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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pro-American by WHOSE Definition?

The Guardian:

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media
Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries".

Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: "The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US."

He said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to "address US audiences" with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

Centcom said it was not targeting any US-based web sites, in English or any other language, and specifically said it was not targeting Facebook or Twitter.

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

Centcom's contract requires for each controller the provision of one "virtual private server" located in the United States and others appearing to be outside the US to give the impression the fake personas are real people located in different parts of the world.

It also calls for "traffic mixing", blending the persona controllers' internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer "excellent cover and powerful deniability".

The multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces. Since then, OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

OEV is seen by senior US commanders as a vital counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation programme. In evidence to the US Senate's armed services committee last year, General David Petraeus, then commander of Centcom, described the operation as an effort to "counter extremist ideology and propaganda and to ensure that credible voices in the region are heard". He said the US military's objective was to be "first with the truth".

This month Petraeus's successor, General James Mattis, told the same committee that OEV "supports all activities associated with degrading the enemy narrative, including web engagement and web-based product distribution capabilities".

Centcom confirmed that the $2.76m contract was awarded to Ntrepid, a newly formed corporation registered in Los Angeles. It would not disclose whether the multiple persona project is already in operation or discuss any related contracts.

Nobody was available for comment at Ntrepid.

In his evidence to the Senate committee, Gen Mattis said: "OEV seeks to disrupt recruitment and training of suicide bombers; deny safe havens for our adversaries; and counter extremist ideology and propaganda." He added that Centcom was working with "our coalition partners" to develop new techniques and tactics the US could use "to counter the adversary in the cyber domain".

According to a report by the inspector general of the US defence department in Iraq, OEV was managed by the multinational forces rather than Centcom.

Asked whether any UK military personnel had been involved in OEV, Britain's Ministry of Defence said it could find "no evidence". The MoD refused to say whether it had been involved in the development of persona management programmes, saying: "We don't comment on cyber capability."

OEV was discussed last year at a gathering of electronic warfare specialists in Washington DC, where a senior Centcom officer told delegates that its purpose was to "communicate critical messages and to counter the propaganda of our adversaries".

Persona management by the US military would face legal challenges if it were turned against citizens of the US, where a number of people engaged in sock puppetry have faced prosecution.

Last year a New York lawyer who impersonated a scholar was sentenced to jail after being convicted of "criminal impersonation" and identity theft.

It is unclear whether a persona management programme would contravene UK law. Legal experts say it could fall foul of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, which states that "a person is guilty of forgery if he makes a false instrument, with the intention that he or another shall use it to induce somebody to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or any other person's prejudice". However, this would apply only if a website or social network could be shown to have suffered "prejudice" as a result.

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The United States Fires On Libya

Information HERE at ABC News.

Brief excerpt:
U.S. military officials have confirmed the first
American tomahawk cruise missiles have been fired at
targets inside Libya from ships in the Mediterranean
Sea.
More information, including video, at the above link.

Video from CNN:


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Another older Marvel propaganda tactic, UK-based

Here's another item I wanted to post about one of Marvel Comics' older misuses of Islam, circa 2008, which they did in Captain Britain and MI:13, spoken about in this interview. The writer's name is Paul Cornell, and similar to David Hine, I think he too is of a British background. The following paragraph asks:
How will the war machines of the unstoppable Skrull army fare against the British Intelligence’s MI: 13 division that now includes former X-Force, Excalibur, Invaders and Avengers members such as Pete Wisdom, Captain Britian, Spitfire, Black Knight, a British John Lennon doppelganger named John the Skrull and British Muslim agent Faiza Hussein?
What if it were all a pyrrhic result instead? Seriously, why does the use of the name Hussein sound like it stems from resentment over the war in Iraq, even if, as what comes below claims, she's allegedly named after a cricket player?

Here's more:
NRAMA: And you’ve got Faisa Hussein, a British Muslim, right?

PC: Yes. Following consultation with my wonderful panel of Muslim ladies, who I show the scripts to, it's now Faiza with a Z.

NRAMA: With the current world view on Muslims and terrorism, what was her life like prior to the Skrull invasion?

PC: Pretty normal, really. I'm trying to paint the life of an everyday British Muslim person. They'd be touched every now and then by stereotype and racism, obviously, but it's not their life, or even the major part of it. The relationship between minorities and mainstream culture in Britain is a little different to how it is in the States, so I'm hoping to show that. Faiza hasn't got a radical brother who'll spit on Captain Britain's costume. (See, I note the cliches in advance, so I won't do them, hopefully.) She just sees herself as British, in the way that the person she's named after, England cricket Captain Nasser Hussain, probably does. I'm hoping Faiza will be loved for who she is: a boggled, talking nineteen to the dozen, fan of British superheroes, reader way in character. I also wanted to present an offhandedly, everyday, religious character, for whom faith is not their whole existence, and will only be mentioned when it would be. She's not here to fulfill a quota or represent an entire culture, though she won't be letting anyone down. She's a young hero. She's our Kitty Pryde.
Yes, she is alright; what else can we expect from a country where the only way you can be respected as a white person today is if you're gay/lesbian, or even a Muslim? (See this post by Diana West for another clue to how multiculturalism has taken its toll on the UK.) She may be named after a cricket playing member (was the name partly misspelled earlier?), but it still doesn't sound great. And no matter what Cornell said, this was still pandering, and doesn't alleviate any concerns about the RoP's call for oppression and jihad against non-Muslims. Mainly because racism and downright hostility to non-Muslims is a major part of their religion, as Muhammed and his followers decreed would be the path. Another thing he failed to mention, is that there may be moderate Muslims, but no moderate Islam, another minus to the interview.

Another problem, as suggested in this article from 2 months before, is what Cornell says in the following paragraph:
A Muslim, Faisa's faith is very important to her. "I have two aims here: to make her a real person and not someone who has to represent the entire British Muslim world all the time -- I think superheroes are too prone to being standard bearers for whole communities -- and to make her an everyday religious person who you won't hear anything religious from until it would naturally come up. Which is hardly ever. She's not going to be letting anyone down, though. She's the young hero who will win through. And we'll play out some of these pressures and fault lines in the comic itself. I want people to adore her, not to be pleased she's there as part of a quota system."
There seems to be a forked tongue in progress here: it only implies "faith" has nothing to do with jihad. Even if her "faith" isn't an issue, it's still a problem, and if she were a Scientologist, it'd still be a problem. Superficial characterization of a character as being part of a religion or a culture does not an acceptable story make.

But now, here's a little something else besides the problem with pandering that might intrigue some: as told in this item, there was a question that was removed that some deemed offensive, and I'll post the screencap here too. As you can see, a]whatever the interviewer was trying get at here, it's mighty screwed up, b]Cornell's reply to that question, as we can assume, was a thin-skinned reaction, and c]if he'd really said something rude in reply, it was edited out to his displeasure. Presumably, the interviewer was asking on a realistic level if the character had any sympathy for jihad and the Koranic suras that condone it, and Cornell got carried away. Too bad. All he had to do was say "no".

The irony is that, if the way it was presented was meant to be funny, of course it's no more so than the RoP itself. Yet I suspect the wrong crowd is who got it edited?

