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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Israel's Rights to Exist Guaranteed By International Law

Those who are anti-Israel insist that the country has no right to exist for a couple reasons. First, they say that Jews have never  had a presence in the area. Secondly, they say there never was any international agreement that gave the land to Israel. Both arguments are not based on fact or history.
There  have been Jews in Israel since the time of Abraham and Moses.  Jerusalem has had two Jewish Temples and of course, the Old Testament blows away the first argument.
We will let the following article answer the second false argument.  Here it is:

Jewish Rights to Palestine Are Guaranteed by International Law

Eli E. Hertz - Myths & Facts, October 24th, 2011

Successive Israeli governments have failed to recognize the supreme importance of the “Mandate for Palestine” [24 July, 1922] a historical League of Nations document that set forth the irrevocable Jewish legal rights to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered by international law and valid to this day.
Leadership, both in Israel and in the Diaspora do practically nothing effective with the best legal weapon they will ever have: “The Mandate for Palestine.”
In the first Report of the High Commissioner on the Administration of Palestine (1920-1925) presented to the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, and published in April 1925, the most senior official of the Mandate underscored how international guarantees for the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine were achieved:
The [Balfour] Declaration was endorsed at the time by several of the Allied Governments; it was reaffirmed by the Conference of the Principal Allied Powers at San Remo in 1920; it was subsequently endorsed by unanimous resolutions of both Houses of the Congress of the United States; it was embodied in the Mandate for Palestine approved by the League of Nations in 1922; it was declared, in a formal statement of policy issued by the Colonial Secretary in the same year, 'not to be susceptible of change.'
Article 27 of the Mandate for Palestine states that the “consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate.” No such consent was ever passed.
Eleven successive British governments, Labor and Conservative, from David Lloyd George (1916-1922) through Clement Attlee (1945-1952) viewed themselves as duty-bound to fulfill the “Mandate for Palestine” placed in the hands of Great Britain by the League of Nations.
In 1947 the British put the future of western Palestine into the hands of the United Nations, the successor organization to the League of Nations which had established the Mandate for Palestine.
When describing trust agreements such as the Mandate for Palestine, Article 80 of the United States Charter states that “nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states of any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties”.
Thus, the Mandate for Palestine is still in effect today.
It is time to tell the free democratic world:
Effective immediately, the Government of Israel reaffirms the Mandate for Palestine as the foundation and the starting point for any and all peace discussions between the Jewish state of Israel and the Arab inhabitant in Judea and Samaria.

The Real Price of Shalit

Followers of this blog know where we stand on the Shalit travesty, obviously we were against the outside trade. So when we read the following post, we  had to post it.

Please understand that we are not against 1-10 terrorists exchanged for a soldier but not 1000 plus. This will only encourage future kidnapping with even more outrageous terms.  Somewhere it must stop and we believe the time was before the Shalit trade.

Here is the article:


When will the Israelis awake to the reality of Gilad Shalit?

