Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120917

Financial Crisis
»Germans More Sceptical Than French About Euro: Poll
»Infinite Quantitative Easing (QE3) Now Initiated
»Ambassador Stevens and the Scorpion
»Boy Scouts Covered Up Child Abuse Cases
»Film Protests Spark Attacks on US Mosques
»Obama Gets Supreme Court Picks in Second Term
Europe and the EU
»Blasphemous Movie: Germany Ban US Pastor Terry Jones
»France: Gang of 15 Ambushes Alsace Policeman
»German Politicians Disagree on Ban of Anti-Islamic Film
»Intelligence Chief: EU Capital is ‘Spy Capital’
»Italy: To Rome With Love: The Romance of a City
»Italy: Berlusconi-Owned Gossip Weekly Publishes Photos of Kate Topless
»MCB [Muslim Council of Britain] Condemns Middle East Riots: Unjustified Response to Disgraceful Film
»Merkel Avoids Comment on Berlusconi’s Possible Return
»UK: Far-Right Ideas: Britains’s Generation Gap
»UK: Lord Ashcroft Writes an Open Letter to Justine Greening: Overseas Aid Doesn’t Work and We Can’t Afford it
North Africa
»“We Came, We Saw, He Died”
»American Embassy Staff Withdraw From Tunisia and Sudan
»Salafite Leader Escapes Besieged Mosque in Tunis
Israel and the Palestinians
»Four Palestinians Jailed for Italian Peace Activist’s Murder
Middle East
»Deadly Dialogue of the Deaf
»Frank Gaffney: 2012 Tipping Point?
»Hezbollah Launches a Week of Protests Against Anti-Islam Film
»If We Abandon Hope in the Arab Spring the Terrorists Win
»Islamophobia Should be Crime Against Humanity, Says Erdogan
»Istanbul, Turkey: In Search of the City’s Roman Past
»Middle East Protests: Meet the Hardline ‘Tele-Islamist’ Who Brought Anti-Islam Film to Muslim World’s Attention
»PM Erdogan: Islamophobia Should be Recognized as Crime Against Humanity
»Syria: 50 Western ‘Super Spies’ On Turkish Border, Press
»UN Lengthens the Secret Blacklist of Syrian War Criminals
»Website Reports U. S. Embassy in Lebanon Fears Attack
South Asia
»Afghanistan: Six British and US Troops Killed in Latest ‘Green on Blue’ Attacks
»Afghans Stage Violent Protest Over Anti-Islam Movie
»Indonesia: Violent Protests in Jakarta Over Muhammad Blasphemy Movie
»John Baron MP: The Defence Secretary Says One Thing, The Development Secretary Says Another. The Government Must Clear Up Its Confusion Over Afghanistan.
»Malaysia: Kate and Wills Put Aside Topless Scandal for Mosque Visit
»Pakistan: One Dead in Anti-Islam Film Protest in Peshawar: Officials
»Pakistan Blocks YouTube to Stop Anti-Muslim Film
Far East
»Anti-Islam Film: US and Israeli Flags Burned in Philippines
Australia — Pacific
»Senator Links Violence to Multiculturalism
»The AWU Scandal — A Quick Synopsis
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Boko Haram Kills 10 in Northern Nigeria
»Nigerian Army Kills Boko Haram Spokesman Abu Qaqa
Culture Wars
»Turkey: Erdogan AKP Party MPs Veto Gay Rights Amendment
»Giant Viruses Are Ancient Living Organisms, Study Suggests
»Part 1: Basic Incompatibility of Western Thought and Muslim Theocracy
»The Price of a Koran
»Warp Drive May be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Financial Crisis

Germans More Sceptical Than French About Euro: Poll

(BERLIN) — Nearly two thirds of Germans think they would be better off if they had not swapped the deutschmark for the euro but French people seem more positive towards the single currency, a poll indicated Monday.

Some 65 percent of Germans thought their personal situation would be better if they still had the mighty deutschmark, compared to 36 percent of French who miss the franc, according to the survey by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation.

The Germans are also less attached to the European Union, suggested the poll, which was conducted July 3 to 8 in both countries.

Some 49 percent of those Germans questioned said they would be personally better off if the EU did not exist, compared to 34 percent of French who said they would be better, or much better off without the EU.

The poll, also carried out in Poland, showed only 28 percent of Poles believed they would be better without the EU.

Nevertheless, despite their apparent scepticism about the euro on a personal level, 69 percent of Germans said they believed the EU was a model for the rest of the world, compared to 56 percent of French and 59 percent of Poles.

The survey was conducted by telephone among 1,001 people in Germany, 1,004 in France and 1,000 in Poland.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Infinite Quantitative Easing (QE3) Now Initiated

(NaturalNews) This is it, folks: the final chapter of America’s great financial blowout has begun. The Federal Reserve’s decision to announce “infinite” quantitative easing has now put us all on the path of infinite money creation. With up to $85 billion in monthly money creation — including $40 billion a month in purchases of mortgage-backed securities — the Fed is now wholly committed to the creation of new fake money to cover old fake debts. Mathematically, this financial death spiral can only end in sheer catastrophe.

This massive money creation tactic is the Fed’s last-ditch plan to desperately try to save the economy. “I think the country should have panicked over what the Fed is saying that we have lost control,” said Ron Paul, “and the only thing we have left is massively creating new money out of thin air, which has not worked before, and is not going to work this time.”

Peter Schiff added, “This is a disastrous monetary policy; it’s kamikaze monetary policy.”

Quantitative easing, you see, is essentially the Federal Reserve creating money and then handing it to the richest banks. Meanwhile, all that new money floating around erodes the value of the dollars in the hands of the working taxpayers. So their grocery bills go up. Their fuel costs go up. Their daycare costs increase and their utility bills creep ever skyward.

But the rich banksters are simultaneously rolling in FREE Fed cash, and instead of actually lending this money out and doing something useful with it, they crank up their own executive bonuses to make sure they get paid while the rest of the economy crumbles. And why? It’s simple: Because people are crooks, and if they get handed $40 billion a month in free money, they’re just going to grin and say, “How can we get MORE?”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Ambassador Stevens and the Scorpion

The globalist table is being set. The plans are order from chaos — engineered chaos. The “New World Order” has been defined.

Obama’s actions by funding and arming the very element who promised not to “sting” us illustrates only one of two possibilities. Either inexplicable naiveté by Obama, or a deliberate course of action designed to create orchestrated chaos across the Middle East. While Ambassador Stevens might have adhered to the ideology that by helping our enemies, our actions would cause them to suddenly abandon their inherent nature and become our friends, it is unlikely that this was, or is Obama’s mindset. By all accounts and by his own admission, he is fully aware of that ideology as he lived it.

