Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday: In The News

Rumors of war and war preparations continue in the epicenter:

Israel Braces For Action Along The Syrian Border

After two years of watching the Syrian conflict from the sidelines, the hostilities seem to have arrived at Israel's doorstep. Syrian rebels are fighting to wrest control of the border from the Syrian Army, and there's an increasing fear that militant groups on both sides of the civil war will get their hands on the country's advanced weapons arsenal and set their sites on Israel next. That presents a quandry for Israeli officials: Can they protect the country without getting sucked in to Syria's violence?

Analysts say that balancing between the two will be increasingly difficult if the central authority continues to crumble in Syria and multiple power centers emerge in the countrywide war.

On one front, Israel fears that rising chaos and the proliferation of Islamist militants just beyond the Golan Heights fence could lead to cross-border attacks like those from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel after the fall of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. Israeli communities in the Golan Heights have already been put on alert, and local Army commanders said they have formulated a new defense doctrine to cope with the Syrian instability.
Israel also worries about the transfer of advanced weapons and chemical warheads from Syria to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, a development Israeli leaders consider a "red line" because it could give the Iranian ally a major boost in a future war. In late January, Israeli airplanes reportedly bombed a convoy in Syria carrying anti-aircraft missiles to Lebanon — the first major Israeli attack on Syria since 2007.

Senior Israel Defense Force (IDF) officers in the Northern Command began predicting last year that, amid Assad's collapse, the Golan might be targeted by militants backed by Iran or global jihadist groups who have flocked to Syria to join the fight against the Assad regime. The IDF declined to comment on the border situation this week, but Mr. Marom said reservists have been replaced by regular elite forces recently. Two months ago, a senior officer said the IDF had updated its intelligence gathering effort, and adopted a new operational doctrine.
"The combination of all of this is to meet the developing threat," said Brig. Gen. Tamir Heiman in a December interview with Channel 2 news. "I don't know if it will happen, but it's good to be ready."

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard has begun a three-day ground and air military exercise aimed at upgrading its combat readiness.
State TV says the drills involve ground forces of the Guard, Iran’s most powerful military force, around the city of Sirjan in the country’s south. It showed tanks and artillery attacking hypothetical enemy positions.

The broadcast says the aim of the exercise is to upgrade the capabilities of the Iranian forces. It did not elaborate.
The war games are taking place amid escalating tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. Israel has hinted that it may take military action if talks fail to get Iran stop its uranium enrichment program.


Los Angeles County health officials have asked federal officials for help to contain a worsening tuberculosis outbreak among the homeless in its downtown area.
County health officials here have identified 78 cases of a particular strain of the highly contagious disease in the past five years, resulting in 11 deaths. Of those cases, 60 have been identified as homeless living around Skid Row, making it the "largest outbreak we've seen" among the city's homeless population in a decade, said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Dr. Fielding said as many as 4,500 homeless may have been exposed to the disease. Earlier this month, he asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to send health officials to Los Angeles to help identify other possible victims. The move to turn to federal officials was first reported by the Los Angeles Times Thursday.
Tuberculosis is most associated with developing countries. Most of L.A. county's cases of the disease are brought in by foreign travelers, Dr. Fielding said. But L.A. county officials have been grappling with growing numbers of tuberculosis cases among the city's homeless population for years.
"Many people think that TB is something of the past. Unfortunately it's not. This is a population at particular risk. We need to protect them," Dr. Fielding said.


French Jewish community reports a record rise of 58% in anti-Semitic incidents for 2012—a total of 614 compared to 389 in 2011. While seemingly not directly relevant to the question about Obama’s visit, the situation in France—and Western Europe generally—in fact tells much about the Middle East and Israel’s position in it.

Amid the general increase in anti-Semitic activity in France, then, there were almost twice as many physical attacks on Jews there in 2012 as in 2011, and 25% of those involved a weapon. Why the dramatic rise? 

An article this week by leading anti-Semitism scholar Manfred Gerstenfeld makes clear that the problem goes well beyond France and is widespread in Western Europe.

Another study that same year interviewed 117 “Muslim male youngsters (average age 19) in Berlin, Paris and London” and found that “the majority…voiced some, or strong anti-Semitic feelings. They expressed them openly and often aggressively.”
After citing some more findings in this vein, Gerstenfeld notes that “These projects and much anecdotal information reveal that anti-Semitism among substantial parts of European Muslim communities is much higher than in autochthonous populations”—however much, one might add, some in the French Jewish community find it impolitic to mention it.