(With the support of 79% of the Israeli electorate and a huge majority of the Knesset)
Redacted from a courageous, politically incorrect, article by Uri Kaufman
The Jewish Press, October 21, 2011
In March 1978, at the conclusion of the Litani Operation in South Lebanon, five Israeli soldiers and a civilian jumped into a car and decided to go on an outing. The group took to the road in defiance of army regulations and somehow got waived through a forward checkpoint. Moments later they found themselves surrounded by heavily armed Palestinians. Four of the five soldiers were killed instantly, while the civilian miraculously made it back to Israeli lines the next day.
The fifth soldier was taken captive by the PFLP-GC, the Palestinian terror group headed by Ahmed Jibril. Up to that point, Israel had a firm policy of trading soldiers for soldiers. Terrorists sentenced to life in prison were expected to spend life in prison. Exchanges with terror groups sometimes occurred in hostage situations, but they were rare and always premised on trading one for one.
In 1970, an Israeli farmer in the northern village of Metulla was kidnapped by Palestinians and taken to Lebanon. The Palestinians demanded the release of dozens of jailed terrorists. The Israeli government held firm, and in the end the farmer’s release was secured for just one terrorist.
With this in mind, a team was assembled in Jerusalem in 1978 to negotiate the release of the soldier. A terrorism expert named Ariel Merari, circulated a memo that concluded the captured Israeli had “no market value.” Accordingly, he advised the government to set a low value and stick to it. Above all, he urged political leaders not to meet with the soldier’s family. Both pieces of advice were ignored. The family of the soldier first met with Defense Minister Ezer Weizmann. Merari later remembered that “Weizmann had a hard time standing up to the pressure, he folded, he promised and he declared that they had an open line to him whenever they wanted.” The same thing happened when the family met with Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
The initial offer from the Jibril camp was to swap the soldier for 19 Palestinians captured during the Litani Operation plus another six or seven in Israeli jails. It was deemed a reasonable offer. The 19 captured in the field were combatants, not terrorists, and the six or seven were all low value prisoners that were either sick or wounded.
Merari advised going slow. This was, after all, the way it worked in the Arab souk (market place). You showed little interest for what the other side was offering and then slowly negotiated your way to the finish line. Were Israel to accept the first offer, it would send the message that it would pay more. The general placed in charge of the negotiations wanted to wrap up the talks quickly and ignored this advice as well. With that, Merari tendered his resignation.
A year later, Merari was asked to return. Every dark prophecy of his had come true. The price from Jibril had climbed to the original 19 Palestinians captured in the field plus 76 terrorists held in Israeli jails, many of whom were murderers. Merari couldn’t believe his ears. He advised walking from the negotiating table, breaking off all contact. His advice was ignored once again. In the end, Jerusalem released the 19 combatants together with the 76 terrorists. Merari later calculated that the freed Palestinians had combined sentences remaining of over 2,800 years.
Ahmed Jibril had learned a valuable lesson. You didn’t need to hijack an airplane to free jailed terrorists. In fact, not only was it unnecessary, it was undesirable. When the Palestinians held large numbers of hostages, the Israelis sent in commandos to free them. When they held a single soldier, the Israelis refrained from any heroics because of the inevitable loss of life. The Israelis took four killed to free 106 hostages in Entebbe. But they wouldn’t take four killed to free just one soldier. Instead they gave in.
This logic, if one could call it that, was carried to a further extreme just a few years later. At the conclusion of the First Lebanon War in 1982, eight Israeli soldiers were captured by a smaller number of Palestinians. There was clear dereliction of duty on the part of the soldiers. A little over a year later they were traded for 4,700 Fatah fighters who had surrendered during the war plus 63 terrorists in Israeli jails.
The remaining two Israeli soldiers had the misfortune of falling into the hands of Ahmed Jibril. He already held a third soldier named Hezi Shai who had been captured after fighting with great valor in an unrelated battle. Jibril knew from his previous experience that Israel would pay dearly to win the release of three soldiers so he held out for more.
