Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Obama NLRB Eliminates Secret Ballot Elections-Making Card Check Forced Unionism a Reality

Outgoing NLRB Chair Wilma Liebman and the of the Obama Appointed NLRB Board members, Craig Becker & Mark Pearce, voted to eliminate secret ballot election protections [1]. Now, when employers make secrets deals with a union bosses agreeing to recognize a union without allowing his employees a secret ballot vote; employees no longer have the right to force an NLRB secret ballot election and allow workers to decide if they want the union or not.

Unable to pass EFCA, Card Check Forced Unionism, through a Democrat-controlled congress, Obama is paying off Big Labor through his handpicked NLRB Board. He is doing all this at the expense of worker freedoms and worker paychecks. And, the NLRB Decision is applied retroactively to bar even elections that have already been held but not counted.

Employees can now be forced to pay for an undisclosed arrangement between employers and labor union bosses without having the right to put it to a secret ballot election.

This is particular heinous in non-Right To Work states where employees are forced to pay union dues and fees regardless of the fact that they did not want the union. The NLRB’s actions again prove why the National Right To Work Act [2] needs to be passed. Then, every American will have the freedom to withhold his paycheck from union bosses if they choose.

Dear Ben, Please Print us More Money

Dear Ben,

Please print us more money. We want you to prop up the stock market. Everybody knows it's a Ponzi scheme that will collapse without your support. You don't want us to end up like Bernie Madoff's clients. No, Ben, we love Ponzi schemes. We get in early and get out before they collapse. That's why we're rich. The bad thing is that they sometimes collapse before we can get out. But you already bailed us out twice in the last couple of years through printing trillions of dollars. Why not a third time?

That will also keep the bond-market bubble inflated. We have to admit that you've done an excellent job there, hands down. Negative real yields all the way up the yield curve! Awesome. Now if you could just print a few trillions and buy up the sovereigns from the PIIGS. Euro crisis over. End of story. And we'd get richer because we'd sell them to you at face value though we bought them at fifty cents on the dollar.

And why not forever? Just keep printing. Because as soon as you stop, stock markets will crash again, and credit markets will seize, and then we're back on this awful ride to hell.

Of course, it'll cause inflation, which is good. You yourself said that. You stated many times that you want inflation. In fact, you said that one of the goals of the Fed, after propping up the markets, is to create inflation. So stick to it, Ben. Don't slack off suddenly just because some cowboy threatened you.

Inflation, in conjunction with your near-zero yields, has all sorts of benefits. For example, it will eat up the Social Security trust fund, whose $2 trillion balance is invested in treasuries. Fixed-income investors, retirees, and everybody who has any savings will also be demolished. And homeowners. But don't worry. They won't figure it out. They don't get a statement every month that shows how much inflation cost them. It's a quiet way of stealing from them, and it'll impoverish them over time, but it'll make us, the recipients of the money you print, richer.

You see, Ben, we can charge higher prices for our goods and services. And even if we have to pay more for raw materials, we look good. Our inventories increase in value, and we can claim sales jumped 10% because we raised prices by 10%. Analysts dig that.

Recently, Ben, you've done a decent job on inflation. In July, we were running at an annual rate of 6%. Not bad. But you need to preempt any cooling off. So keep printing.

Now, we're not talking about wage inflation. Oh no. We have to keep wages down. We need cheap labor, or else we'd have to send these jobs to China—which we're doing anyway. And not just to assemble iPhones. Heck, our lawyers in India are doing the same work as our local lawyers for one-tenth the pay. So, if our local lawyers want to be competitive.... Just think how much more profit we could make if wages collapsed!

Real wages have been declining for ten years and fell another 1.7% since July 2010. But that's not enough. So get with it, Ben. Print more. And don't worry about the wusses out there who say that choking the middle class like that will put us into a permanent recession. Just get the banks to loan them lots of money so they can buy our stuff, and when the loans blow up, you buy them from the banks at face value. Full circle, Ben.

The trillions you've printed and handed to us, well, we put them to work, and we created jobs in China and Mexico and Germany, and we bought assets, and it inflated prices, and now we're even richer. We're proud of you, Ben. Think of the influence you have. And not just here. Around the world, Ben! Look at the Middle East and North Africa. See the food riots, rebellions, and civil wars it caused? Thousands of people died and entire governments were toppled.... Oh, wait. That's a bad example.

And then there is Congress. We invested in them through campaign contributions and other mechanisms to get them to spend trillions of dollars every year on our products and services, and they even started a few wars, and it made us richer—without taxing our companies or us. It's a wonderful system.

But the deficits have become so huge that they exceed what the Treasury can borrow. So we're glad, Ben, that you stepped up to the plate and printed enough money to monetize the deficit. But Ben, you can't just stop now! You've got to keep at it. Or else, the whole system will blow up. Well, it'll blow up anyway, but we don't want it to blow up now. So, Ben, you don't have a choice. Otherwise, we'd lose a lot of money in our schemes, and nobody wants that.


Ros-Lehtinen Bill Forces Major Changes at UN

House Republicans introduced legislation today that seeks to force major changes at the United Nations, using as leverage the threat to withhold some of the U.S.’s 22 percent contribution to the world body’s operating budget.

The bill by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, would demand that the UN let countries decide how much to pay and which programs they will support, rather than assessing payments based on a formula. It would end funding for Palestinian refugees, limit use of U.S. funds to only purposes outlined by Congress and put a hold on creating or expanding peacekeeping operations until management changes are made.

“We need a UN which will advance the noble goals for which it was founded,” Ros-Lehtinen of Florida said in a statement. “The current UN continues to be plagued by scandal, mismanagement and inaction, and its agenda is frequently hijacked by rogue regimes which protect each other while targeting free democracies like the U.S. and Israel.”

Republicans are moving against the world body at a time when the Obama administration is increasingly building its foreign policy around multilateral institutions, such as the alliance-based approach on Libya.

The bill, which has 57 co-sponsors who are all Republicans, may advance in the Republican-controlled House. It is likely to face opposition in the Senate and from President Barack Obama.

Administration Opposition

“We oppose this legislation,” said Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokeswoman, at a press briefing today. She said the measure would cut by half U.S. funding for the U.N and “dangerously weaken the UN.”

“We believe in UN reform,” she said. “We just don’t think this is the right way to go about it.”

The U.S. pays 22 percent of the UN’s regular operations budget and is assessed 27 percent of the peacekeeping budget. U.S. payments totaled $3.35 billion in 2010, of which $2.67 billion was dedicated to the 16 peacekeeping operations worldwide, from South Sudan to Haiti.

“After two years of the closest and most productive cooperation in decades at the UN between Washington and the rest of the international community, it is hard to understand why Republicans in the House of Representatives are determined to poison the well,” Jeffrey Laurenti, a UN analyst at the Century Foundation, a New York-based research group, wrote in a blog post yesterday.

International Cooperation

Laurenti cites UN support for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, the world body’s move to authorize limited military action in Libya at U.S. urging and its successful work in handing power over to the legitimate winner of Ivory Coast’s presidential election.

Brett Schaefer, a UN analyst at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation that supports many Republican initiatives, said that Ros-Lehtinen’s goals dovetail with the administration’s interests in seeing more UN accountability, improvements in peacekeeping and an end to policies that single out Israel for criticism.

“The real point of divergence is how do you achieve these policy goals,” Schaeffer said in a telephone interview.

Representative Howard Berman, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the bill would hurt Israel and undermine U.S. leadership.

