Burn After Reading        

Who’s Who
What’s What

In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors




NEW BOOK:

The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
By WAYNE MADSEN
ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9


Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].

EXCERPTS:

From the Introduction


One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.

*

An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

"I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”

*

The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.

*

As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.

SELECTED ENTRIES

Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project



  •           Imperator Fish at Epsom        
    Scott Yorke at Imperator Fish has hit gold with this one: National Party candidate for Epsom Paul Goldsmith last night told a business gathering in Newmarket that he was once a mercenary for former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The revelation came after a television news poll showed Mr Goldsmith is well in front of ACT’s […]
              Hip Hop and the "African Spring"        

    Why didn’t the momentum and exuberance of last year’s “Arab Spring” extend to African countries south of the Sahel? Sub-Saharan populations, many immediate neighbors of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, followed the drama with fascination and some envy. When we spoke, I was surprised how few colleagues and friends in sub-Saharan Africa were optimistic about a counterpoint “African Spring.” They claimed their societies “weren’t ready” to rally widespread discontent towards a political tipping point.

    Historically, my friends were wrong—SSA has much experience with successful opposition movements, from colonialism to apartheid. But I took their resignation to mean that social fragmentation had secured the upper hand, proof that poverty and cynical governance were not just misanthropic but bitterly divisive as well. The process of overcoming deep social, generational and political divisions, with their common denominator of skepticism and self-interest, cannot simply be ignited like the proverbial box of tinder.

    Internet connectivity was clearly an enabler for the Arab Spring, and SSA still lacks reliable connectivity and familiarity with social media. But coastal North African countries are different from their southern neighbors in infinite other ways as well. Despite non-western culture, values and religious beliefs, North Africa’s Mediterranean exposure imposes a definite political and economic orientation towards Europe, for ill or good. Solidarity in any form—security, economic, ideological—is almost non-existent between countries divided by the Sahel. Few North African countries look south for constructive economic or political opportunity. Exploitation of less developed southern countries (human trafficking, resource predation) is more the norm.

    I’ve written here before about the Nile Basin Initiative, an internationally-funded effort to negotiate equitable use rights for the countries of the great river, killed by mutual mistrust in 2010. The late Colonel Gaddafi led Pan-Africanism, the only other north-south unification effort. His utopianism managed to defy open ridicule thanks to his hefty wallet, but never commanded serious attention. In hindsight it proved far more effective at ensconcing the dinosaur club of out-of-touch leaders, like Gaddafi himself, for decades. This retrograde model of leadership, widely practiced among newcomers to power, is arguably the continent’s greatest impediment to modernity.

    Continue reading "Hip Hop and the “African Spring”"


              Haiti's Splendor Within        
      While other countries are rediscovering people power and casting out dictators, Haiti is allowing them back. ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier came and went last January; Aristide now has a passport and may return any moment. If Baby Doc’s mute visitation was a desperate bid to correct a country’s freefall, his affect conveyed the opposite: an unreadable face and inchoate gestures of a now pitiful, once grandiose despot. Aristide’s return will be neither silent nor impassive.

    So ended 2010 in Haiti, surely the country’s worst year since independence in 1804. The massive quake in January, then Hurricane Tomas, followed by a crippling epidemic of cholera. The year ended with a rocky electoral contest, still unresolved. These unwelcome malheurs conspired to attract the gaze of international media, holding it momentarily. Other spectacles now crow for our attention. Eclipsed by Libya and her neighbors, Haiti’s grip remains tenuous, its silence ominous. Jokes about the depths to which it has sunk—now a platform for foreign dignitaries so low even Sarah Palin can step up—would be funny if they weren’t true.
    Leveled to rubble in January 2010, Port-au-Prince is gradually reconstituting itself, but progress will be painfully slow. The city was already mired in failed urban policies long before the catastrophic shudder; the flight of human capital among the political class only advanced as Haiti’s crisis deepened. Today’s void means easy access for anyone of means seeking political office, including pop singers at home and abroad (Michel Martelly and Wyclef). Haiti’s exhausted political class requires new blood, but where are the viable candidates? Popular elections rarely mean the collective interest is served; instead, a leader’s wish becomes his followers’ command. State-sponsored thuggery is a Haitian specialty.

    To a new arrival, as I recently was, the obstacles confronting the average Haitian appear to stack up, layer by layer, to a point of monolithic immobility.

    Read this rest of this piece here.

              Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
    Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like: USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full. To get the additional information and place the order just visit our website: http://www.salepassportsfake.cc www. salepassportsfake.cc >> Contact e-mails: General support: support@salepassportsfake.cc Technical support: admin@salepassportsfake.cc ----------------------------- Keywords: buy fake passport of Afghanistan buy fake passport of Albania buy fake passport of Algeria buy fake passport of Andorra buy fake passport of Angola buy fake passport of Antigua & Deps buy fake passport of Argentina buy fake passport of Armenia buy fake passport of Australia buy fake passport of Austria buy fake passport of Azerbaijan buy fake passport of Bahamas buy fake passport of Bahrain buy fake passport of Bangladesh buy fake passport of Barbados buy fake passport of Belarus buy fake passport of Belgium buy fake passport of Belize buy fake passport of Benin buy fake passport of Bhutan buy fake passport of Bolivia buy fake passport of Bosnia Herzegovina buy fake passport of Botswana buy fake passport of Brazil buy fake passport of Brunei buy fake passport of Bulgaria buy fake passport of Burkina buy fake passport of Burundi buy fake passport of Cambodia buy fake passport of Cameroon buy fake passport of Canada buy fake passport of Cape Verde buy fake passport of Central African Rep buy fake passport of Chad buy fake passport of Chile buy fake passport of China buy fake passport of Colombia buy fake passport of Comoros buy fake passport of Congo buy fake passport of Congo Democratic Rep buy fake passport of Costa Rica buy fake passport of Croatia buy fake passport of Cuba buy fake passport of Cyprus buy fake passport of Czech Republic buy fake passport of Denmark buy fake passport of Djibouti buy fake passport of Dominica buy fake passport of Dominican Republic buy fake passport of East Timor buy fake passport of Ecuador buy fake passport of Egypt buy fake passport of El Salvador buy fake passport of Equatorial Guinea buy fake passport of Eritrea buy fake passport of Estonia buy fake passport of Ethiopia buy fake passport of Fiji buy fake passport of Finland buy fake passport of France buy fake passport of Gabon buy fake passport of Gambia buy fake passport of Georgia buy fake passport of Germany buy fake passport of Ghana buy fake passport of Greece buy fake passport of Grenada buy fake passport of Guatemala buy fake passport of Guinea buy fake passport of Guinea-Bissau buy fake passport of Guyana buy fake passport of Haiti buy fake passport of Honduras buy fake passport of Hungary buy fake passport of Iceland buy fake passport of India buy fake passport of Indonesia buy fake passport of Iran buy fake passport of Iraq buy fake passport of Ireland Republic buy fake passport of Israel buy fake passport of Italy buy fake passport of Ivory Coast buy fake passport of Jamaica buy fake passport of Japan buy fake passport of Jordan buy fake passport of Kazakhstan buy fake passport of Kenya buy fake passport of Kiribati buy fake passport of Korea North buy fake passport of Korea South buy fake passport of Kosovo buy fake passport of Kuwait buy fake passport of Kyrgyzstan buy fake passport of Laos buy fake passport of Latvia buy fake passport of Lebanon buy fake passport of Lesotho buy fake passport of Liberia buy fake passport of Libya buy fake passport of Liechtenstein buy fake passport of Lithuania buy fake passport of Luxembourg buy fake passport of Macedonia buy fake passport of Madagascar buy fake passport of Malawi buy fake passport of Malaysia buy fake passport of Maldives buy fake passport of Mali buy fake passport of Malta buy fake passport of Marshall Islands buy fake passport of Mauritania buy fake passport of Mauritius buy fake passport of Mexico buy fake passport of Micronesia buy fake passport of Moldova buy fake passport of Monaco buy fake passport of Mongolia buy fake passport of Montenegro buy fake passport of Morocco buy fake passport of Mozambique buy fake passport of Myanmar, Burma buy fake passport of Namibia buy fake passport of Nauru buy fake passport of Nepal buy fake passport of Netherlands buy fake passport of New Zealand buy fake passport of Nicaragua buy fake passport of Niger buy fake passport of Nigeria buy fake passport of Norway buy fake passport of Oman buy fake passport of Pakistan buy fake passport of Palau buy fake passport of Panama buy fake passport of Papua New Guinea buy fake passport of Paraguay buy fake passport of Peru buy fake passport of Philippines buy fake passport of Poland buy fake passport of Portugal buy fake passport of Qatar buy fake passport of Romania buy fake passport of Russian Federation buy fake passport of Rwanda buy fake passport of St Kitts & Nevis buy fake passport of St Lucia buy fake passport of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines buy fake passport of Samoa buy fake passport of San Marino buy fake passport of Sao Tome & Principe buy fake passport of Saudi Arabia buy fake passport of Senegal buy fake passport of Serbia buy fake passport of Seychelles buy fake passport of Sierra Leone buy fake passport of Singapore buy fake passport of Slovakia buy fake passport of Slovenia buy fake passport of Solomon Islands buy fake passport of Somalia buy fake passport of South Africa buy fake passport of Spain buy fake passport of Sri Lanka buy fake passport of Sudan buy fake passport of Suriname buy fake passport of Swaziland buy fake passport of Sweden buy fake passport of Switzerland buy fake passport of Syria buy fake passport of Taiwan buy fake passport of Tajikistan
              The Beckoning of Nuclear War        
    SUBHEAD: A glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to our "national security" managers.

    By John Pilger on 4 August 2017 for JohnPilger.com -
    (www.johnpilger.com/articles/on-the-beach-2017-the-beckoning-of-nuclear-war)

    [IB Publisher's note: As much as Trump may not wish a nuclear exchange with Russia, he seems quite amenable to turning North Korea into an ashtray. World War III may begin in  Guam and relay to Hawaii on its way  to the US mainland. Here in Hawaii it may mean Duck and Cover!]


    Image above: Detail of original paperback cover of Nevil Shute's 1957 novel "On the Beach". From (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/267542034087528868).

    In Nevil Shute's book "On the Beach" the US submarine captain says;
    "We've all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you're never ready, because you don't know when it's coming. Well, now we do know and there's nothing to be done about it."
    He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest.

    The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not clear if it was started by accident or mistake. There was no victor. The northern hemisphere is contaminated and lifeless now.

    A curtain of radioactivity is moving south towards Australia and New Zealand, southern Africa and South America. By September, the last cities, towns and villages will succumb. As in the north, most buildings will remain untouched, some illuminated by the last flickers of electric light.
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper

    These two lines from T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men appear at the beginning of Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach, which left me close to tears. The endorsements on the cover said the same.

    Published in 1957 at the height of the Cold War when too many writers were silent or cowed, it is a masterpiece. At first the language suggests a genteel relic; yet nothing I have read on nuclear war is as unyielding in its warning. No book is more urgent.

    Some readers will remember the black and white Hollywood film starring Gregory Peck as the US Navy commander who takes his submarine to Australia to await the silent, formless spectre descending on the last of the living world.

    I read On the Beach for the first time the other day, finishing it as the US Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world's second most lethal nuclear power.  There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.

    The "sanctions" are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.

    Their main aim seems to be war - real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-5 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.

    The only nation to have used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste whole societies - the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the carnage in Indo-China, which President Reagan called "a noble cause" and President Obama revised as the tragedy of an "exceptional people"He was not referring to the Vietnamese.

    Filming last year at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, I overheard a National Parks Service guide lecturing a school party of young teenagers. "Listen up," he said. "We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom."

    At a stroke, the truth was inverted. No freedom was defended. Freedom was destroyed. A peasant country was invaded and millions of its people were killed, maimed, dispossessed, poisoned; 60,000 of the invaders took their own lives. Listen up, indeed.

    A lobotomy is performed on each generation. Facts are removed. History is excised and replaced by what Time magazine calls "an eternal present".

    Harold Pinter described this as "manipulation of power worldwide, while masquerading as a force for universal good, a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis [which meant] that it never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest."

    Those who call themselves liberals or tendentiously "the left" are eager participants in this manipulation, and its brainwashing, which today revert to one name: Trump.

    Trump is mad, a fascist, a dupe of Russia. He is also a gift for "liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics", wrote Luciana Bohne memorably. The obsession with Trump the man - not Trump as a symptom and caricature of an enduring system - beckons great danger for all of us.

    While they pursue their fossilised anti-Russia agendas, narcissistic media such as the Washington Post, the BBC and the Guardian suppress the essence of the most important political story of our time as they warmonger on a scale I cannot remember in my lifetime.

    On 3 August, in contrast to the acreage the Guardian has given to drivel that the Russians conspired with Trump (reminiscent of the far-right smearing of John Kennedy as a "Soviet agent"), the paper buried, on page 16, news that the President of the United States was forced to sign a Congressional bill declaring economic war on Russia. Unlike every other Trump signing, this was conducted in virtual secrecy and attached with a caveat from Trump himself that it was "clearly unconstitutional".

    A coup against the man in the White House is under way. This is not because he is an odious human being, but because he has consistently made clear he does not want war with Russia.

    This glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to the "national security" managers who guard a system based on war, surveillance, armaments, threats and extreme capitalism. Martin Luther King called them "the greatest purveyors of violence in the world today".

    They have encircled Russia and China with missiles and a nuclear arsenal. They have used neo-Nazis to instal an unstable, aggressive regime on Russia's "borderland" - the way through which Hitler invaded, causing the deaths of 27 million people.  Their goal is to dismember the modern Russian Federation.

    In response, "partnership" is a word used incessantly by Vladimir Putin - anything, it seems, that might halt an evangelical drive to war in the United States. Incredulity in Russia may have now turned to fear and perhaps a certain resolution. The Russians almost certainly have war-gamed nuclear counter strikes. Air-raid drills are not uncommon. Their history tells them to get ready.

    The threat is simultaneous. Russia is first, China is next. The US has just completed a huge military exercise with Australia known as Talisman Sabre. They rehearsed a blockade of the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea, through which pass China's economic lifelines.

    The admiral commanding the US Pacific fleet said that, "if required", he would nuke China. That he would say such a thing publicly in the current perfidious atmosphere begins to make fact of Nevil Shute's fiction.

    None of this is considered news. No connection is made as the bloodfest of Passchendaele a century ago is remembered. Honest reporting is no longer welcome in much of the media. Windbags, known as pundits, dominate: editors are infotainment or party line managers. Where there was once sub-editing, there is the liberation of axe-grinding clichés. Those journalists who do not comply are defenestrated.

    The urgency has plenty of precedents. In my film, The Coming War on China, John Bordne, a member of a US Air Force missile combat crew based in Okinawa, Japan, describes how in 1962 - during the Cuban missile crisis - he and his colleagues were "told to launch all the missiles" from their silos.

    Nuclear armed, the missiles were aimed at both China and Russia. A junior officer questioned this, and the order was eventually rescinded - but only after they were issued with service revolvers and ordered to shoot at others in a missile crew if they did not "stand down".

    At the height of the Cold War, the anti-communist hysteria in the United States was such that US officials who were on official business in China were accused of treason and sacked. In 1957 - the year Shute wrote On the Beach - no official in the State Department could speak the language of the world's most populous nation. Mandarin speakers were purged under strictures now echoed in the Congressional bill that has just passed, aimed at Russia.

    The bill was bipartisan. There is no fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. The terms "left" and "right" are meaningless. Most of America's modern wars were started not by conservatives, but by liberal Democrats.

    When Obama left office, he presided over a record seven wars, including America's longest war and an unprecedented campaign of extrajudicial killings - murder - by drones.

    In his last year, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study, Obama, the "reluctant liberal warrior", dropped 26,171 bombs - three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.  Having pledged to help "rid the world" of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Peace Laureate built more nuclear warheads than any president since the Cold War.

    Trump is a wimp by comparison. It was Obama - with his secretary of state Hillary Clinton at his side - who destroyed Libya as a modern state and launched the human stampede to Europe. At home, immigration groups knew him as the "deporter-in-chief".

    One of Obama's last acts as president was to sign a bill that handed a record $618billion to the Pentagon, reflecting the soaring ascendancy of fascist militarism in the governance of the United States. Trump has endorsed this.

    Buried in the detail was the establishment of a "Center for Information Analysis and Response". This is a ministry of truth. It is tasked with providing an "official narrative of facts" that will prepare us for the real possibility of nuclear war - if we allow it.


    Video above: "On the Beach" the complete 1959 movie from Nevil Shute's  novel. From (https://youtu.be/Ue8hC5qqMt4).

    .

              A Muslim's Top 10 Wishes for 2016        

    This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post on January 3, 2015. You can find the original article by clicking here or on the title. 

    A Muslim's Top 10 Wishes for 2016

    Have you ever made a wish that's come true -- because you made the wish? Until now, making a wish, whether at the sight of a shooting star or when blowing out the candle(s) on your birthday cake or when breaking a wishbone, has not yet been scientifically proven to actually work, as far as I know. Yet, in the spirit of hope, I am making 10 wishes at the beginning of the New Year. And as is always the case, as a Muslim, I speak on behalf of 1.5 billion people. So here goes...
    1. People no longer confuse me with ISIS.
    My name isn't ISIS. It's not even Islamic State. In fact, the words Islamic or State are not actually in my extended name. Nevertheless, time and time again, I keep getting requests to respond to the group's actions. I swear, ISIS or ISIL or IS -- none of them are in my family tree; they're not some distant cousins of mine. In 2016, I just want people to stop confusing me with ISIS. I really don't know what ISIS is thinking and why they do what they do. It's not like the State Department is asked for comment because of the State-to-State connection. As a postscript, can ISIS stop using the word Islamic? 
    2. Muslims stop killing Muslims for being Muslim.
    Somewhere, along the way over the last couple of decades, Muslims started killing other Muslims for being Muslim in the wrong way, or at least took it to a whole new level. There's a whole ideology out there built around takfir or essentially "declaring Muslims as kufar or unbelievers" for failing an evermore peculiar litmus test. Imagine if death squads emerged killing Black people for not being Black enough. Originating in some of the philosophical exhortations by scholar Ibn Taymiyyah 700 years ago, the criteria by which you are deemed "takfir-ed" and permissible to be killed has reached insane if not idiosyncratic levels. It would be funny if the situation weren't so deadly. Even barbers were caught in the crosshairs and were being assassinated in Baghdad in the 2000s. 
    3. Death and destruction in the Muslim world have a timeout. 
    From Yemen to IraqLibya to Somalia, and from Afghanistan to far beyond, civil strife is rife in too many parts of what is defined as the Muslim world. Autocrats, militants, extremists and terrorists, don't care who they kill: men, women, children -- everyone is fair game. I wish this would stop. Into this toxic mix, the last thing needed is more killing coming into these countries from the outside; the 2003 invasion of Iraq proved that. I wonder if Russia will hear that message? 
    4. We all get comfortable with the "other."
    What a difference it was in 2015 between Trudeau and Trump in the North American political cycle. The world needs more Trudeaus and less Trumps (Donalds that is). The fear of the "other" is starting to define Western politics and it is not just about Trump. The rise of right-wing political parties in Europe from Hungary to Denmark is a poignant reminder of the breadth of this phenomenon. Yet, outside the West this fear of the other also permeates and often dominates. In Turkey, we are seeing a renewed vilification of the Kurdish population. Further afield in Burma, the Rohingyaare cast as outsiders. In Malaysia, Christians are prohibited from using the Arabic word for God. And, in nearby Brunei, Christmas was simply cancelled. In some of the war zones in the Middle East, Christians are on the verge of disappearing. The world would be a lot better off if we weren't so afraid of the bogeyman of the other.
    5. The Muslim world deals with its taboos. 
    Speaking of an aversion to the non-orthodox, there's a whole set of taboos that many Muslim countries and societies need to start dealing with. A lot of them relate to sex. Sometimes the Muslim world acts like it has one big case of the cooties. There have been attempts by some to break through these restrictions. Wedad Lootah in the UAE comes to mind. Shereen El Feki's Sex and the Citadel is another. This is not an issue to take lightly, especially in societies where 60-70 percent of youth are under the age of 30. Bombarded by sexualized imagery from modern and digital media, these youth then live, essentially, in an austere second world that is their reality. More importantly and tragically, rape and sexual assault are simply not talked about; child abuse is an even worse curse hidden under the rug. Finally, at some point Muslim countries - and the clerical establishment -- will need to come to terms with the fact that gay Muslims exist
    6. Somewhere, over the rainbow, democracy and Islam go steady. 
    Let's be honest, a lot of people have tried to set up democracy with Islam for a relationship. Sometimes it has been a surprise blind date (e.g. Iraq in 2003). Other times, it was a relationship that grew from blind passion (e.g. the Arab world in 2011). Often, the sparks of love eventually turn into animus and things quickly go south. In the Arab world, Tunisia is carrying - with some fragility -- the banner of democracy. Many Muslim-majority countries that used to be counted as democracies now suffer from authoritarian syndromes (e.g. TurkeyMalaysia, and Bangladesh). In other cases, democracy in its infancy quickly devolved into score settling or majoritarian mafias (e.g. the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt). Perhaps Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country is our hope that can breathe life into this wish. 
    7. Averroes comes back in style. 
    Averroes -- or Ibn Rushd -- was a man's man. He schooled his way into Raphael's The School of Athens. The polymath kept alive ancient Greek philosophy, paving the way for much of Europe's modern intellectual movements. Back in the day, in Andalusia, he was a big deal (Biden-style). And, why not? He vociferously argued for the co-existence of secular and religious thought in a posthumous debate with the Abbasid scholar Al Ghazali. Ultimately, Ibn Rushd lost the debate to the detriment of the Muslim world, but his arguments culminated with the work, The Incoherence of Incoherence, which I think would be a great riposte to all ISIS ideologues and their friends. If Ibn Taymiyyah came back, then let's bring Averroes back too. 
    8. Flying while Muslim is no longer a thing. 
    They say that flying while Muslim is the new driving while Black. I guess if you're a Black Muslim, this really sucks, especially if you drive to the airport for your flight. So my wish maybe can be two-pronged: getting rid of both 'driving while Black' as well as 'flying while Muslim.' What is flying while Muslim? Well, it often starts with a casual stare or two from across the way. A timid approach then ensues: "Excuse me sir." This is normally followed by a more forceful: "Please follow me." It can then get quite aggressive, with clothes falling by the wayside. It normally ends with your belongings in disarray, your belt on backwards, and you fast-walking without turning back in the hope that no one thinks twice about you boarding your flight. Oh, and don't watch the news while on the plane. I hate flying while Muslim. 
    9. Trump presides over a Muslim beauty contest. 
    Was 2015 the year of Trump? You have to hand it to Trump; he sure knows how to grab the spotlight. Unfortunately, he's used that spotlight to spew increasingly populist venom targeted at Muslims (and others). Maybe, we need to better appeal to Trump's core interest: beauty pageants. There are a few lists circulating online for potential Muslim contestants (for Men: click here | for Women: click here). Yet, I think we should make this a mipsters pageant and turn this whole thing on its head. 
    10. Peace comes to Syria. 
    This Muslim (me) -- speaking on behalf of 1.5 billion people around the world -- has 10 wishes for 2016 but if only one of them came true it should be this one. No country has been more ravaged in recent memory than Syria. Hundreds of thousands have been killed as gangsters, terrorists, and dictators fight for supremacy. The surrounding region, instead of trying to promote a solution, has sent in weapons, fighters, and incitement. The world, instead of trying to mediate, has sought to settle old scores. All the while, the people in Syria live in lifeless limbo amidst daily death and destruction. If I had only one wish it would be that the violence in Syria would come to an end. 
    This wish list is non-exhaustive. I think I may have missed a few...

              Waiting for Obama: The Arab World and Intervention         

    This article originally appeared in Syria Deeply, and can be found here

    On Aug. 2, 1990, a Saddam Hussein-led Iraq launched a bombing campaign and invasion of Kuwait. Part of the decision was the thought that the U.S., facing its own economic issues at home and a perceived passivity towards disputes in the Arab world, would not react with force. 

    Almost five months later, Operation Desert Storm, led by a broad international coalition under the direction of then President George Bush (who had secured a resolution from the U.N. Security Council), began with aerial attacks and ended with the capitulation of Saddam’s forces after just five weeks.
    Two things became clear: that the U.S. would take decisive action to enforce peace and security in the region when a “red line” was crossed; and secondly, that it would be methodical in building a strong coalition.
    The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been waiting for a similar moment from President Barack Obama on the Syrian conflict.  After months of endless prodding, with only a series of half-steps coming from the U.S., the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus (allegedly carried out by the Assad regime) finally seemed to have pushed Obama to take robust action on Syria.
    But initial urgency by the U.S. to act has since subsided, or so it appears. With the passing of each day, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are left increasingly in the lurch, waiting for Obama, wondering if the U.S. has reversed its approach to the region that was heralded by the Gulf War over two decades ago.
    In 1991, when military action was mobilized against Iraq, it was done so under the auspices of a U.N. resolution. And while the Arab world was divided on the intervention, the six GCC countries, along with Egypt and Syria, were part of the armed coalition that was formed. Twenty years later, the situation is markedly different as the Arab world contemplates involvement in military strikes against Syria.
    Outside of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, enthusiasm to participate in a military coalition is weak at best. While Jordan will have to be involved due to its reliance on both Saudi Arabia and the U.S. for economic support, Syria’s other Arab neighbors, Lebanon and Iraq, have voiced staunch opposition to external intervention.
    In an unambiguous statement, Egypt, under its new military leadership, also voiced its objections to “aggression in Syria.” Even the United Arab Emirates may not get involved without broad international legitimacy; unlike in Libya in 2011, this would constitute a military strike by Arab countries allied with the U.S. without any other legal or symbolic cover.
    Obama’s initial enthusiasm for military action, juxtaposed with his subsequent hesitation, has furthered the Arab world’s reluctance to participate. Staunch Western allies like the United Kingdom have indicated a lack of desire to be involved, and it is still in doubt whether action would be approved by NATO or the U.N. In the current atmosphere, a broad coalition involving multiple regional actors is unlikely, especially from a military standpoint. Most of the “diplomacy” to build a coalition has so far been limited to public speeches by high-level U.S. officials, rather than effective diplomatic engagement in the region. It indicates to the Arab world that the U.S. is not serious about a response, and is itself perhaps buying time.
    In Sunday’s Arab League meeting in Cairo, rhetoric was high. But it was clear that beyond Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the appetite for intervention had dissipated. Following two years of bluster, including countless meetings of the Friends of Syria, the moment for a decision finally came, and the U.S. blinked. The hawkish stance of the Arab League and even the GCC must, to Assad, have looked hollow. In the end, the statement by the Arab League called for “deterrent measures” by the U.N., without calling for military or unilateral action.
    While we may yet see strikes on Syria or the symbolic contribution of military hardware (like fighter jets) by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the process has already overshadowed whatever the result may be. In many ways, whatever happens now in response will be far too little and far too late. All the while, the conflict in Syria will continue without any end in sight.


              The Democratic Case Against Islamism        
    This article originally appeared in Al-Monitor, where you can find the full text. 

    These days, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is under a systematic (some would say justified) assault by authorities seeking to dissolve the entire organization.  Yet, it’s not just in Egypt that Islamists find themselves under attack, rhetorically or by force. Across countries in the Arab world that had revolutions in the past two years, there is a growing wave of public opposition to the participation of Islamists in the political system, whether in TunisiaLibya or elsewhere.

    Against this backdrop, countless Western analysts have clashed with their liberal Arab counterparts on the issue of Islamism, arguing that the exclusion of religious parties is incompatible with modern democratic principles. Yet is the exclusion of parties like the Muslim Brotherhood undemocratic on its face? The truth is somewhere in the middle and in fact, there is a legitimate democratic case to be made against the inclusion of some Islamists.

    Since 2011, there have been two primary grievances levied against Islamist parties. The most salient argument in recent weeks has been that these groups are linked to a wider “terrorist” agenda, and are, as such, enemies of the state. Of concern is not necessarily their religious nature but the fact that they represent a subversive political movement. Granted, the closed nature of the Brotherhood, given its precarious legality in past decades, only feeds this view. In addition, offshoots from the Brotherhood like Gamaa Islamiya have been responsible for terrorist attacks in Egypt, and other affiliated groups such as Hamas do have militant wings as well.

    Nevertheless, this argument is not one against "Islamism" or in favor of "secularism." When Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held court with his beautifully choreographed choir of support on the night of the coup on Egyptian state TV, at his side were two religious figures, the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar and the Coptic pope. Furthermore, the recently announcedconstitutional committee includes a representative from the Salafist Nour Party, a group also present at that previous gathering. Thus, the argument in Egypt appears to be that the right type of Islamists (and in limited number) can be tolerated, as can a role for religion in the state.

    Of course, the second case against Islamism is that it is inherently incompatible with modern democracy. At its core, the ideology is an absolutist form of thought that rejects all other intellectual currents in a society. While that may be true, couldn’t the same argument be made for any political ideology, whether it be libertarianism, or communism, or socialism, and the list goes on? Each political movement sees its ideas and philosophies as essential and paramount. A corollary to Islamist thought, however, is that it constitutes a religious supremacist movement that seeks to achieve the supremacy of its religion — Islam — at the official level of the state. It is here where Islamism and democracy start to have legitimate friction....

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/democratic-case-against-islamism-egypt-arab-world-rahim.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#ixzz2dwRsXyRb

              10 Questions on the Conflict in Syria        
    A potential military strike by Western powers on Syria now appears to be a fait accompli and is being touted as long overdue. Given the spiralling humanitarian disaster that has overtaken the country during the last two years of conflict, continued inaction appears to be an untenable reality. The death toll is now well over 100,000 (although the proportion of civilians to combatants is unclear). There are 2 million refugees, half of whom are children, and over 4 million more internally displaced persons (IDPs), amounting to a quarter of the country's overall population. Yet, it was the apparent chemical weapons attack in the suburbs around Damascus known as Ghouta last week that has served as the impetus for international military intervention into the conflict. Amidst the rhetoric and war rehearsals, clarity on what is really happening seems to be cast aside in the media, in favor of faux-spontaneous leaks, retired generals, and trumpeters of past wars. Here are ten questions to try to set the record straight.


    1. Were chemical weapons used in Syria?

    When the initial attack unfolded last Wednesday, August 21 in the suburbs in Damascus known as Ghouta (near the town/suburb of Jobar), news quickly spread to local, regional and international media. Claims were made of hundreds of deaths, with some activists claiming the death toll was 1,300. Moreover, the Government of Syria immediately denied responsibility and has continued to do so. However, the attack did unfold amidst a series of army strikes on Jobar, which is a rebel-held area, and has been for quite some time. The Government conversely claimed to find chemical weapons supplies in tunnels in the same area, and it is alleged that some Hezbollah fighters were also exposed to chemical toxins.

    A week on, it appears incontrovertible that chemical weapons were used, not just from YouTube videos but also from visits by independent journalists, and of course by a report by Médecins Sans Frontières that has documented at least 355 deaths from local hospitals. It is likely that the chemical agent used was a neurotoxin or nerve gas, most likely sarin gas. What is still not clear, is how they were delivered (i.e. in what form and carried on what type of weapon) and from where.

    It should also be kept in mind that this was not the first attack that has been alleged. There have been numerous claims by rebels, and counter-claims by the government on the use of chemical weapons in the conflict. Here's a map of those events. In fact, this is precisely why the team of UN inspectors had arrived in the country, the day before this latest incident (and massacre) took place. In fact, what is interesting is that their investigation of other sites has now been put on the back-burner due to the latest developments.

    2. Do we know who actually used the chemical weapons? 

    The United States, United Kingdom, and France have all stated they are certain that the Government of Syria has undertaken the attack last week. On the U.S. side, at the forefront of the rhetoric has been Vice President Biden - who has said there is 'no doubt' - and Secretary of State John Kerry, who made an evocative plea for action several days ago. Of course, the next speech is the most important, and it would be one made by President Barack Obama. In light of this certainty, it would be difficult to question the attribution of blame. A leak from the US government also claims to have intercepted a murky call between commanders in the Syrian army that supposedly is evidence of culpability on the Syrian side.

    There is tremendous reason to doubt U.S. claims. Firstly, it should not be forgotten that then Secretary of State Colin Powell presented ironclad evidence to the United Nations Security Council of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that Saddam Hussein possessed, a finding that was later proven to be utterly false, but which was the basis of a war that continues until today. Secondly, the U.S. claimed that there was incontrovertible proof that the Government of Syria was responsible for earlier chemical attacks this year, but that finding has been contested, and some experts apportioned blame to the rebels fighting the government. And finally, in this case, no evidence has been presented, as of yet to make such a determination, at least not conclusively.

    Does that mean the Assad and his regime are not responsible? No. It is very likely given the ongoing military operations in the same area that the Syrian government launched such an attack. Yet, more evidence needs to be presented to make a definitive conclusion. The other scenarios that could be possible are:

    - Extremists groups like Jubhat al-Nusra, who have previously seized advanced weaponry and possibly chemical weapons from Syrian army bases and positions, were attempting to use them on Syrian soldiers (or conversely to cast blame on the Syrian army);

    - The Government of Syria inadvertently hit a stockpile of sarin gas releasing the toxins (although unclear if this would lead to the effects that we've seen); or

    - Rogue elements within the chain of command used chemical weapons intentionally or inadvertently.

    Russia, Iran and China have of course cast doubt on western claims but that is to be expected.

    3. What would be the basis or justification for US intervention?

    The U.S. intervention would likely be on the basis of Obama's previously stated red line on Syria, which would be the mass use/movement of chemical weapons. It is not in fact about humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect framework, developed in the 1990s to prevent genocide and mass civilian deaths. If it was, then the humanitarian case for intervention has been present for some time, and other massacres by the Syrian regime, such as in Houla in 2012, would have provided sufficient pretext. Obviously, the U.S. and other Western powers, and regional countries, have their own interests at play that are much more geopolitical in nature, but the justification or casus belli being offered is around the issue of chemical weapons, and chemical weapons alone.

    4. Will anybody else be involved in the military strikes besides the US and will this affect whether they are 'legal'?

    Given Russian and Chinese opposition, and a likely veto of any resolution by the United Nations Security Council supporting such a military strike on Syria - especially in light of the intervention in Libya, which Russia regretted supporting - a 'coalition of the willing' will need to be developed. This coalition would be broader than the Iraq War in 2003, and would be similar to the coalition carrying out the strikes against Serb positions vis-a-vis Kosovo in 1999. While the U.S., U.K. and France will likely lead an effort, Turkey would also be critical as a staging ground (as it borders Syria from the North), and thus there will be an attempt to launch such an attack under the auspices of NATO. Despite its reluctance, Jordan, given its reliance on the U.S. and Saudi Arabia politically and economically, will have no choice but to support . The two other neighbours of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon are squarely against any military strike. And of course, the other neighbor - Israel - would sit this one out but would provide intelligence to the U.S. and other parties on Syrian positions, given that it has already undertaken a number of air strikes on Syria in the past two years.

    Further afield, it is likely the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) will support military intervention, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates possibly sending fighter jets to participate in a strike to give it regional cover and credibility. Finally, while many groups within the Arab and Muslim world, and the 'left' of the West, will oppose military intervention, many others will support it, because of the spiralling humanitarian situation in Syria.

    Technically speaking if the military intervention is not sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, and there is no imminent threat that the U.S. and other parties can point to towards its own territory or its assets, it would be illegal under international law. However, that has not stopped NATO or other countries (i.e. Russia in Georgia) form undertaking military action in the past. And before the Iraq War, some scholars claimed that while such an attack would be illegal it would be legitimate, and demonstrated retroactively to be legal. Given the state of world affairs, 'legality' is likely not a determining factor for a strike on Syria.

    5. Are we seeing a repeat of Iraq in 2003? 

    No. The situation today with Syria is different than it was in 2003 in Iraq, for many reasons, despite some passing similarities. In Iraq, the U.S. claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction while in Syria, we already know Bashar al-Assad possesses chemical weapons, and the question is whether he used them (small aside, it was released this week that thirty years ago, the U.S. obstructed a UN investigation when it knew Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons). In Iraq, the U.S. alleged that Saddam Hussein had links with Al Qaeda (and related groups), while in Syria, Bashar al Assad is widely acknowledged to be fighting Al Qaeda (and related groups) in addition to the 'Free Syrian Army' (and in addition to crushing peaceful demonstrators). In Iraq, there was no active state of conflict that was leading to a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe (and the potential use of WMDs), while in Syria there is not just a violent conflict, but also WMDs have been used by somebody (even if the culprit is not yet clear).

    What should be noted, however, is that both Iraq in 2003 and Syria in 2013, are in complex environments, and any removal of government or sustained military intervention would have dramatic unforeseen consequences. It seems like the media debate in the U.S. is also similarly anaemic (but slightly better) this time around.

    6. What is the real motivation for the United States and other powers?

    As with all things in this world when it comes to international relations, the primary interest is not humanitarian but geopolitical. This is not absolute, however, and it could be argued that Turkey has been insisting on humanitarian intervention from an early stage. However, the regimes (not peoples) in the Gulf, most notably Saudi Arabia, are exclusively concerned with dislodging Syria from the Iranian orbit, and severing connections between Syria and Hezbollah. Humanitarian concerns are a by-product. And for the United States, something similar is at play. As noted above, if this was about humanitarian concerns, action would have been taken long before 100,000 deaths had occurred.

    For the U.S. it has been looking for regime change in Syria for a while. However, these strikes if they occur, will be about sending a message and asserting America's position in the Middle East, given the red line that Obama drew. Ultimately, it may tip the scales in the rebels favour or improve the U.S.'s negotiating position vis-a-vis Iran. The chemical weapons attack in a morbid way, opened a door of opportunity for Western powers (with GCC support) to do something limited without a full-scale intervention.

    7. Will military intervention solve the Syrian conflict?

    No. Military intervention no matter how small or how big will not solve the Syrian conflict. In fact, it could very much exacerbate the situation on the ground even further (if that can be imagined). What is being reported currently is that the U.S. and allies will undertake a series of 'surgical strikes', a euphemism for a large-scale assault on key military and strategic installations, such as army positions, air bases, radar installations, communications infrastructure, supply routes, and, where appropriate, power stations (among other targets). More than anything this will be intended to send a message to the regime and weaken its capabilities. Yet, it would not be a fatal blow. And it would not necessarily tip the scales in favor of the rebels. It may in fact mobilize certain parties to support the regime, if there are civilian casualties from the intervention.

    The solution to the Syrian situation has to be political, if it is going to lead to stability or peace. Yet, if the military intervention escalated and led to the removal of the Syrian regime, that would still not be the end of the conflict. After the Soviets were booted out of Afghanistan, the country devolved into a civil war for five years until the rise of the Taliban in 1996. Somalia has only recently stabilised (somewhat), more than 20 years after the assassination of its leader, President Siad Barre. And neighboring Lebanon, took 15 years of conflict (1975-1990) to reach an end, which was brought about by ironically Syrian military intervention (which committed its own crimes), that produced a - audible gasp - political settlement.

    8. What could potentially go wrong?

    Everything. The potential for disaster following military intervention in any country is great (see Black Hawk Down, Iraq, Afghanistan and the list goes on). Yet, in Syria it could be apocalyptic. Here is a list of what that could entail:

    - Chemical weapons are used by Syria against its neighbors such as Jordan and Turkey, or U.S. military positions in those countries;
    - U.S. planes/helicopters are shot down leading to an escalation of U.S. involvement requiring boots on the ground;
    - Syria sends a volley of missiles into Tel Aviv and other places in Israel, leading to a regional war;
    - Proxy forces of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, launch a sustained campaign against Israel/U.S. interests, including attacks embassies within Lebanon/Palestine/Israel but also in other countries, in the short and medium-term;
    - Al Qaeda forces in the region, while opposing the Assad regime, oppose U.S. intervention especially if there are masses of civilian casualties, and use it as a pretext for attacks in places such as Yemen;
    - Russia objects to the U.S. strike, and mobilizes warships to the Mediterranean, leading to a standoff with Europe and the U.S.;
    - Negotiations with Iran, still in embryonic stages are suspended irrevocably;
    - Six party talks with North Korea are suspended by Russia, China, and North Korea irrevocably;
    - The Syrian regime goes all out in its conflict and begins to bomb with even more abandon civilian areas controlled by rebels, leading to thousands of casualties, and counter-massacres by enraged rebel fighters;
    - The Syrian regime is removed by force from power by the intervention, leading to a power vacuum sinking the country further into civil war for over a decade of even more violent strife and a possible Al Qaeda style government;
    - Tensions rise in the Middle East, especially in places of sectarian division (i.e. Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia, and Iraq) leading to civil strife and attacks on governments, and counter-attacks on populations; and
    - World War 3.

    9. What could potentially go right?

    It may seem that what is written above is slightly alarmist and that's true. Many things can go wrong (most of which, to be honest, are hard to predict as they will be unforeseen consequences or as Donald Rumsfeld, ironically calls them, unknown unknowns). However, the U.S.-led strikes could be quite effective. Firstly, if they are limited in scope, they can be completed in one day, reducing the risk for a military entanglement and civilian casualties. Secondly, if they are from the air, there is limited risk for casualties on the side of the intervening forces. Thirdly, an attack that is forceful and hits Syrian military positions, will send a message to Assad that there is a limit to what he can do, which thus far has not been the case, and may entice him to reach a political settlement. Fourthly, it is unlikely that the Syrian regime would retaliate, for a short strike on positions, against Israel, knowing that they cannot afford to fight a war on so many fronts (and thus far they have yet to retaliate to any Israel air strike). Finally, the systematic destruction of Assad's air capabilities could be instrumental in limiting civilian casualties by the regime in the future.

    All of this is one possibility of what could occur.

    10. Let's cut to the chase - should I support or not support military intervention?

    There is no clearcut answer. Ultimately, military intervention should not be supported as a solution to the Syrian conflict. It is not, and whether we like it or not, a political solution/settlement is the only way the current situation moves towards peace and stability. The U.S. is negotiating with the Taliban. The Vietnamese negotiated with the U.S. The Lebanese negotiated with each other. The Dayton Accords to end the Bosnian War were signed with Slobodan Milosevic. It may not be easy, it may be unlikely, and it will not work perfectly, but political discussions involving all parties is the only way to find a real solution.

    That being said, if a case is made with overwhelming evidence by independent parties (not U.S. conjecture) that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regime, then military intervention on a limited scale, and for a period of 1-2 days only, should be undertaken, ideally with UN support - and if not with broad support of half of the members, i.e. 90, of the UN General Assembly to demonstrate legitimacy - against military targets only, which will both send a message about the use of these weapons and damage the capabilities of Assad.

    What is clear is that whatever happens, there are no clear answers with regards to the conflict in Syria.

              The Middle East’s New Divide: Muslim Versus Muslim         

    This article appears on Al-Monitor.com, where you can find the full version. 

    On June 8, a devastating clash between residents and militia members erupted at the headquarters of the Libya Shield Brigade in Benghazi, Libya, leaving dozens dead and scores more injured. Meanwhile, the next day on the Sunday talk show circuit in the United States, amid continued partisan discussion of the September 2012 consulate attack in Benghazi, there was scant mention of the major clash from the day before. The disconnect exemplified the chasm between the new battle lines on the ground across the Middle East and the political discourse a world away.

    For much of the last decade, most have digested the narrative of a Muslim-West divide. It was so pervasive that newly elected US President Barack Obama, portrayed as a symbolic messiah bridging two worlds, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize before even completing a year of his term. Twelve years after the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks, much of the discussion about the "Muslim world" has internalized this language, and why not? The conflict between the Palestinians and US-supported Israel remains unresolved, US drone strikes continue unabated in Pakistan and Yemen and terrorist attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing are still occurring in deadly fashion.

    These days, however, one is more likely to see the burning of a Syrian government flag than an American flag amid the world’s deadliest ongoing conflict, for which the United States is criticized primarily for not intervening. One is more likely to see Iraqis killed in a terrorist attack than Americans. In fact, in recent years approximately 90% of terrorism-related fatalities have been Muslim. One is more likely to see the demonization of a Shiite than a Jew by an extremist Muslim ideologue. The battle lines have shifted from Islam versus the West to Muslim versus Muslim, and it is time for politicians and pundits in the United States and the Middle East alike to catch up.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/08/new-middle-east-muslim-versus-muslim.html#ixzz2c5fRQCzj

              The Dubai Model and the new Arab world         

    Johann Hari’s article “The Dark Side of Dubai” in The Independent in 2009, crystallized the hyperbolic writing on the Gulf emirate in the recent past:

    “This is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing – at last – into history.”

    Of course, Dubai did not crash into history and Hari was dislodged from his perch due to a plagiarism scandal a few years later. Yet, for many commentators and journalists, any mention of Dubai still evokes a sense of moralistic derision – Dubai the land without culture filled with a people without history. For the youth of the region, however, Dubai represents something different: jobs, a relatively open society, and a government (in progress) that works. As countries in transition, like Libya, Tunisia and Egypt look to transform their own societies, Dubai is an enigmatic model in the distance.  


    What is the Dubai model? It is hard to fully capture the multi-faceted nature of it in just a few words, but there are several key dimensions. In addition, the unique (and transferable) aspects of the Dubai model, however, are less to do with its political system, and more about the policies pursued. In fact, too much time is spent in the region debating the political system rather than the impact of policies on the ground enacted by any ruling group or party.

