Saturday, June 9, 2012

Unmasking the Media's Birth Certificate Hypocrisy


by Jeffrey T. Kuhner

Unmasking the media's birth certificate hypocrisy
Barack Obama campaigns for Illinois state Senate in the 1990s. Newly  discovered documents reveal that Obama joined the New Party, a socialist  party affiliated with ACORN, in 1996.    Photo Credit:The New Party


The liberal media are finally looking into the birth certificate issue — Mitt Romney’s, that is.

Reuters extensively investigated the presumptive Republican nominee’s background, and concluded that he was born on U.S. soil and qualifies as a “natural born citizen.” This follows the press corps’ relentless examination of Mr. Romney’s past: his record at Bain Capital, his tenure as Massachusetts governor, his Mormon faith and the church he attended, his views on race as a younger man, his marriage to Ann, his treatment of the family dog and even an alleged bullying incident as a high school student nearly 50 years ago. When it comes to Mr. Romney, nothing is off limits for our media elites.

It is very different for President Obama. He has been given a free pass. The press corps refuses to investigate his murky background. In fact, the liberal media are doing everything possible to sweep his dubious past under the rug.

Take the birth certificate issue. Conservatives who question the origin of Mr. Obama’s birthplace are derided as “birthers” — extremist kooks, who supposedly wallow in conspiracy theories. Yet, when “mainstream” media outlets, such as Reuters, insist on getting a copy of Mr. Romney’s birth certificate, it is considered objective, hard-hitting reporting. The hypocrisy and double standards are shameful.

Moreover, there is only one person to blame for the prolonged birth certificate issue: Mr. Obama. Like a chameleon, he has repeatedly altered his identity to suit his immediate self-interest. For years, his literary agent claimed — in brochures, press releases and public statements — that Mr. Obama was “born in Kenya.” He never once corrected the record. The reason is obvious: Portraying himself as having exotic Kenyan roots bolstered his literary credentials among trendy multicultural leftists. In 2004, during his campaign for the U.S. Senate, press reports — including from the Associated Press — claimed that Mr. Obama’s birthplace was Kenya.

The issue has plagued him even after winning the White House. In 2009, the government of Kenya announced that it was planning to build a monument to Mr. Obama at the Kenyan site it says is his birthplace. Officials in Kenya’s parliament insist Mr. Obama was born there; so have multiple articles in Kenyan newspapers. Kenyan family members also allege that Mr. Obama was not born on U.S. soil. Instead of addressing the issue immediately and forthrightly, the Obama administration spent millions of dollars in the courts to prevent his birth certificate from being unsealed. Only when real estate mogul Donald Trump cast a spotlight on the issue did Team Obama finally relent. No wonder millions of Americans believe the president is being less than truthful. At the very least, he is a charlatan, who for years helped to perpetrate a massive lie about his background.

The larger issue, however, is why it took Mr. Trump — and not CNN or the Washington Post or the New York Times — to ask Mr. Obama the obvious question: Where is the original birth certificate? The answer is that the liberal media have become thoroughly corrupt. They no longer care to hold leaders of both parties accountable; rather, they act — and view themselves — as the communications arm of the Democratic Party. In short, their mission is not journalism, but propaganda.

This is now blatantly obvious to the point of becoming a professional embarrassment. Recently the New York Times published a long profile piece on Mr. Romney’s religious background. The reporter examined Mormon doctrine, Mr. Romney’s ties to his church and what he said to fellow parishioners (and what they thought of him). In other words, Mormonism is fair game.

Yet, Mr. Obama’s black liberation theology is not. He spent over 20 years in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church. Mr. Wright has now admitted that he was Mr. Obama’s close “spiritual and political adviser,” and that the pastor helped “guide” his protege’s religious “conversion.” Mr. Obama was steeped in a radical church that champions an anti-American, anti-white and ultrasocialist agenda. Major media outlets have simply ignored this.

Also, for years, liberal journalists have claimed that Mr. Obama was a lifelong loyal Democrat; that the charges he associated with Marxist militants and hard-core leftists were simply vicious conservative smears. They allege that he is — and always has been — a pragmatic, moderate liberal in the New Deal-Fair Deal tradition. This is another lie. In a recent post on National Review Online, Stanley Kurtz presents conclusive documents that reveal Mr. Obama was a member of the New Party — a far-left third party devoted to imposing secular socialism on America. According to Mr. Kurtz, Mr. Obama was part of the New Party during much of the 1990s.

Mr. Obama is the most radical president in U.S. history. But he is something else: the least vetted leader in modern memory. The media are coddling him. It’s time to finally unmask him.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner
is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.

Source: http://times247.com/articles/06unmasking-the-media-s-birth-certificate-hypocrisy7

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Syria's Horror in Houla - Warning: Disturbing photograph


by James Lewis

It is extremely important to do what the mainstreams refuse: To spread the truth about the Houla massacres to the world. Here is one report from the scene by AP. The killers apparently went around and systematically killed young children, using the same method used in Afghanistan to kill children -- by cutting their throats.

A Facebook poster has one photo of about 10 children in identical postures lying on the ground with their throats cut. They may have been sexually abused prior to execution.

Since the mainstreams have been lying and covering up these horrors of the "Arab Spring," it is crucial for the New Media to do the reporting. Worldwide publicity could possibly shame the murderers to stop.

James Lewis

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/06/syrias_horror_in_houla.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Time for Israel Supporters to Fight Back


by Sammy Levine

With Israel’s vast military supremacy over its enemies—including Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran—the only effective weapon these Israel-haters currently have is the delegitimization of the Jewish State. This delegitimization campaign, which seeks to isolate Israel as a unique menace in the world, utilizes the media, world bodies such as the U.N., professors and entertainers, and complicit “peace activists” to tarnish Israel’s image and reputation. This campaign makes Israel out to be the aggressor and the obstacle to peace, in contrast to the poor Palestinians who just want their land back.

Perhaps it is no surprise then that Israel’s borders have been relatively quiet during the last couple years, as Hamas and Hezbollah are happy to let this worldwide public relations campaign—buttressed by the political left—play out. After all, why waste valuable resources and suicide bombers, when you can rely on Western “pro-peace” organizations and “useful idiots” to chip away at Israel bit by bit, to the point where the country is coerced into making one-sided concessions that embolden its genocidal enemies?

Left-wing, self-proclaimed “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organizations such as J-Street and Americans for Peace Now, are unintentional accomplices to this cultural war against Israel, by placing most of the blame for the conflict on Israeli “settlements.” But blaming the Israeli “settlements” for the Israel/Palestinian conflict is like blaming Britain’s fire bombing of Dresden for World War II.

The Israeli “occupation” started 20 years after the failed genocidal war against Israel in 1948. The building of the “settlements” was initiated after the “Six Day War” of 1967, in an attempt to buffer the heart of Israel from its war-hungry enemies. The “settlements” are not the cause of the conflict, but rather a consequence of it.

Picking up on this false narrative, organizations such as “Big Campaign” are spearheading a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks to destroy Israel economically. Many popular entertainers, such as the Pixies, have cancelled their performances in Israel because of pressure from these anti-Israel hate groups.

Macy Grey had this to say before her performance in Israel: “I’m getting a lot of letters from activists urging/begging me to boycott by NOT performing.” She decided to perform, but other acts, such as U2, Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen, are simply refusing invitations to perform in Israel, in order to avoid aggravation from the Israel haters.

