Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

“If we’re giving no quarter to intolerance, shouldn’t we be starting with the mutilators and the honor killers?”

HotAir

To count yourself as a liberal, you have to stand up for liberal principles. Free speech, separation of church and state, freedom to practice any religion or no religion without the threat of violence. Respect for minorities including homosexuals, equality for women. It amazes me how here in America we go nuts over the tiniest violations of these values while gross atrocities are ignored across the world.

We hear a lot about the Republican war on women. It’s not cool. Rush Limbaugh called somebody a slut. Okay. But Saudi women can’t vote or drive or hold a job or leave the house without a man. Overwhelming majorities in every Muslim country say a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. That all seems like a bigger issue than an evangelical Christian bakery refusing to make gay wedding cakes.

The Fate of Free Speech

RogerKimball

What are the major threats to free speech today? Perhaps the overarching condition that threatens free speech is the spread of political correctness. This has sharply curtailed candor about all manner of contentious subjects.  It is no longer possible, in polite society, to speak frankly about race, about differences between the sexes, or a hundred other topics — so-called “climate change,” for example, or the relationship between Islam and free speech.

George Orwell was right when he observed that the first indispensable step towards freedom is the willingness to call things by their real names.  The cause of freedom is not aided when a director of National Intelligence says (and says with a straight face) that the Muslim Brotherhood is “a largely secular organization.”  Nor is it aided when the U.S. president, his secretary of State and other underlings lie about what caused the Benghazi massacre.

The triumph of political correctness has encouraged an epidemic allergy to candor.  The hope is that the embrace of euphemism will alter not only our language but the reality our language names. And to a large extent, it is working. Unfreedom does not become freedom by calling it free, but the misprision can help spread and reinforce the fog of self-deceit. Terrorism committed by Muslims is not Islamic terrorism but “anti-Islamic activity,” A Muslim Army officer who goes on a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood while shouting “Allahu Akbar” is guilty of  “workplace violence” not slaughter undertaken to advance the cause of Islam, etc., etc.

For Arab immigrants, a Canadian passport and a GCC job may no longer mix

Alarabia

Gone are the days when you could benefit from Canada and the Gulf at the same time.

Nima and her husband—a Jordanian couple with two children—arrived in Ontario last year with an unequivocal goal after staying nearly ten years in Qatar: To grab Canadian citizenship within three years and go back to the oil-rich Gulf region to stack up tax-free dollars. But now that Canada has stretched the time frame required to become a Canadian citizen to four years, in addition to obliging prospective citizens to commit to living in the country, Nima’s longtime dream seems to be evaporating.

“We really don’t know what to do; everything has been ruined,” Nima says, referring to the new, partially implemented law.

She tells that her husband, who is still working in Qatar, does not want to quit his job, fearing he won’t find a decent salary in Canada’s competitive job market. Her frustration deepens when she remembers that years back they could have chosen to immigrate to Sweden, yet they preferred Canada because of faster processing times.

“Canada is fed up with passport-holding citizens whose relation with the country is nothing but a piece of paper,” says Sabawy.

My heart bleeds…

And Again: Fired Oklahoma City Nursing Home Worker Threatened Beheading

Get your carry/conceal…

Unexpectedly! “In a bizarre coincidence, a fired Oklahoma City nursing home employee was arrested Friday after a co-worker reported he threatened to cut her head off,” local newspaper The Oklahoman reports today. “Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, 30, is being held in the Oklahoma County jail on a terrorism complaint. His bail is set at $1 million:”

[His co-worker] said Muriithi identified himself as a Muslim and said he “represented ISIS and that ISIS kills Christians,” the detective told a judge in the affidavit. The two had not worked together before.ISIS is a reference to Islamic State militants responsible for highly publicized beheadings in the Middle East.

The woman said she asked him why they kill Christians and he replied, “This is just what we do,” the detective reported.

