The Arabic “nun” symbol, or N, which stands for Nazarene and refers to Christians, ominously began appearing, stamped in red, on Christian homes in Mosul, Iraq, two weeks ago.
5 things you can do to help Iraq’s persecuted Christians
From Eternity Newspaper
Updated Friday 15 August 2014
“They changed our church into a mosque, ruined historic museums, and destroyed a monastery and manuscripts that were 1000 years old. Iraq is gone. Iraq is finished. We’re finished. It’s impossible for us to go back,” – Iraqi Christian.
If you’re like us, you’ve probably felt outrage and despair reading about the situation in northern Iraq. Islamic militants continue to seize Christian towns. On Thursday (7 August) they captured Iraq’s largest Christian city, Qaraqosh, forcing thousands more to flee. In the process, militants continue to demand: Christians must leave, convert or die. Three weeks ago, Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, which is also the site of the ancient city of Nineveh, was the first city to receive the ultimatum. It now stands empty of Christians. Cities and towns across northern Iraq are emptying of Christians, whose families have lived in the region for thousands of years. They are now sheltering in mosques, churches, refuge camps in Kurdish cities without their belongings.
So far away from the situation, it’s easy to feel helpless. But there are some things you CAN do. Here’s 5 things you can do to help Iraq’s persecuted Christians:
1. Stay informed
The situation in Iraq is changing quickly, as The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) seizes more and more territory every day. To support Christians in Iraq through prayer and letting others know what’s going on, it’s a good idea to stay on top of the news coming out of the area. Eternity is regularly updating its stories on the situation, pulling news from a variety of mainstream media sources so if you don’t have time to scan the many news outlets, you can read the most recent Eternity summary, here. It’s also got links to other stories so you can stay informed.
2. Be active on social media
Many Christians have already changed their profile picture to the arabic letter for “N” in solidarity with Christians who’ve had the letter painted on their homes in Mosul.
On the use of the “n” symbol, one Islamic expert wrote recently on Facebook:
“I think for many years now Christians have seen the treatment of their brothers and sisters in various places around the world and not known how to express themselves. ISIS has inadvertently given us a symbol of solidarity for Christians who are suffering.”
Changing your profile picture to the “n” symbol is one way to show solidarity. Christianity Today published a letter from a Christian based in Iraqi Kurdistan, in the north of the country, where many of the Christians from Mosul have fled. She said “It’s encouraging to see that around the world people are supporting us. We are still proud to be Christians. We will always be Christians.”
Another thing you can do is share articles, photos and statuses about Iraq’s persecuted Christians to build public awareness, because the mainstream media isn’t giving it much attention.
3. Write to your MP
What’s the point? We’re so far away from Iraq, how could talking to our Government help? There are a few ways it can help. Firstly, just by talking to them about it, you are raising awareness. Secondly, you can call on the Government to use its position on the UN Security Council to get the international community to pay more attention to the suffering of Iraqi Christians. Some have called what’s happening a genocide. It’s worth raising it with your local MP as a matter needing attention. Don’t know who your MP is? Find out here via your electorate.
The first and perhaps most powerful thing you can do is: pray. Bible Society Australia has some suggested prayers:
- Please pray for the Iraqi Christians forced from their homes in Mosul under threat of death.
- Pray for God’s protecting hand to be with them and his provision for them is plentiful in this time of urgent need.
- Pray that the Bible Society team in Iraq is safe amongst the crisis and are able to carry out their work to reach families in desperate need.
- Pray that others would recognise the plight of their brethren and provide support for them.5. Give- See more at: http://www.biblesociety.org.au/news/5-things-can-help-iraqs-persecuted-christians#.U-dR3-fgcwQ.facebookDid Jesus Speak Koine Greek?I think we have to trust scholarly consensus. which is: Jesus spoke Aramaic. There was an Aramaic version of the Gospel of Matthew-There is an Aramaic substratum of the New Testament. The New Testament is full of Hebraisms, Aramaism, and Semitic figure of speech. But the bulk of the New Testament-including the writings of Paul-were written in Greek. Certain books may have had "original Aramaic"-we do have Aramaic New Testaments-such as the Peshitta and the Palestinian Aramaic-but these are translations back into the Aramaic-we don't have original Aramaic texts. I think that arguments of Andrew Gabriel Roth-prove lthat Jesus and the Apostles spoke Aramaic as their first language and that the Gospel was originally in Aramaic-scholars examining the texts can say-1 Maccabees was originally written in Hebrew, for instance-they also believe that the New Testament-as we-have it-conceding that there is an Aramaic substratum-is Greek-Allen West: ‘Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamist’ August 14, 2014 By Matthew BurkeFormer congressman, Lt. Col. Allen West proclaimed on Wednesday that there is only one true explanation that Obama is “purposely enabling the Islamist cause.” West, a favorite among many in the pro-freedom, pro-Constitution Tea Party movement, listed six instances where the Obama regime has been “working counter to the security of the United States of America”:1. The unilateral release of five senior Taliban back to the enemy while the enemy is still fighting us.2. Providing weapons of support to the Muslim Brotherhood-led Egyptian government — F-16s and M1A1 Abrams tanks — but not to the Egyptian government after the Islamist group has been removed.3. Negotiations with Qatar and Turkey, two Islamist-supporting countries.4. Negotiations with Hamas, a terrorist group.5. Returning sanction money, to the tune of billions of dollars, back to the theocratic regime led by Iran’s ayatollahs and allowing them to march on towards nuclear capability.
6. Obama’s evident support of Islamists in Libya.Along with the above, West cited the recent report that Obama has lifted longtime restrictions against Libyans attending flight schools and receiving nuclear science training in the U.S, only two years after the terrorism that took place in Benghazi, Libya.
There is only one logical reason for the Democrat president to make these anti-American decisions, West concluded Wednesday on his website, that there is no other reason why Obama would prop-up America’s enemies:Sorry, but I can only explain this one way: Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamist in his foreign policy perspectives and supports their cause. You can go back and listen to his 2009 speech in Cairo, where Muslim Brotherhood associates were seated front and center.
All the circumstantial and anecdotal evidence points to that conclusion. The pivot away from the Middle East seems to be nothing more than an opportunity to enable Islamists and their goals. Anyone supporting this Libyan ban being lifted is indeed an enemy of this state.In June, the former congressman from Florida called for Obama’s impeachment, following Obama’s negotiation with terrorists, releasing military deserter Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for the U.S. release of five notorious Muslim terrorists from GITMO.
Barack Obama’s longtime pastor for over two decades, Jeremiah Wright, told author Ed Klein two years ago that “Barack Obama was steeped in Islam” and that he “knew very little about Christianity.”“When I asked the Reverend Wright about this whole question of Islam and Christianity. He said, well, you know, Barack Obama was steeped in Islam. He knew a lot about Islam from his childhood. But he knew very little about Christianity. And I made it easy for him to feel not guilty about learning about Christianity without turning his back on his Islamic friends.”
How long will US wait to save Iraq's Christians from extinction?
By Jay SekulowPublished August 11, 2014FoxNews.com
Now is not the time to allocate blame. Now is not the time to debate who “lost” Iraq – whether it’s President Bush’s fault for starting the war or President Obama’s fault for trying to end the war prematurely. Now is the time to act. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, the world’s leaders made a simple vow: “Never again.” Never again would they stand aside and watch genocide happen. Sadly, that was an empty promise for Rwanda’s Tutsi minority and for the victim’s of Cambodia’s killing fields. Will it be an empty promise again for Iraq’s Christians and Yazidis? There’s little question that we’re watching genocide unfold before our eyes. The Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) is the direct descendant of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the terrorist force that our military fought to the brink of extinction during the Surge in Iraq. Fleeing to Syria, they re-armed, formally broke with Al Qaeda (Al Qaeda leadership viewed them as too vicious), gained battlefield success against President Bashir al-Assad’s inept and brutal army and then returned to Iraq, in force. They captured Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest cities.
They control much of the Anbar province.
They control a vast area of Syria.
They control territory the size of a nation-state, and they’ve declared the existence of an Islamic Caliphate, a Caliphate more savage than any seen since medieval times.
Like the Nazis marked Jewish homes and businesses, the Islamic State is marking Christian homes and businesses. Like their ancient forebears, the Islamic State is demanding the Christians to “leave, convert, or die.” In an action arguably even more brutal than ancient atrocities, the Islamic State is following through on its threats by beheading Christian children. And if you think that the Islamic State is content with merely conquering parts of Iraq and Syria and slaughtering ancient Christian communities, think again. Using a social media campaign under the hashtag #CalamityWillBefallUS, the Islamic State has posted photos of beheaded victims and declared, “We will kill your people and transform America to a river of blood.” These are not idle threats. The Islamic State is now the richest, most heavily armed terrorist group in world history. The statistics are sobering. The following is from our American Center for Law and Justice report (which I presented just weeks ago at an Oxford University, Exeter College course on Middle East Affairs) on the Islamic State’s history and capabilities:
ISIS has captured significant amounts of high-tech U.S. military equipment abandoned by the Iraqi armed forces. Fifty-two 155mm M198 howitzers have been captured by ISIS. These American-made weapons have a range of up to twenty miles and can incorporate GPS targeting systems. In addition to the howitzers, ISIS has captured 1,500 Humvees and 4,000 PKC machine guns that can fire close to 800 rounds per minute.
This weaponry has allowed it to dominate even the Kurdish “Pershmerga” militia in open combat. Kurdish weapons simply can’t penetrate the Islamic State’s armor, and even our bravest and most loyal Kurdish allies have been forced to retreat in the face of Islamic State attacks, raising the terrifying specter of the loss even of Kurdistan, our close ally and the only safe haven for Christians in Iraq.
Faced with this crisis, the Obama administration has responded with limited airstrikes, but this is a half measure. While these strikes are welcome, we have to do more. We must arm the Kurds. We have a loyal and brave ally on the ground. We cannot allow them to be outgunned by a terrorist militia. And we have to flood Kurdistan and other embattled Iraqi enclaves with humanitarian aid. Christians and other religious minorities like the Yazidi are literally dying of thirst in their flight from the Islamic State. In 1973 our ally Israel faced a combined onslaught from the forces of Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. Taken by surprise on Yom Kippur, Israel’s defensive lines strained to the breaking point. With its ally in danger, the U.S. Air Force launched “Operation Nickel Grass” to save our ally from extinction at the hands of vastly larger forces.
Our airlift – combined with the bravery of IDF soldiers and pilots – saved Israel.
Now, our airlift, combined with the bravery of the Peshmerga, can save Iraq’s Christians, save our loyal allies in Kurdistan, and stop genocide.
What are we waiting for?
Karl Rove on Obama
Barack Obama believed his legacy as president would be that he ended the Iraq war. It looks increasingly that his legacy could be that he lost it. By their admission, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden inherited a war that had been won. In 2011 Mr. Obama said America was "leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq," and Mr. Biden proclaimed Iraq "one of the great achievements of this administration." Mr. Obama then committed a massive error in judgment by withdrawing all U.S. troops. That allowed the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, the world's most formidable, merciless and dangerous terrorist army. ISIS is now establishing an Islamist caliphate that stretches from Aleppo in Syria to Fallujah and Mosul in Iraq and beyond. The president was warned about the ISIS threat for months, yet did essentially nothing. As in so many other important moments when decisive action was required, his actions were haphazard and reactive, his leadership detached, his will almost nonexistent.
See full article at the WSJ.
End of Iraq? Country we knew will be gone if persecution of Christians, minorities continue
David Curry, Fox News, August 14, 2014
Watching and listening to reports about what is happening in Iraq, I, like you, experience a wide array of thoughts and emotions. I am at turns broken-hearted, outraged, and disappointed. One thing I am not is surprised. For quite some time, I have been well aware of the atrocities perpetrated in Iraq against Christians and other religious minority groups—and of the need for the world to understand what is actually taking place. On Wednesday, the situation in Iraq was upgraded by the United Nations to a "Level 3 Emergency," the organization’s highest ranking of severity in a humanitarian crisis. As the president of an organization that exists to serve the most persecuted religious group in the world—Christians—Open Doors mobilizes Christian aid workers who spend their lives on the frontlines as horrific events unfold. Open Doors has been predicting for years that Iraq would soon be emptied of Christians and now it is happening. ISIS is forcing people to choose between abandoning their faith or enduring consequences that range from paying outrageous fines to facing certain death. In the 1990’s, the Christian population in Iraq was estimated at over 1.2 million; now, fewer than 300,000 remain. Iraq as we know it won’t exist if the genocide and targeted persecution of Christians continues. It will likely resemble failed states like Somalia and others that harbor terrorists and have virtually no religious diversity. As we have seen played out in story after story, Islamic radical groups such as ISIS seek to annihilate any group whose beliefs differs from their own.