For the freedom of just three soldiers, Ahmed Jibril received 1,150 convicted terrorists including some 400 murderers, many of whom were among the most notorious in Israeli history. One of those freed was Kozo Akimoto, who together with two others carried out the 1972 Lod Airport massacre in which 26 people were killed. The victims in that attack included Aharon Katzir, one of Israel’s most prominent scientists and brother of Israeli President Ephraim Katzir.
The Gemara (commentary on the Oral Laws furthering the Hebrew Torah) states in Gittin [45A] that “it is forbidden to redeem hostages for more than their value because of the common good.” After Rabbi Meir from Rottenberg was kidnapped by a medieval king, he commanded the local Jewish community not to pay any ransom on his behalf. Instead, he spent the last seven years of his life in captivity, dying in prison in 1293.
Professor Merari summed it up as well as anyone in a newspaper interview. “The moral obligation of the government,” he said, “is to act so that the fewest possible number of Israelis get attacked. The defense minister is charged with protecting the entire country, not any particular family. If you free 500 terrorists, you do so knowing that you are sentencing dozens of Israelis to death.”
The Israelis of an earlier generation that had actually experienced the Holocaust never caved in to similar pressure. Ben-Gurion, Dayan and Eshkol had plenty of opportunities to engage in similar arrangements, but they never did. They only traded soldiers for soldiers and they always kept the price within reason.
That Israel invariably pays a terrible price in blood when it lets terrorists go is a fact acknowledged by all. SHABAK, the Israeli equivalent of the FBI, performed a study and found that fully two thirds of those freed go right back to terrorism. Some 6,912 terrorists were freed between the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993 and the outbreak of the al-Aksa Intifada in September 2000 – mostly as good will gestures to the Palestinian Authority, though some had served out their term. A victims group called Almagor released a study that found that in the first five years of the al-Aksa Intifada the freed terrorists killed at least 177 Israelis.
In January 2004, Israel turned 435 terrorists over to Hizbullah to win the freedom of a kidnapped drug dealer named Elchanan Tenenbaum. So far, those freed terrorists have killed 27 Israelis.
And those were just the direct costs. The indirect costs were incalculably higher. And yet, time and again the Israeli public supported lopsided exchanges, even as the price climbed ever higher. Somehow, the Israeli public internalized nothing but the pain of the families in a hostage predicament.
Other democracies learned the futility of negotiating with terrorists and ceased the practice. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration swapped hostages for arms, only to see more Americans snatched off the streets of Beirut. Washington no longer negotiates with terrorists, and so Americans are no longer kidnapped.
All of which brings us to the sad story of Gilad Shalit.
Since his kidnapping by Hamas in June 2006, the floodgates of Israel’s emotion have burst open, submerging and overwhelming any attempt at a rational response. The mainstream Israeli media have abandoned any pretense of objectivity, condemning any refusal to free terrorists as cowardice and praising every concession as courageous. One popular news show ends each daily broadcast with an update of how many days Gilad has spent in captivity.
And so last week over 500 Israeli families received notices from the Defense Ministry: those who had murdered their loved ones were about to be freed. The final tally in this latest exchange dwarfs every deal that came before it. In return for a single soldier, the State of Israel has agreed to free 1,027 convicted terrorists.
One woman, Ahlem Tamimi, drove the suicide bomber who killed 15 in the Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem. She has already been seen on Israeli television smiling and saying she has no regrets. And why should she? She has served only ten years in prison and she will soon be free to plan the deaths of more innocent people.
Don’t believe a word of the fashionable nonsense pulsating through the Israeli media in praise of Netanyahu. The likely price yet to be paid for this historic blunder is too painful to contemplate. Either way, we are witnessing a complete victory for Hamas and the forces of terror.
Uri Kaufman is the author of “Low Level Victory,” to be released shortly by Harmony Books.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Obama's Foreign Affairs Successes--Not

