Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is this why Bloomberg champions Ground Zero mosque? Major Middle East business deals, opening of 'Islamic finance portal'

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch supporter of the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero, recently has been expanding his business dealings in the Arab and Muslim world, including opening a new "Islamic finance portal."

Some critics are questioning whether Bloomberg's unpopular decision to back the controversial mosque project may be colored by his billion-dollar financial software, news and data company's decision to build a hub in the United Arab Emirates and North Africa.

The mayor's privately held company, Bloomberg L.P., has been increasing its revenue in the Middle East while its U.S.-based division has taken hits due to the country's economic woes.

In 2008, Bloomberg announced it was expanding its Dubai office into a regional hub, a move that sought to quadruple its local staff. The new hub will covers Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Max Linnington, Bloomberg regional head of Middle East and South Asia, told The National newspaper that the company developed an "Islamic finance portal," which would be helped by having more people on the ground building relationships.

(Story continues below)

“Particularly since the meltdown of the Western capitalist system, there has been an increasingly large focus on the virtues of Islamic finance," he said. "Today, there is no one single provider of information that caters to the Islamic finance market. So by Bloomberg being here, we are in the process of building out an Islamic finance product. We are very confident that we can build a product that meets the needs of the market right now."

The growth plan continued in 2009, when Bloomberg opened a news bureau in Abu Dhabi.

Peter T. Grauer, Bloomberg chairman and president, met with UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to discuss Bloomberg's future expansion in the United Emirates, North Africa and India.

Grauer stated that while Bloomberg was hit by the recent U.S. economic woes, the company's Middle East revenues were growing.

"Despite the difficulties faced by the financial sector in the economic turmoil, our terminal sales in the region grew by 2 percent in the past nine months, when globally we faced a major setback," he said.

In March, the Khaleej Times reported that Bloomberg "has drawn up a five-year plan that will see it achieving a two-fold increase in revenue from the Middle East region by 2014."

Bloomberg's expansion in the Middle East and Arab world has more than a few critics asking questions about his repeated support for the Cordoba Initiative's plan for a $100 million, 13-story Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero.

Bloomberg was one of the mosque's earliest supporters and has repeated that support even in the face of polls that show an overwhelming majority of national voters oppose the plan.

Bloomberg said in July, "I happen to think this is a very appropriate place for somebody who wants to build a mosque, because it tells the world that America, and New York City, which is what I'm responsible for, really believes in what we preach."

Asked last month about GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio's demands that Democratic rival Andrew Cuomo investigate the mosque, Bloomberg replied that investigating or vetting religious organizations goes against what the nation stands for.

Just last week, Bloomberg declared at a speech that "there is nowhere in the five boroughs of New York City that is off limits to any religion."

Radio host Michael Savage first exposed on his national show the pending sale in 2006 of port management businesses in six major U.S. seaports to a company based in the UAE. The sale was delayed amid public outcry.

Savage weighed in on Bloomberg's Middle East and African business dealings.

"'Bloomberg's expansionist business interests in the Middle East are well-known," Savage told WND.

Continued Savage: "That he would spit in the face of the memories of the victims of Islamic terrorism by not only supporting the extremists and agitators who want to build a victory mosque at Ground Zero is one insult. Another is him calling those who oppose this desecration of what is essentially a 'cemetery' various insulting names goes to further show the callousness and greed of this naked opportunist.

"Further, Bloomberg is so out of touch with reality that he actually believes his 5th grade concept of 'tolerance,' and his sing-songy sermons during his Ramadan PR event at Gracie Mansion has rendered him immensely popular. So popular that he may even run for the presidency! What this cocoon-man does not yet know is that West of the Hudson River he is despised and mocked."

Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, quipped, "Imagine how quickly (Bloomberg's Middle East) revenue stream would dry up if Bloomberg sided with the people whom Rauf and other leaders of the Ground Zero mosque initiative are busy smearing as 'Islamophobes' and 'bigots.'

"When his company is doing poorly worldwide except in the Middle East, it couldn't have been hard for Bloomberg to see on which side his bread was buttered," Spencer charged.

Monday, August 30, 2010

No don't ban lead painted toys from China - Oh Nooo - EPA on lead-ammunition ban: Never mind

Not that this was going anywhere anyway, but someone at the EPA must have gotten a few phone calls about their open comment period on this truly screwy idea from either the White House, Congressional leadership, or perhaps both. Just two days ago, the EPA announced that they would take comments until the end of October as to whether they agreed that lead-based ammunition and fishing sinkers amounted to such a dire threat to the environment that the EPA should ban both. Looks like they heard enough comments, at least on ammunition:

Responding to a grassroots outcry from gun owners, the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has denied a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity and other radical groups that had sought to ban the use of lead in ammunition.

Agreeing with the position of the NRA and the firearms industry, the agency explained in a news release that it “does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).” Further crushing the hopes of anti-gun and anti-hunting activists, the release added: “nor is the agency seeking such authority.”

“It’s outrageous that this petition even went this far,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director. “We applaud the EPA for its understanding of the law and its common sense in this situation — both of which were totally missing in the petition filed by these extreme anti-gun and anti-hunting groups.”

Because the EPA has no power to regulate ammunition, it will not move ahead with a public comment period on the petition. However, a comment period will remain open until September 15 on the other part of the petition, which asks EPA to ban the use of lead in fishing sinkers.

Be sure to watch for more coverage of this important victory in next week’s Grassroots Alert and in NRA’s magazines.

It is an important victory, mainly from the EPA’s own admission that ammunition is outside their jurisdictional reach. Otherwise, this just brings an issue to the end it inevitably faced sooner or later. Had the EPA pursued this in this electoral cycle, they would have risked inspiring a bipartisan effort to defund the agency, which a Republican House may do anyway to stop enforcement of their ridiculous carbon-dioxide endangerment finding.

If the EPA actually thought this would make a great trial balloon, they found yet another use for lead.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Israel prepping for war with Iran? Jewish state orders military fuel from U.S. Defense Department

Posted: August 28, 2010
1:00 am Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Increasing speculation it may be preparing for a military assault on Iran or a regional war involving Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, Israel has placed its largest order of military fuel with the United States on record.

The Jewish state, earlier this month, ordered 284 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel, 100 million gallons of diesel fuel and 60 million gallons of unleaded gasoline – all suitable for military uses – at an estimated cost of $2 billion.

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment about what actions Israel may take or how they will use their fuel," Marine Corps Major Chris Perrine, a public affairs officer at the Department of Defense, told WND. "I would note, however, that it would take a lot more than fuel to attack a country or wage a regional war."

Read about the developing drumbeats, in "The Late Great State of Israel"

The sale was detailed in an Aug. 5 notification the Defense Security Cooperation Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense posted on its website, in compliance with the requirement to give Congress advance notice of foreign military sales.

"The proposed sale of the JP-8 aviation fuel will enable Israel to maintain the operational capability of its aircraft inventory," the notification to Congress said. "The unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel will be used for ground forces' vehicles and other equipment used in keeping peace and security in the region. Israel will have no difficulty absorbing this additional fuel into its armed forces."

By comparison, the last fuel order Israel placed with the U.S. was July 15, 2008, when Israel ordered 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel, 54 million gallons of diesel fuel and 28 million gallons of unleaded gasoline at an estimated cost of $1.3 billion.

Prior to that, Israel ordered 90 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel and 42 million gallons of diesel fuel Aug. 24, 2007, for an estimated cost of $308 million; and an unspecified amount of JP-8 aviation jet fuel July 14, 2006, for an estimated cost of $210 million.

(Story continues below)

Israel's last two military operations were the summer 2006 Lebanon War that last a little over one month and the Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza from Dec. 27, 2008, to Jan. 21, 2009.

Atomic Iran

Tensions in the Middle East have escalated since Iran made its nuclear power plant at Bushehr operational with the assistance of Russia earlier this month.

John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has warned repeatedly that Bushehr would be much more difficult for Israel to attack after it went operational, largely because any military strike would release radioactivity that could be harmful to the civilian population.