The book in question has since been canceled, and I'm not sorry to see it go. It was a grave misuse of a character (Brian Braddock/Capt. Britain) who actually was one of the better things involving the UK. And if it came within even miles of lecturing the audience, let us be clear: nobody with common sense needs that.
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Muslim dictators "buying control" of British universities

IPT has written about how money from middle eastern regimes - including, but not limited to, Libya - has gone to British colleges, and only now is it becoming scandalous:
Before the revolution in Libya, British universities had a much more welcoming attitude toward taking money from dictators. In 2009, Simcox authored a report for the CSC spotlighting the role of repressive regimes in funding British universities. He found that regimes like those in Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia “were essentially buying control over British academia.”

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal appointed university management committee members in Edinburgh and Cambridge. Durham University accepted cash from Iran and admitted that “pro-regime speakers” had been permitted to monopolize a school event. And Beijing was permitted to establish educational centers it termed part of its “foreign propaganda strategy.”

Though no similar study has been done, American universities have similarly courted endowments from some of the same players.
Then it's time to start investigating them too. You'll note that the Saudi prince mentioned is also very chummy with Rupert Murdoch, something still not widely discussed, which is very troubling. Is it not time to raise this as a serious issue?
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Jerusalem Post:

50 mortars fired into Israel, 2 injured; IDF strikes Gaza By YAAKOV LAPPIN AND JPOST.COM STAFF
03/19/2011 09:59
IDF responds to attacks with tank, helicopter strikes; Hamas claims responsibility for 10 projectiles.

Civilian areas in southern Israel were heavily shelled by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza on Saturday morning, when more than 50 mortars were fired at the regional councils of Sha'ar Hanegev, Eshkol and Sdot Hanegev.

Two Israelis sustained light injuries by shrapnel and were transferred to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.

Hamas's armed wing, the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for a dozen of the mortars fired.

The IDF responded to the barrage of mortars with tank shells and helicopter attacks. Six Palestinians were reportedly injured in the strikes.

Following the attacks, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman instructed diplomats in New York to lodge a complaint with the United Nations over the mortar barrage.

One building sustained extensive damage in the Eshkol Regional Council although a majority of the projectiles landed in open areas, local officials reported.

The regional council is inhabited predominantly by farmers, and has been the target of Palestinian shelling for several years.

Eyal Brandeis, a kibbutz secretary in the Eshkol Regional Council, and the head of a local emergency response team, told The Jerusalem Post that the injured were a married couple who had been attempting to seek cover in a safe zone - a room reinforced with concrete to protect from projectiles.

"It happened just as they entered the room. The couple were responding to instructions we sent out on cell phone text messages calling on all residents to seek shelter. They ran to the room, and shrapnel went through the window just before they could close it," Brandeis said.

The man suffered shrapnel injuries to his back, while the woman was injured in her hand, Brandeis added. The couple received medical attention on the spot before being evacuated by Magen David Adom paramedics to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva for further treatment.

"We are used to sporadic rocket and mortar fire, but this was not the daily show we are used to," Brandais said, referring to the high number of mortars fired at his community on Saturday. "Luckily, we escaped with few injuries. We'll have to get through this," he added.

Southern communities cannot be alerted to mortars by the Color Red rocket alert system and have developed their own cell phone text messaging alert system. "When we heard the high number of explosions across the area, we knew this was not an ordinary attack," he said.

Ronit Minaker, a spokeswoman for the Eshkol Regional Council, said residents had been ordered to stay indoors for the duration of the morning. "People were compliant with the safety instructions," she said.

"We're not used to this kind of massive fire. But we have experienced it before, and we know how to respond," Minaker added.

"Our residents expect the government to do everything it can to end this. They also expect the government to construct safe rooms in the many communities that still lack them," she said.

Local authorities said on Saturday that they were in the midst of a legal campaign aimed at forcing the government to deploy the Iron Dome anti-rocket and anti-mortar shield.

Officials are petitioning the Supreme Court to order the state to deploy the shield to protect communities situated at least 4.5 kilometers away from the border and beyond. The system is unable to neutralize projectiles fired at communities up to 4.5 kilometers from the border.

The Supreme Court has ordered the state to reply to the petition within 30 days.

Haaretz:

Israel strikes Gaza after massive mortar barrage on south
Hamas claims responsibility for 10 of the more than 50 mortars fired on southern Israel earlier in day; Gaza medics say five Hamas officers and boy injured in Israeli air strike.
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Service and News Agencies

Israel struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, after a barrage of over 50 mortars were fired into southern Israel earlier in the day.

The Israeli air strikes on Gaza wounded five Hamas security officers and a boy, Gaza medics said.

Two Israelis were wounded and a home was damaged by the mortars fired from Gaza earlier in the day. Saturday morning's bombardment was the heaviest one launched by Gaza militants for months.

Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for firing 10 of Saturday's mortars, an unusual move after a long period in which it had let other smaller militant groups do its bidding.

"Targeting the enemy's posts was a response to the ongoing Zionist assaults, airstrikes and tanks shelling on the Gaza Strip. The latest was two days ago, where two of our mujahidin were killed," said Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades.

An Israel Defense Forces spokesman said Israel was holding Hamas "solely responsible for the attacks".

Gaza residents reported hearing constant shelling along the enclave's border with Israel and the IDF spokesman said tanks assisted by aircraft were firing at militant targets in the coastal strip.

Last month, two grad rockets were fired at Be'er Sheva for the first time since the city was hit by rocket fire in the 2009 Gaza war.

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Gag!

Obama recently bragged on himself to Democratic supporters at a fund raiser.

Note paragraph four HERE.

Obviously, Obama still thinks of himself as "The One."

Clearly, he believes that he is doing a great job.

Pfffft.

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Dear Obama, Hillary & Other World Leaders,

Regarding what you feel is your necessary involvement in Libya I'd like to bring up just one point. . .

NEDA

You Fucking Hypocrits

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The Communist Party In Egypt

From a12iggymom, citing the Communist Party of Egypt web site (March 14, 2011):
The Egyptian Communist Party held a comprehensive meeting that included all its different entities and subcategories. The meeting resulted in a unanimous decision to officially announce the party’s existence and activities, considering the new and healthy political and social environment that has resulted from the January 25 revolution, and after years of being forced to work in utter secrecy and under much repression.

The party has agreed to continue the communist journey that began in the 1920s, despite the fact that the communist concept has been reproached and widely misused by corrupt anti-proletariat regimes over the past decades.

The Egyptian Communist Party was re-inaugurated in 1975 and is legitimated by the masses – and this is authentic legitimacy. This goes back to its long struggle and strong connection with the working class in Egypt, as well as the social and political aspirations of hardworking Egyptians. It is these same people who – today – aspire for a society built on freedom, justice and honor, alongside freedom from dependency, tyranny and oppression.