Given our experiences over the last fifty years and through multiple administrations, we must then ask what it is that Obama is actually attempting to do? The answer to this question, if one believes that he actually understands the Islamic mindset, is beyond troubling. It becomes exponentially more troubling as one digs far beneath the official narratives of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

It is here that one must have a very good understanding of history, and not the history shaped by the influx of Petrodollars into American academia. It is extremely important to understand that since the 1970s, our universities have been saturated with money provided by Arab and Muslim elites. By influencing the students and educators coming from these universities and redefining history, the whole of society, including politicians and journalists are thusly influenced.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Boy Scouts Covered Up Child Abuse Cases

(AGI) Los Angeles — Lord Baden-Powell, the British General founder of the Boy Scouts in 1908, is probably turning in his grave. The Boy Scouts of America, at least from 1970 to 1991, covered up hundreds of alleged child abuse cases -even from the parents of the alleged victims. This was reported in an enquiry of the Los Angeles Times, based on 11600 confidential reports, uncovering that the high ranks in the association used to cover up the possible scandals and urged alleged pedophiles to leave the association .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Film Protests Spark Attacks on US Mosques

CAIRO — Mosques in the United States have come under attacks following a wave of anti-America protests that swept the Muslim world over a movie insulting Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). “Nothing like this has ever happened to us before, even after 9/11,” Ehsan Ahmed, a director of the Islamic Center of Harrisonburg mosque in Virginia and an economics professor at nearby James Madison University, told The Washington Post on Sunday, September 16. Insulting graffiti and racial insults were scrawled on the center’s walls on Friday…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Obama Gets Supreme Court Picks in Second Term

If President Obama is re-elected, he may well be able to create the most liberal Supreme Court in American history, altering jurisprudence in favor of a more intrusive and expansionistic federal government for decades to come. Four of the Justices are over 74. Justice Ginsburg is 79. Justices Scalia and Kennedy are 76. Justice Breyer is 74. Between now and 2016, at least two of the Justices will likely choose to retire. If one of those is Justice Ginsburg and the other is Justice Kennedy or Scalia, a re-elected Obama will have in his hands the power to reverse the present conservative 5 to liberal 4 split on the Court, ushering in a new era even more friendly to federal power.

Although it is difficult to predict how any Justice will vote on a particular issue (as Justice Roberts’ disastrous pivot in the Obamacare decision makes clear), there appears a basic ideological divide on the Court forming a more conservative camp in Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito, on the one hand, and a more liberal camp in Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. If Ginsburg and either Kennedy or Scalia leave the Court between now and 2016, President Obama will likely put in place others like his choices Sotomayor and Kagan who will profoundly alter jurisprudence in favor federal power at the expense of state and individual rights. The present conservative majority would be replaced by a new liberal one.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Blasphemous Movie: Germany Ban US Pastor Terry Jones

(AGI) Berlin — Germany denied entrance to the US ultra-conservative pastor Terry Jones. He had been invited by a small extreme right group, “Pro Deutschland”, to attend a demonstration to support the diffusion of the anti-Islamic movie “Innocence of Muslims” which triggered last week violence around the Muslim world. The decision was made by the German Interior minister. In March 2011, Jones caused a fist wave of anti-American and anti-Christian demonstrations after he burned a copy of the Koran .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

France: Gang of 15 Ambushes Alsace Policeman

An off-duty police officer in southern Alsace was seriously injured after being attacked by a gang of around 15 masked men early Sunday morning.

The 37-year-old policeman was returning to his car after spending the evening with friends in Kingersheim, north of Mulhouse, according to press reports.

The Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace said on its website that the man was beaten up and placed in his car, which the group then attempted set on fire.

The officer received head injuries and burns to his hands, the newspaper said, adding that the attack had all the appearances of a planned ambush.

The police union Alliance issued a statement saying the victim was clearly singled out for his role as an officer, even though he was off duty.

“The circumstances of this aggression do not leave any doubt about the fact he was targeted in his capacity as a policeman,” the union said.

“Our colleague was adamant, they cried “dirty cop” while they were attacking him,” a spokesman for the union, Michel Corriaux, is quoted as saying.

The policeman suffered “multiple bloody wounds to the face as well as a facial fracture, Alliance said.

The culprits have yet to be tracked down.

The union noted that the incident marked the latest in a series of attacks on officers in the Upper Rhine region of France.

It called for the “setting in motion of all the means to identify, arrest and bring to justice the authors of this criminal act”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

German Politicians Disagree on Ban of Anti-Islamic Film

German politicians have expressed diverging views about moves to ban a screening of “Innocence of Muslims” by a right-wing extremist group in Berlin. The controversial film has been at the center of protests worldwide.

German politicians barraged the media on Monday morning with opposing opinions on how to deal with the planned screening of the anti-Islamic film in Berlin. The right-wing extremist group Pro Deutschland announced recently that it wants to show the film in a public venue.

“Innocence of Muslims,” made in the United States, depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and child abuser and has led to protests around the world that have left several dead in related violence.

Germany should ban the screening, according to Christian Democrat Wolfgang Bosbach. The internal affairs expert was speaking to the German radio broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk on Monday morning.

“We’re not dealing with a legal loophole here because even freedom of expression and artistic freedom have a limit,” Bosbach said. He added that the group wants to show the film in order to cause unrest so that “they can say, ‘Look, that’s how the Muslims really are. They’re all violent.’“

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle have said they want to prevent the screening.

Politicians from the country’s Social Democratic and Green parties agree that the film is “tasteless,” but do not want the government to ban the screening.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Intelligence Chief: EU Capital is ‘Spy Capital’

BRUSSELS — “I stopped meeting him for lunch because all he did was ask questions and he never said anything about himself,” a diplomat on the EU Council’s working group for post-Soviet countries once told this website about his friend from the Russian embassy.

For many in the age of foreign policy “resets” and “win-win” talks, espionage sounds like a thing of the past.

But for Alain Winants, the head of Belgium’s state security service, the VSSE, the EU capital currently sees more spy activity than almost any other city in the world.

Winants told EUobserver in his first interview with international media that “we are not speaking in the dozens, we are speaking in the hundreds, several hundreds” of foreign intelligence officers and agents in Brussels.

“In Belgium, espionage, Russian espionage and from other countries, like the Chinese, but also others, (is) at the same level as the Cold War … We are a country with an enormous concentration of diplomats, businessmen, international institutions — Nato, European institutions. So for an intelligence officer, for a spy, this is a kindergarten. It’s the place to be.”

He also named Iran as a culprit.

When asked if EU-friendly countries, such as Israel or the US, do it, he said: “It would be naive to think that only countries like Russia, China, Iran are spying.”

He added: “There is one field where the difference between neutral, friendly and unfriendly services tends to disappear and that’s when you are talking about the protection of economic and scientific potential. In this case, I think every service is in competition with the others.”

It is a joke in intelligence circles that Iranian spies mostly spy on their own ambassadors.

But Chinese and Russian intelligence is out to get EU information with commercial or political value just as much as “classic” defence secrets.

With the EU recently opening a price-fixing investigation against Russia’s Gazprom, Winants noted: “One of the things that other countries’ intelligence services are interested in is the energy policy of the EU institutions.”

He said spies usually pretend to be diplomats, journalists, lobbyists, businessmen or students.

Apart from intelligence-gathering, they try to influence decisions made by senior EU or Nato staff.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: To Rome With Love: The Romance of a City

Woody Allen’s new film is a paean to the beauty and romance of the Eternal City. Lee Marshall, a long-term resident, salutes the director’s choice of location — and adds some insider tips of his own.

Rome is one of the world’s great romantic cities because it is at one and the same time beautiful, and nonchalant about its own beauty. It doesn’t try too hard to sell itself, it doesn’t package itself for romance in the way that Paris sometimes does. Woody Allen’s new film, To Rome with Love, which is released in Britain today, was criticised by some local reviewers when it opened in Italy earlier this year for being riddled with cliche’s about the Eternal City and its inhabitants. “All that’s missing,” wrote one, “is a fat lady with a moustache.” But although Allen ticks off all the obvious sights in the course of the film — the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and Villa Borghese, among others — and although his vision of Roman life seems influenced as much by films from Italy’s cinematic golden age as by contemporary reality, the New York director has understood something fundamental about Rome.

