Saturday, March 17, 2012

Aren't you glad we dumped Mubarak? Aren't you glad we gave Egypt the Sinai?

ISRAEL MATZAV - by Carl in Jerusalem
Friday, March 16, 2012
(The cartoon came from an Egyptian newspaper). 
The Egyptian parliament has unanimously adopted the report of its Arab affairs committee, which celebrates Palestinian terrorism resistance and denies the very existence of Israel, which it defines as “an imperialist settlement entity” which is of “an aggressive nature” and which “drove a nation from its land by force to establish a racist state.” The U.S. is also blamed by the Egyptian parliament for its unconditional support of Israel. The Committee's report also includes a list of recommendations that would effectively terminate all relations between Egypt and the 'Zionist entity,' which would hereafter be defined as  Egypt's primary enemy.
The Arab Affairs Committee’s statement was unanimously accepted and applauded in Parliament and reflects the true perception of the Islamic elements in the Egyptian political leadership (which is also shared by the leftist organizations). In its eyes, Israel is the foremost enemy of Egypt and the Arab and Islamic world, and the peace agreement with it (the Camp David agreement) is considered a dead letter.

The new Egyptian tone indicates the beginning of the formation of an Egyptian policy of confrontation against Israel, first of all in the political and economic spheres and through direct support of the Palestinian armed struggle. Egypt is setting itself on a collision course with Israel, using the Palestinian issue in all its aspects – including Israeli military operations against Palestinian terrorism as well as Israeli policy in Jerusalem or the West Bank – as an excuse for direct Egyptian intervention. At the operational level, the new Egyptian leadership declares its commitment “to assist the Palestinian struggle/resistance in all its forms and manifestations,” which means providing direct assistance to Palestinian terrorism, which may be expressed through money, weapons, training, and transfer of intelligence.

Defining Israel as a “major enemy” which threatens national Egyptian and Arab security is of great importance, since its translation into action means building a military capability to deal with the “Israeli threat,” including an attempt to deny Israel any advantage in the nuclear field and/or the development of Egyptian nuclear weapons.

At present, the new Egyptian political leadership cannot translate these policies into actions. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi party attained an absolute majority in the Parliament and the Upper House, but the full transfer of powers from the military government to the elected civilian government has not yet been completed.

Today, Egyptian foreign policy is not directed by the Egyptian Parliament. For now, Egypt is still controlled by the military and the government leaders appointed by it. This situation is likely to change after the presidential elections on May 23-24 and the establishment of a new civilian government. The division of responsibility between the new government and the military in the future remains to be seen. But the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in the presidential election could potentially complete its takeover of the political system in Egypt and allow the Islamic movement to accelerate its political consolidation, to purge the army of its old guard, and to recapture a leadership position in the Arab world, based in part on the struggle against Israel.

The Egyptian position, which is completely supportive of Hamas and the struggle against Israel, in practice, eliminates the ability of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, to lead political moves toward an historic compromise agreement with Israel. Moreover, it gradually prepares the ground for permanent political friction with Israel which, if not addressed, could even develop into military clashes (against an Israeli action in Gaza or along the border between Israel and Egypt).
Read the whole thing. Aren't you glad we got rid of Mubarak? Aren't you glad that we gave them the Sinai, which, of course, they have no intention of returning? Aren't you glad that the Obama administration wants us to repeat the same mistakes with the 'Palestinians'?

What could go wrong?

(The cartoon at the top came from an Egyptian newspaper).
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 8:23 AM

Convicted Nazi Death Camp Guard Demjanjuk Dies

John Demjanjuk

'Ivan the Terrible' a/k/a John Demjanjuk  
Published: March 17th, 2012
John Demjanjuk, the retired US autoworker who was convicted of being a guard at the Nazis’ Sobibor death camp died Saturday at 91, his son told The AP.After close to 30 years of claiming his was a case of mistaken identity, Demjanjuk was convicted last May of 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder and sentenced to five years in prison. Still, he ended up dying in a nursing home in the Bavarian town of Bad Feilnbach, after having been released from prison pending yet another appeal.Demjanjuk had terminal bone marrow disease, chronic kidney disease and other ailments, and the exact cause of his death was still being determined.In the immortal words of the late Israeli humorist Ephraim Kishon, Justice wins in the end, even if it takes 70 years…

Gaza's Tunnel Complex - by Speedy Media

by Nicolas Pelham

For an informal smuggling route, the tunnel complex underneath Gaza’s border with Egypt is remarkably formal. A security cordon of chicken-wire fencing surrounds the Gazan side of the site, barring entrance from Rafah town a few hundred meters away. At each exit a squad in military fatigues monitors the round-the-clock traffic for blacklisted goods. At one checkpoint, Hamas security men frisked a youth in jeans and a baggy T-shirt, discovering a colored paper bag taped to his waist. Inside were 16 packets of tramadol, an opioid painkiller that can be purchased over the counter in Egypt but is sold by the pill in Gaza. The young man’s stash would have fetched 6,000 shekels (over $1,600) on the streets.

