Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Documentary Release: Their Eyes Were Dry

Their Eyes Were Dry, a important documentary, has just been released for sale on DVD.  It covers the Ma'alot Massacre that occurred in May 1974. 
To purchase click HERE

Harvard Medical School's Pro-Smoking Conference

Slick image from the sponsor of anti-Israel conference at Harvard

Harvard's Latest Assault on Israel -Ruth Wisse

•A conference at Harvard next week called "Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution" is but the latest aggression in an escalating campaign against the Jewish state.

•The roster of speakers and subjects makes their hostile agenda indisputable.

•Freedom of speech grants all Americans the right to prosecute the verbal war against Israel. But let's differentiate toleration from abetting. Harvard may tolerate smoking, but its medical school wouldn't sponsor a conference touting the benefits of cigarettes.

•Students who are inculcated with hatred of Israel may want to express their national, religious or political identity by urging its annihilation. But universities that condone their efforts are triple offenders...
The writer is a professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard University.
(Wall Street Journal)

Should Harvard Sponsor a One-Sided Conference Seeking the End of Israel?
-Alan M. Dershowitz

Ask yourself what Harvard would do if a group of students and faculty decided to convene a conference on the topic, "Are the Palestinians Really a People?," and invited as speakers only academics who answered that question in the negative?

Let there be no doubt that the call for a single state solution is a euphemism for ending the existence of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Many of those speaking at the Harvard conference are on record opposing the existence of Israel. Many of the speakers at this conference will rail against "a Jewish state." But they will not protest the Palestinian Constitution which establishes Islam as the only "official religion" and requires that "the principles of Islamic Sharia shall be the main source of legislation."
The writer is a professor at Harvard Law School.
(Stonegate Institute)

Students and Alumni Protest Conference -Aisling H. Crane & Melanie A. Guzman

More than 2,000 Harvard students and alumni have signed an online petition calling on the University to withdraw all financial support and distance itself from a conference considering a one-state solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict at the Harvard Kennedy School next week.

The petition opposing the conference accused the event of propagating a manifestation of "new anti-Semitism." The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs have both removed their logos from the conference website since the petition went up.
(Harvard Crimson)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NYCity Defends Itself Against Attacks

Kelly Defends Surveillance of Muslims -Joseph Goldstein

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly defended the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism program, saying “people have short memories as to what happened here in 2001.”

Mr. Kelly’s remarks, made during an appearance on WOR-AM (710), were in response to growing criticism of the department’s surveillance methods, including monitoring of Muslim communities in New York City and beyond, and its reliance on stop-and-frisk interactions as a crime-fighting tool.

He defended the surveillance conducted by the Police Department, saying, “It would be folly for us to focus only on the five boroughs of New York City, and we have to use all of our resources to protect everyone.”

Mr. Kelly suggested that criticism from political candidates amounted to “pandering” that ignored the department’s core mission. “What we’re trying to do is save lives, and the tactics and strategies that we’ve used on the streets of this city have indeed saved lives,” he said.

So apologize for doing what I’m paid to do, for being realistic about the way we protect this city, and what we know about the way radical Islam works?” Mr. Kelly said in the column. “Not happening.”

Speaking on WOR, Mr. Kelly continued his defiant tone, saying that regardless of criticism, the Police Department was going to do “what we believe has to be done to protect our city.” He criticized the news media as being shortsighted, saying that “they forget” that New York City has been the target of numerous terrorist plots — Mr. Kelly put the number at 14 — since the Sept. 11, 2001, attack.
[New York Times]

The Obama Apology

Afghan crowd with masked Obama on his knees, his hands postured as if begging forgiveness

Afghan crowd lynches Obama

Krauthammer On Apology: Embarrassing, Self-Debasement And Groveling

"That was embarrassing what we saw," Charles Krauthammer said about the Obama administration issuing multiple apologies to the Muslim world for the Koran-burning incident.

"We have gone from apology here to abject self-debasement and groveling. And groveling to whom? To the mob. We should've had a single apology from the commander on the ground and that's it. Not from the Secretary of Defense. Not from the President, of all people. Remember when the president had to pick up the phone when there was a crazy pastor in Florida who wanted a Koran burning and he had to be talked out of it," Krauthammer said on FOX News' "Special Report."