Are you excited with the successes of the Obama Administration or are you scared silly by it? We are the latter.  Not only has the most transparent administration become the most opaque, it has one of the poorest domestic policy records in our history and its foreign policy is spotty at best. Yes, there have been successes overseas (Osama and Gaddaffi are examples, however we wonder how we would feel if another country assassinated our leaders, but that is a story for another posting) but the overall record is poor.  

We are pulling (or really getting kicked) out of Afghanistan and Iraq and those governments are instituting sharia law and not democracy. The "Arab Spring" is not the rise of representative government but rather strict Muslim governments which will not be our friends.

Iran is getting its nuclear bomb and we are impotent to stop them. Egypt has cancelled its peace agreement with Israel. 

In other words the Middle East is a mess and Obama has been unable to accomplish anything even though he apologized to the Arab World for all of our past "sins."
Frank Gaffney paints a similar picture with more details. His article is below.

Is American leadership of the world over? What are your opinions.

GAFFNEY: Who lost the world?

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. - The Washington Times,  October 24th, 2011

Conventional wisdom has it that the 2012 presidential election will be all about the dismal economy, unemployment and the soaring deficit. That appears a safe bet because such matters touch the electorate, are much in the news at the moment and have indisputably become worse on Barack Obama’s watch.
It seems increasingly likely, however, that the American people will have a whole lot more to worry about by next fall. Indeed, the way things are going, by November 2012, we may see the Middle East – and perhaps other parts of the planet – plunged into a cataclysmic war.
Consider just a few of the straws in the wind of a gathering storm:
Moammar Gadhafi’s death last week prompted the Obama administration to trumpet the president’s competence as commander in chief and the superiority of his “small footprint,” “lead-from-behind” approach to waging war over the more traditional – and costly and messy – one pursued by George W. Bush. The bloom came off that false rose on Sunday when Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, repeatedly declared his government’s fealty to Shariah, Islam’s brutally repressive, totalitarian political-military-legal doctrine.
Among other things, Mr. Abdul-Jalil said Shariah would be the “basic source” of all legislation. Translation: Forget about representative democracy. Under Shariah, Allah – not man – makes the laws.
In short, the result of Mr. Obama’s $2 billion expenditure to oust Gadhafi is a regime that will be led by jihadists, controls vast oil reserves and has inherited a very substantial arsenal (although some of it – including reportedly as many as 20,000 surface-to-air missiles – has “gone missing”). This scarcely can be considered a victory for the United States and probably will prove a grave liability.
An Islamist party called Ennahda seems likely to have captured the lion’s share of the votes cast in the first free election in Tunisia. Although we are assured it is a “moderate” religious party, the same has long been said of Turkey’s governing AKP party. Unfortunately, we have lately seen the latter’s true colors as it has become ever more insistent at home on jettisoning the secular form of government handed down by Mustafa Kemal Attaturk and acted ever more aggressively abroad. A similar transformation can be expected, later if not sooner, of any Shariah-adherent political movement.
In Egypt, meanwhile, the agenda of the Islamists’ mother ship – the Muslim Brotherhood – is being adopted even before elections formally bring it to power. The interim military government has abetted efforts to punish and even kill the Coptic Christian minority. It has facilitated the arming of the Brotherhood’s franchise in Gaza and allowed the Sinai to become the launching pad for al Qaeda and others’ attacks on Israel.
Egypt’s transitional regime also helped broker the odious exchange of more than 1,000 convicted terrorists held by Israel for a single soldier kidnapped and held hostage for five years by Hamas. Upon their release, the convicts with Jewish blood on their hands received heroes’ welcomes even as they affirmed their desire to destroy Israel and called for the seizure of still more Israelis to spring their comrades still behind bars. This does not augur well for either the Jewish state or for our interests.
The increasingly mercurial Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has announced that – despite the long-running, immensely costly and ongoing U.S. effort to protect his kleptocratic government – in a war between Pakistan and the United States, Afghanistan would side with Pakistan. The magnitude of this insulting repudiation of America is all the greater since Pakistan is widely seen as doing everything it can to re-establish the Taliban in Kabul.
In Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has touted his success in thwarting Washington’s belated (and halfhearted) efforts to keep a significant number of U.S. forces in his country after the end of this year. His coalition partner and fellow Iranian cat’s paw, Muqtada al-Sadr, already is boasting that he also will drive out the American contractor personnel who are, for the moment, expected to provide a measure of security after the military withdraws. In that case, we may well see the mullahs’ agents take over a U.S. embassy for the second time since 1979 – this one the newest, largest and most expensive in the world.
Add to this litany an emboldened and ascendant China, a revanchist Russia once again under the absolute control of Vladimir Putin, a Mexico free-falling into civil war with narcotraffickers and their Hezbollah allies on our southern border and you get a world that is fraught with peril for the United States. Matters are made infinitely worse by the prospect of reckless budget cuts hollowing out the U.S. military.
The Republican candidates to succeed Mr. Obama are beginning to find their voices on the national security portfolio. They will be formally debating the president’s sorry record in coming weeks. The question the American people will want answered is not only “Who lost the world?” but what they will do to get it back.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program “Secure Freedom Radio,” heard in Washington weekdays at 9 p.m. on WRC-AM 1260.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