Even though the Egyptian Communist Party was forced to work in complete secrecy for many years, its partaking in democratic and frontal achievements since 1975 are simply undeniable. Members and calibers of the party come from all walks of life and have made positive and powerful contributions to the events of our revolution. For more than 9 decades, Egyptian communists have made unprecedented and strong contributions in many fields of culture and community, including literature, politics and unionism. The communist ideology has survived campaign after campaign of aggression by regimes backed up by right-wing extremists across the Arab world supported by imperialist forces, only by working in utter secrecy, with much persistence and through the ample support of the masses.

The Egyptian Communist Party confirmed that it will be holding its 4th general conference in the near future to determine the ideal plan of action and organizational chart that will guarantee the demands and aims of our revolution during the coming period.
Will this be the "new democracy" of the Middle East?

I do have to wonder if Communists are also agitating inside Libya.

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It Begins. . .

Newsmax:

International Jets Take Action as Gadhafi Strikes

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Jets from an international force launched missions over Libya on Saturday, hours after Moammar Gadhafi dispatched troops, tanks and warplanes to the heart of the 5-week-old uprising against his rule in a decisive strike on the first city seized by rebels.

Crashing shells shook buildings, and the sounds of battle drew closer to the center of Benghazi, where a doctor said 27 bodies were brought to the hospital by midday. By late in the day, warplanes could be heard overhead.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after an emergency summit in Paris that French jets were already targeting Gadhafi's forces. The 22 participants in Saturday's summit "agreed to put in place all the means necessary, in particular military" to make Gadhafi respect a U.N. Security Council resolution Thursday demanding a cease-fire, Sarkozy said.

"Our planes are blocking the air attacks on the city" of Benghazi, he said, without elaborating. French planes have been readying for an attack in recent days.

In an open letter, Gadafhi warned: "You will regret it if you dare to intervene in our country."

Earlier Saturday, a plane was shot down over the outskirts of Benghazi, sending up a massive black cloud of smoke. An Associated Press reporter saw the plane go down in flames and heard the sound of artillery and crackling gunfire.

Before the plane went down, journalists heard what appeared to be airstrikes from it. Rebels cheered and celebrated at the crash, though the government denied a plane had gone down — or that any towns were shelled on Saturday.

The fighting galvanized the people of Benghazi, with young men collecting bottles to make gasoline bombs. Some residents dragged bed frames and metal scraps into the streets to make roadblocks.

Abdel-Hafez, a 49-year-old Benghazi resident, said rebels and government soldiers were fighting on a university campus on the south side of the city, with government tanks moving in, followed by ground troops. In the city center, tank fire drew closer and rebel shouts rang out.

At a news conference in the capital, Tripoli, the government spokesman read letters from Gadhafi to President Barack Obama and others involved in the international effort.

"Libya is not yours. Libya is for the Libyans. The Security Council resolution is invalid," he said in the letter to Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

To Obama, the Libyan leader was slightly more conciliatory: "If you had found them taking over American cities with armed force, tell me what you would do."

Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said the rebels — and not Gadhafi's forces — broke a cease-fire called by the government.

"Our armed forces continue to retreat and hide, but the rebels keep shelling us and provoking us," Musa told The Associated Press.

In a joint statement to Gadhafi late Friday, the United States, Britain and France — backed by unspecified Arab countries — called on Gadhafi to end his troops' advance toward Benghazi and pull them out of the cities of Misrata, Ajdabiya and Zawiya. It also called for the restoration of water, electricity and gas services in all areas. It said Libyans must be able to receive humanitarian aid or the "international community will make him suffer the consequences" with military action.

In Benghazi, crowds gathered at the courthouse that is the de facto rebel headquarters. About 200 people were in the area, drinking tea and talking. Some brought a tank and a mounted anti-aircraft gun they said they had captured today.

Dr. Gebreil Hewadi of the Jalaa Hospital and a member of the rebel health committee said that 27 dead had been taken to the hospital since Friday night.

Misrata, Libya's third-largest city and the last held by rebels in the west, came under sustained assault well after the cease-fire announcement, according to rebels and a doctor there. The doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals, said Gadhafi's snipers were on rooftops and his forces were searching homes for rebels.

Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa said that Libyan officials had informed the U.N. and the Security Council that the government was holding to the cease-fire and called for a team of foreign observers to verify that.

"The nation is respecting all the commitments put on it by the international community," he said, leaving the podium before answering any questions about Benghazi.

In the course of the rebellion, Libya has gone from a once-promising economy with the largest proven oil reserves in Africa to a country in turmoil. The foreign workers that underpinned the oil industry have fled; production and exports have all but ground to a halt; and its currency is down 30 percent in just two weeks.

The oil minister, Shukri Ghanem, held a news conference calling on foreign oil companies to send back their workers. He said the government would honor all its contracts.

"It is not our intention to violate any of these agreements and we hope that from their part they will honor this agreement and they will send back their workforces," he said.

Italy, which had been the main buyer for Libyan oil, offered the use of seven air and navy bases already housing U.S., NATO and Italian forces to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya.

Italy's defense minister, Ignazio La Russa, said Saturday that Italy wasn't just "renting out" its bases for others to use but was prepared to offer "moderate but determined" military support.

-----------------------------------------

MEANWHILE. . .

President Obama lands in Brazil while conservatives blast trip during chaos in Japan, Libya

President Obama just can't please conservatives.

The president landed in Brazil Saturday morning for the start of a three-nation Latin American tour, while a right-wing chorus back home assailed him for traveling while emergencies and chaos reign in Libya and Japan.

The administration says the main goal of Obama's trip is to strengthen economic partnerships and foster job creation in the U.S.

"As we respond to these immediate crises abroad, we also will not let up in our efforts to tackle the pressing, ongoing challenges facing our country, including accelerating economic growth. That's why, over the weekend, I'll be in Latin America," Obama said in his weekly address.

Obama had his family in tow in Brasilia. First lady Michelle Obama,daughters Malia and Sasha, and the girls' grandmother and godmother went through the receiving line of Brazilian and American officials.

Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy ripped Obama's trip on Friday as a 'vacation," saying it's inappropriate for a president to go on such a jaunt while officials in Japan race to prevent a total nuclear meltdown, and Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy continues his assault on rebels, in spite of UN threats and his own promise of a ceasefire.

"What is happening with the president while all of this is going on in the United States and around the world?" Doocy said. "He's going on vacation. He's going to Rio. You've got to be kidding. Taking his family. It sounds like a vacation to me. Rio? Hello?"

The Washington Times ran an editorial this week titled 'Obama Couldn't Care Less," declaring 'the president parties while the world burns."

And conservative television commentator Monica Crowley told Fox Business Channel that 'Perception is reality. He's always shooting hoops, he's having Terry Bradshaw nights at the White House, he's in Rio. The world is aflame! Go to work!"

In Brazil, Obama will meet with President Dilma Rousseff and Brazilian business executives to discuss trade. He'll also head to Chile and El Salvador.

Brazil is the world's seventh largest economy, while Chile is the 24th largest trading partner with the U.S. El Salvador's economy is expected to grow 5.3% this year.

"Today, Brazil imports more goods from the United States than from any other nation. And I'll be meeting with business leaders from both countries to talk about how we can create even more jobs by deepening these economic ties," said the President.

The Obama Administration says there are over 300,000 jobs in the U.S. as a direct result of trade with the three countries.

