The tide may be turning in Syria, because the rebels are newly equipped with what are called MANPADS – shoulder-carried anti-aircraft weapons. Until now Assad’s forces were stronger than the rebels because they could strike unimpeded from the skies. Now their planes and helicopters are under threat, and a plane and a helicopter have been brought down by a MANPAD. (See also here and here.)
Where did the MANPADS come from? From Turkey, certainly. But Turkey does not make them. (Nor does Qatar, the alleged source of some of them.)
They come from Libya. They were part of Gaddafi’s arsenal. They were shipped from Benghazi to Turkey, and on to Syria and the rebel fighters.
The transfer of arms was done secretly by a CIA operation in Benghazi, overseen by Ambassador Stevens. He was almost certainly discussing another shipment of arms from Libya to Turkey with the Turkish consul a few hours before an al-Qaida-associated gang attacked his mission station and murdered him.
As so often, they are lying. The US is arming the rebels, including al-Qaida contingents. This is the guilty secret (or one of the guilty secrets) the Obama administration is trying to hide by distracting attention away from the atrocious Benghazi fiasco itself and on to side issues like Susan Rice’s false narrative, and General Petraeus’s adultery.
Diana West asks the important questions about the disaster of Benghazi:
Who came up with the administration plan to discard early intelligence confirming the U.S. had sustained an al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, and to seize on a lie blaming a YouTube video for the attack? Who got everyone — White House, State, CIA (but not, it seems, Defense) — on board? After the president addressed the United Nations on Sept. 25 (citing the video six times), the false video narrative peters out. Who called the whole thing off?
Speaking of the president’s U.N. address — notorious for declaring, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” — who wrote it? Its underlying message that “slander” (read: free speech) of Islam causes violence dovetails neatly with the Istanbul Process, an Obama administration initiative to prohibit and even criminalize speech critical of Islam. The initiative is spearheaded by Hillary Clinton in conjunction with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an Islamic bloc of 56 nations, plus the Palestinian Authority.
President Obama stated to an outside-the-Washington-Beltway reporter that “the minute” he found out what was happening in Benghazi, he sprang into action. “Number one,” the president said, “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to do.” Did Obama, in fact, issue such an order? If so, it appears to have been ignored. Shouldn’t someone be fired for insubordination? If no U.S. military assets were available — a big “if” for the sake of argument — why weren’t NATO allies such as Turkey or Britain called on to help? What exactly was the president doing during the eight-hour span of the terror attack?
On Sept. 9 and again on Sept. 10, a YouTube video featuring al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was posted online. In it, Zawahiri exhorted Libyans to attack Americans in revenge for the killing of al-Qaida senior leader Abu Yahya al-Libi. The CIA and other intelligence agencies appear to have ignored this video entirely. Why?
Why was the United States in Benghazi relying on Libyan jihadists for security? This is where we might pick up on the Arab Spring trail the Obama administration followed to this whole disaster. For example, the small CIA contingent that flew in to Benghazi in the wee hours of Sept. 12 was “aided” (delayed) on arrival by Libya Shield. Not only did this militia fight in the Libyan revolution under the black flag of al-Qaida, but U.S. government analysts believe its leader, Wissam bin Hamid, a jihadist veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, may be the leader of al-Qaida in Libya.
What was the Benghazi mission (it did not function as a consulate) doing there in the first place? Troubling reports indicate the U.S. presence in Benghazi may have been part of a secret CIA operation to run weapons to Syria’s anti-Assad rebel forces, which, as was the case with Libya’s anti-Gadhafi forces, include a heavy contingent of jihadist actors seeking to spread Shariah (Islamic law). Was the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens, previously point man to jihadists in Libya, party to this unauthorized operation?
Notice I haven’t even mentioned Petraeus’ affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. While not altogether unimportant, it is a distraction from weightier matters. For example: How can David Petraeus lie to Congress — a felony — and get away with it?
Ask President Obama.
Another question needing to be asked: why is Obama supporting the Syrian rebels? There is no reason to expect that, if they win, a more savory regime will supplant Assad. Assad is nasty. So were Mubarak and Gaddafi. But the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida are worse. And it will be the likes of the MB and al-Qaida that will, in all probability, come to power in Syria if Assad falls.
To this last question we have an answer. Obama likes the Muslim Brotherhood. He is helping them consolidate their power in Egypt and the Middle East generally – and also to advance their agenda within the United States.
Counting on a blindness, ignorance and gullibility he assumes (not groundlessly) in the American public, Obama is using his power stealthily to advance Islam’s mission of jihad.
Although the Koran is believed by Muslims to contain all the knowledge a man could ever need, the Obama administration is spending ample tax-dollars coaching Muslims in science and technology.
As far as we can discover, it is the only religious group at home or abroad to be given this expensive attention.
But then, Islam has earned its reward from Americans, hasn’t it?
Here’s the information quoted in full from a US Government Fact Sheet:
Science and Technology Engagement With the Muslim World
Progress in Realizing the President’s Vision of Enhanced Science and Technology (S&T)
Partnership in the Muslim World
1. Science Envoys: Three of America’s most prominent scientists traveled and engaged with counterparts in Morocco, Egypt, Indonesia, and other countries.