    Fundamentally, Dubai made itself open to people flows from around the world, with all its associated risks. This has meant that its small population – today 90% of residents are non-citizens – has been able to build an economy depending on an externally generated labor and consumer market. In addition, to unskilled labor, Dubai has also been keen to open itself to the best talent from around the world.  Take Dubai Aluminum (DUBAL) as an example, founded n 1979 and predicated on leveraging international talent and expertise. In fact, in its initial year of operation, few of the 1,386 employees were Emiratis. Yet that has changed over time, as DUBAL has grown to become the world’s largest aluminum smelter. Understanding its own labor market and taking advantage of regional and international labors flows and talent has been critical to the Emirate’s success. 

    Despite being in conservative surroundings, Dubai has also ensured that it functions as an open society, in terms of social and religious practices. While this diversity can raise tension, like last summer’s #UAEdresscode campaign for example, there is an open coexistence, as can be witnessed while walking on JBR Walk, along the beachfront, with full-length niqabs side-by-side with what could well be described as the opposite of that! This openness has also contributed to Dubai becoming a global hub, and now the 7th most visited city in the world, with 10 million tourist arrivals annually. This did not occur overnight, and was linked to the gradual (and sometimes sudden) growth of the hospitality industry and expatriate population. Being an open society, however, does not just mean bottles and bars; the government has consistently emphasized gender empowerment in all fields as a matter of policy, including in key positions, political and economic.

    In addition to people flows, Dubai has ensured an inflow of capital, by building a financial sector and set of institutions to leverage the capital-rich environment around it. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has created a separate regulatory environment and court system to provide security to investors and companies alike. In addition, while still not perfect, it is relatively easy for any foreigner to set up a local free zone company, allowing him or her to deploy capital, which subsequently generates employment (albeit more for non-locals than Emiratis). The stability of Dubai and the strength of its soft and physical infrastructure has meant that in times of uncertainty, capital finds its way there; last year that included $8 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI), a 25% increase from 2011.

    In order to spur growth and absorb investment, Dubai borrowed a page from several economic models (Singapore & Hong Kong among them) and cluster-based theories (see Michael Porter). Take a look at the growth of the aviation sector in Dubai, which in 2011, directly or indirectly contributed $12 billion towards the GDP, and accounted for 125,000 jobs (in a city of 2 million people).  The same can be said for the logistics (e.g. Dubai Ports) and retail sectors (e.g. Majid al-Futtaim & City Centres), all of which have benefitted from an ecosystem approach that has included new regulation, government-driven investment, and infrastructure development. Emirates Airlines did not become one of the world’s leading airlines by accident or in isolation.

    Finally, on a consistent basis, Dubai has pushed excellence in public services, culminating in the Government Summit earlier this year, which convened public servants from across the country to “exchange best practices.” In Dubai, there are regular awards for government excellence given to high-performing departments. In fact if you go see the Director-General of the Dubai Courts, he will likely give you a PowerPoint presentation on their caseload, wait times, and improvements.

    Lest, anyone think that everything is ‘perfect’ in Dubai, it is not. There are a number of issues, ranging from political prisoners in the country (due in part to a stifling intellectual/political climate) to the lack of legislative oversight to continued labor exploitation (far less than before but still problematic, given there is still no minimum wage). Societally, there are also a number of challenges, including naturalization, obesity, and a growing culture of materialism, none of which should be taken lightly. And, for the local Emirati population, there is a high rate of unemployment due to a mismatch between expectations and skills and the needs of the labor market. None of these should be under-estimated for both the moral issues they pose as well obstacles they may present to the viability of Dubai's success, as is the case in many transformative development contexts. 

    The Dubai model works quite obviously, in Dubai. While other countries – especially those in transition – cannot copy-and-paste what Dubai has done, particularly on migration, cultural change, and government led-investment, they can still apply lessons from Dubai’s experience. Although it may seem that Dubai had the guarantee of Abu Dhabi behind it or capital flows in the Gulf to harness, every country has an advantage, which can be used as a foundation. Egypt has the largest consumer base in the entire Arab world that can drive industry. Tunisia has some of the highest literacy rates and education levels in the region, and an established tourist bridge with Europe. Libya has tremendous oil-wealth and a strong connection to the Sub-Saharan economy.

    The fragility of transitional countries means that everything must be done to improve.  What Dubai has demonstrated is that there can be positive momentum and development on areas that affect the quality of people’s lives and their livelihoods. There remain critical challenges in front of it, but there is also something that works in Dubai, and it’s about time that some of these lessons are transferred to the wider region. 

              Another Coup for the Outgoing Emir of Qatar        
    In July 2010, the (now outgoing) Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, traveled to South Lebanon to bask in the gratitude for his country's largesse in supporting reconstruction following the Israeli bombardment just four years earlier. The $300 million (and beyond) committed by the Gulf state was very much appreciated by the Shiite armed movement Hezbollah, who ensured billboards in the South and on Airport Road in Beirut were decorated with notes of thanks to the Emir. It was a conspicuous visit because Qatar had stood out amongst the GCC in taking a strong if not controversial stand. Hand-in-hand with Hezbollah, the Emir, was not apparently one of the "half-men" that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pointed to in the Gulf during the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war. In fact, the Emir and Assad were quite close, if not close friends, and were frequently in touch.

    In 2013, Qatar finds itself at the forefront on a number of regional issues, most notably the conflict in Syria, which had pitted the Emir in direct opposition to his old friend Bashar Al Assad. In fact, on the sectarian front, hosting firebrand spiritual figure, Yusuf al-Qaradawi who recently called for a Sunni-led jihad, and allying almost openly with Muslim Brotherhood movements in the region (which brought criticism from people as far afield as Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef), has increasingly prompted the question: Has the politically adept Qatar lost its touch?

    Once again, however, the Emir of Qatar (who I'll refer to by his initials HBK) shocked the region with another unprecedented move - this time the transfer of power to his 33-year old son Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (the 'new Emir'). In doing so, HBK put Qatar back on the political front-foot and raised the pressure on regional allies. And in typical style, he added another deft touch in his address to the nation with a quote (and the only quote outside from scripture) from Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the fourth Caliph in Islam and the first Imam of the Shi'a Muslims: 'Teach your children other than that what you were taught; as they are created for a time other than yours."

    It was nearly 18 years to the day, on June 27, 1995 [although official Qatari sites list his 'start-date' as June 26] that the outgoing Emir, HBK, came to power in a bloodless coup with the aid of his current outgoing Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamid bin Jassim al-Thani (HBJ) and other figures. He dislodged his father, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad, at the time, under largely benign circumstances but also as Qatar was starting to truly increase its economic base. When HBK took the reigns, the country was bit-player on the regional scene, with a GDP of $8bn. Today, the country is a regional powerhouse, punching far above its weight with a GDP in upwards of $170bn. The transformation, after HBK's rise, began in a number of areas:
    • In 1995 (August), the Emir alongside his wife, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, launched what has become one of the largest foundations, Qatar Foundation, dedicated to 'knowledge' and social development in the country and wider region;
    • In 1996, the State of Qatar launched Al Jazeera, initially only in Arabic, which shocked the region by becoming literally the only widespread outlet of independent voices (from the 'regimes') in the region; 
    • And in 1997, Qatar Airways was relaunched and became a symbolic flagship for the country, although it is not clear whether the carrier will ever truly be profitable.
    Economically, with growing revenues from natural gas over the last decade and a half, the departing Prime Minister, HBJ, effectively became the CEO of the country. In addition, to governing national investments through the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund, HBJ also built up constituent vehicles like Qatari Diar, which looked to deploy billions of dollars in capital throughout the region, including in places that would traditionally be 'off-the-grid' like Libya, Syria and the Palestinian Territories.

    Yet, while the transformation of Qatar happened on several levels - and Sheikha Moza led a number of key initiatives that have separately built up the profile of the country - the Prime Minister & Emir particularly forged a formidable political duo, implementing a plan for political leadership which led to alternating reactions of admiration and consternation in the region. HBK & HBJ became in recent years, the guiding and influencing force on a number of key regional files. It was a strategy of multi-faceted engagement and relevance, often replete with paradoxes, that even until now has confounded observers and analysts, who were always late to the party in understanding and engaging with Qatar.

    For example, while condemning Al Jazeera Arabic for links to Al Qaeda, the U.S. government in September 2002 began moving its Central Command (CENTCOM) Headquarters in part to Doha. Qatar maintained an Israeli trade office since the late 1990s (closing intermittently during the Intifada and in 2009 during the Gaza War), while also building up relations with Hamas throughout the 2000s. The country maintained strong links within the GCC, and also with Sunni allies such as leader of the Future Party Saad Hariri, but in 2008 it was their ties with Hezbollah that allowed them to forge the Doha Agreement, averting what could have been a dark period of civil strife in Lebanon. There was no end to the political engagement: peace talks on Darfur, engagement with the Taliban, mediation between Chad and Sudan, and the list goes on.

    On the political level, while the period prior to the Arab awakening was characterized by engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders, in early 2011, it seemed that Qatar was starting to play a much more partisan role. Previous allies such as Syria's Assad, and Libya's Gaddhafi fell by the wayside very quickly, with Qatar in fact leading efforts in the fight to topple both dictators. And in other 'revolutionary' environments such as Egypt and Tunisia, where the ruling parties are Islamist, Qatar has become the political football for its perceived support for Islamist movements. Critics ask why figures like Qaradawi (mentioned above) are based in Qatar? Why was the state mosque in Doha named after the founder of Wahhabism, the particularly conservative brand of Islam, in 2011? And why has a station like Al Jazeera portrayed only one side of the story, often with an 'Islamic' bent, the last two years especially?

    Yet, the criticism has only grown commensurate with the prominence of Qatar in the region. On one hand, the policies of Qatar were simply part of its strategy of engagement in the region, to demonstrate leadership but also fundamentally relevance - important for a small country that previously lived in the shadow of Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Arab uprisings and subsequent rise of Islamist movements in the region was a tremendous opportunity for Qatar to provide indispensable leadership. Yet, leadership and unique prominence, has consequences, and it is likely that the inflection point of a transfer of power, provides a moment for reflection, especially as the region comes to terms with its new (and oft-changing) dynamics. What was immensely popular in late 2011 no longer is definitively so. For example, in Egypt, President Morsi's approval rating has notably dropped from 70% to 40%.

    Thus, the transfer of power to a new ruler, in Sheikh Tamim, means that Qatar can assess its strategic position and alignment. Perhaps, the country could benefit from a broader engagement given rising divisions in the region, and once again capture the role of lead mediator? Domestically, Sheikh Tamim will play close attention to catalyzing the role of his generation in the country's leadership. After all, Qatar had yet to enact the legislative or Shura Council that HBK promised when he rose to power, and enshrined in the Constitution ratified 9 years ago. The first step will be the announcement of a new cabinet that will replace what is increasingly seen as a gentrified political elite with new or younger faces. It is also expected that there may be a rise in salaries of Qataris employed in the public sector, at a smaller scale, however, to a similar announcement in 2011. Most important, however, will be a new dialogue and series of consultations that the new Emir will have with Qatari citizens, whose expectations have risen with new-found wealth and prosperity. In particular, with 70% of Qataris under the age of 30, engaging youth will be a priority. Do they feel included in the governance of the country and its institutions? Are there sufficient opportunities for employment and growth? And do public services meet their expectations?

    As Sheikh Tamim assesses the domestic situation, he does have a strong ally in his mother, Sheikha Moza, and the institutions she leads that address youth, health and education. And he will rely on  experienced hands like Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani to evaluate macro-projects like the Qatar World Cup preparations and the development of the national railways. Yet, both on the national and international fronts, the new Emir is not without experience or preparation. While observers were caught off-guard, it is thought HBK had planned for this day far ahead of time. The ascension of the Crown Prince to the leadership, began in earnest over the past two years. In fact, when significant announcements like the salary increase from 2011 were made, it was from Sheikh Tamim's office. He was also front and center, for example, when the move was made to shift Hamas headquarters out of Syria. And the then Crown Prince had been taking an increasing "foreign affairs role" amidst the Arab uprisings.

    While the policies that Qatar will follow will likely be unchanged in the short-term, we will have to wait and see what path the new Emir forges in the long-term. Yet, his father has assured that he enters on the political front-foot. Even in his departure, the outgoing Emir left as he came in - with a coup. Upending traditions in the region, he ensured that he would leave the scene at the ripe (for the GCC) age of 61, leaving power to his son who is only 33. This is next to countries such as Saudi Arabia, where the King is 91 (if not older) and where power has never been transferred to the 'next generation', passed instead from brother-to-brother among the descendents of King Abdelaziz (since his death in 1953). Or take Bahrain, where the Prime Minister, Khalifa bin Salman, has helmed the government for over four decades without interruption.

    Certainly, the move by HBK has not ushered in a democracy in Qatar; it is still an authoritarian state. And the ascension of Sheikh Tamim does not automatically assuage any of the concerns (real or perceived) ranging from migrant rights to nepotism to regional interference. Nevertheless, in its own way, Qatar has provided the region with a new revolutionary moment. Now we wait to see how the day-after, always the hard part, plays out.


               For President Obama on Day One: A New “New Beginning”         
    On Day One: A New “New Beginning”
    There was never a question that President Barack Obama represented a symbolic break with the past – someone who could redefine relations with the Muslim world. However to add substance to the symbolism of change, early on in his first term, President Obama went to Cairo to make a speech entitled, “A New Beginning.” Yet, as he begins a second term it is clear that this new beginning needs to be reinvigorated in both style and substance. That initial speech, while poignant then, today rings hollow. If indeed President Obama and the administration are to achieve a definitive step change in relations with Muslim communities, there must be a renewed effort for honest dialogue, robust development initiatives, and tangible shifts in policy.

    At the onset of the Iraq War in 2003, President George W. Bush had abysmal numbers in many Muslim-majority countries. While 59 percent of Nigerians, 56 percent of Jordanians, and 46 percent of Pakistanis held confidence in Osama bin Laden’s leadership, Bush was polling in the single digits in the same countries. By 2008, in countries like Jordan and Turkey, nearly 90 percent of people had “little or no confidence” in President Bush.

    So when a young Kenyan-American Senator with Muslim roots, Barack Obama, emerged on the political scene, he was a welcome sight in even unsavory and sharply antagonistic corners of the Muslim world. In the midst of the political campaign even Hamas seemingly endorsed him saying, “Actually, we like Mr. Obama.” Winning over Hamas never was (nor should it have been) a litmus test, but when President Barack Obama was elected, there was near universal euphoria across Muslim communities.

    Early on, Obama and others in the Administration acknowledged the challenge in meeting these expectations. Even before he was inaugurated, the Administration was already planning to mark this ‘new beginning.’ Going into the heart of Cairo to engage university students in an honest speech about a real change in relations between the U.S. and Muslims was indeed something to be commended. Subsequent to the speech, the White House created a position on the National Security Council for Global Engagement, and the State Department launched a number of partnership initiatives. In the fall of 2009, D.C. played host to the Presidential Summit of Entrepreneurship that brought together 250 delegates from over 50 (mostly Muslim) countries.

    Then the situation started to become more difficult. There are no easy answers in the complex geopolitical relations in the wider Middle East and beyond. When the Green Movement in Iran demanded democratic change, the Obama administration had to contemplate whether it was for engagement with ‘regimes’ or engagement with ‘peoples.’ One of the President’s early visits was to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah prior to his Cairo speech, during which he said in reference to fundamental liberties, “They are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.” But during his visit with the King, there was deafening silence on this point. The advent of the Arab Spring made these dilemmas even sharper. Support democracy in Tunisia and Egypt at the last minute. Push democracy by force in Libya. Half-heartedly support it in Yemen. Remain frozen on Syria. Tacitly oppose it everywhere else.

    While Obama has grappled with difficult decisions, as any President would, he also shirked following up on critical points he made during his speech in Cairo. For example, he declared, “I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.” Guantanamo Bay remains open, almost glaringly so. And while, torture has allegedly stopped being an officially sanctioned practice, summary executions and civilian casualties by drone strikes have dramatically increased in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa. The latter have led directly to animus towards Obama from within many Muslim countries.

    Then there was the line in the speech about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements…The settlements must stop.” Of course, they did not. In fact, in February 2011 the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution that called on Israel to simply “cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian Territory.” Out of 15 countries on the Security Council, the U.S. was the lone dissent (and of course the fatal one). This is not to mention that the U.S. also stood against 95 percent of the world’s population in voting against recognizing Palestinian statehood at the United Nations General Assembly in November.

    There were other elements of the ‘New Beginning’ that were promised, particularly around education and entrepreneurship. It is true that the U.S. has now (co-)organized three global entrepreneurship summits, in D.C., Istanbul, and Dubai, the latter being held in 2012. Yet, it is also clear that beyond the pomp of a summit, the once-robust programmatic initiatives that have come out have been weaker. Leadership changes within internal initiatives, as well as those with partners, have meant stalled if not stagnant programming. The idea of connecting entrepreneurs between the Muslim world and the West is a mutually beneficial and powerful concept, but it has not translated into the impact it should have by now. In the last summit in Dubai, it was as if the institutional memory from three years ago was lost, and everything was starting again.

    All this being said, there still exists the perception that relations have improved between the U.S. and Muslim communities. However, since 2009 and Obama’s inauguration, positive views have been on a steady decline in Muslim countries, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project. In 2009, 33 percent of respondents held confidence in Obama; that number slipped to 24 percent in 2012. In 2009, 25 percent of respondents held a favorable view of the U.S.; that figure dropped to 15 percent in 2012. Finally, approval of Obama’s ‘international policies’ fell from 34 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2012. Without a substantive shift, these numbers will continue to decline, further cementing the reality that there never was a new beginning.

    Can things be turned around, given the current state of affairs? It would be misleadingly Pollyannaish to think that President Obama could snap his fingers and magically change opinion towards him from Muslim countries. Moreover, there are certain political realities that will remain. The U.S. will continue to be an ally of Israel. The U.S. will continue to fight terrorism. And the U.S. will not be able to fund new Marshall plans in the Middle East for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, there is a lot that can and should be done.

    At the outset, President Obama needs to re-launch a dialogue with the Muslim world. At the beginning of his first term he went to Cairo to give a speech. Perhaps he should go to Cairo in 2013 to have a conversation. In fact, since becoming president, Obama has visited only the country of his upbringing, Indonesia, apart from the initial trips to Saudi Arabia and Egypt (in addition to cloak-and-dagger visits to Afghanistan), within the Muslim world. Instead of distant speeches and dispatched drones, the Administration would be served by a President who is more engaged with his audience, through visits as well as frank and honest dialogue during those trips.

    Although the U.S. will not reverse decades of support for Israel, it need not ally with the most extreme policies of the Israeli government. Continuing to be the lone voice at the United Nations and international community defending illegal Israeli practices is a sharp blow to many efforts of the Obama administration. There is no third-term, and the President should stop pandering to contrived political interests in Washington D.C. There are enough Jewish supporters, lobby groups, and intelligentsia, who would support a more moderate and principled set of policies towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    Israel is, of course, not the only foreign policy issue that should be of concern. The U.S., while acting in its national interest, should remain consistent in its language and support for key principles of human rights. It is when it becomes caught in naked hypocrisy that support for the Administration falls, whether in Bahrain in 2011 or Egypt in 2012, and a range of countries, perhaps, in 2013.
    Finally, initiatives that can make an impact on tackling the economic despair for young people, like the 100 million youth who will enter the labor market over the next decade in the Arab world, need to be prioritized. There needs to be sufficient attention and support for the global entrepreneurship program that can truly support the emerging and exciting entrepreneurial energy in places like Amman and Ramallah, Karachi and Kuala Lumpur. The U.S. has the best soft-power in this area, from the start-up scene in Silicon Valley to MIT Labs, yet it is hardly deployed, even though the White House calls entrepreneurship, “a critical pillar of U.S. global engagement.”

    There is a tremendous opportunity in President Obama’s second term to catalytically shift relations with Muslim communities and turn potential adversaries into allies. If the status quo, however, is maintained in policy and practice, this opportunity will be lost.

    This article originally appeared in the print edition of the Diplomatic Courier, in the January/February 2013 issue. It can be accessed online at: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/news/regions/middle-east/1315-on-day-one-a-new-new-beginning. 

              A world of Islams        

    This article originally appeared in the Princeton Alumni Weekly magazine.

    A world of Islams

    By Taufiq Rahim ’04
    Published in the December 12, 2012, issue


    ILLUSTRATION: ROBERT NEUBECKER
    I remember waking up in my dorm room on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, to the shouts of my hall-mate and friend beckoning me to come next door. It was the beginning of our sophomore year, and I was a leader of the Muslim Students Associa­tion (MSA) at Princeton. Watching television in 1937 Hall, we were gripped and confounded by the horrific scenes that unfolded in the ensuing hours, which are forever etched in my ­memory —  as I am sure they are for countless others.

    It was the start of what has been termed the post-9/11 decade, during which much of the world’s narrative was shaped by an “us versus them” mentality. Especially in the first few years, Muslims in the West endured an uncomfortable feeling that the surrounding society considered them suspect.
    I fielded calls shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks from local newspapers, the reporters asking if things were OK for Muslims on campus. Though there were incidents, the general situation at Princeton was safe. I sometimes received hate mail. One group of students was assaulted one weekend in Boston and returned with the bruises to show for it. And, I, like so many others, was given the so-called special treatment and faced lengthy interrogations at JFK or Newark whenever flying to and from school.

    I came to Princeton as a student like everyone else, but at some point I had to transform into an ambassador of understanding. The funny thing is, at the same time I was explaining Islam to promote understanding, I was questioning the state of Islam in the world around me. It is a duality that has stayed with me in the years since.

    This year, on the anniversary of the attacks, a deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, shocked the world once again. It also shocked the residents of Benghazi. This past January, I spent time with youth activists and entrepreneurs in that city. What I witnessed was a courageous and driven group of young Libyans determined to forge a better future. Alongside tens of thousands of their compatriots, many of these youth marched in mid-September to the central al-Kish Square in memory of the slain U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens, calling as well on militias to disarm.

    Their march was emblematic of the duality I experience. No doubt, there is still a need to combat what is more a “clash of ignorances” (not a clash of civilizations) across the divide between the Muslim world and the West. This was the impetus that drove two colleagues and me to found the nonprofit initiative Project Encounter, which promotes engagement and dialogue. We bring groups of young people from North America and Europe to the Middle East, to allow them to form their own narrative about the region. I feel that only through improved understanding and greater familiarity can we find constructive ways forward.

    Nevertheless, through my work and travels in countries from Afghanistan to Syria, Palestine to Pakistan, and places in between, I find there is a need for just as much soul-searching within Muslim communities themselves.

    When a cheaply made YouTube film can lead to violent demonstrations in more than a dozen countries, you cannot help but ask questions. When a young Christian girl can be jailed swiftly on the demands of an unhinged cleric alleging “blasphemy” in Pakistan, you cannot help but raise an objection. When a college is raided and 25 students are killed in Nigeria by a group whose name (Boko Haram) means “West­ern education is sinful,” you cannot help but be dismayed.
    For many countries in the Muslim world, the next few years will not be easy. The political and economic challenges facing them are immense — and that’s an understatement. A few are in active states of internal conflict, if not internecine warfare. Others are under the grip of debilitating authoritarian regimes. So many are still afflicted by economic deprivation.

    There are, of course, counterexamples. In places like Malaysia and Dubai, there are new economic models of development. The Arab uprisings have started to push back against political authoritarianism. Yet the forces of religious orthodoxy seem to be not only constant, but growing. Popular clerics who appear on Pakistani television are busy calling minority groups, such as Ahmadis, non-Muslims — with deadly consequences. I remember seeing the bloodstains in an Ahmadi mosque in Lahore in 2010, shortly after an attack by religious militants. More than 90 people had died in attacks at two mosques. Within a year, the governor of the Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital, had been assassinated for opposing draconian blasphemy laws, as was the federal minister of religious minorities. What was the basis or justification for those attacks?

    Sooner or later, everybody comes into the sights of the bully pulpit: marginalized groups such as Ahmadis, other religious groups and Muslim minorities, and then so-called “moderates.” Sufi shrines that existed for centuries have been attacked and destroyed by extremist groups in recent months in Libya and Mali. When I was working for an NGO in the Gujarat province in India, many of my meetings were held in Hindu temples, sometimes during religious ceremonies. What would the view of the hardline Muslim orthodoxy be of me?

    Traveling through the wider region, you quickly realize that while the bullies are strong and loud, they are surrounded by people who would like to see a pluralistic and prosperous society. These are people like the young activists I met in Libya. They are the Saudi Arabian entrepreneurs who have formed an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women in the workforce (Glowork). They include my Syrian friends who are helping to ensure that those fleeing conflict have a place of refuge, no matter their sect or creed. They are like my former colleagues, who have spent their entire careers in Pakistani villages working on local development.

    I’m hopeful that these progressive forces within many Muslim communities and Muslim-majority countries can coalesce to form a stronger and wider constituency for change. Such a movement would be the most effective bridge between the Muslim world and the West, as well. 

              RAF Tornado contract secures 600 UK jobs        
    Highly-skilled work will be carried out on the Tornado GR4 fleet to ensure they are ready to support operations over the next 5 years, as they have done in Afghanistan and Libya. The work will take place at RAF Marham in Norfolk, RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, RAF Leeming in Yorkshire and at BAE Systems sites in Warton and Samlesbury. The revised contract with BAE Systems will result in savings of up to £90 million for the UK taxpayer compared to the original agreement. The saving...
              Daftar Rekor Sex Dunia        
    Semburan Tercepat, Tertinggi dan Terjauh

    Rekor Dunia untuk Ejakulasi tercepat, tertinggi dan terjauh di pegang oleh Horst Schulzt. Tercatat kecepatan semburan sperma saat ejakulasinya adalah 42,7 m/jam menjangkau jarak 6 m dengan ketinggian 8,5 m.

    Ibu Termuda

    Lina Medina, lahir di Peru pada tahun 1933. Menstruasi pada umur 3 tahun, kemudian hamil dan melahirkan pada umur yang sama melalui operasi caesar. Tidak diketahui siapa ayah bayi yang dilahirkannya, namun beberapa hari setelah melahirkan ayahnya ditangkap dengan tuduhan incest.

    Orgasme Terbanyak

    Dr. William Hartman dan Marilyn Fithian dari Martal Sexual Study Center, Long Beach Califonia AS melakukan penelitian selama 22 tahun mengenai fenomena orgasme pada pria dan wanita. Mereka mencatat wanita dapat bertahan dan mengalami 134 kali orgasme/jam sedangkan pria 16 kali untuk setiap jamnya.

    Orgasme Terlama

    Berdasarkan penelitian pada tahun 1966 oleh Master dan Jhonson mencatat, seorang wanita dewasa dapat mengalami orgasme selama 43 detik dengan 25 kali kontraksi pada otot liang senggamanya.

    Penampung Sperma Terbanyak

    Michelle Monaghan, wanita yang berasal dari Los Angeles AS merupakan pemegang rekor dunia untuk penampung sperma terbanyak. Pada tahun 1991 Ia berhasil mengeluarkan 1.7 liter sperma dari . Tidak diketahui cairan sperma sebanyak itu diperoleh dari berapa pria dan berapa kali session bercinta.

    Bulu Terpanjang

    Rekor ini agak sedikit unik. Maoni Vi, seorang wanita yang berasal dari Cape Town Afrika Selatan adalah pemegang rekor bulu “ketek dan jembut” terpanjang di dunia dimana masing-masing panjangnya adalah 80 cm dan 70 cm.

    Vagina Terkuat

    Untuk urusan ini mungkin Tatiata Kozhevnikova adalah yang terkuat. Wanita Rusia ini merupakan pemegang rekor “vagina” terkuat di dunia. Tatiata dapat mengangkat Sebuah bandul yang terikat dengan sebuah beban seberat 62 kg yang dibenamkan pada liang senggamanya.

    Gang Bang Terbanyak

    Lisa Sparxxx, Aktris film porno Amerika Serikat ini merupakan pemegang rekor “Gang Bang” terbanyak dunia. Pada tahun 2004 ia berhasil memecahkan rekor atas namanya sendiri dengan digilir 919 pria dalam satu hari.

    Masturbasi Terlama

    Kali ini rekor masturbasi terlama dipegang seorang Jepang berkebangsaan Amerika Serikat, Masanobu Sato. Ia mengikuti sebuah lomba masturbasi yang diselenggarakan Sex & Culture Center San Francisco dimana ia dapat bertahan selama 9 jam 58 menit. Tidak diketahui apakah pegang sendiri atau menggunakan jasa joki.

    Tekhnik Bercinta Paling Mematikan

    Jangan sekali-kali meniup liang senggama pasangan anda secara berlebihan sewaktu bercinta. Akibatnya sangat fatal dan bisa mengakibatkan kematian. Meniupkan udara pada liang senggama secara sengaja dan berlebihan mengakibatkan obstruksi pada pembuluh arteri sama seperti halnya symptom disemboli pada paru-paru. Tercatat kematian dapat terjadi 30 menit setelah perlakuan.

    Eksekusi Penis Terbesar dalam Sejarah

    Pada tahun 1300 SM, Raja Meneptha berhasil memenangkan peperangan atas kerajaan Libya. Sebagai selebrasi atas kemenangan tersebut ia memerintahkan tentaranya untuk mengeksekusi hampir 13.000 penis tawanan perang dan membangun sebuah monumen di daerah Karnak untuk mengenang momen tersebut. Pada monumen itu tertulis nama-nama siapa saja yang di eksekusi diantaranya para jendral perang, tentara, masyarakat Libya dan sebagian tentara bayaran yang berasal dari Yunani.

    Penis Terpanjang

    Rekor penis terpanjang di dunia dipegang oleh Jonah Falcon dengan panjang 34 cm dimana panjang penis rata-rata pria di dunia adalah 12 cm.

    Vagina Terdalam

    Kalau Jonah Falcon punya penis sepanjang 34 cm, maka Anna Swan (1846-1888) mempunyai liang senggama sepanjang 37.5 cm. Sayangnya pemegang rekor Vagina terdalam se dunia ini sudah berpulang sedangkan Jonah Falcon masih hidup hingga sekarang.

    Daisy Style Terpanjang dalam Sejarah

    Dinamakan spintriae atau gabungan beberapa orang pasangan yang bercinta dengan membentuk lingkaran. Ritual ini sudah dikenal sejak lama dan populer pada era kekaisaran Roma. Konon kaisar Tiberius dari Roma sangat menyukai ritual ini dan sering melakukannya bersama dengan anggota keluarga kerajaan. Tidak kurang dari 30 pasangan ikut berpartisipasi dalam setiap ritual yang diadakan dan menjadi populer kemudian banyak dilakukan oleh masyarakat setempat termasuk kota pompeii yang legendaris.

    Orgy Terbesar

    Rekor Jumlah orgy (ML berjemaah) terbesar di pegang oleh Jepang dimana tercatat 250 pasangan serempak bercinta dalam satu ruangan besar dan dinyatakan sebagai rekor orgy terbanyak yang pernah ada.

    Parade Bugil Terbesar

    Bermula pada sebuah event lari marathon yang diadakan Universitas Michigan setiap akhir musim panas menjelang libur semester. Banyaknya peserta yang menggunakan pakaian minim musim panas dari tahun ke tahun berubah menjadi sebuah parade bugil yang rutin dilakukan. Pada 21 April 1998 tercatat sekitar 1500 mahasiswa dan pelajar ikut serta dalam parade ini. Kepolisian mencatat sekitar 500-800 orang berpakaian nyaris bugil dan selebihnya bugil total dalam parade tersebut yang kemudian tercatat sebagai rekor parade bugil terbesar di dunia.

    Penis Terkuat

    Tatiata Kozhevnikova mungkin wanita yang memiliki vagina terkuat yang mampu mengangkat beban 62 kg. Begitu pula dengan Mo Ka Wang pria Hong Kong yang berhasil mengangkat beban seberat 125 kg setinggi 10 cm dari permukaan tanah dengan menggunakan penisnya. Ia mengaku berlatih tekhnik Tao kuno yang sudah berumur 2500 th guna meningkatkan vitalitasnya.

    Bintang Film Porno Tertua

    Beralih ke Jepang. Kali ini rekor bintang film porno tertua dipegang Shigeo Tokuda yang berumur 76 tahun. Walaupun sudah pensiun, Shigeo telah membukukan 250 judul film porno selama karirnya.

    Bayaran Termahal

    Seseorang yang tidak mau disebutkan namanya berani membayar $ 3.8 juta atau sekitar Rp. 41.8 M dalam lelang keperawanan yang diposting Natalie Dylan di internet. Beredar rumor yang menyatakan Natalie menolak tawaran tersebut.

    Koleksi Porno Terbesar

    Daniel Gluck sangat tergila-gila dengan sesuatu yang berhubungan dengan pornographi. Dari hobinya ini ia mengumpulkan kurang lebih 500 box besar yang berisi sejumlah mejalah, gambar, poster pono dan sejumlah barang yang berhubungan dengan aktivitas seksual. Melihat banyaknya koleksi yang dikumpulkan, sejumlah temannya menganjurkan kepadanya untuk membangun sebuah galeri guna menampung koleksinya yang semakin lama semakin bertambah. Jadilah kemudian geleri tersebut dikenal dengan Museum Sex pertama dan terbesar yang pernah ada.

    sumber: http://www.i-dus.com/2010/10/20-rekor-seks-dunia.html



              World: Humanitarian Coordinator Information Products, 31 July 2017        
    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen


              Italy: Italy Sea Arrivals Dashboard (January - July 2017)        
    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Iraq, Italy, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    Overview

    Between 1 January and 31 July 2017, 95,213 persons arrived in Italy by sea. This is a 2% increase compared to sea arrivals in the same period last year (93,774).

    Trends in sea arrivals should be assessed over time, as fluctuations on a monthly basis may be linked to various factors, including weather and sea conditions or the situation in the countries of departure and origin. Geopolitical developments and the capacity of smugglers to organize departures may also affect sea arrivals.


              Top Libya Official’s Responds Emotionally To Hillary’s Claim Of No Casualties [VIDEO]        
    'The flames of the burning consulate erupt in my mind...'
              Download film The Innocence of Muslims        
    Innocence of Muslims, previously called Desert Warriors and Innocence of Bin Laden, is a 2012 anti-Muslim  film about Muhammad. The trailers for the film, after they were dubbed into Arabic, were cited during the attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions on September 11, 2012. One of these attacks was the storming of the United States Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.
    Download film The Innocence of Muslims
    -----------------------------------------------
    -->
    Innocence of Muslims, previously called Desert Warriors and Innocence of Bin Laden, is a 2012 anti-Muslim  film about Muhammad.
    The trailers for the film, after they were dubbed into Arabic, were cited during the attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions on September 11, 2012. One of these attacks was the storming of the United States Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. The other attacks were in Benghazi, Libya and were primarily directed at the United States consulate, which suffered at least four deaths of U.S. diplomatic personnel, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
    To Download film The Innocence of Muslims :
    -->
    Download : film The Innocence of Muslims
    password : http://essakhir.blogspot.com

    Download film The Innocence of Muslims

              ØµÙˆØ± مقتل السفير الامريكي بليبيا        
    صور مقتل السفير الامريكي بليبيا
    حيث قامت مجموعة مسلحة في بنغازي باقتحام مبنى القنصلية الامريكية امس وحرقه وتسببوا في مقتل السفير الامريكي في ليبيا كريس ستيفنز ، وبعد قتله قاموا بالتمثيل بجثته ، واسفر الهجوم كذلك عن مقتل ثلاثة امريكيين اخرين اثنان منهم من المارينز اضافة الى القنصل الامريكي في بنغازي . و هذه  صور مقتل السفير الامريكي بليبيا

    صور مقتبل السفير الامريكي
    صور مقتبل السفير الامريكي 
    صور مقتبل السفير الامريكي
    صور مقتبل السفير الامريكي
    صور مقتبل السفير الامريكي

    مزيد من صور مقتل السفير الامريكي بليبيا 


              BANG BANG: Dave McDougall        
    [BANG BANG is our week-long look back at 20!!, or "Twenty-bang-bang," or 2011, with contributions from all over aiming to cover all sorts of enthusiasms from film to music to words and beyond.]


    Selected 2011 discoveries, briefly noted and across various media by Dave McDougall.

    ———


    Homeland —— the characters on this show run deep; their history and demons are as much a driver as the twists of plot. Which certainly helps Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin and Damian Lewis and Morena Baccarin act their asses off. Allegiances don't shift as much as they are gradually revealed; even though the audience isn't only in the headspace of Danes' rebellious CIA agent, everything is filtered through the line between the watchers and the suspects, and the further into each world we're given access, the more complicated the line between terrorist and hero. This isn't a war of ideas as much as a war between wounded people who've sided with ideas, and those wounds are what drive both the terrorists and those trying to stop them. This week's showstopping season finale toyed with heavy political and personal dénouement and teased an even greater moral complexity to come. If there's a better show on television right now, I'd like to see it. 

    The Color Wheel (Alex Ross Perry, 2011) —— A masterpiece, a perfect screwball comedy, and a vicious, misanthropic, prickly little thing. What Ignatiy said, and then some.


    And two other filmic masterpieces-to-be-named-later that also tackle communication (and shared histories) between men and women, on which I'll have more to say in the Mubi year-end roundup.

    ———

    Governments toppled, not by social media but by people going to the streets to battle for their due. But the dynamics of open source protest and new media communication flows were a big part of why this was the year that kicked off an #ArabSpring, an indignado movement, a global coalition of #Occupy protests. It's not just coordination of protests but the ability for knowledge flows to reveal the silent political preferences of a people, and to rally supporters to the cause. None of these movements were created by the emergence of social media -- all grew out of previous organization by activists on the ground, over years and decade -- but it's hard to deny that these movements could only coalesce through communication, and that new forms of one-to-many communication smooth the friction of reaching out to wide audiences. 

    ———

    As the 2008 financial crisis has shifted to become a crisis of solvency and liquidity in the Eurozone, the economic intelligence of the left-ish political blogotwittersphere rises almost as fast as events shift; but the key insight is that, unlike the people-powered movements and revolutions mentioned above, the fate of all of our economic lives still hangs in the balance of deals to be cut in back rooms by power brokers. Which, as those same movements will attest, is the opposite of democracy. If the revolutions of Egypt or Libya or Tunisia (or Syria or Bahrain or Yemen, if you're looking for revolutions-in-the-making) were best revealed by the participants themselves in 140 characters (or 140 character updates, compiled), then the stories of our economic dilemmas have been best told by those savvy enough to get to the bottom of capital flows and reveal these inner workings via blogs, articles, and interviews, whose links were embedded in 140-character updates themselves. Information, in all its forms -- pictures, videos, charts, analysis, stories from the front lines -- move and flicker and flow just the ways frames do in the cinema. For me, these were a few of the sources that made the leap to essential in 2011, from the MENA uprisings to the Econopocalyse and the social movements pushing back:




    ———

    Among all the books and blogs and analysis, an epic cornerstone of how to even begin to think of how we got here — David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years. 
    ________________________________

    David McDougall is a writer, filmmaker, and media strategist based in London and Los Angeles. He's got blogs and films and words in various places, some of them on the internet. He twitters here.

              22 Curious Facts About Planet Earth That Will Surprise You         
       Earth isn’t round. Centrifugal force pushes outwards at Earth’s equator giving it a slight waste-line. Standing on that equator you would be spinning around Earth’s center at 1000 miles per hour. At the poles, however, you would be standing still (and turning in a circle) You would still be hurling through space at 67000 miles per hour though The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth’s surface was 136 degrees F or 57.8 degrees C in El Azizia, Libya recorded in 1922. The...

    .
              Lybie : des africains vendus aux enchères sur des marchés aux esclaves modernes        
    Selon l’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations (OIM), des réfugiés originaires d’Afrique
    subsaharienne sont publiquement vendus aux enchères sur des marchés aux esclaves en Libye. Le personnel de l’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations a révélé que des centaines de jeunes africains sont vendus en public dans ce qui sont pour eux de véritables marchés aux esclaves. Pour Mohammed Abdiker, le directeur des opérations et des urgences de l’agence intergouvernementale « La situation est grave« . Il poursuit :
    « Plus l’OIM s’engage en Libye, plus nous apprenons que c’est une vallée de larmes pour de nombreux migrants. Certains rapports sont vraiment horribles et les derniers rapports sur les «marchés aux esclaves» pour les migrants peuvent être ajoutés à une longue liste d’atrocités.
    Un autre employé de l’OIM en Lybie, Othman Belbeisi affirme quant à lui :
    « Il y a en Libye de véritables « marchés d’esclaves Â» où la vente et l’achat des migrants se négocie.  « Vous allez au marché, et vous pouvez payer entre 200 et 500 dollars pour avoir un migrant Â» et l’utiliser pour « vos travaux Â» Â»
    Pour le quotidien d’information britannique The Guardian, ces ventes aux enchères de migrants s’ajoutent au violence sexuelles, à l’esclavage moderne et autres actes barbares commis en Libye. Ce pays d’Afrique du Nord sert de point de sortie majeur pour les migrants africains souhaitant se rendre en Europe, a littéralement sombré dans le chaos suite à l’intervention de l’OTAN visant à renverser le président autoritaire panafricaniste  Muammar Kadhafi en 2011, laissant les migrants sans papier, sans argent et à la merci de la négrophobie nord-africaine.
    L’assassinat de l’ancien dirigeant de la Grande Jamahiriya arabe libyenne populaire et socialiste est l’une des principales causes de la crise migratoire que connait la France et que dénoncent certains candidats à l’élection présidentielle. D’ailleurs, il convient de rappeler que selon  Mahmoud Jibril, serait un agent étranger, probablement français, serait l’assassin. L’ex-responsable des relations avec les agences de renseignements étrangères du CNT ainsi que certains diplomates européens en Libye valident cette thèse.
    kadhafi
    D’aucun affirment que cette opération aurait été menée afin d’éviter tout interrogatoire de Kadhafi au sujet de ses liens avec Nicolas Sarkozy, ou encore au sujet du fait que Bachar al-Assad aurait prêté main-forte aux Français pour localiser Kadhafi. Les africains sub-sahariens payeraient-ils la malhonnêteté et les mensonges de l’ex locataire de l’Élysée ?
    Un sénégalais de 34 ans, anciennement réduit en esclavage a affirmé que beaucoup d’autres comme lui ont été transportés dans un endroit poussiéreux de la ville libyenne de Sabha après avoir traversé le Niger dans un autobus à l’aide de Â«contrebandiers». Le groupe a payé pour être emmené sur la côte, où ils prévoyaient de traverser la Méditerranée vers l’ Europe en bateau. Leur chauffeur avait alors soudainement  prétendu que les intermédiaires n’avaient pas couvert leurs honoraires et qu’ils avaient mis en vente la « cargaison Â» de migrants.
    Livia Manante, un agent de l’OIM basé au Niger a affirmé que :
    « Les hommes ramassés en route ont été emmenés sur une place ou un parking, où une sorte de trafic d’esclaves se produisait […] Il y avait des gens du coin achetant des migrants sub-sahariens Â».
    Elle poursuivra en déclarant :
    « L’OIM Italie a confirmé que cette histoire est semblable à beaucoup d’histoires rapportées par les migrants et recueillies aux points de débarquement en Italie du Sud, y compris les rapports sur le marché des esclaves […] Cela donne plus de preuves que les histoires racontées sont sont véridiques, comme les histoires de ceux qui ont réussi à croiser ceux qui retournent dans leur pays Â».
    politicalbouillon3b
    Ce crime contre l’humanité qui se déroule en ce moment même, nous renvois au dramatique problème de négrophobie au Maghreb (et le reste du monde arabe en réalité).Actuellement, en 2017, la République islamique de Mauritanie tolère toujours l’esclavage ainsi que les violences racistes, qui ont également lieu au Maroc, en Algérie ou en Tunisie.



              Rick Perry makes a campaign stop in that great Florida city of … New Orleans        
    We all know that geography wasn't Rick Perry's best subject at Texas A&M. Neither were "Principles of Economics" or "Organic Chemistry," if you remember that leaked transcript. The Texas governor recently made national news by getting Libya and Lebanon confused. He did it again this week when he transported New Orleans to ... well, just read the post by our Austin bureau colleague Peggy Fikac.
              6 stories the media isn’t writing about the election        
    View image | gettyimages.com Bombs, bread or blind-eyes? Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen… there’s a long list of countries where international military intervention is likely to continue during the 2015 Parliament, even without factoring in the likely impact of events, dear boy, events in adding yet more countries to the list. So how are the […]
              Libya: David Smith in Tripoli on Saif Gaddafi, negotiations, and prospect of Tripoli uprising. Interview: Paul Owen        
    none
              Xan Rice on Gaddafi's waning popularity in Tripoli, Libya        
    none
              Xan Rice in Tripoli, Libya, on Gaddafi's chess match        
    none
              Xan Rice in Tripoli, Libya, on Tripoli views of Gaddafi        
    none
              Xan Rice in Tripoli, Libya on Nato bombings        
    none
              Nowa gra w Spritted!        

    Witamy wszystkich, Dziś mamy niesamowitą wiadomość, nowa gra jest dostępna na naszej stronie internetowej! Kolejna dobra okazja, aby w ten weekend cieszyć się grą! W związku z tym, że jesteśmy już prawie w połowie sierpnia i temperatury wzrastają, pomyśleliśmy, że chcielibyście znaleźć się w miejscu w którym jest trochę chłodniej… W chłodnej Antarktydzie! Pomóż naszemu znajomemu Pingu uratować tyle pingwinów ile tylko zdołasz w tej zamarzniętej wodzie i zdobądź maksymalną liczbę doświadczenia i osiągnięć! Nie czekajcie więcej i wejdźcie już teraz do "Penguin Rescue Hero"! Powiedzcie nam co o tym sądzicie, Wasza opinia jest dla nas bardzo ważna! Udanego weekendu, Zespół Spritted


              Bądźcie na bieżąco!        