Allen knows that you can point a camera pretty much anywhere in the centro storico, or historic centre, and it will look like a film set that a team of carpenters and painters has spent weeks assembling. In other words, it’s the whole city that exudes character, charm and widescreen romance, not just its standout monuments. Sure, Allen reassures his audience (and probably himself) by throwing in some landmarks we all recognise. But much of the film plays out in the quiet lanes of Trastevere, in relatively uncharted piazzas and (in two of the film’s episodes) suburbs rarely visited by tourists…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi-Owned Gossip Weekly Publishes Photos of Kate Topless

Milan, 17 Sept. (AKI) — Italian weekly gossip magazine Chi on Monday published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly Kate Middleton, defying legal threats from the British royal family.

The issue includes a 12-page spread of pictures of the Duchess and features three topless photos of her on the cover with the headline: “Kate Middleton court scandal — The queen is nude!”.

The shots include one of her back with her hands putting suntan lotion inside her bikini bottom, exposing the top of her buttocks, sunbathing topless on the balcony and rubbing suntan lotion on her the back of her husband Prince William, second-in-line to the British throne.

There is also an assessment of Kate’s breasts by an Italian cosmetic surgeon who concludes they are natural but that she is somewhat flat-chested.

The editor of Chi, which is owned by media magnate and former premier Silvio Berlusconi, defended his the decision to publish the pictures of the Duchess, taken on a recent private holiday in southern France.

“Not even a phone-call from the Queen would have stopped us,” said Alfonso Signorini.

In an editorial, Signorini said the issue of Chi was “special” because it is was the first time the future queen of England had been seen “in a natural way” without the “structures” imposed by her role.

“What appears on the cover of Chi firstly is a beautiful young girl who is similar to millions of girls around the world who suntan topless,” he wrote. “Why should she be any different from her contemporaries?”

Chi is published by the Berlusconi family’s Mondadori group which also owns the French magazine Closer which is now facing a possible legal injunction for publishing the photos of the Duchess last week.

The Duke and Duchess are suing Closer over the photos and seeking criminal prosecution of the photographer, who reportedly took the pictures 1.5 kilometres away from the chateau where the couple was staying, using a long lens.

Mondadori chief executive Marina Berlusconi, the former prime minister’s daughter, said in a letter published in La Repubblica daily at the weekend that the publisher was merely “doing its job” by printing the shots.

“I am not going to comment on the merits of the photos of the duchess,” she said, claiming that her father was not consulted over the decision to publish the photos.

Pictures of the Duchess sunbathing without her bikini top also appeared last week in an Irish tabloid.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

MCB [Muslim Council of Britain] Condemns Middle East Riots: Unjustified Response to Disgraceful Film

The Muslim Council (MCB) calls on all parties to halt violence sparked by outrage at a video trailer of a disgraceful film mocking the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Such violence led to the death of US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, yesterday — the 9/11 anniversary — following the release of a trailer for a video mocking the life of Islam’s most holy figure. Crowds also stormed the US embassy grounds in Cairo, where they burned the US flag.

“The violence we saw is not in keeping with the teachings of the Prophet, whose honour these people wish to defend. Those who carried out these attacks are in a minority and do not speak for Muslims, or our faith. The death of the US ambassador to Libya is a deep tragedy, particularly as the country is taking its first steps towards democratic transition following the overthrow of dictatorship last year. Whilst this in no way justifies these attacks, the film-maker responsible for this defamatory video mocking Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, should be ashamed of his actions. That Pastor Terry Jones, the so-called Qu’ran burner, in Florida should also be promoting this film is deeply worrying.”

“We urge that such vile actions of a few on both sides must not be allowed to create divisions. Understanding, mutual respect and peaceful dialogue must prevail. We hope that others will join us in condemning both the violence in Egypt and Libya, and the irresponsible actions of the film’s producer.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Merkel Avoids Comment on Berlusconi’s Possible Return

Berlin, 17 Sept. (AKI) — Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday avoided making a direct comment on the possible return to power of Italian media magnate and three-times prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

“I’m a democratic politician,” Merkel told a press conference, sidestepping a question on whether she was worried about the prospect of the flamboyant 75-year-old tycoon coming back.

“And I concentrate on Germany and on concrete facts,” Merkel added.

Berlusconi has returned to the political fray after many months out of the limelight, attacking the policies of technocrat premier Mario Monti and anti-establishment comic Beppe Grillo, whose Five Star Movement in May won the prosperous northern city of Parma.

The tycoon said he would repeal an unpopular property tax worth 20 billion euros a year, which is a major plank in the emergency government’s bid to cut Italy’s huge debt pile of nearly two trillion euros.

“The home is a pillar on which every family has the right to base its security for the future,” he told his family’s il Giornale on Monday in his first interview to Italian media since he was forced from power last November when Italy faced a Greek-style crisis as its public debt spiralled out of control.

He also had criticism for Grillo, whose party polled around 12 percent in May’s local elections, making it a major force in Italy’s fragmented political landscape.

“Grillo is an extraordinary comic actor….And what is he doing now? He is doing exactly the same trade as before.”

Senior party officials from Berlusconi”s conservative People of Freedom (PdL) party have repeatedly predicted he will be its candidate. But so far, Berlusconi has kept people guessing whether he will stand for prime minister at the head of the PdL in elections due in 2013.

He failed to turn up last Friday for a Rome rally at which many of his supporters hoped he would throw his hat in the ring.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

UK: Far-Right Ideas: Britains’s Generation Gap

Our research shows that anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim policies are much less likely to appeal to young people

Just how receptive are British voters to the policies of the far right? The collapse of the British National party, and the failure of the English Defence League to connect with a wide audience, has led some to conclude that British voters, unlike their European neighbours, are somehow immune to the appeals of far right insurgents. Put simply, the failure of these groups reflects a lack of public demand for exclusionary policies, and an electorate that is largely turned off by the narrative of the far right. This — some will argue — is especially true during the financial crisis, when voters have become chiefly concerned over economic rather than social issues, and with the Conservatives in government, who have long been the most trusted party on immigration.

[Reader comment by GentDirly on 17 September 2012 at 9 am.]

Found it difficult to get past this bit: “older generations — those who perhaps have less experience with mass immigration”

Yeah, stupid older people with their lack of experience! What do they know? Seriously — did nobody at any stage of the writing or editing process read that back and think “hang on, that just sounds ludicrous”? It functions very effectively to undermine the seriousness with which one can take the entire article. And even if one were to accept this ridiculous premise, there’s a devastating riposte: who cares what young people think? They don’t vote.

[JP note: Matthew Goodwin is a couple of gaps short of a full chasm.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Lord Ashcroft Writes an Open Letter to Justine Greening: Overseas Aid Doesn’t Work and We Can’t Afford it

By Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC.

Congratulations on your new job. You will, without doubt, find the Department for International Development “Dfid” far more pleasant than your previous post in the Department of Transport. Yes, you will spend a lot of time in the air, giving you perhaps a fresh perspective on Britain’s aviation needs. But you get to travel the world like a medieval potentate, with politicians in the developing world keen to tap into your generosity. You will visit some of the world’s most wonderful nations and see some of the globe’s most stunning scenary. And you can spray around taxpayers’ money just like Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did in the days before the banking crisis.

