Saturday, February 2, 2013

Palestinians' Nazi-Style Youth Movement Prepares for Jihad



by Khaled Abu Toameh


More disturbing is that only a few of the dozens of Western-funded human rights organizations that operate in the Gaza Strip have raised their voice against Hamas's abuse of children. Even the United Nations Children's Fund [UNICEF], which was created to work for children's rights, their survival, development and protection, has yet to condemn Hamas for recruiting school children to its military apparatus.
Thousands of Palestinian schoolchildren have been receiving military training in the Gaza Strip to prepare them for jihad against Israel.

According to Mohamed Siam, a senior official with the Hamas-run ministry, some 9,000 high school children have already joined 36 camps throughout the Gaza Strip and are being taught how to use various types of weapons and handle explosives.

Hamas says that the purpose of the camps is to prepare Palestinian children, both militarily and psychologically, for the "liberation of Palestine, from the Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea," in other words, all of Israel.

How can anyone talk about the two-state solution when thousands of Palestinian children are being trained to use weapons and explosives to replace Israel with an Islamic state? Does Mahmoud Abbas really believe that these schoolchildren will ever accept his strategy of peace with Israel? These are questions the West needs to ask itself before once again pressing for a two-state solution.

The training is being held under the supervision of the Hamas government's Ministry of Education, and the training camps have been named Al-Futuwwa [spiritual chivalry].

According to Wikipedia, Al-Futuwwa was the name of the Hitler-Jugend [Hitler Youth] style of pan-Arab fascistic and nationalistic youth movement that existed in Iraq in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1938, the Al-Futuwwa youth organization sent a delegate to the Nuremberg Nazi party rally, and in turn hosted the Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach. In 1941, the fascistic pan-Arab Al-Muthanna Club and its Al-Futuwwa movement participated in the Farhud attack on Baghdad's Jewish community.

Last week, during a graduation ceremony for thousands of school children, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared that his movement was planning to establish a military academy for training and educating seventh and ninth graders. The goal, he said, is to prepare Palestinian children for jihad against the "Zionist entity."

Addressing the cadets, Haniyeh declared: "You are the future leaders. You will march your people toward freedom and dignity. The Al-Futuwwa will end in victory and the liberation of all Palestine, "from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea."

Not surprisingly, parents in the Gaza Strip have not protested against this form of child abuse. Many parents, in fact, seem to like the idea that their children are being trained how to handle explosives and various types of weapons.

More disturbing is that only a few of the dozens of Western-funded human rights organizations that operate in the Gaza Strip have raised their voices against Hamas's abuse of children. Even the United Nations Children's Fund [UNICEF], which was created to work for children's rights, their survival, development and protection, has yet to condemn Hamas for recruiting school children to its military apparatus.

Many of Hamas's children will undoubtedly be sent to the battlefront during the next round of fighting with Israel. Some will also be dispatched on suicide missions against the "Zionist enemy," while others will be provided with assault rifles and rockets to be used against Israeli targets.

By poisoning the hearts and minds of schoolchildren, Hamas is raising an entire generation of Palestinians on glorification of suicide bombers, jihad and terrorism.

And this is happening at a time when some governments and leaders in the West are talking about the need to revive the peace process between the Palestinians and Israel — and at a time when the Palestinian Authority is making efforts to achieve unity with Hamas.

These are questions that Abbas needs to ask himself as he continues to seek unity with Hamas; and that the West might do well to ask itself, too.


Khaled Abu Toameh

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3569/palestinian-youth-movement-jihad

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

F-16s to the Muslim Brotherhood



by Dore Gold


The latest American crisis with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood president, Muhammad Morsi, came out into the open on January 14, 2013, when the New York Times published a report on its front page that three years earlier he used blatantly anti-Semitic motifs for describing "Zionists" as “...bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.” The interview was videotaped and distributed by MEMRI, which has been documenting and translating from Arabic the statements of leaders across the Middle East for many years.

To make matters worse for Morsi, he was also filmed addressing a rally in 2010 in the Nile Delta at which he declared: “We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.” This video clip was actually broadcast on Egyptian television.

Then the crisis over Morsi's anti-Semitic statements seemed to only get worse in the aftermath of a meeting he recently held with a delegation of seven U.S. Senators, led by John McCain (Rep.--Arizona). According to Senator Chris Coons (Dem.--Delaware), Morsi only dug deeper into the hole he created for himself when he tried to explain the crisis that was unfolding by using more anti-Semitic references: “Well, I think we all know that the media in the United States has made a big deal of this and we know the media of the United States is controlled by certain forces and they don’t view me favorably.”

Senator Coons told Foreign Policy after the meeting that the senators had no doubt that Morsi was implying that the American media was under Jewish control. Coons concluded: “I thought it was impossible to draw any other conclusion.”

What has made the revelations about Morsi's comments especially problematic was that during January, the U.S. supplied four F-16 fighter aircraft to Egypt, out of a total package for 20 such fighters that was originally signed when President Mubarak was still in power. The U.S. will also be supplying 200 Abrams tanks to Egypt.

As a consequence, when Senator John Kerry appeared before Congress prior to the vote on his confirmation as the next secretary of state, he was asked how the U.S. could provide advanced arms to a country led by a president, like Morsi, who had such values that were antithetical to everything for which the U.S. stood. More practically, Senator Rand Paul (Rep.--Kentucky) asked Kerry if the new U.S. warplanes would be a threat to Israel or even to America.

For decades the U.S. has developed means to preserve Israel's qualitative military edge, even as Washington supplies advanced weapons to the Arab states. In the latest sale to Egypt, a publication specializing in the U.S. defense industry points out that at this point, Egypt will not receive the same advanced air-to-air missiles that Israel deploys on its F-16s, thereby assuring Israeli air superiority vis-a-vis the Egyptian Air Force.

Undoubtedly, there will be U.S. officials who will argue that arms sales to Egypt will at least keep the Egyptian armed forces friendly to Washington. In his first major struggle with the Egyptian army, however, Morsi showed that he was willing to challenge its general staff when he forced General Tantawi to retire. Every senior Egyptian officer now knows that his advance up the chain of command will be dependent on the approval of the Muslim Brotherhood regime.