“At a time when efforts to isolate and delegitimize Israel in the General Assembly and elsewhere are gaining steam, I can’t see how a bill that will undoubtedly weaken our influence at the UN and make it harder to counter Palestinian attempts to unilaterally declare statehood is in Jerusalem’s interest, let alone our own,” Berman said in a statement.

Percentage of Contribution

If passed into law, Ros-Lehtinen’s bill would have the U.S. withhold a percentage of its contributions until at least 80 percent of the UN budget was voluntary.

The legislation also would limit the use of U.S. contributions to only the specific purposes outlined by Congress and would withhold U.S. funding for any UN agency that upgrades the status of the Palestinian observer mission or any agency that helps Palestinian refugees.

The bill would also withhold funding for the UN Human Rights Council until the State Department can certify that it doesn’t include members subject to Security Council sanctions, under Security Council-mandated investigations for human rights abuses or are state sponsors of terrorism.

Last month, Ros-Lehtinen’s committee approved an authorization bill that would cut by almost 10 percent U.S. funding for peacekeeping operations, which are assessed based on each member nation’s relative share of the global economy.

Peacekeeping Bills

U.S. law limits the peacekeeping funding to 25 percent of the cost of operations, but Congress has given an annual waiver to permit payment of the full 27 percent assessment for peacekeeping. Ros-Lehtinen wants to bring that amount down, in line with the law, the House aide said.

Ros-Lehtinen’s bill would direct the president to have his UN ambassador use the U.S. veto power in the Security Council to block the creation of new peacekeeping operations or the expansion of existing ones until reforms are made.

Groups that promote strong U.S.-UN relations, such as the Washington-based Better World Initiative, said the bill would undermine U.S. influence at the UN.

“We are hard-pressed to find a moment in history where the UN has had a greater role in promoting American interests,” said Executive Director Peter Yeo in an e-mail. The bill would “severely erode America’s leadership role at the United Nations and undermine our nation’s security.”

Tensions between the UN and the U.S. over management and funding are not new. A push for improvements in UN management came during the administration of President Bill Clinton, who signed the Helms-Biden United Nations Reform Act of 1999. It tied U.S. payments to specified steps to improve management.

In 2006, President George W. Bush’s ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said the U.S. might push to make contributions to the UN budget voluntary, as Ros-Lehtinen is doing.

--With assistance from David Lerman in Washington. Editors: Terry Atlas, Jim Rubin.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nicole Gaouette in Washington at; Bill Varner in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

© Copyright 2011 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Read more on Ros-Lehtinen Bill Forces Major Changes at UN
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

Foreclosure Pipeline in NY is 693 months and 621 Months in NJ

The LPS Mortgage Monitor August 2011 Mortgage Performance Report Shows First-Time Foreclosure Starts Near Three-Year Lows. That's the good news.

The Bad News

  • Average Loan in Foreclosure Is Delinquent for Record 599 Days
  • Of the nearly 1.9 million loans that are 90 or more days delinquent but not yet in foreclosure, 42 percent have not made a payment in more than a year with an average delinquency of 397 days, also a new record.
  • As of the end of June, 4.1 million loans were either 90 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure, as delinquencies remain two times and foreclosures eight times pre-crisis levels.
  • On average, at the current rate of foreclosure sales, judicial foreclosure states would require 111 months to work through inventories of loans that are 90 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure as compared to non-judicial states, which would be able to clear the inventories in approximately 32 months.
  • Most of the foreclosure “outflow” is back into delinquency
  • Loans deteriorating over 90 days still outnumber foreclosure starts 2:1
  • Foreclosure starts outnumber sales by a factor of almost 3:1

Here are a few charts from the LPS Mortgage Monitor Report

click on any chart for sharper image

First time foreclosure starts near three year lows

42% of Loans 90 Day Delinquent+, Not Made a Payment in 12 Months or More

Most of the foreclosure “outflow” is back into delinquency

Loans deteriorating over 90 days still outnumber foreclosure starts 2:1

Foreclosure starts outnumber sales by a factor of almost 3:1

The pipeline ratio in judicial states is more than 3 times that of non-judicial

States with highest percentage of non-current loans: FL, MS, NV, NJ, IL
States with the lowest percentage of non-current loans: MT, WY, AK, SD, ND

Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.

The Foreclosure Pipeline in New York is 693 months (over 57 years) and 621 Months (over 51 years) in New Jersey!

The Rise of Islamic No-Go Zones

Three and a half years ago, one of the Church of England’s most senior bishops, Pakistani-born Michael Nazir-Ali, warned that Islamic extremists had created “no-go”areas across Britain too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter. His politically incorrect concern sparked a firestorm of denial and criticism. The Muslim Council of Britain, for example, dismissed it as the Bishop’s “frantic scaremongering” and “intolerance,” and scoffed,

We wouldn’t allow “no-go” areas to happen. I smell extreme intolerance when people criticise multiculturalism without proper evidence of what has gone wrong.

Well, the evidence of how multiculturalism “has gone wrong” is in. This week Soeren Kern at the Hudson Institute documented the proliferation of such no-go zones throughout Europe – autonomous Islamic “microstates” under Sharia rule (having rejected their host countries’ legal systems), where non-Muslims must either conform to the cultural, legal, and religious norms of fundamentalist Islam or expect to be greeted with violence. As Daniel Pipes puts it, “a more precise name for these zones would be Dar al-Islam” – the House of Islam, or the place where Islam rules.

England, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands – in every European country with a large Muslim immigrant population, the story is the same: Islamic supremacists refuse to assimilate into the Western melting pot; instead they carve out a foothold in a neighborhood, and then, through intimidation or outright violence, push out the infidels whose failed secular values are no longer acceptable. Even public services such as police, firefighters and ambulances are often driven out of such neighborhoods with stones, bottles or bullets. Lacking the political and cultural will to assert control in areas that in some cases have become urban war zones, the authorities have simply retreated and abandoned them. As Germany’s Chief Police Commissioner Bernhard Witthaut confesses,

In these areas crimes no longer result in charges. They are left to themselves. Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture.

In Britain, where there are already as many as eighty-five Sharia courts in operation, an Islamist group called Muslims Against the Crusades has launched an ambitious campaign to turn twelve British cities into independent Islamic states, including Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and what the group calls “Londonistan.” In the Tower Hamlets in East London – or as the Muslims there refer to it, “the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets” – imams known as the “Tower Hamlets Taliban” issue death threats to unveiled women, and gays are attacked by gangs of young Muslim men. The neighborhood has been littered with leaflets announcing, “You are entering a Sharia controlled zone. Islamic rules enforced.” It was in East London, remember, that the Islamist Abu Izzadeen challenged former Home Secretary John Reid by saying: “How dare you come to a Muslim area?”

In France, there are an astonishing 751 so-called Sensitive Urban Zones (ZUS). “Sensitive” indeed: the nature of the ZUS, and chaos like the nightly burning of cars in Paris, are topics that the French media largely downplay to avoid accusations of racism or Islamophobia – hence, for example, their generic description of the immigrant gangs running wild in Paris Métro stations as “youth.”

An estimated (as of 2004) five million Muslims live in these ZUS, and there is barely a single French city that lacks at least one. In Paris and other French cities with a high percentage of Muslim populations, like Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse, thousands of Muslims make their presence felt by blocking streets and sidewalks for Friday prayers. Some mosques have begun broadcasting sermons and chants of “Allahu Akbar” via loudspeakers into the streets. Local authorities sit on their hands rather than confront this “occupation without tanks or soldiers,” because they are afraid of the situation escalating into violence in the streets.

