At least one of the eleven men that died in the initial explosion that triggered a disaster in the Gulf expressed concerns about safety practices on the oil rig.Click on the title to go see the video.
Transocean toolpusher Jason Anderson told his wife, Shelly, that he was concerned about BP's safety practices on the rig. Anderson was so worried about an accident that he spent his last trip home getting his affairs in order.
"Everything seemed to be pressing to Jason about getting things in order. In case something happened. Teaching me how to do certain things on the motor home so that I could go and do things with the kids, make sure that I knew how to do everything," an emotional Shelly Anderson told NBC's Lisa Myers.
Her husband drew up a will and talked about his hopes for their daughter and son.
The last few times Jason called her from the rig he was was clearly worried.
"They were getting pressure from someplace higher up to do things that maybe weren't exactly the way Jason thought that they should be," she said. "It was a safety issue."
"Jason's father told us Jason was concerned that BP, which controlled the rig, kept wanting to stray from procedures to finish the well faster, which Jason considered unsafe," Myers reported.
The Transocean CEO sat in the Anderson kitchen and told Shelly how he would take care of her family. But even before the memorial service could take place, Transocean went to court to limit their overall damages.
"They haven't even let us say good-bye to at least have closure for his memory a little bit, to have time to explain to a 5-year-old that her daddy is in heaven. They're filing these lawsuits to limit us. They need to just slow down. Back up," said Anderson.
This video is from NBC's Today Show, broadcast June 3, 2010.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
From the Last Crusade:
ISRAEL FACES SHOWDOWN
Get ready for World War III.
In preparation for a military offensive against Israel, Turkey has deployment troops, F-15 and , Hercules C-130 cargo planes with paratroop units, war ships, frigates and destroyers to its naval bases in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the international airport of Ercan, which is located south of Nicosia.
The deployment has occurred even though Israel acceded to Turkey’s demands for the release of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who were taken into custody after the Israeli commando launched a raid on a Turkish vessel, which was leading a fleet of ships through the Gaza blockade on May 31.
The Turkish government under told President Barack Obama shortly before midnight on June 1 that if the United States did not punish Israel for the raid, Turkey would exact justice in order to defend its national honor.
“Israel cannot wash its hands of its perpetrated crimes in the Mediterranean,” the Turkish Prime Minister informed Mr. Obama.
Northern Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean transmitting data on the Turkish forces piling up there, while at sea, Israeli warships formed into two arcs, one facing the Turkish concentrations on and around Northern Cyprus and the other sealing off the in order to shield the big Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod.
The relationship between Turkey and Israel has worsened with the ascendancy of and the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma, AKP) in 2002.
The AKP was established by Fethullah Gulen, who seeks to bring about the restoration of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of a universal caliphate.
Gulen, who has amassed a fortune in excess of $25 billion, fled Turkey in 1999 and is presently holed up within a mountain fortress in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Erdogan is a Gulen disciple along with Abdullah Gul,Turkey’s first Islamic president, and Yusuf Ziya Ozcan, the head of Turkey’s Council of Higher Education.
Under the AKP, Turkey has transformed from a secular state into an Islamic country with 85,000 active mosques – - one for every 350- citizens – - the highest number per capita in the world, 90,000 imams, more imams than teachers and physicians – - and thousands of state-run Islamic schools.
Despite the rhetoric of European Union accession, Turkey has transferred its alliance from Europe and the United States to Russia and Iran. It has moved toward friendship with Hamas, , and Syria and created a pervasive anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, and anti-America animus throughout the populace. A string of Christian killings has erupted throughout Turkey in recent years, including the murder this week of a Roman Catholic bishop.
“What I saw,” he said, “was not pretty. It was ugly.”
Inside Turkey, Prime Minister Erdogan mustered all the machinery of his Islamic Justice and Development Party to create furious street demonstrations across the country demanding revenge against Israel.
“From now on, it is no longer possible to turn a blind eye on the lawless behavior of the current Israeli government,” Mr. Erdogan said, adding he did not advise anyone to test Turkey’s patience.
Israel’s military chiefs have warned that a military engagement with Turkey might rapidly spin out of control and draw Syria, the Lebanese Hezbollah, and the in into the conflict.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, said that Turkey’s military movements left Israel no option but to stand ready for a showdown.
“If Erdogan stops massing his army against Israel,” Mr. Netanyahu told Mr. Obama, ‘Israel will stand down too.”
Israel is in the process of airlifting diplomats’ families from the embassy in Ankara and the consulate in Istanbul, along with the staffs of its defense missions and trading firms.
The members of the Israeli embassy and consulate have been ordered to shred and burn classified materials and remove or destroy the hard disks from their computers.
Unloading of Humanitarian Aid from the Flotilla Continues, 3 June 2010
The spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announces that the unloading of humanitarian aid from the flotilla continued during the day.
Up Until now, 30 truckloads were unloaded, containing clothes, blankets, schoolbags, mattresses, children’s safety seats, closets and medical supply such as mechanical wheelchairs, X-ray reflection, wheelchairs, bandaging supply, medical beds and medications.
Some of the medicine unloaded from the ships had expiration dates from 2009. Furthermore, military camouflage fabrics, supposed to be delivered to the Hammas terror regime, were found on the ships.
The Palestinians are delaying the transfer of the humanitarian aid that was unloaded at Kerem Shalom crossing. As of today, 8 truckloads were already unloaded.