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Fukushima Reactor Restart?

 

Yep. The Fukushima reactor #4 may be in the process of an accidental restart.
-- Reactor No. 4 - Under maintenance when quake struck, no fuel rods in reactor core, temperature in spent-fuel storage pool reached 84 C on Monday, fire Tuesday possibly caused by hydrogen explosion at pool holding spent fuel rods, fire observed Wednesday at building housing reactor, pool water level feared receding, renewed nuclear chain reaction feared, only frame remains of reactor building roof.
You can read more about the status of the six reactors at the link.

The authorities, such as they are, claim to be getting things under control. I'm not seeing it. I see efforts. I do not see results. But of course that could change.
Click on the title above to read the whole thing at Power and Control.
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Girl Admits Women Are Chattel (Property) Under Sharia


Link: Girl Admits that Women Are Chattel Under Sharia
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Beethoven
Symphony No. 7, 2nd movt.
Berlin Philharmonic

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Shame: Ignoring Death Threats to Wisconsin Politicians Is Media Bias

From the Huffington Post:
Why isn't the mainstream media talking about the death threats against Republican politicians in Wisconsin?
Try to set aside whatever biases or preconceptions you might have for a moment and ask yourself why death threats against politicians aren't considered national news, especially in the wake of the all too fresh shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other bystanders. And there hasn't just been one death threat, but a number of them.

Here's an example and it's real. According to Wisconsin State Department of Justice, authorities have found a suspect who admitted to sending the following email:
I want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me have decided that we've had enough. We feel that you and your republican dictators have to die. This is how it's going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it's a matter of public records. We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, this isn't enough. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message. So we have built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent. This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won't tell you all of them because that's just no fun. Since we know that you are not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it's necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families and themselves then We will "get rid of" (in which I mean kill) the 8 of you. Please understand that this does not include the heroic Senator that risked everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. The 8 includes the 7 senators and the dictator. We feel that it's worth our lives becasue we would be saving the lives of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. Goodbye ASSHOLE!!!!
After the Giffords shooting, authorities have to take this sort of threat seriously. The media should too, even if the disturbed person who sent that email was motivated by exactly the kind of rhetoric that's been used by many liberals against GOP officials over and over again during the Madison protests. And there are more threats floating around the internet, in varying degrees of scary and credible.
Click here to read the whole thing.
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Helen Thomas to Playboy:   Jews 'own the White House'

From Alexander Munch:

Helen Thomas is not sorry, nor were the comments that ended her career accidental.

“I knew exactly what I was doing – I was going for broke,” she told Playboy in the magazine’s April interview. “I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up … I finally wanted to speak the truth.”

Thomas, of course, left her perch as the dean of the White House press corps last year after telling a rabbi and blogger that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to “Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.” Her family is Lebanese and she grew up in the Detroit area, home to one of the country’s densest populations of Arab Americans.

She spoke to Playboy at length about the situation in Palestine, her feelings on American support of Israel, and her take on Jews.

But her most controversial comments echoed ones she’s made before about the influence of Jews in American life, which have contributed to her name being stripped from journalism awards.

"[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction,” she told Playboy. “Power over the White House, power over Congress … Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood. Same thing with the financial markets. There's total control … It isn't the 2 percent. It's real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion. Of course they have power. [To the interviewer] You don't deny that. You're Jewish, aren't you?"

She also had some controversial views about memorializing the Holocaust.

"There's nothing wrong with remembering it, but why do we have to constantly remember?" she said. "We're not at fault. I mean, if they're going to put a Holocaust museum in every city in Germany, that's fine with me. But we didn't do this to the Jews. Why do we have to keep paying the price and why do they keep oppressing the Palestinians? Do the Jews ever look at themselves? Why are they always right? Because they have been oppressed throughout history, I know. And they have this persecution. That's true, but they shouldn't use that to dominate."
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This is why so many states are moving to ban Shariah in America
First it's this, something relatively minor (a dispute between trustees of an Islamic Center), then it's on to clash-of-civilization type cases.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Janiva Magness
Slipped Tripped and Fell In Love


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U2
Bad

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Obama Gives Gaddafi The Ultimatum

From BBC News:
US President Barack Obama has said Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi must obey the UN's demands or face military action.

He said Thursday's UN Security Council resolution, which demanded an immediate ceasefire, was not negotiable.

He said the entire region could be destabilised if Col Gaddafi was allowed to continue attacking his own people.

Earlier, the Libyan government announced an immediate ceasefire and promised to follow the UN resolution.

Mr Obama said Col Gaddafi's troops must pull back from rebel-held towns including Benghazi, and the authorities must allow in humanitarian aid.

"If he does not comply, the international community will impose consequences," said Mr Obama. "The resolution will be enforced by military action."...
I'm going to admit to over-the-top cynicism.

In my view, BHO is campaigning for 2012.

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Palin Doctrine Emerges as Arab League Echoes Her Demarche on Libya

You think this woman might be President of the United States one day? You betcha!


 The call by the Arab League for Western military intervention in an Arab state — in this case asking that a UN “no-fly zone” be imposed over Libya – is not only without precedent but it puts in formal terms what Governor Palin stated three weeks ago should have been America’s response to the political and humanitarian crisis now unfolding there.

The former GOP vice presidential candidate was being interviewed on February 23rd on national television by Sean Hannity on a range of issues. On the Libya crisis, she proposed a no-fly-zone to protect the armed and un-armed opposition to the Qaddafi regime. Mrs. Palin’s formulation had been blogged about for nearly a week when it was echoed by the man who, before the Iraq war, had led the Iraq democratic movement in exile, Ahmed Chalabi.

A long-time foe of Saddam Hussein who has emerged as a leading figure in Iraq’s democratically elected legislature. Mr Chalabi recounted in the Wall Street Journal how President George H. W. Bush’s 1991 call for a popular uprising against Saddam had been heeded by the Iraqi people, only to have Saddam then murder some 30,000 of them from helicopter gunships while the Western world stood by.

Not again, Mr. Chalabi pleaded in his essay, and explicitly demanded a Libyan no-fly-zone. But it now it seems Qaddafi will be allowed to repeat a Saddam-style repression, even as President Obama, and the rest of what he likes to call the international community, is “watching carefully.”

Mrs. Palin also continues to link America’s energy policy — a realm in which she has experience — and U.S. foreign and anti-terrorism policies. She recognizes that the ongoing transfer of billions of U.S. petro-dollars to unstable or even hostile Mideast regimes has, since the formation in 1973 of the Organization of Petoleum Exporting Countries, been an drain on U.S. financial resources.

In a critique of Mr. Obama’s energy policies published yesterday at about the same time the Arab League was adopting her prescription for a Libya no-fly-zone, Mrs. Palin laid out how the president’s “war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security.” Nor is Gov. Palin’s insight into complex international issues limited to areas of her immediate expertise.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin — certainly no knee-jerk advocate for Sarah Palin — wrote just a few weeks ago that Palin turns out to have been correct in the prediction she made to Barbara Walters, in a much-noted November 2009 interview. Palin stated she was opposed to Obama’s opposition to Israel’s settlement policies because “[m]ore and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead.” Now, as Rubin noted, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics confirms that the pace of immigration to Israel rose 14% to 16,633 from the level in 2009, most coming from Russia or America.
Mrs. Palin will be in New Delhi later this week delivering the keynote address to the annual India Today Conclave. She has been asked to speak on “What America Means to Me.” She will speak as a crisis is simmering between America and Pakistan, India’s nuclear-armed neighbor to the northwest and will be the first high profile trip by a potential Republican contender to South Asia.