Israel's unwillingness to attack the Iranian nuclear power plant at Bushehr before it went operational has caused considerable controversy within Israel.

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, columnist Caroline Glick observed that from a military perspective, the longer Israel waits to attack, the harder it will be for Israel "to accomplish the mission."

Focusing much of the blame on Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barack, Glick commented, "Barak's strategic ineptitude is legendary."

Still, many signs point to continuing tensions in the Middle East that could easily escalate into war.

Olli Heinonen, the former head of U.N. nuclear inspections worldwide, claimed this week that Iran has stockpiled enough low-enriched uranium to make one to two nuclear bombs.

A The Jerusalem Post reported Aug. 20 reports are circulating in the region that Frederick Hoff, assistant to U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell, told Lebanese Army chief of staff Jean Kahwaji that Israel was ready to implement a plan to destroy within four hours all Lebanese military infrastructure, including army bases and offices, should another border-fire incident occur between Lebanese military and the Israel Defense Forces.

Meanwhile, Iran has maintained an aggressive posture after activating Bushehr, successfully test-firing a third-generation surface-to-surface solid-fuel Fateh 110 missile with a 150-mile range and unveiling an Iran-manufactured drone bomber with a flight range of 620 miles.

Nevertheless, the White House cautions that Iran is not on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon.

Last week, Gary Samone, President Obama's top adviser on nuclear issues, was quoted as saying it would take one year for Iran to make "a dash" to convert existing low-enriched uranium to weapons-grade and to develop the nuclear warhead required for a working weapon.

Moreover, tensions between Israel and the Palestinians appear to be easing on the eve of resumed peace negotiations.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed an interest in meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas every two weeks as the two enter into direct peace talks next week in Washington.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When your holding a hammer everything looks like a nail!


When You’re Holding a Hammer

Everything Looks Like a Nail!

Words and Music by Kyle Hill and Bryan Glover

He was a little man, just turned three

Took the present from his daddy’s hand

A genuine toy hammer

He started beatin’ to beat the band

He hit the floors and the wall, broke a lamp in the hall,

Started swinging at the puppy’s tail

When you’re holding a hammer

Everything looks like a nail

He was the president, number 44

He says “Trust me, I’m here to help you

I have got some big big plans

You’re gonna love what I’m gonna do”

There’s no problem too big or small

He thinks he’s got an answer that just can’t fail

When you’re holding a hammer

Everything looks like a nail

He thinks big thoughts and he dreams big dreams

But it’s another man’s sweat that pays for those schemes

He don’t care how the little people feel

‘Cause savin’ the world is a big freakin’ deal

So he does his business behind closed doors

And pretends that the world is just beggin’ for more

When the stuff hits the fan he says “Don’t look at me

If you got trouble, blame 43”

Now Congress is saving Wall Street

While they’re watching Main Street fall

They got health care all figured out

But it don’t seem to care much at all

As soon as they save this planet

They’ll put the fire out in hell

When you’re holding a hammer

Everything looks like a nail

They think big thoughts and they dream big dreams

But it’s another man’s sweat that pays for those schemes

They don’t care how the little people feel

‘Cause savin’ the world is a big freakin’ deal

They do their business behind closed doors

And pretend that the world is just beggin’ for more

When the stuff hits the fan they say “Don’t look at me

If you got trouble, blame 43”

There’ll be a party come this November

Where we’re gonna set things straight

All good people gonna gather ‘round

Gonna show what made this country great

We’ll run off the schemers and back-room dealers

So the Red, White and Blue will prevail

When we’re holding the hammer

When we’re holding the hammer

When we’re holding the hammer

Every one of them looks like a nail

As wide-ranging as the problem of illegal immigration is, the solutions are simple.

Today, our great American nation is being invaded by millions of illegal immigrants who are fundamentally changing American society. Notably, a massive influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America is changing the face of the American Southwest. For some Mexicans, the motivations in this migration are pure – to secure a better life in a better place. However, not only is this illegal immigration illegal to begin with, it is also precipitating a host of problems for the United States of America. This influx is bankrupting state and local governments, hospitals, school districts, prisons, and social services across the Southwest. The influx is also fueling a wide range of criminal activities in the United States, from the simple, such as the hiring of illegal aliens by American companies, to the serious, such as drug running, human trafficking, organized criminal activity, gang activity, weapons violations, burglaries, auto thefts, etc., etc. In addition, terrorists from overseas nations are gaining entry to the United States through our porous borders.

“William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, states that this is “the end of America as we know it. At least 10 million illegal immigrants are in the U.S. now, and that’ll double in five years.” (Dallas Morning News, Rancher in border case backs Minuteman, 04/03/2005) FOXNews.com reports that “public health care in Los Angeles is on life support, where sixty percent of the county’s uninsured patients are not U.S. citizens. More than half are here illegally. About 2 million undocumented aliens in Los Angeles County alone are crowding emergency rooms because they can’t afford to see a doctor.” (L.A. Emergency Rooms Full of Illegal Immigrants, 03/17/2005). The National Research Council estimates that the net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year, with state and local governments bearing most of the costs. California’s tab is estimated at $3 billion alone. Richard D. Lamm, former governor of Colorado, writes in the Denver Post that “illegal immigration today isn’t cheap labor, except to the employer. The average family of illegal immigrants has two to four school-age kids. It costs U.S. taxpayers more than $7,000 a child just to educate them in our public schools.” (There’s nothing cheap about immigrant labor, 04/03/05) In the end, the American taxpayer pays many times the amount the cheap hourly wage was worth to a vagabond American company.”

But one has to figure that these costs are just a drop in the bucket. The Arizona Automobile Theft Authority for example reports that there were 56,222 stolen vehicles in Arizona in 2003. These thefts in many cases are tied to a host of other problems, including smuggling, illegal drug trafficking, human trafficking, burglaries, fraud, and drive-by shootings. The costs to these associated problems are immeasurable, both in dollar amounts (auto insurance, law enforcement costs, etc.) and in terms of general personal security.

In Dallas, Texas, we are witness firsthand to some of the problems associated with illegal immigration. Business owners in predominantly Hispanic areas are scared for their safety. Recently, a member of a family that owns several local restaurants was kidnapped in broad daylight, held for ransom, and then killed. The perpetrator fled back to Mexico. Mexican graffiti covers everything from houses and fences to businesses and highway signs. The City of Dallas, at great costs – up to $2,000 per sign, is currently either cleaning or replacing graffiti-marred highway signs across the area. One bridge overpass colorfully says it all: “Welcome to the Barrio, Bitches.” For Dallas Public Schools, Spanish proficiency for teachers is almost mandatory in many sections of the city. The enormous cultural and budgetary problems associated with educating children of illegal aliens denigrate the education of our American children.

Fed up by the deluge of trespassers and the lack of attention by the U.S. Government, ordinary Americans are now fighting back. A host of organizations, some listed on this page, are sprouting to deliver information about this travesty. Other organizations, such as Ranch Rescue, and the Minuteman Project, are taking a more proactive approach such as patrolling ranches and borders.

As wide-ranging as the problem of illegal immigration is, the solutions are simple.

First, we as Americans have to make it where it is not worth coming to America. We can do this by legally requiring proof of citizenship or legal residency for jobs, education and benefits. Unable to obtain jobs and services in America, many if not most immigrants would stay at home. As part of this effort, penalties would be more severe for American companies and organizations that knowingly provide jobs and services to illegal immigrants. In a way, providing jobs to illegal immigrants is treasonous.

Second, America needs a comprehensive guest worker program. This program would be funded primarily by Mexicans wishing to work in America and by American companies who can prove they need foreign workers because American workers are not available. In such a program, Mexicans (or American companies) would pay a processing fee to the federal government, instead of a smuggling fee to the Coyotes (human smugglers).

Third, America needs to physically secure its borders. We must get the Southwest region of the United States under control. Either we need a beefed-up Border Patrol, or we need the military to patrol the border in sufficient numbers, or both.

