US considers unusual attack helicopter deal for Turkey
Remember Turkey's ongoing threats against Israel?
The Obama administration is consulting Congress on an unusual proposal to transfer US Marine Corps attack helicopters to Turkey, US officials said on Thursday, as Ankara tries to exact revenge for a major attack by Kurdish separatists.
Turkey, a NATO ally, has been seeking AH-1 SuperCobra helicopters to replace those lost in its long struggle against separatist rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.
The officials declined to be identified because of the matter's sensitivity and because they were not authorized to speak on the record. The idea to take weapons from the US arsenal was rare, they said.
The proposal has been held up amid lawmakers' questions about increasingly distant relations between Muslim-majority Turkey and Israel, a key US ally, among other matters.
Syria sows mines along Lebanese, Jordanian, Turkish borders
In the last 48 hours, the Syrian engineering corps has laid minefields along the Jordanian, Turkish borders to cut down on the influx of weapons and armed manpower supporting the anti-Assad opposition and the outflow of army deserters.
The new Syrian minefield is intended to put a stop to this traffic.
Bashar Assad is reported by our sources to have started acting like a hunted man since Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi's violent death. Apparently haunted by that event, he fears the expanding volume of weapons smuggled into Syria is providing infrastructure for a NATO-backed Arab military operation in support of the uprising.
There has been no official comment from the Syrian government on Qaddafi's death, but opposition activists have gone to town on it. This week, they ordered demonstrators to turn out in force Friday, Oct. 28, and to call on NATO to declare Syria a no-fly zone to prevent its air force attacking rebels. That was how Western military intervention in Libyan began last March.
Don't forget - Assad has promised that any "outside intervention" would lead to Syria attacking Israel.
Top Muslim Institution Declares All Christians "Infidels"
To what extent was Egypt’s Maspero massacre, wherein the military literally mowed down Christian Copts protesting the ongoing destruction of their churches, a product of anti-Christian sentiment?
A video of Sheikh Ali Gomaa (or Gom’a), the grand mufti of Al Azhar, which began circulating weeks before the massacre, helps elucidate. While holding that Muslims may coexist with Christians (who, as dhimmis, have rights), Gomaa categorized Christians as kuffar — “infidels” — a word that connotes “enemies,” “evil-doers,” and every bad thing to Muslim ears.
Keep in mind that Al Azhar is the “chief center of Islamic and Arabic learning in the world.
As its grand mufti, Ali Gomaa represents mainstream Islam’s — not “radical Islam’s” or “Islamism’s” — position concerning the “other,” in this case, Christians. Regardless, many in the West hail him as a “moderate” — such as Lawrence Wright in a U.S. News article titled “Finding the Voices of Moderate Islam.” Wright describes him as “a highly promoted champion of moderate Islam”
The Facts of Life Are Conservative, Even in Zuccotti Park
Another article that could be entitled: "Reality and Fantasy Collide"; this article is a good read. Perhaps the demonstrators are actually receiving some important lessons about life in the real world.
Peeking through Occupy Wall Street's cloudy drum sessions, group speeches, and celebrity visits are a few rays of reality's sunlight. These glimmers of the real world show that even the campers of Zuccotti Park aren't immune to Margaret Thatcher's famous declaration that "the facts of life are conservative."
Conservatism is the natural political outgrowth from the real life experience.
But because government isn't magic, utopias never quite work out in real life -- not even in Zuccotti Park. In one news story after another, Thatcher's "facts of life" are on display. Let's look at four examples.
Also in the news:
EU Sets 50% Greek Writedown, $1.4T in Crisis Fight
EU Leaders Plan Trillion-Euro Rescue Fund