    Cześć wszystkim! W Spritted chcielibyśmy wiedzieć, jaka jest Wasza ulubiona gra. Pragniemy, aby wasze doświadczenie było jak najlepsze i potrzebujemy Waszej pomocy! Pamiętajcie, że możecie zostawić Wasze komentarze po każdym meczu, aby poinformować nas co o nim sądzicie! Spritted ma również swoje strony na portalach społecznościowych: Facebook, Twitter, Google +, śledźcie nasze strony, dzięki temu nie przegapicie żadnych nowości, ofert, konkursów ani rankingów! Bądźcie na bieżąco!


              Witamy w Spritted.com        

    Witajcie w Spritted.com! Znajdź najlepsze gry html5 na PC, Android i iPhone. Możesz grać z dowolnego urządzenia, nie tracąc swoich postępów i w dalszym ciągu zdobywać doświadczenie. Jeżeli często gracz w gry, możesz dostać miano najlepszego gracza miesiąca! Wszystkie gry dostępne są w dziewięciu wersjach językowych! Możesz grać w języku niemieckim, czeskim, hiszpańskim, francuskim, włoskim, japońskim, portugalskim i rosyjskim. Inne wersje językowe są już w drodze, zatem jeżeli Twoja wersja językowa nie znajduje się na liście, z pewnością pojawi się już wkrótce! Wyraź swoją opinię na temat gier, chcielibyśmy wiedzieć co o nich sądzisz! Zespół Spritted


              Bogucki: MRiRW kończy prace nad kompleksową strategią promocji polskiej żywności        
    - Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi kończy właśnie prace nad kompleksową strategią promocji polskiej żywności. Będzie to dokument, który przekażemy do konsultacji i uwzględnimy postulaty przedsiębiorstw i organizacji rolniczych. Chcielibyśmy w tym dokumencie odpowiedzieć na pytania jak jeszcze bardziej efektywnie wspierać promocję polskiej żywności. I nie tylko jakie rynki zdobywać, ale jakimi jeszcze metodami można zwiększyć eksport - zapowiada w wywiadzie dla portalspozywczy.pl, Jacek Bogucki, sekretarz stanu w MRiRW.
              In Manchester, Libyan Community Grapples With Impact Of Suicide Bombing        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: British police say they've made immense progress in their investigation into Monday night's suicide bombing in Manchester. They say they've captured a large part of a terror network operating in the city. Nine people are now in custody. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Meanwhile, Manchester's Libyan community is trying to understand why one of its own, Salman Abedi, detonated the bomb that killed 22 people. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from Manchester. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Foreign language spoken). FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: Salman Abedi's father, Ramadan, used to perform the call to prayer here at the Didsbury Mosque. Salman's brother, Ismail, who's reportedly in police custody, taught the Quran. Members say they didn't see much of Salman. And today at Friday prayers, Mohammad el-Khayat, the director of trustees, defended the mosque's reputation. MOHAMMAD EL-KHAYAT: If we are radicalizing people, we would
              What We Know About The Suspect In The Manchester Arena Bombing        
    Updated at 1:30 a.m. ET British police have identified Salman Abedi, 22, as the bomber behind the attack on an Ariana Grande concert Monday in Manchester, England. Abedi died in the bombing, which claimed the lives of at least 22 victims and injured dozens more — many of whom were children. Law enforcement in the U.K. continued to expand its investigation Wednesday, citing a wider terror network and arresting at least eight people in connection with the attack, according to Greater Manchester Police. "Clearly, this was a pretty sophisticated and powerful bomb," a high-ranking Western government official told NPR, explaining that officers believe Abedi received help with the attack. "Our assessment is he did not have the skills to build such a bomb, and the conclusion is there is a bomb-maker out there." Greater Manchester Police say Abedi — a British national whose father, Ramadan, comes from Libya — was part of a wider terror network. His family has come under scrutiny, as well: Libya
              Muslim Migrants Threw Christians Overboard, Italian Police Say        
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

    Transcript

    ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

    We've been reporting this week on the latest migrant tragedies in the Mediterranean. Here's what we know. Hundreds are feared dead this week after boats capsized off the coast of Libya. At the same time, more than 10,000 people have been rescued this week alone.

              Addressing migration challenges in Europe        
    Migrants on a boat
    4 July 2017

    Addressing migration challenges in Europe

    On 29 June, Gérard Collomb, Ministre d’État, Minister of the Interior, received Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. They reaffirmed their decision to work closely together in a spirit of shared solidarity and responsibility, to address migration issues and to strengthen the functioning of the Schengen Area.
     
    Gérard Collomb and Dimitris Avramopoulos noted the worrying situation in Italy where there has been a significant increase in arrivals since the beginning of the year, particularly over the last few days. In this context, they reaffirmed the need to pursue a concerted, global, fair and firm European approach in order to address migration challenges by acting both at European and international level, in particular by reinforcing cooperation with countries of origin and transit.
     
    In line with the work of the European Council of 22 and 23 June 2017, the Minister and Commissioner repeated their commitment to implementing the measures that have been agreed by Heads of State and Government for coping with the arrival of large numbers of illegal economic migrants in Europe via the Central Mediterranean.

    The external dimension of migration issues

    The Minister and the Commissioner stressed how important it is for the European Union (EU) to support Libya, particularly through equipping and training the coast guard. The Commissioner thanked the Minister for the commitment of France in Sahel. Alongside its European partners, France will be able to play a leading role in the migration dialogue that has been established with some countries of origin and transit of the migrants concerned.
     
    Gérard Collomb and Dimitris Avramopoulos are also looking to work closely with other EU Member States to improve the efficiency of the return system with assistance from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), whose role in implementing return operations has recently been strengthened.
     
    The Minister and Commissioner also reiterated the urgency of reaching an agreement on European asylum policy reform, in particular on the Dublin Regulation. The Commissioner welcomed the future plan of action presented by France for achieving more efficient processing of asylum applications and for strengthening the fight against illegal immigration.

    Internal border management

    The European Commission and France are determined to work together to ensure that free movement is maintained within the Schengen Area while guaranteeing a high level of security for European citizens. In this context, Gérard Collomb and Dimitris Avramopoulos discussed their shared concerns about security and the fight against terrorism. They are pleased with the introduction of systematic checks on European citizens at external borders in order to strengthen the management of the EU’s external borders.

              Wywiad z Viktorem Tsoi'em        
    Wszyscy, którym kiedykolwiek przyszło robić wywiad z Viktorem Tsoi'em, na pewno zgodzą się z tym, że było to nielekkie zadanie, nawet dla najbardziej doświadczonych dziennikarzy. Tsoi, jak wiadomo, należał do tego grona muzyków, którzy uważali, iż całkowicie wyrażają siebie w swojej twórczości - nie ma potrzeby uzupełniać czy objaśniać, - i dlatego na najbardziej zawiłe pytania można było otrzymać w najlepszym wypadku lakoniczną odpowiedź. Tym właśnie, sądząc po wszystkim, tłumaczyło się prawie zupełny brak wywiadów z Tsoi'em na stronach tak oficjalnych, jak i niezależnych gazet.
     
    Okazją do przeprowadzenia niniejszego wywiadu były rezulataty niedawnych badań socjologicznych, przeprowadzonych na zlecenie gazety RIO: KINO zostało nazwane najlepszą grupą sezonu 1986/1987 oraz najlepszą grupą 1987 roku. Rozmowa zaczęła się żywiołowo i w takim też tonie była kontynuowana; nie dotyczyła ona żadnych globalnych kwestii związanych ze światem rocka. Być może wywiad ten pomoże komuś lepiej wyobrazić sobie wewnętrzny świat tej bodaj czy nie najbardziej popularnej grupy LenRocka. Być może, komuś wyda się on nadto prostolinijnym i niegłębokim. Być może... Ale zrobiliśmy wszystko, co mogliśmy, - jeżeli ktoś umie, niech zrobi to lepiej.
     
    Ze strony RIO w rozmowie wzięli udział: A. Astrov (Kujbyszew), V. Andriejev, A. Burłaka, G. Kazakov (Kazań). Wszystkim dziękujemy!
     
    - Vitya, pierwsze pytanie będzie takie. Zgodnie z badaniami ekspertów, które miały miejsce w Leningradzie, grupa KINO jest absolutnym liderem radzieckiego rocka jednocześnie w dwóch kategoriach - sama grupa została nazwana nalepszą grupą roku, a piosenka "Sliedi za soboy", odpowiednio, najlepszą piosenką roku. I wszystko to nie bacząc na to, że u was w Leningradzie w zeszłym roku daliście tylko dwa koncerty. Jak możesz wyjaśnić ten fenomen?

    Fot. http://ps-popular-music.blogspot.com/
    2007/08/remembering-viktor-tsoi.html
    - Nie wiem... Dla mnie dziwne jest tylko, że to "Sliedi za soboy". Ta piosenka nie wchodzi do żadnego albumu. A dlaczego tak - ja nie wiem. Myślę, że dużą rolę odegrał nowy album ("Gruppa krovi" - red.). Inaczej jest to po prostu niezrozumiałe.
    - Jak ty sam oceniasz ten album?
    - Na pewno jest on lepszy od pozostałych. We wszystkim, i jest aktuaniejszy. Ale jest w nim też bardzo dużo usterek. My może i chcieliśmy go przerobić, ale potem pomyśleliśmy i zdecydowaliśmy, że jeśli by nieustannie przerabiać wciąż te same piosenki, to... Wiadomo co....
    - Sami go nagraliście?
    - Nagraliśmy sami, w okropnych warunkach, właśnie na taki magnetofon jak wy macie, trochę może lepszy, ale też na takie kasety.
    - Czym spowodowane jest to, że ostatnimi czasy KINO tak rzadko występuje?
    - Tym, że grałem w filmie. To zajęło mnóstwo czasu i dlatego nie było możliwości, by koncertować. Przyjeżdżałem do Leningradu tylko od czasu do czasu. Najdłużej - na dwa tygodnie. I całe te dwa tygodnie dokańczaliśmy album. Dokończyliśmy, i od razu w ten sam dzień wyjechałem.
    - Może opowiesz trochę o tym filmie?
    - No, nie wiem... Myślę, że niedługo się pojawi...
    - A w ogóle zapowiada się ciekawie?
    - (Długie milczenie) Bardzo mi ciężko tak jednoznacznie odpowiedzieć.
    - Czy ma on jakiekolwiek odniesienie do rocka?
    - Nie, żadnego. Oprócz muzyki. Ale cała muzyka jest za kadrem - w kadrze nie śpiewam.
    - Dużo jest w filmie muzyki?
    - Nagrałem pół godziny. Ile wejdzie do filmu - nie wiem.
    - Kto jeszcze tam występuje?
    - Pietia Mamonov.
    - On też śpiewa?
    - On też nie śpiewa. My tam nie śpiewamy. Jesteśmy aktorami.
    - Jaki będzie tytuł filmu?
    - Myślimy wciąż o tym - nie możemy wymyśleć.
    - Kogo grasz w tym filmie?
    - Gram główną rolę - dlatego zabrało to tak dużo czasu. Jestem tam dokładnie taki, jak tu. Nawet tak samo ubrany... No, bohater prawdziwy, pozytywny... Trochę chamowaty, to prawda, ale przy tym, sądzę, że nawet sympatyczny.
    - W związku z tym, że tak dawno nie dawaliście koncertów pojawiły się słuchy, że KINO się rozpadło. Chcielibyśmy, abyś uspokoił naszych czytelników.
    - Nie, to oczywiście nieprawda. Sytuacja była taka, że dużo mnie kosztowało, by przyjechać do Leningradu, kiedy Iurik (Kasparian) wyjechał na dwa miesiące do tej swojej Ameryki - znowu nie możemy funkcjonować. Jedyne, co zdążyliśmy, to zagrać cztery koncerty na tej "Assie" w Moskwie.
    - Mógłbyś określić koncepcję KINO jako grupy? Na przykład, pisaliśmy w naszej gazecie, że KINO przypomina dobrze nastrojony aparat, gdzie wszystkie części są dograne i idealnie pasują do tego aparatu.
    Fot. http://albanadamsview.blogspot.com/
    2010/06/viktor-tsoi-kino-russian-rock-icon.html
    - No ja mogę oczywiście powiedzieć, że KINO to obraz życia i tak dalej... (Ogólny śmiech)
    - Ale w innych "obrazach życia" pojawiają się jakieś wewnętrzne zadrażnienia, może i nawet konflikty, tarcia. U was też? Przynajmniej z wyglądu KINO wywołuje wrażenie absolutnie idealnego mechanizmu.
    - Zawsze są konflikty, bo wszyscy są przecież leniwi bardzo i więcej chcieliby się bawić, aniżeli pracować.
    - Vitya, jak ty myślisz, czego jest więcej w waszej muzyce: spontaniczności czy przemyślenia?
    - Nie wiem. Mamy wszyscy w grupie jakąś taką intuicję - kiedy przychodzę i pokazuję nową piosenkę, zaczynamy rozmawiać na jej temat - co powinien grać bas, co gitara i tak dalej. I kiedy, na przykład, Iurik proponuje taką i taką partię, na ogół rozlega się kilka głosów - "fajnie!", "kicha!", "nie będziemy tego grać!". Po prostu staramy się zrobić tak, żeby wszystkim nam się spodobało. Ale na razie nie zawsze się udaje.
    - Jak wyjaśnisz widoczny postęp Iury jako gitarzysty? Bardzo rzuca się w oczy.
    - Nie wiem. Ja, jak tylko się poznaliśmy, od razu wiedziałem, że jest to człowiek, który myśli w ten sam sposób. Jedyne co, on wtedy nie bardzo umiał grać, ale to nic nie znaczyło... Jest niezwykle melodyjny, on naprawdę się rozwija.
    - Dlaczego w takim razie zaistniała potrzeba, aby wprowadzić do składu grupy jeszcze jednego gitarzystę - Iuriya Boricova?
    - Po prostu się zaprzyjaźniliśmy... To naprawdę bardzo ważne: kiedy jest gitara, gitara basowa i perkusja - grupa dobrze brzmi, i dlatego ja sam niekiedy brałem gitarę, choć trudniej mi występować na koncertach z gitarą - trzeba wtedy bardziej statycznie. Dlatego potrzebny był drugi gitarzysta.
    - Jak dalej będzie się rozwijał sojusz KINO z Kurechinem z jednej strony i sojusz POPMECHANIKI i KINO - z drugiej?
    - Trudno przepowiedzieć, jak to się będzie dalej rozwijało. Na razie nie wiem.
    - Czy wpływ na nazwę KINO miało słowo "wino"? Na ile przypadkowe jest współbrzmienie tych dwóch słów?
    - Z pewnością miało wpływ. Podświadomy.
    - Skąd wzięło się słowo "boshetunmai"? Sam wymyśliłeś?
    - Nie, nie sam. Jest kilka różnych wersji powstania tego słowa.
    - Jaka jest u ciebie?
    - Klasyczna. Po prostu takie ot magiczne słowo.
    - Czego słuchasz obecnie z muzyki zachodniej?
    - Wyłącznie muzyki rozrywkowej. Wcześniej słuchałem niezależnych grup. Wszystkie one takie jakieś nudne są. A jak pokazała praktyka, niezależność grupy nie zawsze idzie w parze z dobrą jakością. Nie wiem, w rzeczywistości nie widzę teraz niczego wyjątkowego i interesującego w muzyce zachodniej. Nie umiem sobie przypomnieć nazwy ani jednej nowej grupy.
    - Każda rock-kultura - bitnicy, hipisi, punki - istnieje powiedzmy około dziesięciu lat. Teraz, w 1988 roku, pokolenie zaczynające z Sex Pistols w 1977 roku w Anglii całkowicie się już zużyło. Wszystko, co mogło się w tej dziedzinie rocka pojawić - pojawiło się i rozwinęło. Nadchodzi czas na coś nowego. Jak wyobrażasz sobie to nowe? Widzisz tego jakieś zaczątki?
    - No, nie wiem. Teraz na razie nie widać choćby najmniejszych "plusknięć" w tym temacie. Dla mnie niezrozumiałym jest co innego: dlaczego w 1990 roku nasze grupy starają się być podobne do punków z 1975, albo jeszcze gorzej - zaczynają grać hard. Po co wybierają sobie analogi i pierwowzory? Właśnie to jest dla mnie całkowicie niezrozumiałe.
    - A ty nie chciałbyś, aby pojawiły się grupy podobne do KINO?
    - Nie. Ja bym chciał, żeby pojawiły się grupy niepodobne do nikogo, żeby wszystkie one były różne.
    - KINO to teraz niemal jedyna w Rosji grupa, której piosenki można zaśpiewać...
    - Nie jedyna. Proszę, Kalinov Most - grupa mi się od razu spodobała właśnie dlatego, że jej piosenki można zaśpiewać.
    - A w Leningradzie?
    - Według mnie, Kostya Kinchev pisze piosenki, które można zaśpiewać. W każdym bądź razie, kiedyś pisał - dawno go już nie słyszałem.
    - Jak odnosisz się do tego, że w Leningradzie ostatnimi czasy narodziła się tendencja do pojawiania się grup, w twórczości których mało jest muzyki, ale za to dużą uwagę przykłada się do społeczno-politycznej tematyki piosenek?
    - A to właśnie zawsze mnie po prostu drażniło. Może i tak trzeba, ale mnie to się bardzo nie podoba. Nie podoba mi się, że grupy się tak jakoś wymieniają. Istnieje i powieść i artykuł w gazecie. Artykuł na przykład o "Siedmiu Symeonach", którzy porwali samolot. Wszyscy go teraz czytają, wyrywają sobie nawzajem gazetę z rąk. A jest przecież i powieść. Powieść - dzieło artystyczne, a artykuł w gazecie to artykuł w gazecie. I właśnie, wydaje mi się, w ostatnim czasie pojawiło się dużo grup, zwłaszcza w Leningradzie, które z jakiegoś powodu zajmują się publikacją, a nie pisaniem piosenek.
    - Posłuchaj, a tobie nie zdaje się, że wszystko to skutek tego, że miał tu miejsce skok od estrady radzieckiej do konceptualnego rocka, przy pominięciu normalnej muzyki pop. Najlepszymi na to przykładami są: "Vos'miklassnica" czy "Kogda tvoia devushka bol'na"...
    - Nie wiem. Osobiście staram się robić właśnie muzykę pop, a nie rock.
    - A nie boisz się, biorąc pod uwagę dzisiejszą koniukturę, oznajmiać, że Viktor Tsoi zajmuje się muzyką pop?
    - Tak, zajmuję się muzyką pop. Muzyka powinna obejmować wszystko: powinna, kiedy trzeba - rozśmieszać, kiedy trzeba - bawić, a kiedy trzeba - skłaniać do refleksji. Muzyka nie powinna tylko i wyłącznie nawoływać do zniszczenia Pałacu Zimowego. Powinno się jej słuchać.
    - Jak oceniasz TELEVIZOR w tym kontekście? Co kieruje Borzikinem - chęć wykorzystania sytuacji, liczenie na szybki sukces, czy to idzie prosto z jego serca?


              Rewolucja w CIT od 2018 r.        
    Podczas spotkania chcielibyśmy zwrócić Państwa uwagę na najważniejsze zmiany w PDOP zapowiadane na rok 2018. Program seminarium: rozdzielenie dochodów kapitałowych od dochodów operacyjnych ograniczenia w odliczalności podatkowej kosztów finansowania usługi niematerialne i WNiP – limity w zaliczaniu do kosztów podatkowych … Continue reading
              What is ISLAM ?        

                       Islam  is the name of a religion founded by Muhammad in ancient Arabia in the 7th century. People who follow Islam are called Muslims. They believe in only one God, That God is called Allah, which is the Arabic phrase for "the (only) God". There is no plural for Allah in the Arabic language. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet(or messenger) of God. Muslims read a holy book called the Qur'an, sometimes also spelled "Koran". Muslims also look to other writings, theSunnah and Hadith, as important guides. In Islam there is only one unforgivable sin, that is worshipping another god or giving gods qualities to a person, animal or drawing.

    As well as having religious laws, Islam has laws on how the government should be run. These laws are called "Shariah Law". Lawyers have looked at Shariah, and interpreted it; these interpretations are called Fiqh.

    Unlike Christianity and Judaism, Islam was not named after its founder,Muhammad, because Muhammad was not considered "holy." 


    Qur'an

    The most holy book in the religion of Islam is the Qur'an. The Qur'an is assumed to be the sayings of Allah. Islam teaches that the Qur'an was revealed by Allah, or God, to Muhammad with the help of an angel called Gabriel. It also teaches that the Qur'an is in heaven and that it is a perfect book. The Qur'an has a total of 114 chapters. In each chapter there are many verses. Many Muslims try to memorize the entire Qur'an and ones that do are generally called upon as Hafiz or Hafez.

    Other important books are the Sunnah, or biographies of Muhammad and Hadith compilations, which are collections of sayings attributed to Muhammad.

    The Five Pillars of Islam

    There are five things that Muslims should do. They are called "The Five Pillars of Islam".

    1. Faith: The Testimony (al-Shahada in Arabic) is the Muslim belief that there is no god but Allah Himself, and that Muhammad is His messenger.

    2. Prayer: Muslims pray five times at special times of the day.

    3. Charity: Muslims who have money must give alms (Zakah or Zakat in Arabic) to help poor Muslims in the local community .

    4. Fasting: Muslims fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year. They do not eat or drink from sunrise till sunset for one lunar month. After Ramadan, there is a holiday called Eid al-Fitr (English: Festival of end-fast). Muslims usually have a party with families and friends and go to the mosque in the morning for a special service.

    5. Hajj (Pilgrimage): During the Hajj season, many Muslims go to Makkah, the holiest city of Islam, which is in Saudi Arabia. Muslims must make the hajj at least once in their life if they can afford to do so. There is no need if a Muslim does not have the money to make the Hajj. At the end of Hajj season, there is a holiday called Eid al-Adha (English: Festival of Sacrifice). Muslims in general who can afford or who have made the Hajj must buy an animal, usually a goat, to sacrifice according to Islamic laws and cook as food or give away to the poor, if they have the money for it. Muslims believe that Abraham, one of Allah's earliest messengers, was told by Allah on the day of Eid al-Adha to sacrifice his son in Jerusalem. But the angel Gabriel congratulated Abraham's obedience to Allah and gave him a lamb instead.


    Place of Worship

    Muslims pray in a mosque, like this one in Jerusalem.

    Muslims, the people who follow the religion of Islam, pray in a holy place called the mosque. Most mosques have at least one dome and some have one or more towers. But a mosque does not need to have a dome or tower. Muslims take their shoes off before entering the mosque to pray. Prayer is one of the most important things that a Muslim does.

    Different movements and beliefs

    Like with other religions, over the time different movements have developed in Islam. These movements are based on different interpretations of the scriptures.

    Sunni

    Sunni Islam is the biggest movement in Islam. About 89% of Muslims are Sunni. [4]After Muhammad died, the Sunnis believed that Abu Bakr should lead Islam. This is because they believe leaders of Islam should be chosen by the consensus of the Ummah, the Muslim world. After he died Omar took his place then Othman then Ali. All of them were companions of Prophet Mohammed and lived in Medina. Sunni beliefs are usually based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah.


    Shi'a

    The Shia are the second largest movement in Islam. About 11% of Muslims are Shi'a. They believe that before Muhammad died, he chose his cousin Ali to come after him as the caliph, the leader of the Muslim world. Shia Muslims think Ali was the first Imam, a leader who was closer to Allah than others. The children of Ali were seen as the next Imams. Shi'a beliefs include the Qur'an and Sunnah, but also the beliefs of the Imam.


    Kharijite

    Kharijites were a movement during the early years of Islam. This movement has no followers today. At first they accepted the rule of Ali, but rejected him to later support the view that Abu Bakr, and his successors were the rightful Caliphs. The only group of Kharijites that still exists are the Ibadi. The Ibadi do not consider themselves to be Kharijite. Most Ibadis live in Oman. Smaller numbers live in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya andZanzibar.   Sometimes, the term Kharijite (or Neo-Kharijite) is also used for some islamic terrorist groups. Examples of such groups are the Groupe islamique armé in Algeria, or the Takfir wal-Hijra in Egypt.


    Sufism

    The Sufi are not a movement like the Sunni or the Shia. They focus more on the spiritual and mysticelements of Islam. Some followers of Sufism are Sunni, others are Shia.



              Cartoon Controversy: Cannon of “Free Speech” versus “Sword of Jihadism”        

    Polarization is Fuelling Extremism and
    Hindering the Spread of Democratic Values


    Najah Kadhim*


    The publication of the infamous cartoons about the
    Holy Prophet (pbuh) in a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten,
    and their republication in other European media have been
    a setback for the spread of free speech and democratic
    values in the Muslim world. They have also been a serious
    obstacle to the attempts to narrow the gap between the West
    and Muslim society.

    In a world of tension, instability and globalization,
    the need for a univision, a building of bridges between
    people and a strengthening of common human values is of
    the utmost importance. Instead, the row generated
    in the aftermath of the publi­cation of the cartoons has
    done exactly the opposite and has been hijacked by the
    extremists on both sides. Reductionism, stereotyping,
    generalization and simplifi­cation, as well as claims to
    the “absolute truth” have become firmly entrenched
    in their minds.

    The radicals in the secularist camp have used the power
    of the media to whip up the argument to promote emotional
    venom in defence of “free speech”. Their action has been
    matched by militant Muslims, who have used the power
    of religion to mobilize mass gatherings around the
    world and thus trigger waves of emotions, violence and
    sloganeering against non-Muslims.
    It is imperative that the wise, reasonable and moderate majority of both camps,
    who believe in the common good of humanity, step in to isolate the Muslim and
    non-Muslim radicals, restore the debate to a constructive dialogue, and prevent
    any further damage to intercommunal relations.

    The Secular Radicals
    In the 1890s, the French newspaper La Libre Parole [Free Speech] ran a series of
    articles and crude cartoons commissioned by its editor, Edouard Drumout, about
    what it saw as the dominance of Jews in Europe in general and France in
    particular. The campaign reached fever pitch in 1894, when Alfred Dreyfus, a
    French artillery officer, was put on trial for treason, an event that split
    French society.

    Europe has had a unique history of turning on its minorities, culminating in the
    greatest violence known to humankind, when 62 million people were slaughtered
    during the Second World War. The Holocaust was Hitler’s attempt to exterminate
    the Jews, who comprised the majority of the victims, though many other groups
    were also put to death, including the Roma, Slavs, Greeks, and even Germans who
    opposed the Nazi regime.

    It is Europe’s history of intolerance, cultural singularity, racism and double
    standards against minorities and the powerless, which worries Muslims and other
    observers, who fear a repeat of these events. Indeed, there have already been
    depressing developments in the early years of the twenty-first century with talk
    of “exit strategy” and “the future of Muslims in Europe”. There is also the fear
    of Islam and Muslims in the minds of some non-Muslims, who practise various
    forms of bigotry against them. It is their anxiety about losing their power to
    the influence of Islamic culture, which could explain the reaction of the
    secularists to the affair of the cartoons in Jyllands-Posten.

    The Danish newspaper, which had commissioned the cartoons, had fully anticipated
    Muslim reaction, yet decided to go ahead with their publication. According to
    the Guardian, it was the same newspaper that, in April 2003, rejected
    unsolicited cartoons about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The editors decided
    that the readers of Jyllands-Posten would not find the cartoons amusing and
    their publication might well provoke an outcry.

    The Danish episode, the republication of the cartoons in various European media,
    the picture of the Prophet on a T-shirt worn by Roberto Calderoli at the Italian
    Embassy in Libya (who has since been forced to resign), the reference to the
    Prophet as a terrorist by the American Reverends Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson
    in 2004: all these events have caused the Muslim community to regard the affair
    as a deliberate insult. What has really stirred up Muslim emotions is not only
    the pejorative depiction of the Prophet but also that the cartoons were designed
    to humiliate and polarize Muslims and remind them that they are clearly Europe’s
    latest “Other”. It is a blunt double standard applied by radicals belonging to a
    civilized and secular society, where people of different backgrounds and faiths
    are supposed to be treated equally and without injustice or gross violation of
    their rights. Should one expect the principle of “freedom of speech” to be
    extended to child pornography or jokes about mentally handicapped people or
    obscene telephone calls, or the many other examples that been mentioned since
    the beginning of this crisis?

    Superficially, it is indeed a double standard. A closer analysis, however,
    reveals it to be a barefaced show of power. It is clearly a form of domination
    with a thin and flimsy veneer of something called “freedom of speech”. Its
    adherents claim for it a sanctity that is not allowed to the Other. It can
    invade the divinity of the Other at will with a fully muscled attack to preserve
    its own sanctity. It claims the right to set its own standard and apply its own
    criteria, yet that right is not granted to the Other.

    This is a display of power, no more and no less. In the past, the cannon of fire
    was used to invade and physically colonize Muslim lands en masse by means of
    military might. Today, it is psychological colonialism using the cannon of “free
    speech” from the European arsenal of media power. The Other has to be confined
    to the Western way of thinking and the Western mentality and mind settings
    dimension to qualify for membership of the “free speech” club and satisfy the
    European power formula. Formerly, it was the enslavement of the land; today, it
    is the enslavement of the mind.

    Another manifestation of this power is the persistence of some Western media
    personnel and politicians in using the _expression “Islamic terrorism”, implying
    that Islam and terrorism are synonymous and, therefore, every Muslim is a
    potential terrorist. This has created a situation in which no followers of other
    faiths have had to endure such extreme alienation or suffer abuse by this power
    so regularly. The feeble excuse given by the users of this _expression is that
    all the terror groups in the Muslim world use the words “Islam” or “Islamic” as
    part of their group names (despite the fact that the largest group is called
    al‑Qa‘idah).

    One might well ask if it is fair to attach such a description to a religion with
    more than 1.3 billions adherents, simply because of the behaviour of a tiny
    minority of militants. When Muslims hear the _expression “Islamic terrorism”, it
    not only angers them consciously, but also implants feelings of frustration and
    uneasiness in their subconscious. The antagonism that is provoked inclines
    Muslims to be unreceptive to Western ideas or even to resist them, to encourage
    extremism or the belief in the “war” of the West versus Islam. Is this not the
    first step to the polarization of or the creation of tension between the two
    camps? Are the Western media and politicians really unaware of the psychological
    and social implications for Muslims when they refer to “Islamic terrorism”? Is
    this _expression used by design or by accident? To me, the former looks more
    plausible than the latter.

    Even if this is the way for the Western media to deal with Muslims in distant
    lands, it is certainly not, as the ideals and principles of freedom and
    secularism suggest, the way to deal with Europe’s minorities, when more than
    half of their members have been born and bred in Europe. Just because the Other
    happens to be connected with the European historical subconscious about Islam or
    is influenced by its geographical proximity to the Muslim world or its cultural
    extension, it does not mean that European Muslims should be dehumanized.

    We constantly hear of Europe’s belief in integration and of some governments
    even following the path to multiculturalism. The reality, however, indicates
    that even in politics, where pluralism can be seen in action, the homogenous
    culture creates its own controversies and has to negotiate a long and bumpy road
    to multiculturalism. There are still more challenges in the social and cultural
    fields. Any minority culture that is understood according to its own merits and
    on its own terms will produce constructive changes and modifications with a
    positive reflection on society as a whole. When the dominant society uses a show
    of force in any form to impose a set of values or rules, the result is changes
    and modifications which are distorted and deformed and which push the minority
    group to the margins of society.

    Minorities will always be on the defensive, and their response to events will be
    reactive rather than proactive. The reality of multiculturalism today is,
    frankly speaking, little more than multicolourism. Western society has become
    somewhat blind to the colour of the skin, yet no real power, no matter how
    little, has been conceded. The West has still not reached the level of
    inclusiveness that would be expected in a modern and mature civilization of the
    twenty-first century. In practice, Europe is still culturucentric, in other
    words, a complete monoculture continues to dominate others.

    Furthermore, are not the Europeans ardent believers in human rights? Belief in a
    faith and its sanctity is a human right. The violation of that right means that
    the freedom to express its divinity and beliefs has been denied. Have human
    rights not been enshrined by the United Nations and have somehow become blended
    smoothly with local culture to produce global values? India and Japan are two
    examples of this phenomenon. So, why do we so often hear about the
    “incompatibility” of “Western values” with Islam? Although it is true that these
    values originated in Europe, which deserves the credit for their humanity, yet
    their propagation throughout the world since the end of the Second World War has
    enabled them to develop a global identity and character.

    However, the radical secularists continue to remind the Other that Western
    values must be imposed, as pure western, because they are superior to anything
    else. In reaction, the radical Muslims and the tyrannical rulers of the Muslim
    countries hinder the establishment of the direct and indirect influences that
    accompany the spread of these values. The fact that these values are promoted by
    Western secularists (interpreted by the Other as Big Brother), generates from
    the Other a type and level of resistance and violence resonant of the colonial
    period. Indeed, following the row over the cartoons, there have been signs of
    the strengthening of forces opposed to democracy and human rights in the Muslim
    countries.

    Philosophically speaking, the West in general, and Europe in particular, do not
    believe in the absolute in theory or in practice. Since the Enlightenment, the
    work and reasoning of European philosophers have focused on the relativism that
    has effectively shaped modernism and postmodernism. The use of “freedom of
    speech” in an absolute manner without any limits or conditions is contrary to
    European tradition and represents serious contradictions in the thinking and
    practice of its societies.

    The publication of the photographs depicting American soldiers abusing prisoners
    in Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and the video film of British soldiers beating
    Iraqi civilians in Basrah have fuelled an already volatile situation and
    provided the radicals with the polarization and the collision course which they
    have wanted and which has been implied by their behaviour.

    Muslim Militancy
    The “clash of civilizations”, an interpretation favoured by some non-Muslims,
    also has many supporters among Muslims.

    The cartoon affair has proved that Muslims are extremely vulnerable to attack by
    the media. This is a weakness that is easily exploited and makes the behaviour
    of Muslims clearly predictable. The level of violence was again expressed in
    various forms and colours, thus showing the militant Muslims to be no better
    than their radical counterparts among the non-Muslims. It was especially
    depressing to see Muslims resorting to violent tactics that included storming
    and setting fire to embassies, broadcasting offensive slogans, and generally
    creating an emotional frenzy.

    What the militant Muslims have shown is their intolerance of the intolerance
    expressed by some of the European media. This is, of course, a contradiction,
    for they were trying to rectify one mistake with another mistake. As the saying
    goes: “Two wrongs do not make a right.” The Holy Qur’an teaches a basic
    principle that one injustice cannot be treated with another injustice.

    The intelligentsia, which normally plays an important role in any mature society
    by supplying ideas, the bloodline of social activity, has failed miserably in
    the Arab and Muslim worlds. As intellectuals, they ought to provide the basic
    models of morality that have the courage to speak the truth. What the world has
    witnessed as events in the Middle East have unfolded, is that the majority of
    intellectuals have paid lip service to the masses, fearful of antagonizing them,
    even when they have been behaving in an irresponsible manner.

    Meanwhile, the storming and burning down of diplomatic missions, contrary to
    international law, seem to have been part of a political agenda. How else could
    people behave in this way in countries where there is a fear throughout society
    of initiating any kind of action, especially in the political arena? We should
    not forget the oppressive regimes of these countries and their effective and
    repressive security apparatus that has full control of events. The violence also
    indicates the presence of extremist social forces outside the government domain,
    which still hold sway in the Muslim world.

    What is more worrying, though they number only a handful, is that militant
    Muslims are resorting to violence in European countries. In early February 2006,
    a bunch of hooligans took the centre stage during a demonstration in London,
    bran­dishing banners inciting murder and using extremely offensive language.
    This demon­s­tration in particular did incalculable damage to the Muslim cause
    and destroyed whatever sympathy was formerly felt by many non-Muslims around the
    world for Muslims and their legitimate concern about the degrading cartoons.
    Indeed, it has since overshadowed the original complaints and reinforced the
    argument by the radical secularists that Muslims are incapable of accepting free
    speech.

    Muslims complain about the double standards of the secularists, yet Muslims also
    forget the equally double standards applied from time to time in Muslim society,
    as well as its apathy and indifference towards the sufferings of other people.
    Examples are the countless murders and kidnappings of civilians – Christians,
    Jews and others – who happen to be Western and in the wrong place at the very
    wrong time. Christians and Jews are also constantly referred to as the “enemy”.
    Even native Christians in the Arab world were frightened in the aftermath of the
    infamous cartoon episode. Nigerian Christians were the target of violent attack
    by their Muslim fellow citizens, who also set fire to churches during yet
    another public protest against the cartoons.

    Racist remarks and graphic anti-Jewish representations are a frequent
    occur­rence, no effort being made to distinguish between Judaism as a religion
    and the policies of the Israeli government. This kind of behaviour is a clear
    violation of the basic principle of the Qur’an that the Christians and Jews are
    also People of the Book. It is also contrary to the practice of the Prophet and
    his Successors, who pioneered the differentiation between combatants and
    civilians in their military campaigns. They were instructed not to kill women,
    children and the elderly, nor to destroy forests, crops, animals and buildings.
    This respect for people and property was applied to both believers and
    unbelievers. One should remember the Prophet’s kind treatment of the Jews, even
    when some of the Jewish tribes in Madinah sided with the Quraysh in the latter’s
    campaign to destroy him. There are numerous other examples that are well
    documented in Islamic and non-Islamic sources, highlighting how far removed is
    the behaviour of the militant Muslims from the practice of the Prophet.

    The violence inflicted on innocent non-Muslims, including women and children,
    has become the unique trademark of the terrorist groups originating in the
    Muslim world. Their methods of killing are devoid of any feelings of remorse or
    humanity, for the concept of perfection is part of their psychological makeup.
    Because they believe that they are God’s purest representatives on this earth,
    they assume that they can act as they please with impunity.

    The imposition of an unquestionable truth means that there is no allowance for
    any variable or any new or formerly unknown concept, since all the decisions
    have been taken and all the problems solved according to a rigid code of conduct
    and ideology. There is no room for the middle ground, for extremists find it
    difficult to adapt to change – especially when it affects their culture – and to
    absorb new ideas. Their resistance leads to violence, the intensity of which
    increases with the level of change that is taking place in society.

    Before long, and as expected according to the physical law (though it is
    difficult to apply the physical law of solid matter to the fluidity of social
    behaviour, yet the comparison is a useful way of explaining the phenomenon), the
    momentum of the killing culture and the inertia of fellow Muslims to halt it
    have been affecting innocent Muslims themselves. Sometimes, the vengeance has
    been fiercer, more blood spilt and the number of victims greater than for
    non-Muslims.

    Soft targets, as witnessed daily in Iraq and from time to time in Saudi Arabia,
    Egypt and elsewhere, as well as the events in Bali, Madrid, London and New York,
    are the professional and preferred methods of the terrorists. Also their other
    true specialism is the attack on cultural and holy places of Muslims and
    non-Muslims. In addition, there is the revival of particularly horrible ancient
    methods, such as beheading, a physically and psychologi­cally cruel and inhumane
    way of killing a person. The terrorists are not only causing death, but also
    employing a means of torture that reflects the level of their hatred and anger.
    Thanks to the violence of the Jihadists, Neo-Salafi and other groups, the name
    and image of Islam have been well and truly blackened. This situation has
    provided the ammunition for some Western media personnel and politicians to
    portray the religion as encouraging terrorism, and Prophet Muhammad and every
    Muslim as congenital terrorists.

    Double standards are manifested in the abusive treatment of minorities in the
    Arab and Muslim worlds, frequently those of the same religion, such as the Kurds
    and black Africans. Another example is the almost total silence of Muslim
    society and its leaders concerning the destruction of the places connected with
    Prophet Muhammad and the early period of Islamic history in Saudi Arabia. His
    birthplace has been converted into a library. The battlegrounds of Madinah, such
    as Uhud, are now covered with concrete.

    During the past 50 years, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina have suffered
    incalculable violence. More than 300 historical sites have been levelled
    systema­ti­cally, only a few historic buildings remain in Mecca, and these are
    about to be demolished.[1]



    “We are witnessing the last few moments of the history of Mecca,” says Sami
    Angawi, a Saudi expert on the Islamic architecture of the Holy City.[2]



    The Way Forward
    On the one hand, there are the radical secularists, who regard Islam as the
    threat to their power at home and abroad. In the minds of some of them, Islam
    has replaced the Soviet Union as the latest political enemy, which needs to be
    dealt with, as they believe, with provocation, polarization and confrontation.
    On the other hand, there are the radical Muslims, whose insecurity and hatred
    find _expression in their wicked use of Islam or the violence of the sword of
    jihadism as their first and last resort to confront non-Muslims, especially
    secularists in the West. Their strategy is to provoke the Western secularists
    into increasing their attacks on Muslims so that new young recruits will be
    attracted to the ranks of the radical groups to fight under the “banner of
    Islam”. There is no doubt that the photographs depicting the abuse of Iraqi
    prisoners by American soldiers and the video film showing British soldiers
    beating Iraqi youths inflame Muslim militancy and complicate the implementation
    of democracy, when the bearers (Coalition forces) of “humane” Western values
    show themselves to be no better than the dictators leading the Muslim reaction.

    These are the people who need to be isolated by the rational majority of Muslims
    and non-Muslims, who believe in the sanctity of human life, and encouraged to
    engage in constructive debate. Muslims in the Muslim world and Muslim minorities
    in the West in particular, need to engage themselves and their communities in
    soul-searching questioning to enable them to argue and articulate their anger in
    other ways whenever they face pressing challenges. They need to create a more
    dynamic relationship with one another and learn to pursue a dialogue in various
    forms such as the written and spoken word, film, art, etc.

    Interfaith dialogue is certainly an important path to pursue, for the common aim
    of all religions is humanity, truth and love. This type of dialogue should not
    be restricted to spiritual matters but examine social and cultural aspects too.

    Muslims need new ideas and modern material and mental tools to equip them for
    influential civic participation, which is important for the Muslim community and
    society in general. Muslim education should include knowledge of one’s rights
    and duties as well as an understanding of citizenship in a modern society. The
    Muslim community should make sophisticated use of the media to project a fair
    represen­tation of its members and should seek to understand the laws of the
    country so as to protect their rights and beliefs.

    Muslims need to be more committed to making a greater contribution to the
    well-being of the society in which they live. The way forward during this
    difficult period is not resentment, withdrawal and the highly charged emotion
    that have isolated them in their own communities. Instead, Muslims should use
    their brains, their knowledge, their creativity and other rational tools to seek
    a place at the heart of society so that they can serve themselves and others,
    regardless of the religion, race or background of the others. That is the
    essence of the Islamic message.

    It is equally important to project a modern, innovative way of reading and
    interpreting Islam. It is necessary to begin with the Qur’an. Its emphasis on
    dialogue should be noted, as well as the way in which it formulates questions
    and references to multifaith societies. A significant reminder of the human
    dimension is how the Qur’an addresses the Prophet: “We sent you but as a mercy
    to the world.” More than 170 verses address humankind as “O people…”. Numerous
    verses refer to “Bani Adam” or the followers of Adam, in other words, humankind.

    There are famous examples of the Prophet’s tolerance and kindness. He cared for
    a lady when she fell ill, despite the fact that it had formerly been her habit
    to throw rubbish at him whenever he passed by her home. He also visited a Jewish
    man when he became ill. These examples and many more should be highlighted and
    disseminated to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

    From the Western point of view, a minority is defined not numerically, but by
    the level of its power and how far others make decisions for it. By granting a
    small proportion of the power available, an effective leadership could be
    created. The result would be social cohesion instead of tension and division
    among the members of society. Thus would be laid the foundation of the harmony
    and dynamism that are necessary to bring out the best in people, regardless of
    their background. In this way, everyone is in a position to make a creative
    contribution to enable the society to compete effectively with other parts of
    the world in a global market. Indeed, a good relationship with the Muslim
    community in the West could help the Western nations to build the urgently
    needed bridges with the Arab and Muslim worlds and narrow the gap of mistrust
    and dislike between the two communities.

    Non-Muslims need to be educated about the immense Muslim contribution to world
    civilization. An awareness campaign should be initiated to inform Muslims of
    their rights and duties as citizens in the West as well to convince Western
    non-Mus­lims that the presence of people from different backgrounds benefits and
    enriches a society. People need to learn true tolerance of those who are
    different, which means the ability to hold a discussion with those whose views
    may be difficult to accept. There is clearly no real dialogue with those who
    share the same outlook on life.

    Non-Muslims are asked to give the Muslims the respect that they deserve. Mutual
    respect at individual and community level promotes mutual understanding with its
    psychological and emotional implications, which finally lead to mental matu­rity
    and tolerance. Respect also encourages responsiveness, interaction and mutual
    participation, which is vital for innovation and creativity in a society in this
    age of rapidly expanding information and knowledge.

    Clear condemnation of the cartoons about Prophet Muhammad was not forth­coming
    from the moderate non-Muslims, and this is necessary for peace and social
    cohesion. It is important, too, for the truthfulness and transparency of Western
    society, that the moderate Muslims are asked to condemn loudly the acts of
    violence by Muslim militants.