Gerstenfeld, however, goes on to fault the authorities of those autochthonous populations for “allow[ing] immigrants into their countries in a non-selective way without taking into account the cultural differences…. They should have known that actively promoting anti-Semitism was part and parcel of the cultures these people came from.”
That observation, in turn, is easily substantiated by Pew Center polls of Middle Eastern and other Muslim-majority countries—like the one in 2009 that found 74% of Indonesians, 78% of Pakistanis, 97% of Jordanians, 98% of Lebanese, 95% of Egyptians, and—dare one say it—97% in the Palestinian territories expressing anti-Semitic attitudes.

Four foreign Christians—including one who holds American-Swedish citizenship—were arrested days ago in Libya.  According to the Guardian, their crime is arousing “suspicion of being missionaries and distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty.”

Apparently the four Christians had “contracted a local printer to produce pamphlets explaining Christianity.”  Proselytizing to Muslims—that is, preaching to them another religion—was banned even under the late Col. Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyans—strongly supported by U.S. President Obama in the name of “freedom”—got rid of Gaddafi but kept the distinctly anti-freedom law.

Discussing this case, Libyan security official Hussein Bin Hmeid, trying to justify the Islamic ban on free speech, observes: “Proselytizing is forbidden in Libya. We are a 100% Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security.” Indeed, Muslim governments—most notably Iran’s—constantly suppress any talk of Christianity, claiming it threatens “our national security.” Such is the tribal mentality of Islam which everywhere declares: If you’re not one of us, you must be an enemy trying to subvert our way of life.
Nor should the arrested Christians expect much sympathy from more “moderate” Libyans.  According to Benghazi lawyer and “human rights activist” Bilal Bettamer, Christians should not offend Muslims by trying to share their faith: “It is disrespectful. If we had Christianity we could have dialogue, but you can’t just spread Christianity.  The maximum penalty is the death penalty. It’s a dangerous thing to do.”

Also see:

Yet, the Obama administration has been involved in providing weapons to Syrian rebels who have committed many atrocities across Syria. Why must Americans be disarmed and jihadists be given weapons? Americans are simply observing a right, while the Islamists want guns to force Syria into becoming a Sharia governed state.
Leon Panetta, who is now retiring, and General Martin Dempsey, the principle military adviser of Obama, have both revealed that they supported a plan last year composed by Hillary Clinton and General Petraeus that would provide weapons to the Syrian rebels, who are all fighting for a jihadist cause.

So, to Obama Americans shouldn’t have rifles but Syrian rebels should? This dangerous distortion is just more evidence as to how supportive the current administration has been for the Islamists.

In Syria right now, the most armed entity is the military, the second most equipped are the rebels, and the most defenseless are the civilians. In the midst of the fray, the civilians are the ones who suffer the most, since the Islamists have the weapons, and the military is unable to protect all places of the country at once.
Now, apply this to America. If a full weapons band was ever decreed, the military, the police, and the lawless would be the most armed, and American civilians helpless. Police and military personal would not be able to protect the entire country, leaving the criminals many opportunities to pick out their victims.

If you loved wealth redistribution, remember that money is just the tip of the redistribution iceberg. In the USSR, wealth redistribution gave way to food redistribution. And the UNSSR is moving along that same road.

 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – has issued a new report called Our Nutrient World: The challenge to produce more food and energy with less pollution.
People in the rich world should become “demitarians” – eating half as much meat as usual, while stopping short of giving it up – in order to avoid severe environmental damage, scientists have urged.
Sutton was speaking about the rich west, the US and Europe in particular. He wants the change in diet to be pioneered in Europe, as the US will be a tougher nut to crack.
The UN scientists said people in poor countries should be allowed to increase their consumption of animal protein, which billions of people are lacking. But if that is so as not to cause environmental harm, the move to meat in the developing world must be balanced with a reduction in the amount consumed in developed countries.

In the foreword to this report, Achim Steiner, the head of UNEP, says that “swift and collective action” is necessary and that “our daily decisions” matter.
A more sophisticated set of aspirations must therefore emphasize how the lives of all can be enhanced by allowing the poorest to increase their food and other nutrient consumption, while the richest realise for themselves that it is not in their own interests to over-consume.


Stephen said...

Hate to say it, but in MANY WAYS i am totally for wealth and food distribution. Especially from Wall
Street bulls.....really....

Jesus told the RICH MAN to sell all
he had and give to the poor. Why
should the poor suffer when BULLS have
all the money ??

I made my point.


Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

WVBORN56 said...

Stephen I agree to a point. Jesus directed that to an individual however. When the government starts making these demands it leads to totalitarianism and fascism.

As a believer I want to help my brothers and sisters in need. As a business owner I am very careful and attempt to live frugally. My daughter makes fun of me for continuing to drive my 2001 Toyota Sienna. I bought it used for 6K and have driven it now for 6 years.

Forcing socialism on the producers does not work. There are numerous examples of nations who become mired in economic mediocrity by pursuing this path.

Mrs.C said...

Mark 14:7

7 For ye HAVE THE POOR WITH YOU ALWAYS, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.