This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
When U.S. President Barack Obama announces in the United Nations that he wants a two-state solution for Israel and "Palestine," and when U.S. Secretary of State repeated it recently -- and when Sweden and the UK vote for a Palestinian State, and now possibly Spain and France -- they should be more careful what they wish for.

Although there is no lawful justification for offering statehood, but Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, on September 26, 2014, told the United Nations that "the hour of independence of the state of Palestine has arrived." Earlier, in 2012, the PA had already received elevated status from the UN General Assembly to that of a "nonmember observer state," but this elevation fell short of full sovereignty.

There can also be no justification -- ethical, legal, or geopolitical -- for waging war against the ISIS jihadis in Syria and Iraq, while simultaneously urging statehood for the Hamas/PA jihadis in West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza.

The so-called "Two-State Solution" approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, strongly reaffirmed by the US, Sweden and the UK, is founded upon multiple errors. For one, it still accepts the false Arab narrative of an Israeli "occupation."

Recurrent and virulent Arab terrorism against the Jews -- who have lived in the area for nearly three thousand years -- began many years before Israel's de jure statehood. The Hebron riots and massacre of 1929 are perhaps the best known example; and Arab terrorism continued throughout the British Mandate period, 1920-1948.

Organized Arab terrorism against the state Israel began the first hour of Israel's independence, in mid-May 1948.

The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority [PA] was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza.

What therefore, between 1964 and 1967, was the PLO planning to "liberate"? The answer, of course, was -- and still is -- all of Israel. These are precisely the "1967 borders" that President Obama has insistently identified as the appropriate starting point for peace negotiations, and that are generally recognized by military experts -- American as well as Israeli -- as the invitingly indefensible "Auschwitz borders."

Furthermore, the PLO was formally declared a "terrorist organization" in a number of major U.S. federal court decisions, including Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic (1984).

Then, almost ten years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, seeking peace with the fratricidal Palestinian factions, in 2005 forcibly expelled more than 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. Immediately, these ethnically cleansed areas, as a result of relentless and discriminatory Palestinian demands, were transformed by Hamas from productive agricultural and living areas to barren fields and, frequently, extended terrorist rocket-launching sites.

Since then, Israel has had to undertake several major self-defense operations against Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, most recently, the Gaza War of this summer, Operation Protective Edge.
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to full statehood in the civilized community of nations? It is sadly and abundantly clear that the Palestinians are actually seeking something very different from an "end to occupation." Both Fatah and Hamas, in their charters, daily declarations, non-stop incitement to murder, and official maps -- long familiar in Washington -- include all of Israel as a part of "Palestine." For both Fatah and Hamas, there has always been the disingenuous quest for a "One-State Solution," a not-so-secret code for demographically flooding Israel to make it an Arab state in which the Jews, who have lived on that and for roughly 3000 years, might continue there on sufferance as "tolerated" subjects or be completely expelled, depending on the speech. [1]

It probably has never even occurred to the U.S. Administration, Sweden or Britain that both Hamas and Fatah still identify their common ideological mentors as Hitler and Goebbels, two figures who remain ardent objects of admiration for the prospective rulers of a nascent "Palestine".[2]

At its core, President Obama's, Sweden's and Britain's policy toward Israel and "Palestine" reveals dangerous and hard-to-correct bewitchments of language. However untrue, the ritualistic canard of an Israeli "occupation" has now been repeated so often, and so authoritatively, that it is generally taken prima facie as irrefutable "fact."

On June 30, 1922, however, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine -- anywhere they chose -- between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.

Today, Palestinian claims and policies are fashioned not so much as proper material for diplomatic negotiation (after all, the PA and Hamas are already pursuing accelerated Palestinian statehood outside the framework of previous bilateral legal arrangements with Israel), but rather as a lethal incantation, which still does not make its claim true.

One Israeli prime minister after another has attempted to trade land for peace and each has received, in response, only endless terror attacks, rockets, and protracted war. The reasons for the unrelenting lack of Palestinian reciprocity, generally unhidden and doctrinal[3] can easily be found in our daily newspapers. Both the PA and Hamas leaderships, for example, demand that Israel continue to have 1.8 million Arabs as full citizens of the Jewish State, but simultaneously insist that not a single Jew be allowed to remain as a citizen of the impending Palestinian state. This expectation, that Palestine will be "judenrein," or free of Jews, is a total contradiction of the original U.S. support for the Palestine Mandate, and of all authoritative international law.

Also widely disregarded is that Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were the principal aggressors in the openly genocidal Arab attacks that first began on May 15, 1948, literally moments after the new Jewish State's UN-backed declaration of independent statehood entered into force.

Already, back in 1918[4], Jerusalem's Muslim religious leader, Grand Mufti Hajj Amin el-Husseini, stated plainly: "This was and will remain an Arab land.... the Zionists will be massacred to the last man.... Nothing but the sword will decide the future of this country."

The U.S. Administration, Sweden and Britain also disregard that these same Arab states launched yet another aggression -- that of 1967, or the Six Day War. As a direct result, the so-called Israeli "occupation" followed. The Israelis pushed back their aggressors, then immediately tried to exchange the newly-acquired land for peace, recognition and negotiations -- only to be told, by the Khartoum Conference the same year, No, no and no.

No, no and NO. From left to right: 1) King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, President Nasser of Egypt, President Sallal of Yemen, Sheikh Sabah of Kuwait and President Arif of Iraq at the1967 Arab League Summit in Khartoum; 2) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; 3) Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed -- not before 1948 and not before 1967. Moreover, UN Security Council Resolution 242 never promised a state of Palestine. Even as a non-state legal entity, "Palestine" ceased to exist when Great Britain relinquished its League of Nations mandate.

During the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence, the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza came under the illegal control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. Nothing in prior international law, including the 1947 U.N. General Assembly partition resolution, had ever said anything about any Jordanian or Egyptian title to these lands. The West Bank and Gaza were simply seized -- those were the lands that were "occupied" -- by these two Arab states after their 1948 aggressions against Israel; and thereafter claimed, as a fait accompli, as the traditional (and no-longer legal in the post-UN Charter world) prerogative of an armed conflict.

These Arab aggressions in 1948 did not put an end to any already-existing Arab State of "Palestine" state. Ironically, what these aggressions did manage to accomplish was the deliberate prevention of an Arab state of "Palestine." From the start, it was, and continues to be, the major Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty. The current predicament of what to do with West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza is the direct result of Arab states' non-compliance with the original UN partition plan of 1947, for which the Jewish side, however reluctantly, had given its full approval.
* * *
A continuous chain of Jewish possession of the land was legally recognized after World War I, during the San Remo Peace Conference in April 1920. The Treaty of Sèvres was signed, in which Great Britain was given mandatory authority over "Palestine," based on the expectation that Britain would correctly prepare the area to become the "national home for the Jewish People": To wit:
"The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

In 1922, however, Great Britain, unilaterally, and without lawful authority, split off 78% of the lands promised to the Jews -- all of "Palestine" east of the Jordan River -- and gave it to Abdullah, the non-Palestinian son of the Sharif of Mecca. Eastern "Palestine" now took the name "Transjordan," which it retained until April 1949, when it was renamed "Jordan".