We Are Not In Kansas Anymore

We now understand how Alice felt when she dropped into Wonderland. Everything that normally was up, was down. Good was bad and bad was good. Left was right and right was left.  So who is the wicked witch?  Our choice would be the current administration. They, in the person of Eric Holder, are now requiring the FBI to remove all mention of Islam or Muslims from their training materials.  Any mention of the "unmentionable" religion or people in reports will not be allowed. We cannot understand this intentional blindness to the perpetrators of crimes. Alice has nothing on us when it comes to confusion on these matters.
Why will they not identify Muslims with events like 9/11 or Fort Hood? Were they not Muslims? They definitely were not old fat white guys!` Why is this religion getting special privileges? Would we treat Irish terrorists the same?
Regardless of the reason, a rule that requires  law enforcement agencies to ignore the common element of the crimes is insanity.  It might be profiling  but it was not Protestants, Jews, Catholics, Sikhs, or Hindus who hijacked the planes on 9/11. Seeking to identify persons who might take similar actions is basic good police work. To ignore the warning signals will only invite a repeat of similar acts.
How many more people will have to die due to this ignorant action by the Administration? The  purposeful dismissal of the facts will result in a future catastrophe that will dwarf  9/11 or  Pearl Harbor. It could be the explosion of a nuclear device, a dirty bomb, a bacterial bomb, poisoning of a water supply or something about which those intent on our destruction could dream up.
 When it happens, will anyone be held responsible? No, of course not. They could not "foresee" such an event would happen. Our response is-- balderdash! However, had police agencies had been allowed to do their work correctly, it could have been avoided.
For those who want to preserve the United States as a strong country where its citizens can live in freedom, it is imperative that we work hard  to send the current "wicked witch" Administration into retirement so that we can reverse the actions they have taken which weaken and damage the country. Alice needs to go  home! Are you up to it?

The following article will make you very angry, read it at your own risk!

Delinking Islam And Terror Editorial -, October 27th, 2011

Delinking Islam And Terror

Posted 10/26/2011 07:02 PM ET
Homeland Security: The bleaching of Islam from the terror picture is almost complete. Eric Holder has ordered a purge of FBI training manuals. Soon the 9/11 hijackers' religion will be censored, too.
Last week, top Justice Department officials huddled with several Islamic groups — including a Muslim Brotherhood front implicated in a terror-finance scheme — to discuss “post-9/11 discrimination.” They promised the aggrieved they'd pull back references to Islam from terror-training materials.
“I recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced during the Washington conference. U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton explained that FBI training materials that even remotely link Islam to violence will be banned.
“I want to be perfectly clear about this: Training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive and they are contrary to everything this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for,” he told Muslim activists gathered at the George Washington University law school. “They will not be tolerated.” (Emphasis added.)
So apparently, reality will no longer be tolerated in counterterror programs. In Islam, there's clear doctrinal basis for jihad, which is why almost every Muslim terrorist cites it as a motivating factor.
Will Justice go through thousands of case files and expunge “jihad”and “kaffir” (infidel) from its court affidavits and indictments? They are replete with such Islamic references, gleaned from jihadi training materials and wiretaps and interrogations of terror suspects.
This latest unilateral disarmament was precipitated by complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Islamist groups, who have threatened to end “cooperation” with the FBI unless it nixes jihad and other Islamic terms from training materials.
Such a threat from terror-tied CAIR is laughable. The FBI has banned the group from outreach functions, and it was excluded from the Justice meeting. However, its sister organization — the Islamic Society of North America — was invited, though Justice prosecutors just three years ago named ISNA an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history.
In fact, Holder just last year honored the prosecutors who tried the case with the attorney general's achievement award.
Allowing ISNA to now have a say in how the department investigates terrorism is outrageous. Yet there ISNA's president was, seated at the same table with top Justice officials, mau-mauing them about the “law.”
Mohamed Magid argued that teaching agents that Muslims could be radicalized by jihad is bigoted and “against the law and the Constitution.” He called for a complete re-education of FBI agents. And it looks like he's going to get his way.
Welcome to the Twilight Zone. First the White House scrubs all Islamic terms from the National Counterterrorism Strategy. Then it bleaches them from the Pentagon's report on the Fort Hood shooting. Now it's letting suspect Islamic groups write FBI terror training guides.
This latest delinkage could be fatal. Jihad is the core aspect of terrorism that rookie FBI agents will need to understand to crack cases. Only now, agents are on notice that making the connection will not be tolerated.

Nothing to investigate here. The men's religion is irrelevant. And when passengers ram cockpit doors while screaming “Allahu Akbar!” — as a Yemeni recently did on an American Airlines flight — we should just write it off to in-flight stress. Nothing to see here, move along

This Says It All

I don't know the author of this, so if you wrote it, please let us know so that we can give you credit. (A google search turned up several people using the same quotation.) However, this little saying really hits the nail on the head!

“Witnessing the Republicans and the Democrats bicker over the U.S. debt is like watching two drunks argue over a bar bill on the Titanic.”