Tunnel operators permit such illicit commerce at their peril. Amid the dust clouds churned up by the endless shoveling and hauling stands the nerve center, a bungalow housing the Border and Crossings Authority, adorned incongruously with a bed of anemones. In 2010, the Authority closed at least five tunnels for smuggling tramadol and two tunnels for evading payment of tobacco taxes. “We used to earn thousands smuggling small shipments of handguns, grenades, bullets and dynamite,” says a tunnel operator of five years standing, “but it is no longer worth the risk to be prosecuted by Hamas.”

Known until its upgrade in September as the Tunnels Commission, the Border and Crossings Authority regulates Gaza’s underground trade flows, estimated by Gazan businessmen at over $700 million annually. Hitherto entirely under Interior Ministry control, the Authority is comprised of a 300-strong Interior Ministry armed force, which patrols the Egyptian border on motorbikes and checks the papers of all those entering and leaving the closed zone. Another corps of 200 customs officials, under Economy Minister ‘Ala’ al-Rifati, oversees tariff payments, performing spot checks of cargoes to ensure compliance. Before exiting, truckers queue to register their loads at booths in front of the Authority’s gates. Each truck then sits on an electronic weighing machine inlaid in the sands. Truckers receive a printout of the results, to be declared on leaving the tunnel zone.

The industrial scale of the tunnel business is staggering, dwarfing what passes through the Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing, even now that Israel has relaxed its siege on Gaza in an attempt to calm the furor that erupted after its naval commandoes killed nine aboard a maritime aid convoy in May 2010. Bulldozers shovel gravel into huge dump trucks, and tankers loaded with fuel ply the sands shrouding the site in a dust cloud. Among the quantities arriving daily by tunnel, according to UN figures collected from local merchants, are 800,000 liters (around 5,000 barrels) of fuel, 3,000 tons of gravel, 500 tons of steel rods and 3,000 tons of cement -- about as much as Israel shifts in a week. On one visit in October, I counted a truck pulling out of the complex every three minutes.

Necessity, the Mother of Invention

By the contemporary standards of Gaza’s traders, the times are remarkably peaceful and bustling. In the late winter of 2008, Israel unleashed a war on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead, whose bombardment pummeled many tunnels. In 2010, the regime of Husni Mubarak in Egypt announced it had played its part in the siege by plugging 600 tunnels with a variety of methods, from explosives to flooding with sewage, and most menacingly by sinking a steel barrier deep underground. Extortion and confiscation of goods was systemic. “If you didn’t pay their extortion, they imprisoned you,” recalled a tunnel owner on the Egyptian side of the border, who claimed interrogators had strung him by his hands during his ten-day detention, to extract a 250,000 pound ($45,000) bribe as the price for escaping a five-year prison term. 




