battles with other western ideas which competed against it until recently and particularly in 1991 as the Soviet Union, the last fort of communism in Europe, collapsed. What collapsed before the Soviet Union was fascism which resembles the idea of the "fair tyrant" and which resembles those who justify tyranny in our countries.
The other perceived contradiction questions how Saudi Arabia sponsors Yemen and other miserable Arab republics’ democratic transitions when it's not democratic itself? The contradiction here is a theoretical philosophical one. Saudi Arabia is not in a state of collapse to require this "medicine" - although there are remedies for reform which, if Saudi Arabia would adopt, would be good and preventive for the country. However on the level of republics, this "medicine" is a must. It's the only possible solution which opposing parties can agree on. Democracy is a struggle and a competition but should not be played out through arms and at least not through civil war as no one can guarantee that partisans in Yemen won't resort to arms now and then.
Democracy is not exactly fair and it won't cancel out injustices and dangerous social problems even in progressive democratic societies like the United States, France and Switzerland, as Francis Fukuyama – the godfather of democracy– said in his book "The End of History and the Last Man." His book was translated to Arabic and published by the Egypt’s Al-Ahram Publishing House years before the Arab Spring. However it's clear that few liberal political elites read it, and those who read it aren’t convinced.
The Houthis will not be able to control all of Yemen unless through civil war, and their rivals will not be able to expel them unless through civil war. Libya’s General Haftar will not be able to cancel the Brotherhood in Libya unless the current civil war continues and the Brotherhood will not cancel Haftar unless they win this civil war. The same goes for Iraq, Syria and other countries. The only solution is for them to sit together under the sponsorship of bigger brothers. If it's not the stable Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries who sponsor this, it will be the United States or the European Union (this happened in Libya), and they'd raise a banner saying "disagree with each other all you want but don't you dare go to war and start killing." They'd lay the proper foundation to elections, devolution of power and commitment to democracy. The alternative to this is war like the case is now.
The only party that's not invited for democracy is "Salafi takfirism" currently embodied in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ISIS rejects democracy and accuses those who accept it with infidelity and allows for their killing. I mentioned them as a reminder that in the absence of democracy, they are one of the shocking alternatives besides civil war.
The Houthis have opened Pandora’s Box in Yemen
Diana Moukalled /Al Arabiya
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
It was not just an isolated photograph or image, but a slew of videos that showed several fighters entering the homes – even the bedrooms – of their enemies, which they proudly pillaged and plundered in front of the camera, on numerous occasions.
These fighters, restrained by no one, stood in the middle of the bedrooms in the homes they had stormed, taking photographs of themselves, and quickly uploading them onto their personal social network accounts.
Some of these shocking pictures posted online showed fighters belonging to Yemen’s Houthi movement raiding the homes of a number of al-Islah Party figures, aiming down with their weapons on whole families while chewing leaves of the psychoactive stimulant plant Qat. One of them even had time to take a photograph himself wearing a dress he found, while others went through private underwear cabinets belonging to the families who had swiftly fled the capital Sanaa after the Houthi takeover.
Even government and university buildings, media outlets, and security service facilities were not spared this destructive orgy of pillaging and theft. Nor were the depots dotted around the city, which were used for vaccinating children against a multitude of diseases.
Not a revolution
Sanaa is certainly not the first Arab capital or city to be violated in this manner. But what made the matter even worse was that while these citizens’ homes were being looted, with accompanying pictures brandished proudly all over the Internet, numerous “opposition” media outlets throughout the region ran headlines such as “A revolution in Yemen” following the seizure of the capital. The images on the Internet, meanwhile, showed us the true, uncivilized face of this “revolution.” They showed us how Yemenis cowered in their homes, fearful and shocked to see the destruction of their country before their very eyes. They swapped laments on Facebook and Twitter about how far, and how quickly, the situation had deteriorated, interspersed with personal stories about what they had endured the last few days – all while the “opposition” media hailed the snowballing chaos which accompanied this “revolution.”
“This whirlpool of action, reaction and counter-reaction is one we’ve been caught up in before, one we know very well and have grown tired of”
The way the Houthi takeover has been presented in the media as “completing the revolution” in Yemen is an obvious message of support for what is happening. It would be foolish to claim that things were much better in Yemen before the Houthis rolled into town, but the welcome extended by some to their takeover will cause even more crises for Yemen, its people, and the region as a whole.
There is no worse condemnation of the actions of this group than the one from the movement’s very own leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi. Attempting to defend what some members of his group had done, he asked us what we expected from them; they had not come from “Plato’s Ideal City,” after all. Inhabitants of Plato’s city they certainly were not, but neither are most members of the political class in Yemen. So if things were not much better before the Houthis’ takeover, it is clear Yemen has been suffering from deep-rooted weaknesses in its security services and economy, as well as from the collapse of its political system.