Roger Waters, former front man of Pink Floyd, has embraced the BDS campaign, and is encouraging others to join him. He said this about his decision to boycott Israel:

In my view, the abhorrent and draconian control that Israel wields over the besieged Palestinians In Gaza, and the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), coupled with its denial of the rights of refugees to return to their homes in Israel, demands that fair minded people around the world support the Palestinians in their civil, nonviolent resistance…For me it means declaring my intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their governments racist and colonial policies, by joining a campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it satisfies three basic human rights demanded in international law.

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands [occupied since 1967] and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

It is important to note Roger Waters’ 3rd demand, the right of return, which would destroy Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and turn it into another Muslim-dominated country in the Middle East.

Elvis Costello also cancelled his scheduled performance in Israel a couple years ago, saying:

There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act … and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent…I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security[.]

Israel supporters must fight back against Roger Waters, Elvis Costello and the many others who are engaging in this cultural war against Israel. It is not enough to just fight back in the realm of ideas, although this is essential to combat misguided organizations such as J-Street. We must also fight fire with fire.

That is why I created Counter-Boycott, an organization that will inform Israel supporters about those who wish to economically destroy Israel.

Counter-Boycott will take out advertisements in cities where boycotting artists are performing, to encourage consumers not to purchase tickets to their shows. Lastly, Counter-Boycott will highlight those courageous musicians, such as Madonna and Elton John, who perform in Israel despite the onslaught of hate from the boycott organizations.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to remove the disgusting stigma of Israel as a racist, oppressive country. Performing in Israel should not be perceived as a political act. Artists should not be fearful or ashamed of performing in Israel.

With enough help, we can push back against those who are pressuring many entertainers to cancel their performances in Israel. We must make it clear that seeking to delegitimize and isolate Israel will not go unnoticed.

Sammy Levine

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/06/08/time-for-israel-supporters-to-fight-back/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Four Lies About the Economy That Obama Needs Voters to Believe


by Larry Elder

President Barack Obama’s re-election turns on his ability to convince voters that 1) Obama inherited a “Great Recession,” 2) every “independent” economist supported the “stimulus,” 3) “bipartisan” economists agree that Obama’s stimulus worked, and 4) as actor Morgan Freeman puts it, racist Republicans say, “Screw the country … we’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here” — nothing to do with deeply held policy differences.

That’s a lot of merchandise to push.

1) Take this “Great Recession” business.

Remember the “misery index”? The term, popularized by former President Jimmy Carter, used to mean inflation plus unemployment. Unfortunately for John Kerry, by the time he ran for president in 2004, the misery index stood at 7.4 midway into the election year, the same as when George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000. What to do? Change the definition. Kerry invented a new misery index, one that included only high-rising costs like college tuition, health care and gas prices.

Similarly, “bad economic times” used to mean, above all, high unemployment. Within a year of Obama’s presidency, unemployment climbed to 10.2 percent. Within three years of Reagan’s presidency, unemployment reached 10.8 percent. Under Obama, inflation has been — at least so far — rather modest. Early in Reagan’s presidency, inflation reached 13.5 percent. Rather than describe this era as the “Great-Recession-turned-around-by-Reagan’s-pro-growth-policies,” many pundits and scribes dismiss this period of extraordinary growth as the “me decade” or the “decade of greed.”

2) “There is no disagreement,” said then-President-elect Barack Obama, “that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jump-start the economy.”

What?! More than 200 economists, including several Nobel laureates, signed on to a full-page ad placed in major newspapers by the libertarian Cato Institute. Eventually, over 130 more economists became signatories to the ad.

It read: “With all due respect, Mr. President, that is not true. Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance.

“More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s ’lost decade’ in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today.

“To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.”

These 350 or so notable economists notwithstanding, Obama later doubled down: “This is what independent economists have said — not politicians, not just people in my administration. Independent experts who do this for a living have said this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and for middle-class families all across America. And what these independent experts have also said is that if we don’t act, the opposite will be true. There will be fewer jobs; there will be weaker growth.”

3) Obama surrogate Steve Rattner recently said that Obama’s stimulus worked — as confirmed by “bipartisan” economists. As proof, Rattner offered the findings of “bipartisan economists Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder,” who “agree that … we would have had unemployment substantially higher than what we’ve had over the last two years.”

“Bipartisan”?

Blinder, a Democrat, served as a member of the Clinton administration and later advised presidential candidates Al Gore and John Kerry. As for Zandi, he did serve as a presidential campaign advisor to John McCain. Like Blinder, Zandi is a self-described Democrat.

Zandi likes “maverick” McCain, a Republican who voted against the first George W. Bush tax cuts using the same left-wing argument about the cuts benefiting the rich. Zandi’s man, summoning his inner Dennis Kucinich, once said, “I cannot support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief.”

As to the alleged unanimous expert opinion on the effectiveness of Obama’s stimulus, Stanford economist John Taylor debated this on NPR with Zandi. Taylor’s analysis, shared by many other economists: “I just don’t think there’s any evidence. When you look at the numbers, when you see what happened, when people reacted to the stimulus, it did very little good.”

4) Democrats never tire of trotting out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said his “single most important political goal” was to make Obama “a one-term president.” Horrors! Why, doesn’t this just make McConnell the very personification of sinister! Republican opposition for the sole purpose of bringing down Obama, the first black president, yada, blah, etc.

Apparently, it is outside the brain capacity of people like Morgan Freeman to understand something: One way to defeat bad, leftist Democrats’ policies is to defeat bad, leftist Democrats, who seek to implement those bad, leftist policies. It’s not complicated.

Nothing personal.

Larry Elder

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/06/08/the-four-lies-about-the-economy-that-obama-needs-voters-to-believe/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Egyptian "Honor": Brothers Butcher Mother, Sister, and Aunt


by Raymond Ibrahim

A day before, a Muslim man in Germany beheaded his wife in front of his six children – while screaming "Allahu Akbar!" or, "Allah is Greater!" – " throwing her dismembered head from the roof of their apartment."

According to yesterday's edition of Youm7, two brothers in a village in Assuit, Egypt, slaughtered their mother, sister, and aunt, "after discovering their sister's actions were contrary to morality."

After chaos erupted in the house, including gunfire, local police surrounded and broke into the home, only to find the aunt, Saida Muhammad Mukhtar, 55-years-old and a housewife, "with her head sliced off"; the mother, Amina Ahmed Muhammad, also 55 and a housewife, found "drowned in blood by the entrance of the house"; and the sister, Sana Mukhtar, 39-years-old and a widow, found butchered in a room.

The two brothers—Ahmed Mukhtar, 35, and Abd al-Basit, 24—were subsequently arrested, and confessed to the murders in detail.

Such slayings are not rare occurrences in the Islamic world, and even in the West—wherever there are Muslims. A day before this story emerged, a Muslim man in Germany beheaded his wife in front of their six children—while screaming "Allahu Akbar!" or "Allah is greater!"—"throwing her dismembered head from the roof of their apartment."

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3100/egypt-honor-killing

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Recipe for War: Unilateral Withdrawal from West Bank


by Khaled Abu Toameh

As before, Hamas's chances of taking over the West Bank are high after the failure of Abbas's ruling Fatah faction to implement significant reforms or combat rampant corruption.

Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak believes that Israel should consider a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank if negotiations with the Palestinian Authority fail to bear fruit.

Under the current circumstances, such a move would lead to the creation of another radical Palestinian Islamic entity, this time in those parts of the West Bank that would be handed over to Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad.

Any land that is handed over to the Palestinian Authority would end up in the hands of Hamas.

In the summer of 2005, Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip, passing it to Abbas and his 40,000-strong Fatah-dominated security forces.

A few months later, thanks to a free and fair parliamentary election that was held at the request of the US and some EU countries, Hamas came to power.

One of the main reasons Hamas scored a victory in that election was because it took credit for driving Israel out of the Gaza Strip through rockets and suicide bombings.