    The West is divided over how to deal with Islam, as are the Muslims over how to
    interact with the West. It is the role of the majority and every responsible
    person on both sides to acknowledge and repair the rift, and thus prevent the
    already polarized situation from escalating to a dangerous level. They should
    search for effective ways to reinvigorate the dialogue and thus avoid the
    “dialogue of the deaf”, which has governed intercommunal relations so far.


    *Najah Kadhim is the Executive Director of IFID and a Senior University
    Lecturer, London, England.

              Cartoon Controversy: Cannon of “Free Speech” versus “Sword of Jihadism”        


    Polarization is Fuelling Extremism and Hindering the Spread of Democratic Values


    Najah Kadhim*


    The publication of the infamous cartoons about the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in a
    Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, and their republication in other European
    media have been a setback for the spread of free speech and democratic values in
    the Muslim world. They have also been a serious obstacle to the attempts to
    narrow the gap between the West and Muslim society.

    In a world of tension, instability and globalization, the need for a univision,
    a building of bridges between people and a strengthening of common human values
    is of the utmost importance. Instead, the row generated in the aftermath of the
    publi­cation of the cartoons has done exactly the opposite and has been hijacked
    by the extremists on both sides. Reductionism, stereotyping, generalization and
    simplifi­cation, as well as claims to the “absolute truth” have become firmly
    entrenched in their minds.

    The radicals in the secularist camp have used the power of the media to whip up
    the argument to promote emotional venom in defence of “free speech”. Their
    action has been matched by militant Muslims, who have used the power of religion
    to mobilize mass gatherings around the world and thus trigger waves of emotions,
    violence and sloganeering against non-Muslims.

    It is imperative that the wise, reasonable and moderate majority of both camps,
    who believe in the common good of humanity, step in to isolate the Muslim and
    non-Muslim radicals, restore the debate to a constructive dialogue, and prevent
    any further damage to intercommunal relations.

    The Secular Radicals
    In the 1890s, the French newspaper La Libre Parole [Free Speech] ran a series of
    articles and crude cartoons commissioned by its editor, Edouard Drumout, about
    what it saw as the dominance of Jews in Europe in general and France in
    particular. The campaign reached fever pitch in 1894, when Alfred Dreyfus, a
    French artillery officer, was put on trial for treason, an event that split
    French society.

    Europe has had a unique history of turning on its minorities, culminating in the
    greatest violence known to humankind, when 62 million people were slaughtered
    during the Second World War. The Holocaust was Hitler’s attempt to exterminate
    the Jews, who comprised the majority of the victims, though many other groups
    were also put to death, including the Roma, Slavs, Greeks, and even Germans who
    opposed the Nazi regime.

    It is Europe’s history of intolerance, cultural singularity, racism and double
    standards against minorities and the powerless, which worries Muslims and other
    observers, who fear a repeat of these events. Indeed, there have already been
    depressing developments in the early years of the twenty-first century with talk
    of “exit strategy” and “the future of Muslims in Europe”. There is also the fear
    of Islam and Muslims in the minds of some non-Muslims, who practise various
    forms of bigotry against them. It is their anxiety about losing their power to
    the influence of Islamic culture, which could explain the reaction of the
    secularists to the affair of the cartoons in Jyllands-Posten.

    The Danish newspaper, which had commissioned the cartoons, had fully anticipated
    Muslim reaction, yet decided to go ahead with their publication. According to
    the Guardian, it was the same newspaper that, in April 2003, rejected
    unsolicited cartoons about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The editors decided
    that the readers of Jyllands-Posten would not find the cartoons amusing and
    their publication might well provoke an outcry.

    The Danish episode, the republication of the cartoons in various European media,
    the picture of the Prophet on a T-shirt worn by Roberto Calderoli at the Italian
    Embassy in Libya (who has since been forced to resign), the reference to the
    Prophet as a terrorist by the American Reverends Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson
    in 2004: all these events have caused the Muslim community to regard the affair
    as a deliberate insult. What has really stirred up Muslim emotions is not only
    the pejorative depiction of the Prophet but also that the cartoons were designed
    to humiliate and polarize Muslims and remind them that they are clearly Europe’s
    latest “Other”. It is a blunt double standard applied by radicals belonging to a
    civilized and secular society, where people of different backgrounds and faiths
    are supposed to be treated equally and without injustice or gross violation of
    their rights. Should one expect the principle of “freedom of speech” to be
    extended to child pornography or jokes about mentally handicapped people or
    obscene telephone calls, or the many other examples that been mentioned since
    the beginning of this crisis?

    Superficially, it is indeed a double standard. A closer analysis, however,
    reveals it to be a barefaced show of power. It is clearly a form of domination
    with a thin and flimsy veneer of something called “freedom of speech”. Its
    adherents claim for it a sanctity that is not allowed to the Other. It can
    invade the divinity of the Other at will with a fully muscled attack to preserve
    its own sanctity. It claims the right to set its own standard and apply its own
    criteria, yet that right is not granted to the Other.

    This is a display of power, no more and no less. In the past, the cannon of fire
    was used to invade and physically colonize Muslim lands en masse by means of
    military might. Today, it is psychological colonialism using the cannon of “free
    speech” from the European arsenal of media power. The Other has to be confined
    to the Western way of thinking and the Western mentality and mind settings
    dimension to qualify for membership of the “free speech” club and satisfy the
    European power formula. Formerly, it was the enslavement of the land; today, it
    is the enslavement of the mind.

    Another manifestation of this power is the persistence of some Western media
    personnel and politicians in using the _expression “Islamic terrorism”, implying
    that Islam and terrorism are synonymous and, therefore, every Muslim is a
    potential terrorist. This has created a situation in which no followers of other
    faiths have had to endure such extreme alienation or suffer abuse by this power
    so regularly. The feeble excuse given by the users of this _expression is that
    all the terror groups in the Muslim world use the words “Islam” or “Islamic” as
    part of their group names (despite the fact that the largest group is called
    al‑Qa‘idah).

    One might well ask if it is fair to attach such a description to a religion with
    more than 1.3 billions adherents, simply because of the behaviour of a tiny
    minority of militants. When Muslims hear the _expression “Islamic terrorism”, it
    not only angers them consciously, but also implants feelings of frustration and
    uneasiness in their subconscious. The antagonism that is provoked inclines
    Muslims to be unreceptive to Western ideas or even to resist them, to encourage
    extremism or the belief in the “war” of the West versus Islam. Is this not the
    first step to the polarization of or the creation of tension between the two
    camps? Are the Western media and politicians really unaware of the psychological
    and social implications for Muslims when they refer to “Islamic terrorism”? Is
    this _expression used by design or by accident? To me, the former looks more
    plausible than the latter.

    Even if this is the way for the Western media to deal with Muslims in distant
    lands, it is certainly not, as the ideals and principles of freedom and
    secularism suggest, the way to deal with Europe’s minorities, when more than
    half of their members have been born and bred in Europe. Just because the Other
    happens to be connected with the European historical subconscious about Islam or
    is influenced by its geographical proximity to the Muslim world or its cultural
    extension, it does not mean that European Muslims should be dehumanized.

    We constantly hear of Europe’s belief in integration and of some governments
    even following the path to multiculturalism. The reality, however, indicates
    that even in politics, where pluralism can be seen in action, the homogenous
    culture creates its own controversies and has to negotiate a long and bumpy road
    to multiculturalism. There are still more challenges in the social and cultural
    fields. Any minority culture that is understood according to its own merits and
    on its own terms will produce constructive changes and modifications with a
    positive reflection on society as a whole. When the dominant society uses a show
    of force in any form to impose a set of values or rules, the result is changes
    and modifications which are distorted and deformed and which push the minority
    group to the margins of society.

    Minorities will always be on the defensive, and their response to events will be
    reactive rather than proactive. The reality of multiculturalism today is,
    frankly speaking, little more than multicolourism. Western society has become
    somewhat blind to the colour of the skin, yet no real power, no matter how
    little, has been conceded. The West has still not reached the level of
    inclusiveness that would be expected in a modern and mature civilization of the
    twenty-first century. In practice, Europe is still culturucentric, in other
    words, a complete monoculture continues to dominate others.

    Furthermore, are not the Europeans ardent believers in human rights? Belief in a
    faith and its sanctity is a human right. The violation of that right means that
    the freedom to express its divinity and beliefs has been denied. Have human
    rights not been enshrined by the United Nations and have somehow become blended
    smoothly with local culture to produce global values? India and Japan are two
    examples of this phenomenon. So, why do we so often hear about the
    “incompatibility” of “Western values” with Islam? Although it is true that these
    values originated in Europe, which deserves the credit for their humanity, yet
    their propagation throughout the world since the end of the Second World War has
    enabled them to develop a global identity and character.

    However, the radical secularists continue to remind the Other that Western
    values must be imposed, as pure western, because they are superior to anything
    else. In reaction, the radical Muslims and the tyrannical rulers of the Muslim
    countries hinder the establishment of the direct and indirect influences that
    accompany the spread of these values. The fact that these values are promoted by
    Western secularists (interpreted by the Other as Big Brother), generates from
    the Other a type and level of resistance and violence resonant of the colonial
    period. Indeed, following the row over the cartoons, there have been signs of
    the strengthening of forces opposed to democracy and human rights in the Muslim
    countries.

    Philosophically speaking, the West in general, and Europe in particular, do not
    believe in the absolute in theory or in practice. Since the Enlightenment, the
    work and reasoning of European philosophers have focused on the relativism that
    has effectively shaped modernism and postmodernism. The use of “freedom of
    speech” in an absolute manner without any limits or conditions is contrary to
    European tradition and represents serious contradictions in the thinking and
    practice of its societies.

    The publication of the photographs depicting American soldiers abusing prisoners
    in Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and the video film of British soldiers beating
    Iraqi civilians in Basrah have fuelled an already volatile situation and
    provided the radicals with the polarization and the collision course which they
    have wanted and which has been implied by their behaviour.

    Muslim Militancy
    The “clash of civilizations”, an interpretation favoured by some non-Muslims,
    also has many supporters among Muslims.

    The cartoon affair has proved that Muslims are extremely vulnerable to attack by
    the media. This is a weakness that is easily exploited and makes the behaviour
    of Muslims clearly predictable. The level of violence was again expressed in
    various forms and colours, thus showing the militant Muslims to be no better
    than their radical counterparts among the non-Muslims. It was especially
    depressing to see Muslims resorting to violent tactics that included storming
    and setting fire to embassies, broadcasting offensive slogans, and generally
    creating an emotional frenzy.

    What the militant Muslims have shown is their intolerance of the intolerance
    expressed by some of the European media. This is, of course, a contradiction,
    for they were trying to rectify one mistake with another mistake. As the saying
    goes: “Two wrongs do not make a right.” The Holy Qur’an teaches a basic
    principle that one injustice cannot be treated with another injustice.

    The intelligentsia, which normally plays an important role in any mature society
    by supplying ideas, the bloodline of social activity, has failed miserably in
    the Arab and Muslim worlds. As intellectuals, they ought to provide the basic
    models of morality that have the courage to speak the truth. What the world has
    witnessed as events in the Middle East have unfolded, is that the majority of
    intellectuals have paid lip service to the masses, fearful of antagonizing them,
    even when they have been behaving in an irresponsible manner.

    Meanwhile, the storming and burning down of diplomatic missions, contrary to
    international law, seem to have been part of a political agenda. How else could
    people behave in this way in countries where there is a fear throughout society
    of initiating any kind of action, especially in the political arena? We should
    not forget the oppressive regimes of these countries and their effective and
    repressive security apparatus that has full control of events. The violence also
    indicates the presence of extremist social forces outside the government domain,
    which still hold sway in the Muslim world.

    What is more worrying, though they number only a handful, is that militant
    Muslims are resorting to violence in European countries. In early February 2006,
    a bunch of hooligans took the centre stage during a demonstration in London,
    bran­dishing banners inciting murder and using extremely offensive language.
    This demon­s­tration in particular did incalculable damage to the Muslim cause
    and destroyed whatever sympathy was formerly felt by many non-Muslims around the
    world for Muslims and their legitimate concern about the degrading cartoons.
    Indeed, it has since overshadowed the original complaints and reinforced the
    argument by the radical secularists that Muslims are incapable of accepting free
    speech.

    Muslims complain about the double standards of the secularists, yet Muslims also
    forget the equally double standards applied from time to time in Muslim society,
    as well as its apathy and indifference towards the sufferings of other people.
    Examples are the countless murders and kidnappings of civilians – Christians,
    Jews and others – who happen to be Western and in the wrong place at the very
    wrong time. Christians and Jews are also constantly referred to as the “enemy”.
    Even native Christians in the Arab world were frightened in the aftermath of the
    infamous cartoon episode. Nigerian Christians were the target of violent attack
    by their Muslim fellow citizens, who also set fire to churches during yet
    another public protest against the cartoons.

    Racist remarks and graphic anti-Jewish representations are a frequent
    occur­rence, no effort being made to distinguish between Judaism as a religion
    and the policies of the Israeli government. This kind of behaviour is a clear
    violation of the basic principle of the Qur’an that the Christians and Jews are
    also People of the Book. It is also contrary to the practice of the Prophet and
    his Successors, who pioneered the differentiation between combatants and
    civilians in their military campaigns. They were instructed not to kill women,
    children and the elderly, nor to destroy forests, crops, animals and buildings.
    This respect for people and property was applied to both believers and
    unbelievers. One should remember the Prophet’s kind treatment of the Jews, even
    when some of the Jewish tribes in Madinah sided with the Quraysh in the latter’s
    campaign to destroy him. There are numerous other examples that are well
    documented in Islamic and non-Islamic sources, highlighting how far removed is
    the behaviour of the militant Muslims from the practice of the Prophet.

    The violence inflicted on innocent non-Muslims, including women and children,
    has become the unique trademark of the terrorist groups originating in the
    Muslim world. Their methods of killing are devoid of any feelings of remorse or
    humanity, for the concept of perfection is part of their psychological makeup.
    Because they believe that they are God’s purest representatives on this earth,
    they assume that they can act as they please with impunity.

    The imposition of an unquestionable truth means that there is no allowance for
    any variable or any new or formerly unknown concept, since all the decisions
    have been taken and all the problems solved according to a rigid code of conduct
    and ideology. There is no room for the middle ground, for extremists find it
    difficult to adapt to change – especially when it affects their culture – and to
    absorb new ideas. Their resistance leads to violence, the intensity of which
    increases with the level of change that is taking place in society.

    Before long, and as expected according to the physical law (though it is
    difficult to apply the physical law of solid matter to the fluidity of social
    behaviour, yet the comparison is a useful way of explaining the phenomenon), the
    momentum of the killing culture and the inertia of fellow Muslims to halt it
    have been affecting innocent Muslims themselves. Sometimes, the vengeance has
    been fiercer, more blood spilt and the number of victims greater than for
    non-Muslims.

    Soft targets, as witnessed daily in Iraq and from time to time in Saudi Arabia,
    Egypt and elsewhere, as well as the events in Bali, Madrid, London and New York,
    are the professional and preferred methods of the terrorists. Also their other
    true specialism is the attack on cultural and holy places of Muslims and
    non-Muslims. In addition, there is the revival of particularly horrible ancient
    methods, such as beheading, a physically and psychologi­cally cruel and inhumane
    way of killing a person. The terrorists are not only causing death, but also
    employing a means of torture that reflects the level of their hatred and anger.
    Thanks to the violence of the Jihadists, Neo-Salafi and other groups, the name
    and image of Islam have been well and truly blackened. This situation has
    provided the ammunition for some Western media personnel and politicians to
    portray the religion as encouraging terrorism, and Prophet Muhammad and every
    Muslim as congenital terrorists.

    Double standards are manifested in the abusive treatment of minorities in the
    Arab and Muslim worlds, frequently those of the same religion, such as the Kurds
    and black Africans. Another example is the almost total silence of Muslim
    society and its leaders concerning the destruction of the places connected with
    Prophet Muhammad and the early period of Islamic history in Saudi Arabia. His
    birthplace has been converted into a library. The battlegrounds of Madinah, such
    as Uhud, are now covered with concrete.

    During the past 50 years, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina have suffered
    incalculable violence. More than 300 historical sites have been levelled
    systema­ti­cally, only a few historic buildings remain in Mecca, and these are
    about to be demolished.[1]



    “We are witnessing the last few moments of the history of Mecca,” says Sami
    Angawi, a Saudi expert on the Islamic architecture of the Holy City.[2]



    The Way Forward
    On the one hand, there are the radical secularists, who regard Islam as the
    threat to their power at home and abroad. In the minds of some of them, Islam
    has replaced the Soviet Union as the latest political enemy, which needs to be
    dealt with, as they believe, with provocation, polarization and confrontation.
    On the other hand, there are the radical Muslims, whose insecurity and hatred
    find _expression in their wicked use of Islam or the violence of the sword of
    jihadism as their first and last resort to confront non-Muslims, especially
    secularists in the West. Their strategy is to provoke the Western secularists
    into increasing their attacks on Muslims so that new young recruits will be
    attracted to the ranks of the radical groups to fight under the “banner of
    Islam”. There is no doubt that the photographs depicting the abuse of Iraqi
    prisoners by American soldiers and the video film showing British soldiers
    beating Iraqi youths inflame Muslim militancy and complicate the implementation
    of democracy, when the bearers (Coalition forces) of “humane” Western values
    show themselves to be no better than the dictators leading the Muslim reaction.

    These are the people who need to be isolated by the rational majority of Muslims
    and non-Muslims, who believe in the sanctity of human life, and encouraged to
    engage in constructive debate. Muslims in the Muslim world and Muslim minorities
    in the West in particular, need to engage themselves and their communities in
    soul-searching questioning to enable them to argue and articulate their anger in
    other ways whenever they face pressing challenges. They need to create a more
    dynamic relationship with one another and learn to pursue a dialogue in various
    forms such as the written and spoken word, film, art, etc.

    Interfaith dialogue is certainly an important path to pursue, for the common aim
    of all religions is humanity, truth and love. This type of dialogue should not
    be restricted to spiritual matters but examine social and cultural aspects too.

    Muslims need new ideas and modern material and mental tools to equip them for
    influential civic participation, which is important for the Muslim community and
    society in general. Muslim education should include knowledge of one’s rights
    and duties as well as an understanding of citizenship in a modern society. The
    Muslim community should make sophisticated use of the media to project a fair
    represen­tation of its members and should seek to understand the laws of the
    country so as to protect their rights and beliefs.

    Muslims need to be more committed to making a greater contribution to the
    well-being of the society in which they live. The way forward during this
    difficult period is not resentment, withdrawal and the highly charged emotion
    that have isolated them in their own communities. Instead, Muslims should use
    their brains, their knowledge, their creativity and other rational tools to seek
    a place at the heart of society so that they can serve themselves and others,
    regardless of the religion, race or background of the others. That is the
    essence of the Islamic message.

    It is equally important to project a modern, innovative way of reading and
    interpreting Islam. It is necessary to begin with the Qur’an. Its emphasis on
    dialogue should be noted, as well as the way in which it formulates questions
    and references to multifaith societies. A significant reminder of the human
    dimension is how the Qur’an addresses the Prophet: “We sent you but as a mercy
    to the world.” More than 170 verses address humankind as “O people…”. Numerous
    verses refer to “Bani Adam” or the followers of Adam, in other words, humankind.

    There are famous examples of the Prophet’s tolerance and kindness. He cared for
    a lady when she fell ill, despite the fact that it had formerly been her habit
    to throw rubbish at him whenever he passed by her home. He also visited a Jewish
    man when he became ill. These examples and many more should be highlighted and
    disseminated to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

    From the Western point of view, a minority is defined not numerically, but by
    the level of its power and how far others make decisions for it. By granting a
    small proportion of the power available, an effective leadership could be
    created. The result would be social cohesion instead of tension and division
    among the members of society. Thus would be laid the foundation of the harmony
    and dynamism that are necessary to bring out the best in people, regardless of
    their background. In this way, everyone is in a position to make a creative
    contribution to enable the society to compete effectively with other parts of
    the world in a global market. Indeed, a good relationship with the Muslim
    community in the West could help the Western nations to build the urgently
    needed bridges with the Arab and Muslim worlds and narrow the gap of mistrust
    and dislike between the two communities.

    Non-Muslims need to be educated about the immense Muslim contribution to world
    civilization. An awareness campaign should be initiated to inform Muslims of
    their rights and duties as citizens in the West as well to convince Western
    non-Mus­lims that the presence of people from different backgrounds benefits and
    enriches a society. People need to learn true tolerance of those who are
    different, which means the ability to hold a discussion with those whose views
    may be difficult to accept. There is clearly no real dialogue with those who
    share the same outlook on life.

    Non-Muslims are asked to give the Muslims the respect that they deserve. Mutual
    respect at individual and community level promotes mutual understanding with its
    psychological and emotional implications, which finally lead to mental matu­rity
    and tolerance. Respect also encourages responsiveness, interaction and mutual
    participation, which is vital for innovation and creativity in a society in this
    age of rapidly expanding information and knowledge.

    Clear condemnation of the cartoons about Prophet Muhammad was not forth­coming
    from the moderate non-Muslims, and this is necessary for peace and social
    cohesion. It is important, too, for the truthfulness and transparency of Western
    society, that the moderate Muslims are asked to condemn loudly the acts of
    violence by Muslim militants.

    The West is divided over how to deal with Islam, as are the Muslims over how to
    interact with the West. It is the role of the majority and every responsible
    person on both sides to acknowledge and repair the rift, and thus prevent the
    already polarized situation from escalating to a dangerous level. They should
    search for effective ways to reinvigorate the dialogue and thus avoid the
    “dialogue of the deaf”, which has governed intercommunal relations so far.


    *Najah Kadhim is the Executive Director of IFID and a Senior University
    Lecturer, London, England.

              Misconceptions about Islam        
    Misconception #1: Muslims worship a different God

    First of all, there is only One God who created the Universe and all of mankind. Throughout history, people have created false gods in their minds and come up with false ideas about Almighty God, but regardless of this there is still only One True God - and He alone is worthy of worship. Unfortunately, some non-Muslims have come to incorrectly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians. This might be due to the fact that Muslims sometimes refer to God as "Allah", but also because over the centuries there have been many lies and distortions spread by the enemies of Islam. In actuality, Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus --- the same God as Christians and Jews. The word "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God and it is the same word that Arabic speaking Christians and Jews use to refer to God. If you pick up an Arabic translation of the Christian Bible, you will see the word "Allah" where "God" is used in English. For more information on the word "Allah", please read: Who is Allah? But even though Muslims, Jews and Christians believe in the same God, their concepts about Him differ quite a bit. For example, Muslims reject the idea of the Trinity or that God has become "incarnate" in the world. Also, the teachings of Islam do not rely on or appeal to "mystery" or "paradox" --- they are straightforward and clear. Islam teaches that God is Merciful, Loving and Compassionate and that He has no need to become man (nor do humans need for Him to). One of the unique aspects of Islam is that it teaches that man can have a personal and fulfilling relationship with Almighty God without compromising the transcendence of God. In Islam there is no ambiguity in Divinity --- God is God and man is man. Muslims believe that God is the "Most Merciful", and that he deals directly with human-beings without the need of any intermediary. Actually, the phrase "In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful" is one of the most repeated verses in the Holy Qur'an. Additionally, the pure and straightforward teachings of Islam demand that Almighty God be approached directly and without intermediaries. This is because Muslims believe that God is completely in control of everything and that He can bestow His Grace and Mercy on His creatures as He pleases - no Atonement, Incarnation or blood sacrifice is necessary. In summary, Islam calls people to submit to the One True God and to worship Him alone.

    Misconception #2: Muslims worship Muhammad

    According to Islamic belief, the Prophet Muhammad was the last Messenger of God. He, like all of God's prophets and messengers - such as Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus -- was only a human being. Christians came to the mistaken assumption that Muslims worship Muhammad by formulating an incorrect analogy - they worship Jesus so they assumed Muslims worship Muhammad. This is one of the reasons that they called Muslims by the incorrect name "Mohammedans" for so many years! Muhammad, like Jesus, never claimed divine status. He called people to worship only Almighty God, and he continually emphasized his humanity so that people would not fall into the same errors as Christians did in regards to Jesus. In order to prevent his deification, the Prophet Muhammad always said to refer to him as "the Messenger of God and His slave". Muhammad was chosen to be God's final messenger --- to communicate the message not only in words but to be a living example of the message. Muslims love and respect him because he was of the highest moral character and he brought the Truth from God - which is the Pure Monotheism of Islam. Even when Islam was in its very early stages, God revealed that Muhammad "was sent as a mercy to all of mankind" - thus informing us that the message of Islam would become very widespread. Muslims strive to follow the great example of Muhammad, peace be upon him, but they do not worship him in any way. Additionally, Islam teaches Muslims to respect all of God's prophets and messengers - but respecting and loving them does not mean worshipping them. All true Muslims realize that all worship and prayer must be directed to Almighty God alone. Suffice it to say that worshipping Muhammad --- or anyone else --- along with Almighty God is considered to be the worst sin in Islam. Even if a person claims to be Muslim, but they worship and pray to other than Almighty God, this cancels and nullifies their Islam. The Declaration of Faith of Islam makes it clear that Muslims are taught only to worship God. This declaration is as follows: "There is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God, and Muhammad is the Messenger and Servant of God".

    Misconception #3: Islam is a religion only for Arabs

    The fastest way to prove that this is completely false is to state the fact that only about 15% to 20% of the Muslims in the world are Arabs. There are more Indian Muslims than Arab Muslims, and more Indonesian Muslims than Indian Muslims! Believing that Islam is only a religion for Arabs is a myth that was spread by the enemies of Islam early in its history. This mistaken assumption is possibly based on the fact that most of the first generation of Muslims were Arabs, the Qur'an is in Arabic and the Prophet Muhammad was an Arab. However, both the teachings of Islam and the history of its spread show that the early Muslims made every effort to spread their message of Truth to all nations, races and peoples. Furthermore, it should be clarified that not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. An Arab can be a Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist - or of any other religion or ideology. Also, many countries that some people consider to be "Arab" are not "Arab" at all -- such as Turkey and Iran (Persia). The people who live in these countries speak languages other than Arabic as their native tongues and are of a different ethnic heritage than the Arabs. It is important to realize that from the very beginning of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, his followers came from a wide spectrum of individuals -- there was Bilal, the African slave; Suhaib, the Byzantine Roman; Ibn Salam, the Jewish Rabbi; and Salman, the Persian. Since religious truth is eternal and unchanging, and mankind is one universal brotherhood, Islam teaches that Almighty God's revelations to mankind have always been consistent, clear and universal. The Truth of Islam is meant for all people regardless of race, nationality or linguistic background. Taking a look at the Muslim World, from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Malaysia to Afghanistan is enough to prove that Islam is a Universal message for all of mankind --- not to mention the fact that significant numbers of Europeans and Americans of all races and ethnic backgrounds are coming into Islam.


    Misconception #4: Islam degrades women

    Even though many aspects of Islam are misunderstood by non-Muslims, the ignorance, misinformation and incorrect assumptions that are made in regards to Islam's treatment of women are probably the most severe. Numerous verses of the Qur'an make it clear that men and women are equal in the site of God. According to the teachings of Islam, the only thing that distinguishes people in the site of God is their level of God-consciousness. Due to this, many people are surprised to find out that Islamic Law guaranteed rights to women over 1400 years ago that women in the Europe and America only obtained recently. For example, Islam clearly teaches that a woman is a full-person under the law, and is the spiritual equal of a male. Also, according to Islamic Law, women have the right to own property, operate a business and receive equal pay for equal work. Women are allowed total control of their wealth, they cannot be married against their will and they are allowed to keep their own name when married. Additionally, they have the right to inherit property and to have their marriage dissolved in the case of neglect or mistreatment. Also, Islam does not consider woman an "evil temptress", and thus does not blame woman for the "original sin". Women in Islam participate in all forms of worship that men participate in. Actually, the rights that Islam gave to women over 1400 years ago were almost unheard of in the West until the 1900s. Less than fifty years ago in England and America, a woman could not buy a house or car without the co-signature of her father or husband! Additionally, Islam gives great respect to women and their role in society --- it gives them the right to own property, marry who they want and many other rights. Also, it should be mentioned that the Prophet Muhammad's mission stopped many of the horrible practices in regards to women that were present in the society of his time. For example, the Qur'an put an end to the pagan Arab practice of killing their baby daughters when they were born. Additionally, Islam put restrictions on the unrestricted polygamy of the Arabs of the time, and put many laws in place to protect the well-being of women. Today, most of the so-called reforms in the status of women came about after the West abandoned religion for secularism. Even those in the West who claim to follow the so-called "Judeo-Christian tradition" really follow the values of Western liberalism --- but just to a lesser degree than their more liberal countrymen. For more on this subject, please read: Women in Islam versus Women in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition --- The Myth and The Reality. If women in the Muslim World today don't have their rights, it is not because Islam did not give them to them. The problem is that in many places alien traditions have come to overshadow the teachings of Islam, either through ignorance or the impact of Colonialization.


    Misconception #5: Muhammad wrote the Qur'an

    In addressing this misconception, it is interesting to not that no other religious scripture claims to the direct word of Almighty in toto as clear and as often as the Holy Qur'an. As the Qur'an clearly says: "if had been written by man, you would have found many discrepancies therein". At the time the Qur'an was revealed, the Arabs recognized that the language of the Qur'an was unique and that it was distinctly different from the language normally used by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. The Arabs of that time, by the way, were known for their beautiful poetry and Muhammad was known to be an illiterate man! The Qur'an clearly says that Muhammad was unable to read and write, so if this wasn't true, certainly his contemporaries would have protested and rejected him. However, there are no reports of this. Certainly there were people who rejected Muhammad's message, just like other prophets were rejected, but none for this reason. On the contrary, Muhammad, peace be upon him, had thousands of loyal followers and the results of their efforts spread Islam from Spain to China in just over a century! It is also interesting to note that even though the Qur'an is not poetry, the Arabs more or less gave up writing poetry after it was revealed. It could be said that the Qur'an is the piece of Arabic literature par excellence - and Muhammad's contemporaries realized that they couldn't out do it. Additionally, it is easy to prove that Muhammad did not possess a great deal of the knowledge which is expounded in the Qur'an: such as knowledge of historical events, previous prophets and natural phenomenon. The Qur'an says in several places that Muhammad and his people did not know these things - so, again, if this wasn't true, certainly his contemporaries would have rejected his claims. Suffice it to say that not only is the Qur'an the most memorized and well preserved scripture on earth, it is also unequaled in eloquence, spiritual impact, clarity of message and the purity of its truth.


    Misconception #6: Islam was spread by the sword

    Many non-Muslims, when they think about Islam, picture religious fanatics on camels with a sword in one hand and a Qur'an in the other. This myth, which was made popular in Europe during the Crusades, is totally baseless. First of all, the Holy Qur'an clearly says "Let there be no compulsion in religion". In addition to this, Islam teaches that a person's faith must be pure and sincere, so it is certainly not something that can be forced on someone. In debunking the myth that Islam was "spread by the sword", the (non-Muslim) historian De Lacy O' Leary wrote: "History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever accepted." (Islam at the Crossroads, London, 1923, p. 8.). It should also be known that Muslims ruled Spain for roughly 800 years. During this time, and up to when they were finally forced out, the non-Muslims there were alive and flourishing. Additionally, Christian and Jewish minorities have survived in the Muslim lands of the Middle East for centuries. Countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan all have Christian and/or Jewish populations. If Islam taught that all people are supposed to be killed or forced to become Muslims, how did all of these non-Muslims survive for so long in the middle of the Islamic Empire? Additionally, if one considers the small number of Muslims who initially spread Islam from Spain and Morocco in the West to India and China in the East, one would realize that they were far too few to force people to be members of a religion against their will. Additionally, the great empire and civilization established by the Muslims had great staying power -- its citizens were proud to be part of it. The spread of Islam stands in contrast to the actions of the followers of Christianity, who since the time of the Emperor Constantine have made liberal use of the sword - often basing their conduct on Biblical verses. This was especially true of the colonization of South America and Africa, where native peoples were systematically wiped-out or forced to convert. It is also interesting to note that when the Mongols invaded and conquered large portions of the Islamic Empire, instead of destroying the religion, they adopted it. This is a unique occurrence in history - the conquerors adopting the religion of the conquered! Since they were the victors, they certainly could not have been forced to become Muslims! Ask any of the over one billion Muslims alive in the world today whether they were forced! The largest Muslim country in the world today is Indonesia --- and there were never any battles fought there! So where was the sword? How could someone be forced to adhere to a spiritually rewarding and demanding religion like Islam?


    Misconception #7: Muslims hate Jesus

    Many non-Muslims are surprised to find out that according to Muslim belief, Jesus, the son of Mary, is one of the greatest messengers of God. Muslims are taught to love Jesus, and a person cannot be a Muslim without believing in the virgin birth and miracles of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. Muslims believe these things about Jesus not because of the Bible or any other religion, but simply because the Holy Qur'an says these things about him. However, Muslims always emphasize that the miracles of Jesus, and all other prophets, were by "God's permission". This having been said, many Christians feel to not believe that Jesus is the "Son of God", "God Incarnate" or the "Second Person" of the Trinity. This is because the Qur'an clearly says that Almighty God does not have a "Son" --- neither allegorically, physically, metaphorically or metaphysically. The Pure Monotheism of Islam rejects the notion of "defining" God (which is basically what the "Doctrine of the Trinity" does), saying that someone is "like" God or equal to him, or praying to someone else besides God. Also, Islam teaches that titles such as "Lord" and "Savior" are due to God alone. In order to avoid misunderstanding, it should be clarified that when Muslims criticize the Bible or the teachings of Christianity, they are not attacking "God's Word" or Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. From the Muslim point of view, they are defending Jesus and God's Word --- which they have in the form of the Qur'an. Muslim criticism is targeted at writings that some people claim are God's word, but Muslim's simply don't accept their claim that they are really God's word in toto. Additionally, Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and the Atonement are criticized by Muslims precisely because they did not originate from Jesus, peace be upon him. In this way, Muslims are the true followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, because they defend him from the exaggerations of the Christians and teach the Pure Monotheism that Jesus himself followed.


    Misconception #8: Islam is fatalistic

    Most Muslims find it rather odd that their religion, which strikes a beautiful balance between faith and action, could be accused of being "fatalistic". Perhaps this misconception came about because Muslims are taught to say "Praise be to God!" whenever anything good or bad happens. This is because Muslims know that everything comes from Almighty God, who is the All-Knowing Sustainer of the Universe, and that since a Muslim should rely completely on God, whatever happened must have been for the better. However, this does not mean that Muslims are not taught to take action in life --- just the opposite is true. Islam requires not only faith, but action --- such as regular prayer, fasting and charity. To be more precise, in Islam actions are part of one's faith. Islam total rejects the extreme beliefs of some religions that teach that you shouldn't go to a doctor when sick, but only pray for God to heal you. Islam's outlook is very positive, since it teaches that human beings can take positive action in this life. This was certainly what was taught by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to his followers --- since they obviously took the action of spreading Islam from Spain to Morocco in a very short period of time. Even though Islam teaches that God knows what human beings will do before they do it, human beings still have free will. Certainly God, who is All-Knowing and All-Wise, knows what is going to happen to everyone before it happens -- to deny this would be a denial of God Himself. However, if human-beings did not have free will, it would be ridiculous and un-just for God to demand that they do certain things and believe certain things. Far from being "fatalistic", Islam teaches that a human-being's main purpose in life is to be God-conscious. Due to this, Muslims worry less about material matters and view their earthly life in a proper perspective. This is due to the fact that Islam clearly teaches that if people worship and depend on Almighty God alone, then they have nothing to worry about - since God wants what is best for them. True freedom, from the Islamic perspective, does not mean aimlessly following all of your human desires for food, drink, wealth and sex. On the contrary, freedom means being able to control one's base desires and fulfilling them in a proper and legal way. This brings one's desires in tune with what God wants for us --- only then is a person truly free!


    Misconception #9: The Islamic Threat

    In recent years, a great deal of attention in the media have been given to the threat of "Islamic Fundamentalism". Unfortunately, due to a twisted mixture of biased reporting in the Western media and the actions of some ignorant Muslims, the word "Islam" has become almost synonymous with "terrorism". However, when one analyzes the situation, the question that should come to mind is: Do the teachings of Islam encourage terrorism? The answer: Certainly not! Islam totally forbids the terrorist acts that are carried out by some misguided people. It should be remembered that all religions have cults and misguided followers, so it is their teachings that should be looked at, not the actions of a few individuals. Unfortunately, in the media, whenever a Muslim commits a heinous act, he is labeled a "Muslim terrorist". However, when Serbs murder and rape innocent women in Bosnia, they are not called "Christian terrorists", nor are the activities in Northern Ireland labeled "Christian terrorism". Also, when right-wing Christians in the U. S. bomb abortion clinics, they are not called "Christian terrorists". Reflecting on these facts, one could certainly conclude that there is a double-standard in the media! Although religious feelings play a significant role in the previously mentioned "Christian" conflicts, the media does not apply religious labels because they assume that such barbarous acts have nothing to do with the teachings of Christianity. However, when something happens involving a Muslim, they often try to put the blame on Islam itself -- and not the misguided individual. Certainly, Islamic Law allows war --- any religion or civilization that did not would never survive --- but it certainly does not condone attacks against innocent people, women or children. The Arabic word "jihad", which is often translated as "Holy War", simply means "to struggle". The word for "war" in Arabic is "harb", not "jihad". "Struggling", i.e. "making jihad", to defend Islam, Muslims or to liberate a land where Muslims are oppressed is certainly allowed (and even encouraged) in Islam. However, any such activities must be done according to the teachings of Islam. Islam also clearly forbids "taking the law into your own hands", which means that individual Muslims cannot go around deciding who they want to kill, punish or torture. Trial and punishment must be carried out by a lawful authority and a knowledgeable judge. Also, when looking at events in the Muslim World, it should be kept in mind that a long period of colonialism ended fairly recently in most Muslim countries. During this time, the peoples in this countries were culturally, materially and religiously exploited - mostly by the so-called "Christian" nations of the West. This painful period has not really come to an end in many Muslim countries, where people are still under the control of foreign powers or puppet regimes supported by foreign powers. Also, through the media, people in the West are made to believe that tyrants like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Moamar Qaddafi in Libya are "Islamic" leaders -- when just the opposite is true. Neither of these rulers even profess Islam as an ideology, but only use Islamic slogans to manipulate their powerless populations. They have about as much to do with Islam as Hitler had to do with Christianity! In reality, many Middle Eastern regimes which people think of as being "Islamic" oppress the practice of Islam in their countries. So suffice it to say that "terrorism" and killing innocent people directly contradicts the teachings of Islam.
              Counterterrorism: Update: Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS        
    Special Briefing
    Brett McGurk
    Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition To Counter ISIS, Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition To Counter ISIS
    Press Briefing Room
    Washington, DC
    August 4, 2017


    MS NAUERT: Hi, everybody. How are you all doing today? Good to see you --

    QUESTION: Tired.

    MS NAUERT: Good to see you back. I know, it’s Friday late in the day, summertime. So you all get good camper awards for coming in today. Thank you so much for being here on this Friday. We have our Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Brett McGurk, who’s here with us. I know you heard from Brett just a couple weeks ago at the end of the ISIS – D-ISIS coalition meeting here in Washington. And so Brett wanted to come in today to provide you all with an update as to where things stand in the campaign.

    So without further ado, Brett’s here with that.

    MR MCGURK: Thank you. Okay, thanks everybody for coming. I thought what I’d do today – you heard from the Secretary for a kind of trip around the world six months in here since he arrived about everything going on in the world and the activity here at the State Department. And what I thought I’d do is drill in a little bit more on what he discussed about the very important – one of our key priorities here at the department, about the campaign against ISIS.

    So I want to focus on the overall campaign, as a global campaign, but dive in a little bit to the so-called “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria and kind of bring you into what we’re doing every day and how it’s working interagency throughout our government, and particularly our diplomats here at the State Department.

    A few topline points – I think this is important – if you go back to when ISIS really arrived on the international scene back in 2014, we had 40,000 foreign fighters from 110 countries around the world pouring into Syria and Iraq. They controlled what was effectively a quasi-state. They were able to mass and maneuver force all around Iraq and Syria, taking entire cities, controlling millions of people under their domain. Since that time, they have lost about 70,000 square kilometers of territory in Iraq and Syria. About 78 percent of the territory they used to hold in Iraq, they can no longer operate in, and about 58 percent of the territory they used to hold in Syria, they can no longer operate in.

    Importantly, of all that territory that they have lost, they have not regained. When our coalition supports elements on the ground to retake territory from ISIS, they have never been able to reclaim that territory. So this is not a campaign in which you go and you clear, you can’t hold, and they come back. They have never been able to retake any of this ground and we’re going to make sure that that continues. Importantly – not just territory, but even more important, people. Five – almost 5 million people who had been living under ISIS are no longer living under ISIS. They have been liberated by coalition-enabled operations on the ground.

    Also critically important, a few years ago you saw migrants and refugees pouring out of this part of the world. We have now reversed that flow. In Iraq alone, about 2 million people have returned to their homes in areas that have been cleared from ISIS. These are areas used to be under the control of this terrorist group. Now, you have people actually returning to their homes – 2 million people. That is almost unprecedented in a conflict like this in terms of getting returnees back, and it’s due to a lot of the work that the Secretary mentioned here at the podium the other day about our stabilization and humanitarian effort that goes in parallel with any military campaign.

    The force we’re working with, the Iraqi Security Forces – we have trained as a coalition 100,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces in total. They have never lost a battle. This was an Iraqi Security Force that had almost collapsed. Those forces, those units that we have trained as a coalition have never lost a battle. In Syria, when it comes to the campaign against ISIS, we are working primarily with the Syrian Democratic Forces. That’s a force of now about 50,000 – it’s about half Arab, half Kurd. They also have never lost a battle. Not only have they never lost a battle, the training courses – and I’ve been to Syria about six times now, three times over the past six months – our training courses on the ground in Syria are full. As we move into areas, particularly among the Arab – Sunni Arab population, our training classes are full because these people want to get back to their homes and kick ISIS out of their areas. So our training classes are full; they’ve never lost a battle.

    Also very importantly, elements of what we call the vetted Syrian opposition have particularly in a part of Syria, which I’ll look to – point to on the map, supported by the Turkish forces an area known as the Euphrates Shield zone, also very effectively cleared ISIS out of key terrain that they had held.

    Here’s what’s really important: Over the last six months, we have dramatically accelerated this campaign, and you heard about some of this from Secretary Tillerson. Nearly 30 percent of all the territory that has been retaken from ISIS – about 20,000 square kilometers – has actually happened in the last six months. As you know, the campaign against Mosul is now finished and in Raqqa, which I’ll talk to in more detail, about 45 percent of Raqqa is now cleared. This is due to some key changes that were put in place very early on – three changes – initiatives from President Trump, and I’ll just highlight four of them.

    Number one, and very importantly, this makes a tremendous difference on the ground: the delegation of tactical authority from the White House, from Washington, down through the chain of command to our commanders on the ground. That has made a fairly tremendous difference in our ability to actually seize opportunities from ISIS, and I’ll talk about one of those in some detail.

    Second, you’ve heard Secretary Mattis talk about it’s a campaign of annihilation. We make sure that before we do a military operation, we actually surround the enemy so that foreign fighters in particular cannot escape. Every foreign fighter that made its way into Syria and Iraq, we want to make sure that they can never make their way out of Syria and Iraq.

    Third, from day one we look to how we can increase our burden-sharing from the coalition. And that is why, as the Secretary mentioned when he was here earlier this week, one of his first initiatives was to call on all members of our coalition. And it’s now 73 members of our coalition, 69 countries, four international organizations, one of the largest coalitions in history. And he had all of those members here in March to talk about this next accelerated phase of the campaign, and we raised in that session alone about $2 billion, which really came in critical needs, particularly for the post-Mosul phase and the humanitarian aspect of taking care of the IDPs from Mosul.

    Finally, the whole-of-government effort to make sure that we’re working as a government hand-in-glove with our colleagues in Treasury, the Department of Defense, here at the State Department, and within in the NSC to make sure that we’re taking advantage of opportunities, working not just in Iraq and Syria, but also to sever the financial connections and propaganda networks that continue to fuel terrorist groups like this.

    So let me go in some detail, and I’ll turn to the map. The map has about nine numbers on it, some of which I’ll spend a little more time on than others. But I’ll start with the yellow – little yellow circle, yellow gumball number one. That, of course, is Raqqa. About six months ago, ISIS was planning major attacks in Raqqa. They were planning major attacks against the United States, against our partners, and they were doing it in Raqqa using infrastructure of a major city. Today in Raqqa, ISIS is fighting for every last block, and trying to defend blocks that they are about to lose. They are fighting for their own survival. It is a fundamentally transformed situation. The Raqqa operation to seize Raqqa launched on June 6th, and as of today, as I mentioned, the SDF has seized about 45 percent of Raqqa. And there was a very detailed briefing at DOD yesterday from Colonel Dillon, who was on the ground in Iraq, talking about the details of this operation.

    The two axes of advance from east to west are actually about to connect. They could connect now, but they have to clear some high-rise buildings before they join forces at a roadway. And that’ll really help accelerate the second phase of the operation to clear the rest of the city.

