08/15/14

An Ugly Mess

Arlene from Israel

No matter what happens with regard to Hamas, it will be a mess of one sort or another.  There are no clean, neat diplomatic solutions. There is either war now, with all the pain and cost that is necessarily concomitant, or there is the possibility (only the possibility) of a temporary diplomatic resolution that has the seeds of war embedded within it and that, while providing a respite, will inevitably backfire.

~~~~~~~~~~

Where are we, as I write?

The 72 hours of indirect, Egyptian-mediated negotiations in Cairo between Israel and “Palestinian factions” – which ended midnight Wednesday night – led to no resolution of the differences between Israel and Hamas.  We shouldn’t have expected there would be such a resolution, as each side has demands diametrically opposed to the other: Israel is seeking demilitarization of Hamas and Hamas is seeking an end to the blockade of Gaza (in place to prevent importation of further weaponry).

I am reluctant to relay reports of what is said to have gone on, because a good deal of it is undocumented and unreliable: most, if not all, of what we ostensibly learned regarding terms being discussed came from the Palestinian Arab faction (remember, Abbas’s Fatah faction is right in there, negotiating with and on behalf of Hamas).  And they have a strong propensity to exaggerate their achievements in such matters.

Did Israel agree to allow Gazan fisherman to go farther into the Mediterranean?  Or to permit the quantity of goods – either humanitarian or commercial – going into Gaza from Israel to be substantially increased?  Did we concur that Fatah forces might police the border?  Could it possibly be that Israeli negotiators agreed to facilitate the movement of money from the PA in Ramallah into Gaza so that Hamas salaries could be paid???

It’s difficult to state what Israel agreed to tentatively, in the course of negotiations – or even agreed to just put on the table for discussion.

Several times, while those reports were coming out, anonymous Israeli officials were cited as saying that no progress was being made.  Apparently (and, again, there is no confirmation on this) Hamas is refusing to release the remains of two soldiers it is holding – Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul; this would represent a real stumbling block to any deal Israel might be considering.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184003#.U-zhP5vlrIU

~~~~~~~~~~

Several factors in particular must be mentioned with regard to these negotiations:

First, it is clear that, whatever Israel did or did not agree to, the Palestinian Authority – Abbas’s Fatah faction thereof – is being widely promoted as the “solution” to the problem of Gaza, just as we knew would be the case.  We must continue to declare loudly that reliance on Abbas would be a disaster – both because he’s in bed with Hamas and would not “guard” the situation with regard to preventing it from rearming, and because Fatah forces are weak and liable to be taken down by Hamas.

And then, it seems to be the case (is it??) that Israel has dropped the demand for the full demilitarization of Hamas, focusing instead mainly on ways to prevent its rearming.  Preventing more sophisticated weapons from being brought in to Gaza is, needless to say, an important and necessary thing to do. But it is not sufficient in and of itself.  Hamas still has some 3,000 rockets in its arsenal.

What is additionally the case is that Hamas currently has the capacity to build more of its own rockets, and is continuing to do so.

See here: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4558720,00.html

~~~~~~~~~~

Reports, some leaked, that did come out citing Israeli sources yesterday seemed quite troubling.  We learned that a Security Cabinet meeting that was supposed to have been held had been cancelled because there was “no progress” and nothing to discuss or vote on.  But what happened instead of a full Security Cabinet meeting was a series of private meetings that Prime Minister Netanyahu had with various key members of that Cabinet (primarily but not exclusively heads of factions) – notably Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua), and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud).  Some sources described these meetings as a way for Netanyahu to alert these people to what to anticipate.

Other sources described what happened as an attempt by Netanyahu to “soften up” the Cabinet members in order to get them to vote for some controversial concessions. Something they might or might not agree to:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183984#.U-y-KJvlrIU

Additionally there were complaints from some Cabinet members that they were being kept in the dark:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4558420,00.html

Uh Oh.  What doesn’t he want them to know?  What might he be promoting?

~~~~~~~~~~

For the record, I do not believe Netanyahu WANTS to give Hamas anything.  He is clear-eyed as to the nature of this adversary.  But I am concerned, very simply, that he lacks the nerves of steel required right now to buck the considerable pressure being brought to bear on Israel from a host of international sources.  Binyamin Netanyahu has demonstrated himself to be someone who worries a good deal about the international community and functions while watching over his shoulder.

In fairness to him, I acknowledge very readily that the pressure has to be absolutely incredible. (I am not sleeping well at night and right now I wonder how he can sleep at all.)  There is reason to believe that he might be considering a host of unpalatable factors – the rising world-wide hostility to Israel because of the deaths of babies in Gaza, the up-coming UNHRC “inquiry” – dubbed Goldstone 2 – into whether we committed “war crimes” in Gaza (which I’ll address another day), the malevolence of Obama (about which more below).  It might seem to him that not taking on Hamas right now would be prudent because of all of the other issues that we confront.

~~~~~~~~~~

But there is a solid case to be made for dealing with Hamas without making concessions – with all that this likely implies.  Period.

Two days ago, the “military wing” of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades, released this statement:

The warriors in Gaza are waiting with Allah’s help to renew the fighting, or to return to planning the next campaign. There’s no escape. Either jihad or planning [for the next jihad].”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183978#.U-zLGZvlrIV

Now, we know that this is how the jihadis operate.  It’s hardly a surprise. But for them to be so “in our faces” about it?  We should allow them to buy time to plan a better attack on Israel?
~~~~~~~~~~

The hours leading up to the midnight termination of the temporary ceasefire last night were tense.  Egypt – the mediating party – was pushing for an extension to the temporary ceasefire because more time was needed.  But, while apparently Israel agreed at some point, Hamas was defiant – with Khaled Mashaal, head of the politburo, the most intransigent – and it seemed that this was not going to happen.