The downside is you may not be very popular when you are in Britain. At a time when libraries are being closed and people with disabilities face benefit cuts, there is growing fury over giving away ever-increasing sums to foreigners. Despite the downturn, your department’s budget is the only one still soaring, set to grow 50% during the term of the Coalition from £7.8bn in 2010 to £11.5bn by 2015. Many Conservatives are horrified by this. They think it morally wrong to carry on giving away such vast sums abroad — more than £300 per household — at a time of domestic spending cuts. Others argue it is politically insane to modernise by currying favour with Guardian type readers that looks out of touch in current circumstances. Recent surveys found a majority of Britons now favour a reduction in aid spending, while there is growing scepticism about the effectiveness of British aid programmes…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

“We Came, We Saw, He Died”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s gauche gloating over the murder of the late Muslim strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s gauche gloating over the murder of the late Muslim strongman Muammar Gaddafi in Libya last year (“We came, we saw, he died”), reverberates in ominous echoes these days. Those currently in power would do well not to mimic the arrogant hubris of dead Caesars.

According to the liberal talking points narrative, the murder of the US ambassador and three other Americans in Libya was the result of rioting prompted by the anti-Muslim film “Innocence of Muslims;” augmented by inflammatory rhetoric from right-wing Christian extremists. That is hogwash.

I will bypass discussing the spurious liberal narrative for the moment, and cut right to the chase. The riots were not caused by a movie, or rhetoric, or any other outside influence. The riots were caused by agents provocateurs, and by the nature of Islam itself. That Islam, by its very nature, is prone to erupt in violence is a fact that is studiously ignored by the world’s intelligentsia, to the best of their ability.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

American Embassy Staff Withdraw From Tunisia and Sudan

The US withdrew non-essential staff from Tunisia and Sudan, following days of attacks on their embassies provoked by a film mocking the Prophet Mohammed.

There were further clashes across the Middle East, Africa and Asia over the anti-Islam film said to have triggered those protests on Sunday. One man was killed in Hyderabad, Pakistan, while five people were injured in clashes with police in Karachi as around 1,000 protesters tried to reach the US consulate. Protesters also burned a glag outside the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Canada closed its embassies in Cairo, Tripoli and Khartoum for the day as a safety precaution, while Germany followed the US lead and withdrew some staff from its Sudanese embassy. As Western embassies remained on high alert it emerged Libya and America were in disarray over who was responsible for the death of Chris Stevens, the US ambassador in Benghazi last week and even how to investigate it. Mohammed Magarief, Libya’s acting president, seemed to confirm reports in Tripoli that his government was holding up the arrival of an FBI team sent by the White House, saying it was “better for them to stay away”. He insisted the attack on the consulate in which the ambassador was killed was premeditated, involving al-Qaeda and foreign elements. His own security officials, led by the man in charge of policing the consulate compound, insisted however that there was a spontaneous demonstration that got out of hand…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Salafite Leader Escapes Besieged Mosque in Tunis

(AGI) Tunis — After preaching in defence of extremism, Salafite leader Abu Iyadh, considered the organiser of the attacks on the American embassy, has escaped the mosque in Tunis besieged by security forces .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Four Palestinians Jailed for Italian Peace Activist’s Murder

Gaza City, 17 Sept. (AKI) — A Gaza military court on Monday jailed four Palestinian militants for kidnapping and strangling to death an Italian peace activist in April 2011, two of them for life.

Thirty-six-year-old Vittori Arrigoni, a pro-Palestinian activist, was abducted and murdered in Gaza by Salafites — ultra-conservative radical Islamists — on 14 April last year.

Mahmud al-Salfiti and Tamer al-Husasna were found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Arrigoni and each sentenced to life imprisonment by the court in the Hamas-ruled territory.

Khadr Faruk Jerim, received a 10-year prison term for kidnapping Arrigoni while a fourth Salafite, Amer Abu Ghola, was jailed for a year for providing the apartment in which Arrigoni was found.

Before he was murdered, a video showing Arrigoni beaten and blindfolded was posted on a Salafist website. The kidnappers demanded the release of Salafists being detained in Hamas jails, including their leader.

A voiceover accompanying the video accused Italy of being an “infidel state” and claimed Arrigoni had entered Gaza to “spread corruption”.

The killing of Arrigoni, a member of the International Solidarity Movement and freelance journalist who had been in the enclave for three years, prompted widespread outrage and Hamas vowed to bring his killers to justice.

A funeral procession for Arrigoni in Gaza was attended by a crowd of hundreds of Palestinians who turned out to show their solidarity. His wooden coffin was draped in a Palestinian flag and carried by police to an ambulance which transported it to Egypt to lie in state before being repatriated for burial Italy.

A native of Bulciago near the northern city of Milan, he was the first foreigner kidnapped in Gaza since BBC journalist Alan Johnston was abducted and held by militants in 2007.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Deadly Dialogue of the Deaf

Last week’s violence shows the chasm between the Western and Muslim worlds remains vast, says David Blair

At the height of the fury engulfing American embassies across the Middle East, with one ambassador lying dead and his consulate in Libya reduced to ashes, the leaders at the eye of the storm spoke by telephone. Anyone wishing to understand the collision between two world views, which poses one of the greatest contemporary threats to global harmony, would have done well to eavesdrop on this tense, late-night conversation between President Barack Obama and his Egyptian counterpart, Mohammed Morsi. On the face of it, their discussion should have been relatively straightforward. Mr Morsi leads a friendly country that receives $1.5 billion of US aid every year. He has repeatedly promised that Egypt will adhere to all international agreements and obligations. Mr Obama simply wanted him to lower the temperature, calm public opinion and, above all, guarantee the safety of US diplomats in Cairo.

In the event, the two men managed to agree on little except their shared opposition to violence. Mr Morsi offered his condolences over the Libya killings, but White House officials report that he also seized his chance to protest directly to Mr Obama about the amateur YouTube video, apparently made in California, that defames the Prophet Mohammed.

In so doing, Mr Morsi betrayed the yawning gulf between the two sides. The West’s failure to understand the Muslim world has been analysed to the point of exhaustion — and no doubt many criticisms have been justified. Edward Said, the late Palestinian intellectual, argued in Orientalism, his seminal work, that Western scholars have habitually imposed their exotic fantasies on the Middle East, reducing the peoples of the region to helpless and primitive stereotypes…

[JP note: Not seminal, discredited.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Frank Gaffney: 2012 Tipping Point?

History is replete with examples of strategic miscalculations in which an over-reach — usually born of contemptuous disdain for a foe — led to disaster for the aggressor. Think Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. Or Hitler’s of the Soviet Union 131 years later. We may look back at September 11, 2012 as the kick-off date for such a tipping point in our time.

To be sure, the Muslim Brotherhood and its fellow Islamists — notably, al Qaeda franchises throughout the Middle East and beyond, other so-called “Salafists,” Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia and the mullahs of Iran — were becoming increasingly aggressive towards us even before last week’s mayhem in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, etc. Team Obama (notably in the person of its hapless and overexposed UN Ambassador, Susan Rice) and its running dogs in the elite media would nonetheless have us believe that the upset is the by-product of an amateurish short video that disparages Mohamed…

           — Hat tip: CSP[Return to headlines]

Hezbollah Launches a Week of Protests Against Anti-Islam Film

The leader of the Shiite militants waited for Pope Benedict XVI’s departure from Lebanon. Seven days of demonstrations around the country. Islamic countries must apply for an international law prohibiting insults to Islam and other religions. In Libya 50 people arrested and detained linked to the U.S. consulate attack, where Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed. Libyan President says leaders of the attack, planned months before, are members of al Qaeda.

Beirut (AsiaNews) — A few hours after the conclusion of Benedict XVI’s visit to Lebanon, in a televised address the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, announced seven days of protests against a blasphemous film about Muhammad and against the United States, where it was produced.

