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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Superior Public Relations Wins the Contest; Mutilating Atrocities Come in Second

"What Al-Qaeda has been doing is to try to carry out spectacular attacks on its own and show capacity."
Fawaz A.Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern politics, London School of Economics

"There is a sense among Al-Qaeda that they had to act now in order to forestall any attempts by the Islamic State to seize the area."
Anonymous journalist, Yemen
"It isn’t hard to understand the appeal: al Shabab’s insurgency in Somalia is faltering against both African Union and Somali forces, whereas ISIS has made incredible gains in Syria. For now, much of the agitation to join ISIS appears to be coming from the foreign fighters within the group. This may be because their ideological commitment to global jihad, which brought them to Somalia in the first place, has led them to conclude that Syria is now the most important battlefield for the future of Islam. According to recent reports, al Shabab leaders have already detained five foreign fighters under suspicion of working to shift the group’s allegiances to ISIS. Judging from the fate of other fighters who have defied his leadership, their prospects are grim."
Foreign Affairs
ISIS fighters
Fighters from the Islamic State posted on a militant website on Jan. 14, 2014 (AP / Militant Website)

There's a large enough geography to be contested by Islamists, and one might imagine room for all exists to express their devotion to Islamist jihad but human nature is volatile and jealous and the two main groups of Islamist zeal for the jugular are each trying to outdo the other, proving their Islamist credentials. It wasn't all that long ago that mentioning the name of al-Qaeda would send cold shivers of dread down anyone's spine. They have since become passe, and it surely cannot be because of the absence of Osama bin Laden, their guiding light.

And it does seem just a trifle absurd that the leadership of al-Qaeda finds the indiscriminate slaughter carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant too gruesome to be Islamic in nature. The well-planned and -executed death by passenger jets aimed as missiles against the World Trade Towers with its exorbitant death toll surely represented an excess of Islamist zeal to satisfy bloodlust against the Infidels and Jews.

And in point of fact, all that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is doing in dispatching the same targets with beheadings and crucifixions and other imaginative forms of death-dealing is only what countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan institutionally have in store for those who defy Islam, after all? But there it is, al-Qaeda expresses contempt for ISIL and ISIL dedicates itself to extolling the virtues of its martyrdom campaign as superior to al-Qaeda's.

And reality demonstrates that those migrating in support of these vast death squads of Islam are abandoning al-Qaeda and affiliates in favour of ISIL. Mind, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is capable of matching ISIL, atrocity-for-atrocity and just as proud of it, but they value their separate identities as messengers of Allah's jihad and compete for supporters' admiration and recruitment. Their competition is in fact, the fuel sparking many conflicts, held to be breeding Islamist radicalism apace.

Wherever each has situated itself it works to exploit dissatisfaction and to indoctrinate the locals with their ideologies. ISIL certainly has outdistanced al-Qaeda with the quality of its professionally-produced propaganda, appealing to greater numbers of wannabe jihadis, whom the West loves to address as 'vulnerable Muslim youth'. Its imaginative style of attacks, its formidable reputation, its zest and zeal for mass rape and enslavement holds out appeal to 'vulnerable Muslim youth'.

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Iraqi Military Rediscovering Courage

Iraq's military says it has liberated the city of Ramadi from ISIL after re-taking a key government complex [Reuters]

"Yes, the city of Ramadi has been liberated. The Iraqi counterterrorism forces have raised the Iraqi flag over the government complex in Anbar." 
"This is a new chapter in the history of the country."
Brigadier General Yahya Rasool

"2016 will be the year of the big and final victory, when Daesh's presence in Iraq will be terminated."
"We are coming to liberate Mosul and it will be the fatal and final blow to Daesh."
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
"Mosul will be the main prize for both sides in this conflict, and so it won't be any time soon -- not in the first half of 2016, and probably not the second half either."
"If you speak to the Iraqi army, they say that [the slow pace of the attack to retake Ramadi] is because of lack of U.S. air support, while if you speak to the U.S. military, it is because of the lack of leadership and lack of [Iraqi military] capacity."
"But either way, the Iraqi army is currently very slow and risk-averse, and that is why taking Mosul will take a lot longer than people think."
Toby Dodge, Iraq expert, London School of Economics
'Risk-averse' is naming the inability of the Iraqi army to muster the courage of their spoken convictions into action, far more kindly than it deserves. Iraq's Haider al-Abadi speaks with the typical bombast of an Arab, vowing that his forces are more than capable of restoring Iraq's second largest city to government hands. The provincial capital of Ramadi, west of Baghdad has been in the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant since May.

And it is painfully obvious, but not very diplomatic to point out that without the air cover given Iraqi troops by American fire power from above, there would have been no success in Ramadi.  ISIL had, after all, left a mere handful of its men behind to protect the city, no more than two hundred, while the Iraqi troops numbered in the thousands. Of course there were improvised explosive devices buried here and there, and the Iraqi military, being 'risk-averse' was necessarily detained.

It took a week of largely urban combat, fighting in the streets to rout the ISIL militia, but finally Iraqi troops were able to raise their national flag over the government compound. Iraq's military has long since distinguished itself by its frail fighting capabilities. Capabilities supported and built around American tutelage in combat techniques, and using American weapons and military rolling stock, all of which, combat expertise and weaponry were hurriedly abandoned with the approach of ISIL.

When ISIL fighters entered Ramadi to begin with their numbers were modest, unlike those of the Iraqi army which has a penchant of precipitously departing the scene of a military challenge, leaving the field of victory to whomever has the most frightful reputation of blood-letting, and ISIL simply won hands down; it was their reputation that preceded them, before given the opportunity through meeting Iraqi troops in combat to prove that the reputation had been well earned.

One resident of Ramadi after the ISIL fighters had departed advised that they had apologized for "abandoning" Ramadi citizens but they had left hope/anxiety, as they "promised to be back. Some of the citizens went back to their homes and have put white flags on rooftops awaiting the Iraqi army arrival", said the resident, speaking by telephone. Well, they would; whoever the invaders would be in a turn-about game of possession alternating with withdrawal, residents are resigned.

According to US. military spokesman Col. Steve Warren in Baghdad: "Today's success is a proud moment for Iraq. The clearance of the government centre is a significant accomplishment and is the result of many months of hard work by the Iraqi army, the counterterrorism service, the Iraqi air force, local and federal police, and tribal fighters", he said, in an excess of bumph. Of course the U.S.-led air coalition has struck over 630 times, trained security forces and provided advice and equipment to clear bombs and booby traps.