So certain did Hamas seem to be that there would be no extension, and that “negotiations” had failed, that rockets were launched from Gaza into several communities in the south of Israel a full two hours before the official end of the ceasefire.  (Something that Hamas later denied having done.)

The situation suddenly seemed clear: Enough fooling around in those negotiations; once again Hamas failed to even honor its full commitment to cease firing for 72 hours.  The Israeli negotiating team had returned home. Time to get serious.  Additional reservists had been called up and our troops were moved up to the border of Gaza.  Yair Lapid made a statement about how, if we must attack again because they start launching rockets again, “this time we’ll hit much harder.”

So be it then…

~~~~~~~~~~

Just to interject a small personal note here.  I was relieved – because the prospect of making concessions to Hamas felt terribly wrong: one does not negotiate this way with terrorists.  But I was hardly upbeat.  I had more of a pained, it’s the right way to go and we’ll have to deal with this with resolve, attitude. I spoke to my visiting grandchildren about where we would would go if there were a siren; having lived through this multiple times already in their own home, they were cool.  But I felt an incredible sadness, that the absolute evil of Hamas was making all of this necessary.

~~~~~~~~~~

Even as Hamas started launching those rockets, however, news began to trickle out from Cairo about an agreement from both sides to extend the temporary ceasefire so that more effort might be expended in reaching a permanent agreement.  And indeed, by midnight, the new ceasefire was announced: fire would be held for five days, but it was my understanding that there would be a two-day hiatus before talks began again, which would mean another 72 hours of negotiations.

What turned the trick, apparently, was direct intervention by Barack Obama, who let it be known that he wanted either a final agreement or, at the least, a temporary extension.  Reports are that a call he placed to Netanyahu to convey this was exceedingly tense, as have been most of their recent exchanges.

~~~~~~~~~~

This is what I am seeing:

According to a Wall Street Journal article, which cited government sources, “the US administration has halted a shipment of Hellfire aerial anti-armor missiles to Israel.

“The sources noted that Israel had requested the transfer of ammunitions directly from the Pentagon, without receiving the approval of the White House or State Department officials.

“’We were blindsided,’ one US diplomat said, while a US defense official insisted that ‘there was no intent to blindside anyone. The process for this transfer was followed precisely along the lines that it should have.’

“According to the sources, White House officials were concerned about Israel’s use of artillery, instead of precision-guided munitions in the more densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip…

“After the shipment of the 120-mm and 40-mm rounds caught the White House by surprise, the Pentagon was instructed to put another arms shipment to Israel – a large number of Hellfire missiles – on halt and the administration instructed all of its defense agencies to consult with the White House and State Department before approving any additional arms requests from Israel, the Journal reported.

A US official told the paper that ‘the decision to scrutinize future transfers at the highest levels amounted to the United States saying “The buck stops here. Wait a second… It’s not OK anymore.”’”  (All emphasis added)

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4558615,00.html

~~~~~~~~~~

Michael Oren, who served a term as Israeli ambassador to the US that ended last fall, has weighed in on this:

“There is a claim in the Wall Street Journal that Israel went around the back of the United States to get a resupply of ammunition from the Pentagon, that it didn’t get permission from the White House. I can only tell you as an ambassador that is impossible because there’s a very specific and deeply embedded procedure for doing that and Israel, in order to get access to preposition military equipment in this country, American equipment, has to go through the administration.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4558760,00.html

Oren says the WSJ story is unsubstantiated.  But if a US “source” deliberately leaked this faulty information on orders?  If this provides Obama with a fabricated public rationale for holding back on Israel?

~~~~~~~~~~

When did this story appear? Wednesday?  When did Obama place his call to Netanyahu insisting that the ceasefire had to be extended?  Wednesday.

Here I move into speculation – but speculation informed by a sequence of events that gives it considerable plausibility.

Perhaps Netanyahu was not thinking about “Goldstone 2” or anti-Israel riots in various places.  Maybe his concern – a very real and enormously serious one one – was that the US, by withholding military equipment, would make it difficult for Israel to sustain a full war against Hamas.  Perhaps this is what he sought to communicate privately to key members of the Cabinet.  Perhaps his nerves were sufficiently steel-like in this situation, but he calculated that it might be better to forestall that final confrontation with Hamas until Obama was out of office. (Which might mean making nauseating compromises in the interim.)

Perhaps…

~~~~~~~~~~

Obama’s position on the record in this situation was clearly established some while ago:  First he has no desire to see Hamas brought down.  And then, he is eager to see that “two state solution” advanced via placement of Abbas in Gaza.  What better way to promote these interests than by weakening Israel’s hand?

If there is truth to my speculation, then it is my very fervent hope that Netanyahu will not sit still for this.  Oren’s commentary seems the first return volley, but a great deal more would need to follow.  Often threats are not spoken about. But, for a number of reasons, whatever threat may have transpired here would need to be addressed as boldly and perhaps publicly as possible.  We have many friends in the US.

~~~~~~~~~~

And there is one last piece to my speculation.  Obama would have had to do something to get Hamas to agree to a ceasefire extension.  It is quite clear that there was not unanimity within Hamas on this score.  The president has a very distorted and distinctive MO in his dealings with other countries: he fails to be supportive of those who are traditional US allies, and he overtly courts and makes concessions to radical regimes such as Iran that embrace values inimical to American interests.

My guess would be (and Kerry played this very game with Abbas during recent negotiations) that Obama either exaggerated to Hamas what Israel is ready to concede or promised Hamas that he would do everything in his power to get Israel to… whatever (perhaps release prisoners)…to provide Hamas with that much needed sense of victory.

We might then, look for increased pressure on Israel to…whatever…

~~~~~~~~~~

All this said, there is no reason to expect that, when the next 72 hours of negotiations is over, a long-term ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas will necessarily have been achieved.  It still remains quite unlikely, I think, concessions or not.  If (or when) those Hamas rockets start flying again, there will still be some very tough decisions that will have to be made here in Israel.