From the moment of its creation, Transjordan was closed to all Jewish migration and settlement, a clear betrayal of the British promise in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and a grave contravention of its core Mandatory obligations under international law.

In 1947, the newly formed United Nations, rather than designate the entire land west of the Jordan River as the long-promised Jewish national homeland, enacted a second partition. Jewish leaders reluctantly accepted the painful and unjust division. Ironically, despite this second allotment again giving complete advantage to Arab interests, the Arab states did not.

On May 15, 1948, exactly twenty-four hours after the State of Israel came into existence, Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, declared to a tiny new country founded upon the still-glowing ashes of Holocaust: "This will be a war of extermination, and a momentous massacre."[5]
This unambiguously genocidal declaration has been at the very heart of all subsequent Arab, Muslim and Islamist actions against Israel, including those of the supposedly "moderate," U.S.-supported Palestinian Authority leadership of Fatah. Even by the strict legal standards of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the actions and attitudes of Arabs and Muslims toward the microscopic Jewish state in their midst have remained genocidal.

Jurisprudentially, what they have in mind for Israel has a formal name: it is called crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity, which include "Extermination," was one of three original counts of indictment at the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal, invoked pursuant to the London Charter of August 8, 1945.

In 1967, the Jewish state, as a result of its unexpected military victory over Arab aggressor states after the Six Day War, gained unintended control over West Bank and Gaza. Although the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war is codified in the UN Charter, there still existed no authoritative sovereign to whom the territories could possibly be "returned." Israel could hardly have been expected to transfer them back to Jordan and Egypt, which had exercised unauthorized and terribly harsh control since the Arab-initiated "War of Extermination" in 1948-49, as well as the Arabs repeatedly using that territory to launch aggression against Israel. Moreover, the idea of Palestinian "self-determination" had only just begun to emerge after the Six Day War; it had not even been included in UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967.

The Arab states convened a summit in Khartoum in August 1967, concluding with "Three Nos": "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."

The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] had been formed three years earlier, in 1964, before there were even any "Israeli occupied territories." From their own candid statements in the PLO Charter of 1964 and the Hamas Charter of 1988 -- it is this very same territory -- all of Israel -- that they are now planning to liberate.

President Obama's still-proposed "Two-State Solution" derives from a misunderstanding based on ignorance -- legal, historical and conceptual -- of Israel and "Palestine."

Even if Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were to agree to a complete cessation of all so-called Jewish "settlement activity," no quid pro quo of any kind would be forthcoming from any quarter of the Arab/Islamic world.[6] There was none when Israel left southern Lebanon, none when Israel left Gaza and there is therefore reason to expect there will be none now.

Rather, what still seems in place, and backed by the President Obama, Sweden and the UK, is the PLO "Phased Plan" of June 9, 1974, which repeats the principle policies of the Palestinian National Council: to take what one can get, then to use that to take the rest "as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."[7]

For Israel, any Two-State Solution would conclusively codify another Final Solution -- and simultaneously create another jihadist, enemy terrorist state
Louis René Beres is a Professor of International Law in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Soldier shot outside of Parliament, one gunman ‘killed,’ but ‘multiple shooters’ suspected

A soldier has been shot at the Cenotaph in Ottawa on October 22, 2014.
Wayne Cuddington/Postmedia NewsA soldier has been shot at the Cenotaph in Ottawa on October 22, 2014.

Ottawa shooting wounds Canadian soldier at War Memorial

A soldier was shot at the National War Memorial by an unknown assailant Wednesday morning and there are reports of 30 to 50 shots of gunfire inside the halls of Parliament.
“Gunman at Parliament’s Centre Block has been shot and killed,” Conservative MP Bernard Trottier tweeted at 10:30 a.m. Tory MP Bob Zimmer also reported the same. Those reports are unconfirmed as police are still actively searching the area and say it is “not a secure scene” as there may be multiple shooters.
Police have expanded their perimeter and say they are actively investigating “several shooting incidents in downtown Ottawa.” Police are also asking citizens to not tweet the locations of the officers involved.
Two sources told The Canadian Press that Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons and 29-year RCMP veteran, shot a gunman. Both CBC and CTV are reporting a single gunman has been confirmed dead.
In video taken within Parliament, about a dozen gunshots can be heard within the halls.
Witnesses reported hearing shots in different corridors of Parliament and some fled the building by using the scaffolding erected for renovations.
After 11 a.m., there were more unconfirmed reports of more gunshots, this time near the Chateau Laurier hotel, northeast of Parliament.
Several medics were performing CPR on the soldier before he was taken away by ambulance.
“There is a shooter on the loose,” a police officer in the area told the Post‘s John Ivison, shortly after 10 a.m.
Parliament is currently under lockdown. The PMO says Prime Minister Stephen Harper is safe and has left Parliament Hill for an unknown location. Both NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau have been reported safe.
One suspect was described as “5’9-5’10, overweight and wearing a dark jacket, with a white scarf around his face,” by Stuart Barnable, a Liberal staffer who said he witnessed the events from East Block.
A Dutch tourist said he heard at least four shot and say the assailant running towards Parliament Hill, carrying a large rife.
A Toyota Corolla, with no plates on it, was left outside of Parliament Hill. Multiple witnesses said they saw a gunman get out of it and attack the soldier.
Chuck Bronley of Ottawa said he was certain the victims was one of the ceremonial guards at the War Memorial.
Reports of at least one active shooter sparked chaos in Canada’s Parliament as MPs — and the Prime Minister — meet just steps away from where a gunmen opened fire.
Reporters and staffers grabbing breakfast and coffee were ushered in to the fifth floor cafeteria as security confirmed that there was an active shooter on the 2nd floor.
Huddled into a corner, with some staffers chanting prayers and others trying to laugh off the fear, two dozen Parliament Hill workers rapidly checked Twitter as reports circulated that one or two gunmen may still be on the loose.
Many reporters had been in the Hall of Honour — not far from where the gunman later opened fire — when the first shooting occurred. Parliament Hill then went on lockdown.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldRCMP intervention team members walk past a gate on Parliament hill in Ottawa Wednesday Oct.22, 2014. 
A Canadian soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa has been shot by an unknown gunman and there are reports of gunfire inside the halls of Parliament.
For the staffers huddled there, it was impossible to know the situation. Reports circulated of active shooters as cooks, unarmed security and an assortment of others huddled under counters.
A Liberal party staffer locked in an office on Parliament Hill said Justin Trudeau was in Centre Block for a 10 a.m. caucus meeting when shots broke out.
“I don’t know where he is, but I’m told he’s in a secure location,” the staffer said around 11 a.m.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldAn RCMP intervention team run next to a Parliament building in Ottawa Wednesday Oct.22, 2014. A Canadian soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa has been shot by an unknown gunman and there are reports of gunfire inside the halls of Parliament. 
Ottawa police say they received a report of gunfire at 9:52 a.m.
The RCMP is advising Ottawa residents “to stay away from windows and off roofs due to [the] ongoing police incident.”
All Ottawa police stations have been closed as a result of the shooting. Military bases throughout Canada have also been placed under lockdown.
The incident comes two days after a Canadian soldier was struck by a car and killed by a man with jihadist sympathies.
Breaking news. More details to follow.