More broadly, Mrs. Palin’s address in India will be another step in the growing outline of what might be called The Palin Doctrine. It contrasts sharply with the foreign policy being conducted, if that is the word, by President Obama, who is perplexing not only the Arab world, to which he reached out in his Cairo speech at the start of his presidency, but even his own supporters in the liberal camp, and many in between, who are upset by what might be called his propensity for inaction. It’s an inaction that suggests the Arab League won’t be the only institution that might find itself surprised by the logic of the alert Alaskan.

Mr. Korn, director of Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin, holds a degree in international relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
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CAIR's ties to Hamas are "ongoing," say the feds. Yet the mainstream media keeps going to that amiable stomach-stapled beekeeper, Honest Ibe Hooper, as if he really were the spokesman for a civil rights organization. It would rather like CBS interviewing Josef Goebbels and identifying him as a "civil rights activist" in a 1942 broadcast. 
 Click here to read the whole thing at Jihad Watch.
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Former Muslims Excluded From King Hearings

Nonie Darwish says, We Should Have Been Invited To Tell Our Story

From Front Page:
I have admiration and respect for Congressman Peter King and I salute him for holding hearings on the “Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response.” However, as a former Muslim I have not seen anyone testifying on our behalf in the hearings.
At least one former Muslims should have been there to tell America of our plight. To tell them why we left Islam right here in America. How we had to choose between Islam and loving America. How radicals and jihadists followed us right here after we immigrated to the US to try to force us back into the same old culture of jihad, hatred and anti-Semitism — that we had escaped from in the first place. How radicals who want to deny us our freedom of religion under the US constitution threaten our lives and civil rights daily.

Most former Muslims in the US started by going to mosques but we soon discovered a political and jihadist agenda. In mosques I was told not to assimilate in America, to have more children and to wear Islamic clothes even though I never wore it in the Middle East before coming to the US.
Go read the whole thing.
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For What It's Worth

"Hillary's War" "Obama's War"

I'm going to admit to not being bullish on U.S. involvement in this. Should the people of Libya be free to choose their own leaders and throw out a despotic madman? Absolutely. I believe that deeply in my soul. Our Country was established on just that very principle. You and I know that.

But I don't know that we should become physically involved with troops and aircraft.

In Afghanistan we clearly had national security concerns at issue. We believed we did in Iraq as well, a war I did not support starting, mostly for timing issues (Iran and the NorKs should have been dealt with first) but once we went in I support the troops and the mission and the reasons for it. And spare me the War for Oil bullshit. If oil was the motive we would have gone in, kicked the living snot outn of the Iraqis, not given a damn about collateral or civilian damage and casualties and taken the goddamned oil.

Libya is different. We have no real national security nor strategic interest there. Certainly not their oil. And we have no idea what would replace Qaddafi when he goes which could, although it's hard to believe, be worse thna he. Whether for it's own people or for the rest of the world.

Obama has just said there will be no American boots on the ground. But it's clear there wil likely be planes in the air.

How can he assure that? At what point does he issue his own "Mission Accomplished"? When Qaddafi stops flying sorties against the rebels? Afterall, if it is enforcement of a no-fly zone then that would seem to be the mission. But Iraq started as a protracted no-fly zone and we ended up with boots on the ground there. If he stops flying against the rebels what is to stop his other armed forces from rolling the tanks into Benghazi and slaughtering everyone there, enacting a scorched earth policy with a ground campaign? He's still slaughtering rebels and innocents alike just not from the air. So do we walk away then while it goes on or will we change our mission, commit ground forces in Libya while we still have unfinished business in Afghanistan and Iraq?And at a time when he wants to cut our defense budget?(nothing else, of course, just defense)

It is of our highest ideals to support aid and defend a people oppressed and trying to free themselves. But if we do it in Libya, where we have no interest, will we do it everywhere else, for anyone else who asks? And what if someone who asks is the people of China, or North Korea? Would we help them undert this new Obama Doctrine? Or are we going to pick and choose? And what if some other MENA nation decides to come to Qaddafis aid? Are we going to fight them, too? Many of them are going to be none too pleased with our meddling in yet another Islamic nation.

I realize that even without our intervention what comes after Qaddafi could be far more dangerous than he but IF we're paying attention (and that's a pretty big if) we can hopefully nip that before it blooms.

So I'm not yet sold on this one right now, my inclination is once we start we're going to get sucked in to not only helping the rebels with ground troops but then with nation building. Something the U.S. can ill afford at this time. We have far less at stake here than we do in our two current wars.

I support the idea of a no-fly zone over Libya but also agree with cjk in comments yesterday. Let the Brits and the French handle this one.

What think you?

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Obama Cancels Speech In Rio: I Wonder if He is Finally Learning That Fellating Thugs Will Not Make Him a Hero

From Breitbart:
President Barack Obama has cancelled a public speech he was scheduled to deliver Sunday in a Rio square during his upcoming visit to Brazil, the US embassy in Brasilia said.

The speech in the historic plaza known as Cinelandia, in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, "is cancelled," an embassy spokeswoman told AFP.

Obama instead will deliver remarks at Rio's Municipal Theatre, the official said, without specifying whether it would be open to the public or exclusively for invited guests.

No explanation for the change of venue was given by the embassy. Brazilian authorities have laid out a heavy security presence for Obama's two-day visit to South America's largest nation, and police in Rio had closed numerous streets from midnight Thursday in preparation.

On Thursday, members of an advance US security team were seen inspecting the surroundings of Cinelandia, where anti-US banners could be seen hanging from a road-side fence.

Some social and union groups have declared Obama a "persona non grata" and called for a protest, accusing him of a "bellicose policy of occupation" in foreign countries, and of attacking people "in the name of the war on terror."
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Breaking: Activist Judge Blocks WI Union Bill

Because he didn’t like it.
Activist judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order on the Wisconsin Republican union bill today.
Click on the title to read the whole thing at Gateway Pundit.
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Pakistani Actress to Mullah: There are Islamic Clerics Who Rape the Children They Teach in Their Mosques


From Jawa Report:
Actress on the reality TV show "Big Boss" , which is the Pakistani version of "Big Brother" gets ripped to shreds by Pakistani Clerics for Immoral Behavior which then percolates through the Pakistani Media and their Fundamentalist audiences. Sick of all the vitriol, she stands up to the life-ruining accusations and charges by agreeing to appear on the show frontline with one of the Mullahs as co-guest who wishes to publicly chastize her.

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D-E-V-O

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Iranians March In Support Of Arab Revolts

From this source:
Thousands of Iranians marched on Friday in Tehran in support of the revolts rocking Bahrain, Libya and Yemen, state television reported.