While I am grateful President Obama and other leaders have finally acknowledged this genocide, I am puzzled by why it took so long. ISIS is set on destroying a whole people group. Similar to Nazi Germany, they are spreading over multiple countries—and marking the homes of Christians with the Arabic Christian symbol, an action eerily similar to Nazi’s use of the Star of David. Tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians—nearly the nation’s entire Christian population—have been fleeing for their lives since June. Was this not reason enough for world leaders to do something? Religious persecution of any kind should not be tolerated. Nonetheless, I am heartened that America has finally acknowledged this genocide and has made it a top priority. But I can’t help but wonder how long the attention now directed towards the persecuted of Iraq will last. One thing is certain: the persecution of non-Muslims will persist unless something is done to stop ISIS. Open Doors has worked with this dwindling population of Christians in Iraq for many years and we will continue to do so by providing food and shelter for those who have been forced from their homes. But what persecuted Christians and other religious minorities need now, more than ever before, is courage. I implore you, from the relative safety of your stateside home, to pray for the people of Iraq. Pray for the aid workers risking it all to serve the persecuted, and pray for President Obama and those advising him. Pray for our leaders to have even a fraction of the courage these regular, ordinary Iraqi people have displayed in the face of unspeakable terror. Finally, let the administration know that your attention span for the safety of the persecuted is long—and you expect theirs to be as well.
David Curry is the President of Open Doors USA. For nearly 60 years, Open Doors has worked in the world's most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. Each year, Open Doors releases its World Watch List, a ranking of the 50 countries where Christian persecution is worst.
Stephen says…the Media refuses to report on the killing of Christians-if it wasn't for the Yezidis being targeted we probably wouldn't hear anything about the killing of religious minorities in Iraq-seeing that the Yezidi are not Christian. In "Crucified Again" Raymond Ibrahim explained why the media represses stories about the killing of Christians by Muslims. Their narrative is that Muslims are an aggrieved people-the victims of Christian victimizers-if they reported on Islamic persecution of Christians and its 1400 year history-their narrative would be called into question. The media doesn't want the truth to come out because they have an anti-Christian agenda which they share with Islam. But Fox has done a good job on reporting on the persecution of Assyrian Christians.
Check out this article about the Yezidi: http://www.vice.com/read/why-is-the-islamic-state-trying-to-eradicate-iraqs-yazidi-minority-813?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=mainrss
Troubling double standard: Outcry over Gaza deaths but near silence over Iraq, Syria
After a few weeks of Israel-bashing, we are back to the regular indifference. It seems that with Israel’s war in Gaza on the wane, so too are the world’s humanitarian concerns. The streets of Europe are getting quieter. Protests outside Israeli and American embassies and on the steps of houses of worship are thinning. International committees are drafting fewer resolutions and college students are demonstrating on fewer campuses. With the violence in Gaza subsiding, the world seems ready to move from bleating outrage over Israel’s actions to indicting it, in the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, for a “criminal act.” For the world’s oppressed and tyrannized, it’s an inopportune time for the outrage to run dry. From Iraq comes news that 40,000 Yazidis, a religious minority chased from their homes by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), are dying from lack of food and water. These stranded refugees are in danger of joining, in harrowing numbers, the 6,000 other Iraqi civilians butchered this year by ISIS. No less victimized at the moment are the Kurds, gruesome photos of whom were paraded by ISIS on Twitter, and Iraq’s Christian communities, decimated in the recent blitz of Mosul. Renounced even by Al Qaeda for its brutality, ISIS is making life unlivable in Iraq and beyond. Of course, it’s not just the region’s religious minorities facing expulsion and massacre. The Syrian civil war’s death toll, now reported with more monotony than CBO statistics, has exceeded 160,000. Conservative estimates count civilians a third of the total dead, including 15,000 women and children; others have reported a much higher percentage of innocents. Further east, a number of residents equal to the entire population of Boston were recently cleared from North Waziristan so Pakistan’s military could battle the Taliban. Children are still the primary victims of Boko Haram in Nigeria and in South Sudan, and if anyone thinks that innocent civilians are being spared daily horror in Libya, Mali, Eastern Ukraine and North Korea, they haven’t been reading the news. The protestors, commentators, NGO workers, human rights activists, and others, who spent the last month vilifying Israel’s campaign in Gaza more than Arab regimes did, are not ignorant of these non-Gaza tragedies. Many of those who found themselves more outraged by Israel than by ISIS are, in fact, educated, globally-engaged westerners who sincerely believe that Israel’s war against Hamas violated morality and international law to a degree unsurpassed the world over. How is that possible? Consider three reasons:
First, part of the reason that Gaza’s dead got much more publicity than the victims of ISIS may be that, prior to the Gaza war, most of the news coming from the Middle East was doing significant damage to the White House. From metastasizing jihadi threats in Libya and the Levant to failed peace talks and foundering nuclear talks with Iran, the big story from the region was the Obama administration’s comprehensive failure. The mainstream press was glad to relentlessly pursue the Gaza story, to the exclusion of many others, to give a momentary reprieve to the smoldering ruin of President Obama’s foreign policy.
The second reason is simple but unpardonable ignorance. Many western elites are outraged by Israel’s actions in Gaza far more than, say, China’s oppression of Tibet, because they find western ‘aggression’ more objectionable than non-western. Why for instance, does Egypt’s blockade of Gaza draw very little ire compared with Israel’s? Besides being morally questionable, this belief betrays a profound ignorance of facts: Israel’s targets in Gaza, unlike China’s in Tibet, are mortal threats; and Israel, though democratic, is not ‘western,’ but is in fact made up of mostly persecuted Arab and Soviet refugees.
The third reason is plain old anti-Semitism, masquerading as anti-Zionism. Observing mass protests, where Europeans hurl firebombs at local synagogues to protest decisions being made 2,000 miles away by a government in Jerusalem, one can see the world’s oldest hatred at work.
This combination of advocacy, ignorance and bigotry combines to produce one of the most bizarre spectacles in the western world: a significant cohort of well-educated, well-intentioned people working to convict Israel of ‘war crimes’ in Gaza, while ignoring thousands of innocent children being killed just a few miles away. This selective outrage must end.
Richard Grenell is a Fox News Contributor and fellow with The Project To Restore America. He served as the spokesman for four U.S. Ambassadors to the U.N. including John Negroponte, John Danforth, John Bolton and Zalmay Khalilzad. He currently writes from Los Angeles where his pieces can be seen at www.richardgrenell.com. Follow him on Twitter@RichardGrenell.
Jeremy Stern is a research analyst with Capitol Media Partners and is based in Los Angeles.
Obama authorizes airstrikes in Iraq, says 'America is coming to help'
Published August 08, 2014
President Obama announced Thursday night in a televised address that he has authorized the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes "if necessary" against Islamist militants in Iraq, and the military has conducted a mission to drop humanitarian aid there to help religious minorities stranded amid the violence.
Obama said in the statement from the White House the U.S. military is authorized to launch targeted airstrikes if Islamist militants advance toward American personnel in northern Iraq. Declaring that "America is coming to help," he also said that the U.S. decided to conduct the drops to the 50,000 or so religious minorities stranded on a mountaintop in the country's north, who have been forced to flee their homes as the militants advanced.
Obama said the religious minorities are under the threat of genocide from militants from the Islamic State (IS), the group formerly known as ISIS, and are stranded on the mountain without food or water. He said airstrikes could also be used to help protect those civilians.
The Yazidis, who follow an ancient religion with ties to Zoroastrianism, fled their homes after the issued an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a religious fine, flee their homes or face death.
"Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, `There is no one coming to help.' Well, today, America is coming to help," Obama said. "We're also consulting with other countries -- and the United Nations -- who have called for action to address this humanitarian crisis."
The announcements reflected the deepest American engagement in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew in late 2011 after nearly a decade of war. Obama has staked much of his legacy as president on ending what he once called the "dumb war" in Iraq.
Obama acknowledged that the prospect of a new round of U.S. military action would be a cause for concern among many Americans. He vowed anew not to put American combat troops back on the ground in Iraq and said there was no U.S. military solution to the crisis.
"As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq," Obama said.
Even so, he outlined a rationale for airstrikes if the Islamic State militants advance on American troops in the northern city of Irbil and the U.S. consulate there in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The troops were sent to Iraq earlier this year as part of the White House response to the extremist group's swift movement across the border with Syria and into Iraq. He also said he has authorized strikes "if necessary" to help Iraqi forces break the siege of the civilians on the mountain, and protect the people trapped there.
“The United States of America cannot turn a blind eye,” Obama said.
Both C-130 and C-17 cargo aircraft participated in the drop, escorted by F-18 fighters. All aircraft have since safely left the immediate airspace over the drop area.
The crisis in Iraq has escalated since IS seized control Thursday of the country's largest Christian city, Qaraqoush. The militants told its residents to leave, convert or die, which sent tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters fleeing from the area, according to several priests in northern Iraq.
Last week, IS also seized the northwestern town of Sinjar, forcing tens of thousands of people from the ancient Yazidi minority to flee into the mountains and the Kurdish region.
According to the U.N., between 35,000 and 50,000 fled to nearby Mount Sinjar and other areas, "reportedly surrounded by ISIS armed elements" and lacking water and other aid.
Earlier Thursday, the White House stopped short of committing America's military to stopping a potential "genocide" in Iraq, declining to say whether doing so is in "America's core interests."
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged the situation is nearing a "humanitarian catastrophe" and said Obama has demonstrated a willingness to use military force to protect America's core interests.
But when asked repeatedly by Fox News whether preventing a genocide counts as being in America's core interests, Earnest did not answer directly. Asked the same question twice more, Earnest responded that "each of these situations is evaluated on a case-by-case basis."
However, Obama later made clear in his remarks that the decision to authorize strikes is based in part on hoping to prevent a possible genocide.
Earnest and other administration officials nevertheless argue there is no American military solution to Iraq's problems and the country must seek a political solution.
The administration, along with the United Nations, is facing increasing pressure to get more involved to prevent the crisis from worsening.
The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned the attacks on minorities in Iraq and urged international support for the Iraqi government. The council said that the attacks could constitute crimes against humanity and that those responsible should be held accountable.
"The members of the Security Council also urge all parties to stop human rights violations and abuses and ensure humanitarian access and facilitate the delivery of assistance to those fleeing the violence," said Britain's U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who read from a statement after an emergency consultation requested by France.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
How the Media Craft Victory for Hamas
Ben Shapiro, August 7, 2014 - 6:14 AM
On Tuesday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer hosted Hamas spokesman Osama Hamden. The week before, Hamdan labeled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "a new image of Hitler" on the network. But now, for some reason, Blitzer stumbled into a random act of journalism: He asked Hamdan about comments he had made suggesting that Jews used Christian blood in matza. Hamdan stumbled around and blamed the Jews for their action in Gaza. Blitzer called Hamdan's comments an "awful, awful smear." The very fact that this represented a unique moment in the media coverage of the Israel-Hamas Gaza war demonstrates the malpractice of the media. The first questions on the media's collective tongue should have been: What does Hamas stand for? What are its goals? Why does it use women and children as human shields? Why does it hide military resources in civilian areas? But that had to wait for a month. In the meantime, CNN viewers saw an unending stream of dramatic images from Gaza of Palestinian Arab suffering: heavy blasts from Israeli ordinance, screaming women, bleeding children. Every so often, CNN punctuated its coverage with death toll statistics — never mentioning that it received those statistics from the Palestinians themselves, and neglecting to mention the Palestinians' regular practice of classifying dead terrorists as civilians. Then CNN asked questions about Israeli "proportionality" and wondered aloud about whether Israeli strikes were sufficiently "targeted." If you want to know why the conflict between the dramatically overpowering Israeli military and the sadistically brutal Hamas has continued for weeks, look no further than CNN and its like-minded media brethren. Hamas' goals in this conflict did not include military victory; Hamas may be evil, but it is not stupid. Its main goal was to shore up its base by achieving small concessions from Israel and Egypt, as well as the Palestinian Authority; those concessions could only be achieved if Israel could be portrayed as an international aggressor against a terror group. And that's where the media manipulation came in. Hamas placed heavy restrictions on journalists and even threatened them. Hamas put women and children and mentally ill people in harm's way for the cameras, and as a deterrent to Israeli military action. And the media went right along with it, proclaiming balance all the way. When I was on CNN this week with Alisyn Camerota, she maintained that CNN provided balance by presenting "both sides," to which I responded that presenting both sides in a battle between Hamas and Israel is not balance, but anti-Israel bias. No Western media member would, in 1944, have assumed that balance meant quoting both Winston Churchill and Julius Streicher. To do so would have been to forward propaganda. But that is precisely what the media have done. They have turned balance into a synonym for amorality. In doing so, they have handed a propaganda victory to evil.
Media go nuts over presidential corruption... in Nixon White House
By Dan Gainor
·Published August 08, 2014
A White House in disarray. The nation torn between left and right. Government agencies used for dirty tricks against political opponents. The CIA involved in domestic spying.
It’s a good thing the American media are on the scene, giving detailed reports about the White House’s abuse of power and the scary actions of President … Nixon.
Wait. What? The late President Richard M. Nixon? The one resigned 40 years ago on August 9?
That’s right. Journalists who snooze at the mere mention of Obama scandals, still want to revel in the triumphs of yesteryear. No wonder. That was when the most powerful people in America were reporters and editors because they helped take down the president of the United States.