A year later, in the summer of 2007, it took fewer than 10,000 Hamas militiamen to defeat Abbas's security forces and bring down the entire Palestinian Authority regime in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas's rule over the Gaza Strip has since brought more suffering and bloodshed for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Once Israel carries out a unilateral withdrawal, the same scenario is likely to be repeated in the West Bank.

Even though Hamas does not have a strong military presence in the West Bank, the movement seems to enjoy much popularity among Palestinians.

The so-called Arab Spring, which has seen the rise of Islamists to power in a number of Arab countries, has emboldened Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups, such as Islamic Jihad.

These groups have managed to attract many followers by offering themselves as the best alternative to Western-backed corrupt secular dictatorships in the Arab world.

As before, Hamas's chances of taking over the West Bank are high after the failure of Abbas's ruling Fatah faction to implement significant reforms or combat rampant corruption.

Fatah lost the 2006 parliamentary election mainly because of its leaders' involvement in the embezzlement of public funds. Since then, Fatah has failed to draw the conclusions from its defeat and has not even been able to come up with a new list of capable candidates that could attract Palestinian voters.

The same Fatah men who lost the vote are, in fact, continuing to run the show in Ramallah -- as if they had never lost.

Even if the Islamists do not take over the West Bank in the aftermath of a unilateral Israeli pullout, it is almost certain that the Palestinian Authority would not be able to prevent local gangs and clans from seizing power.

The case of Jenin, a city in the West Bank, is a good example of the weakness of the Palestinian Authority security forces, especially with regard to imposing law and order: Palestinian Authority officials have admitted that Jenin has been controlled over the past two years by Fatah militiamen and thugs who worked closely with many top Palestinian security officers, imposing a reign of terror and intimidation on the city's residents.

A unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank could mean that Palestinian cities like Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron would fall either into the hands of Hamas or armed Fatah gangs.

Abbas and Fayyad would not be able to do much to prevent a return to scenes of anarchy and lawlessness that were once prevalent on the Palestinian street.

The chaos and violence inside the Palestinian cities would also spill over into Israel, forcing it to launch another "Defensive Shield" type of operation, like the one in 2002, to clear the area of armed gangs.

Before withdrawing from any area, Israel needs to make sure that those who would be in charge would not run away, handing the territories to Hamas or any other local gangs. Under the current circumstances, a unilateral and unconditional withdrawal would only be a recipe for more violence and bloodshed and repression.

Khaled Abu Toameh

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3101/unilateral-withdrawal-west-bank

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The Silence Abbas and the PA Want You to Hear


by Lori Lowenthal Marcus

The Middle East is becoming quieter. No, the swords are not turning into plowshares, it’s not that kind of quiet. Instead, it is the sound of truth that’s slowly being silenced. And it’s happening not only because the PA grows stronger, but also because the west grows weaker.

Thirty years ago the young Arab journalist Khaled abu Toameh quit working for PLO media outlets. They did not allow reporting on what abu Toameh saw as the news people needed to know. Instead, he was told to take the words dictated by the Arab leadership, and cut and paste them into the stories they then published, but under his byline. They weren’t his words and it wasn’t the news, so he turned to western media for outlets that allowed him to write and speak about what people needed to know.

In those thirty years the PA media has not become more open. Instead, the PA leadership has become more emboldened and the western media – either because of physical or moral exhaustion – is allowing the PA’s censorship to seep into and rot away at core freedoms, both of speech and of the press.

Under the Palestinian Authority’s Penal Code, a holdover from when Jordan illegally occupied the territories, defamation suspects can be arrested and held in detention for up to six months before they are charged with a crime. Esmat Abdul-Khalik, an al Quds University lecturer and single mother of two, was arrested in late March and held in solitary confinement and denied the possibility of any visits because someone else criticized PA President Mahmoud Abbas on her Facebook page, calling him a traitor and suggesting he resign. Abdul-Khalik is not the only Arab arrested recently for Facebook page activity, at least three others have recently been picked up for daring to criticize members of the government.

In September, the director of Radio Bethlehem 2000, George Canawati, was arrested for posting on his Facebook page criticism of the Bethlehem Health Department. Last month the PA judicial and executive authorities determined Canawati will be tried for defamation – a crime punishable by up to two years in prison – in the Magistrate Court of Bethlehem City. The trial was recently adjourned until September.

Altogether, nine journalists have been arrested in recent weeks for exposing corruption or making critical remarks about the PA leadership on Facebook, and many others have been summoned for interrogation. When Facebook postings expose government critics to censure, you can be sure that no one will risk filing bona fide media reports about the topic.

But just as frightening as Arab Palestinian bloggers and journalists being arrested for posting on their Facebook pages is the steady drumbeat of pressure that is leading to a decrease in coverage by western journalists who, presumably, are not as vulnerable to the capricious selections for punishment designed to suppress criticism of the ruling regime.

In addition to whispered discussions being heard in Ramallah about the “Facebook Police” are the directives issued to western journalists to focus their reporting on “Israel’s ‘occupation’” and refrain from prying into alleged corruption committed by PA officials, because “nothing else is newsworthy and nothing else should be reported.”

Some western journalists have been warned not to work with Arabic speaking reporters who fail to toe the “All-Occupation, All The Time” reporting. This is how the PA controls not only their own media outlets, but those western outlets. All too many simply play along rather than stand up for press and speech freedoms and possibly risk losing access. For those journalists who behave and report primarily about the occupation, the rewards are access to senior officials. Senior PA officials told Arab Israeli journalist abu Toameh, “Even the Jews at Haaretz behave themselves and for that they are rewarded with interviews of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.”

It is not only individual journalists who are being intimidated, but entire news sites critical of the PA have been blocked on the internet. A report in late April revealed that several websites which had reported on corruption within the PA were blocked, including Inlight Press, which had revealed that the PA had been monitoring the phones of Mahmoud Abbas’s opponents.

What’s more, in May, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, a vehicle that is supposed to act as a union to defend the rights of its members, actually began punishing Arab Palestinian journalists for meeting and cooperating with Israeli colleagues in a series of joint seminars that were held in Europe. The goal of those seminars was to promote freedom of expression and increase cooperation. The PJS is affiliated with the PA and is dominated by Fatah, the party of Abbas, and reports directly to the President’s office in Ramallah. Those who violate the will of the Syndicate, which is to sing from the hymnal of PA devotion and praise for Abbas, are threatened with expulsion from the Syndicate and a concomitant boycott by all PA newspapers and other Palestinian media outlets.

It is ironic that the apparent increase in number and breadth of intimidation and harassment is taking place at the same time that the Palestinian Authority has been criticizing Israel for reviewing emails of those seeking to enter Israel to determine whether the travelers may pose security threats. The ubiquitous complaints about the Israeli arrest and detention of Arab journalists rarely reveals that while those detained may be, at least incidentally, journalists, the reason for the detentions are threats to security, not the expressions of opinion, and certainly not criticism of Israeli government officials. After all, it’s not like the muzzling of Arab “truthtellers” would prevent bad press for the Israeli government – you can buy a copy of Haaretz for that any day of the week, or subscribe to the endless press releases issued by the many NGOs funded by European governments, all of which are uniformly hostile to the Jewish state.