RCMP tactical officers attempt to enter the Langevin Block, which houses the Prime Minister’s Office. Taken at 10:18 a.m.(Wayne Cuddington/Ottawa Citizen)


A woman gives mouth to mouth to a soldier after the War Memorial shooting. (Wayne Cuddington/Ottawa Citizen) 


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Turkish Mendacious Delusion

"[ISIS had chosen to] make this a ground battle, attacking a small group of people there who while they are an off-shoot group of the folks that our friends the Turks oppose, they are valiantly fighting [ISIS] and we cannot take our eye off the prize here."
"Let me say very respectfully to our allies the Turks that we understand fully the fundamentals of their opposition and ours to any kind of terrorist  group and particularly obviously the challenges they face with respect to the PKK."
"But we have undertaken a coalition effort to degrade and destroy ISIL, and ISIL is presenting itself in major numbers in this place called Kobani."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

"Iraq's Kurdish regional government announced that they are in co-operation with Turkey and the U.S."
"Actually, we are helping peshmerga forces to enter into Kobani to give support."
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
 Kobani, Syria Islamic State (Isis) fighters continue their attack on the Kurdish bastion of Kobani, Syria. Photograph: VINCENT WARTNER/SIPA/REX

Ah, yes, Turkey and its standback involvement in the fight for Kobani. Well, Turkey after all, did indeed invest its hopes in Islamic State overcoming the resistance of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to departing Syria. And to that end nurtured the Islamic State, giving it a place of haven, and no doubt presenting it with more durable gifts like funding and assault assets. And within Turkey there appears to be considerable popular support for ISIS.

As much as Turkey decries the terrorists in its midst, clarifying for the world at large that Turkish Kurds are an unsavoury, unruly, disrespectful lot, and their defenders the PKK rampant terrorists, Turkey keeps its own counsel on the terrorists it acclaims and supports, like the Islamic State, like Hamas, like the Muslim Brotherhood. Leaving Turkey in rather bad odour of late among other Sunni Muslim countries, Turkey's neighbours.

But, as a member in good standing of NATO and a collegial ally of the United States, Turkey has relented in its staunch refusal to aid Syria's Kurds by permitting humanitarian aid to cross the border to end up with the Kurds in Kobani, much less allow Turkish Kurds to come to the aid of their Syrian brethren. Now, it grandly announces, the Iraqi Peshmerga with whom Turkey enjoys good relations, have been encouraged by Turkey to embark on an aid mission to Kobani.

Mind, Iraq's Kurds have plenty on their plate defending their own territory from the Islamic State there. And they declare they've received no such go-ahead-pals message from Turkey. So while Mr. Cavusoglu failed to provide those devilish details, it remained unclear where and how Turkey was enabling Kurdish fighters into Syria after its prolonged refusal to allow any such thing.

But Kobani-based Kurdish journalist Barzan Isso negated the statements by the Turkish foreign minister as "a Turkish political manoeuvre that has nothing to do with reality", since no Peshmerga fighters had arrived in Kobani from Syria. He did, however, speak of the American airdrop he witnessed of bundles containing "modern weapons" like anti-tank missiles, sniper rifles and large numbers of artillery shells and medicines for the besieged Kobani Kurdish fighters.

The bundles had been dropped while heavy winds prevailed leaving two bundles to land in areas held by Islamic State. For whom their normal supply route has in the last few days been disrupted, leaving them without the arms supplies they have depended on. However, he explained, Kurdish fighters were alert to retrieve one of the bundles, while the other was blown up with pinprick precision by the Americans from the air, to keep it from falling into Islamic State's eager possession.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Festering Jihadi Psychopathy

"This individual was known to federal authorities including our Integrated National Security Investigations team in Montreal who along with other authorities were concerned that he had become radicalized."
RCMP statement

He was being watched. Hard to overlook the man's dedication to Islamofascism, his Internet presence was rife with hateful statements brimming with Islamist propaganda and righteous Islamist exceptionalism arguing for death and destruction to be visited on the kuffars, and the elevation of the Islamist jihadis to world control. Hateful invective does not make a case for criminal charges and arrest in a speech-free society but that society does have limits to what can be accepted before such charges can be laid, and 25-year-old Martin "Ahmad" Rouleau seems to have gone beyond the acceptable on countless occasions.

Yesterday morning he decided obviously that he had been patient long enough, restraining himself from taking needed action against members of the Canadian military for Canada's decision to enter the conflict in Iraq to attempt to restrain the Islamic State from any further mass slaughter events. He had been primed by Islamist social media sites inveighing against the perfidious Westerners who presume to halt the inevitable sway of the Islamic Caliphate. It was time to prove his devotion to jihad.

And in that spirit he rammed his vehicle directly into two Canadian Forces members. And for his troubles was shot dead by local St-Jean-sur-Richelieu Quebec police whom he had led on a brief high-speed chase. Had he surrendered he would be facing a number of criminal charges. First-degree murder would be one of them, and discharging a terrorist-related offence, yet another. Perhaps his own inciting to violence on the Internet would have come in a distant third.
  • Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent is pictured in this Department of National Defence handout photo. Vincent was killed after being struck, along with another soldier, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., on Monday.
Canada's Integrated Threat Assessment Centre's "secret" intelligence report noted that the killing in Britain of Lee Rigby, a British serviceman, by ramming him first with a car, then stabbing him repeatedly and attempting to behead him represented the second of two attacks in six months that "appear to have targeted military personnel in public areas." Perhaps that should also have served as a heads-up that this would eventually occur in Canada as well, targeting military personnel.

And no doubt, it did. "Canadian Forces personnel and facilities have been discussed as targets by domestic extremists in the past", noted the 2013 report, released under the Access to Information Act. Calls to attack Canadians for joining the anti-ISIS coalition have been surfacing with messages posted on line, inciting attacks on Canadians.