Forty years later, Tricky Dick dominated the news in the past week. There were stories by CBS, PBS, MSNBC, The New York Times, and the founder of the feast, The Washington Post. We were told about a new Nixon documentary. Nixon’s flair for fighting the press. His art of the non-apology, apology. Even his many mistresses. (Oops, that’s JFK.) CBS, the network that filmed the actual resignation, did several stories leading up to the anniversary. The network even interviewed its own cameraman – because there’s nothing journalists love more than interviewing other journalists telling how cool they used to be. MSNBC almost burst through your TV screen in glee. Host after host talked Nixon – “Morning Joe” Scarborough, Chris “Tingle” Matthews, Rachel “Jeopardy” Maddow and more. (Heck, they probably are airing a “Lock Up” episode on Nixon, too.) MesSNBC’s on-air “talent” were thrilled because it let them indict the GOP for something 40 years ago and continue to hype the fiction that Republicans plan to impeach Obama. Time magazine gave readers “9 Things You Didn’t Know About Richard Nixon,” from a 1952 cover story. Those included such exciting factoids as Nixon had worked as a carnival barker and used to live next door to people who owned “a smelly, cannibalistic brood of minks.” Perhaps that was an early press metaphor. Sometime funnyman Stephen Colbert mock celebrated the former president. “Nixon is my all-time favorite non-Reagan president, non-Cheney vice president, and non-oats Quaker,” he told his audience. The Post ran 14 different stories in the five days leading up to the anniversary. Nixon appeared in obits of former staffers, donor stories, and even had a strange mention in the corruption trial of former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell. Ironically, one story involved dirty trick allegations that a Post staffer plagiarized part of “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan.” And books. Lots and lots of other books about the past and very little insight about the present. Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin noticed the connection. She mocked the Obama administration and the media via Facebook. “Remember the 18 minute gap in Nixon’s White House tapes during the Watergate scandal?” she asked. “Now Obama’s IRS top dog claims a communications gap of 1,052,000 minutes. Hmm. Wonder if the press will recognize similarities. Maybe a smidgen?” wrote Palin. Her inquiry was largely ignored. But over every Nixon story hung an implied question: How would journalists handle a similar scandal today? The answer is easy. If another Republican president committed similar crimes, journalists would hound that president every day of the rest of his life – like they tried with George W. Bush. But if that president were a favored Dem, then the scandal would get a bare mention and journalists would move on, ever in quest of that elusive prey – Republicans. It’s always that way. Had Nixon been a Democrat, his liberal politics would have been more than sufficient armor against the full-court press. That’s right, liberal Nixon. Former Nixon advisor Pat Buchanan recently reminded PBS “NewsHour” that Nixon was “enormously consequential.” He ticked off a series of Nixon’s first-term accomplishments that would please almost any leftie voting today. “He opened up China, he had negotiated arms control of the Soviet Union, he had ended the draft, he had desegregated the South, he had enacted the 18-year-old vote, built E.P.A. and OSHA, and the Cancer Institute,” Buchanan explained. That’s why a Democrat Nixon would have been spared investigation. He would have finished both terms and retired as a popular, liberal president. Carter would likely never have happened. The same with Reagan. The entire past 40 years of American history would have been forever altered. Even the media would have never learned their signature maxim that the way to advance in journalism is to smear Republicans. Who knows, maybe they’d even investigate an Obama scandal.
Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.
Islamic State beheads, crucifies in push for Syria's east BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State has crushed a pocket of resistance to its control in eastern Syria, crucifying two people and executing 23 others in the past five days, a monitoring group said on Monday.
The insurgents, who are also making rapid advances in Iraq, are tightening their grip in Syria, of which they now controls roughly a third, mostly rural areas in the north and east.
The group, an al Qaeda offshoot, has fought the Syrian army, Kurdish militias and Sunni Muslim tribal forces.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring organization, and residents in Syria's east said that fighters from the al-Sheitaat tribe in eastern Deir al-Zor had tried to resist Islamic State's advance this month.
In al-Shaafa, a town on the banks of the Euphrates river, Islamic State beheaded two men from the al-Sheitaat clan on Sunday, the Observatory said, and gave residents a 12-hour deadline on Monday to hand over members of the tribe.
In other parts of Deir al-Zor province, the militants crucified two men for the crime of "dealing with apostates" in the city of Mayadin, and two others for blasphemy in the nearby town of al-Bulel, the Observatory said.
Islamic State has made rapid gains in Syria since it seized northern Iraq's largest city, Mosul, on June 10, and declared an Islamic caliphate on territory it controls in Syria and Iraq.
The Observatory said a further 19 men from the al-Sheitaat tribe were executed on Thursday, 18 shot dead and one beheaded, on the outskirts of Deir al-Zor city. It said the men worked at an oil installation.
“No one will now dare from the other tribes to move against Islamic State after the defeat of the al-Sheitaat,” said Ahmad Ziyada al-Qaissi, an Islamic State sympathizer contacted by Skype from Mayadin.
Tribal sources say the conflict between Islamic State and the al-Sheitaat tribe, who number about 70,000, flared after Islamic State took over of two oil fields in July.
One of those, al-Omar, is the biggest oil and gas field in Deir al-Zor and has been a lucrative source of funds for rebel groups.
The head of the al-Sheitaat tribe, Sheikh Rafaa Aakla al-Raju, called in a video message for other tribes to join the fight against Islamic State.
“We appeal to the other tribes to stand by us because it will be their turn next ... If (Islamic State) are done with us the other tribes will targeted after al-Sheitaat. They are the next target,” he said in the video, posted on YouTube on Sunday.
A Syrian human rights activist from Deir al-Zor who fled for Turkey last year said rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad had retreated to al-Sheitaat tribal areas from which they had been trying to mount resistance to Islamic State's expansion.
He said, on condition of anonymity, that the resistance had been crushed in the last few days. "The situation is very bad, but the people can't repel them," he said. He said that in tandem with their violent campaign, Islamic State was distributing gas, electricity, fuel and food to garner local support. "It is a poor area. They are winning support this way. They won a lot of support this way. They are halting theft and punishing thieves. This is also giving them credibility."More than 170,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, which pits overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim rebels against Assad, a member of the Shi'ite-derived Alawite minority, backed by Shi'ite militias from Iraq and Lebanon. The insurgency is split between competing factions, with Islamic State emerging as the most powerful. In Raqqa, Islamic State's power base in Syria, its hold appears to be growing only firmer even as Syrian government forces intensify air strikes on territory held by the group. One Syrian living in an area of Islamic State control near Raqqa said the number of its fighters in the streets had grown dramatically in the last few weeks, particularly since it captured the army's 17th Division at the end of July. The group has carried out beheadings, levied a tax on non-Muslims, and settled foreign fighters in confiscated homes, said the resident, who asked for anonymity due to security concerns. But despite that, as in Deir al-Zor, it has won a degree of respect among locals by curbing crime using their version law of and order. For youths without work, salaries offered by Islamic State are one of the few sources of income. "The (Islamic) State has respect and standing and its voice is heard," said the resident, speaking by Skype.
(Additional reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
US sending arms to Iraq's Kurds in battle against militants, official says Published August 11, 2014
The United States is sending weapons to Kurdish forces in Iraq who have begun to roll back gains made by Sunni militants, a senior U.S. official confirmed to Fox News. A senior State Department official told The Associated Press that the Kurds are "getting arms from various sources. They are being rearmed." Providing weapons to Kurdish forces is a reversal of U.S. policy, which previously had only allowed for selling arms directly to the Iraqi government. In recent days, the U.S. military has been helping facilitate weapons deliveries from the Iraqis to the Kurds, providing logistical assistance and transportation to the north.
Sources say the weapons from the U.S. will not be provided directly from the Pentagon. Officials wouldn't say which agency is spearheading the effort, though the CIA historically has done similar arming operations.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf noted that the administration previously mentioned the new arms deliveries, which she suggested are being made to contend with the "heavy weaponry" obtained by Islamic militants.
"The Kurds need additional arms and we're providing those," she said in a statement.
Rush Limbaugh: The “Smart” People Took Over... And Now Where are We?
August 11, 2014
RUSH: Watching MSNBC this morning by accident. I assure you by accident. For some reason the monitor in here came on MSNBC instead of CNN. I was in a state of disbelief. And I have to tell you, folks, it was funny. I mean, these are all Obamaites and they look like a family in the waiting room at a hospital when the situation is dire. I mean, it was funny. They're clearly like the family in the waiting room of the hospital worried about the patient. The doctors went in trying to remove Obama's foreign policy, the latest cancer in the administration, and they couldn't find the doctrine. They couldn't find the Obama doctrine, they came out and they told the family of the patient, which was the MSNBC people, and they were just totally depressed. Stop and think about this for a second. This is almost indescribable, and yet it is the reality we face today.
Starting in 2004, barely a year after George W. Bush invades Iraq to get rid of Saddam Hussein, starting in 2004 and continuing all through 2008, the media and the Democrat Party launch a multiple-times-a-day assault. I mean, it's all we heard on Bush about Iraq, about how it was wrong-headed, it was immoral, it was unnecessary. We should have been in Afghanistan. What business do we have in Iraq.
They did everything, the Democrats, Obama. Even Obama's speech in 2002 that put him on the map was about Iraq, about how dumb it was, how silly it was and we ought not ever be there and we shouldn't ever go there and he was never gonna vote for it and blah, blah, blah. Then we started with the body counts, and in the midst of all this there were other scandals supposedly surrounding Bush. But for essentially five years the American media and the Democrat Party set out to summarily destroy the George Bush administration and primarily the second term, obviously. The news was filled each day with multiple stories about a supposedly plunging economy, that we were headed into a recession while employment was almost full, 4.7%, while the job situation looked good. The economy was fine. It was soaring. We were coming out of two recessions and 9/11, and yet the media every day, every network beating Bush up, beating Cheney up, "No blood for oil." Every day it seemed we had a story on how our troops in Iraq were nothing but terrorists. John Kerry and John Murtha, you name it, it was never-ending. It was a drumbeat about how no way, no how should we ever be in Iraq. When it came time for the surge from General Petraeus, MoveOn.org runs an ad in the New York Times called General Betray Us, and they accuse him on the morning of testimony about the surge before a Senate committee of lying. He hadn't even opened his mouth. The media picked that up and accused Petraeus of lying, and Hillary Clinton was right there accusing Petraeus of lying before he even said a word.
Then the presidential campaign of 2008 kicks up and it's all about Iraq, and then there are debates, and it's all about Iraq, and it's filled with Obama saying he's gonna get us out, if it's the first thing he does. The left wing, the American media, was totally absorbed with Iraq. Iraq was in every way representative of the worst of the United States of America and we've got to get ourselves out. In fact, one of the first things Obama ever said as president was how he was going to get us out. It was as though they had succeeded, in their own minds, of convincing everybody in this country that the absolute worst thing this country has ever done outside of slavery was Iraq. Remember all the stories of "torture" at Abu Ghraib? Remember all the stories of Club Gitmo and Korans flushed down the toilet that didn't happen? Remember all of the lies, all of the in-your-face lies, all of the efforts to saddle this country with a defeat in Iraq and hang it around the neck of George W. Bush? Everything they could do to destroy this country's morale on Iraq was done -- daily, multiple times a day --- including impugning military personnel, uniformed military personnel. I remember such stories as John Kerry in Pasadena, California, making a speech at some school or something and he said: You either get smart or you end up in Iraq. Where is he? Remember all of the stories about the American military and, "Oh, how bad must America be if all of these young men and women are joining the military! It must be that there's no future in this country because of Bush! "They can't get an education. They can't get into a school. They can't get a job because of the recession," which didn't exist, "and so the only option they had was to join the military." The Democrat Party went so far as to discredit volunteers. I mean, I'm just trying to remind you -- and I'm leaving out 90% of it. I'm trying to remind you of what we lived with, what we as citizens had to put up with in this country for five years multiple times a day, 24/7, 365 -- and now where are we? Where are we now? We're back! Because the "smart" people told us they were gonna fix it. The "smart" people told us it should have never happened. The "smart" people told us it was never worth a single American life. It was never worth a single American defense dollar. It was never worth an ounce or a moment of our time. It was the worst boondoggle ever, and it was typical of right-wing conservative warmongers. "They just love war, and they just love killing people, and they can't wait," and they showed us the pictures of the torture with the underwear on the heads of the terrorists at Abu Ghraib. They literally had conniption fits and near strokes over the meanness of the United States and our torture regimen and the waterboarding, and the Democrat Party promised everyone that that would come to an end when they came to power.
There would be no more torture, there would be no more war, there would be no more Abu Ghraib. There would be no more anything that George W. Bush did, because they were the "smart" people, and they were gonna get us out of there, and they were gonna close Gitmo, and then they were gonna get us out of Afghanistan, because none of it was worthwhile. None of it made any sense. None of it was what the United States is really all about. It was all illegitimate.