And fourth, eliminate the automatic United States Citizenry to children of undocumented and illegal immigrants,

The time to act is now. Each day, 5,000 to 10,000 new illegal immigrants enter the United States along the Mexican border. Each day, the costs associated with this influx escalate.

Lastly, do not play the race card on this one. It matters not what nationality these illegal immigrants are….it only matters that they are here in violation of our laws. There is no “natural right” or no “natural law” that justifies such illegal activity.

This war is already through the front door - The Red Dawn cells are here and waiting to attack

Terrorist Ties

It is common knowledge that Criminal Gangs and Al Qaeda are also merging along the Mexican Border

A Bangladeshi Muslim man named Fakhrul Islam was among a group of 13 illegal aliens arrested near Brownsville, Texas, just across the border from Mexico. Border Patrol agents have said that one of the men detained along with Islam was a member of Mara Salvatrucha, a violent Salvadoran criminal gang with more than 300,000 members across Central and North America, including powerful enterprises in several major U.S. cities. Adnan El-Shukrijumah, a high-ranking Al-Qaeda leader and one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, was spotted in Honduras meeting with members of MS-13. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has said that El-Shukrijumah, who he has described as a ‘clear and present danger to America,’ is seeking ways to infiltrate the U.S. via the Mexican border, and is willing to pay top dollar in order to do so. Erik Holder, the current attorney General, disavows any knowledge of said meetings.

In the last 6 months, we have captured several immigrants that are linked to Muslim factions in Europe and South America. Everyone knows that our borders are porous and that it is easy to get into the United States and get on our welfare roles and actually get jobs often times in federally classified areas because of the lack of background security checks. In November of 2009, a security sweep of the Federal Border Patrol personnel in Laredo, Texas resulted in 23 firings of US Border Patrol agents that were NOT US Citizens and not on work visas or in the US legally. They were hired with fake birth certificates and social security numbers and the lack of background checks allowed them to work almost unrestricted. One of the “fired” agents was a three time convicted felon in the United States and released on treaty with Mexico only to have him come back and get hired.

Drug gangs could be acquiring weapons from contacts in drug rings operating on U.S. military bases near the border. Ongoing operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have made fighting drug use by soldiers a lower priority within the military. In addition, the constant flow of material back and forth between the U S and combat theaters has made it increasingly difficult to account for every piece of ordnance. With pressure to recruit more troops, standards have been lowered, which has opened the door to recruits with prior drug convictions. The Mexican gangs, then, could be involving in-house dealers in weapons-for-drugs schemes.

Laredo is increasingly becoming a sanctuary for members of Mexico’s various drug cartels. Nuevo Laredo drug gangs use Texas the same way the Taliban and al Qaeda use Pakistan: as a refuge from the fighting; a place where they- theoretically can rest, regroup and plan further operations. The gangs also use Laredo as a transshipment point for drugs going north and weapons coming south.

Girl kidnapped and left for dead and no one would help the white gringo girl in Mexico

SAN JUAN - An 18-year-old girl is home safe after being kidnapped, taken to Mexico, and abandoned.

Police tell CHANNEL 5 NEWS the suspects grabbed the teen at 495 and Cesar Chavez around 6:30 Sunday evening. They blindfolded her, then forced her into their car.

She tells investigators they crossed her at an international bridge into Reynosa.

Investigators say around 7 p.m. Sunday, her friend called her to find out where she was. We're told that's when the kidnappers demanded a ransom for her safe return.

Phone calls and ransom demands continued for more than an hour. That's when police say the men realized they had the wrong girl. They took the 18-year-old to an isolated field in Reynosa and abandoned her.

She still had her cell phone. She called a family member who put her in touch with the San Juan police.

The police then worked to bring her home safely.

Investigators say they don't know who the intended target was. Right now all they know is the men were driving a black vehicle and were likely Mexican nationals.

The Government's New Right to Track Your Every Move With GPS

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway - and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre - and scary - rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants - with no need for a search warrant. (See a TIME photoessay on Cannabis Culture.)

It is a dangerous decision - one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

This case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents decided to monitor Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon resident who they suspected was growing marijuana. They snuck onto his property in the middle of the night and found his Jeep in his driveway, a few feet from his trailer home. Then they attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle's underside.

After Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA's actions, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled in January that it was all perfectly legal. More disturbingly, a larger group of judges on the circuit, who were subsequently asked to reconsider the ruling, decided this month to let it stand. (Pineda-Moreno has pleaded guilty conditionally to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana while appealing the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained with the help of GPS.)

In fact, the government violated Pineda-Moreno's privacy rights in two different ways. For starters, the invasion of his driveway was wrong. The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home. The government's intrusion on property just a few feet away was clearly in this zone of privacy.

The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno's driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited. (See the misadventures of the CIA.)

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

Judge Kozinski is a leading conservative, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, but in his dissent he came across as a raging liberal. "There's been much talk about diversity on the bench, but there's one kind of diversity that doesn't exist," he wrote. "No truly poor people are appointed as federal judges, or as state judges for that matter." The judges in the majority, he charged, were guilty of "cultural elitism." (Read about one man's efforts to escape the surveillance state.)

The court went on to make a second terrible decision about privacy: that once a GPS device has been planted, the government is free to use it to track people without getting a warrant. There is a major battle under way in the federal and state courts over this issue, and the stakes are high. After all, if government agents can track people with secretly planted GPS devices virtually anytime they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state - with technology taking on the role of the KGB or the East German Stasi.

Fortunately, other courts are coming to a different conclusion from the Ninth Circuit's - including the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court ruled, also this month, that tracking for an extended period of time with GPS is an invasion of privacy that requires a warrant. The issue is likely to end up in the Supreme Court.

In these highly partisan times, GPS monitoring is a subject that has both conservatives and liberals worried. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's pro-privacy ruling was unanimous - decided by judges appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. (Comment on this story.)

Plenty of liberals have objected to this kind of spying, but it is the conservative Chief Judge Kozinski who has done so most passionately. "1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last," he lamented in his dissent. And invoking Orwell's totalitarian dystopia where privacy is essentially nonexistent, he warned: "Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we're living in Oceania."

Conway: U.S. Withdrawal Deadline Boosts Taliban in Afghan War

The top U.S. Marine general made a sharp departure from the White House’s talking points on Afghanistan, saying President Barack Obama’s promised July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing troops from the country had given “sustenance” to the Taliban.

“We know the president was talking to several audiences at the same time when he made his comments on July 2011,” Gen. James Conway told reporters on Tuesday. “In some ways, we think right now it’s probably giving our enemy sustenance….In fact, we’ve intercepted communications that say, ‘Hey, you know, we only have to hold out for so long.’”

Conway, who recently returned from a trip to the region, was quick to qualify his remarks. He referred back to a statement made earlier in the press conference, saying that he expected Marines to remain on the ground in southern Afghanistan, the traditional stronghold for the Taliban, well after July 2011. “If you accept what I offered earlier as true, that Marines will be there … after the middle of 2011, what’s the enemy going to say then, you know?” he said.

The general’s blunt appraisal – that Afghan security forces are not likely to be ready to take the lead in a year’s time – is not a surprise. But timing of the troop drawdown is a contentious political issue. When Obama announced a surge of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in December, he said the transfer of forces in mid-2011 would depend on conditions on the ground, including the ability of Afghan security forces to take over responsibility for security.

Conway said, “I honestly think it will be a few years before conditions on the ground are such that turnover will be possible for us.”

The general acknowledged waning public support for the Afghan campaign, saying, “I sense our country is increasingly growing tired of the war.” Appealing for patience, he quoted the appraisal of a Marine officer he met on his most recent trip: “We can either lose fast or win slow.”

The White House and Pentagon declined to comment.

The Marines form only one part of the 78,000-strong U.S. troop contingent, which is in turn part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, which includes some 120,000 troops from 47 nations. Marine operations are focused primarily on the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand Provinces, in Afghanistan’s Pashtun heartland.