Nasrallah pointed out that he intentionally waited for the departure of Benedict XVI before launching the initiative. “ Those who should be held accountable, punished, prosecuted and boycotted are those directly responsible for this film and those who stand behind them and those who support and protect them, primarily the United States of America”. He said that Arab and Islamic governments should press for an enforceable international law banning insults to Islam and other religions.”

Nasrallah also asked Muslim Arab countries to press for an international law prohibiting insults to Islam and other religions.

The protests will be held this afternoon in Beirut, in the southern suburbs, where Hezbollah has a very strong following, on Wednesday in Tyre, Baalbek Friday and Saturday in Bint Jbeil, Sunday in Hermel and eastern Bekaa.

He also asked Muslims around the world to demonstrate against the film which, he described as “the worst attack ever on Islam, worse than The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, the burning of the Koran in Afghanistan and the cartoons in the European media.”

Just a few days ago, the United States launched some sanctions against the Hezbollah leader Nasrallah and two others for their support for Bashar al-Assad. Since 2001, the U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist group.

In Lebanon, in these days of the Pope’s visit there were no demonstrations against the film except in northern Lebanon, in Tripoli, where the population is predominantly Sunni.

But the protests against the blasphemous film are spreading in much of the Islamic world, supported mostly by fundamentalist Muslims. This morning, about 1,000 people demonstrated in Kabul (Afghanistan). Yesterday a rally in Karachi (Pakistan) ended with clashes between police and demonstrators, with one dead.

Most governments in the Islamic world, while condemning the film, however, are distancing themselves from the violence and protests that followed, most notably Libya, where on the night of September 11, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked and Ambassador Chris Stevens and three staff members killed.

Yesterday, on a US television broadcast, president of Libya’s interim assembly Magarief Mohammed said that his government has arrested 50 people connected to the consulate attack. Magarief said some of those arrested are not Libyans, and are linked to al-Qaida, from Mali and Algeria. He called the others who were arrested “sympathizers of al Qaeda.”

But Libyan interior minister Fawzi Abdel A’al has said that only four people were arrested, while the other — about 50 — have only been detained for questioning.

According Magarief, the attack on the consulate was planned some months before by “foreigners” who used protests against the blasphemous film to attack the target.

In contrast, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the UN, said yesterday that the government’s preliminary information indicates that the attack on the consulate was not planned.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

If We Abandon Hope in the Arab Spring the Terrorists Win

Garvan Walshe was National and International Security Policy Adviser for the Conservative Party until 2008. He is now studying for a PhD at the University of Manchester, and is managing partner at The Research Department, a consultancy.

Throw a stone, fill a petrol bomb, burn a flag, my friend, you’re right to be angry. Heighten, your Marxist granddad would have said, the contradictions. We should know better now of course, but the pictures of angry crowds still awaken instincts: the fear of the rampaging mob, the righteous fury of the dispossessed. The truth is less emotional, reality more the result of political calculation. The date it started, 11 September, is hardly a coincidence. The demonstrations small, though armed and unpeaceful. The film, offensive though it is, too obscure for many people to have actually watched it. Pretext more than cause for extremists in need of attention…

[Reader comment by ToryToryTory on 16 September 2012 at about 4pm.]

Mr Walshe labours under the delusion that it matters what the West thinks about the Arab lands. It doesn’t. The Arabs don’t care what the West thinks and simply resent our involvement. We should stop pretending we can change these countries and focus on those interests that really matter to us.

[Reader comment by Harmonicaman on 16 September 2012 at about 4pm, some corrections/caps made.]

The West has assisted terrorist thugs who murder in the name of God to take countrol of middle eastern countries. The West has turned a blind eye to the persecution and murder of Christians and the destruction of their churches that followed. The West turms a blind eye to calls for another genocide of the Jews, to the daily attacks on the Jewish people, to the massively increased anti semitism in Europe when carried out by Islamists. The West gives these people money and support — the left is a disgrace, the Western politicians and media who support this are a disgrace, and by their silence, support is what they do. Certain aspects of the West’s media, in this country the Guardian and BBC are actively promoting, if not by omission of reporting, by offering outright support, column inches and airtime to people proposing persecution of non-muslims and slaughter of Jews. The “Arab Spring” is the precursor, moving onto Europe en masse by force will surely follow unless action is taken, but in the politically correct leftist West we sit back and pay those who seek to destroy us and seek to subjugate us. We are lemmings, and we have cowards for leaders.

[Reader comment by Andrew Boff on 16 September 2012 at about 4pm.]

We need to stick with the support for the fragile new democracies, not just for their sake but for ours. Europe can only benefit from the Mediterranean becoming a democratic pond.

[JP note: Pond? More likely a vast basin of blood. Among one of many reasons to be suspicious of Boris is the possibility that Andrew Boff still has his ear.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Islamophobia Should be Crime Against Humanity, Says Erdogan

Turkey PM to take request to United Nations

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 17 — Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to propose that ‘Islamophobia’ be considered a ‘crime against humanity’ in the wake of an anti-Islam film which has sparked waves of violent protests across the Muslim world.

Erdogan will appear in front of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 25 September, where, according to pro-government daily Zaman he will propose that offenses against the religious values of Islam be considered ‘crimes against humanity.’ “National and international measures are needed to combat attacks on sacred values”, Zaman quoted him as saying Sunday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Istanbul, Turkey: In Search of the City’s Roman Past

If you know where to look, Istanbul’s Roman past pokes up throughout the city, as Harry Mount discovers.

Exactly 1,700 years ago, in 312 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine had a vision that changed the course of the Roman Empire — the world even — and ultimately turned Britain into a Christian country. The vision appeared to Constantine, just before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. His adversary was Maxentius, a rival for the emperor’s crown. Looking above the heads of his marching soldiers, Constantine saw a burning cross of light over the sun, next to the Greek words, “Ev Toutw Nika” — “In this sign, you will conquer.” The following night, Christ appeared to Constantine in a dream, telling him to use the sign against his enemies.

Constantine did as he was told. He stuck a cross on his army’s shields, won the battle, killed Maxentius, became undisputed Roman Emperor, and the rest is history — Christian history. From that point on, or so the legend goes, Constantine began his conversion to Christianity and, in time, the Roman Empire became a Christian Roman Empire. But the heart of Constantine’s new Christian Empire was not to be Rome, but the ancient Greek city of Byzantium. In 330AD, he made it the new imperial capital; in the same year, it was renamed Constantinople in his honour (and nicknamed “New Rome”). Along with the Roman imperial court, the senate and the supreme courts all moved to Constantinople from old Rome.

It’s easy to forget all this when you arrive in modern Istanbul, its skyline dominated by minarets, your day punctuated by the muezzin’s call to prayer. But, if you look out for it, the city’s Roman skeleton pokes up through the Islamic skin all over the place. After all, the city remained Christian, and under the control of Constantine’s imperial descendants, for another 1,100 years after Constantine’s death. And it only became officially known as Istanbul as late as 1930…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East Protests: Meet the Hardline ‘Tele-Islamist’ Who Brought Anti-Islam Film to Muslim World’s Attention

The violent protests over a new film insulting Islam has highlighted two conflicting new visions emerging in the post-Arab Spring world

His inflammatory chat show on satellite television has long prided itself on baiting liberals, Christians and Jews, but last week saw Sheikh Khalid Abdullah stage the broadcasting controversy of a lifetime. The rabble-rousing Egyptian tele-Islamist knew he had found a ratings-grabber when he found an obscure, badly-made film on the internet called the Innocence of Muslims. It had actually been online since July, but nobody had paid attention to its crude libels against the Prophet Mohammed until Mr Abdullah’s show broadcast clips from it last weekend, calling for the film-makers to be executed…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

PM Erdogan: Islamophobia Should be Recognized as Crime Against Humanity

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that Turkey recognizes anti-semitism as a crime, while not a single Western country recognizes Islamophobia as such Today's Zaman reported.