    We estimate there’s about 2,000 ISIS fighters left in Raqqa. I’m always hesitant to give numbers like that, because it’s – this is an inexact science. We think there’s about 2,000 ISIS fighters left in Raqqa, and they will – they most likely will die in Raqqa. UN estimates now – there’s about 25,000 civilians on the ground in Raqqa. It could be higher, but that is a UN estimate. And what’s really happening in Raqqa – similar to what we saw in Mosul but on a smaller scale – the ISIS fighters on the ground are using these civilians as their own shields, as their own hostages. They are using snipers to kill civilians who are trying to escape. They’re trying to put suicide bombers in columns of displaced people as they try to get out – the similar tactics we’ve seen from this barbaric terrorist organization in other cities.

    The campaign to seize Raqqa was enabled by an operation that came a few months ago in the city of Tabqa, and that’s just to the left of the west of the yellow gumball one. So Tabqa is right there just near Tabqa Dam, right on – where the Euphrates kind of curves. And I want to highlight Tabqa because it was critical to setting the conditions for the success we’re now seeing in Raqqa and to really basically tightening the noose around ISIS. And I don’t think it could’ve happened absent this delegation of authorities that I talked about.

    So – and I saw – I happened to see this up close because I was in Syria in March, in the town of Ayn Issa, which is there on the map just north of Raqqa. And we met with some of the local commanders who were sensing what was happening with ISIS, and they told our military commander, General Steve Townsend, who’s done an extraordinary job over the last year, that they sense there’s an opportunity to catch ISIS by surprise in the city of Tabqa and at the Tabqa Dam, and there’s an airfield there called the Tabqa Airport. And they said, all we need is we need you to help us get across this body of water – it’s about an 8-kilometer body of water – at night, drop us behind ISIS lines, and then we can take it from there, basically catching ISIS by surprise and seizing these three very strategic areas.

    This was very important to close the noose on ISIS because ISIS was using this area to get personnel and equipment in and out of Raqqa. It was pretty audacious. It required us to put these fighters on helicopters, crossing about eight kilometers of water at night. These fighters are incredibly brave. Most of them have never been on a helicopter. It was also very complicated because it was hard to tell exactly what was on the other side of the water because we had never really been that far south.

    General Townsend and our commanders approved this operation really within a period of days. It launched. It took about six weeks to finish, but the forces that we were talking about were right. They actually know the local area. They caught ISIS by surprise. They were able to cease Tabqa, Tabqa Dam, and the airport, and we really saw ISIS go into a bit of a reeling effect after that. We saw a lot of their fighters trying to flee and their defenses in Raqqa begin to degrade a little bit. So it was a really critical operation, and it was done because authority's been delegated down to seize opportunities like that. It was a really important moment in this overall campaign.

    We also have had to work very closely, as forces converge in this area as the Secretary mentioned, with – despite all of our tensions with Russia, we also look for areas where we have to find a way to work together, and I think Syria exemplifies that. This is particularly true in Tabqa because regime forces – Syrian regime forces are very close to the area that our forces are operating in, and we actually had an incident on June 18th in which our forces shot down a Syrian jet that violated an agreement that we had on the ground of where they could go and where they could not go.

    Since then, we have drawn what we call a deconfliction line with the Russians to help accelerate the campaign in Raqqa and to basically make clear where their forces will be and where our forces will be. This has held extremely well. This is now in place. Our military personnel speak with the Russians every day, and we, of course, have diplomatic consultations on issues like this far less frequently but whenever we need to. And the Secretary, of course, is speaking with Foreign Minister Lavrov from time to time, and he'll see him soon at the ASEAN conference coming up later this weekend. So a very important deconfliction line with the Russians has helped us enable and accelerate the pressure on ISIS in Raqqa.

    Now, what gets less attention – this is very non-glamorous work but very critical work, and the Secretary specifically mentioned some of what our diplomats are doing on the ground to make sure that in the wake of the military campaign we are doing all we can on the humanitarian and stabilization side as our forces move into Raqqa. So let me kind of describe that a little bit, and I’ll give you some facts. I don’t want to delve too much into facts, but it’s important to get a sense of really what’s going on, and I’ve gone in and have seen this with my own eyes a few times.

    So as IDPs come out of areas that have been controlled by ISIS – these are people who have been living under ISIS for the last three years – we are seeing almost all of the IDPs flow north into the lines of the force we’re working with. They are not flowing west into regime areas; they are not leaving to go stay with ISIS in the east; they are not flowing south into the desert. They are all coming into the areas of the Syrian Democratic Forces. Total now IDPs from this environment, not just Raqqa city but the surroundings – about 324,000 IDPs. We track this every single day. As of this morning, about 146,000 are in prepared sites and camps, about 177 or so thousand in communities. And what we see in Syria, as the population comes out from areas where the fighting is ongoing, they sit in transit camps. And as the areas are cleared, as they’re de-mined, the population then returns. We have seen this now repeatedly this pattern, which is a pretty good pattern.

    I was in Syria in March, again, near this town of Ayn Issa just north of Raqqa, and we frankly saw thousands of IDPs sleeping on the side of the road, living in dirt, in situations that were totally, totally unacceptable. This area at the time was really almost inaccessible to the UN. This was before the Tabqa operation had finished, so the UN really had no way to get in there and it was a really unacceptable situation.

    So we accelerated the deployment of some of our experts and diplomats here from the State Department and from USAID to get key people on the ground who could help enable NGOs to address this situation. And when I returned to Syria in May, just a fundamentally different picture on the exact same road. Before and after pictures – I think I even put a tweet out about some of the before and after pictures. Two months earlier, thousands of people sleeping in dirt on the side of the road; two months later, very well-maintained camps, people in transit camps, and people being taken care of. That is due to the work that our diplomats and our military civil affairs people do on the ground every day, and they’re doing an extraordinary job.

    So where are we today? Our experts working on the ground, we have finalized a day-after-liberation plan for Raqqa. It will plan for up to 50,000 people in Raqqa. As I mentioned, based on the UN estimates we think that figure is lower, but we’re going to plan for the very worst case. As I mentioned, the UN has now gained road access, so they’re delivering a fairly large number of supplies. World Food Program, ICRC, and a number of other NGOs are operating in these areas.

    So I think the Secretary mentioned we’ve pre-positioned supplies so we’re ready for the day after ISIS in Raqqa. And just to give you what – to tell you what that means, we have food ready for about 447,000 people. We have tents and shelters for an additional 50,000 people. We have medical treatment facilities for about over 200,000 people. Water sanitation, hygiene – all these things are getting pre-positioned to be ready for the day after ISIS.

    How are we doing this with so few people on the ground? Number one, we have the right people on the ground. So our humanitarian expert who’s in Syria, he was just back here in Washington for consultations. His name is Al Dwyer from USAID; he has led almost every major international response around the world, just an incredibly dedicated public servant. And he’s doing a great job, and he has connections with all of these NGOs on the ground.

    We’re also working with the Raqqa Civilian Council, which is a group of civilians from the area. They’re based in Ayn Issa. This is a temporary structure. They are committed to having an election in Raqqa by May of next year. But it’s also a necessary structure because we need local people on the ground to help us deliver and facilitate aid. And the RCC alone has coordinated the delivery of 830 metric tons of humanitarian aid to areas all around Raqqa, and they’re very instrumental in planning the day-after activities.

    In terms of stabilization, I just want to really emphasize what the Secretary said here from this podium earlier this week. We are committed to stabilization, and that word is very important. This is not reconstruction; it’s not nation building. Stabilization is demining. That means setting the conditions for people to return to their homes. ISIS leaves landmines everywhere so that people can’t return. We are committed to help to do all we can by training locals to help demine critical infrastructure sites in critical places to allow people to come home.

    Stabilization also means rubble removal so that trucks and equipment can get into areas of need. It means basic electricity, sewage, water, the basic essentials to allow populations to come back to their home. And we have found – learning some lessons from Iraq which I’ll get to – that this focus on the basic elements of stabilization is a critical enabler for allowing people to come back to their home – to their homes.

    Now, sometimes we meet with local councils and they say, “We really want you, the United States, to help us with the – you’re going to run the hospitals, aren’t you? You’re going to run our school system.” And no, we’re not – we’re not doing that. We’ve learned some lessons and we’re not very good at that, and also that is not our responsibility. We will do basic stabilization.

    When it comes to things like schools, if a local council says to us, “There are five schools in the area and they’ve been totally wired with explosive devices and landmines. Will you please help us there?” Yes, that is something that we will do. If they need desks or chairs or chalkboards or something, we can usually help find contractors from the local area to do that.

    And so I’ll give you an example in Tabqa. The Tabqa Civilian Council, which we’re also working with, these are local people from Tabqa. I met them. Not long ago, they were all living under ISIS, and now they are working very hard to try to restore life to their community. And they have told us about a number of schools that are actually wired to explode, so we are now helping to get deminers into the area to clear those schools. About five have already been finished. And we’re going to do all we possibly can to have as many schools as ready in Tabqa for the opening of the school year on September 15th. But again, in terms of school curriculums, teachers, all this, this is the responsibility of the Syrians on the ground and the Iraqis on the ground, not us.

    In Raqqa we have about 400 of these critical infrastructure sites that we’ve identified for the day after for immediate demining. About 100 of these sites are really the priorities. We’re also getting contributions from our coalition. I think we announced here when we had the coalition conference two weeks ago two very unique and proactive funding mechanisms focused on Syria. One, the Syria Recovery Trust Fund, which is now operating – which is now able to operate in this area. And second, a donor consortium which is very project-specific. As we identify the projects for stabilization, we can match them with coalition contributors.

    So that’s Raqqa. It’s ongoing. This will take time. This will be a very difficult battle. Just because 45 percent of the city is cleared in two months does not mean this will be finished in two – in another two months. That’s not how these things go. Sometimes they go faster. Sometimes they go a lot slower than you might anticipate. And I would anticipate in the center of the city ISIS will put up a very difficult fight with suicide vests and everything we’ve seen them do in other places.

    Let me jump quickly to number two, the yellow gumball number two, and I’ll go a little faster with some of these. This is the area known as the Middle Euphrates Valley. A lot – some ISIS leaders, as they saw the writing on the wall in Raqqa, tried to flee before the noose was tightened and surrounded – before our forces really surrounded Raqqa, and they fled to some very small dusty towns in this area of the Euphrates River. A town called Mayadin is one of them and some other very small areas in this, what we call the Middle Euphrates Valley.

    I would just say any ISIS leader in these little small towns needs to have a very good life insurance policy, because unlike when they’re living in a – what these guys used to do is they live in civilian apartment buildings with hundreds of people in the structure, which obviously makes it impossible for us to target them, because we’re not going to target a civilian structure.

    When they’re living in small towns and dusty villages, not only is it very different for them – this is not the glamorous, so-called caliphate they expected to find – it’s also a lot easier for us to find them. So in the last six weeks alone, I think our DOD announced just yesterday about 13 key leaders and associates have been targeted and eliminated in this area, and that is only going to continue.

    This area of the country also, I cannot emphasize enough, extremely complex. And that is why deconfliction arrangements with the Russians will also be increasingly important as we operate in this area. It’s a complex battle space. These deconfliction arrangements are important, and that is why we’re so focused on that.

    Number three yellow gumball, this is a little garrison known as Tanf. We are training a force there to fight ISIS in the Middle Euphrates Valley, because the force we are training there is from the Middle Euphrates Valley. And that training continues, and that is a very important mission in terms of our overall counter-ISIS campaign.

    This area also became fairly tense in mid-June with some – I don’t know if I’d call it misunderstandings, but some perhaps misunderstandings from forces operating in the area that led to some airstrikes from our military forces. Since then, the situation has calmed down considerably. We have worked out deconfliction arrangements which have been working quite well, and we’re going to try to make sure that those stay in place. This is a very important piece of Syria connected with our critical ally Jordan and our critical ally Iraq, and we want to make sure that ISIS cannot fill space in this area because it incorporates critical road networks, which I’ll talk to when I discuss Iraq briefly.

    The fourth yellow gumball, that is the southwest. This is very important because, a little separate from the counter-ISIS campaign, but it’s a key enabler for trying to remove this little red blotch, which is ISIS. This is an ISIS cell right near the yellow circle number four. It’s an ISIS cell. They’re known as the Jaysh Khalid bin Al-Walid. They are an ISIS affiliate. When they move into an area and capture a village, which they did there a few months ago, they do what ISIS does: they capture locals, they do gruesome beheadings, and terrorize the local population. We are determined to remove that cell from the southwest.

    And importantly, as you know, we concluded with the Jordanians – and the Jordanians were a critical driver of this process, our critical ally Jordan – a ceasefire in the southwest with Jordan and Russia. And that ceasefire was concluded on July 9th. It was finalized in Hamburg between President Trump and President Putin, and it went into effect on July 11th. So we’re well into the third week of it now, and the results have been quite promising thus far. The fighting has largely stopped.

    There’s a couple reasons for this. Unlike some other ceasefires that have been tried in Syria, this ceasefire was a result of months of negotiation with the Jordanians, who really know the terrain, and with the Russians, who were there representing effectively the Syrian regime. Painstaking negotiation, what we call the line of contact, meter by meter throughout the southwest and throughout Dara’a City, so everybody understood where they could go and where they could not go. And that map was initialed by all three parties, and the ceasefire went into effect on July 11th.

    We’re now seeing civilians beginning to return to this area, which is very promising, and beginning to see landmines being removed as the fighting has stopped. So we’re working very hard to make sure that that ceasefire remains in effect, and so far it’s promising.

    We also, if you look at the last six months in Syria and you look at the data that the UN puts out, it’s actually interesting to just look at the trend data that the UN puts out in terms of IDPs and refugee flows. This is from UNHCR. In the last six months in this calendar year, about 440,000 IDPs in Syria have actually returned to their homes. That’s a statistic you normally don’t see in six-month increments. And 31,000 Syrian refugees, meaning Syrians who fled outside of Syria, have also now returned to their homes in the first six months of this year. So again, the reverse of the migrant refugee outflow – that’s an important indicator and something, obviously, we want to continue; very much in our interests and the interests of our critical partners in this part of the world, particularly Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, and, of course, our partners in Europe.

    Back up on Syria writ large – the Secretary spoke with this and I can delve into it a little bit more. If you think about really two phases in Syria, right now this is phase one. We want to defeat ISIS. We have to defeat ISIS because ISIS is trying to plan major attacks against us and our partners, as I mentioned, and they’re still trying to do that. So long as ISIS is holding territory, pretending to hold this caliphate with people under its domain, the long-term political settlement in Syria goes increasingly out of reach, and our first priority is to protect our homeland. So number one, defeat ISIS. In parallel in phase one, want to de-escalate the overall violence in Syria through a combination of de-escalation – deconfliction arrangements and de-escalation areas such as the ceasefire we’ve reached in the southwest. So we’re in phase one right now: defeat ISIS, de-escalate the overall situation.

    In parallel in Geneva, very important talks about a future constitutional process, about a future internationally monitored elections in which all Syrians, including the diaspora, can vote. That is a condition that is enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution, 2254, and we are determined to getting to that point. So as the Secretary discussed, defeat ISIS, get de-escalation arrangements in place, quiet down the overall situation, which sets the conditions for an ultimate political solution, political settlement of the civil war. And at the end of that process – and we can’t put a timeline on it, but at the end of that process, we do not envision Bashar al-Assad being in control of Syria from Damascus. Whether that is through a constitutional process or an election or some combination, that is very important, and some people asked us, well, why do you say that?

    Look, it’s just reality. Syria – by World Bank estimates, about – more than $200 billion to reconstruct Syria. It’s probably many multiples of that, and the international community is not going to come to the aid of Syria until there is a credible political horizon that can lead to a credible transition in Damascus. That is the reality. So we are working through this two-phase structure and are very committed to that roadmap that is outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

    Let me just jump over to Iraq, and I’ll start with the yellow gumball number five. The number five is just to the west now of Tal Afar, and I have it there because Mosul – as you know, the battle of Mosul has now completed, but since the battle has completed, again, the less glamorous but just as important phase of stabilization and humanitarian support is very much underway. And again, this is very important. The reason we brought almost 70 countries here to the State Department in March was to make sure we had the resources necessary for the post-ISIS phase in Mosul. In total in Mosul, we saw 940,000 – the scale of Mosul compared to Raqqa is just – it’s really hardly – not even comparable. Raqqa, as I mentioned, we think there’s about 25,000 civilians in Raqqa; Mosul is a city of about 1.5 million people. Displaced from Mosul total – about 940,000 Moslawis were displaced from the fighting, but most importantly, all of them received aid. This is almost, again, unprecedented in terms of a humanitarian response. You did not see thousands of people stranded. All of them received aid and assistance, and this was because of the planning that went into the humanitarian response plan together with the military plan.

    Of the $2 billion that was raised in March – that’s about 500 million or so from the U.S. – again, the ratio that we’ve mentioned before, we try to make sure that it’s about three or four to one in terms of coalition contributions to U.S. contributions when it comes to stabilization and humanitarian response, and that’s a ratio we are looking to grow over the coming weeks. Currently in Mosul about 838,000 people remain displaced. We’ve had returnees of about 240,000.

    We’re working very hard now in west Mosul – when I say “we,” I mean the Government of Iraq, our coalition, the United Nations, and the people of Nineveh Province – on stabilization projects. So in west Mosul, where the damage is far more extensive than east Mosul, engineers – part of our stabilization program funded in part by our coalition – they’ve assessed about 200 schools, 20 electrical substations, seven sewage treatment plants, hospitals, police stations, again, de-mining, making sure they’re refurbished to set the conditions for people to return. The model is east Mosul, where the battle ended about six months ago, and we already have – about 350,000 children are back in school and the population has really returned. And if you talk to people who have walked the streets of east Mosul, I think they come back with that – with that story, seeing it with their own eyes. A lot of problems, to say the least, but we’re seeing people return to their homes and we’re seeing life return.

    Long-term reconstruction, as the Secretary mentioned. We’re focused on the immediate stabilization. Long-term reconstruction is not – again, don’t look to the United States to fit the bill for long-term reconstruction. This is an international problem. ISIS is a challenge for the entire world. That is why we built a coalition of 74 partners, one of the largest coalitions in history, and I also give great credit to the Iraqi Government because they are looking to fund – how to fund their long-term reconstruction needs. They have a standby arrangement with the IMF, and they just passed a very difficult budget amendment through their parliament. This is the kind of the difficult stuff that doesn’t get much attention, but that really pays dividends down the road. That releases another nearly a billion dollars from the IMF.

    They, the Iraqi Government, unveiled their – what they call 2030 vision to the World Bank a couple weeks ago about reforms that they are committed to to help fuel their international financing of their reconstruction. And Kuwait, His Highness, the Emir Sheikh Sabah, has announced that Kuwait will host a long-term reconstruction conference for Iraq probably in the early part of next year. So those are obviously efforts that we will support.

    When it comes to the next phase of the ISIS campaign in Tal Afar, that will probably be the next battle. It’ll happen at a time of the choosing of the Government of Iraq. We estimate there’s about 1,000 ISIS fighters or so in Tal Afar among 20 to 40,000 civilians. So somewhat similar to Raqqa; a little bit smaller, but it’ll be very difficult. This has been a hub for ISIS for three years, it has been the home for many of their leaders, it has been a place where terrible atrocities were committed against not only Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Yezidis. In this terrible fulcrum of ISIS atrocities, many of them happened in Tal Afar. This will be very, very hard. The Iraqis are committed to liberating the people of Tal Afar, and we are committed to supporting them at a time of their choosing.

    Yellow gumball number six – this is Hawija. We estimate about 1,000 ISIS fighters in there. Again, numbers are hard to – sometimes hard to go by. About 50,000 or so civilians in that pocket of territory – 50 to 80,000 if you kind of look at the environs. This will also be a very complex operation and this – similar to Mosul, this will have to involve cooperation between the Kurdish Peshmerga, Iraqi Security Forces, and forces local to the area. And Secretary Tillerson spoke actually over the last couple days with Prime Minister Abadi and with President Barzani of the Kurdistan region about some of these next steps and about our position on some very important issues that Iraq is confronting.

    Go quickly to the number seven. That is al-Qaim. That has also been a heartland of ISIS. We will support the Iraqi Security Forces as they clear that and restore sovereignty to their border with legitimate Iraqi Security Forces, and we’re of course preparing for that. Number eight – I’ll just do eight and nine quickly. Eight and nine are important because this is kind of the phase after ISIS, and we’re asked a lot about what comes after ISIS. So number eight, this is the main border crossing between Iraq and Jordan. It’s about a billion dollars a month commerce route – very important for our key ally of Jordan, of course very important for Iraq, the Government of Iraq, and also Anbar province.

    The Iraqis and the Jordanians have been working now to set the conditions to open that highway, and we hope that can happen fairly soon, and I give them great credit for what they’re putting in place. To get that open, that billion dollar a month commerce route, that’s very important for the future of this region and obviously something that we are supporting both governments, encouraging them to move forward on that.

    And number nine, the Arar border crossing with Saudi Arabia, this is a border crossing that has been closed since 1990. Multiple U.S. administrations have encouraged an opening between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Those doors have remained closed, really for decades, but we achieved a breakthrough. The Iraqis and the Saudis, an initiative that they really launched on their own, a breakthrough between Baghdad and Riyadh, which had now led to an – not only exchanges of visits, but exchanges of key ministers and talking now about opening that key border crossing for the first time since 1990. Again, a critical commerce route, and that’s how you can kind of see the post-ISIS situation come into shape. That’s very important, which is why I wanted to include the nine on the map.

    Let me just say briefly, beyond Iraq and Syria, why is it so important? Because this is the so-called caliphate. The caliphate is what drew so many of these foreign fighters to join ISIS and what makes it a global network. They try to fund their so-called affiliates around the world from the resources that they pick up in Iraq and Syria. We have dramatically targeted and degraded their ability to resource themselves. We’ve dramatically degraded their ability to get foreign fighters into Syria. It’s almost impossible for them to do that now. And we are working to sever all of their financial connections.

    I thought I’d highlight, just finally, a way that we work throughout our interagency, which again doesn’t get – sometimes doesn’t get as much attention. The Treasury Department has a very robust program for finding who in the organization of ISIS is a leader, who is handling money, and making sure we designate those people so that they can never have any access to the international financial system. And some of our colleagues, now recently confirmed officials at the Treasury Department – Sigal Mandelker, Marshall Billingslea – have done a great job in this.

    And what’s really important, and when you see a ISIS list of designees, that means they’ll never have access to the financial system. Whatever we know of their finances are frozen. A lot of these guys living in the Euphrates Valley probably never expect to have access to the international financial system. But if their name – if you’re in ISIS and your name shows up on a Treasury designation list, you’re not just being targeted by the Treasury Department. So that is why there is a very close correlation between announcing a designee and then eliminating these people from the battlefield. And even since June of this year, three critical financial facilitators from ISIS have been killed in coalition airstrikes in that Euphrates Valley area.

    I think you’re all fairly familiar with what we’re doing – counter-messaging, working with our partners in the region, counter-foreign fighters. We talked about that before when I was here a couple weeks ago, so I won’t go too deeply into that.

    I would just conclude where I started on this map of the caliphate, rapidly shrinking – 30 percent of their territorial losses in the last six months alone, 20,000 square kilometers in the last six months alone. That is due to some changes we have made in the campaign, and we are going to continue to accelerate the pressure on ISIS until this entire organization collapses and they cannot hold any physical territory from which they can threaten us.

    So with that, I think I have time for a few questions.

    QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. McGurk. Just one question. You said that the United States is – don’t look at the United States for long-term reconstruction, you’ll be engaged in just stabilizing the areas that are retaken. So what does that mean for your partnership with the Peshmerga or with the Kurds? Does that mean your partnership is about to come to an end, because it seems to me that most of the areas that are predominantly Kurdish have been retaken and also kind of stabilized?

    MR MCGURK: Let me be very clear of what I mean. So in terms of our military partnership, our training, our equipping relationships – the Iraqi Government has a budget and their military force is about $10 billion, and they actually look to the United States to be their primary supplier. They’re buying our F-16s. They’re buying our equipment. That’s something that we very much intend to continue. Our training relationship with the Peshmerga in coordination with the Government of Iraq is also something that is historic and that I think would intend to continue.

    When it comes to the long-term reconstruction of these areas, that is not something the U.S. can do on its own, nor is it something we should do on our own. That is why we built an international coalition of 74 members to help, and that’s why the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other international financial institutions – it’s very important for them to be engaged here and critically important for the future of Iraq for the GCC to be engaged. That’s why we’re very encouraged by the reconstruction conference that the Kuwaitis have announced that they will host.

    So we have an important role. We recognize our role as the United States of America. But it is not the U.S. alone, because ISIS is a threat to the whole world.

    QUESTION: Hi, Brett. Just a few questions. First of all, can you tell us whether the overall deterioration in Russian relations with America have had any impact on your coordination in Syria? I know the Secretary said you were still working on it, but have you felt any impact?

    And then you said that you got this deconfliction line or ceasefire line in the south but deconfliction arrangements in other areas. Are there any other areas where that might shift to more of a – an agreement, or is that something that we – that you’d see after Raqqa is finished?

    And then I have one other question, but I can come back to you after that.

    MR MCGURK: So it’s a great question. So no, so far we’ve not seen an effect on our engagement with the Russians when it comes to Syria. And most of those engagements, as I mentioned, are professional military-to-military engagements, literally airmen talking to airmen to make sure we don’t – we avoid accidents.

    The second part of your question is also very important. So the southwest, that is the one area where we’ve reached kind of a – it’s a political agreement about a ceasefire, and with that agreement is not just a deconfliction line with a ceasefire between the two sides, it also talks about political arrangements in the area, making sure opposition arrangements can actually remain intact. You’re kind of freezing everything in place. It’s a very detailed arrangement. So it’s an actual ceasefire arrangement with the Russians. That is the only part of the country that we have come to such an arrangement. If there are other opportunities – to build on the military-to-military talks that have gone very well, if there are other opportunities to reach those types of arrangements to help settle down Syria in an interim phase, we’re very much open to that. And so obviously, that’s something that we’ll be talking to the Russians about, but so far the southwest is really – is the only place that we have locked in place this ceasefire.

    QUESTION: Just to follow up on that, the – there have been reports that the CIA has stopped funding for the – its program to fund the Syrian opposition that’s fighting Assad. Is that – you said the opposition was frozen in place. Does that mean that the people you’ve – I’m just wondering how the – what’s happening to them? Are they protected in this arrangement if you’re no longer supporting them?

    MR MCGURK: Yeah, so I can’t – well, it’s – I’m not going to talk about any of that. I can just say the agreement that we reached with Russia has a very detailed ceasefire line. The Russians have put their monitors on the northern side of the line in Syrian regime territory to help monitor regime violations, and so far the fighting has entirely stopped. And as we begin to see people return to their homes, you begin to see an increase of humanitarian aid. That is when you can get into a self-sustaining – self-sustaining cycle, which is what we’re working towards.

    QUESTION: As part of the post-ISIS political system, the kind of changes that all this fighting is bringing about politically, for the Kurds the key issue is the independence referendum. What’s your position on that? Are the Iraqi elections a factor in your considerations?

    MR MCGURK: Again, I think we’ve spoken to this. We are – we do not believe this referendum is a good idea. It is ill-timed. It is not well-prepared, I mentioned Hawija alone where critical engagements against ISIS still have to take place with full cooperation from the Peshmerga and the Iraqi Security Forces, and it could have potentially catastrophic consequences. So obviously, we’re in very detailed discussions with the Iraqi leaders over this, and that’s one reason Secretary Tillerson made a couple of important calls over the last couple days.

    QUESTION: Is the question – is the question a question of timing or of the referendum itself?

    MR MCGURK: Look, we’re focused right now on this referendum that Kurdish authorities have said they want to hold on September 25th. It’s something the U.S. Government is – firmly, firmly opposes.

    Elise?

    QUESTION: Did you say – when you talk about the numbers that are left in Iraq and Syria, how many of the ones that have left the area do you think are dead versus kind of fleed the region? Where do you see them – the bulk of them going? Are they going more to Libya, are they going to Europe, and how do you think that’s – once you consider ISIS kind of defeated in Raqqa and Iraq, what’s the benchmark for that and how do you see the next kind of iteration of the coalition in terms of once you consider ISIS quote/unquote “defeated?”

    MR MCGURK: So it’s a great question and, look, until the – until we – and we worked very closely with Turkey to help seal the entire border. So there’s east of the Euphrates River where we did a lot on the Syrian side of the border, there’s west of the Euphrates River where the Turkish operation, Euphrates Shield, not only liberated Jarabulus and al-Rai, which were two key border crossings, but also retook the town of Dabiq, which was like the spiritual – the spiritual kind of – in ISIS propaganda, they believe the final battle would happen in Dabiq. It was this kind of calling for people from all around the world, and they actually changed their magazine after that operation from Dabiq to Rumiyah. In any event, that was a very important operation in Euphrates Shield.

    Since the border has been sealed, ISIS fighters are not getting in and they’re also not getting out. I can’t guarantee that in ones and twosies they can’t find a smuggling route, but they were coming by the thousands and it’s down at least by 90 percent, and we are not finding ISIS fighters being able to leave Syria. Not too long ago, what they would do is plan a terrorist attack in Raqqa, they would train a unit – kind of a terrorist combat unit – they would then infiltrate out, they would hang out in Manbij, they would then infiltrate out and go conduct an attack such as in Paris or in the Brussels airport. That’s what they used to do, and they were developing that capacity. They cannot do that anymore.

    So what are we doing? We’re building a database of who these people are as we find names on the battlefield, and we have a very robust, through our coalition intelligence gathering – we call it sensitive site exploitation – if we find a cell phone, an address book, we vet the names, we find out who they are, we share them with host nations. So if it’s a French name, we’ll share it with French authorities. And we’ve built a database now of almost 19,000 names which are now all in an INTERPOL database so that any member of our coalition, any member of INTERPOL has access to that database, so that if there’s somebody that fought in Syria and happened to have gotten out and in a routine border stop or routine search, routine traffic stop, they can actually be identified.

    So the next phase of the coalition is obviously a little less emphasis on the ground operations in Iraq and Syria, because those ultimately will conclude. Although we have some time to go, they ultimately will conclude. It is information sharing – that is the critical enabler to helping us protect our homelands against these people.

    And that’s one reason this coalition – we heard it when we all gathered here a couple weeks ago – it’s strong, will remain intact, and continues to grow. We just added four African countries to the coalition about three weeks ago, because this is a global network, and as we make – as we succeed against these networks, more and more countries want to come join and be part of this.

    Yes, sir.

    QUESTION: Mr. McGurk, I have a few questions. First of all, as you know, the Special Forces – U.S. Special Forces Commander General Thomas at Aspen talk said the U.S. urged YPG to rebrand itself to avoid Turkish concerns and give the group a voice in Syria’s future. And he added that, in a quote, that’s how “McGurk was able to keep them in the conversation.” So is this rebranding itself, is this your idea?

    And secondly, any plan on going into Deir ez-Zor once Raqqa is cleared?

    And lastly, is YPG going to return from the lands which belongs to Arabs once everything is settled down? Thank you.

    MR MCGURK: Okay, so General Thomas has done an incredible job from day one of this campaign, going all the way back to the battle of Kobani, and you might remember Kobani surrounded by thousands of ISIS fighters. Had Kobani fallen, the whole border would have been gone to ISIS. And it was some of our friends in Iraq – our Kurdish friends in Iraq – who actually put us in touch with some of the Kurdish fighters in Kobani at the time to develop some contacts, allowed us to get some military equipment to them. And then we worked very closely with Turkey – I was a part of this; I was in Ankara – to open a corridor for the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga to come into Kobani to help turn the tide of that battle. It was a historic moment, and over the course of the battle of Kobani, we killed 6,000 ISIS fighters. It was the first time they lost a battle and it really was the turning point.

    So after that battle, when we met some of the fighters from Kobani and we said, look, how are we going to really take the fight to ISIS in some of these other areas? We have to recruit Arabs into the force. And so you have to have an umbrella that embraces the Arab component of the force, with the key principle being – it’s our key principle in Syria – as areas are liberated from ISIS, they should return to the local people from those areas. That’s first and foremost our priority. So therefore we had to have an umbrella that would bring in as many people as possible – Kurds, Arabs, Christians, Syriacs, all these guys – working together as a cohesive force, not working together as different units, which is not militarily effective. And so General Thomas was a part of that, and it’s actually been very effective. Again, as I said, all of our training classes are full. They’re full of Sunni Arabs, they’re full of Christians, they’re full of people from these areas who want to liberate their towns. So I think overall it has been successful.

    Deir ez-Zor. Deir ez-Zor is on the map. It’s just to the northwest of yellow gumball number two. What makes Deir ez-Zor complicated, it is a – it’s a city with an airfield in which Syrian army forces have been surrounded and besieged by ISIS for almost three years. They have some thousands of their own fighters in there. Some of their best units are in there surrounded by ISIS. And Syrian army forces are determined to break the siege of Deir ez-Zor. I think just look at what the Russian – there was a Russian general who gave a briefing a few weeks ago, talked about that operation. They’re about 140 kilometers away now. They have a pretty long ways to go. I think it’s a decent assumption that over time – it’s going to take them some time – they will probably succeed in that mission, but how much further they go from there is something that remains to be seen and is why we’ll be in fairly detailed discussions with the Russians through military channels on that.

    QUESTION: Thank you. After ISIS is defeated, do you think that Kurdistan will be a U.S. strategic ally?

    MR MCGURK: So our strategic ally are our friends in Iraq. We support the Government of Iraq. We support a unified federal – a unified federal Iraq that is strong and that is prosperous and that is at peace with itself and with its neighbors. So obviously, we have deep relations in the Kurdistan Region – in Erbil, in Sulaymaniyah, with all the Kurdish parties – and I think that is something that goes back many, many decades and is something that will continue. But we’ll also continue working, of course, through the Government of Iraq, within the Iraqi constitutional system, to support a unified and federal Iraq.

    QUESTION: A couple of questions. First, have you sorted out your differences with Turkey regarding last week’s panel? There was statements from the State Department. And in that panel, you kept mentioning Idlib as a safe haven for al-Qaida in Syria. And it’s not on this map, obviously, but when you are done with these nine points on this map, does the coalition have any plans for Idlib in the future?

    And the last question is regarding Bashiqa in Iraq. As far as I know, when there was this problem about the Turkish presence in Bashiqa, and you guys brokered some sort of a deal between Baghdad and Ankara, and the condition was that Mosul will be liberated. Since we are there, can you confirm that Turkish presence is coming to an end, and are there still Turkish troops in that region? Thank you.

    MR MCGURK: A lot of complex questions there – (laughter) – if you know these issues. Yeah. So I did a 90-minute panel and about 30 seconds of the panel got some attention. I think it was very badly mischaracterized. I think we’ve spoken to this, as I mentioned, and I mentioned in most of my public remarks we have worked very closely with Turkey to help seal the border. I mentioned in the battle of Kobani working with the Turks to open up that corridor for the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Euphrates Shield Operation. All these things are very important.

    At the same time, this problem of foreign fighters is a problem for all of us. So 40,000 foreign fighters that came to join ISIS came from 110 countries all around the world. They came through Turkey. And that is a problem. This is very important. That’s not just a problem for Turkey. That’s a problem for these – what we call the source countries too. So if you have 4,000 people coming from Tunisia, 4,000 coming from Saudi Arabia, the Tunisians, the Saudis, all these countries have to do work to make sure that they do all they can to stop the people traveling. And through our coalition, through our coalition working group on foreign fighters, we’ve done an awful lot to help close down those routes. I give the Saudis tremendous credit. I give the Turks tremendous credit in working on this problem.

    Idlib province is a serious problem. It is a haven now for al-Qaida. And I think what my remarks reflected is that this is a problem, as we’ve done when it comes to ISIS, that we have to work together with Turkey and with our other partners to deal with this problem. So – and I think over the coming weeks we’ll be having those conversations.

    On the question of – you asked about Bashiqa. What was your second question in between?

    QUESTION: It was Bashiqa.

    MR MCGURK: Yeah. So Bashiqa is an issue between the Government of Iraq and the Government of Turkey. It is our position that we want the Government of Iraq and the Government to have very strong ties. I think Prime Minister Abadi has had a number of phone calls with Prime Minister Yildirim and with President Erdogan, very constructive calls, and I am confident that we can get this issue worked out in a way that helps improve the relations between both of these important allies and that therefore helps improve stability in this important part of the world.

    QUESTION: So --

    MS NAUERT: Let’s do your last question.

    MR MCGURK: Yeah, thanks.

    MS NAUERT: Thanks, Brett. Let’s move on.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible) today the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that negotiations are taking place between coalition force, U.S. forces, and a Syrian opposition force called Maghawir al-Thawra to create a national army in the southern side of Hasakah city. Can you comment on this? And if it’s the case, why did the U.S. withdraw arms from the Free Syrian Army?

    Another question, please. Do you know the Lebanese army is about to launch an operation against ISIS? Does the coalition intends to lend air support to the Lebanese army in its fight against ISIS?

    MR MCGURK: Many things there I just – I’m not going to comment on, including a report from the Syrian Observatory which I haven’t seen. And when it comes to Lebanon, we had a very successful visit from Prime Minister Hariri here. And he had public remarks with President Trump, and I think I’d let those remarks stand on their own. But Lebanon is a critical ally that we want to see succeed.

    QUESTION: Can I – I had to leave for a second.

    MR MCGURK: Matt.

    QUESTION: Can I – just you – someone probably already answered this. And if you have already answered it, then don’t bother; I’ll just look at the transcript. Did someone ask you about what the Secretary said about stabilization, rebuild the basic – or not rebuild but restore basic utilities and then --

    MR MCGURK: Yeah, Matt. I went into that in some detail.

    QUESTION: No, no, no. Then Iran. If that’s what you’re going to do, why are you confident that you’re not leaving a vacuum that the Iranians will exploit? If you’ve answered it, don’t --

    MR MCGURK: So I didn’t get into an Iranian element, but I think our focus, don’t – don’t dismiss the importance of stabilization. What stabilization means is setting the conditions for people to return to their homes. It means water, electricity, sewage, rubble removal, demining. And what we find is that as people return to their homes – in Anbar province alone, for example, you have a million people who were displaced from ISIS who are now back in areas that used to be under control of ISIS. These are fairly sophisticated people in some of these areas. You see life return to the streets. You see the markets full. You see the schools open.

    And so as you help with stabilization, you see the elements set in place for people to return. And I mean, all I can say is the numbers speak for themselves. Two million Iraqis who were displaced are back in areas that used to be controlled by ISIS. So --

    QUESTION: I get that. But you’re seeing the Iranian influence vastly greater now, are you not?

    MR MCGURK: You’re seeing the Iranians kind of flood the market with some of their products and things. And I think the long-term bet – and it’s something we’re talking with the Iraqis about – we have GE doing multibillion dollar – these are all private deals, not done by the U.S. Government – private deals about long-term electricity generation in Baghdad. That’s being done by General Electric. We have some of the best American oil firms helping to regenerate some of the fields in the south, helping to capture flare gas and export it to Kuwait – the kind of things that make a tremendous, tremendous difference. That’s being done by American firms.

    QUESTION: And you see that in Syria, too?

    MR MCGURK: Again, Syria long term – long-term reconstruction of Syria is really dependent upon getting a credible political horizon on the table. As I mentioned, Matt – I think you might have stepped out – until there is that credible political horizon, the international community is not just going to – will not be coming to the aid of – to reconstruct Syria. That’s just the reality.

    QUESTION: Thanks.

    MS NAUERT: Thanks, everybody. Have a great weekend.

    MR MCGURK: Thank you.


              What The Oil Drum Meant        

    The popular peak oil blog The Oil Drum (TOD) began in early 2005.  I joined as a contributor in mid 2005, later becoming an editor, and I left the site in early 2008.  TOD continued in the meantime, at least up until now when the current editors have decided to transition to an archival format.  They don't feel the quality and quantity of post submissions justify continuing.  They asked a number of us old-timers to comment on the significance of TOD, and these are my reflections.

    I start with the chart above.  It shows, from 1950-2012, world oil production annually (red curve, left scale), and real oil prices annually (blue curve, right scale).  I show in green boxes two regions of major disruption, and between them two regions of relatively calm behavior (in white).

    The orderly region from 1950 to 1973 was characterized by very rapid growth in oil production that was achieved at very modest oil prices (around $20/barrel in 2011 dollars).

    Then in 1973 came the Arab oil embargo, followed in 1979 by the Iranian revolution and then the Iraq-Iran war.  These events caused a series of sharp but relatively short-lived contractions in the global oil supply.  The result was huge price increases, and a permanent change in the way the world used oil.

    After the dust settled in the mid eighties, oil production resumed growing fairly steadily, but never again at the frenetic pace of before the seventies - from now on society was more concerned with fuel efficiency and grew oil consumption more slowly.  Prices fell into the $30 range, and remained there, give or take, for the next couple of decades.  This was the second period of stability in the oil markets since WWII.

    Then, in late 2004, global oil production largely stopped growing and entered a rough plateau.  Prices began to shoot up, reaching well over $100/barrel within a few years, and largely staying there to this day (making allowance for a sharp downward fluctuation during the great recession).

    There sprang up a large debate about the meaning of these events.  The Oil Drum in particular I believe came to function as a central node in this debate, and one of the best places to hear a range of views that were based on a close analysis of the available data.  The reason TOD is now coming to a close is that the need for this particular debate is over, at least for the time being.  The data have spoken.

    One extreme in this debate was what came to be known as cornucopians, epitomized by Daniel Yergin of the consultancy CERA.  He made a long series of predictions that oil production would resume growing and prices would fall any day now.  This was most famously satirized in a graph by Glenn Morton:


    Obviously, this didn't happen.  Oil production has not risen rapidly, and prices have not returned anywhere close to the pre-2004 idea of normal.

    Another extreme in the debate were "doomers" who believed that global oil production would begin to fall very rapidly, very soon, because peak oil was upon us.  "We're all gonna die" was the logical implication.  One such forecaster was TOD contributor Ace who produced a series of forecasts like this one which showed oil production beginning a precipitous decline as of the date of the forecast:


    The same piece forecast oil prices to rise rapidly and steadily and pass $200/barrel by the end of 2012. That didn't happen either.

    I'm not sure anyone predicted the last eight years perfectly (including me).  Still, on the whole, the various "moderates" in the debate came closest.  What has actually occurred can best be seen in this graph which shows monthly oil production from a variety of data sources from 2002 onward:


    The green curve is the EIA's estimate of the production of "crude and condensate" - C&C - which is a fairly narrow definition of oil that largely measures liquid hydrocarbons that flow out of the ground.  The other curves show various estimates of "all liquids", which adds things like biofuels and "natural gas liquids" - compounds like propane and butane removed from natural gas production.  These aren't really oil, but can substitute for it to varying degrees and so are often counted with it.

    The crude-and-condensate curve is bumpy, but does slope upward slightly.  The all liquids curve slopes up more, reflecting the fact that global natural gas production has increased steadily.  High oil prices and government policies also induced a biofuel boom after 2005.

    Thus we seem to live in a world in which, although traditional sources of oil are declining in many places, high oil prices (around $100-$120) are able to bring out enough low quality sources of hydrocarbon to offset this decline and just a bit more.  Examples include oil fracced from very tight rocks in North Dakota, and tar sands production in Canada.  These sources are difficult enough to bring on line that prices have not crashed, but are sufficient to prevent global oil production from actually declining.  Clearly, we have not passed peak oil yet, and it's not at all clear when we will.

    In the meantime, the situation has gotten quite dull.  I compile graphs of oil production every month, and it's gotten somewhat akin to watching paint dry; every month, it's pretty much flat, and I tire of saying the same things over and over again.

    On the other hand, we certainly don't live in the pre-2004 world any more.  Oil prices are high, and there seems little prospect that they will ever fall below $100/barrel for any sustained period.  If for no other reason, Saudi Arabia needs an oil price somewhere around there to balance its budget, and they are always in a position to force the price to stay above that threshold by modest decreases in their production.

    Furthermore, the situation remains very vulnerable to disruption.  Whereas in the eighties and nineties there was large amounts of spare capacity in oil production, nowadays there is little, and perhaps almost none.  Any disruption in any sizeable oil producer will cause a large price spike - as we saw in 2011 when a revolution in Libya, which produced less than 2% of the world's oil, caused a sizeable price spike.

    As I write, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran are all subject to varying degrees of economic and political turmoil.  We in the west are apparently about to bomb the Syrian government, as an interesting experiment to see what that does to the stability of the Middle East.

    I assume at some point a large oil producer will descend into turmoil and then there will be a large price spike, and that may kick the global oil market out of the current meta-stable state.  However, there is no telling when that might happen.  In the mean time, oil production slowly creeps upward, and oil prices are around $100-$120.

    One final point worth making: while global oil production has not peaked, oil consumption by the developed OECD countries almost certainly has.  Since China, India, the Middle East, etc are all growing their production rapidly, and global supply is almost stagnant, OECD consumption must decline, and it has been:


    I do not expect OECD consumption of oil to surpass its 2005 peak.
              Tuesday Links        

              Saudi Arabian Oil Production        

    The above graph shows Saudi production of crude and condensate (ie oil) from 1995 through July.  There are several data sources, but the black line is the average.  The red curve is the number of oil rigs working in the country, and is a rough proxy for the level of effort being made to maintain or increase production.

    In the middle of the price spike in 2005-2008, Saudi Arabia began to reduce production, rather than increasing it, and at the same time increased drilling over the very low level they had traditionally maintained.  This suggested to some of us difficulty maintaining production (probably due to long-standing under-investment in developing new resources to replace aging fields).

