Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category
BY: RYAN KELLER
Members of the Free Syrian Army reportedly attacked the Christian-dominated al-Duvair village in Reef on the outskirts of Homs on Monday, where they massacred its citizens, including women and children, before the Syrian Army loyal to Bashar al Assad intervened on behalf of the Christians.
This reported attack comes shortly after intense fighting in the city of al-Qusseir over the weekend, in which Bashar Al-Assad’s forces inflicted heavy casualties on the rebels.
Assad’s forces launched an offensive in April in an effort to cut off supply lines to the rebels by taking the city and its surrounding areas from the rebel groups that had been entrenched there since last year. Two weeks ago, the Syrian forces reached the center of the city
While the sources describing Monday’s massacre are supportive of Assad, it’s possible that it occurred since the rebel groups fighting the Assad regime are composed mainly of members of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliated groups and have committed war crimes and atrocities in the past.
Jabhat al-Nusra, the branch of al-Qaeda that fought and killed American and allied troops in Iraq, have positioned themselves in Syria and control the rebel movement.
The U.S. and other Western governments that are backing the FSA have acknowledged the presence of jihadists but insist that they’re only a small part of the rebel movement. However, al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups have been at the front of the rebel movement since day one of the Syrian war that began two years ago. According to German intelligence, 95 percent of the rebels aren’t even Syrian.
“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of,” the New York Times reported last month.
In April, Abou Mohamad al-Joulani, the head of al-Nusra, pledged allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahri, the head of al-Qaeda.
Members of the FSA have admitted that their plan is to institute sharia law, and the rebels now have a brigade named the Osama bin Laden Brigade.
Despite the evidence of al-Qaeda connections, the U.S. government continues to support the FSA.
Last week, Sens. Robert Menendez, D.-N.J., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., drafted a bill that, if passed, would directly arm the Syrian rebels with lethal weaponry. The U.S. government has so far only provided non-lethal supplies and humanitarian aid.
On Monday, Sen. John McCain made a surprise visit to Syria where he met with Gen. Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the FSA. McCain has also called for arming the rebels as well as direct U.S. military intervention in the war.
At a security conference in Munich, he argued the UK needed a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to all kinds of extremism.
He also signalled a tougher stance on groups promoting Islamist extremism.
The speech angered some Muslim groups, while others queried its timing amid an English Defence League rally in the UK.
As Mr Cameron outlined his vision, he suggested there would be greater scrutiny of some Muslim groups which get public money but do little to tackle extremism.
Ministers should refuse to share platforms or engage with such groups, which should be denied access to public funds and barred from spreading their message in universities and prisons, he argued.
“Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,” the prime minister said.
David Cameron strode firmly into a debate where many politicians tread timidly.
In his view, such caution is part of the problem. In frank language he made abundantly clear he believes multiculturalism has failed. Any organisation that does not stand up to extremism will be cut off from public funds, and he wants the country to develop a stronger sense of shared identity.
It is the first time he has spoken so directly as prime minister, but there are echoes of what has gone before. Tony Blair edged away from multiculturalism in the years after the 7/7 bombings in London, and his ministers moved to stop funding any community organisation that did not challenge extremism. And what of Gordon Brown’s continual quest to strengthen “Britishness”?
Behind the scenes, ministers are reviewing the “prevent” strategy, the policies designed to try to deal with extremism. But the review, which had been planned for publication this month, is likely to be delayed. It is not clear yet how Mr Cameron will translate his strong words into action.
“Let’s properly judge these organisations: Do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separatism?
“These are the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations,” he added.
The Labour MP for Luton South, Gavin Shuker, asked if it was wise for Mr Cameron to make the speech on the same day the English Defence League staged a major protest in his constituency.
There was further criticism from Labour’s Sadiq Khan whose comments made in a Daily Mirror article sparked a row.
The shadow justice secretary was reported as saying Mr Cameron was “writing propaganda material for the EDL”.
Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi hit back, saying that “to smear the prime minister as a right wing extremist is outrageous and irresponsible”. She called on Labour leader Ed Miliband to disown the remarks.
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It’s time the right hand knew what the far-right hand is doing”
Former home secretary
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Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain’s assistant secretary general, Dr Faisal Hanjra, described Mr Cameron’s speech as “disappointing”.
He told Radio 4′s Today programme: “We were hoping that with a new government, with a new coalition that there’d be a change in emphasis in terms of counter-terrorism and dealing with the problem at hand.
“In terms of the approach to tackling terrorism though it doesn’t seem to be particularly new.
“Again it just seems the Muslim community is very much in the spotlight, being treated as part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution.”
In the speech, Mr Cameron drew a clear distinction between Islam the religion and what he described as “Islamist extremism” – a political ideology he said attracted people who feel “rootless” within their own countries.