2. OPIC Fund: The OPIC Global Technology and Innovation Fund attracted almost $2 billion in private investment to support technological development projects to be implemented in Muslim communities around the world.
3. Center of Excellence on Water: USAID and State Department began the creation of a Middle East Water Center after extensive consultations across the region.
The program pursues the shibboleths of the left:
4. Center of Excellence on Climate Change: USAID and the State Department began the creation of an Asia Regional Climate Change Center after extensive consultations across the region, with an anticipated initial focus on water-scarcity issues.
Here’s one specially worth noting:
5. Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute: This newly established institute — a collaborative effort involving the State Department, Department of Energy (DOE), Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, Sandia National Laboratory, and Texas A&M University’s Nuclear Security Science & Policy Institute — will work with Gulf States through regional workshops and follow-up bilateral training to assist those states that decide to pursue nuclear energy with the tools to do so in a safe, secure, and safeguarded manner.
It all sounds wonderfully friendly and cozy, this communion with the religion that is dedicated to our destruction:
6. Entrepreneurship Summit: This summit brought together successful business and social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, development bankers, and other business experts to discuss ideas and share experiences with a view toward creating support networks that will help promote development in Muslim communities.
7. Expanded Science Corps: Secretary of State Clinton committed to expanding the number of Environment, Science, Technology, and Health (ESTH) officers at embassies, with new positions already being filled in the Middle Easter and North Africa (MENA).
But she grudges every penny spent on protection for our diplomats in the Islamic Middle East. (See all our recent posts on the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in Libya.)
8. Regional R&D Collaboration: The State Department launched six new Middle East Regional Cooperation projects to fund applied research and S&T cooperation involving institutions in Jordan, West Bank/Gaza, Tunisia, and Israel on topics in agriculture, environmental protection and global and regional health.
Cooperation projects? Jordan, “West Bank/Gaza”, Tunisia with Israel? Well, good luck with that.
9. Bilateral R&D Collaboration: The United States and Indonesia concluded a new S&T Agreement and the United States provided a doubling of financial support for S&T agreements with Egypt and Pakistan.
10. Frontiers of Science Program: The U.S. National Academy of Sciences expanded this program to support linkages between young scientists in the United States and Southeast Asia, with planned expansion to additional regions as well.
11. MENA POWER 2010: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) sponsored a Middle East and North Africa technology and projects forum to match MENA policymakers and project stakeholders in the electric power sector with U.S. providers of equipment and service solutions.
For such vital “investment”, the heavily-indebted United States borrows or prints money.
Lots more moola is to be lavished on solar panels (and windmills?) in Islamic states – “green energy” being another bee in Obama’s bonnet:
- Memorandum of Understanding for Clean Energy Cooperation: DOE partnered with UAE’s multi-billion-dollar Masdar City clean energy initiative, with delegates and DOE officials outlining an initial work plan.
- Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation: Secretary Chu signed this MOU during his visit to the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, in Riyadh, to facilitate partnerships with DOE national laboratories, U.S. universities and scientific institutions.
- Feasibility Studies: USTDA supported extensive feasibility studies throughout the region to determine potential capabilities for geothermal energy, solar energy, and smart grid technology.
13. Information Communication Technology:
- Iraq Science and Technology Virtual Science Library project was officially transferred to Iraqi government control and administration. 7500 users are now registered, 95% of the university population is participating, 1,000,000 articles have been downloaded to date, and publications by Iraqi authors are increasing apace and expected to reach about 300 this year.
- NSF supported a host of electronic networking programs, including implementation of a multi-million-dollar broad-band internet linkage to Egypt and Pakistan, and provided support to involve Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France, and nearly all countries in North Africa in a network for research on new materials for renewable energy. Maghreb Digital Library. The State Department supported the establishment of a Digital Library for the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania) to support development in S&T, increase access to digitized scientific data and research, and encourage partnership and networking.
- Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) jointly hosted a Health Dialogue with Ministers of Health from the OIC member states in Geneva on the margins of the World Health Assembly. Concrete steps were outlined for enhanced collaboration.
- The National Institutes of Health conducted training in tobacco control, injury and trauma, bioethics [?] and genetics. This included meetings among twelve regional nations across MENA and SE Asia, leading to the creation of new programs in medical schools in the participating nations.
15. Water: The U.S. Geological Survey supported extensive training in collection and analysis of water samples, workshops on water contamination, training on the establishment of digital water resources data systems, and consultation on the establishment of water quality laboratories across the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia.
16. Space: NASA signed agreements with several nations for future collaboration on space programs. NASA now has agreements with 30 of the world’s more than 50 Muslim-majority nations.
17. Pollution: The Environmental Protection Agency has teamed up with Indonesia and Jordan to create programs aimed at decreasing air pollution in both nations. Breathe Easy Jakarta and Jordan’s Environmental Rangers are just two of the programs implemented to increase public participation and enforcement and accountability in the fight against pollution.
And lots more is in the pipeline. Unless, that is, Mitt Romney becomes president and cancels this massive transfer of US borrowed wealth to Islamic states.
Top 10 Activities in the Year Ahead
1. Global Engagement Fund: S&T collaboration is an important part of the new $100M Global Engagement Fund submitted to Congress for FY2011.
