It is worthy paying close attention when a certain Saudi prince speaks his mind. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is sometimes described as the most powerful Arab in the world, thanks to his enormous wealth, business acumen, and influence in the Saudi royal family, which runs the Kingdom as a family fiefdom. Western-educated, he has shown himself to be an effective power broker, owning a 7% stake in News Corporation and donating $20 million each to Harvard and Georgetown Universities, arousing suspicions of undue influence.
by: the Common Constitutionalist
Show of hands – who is sick of talking or hearing about Syria?
I like knowing geography as much as the next guy, but frankly I’m tired of learning the cities and provinces of every Middle Eastern country.
Did anyone know much of anything about the Kurds before the whole Iraq thing? Could anyone have guessed the name of any province in Afghanistan or that Benghazi is a city not some guy?
I bet, for those of us that follow this stuff, we could name more cities in Syria than in Montana. No joke!
Growing up, did you ever figure you would know as much as you do about Sunnis, Shiites or Bathists? Heck, had you ever heard of them or think those terms had any importance at all?
Clearly you wouldn’t unless you are CIA, an ambassador or some sort of Middle East envoy.
I could have lived my life happily not knowing where Aleppo is or the genealogy of the Assad family.
Frankly, I’m tired of hearing, seeing, talking and writing about the Middle East. I’m tired of talking about terrorism. I no more Arabic then I do Spanish. Not that I want to learn Spanish – I don’t – but I sure didn’t want to learn Arabic.
Did you ever figure you’d know the term Allahu Akbar, or care?
Now everyone knows it – well, except John McCain, who claims it is a harmless term and equates it to a Christian saying praise God. What an idiot. What colossal jewel of ignorance. What were the people of Arizona thinking – keeping that old fool around for another term.
Ah, and then there is the Muslim Brotherhood. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was a Moose Lodge or something. But thanks to brother Barack, we all know about the Muslim Brotherhood. I guess not all thanks goes to Obama. George Bush was in bed with the Brotherhood also. More loosely, but he still supported them. He too bought into the “Muslim Brotherhood is more moderate” nonsense, thanks to dirtbags like Grover Norquist.
Again, I could’ve slept every night peacefully not knowing a thing of the Brotherhood. Now, in a few short years we are all armchair experts. We know their plans to take over the Middle East. We are knowledgeable regarding the Caliphate. Caliphate – until a few years ago someone could’ve told me it was an ointment. Just rub some caliphate on that scratch and put a Band-Aid on it.
I guess the point of this diatribe is to show how much time and effort we have collectively wasted on the geographic wasteland that is the Middle East and North Africa.
What better, more constructive things could we have been doing and discussing?
Honestly, if it weren’t for their oil, we would know virtually nothing of the Middle East, or care.
But people are being gassed; people are being slaughtered in Syria. Don’t you care, you may ask? Of course I care, but people are being slaughtered by dictators everywhere. How is this different? It’s really not, except that it sucks all the air out of the press room, so to speak. It sure does deflect and wipe away all the scandals and administration’s dirty underhanded dealings, doesn’t it. No IRS scandal, NSA, Benghazi, no talk of amnesty, even though it’s being expanded as we speak, but no one is reporting it. Convenient, eh?
So as long as Americans are thrust into Middle Eastern conflicts, I will continue to issue my two cents, although I’m growing weary of having to learn anymore about their geography, people or language. After Syria – who’s next?
What’s the capital of Lebanon? Just asking.
by: the Common Constitutionalist
The closing of multiple embassies in so many countries is a sad commentary on the security of the United States.
Questions and comments abound as others and I examine the situation over the last few days.
The United States has 294 embassies around the globe. There are at least 27 in the Middle East and North Africa. Do we really need 294 embassies? After all, they are established to develop and maintain mutually beneficial relations between two countries.
They are placed in various countries to promote American interests in that particular region. At least that’s the diplomatic line of crap.