Some Egyptians are reading into the completion of the F-16 sale a political signal from Washington towards the Egyptian regime and its opposition. It is being seen as a kind of vote of confidence in Morsi and his government. Ambassador Hussein Haridi, a former assistant foreign minister, told the Egyptian newspaper, al-Ahram, in mid-January that the sale indicated that the level of support for Morsi and the Brotherhood was continuing, despite the demonstrations against his regime that were already underway in mid-December.

But there is a more fundamental issue that needs to be addressed in this discussion about advanced arms for Egypt. Morsi's statements point to the fact that he is still strongly tied to the hard-line ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood , which it must be remembered is a revolutionary movement that could down the line put at risk important Arab allies of the U.S.

Indeed, during 2011, Jordanian officials accused the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of being involved in growing street disturbances in Amman. In December 2012, security forces in the UAE uncovered a Muslim Brotherhood plot to overthrow its government. Egyptian nationals were arrested and imprisoned. Cairo sent a high-level delegation, including Morsi's intelligence chief, to Abu Dhabi to help reduce tensions with the UAE, but they came back empty-handed. Both the UAE and the Saudi press have been notably critical of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in recent months.

Indeed the Muslim Brotherhood over the years has been seeking to overthrow existing Arab regimes, replacing them with a unified Arab state. The Arab Spring has provided new opportunities for the movement to realize its long-term goals. Eventually, the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood seeks the re-establishment of the caliphate, whose global regime will cross current state borders.

There is a history of Egyptian adventurism towards neighboring states that could be rekindled in the future if it were to have the backing of a strong Islamist ideological orientation. Take for example the case of Saudi Arabia. In the 19th century, during the rule of Muhmmad Ali, Egypt dispatched an expeditionary force into the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, occupied the capital of the first Saudi state, and sent its Emir to Istanbul for execution. In 1962, when Egypt was led by President Nasser, it intervened in the Yemen Civil War with tens of thousands of troops and even used its air force to strike border towns in Saudi Arabia, which was backing the opposite side.

Right now, Egypt has too many troubles at home to follow this kind of aggressive political agenda. Morsi just declared a state of emergency and a curfew in Suez, Ismailia, and Port Said after escalating violence in those cities. But in the long-term, if Egypt adopts the Muslim Brotherhood program in its relations with the rest of the Middle East, then Israel will not be the only state that should be concerned.

Arms transfers do not change the balance of power overnight, especially if only a few aircraft are involved. The present sale represents a qualitative upgrade for Egypt, which until now has only received older models of the F-16. However, it would be more advisable to build up Egypt's ability to assure its internal security in places like Sinai, where al-Qaeda affiliates have built up for themselves a substantial foothold.

But investing in weapons for projecting Egyptian military power over long distances should be re-thought until its leadership clarifies what its intentions are with respect to its Middle Eastern neighbors.


Dore Gold

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3363

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Selling of Syria’s Refugee Child Brides



by Frank Crimi



A growing legion of Muslim men from the Mideast and Europe are scouring Syrian refugee camps in order to purchase underage girls, some as young as 12, as child brides, many of whom end up being sold for use in temporary “pleasure marriages.”

For most of the Syrian women and girls who have fled the genocidal horrors of Syria’s civil war, rape — whether by pro-government or rebel forces – has been identified as one of the primary reasons for their exodus from that war-torn country.

Now, having supposedly escaped that nightmarish reality, Syrian girls are being subjected to a new horror, being auctioned off by their families to unknown Muslim men for use as sexual toys in coerced and forced early marriages.

These pleasure marriages, also known as “misyar” marriages, are legally nonbinding marital contracts which have long been used in Islamic countries to give religiously legitimate cover to a sexual relationship, especially those relationships involving underage girls.

In fact, so popular are temporary misyar marriages among upscale Muslim men that a cottage industry has sprung up in Egypt among Arab sex tourists looking to circumvent Egypt’s ban on pre-marital sex by purchasing underage Egyptian girls for pleasure marriages.

Now that deviant practice is being introduced into Syrian refugee camps. There newly purchased child brides are taken to rented houses outside the camps by their “husbands.” After having their fill of sex, the men will quickly divorce the girls, in many cases often only days and even hours after the nuptials.

According to an official with a charity that works with Syrian refugees, “Many Syrian girls have been impregnated and abandoned in this way.”

The growing sale of these Syrian girl refugees is being fueled by the crushing poverty and harsh living conditions faced by Syrian families living in refugee camps scattered throughout Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey.

That bruising reality has led a growing number of Syrian parents to sell their young daughters into early marriages as a way to alleviate the family’s financial stress as well as to spare their daughters from the brutal dangers of life in refugee camps.

As Um Sarah, a Syrian refugee mother who arranged marriages for her 14 and 15-year old daughters, said, “As a single mother, I cannot support them. I cannot feed them. I wanted to make sure they are OK.”

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of Syria’s 650,000 refugees are women and children, making them especially vulnerable to the dangers of trafficking, exploitation, and sexual abuse.
That exploitation has found its form in the booming Muslim male interest in securing the services of young Syrian girls, interest that includes the establishment of agencies offering to arrange marriages for would-be grooms to Arabic online forums for men “seeking marriage from Syrian girls.”
Disturbingly, in most all these cases, the younger the girl, the more desirable she is in the eyes of the intended pedophilic groom.

Of course, that underage prerequisite is not surprising given the deep-rooted Islamic attachment to prepubescent marriage, one which allows religious leaders to approve informal marriages for girls 13 and under, thus enabling Muslim men to skirt a country’s minimum age laws for marriage.
Given that, it’s not surprising to hear a number of Muslim religious scholars and clerics heartily encouraging through fatwas the purchase of these Syrian girls, with some explaining the purchase to be an act of charity that extricates the girls and their families from their misery.

As one Syrian woman refugee with two daughters said, “Men are coming here to take young girls as second wives. It is under the pretext of being charitable, of helping us.”

It should be noted, however, that for Muslim men interested in seeking a child wife, that charitable assistance comes at a bargain price.

Specifically, Syrian girls can now be purchased as temporary child brides for just a few hundred dollars, a reduced price tag that proves an attractive enticement for Muslim men unable to afford the high dowry’s required to marry a girl from their own country.