"The Iraqi army has improved but to take Mosul is going to take thousands and thousands of soldiers, and one question is whether those soldiers are ready at this point."
"It could well be that next year by this time that ISIS is pushed out of Iraq and Iraq has restored its borders, but anybody that thinks that is the beginning of the end of ISIS I think doesn't understand that ISIS has truly metastatised inside the region." "We are going to be fighting this long war for a generation."
Mark Kimmitt, former US assistant secretary of political and military affairs

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Will the Most Qualified Candidate Please Step Forward?

Russian ICBMs
Russian RS-24 Yars/SS-27 Mod 2 solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missiles roll through Red Square in Moscow during the World War II Victory Day Parade, May 9, 2015. Photo: Reuters
"Before Ukraine, the question on Montenegro [joining NATO] was, 'What's the point? It's so small'."
"The question isn't whether NATO is relevant, but what is NATO relevant for? [With the] re-emergence of the Russian threat, Ukraine, concerns in Central Europe and the Balkans, we need NATO."
"But how relevant is NATO for the threats from the south? That's the big subject now."
Derek Chollet, former U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs

"There has been a tug of war between eastern and southern members about priorities, but now the east sees a Russian threat in the south, too, while the south sees a new conventional threat, as in the east."
"Now we see a decision to boost air defenses off Turkey and put guided missile destroyers in the Black Sea and have more naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean -- it's a similar program of reassurance as the one for the east."
Rem Korteweg, Center for European Reform, London
U.S., NATO Warships Show Support As Russia-Turkey Naval Tension Rises
The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Ross passes through the Bosphorus straits on December 3. (photo: U.S. Navy)
"Ever since Russia went into Crimea and eastern Ukraine, people see NATO's traditional mission of Article 5 [defence of one on the part of all] as more important again."
"It was always in the background, but people were sitting around doing contingency planning on possible threats. Now that's changed."
Senior Obama administration official

"There's a new urgency [to reassure eastern members like Poland and the Baltics] which feel under a lot of pressure."
"NATO has just woken up in time, but it has woken up."
British defense secretary Michael Fallon
Formed during the era of the Cold War post World War Two, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization might have seen its demise with the disintegration of the USSR when the world breathed a sigh of relief that tensions were relaxed and the Soviet Union no longer represented a potential threat as a Communist colossus against the democratic free world led by the United States. And then, along came Vladimir V. Putin and everything changed.

Well, not quite, there were a few other little matters that NATO was engaged in, the least of which was the Bosnian-Serb war and the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban; one was primarily an aerial bombing mission that spelled the end to a bloody conflict, the other was a fully engaged mission which simply prolonged the agony of Afghanistan still afflicted by the Taliban. And then came Russia's proxy entrance into Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

In the aftermath of which came Russia's entry into the air over Syria, championing Bashar al-Assad's bloody tyranny which has created the world's largest refugee phenomenon; 7 million internally displaced and over 4 million exited Syria to flood into Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Europe. Now, when the 28-member NATO alliance meet, the discussion lingers on Ukraine and focuses on Syria.
And, of course, Turkey, a NATO member-country that has clashed with Russia.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant looms large in the geography's complex conflicted zones. Ankara thought it wise to shoot down a Russian warplane, further antagonizing relations between Turkey/NATO and Moscow; a livid Vladimir Putin focusing on Syrian rebels rather than Islamic State which had just recently smuggled a bomb onto a Russian passenger jet leaving from Egypt's Sinai, killing all St.Petersburg-bound Russians aboard, in no mood to forgive.

The Russian President was angered enough when the United States decided NATO would deploy anti-ballistic installations in eastern Europe, Russia's near-abroad, its geographic bailiwick, in its former USSR dependent-states. Assurances by then-President Bush -- whose look deep into President Putin's eyes convinced him they could work well together  -- that the missile defence system was a reaction to any possible attacks from Iran, cut no ice.

And when Moscow could plainly see its former satellites anxiously lining up for membership with NATO, that represented one insulting assault on Russian sensibilities too many. Oil revenues were strong, and it was time to renew the country's military appurtenances, and Moscow lost no time in investing in just that, burnishing the patriotism and pride of the Russian populace who finally had a president they could applaud.

Now, the degenerating position of mistrust and antagonism between Russia and NATO has plunged to Cold War levels of delicate diplomacy. Burdened by the reality that Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan is as brutishly reactive as is Vladimir Putin, yet as a member of NATO, must be seen to be surrounded by supporters in its NATO membership. Russia's interference is Ukraine sees its mirror image in Turkey's interventions in Iraq, and its attacks against Turkey's Kurds.

This is the uncomfortable bed that Russia and NATO have made for themselves. Not bellicose, but very wary. Russia has provoked the international community by its ongoing military mischief cloaked as helpfulness in situations that had no need of further 'help' from any quarters within a wide conflicted area of mismanaged reaction to both state and non-state terrorism.

And NATO is now left to ponder between its embattled members as where best to station troops and equipment to respond if and when required to any untoward moves by an increasingly mischievously heedless autocrat convinced that he is capable of leading his nation to a space recently vacated by the sole remaining world power that decided to abdicate that throne for a more humble elevation.

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Rape's European Ascent

"[The goal is that participants will] at least know the difference between right and wrong."
Nina Machibya, manager, Sandnes Center, Sandnes, Norway

"To force someone into sex is not permitted in Norway, even when you are married to that person."
"[It is ] not religion that sets the laws [whatever a person's faith] the rules and laws nevertheless have to be followed."
Sandnes course manual

"[Many refugees] come from cultures that are not gender equal and where women are the property of men. We have to help them adapt to their new culture."
"The biggest danger for everyone is silence."
Per Isdal, clinical psychologist, Stavanger, Norway

"It is normal here for boys and girls to be friends. Smiling and flirting are normal. It doesn't mean anything."
"If a girl is drunk, it does not mean she is willing to do anything."
Berit Harr, course monitor, refugee center, Ha, coastal village, Norway
Refugees from Sudan took part in a class dealing with violence against women, at a refugee center in Lunde, Norway. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times
The incidence of rape has increased markedly in European countries where immigrants from Muslim countries have entered to forge new lives for themselves. The European values of gender equality clearly are not universally shared. And although European authorities prefer to tiptoe around the obvious, Muslim countries and their populations do not look upon equality between the genders as normal; women tend to be viewed as chattel, and treated as such.

The unspeakable mass rapes in Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Sudanese janjaweed unleashed on the women of Darfur, he rape of young girls in the belief that having sex with a virgin child will cure AIDs; the current president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma raping an HIV-positive young woman who considered him an 'uncle', all paint Africa and particularly Muslim Africa as a cesspool of violence against women and children. 

