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Archive for March, 2013

Lawmakers nudge Obama after Syria reports

March 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Washington – Two leading Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, if true, mean the president’s threshold for involvement in the country’s civil130226173340-mccain-graham-story-top war has been met.

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have led calls in Congress for greater U.S. involvement in Syria, issued a joint statement saying the attacks, if verified, would demand a response from President Barack Obama.

“If today’s reports are substantiated, the President’s red line has been crossed, and we would urge him to take immediate action to impose the consequences he has promised,” the senators wrote.

Syrian state media cited government figures Tuesday who accused rebels of a deadly chemical weapons missile attack in the town of Khan al-Asal, in Aleppo province. Rebels rebuffed the claims and blamed the regime. Read more…

‘Shadow war’ between Israel, Iran rages on as Obama visits

March 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Iran’s nuclear ambitions may loom large, but lurking in the shadow of President Obama’s highly anticipated visit to Israel this week is a protracted and secretive war already being waged mideast20_s640x468between Jerusalem and Tehran.

Analysts and former officials say the “shadow war,” featuring suicide bombings and clandestine attacks from Eastern Europe to Asia and the Middle East, is a potential source of friction between individuals at the CIA and Israel’s lead intelligence agency, the Mossad.

The shadow war has been defined over the past five years by a tit-for-tat exchange of terrorist-style attacks. Israel’s president has blamed Iran for car and suicide bombings that targeted Israeli diplomats and killed Israeli tourists. Iran’s president has accused Israel and the U.S. of colluding to kill nuclear scientists with magnetized car bombs in Tehran. Read more…

Obama Congratulate the Members of the Criminal Terrorist Regime of IRI for Nowruz again and again and again ……..

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment
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Mr. Presidnet, Again and again you have ignored the Iranians people and offered your friendship once again to the Tazi occupiers in Iran. Mr. President, the members of Islamic regime in Iran are not Persian, they are Tazi occupiers who do not celebrate Nowruz, they celebrate Arabic Eves like “Aide Ghorban” and “Aide Ghadir” and “Aide Fetr”, alike.
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In fact the regime has done everything in its power to prevent Iranian people from celebrating Nowruz. It is the people of Iran that respect and celebrates Nowruz and you should congratulate them on this traditional Iranian ceremony not the criminal terrorist leaders of the IRI regime. It seems like you haven’t learned your lessons from your wrong-doing policy on handling the IRI regime all along during the last 5 years of your Presidency. [DID]

Ten Key Points on Islamic Blasphemy Law and Non-Muslims

March 17, 2013 Leave a comment

There is an intensifying global campaign to impose Islamic blasphemy law on non-Muslims, including those living outside Islamdom, in non-Muslim societies.Qadi-Iyad

What follows are ten key points on the doctrinal origins and practical implications of this global campaign:

1)      According to the Sunna (the traditions of Muhammad and the early Muslim community), by using foul language against the Muslim prophet Muhammad, Allah, or Islam, the non-Muslim transgressors put themselves on a war footing against Muslims, and their lives became licit (such as the poet Kaab b. al-Ashraf, who composed poems denigrating Muhammad, and was assassinated). [see 1.11.21.3]

2)      This “offense” was then constructed and legitimated by Muslim jurists when Islam was politically, militarily and economically dominant, so that it was expected that the non-Muslims under Islamic rule would not denigrate the religion of Islam, nor cast aspersions on its major figures or institutions. [see 2.1,2.22.3]

3)      The jurists saw any such denigration as an unacceptable hostile act, punishable by death, automatically, as per three of the main Sunni schools Read more…

The Iran Lobby Buys a Friendly Face for Despotism

March 16, 2013 Leave a comment

The funding of a significant pro-Iran lobby that funnels money to American universities was disclosed to the wider public for the first time during the U.S. Senate’s recent confirmation battlethe Iran lobby buys a friendly face for despotism over Chuck Hagel’s successful nomination as secretary of defense.  By far the largest grantor is the Alavi Foundation, now under federal investigation, which has given Harvard University $345,000 over nine years ending in 2011.  Other institutions in the U.S. and Canada have also benefited from Iranian largesse.

Hagel, who represented Nebraska as a Republican U.S. Senator from 1997 to 2009, has long advocated a soft line toward the brutal theocratic regime, as exemplified by his call in 2007 for “direct, unconditional and comprehensive talks with the Government of Iran.” Read more…

The Rise of Global Civilization

March 15, 2013 Leave a comment

TNI editor Robert W. Merry recently sat down with Kishore Mahbubani, author of The Great Convergence: Asia, the West and the Logic of One World. Mahbubani argues that the dominance of therise of global civilization West is coming to an end, and that the United States must recognize its interest in creating rules of the road for the coming multilateral world. As a public-policy scholar based in Singapore—a place integrated with the West but no longer governed by it—Mahbubani brings a unique perspective on the long-term challenges facing U.S. foreign policy.