Speaking to journalists in Sarajevo after a series of visits to Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Erdogan commented on the 14-minute trailer for “Innocence of Muslims,” an obscure film that mocks the Prophet Muhammad, which sparked violent riots across various Muslim nations.

Erdogan said he will talk about the movie that has angered Muslims on Sept. 25 at the UN General Assembly. He noted that the reaction against the movie in Turkey has been restrained. “In the last past 10 years, extremes (in Turkey) have been curbed. In a way, we acted like a lightning rod.”

He said the Turkish government has made its statement on the movie, giving messages in Yalta, and later during his visit. He said reactions against the movie continued and increased, noting statements from Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi, who defined the movie as an “aggression on Islam,” has played a role in this.

Erdogan said he will continue to give messages at the next UN General Assembly meeting about adopting international legislation against insulting religion.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Syria: 50 Western ‘Super Spies’ On Turkish Border, Press

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 17 — About 50 top level spies from Western intelligence services are operating on the Syrian theatre from border areas in Turkey, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reports, quoting the former head of the CIA headquarters in Istanbul, Philip Giraldi.

Apparently there are numerous “agents” and “many informers”.

According to Giraldi, and the U.S. services are present with 15-20 senior CIA agents, who work primarily from the consulate in Adana and the NATO base in Incirlik.

Fifty ‘superspies’ apparently work on the turkish border with Syria (from the U.S., France, Germany, the UK and perhaps Greece): they do not enter into Syrian territory, Giraldi said, but they conduct the intelligence and assistance to Sunni anti-Assad insurgents from Turkey in “very close” cooperation with MIT, the Secret Service in Ankara, which has a leading role.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

UN Lengthens the Secret Blacklist of Syrian War Criminals

(AGI)Geneva -The UN Human Rights Council lengthened the secret blacklist of Syrians suspected of crimes of war & against humanity. Among other things, in a new report released in Geneva, the Independent Commission’s lead investigator Paulo Sergio Pinheiro denounced that in Syria “serious violations of human rights are increasing in number, frequency and dimensions”. The Commission also reported that it does not intend to publish a blacklist of the names of people suspected of violating human rights in the conflict that broke out over a year and a half ago. “The commission considers it improper to publicly release the names due to the lower standard of proof employed by commissions of inquiry as compared to a court of law” affirmed the Brazilian Professor.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Website Reports U. S. Embassy in Lebanon Fears Attack

(AGI) Beirut — The Moscow-based website ‘Russia Today’ reports the U.S. embassy in Lebanon has begun to destroy secret codes and classified documents. The reason given is the large demonstration against the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ now taking place in Beirut and organized by Hezbollah. After listening to a speech by the organization’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, about 100,000 demonstrators, segregated by gender, began marching through Beirut. ‘Russia Today’ intimated that, according to U.S. diplomatic sources, an assault on the embassy is feared.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: Six British and US Troops Killed in Latest ‘Green on Blue’ Attacks

Two British soldiers and four US troops were killed in separate “green on blue” attacks, the latest victims of Afghan forces turning their weapons on Nato troops.

The incidents come just two days after an attack on Camp Bastion, which the Taliban claimed was in retaliation for a US-made film which insulted the prophet Mohammed.

The soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment were shot dead by an Afghan policeman at a checkpoint in Helmand province, moments after they had given him medical treatment following a joint patrol. They were named as Sergeant Gareth Thursby, 29, a married father-of-two from Skipton, North Yorkshire, and Private Thomas Wroe, 18, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.

An Afghan security official in Helmand told the Daily Telegraph the killer, Gul Agha, had called over the British soldiers at a checkpoint at around 2pm on Saturday and said his leg needed treatment. The 25-year-old was a member of the Afghan Local Police programme, a government-backed local defence militia where men are paid and trained to protect their villages against the Taliban. He had joined five months earlier. As the Britons returned to their vehicles at the checkpoint in Nahr-e Saraj, he drew a pistol and opened fire, killing two and wounding three others, before he was himself shot dead. Lt Col Richard Parry, spokesman for British forces in Helmand, said: “I can confirm he needed some medical treatment and it was after that when he opened fire. We are not talking serious treatment and we don’t know if he was genuinely injured.”

Hours later, four Americans were also shot dead by one or more Afghan policemen in Zabul province, bringing the toll from such shootings to at least 51 in 2012 alone — nearly one-in-six of all Nato deaths in Afghanistan this year. The American soldiers were shot dead at a remote checkpoint in Zabul’s Mizan district after they had answered distress calls from policemen who were under attack by Taliban fighters. Ghulam Gilani, the deputy police chief of the province, said it was not clear if some of the Afghan police turned on their American helpers in the middle of the battle with the insurgents, or afterward. “Whether they attacked the Americans willingly we don’t know,” he said.

The attacks came only two days after the attack on Camp Bastion, where Prince Harry is stationed. The Taliban claimed the attack late on Friday evening on the sprawling base in Helmand was due to the anti-Islamic film which has caused protests across the Middle East, adding that Bastion had been chosen because of Prince Harry’s presence. Details were also disclosed of the hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage caused during the Bastion weekend attack. Six American AV-8B Harrier jets were destroyed and two badly damaged when around 15 attackers breached the perimeter around the camp’s airfield and began firing rockets and assault rifles at the aircraft. Three refuelling stations were also destroyed and six soft-skin hangars were damaged. The attackers were “well equipped, trained and rehearsed,” the coalition said and had been wearing US Army uniforms to sow confusion during the attack. British troops from 5 RAF Force Protection Wing (51 Squadron RAF), the RAF Regiment, were first on the scene and, fighting alongside US Marines, repelled the insurgents in a gun battle lasting more than five hours. Two US Marines died in the attack and several British airmen were wounded, but none were classed as serious. In all, eight servicemen and a civilian contractor were injured. A total of 14 attackers were killed and one was captured wounded.

Nato meanwhile was accused on Sunday of killing at least eight women in an air strike in Laghman province. that was targeting about 45 insurgents. The US-led International Security Assistance Force later extended its “deepest regrets and sympathies” over the incident. Separately a soldier killed in a roadside bomb on Friday has been named as Lance Corporal Duane Groom from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghans Stage Violent Protest Over Anti-Islam Movie

Hundreds of Afghans staged a violent protest in Kabul on Monday against an American film mocking the Prophet Mohammed, throwing stones at a US base, torching cars and shouting “Death to America”.

The demonstration erupted on Jalalabad Road, home to NATO and US military bases in the eastern part of the Afghan capital, with two police cars among those set ablaze, Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said. A low-budget trailer for a movie entitled “Innocence of Muslims,” believed to have been produced by a small group of extremist Christians in the United States, has sparked furious anti-American protests across the Islamic world. Gunmen from the crowd — which Salangi said numbered around 1,000 — opened fire at police, but no one was hurt and Salangi said he had told officers not to return fire in a bid to avoid escalating the violence…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Violent Protests in Jakarta Over Muhammad Blasphemy Movie

More than a thousand Muslim radicals attack the US Embassy with sticks, stones and Molotov cocktails. In North Medan, Bandung and Solo, fast food joints, symbols of US culture, are destroyed. In Jombang (East Java), young Christian activists organise an interfaith group to discuss the situation and condemn the violence.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Protests are mounting around the Indonesia over the blasphemous movie about Muhammad. This morning, a mob of about a thousand people attacked the US Embassy in Jakarta with sticks, stones and Molotov cocktails, including members of the Islamic Defender Front (FPI).