08/15/14

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 08/15/14

The Watcher’s Council

Me too, lil’ weasel!

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime. In time we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy.” – Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, speech on February 12, 2012

“The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”

Louis Fisher, Gandhi’s biographer asked him: “You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?”

Gandhi responded, “Yes, that would have been heroism.” – The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950) by Louis Fisher.

“The true cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the hatred taught to many Muslims when they are impressionable children — unable to defend themselves from having their lives poisoned with such beliefs.”

“This is the testimony of someone who witnessed it — and who experienced it — personally.” – Dr. Tawfik Hamid, Muslim Apostate in a speech at Pepperdine University, 2008

Close races in both categories this week, a reflection of how good this week’s entries were.

This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s fine essay The Morality Of of Israel’s killing Palestinian civilians, recounts a Facebook exchange she had with a ‘Progressive’ about civilian deaths in Gaza versus Israel defending itself or committing national suicide. Being Bookworm, she goes far beyond that into a general discussion of Jihad, but you’ll have to read all of it to marvel at how she ties it all together. Here’s a slice:

I have been engaged in a Facebook exchange with someone who believes that killing civilians is always immoral. This moral stance means that, because Israel is killing civilians more effectively than Hamas, he believes Israel is morally more culpable than Hamas in the current conflict. He therefore cannot support her, and his sympathy for Palestinians outweighs his sympathy for Israelis.

Because his is an argument I hear frequently; because Progressives think their overarching pacifism is virtuous; because this man was invariably polite in expressing his views, appearing more misguided than malevolent; and because there were other people auditing this exchange on Facebook, I took the time to respond at some length his arguments. Although doing so seemed like a somewhat futile effort while the ceasefire held, given that Hamas took up arms again the minute the ceasefire ended, this issue is not going away any time soon.

The man’s core operating principle is that killing civilians is so verboten that he can never approve of a group, party, or nation that commits such acts. I know he felt virtuous when he wrote that, but I tried to get him to see that, in certain circumstances, his pacifism will leave him with more innocent blood on his own hands (morally, speaking) than his own ostensibly high-minded position would.

I asked him to imagine that a large, well-organized, well-funded terrorist group (which we’ll call “Hamas” for short) carries out a series of attacks against a Jewish nation (which, for convenience’s sake, we’ll call “Israel”). The attacks are not as deadly as Hamas would wish, but Hamas plans to continue with the attacks — eventually someone will die — with the culmination being a coordinated attack through Israel which will, if successful, kill upwards of 10,000 Israeli civilians. This man’s moral calculus would mean that the only way for Israel, as a moral nation, to avoid the impermissible immorality of killing innocent civilians in Hamas’s ambit would be for Israel to surrender immediately and, indeed, for it to do so regardless of the seriousness of Hamas’s provocation.

In a perfect world, against an equally moral enemy, this moral purity might work. Of course, in that perfect world, the enemy too would have held itself to this high moral standard — never kill a civilian — and wouldn’t have attacked Israel in the first place. Sadly, though, we do not live in a perfect world.

In an imperfect world, which happens to be the world we inhabit, Israel knows that Hamas’s goal is to slaughter every man, woman, and child in Israel. Israel doesn’t have to go down the primrose path of conspiracy theories and paranoia to reach this conclusion about Hamas’s end game. Instead, Hamas has made the death of Israel’s citizens — all of them — the centerpiece of its charter, it preaches this goal from every political and religious pulpit, it acts upon this goal whenever possible, and it has spent millions of dollars in foreign aid, including money from Israel herself, to plan a terrorist attack intended to kill those 10,000 of Jewish civilians.

Despite this stark reality, the man I’m debating insists that Israel still has only one moral choice: she must refrain from fighting back if that fight means that she might kill even one civilian. Only in that way, he says, can he give Israel his support.

Israel, however, has figured out something that this man, either because he’s blinded by the self-righteousness of his own idealism or because he’s as genocidal as Hamas, refuses to grasp: If Israel takes this allegedly moral high ground and surrenders to Hamas, she will effectively have killed all off all of her own civilians. In other words, no matter what choices Israel makes, the nature of her enemy means that Israel will have the blood of innocents on her hands.

As between those two choices — either kill a few hundred Palestinians civilians or watch 6 million of your own people being brutally slaughtered — a non-suicidal nation will always opt to value its own citizens’ lives first. Moreover, a moral nation, such as Israel, even as it recognizes that civilian deaths are inevitable, fundamentally values life and does everything possible to protect both its own and its enemy’s citizens. Still, Israel recognizes that the nature of war, sadly, is death.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with a piece that resonates with what’s on many minds this week, You Want Nazis? submitted by The Noisy Room.

We are indeed living in interesting times.

Here are this week’s full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this weeks’ Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!