Conway said the Marines would continue to go after the Taliban, regardless of the 2011 deadline. “I certainly believe that some American units somewhere in Afghanistan will turn over responsibilities to Afghanistan security forces in 2011, I do not think they will be Marines,” he said.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rallies over mosque near ground zero get heated

NEW YORK (AP) - The proposed mosque near ground zero drew hundreds of fever-pitch demonstrators Sunday, with opponents carrying signs associating Islam with blood, supporters shouting, "Say no to racist fear!" and American flags waving on both sides.

Police separated the two groups but there were some nose-to-nose confrontations, including a man and a woman screaming at each other across a barricade under a steady rain.

Opponents of the plan to build a $100 million, 13-story Islamic center and mosque two blocks from the World Trade Center site appeared to outnumber supporters. Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" blared over loudspeakers as mosque opponents chanted, "No mosque, no way!"

Signs hoisted by hundreds of protesters standing behind police barricades read "SHARIA"—using dripping, blood-red letters to describe Islam's Shariah law. Around the corner, NYPD officers guarded a cordoned-off stretch of Park Place occupied by the old building that is to become the Islamic center.

Steve Ayling, a 40-year-old Brooklyn plumber who took his "SHARIA" sign to a dry spot by an office building, said the people behind the mosque project are "the same people who took down the twin towers."

Opponents demand that the mosque be moved farther from the site where nearly 3,000 people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001. Ayling said, "They should put it in the Middle East," and added that he still vividly remembers watching television on 9/11 "and seeing people jumping from the towers, and ashes falling on my house."

On a nearby sidewalk, police chased away a group that unfurled a banner with images of beating, stoning and other torture they said was committed by those who followed Islamic law.

The mosque project is being led by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, who insist the center will promote moderate Islam. The dispute has sparked a national debate on religious freedom and American values and is becoming an issue on the campaign trail ahead of the midterm elections. Republicans have been critical of President Barack Obama's stance: He has said the Muslims have the right to build the center at the site but has not commented on whether he thinks they should.

At a pro-mosque rally staged a block away from opponents' demonstration, several hundred people chanted, "Muslims are welcome here! We say no to racist fear!"

Dr. Ali Akram, a Brooklyn physician, came with his three sons and an 11-year-old nephew waving an American flag in his hand. He noted that scores of Muslims were among those who died in the towers, and he called those who oppose the mosque "un-American."

"They teach their children about the freedom of religion in America—but they don't practice what they preach," Akram said.

Gila Barzvi, whose son, Guy Barzvi, was killed in the towers, stood with mosque opponents, clutching a large photo of her son with both hands.

"This is sacred ground and it's where my son was buried," the native Israeli from Queens said. She said the mosque would be "like a knife in our hearts."

She was joined by a close friend, Kobi Mor, who flew from San Francisco to participate in the rally.

If the mosque gets built, "we will bombard it," Mor said. He would not elaborate but added that he believes the project "will never happen."

The Sunday rallies coincided with an annual motorcycle ride by a group that raises money for Sept. 11 first responders.

Bikers rolled in from the two other Sept. 11 attack sites, Washington and Shanksville, Pa.

The imam behind the project is in the middle of a Mideast trip funded by the U.S. State Department that is intended to promote religious tolerance. He has discussed efforts to combat extremism, but has avoided any comments on the rancor over the planned Islamic center.

Rauf told the Al Wasat newspaper in Bahrain that the freedoms enshrined by the U.S. Constitution also reflect true Muslim values. A portion of the interview—to be published Monday—was seen Sunday by The Associated Press.

Israeli official declares: 'We're preparing for war' Warns if world doesn't stop Iran, Jewish nation may be forced to act

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Danny Danon

While Israel is hoping for a peaceful resolution to Iran's nuclear ambitions, the Jewish state is also preparing for "a time of war," declared a Knesset member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling Likud party.

"We are prepared for all risks," said Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon. "And I think our enemies should know that even though we are speaking of peace, we are getting ready for a time of war, as well."

Danon, the deputy speaker of Israel's parliament, was speaking in a radio interview with WND senior reporter Aaron Klein, who hosts an investigative program on New York's WABC 770 AM Radio.

Danon hinted that Israel may take action if the world does not stop the Iranian nuclear threat, recalling Israel's lone strike on Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981.

Stated Danon: "We are ready for all scenarios, and we are able to defend our civilian population. I cannot tell you how long we can wait more. But we prefer to wait and see if the international bodies are acting, or [whether] it will be only the burden of Israel, like it was in the early '80s, when the great leader, Menachem Begin, [made] the great decision to bomb the nuclear reactor in Iraq."

Despite his assertion that Jerusalem is preparing to act alone, Danon stressed that Iran is an international concern. He called on the Western world to "take action" against Iran's suspected illicit nuclear program.

"I think we have to take action," he said. "It's about time to take action. It should be the international world and not only Israel. And I expect the administration in the White House to wake up as soon as possible."

Discover just how much danger the Holy Land is in with Aaron Klein's "The Late Great State of Israel."

Danon said he is concerned the international community has not been forceful enough in its policies toward Iran.

"What we see today is that the Russians, the Americans, the Europeans all say they are worried about Iran becoming nuclear, but in fact Iran is working full ahead, and it's only a matter of months or a year before they will be reaching the point of no return," he said.

Danon stated that any future military confrontation against Iran "should be an international effort."

"We don't want this to be a war of Jews against Muslims. It should be a war of Western civilization [against] Iran," he said.

"The threat of Iran becoming nuclear is a threat for the people who live in the U.S., Europe and Israel." he said. "No one can guarantee that Iran will use its power only against Israel."

Back to the Nazi Germany 1941 - England still Remebers -Iran unveils first bomber drone

Iran has unveiled what it says is its first domestically built unmanned - or drone - bomber.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the plane could serve as a "messenger of death", but that its key message was one of friendship.

Iranian state TV later showed the "Karrar" aircraft in flight.

It said it had a range of 1,000km (620 miles) and could carry two 250-pound (115kg) bombs, or a precision bomb of 500 pounds.

The plane is the latest in a series of new pieces of military hardware unveiled by Iran.

"This jet is a messenger of honour and human generosity and a saviour of mankind, before being a messenger of death for enemies of mankind," President Ahmadinejad said after unveiling the Karrar at a ceremony with defence officials.

"The key message is friendship," he added. "We must make efforts to render all the enemy's weapons useless with our defence potential."

The unveiling came amid continuing concerns over Iran's nuclear programme.

Western states suspect Iran is trying to obtain a nuclear bomb, though Iran says its programme is designed to boost domestic power supplies.

On Saturday, Iran began loading fuel rods at the Bushehr nuclear power station built and operated by Russia.

The US said it saw no "proliferation risk" from the plant, though Israel condemned the move.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hard Hats say they won't build it - No Way No How -

A growing number of New York construction workers are vowing not to work on the mosque planned near Ground Zero.

"It's a very touchy thing because they want to do this on sacred ground," said Dave Kaiser, 38, a blaster who is working to rebuild the World Trade Center site.

"I wouldn't work there, especially after I found out about what the imam said about U.S. policy being responsible for 9/11," Kaiser said.

The grass-roots movement is gaining momentum on the Internet. One construction worker created the "Hard Hat Pledge" on his blog and asked others to vow not to work on the project if it stays on Park Place.

"Thousands of people are signing up from all over the country," said creator Andy Sullivan, a construction worker from Brooklyn. "People who sell glass, steel, lumber, insurance. They are all refusing to do work if they build there."

"Hopefully, this will be a tool to get them to move it," he said. "I got a problem with this ostentatious building looming over Ground Zero."

A planned 13-story community center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, Park51 has exploded into a national debate.

Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers' Association, said unions have not yet taken a "formal position" on Park51, but he understands why members would be hesitant to work there.