Most Muslim-majority countries and increasingly more of them, now promote 'modesty' for Muslim girls and women, if those countries hadn't previously done so. All-enveloping chadors or burqas have become increasingly common. As well, women are encouraged not to appear in public unless they are escorted by a male family member. Muslim men have earned the reputation of viewing women who fail to heed these increasingly standard cultural dress codes as prostitutes and treat them accordingly.

In Africa rape is more common than elsewhere in the world, perhaps apart from India. Women are vulnerable to rape by men seldom suffering consequences from an act that is pervasive within society. Rape, in warring African countries is used as a weapon of war, with women helpless to defend themselves from mass rape.

Because of the rise of the incidence of rape perpetrated by migrants, Norway has initiated a voluntary program to teach migrants and refugees that sexual violence is not acceptable. Sweden's soaring incidence of rape is seldom spoken of as a symptom of taking in massive numbers of migrants; it would be too politically awkward to do so.
UN peacekeeping soldiers from Rwanda patrolling in Bangui, Central African Republic.
UN peacekeeping soldiers from Rwanda patrolling in Bangui, Central African Republic. Photograph: Pacome Pabandjil/AFP/Getty Images UN peacekeepers shot dead a 16-year old boy and his father and raped a 12-year-old girl in Central African Republic, Amnesty International has alleged
Stavanger, Norway's oil industry center, a magnet for migrants seeking employment, saw a leap in rapes from 2009 to 2011, leading the country's immigration department to mandate such a sex educational program, although it remains purely voluntary. Everywhere that African migrants tend to congregate, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Israel, an increase in sexual violence follows.

Claims have erupted accusing German Chancellor Angela Merkel of welcoming an "epidemic of rape" through her wholesale embrace of migrants. Thomas de Maiziere, the German interior minister insists that asylum seekers are no more likely to commit such crimes as are Germans themselves. This, despite the German public horrified at the rise in rapes and attempting to cope with the new need to defend themselves.

One asylum seeker experienced some difficulty accepting that a wife could accuse a husband of sexual assault. In Eritrea, where many of the African migrants now flooding Europe emanate from, "if someone wants a lady, he can just take her and he will not be punished", by police, let alone any level of authority, stated Abdu Osman Kelifa, a Muslim asylum seeker from the Horn of Africa.

He had been shocked to see women in brief clothing drinking alcohol and expressing emotional ties by kissing in public. Only prostitutes do that kind of thing back home, he said. Kissing is never seen in public back home.  His confusion led him to voluntarily agree to attend one of the sexual more education courses.

He has learned, through voluntarily attending the sex-education-in-Europe course that Norway treats women differently than his home country. "They can do any job from prime minister to truck driver and have the right to relax" without being bothered, he said he now understands. According to Mr. Isdal, refugees represent a "risk group" not predestined to violent crime, but requiring aid coping with a new and alien environment.

A class focusing on differing perceptions of what constitutes "honour" has been presented in Lunde, a village southwest of Oslo. The discussion there is how violence that those coming from societies viewing honour being restored through the use of violence [as in 'honour killings'], represents a value which in Norway is illegal and shameful.

South Africans call on President Jacob Zuma to take action to prevent sexual violence.
South Africans call on President Jacob Zuma to take action to prevent sexual violence. Photograph: AP Images for Avaaz

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Sunday, December 27, 2015


"The massive migration and stream of refugees now coming to Europe and Denmark are of a magnitude that challenges the fundamental premises of our society in the near future... According to our analysis, the stark economic consequences of the current number of refugees and immigrants will consume all room for maneuver in public finance within a few years. Non-Western immigrants have historically been difficult to integrate into the labor market; the same applies to the Syrians that are now arriving. The more, the harder, the more expensive... Finally, it is our analysis that given our previous experience with integrating non-Western people into our society, we are facing a social catastrophe when it comes to handling many tens of thousands that are soon to be channeled into society. Every bit of progress in terms of integration will be put back to zero. ... Therefore our conclusion is clear: We will do all we can to limit the number of non-Western refugees and immigrants coming to the country. That is why we have gone far -- and much farther than we had dreamed of going... We are doing this because we will not sacrifice our welfare society in the name of humanitarianism. For the welfare society ... is the political project of the Social Democratic Party. It is a society built on the principles of liberty, equality and solidarity. Mass immigration -- as we have seen in, for example, Sweden -- will undermine ... our welfare society."                                                                              Henrik Sass Larsen MP, leader, Social Democratic parliamentary group, Denmark
A group of migrants, mainly from Syria, walk along a highway in Denmark on Monday. They intend to reach Sweden and seek asylum there.
A group of migrants, mainly from Syria, walk along a highway in Denmark on Monday. They intend to reach Sweden and seek asylum there. SCANPIX DENMARK / REUTERS

In the past six months, states the Danish-Swedish website Snaphanen, buildings which were planned to house asylum seekers have on forty occasions been burned to the ground. No one was hurt in these events, yet alone killed, but a message not so mysterious was delivered and received. No one held to be guilty of sending these messages has been detected, and nor has any one individual or identifiable group claimed responsibility, despite their obvious organization.

Danish demographers have recognized the impending reality, that third-world immigrants and their offspring, whether having achieved citizenship or not, will eventually become the majority in the population of Denmark some time before this century's end. Many, if not most of this majority will be Muslim. Moreover, well before mid-century, the Muslim-Danish aggregate will be sufficiently large to have altered the composition and character of Denmark.

Why should the Danes go uncomplainingly, and gently into that societal-cultural black curtain that spells the last act of their own heritage? Perhaps because it is too late to do anything much about what now looms as an inevitability. Perhaps because it goes against the Danish temperament and character to deny their own sacrifice to enrich the lives of others. Not that there hasn't been lash-back from among the population of late.

And not that Swedes, observing their own level of generosity to the hordes of Syrian refugees flooding Europe, celebrate their open-handedness while deploring the closed-fist approach of a neighbour with whom they had shared a geography and heritage which now distances itself from both. Sweden's open welcome to any and all asylum-seekers will see its own culture and heritage transformed beyond recognition.

And in Denmark, a bit of resentment against the impossible situation the country has been forced into by its own nature and by events beyond its capacity to control, has arisen. Denmark has published advertisements in Lebanese newspapers warning any who might consider seeking asylum in Denmark, not to bother coming; Denmark will turn them out, simply because its population has become too threateningly diluted.

"The bill ... provides the Danish authorities with the power to search clothes and luggage of asylum seekers -- and other migrants without a permit to stay in Denmark -- with a view to finding assets which may cover the expenses [of settlement]", advised Mia Tang, press spokeswoman for the Danish Ministry of Integration. "[Too many refugees] put pressure on the Danish society and make it more difficult to ensure a successful integration of those who come to Denmark."