“The victim said Jacob asked her what time she got off work and she replied by asking him in a joking manner if he was going to kill her,’ the detective wrote. “Jacob told the victim, ‘Yes,’ he was going to cut her head off. The victim asked Jacob what he was going to cut her head off with and he said, ‘A blade,’ then told her after he did it he was going to post it on Facebook.

“The victim said Jacob was serious when speaking and never made any statements that he was joking or playing around.”

NBC to denounce this latest “gentleman’s” threat as mere potential “workplace violence” in 3…2…1…

Thanks, Barry. For nothing.

Getting fooled again…

The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist

We’re being had. Again.

For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name.

Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated.” The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islamic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade.

Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group.

The who?

There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.

The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, “Jabhat al-Nusra.”

As these columns have long contended, Obama has not quelled our enemies; he has miniaturized them. The jihad and the sharia supremacism that fuels it form the glue that unites the parts into a whole — a worldwide, ideologically connected movement rooted in Islamic scripture that can project power on the scale of a nation-state and that seeks to conquer the West. The president does not want us to see the threat this way.

Obama Administration Learns: If You Redefine Every Word In The Dictionary, You Can Get Away With Just About Anything

TechDirt

We’ve written before about how the NSA uses its own definitions of some fairly basic English words, in order to pretend to have the authority to do things it probably… doesn’t really have authority to do. It’s become clear that this powergrab-by-redefinition is not unique to the NSA when it comes to the executive branch of the government. Earlier this year, we also wrote about the stunning steady redefinition of words within the infamous “Authorization to Use Military Force” (AUMF) that was passed by Congress immediately after September 11, 2001. It officially let the President use “all necessary and appropriate force” against those who “planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” But, over time, the AUMF was being used to justify efforts against folks who had nothing to do with September 11th, leading to this neat sleight of hand in which the military started pretending that the AUMF also applied to “associated forces.” That phrase appears nowhere in the AUMF, but it’s a phrase that is regularly repeated and claimed by the administration and the military.

But, it goes beyond that. As Trevor Timm highlights over at The Guardian, pretty much the entire drone bombing (drones, by the way, are also apparently “authorized” by the AUMF) of Syria involves the administration conveniently redefining basic English to suit its purposes. Let’s start with the authorization for the bombing itself:

For instance, in his Tuesday statement that US airstrikes that have expanded into Syria, Obama studiously avoided any discussion about his domestic legal authority to conduct these strikes. That dirty work was apparently left up to anonymous White House officials, who told the New York Times’s Charlie Savage that both the Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) from 2001 (meant for al-Qaida) and the 2002 war resolution (meant for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq) gave the government the authority to strike Isis in Syria.

In other words: the legal authority provided to the White House to strike al-Qaida and invade Iraq more than a dozen years ago now means that the US can wage war against a terrorist organization that’s decidedly not al-Qaida, in a country that is definitely not Iraq.

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Throwing a party and she doesn’t even show…

Jeanne Shaheen a no-show at ISIS hearing

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who holds a coveted seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has skipped out on nearly half of the public hearings held by the committee over the last two years, including one where counterterrorism officials warned of the emerging ISIS danger, documents show.

Shaheen missed an April 11, 2013, hearing on U.S. policy toward Syria in which a top U.S. Treasury official in charge of terrorist financing told Senate committee members that a new terrorist group, ISIS, had sprung up, “underscoring the danger this group poses for Syria and the world.”

Shaheen was not listed as being present at the hearing in a Foreign Relations Committee report.

Records also show Shaheen didn’t show up for full committee hearings on counterterrorism policies, U.S. policy toward Iran and a host of others involving security and foreign policy.

The threat of terrorism and ISIS has become a major flashpoint in Shaheen’s tough re-election battle in the Granite State against former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown. The ex-Massachusetts Republican has accused Shaheen of not making a statement about ISIS until last month and being too late to react to the jihadists’ bloody campaign.

Shaheen has defended her record, saying she has “been talking about this and the threat of a civil war in Syria” for years.

But apparently not much from her seat on the Foreign Relations committee.