08/13/14

Palestinian Leader Mudar Zahran in Bethlehem: Hamas is Killing My People (+ ISIS low-down)

By: Arlen Williams
Gulag Bound

Mudar Zahran, Arab leader of the land of Israel, Palestine, and Jordan

Mudar Zahran, Arab leader of the land of Israel, Palestine, and Jordan

Please see. Elements of each of these videos may be included in further entries and could be excerpted, but the entire videos are informative.


 

And Mudar Zahran back in June, on the threat of ISIS and what Arabs might do about them:

 

Let us not think that Hamas, ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other massively evil terrorist operations are functioning without means of supply from and coordination with entities readily accepted in the “New World Order,” as its proponents choose to call it. The same with the astoundingly incorporated front group, Muslim Brotherhood, of course.

Thanks again, Micheal Moriarity, our so very talented “country boy from the city.”

08/13/14

Militarized Police Roll On Ferguson

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


A demonstrator throws back a tear gas container after tactical officers worked to break up a group of bystanders on Chambers Road near West Florissant early on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

A black, unarmed 18 year old was shot by police in Ferguson, MO and rioting and violence ensued. Then the militarized police got their game on. This is not your Daddy’s everyday cop either – these officers are armed to the teeth and ready to do a boogie on anyone who gets in their way.

Michael Brown was the name of the teen in question. He was in the process of being arrested when he was shot. Confusion surrounds the events and now the police are saying they will not release the name of the officer who shot Brown. As far as it is being told, Brown, who was a big boy, resisted arrest as he was being put in the cruiser. A tussle ensued where Brown tried to get a hold of the officer’s weapon. He then fled the scene and the cop pursued him. The officers are claiming that one round was shot off in the car and it is being claimed they shot at Brown several times before bringing him down. Others claim the police shot Brown in cold blood while he had his hands up. No one contests he was unarmed though. Something doesn’t add up here, but we won’t know what happened until evidence surfaces on this. One thing is for sure, the community is pissed off and people have come from outside to incite unrest and looting.


Police officers ride an armored vehicle as they patrol a street in Ferguson, Missouri.

The real festivities began after the shooting as riots began. Store owners stood outside their businesses with baseball bats and guns to protect their livelihoods. Which explains in part the quadrupled sales in guns across the St. Louis area – looks like the good residents there have a lot more God-given sense than previously thought. The ones that didn’t do patrol and watch over their businesses got looted and trashed. Any excuse to rip people off and destroy stuff. Just evil. As Rob at Joshuapundit astutely put it: “There’s nothing that says ‘social justice’ like smashing up and looting a convenience store, a grocery or a Wal-Mart.” Indeed. It’s a free for all baby and the crowd is into letting it burn, while yelling “death to all cops.”

And what would a race riot be without the attendant race hustlers, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton (who was heckled upon arrival). Benjamin Crump, Trayvon Martin’s lawyer, swooped in like the vulture he is and declared the dead young man as his client. Disgusting. And of course, I’m not surprised in the least to see Barack Obama and Eric Holder with his jackbooted DOJ step into the mix. They are just dying to have a good ole’ fashioned race war break out.


Police officers try to disperse a crowd Monday in Ferguson, Missouri.

We are now into a third day and night of riots and the latest is that someone else has now been shot by another cop. Fuel to the fire and this baby has yet to sing. The guy pulled a gun on the officer and was shot for it. No tears here, but it will escalate things. Nearby, a woman was shot in the head in a drive-by. She’ll live, but if this keeps up, the bodies will start to pile up. Let the protests begin.


The police point their weapons at a car as it pulls away after tear gas was used by authorities Monday in Ferguson, Missouri.

As awful as the shootings and the senseless waste of life is, the underlying story lies with the police force itself in my eyes. Business Insider has a great piece up on the militarization of the Ferguson police force and it is sobering and frightening.

This is the evil gift of Obama’s governmental control fetish. He has facilitated police forces whose attire is fashioned after the US Marine Corps MARPAT camouflage pattern. If there were not police force patches on the arms, you would swear the US military was descending. These departments have been armed just like the military in preparedness for standing against regular American citizens. Now, I understand calling out all you’ve got to stop riots, but this is ridiculous and deadly.

In fact, these officers are more geared up than the military forces on the ground in various combat arenas. MRAPs and Bearcats — armored vehicles that can withstand IEDs and severe attacks from insurgents hardly seem everyday fare for taking on American unrest. I’m not just talking about SWAT and tactical teams, I’m talking about beat cops and detectives. Why are we arming more heavily to confront our own than enemies in war? Please tell me, because I sincerely want to know. There is no good reason, except to control and intimidate the American people.

Officers are brandishing short-barreled 5.56-mm rifles based on the military M4 carbine, with scopes that can accurately hit a target out to 500 meters. On their side they carry pistols. On their front, over their body armor, they carry at least four to six extra magazines, loaded with 30 rounds each. And these guys have attitude to match. “Bring it. You fucking animals, bring it,” one police officer was caught on video telling protesters.

Not very professional conduct on the officer’s part and not how I choose to remember the men in blue who I have looked up to my whole life. I’m not sure when all of this morphed into the police turning into Obama’s new army. ‘Protect and serve’ has now become ‘us vs. them.’ Ferguson is not a war zone, at least not yet. Americans are supposed to have Constitutional rights and be innocent till proven guilty. This is not martial law. Not yet anyway.

So, now we have the FAA suspending flights over the area because they claim someone is firing at helicopters. How very convenient. The police are threatening reporters as well and protests are supposedly banned. It feels like I woke up in Moscow this morning – maybe I should check my passport. Papers please.

