An estimated three million people attended this Carnival Parade in Dusseldorf. Hint: “Der Erloser” translates as “The savior”.
h/t: Jeffrey Weiner
IKEA is now apologizing for its descent into dhimmitude and cooperation with Saudi Arabian authorities and Sharia values by removing all images of women from their catalogue. You know those racy IKEA catalogues with all the hot chicks putting together complicated Swedish furniture while toddlers look on. Maybe they mixed it up with the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.
Anyway, given the history of IKEA’s founder, this is no surprise. Nevertheless, that history notwithstanding, there are nowplenty of IKEA stores in Israel, one opening in Haifa not far from where Intel and, soon, Apple will have their headquarters – definitely an area where the locals will understand how to put the furniture together.
Ramin Mehmanparast, spokesman for Ahmadinejad, gets attacked by refugee Iranians on streets of New York.
h/t Banafsheh Zand
As has been predicted for some time, Iran is finally closing the door and throwing away the key to the World Wide Web. From Reuters today:
Iran plans to switch its citizens onto a domestic Internet network in what officials say is a bid to improve cyber security but which many Iranians fear is the latest way to control their access to the web.
The announcement, made by a government deputy minister on Sunday, came as state television announced Google Inc’s search engine and its email service would be blocked “within a few hours”.
“Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice,” an official identified only by his last name, Khoramabadi, said, without giving further details.
The Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) said Google ban was connected to the anti-Islamic film posted on the company’s YouTube site which has caused outrage throughout the Muslim world. There was no official confirmation.
Iran has one of the biggest Internet filters of any country in the world, preventing normal Iranians from accessing countless sites on the official grounds they are offensive or criminal.
But many Iranians believe the block on sites such as Facebook and YouTube is due to their use in anti-government protests after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad in 2009.
Sites expressing views considered anti-government are also routinely blocked.
Iranians commonly overcome the government filter by using virtual private network (VPN) software that makes the computer appear as if it is based in another country.
But officials have long spoken of creating an Iranian Internet system which would be largely isolated from the World Wide Web.
“In recent days, all governmental agencies and offices … have been connected to the national information network,” deputy communications and technology minister Ali Hakim-Javadi was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.
The second phase of the plan would be to connect ordinary Iranians to the national network, he said.
According to Iranian media, the domestic system would be fully implemented by March 2013 but it was not clear whether access to the global Internet would be cut once the Iranian system is rolled out.
Even using VPNs, many Iranians suffered serious problems accessing email and social networking sites in February, ahead of parliamentary elections.
Now if someone would only highjack Ahmadinejad’s plane on the way home.
From the Telegraph:
The new push for a European Union federation, complete with its own head of state and army, is the “final phase” of the destruction of democracy and the nation state, the president of the Czech Republic has warned.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Václav Klaus warns that “two-faced” politicians, including the Conservatives, have opened the door to an EU superstate by giving up on democracy, in a flight from accountability and responsibility to their voters.
“We need to think about how to restore our statehood and our sovereignty. That is impossible in a federation. The EU should move in an opposite direction,” he said.
Last week, Germany, France and nine other of Europe’s largest countries called for an end to national vetoes over defence policy as Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, urged the creation of a directly elected EU president “who personally appoints the members of his European government”.
Mr Westerwelle, in a reference to British opposition, called for nation states to be stripped of vetoes on defence to “prevent one single member state from being able to obstruct initiatives” which “could eventually involve a European army”.
In a startling and revelatory initiative at the United Nations, Deputy Israeli FM Danny Ayalon (interviewed by PJTV in 2011 here) has asked for the restitution of Jewish land confiscated by Arabs. It is five times the state of Israel.
Israel has launched a new and controversial diplomatic initiative aimed at placing the plight of Jews in Arab countries on an equal footing with that of Palestinian refugees, insisting that the resolution of both problems is a prerequisite to Middle East peace.
Speaking at special conference convened on Friday at UN headquarters in New York, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said “We will not arrive at peace without solving the refugee problem – but that includes the Jewish refugees. Justice does not lie on just one side and equal measures must be applied to both.”
The first-of-its-kind conference, which was convened over the objections of Arab representatives to the UN, attracted several hundred participants, including Israeli diplomats, senior Jewish organizational leaders, New York State and city politicians and a modest number of other countries’ ambassadors to the UN (8) as well as lower ranking representatives (17). The conference heard Israeli and Jewish officials – as well as eyewitness accounts by Jews whose families had been persecuted and expelled from Arab countries.