The coordinator of government activities in territories will continue to coordinate the transfer the humanitarian aid into the Gaza strip, in collaboration with the international community and the Palestinian authority.
Attached are photos of expired medicine and uniform fabric included in the cargo of the flotilla aid.
To those who imagine BORDER SECURITY IS RACISM:Hizbullah building terror infrastructure in U.S., infiltrating from Mexico
The threat to the United States posed by Iranian-backed Hizbullah terrorists is growing and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have failed to adequately address the problem, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
Hizbullah is continuing to build up its terrorist infrastructure within the United States through infiltration operations across the Mexican border and through other U.S. entry points.
However, little of the activity has been detected by the FBI, which has not been able to identify the networks, other than through some of its semi-covert fundraising operatives who have been caught.
The most recent detection of Hizbullah infiltration dates to 2006 when FBI Director Robert Mueller stated in House testimony that "Hizbullah operatives were assisting others with some association with Hizbullah in coming to the United States."
"That was an organization that we dismantled and identified those persons who had been smuggled in," Mueller said, adding that they had come across the Mexican border.
The influx of Hizbullah, a Lebanese Shi'ite terror group that is considered a major terrorist surrogate for Iran, is believed linked to increased international pressure on Iran for its nuclear program.
U.S. officials fear that if the U.S. or Israel take military or covert action against Iran's nuclear program preemptively, that Iran will unleash clandestine Hizbullah operatives in the United States to conduct major terrorist attacks.
The office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, a part of the director of national intelligence, launched a counterintelligence initiative several years ago to try and identify U.S.-based Hizbullah networks but the effort has been largely unsuccessful, U.S. officials said.
Michael Braun, former assistant administrator and chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) told The Washington Times last year that Hizbullah is using the same southern narcotics trafficking routes as Mexican drug networks.
Hizbullah relies on "the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels," Braun said.
Concerns about Hizbullah in the United States followed a recent Pentagon report on Iran that stated that "we assess with high confidence that over the last three decades Iran has methodically cultivated a network of sponsored terrorist surrogates capable of conducting effective, plausibly deniable attacks against Israel and the Untied States."
Through Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force, Iran has maintained terrorist surrogate capabilities around the world including the Middle East and North Africa, the report said, noting that "recent years have witnessed an increased presence in Latin America, particularly Venezuela."
"If U.S. involvement in conflicts in these regions deepens, contact with the IRGC-QF, directly or through extremist groups it supports, will be more frequent and consequential," the report said.
So, SPLC, Obama, the Laker girl boycotters, and other idiots more worried about the fabled somehow ethnic of some sort daddy taking his 10 year old for ice cream after the baseball game, WE DON'T WANT THEM. WE WANT CRIMINALS TERRORISTS AND GUERRILLAS HERE TO HARM AMERICA AND KILL OUR PEOPLE.
Th border being secured ELIMINATES a great deal of this potential constitutional problem, and ELIMINATES Hizballah simply coming across to kill us over coyote routes outlined by the Mexican govt.
Why this is difficult to understand IS BEYOND ME
The Press Corpse Speaks Her Mind
Time for a pome, keeds. Ripped straight outta the guide book on writing pomes, by Dr. Seuss:
Green Lox mit Schmear:
Those Evil Jooz, Those Evil Jooz, oh How I hate those Evil Jooz.
Those Wretched Jooz should just go home, they should go back to France or Rome.
We do not want them here or there, we do not want them anywhere.
They don't belong in Palestine. Without those Jooz, all would be fine.
There shouldn't be an Israel, without those Jooz, all would be swell.
I hate those Jooz, those pesky Jooz, they're stealing all the Arab's flooz!
I would pack them in a box, and on the door I'd place some locks.
And take them home to Poland fine, they don't belong in Palestine.
There's lots of places Jooz can roast, in Poland's ovens primed for toast.
And then it all would be so good, if we'd just itbach al yahood.
This mic is on? This mic is on! Did I say that? You just heard wrong!
I don't hate Jooz, just Zionists! That's the reason I'm so pissed!
I do, I like green lox mit schmear, I hope I have made myself clear.
H/T Yid With Lid
But let's give Aisha and Nawal the last word.
Okay, I feel like being offensive
General Geroge Patton
June 5, 1944
Obama To Netanyahu: I Know I Invited You To The White House, But Get Out
In the hubbub surrounding the “battle of the flotilla,” Netanyahu’s quick reversal of his decision to remain in the United States has been largely ignored. It turns out that Obama told him to leave because he didn’t want Netanyahu to use the White House as a stage on which to present Israel’s side of the story.
The flotilla violence caught Netanyahu in the midst of a diplomatic trip to North America. He was in the Canadian capital of Ottawa at the time, about to leave for Washington for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. The meeting was to have been a way for Obama to make up for the humiliation he dealt Netanyahu on his last visit, when he refused to be seen with the Israeli leader in public.
Netanyahu announced immediately after the flotilla news broke that he would remain in North America and would meet with Obama as scheduled. However, within minutes after media reported Netanyahu would continue with his trip as scheduled, he abruptly announced a change of plan and set off immediately for Israel to “deal with the flotilla crisis.”
Behind the scenes, it was Obama officials who caused the turnabout. Globes cites sources in both Jerusalem and Washington who say that Obama officials gave a clear message to Netanyahu’s people: “Don’t come."