American soldiers in Afghanistan
FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012
Would the FDR administration cover up for the nazi killing of an American soldier? To say that we have lost our way under Obama would be a gross understatement. This is the policy of a saboteur. And the enemedia is providing him blanket cover.
Why is the Pentagon covering for Islamic jihadists? "Marine killed by Afghan soldier last month, officials say," from theAssociated Press, March 16:
WASHINGTON – An Afghan soldier shot to death a 22-year-old Marine at an outpost in southwestern Afghanistan last month in a previously undisclosed case of apparent Afghan treachery that marked at least the seventh killing of an American military member by his supposed ally in the past six weeks, Marine officials said.Lance Cpl. Edward J. Dycus of Greenville, Miss., was shot in the back of the head on Feb. 1 while standing guard at an Afghan-U.S. base in the Marja district of Helmand province. The exact circumstances have not been disclosed, but the Dycus family has been notified that he was killed by an Afghan soldier. Marine officials discussed the matter on condition of anonymity because it is still under investigation.When the Pentagon announced Dycus' death the day after the shooting, it said he died "while conducting combat operations" in Helmand. It made no mention of treachery, which has become a growing problem for U.S. and allied forces as they work closely with Afghan forces to wind down the war.The Associated Press inquired about the Dycus case after Maj. Gen. John Toolan, the top Marine commander in Afghanistan at the time, said in an AP interview March 7 that the Afghan government has been embarrassed by recent cases of Afghan soldiers turning their guns on their supposed partners."I had one just a month ago where a lance corporal was killed, shot in the back of the head, and the Afghan minister of defense was here the next day" to discuss custody of the shooter, Toolan said, speaking from his Regional Command-Southwest headquarters at Camp Leatherneck.After a negotiation aimed at ensuring the Afghan suspect is prosecuted, the Americans turned him over to Afghan government custody, another official said.Toolan did not further identify the victim. He mentioned the case while explaining the importance of stopping Afghan treachery as U.S. forces step back from a direct combat role in Helmand and other areas of Afghanistan to a new mission of advising and assisting Afghan soldiers and police.That role, which is in full swing in Helmand, puts U.S. and other NATO troops in closer contact with Afghans at a time when tensions between the two sides have been heightened by an American soldier's alleged killing Sunday of 16 Afghan civilians."The Marines and soldiers that are doing the advising work out here understand that if they can't live side by side and operate day in and day out with the Afghans, then they are not going to be able to achieve what they need to achieve as far as relationship building," Toolan said....
Right. So get American troops out of there.
Two U.S. soldiers were gunned down by an Afghan soldier Feb 23 in Nangahar province; an Air Force lieutenant colonel and an Army major were killed inside the Afghan government office in Kabul and two Army paratroopers were killed by Afghan soldiers in Kandahar province on March 1.
In none of those cases did the Pentagon's casualty announcement mention that the Americans were killed by their supposed Afghan allies. It said, for example, that the two killed Feb. 23 died of "wounds suffered when their unit came under small arms fire." It happened amid an anti-American protest outside the Americans' base. Two protesters were killed by Afghan police there before the Afghan soldier turned his gun on U.S. troops.
Posted by Pamela Geller on Friday, March 16, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Let's review .... 1. American troops told to disarm before entering a tent meeting with Panetta.  Do you suppose that "request" was made due to the increase shootings of our own troops by these Afghan soldiers?
2.  Is it any wonder more of our troops do not have a breakdown, like the American soldier who shot 16 Afghans, when our troops cannot trust the Afghans they are "training"?!  
Pamela is right - time to get our troops out of Afghanistan and bring them home.  

Mashaal in Turkey: Award for best joke of the week!

NOTE:  I figured everyone could use a good laugh, so I've decided to post the best joke of the week - let's give Mashaal an Award for his humor, as he explains to Erdogan that "Israel used Gaza to test Iron Dome"!  You just can't make this stuff up!

Mashaal in Turkey: Israel Used Gaza to Test Iron Dome
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meets Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. blames Israel for using excuses to attack Gaza.
Erdogan and Mashaal meet in Turkey 

Erdogan and Mashaal meet in Turkey

By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 3/17/2012, 12:03 AM
Israel National News

The head of Hamas’ political bureau, Khaled Mashaal, met on Friday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two met for two hours during a surprise visit Mashaal made to Ankara.Channel 10 News reported that duringthe meeting, Mashaal told Erdogan that Israel had used excuses to attack Gaza during the escalation this week, when terrorists fired more than 200 rockets at southern Israel.“Israel used Gaza as an experiment field for the Iron Dome and for the IDF’s weapons,” Mashaal was quoted by Channel 10 as having told Erdogan.The report said that the Turkish leader expressed his anger over the “Israeli aggression” and warned Mashaal against what he called Israel's attempt to drag Gaza into a war.According to a report in the Turkish-based Today’s Zaman newspaper, the meetingbetween Mashaal and Erdogan focused mainly on the reconciliation between Hamas and its rival faction Fatah.The newspaper quoted Erdogan as having told reporters prior to the meeting, “There are positive developments regarding relations between Hamas and Fatah. We will assess these developments."He added that regional issues will also be discussed at the meeting, which was attended by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Ömer Çelik.The meeting came two days after Fatah officials admitted they do not expect Hamas leaders in Gaza to follow through on its end of the Cairo reconciliation deal "anytime soon."The now-itinerant Hamas politburo agreed to a deal in Qatar with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to form an interim government of technocrats.However, Hamas leaders in Gaza ambushed Mashaal after-the-fact with a raft of new demands observers say Fatah will never agree to.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

On Shooting Afghans...