The Democrat Party and its willing accomplices in the American media spent five years poisoning and polluting the minds of as many Americans as they could reach on how illegitimate the entire Iraq and War on Terror enterprise was, in essence. When it became clear that the war in Iraq was part of the War on Terror, then they tried to distance it. "Oh, no, no, no, no! Iraq's not part of it. That's a sideshow that Bush did for whatever stupid reason.
"The War on Terror is in Afghanistan!" Well, how is that working out for the really smart people? I am sitting here in total amazement -- actually I'm not 'cause I know these people. But still it's surreal. After five years of hearing how incompetent and inept and foolish and stupid and dumb George Bush was, "the cowboy," and Dick Cheney, "Darth Vader," and Rumsfeld! Remember? They tried to destroy all three of these men.
Cheney and Rumsfeld have devoted most of their lives to serving this country, and they attempted to destroy them. Scooter Libby outing Valerie Plame? Remember all of this? It's all part of the Iraq situation. Remember Valerie Plame's wonderful playboy husband, Joe Wilson, who goes over there Niger and tries to find yellowcake and thinks it's a Betty Crocker dessert and says there isn't any after he had first said there was?
It was one of the most coordinated anti-American military efforts I have ever seen and the "smart" people got elected to office in part because they successfully blasphemed everybody involved in it, and promised that it would never happen again, and promised that the world would be a place of peace and promised that the world would once again love and respect the United States. Now the world is on fire and the truly incompetent, totally clueless, egghead, stupid theoreticians from the faculty lounge are finally in charge -- and, voila! Look where we are. Barack Hussein Obama -- B. Hussein O. -- just said that the bombing of Iraq "is more and more looking like a long-term project." B. Hussein O., who was elected to see to it that this never happened again because this was never worth it in the first place, because this only happened because of incompetent, stupid idiots like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and George W. Bush. No, America was gonna be a better place! America was gonna have a bigger heart. America wasn't going to torture again, and America certainly wasn't going to defend people who didn't deserve to be defended. America was never again gonna engage in silly foreign affairs follies, because the truly "smart" people were now in charge. I wonder if the media will look into the Obama investment portfolio and start asking if he has any Halliburton stock.
Remember all of that? The Iraq war was illegitimate because of Halliburton, where Cheney had once been the CEO, and Halliburton offers support services like food for the troops. Halliburton also was eeeevil, profiteers on death and mayhem. It was blood for oil, and none of it was worth it -- and if we only elected "the smart people," why, peace would break out! White doves would escape the Olympic flame without being baked alive. Once again the US would be loved and respected. All it would take is a presidential apology tour and a presidential tour getting us out of every conflict in the world. Now it's been reduced to the point that the president of the United States boldfaced lied Saturday in front of God and everybody, when he refused to take responsibility for the lack of troops in Iraq. (impression) "Hey, you know what? It wasn't my idea get out of there with no troops left in Iraq." He's blatantly, bold-faced lying, 'cause he's rolling the dice that his sycophant, soon-to-die-of-anal-poisoning media -- and, by the way, that has nothing to do with... That's just butt kissing. When you die of anal poisoning it's 'cause of butt kissing. Don't let your mind run away from you. I've had people say, "You really think...? That's the most insulting thing." Why? It's not.
Anal poisoning has to do with butt kissing, and that's what the media does. (sigh) And did you know that I am from the Balkans? Did you know that? I didn't know! I must have been born in the Balkans 'cause Obama says the reason none of what he's doing is working is because the media has been "Balkanized," and what he means is me, talk radio, and Fox News. RUSH: How long is it gonna be before the media starts asking Obama about the "exit strategy," hmm? Didn't we start hearing about the exit strategy before George W. Bush even committed troops to Iraq in 2003? Oh, yeah, "What's gonna be the exit strategy?" George W. Bush went around this country for a year building up support for this, United Nations, remember that? General Powell still holds all that against him. Oh, have you heard this? Obama and Hillary... Have you heard this? Well, that's a differently thing. Hillary criticizing Obama. I'll get into that. That's been Syria, too, and this is... It's gonna be a huge El Rushbo self-back pat. I mean, I was right about this. We were supporting ISIS. We were anti-Bashar Assad. We were supporting ISIS. I was the one who raised the possibility, and I remember being ridiculed about it elsewhere in the Drive-Bys. But, no, Mrs. Clinton is saying that now. She's agreeing with a general on Fox saying we supported the wrong side in Syria. I'll get to that. No, no, no. Obama and Hillary Clinton... Wait for it here, folks. They are blaming bad intel for not being prepared on ISIS. I am not kidding you. I've got it here in the Obama Iraq Stack. They are blaming bad intel. Now, we've heard that before, right? We heard that bad intel was the responsible for the lack of weapons of mass discovery destruction, and when that excuse was offered, who was in there ridiculing it? Why, I think it was Barack Obama and I think it was Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and all of the rest of the Wizards of Smart in this unfortunate Regime. But, yes, they fixed this, I thought, with Panetta at the CIA. It was all gonna be fixed, remember?
RUSH: I got an e-mail, I checked it during the break. "Rush, you sounded really angry in that opening monologue." Folks, I am angry. If I left something unclear, let me state it, briefly. For five years this country was lied to by the Democrat Party and the media. They were lied to about Iraq every day, multiple times a day; lied to about the economy; lied to about torture; lied to about the US military; lied, lied, lied about George W. Bush. It created public opinion, anti-Bush, anti-America, as it was. It created a false public opinion that set up the election of Barack Obama under totally false premises.
We have somebody unqualified, unprepared, not smart, not ready for this, doesn't know what he's doing and may not even care about foreign policy. Damn right I'm mad. This was not supposed to ever happen again. I listened to what they said. I know how they got elected. I know how they ginned up public opinion. I know what was done. Let me put it this way. I don't forget what was done. We all know. Folks, I am practically fit to be tied over this 'cause I had to sit there for five years, 2004 on, I had to listen to liberals saying what stupid idiot Bush was and he sounds like a cowboy and how he's dumb.
Then Obama comes on the scene. I had to listen to people tell me how smart he was, and I had to listen to people tell me how stupid Palin was, how stupid Cheney was, how stupid Rumsfeld was, and how dangerous they were and how incompetent, and Halliburton. For five years we all had to listen to a bunch of lies about the American military, uniformed military personnel, generals, secretary of defense, president, Scooter Libby, throw it all in there.
We had to listen to a set of lies all for the purpose of destroying a legitimate military operation. They're all legitimate once we commit to them, folks. That's the point. They're all legitimate once we commit. Once we commit, we win. They secured defeat. They tried to secure defeat.
I haven't forgotten any of it. They did all of that to build up the Democrat Party as the alternative. With the Democrat Party and such brilliance as Obama and Joe Biden and John Kerry and Dianne Feinstein and Elizabeth Warren and whoever the hell else, none of this was ever gonna happen again because they were so smart. They'd be able to talk to bad guys. They'd be able to negotiate with the bad guys. They'd be able to relate to the bad guys. They'd be able to apologize to the bad guys. They'd be able to reach the bad guys where Bush couldn't and Bush didn't want to. They'd be able to reach out to 'em and they'd be able to speak French to 'em or whatever and show 'em we're really erudite. We're really European, we get it. We're really smart. We're smarter that dumb hick cowboy from Texas and that blond bald-headed guy from Wyoming. We're smart. We can deal with you. We understand your grievances against the United States.
That's another thing that ticks me off. Obama and these guys, Clinton, too. Clinton's out there running around all over the world during the campaign doing this stuff. They were all running all over the world telling our enemies, "Hey, look, hey, look, we understand, but you'll be able to deal with us 'cause we get it and we're no threat to you. And we, too, agree the United States has overstepped its bounds on many occasions. And we agree with you the United States has been X." That's what we elected. That's what we got. And it happened because for five years the media ran poll after poll after poll, opinion number after opinion number after opinion number, approval number after approval number, story after story lying about the economy, lying about foreign policy, lying about Iraq, doing all these things. And what really ticked me off was the Bush administration didn't respond to any of it at any time. They now acknowledge that was a bit of a mistake. So the Democrats and the media had a punching bag and they just kept hitting it and hitting it and hitting it. And the American people had no choice but to believe it. There was no counter-theory ever offered except here and on Fox News, and that was it. Now we're right back where we are and it's worse. It is worse now than before we went into Iraq. It is worse. This bunch, ISIS and what they're doing and the free rein they think they've got to operate, it's worse. And it's not happening over there and doesn't mean anything to us. That's what this bunch also tried to tell us, that what goes on in Iraq, what goes on in Afghanistan, doesn't affect us, none of our business. We need to get out of those places. We can't impose our way. You've heard the drill.
Obama's Boldfaced Lie: It Wasn't My Idea to Leave Iraq
RUSH: Now that we've had to go back in it's insult to injury with the way Obama's explaining this. Let's go to sound bite seven. This is Saturday morning at the White House. The president's speaking about the Iraq air strikes before getting on the helicopter to fly to Martha's Vineyard. Oh, yeah, and the media is all hot to trot about that. (imitating media) "Oh, wow, it's so cool. Barry's going to the Vineyard. Yeah, we get to go to the Vineyard, think we'll see Skip Gates? Wow, how cool, you think we'll see Larry David? Man, we get to go to the Vineyard. Obama's going to the Vineyard. You think we'll run into William Styron? Wait. He died. What about his wife? Think we'll run into William Styron's wife? Oh, man, cool. "Do you think we'll run into Dershowitz? Dershowitz hangs out there. Wow, this is cool. Barry's going to the Vineyard. He's gotta make a speech first on Iraq. After he finishes that, then we get on the helicopter with him or Air Force, we go to the Vineyard, yeah, man. We're going to the Vineyard, 'cause Obama's going to the Vineyard. Man, it's cool." Yeah, ticks me off. This is nothing but a bunch of frat boys. Hell, I wouldn't even give 'em that credit. Anyway, here's Obama before getting on board Marine One and heading off to the Vineyard. OBAMA: What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was --RUSH: Wait just a second. Stop that a second. My bad. He's answering a question here and I should have read the question. Here's the question he was asked by a reporter who couldn't wait to get to the Vineyard with him. "Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling out all ground troops from Iraq?" Key question. Do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq, because -- hint, hint -- he did. Folks, he got elected in large part because of that promise, because by the time he was elected the American people had been talked into hating everything about Iraq. And getting us out of Iraq was gonna restore us as a whole nation, and we could party again, and we could get down, and we could get back to living as we did without the body counts and George Bush and Cheney and the news every day that America could be loved. It was key and Obama was gonna do it, and he promised to do it. And close Gitmo, too. All of this stuff. "So, Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq, and does it give you pause as the US is doing the same thing in Afghanistan?" OBAMA: What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision. Under the previous administration we had turned over the country to a sovereign, Democratically elected Iraqi government. When you hear people say, "Do you regret, Mr. President, not leaving more troops?" that presupposes that I would have overwritten this sovereign government that we had turned the keys back over. RUSH: You hated 'em! OBAMA: And said, "You know what, you're democratic, you're sovereign, except if I decide that it's good for you to keep 10,000 or 15,000 or a 25,000 Marines in your country, you don't have a choice." RUSH: He stood right there, that's on the White House lawn, he lied in front of God and the country and the world saying that (imitating Obama), "Well, you know what, everybody acts like it's my decision to pull out of Iraq, uh, you know, there's a sovereign government." You hated the sovereign the government. You hated Maliki. You hated -- who's the other guy they hated? They all hated this other guy, preceded Maliki. I'm having a mental block. I'll think of his name. Cheney's buddy. Can't remember his name. Mental block. He was trying to take over Iraq or become its president before Maliki slithered in there. Anyway, so he says we had to get out because Iraq made us. We've had this back and forth on the Status of Forces Agreement I don't know how many times, and Obama hasn't found the truth on this yet. Let's go back, here he is again, same Saturday morning, repeating this lie. OBAMA: So let's just be clear. The reason that we did not have a follow-on force in Iraq was because the Iraqis were -- a majority of Iraqis did not want US troops there, and politically they could not pass the kind of laws that would be required to protect our troops in Iraq. That entire analysis is bogus and is wrong, but gets frequently peddled around here by folks who oftentimes are trying to defend previous policies that they themselves made. RUSH: This is just psycho-something. Still blaming Bush. This man got elected promising to get every evidence of any American presence out of there, and he did. And when he did, he very proudly proclaimed it. And now he's blaming the Iraqis and Bush for what he did. I can understand it. It's worked for him for five years. Why stop now? Nobody's gonna defend the Iraqis, and there aren't too many people that are gonna defend Bush. So if people still blame Bush for the economy, let's go ahead and blame Bush for this. Yeah, Bush screwed up. Yeah, that's exactly right. The Iraqis, they so hated America, they didn't want any American troop presence, and they wouldn't agree to us in a Status of Forces Agreement. Let's just play one of many sound bites that I can play for you of Obama bragging about getting out of Iraq single-handedly, forecasting that he was gonna get out of Iraq single-handedly, promising he was gonna get out of Iraqi single-handedly, sound bites of him bragging about it. But here, let's go to Boca Raton, Florida, October 22nd, 2012, the third presidential debate between Obama and Mitt Romney. This goes by kind of quickly, 14 seconds.