Maybe Someone Here Has Already Posted This Parody
Friday, June 04, 2010
Gaza Relief: Flat chicks for tiny dicks
What are some interesting facts about flatboats?
1. flatboats can hold up to 20 people, and 2. they were taken apart for lumber when they reached their destination.
Even better, flat folks like Rachel Corrie can easily be stacked on deck or in the hold, laid flat or vertical. The best thing about a shipment of Rachel Corries to Gaza is that guys with really tiny dicks will impress the hell out of women like Rachel Corrie, given that she's about an inch thick.
Who Is Muhannad Almahmoudi?
From Radio Free Dar Al Harb:
...In court papers, the government charges Adam Albrett, also known as Muhannad Almahmoudi, sent an email May 14 threatening to "blow the brains out of President Obama unless he vacates the White House."I wonder what mosque Almahoudi attended?
The arrest warrant accuses Albrett of "threats against the president and successors to the presidency," which would be White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Albrett also threatened to kill Emanuel.
Neighbors say 45-year-old Albrett is a patent attorney of Middle Eastern descent who grew up here [in Fairfax County]....
Helen Thomas - Lynch Mob Member, and now, frank antisemite
The Muslim Brotherhood's Flotilla
The International Muslim Brotherhood had a heavy hand in orchestrating the flotilla.
BY Thomas Joscelyn
June 3, 2010 3:30 PM
Western press accounts have enumerated the many left-wing human rights activists who were among the Gaza-bound flotilla’s passengers earlier this week. But there were other, more conspicuous passengers aboard the ships. The Muslim Brotherhood, in particular, was well-represented.
In fact, the more one looks into the details of the flotilla the more it becomes clear that the Brotherhood used the humanitarian mission for its own purpose, namely, to assist its Palestinian branch -- Hamas. The Brotherhood used the flotilla as a propaganda operation with the intention of increasing international pressure on Israel to the point that the Jewish state lifts its blockade on Gaza and therefore Hamas. Simply put, the Brotherhood saw the flotilla as a public relations weapon that could be used to assist their fellow Ikhwan (Muslim Brothers).
Before getting into the various substantial links between the Brotherhood and the flotilla, a clarifying note is necessary because there is a profound intellectual confusion in the West when it comes to the Brotherhood’s designs for the world. Some have convinced themselves, against overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the Brotherhood is a “moderate” organization we can deal with. That is not true.
The Brotherhood claims, on occasion, that it has disavowed terrorism. But even a cursory look reveals that it openly espouses jihad, and has since its beginning. The Brotherhood also encourages suicide attacks against American forces in Iraq, as well as Israelis. While they have their disagreements from time to time, the truth is that the Brotherhood’s long-term goals are the same as al Qaeda’s. They both want to reestablish the caliphate (as fanciful as that may seem to Western ears) and implement Sharia law throughout the Islamist-controlled world. The Brotherhood only disagrees with al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s ilk on tactics.
That said, many of al Qaeda’s master terrorists (Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – to name a few) were once members of the Brotherhood. It is a short step from the Brotherhood to al Qaeda, but not a long one. And that is because they share much in common, including deep ideological roots. To give but one example: Sayyid Qutb, a prominent member of the Brotherhood in the mid-20th century, is one of the chief ideological forefathers of al Qaeda.
Thus, it is a big deal that the Brotherhood manipulated the flotilla for its own purposes, or was even behind it from the first. And it is a big deal that most of the press has missed this obvious angle to the story.
Consider these facts:
As my colleague Jonathan Schanzer wrote earlier this week, the flotilla was organized in large part by a radical Turkish Islamist organization named IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi). The IHH, in turn, is part of a Saudi-based umbrella group called the Union of Good, which was created by Hamas. The U.S. Treasury Department designated the Union of Good a terrorist organization in 2008. Of course, Hamas itself was designated a terrorist organization many years ago.
The Union of Good’s leaders include Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, a top Muslim Brotherhood cleric, and Sheikh Abd al Majid al Zindani, who heads Yemen’s Islah party. Zindani and the Islah party have deep Brotherhood roots.
In other words, the IHH is an offshoot of the Union of Good, which is in turn an offshoot of the Brotherhood -- as is Hamas. It is a matter of basic logic, then, that if the IHH was one of the prime movers behind the flotilla then that means the Brotherhood itself was.
It is as simple as that. But there is much more.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report (GMBDR) noted earlier this week that one of the flotilla’s more prominent individual organizers, Amin Abou Rashed, has been identified as “a member of the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas support network in the Netherlands.” A previous GMBDR account explained that the Brotherhood was “heavily represented” in the Gaza flotilla. Indeed, as we shall see below, the organization was. And the Brotherhood had a sympathetic former member of its organization on board the Turkish ship in the flotilla, and he covered the events that transpired as a journalist for al Jazeera.
Incredibly, the GMBDR discovered that the Brotherhood has even announced it will send another flotilla in a matter of weeks.
If that is not enough, let us look more carefully at some of the passengers on board the flotilla’s ships.
Two of the passengers, as revealed by the indispensable MEMRI organization, are members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s bloc in the Egyptian parliament. One of the two, Muhammad al Baltaji, is the deputy secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary contingent.