She refers to a new law being considered, permitting authorities to confiscate jewellery from refugees who enter Denmark. Refugees already in Denmark would also be affected if the bill passes. Valuables and cash excessive to people's actual needs could be seized by police, under this law. "The new rule on seizure will only apply to assets of a considerable value", according to the Integration Ministry.

Foreigners  would "keep assets which are necessary to maintain a modest standard of living such as watches and mobile phones. Furthermore, assets which have a certain personal sentimental value to a foreigner will not, as a main rule, be seized unless they have [considerable] value." Well certainly this initiative will help Denmark to pay for settling/accommodating the presence of refugees/migrants, feeding them, teaching a new language.

Will it be enough to dissuade new aspirants from trending to Denmark, though?

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The Myth And The Message

"In some sense it is a cry for help, but I think it's more political than that. It's the one way the suburbs get attention ... If all of those people demonstrated quietly, no media would show up."
"Muslim citizens in France are constantly being asked, 'Why haven't you integrated?"
"A Malian Muslim and a Moroccan Muslim have very different ways of practising Islam and may not even identify as Muslim, but rather as Berber or Tuareg. Our understanding of these people as Muslims, and therefore as similar, is part of the problem when they are actually incredibly diverse."
Myanthi Fernando, professor of anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

"They've hidden their racism behind secularism. But it's not racism against Christianity or Judaism, it only targets Islam. You'll never find someone who says, 'No kippahs in Paris'."
"Today the new generation doesn't live like their parents, who thought: 'Don't make a fuss, fall in line, hide your religion at home'. Today we don't care what others think. Those who practise their religion aren't afraid to let it be known."
"According to the advocates of this 'resgressive secularism', you have to choose between French and Muslim. For them, a beard is an ostentatious sign of western hatred, repression of women."
"The public space must allow all types of expression ... This doesn't endanger national cohesion. To the contrary, it enriches it."
"One day, France's institutions must reflect its population. That might take several years, but one day I hope to see a veiled minister in France. Veiled, feminist, competent and tolerant."
Madjid Messaoudene, St-Denis city councillor, France
Firefighters extinguish a car set on fire west of Paris in November 2005. Between 30,000 and 40,000 cars are burned each year in France, a highly visible protest.
MICHEL SPINGLER / The Associated Press   Firefighters extinguish a car set on fire west of Paris in November 2005. Between 30,000 and 40,000 cars are burned each year in France

After the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded 368, proudly claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as evidence of their far-reaching power in jihad, it took several days -- while tens of thousands of soldiers and police on high alert were stationed in the city -- for Muslim youth from the suburbs to raise their middle fingers by setting a vehicle ablaze.

In France it is an annual event, these bonfires where between 30,000 and 40,000 cars are sent up in fire and smoke, signifying the restless dissatisfaction of Muslim 'youth', representing second- and third-generation immigrants. Their lot in life as citizens of France leaves them unimpressed with the opportunities open to them to excel in attractive walks of life due to, the story goes, repression born of racist bias.

Muslims may have diverse ethnic backgrounds, but the precepts of Islam are universally observed. Muslims know full well the major pillars of their religion; they must submit to them all to do the will of Allah as constructed by the Prophet Mohammad; spreading Islam's influence among the uninitiated is a key obligation, as is jihad, and the two are inextricably intertwined. Islam was spread by violent conquest and continues to be.

Another group which has always suffered under the oppressive yoke of racism has been Jews, who managed nonetheless to accommodate themselves to any and all opportunities to advance their interests while respecting the laws of any country they integrated themselves with. Judaism, whether practised or secular is a personal matter, never negating the laws of the land and there are always ways to transcend grudgingly anaemic opportunities. There is no exhortation to violence in Judaism.

But of course Judaism is not known as a proselytizing religion, with a theologically dictated need to advance itself to tower over other religions and declare them redundant. Islam recognizes no authority but its own, either in theology, law, politics or society. Its goal is to bypass and surmount all other religions, and to impose Sharia law wherever it can achieve a critical mass.

Muslims have a tendency -- because they are taught from birth that Islam is everything to everyone -- to agitate for special recognition from any non-Muslim country where they flood into. Islam does not conciliate, it does not concede, it does not cooperate, it is geared toward total conquest.

So yes, the normative Western, democratic expectation is that when immigrants or refugees migrate to a non-Muslim country, they learn to accommodate themselves to the prevailing customs, they gradually assimilate, and their children and grandchildren become true citizens of the accepting country. Islam does not permit Muslims to do this; they are held separate and apart.

And even so, the expectation is that their entitlements, self-perceived as they may be, must be recognized. So no, the public space does not necessarily have to allow all types of expression; there are some that are too alien, too alienating, too grating against human rights to be tolerated in a democratic society, where they would be, under a totalitarian system of governance that practices religion-based social mores that oppress portions of society.

France has welcomed an astounding number of immigrants, many from countries reflecting its colonialist past. Each year France absorbs an increasing number of Muslims to add to its estimated four million now living in the country. As a result of these immigrants' resistance to assimilation or integration into the values of the larger society they are disadvantaged with poor academic results and high unemployment.

The question has been put: 'Why is France failing its Muslims?', whereas the question should actually be more like: 'Why are Muslims failing their opportunities?'. If immigrants cannot feel full allegiance to the country they migrate to, and use that country as a useful economic stepping-stone toward a better future while living within Islam as they did in their countries of origin which beset them with human rights abuses led by dictators, whose fault is that?

To point out that racism is not practised in the West against Christians or Jews, is an absolute falsehood; racism is practised in Muslim countries against Christians and Jews, and to a far lesser degree in democratic countries of the West. Against Jews because anti-Semitism is a mental disease that refuses to shrivel up and die; against Christians because society has turned against its own heritage in an effort to accommodate Muslims' view of themselves as victims.