"It's a very difficult dilemma for the contractors and the organized labor force because we are experiencing such high levels of unemployment," he said. "Yet at the same time, this is a very sacred sight to the union guys."

"There were construction workers killed on 9/11 and many more who got horribly sick cleaning up Ground Zero," Coletti said. "It's very emotional."

L.V. Spina, a Manhattan construction worker who created anti-mosque stickers that some workers are slapping on their hardhats, said he would "rather pick cans and bottles out of trash cans" than build the Islamic center near Ground Zero.

"But if they moved it somewhere else, we would put up a prime building for these people," he said. "Hell, you could do it next to my house in Rockaway Beach, I would be fine with it. But I'm not fine with it where blood has been spilled."

Spina, who sells 9/11 apparel on his website, said he's printed thousands of stickers and plans to produce thousands more.

"They're going all over the country," he said. "They got pretty popular fast."

Popularity aside, there are some construction workers choosing not to set themselves against the project.

"Hundreds of guys here are wearing stickers as a sign of protest, but I'm on the fence about it," said Frank Langan, 50, a site superintendent from Queens working at Ground Zero.

"It's a tough debate," he said. "I sympathize with workers' position, but at the same time, you can't single out all Muslims because of a small number of terrorists."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/20/2010-08-20_we_wont_build_it_hardhats_say_no_way_they_will_work_on_wtc_mosque.html#ixzz0xLFdOc00

No say it is not so - It can't be - No- No way- Obama officials' ties to Ground Zero imam Adviser discussed with Rauf U.S. as 'ideal place for renewal


With President Obama igniting political controversy by commenting on the right of American Muslims to build an Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero, it is worth noting the close ties of several Obama administration officials to the cleric behind the proposed project.

The ties include a religion adviser to Obama, Eboo Patel, who discussed with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf – the controversial Muslim leader behind the mosque initiative – America as "the ideal place for a renewal of Islam."

Also, a scholar and charity head appointed to Obama's White House Fellowships Commission, Vartan Gregorian, wants to bring the imam's organization into a proposed Ground Zero museum to ensure it will represent the voices of American Muslims.

In February, Obama named Patel, a Chicago Muslim, to his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Patel is the founder and executive director of Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core, which says it promotes pluralism by teaming people of different faiths on service projects.

Rauf wrote the afterword to Patel's 2006 book, "Building the Interfaith Youth Movement: Beyond Dialogue to Action."

Patel is listed as one of 15 "Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow" on the website for the American Society for Muslim Advancement, which is led by Rauf.

(Story continues below)

In Patel's 2007 book, "Saving Each Other, Saving Ourselves," he recounts discussing with Rauf the future of Islam in the U.S.

Rauf "understood the vision immediately and suggested that I visit him and his wife, Daisy Khan, at their home the following evening," Patel recalled.

Khan founded the society with her husband and has aided him in his plans for the mosque near Ground Zero.

"The living room of their apartment on the Upper West Side was set up like a mosque, with prayer rugs stretched from wall to wall," wrote Patel in his book.

Patel continued:

I arrived at dusk, prayed the maghrib prayer with Daisy and Imam Feisal and then talked with them about how America, with its unique combination of religious devotion and religious diversity, was the ideal place for a renewal of Islam.

"In the twentieth century, Catholicism and Judaism underwent profound transformations in America," Rauf observed. "I think, this century, in America, Islam will do the same."

Patel boasts of a "critical mass" of Muslims in the U.S.

"Islam is a religion that has always been revitalized by its migration," he wrote. "America is a nation that has been constantly rejuvenated by immigrants. There is now a critical mass of Muslims in America."

Patel last March wrote a Huffington Post piece referring to Obama's former "green jobs" czar Van Jones as a "faith hero."

"In my last post on Van, I called him an American patriot," wrote Patel. "That is high praise in my book. But watching Van's speech at the NAACP, I have another title for him, one that I reserve for the true giants of history. Van Jones is a faith hero." Jones resigned in September after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization and signed a statement that accused the Bush administration of possible involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks. Jones also called for "resistance" against the U.S.

Jones previously stated his advocacy for green jobs was part of a broader movement to destroy the U.S. capitalist system.

WND reported that one day after the Sept. 11 attacks, Jones led a vigil that expressed solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans as well as what he called the victims of "U.S. imperialism" around the world.

Meanwhile, another Obama official with ties to Rauf is Gregorian, the president of Carnegie Corp. charitable foundation who was appointed by Obama last year as a White House fellow.

Documentation shows Gregorian was central in William Ayers' recruitment of Obama to serve as the first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge – a job in which Obama worked closely on a regular basis with Ayers, a co-founder of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist group.

Obama also later touted his job at the project as qualifying him to run for public office, as WND previously reported.

Born in Tabriz, Iran, Gregorian served for eight years as president of the New York Public Library and was also president of Brown University.

In his role as Brown president, Gregorian served on the selection committee of the Annenberg Foundation, which funded Ayers' Chicago Annenberg Challenge with a $49.2 million, 2-to-1 matching challenge grant over five years. Ayers was one of five founding members of the Challenge who wrote to the Annenberg Foundation for the initial funding.

Steve Diamond, a political-science and law professor and a blogger who has posted on Obama, previously posted a letter from Nov. 18, 1994, in which Gregorian, serving as the point man on Annenberg's selection committee, asked Ayers to "compose the governing board" of the Challenge's collaborative project with "people who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of Chicago."

Ayers and other founding Challenge members then recruited Obama to serve as the project chairman.

WND was first to expose that Obama and Ayers used the project grant money to fund organizations run by radicals tied to Ayers, including Mike Klonsky, a former top communist activist who was a senior leader in the Students for a Democratic Society group, a major leftist student organization in the 1960s, from which the Weathermen terror group later splintered.

National Review Online writer Stanley Kurtz examined the project archives housed at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago, finding Obama and Ayers worked closely at the project.

The documents obtained by Kurtz showed Ayers served as an ex-officio member of the board that Obama chaired through the project's first year. Ayers also served on the board's governance committee with Obama and worked with him to craft project bylaws, according to the documents.

Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Obama. Ayers also spoke for the Chicago School Reform Collaborative before Obama's board, while Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the collaborative, the project documents reviewed by Kurtz show.

WND reported Obama and Ayers also served together on the board of the Woods Fund, a liberal Chicago nonprofit that granted money to far-left causes.

One of the groups funded by the Woods Fund was the Midwest Academy, an activist organization modeled after Marxist community organizer Saul Alinsky and described as teaching tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation.

WND reported Jackie Kendall, executive director of the Midwest Academy, was on the team that developed and delivered the first Camp Obama training for volunteers aiding Obama's campaign through the 2008 Iowa Caucuses.

Camp Obama was a two- to four-day intensive course run in conjunction with Obama's campaign aimed at training volunteers to become activists to help Obama win the presidential election.

Obama scholar linked to 'Ground Zero' imam

Gregorian is closely tied to Rauf. Gregorian also serves on the board of the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum. The museum is reportedly working with the American Society for Muslim Advancement, whose leaders are behind the mosque, to ensure the future museum will represent the voices of American Muslims.

"[The Sept. 11 museum will represent the] voices of American Muslims in particular, and it will honor members of other communities who came together in support and collaboration with the Muslim community on September 11 and its aftermath," stated Daisy Khan, executive director of the society.

The future Sept. 11 museum's oral historian, Jenny Pachucki, is collaborating with the society to ensure the perspective of American Muslims is woven into the overall experience of the museum, according to the museum's blog.

Khan's husband, Rauf, is the founder of the society as well as chairman of Cordoba Initiative, which is behind the proposed mosque to be built about two blocks from Ground Zero.

With Gregorian at its helm, Carnegie Corp. is at the top of the list of society supporters on the Islamic group's website.

Carnegie is also listed as a funder of both of the society's partner organizations, Search for Common Ground and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. Gregorian was a participant in the U.N. body's first forum, as was Rauf.