2. US-Egypt Year of Science 2011: This year-long enterprise will celebrate US Egypt engagement in science, promote interest among Egyptian youth in science-related careers and research, and promote digital engagement among the Egyptian science community with US peers and institutions.
3. New Science Envoys: The Administration will name three new envoys, with plans to travel to Central Asia, East and West Africa, and Southeast Asia.
4. Science, Technology, and Innovation Conference 2011: This conference will include representatives from Muslim communities around the world in cooperation with Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and other key stakeholders.
5. White House/OSTP Digital Knowledge Networking Event: This major international event will bring together ICT leaders from public and private foundations involved in electronic knowledge sharing, technology, education, and development, along with other experts, to move from idea to realization of a significant increase in on-line knowledge-sharing in science and technology.
6. Middle East Energy Efficiency Center: DOE, State, and USAID will launch an effort in the Middle East to promote and enhance regional cooperation in science and technology, focusing on six energy-efficiency initiatives.
7. Challenges & Awards: EPA/USAID will launch a challenge to drive innovation for water technologies serving international and domestic constituencies.
8. Forest Conservation: The Department of Interior will work with several nations to preserve nature reserves and protect endangered species.
9. Eye on the Earth – Abu Dhabi 2010: EPA will co-sponsor this event to address the establishment of a global environmental information network.
10. Joint Ocean Exploration: NOAA’s research vessel Okeanos Explorer and the Indonesian research vessel Baruna Jaya will make a pioneering joint mission to the “Coral Triangle” in the Indo-Pacific region in the summer of 2011.
Note that in all this there is no mention of any project to promote the education of women in the Muslim world. We do not advocate the spending of US tax dollars on women’s education in Afghanistan (for instance), only suggesting that if the Obama administration is concerned with improving knowledge in Islam, they might raise the subject in some of their get-togethers with their Muslim buddies.
More US embassies were attacked today by Muslim mobs.
Muslim leaders deliberately stoked up the flames of riot on 9/11 and again today. They needed a pretext and by a stroke of luck they found one in a movie. It was sent as a gift to the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, through the Egyptian media, by a brainless American member of the minority it is persecuting, Coptic Christians. (Will not the Copts in Egypt pay dearly for it?) Others of the group made the film – and maliciously alleged that it was made by Jews.
This is from (Glenn Beck’s) The Blaze:
Protests in the Middle East that are being blamed on an anti-Islamic and anti-Muhammad film continue to rage. And as details unfold about the shadowy figures behind the film, the plot thickens. This morning, The Blaze provided more details about Steve Klein, a man who served as a spokesman for the film. And last night, we learned more about Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker involved who has a criminal past.
Now, information is coming out about the man who is said to have intentionally translated and sent the video to Egyptian media, thus allegedly sparking a portion of the outrage. Since the initial violent reaction to the video emerged on September 11, many have wondered how the film came to the attention of Middle Eastern media and citizens, alike.
Religion News Service (RNS) is reporting that Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, translated the movie into Arabic and sent it to Egyptian journalists. He also allegedly promoted it on his web site and through social media, the outlet reports. RNS has more about his background:
Morris Sadek describes himself as a human rights attorney and president of a small group called the National American Coptic Assembly, based in Chantilly, Va. Sadek says on his website that he is a member of the Egyptian and District of Columbia bar associations who has “defended major human rights cases” …
But fellow Copts depict Sadek as a fringe figure and publicity hound whose Islamophobic invectives disrupt Copts’ quest for equal rights in Egypt.
The film is very badly made and acted, but at least it denigrates Islam. And neither its quality nor intention are important. Everyone in America is free to make a good or bad film with any intention whatsoever. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula the film-maker, Steve Klein the “spokesman for the film”, and Morris Sadek who translated the dialogue into Arabic and sent the thing to Egyptian journalists are very small fry indeed in the drama of chaos and destruction that is unfolding.
It is the use of the film by Islamic leaders to arouse Muslim mobs to riot, burn, wreck, assault and murder that is evil. Those leaders are guilty of the havoc, the fire and the spilt blood, but they could only do what they’re doing because the present American leadership prepared the way for them.
The events that are shaking the pillars of the world would have happened anyway, because Obama and his administration have over and over again by actions and by words, from his first speech abroad as president in Cairo in 2009 to Hillary Clinton’s speech yesterday, impressed on Muslims the world over that they have been injured by America. And this despite the fact that Islam initiated war on America and is relentlessly pursuing it.
There could be no stronger reason to impeach and severely punish a president of the United States. It almost certainly won’t happen, but it should.
So those 72 virgins that heaven provides for good Muslim men when they “pass on” are nine years old?
Frank Crimi writes at Front Page:
As Iranian lawmakers now seek to lower the legal age of marriage for girls to nine-years-old, the number of Iranian brides already under 10 years of age is sharply rising.
The Iranian decision to allow nine-year-old girls the legal opportunity to be married to fully grown men was announced by Mohammad Ali Isfenani, chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee.
Isfenani called Iran’s current civil legislation, which sets the minimum legal age of marriage for girls at 13-years-old, “un-Islamic and illegal,” saying, “We must regard nine as being the appropriate age for a girl to have reached puberty and qualified to get married. To do otherwise would be to contradict and challenge Islamic Sharia law.”