The images we saw were examples of the disintegration of Yemen and the civil war we could soon see, which will endanger all citizens. These images will have painful consequences from which it will take decades to recover. The pain caused by the Houthis who attacked Sanaa, storming the houses of their enemies along the way, will not be exorcised except with an equal and opposite reaction. This whirlpool of action, reaction and counter-reaction is one we’ve been caught up in before, one we know very well and have grown tired of, though it seems we haven’t learned anything from its many previous outbreaks.
Hypocrisy of Israel's right and left wings
Published: 10.07.14, / Israel Opinion
Op-ed: Why do leftists advocate the right to live without strangers only when it comes to Arabs? And why do rightists think they can settle in any Arab neighborhood, but Arabs are not allowed to settle in a Jewish neighborhood?
Once every several months it happens again. Once it's Arabs who buy a house in a small Jewish community. Another time it's Jews who buy a house in an Arab neighborhood. Almost every such purchase creates a commotion, as has the recent purchase of homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
The accusing finger is being pointed at Peace Now, which managed to get a condemnation from the American administration. Why, the right-wing camp asks, are Jews allowed to buy a house in Manhattan but are not allowed to buy a house in Jerusalem?
On the pure legal level, there is no need to mention, it was a lawful purchase. But the legal side is irrelevant. The left and the right are acting like twins on this issue. The left disregards the court's rulings when it comes to Sheikh Jarrah, the Bedouin communities or Silwan. The right is no different. Arabs are not welcome in settlements. The kibbutzim, it's worth noting, haven't been taking in Arab members either.
Not every fear of strangers is an expression of racism. Sometimes, we must admit, the strangers constitute a problem. It happened in northern Israel, when a crazy rabbi arrived at a community with his followers, and they slowly took over it and made the original residents miserable.
The southern community of Nevatim in the Negev opposed the entry of an Arab Bedouin family in the past. The women of the family wear a burqa. It scares the Europeans too. Other countries have even introduced legislation against the burqa. It's even more frightening in a small community. What will happen when five other families from the burqa department ask to join?
The right to maintain a lifestyle, community life, a national majority, is a basic right. Those who protest against the settlement of Jews in Sheikh Jarrah or Silwan are protesting for that exact right. Because it is the Arabs' right to live without the strangers, Jews this time, who are likely not arriving with clean hands.
Why does the left understand that when it comes to Arabs, but finds it difficult to understand that when it comes to Jews? And why does the right think it has the right to settle within any Arab neighborhood, but the Arabs are not allowed to settle in the heart of a Jewish neighborhood?
We could draft a rule distinguishing between racism and cases in which maintaining a majority is an appropriate matter: First of all, the right should be given only to those people who respect it when it comes to other people. Secondly, a person is permitted to oppose the members of a foreign community who are not interested in integrating into the community, but in undermining it and banishing and taking over and forcing.
Will the Jews who insist on living in Silwan welcome Muslim families from the burqa department, who wish to live in a Jewish neighborhood, with a red carpet? We know the answer to that. The same question should also be directed at those Arabs who wanted an apartment in a Jewish community. Will they give Jews the same right? We know the answer here too.
Kurt Lewin, the father of modern social psychology, said similar things when he maintained that one should not be tolerant towards those who are intolerant. That's both simple and true. Although we are in the multicultural era, tolerant Europe has not recorded much success. All of Europe is agonizing, afraid and struggling. Veteran residents are fleeing and emigrating from many neighborhoods.
We must be careful. Those who prevent people from renting an apartment to an Arab student in Tel Aviv are racist, because there is a difference between living in a big city and a settlement from the "just to spite" department in a small community.
The Jewish settlement in Silwan and in Sheikh Jarrah raises another dilemma, because the eastern part of the city is not the only place where there is Jewish property from before the state's establishment. There is Arab property in the western part of the city too. Those who insist on acting on the right to property and right of return are justifying similar demands from the Arab side.
This is foolish. Whoever wants a Jewish and democratic nation state, whoever opposes the right of return, whoever doesn’t want claims from refugees, must understand that sometimes, only sometimes, the insistence from the right side of the map is not national. It's anti-Zionist.
Parchin blast may be Iran's nuclear smoking gun
Ron Ben-Yishai/Ynetnews/Published: 10.07.14/ Israel Opinion
Analysis: West will know within days what caused explosion at Iranian military complex. Answer could put Iran in a very uncomfortable position during nuclear negotiations.
