Archive for August, 2012

‘Insider Killings’ in Afghanistan

Friday, August 31st, 2012

by Mark Durie*

In the past two weeks at least nine Americans have been killed by their Afghan allies in what is known to as “insider killings.” Members of the Afghan army, having been trained and armed by NATO forces, are turning their weapons in increasing numbers against their foreign allies, killing at least 40 NATO troops this year so far.

These killings are demoralizing, not only for the troops, but also for the folks back home. They make people war-weary. Mrs. Marina Buckley, the mother of Lance Corporal Gregory Buckley who was killed by one of his Afghan allies just before he was due to return home, spoke for many when she said: “Our forces shouldn’t be there. It should be over. It’s done. No more.”

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Will Congress Rise to the Occasion?*

Friday, August 31st, 2012

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought”
Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #168, August 31, 2012

While Israel’s economy is facing the consequences of the global economic meltdown (e.g., unemployment is rising at 7%, gasoline price is surging):

1. According to the August 24, 2012 “Commentator” article by Peter Glover and Michael Economides, “as the tension between Israel and Iran ratchets up, an interesting sub-text has developed over the role of Iran’s traditional backer, Russia… . 20 million metric tons of liquid natural gas (LNG) exported each year from the eastern Mediterranean into Europe [a reference to the supposed potential of Israel's and Cyprus' offshore natural gas reserves] would amount to about one third of current Russian exports… . Putin’s Kremlin is clearly rattled by the threat of decline for that which underpins Russia’s entire economy: its energy hegemony… . Russia supplies a quarter of all Europe’s (rising) natural gas demand… . But there is now a new kid on the block that could pose a very clear and present threat to Russia’s vital European market: Israel, along with Cyprus, and their upcoming potential status as gas exporting energy superpowers… . During Putin’s recent visit to Israel, he and Netanyahu agreed to form a junior company to [Russia's] Gazprom that would help develop Israel’s Leviathan gas field in the eastern Mediterranean… . Iran is suing Russia in the Court of Arbitration in Geneva for cancelling a contract to sell five divisions of the S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missile system… . the Kremlin appears to have higher economic and political priorities. Chief among them: ensuring its vast energy resources help it to remain a global superpower… ”

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Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney’s Speech: Political Slam Dunk

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro’s Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia’s President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.

- Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney finally got fired up and coherent tonight. This speech, along with those of Raul Ryan, Mia Love, Condi Rice, NM Gov. Susana Martinez, and a host of other dignitaries should convince the American people that President Obama et al must be voted out of office before they have the chance to destroy this great nation. Read Romney’s speech below:

Mr. Chairman, delegates. I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America.

I do so with humility, deeply moved by the trust you have placed in me. It is a great honor. It is an even greater responsibility.

Tonight I am asking you to join me to walk together to a better future. By my side, I have chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. He represents the best of America, a man who will always make us proud – my friend and America’s next Vice President, Paul Ryan. …

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Neologism and Nationalism

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

by Alexander H. Joffe*

There has never been agreement about Zionism. Not only is the idea of Jewish nationalism controversial, the very word “Zionism” arouses unique passions, as a recent controversy highlights. It was recently reported that the Jewish Federation of North America had dropped the word “Zionism” from a planning document. In a vehement denial, the Federation clarified that this was not so: It was merely a single individual on a subcommittee who proposed dropping the phrase “Zionist enterprise.” The proposal, the Federation emphasized, went nowhere.

So, the word Zionism, uniquely among terms related to nationalist movements, arouses attacks and defenses. But is “Zionism” even a useful or relevant term in the 21st century? And what does the answer to this question say about the state of the Jews and the Jewish state?

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Republican VP Nominee Paul Ryan’s Speech: Political Slam Dunk

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

“We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.”

- Paul Ryan

I haven’t heard such a stirring, eloquent, and meaningful speech in a long time — until tonight. Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan made the case for President Obama’s failure and why America needs a new president and vice president: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Read the full text below. His position is self-evident:

Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.

I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this.

I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready. …

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Wait Out the War in Syria

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

Bashar al-Assad’s wretched presence in the Presidential Palace of Damascus may, contrary to Western assumptions, do more good than harm. His murderous, terroristic, and pro-Tehran regime is also non-ideological and relatively secular; it staves off anarchy, Islamist rule, genocide, and rogue control of Syria’s chemical weapons.

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California Sheriffs Protest Anti-Secure Communities Bill

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

By Jon Feere, CIS.org

The California legislature has passed a bill designed to shield illegal aliens from law enforcement and it currently sits on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. The “Trust Act” (AB 1081) would prohibit local law enforcement from complying with federal detention requests except when an illegal alien has been convicted of, or charged with, a “serious” or “violent” felony. The crimes that would be a prerequisite for sending aliens to ICE custody include murder, rape, assault with intent to commit a rape or robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, and a number of other crimes. Many crimes like ID theft or ID fraud get a pass. Consequently, a number of sheriffs are worried that the plan would harm public safety; one sheriff has called on the governor to veto the bill, while another is contemplating defying the act if it becomes law.

Specifically, the Trust Act reads:

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A Disturbing Event: The American Conservative Union Embraces an Islamist

Monday, August 27th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

The conservative movement appears to be at a crossroads in its approach to the threat of Islamic supremacism—not only abroad but at home. Does the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as the dominant force of the “Arab Spring” bode ill for America? Or is the Brotherhood merely another “political actor” as the Obama administration would have us believe? Is Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, a potential security risk worth investigating, as Representative Michele Bachmann and four conservative congressmen have suggested? Or is the mere raising of this question a witch-hunt, as Senator John McCain and Speaker John Boehner and numerous Democrats maintain?