Apropos of the recent news of an American soldier allegedly murdering 16 Afghans, I say this:

Give that sick motherfucker a chestful of medals, and turn him into the next Patton.

If you're going to have a War on Terrorism at all, it should, one thinks, behoove you to be out killing the people who will, eventually, be performing said acts of Terorrism. After all, every Afghan is just one missed shipment of Islamically-approved, American-taxpayer-provided, dog-food-grade canned goods away from joining the Taliban, anyway.

The (predictable) fake outrage that has been ginned up in recent weeks by both this incident and the accidental (allegedly) burning of Korans is based upon a simple premise,which because of it's very simplicity American leadership -- both political and military -- have missed completely. When it comes to killing Afghans in any number whatsoever, it seems the Taliban and other Afghans would prefer that we leave such things to them.

After all, you never heard of a protests in Kandahar when a Taliban raid leaves a string of dead goatherds and well-raped rams behind, do you? President Hamid Karzai doesn't get all snippy when Afghan drug lords and their Taliban allies send the mentally ill into crowded marketplaces with remote-controlled explosive belts strapped around their waists, does he? No one in Afghanistan seems to give a shit when their this-close-to-Huns brethren machine gun and mortar a schoolhouse full of little girls, right? When was the last time you can remember a Pashtun getting bent out of shape because his armed-to-the-teeth 6-year old son went to slug it out with the Tajiks in a pointless "retaliation for stealing our most sexually-attractive donkeys" raid and didn't come back?

Quite frankly, I could give a tinker's turd for what any Afghan has to say on the subject of killing; they have a long history of a bloody, brutal, and casual relationship with the act of murder, both against the armed and the helpless. It's embedded in their culture so deeply as to make them wholly irredeemable, and hypocritical when they complain about it.

Then again, all Islamic cultures have this same casual attitude towards killing; it's one of the ways in which Islam managed to establish itself, making the great leap from the military/religious code of the demented desert nomad to the excuse to commit every crime it's possible to imagine in the name of God.

The only time Arabs, Palestinians, Afghans, Persians, et. al. get truly concerned about violence is when it's done to them by The Other...especially when The Other possesses the power to totally annihilate them in a way which makes retaliation impossible. In the meantime, they have absolutely no qualms whatsoever about inflicting violence against anyone their sick religious beliefs can manage to turn into an enemy, and usually by surprise or subterfuge, or in the case of Iran, through a myriad of proxies.

I've said it before here, and I shall say it again, mostly because the people in charge of this Public-Relations-Campaign-With-Guns-Disguised-as-a-War still don't get it:

These people don't want freedom, democracy, and free trade. For a start, they don't know what these things are, or what they are good for, and so long as what passes for a thought process in that part of the world is dominated first and foremost by matters of RELIGION, they will never learn. There is no history whatsoever in the Islamic lands of anything we might term as the necessary institutions for the successful implementation of constitutional ,democratic republicanism.

There is no history of free markets. There is no history of religious pluralism since the Islamic Wave first left the Arabian deserts. There is no such thing, and never has been, as an unfettered cultural, scientific or political point of view that wasn't mixed up in the dialectic of the Iron-fisted Supreme Ruler, the dictates of God, and the tangled system by which each props the other up.

Pakistan is NOT our ally, and never has been. It's overriding goal has always been to use American Aid to substitute for a native economy, and to use American arms to counter the threat they feel from India and other Middle Eastern dictatorships. The creation of Pakistan, in the final analysis, was the single greatest failure of British foreign policy in a history which also includes the Munich Peace Pledge and the Treaty of Versailles.

All your typical Afghan, Iranian, Pakistani, Syrian, Palestinian or Saudi wants is to be left alone to beat his wives, rape his livestock, and use his AK to bully as many of his neighbors as possible for his own personal comfort and benefit -- not to mention claim credit for killing as many Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and other Infidels as he decently can without having another barbarian in dirty laundry call him out on it. As far as these people are concerned, Might-makes-Right, and it's only fair when they're the ones in command of all the Might.

It is unfortunately too late to change strategy in our War on Terror; having, from the beginning, been committed to a stupid policy of first sending the troops to make headlines, and then following that up with outright bribery and bullshit, multi-lateral, nation-building, the War has lost whatever momentum it might have once acquired had the grand strategy adhered to the KISS Principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid). In the case of a War against Terrorism and it's proponents, this should have entailed what used to be called "Total War", because it is only through an abject demonstration that their mindset and culture are innately inferior to ours that we can even begin to bring them around to thinking that it might be better to join us rather than fight us.