"Is the president in charge of offenses against a certain religious tradition in the world?" Krauthammer asked.

"This is a world in which nobody asked the Islamic conference, the grouping of the 56 Islamic countries to issue an apology when Christians are attacked and churches are burned in Egypt or in Pakistan. And have we heard a word from any Islamic leader anywhere about the radical Muslims in Nigeria, who not only are burning churches but burning women and children who are Christian in the Churches. When I hear that I'll expect my president to start issuing an apology," he said.

Commentator Kirsten Powers disagreed.

"No, absolutely not," she said when asked if the Obama administration went "too far" in their multiple apologies...

NOTE: For a full video of this debate, click HERE
[Real Clear Politics]
Apology Didn't Soothe The Mob, It Intensified The Violence
Charles Krauthammer: "I think what's happened over the last few days is definitive evidence of how ineffective the apology has been. If I thought the apology could save one American life I'd swallow hard and say to the president to go ahead and do it. But he did do it and it did not soothe the savage mob. In fact, it intensified the violence.

NOTE: For a full video of this second debate, click HERE
[Real Clear Politics]

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thank G-d for the Golan Heights

The Golan

Israel Watches Syria, Hopefully, But Warily -Ethan Bronner

Israelis see the downfall of Assad in Syria as welcome since it would deal a major blow to Iran.

But without a central authority, Syria could descend into chaos and enable terrorist bases on Israel's northeast border. Israel worries that the Golan Heights could become to the north what the Egyptian Sinai has become to the south: a staging ground for anti-Israel action.

This led an aide to Prime Minister Netanyahu to say that it was lucky Israel had never returned the Golan Heights to Syria since it has served as a buffer to the violence in the past year.
(New York Times)

America's Alibis for Not Helping Syria -Fouad Ajami

The silence of President Obama on the matter of Syria reveals the general retreat of American power in the Middle East. Yet topple the Syrian dictatorship and the access of Iran to the Mediterranean is severed, leaving the brigands of Hamas and Hizbullah scrambling.

Plainly, the Syrian tyranny's writ has expired.

It is an inescapable fate that the U.S. is the provider of order in that region. We can lend a hand to the embattled Syrians or risk turning Syria into a devil's playground of religious extremism. The Syrian army is demoralized and riven with factionalism and sectarian enmities. It could be brought down by defectors given training and weapons; safe havens could give disaffected soldiers an incentive, and the space, to defect.

In a battered Syria, a desperate people await America's help and puzzle over its leader's passivity.
The writer is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
(Wall Street Journal)


For those, like reader LHwrites, who are more cautious about supporting the Syrian opposition, I share the following piece. 

Syria: Arguing for U.S. Inaction -Daniel Pipes, PhD

Good news: the abominable Assad dynasty is coming to its end. Better "the devil we don't know" than more of a totalitarian regime that oppresses its people, threatens its neighbors, and provides crucial assistance to the mullahs in Tehran.

That said, I favor a U.S. policy of inaction, of letting events transpire as they might in Syria. While the regime and its opposition battle:

•The less the regime can make trouble for its neighbors.
•The more potential for Iranians to take inspiration and rebel against their rulers.
•The more Sunni Arabs anger at Tehran. As Syria analyst Gary Gambill puts it, "What's wrong with the status quo of an Iran chained to a Syrian corpse?"
•The more they anger at Moscow and Peking.

Further, the overthrow of the Assad regime will not automatically end the country's civil war. More likely, that will reverse the dynamic, with Alawi and other rebels next fighting a Sunni Islamist regime.

Agree or disagree with my specifics; but Americans should look at Syria strategically, putting a priority on their own security in a dangerous world.
[National Review Online]

Devil's Wedding Bells: the marriage of Iran & al Qaeda

Al-Qaeda's Big Fat Iranian Wedding -Clifford D. May 

The Bush administration waged what it called a Global War on Terrorism. Yet against Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, no serious actions were ever taken. President Obama is waging what he calls a “war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.” Yet he and his advisers are reluctant to articulate what has become indisputable: Iran and al-Qaeda are affiliated.

Senior Obama officials have come closer to calling a spade a spade: Last week, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the relationship between Iran and al-Qaeda as a “longstanding . . . marriage.” But you had to listen carefully to hear him say that.