MEMRI quotes al Baltaji as saying recently, “A nation that excels at dying will be blessed by Allah with a life of dignity and with eternal paradise.” Al Baltaji also said that the Muslim Brotherhood “will never recognize Israel and will never abandon the resistance,” and that “resistance is the only road map that can save Jerusalem, restore the Arab honor, and prevent Palestine from becoming a second Andalusia.” (Andalusia is of course Spain. The Brotherhood intends to include the once conquered territory in its restored caliphate.)
Al Baltaji also explained the flotilla’s purpose this way: “The flotilla participants have two aims: to reach Gaza and break the siege, and to denounce Israel if it prevents the flotilla from entering Gaza, even at the cost of martyrdom or imprisonment.”
Therefore, al Baltaji, like some of the other passengers, considered the flotilla to be a possible martyrdom operation.
Three of the flotilla’s passengers were members of the Yemeni Islah party, which is led by the aforementioned Zindani. Sheikh Zindani is a globally designated terrorist and a longtime benefactor of Osama bin Laden. The Yemeni government and press objected to Israel's detention of three Islah party members for questioning. But a picture reproduced on MEMRI’s web site shows one of the three, Sheikh Muhammad al Hazmi, brandishing a Yemeni dagger on the deck of the Mavi Marmara.
And the Yemen Observer reports that a “Palestinian source” witnessed al Hazmi on an Israeli television channel “fighting with an Israeli soldier and vowing ‘Allahu Aakbar’ before he was arrested.”
The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood was represented too. Again, we turn to MEMRI to learn that at least four Jordanian Brotherhood members, including high-ranking officials, were among the flotilla’s passengers.
MEMRI quotes one of them, Salam al Falahat, the “general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan from 2006 to 2008” as saying last year:
We in the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan see Palestine as part of the Islamic and Arab land that must not be relinquished – on the contrary, defending it is a national and jurisprudential obligation... We see Hamas movement in Palestine as standing at the head of the project of the Arab and Islamic liberation for which the Muslim Brotherhood calls... The Muslim Brotherhood supports Hamas and every Arab resistance movement in the region that works for liberation.Another one of the flotilla’s passengers was Sheikh Raed Salah, who is the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel (or “1948 land” as it is called on the Brotherhood’s web site). Salah’s organization is devoted to promoting Islamist beliefs among Israel’s Arabs. Salah has long conspired with Hamas and the Brotherhood in general, which is why the Brotherhood’s web site quotes a member of Salah’s group as saying that the Israelis are “trying to fabricate ‘heavyweight charges’ against” the Sheikh. Salah is currently under house arrest.
More facts will emerge concerning the Brotherhood’s involvement in this international imbroglio.
The press would be well-served to note that it was a propaganda event staged by the Brotherhood all along. After all, the Brotherhood used the flotilla to play the press, and unfortunately human rights activists, like a fiddle.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
America Needs to Stand with Israel Now
by Michele Bachmann
Updated 06/04/2010 ET
Israel has come under attack yet again from leaders around the world who are calling the actions taken earlier this week by Israel’s military "criminal" and "inhuman." When Israeli soldiers, enforcing a blockade put into place to stop arms and money from being smuggled into the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip, stopped six flotillas headed towards Gaza to inspect their cargo, passengers on the final ship put up strong resistance by immediately attacking the soldiers upon their descent from a helicopter.
The soldiers were attacked with knives, clubs, and other weapons. Video even shows the passengers throwing an Israeli soldier over the side of the ship.
Yet, that has not stopped the world from immediately rebuking Israel and demanding they make an apology for their actions, which were merely actions of self-defense.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed "regret" for those passengers who lost their lives in the struggle, but said the Israeli soldiers "had to defend themselves, defend their lives, or they would have been killed." Reviewing the video evidence, it would be tough to make a case otherwise.
When the ship was ultimately secured, the Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Defense officials “identified about 50 passengers on the ship who could have terrorist connections with global jihad-affiliated groups. The military also discovered a cache of bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles, as well as gas masks.” They also report that the suspected terror suspects “refused to identify themselves and were not carrying passports. Many of them were carrying envelopes packed with thousands of dollars in cash.”
Yet, despite these facts, the Obama Administration has decided to remain on the sidelines and leave Israel to face the world alone, effectively abandoning our longtime friend and ally when they need us the most. By the United States taking such an ambiguous position on these recent events, our mutual enemies will be emboldened, rather than deterred from further acts of aggression.
Knowing full well that Islamic radical factions and Iran are aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons while at the same time stating that Israel must be “wiped off the map,” the United States would be foolish to remain indifferent in this instance. It would simply be a reckless foreign policy position to take, and we must demand more of our government whose role it is to keep our nation safe and secure.
The United States has been blessed by a rich and shared history with Israel, and our alliance has secured for both its citizens a very safe and prosperous future. With that said, we have an opportunity now to stand shoulder to shoulder with our friend, our ally, Israel, and show our unwavering support.
Or, we can continue on the current path seemingly favored by this administration, one in which we view Israel as just one of several players in the Middle East, not exceptional, and not deserving of our full and unbridled backing.
I sincerely hope we choose the former, for a strong and vibrant Israel means a strong and vibrant America.
Cartoon courtesy of Brett Noel
Toledo, Ohio: Jihad Suspects Arrested, Local Muslims "Frustrated"
Instead of focusing on the real problem, and wanting to do something about it, they make it all about them. How crazy, huh?