From journalist Radley Balko, author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop“:

From Business Insider:

In Afghanistan, we patrolled in big, armored trucks. We wore uniforms that conveyed the message, “We are a military force, and we are in control right now.” Many Afghans saw us as occupiers.

And now we see some of our police officers in this same way. “The militarization of law enforcement is counter-productive to domestic policing and needs to stop,” tweeted Andrew Exum, a former Army infantry officer.

If there’s one thing I learned in Afghanistan, it’s this: You can’t win a person’s heart and mind when you are pointing a rifle at his or her chest.

Even more relevant and true here since it is our own military that has us in their sights. When you have ex-military questioning the militarization of the police, you know you’ve got a problem.


Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Monday in Ferguson, Missouri.

America better wake up and put a stop to this crap. Some day, and soon, this will come to a place near each of us. Every teeny tiny burg out there now is armed as if they are fighting ISIS in each of their neighborhoods. No doubt there are those just itching to use said force. The militarized police just rolled into Ferguson… next stop, your town USA.


Police fire tear gas and protester throws it back.

08/13/14

Watcher’s Council Nominations: ‘There’s A Riot Goin’ On’ Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Because we all know nothing says social justice like breaking into a convenience store and looting it.

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.

Council News:

This week, MidKnight Review, The Political Commentator, The Pirate’s Cove and The Mellow Jihadi earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

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 (mandatory, but of course it 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 on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

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…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

08/12/14

Susan Knowles: Parent & Child Rights vs. Govt. Usurpation, on Sovereignty Unbound

By: Arlen Williams
Gulag Bound

UPDATE- Player for streaming the recorded program:

New Radio Podcasts with PRNRadioNetwork on BlogTalkRadio


 

Tonight, we are interviewing Susan Knowles, of her blog Stand for Truth, and of Human Events and Gulag Bound. He has a particular interest in the rights of parents and children.

08/12/14

Malicious Compliance – Relief Aid From The US That Is A Horrific Joke

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Hat Tip: Nelson Abdullah


Displaced Yazidi people rush towards an aid helicopter (RUDAW)

Iraq is turning into a massive killing field. Mount Sinjar runs red with the blood of the Yazidi, who are being systematically exterminated. The entire place smells of death and suffering. And Obama hits the golf course, because only Christians and non-Muslim Iraqis die young in Iraq. So who cares? Fore!

Looking for a wild time? I’ve got just the right place for you… Mt. Sinjar is the forced last refuge of the Yazidi of Iraq. 10′s of thousands have been herded there because they were given the choice of conversion to the proper sect of Islam, pay the Jizya tax of die by — take your choice — beheading, crucifixion, flogging or being buried alive. Unfortunately, cake was not a choice this time. Just death. Dogs are eating the dead as they fall. The Yazidis succumb to the heat, thirst or to spare their children, they throw them from the mountain so the Jihadists (ISIS) will not get them.


Horror: Yazidis on Mount Sinjar with the bodies of children killed by ISIS

Up to 70% of them are now dead. When relief helicopters from the Iraqis deliver food and water, hundreds swarm for the little in sustenance left. When any of them are rescued, it is usually a dozen or so at a time, because there is no room and the helicopters can’t land on the rocky terrain. Few are rescued. The mountain is surrounded by ISIS.

Remember WKRP in Cincinnati and the skit on turkeys? There is a famous quote:

Arthur ‘Big Guy’ Carlson: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Well, giddy up for the US’ version of a horrific joke… Yes, American helicopters are delivering food, water and supplies — from 15,000 feet up and with no parachutes. So when the stuff hits the ground, it busts open. Hard to drink water that is soaked into the sand:

Two American aid flights have also made it to the mountain, where they have dropped off more than 36,000 meals and 7,000 gallons of drinking water to help the refugees, and last night two RAF C-130 transport planes were also on the way.

However, Iraqi officials said that much of the US aid had been “useless” because it was dropped from 15,000ft without parachutes and exploded on impact.

I swear I thought turkeys could fly… At first blush, you would think that the Americans are a bunch of morons. I’m not so sure it wasn’t on purpose. The US media propaganda is flying hot and heavy, claiming we have rescued thousands there and that only 500 have died. Unmitigated bull crap. They crow about aid delivered, but don’t include the small detail that it is destroyed on impact. How very convenient.

It’s not just those dying on the mountain… they are dropping like flies across the country. Genocide is being conducted very successfully by the Caliphate against Christians and other minorities. Ethnic cleansing is being carried out and no one is stopping it. No one.

The stories are blood curdling:

The refugees who made it out described desperate scenes as they awaited help from the outside world.

“There were about 200 of us, and about 20 of that number have died,” said Saydo Haji, 28. “We can live for two days, not more.”

Emad Edo, 27, who was rescued in an airlift on Friday at the mountain’s highest point explains how he had to leave his niece, who barely had enough strength to keep her eyes open, to her fate.

“She was about to die, so we left her there and she died,” he said.

Others shared similar stories. “Even the caves smell very bad,” Mr Edo added. According to several of the airlifted refugees, the Geliaji cave alone has become home to 50 dead bodies.

Saydo Kuti Naner, 35, who was one of 13 Yazidis who snuck through Islamic State lines on Thursday morning, said he travelled through Kurdish-controlled Syria to get to Kurdistan.

He left behind his mother and father, too old to make the rough trip, as well as 200 sheep. “We got lucky,” he said. “A girl was running [with us] and she got shot.” He added that this gave enough cover for the rest of them to get away.

Mikey Hassan said he, his two brothers and their families fled up into Mount Sinjar and then managed to escape to the Kurdish city of Dohuk after two days, by shooting their way past the jihadists. Mr Hassan said he and his family went for 17 hours with no food before getting their hands on some bread.