"Yes, my message is clear" ISIS member Khalid Al-Kanadi tweeted last week. "Canada initiated attacks on the Islamic State, so Muslims in Canada, retaliate & KILL THEM WHEREVER YOU FIND THEM." Perhaps it was this message that Ahmad Rouleau responded to, and that inspired him to write among many other messages:
"Allah has promised the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the disbelievers the fire of Hell, wherein they will abide eternally. It is sufficient for them. And Allah has cursed them, and for them is an enduring punishment."

It is amazing how seriously these psychopaths take their roles in the world of exemplary dysfunction. It is disheartening as well when one of them runs amok and creates a situation of dread tragedy.

Police investigate the scene where two solders were run down southeast of Montreal on Monday Oct. 20, 2014. Maxime Deland/QMI Agency

Labels: , , , ,

Focused On Adventure

"There was no preparation. Many trekkers that came into the storm arrived without planning. Their porters had no trekking shoes or coats. It is one of the causes of their deaths. Some died because they were too cold -- it was freezing snow, five or six feet deep."
"The foreigner is the guest, the sponsor, so the foreigner comes first, it is (a) problem."
Baburam Bhandari, chief district officer, Mustang, Nepal
A Nepalese army helicopter rescues survivors of a snowstorm in Manang district.
A Nepalese army helicopter rescues survivors of a snowstorm in Manang district. Photograph: Nepal army/AFP/Getty Images
Half of the dead who perished in the blizzard and avalanche that struck a Himalayan trekking route in Nepal were Nepali porters, guides and cooks. Most of them had no warm weatherproof coats or boots to protect them from the weather. Captain Kishore Adhikari who led the Nepalese army rescue efforts, helped over 70 hikers to safety with his crews The bodies of 25 were recovered. He noted that local victims were wearing casual clothing, including flip-flops or running shoes.

One can only wonder: what were the tour operators thinking, what would have been the impression of the trekkers spending big money and handing it over to the tour operators, when they became aware, as they must surely have, since they have eyes to see with, that their guides, their cooks, their porters were grossly inadequately shod and covered. Something like visiting the slums of India and ignoring the pleas for whatever can be spared.

With the conscience-saving impression that this is simply the way people prefer to live, it's what they're familiar with, content with, and they're simply taking advantage of innocent foreigners' presence. On the other hand, Keshav Pande of the Trekking Agents Association claims that his group has offered low-cost clothing and equipment rental for porters and guides, but that many believed they had no need for them.

Likelier that they hadn't the wherewithal to pay for the low-cost rentals, and committed themselves to the staffing of the trekkers because they need to feed their families in an area that is known to be beset by poverty and privation. More to the point, why don't the tour operators who charge up to $3,000 for a three-week trek, provide the workers with protective hiking gear and themselves pay the low-cost rental?

Captain Adhikari and his rescue team recovered the 40th blizzard victim, warning that some of the dead may not be recovered until spring. Over 500 trekkers and guides were rescued since the blizzards. As for the profit realized by tour operators, "they're not spending it on the porters", said Captain Adhikari wryly. Some of whom are expected to carry equipment weighing up to 40 kilograms, and earning for their troubles as little as $16 daily.

Not only were foreign trekkers given priority treatment in the rescue effort, in part this resulted because many of them had taken travel insurance which provided helicopter evacuation for them only, not their guides and porters. The foreign visitors could leave with an easy conscience, reasoning that the guides and porters were, after all, in their home territory, however removed they might be from their actual homes.

Labels: , ,

Banishing Ebola By Banning Travel?

"I wouldn't be surprised at all if we saw a case of Ebola in Canada in the weeks or months ahead."
"[...Entry screening of travellers may be reassuring to the public] but it's unlikely to have any meaningful impact in terms of preventing the introduction of Ebola virus into Canada."
"So traveller screening, whether it's exit screening or entry screening, isn't likely to have a big impact in terms of mitigating the spread of this disease."
"This is the type of outbreak where many might feel compelled to try and close down their borders and lock the disease out. That's really almost impossible. Source control is the real priority right now."
Dr. Kamran Khan, infectious disease physician, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto

In the United States pressure is rising to have federal authorities ban flights to and from the affected regions of West Africa; Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea where there has arisen a total of 8,216 confirmed cases of Ebola resulting in 4,555 deaths to date, according to the World Health Organization. Projections into the near future -- a mere two months ahead -- conjecture the potential of 1.4-million Ebola cases diagnosed by the end of 2014.

By that time, should it occur, and the international effort to curtail the spread fail, there will be any number of Ebola cases diagnosed in Europe and North America, the Middle East and Asia, as well as an inevitable spread to the rest of Africa. That's the absolute worst-case scenario. With the belated alarm raised by the World Health Organization and the alarm felt around the world, it is entirely possible that well before that time the outbreak will be contained. And that is most certainly what everyone hopes for.

Reuters   A health worker is reflected in a mirror as he prepares protective equipment in Sierra Leone’s capital city, Freetown. Cuba has dispatched 165 health workers to the country to combat the Ebola outbreak.

Nations outside Africa are sending volunteer medical staff to help in the massive effort to stem the Ebola tide. Cuba, famous for its 'barefoot doctors' and its propensity over the years to send its physicians abroad to aid less developed countries when health scares such as this arises, has pledged to send 300 health workers to aid in the fight against the spread of Ebola.

There are any number of courageous, dedicated health workers from around the international community who have travelled to West Africa to aid how and wherever they can at risk to themselves. If a travel ban into and out of the countries involved occurs, the ban would make it impossible for such international volunteers to reach the sites requiring their assistance. Nor would medical equipment be permitted entry, further complicating matters.

Any medical personnel from abroad who become infected would then be forced to remain where they are, without the more advanced hygienic methods used in the West available to them, where water is plentiful and the luxury of technical advances can be applied, along with whatever ameliorating protocols can be advanced, from using blood transfusions from those who have survived Ebola, to experimental drugs.

An analysis published in the medical journal The Lancet, interpreted the expected number of internationally exported cases of Ebola virus, based on epidemic conditions and flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The analysis team projects that three travellers infected with Ebola virus will depart their affected regions on commercial flights very month, on average. And the risk of transmission increases the longer the Ebola outbreak persists, and grows, according to study co-author Dr. Kamran Khan.

In their bid to estimate the potential for Ebola spread internationally Dr. Khan and his colleagues examined the size of each country's population, the number of active cases reported and the volume of outbound travellers leaving those affected areas. The research team estimated that for commercial airports where direct flights from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone are absent, on average 2,512 travellers would have to be screened to identify one traveller originating from one of the three countries.