Wait! Unless it really is all about them, you know, like if they are sympathizers.
From the Toledo Blade:
Local Muslim leaders reacted cautiously Thursday to news of yet another terrorism-related case in the Toledo area.
The Muslim representatives said they had not heard about the arrests of Hor and Amera Akl and did not know the couple.
Imam Farooq Abo-Elzahab, of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, said the name "Hor" is very unusual and he had not come across it before. He denounced the Akls' alleged attempts to funnel money to a terrorist group.
"This kind of illegal activity should be condemned, and it is condemned by all Muslims," he said.
Imam Farooq said he feared the arrests would reflect negatively on the area's Muslim community, which has had to deal with bad publicity from two other terrorism-related cases in Toledo in the past few years.
"I do not know what to say. It's very frustrating to hear about these kinds of things," Imam Farooq said. "Muslims are good people, and this kind of thing is showing only the ugly side."
Dr. S. Zaheer Hasan, spokesman for the United Muslim Association of Toledo, said he couldn't yet comment on the case because he didn't have enough facts.
"I really don't know what's going on," Dr. Hasan said.
, national spokesman for the , which has several offices in Ohio but not in , said it was too soon to jump to conclusions about yesterday's arrests. However, he said the fact that an FBI informant was involved in building a case against the Akls raises questions about the strength of the charges.
"Whenever you have a case where the government is initiating the action, it raises red flags in terms of possible concerns about who really was the initiator of the alleged violation," Mr. Hooper said. "We will have to wait and see how the case develops and we'll obviously monitor it to make sure everybody's are maintained."
Republicans are mostly pro-Israel; Democrats are on the fence, isolating their Jewish voters
This week's flare-up involving an Israeli raid and ensuing casualties on a Turkish ship en route to Gaza shows how torn the new Democratic coalition is on Israeli policy toward Palestinians. Near unanimity for a pro-Israeli policy now resides within the Republican Party. U.S. Jews, a large majority of whom remain liberal to moderate Democrats, have the wrenching choice of staying loyal to a Democratic Party that increasingly questions Israeli policies.
Zogby International has done a great deal of work on U.S. attitudes about Israel and the Middle East. (My brother, James Zogby, is founder and president of the Arab American Institute.) The most recent survey was an in-depth interactive poll of 2,471 adults conducted in mid-March, shortly after a diplomatic brouhaha brought on by Israel's announcement of more West Bank settlements while Vice-President Joe Biden was visiting Israel.
The differences in opinion between Democrats and Republicans are stunning. Seventy-one percent of Republicans want President Barack Obama to lean the U.S. pursuit of Mideast peace in Israel's favor. Among Democrats, 73% want a middle course, and the percentages who want either a pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian policy are nearly equal at just under 10%.
Here are more examples: 92% of Republicans have a favorable attitude toward Israel, compared to 42% of Democrats; 84% of Republicans are favorable toward Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, compared to 20% of Democrats; 75% of Republicans believe U.S. and Israeli interests are identical compared to 29% of Democrats; 62% of Republicans support the Israelis' building of West Bank settlements and 64% of Democrats oppose it; and 72% of Democrats say the U.S. should get tough with Israel, compared to 14% of Republicans. Perhaps the most startling difference is in the perception of Obama's approach to a peace process, as 84% of Republicans believe his leans in favor of Palestinians, compared to just 12% of Democrats saying that.
Oh yoo-hoo, Mr Gates: China ahead of schedule on fifth-generation answer to discontinued F-22
Image via Wikipedia
A senior U.S. military intelligence official confirmed that China will be capable of deploying an advanced fifth generation fighter comparable to the U.S. F-22 within eight years, yearsahead of previous Pentagon assessments.
"We're anticipating China to have a fifth-generation fighter ... operational right around 2018," said Wayne Ulman of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. He made the comments before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on May 20.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, in defending his decision to end production of the F-22, stated last year that China "is projected to have no fifth-generation aircraft by 2020."
Such advanced fighter bombers are cutting edge weapons that provide asymmetric warfare capabilities such as advanced propulsion, radar invisibility and high-speed maneuverability.
The comments by Ulman contradicted an assessment by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates who stated last year that China "is projected to have no fifth-generation aircraft by 2020" and only a "handful" by 2025. Gates made the comments in defending his decision to end production of the F-22 at 187 aircraft as part of his budget-cutting initiative.
Chinese Gen. He Weirong, the deputy commander of the Chinese Air Force, told Chinese state-run media in November that the new advanced jet would fly soon despite U.S. intelligence projections that it will not be ready for combat for at least 10 years.
"The capabilities of China's air forces, particularly those of the PLAAF have improved dramatically over the course of the past decade," said Ulman, a senior China analyst at NASIC. "From an overly-large, technologically inferior force, the PLAAF is emerging as a well-equipped and increasingly well-trained force with some identifiable shortcomings and weaknesses."
China's Air Force has grown in size and sophistication with advanced surface-to-air missiles and radar and new offensive-oriented missions.
The PLA Air Force "has taken on an increasing number of offensive missions in addition to their traditional defensive missions," Ulman said. "These missions require the PLAAF to operate at greater distances from home bases and increasingly require overwater operations."
"It's yet to be seen exactly how (the next generation) will compare one on one with say an F-22," Ulman told the commission. "But it'll certainly be in that ballpark."