So again, do we really need 294 of them? No, of course not. My guess is that at least some if not most are just fronts for the CIA and like Benghazi, are bases for gun-running or other nefarious activities.
Seems to me they are mostly a waste of taxpayer dollars. Countries, other than ours, will almost always act in their own self-interest, whether or not we have an embassy to try to influence them.
These embassies in the Middle East are a mystery, if one is to trust the government to only maintain the embassy for it’s stated purpose. What good have they ever done?
As I stated, an embassy is supposed to be set up to further diplomatic ties and positive relations between countries. Other than Israel, we have no legitimate relationship with any of them, other than presenting an easier target. They don’t have to fly all they way over here to kill Americans.
We could close every embassy worldwide and it would have zero effect on U.S. foreign policy, mainly because we have no foreign policy, or domestic.
Now, regarding the newest terror threat to so many embassies: It seems awfully coincidental and impeccably timed that amid calls to drastically curtail NSA spying, we receive intelligence of a major threat.
Although, after donning my conspiracy tin foil hat, it occurred to me that this “dire” situation could be a win-win for “The One”.
If after all the terrorist “chatter” (more than pre-9/11, you know) leading up to the these closings nothing happens, Obama will be made to look like the prudent, thoughtful and decisive leader we all knew him to be. He prevented a potential catastrophe when al-Qaeda then saw no point in the attack.
If there is an attack he, along with his sycophantic media, will point the ever-growing need for even more spying and intelligence gathering by the NSA.
Back to reality. Let’s think about this. Which is worse – that they know of a massive threat from an organization that Obama claimed had been decimated or that all these resources have been squandered on NSA facilities and infrastructure and they still don’t really know squat. Check that. They know who Aunt Ethel called last week (but they didn’t listen).
The closing of so many embassies leads one to think they know very little. They claim the attack could occur over here, no wait, over there, maybe over there. I would liken it to NOAA tracking a hurricane and first claiming the storm will hit Florida, no wait, Mississippi or maybe North Carolina, or maybe Texas. Oh the heck with it. Let’s just evacuate the whole south.
Maybe if they spent more time and resources on actual intelligence instead of Muslim outreach and spying on Aunt Ethel they might be able to narrow their scope a bit and develop some real actionable intelligence.
by: the Common Constitutionalist
Remember back in the good old days, during the George W. Bush era? You recall don’t you? Back when we only had a big government progressive Republican in the White House? Yeah, those were the days. Also remember how often he was called a fascist, a dictator or King? Ah, the days of innocence and ignorance. Thankfully, we now see what a real aspiring dictator looks like, instead of just some wanna-be.
Now recall what some far left liberals, like that big ball of hate Alec Baldwin said. If Bush wins reelection, he would pack up and leave the country. Sadly for the rest of us, he didn’t.
If I recall correctly, it was either Limbaugh or Hannity that even offered him a first-class, one-way plane ticket to anywhere he wished to go. Now Mr. Baldwin may have balked at the offer because it was difficult and could be quite expensive to become a citizen of another nation.
Well evidently, at least the citizenship portion of the relocation has been solved and one does not have to be a gazillionare to accomplish it. The tiny island nations of Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis in the Eastern Caribbean have developed a relatively reasonable price for citizenship.
The U.S. program allows visas for a $1 million investment in a U.S. business employing at least 10 people or $500,000 in designated economically depressed areas. The investor can apply for permanent residence in two years and seek citizenship after five more. Demand in Canada is so great that the country stopped accepting new applications in July of 2012.
Unlike these developed countries, the citizenship process for these Caribbean islands is much faster, less expensive and relatively simple. A foreigner can qualify for citizenship in St. Kitts with a $250,000 donation to a fund for retired sugar workers or with a minimum real estate investment of $400,000. The minimum contribution in Dominica is only $100,000. The whole process, including background checks, can take as little as 90 days in St. Kitts. And there’s no need to ever live on the islands, or even visit.