While exit screening takes place in the three affected countries, cases are certain to be missed, with the reality of the long incubation period -- up to 21 days -- when people may be infected, but do not yet show any symptoms, which was just what occurred with Thomas Eric Duncan whose Ebola fever showed up days after he landed in Texas, and who ended up contaminating a large swath of area, from the plane he arrived in to the apartment he stayed within to the Texas Presbyterian Health Hospital where transmission infected two health-care workers.

Labels: , , ,

Kobane is bearing the brunt as its women fight on

Amid the worry accompanying the siege imposed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters on the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane, Arab criticism and restlessness surfaced despite the heated situation in the city and the fierce fighting on the ground.
This restlessness was frank and rather rude at some points despite all the deaths and the possibilities of relapse in the city.

So according to some, the city is not called Kobane but Ain al-Arab, the Arab name for the city. Only the Arabs could seek to control the name of a city with Kurdish inhabitants. Let them stop protesting and demanding their linguistic and cultural rights as they have no choice other than fading into this Arab world and cancelling all differences. At this point, it’s also okay to admonish the media attention in Kobane and ask “why did you forget Daraya, Homs and other Syrian cities but remember Kobane? Is it because you suffer from the complex of minorities while the majority suffer worse?”
The peak of this unease and restlessness was voiced via writers, columnists and comments stating that there’s an “exaggerated” celebration of the Kurdish female fighters’ participation in the battles in Kobane. Those observers commented that this apparent exaggeration in celebrating these female fighters is based on some form of orientalism, God forbid!

Such criticism is being considered as subjective criticism without any Baathist or nationalist suspicions surrounding it. Of course, the city’s reality is that it is besieged by complications – the Turkish factor mixed with the Syrian Kurdish factor.

We cannot deny the truth that Kobane is another chapter in Syria’s dramatic recent history and that other cities have suffered what Kobane has suffered and that what the Kurds are going through is an extension of their historical suffering that does not diminish others’ sacrifices. However, this does not mean that the Kurds are only to fail in their ordeal and will find no one to sympathize with them.

Kobane and its people will not bear the responsibility of the West abandoning the Syrians and leaving them to their fate against a criminal regime and its extremist fighters. What was referred to as an orientalist vision in celebrating the Kurdish female fighters is also a mystification of this very same perspective when those celebrating Kurdish female fighters realized that the environment which produced these fighters has also produced a high rate of honor killings. So when noticing this is apparent orientalism, who said we cannot adopt this from the West? The West is not home to only negative values and when we engage in revolutions and in values linked to freedom and human rights, we don’t bring these values from the East.

Those criticizing our orientalism must check Google right away to fight out how many Syrian cities and non-Kurdish Syrian women have been celebrated.

The world is unjustly treating the Syrians by not seriously working to end their ordeal. This is true. But celebrating Kobane did not bring about an orientalist rhetoric but a deep-rooted Baathist and nationalist one. There will be no freedom for us, the Kurds and all other factions in the East unless we get rid of this latter rhetoric just like we hope to get rid of ISIS and of tyrannical regimes.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on October 21, 2014.
Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Definitely Not Good For The Jews

"As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the [anti-ISIL] coalition ... there wasn't a leader I met with in the region who didn't raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt they had to respond to."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
United States Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the airport in Jakarta on Monday. Kerry caused anger among right-wing MPs when he suggested that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would help the campaign to defeat the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).
BRIAN SNYDER/AFP/Getty Images    United States Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the airport in Jakarta on Monday. Kerry caused anger among right-wing MPs when he suggested that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would help the campaign to defeat the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).
"It turns out that even when a British Muslim decapitates a British Christian, there will always be someone to blame the Jew."
Israeli MK Naftali Bennett

The American State Department is swift to respond, that what Mr. Kerry said wasn't what he said in that he said it but didn't mean what readers of the statement extract from it respecting its meaning, and in any event it was taken out of context. The context being the endless state of conflict in the Middle East and how undiplomatic it would be to suggest even in passing that there is a universal pathology in the geography that urges the Muslim states to leap for the jugular of the other.

Israel could solve everything in the Arab/Muslim world by simply surrendering to the call of the Palestinian Authority to agree to the 'right of return', to hand over East Jerusalem and with it, Judaism's most sacred symbol, and to sit back and wait for an independent Palestinian State to fully arm and commit to persuading Israel by force of arms that it doesn't really want to remain on Palestinian land it has mistakenly taken for its state, if sheer force of numbers doesn't do the trick first.

That is, when internal conflict within each of the states is given a rest from the perpetual cycle of tribal, ethnic, sectarian hatred so deep that emotions can only be served by the slaughter each takes turn on inflicting on the other. It is Israel's deep and abiding shame that it is responsible for this mass dysfunction. If Israel was indeed tasked by heaven to be a light unto the world through demonstrating that though its citizens suffer from disagreeable opposition to one another, they refrain from murdering one another, it has failed.

To Israel's sagging burden of failure must be added Sudan's misfortune respecting Darfur, when its helicopter gunships and the Arab janjaweed mercilessly slaughtered black Sudanese, raped tens of thousands of Darfurian women and girls, created hundreds of thousands of Darfurian refugees, and the International Criminal Court wrong-headedly blamed the government in Khartoum instead of Israel; guess they erred.

But in its failure externally and its successes internally it infuriates by its example the neighbours surrounding it; initially by proving the capacity and capability of a small state with limited means in manpower and weaponry to resist the resolve of massed troops representing the power of the surrounding Arab states, to remove it from the geography of the Middle East. Since the last of those wars and two subsequent peace treaties, Israel's success at growing itself stands as a moral rebuke.

That there is something in the Arab/Muslim psyche that agitates continually to conquest, to contain and override neighbours' own ambitions that leads them to the disease and unrest that brings on conflicts appears a widespread malady of irresistible presence, overriding the practicality of unity, of the purported usefulness of seeing a shared religion bringing harmony, clouding the reality of a shared heritage, geography and future.

All of which owes to the presence of the State of Israel. The classical dysfunction of the Arab States in dealing with their internal and external inability to function outside the totalitarian mould, to accept with equanimity and generosity those values that bind them in a historical context, to confer upon themselves the human possibility of tolerance and acceptance simply seems to forever elude them as they jockey for position and plot against one another.

Israel's fault. Jihad too is Israel's fault, for if it were not for Israel's presence, the terrorist groups that thrive in the Middle East would not hate and seek to destroy Christian elements of their very own societies that much predate Islam. Without Israel's presence, Sunnis would not visit mass slaughter on Shiites, and Shiites would never think to obliterate all traces of hated Sunni presence, as the Islamic Republic of Iran has in mind, working toward nuclear warheads.

Even so justified it is beyond difficult to figure why a man with global experience, well versed in the art of diplomacy and the understanding of the weight of his office would utter such a naively incredible statement signalling that he understands well the religious umbrage that wreaks rage within the Middle East against the presence of a Jewish state. Giving it the unmistakable credence that his agency lends to it, as his mouth disgorged the libel.