The Dutch government has released a list of forty “no-go” zones in the Netherlands. In Brussels, Belgium, which is twenty percent Muslim, police have to patrol with two police cars, to watch each other’s back. And yet the multiculturalist mindset is so deeply entrenched in Europeans that it is the police who are expected to avoid offending cultural sensitivities: officers, for example, who frequently are targeted with rocks by Muslim youth, have been ordered not to drink coffee or eat in public during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

In Sweden, which an imam there has labeled “the best Islamic state,” whole patches of the city of Malmö – which is more than twenty-five percent Muslim – are no-go zones. There and in Gothenburg, Muslim teenagers have been burning cars, attacking emergency services, throwing.stones at patrolling officers and temporarily blinding them with green lasers.

And where such zones have not been officially established, the process is underway. In Italy, for example, Muslims have been commandeering Rome’s Piazza Venezia for public prayers. In Bologna, Muslims have repeatedly threatened to bomb the San Petronio cathedral because it contains a fresco which depicts the Islamic prophet Mohammed being tormented in hell.

These dangerous enclaves are, the Hudson Institute’s Kern writes, “the byproduct of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations.” Indeed, as the scholar of Islam Robert Spencer has put it, what the Islamic supremacists want is not merely a place at the table – equal rights under the law, as previous minority groups have sought in civil rights movements – but their own separate table, utterly distinct from the manmade laws of infidels.

Israeli military to equip Jewish settlers with gas and grenades

Army training for West Bank civilians as Palestinians push for UN recognition

The Israeli military is to train Jewish settlers in the West Bank and plans to equip them with tear gas and stun grenades to confront Palestinian demonstrators when their leaders press for UN recognition next month.

The enlistment of settlers, which has already opened with a training session for their local security officers, is part of the military's comprehensive "Operation Summer Seeds" for dealing with possible violence as the UN considers whether or not to recognise a Palestinian state.

According to a document leaked to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the defence establishment's working assumption – challenged by the moderate Palestinian leadership in Ramallah – is that the UN move will trigger "mass disorder". This includes, Israel contends, "marches toward main junctions, Israeli communities, and education centers; efforts at damaging symbols of [Israeli] government".

The document also reportedly envisages the possibility of "more extreme cases like shooting from within the demonstrations or even terrorist incidents. In all the scenarios, there is readiness to deal with incidents near the fences and the borders of the State of Israel".

Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian National Authority, has insisted that demonstrations should be non-violent and while he has publicly backed the idea of "popular resistance" there have been unconfirmed suggestions that he and the Palestinian security forces will work to ensure their scale is limited.

The report in Haaretz says that the military is making it clear that demonstrations will be controlled and that it has sufficient forces to deal with every disturbance. It has, however, already decided in principle to equip settlement chief security officers with the means of dispersing demonstrations, although it acknowledges a shortage of equipment for firing such ammunition.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) confirmed yesterday it was "holding an ongoing professional dialogue with elements in the settlement leadership, with the routine security personnel, and is investing many resources in training forces, from a defensive standpoint and in readiness for possible scenarios". The military added that its central command had completed training most "first response teams" – the voluntary squads of settlers routinely assigned to deal with any attacks on them before troops arrive.

Israel's hard-line Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, was quoted earlier this month claiming the Palestinians were planning "unprecedented bloodshed" around the time of the UN vote. The claim is seen by Palestinian officials in Ramallah as an unjustified attempt to talk up the possibility of confrontation.

The military's own preparations have been drawn up in parallel with a concerted diplomatic initiative at persuading UN member states not to back the recognition bid, which Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki says will be presented on 20 September.

But according to a leaked Israeli foreign ministry document, Ron Prosor, Israel's ambassador to the UN, has already admitted it will be well nigh impossible to prevent the UN General Assembly from approving the Palestinian call. The Palestinians are currently expected to call for the same "non- member state" status within the UN as enjoyed by the Vatican.

At the same time efforts are being made by Ramallah to widen the international consensus in its favour, possibly by stressing that the borders of a state will only be agreed by negotiations.

The US, which strongly opposes the UN move, is pressing the EU and Russia, co-members of the international Middle East "Quartet" to come up with an early statement aimed to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table. Tony Blair, the Quartet's Middle East envoy who is due in the region next week, has been entrusted with trying to find an acceptable formula to break a deadlock partly created by Israel's insistence that the Palestinians recognise it as a "Jewish state".

But even if the US-backed initiative succeeds, it is unlikely to deter the Palestinians from pressing ahead with the General Assembly vote on the grounds that talks with the present Israeli government are unlikely to lead to an agreement, a view privately shared by some Western diplomats.

No Egyptian crackdown on Sinai terrorists. Jihad keeps Israel in suspense

The Cairo media's highly colored accounts Monday, Aug. 30 of 1,500 Egyptian commando and tank supposedly raiding Jihad Islami and al Qaeda cells in Sinai are pure fiction, debkafile's military sources confirm. Israeli forces along the Gazan and Egyptian borders down to Eilat have been forced to stand for a week at the highest level of preparedness since receiving word that a large group of terrorists had left the Gaza Strip for Sinai on Aug. 24 bent on another attack on southern Israel. The Egyptian army, for its part, is sitting on is hands as the jihadists take up assault positions on its side of the Sinai border.
The group set out from Gaza the day after the head of the Jihad Islami missile and logistics chief Ismail al-Asmar died in a targeted Israeli air strike on the car he was travelling in Rafah.

Israelwent on high terror alert on Aug. 25. Its leaders have repeatedly warned since then that Israel is fully prepared to respond swiftly if attacked.
Tuesday night, the IDF's Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said: “Hamas and the other terrorist organizationsin Gaza had better realize that if they harm Israeli citizens we shall hit them hard. Testing our strength would be a mistake."

Tuesday, Home Front Minister Mattan Vilnai cited information that the at least 10 terrorists were in Sinai getting set to strike southern Israel.

Our sources report he was scolded by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for letting it be known that the coming Palestinian raid was liable to be bigger than the coordinated highway attacks just north of Eilat of the Aug. 18, in which gunmen shot eight people dead. Limited Israeli reprisal then against Gazan terrorist targets brought forth a 150-missile barrage from Gaza against locations within its constantly expanding range.

For the loss of its logistics chief, the group decided it was not satisfied with heavy missile assaults and plotted a "quality operation" from Sinai.
debkafile's intelligence and counter-terror sources report that the absence of Egyptian preventatives and Israel's passivity in the face of an assault known to be approaching afford the Palestinian terrorist group, which is sponsored and armed by Iran, extra leverage and strategic leeway in its contest with Israel.
Sunday, Aug. 21, after accepting an Egyptian-brokered truce for halting the missile blitz from Gaza, Netanyahu commented that Israel had gained the upper hand: The Palestinians had landed themselves with a new negative equation: Their attacks from Sinai would henceforth incur retaliation in Gaza.
Jihad Islami is now turning this equation on its head by demonstrating that Israeli attacks on Palestinian terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip bring forth Palestinian reprisals from Sinai.
They calculate correctly as it turned out this week that the Egyptian border offers them no obstacle to cross-border terror, whereas Israeli counteraction is stopped short.

