MOSCOW (AP) - A senior Cabinet official says Russia will double its oil exports to Japan to 18 million tons this year to help its neighbor through the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Tuesday that Japanese companies could join Russia's Gazprom in exploring two massive gas fields, Russian news agencies reported. That includes Kovykta which contains 2 trillion cubic meters of gas.
Amid relief efforts to help the tsunami-stricken nation, Moscow has been eager to use the opportunity to boost its energy sales to Japan.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier suggested that Russia could redirect some of the liquiefied natural gas it planned to sell to Europe to Japan instead.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to lower expectations about the Iron Dome system Sunday, telling the cabinet that the system could not protect every house, school and army base in the country.Labels: Ashdod» Ashkelon» Barak» Beersheba» Eshkol» Gaza» Gaza Rocket Attacks Again» Hamas» Hamas Rockets» Hezbollah» Hizbullah» Iron Dome» Katyusha rockets» Qassams» Sderot» Tamir
|Iron Dome defends against rockets |
at a range of 4- 70 kilometers:
Barack says:Barak says Iron Dome anti-rocket system to be deployed within days.
Late Friday night a Kassam rocket exploded in Eshkol Regional Council area, causing damage to one house but no injuries. A local official said authorities were searching for a second rocket that had fallen in an open area.
On Thursday, a rocket fired from Gaza exploded north of Ashdod. While there were no injuries, Magen David Adom crew treated a number of people for shock.
Earlier Friday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed that he authorized the deployment of the Iron Dome missile defense system.
during a tour of the Gaza region, Barak said: "I authorized the IDF in
the coming days to authorize the first operational deployment of Iron
Dome batteries, here in the southern region."
.................................................................................................................................................................The test deployment, he said, "will continue for several weeks and the layout will vary with operational needs."
The defense minister praised Iron Dome's technology, calling it an "extraordinary development" by the defense industry. He cautioned, however, that it does not provide a 100 percent solution to the rocket threat.
The Iron Dome system will be part of the IDF's solution to the barrage of rockets fired into southern Israel from Gaza in the last week, a statement from the IDF spokesperson said.
Iron Dome is designed to defend against rockets at a range of 4-70 km and each battery consists of a multi-mission radar manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each equipped with 20 interceptors named Tamir.
The defense minister also praised the IDF's operations in the southern region. "The IDF is doing a very good job - very professional and creative, with [good] results, along the border and in the Gaza Strip itself," he said.
"Terror organizations in the Strip took a hard hit during the last 10 days," Barak said, adding that the groups had lost fighters during that period.
He noted that "some 100 rockets and mortars that reached communities further [from the Strip] than usual" were hit, including Beersheba, Ashdod, Sderot, Ashkelon, and the Gaza border-region communities. "We have no intention to allow terrorist organizations to renew the situation and breaking the status quo," he said. The defense minister added, "We will act as it is needed to return the operations back to the [border] line itself."
"I don't recommend to Hamas or Islamic Jihad to attempt and return us to the situation when [rockets] were fired at areas deep into the country and at communities in the border region."
If any historic proof was needed regarding Gun Control", you only have to review the JPFO Genocide Chart, to see how disarmament equates to victims, often on a large scale. Read about the film "Nazi Death Camps" - a chilling JPFO movie. A recent event August 31st 2010 when four people were brutally shot to death in their car (including a pregnant woman) further highlights the tragedy of gun control - Read an article that further proves the validity and necessity for "No Guns For Jews".
This is a 40 minute film presentation.
Yes, despite the conventional wisdom being peddled by the inept Obama Administration, you read the headline correctly. Via Peter C. Glover at the Energy Tribune:
In case anyone missed it, let me repeat something that is of a magnitude of 10 on the scale of news-quakes for Joe Public USA: America’s combined energy resources are, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service (CSR), the largest on earth. They eclipse Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th) and Canada (6th) combined – and that’s without including America’s shale oil deposits and, in the future, the potentially astronomic impact of methane hydrates.
Glover provides this helpful chart to illustrate his point:
Glover first debunks the liberal myth that America has no oil:
While the US is often depicted as having only a tiny minority of the world’s oil reserves at around 28 billion barrels (based on the somewhat misleading figure of ‘proven reserves’) according to the CRS in reality it has around 163 billion barrels. As Inhofe’s EPW press release comments, “That’s enough oil to maintain America’s current rates of production and replace imports from the Persian Gulf for more than 50 years”.