As one Jordanian man said, “Marrying a Syrian refugee girl is cheaper than marrying a Jordanian girl,” one with an added prestige factor given “it makes the groom feel like he is somehow a participant in the Syrian revolution, which is very popular in Jordan.”

In fact, Jordan– where 75 percent of its 150,000 Syrian refugees are women and children — is home to most of the child bride transactions. That popularity led one Jordanian reporter to write, “People do not talk about anything else these days but about Syrian girls you could marry for one or two hundred dollars.”

Yet, while child marriage may be religiously sanctioned by Islam, for most the arrangement is little more than dressed-up prostitution.

That feeling has been echoed by Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the pan-Arab Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, who said, “Exploiting the conditions of the girls in the refugee camps by marrying them temporarily is a form of rape that must stop immediately. Those responsible for this crime should be brought to trial.”

Syrian journalist Adnan Azrouni has written, “There needs to be a huge outcry from inside and outside the camps: No to clerical interference in the issue of female refugees; No to the crisis-merchants; No to making Syrian women victims twice over.”

Yet sadly, while these temporary marriages may be nothing more than licensed rape, they don’t appear in jeopardy of ending anytime soon. As one Arab man wrote on an online forum dedicated to finding Syrian brides, “This is not a question of exploitation. It is a question of supply and demand.”
Tragically, it’s a growing supply that continues to be fed by an insatiable Muslim demand.


Frank Crimi

Source: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/frank-crimi/the-selling-of-syrias-refugee-child-brides/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Headed to History's Dustbin



by Dror Eydar


Let's begin from the end of the recent U.N. Human Rights Council report, which provides a timeline of "Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory." Well, it all began in 1948, when we established our state on Palestinian land in violation of British policy, as outlined in the "White Paper" which only allowed 75,000 Jews to enter Palestine. Beyond that, entry was up to approval by the Arabs. Since then, we annexed land, settled, violated, etc. The White Paper as a starting point. Nice, isn't it?

Well, the international definition is "occupied territories" (not "occupied Palestinian territories"), meaning that the ownership of the land is under legal dispute. We argue that the land belongs to us as part of the historical Land of Israel, by virtue of never having belonged to any other state. As early as the 1970s, legal experts proved that we are not "occupiers" because we never conquered any land that belonged to another state. The last sovereign entity in this land was the British mandate. The Jordanian occupation was never officially recognized, and even Jordan renounced ownership of this territory toward the end of the 1980s.

In addition, the timeline should begin more than 3,000 years ago. But even if we go back 18 centuries, we find that the Roman rulers gave the Land of Israel, or Judea, the name "Palestina" in efforts to sever the link between the Jews and their homeland. In the seventh century, Muslim conquerors expelled a large part of the Jewish population from the area, and forcibly converted some to Islam. Since then, the land was largely desolate until the end of the 19th century — the return of the Jewish nation to Zion. The land had waited for its real sons and daughters, and would only flourish for them. 

The U.N. report will end up in history's dustbin, just like the Goldstone Report. Both were issued by the Human Rights Council, which has proven since its establishment that every person on earth has rights except the Jews. 

On its way to the dustbin, the report will cause damage to Israel, legitimize terror against us and add another layer to the diplomatic culture of lies. 

Just as in the Goldstone case, the main contributors to Israel's delegitimization in the report were Israeli organizations funded by European governments, with a large portion of them also funded by the New Israel Fund. The report used controversial data provided by organizations like B'Tselem, Yesh Din, Adalah, and of course Peace Now, to prove dozens of points. The investigators who compiled the report also relied on editorials and op-eds from a single journalistic source. You guessed it: Haaretz. A magnificent work of empirical scientific research.


Dror Eydar

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3360

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Linking Obligations with Rights at the UNHRC



by Evelyn Gordon


The UN Human Rights Council yesterday released a predictable report deeming Israeli settlements–including huge Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem–a “war crime” and demanding the evacuation of all their hundreds of thousands of residents, thereby throwing every Israeli-Palestinian peace plan ever proposed out the window: All such plans envision Israel retaining parts of East Jerusalem and the settlement blocs. The report would thus seem unhelpful to the “peace process” that Western governments so ardently support. But it’s arousing far less ire among these governments than Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the HRC’s Universal Periodic Review process, under which every country’s human rights record is supposed to be scrutinized every four years. As U.S. ambassador to the council Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe explained, “The United States is absolutely, fully behind the Universal Periodic Review, and we do not want to see the mechanism in any way harmed.”

Yet as Professor Anne Bayefsky pointed out, it’s immensely hypocritical to insist on universality of obligations without universality of rights. And in two important ways, Israel doesn’t enjoy the same rights at the HRC as every other country does. First, it’s the only country whose alleged human-rights abuses are a permanent agenda item: The council has one agenda item for Israel, and one for all the other 192 UN member states. Second, it’s the only country that isn’t a full member of any regional working group. Bayefsky therefore proposed a simple quid pro quo: Israel should promise to uphold the universality of the review process the moment the council upholds the universality of Israel’s rights as a member state.

If Israel’s leaders had any diplomatic smarts, they would long since have adopted this strategy. But Israel’s stupidity doesn’t excuse the hypocrisy of the Western governments that are pressuring it to comply with the universal review while making no effort to end these other distortions. By insisting that the council’s violations of Israel’s rights produce no corresponding reduction in Israel’s obligations toward the council, they are essentially saying it’s perfectly fine to deny Israel the rights enjoyed by every other UN member: After all, in other spheres of life, these governments do think that denial of rights reduces obligations. Just for example, does anyone remember “no taxation without representation”?

In short, Western governments are implicitly endorsing the council’s anti-Israel bias even as they publicly claim to oppose it. In fact, they even actively collaborate in it: After all, one of these two distortions–full membership in a regional working group–is in their power to rectify; nobody is stopping them from making Israel a full member of the Western working group.

That’s also why the claim that Israel’s refusal could serve as a precedent for egregious rights violators like North Korea or Zimbabwe is so ridiculous: Unlike Israel, none of these countries are denied the universal rights granted all other UN members states; hence they have no grounds for refusing to honor their obligations.