Bruce S. Lemkin, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, told the commission "there are lots of countries that say they're going to build a fifth-generation fighter, and they've produced pictures."
"It's not just China. It's really hard to do. It was hard for us to do. An [Active Electronically Scanned Array] AESA radar, we're still the only ones that have an operating AESA radar."
China has "most probably" gleaned things about such capabilities and will need to be watched, he said.
Fifth generation warplanes would need fighters that have stealth, super cruise, and Active Electronically Scanned Array radar to be considered in that category.
Again, Gates feels that US security is strengthened by using 183 F-22's to replace 751 F-15 C's and D's. The Air Force asked for ~385. We have refused to sell any to the three allies that have asked to purchase them, Japan, Australia and Israel. If we cannot AFFORD both F-22's and proper defense and security for our troops fighting islamic terror (uh oh, I said it), then WE HAD BETTER ADDRESS THAT PROBLEM BY ALLOWING OUR ECONOMY TO GROW TO SUPPORT IT.
The Taggart Transcontinental Lesson
Disable the Rachel Corrie, and EMP their electronics
Double murder in Belgian court, and the suspect is Iranian
BRUSSELS (AFP) – Belgian police have arrested a suspect after a man pulled a gun during a Brussels court hearing and shot dead a woman judge and court clerk before fleeing, the public prosecutor's office said Friday.The ending line gives reason to wonder if Belgium doesn't have any proper security for their courtrooms, and I'm not just talking about camera tech. What about the metal detectors and guards who actually search people before entering?
"A suspect has been questioned and identified," Jean-Jacques Meilleur, spokesman for the Brussels public prosecutor, told AFP after Thursday's double murder.
A judicial source said that the suspect was a 47-year-old Iranian man who had been identified by witnesses of the courtroom drama that shook Belgium. He reportedly said he had been motivated by revenge.
The prosecutor's office would hold a press conference at 0900 GMT.
Police approached the man in a Brussels park on Thursday evening in order to check his identity, but he pulled out a gun and began shooting in the air, the source said.
The man was wounded by police, arrested, and later identified as a suspect in the killings.
On Thursday morning a man, who had been present throughout the hearing, "pulled out a firearm, a revolver, and fired at the judge and her clerk, killing both," said Jean-Jacques Meilleur, spokesman for the Brussels public prosecutor.
The tribunal had been hearing a family and neighbour dispute case when the shooting happened. The tribunal is close to the imposing Palace of Justice in the heart of the Belgian capital.
The assailant "was briefly pursued by one of the lawyers present but he managed to flee on foot down one of the roads in the area," Meilleur added. A major search was launched for the gunman.
The victims were 60-year-old magistrate Isabelle Brandon and her court clerk Andre Bellemans.
A minute's silence was observed by judges and lawyers in the Palace of Justice later in honour of their deceased colleagues, with some members of the judiciary visibly shocked at the events.
Security in judicial buildings and prisons in Belgium has long been a source of concern, with many escapes in recent years.
Last August, masked men helped three suspects escape the Palace of Justice, taking prison guards hostage in the process.
Around the same time there was a spectacular escape from a prison in the north with the use of a hijacked helicopter.
Just days ahead of snap legislative elections on June 13, the justice minister said he would stop campaigning and called for a debate on security, while ruling out placing security cameras in all courtrooms.
This article also obscures the problems with jihadism in Belgium, which likely played a role in this tragic case, as well as the several other crimes hinted at here. Sadly, it shouldn't surprise that the AFP would refuse to get in deeper.
"This Song Goes Very Very Good WIth Brown Whiskey"7:08:00 a.m. permanent link# 0 Comments
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP BUTCHERED BY MAD MUSLIM
PRIEST LATEST VICTIM IN CHRISTIAN KILLINGS
Paul L. Williams, Ph.D.
A Roman Catholic bishop has been stabbed to death in southern Turkey. The incident marked the latest in a string of attacks on Christians since the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma, AKP) gained control of the government in 2002.
The AKP was formed and remains under the control of Fethullah Gulen, who has been called “the most dangerous Islamist on planet earth.”
Gulen, who has amassed more than $25 billion in financial assets, resides within a 45 acre fortress in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.
Bishop Luigi Padovese, the pope’s apostolic vicar in Anatolia, was attacked in his home in the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun.
The suspected assassin is the bishop’s Muslim driver who had worked for him for the past four-and-a-half years.
NTV television said the priest had died in a hospital.
There was no immediate word from the Vatican.
Other attacks on Catholic clerics in Turkey have captured international headlines.killing is the latest in a string of attacks in recent years on Christians in Turkey, where Christians make up less than 1 percent of the 70 million population.
In February 2006, an Italian Catholic priest was shot to death in his church in Trabzon by a youth who was angered over the caricatures of the Muslim prophet in Danish newspapers.
In December 2007, a 19 year-old stabbed a Catholic priest outside a church in Izmir. According to newspaper reports, the Muslim assailant, who had been arrested, admitted that he had been influenced by a recent television program that depicted Christian missionaries as infiltrators who take advantage of Islamic people.
The same year, a group of men entered a Bible-publishing house in the central Anatolian city of Malatya and killed three Christians, including a German national.
The five alleged killers are now standing trial for murder.