    Then in late 2008, Saudi Arabia sharply reduced production in response to falling demand due to the great recession.  Simultaneously, the drilling program was allowed to fall off.  Then, several months after the Libyan revolution, Saudi Arabia increased production again to almost 10mbd, and began increasing rigs again, which has continued since, with some bumps along the way.  However, they decreased production in late 2012 (possibly to offset US production increases), and have only partially restored that production again.

    It is unclear how much further Saudi Arabia could increase production - they never provide sufficient detail to verify claims as to spare capacity.  The conservative view is that they can only increase to previously demonstrated levels - in this case, that is only a few hundred kbd above the present level.  If that were the case, a fairly modest disruption in oil supply anywhere on the planet would be enough to trigger sharp price increases (much as the Arab Spring did).
              Economic and Geo-Political Prognosis for 2015        

    Paper No. 5856                                 Dated 12-Jan-2015

    Guest Column by Dr. Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari and Srividya Kannan Ramachandran

    Abstract:

    The re-moderation of the world economy set in place over the past few years continues apace. Notwithstanding some lasting damage on the supply side through the 2008 recessionary trough, our outlook for 2015 is bullish weighing more on optimistic data trends than on continued negative sentiment proffered from some analyst quarters.

    Around the world in 80 (or more) words:

    Treating the ten-year US Treasury bond yield as a proxy indicator for that nation's nominal GDP growth, we anticipate United States to grow around 3% next year.[1] While this does not mark a return to the buoyant 90s, it is better than the secular stagnation hypothesized earlier in 2014.[2] With US acting as an engine to spur growth, the world economy should also expand by more than 3%.[3] Stability across the world will be maintained – as sparks without a concomitant fury will characterize both overt (e.g. Russia-West over Ukraine) and covert (e.g. China-Japan over Senkaku) animosities.[4] European stagnation from debt and unemployment will be counterbalanced through quantitative easing by the European Central Bank.[5] Similar action in Japan will display the limits of Abe-nomics.[6] China will prepare for a structural slowdown emphasizing domestic consumption and de-leveraging an over-heated financial sector; all the while growing at a 7% rate that will amaze rivals around the world.[7] Indian reform, even if inadequate, will boost the middle classes and reinforce confidence in the Modi government.[8] African countries will find their commodity boom dissipate and ease of borrowing decline as commodity prices fall and yields rise in the developed world.[9]

    Continental tectonics:

    a. North America:

    Economic benefits arising from the exploitation of shale gas have not only silenced the anti-fracking environmentalists, they have altered the strategic world-view of Washington politicians.[10] As US aims to overtake even Saudi Arabia in oil/NGL production in 2015 (and the Saudis pull out all stops in preventing it by driving crude prices down), it has markedly reduced its role as a global policeman.[11] Its own economy is on the mend even as a lame-duck president will be boggled down with partisan grid-lock. Markets will fret about the mid-year (or earlier?) hike in interest rates; though Main Street - aided by a strong dollar - will likely shrug it off with a continued upward movement across different sectors.[12]

    Mexico and Canada will benefit from their tight coupling with the United States.[13] Enrique Pena Nieto will claim credit for reforming the Mexican economy – across sectors as diverse as energy and telecom.[14] Pemex, dear to the Mexicans, will face some competition, though nothing remotely similar to the American acquisition of Tim Hortons – dear to the Canadians – will happen.[15] Up north, the Canadian elections in 2015 will reveal whether the country has reverted to its liberal propensities or sticks with Harper's conservative agenda.[16]

    b. Latin and South America:

    The outlook is disappointing across much of the region. Run-away inflation hammers Argentina and Venezuela; milder ill-effects bedevil Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay.[17] The Maduro regime in Venezuela and the Kirchner government in Argentina continue to flirt with disaster as their GDP growths slip and mass discontent builds up.[18] Dilma Rousseff has stabilized her position electorally, though her policies continue to disappoint investors and have the potential to reignite sudden protests like the 2013 bus-fare protests.[19] Dependence on commodity exports in a time of declining prices does not portend well for any of the South American states, including Brazil.[20] On a positive note, Cuba – already expected by analysts to grow by close to 4% next year – will see a boost to its fortunes accruing from a thaw in relations with US under Obama.[21]

    c. Africa:

    African nations had a great run in the past few years. This arose not only from the boom in commodity prices but also from the need for yield amongst DM (developed market) investors resulting in investment in both corporate and public African bonds.[22] In 2015, these factors could dissipate which will place pressure on countries like Angola where household spending has risen more than 4000% since the start of the millennium.[23] Ethiopia and Kenya are expected to continue on a robust growth path.[24] Contradictions abound within Africa, and nowhere are they more visible than in Nigeria. While the northern part struggles under the oppression of Boko Haram, the southern part booms under Goodluck Jonathan's president-ship.[25] In neighboring South Sudan, one is reminded of the risk-reward payoff as the nation widely tipped to experience spectacular growth in 2014, got mired in conflict, with the consequent dissipation of growth potential.[26]

    American intervention in Libya undermined the Gaddafi-imposed order and has led to a civil war between the Islamist and secularist factions which will hold back that nation in the coming year.[27] A more benign intervention was that of the French in Mali in 2013; we expect more calls for Hollande's assistance in 2015.[28] El Sisi has stabilized Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood interlude in the post-Mubarak era. Though more brutal than Mubarak, the El Sisi regime is being propped by both the Americans and Saudis, leading us to expect the recent bull run in Egyptian markets to continue.[29] ANC rule in South Africa continues unimpeded. Though atrophied by many scandals, the rule should produce close to 3% growth in the coming year.[30]

    d. Middle East:

    The region continues to be a cesspool of ethno-sectarian rivalries as the century-old Sykes-Pikot agreement unravels.[31] Recep Erdogan has stabilized Turkey and should reap a growth on par with other emerging economies.[32] Erdogan's external actions driven by AKP's crypto-desire to establish a caliphate will see him prop the Islamic State (IS) just so that it can damage Shia and Kurdish interests; but not enough to threaten his own Sunni hegemonic plans.[33] The Saudi establishment has focused on the removal of the Muslim brotherhood threat; now they will focus on limiting Shia Iranian influence by keeping crude prices low.[34] Western companies made a beeline to Iran in 2014 in hope of an impending thaw; much will depend on the negotiation ability of the Rouhani establishment on the sanction front.[35] Dubai and Israel remain insulated from the turmoil around and could reap the benefit of the uptick in the world economy.[36] The risk of sudden flare-ups like the 2014 Gaza war continue to remain on the Israeli radar.

    e. Asia and Australia:

    The Asian political scene is remarkably stable with China, Japan and India looking inward to stabilize their economies under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi, respectively. Some events have gone unnoticed by world media – for example, China starts the year of the goat as the world's largest economy when measured in PPP terms and for the first time ever, Chinese outbound investments could exceed those inbound.[37] The establishment of China on the world stage has made Xi stronger than any Chinese leader in recent memory bar Chairman Mao himself. The Abe regime will continue on its reformist route of bringing Japan out of the deflationary zone, while winking at nationalist sentiment calling for a re-interpretation of the country's post-war pacifist role.[38] Down south in India, Modi has surprised both supporters and detractors alike by his middle-path approach to reforming the economy and his zealous interest in foreign policy. While reforming cautiously, he has not removed the populist schemes of the previous government. 2015 will see him act unimpeded by local elections (other than in Bihar) and will prove to be a litmus test of his claims of good governance.[39]

    Afghanistan under Ashraf Ghani will face more trouble from Taliban as US adopts the Pakistani classification into good versus bad Taliban.[40] In nearby Pakistan, the wildly popular Imran Khan - with some help, perhaps, from the deep state – will challenge the established parties in their home turfs.[41] In Indonesia, Jake Widodo has come to power with Imran Khan-type support amongst the youth, and he will be hard-pressed to implement his reformist agenda – including reducing fuel subsidies – amidst persistent opposition from entrenched interests.[42] ASEAN will continue to slip on its stated intentions for closer cooperation.[43] Australia will try to balance its strategic partnership with the United States with economic dalliances with the Chinese.[44]

    f. Europe and Russia:

    Vladimir Putin will be emboldened by the short-term rise in domestic popularity; and hence ignore the longer-term implications of his intervention in Ukraine.[45] Tighter coupling with Kazakhstan and Belarus will not prevent what is likely to be a low-growth and high-inflation year for the Russians.[46] Europe as a whole continues to underperform, and it will be most visible in France and Italy both of whom might record less than 1% growth in GDP. With the Trierweller-Gayet saga behind his back, Francois Hollande will attempt to rein in a deficit running at close to 4% of GDP. Even with help from ECB's quantitative easing program, there is little expectation that Hollande can avoid being the most unpopular leader amongst all western democracies.[47] In Italy, high debt and unemployment – exemplified by the statistic of four-fifths of Italians between the ages of 20-31 living with parents – will hamper any efforts Matteo Renzi might take to pull the economy out of its doldrums.[48]

    The Greeks might look forward to a better year, especially when juxtaposed against their recent past. On the back of painful reforms, the Greek economy is widely anticipated to commence its long journey back to health, though there might be recurrent political scares and recalcitrant rumors of a Greek exit.[49] The German government will be buffeted by opposing demands – external calls for a more interventionist role in stabilizing the world economy and internal ones for tempering the same. Cautious progress on the fiscal front will lead to modest GDP growth.[50] Ironically, the European nations with best GDP growth projections are also the ones with the highest exposure to Putin's misadventures, viz. Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.[51]

    Sectors and segments:

    Having dropped significantly in the past few months, the level of oil prices affects the prospects for many industry sectors in 2015.  Oil is typically expected to revert to the mean because a lower oil price has discernible impact on both supply (by discouraging investment in its production and distribution) and demand (by boosting economic activity) sides.[52] The speed of such mean-reversion remains unclear. Russia, Iran and US shale producers (esp. those who are not based at strategic locations) suffer disproportionally more than the Saudi establishment at current price levels.[53] Lower oil prices will provide a fillip to consumer discretionary industries and airlines; and have an adverse impact on railroad (benefiting from oil transportation) and petrochemical companies. The shale gas boom - apart from increasing housing activity - is also the prime driver behind growth in the US steel and construction material sectors; consequently both the steel and construction sectors will remain susceptible to crude movements.[54]

    Low interest rates and low macro-growth prospects will induce companies with excess cash to acquire other companies to report earnings growth. That trend will be apparent in companies transacting in sectors as diverse as healthcare, industrials, semiconductors, software and materials.[55] On another side of investment banks, trading desks will see higher market volatility as major powers pursue divergent paths to monetary policy (e.g. US against EU/Japan).[56] In US, regulatory obligations increasing cost of capital for holding certain securities might lead to decreased broker liquidity.[57] 2015 shall see the big banks grapple with the regulations in Basel III and Volcker; one expects regulatory push towards vanilla deposit-taking and lending to continue.[58] Analysts will hope that stronger balance sheets coupled with a return to profitability lead to increased dividend payout for investors in financial stocks. China will seek to tame its overheated financial sector amidst a structural slowdown[59], and India will see RBI governor Raghuram Rajan continue his battle against political interference in corporate lending.[60] Wealth management services will perform remarkably well not only in China, but also to a lesser extent in US as a rising market creates wealth and a retiring baby-boomer crowd seeks to couple low risk with acceptable return.[61] In the arena of mobile payment, Apple Pay will try to avoid the lackluster performance of earlier attempts like Google Wallet.[62]

    Lower gasoline prices and an accompanying increase in disposable income (through wealth creation at the markets, increased home values, reduced unemployment and improved economic activity) creates a positive outlook for the consumer discretionary sector. Companies dealing with organic farming benefit from increased health consciousness; the market for yoga will continue to rise as 2014 saw the UN declare a world yoga day on Modi's initiative.[63] Even as DVDs and Blue-rays fall, digital film subscriptions and on-demand internet steaming will rise to please Hollywood.[64] Bollywood will get over its obsession with INR 100 crore revenues as movies will cross that level more frequently.[65]  With supply level of hotels remaining the same as few years back, revenue per room will rise across the sector.[66] Tighter access to credit continues to hamper the rise in existing house sales, which nevertheless should improve over the past year.[67] Asian apparel manufacturers continue to improve their market share in the fast fashion market.[68]  October 2015 will see Europeans benefit from the eCall service in all their new cars, which allows a car to immediately report details to the base-stations on any accident. New carbon-emission standards also come into force in Europe; even elsewhere the move towards higher efficiency in cars will continue.[69] Widodo will be pleased at the growth in automobile sales in Indonesia, which should exceed those of other major markets.[70] Internet advertising is rising faster than television commercials, though 2015 will still see the latter dominate the former in overall revenue generated.[71] Privacy concerns continue to erode on the social media front.[72] The newspaper industry will see increased number of advertorials re-packaged as "native advertising" by which companies will pay for advertisements to be written as paid newspaper article.[73]

    In India, the BJP government is yet to clarify its position on foreign direct investment in retail.[74] Irrespective of its final decision, retail sales should surge sharply upward there as the consummation of pent-up demand of past few years couples with the thriving of 'mall culture' in middle-tier cities. China will also see an increase in retail sales inspite of its investigation in to WalMart.[75] The anti-corruption campaign though will negatively impact luxury good sales as well as those of higher-end automobiles there[76]. A strong dollar will affect US companies with significant operations abroad. Wheat production might match 2014 record volumes in Europe[77]; though more newsprint will probably be devoted to higher prices of cocoa from Ivory Coast.[78] Idiosyncrasies of local markets will shine as Dubai invests in large-scale brick and mortal malls, while Manhattan gets more of its groceries delivered at home steps.[79]

    Demand for energy should rise at the same pace as the world GDP next year. Analysts will point at attractive valuations of oil companies.[80] If shale price remains attractive, Sabine Pass in Louisiana will emerge as the first plant in US to export LNG.[81] Four years after the Fukushima incident, Japan will see nuclear reactors back in operation at Sendai.[82]

    2014 saw the denizens of the developed world fret about Ebola, breast cancer (through a campaign by actor Angelina Jolie) and ALS (through the ice bucket challenge).[83] Overall, health spending will comfortably outpace the rate of growth of the overall economy. Long-term secular trends driving this are the aging population in the western world (with the population pyramid replaced by a population dome) and an emerging middle class elsewhere with increasing demand for improved access to healthcare.[84] Universal healthcare has been promised for all in India, which should drive up healthcare expenditure by a significant amount there.[85] In 2015, large US companies are mandated under Obama-care to provide insurance to more than 70% of their eligible workforce.[86] Uncertainty on US healthcare reform and debate thereon may cause short-term price volatility. Millennial Development Goals will reviewed by the UN later in the year with a new set of goalposts announced for countries to be met by 2030; different NGOs will campaign vigorously through media to get their pet agendas included in the final list.[87]

    Transportation companies will report higher earnings from increased economic activity.[88] Apart from some airlines which have suffered reputation damage through recurring accidents, airline companies will benefit from the reduced oil prices. Defense industry will see robust growth in China, as "Chi-America" remains no more a chimera.[89] Alarmed by this increase, Vietnam with Philippines will move within the US ambit and Australia will seek to join the tripartite naval exercises in the Indian Ocean between US, Japan and India.[90] Tensions in Eastern Europe and the middle-east will favor increases in expenditure across the region. The nationalist government in India will increase defense expenditure sharply even as it moves beyond lip-service on the long-standing issue of indigenization of defense manufacturing.[91]

    The mantra of social-local-mobile (SoLoMo in tech jargon) continues to drive the consumer markets division of information technology companies.[92] Expenditure on IT hardware is significantly retarded by the increasing move to cloud computing.[93] The move to cloud computing - along with increasing use of mobile commerce - bodes well for the computer security business.[94] India should see a sharp increase in smart phone adoption; elsewhere tablet computers will rise against laptop and desktops.[95] Embedded systems coupled with rudimentary networking will be marketed as an all-encompassing internet of things as the era of big data continues.[96]  Today, a single family in US places more demands on data flow than the entire planet did a decade back; and even this data rate is expected to increase by a whopping 70% over the next year. Consolidation in the cable sector (e.g Comcast with Time Warner Cable) and the convergence of content with distribution (e.g. AT&T with DirectTV) are two trends that should continue on from 2014.[97] Even as Indians will talk about 3G coverage spanning the nation; Americans will tweet about 4G price warfare and the Chinese will see ZTE unveil a 5G prototype.[98] Facebook will have more users than China has human beings.[99] Analysts will harp about impact of interest-rate hikes on high dividend paying telecom stocks.[100] Apart from the financial industry, telecom will emerge as an industry most impacted by federal regulation across the globe.

    The anthropologist Edward Weyer once compared the future to being akin to a "corridor into which we can see only through the light coming from behind".  It is in that sense that we have analyzed the data of the bygone year and tried to extrapolate into the days and months ahead. And when some are falsified - and falsified, some will be - then we shall lay credit for the same at the feet of those responsible - viz. us, the people.

    [The authors are based in New York City, and can be contacted through email at tkrajesh@gmail.com and srivi019@gmail.com. The views represented above are personal and do not in any manner reflect those of the institutions affiliated with the authors.]

    References


    [1] See the graph titled "10 year bond yield: annual change and real GDP: annual % change" at http://www.swcollege.com/bef/econ_data/bond_yield/bond_yield_data.html.

    [2] "Secular stagnation: facts, causes and cures", a VoxEU eBook at  http://www.voxeu.org/sites/default/files/Vox_secular_stagnation.pdf.

    [4] A brief historical perspective on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is at http://www.summer.harvard.edu/blog-news-events/conflict-ukraine-historical-perspective.

    The Economist magazine summarizes the debate over Senkaku islands at http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/12/economist-explains-1.

    [5] “The ECB, demigods and eurozone quantitative easing” at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c90dd466-7bb4-11e4-a695-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3NIKpG2Fx.

    [6] “Bank of Japan announces more quantitative easing: the next chapter in Abenomics” at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonhartley/2014/11/02/bank-of-japan-announces-more-quantitative-easing-the-next-chapter-in-abenomics/.

    [7] “World Bank urges China to cut economic growth target to seven percent in 2015, focus on reforms” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/29/us-china-worldbank-idUSKBN0II05P20141029.

    [8] “Reforms by PM Narendra Modi will help India to grow 5.5% this year, 6.3% next year: ADB” at http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-12-17/news/57154602_1_cent-the-adb-growth-forecast.

    [10] “The experts: how the US oil boom will change the markets and geopolitics”, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324105204578382690249436084

    [13] “Economic growth patterns in USA, Canada, Mexico and China” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dominik-knoll/economic-growth-patterns-_b_5832182.html.

    [14] “Mexican president Pena Nieto's ratings slip with economic reform” at http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/08/26/mexican-president-pena-nietos-ratings-slip-with-economic-reform/.

    [17] “Andres Oppenheimer: Latin America's forecast for 2015: not good” at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article2503660.html.

    [18] “Maduro blames plunging oil prices on US war vs Russia, Venezuela” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/30/us-venezuela-oil-idUSKBN0K802020141230 and “What's in store for post-Kirchner Argentina” at http://globalriskinsights.com/2014/12/whats-store-post-kirchner-argentina/

    [19] “Brazil economists cut 2015 growth forecast to slowest on record” at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-11/brazil-economists-cut-2015-growth-forecast-to-slowest-on-record.html

    [20] “Economic snapshot for Latin America” at http://www.focus-economics.com/regions/latin-america.

    [21] “Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico business forecast report Q1 2015” at http://www.marketresearch.com/Business-Monitor-International-v304/Cuba-Dominican-Republic-Puerto-Rico-8538079/ and “Obama's Cuba move is Florida's top story for 2014” at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/29/obamas-cuba-move-is-floridas-top-story-of-2014/.

    [24] “Ethiopia overview” at  http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ethiopia/overview and “Kenya overview” at http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/kenya/overview.

    [26] “Internal violence in South Sudan” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=33.

    [27] “Political instability in Libya” at http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/?marker=14.

    [28] “The regional impact of the armed conflict and French intervention in Mali” at http://www.peacebuilding.no/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/f18726c3338e39049bd4d554d4a22c36.pdf.

    [29] “EGX head optimistic on equities as Egyptian economy recovers” at http://www.thenational.ae/business/markets/egx-head-optimistic-on-equities-as-egyptian-economy-recovers.

    [30] “Economy - outlook for 2015 dismal, despite boost” at http://mg.co.za/article/2014-11-25-economy-outlook-for-2015-not-encouraging-despite-boost.

    [31] “Pre-state Israel: The Sykes-Picot agreement” at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/sykes_pico.html.

    [32] “Turkey - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/turkey-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

    [34] “Saudi-Iranian relations since the fall of Saddam” at http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG840.html.

    [36] “Dubai 2015 cross sector business outlook extremely bullish” at http://ameinfo.com/blog/mentors/c/capital-club/dubai-2015-cross-sector-business-outlook-extremely-bullish/ and “Israel - economic forecast summary (Nov 2014)” at http://www.oecd.org/economy/israel-economic-forecast-summary.htm.

    [37] “China's leap forward: overtaking the US as world's biggest economy” at http://blogs.ft.com/ftdata/2014/10/08/chinas-leap-forward-overtaking-the-us-as-worlds-biggest-economy/.

    [38] “Understanding Shinzo Abe and Japanese nationalism” at http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/05/26/understanding-shinzo-abe-and-japanese-nationalism/.

    [39] Book: “Getting India back on track: an action agenda for reform” edited by B. Debroy, A. J. Tellis and R. Trevor.

    [40] “US may not target Mullah Omar after this year" at http://www.dawn.com/news/1152382.

    [41] “The rise and rise of Kaptaan” at http://tribune.com.pk/story/800722/the-rise-and-rise-of-kaptaan/.

    [42] “Widodo launches reform agenda with fuel price hike” at http://www.focus-economics.com/news/indonesia/fiscal/widodo-launches-reform-agenda-fuel-price-hike.

    [43] “ASEAN's elusive integration” at http://opinion.inquirer.net/74164/aseans-elusive-integration.

    [46] “Russia's economics ministry downgrades 2015 oil price forecast to $80 per barrel” at http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/764662.

    [47] “Hollande popularity plumbs new low in mid-term French poll” at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/06/us-france-hollande-idUSKBN0IQ14R20141106.

              Politics - USA        
     skyth wrote:
    It amazes me that the military is so pro-Repubican. After all, the Republicans are generally the ones that send them off to war let them get blown up, but want to cut funding for the VA and such after they come back hurt and need help.


    I voted for Bush 1 because prior to him, no major war had started under a Republican President since the Spanish American War (edit thanks Ouze)

    Lets review

    WWI-Democrat
    WWII-Democrat
    Korea-Democrat
    Vietnam-Democrat
    Panama-Republican (edit-thanks Ouze)
    US-Iraq I -Republican
    Kosova- Democrat
    Afghanistan-republican
    Iraq II-Republican
    Libya-Democrat
    Iraq III - Democrat

    yep, you're right.
              Politics - USA        
     Frazzled wrote:
     skyth wrote:
    It amazes me that the military is so pro-Repubican. After all, the Republicans are generally the ones that send them off to war let them get blown up, but want to cut funding for the VA and such after they come back hurt and need help.


    I voted for Bush 1 because prior to him, no Republican President had started a major war since the Spanish American War.

    Lets review

    WWI-Democrat
    WWII-Democrat
    Korea-Democrat
    Vietnam-Democrat
    US-Iraq I -Republican
    Kosova- Democrat
    Afghanistan-republican
    Iraq II-Republican
    Libya-Democrat
    Iraq III - Democrat

    yep, you're right.


    Notice you didn't say anything about the main point, which is cutting benefits to wounded soldiers once they come back...
              Re:Politics - USA        
     Ouze wrote:
    You forgot Panama.

    Also, it's a little odd to claim a US president of either stripe started WW2 or the invasion of Afghanistan.


    Panama-thanks! will update.

    Fair point, my intent was that the President at the time.


    Automatically Appended Next Post:
     Kilkrazy wrote:
    It's not as straightforwards as you make it look.

    The Vietnam War finished in 1973 (ground involvement.)

    Since then ground forces have been sent to Grenada, the Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, all by Republican presidents. All the other involvements have been air force only, and these days even that increasingly depends on pilotless vehicles.

    The other significant intervention was by US forces under UN command in Mogadishu in 1993, and the result of this was to convince the (Democrat) president to withdraw the US forces.

    Thus realistically if you want to be a US ground forces personnel that a Democrat president has sent off to be shot at in a foreign coutry, you need to be an old age pensioner.

    To be frank, though, I think this is a stupid pissing match. The reason any country has armed forces is because sometimes they do need to be sent off to fight whether the government of the day is left-wing or right-wing. Service people accept that as part of the business. The reasons why US and also UK armed forces tend to be conservative is due to long-standing cultural background.


    Sorry I don't distinguish between stabbing someone in the heart and killing them from 10,000 feet. I doubt they do either.
    Those forces are also guided by personnel on the ground. Don't kid yourself.



    Automatically Appended Next Post:
     skyth wrote:
     Frazzled wrote:
     skyth wrote:
    It amazes me that the military is so pro-Repubican. After all, the Republicans are generally the ones that send them off to war let them get blown up, but want to cut funding for the VA and such after they come back hurt and need help.


    I voted for Bush 1 because prior to him, no Republican President had started a major war since the Spanish American War.

    Lets review

    WWI-Democrat
    WWII-Democrat
    Korea-Democrat
    Vietnam-Democrat
    US-Iraq I -Republican
    Kosova- Democrat
    Afghanistan-republican
    Iraq II-Republican
    Libya-Democrat
    Iraq III - Democrat

    yep, you're right.


    Notice you didn't say anything about the main point, which is cutting benefits to wounded soldiers once they come back...


    I don't see the VA being fixed. Should I blame Obama? Why are you playing this game when clearly you will lose. Can we get back to the topic now?

    Its going to suck for you to vote for Hillary knowing she's more right wing than the Republican candidate or Obama. Feel the Bern!
              Re:Politics - USA        
    So this has been blowing up my Twittah:

    Benghazi chairman ignores statement by GOP lawyer



    WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Benghazi committee's Republican chairman is ignoring statements by his own former lawyer indicating that the U.S. military acted properly on the night of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Libya, the panel's Democrats said.

    Reps. Elijah Cummings and Adam Smith said Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., omitted the lawyer's comments when he fired back at the Defense Department for criticizing the GOP-led investigation into the attacks that killed four Americans.

    Gowdy's actions, coupled with delays that have pushed the 2-year-old inquiry into the heat of the 2016 presidential race, "have damaged the credibility of the Select Committee beyond repair," Cummings and Smith wrote Sunday in a letter to Gowdy.

    The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

    Cummings of Maryland is the senior Democrat on the Benghazi panel; Smith, of Washington state, is the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. He also serves on the select Benghazi panel.

    The criticism by the two Democrats is the latest volley in an escalating, election-year fight over the Benghazi panel's actions — or inaction. The panel, created in May 2014, has not conducted a public hearing since October when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified.

    Democrats call the panel a thinly veiled excuse for Republicans to criticize Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Republicans say the Obama administration has dragged its feet, failing to produce needed documents or interview subjects, delaying a final report.

    U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was among those died during the twin assaults nearly four years ago. Previous investigations blamed management failures at the State Department for a lack of security at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, an issue that has dogged Clinton and other Obama administration officials.

    Cummings and Smith cite comments by retired Army Lt. Gen. Dana Chipman, who served as chief counsel for Republicans on the Benghazi panel from August 2014 until last January.

    Chipman "repeatedly commended the military's actions on the night of the attacks during closed interviews with Defense Department officials," Cummings and Smith wrote.

    Chipman, a former judge advocate general for the Army, attended a closed-door interview with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Jan. 8.

    [d-usa: he had security clearance to read emails, so he knows what he's talking about!!!]

    Cummings and Smith quote Chipman as telling Panetta: "I think you ordered exactly the right forces to move out and to head toward a position where they could reinforce what was occurring in Benghazi or Tripoli or elsewhere in the region. And, sir, I don't disagree with the actions you took, the recommendations you made and the decisions you directed."

    Chipman later told Panetta he was "worried" that U.S. officials were caught by surprise during the Benghazi raids, which occurred on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Still, Chipman told Panetta: "Nothing could have affected what occurred in Benghazi," Cummings and Smith wrote.

    The letter from the Democrats comes after Gowdy sent a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter complaining that a top Pentagon official had intentionally mischaracterized the House inquiry.

    Gowdy said comments by Stephen C. Hedger, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, were "riddled with factual inaccuracies" and did "a disservice to the public" and employees at the Defense Department.

    Hedger, in an April 28 letter to Gowdy, expressed frustration with the Benghazi panel, citing a "crescendo" of costly, duplicative and unnecessary requests, including a few based on claims made on Facebook or talk radio.

              Politics - USA        
     Ouze wrote:
     dogma wrote:
    The impeachable offense still needs to be committed in office, the question regards whether or not it needs to be the office the person presently holds.


    I don't think that's specified in Article 2, Section 4. I think it's left intentionally vague just for these sorts of "unknown unknowns". Does it matter, anyway - I mean, who is going to check Congress if they decided to impeach? No one has the authority to - it seems like an academic question.


    Are you saying can she be retroactively impeached as Secretary of State? Since the only remedy is removal of office, and she doesn't hold that office, it doesn't seem likely to me.



    I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that once you're President, you could only be impeached/removed from office for things committed during said Presidency.

    In any case, ain't.going.to.happen. Democrats in the House/Senate would have to play ball in this and I seriously doubt they'll play along.


    Automatically Appended Next Post:
     d-usa wrote:
    So this has been blowing up my Twittah:
    Spoiler:

    Benghazi chairman ignores statement by GOP lawyer



    WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Benghazi committee's Republican chairman is ignoring statements by his own former lawyer indicating that the U.S. military acted properly on the night of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Libya, the panel's Democrats said.

    Reps. Elijah Cummings and Adam Smith said Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., omitted the lawyer's comments when he fired back at the Defense Department for criticizing the GOP-led investigation into the attacks that killed four Americans.

    Gowdy's actions, coupled with delays that have pushed the 2-year-old inquiry into the heat of the 2016 presidential race, "have damaged the credibility of the Select Committee beyond repair," Cummings and Smith wrote Sunday in a letter to Gowdy.

    The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

    Cummings of Maryland is the senior Democrat on the Benghazi panel; Smith, of Washington state, is the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. He also serves on the select Benghazi panel.

    The criticism by the two Democrats is the latest volley in an escalating, election-year fight over the Benghazi panel's actions — or inaction. The panel, created in May 2014, has not conducted a public hearing since October when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified.

    Democrats call the panel a thinly veiled excuse for Republicans to criticize Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Republicans say the Obama administration has dragged its feet, failing to produce needed documents or interview subjects, delaying a final report.

    U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was among those died during the twin assaults nearly four years ago. Previous investigations blamed management failures at the State Department for a lack of security at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, an issue that has dogged Clinton and other Obama administration officials.

    Cummings and Smith cite comments by retired Army Lt. Gen. Dana Chipman, who served as chief counsel for Republicans on the Benghazi panel from August 2014 until last January.

    Chipman "repeatedly commended the military's actions on the night of the attacks during closed interviews with Defense Department officials," Cummings and Smith wrote.

    Chipman, a former judge advocate general for the Army, attended a closed-door interview with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Jan. 8.

    [d-usa: he had security clearance to read emails, so he knows what he's talking about!!!]

    Cummings and Smith quote Chipman as telling Panetta: "I think you ordered exactly the right forces to move out and to head toward a position where they could reinforce what was occurring in Benghazi or Tripoli or elsewhere in the region. And, sir, I don't disagree with the actions you took, the recommendations you made and the decisions you directed."

    Chipman later told Panetta he was "worried" that U.S. officials were caught by surprise during the Benghazi raids, which occurred on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Still, Chipman told Panetta: "Nothing could have affected what occurred in Benghazi," Cummings and Smith wrote.

    The letter from the Democrats comes after Gowdy sent a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter complaining that a top Pentagon official had intentionally mischaracterized the House inquiry.

    Gowdy said comments by Stephen C. Hedger, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, were "riddled with factual inaccuracies" and did "a disservice to the public" and employees at the Defense Department.

    Hedger, in an April 28 letter to Gowdy, expressed frustration with the Benghazi panel, citing a "crescendo" of costly, duplicative and unnecessary requests, including a few based on claims made on Facebook or talk radio.

    That Democrat panel is desperate to close this issue down.

    I mean, that Committee *still* hasn't been able to interview key witnesses:


    The Chairman even responded to this already:
    http://benghazi.house.gov/news/press-releases/chairman-gowdy-responds-to-public-allegations-made-by-military-personnel
              Musztardowa tunika bardziej jak bluza        

    Dzisiaj będzie powtórka tuniki z początku roku, ale za to będzie ładniej niż wtedy. Marzec nie wydobył z niej tego,co udało się październikowi. Bo kto pamięta jeszcze, że na początku października było tak pięknie? No, to będzie małe przypomnienie. Musztardowa tunika nadal spełnia swoją funkcję.

    Tak cudnie było w Kruszynianach na tatarskim cmentarzu. Po spacerze chcieliśmy zajść do Tatarskiej Jurty, żeby coś zjeść, ale traf chiał, że stołowali się tam akurat właśnie wtedy dyplomaci z całego świata. Musielibyśmy długo czekać na jedzenie, a byliśmy bardzo głodni. Obejrzeliśmy tylko instrukcję robienia pierekaczewnika, przedstawioną przez Dżennetę Bogdanowicz, co tylko narobiło nam smaku i spowodowało silny ślinotok. Nie było rady, pojechaliśmy dalej, do baru, który się nazywał Tatarskie Jadło. Nie polecam, jedzenie z mikrofali, a miało być świeżo zrobione... Następnym razem poczekamy grzecznie w Jurcie.



              Mordasewicz: obniżenie wieku emerytalnego nie do udźwignięcia        
    Nie możemy przywracać wieku emerytalnego 60 lat dla kobiet i 65 lat dla mężczyzn, bo "zdruzgotalibyśmy rynek pracy i ponieślibyśmy ogromne koszty, oznacza to spowolnienie gospodarki" - twierdzi na łamach Rzeczpospolitej Jeremi Mordasewicz, ekspert Konfederacji Lewiatan.
              Politics - USA        
     sebster wrote:
     whembly wrote:
    Again... we're being asked if we'd prefer gonorrhea or syphilis.


    Yeah, you keep making this comparison in some form or another. It’s a good line, but ultimately at some point you actually have to establish exactly how electing Clinton is like the nation contracting syphilis.

    And not just by launching another personal attack, a claim that she lied about this thing, or by alluding to some Republican allegation of a possible scandal maybe. Talk about actual policy – the things that candidates actually do when they are in office. List some policies of Clinton that are either unpopular among the general Democratic voter base, or policies that represent some kind of genuine threat to the nation in a way that Trump’s proposed debt and trade policies do.

    Because until someone, anyone anywhere really, actually manages to do that, what we actually have is a lot of people saying “we are forced to choose between a candidate with genuinely dangerous policies that border on nonsense, and a candidate with a perfectly ordinary set of policies who has some negative personality traits and I just don’t know what to do”. Which is incredible, really, it shows an almost complete lack of understanding in what is important in a president.

    I ain't voting for either of them.

    I realize we still have a loooooooooooong time where I may be forced to change my mind.

    And frankly, Clinton will handily win Missouri so my vote isn't worth gak. So... I'm opting out.

    IMHO, Clinton will be a disaster because A) she won't be able to escape Obama's past failures as she'll own it, B) Congress will remain divided and I doubt she'll get much done. About the only 'good' thing Clinton does for team blue is that she'll be able to fill 2 maybe 3 more Supreme Court Justice, as well as the lower courts.

    That may be enough for the Bernie Bros to hold their noses and pull for Clinton.

    Trump would be a disaster, but in a different way. I see him very akin to Obama's thin skin... as when things don't go his way he'll act like a petulant brat. ("I won" or "my way or the highway")

    The difference between Trump v. Clinton is that while Clinton may put us on a longterm disasterous path (think Libya & other ME shenanigans)... Trump would be using his authoritarian streak and abuse his powers to put out 100 small fires (hello IRS! get started on auditing 'those' people. And, hello DoJ!). He'd be too busy to create 1 big fire that'll last generational.

    However... Clinton? She knows what she's doing... but, I question her rationale as she's not doing this for altruisitic reasons. It's Team Clinton first. As much as I criticize Obama... I truly believe that he has a vision for America and wants to shape the future.

    Here's another comparison... do we want a "Shady As Feth Candidate"? Or, an entitled "70 year old Imbecile Fratboy"?


    Automatically Appended Next Post:
     dogma wrote:

     whembly wrote:

    No other politician could ever survive on her type of baggages.


    Bush managed to win the Presidency despite the Iraq War, GITMO, the Patriot Act, and DHS.

    In 2004, those really didn't manifest as "baggage" to the scale of Clinton's.
              Politics - USA        
     sebster wrote:

    When 538 lays it out like that, it just seems so obvious that you wonder how or why anyone could think otherwise. Yet here we are, with page after page of people saying all this other nonsense.


    That entire piece is mired in the same faulty thinking you employ, that what the establishment pushes as the Overton window is the ultimate reality that all must bow to. I point to their use of the word "liberal" as being synonymous with "leftist" when the only leftist ideology that isn't an outright enemy of liberalism is social democracy and even then the relationship is kinda frosty. You accept at absolute face value a political system that has spent years carefully gerrymandering districts so that as few votes as possible could matter and has made sure that the two allowed parties don't differ on questions of economic power.

    "How could anyone think otherwise??" is precisely how the Democratic Party reacts to that people don't like Clinton and to how she hasn't done well in the youth vote. They have no perspective on class interests other than their own and expect obedience from all who are registered Democrats because... how could anyone think otherwise? Obviously Trump will lose because he's so gross and some guy on a TV show watched mainly by liberals totally mauled, savaged and destroyed him by raising an eyebrow and going BUWAAH?? at the suggestion that Mexico pay for a border wall (never mind that establishment groups in alliance with Clinton are led by people who think that Libya should pay the US for getting bombed). Indeed, how could anyone think otherwise? That's a good question for you to ask yourself. If you don't I can't promise you that your introduction to historic materialism is going to be pleasant.

     dogma wrote:

    A narrative that was largely pushed by Republicans and Sanders supporters looking to juxtapose their "outsider" status with Hillary's "establishment" status.


    That Clinton is establishment is something her campaign portrayed as a strength.
              Disjointed Podcast #6 - Guest Dmitry        


    Podcast #6 is ready for you ladies and gentlemen.

    This will be our second Podcast to feature a guest, who this time is our friend Dmitry.
    Dmitry was great in getting the disjointed nature of our conversation cranked up and it turned out to be super disjointed!



    Russian Borsch

    We addressed topics from a huge spectrum, starting with Russian food, the Paris fashion show, good documentaries, universities around the world, some yoga, the occupy wall-street movement, economic system and world trade, natural resources, war in Libya, world powers, Jerusalem temple mount(Temple of Solomon), opinion V.S. point of view (comeback 2), the Pacific trash patch man made island and how it affects that ecosystem, killer waves, Wingsuit Basejumping, the Undercity documentary and last but not least; Things that make you go hmmm....


    As you can see, this is as Disjointed as it comes and we will make sure to get Mr. Dmitry to join us again soon with more wicked and astonishing tales.


    Wingsuit Basejump
    If you don't find your cup of tea from one of these topics, do let us know what makes you tick. We'll be sure to address that in another podcast as well! :) But hopefully you'll get your disjointed serving from this! 







    Look forward to Podcast #7 early next week, as we'll probably record it during the Weekend.

    Hope you all have a blast this weekend!

     - The Disjointed Podcast Crew

    Podcast #6


              Re:Politics - USA        
    I had a good laugh this morning. Figure I share from the New York Post

    Are President Obama, Hillary Clinton and violent leftists in cahoots to elect Donald Trump? Or are they just idiots?

    The evidence is overwhelming that they all belong to a conspiracy — either of secret GOP sympathizers or of dunces. Those are the only options after Democrats took turns denouncing Trump in ways that actually bolstered the potency of his arguments. Three examples tell the tale.

    First, Obama traveled to Indiana to deliver what aides called his first attempt to influence the election. That’s a lie, of course, but not the biggest one of the day. No. 1 would be Obama’s touting the economy as a roaring success.

    “If what you care about in this election is your pocketbook; if what you’re concerned about is who will look out for the interests of working people and grow the middle class,” the president claimed, “if what you’re concerned about is the economy, then the debate is not even close.”

    He crowed about “progress” made during his tenure, and said sticking with Democrats was the only sensible option.

    Two days later, the Labor Department reported that employers added a mere 38,000 jobs in May, the worst report in six years. Even with massive help from the Federal Reserve, the economy’s slow growth means it has created three million fewer jobs than it should have by now, making Obama’s boast look ridiculous.

    It also makes Trump’s focus on creating jobs and criticism of ­international trade deals look like the right ideas. After all, if puny growth for seven years is the best Obama can do, why not give the other team and other ideas a chance?

    Clinton provided the second backfire example with her ­foreign-policy speech. It had very little to do with actual foreign policy, and everything to do with a rehearsed rant on Trump. She called him reckless, childish, uninformed and unprepared.

    “This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes,” she declared

    The liberal press ate it up, displaying a remarkable talent for ignoring the foreign-policy ­disasters unfolding around the world, courtesy of Clinton and Obama. The next president will inherit the brutal aggressions of China and Russia and the cancerous spread of Islamic terrorism.

    And it takes a special media willfulness to refuse to see the biblical deprivations befalling millions of refugees spilling out from Syria and Libya after Obama and Clinton helped turn those countries’ crises into ­catastrophes. In a recent span of just eight days, about 1,000 people drowned trying to escape across the Mediterranean to ­Europe.

    If that’s the best Dems can do, why should they get a third term? Would Trump be worse?

    The third evidence of a conspiracy involved a Trump rally in San Jose, Calif. Or rather, it ­involved the thugs, gang members and people burning the American flag and waving Mexican flags who attacked Trump supporters.

    An ABC reporter tweeted that police lost control and that “Trump supporters [were] being terrorized and beaten up by mobs of protesters.” Among those beaten was a man named Juan Hernandez, a gay Latino Trump supporter who released photos of his broken nose and bloody shirt, along with a statement, writing:

    “Got jumped last night as we exited the rally . . . Thanks for a broken nose, uncontrollable bleeding, and a bash to the head, Democrats. You sure are doing your party proud.”

    As Hernandez notes, the violence helps make Trump’s case. If the candidate’s promise to control the border brings such a ferocious backlash, he’s on to something.

    That scary thought must have seeped into the central brain of The New York Times, which gave a disgracefully distorted picture of what happened in San Jose. It called the one-way ­assaults “clashes” between “protesters” and Trump backers, as if both sides were equally to blame.

    Even more shameful, the paper’s Friday article included this sentence: “While Mr. Trump has said he does not condone violence of any kind, his campaign made little effort to condemn it.”

    You can’t be that ignorant without intent.

    The pattern is obvious — the Democrats’ Way is in trouble. The economy won’t cooperate with their big-government nostrums, Clinton is dodging Bernie Sanders and the FBI, and Obama doesn’t understand why the world doesn’t treat his every ­utterance as gospel.

    Maybe they should take a hint. Maybe, finally, America has had enough



              ACLU of Northern California Contact Info for SFO Arrivals Affected by Executive Order        
    The ACLU of Northern California is asking that people who have been expecting visitors to arrive at SFO from one of the seven countries in yesterday's executive order - Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen - and have not heard from their visitors or have heard that their visitors have arrived and been detained or denied entry to please contact us at 415-621-2488 and leave a message.
              Kisah Oksana, Perawat Pribadi Khadafi        
    Tugas Oksana mudah saja. Ia hanya memeriksa kesehatan Khadafi Namun saat terjadi revolusi, Oksana yang tinggal di tempat mewah menyadari keadaan bahaya dan memutuskan untuk meninggalkan Libya. Perempuan asal Ukraina ini pun memaparkan kisahnya yang menarik secara eksklusif kepada Newsweek.Ia masih berusia 21 tahun saat bekerja untuk Khadafi, yang selalu memilih perempuan Ukraina sebagai
              Smoke and Fire in Benghazi        
    You know the old saying “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”  The September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was just such a story.  The Obama Administration’s reaction to it seemed odd (like they were hiding something), and anyone could have figured that this terrorist attack (less than two months before a [...]
              Politics - USA        
     Kilkrazy wrote:
    Are you saying it's wrong?


    He makes a valid point. It's difficult for Clinton to say that Trump will hurt the country with his foreign policy positions when Clinton voted in favor of invading Iraq and while she was SecState Egypt fell apart, we attacked Libya and Yemen. Did Clinton accomplish anything while SecState to make the ME better or make the US safer or make the US more respected in the ME? What is Clinton's ME policy that is going to make things better?

    A lot of the attacks Clinton could launch at Trump can very easily bommerang back at her.
              Re:Politics - USA        
     Kilkrazy wrote:
    Here is Clinton's speech in the Senate preceding her vote for war on Iraq. (From Snopes.com. http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-iraq-vote-bribe/ )

    "The evidence is clear. On Oct. 10, 2002, during the Senate debate on a resolution to authorize the use of force in Iraq, Clinton rose to express her highly qualified support. First, though, she criticized the idea of attacking Saddam then and there, either alone or "with any allies we can muster." Such a course, she said, "is fraught with danger," in part because "it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us ... This is a difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make. Any vote that may lead to war should be hard, but I cast it with conviction ... My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of preemption or for unilateralism or for the arrogance of American power or purpose." A vote for the resolution, she argued, "is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our president. And we say to him: Use these powers wisely and as a last resort." "

    It's hardly warmongering.