Saudi prince and Emirate’s first female fighter pilot take part in Syria air strikes

Killed by a woman. A fitting end…

Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the United States, confirmed on Thursday that the country’s first female fighter pilot, Major Mariam Al Mansouri, 35, took part in her own kingdom’s military action.

Mansouri graduated from Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007 and is veteran pilot of F-16 warplanes.

Mansouri is reportedly the first female UAE pilot of a fighter jet. She graduated from Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007 and is veteran pilot of F-16 warplanes. Washington has said the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan, took part in the strikes on the Islamic State, which has seized swaths of Iraq and northern Syria.

Mansouri’s participation in the raid stirred a debate on social media networks, with supporters posting her picture on Twitter and commending her service. “She is taking part in crushing the dens of Daesh,” wrote one woman on Twitter, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

Angry Islamist sympathisers, however, slammed Mansouri’s “criminal” act. The UAE is a largely conservative Gulf state, where women citizens wear the traditional Islamic head cover and black Abaya loose cloak. But authorities in the oil-rich state have made efforts to put pioneering women forward and many women have assumed top government positions.

Obama’s breathtaking naivete at the United Nations

How’s that Nobel Peace Prize workin’ for ya, Barry?

So is this passage of his speech: ” … the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Islam teaches peace. Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them, there is only us.”

But Islam and the holy Koran on which Muslim militant groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State base their actions do call for the extermination of all who do not follow Islam, do demand that followers kill anyone who leaves the religion, do subjugate women. For the record, the Koran contains more than 100 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers.

Mr. Obama said in his speech that “all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all great religions: Do unto thy neighbor as you would do — you would have done unto yourself.” But that is not a cornerstone of Islam. Militant Muslims have a very different belief: “Fight in the name of your religion with those who disagree with you.” And that edict comes straight from their holiest book.

To the president, that ideology “will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed and confronted and refuted in the light of day.” Again, the callowness is astounding. While he urged the world, “especially Muslim communities,” to reject the ideology that underlies al Qaeda and the Islamic State, nothing will change the fact that cold-blooded killers are determined to destroy the West, wipe all infidels from the face of the earth and build a new caliphate based on strict adherence to Shariah law (which leans heavily toward beheadings, lashings, stonings).

Thanks again, Barry…

Obama Defends Islam, Smacks Israel, American Racism at UN

In the process, he praised Islam as part of a family of religions that “accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world,” and added that “All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all religion: do unto thy neighbor as you would have done unto you.”

His solution: talking about how ISIL and al Qaeda and Boko Haram are bad. Obama’s faith in words is absolutely unshakeable, as he made clear: “The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted, and refuted in the light of day.” Hilariously, Obama explained that the UN Security Council would pass a resolution about combating “violent extremism,” but refused to explain what steps would actually be taken to do so, instead putting that discussion off for “next year.”

After spending fifteen minutes blabbering about the glories and wonders of Islam, even as he decried extremism and sectarianism, Obama proceeded to blame Israel for conflict in the Middle East:

Leadership will also be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. As bleak as the landscape appears, America will never give up the pursuit of peace. The situation in Iraq, Syria and Libya should cure anyone of the illusion that this conflict is the main source of problems in the region; for far too long, it has been used in part as a way to distract people from problems at home. And the violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace. But let’s be clear: the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable. We cannot afford to turn away from this effort – not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza. So long as I am President, we will stand up for the principle that Israelis, Palestinians, the region, and the world will be more just with two states living side by side, in peace and security.

The Israelis may not be the “main source of problems in the region,” but by pressuring Israel before the entire world just weeks after Hamas continuously fired rockets into Israel and shielded its own rockets with children, Obama demonstrates his distaste for the Jewish State, and his desire to cast them as a bleeding abscess leading to more violence. The moral equivalence here was stunning, unjustifiable, and purely disgusting.

America shares virtually nothing with the other member states at the UN. But President Obama shares a lot with them: a desire for America to take a secondary role in the world affairs, a desire for Israel to surrender in the face of its enemies, a desire for talk rather than action, a desire to demean the United States on the global stage.

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