But since the council has agreed to postpone Israel’s review to allow time for a rethink, Western governments still have a chance to do the right thing: insist that the council’s systemic denial of Israel’s rights come to an end. Once that happens, I’m sure they’ll have no trouble getting Israel to comply with its obligations.


Evelyn Gordon

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/02/01/linking-obligations-with-rights-at-the-unhrc/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Why Did Khatib Sell Out the Opposition?



by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed


The new head of the Syrian National Coalition, Moaz al-Khatib, surprised us by announcing the failure of the Syrian revolution. This was not in a direct address to the Syrian citizens or the revolutionaries, rather Khatib used his Facebook page to write, “I announce that I am ready to personally meet with representatives of the Syria regime in Cairo or Tunis or Istanbul.” It would have been less shocking had Khatib got in his car and driven directly to Damascus rather than telling 20 million Syrians—via Facebook, no less—that he had decided to end their revolution and compromise with Bashar al-Assad in exchange for the release of prisoners and a handful of passports. Khatib divided the opposition and caused serious damage to the efforts of thousands of people who are risking their lives for a new future without Assad and his fascist regime.


During the bloody years in Lebanon, Assad faced a major obstacle after he began assassinating his rivals. A broad front of opposition forces and figures under the March 14 movement umbrella stood up to and confronted him. Assad’s strategy was to break up this alliance by spreading rumors about these opposition forces, claiming that he enjoyed good ties with one party or another in order to drive a wedge between them, particularly after this developed into a broad-based movement made up of Sunnis, Christians, Druze and others allied with Saudi Arabia and France. This opposition front succeeded in convincing the UN to form a special tribunal for Lebanon to investigate the Assad regime’s involvement in the assassination of more than 20 Lebanese leadership figures. In this instance, Assad failed to divide or intimidate his opponents.

Today, we are seeing a similar approach being used against the Syrian opposition. Assad began by sending false signals and messages that he is ready to negotiate and compromise. To this end, he used European and Russian mediators, promising everybody that he will offer concessions in talks with opposition leaders.

Such behaviour is expected from Assad. However nobody expected Khatib to write—on Facebook—that he is ready to sit down face-to-face with representatives of the Syrian regime in exchange for the release of 160,000 prisoners from Syrian jails and for extending or renewing the passports of Syrians living abroad for a minimum period of two years.

A similar proposition was put forward just one day earlier by the self-proclaimed opposition figure Haytham Manna, who in reality is close to the Assad regime and Iran.

Isn’t Khatib aware that such an initiative will achieve one thing and one thing only, namely the division of the Syrian opposition? Isn’t he aware that the millions of Syrians who have fled their homes and villages and experienced sufferings and hardships waiting for the fall of the regime will completely reject such an initiative?

What’s the value of Khatib’s offer? Releasing prisoners’ means one thing only: the regime will open its prison gates for detainees to leave only to hunt them down later. What’s the value of renewing the passports of Syrians abroad? These people are already blacklisted as enemies of the regime and none of them will voluntarily return to Syria except after the death of Assad or the collapse of his regime.

There is no benefit today in dialogue with a dead Assad. Even his mother, sister, companions and businessmen have fled Syria and abandoned him, because they know that his regime’s collapse is inevitable. The capital’s airport is shut down for the majority of the time as a result of attacks by rebel forces. In fact, Assad’s forces have already dug trenches around the airport being well aware that the final battle is fast approaching.

Khatib must know that dialogue with Assad now is too little too late no matter what concession the embattled president offers. The Syrian people will not exchange the blood of their fallen comrades except for the collapse of the regime and the pursuit of its pillars. Assad may be able to escape from his palace to Russia or Iran where it would be difficult for the revolutionary to reach him. Khatib and the watching world must either support the opposition to complete the job or not offer any support and also not interfere in Syrian affairs. The opposition will finish him off, even if it takes a year or two.


Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed is the general manager of Al -Arabiya television. Mr. Al Rashed is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al- Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine.

Source: http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=32776

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Egypt: A Difficult Learning Curve



by Amir Taheri


Entering its second year, the uprising that brought down President Mubarak is still trying to define itself. Would it evolve into full-fledged revolution with ALL the risks involved? Or will it be a parenthesis between two military regimes?


Judging by events of the past week Egypt may appear to be bracing for a giant revolutionary leap into the unknown. Footage of hooded youths in street battles against the security forces, with burning vehicles in the background, depicted scenes of urban guerrilla. Groups using the Black Bloc brand name have been on hand to add colour, recalling anarchist violence in Europe in the 1960s.

However, the possibility of the second option, that of a new military-dominated regime, also looks serious if only thanks to General Abdul-Fattah al-Sissi’s musings on his Facebook page.

The general has warned that “differences concerning the management of the country could lead to a collapse of the state and threaten the future generations.”

I think a third option may be possible and, hopefully, more likely. Egypt is neither moving towards revolution nor a new military dictatorship.

The rioters, including Black Bloc, have nothing positive to offer the Egyptian people. As for the military, they would do well to find other subjects to play with on their Facebook page.

Of the three options available, the third one, building the institutions of a pluralist state is hardest to achieve. It requires patience and imagination on the part of President Muhammad Mursi and those of his opponents who take a longer view of things.

Mursi must never forget that he is president of all Egyptians and as such must bear even with those who challenge him with street riots. In the past week or so, however, he has overreacted, triggering the reflex of the old regime by calling in the army. Imposing he state of emergency was a mistake, not only because it reminded people of the bad old days but because it exposed his government’s nervousness.

Facing opponents who want to provoke him, Mursi’s best bet was not to be provoked. Mursi, however, played into the hands of the party of provocation.

The party of provocation is divided into two camps.

One wants to pull the nation’s politics into the streets and provoke the Muslim Brotherhood into urban guerrilla. It would then use such an event as the excuse to call on the military to “save the nation from annihilation” as suggested on General al-Sissi’s Facebook page.

A second camp hopes to turn the “street” into a counter-weight to a presidency backed by the Brotherhood’s shadowy underground networks.

In both cases, the politics of provocation could bring nothing but misery for Egypt. The last thing Egypt wants is another military dictatorship. Also, putting the “street” in the driving seat could prevent Egypt from dealing with its problems in a serious manner.