    I never called it war mongering, I said it makes it difficult for her to label Trump as a candidate that will damage the US standing in the ME and make America less safe. The Iraq War + Arab Spring + Libya + Yemen all happened while Clinton was either a senator or SecState and it can be argued that none of it has benefited the US or the ME. If Clinton wants to highlight Trump's rhetoric on foreign policy she needs to be prepared to defend her own foreign policy record that isn't unblemished.
              Politics - USA        

    People spend a lot of time criticising Obama and Clinton for getting us involved in Libya and now they are to be criticised for not getting us involved in Syria.

    Which is right?
              Politics - USA        
     Kilkrazy wrote:

    People spend a lot of time criticising Obama and Clinton for getting us involved in Libya and now they are to be criticised for not getting us involved in Syria.

    Which is right?


    Both can be right or wrong. Obama can be criticized for getting involved in Libya and not getting results that show any tangible benefits for our involvement. Is Libya more or less stable? Are there groups/forces in Libya that are now more or less friendly to the US? Are US interests in the region better or worse off than before? Are we more or less safe as a nation due to our involvement in Libya? What was the objective in getting involved in Libya? Was it accomplished? Was it worth it?

    Is our lack of involvement in Syria making our national interests in the region better or worse off? Does our lack of involvment make us more or less safe as a nation? Is the region more or less hostile to US interests because of our lack of involvement? What is the objective of abstaining from getting involved? Are we meeting that objective? How do we evaluate if we're being successful at our objective and it's worth whatever cost is incurred in obtaining it?

    The PotUS and SecState should be able to speak coherently and knowledgably on our foreign policy objectives, the status of those objectives and pros and cons of our efforts to achieve them.


    Automatically Appended Next Post:
     skyth wrote:
    Apparently in response to the laws being passed to drug test lower income people, a congresswoman has introduced a bill to drug test anyone with over $150k in itemized deductions.


    Nobody is required to be drug tested just because they are poor. Do you think the government should act to prevent people who receive government assistance from spending some of the money on recreational drug use? I personally take a Libertarian stance on the issue and feel that the govt should either give people money with no strings or not give people money but giving people money just to justify interferring with people's personal lives isn't the role govt should be playing.
              Politics - USA        
     Kilkrazy wrote:

    People spend a lot of time criticising Obama and Clinton for getting us involved in Libya and now they are to be criticised for not getting us involved in Syria.

    Which is right?

    I'm a few thoughts on this...

    1) US don't want another war... and Obama/Clinton really buys into that.

    2) Having said that, it's a cop-out. The leadership need to make those hard decisions and make the case to the public.

    3) Right now, there is no case (either way), which is frustrating.

    4) To be fair: I don't want to engage Assad unilaterally. If we can't go big and curbstomp him... don't bother.
              Politics - USA        
     whembly wrote:
     Kilkrazy wrote:

    People spend a lot of time criticising Obama and Clinton for getting us involved in Libya and now they are to be criticised for not getting us involved in Syria.

    Which is right?

    I'm a few thoughts on this...

    1) US don't want another war... and Obama/Clinton really buys into that.

    2) Having said that, it's a cop-out. The leadership need to make those hard decisions and make the case to the public.

    3) Right now, there is no case (either way), which is frustrating.

    4) To be fair: I don't want to engage Assad unilaterally. If we can't go big and curbstomp him... don't bother.


    Slow your roll there Whembly. If we went over there and curbstomped Assad into oblivion, what happens to Syria? Who takes over being in charge? Does it become a theocracy? Does it become more or less friendly to the US? Russia has a lot of ties to Syria, what we chose to do about Syria is going to have a direct impact with our relationship with Russia. I'm not a fan of Assad in any way but before we take him out we really need to have a plan for what comes next.
              Politics - USA        
    Prestor Jon wrote:
     whembly wrote:
     Kilkrazy wrote:

    People spend a lot of time criticising Obama and Clinton for getting us involved in Libya and now they are to be criticised for not getting us involved in Syria.

    Which is right?

    I'm a few thoughts on this...

    1) US don't want another war... and Obama/Clinton really buys into that.

    2) Having said that, it's a cop-out. The leadership need to make those hard decisions and make the case to the public.

    3) Right now, there is no case (either way), which is frustrating.

    4) To be fair: I don't want to engage Assad unilaterally. If we can't go big and curbstomp him... don't bother.


    Slow your roll there Whembly. If we went over there and curbstomped Assad into oblivion, what happens to Syria? Who takes over being in charge? Does it become a theocracy? Does it become more or less friendly to the US? Russia has a lot of ties to Syria, what we chose to do about Syria is going to have a direct impact with our relationship with Russia. I'm not a fan of Assad in any way but before we take him out we really need to have a plan for what comes next.

    I should've clarified...*if* we do engage our military, there must be clear objective and plans. If we can't do that... don't bother.
              Politics - USA        
     Ouze wrote:
    Prestor Jon wrote:
    Slow your roll there Whembly. If we went over there and curbstomped Assad into oblivion, what happens to Syria? Who takes over being in charge? Does it become a theocracy? Does it become more or less friendly to the US? Russia has a lot of ties to Syria, what we chose to do about Syria is going to have a direct impact with our relationship with Russia. I'm not a fan of Assad in any way but before we take him out we really need to have a plan for what comes next.


    In a just world, we'd deploy a large peacekeeping force there, weed out their corrupt local government and hold free and fair elections, rebuild their crumbling infrastructure, put the people to work, and win the hearts and minds of the population.

    Then, when we're done with Detroit, we should stay the feth out of Syria.


    Ah, good one. I was well on board and then you dropped Detroit out of left field.

    The fact that Europe and Japan are stable, functioning democracies after being bombed to rubble can be directly credited to the Marshall Plan.

    Is there a Marshall Plan for Iraq and Libya and Syria and Afganistan?
              Re:Politics - USA        
     Peregrine wrote:
    Asterios wrote:
    compared to what I know Hillary will do? yes.


    And what exactly is that? What is so terrifying in Hillary's agenda that you'd rather have an incompetent racist whose entire strategy is screaming really loudly about how everyone but rich white men is ruining America in a desperate hope to draw attention away from things like his business fraud and accusations of raping a 13 year old girl?


    She voted for Iraq
    She pushed for the war in Libya
    She pushed for war in Syria
    She pushed for a "no Fly Zone" in Syria (which means something called MAJOR WAR WITH RUSSIA).
    She sold positions to important posts in the State Depratment to donors.
    She toook millions from nations and persons who had interests that the State Department was working on at the time.
    She's potentially the most corrupt person ever to get near the Presidency.




    Automatically Appended Next Post:
     WrentheFaceless wrote:
    I wish Frazzled luck

    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/6/24/1542098/-Meanwhile-in-the-Lone-Star-state-a-secessionist-Texit-campaign-gains-steam-after-the-Brexit-vote?detail=facebook

    On a more serious note I hope the Brexit isnt a sign of things to come in the US. A platform built on fears of outsiders, jigonism and some may even say plain racism spearheadded by the older well off segment of the population, clearly on the Right of the politisphere; sounds uncomfortably similar to a platform being endorsed by a certain overripe orange with a bad case of mold on the top


    Anyone who calls it "Texit" is a moron who doesn't know history. The name you call Texas over the issue of Secession is...Texas. We've always wanted to secede. Its in our blood. if we aren't eating barbeque we're trying to secede from someone.
              Re:Politics - USA        
     Frazzled wrote:

    She voted for Iraq
    She pushed for the war in Libya
    She pushed for war in Syria
    She pushed for a "no Fly Zone" in Syria (which means something called MAJOR WAR WITH RUSSIA).
    She sold positions to important posts in the State Depratment to donors.
    She toook millions from nations and persons who had interests that the State Department was working on at the time.
    She's potentially the most corrupt person ever to get near the Presidency.



    Those first three things you list could be considered to be warmongering, but are hardly the marks of corruption.

    The last two on your list are corruption, but don't seem to be any more corrupt than Reagan (quick google search reveals: Iran-Contra, cabinet rigging contracts in their favor, as well as "numerous" scandals with the EPA), U.S. Grant... To be fair, the articles I'm seeing on Grant say he wasn't corrupt, but his cabinet sure as feth was.... Same thing with Warren Harding. And of course, Nixon who was trying to rig elections.

    Don't get me wrong, I think she's corrupt, and I won't be voting for her, but I don't think she's the "most corrupt"
              Re:Politics - USA        
     Ensis Ferrae wrote:
     Frazzled wrote:

    She voted for Iraq
    She pushed for the war in Libya
    She pushed for war in Syria
    She pushed for a "no Fly Zone" in Syria (which means something called MAJOR WAR WITH RUSSIA).
    She sold positions to important posts in the State Depratment to donors.
    She toook millions from nations and persons who had interests that the State Department was working on at the time.
    She's potentially the most corrupt person ever to get near the Presidency.



    Those first three things you list could be considered to be warmongering, but are hardly the marks of corruption.

    Nor are they meant to. They show incompetence.



    The last two on your list are corruption, but don't seem to be any more corrupt than Reagan (quick google search reveals: Iran-Contra, cabinet rigging contracts in their favor, as well as "numerous" scandals with the EPA), U.S. Grant... To be fair, the articles I'm seeing on Grant say he wasn't corrupt, but his cabinet sure as feth was.... Same thing with Warren Harding. And of course, Nixon who was trying to rig elections.

    Iran Contra didn't drop $200mm in Reagan's pocket.

    However it comes down to a simple equation. If you like how things are going you vote Hillary. She is the penultimate establishment candidate. If you don't there's Johnson or the other guy.
              Re:Politics - USA        
    "Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war"


    ...and here's the final report broken down nicely in BEFORE/DURING/AFTER sections:
    http://benghazi.house.gov/NewInfo

    Some new snippets:
  • Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]

  • With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases “if any deployment is made,” and “Libya must agree to any deployment,” and “[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi.” [pg. 115]

  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]

  • A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154]

  • None of the relevant military forces met their required deployment timelines. [pg. 150]

  • The Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA Annex to the Benghazi airport was not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the prior 18 months. Instead, it was comprised of former Qadhafi loyalists who the U.S. had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution. [pg. 144]


  • The report accuses longtime Hillary aide Cheryl Mills of undue influence over the Accountability Review Board, from the composition of the committee to access to information and witnesses...


    In conclusion:
  • The Obama/Clinton policy in Libya was a disaster but for political purposes warnings were ignored and political ends were prioritized over security needs in the months leading up to the September 11 attacks.

  • During the attacks American lives could have been saved by the swift deployment of military assets, but political desires created a bureaucratic paralysis preventing key decisions from being made.

  • In the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks, the Obama/Clinton teams chose politics and deception rather than tell the American people the truth.


  • The absolute appalling display of incompetence here...

    For giggles, the Democrats released their version of the report yesterday:
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjq49C4ssvNAhWCbz4KHU6KD6gQFggtMAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdemocrats-benghazi.house.gov%2Fsites%2Fdemocrats.benghazi.house.gov%2Ffiles%2Fdocuments%2FReport_of_the_Benghazi_Select_Committee_Democratic_Members-Honoring_Courage_Improving_Security_and_Fighting_the_Exploitation_of_a_Tragedy.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEKLhim4HTX5i5vWmpKZY4hILzvAg&sig2=-yV4wgTzyRC9Dx8Ox5nRMw

    That was a trainwreck.

    But, the interesting flub here is that they released information on Sid Blumental cashing in from HRC's allies while acting as an informal advisor:
    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-benghazi-democrats-20160627-snap-story.html

    If Trump were smart, he'd hammer this...

    But, that requires a "smart" Trump.
              FDR1873 Freedomain Radio Sunday Show March 20 2011        
    Reaching out to the irrational, a naked dream, Libya, and the slow death of endless vengeance.

              FDR1874 Dr Ivan Eland Interviewed on Freedomain Radio About Libya        
    From the Independent Institute - Dr Eland discusses the latest US foreign policy disaster.

              FDR1875 True News: The Unreported Facts About Libya        
    The three major politicians attacking Libya are all falling in the polls.

              FDR1898 Adam vs the Man Number 12 - With Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio!        
    Comparing national economies, Why you are unemployed, Youth violence, McCain goes to Libya.

              Libya Bans Foreign Ships From 'Search, Rescue' Zone Near Coast        
    Libya established a "zone of search and rescue" in its coastal area which is prohibited for all foreign vessels except authorized ones, media reported Thursday.
              Over 550,000 Libyan Children Need Humanitarian Aid Amid Ongoing Crisis - UNICEF        
    Six years since the crisis began in Libya, over 550,000 children need assistance because of political instability, on-going conflict, displacement, and economic collapse, according to UNICEF Regional Director Geert Cappelaere.
              Libyan Army Starts Liberating Derna From Al-Qaeda - Spokesman        
    The Libyan National Army (LNA) began military operation to liberate the country's eastern city of Derna from the al-Qaeda terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia), according to the army's spokesman Ahmed Mismari.
              Crushing plant in Libya        
    Crushing plant in Libya http://www.zenithcrusher.com. lilian@zenithdream.com Shanghai Zenith Company is the biggest manufacturer and exporter in mining and quarring industry in China,our main product also include: jaw crusher,impact crusher, Aggregate plant,stone crusher,cone crusher,ultrafine mill,ball mill,grinding mill,hammer crusher and vsi crusher, etc.

              Offer - lottery money jackpot / love spells castings +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG - DENMARK        
    lottery money jackpot / love spells castings +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG vanderbijlpark- alberton ,nairobi, ZEGOVINA,AUSTRALIA, BOTSWANA, BRAZIL, BRUNEI, BULGARIA,BURKINA FASO, BURMA, BURUNDI, CAMBODIA, CAMEROON, CANADA, CAPE VERDE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD, CHILE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COMOROS, CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE, REPUBLIC OF THE, COSTA RICA, COTE D'IVOIRE, CROATIA, CUBA, CURACAO, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,DJIBOUTI, DOMINICA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EAST TIMOR (SEE TIMOR-LESTE), ECUADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, ERITREA, ESTONIA, ETHIOPIA, FIJI, FINLAND, FRANCE, GABON, GAMBIA,THE GEORGIA, GERMANY, GHANA, GREECE, GRENADA, GUATEMALA, GUINEA, GUINEA-BISSAU, GUYANA,HAITI, HOLY SEE, HONDURAS, HONG KONG, HUNGARY, ICELAND, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, IRAQ, IRELAND,ISRAEL, ITALY, JAMAICA, JAPAN, JORDAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KIRIBATI, KOREA, NORTH, SOUTH,KOSOVO, KUWAIT, KYRGYZSTAN, LAOS, LATVIA, LEBANON, LESOTHO, LIBERIA, LIBYA, LIECHTENSTEIN,LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACAU, MACEDONIA, MADAGASCAR, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MALDIVES, MALI,MALTA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITANIA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MOLDOVA, MONACO,MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, MOROCCO, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, NAURU, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS,NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NIGER, NIGERIA, NORTH KOREA, NORWAY, OMAN,PAKISTAN, PALAU, PALESTINIAN, TERRITORIES, PANAMA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PARAGUAY, PERU,PHILIPPINES, , PORTUGAL, QATAR, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, RWANDA, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS, SAINT LUCIA, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SIERRA LEONE, SINGAPORE, SINT MAARTEN, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA,SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOMALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH KOREA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, SUDAN,SURINAME, SWAZILAND, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, SYRIA, TAIWAN, TAJIKISTAN, TANZANIA, THAILAND,TIMOR-LESTE, TOGO, TONGA, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, TUNISIA, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TUVALU, UGANDA,UKRAINE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, UZBEKISTAN, VANUATU, VENEZUELA,VIETNAM, YEMEN, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE. You’ve been through the hard part of trying everything you could think of and nothing worked. You’ve gone through the break-up, and you realize that there’s noting left to do but to move on. But, your heart has been broken and you don’t know how or where to start ”moving on”. This spell will help you to focus on moving in a more positive direction, one step at a time. It will begin to open up opportunities to build yourself up and strengthen your inner being in such a way that you actually begin to feel empowered by what you’ve been through! Not only will you find yourself moving on, but you’ll find yourself moving in a much more positive direction. The funny thing is, that others around you actually start feeling Tempte http://lovepsychicabuba.co.za lovemaster9191@gmail.com http://youtu.be/DgquSyIjUII www.joinilluminatitoday.co.za http://howtojoinilluminatitodayegypt.weebly.com http://papanaide.co.za
              Offer - lottery money jackpot LESIBEN | GAY LOVE SPELL CASTING +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG - DENMARK        
    lottery money jackpot LESIBEN | GAY LOVE SPELL CASTING +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG MAYTON vanderbijlpark- alberton , ZEGOVINA,AUSTRALIA, BOTSWANA, BRAZIL, BRUNEI, BULGARIA,BURKINA FASO, BURMA, BURUNDI, CAMBODIA, CAMEROON, CANADA, CAPE VERDE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD, CHILE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COMOROS, CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE, REPUBLIC OF THE, COSTA RICA, COTE D'IVOIRE, CROATIA, CUBA, CURACAO, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,DJIBOUTI, DOMINICA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EAST TIMOR (SEE TIMOR-LESTE), ECUADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, ERITREA, ESTONIA, ETHIOPIA, FIJI, FINLAND, FRANCE, GABON, GAMBIA,THE GEORGIA, GERMANY, GHANA, GREECE, GRENADA, GUATEMALA, GUINEA, GUINEA-BISSAU, GUYANA,HAITI, HOLY SEE, HONDURAS, HONG KONG, HUNGARY, ICELAND, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, IRAQ, IRELAND,ISRAEL, ITALY, JAMAICA, JAPAN, JORDAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KIRIBATI, KOREA, NORTH, SOUTH,KOSOVO, KUWAIT, KYRGYZSTAN, LAOS, LATVIA, LEBANON, LESOTHO, LIBERIA, LIBYA, LIECHTENSTEIN,LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACAU, MACEDONIA, MADAGASCAR, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MALDIVES, MALI,MALTA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITANIA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MOLDOVA, MONACO,MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, MOROCCO, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, NAURU, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS,NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NIGER, NIGERIA, NORTH KOREA, NORWAY, OMAN,PAKISTAN, PALAU, PALESTINIAN, TERRITORIES, PANAMA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PARAGUAY, PERU,PHILIPPINES, , PORTUGAL, QATAR, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, RWANDA, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS, SAINT LUCIA, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SIERRA LEONE, SINGAPORE, SINT MAARTEN, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA,SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOMALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH KOREA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, SUDAN,SURINAME, SWAZILAND, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, SYRIA, TAIWAN, TAJIKISTAN, TANZANIA, THAILAND,TIMOR-LESTE, TOGO, TONGA, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, TUNISIA, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TUVALU, UGANDA,UKRAINE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, UZBEKISTAN, VANUATU, VENEZUELA,VIETNAM, YEMEN, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE. . Energy is energy! There really are no major differences in the casting of a love spell for a gay man or a lesbian woman, a straight lesibian man or heterosexual woman, the approach is pretty much the same. In my line of work when it comes to gay clients I have found a serious lack of understanding or compassion on the behalf of other practitioners for their gay and lesbian clients, being a gay man myself, I have worked hard over the years to develop a rapport with my gay and lesbian clientele, with that said I have also managed to maintain a positive rapport with my straight clients as well, working metaphysically on behalf of clients is easy once you develop a good understanding of the base needs and realize that we all are simply human and it is within our nature to love and to be loved. Now, aside from the fact that we are all human, whether we are straight or gay, when it comes to gay magic, there are a few minor tweaks in the magical approach that must be acknowledged and put into play to successfully unite or reunite same sex lovers. I have worked hard over the course of my magical career to develop a series of rituals and spells that I utilize specifically for my gay and lesibian clients. If you are a gay man or lesbian woman who is in need of attracting a new lover, or perhaps your desire is to reunite with an old flame, I can help you manifest your desires and realize your goal of bringing that special someone into your life. If you are single and looking to attract a brand new lover, click the link above to order a "Gay Love Spell" to get started. If you are a gay man or lesbian woman looking to reunite with your lover, you will need to order my . Either way I look forward to working with you and if you have any questions call the number listed on the website or use the contact form on the right side of the site to contact me. http://lovepsychicabuba.co.za http://papanaide.co.za http://youtu.be/DgquSyIjUII http://howtojoinilluminatitodayegypt.weebly.com http://joinilluminatitoday.co.za
              Offer - (lottery money jackpot) / How to join the illuminati society +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEB - EGYPT        
    (lottery money jackpot) / How to join the illuminati society +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG MAYTON vanderbijlpark- alberton ,nairobi, ZEGOVINA,AUSTRALIA, BOTSWANA, BRAZIL, BRUNEI, BULGARIA,BURKINA FASO, BURMA, BURUNDI, CAMBODIA, CAMEROON, CANADA, CAPE VERDE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD, CHILE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COMOROS, CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE, REPUBLIC OF THE, COSTA RICA, COTE D'IVOIRE, CROATIA, CUBA, CURACAO, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,DJIBOUTI, DOMINICA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EAST TIMOR (SEE TIMOR-LESTE), ECUADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, ERITREA, ESTONIA, ETHIOPIA, FIJI, FINLAND, FRANCE, GABON, GAMBIA,THE GEORGIA, GERMANY, GHANA, GREECE, GRENADA, GUATEMALA, GUINEA, GUINEA-BISSAU, GUYANA,HAITI, HOLY SEE, HONDURAS, HONG KONG, HUNGARY, ICELAND, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, IRAQ, IRELAND,ISRAEL, ITALY, JAMAICA, JAPAN, JORDAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KIRIBATI, KOREA, NORTH, SOUTH,KOSOVO, KUWAIT, KYRGYZSTAN, LAOS, LATVIA, LEBANON, LESOTHO, LIBERIA, LIBYA, LIECHTENSTEIN,LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACAU, MACEDONIA, MADAGASCAR, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MALDIVES, MALI,MALTA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITANIA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MOLDOVA, MONACO,MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, MOROCCO, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, NAURU, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS,NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NIGER, NIGERIA, NORTH KOREA, NORWAY, OMAN,PAKISTAN, PALAU, PALESTINIAN, TERRITORIES, PANAMA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PARAGUAY, PERU,PHILIPPINES, , PORTUGAL, QATAR, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, RWANDA, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS, SAINT LUCIA, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SIERRA LEONE, SINGAPORE, SINT MAARTEN, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA,SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOMALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH KOREA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, SUDAN,SURINAME, SWAZILAND, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, SYRIA, TAIWAN, TAJIKISTAN, TANZANIA, THAILAND,TIMOR-LESTE, TOGO, TONGA, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, TUNISIA, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TUVALU, UGANDA,UKRAINE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, UZBEKISTAN, VANUATU, VENEZUELA,VIETNAM, YEMEN, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE. hello everybody i am very happy to share with you this good thing priest abuba has done in my life i want to use this medium to testify of his good work in my life...i was strangely struggling in other for me to earn a dime for a living... but with his help and all i was initiated into the great fraternity of illuminati which great things happen i was asked to decide and choose between the riches and the life of poverty so i think twice and i remebered that even though i looked round and go for help from other people they will always turn me down so i made up my mind and decided to make a deal with the lord baphomet and then things started happening at first i was asked to do so many things so with the few money i have i used it in initiating myself into the great brotherhood so immediately i was initiated i was also asked to render my bank details to them and then they surprise me with a huge amount of money which is $15million dollars and was deposited into my bank account at first i thought it was all a total joke until when the banks came to visit me in my home and they were congratulating me that my account is filled up with a large of money so if you need help and you want to be initiated also into the illuminati here is your chance to join because freemason is not just free but what you gain from it that makes if free so don't waste your time because if you believe on those crooks that took my money then you will remain poor and mind you to join you will need to pay just only $150000 to join and another $1500 for the flights and all other inquires needed, which is making it $300000 in total.... so contact them now and you will all be free like a bird and also you will be rich and famous and they will also restore your heart desire... contact them now at... brotherhoodtemple12 or you call there agent at www.joinilluminatitoday.co.za http://papanaide.co.za www.illuminatisecretsociety.co.za www.lovepsychicabuba.co.za http://howtojoinilluminatitodayegypt.weebly.com
              Offer - Best $$$ bring lost love spells casting +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG - DENMARK        
    Best $$$ bring lost love spells casting +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG MAYTON vanderbijlpark- alberton , ZEGOVINA,AUSTRALIA, BOTSWANA, BRAZIL, BRUNEI, BULGARIA,BURKINA FASO, BURMA, BURUNDI, CAMBODIA, CAMEROON, CANADA, CAPE VERDE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD, CHILE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COMOROS, CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE, REPUBLIC OF THE, COSTA RICA, COTE D'IVOIRE, CROATIA, CUBA, CURACAO, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,DJIBOUTI, DOMINICA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EAST TIMOR (SEE TIMOR-LESTE), ECUADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, ERITREA, ESTONIA, ETHIOPIA, FIJI, FINLAND, FRANCE, GABON, GAMBIA,THE GEORGIA, GERMANY, GHANA, GREECE, GRENADA, GUATEMALA, GUINEA, GUINEA-BISSAU, GUYANA,HAITI, HOLY SEE, HONDURAS, HONG KONG, HUNGARY, ICELAND, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, IRAQ, IRELAND,ISRAEL, ITALY, JAMAICA, JAPAN, JORDAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KIRIBATI, KOREA, NORTH, SOUTH,KOSOVO, KUWAIT, KYRGYZSTAN, LAOS, LATVIA, LEBANON, LESOTHO, LIBERIA, LIBYA, LIECHTENSTEIN,LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACAU, MACEDONIA, MADAGASCAR, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MALDIVES, MALI,MALTA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITANIA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MOLDOVA, MONACO,MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, MOROCCO, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, NAURU, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS,NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NIGER, NIGERIA, NORTH KOREA, NORWAY, OMAN,PAKISTAN, PALAU, PALESTINIAN, TERRITORIES, PANAMA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PARAGUAY, PERU,PHILIPPINES, , PORTUGAL, QATAR, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, RWANDA, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS, SAINT LUCIA, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SIERRA LEONE, SINGAPORE, SINT MAARTEN, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA,SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOMALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH KOREA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, SUDAN,SURINAME, SWAZILAND, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, SYRIA, TAIWAN, TAJIKISTAN, TANZANIA, THAILAND,TIMOR-LESTE, TOGO, TONGA, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, TUNISIA, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TUVALU, UGANDA,UKRAINE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, UZBEKISTAN, VANUATU, VENEZUELA,VIETNAM, YEMEN, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE. FUL LOVE SPELLS, REVENGE OF THE RAVEN CURSE, BREAK UP SPELLS, DO LOVE SPELLS WORK, MAGIC SPELLS, PROTECTION SPELLS, CURSE REMOVAL, REMOVE NEGATIVE ENERGY, REMOVING CURSE SPELLS, WITCH DOCTOR, SPIRITUAL CLEANSING, AFRICAN WITCHCRAFT, HEALERS, HEALING, HEX REMOVAL, SPIRITUAL HEALING, SPELL, WICCA, WITCHCRAFT, VOODOO, SPELLS, GOOD LUCK CHARM, LOVE SPELLS, LUCKY CHARMS, GOOD LUCK, WICCA SPELLS, VOODOO DOLLS, POWERFUL LOVE SPELLS, BREAK UP SPELLS, MAGIC LOVE SPELLS, SANGOMA, TRADITIONAL MEDICINE, LOVE SPELLS THAT WORK, GAY LOVE SPELLS, MAGIC SPELLS, REAL MAGIC SPELLS, BREAKUP SPELLS, THE SPELL TO DEFEAT YOUR RIVAL, FERTILITY SPELLS, DIVORCE SPELLS, MARRIAGE SPELLS, BIND US TOGETHER, CHANGE YOUR LOVER’S MIND SPELL, BREAKUP SPELL , WEIGHT LOSS SPELL, LUCK SPELLS, NATIVE HEALER, TRADITIONAL HEALER, HERBALIST, FORTUNE TELLER ALBERTON, SANDTON, DAVEYTON, EDENVALE, SOWETO, LAUDIUM, LANASIA, LANSERIA, SPRINGS, JOHANNESBURG, PRETORIA, MIDRAND, RANDBURG, ROODEPOORT, KEMPTON PARK, BOKSBURG, KELVIN, WOODMEAD, CENTURION Email: illuminatitoday91@gmail.com http://lovepsychicabuba.co.za http://papanaide.co.za http://youtu.be/gbkNdPNg1OQ www.joinilluminatitoday.co.za http://howtojoinilluminatitodayegypt.weebly.com
              Offer - SANDAWANA OIL and best bring lost love spells casting +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG - DENMARK        
    SANDAWANA OIL and best bring lost love spells casting +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG MAYTON vanderbijlpark- alberton ,nairobi, ZEGOVINA,AUSTRALIA, BOTSWANA, BRAZIL, BRUNEI, BULGARIA,BURKINA FASO, BURMA, BURUNDI, CAMBODIA, CAMEROON, CANADA, CAPE VERDE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD, CHILE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COMOROS, CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE, REPUBLIC OF THE, COSTA RICA, COTE D'IVOIRE, CROATIA, CUBA, CURACAO, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,DJIBOUTI, DOMINICA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EAST TIMOR (SEE TIMOR-LESTE), ECUADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, ERITREA, ESTONIA, ETHIOPIA, FIJI, FINLAND, FRANCE, GABON, GAMBIA,THE GEORGIA, GERMANY, GHANA, GREECE, GRENADA, GUATEMALA, GUINEA, GUINEA-BISSAU, GUYANA,HAITI, HOLY SEE, HONDURAS, HONG KONG, HUNGARY, ICELAND, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, IRAQ, IRELAND,ISRAEL, ITALY, JAMAICA, JAPAN, JORDAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KIRIBATI, KOREA, NORTH, SOUTH,KOSOVO, KUWAIT, KYRGYZSTAN, LAOS, LATVIA, LEBANON, LESOTHO, LIBERIA, LIBYA, LIECHTENSTEIN,LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACAU, MACEDONIA, MADAGASCAR, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MALDIVES, MALI,MALTA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITANIA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MOLDOVA, MONACO,MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, MOROCCO, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, NAURU, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS,NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NIGER, NIGERIA, NORTH KOREA, NORWAY, OMAN,PAKISTAN, PALAU, PALESTINIAN, TERRITORIES, PANAMA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PARAGUAY, PERU,PHILIPPINES, , PORTUGAL, QATAR, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, RWANDA, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS, SAINT LUCIA, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SIERRA LEONE, SINGAPORE, SINT MAARTEN, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA,SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOMALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH KOREA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, SUDAN,SURINAME, SWAZILAND, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, SYRIA, TAIWAN, TAJIKISTAN, TANZANIA, THAILAND,TIMOR-LESTE, TOGO, TONGA, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, TUNISIA, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TUVALU, UGANDA,UKRAINE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, UZBEKISTAN, VANUATU, VENEZUELA,VIETNAM, YEMEN, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE. Do you really don’ t know the use of sandawana oil and skin these two things work together and give the real results if they are followed used well and professionally by the doctor’s orders .very many people around the world who have lived happy life not because they of their own effort but the help of sandawana oil and skin .......... sandawana oil and skin ........................ Have your Energy only once, and it will promote , unlock and protect the rest of your life. However, if you are suffering from severe health problems you can receive even deeper healing benefits using our sandawana oil natural Herbal Formulas. Experience the benefits formulated oil and ring by to fit your life and health specific needs these will unlocks your life in the following; -if you are suffering from severe or chronic health problems -if you want to be very rich -You want to boost your business get much money ( profits) -You need promotion or better paying job. -Why your not progressing in life. -All Relationships problems -Living a desperate life strong sandawana oil will set you free and happy in every bit of your to your life and you will never be the same again. -Recover your lost » things , lover , job , property, friends , relatives , and other life major related things. www.lovepsychicabuba.co.za http://howtojoinilluminatitodayegypt.weebly.com http://papanaide.co.za http://joinilluminatitoday.co.za http://illuminatisecretsociety.co.za
              Offer - NOORANI MAGIC RING | how to join illuminati today +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG MAYT - FRANCE        
    NOORANI MAGIC RING | how to join illuminati today +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG MAYTON vanderbijlpark- alberton ,ZEGOVINA,AUSTRALIA, BOTSWANA, BRAZIL, BRUNEI, BULGARIA,BURKINA FASO, BURMA, BURUNDI, CAMBODIA, CAMEROON, CANADA, CAPE VERDE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD, CHILE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COMOROS, CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE, REPUBLIC OF THE, COSTA RICA, COTE D'IVOIRE, CROATIA, CUBA, CURACAO, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,DJIBOUTI, DOMINICA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EAST TIMOR (SEE TIMOR-LESTE), ECUADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, ERITREA, ESTONIA, ETHIOPIA, FIJI, FINLAND, FRANCE, GABON, GAMBIA,THE GEORGIA, GERMANY, GHANA, GREECE, GRENADA, GUATEMALA, GUINEA, GUINEA-BISSAU, GUYANA,HAITI, HOLY SEE, HONDURAS, HONG KONG, HUNGARY, ICELAND, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, IRAQ, IRELAND,ISRAEL, ITALY, JAMAICA, JAPAN, JORDAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KIRIBATI, KOREA, NORTH, SOUTH,KOSOVO, KUWAIT, KYRGYZSTAN, LAOS, LATVIA, LEBANON, LESOTHO, LIBERIA, LIBYA, LIECHTENSTEIN,LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACAU, MACEDONIA, MADAGASCAR, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MALDIVES, MALI,MALTA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITANIA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MOLDOVA, MONACO,MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, MOROCCO, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, NAURU, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS,NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NIGER, NIGERIA, NORTH KOREA, NORWAY, OMAN,PAKISTAN, PALAU, PALESTINIAN, TERRITORIES, PANAMA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PARAGUAY, PERU,PHILIPPINES, , PORTUGAL, QATAR, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, RWANDA, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS, SAINT LUCIA, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SIERRA LEONE, SINGAPORE, SINT MAARTEN, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA,SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOMALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH KOREA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, SUDAN,SURINAME, SWAZILAND, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, SYRIA, TAIWAN, TAJIKISTAN, TANZANIA, THAILAND,TIMOR-LESTE, TOGO, TONGA, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, TUNISIA, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TUVALU, UGANDA,UKRAINE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, UZBEKISTAN, VANUATU, VENEZUELA,VIETNAM, YEMEN, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE. Money spells and Love spell ads,. He reads and tells you your problems before your mention them, get quick healing on line, people have different problems but they tend not to feel them at the end of the day they dont succeed, dont keep quiet before it becomes worse we can solve all sorts of problems, ''remember with nothing is impossible . is here for you, come you will be healed. He heals the following: - He provide u protection to your home, business, personal protection, we have king jean who protects from enemies, king pine for your family etc -Do you want to give orders in the family or home and clan? -Do you want big bums and hips? Come for help. -Do you want promotion at work? Come for help. -Do you want a baby? Girl or boys come now. -Are you men? And your weak, come and get back your man hood permanently. -Do you have court cases? They will be demolished at once, within 3 days. -Business attraction, business protection, comes now for help. -Bring back lost lover within 3 days. -Solves family misunderstanding. -Do you want to recover stolen properties? Same day. If you want to talk to your spirits, you are welcome. -Are owing or your owed by someone or company, come and you will be freed -Do you want luck? Come we are different with money back guarantee. Student passes exams . For More information, Contact Phone; + Email; Call for the Fast and Effective Change In your Life With POWERFUL NORAN MAGIC RING Noran ring, This is the oldest, mystique and the most powerful magic rings and gemstones. This power organized by the great powerful magicians (460-800B.C) and greatly improved by the Pharos in Egypy, www.joinilluminatitoday.co.za http://papanaide.co.za www.illuminatisecretsociety.co.za http://ablovepsychic.webs.com/ www.lovepsychicabuba.co.za http://howtojoinilluminatitodayegypt.weebly.com
              Offer - lottery money jackpot LESIBEN | GAY LOVE SPELL CASTING +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG - DENMARK        
    lottery money jackpot LESIBEN | GAY LOVE SPELL CASTING +27784115746 in SOUTH AFRICA VEREENIGING SASOLBURG SEBOKENG MAYTON vanderbijlpark- alberton , ZEGOVINA,AUSTRALIA, BOTSWANA, BRAZIL, BRUNEI, BULGARIA,BURKINA FASO, BURMA, BURUNDI, CAMBODIA, CAMEROON, CANADA, CAPE VERDE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CHAD, CHILE, CHINA, COLOMBIA, COMOROS, CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE, REPUBLIC OF THE, COSTA RICA, COTE D'IVOIRE, CROATIA, CUBA, CURACAO, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,DJIBOUTI, DOMINICA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EAST TIMOR (SEE TIMOR-LESTE), ECUADOR, EGYPT, EL SALVADOR, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, ERITREA, ESTONIA, ETHIOPIA, FIJI, FINLAND, FRANCE, GABON, GAMBIA,THE GEORGIA, GERMANY, GHANA, GREECE, GRENADA, GUATEMALA, GUINEA, GUINEA-BISSAU, GUYANA,HAITI, HOLY SEE, HONDURAS, HONG KONG, HUNGARY, ICELAND, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, IRAQ, IRELAND,ISRAEL, ITALY, JAMAICA, JAPAN, JORDAN, KAZAKHSTAN, KENYA, KIRIBATI, KOREA, NORTH, SOUTH,KOSOVO, KUWAIT, KYRGYZSTAN, LAOS, LATVIA, LEBANON, LESOTHO, LIBERIA, LIBYA, LIECHTENSTEIN,LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACAU, MACEDONIA, MADAGASCAR, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MALDIVES, MALI,MALTA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITANIA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MOLDOVA, MONACO,MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, MOROCCO, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, NAURU, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS,NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA, NIGER, NIGERIA, NORTH KOREA, NORWAY, OMAN,PAKISTAN, PALAU, PALESTINIAN, TERRITORIES, PANAMA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, PARAGUAY, PERU,PHILIPPINES, , PORTUGAL, QATAR, ROMANIA, RUSSIA, RWANDA, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS, SAINT LUCIA, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SAUDI ARABIA, SENEGAL, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SIERRA LEONE, SINGAPORE, SINT MAARTEN, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA,SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOMALIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTH KOREA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN, SRI LANKA, SUDAN,SURINAME, SWAZILAND, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, SYRIA, TAIWAN, TAJIKISTAN, TANZANIA, THAILAND,TIMOR-LESTE, TOGO, TONGA, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, TUNISIA, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TUVALU, UGANDA,UKRAINE, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY, UZBEKISTAN, VANUATU, VENEZUELA,VIETNAM, YEMEN, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE. . Energy is energy! There really are no major differences in the casting of a love spell for a gay man or a lesbian woman, a straight lesibian man or heterosexual woman, the approach is pretty much the same. In my line of work when it comes to gay clients I have found a serious lack of understanding or compassion on the behalf of other practitioners for their gay and lesbian clients, being a gay man myself, I have worked hard over the years to develop a rapport with my gay and lesbian clientele, with that said I have also managed to maintain a positive rapport with my straight clients as well, working metaphysically on behalf of clients is easy once you develop a good understanding of the base needs and realize that we all are simply human and it is within our nature to love and to be loved. Now, aside from the fact that we are all human, whether we are straight or gay, when it comes to gay magic, there are a few minor tweaks in the magical approach that must be acknowledged and put into play to successfully unite or reunite same sex lovers. I have worked hard over the course of my magical career to develop a series of rituals and spells that I utilize specifically for my gay and lesibian clients. If you are a gay man or lesbian woman who is in need of attracting a new lover, or perhaps your desire is to reunite with an old flame, I can help you manifest your desires and realize your goal of bringing that special someone into your life. If you are single and looking to attract a brand new lover, click the link above to order a "Gay Love Spell" to get started. If you are a gay man or lesbian woman looking to reunite with your lover, you will need to order my . Either way I look forward to working with you and if you have any questions call the number listed on the website or use the contact form on the right side of the site to contact me. http://lovepsychicabuba.co.za http://papanaide.co.za http://youtu.be/DgquSyIjUII http://howtojoinilluminatitodayegypt.weebly.com http://joinilluminatitoday.co.za
              LATEST POINTS TO PONDER SUNDAY 3/3        

    Top World News Now                 
    March 3, 2013


    United States
    Obama Pardons 17 Felons, First in His Second Term
    DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones
    'Hundreds of thousands' of documents captured with Osama bin Laden, but only 17 released
    Michigan governor moves to appoint emergency manager in Detroit
    Pentagon Plans to Ask for Base Closures 
    Thousands of Soldiers to Leave Europe
    U.S. lawmakers question military aid to Egypt, citing concerns about Israel
    US factory work is returning, but the industry has changed
    'Anonymous' Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US
    Among Most Polluted in US, NYC Area Awaits Cleanup
    US Budget Cuts Force Yellowstone to Delay Opening
    Obama signs sequester bill
    Obama moves a step closer to approval of Keystone pipeline
    Navy Building a Drone Base in Sunny Malibu


    Russia
    Ukrainian leader, fresh from EU talks, to meet Putin
    Russian Arms Trade Czar Says "War" Declared on Weapon Supplies to Syria
    Russian demonstrators rally in support of U.S. adoption ban
    Moscow Police to Probe Alleged Rally Payment Scam
    Moscow Mayor says no to more mosques in the city
    Opposition’s ‘Social March’ Fizzles Out in Moscow
    Uzbek National Shot Dead in Moscow
    Putin, Obama stress cooperation, pledge to 'avoid deterioration' in relations
    Russia presses for extradition of fugitive banker
    Ukrainian President: Gas contract with Russia is killing us
    Putin Signals Russia Can Be More Flexible on Syria
    Putin says Russia should listen to French arguments on Syria, over vodka
    Russians commend Putin's performance, believe he can keep election promises


    China
    Islands Dispute: China Warns Japan Ahead Of Legislative Session
    A push for change in China as new leaders take the helm
    China's reform roadmap gets clearer
    China "fully prepared" for currency war
    China divided on TV 'execution parade': judicial resolve or crude voyeurism
    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Kills 12 in Chinese Coal Mine
    Spill in China Underlines Environmental Concerns
    China's fourth space launch center to be in use in two years
    Xi Jinping taking on corruption in China
    Premier Li Keqiang, as Hu Jintao protege, may be outgunned on policy
    China calls for decreased tension on Korean Peninsula
    5 Tibetans, mostly Buddhist monks, arrested for inciting self-immolations
    Darkness at noon as worst dust storm in months mixes with morning smog
    China's First Aircraft Carrier on Way to Permanent Base at Qingdao in North


    United Kingdom‎
    Cameron: UK 'can transform Africa' with G8
    Cameron Vows To Stay The Course
    Cameron buries hatchet with Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell - and offers him £250,000 EU job
    Government fights Europe over air pollution reduction
    EU banker pay cap 'threatens thousands of British jobs'
    Revealed: One in four of UK's top companies pay no tax
    Banker Andrei Borodin granted asylum in Britain after fleeing Russia
    UK Explorer: Green Campaigning Has Failed
    UK commits £88m to Chilean telescope 'as big as all existing ones put together'
    Paedophile ring leader, Colin Peters, linked to Barnes scandal
    Cameron vows to defend UK banks


    European Union
    Hundreds of thousands march against austerity in Portugal
    Italy paralysed as Grillo plots exit route from euro
    Italian newcomer Grillo predicts collapse in six months
    Italy President Napolitano calls for realism after vote
    Greek military prepares for mass repression
    1000s hold anti-austerity demo in Greece
    At least 22 people hurt in Macedonia ethnic protests over new defense minister
    Mass layoffs at Caterpillar in Belgium
    Dark Rumblings Of A Coup D'État In Spain
    Spain Delays Catalunya Banc Auction
    Spain overturns Islamic face veil ban
    Thousands march in Portugal to protest austerity

    Germany
    Germany Blasted for Role in Europe's Crisis
    German states rail against 'stupid' wealth transfers
    Italian president says Germany must give EU recovery a boost
    Germany Debates Fracking as Energy Costs Rise
    Bitter feud divides family of Germany's reunification leader
    Racism in German military mirrors society
    Germany discovers toxin in animal fodder
    Angela Merkel Wishes Bulgaria's Borissov Quick Recovery
    Merkel cabinet lowers bars to German labor market
    Kerry praises Germany's 'exemplary leadership' in Europe
    Italian president scraps meeting with German opposition leader over "clown" remarks

    France
    Hollande leads tributes to 'a great figure' and resistance fighter
    As France's Mali mission grows, so does terror threat from homegrown militants inside France
    France considers marijuana-based drug
    France will not reach 2015 disabled access target
    Paris seeks alternative to 75% tax
    France-Qatar tensions rise over Mali war, Tunisia
    Hollande juggles trade, human rights in Moscow
    Hollande to Talk Syria Settlement With Putin
    Kerry holds talks on Mali with French leadership
    War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
    Al-Qaeda leader behind Algeria gas plant hostage massacre killed in Mali
    US Seeks to Confirm Report of Terror Leader's Death
    Syria: Fierce Clashes in Provincial Capital Raqqa
    Assad Forces Take Aleppo Village, Reopening Supply Line
    Syrian President Assad Blasts British Government
    Iran Says Syria’s Assad to Run for 2014 Election
    How Does the U.S. Mark Unidentified Men in Pakistan and Yemen as Drone Targets?
    Syrian Rebels Angry Over US Aid: ‘Only Thing We Want Is Weapons’

    Insight Into Today’s News
    Billionaires Continue To Dump Stocks
    G20 issues empty declaration against currency wars
    Norway Enters The Currency Wars
    The Second-Mortgage Shell Game
    The Last Liberal Branch of Government
    US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan unraveling
    Goodbye? We’ve Lost Who We Are?
    US Schools Go Into Full Prison Mode
    Hornady Addresses Ammo Shortage: We’re working 24/7
    US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets

    Israel
    Netanyahu secretly visited Jordan to discuss peace with Palestinians
    Netanyahu gets two more weeks to form Israel coalition
    3 Syrian Mortars Land in Southern Golan Heights
    Gaza Border: Senior Officer's Vehicle Hit by Gunshots
    New coalition will have to freeze construction outside settlement blocs
    Tissue tests planned for Israelis in Gaza who want to cross border
    Palestinian PM evacuated from West Bank after Israeli soldiers fire teargas at protesters
    Sequestration: Israel Could ‘Gradually’ Lose $500 Million in US Aid
    Netanyahu blasts Erdogan's 'dark and libelous' criticism of Zionism


    Turkey
    Scud Missile Fired in Syria Lands Near Iraqi Village
    Bombs Kill at Least 22 in Iraqi Capital
    Erdoğan: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism same
    Turkey's Difficult Choice in Palestine, Israel
    Erdogan Calls for More Support for Syrian Opposition
    Kurdish leader 'outlines' Turkey peace plan
    More Military Arrests in Turkey For 'Feb. 28 Process'
    Turkey Provides Schools for Syrian Refugee Children
    Iraq budget stalemate deepens over Kurd oil payments
    Iraq continues to allow Iranian overflights to Syria


    Egypt
    John Kerry visits Egypt as dozens injured in violent protests
    Kerry urges Egypt to take difficult economic steps; opposition figures skip meetings
    Protesters Demand Armed Forces Intervention in Cairo
    Ex-member: Muslim Brotherhood has secret societies in 80 nations, including U.S.
    Bahrain Activist Zainab Al-Khawaja Sentenced to Jail
    176 Protesters Held in Saudi Arabia
    Qatar's Influence in Egypt Runs Deeper Than Its Pockets
    Morsi criticized for reaction to tragedy
    Parties who boycotted Morsi's national dialogue invited to send suggestions
    Opposition refuse to stand in Egypt's parliamentary elections

    Iran
    Ahmadinejad: National dialogue only way to end Syria crisis
    Ahmadinejad: West's war against Iran media doomed to failure  
    Ahmadinejad to Visit Pakistan This Month to Inaugurate IP Gas Pipeline Construction
    Threatening Iran Won't Help in Nuclear Talks, Envoy Says
    Seized Chinese Weapons Raise Concerns on Iran
    Head Of Iran's Qods Force Suggests Assad Is Vulnerable
    Sanction-Hit Iran Fears Unrest as New Elections Near
    Khamenei tells Zardari pipeline must advance despite US opposition
    Ahmadinejad Aide’s Candidacy a Challenge to Iran’s Theocratic Status Quo
    Ahmadinejad, Zardari Stress Expansion of Iran-Pakistan Ties


    Venezuela
    Hugo Chavez undergoing chemotherapy
    VP Maduro: Capriles Seeks Destabilization in Venezuela
    Venezuela decries "absurd" rumors over Chavez death
    Maduro: Chavez ‘battling’ for his life
    Rumours swirl as Chavez stays out of sight
    Former envoy claims Venezuela's Chavez is dead
    Venezuela government denies rumours about Chavez
    Venezuelans hold demo in support of Chavez
    Student demonstration dispersed by authorities in Venezuela
    FARC: Colombia government to blame for coffee strike


    Brazil
    Brazil to get its first nuclear subs
    Rousseff Meets Nigerian Leader for Trade Talks
    Brazil's Unemployment Rises More Than Forecast in January
    Prosecutors investigate spying charges against consortium building dam in Brazil
    Brazil turns to Catholic Church to quash crack epidemic
    Brazil Wind Developers May Be Required to Build New Power Lines
    No one is safe from Argentina's drug war
    Modern Slavery Rears its Ugly Head in Chile
    Chilean Navy Saves 25 Stranded Whales, 20 Die
    Peru says American couple found; family wants 'proof of life'


    Mexico
    Nieto Says Justice Will Be Done in Union Boss’s Case
    Six Bodies Found in Mexico, Including Teenage Boy Earlier Arrested for Murder
    Mexican Daily Hit by Third Attack This Week
    Army Kills 4 Gunmen in Northern Mexico
    Two Police Gunned Down in Guatemala
    Fire hits big Mexico City marketplace
    Pena Nieto enacts major education reform
    Powerful head of Mexico teachers union is arrested
    Mexico to Launch New Police Force Later This Year

    Cuba Dissident’s Daughter Says Dad’s Death Was No Accident
    Cuban Dissidents Hope to Build Mass Organization
    A post-Castro Cuba
    Chavez Congratulates Raul Castro on Re-Election
    Castro Retirement News Prompts Tepid Response In Miami
    Transition now seen as underway in Cuba
    Cooperatives Could Save Cuban Socialism
    South African medical students in Cuba may be deported
    No ease for Cuba from US state sponsor of terrorism list


    United Nations
    U.N. Security Council asks for report on possible Mali peacekeepers
    Ban Tones Down Criticism of Rwanda Over Congo Claims
    UN chief says Iran should gain world confidence over its disputed atomic plan
    Libya to ask U.N. to lift arms embargo
    UN Removes Osama bin Laden From Sanctions List
              NEWS TO PONDER, SHARE AND WONDER        
    Top World News Now                 
    February 21, 2013

    COURTESY SOCHA FAAL

     Heads up from AntiMullah. Separate vacations and Obambi brings Reggie Love back with  him. If you do  not know what this is, you need to visit/view AntiMullah.com more often to keep up with latest developments.