Of course to utilize our vast oil reserves, we have to actually drill for it. But alas, our president is determined to lock up those resources for the foreseeable future, a point Governor made in a recent Facebook Note. If anything, Obama prefers that America increase its reliance on foreign oil. Glover continues his piece discussing America’s enormous coal reserves:
Next up, there’s coal. The CRS report reveals America’s reserves of coal are unsurpassed, accounting for over 28 percent of the world’s coal. Much of it is high quality too. The CRS estimates US recoverable coal reserves at around 262 billion tons (not including further massive, difficult to access, Alaskan reserves). Given the US consumes around 1.2 billion tons a year, that’s a couple of centuries of coal use, at least.
We have the largest coal reserves in the world, and those reserves will last at least 200 years (probably much longer), and Obama has publicly stated he wants to “bankrupt” anyone who wants to build coal plants. Think about that. Glover next discusses natural gas which, when combined with its cousin, methane hydrates, is likely America’s most abundant energy resource:
In 2009 the CRS upped its 2006 estimate of America’s enormous natural gas deposits by 25 percent to around 2,047 trillion cubic feet, a conservative figure given the expanding shale gas revolution. At current rates of use that’s enough for around 100 years. Then there is still the, as yet largely publicly untold, story of methane hydrates to consider, a resource which the CRS reports alludes to as “immense…possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels.” According to the Inhofe’s EPW, “For perspective, if just 3 percent of this resource can be commercialized … at current rates of consumption, that level of supply would be enough to provide America’s natural gas for more than 400 years.”
We often hear from our friends on the left that America’s energy future is tied to “green energy”. This is as delusional as it is suicidal. There are no green energy “magic bullets” available now, nor will there be in the foreseeable future. They’re simply not economic. They only exist for two reasons. First, Obama is purposely following policies designed to make green energy appear economic by causing the price of its competition, conventional energy, to “necessarily skyrocket“. Obama’s hope is that consumers will choose expensive green energy instead of artificially expensive conventional energy.
He’s wrong, of course, because the real choice consumers will face is one between expensive green energy that doesn’t work and artificially expensive conventional energy that does. This is not a difficult choice. Consumers will simply spend more money on energy than is necessary, and less on everything else. Not exactly a recipe for economic growth.
The second reason inefficient green energy exists is because Obama is lavishing billions of dollars in taxpayer funds (at a time we can ill-afford such waste) on his corporate cronies. GE’s Jeffrey Immelt, for example, is receiving copious subsidies to build wind turbines and related infrastructure that would never be built absent said subsidies. And let’s not forget the Chevy Volt. (Incidentally, where do proponents of electric cars think electricity comes from? Do they think it’s created magically within walls and, to access it, one simply has to slap an outlet on the wall? If not, how do they think we can drive electric cars if they’re against building the coal and nuclear powered plants necessary to generate the electricity to charge them? Just asking.)
If these subsidies didn’t exist, and the Obama Administration stopped following policies designed to make conventional energy prices necessarily skyrocket, we wouldn’t even be talking about green energy. We don’t need it (see above), it’s not economic and, more importantly, it doesn’t work very well. Certainly not as well as conventional energy. Moreover, as Governor Palin recently noted, so inefficient is green energy that for every new “green job” created, four are lost in the overall economy. I’m not a mathematician, but that would appear to be a poor tradeoff, and with a real unemployment rate in excess of 16%, just plain stupid. And we can no longer afford to be stupid.
The good news is that we don’t have to be. We have more conventional energy resources than every other country in the world. With the recent tsunami disaster in Japan being exploited to put nuclear energy on hold for another generation at least, we need to be developing the proven energy resources with which this nation is so richly endowed. Unfortunately, to do this, we need a president whose goal is to make reliable energy more — not less — available, and one whose energy policy is designed to make energy more — not less — affordable. Sadly, the current occupant of the White House takes the opposite approach. To quote Governor Palin, “2012 can’t come soon enough”.
Read Glover’s entire article here. It’s eye-opening.
Also, children of Palestinian fathers are not eligible for Egyptian citizenship. While this seems unfair, asserted Diaaeddin, it is in accordance with Arab League Decree 1547 for 1959. The decree calls for the preservation of the Palestinian identity as an integral part of the Palestinian cause, and prevents it from assimilating into the identity of the host country.
The Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court in 2006 ruled that the law should apply to Palestinian Arab fathers as well, but that ruling has been completely ignored by Egyptian authorities.
But, Obama and his merry band of clueless idiots advisers tell everybody not to worry.
CAIRO (NYT) — In post-revolutionary Egypt, where hope and confusion collide in the daily struggle to build a new nation, religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.
It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force — at least not at the moment.
As the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence. But what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it.
JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli aircraft struck a Palestinian rocket squad in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, as a new defense system to protect southern Israel from militants' rockets prepared to go online after years of development, the military said.
Two Islamic Jihad militants were killed in the attack and one was critically wounded, said the group, which did not specify whether they were in the process of launching rockets.