Contrary to al-Sissi’s claim, street riots do not threaten the survival of the state. The general should also know that “differences concerning the management of the country” are normal in any civlised society.

Mursi and his government do not have a monopoly on wisdom and patriotism and should be challenged where and when necessary.

However, the opposition also needs to review its copy. Right now, we have a great deal of dissent but little real opposition in Egypt.

Dissent means rejecting the options offered by the power in place without subjecting them to critical analysis and offering alternatives.

A dissenter says: I don’t like this! But he cannot say what he does want. In the politics of dissent those in charge of government are judged by intentions attributed to them. The dissident rejects the man in charge because of what that man did in the past or might do in the future.

Opposition is something different. Real opposition is capable of indicating both what it does not like and what it does want. More importantly, it judges those in charge not on the basis of assumed intentions but concrete acts.

Thus, Mursi should be judged not by what he might do but by what he has done and is doing.

In virtually all circumstances, governments and oppositions learn from one another and modulate their respective strategies accordingly. An opposition that pushes politics towards violence is bound to end up facing violence from the state. Conversely, a government using violence against opponents sows the seeds of violence against itself.

An intellectually lazy government breeds an opposition that is equally lazy intellectually. Birds of the same feather not only fly together but, in politics at least, also fight one another.

Unleashing the police to bludgeon demonstrators into silence is a sign of intellectual laziness on the part of Mursi’s government. At the same time, setting dustbins on fire, to the chagrin of the zabbaleen in Cairo, exposes dissidents who cannot offer credible opposition to Mursi’s fragile government.

Mursi and "street" dissidents are in the same boat. If the boots return to the presidential palace both Mursi and the Black Bloc could share the same dungeon. If on the other hand, Egyptian cities are turned into battlegrounds for rival armed bands there would be no place for Mursi, who is not a street-fighter, and the opportunist politicians who are trying to surf to power on a wave of "street" anger.

New Egypt is on a learning curve. Both Mursi and those of his opponents who want a democratic Egypt must take a deep breath. Mursi should learn to behave like a president rather than a party leader. His opponents should learn to behave like an opposition not a bunch of dissidents.



Amir Taheri was born in Ahvaz, southwest Iran, and educated in Tehran, London and Paris. He was Executive Editor-in-Chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran (1972-79).

Source: http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=32758

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

What is Taking so Long for Keystone Pipeline Approval?



by Rick Moran


They've been looking at this issue for 4 1/2 years. Now, an administration source is telling Reuters that it won't be until June until a final determination is made.

Jumpin' Jehosaphat what is taking so long?

A series of steps still have to be taken by the State Department, where the decision will be made because the 830,000 barrels per day crude oil pipeline crosses the national border. The pipeline will link Alberta's oil sands and North Dakota's Bakken shale fields to refineries and ports in Texas.
The State Department did not comment for this story, but last week a spokeswoman said it did not anticipate making the decision before the end of March. Previously, the department had hinted the decision could come in the middle of the first quarter.
The administration may be delaying because the pipeline has become a symbol for both opponents and supporters of development of Canada's vast oil sands.
Environmentalists concerned about the carbon footprint of the oil sands have seen the decision as the most important President Barack Obama will make on climate change.
Proponents say the $5.3 billion project would pour capital into the dismal economy, provide thousands of jobs, and hasten North American energy independence.
"The fact the administration is taking its time suggests ... that it wants to succeed with an airtight story that pleases the primary concerns of both sides," said Kevin Book, an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners in Washington.
The administration could be figuring out how to balance environmental actions, such as getting tough on coal plant and vehicle emissions, with the impact of pipeline, if it ultimately approves Keystone. Book estimated a final decision would not come till the end of June.
The delay is painful in Canada which is suffering persistent, discounted prices for its oil because tight pipeline capacity. The premier of the Western Canadian province of Alberta warned last week that it faced a $6 billion revenue shortfall due to current pipeline constraints.
Forget the national interest or national security, there are greenies that must be placated. The primary environmental objection to the pipeline appears to be that it will make fuel cheaper - which will have a detrimental effect on the development of solar, wind, and other green energy sources. Never mind about jobs, or energy independence. An energy policy should have as its goal, not the production of energy, but the destruction of the fossil fuel industry. 

Canada is not going to wait around forever. The further delay in approving the pipeline will only convince the Canadians that partnering with China on the project would have fewer headaches. Perhaps this is the administration's hope - that Canada will sove their political problem for them. If so, such cynicism by the administration will cost us dearly in the end.


Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/02/what_is_taking_so_long_for_keystone_pipeline_approval.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Will Europe Disintegrate?



by Rick Moran


Despite a thousand years of history, the nation-states of Europe contain within them ethnic groups and nationalities who yearn for their own country.


In some cases, the national and ethnic character of these minorities have been deliberately stifled. There has also been organized movements that have sprung up to fight for the national aspirations of the minorities.


Next year, votes for independence will occur in Scotland and Spain's rich Catalonia region. Some analysts believe that success in either case may lead to other minorities to seek their own path to independence.


Reuters:

Some suspect the two campaigns will feed off each other in the months to come. Each cause is marshalling a similar range of emotional, practical and cold-blooded economic arguments as well as trading off widespread frustration with those in power in the traditional national capital.
Alfred Bosch, leader of the Republican Left, or ERC, bloc in Spanish parliament that has long lobbied for independence, said separatist politicians in Spain do keep an eye on what's happening in Scotland.
In both countries "there are the underlying emotional arguments for independence, then there are the more rational economic ones. What we are seeing is that they are coming together."
Polls vary, but at least one survey has suggested more than half of Catalonian voters would vote for a separate state if given the chance. That compares to figures of just over a third in Scotland - although those on both sides of the argument in that country say it is entirely possible numbers could change between now and the final vote.
Pro-independence activists in both countries are quick to stress they see themselves as part of a wider trend. The number of countries of the world has almost trebled since 1945 as African and Asian states broke free of colonial masters and with the fall of the Soviet Union creating a plethora of new nations across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
In Brussels, Scottish and Catalan parties are already forging something of an alliance with Belgian Flemish parties.
"The global trend has been moving in this direction for some time," Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for external affairs for the pro-independence Scottish government, told Reuters recently.
"Many countries which were not independent 20 years ago have gained their independence and are now full members of the European Union."
The Flemish have plenty of autonomy in multi-ethnic Belgium and are so thoroughly integrated into society that they are unlikely to win their independence. But worries in Russia about ethnic breakaways are nothing new and China also has minorities with their own culture and language. 

