Hat Tip: BB
By: Arlen Williams
The Obamunists hardly want actual Christian relief organizations interfering with their planned and executed Marxofascist disruption, at these hideously abused children’s expense.
Hats off to Sarah Palin, who among so many of us, has been doing play-by-play with authentically compassionate color commentary on this evil game all along. (Sarah Palin in Facebook)
There is a widespread – but very erroneous – impression that if an enemy attacks, a proportional response means a nation can only return what was received and no more. That is, the mistaken impression is that if Hamas shot one rocket, we could only shoot one rocket back.
International law, however, defines proportionality very differently: it is a question of legitimate military goals and intentionality. Put very simply, we would not be restricted to only shooting one rocket back at Hamas, but rather doing what is necessary (within certain defined limits) to ensure that Hamas does not shoot any more rockets. That is a legitimate military goal.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who was the Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in 2003, wrote this about proportionality:
“Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable, does not in itself constitute a war crime. International humanitarian law and the Rome Statute permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against military objectives, even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians…or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality).”
The proportionality has to do with the relationship between the damage inflicted and the legitimate military goal. What must be assessed, wrote the Chief Prosecutor, is:
(a) the anticipated civilian damage or injury;
(b) the anticipated military advantage;
(c) and whether (a) was “clearly excessive” in relation to (b).
Another way of phrasing it: former president of the International Court, Rosalyn Higgins, explained that proportionality “cannot be in relation to any specific prior injury – it has to be in relation to the overall legitimate objective of ending the aggression.”
The sort of bombing we are doing is entirely legitimate and proportional to our military goals of making it impossible for Hamas to launch rockets at our people. If in the process some civilians in Gaza are hit, our military action remains entirely legitimate. Do not believe otherwise. In point of fact there are bound to be civilian deaths because Hamas uses civilians as human shields and places its arsenal of weapons in civilian areas.
Were Israel to decide to carpet bomb Gaza to make Hamas stop launching rockets, that would be clearly disproportionate civilian destruction in relation to the goal of stopping Hamas. But that, of course, is something we would never, ever do. We are, in fact, extraordinarily careful to avoid civilian deaths whenever it is possible to do so. We actually place phone calls to homes, warning families to get out, before we bomb the houses.
What is not legitimate according to international law is the sort of deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians that Hamas is doing day in and day out. Here the intentionality is to hit civilians.
And yet, as we see day in and day out, the international community draws an outrageous moral equivalency between Israel’s actions and those of Hamas.
When the State Department calls on both sides to “act responsibly,” you know what a joke this is.
But it’s actually much worse than this, as Israel is – incredibly – turned into the aggressor. As Human Rights Watch reported:
“UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon refuses to name the perpetrators of the attacks ‘from Gaza.’ No mention is made of ‘Hamas.’ And while the rockets should ‘stop,’ what is really bothering the UNSG is alleged Palestinian victims. ‘The Secretary-General is extremely concerned at the dangerous escalation of violence, which has already resulted in multiple Palestinian deaths and injuries as a result of Israeli operations against Gaza.’
”…As for the notoriously anti-Israel UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, she had this to say: ‘From a human rights point of view, I utterly condemn these rocket attacks and more especially I condemn Israel’s excessive acts of retaliation.’” (Emphasis added)
I share here a video that effectively (and amusingly!) presents the situation we confront (with thanks to Raima S.)
Part of what the international community does is attempt to pin the blame for Hamas’s violence on Israel, because Israel has not attended to the “legitimate rights” of the “Palestinian people.” (As if deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas would be acceptable even if this were the case, which it is not.)
We see this with Ban Ki-Moon, who said, “the unsustainable situation in Gaza will also need to be addressed in its political, security, humanitarian and development dimensions as part of a comprehensive solution.”
Philip Gordon, a special assistant to US President Barack Obama and the White House coordinator for the Middle East, at a conference sponsored by (surprise!) Haaretz, made it clear that the Obama administration still expects a negotiated settlement between Israel and the PA, based on the ‘67 armistice line. Now he says this? Inconceivable that he ignores the current violence from Hamas, and the fact that it is part of a unity government. But there it is.
“Jerusalem,” he declared, “should not take for granted the opportunity to negotiate” a treaty with Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, who has proven to be a reliable partner.
Daft. And maliced.