Anyway ... Jews are so prickly ... sigh ... so quick to take offence.

Labels: , , , ,

The Middle East: Supreme Dysfunction

"The enemy has made a decision to make Kobani his main effort."
 "Now, my goal is to defeat and ultimately destroy ISIL. And if he continues to present us with major targets, as he has done in the Kobani area, then clearly, we’ll service those targets."
U.S. General Lloyd J. Austin, head, Central Command, Syria

"ISIS is retreating and we are advancing. Airstrikes destroyed most of their heavy weapons, Those who are left in the city center don’t have a way out."
"We caused ISIS losses in equipment and souls. The battle will be ending soon."
Abu Hasan, Syrian antigovernment Commander fighting alongside Kurds, Kobani

From the hills of Suruc, Turkey, Syrian Kurds can see the battle raging in their city, Kobani, besieged by the Islamic State. Credit Aris Messinis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Imagine, an ideological/religio movement specializing in abhorrently vicious atrocities the better to horrify its target audience, but with a strike force of an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 dedicated fighter-slaughterers holding at bay the great United States of America. Well, that's not right, is it? It's the Central Command of the United States holding the Islamic State group at bay, right? To enable the less experienced and poorly armed Kurds to defend the border city that ISIS is determined to capture.

Given that ISIS is its own press office, has mastered public relations techniques to a most useful degree of professionalism, enabling it to graphically show to the world at large, as well as its admiring followers, the extent of ghastly, menacing atrocities it is capable of, the fact that better armed and larger military groups than it represents melts before its inexorable advance, is partially explained.

Some members of the Iraqi military, at the ISIS advance on Mosul, evidently shed their uniforms and buried them, to enable them to surrender in civilian clothing, in the hope that this would safeguard them from death. That little ploy did no such thing, but it did serve to show the world that the Iraqi military, comprised in large part by Iraqi Shiites while the Iraqi government gave former Sunni members of the military short shrift, haven't what it takes to defend themselves.

Meticulously and professionally trained by American military trainers, munificently armed by American largess, Iraq's military still was incapable of standing firm and meeting the oncoming enemy. An enemy that had managed to successfully build around itself an impenetrable cocoon of brutal might that no ordinary military could defend against. This group of jihadists, Iraqis and a motley collection of happily-brutal psychopaths from across the Muslim world has completely emasculated the Arab male warrior set.

In Syria, the Sunni Syrian majority rebelled and for their troubles the regime served them notice that it was prepared to act in a manner quite as ferociously brutal as the ISIS militias later showed themselves capable of. Perhaps they took inspiration from Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, reasoning that if it worked for him to call in his terrorist Lebanese Hezbollah assets and the terrorist Iranian al-Quds it could work for them as well.

This, in a geography where tribal and sectarian and ethnic-cultural conflict is endemic, never-ending, always prepared to erupt, as Lebanon before the Arab Spring with its fallout from push-back against corrupt, brutal totalitarian rule demonstrated. Since ISIS has such limited numbers to rely upon to keep the Caliphate growing, and it must advance as well as defend itself from international intervention it cannot be the mighty threat it is made out to be.

The U.S.-led coalition set on airstrikes to bomb the ISIS sites of command, control and supply will wreak the kind of havoc that the supreme jihadist group will surely not be capable of surmounting. By celebrating their imminent takeover of Kobani, as easily as Mosul was taken and all the towns and cities between Syria and Iraqi that have fallen to it, with Baghdad close on the agenda, ISIS simply inspires more fear, fear that becomes more resonant than the reality of their thin ranks.

With the aid of those air strikes reluctantly directed toward Kobani by the U.S., the Syrian Kurds have indeed appeared to stop the Islamic State jihadis in their tracks; a week earlier they were reputed to have taken 50% of the city, now it's claimed they have left one-third of what they formerly had taken. The ISIS jihadis had lost their supply lines and were no longer able to move freely in and out of the city. The military powers of the Middle East could well have accomplished what the U.S. has, to date, but did not.

And the reason is the same as the reason for their incessant conflicts; an abiding hatred for one another; tribally, sectarian antipathy, ethnically, ideologically pathologies of historical dimensions and oppositional distaste of a graveyard variety. Rivalries and irritations, aspirations and simmering rage from Saudi Arabia to Iran, and all others in between; Yemen, Qatar, Syria, Sudan, Turkey and Egypt. All jockeying for power and recognition. And all supporting terror.

Welcome to the Middle East.

Labels: , , , , ,

"Then Spit In His Face"

"The individual who struck the two CAF [Canadian Armed Forces] members with his car is known to federal authorities, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team."
"Federal authorities have confirmed that there are clear indications that the individual had become radicalized. As Canada’s national security agencies have said, Canadians should remain vigilant."
Jason MacDonald, spokesman, Prime Minister Harper

"We are aware of these reports. They’re obviously extremely troubling … We’re closely monitoring the situation and obviously we will make available all of the resources of the federal government."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, House of Commons, Question Period, Monday, 20 October

ahmad rouleau
From Ummaland social network for Muslims: "Ahmed the Convert"

On Monday, a 25-year-old man from Quebec who had converted to Islam, appears to have deliberately targeted two Canadian servicemen who were in a mall in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, with his vehicle. Of the two men struck by the vehicle one at least is in very serious condition. It might appear at this moment that this man, who evidently is known to security forces in Canada, took very seriously the instructions issued over social media by Islamic State in their propaganda message.
“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”
“If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops. If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face.”

ISIS issued a call to the faithful within the jihadi community to attack and "slaughter soldiers" wherever they can be found. Two members of the Canadian military were evidently found by Martin Ahmed Rouleau in a commercial plaza parking lot. Police responded quickly as the man sped from the scene of his crime, treated at first as a hit-and-run event. A high-speed chase ensued during which the man lost control of his car and it flipped.

Surete du Quebec police investigators at the scene of a police shooting following a hit and run in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu near Montreal on Monday October 20, 2014.
Allen McInnis/Postmedia News   Surete du Quebec police investigators at the scene of a police shooting following a hit and run in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu near Montreal on Monday October 20, 2014.

When he emerged from the vehicle, he was fatally shot by Sûreté du Québec police. There was an awareness by authorities that members of the Canadian Forces could be vulnerable to some kind of attack, whether internally or from without Canada. The Department of National Defence went to the trouble of preventing reporters from interviewing members of the military set to leave to take part in Canada's part of the mission to Iraq. Nor were their family members open to interviews.

This event certainly highlights the need for security and awareness. And illustrates that assumed safety within Canada from jihadist-inspired attacks may be an illusion under circumstances such as these.