There are many regions in European countries that have special claim to ethnic rights and privileges. The effect on them of a successful referendum in Scotland or Catalonia is unknown, but given the debt problems across Europe, anything is possible if the dominoes begin to fall and a crisis throws the EU into chaos.



Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/02/will_europe_disintegrate.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Is Iran Trying to Start Another War?



by Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen


The next questions should be "who is pulling Israel into the quagmire that Lebanon and Syria have become, and why?"
Israeli jets struck something Tuesday night; Wednesday's guessing game has been, "what was it?"

First reports from Western news services said the Israeli Air Force hit a convoy of weapons moving west from Syria toward, or even in Lebanon. A Lebanese army source said nothing was hit there and a sometimes-but-not-always-reliable source said it wasn't a convoy at all, but an arms depot near the Jamaraya institute, which some people think works on non-conventional weapons. A Syrian military statement said Israel had hit Jamaraya. U.S. officials said it was a convoy. At least one Western report said there was uranium involved.

In any event, Israel quickly dispatched high-level government and military officials to Russia and the United States to provide additional information and, perhaps, to alert those governments to additional threats.

The next questions should be, "who is pulling Israel into the quagmire that Syria and Lebanon have become, and why?"

It is unlikely that Bashar Assad is interested in acquiring another military adversary at the moment. The myriad rebel factions plus Turkey are making life hard enough for the regime. So the instigator might well have been Iran -- the only other party with the authority to undertake such a move. Why? One possibility is that Iran wants Hezbollah to tie down the Israelis and prevent a Western intervention to help the rebels. Another is that Iran really believes Assad won't survive and wants to move his assets to a "safer location," Lebanon.

If either is the Iranian strategy, it is a huge blunder. Israel has been known to cross borders when a security situation becomes untenable – Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007 for example. If this security situation rises to that level, the next movement that the IDF finds intolerable would likely produce a similar or stronger response. The Iranians must be worried.

Iran and its client, Hezbollah, have both been supporting Assad's military and its assorted thug groups -- Hezbollah by lending Assad fighters, and Iran by supplying weapons, troops and officers. Atrocities inside Syria continue to mount, including the discovery of more than 100 bodies -- mostly executed with a bullet to the head -- in a canal in Aleppo this week. The rebels and the government exchanged accusations, but no one appears sure who did it. The final outcome of the war is far from certain.

Meanwhile Syria's periphery continues to roil, with reports that Turkey is fighting the Kurds through proxies, sending tanks and other equipment across the border and encouraging Syrian jihadist rebels to fight Kurds as well as the regime. Since the United States has been backing Turkey strongly, it is seen to be aligned with Turkey's attacks on the Kurds.

The risk in Syria is that in the increasing chaos and shifting alliances, the government will either use chemical weapons against its enemies; or lose control of the stockpiles. In some areas, rebel forces are reported to be a stone's throw away from taking control of some of these weapons. By threatening action if the rebels succeed, Israel appears to have announced its preference for Assad's control, rather than control by Hezbollah or the rebels.

If Israel believed the convoy was carrying poison gas (and perhaps missiles) to Hezbollah, or that the chemicals at the Jamaraya Institute were about to be moved or acquired by the rebels, it would consider those moves to be highly provocative. If, in fact, Israel's "red lines" have been crossed, we may be seeing the start of a rapidly developing "Ho Chi Minh trail" problem -- the complex corridor by which North Vietnam supplied its forces operating against South Vietnam and the United States. The U.S. spent years, thousands of man-hours, and millions of bombs trying stop the supply. When it finally became clear that no amount of bombing, defoliation, and counter-attacks could do it, the U.S. began bombing the source of supply: North Vietnam.

The same is true for Syria -- but Israel does not have years to spend on the problem. The location of Syria's chemical weapons depots, manufacturing facilities, missile bases and supply depots is well known. It is not unreasonable to assume that Israel can take them all out, and liquidate the Syrian Air Force as well. If the Iranian strategy is to move its assets to Lebanon and the control of Hezbollah, it is inviting Israel to eliminate Syria's war-fighting capability and hasten the demise of both Assad and Hezbollah.

It appears that Israel responded to a rapidly evolving threat in a measured way. But will Iran stop? 


Stephen Bryen is President of SDB Partners, LLC. Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center.
Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3568/iran-israel-syria-lebanon

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: The Systemic Collapse of Egypt





by Mordechai Kedar


Read the article in the original עברית
Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)

The Egyptian flag is red, white and black  with an eagle in the center.  Until quite recently, this flag has been a symbol of national consensus symbolizing that all citizens of Egypt, without regard to their political orientation, are sheltered together beneath the wings of the eagle. But this consensus may be starting to crack, and because of the complex nature of the crisis - constitutional, governmental and economic - a growing number of citizens in Egypt believe that the continued existence of the state as one political unit is doubtful. It seems that Egyptian society has been undergoing a corrosive process , ever since the beginning of the "Arab Spring" two years ago, which is undermining the sense of unity and  shared destiny in the Land of the Nile.