"Iran has harbored al-Qaeda leaders, facilitators,” Clapper told a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. They have been “under house-arrest conditions. [Iran’s rulers] have had this sort of standoff arrangement with al-Qaeda, allowing [al-Qaeda] to exist [inside Iran], but not to foment any operations directly from Iran, because they’re very sensitive about, ‘Hey, we might come after them there as well.’ . . . So there has been this longstanding, as I say, kind of, shotgun marriage, or marriage of convenience. I think, probably, the Iranians may think that they might use, perhaps, al-Qaeda in the future as a surrogate or proxy.”

Not quite a model of analytic clarity but, as I said, at least it approaches reality (and do note the cryptic warning about Iran deploying al-Qaeda terrorists down the road).

Also last week: The U.S. Treasury Department designated the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as a sponsor of terrorism. And among the terrorist groups Treasury said MOIS supports: al-Qaeda. The forms this support has taken: facilitating the movement of al-Qaeda operatives in Iran; providing al-Qaeda members “with documents, identification cards, and passports”; and providing both “money and weapons” to al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq.

The terrorist attack that killed 19 Americans at Khobar Towers in 1996 was most likely an Iranian–al-Qaeda joint venture. But the Clinton administration chose to shut down FBI investigators in the belief — misguided but widespread at the time — that more moderate Iranians were coming to power in Tehran and that publicly revealing the Iranian role would impede diplomatic efforts.

[W]hy has there been so little public discussion of the Iranian-al-Qaeda relationship? Two reasons suggest themselves: (1) Scholars, journalists, and intelligence analysts who denied this association in the past are reluctant to admit they were wrong. (2) Knowledge conveys responsibility: If Iran is — and long has been — married to al-Qaeda, and if Iran is now just a few spins of a centrifuge away from acquiring nuclear weapons, it follows that strong measures must be taken against this growing threat.

That’s a message many Americans do not want to hear. It’s certainly a message many American leaders do not want to tell them.
[Jewish World Review]

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Politically Correct Ban Sacha Baron Cohen from Oscars


The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has pulled actor Sacha Baron Cohen‘s tickets from the 84th Academy Awards. This means he is banned from attending the Oscars even though he is an Academy member and one of the stars from Hugo, Paramount’s 11-nominated movie and Best Picture contender.

The reason is that a proposal reached the Academy for Baron Cohen to strut the Red Carpet in full costume as his title character in the upcoming Paramount comedy The Dictator.
[Deadline Hollywood]


Sacha Baron Cohen, released this special videotape following being banned from attending the Oscars. 

Bolton: Iran Goes Nuclear on Obama's Watch

Iran’s relentless nuclear quest -John Bolton

The pace of Iran's nuclear program demonstrates its lack of concern for U.S. military action. Indeed, so confident is Tehran that it not only has conspired to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington on our own soil, but has been busily targeting Israeli diplomats in terrorist attacks and giving Europe a taste of its own medicine by cutting off oil supplies even before new European Union sanctions take effect.

Sadly for America, Iran's progress represents a bipartisan foreign-policy failure, extending over three successive administrations. The Obama administration's only real distinction, embarrassing though it is, is to have carried Clinton and George W. Bush administration mistakes to their ultimate conclusion. Mr. Obama could well be remembered in history as the president asleep in the wheelhouse when Iran actually achieved both nuclear weapons and a fully indigenous nuclear fuel cycle.

Those in the White House who fear an Israeli attack more than Iranian nuclear weapons may prevail. But a world where Iran has nuclear weapons (and, inevitably therefore, so will others nearby) will be far more dangerous than a world after an Israeli military strike.
[Washington Times]

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Countering Israel Hatred on Campuses

This effective ad is meant to counter the upcoming annual “Israel Apartheid Week” (Feb. 27-March 3) that has infested college campuses.  Sponsored by Step Up For Israel, their campaign includes excellent video material. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

What a Real Arab Moderate Sounds & Looks Like

Lee Habeeb

Arab Like Me -Lee Habeeb

    There are two kinds of Arabs in this world. Those who hate Jews, and those who don't. And in my life, as a Lebanese kid growing up in New Jersey, I have met more of the former than the latter. The fact is, Arabs don't all think alike. Some of us believe in a simple universal truth: that every Arab deserves to live in freedom, wherever he or she might call home. Some of us want Arab countries to be more like America and Israel, places where the individual can flourish.