Gaza militants, including Islamic Jihad and the territory's Hamas rulers, had said over the weekend that they would cease fire if Israel did. It was not clear whether they were reneging on that pledge or whether the air strike hit a rogue group of militants ignoring the cease fire.
Weeks of stepped-up rocket and mortar attacks have drawn fears of renewed war and led to new calls in Israel for the military to deploy the $200 million Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
The Israeli military said the system should begin operating on Sunday near Beersheba, southern Israel's largest city. A second anti-missile battery will be deployed in another large southern city, Ashdod, the military added, without specifying an exact date.
Security officials said the new spate of rocket attacks from Gaza and public pressure had led the military to deploy the system, which is still being fine-tuned. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss operational decisions.
SLAVERY - RAPE & ABUSE - MODERN DAY REALITIES FOR MIDDLE EAST MAIDS
While browsing the web, yesterday, I viewed the Arab Times online site and came across several news articles about the rape and abuse of maids in Kuwait. I was surprised at the cluster of cases so I searched the web for more information and was nearly knocked off my chair when I realized the enormous extent of the huge numbers of foreign maids suffering abuse at the hands of their Middle East "sponsors". To use the term "maid" is a misnomer - these women (and boys) are nothing more than modern day SLAVES. Slaves to be abused, raped, tortured, maimed, and killed.
Many of these maids come into the Middle East (particularly Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon) from Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia - smaller numbers come from India and Bangladesh. Saudi Arabia has the largest number of these imported domestics estimated at 200,000 in 2004. These maids are seen as inferiors to their Middle Eastern masters and many countries do not even recognize them as being covered by labor laws - including minimum wage:
"The plight of domestic workers in Lebanon rose to the spotlight during the summer of 2006, when Israel launched a thirty-four-day military offensive on Lebanon. In Arabic, the term "Abed" is used to denote a "black" person or "slave" and the word is sometimes heard in reference to Africans or Sri Lankans. Non-Arab Afro-Asian migrants in Lebanon are physically looked upon as inferior due to their positions as servants. These workers remain excluded under Article 6 of Lebanese labour laws and are often victims of abuse by both employers and agencies." LINK
The vast majority of these women are seeking an opportunity to earn money and send remittances back to their families -
".......Philippines, where the economy relies heavily on remittances from nearly eight million Filipinos working overseas. Of that eight million, about 73,000 work in Kuwait. Some 60,000 are women employed mainly as maids and earning less than $200 a month on average, labor groups say.
Some of these woman do quickly realize the danger and manage to escape in a few days. But, many of the remaining "servants" are left in a living nightmare.
Over 17 deaths of Madagascan maids last year in Lebanon
Madagascar flies home maids abused in Lebanon
Indonesians protesting against a maid killing in Saudi Arabia where her body was dumped in a bin by her employers
Madagascar's government early Thursday flew home 86 women domestic workers from Lebanon who had been subjected to abuse amid concerns over the deaths of 17 Madagascan maids in the past year.
Population Minister Nadine Ramaroson said at Antananarivo airport as she welcomed the women that most of them "had run away from their employers."
"Their return home was negotiated by the Madagascan consul in Lebanon after either the women themselves or their families asked for them to be repatriated," Ramaroson said.
The government decided to charter a plane after numerous cases of abuse were reported. The Population Ministry received more than 600 repatriation requests from maids or their families.
The Union of Qualified Domestic Workers (SPDTS), a non-governmental organization that helps the victims and their families, says that in the past year alone 17 Madagascan maids in Lebanon died from abuse suffered at the hands of their employers.
"There have been a lot of deaths," Prime Minister Camille Vital said. "That's why the government has decided to repatriate those who wanted to come home. The government is paying for this repatriation."
On their arrival at the airport the young women were met by social workers from SPDTS and by staff from different ministries tasked with providing medical care and counseling.
"My boss used to hit me and didn't give me my salary. I'm very, very happy to be back home," said 25-year-old Leonie.
Another woman who gave her name as Augustine said: "The friend with whom I ran away from my boss wasn't able to get on the plane at the last minute. I'm really worried about her. She's not in good shape."
More than 7,000 Madagascans work in Lebanon, according to SPDTS. In 2010 around 500 of them came home before the end of their contract.
This is an absolutely brutal essay by Phillip Stephens in the Financial Times. Mr. Stephens points out why European militaries are so unprepared to get the "hand off" from President Obama for responsibility in Libya:
The French have a serious point in arguing that political oversight of this mission should reach beyond the western nations represented in Nato. But theological objections to vesting military command and control in Nato have shown the childish side of French diplomacy.Do you think someone mentioned the paucity of NATO assets to the president before he decided to hand off command to the Europeans? As many analysts have been saying since this adventure started, the only way it is going to succeed is if America, as always, does most of the heavy lifting. We have the quantitative and qualitative military assets to make the operation work. But Obama wants to pull American assets out of the fight and have us in a "support" role.