Madjid Messaoudene's last statement quoted above delineates Islam's other face of jihad; the infiltration of Muslims into a non-Muslim society until they reach majority status at which time they can invoke the privileges attendant on majority and complete the work of transforming that society into a Muslim community through conversion and oppression using not only their own laws, but the laws of the conquered community.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sultan Erdogan The Magnificent and Magnanimous

"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers...."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

"Erdogan's adventurism has been quite successful so far, but it amounts to an extraordinary departure for Turkish foreign policy, and maybe even risks the destruction of the country. How on earth could this happen?"
"The background is an inferiority complex, and megalomania. For centuries, and even since the Mongols, sensible Islam has asked: 'What went wrong? Why has God forsaken us, and allowed others to reach the moon?'"
Professor Norman Stone, expert on Turkish politics
"We have the right to respond and we do not exclude any type of response until the Turks have learned their lesson ... Do they have a dream of restoring Ottoman greatness?"
"This is a great delusion and they will pay dearly for Turkish arrogance."
Badr Brigade spokesman Karim al-Nur
Supporters of Iraqi Shiite militias burned Turkish flags in Baghdad this month, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to withdraw Turkey's troops from northern Iraq.
It might have appeared logical to sane heads at one time in recent history to admit Turkey to NATO, the only Muslim country so distinguished, but the last several decades have definitely defined an increasingly Islamist Turkey, one whose president and whose Islamist party has wrenched Turkey away from its Western lean -- as unfit to be in NATO, since it is obvious that the coalition's values and goals are not reflected in those valued by Turkey's Justice and Development Party.

Turkey's wish to enter the European Union has languished for decades, with the EU citing the country's human rights abuses. Most of the abuses relate to the institutionalized treatment of its Kurdish minority. Turkey's rigid enforcement of Islamist values, its refusal to negotiate with the Kurds over an autonomous territory of their own, its brutality against the Kurds, has been responsible for the rise of militant Kurdish nationalism. To that, Turkey's response has been swift and brutal and unforgivably violent.

Since 1984, predating Erdogan's political rise, the Turkish government's response to the militant arm of the Turkish Kurds, the PKK, has been predictably vicious. Since Kurds represent twenty percent of the Turkish population, they are a minority, but a notable one whose voice has been violently stilled in the past. Only recently have they been able to find a suitable elected representational voice in the Turkish parliament, one which resulted in a diminished majority for the ruling Turkish party, enraging Mr. Erdogan.

The brutal assimilation policies that were imposed on the Kurds simply served to drive them further from the Turkish mainstream. While it seemed only a few years ago that Turkey had finally decided to negotiate reasonably with the Kurds, the volatile and unstable mentality of President Erdogan violated that relative peace with a restoration of military violence Turkey imposed on its Kurds with the excuse that two Turkish police had been murdered by the PKK.

President Erdogan's instability has been amplified of late with his orders to destroy a Russian jet firing on Syrian Turkomen rebels. Turkey's violation of Iraqi territory, where it has stationed troops without permission of the government in Baghdad has exacerbated relations between the two countries. Erdogan has alienated all his neighbours; Egypt for his support of the Muslim Brotherhood, Israel for his support of the Hamas terrorists, extolling their virtues and accusing Israel of genocidal intents against Palestinians.

Journalists have been imprisoned in Turkey at a head-turning rate, while Amnesty International has accused Turkey of mistreating the Syrian refugees encamped for haven from Syrian tyrant Bashar al Assad. The government in Baghdad has given an ultimatum to Ankara to remove all its troops it has stationed in Iraq since last year; Erdogan's response was to halt its reinforcements.

Iraq's prime minister Haider al-Abidi has stated his country is preparing to turn to the UN Security Council to condemn Turkey. While Erdogan spits venom at Syria's Assad for violating the human rights of Syrian Sunnis who have protested their unequal treatment at the hands of the Shiite Alawite president, the president of Turkey has done likewise with Turkey's Kurds.

While President Erdogan accuses Russia of having invaded Turkey's airspace for 17 seconds, Turkish troops have invaded the Iraqi landmass for over a year. That Turkey is a member of NATO, inhibits NATO and NATO-member countries from criticizing too loudly and publicly the inexplicable and reckless behaviour of a government which visits punishing violence on its citizens, just as Syria does with its.

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Christian Persecution ... Not In Israel

"My name is Gabriel Naddaf, and I have the privilege of being a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth in the Galilee. My people have mistakenly been called 'Christian Arabs', but the reality is that we are Arameans—descendants of people who lived here in Israel since biblical times."
"In the past three years, I have become a controversial figure in Israel for the simple reason that I embrace Zionism, Jewish sovereignty in Israel, and the tolerance, respect, and opportunity that has grown out of that sovereignty for all. I believe that our youths—Christian youths—should fully integrate into Israeli society. Part and parcel of that integration includes serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) or undertaking some other form of national service that Israel routinely provides for teenagers."
"I believe Israel's Christian community should integrate more into mainstream Israeli society. Why do the Druze serve? Why do the Bedouin serve? But not the Christians? It's because they're scared. This has to change. It's time to say in a loud and clear voice: Enough."
Father Gabriel Naddaf of Nazareth 
Father Naddaf of Nazareth with Christian Israeli IDF soldiers at a Christmas party on December 21, 2
Father Naddaf of Nazareth with Christian Israeli IDF soldiers at a Christmas party on December 21, 2015. (photo credit:ISRAELI CHRISTIAN RECRUITMENT FORUM)
Father Naddaf, along with Christian IDF officers founded the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum (ICRF). In response to their concentrated efforts to instill pride in Christians who have Israeli citizenship there has been a notable increase in the numbers of Arab and Aramean Christians who have taken up the challenge to become members of the Israel Defense Forces. Their decision has not been without controversy, though they find a robust welcome in the IDF.

What their decision occasions is contempt, derision and often threats from the wider Israeli Arab population who number 20 percent of the Israeli population. To be seen in public wearing an IDF uniform is to invite the kind of unwanted attention that could end in murder. But many young Arab and Aramean Christians are responding to the call to commit themselves to their country of citizenship by becoming part of the protective units represented by the IDF.

The welcome they receive within the IDF with others embracing them as brothers-in-arms in defense of their country, hardly compensates for the humiliation and rage that comes their way from those in the Christian and Muslim Arab community who have rejected any notion of supporting their country's defense establishment, though their own safety and security is assured by that very military contingent that they despise.

Leaders in the Israeli Arab community, including members of the elected Knesset representing Arab Israelis, have spurned any reasonable grounds to offer their services in the military, even while they secure all the benefits accruing with their Israeli citizenship, inclusive of electing members to the Knesset. Those who decide they will after all, include themselves in defense of the country are attacked of persecuting Palestinians, attempting to divide Arab society in their 'national struggle' against Israel.

Irrespective of whether the Arab leaders are established within Israel as citizens of the country, or from outside -- including as well members of the Israeli legislature, accusations of "collaborating with occupying forces" assail those who believe that as citizens there are obligations they must respond to to do full honour to their citizenship and all it entails. They do not feel they are "helping the enemy of the Palestinian people", a venomous trope that ensures rage and fear among Palestinians leave no room for compromise.