Unless we address the financial issues facing this country, we are the Titanic and we will sink not only our economy but the world's. The United States economy is definitely the world's titanic and the financial problems we are facing is the iceberg. Will we allow our leaders to ignore the warning signs and drive our ship of state into a financial cataclysm?
We must demand from our leaders that they seriously ATTACK the problem and stop nibbling around the edges. It is for that reason I support some of the ideas that Ron Paul has suggested i.e. one trillion in cuts including chopping off several cabinet departments. Without strong bad tasting medicine, we will not solve our problems. Do we have the guts to do what we need to do or are we going to allow the politicians "kick" the can down the road so that someone else will have to face the eventual collapse? Unfortunately, politicians do not react until their is an "emergency", so we doubt that there will be any actions to avert the disaster.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Foreign Aid to China??

What a country? The United States is experiencing one of its worst times in  history. We are borrowing trillions of dollars. Yet, we are giving millions to many countries including China!  Yes, I said China.  The very country which owns billions of our debt!  What could the State Department and the Administration be thinking? The answer is, probably not!

This is one idea with which we, at least partially, agree with Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Why are we sending money to the world's second biggest economy which is currently growing at roughly 8%?  Why are we sending money to countries which consistently vote against our interests at the U.N.? Why are we sending money to Europe and Japan? All good questions, however, there no good answers.

I can understand when we send money to countries which have experienced natural disasters or where they are friends.  But to give money to enemies or economic powerhouses is ridiculous.

My suggestion would be to severely limit foreign aid (monetary as well as military) to only   short-term financial aid due to disasters and/or countries have exhibited a pattern of support of the U.S.  No other aid should be given.

Some will say that is buying friends to which we say, so.  It our money and we should spend it that will benefit us. Giving money to enemies or competing countries definitely does not.

What do you think?

Here is more on the subject:

And we give foreign aid to these guys?

By Bobby Eberle 
When we look at America's budget, there are so many facets that seem completely ridiculous. Just think about it... we borrow money, because our appetite for spending exceeds our income. Then, we take it a step further and spend that money on nonsensical programs. In particular, we have a foreign aid program. This means that even though we don't have enough money to pay our own bills, we borrow money so that we can give it to other countries. Here's the kicker... one of the countries which receives American foreign aid is China -- the country that is loaning us our extra money.
You read it right. We borrow money from China, then send them foreign aid. This just goes beyond insanity. As Fox News reports, "China is one of the biggest economies in the world and grew at more than 9 percent over the last year. It also has loaned more than $1 trillion to the U.S. to fund its deficit-spending."
"Why in the world would we be borrowing money and then turn around and giving it back to the countries that we're borrowing it from?" Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said. "If they have enough of a surplus to loan us money, they have enough of a surplus to take care of their own needs."
Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia asked the same question in a recent appearance on Fox News: "Hey, in the crisis that we're in right now, should we really be continuing to send American taxpayer dollars over to China for these purposes?"
I'm sorry, no disrepect to Sen. Webb, but did he really need to phrase that in the form of a question? The answer is obvious: NO! The idea of China receiving foreign aid is like America receiving foreign aid. Oh wait... we do... but it's in the form of loans.
"I think the Chinese are just laughing whenever they receive a check," said Dan Ikenson, a trade economist at the CATO Institute. "How silly this is of the United States to be subsidizing the faster-growing, second-largest economy in the world."
This astonishment over aid to China is not exactly new. A story published in September 2010 in The Economic Times notes that "China spent tens of billions of dollars on a dazzling 2008 Olympics. It has sent astronauts into space. It recently became the world's second largest economy. Yet it gets more than $2.5 billion a year in foreign government aid."
Compared to countries like Japan, Germany, France, and Great Britain, the U.S. doesn't give much to China (a mere $65 million in 2008), but why are we giving ANY money at all?
It is said that the true sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, America keeps spending and spending and spending, yet our leaders in Washington just expect the debt to magically disappear. No, stopping foreign aid to China and other countries will not solve our debt crisis. We need BIG changes for that. But at least by doing so, maybe we can appear less stupid than we are now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Surprise, Surprise Sharia Law Is the Law of the Land in New Libya

For those of you who are not living under a rock, the announcement by the new leaders of Libya that Sharia Law would be the rule of law and any law that violates Sharia would be null and void is not a surprise.  If you are surprised, you should be ashamed of your naivete.