Isenfani’s clarion call for prepubescent marriage comes at the same moment a new report from the Union for the Protection of Children’s Rights (UPCR) found 75 Iranian girls less than 10-years-old were forced to marry in the past two months, part of a sharp rise in the overall number of Iranian child brides under the age of 10.
According to UPCR, of the 342,000 Iranian marriages among girls under 18-years-old registered in 2010, at least 713 marriages involved girls under 10-years-old, more than twice as many as were registered in the prior three years. Moreover, of these underage marriages, 42,000 involved girls between the ages of 10 to 14.
There are now more than 50 million child brides, a number that is growing by 10 million each year and which is expected to reach 100 million young victims over the next decade. …
These unfortunate children are married off for a bevy of cultural and religious reasons, ranging from ensuring familial alliances to economic necessities, such as settling debts or overcoming natural disasters to ensure a family’s survival. …
Drought-stricken Africa has witnessed the emergence of so-called “drought brides” who are being sold for as little as $170. …
While the reasons behind these human transactions may vary, the one commonality is that the younger the girl, the better the deal. Specifically, it is important that these girls be sold off at a young enough age to better ensure their virginity, thus increasing their economic value and protecting the honor of their families.
Not surprisingly, once handed-off, these child brides are then consigned to a terrifyingly nasty, brutish and short-lived existence … The life expectancy of their frightful existence is likely to be cut exceedingly short given the multitude of health risks inherent in being a child bride, not the least of which is the high mortality rate from childbirth injuries, where an estimated 70,000 girls under 15 die each year from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. …
Most of these child marriages take place in predominantly Islamic countries spread throughout the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.
The deeply rooted Islamic attachment to prepubescent marriage finds religious justification in the [fictitious*] Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to a six-year-old child bride, a marriage consummated when she was nine-years-old …
While most would find it hard to believe that a 15-year-old-girl, let alone a nine-year-old girl, is physically or emotionally ready to start engaging in sexual activity and carrying a child, others think that girls barely removed from the womb are more than fully capable of handling those activities. That enlightened attitude was on display in January when one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential clerics, Sheik Saleh al-Fawzan, issued a fatwa allowing fathers to arrange marriages for their daughters “even if they are in the cradle.”
However, lest anyone think a man would actually engage in sex with such a young infant, al-Fawzan was quick to add that it wasn’t “permissible for their husbands to have sex with them unless they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men.”
You don’t want to crush your baby bride, do you? Not when you’ve paid for her?
Given that, it’s not surprising that many believe that underage marriage is little more than legally permissible and religiously sanctioned pedophilia. Yet, some defenders of the horrid practice argue that critics have no moral or ethical qualms about child marriage but are instead driven by less than pure concerns. One such person is Yemeni Sheik Mohammed Hamzi, an imam and official of the Islamist Yemeni opposition party, Islaah. Hamzi had been asked his opinion in reaction to international complaints to the death of a 13-year-old Yemeni child bride who bled to death after being tied down and forced to have sex with her 23-year-old husband.
Should we still call it “making love”?
Hamzi simply ascribed their dissatisfaction to the fact [sic] that “No one wants to marry these women’s-rights activists anyway. They’re just depressed and jealous that they are not married.”
We are surprised to learn that there are any “women’s-rights activists”, married or single, who are trying to save little girls from being legally raped to death in accordance with Islamic law.
We listened hard and long for the voices of Western feminists raised en bloc against the plight of Muslim women and girls, but have given up hope of ever hearing them.
* See also our post “The Prophet Muhammad” did not exist, August 26, 2012.
… of Christians now, the cause for which they must suffer martydom, is – Political Correctness.
This is from American Thinker, by Bill Warner:
If you are even slightly awake about the world news today, it is no surprise that Christians are being killed, raped, and brutalized throughout the Islamic world. However, there is a place where you can go to escape the dreadful and relentless details of Christian annihilation by Islam. You can go to church.
Never mind the details; for the most part, Christians in the First World won’t mention the persecution and massacre of Christians in the Third World at all. In our experience, if they ever raise the subject it is to revel mawkishly in the patient endurance of their martyrs, never to accuse the persecutors and killers, never to pour out righteous anger against them. That’s the Christian way. “Resist not evil’” commanded the authors of the “Sermon on the Mount”. But we say, not to resist evil is to permit it; to permit it is to connive at it; and to connive at it is to co-author it. Christians cannot see that. Their indignation is reserved for their own heretics – and the Jews, of course. In fact, they manage to find ingenious ways of blaming Jews for the Muslim persecution of Christians when they’re absolutely forced to admit that it’s happening. But at present they’re obstinately ignoring it. (See our post, Speaking of persecution: Christians as victims and victimizers, July 28, 2012.)
For example, Christians were killed this week in Nigeria. Nothing out of the ordinary – indeed, in the world of Christian persecution, this is routine.
And so the response found in nearly every church to the murder of Christians is…wait for it…complete silence. Not a mention or reference to it, or to the brutality against Christians that happens almost every day in the Islamic world.
This is not a passive silence, because if you try to change it, you will fail. The silence is an active, working conspiracy that goes throughout nearly all of Christendom.