    An Arab American friend of mine, a Jordanian, is well educated, and he speaks five languages. But mention the word "Israel," and watch his blood boil immediately. Why is all of his passion, all of his anger and rage, directed at this one country? Why is it not directed at Syria, I ask him? Why not at Hizbullah, which orchestrated the takeover of Lebanon? Why not at Hosni Mubarak when he was in power? Or Saddam Hussein? Why not at the ways in which some Muslims are persecuting Christians?

    Two reasons: fear, and envy. To the dismay of Arabs around the world, Jewish people turned an ancient piece of real estate in the Middle East into a thriving oasis of intellectual, political, religious, and commercial activity, where people are free to do as they please, with a functioning government that respects religious and economic freedom.

    I ask my friend why he is obsessed with the 1967 border dispute, and not some other border grudge, as it would not take long to find other countries unhappy with the ways in which territories were allocated as spoils of various 19th- and 20th-century wars. I tell him that using his logic, Mexican terrorists should be blowing themselves up in Houston and El Paso.

    I now ask Arabs who show such a knee-jerk reaction to Israel: Why do you hate Jews? They quickly point out that they have no beef with Jews. It's Israel they hate. To which I reply, "If Israel had been handed over to Bolivians or Albanians or Estonians, would you still hate it?" It makes the point: Despising Israel the way Israel is despised in much of the Arab world is all about anti-Semitism.

The writer is vice president of content at Salem Radio Network.
(National Review)

Palestinian Unity: VideoBite

A powerful video from our friends at Latma TV...humor is a powerful weapon

The New PA-Hamas Agreement: Opening the Gates to the Trojan Horse
-Jonathan D. Halevi

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal signed a new agreement to create a Palestinian national unity government for the West Bank and Gaza.
 (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Abandoning Syria

Listening to the Syrian Resistance -Clifford D. May

Recent upheavals in the Middle East, mislabeled “the Arab Spring,” have so far brought change only to countries where those in power had been cooperating with the U.S.: Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.

By contrast, the 2009 uprising against Iran’s anti-American theocrats was brutally suppressed, while Western leaders lifted not a finger and said hardly a word. If Assad manages to remain in power, the lesson will be that it has become less dangerous to be America’s enemy than to be America’s friend.

This formulation, I suspect, goes a long way toward explaining Russia’s staunch backing of Assad. Putin is sending a message to his fellow autocrats everywhere: Moscow, unlike Washington, can be counted on when the chips are down.

[T]he “international community” is highly selective about which massacres require action and which may be regretted and dismissed. If Americans won’t provide leadership — protecting civilians while advancing the West’s security interests — no one will.
[Jewish World Review]

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Iran Strikes in India & Thailand

India, Israel Cooperate on Bomb Investigation -Yaakov Katz & Herb Keinon
Israeli forensic teams arrived in New Delhi to assist in the investigation of the bombing attack against an Israeli embassy car.

Tali Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of the Defense Ministry's representative to India who was injured in the bombing, was in stable condition after surgery. She is suffering from partial paralysis in one of her legs.
(Jerusalem Post)

Caught in His Own Blast: An Iranian Targeting Israel -Andrew Buncombe
A day after an Israeli diplomat was injured in a bomb attack in Delhi and another attempt was foiled in Georgia - police in Bangkok were called to a property where an explosion badly damaged the roof.

Reports said three men, all said to be Iranian, fled the scene. One of the men attempting to flee threw an explosive device at advancing police. His legs were said to have been torn off by the subsequent blast. The man was identified as Saeid Moradi. "We discovered the injured man's passport. It's an Iranian passport," Bansiri Prapapat, a police official, said.

Israel: Thai Bombs Similar to Ones Used in India, Georgia Attacks
The bombs discovered in a Bangkok house after an accidental blast were similar to devices used against Israeli Embassy targets in India and Georgia, Israel's ambassador to Thailand Itzhak Shoha said. That and the arrest of the two Iranians in Thailand "again leave not too much room to assume who was behind it," he said. Israel's Channel 10 TV quoted unidentified Thai authorities as saying the captured Iranians confessed to targeting Israeli interests.
(AP-Washington Post)


Iranian terror cell with Thai prostitutes prior to explosion

Karmic mistake: Iranian Saeid Moradi, who is still alive, had his legs blown off after a grenade he hurled bounced back onto him, as police closed in on him outside a Bangkok school
For more photos and full coverage click here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Anatomy of a Smear: VideoBite

The makers of the controversial film The Third Jihad released this short video, fighting back against the storm created by the New York Times

Drawing Lessons from Nuke Escalation

The Saudis Will Want the Bomb, Too -Michael J. Totten
It's no secret that Saudi Arabia will want nuclear weapons if Iran gets them. There's an interesting angle here that hardly anyone seems to notice.