So thirty years on, Khaled abu Toameh finds that the path he took away from censorship seems to have doubled back on itself. Rather than walking firmly on the precious path of western iconic freedoms of an unfettered press and uncensored speech, abu Toameh is finding that that road is rotting out beneath his feet. This rare truth-telling journalist is finding it increasingly harder to report the corruption and lack of freedoms in the PA, and as a result our news world is becoming a quieter, but certainly not a better, place. On his own Facebook Page abu Toameh posted this silent cri de coeur: “A campaign of intimidation, harassment, pressure, threats and boycotts has made it impossible for an Arab journalist to work in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the president of Z STREET, a pro-Israel, pro-truth organization, and chair of the executive committee of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs

Source: http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/06/07/the-silence-abbas-and-the-pa-want-you-to-hear/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obama "Offended" by WH Leak Allegations


by Alana Goodman

President Obama is crying foul against allegations that White House officials leaked classified information to the media for political gain, insisting that the White House would never “purposely” pass on classified secrets. The Hill reports:

“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive,” Obama said. “It’s wrong, and people I think need to have a better sense of how I approach this office, and the people around me approach this office.” …

Obama said the White House has “mechanisms in place” to “root out” people who leak national security information.

“When this information or reports, whether true of false, surface on the front page of newspaper — that makes the jobs of folks on the front lines tougher, and it makes my job tougher, which is why my attitude has been zero tolerance for these type of leaks and speculation,” Obama said.

As Politico’s Josh Gerstein suggests, the “purposely” qualifier sounds like an escape hatch. Obama didn’t deny that the White House released the information, just that it was not done intentionally or with a purpose in mind.

Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers is hinting he has information the administration had relaxed rules on classified information for some in the media:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) stopped short of asserting that the leaks were politically motivated, but he said the administration had decided to share some classified information with the media.

“The committee has materials suggesting that agencies were instructed to expand the scope of classified information they gave to the press. We know in some cases someone from a segment of the media was present in a classified setting,” Rogers said.

Republicans are continuing to call for an independent investigation, and the normally tough-on-leakers Obama administration is still stonewalling the idea.

Alana Goodman

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/06/08/obama-offended-by-white-hous-leak-allegations/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Obama Joined Socialist New Party, New Docs Show


by Stanley Kurtz

Obama joined socialist New Party, new docs show

Barack Obama appears on the front cover of a New Party pamphlet in  1996, the year documents show he joined the  socialist ACORN-affiliated  party. 
Photo Credit:
The New Party










On the evening of January 11, 1996, while Mitt Romney was in the final years of his run as the head of Bain Capital, Barack Obama formally joined the New Party, which was deeply hostile to the mainstream of the Democratic Party and even to American capitalism. In 2008, candidate Obama deceived the American public about his potentially damaging tie to this third party. The issue remains as fresh as today’s headlines, as Romney argues that Obama is trying to move the United States toward European-style social democracy, which was precisely the New Party’s goal. ...

Recently obtained evidence from the updated records of Illinois ACORN at the Wisconsin Historical Society now definitively establishes that Obama was a member of the New Party. He also signed a “contract” promising to publicly support and associate himself with the New Party while in office. ...

Why did Obama deny his ties to ACORN? The group was notorious in 2008 for thug tactics, fraudulent voter registrations, and its role in popularizing risky subprime lending. Admitting that he had helped to fund ACORN’s voter-registration efforts and train some of their organizers would doubtless have been an embarrassment but not likely a crippling blow to his campaign. So why not simply confess the tie and make light of it? The problem for Obama was ACORN’s political arm, the New Party.

Stanley Kurtz

Source: http://times247.com/articles/obama-was-member-of-socialist-new-party-docs-prove

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Mordechai Kedar: The Suffering of Africa - Sins of Europe - Guilt of Israel


by Mordechai Kedar


Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)

Those Africans who enter Israel illegally in order to find work are a very small part of the general global problem of emigrants from Africa who are searching for a new land that will allow them to live, even with only a minimum income and standards of living, and the main thing that drives them is survival. Their poor condition, in Israel, in Europe, in North and South America and in Asia, raises the question: how did an entire continent, where a billion people live, about one fifth of the world population, arrive at such a low condition, and how, among the 61 states and entities that it comprises, not even one offers its citizens security, education, health and welfare at a reasonable level. How did it happen that a whole continent is torn by never-ending wars, mass murders costing millions of lives, and famines that still threaten the residents, most of whom want only to flee from it.


The one answer to all of these questions is: Europe, or more accurately, the greedy lust of the European peoples in previous century, which was reflected in colonization, and the way in which the Europeans related to the peoples of Africa when they ruled it and in the way that they left Africa and abandoned it to its suffering.

We must remember that in Africa there were never "peoples" in the European sense of the word; there were tribes. These family-based groups, over the course of generations, grew and split off to form new tribes, but their members always remained loyal to tribal culture. Traditionally, each tribe has its own religion, language, customs, laws, dress, standards of behavior, living area, sources of livelihood and economic interests, around which every member of the tribe would unite. To defend themselves and their sources of livelihood, the members of the tribe formed a fighting group, without which function it would be extremely difficult for the tribe to survive. For thousands of years the tribes of Africa lived this way undisturbed, in continual balance between man and nature, between tribes and neighbors, between man and his beliefs.

The European conquest and colonization that began in the late 15th century, brought continual disaster upon the tribes of Africa: the colonialists saw the black continent as a source of raw material for European industry - gold, silver, copper, iron, zinc, aluminum, diamonds, rubber and wood, and later, oil. But worst of all was that the African was now seen as a slave, an amazingly cheap source of labor whose life had value only inasmuch as he could be exploited as a cheap source of labor. The most obvious example of this is the behavior of King Leopold II, king of Belgium (1835-1909), who ruled as Czar of the Congo from 1884 to 1908, and regarded the Congo, and all that it contained, as his private property. He used the residents of Congo as slave labor in his mines and rubber industry, and a third of the people met their death in this work. Slaves who could not fulfill the production quotas that were demanded from them were punished with amputation of a hand. Men were forced into slave labor, families were destroyed and whole tribes were wiped out by famine. Africans were considered lower than animals, and the wealth that the king stole from the lands of the Congo served his large construction building projects in Belgium. Many of the beautiful and stylish buildings in Belgium are the result of his conduct, which earned him harsh criticism from other countries.

During the period from the 16th to the 19th century, millions of Africans were captured by European, Arab and local slave traders and sold into slavery, mainly to South and North America. About one sixth of the slaves did not survive the journey by ship, mainly because of the miserable nutritional and sanitary conditions in these floating prisons. Slave hunters cast the tribes of Western Africa into a never ending chain of acts of reprisal because of their collaboration with slave traders.

At the Berlin Conference in the year 1884, the colonialist countries of Europe marked the borders of Africa as a "division of spoils", and became wealthy from the raw materials and the slaves that were brought out from the lands of Africa. A not insignificant part of European wealth today is a direct result of this act - the greatest plunder in the history of mankind.

Failed States

During the 19th and 20th centuries, colonialism gradually receded from Africa, leaving behind it states whose borders had been determined by the interests of colonialism, not the natural division of humanity in Africa. Borders included many disparate groups together which often were in conflict with each other, and in some cases tribes were divided between states. This situation created states whose populations struggle within themselves, and most were ruled, and are still ruled by one group which took control of the whole country. The tribe that is in control "buys" the loyalty of other tribes by political appointments and economic benefits, a phenomenon that creates a great deal of corruption in government.

The economy of the standard African state is controlled by the regime, which divides the wealth of the state according to its political interests. This situation causes groups who are not within the inner circle of the regime to be marginalized, and thus are under-developed, a fact which is reflected, among other ways, in a poor educational system. As a result of this, its people are doomed to be left behind in terms of vocational training, and they - a group that may amount to millions of people - are left to a life of poverty and unemployment because their area is under-developed in relation to other sectors of the state who are in the regime's favor.