Held back from its famous preemptive tactics by Israel's leaders out of fear of further strains on relations with the military rulers in Cairo, the Israeli army's deterrent strength is progressively sapped and the pro-Iranian Palestinian terrorists are getting the last laugh even before they strike.
They have wound up holding the initiative in the next round. It is up to them to decide for how much longer – days or weeks - reinforced Israeli units must stay on maximum preparedness and Israel's main routes to the south, Highways 10 and 12, stay closed to civilian traffic. They can keep Israel on tenterhooks as long as they like before deciding to press the trigger.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Shame of Colin Powell

There are few spectacles more sad than to see a man burn down his own integrity. Watching someone who has lived their life according to a certain ethos, in this case I will be referring to “Duty. Honor. Country.”, and callously cast that lodestar aside for no discernable reason other than to settle a score shames those who witness the act nearly as much as it shames the perpetrator. Nearly.

Some very few times we are given the opportunity to appropriately redress a wrong. I say appropriately because a wrong needs to be righted in the same manner in which it was inflicted. A private apology never atones for a public insult. When that opportunity presents itself and is declined one is left with no other possible conclusion than one is dealing with a person devoid of honor and integrity.

This past weekend retired general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell was presented with the golden opportunity to right a grave injustice he inflicted upon colleagues, upon the man to whom he owed his loyalty, and upon his nation.

He not only declined to do so, he dismissed the notion that he had anything to do with the wrong.

Of course I’m referring to the infamous Valerie Plame Affair wherein a CIA employee operating in deep cover at CIA headquarters in Langley had her cover accidentally “blown” by the late Robert Novak after her blowhard husband wrote an op-ed about what he may or may not have learned while “drinking sweet mint tea” with various kleptocrats in Niger. We all know the story on that. The source was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff was eventually and shamefully convicted of having different recollections of a conversation than did Tim Russert.

The Plame Affair re-entered the news this week with the publication of Vice President Cheney’s (say it again and savor the way it rolls off the tongue… Vice President Cheney, Vice President Cheney) memoir, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.”

In his memoir, Vice President Cheney has this to say (by way of Politico)

Cheney recalls that during the CIA leak investigation, Deputy Secretary of State Rich Armitage stayed silent: “And, it pains me to note, so did his boss, Colin Powell, whom Armitage told he was [Robert] Novak’s source on October 1, 2003. Less than a week later, … there was a cabinet meeting. … [T]he press came in for a photo opportunity, and there were questions about who had leaked the information that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA. The president said he didn’t know, but wanted the truth. Thinking back, I realize that one of the few people in the world who could have told him the truth, Colin Powell, was sitting right next to him.”

There is the Plame Affair in a nutshell.

All Colin Powell had to do to stop the budding scandal is stand up and tell the truth. Whether in private to his boss, President George Bush, or in public is immaterial.
On Sunday, Powell was invited on to Face the Nation to talk about Cheney’s book. This is what he had to say about his role in the Plame Affair.

Then he goes on to talk about the Valerie Plame affair, and tries to lay it all off on Mister Rich Armitage in the State Department and me. But the fact of the matter is when Mister Armitage realized that he was the source for Bob Novak’s column that caused all the difficulty and he called me immediately, two days after the President launched the investigation and what we did was we called the Justice Department. They sent it over the FBI. The FBI had all the information that Mister Armitage’s participation in this immediately. And we called Al Gonzalez, the President’s counsel, and told him that we had information. The FBI asked us not to share any of this with anyone else, as did Mister Gonzalez. And so, if the White House operatives had come forward as readily as Mister Armitage had done, then we wouldn’t have gone on for two more months with the FBI trying to find out what happened in the White House. There wouldn’t have been special counsel appointed by the Justice Department who spent two years trying to get to the bottom of it. And we wouldn’t have the mess that we subsequently had. And so if the White House and the operatives in the White House and Mister Cheney’s staff and elsewhere in the White House had been as forthcoming with the FBI as Mister Armitage was, this problem would not have reached the dimensions that it reached.

From this point on I’ll borrow heavily from the Washington Post’s housebroken conservative, Jennifer Rubin.

The extent of the dishonesty is quite stunning. In a Cabinet meeting on October 7, 2003, the White House press corps bombarded President George W. Bush with questions about who the leaker was. Bush said he didn’t know, but there would be an investigation to get to the bottom of it. Powell, who had been told by Armitage just days earlier that Armitage was the leaker, sat there next to the president, stone silent. Not very loyal or honest, was it?

Moreover, the notion that Armitage’s slip was somehow inadvertent is belied by Bob Woodward’s taped interview in which Armitage repeatedly mentions Joe Wilson’s wife, evidently doing his best to get Plame’s identity out there. This was no slip of the tongue. Woodward testified that when he spoke to Libby sometime later that Libby never said anything about Plame.

At issue here is not simply Powell and Armitage’s deception and undermining of their commander in chief. There was a victim, one whom neither Powell or Armitage has ever apologized to. The person who ultimately paid the price for this was Scooter Libby. Had the president and the country known about Armitage, a special prosecutor would never have been appointed. Libby was eventually convicted on the basis of a he-said-he-said dispute between his recollection and that of the late Tim Russert. (Charges concerning Libby’s alleged comments to Judy Miller were dismissed, and he was acquitted on the count involving Matt Cooper.) A compelling case for Libby’s innocence can be found in this account by Stan Crock.

I never had a problem understanding Powell’s discomfiture with the Bush Administration. If Powell was ever an actual Republican, he was of the Nelson Rockefeller variety. He was not up to competing with Donald Rumsfeld for influence, especially in the aftermath of 9/11. He was brought into the administration to give it credibility in foreign policy — and one can hardly recall without pain the image of him appearing with then-candidate George Bush on the campaign trail and looking like he’d rather be having a root canal — and found foreign policy playing the role of horse-holder to two wars. Having said that, he owed a debt of loyalty to the President who appointed him and to the nation. He also owned common courtesy to a fellow human being, Scooter Libby, whose career and reputation he helped destroy to settle some perceived slight. Last Sunday, he owed us all the candor he failed to deliver back in 2003.

He didn’t and in the process has proven himself to be a petty and inconsequential man.

The perils of a remilitarized Sinai

Will the Egyptian military be permitted to remilitarize the Sinai? Since Palestinian and Egyptian terrorists crossed into Israel from Sinai on August 18 and murdered eight Israelis this has been a central issue under discussion at senior echelons of the government and the IDF.

Under the terms of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, Egypt is prohibited from deploying military forces in the Sinai. Israel must approve any Egyptian military mobilization in the area. Today, Egypt is asking to permanently deploy its forces in the Sinai. Such a move requires an amendment to the treaty.

Supported by the Obama administration, the Egyptians say they need to deploy forces in the Sinai in order to rein in and defeat the jihadist forces now running rampant throughout the peninsula. Aside from attacking Israel, these jihadists have openly challenged Egyptian governmental control over the territory.

So far the Israeli government has given conflicting responses to the Egyptian request. Defense Minister Ehud Barak told The Economist last week that he supports the deployment of Egyptian forces. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he would consider such deployment but that Israel should not rush into amending the peace treaty with Egypt.

Saturday Barak tempered his earlier statement, claiming that no decision had been made about Egyptian deployment in the Sinai.

The government's confused statements about Egyptian troop deployments indicate that at a minimum, the government is unsure of the best course of action. This uncertainty owes in large part to confusion about Egypt's intentions.

Egypt's military leaders do have an interest in preventing jihadist attacks on Egyptian installations and other interests in the Sinai. But does that interest translate into an interest in defending Israeli installations and interests? If the interests overlap, then deploying Egyptian forces may be a reasonable option. If Egypt's military leaders view these interests as mutually exclusive, then Israel has no interest in such a deployment.