The programs have become quite popular to those with means in the Middle East and North Africa as things become more tumultuous and unpredictable. In that region, some are looking at this as a way to more easily escape if regional conflicts deteriorate further.
It’s such a booming business that a Dubai-based company is building a 4 square mile community in St. Kitts where investors can buy property and citizenship at the same time. In its first phase, some 375 shareholders will get citizenship by investing $400,000 each in the project, which is expected to include a 200-room hotel and a mega-yacht marina. Others will get passports for buying one of 50 condominium units.
“The more they fight over there (the Middle East), the more political problems there are, the more applications we get here,” said Victor Doche, managing director of another company that offers for condominium projects where approved buyers are granted citizenship in St. Kitts, which is less than twice the size of Washington DC.
American author Neil Strauss, who resides in Los Angeles, wrote of securing citizenship in St. Kitts in his 2009 book on survivalists preparedness, “Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life.”
Strauss said, “The same way we have a backup drive on her computer in case the hard drive explodes, I just felt like I wanted a backup citizenship in case the same thing happened to my country.” Like most economic citizens of St. Kitts, he rents out his island property.
Antigua and Barbuda is launching its own citizenship program. The island of Grenada has hinted they may revive their program, which was suspended after September 11, 2001.
So fear not conservatives. You may stop asking yourselves, “Where will we go when the country eventually sinks into the socialist abyss that it is fast tracking toward?
Just print out a map of the Caribbean, pin it up on the wall, grab a dart, close your eyes and throw.
Attribution: David McFadden, Associated Press
Egypt: Persecution Of Christians Expands
Living in America, I often forget just how lucky I am. Really though, the word “lucky” doesn’t even begin to do justice to the level of freedom and prosperity to which we are accustomed. Even at its worst, Conservatives and religious people in the United States are mocked, and verbally bullied. Rarely is there intolerance of such an extreme nature that people are imprisoned or killed because of their beliefs.
It’s easy to think that imprisonment and execution are fantasies from hundreds of years ago; not ever happening in modern times. But outside the United States, especially in the Middle East, minority religious persecution is rampant, and often barbaric. Continue Reading
Shimon Peres: Israel’s government does not want to make peace with Muslim world
by: Robert Tait
comments by: the Common Constitutionalist [ ]
Intervening in the country’s general election campaign, Israel’s elder statesman warned of the perils of his country isolating itself from America.
President Barack Obama was “not convinced” that Israel’s current leaders truly wanted peace, he said.
“If there is no diplomatic decision, the Palestinians will go back to terror. Knives, mines, suicide attacks,” Mr Peres said in an extensive interview with the New York Times Magazine .
“The silence that Israel has been enjoying over the last few years will not continue, because even if the local inhabitants do not want to resume the violence, they will be under the pressure of the Arab world. Money will be transferred to them, and weapons will be smuggled to them, and there will be no one who will stop this flow.” [ The Silence that Israel has enjoyed? Really? In 2012 alone, over 2200 Palestinian rocket and motar attacks have rained into Israel. Nice silence Mr. Peres. ]
Most of the world would then blame Israel for the violence and brand it a “racist state”, warned Mr Peres. [ Most of the world already has been convinced they are a racist state by the politically correct left and the Islamic radicals ]
Israel’s current government has offered peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, but has also expanded Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Indeed in recent weeks Mr Netanyahu has angered the US by announcing plans for more than 6,000 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Mr Peres said this policy risked losing US support by undermining Washington’s belief in Israel’s desire for peace. [ Let’s clear this up once and for all; Israel does not “Occupy” the West Bank. Israel specifically told King Hussein of Jordan that if his country stayed out of the 1967 war, Israel would not fight against him. Hussein ignored the warning and attacked Israel in 1967. While fending off the assault and driving out the invading Jordanian troops, Israel came to control the West Bank. Had Hussein heeded the warning, the Palestinians of the West Bank would in all likelihood be living as Jordanian citizens. By rejecting Arab demands that Israel be required to withdraw from all the territories won in 1967, the UN Security Council in Resolution 242 acknowledged that Israel was entitled to claim at least part of these lands for new defensible borders.]