Father Naddof wrote of having been contacted by Arab MK Hanin Zoabi, writing on official Israeli parliamentary letterhead, accusing him of "helping the enemy of the Palestinian people" in his role of having established the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum, and agitating for cooperation with the State of Israel, as faithful citizens.

A blacklist of priests and Christian leaders supportive of integration with the state exists. Photos of those leaders along with youths who choose to ally themselves with the IDF are published in the Arab press with a view to identifying them and potentially encouraging violence, endangering their lives. Of the millions of Palestinian Arabs living in and with citizenship in Israel, 165,000 are Christian.

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"After the Paris attacks, Europe stood up as one and decided it wasn’t coming [to the Middle East]. We also used to get a lot of people from eastern Europe who come via Turkey and visit here, but not after the Russian plane [downed over the Sinai desert in Egypt in October]. Then there is the situation here …"
"We even cut our rates by 20%. We’ll review where we are in February."
Johnny Kattan, Manager, Jacir Palace – Bethlehem’s most luxurious hotel

"We rely on the tourists who come on their own, not the pilgrim buses who go to the same shops on the main road where the guides get a commission. And there are no tourists. They are too scared to come after what they’ve seen on television. It’s killing us. The only people around are a few locals. Today so far I’ve made only 99 shekels [£17]."
"I’m Catholic. But I don’t feel Christmas at all this year. I took my son, who is three, to school this morning. It’s near Deheish [nearby town where latest attacks occurred]. And you could smell the gas from a kilometre away. It’s getting worse and worse."Nabil Giacaman, aged 29, Manger Square shopowner 

Bethlehem’s Manger Square, where authorities have cancelled many festivities amid continuing violence. Photograph: Peter Beaumont for the Guardian    
"The situation here", to which Mr. Kattan referred was the three-months'-long haba shaabiya – or popular uprising, where Palestinians have used knives, vehicles or anything remotely destructive they could manage to attempt to kill Israeli Jews. Of the attackers thus far, five were from the Bethlehem area. The hotel is no stranger to these events; during the second intifada the-then newly-opened hotel shuttered itself for a four-year period.

Clashes by Palestinians with the IDF have ensured that tension remains high. With this knowledge why would tourists make their way to Bethlehem? Given the circumstances, crowds have been thin on the ground reflecting the focal point that Bethlehem has become for clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian 'protesters' in the months since the wave of violence erupted in the region.

Elsewhere in the West Bank though the city was without incident on Christmas Eve, violence reigned as three Palestinians were killed carrying out stabbing or car-ramming attacks against Israeli security personnel. A fourth Palestinian assailant was killed wounding a soldier and two Israeli security guards.

"We're in Bethlehem celebrating Christmas, celebrating the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the birthplace of the king of peace, so what we want is peace", the Palestinian tourism minister Rula Mayyah exhorted. It might help if the Palestinian Authority made any kind of an effort to dissuade Palestinians from violence, and not continue to incite it as they appear dedicated to doing.

Few tourists can be seen admiring the town's Christmas tree. Pilgrims had poured in their thousands into Manger Square in the relative calm of previous years at Christmas time.

Hotel bookings, according to one Palestinian officials dropped 24 percent from last year's figures weak as they were even then. "The situation is what it is, a war and intifada. But God willing, we'll overcome it and celebrate", said a Santa-suited Said Nustas. "God willing", as it happens, is what Islamic State terrorists also end their statements of intent to slaughter with.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

An Unfortunate Misunderstanding

"Jihadis in Syria operate in highly mobile units, using Toyota pickup trucks with high-calibre weapons mounted on them."
"Each of those vehicles is considered a tactical unit and represents a legitimate military target."
Maj.-Gen.Igor Konashenko, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman

"Some Russian airstrikes appear to have directly attacked civilians or civilian objects by striking residential areas with no evident military target and even medical facilities, resulting in deaths and injuries to civilians."
"Such attacks may amount to war crimes. It is crucial that suspected violations are independently and impartially investigated."
Philip Luther, director, Middle East and North Africa program, Amnesty International
Mound of rubble with people in helmets and hi-vis jackets searching through it
A search for survivors at a site hit in December by what activists said were Russian airstrikes in Idlib city. Photograph: Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

"Russian air strikes in Syria have killed hundreds of civilians and caused massive destruction in residential areas, striking homes, a mosque and a busy market, as well as medical facilities, in...attacks that show evidence of violations of international humanitarian law."
Amnesty Report

"The conflict in Syria has been going on for almost five years. Around 300,000 people are estimated to have become its victims. It's strange that Amnesty International avoids a question about who committed war crimes in Syria before the appearance of a Russian air force group there."
Igor Konashenkov, spokesman, Russian Defence Ministry
Residents inspect a damaged site from what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in Nawa city, Deraa, Syria, November 21, 2015.   Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
In the northern Syrian town of Ariha three missiles were fired on a public market. The main street was full of residents busy with the daily selling and purchase of fruits and vegetables when suddenly carnage struck the scene and terror became the disorder of the morning. That was on November 29, when 34 civilians were killed.

Syrian opposition and rights activists claim Russian attacks are continuing to kill civilians, causing massive destruction in residential areas.

Russian officials, for their part, reject these accusations. The pattern of attacks, according to human rights groups, leads to the belief that Russian actions are deliberately ignoring international humanitarian laws of conflict, to target areas where there are no rebel militias present, but ample civilian targets instead. As though Moscow has ordered a playlist out of the Syrian regime's file.

Amnesty claims to have documented evidence that Russia has made use of cluster munitions and unguided bombs in populated residential areas, that Moscow is guilty of a "shameful failure" in acknowledging their targeting of civilians. As far as Maj.-Gen Igor Konashenko is concerned, those claims represent "cliches and fakes", claims by activists improperly checked, and certainly not proven.

Six attacks in Homs, Idlib and Aleppo provinces between September and November which caused the deaths of some 200 civilians were the particular focus of the Amnesty report. Amnesty claims to have gathered evidence through photographs and video footage validating their claims that Russia has used unguided bombs along with internationally banned cluster munitions, indiscriminately killing civilians.

This is a claim that Maj.-Gen. Konashenko outright rejects, insisting that Russian airstrikes are aimed primarily at Islamic State along with other terrorists, denying claims by the West and Syrian rebels that most Russian strikes have hit central and northern Syria, with not much of an ISIL presence. Residents in Ariha informed Amnesty no militants had been in the area.

Syrian rebel groups with the Army of Conquest won Ariha from Syrian government forces but the coalition's fighters stationed themselves outside the town where two warplanes had circled overhead and then dropped the three missiles that brought death to the open marketplace. Russian planes fly at higher altitudes and tend to fly in pairs, according to the Syrian civilians who have become familiar with their pattern.