Take a simple example: prayer for the persecuted. From a Christian perspective, this falls under the heading of obvious. Try taking the idea of prayer for the routinely murdered Christians in Nigeria or Egypt to ministers, boards, and any part of the structure of the church, and see how far you will get. You will get rejection with a myriad of lame and evasive excuses, since the people in power fear to recognize the suffering of Christians around the world.
If you acknowledge the suffering, you might wind up asking the question: why are these Christians suffering? Ah, there is the rub. The suffering is caused by Muslim jihadists who are following the Islamic doctrine of jihad against the Christian as found in Koran, Sira, and Hadith. Islam is the cause of suffering of Christians, as well as of Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists.
But stop! We cannot say those things! Facts are the new hate speech, so we cannot speak about the jihad against Christians. Therefore, we get no prayers for the persecuted, because it would lead to talk about why the murder of Christians keeps happening. And that truth would lead to being called an Islamophobe, so we are not going there. Result: silence. …
Absurd as it is to believe that prayer – ie. talking to nothing – will have any effect, the point is they do believe it; so their withholding prayer means that they observe political correctness more conscientiously than their religion. Political Correctness is now their highest cause.
In reality we all have pulpits. Are we using the suffering of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, women, gays, and intellectuals caused by Islam as a topic of conversation with those around us? Who is comfortable with bringing up anything negative about Islam? To tell those facts about Islam is a social crime, and you will be accused of being a hater/Islamophobe. So most of us remain silent about the evils of political Islam, and we are just like the ministers – silent in our own pulpits. Christians and non-Christians share the fear of being insulted as bigots and Islamophobes.
We don’t understand why. The “Islamophobe” label should be worn as a badge of honor.
It turns out that all of those who oppose any social evil will be hated. Think about it. It takes a massive amount of power to put into place any societal doctrine, such as multiculturalism and political correctness. The government, universities, many churches, synagogues, and the media have become enforcers of multiculturalism and political correctness. They are very powerful and believe that their dogma rules all peoples.
They are also full-throated apologists for Islam. Now it turns out that their actual knowledge about the doctrine and history of political Islam is close to zero and Muslim Brotherhood-approved, but that is no problem. The Establishment just says that those who find fault with Islam are bigots and that they hate us.
The silence of the pulpits is the greatest aider and abettor of Islam in the U.S. No one serves and advances Islam better than the silent ministers. They have abandoned their duty of courage in the face of persecution, but the rest of the flock still looks for moral leadership from them. Islam triumphs when Christian leaders do not condemn the murderous evil of political Islam.
Even worse than the silent ministers are those who go to “interfaith dialogs” and smile while the Muslims assert religious and political dominance over them. The nice, oh so nice Christians and Jews show up to tie, while the Muslims are there to win, and they do.
Oh yes. The Muslims are winning. Every time a new mosque is built in the West, they win. Every time an employer agrees to let them have time off to pray, they win. Every time a Muslim woman is allowed to keep on her hijab by an organization that allows no variance of uniform to any other member, they win. And so on.
The pulpits must become a source of courage and knowledge and stand up for Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and all others who suffer under Islam’s persecution today and who have suffered for the last 1,400 years.
It isn’t just about religion; it is about the survival of our civilization.
Religion itself is the disease that makes Western civilization vulnerable. But we agree that the cowardice of the churches faced with the rise of Islam is despicable.
Alexander Aan has been sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for denying the existence of God.
This is from the MailOnline:
An Indonesian man was jailed for 30 months after writing “God doesn’t exist” on his Facebook page.
Alexander Aan, 30, was imprisoned on Thursday for sharing explicit material about the Prophet Mohammed online.
He started an atheist group on Facebook on which he shared comic strips of the prophet having sex with his servant …
He was found guilty of “deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity”, presiding judge Eka Prasetya Budi Dharma told the Muaro Sijunjung district court in western Sumatra.
Aan also uploaded three articles on his Facebook account, including one describing the prophet being attracted to his daughter-in-law.
“Under the Electronic Information and Transactions law, we sentence him to prison for a length of two years and six months,” Dharma said. “‘What he did has caused anxiety to the community and tarnished Islam.’
Caused anxiety to the community? The sensitive community beat him up.
Aan was beaten by an angry mob and arrested by police in his hometown of Pulau Punjung in western Sumatra in January after posting the material online and declaring himself an atheist.
“Tarnished” Islam? What could possibly be said about this cruel, primitive belief-system that would make Islam look worse than it is?
The court had earlier indicted Aan with two other charges – persuading others to embrace atheism and blasphemy. …
But the court convicted him of the most serious charge and dropped the other two. …
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, guarantees freedom of religion in its constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but only recognises six faiths: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Confucianism.
And what it doesn’t “recognize”, it won’t tolerate.
Its courts have in recent years given light sentences to perpetrators of violent attacks on Christians and Islamic minority Ahmadis, some of which have been fatal.
Has anything made by man caused as much hurt and grief as religion has done and continues to do?
It is not only the probability if a nuclear bomb that is to be feared from Iran’s persistent development of nuclear power.
According to this article, Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor is likely to repeat the disaster of Chernobyl:
The first Iranian nuclear power station is inherently unsafe and will probably cause a “tragic disaster for humankind,” according to a document apparently written by an Iranian whistleblower.