Delivering an impassioned speech, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor lambasted Arab leaders who “launched a war of terror, incitement, and expulsion to decimate and destroy their Jewish communities. Their effort was systematic. It was deliberate. It was planned.”
Prosor cited Arab statements inciting to violence as well as official decrees depriving them of their rights. He said that “billions of dollars of their property and assets were seized” and that “the total area of land confiscated from Jews in Arab countries amounts to nearly 40,000 square miles. That is five times the size of Israel.”
Ha’aretz has the rest – and it’s interesting. So far, no response from our State Department. But you knew that.
Well, not really.
But according to a new poll 7% of the Florida Jewish vote has deserted Obama compared to 2008. That doesn’t seem like a lot but remember The Pajama Game: “Seven and a half cents doesn’t mean a helluva lot/ Seven and a half cents doesn’t mean a thing/ But give it to me every hour…”
Or as the poll puts it: A 7% drop in the Jewish vote likely represents over 50,000 votes in a state that the Republicans won in 2000 by fewer than 600 votes.
Hmmm… if you think that’s worth contemplating, how about this? In twenty years or so, the Jewish vote will likely be conservative. Orthodox Jews vote conservative. They’re multiplying. Secular Jews aren’t.
“We’re all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde
Mahmoud Salem — aka Sandmonkey — is the well-known and highly-respected Egyptian blogger who was one of the original democracy demonstrators in Tahrir Square back when people, including me, wanted to believe in the “Arab Spring.” How naive we were.
I was able to catch up with Mahmoud this evening via Skype to his cell phone in a Cairo suburb for this audio interview. Not surprisingly, the Sandmonkey does not sound optimistic, but, as you will hear, he has not lost his sense of humor, even while calling for heads to roll among “Arabists” at certain Washington think tanks.
(13 minutes long; 12MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this podcast to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 6 MB lo-fi edition. For those whose browsers are incompatible with our streaming audio player, a YouTube version of my interview will be online later this evening. Watch this space for a link.)
Update: Audio-only YouTube clip of interview now online:
As the late Andrew Breitbart demonstrated so well with his untaken offer of one hundred thousand dollars for anyone with proof of Tea Party racism, racism on the right is a monumental canard. But what of the left?
Do Hillary and Obama treat Arabs in a racist manner by infantilizing them? If not, why these constant apologies for an inconsequential video of uncertain provenance when the result is endless murder, violence and mayhem? Why not a direct and grownup condemnation of murder, violence and mayhem?
The truth is this demonstrates how racist Hillary and Barack are in their attitudes toward Arabs. They show them no respect at all. If they did, they would treat them as they should (and unfortunately not always do) grownups in other cultures.
Wasn’t it Ayaan Hirsi Ali who reminded us that as long as you keep treating Muslims like children they will continue to behave like them?
They say everything starts in California and it appears to be that way too when it comes to the omission of Israel in Democratic Party platforms – an “oversight” that, it will be recalled, caused so much consternation during the Charlotte convention.
According to information made known to PJ Media, the California Democratic Party dropped support for Israel altogether from its platform in 2010. Neither did the country appear in 2012.
Here is the California platform for 2004 (bold mine):
“Peace in the Middle East. Champion human rights and democracy for all people as the pillars of our policy in the Middle East. Maintain our commitment to ensuring the security and well being of the State of Israel and to maintaining America’s special relationship with Israel. Support the Palestinian goals of peace, justice, security and a viable independent state, which includes aid for economic development. Promote efforts to root out terrorism without endangering civilians. Encourage direct negotiations for peace that build on the “Road Map” asproposed by the “Quartet” (United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations).”
The California Democratic Party platform for 2012 says simply: “Proactively seek a durable peace treaty in the Middle East.” No mention of Israel or supporting her security.
PJ Media has further heard that longtime former Congresswoman Jane Harman has been under verbal attack by “progressives” at California Democratic Party meetings for her pro-Israel views.
Filmmaker Gwilym McGrew will be on PJTV later this week to discuss these developments.
An article by two psych professors in the WSJ today suggests what most of us who fly frequently already know about our electronic gadgets supposedly threatening plane flights – they don’t.
WAS ALEC BALDWIN RIGHT? When the actor tussled with American Airlines personnel last December over his desire to continue playing a game on his phone during takeoff, he was evicted from the flight. Defying airline safety rules is not a good idea, but was Baldwin perhaps correct not to take the danger seriously?