ISRAEL'S CONFUSION over Egypt's strategic direction and interests echoes its only recently abated confusion over Turkey's strategic direction in the aftermath of the Islamist AKP Party's rise to power in 2002. Following the US's lead, despite Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hostile rhetoric regarding Israel, Israel continued to believe that he and his government were interested in maintaining Turkey's strategic alliance with Israel. That belief began unraveling with Erdogan's embrace of Hamas in January 2006 and his willingness to turn a blind eye to Iranian use of Turkish territory to transfer arms to Hezbollah during the war in July and August 2006.

Still, due to US support for Erdogan, Israel continued to sell Turkey arms until last year. Israel only recognized that Turkey had transformed itself from a strategic ally into a strategic enemy after Erdogan sponsored the terror flotilla to Gaza in May 2010.

As was the case with Turkey under Erdogan, Israel's confusion over Egypt's intentions has nothing to do with the military rulers' behavior. Like Erdogan, the Egyptian junta isn't sending Israel mixed signals.

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was never a strategic ally to Israel the way that Turkey was before Erdogan. However, Mubarak believed that maintaining a quiet border with Israel, combating the Muslim Brotherhood and keeping Hamas at arm's length advanced his interests. Mubarak's successors in the junta do not perceive their interests in the same way.

To the contrary, since they overthrew Mubarak in February, the generals ruling Egypt have made clear that their interest in cultivating ties with Israel's enemies - from Iran to the Muslim Brotherhood - far outweighs their interest in maintaining a cooperative relationship with Israel.

From permitting Iranian naval ships to traverse the Suez Canal for the first time in 30 years to opening the border with Hamas-ruled Gaza to its openly hostile and conspiratorial reaction to the August 18 terrorist attack on Israel from the Sinai, there can be little doubt about the trajectory of Egypt's relations with Israel.

BUT JUST as was the case with Turkey - and again, largely because of American pressure - Israel's leaders are wary of accepting that the strategic landscape of our relationship with Egypt has changed radically and that the rules that applied under Mubarak no longer apply.

After Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, terrorists in Gaza and Sinai took down the border. Gaza was immediately flooded with sophisticated armaments. Then-prime minister Ariel Sharon made a deal with Mubarak to deploy Egyptian forces to the Sinai to rebuild the border and man the crossing point at Rafah. While there were problems with the agreement, given the fact that Mubarak shared Israel's interests, the move was not unjustified.

Today this is not the case. The junta wants to permanently deploy forces to the Sinai and consequently is pushing to amend the treaty. The generals' request comes against the backdrop of populist calls from across Egypt's political spectrum demanding the cancellation of the peace treaty.

If Israel agrees to renegotiate the treaty, it will lower the political cost of a subsequent Egyptian abrogation of the agreement. This is the case because Israel itself will be on record acknowledging that the treaty does not meet its current needs.

Beyond that, there is the nature of the Egyptian military itself, which was exposed during and in the aftermath of the August 18 attack. At a minimum, the Egyptian and Palestinian terrorists who attacked Israel that day did so with no interference from Egyptian forces deployed along the border.

The fact that they shot into Israel from Egyptian military positions indicates that the Egyptian forces on the ground did not simply turn a blind eye to what was happening. Rather, it is reasonable to assume that they lent a helping hand to the terror operatives.

Furthermore, the hostile response of the Egyptian military to Israel's defensive operations to end the terror attack indicates that at a minimum, the higher echelons of the military are not sympathetically disposed towards Israel's right to defend its citizens.

Both the behavior of the forces on the ground and of their commanders in Cairo indicates that if the Egyptian military is permitted to deploy its forces to the Sinai, those forces will not serve any helpful purpose for Israel.

THE MILITARY'S demonstrated antagonism toward Israel, the uncertainty of Egypt's political future, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the hatred of Israel shared by all Egyptian political factions all indicate that Israel will live to regret it if it permits the Egyptian military to mobilize in the Sinai. Not only will Egyptian soldiers not prevent terrorist attacks against Israel, their presence along the border will increase the prospect of war with Egypt.

Egypt's current inaction against anti-Israel terror operatives in the Sinai has already caused the IDF to increase its force levels along the border. If Egypt is permitted to mass its forces in the Sinai, then the IDF will be forced to respond by steeply increasing the size of its force mobilized along the border. And the proximity of the two armies could easily be exploited by Egyptian populist forces to foment war.

In his interview with The Economist, Barak claimed bizarrely, "Sometimes you have to subordinate strategic considerations to tactical needs." It is hard to think of any case in human history when a nation's interests were served by winning a battle and losing a war. And the stakes with Egypt are too high for Israel's leaders to be engaging in such confused and imbecilic thinking.

The dangers emanating from post-Mubarak Egypt are enormous and are only likely to grow. Israel cannot allow its desire for things to be different to cloud its judgment. It must accept the situation for what it is and act accordingly.

© 2011 Caroline Glick

Exterminate Christians, close pyramids, Sphinx'

A rising leader in the radical Islamic movement in Egypt that has become a major political player since the demise of Hosni Mubarak's regime says Christian churches may need to be blown up and Christians exterminated to allow the advance of Islamic law, or Shariah.

The comments come from Sheik 'Adel Shehato, a senior leader with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. The sheik was jailed in 1991 because of his positions but was released earlier this year in the revolution that removed Mubarak from power.

His interview with the Egyptian daily Roz Al-Yousef was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

The sheik, a senior jihadist leader, responded to a question about using violence against Christians, who make up a substantial minority in Egypt.

"Are you against blowing up churches?" the newspaper interviewer asked Shehato.

"Yes and no," he replied. "The Christian is free to worship his God in his church, but if the Christians make problems for the Muslims, I will exterminate them. I am guided by the Shariah, and it stipulates that they must pay the jizya tax while in a state of humiliation."

"These positions of yours frighten us, as Egyptians," the interviewer said.

"I will not act [in ways] that contradict my faith just in order to please the people. ... We say to the Christians, convert to Islam or pay the jizya, otherwise we will fight you. The Shariah is not based on logic but on divine law. That is why we oppose universal, manmade constitutions."

MEMRI, which was founded in 1998 to monitor Middle East media, is an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit group that has offices in Washington, London, Rome, Jerusalem, Baghdad, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Advisers include winners of Nobels, the President Medal of Freedom and the U.S. Congress Gold Medal, such as Elie Wiesel, James Woolsey, John Bolton, John Ashcroft, William Bennett, Paul Bremer, Alan Dershowitz and Edgar Bronfman.

Among the many assertions made by the senior Islamic leader was that the Egyptian pyramids need to be closed down to tourists.

"There will be tourism for purposes of [medical] treatment, but the tourism sites of the pyramids, the Sphinx, and Sharm Al-Sheikh will be shut down, because my task is to get people to serve Allah rather than people. No proud Muslim will ever be willing to live off tourism profits, because the tourists come to drink alcohol and fornicate. [If they] want to come, they must comply with the conditions and laws of Islam. We will explain to them that, according to the Shariah, the pyramids are [from] a pagan and polytheistic age."

He continued with a description of the new state of arts and culture in Egypt, should he be in power.

"In Islam, there is no such thing as art. Painting, singing, and dancing are forbidden. Therefore, in the state there will be nothing but Islamic culture, for I cannot teach the infidel culture. … We will return to the decent culture of the Muslims and the Muslim forefathers, and to Islamic history," he said.

The far-reaching interview included his plans for worldwide government.

"As Muslims, we must believe that the Quran is our constitution, and that it is impossible for us to institute a Western democratic regime," he said. "I oppose democracy because it is not the faith of the Muslims. … According to Islam, it is forbidden for people to rule and to legislate laws, as Allah alone is ruler. Allah did not hand down the term [democracy] as a form of rule, and it is completely absent from the Arab and Islamic lexicon."