Rauf is vice chairman on the board of the Interfaith Center of New York, which honored Gregorian at an awards dinner in 2008.

Rauf, meanwhile, has caused a stir with his proposed $100 million, 13-story Islamic cultural center and mosque near the corner of Park Place and West Broadway.

Rauf sparked controversy when he refused during a live radio interview to condemn violent jihad groups as terrorists. Rauf repeatedly refused on the air to affirm the U.S. designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization or call the Muslim Brotherhood extremists.

The Brotherhood openly seeks to spread Islam around the world, while Hamas is committed to Israel's destruction and is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks aimed at Jewish civilian population centers.

During the interview, Rauf was also asked who he believes was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

"There's no doubt," stated Rauf. "The general perception all over the world was it was created by people who were sympathetic to Osama bin Laden. Whether they were part of the killer group or not, these are details that need to be left to the law-enforcement experts."

Rauf has been on record several times blaming U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 attacks. He has been quoted refusing to admit Muslims carried out the attacks.

Referring to the Sept. 11 attacks, Rauf told CNN, "U.S. policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. We (the U.S.) have been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. Osama bin Laden was made in the USA."

Madeline Brooks, a reporter who attended a sermon this year by Rauf, quoted the Islamic leader as stating "some people say it was Muslims who attacked on Sept. 11."

Rauf's 2004 book had two different titles, one in English and the second in Arabic. In the U.S., his book was called "What's right with America is what's right with Islam."

The same book, published in Arabic, bore the name "The Call From the WTC Rubble: Islamic Da'wah From the Heart of America Post–Sept. 11."

Da'wah, an Arabic term, refers to the preaching of Islam, or, literally, "inviting to the way of submission and surrender to Allah."

With no money and no way to pay for the 17 million building , they just move right in and start praying at ground zero

As debate rages as to whether a controversial mosque should be built two blocks away from Ground Zero, Muslim worshippers are already holding prayer services inside the proposed building site.

Yesterday, dozens of the faithful sat facing east on the green- and mustard-colored rug inside the 152-year-old former Burlington Coat Factory building at 45-51 Park Place.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, plan to build a $100 million mosque and Islamic community center there.

Men were situated toward the front of the interior, with women relegated to the rear. A spillover crowd sat on an overhead catwalk.
A TIME TO PRAY: Muslim men face Mecca at Friday prayers yesterday inside 45-51 Park Place, site of the proposed Islamic center.
Getty Images
A TIME TO PRAY: Muslim men face Mecca at Friday prayers yesterday inside 45-51 Park Place, site of the proposed Islamic center.

Some of the worshippers came after having been turned away from the frequently overcrowded, single-room Masjid al-Farah, a mosque 12 blocks from Ground Zero on West Broadway. Rauf once led prayer gatherings there as well.

Services at the Park Place building are held four times a day, between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Among those attending was developer and building owner Sharif El-Gamal.

Outside on the sidewalk, protesters and supporters divided by metal barriers held signs and shouted at one another as police officers kept an eye on them.

The building has even become a tourist site, drawing gawkers from around the country and abroad who are interested in seeing first hand what the controversy is all about.

The Post reported earlier this month that the prayer services were being held despite the building not having a new city certificate of occupancy.

The religious gatherings have been taking place since the building was purchased in May 2009 by the real-estate firm SoHo Properties for $4.85 million. The building's certificate of occupancy expired in 1987 and was only for a retail store.

The Buildings Department has said that the owners are in compliance and that they received temporary permits for a place of assembly, allowing worship.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/faithful_already_filling_the_house_w1wuBCF97KVeJYYwxvA7pI#ixzz0xL9FBHMN

Abdul is really a nice guy who just wants Peace - Critic: Mosque site picked for 'iconic' value Compares situation to al-Aqsa mosque on Temple Mount

Michael Carl
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

A man photographs the lower Manhattan building that will possibly house the Cordoba Initiative Mosque and Cultural Center in New York August 16, 2010. The project, planned near the ground zero site of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, has emerged as an emotional issue 2-1/2 months before U.S. congressional elections in which Republicans are trying to take back control of Congress from Obama's fellow Democrats. Reid is in a tight contest for re-election against a very conservative Republican challenger. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: RELIGION POLITICS)

The interests behind the Ground Zero mosque plan in New York didn't just pick the location because it was a good deal, or by happenstance, according to Robert Spencer, the JihadWatch director who also has written "Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs."

"The idea here that will be widely understood is that this mosque is another triumphal mosque, another victory mosque [like] the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque on the site of the Temple Mount and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus," Spencer told WND today.

"The reason for the interest in this property in particular is its iconic status in relation to the 9/11 attacks. This is something Imam Rauf has said himself. It's not something I'm attributing to him," Spencer explained.

"In his own words he said, 'New York is the capital of the world and this location close to 9/11 is iconic.' He was happy that his mosque would be at the site of the building [where] the wreckage fell on 9/11," Spencer said.

Atlas Shrugs blogger and Islam analyst Pamela Geller agreed, saying the mosque at 45-51 Park Place represents an Islamic trophy.

"It is an Islamic supremacist mosque, in the Muslim tradition of building triumphal mosques on the cherished sites of conquered peoples. There are thousands of examples all across North Africa, the Middle East, and India. This mosque will be understood in the Islamic world as just another one of these victory mosques," Geller stated.

The opinions are supported by the fact that real estate brokers and agents report an abundance of commercial space available, some at a lower cost than the 45-51 Park location.

The Ri Manhattan Realty listed more than 40 properties that could be used for commercial or non-profit development. Another commercial agency called City Feet lists numerous commercial and industrial properties in Manhattan that could be potential sites.

The real estate reports are causing mosque opponents to wonder why, if there are thousands of square feet of more inexpensive commercial property in Manhattan that could be used for the controversial Ground Zero mosque, Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf insists that the 45-51 Park location is where the mosque must be built.

Fox News said this week that property owner Sharif El-Gamal of Soho Properties is forging ahead with the mosque, even though he also noted that lower Manhattan already has two well-established, well-attended mosques.

Spencer said the fact that part of the landing gear of one of the 9/11 planes hijacked by Muslim radicals and turned into flying bombs crashed through the roof of 45 Park Place is integral.

"This fact makes the mosque essentially at Ground Zero. It's part of Ground Zero," Spencer added.

Listen to an interview with Robert Spencer:

Spencer said mosque construction on the site will be a message to the Islamic world, a message they've seen before.

"Many thousands of churches, synagogues and Hindu temples in the Middle East, North Africa and India were demolished or converted into mosques," Spencer said.

The Cordoba Initiative, which is leading the charge for the mosque, explains it is dedicated to improving Muslim-West relations. However, another page on the site gives the details of the group's intentions of promoting Islamic law in the United States.

Spencer explains that the Muslims know the significance behind the Cordoba reference.

"Cordoba in Spain was the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba, which was one of the governmental centers of Islamic Spain in the Middle Ages. It is a widely spread historical myth in the United States that Cordoba was a prototype of a multicultural paradise of tolerance and peace," Spencer observed.

Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf

"The reality of Cordoba was very different. It was rather a place where Jews and Christians lived as subjugated second-class citizens and never enjoyed equality with Muslims," Spencer added. "If they stepped out of their sharply defined boundaries for their status, Jews and Christians could be killed."

The Jihad Watch publisher added that there is no doubt that the Islamic world fully understands the significance of the mosque and Rauf's interest in spreading Shariah in the United States.

Mosque proponents say that the major issue is the Constitution's First Amendment right of freedom of religion. President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist have come to the defense of the mosque, citing religious freedom.

Obama even stated at a White House dinner honoring the Islamic month of Ramadan that Muslims have a right to build a place of worship "on private property in lower Manhattan."

Geller insisted religious freedom has little to do with the situation.

"This is not about religious liberty. No one has suggested abridging the First Amendment to stop the mosque, and to oppose the Ground Zero mosque is not to oppose the First Amendment. There are hundreds of mosques in New York, thousands in America," she said.