The Parchin facility is a military camp located about 15 kilometers (9.5 miles) east of Tehran, where research is conducted on the production of explosives and missile warheads, as well as activities of the "nuclear weapon group."
The latter serves as one of the components of the military nuclear program whose goal is to create the explosion mechanisms and the nuclear detonator facility itself – an experimental facility for an aerial bomb or a missile warhead test.
The magnitude of the explosion which left two people dead and several wounded, according to Iranian reports, the flash and the huge blast felt many kilometers away leave no room for doubt that this is a facility related to the nuclear program.
The Parchin area is under constant supervision of optic and electromagnetic visual spy satellites – including Israeli supervision. The Americans also have ways to collect air samples from the explosion area through nitrogenous and unmanned aerial vehicles, so the West will know within several days what caused the explosion and if any radioactive materials were used.
In any event, the explosion puts Iran in a very uncomfortable position in the negotiations it is holding with the West, which are scheduled to end on November 24. If indeed it turns out that this was a military nuclear experiment, it will cause the West to toughen its stand and help Israel demand that the sanctions against Iran will be stepped up.
Unlike the uranium mining and enrichment processes, as well as the construction of the heavy water reactor for plutonium production, which are carried out openly, the Iranian weapons program is being implemented secretly. Iran is denying that its exists, but is not letting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors enter the Parchin facility in order to ensure that there is no activity taking place there for the construction of a nuclear device.
The Iranian refusal has been taking place for nearly a decade now, despite repeated IAEA demands, but Western agencies revealed two years ago that Parchin includes a special facility where the Iranians are trying to develop the conventional explosives which will wrap the two half-spheres of the enriched uranium in order to begin the nuclear reaction. This envelop must explode at once at a rate of nanoseconds, and therefore special compressors are installed in it to time its explosion, thereby initiating the beginning of the reaction – which means a nuclear explosion.
The Iranians also used radioactive materials for the tests. When the UN inspectors demanded to be let into the facility, the Iranians tried at first to hide the existence of the envelop experiments and tests aimed at minimizing the bomb in order to insert it into the warhead of the Shahab-3 and Sejil ballistic missiles.
The Iranians tried to hide piles of dirt in the area in order to cover up the radioactivity emitted during the use of nuclear materials. They also washed the area with huge amounts of water, but apparently failed to remove the traces of radiation, and that was likely the reason why they have refused to let inspectors enter the facility until this very day.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met with the heads of the nuclear program in Tehran several weeks ago, but his demand to allow his people to enter the facility was turned down once again. Now we know why.
It turns out that the tests likely related to the nuclear program continued even during the period when Iran had allegedly stopped, according to the Americans, developing the "nuclear weapon group."
The question of what caused the explosion remains open. Was it a "work accident," as the Iranian ministry of defense claims, or was it an act of sabotage initiated by someone interested in thwarting the plan. In Israel, as always, those who should know are keeping quiet. So it is uncertain what caused the explosion and whether it has to do with Israel's efforts to thwart the Iranian nuclear program.
If it was indeed an act of sabotage, it's reasonable to assume that it was the result of cooperation between Western countries and may have even been based on cyber warfare. We have already seen such precedents in the past in a similar context.
The international coalition mission/The silent treatment
The Daily Star/Oct. 07, 2014
The international coalition that has taken on the mission of battling the gains of ISIS in Syria and Iraq has a lot of explaining to do. Supporters of Syria’s opposition have seen their suspicions only grow as the U.S.-led coalition’s airstrikes do little to affect the steady progress of ISIS militants as they besiege the town of Ain al-Arab on the Syrian-Turkish border. ISIS-led insurgents in Iraq earlier this summer were able to control huge chunks of territory as their surprise offensive saw them take Iraq’s second city, Mosul. Since then, the Al-Qaeda breakaway group has been on the radar of a whole range of parties, if not the entire world. But the openly declared offensive by ISIS against Ain al-Arab, or Kobani in Kurdish, has been raging for more than a fortnight, with the U.S.-led coalition seemingly powerless to stop it. Officials from Turkey, a supposed partner in the international coalition, have been adept at making statements about the violence in Syria, expressing their outrage and objections on a daily basis. But they have been silent about why Kobani seems certain to fall to the jihadists, and whether Ankara’s own behavior has anything to do with this. Meanwhile, the U.S. has yet to make clear what its priority is in Syria, beyond long-range goals that look good only on paper. This leaves supporters of the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad supremely confused. Is the U.S. serious about rolling back the threat posed by ISIS to people in Ain al-Arab or elsewhere in northern Syria? Or does it merely have a number of “terror targets” to check off a list in Washington, with little concern for real-world repercussions where these airstrikes are taking place?