He said, "Once Allah's law is instated (sic), the role of the people will end and Allah will reign supreme."

A leader like himself would have no need to know what people want, he said.

"There is no consultation [by government leaders] with commoners, such as workers and fellahin, nor is there consultation over issues that contravene the Shariah," he said.

Muslims such as Mubarak who led Islamic nations but without strict adherence to Shariah were apostate, he warned.

"They are apostate infidels, as opposed to infidels like the Jews and Christians, and anyone who doubts that they are infidels is an infidel," he said.

Especially, he warned, Muslims must be wary of Christians and cannot be friends.

"I must support the Muslim and oppose the Christian," he said. "If there is a Christian who does me no harm, I will maintain limited contact with him. Islam [discusses] certain degrees of contact with the Christian, namely: keeping promises, dealing honestly with him, treating him kindly, and befriending him. The first three are allowed, but the fourth is deemed dangerous, for it contravenes the verse that says, 'O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy for friends…"

A worldwide Islamic kingdom, he explained, is a given.

"Of course we will launch a campaign of Islamic conquest throughout the world. As soon as the Muslim and Islam control Egypt and implement the Sharia, we will turn to the neighboring regions, Libya and Sudan to the south. All the Muslims in the world who wish to see the Shariah implemented worldwide will join the Egyptian army in order to form Islamic battalions, whose task will be to bring about the victory …

He said international relations will be simple.

"There are Muslims and there are infidels. We will have ambassadors in every country. We want to call all other countries to join Islam, and that will be the task of the ambassadors. If [they] refuse, there will be war," he said.

WND previously reported jihadists are boasting of the "paradise" the region is becoming since Mubarak was removed from power.

Additionally, there have been reports of a on a growing possibly jihadi threat not only inside the United States, but inside the U.S. government.

Was Obama an Indonesian citizen? Evidence raises concerns over presidential qualification.

Evidence continues to mount that President Obama was adopted by his Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, raising concerns over his presidential eligibility.

Obama’s American mother, Ann Dunham, separated from her first husband, Barack Obama Sr., in 1963 when the president was 2 years old. Dunham and Obama Sr. are reported to have later divorced.

In Hawaii, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian, in 1965 and moved to Indonesia in October 1967.

Divorce documents filed in Hawaii on Aug. 20, 1980, refer to Obama as the “child” of both Soetoro and Dunham, indicating a possible adoption in the U.S.

The divorce records state: “The parties have 1 child(ren) below age 18 and 1 child(ren) above 18 but still dependent on the parties for education.”

The records further identify the “oldest child” as “in university.”

“Mother resides with youngest child in 4-bedroom house provided by mother’s employer,” continues the divorce documents.

The documents identify the minor as Obama’s stepsister, Maya Soetoro.

The older child, not identified by name, is clearly Obama, who at the time was studying at Occidental University.

The divorce records do not state whether Obama was adopted in Hawaii by his stepfather.

KleinOnline did not find any adoption records for Obama in Hawaii.

The legal term “child” in divorce documents could refer to a stepchild.

According to the Immigration and Naturalization Act, the term “child” means an unmarried person under 21 years of age who meets certain criteria, including an adopted child or “a stepchild, whether or not born out of wedlock, provided the child had not reached the age of eighteen years at the time the marriage creating the status of stepchild occurred.”

Still, in Indonesia, strong evidence indicates Soetoro adopted Obama there, which may have made him an Indonesian citizen for a time.

Previously, KleinOnline reported on an exchange on Facebook in which Maya Soetoro appeared to acknowledge Obama was adopted by her Indonesian father.

In a reply, she said: “You were suggesting that because my father, his stepfather, had adopted him, that my brother was no longer American.”

The question of a possible Indonesian adoption circulated on the blogosphere during the 2008 presidential campaign when an Associated Press photograph emerged of Obama’s school registration papers as a child in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim nation – showing the future presidential candidate’s religion listed as “Islam” with “Indonesian” citizenship.

The 2007 Associated Press photograph taken by Tatan Syuflana, an Indonesian AP reporter and photographer, surfaced on the photographic website showing an image of Obama’s registration card at Indonesia’s Fransiskus Assisi school, a Catholic institution.

In the document, Obama is registered under the name Barry Soetoro by his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro. The school card lists Barry Soetoro as a Muslim, Indonesian citizen born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Jack Stokes, manager of media relations for the AP, confirmed to KleinOnline the picture is indeed an AP photo.

After attending the Assisi Primary School, Obama later was enrolled at SDN Menteng 1, an Indonesian public school.

In Indonesia, which was under strict rule in 1967, Obama clearly took on the last name of his stepfather in school registration documents. All Indonesian students were required to carry government identity cards, or Karty Tanda Pendudaks, which needed to bear the student’s legal name, which should be matched in public school registration filings.

According to Indonesian legal experts, it was difficult to enroll non-Indonesian citizens in public schooling.

Obama arrived in Indonesia at age 6. Still, Lolo Soetoro might have adopted Obama in Indonesia earlier in his marriage to Dunham.

The exact timeline is crucial because if Soetoro adopted Obama at age 5 or younger, then Obama would automatically have become an Indonesian citizen according to the country’s laws in the 1960s. Indonesian law at the time stipulated any child aged 5 or younger adopted by an Indonesian father is immediately granted Indonesian citizenship upon completion of the adoption process.

Lolo Soetoro could have adopted Obama in Hawaii, although such an adoption would not have necessarily been recognized by Indonesia, and no records of such an adoption have emerged.

Indonesian law at the time also did not recognize dual citizenship, meaning if Obama became Indonesian, then as far as that country was concerned, his U.S. citizenship was no longer recognized by Indonesia. But U.S. law would still recognize Obama as an American citizen.

If Obama had Indonesian citizenship for a period, it may not necessarily have changed his U.S. citizenship status, but it could raise loyalty concerns.

If an adoption occurred, it could affect the birth certificate. In the United States, when an adoption takes place, a birth certificate generated at birth is replaced by a birth certificate that references the adoptive parents as the actual parents.

The location of birth is not changed, nor the weight of the baby, or other details. But the mother and father can be changed on an original long-form birth certificate during the adoption process.

With research by Brenda J. Elliott

Shilling for Shariah

Since World War I, the West has enshrine human rights as an ideal for all nations and societies, as codified in the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, 1966), and the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action of June, 1993. Today these concepts are a cornerstone of Western Civilization.

But Islam offers a different perception of human rights — human rights as understood through Shariah law. As the number of Muslims living in western countries grows, and along with that their influence in politics and society, Shariah comes into competition with western ideals.

Much ink has been spilled over the last few years in debate about the value, or the danger, of Shariah to western society. On one hand there is a strongly anti-Shariah movement, led primarily by David Yerushalmi, a New York lawyer promoting awareness of the dangers of Sharia to American society and lobbying to ban it from American courts.[1]

The New York Times has been a leader in the defense of Shariah, with commentators Roger Cohen, Andrea Elliott, and Noah Feldman, inter alia, offering detailed expositions of the beauties of Shariah, its benign nature, and the absence of any reason to fear its co-existence with the secular law of the western countries.[2] They argue that Shariah law is a “non-existent threat,” [3] a “problem more imagined than real,” and its defense is a defense of religious freedom.[4]

The most eloquent, detailed, almost elegiac defense of Sharia comes from Noah Feldman who opines that “…for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world.”