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Wake Up, America, It Ain’t 1895

Monday, August 27th, 2012

By Barry Rubin

I had two interesting responses to my article on Baltimore and the decay of America and because my energy level is very low now as I begin treatment for cancer allow me to respond briefly.

One friend asks why you believe that Romney and Ryan have answers for fixing America. Because America must decide whether it is going to be a society of productivity, making new things and wealth, or merely looting and passing around the ruins of Rome. A city like Baltimore will not be rebuilt by taking money to lower living standards in the suburbs but by creating great new enterprises that produce goods and services people want.

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Ramadan: Islam’s ‘Holy Month’ of Christian Oppression

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

The month of Ramadan, which ended earlier this week, proved to be a month of renewed Muslim piety on the one hand, and renewed oppression of non-Muslim minorities on the other. In Nigeria, for example, Islamic militants are living up to the assertion that “Ramadan is a month of jihad and death for Allah,” proving that killing Christians is not only reserved for Christian holidays—like Christmas and Easter, when militants bombed churches killing dozens—but is especially applicable during Islam’s Ramadan.

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Scholarships Just for Illegal Immigrants

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

By David Seminara, CIS.org

Here’s yet another, only-in-America news item: Hampshire College announced the creation of a scholarship fund this week specifically for illegal immigrants. The fund will reportedly provide $25,000 toward Hampshire’s $43,000 annual tuition. At least three states — Texas, California, and New Mexico — provide in-state tuition discounts for illegal immigrants, and UCLA and Cal-Berkeley also have scholarship funds for illegal immigrants.

I have no problem with illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents as children and have grown up here attending college in the United States, but the idea of creating scholarship funds solely for families that broke the law is absurd. People who have no legal right to live in the country should not be entitled to a special scholarship that others can’t even apply for. How would you even vet the applications?

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Looking at violence in Iraq

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi*

What are we to make of the increase in violent deaths in Iraq during June and July? Is it a sign of a long-term upsurge in violence since the US troop withdrawal? Who are the culprits? These are all pertinent questions.

To begin with, it should be noted that violence in Iraq often follows cyclical patterns. That is, insurgent groups normally step up their operations as summer begins, and around the times of religious festivals, when pilgrims (frequently travelling on foot) are exposed, we can expect upsurges in violence.

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Does Tehmina ‘Get-the-f*cking-Jews-out-of-the-hotel’ Adaya support Israel?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The CEO, president, and “part-owner” of the Shangri-La, a “chic hotel in Santa Monica,” one Tehmina Adaya, a Muslim, now claims to have, “condemned anti-Semitism and declared her support for Israel.” Hmmm… That’s strange. In July 2010, she belched out, “Get the [expletive] Jews out of the hotel.” The expletive was the word “fucking.” Back then, her vulgar, hateful words were aimed at a group of pro-Israel young people, many of them Jews, members of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) — surprise, surprise. Why now Adaya’s sudden admiration for Jews and Israel?

The pro-Israel group sued Adaya and on August 15, “convince[d] [a] jury that Adaya and the hotel had violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, a far-reaching California state law that outlaws discrimination on the basis of ‘sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.’” The jury, “in California Superior Court ordered the hotel and Adaya to pay the plaintiffs a combined $1.65 million in damages, statutory payments and punitive damages.”

In my humble opinion, Adaya is no friend of Israel or of Jews. She’s just trying to save face, protect her hotel’s income, and possibly practicing taqiyya, “employed in disguising one’s beliefs, intentions, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions or strategies. In practical terms it is manifested as dissimulation, lying, deceiving, vexing and confounding with the intention of deflecting attention, foiling or pre-emptive blocking. It is currently employed in fending off and neutralising any criticism of Islam or Muslims.”

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Lebanon’s Shiite-Maronite Alliance of Hypocrisy

Friday, August 24th, 2012

by Hilal Khashan*

On February 6, 2006, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah and leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) Michel Aoun signed a memorandum of understanding, ostensibly to build a consensual Lebanese democracy on the basis of transparency, justice, and equality.[1] However, a careful examination of the agreement shows that its real goal was the neutralization of Sunni political power, especially after the 2005 assassination of the powerful Sunni statesman and former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

The memorandum’s allusion to limiting the influence of money on politics and combating business and bureaucratic corruption hinted at the Sunni leadership’s vast financial and entrepreneurial assets. Conversely, its insistence on the right of Lebanese expatriates to participate in the country’s elections sought to enlist the support of the mostly Christian immigrants in the Americas. Similarly, its attempt to link Lebanese national security to Hezbollah’s arsenal aimed at legitimizing Shiite militarism.

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A personal face to the father of political Zionism

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

A review of “It is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl”

By Fern Sidman

In this seminal biodoc on the life and arduous struggles of the progenitor of the establishment of the modern Jewish state of Israel, Academy Award-winning director Richard Trank (“The Long Way Home”), presents a compelling and spellbinding portrait of Theodor Herzl, a man who was often shunted aside or patently misunderstood in the annals of history. Produced by Moriah Films, in association with the Simon Wiesenthal Center film department, “It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl,” puts a personal face, hitherto unknown, on the vicissitudes that Herzl endured in his relatively short but historically impactful life.

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