The only way to make that point unmistakably clear to them was, at the outset, dedicate our military effort to a program of inflicting inhuman suffering upon our enemies, and then when they begged for mercy, kicking them in the teeth once more for good measure. But then again, it's not as if Afghans have teeth, is it?

Of course now, a decade later, embracing the policy of Total War and Scorched Earth would be largely seen as a bigger failure than the so-called "Make-Nice" approach; after all, American politicians and soldiers have spent a decade telling you that what seems obvious to the man in the street is not quite that simple, and requires complicated political maneuvering that keeps the State Department and Pentagon paper-pushers busy and pours billions into the coffers of defense contractors, but which doesn't do jack about defeating the culture that breeds terrorists.

And then some douchebag like a Barack Obama or a Leon Pannetta apologizes to Afghans for doing something which our soldiers should have been doing from Day One -- killing the enemy, fighting terrorism with terrorism -- and does so to a collection of near-cannibal-tribes with flags we keep pretending are civilized -but-misguided nations. Quite frankly, who gives a fuck what the Afgans, not to mention the Germans and French think about what America has done in the Middle East? It might be politically too late to kill everything that moves in that rocky little shitpile, but it would do far more good in preventing future 9/11's than all the U.S. Aid, well-digging. and American-taxpayer-paid-wired-for-Wi-Fi hookah bars ever could.

Posted by Matthew at 11:46 AM


NOTE:  As a member of the "American Conservative2Conservative group, I received the following E-mail last night and am posting today ... American Patriots find the reasons for disarming our military in a war zone unacceptable and outrageous!  
U.S. Troops Disarm at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan for Leon Panetta 

America Conservative2Conservative 
Posted by Stingray SFO (3% Oath Keeper)

DID I READ THAT RIGHT? Our troops, our Marines, are told to disarm, leave their weapons outside of a meeting, on a US base, by our own military, OUT OF RESPECT FOR AFGHANISTAN TROOPS that are not allowed to take their guns into meetings.
Sounds more like our Marines are being set up for another Fort Hood like massacre!
IMO, in a war zone, ordering your troops to disarm, FOR ANY REASON, is to surrender to the enemy!
That is one order that I would NEVER obey, no doubts about it. I think every Marine there should have unanimously shouted out 'NO SIR, I WILL NOT SURRENDER MY WEAPON'!
Read more: fox news.

Let Stingray how you feel about this insane order given to our Marines.  Make a comment here.
I posted The Blood Price of Afghanistan, a few days before Panetta went to Aghanistan, but this hits the nail on the head.  It is from canadafreepress:
The alleged attack on Afghans by an American soldier in Kandahar, where 91 soldiers have been murdered last year alone, is already receiving the full outrage treatment. Any outrage over the deaths of those 91 soldiers in the province will be completely absent.
There will be no mention of how many of them died because the Obama Administration decided that the lives of Afghan civilians counted for more than the lives of soldiers. No talk of what it is like to walk past houses with gunmen dressed in civilian clothing inside and if you are fired at from those houses, your orders are to retreat.
Air strikes are for days gone by. The American soldier in the ISAF is expected to patrol and retreat, to smile and reach out to Afghans while they shoot him in the back. After risking his life to hold back the Taliban, he is expected to take it calmly when his government announces that it is trying to cut a deal with the Taliban.
As he waits out the final months until withdrawal, seeing his friends lose their limbs and their lives, knowing that the enemy has won, that he has been betrayed and is being kept senselessly on the front line for no objective except the diplomatic position of a government that hates him, that is taking away his health care, his equipment and his job; how does he feel?
To read the entire post or to make a comment, go here.  It's an excellent post.
Please invite your friends/family to join America Conservative to Conservative.  We are close to having 6,000 members!   Forward this e-mail and ask them to join here.
Laura J Alcorn
National Director, America Conservative2Conservative

Nobody Wants to Stay in Afghanistan Any More (Except a Few Generals)


Army Sgt. David Banks helps conduct a cordon and search operation in Pana, Afghanistan. Photo: U.S. Army 
These are the emerging contours of the Afghanistan debate. Backing a quicker withdrawal: the White House; NATO; two out of three major Republican presidential candidates; Afghan President Hamid Karzai; and (um) the Taliban. Against a quicker withdrawal: the U.S. military and a handful of GOP legislators.