Defending threatened minorities is an excellent expression of American democratic values. Shilling for Sharia, if it threatens our society, is not.

So why might Shariah be a danger to America?

Shariah (lit. a path, a way) is the product of Muslim jurists who use the Qur’an, the extra-Qur’anic accounts of Mohammed’s teachings, analogical reasoning, and consensus to create Muslim law. There are certain characteristics of Shariah that have been apparent since its inception in the 7th century, such as:

Condoning murder for sexual transgressions or for the accusation of sexual transgressions

Condoning forced marriages and marriage of under-aged girls

Condoning wife beating and marital rape

Establishing women’s legal status in courts to be literally half of a man’s (it takes 2 female witnesses to counter one male witness in court)

Requiring that female heirs receive only half of what males receive

Requiring women to cover all of their body except hands and face.

Encouraging Polygamy

Prohibiting Moslem women from marrying non-Moslem men.

Prohibiting homosexuality, with punishment of flogging or execution

Prohibiting alcoholic beverages, gambling, music, much western art

Use of lex talionis (literally an eye for eye, tooth for tooth)

Amputation, flogging, crucifixion, stoning and decapitation for a variety of crimes, many of which would be considered non-capital offenses or even torts by western standards

Death for insulting or criticizing Islam, Muslims, Mohammed, the Qur’an, Sharia, or Allah

Requiring execution or assassination of Muslims who convert out of Islam

Creating the dhimmi status for Non-Muslims: a sub-class non-citizen denied civil and human rights[5]

In Sharia a non-Muslim’s life is worth less than a Muslim’s[6]

Requiring eternal jihad and exhorting Muslim leaders to abrogate treaties with non-Muslim countries if doing so will advance Jihad.

So Shariah is based upon a religious ideology that embraces gender apartheid, religious apartheid, cruel punishment and the denial of freedoms of speech, thought, and conscience. As such it cannot be compatible with western pluralistic democratic societies.

But defenders of Shariah argue that much of what is objectionable to western sensibilities has often been not strictly enforced, and that over much of the past Shariah was more humane and just by modern standards than other national or religious laws of those same times.

These assertions, even if true, are irrelevant. We are concerned with the present and future impact of Shariah on our civilization, not a comparative historical analysis of various legal systems. Moreover, the religious, triumphalist, supremacist, imperialist Islam of el-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Saudi Arabia and Iran includes the brutal enforcement of Shariah; and these terrorist forces and states have made deep inroads into Muslim countries previously ruled by far less extreme Islamic governments, and into African, Asian and European countries.

Feldman himself admits that “In the Muslim world Shariah has undergone an extraordinary revival in recent years. … Today, 66 percent of Egyptians, 60 percent of Pakistanis and 54 percent of Jordanians say that Shariah should be the only source of legislation in their countries. Islamist political parties… make the adoption of Shariah the most prominent plank in their political platforms. And the message resonates. Wherever Islamists have been allowed to run for office in Arabic-speaking countries, they have tended to win almost as many seats as the governments have let them contest. The Islamist movement…. is easily the fastest growing and most vital in the Muslim world; the return to Shariah is its calling card.”

For almost 40 years, Saudi Arabia and later Iran have made carefully orchestrated efforts to advance their own extreme interpretation of Shariah throughout the Muslim world. They have succeeded. Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are examples of the triumph of Shariah in what were once more moderate Islamic states. With the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan in 1983, pro-Shariah forces precipitated a war that caused the death of millions. Nigeria,[7] Somalia, and Malaysia are in the throes of just such a conflict now. Turkey, a secular country since Ataturk (early 20th century), now boasts a radical Islamist government.

Add to that the Global Sharia Movement, with its own YouTube channel and Face book pages, whose goal is the total islamization of the world, implementation of Shariah and abolition of democracy. In the UK there is constant pressure from the Global Sharia Movement’s local chapter, Sharia4UK, to advance Shariah as an alternative to British criminal law. And this is not merely the work of some few extremists. Recent polls show that growing numbers of young UK Muslims support Shariah, with almost 40% wishing to live under Shariah in Britain.[8]

Proliferating across European cities are “no-go zones” in which the majority Muslim population does not allow non-Muslims to enter, not even police, fire department, or ambulances. France alone has 751 such zones.[9]

In Britain, a Muslim group called Muslims Against the Crusades has launched the Islamic Emirates Project, a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what it calls “Londonistan” – into independent Islamic mini-states, or “Islamic Emirates,” which will function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Shariah entirely outside of British jurisprudence.

In the Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden, Muslim leaders are becoming more and more aggressive and violent in their bids to create Muslims-only enclaves, where Shariah is enforced to the exclusion of state laws.

One can watch on YouTube[10] the Muslim islamization of Europe: Muslim occupation and victory, without tanks or soldiers.

And what about the USA, where Shariah is “more imagined than real?” A 2009 conference in Boston answers that question. Nearly 300 people attended the Khalifah Conference on “The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam” organized by Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), whose alumni include 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the late Iraqi terrorist leader Abu Musab az-Zarqawi and would-be Hamas suicide bombers . HT’s goal is to restore the caliphate and establish Shariah over the entire world via jihad. HT took its first baby steps toward this goal when it declared the new Caliphate, with its capital in Gaza City, in 2006.

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is actively afoot as well.

A memorandum, written in 1991 by a member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, outlined a strategic plan in the United States that involved “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” A similar document, discovered during a raid by Swiss authorities in November 2001, identifies what the MB calls “the project”: a 12-step plan to mount a cultural invasion of the West, country by country, by establishing Islamist government organizations parallel to secular governments. Written in 1982, this document presages the Muslim successes at implementing Shariah and creating independent Muslim enclaves throughout Europe.

Probably the most thorough documentation of the threat of Shariah to the USA is Frank Gaffney’s book Shariah: the Threat to America (CSP, 2010), published by his Center for Security Policy (CSP). The CSP’s website devoted to the question of Shariah in America,, offers a 17-chapter survey of the issues summarized above.[11]

Assad may opt for war to escape Russian, Arab, European ultimatums

Monday night and Tuesday, Aug-29-30, three international heavyweights - Russia, the European Union and key Muslim nations – gave Syrian President Bashar Assad tough ultimatums for ending his ferocious crackdown on protest. Nevertheless, on Monday, his troops shot dead 17 people in Syrian cities - even as he received Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov who arrived in Damascus with a last warning from President Dmitry Medvedev: Recall you soldiers to their bases immediately and implement changes or Moscow will endorse UN Security Council sanctions stiff enough to stifle the Syrian economy.

Those sanctions are only a step away from a resolution authorizing NATO, together with Muslim and Arab nations, to intervene militarily in the Syrian crisis.
debkafile's military and intelligence sources disclose that Turkey, as a NATO member, and Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, have been in discussions this past week on the form this intervention would take:

1. The long-considered Turkish plan to send troops into northern Syria and carve out a military pocket from which Syria's rebels would be supplied with military, logistic and medical aid.
2. Ankara and Riyadh will provide the anti-Assad movements with large quantities of weapons and funds to be smuggled in from outside Syria.
3. The Turkish military incursion would be matched by Saudi troops entering southern Syria at the head of GCC contingents. They would move in via Jordan and establish a second military enclave under GCC auspices.
The third option came up in Tehran last Thursday, Aug. 25, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad heard some straight talk from the visiting Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

debkafile's exclusive Iranian sources reveal that the Qatari ruler slapped down a blunt warning: Assad was finished, he said, and advised Iran to face up to this. For the sake of even minimal relations with the Arab world, Iran must ditch the Assad regime in Damascus or face the real danger of the Syrian crisis deteriorating into a regional conflict – whether against Syria or by Syria, he did not explain.