There is a “great likelihood” that the Bushehr reactor could generate the next nuclear catastrophe after Chernobyl or Fukushima, says the document …
It claims that Bushehr, which began operating last month after 35 years of intermittent construction, was built by “second-class engineers” who bolted together Russian and German technologies from different eras; that it sits in one of the world’s most seismically active areas but could not withstand a major earthquake; and that it has “no serious training program” for staff or a contingency plan for accidents. …
Bushehr was started in 1975 when the Shah of Iran awarded the contract to Kraftwerk Union of Germany. When the Germans pulled out after the 1979 Islamic revolution the reactors were far from finished. They sustained serious damage in the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88. The document claims airstrikes left the steel containment vessel with 1,700 holes, letting in hundreds of tons of rainwater.
The regime revived the project in the 1990s, but with one reactor only. It wanted a prestige project to show the Islamic Republic could match the scientific achievements of the West.
It may also have wanted a cover for developing its nuclear weapons program — and the opportunities for personal enrichment that the project gave Iran’s elite. This time Iran employed Russian engineers, who had not built a foreign nuclear reactor since the Soviet Union started to collapse in 1989.
Russia’s experts wanted to start from scratch. The Iranians, having already spent more than $1 billion, insisted they built on the German foundations.
This involved adapting a structure built for a vertical German reactor to take a horizontal Russian reactor — an unprecedented operation. Of the 80,000 pieces of German equipment, many had become corroded, obsolete or lacked manuals and paperwork.
“The Russian parts are designed to standards that are less stringent than the Germans’ and they are being used out of context in a design where they are exposed to inappropriate stresses,” the document says. It goes on to claim that “much of the necessary work for Bushehr is outside the competence of the Russian consulting engineers,” who consider the project a “holiday.”
The first victims of a Chernobyl-like disaster in Iran would be the Iranian people. We wonder how many of them are aware of the danger. Even if many of them are, there is nothing effective they can do about it.
It would be a boon for them and the rest of the world if Bushehr were bombed.
Last weekend, on August 6 – as reported here -
U.S. Special Operations troops were closing in on a secret Taliban summit thought to include a high-value commander in Afghanistan’s rugged Tangi Valley when they ran into an insurgent patrol that pinned them down.
They asked for reinforcements, so-
Before dawn … members of the elite U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six packed into a twin-rotor Chinook transport helicopter and rushed to the rescue …
As their Chinook was about to land … an insurgent shot it out of the sky with a rocket-propelled grenade, or RPG, in the deadliest attack endured by the American military in a decade of war in Afghanistan. Thirty U.S. special forces members were killed including members of SEAL Team 6 [the team that killed Osama bin Laden].
Immediate questions arise:
How did the Taliban pull it off? Why were the SEALs packed into an aging, slow-moving Chinook helicopter flying at low altitude? Were they on a mission only they could pull off or were they being overused to save a failed Afghan strategy? …
A strategy to achieve what? To change Afghanistan?
The impossibility of changing Afghanistan in the least degree, let alone turning it into a modern democratic state, could not be more clearly understood and vividly explained than it is by Daniel Greenfield in an article at Front Page:
Pedophilia, forced marriages, blasphemy trials and drug dealing. That is the real Afghanistan. The one that lingers on even when the Taliban are chased into the hills. That cannot be changed by American intervention because this is who its people are.
We might have been able to save Afghanistan from the Taliban, but we can’t save it from the Afghans. From the quarreling clans and warlords, the age old customs and the Islamic mores. Beyond a sliver of Western educated men and women in Kabul lies a land of a thousand cruelties and a million knives. With a vendetta around every corner and murder in every heart.
There is no Afghanistan, only a thousand divisions. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that replaced the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is an internationally funded mirage. A multi-billion dollar fund with its own flag and its own mercenaries. And because these mercenaries won’t fight, our soldiers go out to fight and die in their place.
Beneath that flag there is no unity. There are only divisions. Sunnis and Shiites. Pashtuns, Tajiks and Hazaras. Men and women. Groups with nothing in common except the Koran and the knife. …
Afghan jails are filled with women fleeing abusive marriages. Fleeing home carries with it a ten year jail sentence. The analogy to escaped slaves is as obvious and inescapable as a Muslim marriage. Adultery is the catch-all charge that can be leveled at a woman at any time, married or unmarried, a young girl or an elderly woman.
The Afghan man has three tools of power. Zan, Zar and Zamin. Women, gold and land. A man with many women will be able to breed many sons and expand his own clan. A man with a great deal of gold will be able to buy weapons and take his share of the drug and human trafficking networks. And a man with much land will have his own kingdom.
This elemental tribal power defines Afghanistan. Women are at the bottom of this pyramid. But so are minority ethnic groups. …
And on top of the bubbling kettle is Islam. No religion would be quite as fit for this backward tribalism as a religion that began as a warlord’s cult. Islam does not unify Afghanistan. For all that the Islamists imagine a Caliphate, Islam adds only another layer of division. Ethnic divisions in Afghanistan are also religious divisions. And Islam adds religious sanction to the oppression of women and the massacres of rivals. …
Islam’s influence has only embedded the savagery deeper beneath its dusty skin. Everything that is bad in Afghanistan has its supporting verse in the Koran. The culture of the tribal raid, its emphasis on victory as proof of divine sanction and its contempt for women– finds its echo in the Koran. …
The tribal raider is unable to imagine any higher idea than the honor of his family. But Islam adds the idea of the meta-tribal identity. The Islamic Ummah as the ultimate tribe. It is an idea that allowed Mohammed and his successors to loot and pillage their way across much of the world. And the world is bleeding from a million wounds, stabbed, cut and pierced by the followers of that idea. …
20th century Islamists took the ugly tribal feud and globalized it. They took backward places like Afghanistan and turned them into platforms for a global war. We may be able to save ourselves from the puppet masters behind this shadow war, but we cannot save the Afghans from themselves.