What if you had to run? Leave everything behind. Could you choose to leave your parents? Those who are sick or weak? That is their choice or die. And they could still very well die. It’s not just the Yazidis, who are Kurdish… Tens of thousands of Christians have also been forced to flee in the face of the advancing ISIS fighters, many cramming the roads east and north to Erbil and Dohuk. On Thursday alone, up to 100,000 Iraqi Christians fled their homes in the Plain of Ninevah around Mosul.

Obama’s airstrikes were far too little, too late and he knew they would be. He is supporting the Caliphate while claiming he is fighting it. He is the vilest of liars. Obama knew the Christians would be slaughtered and I believe he is fine with that:

Refugees said the American air strikes on IS positions outside Erbil were too little, too late. They said they felt abandoned by everyone – the central government in Baghdad, the Americans and British, who invaded in 2003, and now the Kurds, who had promised to protect them.

“When the Americans withdrew from Iraq they didn’t protect the Christians,” said Jenan Yousef, an Assyrian Catholic who fled Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest Christian town, in the early hours of Thursday. “The Christians became the scapegoats. Everyone has been killing us.”

Obama will play slap and tickle with his feigned aid to the Iraqis just long enough to help the elections here in the United States. This is all for political show. The US’ aid to Iraq is nothing more than malicious compliance and it is a horrific joke. Watch the other hand, because within its grasp is a holocaust.

08/11/14

Forecast Cloudy

Arlene from Israel

Before I look at that forecast, let me mention “Kaitana Savta,” which translates literally as “Camp Grandma” (it sounds better in Hebrew).  I am about to begin Kaitana Savta, which comes every year in August and is truly as much fun for me as for my grandkids. Starting tomorrow and in days ahead, I will have two and three kids sleeping here and going out where Savta takes them to have fun, or staying in to do games and arts and crafts.

This year especially, this time will help me regain my balance – after weeks of focusing on the war.

And so… I will be posting.  But less frequently, and perhaps – after today – with shorter posts.

~~~~~~~~~~

Now, as to that forecast.  I use the term cloudy in two regards.  First, the clouds block our vision. And then, they suggest storms advancing.

As most of you doubtlessly already know, an Israeli negotiating team is back in Cairo after Hamas agreed to yet another 72 hour ceasefire.  Hamas leaders had refused to extend the last one because they weren’t happy with the way negotiations were going.  And so, last Friday they began launching rockets again.

Credit: mikesamerica

How wearisome, how straining. These rockets startled many in Israel, as people had just begun to relax and think in terms of “normal,” and quiet.

Hamas offered to continue to negotiate, but Israel made it very clear that we have a policy of not negotiating under fire, and our team was called home.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then followed a touch-and-go situation, with Hamas reluctant to stop launching again and Egyptian mediators trying to bring about yet another ceasefire.  Finally Hamas agreed: For another 72 hours.  As is the Hamas norm, there was a barrage of launchings right before the ceasefire was to begin – they have to get in as much as they can.  This is the last ceasefire, they said.  If they are not happy with the results of negotiations in 72 hours, forget it.  They will not only begin launching again, they will escalate their attacks.

The ceasefire was called for midnight last night, but the Israeli team was only sent back to Cairo this morning, after it seemed that the ceasefire was holding.

The team: Maj. Gen. (res) Amos Gilad, Director of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Ministry of Defense; Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen; Yitzhak Molcho, lawyer and close confident of Netanyahu; Maj.-Gen. Nimrod Sheffer, head of the IDF’s Planning Directorate; and Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

They will concentrate on security issues.

~~~~~~~~~~

Israel wants Hamas disarmed: With rockets in its possession removed and the means for bringing in more rockets blocked.

Hamas wants to be fully open to the world, permanently and unconditionally: the blockade at sea must be lifted and all crossings into Gaza must be open. That’s just a start. They also want a seaport and an international airport.

These demands are mutually exclusive and the odds that they can be reconciled somehow within 72 hours are zero.  The only way to see an extension of the current ceasefire would be if one or both parties were to significantly compromise or modify its demands (Heaven forbid that Israel should).

~~~~~~~~~~

There are some very modest actions being taken – and proposals being made – in an effort to reconcile demands.

Egypt, which has kept the Rafah crossing into the Sinai tightly closed for some while now, opened it in recent days for wounded in Gaza and those with foreign passports.  Rafah is a key element here – would be a key avenue for opening up Gaza.

Additionally, Netanyahu has been alluding for some time to the readiness of some EU countries to lend an assist here, and it turns out that he spoke with some solid reason.  Last week, Britain, Germany and France presented Israel with a proposal for international supervision of the rehabilitation of Gaza that would prevent Hamas from re-arming.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.609310

It is, however, a long step from making such a proposal to providing Israel with reassurance that sufficient mechanisms would be in place and that the international community would persevere in its commitment.  We’re talking about making sure that forbidden armaments do not make their way into Gaza at all, and that materials needed for reconstruction (yes, including concrete!) do not fall in the hands of Hamas.

~~~~~~~~~~

Netanyahu has said, and it is certainly true, that the EU is more prepared to help now because of alarm about radical Islam (and more on this below).

But there is another proviso in the offer by the EU nations: They want to bring Mahmoud Abbas and the PA into the act, either with regard to manning the crossings or taking some control of Gaza in a more serious way.  Obama is pushing for this as well. This is supposed to be a solution to the problem – and a segue into new “two state solution” negotiations!.  But it is an absolute non-starter.