Ahmadinejad turned the emir down flat, according to our sources. He said Iran would never renege on its pact with Assad.
Two days later, our military sources report, Syria deployed 25 anti-air missile batteries along its Turkish border.
In Brussels, Monday, the 27-member European Union bowed to Washington's demand and finally decided to corner Assad by clamping down an embargo on imported Syrian crude. Europe is the biggest buyer of Syrian oil, importing $4.5 billion worth a year. This provides Syria with its main source of foreign currency revenue and the primary funding for Assad's military operations against dissidents.

Once this source dries up, the Syrian ruler will be forced to cut down on those operations unless Iran is willing to make up the difference.
Assad is sure to appreciate that the coalition lining up against him of the US, Europe, Turkey, the Gulf Arab nations and Russia, are almost identical to the alignment (barring Moscow) which has just overthrown Muammar Qaddafi's regime in Tripoli. He and his advisers have no doubt discussed the possibility of being at the receiving end of the same treatment.

Their ruler's growing isolation and the real prospect of international punitive measures have given the opposition new heart after nearly six months of standing up to a deadly crackdown: Saturday, Aug. 27 Assad saw his own capital rallying against him with big demonstrations in central Damascus. The pressure from the street continued to build up through Sunday and Monday, some of the protesters venturing to hoist the old Syrian Republican flag instead of the Baathist version introduced by the Assads.
Aleppo is now the only Syrian city which has not so far come out against the regime. Tuesday morning, while Assad attended an Eid al-Fitr worship at a Damascus mosque, his soldiers sprayed demonstrators in the eastern town of Deir al-Zour with bullets.

Well-informed military sources warn that Assad will not be cowed by the international, military and economic noose tightening around his neck. He is far more likely to try and loosen it by lashing out against his enemies, starting with Israel. Iran will certainly be a willing supporter of such belligerence, starting a war which could spread like wildfire across the region.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A terror attack every two days shows Israel's military restraint to be bankrupt

In the 10 days after Palestinian raiders killed eight Israelis on the Eilat highway on Aug. 18, Israel has suffered five terrorist attacks, the latest in Tel Aviv Sunday night which targeted a big teenagers' back-to- school party. Five of the eight people injured were police officers and the club's security guard. Israeli failure to respond commensurately to the Eilat Highway attack, the first in the series, blew another big hole in Israel's military deterrence.

The policy of military restraint pursued by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak was shown by the Tel Aviv attack by a Palestinian jihadi yelling Allah Akhbar to have crossed a dangerous red line: Civilians are being left in harm's way to serve diplomatic interests such as not further straining relations with the new rulers in Cairo.
Israel received due warning ahead of the Eilat highway attack, for which15-20 gunmen from Gaza crossed into Israel from Egyptian Sinai. But no preventive action was taken. Eight Israelis paid with their lives for this restraint and another 33 were inured.
Since then, Israel has received a specific warning that another attack is building up fast: A Jihad Islami team has departed the Gaza Strip for Sinai where it has set up another multiple attack from the Egyptian border on southern Israel.

debkafile's military sources say this warning is a red herring. The Iranian-sponsored coordinated strike is planned to be more elaborate than the first, consisting on a raid on a southern Israeli highway near the Egyptian border and another assaulting civilian locations abutting the Gaza Strip, already battered year after year by Palestinian missiles.

Palestinian Jihad Islami, which declared a missile ceasefire last Thursday, Aug. 25 - to fend off a damaging Israeli reprisal for the first Palestinian attack and the 150 missiles fired into Israel since then – saw Israel was sitting on its hands and was encouraged to go for more outrages.

debkafile's military sources report that Israel sent notice of this threat to Cairo last week in the expectation of Egyptian action to thwart the attack before it reached the Israeli border. However, nothing was done and as the peril advanced, Jerusalem let the public know Monday, Aug. 29, that Egypt was in the picture in the hope of prodding its rulers into action.

But failing military action, sovereign Israel is shrinking back under a terrorist threat. Sunday night, dire security concerns closed two national highways, 12 and 10, to traffic, suspending the road links between northern Israel and the South – causing major disruptions in the entire affective region. Even contractors on a rush job to finish the defensive wall going up along the 200-kilometer Egyptian border were told to wait for adequate security measures.

Since last week, Jerusalem has been on high terror alert level. Various signs of preparation for several attacks in the capital were spotted by security forces at sensitive locations.
Since the onset of the latest Palestinian terrorist-cum-missile offensive, popular pressure on the government has increasingly demanded seriously punitive action for cutting the offensive short and providing a deterrent for the future. After the Eilat Highway attack, the prime minister publicly pledged due punishment for the perpetrators. Now, his spokesmen are explaining that Israel needs to act with restraint, "using its brain not its gut," because of the approaching Palestinian application for UN recognition on Sept. 20 – which is anyway a lost battle for Israel because of the Palestinians' automatic majority – and the incendiary climate engendered by the Arab revolts in the lands around Israel.

Such statements are worse than counter-productive; they are harmful.

Palestinian extremists treat them as open invitations to batter Israel without fear of IDF retaliation. The belief in Jerusalem that if Israel let terror goes unpunished - or even foiled – this will guarantee Israel a smooth, bloodless ride past Sept. 20 is no more than a foolish illusion. Faced with an unthreatening Israel, Palestinian terrorists have never felt safer to do their worst. The level of violence will rise rather than decline around that date.
A spineless Israeli government is thus leading the country day by day down a slippery slope to the next Palestinian uprising (Intifada).
It is no coincidence that these circumstances strongly resemble the situation surrounding the suicide-powered Palestinian uprising of 2000, because it happened during Ehud Barak's brief stint as prime minister. Then too, he instructed Israeli soldiers not to shoot straight at Palestinian positions but dip their guns and aim at the foreground. But Yasser Arafat was not put off and went right ahead to blow up buses, markets and cafes across Israel's cities, a hellish experience lasting two years.
Popular frustration with his passivity led to Barak being quickly voted out of power.
This Monday, shortly before a Palestinian from Nablus set about him among Israelis with a knife after running them down in a stolen cab, a "senior defensive official" stated in a briefing to foreign correspondents that Israel would not be able to halt Iran's quest for atomic weapons by a single attack.

Declining to be identified, he said: "We're not talking about Iraq or Syria where one strike would derail a program" - a reference to Israel's 1981 air strikes that destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor and Syria's plutonic plant in 2007.
He concluded that the US stood a better chance than Israel of forcing Iran to change its mind about a nuclear weapon. "With all respect to Israel – the greatest fear of the [Iranian] regime is the USA."
The admission that the Iranians fear American military strength - but not Israel's – is tantamount to a formal acknowledgement that Israel has lost its military deterrence.

Binyamin Netanyahu and his right-of-center Likud have much to answer for.
A pledge to eradicate Iran's military nuclear program topped their election platform two and a half years ago. Since forming a broad coalition government in 2009, he has not lifted a finger to promote that objective or stem Iranian expansion across the Middle East and its boosts in arms and funding for Israel's terrorist enemies.
Netanyahu seems to be satisfied with passing the buck to America, knowing perfectly well that President Barack Obama has no intention of picking it up. The Netanyahu-Barack duo have opted for the same passive approach to Palestinian terror – as though that too is someone else's business.

Copyright 2000-2011 DEBKAfile. All Rights Reserved. Terms and Conditions. contact debkafile