Iran, the foremost state sponsor of terrorism, recently held an international “anti-terrorism” conference – under the flag of the United Nations.
Caroline Glick writes at Townhall:
Speaking at the conference, Iran’s supreme dictator Ali Khamenei called Israel and the US the greatest terrorists in the world. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the US was behind the September 11 attacks and the Holocaust and has used both to force the Palestinians to submit to invading Jews.
The UN has never been able to agree on a definition of terrorism. It seems to be all one to the Secretary General of that demonic institution whether it is exemplified by “measures taken by the US and Israel to defend themselves” or “Muslims flying planes into New York buildings”.
Aside from the fact that the leaders from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan – who owe their power and freedom to the sacrifices of the US military – participated in the conference, the most notable aspect of the event is that it took place under the UN flag. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent greetings to the conferees through his special envoy. According to Iran’s Fars news agency, “In a written message… read by UN Envoy to Teheran Mohammad Rafi Al-Din Shah, [Ban] Kimoon [commended] the Islamic Republic of Iran for holding this very important conference.”
According to Fars, Ban added that the UN had “approved a large number of resolutions against terrorism in recent years, and holding conferences like the Teheran conference can be considerably helpful in implementing these resolutions.”
When journalists inquired about the veracity of the Iranian news report, the UN Secretary-General’s Office defended its position. Ban’s spokesman Farhan Haq sniffed, “If we’re reaching out and trying to make sure that people fight terrorism, we need to go as far as possible to make sure that everyone does it.”
So as far as the UN’s highest official is concerned, when it comes to terrorism there is no qualitative difference between Iran on the one hand and the US and Israel on the other. Here it is worth noting that among the other invitees, Iran’s “counterterror” conference prominently featured Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
That’s the Butcher of Dafur to most of us.
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges for the genocide he has perpetrated in Darfur.
Iran, it should be noted, now occupies the vice-presidency of the UN General Assembly.
And North Korea, whose tyrant spends the meager resources of his impoverished country on making nuclear weapons while the people starve, heads the UN’s Conference on Disarmament.
The new General Assembly vice president is not merely the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. It is also a nuclear proliferator. This no doubt is why Iran’s UN representative expressed glee when earlier this month his nation’s fellow nuclear proliferator North Korea was appointed the head of the UN’s Conference on Disarmament.
This would be the same North Korea that has conducted two illicit nuclear tests; constructed an illicit nuclear reactor in Syria; openly cooperated with Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program; attacked and sank a South Korean naval ship last year, and threatened nuclear war any time anyone criticizes its aggressive behavior.
What these representative examples of what passes for business as usual at the UN show is that the international institution considered the repository of the will of the “international community” is wholly and completely corrupt. It is morally bankrupt. It is controlled by the most repressive regimes in the world and it uses its US- and Western-funded institutions to attack Israel, the US, the West and forces of liberty and liberalism throughout the world.
Given the utter depravity of the UN and the international system it oversees, what can explain the international Left’s kneejerk obeisance to it?
Caroline Glick does not answer her own question.
The answer is that the Left is wholly and completely corrupt and morally bankrupt.
And it forms the present government of the United States of America. Which accounts for the economic and political ruin engulfing the world.
The ideals enshrined in the Constitution – liberty above all – are considered obsolete by the Left.
This clowning at the UN; this calling of things by the names of their opposites; this political and diplomatic sarcasm practiced in concert by dozens of vicious little powers; this mockery of civilized values by the international Left, is nihilism – and it is winning.
P.S. The UN must be destroyed.
All Mark Steyn‘s columns are so good, so funny however serious and important the point he is making, that it’s hard to say this one or that one is the best or the funniest. But a recent article titled Too Big To Win, on the highly important subject of America’s wars, must surely be among his best and funniest.
We are picking sentences and passages from it to give our readers a taste, but we hope they’ll be enticed to read the whole thing here and enjoy the feast.
Why can’t America win wars? …
Afghanistan? The “good war” is now “America’s longest war.” Our forces have been there longer than the Red Army was. The “hearts and minds” strategy is going so well that American troops are now being killed by the Afghans who know us best. …
Libya? The good news is that we’ve vastly reduced the time it takes us to get quagmired. I believe the Libyan campaign is already in The Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest quagmire on record. In an inspired move, we’ve chosen to back the one Arab liberation movement incapable of knocking off the local strongman even when you lend them every NATO air force. But not to worry: President Obama, cooed an administration official to The New Yorker, is “leading from behind.” Indeed. What could be more impeccably multilateral than a coalition pantomime horse composed entirely of rear ends? Apparently it would be “illegal” to target Colonel Qaddafi, so our strategic objective is to kill him by accident. So far we’ve killed a son and a couple of grandkids. Maybe by the time you read this we’ll have added a maiden aunt or two to the trophy room. It’s not precisely clear why offing the old pock-skinned transvestite should be a priority of the U.S. right now, but let’s hope it happens soon, because otherwise there’ll be no way of telling when this “war” is “ended.”