"This is about common decency. This is a bad idea. That building was part of 9/11, damaged in the Islamic attack on 9/11. It is causing enormous grief and pain to the victims and all Americans. If this issue was really about outreach and healing they would withdraw the mosque," she said.

At the same time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for a congressional investigation of those who oppose the mosque in that location.

In an interview on KCBS radio in San Francisco, Pelosi said, "There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some." She is calling for a search into how is "this opposition to the mosque being funded."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Islamic Tet

"He who fights that Islam should be superior fights in Allah's cause" Muhammad, prophet of Islam

A series of well coordinated, seemingly random Muslim attacks worldwide around the time of Western holidays - straight out of the 1968 Viet Cong Tet Offensive playbook....

Are We Under an Islamist ‘Tet Offensive’? AIM Hat tip Hal

And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in Allah's way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly." - Koran, Sura 8, verse 60

With the latest incident of an attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day, coming so soon after the Fort Hood massacre, Americans should be asking if we are indeed under an Islamist "Tet Offensive." (read the whole thing)

Muslim shot in Foiled Assassination Attempt on Danish Cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, in His Home

Muslim "Youth" Burn Over a Thousand Cars in France

Police: Suicide bombing kills 75 in NW Pakistan

Latest Offerings from the Religion of Peace

2010.01.01 (Shah Hason Khel, Pakistan) - Children are amply represented among over eighty spectators massacred at a volleyball tournament by a Fedayeen suicide bomber.

2009.12.31 (Yala, Thailand) - Two civilians riding a motorbike are shot to death by Islamic militants.

2009.12.31 (Kalat, Pakistan) - Two oil truck drivers are shot to death by Muslim radicals.

2009.12.31 (Uruzgan, Afghanistan) - Six civilians are beheaded by Islamic hardliners.

2009.12.30 (Bajaur, Pakistan) - A tribal elder is brutally murdered by the Taliban and dropped by the roadside.

2009.12.30 (Baramulla, India) - Hizb-ul-Mujahideen gunmen open up on four Indian cops at point-blank range, leaving all four dead.

Pam Geller's Muslim Crusade has to become an American Crusade, It's about our Survival as a nation

Over at Salon, Justin Elliott (a former MoJo fellow!) credits right-wing blogger Pam Geller with launching the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy that finally ensnared Barack Obama this weekend:

A group of progressive Muslim-Americans plans to build an Islamic community center two and a half blocks from ground zero in lower Manhattan. They have had a mosque in the same neighborhood for many years. There's another mosque two blocks away from the site. City officials support the project. Muslims have been praying at the Pentagon, the other building hit on Sept. 11, for many years.

In short, there is no good reason that the Cordoba House project should have been a major national news story, let alone controversy.... To a remarkable extent, a Salon review of the origins of the story found, the controversy was kicked up and driven by Pamela Geller, a right-wing, viciously anti-Muslim, conspiracy-mongering blogger, whose sinister portrayal of the project was embraced by Rupert Murdoch's New York Post.

Justin mentions that Geller once suggested that Malcolm X was President Obama's "real" father. But she's also been involved in a more recent episode of Obama/Muslim rumormongering. Here's MediaMatters on June 16:

A year and a half into Obama's presidency, the far-right ranks of right-wing insanity—apparently undaunted by repeated failure—are still desperately trying to prove that he's a secret Muslim.

This time, it's G. Gordon Liddy and Pamela Geller, pushing a dubiously-sourced claim that President Obama admitted to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit that he is a Muslim.

Liddy opened up his radio show on June 14 by reading directly from Geller's blog post on the topic, calling it "breaking news" and stating that it comes under the heading "suspicions confirmed."

Geller—a prime distorter of anything and everything related to Islam—wrote on her blog:

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said he had a one-on-one meeting with Obama, in which President Obama told him that he was still a Muslim, the son of a Muslim father, the stepson of Muslim stepfather, that his half brothers in Kenya are Muslims, and that he was sympathetic towards the Muslim agenda. [bolding in original]

To top it off, Geller went ahead and threw the words "I am a Muslim" in quotation marks and attributed the statement to Obama in the title of her post.

As you might imagine, this is total nonsense. The source for Geller's claim—and I am not making this up—is a blogger who says his wife saw the Egyptian Foreign Minister on television saying that Obama told him he was a Muslim. Yet these are the kinds of people who the President decided to empower when he "clarified" his "mosque" remarks on Saturday, explaining that he "was not commenting and...will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there." Breaking news, Mr. President: you just did.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Former NYC mayor: Ground Zero mosque 'insensitive' Democrat Ed Koch may not condemn construction, but still blasts Obama

By Drew Zahn
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Ed Koch

Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who campaigned for President Obama in 2008, but who has also publicly blasted his party for failing to support Israel, has chimed in on the controversial plans to build an Islamic mosque near Ground Zero, calling the construction "insensitive" to victims and survivors of the 9-11 attacks.

Koch nonetheless agreed with President Obama's recent controversial remarks defending the construction, arguing that, insensitive or not, Muslims have "a right" to build the mosque.

"It's insensitive for the sponsors of the mosque to go forward, but they have an absolute right under our Constitution to build a mosque anywhere you can build a church or a synagogue or a Hindu temple," Koch said in a radio interview. "Therefore, while it's perfectly understandable that survivors of the 9-11 catastrophe and the families of those who didn't survive are distressed, nevertheless what comes first is the law."

Koch was speaking in a radio interview today with Aaron Klein, WND senior reporter and host of investigative show on New York's WABC Radio.

In 1980 Koch defied the Democratic administration of Jimmy Carter and strongly denounced Carter's policies toward Israel. This foreshadowed the unprecedented shift of Jewish voters that November; with about 60 percent of Jews deserting Carter for other candidates. Koch also broke ranks with his party to endorse George W. Bush in 2004, as a gesture of support for the U.S. war against Islamic terror and Bush's pro-Israel policies.

And despite still slinging stinging comments about Obama's treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and dismissal of Islamic terror in the U.S., Koch refused to condemn the building of the proposed Ground Zero mosque.

"I wouldn't denounce them, and I would defend their rights under the law," Koch insisted.

When Klein asked Koch about Obama's overall policy toward Israel and Islam, however, Koch resumed his criticism, asserting that once the president broke trust with Netanyahu, rebuilding that trust would take time.

"I'm happy that president Obama has recanted on his apparent hostility exhibited toward Israel," Koch said. "I would nevertheless always examine what he proposes with great care."

When asked if he was concerned about the Obama administration minimizing the threat of Islamic terror in the U.S., Koch answered, "I certainly am. I find it outrageous that the White House has prohibited the use of the expression 'Islamist terrorists'. It's crazy."

New York Islamic leader Faisal Abdul Rauf, president of the Cordoba Initiative, is leading the plan to build a proposed 13-story, $100 million Islamic cultural center and mosque near the corner of Park Place and West Broadway – about two blocks from the site of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Rauf sparked controversy last month when he refused during a live interview on Klein's WABC show to condemn violent jihad groups as terrorists. Rauf repeatedly refused on the air to denounce Hamas as an extremist organization.

The U.S. has designated Hamas, which is committed to Israel's destruction and is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks aimed at Jewish civilian population centers, as a terrorist organization.

During the interview, Klein also asked Rauf who he believes was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

"There's no doubt," stated Rauf. "The general perception all over the world was it was created by people who were sympathetic to Osama bin Laden. Whether they were part of the killer group or not, these are details that need to be left to the law-enforcement experts."

Rauf has been on record several times blaming U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 attacks. He has been quoted refusing to admit Muslims carried out the attacks.

Referring to the Sept. 11 attacks, Rauf told CNN, "U.S. policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. We (the U.S.) have been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. Osama bin Laden was made in the USA."

Hamas Backs Obama and 911 Mosque- "We have to build the mosque, as you are allowed to build the church

A leader of the Hamas terror group yesterday jumped into the emotional debate on the plan to construct a mosque near Ground Zero -- insisting Muslims "have to build" it there.