They are familiar enough with the differences between Syrian warplanes who fly at a lower level to unleash their destructive barrel bombs, to distinguish them from Russian jets. Amateur videos of the aftermath of the market bombing in Ariha show pools of blood everywhere that bodies littered the market amongst overturned crates of fruits and vegetables.
"Russia is conducting its operation in strict conformity with principles and norms of the international law, including those sections of the international law that regulate using and bans on using one or another type of weapons."
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin
Bomb-damaged building
A site hit by airstrikes in Idlib city, Syria. Photograph: Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

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No Kidding!

"A lot of Muslim constituents are now saying to me that they're frightened about flying [to the United States]. They're frightened they're going to lose money, they're frightened they're not going to be able to see relatives."
"Nobody knows why these people were stopped. We do know what the common denominator is between them. All of us agree we've absolutely got to be vigilant about tackling terrorism, and we've got to be clear prejudice hasn't got a part to play in that." 
U.K. Labour MP Stella Creasy 

"It’s because of the attacks on America. They think every Muslim poses a threat."
 Mohammad Tariq Mahmood
Mohammad Tariq Mahmood
  Mohammad Tariq Mahmood says he still wants to visit the United States -- BBC News

"We were the only family that was of Asian, Muslim, sort of appearance, and it seemed a little bit embarrassing that only we were taken out [of the line to board]."
Mohammed Zahid Mahmood 

"There is a perception that such decisions are being made due to the faith or political activism of individuals."
The Muslim Council of Britain

Well, as it happens, not quite. Not every Muslim. But certainly this extended family of eleven had a few members whose entry to the United States from the United Kingdom was problematical. Sufficiently so that UK authorities were informed that the family members who were under suspicion would best not board their scheduled flight to Disneyland. Not all eleven members of the family, but specific members.

One of whom had been denied entry to Israel a few years earlier when his intention was to visit the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. And the son of one of the men, a teenager whose Facebook account had links to terrorist websites. If these are not warning bells distinguishing these particular Muslims as possible problems, that what else might they be?

If "political activism" isn't a red light in the minds of the Muslim Council of Britain, validating some level of concern by security authorities of a country that has been attacked time and again by Islamists whose faith leads them to pledge themselves to violent jihad, they evince a sense of entitlement that is bemusing at best.

The family is aggrieved that their rights have been abridged. But of course there are no inherent rights to enter a country which has been earmarked time and again for jihadist attacks from without and within by Muslims, and any country so besieged would be advised to ensure that they take prudent precautions in the hopes that further such attacks could be prevented.

Claiming that they were out of pocket $13,500 for flight expenses for the entire family, and that though their trip had been cancelled due to circumstances beyond their control, they haven't been reimbursed represents an entirely other matter that might be a subject to take up with the airline with which they had booked their flight.

"[The] religion, faith or spiritual beliefs of an international traveller are not determining factors] deciding whether people may travel to the U.S.; entry may be denied for a variety of reasons, including security concerns", explained a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman.

And then another London-based Muslim, an imam and broadcaster, Ajmal Masroor, came forward to speak of his own experience, similar to that of the family's denied entry for their travel to Disneyland, when a U.S. embassy official prevented him from boarding a December 17 flight, informing him his business visa had been revoked.

"I asked him why repeatedly and he said 'You must have done something wrong', without any explanation. This is absolutely discrimination. It is not acceptable and playing into the hands of the terrorists", stated Mr. Masroor of his concerns that U.S. officials were singling Muslims out for discriminatory treatment.

Needless to say it is primarily Muslims who have been causing massive upheavals in the United States through repeated incidents of terrorist attacks, so such plaints transgress reason with the deliberate naivete of those who prefer not to recognize that Islamism has become a viral threat capturing the attention of security officials.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Islamist Radicalization : Predictably Islamic

"Radicalization to violence is an inherently social process. It is very rare for someone to act completely alone with no support or input -- material or ideological -- from the outside."
"We have to get away from models that [try to] explain each and every case. If we misanalyze what's driving it, our policies are wrong ... and it leads to bad decisions."
Former CSIS analyst, Phil Gurski
A young Bahraini Shiite Muslim girl reads the Koran, Islam's holy book, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama, on July 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH

Mr. Gurski is the author of a newly published book on violent extremism, titled The Threat From Within. Yet another book by yet another expert on militant Islamist jihadism, giving yet another opinion on what it is that drives the faithful to dread acts of unspeakable carnage against innocent people, declaring as they slaughter their victims: "Allahu Akbar" [God is Greatest].

Even the experts, those skilled in interpreting people's basest instincts to act in ways that defy decency and the most basic of humanitarian defenses against utter psychosis as a way of life, seem to delicately sidestep the reality that they are moved to act as they do, from exposure to scrips that are viewed as sacred, handed down by a historical figure declared a Prophet, in the name of a hallowed human construction, an omniscient, jealous Spirit demanding absolute obedience to his every word.

Implicit in that jealous spirit of the Almighty is the requirement that no other gods share timeless space and reverence with the one whom the Prophet has identified and brought before an unwilling world. That unwilling world must be led to surrender to the Almighty, for there is only one Timeless and authentic God that humanity must prostrate itself before.

Mr. Gurski gives scant credit to the Internet as an incubator for extremism, considering it a 'force multiplier', not an irreplaceable generator of the conviction that all faithful Muslims have an obligation to their god to pledge themselves to jihad, the viciously violent partner to the more gentle persuasion of proselytization.

An Islamic Jihad militant holds up a copy of the Koran in one hand and an automatic rifle in the other during a rally in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, 10 June 2005. Hundreds of Palestinians have been protesting in various towns and cities in the occupied territories after allegations that Israeli police desecrated copies of the Koran during searches of prison cells, claims which have been vehemently denied by Israel. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED

As far as he is convinced, no "self-radicalization" is possible, and the so-called "lone wolf" terrorists represent a misnomer, a self-deceiving mischaracterization of the reality of the power of the Koran, the sermons to incitement from the mosques, and the general social atmosphere prevailing that convinces Muslims that they and their religion are under siege.

The pathology of paranoia is a deliberate tool of the Islamists who manipulate the emotions of the faithful, to bring them into the fold of jihad dedicated to outmanoeuvring the non-Muslims oblivious of the fate that awaits them as they good-naturedly refuse to believe that any kind of shared belief in the larger Islamic community is meant to destroy what they value, believe and trust.