The rally began peacefully but was eventually taken over by extremists groups who attacked police guarding the US diplomatic mission. The authorities arrested four FPI members for possessing weapons and similar paraphernalia.

Police and demonstrators clashed also in North Medan (Sumatra), Bandung (West Java) and Solo (Central Java). Mobs attacked fast-food restaurants, symbols of US culture, including Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s.

In order to counter such extremists, some 50 Christian and Muslim activists in Jombang (East Java) issued a statement slamming the recent acts of violence.

They belong to an interfaith group affiliated with the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest (moderate) Muslim organisation, the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) and some Catholic leaders like Fr Luis from the Diocese of Jombang.

The group’s coordinator Aan Anshori said that they began around a table with people from different religious backgrounds, to show Muslims that discussing peacefully was possible.

“If there are any differences among us, it is important to speak to one another peacefully in an atmosphere of friendship and non-violence.”

In a press release, the interfaith group said, “The movie is outrageous and should not have been made or shown.” However, “Muslims must remain calm because their violent acts hurt Islam’s image,” said Evik Mustain, head of the Islamic Darul Ulum High Education in Jombang.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

John Baron MP: The Defence Secretary Says One Thing, The Development Secretary Says Another. The Government Must Clear Up Its Confusion Over Afghanistan.

John Baron MP is the MP for Basildon and Billericay and a Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee

The contradictory statements on Afghanistan by Justine Greening in the House of Commons on Thursday and those by Philip Hammond whilst visiting our troops suggests Government policy remains confused. Talk of nation-building and women’s rights does not sit well with suggestions that our strategic interest should be the key determinant as to when our soldiers return. But confusion apart, the key stumbling-block remains the American refusal to conduct non-conditional talks with the Taliban…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Malaysia: Kate and Wills Put Aside Topless Scandal for Mosque Visit

THE couple seemed composed and dignified as they paid their respects at the place of worship.

THE Duchess of Cambridge’s nude heels have become a royal style signature. But yesterday the £185 LK Bennett shoes had to be left behind as Kate and William went barefoot on their first visit to a mosque. And the couple showed little strain from the simmering row over topless pictures of Kate as they prepared to comply with strict religious protocol. They sat on matching gold seats, installed at the foot of the mosque stairs, to take off their footwear. According to Islamic law, all visitors to mosques must remove their shoes and women must cover their hair before entering. Kate’s headwear and dress for the landmark visit in Kuala Lumpur couldn’t help but evoke memories of her husband’s late mother on her visits to mosques during royal tours abroad…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: One Dead in Anti-Islam Film Protest in Peshawar: Officials

PESHAWAR: A protester was killed in an exchange of fire with police Monday during a demonstration in northwest Peshawar against an anti-Islam film, officials said. Two people were wounded in the incident in Warai, in the Upper Dir district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, police said, adding a crowd of about 800 had set fire to a police station, a magistrate’s house and the local press club. Thousands of people in Peshawar took to the streets on Monday to condemn an anti-Islam film, burning US flags and chanting slogans, as police warned of more protest rallies across the country. In the northwestern city of Peshawar, up to 3,000 university students, teachers and employees marched after boycotting classes, police said. “They were shouting slogans against Americans and were demanding a ban on the anti-Islam film. Later they dispersed peacefully,” Gul Nawaz Khan, a senior police officer at the site, told AFP. Protesters from another anti-US rally blocked a main road in front of Peshawar university, Khan said. Some 350 activists from Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba, a student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), staged a separate demonstration, blocking a main road by setting fire to tyres and burning a US flag, an AFP reporter said…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan Blocks YouTube to Stop Anti-Muslim Film

(AGI) Islamabad — Pakistan’s Prime Minister Asif Ali Zardari has decided to block Youtube after Google refused to remove the anti-Muslim film entitled ‘The Innocence of the Muslims”, produced in the United States and posted on the website .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Far East

Anti-Islam Film: US and Israeli Flags Burned in Philippines

(AGI) Manila — Us and Israeli flags were burned in the southern town of Marawi in the Philippines, during protests staged by 3.000 Muslim citizens against the anti-Islam film on Mohammed.

“America children of Satan” and “Israeli Jews enemies of the Muslim community” were the slogans shouted during the protest.

No incident was reported. A few of the demonstrators asked the Filipino president, Benigno Augusto, to ban the film. Later, speaking to journalists, Aquino said that the “constitution provides for the liberty of expression and thought”, but he added that the censors committee could ban the film from cinemas and television .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Senator Links Violence to Multiculturalism

SOUTH Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has linked violent scenes between Muslim protesters and police in Sydney to multiculturalism, just days ahead of a major speech by businessman and migrant Frank Lowy.

Mr Lowy is to deliver the inaugural Australian Multicultural Society lecture on the benefits of a multicultural society at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday. “The naive cling to the romantic idealisation of the generations of migrants who have successfully settled in Australia, thinking things will continue just as they have in the past,” Senator Bernardi said in a post on his website on Monday. “They proclaim multiculturalism as a triumph of tolerance when in fact it undermines the cultural values and cohesiveness that brings a nation together.” Senator Bernardi said the events in Sydney should be a wake-up call and he had warned colleagues for years that the violence seen in Western Europe a decade ago could happen here…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

The AWU Scandal — A Quick Synopsis

Everything I’ll say here is backed up by various documents on the blog, conversations I’ve had with parties or other information that I believe to be true and able to be confirmed to the civil standard of proof in a court of law.

Bruce Wilson known to be a lawbreaker and to have breached court orders, 1980s.

Bill Ludwig and Bruce Wilson, joint ticket to head up the AWU, late 1980s.

Bruce Wilson hooks up with Julia Gillard, late 1991.

AWU and construction companies on the Board of the WA Govt Building and Construction Industry Training Fund 1991.

Conversations between Bruce Wilson and his brother in law Joe Trio, head of Thiess WA, regarding big grant available from BCITF, late 1991.

Bruce Wilson tries to incorporate an association re workplace reform early 1992. Corporate affairs commissioner knocks him back (onversations with various people to back this up)

The Boulder conference takes place — Gillard present, discussion re-assuring AWU membership about transfer of insurance funds to Bruce’s control.

Wilson and Blewitt fly to Melbourne early 1992, meet with Gillard. Leave the forms there to register the Association with the “name” line not filled out. Some further discussion between the lawyer girlfriend and the corporate affairs commissioner in WA. Some correspondence. Gillard gets the green light, fills out the “acceptable” name in her own handwriting, sends off the forms. NO file opened at Slater and Gordon, no bill sent.

Immediately Wilson finds out (can only be from the girlfriend) that the green light is in, he starts filling out invoices, even before the corporate affairs commissioner has formally sent out the certificate. Off go the invoices, in comes the money.

An MOU (formal) is agreed between The AWU and Thiess, talks about workplace reform and workplace reform advisers on site.

Thiess treats the creditor as the AWU in its internal financial systems. Cheques go to the private post office box Wilson and Blewitt set up.