On Aug. 31, the Federal Aviation Administration requested public comment on its longstanding policy of prohibiting the use of personal electronics during takeoffs and landings. The restrictions date back to 1991 and were motivated in part by anecdotal reports from pilots and flight crews that electronic devices affected an airliner’s navigation equipment or disrupted communication between the cockpit and the ground. Over the years, however, Boeing has been unable to duplicate these problems, and the FAA can only say that the devices’ radio signals “may” interfere with flight operations.
To gather some empirical evidence on this question, we recently conducted an online survey of 492 American adults who have flown in the past year. In this sample, 40% said they did not turn their phones off completely during takeoff and landing on their most recent flight; more than 7% left their phones on, with the Wi-Fi and cellular communications functions active. And 2% pulled a full Baldwin, actively using their phones when they weren’t supposed to.
Consider what these numbers imply. The odds that all 78 of the passengers who travel on an average-size U.S. domestic flight have properly turned off their phones are infinitesimal: less than one in 100 quadrillion, by our rough calculation. If personal electronics are really as dangerous as the FAA rules suggest, navigation and communication would be disrupted every day on domestic flights. But we don’t see that.
Okay, so what do we do if the mega-nannies at the FAA don’t finally do what they should have years ago and cancel this regulation? Civil disobedience? Imagine if every passenger on a plane refused to turn their iPhone off. The stewardesses… excuse me, cabin attendants… would go batty. Good movie scene for Jack Nicholson, no? Hey, maybe I’ll write it.
But this absurd rule does have a weird upside. It’s the only time these days that I ever read a newspaper in dead tree form. I buy one (almost always a WSJ, the only domestic paper even faintly worth the price) before I get on the plane to have something to read for those twenty minutes before I can use my iPad. If they void this rule, I’ll never read a printed newspaper again. Ah, well, maybe that’s not so bad. One less trip to the airplane lavatory necessary to wash the ink off my hands.
And here, for nostalgia sake, the Neil Sedaka version:
h/t Bob Gale
Probably not. But that’s as good an explanation as any of her exploiting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren with an outright lie, claiming Oren said Republican policies toward Israel were “dangerous.” Oren – one of the smartest guys around – would never say anything like that and issued an unequivocal denial. The execrable Wasserman-Schultz then doubled down on her lie and said she had been misquoted. She hadn’t, as an audio tape from Phillip Klein at the Examiner shows. Klein broke this sorry story. Read about it here. Wasserman-Schultz continues to be one of the most wretched figures in American politics. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party dropped reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel from its platform. And the beat goes on.
E. B. White and James Thurber must be turning over in their graves at the rancid journalism currently being practiced at the once-mighty New Yorker. Take a look at this from Ryan Lizza:
Tim Russert told me that, according to his sources, Bill Clinton, in an effort to secure an endorsement for Hillary from Ted Kennedy, said to Kennedy, “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.”
Whoa. I have no brief for Bill Clinton, whom I consider a liar and a coward (although certainly a better president than Barack Obama), but the levels of hearsay involved in this accusation, redolent of racism, boggle the mind. First of all, as we all know, Russert’s dead. Secondly his sources (who knows how many) are unspecified and for obvious reasons likely to remain so. Why publish it now?
This is journalism so yellow it’s coming down Rizza’s leg. The only explanation I can think of is that The New Yorker is so deeply in the tank for Obama they will do just about anything to tarnish Clinton in case he does something untoward in his upcoming convention speech. If I were Bill, I’d be furious at this. Clinton may be a lot of things, but he’s not a racist.
My first sighting of protesters at the convention this year; I videoed these protesters about five miles from the convention.
The young lady in the video above describes an ice sculpture at the Republican Convention in balmy Tampa on Sunday, containing the words “Middle Class,” to “call attention to the economic situation,” she says. She tells me its artists will be doing the same installation next week at the Democratic Convention as well.
It’s Google’s World, we just live in it.
Bryan Preston and I are on the scene in Tampa. Bryan demonstrates the daily security passes — but it sounds like he won’t be needing Monday’s pass.
Don’t let the bland title deter you from reading the brilliant and necessary article on Slate “A New Slur” by Ron Rosenbaum. The author’s subject is the increasingly ubiquitous accusation of “Holocaust obsession” used against those who persist in seeing significance in this greatest of all human atrocities. Writes Rosenbaum:
It’s the word “obsessed” that seems problematic to me. It implies a bright line between legitimate interest and something else, something over-intense, feverish, and counterproductive. But where is that line? How much time should we spend worrying about the threat of future Holocausts and genocides, not just those involving Jews.