Israel is supposedly the mortal enemy of the Arabs. Right? So how come no Arab state bothered getting nuclear weapons after Israel acquired the bomb?

Either the Arab war against Israel is less serious than the conventional wisdom would have it, the Arab-Persian conflict is more serious than the conventional wisdom would have it, or both.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Krauthammer: Israel will strike Iran

In the video above, Charles Krauthammer predicts Israel will strike Iran


Obama's Dangerous Game with Iran -Daniel Klaidman, Eli Lake & Dan Ephron

The head of Israel's Mossad was recently in Washington for meetings on Iran. According to an American official who was involved, Tamir Pardo wanted to take the pulse of the Obama administration and determine what the consequences would be if Israel bombed Iranian nuclear sites over American objections.

Israeli officials say that the U.S. thinks it can afford to wait until Iran is on the very verge of weaponizing, because U.S. forces have the capacity to carry out multiple bombing sorties and cripple the Iranian program at that point. Israel, however, would not be able to carry out such a sustained attack and would need to hit much sooner to be effective - before Iran could shelter much of its program deep underground.

One former Israeli official tells Newsweek he heard this explanation directly from Defense Minister Ehud Barak: "If Israel will miss its last opportunity [to attack], then we will have to lean only on the United States, and if the United States decides not to attack, then we will face an Iran with a bomb."


Friday, February 10, 2012

No Peace for a Decade

The path of peace

A New, Realistic Peace Is Needed -Ari Shavit

After Israel gave the Palestinians most of Gaza, the first bus blew up at Dizengoff Square. After Israel gave the Palestinians Nablus and Ramallah, buses started blowing up in downtown Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. And after Israel suggested that the Palestinians set up a sovereign state on most of the territories, they responded with a wave of terror. And as suicide terrorists were running amok in our cities, it started to dawn on people that maybe there was something defective about the promise of a great peace.

After Israel withdrew from south Lebanon, a Shi'ite missile base was set up there, which threatens the entire country. And after Israel withdrew from the Gaza settlements, the area became an armed Hamastan that continually attacked the south.

Tzipi Livni sat with Ahmed Qureia for a full year, but Qureia signed nothing. Ehud Olmert offered Jerusalem to Mahmoud Abbas, but Abbas just disappeared. The fact that the moderate Palestinians were turning their backs on the most generous peace offerings Israel had ever made raised gloomy suspicions about their intentions. Were they really willing to divide the country into two national states that would live side by side with one another? Reasonable, moderate Israelis lost their faith in reconciliation.

Now the Islamic revolution in Egypt has removed the southern anchor of that promised peace. The Arab awakening has killed the diplomatic process. In the coming years, no moderate Arab leader will have enough legitimacy or power to sign a peace agreement with Israel.

Peace simply isn't going to happen. Not now, and not in this decade.

Obama Green-Lights Hamas Deal

Report: U.S. Won't Oppose Fatah-Hamas Deal -Elior Levy
The U.S. administration has informed the Palestinian Authority that it has no objections to the reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas, the London-based Al-Hayat reported.

Israel has expressed vehement objection to the deal.

[T]he Palestinian leadership in the West Bank decided against resuming the Amman peace talks with Israel.
(Ynet News)

Upside Down Egypt

A cartoon worth a thousand words

Egypt's Ominous Detention of Americans-Michael Gerson

For months, the Egyptian government has explored the limits of U.S. patience, which it is just about to reach.
(Washington Post)

Egypt Must Drop Charges Against U.S. Democracy Workers -Editorial

[T]he Obama administration and the U.S. Congress should make it clear to Egypt how costly its current course of action could be for all involved.
(Boston Globe)


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

President Obama called "startlingly naive" on Iran

America's Red Lines in the Sand on Iran -Richard Cohen

•The fact is that the Iranian regime is astonishingly violent. In addition to the attempt on the life of the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Iran had its own former prime minister stabbed to death in a Paris hotel room, was allegedly behind the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center (85 dead) and is blamed for the bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in which 19 U.S. airmen were killed. This is a dangerous regime.