Asked if Mr Obama believed that Israel shared his ambitions for peace in the Middle East, Mr Peres replied: “Of course he’s not convinced. He demanded an end to settlements and got a negative response, and they [members of Mr Netanyahu’s government] are to blame for the ongoing activity in the settlements. President Obama thinks that peace should be made with the Muslim world. We, the State of Israel, do not appear to be thinking along those lines. [ THE COVENANT OF THE HAMAS (1988): ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’ Yes, Mr President, the Muslim World wants peace. Right! ]
“We must not lose the support of the United States. What gives Israel bargaining power in the international arena is the support of the United States.”
He added that standing alone from the US, Israel would be “like a lone tree in the desert”.
Mr Peres, 89, became president in 2007 after a 50-year career in the center-left of Israeli politics during which he served as prime minister three times. His comments will draw accusations from Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud-Beiteinu bloc that Mr Peres is breaking the convention that the ceremonial president should remain above party politics. Israel will hold an election on Jan 22 and the polls suggest both that Mr Netanyahu will be re-elected – and most voters are pessimistic or apathetic about the prospects of peace.
Mr Peres shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with the then prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader, for jointly forging the ill-fated Oslo agreement. [ Says a lot for the Nobel prize, that the terrorist Arafat won one. Something to be proud of ]
In his series of interviews with the New York Times Mr Peres told the Israeli journalist, Ronen Bergman, that Mr Netanyahu was not providing positive leadership.
“I think that if the people of Israel heard from the leadership that there is a chance for peace, they would take up the gauntlet and believe it,” he said. “There are two things that cannot be made without closing your eyes – love and peace.” [ Quote from a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood: “Every night when I go to bed, I pray to wake up the next day to see Israel is wiped off the map” ]
Although Mr Netanyahu publicly committed himself in 2009 to the principle of Palestinian statehood, he has been dismissive of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority and the leader of the moderate Fatah faction. The two men have not met for more than two years. Mr Peres, by contrast, said he had met Mr Abbas several times with Mr Netanyahu’s knowledge and described the Palestinian as an “excellent” negotiating partner. [ Moderate Fatah? You mean the moderate Fatah that has aligned with the Hamas? That one? ]
Mr Peres alluded to Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons by claiming credit for creating the country’s nuclear program. “I do not think there are many people in the world who can say they managed to create a nuclear option in a small country,” he said, while reciting the achievements of his long career. Israeli leaders have always held to a policy of “strategic ambiguity”, neither confirming nor denying the possession of an atom bomb.
Mr Netanyahu renewed his attack on Mr Abbas on Thursday by criticizing him for meeting Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas leader, in Cairo this week.
“Abu Mazen [Mr Abbas] embraces the head of a terrorist organization that declared only last month that Israel must be wiped off the map,” said the prime minister. “This is not how someone who wants peace behaves.” [ Bully for Mr Netanyahu! At least someone has the stones to tell the truth! There can never and will never be peace with islamists. They must be defeated at all cost. Only then would there be peace. ]
by: Scott Sholar
September 26, 2012
I just received this email, yesterday, from a reputable source, and I would like to share it with you. The original author of this email that was forwarded to me begins:
I got this from one of my employees who has a brother in Israel and believe it 100%. Something is coming.
I don’t know if you follow such things but…
My brother and his family live in Jerusalem – he is a minister – and a former Navy SEAL – his office is close to one of Israel ‘s largest underground military bases.
He called me last night which is very unusual – usually it is email.
He called to tell me that he is sending his family back to the US immediately due to what he is seeing happen within the last week and what he is being told by his military contacts in both the Israel and US military.
He said he is seeing with his own eyes military movements the likes of which he has never seen in his 20+ years in Israel.
What he called a massive redeployment and protective tactics of forces is underway.