Above all, however, the Libyan venture has betrayed the paucity of Europe's military capability. Britain has sent a dozen or so fighter aircraft, a couple of frigates and a submarine, and its military chiefs say that is about as much as it can do. It has nothing left if some new crisis were to emerge in, say, the Gulf. Everything is committed elsewhere, mostly to Afghanistan.
France has assembled a more impressive force - it still has an aircraft carrier - but it too is looking overstretched. Both countries have been cutting their defence budgets.
The uncomfortable facts were set out by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary-general, at last month's Munich security conference. A decade ago, Mr Rasmussen said, the US accounted for about half of the defence spending of all Nato countries. That share is now closer to 75 per cent. During the past two years, spending by the European members of the alliance had shrunk by $45bn, equivalent to the entire German defence budget.
The Europeans, in other words, have been pretending that history did indeed end in 1989. The Arab uprisings have reminded them otherwise. The lesson of the Suez debacle was that Britain and France could not defy American power; the message of the Libyan campaign is that they cannot take it for granted.
This is not going to work and I'm sure the Europeans, at some point, will let the president know this. In the end, we will probably have American combat aircraft and other assets under the command of NATO and no one will believe that it isn't an American operation.
That's the price Obama will pay for sticking his head in the sand.
Six terrorists overwhelmed a lone guard at the El-Sabil gas terminal, planted the bomb and fled, despite the recent deployment of hundreds of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai.
"They failed to detonate the bombs and fled the scene. Even the security guard was missing when police arrived, according to the French news agency AFP.
Unofficial reports said the terrorists were Bedouin from the Sinai Peninsula. Bedouin have placed themselves as the rulers in several parts of the region since the uprising against then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Bedouin have also been increasingly active in cooperating with Hamas, helping its terrorists in carrying out attacks against Israel.
An explosion at another gas terminal in early February disrupted the flow of gas to Israel until last week. Egypt originally said the blast in February was an accident, but later admitted it was the result of a terrorist attack during the uprising.
Several media reports have indicated that Egypt delayed resumption of the gas supply and has decreased the amounts of gas in order to pressure for a higher price than called for in the original agreement. The new interim Egyptian military government is considered to be even more anti-Israeli than the regime of Mubarak, who refused to visit Jerusalem despite the peace treaty signed in 1979.
His lone appearance in the capital was for the funeral of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.
Egypt supplies Israel with 40 percent of its natural gas, but recent discoveries of natural gas off Israel’s Mediterranean Coast are expected to transform Israel into an exporter of energy in several years.
SOURCE: Arutz Sheva via thejidf.org
1) War with Hamas
Barry Rubin writes about why there will be a war between Israel and Hamas.
And so, Hamas knows that it now has an ally, rather than an enemy, at its back. Moreover, there is no incentive in Egypt--or among its nationalist and Islamist-sympathetic officers--to block arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip. As a result, Hamas is stronger and more confident, and hence arrogant and reckless. It is better able to launch rockets, mortars, and cross-border attacks, and far more eager to do so. Hamas is also able to get longer-range missiles and other new types of weapons.I would add that the Bush administration deserves some blame for this state of affairs.
As for U.S. policy, while supporting some sanctions on Hamas and refusing to deal directly with the group, the U.S. government has not supported overthrowing the Gaza regime, though any serious assessment of U.S. interests show this should be a priority. A policy to destroy Hamas should be part of the war against Iranian hegemony in the region, revolutionary Islamism, terrorism, and instability. Even more, doing so would aid the moribund Israel-Palestinian peace process and keep the Palestinian Authority in power.
But there is no appreciation for these points in Washington. When it comes to fighting revolutionary Islamism, U.S. policy sees the Middle East as a no-try zone.
Back in 2005 Dore Gold wrote about America's Hamas Dilemma: Spreading Democracy or Combating Terrorism?
Originally, the realpolitik thinking underpinning the Bush administration's support for democratization of the Middle East was based on the assumption that democracies are inherently peaceful and will not encourage extremist political systems that might host terrorist groups. Non-democratic regimes need to produce an external enemy as a control mechanism over their populations. What happens if democracy empowers a political movement like Hamas, whose core ideology is based on belligerency, regardless of whether it needs a control mechanism or not?This was at a time when the administration was openly arguing against the Sharon government to allow Hamas to participate in the upcoming Palestinian elections. Just prior to the election, a Washington Post editorial lauded the openness that Hamas's electoral participation heralded.