Chants backing the protests of majority Shiites in Bahrain, who are challenging the Sunni dynasty's 200-year-old grip on power, dominated the demonstration which unfolded in the capital after Muslim Friday prayers

"The Saudis are committing crimes and the US supports them," and "Death to America" chanted protesters.

"Death to Israel," cried others.

Slogans in support of the rebellion in Libya and protests in Yemen also rang out..
In my view, there is no "good side" to support right now as the Arab world continues to churn.

Also in my view, these revolts, a part of which is sectarian and tribal warfare between Sunnis and Shi'ites, are not about bringing democracy to the people of those nations. Rather, the protesters want a better life, but still a life submitting to Islam and shari'a.

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This Week On The Gathering Storm

Listen to The Gathering Storm Radio Show, hosted by WC and Always On Watch. The show broadcasts live every Friday beginning at noon, Pacific Time, for 30 minutes.

The call-in number is 646-915-9870.

Callers welcome!

Our scheduled guest this week is Bill Warner .

Listen to the March 18, 2011 edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show, live or later, by CLICKING HERE.

UPCOMING SHOWS
March 25: IQ al Rassooli
April 1: Midnight Rider
April 8: IQ al Rassooli

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CSN
Southern Cross

So we cheated and we lied
And we tested
And we never failed to fail
It was the easiest thing to do.
You will survive being bested.
Somebody fine
Will come along
Make me forget about loving you
And the Southern Cross

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(Reuters) - The United Nations authorised military action to curb Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday, hours after he threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi overnight, showing "no mercy, no pity."

"We will come, zenga, zenga. House by house, room by room," he said in a radio address to the eastern city.

Al Jazeera television showed thousands of Benghazi residents in a central square celebrating the U.N. vote, waving anti-Gaddafi tricolour flags and chanting defiance of the man who has ruled for four decades. Fireworks burst over the city.

Gaddafi had warned that only those who lay down their arms would be spared vengeance to be exacted on 'rats and dogs'.

"It's over. The issue has been decided," Gaddafi said. "We are coming tonight...We will find you in your closets.

"We will have no mercy and no pity."

The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution endorsing a no-fly zone to halt government troops now around 100 km (60 miles) from Benghazi. It also authorised "all necessary measures" -- code for military action -- to protect civilians against Gaddafi's forces.

But time was clearly running short for the city that has been the heart of Libya's revolution.

Residents said the Libyan air force unleashed three air raids on the city of 670,000 on Thursday and there has been fierce fighting along the Mediterranean coastal road as Gaddafi moves to crush the month-old insurrection.

French diplomatic sources said military action could come within hours, and could include France, Britain and possibly the United States and one or more Arab states; but a U.S. military official said no immediate U.S. action was expected following the vote.
Got that? According to this military source, we voted to authorize a use of force to stop an impending massacre, but no immediate action is required.

That's life under the Obama Administration .

Meanwhile, from Ace of Spades:

Lindsey Graham: I'm Just Thinking the American President Should Be As Bold As The French One. Is That Too Much To Ask?

Vid at CNN.
A couple of points here: The problem is not just that Obama has been, until now, de facto in support of Qaddaffy staying in power. That sort of realpolitik judgment might be defensible.

The problem is that his desire to look good for the cameras and his Michael-Jackson-like dwindling band of worshippers causes him to say things like "Qaddaffy must go" and then sneak in a quick long 18 holes of golf.

Announce a policy, idiot, and then commit to it. Do not encourage Libyans to join the rebellion only to then sit back and be slaughtered in huge numbers.

That's blood on the hands.

If it is your policy to sit back and do nothing, then say so, so people can make potentially life-saving decisions based upon the real facts of the situation.

Meanwhile, the French say they're ready to begin airstrikes at 6:00 ET tonight. And that will entail attacking Qaddaffy's air-defense network and radars and radio towers and such. (That always needs to be done as a first step if you're flying over hostile territory, of course.)

I actually think the French can do this and turn the war around.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

British law may be changed to prevent libel tourism

Amiel Ungar reports that Britain looks like it's changing its laws to get rid of libel tourism:
Britain is about to change its libel laws. This development rates as world news for a few reasons: Britain will no longer be the favored site for "libel tourism," which will have an impact on publications covering topical issues such as terrorism and those who fund it. Secondly, it demonstrates that when the United States changes its laws to right an injustice, other countries, even those with venerable legal traditions like Britain, have to follow suit.

Under the current law, one could bring suit against someone who published a book in the United States or an English Internet site, however obscure, for libel. The plaintiff did not have to demonstrate that he had sustained any actual loss. He just had to say that he was likely to do so. British libel laws placed the burden of proof on the defendant rather than on the plaintiff.

The British decision can be viewed as a victory for Doctor Rachel Ehrenfeld, an Israeli-American counterterrorism expert. She published a book entitled Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Financed and How to Stop It, in which she accused Khalid bin Mahfouz, a banker to the Saudi royal family and one of the world's plutocrats. of setting up a banking system to assist Osama bin Laden and using his charitable foundations as a front for terrorist organizations.

[...] A person submitting a libel suit will have to prove, according to Kenneth Clark, the Secretary of Justice, that England and Wales are "clearly the most appropriate place in which to bring an action."

According to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, "We are addressing libel tourism by tightening the rules, so that it is much harder to bring overseas claims to our courts when there is little connection to the UK. If such a link can't be demonstrated our judges will simply turn the case away."

English may eventually be supplanted by Mandarin Chinese, but as of now it is the world's lingua franca and therefore this is far more than a legal nicety. It is a victory for free speech worldwide.
It remains to be seen if other countries around Europe will follow suit to boot, including France, which needs to abolish their own laws favoring the plaintiff in a lawsuit. If Britain does abolish their screwed up law, it'll be welcome alright, but it's just a start, since many other countries have to follow the example too, and eliminate any and all unjust rulings. One way to do this is by forming movements that campaign at their local parliaments for alterations.
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Even Hillary Can't Take It Anymore. . .

The Daily:

OH, HILL NO
Obama's indecision on Libya has pushed Clinton over the edge


By Joshua Hersh Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fed up with a president “who can’t make his mind up” as Libyan rebels are on the brink of defeat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is looking to the exits.

At the tail end of her mission to bolster the Libyan opposition, which has suffered days of losses to Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, Clinton announced that she’s done with Obama after
2012 — even if he wins again.

“Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind up,” a Clinton insider told The Daily. “She’s exhausted, tired.”

He went on, “If you take a look at what’s on her plate as compared with what’s on the plates of previous Secretary of States — there’s more going on now at this particular moment, and it’s like playing sports with a bunch of amateurs. And she doesn’t have any power. She’s trying to do what she can to keep things from imploding.”

Clinton is said to be especially peeved with the president’s waffling over how to encourage the kinds of Arab uprisings that have recently toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, and in particular his refusal to back a no-fly zone over Libya.

In the past week, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton’s former top adviser Anne-
Marie Slaughter lashed out at Obama for the same reason.

The tension has even spilled over into her dealings with European diplomats, with whom she met early this week.

When French president Nicolas Sarkozy urged her to press the White House to
take more aggressive action in Libya, Clinton repeatedly replied only, “There are difficulties,” according to Foreign Policy magazine.