ROMNEY: You and I agreed, I believe, that there should have been a Status of Forces Agreement.
OBAMA: That's not true!
ROMNEY: Oh, you didn't? You didn't want a Status of Forces Agreement?
OBAMA: No. What I -- what I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down!
OBAMA: That certainly would not help us in the Middle East!
RUSH: He's running for reelection in 2012 and he's gotta tell this deranged base of his that he got us out of there. There weren't gonna be any remaining American troops. Not 10,000, not 2,000, not 1,000. No Status of Forces agreement 'cause there weren't gonna be any troops, and he's making this point running for reelection 'cause his base is out there and they've got to hear it. They've got to hear we're totally out of Iraq; they've got to hear we're not going back. This Iraq business is as fundamental to Obama as tax cuts is to a conservative candidate. He's got no wiggle room. You can't do a George H. W. Bush and say, "Read my lips." He's got to stick to it. Even in this debate, "No, I would not have done it. I wouldn't have left 10,000 troops." Now he's blaming it on everybody else, but he was taking credit for it there in the debate, taking credit for leaving no troops there The name I was trying to think of was Ahmed Chalabi. Ahmed Chalabi. He goes way back as one of the early allies -- well, quote/unquote. Ally's a strong word. But back in the early 2000s he was one of the potential future Iraq leaders who would happily be allied with the United States. He never was. He ended up being corrupt like everybody else over there is, and it didn't work out. But, ladies and gentlemen, let me go back to this business of Obama. We talked about this last week. How do you deal with this, when somebody's lying right to your face and you want so desperately to demonstrate that other people? I think the best thing I could do is this. I sandwiched two stories here. The first one is from the Cybercast News Service but this story is everywhere. "Obama: Pulling All Troops Out of Iraq was Not My Decision." (snorts) He got elected promising to do it; he got reelected affirming that he did it. He has sought credit for this every which way but Sunday, and now all of a sudden it's Bush's problem, and he also says, well, he couldn't get the Iraqis to guarantee security for American troops. That's what he just told Romney. He said, "What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East." Romney said, "You and I agreed there should have been a Status of Forces agreement," and Obama did say that but he couldn't let Romney get away with it because that would have meant Obama agreeing with some troops staying, and Obama's base would not tolerate even a uniform staying. So he had to tell Romney he was wrong. "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! I never signed on for a Status of Forces Agreement! Never, never, never! I would never leave 10,000 troops! Never." New York Times, June 23rd this year, a little over a month ago. "Diplomatic Note Promises Immunity From Iraqi Law for US Advisory Troops." Now, what this Status of Forces Agreement really is...What Obama's trying to say is, "I'm not gonna leave American troops over there if they aren't granted immunity from Iraqi law." Meaning: "I don't want our troops charged with war crimes or whatever trumped-up phoniness unless the Iraqis give us immunity in the status of forces agreement." Well, the New York Times ran a story a little over a month ago that says the Iraqis did indeed promise immunity; Obama rejected it. The reason is: Obama didn't want Bush's war in Iraq to have resulted in a stable democracy there. This wasn't supposed to happen, either, but Iraq was never supposed to be secure. That's why Obama didn't want to leave any troops there, so he used this phony Status of Forces Agreement. But the Iraqis did promise immunity, and the New York Times reported that in June of this year. Obama's just making it up or lying about it. I don't know how to say this. But he didn't want a stable Iraq because he couldn't afford for anything Bush did to look like it worked.
Ergo, "Bush is responsible for this," is how it all flows together.
STEPHEN MISSICK: It is time for action in Iraq. Christians must unite against Islamic extremism. We must expose the evil. I think it is time we try to put an end to Islamic extremism-permanently. STOP TOLERATING ISLAMIC INTOLERANCE.
I am tired of Leftist attacking Christianity and western civilization and ignoring GENOCIDE that is happening right in front of our faces. What is going on in Iraq right now-has been going on for 1400 years.
Ethiopia's Armenians: Long history, small numbers
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The numbers at the St. George Armenian Apostolic Church in Addis Ababa are not adding up. Church records show an average of two funerals a year, but a wedding only every three years and a baptism every five. "Some people don't come to church vertically. Only horizontally," Vartkes Nalbandian said with a laugh. Vartkes is among a small handful of people keeping Ethiopia's Armenian community alive. Despite a fall in numbers from a peak of 1,200 in the 1960s to less than 100 people today, the Armenian school, church and social club still open their doors. "There is more to a community than just statistics. We are proud of the Armenian contribution to Ethiopia. It's worth fighting for," said 64-year old Vartkes, the church's fulltime acting archdeacon since the last priest left in 2002. But given the shrinking numbers, the fight can feel daunting. Armenian goldsmiths, traders and architects were invited to settle in Ethiopia more than 150 years ago by Emperor Johannes IV. Buoyed by the ties between Ethiopian and Armenian Orthodoxy, the community thrived. After the Armenian Genocide in 1915, Haile Selassie, Ethiopia's regent who later became Emperor, opened his arms to the Armenian people even wider, adopting 40 orphans as wards of court. In return, the Ethio-Armenians proved fiercely loyal. One trader used his European connections to buy arms for Ethiopia's resistance movement against the Italian occupation during World War II. Others ran an underground newspaper. Several gave their lives in service of their adopted homeland. "Those were the best days," said 61-year old Salpi Nalbandian, who runs a leather business with her brother Vartkes and other family members. "We were valued members of the court. We made the crowns the emperors wore on their heads. We were not like the Italians, we weren't invaders. We contributed." But the community's fortunes have changed through the years. Ethio-Armenians had their property and businesses confiscated when the communist Derg seized power in 1974. Many families left then, fearing for their lives. The Nalbandians stayed, determined not to give up on a country they had called home for four generations. Salpi and Vartkes' musical family has made a lasting contribution to Ethiopia's heritage. Great uncle Kervork wrote Ethiopia's first national anthem, and their father Nerses became well known for his pioneering work in Ethio-Jazz, which blends traditional Ethiopian five-tone scales with the diminished scales of Western jazz. The pair have become the gatekeepers to a part of Ethiopian culture and history that is in danger of being forgotten. Ethio-Armenians are gradually resembling a diaspora within a diaspora. Children and grandchildren who live in the U.S. and Canada now make pilgrimages to Addis to see the place where their ancestors grew up. Most of the Armenian buildings in the Armenian "safar" — or neighborhood — in Addis Ababa's city center are now empty or gone, victim to the city's appetite for high-rise buildings that are beginning to dominate the skyline. St. George's Church holds maybe 200 people but seems larger because it often stands dark and empty. Golden orthodox crosses are the only objects that catch the light from high small windows in the church's pointed dome. The African sunshine struggles to brighten the church's dark green walls. The remaining Armenian families are scattered around Addis' outskirts, including the Nalbandians, who were forced to vacate their family home. The only reason the house, which in a traditional Armenian style has a wrap-round balcony — is still standing is because Salpi is fighting against the local government to preserve it as a museum dedicated to her father's life and work. She has had some help upholding her father's legacy from Aramatz Kalayjian, an Armenian filmmaker. He has being working on "Tezeta," a documentary about Ethio-Armenian music, since 2012. "The only remnants of a great cross-pollination of cultures are the few Armenian community members left, the music, history books, and memories that tell of the relationship between Armenians and Ethiopians," Kalayjian said. Vartkes Nalbandian disagrees with Kalayjian's view that the community is fading. He notes that a Syrian-Armenian man recently visited the Addis community with a view to moving there with his family. "The school is open, the church is open, the club is open," he said. "It doesn't matter if I open the church on a Sunday and preach to many people or just a handful. As long as our spirit is strong, our identity is, too."
Part of the reason Ethiopia was so generous to the Armenians is because they belong to the same “Monophysite” church tradition.
American boy killed by Hamas and the White House says nothing
Then there is the Obama administration’s twisted response to the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Sha’ar. Over 18 days, Obama never called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Palestinian leader Mahboud Abbas to voice concern over the abduction of Fraenkel, a dual American-Israeli citizen. In fact, Obama never publicly commented on the kidnapping of this American boy, or the grotesque anti-Semitism and support for the kidnapping that mushroomed across Palestinian society while he stayed silent – until the lifeless bodies of Fraenkel and the other boys were discovered on June 30. By contrast, Obama did call Netanyahu on July 10, complaining about the reported police maltreatment of an American-Palestinian teenager who seems to have thought going to a riot in a war zone was a good way to spend a summer vacation. And Obama prioritized this case – to the highest level possible in the world of diplomacy – knowing that the State Department had already descended on Israeli authorities within hours, and that Israeli officials had already taken action to address it.
To this day, the Obama administration has refused to admit there was any Palestinian perpetrator involved in the teens’ kidnap and murder. From: By Anne Bayefsky, Published July 12, 2014,FoxNews.com
Michael Goodwin on Israel from New York Post:
Even before the shooting stops between Israel and Palestinian terrorists, the one guarantee is that Israel will get most of the blame. Already the demands from the United Nations that Israel show “restraint” are as predictable as Palestinian rockets. The tiny Jewish state is under fierce attack, with millions of its citizens spending long hours in bomb shelters. Yet any response beyond a mere tit-for-tat is labeled disproportionate, putting Israel in the impossible position of being damned if it does and doomed if it doesn’t. Of course, it must strike back hard, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears resolved that the Hamas that started this war will not be the same Hamas when it is over. How and when we get there remains unknown, but one thing we do know is how we got where we are. Reader Andrew Stern lays out the past in clear terms. He writes: “According to Israel’s ambassador to the US, Hamas has fired 8,000 rockets since the Israel Defense Forces withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Aside from the occasional one fired at a police station or military post, virtually all have been fired randomly at civilians. In addition to being acts of war, each is also a war crime. “The media has failed to note that unlike the West Bank, Gaza is NOT occupied. It is free of all Israeli military presence. The media also failed to mention that Hamas is not just a terror group. Hamas is the democratically elected government of Gaza — one of the first ones in the entire Arab world.“So Hamas is the government which the civilians in Gaza — with rocket bases behind and under their homes and their children’s schools — chose overwhelmingly to govern them, and to fire 8,000 rockets at Israel on their behalf. This is the choice they made — AFTER Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza.“So much for the notion that the Israeli occupation is the root of instability in the region.” In addition to justifying a firm Israeli response, that history also illustrates why Netanyahu resists American pressure to keep making territorial concessions in the hope of peace. The idea of a Palestinian state has always rested on the promise of “two states living side-by-side in peace and security.” Over decades, versions of that promise were tied to a formula that had Israel trade some of the land it seized in wars with other Arabs in exchange for peace. The formula more or less worked with Egypt and Jordan. Gaza proves its fallacy, or at least its limits. The reality is that Gaza, an unoccupied Palestinian state with its own elected government, is a terrorist state. It does not want to live in peace with Israel, no matter the borders. It refuses to accept Israel’s right to exist within any borders. That is the central fact fueling the conflict, and yet President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry continue to insist that Israel negotiate with a so-called unity government that includes Hamas and the West Bank leaders of Fatah. But as Israelis put it, how do you negotiate with someone whose single aim is to kill you? Very, very carefully, that’s how. And you certainly don’t give up land that will make it easier for your enemy to attack you. The demand that Israel negotiate with Hamas is especially rich coming from Obama. He refuses even to negotiate with Republicans, whom he seems to regard as terrorists because they don’t agree with him. Israel, unfortunately, has to deal with the real thing. Still, the Israeli public remains remarkably willing to accept Palestinian independence. What it refuses to accept is that it must give up more land, and then have only a limited right of self-defense when that land becomes a launching pad for attacks. That makes additional disengagement from the West Bank unlikely. That is where we are. Until the Palestinians accept Israel, there can be no lasting peace. Israelis know that, and it’s time America’s leaders accept it, too.
Apart from noticing it, you may be also be wondering why?
- What is the picture?
The picture is simply the letter 'N' in the Arabic script, nothing more, nothing less.
- But what does it stand for?
It is currently being used as a shorthand way to write "Nazarene" or represent someone who follows the most famous Nazarene - our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
- How is it being used in Mosul, Iraq?
The Islamic State militants who are now controlling the city are trying to force Sharia law on everyone, not just the Muslims. Every house belonging to Christians is being marked with a large letter 'N' to show that it is a Christian home and then given the occupants three options - to move, to pay a 'Christian' tax, or to face death. They then have 24 hours to decide.
- How is it being used on the Internet?
Christians from all over the world have been changing their profile picture to the same letter in order to show support (1 John 3:16-18), as a means of encouragement (Thessalonians 5:11) and also so far quite successfully to bring global media attention to the wicked and evil persecution (1 Corinthians 4:12) faced by Christians in these areas.
- What you can do?
The are three things I can immediately think of:
2. Read more about the situation here (USA today), here (The Guardian) and/or here (Daily Telegraph).
3. Change your profile picture.
Iraq crisis: Yazidis' mix of beliefs misunderstood, malignedPublished August 08, 2014
The Yazidis are a small, misunderstood and long-persecuted religious sect rooted in the town of Sinjar, in northern Iraq, and also in parts of Syria and Turkey.