I’m not just harkening back to the early days of blogging when I urge you to read the whole thing.
The “ever-reliable” Gawker is catering/pandering (your pick) to its semi-demi trendy clientele by jumping into the political fray again with a pseudo-exposé of the Romney/Cayman Islands connection. Liberal Slate is unimpressed: Gawker Publishes Trove of Bain Docs, Financial Reporters Yawn.
Apparently the gossip site was a tad late- to-market with their “breakthrough”. Making matters worse, it turns out that the Gawker Media Group itself is domiciled… you guessed it… in The Caymans! From felixsalmon.com:
Gawker Media has been going through a big corporate revamp over the past year or so. The ultimate parent company has never been in the U.S.: it used to be Blogwire in Hungary, but now Blogwire Hungary has become a subsidiary of a Cayman Islands entity called Gawker Media Group Inc, which also owns various U.S. operations like Gawker Media LLC, Gawker Entertainment LLC, Gawker Technology LLC, and Gawker Sales LLC
Personally, I have nothing against The Caymans. I wouldn’t mind being “domiciled” there myself. But maybe the jeune engagé over at “progressive” Gawker should check the hypocrisy meter before they throw their puerile stones. Otherwise, stick to their beat. We’re all desperate to know which super model has a meth problem.
Outdoing themselves in the misogyny department (well, maybe not – they have a long way to go), the religious psychopaths who run the Islamic Republic of Iran have now banned women from many university courses, inluding English lit and computer science. From the Telegraph:
In a move that has prompted a demand for a UN investigation by Iran’s most celebrated human rights campaigner, the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, 36 universities have announced that 77 BA and BSc courses in the coming academic year will be “single gender” and effectively exclusive to men.
It follows years in which Iranian women students have outperformed men, a trend at odds with the traditional male-dominated outlook of the country’s religious leaders. Women outnumbered men by three to two in passing this year’s university entrance exam.
Senior clerics in Iran’s theocratic regime have become concerned about the social side-effects of rising educational standards among women, including declining birth and marriage rates.
Marry a mullah? Wow, there’s a treat. Of course women are outperforming men in US colleges and universities as well, but we don’t have a religion that demands their oppression. Until Islam is reformed, the muslim world will continue its death spiral. Let’s hope it doesn’t take us with it.
Are they going to start deserting Obama the way they are Bashar Assad? Probably not. Assad is a murderer. Obama has just been an atrocious president.
Nevertheless, Niall Ferguson’s attack on Obama for Newsweek, of all places, and The Daily Beast could be the tip of a coming iceberg, even though Ferguson is a former McCain supporter. His analysis of the Obama presidency is so thorough and devastating it cannot be completely ignored by the mainstream media, no matter how much they may wish to.
If I were in the Romney campaign, I would reread the article several times and commit it to memory. The candidate himself should do that too.
What can I say? Talking taxes with Larry Kudlow and David Limbaugh, I felt like the village idiot. I’m about as expert in taxes as I am in astrophysics. On the other hand, I DO pay them, so I have to know something. Regarding astrophysics, I’m still waiting for someone to explain the Higgs boson.
No further comment necessary.
(The rest is up to NBC.)
In a speech today, daffy Vice President Joe Biden wants the US to “lead the world in the 20th century in making automobiles”. Earth to Joe: We did, at least for a time until the pesky Japanese got in the way. Of course, that WAS the 20th Century. We are now in the 21st!
Alas, as previously noted, Joe has never been the brightest bulb on the block. But give the guy a break. Perhaps he was channeling his Inner Doris Day. She’s definitely 20th Century.
Or is he just a “Twentieth Century Fox”?
Several key Democratic Party professionals have told PJ Media that Vice President Joseph Biden has become intensely jealous of attention being paid presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. Thousands have turned up for Ryan’s speeches while only 600 appeared for Biden’s latest address.
“He’d be tearing his hair out, if he didn’t have to be so careful of the follicles,” said one Democratic professional, speaking under condition of anonymity similar to that given GOP professionals who spoke earlier about Ryan in a Politico article by Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman, and Jonathan Martin. Biden is known for having had hair transplants while Ryan has a full head of his own.