The entire "Arab Spring" is nothing more than a Muslim uprising against anyone who has 

been a leader in the Middle East. In our opinion, it short order, those countries which 

experienced the "spring" will soon see how it is to live under not only totalitarian states but
religious totalitarian states.

Maybe this view is a bit extreme but so are the leaders of Iran who we believe is 

instrumental in the effort to remove all existing leadership in the Middle East. Of course,

time will tell, however, don't ever vote against the extremists as they always win.

Here is the article posted yesterday regarding Sharia law in the "new" Libya.

Sharia law declaration raises concerns in new Libya

The announcement that Islamic sharia law will be the basis of legislation in newly liberated Libya has raised concerns, especially among women, despite Islamists insisting moderation will prevail.
Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Sunday, during his speech to the nation in Benghazi to formally declare the country's liberation from the ousted regime of Moammer Kadhafi, that sharia would be Libya's principal law.
"Any law that violates sharia is null and void legally," he said, citing as an example the law on marriage passed during the slain dictator's 42-year tenure that imposed restrictions on polygamy, which is permitted in Islam.
"The law of divorce and marriage... This law is contrary to sharia and it is stopped," Abdel Jalil said.
His comments have provoked criticism and calls for restraint both in Libya and in Europe, amid fears that the Arab Spring may give rise to a potentially intolerant Islamist resurgence.
Many Libyans awaiting Sunday's historic speech expressed surprise at the decision by the National Transitional Council leader to mention the role of sharia law in the new country before addressing such important issues as security and education.
"It's shocking and insulting to state, after thousands of Libyans have paid for freedom with their lives, that the priority of the new leadership is to allow men to marry in secret," said Rim, 40, a Libyan feminist who requested anonymity.
"We did not slay Goliath so that we now live under the Inquisition," she told AFP.
In his speech, Abdel Jalil also announced the introduction of Islamic banking in Libya in keeping with sharia which prohibits the earning of interest, or riba in Arabic, that is considered a form of usury.
Adelrahman al-Shatr, one of the founders of the centre-right Party of National Solidarity, launched just last week, said it was premature for the NTC leader to speak about the policies of the new state.
"It is a subject that should be discussed with the different political groups and with the Libyan people," he said.
"These declarations create feelings of pain and bitterness among women who sacrificed so many martyrs," in the eight-month battle against Kadhafi loyalists, he added.
"By abolishing the marriage law, women lose the right to keep the family home if they divorce. It is a disaster for Libyan women."
Western leaders also responded swiftly to Abdel Jalil's comments, with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton saying on Monday Libya's introduction of sharia law must respect human rights and democratic principles.
Abdel Jalil, a respected former justice minister of Kadhafi who distanced himself from the old regime, is seen as a pious man and a Sufi follower of Islam who is at odds with extremism.
He has already said that the new Libya would not adopt any extremist ideology, and sought to reassure the international community by stating on Monday that Libyans were moderate Muslims.
Nevertheless, Libya's Islamists are a rising force in the country's political arena, some of whom, such as Abdelhakim Belhaj, the founder of the Al-Qaeda linked but now-disbanded Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), are expected to hold prominent positions.
After suffering decades of persecution by Kadhafi, they are also working hard to present themselves as proponents of tolerant, democratic values and policies.
"The rules and laws (in new Libya) should take Islam as a basic reference," Islamist leader Sheikh Ali Sallabi, a supporter of Belhaj, told AFP.
He insisted that freedom, justice, equality and respect for human dignity should be enshrined in the new constitution, along with the peaceful rotation of power.
"We believe in the rights of others to show their programmes to the people, and to let the people decide," said Sallabi, who was jailed for eight years during the 1980s in Tripoli's notorious Abu Salim prison.
"We also believe in the freedom of the press and the right to self expression. We believe that our religion accommodates these rights," he added

Monday, October 24, 2011

Challenges to Libya's Future

To think that Libya will suddenly become a democracy (or better yet a representative republic) overnight, is foolish and not founded in any reality. For 42 years, the Qaddafi regime ruled the country with an iron fist. There was no voting, no civil rights, no democratic institutions.  How many people living in the country even remember when a King governed Libya?