No one knows the exact size of the Yazidi population. Estimates range from tens of thousands to 500,000 or more. Over centuries, they have been the target of violence and purges, including during the Ottoman empire, and have survived as a close-knit community that does not proselytize.
Much confusion surrounds their beliefs, but scholars say Yazidi teachings are a mix of several traditions, borrowing from Christianity and Islam, and including some practices resembling ancient traditions in Persia.
The Yazidi believe that a supreme being created the world but does not rule it. Instead, his will is carried out by seven angels, chief among them the Peacock Angel, known as Malak Taus. Yazidis believe continual rebirth leads to purification, and therefore the sect does not believe in hell. The tomb of Sheikh Adi, in the town of Lalesh north of Mosul, Iraq, is a Yazidi shrine and pilgrimage site.
Yazidis pray to Malak Taus, who is also known as the Fallen Angel. But unlike fallen angels in some Christian traditions, who are banished from heaven, the Peacock Angel was redeemed.
Still, the Peacock Angel is also known to Yazidis as "shaytan," which is the Arabic word Muslims use for the devil. This is the source of the belief among many Iraqi Muslims that Yazidis worship the devil, and it is among the reasons Yazidis are being targeted by the militant Islamic State group.
The last Christians in Iraq
Car by car, family by family, frightened Iraqi Christians by the thousands fled their ancient Iraqi homeland over the weekend. With broken hearts and little more than the clothes on their backs, they’ve left behind their houses, businesses, and churches – everything they’ve known.
The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group announced through their mosques on Friday afternoon that local Christians must either convert to Islam, pay an exorbitant Muslim tax – the jizya, which amounts to protection money – or leave the city. If they did not conform to these demands by noon on Saturday, July 19, there would be “nothing for them but the sword.”
Christianity is not new to the region. It was introduced by two of Jesus’ own disciples – St. Thomas and St. Thaddeus (also known as St. Jude) in the 1st Century.
But the ancient roots of Iraq’s Christianity have now been violently ripped out of the country’s spiritual soil.
Most of the Nineveh Plain’s Christians – once numbering more than a hundred thousand – had already fled to Erbil and other destinations in Kurdistan before ISIS’s recent declaration, seeking the protection of the Kurdish Peshmerga’s warriors.
Now the rest of the refugees – many of the last Christians in Iraq – have joined them.
It’s not surprising that the vicious tactics of the IS/ISIS terrorists horrify most observers. As is often reported on social media – with substantial videographic evidence – they have beheaded, mutilated, raped, stoned and even crucified those whose behavior is “unIslamic” or whose religious convictions displease them.
The West has managed to muster a tepid response. For example on Sunday, a statement emanating from the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s spokesman:
“...condemned in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of minority populations in Iraq by Islamic State (IS) and associated armed groups. He is particularly disturbed by reports of threats against Christians in Mosul and other IS-controlled parts of Iraq, including an ultimatum to either convert, pay a tax, leave, or face imminent execution…”
The UN, US, EU and numerous others have all denounced IS/ISIS.
But the various powers’ “strongly worded” official condemnations seem to be little more than indignant complaints.
President Obama, for example, has demonstrated no inclination to apply American muscle to ISIS. Speaking about their activities in Syria, he explained,
"What we can't do is think that we're just going to play Whac-a-Mole and send U.S. troops occupying various countries wherever these organizations pop up…."
Rather than fighting fire with fire, western leaders apparently imagine that diplomatic endeavors – including “strongly worded” denunciations – will stop zealous murderers in their tracks.
Obama and his cohorts seem to have an astonishingly high regard for their persuasive skills.
At the same time, they demonstrate only a dim awareness of the terrorists’ fierce religious fervor.
Devoutly committed to radical Islamist ideology – whether of the Sunni or Shia variety – fanatics like ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Iran’s ayatollahs quite sincerely view the West as the primary force of evil in the world.
Why would such “holy warriors” negotiate with western evildoers?
Only, perhaps, to deceive them.
In Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and elsewhere, it is abundantly clear that such niceties as “dialogue” are of little interest to bloodthirsty savages.
In the meantime, as American strength diminishes around the globe, the dangers posed by radical Islamist groups like ISIS are exploding exponentially.
And where does this leave the Iraq’s Christians and other minorities whose lives are at stake? Sadly, they are well aware that no host of valiant defenders is going to come to their rescue. In fact, the Iraqi Army virtually melted away when ISIS appeared.
So for the Christians, “Convert, pay the jizya tax, or die,” means, quite simply, that there is little alternative but to flee -- except in a small number of villages over which Kurdistan has extended a protective umbrella.
Thus, most Christians have fled.
Still, some intrepid Iraqi Christians refuse to give up. “If we all leave, it sends the message that there is nowhere safe for Christians to live in Iraq — and this worries me,” Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, Yohanna Petros Mouche, told the Washington Post. “I’m not a vagabond. This is my home, and I will die here if necessary.”
Such fortitude is inspiring. And yet courage and determination cannot eclipse such excruciating losses. Whether Iraq’s Christians stay or go, nothing can remove the devastating sense of injury and injustice they are experiencing.
“Many Christians interviewed expressed a sense of utter abandonment and desolation,” the New York Times reported. They remarked that the sound of church bells mingled with the Muslim calls to prayer – a symbol of Mosul’s long-standing religious tolerance – “would likely never be heard again.”
Lela Gilbert is author of "Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner" and co-author, with Nina Shea and Paul Marshall, of "Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians." She is an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and lives in Jerusalem. For more, visit her website: www.lelagilbert.com. Follow her on Twitter@lelagilbert.
Mideast crisis: Mr. Obama, whose side are you on?
President Obama found numerous ways to make the United States less relevant in the last six years, but he came up with a new one in his misbegotten foray into the Gaza war: He’s so wrong that even Israel feels it’s safe to ignore him. The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reject Obama’s pressure for a unilateral ceasefire and instead widen the campaign against Hamas reflects a new low in the Obama presidency. More important, it is impossible to argue with Netanyahu’s decision. The terror threat is so grave that Israeli military leaders, bolstered by strong public support, believe they can’t return to business-as-usual. They aim to deliver a knockout punch to the rocket arsenal and the tunnel network to make sure Hamas doesn’t emerge intact and ready for another war. Yet Obama’s push for negotiations would have won for Hamas in peace what it failed to win in war. Secretary of State John Kerry was advocating terms that would have granted many of the terrorists’ demands, and guaranteed more conflict. One journalist accused Kerry of acting like Hamas’ lawyer, and a top Israeli politician told Kerry to “leave us alone.” Either that, or get on board. With most Arabs, led by Egypt and including many Palestinians, agreeing with Israel that a weakened Hamas means a more peaceful region, this is a rare moment of consensus and a chance for real progress. But the White House’s blunder gave the Palestinians hope they will be rewarded for their provocation — and a reason to keep fighting. Mr. President, whose side are you on?
Charles Krauthammer said Friday on "Special Report with Bret Baier," that it is "astonishing" to learn that the United States has not supplied the Kurds with weapons to hold back Islamic militants in Iraq. "They're essentially using javelins and harpoons here," the syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor said, "against the ISIS army, which has captured tons of sophisticated American weapons." Krauthammer pointed to rearming Israel during its war with Egypt in 1973 as an example of how easy it would be to arm the pro-American Kurds. “It’s not hard stuff to get in, it’s all sitting in our bases in Germany.” Krauthammer said. “You could send a plane today and it would be there in 18 hours.” The reason, Krauthammer said, is that everything has to go through the Iraqi government, which has cut off all supplies to the Kurdish area since December of last year.
"Why in God's name we don't resupply, or supply our allies that can hold back ISIS is beyond me," Krauthammer said.
Only America can save Iraq's last Christians
By Nina Shea, Published July 29, 2014, FoxNews.com
The Arabic “nun” symbol, or N, which stands for Nazarene and refers to Christians, ominously began appearing, stamped in red, on Christian homes in Mosul, Iraq, two weeks ago.
By mid-July, it was accompanied by another statement, painted in black, “Property of the Islamic State.” And with that, the Christians found their worst fears confirmed.
On July 19, ISIS, the Sunni Muslim insurgent group declaring itself the Islamic State, carried out unabated and unabashed religious cleansing against Christians and the non-Sunni Muslim communities. Today, in this place of Nineveh of the Bible, the ancient heart of Iraqi Christianity, there’s not a single Christian left. All have been stripped of their possessions and deported.
In recent years, Iraq’s Christians have experienced relentless persecution by various extremist groups, and, along with a civil conflict in which the Christians remain neutral, it has taken a hard toll on their numbers. In 2003, Iraq’s Christians, at 1.4 million, were among the region’s most robust Christian communities. Since then, more than a million of them have fled. Their banishment from Mosul is irreversible.
Whether these newly displaced people, among the last Christians to speak Aramaic, Jesus’ own language, will be able to remain in the region at all is likely to depend on America’s response.
Remarkably, after their mass deportation, the Iraqi government did nothing to help Mosul’s Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants, even while the Iraqi Army failed to protect them, allowing ISIS to handily capture Iraq’s second largest city on June 10. Baghdad, however, did manage to send planes and bus convoys to evacuate the Shiites among the exiled minorities. Iraq’s government facilitated the resettlement of Mosul’s Turkmen and Shabak Shiite communities in Najaf and elsewhere in the south, reported Archdeacon Emanuel Youkhana with the Christian Aid Program. (ISIS did not target Turkmen and Shabak Sunnis.)
Left to fend for themselves were the Christians and a few remaining Yezidis (a dozen Yezidis recently in their home province of Sinjar had their eyes gouged out and were then killed by ISIS for refusing to convert to Islam).
Following these events, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Sako registered the “shock and pain” of all Iraq’s church leaders, emphasizing their sense of raw “injustice.”
“How much the Christians have shared here in our East specifically from the beginnings of Islam. They shared every sweet and bitter circumstance of life … .Together they built a civilization, cities and a heritage. It is truly unjust now to treat Christians by rejecting them and throwing them away, considering them as nothing,” the patriarch effectively eulogized.
The eradication of the 2,000-year-old Christian presence from Mosul is indeed shocking. The recent release of several kidnapped Orthodox nuns and orphans had given some hope that, influenced by local Sunnis, ISIS would eschew the barbarism that is its stock and trade in Syria.
One Mosul Muslim, law professor Mahmoud al Asali, did speak up for moderation, but was then murdered. A Baghdad gathering of Muslims wearing “I am a Christian” signs in solidarity was ignored. No such mercy was to be had.
Unless they converted to Islam or paid protection money, the Christians were told, they would get “nothing but the sword.” It was now clear, the 30,000 to 50,000 Christians who fled Mosul over the last decade wouldn’t be able to return, and the several hundred still remaining there this month needed to get out fast. (Iraqi Christian parliamentarian Younadam Kannan said at least five Christian families too sick to leave renounced their faith for Islam “to stay alive,” though one of their daughters did flee.)
Before casting out the Christians, Shiites and Yezidis, Caliph Ibrahim, as ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi now is called, made certain to take all the possessions of the “unbelievers.”
Cars, cellphones, money, wedding rings, even one man’s chicken sandwich, were all solemnly declared “property of the Islamic State” and confiscated. A woman who gave over tens of thousands of dollars was also stripped of bus fare to Erbil.
With temperatures in the area reaching 120 degrees, the last of the exiles left on foot, carrying only the small children and pushing the grandparents in wheelchairs. Those who glanced back could see armed groups looting their homes and loading the booty onto trucks.
ISIS has set out to erase every Christian trace. All 30 churches were seized and their crosses stripped away. Some have been permanently turned into mosques. One is the Mar (Saint) Ephraim Syriac Orthodox Cathedral, newly outfitted with loudspeakers that now call Muslims to prayer. The 4th century Mar Behnam, a Syriac Catholic monastery outside Mosul, was captured and its monks expelled, leaving behind a library of early Christian manuscripts and wall inscriptions by 13th-century Mongol pilgrims.
Christian and Shiite gravesites, deemed idolatrous by ISIS, are being deliberately blown up and destroyed, including on July 24, the tomb of the 8th-century B.C. Old Testament Prophet Jonah, and the Muslim shrine that enclosed it.
Before fleeing, the Vatican reports, the Orthodox Christian community did successfully spirit away the relics of Thomas the Apostle who, it is said, introduced Christianity to Nineveh.
The last of Mosul’s Christians, those some 5,000 professors, doctors, lawyers, mechanics and their families that left between June 10 and July 19, find themselves suddenly destitute and homeless because of their faith. Some went to the nearest Nineveh Christian villages, temporarily sheltering in schools and churches. These villages would be vulnerable to ISIS attacks, too, but for their protection by the Kurds, who are, themselves, Sunni Muslim. Water and electricity have been cut off for some by ISIS, who told one Christian town official, “You don’t deserve to drink water,” reported Archdeacon Youkhana. The residents are desperately digging wells.
Many more have fled to Kurdistan, where there are ancestral Christian villages and big cities.