Westerners engaging in a dialogue with Hamas have also been speaking with the Muslim Brotherhood, the original Egyptian fundamentalist organization, founded in 1928, from which Hamas grew as its Palestinian branch. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has the status of being "illegal but officially tolerated." Some have observed that voter participation increased in the 2005 Egyptian presidential elections because the Muslim Brotherhood called on voters to go to the polls. Organizations like the International Crisis Group have already recommended that the Muslim Brotherhood be decriminalized and permitted to take a more active role in Egyptian politics. In the Middle East, however, both intellectuals and officials, like Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, have warned against legitimizing the Muslim Brotherhood. A former Kuwaiti education minister reminded his readers in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat in July 2005 that all of al-Qaeda's terrorism started from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Already, too, democracy is showing its benefits. Faced with the possibility of defeat by Hamas, Fatah has been forced to overhaul the aging and corrupt cadre left behind by Yasser Arafat and install young reformers at the top of its legislative list. Their leader, the Israeli-imprisoned Marwan Barghouti, published a remarkable letter in Palestinian newspapers Friday apologizing for Fatah's mistakes and asking voters for another chance. Hamas itself is showing some pragmatism: Its newly elected council members supported the election last week of a Christian woman as mayor of Ramallah, the most important West Bank town. A senior Israeli army official recently predicted that if Hamas did win the elections it would continue to curtail attacks on Israel.At the time, Soccer Dad took issue with the Washington Post editorial: Post pre-election stress syndrome
The Bush administration prepared a "quartet" statement with the European Union, United Nations and Russia last week that strongly supported the elections and urged Israel to allow voting in Jerusalem. At the same time, the statement reiterated a previous statement calling on Hamas to disarm and recognize Israel's existence, and it added that the future Palestinian cabinet "should include no member who has not committed"to accept those principles. That was the right place to draw the line. Hamas should be given the chance to become a democratic movement, but Palestinians should understand that any retreat from recognition of Israel will mean the loss of vital international support.
It didn't take long for the Bush administration to acknowledge that it misjudged the Hamas situation, as the New York Times reported:
"I've asked why nobody saw it coming," Ms. Rice said, speaking of her own staff. "It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse."Interesting that a Times reporter would write that last paragraph, given how the Times has largely ignored that very same danger in Egypt.
Immediately after the election, Bush administration officials said the results reflected a Palestinian desire for change and not necessarily an embrace of Hamas, which the United States, Israel and the European Union consider a terrorist organization sworn to Israel's destruction. But Ms. Rice's comments seemed to reflect a certain second-guessing over how the administration had failed to foresee, or factor into its thinking, the possibility of a Hamas victory.
Indeed, Hamas's victory has set off a debate whether the administration was so wedded to its belief in democracy that it could not see the dangers of holding elections in regions where Islamist groups were strong and democratic institutions weak.
Subsequently we've seen Hamas strengthened and emboldened. It is odd to read articles about a potential rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah portrayed as a necessary step for peace. If winning the election didn't result in Hamas's moderating, why would it moderate when it gains even more power as a partner of Fatah? In fact such a rapprochement would indicate that Fatah is moving closer to Hamas rather than the opposite.
2) UNHRC Oh, I see
The UN's Human Rights Council will be voting on 6 anti-Israel resolutions.
The UNHRC has agreed to send a special rapporteur to Iran. Iran has declined to allow him to inspect the country.
No word if the UNHRC will be taking any action against current council member Bahrain for having its troops fire on demonstrators.
Elder of Ziyon points out that Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) made some changes in how the UNHRC operates.
Solomonia writes that it is no surprise, of course, that the OIC was behind getting Goldstone to investigate Cast Lead.
Given how many OIC members treat their own people, this is just one more example of what a bad joke the UNHRC is.
3) Now you see them ...
A New York Times editorial praises the changes going on in Egypt.
The editorial also offers words of caution.
We share the unease of young protesters who made the revolution happen and worry their demand for democracy could be hijacked by the highly organized groups who campaigned hardest for the amendments: allies of the old regime and the Muslim Brotherhood.This is the only mention of the Muslim Brotherhood in the editorial. Mostly it is the "old regime" mentioned as a possible spoiler.
However a news story finally acknowledges Islamist Group Is Rising Force in a New Egypt
It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force — at least not at the moment.4) Really?
As the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence. But what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it.
“There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on,” said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. “It makes sense if you are the military — you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street.”
Guy Bechor welcomes us to the New Middle East
A terrible thing happened to the Middle East: The only glue that brought together all the sects, religions, tribes, nationalities and minorities - who all hate each other – was Israel, yet this glue no longer works.There are those who still will insist that this is the most opportune time for Israel to make peace. Or most critical time.