So let’s take a look, just for a moment, at Fatah, which is Abbas’s party.
Palestinian Media Watch tells us that Fatah put up on its Facebook page today an announcement that:
“One god, one homeland, one enemy, one goal” unites Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad.
While Khaled abu Toameh writes that:
“At least two Fatah armed groups announced that they had started firing rockets at the ‘settlements’ of Ashkelon and Sderot, cities inside the pre-1967 borders of Israel, with another Fatah group claiming responsibility for firing 35 rockets into Israel since Sunday.”
The use of the word “settlements” is a tip-off to the fact that Fatah considers Jewish presence even within the ‘67 armistice line to be an illegitimate “occupation,” i.e., they want it all.
Abbas, our “reliable partner,” says Israel is committing “genocide” in Gaza. Sigh…
The Elder of Ziyon put up a posting about “What Reporters Need to Know” during the current Gaza operation. But I think the points are so good that everyone needs to know them.
His major points:
1) It is a mistake to assume that all casualties are the result of Israeli airstrikes.
Traditionally, the number of Gaza rockets that fall short and never reach Israel, or that explode as they are fired is over 35% and sometimes as high as 80%!”
Then there are “work accidents” and civilians killed when guns are shot off during funerals.
2) It is a mistake to assume that casualties and damage are the direct result of Israeli airstrikes.
Many airstrikes hit weapons caches and explosives that cause a larger explosion than the strike itself.
3) It is a mistake to believe that casualties are civilian when they are not.
Terrorists, who are combatants, most frequently wear civilian clothing. And Hamas is eager to inflate the “civilian numbers.”
Do see the entire posting.
Be aware as well that pictures put up about the war in social media are sometimes deceptive: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-28198622
The war goes on.
They are still launching rockets at us – including at the center of the country and even farther north. Rockets have landed just south of Haifa, in Hadera, Zikhron Ya’akov (where someone was mildly hurt), Casaerea and Hof Bonim.
In some of the attacks that are farther away, Iranian long-rang missiles such as the Fajr5 and M302 are being used.
Needless to say, the south – particularly Sderot and Sha’ar Hanegev – is being hit hard.
More than 225 rockets have been fired at Israel since the beginning of the operation.
But we are hitting hard inside of Gaza, as well.
According to Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon, who spoke today to Army Radio:
”We’ll continue with strikes that will exact a very heavy price from Hamas. We are destroying arms, terror infrastructures, command systems, Hamas institutions, regime buildings, terrorists’ houses, and killing terrorists of various ranks of command.
“We will continue to hit Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza Strip from the air, sea and ground to ensure the safety of Israel’s citizens.”
Saying “from the ground” obviously implies a ground operation. There are multiple hints about the fact that this is about to occur, but we’re still not there. The reserve troops still have to take their places in Judea and Samaria, to replace the regular troops who must be moved to the border with Gaza.
The IDF spokesman said today that the next stage is being prepared and that this will be a long operation.
And then there is this astonishing statement from Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz:
“Despite the fact that it will be hard, complicated and costly, we will have to take over Gaza temporarily, for a few weeks, to cut off the strengthening of this terror army. If you ask my humble opinion, a significant operation like this is approaching.” (Emphasis added)
And so this sounds very serious indeed.
But there remains unease here in Israel that the operation will be terminated before it should be, that the ground operation will never be actualized, and that talk such as Steinitz’s is simply a form of verbal saber rattling – a threat. After all, this was just his “humble opinion.”
For we have Netanyahu’s words today, after the Security Cabinet met. He is still saying, “the operation will expand and continue until the fire toward our towns stops and quiet returns.” But the idea is that we are supposed to remove their capacity to hit us again! Not just make them stop now.
And there is the fact that, while we announce we have destroyed the homes of key Hamas leaders, we deliver a warning first so that families are not hit, and many of the leaders themselves are still walking this earth.
Several reports are encouraging with regard to the concerns I’ve expressed here.
Khaled abu Toameh tells us that for all the bravado of leaders of Hamas, they are stunned by the power of Israel’s attack and reeling.
Apparently Egypt is unlikely to mediate a ceasefire as it has in the past. This situation “comes at a time of mounting tensions between the new government in Cairo and Hamas. [Hamas backed the Muslim Brotherhood in its battle with Egyptian president Sisi.]
“‘There is no mediation, in the common sense of the word,’ said Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty.”