The internal division of the states between those in favor and those who are not, creates tension between the tribes, which adds to the accumulated tensions that have existed between the tribes for many generations. The result is tribal conflicts that degrade the situation and cause civil wars to break out in the states quite easily. Examples of this are many: Biafra at the end of the 60s, which split off from Nigeria, resulting in wars for independence that left hundreds of thousands of fatalities caused both by the sword and by hunger; Rwanda during the nineties was an arena of horrific acts of slaughter between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes; the Second Congo War (1998-2003) took the lives of more than five million people; Uganda experienced acts of mass slaughter in the days of Idi Amin; lately Charles Taylor, a former dictator of Liberia, was indicted for crimes against humanity, meaning against his citizens; Somalia is experiencing a continual situation of tribal war which, as of today, has cost the lives of tens of thousands, and its lack of government is responsible for the phenomenon of piracy in the Indian Ocean; bloody wars for 60 years between the Arab-Islamist government of Sudan and sectors of the Christian-Animist South, which, during the last year gained independence; the slaughter of hundreds of thousands during the past decade that the government of Sudan carried out against the people of Darfur, which is in the Western part of the state; in Kenya, bloody street riots break out between the tribes every time there are elections and in many other cases when there are bloody conflicts.

These conflicts stem from no other reason other than the demographic situation of the states of Africa, each of which is a combination of different groups who are hostile to each other and share no unifying factor. The modern framework of a state - institutions, a flag, a hymn and symbols of sovereignty - have failed in the most important task, which is to settle in the hearts of the people and to substitute traditional loyalty to the tribe with a new loyalty to the state. The differences between the tribes can even be seen in external appearance - height, color, shade, the shape of the facial features - as well as the level of education and development. These differences are clear and continue to be a basis for discrimination and various coalitions, and are used as a way to obtain the favors of the regime or to be excluded from them.

In the states where there is oil, Nigeria for example, the population is divided between those tribes who profit from the oil, (usually those who live in areas from which the oil is extracted or in land through which oil is piped), and those tribes who see no earnings from the oil. The tribes with oil defend their interests with hoarded weapons, and the state can buy their allegiance only at a high price. However, many times, tribes sabotage the pipes in order to steal and sell the oil, and these acts of sabotage result in explosions and fires that leave hundreds of dead, wounded and burn victims. In Sudan, oil is the reason for the war in the past few months between the state of Sudan, whose capital is Khartoum, and the new state of South Sudan, whose capital is Juba. It is from this failed state that many of the illegal aliens who came to Israel originated.

The Influence of Islam

The states of the Sahara Desert in North Africa - Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco - are all Muslim, and also the states south of the Sahara - Chad, Mali, Niger, Tanzania, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya and Nigeria - are mostly Muslim or a large proportion of their population is Muslim. In these states, in addition to the tribal tensions, there exists a high degree of religious tension, because Muslims see themselves as believers of the true religion ("din al-haq"), while the others - Christians and Pagans - are infidels who adhere to a false religion ("din al-batil").

During the past twenty years, in some of these states, struggles have developed over the status of Islamic religious law (Shari'a), compared to civil law, and the Northern sections - the Muslim sections - of Nigeria, where tens of millions of people live, are ruled today according to Muslim law. This is the direct result of the Islamic Wahhabi penetration by propagandists who were schooled in Saudi Arabia and work under its inspiration and funding. Struggles develop in these areas stemming from the existence and activity of non-Muslim houses of worship, modern schools, the sale of wine and other spirits, and the status of women and their presence in the public arena. In African Islamic countries, radical Islamic organizations are active which have adopted the generic name, or label, "al-Qaeda". The processes of religious radicalization that the African Muslim societies are undergoing is described in an article that we published here a number of weeks ago.

This situation has poured oil on the fire of traditional tribal rivalries which are now quarreling and fighting with each other because of religion in addition to the previous reasons. As a result of this, the civil framework of the country is weakened still further, and additional sectors of its population have become economically, socially and politically marginalized.

The Exodus

The eternal conflicts in the failing African states cause many sectors to be lacking in basic necessities, and they search for any possible way to save themselves from the poor economic situation and the social, political and religious oppression that they experience. Many millions of Africans are on their way to the developed world, in order to find a new, peaceful and decent life. Millions have passed and continue to pass through the Northern Sahara desert, in a journey that for many of them will end in the desert with a gathering of vultures hovering over their carcasses.

Some of them arrive to states in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia) and from there they sail in ships via the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. Sometimes a ship sinks, and its passengers become food for the sharks. Others enter one of two Spanish enclaves - Ceuta and Melilla - which are located on the Northern shore of Morocco; from there some of them are taken to Spain, and some are sent back to their death in the Sahara. Some of those who reach Egypt continue to Israel via Sinai, and if the Bedouins do not kill them on the way to harvest their organs for transplant, they arrive - at the end of a journey of continuous torture and humiliation - to the border of Israel.

The phenomenon of the emigration of the poor and tormented Africans has stirred the peoples of Europe, and in a gesture of remorse for what they did in Africa, they drafted an international covenant demanding the modern states to treat the refugees in a fair way. The salient point in the covenant is that a developed country is prohibited from sending a person back to a state in which his life will be in danger. This rule applies to the great majority of Africans who arrived to Europe illegally, consequently there is no legal way to return great numbers of illegal immigrants in Europe back to Africa. Europe ruined their lives in Africa, and now they come in hordes to Europe, changing its character beyond recognition. This is history's sweet revenge.

The UN World Conference Against Racism - Durban 2001

Toward the end of the previous millennium some African intellectuals initiated the claim that Europe should be made to pay damages to the African peoples for hundreds of years of economic exploitation, mass murders in the mines and the fields, slave trade and having established failed states. The amounts that were mentioned in this connection were in the hundreds of billions, and just having raised the claim aroused horror in the hearts of the European governments. They knew that the post-colonial discourse that developed in Europe in the previous generation would cause broad ethical support for the African claim.

In order to introduce the claim onto the international agenda, the African states decided to convene a conference against racism, which would condemn the racism of today and of the past, and would impose upon the European states the responsibility for the racist way in which they related to the peoples of Africa in the previous century. This responsibility would be the basis for the monetary claim. This conference met in Durban, South Africa in September of 2001.

Politicians and European public figures, who have no desire to open the wounds of the past and stand in front of the mirror of history that will reveal their great wealth from Africa and their ethical nakedness, searched out a scapegoat, onto whom it would be possible to place all of the sins of their colonialism. Together with Arabs (descendants of the slave traders) the sacrificial victim was found: Israel. Their preparatory conference, which was held in Teheran (a well-known stronghold of human rights) determined that (1) Israel is an apartheid country and therefore they must impose boycotts and condemn the countries that support it. (2) Israel is a country of occupation, and occupation is a crime against humanity and endangers world peace. (3) Zionism is racism. (4) The state of Israel violates the human rights of Palestinians. (5) Israel carries out genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and therefore it is necessary to conduct an armed struggle against it. (6) There has not only been one holocaust. Relating to the holocaust in the plural demonstrates that the Jewish people have not undergone a unique holocaust experience compared to disasters that have occurred to other peoples in the world, like the slaving of the blacks in Africa or the holocaust that Israel carries out upon the Palestinians. (7) The state of Israel was conceived in sin because it was established by means of ethnic cleansing of the Arabs in the area.

Since the Durban conference, an anti-Israel spirit has dominated the global discourse on human rights, so much so that most of the decisions of the Human Rights Council of the UN relate to Israel, while ignoring -partially or totally - wholesale violations of human rights in most countries of the world, from China to Russia, from Myanmar to Venezuela, not to mention Iran and the Arab countries. Only the Arab mass murders during this past year drew the attention of this council enough to produce some lukewarm decisions concerning the situation of human rights in the Arab world.