According to partisan taste, one can blame the trio of current morasses on Bush or Obama, but in the bigger picture they’re part of a pattern of behavior that predates either man, stretching back through non-victories great and small — Somalia, Gulf War One, Vietnam, Korea. On the more conclusive side of the ledger, we have . . . well, lemme see: Grenada, 1983. And, given that that was a bit of post-colonial housekeeping Britain should have taken care of but declined to, one could argue that even that lone bright spot supports a broader narrative of Western enfeeblement. At any rate, America’s only unambiguous military triumph since 1945 is a small Caribbean island with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. For 43 percent of global military expenditure, that’s not much bang for the buck. …
At the dawn of the so-called American era, Washington chose to downplay U.S. hegemony and instead created and funded transnational institutions in which the non-imperial superpower was so self-deprecating it artificially inflated everybody else’s status in a kind of geopolitical affirmative-action program. … In 1950, America had a unique dominance of the “free world” and it could afford to be generous, so it was: We had more money than we knew what to do with, so we absolved our allies of paying for their own defense. …
By the time the Cold War ended … U.S.–Soviet nuclear standoff of mutual deterrence decayed into a unipolar world of U.S. auto-deterrence. …
At a certain level, credible deterrence depends on a credible enemy. The Soviet Union disintegrated, but the surviving superpower’s instinct to de-escalate intensified: In Kirkuk as in Kandahar, every Lilliputian warlord quickly grasped that you could provoke the infidel Gulliver with relative impunity. Mutually Assured Destruction had curdled into Massively Applied Desultoriness. …
The Pentagon outspends the Chinese, British, French, Russian, Japanese, German, Saudi, Indian, Italian, South Korean, Brazilian, Canadian, Australian, Spanish, Turkish, and Israeli militaries combined. So why doesn’t it feel like that?
Well, for exactly that reason: If you outspend every serious rival combined, you’re obviously something other than the soldiery of a conventional nation state. But what exactly? In the Nineties, the French liked to complain that “globalization” was a euphemism for “Americanization.” But one can just as easily invert the formulation: “Americanization” is a euphemism for “globalization,” in which the geopolitical sugar daddy is so busy picking up the tab for the global order he loses all sense of national interest. … The Pentagon now makes war for the world. …
An army has to wage war on behalf of something real. For better or worse, “king and country” is real, and so, mostly for worse, are the tribal loyalties of Africa’s blood-drenched civil wars. But it’s hardly surprising that it’s difficult to win wars waged on behalf of something so chimerical as “the international community.” If you’re making war on behalf of an illusory concept, is it even possible to have war aims? What’s ours? “[We] are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people,” General Petraeus said in April. Somewhere generations of old-school imperialists are roaring their heads off, not least at the concept of “the Afghan people.” But when you’re the expeditionary force of the parliament of man, what else is there? …
Nation building in Afghanistan is the ne plus ultra of a fool’s errand. But even if one were so disposed, effective “nation building” is done in the national interest of the builder. The British rebuilt India in their own image, with a Westminster parliament, common law, and an English education system. In whose image are we building Afghanistan? Eight months after Petraeus announced his latest folly, the Afghan Local Police initiative, Oxfam reported that the newly formed ALP was a hotbed of torture and pederasty. Almost every Afghan institution is, of course. But for most of human history they’ve managed to practice both enthusiasms without international subvention. The U.S. taxpayer accepts wearily the burden of subsidy for Nevada’s cowboy poets and San Francisco’s mime companies, but, even by those generous standards of cultural preservation, it’s hard to see why he should be facilitating the traditional predilections of Pashtun men with an eye for the “dancing boys of Kandahar.” …
So the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity is building schoolhouses in Afghanistan. Big deal. The problem, in Kandahar as in Kansas, is not the buildings but what’s being taught inside them — and we’ve no stomach for getting into that. So what’s the point of building better infrastructure for Afghanistan’s wretched tribal culture? What’s our interest in state-of-the-art backwardness?
Transnational do-gooding is political correctness on tour. It takes the relativist assumptions of the multiculti varsity and applies them geopolitically: The white man’s burden meets liberal guilt. No wealthy developed nation should have a national interest, because a national interest is a selfish interest. Afghanistan started out selfishly — a daringly original military campaign, brilliantly executed, to remove your enemies from power and kill as many of the bad guys as possible. Then America sobered up and gradually brought a freakish exception into compliance with the rule. In Libya as in Kosovo, war is legitimate only if you have no conceivable national interest in whatever conflict you’re fighting. The fact that you have no stake in it justifies your getting into it. The principal rationale is that there’s no rationale, and who could object to that? Applied globally, political correctness obliges us to forswear sovereignty. …
On we stagger, with Cold War institutions, transnational sensibilities, politically correct solicitousness, fraudulent preening pseudo–nation building, expensive gizmos, little will, and no war aims . . . but real American lives. … Sixty-six years after V-J Day, the American way of war needs top-to-toe reinvention.