Consider the major stumbling blocks here:

[] Abbas and his Fatah party are solidly in league with Hamas.  They are sitting with Hamas officials, pumped for pro-Hamas Turkey and Qatar to serve mediator roles in negotiations, failed to criticize Hamas for breaking ceasefires, and so on.  Israel should trust representatives of Fatah to guard Hamas? This would clearly be a case of assigning the fox to guard the henhouse.

[] Abbas and Fatah – the Fatah-dominated PA – are weak and no match for Hamas.  Hamas drove Fatah from Gaza in the first place and has failed to defeat Fatah in Judea and Samaria only because of an IDF presence.  There is no way Abbas’s people are up to the job, even should they want to do it.

I see this entire scenario as totally absurd anyway, as I had mentioned the other day when I spoke about Abbas trying to ride two horses with one tuchis.  Fatah and Hamas have a unity agreement that Fatah, and Abbas, have not disavowed.  I allude above to “the Fatah-dominated PA” because in theory the PA now includes Hamas.  Sort of.  They identify as one when it’s convenient and separately when that suits.

Such is the insanity of world diplomacy that all of this is taken seriously.

~~~~~~~~~~

As far as the crossings into Gaza from Israel are concerned, I anticipate that in due course they will be opened to commercial merchandise.  Whatever authority is checking the crossings from the Gaza side, I cannot imagine a situation in which Israel would not monitor the flow of goods from our side.

Please be aware, Israel has been permitting large quantities of humanitarian goods into Gaza.  (Israel does not pay for these goods, but does permit them to go in.)  Hundreds of tons of supplies go into Gaza daily: medical supplies, food products, hygiene products, etc., via the Keren Shalom crossing.

Here is yet one more piece of information that exposes the true cold-blooded nature of Hamas:

The Keren Shalom crossing had to be shut down because of deliberate shelling of the area by Hamas.  Such is Hamas concern for the civilians of Gaza.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/08/10/deliberate-and-continuous-hamas-rocket-fire-forces-closure-of-gaza-crossing-video/

~~~~~~~~~~

So, if (when) Hamas begins launching rockets again, what will Israel’s response be?  It’s here that vision is blocked by the clouds.

We have had several operations over the years fighting Hamas in Gaza (these operations are not technically referred to as “wars”).  In each instance, Israel has stopped short of taking Hamas out.  This is referred to as “mowing the grass.” There are some very serious thinkers who believe the whole notion of “solving” the problem with Hamas is not realistic, as the radical ideology is too ingrained in the populace. They believe – even today – that it is in Israel’s best interest to increase deterrence from time to time so that Hamas is reluctant to attack Israel again for some period of years.

They believe that to try to do more is both unrealistic and would take too great a toll on Israel.

People of this persuasion speak of our waging a war of attrition, and not more, even if Hamas starts launching again: Hamas launches, we bomb from the air and shell from the sea, until Hamas finally gets tired of doing this.

~~~~~~~~~~

But there is a growing number of Israeli voices calling for a more serious action.

There are not only voices inside the government calling for this – I note Avigdor Lieberman in particular.  There is the almost unanimous opinion that the job is not yet done that has been expressed by frustrated members of the IDF.

And now we have a new situation that we did not have before: pressure from residents of the south of Israel. This is not something that can be ignored. 

These long-suffering residents have endured years of living in shelters when rockets were launched from Gaza – and they endured with a stoic bravery. But when word was released about the Hamas tunnels and the Hamas plans for massacres of thousands in the south via those tunnels, that was something else. A large percentage of these residents fled the south, awaiting word that it was safe to return.  The tunnels were eliminated, a long term ceasefire was about to be negotiated, and they were told it was time to return.  Turns out that it was not yet safe to return, because Hamas started launching rockets again.  They are irked and are demanding that the government protect them. And Netanyahu has to pay attention.

~~~~~~~~~~

And then the question is, how serious would the action be?  Stay in Gaza until all terrorist elements are eliminated and then walk away. Stay permanently?  Weaken Hamas much more seriously than we’ve done yet – including with assassination of some Hamas leaders – without totally taking Hamas down?  The opinions are vastly varied.

~~~~~~~~~~

I recognize that this is a long posting, but would like to touch upon a few other relevant factors before closing:

It is said that Hamas is continuing on the road of attacking because it is desperate – is low on money and feels it has nothing to lose. (And, it should be noted, since it has had no major “success” in the fighting, it is further motivated to keep trying.) But what I see is that it is also a more formidable enemy than was the case previously.

This has to do in large part with those tunnels.  Yes, presumably we eliminated those that crossed the line into Israel. But a huge network of tunnels remains: this is where rockets are kept and where many of their leaders are hidden.  A major part of this intricate underground construction is located under Gaza City.  Were our troops to enter there – which they would have to do in a serious ground operation – they would be set upon by terrorists literally leaping out of the ground from behind them, either to kill them or to kidnap them.

Our marvelously trained troops, all of whom are dear to Israel, are ready to go.  But to send them into this?

~~~~~~~~~~

A confession: When Hamas started sending those rockets our way again at the end of last week, I thought – Enough! let’s take them down. Israel cannot tolerate this. And Hezbollah and others to the north are watching.

But then I thought again.  I realized that the launching of rockets might be a trap, luring us into Gaza City.  I realized what the cost might be.