This process began to be apparent after the unprecedented step taken by the
Egyptian court, when it sentenced to death 21 people in Port Said, a port city near the Northern opening of the Suez Canal, because of their involvement in the deaths of 74 people during a soccer game that was held in the city in February of 2012. When they heard about the sentence, the enraged residents of the city burst into the streets in stormy demonstrations in which more than forty people were killed. It must be noted that some of the fatalities were caused by a barrage of heavy gunfire at the mass funeral of 31 people that had been killed in previous demonstrations. Disregarding any political consideration, the death toll in Egypt testifies to the fact that the value of life in this densely populated country has been depreciated indeed. Ninety million men, women and children are crowded into the length of the Nile Valley and its delta, with a few concentrations along the canal and the coasts. About one half of them live below the poverty line, which is low to begin with, and about one third of them live in "unplanned neighborhoods", some in wooden crates, without running water, sewage, electricity or telephone, without employment, without hope and without a future, but crime, violence, drugs and alcohol abound. In demonstrations in Port Said, there are demands to secede from the state of Egypt. In a graphic illustration of these demands, the demonstrators waved flags where they had changed the color of the upper part from red to green, with a clear Islamist reference, and instead of the eagle, the name of the city "Port Said" was in the center. The curfew that was imposed on the city did not help quiet stormy spirits either, and the masses burst into the streets despite the curfew. The police used tear gas against them but to no avail. The army took up a position near the government offices in order to defend them from the raging mob. Military officers claim that they did not open fire and they have no idea how forty people were killed. The Egyptian in the street, who knows the truth, doesn't buy this story because he understands the matter well: if forty people were killed despite the fact that the army "didn't shoot", they wonder how many would have been killed if the army had actually had opened fire ...

A local group calling itself "The Port Said Youth Bloc" issued a call stating: "We, the people of Port Said, declare the cancellation of Mursi's legal status; he is no longer the president of Egypt. We call for masses of the Egyptian people to express their solidarity and join the people of Port Said who are being murdered in the streets by the armored Egyptian police before the very eyes of the Egyptian government. The people of Port Said will continue to stand strong even if, as a result of these demonstrations, "all of its sons will fall". This expression, "the people of Port Said", which is repeated a number of times in the manifesto, is an expression of the mood of the the residents of the city.


The demand of the people of Port Said to secede from Egypt horrifies the heads of the Egyptian government, because if indeed they do actually separate the area of the Canal from the state of Egypt , the state will lose its main source of income - fees of passage paid by ships that traverse the Canal. If this should happen, considering the recent loss of tourism and foreign investments, Egypt will go bankrupt immediately.


There have been street riots in the city of Suez as well, in which four of the five police stations in the city were set on fire by the raging masses. And in Ismailia, 18 people were wounded in the riots. 


In an attempt to calm the mood, Mursi declared a state of emergency upon three areas of the canal - Port Said, Ismailia and Suez - and imposed a curfew from 9:00 in the evening until 6:00 in the morning, for the duration of one month.


But the problem with this state of emergency is that the Egyptian public associates it with the Mubarak regime, which regularly imposed a state of emergency. Therefore the man in the street asks: What is the difference between Mubarak and Mursi? As a result of public pressure and the danger that the situation may deteriorate further, Mursi announced that he is willing to reassess the need for the state of emergency, which indicates a lack of decisiveness on the part of the president. But in Egypt's current situation, they must have a decisive president in order to rescue the state from the multi-system mess that it has deteriorated into.


Evidence of the weakening of the Egyptian public system is apparent in the new phenomenon that began appearing in the streets recently, which is called in English a "black bloc", where groups of youth wrap their faces in black, with some of them intensifying the effect by drawing frightening images on their face coverings. These groups of youth damage police vehicles, police stations and buildings of governmental institutions,  with the intention of bringing down the regime of the Muslim Brotherhood. In the Egyptian public sphere, various strange  rumors are circulating about the political agenda of these groups. For instance, that they represent the remnants of the Mubarak regime, or that they are criminal gangs that are taking advantage of the confusion; and there are even those who spread the rumor that they are agents of the Israeli Mossad, whose goal is to bring the Arab world to a state of total chaos.


In the political sphere, the "National Salvation Front " has been operating against Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood. This group is composed of a number of opposition parties  and is led by Muhammad 
elBaradei and Hamdeen Sabahi . Because of the deterioration in recent days, President Mursi has been attempting to speak with them in order to establish a generally accepted national position, but the heads of the opposition parties refuse to meet with him. Their refusal is seen as an expression of "no confidence" in him and in the process that resulted in his election. Their demands are to establish a government that will include all of the public sectors, even the seculars, to change the Islamist-leaning constitution which grants too much authority to the president and to dismiss the attorney general.

They demand that "Mursi will take responsibility for the Egyptian blood that is spilled in the streets, that he will rein in the Muslim Brotherhood and make them subject to the laws of the land."


Somber Thoughts Regarding the Revolution


Last week,
in the extremely embarrassing condition that it currently finds itself, Egypt marked the two-year anniversary of the start of the revolution. During Mubarak's time, the Egyptian people suffered from oppression and corruption, many lived wretched lives, but people were not killed in the streets in great numbers. There were some cases of police abuse which resulted in deaths, but this was rare. Today, after the "democratic" revolution brought down Mubarak and his gang, the life of the Egyptian is far more miserable. Millions who, in the days of Mubarak, made a living from tourism are unemployed today, and foreign investments, which enabled many in the past to work and earn a living, have disappeared, resulting in even more people who today are unemployed.

The International Bank has conditioned its loans on subsidy cuts, principally for bread, but Mursi is afraid to raise the price of bread because of the street riots that will break out and because the people will accuse him of not being able to bring to their children even the most basic of foods. On the other hand, if he doesn't cancel or at least decrease the subsidies, Egypt will go bankrupt; it will not be able to underwrite the subsidies, the price of food will rise and people will riot in the streets.


Last August, following the attack in Rafah in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed, Mursi dismissed the minister of defense, Tantawi, and a long list of senior military officers. The question was then raised: why did Tantawi and the officers agree to be dismissed without objection? The answer was clear back then, and it is even clearer today: Since they knew what the actual economic situation in Egypt was, they were glad to hand the country over to Mursi, so that he would be associated with the collapse and not them. They felt like rats fleeing a sinking ship.


From this honorable platform, we express the hope that the Egyptian people will find a way out of the complex crisis in which it finds itself, and that a group of leaders will emerge who will lead the rickety Egyptian ship to safe shores.



  ===============

Dr. Kedar is available for lectures


Dr. Mordechai Kedar
(Mordechai.Kedar@biu.ac.il) is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav with permission from the author.


Additional articles by Dr. Kedar

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the author.

The Game Changer



by Aharon Lapidot


Unlike Syria, which has accused Israel of targeting one of its defense-related facilities on Wednesday, the foreign media has reported that Israel actually hit a convoy carrying "game-changing" weapon systems to Hezbollah on the Syrian-Lebanese border (near the Bekaa Valley). 