    Tone and content reflects information not normally provided by Lame Stream Media's love fest with Obambi. And worldwide events that discredit his claims and motives for anti-American, pro-Moslem Brotherhood policies and actions.
     
    Read and become knowledgeable and stop believing the incredible lies Obama feeds us at every opportunity. Lies his own Democrats increasingly have a problem swallowing and are intentionally leading our nation into certain fiscal and political destruction.


    United States
    GOP Resists Obama's Push for Tax Rise to Head Off Cuts
    Obama Fleshes Out Plans for Infrastructure Projects
    Obama considers urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage
    White House announces online espionage response policy
    US issues final word on essential benefits under "Obamacare"
    Anonymous thrown into China-US cyberwar scandal
    Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilian workers
    In wake of Benghazi, rapid response Marine unit heading to Europe
    US issues worldwide caution to its citizens of terror threats
    Body found in restaurant rubble after Kansas City explosion
    Why Americans Might Be Better Off If Their Burgers Were Made Of Horsemeat
    Sex-Change Surgery Available Through Many US Colleges
    Majority of US citizens say illegal immigrants should be deported
    Hundreds of thousands march in Puerto Rico against gay rights
     
     

    Russia
    Putin Invites G20 Leaders to St. Petersburg Summit
    Migrant workers call on Putin for amnesty
    Lavrov: Time to end the war in Syria
    Moscow: N. Korea sanctions can only impact nuclear program
    IMF warns of higher inflation, slower GDP growth in Russia
    Russia's missing billions revealed
    Russia Tries To Remove Images of New Drone From the Internet
    Russian Military to Develop Anti-Meteorite Defenses
    Russia investigates 25 cases of Defense Ministry fraud - Prosecutor General
    MP resigns after bloggers disclose his Florida property
    Russia escalating attacks on free expression a year on from Pussy Riot protest
    ‘Ample Evidence’ Linking Ukraine Ex-President to Journalist Murder
    French Specialists Resume Work at Chernobyl Disaster Site
    Ukraine: Embezzlement At State Orphanages
    Belarus Phases Out Russian Warplanes, Radars
     
     

    China
    Xi Jinping's campaign to purge Communist Party 'won't be easy'
    Incumbent cabinet holds final meeting
    China's central banker skips retirement bar to stay on
    Manila to tackle sea row 'with or without China' at UN
    Attacks originating from US rank 1st among overseas hackings in China
    Photos show new activity at N Korea nuclear site
    Spy agencies scrounge for details on North Korean nuclear test
    North Korea: A nuclear 7-Eleven?
    N Korean propaganda video shows Obama in flames
    US Envoy Opposes S Korean Nuclear Armament
    Rise in online fan clubs extolling China's party leaders
    After China's multibillion-dollar cleanup, water still unfit to drink
    Smog in Pearl River Delta 'worse than in Beijing'
    Maoists Block Deal to Break Nepal's Long Political Deadlock
     
     

    Cameron to pay respects to victims of Amritsar massacre
    Cameron's India trip hits wobble with concern over helicopter deal
    Sars-like virus death reported in UK
    New coronavirus can infect human lungs as easily as cold virus
    Magdalene laundries: Ireland to apologise to survivors
    Iranian torture guard refused UK citizenship
    Britain expands "bigger than burgers" horsemeat tests
    Regulator warns Britain 'on the brink' of energy crisis
    Scotland 'faces EU funding cut'
    Tanker drivers in Scotland vote to strike
    Belfast Orange Order warns members over flag protests
    One in four Africans attacked in Ireland
     
     

    Berlusconi accused of trying to buy votes days before election
    After Bulgarian Protests, Prime Minister Resigns
    Greek police fire tear gas on anti-austerity protesters
    Greece welcomes Hollande with ‘news blackout’
    Dutch experiment in legalised prostitution a disaster
    Thieves in Belgium pull off most spectacular and dramatic diamond heist in years
    Iceland considers dropping its currency
    Lawmakers Threaten to Veto Tightened Budget
    EU reinforces sanctions against DPRK
    To Revive Honey Bees, Europe Proposes a Pesticide Ban
    Anti-austerity strike to bring Greece to a standstill
    Italy politicians make final drive for votes before poll
     
     

    Berlusconi's possible comeback a nightmare for Angela Merkel
    Merkel's Rainbow Problem: On Gay Rights, Chancellor Still a Conservative
    German Officials Signal Berlusconi Isn't Their Man
    Germany Sends Troops to Mali
    German police raid firms over Ponzi scheme
    Germany: Court Backs Adoption by Same-Sex Couples
    Net activists slam Germany's open data portal
    NSU victims' families want more than sympathy
    Security staff at Hamburg airport to strike Wednesday in pay dispute
    Swiss mayoral candidate 'pro-Hamas, pro-Iran'
    Outgoing chairman of Switzerland's Novartis foregoes $78 million golden parachute deal
    Norway is Afraid of Foreign Spies
     
     

    Hollande: French soldier killed in northern Mali
    Hollande confirms seven kidnapped in Cameroon
    Hollande urges investment in Greece, growth in Europe
    Hollande: France will miss 2013 growth target
    French Kidnapped in Cameroon Were Taken Into Nigeria
    France saw 58 percent rise in anti-Semitic attacks in 2012
    Man arrested for serial attacks on Paris Chinese
    France to unfreeze development aid to Mali
    France Charges 11 In Alleged Kurdish Extortion Ring
     
     
    War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
    Syrian rebels threaten Hezbollah with 48-hour deadline
    Syrian military reportedly shoots down Israel drone
    US direct military support to Mali likely to continue after elections
    Mortars Explode Near Assad Palace in Damascus
    Missile kills more than 30 in Syria
    Typhoid breaks out in rebel-held eastern Syria
    Foreign Arms Supplies to Syrian Rebels Expanding
    Pro-Assad militia now key to Syrian government’s war strategy
    Russia's double dealing on arms to Assad regime leaves UK isolated over Syria
    Syrian Rebels Threaten to Attack Lebanon Over Border Dispute
     
    Insight Into Today’s News
    Billionaires Continue To Dump Stocks
    G20 issues empty declaration against currency wars
    Norway Enters The Currency Wars
    The Second-Mortgage Shell Game
    The Last Liberal Branch of Government
    US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan unraveling
    Goodbye? We’ve Lost Who We Are?
    US Schools Go Into Full Prison Mode
    Hornady Addresses Ammo Shortage: We’re working 24/7
    US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets
     

    Former foreign minister Livni joins Netanyahu coalition
    Prisoner X: Benjamin Netanyahu adds to mystery
    Secretary Kerry to skip Israel in first trip
    Turkey, Israel Cut 1st Defense Deal Since Freezing Ties
    Israel Seeks to Curb Weapons Flow to Gaza
    West Bank protesters rally for release of deteriorating prisoners
    Palestinian Prisoner's Hunger Strike Reaches 211th Day
    Fatah Official Warns of Violence if Prisoners Aren't Freed
    'Iron Dome' may be instrumental in peace process
    Head of Israeli IVF unit arrested in Romania
     
     

     
     

    Security deteriorating in Egypt due to political instability
    Opposition Sets Conditions For Dialogue With Morsi
    Morsi's advisory team less diverse after months of walkouts
    Morsi Issues Presidential Decree to Appoint New Mufti
    Strike, Protests Hit Egypt's Port Said for 3rd Day
    Egyptians protest at Libyan border over new visa rules
    Egypt ministry appeals against order to block YouTube
    Egypt files new charges against Mubarak's last premier
    2 Sunni groups halt roles in Bahrain crisis talks
    A Palace Rift in Bahrain Bedevils Key US Navy Base
     

    Iran to Conduct Military Drills Over 3 Days
    Reformists Meet Khamenei To Improve 'Internal Climate'
    Rivals Forced to Apologize to Supreme Leader
    Ahmadinejad threat to cancel Iranian poll
    Iran Pushes Nuclear-Free Mideast Plans
    Syrian Prime Minister Claims Iran is Now “Occupying” Syria
    MPs say sovereignty over three Persian Gulf islands is non-negotiable
    Iran protests Berlin film award for banned Jafar Panahi
    Fatwa Issued Against 3G Internet Operator in Iran
    Iran FM Spurns Western 'Gold Trade' Offer
    Stung by 'Argo,' Iran Backs Conference Denouncing 'Hollywoodism'
     
     

     
     
    Top World News Now                 
    February 15, 2013
     

    United States
    Environmentalists Press Obama in Heated Oil Pipeline Debate
    NRA exec accuses Obama of gun 'charade' at State of the Union
    Kerry: Moves Against North Korea Would Scare Iran Off Nukes
    Senate Republicans Block Hagel Nomination For Defense Secretary
    Key US general backs keeping Afghan forces at peak strength
    Missouri Democrats Introduce Legislation to Confiscate Firearms – Gives Gun Owners 90 Days to Turn in Weapons
    Transocean to pay $400 million for 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill
    High taxes force more Americans to renounce their citizenship
    600 children living in Washington, DC homeless shelter
    Conspiracy Theorists Leap at the Confusing Case of Dorner’s Multiple Wallets
    Body in burned cabin ID'd as Christopher Dorner
    Cruise ship nightmare nearing end for passengers after hellish trip
    CDC Warns of Super-Gonorrhea
     
     

    Russia
    Russia activates ‘Operation Fortress’, 20,000 troops after air defense forces shoot down space object
    Putin orders Russian security on high alert before Olympics
    Putin Warns Foreign NGOs Against 'Meddling' In Russian Affairs
    Putin Orders FSB to Set Up Anti-Hacker Defense
    Putin: Russia will not tolerate foreign pressure
    Foreign Ministry: Russia ‘Ready’ to Consider Further Nuclear Arms Cuts
    Army Chief: Russia may be drawn into resource wars in future
    Russian Army Commissions Bioengineered Liver for $17 Mln
    Russia charges Georgian politician with plotting mass unrest
    Constitutional Court: Authorities must not politically discriminate against protesters
    Six Suspected Militants Killed in Dagestan Operation
    Very strong earthquake in a sparsely populated Siberia area
    Thousands of Russian convicts may go untracked if bracelet batteries die
     

    China
    Xi's Vows of Change in China Belie Private Warning
    Xi Jinping Prepares to Deal With New 'Gang of Four'
    Beijing ramps up propaganda war to bolster Diaoyus claim
    China's environment unaffected by DPRK nuclear test so far
    China's Netizens React Colorfully to N. Korean Nuke Test
    Nuke test gives US excuse to boost its military
    S. Korea stages large-scale drills following DPRK nuke test
    South Korea flexes missile power after North test
    The Real Japan-China Conflict
    7 dead, 18 injured in China after man sets off bomb over child custody dispute
    Depressing landmark reached, 100th Tibetan self-immolates
    Tibetans commemorate centennial of 'Tibetan independence'
    Clues to why most survived China's melamine scandal
     

    Major warns Cameron's EU referendum is a 'gamble'
    EU warns Tories that UK security opt-out 'doesn't make sense'
    UK Military Flies Ghana Troops, Equipment to Mali
    Britain warns of Syria jihadist threat to Europe
    British MPs to receive on-the-job mental health aid
    UK Lawmakers Say Credit Schemes Not Working
    Another policeman held in UK graft probe
    New SARS-like virus shows person-to-person transmission
    Deaths, lies and the NHS: Shocking new healthcare scandals emerge in UK
    UK Arrests Men in Horse-Meat Probe
    Horsemeat: Bute Found In Carcasses In UK
    UK soap opera star faces child sex charges
     
     

    Europe Rejects Critics of 'Robin Hood' Tax
    Austerity's children becoming Europe's "lost generation"
    Economy in Europe Contracts More Than Expected
    Pope rounds on rival cardinals and their 'sins against unity'
    Man sets himself alight at Rome airport
    Berlusconi defends need for bribery in winning contracts
    Monte Paschi's former finance chief held in Italy
    Italy unemployment crisis reaches alarming rate
    Foreign investors set to sue Spain over energy reform
    King Juan Carlos fights new pressures to abdicate
    Greece: Alexis Tsipras raises the political stakes
    Interior Ministry: Mafia plotting to crash Serbian Air Force One
     

    Un-Natural Gas: Fracking Set to Shake Up German Campaign
    Germany and Spain Move to Curb Green-Energy Supports
    German airports security staff strike continues Friday
    Germany to help Israelis stuck in unfriendly countries
    Roma in Germany forced into abject poverty
    Barbarians at the Gate
    Reports Of 'Neo-Nazi' Guards At Amazon Warehouses In Germany Creates Fresh Scandal
    Tempting PhDs lead politicians into plagiarism
    Germany's Great Church Sell-Off
    Swiss push reconciliation plan for Sri Lanka
    Switzerland prepares to sit at G20 head table
    Norway Ready to Use Rate Cuts to Cool Krone
     

    Hollande Tiptoes Toward Raid on Pensions Under Pressure From EU
    Hollande says France ok with India civil nuclear liability clause
    Hollande in India to sell warplanes, nuclear power, metro construction
    Tunisians denounce France interference
    The European Slump: France Gives Up Lowering Its Budget Deficit
    French Goodyear workers protest against closure of Amiens Nord plant
    France moves step closer to legal euthanasia
    French firm suspected as culprit in spreading horsemeat scandal
    France to return 7 paintings looted during WWII
     
     
    War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
    Libya Braces for Unrest on Anniversary of Qaddafi Revolt
    Syrian rebels down 2 government planes
    Syria rebels capture oil field and military base
    Saudis say Syria death toll may be 90000
    As war in Syria continues, refugees in Turkey open a high school
    Armenia tries to help as Christian Armenians flee Syria
    In Mali town, counter-insurgency task ties down French
    French incursion frees few slaves in Mali
    Official Details French Role in Mali
    US Pledges to Help Mali With Long-Term Stability
     
    Insight Into Today’s News
    US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets
    Now We Know: War Is Murder
    It Can't Happen Here?
    The Andromeda Strain, Yes. Jesus, No. Your Tax Dollars at Work.
    Remember 1994
    Morningland Dairy destroyed by feds, $250,000 inventory stolen by government thugs during armed raid
    Department of Homeland Security Targets Gun Collector
    CIA Adviser Warns of 'Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction'
    Debtors Prisons In The US Are Rapidly Filling With People Who Can’t Pay Bills
     

    Netanyahu threatened media over Prisoner X
    'Prisoner X' took part in Mossad operation of killing Hamas operative in Dubai?
    Lawyer: ‘Prisoner X’ negotiated plea bargain before suicide
    Israeli Security Delegation Arrives for Talks in Cairo
    Border area on alert as Israel carries out drills
    Israel shells out almost a fifth of national budget on defense
    Israel falls 20 places in World Press Freedom Index
    Leading Rabbi Says Let Haredim Guard Their Own West Bank Cities
    Israeli Siege Snuffing Out Gaza's Camel Industry
     

     

    Morsi's Egypt Poised to Criminalize Protest
    Morsi's graduate son snares plum Egypt job at 66 times lowest salary
    Salafis open fire on Morsi
    Ruling party aims for outright majority in new parliament
    Egypt political forces call for symbolic funeral of slain boy potato seller
    Egypt Military Offers Rare Apology for Child Death
    Teenage protester shot dead amid clashes on Bahrain uprising anniversary
    Saudi Minister Puts Young Royals in Succession Spotlight
    Bahrain condemns Iran's statements
     

    Ahmadinejad bluffed that Iran is now a 'nuclear state'
    IAEA, Iran Fail to Reach Nuclear Deal
    Kerry urges Iran to make "real offers" in nuclear talks
    Gulf states reject Iranian suggestion that Syria, Bahrain be discussed at nuclear talks
    Iran denies transferring arms to Somali militants
    Iran Using China To Smuggle Nuclear Material? ISIS Report Raises Concerns
    Iran Mourns Senior Commander Killed in Syria
    Iran Begins Its Election-Season Web Crackdown a Few Months Early
    Pak-Iran pipeline deal likely to be inked today
     

    Venezuelan students protest outside Cuban Embassy as Chavez remains out of sight in Havana
    Venezuela to Limit Medicine Prices After Chavez Devaluation
    Maduro: Chavez Undergoing “Very Complex and Tough” Treatment
    Venezuela's move to devalue is desperate
    Chavez Devaluation Puts Venezuelans to Queue Before Price Raise
    Capriles: Venezuela needs no devaluation, but stop handouts
    US Imposes Sanctions on Venezuela's Cavim Arms Company
    Farc rebels kill seven Colombian soldiers in blow to peace process
    Eastern Colombia locked into neo-paramilitary war
     

    Witnesses of Argentina major train accident fear for their lives
    Woman in Argentina marries twin sister's convicted killer
    Rousseff Stumbles on Energy
    Brazil's Hydroelectric Dam Boom is Bringing Tensions
    Brazil Papal Contender: Place of Birth Irrelevant
    Argentina confirms quizzing of Iran suspects
    Epic Glacier Collapse In Argentina: Ice Bridge Connected To Perito Moreno Thunders Into Lake
    Argentina Continues Its Defiance of Ghana in the Courts
    Chile's Mapuche Indians clash with police in Collipulli
     
     

    A glimpse of Nieto's new crime fighting strategy
    Mexico arrests six suspects for rape of
              NEW ANTIMULLAH POSTS - CHANGE IN FOCUS        

    Original text



     â€œThe News You Need Today…For The World You’ll Live In Tomorrow.”


    WITH SO MANY OVERWHELMINGLY CORRUPT AND BASICALLY ILLEGAL AND HIDDEN ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL ACTIONS BY OBAMA, BRINGING THEM OUT INTO THE OPEN REQUIRES      
    A CHANGE IN FOCUS AT ANTI-MULLAH.

    FOR INSTANCE, WHILE WE RECEIVE INFORMATION THAT THE OBAMA (PRO-ISLAMIC) MOVEMENT TO INFILTRATE SUPPORTERS OF ISLAM  CONTINUES INTO THE MOST SENIOR AND CRITICAL/SENSITIVE POSSIBLE REGIONS HE HAS NOW PROPOSED

    JOHN BRENNAN
    A CONVERT TO ISLAM

    AS HIS NEXT
    HEAD OF THE CIA!!!

    Brennan converted during an assignment to Saudi Arabia

    THE OTHER INFILTRATOR FROM OBAMA

    IS HIS  STAUNCHLY AND VOCALLY PRO-IRAN, FERVENTLY ANTI-ISRAEL CHOICE FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENCE. A MAN THE IRANIAN MULLAHS (UNDENIABLY OUR ENEMIES) STRONGLY ENDORSE AS THEIR PREFERENCE TO HEAD OUR MILITARY!!!

    TO CREATE A BROADER INSIGHT INTO THE WORLD STAGE WE SHALL BE POSTING INFORMATION FROM SOCHA FAAL AND WHILE SHE INCLUDES DETAILS THAT FALL INTO THE EDGES OF SPECULATION, YOU SHOULD "DISCOUNT" THE "PSYCHIC" ASPECTS WITHOUT THROWING OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATHWATER.

    YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO SELECTIVELY FILTER ONE FROM THE OTHER AND NOT IGNORE TRENDS OF REALITY WOVEN INTO THE DETAILS SHE PRESENTS BUT WHICH HAVE STRONG POINTERS FOR THOSE WHO CAN DISCERN THE DIFFERENCE.

    NOTE THAT SHE RECEIVES INFORMATION "AND DISINFORMATION" FROM THE RUSSIAN SECRET SECURITY SERVICES, WHICH HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDAS NOT ALL OF WHICH ARE CONTRARY TO AMERICAN INTERESTS.

    READ, ABSORB SORT AND EVALUATE
    you will quickly be able to note and compare the Obama treacherous and even treasonous anti-American activity among what she reports.

    TAKE YOUR TIME TO AVOID JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS WHILE LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE DESTRUCTIVE ATROCITIES OBAMA IS DUMPING ON OUR HEADS AT EVERY TURN.

    Next Superstorm Brought To You By HAARP?



    Click Here For More Sorcha Faal Reports

    Sister Maria Theresa is the 73rd Sorcha Faal of the Sorcha Faal Order, Elected as Mother Superior 3 February 2007
     â€œConspiracy theorists concentrate their time on transmuting the "base matter" of current events, official stories, propaganda and public relations into the gleaming golden truth buried within. They do this through the very right-brained activity of uncovering and inventing connections between disparate elements.
    They create story-systems to understand and explain events - essentially a religious activity. For whatever reason, it’s much easier for us to deal with our internal contents by projecting them into the world around us. These outward signs inevitably become carriers of the archetypal content and psychodrama latent in the seeker.
    Conspiracy theory also overcomes the strictures of literalism and the problems of simplistic thinking by experimenting with multiplicity of meaning. Ordinary events, people and signs become symbols bristling with complex, malleable, even contradictory meanings. Mystery is revived and idealized. Facts become more than the sum of their parts. Theory becomes poetry and even theology.”
    The Most Critical Books Published By The Order Of The Sorcha Faal You Should Own: Picking up the Pieces: The Most Important Book Available For You To Be Able To Survive Americas Growing Police State   The Partisans Handbook   Code Red: The Coming Destruction Of The United States   “Dirty, Filthy, Christians”: Treatise On The Most Dangerous Death Cult In Human History   Battle Begins For Throne of This World: The Return of the Einherjar Warriors   War Of The Sacred Code: The True Secret Of 2012

    Top World News Now                 
    February 9, 2013


    United States
    Hundreds of thousands already without power, buried under snow from ongoing blizzard
    Obama: 'No reason' for automatic Pentagon cuts
    Obama to propose 1 percent pay hike for federal employees
    White House won't comment on Brennan's waterboarding dodge
    Clinton more popular than Obama, polls show
    White House Delivers Dire Warning About Automatic Cuts
    Lawmakers test legal waters for regulating drones
    Christopher Dorner manhunt: Search for ex-LAPD cop goes on amid California snowstorm
    Cop-killer on the run: Largest manhunt in LAPD history spreads to three US states and Mexico
    US Air Force veteran added to no-fly list after visiting sickly mom
    FBI Sting: California man arrested trying to blow up Oakland Bank of America branch with "Taliban help"
    Health Officials: Worst of Flu Season May Be Over
    KKK promises the largest rally in the history of Memphis after Confederate parks are renamed
    Ohio Amish beard-cutting ringleader gets 15 years  


    Russia
    Putin: Countering extremists key task for law enforcers
    Forward Russia: Grand Sochi project highlights Putin ambition
    Migrant workers suffer for Putin's Olympics
    Putin presents presidential awards to young scientists
    Russia targets Uganda as big market for weapons
    Retired intelligence officer gets 13 years for coup plot
    New Russian citizens to get call-up for military service
    ‘I solemnly swear!’ – Russian citizen’s oath considered
    Married couple, forced apart in communist Russia, reunite by chance and remarry
    Russia, US in Hasid books brawl: Moscow wants recourse over $50,000 daily penalties
    In Russia, brazen murder of Chernovik founder is unsolved
    Russia's Black Earth Farmers Switch to Corn, Oilseeds for Profit
    Reform Quickly or Lose Deals, EU Tells Ukraine
    Fascism rehabilitated in Ukraine?


    China
    Xi Jinping says he welcomes criticism; critics aren’t so sure
    Xi Jinping promises a cleaner, greener energy future in China
    Chinese leaders send greetings for Lunar New Year
    China Denies Directing Radar at Japanese Naval Vessel and Copter
    Dangerous dance around disputed islets is becoming ever more worrying
    PLA Navy to conduct training drills in western Pacific over Lunar New Year
    China threatened by overseas hackers
    Former Guangdong official stripped of Party membership
    China retrieves defaulted payments for migrant workers
    China jails Tibetan man for inciting secession
    HP Directs Its Suppliers in China to Limit Student Labor
    After Myanmar Violence, Almost 6,000 Rohingyas Arrive in Thailand
    North Korea nuclear test may cause volcano eruption near Chinese border
    South Korea in 'first strike' alert over tests


    United Kingdom‎
    Cameron savors EU budget win as battles loom
    Cameron: 'Horsemeat story is shocking'
    Britain opens criminal probe of horse meat contamination scandal
    Clegg faces a fresh attempt to oust him as Liberal Democrat leader
    2.3 million deprived kids absent from UK poverty data
    UK investigating allegations of child sex abuse at former RAF base in Germany
    Border agency backlog keeps Britons and their foreign spouses in limbo
    Experts say DNA crime-fighting in UK 'lagging behind'
    New evidence of UK complicity in Libya torture
    Tax Rules Waived in Britain to Lure Athletes
    Saga of Speeding Politician Rivets Britain
    Whitehall spies could already be operating in Scotland
    Refuelling and rendition: Ireland's role in the war on terror

    European Union
    EU budget cut ushers in austerity for first time in union's history
    EU leaders agree to push for US trade deal
    EU may force banks to help set Euribor to keep it clean
    EU Court Strikes Down Swift's Blockade Against Iranian Banks
    Greece gets silver lining to budget plans for coming years
    Growing Police Brutality in Greece: The Hidden Face of the Crisis
    Armenia holds 2 in attack on presidential candidate
    Anarchists Claim Responsibility for Attempted Bombing in Spain
    Moroccan suspected of being terrorist arrested in Spain
    Cyprus Presidential Candidate Wary of EU Bailout Terms
    Italy Vote Seen Inconclusive as Risk of Second Ballot Grows
    Birth Defects In Multiples On The Rise In Europe


    Germany
    German Shale-Gas Fracking Rules Sought by Merkel Coalition
    Germany Warns on Currency Depreciation
    Germany posts second highest trade surplus in 60 years
    Topless activists denounce female circumcision at Berlin film festival
    German weapons case pits man against gun clubs
    Minister's Heritage Sparks Racism Debate
    New doubts cast on Holocaust account Nazi child mascot
    Swiss Unemployment Returns to a 2.5 Year High
    Gun control debate rages in Switzerland
    Switzerland Justice Minister Returns Home
    Taipei Ministry to ask Switzerland to arrest Zain Dean
    Global warming to bring more rain to hydro-dependent Norway
    EON Plans Hundreds of Megawatts of Wind Power in Norway, Sweden

    France
    Illegal Roma evictions in France continue under Hollande
    Ayrault says no current plan for Peugeot stake
    Ex-US envoy: $17M French ransom funded al-Qaida
    France plays down report of ransom paid for Niger hostages
    Europe Is Watching as France Weighs Options for Peugeot
    French charge north in Mali, Bamako shooting kills two
    Symbol of French Republic defaced in art attack
    Hollande Eschews Monarch-Style Presidential Monument in Crisis
    War For Global Energy Supremacy-World War III
    Jets roar over Pacific skies as US military gathers allies in drills, to keep ahead of China
    Shooting erupts amid reports of mutiny in Malian capital
    Suicide bomber blows himself up near Mali soldiers, first attack of its kind
    French intervention 'will cost Mali its independence'
    Rebel push into Damascus raises fears of long fight coupled by mass exodus
    Syria says 'no truth' Israel targeted convoy
    UN Says 5000 Syrians a Day Are Now Fleeing War
    Syria military factory blast kills 54
    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra is taking over Syria's revolution

    Insight Into Today’s News
    US Media Yet Again Conceals Newsworthy Government Secrets
    Now We Know: War Is Murder
    It Can't Happen Here?
    The Andromeda Strain, Yes. Jesus, No. Your Tax Dollars at Work.
    Remember 1994
    Morningland Dairy destroyed by feds, $250,000 inventory stolen by government thugs during armed raid
    Department of Homeland Security Targets Gun Collector
    CIA Adviser Warns of 'Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction'
    Debtors Prisons In The US Are Rapidly Filling With People Who Can’t Pay Bills

    Israel
    Netanyahu's coalition-building efforts are guided by suspicion and skepticism
    Livni will be appointed as minister in charge of peace process
    Defense Ministry suspends ties with six firms over alleged fraud
    Tel Aviv Hepatitis A outbreak may stem from open-air markets
    Abbas to Ahmadinejad: Talk more about Palestine, less about destroying Israel
    Palestinian jailed for Abbas Facebook 'insult'
    Abbas Meets With Leader of Gaza Terror Group in Cairo
    Hamas Weighs Options For Recognizing Israel
    Palestinian prisoners in Israel 'smuggling out sperm'


    Turkey
    Despite US opposition, oil trade with Iraq is legal, PM Erdoğan says
    South Cyprus condemns Erdoğan's remarks calling him a 'bully'
    Turkey says has spent $600 million on Syria refugees
    No strong EU without Turkey, says Italian envoy
    Turkey-US Tension Develops Over Al-Qaeda Member  
    Ailing ex-general fights for survival after sentence delay
    Cargo ship crashes into a passenger seabus in the Bosphorus
    Protests grow in Sunni areas in Iraq
    Iraqi Kurdistan presses on with oil pipe to Turkey

    Egypt
    Morsi: Egypt, Turkey to establish joint chamber of commerce
    Clashes in Egypt as anti-Morsi camp demands change
    FSM DESERVES TO BE SHARED WITH EVERYONE. ANTIMULLAH DOES NOT ACCEPT ANY PAYMENTS AND POSTING ARTICLES IS DONE TO EDUCATE WITHOUT ANY REMUNERATION AND UNDER FAIR USE
    WITH MINIMAL EDITING


    FSM video  picks + 2012 site

    white-house-benghazi-LIBYA

    · Has the White House been caught in a web of Benghazi (Libya) lies? Plot thickens over edited talking points and what was in President's daily briefings.


    Israel_flag

    · FOX News reporter runs for cover at Israeli school targeted by Hamas rocket


    benghazi_libya_media_coverup_LARGE

    · MEDIA WATCH: CBS - Bob Schieffer: Not Sure Benghazi, Libya Was Terrorism


    greg gutfeld _FOX the five

    · FOX's Greg Gutfeld: Obama Admin Suffering From 'Wordaphobia' regarding Libya


    benghazi cover-up_LARGE

    · Gov't agencies trying to hide controversial communications? Obama administration's transparency called into question


    Israel_flag
    breaking news light

    · AP Reporter Slams State Department For Silence On Israel


    Stakelbeck-MD_ce

    · Israel's 'Iron Dome' missile defense system working? Terror analyst Erick Stakelbeck weighs in


    PensionShock

    · IL Gov. Employs Cartoon Python, 'Squeezy,' to Explain Public Pension Crisis


    AllenWest3RB

    · Rep. Allen West: It's About Getting Votes Counted Correctly


    In Case You Missed It

    · MSNBC Anchor Tells Israeli Ambassador Hamas Rockets ‘Rarely Do Damage'

    · Congressman: Obama Can't Utter the Words 'Muslim Terrorist Attack' (Libya)

    · Students welcome soldier back through song - Special assembly for classmate's father

    · Israel and Hamas exchange rocket fire for fifth straight day

    · Bill Maher Tells Sean Hannity to Commit Suicide (Warning:Vulgar Language)

    · Thousands to Video TSA Pat Downs in Protest

    · Based on the classic essay by Leonard Read, a beautiful production from the Competitive Enterprise Institute explaining how the market works to create a simple pencil

    · How Campus Censorship Is Ending the American Debate

    · BREAKING: Petraeus Said CIA's Talking Points on Libya Were Edited...to Play Down Terrorism


    paper doll cut outs - your contribution means alot

    PLEASE DONATE TO FSM !


    What+the+(Bleep)+Just+Happened crowley


    Read FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor J. Christian Adams' SHOCKING new book! Buy it here



    Photobucket

    FSM Must Reads + 2012 site

    Obama hides terror truth - Benghazi (LIBYA)

    breaking news light
    Until Friday, there were two possible explanations for why the White House failed to immediately call the Benghazi attack an act of terrorism. One was incompetence, the other was worse.
    diplomomats-murdered_libya 2012

    How's That Obamacare Waiver Workin' Out for Ya?

    The Obamacare waiver winner's club now totals 2,000. Where are they now?

    Obama's Benghazi blues

    We don't have all the details of former CIA Director Petraeus' testimony to congressional Intelligence Committees, but it looks like the American people were grossly misled about the Benghazi attack.

    must read

    8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

    Almost all of our Founding Fathers, the most brilliant authors and orators of all time, were home-schooled.

    NOT the Little Mosque on the Prairie

    When Islamic advocate Ahmed Bedier traveled to Santa Clara County a few months ago to lend support for a proposed Islamic center, he declared that opposition to the mosque was "Islamophobic" in nature.

    California Parole Violators Get a Pass

    The California Dept. of Corrections announced it planned to begin a review of more than 9,200 outstanding arrest warrants of parole violators to determine if pursuing these convicted felons would be in the "interest of justice."

    A Moment of Truth in Israel

    Seven years ago the Israeli government decided to forcibly evict the Jewish residents of Gaza and withdraw all bases and forces from the area.
    Israel_flag

    Ambassador Rice, Designated Non-Expert on Benghazi

    Finally, President Obama has confirmed it was specifically "at the request of the White House" that on the Sunday after the Sept. 11 terrorist onslaught in Benghazi, Susan Rice, appeared as the face of his administration on five TV news talk shows to discuss this debacle.

    Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?

    by ADAM TURNER
    Having the American Ambassador in Benghazi with no American security guards, poorly-trained, largely unarmed, and possibly Islamist-if not-al-Qaeda supportive Libyan security personnel, and no real secure consulate, is nothing short of scandalous.

    Tehran, the Terror Capitol of the World

    The attacks on Israel were ordered by Khamenei and the support for Syria's dictator Bashar Assad come from Khamenei.

    Rep. Allen West Fights On amid Vote-Recount Mayhem

    Florida's election procedures are - still - a disaster in the making.

    MOST VIEWED

    Rockets? What Hamas Rockets?

    Violence between Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian terrorist organizations in Gaza this week is prompting the usual outcry from Islamist groups in America and abroad.

    Did you know that if everyone who visited our FSM website this year donated just $1, we would easily exceed our annual budget?

    Your gift will be an investment in freedom.

    As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, The Family Security Foundation relies upon the thoughtfulness and (tax-deductible!) generosity of visitors like you.

    donate now _button_blue
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." ~ Ronald Reagan
    REAGANFLAG2RB
    We certainly couldn't do it without you!

    Checks may be sent here:

    Family Security Foundation, Inc.
    2020 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., #298
    Washington, D.C. 20006

    If you do not wish to receive any further e-mails, please click here to unsubscribe.
    Click here to sign up for FSM's e-mail updates!

              God's Purpose for Libya        
    A new MP3 sermon from The Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

    Title: God's Purpose for Libya
    Subtitle: Bible Lands in Bible Light
    Speaker: Rev. Brian McClung
    Broadcaster: The Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony
    Event: Teaching
    Date: 7/27/2012
    Bible: Daniel 11
    Length: 63 min. (16kbps)

    Overview: During recent times the Middle East and North Africa have been very much in the news. God has a lot to say about the nations in this area and for 2012.
              Libya...Gaddafi... and.. "The Lavender Scented Swimming Pool."        

    This was the name of the diplomatic posting in Malta, as described by the then British Ambassador.

    We had got together to rehearse a concert in the beautiful gem of an opera house, The Teatro Manoel, the earliest in Europe, built in 1731, and preceeding the San Carlo in Napoli. The island of Gozo just across the water, has two opera houses, one on each side of the street.

    Brian Hitch our Ambassador, was a very good pianist indeed and we worked hard to prepare a Poppy Day programme for the veterans, in commemoration of the island's rescue during the war by one of our last warships.

    So for the second half I asked for a bar stool and a microphone and we cruised through Begin the Beguine, Coward's Nina from Argentina along with Cole Porter and Gershwin, and of course.... Summertime.

    I had to leave and returned in October for the concert, but I noticed that some things had changed meanwhile at the Embassy.

    Brian and Margot had looked after me in Munich and I was always aware of the understated care while in the vicinity of our Embassies. However, having arrived with a huge salmon and my usual hats only to find that none would fit into the armoured Jaguar, small enough to negociate the narrow streets of Valletta, I was struck by the watchmen patrolling all night with torches in the garden and more significantly, the iron shutters which rolled down over all the windows, and the alarms now directly through to the police.

    This all seemed a bit excessive for "the lavender-scented swimming pool" scenario which Brian had described, and he was learning Maltese and Arabic to keep in trim.

    We played two concerts in the Manoel and later when he had moved on to Oxford University, I asked him what "all that extra security was about?"

    "Oh!" he said. "Between your first and second visits, the Scottish police descended on us to investigate the Lockerbie bombing and my office was overun with them."

    It seems that the bomb had been put on a plane in Malta, in a suitcase containing clothes from Marks and Spencer, and that the origin was Libya.

    The Embassy was on red alert for 6 months and I hadn't known it.
              Syria: The Red Line and the R.t Line, by Sermour M. Hersh        
    In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.​ [...]
              C.F.R.’s Bro. Richard Haas: The U.S. Should Keep Out of Libya        

    Wall Street Journal MARCH 8, 2011.

    The U.S. Should Keep Out of Libya By RICHARD N. HAASS

    'Bro. Gates (R-TX) was and is correct in reminding people…'

    A good many people across the political spectrum—including some members of the Obama administration—are pressuring the president to intervene militarily in Libya. Much of the commentary has focused on establishing a no-fly zone, but there have been calls as well for enforcing a no-drive zone, or for arming or otherwise assisting regime opponents.

    Those making this case appeal to a mixture of morality and realpolitik. They argue that by intervening we will prevent the slaughter of innocents and at the same time demonstrate our willingness to make good on expressions of support for freedom and security.

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has taken the opposite position. Testifying before Congress last week, Mr. Gates pointed out that the first step in establishing a no-fly zone that would ground Libyan aircraft and helicopters would be to suppress Libyan air defenses that could threaten U.S. or allied aircraft. This would entail attacking selected targets. In other words, to establish a no-fly zone would be to go to [...]

              Report: Freemason Berlusconi’s `Slavish’ Courtship of Freemason Qaddafi Haunts Italy        

    Bloomberg News Feb 23, 2011

    Berlusconi’s `Slavish’ Courtship of Qaddafi Haunts Italy By Flavia Krause-Jackson

    Berlusconi shut down the city’s biggest park in June 2009 to allow the visiting Libyan leader and his entourage of all- female bodyguards to set up camp by the 16th-century Villa Doria Pamphili. A year earlier, Italy agreed to pay $5 billion over 25 years to its former colony in reparations.

    “With hindsight, the more slavish manifestations of deference could have been avoided,” Franco Pavoncello, a politics professor at John Cabot University in Rome, said in a telephone interview. “He went out of his way, more than others, to be best friends with Qaddafi. He can’t exactly take it all back now.”

    Libya has invested in Italian companies including Fiat SpA, UniCredit SpA and the Juventus soccer team, while Eni SpA has been present in the North African country for half a century, leaving Italy reliant on Libya for a quarter of its crude oil. As his ties with Qaddafi developed, Berlusconi built on that economic legacy, which is now unraveling and underscores the cost of doing business with autocratic regimes.

    Article Continues

    Further Reading: http://freemasonrywatch.org

    [...]
              Stop Red Bill        
    Deblasio

    RED BILL EXPOSED! America's Survival, Inc. releases 84-page dossier on "Red Bill" de Blasio, the NYC Mayoral candidate. Click here to see Power Point presentation and evidence. Attend our Thursday, October 24, press conference at the Hotel Pennsylvania (across from Penn Station), at 401 7th Ave, New York, New York, 10001, in the Gold Ballroom, from 12:30 – 3:00 pm.
    Hillary Clinton Hosts Fundraiser for Red Bill De Blasio Co-Chaired by Convicted Criminal
    NYC Mayor Candidate Bill de Blasio Supported Sandinistas, Active Allies of "Palestinian" Jihadists
    De Blasio Tells Muslims He’ll End Broad NYPD Spying If Elected
    "Muslims for de Blasio" Rally: De Blasio stands shoulder to shoulder with terror apologist who calls Zionism “racism”
    Bill de Blasio's (nee Wilhelm) support for jihad against Israel
    NYC Mayoral Candidate De Blasio supported suppressing internal dissent, clamping down on a free press, antisemitism and persecuting the church and labor unions
    NYC Mayoral Race: Join me at Press Conference Exposing de Blasio, October 24, Hotel Pennsylvania

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013