Ever since Israel was established, we got accustomed to hearing global experts and the Arabs themselves claiming that Israel is at fault for the Mideast’s sorry state, that the Arabs are preoccupied with the struggle against Israel to the point of having no time for themselves, and that should Israel’s conflict vis-à-vis the Arab world be resolved, cosmic tranquility will sweep through the region, ushering in progress, prosperity and happiness.
This doctrine allowed Arab world leaders to make a living and also allowed Western states to blame us for all the region’s ills. This is the outdated doctrine that still guides Obama’s close associates. For example: The need to press for the establishment of a Palestinian state, as though that would bring stability to the Middle East.
5) Little terror attacks
An editorial in YnetNews Killing Jews in small doses and 'limited terror' is unacceptable
The recent string of terror attacks against Israel may indicate that the Palestinians learned the lesson, and may be engaging in a more sophisticated – yet no less dangerous – terror campaign against the Jewish state.
The murder in Itamar, as shocking as it was, as well as Wednesday's bombing in Jerusalem were not perceived by the world (and for the time being by Israel too) as "equivalent" to the suicide bombings of the 1990s and 2000s that left dozens of fatalities. As such, the response to them, both in the global media and by the IDF, was limited as well.
This quickly became apparent following the Itamar massacre, with global media largely downplaying the attack. Despite some coverage and international condemnations, the tone and ferocity were far weaker than the response to previous "major" attacks. A similar pattern followed the Jerusalem bombing, with many media outlets burying the story while focusing on other issues, such the Libya campaign or Elizabeth Taylor's death.
Alicia Gali, 29, yesterday detailed her harrowing ordeal after filing a Queensland lawsuit against the five-star international resort where the attack allegedly took place in 2008.
Warning other women against going to the UAE, Ms Gali said she endured eight months in a crowded prison room with up to 30 other women after she complained to authorities of being raped.
"These countries don't have the same laws as us. You can end up in serious trouble," she said.
Apart from her family, no one in Australia knew Ms Gali had been jailed for adultery and illegal drinking, because Australian embassy staff advised her and her family not to go to the media.
"It was just traumatising," she said.
"Everything that happened was the worst thing that somebody could go through."
"You're just totally alone in a foreign country, with no assistance from your employer or the embassy."
Ms Gali, a salon manager at the resort, said she had been in the staff bar, where she was told she could legally drink, when another employee put ice in her drink.
She said it was the last thing she remembered before waking the next day in her room with painful injuries.
"I didn't know what had happened. I was traumatised, I felt ill. I didn't even remember getting there or what had happened," Ms Gali said.
She said it was only when she took herself to hospital did she realise she had been sexually assaulted.
Later she learned she had been heard screaming and security guards had found men hiding in her room, where she was naked and unconscious.
When she was discharged from hospital she was asked to go to a police station to make a statement and then speak in front of a judge.
"I realised when I was put in a police car that I was being taken to jail."
Ms Gali said she was never warned by her UAE employers that she could be charged with adultery and face prison if she complained of being raped, without having four adult male Muslim witnesses.
"I didn't even know what the charges were until five months into my sentence," Ms Gali said.
Three of the men Ms Gali claimed sexually abused her were jailed, but for adultery and not rape.
After serving eight months of a 12-month sentence, Ms Gali was pardoned and released and flew home in March 2009.
Since then she has been treated for post traumatic stress disorder, suffered claustrophobia and flashbacks.
"I felt depressed, angry and confused," she said.
"I was the victim. I'd had something wrong done to me and I was being punished."
Law firm Maurice Blackburn on Thursday filed a damages claim in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, alleging Ms Gali's employer failed to warn her of the risk of being drugged, raped, charged with adultery and jailed if she complained.
Solicitor Melissa Payne said it was a complex legal case and they would consult experts in UAE law.
When terrorists planted bomb in a bag near a bus station killing a Scottish Bible translator studying ancient Hebrew, and wounding dozens more including six Americans -- Reuters decided it was time to explain to its audience what that peculiar Hebraic term, "Terrorist Attack" meant.
"Police described the explosion as a “terrorist attack” — Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike," Reuters elucidated. Reuter's term for a terrorist attack turns out to be "Palestinian strike", which suggests a labor rally by terrorists demanding more virgins in paradise and more euphemistic media coverage. If such were their demands, then they got their wish.
Terms like "terrorist" have been replaced by "militant". Militant does not tell us anything more than terrorist does. On the contrary it tells us much less. Terrorists carry out violent attacks, but militants can refer to anyone from zealous environmentalists to homicidal killers. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines "militant" as "Having a combative character", which covers a rough third of the human race. And a full two-thirds on a bad day. Why resort to imprecise language over more precise terminology? To avoid offending the people who plant bombs that kill bible translators, while dulling the impact of the event for their reading audience. A terrorist is a terrible person, but a militant is just worked up about something.