And then we have this:
“A senior Hamas official pledged that militants would not ‘surrender’ in the face of the latest air strikes on Wednesday.
“There are no ceasefire talks, in the conventional sense. There are ongoing contacts. The Israelis are not interested in mediation, they are looking for surrender,’ said Osama Hamdan, who is based in Beirut.” (Emphasis added.)
This, then, may truly be an operation that is qualitatively different.
“The Israel Air Force has destroyed more terrorist targets in Gaza over the past 36 hours than it did throughout the whole the 2012 clash with Hamas, a senior security said Wednesday.”
Security is on high alert because Hamas is hoping to initiate a major terror attack as a way of shifting the balance.
Yesterday five Hamas terrorists entered Israel via the Mediterranean at a beach near Ashkelon and were killed by the IDF.
As much as 400,000 barrels of oil a day are stolen in Nigeria. This equates to losses of $1.7 billion a month for Africa’s new largest economy. This represents 7.7 percent of its GDP vanishing, or more than the country spends on education and healthcare. These numbers paint a harsh picture about the inability of the Nigerian government, and the multinational oil companies in the Niger Delta, to do anything about this rampant theft.
Shell executives have railed against the futility of trying to remove illegal taps from the hundreds of miles of pipelines they have in Nigeria. Philip Mshelbila, Shell’s head of communications in Nigeria, pointed to a sophisticated organization of people that have been working for years to steal oil from official pipelines. The company is now divesting its portfolio of assets in Nigeria. (Given this striking news, it seems odd that Nigerian oil producer Seplat says it sees no theft in its operations whatsoever.)
With oil theft hitting record levels in 2013, the G8 has been reminded of its 2000 pledge to help Nigeria solve this crippling problem. However, as the Global Financial Initiative points out, “stolen Nigerian crude oil is transported on internationally registered vessels, sold to international buyers, processed by international oil refineries and paid for using international bank accounts.” With one group of thieves admitting to profits of nearly $7,000 a day from their illicit activities, it will take some doing to stop them.
In the notoriously secretive government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, it is rare to see a senior official publicly admit that a particular crime is up. Last summer, Carlos Morales, the then head of Pemex’s Exploration and Production subsidiary admitted that fuel theft was growing 30 percent annually in Mexico, for a total theft of 5,000 to 10,000 barrels per day. Given that authorities found 2,614 illegal taps in 2013, including close to 600 in November and December alone – compared to around 1,500 in 2012 — Morales might have underestimated the situation.
The staggering 1,548 percent jump in these illicit siphons from 2000 to 2013 has been attributed to powerful drug cartels like the Zetas realizing the potential of the black gold being pumped through territory they control. Fleets of tankers are now being stolen as they rumble across states like Tamaulipas, where Mexican press report the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel have distribution operations that rival those of Pemex itself
Even if we set aside the attractive claim that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was the biggest oil heist of all time, Baghdad has a problem on its hands. Oil smuggling was institutionalized in the days of Saddam Hussein; one U.S. Senate estimate is that the Baath regime pocketed $21.3 billion from the UN Food For Oil program.
Today, it is difficult to estimate just how much oil is being smuggled out of Iraq, as the country’s metering system is behind by a number of years.
However, there have been substantiated reports of complex networks taking thousands of barrels right from the refineries and selling them illegally to Iran and Syria. In the chaos left over by the Iraq War, smugglers and terrorist elements have swooped in.
Vladimir Putin is an ambitious man. He is seeking to secure Russia’s energy future through landmark deals with China and Central Asia. To meet the export requirements of those deals, he has ordered Russia’s oil producers to reach an annual production of 535 million tons of oil by 2020. For that to happen, he will have to better secure Transneft’s pipeline network of over 50,000 kilometers.
This past April, Transneft threatened to shut down the oil supply to Ukraine, saying that oil worth $63 million dollars had been stolen from its PrikarpatZapadtrans pipeline system heading to the beleaguered country. However, Transneft has been facing more serious threats from organized crime in fractious regions like Dagestan where 27,000 tons of oil was stolen in 2009.
The state of oil smuggling in Indonesia might seem insignificant when compared to Nigeria, at just 2,000-3,000 barrels per day. However, the government seems to have only awoken to the issue after a South Sumatra pipeline explosion in October 2012 killed at least eight people, and injured dozens. The explosion was caused by one of the hundreds of taps that proliferate in the district of Bayung Lencir alone.