“Frankly we are just completely puzzled,” one of the diplomats told Foreign
Policy magazine. “We are wondering if this is a priority for the United States.”

Or as the insider described Obama’s foreign policy shop: “It’s amateur night.”

Clinton revealed her desire to leave yesterday in an interview with CNN’s
Wolf Blitzer, responding four times to his questions about whether she would
accept a post during a potential second Obama administration with a single word: “No.”

Philippe Reines, an adviser and spokesman for Clinton, downplayed thesignificance of the interview, saying, “He asked, she answered. Really that simple. [It] wasn’t a declaration.”

But her blunt string of four “no’s” followed a period of intense frustration for the secretary,
according to the insider, who told The Daily that Clinton has grown weary of fighting an uphill battle in the administration.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates came out against a no-fly zone almost two weeks ago, while Clinton grew closer to the Libyan opposition.

Last week, excommunicated members of Libya’s embassy to the United States set up shop in an office inside the State Department.

Obama himself made light of her strong feelings for supporting the opposition in a speech last week at the Gridiron Club Dinner, an annual gathering that traditionally features a stand-up comedy act by the president.

"I’ve dispatched Hillary to the Middle East to talk about how these countries can transition to new leaders — though, I’ve got to be honest, she’s gotten a little passionate about the subject,” Obama said to laughter from the audience.

“These past few weeks it’s been tough falling asleep with Hillary out there on Pennsylvania Avenue shouting, throwing rocks at the window.”

And to some, the firing last week of State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley over disparaging remarks he made about the Pentagon detention policies had the appearance of a power move by the Defense Department more than anything else.

While the stakes in Libya could not be higher, the insider said that something far more domestic was on Clinton’s mind after she leaves the State Department: “She wants to be a grandmother more than anything."

— With Anthony DeCeglie

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Libya: Next Stop Genocide?


Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has warned Libyan rebels in their stronghold of Benghazi that his forces will attack tonight and there would be no mercy for those who fight them.

In a radio address, the Libyan leader told residents in the country's second city that unarmed people have nothing to fear from the army, but every home will be searched.


Col Gaddafi promised to pardon rebels there who surrender, saying his forces would not pursue those who drop their weapons and flee when government troops reach the city.

But he said "for those who resist there will be no mercy or compassion" and vowed to also reclaim the rest of the opposition-held east of the country.

He said his soldiers would rescue the Benghazi people "from traitors" and warned them not to support the rebels.

It comes as his forces reportedly carried out air strikes on the outskirts of the city, which is home to a million people and was where the uprising began a month ago.
A Libyan rebel stands near an anti-aircraft gun at a checkpoint outside the city of Ajdabiyah
Libyan rebels are battling pro-Gaddafi forces in Ajdabiyah

Residents and rebels said there were at least three raids, including at the airport and another one further south.
The Libyan army has said it would halt its operations on Sunday to give the opposition fighters a chance to surrender, Al Arabiya television reported.

But a rebel spokesman in the western city of Misratah, 130 miles from the capital Tripoli, said anti-Gaddafi forces could not trust any truce offer from the regime.

He said: "He (Gaddafi) will not allow anybody to leave peacefully and we do not want to leave. We will die on the battlefield."

It comes as the United Nations will vote tonight on whether to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

The Libyan defence ministry warned any foreign attack on Libya will endanger air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean basin.

And it would expose the area to both short and long term risks, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, anti-Gaddafi forces say they are pushing back government troops in the eastern town of Ajdabiyah, despite claims on Libyan state television that the territory is now under government control.

But with phone lines down, and Sky News’ contacts in Ajdabiyah unreachable, there is no way of confirming the claims of either side.

The town of almost 140,000 people is the final obstacle preventing Gaddafi's forces sweeping across the last remaining rebel territory to the east.

Obama's Mystery Links to Qaddafi Uncovered

As pressure mounts on the White House to intervene to stop Moammar Gadhafi's bloody crackdown in Libya, many commentators have been wondering why Barack Obama has been cautious in his criticism of the dictator after the U.S. president so fervently supported the removal from office of U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.

But Gadhafi has been tied to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's spiritual adviser for more than 23 years.
The Libyan dictator also has financed and strongly supported the Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan. Obama has ties to Farrakhan and his controversial group.  

Read more at wnd.com.
 I don't know about you, but I've been wondering at Obama's negligence, not only in the Libya situation, but in Japan as well. 


One wonders if there could be more to it. Could it be that President Obama approaches his Presidency not as a chance to lead the nation, but as an opportunity to settle all scores?
Experience of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia varied considerably, depending upon where one lived and one's social position. Many who lived in areas considered important to the war effort experienced torture, sex slavery, arbitrary arrest and execution, and other war crimes. Many thousands of people were taken away from Indonesia as unfree labour (romusha) for Japanese military projects, including the Burma-Siam Railway, and suffered or died as a result of ill-treatment and starvation. People of Dutch and mixed Dutch-Indonesian descent were particular targets of the Japanese occupation and were interned.

During the World War II occupation, tens of thousands of Indonesians were to starve, work as slave labourers, or be forced from their homes. In the National Revolution that followed, tens, even hundreds, of thousands (including civilians), would die in fighting against the Japanese, Allied forces, and other Indonesians, before Independence was achieved.[15] A later United Nations report stated that four million people died in Indonesia as a result of famine and forced labor during the Japanese occupation, including 30,000 European civilian internee deaths.[16]
 There is something seriously wrong with our President and his absolute non-reaction to the suffering in Libya and Japan. In fact, he is not merely not reacting, he seems to be openly thumbing his nose at the entire world of people who wait for America to do something, anything.

Yesterday, Barack Obama actually called for College Basketball fans to think about Japan while they are filling out their "brackets"
One thing I wanted to make sure that viewers who are filling out their brackets, you know, this is a great tradition, we have fun every year doing it. But while you’re doing it, if you’re on your laptop, et cetera, go to usaid.gov — U-S-A-I-D dot G-O-V — and that’s going to list a whole range of charities where you can potentially contribute to help the people who have been devastated in Japan. I think that would be a great gesture as you’re filling out your brackets. It can help out some people who are really going through a tough time.
Charity is a good idea, no doubt, but this is yet another example of Obama's seeming inability to take anything seriously.

I used to believe he was just callous, but with the dithering and the fiddling he is doing while the world burns around him, I am beginning to believe this behavior is done on purpose and for effect.

What message he is trying to send, I am not sure.
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An early 2000s example of comic book Islamo-pandering

As someone who considers comic books a worthy art form in and of themselves, that's why I feel it important to find examples within that medium of how politically correct mindsets end up ruining it with pandering to the ummah, even if they don't get genuine thanks. In this post, I'm going to cite an early example of Islamo-pandering, if that's the best way to describe this case, that took place in a Marvel comic - New X-Men #133, first written in 2002 by Grant Morrison, who's a leftist Briton, though Mark Millar and Warren Ellis are probably worse. Here's a page on Adherents about Sooraya Qadir, the regular name of the women codenamed "Dust", though she's not a superhero per se. It tells that:
When she was a child, Sooraya Qadir (later known as "Dust") was kidnapped from her family in Afghanistan and sold into slavery. Later she was rescued by Wolverine and brought to Xavier's Institute where she began studying how to better use her mutant powers. Dust had not seen her family for many years, and had been unsuccessful in her attempts to locate them.
But when she does locate her mother (and this is probably one of the not too many times she's been seen without the burqa/niqab), the following conversation in New X-Men: Hellions #2 suggests something is very wrong:
Sooraya's mother: I see you still wear it.