Widespread local protests may not have emerged after Sunday’s massacre of 16 Afghan civilians. But the shootings, the latest in a series of crises, have reopened a debate about the wisdom of sticking with President Obama’s 2014 timetable for bringing (most) troops home. And it’s occurring at an opportune moment: NATO and the White House are currently determining just how fast and how deep the withdrawals should be over the next two years.
The military wants to slow Obama’s roll. In his only interview since the massacre, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, argued that the “solid” war plan “does not contemplate at this time, any form of accelerated drawdown.” After the surge troops leave in October, Allen, who will testify to Congress next week, reportedly wants to delay additional cuts to the 68,000-troop force until late 2013.
He has few allies for that argument.
President Hamid Karzai on Thursday called for Allen’s forces to turn over combat duties to Afghan soldiers and police next year. The U.S.’ NATO allies want that to happen: at NATO headquarters in Brussels, several alliance officials believe all the heavy lifting for the transition can be done by mid-2013. For its part, the Taliban announced on Thursday it’s suspending peace talks until the U.S. clarifies its positions on departing.
The White House publicly says that it’s content to stick with the plan to turn over combat to the Afghans in 2014. But several White House officials, led by Vice President Joe Biden, believe the large U.S. presence has become counterproductive and the residual tasks for Americans — training Afghans, counterterrorism strikes and raids — can be accomplished with fewer troops. Oh, and there’s a presidential election coming up in a climate where 54 percent of Americans want out of Afghanistan faster than Obama has proposed.
There’s an opportunity for Obama, NATO and Karzai to tweak the withdrawal. NATO will meet in Chicago — which just happens to be the nexus of Obama’s reelection campaign — in May. There, the alliance will decide how to structure the drawdown through 2014, and what a residual commitment to Afghanistan of troops and cash will look like afterward. The buzz is that the alliance is unlikely to announce its schedules for troop withdrawal. But look to see if NATO describes 2013 as the crucial year for the transition, which will herald a front-loaded withdrawal.
If so, NATO may have to look for a new commander. But Allen doesn’t have many allies outside of the military and the Pentagon to bolster his call for a slower withdrawal. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is one. On the Hill, he can rely on Rep. Buck McKeon, the GOP chairman of the House Armed Services Committee; McKeon’s Senate counterpart John McCain; and McCain’s ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, who told Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin, “If I gotta pick between Joe Biden and General Allen, I’m picking General Allen.”
Not many others will. The Democratic Party reluctantly embraced the Afghanistan war as a cudgel against President Bush and the Iraq war; both of which are memories now. The Republican Party never turned the Afghanistan war into an ideological issue, which helps explain why the two conservative alternatives to Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, feel free to envision a faster withdrawal.
Romney has little political choice but to oppose whatever Obama decides. But Romney doesn’t emphasize Afghanistan on the campaign trail, except to say that he wants “victory,” something that few in Washington have ever bothered to define during a decade of war.
The generals don’t actually embrace “victory.” At this late hour, all they want is to delay troop reductions — not reverse them, which would retain U.S. ownership of the war. All commanders want more troops to prosecute their campaigns. Allen just doesn’t want fewer, for as long as possible. That says a lot, barometrically, about the contours of the Afghanistan debate.
The military was able to rally a reluctant president to triple troop levels in 2009 and 2010. But judging from its paltry support, the brass may not be able to slow the drawdown.

Syrian Capital Rocked By Twin Terror Bombings, 27 Killed...Gotta Be Al Qaeda



Whoa! Two huge bombings in Damascus, Syria today killed at least 27 people and wounded close to 100 as the Assad regime is getting it on all sides - they have rebels fighting them in the outskirt cities and towns and it appears that al Qaeda in Iraq has come over the border to join the fight as these twin bombings are absolutely the trademark of al Qaeda.

From the report at The New York Daily News:Syrian state television says at least 27 people were killed and 97 wounded in twin car bomb blasts that hit intelligence and security buildings in the Syrian capital on Saturday.
State TV, citing the health minister, said further body parts had also been found, meaning the toll could rise.

A Syrian official said there were reports of a third blast targeting a military bus at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, but there were no details. He asked that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The bombings were the latest in a string of large-scale suicide attacks targeting the Syrian regime's military installations. The blasts have killed dozens of people since late December.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The government has blamed the explosions on "terrorist forces" that it claims are behind the revolt against President Bashar Assad.