On July 19, the Kurdish Regional Government issued a statement welcoming the Christian exiles. It pledged the KRG to continue its “efforts and abilities to help those displaced” and called on the Kurdish people “to give all they can to aid the displaced Christian families.” It notes the Iraqi government “did not assume its responsibilities toward the displaced persons living in Kurdistan.”
ISIS control over Iraq’s territory presents an enormous threat to the region.
The religious cleansing of Mosul’s minorities is only part of the problem, but it is a grave crime against humanity, as well as a humanitarian catastrophe, that should no longer go overlooked in U.S. policy.
Nina Shea is director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom
Hamas backers spend fortunes on rockets and tunnels while Gazans live in misery
HAIFA, Israel – The latest ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ended Friday morning when Hamas resumed its costly campaign of rocket attacks on Israel even as its 2 million constituents suffer from wrenching poverty.
Although the millions of Palestinians packed into the small strip suffer from chronic unemployment, and lack of electricity and running water, Hamas and its backers such as Qatar have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on tunnels and rockets with one goal in mind: killing Israelis.
“When you look at what Hamas did with all the cement and the materials that went into Gaza for ‘building’, and you now see that most went on the tunnels, you understand that from their point of view the civilian side is not important,” retired Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, former national security advisor to the prime minister of Israel and director of the Intelligence Analysis Division in Israel’s Military Intelligence, told FoxNews.com.
So far, Israel has destroyed some 32 terror tunnels – each one requiring the equivalent of 350 truckloads of building supplies and costing up to $3 million to create, according to the IDF. And 3,360 short and medium-range rockets have been fired at Israel by Hamas and other militant Islamist groups, likely costing millions more.
Hamas’ arsenal- estimates suggest they still retain a significant number of missiles - includes home-made crude Qassam rockets,as well as longer-range more sophisticated weapons such as the Iranian Grad and Fajr5, and Syrian-made M302’s. Hamas had scores of rocket launching sites, many placed in or close to schools, mosques, and hospitals - including missiles hidden in UNRWA schools on three separate occasions.
Regional experts argue that Hamas’ terror infrastructure shows the terrorist group elected to power in 2006 shows its economic policies place war on Israel above the welfare of its own people. Gaza’s total gross domestic product is approximately $750 million, and although funding for attacks on Israel often comes from patrons like Iran, Turkey, and Qatar, true economic aid from Gaza’s allies should be spent to better the lives of Palestinians, experts say.
“Hamas is the same movement that runs both the civilian and the military [in Gaza],” said Amidror. “So when the money is going to Hamas, it is going both for civilian and military purposes. There is no question that Qatar is the biggest funder of Hamas. In the past it was more taxes from the tunnels that ran from the Sinai Peninsula [that funded Hamas], but today there is no question that it is Qatar more than anyone else.”
In 2012, the former Emir of Qatar visited Gaza and made a donation of $400 million to Hamas, a donation The New York Times reported would go towards “two housing complexes, rehabilitate three main roads, and create a prosthetic center, among other projects.”
Hamas appear to have diverted the funds to terror projects. The Qatari smoke screen of donating to ‘civilian projects’ fools few people, Israeli officials say.
In one of his final speeches last month before he stepped down as president of Israel, Shimon Peres also highlighted Qatar as the main financier of the Gaza regime.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Peres “charged Qatar, saying that Qatar had no right to spend millions of petrol dollars to enable Hamas to build rockets and tunnels instead of developing Gaza.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinians who suffer under Hamas’ governance can only watch as money that could have been spent to improve their lives is spent on rockets and tunnels now being systematically destroyed by the IDF.
“Most of Gaza’s civilians survive in substandard living conditions without the infrastructure to support basic sanitation, running water, and a sewer system,” said Itamar Gelbman, a former IDF special forces lieutenant and a U.S.-based security consultant. “The unemployment rate is over 40 percent and for the lucky ones who actually do work, they have to settle for an average salary of $16 per day.” Gelbman said instead of building terror tunnels, Hamas could have used the same money, equipment, and engineering to construct sewage and water treatment facilities, improve old infrastructure, build schools, and even create beach front resorts While its leaders live lavish lifestyles with luxurious villas on the Mediterranean shore, most Gazans sit and suffer as government workers go unpaid and money that could have been used to improve many lives continues to be squandered on Hamas’ pursuit of destroying Israel. “Only judging by their deeds you understand that there is no way that [Qatari] money went to civilian programs” said Amidror. “The materials went for military purposes.”
Paul Alster is an Israel-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter @paul_alster and visit his website: www.paulalster.com.
In Syria and Iraq thousands of innocents are dying every week, mostly out of the view of the international media. Muslims killed at the hands of other Muslims, or Muslims killing Christians, executed by Qatari and Saudi Arabian-sponsored jihadists for refusing to convert to Islam. The international outcry, relative to that on the Hamas-Israel conflict, is minimal.
Gaza Strip conflict: Israel wins war but is badly wounded by media coverage
Haifa, Israel – On Monday afternoon, August 4, day 27 of the latest war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed to FoxNews.com that it has carried out 4,712 air strikes on strategic targets in the Gaza Strip. According to Hamas figures there have been around 1,800 fatalities in the enclave, “mostly women and children.” Israel, mainly due to its Iron Dome missile defense system, has sustained 66 casualties, only three being civilian. You do the math. If, as its most vociferous opponents charge, Israel is committing war crimes in its bombardment of Gaza, a bombardment that comes in response to more than 10,000 rockets fired indiscriminately into Israel over recent years – and more than 3,300 in the last 27 days alone -- how come the death toll in Gaza averages less than 1 person for close to each three targeted Israeli strikes into what is, by common consent, one of the most heavily populated urban areas on the globe? Does that smack of random bombing? Does it reflect a lack of morality? Or does it reflect, as Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan has stated time and again during this and previous Israel-Gaza conflicts, that “Israel is the one country in the Western world today that is standing up for its morality and for its values against the onslaught of international jihad.” There has been scant questioning by the international media and by governments around the world of the figures on the dead given by Hamas. There has been very little attention paid to whether or not Hamas’ assertion that most of the dead are women and children is correct. Previous conflicts involving Hamas have shown them to be more than a little economical with the truth where figures are concerned. Hamas’ policy of embedding itself in heavily populated areas, its firing missiles from or close to schools, hospitals, and mosques, appears to be cynically designed to draw maximum casualties. The 4,712 Israeli airstrikes that have reportedly decimated Hamas' terror infrastructure, had they been carried out by any other force, would likely have caused the death of many tens if not hundreds of thousands of people. In Syria and Iraq thousands of innocents are dying every week, mostly out of the view of the international media. Muslims killed at the hands of other Muslims, or Muslims killing Christians, executed by Qatari and Saudi Arabian-sponsored jihadists for refusing to convert to Islam. The international outcry, relative to that on the Hamas-Israel conflict, is minimal. “Don’t think for a second please that Hamas cares for the children’s blood,” Mossab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, explained in a Fox News television interview a few days ago. “They want the children of Gaza to die. This is what gives them Arab and Islamic world sympathy, and this is what will condemn Israel internationally. This is their game and they’re happy about it.” Yousef has bravely spoken out against his family’s deeply ingrained doctrine and Hamas’ terrorist raison d’etre.
The convert to Christianity’s life is constantly at risk as he attempts to show a world broadly indifferent to Hamas’ macabre tactics, just what is going on, and why -- even allowing for stray Israeli shells that have occasionally, tragically, hit the wrong targets -- Israel has, in Yousef’s words, “No choice but to defend itself.”
“The only way, I believe, to fight an organization like Hamas” Yousef explains, “is to unmask them by exposing their ideology; what they stand for. Hamas is not a political party. It’s not even a Palestinian organization. Hamas hijacked the so-called ‘Palestinian cause’ and infiltrated the society to push their religious ideological agenda.”
Hamas is sponsored, funded, armed, and given technical support and guidance primarily by Qatar, Iran, and Turkey.
In fear of losing world sympathy, Hamas never refers to the number of its terrorists that have been killed.
It won’t allow the international media to show pictures of its hundreds of dead fighters; Israeli sources suggest that as many as 800 of the dead are terrorists.
If Hamas did let the media see a truer picture of Gazan casualties, the chances are that open-minded people would soon figure out for themselves that a very significant proportion of the dead are terrorists, something that would clearly suggest Israel has indeed been selective in its choice of targets.
While for most decent people the preservation of human life is paramount, Hamas has indoctrinated its children from as soon as they can speak to believe that death and rewards in heaven are to be prized above all else.
Speaking on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV only last week, Hamas Chief of Staff, Muhammad Deif crowed, “Today you [Israelis] are fighting divine soldiers, who love death for Allah like you love life, and who compete among themselves for martyrdom like you flee from death. We love death like our enemies love life!”
But despite the figures that appear to back up Israel’s assertion that its army is doing all it can to minimize civilian losses, the masses of air strikes it has aborted at the last second because the potential collateral damage (innocent civilian count) would be too high, and the fact that it has uncovered a dizzying network of terror tunnels dug from Gaza into Israel that had been prepared for use in a mass terror attacks on Israeli soil, some observers feel that Israel has been tried and summarily found guilty by a majority of the mass media without all the relevant evidence having been duly considered.
Speaking to The Algemeiner on July 30, Colonel Kemp put Israel’s media dilemma in perspective.
“The starting point for so much of the world’s media, opinion-makers, political leaders, NGOs, human rights groups, will always be that whatever Israel does is wrong… You see images of dead babies, dead boys on the beach, women screaming about their children, and no reality can overcome those images. It’s understandable in a way, because it is heart-wrenching… the problem is that there’s no reference, no open-mindedness to the fact that the only reason that these children have been killed is because of Hamas’ aggression towards Israel.”
Paul Alster is an Israel-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter @paul_alster and visit his website: www.paulalster.com.
To the Islamist fanatics the only international law they recognize is Koranic Sharia law-a law they falsely think comes from God (it comes from their false prophet) and a law that they desire to make the universal and highest law on earth. To them, its a war of conquest-conquering the world for God.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced a new outcry on Friday over his attitude to the media and women after he branded a prominent female journalist a "shameless woman" and told her "to know your place". Just ahead of Sunday's presidential election which he is clear favourite to win, Erdogan savaged Amberin Zaman, who writes for the Economist and the Turkish daily Taraf, over comments she made in a television debate. She had asked the main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the debate whether any Muslim society was capable of challenging its authorities. Erdogan lashed out at Zaman, without mentioning her directly by name, at an election rally in the eastern city of Malatya on Thursday, calling her a "shameless woman". "A militant in the guise of a journalist, a shameless woman... Know your place!" he declared. "They gave you a pen and you are writing a column in a newspaper... and you insult a society that is 99 percent Muslim," he said, drawing loud boos from the crowd. This is not the first time Erdogan has lashed out at journalists, who have come under increasing pressure in Turkey, which has more reporters behind bars than any other country in the world. The government's attitude towards women is also under heavy scrutiny, after Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc caused a furore by suggesting women should not laugh loudly in public.
- 'Her safety threatened' -
The Economist released a statement in response to the salvo, saying "we stand firmly by" its correspondent of 15 years. "The intimidation of journalists has no place in a democracy. Under Mr Erdogan, Turkey has become an increasingly difficult place for independent journalism," it said. Zaman responded to Erdogan through her column in the Taraf newspaper, writing: "You are lynching a Muslim woman who described what you are doing. Because women are sitting targets, aren't they?" She said she had been the target of a smear campaign by pro-government media outlets, who had called her a "Jewish bitch" who should become a "concubine" of Islamist jihadists in Iraq.
The Liberal News Media is really the Democrat Propaganda machine-they won't change-therefore it is incumbent on us to challenge the evil system and hopefully bring it down.
Hundreds of Egyptian women and girls kidnapped, forced into Islam, claims report
By Jack Ellis
Published June 20, 2014
Fifteen-year-old Amira Hafez Wahim slipped out of the Christian church in Luxor, Egypt, where she had attended services with her mother in February, promising to dash to a nearby store and return quickly. Five months later, she has not been seen since, although her parents immediately suspected a 28-year-old Muslim man named Yasser Mahmoud, who had tried to kidnap her before, had succeeded this time. When her father went to the Civil Status Authority for a copy of her birth certificate, his fears were confirmed: Her name had been changed and she was now listed as Muslim. Amira is one of approximately 550 Coptic Christian girls and women who have disappeared in Egypt over the last three years, according to a report from the Egyptian Association of Victims of Abduction and Enforced Disappearances. Ebnar Louis, the Cairo activist who founded the association in 2010, said police are typically indifferent to reports of missing girls. “We file an official police report, but it is often ignored,” Louis told the humanitarian think tank Atlantic Council. The reasons behind this alleged police indifference are unclear. It could be individual sectarian bias, inadequate resources and funding, or plain incompetence. The report concluded that many of the missing females were abducted by Salafi Muslims and forced to convert to Islam and marry their captors once estranged from their families. It found the abductions increased after secular strongman Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011 and replaced by Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Mohammed Morsi. Although Morsi was in turn ousted by the military nearly a year ago, the abductions have continued. Of the 550 missing females AVAED has investigated, only 10 have returned home and offered testimony. But the 10 who made it back tell a familiar tale that Louis’ group believes reveals an organized effort by Salafi extremists to kidnap, marry and convert Coptic women and girls. The American Center for Law and Justice, which has called on the Obama administration to speak out for religious freedom in the Middle East and Africa, believes there is an ominous goal behind the abductions. “The kidnappings are increasing, and many in the Coptic community believe that it is an attempt to systematically reduce the population of the Coptic community,” said ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow. Sekulow noted that the 550 figure far exceeds the approximately 300 Nigerian school girls recently kidnapped and forced to convert by Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram. That case drew international condemnation, but the lower-profile, drawn-out wave of abductions in Egypt has gone largely under the radar.