The Durban Conference, which was originally intended to deal with the sins of European racism and the compensation that Europe should pay to Africa, was hijacked by the Arabs with European collaboration, in order to represent Israel as the last colonialist left in the world, upon whom it would be possible to impose the responsibility for all the sins of European colonialism. The Durban Conference and the world "forgot" that Britain still rules many colonies, some of which are thousands of miles distant: Islands in the Atlantic Ocean: Falklands, Corex, Caicos Islands, South Georgia, Sandwich Islands, Ascension Island, Saint Helena, Tristan da, Montserrat, Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands and Bermuda. In the Indian Ocean - Diego Garcia (from where British and American planes left to bomb Iraq), in the Pacific - Pitcairn, and even in Europe - in Gibraltar and in Cyprus - Britain still maintains colonies.

France also maintains its colonies thousands of kilometers from France: Guadeloupe, Reunion, French Guiana, Butte, French Polynesia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and Hadley. There are those who claim that also the French rule of the Mediterranean island of Corsica is a foreign occupation. Does anyone in the world remember this French colonialism, that continues until today? And this is not the end of the list of colonies that still remain under the rule of European countries.

European colonialism is alive and well, and continues to ruin the fabric of life in Africa and in many other places. Israel serves Europe as a scapegoat on whose head they can pile their dirty sins of repulsive European racism that were accumulated over hundreds of years. Israel must cope today with the difficult problem of infiltrators from Africa, and it must solve this severe humanitarian problem according to international law, established mainly by ... Europe.

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Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Mordechai.Kedar@biu.ac.il) is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav.

Links to Dr. Kedar's recent articles on this blog:

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Our Right to this Land


by Ze'ev Jabotinsky

Following the outbreak of the Arab revolt in Palestine in 1936, the British formed the Peel Commission of 1936-1937, formally known as the Palestine Royal Commission, to offer recommendations for how to deal with the violence. In 1937 the commission suggested dividing the land into cantons, while leaving the majority of the territory in Arab hands.

The Jewish leadership at the time, headed by Prof. Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett adopted the partition plan, despite the fact that the plan only allotted the Jews about 5,000 square kilometers (1,900 square miles) of the land.

My grandfather, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, resolutely rejected the Jewish leadership's right to concede any part of the Land of Israel. Because he was forbidden by the British from entering mandate-controlled Palestine, he recorded his objection on a gramophone record which was smuggled in for the Jewish public to hear. That recorded message seems like it could have been written today in response to how the Likud "leaders" voted Wednesday against the outpost arrangement bill.

Here are the words recorded by the head of the Beitar movement, for your consideration: "Do not say, so what if we concede Hebron, Nablus and beyond the Jordan — this concession is not comprised of words devoid of meaning, and everyone will understand this to be the case. Do not underestimate the power of a concession! … Do not underestimate the power of a right, and don't exaggerate the value of a building that is being built. I, too, respect the construction of a building, but woe upon us if we extract the basis of our right to exist from it. … The Christian hand may not touch our rights — which are eternal and are complete, and shall not be relinquished."

I too, like my grandfather, respect the prime minister's declaration that dozens of new homes will be built in Beit El, even though I have difficulty understanding what has prevented him from doing this for more than three years already. But woe upon us if the extra construction becomes the basis for our right to build communities in Judea and Samaria.

The opposite is true: The legitimacy of our right is protected by international law, and is based on decisions made in 1922 by the League of Nations, decisions that are still valid today.

The destruction, even of one building, erodes this right of ours. Those who voted in favor of the erosion of this right have lent their hands to a policy that runs counter to the wishes of the vast majority of Likud members.

My recommendation is as follows: Immediately hold a referendum among all members of the Likud party.

Ze'ev Jabotinsky

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=2015

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If the US Disarms, Will Its Adversaries Do the Same?


by Peter Huessy

Our force structure would be smaller than that of China, Pakistan or India, let alone Russia. It would be the smallest of the entire nuclear age, so low that an adversary would have as few as six targets to hit to eliminate all US weapons available for nuclear deterrence.

Although the American public -- according to countless polls including one earlier this year by "Let Freedom Ring" -- overwhelmingly supports a strong US nuclear deterrent, there are pressures from some anti-nuclear elements to eliminate 70% of our deterrent and unilaterally reduce our nuclear forces to a level near that of the Chinese communists.

One such group, "Global Zero," recommends that the US deploy no more than 450 nuclear warheads compared to the 1550 now allowed by the new START treaty, ratified between the US and Russia in late 2010. Global Zero generously says the US can do this unilaterally.

The organization cites five reasons why nuclear deterrence is irrelevant to today's threats facing America and its allies, among which is incomplete view that as nuclear weapons would not have stopped the attacks of 9/11, they now serve little useful purpose.

Global Zero also proposes that US nuclear forces be cut to ten submarines and ten bombers (compared to 14 submarines and 60 bombers allowed under new START). In its most radical proposal, it recommends eliminating entirely our 450 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, and that all our remaining forces be put on a non-alert status -- unable to be launched for up to three days. Undoubtedly our adversaries will be moved to cooperate, and, in a crisis, not threaten us for any of that time.

These ideas are worse than dangerous: they would leave the US vulnerable; increase nuclear dangers by assuring any adversary that a strike would have no immediate consequences; provide incentives for further nuclear proliferation, and in a crisis make it more likely that force, including nuclear weapons, would be used by a US adversary.

Russia, for example, is modernizing its entire nuclear arsenal. Its president, Vladimir Putin, is building 400 new nuclear armed ballistic missiles. By contrast, the US is planning to build some too, but is not yet modernizing any of the three legs of our nuclear deterrent.

Moreover, under the new START treaty, Russia can increase its current missiles and bombers up to the 700 level allowed by the treaty, while the US has had to reduce its nuclear arsenal from 1100 platforms. Further unilateral US reductions would seriously upset the strategic balance upon which a deterrence rests.

China, too, is modernizing its arsenal, and building or testing countless new ballistic missiles. While the size of China's nuclear warhead arsenal remains, unsurprisingly, a mystery – the People's Republic has rebuffed all efforts to improve transparency -- China is also building a new submarine force, and a new land-based mobile missile. According to China expert Michael Pillsbury, the PRC military says that China is building all the weapons needed to become a world hegemon.

The most wrong-headed Global Zero recommendation of all, however, is to eliminate all 450 land-based ICBMs in the US arsenal. This would leave the US on a day-to-day basis with submarines at only two bases, in Georgia and Washington, and with 3 submarines at sea. Our force structure would be smaller than that of China, Pakistan, and India, let alone Russia. It would be the smallest of the entire nuclear age, so low that an adversary would have as few as six targets to hit to eliminate all US nuclear weapons available for deterrence.

This means an adversary such as Russia or China, facing the US in a crisis over Syria, Iran or North Korea, could eliminate the entire US strategic nuclear arsenal by using very few weapons of their own, a very attractive, almost irresistible, option. Submarines at sea and in port could even be destroyed slowly, surreptitiously, using conventional torpedoes or missiles launched from attack submarines, without resorting to the use of nuclear weapons, and thus significantly lowering the threshold over which a crisis might become an open conflict.

In a crisis, therefore, or in a run-up to a crisis, the incentives by our adversaries to use force or threaten the first-use of force, including nuclear weapons, would also rise precipitously. Our enemies would no longer need to fear our land-based retaliatory capability from our Minuteman missiles: they would no longer be available. As a result, an adversary would have every incentive to "get our submarines," a probability the report even acknowledges, but only in a footnote. The report then concludes by stating that a technological breakthrough could, in fact, make our entire nuclear submarine fleet vulnerable and thus "dramatically" change the recommendations of the report – a conclusion particularly worrisome in light of the proposals to reduce our submarine fleet to only ten submarines.