Ludwig puts Wilson into the Victorian AWU boss position. Wilson moves to Victoria. Wilson signs contract to buy house at Kerr Street Fitzroy (early 1993).

Power of Attorney later produced to put the purchase in the name of Blewitt. POA used to apply for mortgage in Blewitt’s name. Mortgage approved. POA yet to surface publicly, Blewitt has now waived any privilege in it or the file, should be good when it’s produced.

Gillard and Wilson are an item for the period 1991 — August, 1995.

The 1993 and 1994 Annual Reports for the BCITF report to the responsible Minister in glowing terms about the success of the MOU between Thiess and The AWU and the workplace-reform taking place at the Dawesville Cutting project. It is crap. No work at all took place. The money went through Thiess’s books to the sham association and then to cash cheques or the house. Isn’t anyone in government worried about that? A whitewash review doesn’t mention the scam.

Wilson involved in scammery in Victoria. Melbourne Water similar deal to the Dawesville Cutting deal with Thiess in WA. Several other scams result in money going into another account, AWU Members Welfare Association No 1.

Houses get renos etc. Lots of cash comes out. September 1993 a $50,000 cash withdrawal from AWU WRA — other withdrawals at that time suggest plane ticket purchases!

First few months 1995 — change of office holders in the AWU Victoria. AWU Members Welfare Association rumbled, AWU-WRA still undiscovered. Acccounts frozen, no one getting paid. AWU-WRA still being operated. New Account for Wilson/Blewitt opened, Construction Industry Fund. Money from AWU-WRA goes into that account, Thiess told to send cheques to Construction Industry Fund and they do.

Wilson advised he will be charged internally and referred to police August 1995. Goes away with his lawyer girlfriend, gets advice (conversation wtih Wilson).

17 August, 1995 — Wilson, Bob Smith (new secretary) Jim Collins, John Cain Jr and Slater and Gordon lawyer (?) attend the Commonwealth Bank in Melbourne. Cheques made out to several building and construction companies returning funds. Wilson leaves the union with a redundancy. Seeks a “no further investigation” clause on his departure. Accounts reopened.

Julia Gillard formally interviewed by partners Geoff Shaw and Peter Gordon. The file on the AWU-WRA has been discovered and is produced in the interview. Julia Gillard given her marching orders. She is very defensive about what she did, said it was all proper. Nowhere in the released elements of the interview does she say she was terribly distressed, she was taken in by a conman, she was deceived — she doesn’t come close to that. She sounds like a full informed participant.

Neither Gillard nor the partners at Slater and Gordon advise the union of the AWU-WRA, nor of the house at Kerr Street.

Late 1995 proceedings start in Australian Industrial Relations Court re Wilson’s scams. Order given for recovery of redundancy money. Never enforced.

Say May 1996, Commonwealth Bank sends details of “AWU” accounts to Ian Cambridge, AWU-WRA discovered. Approach made to WA Fraud squad.

Investigations commence, ultimately police say “on our current instructions” Thiess is the party that’s been defrauded. AWU National President through lawyer agrees.

Thiess, through Joe Trio the brother in law say we don’t feel defrauded, no complaint.

No action for civil orders for recovery of money.

BCITF annual reports stand as truthful report of the acquittal of the taxpayer money.

Gillard becomes endorsed candidate for Lalor, notwithstanding 6 month unexplained period in CV.

Wilson runs a nightclub in Perth for 10 years till the money runs out.

Ludwig goes from strength to strength.

Kernohan gets bashed.

Blokes in the media lose their jobs when they talk about the issue.

Gillard enlists media to hose down the story when it gets bothersome.

No one saw anything OK, just move along.

Gillard was young and naive but got to be Prime Minister.

Wilson was a criminal mastermind who conned a future PM and he is now flipping burgers.

Go figure.

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Boko Haram Kills 10 in Northern Nigeria

(AGI) Abuja — A group of suspected Islamic militants belonging to terrorist group Boko Haram killed 10 people in northern Nigeria. The killings occurred last night in Nigeria’s federal states of Kano and Bauchi. Local authorities in Bauchi said four armed men on two motorcycles opened fire on a group of people who were playing ‘dara’, a local variant of draughts, in the small town of Zango, killing at least 6 people and seriously wounding eight others. According to an eyewitness, Musa Danlami, “it’s clear that those responsible for the attack were members of Boko Haram”, a terrorist group linked with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) which is responsible for the death of at least 1,600 people since 2009. The targets of the terrorist group include the so-called ‘bush bars’, local pubs where alcoholic drinks are served and people gather to play board games or watch football games on TV.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Nigerian Army Kills Boko Haram Spokesman Abu Qaqa

(AGI) Abuja — The Nigerian Army has reported that Boko Haram spokesman Abu Qaqa has been killed in a shootout. Boko Haram is a terrorist group of extremist Islamists operating mainly in centre and the north of the country. Local security sources reported that the clash occurred at a checkpoint near Kano, Northern Nigeria’s main city. Boko Haram’s representative for the central-northern Kogi state was also killed while two other terrorists were arrested. According to sources, Aby Qaqa had traveled to Kano to visit his sick wife.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Turkey: Erdogan AKP Party MPs Veto Gay Rights Amendment

Opposition Social-Dems, Kurds proposed constitutional amendment

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 14 — MPs from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) vetoed a proposed constitutional amendment protecting gay rights, local media reported on Friday.

Working in a parliamentary commission on constitutional reform, social democratic MPs from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and from the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) based the proposed amendment on the principle of “sexual orientation”, according to Hurriyet daily online. “We don’t believe it’s right to include references to gays in the constitution,” AKP MP for Istanbul, Mustafa Sentop, explained.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Giant Viruses Are Ancient Living Organisms, Study Suggests

Researchers have debated whether viruses, which have genes but no cellular structure, should be considered forms of life. A new study suggests they should, showing that giant viruses have some of the most ancient protein structures found in all organisms on the planet.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Part 1: Basic Incompatibility of Western Thought and Muslim Theocracy

Most people think only al-qaeda terrorists are guilty of worldwide terror, but after this week’s killing of the U.S. Consulate in Libya and three other Americans, 1,400 years of Muslim violence would prove otherwise. They killed and rioted over an inane parody movie mocking the prophet Mohammed. Fully 99 percent of them had not seen the movie.


Three years ago, no Americans rioted when Muslim Major Nadal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas, blasted away at 42 military personnel and civilians as they stood defenseless in line awaiting deployment processing for the Middle East. He screamed, “Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar!” while unloading his firearms into the bodies of U.S. troops. Americans didn’t kill his family or the Muslim ambassador.

His condition stands as a warning and a metaphor for the United States of America as it places itself in critical danger by importing millions from incompatible cultures and languages into America at breakneck speed. It reminds me of students in a chemistry class pouring unknown chemicals into a beaker and hoping it doesn’t boil over or blow up.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Price of a Koran

What’s the price of a Koran? Whatever Muslims see fit to charge us for it and whatever our leaders are willing to pay.

(I first wrote this article in March of this year. It unfortunately remains all too relevant in light of recent events,)

What does a Koran cost? You can get a full color one for the Kindle for only 99 cents, just don’t expect it to feature any pictures of old Mo.

If you want to go deluxe, you can get a hardcover edition that runs three different translations side by side for around 40 bucks. But if you want to be more practical about it, the price of a Koran is the lives of six American soldiers.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Warp Drive May be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in television’s Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought, scientists say.

A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.

Now physicists say that adjustments can be made to the proposed warp drive that would enable it to run on significantly less energy, potentially brining the idea back from the realm of science fiction into science.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]