The killings — in which the victims were tied up and had their throats slit — drew international condemnation and added to Western concerns about whether Turkey can protect its religious minorities.
Roman Catholics also have had their property confiscated by the government. Many of the churches have been transformed into mosques.
Christians in Turkey now constitute less than one half of one percent of the country’s population. 99% of the population are now Muslim – - 75% Sunni and 24% Shiite.
Less than a century ago, Christians dominated the intellectual and commercial life of the Levant, comprising more than a fifth of the population.
Under the AKP, Turkey has transformed from a secular state into an Islamic country with 85,000 active mosques – - one for every 350- citizens – - the highest number per capita in the world, 90,000 imams, more imams than teachers and physicians – - and thousands of state-run Islamic schools.
Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s first Islamist President, is a Gulen disciple along with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Yusuf Ziya Ozcan, the head of Turkey’s Council of Higher Education.
Despite the rhetoric of European Union accession, Turkey has transferred its alliance from Europe and the United States to Russia and Iran. It has moved toward friendship with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria and created a pervasive anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, and anti-America animus throughout the populace.
New York Times:
Israel Signals New Flexibility on Gaza Shipments
By ISABEL KERSHNER
JERUSALEM — While still insisting that its blockade of Gaza is essential to its security, the Israeli government is now shifting its position, “exploring new ways” of allowing goods to reach the coastal enclave, an Israeli official said Thursday.
Describing the latest thinking within the government on the condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly, the official said Israel was determined to have every ship heading to Gaza inspected to prevent the smuggling of rockets and other weapons. But at the same time, he said, the government wanted to facilitate the entry of civilian goods.
The government’s new flexibility follows a week of unrelenting international outrage over Israel’s commando raid on a flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists, which left nine dead, and reports that senior officials in the Obama administration were calling for a “new approach” in Gaza and had concluded that the blockade was untenable.
President Obama added to the pressure on Israel in an interview with Larry King that was broadcast Thursday night. While declining to condemn the raid, he said, “What’s important right now is that we break out of the current impasse, use this tragedy as an opportunity so that we figure out how we meet Israel’s security concerns, but at the same time start opening up opportunity for Palestinians.”
Israel’s Channel 2 television news reported on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had proposed to Tony Blair, the international envoy of the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers, that an international naval force inspect future aid ships bound for Gaza.
Mr. Netanyahu met with Mr. Blair on Thursday, but there was no immediate confirmation from Mr. Netanyahu’s office or from Mr. Blair’s that such a proposal had been discussed.
Since the raid on Monday, Israeli officials have staunchly defended the blockade of Gaza, saying it is needed to prevent Hamas, the militant Islamic group that rules the territory, from receiving shipments of rockets, missiles and other arms. Mr. Netanyahu said Thursday that giving ships unfettered access to the enclave was the equivalent of having “an Iranian port in Gaza.”
Earlier on Thursday, a senior Israeli security official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Israel had shown flexibility “all the time” regarding supplies allowed through the land crossings.
But he reiterated the longstanding Israeli position that if Hamas wants real change, “they can release Gilad Shalit,” the Israeli soldier captured in a raid and taken to Gaza in 2006, as well as recognize Israel’s right to exist and renounce violence.
Gaza has been under an Israeli-led blockade since Hamas took full control of the territory in 2007. Israel, the United States and the European Union consider Hamas a terrorist organization.
The diplomatic developments were accompanied by reports on Thursday that one of the nine people killed in the raid on the flotilla this week was a 19-year-old United States citizen of Turkish descent who had lived most of his life in Turkey, officials in Turkey and Washington said.
Hundreds of activists, many of them Turks, were flown to Turkey overnight. They had been detained when the Israeli Navy towed the ships to shore on Monday. Israel said it had released all the detainees without pressing charges, part of an effort to prevent further diplomatic damage.
But as processions of coffins bearing some of the dead wound through a devout neighborhood of Istanbul on Thursday, accompanied by thousands of Turkish mourners, public anger in Turkey seemed undiminished.
A new potential confrontation seemed to be avoided Thursday with word that another ship bound for Gaza with pro-Palestinian activists was being delayed. The 1,200-ton cargo ship, named the Rachel Corrie for an American protester who was crushed by an Israeli Army bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, was waiting “somewhere in the Mediterranean,” according to Hedy Epstein, 85, a Holocaust survivor and prominent member of the Free Gaza Movement, one of the main organizers of the last flotilla.
Although the group was keeping the whereabouts of the Rachel Corrie vague, Ms. Epstein, speaking by telephone from Cyprus, said it would not be approaching Gaza this weekend, as originally expected. CNN reported Thursday that the voyage was being delayed while the ship was fitted with greater video and satellite transmission capabilities.
Israel said Thursday that seven activists remained in Israeli hospitals, not yet well enough to travel. The Australian wife of one of the wounded, also an Australian citizen, had asked to stay behind.
The deaths occurred during a violent confrontation on a Turkish-flagged liner carrying 600 passengers. After it seized the ships, Israel said it would deliver the goods that the activists had been trying to take to Gaza.
But the Hamas authorities were not allowing supplies from the ships to enter Gaza on Thursday, said Maj. Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the Israeli authority responsible for the crossings. About 30 truckloads had been unloaded from the ships, he said.
Ahmed al-Kurd, the minister of social affairs in the Hamas government, said that first, “Israel has to release all hostages,” referring to the flotilla activists.