•President Obama wants the Iranian regime to turn its nuclear sword into a plowshare.

•In his State of the Union address, Obama said: "A peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations." This statement - the vaunted carrot - is startlingly naive. Where is the evidence to suggest that the men who now run Iran will slap their foreheads, say zowie (in Farsi) and conclude that they were wrong to pursue a nuclear weapons program? More likely, they will conclude that North Korea survives because it defied the U.S. and continued to develop nuclear weapons.

•The ultimate remedy is Iranian regime change. In the meantime, Obama must ensure that Iran perceives no daylight between the U.S. and Israel, and no chance that Washington will become naive about Iran's intentions. This looming crisis is not only about Israel. It's about America, too.
(Washington Post)

President's Super Bowl interview -Frank J. Gaffney Jr

President Obama provided his own Super Sunday show. In some respects, it was almost as bizarre as Madonna's performance at half-time. In his interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, Mr. Obama responded oddly to concerns raised last week by leaders of the U.S. intelligence community. They testified on Capitol Hill that the Iranian mullahs appear to be planning attacks on the United States. Yet, the president told Mr. Lauer, "We don't see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now."

Anyone with an IQ above room temperature has noticed lately plenty of evidence of both hostile Iranian intentions and the capabilities to act on them. Mr. Obama's statement that "we don't see any evidence" of Iran's intentions and capabilities to attack us is either witless or deceptive.
[Jewish World Review]

Iceberg Ahead for Egypt

Are Egypt's Islamists Heading for a Fall? -Daniel Pipes, PhD

In Egypt, which imports more than half its caloric intake, wages must keep up with the price of food or people begin to starve. Yet the country appears to be heading for a monumental financial collapse in 2012, and perhaps by the summer.

If Islamists strut about as though they rule Egypt, the population will blame them and their Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) allies for its hunger. The anger could quickly turn ferocious.

After waiting 84 years to attain legitimacy and power, the Muslim Brotherhood may find it got suckered into taking over the ship's helm just as it heads into an iceberg.
(National Review)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Syria's Fall Spells Trouble for Iran, Hezbollah & Friends

Syria: It's not just about freedom -Charles Krauthammer

Imperial regimes can crack when they are driven out of their major foreign outposts. The fall of the Berlin Wall did not only signal the liberation of Eastern Europe from Moscow. It prefigured the collapse of the Soviet Union itself just two years later.

The fall of Bashar al-Assad’s Syria could be similarly ominous for Iran. The alliance with Syria is the centerpiece of Iran’s expanding sphere of influence, a mini-Comintern that includes such clients as Iranian-armed and -directed Hezbollah, now the dominant power in Lebanon; and Hamas, which controls Gaza and threatens to take the rest of Palestine (the West Bank) from a feeble Fatah.

Tehran has even extended its horizon to Latin America, as symbolized by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s solidarity tour through Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba.
Of all these clients, Syria is the most important. It’s the only Arab state openly allied with non-Arab Iran. This is significant because the Arabs see the Persians as having had centuries-old designs to dominate the Middle East. Indeed, Iranian arms and trainers, transshipped to Hezbollah through Syria, have given the Persians their first outpost on the Mediterranean in 2,300 years.

But the Arab-Iranian divide is not just national/ethnic. It is sectarian. The Arabs are overwhelmingly Sunni. Iran is Shiite. The Arab states fear Shiite Iran infiltrating the Sunni homeland through (apart from Iraq) Hezbollah in Lebanon, and through Syria, run by Assad’s Alawites, a heterodox offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Which is why the fate of the Assad regime is geopolitically crucial.

With its archipelago of clients anchored by Syria, Iran is today the greatest regional threat — to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states terrified of Iranian nuclear hegemony; to traditional regimes menaced by Iranian jihadist subversion; to Israel, which the Islamic Republic has pledged to annihilate; to America and the West, whom the mullahs have vowed to drive from the region.
No surprise that the Arab League, many of whose members are no tenderhearted humanitarians, is pressing hard for Assad’s departure. His fall would deprive Iran of an intra-Arab staging area and sever its corridor to the Mediterranean. Syria would return to the Sunni fold. Hezbollah, Tehran’s agent in Lebanon, could be next, withering on the vine without Syrian support and Iranian materiel. And Hamas would revert to Egyptian patronage.