Since then, Jakarta says it has cracked down but oil firms remain unimpressed. National oil giant PT Pertamina shut down one of its main pipelines, Tempino-Plaju, in July 2013. It reported losses of 17,500 barrels of oil within the first week of the pipeline’s exploration.
Chevron has also had to take matters into its own hands, running off teams of thieves in Jambi Province. The South Sumatra chief for Indonesia’s Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas Business Activities has lambasted the government, saying that its inaction has allowed oil thieves to act with more confidence.
By Chris Dalby of Oilprice.com
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
The EPA is totally out of control and has become a fascist threat to all Americans. Under the radar, the EPA has whispered evil somethings into being by floating a new rule that extends their power even more and gives them the wherewithal to garnish bank accounts of those they deem to have violated their regulations. They are claiming the authority to bypass the courts and unilaterally garnish paychecks. Now, the EPA can not only reach out and touch each of us, they can clobber us while robbing our bank accounts and Obama’s government is sanctioning this theft. It’s not enough that they are closing down our power plants, causing our utility bills to skyrocket out of reach, no… It’s not enough that they can seize private property and/or tell you what you can do with your land, no… It’s not enough that they are telling America what to do with her water rights, no… It’s not enough that the EPA can go in and shut down any business for whatever reason they concoct at that point in time, no… And it’s certainly not enough that the EPA is redrawing state lines, redistributing land to those as they see fit. Now they want your hard-earned money as well. You know, a tyrannical King would have been preferable and probably more just. Just sayin’.
The EPA has gone fine-happy. It’s that ‘other’ way of stealing money. Remember Andy Johnson in Wyoming? He wanted to build a pond on his property. For not bowing to the EPA Nazis, he was slapped with a $75,000 fine. He is just one of many, many cases. A muscle-bound, militarized EPA is now extending their heavy handed reach into every corner of freedom left in a country that is beginning to look more and more like a medieval fiefdom, with a lawless Lord presiding over an enforced transformation.
From The Washington Times:
“The EPA has a history of overreaching its authority. It seems like once again the EPA is trying to take power it doesn’t have away from American citizens,” Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, said when he learned of the EPA’s wage garnishment scheme.
Others questioned why the EPA decided to strengthen its collection muscle at this time.
Critics said the threat of garnishing wages would be a powerful incentive for people to agree to expensive settlements rather than fight EPA charges.
Did you know that the Federal courts have given every federal agency the power now to garnish wages? Neither did I until this morning. So, of course the EPA is claiming it has the go-ahead now to do this. They announced it last week in the Federal Register, citing the authority “to garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order.” The EPA cited this authority under the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 that centralized federal collection operations under the Treasury Department, which oversees garnishments of wages or tax refund checks. I am soooo sick of the legalized fascist crap coming out of these agencies. Lawyers will be the death of the Republic. Well, that and Marxists.
Sporting a set of iron balls, the regulatory asshats of the EPA are flipping us off:
Under the law, every federal agency has the authority to conduct administrative wage garnishment, provided the agency adopts approved rules for conducting hearings where debtors can challenge the amount of debt or terms of repayment schedule, a Treasury official said.
Still, the rule would give the EPA sweeping authority to dictate how and whether Americans could dispute fines and penalties, even as the amount of EPA fines collected from individuals, businesses and local governments steadily increase.
The amount of fines raked in by the agency has jumped from $96 million in 2009 to $252 million in 2012, a more than 160 percent increase, according to EPA annual reports.
Putting the collection powers on a fast track, the agency announced it in the Federal Register as a “direct final rule” that would take effect automatically Sept. 2, unless the EPA receives adverse public comments by Aug. 1.
The EPA said it deemed the action as not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore not subject to review.
Fortunately, a few were paying attention and the negative reactions started rolling in, conveniently ignored by the lapdog media. Chief among those raising the alarm are our friends at the Heritage Foundation, who decried the rule for giving the government “unbridled discretion” in controlling the process for challenging fines and wage garnishment, such as dictating the site of a hearing without consideration of the time and travel expense placed on the accused debtor. Hear, hear! David S. Addington, group vice president for research at The Heritage Foundation. went on to say the rule allows the EPA to decide whether a debtor gets a chance to present a defense and then picks whomever it chooses to serve as a hearing officer, even someone not trained as an administrative law judge. And in classic totalitarian form, it also puts the burden of proof on the debtor — not the EPA. How very convenient and unconstitutional.