“They’re sending Joe to secret anger management training. He’s been going berserk because he’s worried people think Ryan is more intelligent than he is,” said another Democrat, again speaking under anonymity and reminding PJ Media of Biden’s unimpressive college record where he ranked 506th of in a class of 688. The vice president has acknowledged plagiarizing while in law school, though he says it was “inadvertent.”
Consideration was being given, the Democrat added, to Biden’s having a “family emergency” in Argentina at the time of his scheduled debate with Ryan.
A third Democrat operative said party professionals were “extremely relieved” by the anonymously sourced Politico article alleging GOP pros thought Ryan a risky nominee. “That’s our best hope,” said the first Dem pro. “If Biden actually had to confront Ryan on substance, it could be a disaster. The vice president’s a bit of dim bulb, as everyone knows.”
As for Politico itself, that Democratic pro continued, “Some people think they’re sleazy because they rely so much on anonymous sources and innuendo, but they’re highly reliable for us when the chips are down. “
I hope they don’t – because she’s the gift that keeps on giving – but I strongly suspect the Democratic Party will either can or seriously curtail the activities of DNC Chair Deborah Wasserman-Schultz whose cringeworthy remarks increasingly make her seem like the lost younger sister of The Three Stooges. Here she is seemingly unable to comprehend a simple question from the normally Dem-friendly Wolf Blitzer. As the conversation goes along, Wolf himself seems stupefied. Who can blame him?
Thanks to Yoram Ettinger who reads Tom Friedman so the rest of us don’t have to. Personally, I’d rather watch the twelfth rerun of Desperate Housewives. Ettinger:
In January and June, 2000, on the eve of Bashar Assad’s ascension to power, Tom Friedman (T.F.) was charmed by Bashar Assad’s background: a British-trained ophthalmologist; married to a British citizen of Syrian origin; fluent in English and French; President of the Syrian Internet Association. He compared the eventual Butcher from Damascus, potentially, to Deng Xiaoping, who led China’s economic reforms, modernization and rapprochement with the USA. Swept by wishful-thinking, T.F. assumed that Bashar could liberalize Syria, attract international investors, normalize relations with Israel, end the Arab rejection of the Jewish State, thus demolishing the Iran-Syria axis and ending Iran’s involvement in Lebanon. The prerequisite for such an enterprising scenario was an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. However, as expected, Bashar chose to follow in the footsteps of his ruthless father, Hafiz Assad, slaughtering T.F.’s assumptions and Syria’s domestic opposition, irrespective of the Golan Heights, Israel’s policies or existence.
In August, 2006, T.F. told NPR Radio that Bashar Assad’s Syria was not a natural ally of Iran. He maintained that Syria could resume its traditional role as an ally of the pro-US Arab camp of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Thus, he rewrote Syria’s recent history, which has been consistently anti-US since 1946, as well as pro-Iran since 1979.
In June, 2009, T.F. stated that “for the first time, in a long time, [Middle East] forces for decency, democracy and pluralism have a little wind at their backs.” He identified a tailwind to pro-American elements, and a setback to Iran’s fortunes, in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran itself. According to T.F., “the diffusion of technology – the Internet, blogs, YouTube and text messaging via cellphones” – tilted the Middle East in favor of the US. He was determined not to allow the real Middle East to stand in the way of his vision of a Middle East consumed by globalization, modernity, democratization and the Internet. Unfortunately, the increasingly boiling seismic Arab Street from Morocco to the Persian Gulf has repudiated T.F.’s vision.
In February, 2011, T.F. determined that “the Muslim Brotherhood is not running the [anti-Mubarak] show…Any ideological group that tries to hijack these young people will lose…. This uprising feels post-ideological…. The emerging spokesman for this uprising is Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing executive.”
Enthralled by the Arab Spring delusion, T.F. concluded that the Egyptian Street “tried [radical] Nasserism, tried Islamism and is now trying democracy.” He was convinced that “the democracy movement came out of Tahrir Square like a tiger…. Anyone who tries to put the tiger back in the cage will get his head bitten off…. Witness one of the great triumphs of the human spirit….. The first pan-Arab movement that is focused on universal values….”
Amazing, isn’t it? And they pay Friedman for this stuff. I guess you could say T. F. is the P. T. Barnum of the pundit world, though not nearly as much fun. (Read the whole thing, by the way.)
h/t: Dan Friedman
Just in from the Romney campaign: Mitt Romney will announce his choice for Vice President in Norfolk, Virginia at 8:45am EST Saturday.