“The international community must stand boldly to let the Egyptian authorities know that this is a matter of grave concern," Sekulow said
The story of Coptic Christian girls being abducted by Muslim men is unfortunately not new, but is scarcely reported by the Democrat Liberal News Media Establishment.
Iraq crisis: Rarely has a US president been so wrong about so much
By Dick and Liz Cheney WSJ
As the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threaten Baghdad, thousands of slaughtered Iraqis in their wake, it is worth recalling a few of President Obama's past statements about ISIS and Al Qaeda. "If a J.V. team puts on Lakers' uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant" (January 2014). "[C]ore Al Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated" (August 2013). "So, let there be no doubt: The tide of war is receding" (September 2011).
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is "ending" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so.
His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America's enemies are not "decimated." They are emboldened and on the march.
The fall of the Iraqi cities of Fallujah, Tikrit, Mosul and Tel Afar, and the establishment of terrorist safe havens across a large swath of the Arab world, present a strategic threat to the security of the United States. Mr. Obama's actions—before and after ISIS's recent advances in Iraq—have the effect of increasing that threat.
America is Becoming a police State
With so much happening internationally and the number of scandals, crises and general screw-ups of the Obama administration here at home, it’s worth noting a disturbing development here on the domestic front: a rapidly expanding police state.
On my radio program last week I had the pleasure of speaking with Cheryl Chumley, a reporter for The Washington Times, about her new book, “Police State USA: How George Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming our Reality.” The title says it all, and aptly describes the shocking transformation of what had been our free society.
We all know about the scope of National Security Agency (NSA) spying. It’s fair to say at this point in our lives that the notion of privacy is all but dead and gone. However, it didn’t start there. In her book, Mrs. Chumley takes us on a ride through history, reminding us of the original intentions of the Founding Fathers versus the assault on the original design by “21st century realities.”
Keep in mind, people in the political class constantly reveal their contempt for regular citizens. That contempt is the inevitable result of a group of people who have convinced themselves that big government is necessary because the little people can’t control their own lives.
These same politicians and bureaucrats then begin to see themselves a genuinely better than everyone else. After all, if they were just like us, then they’d be part of the rabble, and they can’t have that. The solution to their dilemma is a police state.
Mrs. Chumley’s chapters in “Police State USA” provide a treatise on all the elements of society that are under attack as big government seeks to sustain itself through a police state, including aspects of an expanding and increasingly paranoid bureaucratic system that has decided the individual is the problem.
Regarding our nation being under attack by thugs intent on creating a police state, Mrs. Chumley notes:
“The Founding Fathers wouldn’t recognize America today. The God-given freedoms they championed in the Bill of Rights have been chipped away over the years by an ever-intrusive government bent on controlling all aspects of our lives in the name of safety and security. NSA wire-tapping and data collection is Orwellian in its scope. The TSA, BLM, and IRS are all jockeying for control of our lives. Warrantless searches are on the rise and even encouraged in some communities. Free speech, the right to bear arms, private property, and freedom of religion all are under attack. The Constitution has been tossed on the same trash pile as the Bible.”
Spying is one thing, but control is, in fact, key. During the Obama administration, most of us have grown concerned about the massive buy-up of ammunition of various federal agencies. The U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Agriculture, the Commerce Department and even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among so many other agencies, have acquired billions of rounds of ammunition.
In an article for Newsmax, Mrs. Chumley spoke with Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, who asked a telling question: “Why exactly does a weather service need ammunition?
“NOAA — really? They have a need? One just doesn’t know why they’re doing this,” he said. “The problem is, all these agencies have their own SWAT teams, their own police departments, which is crazy. In theory, it was supposed to be the U.S. marshals that was the armed branch for the federal government.”
In addition to mini-police forces attached to federal agencies, Mrs. Chumley addresses the “acquisition by police departments of major battlefield equipment emboldens officials to strong-arm those they should be protecting.”
The New York Times reports, “During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”
Silencers? Machine guns? Now why would local law enforcement need that sort of gear?
They do if they’re conditioning everyone, including local law enforcement itself, to believe that a police state is necessary and inevitable.
The good news is, that’s a lie. It doesn’t have to be either.
Speaking to a solution, Cheryl Chumley’s book concludes with a call to “Throw the bums out — why virtue, accountability are key.”
It’s one thing to have this unfold, and quite another to allow it to continue. One of the first things necessary to take back this nation is becoming informed. “Police State USA” is the book that will get you there and inspire you to defend this nation from big government zealots who believe you won’t notice what they’re up to.
Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, New York Times best-selling author and Fox News political contributor.
Assad's inferno: Can Syria be saved?
Published June 20, 2014
Syria continues to descend deeper and deeper into perdition, surpassing even Dante’s legendary nine circles of hell. When President Bashar al-Assad initiated the conflict more than three years ago, he promised that others would pay heavily—and they have. Assad’s inferno has reached far beyond Syria’s borders. As I write, a Muslim Frenchman, who did a year’s stint with the ISIS in Syria, is in custody for murdering four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24. This was an ominous act of terrorism that confirmed European and U.S. fears about the whereabouts of the estimated hundreds, if not thousands, of jihadist adherents who made the trek to Syria to join up with the ISIS and similar groups. While not allied with Assad and his Iranian benefactors, ISIS continues to thrive in Syria amidst the chaos his regime has generated and fostered. Now it has also violently expanded its capture of territory in Iraq. It all began in March 2011 with the arrest and torture of Syrian schoolchildren, an outrage that sparked an outcry from their parents and led to mass, peaceful protests in major Syrian cities. But Assad could not bear any public criticism, let alone suggestions for reform. His regime responded with an ongoing mix of brutal repression aimed at instilling fear among Syrians, and the desire to do maximum damage to them and their country.
The UN stopped trying to keep count of the dead from the three years of conflict last January.The official death toll of 160,000 is already out of date and continues to rise.
Syria has been designated the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 9 million people—about 40 percent of the population—have been displaced, one-third of them living as refugees in neighboring Jordan, Lebanon and other countries.
More than 50 percent of the refugees are under age 18, constituting a lost generation deprived of education, proper health care and other humanitarian assistance.
The future for Syria’s youngsters, as well as for their families, is uncertain.
Even if one day they could return home, what would they find? Assad’s regime has systematically destroyed buildings, even whole neighborhoods, in cities and towns across the country. Syria’s ancient heritage has also not been spared. The leveling of the 400-year-old Eliyahu Hanabi Synagogue in the Damascus suburb of Jobar, with the attendant loss of generations of Syrian Jewish artifacts, was just the latest destructive assault on religious and cultural sites.
Cloistered in Damascus, insulated from much of the destruction his loyalists have produced, Assad has outlived persistent forecasts of his demise. His staying power is unlike other leaders in the region who were quickly felled by the Arab Spring uprisings.
Assad has survived, albeit with extraordinary costs to this own country, ignoring demands for his departure and refusing even to negotiate with opponents. Two peace conferences in Geneva failed, and two UN/Arab League envoys, Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi, resigned in frustration.
Assad’s reelection as president, cynically held in the midst of civil war and with the result never in doubt, gave him a public endorsement to carry on his reign of terror for at least another seven years. Never mind that the alleged high turnout took into account only those who could find places to vote inside war-torn Syria, or to line up at some embassies in other countries. Among the first to congratulate Assad upon his victory was the head of the Iranian election monitors team which, along with representatives of Venezuela and other self-styled bastions of democracy, gave full approval to the voting process and the results. Iran has been an Assad ally like no other, sending regular shipments of arms, often through Iraqi airspace, and also supplying the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, another foreign force that entered the Syrian war to help Assad.
Iran’s role in the Syria conflict, however, has been mostly disregarded in the P5+1 talks focusing on its nuclear program. “No deal is better than a bad deal” is the current mantra, but will “no deal” actually prevent Tehran from achieving the capacity to build a nuclear weapon? Finding a way to extend the talks beyond the July 20th deadline is vital. And, if all the parties agree, adding the Syria file to the agenda will also be critical. That will give the five UN Security Council members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. -- and Germany another chance to devise a common approach on the Syria crisis, however difficult Russia in particular, largely supported by China, has proved to be in forging a consensus on Syria. Saving Syria and preventing its war from further inflaming the region, and beyond, should be an urgent international priority. The U.S. can exert leadership, but without cooperation from others, there will be no way out of the intricate maze of hell Assad has fashioned.
Kenneth Bandler is the American Jewish Committee’s director of media relations.
State vs. faith: What’s at stake in the Hobby Lobby case
Monday the U.S. Supreme Court will decide Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, a case that will clarify whether business owners can express their religious beliefs through their business policies.
Here’s the issue. Hobby Lobby, a nationwide chain of arts-and-crafts stores, objects to providing the so-called “morning-after pill” to its employees as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (the “ObamaCare” law). The company already provides generous health care benefits to its 13,000 full-time employees and will more than comply with the required minimums in the new law, but its owner, David Green, a devout Christian, will not pay for the pills that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. If life begins at conception, Green reasons, then the pill causes an abortion. A trial court ruled against Hobby Lobby, fining Green $1.3 million per day for non-compliance, beginning January 1, 2013. The Tenth Circuit reversed its decision and now the case is in the hands of the nine Justices.
It’s the highest profile of many recent state-versus-faith cases, several of which involve Christian entrepreneurs who decline to participate in same-sex weddings—florists, photographers, deejays and bakers.
It’s nothing less than a secular Inquisition. In response, legislators in nearby Arizona passed a bill to protect the religious liberty of business owners, permitting them to refuse transactions that contravene their faith. Missouri, Georgia and Kansas have similar bills in the pipeline.
Predictably, many in the media were apoplectic, single-mindedly framing the Arizona bill as “anti-gay,” “bigoted” and a return to the days of “no blacks allowed.” And through this narrative, more opinion-shaping than reporting, they browbeat Governor Jan Brewer into vetoing the bill.
However, the situation is so different in degree from Jim Crow that it’s different in kind. These Christian business owners don’t want to turn away gay customers; that money is as green as any other. They simply don’t want to contribute in any way to the gay marriage movement. So they’ll sell you roses, just not for a wedding. And they’ll sell you cupcakes and birthday cakes, just not a wedding cake. Homosexuals can buy 99 percent of the products in such businesses. It's hardly “no gays allowed.”
The real agenda here is “no faith allowed.” It’s happened in the public schools; now it’s happening in the workplace. And the tactic is an old one: Hijack the discussion and blame the believer.
“Justify your bias,” says the reporter. “Explain your discrimination. Repent of your ignorance. Be tolerant of those who disagree with you.” They conveniently ignore that the logic cuts both ways.
Justify your bias against Christians. Explain your discrimination against people of faith. Repent of your ignorance of the First Amendment. Be tolerant of those Christians who disagree with you.
One wonders what the media would say about a black baker being jailed for refusing to cater a KKK rally or an Israeli lawyer being fined for not representing neo-Nazis. The violation of conscience is equally egregious.
There’s more at stake, though, than mere single-mindedness and double-standards. If the law requires business owners, under threat of state punishment, to abdicate their bona fide religious beliefs, then we are adopting a new form of governance -- one that’s more Pyongyang than Peoria.
And on with sweeping implications. An adverse ruling in the Hobby Lobby case—or any similar religious liberty cases—means that private, faith-based schools and colleges will be next.
Also in the crosshairs will be pastors. Preach that the practice of homosexuality is sin and be slapped with a gag order, a fine, and maybe some jail time.
An exaggeration? Look at Sweden if you want a crystal ball.
Pentecostal pastor Ake Green was prosecuted and sentenced to a month in prison (eventually overturned) for preaching against the practice of homosexuality.
Look also at Canada where William Whatcott has been arrested repeatedly and fined thousands of dollars for his street teaching on the issue. The charge? “Hate speech.”
If you don’t like what the Bible says, criminalize the sharing of it. Yes, this is Canada, not Iran.
Ultimately we’ll see the coup de grace, the closing of churches that refuse to marry gay couples. It’s almost inevitable since the principle is the same: You can’t deny some “customers” service because of your faith.
Couldn’t happen? Look at Denmark where in 2012 the Parliament voted 85-24 to compel its Lutheran churches to perform same-sex weddings.
This is why the Hobby Lobby case matters so much -- and not just for business.
If we live in a country where we can’t express our faith through our business, then we may someday live in a country where we can’t express our faith at all.Michael Zigarelli is the editor of Christianity9to5.org