This quandary is precisely what the decision makers of Israel must deal with.  And it is possible that some very heavy decisions will have to be made soon.

~~~~~~~~~~

We speak about fighting the fight against radical Islam for the world.  Perhaps, then, we must do what we must do, with full determination.

But perhaps there are other avenues that can accomplish what needs to be done…

What I am seeing, which makes me hopeful (if I am allowed to say “hopeful” in such a gruesome context) is that the world is waking up to the horrors of radical Islam.  The absolute horrors of what ISIS is doing in Iraq may have a quantum effect on how the world sees these matters.  Finally.

And the world is starting to see that Hamas and ISIS are one and the same.  Which will bring about growing isolation for Hamas – already Egypt and Saudi Arabia are arrayed against Hamas, and others will follow – and a stiffening of the spine of the international community.

See this very important and articulate TV interview by anti-terrorist Steve Emerson regarding the fact that Hamas and ISIS are one and the same.

He says Obama cannot bomb ISIS in Iraq and support Hamas as a legitimate entity in Gaza.  He says, what is more, that if everyone doesn’t wake up, the US will have to contend with ISIS on its own shores.

http://www.investigativeproject.org/4508/emerson-interviewed-on-fox-news-justice-with#av651

Share this link broadly, please!

~~~~~~~~~~

And we have this tough statement on the issue as well – may it be a harbinger of new attitudes:

http://teapartyorg.ning.com/video/video/show?id=4301673%3AVideo%3A3019543&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_video

08/11/14

Trevor Loudon’s Upcoming Events for the next two weeks – 08/11/14

The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” is like no other book written on American politics. The book exposes, in layman’s terms, the comprehensive communist, socialist and extreme progressive infiltration of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

The book profiles fourteen Senators and more than fifty Representatives and their ties to Communist Party USA, Democratic Socialists of America, Workers World Party, and The Institute for Policy Studies, Council for a Livable World and other radical anti-American organizations. Trevor has done the hard work to connect the dots of why the US Congress has moved further and further left over our lifetime and you won’t want to miss him. The Mid-Terms are coming. It’s time to clean House — and Senate! Get yourself prepared with the facts.

Order Trevor’s Books Here

Mon., Aug. 11th, 2014
Event: Jeff Anderson – Watertwon SD – 8:30 am Central – KSDR AM 1040 — Radio/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.gowatertown.net/
Time: 6:30 am PST
Place: SD

Event: Cottage Grove 912 — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://cottagegrove912project.org/
Time: 9:30 am PST
Place: Stacy’s Covered Bridge Restaurant
401 E. Main
Cottage Grove, OR

Tue., Aug. 12th, 2014
Event: Mike Fagan – Spokane WA – The Right Spokane Perspective — Radio/Confirmed
Time: 9:30 am PST
Place: WA

Event: Sutherlin Tea Party — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://teaparty.sutherlin-oregon.com/
Time: 6:30 pm PST
Place: Sutherlin Community Center
150 S. Willamette Street
Sutherlin, OR 97479

Wed., Aug. 13th, 2014
Event: Lane 912 — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.912lane.org
Time: 6:00 pm PST
Place: Izzy’s Pizza & Buffet
950 Seneca Road
Eugene, OR 97402

Thur., Aug. 14th, 2014
Event: Glen Pav – 9:05 Am Eastern — Radio/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.RightingTheRight.com
Time: 6:05 am PST
Place: FL

Event: RUBICON — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: 12 pm PST
Place: Kowloon Restaurant
2222 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97401

Event: The Capitol City Republican Women’s Annual Picnic — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.orgsites.com/or/ccrw/
Time: 5 pm PST
Place: Diana Evans
1910 Madrona Ave. S
Salem, OR 97302

Fri., Aug. 15th, 2014
Event: Oregon 912 Project — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.oregon912project.org
Time: 6 pm PST
Place: West End Building
4101 Kruse Way
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Sat., Aug. 16th, 2014
Event: Steve Kates – A Call To Rights FNX 1100 AM — Radio/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.calltorights.com
Time: 1 pm PST
Place: AZ

Event: AFP Coos Bay — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: 2 pm PST
Place: Red Lion Hotel
1313 Bayshore Drive
Coos Bay, OR 97420

Mon., Aug. 18th, 2014
Event: Tri-Cities Tea Party — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.tricitiesteaparty.com/
Time: TBD
Place: Kennewick, WA

Tue., Aug 19th, 2014
Event: Rep. Matt Shea – Battlefront – American Christian Network Radio/Confirmed
Time: 8:30 am PST
Place: WA

Event: Walla Walla Tea Party Patriots — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://w2tpp.com/
Time: 6:30 pm PST
Place: Walla Walla Regional Airport
310 A Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Wed., Aug. 20th, 2014
Event: Spokane Tea Party Patriots — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Web Site: http://www.spokaneteapartypatriots.com/
Time: 6 pm PST
Place: Darcy’s Restaurant
10502 E Sprague Ave
Spokane, WA 99206

Sat., Aug. 23rd, 2014
Event: 26th LD Republican Club — Speaking Engagement/Confirmed
Time: 8:30 am PST
Place: The Cottesmore
2909 14th Ave NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335

If your TEA Party, 9.12, or patriotic group would like to invite Trevor Loudon to speak, please contact Regina Thompson.

See more of Trevor Loudon’s schedule here…

08/11/14

Trevor Loudon in Coos Bay, OR on Aug. 16th at the 2nd Annual Gathering of Patriots

New Zealand activist, political researcher and author, Trevor Loudon, will speak at The Red Lion Hotel on the beautiful Oregon Coast in Coos Bay, Saturday, August 16th at the 2ND ANNUAL GATHERING OF PATRIOTS. Loudon is currently in Blue State Oregon promoting his wildly successful book, “The Enemies Within.”

See more of Trevor Loudon’s schedule here…