Location of announcement: USS Wisconsin. Nauticus Museum.
Has Fareed Zakaria channeled his inner Mike Barnicle?
Reading that Zakaria has been suspended indefinitely by CNN and for one month by Time for plagiarizing a recent New Yorker article (how dumb is that?) reminded me that the execrable Mike Barnicle still appears on The Morning Joe. From Wikipedia:
In 1998, Barnicle resigned from the Boston Globe amid allegations of fabrication and plagiarism. Barnicle’s October 8, 1995, column recounted the story of two sets of parents with cancer-stricken children. When one of the boys, a black child, died, the parents of the other boy, a white child who had begun to recover, sent the dead child’s parents a check for $10,000. When the Globe could not locate the people who had not been publicly identified, Barnicle insisted nonetheless that the story was true. He said he did not obtain the story from the parents but from a nurse, whom he declined to identify. Mrs. Patricia Shairs later contacted the Globe to indicate that the story Barnicle wrote was about her family, although she said some of the facts were incorrect.
The second column in question contained more than 80 lines of humorous observations dated August 2, 1998, about a third of which plagiarized observations from the 1997 book Brain Droppings by George Carlin. Although Barnicle said he had never read the book, the editor of the Globe issued a temporary suspension. WCVB-TV then aired a video clip of Barnicle recommending the book to viewers for upcoming summer reading, saying it had a “yuk on every page.” Globe editor called for his resignation but this was rescinded under fire from readers, advertisers and a group of media personalities. Instead the suspension period doubled.
Sorry, but to me, as a longtime professional writer and now CEO of a media company, plagiarism is a one-time offense. It’s villainous theft of intellectual property from your peers. Do it once, get caught and find another profession. (There are plenty.) Barnicle should not be appearing on The Morning Joe and I don’t want to read or another word from Fareed Zakaria ever.
And now for The Great Lobachevsky.
Remember those sanctions the administration is always telling us will bring Iran to its knees and force the mullahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions – yes, those same sanctions that always seem to have loopholes for the Russians, the Chinese, the Europeans, even for American and multi-national companies?
Well, Shurat HaDin – the Israel Law Center that has done yeoman work suing those who aid and abet terrorism – is now challenging one of those companies, global mobile satellite giant Inmarsat PLC, whose guidance systems service Iranian oil tankers and military vessels (!).
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, (real) human rights activist and Shurat HaDin’s founder, has submitted a letter to Inmarsat’s leadership citing a 2008 US Supreme Court ruling that those who support terror organizations are liable in US court for the murder an injuries they cause. Darshan-Leitner told the satellite company: “We will not tolerate Inmarsat’s – or any corporation’s – profiting from the blood of innocent people. Anything short of immediate and decisive action on our part would be akin to acceptance. It is a simple issue of justice: Inmarsat must uphold its legal obligations in compliance with US Treasury regulations and immediately cease its support for Iran.”
Little Syria – not Russia, China or the USA – is said by many to have the world’s biggest supply of chemical weapons. Where did they come from? Saddam?
We may know some day, but that’s not our immediate problem as Syria descends into chaos. A huge WMD stockpile could fall into the hands of terrorists.
Meanwhile, Assad’s minions said today that those weapons would not be used internally, but warned they would be unleashed if there was external aggression toward Syria.
The chemical stockpile is kept at the al-Safira base northwest of Damascus in the care of the president’s personal guard unit which takes orders from Bashar Assad and no one else. If the heads of that guard saw the regime suddenly collapse – as it was expected to do last Wednesday when assassins murdered the men closest to the president – the American official says, “It is impossible to predict how they will act or what use they will make of the weapons systems under their guard.”
“They may decide to sneak out of Syria to Lebanon and take with them the entire arsenal as insurance for their safety and future,” he suggested.
According to our military sources, the arsenal which could be spirited across to Lebanon contains a lot more than chemical weapons. It also includes Scud C and Scud D surface missles capable of delivering chemical warheads and also the Russian-made advanced Pantsyr-S1 (NATO codenamed SA-22 Greyhound) anti-air missiles, which have been guarding the chemical stocks.
Fortunately, as of now, at least according to the same Debka report (yes, yes, I’m aware of their erratic track record but still…), Assad has not decided to ship his supply to Hizbullah and Hassan Nasrallah has not even decided to receive them. He might not want to incur the wrath of the Turks, the Joradians, the Israelis and the Americans all at once.