“We need to be clear: Islamist extremism and Islam are not the same thing,” he said.
The government is currently reviewing its policy to prevent violent extremism, known as Prevent, which is a key part of its wider counter-terrorism strategy.
Inayat Bunglawala from Muslims4Uk says Mr Cameron is “firing at the wrong target”
A genuinely liberal country “believes in certain values and actively promotes them”, Mr Cameron said.
“Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights, regardless of race, sex or sexuality.
“It says to its citizens: This is what defines us as a society. To belong here is to believe these things.”
He said under the “doctrine of state multiculturalism”, different cultures have been encouraged to live separate lives.
‘I am a Londoner too’
“We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values.”
Building a stronger sense of national and local identity holds “the key to achieving true cohesion” by allowing people to say “I am a Muslim, I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, but I am a Londoner… too”, he said.
Security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said when Mr Cameron expressed his opposition to extremism, he meant all forms, not just Islamist extremism.
“There’s a widespread feeling in the country that we’re less united behind values than we need to be,” she told Today.
“There are things the government can do to give a lead and encourage participation in society, including all minorities.”
But the Islamic Society of Britain’s Ajmal Masroor said the prime minister did not appreciate the nature of the problem.
“I think he’s confusing a couple of issues: national identity and multiculturalism along with extremism are not connected. Extremism comes about as a result of several other factors,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.
Former home secretary David Blunkett said while it was right the government promoted national identity, it had undermined its own policy by threatening to withdraw citizenship lessons from schools.
He accused Education Secretary Michael Gove of threatening to remove the subject from the national curriculum of secondary schools in England at a time “we’ve never needed it more”.
“It’s time the right hand knew what the far-right hand is doing,” he said.
“In fact, it’s time that the government were able to articulate one policy without immediately undermining it with another.”
by Debra Heine
In response to The Obama/Clinton 10:00 Phone Call:
On the O’Reilly Factor, tonight, Charles Krauthammer brought up the 10:00 pm phone call between Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, whose activities on the night of the 9/11 attack in Benghazi have yet to be scrutinized. What did he do for those eight hours? Krauthammer posited that the answer to this question could be the biggest scandal of all.
Via Gateway Pundit:
I think there is a bigger story here that will in time come out. The biggest scandal of all, the biggest question is what was the president doing in those eight hours. He had a routine meeting at five o’clock. He never after during the eight hours when our guys have their lives in danger, he never called the Secretary of Defense, he never calls the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he never called the CIA Director, Who does he call? But five hours in he calls the Secretary of State. And after the phone call she releases a statement essentially about the video and how we denounce any intolerance. It looks as if the only phone call is to construct a cover story at a time when the last two Americans who died were still alive and fighting for their lives. There’s the scandal and that has to be uncovered.”
Watch the video at the link.
As you may remember, Clinton said in a statement following the 10:00 pm phone call; “some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”
We now know that the talking points were manipulated to conceal the truth about what happened and pin the blame for the attack on a spontaneous demonstration against the “inflammatory” Youtube video. The Regime would continue the ruse until it was no longer tenable.
That 10:00 phone call may well be genesis of the YouTube video narrative.
One wonders if Obama consulted his longtime consigliere, Valerie Jarrett at some point between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm…. Her role as Obama’s most trusted advisor has permitted her to involve herself in even the most sensitive foreign affairs.
That would surely be the case in this instance in light of Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan’s insightful observation:
“The Obama White House sees every event as a political event . Because of that, it could not tolerate the idea that the armed assault on the Benghazi consulate was a premeditated act of Islamist terrorism. That would carry a whole world of unhappy political implications and demand certain actions. And the American presidential election was only eight weeks away. They wanted this problem to go away, or at least to bleed the meaning from it.”
To rephrase Sen. Howard Baker famous questions from an earlier congressional investigation of a presidential cover-up called Watergate: What did Ms. Jarrett do, and when did she do it?
And why did they think they could get away with it? Because as Andrew McCarthy noted at NRO, they had always gotten away with lying in the past. There was no reason for them to think they wouldn’t get away with it, again.
Why you ain’t,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be…
And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk.
Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.
People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around. The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. $500 sneakers for what? And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.
I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol?
And where is the father? Or who is his father?
People putting their clothes on backward: Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?
People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something? Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body? What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa.
I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid. I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don’t have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany, Scotland, England, Ireland, or the Netherlands. The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa. So stop, already!
With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap. And all of them are in jail. Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem. We have got to take the neighborhood back.
People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now. We have millionaire football players who cannot read. We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job.
Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us. We have to start holding each other to a higher standard. We cannot blame the white people any longer.
Dr. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed..D.