Vague language becomes the paradigm. Reuters isn't saying that they recommend that people say "Palestinian strike" rather than "terrorist attack", that would reveal their stake in the game. Instead they treat "terrorist" as a provincial term that might confuse their audience, explaining implicitly that the proper term is "Palestinian strike". The lesson is implicit, not explicit. An unstated correction that they are supposed to take heart.
From a fact based perspective, a bombing at a bus station is more obviously a terrorist attack, than it is a Palestinian strike, particularly as no Arab Muslims had been arrested yet. But it is not the facts that are being served here. It is the narrative. "Palestinian strike" equates to "Israeli strike". Two mirror images of the same. No difference between leaving a bomb at a bus station and hitting a bunch of terrorists firing rockets into Israeli towns and villages. One strike is as good as any other. Except that the latter get detailed coverage and the former get vague euphemisms
For that same reason comes the mention of this being the, "the first such bombing in Jerusalem in seven years", which sounds nice and peaceful. Just terrorists, pardon militants, scratching their seven year homicidal itch. The massacre of students at the Mercaz HaRav school doesn't qualify, that was done with an AK-47, but what about the trash pipe bomb just this month that took off a sanitation worker's hand? Well it wasn't "such" a bombing, was it. One was in the trash, the other at a bus station. Leave enough wriggle room and language can mean anything. If there's a bombing at a fruit stand tomorrow, it will be the first time in seven years too.
In his essay on politics and grammar, Orwell warned that "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible." A study of the media corps circa 2011 tells us that we can eliminate the 'largely' altogether and just turn it into the dictionary definition. The media doesn't report on terrorist attacks because it wants to, but because it has to. They have occurred and they are by definition news. Which means they are obligated to fill out a few paragraphs mentioning them. And that they do. Muddied by the vaguest terminology they can find, along with justifications for the act, casting blame on the victim and mentioning that it's the settlements which are the true obstacles to peace.
The muddle spreads. Phrases such as "cycle of violence" or "militant attacks" come to be used by people who are in no way trying to excuse terrorist violence, and yet are unable to escape the widening degradation of meaning. Language designed to rationalize the irrational and defend the indefensible goes mainstream. It becomes part of how we think. We use words to express meaning and by taking on such ready-made phrases, we turn over the duty of understanding to their makers. When we use them, it is their worldview that passes through our lips.
Obama's own statement was a masterpiece of vagueness and word juggling. "The United States calls on the groups responsible to end these attacks at once", quoth the One. Does he not know which groups are responsible. There aren't so many, that naming them in a sentence would be laborious. But it would be politically inconvenient. That's followed by a call for "all parties to do everything in their power to prevent further violence and civilian casualties". Whoever those parties may be. It's fairly certain that one of those parties is Israel, but the rest are a diffuse unknown. The equivalence capper comes with the condolences "for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza yesterday".
But when Biden wanted to denounce Israel a year ago, he was quite clear about it, saying, "I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem." The White House can be quite clear about who it's condemning and why when it wants to be. In that same essay, Orwell wrote that, "The great enemy of clear language is insincerity". That is obviously true of the White House, whose vagueness grows in proportion to its insincerity.
Take the statements of Netanyahu and Abbas that Obama quoted during his UN address. "Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “I came here today to find a historic compromise that will enable both people to live in peace, security, and dignity." And President Abbas said, "We will spare no effort and we will work diligently and tirelessly to ensure these negotiations achieve their cause." They both sound nice, but there are fundamental differences. Netanyahu used "I" to accept responsibility, Abbas used "We" to shift it. Netanyahu can be held accountable for failure, but Abbas can't.
Netanyahu agreed to compromise to achieve peace. Abbas agreed that "we" will work really hard to see that the negotiations achieve their cause-- whatever that cause may be. Negotiations generally achieve results. But negotiations with terrorists are only meant to serve their cause. Not achieve or effect-- but serve. The negotiations are servants of the Palestinian terrorist cause. And they will only engage in them to the service of their interests. Sabotaging those negotiations often serves the cause well too.
It's not the only possible interpretation, but deliberately vague language leads to multiple interpretations. Insincerity always needs a thousand boltholes. Escape hatches from meaning. And it is the liars and hypocrites who need to flee meaning the most.