It’s not just the Sunni Arabs lining up against Assad. Turkey, after a recent flirtation with a Syrian-Iranian-Turkish entente, has turned firmly against Assad, seeing an opportunity to extend its influence, as in Ottoman days, as protector/master of the Sunni Arabs. The alignment of forces suggests a unique opportunity for the West to help finish the job.

How? First, a total boycott of Syria, beyond just oil and including a full arms embargo. Second, a flood of aid to the resistance. Third, a Security Council resolution calling for the removal of the Assad regime. Russia, Assad’s last major outside ally, should be forced to either accede or incur the wrath of the Arab states with a veto [just after this article was written, Russian & China vetoed just such a resolution].

Force the issue. Draw bright lines. Make clear American solidarity with the Arab League against a hegemonic Iran and its tottering Syrian client. In diplomacy, one often has to choose between human rights and strategic advantage. This is a rare case where we can advance both — so long as we do not compromise with Russia or relent until Assad falls.
[Jewish World Review]

War of Words Begins

Ya'alon spreads paranoia in Iran's nuclear program by implying that Israel has penetrated their nuclear staff.  If true, bunker bombs are less necessary.

Ya'alon: All of Iran's Nuke Faculties Are Vulnerable - Barak Ravid

All of Iran's nuclear facilities are vulnerable to a military strike, Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon [pictured] said.

"Any facility protected by humans can be infiltrated by humans. It's possible to strike all Iran's facilities, and I say that out of my experience as IDF chief of staff."

Panetta could have betrayed Israel's confidence by exposing their plans...or he could be entering the new War of Words with information...or disinformation.

Panetta believes Israel will strike Iran soon -Yitzhak Benhorin

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta [pictured] believes that Israel is likely to strike Iran in the coming months, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius said.

"Panetta believes there is strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a “zone of immunity” to commence building a nuclear bomb," Ignatius wrote.

Asked by journalists whether he disputes the report, Panetta said, "No, I'm just not commenting."

The Israeli scenario, according to Ignatius, is a five day limited offensive, followed by a UN-brokered ceasefire. The relatively light damage that is expected to be inflicted on Iranian nuclear facilities will require Israel to stage another offensive a few years down the line.
[Ynet News]

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Facebook Fake

The photo above, uploaded by Facebook user named Wesley Muahammad, shows a uniform-clad soldier pressing a boot to the stomach of a helpless girl lying on the floor while pointing an AK-47 rifle at her face
The photo with irregularities in the image explained

Facebook Photo of IDF Soldier Was Faked

A photograph on Facebook that became an Internet sensation - allegedly showing an IDF soldier pointing a weapon at a young Palestinian girl - was faked.

The soldier in the photo is carrying an AK-47 rifle, which is not used by the IDF.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Iran Direct Threat to US

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper

A Warning on Iran -Editorial

According to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, not only is Iran prepared to use terrorism in retaliation for any military strikes against it, they're also prepared to get their retaliation in first. "There is more to unfold here," he said. "They're trying to penetrate and engage in this hemisphere."

If the regime is prepared to stage terrorist strikes in America when they don't have a bomb, what will they be capable of when they do have one?
(Wall Street Journal)


Iran was working on US-range missile -Yaakov Katz

Iran was working on developing a missile with 10,000 km range that would put America in reach of a potential Iranian attack, Strategic Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said.

According to Ya'alon, the missile was based on a solid fuel propellant and would have been able to significantly increase Iran's offensive capabilities. Last month, a mysterious explosion rocked an Iranian missile base near Tehran where Iran was working on developing this long range missile.

According to the deputy prime minister, who was in the United States last week for talks on Iran with senior officials from the Obama administration, Turkey was helping Iran circumvent the sanctions by allowing it to use its banking system.

Ya'alon also said that Iran and Hezbollah were working with drug cartels in Mexico to learn how to smuggle materials into the US, a conduit that could one day be used to smuggle weapons into the country.

Ya'alon said that the West still does not fully understand the severity of the nuclear threat posed by Iran. "America is the larger Satan," he said.
[Jerusalem Post]