Top U.S. intelligence officials have also pointed to al-Qaida in Iraq as the likely culprit behind previous bombings, raising the possibility its fighters are infiltrating across the border to take advantage of the turmoil. Al-Qaida's leader called for Assad's ouster in February.
As far as Syria in general goes, if Assad could have ruthlessly put down this rebellion he would have done it two months ago - the guy is just about out of options and I do believe his only hope is to call in full support from Iran. And I don't think Iran is willing to send in the kind of troops and visible armaments into this fray.

I'm going to make a prediction - Bashir Assad is going to fall and it will happen before June.

What takes over in Syria is going to be an absolute mess but hey, it's going to give Israel a tremendous break over the next year as one treacherous border shouldn't be nearly as much of a worry.
Syrian capital Damascus hit by car bomb attacks, at least 27 dead 

Syrian state television says at least 27 people were killed and 97 wounded in twin car bomb blasts that hit intelligence and security buildings in the Syrian capital on Saturday.

State TV, citing the health minister, said further body parts had also been found, meaning the toll could rise.

A Syrian official said there were reports of a third blast targeting a military bus at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, but there were no details. He asked that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The bombings were the latest in a string of large-scale suicide attacks targeting the Syrian regime's military installations. The blasts have killed dozens of people since late December.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The government has blamed the explosions on "terrorist forces" that it claims are behind the revolt against President Bashar Assad.

Top U.S. intelligence officials have also pointed to al-Qaida in Iraq as the likely culprit behind previous bombings, raising the possibility its fighters are infiltrating across the border to take advantage of the turmoil. Al-Qaida's leader called for Assad's ouster in February.

A suspected al-Qaida presence creates new obstacles for the U.S., its Western allies and Arab states trying to figure out a way to help push Assad from power, and may also rally Syrian religious minorities, fearful of Sunni radicalism, to get behind the regime.

The Syrian opposition has denied any link to al-Qaida and accuses forces loyal to the government of being behind the bombings to tarnish the uprising.

According to the state-run news agency, SANA, preliminary information indicated two blasts were caused by car bombs that hit the aviation intelligence department and the criminal security department at around 7:30 a.m local time. Shooting broke out soon after the blast and sent residents and others who had gathered in the area fleeing, an Associated Press reporter at the scene said.

SANA posted gruesome photographs of the scene Saturday, with mangled and charred corpses, bloodstains on the streets and twisted steel.

"All our windows and doors are blown out," said Majed Seibiyah, 29, who lives in the area. "I was sleeping when I heard a sound like an earthquake. I didn't grasp what was happening until I hear screaming in the street."

The Syrian government denies there is a popular will behind the uprising, saying foreign extremists and gangs are trying to destroy the country. But his opponents deny that and say an increasingly active rebel force has been driven to take up arms because the government used tanks, snipers and machine guns to crush peaceful protests.

The U.N. estimates that more that 8,000 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad began last March.

The last major suicide bombing in Syria happened on Feb. 10, when twin blasts struck security compounds in the government stronghold of Aleppo in northern Syria, killing 28 people. Damascus, another Assad stronghold, has seen three suicide previous bombings since December.

In recent weeks, Syrian forces have waged a series of heavy offensives against the main strongholds of the opposition — Homs in central Syria, Idlib in the north and Daraa in the south.

The bloodshed fuels the country's sectarian tensions. The military's top leadership is stacked heavily with members of the minority Alawite sect, to which Assad and the ruling elite belong.

Sunnis are the majority in the country of 22 million and make up the backbone of the opposition.

Diplomatic efforts to solve the crisis have so far brought no result. But U.N. envoy Kofi Annan told the Security Council in a briefing Friday that he would return to Damascus even though his recent talks with Assad saw no progress in attempts to cobble together peace negotiations between the two sides.

How Many Rockets Have Terrorist Groups Claimed To Have Fired Since last Friday?

NOTE:  Challah Hu Akbar has posted a 2-part report on how many rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel, and the number of strikes Israel has made in response to the terrorist attacks.  (See below):
Iron Dome defense/Israel

How Many Rockets Have Terrorist Groups Claimed To Have Fired Since Friday?

Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades - 185
Popular Resistance Committees' al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades - 56
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - 46
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine - National Resistance Brigades (DFLP) - 21
Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - 16
Al-Ahrar - 2
Jaysh al-Umma - 2
According to the terrorists themselves they shot AT LEAST 328 rockets between Friday and Tuesday night. ElderofZiyon aptly notes that "Interestingly, they are not counting any rockets fired since the "cease fire" on Tuesday night."
Tomorrow I will have a post on how many missiles Israel has fired over the same period, the answer may surprise you!
Rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza 
Rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza

How Many Missiles Did Israel Fire Into Gaza Since Friday?