RWM: Kishore Mahbubani, an underlying thesis of your book is that globalization and technology are transforming the world—the nation-state is in decline, the one world sensibility is on the rise, a kind of new global civilization, as you call it, is on the rise. This is powerful change, big change. What makes you so sure and confident that it won’t unleash major global disruption? Read more…

Al Qaeda forms volatile 1,000-km chain from Baghdad to Damascus

March 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz rated war as a “low risk” for the foreseeable future, but credited the risk of escalation as “very high,” in a lecture he delivered Monday, March 11 atAl Qaeda from Iraq to Syria-1 the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Institute for policy and strategy. “Almost every week, some incident occurs that could drag the region into a conflagration,” he warned.

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DEBKAfile’s military sources: Gen. Gantz’s distinction between “war” and “conflagration” stems from the differentiation Israel’s senior policy-making and military circles have begun making of late to support a misconception that a full-blown war is no longer on the cards at present. They support this rationale by arguing that full-scale war can only be fought by large regular armies, while a “conflagration” or “escalation” entails smaller units and less terrain. Read more…

Syria, Bosnia, and the Old Mistakes

March 14, 2013 Leave a comment

ne could never have supposed that, after passing through so many trials, after being schooled by the skepticism of our times, we had so much left in our souls to be destroyed.” Alexander Herzen syria8_1332008281wrote those words in 1848, after he witnessed the savage crackdown on the workers’ rebellion in Paris. Having been disabused by history of any illusions about the probabilities of justice, the great man was surprised to discover that he had not yet been completely disabused—that his belief in the betterment of human affairs, however mutilated by experience, was still intact; and what apprised him of his irreducible idealism was his broken heart. In 1995, I cited Herzen’s pessimistic optimism, or optimistic pessimism, in an angry article about Bosnia and the Western failure there, and glossed the lacerating sentence this way: Read more…

“Back Door to War” Resolution

March 12, 2013 Leave a comment

US Senate has signed on to what is nicknamed the “Back Door to War” resolution, which calls for the U.S. to pledge military support for a potential Israeli attack on Iran, item 8 of sec 1 below. A bipartisan resolutionUS Senate-1 (S. Res. 65) introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and Robert Menendez (NJ) signals a green light for a U.S.-Israeli war. The resolution is outlined below.

113th CONGRESS – 1st Session

RESOLUTION S.RES.65– Strongly supporting the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urging the President to continue to strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation.

Whereas, on May 14, 1948, the people of Israel proclaimed the establishment of the sovereign and independent State of Israel; Read more…

What Obama’s New NSC Staffer Tells Us About His Thinking On Iran

March 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Last week the Obama administration announced that Phillip Gordon would step in as the White House’s coordinator for Middle East policy, filling a role left vacant by Amb. Dennis Ross last Philip Gordon, White House's coordinator for Middle East policyyear. The move from being Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs to the National Security Council fills one of the last major spots on Barack Obama’s team that will deal with the Iranian nuclear crisis—an issue that may well come to a head during the President’s second term. Along with newly minted Secretary of State John Kerry, at times, and certainly Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Gordon’s record suggests a confluence with Obama’s more cautious instincts.

Obama’s Iran policies consist of various strains that emphasize different approaches. One, embraced by the right and trumpeted by the Obama administration before pro-Israel and more hawkish audiences, focuses on the threat of military force to delay Iran’s progress. While the right runs with it—and downplays possible consequences—the administration itself leaves open the possibility of an attack, but has warned periodically of its potential consequences. For this reason, we’re told, all conceivable efforts must be made to reach a diplomatic deal with the Iranians. Read more…

Iran Puts Five Christians on Trial for their Faith

March 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Five Iranian Christian converts who were detained late last year will reportedly begin trial in Iran’s Revolutionary Court this week, according to a human rights group following the case.iranian-christians-held-shiraz-adelabad

The five men were among seven arrested in October when security forces raided an underground house church in the city of Shiraz during a prayer session. They will be tried at the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz’s Fars Province on charges of disturbing public order, evangelizing, threatening national security and engaging in Internet activity that threatens the government, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a religious persecution watchdog group.

“Judging from recent cases, it is likely that, at the very least, those detained may face lengthy prison sentences,” said CSW spokesperson Kiri Kankhwende. Read more…

Obama’s Israel visit is on – to Sweeten Pill of Nuclear Iran

March 10, 2013 Leave a comment

President Barack Obama will visit Israel later this month, the 20th, even if Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fails to put together a governing coalition beforehand. “We’re going,” concessoions to Iran 1White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a briefing for reporters Friday, March 9. In answer to a question, he said, “The formation of the Israeli government is the responsibility of Prime Minister Netanyahu and other senior officials of the Israeli government…”

Secretary of state John Kerry thought otherwise when he skipped a visit to Israel as not worthwhile until a government is in place. (Netanyahu’s deadline for forming a government has been extended to March16.)
DEBKAfile reports from its Washington sources that President Obama’s calculations for making the trip are a lot more complicated than Kerry’s. Read more…