In addition, Mr. Kurd said that it was up to Turkey to decide on “the mechanism to distribute or to handle the aid,” whether through international or Turkish organizations, and that the aid must arrive complete.
John Bolton: Obama’s Response to the Flotilla Incident “Weak”6:26:00 a.m. permanent link# 0 Comments
North Korean Envoy Warns War Could Erupt Soon
Thursday, 03 Jun 2010 09:23 PM
GENEVA – A North Korean envoy said on Thursday that war could erupt at any time on the divided Korean peninsula because of tension with Seoul over the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.
"The present situation of the Korean peninsula is so grave that a war may break out any moment," Ri Jang Gon, North Korea's deputy ambassador in Geneva, told the United Nations-sponsored Conference on Disarmament.
North Korea's troops were on "full alert and readiness to promptly react to any retaliation," including the scenario of all-out war, he told the forum.
Ri, departing from his prepared remarks, said that only the conclusion of a peace treaty between the two countries would lead to the "successful denuclearization" of the peninsula. The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice but no formal peace treaty.
Communist North Korea, hit with U.N. sanctions after testing nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009, is still under international pressure to dismantle its nuclear programme.
Ri repeated Pyongyang's assertion that North Korea had nothing to do with the sinking of the Cheonan warship which killed 46 sailors -- the deadliest military incident since the Korean War.
South Korea has accused North Korea of firing a torpedo at the vessel and said it will bring the case to the U.N. Security Council. A report by international investigators last month also accused North Korea of torpedoing the vessel.
Ri accused South Korea of trying to create a shocking incident in order to ignite a campaign against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea's official name.
South Korean ambassador Im Han-taek took the floor at the Geneva forum to voice regret at Ri's remarks, adding: "We believe it is only for propaganda purposes."
U.S. disarmament ambassador Laura Kennedy also rejected Ri's accusations that Washington had backed Seoul in "groundlessly" blaming the sinking on a North Korean submarine.
"I agree that the situation on the Korean peninsula is very grave but I disagree with the statement made and reject those allegations against my country," Kennedy said.
"The investigation carried out was scrupulous and painstaking and we certainly accept without doubt the results which clearly indicated where the blame lay," she added.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Great Moments In The History Of Islamic Coprophilia
Raymond Ibrahim on Fr. Zakaria Botros: Getting away with more than cartoons
Which is more likely to elicit an irate Muslim response: 1) public cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, or 2) public proclamations that Muhammad was a bisexual, sometime transvestite and necrophile, who enjoyed sucking on the tongues of children, commanded a woman to "breastfeed" an adult man, and advised believers to drink his urine for salutary health?
Based on the recent South Park fiasco--where an animated episode depicting Muhammad in a bear suit sparked outrage among various Muslim groups, culminating with the usual death threats--the answer is clear: cartoons, once again, have proven to be the Muslim world's premiere provocateur. Indeed, during a university lecture the other day, Swedish artist Lars Vilks, whose life is in jeopardy due to his depiction of Muhammad as a dog, was violently assaulted to ululations of "Allahu Akbar!" (Islam's primordial war cry).
Yet how can cartoons rouse Muslim ire more than public assertions that Muhammad was a bisexual, a transvestite, a necrofile, et al? First, context:
The evangelical Arabic satellite station, al-Haya (Life TV), regularly takes the Muslim prophet to task, especially on two weekly programs: Hiwar al-Haq (Truth Talk), hosted by Coptic priest Fr. Zakaria Botros, and Su'al Jari' (Daring Question), hosted by ex-Muslim Rashid. Both shows revolve around asking uncomfortable questions about Islam and its founder in an effort to prompt Muslims to reconsider the legitimacy of their faith. (It is on these shows that the aforementioned, unflattering assertions of Muhammad originate; see here and here for English summaries.)
These broadcasts are viewed by millions of Arabic-speaking Muslims around the world. That the satellite station strikes a Muslim nerve is evinced by the fact that it is formally banned in several Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia, and is regularly condemned by Islam's demagogues on mainstream Arabic media, including al Jazeera.
When the programs first began airing, they certainly caused uproar in the Muslim world. Then, Muslims regularly called in cursing the hosts, promising them death and destruction (both here and in the hereafter). Al-Qaeda reportedly put a $60 million bounty on Fr. Zakaria's head; and the priest is on CAIR's radar. (See the father make his famous "ten demands" of Islam here and explain his mission in this rare English interview.)
Far from being cowed by the daily death threats, however, Life TV and its unrepentant hosts have responded by upping the ante and providing even more anecdotes discrediting Muhammad. Rashid recently examined the theological implications of Muhammad's hatred for the gecko lizard, which the prophet accused of being "an infidel and enemy of the believers."
Muslims who kill it in the first strike receive 100 "heavenly-points," whereas those who kill it in two strikes receive only 70. More graphically, Fr. Zakaria recently examined canonical hadiths (authenticated Muslim accounts) that record Islam's first believers eating Muhammad's feces, marinating food in his sweat, drinking the water he gargled and spit out, and smearing his phlegm all over their faces--all to his approval....Read it all, if you have the stomach!
The Los Angeles Unified School District school board wants all public school students in the city to be taught that Arizona’s new immigration law is un-American.
Click on the title to read the whole story at Weasel Zippers.