The report also makes the astounding argument that as all 450 US deployed warheads would be available to deter Russia, we would thus have nothing to worry about. But this would be true only if the US launched a nuclear strike first. Historically, however, our deterrent needs have always been calculated based on what would be needed for retaliation, or what is known as an "assured second strike". Under the Global Zero force structure, an adversary might well conclude that only a very limited number of US nuclear forces would survive an initial attack or series of surreptitious attacks. The temptation to "go for it" in a crisis might look too good to pass up – creating the most highly unstable deterrent policy one could possibly propose.

Every administration in the nuclear age, over some 60 years, has built, maintained, modernized and supported what is known as a strategic triad of nuclear forces—submarines, bombers and land-based missiles. The idea has been to prevent any enemy from being able to take a cheap, sudden shot at the US and eliminate our nuclear capability. This new report has hung a sign on the US on which is written: "Come Get Me."

Deterrent stability, however, is not the only casualty of the zero-nuclear campaign. Equally foolish is its quaint parallel notion that persuading other nations to cut their nuclear arsenals requires the US to first – dramatically, even unilaterally – to cuts its nuclear arsenals. We are led to believe that the nuclear arsenals of China and North Korea, for instance, have been built and expanded because the US does not have the moral authority to seek non-proliferation as long as we maintain our own nuclear arsenal.

If this is true, the argument goes, then we can only be a paragon of virtue in the eyes of these nuclear powers once we have eliminated all our nuclear forces. But we already have gone the extra arms control mile. Starting with the Reagan and Bush eras' INF, START and Moscow treaties, our nuclear weapons have been cut from 12,000 deployed weapons to the fewer than 2000 deployed today.

What did we get in return? North Korea went nuclear. Pakistan and India both tested more nuclear weapons and built up their arsenals. China is modernizing its nuclear arsenal in dramatic fashion, as is Russia. And both Russia and China have repeatedly threatened the use of nuclear weapons. In short, there is little evidence that nuclear arms control by the United States has engendered similar efforts by other nuclear or aspiring-to-be-nuclear powers.

As our nuclear "umbrella" protects over 30 countries, they have been able to forgo nuclear weapons -- ironically, one of the great non-proliferation success stories.

Have other countries given up their nuclear arsenal or advanced nuclear programs? Yes Iraq in 1991, Libya in 2005 and South Africa in 1988.

Also, when Desert Storm ousted Saddam from Kuwait, that act eventually led to the discovery of an Iraqi nuclear program and its dismantlement.

Operation Iraqi Freedom led to regime-change in Iraq in 2003, the capture of Libyan-bound nuclear centrifuges, and the subsequent capture of Saddam Hussein. The late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi saw the hand-writing on the wall and gave up Libya's nuclear program

And the approaching end of apartheid in South Africa led to that government voluntarily giving up its nuclear weapons. All successes were initiated by and led by the United States, two by the US military.

Unfortunately, this important history is ignored.

The Global Zero report substitutes fairy tales for sound thinking, wishes for realities, and would leave us in a world of heightened nuclear dangers. It is advice heard before but which successive American administrations have rejected for over half a century and which the American people still oppose. Let us keep it that way.

Peter Huessy

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3098/us-nuclear-disarmament

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Don’t Let America Imitate a Burning EU


by Bruce Thornton

Traveling through Europe can obscure the looming crisis threatening the continent. Visiting the medieval villages of Alsace, the castles on the Rhine, or the magnificent cathedrals in Basel or Cologne, it’s easy to forget that Europe is on the brink of disaster. But these days even EUrophiles are sounding apocalyptic. The European Commission has said that the monetary union is in danger of “disintegration,” while the European Central Bank called it “unsustainable.” To some, the threat to the eurozone is a threat to the whole EU project. Joschka Fischer, Germany’s former vice-Chancellor, has said, “In a mere three years, the eurozone’s financial crisis has become an existential crisis for Europe.” As the Financial Times puts it, “The flames are licking closer to the eurozone’s combustible core.”

All that architecture and art, then, are the fragments of a glorious past, museum exhibits created by a once dynamic and powerful but now declining civilization. For Americans, Europe’s magnificent past is not as important as its current collapse, which should warn us against repeating its utopian delusions that ignore the hard realities of human nature and human limitations.

The EU and its common currency eurozone were founded on a shopworn idea and a simplistic understanding of history. The bad history is the reading of the state violence instigated by Germany for 70 years and culminating in the horrific slaughter of World War II. The exclusionary, if not racist, mystic nationalism of Germany was seen as the root cause of the war, and so it was concluded that diminishing the power of nationalism while promoting democracy and prosperity would prevent such violence in the future. In Europe, this meant reining in Germany by limiting its power with supranational institutions, and by fostering a pacifism that most Germans were all too eager to embrace. By integrating its own economic interests with those of Europe, Germany could prove it was no longer a threat to its neighbors. Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt recently evoked this argument in his plea to save the euro: “More than once we Germans have caused others to suffer because of our position of power,” he said, adding that “whoever doesn’t understand this original and still relevant reason for European integration is missing the indispensable requirement for solving today’s precarious crisis.”

What’s forgotten in this analysis is that the European vacation from tragic history was subsidized by the United States. Europe’s once powerful militaries, always the instruments for pursuing state interests with force, could shrink because the U.S. military provided the security against the existential threat of the Soviet Union. Even with that threat gone, the globalized economy from which Europe profits is policed by American military power. Germany isn’t a threat not because of the EU, but because it hasn’t needed to build up its military due to the security dividend provided by American taxpayers.

The old idea is the two-centuries-long dream of a “parliament of nations,” the notion that supranational institutions and laws would replace the nation-state with its divisive particularities of custom, culture, religion, and language. Western civilization, it was thought, was evolving into a more universal identity created by science, technology, new knowledge about human nature and society, and the shrinking world created by global trade. These all were leading to a “harmony of interests” that increasingly rational people would realize could be served more by peace and prosperity than by conflict and war. This grand idea also lay behind the creation of the League of Nations and the United Nations, which both failed at creating a unified, transnational authority comprising sovereign nations with distinct and necessarily conflicting interests and cultures. The EU will not be any more successful than the other two, and for the same reason. EU member countries have never stopped being sovereign entities each with its own constitution that reflects national custom, law, and character.

The current fiscal crisis, then, has simply allowed the return of repressed nationalism and conflicting national interests. Most commentary on the crisis reflects this obvious fact. For example, The Telegraph’s Janet Daley writes, “As everyone has been saying, in order to be viable in the face of market pressures, a genuine currency (as opposed to a pretend one) must have a ‘lender of last resort’ – a true central bank like the US Federal Reserve System. But this is impossible within the EU because the constitutions of member states are not compatible with each other or with the principle of underwriting debt across national boundaries (as the states of the US are under their genuinely federal system).”

More broadly, difference of national attitudes to and cultures of work between the northern industrious ants and the southern “Club Med” grasshoppers have been expressed in the refusal of the citizens of the former to subsidize the spendthrift habits of the latter. Two headlines on the same page of a recent issue of the Financial Times say it all: “Germany talks tough on Spain” and “National interests likely to hobble EU banking reforms.” Or consider a recent Wall Street Journal article on German reluctance to foot the bill for rescuing the euro: “Half the German population believes the common currency has been more of a negative than a positive for Germany, up from 43% in February, according to a poll released late last month by public broadcaster ZDF. Nearly 80% are opposed to proposals for euro nations to jointly sell and guarantee euro bonds. A solid majority believes Greece should leave the euro.”