Last night I asked “How Many Rockets Have Terrorist Groups Claimed To Have Fired Since Friday?
The answer is AT LEAST 328.
In a recent post, Hamas supporter and one-stater Ali Abunimah wrote:
Whenever you hear Israel’s tired hasbara refrain about rockets, rockets, rockets, remember to ask the question Yousef Munayyer recently asked: Why don’t Israel’s spokespeople ever tell us how many rockets, missiles and bullets Israel has fired on Gaza? 
Of course the answer is because it is by orders of magnitude greater in both number and explosive power than anything Palestinian armed groups have or ever could muster against Israel.
So, how many missiles did Israel fire into Gaza since Friday?

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, who refers to the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) as the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces), provides the answer in their recent report.
Israeli warplanes launched 36 air strikes, during which they fired 43 missiles.
Let’s review. Since Friday, Palestinian terrorists have fired OVER 328 rockets and mortars into Israel, while Israel has fired approximately 43 missiles at specific terror targets in Gaza.. In other words, Palestinian terrorists fired over SEVEN TIMES as many projectiles at Israeli communities as Israel shot at specific terror related targets in Gaza.
As ElderofZiyon recently wrote:
For moral midgets like Abunimah to pretend that somehow Israel's actions are worse than those of terror groups in Gaza is simply an attempt to justify terrorism.
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The sounds of terror:

Happy St. Patrick's Day! - A little bit of Irish music ...


Riverdance the final performance

Friday, March 16, 2012

Comparative analysis of the teleprompter president’s oratory

March 15, 2012
Barack Obama is renowned for his speechifying, but comparing him to historical figures is downright dispiriting because of the wide chasm that separates him from them. If Obama is a great orator by today’s standards, then we have a problem with our standards.

The man reads from his teleprompter like a pro but has little of import to say, lies shamelessly, uses eighth-grade language, leans heavily toward long-windedness, and stumbles over his own tongue like a stroke victim when the teleprompter is unavailable. This passage from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, delivered to a divided nation during the Civil War, shows how far standards have slipped:
“Fondly do we hope – fervently do we pray – that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
Those are powerful, momentous words, full of big ideas: God’s will, slavery, the price of war. Hell, the first sentence sounds like poetry. He stood at the podium in March of 1865 and told Americans the war would be prosecuted, in God’s name, even to the extent of destroying the country’s wealth, until every drop of slave’s blood was revenged. He spoke those words knowing they would be unwelcome, telling a friend in a letter that the speech would be unpopular because “men are not flattered by being shown that there is a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them.”
Even his words about his words were special.

In contrast, these are samplings from Obama’s state of the union speech two months ago:
“The point is, we should all want a smarter, more effective government. And while we may not be able to bridge our biggest philosophical differences this year, we can make real progress.”

“...America is back. Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

“No one built this country on their own. This nation is great because we built it together. This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other’s backs.”

So that’s why America is great. Here we thought the nation was great because of our relationship with God, our recognition of God-given inalienable rights, and our willingness to die for both... silly us. Turns out it’s because “we get each other’s backs.” Who knew?

Here’s Winston Churchill, in the darkest hours of World War II, one day after France surrendered to Nazi Germany leaving Britain to stand alone against the whole German-occupied European continent:

“What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us.

“Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'”
If you don’t get goose bumps reading those words, your goose must be already cooked.

One month earlier, Churchill had addressed the House of Commons for the first time as prime minister. His election was not popular with the members, who gave him a chilly reception, but he didn’t mince words:
“I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined the government: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.’ We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realized; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, ‘Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.’”

For comparison, here’s Obama in his first address to a joint session of congress, February 24, 2009:
“In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often, we have come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or laundry lists of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as a vision for America – as a blueprint for our future.”
(No budget has been passed by Congress since Obama was elected president.)
“Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years.”

(Obama’s renewable energy programs turned out to be scandal-filled payoffs to Democrat campaign donors... and utter failures – Solyndra, First Solar, Fisker Automotive, LightSquared, Chevy’s Volt, etc.)
“For that same reason, we must also address the crushing cost of health care. This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds.”
(An outright lie.)
“Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time.”
(We know how long his “pledge” lasted – by the time he left the Capitol it was already forgotten.)