Labels: , ,

Mahmoud Abbas's TV Says Israel Poisoned Gaza Wells

'Moderate' Palestinian authority revives medieval libels against Jews, says poison was used as 'war strategy'.

By Arutz Sheva
First Publish: 10/19/2014, 6:12 PM

Poison libel on PA TV
Poison libel on PA TV

Two of the most destructive anti-Semitic blood libels of the Middle Ages have been brought back to life by the Palestinian Authority to promote hatred of Israelis, reports the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

In July, the official PA daily wrote that Jews use the blood of Palestinian children as the ingredient in matzah – unleavened bread – for the holiday of Passover, as reported by PMW.

Last month, official PA TV revived another medieval libel reporting as news that Israel was intentionally "injecting poison" into Palestinian water sources as a "war strategy" during the recent Gaza war:
Official PA TV newsreader: "Water experts have warned of the consequences of the attack by the occupation [Israel] on water wells, as a result of its use of poisonous bombs that threaten public health..."
Official PA TV reporter: "The policy of attacking water wells is a war strategy used by the occupation in its aggression against Gaza. Not only were the people deprived of water, but poison was also injected into main [water] sources, destroying agriculture." [Official PA TV, Sept. 24, 2014]

Both these libels were used to promote hatred in the Middle Ages and led to the murder of many thousands of Jews. The non-Jewish populations felt that slaughtering Jews was justified because they believed that Jews posed an imminent threat of poisoning wells and killing non-Jewish children.

In July, Abbas' official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, wrote that Jews offer their God "sacrifices during Passover in the form of Matzah – unleavened bread – made from the blood of our children." This libel from the Middle Ages was used by the writer Yahya Rabah, who writes regularly for the official PA daily and is a member of the Fatah Leadership Committee in Gaza, as justification for aiming rockets at Israeli civilians during the recent Gaza war:
"We have nothing with which to speak to these Israeli murderers, who go too far with their crimes, and whose God, 'Yahweh', is called the Lord of Hosts and demands, according to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, that they offer him sacrifices during Passover in the form of Matzah made from the blood of our children. We have nothing with which to open a dialogue but these rockets." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 12, 2014]

Yet a third classic Antisemitic libel was presented in Abbas' paper as "proof" of the Jews using blood for Matzah, namely that this practice is mentioned in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Protocols were written by the Russian secret police in order to promote hatred of Jews and presented in 1903 as an authentic Jewish document detailing an alleged Jewish plan to subjugate the world.
This libel was promoted successfully by many, including Hitler, prior to World War II.

The PA, as a policy, demonizes Jews and Israelis, and PMW has shown that it regularly presents The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as an authentic Jewish work.

In addition to the classic blood libels, PMW has documented a range of original PA libels disseminated by PA officials and official media that serve to demonize Jews and Israelis and disseminate hatred.

For unexplained reasons, Israel has not made negotiations with the PA conditional on a cessation of incitement. The Israeli government has, however, set up a body whose function is the monitoring of PA incitement, and has pointed at a direct connection between incitement and murderous terror acts carried out by PA residents.

Labels: , , ,

Israeli Hospital Confirms: We Treated Hamas Chief Haniyeh’s Daughter

October 19, 2014
Ismail Haniyeh with Palestinian toddler. Illustration
Ismail Haniyeh with Palestinian toddler. Illustration.

In one of several such known cases, an Israeli hospital on Sunday acknowledged that it had recently provided medical treatment to a family member of Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, Israel’s NRG News reported.

The daughter of Gaza Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, was transferred to Israel for several days of medical treatment in Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, after suffering complications from routine treatment in a Gaza hospital, Israeli officials confirmed.

Haniyeh’s daughter is one of 13 children. Hospital officials declined to offer details of her status or medical condition, saying only that “She is only one of more than a thousand patients from the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian territories, hospitalized each year for treatment here.”

In November, 2013, the hospital treated Haniyeh’s granddaughter, who died of complications, after she was returned to Gaza.
In June, Haniyeh’s mother-in-law was treated in a Jerusalem hospital.

An Israeli official said that, while he could not discuss specific patients from the Gaza Strip, in most cases, requests come through Palestinian doctors, suggesting the Islamist leader may not have been personally involved in the decision to send his daughter for treatment in Israel.

Also in June, Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv announced that it had treated the wife of Palestinian Authority Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, at the same time army search crews frantically sought three Israeli teens kidnapped by Hamas in the West Bank. The three were later found murdered in a shallow grave.

During Operation Protective Edge over the summer, dozens of Palestinians wounded in the fighting were taken for treatment in Israel, at Israeli taxpayer expense.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Islamic State Air Farce

"People saw the flights, they went up many times from the airport and they are flying in the skies outside the airport and coming back."
Rami Abdurrahman, director, Observatory for Human Rights, Britain

"The possession of these aircrafts will have a minimal military impact - however, they will provide a significant psychological boost to Islamic State, especially if ISIS can find a way to periodically employ them against military or civilian targets."
Richard Brennan, Iraq expert, RAND Corporation
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims Isis militants are learning to fly captured fighter jets
"We’re not aware of ISIS conducting any flight operations in Syria or elsewhere."
"We continue to keep a close eye on ISIS activity in Syria and Iraq and will continue to conduct strikes against their equipment, facilities, fighters and centres of gravity, wherever they may be."
Colonel Patrick Ryder, U.S. Central Command

ISIS test-flying warplanes in Syria? Another exploit for the Islamist jihadis? They've taken possession of all manner of armoured vehicles, advanced weaponry from the fleeing Iraqi military, why not from airbases overrun in Syria? The Jarrah air base in Syria was captured first by al-Qaeda's Syrian branch, the Nusra Front in 2013. And then the base became the conquested concern of ISIS in 2014.

Now, Mr. Abdurrahman with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights insists that former Iraqi officers who had served under Saddam Hussein as pilots are on the scene, teaching their Sunni terrorist allies the art of flying MiG fighter jets. The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham never had it so good. Everyone and everything coming their way. Volunteers from Europe and North America to make up the deficit of those killed in U.S. and allied air strikes, cash donations flooding in....

General Lloyd Austin, top American commander for the Middle East, denies that intelligence has raised the issue. No operational reports of ISIS flying jets have been reported. Nor is there any information to share about Iraqi pilots defecting to ISIS. On the other hand, an Iraqi intelligence official counters that his government is aware of a number of ex-Iraqi military officers travelling to Syria to train ISIS terrorists.

Fighters of the Islamic State wave the group's flag from a damaged display of a government fighter jet following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria Isis fighters wave the group's flag from a damaged captured fighter jet in Syria
He was evidently aware that ISIS had acquired warplanes from Al-Tabaqa air base in Syria. But not, he hastened to add, when they took over from the Iraqi military in Mosul. Not to worry. Syria and Iraq militaries both are in possession of man-portable-air-defence-systems. To, you know, shoot down the ISIS flights should they be presenting themselves as targets. Neither military has yet shown themselves capable of prevailing in direct conflict with the ISIS upstarts, but they can handle jets flown by them.