As for the Greeks, they are playing chicken with Germany over the latter’s insistence on austerity programs to rein in government spending, and making arguments from the bad old history supposedly transcended by the new EU brotherhood, claiming that Germans still owe reparations from their occupation of Greece in World War II. Meanwhile over in Italy, ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, still the head of the biggest bloc of seats in parliament and thus capable of bringing down the government, has blustered, “If Europe refuses to listen to our demands, we should say ‘bye, bye’ and leave the euro. Or tell the Germans to leave the euro if they are not happy.” In response an ally of Angela Merkel scolds, “The states of Europe must for their part undertake every endeavor to contribute to solving those problems themselves.” The current crisis with its intra-national squabbling and rancor confirms the insight of the 18th century conservative philosopher Joseph de Maistre: “A constitution that is made for all nations is made for none.”

Yet some in the EU are calling for more economic integration, not less, as the solution to the current crisis. “So,” Daley continues, “either the existing democratic institutions and historical principles of all EU countries must be forcibly reconciled in a Year Zero political reconstruction, or there can never be a monetary union (let alone fiscal union) that will be sustainable.” Obviously, such closer integration would make Germany more powerful in the long run, since he who pays the piper calls the tune––thus creating the possibility of the very threat the EU was supposed to prevent. And greater economic integration would make easier greater political integration at the cost of national sovereignty and individual freedom, worsening the EU’s already substantial “democracy deficit.” The beneficiaries would be the Eurocrats in Brussels, a techno-elite that has already shown an eagerness to limit personal freedom in order to achieve its utopian dreams of absolute equality, prosperity for all, and a cost-free dolce vita.

As we Americans watch the flames grow higher, we should take warning and fight against those like Obama who see the EU as a model to follow. The Europe that created the art and architecture we travel there to admire is gone. Instead, let’s return to our own traditions and political principles that made America the freest and most prosperous great power in history.

Bruce Thornton

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/06/07/don%E2%80%99t-let-america-imitate-a-burning-eu/

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Germans Boycott Israeli Products


by Soeren Kern

Although Pax Christi claims it is not seeking a blanket boycott of Israeli products, the NGO's use of vague and sweeping language, plus the fact that there are no special labels to distinguish products made in the so-called occupied territories, does make it a de facto boycott of everything made in Israel.

A prominent Roman Catholic NGO in Germany has called for a wide-ranging boycott of Israeli products.

The petition represents an expansion of the boycott, disinvestment and sanction (BDS) movement against Israel in Germany, where efforts by pro-Palestinian activists to delegitimize the Jewish state continue to pick up momentum.

The German branch of Pax Christi, which describes itself as an "international Catholic peace movement," issued a press release dated May 22, in which it urged German consumers not to buy goods from Israel as long as it remains unclear whether they are produced in the "settlements" or in "Israel."

A two-page flyer for the campaign, which uses the slogan "Occupation Tastes Bitter" (Besatzung schmeckt bitter), states: "Israeli settlements on occupied territory violate Article 49 of the Geneva Convention. Whoever contributes to the profitability of these settlements contributes to the violation of human rights." The flyer also encourages German consumers to report "questionable" Israeli products on a website called www.lebensmittelklarheit.de .

Although Pax Christi claims it is not seeking a blanket boycott of Israeli products, the NGO's use of vague and sweeping language, plus the fact that there are no special labels to distinguish products made in the so-called occupied territories, does make it a de facto boycott of everything made in Israel.

Pax Christi's boycott campaign has received political backing from Albrecht Schröter, the Social Democratic mayor of the eastern German city of Jena in the state of Thuringia. A June 1 article in the local newspaper Thüringische Landeszeitung quotes Schröter as saying his goal "is to demand mandatory labeling of goods from illegal Israeli settlements that occupy Palestinian territory."

But critics have accused Schröter (and Pax Christi) of issuing one-sided statements against Israel, and of giving the false impression that Israel is a country that systematically disregards international law and human rights.

Others say the obsession with Israel while human rights are being systematically abused in Muslim countries such as Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia is a reflection of anti-Semitism.

For example, Kevin Zdiara of the Berlin-based German-Israel Friendship Society (DIG) says that Schröter's arguments "in certain areas resemble anti-Zionist anti-Semitism" because his remarks meet Natan Sharansky's 3-D test for modern anti-Semitism: demonization, double standards and delegitimization. Zdiara also equates the Pax Christi boycott with the Nazi-era slogan "Don't Buy from Jews."

Katharina König, a Left Party state representative in Thuringia and a Jena city councilwoman agrees. She says Schröter's signature on the Pax Christi petition and his support for a boycott are "false and inappropriate" and that the boycott "has the same meaning as 'Don't Buy from Jews.'"

In any case, the BDS movement against Israel is growing in Germany.

For example, in an unprecedented victory for BDS activists, Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, recently announced that it would pull out of a project to build a high-speed rail line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because the line would cut through six kilometers of disputed territory in the West Bank. Deutsche Bahn had been in charge of electricity and communications control on the project, but pro-Palestinian groups claimed the project violated international law.

German Transportation Minister Peter Ramsauer told Deutsche Bahn Director Rüdiger Grube the project was politically "problematic" and potentially in violation of international law. Ramsauer offered the following reason for terminating the project: "Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Malki, members of the German Parliament and media have criticized a project in which DB International is acting as adviser to Israel's state-run railway."

German BDS activists have also repeatedly pressed for Israel to be banned from participating in Berlin's annual International Tourism Exchange (ITB), known throughout the world as the top trade show for the global tourism industry. And a group called Berlin Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (BAB) has pushed for a complete academic and cultural boycott of Israel. The group has boycotted Israeli film festivals and has German artists and musicians to refrain from performing in Israel.

In March 2012, BDS activists in Berlin targeted Galeria Kaufhof, a major retailer that sells products from Israel. Protests were also held at stores in Bonn, Cologne, Hamburg and Heidelberg.

In February, BDS activists in Hamburg targeted a nine-day series of concerts called "Sounds of Israel" that featured Israeli musicians. That same month, BDS activists in Berlin protested Israeli participation in the annual Fruit Logistica trade fair.

In November 2011, BDS activists launched a nationwide protest against Israel agricultural exports; BDS protests were held in Berlin, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Munich and Stuttgart.

In April, the Duisburg branch of the German Left Party (Die Linke) posted a flyer on its website with a swastika morphing into a Star of David, and called for a boycott of Israeli products. The flyer, which calls Israel a "rogue state" and a "warmonger" states: "Oppose the moral blackmail of the so-called Holocaust! Truth makes free!" This is a pun on "Arbeit macht Frei!," located above the entrance gate to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

In March, a group called the "Bremer Peace Forum" in the northern Germany city of Bremen staged protests in front of supermarkets urging Germans to boycott Israeli products. The Forum protesters distributed leaflets showing pictures of bloody oranges and held posters with the slogan: "Save the Palestinian people."

The German Left Party, in a Call to Action said: "Israel has occupied the West Bank for decades, contrary to numerous UN resolutions. More and more illegal Jewish settlements are being built and Israel exports the fruits that are harvested from there. This is against international law and the exports from the occupied territories are illegal. A boycott of Israeli products will move public opinion in order to increase international pressure on Israel, just as happened in South Africa."

Later that month, the German Bundestag [Parliament] held a debate over accusations of anti-Semitism within the Germany Left Party following the release of an in-depth study by two German sociologists titled "Anti-Semites as a Coalition Partner." The report says that "anti-Zionist anti-Semitism" has become the dominant consensus position within the Left Party and that this trend is gaining force.

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3099/germans-boycott-israeli-products

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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