Dante's Inferno reserved the ninth circle of its hell for hypocrites and corrupt politicians. Today we reserve the ninth for the fourth estate. And some of the fourth estate has already wound up there on its own. Which is to be preferred, the liar or the hypocrite. That depends on whether you would rather read the newspaper or listen to a White House statement. It's propaganda either way, but with different flavors of nuance. The hypocrite pretends to be moral, the liar does not. Both invert morality, but the hypocrite does it with sleight of hand.
Time Magazine's Karl Vick, who reportedly holds a standing job offer from Goebbels, ended his first paragraph on the massacre of the Fogel family with a clumsy mixture of Der Sturmer and Der Reuters, writing of the Israeli response-- "events lurched forward with something very like vengeance." Events can lurch forward with a vengeance, but that is not the same thing as the pursuit of vengeance. Vick would like to get across both meanings, while not being accountable for either.
Vick's itemized list of Israeli "vengeance" consists of condemning the massacre, approving home construction, filing a complaint with the UN, fundraising for victims of terrorist attacks and calling on Abbas' PA to stop promoting violence. As "vengeance" goes, this is really not it at all. That's where Karl Vick has to work at transforming Israeli complaints and fundraising for murder victims into horrible acts, while minimizing the crime itself.
Vick's first tool of vagueness is the Impersonal Passive Voice. The last refuge of the moral coward from his moral reckoning.
The actual killing of the Fogel family is described as "The murder by knife of three children". Who killed the children? The knife did. Blame the knife. No reference is made to who actually perpetrated the attack. Terrorists don't kill children, knives do.
The impersonal passive voice is most often used by those trying to minimize accountability. And Karl Vick determinedly goes into 'impersonal passive voice' every time the murder of the Fogel family comes up.
"The slaughter did not eradicate the family", Vick writes. Apparently the perpetrator was someone named 'The Slaughter'. Farther down, "The means of entry into the settlement". Whose means of entry? We just don't know. Still further down, Vick finally breaks down and mention that the attack may have been carried out by people, "the identity of the attackers remains unknown". Like so much else.
But Vick isn't trapped in some hopeless verbal pacifism. He can assign blame perfectly well. So long as it's to Israelis. Vick charges Netanyahu with making certain "that the attack would, in fact, have a direct impact on Israel's West Bank settlements" and making "the clearest effort to transmute the deaths of the Fogels into politics". Again the perpetrators of the Fogel's deaths are missing, but Vick shows no such reluctance when it comes to Netanyahu. But then in Karl Vick's twisted worldview, Netanyahu is "in fact" guilty of much worse than killing children, he's guilty of being the prime minister of a country fighting terrorists.
"Jewish settlers and Palestinians have clashed many times since Itamar was built", writes Vick. But why are the Jews listed first? To place the emphasis in the right place. A sentence later Vick notes that there have been three sets of murders by Muslim terrorists, and after the latest murder, five Muslim cars were torched by Jewish residents. Vick caps this off with an absurd quote from a spokesperson for the radical left-wing B'Tselem organization about Ithamar being an ongoing scene of mutual violence. Mutual violence meaning that Israelis get murdered and Muslim cars get burned. And so vagueness triumphs again.
In an article in which, Vick manages to describe the Sabbath as "enforced rest" and "enforced public silence"-- he finds nothing bad to say about the other side. When he is forced to describe their violence, he slips into passive voice and dense formalities. Thickets of words that he knows will have little impact. But when he encounters something as awful as a Jewish house or the Sabbath, then he finds properly violent metaphors to describe them.
Propaganda complicates the simple and simplifies the complicated. Context is brought to material unfavorable to the cause, while being stripped away from already favorable material. A story about a terrorist bombing needs tinkering with, but one about collateral damage in an Israeli strike against terrorists needs none. The choice of context is utterly revealing. It is the difference between reporting and promoting. The way words are used is the way that meaning is created. To massacre meaning, all you need to do is kill the truth.
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the stupid happen to be Socialists. http://xrl.us/DumbAndDumber
In what must have been a night to remember, Socialist Left vice chairman Bård Vegard Solhjell, now wants to have us believe that the verbatim quote from his own unanimous editorial committee is a horrible mistake:
The credibility of the world community in its confrontation with the Gadafi regime is undermined when there is no reaction against other states in the region who commit injustices against civil population. The greater world community must therefore also react against Israeli air attacks on the Gaza strip.This, the SV spin doctor now claims, cannot conceivably be interpreted to mean that they are opening up for bombing Israel, but rather:
What they meant to say was that the UN needs to get engaged in the other ongoing conflicts in the region criticize the violence against civilians and work to introduce democracy also in these countries. But the situation in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen is not comparable with the extreme situation we saw in LibyaSo, if that is what they meant, why did they not write it?
I only wish I was a fly on the wall when the Labor party found out about this. I am sure that was an interesting conversation.
Prof. M. McGonagall
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