"We have to build everywhere," said Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas and the organization's chief on the Gaza Strip.

"In every area we have, [as] Muslim[s], we have to pray, and this mosque is the only site of prayer," he said on "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on WABC.


"We have to build the mosque, as you are allowed to build the church and Israelis are building their holy places."
'WE HAVE TO PRAY': Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (inset) got support from Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar (above left, with Gaza political leader Ismail Haniyeh), who spoke on WABC Radio yesterday in favor of Rauf's proposal to build an Islamic center in this downtown location two blocks from Ground Zero.
'WE HAVE TO PRAY': Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (inset) got support from Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar (above left, with Gaza political leader Ismail Haniyeh), who spoke on WABC Radio yesterday in favor of Rauf's proposal to build an Islamic center in this downtown location two blocks from Ground Zero.

Hamas, he added, "is representing the vast majority of the Arabic and Islamic world -- especially the Islamic side."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who so far has not taken a position on the mosque, dismissed the endorsement.

"Hamas is a terrorist organization, and their views don't deserve any weight on anything," his spokesman said.

Zahar said Muslims around the world, including those who live in this country, are united in a common cause.

"First of all, we have to address that we are different as people, as a nation, totally different," he said.

"We already are living under the tradition of Islam.

"Islam is controlling every source of our life as regard to marriage, divorce, our commercial relationships," Zahar said.

"Even the Islamic people or the Muslims in your country, they are living now in the tradition of Islam. They are fasting; they are praying."

Politicians who previously had lots to say on the matter were not nearly as eager to discuss the latest development.

Despite his outspoken opposition to the building of a mosque so close to Ground Zero, Rep. Peter King (R-LI) said only, "I don't respond to Hamas."

Mayor Bloomberg, a strong supporter of the plan, declined comment through a spokesman.

Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the proposed mosque, and two other leaders of the plan who previously had commented extensively, were silent yesterday.

They did not respond to The Post's phone calls or e-mails about the Hamas endorsement.

Hamas first came up in the mosque debate earlier this summer when Abdul Rauf refused to describe the group as a terrorist organization -- despite the State Department listing that identifies it as such.

Tom Brown, a chief opponent of the mosque, said: "This is what we've been saying . . . Imam Rauf is a radical Muslim who will not call Hamas a terror group."

A retired firefighter who was a first responder on 9/11, Brown lost 100 of his FDNY friends at the Twin Towers.

"How much evidence do we need that this guy is a radical Muslim?" he asked.

"If Rauf really were a bridge builder and an interfaith guy and all the things he professes to be, he wouldn't be doing this to people."

Abdul Rauf raised eyebrows last week when he departed on a State Department-sponsored goodwill mission to the Middle East, despite concerns that the trip may be helping him with the mosque's $100 million fund-raising goal.

The Obama administration insisted the trip, reportedly with stops in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar, was strictly to improve understanding about Muslim communities in the United States.

But a London-based Arabic-language newspaper that interviewed Abdul Rauf reported that he said he would also collect money from Muslim and Arab nations around the world -- raising the possibility that the American government is helping him build contacts in oil-rich states.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/hamas_nod_for_gz_mosque_cSohH9eha8sNZMTDz0VVPI#ixzz0wmdFF4Hd

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Israeli Strike on Iran Likely after Next July by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

There is a better than 50-50 chance that Israel will attack Iran after next July, but many Israeli officials think a better solution to the Iranian nuclear threat would be an American strike on its nuclear facilities, Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg writes.

Under the title of “The Point of No Return, Goldberg’s article describes a probable scenario if sanctions, an internal Iranian revolution or local sabotage does not stop Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his tracks.

“Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran—possibly by crossing Saudi Arabia, possibly by threading the border between Syria and Turkey, and possibly by traveling directly through Iraq’s airspace, though it is crowded with American aircraft,” Goldberg wrote in the new issue of the magazine.

“Israel would get only one try. Israeli planes would fly low over Saudi Arabia, bomb their targets in Iran, and return to Israel by flying again over Saudi territory, possibly even landing in the Saudi desert for refueling—perhaps, if speculation rife in intelligence circles is to be believed, with secret Saudi cooperation. These planes would have to return home quickly, in part because Israeli intelligence believes that Iran would immediately order Hizbullah to fire rockets at Israeli cities.”

One general told Goldberg, “Our problem is not Iranian air defenses, because we have ways of neutralizing that. Our problem is that the Saudis will look very guilty in the eyes of the world if we keep flying over their territory.”

With the likelihood that Iran will be able to deliver a nuclear weapon in 1-3 years, Goldberg said that the Holocaust echo of “Never Again” will leave Israel no choice other than to attack Iran without asking the United States for permission or even notifying it in advance.

The growing conclusion among Israeli leaders is that the alternative to bombing Iran would be the annihilation of the Jewish State.

“You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the journalist. “When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the world should start worrying, and that’s what is happening in Iran.”

Israeli leaders have tried to drum in the message that the Iranian threat is aimed at the entire world and not just Israel. The reasoning leaves open the option—and hope—that U.S. President Barack Obama will step into the breach and carry out a military strike on the Islamic Republic. It is speculative whether the young president, who was elected on the back of sentiment against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, would order an attack.

An unnamed Arab foreign minister told Goldberg, “This is not a discussion about the invasion of Iran. We are hoping for the pinpoint striking of several dangerous facilities. America could do this very easily.”

Israeli military officials also have their sights set across the Atlantic Ocean. Goldberg said that Israel’s security advisor Uzi Arad related that Prime Minister Netanyahu often tells visiting foreign officials, “Let me tell you a secret. The American military is bigger than Israel’s.”

“If the choice is between allowing Iran to go nuclear, or trying for ourselves what Obama won’t try, then we probably have to try,” the official added. Our time would be better spent lobbying Barack Obama to do this, rather than trying this ourselves,” one general told me. “We are very good at this kind of operation, but it is a big stretch for us. The Americans can do this with a minimum of difficulty, by comparison. This is too big for us.”

However, President Obama’s style of oratory and “engagement” of enemies has left Israeli officials doubtful. “We don’t believe that he is the sort of person who would launch a daring strike on Iran. We are afraid he would see a policy of containing a nuclear Iran rather than attacking it,” one policy maker told Goldberg.

Would Prime Minister Netanyahu be the man to “pull the trigger” on Iran? The answer goes back to the Holocaust. One official who “spends considerable time” with Prime Minister Netanyahu told Goldberg, “The only reason Bibi [Netanyahu] would place Israel’s relationship with America in total jeopardy is if he thinks that Iran represents a threat like the Shoah [Holocaust]. In World War II, the Jews had no power to stop Hitler from annihilating us. Six million were slaughtered. Today, six million Jews live in Israel, and someone is threatening them with annihilation. But now we have the power to stop them. Bibi knows that this is the choice.”

One mitigating factor against attacking Iran is the effect sanctions are having on its nuclear development. Despite the fanfare of a new centrifuge for enriching uranium, U.S. National Security Council official Gary Samore said, “The particular centrifuge machines they’re running are based on an inferior technology. They are running into some technical difficulties, partly because of the work we’ve done to deny them access to foreign components. When they make the parts themselves, they are making parts that don’t have quality control.”

Regardless of the effects of the sanctions, one Arab foreign minister pointed out the mentality of Ahmadinejad—that others might apply to all Muslim radicals—that while President Obama acts out of “reasonableness,” “Iran will continue on this reckless path, unless the administration starts to speak unreasonably. The best way to avoid striking Iran is to make Iran think that the U.S. is about to strike Iran. “

Goldberg wrote, “Based on months of interviews, I have come to believe that the administration knows it is a near-certainty that Israel will act against Iran soon if nothing or no one else stops the nuclear program; and Obama knows—as his aides, and others in the State and Defense departments made clear to me—that a nuclear-armed Iran is a serious threat to the interests of the United States, which include his dream of a world without nuclear weapons.“