The Observatory spokesman claims the planes have been witnessed flying over the Jarrah air base in the eastern countryside of Syria's Aleppo province. They were identified to be MiG-21 and MiG-23s flying at a low altitude, "Apparently to avoid being detected by Syrian military radar in the area". Imagine, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham capable of suppressing their penchant for ululating victory, and taking cautionary steps to avoid detection, instead. Amazing.

The flights, said Mr. Abdurrahman, represented an ISIS "moral victory", a surprising statement which doesn't appear to have been elaborated upon. "The jets could not fly much further without being knocked down", he said, by the U.S.-led coalition busy conducting air strikes in Iraq and Syria. Terrorist websites had posted photographs of ISIS fighters with the warplanes, but what was left to conjecture was whether the planes were in operational condition.

They're on a roll. They've taken possession of looted artillery, of chemical weaponry, and tracked armoured vehicles and a whole expansively vast lootbag of advanced weaponry. Now they can (maybe) boast an air fleet, as befits a state, even an Islamic State. What's next?

Labels: , , , , ,

Germany's Islamist Tide

"As a society we must ask ourselves: how can it be that people who live in Germany and in large part are born and raised here, are supporters of a brutal, inhuman and fundamentalist terror group such as the IS and attack peaceful protestors with knives, sticks and machetes. Here in Germany, the IS threatens to become a refuge for frustrated young people who lack future prospects." -- Claudia Roth, German Green Party
Well she has it part right. But as is typical of a leftist whose major concern is that immigrants must be coddled and if they don't succeed in the society to which they have migrated it must be because of innate prejudice on the part of the indigenous population whose hateful attitudes keep "young people" from reaching their aspirations in "future prospects", and this is why they are turned to becoming willing recruits for violent jihad, making common cause with the destiny of their heritage, and wreaking havoc on the deserving Western interests that have failed them.

Violent: Police walk through the mist of a water cannon during clashes in Hamburg, northern Germany, between Kurdish protesters and alleged Islamists after demonstrations outside a mosque turned violent
Violent: Police walk through the mist of a water cannon during clashes in Hamburg, northern Germany, between Kurdish protesters and alleged Islamists after demonstrations outside a mosque turned violent

Other German politicians, on the other hand, who are alarmed at the clear and frightening signals that Muslim immigration to Germany has been fraught with danger that is now becoming increasingly obvious and make no excuses for the proclivity of Muslim second-generation recruits to violent jihad, are increasingly facing death threats from their own citizens. Tobias Huch of the Free Democratic Party was more than once threatened with beheading in response to his having led a fundraising campaign for humanitarian aid provisioning to Kurds in northern Iraq. "I am not afraid, but I have become more careful", he stated, forced to make lifestyle changes in hopes of being less vulnerable to attack.

Ismail Tipi of the ruling CDU has criticized the rise of militant Salafism in Germany and he notes: "I receive threats almost every day. The death threats against me have no limits. The Salafists want to behead me, shoot me, stone me, execute me and they have many other death wishes for me." None of them to be considered the least bit salubrious for his future well-being as a token of regard for his concern for the public weal and rejection of religious fascism. He no doubt finds small comfort in the words of his political colleague Wolfgang Bosbach whose opinion it is that: "Under no circumstances should they [politicians who receive death threats] give in and change their stance, otherwise the extremists will have achieved their objectives."

Crackdown: Police forces march in front of water cannons as they move in to stop the clashes in Hamburg
Crackdown: Police forces march in front of water cannons as they move in to stop the clashes in Hamburg

The German domestic intelligence agency, Bundesamt fur Ferfassungsschutz [BfV] revealed in their 2013 annual report (published June 2014) that Germany is blessed with 30 active Islamist groups, and 43,000 Islamists, including 950 members of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah beloved of the Republic of Iran, along with 1,300 members of the Muslim Brotherhoo9d, and 5,500 Salafists. ISIS-approving German-Muslims groups have been making their presence very obvious of late in Germany, in reaction to events taking place in Munich, Berlin, Bremen, Gottingen, Hamm, Hanover, Kiel, Oldenburg and Stuttgart in the face of "Solidarity with Kobani", demonstrations led by Kurdish citizens of Germany.

Protesters waving Kurdish flags in support of the embattled and beleaguered Syrian Kurds desperately fighting to keep the Islamic State groups from taking full possession of Kobani, have been met by Salafists armed with baseball bats, brass knuckles, knives, machetes and metal rods. One of these brawls took place on October 7 when 400 Kurds assembled outside the Al-Nour mosque in Hamburg's St.George district. Their peaceful protest attracted a rival group of like-numbered Salafists. Over a thousand police officers responded, using batons and water cannons. Hundreds of weapons were seized and violent offenders arrested.

Police expressed shock at the level of violence. The chairman of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, reported the police had "experienced life-threatening brute force", that attacking Islamists were armed "to the teeth", warning that the IS-Kurdish conflict has the potential to "threaten to unleash a proxy war on German soil." That same day dozens of Chechen Muslim immigrants fought with Kurdish Yazidis, the sect persecuted in Iraq by Islamic State, in a town in Lower Saxony where over 7,000 Yazidis live, injuring their victims in a conflict fuelled when radical Muslim preachers sent a call over social media to Islamists to confront the Yazidis.

The radically anti-Western Salafism with which the Middle East itself is grappling -- and which has its comfortable home in the Wahhabism practised in Saudi Arabia and exported abroad, along with their Shiite-Islamist purist counterpart that engulfed Iran with the Iranian Revolution brought the Islamic Republic of Iran into being with the return from exile of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 after the fall of Shah Reza Pahlavi's moderate Islamic regime -- seeks, where it exists in the West, to replace democracy with an Sharia-law-based Islamic government.

Through the general migration of Muslims to European soil, an influx of varied tribal, ethnic, sectarian and historical animosities has taken root. While those adhering faithfully and dangerously (to the West) to Salafism; political-ideological Islam, are purported to represent a minority of Muslims, they have realized success in impressing young European-based Muslims, susceptible to the persuasion that it is their religious duty to be taken up with appropriate zeal, to perpetrate terrorist acts in the name of jihad, which Islam imposes upon the faithful.

Police confront  protesting Kurds: Police in the northern German city say 14 people were injured overnight in the violence involving hundreds of demonstrators wielding machetes and iron bars
Police confront protesting Kurds: Police in the northern German city say 14 people were injured overnight in the violence involving hundreds of demonstrators wielding machetes and iron bars

Labels: , , , ,

() Follow @rheytah Tweet