Dust (Sooraya Qadir): Pardon?

Sooraya's mother: Your burqa. Do you wear it in America?

Dust (Sooraya Qadir): I never wore it because of the Taliban, Mother. I like the modesty and protection it affords me from the eyes of men.

Sooraya's mother: It is good that you are in a country where you have that choice, Sooraya. Here, things are better. But not all the time. And not everwhere.
Which "choice" is that, to wear or not? This is just one of the clues to how a PC direction is taken by the writers in charge, making it sound as though Islam has nothing to do with her enslavement by the Taliban, and the woman continues to enslave herself to the hazards of osteoporosis even in the US; I guess Charles Xavier doesn't even try to talk her into abandoning the burqa out of "cultural sensitivity". On the same page, I also found former EIC Joe Quesada quoted saying:
"We're very multicultural and international,"
International is one thing, but multi-culti has since become a very tasteless word.

In researching this, I also found a currently inactive Islamist blog that wrote about this whole abusurdity 3 years ago, and if the following is accurate, I'm not sure they put the western protagonist mentioned in the following in a very positive light:
In issue # 2, Dust meets her roommate, Surge, who wears a tight tank top and pink shorts that are seemingly slipping down her waist. Provocative lyrics play from her boom box: “Yeah I drive naked through the park, and run the stop sign in the dark…” Surge is immediately hostile towards Dust because of the way she dresses. “So you don’t like my music, huh?” she says. Dust responds shyly and explains she doesn’t understand American music. Surge replies, “Yeah whatever, and speaking of things we don’t understand, is that outfit you’re wearing actually a burqa?” Dust tries to explain, but Surge interrupts and says wearing a burqa is shameful to women and makes them “subservient to men.” Dust replies politely, “no, the burqa is about modesty. There are boys and men on campus, and it is not right for me to show off by exposing myself or flesh to them.” Surge snaps back, “Are you saying I show too much flesh?” Again, Dust politely tries to explain, “No I do not judge the way you dress, I only ask that you do the same for me.” Surge walks to the door and says, “You do judge me… I don’t need to be lectured by someone who’s setting women back fifty years just by walking around like that.” Surge leaves the room and slams the door, leaving Dust dejected and discouraged.

No matter what your stance is on the burqa or the headscarf (hijaab), it is clear that this scene puts Dust on the defensive. In a place where mutants are supposed to feel accepted, Dust is misjudged because of her dress choices. In later issues, particularly New X-Men: Hellions # 2, we learn, from a conversation with her mother, that Dust is not forced to wear the burqa and she enjoys the protection it gives her from men. For Dust, the burqa is a choice, and that must be respected and defended.
But it's not a choice, by and large, in a male-dominated religion with Koranic verses like Sura 2:223, that tell the man, "Your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like", and even 2:228, which says, "Wives have the same rights as the husbands have on them in accordance with the generally known principles. Of course, men are a degree above them in status" which is otherwise claiming that men are superior to women.

As the above book description strongly signals, the girl named Surge is basically the baddie in the whole argument with her Islamic roommate, who's depicted far politer than the westerner, and the dialogue between Sooraya and her mother only distorts the deeper issues further. I suspect jihadist teachings aren't even acknowledged clearly in that propaganda.

Yet it does not impress the Islamist writer, who said:
However, I believe Dust’s reasoning for wearing the burqa is somewhat inaccurate and stereotypical. This may be due to the writers’ apparent misunderstanding of Muslim women and Islam in general. What’s annoying and arguably inaccurate is how Dust speaks about “protecting herself from men,” which not only make men out to be lustful and perverted, but it also sexualizes herself and makes her an object of desire. The beautiful teachings of modesty for both genders in Islam tend to be mistaken for the stereotypical notion of “protecting women from men.” These beliefs keep her side-lined, while the rest of the young Mutants develop crushes on one another and participate in extra-curricular activities. I’m not suggesting that Dust should start dating, but she should at least have some hobbies, otherwise she’s just a one-dimensional character! We either see Dust in the background or we catch a brief scene of her telling a fellow male mutant that she must decline taking a flight with him. It seems like she can’t do anything because her religion is so “restrictive.”
But it is restrictive, as those verses I presented for example only begin to indicate. Sure, the "characterization" is actually goofy and obscures how some Muslim women do it because of the Muslim male's bidding. But the Islamist who wrote that (I think it also appeared at a site called Altmuslimah at the time too) is stooping to denial to suggest it's literally not restrictive, even if there are some Muslim women who don't wear burqas and chadors. Of course, there is the possibility that moral equivalence played into this whole mess, and you couldn't possibly expect the writers to actually be honest and say that some Muslim women wear it because Muslim men require them to, yet even then, that doesn't stop them from being violent and oppressive.

Oddly enough, it does suggest that the writers really did insult western men, yet at the same time obfuscates how some of the most vicious Muslim men are perverted, including the Taliban themselves. And since when was it wrong for western men to love her? Only because monsters like Muhammed said so. And unfortunately, Islam can be so restrictive, that it would rule out allowing her to participate even in a simple card game.

At the end of that post, the writer says another:
recently shared some really interesting points on how western publishers have an obsession with depicting Muslim women with face veils, which has become iconic of all Muslim women, “especially when the veils sets off their kohl-enhanced eyes.” She also made the mentioning of Orientalism by Edward Said.

This is the rest of her comment: “Dust is following the same script… (t)he Orient is exoticized and feminized, the better to make it an alluring prize to be dominated by conquering white male imperialists. In actual fact, the percentage of Muslim women in the world who veil their faces is tiny. It’s practiced mainly in the Persian Gulf countries and hardly at all elsewhere. Muslim feminist Asra Nomani wrote about this trend, with the iconic veiled woman used to represent Muslim women who are in fact not veiled at all — and she even got one of the white male publishers to admit that they display the veiled image for its allure of mysteriousness. This is sexism and racism fused into one. See her article ‘Why Do Western Publishers Have a Veil Fetish?’
The answer is yes, they do, but my theory is that they do it out of cultural sensitivity to the dominant males, what else? Either way, it is disgusting and degrading to the female sex. But to deny that quite a few male Muslims will use the burqa/niqab/chador as one of many ways to be oppressive to women is dishonest, and makes the apologists for the RoP just as bad as the comics writers themselves.

And there we have a little history of how Marvel forced quite a bit of propaganda upon us, even if on the surface, it sounds like an awkward depiction. But then, as mentioned before, you probably couldn't expect them to be more honest about the deeper details involved. If anything, they really do have contempt for their own creation by making her self-oppressive.
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posted by Avi Green at permanent link# 4 Comments


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