There is now absolutely no doubt that the EPA is a thinly veiled militaristic arm of the Obama dictatorship. A raging, out of control EPA will conduct sanctioned theft from Americans and they will not be the only ones to do so. Unless we stop this regulatory nightmare and clean House and Senate by electing true conservatives, the Progressive Marxists will keep this up until we are truly a third world country. With illegal aliens arriving by the millions, combined with the jackbooted implementation of Obama’s agendas and his lawless regime, every city in America will become Detroit and every American will become nothing more than a serf in the collective.
Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.
This week’s contest is dedicated to the men and women of the IDF…
שאלוהים מגן עליהם ולתת להם נצחון
The Council In Action!!
* Dave ‘Hube’ Huber of The Colossus Of Rhodey scored this week with a great piece at the College Fix, REPORT: Hillary Clinton Raked In Nearly $2 Million in Campus Speaking Fees.
* And Debra Heine, our own Nice Deb, has an excellent take down of our absentee president up at Breitbart, Bad Optics No Deterrent To An Imperial President Who Refuses to Visit Border #ComeAndSeeIt.
You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.
To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning.
It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members, while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?
So, let’s see what we have for you this week…
- The Independent Sentinel – Obama’s Fundamental Transformation Via Smoke And Mirrors
- The Noisy Room – ACORN for Illegal Aliens – Meet the Southwest Key Programs
- The Colossus of Rhodey – Does he really not understand the difference?
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – The New Caliphate: Tease Or Threat?
- Bookworm Room – Hobby Lobby: Trying to get DemProgs to understand what it means
- Joshuapundit – #HillaryLies – Why Her Outrageous Speaking Fees Don’t ‘Go To Charity’
- Ask Marion – Costco Caught Again… Removing D’Souza’s ‘America’ From Shelves
- The Right Planet – Wahabis, ISIS, the King of Clubs and Qatar’s Role in Terrorism
- The Razor – Illegal Immigrants Are Not Dogs
- The Glittering Eye – The Breeding Ground
- VA Right! – Is the Group “Patriots for Economic Freedom” Scamming Dave Brat Supporters? You be the judge.
- Nice Deb – Cruz Calls For Investigation of MS Runoff: “It Would Be Abominable If Repubs Were Involved In Voter Fraud”
- Rhymes With Right – The Obama Doctrine
- Simply Jews – BBC finally gets it
- The MidKnight Review – A CBO report from 2009, is about to experience a “resurrection from the dead,” and “resurrection news” is death for the Dems in November of 2014.
- The Elder Of Ziyon – New York Times criticizes Israel for trying to save Arab lives
- The Pirate’s Cove – Democrats Looking For Legislative Fight Over Abortifacients
- Gatestone Institute – ISIS Already In Gaza submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Charles C. W. Cooke/National Review – The Civil War of 1776 submitted by The Noisy Room
- The Volokh Conspiracy/WAPO – The Supreme Court’s secular Jewish cabal’s war on religious freedom? submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Robert Farley/The National Interest – 5 Russian Weapons of War NATO Should Fear submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Ted McAllister/Library of Law & Liberty – What a Providentially Bad President Can Do for America submitted by Bookworm Room
- Kevin D. Williamson – Born on the Fifth of July submitted by Joshuapundit
- Victor Davis Hanson/NRO – Our Roost, Obama’s Chickens submitted by Ask Marion
- Israel Hayom – Radical Islam: Raging unabated submitted by The Right Planet
- Ali Khedery/WAPO – Why We Stuck With Maliki – and Lost Iraq submitted by The Razor
- War Is Boring – China Thinks It Can Defeat America in Battle submitted by The Glittering Eye
- California Political Review – Berkeley Requires Marijuana Dispensaries To Provide Free Weed For Low-Income Patients submitted by VA Right!
- Derek Hunter/Right Wing News – The Petulant President submitted by Nice Deb
- Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion – Arab Violence Against Israel and Jews Continues submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Blazing Cat Fur – Jihadis have their eyes on Jordan submitted by The Watcher
- Daniel Hannan – The Forgotten Flag of the American Revolution and What It Means submitted by The Watcher