Over the last two days he has seen anti-aircraft missile deployments throughout the Jerusalem area including 3 mobile units that he can see from his office windows.
In addition, he has seen very large Israeli armored columns moving fast toward the Sinai where Egypt has now moved in armor.
There are reports of the top military leaders meeting with Israel ‘s Sr. Rabbi which is something that has happened preceding every prior military campaign.
His admonition is to watch carefully and pray for Israel and its people.
He is convinced that barring something extraordinary Israel will attack Iran – with or without the US – and very soon.
It is the belief in Israel that Obama does not stand with Israel but with the Arab countries.
He has told me before that Israel will saber-rattle from time to time, but that this time is very different from what he is seeing and hearing.
He was at the Wailing Wall 2 days ago and there were hundreds of IDF soldiers there. As he was leaving, he passed at least 20 military buses full of soldiers en route to the wall.
He has never seen this before either.
Just thought I would pass this along. My brother is not an alarmist by any means.
When he talks like this it gets my attention for sure, and usually I find he knows more than he shares.
There are reports that Israel is asking Obama to come to Israel immediately but they are being answered with silence.
My opinion is that I see the making of the perfect storm.
A new, 18-minute mini-documentary follows the journey of Irina, a 23-year-old liberal, Jewish New Yorker who voted for Obama in 2008. Yet as her connection to Israel has grown, and she has learned more about the President’s policies across the Middle East and towards Israel in particular, Irina has come to realize that “when the chips are down,” the President may not “have Israel’s back” as he says.
Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas goes off on the administration and others over the embassy attacks.
According to Western intelligence officials, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave the order to the elite Quds Force unit following a recent emergency meeting of Iran’s National Security Council in Tehran held to discuss a specially-commissioned report into the implications for Iran of the Assad regime’s overthrow.
The report, which was personally commissioned by Khamenei, concluded that Iran’s national interests were being threatened by a combination of the U.N. sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program and the West’s continuing support for Syrian opposition groups attempting to overthrow the government.
Intelligence officials say the report concludes that Iran “cannot be passive” to the new threats posed to its national security, and warns that Western support for Syrian opposition groups was placing Iran’s “resistance alliance” in jeopardy, and could seriously disrupt Iran’s access to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
It advised that the Iranian regime should demonstrate to the West that there were “red lines” over what it would accept in Syria, and that a warning should be sent to “America, the Zionists, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others that they cannot act with impunity in Syria and elsewhere in the region.”
The Quds Force has recently been implicated in a series of terror attacks against Western targets. Last year U.S. officials implicated the organization in a failed assassination attempt against the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington. It was also implicated in three bomb attacks against Israeli diplomats in February, planning to attack the Eurovision song contest in Azerbaijan while two Iranians were arrested in Kenya last month for possessing explosives.
Intelligence officials believe the recent spate of Iranian attacks has been carried out by the Quds Force’s Unit 400, which runs special overseas operations.
“Unit 400 seems to have been involved in all the recent Iranian terrorist operations,” said a senior Western intelligence official. “The Iranian regime now seems determined to retaliate for what they regard as the West’s attempts to influence the outcome of the Syrian unrest.”
Iran has been actively supporting the Assad regime’s attempts to suppress the wave of anti-government protests that erupted in March last year. Iranian opposition groups claim teams of experienced Revolutionary Guard officers have been flying to Damascus on specially-chartered Iranian aircraft on a weekly basis to advise the Assad regime.
The extent of Iran’s support for the Assad regime was exposed earlier this month when 48 Iranians were captured and taken hostage by Syrian opposition fighters. The Iranians, who are said to include senior Revolutionary Guard officers, claimed they were conducting “reconnaissance missions”, and their capture by Syrian opposition fighters was deeply embarrassing for Tehran, which is demanding their immediate safe return to Iran. Syrian rebels have threatened to kill the hostages unless Iran ends its support for the Assad regime.
Attribution: UK Telegraph