In addition to the challenges the country faces that are itemized in the following article,  we are starting to hear about mass murders of Qaddafi supporters. Will this country descend into the same genocidal killings that made the Cambodian killing fields famous or is this the retribution for those people who were accomplices to the regime?  Will the new administration bring charges against those who killed Qaddafi instead of having him face a trial? 

Check out the following article which we believe at least starts putting the issues facing the country now in perspective.

Libya's Five Biggest Challenges After Qaddafi

John Hudson - The Atlantic Wire,  October 21st, 2011

With Qaddafi gone and Sirte fallen, scholars and embedded reporters are surveying the wreckage left by 42 years of totalitarian rule. From sunny predictions to ominous premonitions, here's what experts are saying about the challenges in front of Libya's people and the National Transitional Council:
Views about the interim government's ability to create a law and order society with rights for individuals range from deeply pessimistic to cautiously optimistic. William MacLean at Reuters has a nice breakdown of the important dates for democratic initiatives. According to the rules agreed on by the NTC, the fall of Sirte triggers a move of the NTC's headquarters from Benghazi to Tripoli forming an interim government in 30 days. In 240 days, a 200-member national conference will be elected into office paving the way for a prime minister 30 days later. On the optimistic side, CNN's Isobel Coleman is encouraged by the fact that Libya has well over $160 billion in foreign assets to cover the costs of the new government and a well-educated population. “Public education was free and compulsory through secondary school under Gadhafi, and the country enjoys a literacy rate of nearly 90%. In the 2007-2008 school year, women enrolled in universities outnumbered men significantly.”
The Militia factor 
Both McClatchy and Foreign Policy have smart items on the challenges of incorporating the militias into the political system. McClatchy speaks with Diana Eltahway, an expert on Libya with Amnesty International. “There are an uncountable number of militias roaming the country, and these militias are really taking the law into their own hands. Among the biggest challenges will be trying to absorb them in whatever becomes the police force and national army or disarming them.” On this point, Vincent Cornell of Emory University is optimistic about militia integration stemming from the fact a number of the leaders are “Western-educated” and “know that they have to transcend old schisms if they are to make a new state,” she tells FP.  However, Manal Omar, of the United States Institute of Peace is more worried, noting that rebel commander Abdul Fatah Younes was assassinated in July and there still has been no investigation of the death, which is angering Younes allies.
Islamic extremism 
As USA Today emphasizes, “Gadhafi had been a check on Islamic extremists in the region, and now those extremists are collecting the weapons Gadhafi stashed across the country.” That's a point the Council on Foreign Relations's Ed Husain takes very seriously. “The head of the military council in Tripoli, Belhadj, for example, is a prominent figure of that Islamist trend. How will they respond to a secular government in Libya? Across the Middle East, the greatest political benefactors thus far have been Islamist groups. Qaddafi's killing will set in place a new beginning for Libya that will pose difficult policy challenges for Libyans and NATO.”
Libya sits on a mountain of oil wealth. As The Washington Post notes “One major issue is figuring out how to divide oil revenue among more than 100 tribes in the country.” A big point on that front is setting up relations with multinational corporations. “International companies will also have to be reassured that a new government won’t try to drastically change contracts that have already been signed. And they want to be assured that their oil-field engineers will be safe.” On the upside, there has already been success with at least one European company. Last week, an Italian company called Eni reopened the pipeline that runs natural gas from Libya to Italy for the first time in eight months.
Rooting out the loyalists According to Reuters and ABC News, Qaddafi's son Saif al-Islam is still at large. That's particularly worrisome, Ed Husain senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, says. The fall of Sirte was one thing but keeping loyalists down is another. “Qaddafi's networks of loyalists still remain across the country,” he says. “Their sense of deep humiliation at the way in which their leader was killed will most likely prompt revenge attacks. At their helm is the British-educated, defiant, and media-savvy Saif al-Qaddafi, Qaddafi's son. Emotionally volatile, highly ambitious, and now an enemy of the West, he can become a rallying force for his late father's loyalists unless he is captured and put on trial soon.” But the Guardian's Moez Zelton stresses that many aspects of Libyan society are in utter disarray. “Water shortages, liquidity in the banks, mass availability of weapons, treatment of injured Libyan patients and the disaster that is the health and education sector as a whole are just a few of the worries Libyans face.”