If that latter report is true, what kind of arms could qualify as "game-changing?" 

The media has been all abuzz about the possibility that the alleged convoy was carrying SA-17 systems. The SA-17, dubbed "Grizzly" by Western armies, includes Russian-made surface to air missiles, and is considered the successor to the SA-6 (which debuted in our part of the world in the 1970s). 

The SA-17's mobility and flexible modus operandi make it highly dangerous. It can be fired from a vehicle and can be easily concealed. It can down aircraft that fly at high altitudes (over 40,000 feet), as well as at low altitudes, and engage several targets simultaneously. Moreover, because the SA-17 has an effective range of about 30 km (18.6 miles), Israeli pilots were forced to adapt their training routines. 

The truth is that the Syrian military also has the Pantsir-S1 system, which is more advanced than the SA-17 and has better precision. In fact, it is one of the most modern air defense system of its kind. According to various reports, that system was used to down a Turkish Phantom jet near the Syrian border last summer. If Hezbollah were to lay its hands on this armored rocket system, Israel Air Force activity in Lebanese and Israeli airspace would be severely compromised. 

As for the arms in the so-called "scientific research facility" that Israel allegedly targeted on Wednesday, it is important to keep in mind that Syria has in its arsenal upgraded SCUD-C and SCUD-D missiles. These high-precision surface-to-surface missiles, whose warheads could weigh half a ton or more, can inflict substantial damage. 

With a range of hundreds of kilometers, they can strike the greater Tel Aviv area and targets that lie even farther south. So long as the David's Sling interceptor is not fully operational, Israel will have a problem countering the threat posed by medium-range missiles. Should Hezbollah lay its hands on such systems, even a handful of them, it will have upset the current balance of power.

Aharon Lapidot

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3351

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Benghazi Footnote



by Elise Cooper


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's testimony before Congress regarding Benghazi suggests a revised version of Harry Truman's great slogan: "The Buck Stops Here," (Kind of.) It appears that this administration and their supporters have turned the Benghazi issue into a footnote that has no solutions or answers. 

Fred Rustmann Jr., a former CIA official, a writer for the online intelligence briefings magazine, Lignet.com, and author of The Case Officer, wishes "people would get stirred up about this. We must keep reporting on it. Watergate was a cover-up and nobody died. This was a cover-up and people died. That is why this is a big deal and the American people have to realize this by becoming informed."

Yet, in listening to Clinton's opening statement, Americans would get the impression that she is the carrier of the torch in the fight against terrorism. She duped people by claiming that she moved "quickly in those first uncertain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis and further protect our people and posts in high-threat areas across the region and the world." Really?

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla), former Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and current chair of the subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, felt that Clinton's testimony was "not credible in the true sense of the word. It was unbelievable."

The American people should be outraged and demand answers after the secretary of state's testimony. Instead, it appears that but for a few, no one cares anymore and have shrugged away the issue. As she brilliantly fudged, dodged, and avoided taking responsibility, the Democrats on the panel uniformly treated her as a celebrity superhero who could compete with Lynda Carter for the role of "Wonder Woman." The congresswoman's reaction as she sat there listening to the Democrats: "Wow, they fawned over her. They appear to be drinking too much of the Kool-Aid. Maybe a little bit of probing on their part would have resulted in more answers so this would never happen again. Their attitude of move along, move along was pretty pathetic."

In dissecting some of Clinton's statements and answers it appears that this administration has been able to turn the page and get away with incompetence through a complete obfuscation of the facts. Hillary asked, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" going on to say that there is, in fact, no difference between a terrorist attack, or "some guys out for a walk last night who decided to kill some Americans." How could someone who is America's face to the world be so callous, ridiculous, and thoughtless?

Then there were the statements she made about Charlene Lamb, the former State Department security official, basically throwing her under the bus. Clinton admitted fault, but did not take responsibility. She claimed that she was not aware of any real time video, which directly contradicts what Lamb testified. Furthermore, Clinton continued to blame the Congressional Republicans for not providing adequate funding even though Lamb testified that there were no budgetary restraints. The congresswoman is angry: "Ambassador Stevens made requests for high level security and that should have been granted immediately. But Secretary Clinton tried to deflect by placing the blame on Congress' refusal to provide funding. It was never a question of funding. Let them release all those cables. Then we will be able to find out who was really to blame. If the Secretary of Stare was not reading them, then who was? But they hide behind the 'classified documents' argument. Yet, when its convenient for them they leak like a sieve."

Clinton appears to have a case of amnesia from her concussion. She claimed in her testimony, "And I stood with President Obama as he spoke of "an act of terror." She conveniently forgot that from September 12 -18th this administration maintained that the attacks were likely a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim film. Or when she stood by the caskets of the four Americans killed in Libya she directly blamed an ""awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with." Afterward, she reportedly told the father of Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEAL who was killed in the attack, "We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted."

Rustmann Jr. believes the administration narrative, the latest being Clinton's testimony, is due to their eagerness to pat themselves on the back after getting Bin Laden, and wanting the American people to believe that Al Qaeda was decimated. He is angry that they chose to ignore the multiple requests for more security and that no one has been captured for this horrific event. Clinton testified that there was one person being held in Tunisia. Yet, this administration has not requested an extradition. Once again it falls back to the fact that no actionable intelligence is gained without interrogations; thus, no leads and no names of the terrorists responsible.

Furthermore, the congresswoman told American Thinker, that the Accountability Review Board never interviewed Clinton even though she cited it numerous times in her testimony. "How can the head of an organization not be interviewed when there is an investigation of an operation where she was in charge. The ARB did not find her relevant. If she is not relevant then I do not know who could be. No one has been held accountable."

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is hopeful that the American people will demand accountability by this administration and force them to find those responsible. Unfortunately, as Clinton showed during her Congressional testimony, this administration appears to be getting away with murder. The bottom line is that Benghazi represented gross negligence, a lack of leadership within the State Department, and the denial of available resources. Why? Because they chose to tout their narrative that terrorism is under control, misleading the American people who have pivoted from this incident.


Elise Cooper writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/benghazi_footnote.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.
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