Mr. Gurski is right on the mark when he explains that violent radicalization depends on association with like-minded others; inducted since birth into a faith whose charismatic or spiritual mentors or leaders emphasize. One such spiritual mentor whose vision galvanized the Sunni sect of Islam was Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood almost a hundred years ago.

Another was Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Shiite exile who returned to Iran from France after the fall of Shah Pahlevi, and who brought to Iran in 1979 the Iranian Revolution that revolutionized Islam toward a pure, fundamentalist ideology heavily tinged with terroristic violence.

Both, like the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia, practised a Salafist type of Islam owing its Islamist credentials to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the 18th Century.

Little boy wearing cap studying the Quran : Stock Photo

It is not possible to reason with people infused with the kind of faith that brooks no questioning, sees no value in transforming itself in reflection of the modern era, since they believe implicitly that what they devote their lives to is the living, impervious voice of the Almighty. That is the voice that impels them to become martyrs in the cause of transforming the world into one monopolistic orchestration of worship of Islam.

Counter-terrorism schemes and research emanating from academia have credited "root causes" of poverty, lack of education, low social status, unemployment, gender and age toward a template that would predict the rise of violent jihad among those who fit into those categories. The belief that "normal" people would be resistant to the narrative of divine calls to jihad to protect Islam from the evil that infidels inflict upon Muslims is rife with error.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rescuing Refugees, Risking Cultural Upheaval

"She does not want to be -- she refuses to be -- the person who witnessed a serious fracture of the European Union."
"She will throw money at a problem, as with Greece. She will admit an unlimited number of refugees. And she will go down in history as a great European who defended the Union no matter what."
"There is no real plan beyond buying time to get the rest of Europe on board."
Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief, Bild Online, Germany
Photo Gallery: Asylum Home Violence a Rising Concern
Close Quarters: Asylum Shelters in Germany Struggle with Violence -- DPA Spiegel online International -- Police officers at the hostel in Suhl. Facility offices were trashed and three police officers were injured, along with 10 residents in an altercation here
"A store owner in the Saxon town of Pirna said he is now selling up to 200 cans of pepper spray each day, compared to five cans a week before the migrant crisis began. He said he is seeing many new customers who are not the typical clientele, including women of all ages and men who are buying weapons for their wives."
"Günter Fritz, the owner of a gun shop in Ebersbach, another town in Saxony, told RTL News, "Since September, all over Germany, also at my shop, sales of self-defense products have exploded." He added that his clients come from all walks of life, ranging "from the professor to the retired lady. All are afraid."
"Andreas Reinhardt, a gun shop owner in the northern German town of Eutin, said he now sells four to five self-defense weapons each day, compared to around two per month before the recent influx of asylum seekers. "The current social upheaval is clearly driving the current rush to self-defense," he said. "I never thought that fear would spread so quickly," he added."
"Eric Thiel, the owner of a gun shop in Flensburg, a city on the Baltic Sea coast, said that pepper spray is no longer available: "Everything is sold out. New supplies will not arrive until March. Everything that has to do with self-defense is booming enormously."
"Wolfgang Mayer, the owner of a gun shop in Nördlingen, a town in Bavaria, said he has an explanation for the surge in gun licenses: "I think with the influx of refugees, the rise in break-ins and the many tricksters, the people are demanding greater protection."
"Mayer added that there is a growing sense within German society that the state cannot adequately protect its citizens and therefore they have to better protect themselves. "Since the summer, sales of pepper spray have increased by 50%," Mayer said, adding that buyers are mainly women, of all ages — from the student in the city up to the widowed grandmother."
Soeren Kern -- Germans Stock Up on Weapons -- Gatestone Institute 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been determined to 'do the right thing', and she has assured the German population that "Wir schaffen das" [We can do this] and so she will and she has, and so will Germans, even those who have found themselves in a new reality where they are in a minority position in small-town Germany, overwhelmed by the presence of Muslim refugees, the new majority in their towns where their heritage, customs and values will now become even more threatened.

The irony abounds, in fact. Chancellor Merkel determined in her support of both the European Union, its values, and the welfare of migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and wherever else the world of Islam has failed its faithful, causing them to flee violence and destitution, hoping for a more promising future in Europe where a gradual influx of Muslims is slowly changing Europe into something it has never been. Irony? The fact that the EU was a pan-European construction that hoped to avert future wars, through a sense of European integration, amity and unity.

Not that Germany hasn't already welcomed a massive influx of Muslim immigrants over the years, particularly Turks, brought to Germany originally as temporary labourers, whom German authorities felt would eventually leave, but never have. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has busied himself championing German Turks whose presence has occasionally been seen as a problem demographic with demands for extraordinary Muslim entitlements. In fact, the overall Muslim presence in Germany stood at approximately five million even before the incursion of an additional million this year.

The presence of the million refugees brought back, no doubt a painful memory dating to 1945, and the end of World War Two with the collapse of the Third Reich. Some see the reception of a million refugees as a type of German redemption for the horrors of the Holocaust. Germany will now host six million Muslims; an exchange for the six million Jewish lives that were systematically destroyed in a mad paroxysm of lethally morbid anti-Semitism brought to its final conclusion. Will offering a new life to Muslims compensate for offering death to Jews?

The Jews of Europe were integrated into European life, they had lived there for a thousand years, as Europeans who happened to be Jews. Muslims in Europe have not integrated into European life; their sheer numbers wherever they settle give them the power of assertiveness and they demand to be treated in a manner unlike any other demographic within Europe, with their own legal system, their culture, values and religion honoured by those who harbour no interest in them whatever. And they have brought a new vibrant scourge of anti-Semitism guised as anti-Zionism to Europe.

Those Jews left alive and their descendants post-Holocaust now understand quite clearly that Europe no longer can nourish their spirits, since it is increasingly incapable of defending their physical presence. And German Protestants whose spirit of generosity bids them welcome war-torn refugees are conflicted with uncertainty in the face of witnessing their culture diminished with the presence of a religion patently hostile to all other religions, despite their common 'Abrahamic' roots.

Germans now are coping with a steep rise in crime, and particularly rapes. These target not only the refugees themselves, vulnerable women and girls in temporary shelter crowded with the presence of single men whose original cultures degraded and subjugated women, but women and girls of German origin finding themselves no longer safe to be in public streets unaccompanied by men who will protect them from unwanted attention from migrants roaming those same streets, browsing for opportunities.

More concerning even than the mass brawls have been reports of the rising...
More concerning even than the mass brawls have been reports of the rising number of sexual assaults at refugee facilities in the country. "We are in an extremely critical situation," says the federal government's commissioner for abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig -- DPA -- Speigel online International

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